Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Sunday Report

Hey, there, friends.  It's been a weird week for me.  I woke up on Monday with a cold, and was glad this week was a recovery week.  I ended up taking 3 days off completely, and my nutrition was TERRIBLE!!!  For some reason, the less I train the more I want to eat.  What's that all about??  Does this happen to anyone else?  It's almost like with more training comes more resolve in every area.  I also spent a lot of time worrying about missing workouts because of being sick.  Coach Mary reassured me over and over that it was the right call, but I kept feeling like I should make them up.  I'm just glad it was a low-volume week to begin with.

Ryan ended up having a snow day on Thursday and Friday, and the whole week was just a weird week for me, physically and emotionally.  I just checked my schedule for the upcoming week, and it is awesome!!  Can't wait to get back in.  Fortunately, I am feeling much better, so I should be able to hit every workout and my nutrition for the week.

Here are the numbers:


Bike: 2h 25m 14s 18.04 mi
Run:  1h 1m 17s 6.01 mi
Swim: 1h 2600 yards
Strength: 30m
 
Total:  4h 56m 31s

I had a lot of comments on my snow day pancake post...if you haven't tried those pancakes yet, you should!!  I also thought I would show some proof that I should add master snow-fort-builder to my extensive resume.  You be the judge!!


Those are icicles that were growing on our house.


Seriously...the fort is pretty good, but the kids are cuter than ever.

Friday, February 26, 2010

2010 Race Schedule

Well, I have been going back and forth in my head and with Coach Mary about my 2010 race schedule.  I had some ideas, she had some ideas, and, of course, I had to get the okay from Kel, whom I couldn't do any of this without!!

So, after a few flip-flops and additions, here it is!  I'm totally excited about each and every race, especially the last one!!

4/25/10 - Du the Lakes Duathlon - Run 3/Bike20/Run3
5/2/10 - Mountain Goat Run - 10 mile road race
6/6/10 - Rev3 Quassy Half-Iron
8/7/10 - Irongirl Syracuse - Sprint Tri 
9/4/10 - Skinnyman - Sprint Tri
9/19/10 - Syracuse 70.3
11/6/10 - Mendon Ponds Trail Run 50k

That's right, my friends...I am going to run an ultra!!  This has been something that I just can't stop thinking about, and I am so excited Coach Mary was on board with it!!  I love the way my season is kind of split into two parts, so I can evaluate how the first three races go, and then try to recover and improve for the second half of the season.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Day Pancakes and other Bloggy Things

This morning around 5:30 a.m. my phone rang, which could mean one of two things:

1.  Someone I love is in trouble (my body subconsciously responds to the first ring with a crazy beating heart)

OR

2.  A Snow Day!!!  

Thankfully it was number 2, so I snuggled down into the covers to go back to sleep until Noah decided to join me at 6:07.  Sleeping was done once that happened, but it was still nice to not have to rush around.  I've been feeling a little under the weather with a cold (and no training per coach's orders), so a snow day was the perfect remedy for my lagging spirits.

Of course when you have a snow day, you just gotta have pancakes right??  I made whole wheat blueberry pancakes with lots of maple syrup for the boys (they each ate 6!!), and then I made my own less traditional pancakes.  I decided to use this as an opportunity to enter Chocolate-Covered Katie's giveaway for a slew of Artisana Nut Butters.

So here is a picture of my beautiful Banana Blueberry Cheesecake Pancake Roll-ups.

Here's a view from the top:

Don't you like my festive snow day plate??

To make these I mashed up one banana and mixed it well with 1/2 cup egg whites and some vanilla.  I cooked the "batter" up like pancakes in some coconut oil, and then topped each pancake with a smear of whipped cream cheese.  Then I rolled them up and topped with 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries that I heated in microwave for 30 seconds and drizzled the whole thing with a tiny bit of maple syrup.

What do you think??  They were amazing!!  I make the banana pancakes alot, but this was the first time I ever got a little more creative.  Thanks for the inspiration, Katie!!

My friend and neighbor, Molly, featured me in a post on her blog!  I had so much fun answering all the questions...it kind of made me feel a little bit like I was a pro being interviewed for a magazine article...very cool.  Thanks, Molly!!  You inspire me too!!

One last thing for now.  I have been ruminating over my 2010 race schedule with my coach.  Just want to say stay tuned because I have some very exciting news that might require getting a little bit dirty.

Enjoy the snow!!  We're headed outside to build an igloo...wish me luck!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Sunday Report

Ahh...I'm in my favorite spot by the fire, and after I write this post I am treating myself to a big brownie with mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Sometimes you just have to splurge.

Anyway, I've been very tired this week--I think I might be coming down with a bit of a cold.  My throat was a little scratchy this morning, so I was happy to see a recovery week on tap in my Training Peaks.  I had a long ride yesterday that was pretty much a disaster in terms of execution.  I could not get into the right zone no matter what I did.  I felt like I was working a lot harder than my heart rate showed me, which is usually a pretty good sign that it's time to take it easy.  Clearly, Coach Mary knows just what I need.  (Have I mentioned lately how much I love having a coach??)

Here are the numbers:

Swim:  1h 40m 4000 yds
Bike:  6h 59m 40s 69.53 mi
Run: 2h 14m 27s 13.60 mi
Strength: 30m
 
Total:  11h 24m 7s
 
No wonder I'm tired!!
 
 
 
Some of you might remember that at the beginning of the year I made a vision board with some of my goals and intentions for the new year. It sits just to the left of my mirror where I get ready.  I see in it every day the person I am as well as the person I will become.  At the bottom left there are a few numbers.  Here's a close-up:

See the <20% that is circled?  That number is my body fat percentage goal...less than 20%.  I started off the year around 25%, and as of Friday, I am at 20%!!  Eating Clean (at the top right hand corner of my board) is working for me!

On that note, I will sign off and eat my brownie sundae...I never said I was perfect!

Have a great week and happy training!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Super-Trimommy Strikes Again!

I had another tough swim workout today.  Coach Mary is hitting me hard with the 100 repeats...ouch!!  But today I had an edge.  Yep, you better believe the Super-Trimommy was rocking the power lane at the pool in my new Splish grab bag suit.


Oh, yeah!!  This is my first Splish suit, and I knew I was taking a bit of a risk with the grab bag, but how can I turn down a $20 suit??  Clearly, Splish knew what this Trimommy needed and provided some much needed swim inspiration!!  How can you NOT swim fast with a Super-Trimommy suit??

After many nights of Kel gently sniffing my hair and commenting on my lovely chlorine perfume, tonight he will be in for a big surprise.  The other day I received an awesome package of TriSwim products that included shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion.  Check out what their website says about getting the chlorine OUT:
The ingredients in TRISWIM work to neutralize Chlorine and Chlorine odor on skin and in hair. TRISWIM has up to 5 sequestering agents which assist in attacking the chlorine, grabbing a hold of it, and washing the chemical down the drain. Not only does TRISWIM detoxify, but with our innovative formula, it also hydrates and nourishes with ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera, Vitamin A and E, and ProVitamin B5.
Guess what, my friends??  No chlorine on me!!  Just a lovely clean (gender-neutral, in case you were wondering) scent on my hair and my skin.  My favorite thing was the lotion.  It smelled so fresh, and my skin is not itchy at all.  I have pretty sensitive skin and some lotions are just a little too much for it.  So far, so good with the Tri-Swim Lotion.


I'm looking forward to trying out Trislide, which is a skin lubricant that is safe for use with wetsuits.  It's also supposed to be great for inside the bike shorts, too!  I'll keep you posted!!

This Super-Trimommy is pooped from a long afternoon with the boys at the science museum.  Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Inspiration

My motivation has been a little lackluster lately, and last week I hopped into the pool for a tough workout.  I wasn't really looking forward to it and was kind of stalling, when I saw a woman who I know is just learning how to swim hop into the shallow end of a lap lane.

She is training for Irongirl Syracuse, and before she started this process had never even put her head under the water.  She has been taking swim lessons, and I saw her a couple of weeks ago with her swim instructor practicing bobs to get her head under the water.

She slid into the water and ducked her head under.  Then she swam from the shallow end to the line where the deep end starts, turned around and swam back.  She did this for about 25 minutes...and I was totally inspired.

I was just dreading my workout, but she was dreading the water.  Despite her intense fear and hurdles she must overcome, she was in there getting it done...and I was inspired. 

Sometimes it is not the best or the fastest people that push you.  Thank you, A., for your inspiration.  You will become friends with the water, and I cannot wait to see you at the finish line!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Sunday Report

I really wanted to post another post this week because it was an interesting week, but the Sunday Report will just have to do.  I was very tired this entire week.  Not only was I tired, I was also a little less motivated than usual.  I hit all of my workouts, though, and two of them really stuck out in my mind as being excellent despite the fatigue that has seemed to settle into my bones.

First of all, I'm pretty sure I had a little breakthrough during one of the toughest swim workouts I've ever completed.  It was a warm-up, then a main set of 20 100s fast.  The goal was to keep pace during each 100...this was not where I had the breakthrough.  BUT in my effort to keep up and be efficient at the same time, I was focusing on really rotating from my core.  As I did this, lo and behold, I realized that the core pulls the arm through the water!  Amazing!  I can't wait to get back into the pool to try it again.  I was so excited about it on Friday, I even had a dream about it.  Hopefully that is my subconcious cementing the feeling into my neurons so it will come right back to me!

As I type this I am watching olympic figure skating, and Scott Hamilton just made a comment about how you just have to "concentrate and let your body do its job."  Brilliant.

The other great workout was my long(ish) ride yesterday.  I worked all day in Ithaca and didn't even begin my planned hour and 45 minutes on the trainer until 8:30.  I've been having some saddle comfort issues on my fairly new John Cobb V-Flow Max, so I had not been looking forward to the ride.  On Friday, I even gave John Cobb a call to see if he had any suggestions for me.  His first suggestion that was mirrored by the person who sold me the saddle was to wear cycle shorts. I've been riding in tri shorts, so I pulled on a pair of cycle shorts and that solved my problem!  It was a great ride, despite the late hour, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  It always seems the longer I go, the better I feel.

Nutrition has been going okay...5 boxes of dreaded girl scout cookies found their way into my kitchen, and, I swear, I had nothing to do with it.  You can read here about my feelings about girl scout cookies.  I might have had a little willpower breakdown today in the form of 4 thin mints and 2 samoas...and yet they still call out to me!! Anyway, here are my numbers.


Swim:  1h 45m 4300 yds
Bike:  6h 47m 45s 78.44 mi
Run:  2h 2m 26s 12.28 mi
Strength: 30m
 
Total:  11h 5m 10s
 
Love it!!!  Happy training!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trakkers News (and other thoughts)

Hey, ya'll.  I'm channeling my inner southern girl talk today as I sit by the fire and look out onto my (still) snow-covered deck.  I'm grew up in Florida and Georgia, so I still have a lot of friends who live down that way.  All over Facebook and the blogworld, it seems like all I see are more pictures of snow.  Now, I get it that it's a big deal to have snow in the south, but, come on people!!  I haven't seen the ground here since December, I don't want to see your snow too!!

(Okay...snow rant is over.  I really don't mind the snow, in fact I prefer snow-covered ground in the winter to mud.  I just think it's funny that everyone is making such a big deal about what we see here on a regular basis.  The end.)

Anyway, I have lots of Team Trakkers news for you guys today!  First of all, you must go check out the new and improved Trakkers website.  It is way cool, especially this page.

There was also a story on xtri.com about Team Trakkers.  While I didn't get a personal mention, there is this great little blurb about the age-groupers:
Additionally, the Trakkers Team is broadly represented in the tri ranks, from the pointy end of the races proudly to the back of the pack.
Oh, yeah!!  I am valued no matter how slow I am!  How cool is that???


I also recieved my new Saucony Xodus shoes the other day, just in time for the Chilly Chili 5K on Sunday.  I opted for some trail shoes, because I have made a promise to my friend, Ben, ultra-runner extrordinaire, to get out and run in the dirt with him this season.  They were great for the cold, snowy conditions on Sunday.  They have Vibram rubber on the soles for better traction and are water-resistant.  My feet were toasty warm on Sunday!!

First Endurance, another Team Trakkers sponser was featured in a slowtwitch.com article.  The co-founder, Robert Kunz, talks about the birth of his nutrition company and the link between science and sport.  It's very interesting.

I am still amazed that I am a member of Team Trakkers.  It is very intimidating, but at the same time motivating.  I want to represent at Rev3 Quassy, and knowing that I will be in Trakkers green on race day certainly gives me an extra push when I'm feeling a little lazy!!

And, finally, I will leave you with this picture of Noah.  I had the camera on the counter, and he handed it to me with firm instructions to take his picture. Then he sat there with this face until I did. This kid cracks me up!! (Please note aforementioned snow-covered deck in the background.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Sunday Report

Ahh...I finally got to race again today, and...it hurt!!  It was a 5K, and I ran really, really hard. (Please note that I wrote hard not fast for a reason!)  It was very cold and very hilly, and I was 1 second slower than my 5K in November where it was warm and flat.  I call that progress!!

Here are the official results:

Chip Time:  26:47 (but my Garmin showed the course to be a little long at 3.15 miles)
10 out of 86 in F35-39
91 out of 573 among women
327 out of 1111 overall

I also had a great training week.  (The rest of the week was chaos because my babysitter was sick...)  Here
are the numbers:

Swim:  2h 30m 7300 yds
Bike:  4h 18s 39.49 mi
Run:  1h 44m 30s 10.73 mi
Strength:  1h
 
Total:  9h 14m 48s
 
Coach is starting to ramp up my volume...yay!!!  I can't wait!
 
Have a great week!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Quest for Best Nutrition

Just a quick aside that the title of this blog began as My Quest for Good Nutrition, then got changed to Better, and now is Best.  Why settle???

If you have been following my blog for a while, first of all, thanks for reading!!  You also know that I am always striving towards better nutrition for many reasons that you can read about here and here and here.  The main reason is good health.  I want to put the very best things I can into my body. Secondly is fuel.  I train hard, and I do not want poor nutrition to undermine all the of the hours I put into training.  I would also be lying if I didn't say that I want to look good!  I think I could stand to be leaner.  And all good triathletes know that leaner equals faster!!

For the past two years, I have been gradually moving towards better eating each year.  The first year I really focused on calories and by doing that was able to lose all of my unwanted pregnancy weight from Noah. I logged every calorie I ate until I couldn't stand it anymore.  That was about 5 months and brought me to what I consider my body's setpoint--you know, the weight it tends to like being at most. I had just begun focusing on eating more whole foods and less processed foods, but I still resorted to using Splenda instead of sugar, and other artificial or processed "treats".  When I stopped counting obsessively I was training pretty hard and was able to eat what I wanted, within reason, without gaining any weight.  I also didn't lose any weight.

Last year, I decided to go further.  I cut out all Splenda and most processed foods.  I did two 12-week challenges where I cut out all added sugars of any kind.  I ate really good, real foods and made a point of not counting calories.  I trained hard and my weight stayed very steady right around my setpoint, give or take a few pounds.

So here I am in a new year, and my quest continues.  Don't get me wrong, I feel that I eat very well, and I am vigilant about nutrition.  So why the continued push?  Well, for me (and, truly, I think for everyone) good nutrition is not something that comes easily or naturally.  Why do I think that?  Well, take a look at my year last year.  I think I made great efforts towards good nutrition, yet, I lost no weight, I still had many moments (and sometimes weeks) of "cheating", and I just think I can do better.  People who are fit and lean are not that way by accident...they work hard for it, and so will I.

For this year, instead of focusing on losing weight, which clearly doesn't work for me once I am at my setpoint, I am focusing on body composition.  I am going to lose the body fat and get lean this year.  Yes, I am!  I have been doing a lot of reading to see what aspect I might not be hitting right on.  I have read The Paleo Diet for Athletes, Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, and Racing Weight.  I have also read a lot of stuff online from blogs to articles to scientific papers, as well as listening to my coach and other athletes I know.  I think all of the research is important, but I think what is even more important than that is that I need to go with what my heart says is right.

For me, right means eating a lot of whole foods - fruit, veggies, lean meats, nuts, seeds, dairy and whole grains--and not a lot of much else, especially sugar.  While I think there are some valid aspects of the Paleo Diet, my main problem with Paleo is that many whole foods that are nutritious are outlawed.  This is where I follow my heart.  I don't believe that milk and oatmeal and whole wheat bread that I make with my own hands is bad for me!  I do think I can eat too much of it, but I am not going to forbid things like that.

What I have gleaned from the reading, especially from Racing Weight, by Matt Fitzgerald, is something new that I have not tried before called nutrient timing.  That is the idea that certain nutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) are better eaten at certain times in the day, specifically relating to workouts.  Basically, during the window before and after a workout is the best time to eat carbs and even a treat, if you are going to have one, because it will either be burned up in the workout or used to replace the glycogen you've lost during the workout.  During other times of the day outside the workout window, it is best to focus on fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. (This is my very unscientific way of explaining this...I hope you don't mind the generalities.)  Also, I am really focusing on fueling my workouts effectively, so they are productive and I recover quickly.

I really like Fitzgerald's approach to getting lean for racing.  It is balanced and doesn't forbid any healthy foods.  He even includes a handy chart for giving your daily eating a score, which, as you know, is what I do.  His is a little more complex, but I'm thinking of giving it a go in the next few days to see how I rate.

So, do I have a set goal?  Kind of...My current body fat percentage is 25%, which is considered "normal" for a woman.  I would really like to get that down to around 20% by the time the race season begins.  I will be getting pinched by M. every month or so, to track my progress.  I am keeping a food journal, not so I can count calories, but so I can see trends in my eating.  On the top of each page of my journal I have written some inspirational comments to remind myself of my goals and reasons.  Sometimes it takes just a little bit extra, you know?

I'll keep you posted on my progress.  In the meantime, if you are looking to get leaner for the race season, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Racing Weight.  In my opinion, it is one of the most balanced books around for endurance athletes looking to get lean.

I'd love to hear how you keep yourself motivated to eat right!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Sunday Report and January in Numbers

Ahh...nothing like the Sunday report on a Monday.  That is pretty much how my week has been.  I'm  back to work, and, since I can't complain about my 5 week holiday break, I will say nothing!!

Here are the numbers for the week...
Swim:  2h 30m 7000 yds
Bike:  4h 3m 49s 41.14 mi
Run:  1h 15m 7.33 mi
Strength: 1h
 
Total:  8h 48m 59s
 
...and for the month of January...


Swim: 7h 03m 19000 Yd
Bike: 16h 15m 10s 167.42 Mi
Run: 4h 58m - 23.22 Mi
Strength: 4h 30m

Total:  32h 46m 10s

For some reason, maybe the fact that Rev3 Half-Rev in Quassy is 18 weeks (and counting) away, I've started to get nervous that I'm not doing enough. But then I try to remind myself that Coach Mary knows way more than me about how to structure training, so I am trusting her to give me the right volume at the right time.  I also went back to see where I was last January, just for kicks, and I'm about where I was last year.  Overall, I've spent a little more time on the bike, a little less on the run, and about the same in the pool.  And, of course, last year I was doing absolutely no strength training, so that is a big improvement.

I'm thinking I might do a whole post this week dedicated to nutrition.  I've been working really hard on my own eating and fueling, and have also been doing a lot of reading on different ideas regarding nutrition and endurance athletes.  Definitely come back to check it out!!
 
Have a great week, and happy training!

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