Clean sport
January 15, 2017

There is a very important movement going on in amateur and professional sports. And I’m a little disappointed. In my mind, as an athlete it is vital that I live a clean life, personally, in training, and in competition. That means putting in good healthy fuel in my body to make it run at top form. While our competitive nature makes us want to take any advantage we can to win, it must be a fair competition. But unfortunately, there is still a serious problem with unfair practices and doping. I’m disappointed that we still struggle with this problem even within our own country, but I am very proud to see several brands (such as Nuun Hydration) and professional athletes taking a stand.

So, I have, along with many of my fellow athletes, signed the Clean Sport Collective. True, I may not always be the most naturally fastest athlete, but I believe in the importance in clean fuel, clean training, clean competition.

cleansportco_badge_amateur-athletes

 

 

 

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One week down
January 10, 2017

On January 2, I started my first week of Ironman training. After a year off, it was both exciting and scary. But early season training is nice. It’s not insane mileage and hours. But it’s winter while the training isn’t too hard, mother nature makes sure that it’s not easy. I did a lot of creative swapping around workouts to deal the snow and ice we got at the end of the week, and to take advantage of two holidays at the beginning of the week.

Here are the numbers:
3 runs – 4 mi, 6mi, 1 mile time trial (which was interesting with a couple snowy patches)
2 swims  – each an hour at Masters
2 bikes – each 1.5 hours on the trainer/computrainer
1 strength – 45 min yoga

I’ve been most worried about running. This past year I’ve primarily run on trails and my endurance on road has fallen to the side, and I’ve still struggled with plantar fasciitis in both feet for nearly 2 years. But each run went fairly well. I’m hoping it hangs on.

So, one week down, 29 to go to Ironman Santa Rosa.

Portable Protein
June 10, 2013

I’m in the heaviest load of my training for my first Half Ironman.  I make a lot of jokes about training and eating, but I love food.  No seriously I really love food.  Partly why I exercise so much is so I can eat all the delicious things the world of gastronomy has to offer.  But the cycle is vicious, because when I train at these extraordinarily high volumes (burning twice my daily caloric intake in one workout at times!) I find myself needing to eat extraordinarily high volumes as well.  Seriously, you might be appalled at the tonnage of food this petite redhead can put away.  Often triathletes are accused of “hoovering” their food, it’s not pretty.

All jokes aside, I do need to make sure I’m getting enough calories, especially protein for muscles and sustained energy, throughout the day to get me through to the next workout.  I started making these “Egg Muffins” a couple years ago when I was working a flex schedule, arriving at the office at 6:30am, working 10-11 hours, and running or working out at lunch.  I needed something that would give me enough calories to get through the long morning.  I’ve become addicted since then.  They’re very easy to make, don’t require a lot of special ingredients, portable, and very satisfying.  Best part, you make 1-2 weeks worth in advance!  I pack them in my lunch and eat them at work, or as a quick protein snack on the go any other time!

Egg Muffins
(see notes below)

1 muffin tin
10 eggs
milk
salt and pepper to taste
“mixers” (any veggies or meats will do)
Cheese mixers (whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Crack eggs in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add milk or whatever you usually add to scrambled eggs.  Whisk eggs thoroughly.  Add mixers.   Add cheese mixers if you like.  Mix well.  Grease muffin cups if they are not nonstick.  Pour or ladle eggs into muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Top with extra mixers or cheese mixers.

Bake 25-30min.  The muffins will puff up as you bake them.  When time is up and they appear to be puffed, turn off the oven.  But leave the muffins in the oven to cool down with the oven!! If you take them out and let them cool at room temperature, they will sink in the middle.  Once cooled enough to handle the tin, remove from oven and allow to cool before storing.

To reheat: Microwave for 30-60 seconds depending on microwave strength.

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

mushrooms, spinach, monterey jack

NOTES:

Storage:  Muffins can be stored in containers or sandwich bags in fridge for 1-2 weeks.  They can be frozen for quite a good bit of time too.  I do recommend allowing them to thoroughly cool before freezing to avoid any frozen condensation and allowing to thaw before reheating to prevent extra moisture.

Muffin tins:  I prefer the oversized tin with 6 cups instead of 12 for larger muffins.  But when I’m not in heavy training, I use the 12 smaller ones instead.

Eggs:  I pick 10 eggs because it’s not quite 2 eggs per each muffin (it’s actually 1 2/3), but any amount will do.  Decide how much or little protein you want and go crazy!

Mixers:  Don’t over think this.  I take stock of whatever I have in my fridge/pantry that needs to be used.  I love mushrooms so I usually cut up mushrooms very small and add them.  If I have spinach on hand I add that for the potassium, just tear it up into tiny pieces.  The key is adding everything finely chopped so it distributes evenly.  Fresh herbs from the garden are lovely in the summer, or any other kind of seasoning you like.  You can also forego mixers and go natural.  I like regular egg muffins too.  Also, sometimes I wait to add the mixers until after I’ve put the egg mixture into the tins.  There is no wrong way to do this!

Cheese mixers:  I just check what I have on hand in the fridge. Then I sprinkle, cut up, grate, dollop whatever cheese or combination of cheeses I want into the mixture/tins.  I like to sprinkle some kind of shredded or grated cheese over the top of the muffins so it bakes in on top.  Parmesan or regular shredded mozzarella or cheddar is great for this.  But also like to cut up chunks of other cheeses like havarti into the eggs.  A nice herby goat cheese chevre bakes up lovely too!

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

Not the prettiest food, but so delicious.

 

BiT months 3&4
May 24, 2013

The latest update from Body in Training entries. I’ve decided to keep these as monthly but I’ll only post bi-monthly.

Month 3
Never really got a good chance to get a picture outside with good lighting, so unfortunately this one had to be inside, with less than optimum lighting.  Oh yeah, I got a new haircut.  Does it make me more aero?  My weight, body fat, BMI, and blood pressure are down.

bit3front

Bit3back

Height: 63.5″
Weight: 133.6lbs
Blood Pressure: 117/76
BMI: 23.3
Body Fat: 18.8%
Fat weight: 25.1lbs
Lean (fat-free) weight: 108.5lbs
Total Body Water: 33.6663 Liters, or 60.4%

Month 4
Finally got to get back outside for a picture.  You can see my lovely plants and herbs I’m planning to grow this summer, and a cameo from Diva Kitty eating grass.  Again, my weight, BMI, and blood pressure are all down a little bit.  My body fat percentage went back up.  I figure this is either last month’s reading wasn’t entered properly and/or I am retaining some water from this month since it’s about 5 days out from a race.  It’s only 0.1% higher than BiT month 2.

bit4front

bit4back

Height: 63.5″
Weight: 133lbs
Blood Pressure: 115/75
BMI: 23.2
Body Fat: 20.9%
Fat weight: 27.7lbs
Lean (fat-free) weight: 105.4lbs
Total Body Water: 34.62 Liters, or 60.2%

For comparison, you can find BiT month 1 here, and BiT month 2 here.

Recover this!
September 4, 2012

If you follow me on twitter, you’re pretty much bored of me talking about training and recovery, and training and recovery, training and…oh wait you’re bored already?  But I have actually had several people of all different levels ask me about some of my recovery methods.  While I don’t always do all of these things every single time I workout, there are a few that I swear by for various reasons, even if that reason is purely mental.  Hey, if training and racing is a mental game, why can’t recovery also be mental?  So, here are a few things I do to recover after training or racing.*

1.  Ice Baths
I have lauded the sheer misery splendor of ice baths before.  I can definitely say without a doubt that I notice a difference if I do not ice bath after a tough workout vs when I do.  Ice baths are a sometimes thing.  They are not for after every single workout.  Only the really tough ones that took a few hours and leave you really sore after.  They also should be done as soon after the workout as possible.  You can’t just wait until the next day to take your ice bath.

2.  Chocolate Milk
I’ve only recently started partaking in this one.  Within 20-30 minutes after a workout, consume low fat chocolate milk.  It has the perfect combination of proteins, carbohydrates, sugar, and fat for recovery.  It has shown in studies that it beats out other carbohydrate or protein heavy “recovery” drinks for muscle repair.  It replenishes gylocogen stores in muscles and helps rehydrate you.  Blah blah, good for your body, blah blah…It also tastes really good.

3.  Compression Tights
I’ve also jumped on the compression tights/socks bandwagon.  Not only do these bondage devices tights prevent fatigue from muscle vibration while you’re running, but they also help stimulate blood flow to the muscles afterwards.  I do not always wear these after a tough workout.  In fact, it’s usually when I need a quick recovery and have some time to put them on and put my feet up.  They are also great to wear under clothes after a tough workout if you have to go straight to work or another function after.  You don’t want to wear them too long, but I have noticed that they do help me fight some of that dreaded Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

4.  The Stick/Foam Roller
These little devices can be great for working out any remaining muscle soreness.  Sometimes you just don’t have time to wait for it to work itself out.  Or it’s so bad it’s preventing you from continuing your workouts, or even worse you’ve built up such severe muscle tightness that you risk injury in your next workout.  I admit I am not as good about using these devices as I should.  I will also be honest with you, they can hurt like hell!  But if you consistently use them, it makes that initial pain go away.

5.  Stretching
This is an obvious one.  You need to know the proper stretches for your body and for your workout to do though.  I know these, but I’m terrible about doing them after a workout.  I just ran for an hour and a half or biked for 2 hours, the last thing I want to do is sit on the ground and spend some more time working out.  The price I pay for not stretching though is tighter muscles and joints with each workout.

6.  Rest day
At least once a week, you should take a rest day.  Your body just needs to fully rest and hit the reset button.  If you’re heading in towards a race, consider 2 days with one very close to the race day.  Even if you’re switching up all your different workouts and cross-training, your body still needs a day of rest.  At some point it needs the time to work on repairing and rebuilding muscles.  If nothing else, you need a mental rest from the rigor of training and racing.

So what are your favorite recovery methods?

* Note, I’m not a doctor, coach, sports medicine specialist, or even a phenomenal athlete.  Take this with a grain of salt and research everything for yourself.  If you’re not built like me or train like me, or have the same goals as me, then your recovery wouldn’t necessarily be like me either.

Reflections on training
August 14, 2012

Now that I am well over 2 months into Coach-led triathlon training, I have some thoughts on the past, present, and future of my athletic career (and personal life).

1.  Having a coach is not absolutely necessary, but I am certain that it has had a positive effect on my fitness and results.  Yes, you can get fit, train for and compete in a triathlon, and be successful without a coach.  But having her there to obsessively review every single detail of my training and racing results and push me (really hard) in the areas I need to improve has actually had the results I wanted. I am being pushed much harder than I would have done on my own (mostly out of ignorance of training methods).  And my body has made an amazing transformation in that time.  I feel so incredibly healthy and fit and strong.  I do feel it has been worth the money spent for me.

2. Training for a triathlon is hard but mostly time-consuming.  Granted I have only been training for the max distance of an Olympic triathlon, but that requires 6-7 days/week of training and several of those days are 2x/day workouts, averaging around 12-14 hours of training per week.  It’s one thing to train hard to excel at one sport, but for 3 sports is 3 times the time and effort.  I do not have a lot of time for a lot of other things that aren’t training, eating, sleeping, or my job (that pays for my little tri habit).  For right now that has been ok, because I have needed the distraction.  But if I plan to do a Half Ironman next year, I can only imagine the amount of time that will consume as well.

3.  If I do a Half Ironman next year, I need to get a roommate and a housecleaning service.  The roommate for the human interaction as I will have little time for any interaction that takes place outside my training or my home. And the housecleaning service to control the mess in the house that I have no time to clean.  (Also the extra roommate rent can help pay for the housecleaning).

4.  I am close to experiencing burn out with training.  While some of this burn out comes from coinciding outside personal life sources, it does make make me realize that I may have a limit to the amount of time that I can go 110% in training without a break.  Next year I need to set up my race schedule to give me plenty of breaks, maybe even a real vacation, and also look at the timing of my goal Half Ironman and back up from there on when I start the serious training so I don’t burn out too soon before the race.

5.  My body and mind are much stronger than I even imagined.  The level of mental toughness and physical pain I have been able to push through in training or during a race is beyond what even I thought I could be capable of.  I have had to overcome a lot of physical, mental, and emotional hurdles this year just to get to this point.  And it feels like I am only scraping the surface below what I thought was possible, so I know I must have even more reserves that I can tap into when I need them.