12/31/07

Getting good sleep!


This last weekend was really relaxing. However, I didn't feel very rested. Fri and saturday night didn't make out for a good nights rest but thank goodness I could lounge around during the day. Sunday morning Karel rode with some of his non-Gearlink cycling buddies and felt strong on the bike. He did 100 miles, starting at the suncoast trail and 54 and rode up to San Antonio and did the sunday morning San Antonio ride as well. What a workout for him and I thought he would be exhausted. I guess his training plan from his coach Adam B. (from the NTC) is working out great cause he said he is feeling really good on his new Cervelo. I had pancakes ready for him when he came home and we spent the rest of the day watching a movie. We watched Crash which was excellent. A great movie to really make you think about how crazy life is sometimes. The movie is so real and features stereotypes and how you can hate one person one minute and honor them the next moment. I really recommend it if you haven't seen it. I also watched Ratatoulii the other night...and as a fanatic cooker, I totally recommend that one! I love animated movies! Sunday evening Karel and I went over to our good friends' condo in Innisbrook. Roberta and Steve were the initial fixer-upers of Karel and I's relationship and they are just great people to be around. Roberta is a crazy strong cyclist and triathlete and Steve rides with Karel and the other Gearlinkers. Just great people. There were 6 of us for dinner and it was so yummy! A special thanks to roberta who cooked a vegetarian plate for me. We told lots of funny stories and it was great to just hang out and socialize. I wasn't too tired when I got home so I watched TV for a bit and ended up falling asleep around 11pm. Yes, that's 11PM! Totally late for me and I knew I was in need of some sleep. I woke up with my internal clock at 5:50am but after getting out of bed I decided that I wasn't ready to get up yet. Back to sleep and before I knew it I heard my cell phone alarm go off. Usually on Mondays I don't set an alarm so that I can actually sleep in (which is normally 6:30am for a sleep-in days). Last night I set an alarm reminder on my phone that I needed to leave at 8:30am to go personal train someone. Well, the alarm was set for 8:15am and that is when I woke up! I can't tell you the last time I slept in that late! I have always mentioned that I am a morning person and I love getting up early. I get up at 4:40am on tues, wed and thurs and never think anything of it. However, I am pretty strict about going to bed when i start to feel tired, which is usually around 9:30pm. Sadly, sometimes Karel beats me to bed if I decide to stay up past 9:30pm. I guess the last two nights kinda caught up to me and I was in need of some good solid sleep. I know sleeping is really important to a healthy body, but for athletes so many good things happen while you are sleeping. You release hormones which help you rebuild and heal and you also control your cortisol levels which help you from overeating. You should get enough sleep to wake up feeling rested. In my opinion there is no set number of required hours of sleep per night but I would recommend around 6-7 hours of continuous sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and try not to eat within 1-2 hours of going to bed. Beyond the claim that eating late will cause you to gain weight (because most people are less active during the late evening hours compared to during the day), it is important to properly digest food by sitting upright, as appose to laying down and having non-digested food sitting in your GI system. It is good to take a nap on the weekends or a little rest for the eyes during the day, but be sure that when you go to sleep at night that you are actually sleeping through the night. The more you wake up during the night, the more you stop your REM cycle which causes you to feel groggy and tired in the morning. So the sleeping thing isn't my expertise in my academic background but hopefully I've expressed how important sleep is to your body. And if you think you need more sleep, skip a workout one morning and give yourself an extra hour or two of rest. Your body will thank you and you will really enjoy having an extra boost of energy during your subsequent workouts.
And speaking of sleep, I'm not much of a late-nighter so I will try my best to stay out until 11pm tonight, in honor of New Year's Eve. Karel and I are heading to a party tonight with all the Gearlinkers which should be a lot of fun. And as usual, the youngest ones at the party (Karel and I) will probably be the first to go. Oh so sad, but at least I can laugh about it :)
Have a happy new year everyone! Be safe, happy and healthy!

12/29/07

We all have bad days.



Everyone has one. You wake up and everything goes wrong the rest of the day. You start off a workout feeling "poopy" and it just doesn't get any better. You're having a great day and all of a sudden 5 things go wrong to turn the day upside down. Well, I had one of those days when it just started off "poopy". I stayed with my parents last night so that I could take them to the airport early this morning. They are off to New Orleans for the weekend to catch a ship for their cruise on Sunday. Now, about my bad day. Last night I had a hard time going to bed and it was late when I finally did fall asleep. The alarm went off at 4:40am but since I went to bed around 11pm I was a bit on the sleepy side. My leg is bothering me again (for the past 3 days) so I've been taking it easy with the cycling. Just walking on the treadmill to keep things stretched out and if it is bursitis in my groin, it feels great to walk and swim. I debated about not riding this morning but after dropping my parents off at the airport I was up and what else would I rather do at 6:30am? Karel was joining the group today for the bridge repeaters (easy day for him) so I had a good incentive to ride with the group. I felt fine during the fist 10 miles of the ride which brought me to the group at CVS. I met up with Ray, Bob and Vince, three of the Gearlink guys. When my groin is bothering me I never know how hard to push so I put my chain in the big ring to give me a bit more power. This was the first time since I got my new Blue that I rode in the big ring and it was nice to slow down my cadence just a bit. I probably could have kept it in the small ring but I just wasn't feeling it. At that point, I was thinking maybe I'm not feeling it at all today. I tried to get those negative thoughts out of my head and I really enjoyed the absolutely beautiful (and hot) morning. Once the ride started, we took turns pulling (3 minutes each) as we rode 2 abreast on the road. I was looking forward to getting on the bridge so I could do my own thing. The plan was 14 bridge repeaters (7 each side) and I felt good starting out. My body felt good, I felt like I had enough energy but I had absolutely no power. I just didn't feel it today. I got lapped by the guys and Karel rode with me for 4 climbs until he joined the other guys who were a bit ahead of me on their 14 climbs. Soon after, I have Karel passing me again like he was riding a flat with the wind at his back. Even though the group was finished and refueling at the gas station, I finished my last 4 climbs solo, with only pedestrians starring at me strangely as I climbed the causeway alone. During the 4 climbs with Karel he asked how i was feeling and I told him I just didn't feel powerful. I was tired since I didn't get a good nights rest and I felt like I was riding with people who weren't in my league. Actually, I am no where in their league. Karel nicely explained that some of the guys power up the climbs too hard and it is the winter and there is no reason to race during this part of the season. Karel was extremely nice about everything, giving me pointers on my pedal stroke and gearing, but my ego was down and I just wanted to complain. I was just frustrated with everything, probably all going back to my leg.
Here is my point to the blog, besides me just complaining about how bad I felt during my morning ride...We all have bad days. Karel has bad days (which means I can almost keep up with him), the Gearlink guys have bad days, the Pro's have bad days and newbies have bad days. I had a bad day and I wanted Karel to just deal with it. Actually, as my fiance, I wanted Karel to just listen to me complain..but who wants to do that??? I tried not to be negative about things but complaining, well, sometimes it's just easier to think out loud. I know it's gotta be tough living with someone who has a bad day. How many times has your significant other, mom/dad/bro/sis, training partner or roommate seen you come home after a bad workout? Or even worse, a bad race??? I know it has happened to everyone and the person (as who feels the effects of the athletes' bad day) just has to deal with it. It's no fun, but it happens. Hopefully you live with someone who is positive, uplifting and understanding. I've tested my skills at cheering Karel up after a tough race or workout but it's hard. Sometimes that person just needs to vent and complain. Karel did a good job of trying to rationalize the situation and letting me know that I'm not slow and he's seeing improvements in my climbing. He said that climbing a causeway is not a climb, it is pure power-something I don't have right now. I guess one two many negative comments came out of my mouth but I was so frustrated about how slow I was today. Here I am, a triathlete who went to Kona and I am getting lapped on a causeway! I know, that is a bad analogy. I know i am the slowest on the team but I really felt like I shouldn't be riding with these guys (and Roberta). I was pretty down on myself during the entire ride and I had a hard time really searching inside of me for a time when I was keeping up with the guys. I could have easily thought about the Wed. night rides when I was making all the loops or finishing a Saturday morning ride with the guys, just before I headed out for a brick run. For some reason, I just couldn't find that inner strength to get positive and I just continued to ride in frustration. Now that I am home and expressing my thoughts as I write (which I love to do) I hope that all the people out there who have bad days, find that inner strength to bounce back the next day. I should have listened to Karel and some of the other guys (who knew I was having a bad day) and just ignored my flat ego. Errrr. It was a great morning to ride, I got in 55 miles w/ 14 bridge repeaters and I was able to spend some time with my fast training partners. But when you have a bad day, it is just so frustrating when you just can't change the scenario. Lesson learned: Deal with the bad days quickly, move on in a positive manner and realize that YOUR bad day could be someone's BEST day.

12/27/07

Triathlete Thinking

This morning I went to the Clearwater Y to swim. Rather than going to my normal 5:30am outdoor swim team practice at the Palm Harbor Y, I decided to stay indoors this morning since coach Matt is out of town. There is a small group of guys who swim Tues, Thurs, Friday morning at 6am so it is always nice to try to keep up with these fast guys. At the Palm Harbor Y for the SwimFit practice, I usually swim in my own lane with my own cycle (and own sets during racing season) but I absolutely love being in the pool at 5:30am with so many other people. There are usually around 10-20 people swimming and it is a great group of newbies to veterans. With a lifetime of competitive swimming, I'm use to not getting much rest with touch and go sets and a bit of distance and yardage. But other than that I am no different from all the other triathletes. We all have goals and we all have reasons for being there. As i was swimming I was wondering what each of the guys (5 others) were thinking. For me I often get my inspirations for my blog or an article but with many years of competitive swimming behind me, I've learned to think of nothing during swim practice so that I won't miscount laps. Since only two of the guys competitively do triathlons, I wondered what the others were thinking during the 500 warm-up? What motivates them to get in the water? Is it the competitiveness, is it the camaraderie, is it health reasons or is it because they just like it? I always wonder what people think when they are training, especially when they are swimming. Back and forth, back and forth and every 25 meters/yards you get a wall to make things interesting. How boring! Well, I love it and I was thinking just that as I was in the pool this morning. I guess I have to love the water if I've been swimming competitively for over 13 years. After the warm-up, one of the guys explained the main set. I found it funny that they shortened the set after one of the guys looked at the total yardage for the set. I think it was around 2200 for the main set so they took it down to 1800. The set we did was 2 x 200, 2 x 100. We did that 3 times and each set of 200's and 100's we separately dropped the interval by 15 seconds for each of the 200's and 100's. Well, a total of 45 sec dropped from the first set to last means that the first set felt like nothing. In all, however, I liked the set and it went by fast. As I was swimming, I thought about how hard the guys were pushing but they were getting so much rest. Maybe I enjoy the burning feeling of not getting much rest on the wall but a 100 on 1:45 was a bit too easy for me... and everyone else. They of course beat me by 30-45 sec for most of the set, until the end when I had a bit more steam in me to finish about 20 sec behind them. For most of the 100's I was coming in around 1:15-1:20 which was great for an off-season swim. Anyways, as I was thinking why they shortened the set. First they come to swim so early in the morning and then the set is shorted by a 400. But they were getting so much rest?? Hum, perhaps if I was swimming with a group of triathletes we wouldn't have shortened the set. If anything, we would have made it longer, faster and harder. Perhaps we would have used the words "only" or "that's it?" when looking at the set. I am happy that the guys who don't do triathlons are in the water and I think that for them, the workout today was just perfect for keeping them in the pool on a weekly basis. I always think it is great to find a sport/exercise which you love. You will only continue exercising when you pick something which is enjoyable. As for all those triathletes out there...what is it that keeps you going? I haven't quite figured it out yet since I am still diagnosing myself. What is it that motivates us to get up so early and train so diligently? What are we trying to prove to ourselves that we have to finish a set or get in all the intervals? Why do we often feel so guilty about missing a key workout? It isn't like the triathlon congress will hunt you down and embarrass you for life :) And why do we use the word "only" when to most people our "only" is a distance or a goal which many attempt achieve? The next time you are at the gym, swimming in a pool, out on your bike or running indoors or out, take a minute to think about why you do the things you do. I think for many people it is because you love it, it's a lifestyle and it makes you a better person, both inside and out. And most of all, enjoy what you do everyday! Have a healthy day!

12/26/07

Holiday Fun

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday! My family and I are Jewish so Hanukkah was celebrated on the 5th of December. Karel joined in on the festivities and we lit the menorah and exchanged a gift with my family. Since Hanukkah isn't a big holiday for us it is often compared to Christmas, hence the giving of presents. I am a big present giving and it is really hard for me to keep things from people so I have to wait as long as I can to buy gifts or else i will just ruin the surprise. This year I did well with keeping things secret for Karel's christmas. Since Karel's family lives in Czech I have really tried hard on learning about his Christmas and bringing in his traditions and family customs. Well, in part of the czech christmas we exchange gifts on Christmas Eve and have a nice dinner before the gift giving. After a morning run and swim I got going on the cooking and I was on my feet all day. I absolutely love cooking but part of my job of the Czech Christmas dinner was baking. When I cook, I can substitute ingredients and play with the recipes in order to make them healthy and yummy. Well, in baking I only mess up the final product when I try to make things healthy. Not that it can't be done but I don't have much experience in baking. There is a bread called Vanochka and it is like Challah (breaded bread). I tried my best to at least make it look like the real thing but I'm sure it wasn't as good as Karel's mom's cooking. I tried to be patient about the rising of the dough so I think I did ok. Karel made a fantastic potato salad which is also a tradition from his family christmas dinner. The potato salad is made with all organic and fresh veggies and super healthy for potato salad. Of course his mom grows them at home so they are all super fresh! Another staple for the Czech dinner is carpe but karel uses Grouper, Talapia or Tuna. This year it was Tuna which turned out well (so he says) and it was seasoned tofu for me. I also made a salad for me and sauerkraut soup for Karel. It was a great dinner and karel told me stories of when he was young and his dad would take him for a walk before dinner so that the family would set-up the tree with all the decorations and lights. In Czech and possibly other European places, people wait to put up a tree until Christmas Eve and kids can't see it until Jezisek (baby jesus or American Santa) comes to ring the bell. Once the bell was rung, the tree was lit, dinner was served and then it was present time.
Karel and I were both good this year so Jezisek was nice to both of us. We are good at not buying gifts just for the act of buying (and giving) so we tend to wait until things go on sale, there is a special online or we know that the other one would really like the gift. Of my favorite gifts I got a Super Grover Jersey which I just love! I am a big fan of grover and I collect stuffed animal grovers. For those who need me to clarify, yes, I am talking about Grover from Sesame Street and no I will never grow up! :) I also got the Joe Friel Triathlon Training journal which is perfect since I have been seeing Karel write in his cycling journal and I've been getting a little envious. I was also given a new Women's carbon FSA Handlebar for my bike since my hands are just a bit small for the men's handlebar. What a great gift from my bike guru and I can't be upset with a gift for my bike! And lastly, a Garmin GPS for my car. Ok, I know this was a nice gesture but I must explain. I am notorious for getting lost. I come from Lexington, KY which, although it is a growing town, in my opinion it is quite small compared to anywhere in Florida. I grew up there so I knew all the roads and it was hard to get lost with a circle (New Circle) as our biggest road. I'm use to left and right not east and west and although I can read a map I'm so use to going on instinct and looking for the closest Mc'D's, grocery store or other destination to help me get where I am going. So, I have had far two many "I'm lost" phone calls to karel and my family. I try to give myself enough time but I usually find my way to where I am going with karel (or my dad) getting on the Internet as I am tearing up trying to find my way. I guess Karel was tired of the phone calls and although it was a great gift, I think it was for him to not have to help me with my directions any more :)
I completely spoiled Karel with bike swag. A bike wine rack, bike candle, poster and book. A couple other fun gifts and I think this holiday was great. Regardless if there were 10 presents, one present or no presents I am always happy to have special people in my life. I think the best part of this holiday was getting on my bike on Tuesday morning and riding with karel. We parted after about 10 miles but it was so peaceful and calm outside. The weather was overcast and a bit cool and there were few cars on the road. I saw several runners, walkers and bikers and everyone was so happy. Being on my bike and following my 45 mile ride with a nice breakfast just made for a wonderful morning. So regardless of all the presents, I am so thankful to have a healthy body which allows me to do so many fun things. I'm thankful that I can run again and I'm thankful that I have a loving family and lots of great friends. I hope everyone had a nice holiday and enjoyed some of the finer things in life. Have a healthy day!

12/23/07

Fantastic Weekend

Saturday morning was a little cold starting off. However, it was the good chill which you wear arm-warmers and you are comfortable wearing them during the entire ride. Karel has a recovery week so he was taking his time getting ready. I fixed the coffee and had some toast and PB and I was out the door around 7am. I saw lots of people out exercising and the majority of the people were running. As I was warming up I saw lots of Gearlinkers riding. I was looking forward to the bridge repeaters and it's always nice when there are lots of people to keep you going. The plan was 12repeaters and although it was like the past weeks I felt great on them. The wind was blowing strong (south to north) so on the longer side of the sand key bridge, I struggled as I was climbing. Around #5 I saw Karel on his sharp new cervelo and he was matching in all red and black. Oh, the things that I notice as I am riding :) karel joined me for 2 climbs but I could tell that Karel wanted to be around the other guys. No worries, I was in my zone doing my own thing so I didn't mind having karel fly up the causeway to catch up with everyone else. Seriously, he makes it look so easy and effortless. He is a machine and I'm like the little engine that could. "I think I can, I think I can". I've been noticing how my emotions change so many times when I'm training. One minute I am so bored, next minute I'm loving it. Well, today was one of those days that I was just loving it. Karel headed home but I was still wanting to ride. I ended up with 50 miles and I really enjoyed being on my bike this morning. Karel and I switched crank arms and he changed my saddle and I fell so good on my bike! What a difference a small change of a crank arm can make. The rest of sat was low-key. A couple errands, a visit to Karel at his work and a trip to the grocery store. Sunday morning I met the group at publix for our sun morning ride. Well, the group was more like 4 people and counting me, it was no good for drafting. I didn't feel strong and the pace was a little fast for me, but I did my best as I drafted and pulled. I only did 40 miles cause my mind was feeling a run. Yes, a run. I remember so many bricks this summer when my legs felt heavy and sore. Well, with only 40 miles on my bike and a 9 min pace, I thought I had just finished my last long workout before an IM! My shins were hurting, my pace was slow and I had trouble getting my rhythm. I was a bit scared since this was my first time outdoors really running so I took my time for the first mile. I re-laced my shoes and walked for 10 minutes and before I knew it, I picked up the pace to a 8.5 min/mile pace and I was feeling it. I had no negative thoughts in my head and I tried to keep everything positive. It would have been really easy to think about my last two summers of running a 7.5 min/mile off the bike or an easy 4 mile run after a 100 mile bike ride, but I was so happy that I was running. I truely enjoy running. There is something I love about moving foward so quickly and just being comfortable with each stride. You are out in the environment and your mind can wander. Sometimes you think about life and sometimes you think about nothing. For me, I think about lots but for some reason I never remember it. Sometimes I am stressed or overwhelmed when I start a run but when I get home I feel so much better about everything. I hope everyone can get in a run, walk or even bike ride over the next couple of days. Regardless if you are traveling or spending time with family, perhaps the people you are with could use a chance to get outside (or in a gym) for a little stress-relieving workout. And if you need to release some energy from all those sweet treats, plan your workout for the early hours of the morning so that things don't come up and you can enjoy the rest of your day! Have a healthy day!

12/21/07

Today I dressed like a runner!

I've been smiling a bit bigger this week. I can finally run and I'm feeling really good about it. Unfortunantly, I think my position and components on my road bike needs to be fixed so Karel and I will work on that this weekend. My crankset is a bit different than my tri bike and old Blue so Karel is going to swap his Cervelo crankset with mine.....or something like that. Not sure what he does with my bike but I trust him 100%. He is the best mechanic in my opinion and he is a true perfectionist only because he is so passionate about bikes. I think my groin bursitis is not healing as quickly due to the bike so I've been laying low on the cycling this week. Luckily, it is working and I can run!! I'm planning on riding with the guys tomorrow but I think just resting my leg a bit and not riding as much is helping a lot! Anyways, yesterday I thought it couldn't get any better. After a 3,000 yrd easy swim workout I jumped on the treadmill and started walking. After 5 min. I was ready to jog. I did a total of 38 min. of running with some walk breaks after 10-13 min. of running. I did 5 miles and I felt really good running at 6.3 mph. I was feeling really good towards the last 10 min. so I had to take it up to 6.5 mph. I didn't want to get too worked up at the beginning but everyone at the gym knew how happy I was to be running for so long on the treadmill. Yay! So this morning my cell phone alarm went off at 5:30am and Karel and I were both up ready to get some coffee going. Karel debated about going to the gym with me since it rained all last night but he decided to ride. I think he is enjoying his morning ride cause I'm back from the gym and he is still gone! MY mission this morning was to run. I told myself that I would be running this morning on the treadmill. Therefore, I dressed like a runner. I've been wearing regular sport shorts with an elastic waist and semi-breathable material. No reason to wear running shorts if I'm not running. Well, today I called myself a runner. I put on my Favorite Blue Nike shorts that i wore at the Miami marathon (my first marathon in 2006). I absolutely love these shorts. The shorts have slits on the sides which validate that they are running shorts and i enjoyed showing a little leg today since I was planning on running. To make a long story short, I covered 5.6 miles and felt great. 10 minute warm-up and I started running. 20 minutes at 6.4-6.5 mph. Wow, i couldn't believe it! I wasn't even running half that speed before Kona. I couldn't even move my legs at 3 mph for a walk without hurting. I couldn't even walk the entire month of September without hurting. To make my run even better today, I walked another 10 minutes and then ran again at 6.8 mph for another 20 minutes. I don't care about how fast i was running a year ago and I don't care if people are running faster than me right now...Today I could dress like a runner and I felt like a runner!
Not sure who reads my blog but for the people out there (and we all know one of them) that aspire to do a marathon, a half marathon, a 15K or even a couple miles on the treadmill....I give them so much credit for their completion. I hear so many times "Am I a runner if I don't do races? Am I a runner if I do 5 min. miles? If I walk and jog, does that make me a runner? YES!!! It's a running race and you a part of it. Never let someone tell you that you don't belong. I do feel that slower runners should stay near the back of the pack for safety reasons and to give the faster runners more space, but that doesn't mean that you have to run x-speed to sign up for a race. If you have a goal of doing a marathon or a 10K, sign up and train for it. You can do it! Even if your fastest time for a 5K is 45 min, you have just as much right to be out there as those running it in 15 min. I would be so upset if someone told me that I wasn't a runner if I was jogging in a race right now. Enjoy the fact that you are out there with so many people who share similar goals. When you sign up for a race everyone wants to reach the finish line but we all have different ways of getting there. And most of all, dress like the runner you are! Have a healthy day!

12/19/07

Spinning

I haven't been on my bike since Sat. but I've been running and swimming to keep myself feeling some kind of burn. I love my road bike but sometimes I get bored riding the same routes all the time. Unfortunantly, I'm not blessed with hills or open roads in the clearwater area. I'd love to get to Georgia, Clermont or Colorado so that I can get some good climbs on my bike. For the people stuck in freezing weather, snow drifts and ice I am sure that my complaining about 70-degree winter weather and no climbs is pretty inconsiderate of me. I know I have talked about my start in triathlons but I wanted to talk about my love for spinning (spin class). When I heard about a triathon which involved swim, bike and run I thought that would be a lot of fun. However, I've never really biked, only for fun. I had almost finished my Junior year of college and was getting burnt-out of competitive swimming. I had so many back problems from swimming 200 butterfly, 200 IM and 100 breastroke and the 7000+ yard swim practices were becoming tiresome. I had been swimming year round since I was 12 and I decided I would do cross country my senior year and I debated even swimming my senior year (I did swim my senior year to finish off 4-years of college swimming and very glad I did!). I signed up for a triathlon but had no bike. I belonged to Golds for many many years and decided I would take a spin class. Let me tell you about my first spin class. I signed up the day ahead for a 5:15am spin class at Golds in lexington, KY (where I am from). I showed up around 5:10 to set my bike up for my first time ever spinning. Well, because I was one of the last people in the class they accidently gave out too many passes and there weren't enough bikes. Because the teacher sat in the front of the class on a 2-foot platform I was the only one without a bike. As I was leaving the teacher came up to me and said I could have her bike since I got up so early for this class. I guess in the moment I said ok but then as I was getting on her bike I had about 30 eyes on me. She set up the bike to my fit and comfort and the music started and I had no idea what to do. I got through that 50 min. spin class and I actually enjoyed it aside from being the center of attention as the teacher walked around the room. I got into a zone when I was spinning and I just forgot that I was facing everyone in the room. It was kinda like a new aerobics class where everyone but you knows the moves. I had no idea what to do when she would call out something to do. I guess since then I have enjoyed spinning and the rush, energy and sweat you get from a good spin class. After many more classes on my own spin bike (and not the teachers' bike) I knew I wanted to teach spin. I got a job at the Y to do personal training and water aerobics but in order to teach spin there I needed to take 15 hours of spinning. No big deal since I had signed up for a triathlon and didn't have a bike. I took spinning at the Y for over a month and the week before my first triathlon I got a hybrid bike. Haha...when I got that bike I thought it was the coolest thing ever!!! I road that bike everywhere for a week before my first triathlon. I think my longest ride was 8 miles before a sprint triathlon in the rolling hills of Owensboro, KY. To my surprise, when I got to the triathlon my hybrid didn't look like the bikes of everyone else. I was first out of the water but when I got on the bike it was a tough, long bike ride. I got through the run since I enjoyed running and I ended up first in my age group. Since my first triathlon I have been taking and teaching spin and I really enjoy it. Aside from getting a great workout myself, I love teaching others and well, making them suffer :) This morning at the Y I had a great class. The Y was kinda dead but my class was filled as usual. The people in my 5:45am class are really dedicated and I've had some of the same people in my class since last summer when I started. We do 5-6 sets lasting from 2-4 min. The class is a total of 45 minutes and we recover for 1-2 min. after every set. We do a short warm-up and the rest of the class is filled with intervals. We climb, we do rollers, we do jumps, we sprint and we do single leg drills. I have them sweating by the first 10 min. and I'm sure you can imagine my enthusiasm early in the morning. I love being infront of my class and just keeping them going. My normal triathlon self-talk comes out during my class and it works so well for keeping the class motivated. I always shout "mind over muscles" to my class and I tell myself that so many times when I am training.
As the off-season is in full swing, check out a YMCA, a wellness center or a gym for a spin class. You might have to pay a guest fee if you aren't a member but it's worth the cost. You'll really enjoy a group setting for a spin class and it's great when the lots are off and the music is thumping. Ask around and find an instructor who teaches with good music and he/she has a lot of energy. The beauty of spinning is that you can control the resistance and your energy output. Also, be sure that the spin bike is a good quality bike and you might want to look for pedals where you can clip in your cycling shoes. Enjoy your holiday season and stay happy and healthy!

12/18/07

Could it get any worse??

Since I usually write about myself on this blog I'd like to feature Karel and his up and down weekend. As I mentioned in the last blog, Karel forgot his key on sat. morning. He headed out for a 3-hour ride and it was one of his hardest workouts this season. 87 min. tempo ride just below threshold. Since he uses his power meter he usually stays in the lower 200's (I think around 230W) for his power. I'm not really sure exactly but I know he always comes home beat up when he has to hold his wattage for almost an hour and a half! Not only that, he has already trained for 4 days, including the weight training that we are doing right now. So I am on Sand Key bridge doing repeaters and around 9:15am I see Karel climbing over the bridge on his way home. I give him a quick smile and a 2-finger wave (the kind where you are holding on to your bars but you can kinda raise 2 fingers for a wave) as I am climbing up. NO talking for me as i am climbing but as I am descending and about to climb again there is no sign of Karel. I knew he was ready to go home after his ride. I finished up my ride around 9:45am and I checked my phone on my way home. Karel had called me 3 times and I called him back wondering if he was just checking in on me. Well, poor thing had been riding around trying to find a credit card to try to unlock the door (for some reason, he is really good at that!!! hehe). He couldn't get in and he even jumped our fence to try to get in from the back. No luck so he headed towards Clearwater to find me. Although he had a great strong workout, he was so depleted from the hour of frustration after his workout that there were no words between us as we were riding home. He had enough energy to poor whey protein powder into a shaker with milk and water and then he crashed on the couch while I showered. As it has happened to me lots of times during my IM training, I can understand with bonking so I just kept my mouth shut and cooked us breakfast. Everything was good after he ate and he cleaned up his Pinarello before we headed to Jacksonville. Karel rides a beautiful white Pinarello so he is meticulous for keeping it clean. I'm lucky if I remember to lube my chain!! We headed to jacksonville and planned on being there around 4:30pm. Well, we ended up making great time but we got stuck in horrible traffic as we were approaching the exit for 95. A mall was close to the road which we took and the traffic was awful!!! We contemplated about parking the car and just riding our bikes to the hotel. I am not good with traffic, waiting or sitting still but Karel does a really good job of keeping his cool. Therefore, it's easy for me to just sit and try to think happy thoughts about the situation. I have to really try hard about not saying negative things. And even if I say something negative, I'm just waisting my breath since there is nothing I can do to make the cars move. Even after Karel's horrible morning, he didn't complain about sitting in traffic for over 30 min (to go about 2 miles). We were meeting the manager at the ABC bike shop in Jacksonville beach so we kinda wanted to be there around 5. No worries about our tardiness since Karel was planning on doing a 6 hour ride with some of the guys in the morning. We ended up at the shop around 5:45. Karel needed to go up to Jacksonville to pick up his new bike which he will be racing on this year. Although it is a great bike, Karel has gone from a Colnago to a Pinarello to a Cervelo. Lucky boy! It is kinda sad how many bike frames we have in our two-bedroom place :) After we checked into our hotel on the beach we met one of my best friends from HS (lexington, KY) at Caraba's. Allie just had a baby so Karel and I enjoyed being around two little kids (7 months and almost 2). Although we both love kids, I think it will be a while before we thinking about replacing our bike's with cribs. After a yummy dinner (w/ great bread and a great salad) we were ready for bed. Unfortunately, the hotel was filled with loud people (a wedding and kids off from school), our air conditioner was messed up making weird noises and it was pouring rain outside. What a night. Again, no complaining for Karel but getting no sleep was the last thing he needed before a 110 mile ride. We woke up around 4:45am so that Karel could get a little oatmeal and coffee in his system and I drove him a mile down the road to the bike shop. Not a great feeling when it is raining out and you are planning on riding 40 miles to meet the group for a ride. Karel met the team manager Jeff (who is super nice!) at the shop and around 6am they were off for a 40 mile ride (just to meet the group!). I headed back to the hotel and I ended up getting in a great 1 1/2 hour walk/run on the treadmill. I covered 6 miles and felt so great running. My leg soreness is up and down so I take it when it's good and just "run with it" :) Well, back to Karel. So, as if things couldn't get any worse I get a call from Karel around 6:45am as I am walking on the treadmill. He had a mechanical problem with his bike so he was waiting for Jeff to ride back to the shop to pick up the car to get Karel. So scratch the 40 mile ride, now they have to drive to the group ride. Karel didn't complain but he was upset that he ruined the ride. I can totally understand and I'm sure so many people have gone to a new ride, run or swim and something just didn't go right. I told him that it was something that couldn't have been predicted and you have to shut it out and move on. Luckily, he had a great ride and he felt super strong during the entire ride. He even confessed that he wasn't too tired after the ride but he worked really hard during the ride. Although he had so many ups and downs during his day I am so impressed on how he handles his emotions. I really learn a lot from him and it is good to have him around, especially when I am having a bad day (yes-it happens!). I think we should all surround ourselves with positive people and people who live life in the moment, yet seek new opportunities for the future. There will always be another day, another opportunity or another chance. And if you think it is your only time to do something, just be happy that you were working your way to conquer your "only time" goal. For to to others, they may never have that opportunity to do something athletic, adventurous or challenging. Hum...I feel like i should look back at my Kona blogs when I thought it was the end of the world when I was injured. I guess I should have been happy that my "only time" to get to kona was achieved at my first IM when I thought that just finishing the race was the best thing of my life. Once again, I have learned so much more about life and myself just from the sport of triathlons and from the people I surround myself with. :) Have a healthy day!

12/15/07

Quick Trip

Last night was early to bed like usual. As for this morning, I had one of those mornings. I wanted to ride but I just wasn't feeling it. The wind was blowing (not in my favor), the ground was wet and I was alone. I usually ride an hour alone before Gearlink rides and since we were doing bridge repeaters today I wanted a nice spin before those "climbs". I guess I had a lot on my mind cause it was just one of those mornings where I debated about going back home and calling it a morning. I wish I could run cause I really wanted to be outside. I stayed on my bike because of that reason and I'm glad I kept riding. I met the group at 8 and completed all the repeaters at my effort and finished the ride with 50 miles. Karel has a Tough workout today...87 minutes at tempo pace (according to a certain power) with a total of 3 hours on the bike. Actually, he was out for about 4 hours since he forgot his key. Poor thing..he didn't bonk during the ride but he bonked so bad After his ride since he was ready to get home for the smoothie and another hour riding around to look for me really depleted him. Back to his workout - I can't believe he can keep that intense pace (Even in the crazy wind we had today). I know Karel is going to have a great season this year. Speaking of his season. Karel was invited to race on a team in Jacksonville. We headed up to Jacksonville this afternoon and picked up his new bike at the ABC bike shop. We are staying at a comfort inn right on the beach and it is just beautiful. I love how the waves splash against the sand and I enjoy seeing all the people walking around on the streets. Nice area..I look forward to coming back. Karel has a big ride tomorrow with some of the guys up here. I think they are going for 110 miles and I'm sure it isn't an easy pace. I brought my bike and I plan on riding along A1A. Again...wish I could run but I guess I will burn some calories on my bike. I just checked out the continental breakfast and although I'd prefer pancakes...I was eyeing the waffle maker downstairs...yumm! Good night!

12/12/07

Running Tips from my talk

Training for a Marathon:
When planning your training for a marathon or any road race, use a training plan. Not only are plans designed to help you improve your fitness and help you reach your running goals but the plans keep you scheduled so that quality workouts are not replaced with junk mileage. If you have minimal running experience or you are coming from a background in another athletic sport, give yourself 2 months to build a running base before specifically training for your marathon. During those 2 months, focus on running skills, drills and economy and fall in love with running. Even if you are a vetran in the sport and you are planning on running 1 or more marathons a year, give yourself a chance to enjoy the art of running and exercise for fun without actually training. For newbies, run for time (not distance) for a 4-6 weeks and once you feel comfortable running between 45 min and 75 min, start increasing the speed through intervals and try to cover more distance in that designated amount of time. After your aerobic base building, plan on spending another 8-12 weeks (around 2-3 months) to increase mileage while continuing on working on speed. for newbie and veteran runners, the longer you spend in your base period, the better prepared you are when you enter into your marathon training plan.
Before you start a new sport or new training plan, consider your health status and fitness. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of the endurance world (specifically ironmans and marathons) so it is very important that you are well enough to start a new challenge. There is nothing worse that starting a training program injured or even worse, racing injured. If you are sick, injured or suffer from medical conditions, reassess your training plan and goals in order to truly enjoy your running experience.
Running Economy:
Your running performance is made up of your vo2 (max oxygen used during exercise), anaerobic threshold (lactate production exceeds removal) and running economy (movement velocity for a given energy consumption). Even if you aren’t an elite runner, your performance during a marathon (or any race) depends on how well each of those variables have been trained and how they will perform during the given task. As for marathoners, nothing is more important than the efficiency of the lungs, heart and blood to deliver oxygen around the body. The best runners (from people who are fast to those who truely enjoy running regardless of finishing time) show a high running economy which means that they have trained themselves to run a given speed with less oxygen demand. In part of improving your running economy, combine intervals, threshold runs and speed work into your long, slow sessions. For lactate training, in addition to fartleks and intervals, add in a weekly hill sessions. Drills, proper running form and proper breathing all contribute to good economy. . Just because two people have the same VO2 or max HR doesn’t mean that they will perform the same. The person with the best running economy will use less oxygen during the race and will be the most efficient runner come race day.
Injury Prevention:
In addition to proper training and proper fueling, the greatest challenge of running is getting to the start line uninjured and rested. Why do injuries occur when you are training for an event? Why not in the off-season? People think more is better and mileage increases too rapidly. If the body isn't ready, you will spend more time on the couch recoverying from an injury rather than recoverying from training. Another cause for injury is inconsistent training or pushing too hard with training. Building mileage too rapidly (more than 10% mileage per week), training hard for more than 2 days in a row and skipping key workouts (long runs to recovery day) are some of the most common factors contributing to injuries. Listen to your body. If you feel extremely tired and fatigued or you feel life is getting a bit busy or stressful, take a day off, get some extra sleep or just walk and enjoy exercising. One or two skipped workouts may save you from being severely injured and possibly missing your event. Other tips for injury prevention are staying hydrated, stretching after your workout regularly, lifting weights to train opposing muscle groups, getting massages, take ice baths and replace your shoes every 3-4 months. Cross training should be an important component of your training plan. Not only to keep you sane with your running routine but you will help prevent overuse injuries. Active recovery, through cycling, swimming or walking are great ways to rest your torn-down legs, maintain your fitness and decrease your level of fatigue. Spinning your legs before and after your long run, swimming a few laps after a speed session or walking 10-15 min. after a hill workout will work wonders for your legs! Good luck!! Nutrition tips will be up shortly.

12/11/07

It went great!

The talk this evening went great. I was so super nervous. I always get nervous before I talk but once I see the crowd and know that I have the chance to help people, I get really excited. I had a big turnout at the American Running Company (great shop!!!) and I just loved the enthusiasm of everyone in the room. This was one of the few talks I have given to only runners, but when it comes to sports nutrition I always have useful tips and advice for all athletes. Tomorrow I will post some of the info that I discussed this evening. I handed out a lot of business cards so I'm hoping that I get the opportunity to help more athletes with their nutrition. I am happy to say that I am jogging now, without pains or weird feelings in my legs! I did 4 miles on the treadmill with the first 30 min. of walking at 6% grade at 3.8 mph. I was reading over my talk for the evening so time just passed by. I was feeling really good on the treadmill so I decided to bump up the speed. Wow baby...6.1 mph and I was running!!! I kept it at a 2% grade and I felt SOOO good. Nothing like the 7.8mph warm-up I was doing earlier this summer but I'll take it!Nothing hurt and I was sweating! It's been a while since I got hot on the treadmill and I was enjoying every moment from rolling my sleeves up to feeling the pounding of my legs. Once again, I was smiling and finally I feel like I can get back into a running routine (yes running...I think I am getting there!). What a great day! This morning Karel met me at the Y at 6:45am after my 5:30-6:30 swim and we had a lot of fun with our training session. We started off with plyometrics on the bosu followed by partner crunches w/ the medicine ball and wall-sits. I've been reading a lot of studies about plyometrics mixed with strength training exercises. Karel and I have both increased our strength in the weight room so the next couple of weeks should be fun since we added a new component to our strength routine. Well, just wanted to give a big thanks to Chris Corbo and the American Running Company staff for letting me speak at their store tonight. Also, I super big thanks to the great crowd of athletes who had many fabulous questions for me! I just love helping people!!!

12/10/07

What else would you do on a tues night???




NUTRITION TALK
TUESDAY DECEMBER 11, 2007!!!

Marni Rakes, MS- Exercise Physiology,certified sports nutritionist, and Hawaii Ironman

Come out and listen to our local sports nutritionist. She will be speaking on topics such as:
Marathon fueling.
Running efficiency.
Nutrition for all different types of runners/walkers.
How to get ready for a workout of different lengths.
How to recover properly, to allow you to continue your workouts.
DETAILS: FREE


Tuesday, December 11, 2007.
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Dunedin Store (1689 Main St, Dunedin)
Hot Chocolate Served.
Bring friends, family and co- workers welcome.
http://americanrunningcompany.com/newsletter.html


12/9/07

Mission Possible: The holiday party without weight gain!


Last night karel and I went to a holiday party. We met a lot of people and saw many familiar faces. I love socializing and chatting with people and the ring on my left ring finger never gets old as a great conversation starter :) So, many people ask me for advice for holiday party's and how to not overdo it with the food. I simply tell people to enjoy times with friends and family, try to eat small portions, avoid the "bad" stuff and eat a small meal before the party. Apparently I didn't realize how hard it is to not want to try EVERYTHING at a holiday party!!! All that wonderful food and when there is no cooking prep or clean-up, eating is at its best! I will use this blog as a resource for beating the weight gain during the holidays. Mission: Go to a holiday party, eat and socialize and leave without feeling grossly stuffed. My first step for the party (which I knew of in advance) was to eat foods during the day which I assumed I would not be eating in the evening. Most party's are overwhelmed with carbs, sugars and well, more carbs. Nothing wrong with the carbs but the pancreas can not handle all that sugar at once and an insulin surge won't be your friend if you are trying to watch your weight. After my morning ride I of course enjoyed pancakes (there's no way around that one) but I filled the majority of my plate with egg whites and fruit w/ a side of pancakes (2 small ones). My thinking is I enjoy a little of everything and I don't deprive myself of any food (especially since my favorite foods are nuts and bread). Later on in the day I enjoyed nuts, fruits, veggies, yogurt a whey protein smoothie and some veggie meat. I include protein with all carbs in order to keep the blood sugar stable all day. A coffee in the afternoon and lots of water kept me feeling good. We stopped at the store around 6pm and headed to the party which started at 6:30pm. Guests were supposed to bring a dish so I brought my secret weapon...a veggie tray! Perfect, I thought to myself. You always want to bring a dish which you will eat. And if you think that is sellfish you can bring 2 dish's, one for everyone else and one for you. But hey, you don't want to sabotage anyone else's nutrition plan and who doesn't like fruits and veggies? In the car I had a few walnuts for Karel and I in order to keep our blood sugar stable as our tummy's were starting to rumble. Nothing like going to a party hungry and then gorging on food and feeling just awful. I was feeling good when I walked into the party but then it happened. All the food was just staring at me! YUMMM My first move for the evening was to meet and greet. I put a piece of gum in my mouth to keep me from nibbling (and the breath was smelling minty-always good for saying hello). When trying to stop yourself from reaching for appetizer foods, first think of all the hands you are shaking and all the things you are touching. You always want to wash your hands before you eat and since I am a big germ-phobe I don't eat until I wash. So after saying hi to everyone and washing my hands I make my first move for the evening. NUTS! Perfect, blood sugar stays stable and a little fat keeps me happy. During this time, I enjoy a pinch (not a handful) of almonds (my FAV!) and peanuts. Seeing that the protein in the nuts will keep my insulin from surging out of control I then decide to go for the chex mix. Pretzels, corn flakes and other salty yummies keep my taste buds happy. I don't think there is a party without nuts so always go for the nuts first. You will not only feel better when you are eating but you will eat less. After the chex mix it was time to socialize some more. This holiday party was great because everyone brought a dish. However, that means as people came to the party, 6:45pm, 6:50pm, 7:15pm....more food came as well! My second move was to scope out the competition. What do I really want to eat and what can I do without? Since I am a vegetarian, my choices are always limited so I really take note of foods that I probably won't cook for myself. I love indulging in things but it is always a little of everything. After a full water bottle of water (which is a must for keeping you full longer) I was ready for my meal. As I mentioned-vegetarian here so the chicken, turkey, salads w/ meat, pastas,fish, wraps, etc. weren't an option so I usually have a lot of snacky food to eat for my dinner. I don't really mind since I can eat more foods without a lot of calories. I went straight for my secret weapon...veggies! Because I felt safe with my cucumbers, carrots and peppers, i filled up most of my plate with those items. Another option would be a salad (dressing on the side) or fruit for your secret weapon. Next I went for the cheese. A great source of fat and protein and since I don't pass on the bread, I grabbed a piece of a baguette to go with the cheese. Kinda like a marni-friendly sandwich. I also grabbed some salsa and bean dip for the veggies and some crackers. By this time, i was feeling kinda satisfied (Not full) with all my veggies, nuts, cheeses and water and I popped in another piece of gum. Now time to forget about the food and call it half-time. I went to another room in order to avoid all food completely. since i don't drink, wine and beer aren't a concern for me but i suggest a glass of wine or beverage of your choice and be sure to factor in 100-200 extra calories into your daily diet by cutting out a 100 calories from lunch and another 100 from snacks and/or breakfast. During half-time Karel and I played a game of Foosball. I think I might have a new passion in life. If triathlons don't work out for me, Foosball team here I come. Proudly, I won against karel and that was worth celebrating. I didn't really feel hungry for the next hour but the deserts were very intriguing so I thought I would pick my desert of choice. I wanted to wait until i had all deserts in my view before making my final move. Since Karel loves his sweets and I, in no way, consider myself a baker (therefor I don't really eat a lot of sweets) I let him pick the deserts that I find super yummy (yet calorie loaded) and I take a bite of them. For Karel, he burns calories just looking at food so it isn't a problem for him to occasionally indulge in treats (you should see our 'fridge...pretty healthy. We don't even have a pantry...just a cabinet for a small selection of processed and boxed foods :) Confession...we do have ice cream and I love graham crackers and teddy grahams :) Anyways, I made my decision...rum cake and pound cake. I always recommend cutting your own piece and if the piece is large (or cookies/brownies too large), share with someone or eat half. I had a little of both rum cake and pound cake and I was totally satisfied with my selection. SCORE! I did it! I survived the holiday party and didn't feel stuffed, gross or bad about my decisions. I didn't feel like I had to avoid any foods and i was happy with my decisions. I hope I provided useful info for your holiday party. any other questions just email me! :) It may seem silly to have a game plan for a holiday party but you need to be aware of what you eat and why you are eating it. I always tell people to have an idea of what they will eat at each meal and snack, everyday, especially before you start a training session. Also, have a range of calories for your meals and snacks and try to stay within that range. I suggest 300-450 calories for meals and 125-175 calories for snacks. For holiday party's, keep your calories low per hour and enjoy good food and great friends!

12/8/07

Feel the Burn. I Felt it!



I thought I knew what was coming today. The smell of coffee woke me up around 5:50am. However, Smudla crying woke karel up around 5:15am. Apparently, Smudla (our cat/alarm clock) needed some attention so she jumped in a tall laundry basket and couldn't get out. Don't feel sorry for her..She is spoiled, always needs attention and well, we love her to death so we have no one to blame but ourselves. Instead of oatmeal I had toast w/ PB and a few walnuts. In addition to my water and coffee, I needed something super easy to digest before today's workout. I said bye to Karel around 6:30am as he head out the door for his 3 hour solo ride. He had 72 min. of threshold work to do at a given power range. Although some days are better than others (he was super tired last night), I am just impressed with his effort and determination on the bike. I headed out for an easy hour warm-up before I met the guys at CVS. I always say "the guys" because Gearlink is mostly made up of male cyclists. Roberta and Celia are two of the fastest and strongest cyclists in the area and they also ride with "the guys". I met Karel on a Gearlink ride (one of these blogs I will reminisce about that day) so I've really gotten to know everyone and those guys (which are range from age 30 to 50) are not only fun to be around but they are all really strong on the bike. At 8am we headed out to Sand Key beach, taking Alt 19, through downtown Clearwater to Bellair. A funny thing happened on the way to the Sand Key causeway as we turned right off the Bellair causeway. Well, apparently a cop was just waiting for some cyclists to come by cause we all got pulled over!! Can you imagine....a siren is telling 20 cyclists to pull over. Ha! I know it has happened before but I just found it funny. We didn't come to a complete stop at the red light before making a right turn and the cop gave us a lecture about being more careful. Seeing that cars roll through stop signs all the time, I wish cops would be more strict on cars that with cyclists. But it is important to be safe on the bike, assuming that cars don't see you when you are riding. Luckily, we have an eclectic group of cyclists so Bob (a lawyer on the team) was the first to talk to cop. We also have doctors, engineers, bike techs, builders, architects and a nutritionist (me!) so it all seems to work well when we are riding together. Just before we were about to start the 12 bridge repeaters (6 climbs on each side) I saw a familiar bike coming in the opposite direction. Guess who...KAREL!!! YAY!! He finished his workout and decided to join us. My confident booster, coach and buddy is here! Ok, good and bad. He gives me great advice but I always find myself pushing a little harder than normal. I wasn't sure how many repeaters Karel would do but I was pleased to find out that he was staying right next to me during all the climbs. He was giving me great criticisms (good and bad) and really pushed me to get up the bridge w/ a strong cadence. Although I was super tired and by #4 I thought we had done #8 (Karel let me down with that news) but he stayed with me through all 12 climbs. I can't tell you how great it felt to have him with me even though all the other guys were working much harder than I was. He could have easily gone home after his 3 hour ride or lead the stronger guys up the climbs but he was right there with me. At the end of the ride we all grouped up at a gas station and as always, the jokes went to Karel. The guys like to pick on him when we are both together. We all laughed when the guys said that Karel was slowing me down and Karel had to pull on my jersey cause I was going to fast for him. Of course I told everyone that I wanted to keep Karel company for those tough climbs but we know that is far from the truth :) After one more climb over the memorial causeway on the way home (opps-got dropped big time on that one) I ended up with 49 miles and very sore quads. I guess I pushed hard today and boy did I feel the burn. I felt it about 12 times and each time I was climbing I thought I didn't have it in me for another one. Climbing a causeway is nothing like climbing in GA but if it is the only thing we have, I will work my hardest in order to get stronger.
A little bit of resting before a x-mas party tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing the Gearlinkers in something other than bib shorts, helmets and jerseys. Have a great weekend everyone!

12/7/07

My passion

It's no surprise that I love triathlons. During graduate school I wanted to become a strength and conditioning coach. I wanted to work with pro athletes, mostly working with football or basketball players. During my last semester of my masters I took a nutrition class with a free space in my schedule. I absolutely loved the class and since then I knew I wanted to do something with nutrition. I started running more and by then end of my Masters I had completed a marathon without knowing a lot about sports nutrition. After bonking for 5 miles of the Miami marathon in 2005 (miles 18-23) I wanted to learn more about sports nutrition. Since graduating with my masters in exercise physiology I have found a deep passion for sports nutrition. I am currently in the proces of getting classes together in order to go back to school and get my dietetic degree. I know the road will be a semi-long one but the next couple years will be worth it. Once I finish my dietetic courses and do my internship I can take the exam and hopefully I will fulfill my dream of being a registered dietician. Since graduating from grad school I have continued my education by reading, researching, writing and speaking. I have written many published articles on the internet in addition to an article in Triathlete magazine (not my Gatorade Athlete of the Month column) in the July 2007 issue (pg 140). I have had the opportunity to help so many people with their nutrition and it is such a reward to hear about people losing weight and/or improving performance. Through a detailed nutrition write-up based on a person's consultation form I am able to help people through the internet and continue helping that person reach their racing and weight loss goals. I wanted to post some of the comments i have received from some of the people I have helped. Congrats to all and I look forward to helping many more people!

"Marni, just wanted to let you know how the eating plan is going. i started last thursday and weighed 200lbs with clothes on. i have been eating about 5-6 times a day. mostly small meals of around 300-500 cals. the biggest difference i have noticed is that i'm not hungry very often. if i do get hungry its usually right before dinner so i have been eating a cheese stick or a few nuts to curb my appetite so i don't gorge myself at dinner. that helps a lot. today i weighed 193 with clothes on. of course most of that is water weight but i definitely feel like this is a way of eating that will be easy for me to continue and maintain for life. The best thing about the write up you gave me is that it covers all the training scenarios so i know how i should be eating under all those circumstances." -lost 7 lbs

"When I found myself at a loss for how to continue to improve my body composition and eat properly for my training and racing, I contacted Marni for help. She not only helped me properly apply the nutrition knowledge I had, she taught me about how to time my eating and helped me see several things I was doing that were counterproductive. Once I started doing the things Marni suggested not only did I drop the extra off-season weight quickly, my energy levels improved dramatically both in my training and my day to day life. It was important to me to seek out help from someone who understands the nutritional demands of triathlon." -lost over 30 lbs

"Marni, I am stsrting to get a fantastic reaction from people. Always being asked what am I doing to lose weight. Being told I look great, always nice and complete stranger stopped me in town yesterday and asked how I was doing it as she had been talking to her pals and wanted to know the 'secret'. LOL. So these things are nice and I take them and try to act modest. However it is more important to me know how my fueling will effect my ultimate goal of IM than how much I lose. (Still nice though). I have even started to think (dream) that I might actually stand a chance (faint) of one day qualifying for Kona." - lost over 35 lbs

"Wow! First, I'd like to say that I am very impressed because I have never seen anybody take the time to be this in depth. You defintely have a passion for what you do Marni and I look forward to working with you.Again, thanks Marni and I'm totally stoked that we'll be working together!" 1 week later.... "I've been feeling better overall by eating cleaner foods and staying away from constantly eating bars. I've lost 3lbs. in the last week so I think we're on track!" - lost 6 lbs in 5 weeks

"Hi! I wanted to thank you for the pre-marathon diet suggestions....that was really helpful"

"Just a quick update cause I'm feeling psyched about this today. I have officially lost a solid 10lbs. I am lighter than I've ever been since my husband has known me. (got together in 1994) Yeah!!Great feeling......but I need new clothes! That's fine by me! Thank you Marni. It feels great. I love going out for a run on a humid day and only wearing a jog bra. I never would before. I feel so fit and strong. Love it!" - Lost over 10 lbs, PR in 2 races, first time 70.3, top in age group

12/5/07

Check out my videos on Beginner Triathlete.

Ok- major plug for BeginnerTriathlete.com but I just love that website! I don't know how it is all done but there is so much info on that page. I have several articles for Performance Members only but I've also completed several nutrition and exercise videos. You don't have to be a beginner triathlete to take advantage of the many tools, info and forums on that page. I love doing nutrition consultations as well and I've gotten to know many people in an effort to help others reach their racing and nutrition goals.
Check out the videos and let me know if you have any questions! Feel free to leave your comments on the BT.com site or on my blog! Enjoy!
http://beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1058
http://beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1318
http://beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1319
http://beginnertriathlete.com/cms/index.asp?catid=100 (strength training exercises)
http://beginnertriathlete.com/cms/index.asp?catid=148 (Bosu exercises)

12/4/07

I miss running. I am a jogger.

I'm not really stressed as much as I am constantly thinking ALL the time. I've realized that life is very uncertain and you have to live one day at a time. Last summer my life was triathlons. All I wanted to do was train and work on nutrition consultations. I desired to become a Pro triathlete, not for the money but for the status to let me mentor and train other athletes. Now that it has been nearly 3 months since I ran (not counting the marathon in the Ironman) I get so sad about my future in the sport. I think I am most sad that I don't have running in my life anymore. I have been a runner for the past 4 years and I find so much joy and stress relief in running. I just love to run. I did jog today but I have to be careful with every step. It is more a fear I have of re-injuring myself but I completed 3 x 4 minutes of jogging w/ 3 min. walking in between. I did it all outside today and running with the ocean in my view just made everything so peaceful. I miss that in my life. I miss my life as a runner, which is what I called myself well before I was a triathlete. Before runner was swimmer so I'm kinda torn between swimming and running. Well, now that I take a glance at my two bikes in my room, I'm thinking I should continue to call myself a triathlete. Although I do admit that I am a fanatic for treadmill running, the cool weather in florida makes for amazing runs outdoors. I miss that cool morning/evening run which makes the day just right. Hopefully soon I will resume some type of training again but for now it's a lot of swimming, cycling and walking and jogging. I do want to see a physical therapist but I'm not sure how much I will have to pay for one. It is probably about time for me to see someone since I haven't seen anyone post kona but I'm so happy that I'm finally healing. It's good but bad that I've never had an injury before and now I am stuck with a twinge in my groin area that just won't seem to get better. Although I want to be fast, powerful and competitive again, you should have seen my face this afternoon as I was jogging along the sidewalk with the happiest smile on my face...a smile that would not dissapear no matter how slow I was jogging. I guess for now I will call myself a jogger.

12/3/07

It's official...

I was on the NBC broadcast of the Ironman. I will be signing autographs on Wed. Haha-just kidding. How crazy is this! Karel and I have no idea what happened to our HD recording on the IM but some how it got messed up. My Kona get together was great and we had a great time with some of our friends. Smudla (our cat) was the center of attention towards the end of the night, but that is expected from a spoiled cat. I was looking forward to riding with Karel on Sunday morning but I should have known that I would be riding his pace and not mine. Although I've been feeling great on my rides, I've been averaging around 16 mph on my road bike. I think I reach lactate threshold around 18 mph!!! :( Oh well, I'm enjoying riding my bike and I do pick up the pace for intervals, riding with the guys and for longer rides. When we headed out to Landsbrook to meet the group for the 7:30 ride we were a little pressed for time since we left at 6:55am and not 6:45am. therefore, Karel picked up the pace and I stayed on his wheel for our 13 mile ride to meet the group. There was a good showing of people for the ride and I enjoyed chatting with people as we took turns pacing the group. After 2 hours of riding, the group decided to make a stop for water and bathrooms and Karel wanted to keep riding. Plus, for Karel, this ride totally destroyed his power training. According to his power meter, it is amazing how riding in a group with really lower your power (unless you are pulling the entire time). Well, for me I am always working hard in the group so I not only pick up my average speed but I am always working near my threshold. Right now, however, the pace is nice and the rides are enjoyable. When Karel decided to keep going at the pittstop I decided to join him. Opps..I forgot that I haven't trained in a while and Karel is having amazing success with his power training. I felt a little soreness in my rt. leg and I was getting bummed about my lack of power so I decided to head home as Karel continued his ride. I stopped by my parents house to get the IM DVD that my dad copied from NBC on sat. and I ended up with 63 miles for my sunday ride. After a smoothie and breakfast (no pancakes this sunday :( Karel and I watched the Ironman and I loved every moment of it! I was worried that I would get sad about still being injured or that I didn't want to remember to pain I went through during the race but I just love seeing the amazing athletes and hearing all the amazing stories. IF you are reading this blog, I'm almost certain that you taped the IM (how could you only watch it once???). If you were in our house on Sunday you would have laughed how many times Karel watched me coming across the finish line. He thinks I'm a celebrity now. Haha! We both laughed at me. Anyways, go to the very end of the show and with about 3 or 4 minutes left they show athletes coming across the finish line. I am wearing a white jersey (from Zoot) and I have my white zoot visor on my head with my pink oakley sunglasses on top. My head is down so you won't know that it is me but you can see me fall into a volunteers arms. The funny thing is that right when they show me, the commentator mentions the word "PAIN". Oh, the irony.
I can only imagine a bunch of NBC editors sitting around their computers and TV's and checking out the pittiful athletes "Oh this one looks bad, no this one looks worse, oh check out this one struggling...etc." I guess I have learned if you want to make it on TV, you can race the best race of your life but you have to have a memorable finish.
I think we can all think of a time when we couldn't wait to finish a race. However, it is the determination you have during the race which prompts you to have a memorable finish. Be sure to capture and remember you BIG finish no matter how bad you may feel at the end. For to some people, your finish may be an inspiration to others.

12/1/07

I was on TV!!!!!

So I heard.... I was in ft.lauderdale on thurs afternoon until Friday mid-morning and I was able to get in a 45 min. walk/jog. My mom and I took my grandparents down to my aunt and uncles house at Lighthouse point. Beautiful area and going back to south florida brought back lots of memories of graduate school. I was anxious to get on my beautiful bike and today's workout for the Gearlink team was bridge repeats. I remember last summer when I was super scared to descend down the sand key causeway, which is a little shorter but a little steeper than the memorial causeway. I didn't have a road bike last fall/winter so my bridge repeaters with the guys were on seduza. Kinda hard with aerobars. Well, now i am feeling super strong and I absolutely love climbing! Karel had a 2 1/2 hour workout w/ 1 hour of tempo riding at a power of 204-245W so he was on his own for the morning. The group and I ended up with 10 bridge repeaters (5 climbs on each side) and you had to stay seated in the small chain ring. What a challenge and all individual effort! After the workout I headed home and ended up with around 45 miles for the morning. Not too shabby with about 20 minutes of repeaters. After a shower and smoothie I headed out with my parents to look at wedding venues. I can't spill too many details yet but I am loving this wedding planning. I am such a fan of playing hostess and I can't wait to have this party with friends and family. Oh, and I can't wait to get married to karel! After an afternoon of getting groceries for my kona party I couldn't wait to watch the Ironman. I've been waiting for a month and a half to watch my race! We had a few people over and lots of food and the coverage was great. Karel and I taped the broadcast on our cable box so that we could fast forward through the commercials. I kept filling in details during the show and I thought the coverage was well done. I'm easy to impress when it comes to the Ironman and to me it doesn't matter if you show the pros or feature an athlete, anyone who does an Ironman deserves coverage. Well, about an hour and 10 min. went by and all over a sudden our broadcast stopped!!! I have no idea what went wrong but we were taping on high definition and possibly something was wrong with the cable. ERRRRRR. What a bummer!! Good thing my parents were taping it and I'm sure there is no shortage of recordings from my tri-buddies. Well, here's the sad part. It's 5:58pm and the LIVE broadcast is over and I receive about 5 phone calls and 2 text messages at once! I answer my dad's call and he said the broadcast was great and I was on TV at the very end!!! ME-on TV! So I told people ahead of time that the ONLY way I would be on TV was if I was behind someone famous that they were featuring or I would be shown at the very end of the broadcast when they show all the pitiful people barely crossing the finish line. Well, I was one of them. That poor person that you feel so sorry for crossing the finish line. I can't wait to see myself (I think) so i will get the DVD that my dad made, tomorrow. Karel and I are riding together to meet the group in the morning so I'm sure I'll hear more about my stardom on TV. Jeez...my clame to fame and I'm being carried out of the finish line chute. :)

Ironman world championship on NBC at 4:30 EST!

Don't miss it!

11/29/07

Enjoying the little things

Getting back to normalcy after the Thanksgiving holiday. I enjoyed staying away from the computer (a little) over the weekend but now it's back to nutrition write-ups. Lucky for me, people tend to gain weight over the holidays/off-season and people need my help. I've been getting great feedback for my videos on BeginnerTriathlete.com and I'm working on a nutrition video for 2+ hr workouts. I've been riding my bike in the later afternoons and although it is really windy, I enjoy riding as the sun is setting. There's something about starting a ride when it's bright and sunny out and coming home w/ the bike lights on and my arms feeling the cooler air. I had one of those days on Tuesday. You know, when you just enjoy being outside and you don't want the workout to end. For me, I'd hardly call what I'm doing a workout but I was totally enjoying riding my bike. I planned on riding my normal 20 mile out and back route along the pinellas trail but I decided to extend my ride and head toward Howards Park in Tarpon Springs. I really enjoy looking at big, beautiful houses so my bike took me to see some amazing houses by the water. I came home w/ 28 miles and an average speed of 15mph but I felt so refreshed after being on my bike for "such a long time" :) On the way out for my ride I saw a ice cream delivery truck (not the "ice cream man") on the side of the road w/ a sign reading "FREE Ice cream" beside the truck. A few people were stopping and i was planning on getting my dinner on the way home. You better believe I'd stop for FREE ice cream and I'd enjoy it for 4 miles on my bike. It was probably a good thing that I didn't see the truck when I returned home cause I'm sure I'd end up with more ice cream on my face and jersey than in my tummy. Wed. morning was great and my class out-spun me once again. I have been teaching spin at the Y for over a year and a half and I LOVE my spin class. I've had the same people since i started and I work them really hard. We have a lot of fun and they really make it easy to enjoy teaching my class so early in the morning. I'm happy to say that I've been running! yes-you heard it right....I CAN RUN! Ok, more like a jog but I'm up to 1-1.5 min (not miles!) jogs at 6.5 mph at 6-8% incline on the treadmill. I jog for a minute and then I walk. Today I did my longest walk/run of 3 miles on the treadmill. 30 minutes of walking and 15 min. of walk/jog works for me. I've always talked about people who work so hard for triathlons, but aren't racing Elite or feeling any bit of competitivness, and I commend these people for their passion for triathlons. More so, they work through pain of running/jogging and barely get through a swim w/ a few months of prior swim experience. Their biking skills are ok, but they are riding on an aluminum road bike which is far too big for their size. The soreness they feel during training is nothing compared to the pain felt after a race and well, I feel like "one of them" and I can't tell you how much I am loving it right now. I've been weight lifting with Karel on Tues and Fri and we are both incredibly sore. We walk around bow-legged and there is barely any bending of the legs. OUCH! And now w/ two days of jogging for a total of 10 minutes, I feel like I've just run a marathon! Ok, it isn't as bad as the days after the Boston Marathon (when I was walking down stairs backwards at the airport and in total sadness looking at non-runners walking normally in the hotel) but I feel the tenderness by just touching my quads.
Well, I love it. I am so thankful that I am finally healing and I can resume my ambitions and goals of my future w/ triathlons. I was beginning to think I'd make Karel extremely happy and give up triathlons to be a cyclist, but he knows that my passion and love lies deep in triathlons. Furthermore, my TriMarni blog would be rather boring if I didn't have triathlons in my life. If for some reason I couldn't do triathlons anymore, I would have to think to myself of my amazing career thus far and I'd want to help others pursue their dreams and be as happy as I am, knowing that there is a sport which becomes a lifestyle committment that is far more than swim, bike and run.
Have a great day!

11/27/07

What a GREAT Weekend




Spending time with my family is always great. Now that we have a new edition to our family, it is great having Karel around to share our laughs and fun times together. My parents, bro and grandparents came to clearwater on sat. to see our place and afterwards we all headed to Columbias at Sand Key beach for dinner. We had a gorgeous view of the ocean and the food was great. Since I'm semi-obsessed with bread (ok, very obsessed) I loved it that each person had their own loaf of bread. Yeah, mine was gone in about 5 seconds :) My grandpa is a great photographer but most of all, he loves taking pics of the family. So after lots of pictures we headed back home. Karel had his typical sweet tooth so we searched for ice cream in Dunedin and came across a cute ice cream and candy shop right on main street. Too cute! Sunday I wasn't really feeling a long ride since i've been riding a lot lately (part of my active recovery for my almost healed leg) so I headed out for a nice 35 mile ride. I met up with 2 other guys from the gearlink team and i enjoyed riding and talking on the pinellas trailwhich made my ride go by really fast. Karel headed to the Suncoast trail for a 3 hour ride with some of the Gearlink guys. After we both had a nice pancake breakfast (usual sun. breakfast after our ride) we rested for a bit. Later that day, the family, Karel and I headed to St.Pete and we spent a couple hours at the Dali museum. I did a presentation on Dali in my HS spanish class and Karel really likes museums and art. My parents, bro and grandparents really enjoyed the museum and once again....lots of pics. Karel and I enjoyed our time in st.pete and walked around the streets. We stopped at a gelato and coffee shop and I just love seeing all the flavors of gelato...olive oil and pepper was one of them!!! ewwww! I had a good coffee and Karel enjoyed a lemon sorbet and dark chocolate gelato. We ran into my family driving around st.pete and my bro joined Karel and I for a drive down to st.pete beach. By 6pm we were ready for dinner so we made sure my bro enjoyed his last day in Florida by going to Outback at Clearwater beach. Later that evening we all watch Hannibal (great movie!) and my brother headed back to my parents house.
I had a fabulous weekend. I hope everyone else enjoyed some relaxing days with friends and family. I am thankful for so many things and the holiday reminds me how lucky I am to have so many special people in my life.

11/24/07

Thanksgiving Weekend

Dinner was absolutely yummy! I know a lot of people feel that Thanksgiving is an unhealthy holiday but we have so many vegetarian entrees that I don't think our meal could ever be unhealthy. My mom's friend Carol made me the best Zucchini boats w/ almonds, veggies and other things inside. They were really really good and the presentation was awesome! My dad always makes me stuffing outside the bird (yes-we do have a turkey and roast for the carnivores) and my mom makes her great sweet potato casserole w/ marshmallow's on top. Actually, she makes it a lot and it is a great way to prepare sweet potatoes for a crowd. Carol also made a roasted pepper, corn and onion salad which was great. MY mom's friend Linda made super fluffy mashed potatoes and I know my dad, Karel and Carlos (my good friend who races w/ me) loved those potatoes. Linda's hubby Jack made homemade pumpkin pie and I enjoyed the crust which is my favorite part of pie. I also put together a fruit salad from the leftover fruit from my pizza. With my grandparents, brother, mom and dad, Karel and my parent's friends at our Thanksgiving dinner, I believe this was one of the best Thanksgiving's ever. A few stories from my dad and a couple jokes by Carlos, Aaron and Karel-I really enjoyed myself this Thanksgiving. Karel and I arrived at my parents house around 3:30 and we had a quick stop at Starbucks to keep us going during the day. Nuts and chex mix kept our tummy's satisfied at my parent's house and my brother and Carlos enjoyed some football on my Dad's big TV. It is just outright cruel for me to be in a house with so much yummy food and I have to wait for that stupid bird to be done cooking. Hehe. Karel and I also made a quick stop to the Astrab's house to say hi to our good friends Anthony, John, Rose and her hubby John. Karel loved his Thanksgiving and he thinks that this is the best American holiday! (Coming from a Czech, I think he is strictly speaking about the food and not the pilgrims)
Friday Karel and I lifted at the Y (which was completely dead at 6am) and we took advantage of the empty gym by doing circuits. Karel shocked me when he said he would swim with me and he suprised me when he jumped in the water and started swimming like a pro. He said his shoulder hurt a bit from his crash last May but other than having to rest every couple laps, he said he felt ok in the water. He always amazes me!
Friday afternoon I met my family in Tarpon Springs at the sponge docks and we walked around and checked out the shops for a bit. I did experience Black friday for about 45 min. but I was in and out with only 3 things that I bought. This morning I went for a great 65 mile ride and this time I sat in the back and enjoyed the draft for most of the ride. Karel convinced me to just take it easy and work on my skills. This part of the season is important for working on my spinning so I keep my chain in the small ring during all my rides. Although I left the house with Karel, we only rode with each other for a few miles until he took off for a few intervals. Since this is his recovery week he only had to do an hour and a half and we decided to leave together in the morning since i wanted to get in a warm-up before I met the group at 8. I was a little surprised when I was riding with the group and all of a sudden I felt a push on my back. Karel to the rescue when I get dropped from the group!!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

11/23/07

Thanksgiving Morning-Afternoon





The best way to start Thanksgiving day is with some sort of exercise. I feel strongly about getting a good workout in before the "big" meal and it's usually a Turkey Trot. I remember my first TT, which was in 2003 and I convinced my dad and brother to do it with me. I had just started running and it was raining that morning. Since i was in Lexington, Ky at the time, the weather was cold and it was a chilly morning. My family that was in town thought we were crazy and I guess since that run, I've always been considered "crazy" with my choice of activies (specifically the distance). I planned on doing the group ride with some of the gearlink guys but I jumped on bike before the ride in order to check out the scene at the St.pete times turkey trot. Seriously, you'd think people were walking to the stadium of the superbowl because there were SO many people! Since i was on my bike riding on the road, there was no way I'd be able to spot anyone but I did hear a shout from a familiar voice "NICE BLUE!" It was my friend Hunter yelling at me from his car. Always nice to see (or hear) familiar voices. I headed to the CVS on tampa rd. to meet the guys and there ended up being around 12 guys (and me) for the ride. Karel was there and it was nice to actually ride in a group w/ him. Since i had already ridden 15 miles I was hoping that the rest of the ride would be easy. Well, it was easy for the guys but my drafting and riding in a group skills need to be remembered. I felt really powerless on my bike and because it was super windy I was working extremely hard during the ride. Karel said he would ride home with me if I wanted to cut the ride short but I wanted to hang out in the back and just keep going. I was thankful that I was riding with nice guys because they all understand that I'm always trying to work my hardest to stay on someone's wheel. I took a couple pulls but they didn't last long. Karel jumped in the back with me and gave me lots of helpful pointers. I really appreciate when he takes the time to help me with my cycling. I know it is no fun for him seeing his power drop to nothing to draft in the back with me but I learn so much from him. I finally made it back home w/ Karel and i ended up with 63 miles for my easy ride. You better believe that I was making my smoothie as soon as I returned home and right after a shower we started cooking for thanksgiving.
On my menu was fruit pizza and croissant rolls w/ jelly. Karel did the rolls and I did my famous fruit pizza. My pizza is always a hit and I make it all the time for family functions. The pizza is SO easy to make and this year I made 2 alternatives to my traditional fruit pizza. All you do is take sugar cookie dough and press it on a non-stick cooking sheet. 1 roll is usually good for 8-10 people. You then get 1 packaged of fat-free soft cream cheese (not in the container) for each roll of dough. I add powdered sugar to the cream chese and I meausre by taste but it is usually no more than 1/4 cup. I take a mixer to combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar. You first bake the sugar cookie for around 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees. Once the cookie cools (be sure to wait at least 15 min. for it to cool to prevent the cream cheese from making holes in the dough) you can spread the cream cheese/powdered sugar mixture on the cookie and that is the hard part of the pizza. Next comes the fruit and you can pick any kind you want. I made 3 different pizzas this year. My traditional fruit pizza had FF cream cheese w/ splenda brown sugar (2 tbsp) and a dash cinnamon. Depending on the season I try to use apples, bananas, cherries, kiwis, pinnaple, pears, strawberry's and peaches. This year I got a mango to go with the other fruit for a tropical pizza (I used strawberry fat-free cream cheese instead of the regular) and I also made a chocolate lovers pizza w/ chocolate instant powder jello pudding to the cream cheese. I'm sure you can use different spreads but I try to make this pizza as "healthy" as possible. It is soooo good!
Well, now that I'm super hungry for some leftover fruit pizza I'm going to grab me a bit of my pizza and I'll give my thanksgiving dinner recap in a bit.

11/21/07

Thanksgiving Holiday

I am super excited for Thanksgiving. One of my most favorite holidays! Not only is it a great time to spend with family and friends but there is great food and lots of it! I always start my Thanksgiving Thursday with a Turkey Trot but this year I won't be running. I am happy to say that in about a week I will start running again. I feel 99% and I've been walking a lot on the treadmill. I bump up the incline and I have no limp in my leg. Although it took a while, I can finally feel good about my Kona race and I'm looking forward to next season. Swimming is going GREAT and I'm feeling really strong in the water. Cycling is great as well and I plan on doing lots of it this weekend. Later this afternoon I'll be going on a group ride with the Gearlink guys and having dinner with my grandparents, karel and parents afterwards. My bro comes in this evening. I know Karel rode this morning but I am not sure what his plans are for the evening. Although I am a big planner, when it comes to our training schedules we just give each other a call right before we are about to train. You can never predict how you will feel in the evening so we don't really know what time we will start or finish training. It seems to work well in our relationship but sometimes I get worried cause Karel often feels good and doesn't come home when I think he will be home. As for me, I'm too Type-A to not know exactly what time I will leave and come home and I have everything planned before and after training. Oh-just a funny thing I just thought of. This past weekend on sunday Karel got a PB&J sandwich at an aid station and when I saw him after the Horrible Hundred he told me the following "Did you go to the aid station with the PB&J?" I said "yes but I just refilled my bottles with fluids". He said "Those sandwiches were SO good. They had a the REAL jelly and REAL PB". I just laughed. The real stuff, huh? I guess my sugar-free/low sugar/organic food isn't good enough. We both laughed but Karel knows I am ok with things in moderation and we both enjoy a little saturated fat every now and then. Karel will get a kick out of me saying that cause he likes to call me after his long rides and let me know he is enjoying ice cream which is loaded with trans fat and saturated fat. What a goof. Hehe
So anyways, tomorrow Karel and I will be going for a long ride together. This morning I taught spin for an hour (usually 45 min class) and I worked them hard! I'm really looking forward to riding with Karel tomorrow. Just hope he doesn't mind going slow with me :) I have a feeling we will meet up with other people so I will just sit on someone's wheel and think about how many carbs I will indulge in later that afternoon. For a vegetarian like me, I just love the sweet potatoes and vegetarian stuffing. YUM. And I am making a fruit pizza for desert. Ever had one? I will share my recipe and pics of it on the blog tomorrow. It is so good and it is a must at all social functions!
Enjoy the day and start bumping up the exercising. Remember not to overeat tomorrow and enjoy a little of everything. There are always leftovers and with all those great carbs, you should have plenty of great workouts on fri-sun. Eat small snacks and meals during the day on thurs and don't starve yourself. Have some type of protein with all meals and snacks tomorrow so that your blood sugar doesn't go out of control at your thanksgiving meal. The protein will also keep you satisfied throughout the day. I recommend a small bowl of oatmeal in the morning (Especially if you are training), follow your 2+ hr workout with a 200-250 calorie smoothie with whey protein, fruit and yogurt (if you are doing a turkey trot or something short) have a glass of skim milk after the race or a 40-60 calorie yogurt. After the smoothie, start cooking or hanging out with the family. Be active and stay on your feet. 1-2 hours after the smoothie, have some egg whites, cottage cheese and veggies. Drinking coffee is fine by me and choose flavored water to help curb cravings when you are cooking. Chew gum as you are cooking or waiting around the house for the food. Depending on when you are having dinner, drink plenty of water during the day and keep fresh veggies and cut up fruit available for snacking during the afternoon. Nuts are great for snacking but be sure to portion control in less than 100 calorie portions. Drink plenty of water during the day and enjoy your meal!