2/2/08

Understanding food labels

I've been wanting to write an article about food labels for a while. Judy at Iron Girl finally gave me the avenue to get my thoughts on the computer in one of my best articles (in my opinion). When I say "best" I think it is the most informative article I have written because it applies to everyone. I spent time researching and when I wrote the article I wanted to think like the consumer...a misinformed, mislead and uneducated consumer. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Feel free to write your thoughts in my comment section of my blog.
  • Iron Girl Article - Click on Feature

  • If you would like to read my other articles, click on
  • TASTE
  • Saturday morning

    Good morning! Did everyone sleep well last night? Sounds like I am writing a mass email! :)
    I am waiting for the coffee to get done...and it almost is! I'm heading out for a bike ride today. I hope to get in 50-55 miles since the past couple of saturday's have been around 45 miles. I rode yesterday morning and I felt great. It was super windy but I got in 22 miles to start my day. Karel decided to ride as well and I saw him in the opposite direction when I was riding. It's always nice to bump into him when we are on our bikes. I thought I would turn around (since I was heading home) to try to catch Karel but he was doing his standing starts so there was no way I would catch him. So, i turned around again and headed home. After studying for most of the day (w/ one nutrition consultation completed and a deadline for my GAOM triathlete mag article) I headed to the gym for an afternoon workout. I ran for 3 miles, walked 1 and then lifted. My arms are a bit sore but it is the good sore. I know I did something yesterday :)
    well, just a quick update before I get on my bike. Things are going well and that makes me happy. Not that I wasn't happy in life before (when I was injured) but now i feel I have my lifestyle back which brings me discipline, excitement and motivation in everything I do.

    2/1/08

    What leg?

    I just realized that I went a day and a half without noticing, feeling or even thinking about my leg pain. That makes me feel really good. Yesterday morning I joined the swim team for a nice practice. Lots of 50's since a lot of people where in the lanes but we still ended up with 2800 yards. After the swim I decided to walk on the treadmill (because of my blister) but after 10 minutes of walking, I was so over the blister. The speed increased and I ran for 20 minutes at 7.2 mph. At least I am getting up my speed and a little endurance as well. The last 10 minutes I did 3 x 2 minutes w/ 1 min rest in between and the 2 minutes I ran at 8 mph. That makes me feel so good to be able to run fast (and comfortably). After the run I squeezed in a few sets of abs on the stability ball and I was off to go personal train someone. After a day of studying, I decided to go for a short bike ride. At first I had trouble making myself want to get on my bike but I had been studying all day INSIDE and it was absolutely beautiful outside. I decided I could get in an hour of cycling so I headed out and started my ride. I bumped into a race director I know so I joined him and his friend and I enjoyed being pushed a bit. I was riding side-by-side with the RD but after a few miles of 22 mph, I decided to drop back a bit. the pace went up to 24 mph at that point and I was wondering how I would be able to make it back in the head wind (yes, we had some nice tail wind). I decided to branch off and head to Howard Park and at that point I had 13 miles on my speedometer. Oh well, what's 2 more miles going to do. So I ended up with 30 miles and my hour ride was extended just a bit :) I guess I really didn't want to go back and study.
    well, I ended up getting in a few hours of studying in the evening and I am glad I rode my bike.
    Looks like Karel and I are switching our routine today and he is heading to the gym but I am hoping on my bike. I don't want to miss my opportunity of wanting to ride my bike. have a great Friday!

    1/30/08

    Oh...I hurt!!

    It's not what you think...I hurt NOT because of my leg. The leg is good and thankgoodness I can complain about something BESIDES my leg!!
    I have a blister. Yes, I am complaining about my blister. Out of all my endurance races (2 Ironmans, 2 70.3 racess, Boston marathon, Miami marathon) and all my sprint distance tri's I never forget the blisters. I just got new shoes so I had to break them in. I switch from Mizuno's and Brooks so I am on a new pair of Pink Mizuno Wave Riders. This morning after my spin class I jumped on the treadmill for some intervals. After a 10 min-warmup I did a set of 5 min hard, 5 min easy, 4 hard, 4 easy, etc. which gave me a total of 6.5 miles. The "hard" was only 7.5 but I am totally cool with that. I haven't been wearing my heart rate monitor because I need to judge my effort by how my leg feels. Right now my leg feels good so I just see what I can sustain without feeling the burn. Not quite ready to feel the lactate yet but I can tell today's workout was just what I needed. I got off the treadmill and was spent. I liked that feeling but my blister is all I can think about now. I am super sore from yesterday's plyo workout and now I am trying to gather myself to be alert for my class at 11am. Karel and I were both hobbling around this morning and as I was leaving for my spin class at 5am he was getting himself ready for 5x10 min at LT. Ouch! When I came home from my workout we were both moving pretty slow. The cat ran out and neither one of us wanted to catch her. She enjoyed the grass and I will probably pay for it later when I am cleaning up her throw up :)
    Ok, off I go. I'm feeling sandals this morning because of my blister and I'm thinking nothing nice in terms of clothes. Lounging around today for two classes and lots of studying. Ahhh...so good to be back with training. I'll complain about blisters any day..over my leg!

    1/29/08

    For your viewing...

    As mentioned in previous posts, Karel and I do plyometrics twice a week. Most of the exercises are on a BOSU or step bench but we also do plyo's in a gym (basketball court) with no equipment. I really believe in plyo's for improving power and there is nothing like a 30 min. high intensity workout of plyo sets to get your heart rate going.
    I came across this website which has great visual aids of plyo's. Karel and I mostly do exercises which involve jumping but you can check out all the different plyo's from lower body, to upper and medicine ball.
  • Plyometric exercises
  • After reading about plyo's also check out the links under "are plyo's really that effective?" to see the examples. We usually warm-up with a 10 min run on the treadmill and then do 2-3 sets of 2-3 plyo exercises. We do the 3 different plyo's which last 45 sec - 1 min (I do 45 min before I pass out and karel usually does 15 sec more than me) and rest about 1 minute. There are plenty of exercises out there so browse around on the net for other exercises. I am working on a video for BT.com for a plyometric workout so I will let you know when I am finished with that.

    Also, Karel and I watched a fantastic movie last week. It is called Fast Food Nation and it is a big eye opener. I am not saying it will make you become a vegetarian but it is a great documentary-like movie. I had the book from some years past and when I saw this movie on HBO on demand, I just had to watch it with Karel. It was really well done and I recommend watching it to learn about our fast food industry. It isn't like Super Size me where it talks about the nutritional value (or lack thereof) in fast food but Fast Food Nation depicts how some industries are run by immigrants (or below minumum wage workers) which are not respected, how the meat you are eating is really made and how companies will do almost anything to make $$.
  • Fast Food Nation

  • Click on trailors and clips and you can watch the promo.

    1/28/08

    Monday morning and already tired...

    The week has officially started and the weekend is officially over. After my BT.com chat last night (which was absolutely great...what wonderful questions people had!) I had trouble falling alseep. I was up pretty late (10:30) so I slept in a bit until 6:45am (no alarm). Ahhhh, monday's are so nice. Not sure when people take a day off from training but I call them recovery monday's and no alarm is set and I just do whatever my body feels like doing. Sometimes I don't need a full day off to recover (I'm not quite sure what I am recovering from right now with my training routine :) but it is nice to get a little extra sleep every now and then. Last monday Karel and I went for an evening jog (yes, Karel can run...fast!) so that was enjoyable. Sometimes we take a walk in the morning or I will go for an easy 1500-2000 swim at the Y. As for this morning, it was 45-degree's out and I went for a 30 min. walk. The walk lasted about 15 minutes since walking is a bit too slow for me if I am not on a treadmill on an incline, so the walk turned into a jog. It is so nice to be able to just pick up the pace with my legs and jog. 2 months ago I wished I could move my legs fast enough to call it a jog...without that stupid limp or a nagging pain in my groin. Oh, I feel so happy that I am recovered. After the jog I got myself ready to head to John Chesnut park to train someone. Utlizing park benches and an open road, I can come up with great exercises to get the heart rate going. I brought my stretch cord today and I think her arms were burning a bit :) I am now in the library at St.pete college waiting for my Biology class at 11. Once again I will learn about cells and try not to think about how tired I am already. After class I will head home, grab something to eat, study and then head to the pool for coaching. Then to class one more time at 7-10 and my day will finally be over. As much as I wish it was the weekend, I actually like being busy and having a schedule. I think if I wasn't so busy I wouldn't be so disciplined. Plus, when I train/coach people I get so excited to offer my help that I just forget about all the things I have to do that day. Well, I better get going so I can get to class. I'm not too concerned that someone will take my desk in the front row (Yes, I am a nerd..even when I am 3-7 years older than most of the students I still sit in the front of the class :).
    My best advice for a busy life (in order to not become stressed) is to just live day by day. So...enjoy the day and have a great Monday!

    1/27/08

    What a beautiful day!

    The morning started out just wonderful. Dressed for a comfortable 50-degree morning run and not to my surprise, I should have dressed for the 65-degree temps when I returned home. Karel left early this morning for his hill ride in San Antonio and I was out the door soon after (around 7am). Feeling good when I wake up is a great thing and I can actually do the workout that I plan to do the night before. I ran 9.5 miles this morning at a slow 9 min/mile pace but that is ok. I am just fine with that. I think with my Ironman mentality, you can give me any destination to run to and with good running form, enough energy and no injuries I can keep running and running. The ironman really teaches you to "just make it" so you pick out light poles, streets or trees to run to and then you tell yourself it will be ok to stop or slow down. Do we ever stop or slow down??? Probably not, but the mental games really keep you going. This morning I didn't need any mental games. I had my radio and I just got in my zone and ran for an hour and 20 minutes. After a 45 mile ride yesterday my legs felt good but I still jumped on Blue for a little spin. I like to ride my run route after I run but it always seems to go by SOOOO slow on the bike compared to running. Kinda weird. After a great morning workout the day was looking beautiful outside but even with the windows open and a cool air keeping me awake, the studying was quite boring. I reviewed my medical terminology chapters and studied biology. Ever want to know the difference between a Eukaryotic and a Prokaryotic cell? Didn't think so. I have a super busy day tomorrow with personal training at the park in the am (I love training people outdoors!) then class, then home for lunch and studying, then to the pool for one-on-one swim coaching (love that too!!) and then class in the evening from 7-10. Boo. Tonight I have a meeting at the Y where I work and right after I have a beginner triathlete nutrition chat at 9pm. I get to answer people's nutrition questions in a chat room on BT.com. I just love the questions people ask me!
    So I am seriously writing so that I don't have to look at my books anymore. Karel is outside washing his bike and I am hoping that he cleans mine as well (maybe if I put it by the door he will get the hint :) hehe. By the way, Karel did amazing at his training race. Without a warm-up due to rain, his team worked well together during the crit and although there was a 4-man breakaway, Karel won the sprint for his team and came in 5th. Great job Karel! I can't wait for future races..how exciting!