Essential Sports Nutrition


My HR monitor is alive!!!

This morning I had a speedy swim and a fast run. Both were hard and I am learning how much I don't like speed...nor have much of it in my body. I think I need to devote an entire week to speed workouts. I just feel like I only have one speed no matter if I am trying to go fast, tempo or slow.
Yesterday Karel fixed my Polar HR monitor watch which has been dead since Oct 2007. We ordered batteries for my chest strap and monitor from because Karel said that he could fix it himself, rather than send in the watch to Polar. Well, Karel didn't let me down and I have my watch back!!! I loved that watch for the entire time that I wore it in 2007 and it became a big part of my training. I love training with HR!
There was an exciting moment when I started changing the settings of the watch last night on the couch. After I set the time and date, I went to the File setting and realized that my last workout was still stored in the watch. The date read October 13th and the time of the workout was 12:26. I was almost in tears when I told Karel that the last workout was the Ironman World Championships. I never looked at my watch after the race because the day after Kona was spent in pain on the couch, inside my condo. Although I updated my blog w/ pics and a race report the next morning, I never looked at my results after the race. I think it was about 6 months until I looked at my actual splits because the times meant nothing to me after crossing the finish line.
It was such a great feeling last night, knowing that my watch remembered the race that I will never forget. I just think it is funny that my watch was just as tired as I was after the race and it decided to die on the plane ride back to Florida. Very appropriate since I was hobbling my way through the airport on crutches :)

Well, it is all good now because I am training without pain and focusing on quality. More so, the sport of triathlon is just so rewarding in all aspects of my life. Because I haven't done a triathlon race since August, I am super ready to get out there and race!

Here is a great smoothie recipe for you!!

Probiotic vanilla smoothie

1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt (recommended: Lit n’ fit)
1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
2 tbsp cranberry probiotic
(Here is a link to buy it online )
¼ cup frozen blueberries (about a handful)
1/2 banana (best if frozen)
½ grapefruit (fresh and sliced – get out seeds)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein (body fortress wal-mart)
*may need to add a little water if needed

Blend all ingredients except for whey protein. Add the protein powder last so it doesn't get stuck on the bottom of the blender. Enjoy!
You can add different fruits (ex. orange instead of grapefruit, strawberries instead of blueberries, etc.) and use a different yogurt (strawberry, peach, blueberry, etc.).

Here is a yummy, healthy, and quick nutty and fruity salad!

1/2 cup Spinach
4-6 mandarin oranges (canned in light syrup)
8-10 Peanuts
10-15 Raisins
3-4 Apple slices (chopped)
3-4 baby carrots (chopped)
1 ounce Mozzerella cheese (cubed)

Starting with the Spinach, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Top with 4-5 squirts Raspberry vinagerette spray dressing.

I usually buy my cheese (and meat for Karel) in the deli section at Wal-mart (much cheaper than if you buy it in a package in the refrigerated section) but if you go to the cheese section at Wal-mart you can buy mozerella cheese in a block (raw form) which is great to cube and add to salads. You can also buy shredded mozerella cheese if you'd like.



I guess I am doing something right because my muscles are getting stronger as I walk a little slower during the day :) I only say my muscles are getting stronger because I am doing a lot of work in the pool, on the bike and on the all this hard work better pay off! Most of all, I am finding myself finally looking forward to training sessions because I always have a scheduled workout and goals to meet. Even if I don't reach/meet those goals, I feel like I am overcoming a lot of mental barriers by having a coach (and supportive husband) to hold me accountable to my workouts. But, I have to say if I didn't like what I was doing, I wouldn't do it all worth it no matter what happens in the future. I love having a healthy body.

27 degrees this morning! Yes, warm and sunny Jacksonville, Florida was in a freeze watch last night. BRRR.
My alarm went off at 5:20am and I couldn't wait to have my warm coffee in my body. I grabbed a quick snack (1/2 sheet Wasa cracker w/ a little PB) and off I went to the Y.
Wednesday's are endurance days so I knew this would be a tough morning, especially since I had a run to follow the swim.
Here's the workout and once again, only a warm-up to preceed the main set:
400 swim (75 free, 25 scull)
3 x 200 kick w/ 20 sec rest
8 x 50's DPS (distance per stroke) on 1 minute

Main set:
6 x 400's
#1,4 drill
#2,5 pull
#3,6 swim @ 80-90%
The first 3 were free and the last 3 were IM or free.
I was really consistent on the 400 pace and pleased with my 5:41 time.
I wanted to change things up and give my back a break for the last 3 so I did IM drill for #4 and IM swim for #6. I couldn't believe I actually toughed it up for a 400 IM but the whole practice really went by fast. I guess I was focused for this one.

After the swim I dragged myself to the locker room and got on my run gear. I headed upstairs to the treadmills so that no one would stare at me suffering on the main floor treadmills.
The goal for my Hill run was to work on my toughness factor. I found out around half way during my main set that I have a toughness factor of 5 on a 10 point scale. However, I do have mental factor of 9 out of 10 so I stayed on that treadmill until I finished the grueling set.
Here is how my workout went:
5 min warm-up @ 7.2 mph, .5% incline
Main set:
5x5 min incline w/ 5 min recovery
#1) 5 min @ 2% incline, 7.0mph. 5 min recovery @ 1% incline, 7.1mph
#2) 5 min @ 3% incline, 7.0mph. 5 min recovery @ 1% incline, 7.1mph
#3) 5 min @ 4% incline, 7.0mph. 5 min recovery @ 1% incline, 7.1mph
#4) 5 min @ 5% incline, 6.8mph. 5 min recovery @ 1% incline, 7.1mph
#5) 5 min @ 6% incline, 6.7mph. 5 min recovery @ 1% incline, 7.1mph
Total 55 min, 6.2 miles

The focus of this workout is muscle strength. 2 weeks ago Shawn told me I ran too fast at 7.5mph but then again, the set was only for 4 min intervals with the highest incline of 5%. I totally agreed and I slowed it down so that I could focus on my form. My body was really tired by #4 but #5 was the worst. I have never ran (or should I say climbed) at 6% incline so I found myself grabbing the treadmill once every minute. Again, the toughness factor is low but I was determined to not stop during the intervals. I was super sweaty at the end of the workout and my HR was not sky-high like last time. However, I know my heart got a good workout, just like my calves, arms and everything in between (especially my butt...ouch!).
My leg didn't bother me and I was happy to be off the treadmill to stretch. I have a long way to go before IMKY but I just love quality workouts! Oh, and when I got home my whey protein smoothie never tasted so good!! Body fortress whey protein (from Wal-mart) just came out with a cookies n' cream powder. Since I LOVE Vanilla and Karel LOVES chocolate, I guess this is the perfect mix for us. Still only 110 calories and 23 grams of protein in each scoop! What a yummy way to recover. :)

Stay warm today everyone!


Happy Obama day!!!

No matter who you voted for, I think this is such a historic and momentous day for everyone! I am hooked to the coverage on the Today show and I will be glued to the TV for the next few hours. Eventually, in the late afternoon (after I spend a few hours studyging) I will get off the couch and head to the Y with Karel so I can get in my 30 min run and a little lifting.

Campy is super excited for today....doesn't it show??? :)

Yesterday was an active recovery day. Every now and then I look forward to a day of nothing but rest but usually I like to do some type of non weight bearing activity such as a swim or spin on my bike. Monday morning I was in the water at 6am and it was MUCH warmer than sat. I even called at 530 on my way to the Y to see if the water was warmer. I am over my days of college swimming in cold water (75 degrees) and I crave a nice 78 degree pool. I swim much better in cooler water but I just wish I could have warm water for the warm-up and then manually control the water to make it colder for the main set. I am just a wuss for cold water, first thing in the morning :)
This morning I rode the trainer again. We have a high of 46 degrees today but it was around 30 degrees at 7:30am. Karel bundled up and headed out for a long ride with Jeff but I stuck to the trainer for some intervals. I think I am liking the trainer a bit more but only for the shorter rides. For anything over 90 minutes, I will look forward to the outdoors.
This morning I had a challenging interval set. The challenging part was staying in my power zones while staying in my HR zones. Also, I had specific cadence goals as well and it was a lot of thinking for 5 x 3 min. intervals. The hard part was only recovering for 1 minute in between the intervals but my range of numbers represent my tempo, threshold and VO2 max power zones. It is hard to not focus on speed when I ride but as a believer of HR training, you'd be suprised how your HR is all over the place if you ride with a group, have tailwind or headwind or climb or descend. I guess we will see if this all pays off. My first big race of the year will be the Rock n' roll half ironman (not 70.3) in Georgia on May 30th (a day before my b-day and 3 year anniversary with karel).

Mira ( sent me this link in an email today...

Please note that I am not bashing Cliff bar or Luna bar. This can happen to almost any product, natural or not. Just be aware of what you are eating!


Staying indoors

I don't know how you all do it? I am not going to question why you do it because you have no other options. However, how you do it every single day, every single weekend just blows my mind.
This weekend we experienced the 20's and it was cold! I have good cycling clothes for about 40-50-degree weather but nothing to get me through a 30-degree morning of outdoor training.
My schedule had me doing a 14 mile run on saturday and a 70 mile ride + 30 min run on sunday. I knew Saturday morning outside was out of the question because I don't have good running gear for a cold long run.
My plan for the weekend was to mentally tough it up and run on the treadmill for 14 miles. I "ran" my way through graduate school (literally) so I am use to LONG runs on the treadmill. I remember having piles of notes and notebooks on the treadmill during my 15, 18 and 20 mile runs. Back then (2006) I didn't really know what I was doing so among my piles of papers I only drank water and powerade for all those miles. Silly me. But I did retain a lot of information and I was always prepared for my exams (especially in my adv. exercise physiology and cardio physiology class! :).
I arrived at the Y at 6:55 and stayed in my heated car until the Y opened at 7. I headed upstairs to the treadmills, rather than running on the treadmills in the main gym. I didn't want too many people looking at me all crazy and I didn't want to steal the treadmill from anyone for 2 hours.
The run went by super fast. I broke it up into a few sets of intervals so that I wasn't running more than 15 minutes of the same speed. I kept the pace at around 7.3-7.5mph and did a few 1 min pick-ups at 8.5mph. I broke each set into 30 minutes so it was more like 15min pace, 10 x 1 min pick-ups (40 sec on,20 sec off). With the TV on my treadmill to occupy me (I didn't have that luxury during graduate school!) I switched between the MTV made Hip Hop Dance competition and the food network.
After 1 hour and 52 minutes and 14.4 miles later I was off the treadmill and feeling better than I thought I would. I was really hot and I went through two bottles of HEED + aminos and I was so ready to cool off.
Speaking of cool....
My friend Laura and I decided to swim after my run (and her spin class + 2 mile run) so were got on our suits and headed to the pool. I missed my swim on Fri because the pool was being fixed for new drains so I decided I would do an easy 30 min. swim after my run.
When I got to the pool and sat at the edge of the lane to put my cap on, my feet began to freeze. I asked the lifeguard what the temperature of the water was and they said 72 degrees!!! BRrrrrr. I guess they had to refill the pool and the heater takes time. I made it for a cold 1650 and headed right to the hot tub. So I went from being super hot, to taking an ice bath, to loosing my muscles in the hot tub.
After my morning at the Y I was ready for home!
Karel took Campy to work on sat morning so I stopped by the Trek store to pick up my doggy. Campy loves being the shop dog and all the customers love seeing a cute little puppy at the door to greet them. He likes to give a little bark every now and then but then he wants attention :)
Later that morning Campy and I visited Karel after taking a 1.2 mile walk to the shop. We love visiting Karel at work and even when he is super busy (Like this sat) it is nice to stop by and say hello.

So, now onto Sunday.
I got dressed at 645 for my bike ride at 8. I told Karel I would tough it up outside this morning, even though it was 30 degrees when we woke up. The high today was 68 so I knew it would have to warm up fast.
I dressed early (before I ate my oatmeal and drank my coffee) because I wanted to walk Campy before my long ride. Karel was heading out for a 3-4 hour ride and after his ride on the trainer on sat, I knew he was not going to stay inside today. He will ride in any weather (except pouring rain) to avoid riding on the trainer. When I took Campy around our complex my hands were freezing, even with my giordana gloves and jacket. I was layered up and still cold on our walk.
After eating my breakfast I knew it was the trainer for me.
I told Karel I would stay on it for however long I could take of it (this would be my 3rd time on a trainer) and then do my run. I thought about riding the trainer and then going outside on my bike but I didn't want to mess with all the changing of clothes, layering and getting ready for 2 rides.
To sum up the ride, it went better than I thought. I still don't know how people ride for 3,4 or 5 hours on a trainer!!!?? Now that I train with watts, it is tough to ride a trainer (or outside) because I always have to pedal and apply power to the pedals. I can't coast outside and I can't spin fast. I have to always push on the pedals to reach my right power zones. It is tough work! Plus, I have to pay attention to my HR and cadence which correlate to my power. I really like this new way of training because it is different from what I am use to and I can really tell that I am already getting stronger on my bike.
To pass the time, I broke the workout into 30 min sections. I did 15 min. tempo, 5 min. recovery and 10 x 1 min in and out of the saddle for each min. I only did the 10x1 min in the big chain ring because I am working on training my fast twitch fibers (or what of them I have) because I am a big pusher on the bike (love that big chain ring!).
I ended up doing 2 hours and 25 min. I can't believe it! Campy slept on the couch next to me the whole time and I watched lots of shows on my DVR. Right now I am into House Hunters and It's me or the Dog. Both great shows for me to watch right now, even though we are far from buying a house right now. :)
So, after the sweaty (and I mean SWEATY!) ride I let Campy out for a few quick pees and off I went to run.
I felt really good on the run and ran 50 min. I didn't mean to run that long but the time went by a little fast and when I was at 20 min. I looked at my watch and realized I was far from home. On my way home, just a few minutes from my apartment I saw Karel and Campy walking so that just brightened my morning. We walk Campy a lot and he just loves it!
So, what a weekend!!! And after the cold, cold weather we hit 68 degrees today!!!! It was SO HOT. I had to get out of the indoors so Karel and I took Campy to the park for a nice walk. Campy lead us all around and it was nice for us to all be together.
Ok-finally I crashed. Super tired and I just sat on the couch for the rest of the day today. I didn't study, didn't do any work and I ate my homemade pancakes.
Now, if only I could see some snow outside I would feel better for my weekend indoors....