4/25/09

Pictures!

The 5K run went better than expected. Who knew I was a sprinter! Ok-I think my legs are too short to be a sprinter and I'm not breaking 20 minutes but I'm happy with an almost PR...just 7 seconds away from breaking 21 minutes. I'll take it considering there was nothing flat on this course!
Mile 1: 6:30
Mile 2: 6:35
Mile 3: 7:06
5K: 21.07

Enjoy the pics from yesterday!
The computer trainer ride yesterday was 6 loops of the 1K Twilight Crit. Tonight, Karel will try to hang on as long as he can during the two hour crit tonight. OUCH!















TOP 8 HEAT Winners: FINAL HEAT!
Check out those watts!

Athens Twilight Crit

We are in Athens!
The 6 hour drive went really quickly. After dropping off Campy at 8:30 at a friends house (tear :( ) we headed off to Athens.
We checked into the Days Inn after slowly driving through the frats off University of Georgia. Oh, the days of being in college.
We headed straight to College Ave so Karel could check his times for the Computrainer grid heats. Karel's heat was at 515 so we had enough time to check in and for Karel to warm-up for 30 min. on his trainer.
The computrainer event was awesome. I've never seen anything like it. 100 guys (out of the 150 who are racing the main event tomorrow) can race on the computrainer in heats. There are 11 heats of 8 people and they take the top 8 people of the day for the computrainer finals. The computrainers were on a stage and there were 3 flat screen TV's showing the audience and the riders their wattage, speed, distance, place, etc. It was so cool!
I have lots of pics so I will post those later this afternoon.
We had a great night last night. After Karel got cleaned up from his heat we headed to a local Taco cafe for the BEST (and I mean BEST) tofu burrito I have ever had on a sun dried tomato wrap. It was SOOOO good!! Afterwards we shared a treat and coffee at Starbucks (I love trips w/ Karel!) and then watched the 9pm (which actually started at 9:30pm) finals for the computrainer.
I just finished my coffee and I am about to head to College ave once again for the 5K running race. Afterwards, I will be getting on my bike for a 50K bike, which is part of the Gambler event. So many great activities here for me. Although I am paying $50 to "train" I don't see this as training. I don't care about numbers or times. I like to see if there are any events going on when I head to Karel's races and of course I couldn't pass up the TWIATHLON. The last leg of the race is getting a tour of the Jittery Joes's Brewery and enjoying lots of coffee!
I'll be back to post some pics before the suffer fest...I mean main event.. tonight at 9pm. An 80K criterium on a 1K course!
http://www.athenstwilight.com/cycling.php

4/23/09

Creative, yet healthy

I am not sure if I like to cook because I get to be creative or because I like to be creative, I like to cook. Well, whatever way you look at it, I believe that now-a-days, you have to be creative when you make a healthy meal at home.
I have admitted several times on my blog that I can't afford to be 100% organic and natural. I think there are many benefits of having all-natural products and food in our place and I am sure my recipes would be a lot more interesting if I shopped at natural food stores. But, I am on a budget and I hope to always shop on a budget. I think when it comes to buying food, it is all relative to how much money you can and want to spend on food. However, regardless if a food is natural, organic, high in whole grains or free of hydrogenated oils you still have to portion your meals and watch calories.
Last night I made Karel a super yummy and heart healthy dinner of rice, fish and a salad.
First off, I started with the rice.
Ever look on the sodium content of boxed rice? Sure, it is affordable to buy pre-seasoned rice but a full box can easily have over 2000 mg sodium. That is about 500mg over a day's worth of sodium! The worst part about the pre-seasoned boxes of rice is that the seasonings overpower the great healthy nutrients in rice.
I love buying plain rice and plan couscous but I'm sure everyone would agree, the taste of a pre-seasoned rice mix (although I find them super salty!) is much more appetizing than plain rice. You can always season-up a plain rice mix with cayenne pepper, chili flakes, garlic, onions, salsa or peppers.
When I cook rice from a box, I try to take out some of the seasonings and use them for another meal. Next time you open a box of pre-seasoned rice that has the seasonings in a seperate bag, only use a 1/4th of the package of seasonings. Then add a little chopped garlic and pepper if you feel the rice needs an extra kick. If the rice has the seasonings already mixed in the package, slowly open the package and pour the rice and seasonings on a large plate. Most of the time, the seasonings are in large balls or chunks and you can take out almost half of the seasonings. There is nothing wrong with a little sodium from the seasonings because in the entire box of rice, a portion is 1 cup. Therefore, the sodium in the seasoning is spread out in the entire bowl of cooked rice. So, when you portion control you still get a little bit of everything and you don't have to sacrifice taste.
I find that many people worry about changing nutrition habits because they don't want to give up favorite foods. If your favorite foods are donuts, oreos and fried chicken, I recommend finding an alternative to foods which provide empty calories and minimal nutrients. However, there are countless health benefits in a dinner of fish and rice and if you are an athlete looking for the competitive age (or athlete seeking weight loss) it is important that all meals are balanced and filled with heart healthy benefits.
If you are trying to lose weight, you never want to eliminate foods, you want to replace them. Find healthy alternatives. When you are cooking your favorite foods, first evaluate your menu and prioritize protein, complex carbs, fiber and healthy fats. Then when you want to add in other ingredients, be creative and find ways to make your meals healthier.

Rice:
1 box Zatarains brocoli and cheese rice (only used about 2 tbsp. seasoning). Cooked in microwave for 20 minutes.

Fish:
2 tallapia fillets coated w/ skim milk and 1 tbsp. rice seasoning (from zatarain box) and italian bread crumbs. Cooked w/ 1 tbsp. olive oil.

Salad:
Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, chives, carrots, cucumber.




4/22/09

Earth day


I wish the "more natural" approach was popular all year long, but for today.....
HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!

4/21/09

Smoothies!
















Want to recover faster after workouts?
Want to prevent eating too many calories at your "real" meal after a workout?
Want to ensure glyocgen storage at your post workout meal?
Want to stablize blood sugar after a workout?
Want a yummy treat to help get stronger and get ready for upcoming workouts?

Have a smoothie!
Here is my general rule with protein after a workout. Recovery nutrition always depends on intensity of training, body size (calories), weather, type of exercise and weekly volume. However, you can never go wrong with protein within 45 min. after your workouts:
*After 2+ hour workouts - 200-350 calories. Smoothie w/ 1 scoop whey protein and fruit, yogurt, milk, nuts, PB, ice cream, chocolate, etc. About 30-90 min. after the smoothie, have a 300-500 calorie breakfast of complex carbohydrates, a little fat and a little protein.
*After 90-120 min. workouts - 150-250 calories. Smoothie w/ 1 scoop whey protein, fruit and 4-6 ounces milk OR 1 scoop whey protein w/ 8 ounces skim/soy milk in a shaker (to prevent clumping). About 30-60 min. after smoothie, have a 350-400 calorie complex carbohydrate breakfast w/ a little fat and protein.
*After 60-90 min workouts - 100-125 calories. 1 scoop whey protein w/ 4 ounces skim/soy milk and 6-10 ounces water OR any of the following: yogurt, cottage cheese, lean meat, egg whites, beans, nuts. After protein snack, have a complex carbohydrate breakfast of around 300-400 calories of complex carbohydates, a little protein and a little fat.
NOTE: Do you need a protein smoothie every type you finish a workout? No, but a little protein post workout will not only keep you from overeating a meal but you are speeding up the recovery process. Try to steer clear from protein powders which are high in carbs or store-bought smoothies. You want to save calories for a real meal. The more intense the workout, the more you need to think about recovering quickly. Also, the longer the workout, the increase tendency to eat in excess after the workout (and not always the healthiest foods).

You want to make sure your protein is made of whey protein (as first ingredient) and has around 90-120 calories per scoop and 18-24 grams protein per scoop. Remember-If you try to save calories by only using 1/2 scoop or cutting back on the serving size you also decrease the protein! You want protein post workout w/ a little carbs (1/2 granola bar, a little dry cereal, fruit, etc.) but ultimately, you want to have your protein first and then a real meal to ensure that you are refueling, while you repair.

Enjoy!

Apricot Pinapple Smoothie
1/4 cup crushed pineapple (if in can, drain first and give a light rinse)
1 fresh apricot, diced
6 strawberries (best if frozen)
1/2 banana (best if frozen)
1 cup water (may need to add more water after blending ingredients)
1/2 cup skim/soy milk
1 scoop whey protein powder
1/2 tbsp. flax seeds (optional) or 2-3 walnuts

1) In a blender, blend fruit with the rest of the ingredients except protein.
2) Add protein and blend until thoroughly mixed.
3) Top w/ 1/8 cup granola or 1/4 cup of your favorite cereal.

Banana orange-berry Smoothie
1 orange (peeled, sliced and seeded)
1/2 banana (frozen)
1/4 cup blueberries or raspberries (if not in season, buy frozen)
1/2 cup water (may need to add more water)
1/2 cup skim/soy milk
1 scoop whey protein powder
1) In a blender, blend fruit with the rest of the ingredients except protein.
2) Add protein and blend until thoroughly mixed.
3) Top with 1/2 ounce dark chocolate (chopped or grated)

4/20/09

Two crashes and Earth day

I'm exhausted.
Last hard training block before a recovery week:
Sat - 15.5 miles running w/ my friend Katrine
Sat - Worked Earth day 11:30-4:30
Sun - 82 mile ride (4 1/2 hrs) in the wind + 27 run with Campy
Sun - Visit my friend Libby at St. Augustine beach
Sun - BeginnerTriathlete.com nutrition chat 8pm.

Somewhere in the madness I managed to complete one project for school but I will be stressed with homework all day today. Just 2 more weeks of school left before finals!

So, in all of that training you can see I didn't do much resting. I will save this topic for another post but I want to stress the importance of rest and sleep with an increase of volume. Yes-you will be tired and exhausted when you increase your trianing volume for an IM or even a sprint tri so therefore, you need to increase your sleep! You don't need to supplement to try to give yourself more energy. You don't need to eat more cause you think you aren't eating enough because you have no energy. You first and foremost need sleep! Then you can look at the diet and see if you do need a supplement due to your increase in trianing volume. Well, although I didn't get much rest, I was in bed by 8:30 both Fri and Sat night. I was just pooped on sat morning so my big training weekend was even more exausting.

Earth day was great! We had a lot of people pledge to Go By Bike, which is the mission of Trek. The Trek corporation is asking people to committ to a more healthy lifestyle and to stop riding in the car when you can bike instead. 25% of trips made from home are within 1 mile from the home. The car releases more pollution in the first few minutes of driving compared to driving more than 2 miles. We gave away a lot of water bottles so that people can stay hydrated when the bike. It was great to hear from so many people who actually did bike to the Earth Day celebration. I also had a lot of kids make promises to me that they would exercise and eat healthy forever :)
Another great thing about Earth Day at Native Sun was all the Organic FOOD!! I filled up on my favorite food...PITA CHIPS!! And after round one of hummus and pita chips, I politely asked for seconds. Oh-so good! I don't buy them because I would eat them like crazy so it was a nice treat. I got a lot of great coupons and learned a lot from all of the vendors and I am excited for people to make some healthy changes in their lives.
So, before Earth day I received a phone call and text from my good friend Libby
"I got hit by an a$$ hole who made a left turn into me. Bike is in pieces but I'm ok"
I freaked out because Libby and I were just talking the other day about people dying on their bikes. On Mon (a week ago) a lady was riding a hybrid bike in the bike lane during her lunch break and was killed by a car. The scary thing is that I ride on that same road but early in the morning. Now I just stick to developing roads and I drive my bike to places to bike. I am not taking any more chances with my one life.
Luckily, Libby was ok. Some road rash and a broken Kuota that Karel just fixed up for her race which she was supposed to do on Sun.
I visited Libby at her house at St. Augustine Beach yesterday and since Karel was racing, I brought Campy. Although Libby's neck is sore and she is stressing about the law suit (which is just stressful but worth it when it is all overwith), we had a great time walking our doggies on the beach. This was a big day for Campy because not only does Campy have a new GF (Libby's dog) but this was Campy's first trip to the beach. I couldn't take Campy off his leash but he had so much fun in the sand and even in the water. He had never seen waves before and he was jumping up and down in the water when the waves splashed his feet. He also enjoyed bitting the bubbles from the waves. Although he was super hyper and wet, he had a great time.
After the beach Libby and I hung out in her place and just chatted while Campy and Brisben (her dog) took a well-needed nap. Libby gave me a great mango w/ greek yogurt and Campy and Brisben helped Neil (Libby's hubby) cook for dinner.
Around 6pm I headed home and it was time to catch up with Karel.
Karel called me right before I headed to Libby's to tell me that he crashed in his race. How it happened, not sure. But, there were a lot of crashes in his crit. The sad part is that he just got a new and VERY expensive front race wheel on Sat. Karel rode that wheel for 13 minutes before he had to say good-bye to it in his race. Bummer. Did I mention it is very expensive? Well, Karel was so worried that I would be upset because he crashed the wheel but when it comes to my hubby and racing, walking away from a race with road rash is better than any broken wheel and not being able to walk away from a crash.
So, there's my weekend. Luckily, it is another day, I am safe, my friends and family are healthy and alive (some of them with road rash) and I can be thankful that I can live another day. Be careful out there!

Earth Day




Afternoon with Libby





















Karel's new wheel and the aftermath