8/29/09

The last day

You can't wait for the day to come and then you want just one more day...or you need just one more day. If I only had one more day. Well, I have no more days and the time has come for me to put all that training to use. The bags are on the Great Lawn, the bike is sitting on the rack, my swim gear and timing chip are next to the door and I have nothing more to do than to sleep, eat and walk to the race venue with near perfect racing conditions.

It was great seeing Karel yesterday. He makes me laugh so much and with my parents here with me, I have lots of smiles going into this race.
Last night my family and I went to Bearno's Pizza and it was just what I needed. Good veggie pizza. Afterwards, I showed Karel the finish line at 4th street live and Karel joined me for the Athlete Meeting. The meeting was great and it was very informative and funny. There were so many athletes there, it was almost overwhelming. It was a great way to end the evening. After the meeting, Karel put together my bike (and his) and it was off to bed. It's tough to go to bed right now so I think all my nights of being in bed by 9:30pm are long gone and I'm lucky to be asleep at 10:30.
This morning was just what I needed. A good pre-race warm-up to get the blood flowing. Karel joined me for 8 miles of my bike ride. I turned around and Karel continued on. After my bike, which was beautiful, I did a 10 min. run around downtown Louisville. I am trying to stay confident so I can say that I have a good 16 miles of biking and 10 min of running in my system :)
After breakfast my parents and I drove part of the course. Thank goodness I did that! The course is very challenging and there are very few (if any, except the first and last 10 miles) flat parts on the course. You are either climbing or descending. I have prepared myself for a rolling course and I will be very smart on this course. Karel has given me many talks about riding and to not do anything beyond my training on this course. I have to "race" how I trained. Shawn has also told me to pay attention to my power since most of the athletes in past IMKY have had fast bike times and slow marathon times. Shawn told me that everyone slows down on the run, I will just slow down the least. I like it Shawn!
One of the best parts of having a super supportive and athletic husband is that I can send Karel out on the course while I relax. So, as a wonderful hubby, Karel rode the course (82 miles) without doing a second loop of the lollipop part of the course and told me all about it. One word....Challenging. He said it will be tough, to not think about a finishing time but to rather just focus on each part of the course (he had a map for me which he walked me through) and to be confident. Thank you Karel for riding the course for me......I know I didn't have to twist your arm to do it. :)

Later in the day my two close friends from my college swim team came to visit me. How awesome to see some familiar faces from Transy!!! Ash and Jenn came with me to check in my bike and gear bags and afterwards, we all went to my pre-race restaurant...OUTBACK!

After dinner it was back to the room for some more laughs and now, it is time to settle down. I am ready, I hope my leg is ready. My heart and muscles are strong, I hope I can mentally stay strong. I will do my best, I will pace myself and I will smile. Shawn told me that it is an accomplishment just to get to the starting line for an Ironman so my next goal is to get to the finish line.















When we had swim meets in college we would always decorate each others dorm rooms or hotel rooms. Thank you Jen for making me my signs!


8/28/09

Feeling lucky in Kentucky

Enjoying the IM experience. I grew up in Lexington, KY and moved to Florida when I was 22 years old. It is great to be back in my home state. My mom and I ate dinner at 4th street live last night and I had a super yummy salad at a sports bar. I can't wait until I reach the finish line at 4th street live on Sun, it is going to be a HUGE party!!!!
Since I picked up my packet yesterday all I had to do this morning was swim. I met up with Jen L. who I had done a nutrition consult for, about a year or so ago. I just love meeting athletes who I have helped in the past (and present). I have also met a TON of Beginner Triathlete athletes, who have been volunteering at the race. What would we do without all these fantastic volunteers???? THANK YOU!!!
The swim was great. No waves, no salt water...just the lovely taste of the Ohio River. It is strange being back here because my very first Olympic triathlete (2nd triathlon ever, just a few months before I moved to FL for grad school) was in Louisville! It was a Tri-America race and I had a hybrid bike and no riding experience. Now I am craving the 112 mile bike ride and can't wait to do (and finish) my third IM!
My dad comes in around 1:30 today and Karel gets in around 4pm. I can't wait to see them both!!! We are staying at the Hampton inn (a 10 min. walk from the Galt house-host hotel) and IM athletes are everywhere. There is a nice feeling in the air and everyone has been really nice and friendly. Just my type of atmosphere.
Well, my mom and I are about head to the race venue to scope things out. My mom always likes to tell me where she is going to stand so I can be sure to smile at them.
Enjoy the pics....many more to come.













My secret weapon during IM's....Twizzlers have never let me down!!

8/26/09

It takes a team

Karel is packing up my bike in the bike box, my mom is calling to remind me not to forget x,y and z and I am smiling from all the facebook comments and emails from friends I have met and those who I know by a blogger account.
When a triathlete signs up for an Ironman, it takes more than high volume training for 3-4 months. After signing up for a M-dot Ironman, you have a year to prepare yourself and others for the decision you made to train for a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. Then you prepare yourself and others for your mood/attitude after a hot and long brick workout or an intense interval workout. You come home glycogen depleted some days and on other days you want to tell everyone you know about your fantastic workout. Sure, you talk in "tri" lingo and you get deer-in-headlight stares from people when you talk about power, HR, zones, hypoxic sets or pace...but because this person cares about you, he/she listens and pretends he/she understands. On the week before the race, you prepare yourself and others for the big day. You first apologize for acting stressed because there aren't enough hours in the day on the days leading up to the Ironman race and then you feel horrible after complaining how tired, bloated and unmotivated you are to do an Ironman on the first week of taper, only to wait a few days later to have more energy in the world to know what to do with. Then, you arrive at the race site and all your fears, worries and negative thoughts disappear because your team is there to support you because they believe in you. And, while some of your team is with you at the race site, you have the rest of your team at their computers waiting for you to cross the finish line. Throughout the entire Ironman race, it is hard to not think about all the people that helped you get to the starting line. Sure, you did the hard workout and put in the long, grueling hours but you couldn't have done without a few special people.
I'd like to thank my team....

My family
My brother is a NCAA All-American for gymnastics and Big Ten high bar champion. Although he is now a business man at PPG in Pittsburgh, PA while studying to earn his masters at Carnegie Mellon, we have a lot in common when it comes to athletics. We both love being competitive. In order to be good athletes, we both applied our hard-working philosophy's to our education.
If it wasn't for our parents, who have been our #1 supporters and biggest fans, both my brother Aaron and myself would not be who we are today.
My parents aren't the type of parents to push us and tell us we "have to" do a sport. However, with the support of our parents, we were lucky enough to have a sport to do most of our life. I choose swimming and my brother choose gymnastics. My parents loved going to our meets and looking back, I know it wasn't easy on them to pay for hotel rooms, travel, gear, food, etc. I am so grateful for all that my parents have given me (without asking) and I strive to be the best I can be because I have two loving parents who believe in me.
My parents love going to my triathlons. You would think an Ironman would be way too long to spectate but my mom is quick to book hotel rooms and settle travel arrangements before I even sign up for the race. My mom is the best travel agent ever and she takes a lot of stress off my shoulders, especially since I tend to be super type-A when it comes to traveling. As for my dad, the first thing he tells me when I tell him about an Ironman is "oh, I will take great pictures!" I guess I got my love for pictures from my dad.
Mom and Dad (and Aaron), thank you for being part of my team.


My local friends
Libby, Laura and Katrine. You girls keep me sane, put up with me when I stressed with school (was stressed :) and always reminded me how much I love the sport of triathlons. Katrine, thank you for all the Tues and Thurs workouts, you made bike riding so much more enjoyable. Thank you for adding a little more estrogen to the Sunday morning group rides with all the boys and thank you for making a 14 mile run...after a sprint triathlon, go by so quickly. Laura, thank you for keeping me excited to continuing with my education to become a registered dietitian. You have given me such great advice and I have loved guiding you as you finish up your first ever season of triathlons. Besides the fact that our dogs are BFF's, you always make me smile and I love your care-free attitude. Libby, I wouldn't be here today (somewhat injury-free) if you did not give up your time after you finished work to give me some PT tough-love on my butt. Who gives away Free services??? You are amazing and what you do. As a phenomenal triathlete who loves suffering a bit more than I do (you are one tough chick!) you are going to go far no matter what you choose to do in life. Thank you girls for being a part of my team and thank you to your hubby's for letting me steal you for a few hours every week.






Coach Shawn
You qualified for Ironman Kona at Ironman Arizona. You raced the Ironman in Kona in 2008, you did IMFL less than a month later and re-qualified for Kona for 2009. I lucked out to have a coach who knows what he is talking about.
I hesitated putting aside the HR training and focusing on my power on the bike but I could not thank you enough for making me the best cyclist I could be coming into this Ironman. My bike times have improved drastically this year and most of all, I love riding my bike. You gave me workouts that made me confident with my bike skills and biking abilities. Alongside cycling, my running times improved and I PR'd in a number of races this year. Most of all, I loved having a schedule that allowed me to grow as an athlete (get stronger, faster and more powerful) but balanced me out in my normal life. There were no two-a-days and no crazy workouts which demanded a bulk of my time. Each workout focused on quality. Considering that you have coached Karel for the best few years, and he continues to improve as a cyclist, I think we are in great hands. Thank you for being part of my team.

My blogger/facebook friends
My passion is educating athletes on proper nutrition to improve health while improving success as an athlete/fitness enthusiast. Since we all need to exercise for cardio health to improve our quality of life, I could not have found a better career path than to devote my entire life to helping individuals understand a how to eat for fuel. I have received countless emails and blog comments from people who I have never met and emails from people who know me well. Among those who have read my articles/blogs, I get motivated and inspired by people who have applied my sports nutrition tips/recipes to their life and have noticed dramatic results. Thank you to everyone out there who has encouraged me to continue reaching my goals of becoming a well-known sports nutritionist and for reminding me why I have decided to go back to school (well, finished that part...time for the internship!) to become a registered dietitian. Thank you for being part of my team.

Karel
I saved the best for last. I don't know where to begin. At IMFL you were my boyfriend. During the last 10K of the IM run you ran next to me and told me I was going to Kona. I told you I loved you for the very first time. Not sure if it was the best time to tell you that I love you for the first time but I felt it and I knew we were meant to be.
We were recently engaged when I went to the Ironman World Championships with my mom and dad. Now, we are married and as my husband, I couldn't be more excited that you will be there with me to help me get to the finish line.
You have been with me during my best times and you have seen me at some of my worst times. You know my strengths and weakness's and you know my breaking points (things that I can't control = stress. However, you also know how to be a great husband. I have never let my triathlon training get in the way of our relationship and you have never let your love for cycling interfere with our time together. Perhaps we are so good together because we support each other's passions. Although we love different sports, we both live a similar lifestyle of healthy eating and lots of physical activity. Thank you for loving me and for making it so easy for me to love you and to love being your wife. Even with managing two Trek stores in Jacksonville and putting in 200+ miles a week of cycling, you always make sure my bike is in great condition and you always have a great appetite to try all of my dinner creations.
Karel, words can't describe how much you mean to me and how lucky I am to have my best friend by my side for the rest of my life. Can't wait til we are 80 years old together, riding our bikes over mountain passes and eating tofu and alfalfa sprout sandwiches for a picnic lunch. Love you Karel....we make a great team!!




Campy
Oh, how could I forget my little one. My little buddy. My little Campy, Camp. Campy, you made my life complete 10 months ago. After my last dog passed away from bladder cancer in 2006, I felt like there was an empty space in my heart. I have always loved animals but I never knew that a dog like you could make my days 100% better. I love seeing your little face in the window of our 3rd floor apartment and I love hearing your little bark as I walk up the stairs to our place. I love how you greet me when I walk in the door, regardless if I was gone for 15 minutes or 4 hours. You are never short of giving kisses and you are the best cuddler. It doesn't matter how good/bad my day may seem, you have a special puppy-dog way of making my life worth living to the fullest every day. Karel and I are so happy that we got you off the street and we know you are loving the life of luxury. You wouldn't care if we lived in a box or in a house, so long as we had a blanket for you to snuggle under. Campy, you make running warm-up and warm-down so much fun, even after running 18 miles. You never complain if we are running in the cold, rain or heat and you always put a huge smile on my face when we are together. Thank you Campy for being part of my team...and for making sure my camera gets lots of use!



8/25/09

Berry-licious and nutritious muffins

Just because it is Ironman week, I'm not gorging myself with Carbs. Sure, I'll increase my total percentage of carbohydrates by 5-10% on Thurs, Fri and Sat but in order to keep my blood sugar stable on race week (and keep repairing damaged tissues), I will continue to emphasize protein in the diet. My Ironman-week diet consist of lots of fruits and veggies to keep my immune system healthy and to provide my body with lots of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants) and good sources of carbs such as oatmeal, whole grain bread and wasa crackers (my fav with PB).
So, you might be wondering why I decided to make muffins if I am gradually increasing carbs yet also emphasizing protein?
Rather than using only wheat flour, I decided to bump up the protein of my typical muffin recipe by adding soy flour.
Here are some facts about soy flour that I gathered from SoyFoods.org (http://www.soyfoods.org/products/soy-fact-sheets/soy-flour-fact-sheet).
-Soy flour is derived from soybeans and is the main ingredient for soy milk and textured vegetable proteins (ex. veggie burgers).
-Soy flour is packed with protein and provides a nutty flavor to baked goods.
-Defatted and low-fat soy flour will stay fresh for up to one year in an airtight container.
-Replacing more than 40% of a recipe calling for flour, with soy flour, is not recommended. Soy flour works as a substitute for 10-30% of wheat or rye flour.
-Soy flour is gluten-free.
-Soy flour is a great source of quality protein, fiber and isoflavones and provides a good source of iron, b vitamins and potassium.

Here's the protein content of various flours:
-Full fat soy flour - 40% protein
-Low fat soy flour - 52% protein
-Defatted soy flour - 55% protein
-Whole wheat flour - 16% protein
-Enriched white flour - 12% protein

Here are some ways to incorporate soy flour into your recipes:
-Pizza dough - replace 1/4 flour with soy flour
-Cookies - replace 1/3 all purpose flour with soy flour
-Muffins or pancakes - 1/3 soy flour, 1/3 wheat and 1/3 all purpose or 1/3 soy flour and 2/3 wheat
-Bread - replace 1/3 all purpose with 1/3 soy flour
-Cakes - replace 1/3 all purpose with 1/3 soy flour


Here's the recipe I created yesterday.
Berry-licious and nutritious muffins

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup soy flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
3 ounces low fat vanilla yogurt (you can use plain)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp. honey
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 raisins
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3-1/2 cup water

1) Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (first 5 ingredients) and mix together and set aside.
3) In another mixing bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract and eggs for 2 minutes with a fork or whisk.
4) Add vanilla yogurt to wet ingredients and mix well.
5) Add honey, followed by blueberries, cranberries, raisins and walnuts into wet mixture. Mix well.
6) Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well with a large fork.
7) As you are mixing, slowly add water (1/8 cup at a time) until you get a consistency similar to pancake batter.
8) Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each tin of non-stick muffin tin (spray with non-stick spray, 1 squirt each tin).
9) Cook for 20-25 min. until sides of muffin turn slightly brown or muffin is slightly firm on top.
10) Optional: top with 4-5 chopped walnut pieces and switch your oven to broil for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!
*I recommend serving 1 muffin w/ 3-4 scrambled egg whites and 3-4 slices strawberries for a healthy and balanced breakfast or 1 muffin topped with 3 ounces low fat yogurt/greek yogurt for a healthy snack/desert.
*Place the muffins in a container or freezer bag and when you are ready for a warm and delicious muffin, microwave for 20-25 sec.





8/24/09

Nocatee Cycling Event




Nothing like a cycling race 15 miles from home. No traveling for the Sumbal's this weekend. We have a very busy September after we come home from KY. Karel has two cycling races and at the end of Sept we will both being doing the 6-gap, 100 mile cycling event in Dahlonega GA. I haven't even done IMKY and I'm already getting excited for our travels/adventures in Sept. Looks like a full month of road biking for both of us. The tri bike will be hung up on the wall and it will be a good 4-5 months before I think about "training" on it again. But for now...I had a great weekend of supporting my hubby at the Nocatee race which was sponsored by the Trek Store.
With my last weekend of "training" I couldn't have been more excited to spend Sat. and Sun. supporting Karel's team.
My 40 mile bike + 20 min run on Sat and 7.5 mile run on Sun were a breeze. The first week of taper, I had no energy and had one great swim with several tiring workouts of low volume. My body was feeling the effects of the first week of taper, which is natural since the body is working overtime to heal, repair and repair some more from all those months of high volume/high intensity training. This weekend was great because finally, I am starting to feel ready for the race physically, alongside preparing myself mentally. I have been waiting for this feeling for a few days now and I can't wait to get out on that course. Nervous, yes. But I care and that is why I am nervous. I train to compete and I train to perform the best possible.
Karel's race really psyched me up. I LOVE watching Karel race and every time I watch him, I get a boost of endorphins.
The 70 mile road race (7 mile loop) finished right before a huge storm rolled through. It was hot out there, with and without clouds. After 2 1/2 hours of racing, Karel and Jeff were in the front for the finish and Jeff finished 2nd. Karel was racing for 3rd but right at the line for a sprint finish, he placed 4th just outside the podium. Bummer..so close Karel! The Lindner Capital guys worked really well together and it was a great race to watch.
The TT was moved from Sat night to Sun morning due to the rain and Karel did his best to give a good effort. He will admit that TT's are not his strength, even though he is a sprinter. Jeff is a phenomenal TT rider and in addition to many triathletes out on the course doing their aero-bar thing, it was nice that the cycling event added a TT this year for this race.
The Criterium on Sun started at 3pm for the Pro's. It was super hot without a tree in sight for shade. A bunch of my friends were there supporting the local guys and it was great to see so many people spending an hour or more of their Sunday out in the heat. The Lindner guys didn't have any podium finishes but I got a lot of great pictures which always makes me happy. Enjoy!