5/24/14

Challenge yourself and have fun!




There's a lot to balance in life when you choose to train for a competitive sport as an adult athlete. As kids and young adults, there are still responsibilities in life for student athletes but life certainly becomes a lot more stressful as you grow up. 

But despite all the stressors in life that we face on a daily basis, there's something so special about moving and using your body to relieve some of that stress. Many times the mind becomes relaxed at the start, during or after a training session. Other times, a tense body becomes relaxed at the thought of the upcoming opportunity to workout. 

Regardless if you are training or working out for fitness gains, it is important to have fun with what you are doing.
My advice is to change up the scenery every now and then to keep things fresh. Perhaps go to a new location to train (even if it is driving 10 miles down the road or maybe spending the night somewhere that is 2+ hours away), join others on a new route/activity or discover the new place that everyone is talking about.
In a busy life, it's very easy to get burnt out of something that you know makes you incredibly happy simply because it is just one more thing to add to your busy schedule. But because activity can help you live a more quality filled life, never convince yourself that you are too busy to move your body. Spend a little time every day on yourself and when you have the opportunity, go venture out of your normal routine and have some fun doing something new or different. 


Challenge yourself. Yep, that's what I will be doing with Karel today on our 85-mile ride. My body has not seen this much climbing in a long time (maybe not since 6-gap in 2009) so I plan to thank my body a lot during and after this ride.
We will be riding from our home in downtown Greenville to Ceaser's Head and then doing a loop (which we did on Thursday) by Hotel Domestique and on the roads that George Hincapie loves to train. 
Life is not without challenges and if you are an athlete, training and racing/competition is not easy. Embrace a challenge every now and then and take yourself out of your comfort zone. Of course, always keep safety and your health as the most important priority.
Depending on your race/event course, there may be hills, descends, wind, crowded or bumpy roads and less than ideal conditions. Sometimes you should embrace the things that you can not control and face your fears. Every athlete should accept challenging situations by practicing for those conditions and improving your physical and mental skills. Don't let race or competition day be your first day climbing/descending on your bike, running on hills, swimming in open water, riding in the wind, etc. 
As you enjoy the beautiful sights and experiences and thank your body for what it allows you to do, accept the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable and the unknown and see what you can accomplish with your incredible body and mind.

Happy training! 

5/22/14

Pre-Ironman fuel - rock your race-day meal


My Ironman pre race meal:
4 WASA crackers
Smuckers Natural PB
Banana
Granola
Raisins
Maple syrup or honey
Cinnamon
Large glass of water
Cup of coffee

Ask a dozen triathletes what they like to eat on the morning of an IRONMAN and you'll get a baker's dozen different answers. There are easy and convenient options, like a bagel and banana with peanut butter, a liquid meal replacement for a nervous belly, or a bowl of oatmeal and eggs, compliments of a kitchenette. Washed down with sports drink and coffee, most IRONMAN athletes swear by one of these early-morning menus. 
But with so many unique needs, there are a few atypical breakfasts for thought out there. For example, have you ever considered a baked potato with fish, white rice with figs and honey, or applesauce with protein powder? Passing on the caffeine jolt, how about a cup of hot water to get the system going or kombucha tea for a happier gut?
For over a decade, research consistently shows that the perfect pre-race meal includes most the following:

  • 100 to 200 grams of carbs (400 to 800 calories) plus a little protein
  • 12 to 20 ounces water
  • Low glycemic, low fat, low fiber (liquid or solid consistency) 
  • Consumed three to four hours prior to the start of the endurance event

As experienced IRONMAN triathletes know all too well, after eight hours of racing the gut and taste buds become turned off of gels and sport drinks. Because the depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver affect the body's ability to maintain adequate blood glucose concentrations for muscle and brain fuel, the goal of the IRONMAN athlete is to slow down the least possible on that day. Therefore, the complexity of sport nutrition to support a body in motion for 140.6 miles is much more than what you consumed at 3:30 am race day morning. 


To read more of my Ironman article: CLICK HERE

5/21/14

Our new normal


My body feels like I am on a training camp.
My mind feels like I am on vacation.
But in reality, we just moved to the most perfect place for our lifestyle. 


Back in February, Karel, Campy and I checked out Greenville South Carolina for the first time.
It was cold and rainy.
But we still loved it! 

Although we have only been living in Greenville South Carolina for 10 days and for me, not even a full week to believe that we actually live here, we have spent no time wasted since we moved. Although much of our day is focused on our coaching and nutrition athletes (tri season is in full swing!), we have tried to spend a little time each day to get to know our new town. Here are a few pics from the last few days. 

Trimarni coaching athlete Kristen and her hubby Trent were passing by after racing Rev3 in Knoxville. We love the fact that we can walk to downtown, just a short 1 mile from our new home. We all had dinner at Mellow Mushroom.



No more flat roads! Just a quick 8 miles or so on the Swamp Rabbit Trail (riding from our home) and then we make a few turns and a few miles later, we get to climb 2.5 miles to the top of Paris Mountain.....and then descend down the other side!


You know you live in a great city when Trek Travel has a 7-day camp where you live. 


With a change in temps (mid 50's in the morning and 80's during the day), we are really enjoying this change and the comfort foods that come with it. Yummy tomato soup cooked with Boca veggie meat, fresh onions and mushrooms and topped with baby Swiss cheese. 


A dressed up rice cake with PB, raisins, banana and honey, alongside water and coffee. Delicious, happy tummy fuel for a morning workout. 


Every trail should have a delicious cafe and grocery like the Swamp Rabbit Trail. If they are ever out of baguettes, you can blame us.


We love our bike-friendly community!


Not only is Greenville an active community


But they are big supporters of shopping local and recycling. 


WE are glad we are here too!


Karel is getting back to his Euro routes....stopping for a baguette at the end of our ride.


The BEST baguette I have ever had!


Just riding along....
Is it a good or bad thing that I want to stop every mile to take a picture of this beautiful scenery!! LOVE riding on these country roads! So much to look at and so many animals to say hi to!


My body is working over time here with our new terrain, combined with our IM Austria prep (6 more weeks!). My appreciation of fueling my body with real food has gone to a whole new level here in Greenville! 


Campy loves it here too!!


I love to climb.....and now I have no choice! 


We love fresh bread. This pecan bread was amazing!
Real food makes the tummy happy. 


Super raw trail mix....a delicious snack with yogurt to fuel a busy body in the afternoon.


Karel is now an expert at Map My Ride. His Garmin Edge 810 comes in super handy when it comes to riding new routes and not getting lost. You have no idea how happy Karel is riding here. He can not stay off his bike. Every day is a new day for exploring on two wheels.
I just want to ride and say hi to all the animals and take pictures. 


We are SO excited to start planning our 2nd Trimarni camp (and first camp in Greenville) for the fall! We are so excited for you to come and visit us and enjoy these beautiful roads and local eats with us (and Campy too!)




5/20/14

A taste of San Fran


After two days of moving, unloading boxes and getting my kitchen Trimarni-ready for some cooking, I was off to the West Coast for the Clif Bar RD summit.
I will write more about this summit in another blog post but I was invited to the summit, along with 18 other RD's from around the US (many from NY) to learn about Clif Bar, the company and products. As a RD, I take my role as a health professional very seriously. Specifically, with my focus on sport nutrition and fueling a body in motion, this was a great opportunity for me to understand a  sport nutrition product company that focuses on sustainable fuel and taste products to better educate and inform the public and athletes.

As you know by now, real food is how I role. Bars are not my first choice when it comes to nourishing my body or when I need a snack but that doesn't mean I don't travel without them in my stash of traveling eats.
For this direct 5 hour flight from Charlotte to San Fran, I enjoyed a delicious lunch of Ezikiel bread cinnamon raisin bread with fresh smashed raspberries and PB along with a banana. I picked up a Chobani yogurt (all they had was flavored but I typically choose plain 0% and dress it up myself) at the airport for a perfectly balanced (and yummy) lunch. I also brought along some trail mix and an apple.


On behalf of Clif Bar, my trip was paid for and they selected this stylish hotel, right in the heart of downtown, for our lodging. I had my own room but spent little time there as I was always exploring the city. 


Our itinerary had us meeting in the lobby at 7:45am but seeing that I was still on East Coast time, I "slept in" until 5am (8am EST) and my running shoes were calling my name. 


As my first run since St. Croix 11 days ago, I could not have picked a better place to shake out my legs and to explore a new city.






6 miles later and several camera stops, I was ready to clean up and officially start the day. 


My hotel had these cute little maps in our room which was handy for anyone who likes to follow a map. As for me, I let my feet guide me along my own little journey around town.


I will save the pictures from my day at the Clif Bar HQ for another blog but let's just say that I LOVE the Clif Bar corporation and the foundation on which the company thrives.
I was given Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc. in my Clif Bar goodie bag and I am currently working my way through the book. I highly recommend this book - it is very inspiring to read about Gary, who is the creator of Clif Bar.

"In April of 2000, Gary Erickson turned down a $120 million offer to buy his thriving company. Today, instead of taking it easy for the rest of his life and enjoying a luxurious retirement, he's working harder than ever. Why would any sane person pass up the financial opportunity of a lifetime? Raising the Bar tells the amazing story of Clif Bar's Gary Erickson and shows that some things are more important than money. Gary Erickson and coauthor Lois Lorentzen tell the unusual and inspiring story about following your passion, the freedom to create, sustaining a business over the long haul, and living responsibly in your community and on the earth. Raising the Bar chronicles Clif Bar's ascent from a homemade energy bar to a $100 million phenomenon with an estimated 35 million consumers, and a company hailed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. four years in a row. The book is filled with compelling personal stories from Erickson's life-trekking in the Himalayan mountains, riding his bicycle over roadless European mountain passes, climbing in the Sierra Nevada range--as inspiration for his philosophy of business. Throughout the book, Erickson--a competitive cyclist, jazz musician, world traveler, mountain climber, wilderness guide, and entrepreneur--convinces us that sustaining one's employees, community, and environment is good business. If you are a manager, executive, business owner, or board member, Raising the Bar is your personal guide to corporate integrity. If you are a sports enthusiast, environmentalist, adventure lover, intrigued by a unique corporate culture, or just interested in a good story, Raising the Bar is for you."


Clif Bar believes in sustainable energy and local, fresh and organic food. They are heavy into recycling, giving back to the community and taking care of the environment/earth. So what better place to eat at than at Central Kitchen. Local, fresh organic food enjoyed over 2.5 hours. With four courses and a room full of RDs, there was a lot of yumming going on!





YUM!

This was not Marni-friendly (it had fish in it) but others were yumming).

YUM!

Check out those carrots! And the bread was SO good! YUM!

It was getting dark but this was worthy of a pic!

The potatoes were SO good! Double yum for this plant strong athlete!

Desert - chocolate custard with warm cookies. SO GOOD!

I made sure to get some restful sleep to avoid suppressing my immune system with all that was (and has been) going on in my life so after waking up without an alarm, I had a little time to waste and what better than to use my free time for a morning run. 



5 miles later, it was time for breakfast with the group and then a scavenger hunt around the city! 


We were divided into groups of 4 and had check points at certain times as well as opportunities to get points along the way. We had a camera and a book of to-do's for points. So much fun - I love a good fun challenge with my body!

I think I need Karel to fit me.


If you are ever in San Fran, be sure to rent a bike - this was one of our activities/check points (we got the bikes for free and they were all ready for us) and it was a great way to see the city. We were moving our bodies for 3 hours that morning!

One of our activities was to be blind folded in a garden (sitting down) and to taste and identify 5 different herbs. Oh they were amazing! I felt like I was on Amazing Race!


I haven't put my Fit Bit to full use yet but I am so excited to try it out! I've heard great things about it.

My awesome team!

I was a little jealous  to see a group of triathletes swimming in the water but that's ok.....


We were having so much fun!

Oh bread...how I love you!


A stop at the Boudin Bakery was on our to-do list

And I can not resist a delicious slice of fresh bread. YUM!

A stop to see the seals...who were very chatty!

And what scavenger trip can not be complete with a market stop....

And ice cream!

Once the scavenger hunt was officially complete around 11:45am (points deducted if you were late), it was time for a delicious picnic lunch. 

And we got to try our own Clif Bar's that we made the day before at the HQ!
Our had cashews, dried blueberries and cherries, beet chips, chocolate chips and almonds.


Yay!! Our team won the hunt!!!

How cool are these awards? 

So great to meet Tara, the RD at Clif bar!
Once the hunt was over, it was time for our good-byes and see ya later.

I had a red eye leaving at 10:15pm so I had a good 6 hours to explore the city once more (after a little computer work was done).


Beer always makes me miss Karel when I travel.

My European hubby would have loved to try them all!

It was SO great to see my good friend Doris (and website designer, Trimarni athlete and creator of the Trimarni logo) in San Fran - she only lives 30 min away from this cool city!



We had Blue Bottle Lattes which were delicious! 


And then I got a meal to -go to enjoy around dinner time in my hotel lobby from The Plant - Organic cafe


There's something special about plant strong food that is so exciting for the taste buds! 


Well San Fran....you left me satisfied with a happy belly and my legs loved exploring the city. Until next time West Coast....


Now it's time to explore my new city of Greenville, SC!!!