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Showing posts from July 31, 2016


  Starting tomorrow, for 16 days , the most extraordinary athletes from around the world will be racing in 306 events, in 28 sports. As you marvel over what an athletically fit and trained body, with a powerful mind, can do on race day, keep in mind that this select group of the population is not unlike you. Olympic athletes are not superhuman. They are not machines. They do not have magical powers or special talents that cannot be trained or obtained. They are normal people with an immense drive to pursue athletic goals, backed by a little good luck and good genetics on their side. Olympic athletes have characteristics that help them excel and these qualities can be attained by anyone who wants to excel in sports and in life.   While the Olympics are a great source of inspiration as to what the human body can do, the Olympics remind us all that it is possible to turn your dreams into a reality. Becoming an Olympic athlete is more than just training hard. Olympics athlet

My body obsession

source Ever since a young age, I have loved learning about the human body, especially a moving human body. In 1999, just shy of turning 18 years old and a year away from graduating from High School, my birthday present was a book titled "New Atlas of Human Anatomy" which came with a CD ROM explaining all the human body systems.  I read that book every night, over and over again. Throughout my undergraduate years at Transylvania University, in Lexington, KY, I couldn't get enough from my exercise science classes. Every topic was interesting and exciting and as a student athlete, I was able to apply almost everything that I learned to class to "real world" situations. While majoring in Exercise Science, I quickly fell in love with strength and conditioning which gave me aspirations to be a strength and conditioning coach. Forced to start strength training at the age of 10 as part of my swim team conditioning helped me appreciate the health and performan

Overtraining - more than training hard or long

It may come as a surprise to many athletes but when you are on a mission to get faster, training long and  fast is not a safe combination. Many times, this leads to overtraining as there is an imbalance between training and recovery. Be mindful that training beyond your body's ability to recover is not correlated to a specific number of training hours. As examples....  "But I don't train 20 hours a week, I only train 8 - how can I be overtrained?"   "But I train much less intensity than I use to train, I don't understand why my hormones are all messed up?" If your body can not recover, adapt or tolerate your given training load, your body is going to give you signs that you are overtraining. When your hormones are out of whack, your bones are becoming weak, your mood is unstable, your body is becoming fragile, you find yourself constantly sick, your appetite has drastically changed, your weight has unintentionally changed, your sleep is disr

Grilled mushroom with pesto and goat cheese

There's something about the taste of grilled food that makes my taste buds excited. And this is coming from a vegetarian! On Sunday evening, Karel and I decided to fire-up the outdoor grill for a delicious dinner to finish a great weekend of training. Although my training volume/intensity is low relative to Karel (who is training for Ironman Mont Tremblant in a few weeks), we were both in need of a good meal to nourish and fuel our bodies. My garden is overflowing with basil so the first thing that came to mind was pesto. I just love pesto on a grilled mushroom (thanks Katie Malone for the idea!) and as I was feeling extra creative, I didn't follow a recipe but instead, I made up my own -  a handful of fresh basil, a small handful of Parmesan and Asiago shredded cheese, a few long drizzles of olive oil and a sliced clove of garlic all into a food processor. My pesto was extra garlicky and had a nice kick to it. (I found this recipe  for you in case you want to make your own pe

The power in.....

It was just over 3 years when I crossed my 6th Ironman finish line in Lake Placid. Although every Ironman finish is worth celebrating, this one was extra special as it was the very first time that I raced for 140.6 miles with Karel on the course with me, and not on the sidelines cheering for me. It was so much fun for us to share our race day stories with each other after the race. For the first time in 6 Ironmans, Karel actually understood all the emotions and feelings that happen during (and after) and Ironman. 2013 Ironman Lake Placid was a special race for many reasons but in looking back on the day when I told myself that "I gave  my best effort  ever", in order to qualify for my 3rd Ironman World Championship (just 10 weeks later), this picture below shows me how far I have come in just 3 years.  Karel on the left, me on the right.  This picture popped up on my memory feed on Facebook last week and the first thing that caught my eye was Karel's time. I