Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I think the fact that I love to cook has helped a lot. I have found that if I plan and make sure that I have meals cooked and ready, things are so much easier. It is not as easy to find a quick easy meal on the go. Last weekend I was running around and all I wanted was some lunch before I hopped on the train. I went to three different places and there was nothing other than hummus for me to eat. I ended up waiting til I got to Ridgewood and stopped at the Wholefoods to get some chickpea salad. I was beyond starving at that point and it was hard to get my energy back up for a while. I have learned to carried at least some nuts, fruit or energy bars with me. I also learned that if you are going out to eat...you can call ahead and ask for a vegan meal. I went out to eat with my family to Union Sq Cafe a few weeks back. I called in the morning and asked for a vegan meal. So when I got there, I had it specially prepared and it was pretty good.
I have not noticed any difference with my energy with working out. I have had some long days the last two weeks and I have not been sleeping too well, so it has been hard to tell. When things settle down, I am hoping that I will notice more.
Here are some good recipes or new foods that I have tried:
1. Rice milk. I used to be scared of rice milk but Bloomberg only carries rice or soy. Since I stopped the soy milk, rice was left. Suprisingly it is actually pretty good. Probably because it has sugar! I have to ask to see if they will carry almond milk.
2. Rice Protein Shake: This concoction is something I stumbled on last week and I cannot stop drinking it. I mix chocolate rice protein with this super green stuff and chocolate almond milk (yes, I actually bring some food in to work). Takes a while for all of it to dissolve but it tastes so good. Only bad thing, it looks like sludge. Every time I bring it to a meeting, I get cracks from my co-workers about what I am drinking.
3. Curried lentils with tomatoes, carrots, onions and kale: It actually should be curried kale with lentils, tomatoes, carrots and onions since it is about a head of kale in every serving. It is soooo good and lentils are an awesome source of protein. I just have to be careful on how much since they also have a bunch of carbs
4. Almond Cheese: You can get this at Fairway or Wholefoods. The cheddar is crap but the jalepeno is pretty good.
5. Beet and Carrot Salad: Ok I HATED beets. The earthy taste grossed me out. We have been getting them each week in our CSA and I would give them away. Monday, one of my co workers brought in a simple shredded beets/shredded carrot salad with a lemon juice and olive oil. I tried it and I could not believe how good it was. No earthy place. I went home that night and got some beets and made it. Been eating every day since.
6. Homemade veggie burgers: I have made a batch of black bean and corn burgers and a batch of lentil burgers. I keep the burgers in the freezer and they are my go to item when I come home. I throw them on top of a salad. I love the fact that I can control what goes in to them.
This weekend I want to try some stuffed cabbage (have one from my csa) and some more protein bars.
On other news:
I am finally a New York City resident. One thing that I really never wrote about before in my blogs (in case of jinxing the process) was that along with training, commuting into the city, and working, I was looking for an apartment to buy. It was probably the biggest cause of my stress this summer. After 8 months of looking and going through the coop process I finally closed two weeks ago.
Gone are the 4:50 am and 9:30 pm bus rides and in their place has been bike treks through central park. I actually can make dinner now and go to bed at a normal (well my normal time). I still get up early but 5:15 is much nicer than 4:20. I am now getting about 2-3 hours more sleep a night.
Better than sleep is that I live between Central Park and Riverside Park. I feel like I am a kid in a candy shop when I am trying to decide where to work out. You cannot go wrong with either direction. I am slowly learning the beauty of running along the river with the breeze and getting to watch the sunset over Jersey City.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Its been a while since my last post. I think that the last few months finally caught up with me and I needed a break from everything. As much as I hate to admit it, May, June, and July were a struggle for me. I look back and cannot believe that I completed everything that I said I would do. That includes the Half Ironman....the main purpose of this blog. I wont say I am happy with how I did but I finished and throughout the whole process learned everything that I could do better for next time. Its funny, at the end of the race I said I would never ever do it again but now I am already planning when to do my next one. I want revenge and to hit my goal of under six hours.
So now that I have had some down time I decided I needed a new set of goals to keep me going. The first one is my short term challenge and the second is my currently unachievable partly crazy goal.
Short Term: Eat vegan for a month. I made the move to stop eating meat a few months ago in efforts to help me recover faster with my training. I pretty much was eating 90% vegan with the exception of whey protein powder and a few eggs. I wanted to go full vegan as Thrive said to do but was extremely worried where I would get my protein and did not want to make the change right before the race. I did spend lot of time reading about becoming a Vegan, started to visit a lot more Vegan restaurants (which are freaking awesome) and took out a bunch of cookbooks from the library to figure out what and where I could get my protein.
I decided last week my focus for the next month or so was to get my strength back. I wore out my legs so bad training for the Half that even with twice weekly PT sessions they barely held up to cross the finish line. As part of that, I signed up for Bootcamp for August. (very excited that Ariane brought back Hardcore!!). Then came my idea to go vegan for a month. It is going to be my experiment to see if I can get enough protein and still limit my carbs to keep my body fat % the same and not decrease my muscle mass. I have read all over that it can be done, now I am ready to see first hand if it is possible. I am determined to show any of the opponents of vegan eating that it is possible to still enjoy food, cooking, and remain at the same fitness level. Maybe I will inspire one of you to try it too.
Crazy goal: Qualify for the Boston Marathon for 2013. There, I have finally put it up. Some of you have heard me say this for the past few months now I am making it official. Oh, I should tell you that I have not run a marathon yet! So yes, I am truly crazy. My plan is to get my leg 100% better, run my first marathon in March, then pick one closer to September to run to qualify. This seems doable on paper but we will see. Slowly I am working towards this and as I mentioned above getting healthy and strong enough to actually do it. Though this is a crazy one, this is one goal I am going to hit.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Its official, the race is complete, 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running done. Kamen, Ariane , Lauren and I all finished. This was the hardest thing I have done .... it was hot, hilly, and sometimes felt neverending. Its an amazing feeling to know I completed this, something last year seemed way beyond my reach. Pretty cool to have done it with the person (Ariane) that helped me find a new path to take in getting in shape, and ultimately to a place where I can do these things.
Almost home....thank god for Drew, he drove most of the way and saved my legs. Plus he did not like me playing dj while driving. Then its unpack, shower, and bed...running on 3.5 hours of sleep.
Then...a week off, ahhhhhhh.
Friday, July 8, 2011
At our first stop to print out the course maps in Cornwall, then off Boston. Lauren and I have the Sox game tonight then will head to Providence to meet up with Kamen and Ariane tomorrow and the race starting at 6:00 am on Sunday.
Ready or not here we go!!!!
Monday, July 4, 2011
Please congratulate them with me!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Happy 4th of July! So, it's Sunday morning at 8:00am. (yup, I am on the train, heading into the city). What will you be doing next weekend at this time? Me.....probably an hour into my 4 hour bike ride and as Ariane put it, our 6 hour race. I always thought of the race in mileage. Thinking of it as 6 hours of racing makes me think what the f#ck am I doing.
I feel a little normal this weekend. It is the first time in a long time that my weekend is not planned around training but just hanging out and relaxing. I will admit, I am getting in some running and biking but nothing too hard or long. I started to take it easy last Monday, just a few bike rides and runs and trying to get more sleep. Only two early mornings last week and I got in one massive rest.
Unfortunately, while working out slowed down, work picked up and I was there late almost every night last week. Its not too bad but I get thrown off on my routine. I tried to bring dinner each day so that I would not eat crap but when its late and your cranky, the kitchen snacks look so good!! And lately they have been putting out Cornnuts which may be one of my all time favorite snacks. I just avoided the kitchen floors. The only good thing about working late was that I was sitting with my R&D guys (getting to play with Linux...which normally I am not allowed to do!) on the 27th floor, at a window seat. I had an awesome view of the 59th Street Bridge and the park to my left. Any stress went away each time I looked out.
After the long week we got out early on Friday. I resisted the little urge to go for a run and instead did something I have not done since last summer. I sat on my porch by myself, with a glass of wine and my book. It was the first time in forever that I stopped and did nothing except relax. I am a little embarassed to say it was the first non nutrition or exercise book I have opened in a long time. I used to go through a book a week.
Anyway, I read for about 20 minutes, finished my wine (it was hot!) and I was out. I slept for about 3 hours on my porch. Amazing what a glass of wine will do to you. I woke up, grabbed a light dinner and then was back out. I woke up at 8 yesterday morning, getting 12 hours of sleep. That is almost 2-3 days worth of sleep.
My plans yesterday did get swayed a little with prepping for my race. I took my bike to Campmor to get looked at 9:30. I thought I would have more than enough time to get on the 11:30 train to meet my friends in the city at 1:00. I ended up being there for an hour and half though part of the time I was talking to the bike guys. I am at Campmor about once a week and they all know me by name. I walked out of there with not only a fixed up bike but learned how to make my Droid run faster, a gps unit to look at, and a new bike ride through Alpine......oh and a new pair of sandles :-)
So, I ended up on the 12:30 train and took the subway/walked to Red Hook rather than take the ferry. It was fine being late since the first stop was the Lobster pound and I am still on my no meat/fish kick. The Brooklyn Ice House was next door so while everyone finished up, a few of us went over to have a drink. For me, I was super pysched because they had my Abita beer. And yes....i had one, I am beginning to carb load or at least that is what I used as my excuse. The rest of the day was great, just walked around, went to the ball fields, relaxed, and had fun.
Today's a run in the park and Coney Island. Never been so it should be fun. Tomorrow is my first bike ride with the Bloomberg Triathlon team. I finally met a few folks as crazy as me. We are meeting at 6:00am to ride. Then its off to Cornwall for a hike and 4th of July Festivities.
I am hoping that keeping myself busy will keep my mind off the race. Each time I do, my stomach flips....I am so nervous. I expect this to increase as I get closer as always. Especially since I wont have hard or long workouts to help calm me, I will have to learn how to deal.
So if you see me this week, I am apologizing now for how grumpy or spastic I may be. If Red Bank was any indication of how I will be....just letting you know, I was all over the place then and this is twice as big.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Not sure what is happening to me but my structure has gone completely out the window in the last few months. The rigid life that I have always been used to has changed to take it day by day. Partly because I have way too many things that I have taken on at once and partly because the last few weeks have been the most stressful few weeks that I have ever gone(still going) through. Trying to juggle everything perfectly in my life has been a struggle. I have replaced my nicely laid out plans to how quickly can I react. I have learned I cannot control everything and what will be will be. Basically I have been closing my eyes and saying things will work out, things will get better. And I have leaned on some of you more than ever for support, guidance, and sometimes asking you to react quickly with me......to that, I say thank you.
I do not know when this all started to change but I realized on Friday how much things were changing. Last weekend was my travel weekend from hell. I had a baby shower in Plymouth, MA Saturday noon, a wedding in Middletown, CT at 7pm, and wanted to be back in Ridgewood by 10 on Sunday to do a long brick. I had a freaking blast going to all these things but I spent more time in the car then I actually did with my friends......14 hours. (hit major traffic on way up ).
So, when I woke up on Friday, you would think that I would get my packed bags, presents, dress and get in my car and go. Ha ha.....I woke up early with no present, no dress yet to wear and nothing ready except the coffee maker. I had not thought through where I was changing for the wedding and did not know where I was sleeping Saturday night since my niece was sick. I did try to go and get a present/dress on Wed afternoon but between PT and the Corporate Challenge, I ran out of time.
I did have a little plan, go to the gym, get a gift, head out at 12 and get a dress in Newport before we went out. Notice my priority.....gym! This is actually one area in my life with pretty much complete consistency. (yeah I know, that is pretty f$cked up). Pretty stupid to think I could actually do this way my life was going.
I made it to the gym, a little later than expected, hit Buy Buy Baby and packed everything, getting in the car 2 hours late. As a result, sat in 6.5 hours of traffic on 95 and learned that it is not smart to do a long, hard bike ride before sitting that long. It sucks to see a sign stating: Warning 20 miles of traffic ahead. My legs were killing me the whole trip. There were points where I contemplated getting out and walking.
By the time I got to Providence, it was 8:15 so I skipped Newport and headed directly to Bristol where I downed a glass of wine the second I got in the door. That went right to my head....and Cat/Mags could not believe how good of a mood I was in after all that. :-) We ended up at dinner at 8:55 and the kitchen closed at 9:00. Thankfully they served us....I would have been bummed if not, it is my favorite place to go when I head to RI. Back at Cat's I luckily fit into one of her dresses. So.....Friday midnight I had two things down, only two more to figure out.
On my way to Plymouth in the morning I called my friend Chris to see if I could get ready in his room. Got the go ahead there. Thank god for him! Went to the shower, helped Cat with her presents, and jetted out at 2 to make it to Middletown by 5. Stopped to pick up shoes which I seemed to forget to pack. On my way I spoke to my sister who not only said it was ok to stay but asked if I would babysit my nephew on Sunday morning The only reason I wanted to stay at her house was because it was only an hour to Ridgewood so I could make it home early on Sunday. But - how could I say no.
What I did not realize was that Middletown was an hour and half from Wilton where she lives. So...by the time I got home it was 2:30 and I was up at 6:45 watching Caleb. So much for trying to catch up on my sleep on the weekends. I ended up leaving at 9:30 and got home at 11:00 to quickly go food shopping and pick up Lauren at the train.
Tired and a little cranky I still wanted to do our trek. With the late start the plans for the large 50 mile bike and 8 mile run was changed to 30 mile bike ride and 6 mile run. To make matters worse, when I brought my bike out, the tire was flat and I had to change it. It was the first time either of us had to change a tire, and using YouTube - it took a freaking hour. So it was 1:30 by the time we started and the plans changed again to 25 mile bike ride and we will see how far we can run. Lauren was not feeling super hot. I was actually impressed that we went at all. It was hot and sunny out and really all I wanted to do was sit on my porch, have a glass of wine, and close my eyes. The end result was a 25 mile bike and 5 mile run.
Finally at 7:00 when I started to make my weekly lunch of kale and tomatos did I feel like I had control again.
I am starting to look forward to the weekends where I will not have to think about a bike ride or run and where structure will again rule or at least be present. I am not sure how many more weekends of craziness or my idea of being out of control I can take. It is fun once in a while and it is teaching me to relax more but having this as the norm would drive me crazy. Though this has been fun, I am not sure that the Half distance is something that I would want to do again. It takes a lot to train for...or may I say, for me to train for since I want to make sure that I will be ready but I have no clue what 'ready' is. Only a few more weeks to ago...and then hopefully I will slowly start to become myself again.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I know I said this for all my other races but this time its true. I am going to keep repeating it too so I dont sway towards pushing myself too hard and bonking: I dont care what my time will be for the half. I just want to finish. Still have no clue if I will but if I do, I will tell you for sure....there will be tears in my eyes of how happy and proud of myself I will be.
The goal for this past weekend was to see how well my leg held up. So far so good but i am holding my breath that other than a little sore, everything will stay that way. I ran a loop of the park Friday, the Woman's Mini Saturday (more on that below), and did our first long brick yesterday of a 45 mile bike and 6.2 mile run. All and all thats 45 miles biking and 18.5 running in 3 days.
The races in Central Park lately have not been that much fun. I am not sure if it is because they are so damn crowded or if its because I need to get into them for the Marathon next year. I have been like 'lets get this sucker done' or been combining with additional mileage before the race.
Saturday's race was such an exception. It was the Womans 10k mini. Its called 'mini' because in the 70s when the race was created mini skirts were big. To bring in the woman, they called it the mini, for the mini skirt. To honor that, I decided I would wear my pink running skirt that I got a few weeks ago. Not sure why but I was super excited for this. There is something about wearing a skirt and running. Plus I thought I looked pretty cute :-)
The actual race was fun but I learned one big lesson, I cannot eat Buckwheat and Hemp granola (this stuff from One Lucky Duck is so good) the night before a run. My stomach was yelling me for the whole run. That sucked since my leg felt good and I realized I had a chance to break 8:00/miles. I ended up at 49:50.....8:01/miles. Will have to wait another race to get faster.
My favorite part of the race was at the end cheering on the runners. I was at the 400m mark, waiting for Kathy to pass. As I yelled (yes, I actually yelled and Lauren said to me, holy crap, your voice is officially back!) for the women to keep going, you could see the happiness in some of these ladies faces and some of them were crying on how proud they were. Reminded me that the race was bigger than me.
I went out Saturday night and for the first time in a while was frustrated that I had to get up early. I had two beers but made myself opt for water after that and left fairly early. Not sure if it was that the past few week have been stressful but I wanted one non thinking night and go back to my old self. Then I remember that will have to wait....i would be super pissed at myself in the am. Good thing since I did not get up til 9:00 anyway, completely not me, I am up by 7 the latest normally.
So....the big brick. Really not feeling it yesterday and off from the late start, I started out the ride saying 'this was going to suck'. Thank god Lauren came out for the ride or I prob would not have gone.
It started out a little eventful. A mile in, I had my first fall on my bike. Sadly, I cannot even say it was an exciting fall. I was standing at a light with my right leg unclipped. I was trying to stretch my left leg, some how lost my balance and landed right on my butt, left leg still clipped. Pathetic. I got a nice bruise on my leg and cut on my arm to remember how stupid I was.
The rest of the ride was not bad. We headed back up to Nyack, same ride we did a few weeks ago. It was muxh easier knowing where you are going the second time. Though we said we were going to ride straight through we could not resist stopping at the Farmers market in Piermont. Hung out, talked to some of the vendors and tried some yummy toffee. Then got back on and finished the rest of the ride.
After the ride we got our sneakers on and headed out for the run. Nothing changes with the run no matter how many times you do it. The first two miles suck. We just ran slow until we got our legs under us. It ended up being not too bad. I felt I could have gone a litttle more though I was super hungry. Along with all this exercising, I am still learning how much I have to eat and when. I read in Thrive to eat when you are still good not when you get hungry. I had two blocks every hour or so til they ran out. Think I could have used one more set. I was dragging a little on run. We were out for almost 5 hours
When we got back, we had the biggest workout of the day, dinner. While running we passed a pizza place. It smelled so good I asked Lauren if she wanted to go to Pizza Fusion, an organic pizza place near me. Starving, we both ordered large salads and a large pizza. The salads were huge but we both finished them. Then the pizza came out. They made a mistake and cooked us a x-large pizza. Taking one bit, it was sooooo good. 7 slices later and an empty platter, I was exhausted. I dont think I had ever had that much pizza and sadly I was not super full. The waitress even came by and was amazed that we finished thw whole thing. I tried to explain that we just rode and ran for 5 hours so she did not think we were pigs!!!
|Yes, it was that big and we ate the whole thing!|
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
For some reason my bus rides lately have seemed to get longer and longer. Sunday, I missed the train by a minute. Instead of getting home at 3:07 I got home at 5:15 and suffered an hour and 45 minute bus ride. My phone died half way and I had to listen to the lady next to me smack her dry lips the entire trip. If I was not a crank when I got on the bus from the early morning wake up, hot run and walk around the city or the fact that I was starving, I was definently a bitch getting off the bus. Moving into the city cannot come soon enough.
Here is my favorite site that I like to read while on the bus. I absolutely love it. It has articles on running, for new triathletes, and healthy recipes. It is here where I learned about Thrive and got the idea to start to make my own protein bars. They also agree with me that Thrive's recipes are good for you but not tasty. They have made some modifications.
Check the site out, I am sure you will love it. I got Lauren hooked. The site's basis is that they are non meat eating athletes that can compete. Dont worry, you dont need to be a vegetarian to like the site. There is so much cool stuff that does not pertain to food. There is info that may challenge your current ideas, I warn you on that. I eat meat or should say that I eat limited meat. For the first time this week, I am trying to go all veg for the work week. Partly to see if I can and partly because I only had kale, spinach, and aspargus in my fridge went I went to make my lunch this week. We will see how it goes. Hemp protein is not so bad when hidden in other foods. And kale.....i will always be happy eating this.
Enjoy, let me know if you like it.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Its 5:35 am on Sunday morning and I am on the bus heading into the city. Long run day. Well, a loop of the park, then a NYRR 4 miler. It was a rude awakening when the alarm went off at 4:55 and all I wanted to do is roll over. The only thing that got me out of bed was thinking of the lunch at Peacefoods after the run with Lauren.
After almost three weeks off or really lighter activity, I am back trying to get into my routine. Its 5 weeks to Providence. I am no where near ready. My hamstring has been a thorn in my side and is taking its time to get better. I have been going to PT twice a week and have been allowed to work out on a level of 3 out of 10 on pain scale. Some days, that is 50% effort and others I have been able to get to 75%. I am closer to 85% now with increased distance so I am hoping I will continue to move forward. Any free time right now is spent icing, stretching or wearing compression shorts to baby my leg. Some days I think I am crazy to do all of this but I do not want to give up on my goal yet.
This whole thing has taught me so much on patience and being smarter as an athlete. I have joked about being Superwoman in the past and in all reality I am just like everyone else (shocker). I have spent the last few weeks reading and learning what I could do differently to prevent this next time. I just finished a great book called Thrive by Brendan Brazier that speaks to how to efficiently eat to allow your body to recover faster. All the donts in his book, I was doing. Biggest one: lack of sleep. I am sure most of you could have guessed that one. I am starting to try to add some of his theories into my diet. Pretty interesting since he is a vegan (I am currently a meat eater) and a lot of the ingrediants are new to me. It had been so much fun making my own energy and protein bars and gels and knowing the value each ingrediant is adding to your diet. Since I love to cook, I have been I hooked. I warn you, some of the stuff I have turned out has not been great. Flavor piece I am playing with.
Back on course.... The next few weeks are going to be littered with runs, bike rides, and the days I am most looking forward to, 3 hour bike rides with a long run after. Lauren and I did a 40 mile bike ride last weekend. It was great to be out and my legs were not tired but the last thing I wanted to do after was run. Next weekend will be my first long one, should be interesting.
I will post a little later some of my protein bar successes.