Friday, April 30, 2010
Triathlon & Training
Ten tips for a faster triathlon swim in 2010 by pro triathlete Mark Van Akkeren (EverymanTri.com)
The swim can be the scariest and most challenging part of triathlon. This link provides some great tips on how to be comfortable and fast with your tri swim.
The Importance of Mobility: The Hips (Mark's Daily Apple)
Most of us sit way too much (I know I do!) and all this sitting takes a toll on our bodies. Read this great article about the importance of hip mobility and walk you can do to gain mobility back.
General Health and Nutrition
Carbohydrate-Loading Diet (Mayo Clinic)
My dad sent me this great link about carb loading. Mostly people (myself included) eat a big plate of spaghetti the night before a race and call it carb-loading. Turns out proper carb loading starts about a week before the race. Follow these instructions and get a leg up on the competition!
Sweet and Sour Cashew Tofu (Running Around Normal)
Paige at Running Around Normal posted this excellent recipe for Sweet and Sour Cashew Tofu. I think it looks soooo good! I love finding creative new ways to use tofu!
Randomness and Giveaways
Nothing really struck me for this category this week. Any suggestions?
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Masters Swimming is AWESOME! I am in the slow lane which is a change for me, but it is so much fun to swim with others who are of a similar ability as me. Typically when I am at the pool I do a lot of long sets or drills because it is too crowded to do sprints or timed intervals. However, in Masters Swimming we do a great mix of different strokes, intervals and sprints. This was our 90 minute workout from last night:
|1000||5 x 200 warm up|
|450||9 x 50’s - 3 free, 3 choice, 3 IM (increasing speed within each set of three)|
|250||250 Drill: 25 fast kick, 25 fast swim, 25 fists, 25 easy swim *repeat for total of 250 meters|
|1000||5 x 200's: 50 fast fists drill, 50 easy swim, 100 kick very hard (“white water”) with smooth/slow arms|
|700||2 x 350 set (200 easy swim followed by six 25’s (5 sprint, 1 easy)|
My legs were toast at the end, especially after the 5x200's with the hard kicking. I'll be back for more punishment next week...
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I just finished my lunch and already I'm thinking about when and what I can eat next. And it's not like I haven't eaten today. I had raisins before going to the gym, a huge bowl of oatmeal with a banana after the gym, 2 cups of coffee, grapes, 3 munchkins, a few almonds and now a big bowl of soup. What gives?
Anyhow, since I can't stop thinking about food I figured I would ask you all about something that's been on my mind lately. Liquid Nutrition. I usually stick with water during my workouts but the more I see and hear I think that exchanging my water for some liquid nutrition, or using it post-workout, might be a good idea. In the past when an event has called for something more than water I usually just go with Gatorade. However, Gatorade has high fructose corn syrup and a lot of other crap in it. There are so many other types of drinks and mixes out there that I feel like there is something else that might be better.
I've read about a few but I haven't tried anything except Heed mix which was disgusting. I've thought about trying Accelerade, FRS, Infinit Nutrition, PowerBar and a few others. The thing is a jug of this stuff is expensive (way more than Gatorade) and I don't want to buy a big container of something that makes me want to puke. So, I need your help! Do you use sports drinks? What brands to you like? Have you tried anything you don't like? Do you use sports drinks during activity, after, or both?
I am now just four weeks away from my first triathlon of the year. We are repeating the Pine Barrens Sprint Triathlon in NJ (near Atlantic City) on Sunday, May 23rd. This was our very first triathlon last year. Click here if you'd like to read my first race report.
I'm really looking forward to doing this race again. It will be much more fun now that I have a better idea of what I'm doing. This is a great race for early in the season because it is small and friendly (less than 100 participants), the bike is pretty flat and the run is a beautiful trail run.
My 2010 Pine Barrens plan is:
- Skip the baseball game the night before
- Run Faster
I know a few of you have been lucky enough to escape the cold and complete your first 2010 tri under your belt (cough Jon cough), but for everyone else, when is your first triathlon for the year?
Monday, April 26, 2010
I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday off from training to give my hip and shoulder time to recover. I find it truly amazing how a combination of pain and lack of exercise can reek havoc on my emotions. By Friday evening I had a complete breakdown but luckily a good movie (The Blind Side) and a couple of beers and I was feeling better about life.
Even though I didn't do any training the weekend was still full of triathlon! On Saturday morning I drove Sam into Central Park so he could to the group bike ride with Asphalt Green. They went over the George Washington Bridge and then into NJ on 9W. I picked him up three and a half hours later and he recounted the ride to me. In summary, the GW Bridge is crazy and dangerous for biking, 9W is spotty with some nice patches with wide shoulders and others are narrow with traffic whizzing by, and he and about a dozen other riders got ticketed for running a red light in NJ. I want everyone to be safe and I do think cyclists need to follow the rules of the road, however the intersection they went through was a T and they rode through the "top of the T" so they were not risking their safety or the safety of drivers. Also, the intersection is at the bottom of a steep decent where it would be dangerous to attempt to stop a large group of cyclist moving at high speed. I had planned to go on this ride if I hadn't fallen but now I'm glad I skipped it. In fact, after hearing the details of crossing GW Bridge I may be skipping this ride for awhile!
On Saturday afternoon we headed out to Long Island to visit with the guys at Sunrise Tri. Sam has been saving for a new tri bike and he wanted to talk with someone who knew tri bikes well. Sunrise Tri has a great bike program and the staff there are wonderful. I think that he will soon be the proud owner of a new bike! I haven't saved enough for a bike yet but I did get a new pair of Tifosi sunglasses. They have 4 sets of interchangeable lens ranging from clear to a deep tint. I wore my $5 gas station sunglasses for all of 2009 so I finally bit the bullet and invested in a real pair. Other than style it is also important to have glasses with UV protection to keep your eyes safe and healthy!
On Sunday morning we headed to the Bronx to work at the New York Triathlon Club Bronx Biathlon. The weather was TERRIBLE but the racers who made it out did great! Plus, we got to watch Regina race and she placed 1st in her age group. Congrats Regina!!! You deserved it!
I'm going to head out on the bike tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed for a pain-free ride!
Friday, April 23, 2010
Triathlon & Training
Thoughts from a (new) USAT Referee (or…what I’m looking for) (DC Rainmaker)
I found this great post with a summary of important USAT regulations via a link in Leah's blog, Because I Tri.
Big Wednesday (Chuckie V's Blog)
Chuckie V. is at it again with another interesting and insightful post on training. This post focuses on how to design your training program. I love the idea of a "Big Wednesday" although it isn't really feasible for me given my work schedule. Do you mix in any "big" training days midweek?
Boston 2010 (Ryan Hall)
Leah (Because I Tri) was on a roll this week - she posted this link to Ryan Hall's experience with the Boston 2010 marathon and what it feels like to not win.
General Health and Nutrition
Cheap and Healthy Foods (Exercise in Frugality)
Kate reposted about the list of 10 cheap, healthy foods and added a few of her own. A lot of these are staples in our house like bananas, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, beans, peanut butter, and peas. What are your favorite cheap & healthy foods?
Randomness and Giveaways
Stay Focused: 300+ Tips for Staying Focused (Wise Bread)
We can all use help with staying focused whether it be in work, at home or in training.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Well, this morning I ended up in a bit of a cluster f*ck. I had turned onto 5th Avenue but when I had to make a right onto the side street where the car was parked there was a NYC bus sitting in way. It was just idling there (in the lane opposite the bus lane). It was starting to move slowly as I was coming up behind it but it wasn’t going fast enough. I was faced with the choice of going around the bus, getting up on the sidewalk or stopping and unclipping behind the bus. I should have unclipped and gotten off my bike. Instead, I decided that the curb was short and I could just ride up on the curb. Do you see where this is going yet?
So I tried to “jump” the curb, at an angle, while going about 4mph. This resulted in a spectacle crash where I fell hard on my left side with my bike on top of me. I slammed my head, shoulder and hip into the concrete sidewalk. It hurt like hell. Sam was standing next to the car waiting for me and he saw the whole thing happen. He ran over to check on me and which point I started bawling. The pain and the shock of the fall had my nervous system frazzled.
Once we were home I ate a bowl of cheerios and a cupcake for breakfast. This helped soothe my emotions but my body was a different story. My head was (and still is) throbbing. I actually fell so hard that I cracked my helmet. It scared me a bit when I saw that – just imagine what my head would look like if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?! I’m sure I will also be sporting a giant bruise on my left hip. If you’re lucky I’ll show you pictures.
On the bright side I have wanted a new helmet for quite awhile because I think the one I have is ugly and girly but that was a dumb reason to buy a helmet. Now, I have a very good excuse to get a new one!
That ladies and gentleman is how not to ride in traffic.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I'm sorry for my absence and sparatic posting. It has been nearly 2 weeks since my last post! Things have just been mighty crazy...
- My parents came for a long weekend (we ate great food, listened to some excellent music and took in a Broadway show).
- I flew to Austin, TX for 4 days for work where I escaped a close call with a flock of grackles on a morning run (kidding... sort of...) and I got to "meet" Lance Armstrong (I use meet loosely as he was standing about 10 feet from me but I didn't actually shake his hand or anything).
- After Austin we went straight to a wedding in Southern New Jersey where we caught up with old friends and had way too much fun in the photo booth.
As for training, I've had my first outside ride (liberating), my first group run (fun), my first group ride (interesting), and a few swims too. I promise many more details to come soon but first - birthday cookies!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Killer Duathlon Workout at the Track (Steve in a Speedo?! Gross!)
I wish I could do this kick ass workout but I don't have a trainer. Plus, my legs might actually fall off which would really impede my ability to run and bike...
General Health and Nutrition
No kidding...junk food is as addictive as cocaine or nicotine new study finds (EverymanTri)
No wonder I can't help myself from stopping at that candy bowl full of Hershey Kisses...
Stuff Won't Make You Happy, Experiences Will (Unclutter.com)
Erin at Unclutter.com writes about research that we experience more joy from experiences and not from stuff. While triathlon isn't exactly a "minimalist" sport we do spend a good chunk of change on membership fees and race registration. Just another way to justify this crazy sport of ours :)
Randomness and Giveaways
Who Want's Some Monkey? (The Princess Runner)
For a chance to win some Monkey Shake mix head over to Stephanie's blog and leave a comment (you can also follow her blog and blog about it for extra entries!). I've heard great things about Monkey Shake and I'm really hoping to win this one!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
It was excellent and it made six huge portions! It was enough for two big dinner portions and two tupperwear containers for lunches. For dinner we ate it warm but for lunch I kept it chilled and it was great both ways!
Pasta Bean Toss
Refuel postrun with this carb-and-protein packed recipe, created by Joan Salge Blake, nutrition professor at Boston University.
1 pound whole-grain penne
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
5 carrots, cut julienne-style
2 cups raw broccoli florets
12 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans
1 15-ounce can white kidney beans
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package. While pasta cooks, in a large frying pan saute onions and garlic in oil until tender (two minutes). Add remaining vegetables, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and basil. Simmer for four minutes. Add beans and simmer for two minutes or until veggies are tender. Add pasta and cheese, and toss. Serves six.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Last Friday I had a lane of my own for the first 550 meters (not that I was counting). Then one person jumped in but she was very considerate and we shared just the two of us for another 500 meters. Then two very fast guys got in the lane. She moved over but I stayed put. I was able to go about 300 meters before they were on my tail and I stopped to let them by. Then I did a short cool-down and left. I swam about 1500 meters before jumping out. Nothing too impressive but I wasn't focused on volume. Most importantly I left the pool satisfied instead of angry.
On my way to the office I found some more NYC Randomness. Do you remember the marinara and pickles? Well the same phone booth was offering new menu items:
Ice Skating - Outside - 75 degrees
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The pool was not too crowded and I think I managed to get in around 2800 meters. It was crowded enough that I gave up doing a set workout after 1500 meters and just swam when I could and stopped when the 14 year old pushed off the wall well I was in mid-flip turn and doggy-splashed his way to the other side.
After swimming we refueled with PB&J and headed to Central Park for a long run. I did 8 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes. I was so happy with this run! My average page was 9:30/mile and files 5 and 6 were 9:05 and 9:04! This is a BIG change from half marathon training last fall when it took me 66 minutes to run 6 miles – a 11:00/mile pace!
After the run we cleaned up and met family for a dinner at an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steak House, Churrascaria Plataforma. Sam died and went to meat heaven. All you can eat meat – they just come to your table with swords full of meat. There is also an excellent "salad bar" with sushi, shrimp cocktail, salad, pasta, and fresh veggies. I’m 95% vegetarian but I made a small exception and had a delicious piece of sausage. For my birthday dinners we eat at vegan restaurants. It's a wonder we can share a kitchen!
On Sunday we woke up with major food comas and worked the March Madness Biathlon in Central Park. I had the chance to meet to great bloggers in person. First I met Regina (Chiu on This) – she was racing in the biathlon. She had a pretty great race considering she had a 50 mile ride the day before. Check out her race report for all the details.
While Regina was racing I met Jon from SwiCycloRun. He was there to cheer for Regina and then he was going to run the Colon Cancer 15K run. Even after standing in the cold and cheering on Regina and some coworkers at the 4 mile he still had an awesome race and PR'ed (read his race report). Jon is heading down to New Orleans in a few weeks for his first 70.3 of the season! He has been training hard all winter and he is going to do great!
I hope everyone has a great weekend! The forecast for the north east is looking excellent and I'm hoping to enjoy my first ride of the year!