Saturday, January 18, 2014

Surgery recovery Runs

The treadmill my arch nemesis helped me come up with a blog post today.  I normally always have a very active ongoing random thought trail going on during runs and today was no different.   I wanted to do an hour which should have gotten me a solid 6 miles but my foot had other plans.  About 20 minutes in it started to bother me but I wanted to see if I could push through for at least another mile/10 minutes.   I knew I was in pain and probably making faces but I wanted to see if it got worse or maintained.  

After I hit 3 miles I slowed to a walk to cool down and see if my foot could put up with a few more minutes.  It become pretty apparent that it just wasn't going to happen for me today so I gave up and did my stretching.  At that point a guy who had been helping a woman use weights came over, he was pretty clearly a trainer.  He asked me what injury I was rehabing and I am sure I gave him quite a look because he goes, "Well I could see your face in the mirror when you pushed out that last mile and you looked so determined but in pain."  I laughed and explained about my foot surgery and hope to do a half marathon next weekend.  At that point the woman on the treadmill next to me goes, "that explains it, I was confused why someone who looked like they were in such good shape wasn't doing an incline or going longer than 30 minutes."

Why do we as women feel the need to always judge each other and put down accomplishments of others.  When you are at the gym and see someone working out don't judge their distance or how much weight they are lifting, instead offer some encouragement maybe even just a smile that you know what they are going through.  Everyone is doing their own work out, bettering themselves it isn't for you to judge.  Don't judge their clothes or shoes or hairstyle, you have no idea their situation and what they had to go through to get to the gym that day.   It takes so much energy to be negative and way less to be encouraging and supportive.  We as women need to do.better, we should be proud of all the moms out there who take time for themselves, we should encourage the women who are trying to lose weight, we should never put down someone else's accomplishments. 

I'll get off my soap box now.  

Run: 10 miles
Swim: 2000 meters
Strenth training: 4 sessions

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let's talk about FOOD, baby!

This is a blog topic I NEVER in a million years thought I would address.  In fact my first day with my trainer last year I said, "I will NEVER change my food, don't want to talk about it."  Luckily Rachel realized I was 1) super stubborn, 2) addicted to lucky charms and cherry coke and 3) dedicated and smart.   After my marathon I started thinking about nutrition and got a couple books including the Runner's World Cookbook and also a Nutrition for Triathletes book.  I don't eat terribly and I don't like to think about what I eat but I felt that my stomach/digestive system really failed me during the marathon and I wanted to start looking into it.  

My goal for the New Year was to start making an effort to change and be smarter about what I was eating in order to fuel my training properly.  Prior to the January I quit my cherry coke habit, only giving myself treats at the movies or once a week.  Wow was that hard, and apparently I am the only one in my building drinking it because they took it out of the soda machine!  My vacation to DR was the last time I had caffeinated soda until today, oh today.  My vendor took me out to lunch and we went to BRGR to get burgers and sweet potato fries and a Barqs root beer.  That's right after making such an effort to eat better today I decided sure I deserve a treat, hey a burger is protein and that is what I'm working to increase anyway.  Rationalization, it is a beautiful thing my friends.

Flash forward to 2 hours later and I was tired not not tired, EXHAUSTED, sluggish, miserable.  I did not equate it back to lunch I just figured it was a result of my late night up crafting my sister's shower invites.  I headed to the gym for my training session after downing a bag of peanuts for some protein/ kick in the butt, ok and my bag of skinny pop ( I LOVE IT).  After two rounds of a TOUGH work out I started feeling super nauseous as though I could throw up right there, even light headed and very over heated.  I had to cancel my planned swim because I felt I was so tired/feeling off I felt the swim wouldn't be beneficial.

Talking with Rachel I realized the only thing that was different today was my lunch, my juicy yummy burger, french fries and my root beer.  It was NOT worth it my friends and it screwed up my entire workout plan.  Now the work out I did today was really hard but I should have done better and been able to move straight to swimming.  No more jumping off the better eating bandwagon, especially on a planned double work out day.   When I say better eating I'm not talking a fad diet, clean eating, paleo, carb free, or any of the million other options.  I mean just thinking, taking a minute to plan more fresh fruits and vegetables, adding in protein more often and just making better choices, oh and still having my snack pack pudding for dessert at lunch!

Some Recipe Ideas:

Make Ahead Eggs (I have two of these for breakfast every morning)
PreHeat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking spray in all the cups of a muffin tray
-Crack an egg into each of the cups and add other ingredients as desired, bake for 15 minutes
(I have added ground beefs, green peppers, cheddar cheese, spinach...get creative! I recommend large eggs so they fill the cups but have enough space for add ins)
-Store in a tupperware for about a week or until they smell weird.

Quick N Creamy Chicken Lasagna Makes 12 servings  Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
15 Oven Ready rippled styled lasagna noodles (two 8oz boxes)
4 cups shredded cooked chicken       1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
12 oz cream cheese softended             1/2 cup chicken broth
4 cups marinara sauce (I used an entire jar of meat pasta sauce)    4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Adjust oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put 2 quarts of hot tap water in a 13"x9" baking dish and add noodles soaking for 10 minutes or until soft.  Drain and put the noodles aside.

Combine the shredded chicken with basil, 8 ounces of cream cheese and 1/4 cup of broth.  In a small bowl, mix the remaining 4 oz of cream cheese with the rest of the 3/4 cup of broth.

To assemble, smear 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then assemble 4 layers in the following order: 3 lassagna noodles, pasta sauce, 1 cup of chicken filling, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese.  Once assembled, top the lassagna with remaining three noodles, the cream cheese broth mixture, 3/4 cup of mozarella and 1/4 cup parmesan.

Cover the lasagna with foil coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly throughout.  Leaving the lasagna on the same rack, turn the oven to broil.  Remove the foil and broil for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the lasagna is spotty brown.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes then cut into squares.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Less than 5 months to Eagleman!!

The thought occurred to me this past week that the 5 month mark to June 8th had passed rather unceremoniously as I was sick and super busy at work this week.   If I am going to be completely honest with myself I am no where near where I planned or wanted to be but I think my expectations were unrealistic.   Recovery from surgery is taking longer than I anticipated and I need to step up the dedication after the holidays.   The goal is to swim four days a week, that needs to move from being a goal to a reality.  I need to be doing at least one spin class a week and hopefully getting some runs in addition to my two strength training work outs a week.  

I had foot surgery at the start of December which really threw off any work out plans for that month, essentially I am not that far behind as I intended to start training a month post surgery on January 6th.  My post op visit on Friday made the doctor happy and it continued to make me sad.  Turned out the cyst as not just on the tendon sheath but inside the tendon sheath so they had to go in and cut that sheath causing some extra recovery.  I am cleared to try running on the treadmill which I plan to attempt tomorrow.  If my foot swells at all I'm supposed to stop running but all I can think about is my half marathon scheduled at the end of the month.   Luckily it does seem that my work outs with Rachel are not really causing swelling at all although I need to get some new gym shoes as my current ones are a little worse for the wear.

Let's talk swimming!  Swimming is my weakest sport and it is extremely frustrating to me.  Today I went to a swim session at Riverbank State Park which has a very nice 50 meter pool facility.  Perhaps I have told you about my last experience at a 50 meter pool and if I have you get to hear it again.  Normally I swim in 25 meter pools but one morning Rachel and I got feisty and went to Chelsea which has a nice 50 meter pool and it was packed for lap swim.  Both slow lanes were FULL, the medium lanes were crowded but the fast lane only had two people in it.  After a vote of confidence from Rachel that I could do the fast lane I jumped right in with my goggles up on my swim cap and about three stokes down had a meltdown while trying to put my goggles on but did manage to swim all the way to the end where I got out quickly.   After that no more 50 meter pools for me, until today.  It does feel good to accomplish something that make me nervous before although accomplish might be a strong word.  I think I need to set smaller swimming goals and realize it is difficult for me and smaller goals will be more easily tangible to show success.  I am pretty sure that I never made it all the way down without at least pausing but I did do a ton of laps, I really need to break out my garmin and use it next time.  I rested between every single 50 meter swim, sometimes for a little while and most times just a few minutes.

I tried my hardest to breathe out while in the water, my brain has major issues with that but I think I did it better job today.  I got two AWFUL cramps, at different times in both calves.  I will be working to drink even more water and maybe even wake up early to foam roll before swim instead of the night before.  I just have no endurance at all when it comes to swimming and it is extremely frustrating but I was in awe today of women who actually have fears of the water getting in and swimming.  It is amazing to watch people overcome their fears and work to better themselves!   I'm so proud of each and everyone of them!

Only thing to do at this point is to get my butt to the pool and put in the time and effort to get better, no more whining about it only actions!

Swimming: 1600 meters
Strength Training Workouts: 2

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hello 2014!

Welcome to 2014 the year of Ironman 70.3 training, learning to swim, learning to bike, improving my running times and eating better!

This post is a little late due to my fabulous trip to the Dominican Republic to kick off the New Year with my friend Shawna.  We had a rough 2013 and decided months ago that we wanted to start off 2014 in a big, happy, WARM way so we booked a few days at an all inclusive in Punta Cana.  It was amazing aside from the bugs and the whole having to leave part!

2014 is going to be a pretty big year for me, I can feel it and no that isn't just the spinning and weight lifting I did today.  My schedule is daunting, in fact so daunting that I am FREAKING out man!  I'm excited to accomplish not one but two Ironman 70.3 distance races this year but the level of training is going to be much more than I had for the marathon, mostly because biking and swimming are not strong sports for me even in the slightest.   J had always wanted to do a 70.3 and it took her a LONG time to convince me to do one, in fact she had given up and said I just had to come watch and cheer for her.

While pondering traveling and sitting on the sidelines for a race I started to recap 2013 in my head.  2013 was a pretty big year for me physically but more so personally.  I got divorced, I don't really talk about that much on social media and in fact I'm pretty sure while I have alluded to it I have never written out the word on Facebook or any other website.  Divorce is not a very easy topic to talk about and I feel it is super personal but I thought it important to mention in reference to why I've made some of the decisions I've made.   Running and working out at the gym gave me strength and became my own personal therapy to discover what I could accomplish and how much I could push myself beyond my limits.   Working out centered me while I sold my house, got an apartment in the city, moved and took my name back.  Getting divorced is never easy and everyone has to cope in their own way and just because working out was therapy for me does not mean that would work for everyone.

Phew, ok now we can move on, which is coincidentally is the theme of this year I guess!  I sat there and thought to myself, you NEVER thought you would get divorced or be able to handle it but look at you, you did.  To be clear, I have never been a swimmer, I clearly have never drown but I have never swam laps or really any distance.  The last time I rode a bike I crashed and had a HUGE bruise on my chin.  Knowing all those facts I decided to believe in myself and my dedication to learning and growing as a person and athlete and sign up for not one but TWO 70.3 Distances.

Now that you know how we got to this point can't wait to bring you along for the journey.

Total Distance: 0
Swim: 0
Bike: 0
Run: 0

*spin class is not counting toward bike totals
**Running will likely stay 0 until after my post surgical follow up Friday and it stresses me out but that is another post for another time