“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Have a great weekend!

 

I’m currently traveling for business and I’m noticing something and I wanted to see if I’m the only one noticing this.  Today, on my first flight, I sat next to a triathlete and avid runner.  I’ve overheard people behind me discussing running Tough Mudders, I saw a guy in the airport wearing an Ironman finisher shirt.  It isn’t just today either, it seems like nearly everywhere I go I’ve been seeing this trend of triathletes and endurance athletes…am I the only one?

This guy that I sat next to on my first flight is also a big proponent of the paleo diet, so he gave my some insights and things to try when I get back.  Anybody have any thoughts on the paleo diet?

So, am I the only one noticing a trend towards more fitness or am I just seeing this now because I’m in the sport?

I wanted to share one of my new favorite treats that we have been making lately.  They’re quite similar to no bake cookies and are quite tasty.  As I said in my Improving Nutrition post, I really am making an effort to watch what I eat and improve my eating habits.  With that said, it is pretty difficult for me to get through a day without sweets…quite difficult actually.  This recipe has come in handy and really helps when I get a snack crave.

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I don’t know if they look all that great in the picture, but I sure like them!  One little variation we did which I liked was to mix half chocolate chips and half peanut butter.  It has been a great snack for me to keep in the fridge at work for when the munchies come along.  They really are a healthy little snack because they have peanut butter, oats, coconut,  and flax seed…outside the chocolate chips, its a very healthy energy packed meal.  Anyway, I don’t foresee this turning into a food blog, but I’m guessing I should be concerned that I am reposting something from a blog called Joyously Domestic…anyway, the recipe can be found here.  Enjoy!

Some of you may not believe this post but it is the true story of my next door neighbor and his path to his first triathlon fourth child.  A few months ago, my neighbor Nicolas and I were talking and I told him about the triathlon I had just started training for.  He said he had thought about doing a triathlon before but had just never followed through with it.  We talked about the date of the race I was doing and he said that his wife was due with their 4th child a few weeks after the race.  He thought she would probably have the baby a little early but it should still be a couple weeks before the race.  He thought he would be fine for the race with the baby coming a few weeks later.

The months went by with training and we both got more and more excited for the race.  Eventually, the week of the race came.  A few days  before the race we were talking about the upcoming race and he mentioned that his wife was already dilated to a 4.  I asked him, are you sure she’s not going to have this baby before the race?  He said probably not, she usually does this for awhile before the baby is born.  I didn’t think too much of it but I had my doubts about whether or not he would be able to make this race.

The morning of the race we rode up together to get our transition area all set up.  Nicolas had thought about doing the olympic distance race which started at 7:30 but he later decided against it.  We got to the race venue and set up our transition area and watched the start of the olympic race to see a couple friends start out.  About 5 minutes after the olympic start, we headed back up to transition and Nicolas talked to a friend for a few minutes.  While walking away from them, he pulled his phone out of his pocket, and said oh I missed a call from Natalie and she left a voicemail.  He started listening to the voicemail, and immediately started sprinting back towards transition…and I felt the need to follow!  After listening to the voicemail, Nicolas put his phone down and said, she’s having the baby!  He ran into transition (which was closed) and the race director was wondering what was going on.  I had to tell him that his wife was having a baby!  He bought the excuse and let us pull out his gear.  We grabbed everything and put it in his truck and off he went in a whirlwind.  From there, I didn’t have a clue what happened until later because I was doing my race.

I later found out that Nicolas barely made it home in time to take Natalie to the hospital.  They arrived to the hospital about 20 minutes before the baby was born!   Nicolas missed his first triathlon, but made it just in time for the birth of his 4th child, Coleson.  It was a wild experience for me and I can only imagine how it was for them!

This past week was my birthday, and I wanted to continue getting triathlon gear for the upcoming season.  I asked my coach to take a look at my bike and he said that my bike was fine unless I wanted to spend some decent money on an upgrade.  I wasn’t really looking to spend a bunch of money on a bike but he suggested upgrading the frame.  After looking into frame upgrades, I went to bike shop to see what they had.  They had a clearance on a bike my size, and it was pretty tough to say no!  Before diving into the new one, here’s the bike I rode last year:

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The blue and yellow meanie is my old 2002 Masi Vincere.  It was a great bike and was my first ever road bike.  I had some great times on this bike and raced my first triathlons on it, I also set a new speed record for me on it.  Needless to say, this bike served me very well!

So, I decided to upgrade my bike, I purchased a 2009 Raleigh Competition.  Even though it is a 2009, it is a new bike that the local bike shop had not sold and were clearing out.  Here’s a picture:

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I am so excited to get out on this bike.  It is carbon throughout and has all 105 components.  The bigger thing is that this bike is a much better fit for me than the last bike, it is a 53 cm frame where the older bike was a 56.  I still need to get aero bars and triathlon shoes, so if anyone wants to donate to the cause let me know!  In all seriousness, this bike should last me for years to come and be a fantastic racing bike.  This is definitely my most favorite piece of tri gear so far.  I just wish I could take it out for a spin, but here’s a picture from my Saturday morning run…less than ideal road bike conditions to say the least!

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So any cool tri gear purchases for you all?  This is an expensive sport!

It is important to remember what we’re thankful for…and you can do this outside of Thanksgiving!  Today, I am grateful for a recovery week!!!  For the last 4 weeks I have been nearly killing myself with the Muscular Endurance phase.  For those who aren’t familiar with the muscular endurance phase of triathlon training, it is where you do your workouts for a time period.  So for example, before this recovery week, I was doing leg press at 30% of max for 4 minutes straight.  For that exercise, I would do 220 reps (give or take) in a 4 minute period, and do 2 sets…it is rough!!  But, it is supposedly where you put the “iron” in “ironman” according to my coach.  I still have two weeks left in this phase, but until next week, I am recovering and for that I am thankful!  I most definitely needed to rest a bit.

I’m sure we’re all thankful for recovery weeks, what else are you all thankful for in regards to your exercise?

So I have to be honest…and this is very hard for me to admit…I LOVE to eat. Yes, I know it is hard to believe but I am addicted to food. I love breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Having grown up in the south, I love my food fried, greasy, delicious, and fattening. My favorite meal would have to be breakfast…I love home made biscuits, dried-beef gravy, sausage, bacon, fried apples, hashbrowns, eggs, molasses…just a perfect southern breakfast.

Slowly, but surely, I am learning to improve my eating habits.  One of the biggest things has been portion size.  Rather than waiting that full feeling to stop eating, I have been trying to stop eating before I feel full.  That isn’t the easiest task in the world, but I have been able to do it with some success.  Lately, I have also been doing my best to eat better.  I know that is a vague statement but I have been able to transition to some more healthy choices on the menu and I can honestly say that it is making a big difference.  Something that inspired me was a recent post from Iowa Tri Bob about his recent pursuit of eating better and trying different diets/nutrition “techniques” for lack of a better word.  After reading that, I spent some time reading up on different things he had posted and I made a decision to “improve.”  Yes, I know improve isn’t a quantifiable objective, but that was the goal.  With that in mind, here’s some things that I have discovered.

First, I’m a big fan of green smoothies.  These have been my meal of choice after my weight workouts.  I don’t really have a recipe, but this is generally what I throw in; spinach, skim milk, ice, a small amount of honey, greek yogurt, ground flax seed, and a fruit of some sort…generally frozen peaches or a banana.  I love them and they are extremely nutritious.  In fact, my two little girls generally will ask for them for breakfast now.  So, a green smoothie along with a couple scrambled eggs and a piece of whole grain toast are generally my breakfast after a harder weight workout.

Second, I’ve discovered some ingredients that had not known about before.  These would be flax seed and quinoa.  Flax seed is a fantastic ingredient for so many dishes for a triathlete, it is very high in fiber, omega-3′s, and is very effective in reducing inflammation.  You can add it to just about anything as well.  To get the best results with flax seeds, grind them, the shells are pretty tough to digest apparently.  Quinoa is another ingredient that I had never been exposed to before a couple of months ago at a family party.  It has a huge protein content…among other things.  If you haven’t ever googled quinoa recipes, give it a shot.  You can add quinoa to just about anything and increase its nutritional value.

Before this post gets too long, the main point is that I am finally coming around to the fact that exercise alone can only get you so far…and I am finally getting to be ok with that fact.  The last six weeks, we have had a family health challenge and I decided to actually put some effort into my eating habits and I have seen tremendous results.  So, learn from my mistakes and actually put the effort into eating well.  There’s a whole world of nutritiousness out there that is quite tasty and well fuel your triathlon engine even further than you thought!

So, what are you doing to keep your nutrition and eating in check?

 

This post is a little overdue but I wanted to share it nonetheless.  I’m now 3 months into my training and I have to say that it is going really well.  I just completed the Max Strength phase and it was challenging!  I spent the last 4 weeks in this phase and every week would progressively more weight.  The final week of the phase I was doing low reps of roughly 90% of my max.  Whereas the anatomical adaptation was low weight/high reps, the max strength phase was high weight/low reps.  Here’s how my max changed for each of the given exercises I completed:

Leg Press: 440, 525 – 19.3% increase

Shoulder Press: 220, 210 – 4.5% decrease (??)

Hamstring Curls: 160, 205 – 28.1% increase

Front Lat Pull Downs: 160, 190 – 18.75% increase

Tricep Pull Down – 130, 140 – 7.7% increase

I had increases in every exercise except shoulder press.  I don’t find that very surprising.  I’ve had some nagging shoulder pain that has impacted me most on the shoulder press.  I enjoy the weight exercises and have another month to go but I will definitely enjoy spending more time on the three disciplines.

Since finishing this phase I have spent some time swimming and running.  With swimming, I felt so much more powerful in the water.  It was a very noticeable difference.  With running, my form has been correcting because of all the weight lifting.  I have had a problem with my running form where my feet weren’t quite as linear as they could be.  I have noticed a huge change in that, I have significantly more control as I run.  I am much more linear in my form.

So, I definitely recommend for triathletes.  I haven’t yet raced since doing so much weight lifting but so far I can honestly say that this workout regime has had a huge impact on my preparation so far.

Have any of you coupled weights with your workouts?

Posted: February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

ichoosetotri:

Hi all! I don’t normally post recipes but my wife found this and we made it…very healthy and tasty! Enjoy!

Originally posted on And They Cooked Happily Ever After:

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bites

First full week back to work = a fresh week to start a great series with a yummy little ingredient I’ve been seeing a LOT of lately – Quinoa – reminds me a little bit of Cous Cous, but much heartier and packed with protein.  I’ve come to learn too that it’s a great base for a lot of fantastic recipes too – Quinoa bites in particular.  A while back, I tried these delicious Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bites from Miki’s Kitchen and they were a perfect, healthy snack for anyone out there that is as Buffalo Chicken crazy as I am.  Bites are perfect really – they’re small – they’re cute – you can eat them with your fingers, and it’s generally assumed that you can have one or two extra, cuz’ hey! They’re bite sized!

Why else am I pushing Quinoa? Well, due to it’s protein punch package, it’s…

View original 327 more words

Ali’i Drive Part 2

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Ok, I sat down and watched a few more of these videos and wanted to share my favorite one.  This one is called Cult(ure), and talks about the triathlon culture, fashion faux pas, and even compares triathlon culture to nascar (I have to be honest, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that one).  It is cool to hear these pro’s talk about how they see things.  Anyway…enjoy!