Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yay... I know!

Your eyes do not deceive you, my friends, that is the first snow we have had here in Omaha. It fell during the day on Wednesday and although it was not enough to break out the sleds or the cross country skis it was really pretty. It was cold enough that it stayed on the ground for a couple of days and never casued the streets to get messy. Love that! It definitely made the 5 mile run on Thanksgiving morning wonderful. Did, I mention, YAY!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Do you mind the cool weather?

The temperature is dropping, and that is fine with me. I love summer but I also love winter, spring and fall. This time of year, the weather is brisk (although it was 70 degrees yesterday). Today it was 39 degrees when I got home from the pool. Wet hair and 39 degrees = cold! It is also getting dark at about 2 pm in the afternoon and it has totally messed up the "babies" routine. Brick thinks it would be super to eat dinner at 4:30 pm and then go to bed around 5:30. That would be fine if it didn't mean that he was ready to get up at 4:30 am. I like to run early in the morning but not that early! I have been giving them a snack at 5:00 pm to tide them over till dinner. Here is Brick working on a hickory smoked bone filled with peanut butter. (An ideal doggy recovery food.)

On a non-triathlon related note...

Mr KT raked the entire yard and swept off the driveway about 4 pm on Saturday.
These pictures were taken on Sunday morning. Yeah, and our leaves are falling on our neighbor's yards on both side. Good thing we rent, right?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I need a thing...

I sorta feel like this is the first time in my life where I have spare time. Triathlon season is over. I am supposed to be going lighter on the training. I am not in school, I am not studying for anything. I am not planning anything or really have any projects going. What am I supposed to be doing?

I have been thinking about things I would like to do... my scattered brain needs to see them written down, so that is what I am going to do. In future posts I am going to write about ways to put these thoughts into actions. Feel free to skip this stuff if you aren't interested. I won't be offended.

#1. I want to get more involved with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). Sarah Reinertsen is my most favorite triathlete of all time. She is fast, ripped, and has her priorities in the right place. Fantastic. CAF has helped her and she is giving back. This is a cause I wholeheartedly believe in.

#2. I want to learn to play my guitar better.

#3. I want to do more art. Photography, painting, drawing, creating... I have not done as much of this since I graduated from undergrad. I feel like all my creativity is being squelched.

#4. I want to run faster. Period.

#5. I want to get back into rock climbing. I miss it a ton. Again, something I haven't done much of since undergrad.

#6. I want to do a little bit of traveling. I am a Midwestern girl, really haven't been out of the Midwest other than a foray to Arizona for half a year.

Now... time to get this stuff going!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Run, Bike, Decorate

Had a nice easy 4 mile run this morning with Kona and then a moderate 1 hour ride this evening with Mr KT. In between I did some shopping with my momma. This evening after I went to say happy birthday to a friend of mine I finished decorating some Turkey Cookies. Sounds strange I know, but look how cute they turned out.

My mom sent me this recipe and I just had to make them. They almost turned out like the picture. Not bad. I did change a few things... like I made the sugar cookies from scratch because the pre-made ones are yucky. I also made my own chocolate frosting. Yum, yum.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Shield your eyes...

I totally skipped out on my swim tonight so that I could lift weights.

I feel extremely guilty about this but oh well. It was worth it. You should see me. I am ripped.

EWWWWWWWWWWWW! But not that ripped. Wish this guy would have been around when I was taking anatomy. Who needs to dissect a cadaver when you can see it all through the skin.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A great way to improve your outlook...

I was grumpy today. I had been having stomach issues... not a bug or illness but just my day to day touchy system. Sometimes, I just have to stop eating and reset. That seems to work the best for me. Usually though, I don't have to go for so long. So I ate dinner last night at 5:30 pm. (It was early but I was super hungry and didn't want to snack.) That did not go so well. Since I am not Tri-Dummy, you are not going to get any more details, just take my word for it. Anywho, I rode on the trainer last night and tried my best to ignore it. I still felt bad this am so no breakfast. I ended up having to work through lunch with our DME (durable medical equipment) guru doing wheelchair repairs and one seating system eval. I was getting really grouchy and impatient by this time and my body language was rather obvious as is not uncommon for me (at least I am aware). I went in an hour early to work this morning so that I could do a trail run during the afternoon while it was still light. I talked the DME vendor into going with me. I mean, he runs, he ran a half marathon 8 months ago and has been on the treadmill maybe three times since then. =0) It was a great run! And while the leaves make it feel like every valley on the trail is a death-trap, it was beautiful. We saw about 6 deer, an owl, heard a screech owl and lots of other little wood creatures. It was cool but not cold, sunny but not hot. Just fantastic. We did two separate loops of the park for about a 45 minute run. I was so not grouchy afterwards and have felt great since then. I even made an egg sandwich for dinner tonight and ate! So 24 hours later, I have been fed. The only downside, I didn't get to take Kona-baby on the run. Maybe next time.

Kona and her stick.

Babies in the backyard.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Things that inspire...

I am on a quest tonight for things that inspire...

I seem to be in some need of that. Maybe it is because there are no more races to be raced and I have extra time because I have been told several times to ease up the training for the off season. I don't like to ease off. I want to be out there working hard... all the time. =0)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Eat Like an Athlete: Part Last

Alright all, now for the good stuff...

First of all... I took so many notes at this clinic that I am hardly scratching the surface.

Recovery practice:
* Do this after tough workouts... that would include 60-75% HRmax, bike rides > 3 hrs, training or practices > 2 hrs
*Intensity - tempo workouts > 20 min of hard intervals >15-20 total minutes > 85% HRmax
*Hard day: daily workouts added time > 2-3 hrs
*Two or more workouts per day

Within 20 min you need 1 L of fluid.
Within 1 hr: balanced meal

If the workout was really hard and long e.g. bike rides or bricks > 5-6 hours, runs > 3 hrs, swim practices 4+ hrs/day, long races etc. Do your recovery practices and then eat 30-50 g of carbs every 1-2 hour until bed.

So... replace sweat losses with the whole weigh yourself before and after stuff.

Eat within 20 minutes after the difficult workout even if you aren't hungry. You need 1/2 gm carb/lb of body weight. This is the time for cookies, bars, recovery drinks with protein in them, chocolate milk, ice cream, whatever it is that you want that is full of carbs. This food can be of the high glycemic variety. Take this with you to wherever it is that you are doing the training or racing. DON'T TRY TO FIND IT AFTERWARDS.

As far as fueling during a race; very specific to the individual. Here are some things to think about...

*For gastric emptying the most tolerable solution is 6%. That means, 6 gms of carbs per 100 mL of fluid or 60 gms in 1000 mL (4 cups). Gatorade is a 6% solution for instance.

*She talked about electrolytes and how after 4 hours of working out, that is when they are most important to replace.

*Electrolytes and carbs help fluids absorb as well as the other way around.

*You need 24 oz/hr if losing 1L/hr. Think about how much that actually is... especially since you want to spread it out over the whole hour. That is 6 oz every 15 mins or 8 oz every 20 minutes. If you are running 8 minutes miles and can get 6 oz at every other aid station. Wow, seems like a lot. I know that I NEVER get 6 oz down at aid stations from those little tiny cups.

*Carb needs during endurance events are 60-80 gms/hr trying to spread it out over the hour to maintain a constant blood sugar. It is best to mix sugars because the absorption rates are increased that way. Look at the packaging but just for example say that the Gatorade you are drinking has 40 gms of carbs in 24 oz, you still need 20 more grams of carbs in that hour.
- the best form of sugar to take in is glucose (dextrose) because there are less conversions needed for the body to use it. Powdered Gatorade has glucose and sucrose to make a 6% solution. Maltodextrin is usually found in gels and Cliff Blocks. This would work too. Just train with what you are using on race day, obviously. One thing that was really interesting is that the premixed Gatorade in the bottles has fructose and sucrose. Fructose is the least desirable of the sugars because it stays in the gut and pulls in H2O causing bloating and stomach aches.

*Protein in sports drinks like Accelerade for example is not helpful during the race according to Dr. Shulman. Definitely better for recovery.

*Take a sports drink 30 or 40 minutes into training run/ride and right away in a race. Also, don't feel like you have to do a whole gel at once, it might behoove you to spread it out.

There was a ton more info but I think that is probably enough of that on the blog. If there are specific questions about race day, or the week leading up to, she also talked about that. I would be happy to pass that on if you all want, just let me know.

I promise more photos and less nutrition info in the next post.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Eat Like an Athlete: Part 2 (Daily diet routine)

I have had a couple of people ask for more specifics on the nutrition info from the running clinic. There was a TON of information and I would be happy to hit the highlights but remember that I am by no means, an expert on this stuff. Credit goes to Dr. Deborah Shulman of Fort Collins, CO.

On Saturday we talked about the glycemic index which basically is a measure of how much a carbohydrate will raise blood sugar which stimulates insulin which causes sugar to leave the blood stream and be stored in the muscles as glycogen or as fat. You do not want to have high insulin levels pre-exercise because then your body can't metabolize or break down fats. Basically it makes you feel blah. (FYI, protein powders spike insulin.) But immediately after exercise, you do want the insulin stimulated. This helps to rebuild muscles (protein) and increase the ability of the body to store glycogen. (Now is the time for the protein powder or recovery drink with protein in it.)

Next we talked about food groups. Which we all already know about. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, get all the calcium and protein you need, and get 2-3 servings of *good* fats each day.

Her philosophy is called Dr. Ds Diet Routine. It is all based on how food affects the brain. For me, the take away message was eat real, minimally processed foods with carbs every 3-4 hours. I happen to run first thing in the morning and she suggested that we start on an empty stomach because your blood sugar should be alright. (Not for everyone but did apply to me.) If working out longer than 90 minutes, about 25-30 minutes in, take some sports drink. And then always eat within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. So here is the schedule that was worked out for me, following her guidelines.

Time wake up: 6:00 am
exercise: 6:15 am
breakfast: 7:30 am

Breakfast should be high fiber carbohydrates and should be within 2 hours of waking. Suggestions are one whole grain serving (40 g carbohydrates) and 1 milk. Fruit (not juice) and a source of fat are optional. She really tried to steer us away from smoothies for breakfast because it spikes insulin but if it is being used as a recovery practice I am sure that would be different. She also said... "if you are not hungry for breakfast, eat it anyway."

Snack: 10:30 am (3 hours after breakfast)
Lunch time: 12:00 pm (+1-2 hours after light snack or +3-4 hour after breakfast)

1.5-2 servings (3-4 oz) protein servings, 1-2 grains, 1 milk, 1-2 vegetable

Lunch should be emphasis on higher protein and vegetables. Also include a grain and milk source. Lower carbs. The reasons behind this are that protein increases alertness during the afternoon. This helps to reduce that blah feeling you get about 3 in the afternoon. The protein also helps to control your appetite later in the day. Always a good thing. Also, since you need three servings of veggies this is a good time to get one of them. Unfortunately, the amount of vegetables on a sandwich isn't enough to count usually.

Snack: 3:00 pm (+3 hours after lunch or 1.5-2 hours before exercise)

This snack should be low glycemic carbs, about 20-30 g of healthy carbs. This would be like fruit, trail mix, 1/2 a sandwich, etc.

Exercise: 5:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 pm (2+ hours before bed)

The emphasis at dinner time is carbs and 2 servings of veggies. This meal should be small to medium in size. The carbs will help you sleep. It seems like a lot to me but 1/2 to 3/4 of the meal should be vegetables. Milk or fruit could be added to round out the days nutrition. Although you are eating carbs at this meal, you don't want to go to bed with high blood sugar, so eat at least 2 hours before.

One thing that was good to hear was that salsa counts as a vegetable so you can smother enchiladas or burritos! Usually athletes can manage the amount of sodium this brings on.

A couple of other side notes (if you have actually made it thus far) are...
*coffee is okay in moderation
*soda is not ok in any amount, not diet, not regular
*water is more important than anyone gives it credit for but you should not chug it, drink 6-8 oz at a time so as not to dilute your blood
*juice is high in sugar so it is not something you should grab first

This is the overview on daily diet stuff. The next post will be about the recovery practices that we learned about as well as race day nutrition which we didn't go into quite as much because it is so individualized.

PS! What do you all think about the new look? Hard to read, better, worse, still up for debate as I get used to it. Expect more changes.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Eat Like an Athlete: Part 1

This weekend I have been spending my time at a two day running clinic put on by Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital. The main focus is nutrition which is information that you all know I desperately need. The name of the program is Eat Like an Athlete.

It was a super interesting day. One of the things that is really nice is to have the nutrition information targeted at athletes. We just have different needs than the average Joe who is next door sitting on the couch, eating Doritos, watching the Huskers get creamed on TV. I actually learned that I am not eating enough. Yay. That is a good problem to have. I need to try and revamp some things in my diet.

Anyway, the speaker is Dr. Deborah Shulman from Colorado. More info on her website so check it out if you have time to spare. Anyway, she is an endurance athlete having competed in many mountain endurance races and, I believe, a HIM in 2002. It is interesting to hear the perspective of a distance athlete who is incredibly knowledgeable about nutrition, physiology, and the psychology of these kind of events.

Today we talked about BMI, glycemic index, the food groups, and what and when to eat daily and for recovery. Tomorrow is more about what to eat while competing. At the end of the day we did a 1 hour group run. There were 65 participants in the class but only about 10 of us stuck around for the run. I hung back with a gal that was two years behind me in physical therapy school. She was not feeling so hot so we didn't try to keep up with the group. Another guy fell back who was also not feeling so hot and at that point the others were too far ahead for me to catch up with. We ended up turning around a little early and made it into a 40 minute run. I am not sure I could have hung with the other group anyway. I really want to be faster.

On that note, I talked to a buddy tonight about being faster and he said that he would be willing to help me out. He is super, rock star fast, like Dash in the Incredibles. So that will be cool and super nice of him.

Anyway, more about the running clinic after tomorrow's lecture.