A day that had totally smelled of poo, ended on a high note (literally, someone let their dog have a PF Chang sized BM near my car). The high note is...FINALLY running 5 miles (on solid ground). let's say, 7 minute pace never felt so hard. My lungs were too busy throwing a party to get any sort of oxygen delivered.
The past week has been one of consistent fatigue, large quantities of salads and scones from Jett City Espresso, bike cleaning, cold weather and snotty gloves and arm warmers. I mean seriously, you may not sweat much with low temps but you sure lose a ton of fluid from the snot waterfall. Either way, work was done...and it was goooood! I'm not sure what made us ride in 41 degree weather. I'd like to say it's because like any good woman, the bike requires constant attention, long painful experiences that you'll never forget, a phone call for every minute you're late because of training(doesn't apply here) and cuddling. But seriously, women are great.
Battling ups and downs following an injury can be tough AND draining. I felt like a tripod. A swim, bike run tripod. Picture a little red headed kid kicking one of my legs out, which means totally overcompensating with the other two sports. Needless to say, I've been fortunate enough to keep some base fitness, with tons of friendly words of encouragement along the way. However fun aqua jogging may be, it's time to say "goodbye for now". I'll also be saying goodbye to my AARP card, thursday bridge tournaments, poor spatial awareness while driving..etc.
Something amazing will be happening this week. I'll finally be training with POWER! Which should have happened awhile ago I suppose. It wasn't without a great helping hand that I could attain this asset. However, my bike workouts will probably be more painful than ever before. A tiny screen will be staring me saying "that all you got"? "Seriously, only 220 watts"? "I'm pretty sure your 4 year old niece can hold that"! At the end of the day, it's another great tool we use to see how badass we are on Strava?? Right?? All of us cyclist/runners are closet Strava punks. Hoping that we get a sick tail wind to get that top speed right??? KOM this, TSS that...PR here, Avg power there. Train!
So this week will consist of testing 6 pairs of running shoes I've purchased over the last month. At least buying them made me feel like I would run again. YES, they are all highlighter colors and YES, they make you run way faster. Oh and by the way, minimalist shoes are getting a little out of control. Am I right? Pretty soon we'll be spending $90 for a pair of running shoes made from rice paper and papyrus! Either that or we'll simply go to a running store and they will sprinkle dirt on our feet since it gives us a more "natural" foot strike when our foot is already dirty. Stick with what's been working and keep running without injury! It's just a "thing" we are doing and will pass.
San Juan is March 17th so I'm pretty excited! I've never traveled to such a place and really hope I come home disease free, bike in hand. Finally, I ended up making some really great meals. Simple ingredients with the right seasoning can go a long way. The delicious Bison Filet with Egg was a hit. I followed that with a sautéed red pepper salad with brussels sprouts, asparagus, red cabbage and spinach. I also made my first homemade pasta sauce with roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic, onion and fresh basil. I plopped it onto some spaghetti squash and spinach, added some meat and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also spent 8 hours in a military training concept called resiliency...where I found out I still doodle to keep myself from falling asleep:) Good things all around. Remember to get ahold of me if you'd like to one day own your own business and make your own hours:)
This past week was built and designed with one thing in mind....TITS (Time In The Saddle). I know for a moment you "non-cyclist" were like, "Whoa, a week dedicated to TITS sounds awesome". Think again! My first experience with the US Military Cycling Team has come to an end, however the epic adventure will NEVER be forgotten. The LARGE amount of planning and logistics involved was seamlessly managed by some top notch guys. Thank you to everyone who enabled us to focus on 100+ mile rides, race tactics, time trials and regimented recovery. With a focus on safety, quality workouts and team building, I'm set up for a successful race season! Some highlights:
- Multiple Century rides with out any saddle complications (458 total miles, 6 days)
- Epic 20 mile TT on the Suncoast Trail (4th Overall)
- Racing tactic advice and group training with Jeb Stewart
- Finally running off the bike for a few miles (without 100% pain)
- Proven results with Protandim, feeling fresh the ENTIRE time (2X a day for camp)!
- FIRST EVER ROAD RACE!! Great experience!
- Meeting/riding with the best cyclists in the US Military!
The whole event wouldn't have been possible without tons of support. This is a non-military funded team and requires a lot of sponsorship dollars to operate at the professional level! PLEASE, help the cause. The team supports many wounded veterans who would otherwise be blind to the benefits this team offers. For Military athletes, it's incredibly hard to compete at the professional level (since we also have a full time job and have to deploy) THANK YOU to the amazing sponsors who give so much! Check out the following brands in the picture below, show them some love!
And then.....There was recovery...and food
Recovery is still an ongoing process, waking daily with a stiff shin/calf. I truly believe attitude is everything though. You MUST find a way to stay positive and push through any negative aspects, otherwise you'll be spinning your wheels. I have to remind myself "Dude, you've got two good legs, swim and bike until your face falls off". I suppose that's the beauty of training in three disciplines. I've shown much improvement with weekly massage and visits to Dr. Rubin. Acupuncture, Cold Helium laser, Active Release Therapy and good old fashioned REST has been my prescription. ANYWAY, enough whining right? It's time to talk about the most important part of recovery...FOOD! It's what keeps me going and my second passion in life.
Hard training requires delicious, wholesome recovery food. A solid balance of carbs, protein and fat is all we are really looking for here. Basically, those who know me well will say it's rare to find me without food in hand. Focus on the foods, not the nutrients. If you consume a lot of green or brightly colored veggies, prepared without all the heavy oils/butters, don't even start to feel bad about eating often. Keep your diet simple and know your body but also shop smart. Convenience is the enemy in this country. Take the time and make yourself something wholesome. Eat better, feel better, look better! E-mail me if you want to know specific nutritional advice since I'm certified in sports nutrition (indeed, I just gave myself a high five).
With the race season right around the corner, I'm super stoked about the fitness gains that are ahead. There are a few local athletes to compete with this year and Damn, they are getting even faster. I'm constantly looking to represent positive, athlete minded organizations and would LOVE suggestions. Also, if I can help you achieve your goals as a coach or a just a good friend, let me know...and support your local shops!
If you're looking for a new, non pharmacudical to improve the state of your life, I'd love to share:)
I'm positive, NrF2, Oxidative Stress and Protandim will be in your daily vocabulary future.