Friday, December 7, 2012

Finding Balance

As I dive deep into the training world again the most important thing to remember is balance.  Years ago I was all about giving up this and that to enhance my performance.  At 42 years old I am wiser and believe it or not, stronger both mentally and physically.  While I'm not stuck in an awful corporate job like I was in 2009, I still have a lot to balance, fortunately though I have a positive and healthy environment this time around, which is a world of difference.

Balance doesn't just mean, "getting it all done".   When considering balance, one has to really focus on the mind and body connection.  For example, if I have an evening date planned with the husband and I spend that day doing a long & hard workout, my mind will be on sleeping, rather than him.  I have seen my athlete friends do that quite a bit, weeks and weeks go by and they can't understand why their spouse seems so distant.  Find the balance.  When considering the mind and body connection, it's also important to remember that regardless of how focused you are on your goal (the mind part), your body gives you messages along the way.  Ignoring those messages are what lead to injury, over training, depression, etc....  How many times have you felt an injury coming on and you ignored it because you had to do that next run?  We're all guilty.  I rarely give my athletes whom I coach more than 1 weeks worth of workouts at a time.  I ask for a detailed summary each week so I can cater the workouts to their busy lives, important dates and energy level.  This prevents them from training through exhaustion or not having energy for life's important moments.

So, I have a had a great couple of weeks of training.  My diet is where I want it to be as is my energy level. I am on a 15 days on with one active recovery day at about day 7 and then a total day of rest that includes a massage.  Today is my rest day and I feel like I'm on vacation (minus 2 meetings and working the shop) but it's rest all the same.

For running I'm at 27 miles a week
Swimming 7,200 yards/week
Cycling 4-6 hours/week
Weight training 3 x's /week

I'm pretty comfortable with this volume through December although I will bump up the running to 35 miles a week as I'm preparing for a 50k in March.

I found a great recipe that I would love to share, it's high in protein with very little fat.
Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili:
*I did substitute the water with vegetable broth for more flavor.

Thank you for reading this blog, I hope it helps offer some motivation for you as we train through the winter months.

Happy Training!

Active Recovery is when you do a light/low heart-rate workout such as an easy yoga class or light swim.  You're keeping the blood moving without zapping energy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Getting into the Groove

I have 1 of 13 months of training complete.  13 months may seem like a long time to train for a race but I'm a firm believer of "periodization".  My training will comprise of 3 periods, period one is October-Feb, 2 is March-July,  3 is Aug-Oct and the race is November.  The first period is where you create the foundation to handle the load. 

My weekly workouts look like this:
Swim: 2x's= 7,500 yards
Deep Water Running= 2x's
Bike= 2-3x's (spin and mountain)
Run= 4 x's
Core & weights 2-3x's.

Here's where I train (care to join me? ;)):
Swim & deep water running: Bangor (Navy Base)
Bike: Spin- Bangor & Kingston Fitness, Mountain Bike- Heritage and Port Gamble
Run- Kingston area road and trails
Core & weights: Bangor & Kingston Fitness

Sleep & nutrition are  as important as the workouts.  While I'm not a vegetarian, I do believe that meat increases inflammation and therefore slows down the recovery process so I have limited  meat to 1-2x's a week.  I have also almost eliminated  processed foods from my diet, the main reason is they're pretty much bad for you & the more something is processed the less nutritional value it has. 

Here are a few of my favorite meals during high training times:
Lentil soup cooked in the crock pot with garlic, carrots, onion, red potatoes and spices
Vegetarian tacos (Rob makes the best)- black beans, rice, rotelle, cilantro,cheese
Quinoa Pasta with roasted garlic and olive oil
Red leaf lettuce with pomegranate seeds, almonds, cranberries, fetta, olive oils and salt

Alcohol & sugar
I do love my Merlot and basically every form of dessert!  At 42 years old I'm past giving up what I love for racing, I learned long ago that balance is best.  So, I allow myself one dessert and 2 glasses of wine each week.  On special occasions that will increase but those amounts are what I aim for.  It's amazing how good dessert tastes when you only get one each week.  Instead of cheap candy, cookies etc.,  it's about baking something delicious.

If you're interested in doing any of the above workouts with me, please comment here or shoot me an email at

Happy training,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gearing up for the World Championships!

It's been 3 years since I completed Ultraman Canada, enough time to forget the pain (mostly) and gear up for round 2.  This time however, it's the Ultraman World Championships.  After all, who qualifies for a World Championship race and doesn't compete?  That would be like making cookies and not eating one.... And, someone has to represent the Pacific North West, looks like no woman from here has ever competed.

Why did I wait so long?  It has taken me a few years to first get past my shark fear.

I remember walking up to the podium the day after Canada, the blisters on my feet were so big that it made putting on flip flops a slight challenge.  As I walked up to the podium, I felt the blisters popping and I feared they were shooting at people like little water guns as I twisted and turned past all the chairs..... So seriously, why would I do it all again? 

We are are all fueled differently, for me it's been dreams, more specifically challenges that appear to be just out of reach.  The absolute joy I feel after achieving something that I once thought  out of reach, well, I just can't put it into words.  Some people have said my ability to weather such hard endurance events is a "gift" or "amazing" or "unimaginable".  The only gift I have is one that anyone could have, it's desire and will.

you just gotta want it.

I will use this blog to keep people informed of my training for the Ultraman World Championships which is: 6.2 mile swim, 261.4 mile bike & 52.4 mile run.  This race will be Thanksgiving weekend 2013 on the Big Island of Hawaii.

It takes a village.......
Please offer my loving husband some relief and come train with me!  He does many of my workouts with me but the poor guys' gotta catch a break sometimes.  Throughout the next 12 months I will be posting key workouts that would be awesome to do with other people, if you're game, I would love your company:)

I look forward to running, biking, swimming & laughing with you.