avocado

Uniquely Normal

How do you define normal? Is normal something it’s good to be?  Of course not—we are all unique, all different, and each have our own special abilities and strengths.  However, there are some times when each of us as unique individuals come together to do normal things. Where am I going with this?  Well, first off, it’s the first time in a while I’m not just writing a race report so that’s a good start!  But I’ve had some talks with some really good friends lately that have been helping me put a lot of things in perspective.  One of the things I was reminded of was a previous blog post I did where I realized that I can’t let my eating disorder define me.  I can’t let the eating disorder be an excuse for justifying my behaviors.  Like, “it’s ok that I’m skipping swim practice to workout on my own—it’s because I have an eating disorder” or, “I’m going to eat dinner on my own instead of with friends because my eating disorder is making me do it, so its fine.”  No, it’s not fine.

Many of you know I basically follow a paleo diet (for me that’s no grains or legumes) and I work closely with my nutritionist to monitor this.  But something that was brought to my attention lately was—is it a good idea for someone trying to beat their eating disorder to be following a restrictive diet?  While I truly enjoy eating paleo and can’t really think of anything I would change, I thought this was a very good point.  It’s preventing me from going out with friends for dinner or other social situations… and maybe I’m just using it as a way to hide my eating disorder behind another diet/lifestyle. So as these conversations occurred I decided I should talk to my nutritionist about it.

Her response: HELL YEAH you need to go out and live life and enjoy time with friends and eat WHATEVER you want in those situations!  That’s normal!  And I also need to eat more!

Basically, she and I talked and while she is a proponent of paleo, as am I, she wants me to have those “cheats”, to not worry and go out with friends , and to just do some “normal” things.  She amended my meal plan to include at least one BIG cheat a week (or I should say “normal” meal).  For as hard as I train and for as strict as I eat the rest of the time, this cheat is mandatory (I’ll be honest, just writing this has my mind telling me “you’re going to get fat because your writing this”, but I’m ignoring it!)  But my other biggest fear hasn’t been “this isn’t paleo” but more “eating this will make me fat”, but I’ve got to get over it.

I also had a great conversation with my friend Jess and she said some things that really moved me and pushed me:

So did I do it? Hell f-ing yes.  I had a burger. At a restaurant.  No turkey burger, no lean buffalo burger; a real burger.  With cheese.  And avocado.  And sweet potato fries!  Do you know the last time I had a burger at a restaurant (a real one)?  I do.  9th grade.  My friend Anna’s birthday, and it was at Glory Days Grill and had 3 cheese and was delicious.  Then I became entrenched in my eating disorder and hadn’t had one since.  Well I did it.  And I’m not dead.  Here’s the burger I got from Square 1 Burgers here in Tampa!

And you know what?  I put in some serious mileage and training over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I actually left this meal still starving!  Haha, I’m going to need a bigger burger next time… or maybe a pizza?

I’m looking forward to embracing life even more now!  I’m finally starting to make a good group of friends here in Tampa who I get to train with and I also got to hang out with them all on Friday night at Meghann’s place.  Living life less restricted but still being me is what life is about.  I’m never going to be 25 and single again! (Although, I’ll gladly change that “single” part lol)

So besides that, I’m redistributing my meals throughout the day, SERIOUSLY focusing on pre and  post workout nutrition, and overall sleep!  Training has also been really solid as well—Rock the W!

  1. What’s the best burger you’ve ever had?
  2. How do you feel about just letting yourself live and simply not stressing over useless things?

Headwinds

This Monday is the Boston Marathon, for which I qualified, registered, and had planned to race. Until last Monday. I’ve done something to my knee and running on it doesn’t feel good at all. Admittedly, it’s getting better and feels ok today, but do I risk a month (or years or lifetime?) of recovering if I decide to do the race and create some irreparable damage? Two weeks ago I had my half Ironman. Felt good after the race, recovered well, and didn’t do any running until Friday, focusing fully on biking and swimming. Oddly, though, I woke up Friday with some weird pain in my knee. Strange I thought, but after a good trainer ride that evening, I had a great run off the bike. The next day, I had a long ride scheduled, so a friend and I headed out on the Suncoast Trail for 51 miles. The course was straight out and straight back basically. We had a moderate tailwind on the way out, but as we turned around, we could see a storm rolling in. The winds picked up and it was a hard ride into a headwind the whole way back! We got 50 miles rain free… and 1 were we got drenched. So much for my brick run outside. I got home and did the run on the treadmill instead and everything was good. Although, I could still notice my knee.

Sunday came, I got up to do my long run, and realized it was already 10AM, so being that it’s pretty hot in Tampa, I put it off till the afternoon and set out that afternoon for the run instead. Guess what—it’s even freaking hotter at 4:00 than at 10:00. The heat didn’t bug me too much, but I knew the run would be hard from the get go. I was physically tired from the previous 2 days and felt that as I headed out. As I got onto Bayshore, a straight road than runs along the water, I found myself plowing into a headwind in the blazing sun. Every bit of me was just like, “dude, turn around and head back now”, but I was getting my 18 miles damnit. I finally hit the turnaround, but my pace was all over the place for the run. Haha, when my coach saw the pace chart he was just like wtf did you do??

I made it back though and felt great about myself—longest run I’ve done since November. But back to my knee—when I woke up on Monday, it wasn’t feeling too hot and pretty swollen. 2 weeks before the Boston Marathon. Wonderful. 30+ miles in 3 days didn’t help probably.

So since Sunday, I haven’t run at all. Just bike, swimming, and water running. I got a new bike trainer which is awesome so it’s making riding a lot more bearable, but this knee needs to heal… and quick! I don’t want to go run Boston and F myself up for the rest of the year… or more. It’s Monday… ask me again on Friday! I’ve been trying to get my rest, icing, nutrition, and supplementation spot on and I’m sure it’s helping. But it’s one of those, “Really? Now?” kind of moments. I just damn sure want to run this!

But the more I’ve talked about with a lot of people—coach, family, friends, I don’t think it’s the best option for me right now. I’d rather be a damn good (and healthy) triathlete than a decent (and possible injured) marathoner. Plus, I can be a good marathoner by being a great triathlete. So who wants to run a marathon with me after triathlon season? I’m thinking about the Richmond marathon in November (where I BQ’d in 2010) and planning to smash my time there!

I hope everyone had a good Easter—mine was spent on my trainer lol, but I did go see the Hunger Games, made some BBQ Turkey in my slow cooker, and had a Cadbury Crème Egg!

Solid enough right? Plus, the day before was the Final game of the NCAA Frozen Four here in Tampa—the championship for men’s college hockey. I was able to snag a lower level ticket which was awesome, for a great deal! The key is just to show up a little after the game starts when the scalpers won’t be able to sell the tickets anyway! So please, say a prayer for me and hope that these winds change and blow in my direction for being able to run healthy for a long long time.

  1. What would you do? Would you run the race? Or are you already?
  2. Favorite Easter Candy or tradition?
  3. Chocolate bunnies: ears first or no?

If you don't know who you are...

...How can your dreams come true? My triathlon season is 5 days away from kicking way back up into high-gear.  On Sunday I'll be in DC racing the Nations Tri- a pretty big and competitive Olympic distance race. I am feeling very confident about myself and firmly believe that what you believe is what you will make happen.  The opposition is going to be fierce so I will take it for what it is, however, after doing some research lately, I'm coming to believe that our minds are our only limiters and that believing in yourself, you can push through any pain that you believe limits you!  After this race, I have a week off before Ironman 70.3 Augusta, my third half ironman of the season.

But lately I've been somewhat questioning myself- not questioning my ability, but questioning WHO I am racing for.  Recently, it has seemed that I am not grinding through hard workouts solely for myself, but so that I can work harder, work more, and live up to the expectations of the people who follow me.  Whether it be coworkers, friends, my family, and even all the other triathlete I interact with on Twitter... What if they are doing more that me, what if they rode their bikes 60 miles and I only rode 50? Well what F**king if?!  If I do "less" than another person, does that make me a worse athlete?  Does it mean that I then need to eat way less to make up for that?  I'll let you decide on what you think the answer is...

Who cares?  I need to race/train/LIVE for me, not anyone else. But this being said, let me train, race, and eat because of them, not for them. It is motivation to see the success of others- people who have turned from non-athletes to Ironmen, of for people who cannot do what I do as much as they'd like to. Or even for those who have NO desire to do anything I do--I know my mom is absolutely no way wants to do a half-Ironman, but I do know that she is proud to watch me race in HEALTHY, competitive, properly nourished fashion.

So who am I? I'm someone who races for the love and passion of it all- not to be "better" than anyone else, or, God forbid, for an excuse to all myself to eat.

What really has me excited and nervous though, is my impending ITU Long Course Championships triathlon in Las Vegas in November.  This race, as I've mentioned, is on the world stage and is going to require a lot of hard work from me starting... well a month a go, ha. I got my registration notice in my e-mail today and have to sign up by the end of the week (gulp!)  The race is like a 3/4 ironman so it will be the longest race I've done to date.  But you know what?  Who knows when I will get this chance to be part of Team USA again?  It will be hot, hilly, windy, and unforgiving... But I'll finish... and I'll finish strong.

And check out the new Team Apex Endurance gear I'll be repping for the rest of the season!

I missed all the rides I had planed this weekend, but was really proud of myself for getting out and putting in work on my own.  Sunday I did a 4.5 mile run, 25.5 miles bike, 3.2 mile run, 60 minutes on the spin bike (20 miles), and another 1.6 mile run. Then Monday, I used the same format, but made the outdoor ride 10 miles longer.  Dude, the wind was BRUTAL this weekend!  This was all on the old Felt too, as the my baby, my B12, is en route to DC!

So if you're in DC this weekend, let me know and let's meet up!

I also know its been forever since I've blogged!  Here's a quick recap of my why and whats been going on:

First I was in New York with the family for a day (and got to meet up with Katelyn!)

After that, the family and I went to a lake where I got to spend another day with them before jetting off the Virginia Beach for work

After spending the week in Virginia Beach, it was back to Tampa for a weekend or so. Got some good training in and some awesome homemade grub.  I've basically just been using coconut oil to bake butternut or sweet potatoes fries... um like every night. So healthy, and if it tastes good, why not, right?? I have like 30 different variations now, haha, so just ask if you want to know what they are.

Then, later that week, I had to fly to Atlanta for work for a couple nights.  Finally I'm home, but I'm flying to DC Friday morning for the race! And, yay, I get to fly home just hours after the race to be back at work Monday... whoop whoop!

Think about something you do that your are passionate about... now ask yourself WHY you are passionate about it?  Rekindle that love for it and do it for you!

  1. What is that thing you are most passionate about and why?
  2. Best thing you had to eat this week? And how do you use coconut oil, if you don't, any reason why?
Have an amazing week!

Getting to San Luis Obispo! Wildflower!

I was going to call this post “I got a massage from a dude... and I liked it”... but I decided that was’t necessarily what I wanted popping up on Twitter and Facebook.  Right now I am in the airport in Houston (one of my favorite cities) en route to San Luis Obispo for the Wildflower Triathlon.  I’ve been signed up for this race since January and it’s only been in the last couple days that I’ve come to understand what this race entails.  It’s know by multiple connotations: “The toughest long-course triathlon”

“The Woodstock of Triathlons”

“One giant party (except when you have to race)”

The races consists of vicious hills and hard-packed trail for the run.  On the bike there is “Nasty Grade” which, oh, I can’t wait for!  I’m just praying that my baby has gotten out Cali safely and they’ll put it back together in the right dimensions.

I can’t even begin to express how I feel about this race.  There is massive anxiety and nervousness mixed in with how absolutely stoked I am for this event.  Why I am nervous?  I’m pretty sore right now... I shouldn’t be, but I am.  I got a vicious sports massage on Monday night (yes, from a guy) and he crippled me.  I also know my training isn’t where it was leading into Austin 70.3 last year and not sure how it compares to Kinetic Half Ironman, which was my first 70.3 almost exactly one year ago.  However, I’ve been running those half marathons and gotten a couple long ride.  So I’m just going to stay like I told myself I would--positive and confident!  Goal time? ...As fast as possible ha!  I really don’t know based on the hills et al, so we’ll just see.  I’m holding anything back though.

It’s amazing how the support of some people can absolutely amp you and a good friend of mine wished me luck the other night and said I would tear it up and I’m not looking back!  As soon as I get there, as much fun as there will be, all I plan to do, is stretch, eat, and sleep.  Nothing stupid!

Monday night I got a killer sports massage after my workout... it almost killed me and I've been sore since haha.  I'm finally feeling a little better though.

I want to give a special shoutout to one of my sponsors GU who sent me a ton of products to review and use in this race.  I always use GU for my during race nutrition since they taste best and I’ve also had great results using them. Here is what they sent:

Check out some of the new Roctane flavors--these contain extra amino acids which aid in muscle healing and recruitment and also some flavors have caffeine which gives an added boost and can reduce the rate of perceived exertion.  They also sent me some of their new Electrolyte hydration tabs.  These are great to put in my water bottle. They increase hydration abilities of the body by combining them with electrolytes.  Research has also shown that athlete’s can decrease their rate of perceived exertion by simply rinsing their mouth with a sports drink with out drinking a whole bottle.  This can be really helpful when you don’t handle sports drinks well or aren’t working out long enough to need one, but still need to be drinking water to stay hydrated.

Here is what I am planning to use on race day, as well as some course aid like water and a HoneyMilk after!

This week I got another box for my local food delivery company!  Along with fruit and vegetables I got grass-fed ground beef, wild caught Alaskan salmon, chicken drumsticks, and grass-fed buffalo!  I wanted to make sure in the last week pre-race I was getting enough healthy fats, CLA, amino acids, Omega-3s, and antioxidants!

Sunday night I made some burgers and made my cheese spread to put on and stuff in the burger. I started with ground buffalo for the burger mixed with garlic and onions then for the cheese spread I started with 1 laughing cow and mashed it with a 3 cheese blend.

I grilled this inside the burger and then put the rest on top, all served with some sweet potato fries!

Last night I busted out the wild caught salmon.  Bummer is I cooked it on the Foreman grill so it was really pretty dry.  However, I made an awesome avocado sauce from the organic avocado I got in my produce bin and mixed it with salsa and cheese.

Hopefully I’ll get this posted tonight, but it may have to wait till Friday since I don’t think LAX has free internet?  That or I can’t figure it out...

About to catch this next flight to San Luis Obispo and ball out in this triathlon!  I’ll let you know how I do and thanks for all the support!

  1. Ever been to San Luis Obispo?  Or California?
  2. What’s your favorite city and why?  Food? The environment itself?

Thanks yall!

Spin, stride, stroke, stretch... and my big announcement

A couple great days can make up for a rough week.  This past week I took way more days off than I had planned...1 because I needed to, but the rest we a failure in willpower undisciplined poor justification.  Getting more sleep would have combatted this, but that goes back to the last of discipline. It’s funny how I can be so disciplined in some aspects of my life and so not in others.

But anyways, Saturday and Sunday made up for this week!  Saturday I had a great workout:  It started with a 9.5 mile run worth of a hard intervals in 1:02:00 that went like this:

15 minute increasing speed warm up

6 minutes at 6:15 pace (9.6 mph)

1 minute recovery at 8.5 mph

5 minutes

4 minutes- 2 min at 6:15, 2 min at 6:10

3 minutes

3 minutes

Finish out rest of time as fast as possible

After this was 30 minutes elliptical intervals, 30 minute bike intervals, and a 2050m swim. Phew!

I was afraid I’d be too sore, but today, after 4 hours sleep (go figure) I met some buddies at hit up a long ride.  A few more miles would have been nice, but some of the guys wanted to make it to the Reds game. The wind was WICKED out today! This provided some great resistance and speed work though.  After the ride, I went straight into a run.  Wow- that wind was brutal; literally it almost knocked me over a few times.  The worst part was I finished :01 over the goal pace I wanted... Running with the wind I was hitting 6:20 pace miles easy, but against it I was at like 7:40. Came out to a 7:00 min/mile pace overall.  Damnit lol.  Finally, after burpees and push ups in the middle of the street, I shot over to the pool and banged out an awesome workout there.  Done and done!  Here’s what today’s brick looked like:

50 mile ride

7.5 mile run

2,600m swim

STRETCH

While the run off the bike was hard, it made me feel good about where I am with my training.  Going to crank it up big time this week and a half then prep for Wildflower!

I also realized that I can do what I put my mind to... and it is NOT dependent on my eating disordered compulsive tendencies.  These will seem really weird, but way to often they rule my life. To me, unless I do specific things, my workouts or my body won’t be right the next day. For example:

  • Chopping my vegetables up a certain number of times
  • Taking a specific number of steps
  • Stretching and foam rolling in an exact order
  • Saying my prayers in an exact way every night
  • Eating my food beginning in an exact order
  • Wearing certain clothes- or if I skip a workout while wearing certain workout clothes, not wearing that combo again

But wait, let's get rational: how can IN ANY WAY the order I foam roll and the specific number of times have any effect on how I will look the next day and whether or not I will work out? IT CAN’T!  That’s ridiculous and impossible.  I know this, yet its still a battle everyday.  However, this weekend is putting me in the right direction: that crap doesn’t matter- be real, live each day differently, and live life without worry.  My dad gave me an amazing talk the other night and left me with a crazy quote:

“Anxiety is just another form of atheism”

That hit me deep.  What is there to worry about when God has a plan for us?  Quit arguing it and live the way he has planned for us.  That is my goal this week- to live anxiety free and embrace God’s plan every day. I hope you can too.

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In the tough week that was this past week, I did get the chance to spend some time with friends. Thursday was a gorgeous day, and I literally just wanted to embrace life and friends.  There was a free concert at the zoo, and I literally got off the treadmill and decided I needed to be outside with people who were fun. Here were some shots of the fun lol.

I made an awesome new recipe last night- avocado potato puree!  I mixed 1 baked potato, 1/2 avocado, 2 tbsp almond milk, 1 Laughing cow, and seasonings.  Put these all in the Magic Bullet and whipped into a delicious, creamy, thick puree!

I would have taken a picture, but it looked a little gross so I thought I’d spare you even though it tasted amazing haha.  Tonight, after a long day, I wanted pizza. It tried at first to make my own crust, but it came out too small for me.  However, it made like an awesome flatbread, so I’m going to make a sandwich out of it tomorrow:

And now, my big announcement:

I’M MOVING TO TAMPA!!

Permanently! (For a little while anyways)  As I’ve mentioned before, I am in a Leadership Development Program in my company and for the past 2 years I’ve been rotating to a different department every 6 months.  Hence, why I am currently in Cincinnati working for 6 months.  I spent the previous 18 months in Virginia Beach.  Well, as the program comes to a close, I have been offered a permanent position and promotion working in Tampa!  I can’t wait- and talk about a great triathlon opportunity!  That being said, I LOVE Cincinnati and am very glad that I still have a few months here.

That’s all guys

  1. Have you done anything this week that totally made up for something that wasn't as good earlier in the week--like an amazing meal or experience?
  2. Try and put your life in God's hands this week and truly live his will and plan!