coconut milk

Running in Place

Well due to the heat of the Boston Marathon, maybe it’s a good think I couldn’t run it this year… although I still would have liked to!  But being smart and respecting that my knee is injured, not running was a good decision.  That being said, I went to the orthopedist last week and he looked at it and took X-Rays. Basically, what he said was that its more of a chronic thing from a physiological standpoint—that my hips rotate inward slightly putting more pressure on my knee joint.  Therefore, in his example, I could go run like 3 marathons and be fine, and then decided to do an easy 10k and have had this happen.  There’s no real predictor for it.

Got my MRI results back this morning and here is what the doctor told me: I have a slightly torn Meniscus and light arthritis in my left knee.  That gave me 2 options, surgery or cortisone shot and Physical Therapy.  The surgery was just a bad idea altogether because it would just be removing the Meniscus and making the arthritis more susceptible to worsening.

The Cortisone shot will take the pain and inflammation away and get me back to training,  Overall what this means is that someday my running had a stop sign.  Whether that's 10 years or 50 years, we can't say, but by doing the PT and the cortisone shot, I can preserve it as long as possible.

So that being said, I can pretty much go back to training tomorrow,  taking it easy the first day, but then pretty much good to go.  So I guess its not good news, but since there's nothing I can really do about it, it's not that big of a deal! And I figure hell, in 20 years we'll have the technology to fix this anyway so I'll be good for life! So he gave me orthotic inserts for my shoes and I am using those when I run.  Also got all my new gear in from K-Swiss and the Wattie Ink Team and I’ve heard these Kwicky Blade Lights run really well.  Also, with the knee, I don’t think I am going to do Florida 70.3  This would be a half Ironman on May 20th, but instead I think I am going to do an Olympic Triathlon in North Florida.  Honestly, it’s not really any easier, as my instructions from my coach are “to cross the finish line and fall over and die”.  Like, we’re talking ball out.  I also don’t know that I would be in quite the shape I want to be in for an Ironman race, plus they are expensive.

This was the first week I was finally able to pick training back up a bit.  I got to run some this weekend and it felt good, although I kept the pace moderate and didn’t do any kind of intervals, etc.  Also spent a fair amount of time on the bike…well, on the bike in my apartment—thank God the Capitals and NHL Playoffs are on!  Even though the Caps lost their first game!! (My playoff beard is coming along nicely as well, although I did get to trim since the Caps won their first series—and so I wouldn’t get fired lol).  However, they won Monday and are in OT right now but I can’t bare to watch

I really focused on my recovery this weekend as these sessions were a little more taxing and I bring back in quality work efforts.  I made awesome recovery shakes which I drank even though I knew dinner would be soon after.  The first was a mix of a chocolate CorePower drink, chocolate protein powder, and some MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides—I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post).  The second was whole coconut milk with protein and a banana.  There’s nothing better than flopping on the floor with an ice cold shake and just zoning out for a bit after a workout!

I also decided to try out a couple new “recipes” this weekend.  Well, that’s a lie, but I grilled a couple new things.  The first was some delicious grass-fed filet mignon steak!  I seared them in a skillet then finished them in the oven.

The second was some grilled chicken breast wrapped in bacon!  I finally went down to the pool and cranked up the grill—it was awesome!

 

Lastly, I roasted half a Kabocha squash in the oven covered in a mix of coconut butter and coconut oil--awesome!  Plenty of cinnamon of course too.

 

That’s all for now--I have a lot more updates, but those will come later this week!

  1. Have you ever had a Cortisone shot?
  2. Best new recipe or idea you want to share?

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?

HITS Ocala Half Ironman Race Report

Not my greatest race, but certainly a solid result and a confidence booster heading into this season!  This Sunday I raced the HITS Half Ironman in Ocala, about 2 hours from my house in Tampa.  While the race wasn’t huge, it still had a solid turnout and was very well run.  They actually had every distance possible—sprint and Olympic Saturday and a half and full Ironman on Sunday.

Leading up to the race, I was a little bit anxious—I’ve been training well, but no huge bike-run bricks to this point.  This was a great way to open the season, see how my body reacted, test my fitness and skills, and race my first triathlon as a member of the Wattie Ink Elite Team and an XPMultisport coached Athlete.

The week prior to the race, volume was still the same until 3-days before, where I began the “Felipe no-taper taper” which isn’t really that “taper-ific” ha.  Saturday I did the AM workout, then ate, and headed up to Ocala where I got my packet, checked out the scene then headed to the hotel when I kicked it and tried to relax.  The damn people in the room next door were so loud—I have no idea what they were doing, but it was alternating between loud TV and loud music… or yelling at the kids.  Luckily, they went to bed early I guess.  It also rained pretty hard Saturday night, thus I was very glad I opted not to rack my bike the day before.

Sunday morning came fast and early.  I packed up everything and headed out the site which was about 30 minutes away and ate in the car.  I’ve been trying new pre-race meals, since a bagel is now out as carb source being that it’s not paleo by any means.  What I’ve been doing and really liking is white rice mixed with full fat coconut milk and some protein powder.  I guess that’s basically rice pudding, but seems to sit well in my stomach thus far.  Once at the race, I racked my bike and met up with 3 other Wattie Ink Athletes who were racing as well.  These guys are beasts—I think they finished overall 1st, 4th, and 7th.  Not to mention Felipe, my coach, was racing too.  Honestly a pretty stacked field!

The water was wetsuit legal and gorgeous.  It was a straight out and back swim.  I’m pretty sure looking through the finishing times that it was longer than 1900m (1.2 miles).  It’s all relative though, and to not go into too much detail, let’s just say my swim sucked.  Lots of work to still do here.  When I finally exited the water, I grabbed all my stuff and headed out on the bike.

The bike  was a big loop, mostly, so it was different the entire time.  If you remember, this is where I got lost about a month ago, so it was nice to see where I should have been riding lol.  I passed a fair number of people and finished the bike in 2:43:00, which came out to a little better than 20.5 miles per hour.  The course was mildly hilly and had some wind here and there so I was pretty happy with that split.  I also focused on eating more that I previously had in my races and focused more on the timing of the nutrition. Or one split I used some Chomps, which I like to break up the monotony of gels, but this cost me a little time trying to open those little packs and squeeze each one out.  The little Larabar that I had was crucial though—definitely a good call.  I also had UR in the water bottles which was a good calorie source and has some protein in it as well, which is really important as you get into longer distance races.

I rode back into transition, threw on my shoes and headed out of the run.  Felipe had given me very specific instructions- first 6 miles at 7:00 min/mile pace and then I was allowed to race.  I pretty much nailed this, but it felt so weird!  It was so hard to hold back in the beginning.  The first 3.1 miles were on trails, in the woods, basically running on sand which was not easy and not fast.  The rest of the run was on hot roads in the Florida sun and was basically rolling hills the entire time with heavy winds.

At mile 6 I was able to let go and began to average around 6:40s for the rest.  The fatigue of the sand and heat had me hurting but I kept repeating my mantras to myself and basically said “don’t be a bitch, run harder”.  I was able to pass a lot of people on the run…which is no surprise considering where I came out of the water haha.  I cranked out the last .8 miles at around 5:40 pace and flew across the finish line- pain looked as always.  Surprisingly, I finished a lot better than I was expecting relatively.  I didn’t realize how many people I had passed.  My final run time was a 1:28:00 flat—not bad for being forced to run 7:00’s for the first 6 miles.  Only about 1:20 slower than my half marathon 3 weeks ago.  Solid, solid.

I ended up finishing 16th overall and first in my age group.  But my stress wasn’t over.  Not only was I to eat more during this race, Felipe made it very clear that when I crossed the finish line, I would have a Coke.  No questions asked.  Intuitively, this makes sense.  Your body is so F-ing trashed after an intense race like this, that those incredibly concentrated sugar sources are actually a GOOD thing to have.  Tell that to someone who hasn’t had a real soda in like 3 years.  Luckily, he gave me a couple days heads up to prepare mentally, and ya know what?  We sat in chairs at the finish line, smashed, and enjoyed a cold, glass bottle, of Coke (well, it was like Feipe’s 8th.)  It was good—although I feel good in saying it didn’t make me at all want to sit and drink an entire 2-liter.  One was fine and then I moved on to real food.

Overall it was a good race.  I finished in 5:04:00 overall—I wanted to go sub 5 , but with that swim, that was going to be impossible.  Plus this race was a “feeler-outer” to see where I stood to start the season.  Congrats to the Wattie guys and Felipe who all freaking beasted this race.  I’m pretty happy with 16th and can’t wait for Ironman 70.3 Florida in a couple months!

But I need to get through the Boston Marathon next month first…

ALSO- The newest Episode of Fearless Nutrition Radio is out!  Listen to it here on Itunes.  This week we had a listener Q&A and an interview with pro triathlete James Cotter!  Please check it out and let us know what you think and leave your questions for the show! http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fearless-nutrition-episode-3/id497895841?i=112194060

Thanks for reading guys!  Let me know if you have any questions about the race!

  1. What’s your next race?
  2. Ever enjoyed a coke after a race? Or what is your immediate psot-race go-to choice?

N = 1

An experiment of one.  What works for one person may not work for another.  People are different and thus respond differently to different stimuli.  Some may be incredibly healthy on a vegan diet and some may thrive on a paleo style diet.  It’s all about what makes you look, feel, and perform better. So beginning last week, I have been seriously trying to be better about my eating plan the my nutritionist has helped me design.  Yes, Chuck, embracing eating a little more and seeing what my performance does.  Now, granted, I’ve only been doing this for about a week, and my sleep hasn’t been on point, but I have felt good, especially amid a big training week.  I have been focusing on workout recovery, even when it comes to the times when I know dinner will be coming soon after the workout, I am still eating.  And it’s good, because it always turns out the dinner never actually occurs soon after the workout, ha!  Why does it take me so long to prepare it every night?  Damn squash fries…

The  biggest changes are just working on being more consistent, even on lower volume days, knowing that I’ve created a deficit during the big days.  I’ve been reading a lot from some of the top pro athletes who have experimented with optimizing recovery and eating more, better, quality foods.  We’re not talking Snickers bars that I’m shoving down, but sweet potatoes, coconut milk and oil, grass-fed meat, chicken, etc…. even all natural, organic bacon! (Yes, me!)

As Robb Wolf says, “try it for 30 days” and if I don’t like it better, I can go back to the way I was before… but we all know that wasn’t getting me anywhere.  I’m RACING this weekend!!

And I’m determined to focus on eating appropriate calories during this race so that I perform optimally.  I usually just try and eat “just enough to get me through” so that I can “save up” calories for my post-race dinner.  This is moronic.  If I want to be great, I need to fuel that, plus that deficit is going to be so big all of it will be used (including that dinner) to fuel me and help me recover.

Speaking of previous race, I’m realizing that I’m good, but I’m not great.  I’m stuck maintain habits that have kept me “good” as well.  I have a world champion coach with 16 years of experience who is asking me to change a few things.  If I want to be great, wouldn’t listening make sense? Clearly, my way is adequate, but not ideal.  So embracing this, I am ready to move forward.

We had a great training day at Fort DeSoto this weekend and it was a lot of fun to just hang out and enjoy the beach afterward.  Can’t complain about having this in my backyard:

And speaking of good food—here were some delicious, however, not very appetizing (and I’ll admit to that) meals from the past weeks!

So I can’t wait for the half ironman Sunday!  Wish me luck!

  1. Have you made any big changes in your life lately?
  2. What’s your n=1 for 30 days?
  3. Anyone racing this week??

 

Rants and Raves

I know I haven’t done a written post in a while, but that’s because I’ve been putting together some podcasts that I hope you all can listen to! First I want to talk about a few things that have been awesome lately... and then a couple rants I have- one being really important.

So- things I’m loving:

  • As I’ve said before, that my computer can read articles to me--but this time, the WAY it reads some words. My favorite is “Paleo”, which it reads “Pahh-lee-oh”.  Also, if anyones types “xoxo” it reads it as “Sockza”  Haha, explain that to me.  And just to let you know, I imagine you all in real life sounding like a computer robot since I have the computer speak your blog posts lol.
  • Brussell Sprouts.  Really! I love vegetables and they are a new way to incorporate more variety.
  • Full fat coconut milk: Check it out- here I mixed it with spaghetti squash and cinnamon... so bomb:

  • The fact that I still got some high-intensity workouts while I was traveling to Nashville last week. Also met up with my man JC there, who owns www.JCDfitness.com.

  • My swims the week before last--I swam over 15,000yds! Hoping to repeat that this week
  • I signed up for 2 races next month- The Gasparilla half marathon on March 4th and the Ocala HITS Half Ironman triathlon on March 25th!  I really need these to test my readiness for Boston so I’m really looking forward to it!  Not thrilled that I have to race against my coach though... but at least he’s not in my age group!
  • FEARLESS NUTRITION RADIO! The podcast I have started with a friend of mine.  We did our bios in the first episode and had an interview with expert Sean Croxton last week.  Pretty cool that we’ve been able to line up some VERY acclaimed and esteemed guests to interview!
  • I ate bacon.. no really!  For the first in my life and all on my own!  Here I made bacon wrapped chicken:

  • I went to Disney last weekend and rode the Rock n’ Roll coaster for the first time... fun picture:

  • New threads: Fly?
  • I downloaded Instagram

  • Joined Pintrest.. not a bad way to collect recipes and workouts I want to try

Now a couple rants!

  • First, I don’t know if any of you have listened to the podcasts!  We haven’t had many questions come on or any comments.  These take a lot to work and I really want to bring you guys a lot of benefit!  Please let me know if you have any questions that we can answer and guests you’d like to see.  I’ve got nutritionists, pro athletes, and health gurus lined up and I really want to keep this up!
  • Next- I was watching the show “Fat Chef” on Food Network.  I love Food Network and I appreciate what they are doing but it just highlights again to me how many (I didn’t say all!) “Registered Dietitians” really have no idea what they are doing.  The nutritionist wanted to put a 340 pound woman on an 1,800 calorie diet. Clearly she had no idea about the actual laws of thermogenisis where that woman’s metabolism is actually going to be HIGHER than an average-weight person. Not to mention she’s probably burns twice as many calories as the average person as rest due to the fact of supporting and moving all that weight around and the calories needed to maintain it. The right way to do this is to lower calories below maintenance, but this is still going to be a significant amount of calories which will slowly be tapered down as the woman’s weight decreases proportionately.  Sorry, but that just drives me crazy, same with the Biggest Loser, that these “Celebrity dietitians” don’t know things such as this.  Sorry.

Ok, if you read one, read this one.  My dad sent me an email last week asking if the changes I had made in my life lately were truly benefitting me.  And he was asking completely earnestly.  I took this back to my nutritionist as she has been helping me with a lot of things- prioritizing nutrition, sleep, and all that etc. Basically, she called me out real hard.  I had to be honest with myself and my dad and to her!  Have I done any of the plan that I’ve time, money, and focus on doing?  NO!  Not really.  Yeah, I’ve changed my diet for the better, but what good is that if I am not sleeping enough and not making the lifestyle changes that will allow this better, healthier paleo diet to actually work!

How can I expect to increase my testosterone, beat the iron deficiency that has caused me to become anemic, and to release my fears and comforts with foods if I don’t take the first steps to get me there? So basically, I need to harden the fuck up and step it up.  If I can focus so hard on the other things in my life like working out and eating, why can’t I put the remaining piece of the puzzle into place? I am committing to do (I’m sure you’re laughing and saying “gee Chuck, you’ve only said that a MILLION times!”) but now, the harsh reality that my nutritionist has brought to light has got me focused.

Thank you all for reading.  Now go listen to my podcast!

Questions:

  1. What questions do you have for the podcast?  What guests would you like Max and I to have on the show?  We really can get some “famous” people on there!
  2. Do you have any tasty recipes or ideas using coconut milk?
  3. What are you ranting and raving about this week