sweet potato

When Life Gives You...

...Milk jugs?  You find a way to get it done! (read further below..)

Merry belated Christmas and happy new year everyone.  I’m flying back from DC now, back to Tampa, where I spent the past week celebrating the holiday with my family.  It was awesome and my family were way to generous.  But it also felt great to give them their presents and know that they really appreciated them.

My dad got my brother and I tickets to the Capitals game on Wednesday night and it was great to see them crush the Rangers (even though any other night, I would root for the Rangers).  We got there early enough to get some sweet shots of boys warming up!

It was also pretty simple to stick to my paleo diet style.  Not that this was hard, but Christmas dinner had amazing smoked turkey, roasted potatoes, and I made some amazing mashed butternut squash!  The whole week, I really tried to focus on following my meal plan and sticking to real foods- not protein powders etc.  However, I of course had a couple Christmas cookies, and my mom made homemade pizza one night... yes!

Of course, this was the same night they decided to take ever set of car keys to go off on various errands, leaving me with no transportation to get to the gym.  No worries- I’ll just set up the weights in the basement and do a hard metabolic circuit workout, right?  No- Apparently we sold all the weights.. great, what now?  Well milk jugs weight about 8.35 pounds... So I taped those securely shut and made a baller workout!  So this is a workout you can do if you’re ever in a pinch!

I started with a 7 mile run around the neighborhood and then did 11 rounds of the following circuit:

  • 5 x Squat, clean, and press
  • 10 x Squats
  • 10 x Rear back flys
  • 10 x bicep curls
  • 10 x shoulder press
  • 10 x Chest press to fly
  • 15 x push ups
  • 2 burpees
  • 15 jumping jacks
Here are some of the exercises:

Awesome workout!  Took a while to crank it out too!  Here are what the exercises look like- sorry for some of the blurry pictures and outfit... it was cold outside and the milk was cold!

Finally, I did a lot of the goals I wanted this week.  I ran outside and untimed a lot!  No idea any of the paces, but I didn’t care.  I also swam a number of times- granted, I never left myself enough time to do a full length workout after running and biking, but I did get 3-4 good sessions in this week.  And I tried out some new recipes!  I made a bunch of variations of pumpkin/ butternut squash pancakes (made with eggs, bananas, protein powder, and almonds!) Talk about healthy!

So if you’re in a pinch this week, give that workout a try!  And you don’t need to do 11 rounds... that's kind of unnecessary lol.

Hope y’all had an amazing Christmas and New Years and I’ll write again soon!

  1. What was the best gift you received/ gave?
  2. What was the best thing you ate?

3 days!

Ironman Augusta is now only 3 days away!  I'm feeling an absolutely crazy mix healthy anxiety and excitement for this race. I know I'm ready and hella excited to try out the work I've doing with my swim stroke in a real race, but I'm also just nervous due to the fact that this is my first half Ironman since June and 3rd for the year.  It's also going to be a great way to get in some intense training and racing to get me closer to Las Vegas ITU Worlds in November.

Whatever, my head is going nuts right now and had to get something out there!  I'll update you guys after the race!

Good luck to the other members of the Apex Endurance team racing this weekend!

And this is what it looks like when a Paleo triathlete packs for multiple days of travel...

Yikes.  I won't want any sweet potatoes for a few days after this race, I can assure you that!

  1. What's your pre-race dinner?  If you've ever done a race long enough to Carb-load for, how did you do it?
I'll discuss my art of a modified carb-load next week!
Happy weekend!

The Nations Triathlon: Dry-land in DC

No really—I wanted to swim!  As shocking as that sounds coming from me, I was incredibly bummed when I found out the swim portion of the Nations Tri this past Sunday would be cancelled.  Due to the hurricane, the second hurricane that kept the aforementioned hurricane stuck on land pounding DC, and the earthquake, the Potomac River was a mess of debris and runoff.  I have been working weekly with my swim coach though, and wanted to see what kind of changes this may have on my stroke.

I was so bummed, I almost backed out of this race and thought about heading down to Williamsburg to race the Patriots Half Ironman.  However, I would have had to figure out how to get my bike there, how to get it back, all the other travel arrangements, but the biggest reason I didn’t was that the Half Ironman was on Saturday not Sunday and I just didn’t have time to work everything out.

But I’m really glad I stuck with the Nations Tri, and Olympic distance race—it was a blast.  Over 3,900 people were in the race and the entire event was huge.  The format was done in the same way as the swim waves would start—every 15 seconds letting about 15 people run into transition based on your age group.  It was a mess of corrals, but when my group went off, we sprinted into transition, grabbed our bikes and gear, and headed out.  My new tri shoes and pedals from Exustar are awesome and made a huge difference in my transition time!

The bike was pretty fast with some rolling hills and was very crowded due to the starting format.  It made the course much like an Ironman race where there are just so many people.  I wouldn’t say that there was any drafting, but definitely a lot passing and riding near people.  I felt like the entire “out” portion of the course was downhill and was nervous that the entire return would be uphill… but I guess I was mistaken since coming back was just as fast if not better!  My overall bike split for the 40k was 1:06:17, which was over 22 mph.  I was really pleased with this—love that Felt!

**Scary side note—proceed reading with discretion: On the way back on the bike, there was an ambulance on the side of the road.  I look over and saw the EMTs performing CPR on a guy laying on the ground.  I’ve never felt so sick as I did then and it was all I could think about for the rest of the bike.  Most of the time spent riding after that was praying for this guy hoping he would be ok.  Unfortunately, I found out the next day that man actually died.  So please say a prayer for him.

I can’t tell you how motivating it was to see my mom and dad cheering for me as I left T2 and headed out on the run.  They don’t get to make it to a lot of races, so to get up at 4:45 to drive me to the course means so much to me.  Ha, apparently my dad wasn’t too pleased that I “couldn’t even smile at them” when I ran by, but sorry pops, I don’t smile at all on the course.  It’s business.  But my dad is such an awesome guy- He wanted "sun protection" and snagged this hat from another family.  Yes... we recycled a hat from the Dollar Store...

The run was a fun one and was relatively flat except for a long hill at the beginning..  Or I think that was the only hill… I dunno, I just kind of get in my zone as run.  I’m always cognizant of everything and am very focused on how hard I’m pushing and I always remember how much it hurt.  However, if you asked me to recall the whole course, I wouldn’t be able to do it… although I could probably remember all the funny things I thought while running.  I spent most of time passing people and had no real issues at all.  I felt good and just get repeating my mantra to myself that I always using during races: “Speed, Strength, Fluidity”.  This helps me keep focused on the most important aspects of the run.  Coming down the home stretch, I saw my mom screaming and just turned on the afterburners and passed a few more people as I broke the finish line.

My run time was a 38:46, although I “think” the course may have been a bit short—however, as a sanctioned race, it should officially be the required 10k, so I’ll have to believe the Race Directors.  This was a pace of 6:15 minutes/mile.  But if it were a bit short, it may have been close to 6:20.  I was happy with this regardless!!

Overall, I finished 34th of 362 in my age group (top 9.4%), and 265th of 3884 overall (top 6.8%) and my final time was 1:49:38, sans the swim.  Overall this was a great race and could definitely see myself doing it again next year.  It was so incredible.

Then I went home, ate, changed, and was back on a plane for Tampa by 5:00.  Nothing like meetings  at work to cut a trip short.

From here on out I’m basically racing every weekend: THIS WEEK!! 9/25 Ironman 70.3 Augusta (half Ironman), 10/1 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, 10/09 Rev3 South Carolina (Half Ironman), 10/15 Men’s Health Chicago Urbanathlon!  It’s gonna be a blast!

Then ITU Worlds on 11/05 to end the triathlon year.  However, I would like to do a marathon if there is a convenient one by the end of the year.  I also want to do the Tough Mudder in Tampa!  A hella-crazy 12-mile adventure race on 12/03.

If anyone is doing any of these races, let me know and lets meet up! Or if you live between Tampa and South Carolina/Georgia and can house me for a night, lol, let me know!

Yo check out my new kicks

And to do fuel this, I’ve tried out a few new spur of the moment recipes this past week!  Also, I tried to focus my nutrition very well in the days leading up to this race: check out my pre-race day lunch:

Here is what I should have had for my pre-race breakfast...

Earlier his week I made Blackberry jam and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast.  I coated a breast in some coconut flour, then filled it and just baked it.  Very good!  But don't overcook the chicken:


Later this week there are definitely a few topics I want to talk about mostly.  Mostly about living what I say, "racing weight", and self-sabotage which I am becoming very guilty of.  I think I could have even better results if I treated my body and mind better.  Goals?  I think so.

I know this comes over a week after it all happened and a lot has gone in between, but I figured I would pare it down and keep it basic so this doesn’t turn into a novel.  More to come soon!

  1. What was the best part of your weekend?
  2. What do you have planned between now and the end of the year that you are excited about? (Anything!)

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!

20 things that make life awesome and WIATFMBW

I hope by now you've all had a chance to check me and Lori's recipes and left comments on our posts!  I can't get any pictures, but will have a video up soon.  Can anyone tell me how to post a video I record using iMovie on my mac??
Anyways, this has been a long week of travel but I got to see my family and also go back to Virginia Beach for some job training.  Although, I've had the absolute worst experiences, I'm going to stay positive.
Speaking of positivity, here are 20 little things that occurred to me that make like awesome:
  1. All of you.  Thank you for everyone’s comments on my last post and the support you gave to me.  It’s really helping me get through a little bit of a rough patch right now.
  2. Summer and sunshine—I am loving Florida right now, but didn’t realize how much so until 2 realizations.  First, it’s been rainy and gross the past 2 days and I’ve hated every minute of it.  Second, I realized that when I am doing the Disney Half Marathon in October, it will still be hot!
  3. Sweet potatoes—they’re just so versatile and I can fit them into any meal.  Either with coconut oil, in my almond butter fry recipe, topped with butter, almond butter, or with cheddar cheese (and possibly a little maple syrup to get the maple cheddar flavor).  And always cinnamon
  4. Butternut squash—See “Sweet Potato”
  5. Riding bikes outside—There’s nothing better than hitting the road and riding in the sun after a long day, especially a long ride on the weekend with other people who will push you
  6. The pool at my apartment building—I swear its longer than an Olympic size pool… which either makes me feel like I’m doing more work or that I’m really slow, ha
  7. My little brother—the only person who can relate when I call him at 1 o’clock in the morning to tell him about a story on the news with a headline that read “Library rape benefit”.  No thanks, I’ll take my library membership without the rape, thank you.  What it should have said was “Benefit function held at the library to raise money to fight against rape.”  Syntax people.
  8. Food Network—come on now, it’s only channel you can put on for background noise in the evening and it will always entertain… although does anyone else think “Chopped” is on like all the time now?
  9. People who go out of their way to explore real research behind the science of nutrition and how we should be eating—I’m always doing research, hence why I am trying a paleo diet right now, and become more enlightened everyday from the different viewpoints I read and truths that are exposed.
  10. Trying new recipes that I make up AND being successful at them—enough said
  11. Discovering new awesome blogs—you know when you Google something and actually find a recipe or an idea that sparks you?  Or your find another local triathlete who lives nearby and actually end up training with them?
  12. Racing triathlons—nothing beats it.  Training can suck sometimes, but nothing beats racing
  13. My 4Runner—my bike fits inside it no problem
  14. Twitter, and everyone I’ve met through it—it’s amazing the amount of support I’ve found through Twitter and blogging.  It’s a pretty cool phenomenon
  15. Crunchy almond butter—yeah bro,  Don’t bring the smooth crap up in here
  16. People who have changed my life, yet I have never met—that’s most of you.  Thank you, and I pray that one day I can meet and thank you.
  17. Other who are battling and winning against an eating disorder who are there for me to give advice but also ask for and listen to advice
  18. My eating disorder--not for the disease itself, but for all the strength and learning about myself it has allowed me to see.
  19. The “Favorite” button on Twitter--I read through Twitter all day and every time I see an interesting article or link, I “Favorite” it from my phone, then go back and read them all on my computer as I eat dinner in the evening.
  20. Broccoli--and did I mention Ketchup??  (Need to break that obsession lol)

So what about you?  What are some little things that make your life awesome?

Also, here is my first ever WIATFMBW! That stands for “What I Ate To Fuel My Body (last) Wednesday!”  Wanna get faster, better, and healthier?  You have to got to eat well and enough to fuel your exercise AND fuel your recovery!

Breakfast: 3 scrambled whole eggs with lean chicken sausage and some veggies, plus an apple

Lunch: Grilled chicken breast, sweet potato slices with cinnamon, and an apple

Pre-workout snack (Not pictured): Chocolate banana shake... with some grapes blended in.  Yeahhh.... thats about how it tasted...

Dinner: BBQ wild caught salmon and nut butter sweet potato fries, with broccoli and grapes!

And then of course my usual nighttime shake with protein and milk.  Along with my latest obsession, almond butter mixed with Tropical Traditions coconut cream!

  1. What are some of the little things that make your life awesome?
  2. What was the best think you ate on Wednesday?