So hard to believe I am in the teens when it comes to weeks counting down to IMMT! Time is flyin’ by!
Tuesday + Thursday = Intervals! Each workout 1:00 hour long for intervals.
10′ @ z2
CD: 5’@ z1
So hard to believe I am in the teens when it comes to weeks counting down to IMMT! Time is flyin’ by!
This week I joined the InsideTracker team! I am very excited for this career change, but even more excited about what InsideTracker is doing for my health and performance!
What is InsideTracker?
To summarize, InsideTracker provides specific recommendations based on analysis of hormone and nutrient biomarkers in your blood. The goal of the program is to help optimize these levels.
Before starting at InsideTracker, I had the opportunity to take one of their blood tests, the Ultimate Plan.
As someone who considers herself a health nut, I was very curious to see what the results would come up as. Most of the time, I eat extremely healthy and regimented. While I do enjoy the occasional slice of pizza, I typically eat ‘real food’ that is non -processed and as close to ‘whole’ as possible. What I didn’t realize, is how my sleep habits and my training can affect my blood and my overall health. InsideTracker certainly proved to be a wake up call on a couple of things. This was a little bit of a shock, since I always thought I was doing everything right when it came to my nutrition and my lifestyle.
I thought I would spend some time today talking about my InsideTracker biomarker findings and how these findings have impacted my Ironman Training.
The most eye-opening results were my Cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a vital hormone involved in a multitude of our bodies’ most crucial functions. The many problems that result from chronically elevated cortisol can impact both physical and mental well-being.
It turns out, cortisol and I have a lot to work on…
My levels were in the ‘red zone’ of cortisol levels, significantly higher than the optimized zone… yikes!
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that the body releases in response to stress. Called the “stress hormone,” cortisol performs other important functions such as providing quick spurts of energy; maintaining blood glucose levels; regulating blood pressure; aiding in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism; reducing sensitivity to pain; and regulating the immune system.
What have I been doing to help reduce my high cortisol levels:
… trying to get more sleep. I posted about this a few weeks ago… I’m working on it… but it’s not easy.
… adding InsideTracker’s food recommendations to my diet like avocado. I am already eating enough walnuts and almonds, so hopefully adding avocados to my diet will help reduce cortisol levels.
I look forward to retesting my Cortisol levels to see if they have changed with added sleep. If not, it might be the case that my levels are chronically high.
I had full intentions of writing this post earlier in the week, but before I knew it, it was Friday… oops! 🙂
This week I’ve been off from work, it’s my ‘transition week’ before starting my NEW job on Monday! I tend to forget that being home for a week can sometimes be more stressful than it is relaxing. I had a to-do list about a mile long.. from appointments to errands, the list was endless. The great thing about have a week off is, being able to fit my training in whenever I want, lots of flexibility. I’ve been sleeping a ton (yay!) and I’ve had extra time for TLC like stretching and foam rolling.
I thought I would do a brief update on my training last week
(March 23th – March 29th)
Swimming: 11,300 Total Yards
Continuing to see progress and loving my time in the pool. Monday was a nice recovery swim. On Wednesday and Friday I went to Masters Practice. On Saturday, I did a 2,800 yard swim with focus on pulling and paddles:) My average pace at most of my Masters Practice’s is 1:27-1:30 per 100 yards. I am leading freestyle 200’s at 2:45 per 200 yards. I am able to hold a fast pace for a long period of time, which tells me I am getting efficient and very in shape in the water. Boo-yah!
Bike: 119 miles (highest mileage week on the bike thus far)
Coach Jorge has me biking on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays (for the most part). On Tuesday, I thought I was going to die during the workout, literally. I am doing intense workouts during the week to build my POWER! Needless to say, it’s not easy and sometimes I feel like puking.
This was the most challenging bike session of the week… a lot of time in my ‘High Threshold’ zone which is roughly 160-166 bpm… holy smokes it was hard!
WU: 10′ @z1, 5′ on/off as 30″ @ low z4/ 30″ @ z1 + 5 min low z2
MS: 5 x (5′ @ high z4, 2 min @ z1, 1 min @ z5, 2 min @ z1)
CD: 5 min @ z1
On Thursday I did more of an endurance ride at z2 heart rate. Saturday was more of Z2, steady state heart rate, but for a longer period of time (2.5 hours). I finally found a new Netflix series that makes the time go by, Bloodline. You should check it out!
Running: 13.1 miles
Running mileage ended up being low last week. I was supposed to do my 21 mile long run, but my body had different ideas. My legs were not feeling the long run, and I listened to them. As a result, I did some 30 minute easy runs during the week and moved the long run to this weekend. Instead of my long run on this past Sunday, I rode my bike for 1.5 hours and then did some water running for 45 minutes. Water running is NO joke! Talk about sucking wind.
After my Sunday training sessions, Todd and I went to the TriMANIA Expo in Boston. It was fun to walk around and see different triathlon vendors! We didn’t end up listening to any of the speakers, unfortunately. My FAVORITE part of the expo was trying on the Normatec Recovery Boots. I’ve been wanting to try these boots for years now and I finally got the chance. We waited in line for maybe 10 minutes and then had the boots on for roughly 20 minutes. They feel unbelievable. I describe it like having a blood pressure cuff around your legs, that’s massaging you from your feet to your hips… mmm soo good!
The science behind Normatec is fascinating.. you can read all about it here.
I would love to own a pair of these bad boys one day!
Have you ever tried Normatec boots?
Do you like water running?
this goes for life and triathlon.
but right now, I’m talking about life…
When I was a young girl, I was a springboard diver. I was fearless. I suppose I am still pretty fearless, but it’s just different now. As a diver, I would leap off the high dive, doing all sorts of twists, reverses dives, without a care in the world.. not even scared of what could happen if I messed up. I just went for it. Coach would tell me what to try, and I would just do it. Sometimes failing, slamming down hard on the water, but I got right back up there and tried again. I persevered.
All of those years diving is a metaphor that fits my life right now…
Jumping off that diving board was always a risk. Trying a new dive, always a risk. But you never know unless you actually go for it. I remember my coach telling me that diving is 99% mental, and he was right. It was so easy to psych yourself out of doing a dive. If you thought too hard about it, Boom! you would mess up. I swear… the times I thought “I can do this” were the times I nailed the dive, and the opposite also applied.
Going through a career change feels very similar to trying a new dive. I am taking a risk, I am trying something new, a dive I’ve never done before. I don’t know how I’ll land, or how pretty this all will be, but I won’t know unless I try. I am trying this new ‘gig’ because deep down in my heart, I know that I can do this, and the mind is a powerful thing.
I’ve been saying to myself for a while ‘dream big’ and now it’s time to walk the walk.
change is scary… no doubt about it.
I’ve been pacing the house all week, my mind has been spinning, I literally can’t focus. I usually have my s*it together, but not this week. What the heck is wrong with me?! I keep asking myself. Honestly, I’m a mess. ha.
today this change hit me hard…
March 31st, 2015 was a milestone for me. I dropped off my laptop, my iPhone, my iPad to my big corporate office. I turned in my security badge and signed bunch of paperwork… then it was over. The job that will hopefully be my last ‘big corporate’ job, has officially ended. Just like that…
Part of me was left with those material items… leaving behind the comfortable and facing the uncomfortable head on. I’m not the same girl that walked into that office when I started, I’m stronger and more confident. I’m ready to try the high dive again… 🙂
Have you ever gone through a career change?
What advice do you have for me starting a new job?!
I consider myself to be a very positive, bubbly person. Most of the time, I am happy and I mean that. I love to smile and I like to think that people enjoy being around me…
being positive is a great quality… but what you don’t know is, deep down I’m internalizing EVERYTHING. Things can get quite dark and dreary, but I tend to put on my happy face. I usually go days/weeks feeling great, just letting things go, until I burst. Last night I had one of those nights where I just could not stop crying.
and it actually felt so good…
I just have a lot going on right now and I just feel, well, Ugh.
Here’s what’s on my mind…
… the asthma diagnosis let me down last week.
… my father-in-law had emergency brain surgery last weekend. he’s doing fine, and is in rehab, but it was very scary.. he fell off a ladder and had some brain bleeds.
… all of a sudden my confidence for running boston is dwindling… the decision ‘to run or not to run’ is a cloud over my head. I have one more long run to go and I will take it from there. My body isn’t feeling 21 miles this weekend, so coach moved it to next weekend… my legs need a little break this week and I’m listening to them. I’ve been training hard and I don’t want to take any chances.
… I’m in the middle of a career change. I’m super excited, but I’m scared! Let’s be honest, starting a new job feels like the first day of school. Next week ends my time (hopefully for good) in a cubicle. I start in two weeks at a start up company, in a role I’ve never been in before. Change is good but scary at the same time!
… it’s been cold, wet and gloomy in Boston. This week it was in the 30’s-40’s with NO sign of it warming up anytime soon. Honestly, why do I live here? I guess we are in this ‘pattern’ and the meterologists claim we had kind of bad winter that lingers.. GREAT. Good thing for Vitamin D supplements.
all of the above is causing me to feel very stressed and down lately.
Sorry for all of the complaining, but I have to be real, this is who I am. I can’t sit here and pretend life is perfect all the time:)
thanks for listening! Please send you virtual hugs my way.