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My other life (besides training that is)

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Besides training and racing, I love to spend my spare time with my husband Todd and our West Highland Terrier Oliver. We have had Oliver for four years now, since he was a little puppy, and he is the love of our lives! Since we love him and Westies so much, we thought it would be great to volunteer with our local Westie rescue chapters! If it were up to me, we would have 2-3 dogs in the house, but my husband is the practical one! I guess there has to be one, right?

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For the past few years, we have been Foster parents to Westies who have been surrendered by their owners or have been saved from puppy mills. Think of it as being a foster parent for a child, but in this case it’s for a dog. We have fostered a total of seven dogs and plan to keep helping out whenever we can. Typically when we foster, we can expect to have the dog for 1-2 weeks, sometimes more. Being a foster dog parent is such a feel good thing! Instead of being put in a kennel or a shelter, these dogs can stay in our home and have a fenced in backyard. We show them unconditional love until they are placed with the perfect family. It is always very bittersweet when they find a family. I am very happy to see them find their forever home, but I am also sad to see them go… how can one not get attached to these little fluff balls?

Our most recent foster puppy, Whitney

Our most recent foster puppy, Whitney

I am very passionate about helping animals and I even ran the Chicago Marathon in October for TEAM PAWS. I know not every dog can be helped or saved, but I like to know that I’m making a difference! Dogs teach us how to love unconditionally and to live every day in the present moment.

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 If you are interested in being a foster parent to a dog, check out your local rescue organizations! They will be happy to hear from you, I promise.

 Would love to hear about how you help animals!

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I hate rest day.

Rest days totally mess with my head.

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I know I have had a tough couple of weeks of training, and I’m pretty beat up, but I still hate having to rest today. As an athlete, I am used to my routine of waking up, training, eating breakfast, going to work, and most days training after work. It was really weird this morning to sleep in an extra hour and shower (without sweating beforehand), and then just go to work. I know this is what most people at my office do, but it’s not me, and it feels weird to not work out on a day during the week. When I take a rest day, it feels like something is missing. I can’t help but want to sneak a little workout in… but that voice in my head keeps saying ‘no, this rest is good for you Kristin, don’t do it!’. My coach must have scheduled an OFF day for a reason, and I need to abide by it, knowing that in the end, this is good for me.

I find it’s also weird to know what to eat on Rest days. I’m not expending TONS of energy like I normally do, therefore I should probably eat less, but I find I am still hungry all day long (as if I did workout). The key thing is to focus on eating all REAL nutrient dense foods on rest days, especially foods that reduce inflammation. I eat these foods on a regular basis anyways, but it’s especially important on rest days! Oh and I also plan to focus on lots of stretching and foam rolling tonight!

I just wish my rest day today could be spent on the beach, and not in a cubicle. Then I would actually want to rest.

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One other thing about taking a rest day, it puts me in a bad mood.  Without releasing endorphins, I feel cranky! … watch out co workers:)

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How do you cope with ‘rest days’?

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IMMT Training Week 21

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Jumping for joy after 14 miles on Saturday~

The Stats:
3 weeks until the Boston Marathon
21 weeks until IMMT
Total Training hours last week: 17

How am I feeling? This past week was another busy training week!  I am looking forward to this week ahead, which includes some recovery days.   I was really happy to still have some energy left in my tank by the time is got to my Sunday workouts.  I think this has a lot to do with fueling properly during and post training sessions.  My heel/plantar fasciitis is doing OK, I’ve been doing A LOT of self trigger point massage on my calves.

Training notes: I have been experimenting with post workout recovery fueling. I reached out to my sports nutritionist, because I have a hard time stomaching most recovery beverages.  He suggested trying a few different kinds of recovery beverages to see what I liked. After reading reviews online and in Triathlete Magazine, I decided to give Osmo Nutrition a try this weekend (will review this later this week!) I drank Osmo Acute Recovery Sports Drink post Saturday and Sunday workouts… I was happy with the results!

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Here’s a recap of the week:

Monday March 24
Swim: 3,000 yds Masters Practice (Distance day)
Core workout

Tuesday March 25
Bike: Duration: 01:30:00 w/ Speed Work
Run: 30 min (Brick Run)

Wednesday March 26
Swim: 3,000 yds at Master’s practice
Bike: (recovery) 55 min

Thursday March 27
Bike: Zone 2 01:25:00 Tempo Ride (2 x 20 low cad @ Z2)
Run: Speed Work
Duration: 01:05:00
Warmup:
30 min
Main Set:1 X (5k repeats, with 3 minute recovery between each), 1 X (1 mile repeats, with 3 minute recovery between each)

Friday March 28
Swim: 3,000 yds- Masters Practice with sprints/intervals
Bike: Recovery ride 57 min

Saturday March 29
Bike: All Out 50 min (with 10 x 30 second sprints)
Run: Zone1/ Zone 2: 01:40:00

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60 miles on the trainer.. personal indoor record for me:)

Sunday March 30
Bike: Zone 1 Duration: 04:05:00 Distance: 60 Miles
*I rode for 4 hours on my indoor trainer, a new personal record for me! My internet & cable also wasn’t working, so I couldn’t watch my Amazon Prime Videos or TV. I resorted to watching Ironman World Championship YouTube videos on my iphone to make the time go by (and motivated me!)

Brick Run Duration 45 min (My legs felt great on this run! Very reassuring after 4 hours on the bike… Feeling better about tackling the hills at Boston!)

I enjoyed running in the rain

I enjoyed running in the rain

Phew! Glad that week is complete…

How was your training last week?!

 

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Friday Five

Yay, it’s Friday!

This work week went by fast, and I’m grateful for that!  I have been busy with work and my training, all of the days just blend together… that happen to anyone else? It’s going to rain all weekend in Boston, which means I will be indoors riding on my trainer and running outside, if I’m lucky.

Here are five of my favorite things this Friday!

Tessemae’s Dressings

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I have been using Tessemae’s dressings for over a year now, and I will NEVER go back to ‘regular store bought dressings’ ever again. You will not find a tastier, healthier dressing out there. All of their dressings are made with REAL ingredients that you can pronounce and are good for you! Their motto is: Around here, we keep it real! My favorite flavors are Lemon Garlic, Zesty Ranch and Black Pepper. I love to add the dressings to steamed and roasted veggies, salads, chicken wings, you name it. Most recently, I have been roasting asparagus with the Cracked Pepper dressing… delicious!

Beauty Protector Detangler Spray

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I got a sample of Beauty Protector in my Birchbox and couldn’t get enough. I have since ordered the full size bottle, and my hair has never felt softer. I swim in a pool 3 days a week, which used to wreak havoc on my hair, but no longer! This paraben- and sulfate-free detangler seals the cuticles and smooths and moisturizes, thereby minimizing frizz. I highly recommend this stuff for anyone who swims or wants to give their hair new life.

Trigger Point Therapy Kit

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My chiropractor recommended this kit to me for my tight calves, and it has helped me tremendously. The knots in my calves definitely contribute to my Plantar Fasciitis. I find that when I roll my calf on the Trigger point ball, it makes a big difference. I have been using the kit every night, just to losen things up. It makes a difference in my lower legs when I wake up in the morning. It is very painful, but that’s how I know it’s doing the job!

Hoo Ha Ride Glide

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I won’t get in to much detail here, ha, but this stuff is a lifesaver! If you are a female and you ride a bike, you need this stuff. When riding for several hours on the bike, this makes things A LOT more comfortable. In addition to having healing agents, the Hoo Ha chafing cream is enriched w/ barley extract, lavender, eucalyptus leaf, tea tree and peppermint oil. The ingredients provide a lasting cool feeling so you enjoy your ride, run or spin class!

Speedo Color Block Silicone Swim Cap

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I love this new swim cap design from Speedo! Anything to get me in the water at 5:00 AM, right?

 Have a lovely weekend!

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Fuel. Train. Recover. Repeat.

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I received a nutrition consultation about a month ago and wrote about that here. Part of the consultation was to get a nutrition plan for my Ironman training. There were a lot of things I was doing well, and a few things I was doing not very well. My main issue was that I was not recovering properly after workouts longer than 45 minutes. I also was not fueling properly on the bike (i.e. just drinking water & not taking in enough carbohydrates. Here is a little update as to how things are going:

Fueling on the bike:

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I have noticed a big difference with how I feel after making the changes. When I ride for longer than 45 minutes (which is most often the case), I drink PowerBar Perform (which is used on the Ironman course) mixed with water. I use 2-3 scoops of perform depending on the size of the water bottle. The goal is to drink at least 1 bottle of perform every hour while on the bike. Drinking Perform has been going really well. I have noticed that I have a lot more energy on the bike and I’m not ‘hitting the wall’ after a few hours like I used to. At first I thought it tasted really sweet, but now I am used to it. On top of drinking the perform, I’m eating 3 Clif Shot Blocks or Power Bar Gels every 45 minutes. I make an effort to stay on top of these few things and it has helped me substantially. It makes me wonder how I ever got by with just drinking water! I used to think about how it was wayyy too much sugar when consuming all of these gels and drinks… now I have realized that my muscles NEED the sugar. Sugar is critical for performance.

Post workout fuel:

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Still working on this new change. I tend to do my workouts in the early morning hours or after work. A few days a week I do both morning and evening workouts. For the morning workouts, I typically will have a few Clif Shot blocks before getting on the bike, starting a run, or getting in the pool. One important thing I learned was not to eat anything high in fat or fiber too closely before a workout, this will prevent GI stress. During a training session, I fuel as mentioned above, with Perform and gels… and after I need to eat/drink something for recovery. It’s the recovery fueling that I have not grasped quite yet. I have never been a person to drink a protein shake or recovery drink after a workout. I tend to gravitate more towards a banana with peanut butter, or a granola bar for example.

What my nutritionist explained to me is, that its always best to think about this period of the day (i.e. in the morning post training session) in terms of what is most critical immediately post work. This means, immediately after your session the focus should be on high glycemic carbs to replace muscle glycogen and easily digested. You always want to stay away from significant sources of fat of fiber since these slow down digestion….not what you want here! You want to get blood sugar up fast! If you do not eat or drink the right things soon after your workout, the window of opportunity will close and it will take you much longer to replenish glycogen stores and other nutrients. This will dramatically increase the time it takes for you to recover from that workout, decrease the performance benefit of the workout, and affect your next workouts. The more recovery time between workouts, the fewer workouts you can do in a period of time. Fewer and lower quality workouts means less opportunity for fitness gains and slower race times. This is why post workout/race nutrition is so important.

The problem is, I am a wimp when it comes to drinking these type of recovery drinks. Most of the drinks, in my opinion, have an unnatural texture and an odd flavor. They also tend to have a protein source, like whey or pea protein, both of which I think taste disgusting. I know these types of things are an ‘acquired’ taste… but personally, I gag when I try to drink them. My husband tells me to just drink them really fast, but I can’t even do that much! I just ordered a few different drinks (Ultragen and Osmo Nutrition recovery drinks) and I will report back on how they taste, my reaction, etc… If you have any recommendations as to what has worked for you, please let me know!

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What have you done for training nutrition/race day nutrition that worked? What didn’t work?