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Wednesday Confessions

I turned 30 in November. I always thought by 30 I would have life figured out… well.. not so fast.

mary oliver

(one of my favorite quotes, ever)

What I have figured out:

-Turning 30 was a huge reality check… kind of like a slap in the face.
-Time moves really fast.
-Family is really important
-I still have a long way to go with my self confidence
-I am an athlete and will be for life… no matter how old.
-I found a hobby I love and that I am proud of… Triathlon
-I love to cook and I think I am quite good at it.
-It’s hard to make girlfriends as a 30-something
-I’m definitely an introvert… (Maybe this explains the above)

What I haven’t figured out:
-My career

I feel lost. I apologize in advance for the rambling, but it’s kind of a long story.

The ‘what I haven’t figured out’ career-thing scares me, all the time. I have been out of college for 8 years now, and I still feel ‘lost’ when thinking about what I want to do with my life/career. To back up a bit, I went to college for Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology). I picked this major based on my obvious love of exercise and what I thought was my love of science. My initial idea was to become a Physical Therapist- to me this seemed like the perfect job. Once I got deep into my major, I realized that Chemistry and other science courses were not my friend and I struggled. I graduated from the Kinesiology program feeling discouraged. Many of my friends were going on to PT school and I wasn’t. I had no idea what I wanted to do….

lost

I left college and tried personal training for that summer, at a large gym. I liked it, but I wasn’t passionate about working in a big gym and acting ‘sales like’ with the members. Feeling discouraged and needing to make money, my next best bet was to go through a staffing agency and get an office job. I ended up as a receptionist for a year at a software company. It was awful and the people treated me poorly, almost like a servant. I also hated being ‘chained’ to a desk… I am a girl who needs to move! I left after a year and started a different office job in the city as an Administrative Assistant… worked there for a year… and then started thinking about PT school again. At this time I was a little older and thought I could take on the challenge… I left my office job, worked as an aide at a PT clinic and applied to DPT programs. All of this hard work, leaving a good paying job, and ultimately I did not get into DPT school. Here I was again, feeling defeated, but thought ‘at least I tried.’ I thought it must be for a reason… and I moved on. I did not want to work in an office again, but it was my only option to make money at this time. I took on another administrative role at Pharmaceutical company, my best company yet that I had worked at… BUT it was still an office. I worked at this company for 2 years, never really satisfied with what I was doing. I was worth more than this… and this is not what I want out of life.

working

I am now at a new company, started in December, and while it’s the best company I’ve ever worked at, I’m still not sure what the heck I’m doing here. I feel like time is just passing me by as I sit in a cubicle, wondering what I could do with my life. I honestly don’t know if I will ever make it in ‘corporate America.’ I don’t like being in front of a computer all day, I hate office politics, I don’t like being indoors for 8 hours a day, and I try not to stay past 5 PM (because I have a life and I am training for an Ironman). Frankly, I don’t think I’m cut out for this kind of job. I’m not the ‘norm’ at the office… I take walk breaks/workout breaks at lunch, I bring my own lunch every day, I never take the elevator….being stuck in a cube drives me absolutely bananas.

wander

I have thought for years, what kind of job I can take that’s not a 9-5 office job, and it’s really hard! I need to make a living and I need benefits (although I could always take my hubby’s benefits). My dream job would be to work from home and have my own business. I have pondered going back to school for nutrition, but to become an RD, I would need to take ALL of those science classes all over again, no thanks. Being some kind of nutrition counselor/personal trainer at my own gym, would be ideal… but how the heck do I get there? I know deep in my heart that I am not supposed to work in an office for the rest of my life. There is always that little voice inside my head telling me: “Kristin this is not who you are”.

I am definitely lost.

Have you ever felt like changing your career? What did you do to make life better for yourself?

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IMMT Training Recap (I)

Since we are getting closer to my Ironman, I thought I would start documenting the previous week of training on each Monday. This will give you (my readers) an idea of what Ironman training looks like i.e. what my life at the moment looks like. I work with a professional coach, so each week is mapped out by him…. All I have to do is follow the plan!

athlete

The Stats:
4 weeks until the Boston Marathon
22 weeks until IMMT
Total Training hours last week: 16

How am I feeling? This was a great week. I completed all of the workouts as scheduled (including all of the running). I feel confident now that I can run the Boston Marathon. I was always confident that I could run it, but took about 5 weeks off from running this winter to recover from a stress reaction in my foot, and I was nervous. Now with the green light from my coach and podiatrist, I hope to run Boston with minimal pain (which is all relative when running a marathon, right?).

Training notes: My coach has me training with a large focus on heart rate. Each bike and run workout is dictated by heart rate and I have to keep a close eye on what zone I am working in. What I like about training with heart rate is, that it forces me to slow down on my recovery days, when I used to just ‘go all-out’ all the time. It also tells me when I’m ‘slacking’ and need to pick up the pace! My workouts are dictated by heart rate zones (i.e. Zone R, Zone 1, Zone 2). Zone R = Recovery, Zone 1= Moderate effort, Zone 2: Moderate to hard effort. The zones are different depending on if I am biking or running. For example, Zone 1 on the bike is 130-140 bpm (beats per minute) and Zone 1 while running is 140-150 bpm.

P2

What I accomplished last week:

Monday 3/17
Easy recovery day
20 minutes on the elliptical + some strength work

Tuesday 3/18
Bike: Speed work 01:25:00
Run: 30 Minute “T” Transition run

Wednesday
Swim: 3,000 Yards at Master’s practice
Bike: ZR spin on my trainer, 45 min
Run: ZR Run 24 min

Thursday
Bike: 01:30:00 Tempo Ride with low cadence work
Run: 1:00 Speed work
Strength: Core work

Friday
Swim: 3,000 Yards with Master’s Team
Run: 24 min recovery run

Saturday
Bike: 04:00:00 at Z1/Z2 heart rate
Run: Z1 HR 40 min transition run

Sunday
Run: 1:10: at Z1
Bike: 50 min, ZR Ride + 10 sets of 30 second sprints all out
Run: 1:12 at Z1 (Total run distance this day: 18 miles!)

photo 1

 

What was your training like this weekend?

 

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Five on a Friday!

Happy Friday and happy Spring! Although, it doesn’t really feel like Spring in Boston quite yet…I worry that Boston will skip spring this year and we will go right into Summer.  This has happened in recent years… one day it’s 40 degrees, the next it’s 80.  I want it to warm up, but not before the Marathon!  I need good running weather on April 21st!

Here are 5 of my favorites this Friday:

Strength training with TRX

trx

Since I had to give up Crossfit for now (sigh), due to my foot injury and Ironman training, my coach suggested TRX!  I have done TRX classes before, but I am now excited to have my own TRX system!  I look forward to lots of upper and lower body exercises… and I love how the TRX works your CORE!  I will be posting my favorite TRX workouts soon.

 

Old Navy Pixie Pants

pixie2

Even the movie stars are wearing these inexpensive, fun & flattering pants!  I am all about wearing bright colors now that it’s spring.  The Old Navy Pixie pants are the perfect addition to any girl’s wardrobe.

 

Way Better Snacks

way better

I love these sprouted grain, non-GMO, crunchy chips!  Sprouting has been known to enhance the absorption of nutrients and aid in digestion. The Sweet Potato flavor tastes amazing with Guacamole or Hummus.

 

Hope Hummus

hopee

(Pairs very nicely with the chips above) Hope Hummus makes the highest quality organic, gluten-free, vegan, and kosher hummus available on the market. All organic ingredients, creative flavors and non GMO.  I really like the Spicy Avocado Flavor because it’s so different than your typical hummus.  How cute is the name Hope Hummus?

 

This quote

meee

Just a subtle reminder about why I’m training for my Ironman.

 

* Has anyone else used TRX to supplement Triathlon training?  How did it work for you?

have a great weekend!!!

 

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My Zucchini Noodle Obsession + Some Recipes!

My latest food obsession is Zucchini Noodles.  Turning Zucchini into ‘noodles’ is a great way to make a meal healthy and they are so versatile!  Basically, any recipe you would use with pasta, you can substitute zucchini noodles for. Genius!

Zucchini boasts a rich nutritional profile, and it offers health benefits thanks to its phytonutrients, mineral and vitamin content.  You can read more about the benefits here.

The best way to make zucchini noodles is with the Paderno Spiralizer .  I bought the Spiralizer a year ago, thanks to a suggestion from a friend, and my life has never been the same!  It’s very reasonably priced and it works really well for what it is (mostly plastic).  It’s also really easy to clean and has three different blade sizes for different size noodles.  The sizes range from an angel hair pasta size to ribbon like noodles.81ZItc34afL._SL1500_

My favorite resource and website for all things spiralized is http://www.inspiralized.com/.  Ali’s blog is an insanely useful resource for how to use the Spiralizer and she has amazing recipes.  I have recently been experimenting with her recipes and I have loved them all!  Here are a few of my favorites (and one that I made my own twist on).  I am eager to try recipes with other vegetables, besides Zucchini… you can seriously spiralize anything- sweet potatoes, butternut squash, you name it!

Roasted Pork Chops with Pistachio-Parsley Pesto Zucchini Pasta

(Taken from Inspiralized.com)

zucchini 1

This recipe was seriously delicious! I can’t say enough about the pesto and the zucchini noodle combination.  The parsley and pistachio give off such a nice flavor, but not too over powering.

Ingredients

For the pesto:
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios (deshelled)
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
1 garlic clove, minced
pepper, to taste
For the rest:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 boneless pork chops
salt and pepper, to season
garlic powder, to taste
3 medium zucchinis, Blade A

Instructions

Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and a pinch of garlic powder. In batches or using two skillets, sear the pork chops. To do so, place about 1/2 tbsp in the skillet per pork chop and let cook, without moving, for 3 minutes and then flip over and let cook another 3 minutes.

Once the pork chops are done searing, place them directly into the oven (still in the skillet). Cook for about 8 minutes or until pork chops register at 140/145 degrees (using a thermometer).

While the pork chops are cooking, prepare your pesto. First, place your pistachios into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until creamy.

In a bowl, place in your zucchini noodles and top with your pesto. Toss to combine. Once noodles are coated with pesto, divide them into three plates and top each with a finished pork chop. Enjoy!

 

ROASTED RED PEPPER ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH SAUSAGE

(Modified from this recipe)

Ali’s recipe on Insprialized.com, called for butternut squash and chicken for this recipe.  I did not have any butternut squash around, so I subbed for zucchini and it came out really well!  I also get sick of eating chicken all.the.time so I used sweet Italian chicken sausage from whole foods instead.  It was fantastic! (not the prettiest picture below, but you get the idea:) )

zucc 2

Ingredients

2 whole red bell peppers
3 Zucchinis Blade C
olive oil, to drizzle
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup diced white onion
1/3 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
1 pound sweet Italian sausage (I used the chicken sausage from Wholefoods, less processed)
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bottom and tops off the bell peppers, remove the seeds inside and place on a baking tray lightly coated with cooking spray. Place the peppers insides up. Roast for 25 minutes.

When the peppers are done roasting, place them into a food processor and pulse until no major chunks are left. Then, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Add the sausage (with casing removed) and break into pieces, cooking until browned. Then, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and onions. Let cook for about 3 minutes and then add in the pureed red peppers. Stir to combine and then add in the chicken broth to the pan. Once everything is combined, add the zucchini noodles and parsley to the pan and heat up for a few minutes (careful not to cook too much, they will get mushy).  I had mine with a size of broccoli, yum!

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Sacrifice with Ironman training + my honest opinion

I’m quickly starting to realized that training for an Ironman is going to take up all of my free time, and then some.

time

 

It’s now mid-march and my race is in August, honestly, it’s not that far away.  It seems like it’s far away, but it’s not! 22 weeks and counting…

If there’s anything Ironman training does, it teaches you how to multitask like no other and manage your time REALLY well.  My time before and after work is scheduled to a science, every minute is precious, every second counts. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of people that don’t have to work a full time job and can train whenever they want.  However, I like a challenge and I’m up for it. Ironman training is hard work and it’s not cheap either. This being said, a recent article in the New York Times annoyed me a bit…

The article was Titled: “Ironman? Yes, You Can” Armed with the latest carbon-fiber bikes, heart-rate monitors, advanced wetsuits and other gear, mere mortals are conquering the 140.6-mile triathlon.  The Article went on to say: Advanced triathlon equipment, like carbon-fiber bikes (easily $20,000 with all the trimmings), more buoyant wetsuits ($1,200 is not unheard of) and quick-to-slip-on shoes (around $400) can help athletes “buy speed.”

TYR

Ugh. This article frustrates me. I’m well aware that I’m in love with a sport that is flooded with investment bankers, trust fund babies and doctors (sorry, but it’s true)… I have learned to accept this.  Triathlon is a very expensive sport and for a lot of people that do Ironmans, it’s no problem at all. Yes, it makes me jealous at times, but it also gives me fuel for fire.  Yes, it’s frustrating seeing people that can drop thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest bike and wetsuit, no problem. Not only is it equipment they are buying, but they are travelling to islands like St Croix to race Ironmans- I wish! Of course I would love to travel to these races one day (I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t my goal), but some people can do this every year.  I get what the NYT is saying, you can buy a lot of fancy equipment and that will help you train, race, and it might even make you a little faster, but it takes HARD WORK.  Money can’t buy work ethic, and it certainly can’t buy passion.

westie

Ironman training means a lot of sacrifices, both financially and personally.  The other day, I shared with my husband how I would like to start taking classes in Nutrition, and he responded with ‘you do not have time for that in 2014, maybe 2015.’ He’s right.  2014 is consumed with Ironman training.  My weekends (Saturday and Sunday) are spent doing long workouts.  It will be hard to socialize because I need my sleep (and need to keep the wine drinking to a minimum).  I will most likely miss out on things like bachelorette parties and baby showers (which some might say is a good thing ha ha).   But in the end, this will all be worth it.  This is my year and I have earned it. While I am now that girl with the fancy bike and the cool racing helmet, I raced (and won my age group) for 4 years with my ‘heavy’ road bike and regular helmet.  I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far, and l want to let others know that fancy equipment, while yes, it can help you go really fast, it takes a lot of hard work and determination to train for a 140.6 mile race. Those things have to come from within.

black fly