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Thinking Out Loud Thursday! {#6}

Here are my thoughts (i.e. mind rambles) this Thursday!

I’ve been feeling down this week..

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Not sure if it’s my heel pain acting up again, or what, but I’m having one of those weeks where I just feel down in the dumps… for no reason at all. I’m just feeling blahh and I wish it would go away!

 

One of my biggest pet peeves: when people don’t say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

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I just don’t get this. At all. Whether it’s sending an email, letting someone go before you when driving, holding the door for someone at a coffee shop… know your manners people! Honestly, if you don’t have good manners, I pretty much decide that I don’t like you right off the bat. Sorry, but manners are important!

 

I am so grateful (more than ever) for my supportive husband

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If it weren’t for him, I’m not sure how I would be able to get through this Ironman training. Now, more than ever, I am so grateful for his patience and willingness to help around the house. He knows how important this training is to me and how time consuming it is. He has picked up so much of the slack at home i.e. laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc when I’m unable… he’s honestly been amazing.

 

I have made it my goal to get into bed before 10:00 every night

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As I’ve mentioned before here, I don’t get enough sleep (probably 6-6.5 hours on average). It’s now my goal to get into bed by 10:00 during the week, lights out, head on the pillow (so far it’s only worked once this week, oops). It’s such a hard thing to do!

 

I don’t know how I used to train without a recovery drink

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I’m so glad I found a recovery drink that not only tastes great, but it makes me feel so much better! EFS Ultragen Cappuccino is my drink of choice, and it works wonders on my tired muscles! I bounce back a lot faster after workouts now, thanks to Ultragen.

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Power Foods Lately + a Recipe!

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One of my hobbies besides triathlon training is cooking nutrient dense (real food) meals! I really enjoy cooking and often try new recipes weekly. I find I am just as passionate about nutrition as I am about fitness. The two go hand and hand. You will not see results if you care about one and not the other. Training for my Ironman has made me more aware of my nutrition than ever before. I have always been a ‘health nut’ and have never been a junk food person or a yo-yo dieter. I’ve always just LOVED eating healthy and it’s just part of who I am. Fueling properly for my training is vital to my performance, and that’s why I’ve been trying lots of new power foods!

I thought I would share some of these ‘power foods’ with you plus their benefits!

Green Lentils

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Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, but are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron (source). Since they are rich an Iron, lentils are the perfect power food for female triathletes who may need extra iron with serious endurance training.

Hemp Seeds

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Hemp is considered one of the world’s most nutritious plants. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids making them an ideal source of protein for vegans and raw foodists. The essential fatty acids are abundant in hemp seeds and come in a ratio that is highly beneficial to humans. Magnesium, iron, and potassium are in good supply along with fiber. Some of hemp seed’s supply of antioxidants comes from its vitamin E content. (source)

Millet

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Millet is as a good source of some very important nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Gluten-free, highly nutritious, great energy source – ideal for athletes, complete protein source when combined with legumes (source).

Dino (Lacinato) Kale

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To begin, Tuscan kale, like all kales, is extraordinarily nutritious: a cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamins K and A, and 88 percent of the DV for vitamin C. Like other members of the brassica family such as cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts, kale is a rich source of organosulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention. (source)

Red Cabbage

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Purple vegetables, such as this cabbage and others like eggplant and blueberries, contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are chemicals that protect body cells, decrease the spread of cancer cells, and more. Purple cabbage contains 36 different types of antioxidants, including the health-giving anthocyanins. There is evidence to suggest that purple cabbage helps build a healthy brain and a healthy heart and acts as a fat burner. (source)

Microgreens 

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Researchers looked at four groups of vitamins and other phytochemicals – including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — in 25 varieties of microgreens. They found that leaves from almost all of the microgreens had four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant. But there was variation among them – red cabbage was highest in vitamin C, for instance, while the green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E (source). I love putting these little greens on top of my salads!

 Here is a recipe with some of these super foods combined into one dish!

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I made the Over the Rainbow Cabbage Salad from ‘Oh She Glows’ plus the Lemon Tahini Dressing from ‘Oh She Glows.’  I added Hemp seeds, Tuscan Kale, Arugula, Microgreens and Green Lentils! You could add Millet too for extra carbohydrates post workout session! I could eat this meal all day long!

Over The Rainbow Cabbage Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing (from Oh She Glows) 

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
About 6-7 cups of roughly chopped red/purple cabbage (I used 1/4 of a large cabbage)
1 carrot, shaved with a peeler into 2-3 inch strips
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped finely (or use other herb)
Half a batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (or make the full batch and save for later)
3-4 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds (or use hemp, sunflower, etc)
Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Toast the seeds for about 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Remove and set aside. (I used Hemp seeds, non-toasted) 
2. Add several cups of water into a kettle and bring to a boil. Lightly rinse the cabbage and slice in half, through the stem. Slice each half, in half again and roughly chop. You’ll want about 6-7 cups.
3. Add chopped cabbage into a strainer in the sink and pour the boiling water over top. Quickly rinse with cold water. This helps soften the cabbage slightly. Roughly dry the cabbage with a hand towel.
4. In a large bowl, mix the chopped celery, pepper, cabbage, shaved carrot, and parsley.
5. Prepare the dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. The salad tastes best when the dressing is mixed just before serving, so I suggest you portion out how much salad you will be eating for the meal and then add on your desired amount of dressing & mix well. Wrap up any leftover salad and place in the fridge and do the same with the leftover dressing.
(I doubled the recipe in order to use up all of the cabbage and to have leftovers!)

Read more on this recipe here

Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing from Oh She Glows
Yield: Just under 1 cup of dressing
Ingredients:
1/4 cup Tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup Nutritional yeast or a bit more, to taste
2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
3 tbsp water, or as needed

Directions:
1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth. Makes just under 1 cup.

Enjoy!!

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IMMT Training Recap {Week 15}

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The stats:

Total Training hours last week: 14:30

15 weeks until IMMT
5 weeks until my next race: Patriot Half Ironman

Last week was the highest volume week I’ve had in a while! I had a productive week and weekend of training, with lots of time spent outdoors whenever I could. I typically do all of my week day rides in the basement on my trainer. Since I always ride in the early morning hours, it’s more convenient and safe to go down to my basement. I did my 3 hour bike ride on Saturday on my trainer due to rain (blah), but I watched a movie and zoned in.. I was done before I knew it! I am still not in the open water yet (water is too cold here!), so I’ve been at the pool 3+ days/week. All of my runs last week and this weekend were done outdoors, which was fantastic of course. My favorite place to run is a pond/trails that are 1.5 miles from our house. I typically run to the pond, run on the trails surrounding the pond, and then back to my house. This run is about 6.5 miles. If I have to go longer, I’ll just do an extra loop at the pond. The wooded trails surrounding the pond are just over 3 miles, and love how I don’t have to run on pavement the entire time. I also discovered yesterday, there are additional trail networks around the pond, had fun exploring those!

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Here is what I was up to last week!

Distance totals:

Swimming: 10,400 yards (~ 6 miles)
Biking: ~ 90 miles
Running: 30 miles
All of my training is designed by my coach

Monday
Swim 2900 yards (was supposed to be less, but wanted to swim longer!)
Core work

Tuesday
Bike 1:40
Run 30 min
Strength work

Wednesday
Swim 3,000 yds
Run 40 min

Thursday
Bike 1:30
Strength work

Friday
Swim 3,000 yds
Run 50 min

Saturday
Bike 3:00 at Zone 1 HR (indoors, it was raining)
TRX upper body workout
Recovery run 26 min
Walk Oliver 2.5 miles

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Oliver enjoyed his walk on Saturday!

Sunday
Swim 1500 yds, steady swim
Bike 1 hour with 10 x 30 second sprints
Run 1:03

How I’m feeling overall:
I feel great! Except for my left heel. While training for Boston, I talked about my heel pain. I actually took 5 weeks off from running this winter and the pain subsided (a little bit). I knew that running Boston would put me at risk for a flare up, but I was willing to take the chance. Well, since Boston, my heel has had a nagging pain and it doesn’t want to go away. From my MRI, I know that I have some form of plantar fasciitis, but that’s actually not what’s causing my pain. Through talking to my health care providers and doing research, heel pain is not always PF, it can actually be other things (that’s why an MRI is good to have if you’re not sure!). I have heel necrosis (i.e. dead tissue in my heel fat pad). Fat pads are located beneath the heel bone of each foot and serve as shock absorbers when running, exercising or walking. When these tissues break down, you can develop necrosis of the heel fat pad. It’s VERY painful, but NOT when I run. It actually doesn’t hurt at all when I run. I ran the Boston Marathon for 26.2 miles with no heel pain (because I’m not hitting the spot when I run). The pain however, is with me all day, every day, whenever I’m standing or walking for long periods of time. For someone who is SUPER active like myself, it’s very frustrating and hurts! What makes it better is wearing shoes with a lot of cushioning in the heel (like my OOFOS that I reviewed on Friday!). Sadly, the only way this is going to go away is if I stop doing anything on my feet… which we all know isn’t going to happen. In the meantime, I’m just going to wear shoes with a ton of cushioning and see my Chiropractor weekly for massage, electric stimulation, etc.. and pray that it starts to heal.. Trying to be optimistic here.  My doctor says this should not affect IMMT, I hope he’s right!

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How was your training last week?

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Friday Favorites!

Here are some things I’m loving lately!  I’m looking forward to a busy weekend of training and getting on my bike (outdoors). Ironman training has officially taken over my weekends, and I’m OK with that:)

This article from IRONMAN.com: 10 Ways IRONMAN Prepares you for Parenthood

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After my post last week: ‘All of my friends are having babies…’ I found the timing of this article to be very fitting.  I have have read it a couple of times now, and it has given me reassurance for the future and potentially starting a family some day! I like # 6:

IRONMAN: Long runs, miles of swimming and hours on the bike. Every weekend.

Little man: Long nights, round-the-clock feedings and hours of crying. Every day for a year.

→ The leg up: You can persevere. Functioning while sore and sleep-deprived, and planning essential moments of recovery, is key to covering 140.6 miles as an athlete and 365 days as a new parent. “You understand that being tired is part of life now,”

 

Tulips

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I just LOVE these spring flowers. They are so pretty and I feel like they are every where I look!  I cannot help but buy a few bouquets every week at Trader Joes.  Bringing a bunch into the office makes being indoors a bit more tolerable.

 

OOFOS Flip Flops

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I have not wanted to take these off since I purchased them at the Boston Marathon Expo. They were the first shoes I put on after the race, and they feel like my feet are walking on clouds! Perfect for those suffering from plantar fasciitis/heel pain, since they have a lot of arch and heel support! These sandals have seriously changed my life… highly recommend them.

 

Wholly Guacamole Minis

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I love these little guacamole and avocado packets for the work week! They are very convenient and are super healthy with no preservatives. Just real food ingredients. I love eating the guacamole with baby carrots or putting the avocado on my burgers!

 

The Green Dream Smoothie at Whole Foods

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I am not usually one to like green smoothies, but this one from the Whole Foods Smoothie Bar is delicious and I’m hooked! The ingredients are: coconut water, kale, spinach, banana and mango… I need to figure out how to recreate this at home!

 

Have a fantastic weekend!!

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday {#5}!

Here is what’s my mind this beautiful Thursday…

It’s really nice outside today. A reminder that I hate being in an office and I would like a job where I have more flexibility (i.e. be my own boss). Now the question is, how the heck do I get to be my own boss?

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I cooked with millet for the first time yesterday and I loved it! I made this recipe here  from ‘Oh She Glows’ and it was delicious! If you have not cooked any of her recipes before, you must try them asap! I usually cook with Quinoa, but wanted to try something new. I really liked the chewy texture of the millet combined with lentils and zucchini in this recipe! I also love this fact about Millet: Phosphorus in millet helps with fat metabolism, body tissue repair and creating energy (phosphorus is an essential component of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, a precursor to energy in your body). Such a great reason to eat millet as an athlete!

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We are planning a trip out to Utah in late September, and I’m getting stressed out trying to figure out where to explore out there! We have a wedding in Park City and plan to spend a week prior to the wedding exploring the area or driving to Wyoming! We have been to Moab in southern Utah, but never anywhere else. We are looking to do some camping, hiking, mountain biking, etc… suggestions welcome! Living on the east coast, the West is very foreign to me:)

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I’m on a mission to get my glutes back! After giving up Crossfit this Winter to focus on Ironman training, I’ve noticed that my glutes went from defined and strong to looking flat and feeling weak… not happy about this! Not only does it look bad to have a flat bum, but it’s also not good for all of the biking and running I do! Case and point right here from Competitor Magazine: Have you noticed that sprinters usually have big butts? That’s because the glutes are the hardest-working muscles in all-out sprinting. In athletes who do a lot of full-speed running, the muscle fibers comprising the glutes thicken, and the rear end inflates. The glutes are the hardest-working muscles in distance runners, too, but the relatively low-intensity nature of the training does not stimulate the sort of hypertrophy that results in visible changes to the anatomy. I’m on a mission to get my glutes back and I’ve been doing strengthening exercises 2-3 times/week! I will share my favorites on the blog soon!

Read more about glutes and running HERE.

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I have been enjoying my lunch time runs, or ‘runches’ as I like to call them! I can’t always get out to run during lunch, but when I can, it’s a really nice way to break up the day (and get my training in)! I also find that my energy level is at a great point during the lunch hour. I don’t always have a ton of energy to run after a long day at work, so during midday is perfect for me (this is of course when I don’t run in the morning hours). My only grip is having to get changed, clean up and all of that … then return to my desk… still sweating..

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Happy almost Friday!

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