On Saturday, all three of my girls, ages 10, 8 & 5, will participate in a youth triathlon. This is a re-post of a fitness column I wrote for a local newspaper on Kids Triathlons:
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Despite slathering on 50+ SPF and hiding under umbrellas when I'm not training, I inevitably tan. For a triathlete, this results in a rather unsightly pattern, particularly the farmer tan on the legs--who wants to put on a bathing suit and sport tanned legs up to just a few inches above the knee only to display pasty white thighs, compliments of the cycling/tri-shorts?
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Ten years ago today, my life changed drastically; I became a mom. This beautiful little person changed everything; my heart, my purpose, my life.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The Columbia Triathlon, my first race of the season, and I walked away with a smile on my lips and a gash by my eye. All in all, things went much better than I expected.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Final taper ride--check. A short bike at a decent pace and I managed to beat the rain, too. So, that's all--c'est tout. Nothing left to do now but relax, stretch, pack, sleep, eat and hope the bacteria clear out of the lake. (Oh, and spend five hours at the lacrosse play day tomorrow.)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
It's been a great feeling to check things off the list first thing in the morning.
During the last two decades, Howard County’s Department of Recreation & Parks has partnered with The Columbia Triathlon Association in bringing triathlon events to the County. In charge of overseeing and maintaining County parks, Recreation & Parks performs water quality testing on Centennial Lake (home to Columbia Tri events) on a regular basis throughout the year. In the weeks leading up to any swim event, this water quality testing is done more frequently. In testing completed over the last couple of days, some sample results have shown an increased level of transient bacteria, due in part to the significant amount of rainfall and run off we have experienced these past weeks. These levels are temporary and do fluctuate with environmental conditions, but we cannot predict what those levels may be in the next few days. As a result, we will keep you posted should any changes occur to this Sunday’s Columbia Triathlon.
What this actually means is that there is a chance that the triathlon could become a duathlon--Run, bike, run--and I can't begin to say how many ways this frustrates me, but here's the short list:
1) I don't really like to run. I don't hate it, but it's definitely my weakest link and definitely the area that I've struggled with most in terms of performance and injury. Now way do I want to swap the swim segment for another run!
2) If I wanted to do a duathlon, I'd do one. I don't.
3) One of our races last year was changed to a du because of a crazy early AM thunderstorm that passed through right at race start time. I'd been injured and had only run up to 3.5 miles before that race; I was prepared to run 5 miles that day, but not 8! To make matters worse, I ran those 8 miles on a broken foot! (I'd hurt it in a previous race but had not yet learned it was a metatarsal stress fracture.) Not exactly the high point of my 2010 race season.
Now that I've wandered over to the topic of broken bones, let's talk injuries for a moment. How many broken bones have you had? How many of those have affected your fitness routines? Post a reply if you have a good broken bone story to share . . . especially if you had a creative way to still keep the workouts coming . . .
Barley and Spring Greens
Canola oil spray
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 fennel bulb, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
1-3 cloves garlic (or to taste), finely chopped
3/4 cup thin slices of red, orange and/or yellow bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1 cup pearl barley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried marjoram
4-5 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup spinach leaves, torn into pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. finely-chopped fresh basil
Generously coat large, heavy pot with spray oil and place over medium-high heat. Add onions and fennel and sauté until tender, 5 to10 minutes. Add oil and heat until hot. Add garlic and bell peppers and sauté lightly for 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in barley, thyme, marjoram and broth. Bring to boil, immediate reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, stirring occasionally, 40 to 50 minutes or until barley is tender. Midway through cooking process, add salt and pepper to taste.
When barley is cooked, add spinach, cheese and basil. Stir to blend and adjust seasonings.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 172 calories, 3 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 32 g. carbohydrate, 7 g. protein, 7 g. dietary fiber, 464 mg. sodium.
Swiss Chard with Dried Cherries and Pine Nuts
3 Tbsp. dried cherries*
1/2 lb. fresh Swiss chard, washed well and dried**
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
Salt and pepper, to taste
In small pan, place cherries with water to cover. Bring to boil, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut chard leaves away from stems and central rib. Cut leaves into 1/4 inch slices crosswise. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chard leaves and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, 6-8 minutes or until chard is tender. Drain cherries and add with pine nuts to chard. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 91 calories, 6 g. total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 8 g. carbohydrates, 2 g. protein, 3 g. dietary fiber, 121 mg. sodium.
*Dried cranberries may be substituted for dried cherries.
**One package (9 oz.) of pre-washed baby spinach leaves may be substituted for chard.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Between the hours of 8:30 AM and 11:50 AM, I managed to make a run to PetSmart for two 40-pound bags of dog food and a sack of rawhides, swim an 1800 meter taper swim (my last before Sunday's race), bike a short 14-mile ride and return a phone call to my father. Now that's what I call a productive morning!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This is taper week, and I'm losing it alright. Not only am I losing miles and intensity in my workouts, I'm losing my mind, my sanity and my patience, too.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Trying, once again, to pull myself out of that weekend vortex long enough to post an update.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
This week's thinking has gone like this:
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I have a new student in my yoga class and he is a true-blue endurance athlete, the kind of athlete I hope to be when I grow up. His idea of a casual Saturday morning run is a 20-miler. He has run Boston as well as a few 50-milers and he has several Iron Man races on his resume. This fall, he's doing a "double Iron." I'd never even heard of such a thing! (And possibly was better off not knowing.)
Monday, May 9, 2011
Where, oh where, do the days go?
Saturday, May 7, 2011
The good news is that I ran 3 miles yesterday and my lower legs/shins/anterior tendons or whatever you call them felt pretty good then and they still feel good now. Whether it was the rest, the acupuncture, the pre-run cross friction massage technique (thanks Kari and Andrea), or the soft surface, I don't know, I just hope I can hang on to this feel-good feeling. Since it was a short run, I opted to trot a boring 6 or 7 laps around the same, relatively flat circle for its crushed-gravel surface and give my legs a break from the usual concrete and asphalt.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thursday's workout/rest day:
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A pattern is developing: things all around me are slowing to a halt.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I'm feeling unbalanced.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Royal what? What wedding?
How to train with honor? Honor thy body or honor thy training schedule? That is the question. In this case, by honor, I mean honoring your body and what it is telling you. Like I used to say to my kids when they were little and not paying attention: "Put your listening ears on!"