Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Since the off season started (around October for me) I have been doing TRX about 3 times a week. It has been really great to get back into a strength training routine. Lifting and weight training was a huge part of being on the crew team at Colby. We did dead lifts, squats, rows, bench press, on and on with these intense barbells made with a pole and 2 rusty paint cans filled with cement....weird thinking back on that....But we got really strong. Since crew I stuck to the same routine (except with normal weights) and then pretty much stopped any weight training as triathlon training got busier. Last year for Christmas I got a TRX and have been hooked on it ever since. It is the perfect tool to get a full body work out based on functional exercises. It also targets a lot of smaller stabilizing muscles which is really important for injury prevention.

Here is what it looks like:

I liked this guy cause look! He is on the beach, working out, doing his TRX in his board shorts. That's how convenient this thing is. I also like the looks of his abs :)

OK here is a more helpful picture:

So the top of the TRX can be looped through some sort of eye hook or slung over a pull up bar in a gym or just anything stable. I have the door anchor as well so I can literally use it most places. You just have to shut it into a door and you are ready to go. The top part where the straps come together has a little see-saw type connector so the straps can even themselves out. With the yellow tabs you can adjust the lengths. There are the places for your hands and the craddle for your feet like Mr. Board Shorts is using.

I mean look at this guy. He was about to leave some stadium but decided it was time to TRX so he parked his truck next to some electricity tower. So he is doing a super inclined TRX push up. Based on his facial expresion he knows how hard core he is and is feeling pretty good about it.

He should have seen this guy first. I think that smirk would fade right off of his face:

Boom. That's about as hard core as it gets if you ask me.

It really is awesome and they even do it on the Biggest Loser and now Jilian has her own like knock off version of it that there are infomercials for.

During the season I didn't do it as much but I have been really consistent since October and it is paying off! I do a few different variations of work out with it but my favorite is called the Metabolic Blast Circuit. It comes on a card with the TRX. It goes as follows:

3 times through:
10 x 30 s of a TRX exercise, alternating legs, upper body, and abs. No rest inbetween each exercise.
      During each exercise focus on high intensity movements, really "blasting" everything
1 min SPRINT all out. If you don't have a track to sprint around you can do burpees, jumping jacks, jump rope or anything else awesome.

I have been TRXing with my friend meh and am going to start teaching TRX classes come January!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I am very excited to say that I have a new sponsor! I am a new member of team!

I am really excited for this opportunity. I applied to a few different teams in October on a whim and didn't think I would make any of them so I was thrilled when offered me a spot on their team! I will be getting a nice box of free garb and help with different aspects of this sport. There is also a training weekend out in Tucson at the end of March that I am going to try my best to attend. Should be fun!

When I applied for this team the instructions said to get really creative because they get so many applications each year and spots were limited. We had to submit race results, a bunch of answers to questions and also a "personal essay" that could be in any format. I decided to make a short power point which I have shared below:

So I knew they would either think I was a freak or that they just might like it! Thank goodness they did :)

I am so lucky to have the support of Mideast Multisport who provide me with not only wonderful coaching but also advice, ideas, bike help and soooo much more. I am excited to have another group of people helping me out this year. Time to really get training so I can make it all worth it!

Burned Cookies

So I tried to make cookies for 2 of my friends that are in finals week right now. Attempt number one with chocolate chip:
The worst part was that I was simultaneously cooking shrimp and veggies with marsala so it smelled terrible in my apartment. I was literally falling asleep as I baked these because my workouts that day and little sleep had left me so tired. So last night I tried again, this time with aluminum foil lining one pan and a silicone cookie liner on the other. I even rolled the cookies in festive holiday sprinkles this time and was going to give a batch to my coach for his BDay as well. Result:

Burned sugar cookies. Which smelled even worse than the chocolate chip ones. Guess I need to use a different oven. Or try to be more like Foodie Girl!

My apartment still smells like burned cookies. Guess I will try something for them on the stove top tonight: Rice Crispie treats!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chelsea Piers

NY has an extremely larrrgggeeee sporting complex called Chelsea Piers. They have everything: gymnastics, tons of indoor courts and fields, spa, a shooting range, and on and on but also a gym and pool!

I had looked up a list of local USMS Masters teams in NYC and found that the Chelsea Piers team was meeting Saturday morning at 9:00. This was too perfect! My flight wasn't until 2 so I had time to practice, shower, pack, eat with my friends and get on my bus to the airport out of there. The only trick was getting there. I ended up leaving my friends apartment at 8:10 on 8th ave and 47th, headed towards the Hudson River. The run to the pool was about 2 miles and I was so glad to have the extra time because as you can see above, this place was GI-NORMOUS and took some navigating. I finally found registration and got myself set.

Then something weird happened. I had never experienced this before. The guy at the front desk said I had to go into the locker room, then get my swim suit on and then put on a robe before walking across the gym to the pool. I was like OK this is a joke. He assured me it wasn't but I was not going to be a fool so instead I looked like a perv because I hung out in the locker room and eyed everyone in a swim suit to see what they did. Sure enough they put their robes on and went back out into the gym. I did the same but felt like a freak walking past the smoothie bar, all of the weight lifters and tradmill-ers.

The pool was super nice and was on a second floor sort of extending over the water with windows all around so I was basically in the Hudson minus the boats, heroine needles and cold water. The practice ended up being really nice. The coach was super friendly and before I knew it I had gotten in 4800 solid yards! I ran the 2 miles back with my wet hair and intense goggle marks. At one corner I was stopped and a woman turned to her BF and was talking in a language I didn't know while making circle motions with her finger around her eyes and looking at me with a raised eyebrow. Yeah, I get it, I look like a freakish raccoon. So I lifted my hand that was holding my cap and goggles up near their faces in a fake stretch so hopefully they put it together. 

All in all, when out of town I am going to do my best to swim with the local masters team because it was really fun, in this case free, and a nice way to meet new people and see new things.


It is always difficult to find a swimming pool when traveling. While staying with my friend JKB outside of the city in Pound Ridge we had to trick a very nice woman named Joan or something into thinking we were actually interested in membership so that I could get a swim in. So I walked away with not only a free swim but a really nice folder detailing all the membership benefits awaiting me. We found a back exit so we did not have to pass her desk on the way out. The pool ended up being nice but foggy and super warm. There were def things growing in that water but it allowed me the 30 minute swim I needed.

Swimming is the one of the 3 disciplines that I hate to slack on because my form suffers so quickly since I was never on a swim team growing up. I loose a feel for the water about an hour after I get out of the pool as it is. My ears were still hurting though and once in the city I wasn't going to bed early thanks to fun outings and Broadway plays (yay best NY hosts ever). 
Christmas market near Bryant Park

Me and some big building...

THE BEST Salvation Army JINGLERS ever. They danced with bells the whole time. I totally would have given then money but I only had a $10...and I'm too cheap to give that bill up.

The view from my b-fri's apartment. IT IS GORGEOUS but she is beyond jaded by it. She says "oh yeah, the sunset is pretty...."

Yeah, it's pretty.

I got to CLM for a super quick visit again because she came into the city with some friends in her school program. We honestly had the most FREE fun here by the tree, where we got to watch skaters of all ages fall on the ice or show off their non-existent moves while drinking hot C from magnolias. 

Pretty nice tree. I'm glad I didn't have to put the lights on that thing.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I got to go visit Baltimore and then NYC for Thanksgiving and a week beyond! It was so wonderful to get out of Lexington and see family and friends. My Aunt Judy hosted Thanksgiving and she somehow managed to feed 38 people in her new house of only 25 days! It was a wonderful time. I also got to spend some good time with my siblings and brother-in-law.

I had big work out plans for this trip;  I had already signed up for a 5K I had done the year before and there was a local YMCA that I loved to go to.  I chose last minute not to bring my bike because there would not be enough days in Baltimore to ride it before I went on to New York City. the days leading up to our car ride I got sick...again. I was not happy with this. I had a sore throat, my ears were upset and I had the green oooz. I went to a doctor in Baltimore and got on some drugs for my diagnosed sinus and double ear infection.

This episode ended my gluten free days. I was baffled by my good eating returning little results. So I said bye bye and welcomed the gluten back into my life with open arms. I am still doing no white flour but my goodness is that soooo much easier. After 4 days in Baltimore I took a train up to CT to meet up with two of my best buds from college. Being sick was actually a blessing in disguise because instead of worrying about fitting work outs in I was more concerned with getting to feeling better. I had a WONDERFUL run along the Connecticut coast in Greenwich.
This is oh so New England and it reminded me so much of school and why I love the ocean so much.
The running trail was full of people on Sunday morning runs, bike rides and family walks.
 Good thing the bird in this pic didn't poo on us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm A Belieber (sometimes...)

Sometimes my early swim practice really kicks my butt. I was OK with this today because I hadn't had a swim I felt good about since before I was sick about a month ago. So even though I refueled with a great breakfast and a Starbucks holiday-cup drink on the way to work, come noon time, tiredness settled in. My lunch time smoothie perked me up a bit but my afternoon was filled with data entry so when I returned home at about 4:30 to find Travis and a puddle of pee in my living room: I was tired. I still needed to run 7.5 miles and although it was an easy pace run it was still a run. I recharged on the couch, watching Top Chef and eating a gluten free homemade corn muffin.
These are Bob's Red Mill corn muffins, superrrr good
Then decision time: run outside in the 40 degree weather with the sun setting right as I start or run at the YMCA, the Triathlon Store or Healthworx, which all have treadmills. All of these places provide the distraction of people and TVs but I turned down all of these places and instead opted for the treadmill in my parents basement. The max speed on this bad boy is 8.0....not too impressive. What it offers me is solitude and time to decompress while doing one of my favorite things. Today I was also in need of a mental pick me up so here is my confession. One of my favorite Pandora stations is Justin Beiber.

The Beibs
How sweet does he look in those shades? Yeah he is the Beibster and ridiculous and might have a baby-mama in California or something but his music is fun to run to. I will also confess that I watched Never Say Never (the Beiber movie) on the CompuTrainer and it was good. The station on Pandora plays lots of other great running music. I like to run to complete crap music when I run because it generally has a nice fast beat and gets me going. Thanks to this station I had a really fun run and because I had the whole place to myself I might just have sang along to some of the tunes :) I may be lame for giving into the Beib-Vibe but he sure did brighten my afternoon today. It also reminded me that even when I am tired from work, working out generally makes me feel loads better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dirty Water Bottles

Water bottles always get nasty. No matter how diligently I empty them out after use or rinse the gatorade/powerade/sugars from them they always get moldy. Thanks to their lovely curvature this mold is impossible to get out.

UNTIL NOW!! I finally found the perfect tools for cleaning any water bottle.



So these are both pretty simple bristle brushes but they had just not occurred to me to use! I was sooo close to throwing out about 6 water bottles that had grime that the dish washer couldn't handle. I had tried soaking them and scrubbing them but my hands were getting cut up trying to reach the sponge to get to the nasty black mildew.  

I finally found the Libman brush in the cleaning isle at the grocery store and then got the even better Munchkin brand scrubber. It is made for baby bottles so it really works perfectly to get to the bottom of the bottle where it is all curved and impossible to clean.

So don't throw those bottles away just yet! The mildew can be conquered. Maybe everyone has already figured this out but I was super psyched when I discovered these guys a little while ago.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Newest Project

With the warm days winding down and my day to day training and working not being too taxing I decided I was ready to foster another dog! I had been in touch with a wonderful woman heading up Kentucky Great Danes, a Great Dane rescue, so when she called with a project I jumped on the opportunity! His name was Travis and he had quite the history. She was not sure of his beginnings but he was 4 years old and at a rescue in Southern Kentucky. The person who had rescued him was not able to get any weight on him or fix his digestive problems with the resources she had available and all of the other foster cases she had to help.
November 5th

I got him on Friday, November 4th and he was a mess. He was incredibly skinny. He would need to gain 40 pounds to be healthy. He came right out of one of those commercials. My brother in law started singing "in the arms of the angels..." by Sarah McLaughlin when he saw him. It was pretty hilarious. He also has lots of scrapes and places where his coat was dry. The worst was the end of his tail; there was an open wound right at the tip. So I had my work cut out for me! The first few days went really well and he loved sleeping in my bed and on my couch. Since he had been having stomach issues and not been able to put on/keep on any weight he has a plan diet. I feed him either chicken, cheerios, beef, oatmeal, peanut butter, some milkbone dog treats or rice. He loves it all! Since he is so tall he just rests his head on the counter whenever I am cooking. I try to feed him about 4 times a day.
November 6th
He already is looking so much better and I can tell he feels better. Now whenever I get home he does a little dance in the window and looks forward to exploring outside. He is honestly the sweetest dog and very low maintenance. He either comes and stands next to you so you pet him or lays next to you on the couch. I am a sucker so he sleeps in my bed. The only bad thing are his farts. He farts very often and very loudly. I think it is hysterical but they do smell pretty bad sometimes. The 4th night I had him he was farting so loudly he woke me up.
His old-man-rice-on-nose face
He likes to sleep like a human
Despite the farts he is a fabulous dog and thanks to fish oil, fatty hamburger meat and lots of love and cuddling he is looking so much better The only issue we are still having is with the wound on his tail. Whenever he wags his tail and hits a wall he reopens it and sprays blood on my I have to keep it well covered.

He is already gaining weight and looking more like the big dog he is suppose to be!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunday Ride

Last Sunday I decided it was NOT too cold to go out for a nice long Sunday ride. I had already put my bike on the trainer for good but the weather had gotten warm yet again! I was pretty well rested since daylight savings gave me an extra hour of sleep. My friend KMR and I left at about 3:15 for a nice 3 hour rolling ride to Richmond and a trip across the ferry. We started the ride out pretty fast because I hadn't been outside on my bike in awhile and it felt really great to enjoy the fall weather. We went out Delong road, to Jacks Creek, to old Richmond road. At one point we got off on a road called something Lick (dirty I know) and this took us down to the river. This is when I realized I was getting a bit chilled. I am a major baby so once my feet were cold I was nervous. We were only a little over an hour into our ride and it was only going to get colder! Thankfully after we passed a bar that sits on the river, The Boathouse, and took a bridge across the river we had a large climb that took my mind off of my chilly toes.
so lovely down by the river :)

I had been smart enough to wear gloves but had not put toe covers on my shoes. We had a nice time climbing hills and getting through Richmond then finally turned onto Old Tates Creek. After a few rollers the road turned flat for about 6-7 miles with a creek running beside it. With the fall smells, sounds and leaves it was really nice. At this point we also realized that it was getting dark. Duh! Daylight savings was out to get us. With the pending cold we hammered through the 6-7 mile stretch to make it to the ferry. It was awesome to be able to just work hard and have no cars around to worry about. Once we reached the ferry we had to wait for it to come and get us then take us across.
The baggie that I keep my phone in made it in this pic because my hands were too chilly to leave my gloves so my dexterity was 0. The ferry is super cute though and has nice flags on it. Once across it was time to climb the 2 mile hill up to get back to Lexington. It is about 16 miles from the bottom of the ferry to my apartment so we were still not that close to home. We took the climb pretty quickly because we were so freezing, especially after sitting still so long waiting for the ferry. One of the ferry men told us before we left that it would be 20 degrees warmer at the top....this was notttt true. It was also getting to be very dark very quickly out there. 

We were coming back to town on Old Tates Creek and each downhill was full of cold air. It was like plunging into an ice bath. It was getting not only miserable but dangerous with the darkness. The night had come on so quickly! We ended up pulling over at Delong and Old Tates Creek to call in a ride was just not worth the risk! I had some reflective stripes on my arm warmers but my friend was dressed in all black. We could have easily gotten run over. The worst part was the wait! We were both hungry and chilly. 

Once home I took a very long long warm shower, had a nice dinner, drank some hot chocolate and cuddled with my new friend, Travis :)

With daylight savings complete it feels much more like winter is coming here. We still have the occasional 70 degree day but I'm pretty sure those are gone for good now. It is sad because it will be cold and dark but it will be a nice change, which I'm ready for.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quick Dinner

 This past weekend I went to a Halloween party at my friend's house where she dressed up as a broccoli, her husband dressed as a carrot and they fixed some veggies and brats on the grill for everyone. I really enjoyed all of the grilled peppers but the veggie duo also took some huge portabello mushrooms and filled them with feta and tomatoes. They put them right on the grill and just let the cheese get a little melty. I don't really like portobello mushrooms; they usually freak me out and are just ew. I decided I needed to eat one since my palate needs to expand. I am so glad that I did because it was very very tasty. 

So for dinner last night I fixed myself one! I had some left over Inca red quinoa 
that I filled the mushroom with and then I sprinkled some mozzarella on top and just put it in the oven till the cheese was all melted. It was soo good. The picture above looks a bit gross but it is sitting next to my sweet potato. I usually fix a sweet potato like 3 nights/week. I just put some olive oil and sea salt on it and bake it for about 30-45 minutes. One of my favorites and so easy. I eat the skin and all, just slice it up.
While my dinner was cooking I broke up some asparagus, cut up a zucchini and some carrots and let them all cook together with a bit of olive oil. Then I added some left over satay sauce and just cooked it all down. I figured this would be good to take to work the next few days to put over some quinoa so I can get my veggies in without eating salad everyday. So I wont turn into a spinach leaf. 

That's also not all I had for dinner, I'm not one that could survive on veggies alone, that sounds awful. That was just what I got a picture of!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Gluten Free?

After lots of deliberation I am stilllll not sure if I should go gluten free. There are lots of conflicting articles out and I am trying to assimilate it all into a smart decision. I was set on the decision till I read an article put out by the Australian Institute of Sport. They claimed that there was no reason for anyone without a gluten allergy to go on the gluten free diet. This got me thinking for a few days until I realized the article had last been reviewed in 2009. Since gluten is such a relatively new subject in the research world I don't trust it fully. The advantages of eating gluten free are (from what I understand):

-Tend to eat less processed foods
-Less stomach upset (which I don't really get)
-Better nutrient absorption in the intestines
-Decreased inflammation

The cons of a gluten free diet:

-Difficult to find foods
-Low fiber
-Lower in some nutrients

I found a few more articles in support of a gluten free diet. An article on Expert Fitness and Nutrition Advice  goes over the benefits of a gluten free diet for anyone. She wrote this in 2011 so I am more trusting of it. She really emphasizes that the absorption is less when gluten is in the diet. I also found an interview with a professional triathlete on First Endurance who goes gluten free 24-48 hours before an event. What she says is based on advice from a nutritionist and she also says the main reason she uses this diet is because the gluten is inhibiting her body from absorbing nutrition.

So I have come to a semi-decision. Over the past week whenever I was out of my apartment I only ate whole foods. So at restaurants no breads or processed types of foods. This has been my first Halloween with my only candy being a piece of gum! In my apartment I am still eating bread from Great Harvest and some Kashi shredded wheat. I think these foods are alright. So I am going with this rule:

-eat whole foods


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Here here heree We Go

So tomorrow is the day. I start training again! Whoopie. I have had some hard training before and expect it to get harder but the major difference for me will be my recovery plan. With a part time job and quitting one of my other jobs I think I can put together a schedule very conducive to recovering. I read in an article in Triathlete once that some professional triathletes and good/elite amateurs will put in the same number of training hours but the difference between the 2 is the recovery plan. An age grouper will most likely wake up early, get a morning work out in, quickly shower and grab a quick breakfast on the way to work. After working all day this athlete will either work out again after work or get things around the house done, go to bed late and do the whole thing again. This is the pattern I had with my training, including 3 part time jobs, plenty of house sitting and classes at UK.

Now, a pro might put in the same training hours but instead of following their morning workout session with a chaotic run to work, they will stretch, maybe do some core work, shower, get in a recovery snack, put on some compression gear, take a nap and maybe get a massage. They can take the time for their muscles to fully recovery and gain from the workout they just performed before taking on the next training session.

I am very happy that I have the opportunity to experiment with this lifestyle. Since I have been applying to veterinary school I have had to stay in school (Auburn requires it, just how it is) and this has inhibited me from getting a full time job since graduating college. This has now come as a blessing because it is much easier to train with a part time job than a 9-5er! I am very excited for the training to come and plan on taking full advantage of this opportunity. Otherwise it would be a huge waste of time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baby Caterpillar....

Organic food is a good thin; pesticide free, no hormones or antibiotics, the list goes on. I had to make zucchini muffins last night to take to work so I bought 1 zucchini for those and 3 for my smoothies. Last night I used a zucchini in the muffins and this morning I was chopping one up for my smoothie...and look what I found! It was so gross. There was a small baby caterpillar sitting in a hole in the zucchini. One the outside there was a tiny hole he had drilled to get inside. I checked the rest of the zucchini immediately and didn't see any of his brothers or friends but it was nasty. I didn't let myself think about it as I dumped the rest of the veggie into my blender. The only worrisome part is I did not check the zucchini from last night for caterpillar holes. So if a coworker finds a crunchy surprise oops! Ha that's OK. I think the walnuts will cover them up :)

I probably should have written this after I finished my smoothie because now I just keep thinking about tiny worms in my straw. ew. At least they are chemical free!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Veggie Chopping

It's Monday and in an attempt to make eating healthier easier I went ahead and cut up some of the veggies in my fridge. It is way easier for me to have them ready to go. I cut up mushrooms, carrots, celery, squash and peppers. The carrots and peppers are gone but I need to work on using these mushrooms...
This week has been nice because I have been getting into a more triathlon oriented workout schedule. I ran with a group of girls Mon and Wed at 5:30 am. It is so much better because it pushes me to run harder than I would alone and I get it out of the way in the morning. It has also been pretty perfect weather until this afternoon. It's going to be a rainy few days coming up here. On Tuesday I went to swim practice at 5:30 am and our coach gave us a 1,000 yds for time. Considering I had been out of the water for 2 weeks I was not excited to see my time on this one... :/ but I ended up coming in at 13:12 which I was pleased with, all things considered. I had done a weights class Monday afternoon so this made the last 500 yds really burn! I was glad to be back in the water. I plan on going to swim practice tomorrow morning pending I'm not too tired to wake up. 

I also went for a bike ride yesterday. OUTSIDE! That's big for me because I hadn't been outside on my bike since the duathlon which is ridiculous. We have had so many awesome fall days for riding but I just didn't want to do it. I am so glad that I did yesterday because since I refuse to ride outside in the cold I think that yesterday was the last of the warm weather around here. 

All in all I am super excited to put my race schedule together over the next couple of days and start some training this coming Monday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New B-Fri

For those who don't know, b-fri totally means best friend. Thanks to one of my b-fri's from college I use this term sometimes and people look like they want to kick me in the face. It is obnoxious but I think it is funny. Here he is though:

And yes, that is him asleep on me on my couch. I was dog sitting for him and he has become one of my favorites to take care of. His name is Prince and he is about 1 year old. He was really good when I was sick last week because he made lying around on the couch seem OK and necessary. I hope he is around more often.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dinner on the Fly

I am now gluten free! It is exciting but I am making a slow transition because I still have 2 boxes of cereal and a loaf of bread that are not gluten free and I plan on finishing them instead of just throwing them away or letting them go to waste. I am eating gluten free outside of my apartment though and eating gluten free in my apartment besides these items. It is slowly hitting me what all I am going to have to give up when making this commitment...LHA was a little more than disappointed when he realized I could no longer indulge in cake, cookies or random deserts we come across as sweets-lovers but I assured him this does not have to effect his diet. I can also make some gluten free ones sometimes!

I hadn't really thought about some of the difficulties, like popping over to my parents house for a snack and not being able to eat the bread on the counter, the Annie's Cheddar Bunnies my mom keeps in the lazy Susan for my little cousins or the handful of cereal I like to snack on. Honestly though, this change is only for the better. It really will make me focus. I think that the more times you are tested through out the day and you have to make a sacrifice for something you are trying to achieve, the more focused on your goal you become. It really is putting my training first and foremost in more aspects of my life and this is good for me.

The other night I was making quinoa for dinner and made extra to have around for the days ahead. It was perfect because that next night I came home from work at 8:30 and was really hungry for dinner and had 0 motivation to actually make something. So I put together this little meal! I had the left over quinoa which I put a bit of cheddar cheese in and then defrosted some cooked shrimp and sauteed them in some mango chipotle sauce I had bought at Fresh Market. Then done! It was actually super good and very healthy.