Friday, January 27, 2012

Random Five Friday

 I had a post all ready to go.  I went to publish it this AM and it was gone.  WTH???  So here goes as I try to remember what random things I wanted to note this week:

1. I started using Pepperplate to do a weekly meal plan.  Actually, my favorite thing about it is that I can add items to my grocery list from my phone, iPad or computer and it syncs them all!

2. IRS audits suck.  Going through numbers from two years ago makes my head hurt.  Let this be a lesson to me and everyone I know: Organize your paperwork during the year it was created!  

3.  Liam said something that sounded just like "bitch" this week.  Pretty sure he's never heard the word, just not sure what he was trying to say.

4. This almost made me snort wine out my  nose...

5.  I really don't swear in front of my child, regardless of what those last two items may lead you to believe!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Training Log Jan 15-21

I can't believe January is almost over already.  It's gone so fast this year with the nice weather we've had.  Usually January and February seem to drag on forever!

I'm not working out as much as I'd like.  Since we finished our holiday travel, Liam has decided to reset his nap/sleep schedule and hasn't settled into any type of pattern yet.  Some days he naps, some he doesn't, sometimes only for 20 minutes.  Getting him to go to sleep at night has become a battle as well.  Some nights I put him back to bed a gazillion times.  But, as someone reminded me, this too shall pass.  As important as my workouts are to me, in the big picture, having a few light weeks while Liam figures out his sleep schedule isn't likely to hurt me much.

Sun: 8 mile run, outside, IN SHORTS! (4th time in January this year), first 4 miles with my dad. 1:28:53
Mon: Swim 750 yds (150wu, 500 continuous, 100cd)
Tues: Rest day
Weds: Unplanned rest day
Thurs: Ran 2.7miles total, did "Run Faster with Chrissie Wellington 1" on the treadmill, 25:00
Fri: Ran 2.5 miles on treadmill.  Had a split second blackout and almost fell off.  Decided I should probably end my workout for the day.
Sat: Shoveled snow for 20 min. and opted to work on fixing my bike during my workout time.  I now have a bike that shifts properly again!

Weekly Totals:
Swim: 750yds
Run: 13.2 miles

Food Journal:
This week I continued to experiment adding some foods back in.  I am happy to say that adding dairy back in went well, as cheese is one of my favorite indulgences.  It looks like I may be gluten intolerant based on my journal observations.  While this will be a pain in the rear whenever we go somewhere (out to eat, other people's houses), it is definitely something I can manage.  I'm already trying some alternative flours and if, when I try gluten again, gluten really is the culprit, I am determined to look on it as just another cooking adventure.
Here's the link to this week's journal:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Random Five Friday

 1. We finally have snow!  


2. I made chickpea protein pancakes this morning based off of this recipe from Run, Eat, Repeat.  They were okay, but not quite as good as I think they could be. I'm going to tweak the recipe a little and see what I can come up with. The best part was they kept me full all morning!

3. I found this blog via fellow mom/triathlete Kara on Twitter. It's funny 'cause it's true :) Not much goes on at my house until I've had my morning coffee, either!

4. A Facebook friend's status update with questions about going vegan sparked quite a debate this week. As I am eating less and less meat, I get questioned if I am becoming vegetarian. It all makes we wonder why we feel the need to label how everyone eats.  Yes, my daily diet could be considered vegetarian, but I reserve the right to have a big juicy burger if I'm craving one someday. Therefore, I refuse to label my way of eating. 


 Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Training Log & Food Journal Jan 8-14

This week went well.  I've been feeling great, thanks to my elimination diet.  I even experimented with adding a couple things back in (eggs, corn) and so far so good.  I got back in the pool for the first time since my 70.3 last July!  I have definitely lost my endurance for swimming, but am happy to report that I haven't lost any speed - not that I had any to begin with.

Here's the weeks training:
Sun: 500yds, mixed drills/ free
Mon: rest
Tues: Ran 5 with stroller, 58:53.  Walked up the one big hill with soft gravel since this was supposed to be an EASY day :)
Weds: Treadmill hills, 6x400, 3.5 total miles
Thurs: Ran 2.1, treadmill, 21:00 - supposed to be 3, but Liam woke up from nap
Fri: Rest day
Sat:: Ran 0.6 miles on treadmill, supposed to do fartlek, had sore hip flexor.  After last year's treadmill overuse injury, not taking any chances this early in year.  Decided to rest.  (Good decision- had no pain running outdoors  the next day.)

Weekly Totals:
Swim: 500yds
Run: 11.2 miles

Time to add the bike in soon.  I'm working on getting it fixed.  I have determined that I need a new chain.  I have a new chain...somewhere.  I can't figure out why it's not in the box with the rest of the parts that came with the new bike.  I've looked everywhere logical and several not-so-logical places.  I ended up just ordering a new one today.  Hopefully this will solve my shifting problem as well and I'll be all ready to go for a while.

I mentioned above that my journaling/diet is going well.  I really feel SOOO much better!  I am happy that adding eggs back in hasn't seemed to bother me as I was having trouble getting enough protein.  Here's the link to this week's journal:

I'm excited to get back in the pool a couple more times this next week.  I know the endurance will come back quickly if I just go swim.  I also need to get a little more endurance before masters swimming starts in a couple weeks!  I'm pretty sure I'll be the slow one, but I'd like to not be the annoyingly slow one!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Random Five Friday...oops, I guess it's Saturday!

1. We got a notice from the IRS that we're going to be audited.  It came on Friday the 13th.  What are the odds?

2. I made some REALLY good soup the other day.  Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup.  I blogged it on my other blog.  (recipe here)  It really hit the spot on a day where the temperature barely hit the teens.

3.  Masters swimming is coming to a pool near me!  The multisport club is starting a new masters swim in Sherburn, only 30 minutes away!!!  I had a sitter lined up and a check sent in the day they announced it.

4.  My iPhone is pissing me off.  I bought some training tracks from Audiofuel.  They play on my computer in iTunes just fine, but won't play on my phone.  WTF?

5. I would like to thank Bob the Builder and Play-Doh for allowing minimal toddler interruptions during the Olympic Trials Marathon.  (It's easy to play with Play-Doh and check the live updates at the same time, not so easy to play chase or read the same book 5 times.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Team Mentality

Last night I got a message that I was not selected as one of the finalists for the 2012 Team Evotri spot. I was disappointed. Excessively so. 

It's really not about the free stuff that can come with being on a team.  I had considered joining a team where the "free stuff" was just being part of the team and I would have had to purchase my own kit.  I decided against it, hoping that I would make the cut for Team Evotri- the deadline for the other team overlapped the notification of the finalists by just a couple days. 

My great sense of disappointment caused me to think hard about why I want to be on a team so badly and wonder how I can create my own sense of team with the resources readily available to me. 

So why do I have such a strong desire to be on a team? 

I feel very much alone as a triathlete in my small town. I am (as far as I know) the ONLY triathlete in my town.  Why?  Well, not having a pool in town makes training a little difficult. I drive over 30 minutes to a pool. 
I have tried to spark some interest in a running group.  I know there are plenty of runners in town, I see them out all the time.  I got ONE person to say they were interested and another that said she would be if she weren't injured.  Now, I know every group has to start somewhere, but really?  Two people?  

I feel that I would benefit greatly from the support and knowledge of experienced triathletes.  I've been a runner for a long time, but triathlon is still very new to me.  I just finished my rookie season.  I love to soak up ideas about training, nutrition, racing, and race venues.  

It would give me credibility and a platform to influence others in endurance sports.  I'm not sure why I think I need a team for this, plenty of the women that influence me are not affiliated with any team.  I guess I just feel like I would be taken more seriously if I were attached to a team.  

What can I do to create a sense of team?

GOTRIbal: These women are amazing and supportive and really truly awesome. Nationally, GOTRIbal women are everywhere. They are elite athletes, newbies, and everyone in between.  On my trip to San Diego, I met three GOTRIbal women. Two of them took time out of their day just to hang out with me!  I need to look at ways that I can help bring a larger GOTRIbal presence to the Midwest as well as continuing to cultivate online relationships. 

Greater Mankato Multisport Club: It's hard for me to join in all of their group rides/runs since I live over an hour away, but I need to just get a sitter and make a commitment to go twice a month. 

Explore other avenues that will give me a credible platform. I have already been published on and I have been a featured Fitblogger. There are other ways for me to get involved and positively influence others in endurance sports than by being on a team. I need to seek them out. 

Engage local athletes. Let others know when I am going to run or ride and invite all comers to join me. If no one shows up, well, that shouldn't stop me from doing my planned workout that I would have been doing by myself anyway. I am also coordinating with our local community education to lead a Couch to 5k type program. (I present my proposal to the board tonight, wish me luck!)

So really, the name of this post comes from this: Being part of a team doesn't have to be a formal arrangement. It can be the way you view your relationships with others. It can be engaging other athletes in a positive way. This is the "team" that I am going to try, no, not try, that I WILL be a part of in 2012. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Training Log & Food Journal Jan 1-7

The first week of 2012 has been a good one!  I'm back to running, the elimination diet is going well, and the weather is GORGEOUS!

Saturday January 7: 40 degrees!

I am very excited to be back running.  I'm slower than I would like, but after December, I'm happy with how I'm doing.  Especially that I was able to just jump in and run 7 miles my first week back! 

Sun-Tues:  Off- traveling and visiting for the LAST of our holiday obligations!
Weds: 3 miles, outside with stroller
Thurs: 3 miles, treadmill @ 9PM, 30:00 - I had hoped to get outside today, but Liam and his nap schedule (or lack of!) had other ideas
Fri: Tempo Run: 1 mile warmup, 2 miles @ 10:10 pace, 0.24 mile cooldown- cooldown should have been longer, but again, Liam waking up from his nap interfered.  This was supposed to be a day off but it was 46 degrees out, I had to get outside!
Sat: 7 miles, 1:17:50 (11:07 pace)  Slower than I would like, but in the right range according to the McMillan calculator

Weekly total: 16.24 miles  Considering I only ran 17.3 miles for the whole month of December, this is pretty awesome!

This coming week I'll be getting back in the pool in addition to my running.  Wish me luck, swimming is the hardest for me and with no real swim community anywhere close, I don't have many opportunities for help or support.  I'll plug away at it and try hard to improve my skills as best I can. 

This week was the start of my elimination diet.  It's going well, but can be frustrating when I'm craving something I can't have.  Actually, the food I've had has been delicious and except for one major guacamole craving, I haven't had much trouble with craving foods.  Really the only problem with guacamole was that I usually eat it with tortilla chips.  After much stewing and cupboard-digging, I came up with homemade Chile-Lime Potato Chips that hit the spot!

I've decided against posting my entire food journal within the blog.  Instead, I have created a Google doc for each week's journal and will provide the link weekly. 

You'll notice there are no quantities within my food journal.  This IS on purpose.  Everyone has different ideas about how much this, that, or the other thing you should be eating and omitting quantities will hopefully prevent some of the critique that I should be eating more or less of something. 

Here's the link for this week's food journal:

I'm looking forward to another beautiful week of getting outside with minimal bundling up.  We have one day this week predicted below 20 degrees, every other day is supposed to be in the 30s or 40s.  Such crazy weather, but I love it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Random Five Friday

Often during the week there are little things I take pictures of or thing about posting but they aren't really worthy of their own post.  Enter the first edition of "Random Five Friday".  This may or may not become a weekly thing, we'll see. 

1.  We're having the warmest winter I've seen here in Minnesota.  We had no snow at Christmas, rain on New Year's Eve, snow on New Year's Day, then just a couple days of cold (i.e. normal January weather) and we're right back to 30 and 40 degree days.  The weather has just been weird.

Monday: 16 degrees

Wednesday: 39 degrees, running with Liam

Liam after Wednesday's run- for some reason when I uploaded this, his face got squished...

Friday: 46 degrees, ran in shorts and long-sleeve top.  In January. 

2. In order run outside today, I had to run during Liam's nap.  The little bugger would not go to sleep at his regular naptime, instead waiting until almost 2:30PM.  I knew that he was likely to sleep until sunset, so I headed outside to run my "track" (the circular driveway around our yard).  But the track was still snow-covered in spots and slippery so I ran back and forth on the road in front of my house.  

 What do you mean you can't see that yellow sign in the right-hand ditch?  Well, it's just past the electric pole.  I hung the baby monitor on the mailbox and ran a 0.06 mile stretch back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth and...well, you get the idea) for a total of 3.25 miles.  Yep, that's right six-hundredths of a mile.  I really wanted to run outside.  I was going for 4 miles, but Liam woke up.  (Before sunset! Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men...)

3.  I saw this post several places this week.  It's originally from the forums on  posted by marmadaddy who is one of their admins (see his post and the discussion following here).  I also saw it on another health and fitness board as well as posted here by Steve In A Speedo.


During the coming weeks we will be seeing posts from people making observations about their gyms, particularly how crowded they are with new people. A few years back I posted the following in response to some of those observations. It has become something of a tradition that I re-post it in order to add a little perspective to what will surely be stressful and inconvenient in the coming weeks for many of us.

We're endurance athletes. We train all year not only outside, but also at the gym and the pool. We can expect some serious crowding in both places for the next few weeks. It happens every year.
Suddenly we have to add 30 minutes to our scheduled gym time because of the "resolutionists". There are no parking places. When you do manage to find one and get to the locker room 10 minutes behind schedule, there aren't any lockers available and the door is blocked by someone trying to remember the way to the weight room. In there, the machines you need to use are all occupied by people in new track suits pushing too much weight with truly horrible form. The bubbler is blocked by someone who is trying hard not to look totally out of their element. You can't get in the pool because it's jammed with people using pull buoys on their arms and kickboards as flotation devices. Half the lanes have people with no goggles and baggy swim trunks down to their knees who can't swim an entire lap.
The whole freakin' place is filled with...
It's one of my favorite sights. I've never been in a place more full of hope than a gym during the first week of January. It's a place full of people giving action to their dreams. People who for that day are making an effort to be fit, to improve themselves, to live a better quality of life. The effort and courage it takes them to get there that morning is huge. It certainly exceeds what it takes me. I know where everything is. I know the pool etiquette. I know what my workout is going to be and how to use the machines.  I'm not the least bit embarrassed to take my shirt off in the locker room. This is routine for me. These new people will be showing a lot of courage and determination by going to the gym in the next few weeks and they'll deserve my respect. They'll get it.
It wasn't that long ago that I was one of them. During the next few weeks I'll be making an effort to help some of these people feel a little less uncomfortable. Maybe make eye contact with some of them, be ready to give a nod or say hello.
Once we're halfway into February, the crowds will be gone. Parking will be easy. Machines will be available again. The wait at the pool will go away. We know this. We're endurance athletes. We know the reward that comes from sticking through the hard parts.
And from helping others through them.


 4.  When you're on a really restrictive elimination diet, you sometimes have to get creative.  I had a huge craving for guacamole tonight but I usually eat it with chips.  Corn is on the "NO" list.  Ok, so Blue Diamond Nut-Thins- rice and nuts, right?  Yep, and butter.  Dairy is also on the "NO" list.  Grrr.  So I looked up a recipe for gluten-free crackers.  I found one that looked good, but it calls for either arrowroot powder or cornstarch.  I have no arrowroot powder, and remember...corn is on the "NO" list.  
I sat and stewed about it for a while.  I really, really, REALLY wanted guacamole!  On beans?  Nope, don't have any that aren't dried.  On chicken?  Frozen.  Then, finally, AHA! On homemade chile lime potato chips!  Potatoes, lime juice, olive oil, ancho and chipotle chile powders, and salt to taste.  Bake in a single layer at 400 degrees until crispy.  They absolutely hit the spot!   

5.  We had a MAJOR upgrade in our exercise dungeon this week.  Previously, we had a really old TV (old enough the the only input was a co-axial cable), a really old VCR (no inputs) and a CD player/stereo.  I wanted a DVD player so I could do P90X downstairs as well as use a couple bicycle trainer DVDs that I have.  When I started looking into one, I realized that if I got a BluRay player, I could stream internet content as well.  And since I already have an Amazon Prime membership, I can get a lot of stuff for free.  After about a week of pondering, I decided to go with the BluRay player. 


I also went to the local appliance store and bought a used TV for $25 that has all the appropriate input ports.  Now we just have to run a splitter from the antenna (Yep, we have one of those big monster on-top-of-the-house antennas.  No cable or satellite in our house!) and we'll really be in business. 

There is a reason we call it the dungeon.  Note the lovely orange-painted cement block and water-stained cement floor decor.
Now I want to paint the walls and get some better lighting in there.  I hate to do it when we're only going to be in this house a couple more winters.  We'll see how bored ambitious I get over the winter. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Goals

I quit making resolutions a couple years ago.  Resolutions seem so absolute and usually fall by the wayside as soon as they've been broken once.  Goals however, can change and evolve, pick up and start again, and even though it's just a difference in terminology, are much easier for me to keep plugging away at.

Here's the list for 2012:

1. Figure out and deal with my gastrointestinal issues ASAP.  This is already in progress with the elimination diet I started today and my food journaling.
2. Make at least three comments on blogs per week.  I read a lot of blogs, but hardly ever comment.  I love it when other people comment on mine, so I figure I should comment on others.
3. Increase my compliance to my cleaning schedule from 1/3 of the days in 2011 to 2/3 in 2012.
4. Swim: Improve my swim times.  I am an extremely slow swimmer. My technique needs a lot of work.  I foresee a lot of time in the pool this year.   
5. Bike: Learn to change a tire and practice it.  Emphasis on the practice it.  I've seen it done and could probably figure it out, but it wouldn't be fast.  
6. Run: Complete a workout of Yasso 800's.  Just for fun.
7. Continue to challenge my shy nature by putting myself in new situations with new people.  In 2011 I went for my first vacation alone, applied for a couple triathlon teams, and started selling some of my homemade stuff at the local consignment shop.  For 2012 I am getting set up to lead a Couch-to-5K group, working on organizing a running club/group in town, and have a few more ideas that I'm not ready to disclose yet.
8. Eat more fruits and veggies.  Goal is to get at least 7 servings half the days of the year.
9. Continue to reduce clutter.  We'll be moving in the spring of 2013 to the farm my grandpa and dad grew up on.  I DO NOT want to move all this crap!
10. Double our savings.  There's a lot of work that will need to be done on the house we'll be moving to.  It would be nice to be able to save enough to get a large chunk of it done at once.
11. Grow a vegetable I haven't grown before.  Any suggestions?
12. Hit the end of 2012 leaner, faster, stronger and ready to train for an Ironman in 2013!

What are your goals for 2012?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Time For The Elimination Diet/ Food Journaling

I had written a while back about the stomach issues that I had been having, and that the blood tests didn't really show anything.  Per my doctor, the next step is an elimination diet.  It's a pretty strict diet, removing a lot of known allergens.  The idea is that after I start feeling better, I add things back one at a time to see if I can figure out what was causing the problem.  According to my doctor I could start feeling better in as little as two days, and no more than a couple weeks.  Anyway, I'm hoping I don't have to be on this diet long since it's so restrictive.  Here's what I'm supposed to do:

Processed sugar
Chemical food additives
Trans fatty acids

Red Meat
Whole grains
Dark leafy greens

As I'm typing this, I'm having a glass of wine and some cheese since they're both off-limits starting tomorrow.  
As part of this elimination diet, I also need to keep a journal of my food and my symptoms so that I can look back later to see if any patterns emerge.  Coincidentally, Amanda at RunToTheFinish is hosting a food journal challenge this month so I signed up for that as well.  A little extra accountability never hurts!  

I am choosing to keep my food journal on with paper and pen.  Each week I'll post the food part of my journal for that week.  (My gastrointestinal issues shall not be disclosed- I'd hate to scare off the few readers I have!)

I'm working on a post about my goals for 2012.  I just got home today from the last of our holiday traveling and have been working them out in my mind all weekend.  I'll get them in print in the next day or two and get them posted.  Hey, they're goals not resolutions, therefore it doesn't matter that I didn't have them all posted by New Year's, right?