Thursday, June 23, 2011

on Island Time...

This week has been all about doing the stuff I rarely get to do for nine months...

Sleeping in until 7.
Eating salads or shakes or something other than a microwaved sweet potato w/ cottage cheese for lunch.
Bikini (noon) masters swim.
A real solid NAP.
Magazine by the pool.
Running 16 miles at noon instead of after work.
Mani/Pedi afternoon. (Where, by the way, I got 2 acrylic big toe nails to replace my missing ones! They look so real. Seriously!)
And generally being on Island time. Stuff happens when it happens, if not...no worries, mon!

The list. goes. on. I'll stop here before you start hating me too much. One of the highlight's of the week was Tuesday's 8am date for an east county (HILLS) ride and run with Julie.
Whose ridden this road? Awesome, eh?
 8am? No stoplights for 3 hours straight? Don't mind if I do. This is the life!

Although I was carefree, SOME of us had to work...Julie did a little bizness on her phone while I knocked out my first interval. This pic would be a good cell phone commercial. Great reception out there:)
 Then she showed me how to apply stage makeup while riding a bicycle.




Her cycling kit is awesome, eh? Of course it's another Betty Designs number. Don't you think you deserve one? You are working all summer, slaving away, while jerks like me are flaunting their summer-o-fun right before your eyes! The nerve!
Well, if you want to browse...go to  www.bettydesigns.com and if you can't resist - use the discount code bettygirlwalsh for 10% off any order....  But, since this blog post is just plain MEAN, I'm cooking up a giveaway with Kristin (better known as Betty) to redeem myself.. A tanktop, wristband, and water bottle - 3 of my fave betty items... But first I need to think of a darn contest (that is not too difficult). Next week, I am going sailing in the British Virgin Islands..Maybe whoever can guess how many Painkillers I drink on vaca? Hmmmm...nope, trying to keep it triathlon related...And you know, I'm trying to relax here. No need to strain my brain. I'll keep thinking slowly.
Off for a bike ride!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rest, Recover, RELOAD!

I've been making my way back into fit-land after the much needed post-ironman "act like a normal person" bit for 3 weeks. I'm not going to lie, it's been kind of tough. Especially on the bike. This may be partly due to the fact that in my "time off", the bike is the first to go. Now, I love a good saturday long ride, but during the week, there is not much that excites me about getting together bike gear, bottles, pumping tires, etc. for a 90 minute ride where one way will undoubtedly be straight into a headwind.

So, I'm back on the bike. And swim. And run. Dirk has us on a proper plan for Vineman 70.3, with some hard, but not too long, workouts. My first few "real" workouts back, I was SMASHED! Like, how did I do this all the time smashed?

Which brings me to my next topic. Supplements! I've never talked much about supplements on this here blog, because that would involve some planning and forethought, both of which are NOT forte's of this drivel. However, my goal is always to share what works for me in hopes that someone else will read it and see something that might help them along the way. When I got started blogging, I read triathlete blogs incessantly (still do!) to figure out just how the heck I was supposed to be doing this swim, bike, run thing. I personally think you can learn far more usable and timely information from athlete blogs than from any training text book out there. Anyhow, this post is about something that helps me be less-smashed and recover quickly after hard workouts.

So, for the past year or so, I have been supplementing with L-Glutamine and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) post workout. I usually only remember after hard, "that's gonna leave a mark" type workouts, but turns out I've got one of those nearly every day :). WHY? well, there is a lot of research out there (that I am not going to look up for you right now, but your google search is as good as mine, so have at it.) But, the honest "WHY" is....Because James does it and he told me to. Yup, James is the supplement man. If you have a question, ask him- he knows A LOT. I'm just a follower, and unless it tastes like crap (uh, apple cider vinegar "shots"?!?!) , I do what he recommends. I'm not sure if it works, but I can tell you one truth. In the 4 years we've been together, I have NEVER seen him sick. Once he had a stuffed up nose for one day, but that's it. And boy recovers quicker than anyone I've ever met. It gets obnoxious to hear him say, "my legs feel like a million bucks" at the beginning of every workout..Hmmmm.....maybe he's on to something.

Anyhow, last summer, we started using Reload from MRM. It's this BCAA/Glutamine/Beta-Alanine powder that you mix with water and drink right away after a workout. I love the watermelon flavor and my "reload shooter" has been a part of my post-workout routine since last July (the shooter is 2 scoops Reload, 1Tbsp L-Carnitine, 8 oz water) . A month ago, our lovely masseuse asked us what supplements we take, and I mentioned Reload. Well, lo and behold, her husband works with MRM and is a mad sports nutrition scientist (or so I picture him)!  Starting this summer, we will have the MRM hook-ups and get to test out even more products ( I already use their Melatonin, Bone Maximizer, COQ10 and the things I mentioned above)...They have so much cool stuff. Can't wait!
 Speaking of re-loading...We've also been reloading in our strength program at Rehab United. Bryan has us back in a strength/power phase to build some big mus-kulls for those big races (Vegas & Kona) at the end of the summer...Here's what our last workout looked like on paper... I still have trouble "reading" these!
Anyhow, it was hard....So...now that I've touched on supplements...any other topics of interest out there you'd like some anecdotal (i.e. NOT research based :) ) opinions and information on?
Did I mention that SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER and I have plently of time to get my blog on? Yahoooo!

Monday, June 6, 2011

it's all relative

Last weekend I got to spend some quality time (27 hours of it!) with my family on the east coast. I have blogged here before about how my family is the coolest, but they really are. We're a  motley crew with vastly different strengths and interests, but we get along great and LOVE our time together. Dinner conversations with the fam are NEVER dull.

The occasion was Jennifer's college graduation from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

My pretty sister! Yes, I know I will be over-wearing this dress this spring. Yes, I also know my sister and I look nothing alike...okay,technically she's my step-sister, but all sister to me.


Now that Jenny is out, my parents are finally without-child-in-college for the first time in FIFTEEN years! All four of us kids graduated from great schools and were encouraged to follow our "calling" or lack there-of. My eldest sister Erica, was the enginerd brain at Cornell. She later remembered she is the most compassionate human on the planet and went back to nursing school. Brother is the music genius who went to NYU's music recording program.  I was the one who wasted several years partying too much while getting good grades & not being sure what I wanted to do at Vanderbilt (before figuring it out and spending 4 more years in grad school). Now, Jenny joins the team as our resident family artist. I'd like to give credit to us kids for making it through higher education without too much trouble, but I'm quite certain at least 50 percent credit goes to Dad & Marsha for supporting us every step of the way.

My visit to Providence, RI was short and sweet- A red eye from San Diego on Friday night, graduation and partying on Saturday, and a return flight Sunday afternoon. (After waking up early for the sketchiest run of my life. Note to self: STOP running outside unfamiliar cities by yourself! This run was such a bad decision that I actually called my sister midway so she knew my whereabouts.)

This morning (Monday),  I even rallied myself awake at 5am for masters (Where I swam in the 1:25 lane the whole time!!!), a productive day at work, and a hardcore session at Rehab United post-work. This got me thinking....hmmm...two transcontinental flights and some partying are not asnearly as tough for me as a hard weekend of Ironman training. It's all relative...or maybe I'm becoming tougher. Which got me further thinking about ranking some tough things you can do on the weekend. If you were ever wondering about where Ironman training ranks on the "how much it wrecks you scale", I have an answer (or MY answers...we may agree to disagree) ...

"MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY DRAINING WEEKENDS" or "HOW MUCH THIS WEEKEND WILL WRECK YOU" (Scale of 1 to 10,  ten being TOTALLY smashed)

1. Getting a manicure, walking the dog, and going on a chatty run with girlfriends
2. Saturday trip to Costco & throwing a SuperBowl Sunday party
3. Doing your taxes & running a 10-k
4. 8-hour Half Ironman training weekend
5. Bridesmaiding for a weekend at a destination 3-4 hours drive away
6. 2 transcontinental flights, minimal sleep, some beers
7. 10-hour Ironman training weekend
8. Sherpa-ing (not racing)  a full Ironman
9. 15-hour Ironman training weekend
10. Moving your apartment with a friend and a U-Haul

What kinds of things do you think are tougher than Ironman training? For me, I'd also put "cleaning my house" at 8.5,  but I know my allergies to house cleaning are worse than most so I left it off.