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If you are losing faith in humanity, go watch a marathon.

Great piece in WaPo by Ezra Klein.  Encouraging us to keep in mind the resilience and hopefulness emanated by Switzer (see my earlier post) and others, fast and slow, old and young, and learn from the coming together of humanity that happens at every race.  Thanks to @jillee1022 for sharing.  

Shock and Sadness

Unbelievably scary and tragic news.  Luckily, Susie (who was running today) and all of her friends and family there for her are safe and sound.  Others are not so lucky.

The word is getting too, too crazy and scary.  Thoughts and prayers with all Bostonians and with all the runners, spectators, families, and friends.

Ponder peace.

Base Phase Food Rules

This week also marks the start of the early training season slim down lean up DIET (cue dramatic music)!

Ok it’s not really a diet.  Having struggled with weight and body image issues for virtually my entire life (wah wahhhh), the traditional diet/calorie counting thing just doesn’t work for me.  Makes me go super crazy town in a bad way.  But, after the stress of moving and the temptations of the holidays, I want to get myself in a better nutritional place while I can and prepare myself as best as possible for a hard training season.

Enough whining.  Instead of the D word, let’s just say here’s 10 simple (enough) rules I’ll aim to live by for the next 9 weeks.

1. Lots and lots of fresh veggies and fruits! Good thing we joined that farm share.

2. Just say no to sugars and processed carbs. Acceptable carbs include goodies like sweet potatoes and other starchy veggies. Some whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats), but with an eye to keeping those to a relative minimum as well.

3. Seriously, that also means candy. Stop eating so daggum much candy.

candy coma4. Lots of good, quality protein.  After much consternation, I will be adding back in some lean animal protein into my diet. I always eat seafood, but otherwise I have been pretty much meatless since returning from our trip to Zambia last April. I’m going to try adding in some (humanely raised, local) poultry for this 9 week phase and see how it works for me.

5. No dairy except plain unsweetened yogurt. Lactose and I are rarely friends, and I find I don’t miss it when I cut it out. Keeping yogurt in for its good cultures (and low lactose content). Emphasis on good greek yogurt for its high protein content.

6. Generally, avoid processed and canned items. No one needs that much sodium or un-pronounceable ingredients.

7. Ixnay on the coffee.  And minimize black tea. My mind and body are always clearer/happier when I’m drinking mate or green tea instead.

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8. Smoothie for breakfast! This helps with many of the above rules, and just helps to start the day right. I’ve stocked up on hemp and other plant-based proteins that I especially like. Fruit + kale or spinach + protein powder + almond milk + a bit of nut butter. Quick, easy, satisfying, and keeps me going all morning.  Yes, I am a fervent follower of the Green Monster Movement.

9. Go nuts for nuts (and seeds)! They are good for me, but also they are delicious.  What do you mean you don’t eat peanut butter straight out of the jar with a spoon? Weirdo.

10. Lay off the booze. There’s been plenty over the holidays, and I could use a break. Occasional glass of wine here or there will be enjoyed, but no need to go crazy.

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Blah blah disclaimer: I am in NO WAY a nutrition expert. So none of this is advice for anyone else except me. I just know what makes my body feel and work better, and what has worked for me in the past.

These 9 weeks of rules are geared toward getting me on track with healthy choices after the holiday season, and a much needed purging of some toxins. I happen to think that for the most part these are just good rules to live by. Eat fresh whole foods, buy them locally when you can, and don’t eat processed crap. I’m not a doctor, but it’s really not hard to figure out that eating real food is better for you than eating something made in a factory or a lab.  /ENDRANT

But these 9 weeks of rules are also geared toward building lean muscle and cutting body fat in preparation for the build and peak phases of training. It’s no secret that leaner athletes are faster, more efficient, and recover better and faster as well. Cutting out processed foods and dairy, and focusing on the low carb high protein thing has worked for me in this regard in the past. Frankly, I have no idea if it would work for anyone else. I’m not in that business.

One more note on the low carb thing. My cardio training volume is low enough and the intensity is low enough for the next 9 weeks that I can manage going relatively light on carbs and it will aid in my goals. I in no way intend to continue that eating method when the training hours start piling up more and more in the build and peak phase. Low carb is not a sustainable eating method for an endurance athlete. At least not for me. I’ll be a pasta maniac come June, I assure you.

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Flu Blues

What a way to start a training season. Wouldn’t you know it, on just my 3rd day of official IM training, I came down with some sory of nasty nasty bug.

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I felt it coming on for most of the day on Wednesday, but my innate stubborn-itude took over and I convinced myself I just ate something a little bad. So I powered through the day of work and forced myself to the gym for a zone 2 indoor (spin/treadmill) brick. I made it through a 30 minute spin without too much strife, but once I hopped on the ‘mill I knew something was off. Running DEFINITELY wasn’t happening so I figured I could at least power through a power walk…but then I couldn’t even finish my allotted time doing that. Sigh.

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After an unpleasant metro and walk home, I collapsed on the couch next to Hubz’s horrified look and exclamation of “YOU LOOK TERRIBLE.” Officially down and out.

It was a miserable Wednesday night, and Thursday was no better. So much not better that I even used a sacred sick day from work and bundled up on the couch. Still down and out. The 6 block walk to and from CVS for ginger ale and tomato soup felt like a workout enough.

Today I’m back at work (while newly infected Hubz is bearing the worst of it at home today). While the stubborn-itude wants me to jump back on the wagon and at least tackle my 30 minute run this evening, I know it’s better to take this second full day of rest. Ok fine, I would stll do it, but Hubz would never let me off the couch and out the door.  So focused on healthy choices, that one.  So yep, still down and out.

Luckily this first week of training was scheduled as a pretty easy one, so my Type A isn’t totally wigging out…yet.  Here’s hoping that by tomorrow my body will allow me an hour easy spin on the trainer (accompanied by the last episode or two of Justified Season 1…so hooked and there’s no way I’m going to catch up in time for the premiere of the new season!), and a Sunday funday easy run.  Only 29+ weeks til IMLP, people, no time to lose!

Resolved!

Oh yeah, a blog!

I’m not good at New Year’s Resolutions.  So this year I am only setting one.  To blog!   I officially started my 30 weeks of Ironman training yesterday, Dec. 31, 2012.  My resolution is to document my training (and life) here at discorunner for at least the next 30 weeks.  Here goes.

2012 was amazing, but 2013 holds a lot of promise!  Happy New Year, all!

Surprises Galore!

Oh. My. Goodness.  When last I posted, I had no idea what was in store.  A birthweek and birthday literally CHOCK FULL of surprises!

First up, Thursday night, Hubz told me we were just heading down into the neighborhood for a casual dinner.

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After we had a drink, Hubz made a nonchalant comment about folks walking in the door, so I turned around to find…MIS PADRES!  This was a whole orchestrated surprise that I had no idea was coming.

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Turns out, lil sis was booked on a flight to arrive the next afternoon as well!!!

My mind was already blown.  Then, Hubz revealed the next surprise, for our trip next weekend to NYC:

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Yes! He had to buy these tickets all the way back last October…that’s how hot this show still is.  I was already super pumped about our trip but now I am super trooper duper pumped (technical term).

Friday morning I gave myself the birthday gift of a sweaty 10 mile run.

I was supposed to do my long ride that morning, but rearranged so I could meet the padres after they finished their fancy guided Capitol tour.

Lil Sis arrived later that afternoon with plentiful delicious treats! Shortly thereafter, newly-re-tarheeled T arrived with plentify Doctor Who windup toys!  Then, more beauteous flowers from my sisses-in-law!!!

And chocolate covered strawberries from my Maine-summering grandmother and Aunt!!!

Soon, it was time to prep and head out to the big partay.  The padres and Lil Sis hung in through much of the craziness, and even participated in my demand for 80s costumes!!! Sadly, no pics of that yet (though hopefully they are yet to come…)

I had such a great time and saw so many good friends.  There may even have been birthday shots.  But you’ll never know.

Saturday was dedicated to touristing, and we discovered a plant at the Botanical Gardens that was weirdly named after both Madre and Lil Sis?

We also hit up some museums, watched the Nats (mostly) win against the Braves, and spent some time admiring the space shuttle Discovery in person.  Then it was sadly time to bid adieu to the fam – they are off to the beach for the rest of the week.

So after all that, 30 doesn’t feel too bad!  Although, I think I may be surprised out for the next few decades. Ready for a few days of normalcy (watching Breaking Bad marathon-style and eating all the leftovers in the fridge)…then mini-vacay to NY and the Shore.

And maybe sometime, getting hardcore about tri training again?

Kittay buzz cuts and birth week surprises

In blog-appropriate training news, I managed to knock out a speed workout first thing this AM, before the 100 degree temp reared its ugly head.  It was mostly sticky.  In the context of this heat and humidity, I have no idea if the splits I hit were where I wanted them to be, so I’ll just call it a win and move on to more exciting things…like…

Somebody got a hair cut today!

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Personally, I think he just wanted to look nice for my birth week.

Yep, birth week!  I’ve adopted the tradition of celebrating the whole week of my birth, because is a day really ever enough?  I picked this up from my friends T & C (who have recently fled the Disco for greener southern suburban pastures – boo…).  They may or may not have a whole birth week handbook.  Seriously.  I intend to request a copy before Hubz’s upcoming birthday.

In addition to Kittay’s fresh and beauteous look, today brought a few other birthweek surprises!

First, a bit of fan-errific reading soon to be had, courtesy of one of my angels, Miss A-Peachy-Keen:ImageA total surprise and totally rad!

Then, some perfectly purple flowers from the Hubz:Image

And the greatest birthweek surprise of all: I actually finished a big work project that I’ve been stressing about by today’s deadline!  Maybe this 30 year old thing is finally making me into a responsible adult?

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Anyone else celebrate birth week?