Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Three F's: Coeur Sports Run Short Review

 Fun, functional, fabulous - these are my three F's for the Coeur Running Shorts!

It's been a wonderful year so far as a Coeur Sports sponsored athlete.  The owners and creative team are straight up awesome and it's so good to know they make every product with real athletic women who want to look fabulous AND have highly functional active wear in mind.  There have been multiple opportunities to put them to the test. In fact, I pretty much LIVE in my training clothes.  What I love about the run shorts specifically, is that they are comfortable, cute and I barely notice anything about them when I'm running (which is the point).  

As Ironman Lake Placid training has been in full effect, my longest run of the year brought with it high temps and other challenges.  Luckily, what I was going to wear wasn't one of them.  The choice was easy!  When I look good, I feel good.  The red "Chinese New Year" shorts are probably my favorite! 
The waist band is soft and doesn't ride up.  The material is perfect for wicking sweat on one VERY hot sweaty day and I feel covered, but not hindered, by the undergarment included.  I haven't had any chaffing problems at all even on a 2+ hour long run. 

These shorts were the perfect option for mile after mile of running on country roads. 

 Here's a great view of the waist band from the back and the size small is definitely the right choice for me personally!  I wash them on cold and hang the to dry vs. putting them in the dryer to preserve the elastic as much as possible (i.e. I want them to last forever).

 The double pockets (one on each side) in the back are a great little storage places for gels, money, key or salt tablets.  As the first run short I've ever owned that has this feature, it's made my life MUCH easier!  All in all, I couldn't be more pleased with these shorts, and I am not just saying that as a sponsored athlete.  I'd recommend these shorts to my friends and family regardless.  Sometimes even if I'm just running to the grocery story and want to be comfortable, these shorts have been worn because they are THAT cute!  

This last picture is a good little picture of what I've had to own up to lately as training has ramped up, and at times, and caught up with me!  Thanks to those who have made it through the three tough weeks with me and survived my hangry attitude when I just needed a snack! 

We are on the other side now in the taper and I for one am HAPPY (as is my support team).  Almost time to roll!  Thanks to Coeur Sports for the awesome support this year and for just being fun, thoughtful people who I love interacting with on many levels.  They have so many options, not just running shorts, so make sure you check out all of the different active wear from tri shorts to casual clothes. 

Kebby and Reg, you guys are top notch.  Thank you for allowing me to be on this awesome team of women ripping it up all over the world!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Knee Deep In Beets (Biotta Beet Juice that is!)

Well, I'm not actually knee deep in beets (more on the beets in a minute), but I'm definitely knee deep in some serious training!  After Eagleman 70.3, I had a few days of recovery and then it was right back into a 5+ hour long ride by Friday.  The next week picked up a little more in terms of hours and intensity and here we are in the middle of what my coach calls "overload".  It's basically when at any given moment you are right on the edge of crying, blowing up on the swim, bike or run, hungry beyond belief and a little bit ornery because you don't seem to have time to keep your life together with all of the training (hopefully not all of the above at the SAME time, but it does happen occasionally, cue complete meltdown).  I've gotten one big week down and the one we are currently on to go.
One awesome crew!  Beth, me, Jocelyn, Matt, Bruce and Billy (and Jenn not pictured)  So glad they were around for some company on my long ride on seriously the hottest day of the year so far!

During this time, I thrive on routine.  Your best bet is to get to bed as early as possible and hopefully allow time sleeping to heal up the body and allow it to get ready for the next day.  The details during this period couldn't be more key.  If you screw and and decide you aren't going to drink enough on the bike one day, guess what, that spills over into the next TWO days of training and shows in your numbers and the way you feel.  I've had days over this period where I really screwed it up and paid dearly.  Other days, I've felt stronger than I have all year and being able to hang with certain cyclists on a big ride or put together a great workout has really boosted my confidence and made me feel good about where I'm headed.

 Keepers! Great to ride with good friends!

Today I posted this quote from yours truly on Facebook:

There are days in training where you find yourself clinging to the bottom rung with all your might. You're barely hanging on, but you know there's a purpose and plan which keeps you going. Other days, your body & mind function in a beautiful harmony where the gains you've been working toward finally become apparent. Whichever day you're having, keep listening to the quiet courageous voice in your heart that says "keep pushing, it will be worth it".

I really believe that!  I'm doing my best to balance it all right now including my Mom coming to town for the next week.  I'm very excited to see her and I'm hoping she may cook for me because I'm hanging on by a thin thread in that department! 

Recovery day breakfast!  YUM!  I'm an eggs girl these days!

So, why am I knee deep in BEETS!  Well, that's a fun answer, it's because I'm drinking my Biotta Beet Juice!  Once when was about ten years old I was staying at a friends house over night and I really wanted something to drink so I raided their refrigerator and scored what I thought was grape drink (you know, the pre-fab high sugar stuff!).  After pouring myself a big glass and downing it ASAP, I realized very quickly the drink had gone BAD!  It was not the high sugar sweetness I was craving so I let everyone know they should throw this whole pitcher out immediately!!  They had one good laugh at my expense.

Here I am, 20+ years later drinking it for so many reasons!!  First of all, it tastes much better as I don't crave the high sugar drinks anymore. Secondly, beetroot juice is a potent source of dietary nitrate.  You may have heard about not including nitrates in your diet via processed meats.  Don't worry, these are "good" nitrates that occur in nature as a part of vegetables like rhubarb, celery, spinach, arugula and of course, beets.  The big draw for athletes is how this nitrate is processed in the body.  It's reduced to nitrite and nitric oxide, particularly in time of lower oxygen availability.  This occurs when we exercise we produce this lower oxygen higher acidic environment and having nitrate available reduces the oxygen "cost" of exercise.  More oxygen delivery means muscles working harder and increased capacity for workload to occur (hello, just what we want as athletes!).  "How much beet juice is going to be required for me to get this turbo boosting nitrate?" you askWell, the research is still being complied, but most early studies are suggesting 200-500 milliliters per day (7-16oz) to see benefits.  A good strategy is to include it during heavy workload periods (i.e. OVERLOAD) and about 1-2 weeks out from race day.  It appears to be safe and of course you can also eat more nitrate-rich vegetables as well!  If you want to know more, check out their website and Facebook page for details!

I like to add my Biotta Beet Juice to smoothies because it cuts the earthy taste just a bit with some mixed berries and protein powder!  

Here's a quick look at the rest of life in pictures because I don't have time to write anything else and pictures are more fun anyway!

No I did not make this, but I did have it out and it was EXCELLENT! Those are roasted vegetables, eggs and fruit for breakfast.  YES, you CAN eat vegetables for breakfast or any time of day for that matter!

Our herb garden.  Basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, green onions. Fresh herbs in the summer are a wonderful way to add super flavor without any added fat!  One of my favorite things about this time of year!!

 This is your car.  This is your car on 8+ hours of training.. aka, disaster area.  At some point, you just start throwing things and then you can't find anything and it smells.  Not so great!
One of my favorite things to do with my basil, Caprese salad!  Delicious!

A little reminder to nail the details.. yes, that is the horrible plastic bracelet they put on you and I'm wearing mine from Eagleman so I don't forget what it was like to no feel so great on the run.  Every time I look down it reminds me to make every day count because in 27 days I will be on my "A" race starting line!  When I get to Lake Placid it can be replaced with that one!

It's us Vs. the critter who loves Kale right now.  After two re-plantings, we are now growing it in pots on the porch.  I WILL have my kale this summer! 

Yes, I did eat this entire thing myself the night before my 6 hr ride, 1 hr transition run and 1 hour swim.  It was glorious!

One of my favorite snacks, greek yogurt (0% Fage), walnuts and frozen mixed berries

Driving in your wetsuit makes you really cool, just sayin

Kyle must love me because he built me an open water course with 100 yard buoys at my uncles pond which is - duh duh duuuhhhh right across the street!! This could be a game changer!!  Stay tuned!

Living in my NormTec Recovery boots lately.  They are amazing between workouts when I have say, TWO runs in one day etc.

 Look I did it!

Right in the middle of overload, I decide I can make a wreath I saw on pinterest in all my spare time. Figure that one out!   Needless to say, it did come out pretty well!

Something to remember as you journey on!  

One more week!  I can do this!