Friday Five – Favorite Fall Foods

Back to reality. And it was a cold, hard bite too. Got on the plane in San Diego Tuesday morning, it was 80 and sunny. Got off the plane in Detriot, it was 18, cold, and dark. Got off the plane in Rochester and it was 15, cold, dark, and there was snow on the ground. Welcome home.

School on Wednesday was rough. We didn’t climb into bed until after 130am on Wednesday morning and my alarm went off at 530am regardless of the fact that I tossed and turned all night, getting almost no sleep. Thankfully it was my first day with new groups of students, so it was mostly going over how class will run, rules, get to know you games, house keeping type stuff. I didn’t stay for track practice afterwards. I was nodding off driving home I was so exhausted and barely kept my eyes open all evening. I crawled into bed shortly past 7pm and crashed. And surprisingly was startled by my alarm at 530 on Thursday. Even after more than 10 hours of sleep I struggled to get up. I would have slept a lot longer. Dang job.

I will have a full recap of some vacation highlights and of course a full race report of the RunDisney Avengers Half Marathon. It was something else, that’s for sure, and I have a ton to say about it.

Today though is in fact Friday, so I’m linking up with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney for some Friday Five action. Today’s theme is favorite fall foods too, which is awesome. Fall has some of the best food so I can totally get in on this idea.

1. Anything pumpkin- Yes, it is true, I do love pumpkin. PSL, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin cheesecake. It’s all delicious and I will never turn my nose at pumpkin foods. For the last few years I’ve been making pumpkin poke cake too, which is amazing, delicious, and downright addicting, as well as insanely simple to make. It’s just a box of spice cake mix mixed together with a can of pumpkin puree. Bake to the specification on the cake box. After it’s done, I use the handle of a smaller utensil, and poke holes all over in the cake. Once you’ve poked some holes in, pore a whole can of sweeten condensed milk over top of the whole cake. Cover and refrigerate over night. Top it with whipped cream, heath bar crumble, and caramel sauce. Done! This year I’m going to swap out whipped cream for cream cheese frosting I think. Go big, right?

2. Chili- While I don’t eat any beef or pork, I still love a good chili. I’ll eat any vegetarian kind and I usually make mine with turkey. Load it with beans, vegetables, and spice it up really well and it’s the perfect thing to eat on a cold fall or winter day. I have my protein powered turkey chili recipe here as well if you’re looking for a good one. Feel free to swap out turkey for beef if that’s your thing.

3. Stuffing- I freaking love stuffing. Or as some people call it, dressing (weirdos). I mean really, it’s seasoned bread. How can you not love that? I will typically make some baked stuffing too since I don’t like it totally soggy, but it’s still good right out of the turkey too. Honestly, I could cook a whole box of stovetop stuffing for a meal and be perfectly content with that as my dinner. Yum!

4. Mashed Potatoes- While not exclusive to fall, mashed potatoes are ah-mazing. And lets be honest here, they’re the best when smothered in gravy then mixed with turkey and corn, which is basically Thanksgiving, so I tend to associate them with fall. I love me some good mashed potatoes. Mmmmm.

5. Green Bean Casserole- This might seem like the odd one out, but it’s a food that I only get to have at Thanksgiving. And I love it when it’s made with some nice heavy cream soup and has the crunchy onions on top. Possibly the most unhealthy way to eat green beans, but definitely the yummiest. It’s a food that it a treat to me since I don’t ever eat it other than once a year. And it’s fabulous.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I only have to work two days next week then I get a five day weekend for the holiday, weeeee!!!! Yay! Just gotta work through a few more days!

What’s you favorite fall food?

What’s the one food item that you consider the most important staple of Thanksgiving dinner?

Recipe Roudnup – Healthy Chocolate Dessert

Hola everybody! The husband and I had a swimmingly, wonderful, fantabulous time in California. I’m super pumped to fill you all in once we get back and I get over  having to drag myself into work only mere hours after returning home and struggling through jet lag. You know, that fun.

Today, while I’m suffering through my first day back at work, I’ve got an awesome recipe for everyone with a sweet tooth, brough to you by the fabulous Upala, the voice over at Pretty In Pink Fitness. I promise to post a picture of myself shoveling this deliciousness into my mouth hole this weekend, because it has my drooling!

Healthy Chocolate Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 -1/3 Honey (depending on your desired sweetness)
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Mix first 3 ingredients on stovetop over medium heat
  2. Stir until everything is mixed together (It’s ok if consistency is a little runny)
  3. Place in a dish and put it in the freezer for a few hours or until mixture becomes hard
  4. After chocolate mixture becomes hard, break into little pieces
  5. Now you are ready to begin putting everything together
  6. Get a martini glass or any type of dish you like and start layering
  7. First place a few pieces of chocolate in the dish, then add some blueberries, then a few sprinkles of shredded coconut
  8. Keep repeating this layering process until dish is full
  9. Ready to serve! Enjoy!!
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Simple, straight forward, and it doesn’t even require many ingredients of effort. So awesome!

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Upala is a Texas girl who loves to exercise and eat healthy on a daily basis. She is an online fitness and nutrition coach who loves to lift weights and create healthy recipes for her family. She loves helping people realize and reach their greatest potential in their fitness journey. You can also find her spending time with her sweet and energetic 8 month old daughter and husband of eight years. She is also currently studying for her personal training certification.

To learn more about Upala you can find her at:

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Mental Strength Training

Hello from California! Husbandface and I raced yesterday and I will have a full race report most likely next week about that. I’m going to a jet lagged mess the second half of this week, so nothing coherent is going to make it’s way out of my mouth or onto my computer.

So while I spend my last couple of days gallivanting, I thought I’d go ahead and introduce you to April. She’s a seriously badass runner with some killer accomplishments under her belt. She’s offering some solid advice on building strength for endurance training and racing that is well worth the read. Enjoy!

I’m so honored to be guest posting on The TriGirl Chronicles for Courtney while she’s off running!  As a runner myself, I love hearing and reading about races that I haven’t had the opportunity to run yet.  I’ll be eagerly awaiting her race recap when she gets back!

My name is April Mims and I blog at Everyday Fitness and Nutrition.  After I started running in 2006, I gradually started eating healthier foods and becoming healthier overall.  And if I can do it, I figured that anyone could.  I’ve loved the changes that healthy eating and getting more active has brought into my life.  I’m a happier, healthier person because of it and trying to set a good example for those around me!  I hope you enjoy my post and will connect with me on social media!  Your comments, progress and accomplishments really inspire me and I love reading them!

When I was first invited to do this guest post, I wasn’t sure what to write about.  Since most of you are amazing triathletes and I am merely a single sport athlete, I wanted to find something to share with you that would help you all throughout your training or race, not just the run portion.  I won’t admit to knowing anything about swimming and very little about biking but I do know that we all go through ups and downs during our training cycles as well as events.  So I am going to talk to you about talking to yourself.  It’s up to you whether you say these things aloud or not, but we all need to talk to ourselves at least internally to keep us focused and moving in the right direction.

I’ve done a lot of races in the 8 years that I’ve been running.  I’ve completed a 50K, 5 full marathons, 55 half marathons, and way too many shorter distances to count.  I don’t throw out those numbers to brag but to show that I am very experienced at the things that go through an athlete’s head during training and races.  I won’t admit to always having pleasant happy thoughts during the race but I have learned how to handle those thoughts and get past them by changing them to something positive.  While training has prepared your body physically for the race, it’s important to focus on the mental aspect as well.  And let’s be honest here, aren’t all athletes a little mental? :)

These are three of my favorite, most-often used mental strategies.  Like I said earlier, it’s up to you if you want to keep these thoughts in your head or say them aloud – just be prepared for some odd looks if you speak them (not that I’ve done that or anything) :)

1.  Have a mantra.  Having a short phrase or a few motivating words already prepared is helpful for those times when you may be struggling.  It’s important to have it prior to this point because this is not the best time to come up with a good one.  When you feel that doubt start creeping in, start repeating your mantra until you get past it.  You’ll have to come up with your own mantra since different words affect people in different ways.  One of my favorites is simply “believe”.  My longer mantra is “I am strong. I am confident. I AM a marathoner.”  A few times of saying that gets me back to the mental place where I need to be.  Other mantras that I’ve heard and liked are “one mile at a time”, “define yourself”, and “you’re doing this”.  Be sure to keep it positive, energetic and action oriented.

2.  Choose positive words.  This one is tough when you’re in the midst of the pain but practicing it during training helps you be prepared for race day.  My rule is to make every word positive.  While I’m no psychologist, I read that the brain hears words individually and interprets them that way.  For example, if you tell yourself “don’t stop”, those are both negative words.  Even though they are put together to be positive, somehow the brain hears “don’t” and “stop” instead.  But if you replace the individual negative words with positive words, your brain will have no opportunity to misinterpret what you mean.  Replace phrases like “don’t stop” with “keep going”.  Both say the same thing but one eliminates any negativity.  I can’t explain exactly why it works, but it does.

3.  Add a “but”.  No matter how hard you try, sometimes a less-than positive thought creeps in.  We just can’t help it sometimes – it’s the reality of our current situation and the challenge we are giving our body and minds.  All races are tough (some tougher than others) and we’re all human so not everything goes as planned every time.  Every now and then a thought pops in your head about how tired you are or how hard this is.  Those are definitely legitimate feelings but you don’t want to let them derail your progress and your positive thoughts.  What works really well for me is to acknowledge those feelings and add a “but” to the end.  For example, “I’m so tired” becomes “I’m so tired but I’m doing this!”.  Or “I want to quit” becomes “I want to quit but I am strong and will keep going”.   Such a simple word as “but” can really change the direction of your thoughts.

Do you have any positive thought strategies that you use regularly?  I’d love to hear your favorite mantra!

I’d love to connect with you on social media!  You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or my website.  I even have a free 30 day fitness and nutrition challenge that you can start any time – it’s only 10 minutes a day!

Friday Five – Cold Weather Running Tips

Howdy! I’m coming to you from sunny, beautiful California, which kind of makes today’s post a little funny. I’m linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia for some Friday Five action and today’s theme is cold weather running tips.

This is a great topic. As someone who lives in what is basically snow hell I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to what it takes to survive running in the cold and snow. Here in CNY we often get snow as early as October and it’s been know to linger into about mid April during the harsher years. I spent my fair share of Halloween’s with my costume covered by boots and a winter coat. It’s just part of growing up here in the North. But in case you need some help figuring out how to survive running in the cold, I’m here to help!

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1. Invest in cold weather accessories- These would be things like gloves, a hat, and some wool socks. I especially suggest a hat with a brim if you live somewhere where the snow flies. It’ll help to keep the snow out of your eyes. As for gloves, I buy the cheap dollar stretch gloves. I like to start with them on, but I almost always, without fail regardless of temperature, rip them off after a mile or two. But that’s up to you and I highly suggest at least having them to start with. Also, if you live somewhere super snowy, you might be inclined to get some YakTrax or spike your shoes so that way you don’t slip and get hurt.

2. Buy some good cold weather running gear- I have Under Armour compression tights for when it’s really cold outside. I also have a stock pile of fleece lined Nike and Under Armour mock turtle neck long sleeved tops. Light jackets are also a good idea for days when it’s cold enough to layer up. I absolutely live in my Pearl Izumi Elite Infinity jacket. Spend a few bucks to buy some high quality gear made specifically for cold weather running. You’ll be grateful you did.

Recognize that jacket? Great for cold weather cycling too!

Recognize that jacket? Great for cold weather cycling too!

3. Dress as if it’s about ten degrees warmer than it really is- It might be frigid out when you first start, but you will get warm. I typical dress under the assumption that it’s about ten or so degrees warmer than it actually is. That’s why I run in short sleeves still even when it’s only about 40 outside, because once I get going and get warm, long sleeves are often times too much for me, which leads me to…

4. Know your threshold- Do your first few cold runs kind of short in distance so you can figure out how you need to dress to be comfortable and have a successful run. Allowing your body some time to adjust too helps. If you’ve never run in sub zero temperatures, build up to that. Don’t just jump outside on the first real cold day and hope for the best. Take some time to get acclimated to the temperatures and to learn how your body reacts when running in them.

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5. Don’t forget to hydrate- When it’s cold it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. You won’t get as thirsty as quickly and you may not sweat quite as much. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t dehydrating as you run. If it’s a longer run make sure you take something with you or plan a route that has some water break spots in it. Drink up before and especially after a run, no matter the distance. This time of year it’s easy to forget but still just as important as ever.

It’s already started snowing here in New York and it’s only going to get colder and snowier. We’re expected to have a pretty harsh winter this year, so I fully expect to slogging some miles through the snow more often than not. Cold weather running can be tricky, but it’s also a lot of fun. So go out, don’t let the winter hold you hostage on the treadmill, and enjoy the cold!

Any other good cold weather running tips?

Favorite piece of cold weather running gear?

Crash Course Coaching – Five Running Workouts

Hello fall. Hello winter. Ah, the season of running. Summer time sees lots of swimming and biking in addition to running, but the off season is where it’s at for running.

With running though, it’s easy to get in a rut. It becomes routine to hop on the treadmill, get your 5k in, and get off. Easy peasy, workout complete. Not exactly though. Steady state running is something your body eventually adapts to, meaning you get fewer of those fabulous benefits that come from running. So how do you keep your running from becoming routine?

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Generally, when I run and when I schedule running workouts for my athletes, I only do or provide one steady state run per week. And that run is typically a longer weekend run. During the week I keep runs between 3-5 miles and suggest variations of speed, endurance, or strength running workouts.

Tempo runs are one type of run I often time work into my athlete’s training schedules. One mile easy warm up, one mile easy cool down at the end, and sandwich in two or three fast or hard miles in between. Generally these would be pace based miles, like running at your 5k or 10k pace.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are my personal favorites. I like them because they’re easy to do on the treadmill during the months when running outside is more difficult. Do a warm up mile then spring right into your first interval. Intervals can be time or distance based. On the treadmill it’s easier to do time intervals, although distance can be done too, but I’d suggest time intervals on the treadmill. Just my two cents though. These are high intensity sprints so make sure you’re pushing your limits on these. And include a short recovery in between each interval. Follow up with a half mile or full mile cool down afterwards.

When doing intervals another fun run to consider is a fartlek run. Besides being fun to say, it’s fun to run too. It’s literally random intervals, so do a mile or so warm up, then start throwing in some random 20-30 second bursts of speed. Or add in a burst in between light posts, whatever you want to do.

The point is to just give your legs a little kick. And of course, when we’re talking about intervals and speed you can’t not mention track workouts. Head to your local high school and track, get a mile or two easy warm up in, then start crushing some distance sets. Depending on your goal that you’re working towards you might do classic Yasso 800’s, or you may keep it shorter like 100, 200, or 400 meter repeats. If you’re training for distance you’ll want to do some longer intervals, like 1000 meter or mile repeats.

And finally, yes, of course, the long run. Long runs should be done at an easier pace typically referred to as LSD, or long slow distance pace. Longer runs in a lower heart rate zone build endurance. So get out there and run!

Don’t let steady state running stunt your running potential. Make sure you’re varying your run workouts for maximum efficiency and to make the best use your time and fitness.

What’s your favorite running workout?

Vacation Countdown

Last day. Finally. Must Survive Today.

It’s Monday. All that I have on tap at work today is a superintendent conference day. There’s four or five other school districts joining us at our district so I’ll be working with all the other health teachers all day today, including one of my best friends from college who works for one of the visiting districts. I’m so excited to spend all day with her gabbing about teaching. Should be a nice way to spend a Monday at work before taking off for a week. Then I have Tuesday off for the holiday, which is great because I have a ton to get done before we leave.

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My week, my week, how did it go…

On Monday I ran 2 miles. What should have been easy miles, but I was still suffering some from not feeling good all weekend, so they were a bit tougher for me than they otherwise should have been.

Tuesday saw spinning class. I went to the late class and it was with an instructor I had never spun with before. Oh my goodness, she had a killer workout. Her music wasn’t my favorite, but I loved the workout, so it’s fine. The entire hour long class was just three hill repeats. Three hills in one hour. We spent a lot of time in high gears climbing. Yup. Toast. I was done after that class.

Nothing for me on Wednesday. I was wiped, school wore me down, I never made it to gym. Thursday I made it to my usual 530 spinning class. I actually felt really good after that, the best I’ve felt post workout in a while.

I really need to channel that when we get back from vacation and just buckle down and get back into shape. I need to rebuild my base, rebuild my speed, and rebuild my confidence. My leg is finally starting to feel like it’s boarding on like 98% better, so I’m optimistic I might not have to take time off from running after this race like I was planning. I probably won’t be able to do the Runner’s World running streak like I was hoping to do this year, but I will be very grateful to run pain free two to three times a week.

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Can you guess which Avengers character I’ll be running as? Hint: consider the main topic of this blog and know that it’s kind of ironic.

I am so pumped for vacation. Do I feel bad about missing the entire first week with a new group of kiddos? Sure. Am I more excited to go on vacation? You betcha ya! We fly into San Diego and we’re planning to do the zoo there then drive up to Anaheim the next morning. We have three any day passes to Disney, we’re planning to do Universal, and a day in LA to go see a live taping of the Conan O’Brien Show. And of course our race!

Thanks to me working 7-3 and Husband working 330-1130 we literally go five days a week without seeing each other. It’s bee a tough ten weeks and I miss my husband. I feel like we really need this time together, so I’m really, really looking forward to it. Must Survive Today.

Ever ran a Disney race?

Favorite thing to do in LA or San Diego? Restaurant suggestions?

Recipe Roundup – Protein Powered Turkey Chili

You guys, it’s cold. It’s finally getting cold outside and I’m not sure if I’m happy about it or not. Maybe, I haven’t decided yet. But I do know that cold weather makes me more inclined to cook because I like a nice hot bowl of something rich on a cold day. And I’ve been patiently waiting for it to be cold enough for me to justify making chili, it it has finally hit that point.

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If there’s one thing you should know about me and cooking though, it’s that I’m kind of lazy. I enjoy cooking, I would really to do it more, but it’s just so much extra work when my days are  long enough and difficult enough as it is. But I’m kind of sick of going to Wegmans multiple times a day to feed myself. So I went once yesterday (lies, I went twice) and bought everything I needed to cook myself enough chili to feed me all week long.

I make my chili with turkey because I don’t eat any red meat or pork. It’d been about 12 years since I’ve had beef and I don’t miss it what so ever. Also, turkey is healthier. And one thing I like about chili is that if you do it right it can be super healthy but still super rich and filling.

I love chili that is loaded with vegetables and beans too, so I grabbed up a ton of both to throw in. My recipe wavers a smidge every time I make it, but it’s mostly consistent. It usually boils down to how many vegetables and what kind of beans I add in.

Protein Powered Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 2-3 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 cloves diced garlic
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can crushed tomato
  • 2 packets McCormick chili seasoning

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a deep stock pot.
  2. Add chopped onion, red pepper, garlic, and corn. Let cook together and heat through.
  3. Add turkey and let brown. Add all the beans, mix together, and let heat through.
  4. Add all the tomatoes, mix well and heat through.
  5. Add spices and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy.
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To start, put a few teaspoons of canola oil into a deep stock pot and heat. While that’s heating up, cut up a small to medium sized onion By the time it’s all chopped the oil should be hot. Add it to the oil and toss well. While the onion starts to cook down and caramelize, start cutting up two to three red peppers. The onion should be soft by the time your peppers are cut, so add that next. Toss those together and let them cook while you chop some garlic. I threw large cloves into this batch. The best way to peel garlic cloves is to take the flat side of your knife and push down against the clove. It’ll crush slightly and the skin will crack and pull right off in a single piece. Then just dice them up and throw them in. I also added half a bag of frozen corn to this batch. Sometimes I add it sometimes I don’t, but it adds some color, so it’s a nice addition. Let all the veggies cook together for a few, stirring from time to time.

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Next, after everything has had some time to meld together, add in a pound of turkey. If you like you chili meatier throw in one and half or even two pounds. If you go for two pounds though, I’d suggest omitting a can of beans.

Brown the turkey all the way through. Once it’s all browned and mixed in with the veggies, add in all your beans.

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Black, pinto, and kidney beans!

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Mix everything together well and let it simmer for a few minutes. Let all that flavor build, it’s worth it. Next, add in all the tomatoes. I do two cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies and one can of crushed tomatoes. I’ve tried a lot of variations of tomato ratios and types over the last couple of years and have found this to make the best base, nice and thick and chunky with lots of flavor.

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Add in the spices. Again, I’m super lazy, I buy premixed chili spices. You can make your own mix and it’ll probably have a lot less sodium, but I prefer to make things simple whenever I can. I use two packages for this much chili. One package leaves the flavor pretty weak, so go ahead and spice it up.

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Stir well and let everything simmer and heat through for about 20 minutes. And that’s it! One pot chili that takes about 45 minutes to make if you take your time. I can usually whip it together pretty quick and it’s really not difficult. And it makes so much!

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Nomnomnom chili! Add some shredded cheddar on top, maybe a dollop of sour cream or avocado, and enjoy!

What’s your go to chili recipe?

Favorite warm dish on a cold winter day?

Tri Talk Tuesday – Off Season Training

Yay Tuesday!!! I’m so excited to have Tri Talk Tuesday back in action. Cynthia and I are here geared up with new fellow co-host of awesomeness, Phaedra! So welcome back link up and triathlon fanatics!

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Today Cynthia, Phaedra and I are talking about off season training. Tri season is long since over here in NY with late September being the tail end of it, and that’s barely it. That’s definitely late season for us northerners. But fall gives way to running season. Fall running *swoon*

My season has one more major race on the schedule before it concludes; Run Disney Avengers Half Marathon in about a week and a half. Then it’s down to fun run 5k’s until spring and next season.

Planning for the off season can really go one of a few different ways. Either you have a coach and they feed you workouts based on your goals and you don’t really have to think about what your off season will entail. Or you have a plan that you’re following, like what Cynthia is doing. Or you do what I’m doing and create your own plan.

Part of creating a plan includes focusing on what you learned from your previous season, goals for your upcoming season, considering what needs work, and quite frankly, strength. Off season is a good time to do a ton of strength training that is often lost when in season by triathletes. It’s also a good time to do some speed work, technique and mechanics, and focused blocks of training. Last winter I did a focus on swimming since that’s an area I’m weak in and it paid off for me.

So what should you focus on?

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Strength training is crucial to triathletes and to all athletes really. Winter is a great opportunity to work hard on building muscular strength by spending quality time in the weight room, TRX studio, or crushing some machines. Strength training makes you strong, which translates to power, which translates to speed, powering up hills, and some general endurance. It also is a great way to prevent injuries. Two seasons in row I’ve dropped strength training once the weather got nice and two seasons in a row I’ve been injured by fall. Strength training is important. Don’t neglect it, and use the winter as the time to get back at it and make it a healthy habit.

Speed work is another thing that is easy to work in during the winter. I spend a lot of time on a treadmill in the winter and it’s when I do the majority of my speed work. The treadmill may be boring, but when you can set the speed and create workouts on it, it’s sooooo easy to do speed work. The treadmills at my gym allow you to create custom workouts, so I do tons of interval training. Tempo runs are made easier too if you’re aiming for a specific pace for a certain amount of time or distance, just set and forget it. It’s just too easy not to take advantage of. I also have access to an indoor track too, so I really have no excuse in this department.

Focused training blocks are pretty common during the off season. Last winter I did about a three month block of time where I focuses almost exclusively on my swimming. I tightened up my form and swam thousand and thousands of yards of drills. And this summer I swam the best I ever have in races and saw some speed improvements. And while my OWS skills still need work, I’m planning on hitting the pool hard for another swim focus at some point this winter. It’ll be more difficult for me since I can no longer swim with my tri club in the mornings, but I still get the workouts, just have to do them solo. So be it. You can also do a run block or a cycling block of training. Hit the trainer, hit the roads and treadmill, and focus on what you need to work on.

Technique and mechanics can be a little tricky if you live somewhere with harsh winters like I do, but it’s still something you can work on. I’ll be working on my swim techniques and mechanics more this winter. My left elbow is lazy and I don’t rotate enough through my stroke. I know I need to work on these things and I will. Running form or bike handling, which would both fall under this category, are a little more difficult if you’re stuck inside most days. But if you can run outside  or on an indoor track, you can definitely work on some running form and drills. You can do some form work on a treadmill, but the belt will still cause some gait change no matter what. My average stride length on a treadmill is significantly longer than when I run outside, for example. But you can still put the work and effort in and it will make a difference.

So what’s in store for me and my off season plan? I’ll be working on my swimming technique some, but mostly I’ll be focused on rebuilding my base after being injured for a few months now. Lots of strength training and lots of speed work on my run. Other than that, I’m leaving myself open and flexible. I’m not entirely sure what my goals for next year are yet, which is causing me some anxiety, so I’m aiming to keep my plan flexible, fluid and dynamic and easy to change on a dime.

Favorite way to get your sweat on during the winter?

What’s your plan for a winter training plan?

 Feel free to shoot me an email if you need some coaching advice or an off season plan. I can help you make your off season successful!

**The next Tri Talk Tuesday will be on December 2, 2014! The theme is race planning and planning out a season, so get ready to spill all your 2015 race plans!

Survival Mode

Monday again. I wish weekends were three days instead of two. Or hell, four days. Bring it on.

One more week of school, one more week of school, one more week of school. It’s the final week of the quarter, I just have to get through it. Then we have an all day superintendents conference day next Monday, Tuesday we’re off for the holiday, then Wednesday husband and I fly out to California! Must survive this week.

Did I mention I’m going to be coaching modified track yet? Because I am. Indoor track starts right after school today, so this throws another wrench in my ability and motivation to get my evening workouts in. But I have a plan!  I’m going to try my damnedest to get my hands on a key to the weight room since my athletes will be in there once or twice a week to strength train anyways. Then once all the kids are gone after practice I can head in there to run on a treadmill and lift. Thank you middle school, for having a surprisingly nice workout center. Hopefully I can make this work. But I do know I’m about to get even busier and any time I get to myself is now getting whittled down to maybe an hour or two per day at best. Why did I agree to this..?

becauseofyou

Last week I managed one run and two spin classes. I was exhausted and starting to feel sick by Thursday night, but I still dragged myself to spin class. I was struggling and ultimately left class early. I’ve only done that once or twice before out of all the years I’ve been spinning, so I was definitely not feeling good.

I had every intention of getting into the gym for a run and strength training this weekend. Instead I spent the weekend curled up on the couch under blankets try to shake off a cold. I don’t often get sick, so I’m pretty annoyed at the whole situation. I’ve had a headache for four straight days now thanks to the insane pressure in my head. Everything sounds like it’s underwater, my jaw and face hurt, and I’m just cranky. Better now than on our vacation I suppose. And Husband should be grateful we don’t see each other all week since his chances of catching whatever I have go down drastically. And he gets sick easy, so hopefully I don’t infect him before our vacation.

I am hopeful to run after practice today as long as I can get into the gym and don’t feel like death. Tuesday/Thursday spin is still on my docket along with another run Wednesday and a long run on the weekend. Same plan as last week and hopefully I can execute it a little better this week, assuming the germs don’t keep me hostage too long.

Right now I’m entering survival mode. Survive being sick. Survive fitting in workouts. Survive my first week coaching middle schoolers to run. Survive this week of school period. All survival leads to vacation. November 12th, I need you!

Working out when sick – yay or nay?

 

The Attempt to Reclaim Motivation

I am so excited this week is drawing to a close. Just have to get through today at school, then I’m throwing Halloween parties for every period on Friday. Because sometimes teachers would rather watch Hocus Pocus and eat candy all day than do work too. Truth.

I’m working hard to get my groove back. Coming off an injury is hard enough, but take me, an avid morning workout person, and force me to workout in the evening instead and I’m cranky and resistant. I’m trying really, really hard and I think if I had any downtime at work I’d feel differently. But when I work straight through 7am to 4pm or later with a barely 30 minute lunch break as my only time to decompress all day, I’m pretty wiped by the time I leave school. Factor in my 9pm bedtime to be able to get up in time for work that early, and I really don’t like working out after work. I just want to go home, shovel pizza into my mouth hole, catch up on my recorded shows, and zone out on facebook. But alas, I have been working out, mostly.

losemotivation

Come back to me motivation! I’m working on it, slowly but surely, I’m getting back into my groove.

Monday I didn’t workout. I had gotten a charlie horse in my injured calf in the middle of Sunday night and woke up limping. I didn’t want to push my luck since I was still in a bit of pain when I left school, so I opted not to run.

Tuesday was spinning for me. My lack of sleep from the weekend that carried into the week finally caught up to me and struggled in class. But I still muscled through and got it all in.

Wednesday I bucked up and ran. I needed to run. I have another half marathon in a little over two weeks so I need to run. I didn’t really feel like running outside in the cold gray weather, so I headed off to the gym. I haven’t been allowed to run on the treadmill the last couple of months as per my PT’s orders, but since I’m not really going right now, I feel like I can break the rules. I did a mile warm up, 4×400 meter sprints with a .1 mile recovery in between each one, then just over a half mile cool down to get me to 3 miles.

TMintervals

I have no idea what that crazy spike in the middle of my last interval is. I must have taken a wild flying leap. Or my footpod glitched. Probably the latter.

It felt really good to get a solid run workout in. It was definitely a lot harder of a workout than I would have gotten had I begrudgingly gone out a muddled through a sloggish 2-3 miles around my neighborhood. I felt good afterwards and didn’t have any leg pain during or after really, so I’m going to count it as a win and start getting back into the gym.

I plan to run outside still, through the winter even if I can. I ran a bunch last year in the snow. But I do enjoy zoning out in the lovely climate control of the gym from time to time. Ask me again in February though, I’m sure  my feelings on that will change.

Today will be more spinning. Fridays are my rest days, and with it being Halloween I’m sure I’ll be busy handing candy since our house always gets slammed.

Also, in a stroke of good news, that bill that the Bone and Center sent me after swearing themselves blue in the face that my insurance would cover that horrid MRI in full? It’s going away. I finally got out of school early enough to call over there. I told the girl I had refused to sign anything until I was promised the procedure was covered in full, which I was, and how I’m not quite sure why they sent me a bill considering what I was told. If the girl pushed it I had a tangent about the awful, crappy, and boarding malpractice worthy service I was given locked and loaded. But the girl got all huffy, said they’d take care of it on their end and to disregard the bill, than practically hung up on me. Another shitty experience with their service, but at least I don’t have to pay the bill, supposedly

In not training news, for anyone who is curious, Tri Talk Tuesday is starting back up with the first link up scheduled for Tuesday, November 4th. Cynthia and I are super, duper beyond excited to announce our new co-host, Phaedra, the speed demon author over at Blisters and Black Toenails! So make sure you hit her up on twitter or facebook and send her some love. Then plan a post all about off season training plans so you can link up with us on November 4th!

Favorite treadmill workout – Share!

What are your Halloween plans?