Monday, May 19, 2014

Learning from my mistakes - pre long run eating oopsies

There are 2 weeks to Raleigh 70.3.

I am pretty sure I need this shirt. But sleeveless and in a light breathable fabric please. Maybe not yellow although that goes with the whole banana thing.
I am ready to taper.

Every workout this week found me fatigued. I was still able to do each workout but I was tired. I jumped for joy when my Thursday swim was shortened due to lightening in the area. Plus I've put my heart rate strap somewhere and I cannot find it. Plus I need new goggles and swimsuits not to mention a super late birthday present for my brother and there simply has not been enough time. These are all signs I'm at full capacity.
total time 13h46min for the week

Perhaps I accidentally poisoned myself before the long run ... oops
My run Saturday was not good. I experienced (to speak in exercise code) "gastric distress."

Note: if you're not in the mood to read about this "distress" this is a good place to stop. But I promise it's not very gross. 
 
I suspected I was in trouble before I left the house. I woke up before the alarm with mild stomach cramps and the normal (again with the code) "routine" was anything but normal. I also didn't eat much of my oatmeal or coffee because I was a little (but not a lot) nauseated. But I kept thinking I would be okay ... it would pass. Sadly, for me it didn't.

I did finish the run. Slowly. And stopping at each and every bathroom along the way which is a good thing about this route that there are several. And while I have said in the past that I would never run again when I might be sick I was sweating the whole time so I was pretty confident that while I was uncomfortable I wasn't actually in much trouble.

If I had been carrying my phone I might have called for a ride at about 8 miles I think. This is the first time I've ever thought about not finishing a long run.

But I did actually feel mostly fine after I ate breakfast when I got home. 

Searching for the cause
I have been messing with my run nutrition but I ruled that out as the cause because symptoms hit me before I started my run.

So I did some thinking about what I ate the day before. I am normally very consistent with my pre long-run dinner but this week I did eat out the night before. This was totally because I didn't want to cook or clean. We tried a new restaurant Earl's in dadeland. It was good but know if you go there is no kids menu. Alas not a perfect fit for my crew as we travel with kids. I had fish with rice and steamed veggies. It was delicious. Initially, I suspected this as the culprit because it was the last thing I ate but now I think not.

Learning new huge words: Phytohaemagglutinin or simply Hemagglutinin
For lunch I had made pasta salad. I wish I had taken a picture but you'll have to live without.

For this pasta salad I had used beans that I myself had rehydrated. I soaked them for what seemed like forever but was really just overnight and I boiled them each for about 15 minutes. I did this because canned beans are pretty salty. Plus they are in a can and I try to be healthy where possible.  I used both garbanzo beans and red kidney beans.

So, I don't know if you knew this but undercooked beans can be toxic. Especially red kidney! Oops! I didn't know this before now but I did a google search for "beans and diarrhea" and I think I found my culprit.  You can read more about this particular issue here.

My symptoms totally match and I think actually I'm pretty lucky because I got a small dose. Apparently this can land you in the hospital. That would be a real drag.

I was about an hour short on the cooking time of both beans. Eeek! If you're curious there is a list on wiki for how long beans need to be cooked to be safe. Here.

So, I have now tossed the kidney beans, garbanzo beans and the whole leftovers of said yummy pasta salad. Seems wasteful but oh well.  I may go back to regular beans in the can from now on to be honest. I'll just rinse them before. Also to be honest one bag of dried beans makes a huge amount of beans.

As a side note: I think my search history must be pretty hysterical. Especially since I share the computer with my kids. From eating undercooked beans to how to draw a unicorn all in one place. It's good to keep those advertiser folks on their toes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Does anybody actually care what I ate because it's Wednesday?

First let me tell you a story. I hope it makes you smile. Anybody who has trained for an endurance race knows that there is a point where the bulk of time that the training uses up takes a toll on your home life. This happened to me Monday when I got into the shower and realized there were 7 mostly empty bottles of conditioner and no shampoo. So I had to shampoo with the kids watermelon shampoo. I tried to steal from the other bathrooms but no go. Only kid shampoo in the whole house. :-) Off to the store I went Tuesday.

Now back to the point.

I read several fitness blogs where the bloggers are kind enough to share what they eat on Wednesday. They call it WIAW.

First I'll admit it took me a while to figure out what those initials might mean but I did eventually figure it out.

Now I'm pretty sure nobody cares and for sure I know I'm not a health example. But I'm sharing anyway because I can. Although I must admit I think I did a pretty lame job of keeping track of it to be honest last Wednesday. And also my kids think I'm nuts for taking pictures of what I was eating.

Breakfast:
starbucks coffee with half-n-half on the trainer. It's a slow warm up.
Scrambled eggs. Usually 2 or1 and some egg whites. My eggs come from Lake Meadows farm not the grocery store in case you're curious. I eat plenty of non-organic stuff but where I can I shop directly from farms. It's a huge pain and I've got no idea if it's worth it.
Not pictured I also had a peice of sourdough toast with butter. Yum.

Lunch:
zucchini soup ... it's a huge bowl don't think I'm a light eater or anything here. Also I had lemon water which you can see there. I'm pretty sure I ate more than this but I didn't write it down and I honestly don't remember now. 
snack or maybe part of lunch. These little buggers are delicious. My son loves them too although he doesn't want his friends to know that he eats peas. So, don't tell. 
Not pictured the 9-10 little chocolate chip cookies I ate with my kids at the Wayside smoothie hut. Wednesday is smoothie day for us and while I don't eat a smoothie usually my son leaves his cookies unattended for a few minutes and resistance is futile. They are not organic or healthy but they are delicious. Did I mention they are warm?

This was most likely a non-organic apple. Organic apples spoil in approximately 3 minutes in Miami so I only get them in the farm share. Otherwise I live dangerously and go ahead and eat conventional apples.  I know ... I'm a rebel. I also use full-strength bug spray ... a bit hypocritical I know but hey our mosquitoes are ridiculous here.
three scoops of this in my water during the run workout. Plus a few honey stingers gummies since it was before dinner.
Dinner was sushi from Myako near my house. My husband took the kids to evos after swimming because I was running and I forgot to ask him to pick me up a wrap so I was on my own. Unpictured because I was starving and I ate it all before I could even think of taking a picture. Salad, rainbow roll, and 6 peices of nigiri. There was most likely also a beer. I didn't write it down but I have trouble getting to sleep after a night run so I have found that it helps me to actually get to sleep.

So that's it. Not perfection. Not a single bite of chia seeds, tofu, quinoa porridge or hemp milk so my future as a fitness blogger is probably doubtful. Nonetheless it's what I ate last Wednesday. Actually I'm clearly a creature of habit because so far I'm on a duplicate path except no sourdough toast.

I think this is probably a one time only post although maybe I'll do it again closer to the Ironman because it's kind of amusing to see how much I eat then. It amazes my husband and he's a huge eater.

Monday, May 12, 2014

No workout Mother's Day update - Mothers Day politics and other nonsense

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there. I hope your day was filled with homemade artwork, burnt toast in bed prepared by little sticky hands and lots of hugs and kisses.

There was a 4 hour bike ride on the schedule ... but instead I had breakfast in bed.

Breakfast in bed group selfie. Yes that's my daughter pulling her brother's hair. Isn't she sweet? This was followed by tears. But it was actually a good breakfast in bed. We snuggle and they give me their gifts. I love these guys.
Yesterday was my best Mother's Day - yet. 
A few years ago I hated mothers day. It was an annoying day that seemed to have nothing to do with me and my motherhood and everything about dragging my very young kids to a super boring meal with my mother-in-law.
My step-son's birthday falls very close to mothers day. Of course, he spends that with his mom. But we did have cake the day before and he played tennis with his dad which sort of explains why he has on no shirt ... but not really. He's 20 ...  does that explain the no shirt? Nope. Okay well then moving on that's an oreo cheesecake ... yum!

I'm not sure if the lowest point in my mothers day history was when my husband and I actually had a huge fight because he bought me an iPad (which resulted in my daughter not wanting to give me her homemade gift for me) or the year my husband and daughter had the stomach flu and my mother in law invited herself over anyway so I got to clean up vomit, shop, cook her dinner and clean up said dinner on Mother's Day.

Jack let my balloon escape to the ceiling. So it will probably be there until August at which point it will sink down and scare the crap out of me in the middle of the night.
For the record I'm not ignoring my own mom in this post. She's pretty low maintenance with mothers day - these days which I appreciate. She did not invite herself over when we had the stomach flu and for that I am eternally thankful.

The best of intentions ... plan A. You can't really tell how windy it was. At this point we still thought we were going because they told us we were. The did mention that Penekamp had cancelled their trips so I wasn't sure what we were getting into and I was prepping the kids for an adventure.
Over the years I've had to put some guidelines together. I do not present these as suggestions for others just merely to show that some worked better than others.
  1. Kids are with their moms. We're a blended family and so it may seem obvious but for me it only made sense that my step-kids be with their mom with no pressure about the whole step-mom thing. It works for us.
  2. No sleepovers at grandmas the night before. I like to wake up in my own bed. Plus when the kids are babies my main gift is to have daddy up with the kids for an extra 30 minutes of rest which totally wasn't working at grandmas house. Well maybe it was for grandma ...
  3. No brunches. I hate crowded restaurants and my kids are still too young to actually "brunch" so this was a necessary change although it did end up that I ended up cooking and cleaning on several mothers days which while better than brunch wasn't always the best. 
  4. No gifts except from kids to mom's.
  5. Time is the best gift of all. I really want to have mother's day memories so I have tried to shift the day from brunch and wrapping paper to something fun that we do together. 
  6. It's just a day. It was a bummer when we had the stomach flu but stuff like that happens - it's just a day.
This year it turned out that my mother-in-law was out of town. So it was a little less complicated.
 


Lunch at Island Grill after we bailed on the snorkeling and were on our way to Theater of the Sea. We saw a little tiny crab in the water.
My kids and their homemade presents are the highlight of the morning. Then this year the activity was snorkeling! We were all very excited because we love snorkeling.
Pink bikinis all around. My daughter is pretty sure I have the funniest tan lines ever. I want her to be comfy in her body so I expose my funny tan lines, mama tiger strips (stretch marks) and jiggly belly for the world to see. She is all about the rabbit ears in the photos. Every single time :-)
rabbit ear revenge. This photo cracks me up. Can you see she's doing the ears to her brother and my husband made ears out of the fins. Comedy gold I'm telling you. We're getting ready to swim with dolphins. Insanely expensive, probably not the nicest thing to do to dolphins and yet ... totally awesome.

Except it was too windy (20 mph winds). When we got to the dock the snorkel boat captain told us that the morning boat half the people were seasick. Ewww.  He told the family in front of us that it was horrible. So we cancelled. On to plan B.
This is the lagoon at theater in the sea. We thought we'd get to snorkel here but that turned out to be dumb so Jackson just terrorized the fish for a while (along with the other boys present). The bottom was so rocky it was seriously painful to walk on the beach and there were silver fish that some guy was insisting were baracuda. In insisted that they weren't but there was no chance of Dylan swimming with whatever they were.



So new plan - Theater of the Sea.
giant florida lobster in the "lagoon" You can see the blue fish in the background that the kids chased around.

We had never been there but it was fun. We swam with the dolphins and had a great time. We actually did eat both lunch and dinner out since we went down to the keys but both were pretty casual low stress meals and I had a great day overall.
me swimming with a dolphin. Yes I do have a giant prominent forehead but more importantly this was really fun.  Do you see my smile?
So now my daughter has decided she wants to be a dolphin trainer. That's pretty fun actually. My son thinks we should go to the keys every weekend. He'll even give up his soccer games. I know isn't he the most generous 7 year old you know? (I'm kidding).

Being a mom is a gift in the way that every day is a gift. Sometimes it's hard to remember. This day was pretty great and I'm pretty lucky it fell on Mother's Day.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Armour39 Heart Rate Strap Product Review

This is part two of three parts of my Under Armour / Armour39 Cinderella for a day story

Today I wore the Armour39 Heart rate strap to my training session. The Armour 39 strap is designed to help you track your results for interval training in a gym setting.

I don't really do interval training in the gym (I have sort of an overabundance of cardio training in my life) but I do have "plyo sets" in between my strength stuff which drives my heart rate way up.
Here we are a group of happy learners. Listening to all the cool details.

I did not read the instructions before I started today so the results were mixed. But both my trainer and another trainer in the gym were totally enamored with the device and so we're using it again on Thursday but I plan to read the instructions before our second try. 


Armour39 Tour
Under Armour is well known for it's apparel line. But they have released a Heart Rate Strap called Armour39 and that's what I was invited to try last week in the Armour39 Product Tour.

One of my favorite features of this product is that the module on the chest strap which UnderArmour calls the "bug" lights up to indicate that it's working. This is nicely reminiscent of the marvel character "Ironman" who clearly has a soft spot in my life.


We were given a strap and an iTouch to use during the workout. Then the trainers from Fasttwitch Performance Training put us through the paces for an hour. At the beginning and end of each part of the workout we double tapped on the app and it created a new section of our workout.
This is the overview from my first workout.

Since my fun is endurance training I am familiar with training by heart rate. Almost all my workouts are structured by heart rate zone. So I wasn't starting from scratch here. We got a short (very short) presentation of the product. Here are the highlights that I picked up.

The strap is very comfortable. On first glance it looks bigger than what I'm used to but I wore it for the hour and had no issues. Honestly didn't even notice it was there. Which is a great thing.


The Armour39 band actually stores the data in the little gadget on your chest. So you don't have to be in range of your phone all the time. This is a pretty great feature. According to the Under Armour website it can store 16 hours of information which should be plenty for everyone. When you are in range of your paired phone/device it will automatically transfer the information by bluetooth.

The Armour 39 band records "tick-by-tick" that's my term not theirs but the idea is that they don't deliver averaged data but each beat of your heart is recorded so you are getting the most complete data. I have no idea how this compares to other heart rate monitors to be honest.
This is the summary heart rate screen from my workout.

We were told that the Armour39 has an accelerometer inside. This is a HUGE feature in my opinion. Accelerometers dramatically increase the accuracy of an exercise tracking device because you aren't limited to the intermittant signal matching of a gps connection. So when you speed up ... it just knows. Love it! It's also totally needed in this case because the band doesn't have a gps - users are relying on the gps in the phone and you may not be carrying your phone with you.

Armour39 is designed to be used in a gym setting. You could use it anywhere but that's what they designed it for and in my opinion that's a very good match for how the product was designed.

The software
It pairs with your phone and has it's own app called Armour39. It's easy to install. I installed my while eating breakfast this morning. Just make sure you spell Armour with the extra "u" :-)
I am pretty sure I don't have this part set up correctly since it's empty.

It's very easy to set up. Setting up your profile takes literally 2 minutes. The screen is clear and easy to read. The zones are color coded and the numbers are big and bright. All in all the only thing I would say is that you have to remember to double tap it at the start and stop of each section of your workout. Not a big deal certainly.

UnderArmour has purchased MapMyFitness so it works seamlessly with all those MapMyRun, Ride and other MapMyapps. DC Rainmaker wrote about this acquisition a few months ago here. DC Rainmaker is much more comprehensive in his reviews of GPS technology so if you have questions he's a great source of information.

Personally, I don't use Mapmyrun stuff often but it works really well so this is a good pair.

Data from your workout is stored in the UnderArmour cloud which is fine. But that's the only downside for me actually. I keep all my training results in one place so the only limitation of this software might be that I can't combine the data with my other data. But to be honest if this device catches on I'm sure my data holding program (training peaks) will work out a way to bring in the data. 

Price Point
In my goodie bag my unit had a sticker on it that says 99.99. Because it uses your itouch, iphone unit this is it. So it's a great price point.


In conclusion
Honestly I see products online and all over every day that I just don't understand (wetsuit shorts, triathlonbox, knee compression things, Dooney and Bourke Ironman branded bags). But this is really a well though out, well targeted product. For interval training in a gym or box setting you can easily use this to compliment your workout and add heart rate training to your workouts. Additionally this gives you a calorie and intensity result for your workout. Most people dramatically overestimate the calories burned in a workout so this helps keep you honest.
It was really fun. I mean I was sore for days but I've learned to smile through the pain. I was almost the only one smiling through the workouts.
In fact, what I see as being the perfect match for this is trainers using it to help their clients get the most out of what they are doing in a workout. Clients can either buy their own band or just use the trainers. It's a perfect match in my opinion.

Will I use it?
I'm not sure actually. I was all prepared today to try it once and say ... nope It is an overlap to what I currently use for training which is a triathlon specific gps watch. But I definitely could use it for my strength training sessions. So ... maybe, probably. we'll see. I dunno.

Now if I was a new triathlete or runner many of whom I know start with using runkeeper or other phone based applications I think this is a no brainer upgrade to start training with a low entry price point and growing off the equipment you already have which is a smart phone.

Many many thanks to Under Armour for including me in their Armour39 tour. Not only did I feel like a fitness Cinderella for a morning I really enjoyed trying the product.

Thanks also to the guys at Fasttwich Performance Training. Part three of the review will be about the location that hosted the event which was a pretty great place.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinderella for a day - or my visit to the Armour39 tour

Last Wednesday I spent the morning trying out the Armour39 heart rate monitor by Under Armour.

I have to admit that this Wednesday was one of the most fun opportunities that has come about as a result of this little blog. So this post is part 1/3 about that day. Part one is the Yay UnderAmour section.  The second part is the review of the Armour 39 Heart Rate Strap. The third will be about the cool place that hosted the event ... because yes it was that cool.


Friendship has benefits
I have a totally famous blogger friend named Christina who is kind enough to call me a fellow blogger. Which is factually true since I maintain this blog. But comparitively speaking she's much bigger and much more famous and all but she's front page of the newspaper, and get awards famous and and well my husband doesn't even read my blog. GASP!

Still, friendship has it's perks as she was invited to an Under Armour, Armour39 product release and she referred me as a fellow blogger.

Total Cuteness - for a day
Honesty first. I'm not known as a fashionista. When I get dressed for the day I plan for the last workout of the day. So if I swim in the morning and run at night I'll get up and put on my swimsuit and running stuff over that. I do make an effort to match but I don't always succeed and honestly if I'm getting dressed in the dark I consider it a major victory to have my shirt on right side out.

Since I'm being honest I have to admit this doesn't always happen. A few weeks ago I wore a Maratona di Roma shirt all day inside out until a fellow mom pointed it out at swim practice ... at 7 pm. Oops!

As part of this event they sent a full outfit head to toe. Majorly cute apparel. I got lots of compliments all day long which is always fun.

There was a photographer who took portraits and then documented the workout. Serious celebrity treatment. I loved it.

I am not automatically a fan of name-brand workout clothing and since I wear workout clothes practically all the time I can be finicky. But I'll say that the sizes of this clothing were true to size. It all fit. It's all technical fabric and it performed well during the workout.

I wasn't surprised by this as I'll admit that I have plenty of UnderArmour performance apparel (that I have purchased with my very  own cashola) in my closet. Including almost all of my cold weather gear and several pairs of running shorts.

So it turns out what I need is somebody to send me cute outfits for every day so that I can do my workouts and look cute. Volunteers? Anyone? Anyone?

In other news
We are 4 weeks from Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. I'm not totally sure I'm ready for that but we'll see. We did a training day in Clermont yesterday for some hills. It was humbling ... as hills always are. 
That's me at the bottom of this hill. This was either Scrubjay road or Buckhill road. Those are probably orange trees off to the side there because that's pretty much all we grow in central Florida which is where the hills are.
The drive home from Clermont was full of discussion about the logistics at Raleigh. This will be the first tri for all of us with 2 separate transitions. Also we ate rolos and twizzlers and complained about the lack of turn signal use with Florida drivers.
I did not make this meme but it's pretty funny.

Gratuitous photo of my cute kid
Isn't she beautiful? Whenever she has lipstick on she makes a different smile. Cracks me up. 
 In other kid news - not to be left out my son lost his soccer game despite playing very well. Sigh. That's how it goes. I took no photos of the game. You'll have to use your imagination.

Have a great day all.