Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Climbing Against Cancer

Dad, Dick Thompson, and Grandma Grace
Well I'm challenging my limits again...I signed up for the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, March 11, 2012. The Stairclimb is a timed event that takes place in Seattle, Washington at the Columbia Center, and involves climbing 788 feet, 69 flights of stairs, 1,311 steps in full fire gear and SCBA. I know I can do it, it's just a lot of work!

The Stairclimb is not just another event for me, it is a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise money for research and support of patients and their families battling blood cancers. As I posted in January (Why I'm Vegan), blood cancer has touched and changed my life, as both my father and grandmother died from hematological malignancies.

Eric with Dad's picture on front of his helmet
My cousin, Eric Adman, a Firefighter Paramedic with Shoreline (WA) Fire outside of Seattle, did the Stairclimb in 2008, in a smokin' fast 18 minutes!!!, in honor of my dad who had just passed away from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I have always had such respect for Eric for doing that for my dad, and hoped to do the Stairclimb someday as well, as a thank you to Eric and as a memorial to Dad and Grandma Grace.

Please visit my personal page at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to learn more. I am hoping to raise at least $1,000 to donate to the LLS in memory of Dad and Grandma. All donations are tax-deductible and so appreciated. http://www.llswa.org/site/TR?px=1513573&fr_id=1220&pg=personal

Winter Wonderland
I did a new event last weekend, the Winter Wonderland 10K held at Portland International Raceway. It was so fantastic and will now be an annual holiday event for me (and hopefully some more friends and family too!). The run takes place at night on the racetrack which has been decorated with lighted displays for the holiday season. You have a choice of a 2, 4, or 6 mile (10K) walk/run which is the equivalent to 1, 2, or 3 laps around the track. I dressed up in my Ms. Santa Claus costume for the occasion! I don't have pictures of the displays since I was running, but here is a link for them from the Winter Wonderland website: http://www.globaleventsgrouppdx.com/wonderland/displays.html.

I am actually impressed with my time, I averaged a 9:40/mile, which is very fast for me, considering I couldn't see the pavement at all so was running a little guarded. I missed the water station at the end of the first lap, because, like a total ham, I was busy waving to my friends Chris and DeAnna who came to cheer me on and posed for pictures while running past. But I grabbed water after mile 4, which I needed as my costume was getting hot!

The Holiday Half Marathon is in two weeks, hopefully the weather will be as terrific as it was for Winter Wonderland. Haven't decided whether or not I'm wearing the Ms. Santa Claus costume or not...I probably will, who am I kidding!

So stay tuned for more reports as my Half Ironman training continues. Oh! I signed up for the Portland Triathlon Club Race Team...I'll have a blog soon all about that.

Thanks, as always, for your support and encouragement. And thank you for any donation you can make to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my Dad and Grandmother for my upcoming stairclimb--it is much appreciated!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

You're Kinda A Triathlon Nerd...

Triathlon Nerd

I got the best compliment today...someone told me while I was in the pool and they were leaving Portland Triathlon Club Saturday Swim Practice..."You're kinda a triathlon nerd!" So true, I am! Triathlon nerd is awesome--who wudda thought a year ago I'd be considered a triathlon nerd!

Half Ironman Training Week 2
I've been very diligent about my workouts this week, no skipping! I've incorporated some Portland Triathlon club runs and the Saturday Swim Training at Parkrose High School.

This weeks totals:
Running: 14.42 miles
Swimming: 4.0 miles
Cycling: 49.14 miles

8 hours 48 minutes total
2,045 Calories burned
Here are the goals of my training plan so far, and for the next two weeks:
Racing Prep: No racing planned for this period, but since you've probably identified your key half IM race, take a look at the course, predicted weather, swim conditions, articles on last year's race. Compare all these race components with your own strengths and weaknesses. Use online bulletin boards to get course tips from previous competitors. Know thy course.

This period is "preparing to train"--building base endurance through work and recovery. We'll keep the same number of hours throughout the period and approximately the same schedule. The goal is consistency and getting the body warmed up for the longer periods ahead.

Physical Health: Starting a structured program is probably going to leave you needing a bit more sleep than you're used to getting. Water too. Don't skimp on either. Take full advantage of rest days.

Mental Health: Try to get in outdoor workouts in the best and worst weather possible. The more cold, wet, windy, and sweltering conditions you experience while training will carry over to much higher confidence come race day. You can't prepare much physically on race morning, so confidence and motivation reign supreme.

Efficiency: Form, form, form. If your swim stroke needs work (that's all of us), find ways to improve technique in these early weeks-hire a local coach to video and give feedback, take lessons, read, watch videos. Form, form, and form are the keys to swimming fast.
That's all for this week's posting. Hopefully I'll have something more interesting than just my training update next week...

Have a safe week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Juice!

Pink Greyhound
During the Hood to Coast last August, we had a great discussion in our van about vegan nutrition as several vanmates were curious about what I was eating and why I became vegan. We got onto the topic of sports nutrition and I said, "I've been juicing and it works great for me!" to which one woman asked, "Where to do get it?" and I replied, "Well I make it fresh at home." I thought, hmmm, kind of a strange question, of course I make it fresh at home...and then I realized what she thought I meant! I'm juiced up on fresh fruits and veggies, not steroids!!!

How I got Started into Juicing
I was thinking about adding fresh juice to my diet when a nutritionist friend of mine asked last spring if I would be interested in doing a cleanse with her, which included juice fasting. I thought it would be a great idea for me to do the cleanse to flush out all the accumulated waste in my system from my previous animal/refined grain diet after switching to a plant/whole grain-based diet. 

I had an intensive triathlon clinic scheduled in the middle of the juice fast phase of the cleanse, and I was pretty nervous about having enough nutrition for the full 8-hour clinic, which included pool, bike, and track workouts. I made eight quarts of juice, packed in a cooler, and decided to do the clinic, drinking juice instead of eating the food provided at the clinic. I found that I did great on the juice! I had no heaviness in my stomach, had abundant energy, and also felt well-hydrated. It's now become my staple nutrition on race day.

Why Juice?
Most of us do not get enough fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets, leading to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients vital in boosting the immune system, helping the body fight against developing fatigue, ailments and disease. Juicing fruits and vegetables separates the nutrients from the fiber, allowing your body to quickly absorb those nutrients, which would otherwise take several hours to go through the digestive process to be absorbed. Fiber is great, it is important, and adding juice to your diet does not mean forgoing eating whole fruits and vegetables, but it is a nutritional boost, and a great way to get vital nutrients into your system quickly.

My Favorite Juices
My race day nutrition for a sprint distance triathlon now includes 32 oz. carrot/red cabbage juice (Carrothead recipe below) and 16 oz. carrot/green bean juice (Beany Bunny recipe below) about 3 hours prior to the event, along with 4 oz. of Energy Pudding (Brendan Brazier recipe which I'll post in another nutrition blog) 1.5 hours prior. I also have 32 ounces of coconut water (I buy Vita Coco or O.N.E.) for electrolyte preload the night before, and 8 oz. more along with water prior to the race in the morning.

This first section are my daily go-to morning juices. I also have them in the afternoon, but they are my staple breakfast everyday. Please take a look at my blog post on organic fruits and vegetables on why I specify certain fruits and vegetables be organic: http://ffcindy.blogspot.com/2011/08/should-i-buy-organic.html.

Green Juice
Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer. 

2 large cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
big fistful of kale
big fistful of sweet pea sprouts or romaine lettuce
4-5 stalks organic celery
1–2 big broccoli stems (Yes! A way to use those stems!)
1 pear or organic green apple
1-inch piece of ginger, or less, depending on your taste

Green Greyhound (my current favorite!)
Sarah Matheny, Peas and Thankyou.

3 organic kale leaves
3 organic celery stalks
1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1 organic apple
1 grapefruit, peeled

Green Lemonade
Natalia Rose, The Raw Food Detox Diet.

1 head romaine lettuce or organic celery (I prefer lettuce)
5-6 stalks kale
1-2 organic apples
1 whole organic lemon, unpeeled
1-inch piece of ginger, or less, depending on your taste

These are my go-to pre-race/pre-workout juices:


6 organic carrots
1/4 head of cabbage (red is my favorite)

Beany Bunny - So surprisingly sweet, like candy!
4 organic carrots
Handful of fresh green beans
1/2 organic cucumber

These are some of my favorite kick back juices.

Watermelonade - An amazingly refreshing summer drink!
1 organic lemon
1/2 watermelon, rind, peel, and all! Not kidding! Full of beneficial chlorophyll.
Handful of fresh mint

Orange Creamsicle - Who knew you could juice a raw sweet potato? But this is soooo good!
4 stalks organic celery
1 sweet potato, peeled
1-inch piece of ginger
4 oranges, peeled

Red Juice - Note, if your stomach is low on hydrochloric acid, you might pee pink afterward...
2 organic carrots
3 medium beets, peeled
4 oranges, peeled

What Juicer do I Use?
I purchased the Breville BJE200XL 700-Watt Compact Juice Fountain through Amazon after watching Kris Carr's demo on Crazy, Sexy Cancer and seeing just how easy it was to clean and that it was reasonably priced, since I was new to juicing. I had a juicer years ago, one someone had given me, but it was horribly difficult to clean and made such a mess when I used it that I gave it to Goodwill! The Breville is a centrifugal juicer, in that fruits/vegetables hit a high speed spinning grater and then the juice passes through a fine sieve through centrifugal force, separating it from the pulp. It does a great job, was inexpensive, is very easy to clean, and doesn't make a mess. However, centrifugal juicers do not juice wheatgrass or other herbs, and now that I know I really like juicing, I may switch to a masticating or auger juicer, which are more expensive but do a better job.

There are tons and tons of different juicing combinations. These are the ones I enjoy, but I do experiment with other fruits and vegetables and find great new combinations all the time. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

38 Weeks--It's Like a Baby!

Ok, so it's going to be another bucket list smashing year! I signed up for Vineman Ironman 70.3 yesterday, yes, that's a half-Ironman, my first. Registration started at 0900 PST, sharp, and I was registered by 0901--good thing I got on as soon as registration opened, as the event sold out in THREE hours! So, July 15, 2012 is circled in big red marker.

38 Weeks and Counting
Vineman in July gives me 38 weeks to prepare--my Half-Ironman Gestation Program!! We won't have the Portland Triathlon Club training plans for several more weeks and I wanted to start my training now, so am starting with the Half-Ironman plan from Beginnertriathlete.com. This will give me a great start for when the PTC plan comes out. So far it has been a vigorous workout week, and this is just the prep. The first day was a total of 1.6 mile lap swimming. This time last year, I couldn't even swim a full lap--what an improvement!

2012 Portland Triathlon Club Board
This weekend marks the first  of the Saturday PTC coached training swims at Parkrose High School in Portland. It's a 28 week program, $85 for full program or $5 drop-in for members ($100 for series and $10 drop-in for non-members). I'm really looking forward to this! Check out the website or Facebook page for more information on signing up.

Portland Triathlon Club 2012 Board
I think I forgot to mention that we elected a new board for 2012. I'm very excited to be working on the board as Membership Chair! The Board is full of great people with great energy and we're looking forward to a fantastic year with lots of great events. We're working on a new and improved website, more workout and social events, and will have details on the 2012 race team coming out in the next couple of weeks.

That's it for this week's installment. I should have another vegan nutrition post soon, been eluding to it all summer and now that things have slowed down race-wise, I have more time to devote to it.

Have a great week!