IronMan Texas

Brrrr!!! It is cold!  Are they really going to swim?   

You can tell I have been in Texas two-years.   I forgot about wetsuits, and chilly temps—those things that may be necessary for Spring races in the NorthEast.   

Yesterday, I hung out at the Finish Line at IronMan Texas in Galveston.  

 

 

With the tag-line, ‘See you at The Finish Line’ this means a lot to be able to work at the finish line.   The Finish embodies all the work, time and effrot  that was put into being there.   The Finish shows the determination, the guts, sometimes extreme mental challenges to were overcome during the race to arrive.   It embodies what racing is about. 

And in turn become a celebration   Tears, laughter and congratulations are shared.   

 

To all the competitors at yesterday’s event, Congratulations.   

For those toying with the idea of competing and yet feeling intimidated, feel free to reach out.  I can assist you in your journey. 

 

 

 

Posted in celebrate, coaching tri, commitment, community, courage, goals, goals, goals, goals, motivation, seeyouathefinishline, triathlon, volunteering | Leave a comment

ROAR

 

 

I just finsihed the book, ROAR, by Stacy T. Sims, PhD. 

The mantra of the book is Women are not little men.  Catchy, and true.   I am woman, hear me Roar!


This text explores the path of the woman and training, through various cycles of life and training — pregnancy, menopause, during mentrual cycles — how eating is influenced by the hormones in our bodies, and what we can do to flow.   They also discuss training at altitude, eating for your body type, recovery training in heat or cold, and preparing to compete in different environments.  

Overall, I loved it.  The two women who wrote the book, Selene Yeager amd Stacy Sims are both endurance athletes. The insights they share on eating, hydrating and performance is supported by both research and anecdotal evidence.  Granted, there are some things I don’t agree completely.   

I recommend this to any female who is training and competing.  

 

 

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The Problem with Diets…..

I have written many times on food, eating and diets.  And it seems the same ‘diets’ keep popping up, with new names and new-catch phrases, all with the guise to get you to buy in.   Most of these programs are fads.   Many were booed under a different name, but are now embraced because of endorsement by this one or that.    And yet, we buy in hoping to achieve new results, QUICKLY.  

Recently, I went round and round, seemingly chasing my own tail, with someone who clearly did not understand nutrition trying to push an agenda on me.   Simply because I encouraged reducing processed foods,  I mean because in that statement I clearly said ‘follow-this diet’.   It is seemingly logical that if you want to improve your health, the simplest thing to do is reduce the amount of processed food consumed.  Dont buy it; dont bring it home.   It eliminates the temptation to eat it.   And in saying this, someone was trying to convince me that this is plan X, or diet Y, instead of solid eating advice.   

Because of this thought process, I feel the ‘diets’ are winning.  

Truly it is simpler to buy into a ‘plan’ than finding the balance in your life.  

Take a walk through your bookstore.  There is a whole section devoted to diets.   You can find everything under the sun.  And every day, more and more fitness coaches are promoting the diet du jour, and the diet companies have coaches for it as well.   Without the sound of reason, they are pushing a FAD, under the guise of health, all in hope that you buy in.  And many are so restricitng, so off-balance, it is no wonder you fall off the wagon and feel absolutely helpless and frustrated.   Others will create a weight-loss, amd when you return to your regularly scheduled lifestyle, you gain the weight back and then some, leaving you utterly overwhelmed.  

I mean, it was supposed to work, wasn’t it?  

             

 

Stepping forward, I want you to think about Balance.  Many eating habits and programs are not LIFESTYLE CHOICES, so I want you to begin now about balancing your food.   Think of DIET as a habit, as a lifestyle, the way you incorporate food into your daily existence.   It is not a FAD, it is what you do every single day.    It is how you fuel to perform, how you socialize, how you comfort, relax, and BE.  (You forgot food did all that?)  An eating program that does not provide balance will be tossed aside rapidly.  

 

Consider also the BALANCE on your plate.  Are you representing the. colors of the rainbow?  Do you include fruits and vegetables into your meals?   If no, why not?   Fruits and veggies provide us with many vitamins and minerals that we might not be getting otherwise. They provide fiber, which aids in digestion, feelings of fullness and passing our wastes.   

Oh, but you heard CARBS are bad.  

Or you should not eat SUGAR.

Does that include your fruits or veggies?  

 

I am still confused how we can label a food bad.   The reality is— we may have intolerances to different foods because of the processing, or our genetic makeups, or because of pharmeceuticals we are taking or other allergies we may have.   It does not make the food BAD.  It makes it not a good choice for us.   Making that individual.  

 

I know you are thinking oh, it must be easy for her…….  Honestly, it isnt.   I have great days, and days I don’t eat enough or I run down the rabbit hole and eat a WHOLE BAG of popcorn, or box of cookies.  But I know, that regardless of what happens now, I am one meal away from correcting the error.    I do not play the game of I can eat this and workout twice as long tomorrow.  Nor do I believe that eliminating a food group is a solution.   But I also know increasing my protein and reducing my carbs can increase my fat loss, just as increasing my leafy vegetables can.  

  

How do I eat?  I get asked this a lot,  especially now that I am a Nutrition Coach.   Truthfully, I eat a predominantly plant-based diet.   And let me explain, since it can mean many things.   It means, I fill my plate first with fruits and vegetables.   And then I garnish it with fish or seafood, or meat.  I eat cheese.  I have cream in my coffee.  Yes, real cream.  I eat grains with veggies.   I eat fruit.  I eat omelettes, with tons of veggies.   I eat popcorn, and ice cream, and occassionally chips.  

I evaluate how I react to foods.   Do I feel energized, or sluggish after eating these?  Do they help me recover?  Do they cause me to feel bloated or poofy?  Do I need to cycle these out and reintroduce later?   How are these foods influencing what is happening within me physiologically? 

I evaluate the level of processing.  I keep getting told that if it has less than five ingrediants or has all-natural ingrediants, it must be good for you.   Granted all-natural and low-ingredient count is definitely better than ingredients  that I cannot pronounce, BUT….. if it is in a box-like-that, it is processed.   I can guarantee that if I bought it in a store (not a farmer’s market) a machine made it.  It is processed.  And so I consider what is the level, and how much processed food I am willing to consume?   It’s a challenge since I do not live on a farm, but in a city.   So I need to find the balance, amd what I am willing to accept and what I am willing to compromise. 

 

My cousin described it as eating like a gorilla.  Lots of veggies, with some ‘bugs’.    I think it is a great description.  

 

How would you describe how you eat? 

 

 

 

 

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Water

 

Water.  We play in it. We swim in it.  Clean with it.   Run away from it when raindrops are dancing on our heads.  We bathe in it. 

 

We drink it.    

 

As some of you know, I do not like the taste of Houston tap water.   It is significantly better when run through a filter.  BUT it is still not my choice when it comes to the water selction.  Normally, I buy bottled water and go from there.   (Yes, I am aware of the environment.  Yes, I am looking into a filter for my tap).  

This week, I ran out of my bottled water.  As a result on Tuesday, I did not drink enough water.   Today, my body is arguing with me.   It is interesting to me how my body has struggled recovering in training because I did not provide it with the water it needed.   And NO coffee is not water.  

I feel like a camel with the amount of water my body has been demanding the last couple of days.   I am certain that it will balance out as the supply outweighs the demand.  

 

How much water do I drink?   Enough.   (Usually).

But what does enough mean? 

For each of us, it is different.   Based on our activity level that day,  our mass, our environment, and the food we eat, our water needs change.  

Remember some doctor made up the magic number of 8 glasses of water per day.   We may need more we may need less.

 

Thirst.  Once told that when you feel thirsty, it is too late —— we know that thirst is a pretty good indicator that we need to drink.   A reason we may be told to drink before we eat, (when we think we are hungry) is hunger and thirst are both physically experienced in the throat.  That nagging in the gut may be the extreme of waiting too long to eat.  When we drink water before we eat, we also eat less, or realize that we are not truly hungry.   The body is intelligent.  It asks for what it needs.  We choose to interpret at will. 

Water.  Are you drinking enough? 

 

 

 

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Strength —-its individual

I belong to several on-line tri training forums or groups.  Sometimes the groups offer support, share about races, provide virtual high-fives.   Inevitably,  the questions surround strength training routines.  What do you do?  What do you recommend?  And the page flurries with recommendations from various videos to weight training systems.   

And you know what, 


 I am SHOCKED!!! 

 

I shouldn’t be, but I always walk away from these conversations shaking my head. 

 

 

Regardless of the arena, it seems we throw caution to the wind and desire a one-size-fits-all solution to developing strength.   For individuals who are so specific on eating, on resting and all other aspects of training, we sacrifice our underlying training.   

 

Why is that? Seriously, why do we do that? 


First off, like fueling for training and competition, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!   One size does not fit most, actually.  

Programming for strength is as individal as a bike fit.   

 

Secondly, we like to make it way too complicated.   Simplicity does not mean mindlessness.  It simply means you dont have to run through the woods, around the barn and back through the woods to accomplish the goal.  The programming is designed around you, your goals and your needs. It’s all about YOU

 

Strength can be incorporated in your daily warm-up routine.   For example mini-band walks, and foot-tap/hip-lock drill before headinf out to run or bike, or medicine ball work before jumping in the pool.   Active movement designed to aid your performance, to prevent injury, to keep you stronger.   Strength can also be a specific training session, building off the previous one, encompassing (again) your goals, your needs, your training, and the time available.   Again, all about you! 


I am not certain why we settle for less, assuming these ready-to-use programs will get us where we need to be.   I am not certain why we don’t invest the time (and/or money) into meeting with someone who can assist you.   Take the time to invest in the strength aspect of your programming.  One size does not fit all.  You are an unique individual.  Your training should reflect that.  

Posted in athletic development, coaching, coaching tri, cycling, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, running, strength, swimming, training | Leave a comment

Coaches Education — A Day With Team MPI

Yesterday, I had the privelege of spending the day with Team MPI as part of their Coaches Retreat.   The retreat was for their coaches designed for continuing education, networking and FUN!   And while I was the only represetnative of an outside coaching family, I was welcomed with open arms.  It was pretty cool to listen to other coaching perspectives, amd realize that regardless of where we are, we all have the same hurdles to clear.   I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, and share.

Presentations included discussions on bike fit, creating blocks of training to meet your athletes needs, metabolic testing (and we conducted a VO2 max test), swim coaching and stroke development, strength training, gadgets for measurement and running,  and some of the psychology of dealing with athletes.   Some was affirmation of my philosophies as a coach, others provided some clarity, and still others showed me I still have a lot to learn.   As I continue to strive to provide you with the best coaching.

Highlights:

The welcome:  I was embraced.   We were all coaches with a common  goal.  Learning and sharing to be better for our athletes.  This is a true testament to the coaching organization they are.

Metabolic testing:  Resting and then a VO2 Max.  (I love the Hannibal look).

I learned about another coaching platform, besides Training Peaks. I am still happy with Addaero, but am open to opportunities. I also learned more about some of the Garmin features, when you are sending me your training notes. I also discovered another watch Suunto, that provides similar stats to the Garmin.

Bike Fit: Some of the math involved. GEOMETRY! Yes, I loved Math and Science in school. Although, I struggled with it at times. Cycling and bike fit is about solving geometric problems. Pretty cool if you ask me! And I am investigating Bike Fit Education, so I can better serve you.

Building a Network: a team of professionals that you can reach out to, from sports medicine to massage to nutrition. I am building relationships for you in Houston.

And Running Gadgets: Using a métronome to develop a faster tempo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and look forward to more opportunities like these to learn.

Posted in coacheseducation, coaching, coaching tri, commitment, community, motivation, networking, seeyouathefinishline, technology | Leave a comment

I am not sure I need a coach……

I was thinking back on the accomplishments of several of my athletes this year, and I am truly impressed by their fortitude, the challenges tackled and the overall WOW-factors.   I honestly love hearing the stories shared about their successes, as well as those that they gained so much from.    And I am humbled.   

As I write this, my intent is not to solicit coaching from you, but to share some insights.  

*I fail quite frequently as a coach —- at times I am distracted, late to respond or at a loss for words — but I genuinely want you to succeed in your goals.*  

I have been reflecting on the need to be coached at least once in our athletic careers, and coached or mentored in other aspects of our lives.  I have recently been approached about receiving life coaching or coaching in goal setting and plan writing, and I am honestly resistant to the prospect.    Because for lifecoaching, I am not sure I want someone wading around in my muck.  I appreciate the good intentions, but I am not prepared for what it entails.   And so, I digress…….. the point is, I understand resistance to being coached.   I had one friend say to me, but I want to do my own thing!  And a coach may take that away.   (Some coaches write days in where you the athlete choose the how, within the confines of the what, providing freedom.  For example:  swim x – your choice).  

My story takes us to a conversation with an athlete who completed her first half-iron this fall, transitioning from short-course to long-course.  A seasoned runner, and relatively new triathlete, I worked with her improving her swim confidence to handle the longer swim and develop open-water techniques to make her more competitive.  I was comfortable with her working with her husband in developing an overall training plan but was open to providing insights and answering various questions.  

She shared that she was NOT prepared for the hills in this race.   Let’s face it —Houston is flat, and at sea-level.  We have issues with hills and altitude.   Her race was in the Hill Country.   And so her biking was a challenge come race time.   

 

While she was thrilled with her performance, and completion of the first half-iron, I pondered as a coach how this could have had a different or stronger outcome.   The coach should investigate the course and determine strategies for training.  If implemeting the use of a trainer and a power meter, creating ride profiles within wattages can create strength for the hills of the ride, while complementing the endurance needs of the race.  The coach could provide strategies to tackle the hills in the race, when to drive, when to settle, and how to do these.   And the coach would teach decision making for race day, so the athlete can be prepared for the unexpected.  

Granted this particular athlete does not have a trainer or power meter, and is not ‘serious enough’ to make that financial investment. A coach may have taught her how to use a weekly indoor ride (on a spin-bike) to generate the same type of results.  

The coach should also be able to discuss nutrition and race day decisions about hydrating and nutritional needs, or have someone to refer.  

The coach can answer tough questions, provide insights and motivation, possibly direct for strength or resistance training as part of a warm-up or cool-down.  

And the coach may become a friend.   

 

I am here to assist when you are ready to make the commitment. 

 

Coach.jpg

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Goals, goals, goals, goals!

Sitting in my living room, watching a movie while reading a blogpost from Nick Symmonds, founder of RunGum, I was compelled to think of all the goals and dreams and aspirations I had for 2017.   And while many did not happen, I could not have dreamt of where I am now.   And then, looking ahead to 2018 and my dreams and goals for the year that is beginning to unfold.   

My goals for 2018 include some lofty athletic endeavors:

— swim 26.2(cumulative) before Patriot’s Day (boston marathon day); 

— #BQat50 (I am training for Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon in July).  

— And enjoy the JOURNEY.   The process.   

 

After all, to train for and complete a marathon takes a great deal of commitment and dedication.   And a focus to detail.   

I have endured the frigid temperatures of Houston this week, and trained inside biking and treadmilling so I can run outside today.   

It is certainly about the Journey!  

 

Professionally, I aspire to remain committed to you and sharing in your adventures along the way.  

What are YOUR GOALS?   And how do you expect to achieve these? 

How can I help you SUCCEED

 

Things to Be on the Lookout for:  

— womens tri group and swim.   

— kids swim group

—OTTERS spring registration 

— Race Schedules 

 

I look forward to seeing you at the finish line! 

Posted in coaching, commitment, community, goal setting, goals, goals, goals, goals, motivation, RunGum, running, seeyouathefinishline, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Levitate

When Brooks Running announced the name of their new shoe, the Levitate, I imagined little hoverboards inside the shoes.  

How else can one ‘levitate’?  In all seriousness, I was looking forward to receiving my pair to give these a test run.   

To start:  Sebastian, my youngest cat, loves the box!  And I couldn’t help but notice how blue the shoes are.  Putting these on my feet felt like slippers with laces….. very comfortable! 

 And off I went for an ‘easy 2.5mile run’, having skipped my run yesterday.   The run was actually after a challenging cycling class that I taught, so it was not as easy as I would expect.

As I began my run, I immediately noticed the cooshy feeling.  They supported my feet but had an extra spring to them.  

They are bouncy! 

I enjoyed the run as the shoe gave me a little extra push to be able to run a solid 2.5miles.  These are definitely going to be added to my training regimen.   I foresee using these on longer runs, if I am coming off tired legs or if I need to get through a longer run in a solid form.   

Visit Brooks Running to acquire your own pair.   Remember to Run Happy!  

 

 

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Announcing OTTER Tri Team

 

 

                        


I am thrilled to announce the launch of the OTTER TRI Team!  

Visit:  ottertriteam.com for the most up to date information.  

 

After several hurdles related to changes and Hurricane Harvey, we are looking to begin with the bike and run segments:  

Saturday 23 September. 

Practices will be T/TH/SA.   On these days, practices will encompass bike and run skills and safety.  

 

At this time, we are only able to offer the swim progression in a private (up to small group of 3).   

 

Our practices will conclude for the winter months 15 October after the Try Andy’s Tri, and will resume in January for the 2018 season.  All levels and abilities are welcome.  

 

The following describes the team levels, fees and expectations.   

Calling_All_Otters.jpg

 

 

OTTER youth Tri Team 

Email:  ottertriteam@gmail.com to reserve your spot.  

 

OTTER youth TRI TEAM requires a non-refundable registration fee to hold your space.  This fee is $50 until 1Sept, and $75 after that.

 

ALL athletes are expected to compete as an OTTER and for the OTTER TRI TEAM.  

 

For this time period:  September – October we are offering training for $150/athlete.   There is the opportunity for 12 coached practices and race support at the races.   Rates will return to monthly/punch card rates in January.   

 Paper work and registration and team fees due prior to your child’s first practice.  

The Team Levels:   

GROUP I: (Developmental group)  6-10years

Two practices a week  — T/Th– 4:30pm, Sa– 3:30pm

This athlete is:  new to triathlon.

                       Is able to RIDE  (bicycle) safely without training wheels.

                       Can SWIM 25 yards freestyle, proficiently

                        Can WALK/RUN 1/2 mile

 

GROUP II: (Youth Performance)  7-10years

Two practices/week — T/Th 4:30pm; Sa –3:30pm

This athlete Has some experience in triathlon. 

 AND           Can RIDE 3miles with safe bike handling skills

                   Can SWIM 100yards Freestyle proficiently

                   Can RUN 1/2mile in under 6minutes.

                   Has Coach Approval. 

 

GROUP III (Youth Performance)  11-15years

Two – three practices/week with the opportunity to participate in longer rides with the pre-elites.

T/Th 4:30pm; Sa 3:30pm

This athlete has triathlon experience (more than two races). 

                     Can RIDE 6miles

                     Can SWIM 200yards freestyle proficiently

                     Can RUN/WALK  1mile

                     Has Coach Approval

 

PRE-ELITE  9-13years

Two – four practices a week.  T/TH — 4:30pm; Sa –3:30pm

This athlete is Advanced or Experienced triathlete.

                     Can RIDE 6miles in a group

                     Has advanced bike handling skills 

                   Can SWIM 300yards proficiently

                     Has swum in open water

                     Can RUN 1/2mile in under 4minutes

                     Can RUN 2miles without stopping

                     Has Coach Approval.

 

Satellite Team 

This is for those athletes who want to be an OTTER, but are unable to participate in practices.  

Registration fee:  $50 until 1Sept; $75 thereafter. 

With weekly training schedule:  $75/month.

No training schedule has no additional fee.

 

 

The OTTER TRI TEAM website is currently under construction.

 If you are interested in starting your training now or for more information about the OTTERS, 

please contact Coach Meg:  Ottertriteam@gmail.com 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in athletic development, coaching, coaching girls, coaching tri, coachingkids, commitment, community, cycling, kidsinsport, kidstriathlon, OWLTRITEAM, preparation, running, seeyouathefinishline, strength, swimming, training | Leave a comment