Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Recap

August stats:
Running miles: 1.75 (it's a start?)
Walking miles: 12 (that I recorded...I know it was more)
Cycling miles: 301!! highest ever!

YTD stats:
Running miles: 325
Walking miles: 105
Cycling Miles: 1137
Total Human-Powered miles in 2013: 1567

If you couldn't tell by the 301 miles I rode this month, I am seriously in love with my new bike. It's a much more comfortable fit than my old bike and it is so incredibly smooth. 

My mileage is also higher this month because we're continuing to train for the Back Roads Century, which is on September 22! We did a 70 mile ride today, which is the farthest I've ever ridden by about 15 miles. I'm recovering from a cold still so I felt a little weak...and waking up with a headache didn't help either. It actually ended up being a great ride, but I had some stomach discomfort towards the end of the ride, probably due to eating/drinking too much for fear of bonking. Physically, though, I felt really good the whole time and I wasn't hurting at the end. Very promising for being able to ride 100 miles! 

One of the things I really love about cycling is that I don't feel like I've been hit by a truck like I do with running. Yes, I get tired, but I'm definitely not sore and achy like I sometimes get with running. Now that I've talked about how much running hurts, I'm happy to say that I ran a whopping 1.75 miles this month! Both times I ran this month I walked over to the track, ran a few laps around the track, and walked home. The track is super soft and cushy, so I feel like it's easier on my body as I'm easing back into running. I was able to run a whole mile without any hip or groin pain, which I wasn't able to do back in May. I know I'll go back to running regularly again, just very slowly! 

I definitely hope I'm back to running by next April, because I've signed up to run the Blue Ridge Half Marathon! I'm excited to be an official blogger again this year, so that means that in exchange for making you listen to me go on and on about how awesome this race is, I'll be giving away a race entry to one lucky reader! Look for a giveaway in late October. 

Happy September! 
Who's excited for fall? I AM!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Winners Are Made

Just a little motivation for your Tuesday...

"Success has been and continues to be defined as getting up one more time than you've been knocked down."

Monday, August 5, 2013

Caveman Coconut Almond Banana Cookies

I've been trying to find a recipe for a Caveman-approved "cookie" that I can take on long rides (caveman-approved = Paleo, i.e. dairy, grain, and legume-free). I posted a picture of this cookie on Facebook last night and I had a few requests for the recipe, so here it is:

  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (the real stuff) 
    • you can use all honey or all maple syrup instead of both
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup craisins 
    • you can use any combination of dried fruit you want

  1. Combine the banana, almond butter, egg, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda with a hand mixer or food processor, making sure the batter is not too chunky.
  2. Stir in the coconut and dried fruit.
  3. Spoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350* for 14 minutes.

The cookies are more of a bread/cake consistency than an ooey-gooey cookie. I individually wrapped mine and froze them so they'll keep longer and be ready to throw in a jersey pocket for a long ride. 

My batch ended up making about 15 cookies. Depending on how big you make your cookies, you'll have more or less (duhhrr). I put the ingredients into My Fitness Pal and came up with the following nutrition facts (based on 15 cookies):

Calories: 162
Carbs: 18.3 grams
Fat: 9.5 grams
Protein: 2.3 grams
Sodium: 20.9 mg
Potassium: 100 mg
Sugar: 9.7 grams

Compare that to a Honey Stinger Waffle (what I'd normally eat on a long ride): 
Calories: 160
Carbs: 21 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Protein: 0 grams
Sodium: 55 mg
(no potassium amount noted on nutrition facts)
Sugar: 14 grams

Pretty close, if you ask me. I have taste-tested these and they are quite delicious. I have yet to put them to the test on a ride though, so I can't vouch for their performance yet. Let me know if you make these and how you like them!

Update 8/12/13: I tried these out on our long ride yesterday. Very tasty and it really hit the spot halfway through the ride! They DO get very soft, almost like a piece of bread, but they don't get messy or gooey. Due to the honey and/or maple syrup, they are a little sticky, so hold them with the wrapper. 

What I Eat

I've never really talked about what I eat on this blog. I would describe myself as a "foodie", mostly because I love eating good food, and I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. Starting back in January I became interested in the Paleo lifestyle. I hate describing it as a diet, because eating real, unprocessed food shouldn't be viewed in the way that most diets are...a way to lose weight. While some people do lose weight just by eliminating processed food, the Paleo diet is more about feeling good by eliminating foods that can cause inflammation and avoiding foods that we know are just not good for you (Cheetos, anyone?).

The Paleo "diet" in a nutshell (no pun intended):
  • no grains
  • no dairy
  • no legumes
  • veggies and fruits are good
  • meat and eggs are good
  • nuts are good
(click to enlarge)

Back in January I was training for a marathon, so I really didn't follow it very closely. I tried to cut out most processed foods, but I had a well-established nutrition routine that I didn't feel like experimenting with at the time. My breakfast before long runs was always a bowl of oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter, a banana, and sometimes some raisins. Not very Paleo, right? I did manage to not eat any pasta during my training (yes! it is possible!). Instead I usually ate a sweet potato the night before with some meat and maybe some other veggies. 

After marathon training I've tried to align my diet more closely with the Paleo diet. To say that I follow the Paleo diet to a T now would be the biggest lie EVER. I always have good intentions and I am good most of the time, but it is so unrealistic for me to say that I'll never eat ice cream or a cheesy pizza ever again. And by gosh if I go to a birthday party I'm going to eat cake. So I indulge once in a while and accept that sometimes the stomach ache will be worth it (stupid, I know). I'd say I'm pretty good 80% of the time. The Paleo Police would totally come after me if they knew where I live. 

I've had to become more creative in the kitchen, and it does require a little more prep work. But honestly most of the recipes I've made are just as good or better than some of the stuff I made pre-Paleo. My husband does not follow a Paleo diet, but he hasn't complained about the Paleo dinners we eat (really, what man would complain about something with meat in it?). 

My typical food options look something like this: 

  • Eggs with bacon and berries
  • Eggs with peppers & onions and berries
  • "Cereal" of banana, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, with almond milk
Snacks (I eat a lot of these during the day):
  • Banana
  • Apples
  • In-season fruit
  • Berries
  • Almonds with dark chocolate pieces
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Larabars
  • Homemade coconut milk & fruit popsicles
  • Salad with cucumbers, carrots, other random veggies, sandwich meat, and an oil & vinegar dressing
  • Usually some combination of meat and veggies, sometimes some fruit
The Paleo diet is not really as hard to follow as most people think. And I can honestly say that when I do stick to it I feel much better...mostly less gastrointestinal problems (including bloating!) and more energy. 

One area where I continue to struggle with following a Paleo diet is when I'm doing a long ride (or run, once I start running again). My favorite things to eat and drink during endurance activities are Clif Shot Bloks (which apparently have gluten in them?), Honey Stinger Waffles (OMG SO GOOD, but so not Paleo), and nuun (actually doesn't have any bad stuff in it, so it's good!). 

The original intention of this post was to post my latest recipe for a "cookie" that I hope will work for me in place of the waffles, but I felt like I had to explain why I was experimenting with making something that is caveman-approved.

Do you (or have you ever tried to) follow a Paleo diet? 

Have you eliminated certain things from your diet (dairy, gluten, etc.?). 

What do you eat and drink on your long runs/rides?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

July Recap

July stats:
Running miles: 0
Walking miles: 8 (that I recorded...I know it was more)
Cycling miles: 173

YTD stats:
Running miles: 323
Walking miles: 93
Cycling Miles: 836
Total Human-Powered miles in 2013: 1167

I'm still doing the no running thing. I am really loving cycling right now though, so I'd probably choose riding over running most days anyways. I did walk over to the track one evening, ran a lap, and walked back home. I felt just fine, but I know one lap won't really tell me much. I might try to slowly increase the number of laps I run...or not.

We went on some good rides in July, but I was without a bike for almost a week and we were on vacation for another week (with no bikes this time), so my mileage was lower than I was hoping for. 

A few vacation highlights: 

Of course we spent plenty of time on the beach
I got pooped on by a seagull
We went for a carriage ride in Cape May
We did some sightseeing...

(this was on a cloudy and cooler day)

We got attacked by seagulls when we were feeding them bread
We spent some quality time on the boardwalk
taking in all of the bright lights and eating lots of good food.
I had frozen custard for the first time ever.
OH. MY. GOODNESS. So good.

The reason I was without a bike for a few days was because parts were being taken off my old bike and being put on my beautiful new ride: 

Felt ZW1
first ride on my new bike
and of course I got some new shoes to match :)
In the  first week of having my new bike, I've put 95 miles on it. It's safe to say I love it. It's amazing what a difference a carbon fiber frame makes. Roads and cracks that used to feel rough are much smoother. This bike also fits me much better than my old bike did so that also makes for a much more comfortable ride.

I know August will be a very high mileage month (maybe my highest ever?) since we are training for our century in September. We went for a really great 50 mile ride today (averaged 17.4 mph with around 2,000 feet of climbing). It was beautiful and a perfect day for riding. I felt good the whole time so I'm confident that with a little more training we wont have any trouble finishing the century. 

Even though I'm not running right now, I'm going to wrap up my recap with some running-related humor. Enjoy!