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The hard gifts....

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Race Days are a gift for many athletes. It’s the day you prepare for and recount so many times in your head during the months of training. It’s the big event! The finale of everything you have worked for.
Some days are perfect, great weather, great energy and health and no technical difficulties. I often wake up with a few butterflies and maybe a little tired, but mostly excited at what the day will bring. It’s usually fun, always an adventure, and a day I won’t forget. This last weekend I was able to travel with some friends and do a race in some pretty nasty weather. It was a tough ride, the race took me 90 minutes longer than planned. It was cold, wet and windy the ENTIRE race.

It was the type of race that breaks people down and many of us found our limits that day. But it was still a good day. About 10 miles into the race my cyclagrin kicked in. (That’s the cycling version of a permagrin). There were very few times during the rest of the day that I wasn’t smiling. Although this da…

Eating better as a family at home:

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When I was a kid family dinner was an every day experience in our house. My dad commuted to work. He left super early before we got up and was always walking in the door at 5:30 PM after a 60 mile drive to be home just in time for dinner. My mom was a stay at home mom who was always busy with three girls and lots of church volunteering. She wasn’t a particularly adventurous cook but she did cook dinner usually 4-5 nights per week. We had a rotation that was regular enough to remember it today. Mondays were Spaghetti, which was boxed noodles and her homemade meat sauce passed down from her Italian ancestors. (She would make the sauce on Sundays.) Tuesdays were Chicken Chattanooga, which was my least favorite concoction of fried onions, chicken and mushroom gravy. I still shudder and gag a little when I think about Chicken Chattanooga nights in our house. Wednesdays were usually steaks in the winter or fresh fish in the summers. Thursdays were spiced shrimp from the local seafood market…

You have to try this exercise!

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been beefing up my training for the Dead Swede Hundo – 40 mile bike race by following Caryn’s training plan. For you forty mile folks you know what I’m talking about. For those that don’t, Caryn has us completing two functional workouts a week that include various functional weight training exercises such as handle bar mountain climbers, plank jacks, etc. While I was familiar with most of these exercises starting out the program, there were a few exercises that were new to me. One specifically called the Lateral Jump Squat with Bosu. A mouth full for sure, but this exercise will leave you feeling energized and balanced. I even had my friends Megan and Becki try it and it left them talking about the results days later!




Here’s a quick description of the exercise. Start with Right leg on bosu and left leg on the ground with ankle directly under your hip. Make sure it’s not too far out to the side as you want to make sure you are performing a proper squatting …

Getting those ZZZZZ's

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There’s something I’ve been wondering about for a while, so I must ask: how many of you find yourselves waking up in the middle of the night (or in my case around 2 or 3 am) with your head spinning with all the things you need to get done the next day?
This always seems to happen when I need sleep most, which is when I have a huge number of things on my plate. My brain tries to solve all my problems and make me feel as though I need to start my day at 2am just to get it all done. The trouble is, experience tells me that I am much more productive, happy, and creative when I get a full night of sleep. So, I’ve gone on a little quest to find out more about how to get the rest I so desperately need, and why it matters.
The Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society says:
“Sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease a…

Power Pancake Recipe

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Equal parts of each: 1 cup Whole eggs 1 cup Uncooked Quick cooking oats (organic or non) 1 cup Cottage cheese
Ok ok ok! I know you all are probably thinking, “what in the fresh....kinda pancake is this??!!”
Just trust me on this one. You can surely use just egg whites here, but studies are showing that the yolk actually has more protein and nutrients than the white itself so you may as well use the whole egg and get as much out of your meal as possible!
As for the cottage cheese, it’s up to you to use fat free, low fat, or full fat. Whatever you decide, be mindful of the sugar content as most low or fat free options of any food add sugar to make up for flavor that fat provides. I personally like Daisy brand as it has the fewest ingredients.
I like to start with cracking the eggs into a liquid measuring cup. If you’re a little below or above your 1 cup line it’s not going to matter that you use 1 cup of the other two ingredients.
Mix all three ingredients in a bowl. (*optional; you can…

Terrified but focused:

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I woke up at 4 AM this morning to a fast beating heart, and a sobering realization. I am 52 days out from an approximately 8 hour long gravel bike race and 66 days out from an approximately 8 hour long mountain run. I am also currently recovering from one of the worst stomach flus I have ever experienced in my life. Thank you Mexico!
At this point I have a few options, one of them is to quit. But I already paid my entry fees and so I am (at this point) going for it. This is the time to “put up or shut up”, “fish or cut bait”, or “do what I already did too much of last week in Mexico”.
In my humble opinion, it is adversity that brings out the best in us. And I am banking on that over the next few weeks. I want to do well in these races, I want to have FUN during these races, and I want to recover well from both of these events. I have a few things going for me.
#1 I worked hard this winter to create a healthy recovered body and a solid base for a great training program. #2 I’m old, and …