Thursday, February 9, 2012

gf cooking - finally something worth the calories!!

have officially been gluten free for 4 days and am getting sick of soup and rice bread. a gf friend of mine gave me some almond flour and her cook book to try (i've tried cooking with Bob's Red Mill gf flour and it tastes like ass).
i made chocolate chip cookies and actually think they may be the best cookies i've ever had, period.
since i'm in a few days of taper (50km trail race this weekend!!), i have time to blog about important things like food. here's the recipe:

2 1/2 c of almond flour
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c grapeseed oil (i used coconut oil and will continue to do so)
1/2 c agave nectar
1T vanilla
2/3 c of chocolate chips

mix dry, mix wet, add wet to dry, chill for 20, cook for 8 - 10 @ 350.

the. best. ever.

Monday, January 30, 2012

a warm embrace

over the last few weeks (and closely related to a number of key training sessions that i thought might kill me), I have started to tune up my mental aspect of the game. even as a young athlete, i recognized the importance of a sound mental game and confidence. i attribute some of my success in previous years to honing in on this confidence and really putting an effort into executing a performance in my mind.
i have realized that without continual practice and training, the mental game can become weak and lost.
after seeing a couple motivating and inspirational movies last week (Bicycle Dreams, Chasing Legends, and Way of the Peaceful Warrior), i have recommitted myself to becoming a sound mental athlete. the one aspect i am focused on currently is the embracement of pain. through a number of discussions with fellow athletes, i've come to realize that i'm somewhat of a pain junkie. all kinds of pain.
it's not that i like the pain itself. it's more about the way my body/mind respond to pain. on an elemental level, i feel alive when i'm testing myself or being pushed to the limit and enjoy the endorphins that flow from it. during my last hard session on the bike, a long trail run and a treadmill session, i really focused on embracing the discomfort. when it got really ugly, i started to think about how this is exactly where i want to go and what i need to feel to become stronger. i wanted it hard, harder if i could. i welcomed the discomfort. we became friends. i wrapped myself up in it like it was a blanket. breathing it in like a warm apple pie. once i stopped fighting the pain and discomfort and accepted it, i was able to allow the workout to accomplish what it was meant to. the numbers on my watch, screen and console didn't mean as much as the effort, feeling and experience. if i gave the workout all that i could in that point of time, i had won and become a better athlete because of it.

pain as experienced in sport is the great equalizer. if you push your body to the limit, you'll feel pain. some end up going a little faster, further or higher in the process, but as long as your droppin' it like it's hot, you're gonna hurt. there are some people that will never experience that.
i couldn't image living any other way. so, if your comfort zone happens to revolve around discomfort, don't worry. You're not alone. I feel your pain.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

giving up

i'm getting older. i still feel young and the fact that i get carded going into R rated movies tells me that i look young too. however, i am noticing that i'm not recovering from the high end workouts as fast as i used to -- and i always thought i was slow to recover in the first place. so, with goals including the words; "best year yet", and "PR", i have realized that i need to fine tune my overall approach. i feel i have a decent training strategy so the next step was to look at my diet... and it wasn't pretty. coincidently around the same time, i watched the movie "Forks over Knives", thus, just before 1/1/12, i 'gave up' meat. following a string of holiday parties and get togethers, i realized i had come to enjoy an alcoholic beverage pretty much every night. it doesn't take a genius to see how that affects performance/recovery but read about it here. so i've given that up too -- for a month (baby steps). on Feb. 22nd (the beginning of lent) i will become gluten free - just to see. i've also decided to give up on cutting my hair... well sort of. i haven't had hair past my chin for over a decade so i said i would grow it until May, then reevaluate. One last thing that i haven't entirely given up but am definitely fazing out..... artificial sweeteners and 'low fat' foods. aspartame is not good for us (it turns into fermaldehyde - hello!).... and artificial anything should be avoided. i'm reading labels and staying natural and organic. for more reasons why, check out this link. Unfortunately, this means no more diet coke (my heart breaks a little every time i say this). It will be hard. Somehow, in the process of all this, i've learned how to cook some pretty yummy items. so on top of the usually swim, bike, run stuff, i'm gonna post some food tidbits too. like this....
breakfast: cored and sliced apples with pancake batter (bob's red mill high fiber with flax seed oil and coconut milk)and real maple syrup tapped from grandma's backyard.

So that's what i'm giving up. Sometimes you gotta go backwards to go forwards.
As for 2012, I have decided to try and kick some booty at a few events in the near future, including the Pemberton 50km trail race, the Old Pueblo 50 miler trail race, and Ironman St. George. Bring it.