I detailed most of this week’s workouts in my Friday post but the weekend is just an opportunity to pile on the miles right?!
Saturday morning was a 45 minute run and then a 1600 meter swim. When did I start to prefer the outdoor pool to the indoor pool? Last summer I hated swimming outside, but it was lovely and sunny and after a week of nasty weather I couldn’t stand to swim in the dimly lit indoor pool, even if it was a little chilly outside.
Saturday night we bummed around the house watching the Olympics. I’ll watch whatever sport is on, since I don’t follow Winter Olympics sports on a regular basis like I follow more of summer Olympic sports. Go Jamaican Bobsled!
Sunday morning was long. I started with a 90 minute Trainer Road ride. I should have stuck with the intervals Time Crunched Triathlete had set out because the ride I picked out from the Trainer Road library was more challenging than I could handle. I set out for a quick 15 minute run and it turned out to be too warm for even gloves.
After the brick I went to the gym to lift. This stage of New Rules of Lifting calls for 15 minutes of intervals at the end of some of the workouts, but I’ve opted to skip them since I already so much cardio including interval work. How much cardio is too much? Even though I skipped the intervals, the workout still took me almost an hour! Hopefully I’ll get a little quicker at it in a few weeks. Otherwise it’s going to take more than a latte to get me from Sunday tri training to lifting.
A Little Bit of Lagniappe:
It was warm enough today to break out a new dress! I’m over our New Orleans winter and am ready for the heat. If you live in a snowy area, you may hate me for this, but you can get me back in July when I’m suffering through 95* heat with 90% humidity.
I loved this old post John from the Family Sport Life blog tweeted this week on Training Effect on a Garmin 910XT! I have always paid attention to that number but not known how to use it to inform my training. I’m going to be paying a lot more attention to how planning rest in relation to Training Effect.
How cold is it where you are? Do you prefer the heat to cold, or vice versa?
Do you train with a Garmin 910XT or another kind of watch that tracks Training Effect? Do you use it to plan training/rest?
So since it’s been awhile since I really detailed some workouts and it’s Week 1 of New Orleans Triathlon training, I figured I’d give you a blow by blow of what I’m up to so far this week.
1 and 2 Tuesday: Brick
I did a 60 min trainer ride with 3×8 intervals. I set it up with Trainer Road and it was much easier to stay focused than it is on the road just guessing my intensity. 15 minute at the end. Not much to say. Day 1 done.
3. Wednesday: Swim
Wednesday I swam with Coach C and Brian. I think it was the first time since before Christmas we have all worked out together so it was nice to catch up. I probably ate too much before I swam and my limbs felt slow and heavy. We swam 1700 yards. It was cold outside and I was grateful we got in the indoor pool. I forgot my Garmin at home so I had no idea how fast/slow I was going. Turns out I’m not much for unplugging.
4 and 5. Thursday: Run and Lift
45 minute easy run with a few strides thrown in after school. Unfortunately I didn’t know it would be 37* after school and had only packed shorts. I persevered but my legs paid the price!
After school we drove to the gym. I started Stage 2 of the New Rules of Lifting for Women so there was a lot of elevated lunges, step ups, planks, wood choppers, and push ups. I’ve been psyching myself up for ditching the Smith machine and getting friendly with the squat rack. Mo came with me and spotted me doing front squats for the first time. Wow! I definitely could have squatted plenty if I was doing a normal squat but all I could do with those front squats was the bar. I’ve got some work to do there.
When I got home today there was a surprise waiting for me! I won a prize on the Ironman Year One podcast and my homemade soap came in the mail today. This is frequently the podcast that keeps me company on long boring trainer rides.
Check out a bunch more Friday Five lists at You Signed Up For What?!
The title of this blog may be Sweating For It, but the tag line is “getting sweaty in New Orleans” and I sometimes wonder if readers mind me writing about living in New Orleans when it doesn’t pertain to fitness.
I hope not.
Especially since I’m in the middle of a string of New Orleans related posts.
To me, they are so connected. So much of my fitness is related to my enjoyment of New Orleans. And I hope that all my readers (both of you) enjoy a glimpse into my city. Maybe you frequently or rarely visit. Maybe you live here or you’ve only dreamed of living here (that was me as a kid). Maybe you think New Orleans is too damn hot, thank you very much, and you prefer where you live. Any way that it is, I love reading in other people’s blogs about what makes other their home special and one of the most special things about New Orleans is Mardi Gras.
Last year I applied to and was invited to join a new all women’s krewe, The Mystic Krewe of Nyx. Krewes are the clubs that host Mardi Gras parades. So essentially, members pay dues to join the club and buy throws and put on a free parade for anyone who shows up. Aside from the typical plastic beads, stuffed animals, and cups, we decorate and throw purses. Nyx will be holding its third parade so as krewes go, it’s really new.
Krewes also host events throughout the year for members: meetings, charity fundraisers, social events and balls. This past Saturday was Nyx’s coronation ball, where this year’s goddess would be formally introduced. Mo and I got to go with a lot of friends. This was a lovely event. I’ve been to a few other Mardi Gras balls over the year and thought this one was big enough to be exciting (open bar, live band), but small enough to include a lot of thoughtful touches to make the night special (professional photographers, commemorative necklace, custom centerpieces). Where else but New Orleans would a high school marching band march straight through a formal ball?
This week was a bit rocky for working out. Between the city being shut down for two days for icy weather, Mo getting sick, the Nyx Ball, and next week being the first week of New Orleans Triathlon training, I threw my hands in the air and rolled with it.
My main priorities were staying healthy enough to go to the ball Saturday night and start my new training plan Tuesday. I ended skipping working out Thursday as I was feeling congested and in general yucky. Saturday morning I just swam. I actually did the Time Crunched Triathlete fitness test and saw some huge gains from last summer when I took it the first time. The first time I took it, I swam in the 50 meter pool. I finished my 400 in 11:25 and my 100 in 2:31. This time I swam in the outdoor 25 yard pool. I finished my 400 in 8:32 and my 100 in 1:48! I have seen so many gains in my swimming over the last year working with Coach C and swimming consistently. It’s nice to see it quantified.
I carry Time Crunched Triathlete around the house like its a stinkin novel. To the bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen counter, the couch. It’s dog-eared and bookmarked and scribbled in. I like to pour over a training plan weeks in advance and feel like I understand what it is building to. I’ll plan our week’s meals and activities around this schedule.
So in choosing between the intermediate and advanced Olympic distance plans, I had to take into consideration my racing needs. March 30 is the New Orleans Triathlon, April 4-6 is the Gulf Coast Interstate Relay (running) and April 13th is the New Orleans Half Ironman Relay (swim leg for me).
Not to say I’m advanced. At all. I couldn’t always push myself to do all of the intervals in the intermediate plan when I was training for Big Cajun. But both the intermediate and advanced plans had pros and cons.
Intermediate Plan Pros:
- Four days a week
- This time I might be able to hit all the intervals
Intermediate Plan Cons:
- Those long, long Saturday rides. So many 2, 2.5, and even a 3 hour rides
- Not a lot of focus on running, which of the three, is my strength, which could pose a problem for GCIR
- Barely enough swimming to be trained for the HIM NOLA swim leg
Advanced Plan Pros:
- More running, around 2.5 hours, with more longish runs built in
- Fewer long rides (most long rides are 90 min, with only one 2 hour ride)
- Higher yardage swim workouts
- Since there are five workouts a week, some of them are shorter, so less time per day potentially
Advanced Plan Cons:
- Five day a week plan and I really like that extra rest day in the intermediate plan
- Can I even hit all the intervals? And isn’t the point in the Time Crunched Plan to be doing interval training?
- I’d argue cycling is my weakest sport and there is less emphasis on cycling
In the end, I’ve decided that despite the cons in the Advanced Plan, it’s a better fit for my overall goal of competing in these back to back to back races.
So this week starts the new training plan and continuing the next stage of New Rules of Lifting for Women. Now, training through Mardi Gras is a whole other challenge.
Do you use a coach or do you make your own training plan?
Do you plan your workouts out for the week?
Any recommendations for a better sunscreen than the one I’ve been using?
Whoa, it’s been a week since I updated. We were out of school Tuesday and Wednesday due to the weather and then my poor husband was ill today so there wasn’t a lot going on here. I really wanted to post a special Rock n Roll edition and link up with Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, since the New Orleans half and marathon are this weekend and so many blogger runners will be hitting my town. So here are my top personal five recommendations to do while you are in New Orleans.
1. Wander Uptown on foot: I’m talking a few blocks behind Magazine St, maybe after a little shopping at Fleurty Girl or Storyville. You will see street after street of classic New Orleans shotguns and Creole cottages. As long as I live in this city, I will be amazed at its architecture and its residents reverence towards it. We take pride in living in, caring for, and restoring their homes.
2. Ride the RED streetcar: Being the Mid City folk that we are, we are partial the red line. It’s air conditioned after all. You can start in the French Quarter and take it the entire way down Canal St. towards City Park.
3. Eat some King Cake: Not some grocery store brand they might serve at the finish line of the race. Go to Sucre, Haydel’s, Randazzo’s, Cake Cafe,or even Tastee Donuts (although you will want to ask for the McKenzie king cake) and eat a serious New Orleans treat.
4. Take in a show: Of course, there are tons of great places to see live music and hang out (our favorites: Bayou Beer Garden or Finn McCool’s in Mid City, dba on Frenchman, Preservation Hall in the French Quarter or even the newly renovated gorgeous Saenger for theater) but I’m talking about an old school picture show. The Prytania Theater is in a beautiful Uptown neighborhood and it’s a one screen movie theater, the last in New Orleans. They are currently showing lots of Oscar nominated films. Curling up with an ice pack and a latte or gelato in the balcony sounds like a great post race recovery activity.
5. Have a great race! Running in New Orleans is my favorite thing to do and The Rock N Roll course is known for being flat and fast. The weather should be beautiful. Enjoy. Special shout outs to Running for Bling, Krissy Runs, all the Steel MagNOLAs racing, and Coach Mike. May you PR!
P.S. As I was finishing it, I actually couldn’t stop thinking of things you should do while you are in town… get gelato at Angelo Brocato’s, or fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House, go the World War II Museum, see Mardi Gras World, and of course, if you’ve never done it, drink a hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s and get beignets at Cafe du Monde. So please, come back and visit us again!
This week instead of a WIAW, I decided to do a Friday Five Link Up from YouSignedUpForWhat.com on upcoming races.
1. New Orleans Triathlon
Typically this race is at the end of May, but it was moved to the end of March so racers could preview the Half Ironman New Orleans course. It will be my second Olympic distance race, after this fall’s Big Cajun. My only time goal is to beat my Big Cajun time of 3:20. Gear-wise, I have to get a wetsuit. It will be chilly for sure.
2. Gulf Coast Interstate Relay
Doing a relay race has been on my bucket list for over a year now, after reading lots of bloggers who have done them. This one goes from New Orleans to Pensacola and I’m captaining our team which has been it’s own adventure (we are currently four runners shy if you have ever dreamed of being trapped in a van with sweaty strangers). It’s the weekend after New Orleans Triathlon, so I’m going to try and do more running than I did last fall to be ready. It should be 48 hours of sweaty running goodness.
3. Half Ironman New Orleans
Don’t get crazy on me. I’m not doing the whole thing (yet). I’m the swimmer for a relay. My thoughts were
a) that since it was the weekend after Gulf Coast (yes, three racing weekends in a row), my legs will not be ready to run,
b) I should have plenty of swim fitness built up from training for New Orleans Triathlon,
c) it will be good for me to focus on swimming because I’m a stronger runner, and
d) another chance to use the wetsuit. I’m pretty excited for dipping my toe into the 70.3 distance.
These are the only three races I’m currently signed up for, but I have two I’m planning on signing up for :
4. Louisiana Triathlon
I really liked racing in New Roads and my swimming buddy Brian is looking to potentially do this one as a relay with him as the swimmer. I’m flexible on what my leg is, depending on who else wants to race it.
5. River Cities Triathlon
This one is all about the swag. Triathlete magazine rated it as one of the best swag bag’s in the country. Plus, since it is a sprint distance it’s a good summer race so I won’t be training long hours in the heat. It’s about 6 hours from New Orleans and I’ve only been to Shreveport once. However, as far as I could tell on that fateful road trip, you only ever need to go to Shreveport once, so I haven’t been back since. Maybe a fantastic race can redeem this North Louisiana city?
So there you have it. I am still plotting my “A” fall race but that should be coming soon…
Do you have any races planned for 2014?
Do you pick an “A” race?
How far in advance do you plan races?
Are you traveling to any races this year?
Mo and I had a long weekend so we tried to seriously pack in the living. Friday night was date night at Crescent City Pie and Sausage. We tried to make it to MoPho, a new Vietnamese restaurant in our neighborhood but it was too crowded. We’ve been cooking so much lately that it was actually a treat to eat out. However, the whole weekend became eating out with friends and family, so I think we are good on eating out for awhile!
My sister Erin and her fiancée Chris came in town because he was playing two shows over the weekend. They brought a traditional French King cake from Poupart’s Bakery in Lafayette, which Mo loves. King Cakes usually come with a baby hidden inside and the person who finds the baby brings the next King Cake (or gets to be queen of the ball depending on where you are). This one also came with a paper crown.
Saturday the UNO pool was closed and so I rode an hour on the trainer and that was it! I retook the 20 minute test on Trainer Road and I’ll save that for its own post. Azzurri (the cat) seemed like she had a cold, or else she was being a jerk and sneezed on me 30 times for no reason, so she spent a lot of time in the bathroom while various peoples showered. My grandmother was in town so we had a lovely lunch with her and my great aunt, uncle, and cousins at Joey K’s.
That evening we went out to a new sushi restaurant in Lakeview, aptly named Lakeview Pearl with a whole mess of friends. Erin and Chris were at the Offbeat awards and Erin met Big Freedia!
Sunday morning Erin and Chris left to make a brunch in Lafayette and I ran 9.25 miles before going to the gym to lift and stretch. Yup, I ran in shorts in a tshirt. Of course it will come back to haunt me in July when I’m still running in shorts and a tshirt in 95 degree weather but today it was lovely weather and I had a great run. Mo ran his longest run yet-6.3 miles! We hit lunch at Panera Bread and then coffee at the Bean Gallery.
Monday Mo and I had off of school and I stayed in my pajamas all day, caught up on TV, cuddled the cats, and decorated purses for Nyx. It was an amazingly restful day. Six weeks till Mardi Gras break!
If you are here from What I Ate Wednesday, thanks for stopping by!
Tonight I am making Coffee Braised Chile Beef in my crock pot. I’m hoping it turns out as beautiful as it looks in the picture but I will spare you the raw meat photos. Well, for the most part.
This morning as I was prepping the meal, Bella obsessed over the butcher tape and I had to employ my patented Bella-distracting technique: giving her packing tape on a magazine to play with.
We use our crock pot about once a week. If I’m working out late, I either plan for something fast Mo can make without me, or something in the crock pot. And if both of us are going to be busy, I plan on the crock pot. If you are in the market for one, I’d recommend going with one that has a timer and a ‘keep warm’ setting. When we first got married, Mo did not like the crock pot because I had registered for a very cheap one and would just cook the meal for 12 hours straight till we got home and then we would spend the rest of the night trying to chew through it. The timer and ‘keep warm’ function on the new crock pot I bought about two years ago solved that problem and it has more than payed for itself in the number of times it has saved us from ordering take out.
So what to go in the crock pot? Well, soup sometimes, but more frequently it’s just straight up meat. And since we have been trying to pay more attention to the quality of food we eat around here, we have been buying more local, pasture raised beef, pork, and chicken. I’ve been scouting for a local butcher to fill this need the way a regular grocer cannot necessarily.
I stumbled upon Cleaver and Co. via the Fit Fat Fast podcast, co-hosted by a fellow New Orleanian, John Smith. It’s uptown, which means it’s a spot further away than our local grocery store, so it takes an effort to get there. We’ve decided it’s worth the effort. We’ve been twice and both times we have been, there have been other customers in the shop, but it hasn’t been crowded.
Immediately it seems different because there isn’t a lot of food out. Off to the side is a shelving unit and a few refrigerators to grab pre packaged meats and meals, but for the most part, you walk up to the counter and order. The giant chalkboards tell you exactly what cuts are available and the farm the meat is from. Both times we have talked to the person who is cutting our meats right in front of us, so everything feels incredibly fresh. Surprisingly, despite the fact that you are so exposed to all of the food, the shop feels clean. Both times we got bacon (we eat a lot of that) sliced in front of us, chicken thighs, and fresh hot cracklins that we snacked on as we waited. We’ve also gotten ground beef (which was a luxury to find at the grocery store), a pork sirloin roast and tonight’s chuck roast.
I was impressed that for the quality and all of the transparency of the entire meat buying process, the prices felt competitive with our local grocer’s grass fed beef and pork.
If you have a cat, when does he/she most get in your way? (because if you have a cat, he/she is in your way a lot)
If you are a meat eater, do you shop at a butcher or your grocery store for meat?
Do you grocery shop multiple places?
Can you tell a difference in your training based off your diet? It’s one thing to know it’s good for you, but it’s another thing to feel that it’s doing you good.
Ok I wasn’t that fast, not even close.
Boxgrl81 blogged recently about the importance of rest days and how it can be hard to take them. Last January I was training 2x a day 6 days a week. I hated taking a day off and felt super restless on that day so I could relate to how Boxgrl81 feels about rest days. Since I cut my training to 4-5 days a week, I actually look forward to rest days.
No, not just look forward to them, more like train for them. It makes me want to work harder knowing the next day is time for rest. And cooking. And watching TV. All those things I didn’t do on a training day. So for me personally it is working out better to double up on workouts and then take those rest days. Mo still prefers training once a day for 6 days and then taking a rest day.
Thursday was a perfect example of training that exhausted me and made me oh-so-grateful Friday was a rest day. And that fact that I was dead dog tired Thursday night only served to make me feel badass.
I brought running clothes with me to school so that when class let out I could sneak in a quick run since Mo had to stay til 5 anyway. Well it took me a little longer to get going than I thought I would and once I was ready to hit the start button on my Garmin I only had about 40 minutes to run. Good thing Thursday is speed work.
I left school and headed to Audubon Park, about a mile away. Once I got there I decided to do at least 4x400s. Not a tremendous amount of speedwork but I think there is a lot of bang for your buck in a 400.
I prefer speedwork not on a track. It feels like a chore on a track but on the road it feels like a run with breaks. And who can complain about scenery like this?
The first and second 400s felt ok but the third one felt amazing. And after the fourth one I was ready to be done and cooled down running back to school. Loaded up the car and headed to the gym to lift.
I’m down to lifting 2 days a week but I’m staying on it those 2 days! I’m almost done with stage 1 of New Rules for lifting so my workout looked like this:
3×10 sets of squats using a squat rack with 70 lbs
Alternating sets of on my feet push-ups (3×8) and seated rows (3×10) with 60 lbs
Alternating sets of step ups with 2-25lb kettle bells (3×10) and jackknifes with a stability ball (3×12)
Lots of stretching. Lots.
By the time I was headed into the last set of step ups and jackknifes, I was beat. Mo came over to tell me he was going to weight in the car and all I could do was grunt because I was concentrating so hard. One. More Set.
“Hey, I’m all done, I’m going to wait in the car ok?”
And did I enjoy that rest day Friday.
You don’t need to see another picture of my morning eggs or breve latte, although I’ve been eating and drinking that lately every day. Just trust me.
This week I figured I’d feature a few of my favorite dinners. I’m no cooking expert. When Mo and I first got married I didn’t cook at all. I would eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast and order lunch as often as I could and then Mo would cook dinner or we would eat out. In the last year I have started to enjoy cooking, not just as a means to an end, but also as an activity. Most of our meals follow the equation:
I love this meal. I have rediscovered my cast iron skillet, which up until this point had been used once in our marriage. It faced a precarious future after that one use, in which we of course let it rust and then proceeded to move it all over South Louisiana gathering dust. I pulled it out and cleaned it to make this meal. Again and again. It is a perfect meal for two.
Eve commented on my last WIAW that we eat weird stuff. True. But this is classic Southern Greens. Mo doesn’t care for them, so I make a big bag when I’m alone and eat it All. Day. Long. Also it is ready in 10 minutes. Winning.
Who says you can’t have pizza on a grain free diet?! This fathead crust is all the craze on my NSNG FB page. Between the crust and the toppings, it’s big in the way of cheese so I try not to eat any other cheese on the day I make it. The sauce is homemade too. Pizza is a great way to sneak in extra veggies. This was a double batch which meant we ate it for dinner one day and lunch for the next.
This meal is from Monday night. It’s modified from an old Rachael Ray recipe I’ve had for years. I used almond four and Parmesan cheese for the breaking instead of bread crumbs and put Kerrygold Swiss on top. It’s good for football parties too. Mo likes to cook asparagus in cuts instead of whole so it cooks evenly.
Training wise, I have to plan meals carefully. Since I work out 2-3 weeknights a week, I try to cook on my rest days as definitely on Sundays. On the nights I workout, either Mo cooks (he has a set 3-5 meals he can do quickly with his eyes closed) or I plan a crockpot meal with minimum prep. I frequently try to overcook or find recipes for 4-6 people to either freeze half of it for later or to bring to lunch during the week.
Last night was an exception. Mo had some leftovers and I ate different leftovers when I got home from school before I jumped on the trainer for an hour for intervals and then headed to the pool. Coach was sick but he sent us a workout which we diligently followed. By the time I got home it was past 8:30 so I didn’t even eat anything before going to bed. This happened though.
How often do you cook during the week?