As of September 11, 2016 I am officially done with my Master's Degree academic work!  I have taken and passed my comprehensive exam, and now just need to finish my clinical trial and then in a few short weeks I will have my degree in hand.




In December I expect to be able to obtain my State Certification in Nutrition, so another huge milestone is about to be cleared.  What an amazing past few years it has been on my goal of inspiring others to live a healthy and active life.

However what has not been so amazing in the past few years has been how far I have fallen out of a healthy and active life myself as the demands of work and school took their toll. The weight my body now bares is the proof of how we must work on health as part of our lifestyle, not a crash fad.  Ironic that I am a certified health coach with a Master's degree in nutrition... and I look and feel like I need to see one myself.

I am starting the journey back to consistent workouts and self care, the journey back to long distance and endurance training.  The journey back to being active and healthy and full of energy.  I am starting the journey back to me.  

Part of this journey will include others - mentoring, inspiring, educating. I am starting a 140.6 days of health with a focus on starting a consistent routine of eating well and consistent movement.  It starts today and ends January 31st, 2017.

This will be the first of many 140.6 days of health that I plan on making a total investment in myself - in terms of time and patience, and I want you along for the journey!


Day 1 of 140.6
Today I went to yoga and worked on opening my hip flexors after months of sitting at a desk at work and studying for my comprehensive exams.



Have a great week!



One thing I love is an easy to take, nutrient dense meal that nourishes body and tastes really good.

My friend and teammate Trish turned me on to this recipe and it has become a training season staple in my house. I make large batches and then keep in small containers to grab-and-go for post ride or run refueling.

If you don't need a refueling option,  this is a bomb diggity meal on its own! 

Originally this is from Iowa Girl Eats foods blog,  but due to my nutritionist background I have made some very minor changes.  I've included the link to the original recipe.

SUPERFOOD SALAD
Original recipe courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, Modifications by Jenniferlyn Warstler, CINHC, CFSP
http://iowagirleats.com/recipes/superfood-salad-with-lemon-vinaigrette/
Serves: 5

INGREDIENTS:
For The Salad:
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled then segmented
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate worth, I buy the seeds in bluk from CostCo or even Trader Joe's when they are available)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons worth)
2 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced
1 teaspoon maple syrup or raw honey (I prefer the raw honey as this will also help acclimate to local allergens boosting imunity and Honey is a natural antiseptic)
salt and pepper
2-5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (I put a range here because some like their salads to be very dressed others like them to be a bit on the drier side - start with a lower amount and gradually add in until you feel the dressing is to your preference. If using coconut oil,  you may need to warm it slightly to emulsify)

Directions

1 - Cook quinoa according to package directions then set aside to cool.

2 - For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Alternately you can use a vitamix/Ninja/Blentech or similar blender if you prefer a very homogeneous dressing. I advise this of using coconut oil and raw honey

3 - Combine cooled quinoa with red onion, orange segments, avocado, beans, pomegranate arils, cilantro, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour Lemon Vinaigrette over salad then stir to combine.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Iowa Girl serves this with grilled shrimp on top for additional protein however this is amazing without any additions.  You can easily make this a full meal by reducing serving sized to 4 and adding in grilled chicken or shrimp, and even finely chopped raw spinach or kale to help further bulk up both the portion size and phytonutrients without adding wasteful calories.

Photo-credit: Iowa Girl Eats



 
I used to create playlists for races, music for training, and spend hours crafting the perfect mixes of tempos and beats to get me rocking on my feet.  (See what I did there?)  These days though, with the increase in popularity of podcasts and streaming music services like Pandora and Stitcher we can almost outsource the heavy lifting and reap the rewards of another's musical curating.

 
So here are some musical tools that I use to get going:

 

MUSIC AND OTHER PODCASTS

  • PODRUNNER: Workout Music (and a subset of that is PUDRUNNER INTERVALS
    • PODRUNNER is great in that DJ Steve  organizes each track (episode) by BPM of the music.  It ranges from 120bpm (great for walking and easy efforts) to 180 BPM - that is what we call WORK!  Some tracks (episodes) contains an interval based workout where he takes the music and starts at a moderate tempo and then adds in faster tempos to sustain a nice workout, or you can just find a BPM that works with your preferred effort and listen to tracks (episodes) that are centered around that one. 
    • This is great for anyone who doesn't want to think and just wants to run.  Let the beats guide you!
  • Motion Traxx: Upbeat Workout Music
    • Similar to PODRUNNER, this podcast has some great music sets to workout to, not just run to. 
  • Ben Greenfield Fitness
    • This is not music but it is a great podcast filled with interesting information that I enjoy listening to when I have a longer, steady state effort run or bike trainer workout to do. 
  • Meditation Oasis Podcast
    • This is more so for relaxing my busy mind and getting ready for sleep after a long day at the office, in school and out on the roads training. This podcast has many guided mediations each for a specific purpose - sleep, energy, focus, getting ready for a big event, calming nerves. 
  • The Meditation podcast
    • This is very similar to the Meditation Oasis Podcast mentioned above.
  • Endurance Nation Triathlon podcast
    • This is my Training and Racing team's podcast and is a great resource for anyone who loves to hear about triathlon training and racing. You will find nutrition and racing tips, interviews with team members following epic races (both good and bad performances so that we all can learn about what works and what doesn't!) as well as information on training and happenings within the haus. 
  • The Dirtbag Diaries
    • This podcast is about trail running and those people who love to run the trails. 

 

 

ALBUMS/SONGS/ARTISTS

  • Girl Talk - All Day
    • GirlTalk is a DJ (Gregg Gillis) that does the most amazing, let me repeat this AH-MAY-ZING mashups of songs.Do yourself the favor and download this album this moment!  It plays as one continual track and makes my swim sets and long runs go by like nothing.  
  • Balkin Beat Box - Blue Eyed Black Boy (Album)
    • This is an amazing full of energy album that I listen to all the way through as I run.  It is a nice change of pace to normal music, taking cues from Roma (Gypsy) culture and many varying beats, different instruments and amazing addictive vocals.  Find them on Pandora and be amazed during your next run!
  • Lana Del Rey - Born To Die (Paradise Edition - Album)
    • Now if you know of Lana Del Rey then you are probably wondering why I would put her under music to get me pumped but honestly I appreciate the wildly different and eccentric music she puts out.  On Born To Die the songs go from upbeat and fun to slow and trance-like but all seem to work together to create this tapestry of stories and feelings that you cannot help but get sucked into.  She has a really good pace to this album meaning that the tempo changes with every song, so you are never in a lull or an upswing too long. 
  • Lana Del Rey - West Coast (ZHU Remix Song)
    • This song is a great mix and I love how it takes a cool song and amps it up!  Look for any Lana Del Rey song that has been mixed with some electronic or club music and you have a winner!
  • Fitz and the Tantrums
    • Love this album!  It is another that puts you in a good mood and has some great tunes to keep carrying your feet in the forward direction. 

 



 

APPS

  • Google's "Play music" App (no subscription required but you can subscribe to the unlimited database and get all music you could ever want for a low monthly price)
    • This is great because you can find any assortment of music from their entire database to fill your needs.  They have pre-arranged music playlists based on activity - lounging around, relaxing, getting ready to go out, partying, working out, beating the afternoon lull, etc.  and so you are sure to find something that you like. Plus you can make your own playlists right in the App which is a fun feature as you can sort through all sorts of artists and genres.
  • Pandora (no subscription required but you can subscribe to the unlimited database and get all music you could ever want for a low monthly price)
    • Similar to Google's Play Music, Pandora is the mother of all internet radio apps allowing you to create stations based on your preferred songs and or artists.
Both Play Music and Pandora are great in that you can be exposed to new music and maybe find your next favorite artist, album or song!   
  • Audible (requires Audible subscription or to pay for individual audible books)
    • I like to listen to talk radio in my car, so that also transfers to my workouts where I like to listen to books on audio.  Audible is a great choice to multitask if you have the ability to.  I like to listen to David Sedaris, Tina Fey, and any number of other funny memoires or stories that keep me entertained and thus going because I want to hear more.  I do not want the story to end so I keep running and usually feel sad when I have to stop before the story does.
    • I also like to hear actors read epic storybooks because they end up performing them - my current favorite that I am a few chapters into now is Scarlett Johansson performing Alice In Wonderland.  Do yourself a favor - listen to this! 

 

 
What are some of your go-to's for motivation, getting pumped up, or for the long haul?  Do you like music or spoken works?  Do you even train with music or do you prefer to go naked?  I am always looking for new things to listen to so leave your suggestions here or you can pop over to the Iron Seashell on Facebook and leave a comment there. 

 

 
Happy Training!
The Iron Seashell,

 

 

 

I belonged to a motivational Facebook group that was about helping each other get a jump start on any New Year's resolutions.  One of the sayings that I picked up from this group is Always Win Monday.  It serves as the reminder to start off the week on a good foot, get in that workout and win the day.










Part of wining Monday for me will be taking in yoga and finally getting my butt back into the pool!  Ironman70.3 Ohio is fast approaching at 145 days away and I will be going from couch to 1.2 mile swim / 13.1 mile run in that time. I can do that by winning Mondays.  I find that it really sets the tone for the rest of the week and I am to the point now that if I miss going to the gym during the week I get cranky and feel out of sorts.   


My Monday Win looks something like this:
  • Get in a workout even if it is Yoga or stretching
  • Stick to the meal plan
  • Get a good night's rest
These things help me set the intention for the rest of the week.  I am a person who loves checking off tasks as they are completed so starting the week off with a big fat checkmark on Monday is the best feeling! 

Winning your Monday also helps to build momentum. An object in motion tends to stay at motion until something stops it.  Typically that is friction that slowly wears us down or an abrupt obstacle that forces an immediate stop.  What we can do is add to the momentum every day we win - whatever that means for your day.  It is harder to not go to the gym if you have already gone a few days each week, just as it is harder to be tempted to go out to eat or to snack unhealthful if we have a fridge filled with made-ahead meals, and a lunch bag packed with meals and snacks to keep us on that winning path.

Motivation is what gets us started, it is the habit of winning days that keeps us going.

Do you have a routine that when disrupted makes you feel like you are off kilter?  How do you win or what can you do each week to help you win Mondays?


The Iron Seashell,






I am on near 2-year return journey to the Ironman.  I am finding it difficult to wrap my head around the new me.  What I mean about that is when I decided to go back to school to pursue a dream, I put my triathlon and endurance training on pause. 






Well now that I am un-pausing I am struggling with the fact that my fitness did not pause along with it. I am really feeling like a totally new runner, struggling to find my pace and my level.  I keep thinking that it should not be this hard but the truth is that it is.  It is not because this is difficult, it is hard only because I am comparing it to when I left and I am not at that fitness level anymore.


Lesson learned that you cannot rest on your last achievement.  I am embarrassed to even claim to be an Ironman at this point only because I can barely run a 5k.


So this is where my health coaching comes into play and I take myself on as a client.  The struggle is mental and because I am comparing myself to a former version of myself.  That self is not gone, only changed.  And I can never get back to that old self, I can only forge ahead and create the next iteration of self. 


Basically you can only ever go forward and as long as you are making forward progress you are succeeding.  I intend to move forward at the pace of success this year and next.


Every day is a new PR as I am starting over again in my fitness journey with the right head on my shoulders, the right intention in my heart, and with the right tools at my disposal armed with the knowledge of how to utilize them to their fullest.


I get a do-over in a way.


I decided that the journey back to Ironman would start this year in order to give me time to lose the academically induced weight and to rebuild my base. My tri buddies are all doing Lake Placid (IMUSA) in 2017 so that is a possibility for me.  Also contenders are IMChoo, IMNC (the old Beach to Battleship), IMLou, IMAZ, or IMMD.   I prefer earlier rather than later and I prefer to train and race with a large group of people, so IMUSA may be the race!  At least I have a few months to decide before I must sign up.


Lake Placid is a heck of the course, being the 2nd longest running American Ironman race with Kona being the only one ran longer since it was the birthplace of the distance. Lake Placid is challenging with nearly 7K feet of climbing over 112 miles of bike, and an equally daunting run with 1.6K feet of climbing over the 26.2 miles. 





While I am still on the fence as to the specific IM I am going to tackle in 2017, having this beast in my sights is serving as great motivation because those hills + this current body = no way José. I need to drop between 75 and 90 lbs to be at my race weight for the Iron distance, and this is more important for this course in particular.  F= M x A...  Physics!


So forgetting the Ironman ahead of me because it is way too far off to even think of that without setting myself for burn out, I am turning this year to focus on my absolute weakness which happens to be the sport that got me into triathlon to begin with: running.  I am going to train for one of my favorite marathons, Detroit, which is exactly 30 weeks out. I have a 30 week beginner plan from Hal Higdon that I feel confident will get me safely ramped up over the spring to tackle longer distances this fall.  This 30 week build of run focused mileage will lead me right into the November Out Season, which will start a few weeks after Detroit Marathon and will help me gain speed on the run and reclaim some power on the bike before starting Ironman training in the late winter / early spring time frame (if IMUSA is the one I go for... I really am feeling ambiguous to that course for some reason).


Marathon Training Schedule: The Journey To Detroit
Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 Strength / Swim 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 3 m run 30 min walk 27-Mar-16
2 Strength / Swim 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 3.5 m run 35 min walk 3-Apr-16
3 Strength / Swim 1.5 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run FLY - FL 3 m run 40 min walk 10-Apr-16
4 Run /FLY - OH 2 m run 3 m run 1.5 m run Rest 4 m run 30 min walk 17-Apr-16
5 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 3 m run 45 min walk 24-Apr-16
6 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 4.5 m run 30 min walk 1-May-16
7 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 3 m run 50 min walk FLY - GER 8-May-16
8 REST 2 m run 3 m run 2 m run Rest 5 m run 30 min walk FLY - MI 15-May-16
9 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2.5 m run Rest 3 m run 55 min walk 22-May-16
10 Strength / Swim 2 m run 3 m run 2.5 m run Rest 5.5 m run 30 min walk 29-May-16
11 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 3 m run 60 min walk 5-Jun-16
12 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m run 30 min walk 12-Jun-16
13 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 6 m run Cross 19-Jun-16
14 Strength / Swim 3 m run 3 m run 3 m run Rest 7 m run Cross 26-Jun-16
15 Strength / Swim 3 m run 4 m run 3 m run Rest 5 m run Cross 3-Jul-16
16 Strength / Swim 3 m run 4 m run 3 m run Rest 9 m run Cross 10-Jul-16
17 Strength / Swim 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 10 m run Cross 17-Jul-16
18 Strength / Swim 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 7 m run Cross 24-Jul-16
19 Strength / Swim 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 12 m run Cross 31-Jul-16
20 Strength / Swim 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 13 m run Cross 7-Aug-16
21 Strength / Swim 3 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 10 m run Cross 14-Aug-16
22 Strength / Swim 3 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest S/R easy Ironman 70.3 Ohio 21-Aug-16
23 Strength / Swim 4 m run 8 m run 4 m run Rest 16 m run Cross 28-Aug-16
24 Strength / Swim 4 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 12 m run Cross 4-Sep-16
25 Strength / Swim 4 m run 9 m run 5 m run Rest 18 m run Cross 11-Sep-16
26 Strength / Swim 5 m run 9 m run 5 m run Rest 20 m run Cross 18-Sep-16
27 Strength / Swim 5 m run 10 m run Fly TBD TBD TBD 25-Sep-16
28 TBD TBD TBD Fly Rest 12 m run Cross 2-Oct-16
29 Strength / Swim 4 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 8 m run Cross 9-Oct-16
30 Strength / Swim 3 m run 4 m run 2 m run Rest Rest DETROIT 16-Oct-16




This time around I am no longer doubting myself or my training.  This time around I know that I can do it and that gives me the power to really truly own my training and my self as an athlete.  Everything is clicking for me in my head now, I am in the right space at the right time on nutrition and training and that has not happened in years. 


After a lot of false starts, knowing that I am setting myself up for a great success makes me excited to start in on the process, be it a lengthy one.