Step Up and Tri – November 2012

Welcome to November’s Blog.

Does anyone know how on earth it got to be this late in the year? Did this year fly by for all of you?

For all my athletes, October and early November, see the last A races of the season.  You have all been training for many months, maybe even a full year, and it is with excitement, and some relief, that you actually get to do the race. (Or not, in the case of those of you who were in New York this past weekend. So bummed for you all!!!! Some of you will now be extending your seasons through early December for the WPB Marathon- so close!)

All that hard work, all that sweat, all those nights when you stayed home so you could get up early to train, all that planning, all that logging of workouts, and balancing family time with training time, eating healthy, figuring out the logistics for the long rides and runs, all the sore muscles, and all the great training sessions alone or with friends will finally come to fruition for many of you in the next couple of weeks.

Hopefully the journey this year has been fun and you learned something about yourself; not just what you can do physically, but what you are made of mentally and emotionally, and maybe every spiritually. Training and racing gives us so much- therapy, challenge, quality time by ourselves or with friends, and a way to commune with the world and discover who we are.

As the season draws to a close, linger a while and think about what you have learned on all these levels and how it changes or affects how/who you are in the world. What does your training give to you? Training and racing is fun and tough and exhilarating and challenging and I love it. And if you are reading this, I bet you are a believer too.

What do you want from training and yourself next year?

As many of you know, I’m in Nepal for a month of exploration and adventure. This is a trip I have dreamed about for 30 years, and finally decided it was time to make it happen. I will be thinking about you all while I am out there, especially those of you racing while I am away. Sorry I won’t be at your races, but I know you will make yourselves and your coach very proud.

Thank you all for your support, trust and hard work this year. I am a very lucky woman and not a day goes by that I don’t count my blessings.

For those of you who are interested, here is a link to the site that follows my progress.

“What is adventure? If a lone wolf lifts his plaintive call into the moonlight near your campsite, you might call that adventure. While you’re sweating like a horse on a climb over a 12,000 foot pass, that could be adventure. When howling head winds press your lips against your teeth, you face a mighty struggle. When your pack grows heavy on your shoulders as your climb a 14,000 foot peak, you feel the adventure. When you suffer freezing temperatures and 20 inches of fresh powder on a hut to hut trip in the Rockies, that could be called adventure. But that’s not what makes an adventure. It’s your willingness to conquer it, and to present yourself at the doorstep of nature. That creates the experience. No more greater joy can come from life than to live inside a moment of adventure. It is the uncommon wilderness experience that gives your life meaning and context.” 
– Frosty Wooldridge, Golden, Colorado

Athlete Race Update:
*Kristy and Ralph did the 3 gap 58 mile HILLY bicycle ride in Georgia and kicked some butt! Kristy was one spot shy of a podium finish. Not bad for a girl from the Florida flat lands.
*Colin aced his first ever tri at Tradewinds and pretty much raced a perfect race. He’s in a tough AG and still came 9th in it and 70th overall.
*Adam raced hard at the State TT – as always gave his full on effort. Missed the goal by a smidge, but will be back for it next year.
*Mark also raced hard at State 40k and next year will be shooting for a sub hour finish, but still beat his goal by 2.5 minutes.
*Rachel Vanness almost had a PR at the Delray 5k, but with a fever and no sleep the night before was off by a few seconds. I wish I could race that well when I am sick!
*Rachel W did her first IM at the Bridge to Battleship in North Carolina with her boyfriend, Sean. They aced the race and she is feeling great! Can anything ever top the feeling of the first time you hear those words “You, Rachel Whipple, are and IRONMAN!”
*Cat Trejo did her 2nd Ironman at IMFL this past weekend, so she can tell us how it feels to hear those words more than once! She just missed a sub 13 hour finish! Way to go, Cat!!! A 1:08 swim, without her goggles for the first lap! And nearly 18 mph on the bike.
*Julia did the Dolphin Challenge and held 23mph for most of it and felt great after. Can’t top that!
*Sandy and Liz did the PAL half Mary- I don’t have the results yet! But I know they had a great time.
*Nadia raced the PAL 5k and did great!

Upcoming Races:
*Kristy and Colin are racing the Olympic distance and Sean is racing the Half at Miami Man next weekend. Good luck you guys!
*Of course, Bonnie, Eric, Franny, Nate and Sue were all up in NYC to race the New York Marathon, so they are disappointed but not beaten. Bonnie, Fran and Nate are doing the WPB mary instead. While Sue is gonna do the Goofy Challenge (half mary followed by a full the next day) and Eric is doing the Ragnar relay in January.

Training/Nutrition Tidbit:
Think that you can just cruise through your TT’s without applying some science to the hydration and nutrition component? Think again- this study goes to show, you need careful consideration (and practice) if you want to be faster and more successful.

Featured Athlete: Joe Marx
Past history of sports participation:
high school soccer
What made you want to compete in triathlons?
I watched an Ironman video and I was hooked
What surprised you most about the difference in training for Ironman and training for marathons?
There is simply no comparison. Training for a marathon takes dedication but it does not involve the all consuming focus of Ironman. Ironman dictates how you sleep, eat, socialize and work. I become highly efficient during training but other areas of your life will suffer and it is your ability to balance these things that allows you to be successful.
What was your first tri & what did you learn?
Gulf Coast 1/2 Ironman in Panama City. I learned to stay calm in rough water.
What was your experience like at Kona and how was it different than you had anticipated?
My week in Kona in 2008 was magical. It is still very difficult for me to discuss my experience without getting emotional. The entire village is full of energy and excitement. Prior to the race I had spent countless hours reading and watching videos about the island and the history of the race. I developed such a profound respect for the race and the island and I felt privileged to be there. The experience was everything I hoped for and more.
What was it like to compete in Ironman New York with your best friend? I spent the last 4 years attempting to recruit one friend to undertake Ironman and this year I finally convinced Mark Luttier. Mark came all the way to Hawaii to support me in 2008 and it was very gratifying for me to help him achieve a life goal. We crossed the finishline together and we are better friends today because of this experience.
What did you learn at that race?
I learned that experience counts!
What does Ironman training and racing mean to you?
I love Ironman. It has simply made me a better person. It has become a part of who I am. I am very proud that I am a Circuit Court Judge but I feel a deeper connection to the Ironman.I have told my wife that when I die my tombstone will not say “Judge” or “Honorable” but rather “Ironman”.
Favorite racing and/or training tip (what would you tell a newbie, and not necessarily something Dara told you!):
You can run , bike and swim all you want but you better figure out how to eat and drink if you want to finish.
A favorite “Dara-ism”: “No new is good new. ”

Nutrition corner with Erica Goldstein
Erica Goldstein has a master’s degree in exercise science from Florida Atlantic University and is a certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS) as well as sports nutritionist (CISSN). She is currently in the last year of the nutrition and dietetics program at the University of North Florida. Upon graduation, Erica plans to pursue a dietetic internship and continue to develop her passion for nutrition and exercise research. In addition, she plans to become a registered dietitian (RD) and concentrate her efforts in the area of performance nutrition.

It is almost Halloween, which means the official start of the holiday season is upon us. It is about this time I start to see all kinds of posts related to the delicious pumpkin smoothie.
However, before indulging in this seasonal treat ask yourself this: what is beta-carotene? What is vitamin A? Are these nutrients related and how are they best absorbed? If you can answer any of these questions, no need to read on, simply open the can of Libby’s pumpkin and blend! If you are less sure of the health benefits that accompany this season (or are unaware there are actual health benefits related to the holiday season) then it is my goal to enlighten you.

Beta-carotene (BC) is part of a class of phytochemicals known as carotenoids, which means it confers a particular health benefit. BC is the pigment that creates that deep orange color in pumpkin, sweet potato, and squash. Other colors associated with this class of carotenoids are yellow, red, and even green. The BC is actually disguised by the green pigment in vegetables such as spinach, collard greens and kale.

It has been suggested that BC is associated with functions in the body that support the immune system, protect against sun damage and vision impairment related to aging. However, BC is also considered a provitamin, which means once it is consumed the provitamin is converted to an active form within the body; in this case it is vitamin A.
Vitamin A has three different forms but for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll keep it simple. Yes, a deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night or color blindness, but endurance athletes are more concerned with maintaining a healthy immune system to fight respiratory infections that may accompany intense training and negatively affect overall performance.
Therefore, it is important to know that vitamin A contributes to the lining of mucous membranes throughout the body (i.e. lungs, respiratory tract, intestines, stomach, etc.) that help to repel pathogens that cause infection.

Finally, vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it cannot be absorbed and moved through the body without fat that is also consumed in the diet. Moreover, fat soluble vitamins are either distributed to cells in need of vitamin A or stored in the body. Vitamin A is stored in the liver. The fact that fat soluble vitamins are stored within the body means they can reach levels of toxicity. Vitamin A consumed in amounts greater than three-four times the recommended daily allowance can be toxic. Therefore, in the case of vitamin A more is not always better. In regard to daily requirements, it is difficult to track and determine the amount of BC consumed in the diet that will be converted to vitamin A. Therefore, try and consume a varied diet and always choose fruit and vegetables rich in color (red, orange, yellow, green) – it is certainly not hard this time of year. The recommended daily allowance for vitamin A is 900 micrograms for men, 700 micrograms for women. Excellent plant sources of BC that are converted to vitamin A are ½ – 1 cup canned pumpkin or cooked carrots, 1 medium sweet potato (baked or roasted). Animal sources of vitamin A include eggs, dairy products, and liver (for all of the pâté lovers out there).

Recently, I have seen two different recipes for smoothies that either includes pumpkin or kale, both rich in BC and vitamin A. The problem, neither of these recipes contained a source of dietary fat. Therefore, I have added 1 tablespoon of almond butter to the following two smoothies to ensure proper absorption and distribution of vitamin A throughout the body. Two final tips: 1). BC is better absorbed when slightly cooked; an example would be adding carrots to a stir-fry. 2). The next time you steam your veggies, save the water as there is some tendency for nutrients within vegetables to leach into the liquid. Make use of this nutrient-rich water to cook your rice when making rice and beans.

Pumpkin Smoothie:
½ cup canned pumpkin (cold)
½ of a frozen banana
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1 tbsp. almond butter
1 cup either milk, soy milk, almond milk
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
*note: add a few chunks of pineapple for a tropical twist

Kale smoothie (featured in Aug/Sep 2012 issue of Hammer Nutrition Endurance News)
½ of a frozen banana
3-4 chunks frozen pineapple
½ cup kale (chopped)
1 tbsp. almond butter
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
1 cup either milk, soy milk, almond milk


About TriCoachDara

I have been a multi-sport coach since 2001 and during that time I have trained hundreds of athletes for whom triathlon, running, biking, fitness and health must fit into very busy lives. My clientele includes lawyers, doctors, full time mothers, office workers, school teachers, nurses, and entrepreneurs – and every one of them has a jam packed schedule. My goal is to help each athlete strike a balance between training to their maximum potential and balancing the various other aspects of their lives, as well as to provide all the information they need to perform at their best and stay healthy and injury free.
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