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Monday, March 5, 2012

Getting Recovery Time

I have had a very interesting last 2 weeks- not only in my training schedule, but my personal life- moving from town to town, keeping my work load the same, and then trying to train for a half ironman. It is pretty tiring sometimes, and it can get mentally exhausting. I have worked to find ways to de-stress and enjoy my free time as much as possible while still being productive. Also, I was thinking of how I could have the most fun as well while not wanting to quit my job!

Some things I have done in order to keep my mind on relaxing through this stressful time include:

1. Focusing on the things I really enjoy- coaching my volleybal kids. I have so much in Montecito and also down in Valencia doing LAVA strength training. Kids are so much fun and getting their feedback on how much they enjoy the coaching really makes me feel happy!

2. Going to Max Relax to get foot massages and/or full body massages. I enjoy Chinese Reflexology and it is so great to go in after a long run or bike ride and get my feet/back worked on. I also love the people who work there.

3. Laugh with my sister and mom. I enjoy spending a night or two down in Valencia and enjoying my family. it helps me to destress and we always end up laughing hysterically.

4. Drink less coffee and more tea. I love my coffee, but if I am a bit stressed, i can't have too much caffeine. It makes it worse.

5. Go for a run (fun run) on the beach. I really love going to the beach, and especially in the sun in the sand by the water. My favorite places ever.

6. Download some new tunes on iTunes. Who doesn't love more/new music! :)

7. Write my blog :)

I had a time trial today on my bike- a 30 minute, all-out effort and it felt amazing. I feel super fit right now and I am chilled out now that I am living in my new place. I am very excited and have a great friend/roommate.

Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grocery Shopping Re-Learned

When is the last time you spent over $130 dollars at the grocery store? For me, it was 2 nights ago. I was swimming with a client today and I told her that I went shopping at Trader Joe's with my coach and she was like, "you needed to go with your coach? You know enough about food don't you? Why did you need him with you?". I answered her that I can always learn more, and honestly, I feel like I don't practice enough of what I preach.

Since I have trained with my coach, he has been strict with me as far as preparation of my foods, as well as the type of foods to get- fresh and ORGANIC. I had my own thoughts about organic- like it was all talk and too new agey for me. Oh, and not worth the money- being that the difference between regular and organic was not big enough for me to make a change. But, after my coach MADE me a few dinners and hammered the ORGANIC choices into me (and I started to feel a difference in my performance and see a difference in my body) I actually started to believe him. Because, after all, it is really easy to know the information, but sometimes you need that extra push in order to follow it.

At Trader Joe's, there are some distinct differences that I am adopting in order to eat-live-and feel better. Besides eating organic, these differences include:

1. Eating a bigger, better breakfast. I now have 2 choices for healthy breakfasts, which both include coffee (of my choice of course- my coach doesn't drink coffee, so he wouldn't know :) I eat either gluten-free Gorilla Munch or a cereal by the same brand with some Non-Fat Vanilla Almond milkn and a piece of fruit- 2nd choice is eggs and chicken sausage (which I just had for dinner) and some polenta. Both are balanced meals and will get my body prepared for the workouts it has ahead of it.

2. Getting nuts/peanut butter again is not bad. Im not gonna lie- before when I would get trail mix and/or PB at the store, it was too easy to take spoonfuls of it and/or handfulls and eat too many calories, for no reason except for to snack. My coach has laid out a plan for me for when to eat these snacks. For example, the almond butter is measured out and put on a rice cake with low sugar strawberry preserves. That is a perfect snack before a ride for me to eat. I add the single serving trail mix to my salads or eat a bag quickly before I go for my noontime run. I have found some discipline and portion control with this technique.

3. Limiting my alcohol and sweets. I did not buy any at the store- of either wine or chocolate. However, my coach said that it would be OK if I did decide to get some chocolate (some 85% cocoa/dark chocolate) which is lowest in sugar and tastes very good. I don't drink a lot anyway, but I did have a habit of once a week going out with my girlfriends and having a few beers each Friday night at the local brewery. However, I have stopped that- as my coach reminds me.."being an athlete can be lonely sometimes." Doesn't mean I dont go to the brewery- I just drink water now :)

These are just a few of the big changes I have adopted into my training life and I have noticed a huge difference in my performance. They are not super hard to do, I just needed some strict guidance and some solid reasoning behind the choices. I am positive that you can follow these tips as well and see a difference in your game.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Day At a Time

Above is a photo of my friend, Jason Smith, and I at a 6:30 am track session for our McDonald's crew. We work them out 2 x's a week at the Santa Barbara City College Track as part of a Corporate Fitness group that their managers encouraged close to a year ago this month. It has grown, and as a group of about 10-12 members, they have seen over 200 pounds total lost in that year and many lives changed.

I once was talking to a friend of mine who is a fireman and we were talking about another mutual friend who is a doctor. I mentioned to him that the doctor had an amazing life- young, successful, and worked to save lives each day. He reminded me that I get to do the same thing- in a better setting. I never really thought of what I do for a living as a way to "save lives," but in reality, I guess that is true to some extent. I often feel like I am in the need of a little saving, and my coach(es) have always been there to help me out of my funk and, sometimes, save me from dying... :)

Life can throw some gnarly things your way, and sometimes in my job, I am not always ready to hear what might come out of one of my client's mouths that day. In the last month, I have had a client's husband die, another client's husband be diagnosed with a fatal illness, and another client who is going in for a very serious surgery. I also have clients that are away in the Galapagos islands, a cruise in the Carribean, and a trip to Fiji. It is always a roller coaster of emotions and the hours can change from one emotion to the next, several times over the course of one day. I guess that is what makes my job so unique and, also, fast paced. However, at the end of the day- very exhausting.

So, as I am driving home tonight after working all day since 5:30am (granted, I took a break in the middle of my day to run 8 miles and swim 2 miles)...and as I sit here at my computer at 11pm this same night...I reflect on the day. I have talked to some amazing people- have met some new friends, and have grown again as an athlete, putting in some great time in the water and on a pretty hilly run course. I am fortunate to have my health and to be alive. I am happy to smile and talk to the people around me- for, as you may not know, everyone is fighting their own battle- some harder than others. Enjoy each breath and open your eyes to the things you may not have ever seen before, for you might be a hero to someone around you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm Gonna Talk About Me For A While

This week of training for me has been one of the best I've ever had- I mean it. I've had lots of weeks, like, I know!

The highlights of my week included 3 very hard bike workouts. Last Sunday, we (my amigos from Ventura) rode 92 miles, from Ventura to Magic Mountain and back. I am doing the Solvang Century, so getting in some longer rides is no problem for my training schedule right now. We had had lots of rain Saturday, so we were praying for sun Sunday and that is what we got. Beautiful weather without too much wind, and we had just a beautiful 5 hour ride. When we got done, I put on my run shoes and ran to the pier and back. I felt good, just needed a few more calories. But, other than that, I was good to go.

Wednesday, my coach had some time, so he rode with me on this awesome 2 hour "fartlek" style ride (not to be confused with a far lick) on Foothill road- out and back to the far side of Santa Barbara and back to East Beach. Again, beautiful weather. And, riding with coach, it is always such a treat because he gives me a goal and then mini-goals through the ride. That day, we practiced big gear, out of the saddle style riding, with some in the saddle, high cadence spinning up the rollers. There were 4 times at least my heart rate got above 174, which is pretty legit on that ride. When I finished the ride, I ran my 10K with my boys at East Beach, and killed it. Felt great, but I was tapped out. Nothing left. Gave it 100 percent. Great training day.

Thursday...nothing too amazing to report- except 4000 yards in the pool...getting ready for Friday's ride- again with coach, and the same Friday ride...but now on my tri bike.

Friday (today), the ride was the usual climbs- Gob, 192, Toro, San Ysidro, Cold Springs...and then even a lil APS on the ride home. 40+ miles. I killed it today on the ride, on my fancy tri bike and everything was just feeling super good. I had only 20 miles on the legs this week as far as running goes (tomorrow morning, a longer run of 12-15 miles), so that probably helped. But, I am feeling way more efficient in my pedal stroke on my tri bike because I have been working hard on my road bike.

Overall, I am having a great time learning how to bike better. I alluded the cycling I have been doing before my coach as a young volleyball player trying to just get the ball over the net and in the court...and now, with my coach, I am placing the ball with intention and accuracy and having a specific goal each time I get on the bike. That was not always the case before. I am also eating better and having some down time- learning to take time for myself in preparing workouts and meals..and sleep!

Thanks for reading- if anything, I hope this motivates you to get up and go- on your bike, even if it is just for 10 of the 92 miles :)

Oh yeah, and 100 miles on the schedule for this Sunday... to be continued.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It Takes Hard Work

So, if you think becoming the greatest in your line of work, in your sport, in your LIFE...were easy, then becoming "great" wouldn't be that much of an accomplishment. I know that sounds obvious. However (and I am guilty of it), we all want INSTANT results- we want to change in a day what took MANY DAYS to create. And, whether it good or bad, it will take time to reverse or change, improve or dissipate. GREAT TAKES TIME.

A man in the gym today was talking about his mom still being alive. This man, Bob, is old enough to be MY grandpa. So, I asked, "how old is your mom?". He replied, "103! and I hope I don't have to live THAT long!". I thought to myself, "OMG, that is 70 more years for me if I live that long- that is extraordinary!". And, I would LOVE to live that long. Call me crazy, but I love life. I would not change a thing- except have my coach cook for me everyday. But, realistically- wouldn't change a thing.

I question all of the clients and athletes that I train everyday to reach their goals, and within this conversation of striving to do his/her best comes the question, "Well, what have you done to get there?." The answer given most often is usually..not a whole helluva lot. And, that is where we go wrong. It takes hard work-sacrifice, reading, learning new things, changing what you do every frickin' day in your routine in order to change. I am not asking you to give up coffee for god sake. But, perhaps see a greater you, within the current you, and get after it. That is the beauty of life- it is dynamic and it might take you further than you ever imagined.

Now, go slam dunk it.

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!