Saturday, January 3, 2015

Suzie Homemaker

Give a girl a stress fracture, a few days off work for the holidays, a bag of Bird Mountain Dark Roast Peace Coffee (thank you Devon!!!), a few sub zero degree days and BOOM, I'm Suzie Homemaker! Here are some projects I've been meaning to do for quite a while...


Ironman Hawaii 2013 (coffee boat swims, undie run + race)

 Ironman Los Cabos 2014

Team MN 2011 - 2014 (top 10 men & women in the state)

Ironman Wisconsin 2014

The Chaska Blondes


 My family, March 1984 in Lake Tahoe (I'm in pink)

 One week family backpacking trip 1987 (I'm in pink again)

 Bridgeport, CA (same trip as above)

 (same trip, I just turned 4)

(Our dog backpacked too, he had a doggie backpack he carried with his food & our toilet paper)

Longest baseball game I've ever been to, 18 innings! Aug 8, 2004 at the Metrodome, this was before I moved to MN, I was living in Jacksonville, FL at the time

Last Twins home game of 2008, they won but didn't know if they made the post season yet & had to wait & play a tie-breaker game in Chicago

My nephew's first year! (March - Nov 2014)

Ironman Hawaii 2013 (race + vacation)

 My youngest dog Miles. I had to get down on my back on the sidewalk to get this pic! I wanted him with the St. Louis Arch & stadium village in the background

 All-star game & NLCS 2014

I spent an entire day over Christmas vacation looking at boxes of pictures with my family from the 80s & 90s, I laughed so hard I cried, my head, my stomach & my face hurt. The hair & outfits form the '80s! We only got through about 3 of 9 boxes, I can't wait for the last 6 on my next visit! Here are a few treasures...

Me in 1983, look at that tummy & those thighs! I am guessing this was on the beach somewhere at or near Santa Monica, CA which is where I was born

1986, age 3, helping dad in the yard at our house in Reno, NV. I used to wear his cowboy boots all the time

41 tardies in 10th grade!! 9am used to be impossibly early! If only that cranky old principal knew I swim 3xs a week at 5am now! (Omaha, NE 1999)

My ASA softball team, I am in the back row & center, I think I was 15 or 16 & I want to know who let me out of my house with those bangs?! We left to play collage ball everywhere from Colorado State to Alabama without cell phones or facebook & I don't even think I had an email address at the time. I lost touch with everyone for a decade but we have all found each other on FB finally.

My national letter of intent to play DII softball in North Carolina. I whited out my phone number and then realized it was a land line from a house we haven't lived in since 2001 :-)

I think this might be the funniest find of all! I got a B in my freshman college Fitness Walking class! I wanted to quit the softball team because we had to run a mile every Friday before practice & that was way too long & too hard for me, I hated running! Distance running for a softball player is an extra base hit! As a pitcher I typically only had to go from the dugout to the mound & pitchers were allowed to walk to their position. I did love quick sprints around the bases and sliding, I worked my butt off playing softball but you couldn't have paid me to run! The first time I ran over a mile was 2007 I believe.

Me scrapbooking/framing & my dogs snoozing

What's Cooking?
I baked, cooked, & ate my way through my stress fracture recovery. It was really enjoyable to spend the time I usually train experimenting with new recipes. I LOVE healthy food that tastes good,  & I love taking food pics, here is what I have prepared recently plus my favorite salad dressing recipe...

Sweet potato cookies
Sweet potato protein shake
Paleo Pancakes
Paleo Chicken Salad

Kale chips

Bacon pineapple poppers

Paleo muffins 

Sweet potato fries 

Quinoa & Chia Carrot Cake Cookies

Black bean brownies

Zucchini brownies

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Garbanzo Bean Blondies

Butternut Squash pasta

Breakfast pizza made entirely out of eggs & veggies in a cake pan

Many different salads & salad dressings
Many different protein shake recipes

Apple chips

Many new quinoa dishes

Different burrito bowls

Bacon, brussel sprouts, apple bake

Lots of sweet potato dishes

Lots of wild/brown rice dishes
Buffalo chili
Buffalo meatloaf
Avocado mousse 
3 Ingredients paleo fudge

Different combinations of fruit salads

Different stuffed squash recipes

Different green smoothies in my vitamix

Different fresh veggies juices in my juicer

Straight shot of ginger, lemon, & cayenne

This salad dressing is the bomb!!! I have been putting it on everything!!!

** Creamy Garlic Dressing **
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3-5 cloves garlic
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (you can use the dry kind, it tastes great too!)
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp grade B pure maple syrup
Place everything in the blender and blend on medium-high for 30 seconds or until well mixed. Store extra dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

HAPPY 2015!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Operation Chlorination

I've known since early Nov that something was very wrong with my left foot. In 2011 & 2012 I had pain across the top but it was manageable with regular ART treatments & in Oct 2012 it went away until mile 16 of Ironman Wisconsin this year. 15 days off running following the IM bought me about another month of running including a 10 mile Halloween fun run in costume, but on Nov 6th the pain reached a whole new level and my foot swelled up like a sausage. Things hit rock bottom on Tues Nov 11th when I could no longer walk or put any weight on my foot and x-rays on Nov 14th confirmed a 3rd metatarsal stress fracture. I was trying to hang onto some fitness for the 6,000M USATF MN XC Championships on Nov 15th otherwise my season was over, but that was obviously a no go.

I have spent the last 5+ weeks in a boot and will get it off for good after 6 full weeks on Dec 24th. It took 3.5 weeks to be able to walk pain free with the boot on & 4.5 weeks until the inflammation was totally gone & I could try a little walking around the house without the boot & get back on my bike for some easy spins. Just this week my dog and I started walking to the mailbox every other day without my boot. It's all of about 100 yards but it is something I couldn't do 5 weeks ago with my boot. There were days early on I found it much less painful to slide down the stairs in my house on my butt then struggle down them on foot & days where a 4,000 yard swim was so much easier then walking slowly through the grocery store.

Luckily I have been able to swim without walls throughout & do a limited amount of strength training. (New this week I switched from 1 leg push-ups and planks to 2 legs! My left foot can now comfortably handle my body weight in a bent position) I knew the first week in my boot would be the hardest physically and mentally so I needed some kind of a big goal to distract myself. With swimming as my only option I reverted back to my Jan Swim Challenge in 2012 to take note of my previous highest volume week in the pool and decided I was going to do 150 push-ups on one leg everyday for 7 days and put in my biggest swim week ever, operation chlorination. 

Previous biggest swim week Jan 1 - 7, 2012 = 27,450
New biggest swim week Nov 10 - 16, 2014 = 27,800 with a full day off!
*My swim volume was pretty high before I did this monster week, 6 swims a week over 3 days was working best with my schedule since I restarted training after IMOO until my stress fracture diagnosis. 2,000 to 3,500 per session x 6. I didn't go from 0 to 27,800!

It would have been fun to do another 31 Days straight of swimming but it just didn't work with vacation, family, & Thanksgiving, those 3 things were much more important to me.

Mastering the Swim Double (Or Triple) - if you are injured like me or want to challenge yourself

- You must have more then one suit! If you are doing doubles your suit will not be dry before it's go time AGAIN. Who wants to put a wet suit on in the freezing MN winter? Not me! Get over to Gear West Bike, Elsmore or Run N Fun and get some more swimsuits! All Fox Endurance coached athletes get a 15% discount at Elsmore! Thank you Elsmore for your continued support!

- Do swim #1 so early that you are still half asleep and your brain can't fully comprehend what you are doing yet. In the winter we start practice at 5am on Mon, Wed, & Fri. When I swim at the crack of dawn and then go to work during the week or take a nap on the weekends it honestly feels like a different day when I go back for #2. My body usually has had time to recover & my brain has forgotten about the first swim already.

- Do your longest swim or harder workout in swim #1. It is mentally easier to go back to the pool knowing you have less yards to complete or a shorter or easier workout.

-Bring/Eat calories before! I can make it first thing in the morning for an hour swim or about 3,000ish yards without breakfast and just Himalayan salt + water in my bottle but after that I am toast if I don't have fuel. If I am swimming more then 3,000 yards, a banana or Lara Bar on the way to the pool or some kind of snack is a must. Typically before any morning swim I will eat something similar to what I would eat about 30 - 40 mins before starting an IM, about 100 - 250 calories + Himalayan salt or unrefined sea salt. This is not my IM race day breakfast but rather my pre-race snack. It sounds like common sense but since most Masters classes are so early people skip breakfast to sleep longer or just aren't hungry yet. If you want to put in mega yards you have to feed the beast! Long course training/racing is largely nutrition and mental, if you don't have enough calories in your system or the right state of mind, your fitness doesn't matter.

- Swim with other people! This makes the workout go by so much faster, pushes me harder, and is much more fun! I also do a bit of weekly swimming alone so I can swim super slow without holding up my Masters lane and focus on drills and form. I am known to spend a good 5+ mins chatting on deck before actually getting in the water bc I love the people in my group so much. Swimming alone from time to time let's me get right to business & focus on my own limiters but I prefer to swim with others for at least 85% of my weekly volume.

-If you can find a bathtub temp pool, (we have one in Chaska, it is so hot everyone rides home with their windows down in sub zero temps) it doubles as secret heat training for warm weather races. If you are training for a hot race in a MN winter, I don't get any warmer then swimming hard in a hot pool. The heat discomfort tops biking on the trainer in front of my fireplace and overdressed runs.

-The best kind of double is a Masters group that has 2 practices in a row. I go to one at 5am and another at 6am. 4,500 - 6,000+ yards done before 7am. 2 different groups of people over one long session makes the yards go by very quickly!

After the week 1 blues passed, I had no choice but to accept my situation & once the pain went away at rest (sitting or lying down) the time went by fairly fast thanks to an 8 day Thanksgiving vacation, family, friends, the holiday season, tons of cooking, Christmas shopping & work. If there is ever a time of the year for a stress fracture in MN this is it! Minus my boot tracking snow all over the house! 

 OWS @ Sebastian Inlet State Park

Indian Harbor Beach saltwater pool. Best pool hours ever, lap swim from 5:30am to 6:30pm/9pm depending on the day, 7 days a week! Open almost 356 days a year, even open on Thanksgiving Day!

I have been doing a lot of runless bricks to keep things interesting. Swim to aqua jog brick. Aqua jog to swim brick. Strength to swim brick. Swim to strength brick. Swim-nap-swim on a weekend. Back to back swim brick like I mentioned above with 2 different workouts & 2 different groups in a row. Strength to aqua jog brick. Strength to bike brick. Bike to strength brick. Vasa to bike trainer brick. Bike to Vasa. Vasa-bike-vasa. Vasa- shoulder strength-vasa. Vasa-core work-vasa. AND new this week, bike to walking my dog to the mailbox without my boot brick. Get creative. Mix things up, it is the off-season so have some fun moving your body in new ways!

Here is a fun swim specific strength workout to try. You can sub my Vasa trainer with a row machine or stretch cord. Rowing works very similar muscles but unfortunately not through the exact pull motion of your swim stroke. I hit the weight room a couple times a week but my fave strength exercises are the ones that are functional to making me a stronger triathlete that I can do right at home for convenience. I only did a couple reps of everything for a quick demo but the full workout is below and I do the vasa after each exercise for a total of 12x200yards

3 xs through:
Vasa for the time it takes to swim a 200, which for me is 3 mins
20x high plank to low plank to push-up (mix up the arm you lead with)
3 mins Vasa
25x ab wheel rollout (sub a stability ball rollout if needed)
3 mins Vasa
15 dumbbell reverse fly
3 mins Vasa
*Rest 1 min*

Just keep swimming!