30 days and an Ironman
30 days – no processed foods
It’s almost my bed time so I have to make this quick. I’ll post a lot more about the month later in the week, but here’s a quick run-down of the why and how:
Why – If I want to race as a great professional I need to eat like one. I usually have a pretty good diet, but there are a few things that tend to get me into trouble – bread and cereal, mostly (even though I usually by whole grain version of both). I would love to be a little lighter, but this is NOT about losing weight. I want to make sure I’m putting the best things possible in my body in order to get the best things out of it. Sometimes I don’t exercise the best willpower (I have a bad sweet tooth) so moderation doesn’t work for me. I’m quitting processed foods and refined sugar cold turkey for at least 1 month to see how it changes my body and mind.
The Rules – Warning – these are completely self made rules. They don’t follow any specific “diet” (i.e. GF, paleo, etc…) It’s really just focusing on what I need to fuel my body for triathlon and what I think fits best with being able to do that. Soooo, no cheese, bread, cereal, refined sugar. I’m focusing on whole grains (brown rice, quinoa), whole fruit / veggies, lean protein, and nuts. I’m keeping in nonfat milk and Greek yogurt to make sure I can get lots of good protein throughout the day. Technically things like homemade bread would count as non-processed, but I’m essentially cutting out all gluten (tortillas, bread of any kind, etc…) I don’t drink very often and even when I do it’s usually just 1 glass of wine. I might not have any this month, but I’m not ruling it out either.
Homemade trail mix (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, dried cherries and raisins (no sugar added)
Homemade hummus - chick peas, tahini (sesame seed butter), garlic, lemon juice, water
Sample food day – so what would 1 day of eating look like in this month?
Training & Fueling – The main caveat to all of this is I’m not changing my in-training / racing fueling. I use Clif Bars and Bloks on the bike, and Clif shot gels, and Coke on the run. I am so happy Clif uses almost all organic ingredients so I can feel good about continuing to put those products in my body. It’s also important to be able to race well – which means eating things I can tolerate during the event. Unfortunately most of the whole foods on my new “approved” list don’t fit into that category. If I’m racing with those products, then I need to train with them, too. All of this is to maximize performance and I know I still need my go-to Clif Products to make that happen.
I know it will be challenging, but I’m hoping I can get others to join me in this adventure. If you decide to go no processed foods with me PLEASE keep me posted on how things are going for you! I’d love to share recipes and results!! Good luck and happy healthy eating!
Los Cabos Race Report!
I’ll keep this short and sweet (unlike my race). Ironman Los Cabos was AWESOME except for my result J (really just my run). I thought the venue was amazing – who doesn’t love the opportunity to spend several days right on the beach, being woken up in the middle of the night by waves crashing, and seeing the occasional whale only a few hundred yards away?!? I would definitely recommend this race - with a few caveats.
Since I’m super slow to get my race report out, no doubt you have already heard this course was a TOUGHIE! The swim was apparently a little long – which would be great because I was about 3 minutes slower than I wanted to be. The bike was a monster. There was no flat road – all big rollers. The stretch out to the airport reminded me a bit of the Queen K – hot, hilly, some major crosswinds, and the feeling like the road might not ever end. Despite all of that it was still maybe one of my favorite IM courses so far. I love a challenging bike and the 2 loops kept things interesting. If you are interested in this race, don’t be afraid of the “bot dots” or “turtles” or “whatever those little bumps are in the middle of the road to slow down cars”. I was definitely scared of them before the race, but in the heat of the moment they were completely a non-issue.
The run would have actually been a lot of fun if I was moving a bit faster. The crowd support was amazing and it was fun to use a bit of espanol in the aid stations “agua!” “hielo!”, “gracias!”. I have to say I’m a huge fan of the water bags, at least I was once I figured out how to get them open! They are so much better than cups because you can hang on to them and continue to drink between aid stations. I think we’d see some major PRs if they brought those to the Big Island! I must apologize to all the poor men who were forced to shove the ice they were holding straight down the front of my jersey. They definitely got more than they bargained for ;)
As for my actual running, I’m really not sure what happened. I have never felt better on the last 30 miles of an IM bike (indicating maybe I should have biked a little harder) so I was pretty pumped to have a great run. Then I got to my feet and …(insert fart noise here).
It was a brutal day, but I crossed the finish line. No, that wasn’t my goal, but it never hurts to put some big deposits in the emotional bank. I’d say that bank is full enough and I can’t wait to make a major withdrawal in St. George in a few short weeks!
Before I introduce my amazing VIPs, I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all my amazing sponsors: Saucony, QR, Reynolds wheels, CycleOps, Challenge Tires, Xterra wetsuits, Clif, Rudy Project, and Cognition Cyclery. And of course my coach, Matt Dixon, for pushing me and continue to believe I will see some great results soon!
VIP#21 and 22
Matt and Jen Ford
This dynamic duo definitely deserves to be in the VIP list. They have both contributed SIGNIFICANTLY to making me a better athlete over the last few months. First Matt rips me apart on the bike. He is one of my favorite Team Sheeper boys to ride with, although mostly I just see his backside while I’m trying desperately to hang on the back of the “man train”. When I see him in the parking lot I know it’s going to be a great training day!
After Matt destroys me on the bike, his wife, Jen, puts me back together. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and her massages are AMAZING! Although don’t be fooled by that kind exterior – she’ll find a knot and bring you to tears. Jen is doing her first Ironman in CDA this year and I know she’s going to have an amazing race – I can’t wait to cheer her on! She is also joining me in the 30 days of no processed foods, so by default Matt will most likely be partially on the plan.
They are both fierce competitors and lots of fun in and out of triathlon. I am so glad I have gotten to know both of these amazing people. Thanks to my great friends Matt and Jen!!
Ironman Los Cabos - 14th
St. George 70.3 - US Pro Championship