Food = Energy

Food = Energy

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blinged out

Happy Monday everybody. 

It was rough waking up today after a weekend of fairly early morning wake-up alarms, but I had to do it and get on with the day!

On Saturday, Val's little cousin competed in her first triathlon at the NJ State Triathlon sprint distance...and loved it! She's all set to do another one next summer and I couldn't help but remember that I had that exact feeling when I completed the same exact race back in 2012. Only difference is that I told myself (and Val) that I was going to go elite in 3-4 years! Pshhh. That ain't happening. I like the triathlon experience and the tri-sport training is pretty interesting and builds a lot of discipline, but I do prefer to focus on running for now.

Me and my niece after the 2012 sprint triathlon. Maybe a future triathlete?

Yesterday, I was up even earlier for the second day of the NJ State Triathlon which featured the Olympic distance. Val and her uncle were competing. Last year I completed this event with Val and her uncle as well and it was just dreadful. We were going through a heart wave during that week and at it had to have been in the mid-to-high 80's by the time I started the run. Even the water was a scorching 91 degrees. That swim was the worst. experience. ever. 

Val and I after our first Olympic triathlon event at NJ State Triathlon. It was also Val's first race as a member of the Rutgers Triathlon club team.

It was so great to cheer Val and her uncle on yesterday. The triathlon experience is so inspiring and the positive vibes are just contagious. Triathletes of all different shapes and sizes (unfortunately not ethnic or SES backgrounds) were out to compete and it was a beautiful day for racing and an even better day to celebrate healthy, active lifestyles. 

Even a pig came out to enjoy and support one of her owners! It definitely stole the spotlight for a while there.

Val and her uncle after her uncle finished. Val was being challenged to a rematch after beating her uncle last year. Only one possible result. My girl won. Now her uncle can focus on his Ironman Triathlon next month in Louisville, KY. Go Tim!

Blinged out, Val shows off her three medals. One for finishing the event. One for placing 3rd in her age group (!!!). And the third for being the 1st of those girls to be from New Jersey (it was the NJ State Triathlon after all). 

We celebrated the day yesterday with some healthy relaxation and cooking out with my family in my backyard. My parents were out at Whole Foods shopping for the small cook out when Val and I read that it was National Ice Cream Day. Immediately we dialed up my mom and asked her to bring back home some vegan ice cream. Our pick: Almond Dream's Toffee Almond Fudge.


I know it's no longer National Ice Cream Day, but if you live near a grocery store, please get out there and try this amazing vegan ice cream treat! While you're letting the cold, refreshing, dairy-free goodness melt in your mouth (or perhaps chewing the dairy-free goodness), just pretend that it is National Ice Cream Day and forget that it's nearly 10pm if you are reading this in the NJ area.

To run off said non-dairy goodness, I decided to get in some speedwork. As my Montour 6 Hour run is this Saturday, I decided that this past Friday would be my last long run (20.5 miles around 8:45 pace) and I would rest and focus on lower mileage and speedwork for the next week. So I rested over the weekend and decided to get in some mile repeats on the track today.

Val snapped this photo of me warming up on the track. I only did 3 mile repeats and a pair of 400's (and a warm-up and cool-down of course) before I called it a day and went home to make myself a banana almond milk smoothie with the tart cherry juice. 

The tart cherry juice seems to be working its magic and/or I'm just getting a bit more fit. After several weeks of mostly slow and longer runs, I was able to run each of my miles (3 of them total) today at 5:40 pace or under. While that may support the possibility that the tart cherry juice is helping to boost recovery, the fact that I ran a track session without any sudden joint twinges or pains is something I think I have to credit the concentrate for achieving. I felt like my joints had just been lubed up with some WD-40 before I took off on the track and it felt great! I mean, the taste of the cherry in my smoothies or just by the spoonful is enough to make me get another bottle when I finish this one, but I'm definitely keeping tart cherry concentrate in my diet for the foreseeable future. 

Okay everybody. It's a late post so that's all for now. 

The weatherman is predicting some pretty warm temps for tomorrow (in my area) so if you are planning some cardio, get out there early so there are no excuses! 

Happy Running! 

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