Sunday, September 29, 2019 drug!

This came across my desk this week form Matt the Founder of The Feed 
I agree wtih what he says here....  My .02, if you have a product /nutrion plan that is working and those produts are not caffienated, I'd suggest Caffeine Pills.   I have used these , careful when you buy pills as many are 200mg and that is too much per hour.  For an Ironman I generally preload with coffee in the AM,  take 100mg at hour 2 and 4 on the bike and then every hour on the run, or I switch to coke for the 2nd 1/2 of an Ironman.   For a 70.3, I preload with coffee, take 1 pill at 90 min on the bike and then 1 at 45 min on then run, then use Coke.   
Another option are Salt Stick with Caffeine which takes care of sodium ++ and caffeine. 
Whatever you do, as with any nutritiion, test it out many times in training BEFORE race day.  
If you have questions about caffeine/nutrition/hydration, please reach out - as I am happy to help in any way!
 Below is from The Feed, authored by Matt, the Founder
The most used performance-boosting drug in sports is caffeine, but most don't know how to use it properly to boost athletic performance. With this week's launch of Maurten's Caffeinated Gel, we have been getting lots of questions about how to use caffeine properly.
I'm going to breakdown how to use caffeine like a pro to fuel your training and racing:
Caffeine will boost your athletic performance
44 of 46 scientific studies show that caffeine boosted athletic performance. Historically, it was believed it was helping increase VO2Max, but more recent data suggest that the impact is more on relieving mental fatigue and decreasing our perception of fatigue enabling us to push our bodies harder.
You want to pre-load caffeine before you start.
The research shows that most athletes want to pre-load caffeine before they start training, and especially before racing. It also will take a lot more caffeine than you probably think to get to a performance-enhancing level. In reviewing all the scientific studies and in our own use, we find that 200mg of caffeine pre-training is the optimal dose. If you are coffee drinker, we recommend ~100mg in a cup of coffee or espresso within an hour before you start. Then during your warm-up or on the start line, we have been using Maurten's Caffeinated Gel for another 100mg of caffeine.
During your workout, you want to keep caffeine topped up.
Once you workout starts, you want to keep consuming caffeine if your event is over 90 minutes. Aim to consume 100mg of caffeine per hour for the first 3 hours. The upper limit is 500mg to 600mg of caffeine per day.
How much caffeine is right for me?
The first question to ask is whether you are a "habitual" caffeine user? Do you drink coffee every day? If so you want to be on the recommended levels above. If you occasional consume caffeine, the above recommendations are still valid. But if you don't consume caffeine, start lower and cut the recommendations in half to start. We have a number of chats about Maurten's 100mg of caffeine being pretty a high amount, while that's true compared to most products on the market, Maurten has done their research and for 95% of athletes a 100mg doses of caffeine is needed for it to be an effective amount for athletic performance.
How long will caffeine last?
Caffeine will start to work 5 to 15 minutes after you consume it. It will reach it's peak impact between 45 minutes to 90 minutes after consumption. The half-life (or when the effect will be diminished) is between 3 to 6 hours after you take it.
Should I stop drinking coffee/caffeine before big events?
This has long been a practice by riders I've worked within the Tour de France to taper caffeine usage before a big event. While it can't hurt and seems logical, there is little scientific data to show that this will make the caffeine significantly more effective in competition. We say avoid the headaches and withdrawal and just keep your pre-event caffeine usage at a reasonable level, but don't go cold turkey.
What are the best products to get caffeine?
1.     Maurten Gel 100 Caf 100: This is hands down the current game-changer when it comes to caffeine. You also get 25g of carbs for quick-acting energy.
2.     Clif Black Cherry Bloks: These are the most popular selling Clif Blok flavor and they pack 50mg of Caffeine per serving, note that a serving is 3 bloks. So each "Blok" is 16mg of caffeine.
3.     Tailwind Colorado Cola Drink Mix: Aside from it tasting like cola (tastes great) it packs 35mg of caffeine per bottle/100 calories. It is our favorite caffeinated drink mix and if Cola isn't your favorite it has 3 other caffeinated flavors.
4.     Run Gum: This is a fun way to get caffeine on the go. Created by 2x Olympian Nick Symmonds. The regular flavors have 100mg of caffeine per pack (2 pieces of gum) and the Extra Strength Spearmint is 200mg! We recommend chewing it for a 2 minutes then taking it out of your mouth before it becomes a bit bitter.
5.     Ascent Pre-Workout: This is my favorite way to get going before gym workouts when I don't want the carbs of Maurten Gel. It packs 150mg of caffeine per serving and taste's great.
6.     Coffee: Our favorite coffee options are a new product from Infinit that is an amazing Cold Brew Coffee that also packs 20g of protein and our favorite Boulder blend from Boxcar Coffee.
Pro hack: you want to take your coffee to the next level introduce it to your coffee's BFF the Vafels fresh baked Belgium style waffle. Place the Vafel over your coffee and it will gently warm the waffle while you wait for your coffee to reach drinking temperature. Vafels are available in both regular and gluten-free and we freeze them to lock in the flavor so they arrive fresh to you.
Stay caffeinated.  

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Post PRP

Alex and Hillary for 10K
To say post PRP hurts is putting it mildly....holy aching ass, literally in my case.  For 7 days it was a 6-7 out of 10 on the pain scale, aching/hurting all the time.  But in the last few days is has hurt less and less each day and today, day 11, is the first time in months, no pain when I stepped out of bed.  Wow, what a feeling.  So optimistic, I'm planning to ride 100 miles today.  Totally kidding... following the Dr orders.  19 more days and I can get on my bike!!  

Monday swim with T
The swim block has been great... the goal of 40,000 yards this week, I am at 37,900 today so surely I will hit 40K by Sunday.  FYI that is 22.7 miles of swimming.  44,000 yards is 25 miles- that seems a bit much!  I will definitely hit 40K and will see from there. It's been fun with friends.  Monday I looked 8k with Taryn at the Rose Bowl Pool- super fun!  No flip turns was tough, and that was post-Emmy's.  Tue 5K LCM  at Alga Norte with open turns.  Wed was a chill day with 4K and testing flip turns.  Thur was 10K with Hillary and Alex, with cameo from Tim and Monica and I fully returned to flip turns.  Hammie was achy post-swim but totally fine Friday AM for another 6K at masters.  I have been feeling great but most of the swimming has been super chill, hitting base -5 at Masters yesterday was a big ask of my arms and shoulders.   I feel fatigued for sure but eager to keep going.   Someone asked me if this was my biggest week swimming... for sure in the last 30 years, but looking back at college we swim 100,000 yards a week on a regular basis.  So not even 1/2 of what I used to log week after week.  Heck, we would do 10K in the morning and then another 5K in the afternoon.  I recollect on a few, or a lot of Saturday workouts back in Club Swimming that was 15-18K in one session.  

My plan is to keep it rolling Monday and Tue with a goal of 10K for those 2 days and then I am off to Seattle for a conference back on Sunday.  I hope to get to the Y at least 2x but we shall see.    It will be a nice break for my hair and skin. I am using coconut oil on my skin to help with the dried-out chlorine feeling and double Zealios conditioner on the hair.   

I had planned out a solid upper body strength routine as well but once I hit 25K I decided to push that to next week.   Keeping up with the core work though.

Its fun to say, "last Sunday when I was at the Emmy's... LOL
And started PT / Strength and wow was that humbling.   I learned about b project from a solid cyclist, who happens to be one of the owners of Flo Cycling and the host of my favorite podcast Faster.  The pod is so well done, great topics, lots of research and I look forward to the next episode.   While it is about cycling, it covers so many topics for endurance athletes.     

Back to b project, Chris mentioned that they were focused on teaching you how to move before you do strength.  This really caught my attention as I know I need to help to move and help with my posture.  So session 1 was really interesting. 1 hour on the table with a lot of manual manipulation, ouch!   Sort of ART but not really,  hips, feet, ankles.  An overall assessment of what is firing and moving correctly and what is not.  Then 1 hour of what I would call movements and wow, just wow.  Simple, but not so simple for me.  I'm not going to lie, it was so frustrating and hard.  At one point this is me " Stop telling me what to do over and over as I am clearly not getting it. and you showing me is also not working.  Can we try a different approach? "  The 25 yo PT and I were NOT communicating well.  After my 2nd or 4th similar outburst, someone over 35 came over and helped out.  I am not age discriminatory but they were just not getting how to help this 52-year-old do what they found so easy and simple and clearly I did not.   I was nearly in tears and wanted to pay and leave. Brad says we'd like you to come 2x a week for a month to lay the foundation and this is a perfect time as you are healing up, so when you are ready to add weight and power, you know how to move.   I wanted to cry... So I paid for the package, using Kona $$$, and set up my next appointment, which I am already nervous for.  This has me out of my comfort zone and a challenge in a new way.   

I have some big ass goals for 2020, none of which include and Ironman, but I need to be "bulletproof"  as coach Mike puts it.  So that is my plan...   FWIW I did send a note requesting a different therapist as " I am sure anyone that was there today 10:30-11:30 would have noted, we were not on the same page."   
So the Emmy' so fun!!  I'll let the pics tell my story

that time I had my makeup done and looked like a hooker

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Since I dropped the news.....

Ok, maybe a bit dramatic, but in any case, since I said " I'm NOT going to Kona," things have been good. The sense of relief is HUGE, which tells me it was the right call. And I have to say THANK YOU for the public and private messages of support. So far, no regrets, but there is time for that to change.  
the beautiful wedding couple

The good thing is I have a LOT to keep me busy! 

We spent Thu-Sat in Park City at an AMAZING wedding. Jene is absolutely one of my favorite people, I could almost be her mom, but we are not going there. She is smart, talented, funny, and has her shit together. Frankly, we were honored to be invited. The weekend was so fun in every way!! And I was NOT stressed about training. 

I spent Monday-Tuesday in Palm Springs with HPN Clients siting hotels and venues and NOT stressed about training. 

actual picture not in spandex
Tuesday afternoon I had Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, which is a substance that's thought to promote healing when injected. The Dr drew my blood and created the PRP by isolating plasma from blood and concentrating it. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is built on the notion that these growth factors can support healing. The process increases the number of platelets, which are then put back into the plasma.
Using ultrasound, the Dr. found the grade 2 tear in my hamstring and then injected this rich plasma. He also injected into the attachment where the tendinopathy is. I would not say it hurt, but it was also not comfortable. It s really achy now and will be inflamed and really sore for the next 72ish hours. No anti-inflammatories as the inflammation is necessary, for now. I turned down his offer for any pain medication, hoping I don't regret that tonight. 

What is next is rest......the dreaded time off. No biking for 2-3 weeks and no running for 4-6 weeks. The running I was prepared for and have not run since Santa Cruz. I was hoping after a few days I could bike, but for the best outcome, no go. And since insurance does not cover PRP is, and it is quite expensive, I am going to do all I can for the best result. I can swim away... no flip turns for 3-4 days so OW it is for me, and I will be back in the pool next week. Strenth will be a slow build-up as well and will be working with a PT on the progression.   

4 weeks of swimming and upper body and core will be a challenge, mentally! Lucky for me I have a big weekend in LA that includes a ticket to the Emmy's.... look out!!! More travel and lots of work commitments to keep me busy while my hammie heals up!  

I am happy this is mid-September so by November I can start laying the foundation for 2020. In the meantime....there may be a few more glasses of wine. 

9/23 I am starting a core + push up challenge!!!  Who is in??? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

What's NOT happening

At some point between June 29 and last week, I went from fire in my belly to a burned-out candle.  Thats really is the best way to describe it.

Injuring my hamstring has sucked all the life and mojo out of me.  I have thrown everything at it, PT, ART, Acupuncture, Chiro, Massage, Mobility, Rehab, and more.   It's not 100% or even 90%, it is a dull ache that is tolerable when I run slow, but it feels like there is a dial on the attachment and the pain increases as I run faster.  I wake up every day wondering if it will feel better or worse, what can or can I not do, what aggravates it ....

My plan was  to "manage" the pain, take off all expectations for the race and just be happy to be at the start line in Kona.  But for FS fucks sake if you know me, well, we all know that is not my jam.  I tried, I really did.   I wanted to be excited to go and " see what the day holds"  "see how it unfolds," "enjoy the experience" but I can't or won't.  Add to that my fire to race it out, I just don't have it. Being injured is exhausing.  And I just have not had my usual mojo all race season.  I LOVE racing but form Oceanside to HONU to Boulder to SC, I was just not having fun and that is telling to me. 

It's not about the results, I've had some good results and some bad results this year, it's about my mojo.    I've had my inner voice talking to me for a while, but I have ignored it...until yesterday.  I had to listen. 

This is a decision that only I can make, of course, I have consulted my husband, coach, and a few close friends, but at the end of the day, it's me.   For those who have done an Ironman, you know what it takes, and if you have done Kona, you know what that takes-we all leave a piece of our soul out there.  You have to toe the line at that race with 110%!   I just don't have it...

I am listening to my that voice and am not going to race in Kona this year.      And the sense of relief I feel is palatable... that tells me this is the right choice for ME.