An ode to Nate Dawg.

As I write this, there is currently 15 days and 22 hours and 37 minutes until I  begin my journey to complete my first Half Ironman.

To say I am excited is an understatement, to say I am nervous doesn’t do it justice!

Looking at our wave start times and bib numbers fills me with fear and butterflies! EEEK!

Nate’s number is 322 and my number is 347 for anyone keen on tracking our progress throughout the day using the Ironman Athlete Tracker http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/coverage/athlete-tracker.aspx?race=&y=-1#axzz3F1cvLnHC

Last week I was beginning to question if I was going to be ready to take on the race. I think this is a normal part of any preparation, there are going to be times when you question yourself “Have I done enough?”. It didn’t help that I was struck down by a strange illness last week and my glands ballooned! Luckily, I have made a full and speedy recovery and the time off training was probably just what my body (and mind) needed.

While resting, I got stuck into Chrissie Wellington’s book “A life without limits” which I highly recommend, for both triathletes and non-triathletes a like. She is one tough and amazing woman! I have been trying to channel some of her mental toughness in my training this week.

An interetsing and inspiring read.
An interetsing and inspiring read.

I had my first experience of the Magpie swooping season last weekend when I rode to Jamberoo and back and got swooped 4 times! It surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I had expected (due to the feeling of being somewhat protected by my helmet!), however I definitely provided passing drivers with some entertainment as I was riding and flailing my arms in an effort to shoo these Magpies off my back!

All smiles halfway through my solo Jamberoo loop!
All smiles halfway through my solo Jamberoo loop!

This was my longest solo ride to date and as much as I would have loved to share it with Nate, I came back feeling a strong sense of accomplishment having completed it on my own.

Nate didn’t accompany me on this ride because my little sister (below) was staying with us and he offered to stay and be there when Clare woke up and bring her down to the beach to meet when I was done so I could still get training in.

Clare with her first "Mocktail" (we told  her mum it was a cocktail)
Clare with her first “Mocktail” (we told her mum it was a cocktail)

Yep, he is most definitely a keeper!

Throughout this whole journey Nate has encouraged me, supported me, put up with my grumpiness and ridiculous amount of stressing over the logistics of fitting in training and I am so thankful for him.

I found this “Prayer” that I thought was amusing it sums it up nicely.

First, Endurance Gods: Thank you for the fine specimen I call my partner.

He is nice to look at.
And thank you for making him faster than me,
so that I may have a constant view of his firm rear end.

But you have led us to a 2013 schedule
with a combined total of six half-Ironmans, two Leadmans, and four Ironman races.
I beseech you for divine intervention.

Keep us safe when swimming, riding and running, Endurance Gods.
Guide us, protect us and let us not anger the motorists with their big SUVs,
so that we may return home in one piece every day.

Let him remember to wear his ID, for I am sure
he is sick of hearing me nag him about that.

May we remember to stay on top of the chores during peak training periods.
When we fail (and we will fail),
may the neighbors not call the city to complain about the overgrowth in our front yard.

Bless us with a bountiful harvest of gels and nutrition drinks.
And when he finishes the peanut butter,
grant him the wisdom to not put the empty jar back in the pantry for me to find after a 100-mile bike ride,
For I will not tolerate that. I will not.

Lead us away from hanger, but deliver us some pizza.

Should I choose to skip a 4 a.m. workout in favor of sleeping in,
break all the light switches in the house,
so that I may continue my slumber without the interruption of
his profanity-laced search for socks and iPods.

And should he decide to sleep in, too,
let me be aware of this rare event,
for I will cuddle the stuffing out of that man.

On race day,
when things start to get tough,
let him lap me when I need it most,
for a pat on the butt and a “good job, babe” is the best thing in the world.

That, and watching the view as he runs off ahead of me.
Mm-hmm, yes.

Amen to that.

You can find the original here: http://triathlon.competitor.com/2012/11/features/triathlete-love-a-prayer-for-the-two-triathlete-household_66932

 

Indeed – AMEN to that!

 

Brickie xx

Bircher Muesli Smoothie.

I scored a Vitamix off Nate last week as a super amazing anniversary present. So naturally, I have been shoving everything I possibly can into it!

After riding for 5 hours full of hills I got home starving ready to make a huge smoothie when Nate surprised me with the Vitamix – perfect timing.

As the training has really upped lately it’s hard to maintain motivation for every training session. Nate had a great idea to mix things up by theming weeks starting with “Everything different week” to help us keep the motivation up.

Everything different week involved eating different things throughout the day as it’s easy to get into the habit of eating the same stuff weekly For dinner it got us looking at new recipes which was awesome.

The week also involved mixing up training sessions and changing up exercises in the gym.

It was a really refreshing approach and actually quite challenging!

One of the gems that came out of the “different foods” was this Bircher Mueseli Smoothie. Now the credit for this recipe has to go to Nate – he suggested we make a bircher smoothie – best idea!

This recipe serves 2.

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The bits and pieces

1 C oats

1 green apple, chopped (skin on)

1 orange, peeled and chopped

5 dried apricots

3 tbsp almonds

4 tbsp natural yoghurt

1 tbsp honey/maple syrup or sultanas

1 tsp cinnamon

lots of ice

 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. You may need to add a small amount of milk to get it mixing.

Serve and garnish with almonds.

Simple!

 

Enjoy xx Brickie

Pumpkin Muffins with Date and Coconut Icing.

Pumpkin muffins!

I want to eat ALL the food.

No seriously, since ramping up the training my appetite has doubled! While I sit here writing this I am thinking about what to have for second dinner!

The bonus of upping the training and getting stronger has been that I have finally managed to lose most of the Eurotrip weight from last years epic adventure where I put on 6kg in 5 weeks! Yes, you read that right!

It only took me a year…! Before I left I was the healthiest I have ever been and I really thought it would be easy to lose when I got back and into a routine. I took it for granted and was really surprised when I was struggling to fit back into my clothes 6 months on!

I didn’t want to force myself into a strict regime or “diet” but was also justifying eating that second burger because I was going for a run later…! I was also super impatient! I thought that after a month of getting back into training I would be right back where I was before I left –  and I was super frustrated when I wasn’t!! However, after taking the focus off losing weight and shifting it towards training for longer distance tris – what do you know?! My clothes fit me again!

I guess my point is, I underestimated how hard it would be and that it’s also very easy to fall into the mindset of well I am exercising heaps so I can eat 10 of everything including a tub of peanut butter and ooooh look chocolate!

Nate and I have both been trying to get out nutrition right with this amount of training too. I now understand the importance of fuelling my body right after my training sessions and my favourite go to is a banana and some Dextro. We are also learning the importance of nutrition while training!

Our aim on Sunday was to run as far as we could in 2 and a half hours. Nate made it to 30km while I got to 25km… after the 2 hour mark I was really shuffling and on struggle street so this weekend I will attempt to eat on my run… this is going to be a massive struggle for me as I used to get sick running even 2 hours after I had eaten!

These muffins are an awesome snack idea and they are SUPER moist. You could omit the barley syrup and add in some corn, basil and semi dried tomatoes for a savoury muffin too.

The malted barley syrup is awesome as it has a mix of simple and complex carbs perfect for both before and after exercise!YUM!

The bits and pieces

1 egg (or flax/chia egg)

1 tsp maca powder (optional)

1 tsp organic vanilla essence

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp nutmeg, ground

2 C wholemeal SR flour

1 ½ C steamed pumpkin, pureed

¼ C olive oil

3 Tbsp malted barley syrup

 

Icing

15-20 dates

½ C shredded coconut

¼ C boiling water

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Preheat oven to 150°C and grease a muffin tray.

In a large mixing bowl, add wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Add dry ingredients into mix and stir until well combined. Be careful not to overmix or the muffins will become tough and rubbery.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on top.

Remove and let cool.

In a food processor, process dates and coconut adding water as needed to make the mixture smooth. You want it the consistency of icing so you can ice the muffins.

With a knife, ice the muffins with the date and coconut mixture and then devour!

Enjoy!

Brickie xx

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