{Guest Post} How an Injury Rejevenated my Love of Tri-ing

30 06 2011
Hello readers! My name is Katie (or KK, but only Chloe can call me that), and I’m Chloe’s best friend. I live up in Boston, MA. We’ve known one another since freshman year of high school, and have been best friends since senior year of high school. She’s seen me through some pretty tough and exciting parts of my life — including training for my first triathlon — and we’ve definitely grown closer as friends through our shared love of the sport.
However, one of the “dark sides” of triathlons that Chloe mentioned in her post last week are the injuries that crop up seemingly out of nowhere. And that is what I will be writing to you all today: my first overuse injury.

It happened when I was running a quick errand during my lunch break at work. This weird, sharp pain on the edge of my right foot, right as I was leaving the store. It was so sharp, it nearly took my breath away, so I slowly limped back to my office and tuckered in to my work, and quickly forgot about it. That night, I decided a run might help sort this pain out; maybe it was a muscle cramp that needed to be worked out. The pain was still there, throughout the whole run. My fiance, Sam, kept telling me not to favor the foot – “it’ll make it weaker.” So I tried to suck it up and keep going. However, as I was sprinting the last 400 yards of the run, I quickly realized that this was a problem that was not going away by “pushing through it.”

I made an appointment with a podiatrist for the next available appointment, and a week later – a week spent spinning and elliptacaling, with varying degrees of pain – the doctor took a look at my XRay’s and said “Well, Katie, you have a stress injury. No running, only low-impact sports, until the pain is completely gone. Once it’s gone, start slowly working running back into your workout routine.”
A stress injury – which is a pre-cursor to a stress fracture – is a pretty loud warning sign that I had been going out too hard, too fast, for too long.
I had been training for the 2011 Bay to Breakers Race: a 12K race through San Francisco, and I was so excited about it. It was the only race I was going to do this year (I overtrained last year, and decided to give myself a mental and somewhat of a physical break this year), and I wanted to do it right. My training plan was clearly too agressive and I paid for it.
As I just mentioned above, I was recovering from a really aggressive 2010 race season (at least for me). I hired a personal trainer who specialized in training triathletes in March 2010, and just went full tilt for five months. It was a great escape for me, as my job situation at the time was stressful, but after my last race of the season (where I completely crushed my 2009 race time) I realized that the sport of triathlon had lost the shine of excitement, fun and personal challenge. It had become, to me, a drag, a time consuming sport that took time away from sleeping, reading and simply relaxing. I felt I had no balance in my life. All I had been doing for five months was training, training, and more training. I needed a break.
But when the doctor told me I couldn’t run anymore, I felt the wind woosh out of my body like I had been sucker punched. I thought I couldn’t handle the training, the running, the exercise. But I realized that, as I was walking home from work that night and watching runners out on the roads in the beautiful spring weather, that I love running. I love the exhilaration of finishing a run on a hot summers night. I love rolling into my parking lot after a good bike ride with friends. I love getting up at 5am and going swimming with my closest friends in Walden Pond (which is what I am doing right now, as Chloe is posting this). Triathlon is a sport that can be exhausting, aggravating, injurious, and yes — time consuming. But it is a sport that has worked its way into my soul, into the very essence of my being, and even though I needed six months and a stress injury to realize that, I know that I will always love the sport of Triathlon.




KEEN- Wah

29 06 2011

A special thanks to Chloe from Running with a Bottle of Wine for her awesome post while Chloe of 321delish is out in California! With my recent mishap at Rock Hall, Chloe’s post really resonated with me. Triathlon is a lifestyle, not just a race. So true!

Anyhow, let’s shift gears and talk about quinoa. No, not “Queen Noah,” it’s “Keen-Wah.” Yes, it took me a very long time to figure out how to pronounce Q-U-I-N-O-A. So, I’m just trying to help you out. 🙂

Recently, some of my favorite bloggers have been whipping up some recipes with quinoa, so I figured I’d get in on the action too!

First things first, what is quinoa, you ask? Many folks group it with grains, but it’s actually a seed. It’s jam packed with nutrients, pretty high in protein, and it’s also gluten-free! I typically buy my quinoa in the bulk section, and I’d advise you to do the same. I’ve seen it in a box for about 5 bucks, but you can buy the same amount in the bulk section for way less!

I love quinoa because it tastes great, it’s fast-cooking, and its so versatile. I find it great if you need to throw together a quick summer meal.

So, I thought I’d share with you the ways I’ve used quinoa in the past week or so.

I’ve cooked it in white wine, and served it alongside some fish:

I stir-fried some cooked quinoa together with some peanut sauce, edamame and egg, added some shredded cabbage, and served it in leaves of Romaine, for a protein-packed lettuce wrap:

I made my own peanut sauce just by mixing together some soy sauce, honey, peanut butter, and rice wine vinegar. I would suggest Kristin’s peanut sauce if you are looking for a recipe. And, Mama Pea has never let me down, and she just posted a recipe for Peanut Mmmm Sauce, which I’m sure is outstanding.

Finally, I made it into a salad with beets, goat cheese, fennel, and almonds:

My Flavor Bible told me that orange pairs well with fennel, so I cooked the quinoa in orange juice, and added some zest. Next time, I think I would even put some pieces of orange in there too.

So those are just a few of my ideas for ways to use quinoa.

For some tips and step by step instructions on how to cook it (it’s super easy), check out Catilin’s post.

And, if you want some more recipes check out these:

Emily made Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Jenna made a Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad

Beth made Goat Cheese and Beet Quinoa Salad, which is what I based my last recipe on.

Question of the day: Have you ever eaten quinoa? What have you made with it? What do you think would be a good quinoa salad?





{Guest Post} Are You A Triathlete?

28 06 2011

Hey there! I (Chloe) am currently in San Diego for a childhood obesity conference. No complaints here. I didn’t want to leave you with nothing to read while I was away though,  so I have 2 great guest posts lined up. Today, Chloe from Running With a Bottle of Wine will be sharing about what it means to be a triathlete.  Chloe is a 30 something from Florida. She’s a triathlete who loves fishing and wine…and trying to stay awake. 🙂

Have a great day!

Are you a triathlete?
I don’t know about you – but several triathlons in the south have become ‘duathlons’ due to crazy ass currents and waves.  So let’s say this is your very first triathlon.  You’ve been swim/bike/run training for this bad boy for months and are pumped to race.  You are ready for this bad boy.  But you hear the swim is canceled.  And it’s a duathlon.  This happened to me this year – granted it was not my first triathlon – but I was PISSED.  So I could not imagine how the first timers felt.  Unless you don’t like swimming – then you’d be pumped.  Anyway – you race and do awesome.  But are you a triathlete even though the swim was axed?  Hmmm?  Are you?
 
That question was brought up in one of my favorite pod-casts – Garden Variety Triathlon   If you have not listened to it – please do!  It’s awesome.  Anyway – YES!  You are still a triathlete!  Triathlon is a lifestyle, not just a race. Once you get into the zone – you eat, drink, and sleep triathlon.  All of your non-triathlon friends won’t even pick up the phone because they don’t want to talk about how awesome your new chamois cream is working or how you lost a toe nail.  You think about what you eat the day before a long training day because you don’t want to feel like CRAP 50 miles into a 100 mile ride.  Or you tell your friends ‘Sure we can go out to dinner – only if we can meet at 5’.  Sometimes it can be tough – but it’s worth it in the long run.  ‘Specially if you love the sport.
Thankfully I’m surrounded by people who support me and are used to my weird ways.  Specially when Ironman training rolls around.  No joke, but the week before IMFL last year, my training partner and I did not even wear heels.  We did not want to even think about a silly accident that would possibly ruin the last three months of training (talk about OCD). But your friends will get used to your ways – and be in awe when they see you rock out a race….and possibly decide to jump into the triathlon obsession as well.
 
So – go out there and kick some ass.  You know you can.  It’s hard at times to stay focused and yes, sometimes massive amounts or wine are consumed, but you are human.  And wine is needed sometimes.  But not before a long training day.
Happy Training!
XI(the other) CHLOE