{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.

Guest Post: A Pro Triathlete’s Morning Meal Routine!

13 05 2011

Hello 321delish readers! I am Lindsey, one of Chloe’s Saturday morning swim buddies–soon to meet Steph if I attend the next Eating Club, fingers crossed–and recently learned of the triathlon and food blog they share. I, too, share a blog (The Slog) with my cross-country training partner, although we blog once for every 20 entries Chloe and Steph churn out.  I am in AWE of their consistency… and their food creations. This is me in the D.C. Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April…

Chloe asked that I share a little about how I balance my meals to fuel training and if I have any tips on eating a balanced diet while working and training to race pro… and maintaining a social life, or simply, sanity. So here is a little insight into my eating routine.

How do I eat enough (nutritious) calories to fuel my training?

 I grew up swimming competitively, so I have always had a big appetite. To combat hunger and make sure that I am eating the right foods to fill me up,   I often turn to nut butters (e.g., peanut, almond, cashew, etc.) like many of you.  I go through a jar every 5-6 days (which grosses out my roommate, but I’m sticking with it!). Nut butters are high in healthy calories (aka energy).

How do I make sure to eat balanced meals while training?

In terms of eating balanced, I’ll focus on breakfast, as it is the BEST and longest meal of the day. I consider breakfast to be everything consumed before lunch.

The easiest way to discipline myself into eating healthy is by choosing a routine that works.  Limiting the number of choices you have to make about food simplifies it and lessens the likelihood of eating unhealthy.  I am tempted by ‘bad food’ at the office, but it’s easier to stick to my healthier options if I pack everything I need. So here is a rundown of my morning routine…

First things first:  Coffee.  I make a small pot at home and drink half before my morning swim and the other half at work.  Some might consider this LAME, but–the second half pot goes in a thermos that I take to the office (it keeps during a morning workout!).  I think that my homemade coffee is tastier than the office brew and is definitely cheaper than hitting up a coffee place everyday.

Prepping the thermos with hot water:

Mmm coffee:

Pre-workout meal:  banana and (too much) nut butter.  I haven’t honed the portion control aspect of that yet… I tend to overdo it and promise myself I’ll do better the next day.

Post-workout meal:  (another) banana or some piece of a snack bar (my favorite is the Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna Bar!)… something small to hold me over until I get to the office.

Fig Newtons welcome me back to my locker after a swim!


Post Workout meal 2: I love eggs.  LOVE eggs.  Why wait until the weekend to do a big breakfast right?  I make them nearly everyday (seriously) so at some point before I head to the pool, I sautee veggies, throw in 2 eggs, seasoning and cheese… then put it in tupperware.  I cook them the morning of or night before–either works.  I undercook them slightly so they aren’t overdone when I heat them at the office… note that this method is FAR BETTER than cooking eggs in a microwave, bleh.

Red peppers, zucchini and mushrooms in a pan w/ butter:

The assembly line.

Added thyme today:

The eggs would look more appetizing on a dish with a nicely laid fork, but we’re keeping it real people.

Time-saving tip – Make several day’s worth of breakfasts ahead of time. I usually fill a few tupperware containers with my egg saute so that it is ready to go!

Oatmeal o’clock meal: between 10:30-11:30 in the morning I conclude breakfast with an oatmeal bomber…Oatmeal + dried fruit + cinnamon + spoonful of cottage cheese for added protein and creaminess.  Here’s a pic of the shelf in my office kitchen that I took over to stash my oatmeal.

It looks like horse’s feed:

So there you have it! That’s my morning food routine… after lots of trial and error, I figured out which foods worked for me and incorporated them into my everyday routine.

Question of the Day: Do you have a healthy breakfast routine you’d like to share?  AND, let’s wish Chloe and Steph GOOD LUCK at Kinetic this wkd!!