Post-Workout Snack: Hummus

Hummus is the best. Seriously. I resisted my mom’s suggestion to try the spread for a loooooooong time, but finally gave in earlier this year. (Probably due in part to the fact that I found a really yummy restaurant called Hummus when I visited my cousin at Penn).

Hummus is relatively low-fat (depending on what brand you buy — I like Cedar and Whole Foods brand, and have also tried Tribe and other zero-fat brands). The yummy spread is made mainly from chickpeas and sunflower oil, so it’s a great alternative to other fatty spreads (like peanut butter and nutella). The flavor is a satisfying mixture of sweet and tangy. It comes in various flavor variations, like classic original, red pepper, and garlic. Depending on my mood, I usually stick to classic or pepper. Neither is spicy.

There’s nothing better than coming back from a workout and having a really good snack — so next time you’re cravings kick into gear post swim, bike, or run, try hummus on a few of my favorite things:

Pretzels (I like gluten free Glutino brand)

Think Healthy natural whole grain thin cakes (only 54 calories in 3 cakes)

Veggies – like carrots

Fruits – like apples

Give hummus a try! You won’t regret it. Yuuuuuum.

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Tri Hard,

Caity

To check out the Hummus restaurants in PA, click here.

Workout Thoughts: When Streams of Adrenaline, Positivity, and Anger Melt into One

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What do you think about when you work out?

Your Garmin is set. Your laces are tied. Your route is mapped out in your head. After a few minutes (or, in my case, often a few hours) of getting ready to work out and wandering around the house, you’re finally ready to go. Ready to leave the real world for a snippet of the day; to delve into the sweet fields of blankness that will envelope the mind in a long workout.

On a few occasions  I’ve been asked the question, “Don’t you get bored when you work out? Especially during long runs or bikes?”

I find this to be a loaded question. Does every second of every minute of every hour of every long workout come with it a sense of excitement and passion? No, definitely not. Of course, there will be times on a rough hill or at mile 10 or 12 of a long run when you don’t feel like you can run any longer that could technically classify themselves as “boring moments”.

But one of the things that keeps bringing me back to tough workouts, specifically those of a longer distance — and I’d imagine is the case with many others — is that a workout is like a specifically designated, carved-out block of time to think. To ponder everything from what you want to do with your life to whether you should change your nutrition in the next workout to why you burst out crying last week to how excited you are for the weekend to thinking about your summer vacation. You get the idea. Workouts are a time to reflect; to carefully the consider the good and the bad in our everyday lives.

Some may disagree with this sentiment; that no tangible thoughts can swim their way through the blankness covering the mind during a workout. And while it may be true that during the final sprint of a race or at various difficult points in a workout that it is arduous to delve deep into the mind and ponder important thoughts, it is possible to use a workout as a time to think.

There’s nothing better than using thoughts and mental functions to your advantage during a workout. For endurance is not only physical; it is also mental.

What drives me up the difficult hills or the final miles — when I have almost nothing left — is the adrenaline. It’s the channeled, pointed positivity or anger; whatever seems to fit at the moment.

The thoughts about that.

The thoughts about you.

Whatever “that” and whoever “you” is for you at the time of the workout — use it. Use them. Use what’s happened, what will happen, what can happen, to your advantage. The possibilities. The sadness. The joy. Use all of it.

That’s the beauty of long workouts.

You have time to use all of your thoughts, your happiness and sadness; to reflect. For you never know what thoughts will carry you through to the finish line until you dig deep.

Tri Hard,

Caity

Memorial Day Weekend: Fun, Family, and Thanks

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Happy Memorial Day! Today is a time to give thanks and reflect upon the sacrifices made by all of those in the armed forces. Their service is invaluable to our great nation!

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend — I spent it with family in Connecticut, as well as biking 60 miles for Ironman prep. I (attempted to) bake with my cousin Erin, went to a yummy hibachi dinner and bonded with my other younger cousins today at a family party. It was a relaxing start to summer!

What did you do this Memorial Day Weekend?

Tri Hard,
Caity

Getting close!

63 days until Ironman Lake Placid! Had a great bike ride with my dad today through New York and New Jersey. I biked 60 miles — getting ready for a century soon.

Can’t wait until the race! More soon.

Tri hard,
Caity

Flat as a Pancake: SUCH A FUN RACE [register with a discount!]

UPDATE: THIS YEAR’S RACE WAS CANCELLED. IT WILL RESUME NEXT YEAR. 😦

In a little over a week, I will be doing the Flat as a Pancake sprint triathlon with my dad and brother. I’ve been doing it for five or so years now, and it’s a TON of fun. I mean, how many races are by the beach AND have a full pancake buffet after with a ton of contests?! It’s a beautiful, flat course that is a great way to kick off the summer racing season.

The race is on June 8th.

You can register here (enter the code Joepatanella15off for a $15 discount)!

Check out more info here and here.

pancakes (1)

mmmm

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Tri Hard,

Caity

h a p p y

tumblr_mm75zfGlBE1qh77fdo1_400Think of one thing that makes you happy. Whether it’s a person, a place, a time, or a memory — focus on that for a second. Close your eyes and picture it if need be.

Give it some thought.

What makes you happy?

Channel it. Use it. Sometimes when I’m racing I like to channel what angers me — a situation, a feeling, or otherwise — but I’ve found that channeling positive thoughts can help as well. Whether it’s visualizing a goal, thinking of the feeling you’ll get while crossing the finish line, thinking about friends and family or something else, happy thoughts can have a lot of power.

Let them. You’d be amazed at what positive thoughts can do.

Tri Hard,

Caity

Running at Home

"The Rock" in Glen Rock that I've run past countless times. (It was recently featured in National Geographic! Wahoo)

“The Rock” in Glen Rock that I’ve run past countless times. (It was recently featured in National Geographic! Wahoo)

One of my favorite things about being home is going on runs. Yes, I do enjoy running along the Charles at school — but nothing beats being home and running for however long I want and never risking getting lost.

I am from a small town in New Jersey — a suburb of New York City. For many in larger towns or cities, seeing familiar faces while running is a rare occurrence; however, in Glen Rock it’s more odd if I don’t see at least 5-10 (depending on the length of your run) people I know/know of while running.

This seeing-random-people-while-running thing is kind of fun. It gets my mind off of my tired legs or the horrid hill that I may be running up momentarily; it reminds me that I’m home. Ranging from a friend’s parent to a random person I went to the same elementary school with for a year to high school classmates to friends, it’s always fun to see who I’ll run into next on a Glen Rock run.

There’s nothing like the familiar sidewalks of your hometown. Of running in the middle of a sunny summer day; of running your long-loved routes over and over again each week. Or of hearing the pitter-patter of the rain outside and deciding to run around your neighborhood; returning with a smile and puddle-soaked shoes. Hometown streets are lined with myriad precious memories; pockets of your past. Running past friends’ houses, schools, or other memory-infused landmarks makes long, hard (sometimes mundane) runs that much more interesting; more colorful.

And for me, there’s something about running at home — something about exploring the town on foot, of making my mark on the pavement with each step of my bright purple Asics, that makes Glen Rock feel a little bit more like home.

What about you? What do you like best about running in your hometown? Do you prefer to run through neighborhoods or on trails?

Tri Hard,

Caity