Thought for the Day: Go With Your Gut

“There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it.”
― Judith McNaught,

Go with your gut.

Your heart can tell you more than you think — your head isn’t always 100% right. Sometimes making decisions with only our heads fails to take into account the potential joyous, alternative outcomes that can come along with making decisions with our hearts.

I’ve been learning that, too. Love this quote. Something to think about today — in training, goal setting, and in life in general.

Tri Hard,

Caity

Spring has Sprung! …Well, Kinda

Today marks the first day of spring!

…except there’s snow everywhere.

Hey, at least there’s free Rita’s today – did you get yours? Unfortunately there’s none nearby while I’m at school. But if you’re near one, enjoy an icy treat after your first spring workout 🙂

photo (17)

Snowy Spring

images (3)

Yummyyyy Rita’s

Hey, at least planning out your races for late spring/summer can get you to thinking about snow-free training days. Unless you’re already in warm weather 🙂

Enjoy the first day of spring wherever you are!

Tri Hard,

Caity

 

Thought of the Day: Be Happy.

I saw the ad below in a magazine yesterday when I was finishing up  an image analysis project for my “Woman and the Body” class at school. Even though I think it was for Amazon.com or something, I really like the language, message, and coloring presented in the advertisement. Sometimes, it’s easy for us to get ahead of ourselves and to not live in the moment or to just be happy.

I’m challenging myself today to accept the fact that it’s okay to be overwhelmed sometimes – but that it shouldn’t always necessarily take away from our overall happiness.

Today, I have practice, lift, a project to print out (and my printer is broken!), a paper to finish, two other assignments to finish, essays to write, people to email and follow up with, 5 hours of classes, and a few phone calls to make. And I’m sure many of you have days similar to this – packed from sunrise to sunset with a whole lot of BUSY.

Things may be a bit stressful, but at the end of the day I have a lot to smile about. And so do you.

A goal going forward should be apply this positive mantra – to be happy – to our everyday lives and training. It can definitely help us to become better and more effective athletes.

[smart is being happy.]

BFKaXKeCEAAO-59Tri Hard,

Caity

Ironman Training with VERY Limited Time: It’s Possible

Right now, I’m about 4 and a half months away from my first Ironman. As if that isn’t scary enough, I’m also a college student and a division 1 athlete (rowing) trying to balance school, rowing, social life, and training for an Ironman. Many of you may be in analogous situations – whether it be balancing school and countless extra-curriculars, going to through a busy period, or something else.

At this point, school and rowing are definitely my priority. However, having said that, it isn’t TOO difficult to find the time to fit some swim, bike, and run workouts in during the week. This helps my rowing, also, because it helps me to fit in some extra cardio – which can only help my overall fitness.

My cousin Erin is in a similar situation as me, as she is a college student at the University of Pennsylvania training for Ironman. She told me about this great, low time-commitment plan that she found in Triathlete magazine for Ironman training. I took a look at it and was really impressed.

The most important thing for me, and for all of you student-athletes or triathletes juggling work and training, is to plan ahead. PLAN your workouts for the week on an excel spreadsheet if that’s what it takes. Rowing at 6:45 and class at 10? Try to fit in a spin afterwards. Work until 5? Set your alarm clock an hour earlier in the morning to fit in some extra cardio.

This doesn’t just apply to Ironman training – it’s applicable to all events for which you might be training. It’s possible to accomplish anything – you don’t always have to have the whole day open to do it!

More updates on this topic soon. In the interim, check out the training plan I’m using from Triathlete.

Picture-8

Weeks 7-13 of the 20 week plan

Tri Hard,

Caity

Races We ♥: Flat as a Pancake

Swim, Bike, Run, and Pancakes. It really can’t get much better. If you’re looking for a course that’s flat, fast, and by the ocean – then try the Flat as a Pancake triathlon! I’ve been racing in the event for years – and it’s so much fun. There’s even a full pancake buffet (with other great food also), along with a pushup contest for prizes and more after the race! This year, the event will be held on June 8th.

For more info, check out more info here and here.

pancakes

mmm

301789_4190948378411_1293862918_n

some younger athletes I met at the race!

576759_4191030460463_90722562_n

enjoying some pancakes after the race

600117_4191029420437_1952461712_n

almost at the finish line!

543604_4190935778096_406795283_n (3)599440_4191026420362_2002347296_n 292112_4190947418387_845774557_n

Tri Hard,

Caity

Transition Talk: Blankness

It’s five seconds before a race is about to start. Your feet are brushing the cold water, glued to the shore. Your breathing intensifies. Your hand is crossed over, touching your watch about to hit “start” so that you can stare at your wonderful splits throughout the course of the day (haha). But after the gun goes off – when your body mixes into the crisp, cool water and your arms begin to stroke furiously – what happens next?

Thinking about the things you love - or that anger you - can give you that extra edge in pushing through difficult portions of races

Thinking about the things you love – or that anger you – can give you that extra edge in pushing through difficult portions of races

“What do you even think about for that long?” is a question commonly asked to triathletes by those outside the swim, bike, and run world. To many, it seems unfathomable, almost irrational, that one could “enjoy” an endurance event ranging in time from one to seventeen hours (from sprint to Ironman).

The answer to this is a bit more complex than one might think.

When your body is pushed to the brink, ready to give out – when muscle soreness and levels of exhaustion are so high that the finish line seems a distant dream – sure, it can become difficult to keep going. But it’s the mind that takes over in these instances. The blankness.

You can’t exactly shut off your thoughts and your brain as a whole during a triathlon. So, in reality, all the triathletes panting around the course have to be thinking about something, right? Something to keep them going?

For me, a sort of blankness sets in. A tunnel vision. A sort of blanket wraps itself around my mind, transforming my pattern of thought.

Sometimes, I’m so focused on the course ahead of me – swimming around the orange buoy, dodging some glass on the road, or trying to pass someone on the run – that it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what is running through my mind. More like a state of blankness.

Conquering the mental aspect of the races help you get to the finish line!

Conquering the mental aspect of the races help you get to the finish line!

But, realistically, this complete blankness and tunnel vision cannot continue for the entire duration of the race. So, what’s next? What could possibly be getting all of the triathletes in these races through such arduous courses and long miles?

A great deal of it is your personal competitive and racing impetus. What drives you to go faster?

For me, when my mind is unable to seep into that “blankness” mode completely; when it is hungry for real, salient thoughts, I channel my personal motivators. The things that anger me – the people with whom I’ve had differences or wish I could change things with, events in life I wish I could alter – certainly help in driving me through various points in the course where my mental acuity seems to be waning. When all else fails, I turn to happier motivators, like the people and things in life that I love and for which I am thankful. With memories and feelings seeping through my body, I find that extra something to push.

It’s this stream of blankness mixed with pulses of motivational thought that bring us from dolphin diving to start the swim to putting that last foot across the finish line. Sometimes, this pattern repeats itself for hours on end. But it’s this mental aspect of triathlon; the ability for individuals to constantly overcome the negative voice in the back of the mind and conquer it with motivational thought throughout hours and hours of tireless competition, that is part of what makes this sport so great.

What do you think about when you tri?

Tri Hard,

Caity

 

Backwards

I’ve heard so much about the movie “Backwards” lately. It’s about rowing and not triathlons, although the competitive spirit and fascinating athletic stories present throughout the movie make it a must-see for any athlete.

Next time you’ve finished a workout and want to relax or just want some inspiration, check it out. The trailer is below.

I loved this quote from the trailer:

“Sometimes the only way forward  is to learn from what you’ve left behind”

Something to think about.

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Post-Workout Snack: Peanut Butter. Almond Butter. So Many Butters.

After a workout, you’re probably tired. Sore. Ready to take a nap. Even if you have runner’s high and don’t feel the effects of the workout on your body just yet, one thing’s probably certain: you’re hungry. It’s easy to reach for a bar or other pre-made snacks after a tough swim, bike, or run — but there are plenty of other options out there.

One great option for both protein and taste is almond/peanut butter.

yhst-98224749760032_2245_8794820

BallouSkies Peanut Butter for a cause

I prefer the Whole Foods organic brands for almond butter, as well as Justin’s (there are also almond butter packets and different flavors available for purchase – I’ve tried them during workouts and they’re great). For a creamy, satisfying peanut butter, I like BallouSkies best. I tried the peanut butter a year or so ago and have been hooked ever since. Plus, the proceeds go to a great cause – finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Whether you prefer almond butter or peanut butter, eating it by the packets or making a sandwich, both spreads are full of protein that will keep you filled after your workout. Below are some options to choose from next time you’re scrounging around in your kitchen for a snack post-workout:

Almond/Peanut Butter Packets

They’re easy. And taste good as well as have a great deal of protein. Enough said.

justins-nut-butters

Fruit Sandwich

Toast up some of your favorite bread (whether it’s gluten-free, sourdough, whole wheat or otherwise) and slather some almond/peanut butter (and some jelly and nuts if you’re up to it) along with some strawberries or bananas. Yum!


tumblr_m8i6veOoPv1qbih6so1_500
 tumblr_lyq1ca84NK1qzf8s4o1_500

Rice Cake Alternative

If you’re trying to cut back on your bread intake, try the same thing on rice cakes! Quick, easy and yummy. And rice cakes tend to be low-calorie if you buy the right brand.

rice-cakes

Here’s to enjoying post-workout snacks! Yum.

Tri Hard,

Caity

[YUM.] Some New Favorite Foods to Mix into Your Daily Routine

We all have our favorite foods – even in the “healthy food” realm. Whether it’s your go-to sweet treat or you favorite healthy bar or fruit, it can be tough to think outside the box and to try new things. Below are some of my favorite new healthy foods I have come across at Whole Foods. Give them a try!

THE BAR: Just Great Stuff – Organic Superberry Açai

F30-4032743-8200bg

Bars are great for quick nutrition and easy snacks. I love the Just Great Stuff bar because it packs in a TON of antioxidants and fruit and also tastes sweet, moist and satisfying. The brand also has a cocoa variation (among others), so check it out!

THE MILK ALTERNATIVE: Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

Blue-diamond-Unsweetened-resized

Whether you are lactose intolerant or just looking for a change from regular milk, Almond milk is a great alternative. It’s low in calories and fat, and still holds a similar consistency and flavor of milk. I prefer the unsweetened original variation, but there are sweetened, chocolate and vanilla versions available also.

THE HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO BAKED BREADS AND CAKES: Flax and Honey Banana Bread

The other day while I was shopping at Whole Foods, I passed by a sample table with this Flax and Honey Banana Bread. Upon tasting it and looking at how healthy the recipe was (no added sugar, no butter, no eggs), I was hooked. Next time you are looking for a yummy baked food, try the Flax and Honey Banana Bread. It’s easy to make and SO tasty.

photo (11)

They had cute little mini loaves for sale at Whole Foods the other day!

photo (12)

THE FAVORITE FRUIT: Sweet Apples – Braeburn, Piñata

This one seems like an obvious choice. We all eat apples, right? Well, maybe. If you haven’t been adhering to the “apple a day keeps the doctor away” mantra lately or if you’re just trying to eat some more fruit, apples are the way to go. They’re quick, easy and can satisfy your sweet tooth – if you buy the right kind. The sweeter, crisp, juicy apple variations I find  to be the most satisfying. Look for these keywords on the label card by the apples next time your food shopping – and also look our for Braeburn and Piñata variations! They are so sweet and satisfying.

braeburn

HEALTHY GRANOLA: Purely Elizabeth

purelyelizcerealcranpecan

Granola sounds healthy, so it must be… right? Not always. Be sure to look at the ingredients in the granola you’re choosing to make sure it isn’t processed or filled with fake sugars. Purely Elizabeth is a superb granola brand with whole ingredients and great taste. My favorite flavor is Cranberry Pecan, although there are other variations including blueberry. These granolas are gluten free, vegan, and filled with wholesome ingredients like quinoa. Yum!

More healthy yummy foods soon.

Tri Hard,

Caity