Tag Archives: overnight oats

Severe Case of Taper Crazies

Hiya, friends—happy Thursday!  How’s your week going so far?  Mine’s been filled with working and working out—and suffering from a severe case of taper crazies.  As you know, the 13th Annual Aquahphor New York City Triathlon takes place this Sunday.

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T-minus three days (for those of us counting)!

Obviously, I’m pumped and excited to race, but this tapering stuff has been tough.  Physically, I hate shutting down workouts feeling strong, and mentally, I’ve been all over the place.  One second, I’m confident, and then next, I start questioning everything:  is my training adequate?  Did I bike enough?  Should I have strength trained more?  And plus, I don’t feel like myself.  I’ve been quiet and reserved at work, yet anxious and on-edge. (Thanks for the pep talk yesterday, Patrick!) Here’s a rundown of what I’ve been doing and thinking this week.

My appetite has disappeared.  Friends, this is huge.  Yes, my workouts this week haven’t been as long or intense (hence the phrase tapering), but my hunger seems to be non-existent.  This is weird and isn’t like me at all.

‘Drink more water.  Drink more water.  Drink more water.’

‘How fast should I run during the half-mile trek from the swim exit to transition?’

Because workouts have been shorter, I’ve had free time every morning this week.  Which is also weird.

‘Should I hammer on the bike?  Maybe after the turnaround point …’

‘How will I handle the inevitable heat and humidity?  Can I run strong and not blow up?’

Sleeping.  Lots of sleeping.  My “grandma hours” have become even more exaggerated, and I feel tired all the time.  Case in point:  I crashed hard after work yesterday, started to fall asleep while watching the news, and tucked myself into bed at 8:20 p.m.  I didn’t wake up until this morning’s 6 a.m. alarm.

‘What will it be like running Central Park clockwise?  Is it harder or easier than counterclockwise?’

‘Will everyone have fun at the post-race party?’

Workout

So remember how I fell asleep at 8:20 p.m. last night and woke up at 6 a.m. this morning?  The only reason I didn’t hit snooze was because I made plans to run with a teammate.  We took to the track and completed a one-mile warm up before we alternated between steady and solid efforts:  three laps steady, one lap solid.  Repeat for three miles.

Breakfast

I wasn’t hungry after the workout, but polished off a bowl of overnight two-hour oats anyway.

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And now it’s after 2 p.m., and I should start to think about lunch.  Again, not so hungry.

How do you feel during the days leading up to a race?  Have you experienced taper crazies?

Tough Love

Approximately 1.75 laps into this morning’s team bike ride in Central Park, I got dropped.  I hung tight with the all-girl “racing team” group during the first 6.2-mile loop, but as we powered up Harlem Hill for the second time, a gap began to emerge.  I couldn’t find the next gear (both figuratively and somewhat literally), and even though I fought to maintain contact, the distance slowly grew until two of the three girls were out of sight.

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Too bad the snazzy red grip tape didn’t help.

This was the first time I’ve been dropped, and it stinks.  A lot.  Defeat, frustration, inadequacy.  Yes, it’s a cycling/triathloning rite of passage, but that doesn’t make it any better.

Prior to getting dropped, I received feedback and lots of tough love from one of my coaches.  As the ladies and I took turns pulling or leading the pace line, he yelled and told me to get off the hoods and use the drops. (This lower position helps the rider conserve energy and be more aerodynamic.)

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Throwback from the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon–this is hood riding.  The drops are the white, lower sections on the handlebars.

I hesitated before holding the drops—recent wipe out, anyone?—and even though I eventually got there, he totally called me out:  “You’re afraid of your drops!”  Afraid?  Meh.  Anxious?  Yeah.  Hey, I’m a biking newbie.  But it ended up being fine.  During this part of practice, he also barked at helped me with shifting and general technique, but I was on my own once the group separated at Harlem Hill.

After completing the third loop solo, I pulled over at our group’s meet-up spot, and my coach and I developed a rough game plan.  Bottom line:  I need to spend more time in the saddle.  The best way to improve as a cyclist is to ride, so that’s what needs to happen.  Based on my Nautica South Beach results, I knew my bike needed work, but what I haven’t totally accepted until recently is it’s where I have the most room for improvement (read:  this is where I need to improve).  Yes, I want to get better across the disciplines, but as of now, the bike has turned into my new triathlon “Achilles heel.”  Point blank, our group rides in Central Park prove to be the most challenging, and I feel the least confident in the saddle, which is mainly due to inexperience.  And most triathletes will tell you the race is won on the bike, so if I want to put myself in a position to do well in August, then I need to make logging miles a high, high priority.  And for what it’s worth, I tried playing the newbie card—which is true because I’ve been riding for less than one year—but my coach didn’t buy it.  His response?  “When you’re on the podium, you’re no longer a beginner.”  He had more nice things to say, but we don’t need to go into that … moving on …

So what’s the plan?  Since Montauk is only 10 days away (yaya!), I’m not changing anything for the time being.  Afterward, though, my coach recommended removing my aerobars for the group rides in Central Park, which will make it easier to use my drops (aka he’ll force me to use my drops).  Then for weekend riding, I should reattach the aerobars and practice.

And just so this post isn’t all about biking …

Breakfast

Post-ride, I inhaled this bowl of overnight oats that included banana, frozen blueberries, plain Greek yogurt, almond milk, old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon.

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It hit the spot, but I’ll definitely need a snack before work.

How do you handle tough love?

My Arms Might Fall Off, Part Two

TGIF, everyone!  I’m so happy it’s Friday—the week has seemed so long.  Anyway, thanks for your feedback on yesterday’s post regarding my unexpected bib shorts.  Since you raved about them, I’ve decided to give them a shot.  Can’t knock it until I try it, right?

And speaking of trying things, I finally tested a pair of Newton sneakers!

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Yet another reason I love working at JackRabbit:  Employees are highly encouraged to try on each pair of sneakers available for sale.  In fact, we can wear these new shoes during our shifts—and change pairs however often we want! (We do clean them, obviously, before the sneakers go back in the box.)

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During my shift last night, I rocked the Newton Gravity, a lightweight, neutral shoe designed for everyday running. (I sound somewhat legit, right?  Ha!) Even though I was working the floor, I didn’t get a chance to hop on a treadmill and truly run in them.  Next time, hopefully!

Workout – Swimming

The good news:  I survived this morning’s Full Throttle Endurance workout in the official fast lane.  The bad news:  My arms might fall off due to pulling for 1,350 yards, some of which included paddles, aka the new bane of my existence.  Before my upper body went down for the count, Andrew introduced a new-to-me-drill:  underwater swimming with fins.

Thankfully, we only had to swim 25 per set instead of 50 like the champ in this video.

Breakfast

As I wrote yesterday, overnight oats have been the name of the game lately.

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This mix included one mashed banana, frozen strawberries and blueberries, plus plain Greek yogurt, old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and some cinnamon—and a heaping spoonful of almond butter.  It totally hit the spot.

After breakfast, I spent the morning doing some online JackRabbit training.  Although I have a solid amount of background knowledge in some areas—like all things triathlon, plus cycling, nutrition, and yoga basics—I can already tell talking about electronics and doing shoe fittings will be the most challenging.  Granted, the shoe fittings won’t happen for a while, but there’s so much I need to learn in terms of shoe sizing and anatomy, plus the nitty-gritty mechanics of running and gait analysis.  My head is totally spinning with all this new information, but in a good way.

Lunch

I’m saving the last of this week’s batch of spicy black bean quinoa for dinner at JRab tonight, so I made a turkey wrap with spicy mustard, spinach, and pepperjack cheese.

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Plus a ton of unpictured carrots.

Any fun plans for the weekend?  Which shoe do you currently use for running?

New Swag

Hey, friends!  I hope your Thursday is going well so far!

As you may have noticed, I took a blogging hiatus in response to the Boston Marathon bombing news.  One of my teammates ran and finished the race; thankfully, he’s OK and back in New York City.  One of my cousins also spectated the event; thankfully, she left before the explosions.  So much has been written on this tragedy—and rightfully so—and instead of reinventing the wheel, I’ll simply say please keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers.

Back to regularly scheduled blogging:  Remember how I didn’t have a race kit to wear for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon, so I borrowed one from a teammate?  Good news—Full Throttle Endurance swag has arrived!

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All of our gear—racing and cycling kits, plus jackets, sweatpants, sweatshirts, you name it—comes from Castelli.  When our coaches handed out the swag Monday morning at practice, I obviously tried it on immediately, and I really like the tri top and shorts.

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And the black does a much better job of flattering my fair skin than the white top I wore at SoBe.  Not that it matters, of course—but who doesn’t want to look semi-decent in race photos?

The cycling apparel, however, fits strangely.  Before we placed the orders, our coaches instructed us to order a size up because this brand runs small. (I guess Italians are smaller than Americans?  Ha!)

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I selected a bigger size for my cycling jersey and figured it would be fine because I’d wear a base layer underneath, but it’s still too roomy.  Great color scheme, though!

Also, my teammates and I can’t figure this out:  We’re fairly certain we ordered normal cycling shorts, but a bunch of us received bib ones.

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Uh, there’s no way I can wear these in public because I could barely get them on—they run so small!  Oh well, guess I’ll have to order more gear.  Right now, I’m leaning toward this pink kit.

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Since I can’t pull off pink real clothes thanks to my fair skin, I should take advantage when it comes to workout apparel, right?

Things workout-wise have been going well this week.  Aside from a great nine-mile run along the West Side Highway and through Central Park with a teammate this morning, the most beneficial session was Tuesday morning’s bike handling clinic.  During the next training cycle (which starts in two weeks with another two-mile time trial on the track!), we’ll be logging lots of loops in Central Park, so it’s crucial we know how to ride safely as a group.  Most of my training group teammates and I are biking newbies, so Andrew organized an outdoor clinic and had practice skills like weaving through cones, making tight turns, signaling correctly, and drinking from water bottles.  Although we almost got ticketed (twice!) by a West Side Highway cop, our group had a really productive morning, and by the end of the session, I noticed an improvement in my skills and overall riding confidence.  It’s all about progress!

And the token food pictures.

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My breakfast sandwiches have still been in the rotation, but Greek yogurt/overnight oats have sounded especially delicious this week, so I’m rolling with it.

Does your workout and fitness apparel fall into one color scheme?

Training For the Heat

Happy Tuesday, friends!  How was your day?  I kicked things off this morning with a 75-minute indoor bike trainer ride.

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At first glance, this setup looks like a usual ride, but I made an important change today:  I wore an Under Armour top, which is normally reserved for chilly outdoor runs.

So why rock cold weather gear during an indoor spin?

One of my main concerns about the Nautica South Beach Triathlon (in t-minus 18 days!) includes the heat.  Since I grew up in the tundra Central New York, freezing temperatures don’t bother me, but high humidity is a different story.  Basically, aside from high school field-hockey practices (and the very end of a few long runs this past summer), I don’t have any experience working out in the heat, and I have no idea how my body will respond.  Obviously, I can’t become totally used to warm temperatures during the upcoming weeks, but I do want to get a rough idea of how my body will respond—and how much I can push.  This morning’s ride was a little toasty, and during tomorrow’s Full Throttle Endurance indoor cycling workout, I plan to wear more layers.  And even though my normal spot isn’t next to a fan, I need to choose a seat that’s in the middle of the room that has zero chance of getting a breeze.  Andrew also suggested spending some quality time in the sauna, so I’ll probably camp out there Thursday and Friday post-workout.

Breakfast

My appetite has been out of control the past few days, and this morning was no exception.

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Post-biking and strength training coffee, water, and overnight oats.

Lunch

I haven’t been posting pictures of my meals because I eat literally the exact same thing every day.

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Spicy black bean quinoa that I almost forgot to photograph with an unpictured side of carrots.  A strawberry banana Chobani served as an afternoon snack.

Dinner

The usual suspects made appearances tonight.

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Baked salmon seasoned with EVOO, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, lemon pepper, and a sprinkle of basil, plus some peas and roasted sweet potatoes.

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?  Any tips for preparing for hot and humid races?

Death By Doggie Paddle

Good morning, friends!  Happy Friday!  Sorry for the excessive amount of exclamation points—I’m still riding an endorphin high from this morning’s Full Throttle Endurance practice.  I definitely had to work for it, though.

Workout – Swimming

Our final workout of recovery week included a team swim with two new drills:  the doggie paddle and water polo drill.  Honestly, when Andrew emailed the videos, I didn’t think the exercises would be that difficult.

I joke that for my first open-water swim, I used a breaststroke/doggie paddle hybrid.

And this water polo drill looks innocent enough, right?  It reminded me a lot of the approach stroke I learned way back during my elementary school swim lesson days.

Wrong and wrong.

This won’t sound too difficult to the swimmers, but after our warm-up and before our main set, we completed 8×75–doggie paddle (25), water polo (25), and straight-up swim (25).  Both drills engaged the entire body, including the core, and one of the most difficult aspects was keeping my head still; Andrew said the natural tendency was to rotate it as we stroked (so true), so he kept a close eye on us.  I was sucking wind by the final fourth set, but I felt comfortably uncomfortable, if that makes any sense.  During these drills, Andrew also made a slight adjustment to my catch (or when a swimmer “grabs” the water), and I immediately noticed a difference; simply fixing the angle of my hand made my stroke faster and more efficient, which definitely helped me find my “second wind” to complete the workout.  Swimming is so technical, and it still blows me away that a small adjustment can make a huge difference!

Breakfast

I prepped some overnight oats last night, so breakfast was ready as soon as I arrived back at my apartment.

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I also flipped through the latest issue of LAVA magazine for the upteempth time—just getting some more inspiration and motivation for tomorrow’s indoor triathlon!

When did you experience your most recent exercise high?

This Week So Far

Hi, everyone—Happy Hump Day!  How’s your week been so far?  I’ve had a couple busy days, so I’m sticking with a list format.

Guess who did some barefoot running!

That’s right—Monday’s Full Throttle Endurance workout focused on form, and one of the most interesting parts of practice included 4x200m that we ran barefoot. (Good thing I got a pedicure last week!) Another highpoint?  My teammates tried to convince me to register for Ironman 70.3 Timberman!  Although I briefly entertained the idea, I know making the jump from the sprint to the half-Ironman distance isn’t a logical move.  I want to go fast (for me) before I go far.  One day, though! (And my first HIM will have to be Syracuse!)

Overnight oats returned.

It’s been way too long since I last enjoyed a bowl for breakfast, so I prepped some for Tuesday morning.

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Mmmm!

In three days, I’ve eaten quinoa three times.

Remember that batch I made on Sunday?  I’ve been having leftovers for lunch—and topping the mixture with some avocado.

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The recipe turned out pretty well, but I want to tweak it a bit.

Today’s indoor cycling workout kicked my butt.

OK, to preface this story, my alma mater hosted a young alum event last night, and although these gatherings are fun, most people enjoy an adult beverage or three beforehand.  With that said, I went to happy hour at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ last night with some friends ($2 margaritas, count me in!), and let’s just say that one and a half margaritas, one and a half glasses of wine at the event, and barely six hours of sleep did not equate to cycling success.  Holy cow, the workout nearly killed me—pedaling drills, plus a ton of intervals, which included a series of climbs at 80 percent effort.  I was totally gassed at the end, and luckily, I was in good company:  After surveying the spin studio during our cool down, Andrew told us not to complete a second workout and take tomorrow totally off. (Following team workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we usually complete another uncoached workout.)

Our prayers have been answered—introducing a “healthy” Girl Scout cookie.

As a former Girl Scout (troop 741!), I have no idea how I feel about this news.

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Throw it back.  I’m the tall, awkward one standing on the right. (As if you couldn’t tell!)

Tell me about your week!  Would you eat a better-for-you Girl Scout cookie?  What’s your favorite happy-hour drink?

A Trip to the Union Square Holiday Market

Happy Hump Day, everyone!  How’s your Wednesday going so far?  Thanks to yesterday’s flu shot, my arm kept me awake most of the night, so I didn’t sleep that well.  Staring at the clock that read 4 a.m., I considered getting out of bed, but I ultimately decided to lie there for another two hours.  Right now, the thought of pulling, pumping, or even just moving my arm sounds painful, so I’m grateful today is a scheduled rest day.

On a brighter note, for the #HolidayaDay Instagram Challenge, I posted a picture of my #cozy morning routine.  I never document pre-breakfast happenings, so here’s how I start each and every day.

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This is why I’m a morning person:  Coffee with almond milk, sheep jammies, fleece socks, and warm slippers.  The pj’s and socks rotate, obviously, but the coffee and slippers are permanent fixtures.

Breakfast

Haven’t seen this meal in a while—hello, overnight oats!

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To me, winter means the end of cold morning meals–which is why I’ve been eating a lot of breakfast sandwiches and “oatless” oatmeal–but it’s unseasonably warm in New York City:  Think 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  This relative heat wave makes overnight oats fair game.

After eating, I headed to the Union Square Holiday Market for some Christmas shopping.

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Can I say holy Christmas?!

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With more than 150 merchants, the space makes for an all-inclusive one-stop holiday shop.  I actually went there this past weekend, but everything—from the vibrant scarves, chocolate-covered pretzels, one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments—slammed my senses, so I totally forgot to take pictures.  I was also pretty overwhelmed, too.  Can you blame me?

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Between these two trips, I’ve spent about three hours browsing, and thanks to my type-A/OCD tendencies Christmas list, I’ve completed a good chunk of my shopping.

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Oh, and don’t tell Zelda, but I plan on getting her some doggie treats for her stocking.

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The sushi package on the bottom is my favorite.  There was also people food for sale, so maybe I can get my fellow foodie Gabby to join me in a sampling session.

Lunch

Like swimming, shopping makes me hungry (strange?), so I reheated last night’s Hawaiian pizza and added some carrot sticks on the side.

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I also ate an apple for dessert and a few spoonfuls of almond butter.

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Have you started you holiday shopping yet?  What’s the best gift you’ve given?

Settling In

Hey, everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend!  My Saturday and Sunday were jam-packed—both literally and figuratively—with all things apartment-related.  With the minivan loaded to the brim, my dad and I drove five hours to the city.  Even though we got caught in some rain, a lucky omen greeted us.

Hopefully this rainbow means lots of luck in the Big Apple!  And speaking of omens, here’s something else that happened:  After arriving at our hotel, my dad and I went out to dinner, and as we chatted away, I realized my watch’s battery stopped working—it called it quits at the exact time I left home.

How weird is that?  Even stranger, I bought the watch in NYC two years ago.  Maybe things are coming full circle?  Or perhaps this means one era has drawn to a close, and I’m entering a new, exciting time.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, we started the daunting process of unloading and organizing.

So.  Much.  Stuff. (This isn’t everything, by the way.) These move-in gifts from the management were a pleasant surprise.

The apartment itself is still a work in progress, and I promise I’ll post pictures within the next few days.

Dinner

Now back to regularly scheduled blogging.  For my first meal in my big-girl apartment, I made an old favorite—almond-crusted tilapia.

As you know, I’m obsessed with seafood, so this dish will make regular appearances on the blog.  For dessert, I had some frozen grapes my mom brought from home.

How sweet!

Workout – Running

I didn’t sleep that well last night, which was probably due to slew a new bed, a new room, etc., but I woke up a little after 6 a.m. for my first NYC run.  I headed over to the Hudson River Greenway for a 30-minute jog.  Holy cow, what a great place to workout!  It was great seeing so many people getting their sweat on—biking, running, and walking—and since the path itself mirrors the Hudson River, the view was beautiful. (I’ll have to take some pictures next time!) Plus, maybe because I had two rests days and/or because I’m used to hilly Central New York, I felt like I was flying this morning.  Speaking of CNY, I obviously needed to represent my favorite fitness people—Syracuse Bicycle, plus Fleet Feet Syracuse and their RUNapoolza 5-K.

Afterwards, I completed some upper-body strength training and ab exercises.

Breakfast

Another go-to made its first NYC appearance—overnight oats.

Technically, though, it’s a bowl of 20-minute oats with mashed banana, frozen strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, and a scoop of Justin’s plain peanut butter.  This was my first time trying Justin’s, and I’m a fan.

I ran some errands after breakfast, which included yet another trip to Bed Bath and Beyond, Trader Joe’s, and GNC (which was out of Jay Robb egg white protein powder—what?!).

Lunch

I broke for lunch around 1:30 p.m. and threw together a salad.

It was only after I gobbled down the turkey I remembered it’s Meatless Monday.  Fail.  Guess I’ll just have to redeem myself at dinner–I’m planning on making homemade soup tonight because I’m a big girl!

Do you participate in Meatless Monday?  Are you a vegetarian?

Seven Things

Hey, everyone—Happy Thursday!  I have a ton of information to share today, so I figured a list would keep everything clear and concise. (More for my benefit, really!)  Here we go!

1.  My mom and I went to Cantina Laredo for lunch yesterday.

I hoped our journey to the mall would lead us there!  Chips and salsa to start.

I ordered the vegetarian and gluten-free avocado enchiladas.

They were just OK; nothing to write home about.

2.  I purchased my blog domain:  Fitnessandfrozengrapes.com.

 

For $18, plus an additional $8 for “private registration,” it’s well worth the price tag.

3.  I have a big-girl interview in New York City next week for a paid editorial internship at a diet and fitness publication—woohoo!

Gerard Butler, feel free to crash on my couch anytime.

4.  Today’s tempo run kicked my booty.

 

On the bright side, I definitely earned tomorrow’s rest day.

5.  A cool bowl of overnight 60-plus-minute oats made it better.

I let the mixture—half of a banana (ate the first half before running), strawberries, Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup almond milk, cinnamon, and chia seeds—sit in the fridge while I trudged along on the dreadmill.

6.  My bike underwent its first tune-up, and I picked it up at Syracuse Bicycle.

Don’t let the empty-looking parking lot fool you; I strategically planned my visit to avoid both the morning and lunchtime rushes, so I arrived at 11:40 a.m.  In addition to the tune-up, I also asked if the guys could install a second water bottle cage and a wireless computer, the Bontrager Trip 5W.

Because I’m trying to be as legit as possible; fake it ‘til you make it, right?

Plus a pleasant surprise—regripped handlebars!

So long, dirty and sweaty bike handlebar tape!

7.  When in doubt, make a salad.

Today’s blend included spinach, celery, carrots, apple slices, red pepper, and a homemade black bean burger.

Yummy!

Your turn:  Share seven things!