Sunday, May 20, 2012

Charleston Recap, Clean Eating and Being GRATE

Just getting in from leading Hilton Head Health Guest Orientation, which is always a blast! We meet a bunch of different walks of life every week, but it's always refreshing to see people taking their health seriously. I mean it is our greatest asset.

Anyhow, can you believe this is my 3rd weekend in a row? I'm really enjoying getting back into these posts. Sort of a place for me to unwind now. This week you will notice a switch with the structure. Since I'm backing racing again theses days I'm going to start off with the weekend's race results and learning experiences. After that I plan to follow it up with a CrossFit Endurance topic so that we can educate folks out there then I'm going to end it with the deep stuff. Yes the inspirational words of wisdom. Here goes: 

Charleston Sprint 2011
Race: Charleston Sprint #1 2012
Place: James Island, SC
Conditions: Cool, Light Rain, Windy

Swim: 9:56 (29th)
T1: 1:17 - bike helmet strap got stuck!
Bike: 33:24 (14th)
T2: 0:34
Run:18:20 (4th)

Overall: 5th
Age Group: 2nd

This was my second time competing up at Charleston and I have to say it was a much better experience than the first time last July. At first driving up it looked like it was going to be an absolutely crappy day due to rain and wind; however about 15minutes before the start conditions subsided nicely. I quickly warmed up on the bike and the temperatures were ideal for a fast 5K. Learning experiences from today:

#1 - Try the bike helmet on before the start - I usually do a good job of testing a quick placement, but wasn't as meticulous this morning. I swear the 10-15 seconds it took me unjamming the strap from the helmet cost me on the first transition. If you look at the standings that would have been a 4th place overall finish. Every second counts gang.

#2 - Kick sooner on the run. I've been finding that I'm cruising a nice 5:50 clip in these sprint triathlons; however I think that last 800meters could be pushed a little harder. Next race I'm going to focus on"going mental" right when my Garmin hit 2.60miles. Time to start exploiting my strength.

Coolest Race Highlight - Got 2 from this one! The world (yes I said) WORLD Triathlon Sprint Series 70-74 Age Group Champion raced this one. Wholly Molly. That's what this sport is all about. The second highlight, I witnessed an amputee competing (seen this before) but seeing this guys ability to move is truly motivating. People are doing amazing things everywhere we  look, we just have to keep our eyes open.

That's a wrap on the race, now onto the Endurance stuff. Last week I discussed that more isn't always better and that it's sort of like "Training Drunk" (hope I did not offend anyone!) This week let's go after nutrition. I was glancing over a few articles, specifically: Is the Paleo diet the right choice for runners? and To Carb, or not to carb by none other than Brian Mackenzie. I don't want to get too over the top here, but don't just assume because every Endurance athlete is eating one way you have to do the same. Learn, test, and re-test.

My most simple advice here is TEST what works for you. I believe there is a basic Paleo framework; however everyone is going to be different. What you need to do here is educate yourself and always stick to foods that are outside the isles (unless its coffee, that's a food group). If your coming from the typical Endurance background of 80% processed carbohydrates start with 5 ingredients or less and you'll already start to feel better.  A lot of the time people get suckered in by that new supplement, sexy Gatorade or the massively processed protein bars (I'm not saying I haven't been there), but what I do know is I've grown and am getting closer to what works for me. Significantly clean eating.

One question I'll address today that comes up most often with our CFHH athletes or when I'm shooting the shit with triathletes is what do you eat before a race? Haha everyone loves to know this one. First off, what I eat doesn't change a whole lot on race day. I believe these days are even more critical to be eating right. If I'm local, it's 3 Eggs 1/2 Avocado and Fruit. What I am stoked about now though is the travel pre-race meal I've implemented which involves, a new SFH Pre-Race protein formula mixed with water. I'm loving it because it's easy and I've felt great in the last two races testing it. I also add a LaraBar for some fat (pretty much the only thing I eat of a package besides jerky). I know the dates are somewhat high on the Glycemic index, but again everyone is different. At least I know where it came from correct?

The next thing you need to take away from this discussion today is the 30-minute window. CRITICAL, CRITICAL, CRITICAL ... Do you need me to say it again? This is when our bodies need the good calories the most. Liquid protein source (SFH brand) is what I go with along with fruit offered at the race and some nuts for the fat. Hitting this window will allow you to train the next day at 100% (huge for the typical triathlete who does not like to take days off). What separates good athletes and great athletes is their ability to reocover. Anyways, this was just a brief talk on nutrition regarding pre and post race, but do me a favor and test things for yourself. You can't say you don't believe in something until you try it. EVERY ATHLETE needs to start looking at their nutrition as "EAT to TRAIN, DON'T TRAIN to EAT" (thanks Doug Katona).

That's enough for my nutrition discussion. Those of you who have been to a CrossFit seminar of any type understand that the above really only scratches the surface haha With that said, let's move on to the deep stuff.

This week was an interesting one. Busy as usual, but a Birthday week none the less. I had a great birthday because the day was really the same as any other: 2 workouts, work@H3 8:30-5:30 and a fun dinner with a friend. How lucky am I?

It's easy for humans to look at the negative. I think a lot of the time people get in this groove when that's all they can see ...the things they don't like about their life. They don't see that they have two gifted children or they forget that they live on gorgeous Island with 24 hours beach access. These are the same people that get pissed off by the 5minutes traffic added to their morning commute or the water that their waiter accidentally spilled on them when out with a client. These people ring a bell?

For those who know me they probably know that I'm the most positive dude out there, but even I can be guilty of not being grateful or getting negative. If I were to narrow down the most important trait someone could have it wouldn't be beauty, no, not brains it'd be their ability to live gratefully. People who give thanks to everything they have in life are infectious. You want to be around these individuals because they don't take a solitary thing for granted. One's ability to find the positive in even the worst of situations is remarkable. I think it goes hand and hand with being a strong person too.

1 Year older, I am beyond thankful to be where I'm at. To not only have an understanding of who I am and where I want to go, but to recognize that I've really been blessed with an incredible life. Most people don't have direction. That is what I am most appreciative when it comes to me. I've got a family that loves me, a wild group of Massachusetts and Clemson friends, an inspirational CFHH community, a gang of H3 guests, an H3 family, close island friends and STILL, I am ALLOWED the opportunity to race triathlons every weekend and train to my fullest potential.

Now it's your turn to ponder, what are you allowed? Who are the people your thankful for? I think the real gratefulness list for most of us would take an entire new blog post and then maybe a sequel :) Until then ... Be GRATE.

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