Tag Archives: nutrition

Peterborough Half Iron Race Report

11 Jul

I’ve had a few days to reflect on the Peterborough Half Iron while my muscles ached and my motivation was thin. Three days later I can say my muscles are feeling better and I am not as fatigued as earlier in the week. I had a great day, despite the overcast and rain. But in hindsight I’m glad for the rain and cloud coverage because it was still hot and humid.

DSC01158All packed and ready to go! My whole race needs fit in one bag (except for bike and wetsuit, of course).

I have to admit that I was not very nervous leading up to the day of the race. In fact, I was actually excited. I knew that all I had to do was get over the swim and then I’d be, basically, home free. I knew I could bike 90km and I certainly knew I could run 21km.

Race day came early on Sunday. Mark and I arrived at the race site around 6:30 and set up our transition zone. Once all set up, I squirmed into my wetsuit and went for a quick warm up swim. Mark’s parents and god parents made the trip to Peterborough to cheer us on. So after a quick hello, we waited on the beach for our start.


I was concerned about the swim but it went very well. The swim consisted of two 1km loops with a short run on the beach between loops. The water was warm and a little murky. There was a bit of seaweed near the shore but that did not stop me! The start was a mass start, but racers were grouped by estimated finish times with different coloured swim caps. I was in the last group – the navy blues. When I came out of the water the final time and my watch was at 38min, I looked around for other navy blue caps but I was the only one. I couldn’t believe it! My day was starting out great. After a short run into transition, I stripped the wetsuit off, tried to dry my feet and got ready for the bike.
Total swim time (incl. run to transition): 40:56


The bike course was fairly tough. There were almost continuous rolling hills with one big hill one the way out. On the way back, that hill was not as bad, but a little longer. I had tried to stick to my nutrition plan but it was tough to have a long enough flat stretch to eat. I ate bites of my sandwich every once and a while and about an hour later I ate a Clif Bar. Shortly before getting off the bike, I ate a gel for one last boost of energy. I was feeling pretty good all through out the bike. Although I was cursing the hills and couldn’t wait to hit the turn around, my average speed was 28km/hr. I think that’s a pretty fair speed for a headwind for most of the ride with quite a bit of hills.
Total bike time: 3hr:04mins


By this point, I just couldn’t wait to be finished. My plan was to run to every aid station and give myself a walking break when I reached one. I stayed pretty true to that plan but there was a bit of walking between aid stations too. The run course, much like the bike course, was hilly. I began drinking Pepsi at 5k which did help me to continue mentally. This was what I found the biggest hurdle. My legs were not so much ready to give up as much as my mind was willing to go no further. I found the Pepsi gave me a big enough caffeine jolt to run about half way up a hill which allowed me to walk up the rest. Once at the top, I would run down and carry that momentum through to half way up the next hill. This was my plan and it seemed to be working quite well. The last 2km were the easiest. We were off the country roads and into town. Things seemed to be moving faster and more efficiently. I ran into Beavermead Park and spectators were saying “This is the last 100metres!” I was so elated, I couldn’t wait to cross that finish line. The final turn I spotted the finish line and the time. Mark, his parents, god parents and the crowd cheered me through the chute and I know I had the biggest smile. But I also had the biggest burst of emotion. I hobbled to get my medal and to have my timing chip removed and I couldn’t contain the tears. I know, what a sap!
Total run time: 2hr:09mins

Total race time: 6:00:51

DSC01175Sitting down to pack up my T-zone. Getting back up was tough.

I had a great day out on the race course. It was tough, but not insurmountable. I do see myself completing an other half Iron distance in the future but I don’t think it will be for an other few years. For this race in particular, I don’t think I would change anything to my training. Although I will approach training a little differently for my next half Iron.


Tracking nutrition

13 Feb


Oh to be a cat! Life would be so simple…

But as an athlete and a vegetarian, life isn’t as simple. You need to make sure that the food you are eating is making a healthy and useful contribution to the overall function of your body. There is so much food one must eat in the course of a day to maximize health and performance during a workout/training session.

I’ve recently started tracking my food on MyFitnessPal to see where I could improve. I also wanted some accountability. I know no one is watching over my account but you never know who may stumble upon my food log. I know, bizarre irrationality but hey, it works! Anyway, you can friend me on MyFitnessPal here if you have an account and if you don’t, you can still see my food log.

Now that’s over with, one source of nutrition I’ve been struggling with is protein. I keep craving sweets and I’m pretty sure it’s caused by a lack of protein. I had made Peanut Butter Protein Balls that I found on Desserts with Benefits blog. I loved them! I hid them from Mark so they were my little secret. Eventually he found them in the freezer. Anyway, I decided to try something new this week. I came across Recovery Rice Crispies on Pinterest and thought I’d give them a try. Mine did not turn out as firm or thick as the picture, but it’s tasty anyway. I’ll keep them in the freezer and that’ll keep everything together. Here is the recipe if you don’t want to be directed to another page.


  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Crispies
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Plain Oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 scoop 100% Whey Protein Powder (any flavour, I used chocolate)


Preheat your oven to 325 F, spraying a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray.
Melt the butter and honey over the stove. Add vanilla. As you add the whey protein, keep whisking the mixture as you would to make an alfredo sauce.
Add the mixture to the pan. I drizzled some extra honey on top for extra “glue.”
Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes or until crisp.
Let cool then slice and serve.


Post Marathon Reflexion

26 Oct

I’ve had four days to recover and reflect. I’ve thought about my performance: what I could and should have done and also what I won’t do in the future. I’ve also thought about my nutrition, both before and during the run. What I’ve come to realize is that hindsight is always 20/20. I’ve done this with all my races and it’s hard to let go. I always say to myself: “I should have x, y,  and z.”  It normally results to “I should have ran faster” or “I shouldn’t have walked for that long.” Or whatever it may be, we all chastise ourselves for “shortcomings” during a race.

But I have to tell myself: “Hey, you were running a marathon! Don’t focus on what you should have done – focus what you have done! There is always next time.”

In regards to any future marathon, or long distance race, there are a few things that I will and will not do:

  1. I will never, if possible, run a long distance race alone. Running is incredibly lonely. Those hours on course get into your head and weigh down your motivation. I found I was a lot more motivated and kept a steady pace when I was running along side someone. However, it’s hard to guarantee that you will find a running buddy on course. So in the future, I will plan to participate in an event with a friend.
  2. I will pack more nutrition. I found that my 1 gel and 4 Powerbar gummies weren’t enough. I had Gatorade but my body wanted substance. Luckily there were jelly beans on course. A quick sugar fix that I might use in the future.
  3. I will always thank volunteers and spectators. Those people took the time to hand you water/Gatorade or anything else and cheer you on so I’m sure they appreciate a thank you. Of course most spectators are there to see a loved one or friend pass by, but they still chose to applaud, ring a cowbell or cheer you on nonetheless.
  4. I will not judge a runner by his/her size or age. Runners come in all shapes, sizes and ages. We’re all at the start line for the same reason so lets all be friends.
  5. I will have fun and enjoy the experience. Race day is your day. You have trained for months, made countless sacrifices, put your body through all kinds of strain and now is the time to enjoy the moment.
  6. I will pair travel and racing. There is no better way to enjoy  new scenery than to run through it. Participating in endurance events is a great way to see a new city or part of a country that you have always wanted.  You can run a race and stay the following few days to take in the sights and eat the local food.

Photography provided by Mark. American Niagara Falls and Peace Bridge.

In hindsight, there are certain things I wish I would have done during my marathon. But most of all, I’m happy that I accomplished the marathon distance. It is not so much an unattainable distance anymore. I know I can run it again and I most certainly will  in the next year. Stay tuned for that decision and training schedule in the next few weeks.

Marathon training midway point

12 Aug

I write this as I watch the Men’s Marathon of the Olympics. I must have felt like an Olympian yesterday because I felt great during my 26km run and ran much faster than I should of for my endurance run. I might have also been excited and proud. I ran 26km – that’s the longest distance I’ve ever run! I even ran it in 2hr 23min! I would have to say that’s not too bad.

But yesterday was the half way point of my marathon training and I’ve learned a few things that I would like to share with you.

1) Follow your training plan and get your weekly mileage in: A few distractions have come up when I’ve had long runs planned, but I’ve remained diligent and flexible to to do those runs on a different day.

2) Listen to your  body: Sometimes your body feels good but your head just isn’t there and you make mistakes or take short cuts. It could also be the other way around: you feel great but your body is tired or you’re nursing an injury. But I think the biggest obstacle in this case is distinguishing the negative thoughts and doubts from real pain. This is where my third lesson comes in.

3) Have a mantra bank: Keep a bank of inspirational quotes/chants (i.e. the longer I run, the stronger I become), proud moments, a specific goals (i.e. crossing the finish line with a smile), or a special treat you’re running for (i.e. coffee, ice cream, etc). Pull out any of those images when things aren’t going too well and you will be inspired to continue.

4) Don’t forget your Batman utility belt: Ok, it’s not a Batman utility belt. It’s actually much nerdier, but it is useful! One a hot day or long runs, it’s important to stay hydrated. So a water belt is handy. It’s really handy to have a water belt with a pouch or two. I carry a few dates and almonds and some money (just in case).

5) Be prepared to hurt: Running long distances are, inevitably, going to hurt. I think if you can accept that from early on and just bear with it, it will make you stronger and will push you to the finish.

Reflecting on my training so far I’d have to say that I’ve been consistent with my training and I’ve run a total of 314km. I’ve been flexible when weddings or weekend getaways have come up. I think I need to work on my nutrition. I can’t let myself pig out after a long run. I need to fuel my body with the nutrients I just used. I also need to keep up the good and positive attitude towards running. Never lose sight of where I want to be on October 21. The starting line is no place to start doubting and thinking “Have I trained enough?” I want to arrive at that start line confident and calm.

Spring has [finally] sprung!

16 Mar

I stayed home from school today to do some housework and catch up on homework. I thoroughly cleaned the bathroom and did the weekly cleaning routine. I donated some clothes that no longer fit (such a great feeling!) but now I need some new work clothes. But I think I will wait until all the weight is off to make one big purchase.

The weather was rainy and a little chilly today. But the weekend is going to be absolutely beautiful! They are calling for highs in the low 20’s. I can’t wait! My good friend is running in a 10k race tomorrow morning. I am going to cheer her on and then we have to get right into school work. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long. I would like to be a little social for St. Patrick’s Day.

Day 7

Breakfast: 3/4 oatmeal, 1/4 cranberries, 1 tsp honey (I needed the oats for the holding power, I was pretty hungry this morning)
Snack: 3/4 cup of vanilla flavoured yogurt and 1 small banana
Lunch: Chicken wrap
Snack: 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese, a few pieces of strawberries and pineapple
Supper: 2 pumpkin and blueberry pancakes (I know this isn’t part of the 10 Pound Shred meal plan but it’s a low calorie recipe – about 350cals for both)

Exercise: 1hr spin class. We worked really hard with high resistance and fast cadence. I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest! My legs are tired; now to veg on the couch and enjoy a movie.

I will have my official end of week 1 measurements either tomorrow or Sunday. As a preview, I know I’m down to 144lbs and my waist is now 33in (this is approximate).