Change of Scenery


Part of me feels guilty for taking a trip while “out of work.” But the truth is, I am on sabbatical.  I am taking the time I need to recuperate and get my head back into the game for a grand 20-year (maybe more) finish to this life.

When I left that horrible job and horrible company, I contacted a great friend of mine and asked if a visit could be arranged.  The response I got back was, “of course, but come in September”.  So, here I am.

I have been in San Antonio for 2-months now, but it feels like so much longer.  Perhaps it is the heat, humidity and general urban experience.  Urban living is so unnatural, at least to me.   Getting stuck in traffic, being separated from my beloved nature (trees, mountains, water), walking the concrete jungle, and facing my fear of crime, are experiences manufactured by the complexities of modern civilization.

After making some arrangements, the cat and I left for Santa Fe, New Mexico on Friday the 13th. Luckily, we didn’t die or get slashed by Jason on the trip, but we did arrive in Santa Fe for lots of rain.

Gorgeous New Mexico, food for the soulThe contrast between San Antonio and Santa Fe is mainly in size, beauty and temperature.  Both towns have a remarkable history with native peoples, the Spanish and numerous governments over the years.  The added benefit of Santa Fe include the nearby pueblos, fantastic scenery, and the milder summers (but cold, snowy winters).

Roughly 48-hours in and my soul is happy for the change of scenery.  The intimacy, closeness of nature, abundant arts and culture, and a culinary scene to inspire wannabe cooks, are taking their effect on rejuvenating my soul. With inspiration and relaxation in abundance, perhaps it is hard to truly feel guilty about taking this trip.  Perhaps this trip is an important stepping to the next 20+ years?

A Sunday Quote and Weekly Exercise


One of the things I do everyday as I plan my day ahead is find a quote that draws me in on a random topic.  I write this quote at the top of my bullet journal daily planner page for that day. It is part of my morning routine and sets a wonderful feeling for the rest of the day.

While I would love to publish a daily quote video, or at least a daily quote post, I thought I’d start off with a Sunday Quote.  A quick and easy video with a quote, commentary on why it sings to me and even a small exercise for you to do during the week which relates to the quote.

So, here we go, my first quote video, nicely interrupted by the cat.

You can purchase “Relaxation on the Run” by Jay Winner, MD at the following link: https://amzn.to/33JX2G7

Today’s quote:

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” – Alfred D’Souza, clergy

This week, when you feel like you can’t action on something, STOP and get your daily journal or a sheet of paper.  Write down what action it is you can’t take.  Then spend a few minutes writing down what obstacle is in your way.   Review the obstacles and determine which ones are real and then make a plan to overcome.  Better yet, forget the obstacles altogether and just do the action you feel you can’t take.

Please share your responses here, on YouTube, and Twitter.

Check back next Sunday for a new quote.

 

 

Simple Nutrition for Athletes?


Aric In Training Makes a Tri Tuna SandwichIs there such a thing as simple nutrition for athletes?  Is is possible to break nutrition and the need to fuel properly down to one or two rules?

I am a huge fan of K.I.S.S., not the band, but the saying “Keep It Simple Stupid.”  But, the books I’ve read regarding nutrition for athletes, endurance or otherwise, talk a lot about what type of nutrients are needed and when.  Reading these books was a lot like reading  science experiment written by someone who had forgotten what English was, replaced with technical garble.

So, I was overwhelmed with the thought of getting the exact amount of protein for my body at just the right time.  Let’s not forget that I am an overworked Analyst by day and I don’t have much time to spend buying food, cooking, and eating in addition to the job, triathlon training, and rest of life.  As much as I tried to make it work, it was just too complicated for this triathlete.

I even tried the paleo diet for a while and have to say that it made life a lot worse.  While it was simple, the complexity in carrying out the diet while at work and with busy weekends just couldn’t work for me.   The paleo diet eliminated some foods that were okay by some diets and were convenient for busy people like me.

So, is there such a thing as simple nutrition for athletes?  If we strip away the metabolic typing, the protein and carb calculators, and even the calorie counting bank recording calories in versus out, what is left?  In my opinion, there is a lot left that can be considered simple nutrition for athletes.   Let’s take a look, but keep in mind that if you are going to get technical on me, please don’t send me hate mail.

This is what simple nutrition for athletes is in my mind:

  1. Avoid the sweets: Sure you can have a little cake and ice cream at the neighbor’s kids birthday, but don’t have a small amount of sweets more than once a week.
  2. Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are anything that doesn’t resemble its natural counterpart any longer, such as anything made with flour, those frozen chicken nuggets, and anything that comes out of a drive through window.  This is the paleo influence on my simple nutrition for athletes.  Don’t eat white breads, processed sausage, cakes, or pastries.
  3. Eat lean protein:  Protein is what helps build muscles and aids in recovery post-workout.  Having a small amount of protein with every meal and a little before and after workout will help you recover and build muscles.  Eggs, chicken breasts, lean pork, salmon, and buffalo burgers are great choices.
  4. Consume fresh vegetables and fruits: Salads, greens, citrus, and berries are a great source of fiber and provide much needed energy for your workouts.
  5. Cook with the intention of creating leftovers:  Cooking four chicken breasts even though you are only going to eat two gives you two extra to eat during the rest of the week.  Package up some salad mix into tupperware and toss on some cheese and other veggies while making a salad for your weekend lunch.  Consume a salad right after a workout to help recover as well.

So, simple nutrition for athletes broken down to five rules.  It is not all inclusive list, but is a great place to start when getting a handle on what you eat.   You might be surprised just how simple this can be while achieving race weight and feeling great about yourself.  There is such a thing as simple nutrition for athletes after all.

What To Do When You Are Sick…


Being that I am still recovering from the flu and not able to get out and go full out on a training workout, the triathlete’s heart in me is broken.  I have never gone this long without punishing my body in some way.  My body knows it too, the muscles are restless, the brain is starting to feel depressed, and the cabin fever is making me wish I bought a condo at the beach.

So, while I was sick in bed, miserably thinking about the torturous training that I enjoy so much, I had to do something.  At this point, the inner artist in me spoke up and reminded me of that sketch pad and pencils that my grandmother gave me a while back.

“Hhmmm…. this could be the best thing since the Mona Lisa,” I thought as I turned to a clean page and started thinking about my ideal swim, bike and run.  It wasn’t long before I had the sketch roughed out below.

Colored Pencil on Sketch Paper ~ Copyright 2010 - Aric In Training

While it may not be the Mona Lisa, for this bed ridden triathlete, it was the best thing since cold medicine.  Swimming in a slightly rough water in a cove, biking along the waterfront of a tropical island with water on the right, high mountain peaks on the left, and finally finishing my fantasy event with a trail run, up, up and up to the top of those peaks so that one can relish in their accomplishment.

The wonderful world of triathlon is alive and well in this triathlete.  I may be bed ridden and miserable, but my mind is full of the adventures yet to come!

Cheers!

The Wonderful World of Recovery


After four days of sickness, two of which are simply a gnarly blur of history, I am feeling human again.  Gone are the dry cough, watery eyes, aching muscles, congestion, and misery. It feels like I have a fresh start on life… again!

Whenever you start recovering from a major illness, you start to really appreciate the small things of life.  Things like,

  • how the sun feels against your dry skin
  • how easy it is to breathe
  • how wonderful it is to let go of the super busy daily routines
  • having energy to go for a walk, run, and move around without pain

Yes, recovery is an incredible thing.  While I feel pretty darn good, I still don’t feel 100%!  I know that while I really want to go out and run a few miles, I know my body still isn’t quite ready for it and that I need to ease back into life’s hustle and bustle.

Adding a bit of stress to my recovery is that fact I am currently on vacation from work.  While I had intended to spend a good part of a week in northern New Mexico, the flu has prevented me from doing so.   My vacation isn’t getting any longer and I have already paid for my airfare.  It’s like the stress of having to go on this trip is deflating my enthusiasm for it.   You ever felt the pressure to go out and have a good time so bad, that you hate the very thought of itself?  hmmm….

Trip or no trip, here are  few things you should do while sick and during the recovery time afterward:

  • Drink lots and lots of water (maybe some Emergn-C too)
  • Take it easy.  You feel like crap because your body needs to rebuild, so let it.
  • Avoid others as much as possible.  The flu and cold are highly contagious diseases, so keep your co-workers and roommates happy by locking yourself in your room.
  • If you need something, ask someone else to go to the store.  Let your roommate get that cold medicine and extra cans of chicken soup for you.
  • Eat lots of chicken soup.  Believe it or not, chicken soup actually helps the body recover: 1) by eating soup your body can use more energy to fight the flu/cold instead of digesting solid food and 2) its liquid and will help keep you hydrated. Nutrition is always important!
  • Take this downtime to think through some things that may have been bothering you.  You might be physically exhausted, but your mind still works fairly well.  When I get sick, I make it a game to think through outlines and approaches to projects and problems I’ve had on my mind lately.  Before you know it, you’ve accomplished a few things while miserably stuck in bed.
  • As you start to feel better, continue to take it easy.  Give yourself a good 48 hours after any illness before doing amount of activity beyond walking (ok, I’ll give you speed walking)
  • Take a day to sort out your house/room/car.  Organizing, clearing the clutter, and cleaning is a great way to allow yourself to be more active while being productive while your body continues to recover.
  • Once fully recovered, take your roommates out for a beer.  If you are anything like me when I get sick (Oscar the Grouch!), you aren’t the most p/c nor do you ask for things in the nicest of ways.  Make it up to them and at the same time, celebrate coming back to life.

I hope no one that reads this ever gets sick.  If you, I hope you find these tips helpful, or at least fun.

For me, its time to figure out the best time to get to New Mexico and start planning that next big trail run of mine…  my inner animal needs to be let out for some trail rippin’ good time!

Cheers!