Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kickstart My Heart Rate

After a facebook chat with @triblogcarol (check out her awesome blog - regarding a New York Times article about music and cycling. Basically, the article stated that the the subjects cycling cadence and heart rate was related to the tempo of the music.

I actually started reading about this subject a while back (maybe 7-8 years ago...when I got my certification to teach aerobics and kick-boxing and then realized I didn't have the time to teach, go to grad school for business, plan a wedding, all while working in NYC and traveling....).

However, I decided to re-look at the subject since it did interest me and I am pretty damn awesome at developing mixes for running, spin bike, and parties, sleep (yes I have a chill mix).

One piece of information was a study from, who has studied the biomechanics and bioacoustics of the human footfall at the Medical & Sports Music Insititute of America. This is a good read, and I found it fairly consistent with other articles.

Here is a quick look from the article of what the bpm should be for running...

Level 5 - Very Active - 150 steps per min = 6.0mph (10-11 min mile)
Level 6 - Exceptionally Active - 160 spm = 6.7 mph (9 min mile)
Level 7 - Athlete - 170 spm = 7.5 mph (8 min mile)
Level 8 - Athlete 180 spm = 8.8 mph (7 min mile)
Level 9 - Athlete - 190 spm = 10-12 mph (5-6 min mile)

However, they point out a couple caveats to this. First, someone who is somewhat athletic and runs a 8-9 min mile runs at maybe 160spm. Now a more elite runner can run a faster pace at the same spm. The other condition is heart rate which is a factor.

Another good article is "Put Music Together for Aerobics Exercise" on which basically states something similar - runners should develop mixes ranging from 150-190 bpm. You can actually measure your own if you thave the time. Just count your steps in a minute, I would say do it once, do another set, and repeat. Do it on a treadmill so you can do it at your desired min/mile.

I downloaded a free trial of Tangerine, it hooks up to your iTunes and basically analyzes your library!! So I decided to see if I like it and I wanted to see if in fact my running mixes are up to par! - So I did and well, not up to par...I have to work a little more and play with that to get hopefully get some rates of my favorite mixes. In the meantime, I wanted to post a few mixes
and if this is well-received by my ahem...probably 3 readers I will promise to post a few mixes per month at the end of my blog. I am using which has some of my songs, I had to make a few adjustments on my actual iTunes mixes since I don't know how to get the url for my songs.

The first I am posting is my Long Run 1

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My second long run mix - I have to say, I needed to substitute some songs because I couldn't find them on But my substitutions actually worked out pretty well. I would say this is a grungey punky mix if I had to type it into a category.

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The third one is a random hap-hazard mix that I still can't figure out, but it works well if you have to go to the gym or suffer through an hour and half or so on a spinning bike or eliptical. It has some up and downs. My music taste is all over in this mix.

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HOPE YOU ENJOY - I got lots where these came from :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Healthy Eating While Training

Many of us don't have time to cook while we have work and training and sometimes nutrition goes to take-out and quick frozen dinners.

Here are some quick healthy meals that are some standby - not to mention making the best of left-overs.

Meal 1 - Mexican Chicken Spaghetti Squash
Obviously, you can make the chicken, like I have done before but to show you how to do the "quick" version, I am using a Rotisserie chicken that I bought on my way home from swimming at the gym (see making the use of time).

1 Rotisserie chicken - (I bought Caribbean lime from Wegmans)
1 medium spaghetti squash
2 plum tomatoes
1 can black beans rinsed (no sodium preferred)
1 jalepeno - depending on how hot take out the seeds and dice it.
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
chili pepper
sea salt
Chalupo hot sauce (or any hot sauce)
1 avocado
goat cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
First cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then sprinkle with chili pepper and sea salt. Put both halves seasoned side down on a casserole dish. Fill with about 1 inch of water.

Cook for about 30 min to softened.
Chop onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes.

Heat up a saute pan with olive oil on medium heat. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic till softened. I add some salt.

Add rinsed beans, tomatoes, and chunks of the rotisserie chicken (breast meat - no skin).

Fork the spaghetti squash out and put in saute pan with some of the seasoned water, to add some moisture.

Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes to let all the flavors combine. Serve in a bowl with some hot sauce, 2 slices of avocado and some goat cheese.

This is great for left overs. I had this for 3 more meals.

Meal 2 - Cauliflower Rice - The Cauliflower that Keeps on Giving

The next recipe is cauliflower rice. My nutritionist suggested it instead of all the carb especially for later in the evening. I love it and make it differently each time. Here is my Italian Version of it.

4-5 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 head of cauliflower (I use about 3/4 of it and save the rest for salads)
1 red bell pepper
1 cup of portabello mushrooms already sliced
Olive oil for saute
Salt and Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar

I start out with sauteing olive oil (medium heat)

with onions and garlic, I add in the peppers and mushrooms until softened. I add a little sea salt.
Use a food processor and chop the cauliflower to a "rice" consistency - use the pulse button.
Add the cauliflower to the mix, saute for another 5-10 min or so and add some balsamic vinegar for flavor.
I served it with a sundried tomato crusted tilapia that I baked in the oven.
I then used the left overs for...
...adding in a salad with chicken and a balsamic vinaigrette.

...add to my mother-in-laws vegetable soup with some chicken for some extra veggies and protein.

Post-recovery Drink - Kale Pineapple Protein Smoothie (I got the idea from the smoothie guru herself - Joanna - the most awesome swim coach/nutrition advice)

Blend the following ingredients
1 cup of Kale leaves - no veins just leaves
1/2 cup of pineapple chunks fresh if possible
1/2 cup of greek yogurt (0%)
1 cup mix of water/skim milk
1/2 cup of crushed ice
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use BSN Dessert Whey in Whipped Vanilla)

I also vary the smoothie with blueberries/banana instead of pineapple

Refreshing Watermelon Water

For this recipe it's sooo easy. I used a quart size container of cubed watermelon (you got to love my measuring skills). I added about 1 quart of water and put it all in the food processor - in a sense it is just a 1:1 ratio.
Blend and puree and then use a fine strainer to strain the water.
Add the juice of 2 limes, and a squirt or two of agave and a handful of some mint and you got some (move over Vitamin water) yummy watermelon water.

Germy Oat Bran Blueberry Banana Carrot Muffins
My last recipe of the day...these are a favorite, I actually got the recipe from the back of the Bob's Mill Oat Bran and then improvised with blueberry and wheat germ.

3/4 cup of wheat flour
1/2 cup of oat bran
1/4 cup of wheat germ
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn cinnamon
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/2 cup of greek yogurt (Fage 0%)
1 egg or 2 egg whites (I used the whole egg)
2 tpsn cooking oil
1/2 tspn vanilla (I used bourbon vanilla from Trader Joe's - nice flavor)
1 banana
Handful of blueberries
1/2 cup of shredded carrots

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix wet ingredients in the next. It says fold in carrots, but I just mixed them in. (Excuse the pic, I had all these great shots, but I am at the beach finishing this and don't have my computer...)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. I keep in for 18 min. These freeze well. I also put a little Byrd Mill peanut flour (mix 2 to 1 ratio with water) and is very good. If you are feeling a little crazy throw some Olivio on (that's my favorite margarine).

Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Training and Good Beer...

Training has been going really good since the race. My legs have showed back up so that's good. I put in about 14 hours last week...filled with you guessed it...biking, swimming and running...I had a great swim lesson with the girls on Wednesday and looking forward to another tonight - possibly with the underwater camera :).

I had some great rides - one where I had to play catch up to the group ride that left 10 min before. Caught up 1/2 way and with limited oxygen, but I did it. Thursday's short brick went great and then got to celebrate with the girls with margaritas (skinny ones) then I switched off to Dos Equis! Plus we had to plan our next victory at the 2010 beerathlon!!! HGRC - can we be the champs for the 4th year in a row - We will cause we are AWESOME - and who says that boys are better than girls at drinking!! Be a fan HGRC Beerathlete Champs on Facebook!
this was our kick-ass faces...

I had the Princeton Bike Tour and chose the "Hilly More than a Metric Century Ride" that was awesome.

some necessities - I figured I would play with some nutrition. I used Gu Recovery Drink due to the protein/carb ratio and did 2 gu's and 2 bottles of water and 2 gatorade/water combo. Worked perfectly. I think we were averaging the total ride around 16-17 with some nice hill's that did not go away.

Scape sunscreen and my new Lululemon cycling outfit. It was ultra comfy and I also managed no tanlines so both were great purchases!!
Susan (who is doing her first tri this September - woo hoo!!) rode with me she kept note of the computer miles I held the sheet to shout out the turns.

I had my 9 mile run that I wasn't looking forward to due to the hangover from the supposed let's go out for one beer and then stay out till...but turned out to be my best run yet and I got to run with my new Zensah compression sleeves - IN PINK!!! I wish I took a picture I looked like the friekin girliest dork out there on the canal in my pink and grey - maybe I felt the need to redeem myself in all my girly glory among the mountain bikers...or maybe it was that we were going to my favorite bar - Varga Bar - for Angie's birthday that has the best micro-brews on tap. Mike brought our growler which we filled with Bell's Expedition Stout.

Plus we played Beer Bingo

sponsored by Lefthand Brewery and Quan and I won!!
I thought I would close the post with some of my top 5 beers as of late...there are so many so this is just a "tasting..."

1. Oscar Blues Ten Fity - always at the the cans
2. Allagash Curieux - all around best tasting beer with a nice bourbon taste - and well this shit ....f...u CAREFUL!! This was a sad day when our sixtel kicked...
3. Horn Dog Barley Wine -- yum is all I can say - another sad day when the sixtel kicked...
4. Dogfish Head - Palo Alto - a new one I tried and loved it..still holding on to the last in the fridge.
5. Great Divide - Colette Farmhouse Ale - had this at the beach and YUMMMMMMY!

Stay tuned, I am doing adding some recipes later this week...
- Cauliflower Rice - Italian style and then used as leftovers
-Kale/Pineapple Smoothie
-Oatbran/Wheat Germ Blueberry Banana Carrot Muffins
-Sea Bass and roasted tomato squash and broccoli rabe pesto (jury still out on that recipe...)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

NJ State Olympic Race Report

This race felt a little different than last year. The heat was just a given, I think it was 10 degrees hotter plus humidity. I knew that was going to be a factor, but I think the real difference was that last year - I trained all year for this race. This year, it was a workout to get ready for my first half-ironman. However, I thought, I would do better in the swim, I mean I thought I improved...I already had a blister and a cut so I knew my transition may be a little longer and I wouldn't be able to go I thought I could do well in the bike (last year was 18.1), but it was a different course, and then the run I knew I had this. I had gotten faster this year. My 5k time even during a try was 8:40, I knew I could at least get 9min miles.

However, what I am failing to mention, is the calf cramp I got on mile 7 of my 9 mile run last week that had me limping/shuffling/running/walking back to my car. After that run, I showered, packed and immediately got on a 4 hour plane ride, got in and had to work the next day from 6am to 9pm. No compression socks, no time for recovery. My calf cramp still hurt all week but I decided not to run except a 3 miler. It still hurt but I thought with some massage foam roller, some stretching I'd be good to go.
Back to the race.

I get there, wow! so nice to be there when there wasn't as many people (last year the sprint and the olympic were the same day). So I got numbered up, got to transition, felt a little sad that I was there by myself versus with my crew. Then I found Bill and we went to the swim start.

So we waited, and watched the elite, the 8 other waves including Bill and then finally the 35-39....I can't believe I am in this age group (I am STILL 34!! LOL). Good thing I had my fans waiting for us when we got out...
My wonderful husband - my photographer :)

My mom, Christine and Tiffany...
and my dad with the crew... They were our awesome cheering squad!
So I start in the back, we are in a wave with the males 50-59. I didn't know what to expect. With women you get a lot of "sorry", "oh..sorry..." but I didn't know if the men would swim over you, kick you, punch you...I still am not ready for it mentally. So I start out, I start passing people, I am feeling good, but then we get back-logged. There are so many of us that the kicking, hitting, is now a part of the deal, so I suck it up and deal with it and tell myself "this is your race." We finally get to the turn point and we are going directly into the sun. The whole swim I am mentally fixing my stroke, but I am not going hard. I should, I just keep on thinking "what if I get tired and I am stuck..." (for all of you that don't know, I am not a swimmer and just learned three years ago. Anyway, the directly in the sun sucked, I got kicked and punched one too many times that I decided to swim on the perimeter, probably adding time to my swim, trying to dodge people etc. etc. Then I get to the turning point and sprint it in. Time...uh the same as last year??? WTF!! But if you don't know me by now, I also, as you can see here, do the Cipolone smile as I reach any area that could be a potential photo-op...Even when you are pissed, always look like you are doing AWESOME!!!(A little secret, the camera won't show your time)
So I go into transition, I fumble as usual. Then get on my bike no socks...a gu and a my two gatorades (I WILL NOT CRAMP UP LATER - this is what everyone tells me, you don't have enough bananas, no gatorade...) . This next pic looks like I am walking but what you don't see is an extremely high hill and I am trucking up the hill...

anyway, I am passing girls and 'chicking' many dudes. Me and this "25" year old decide to kind of race it, that was fun, I would get ahead of him on the hills and then he would pass me. As we approach loop 2 I tell him it was great motivation and fun to ride with someone then I realize he is done his bike. I am averaging at this point a 19.1 - AWESOME, heartrate, check. One more loop, I slow down a little and end with a 18.9. What I am forgetting is the mounting and dismounting and running to the bike start... so that takes my bike time down...booooo....

Here is Bill, he came in earlier doing awesome, but his chip apparently isn't working and no one knows he raced this except us...
again - always smile you never know who could be clicking...I also hear the cheerleading squad..

So we move on to the run, I sock up in transition, throw on a bandaid, bring a gu and take a couple sips of water and I am off. I start off running...and the quad (front lower) is starting to hurt like a bitch. I mean, I can't f'n move at all! I stop to stretch, I think I am going to cry...why I have no I move on, there is a Heed and water stop, I take a heed, start jogging and move along. EVERYONE looks like crap, the heat is sooo bad at this point. I get to the 3 mile mark and think the thought "everyone can do a 5K" and then I see Mike, I smile, and say I am not doing so well, (my calves are starting to have little tings)
haha - see not smiling, but then I realized....
during Bill's run, Mike got some good pics of him coming in to the finish...

and then I see mom, dad, Chris, Tiff and Bill...gotta keep running, once I get to the other aid station, I walk it, my calves are starting to feel stiff, I run, I walk, they are now balling up and it is so hard to continue. I get to the next aid station, I drink some heed, water, and grab an ice towel. It is really hot, did I say that?? Then I run/walk/shuffle with two other women. The one said this is her worst in 4 years, I concur and we carry on. She runs, I walk and vice versa. Then we are almost to the finish line. I feel like - just say F it and run on it, heel strike more to flex your feet...Shit, it hurt but I finished...18 min slower than last year....ugh.

But I finished and I felt better once I talked to others that also had the same sediment. But the important part was that I did it, I had fun doing it (with the exception of the run) and I have the best husband (photographer), family and friends!!

Love ya all!!
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