While whole foods are a great source of nutrition, but they are not always easy to carry along for a long workout or race. I think a more convenient option is to have a combination of whole foods in an easier to carry package. A great example of this would be Amrita Bars.
Was fully stocked with Amrita bars for my 4.5 hour ride on Satuday.
Amrita Bars are made with non-GMO and mostly organic ingredients that are identifiable with your own eyes. There are no artificial ingredients and they are the perfect balance of nutrients you need to get your through your race.
One option would be to keep some of the whole foods options, like the ones recommended in this article, in your special needs bag as a little something different to fuel you through the second half of the bike or the run.
Anyway here are some ideas for other whole food alternatives…
The Journal of American Medical Association recently published a study that appears to support what I have also seen with my own blood pressure since adopting a plant-based diet. Unfortunately I am not able to read the entire article($140 for a subscription), but I have enough personal proof that this is true.
I have dealt with high blood pressure for most of my adult life. Switching to a plant-based was the biggest factor in seeing a difference in this. Regular exercise is just icing on the cake.
I started off this week with a day off from official training, but that didn’t mean I didn’t rack up any miles on my feet. I attended the National Retailers Federation(NRF) expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on Monday. My wife came along and while I was talking to vendors, she was out perusing the streets of the city. We took the Bieber Bus up and I ended up spending about 4 hours at the show. I set my Jambone UP to timer mode and it said I tracked about 2 miles while expo-ing. Walking and talking for 4 hours just exhausts me.
We made reservations that evening at Candle 79, which is a highly acclaimed vegan restaurant on East 79th Street just east of Central Park, so we had some time to kill. I stopped off at B&H Photo on 34th & 9th Ave while Denise made her way up from Chelsea Market. It worked out perfectly as she was coming up the block as I exited the store. We then took the subway uptown and walked through Central Park for a bit. We still had a couple hours to go, so more walking. I tracked 10 miles for the day.
We eventually made our way to Candle 79. It was very nice and I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options that I could eat the menu. My wife, who is leans more to the Paleo side of things these days, didn’t have quite as many options. The tables were turned. I ended up overdoing it a bit with soup, appetizer and entree, but still found some room for dessert. It was pretty good.
Enough of the gallivanting around NYC, and back to training. The work week was pretty basic with a couple rides on the trainer and a couple swims. On Wednesday, I did a graded treadmill test as per Joe Friels’ Triathlon Training Bible to measure my current LTHR for the start of the season. My results were not that impressive, but neither were my first FTP test. I hope to do this at the end of my prep phase and after each base phase to assess my run fitness and progress. My LTHR was around 167-170bpm.
Saturday was the Megsmiles day, in honor of Meg Cross Menzies who was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out on her morning run on January 13th. It was pretty fun following everyone who was cranking out some miles that day. I started out with a 2 hour trainer ride and then threw on my shorts and headed out for a 4 mile brick run after. I tried to take my dog Yuki, but he wasn’t too fond of the wind blowing in his face. It was a nice run, a little cool though.
Running into the Sunset
Sunday I was feeling a bit groggy in the morning. Perhaps a 4 mile brick run after a 2 hour trainer ride was a bit much for this early in the season. Regardless, I did head over to Rodale Fitness Park for an EASY hour and ten minute LSD run. It was nice day for a run, but I was feeling it. I think I will take another Monday rest day next week.
That’s about it that week. Nothing too exciting. I do have a new race announcement coming that should be pretty cool. More on that later.
I got up around 7-7:30am on Saturday morning as the sun beamed in the open shades of room #329 of the Comfort Suites. My wife had been stirring for awhile by that time and I eventually acknowledged it. We had a quick breakfast in the room while checking emails, updating our social media and researching the days events. We settled on heading to New Haven(CT) to check out the Yale University campus and having some lunch at a vegan place, called Claire’s Corner Copia, which was right off the campus. After that we would head back to Quassy for the “mandatory” pre-race athlete meeting and to drop off my bike in transition. Finally, dinner at a place called Red Lentil in Watertown, which was north of Quassy. How far north we would eventually find out.
We drove down to New Haven and got a parking spot right near Claire’s and across from the Upper Green park by Yale. I plopped my $2 in the meter for 2 hours and then we stopped into Claire’s first just to check it out. Wow…Huge menu! And all vegan too. Not necessarily all healthy vegan, but I had a lot of options. They had build your own smoothies, and I was in need of one, so I had a banana, blueberry, kale, coconut milk and hemp protein smoothie which was right on the money. Now I am ready for some campus touring! We will be back Claire.
We headed across the street to Yale and began touring the campus. Beautiful campus! My wife is really into old, ivy-league campus’ and every time we we go near one she wants to check it out. One thing I noticed that although the buildings looked old in style many had been built fairly recently(1990-2000’s). Apparently they just made them look old. There were several building though that were very old. There were a lot of older alumni walking around the campus too, which I figured out from the nametags they wore. We passed a couple buildings that had different year reunions posted on them. Of particular note was the 50, 55, and 60th year reunions. I wonder how many people see their 60th year college reunions?
We came upon the Yale bookstore(run by Barnes & Noble??) and a small shopping district. We checked out the 2 outdoor stores, but everything was list price so we didn’t buy anything. We then headed back to Claire’s for lunch after a little more walking around the campus. I had a Corner Copia Grande burrito which was huge. It even had some fake cheese on it which tasted pretty good. It was loaded with beans, rice and veggies and was quite the belly filler. I looked at the time after downing my burrito and remembered that the parking meter had expired 5 minutes ago. We then quickly cleared our table and b-lined for the car. Phew! Not ticket. The meter-dude had been around when we parked so I was afraid he would be hawking the cars. Maybe he was having lunch too?
Next we headed down towards the ocean front to see if there was anything cool down there. We were a bit disappointed since there was nothing great except for a line-up of lunch trucks. Then we ended up taking a long way back to the hotel since there was some tie-ups on the highway we came in on. By the time we got back to the hotel it was time for me to load up the bike and get over to the pre-race meeting at 3PM. My wife was hoping for a nap, so I felt kind of bad when I said we have to go. I offered to just go myself but we thought we would be having dinner over that way and she didn’t want to be driving back and forth.
When I got to the race expo area, they were still having the pro Q&A session and the pre-race meeting hadn’t even started yet. I listened to the pros for a few minutes until eventually they got down and the meeting started. I don’t know why they call the meeting mandatory, since they don’t enforce it all. WTH? I did get some good information out it though so it was worthwhile. Next, got my bike setup in the assigned spot in transition. I got a nice spot 3 rows in from the swim in/run exit, which made it easy to find. Only bad thing was a long run in my bike shoes to the bike in/exit which was on the opposite end of transition. Wasn’t a big deal though.
I decided I wanted to drive a bit of the bike course since the director kept saying how hard it was. I wanted to see for myself. I talked my wife into going since I would drive. I only did half of the course and now I had a good idea of how hilly it would be. It was VERY hilly! During the drive my wife came to the realization that the Red Lentil restaurant was actually in Watertown, Mass! Two hours away!!
We ended up finding the It’s Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown, CT which was back on the other side of the hotel. So much for saving trips! Also my wife typed in the address of the place in the iOS Maps app and it took us to some vacant strip mall in the middle of nowhere. Ugh! By this time we were starving. We then searched on the restaurant itself and it showed it only 10 minutes away. We eventually found it and had a great dinner. Everything was vegan here too, so the world was my oyster. I had an Arugula salad for appetizer and a coconut curry dish for dinner. Really yummy.
We headed back to the hotel after dinner and settled in for the evening. I got all my gear in order and prepped my nutrition stuff for the race: Skratch Labs hydration mix, Chunks of EnergyCha Cha Chia Chunks and a little bit of Hammer Perpetuem. I then showered up, shaved and put my race number tattoos on. Pretty cool idea and you don’t have to deal with getting body marked in the morning. The only thing is they are really sticky and I ended up sticking to the sheets while sleeping.
I was really hoping I could get a good nights sleep that night. I had a horrible one the night before the NJ Devilman and did not want to go through that again. There was some obnoxious parents in the hotel who were letting their child run up and down the hall for what seemed like forever. If it didn’t stop soon I was going to go out and raise some hell. It stopped eventually and I did end up falling into a good deep sleep, dreaming of crossing finish lines in record times. Gonna be a tough one tomorrow!
Denise and I both ended up having off on Friday, but we never really planned on doing much. We discussed going to the shore early, but with my cold I didn’t feel like being away from home another night. During the morning though we decided to take a road trip down to New Hope, PA to check out a vegan restaurant we had heard about called Sprig & Vine.
We were originally going to go there for our anniversary on the 18th, but it was such a nice day and we weren’t doing anything. During the morning I started organizing all my tri gear and put the bike rack back on the CRV. We didn’t end up leaving until around 3PM which was a big mistake. We ended up hitting all kinds of traffic on the long drive to New Hope. We ended up getting there around 5PM. This gave us a little time to walk around and check out the town a bit.
Denise ended up spotting some earrings in a little store full of didgeridoo’s and wooden Buddha statues. We also stopped in the wine shop and did a wine tasting of some local wines. They were all pretty expensive($26-30), but they are local and they didn’t have any added sulfites which seems to bother Denise. We ended up with a Cabernet from Rose Bank Winery to take to dinner which was BYOB.
We started heading over to the restaurant for our 6:30PM reservation but was interrupted by an olive oil and balsamic vinegar store. The only one I really liked was the Butter flavored olive oil, but it was artificially flavored so I nixed that.
Sprig & Vine was excellent. I had a split pea soup that was excellent, followed by the jerk chicken flavored Tempeh with sweet potato mash, plantains and swiss chard. Denise had a pickled veggies appetizer and a Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Sweet Potato and Lentil stew. Everything was great and it washed down nicely with that Cabernet we picked up too. To top things off I had a vegan chocolate mousse pie with coffee ice cream, which was ridiculous.
It was a great night out and we will definitely have to get back there again. Traffic on the way home was clean sailing too. My sinus cold thing was also more of a annoying cough today too. My throat was getting a bit sore by the time we got home which worried me some. I gargled with some tumeric and sea salt before bed in hopes of warding that off. Good thing was my sinuses were clear, so I could breath a little easier today.