I woke up at 5AM yesterday because I am NOT one of those people who can roll out of bed and jump into the pool. In fact I'm quite slow moving in the morning and need my breakfast and caffeine! As I ate, I proceeded to stare at my computer in a daze while making plans for my long ride later in the day, really just waiting for my mind to get warmed up. No I didn't stage the picture below with props, our kitchen table usually doubles as my desk space and bike prep/launching space. I struggled to finish my bowl of oatmeal, but don't worry, I still had room for a few bites of carrot cake (leftover from the hubby's birthday bash) in the fridge :) Usually I aim to be out the door by 6:15 AM on my way to my 6:30 AM group swim, if I'm organized and running on time. Yesterday's actual leaving time was 6:29 :)
Swimming has been rough lately due to the break I took while traveling. It's always a struggle for me to regain a solid groove in the water after time away, and over the past two weeks I've felt weak and slow during my workouts. Thankfully each one has gotten better and I am slowly starting to feel more like my normal fishy self. On the agenda for the day 3500 yrds total including 10 x 100 descending and a ladder of 200-400-600-400-200, also descending. It was a challenging workout in regards to split goals/rest intervals and I'm without a doubt thankful for my swim group for giving me a good push when I need it. It's nice swim with others that have a similar training mindset and that I know will bring out the best effort in me! By 8AM I was back in my car, smoothie in hand and heading home (I ALWAYS consume two breakfasts on swim days or if I have a morning workout)
After returning home, I had ambitious hopes of a fairly quick turn around in getting out the door for my ride before the heat of the day kicked in. Except that swim really exhausted me, and after morning chores of watering the gardens, etc I found myself fighting sleep and opted to push back the ride in favor of a nap. They are a rarity for me but often necessary with longer training days when I can fit them in. 45 minutes of sweet sleep later, thanks to my alarm clock of barking dog, I was up, feeling refreshed and decided I should probably eat again before heading out the door...
By noon I was out the door again and by 12:30pm on my bike rolling out for my workout. On the agenda for my ride was 70 miles: 10 miles aerobic warm-up + 60 miles at ironman pace. Fortunately the heat (upper 80's up to 90) which I anticipated to be a potential challenge was not an issue yesterday with proper fueling and hydration. Not so fortunately it was a stressful and chaotic ride in general as anxiety was high and my asthma flared up really bad towards the end almost forcing me to call it quits early :( BUT, I mentally hung in there, finished the miles and did well from a fueling and hydration standpoint, so I'm at giving myself credit for those victories.
(L) The shade next to this sign provided some much needed post-ride cool-off chill-time. It was hot!
(R) Fuel during my ride: I've been trying to do better in packing light! In the bottles was 3 scoops Tailwind each + 1 pkg Clif Shot Bloks, 2 Huma Gels (only ate one), 1 Honey Stinger Waffle, Base Performance Salts. Overall I consumed close to 1,000 calories, 215 grams carbohydrate and 136 oz of plain water spread over 4.25 hrs.
I came home feeling fairly exhausted and mentally bummed. Thankfully the hubby was home from work and took the time to fix me a quick dinner while I showered and cleaned up. I was NOT at all hungry after my ride (the heat zaps my appetite), but I made sure to eat anyway because I know how important it is for recovery. We've been making these egg burritos lately to go with leftover homemade black bean and corn salsa: they are pretty darn good, quick to assemble and definitely hit the spot! Off the bike at 5pm, dinner on my plate by 5:30PM.. recovery fuel is all about efficiency and balance these days!
I almost always have an evening snack on my longer or higher intensity training days. I let my appetite dictate the size of the snack but generally aim to include a quality source of protein because protein pre-bed has been shown to benefit muscle repair during sleep. For this occasion, I felt overdue for some delicious homemade ice cream and decided to whip up a batch to share with the hubby. Afterward I fixed him dinner of naan bread pizza with Shitake mushrooms and ate two slices of it as well. Pizza and ice cream for an evening snack? Yes please!
To finish out the day, lately I've been trying to limit computer/phone time and wind down with some reading and tea instead. Currently I'm re-reading Scott Jurek's "Eat & Run" which I read for the first time back in 2012 and definitely recommend! By 10PM it was lights off and sweet dreams for us (reality: I didn't sleep well at all, which is pretty typical after hard, long workouts... such is life... nap later?)
So there you have a day eating to fuel one of my high-intensity workout days (more typical of a Saturday, not Tuesday, but regardless...) Looking back on my day, I consumed almost 4,000 calories spread over 3 meals and 3 snacks (with fuel during ride counting as my "afternoon snack"). That's A LOT of food for a little person!!! That being said, I know with my training demands on such days I can't afford to be running in a deficit, even more so knowing I'll be racing here in 3 days and want to be optimally recovered.
Until next time....happy fueling!
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and endurance athlete residing in southwest Virginia alongside her husband and dog. Through this blog she aims to share favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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