Thursday, February 18, 2016

Training and Life Update: Mid-February and Magic Turmeric Milk

After my little meltdown/breakthrough last week, I'm feeling really good about where I am and where I'm going in my training.  I felt a bit of weight lift off of my shoulders, and I'm working hard to keep that weight away!  The goal is to keep a tight hold on the "FUN" aspect of training and to listen to what my body and soul are telling me to do in terms of trainng. It will be a work in progress throughout the season.  And again, no comparing and no self-handicapping!

Swimming:  I got in the pool last weekend! I only swam 1200m, but it went well.  I had imagined that getting back in the pool would be somewhat frustrating, given how long I've been off of swimming, but it was surprisingly good!  I felt strong in the water, and most importantly, I enjoyed being there.  Success!  Now I just have to keep going back.  The goal is to swim a few more times on my own, and then gradually add my ROCS practices back into the mix.

Biking: I've kept up the Eurosports rides with power, and have been having a lot of fun coaching our Wednesday night High Performance Squad at OTC. We've been gradually building the endurance of those rides, building the workouts in a sort of "slow burn" way.  The combination seems to be great, and while I'm still biking at a low heart rate range, I do think I'm improving and getting stronger!

A cold run home from work leaves me with mascara raccoon eyes!

Running: My work commute has become a bit less tedious as my fitness has come back, though I do enjoy my Friday walks or the occasional ride to the office. We had 50 cm of snow this week, which has made running outside a bit more challenging, but I've found that my YakTraks work really well in these conditions.  Before the snow arrived, I did my last MAF test, and am happy that my pace has dropped down to about 9:35/mile at my heart rate. There is still a way to go, but I'm thrilled with that progress!

Just the start of our 50cm snow day!

Skate Skiing:  Learning to embrace winter has kind of felt like winning the lottery.  We've had some absolutely gorgeous weather (it's all relative, to me "gorgeous" is now sunny and -30F lol!).  And through a lot of patience and sticking with it (and the help of my handsome "coach"), the skiing has been "clicking" lately.  My balance has improved significantly, and my fear of going fast is diminishing.  I'm really enjoying my weekly Thursday night ski lesson, and have had the opportunity to get out for a few longer skis on the weekends.  Now that we have a lot of new snow, I'm excited to ski in better conditions (the past few weeks have been icy and too cold to get a good glide going). Now that my technique is improving, I'm definitely starting to get a better workout when I ski as well!

Because I love you all and I can't keep this good stuff to myself, I'm also sharing a recipe for "Magic Turmeric Milk" with you.  I started drinking this concoction nightly last week, and I feel amazing.  I had initially felt like I was coming down with a cold, but after two nights of drinking the milk, I felt 100% again.  And last night, I drank some before bed hoping to get rid of the raging headache I had and again, it worked like a charm.

Turmeric has many amazing qualities - it is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-septic.  It has been known to help with colds, sore throats, indigestion, menstrual cramps, arthritis, etc.  It detoxifies the body and boosts immunity.  For triathletes, this has the potential benefits of helping us stay healthy and recover from our workouts.  Inflammation in the body causes a great host of issues, and this drink will help to reduce that inflammation.  It also tastes pretty good and is supposed to help with sleep!

For the milk, don't forget the black pepper as it helps to activate the carcumin in the turmeric.  Try to source organic turmeric powder (I found a large bag at whole foods in the supplements aisle that was way cheaper than the small container in the spices aisle) and make sure your honey is local, raw honey (lots of benefits to that as well!!).

Magic Turmeric Milk

1 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 inch fresh ginger (peeled)
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon raw honey

In a blender, combine all ingredients except honey.  Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and heat for five minutes over low heat until hot, but not boiling.  Stir occasionally as the fats in the coconut milk can start to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Transfer the milk to a mug and stir in the raw honey until it melts into the drink.  Enjoy!