Thursday, December 25, 2008

A client of mine sent me this

When your done watching it think to yourself ~
What is something I have never done and I want to do?
What goals do I have in life?
How do I want to achieve them and not complain about it!

Get out do something new, something you want to get better at but like I said don't complain "life if way to short for that"!

Merry Christmas Sunshine's

Awesome Santa likes to have fun too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My LiveStrong Band is on that means officially in Ironman Training!
My weight lifting program has started today along with my weight going up hehee OK we are at 10 pounds and my paints are getting a little tighter you know when you have to jump off the toilet to get in them and then lay on the bed to zip them up "Just kidding" it's not that bad yet! Give it a week or 2......
I wasn't feeling sick today and I was able to run 3 miles, Pilates and weights! whooohooo I feel good!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This is cool!

This is a truly wonderful thing to do. I just did it and it’s very easy, and I encourage everyone to email and send to everyone you can.


If you go to this web site, can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!

It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them. This takes just 10 seconds and it's a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time and please take the time to pass it on for others to do. We can never say enough thank you's. Thanks for taking to time to support our military!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If you are looking at doing Triathlons this coming season and don't want to hire a Trainer here is some awesome information on weights! It will help.

Thanks to Mark Allen for this info.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I can't believe this puking, dizziness, feeling yucky, tummy aches, headache's and yada, yada, yada women doesn't that make you want to have a baby? "Just Kidding"! It will soon be over I hope!

Today was 30 min. on the elliptical then I on to my bike trainer for a little bit! Dan had to change my handle bars, my breaks and little things here and there because it fell off the truck back in September and dragged on the interstate for a short bit, however the feel on the bike is so different now I have to get used to it! I would advise everyone to double check your bike before you go on a road trip or $170.00 later you will have new handle bars and breaks and yada, yada yada a different fit that you have to get used to. However I think that gives me another challenge to suck it up and ride it could be worse I might not have a bike to ride.

Tomorrow I start my weights for Ironman 2009 the Base period.
45 min. Spinning

Have an awesome night!

Something to think about~ Follow your heart, never surrender your dreams. Constantly work towards your goals. Believe in yourself, and always be truthful.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Today's workout was on the Treadmill 30 min. fast walking then almost getting sick so I had to get off. The feeling I'm having is like you just wake up from a long, long night of drinking or for me it would be a sip of something and I would feel like this. Man this is going to be a long 7 months. Photo later today!

This is funny!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ok here it is we're pregnant whoohooo.

This year is going to be training my self and 5 other athletes for Ironman WI 2009. We have a due date of August 1, 2009 Ironman is September 13th I’m going to try and keep up with my blog and show photo’s week by week (so if you don’t want to see a tummy and how big I’m getting don’t look on Sunday’s JK :). I will also include my workouts and how much weight I have gained so far 8 pounds they think that is because of my thyroid medication we had to do some adjustments and we will have to my whole pregnancy so much fun!!!!........ The number 1 thing is going to be the baby so I will be smart about this just to give you all heads up! I’ve been having a ton of headaches, sick to my tummy, nauseous, and dizzy so I’m going to take it slow until we get threw the first trimester which is 12 weeks.

ok time to watch Ironman Kona channel 13 in La Crosse and Onalaska WI

Monday, December 08, 2008

This year I would like to put a team together for this event. I would like to call it "Iron Livestrong" if you would like to join me please let me know via e-mail and no worries if you need a training plan for this I will write on up for you. Sorry Guys this is an only a women's event however, we would love for you to come and cheer us on.

2009 Aflac Iron Girl Bloomington Women's Duathlon opened registration today for the 5th annual event on September 27, 2009.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goals for 2009

Man oh man what to start!

1.Smart Ironman September 13, 2009 Training "I will go into detail with this later in the month".
2.Open a Pilates Studio
3.Be a wonderful mother and wonderful wife very positive all I mean all the time! Even on those
days I don't want to be "Wait" that's never!
4. Run as many events as I can (not for time just to see what I can do)
5. Improve on my swimming in the pool.
6. Drink over 70 ounces of water a day and watch my coffee
7 No Sugar! OK limit my sugar..
8.Take more nutrition classes subject not just athletes
9.Take or teach 4 Pilates classes a week.
10. Always tell myself that Ironman and training in general isn't number 1 my family is!
by Kevin Koskella
It seems that nearly everyone catches a cold or the flu between the months of December through February. Most people think this is just the way it has to be, and germs just randomly attack people. Well, this just isn’t true! There are many ways to avoid these annoying and often depressing illnesses. Follow these 5 suggestions and you will significantly reduce your chances of falling prey to one of these nasty attacks!
1. Avoid sugar. As difficult as this may seem in during the holidays, it’s the #1 reason people get sick! Sugar takes a big hit on your immune system, and opens you up to disease. If you absolutely cannot do without sweets for 6 weeks, pick and choose a few specific times when you allow yourself a dessert. The daily chocolate around the office will surely come back to haunt you!
2. Get enough sleep. If holiday demands are forcing you to cut down on sleep, you are also putting stress on your defense against germs. Winter is actually a time when you should plan to sleep a little more than usual, not try to get by with as little as possible.
3. Avoid Stuffing Yourself. Although it may be tempting to overeat during this time, this will cause your liver to have to work extra hard, and lead to you getting sick. Overeating any time is also a good way to gain extra weight, as your body stores some of what it can’t use as fat. Stick with smaller meals more often and don’t let others pressure you into eating too much “because it’s the holiday season.” Nibbling on appetizers for hours before a big meal can really do you in. Make sure you think about what you are eating and slow down on the alcohol!
4. Prioritize and Reduce Stress. Make sure you are prioritizing your work and daily activities so you don’t become overwhelmed and stressed out. Keeping unwanted stress away is a big factor in staying healthy. Take up yoga or meditation, or just reserve 20-30 minutes per day that’s “your time”- where you don’t have to do anything or be anywhere.
5. Cook with Coconut Oil. For many years coconut oil was the preferred oil for Americans, until the Canola industry spread false rumors about it, claiming that it was bad for your health. Recent studies have shown that in fact by not eating coconut oil we are missing out on nutrients that keep our immune systems strong. It is the only “good” form of saturated fat. To stay strong, have a couple of teaspoons every day, either in your cooking or as part of a smoothie (or straight as I sometimes do!)
6. Aerobic Workouts. If you’re going to miss a workout, make it an anaerobic one. Stick with your walking, jogging, swimming, cycling. Anaerobic workouts like lifting weights, or doing sprints, put more stress on the body, and skipping these occasionally during this time of year can actually benefit your health. Perfect time to jump in the pool and practice stroke drills!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This list is for Steve!

What can happen in 11 seconds??

01) 2 toenails can be trimmed in 11 seconds;
02) If you get a good spot in a small triathlon, you can go thru T-2 in 11 seconds;
03) You can eat a 2 pancakes in 11 seconds;
04) You can tie both shoes in 11 second;
05) You can surf TV channels all the way the top in 11 seconds;
06) The Packers can run 4 plays and kick a field goal in 11 seconds;
07) A diaper can be changed in 11 seconds (if the baby lies still);
08) You can travel 800' on a bicycle in 11 seconds;
09) If you hit the snooze alarm, you can fall asleep in 11 seconds;
10) You can get dressed and forget to put your underwear on in 11 seconds;
11) You can turn the wrong way and get lost in 11 seconds;
12) If you eat a greasy cheeseburger on Friday, you can do a power dump on Saturday in 11

13) If you run each mile of an 8 mile race just 1.4 seconds faster, you can beat the guy that

finished 11 seconds ahead of you
14) If you live in La Crosse WI you can bar hop in 11 seconds to each bar
15) You can give someone you don't know a hug in 11 seconds
16) You can Drink a beer and do a shot in 11 seconds
17) You can take a drink of water or Poweraid in 11 seconds in a race
18) You can pass some one on a bike in 11 seconds
19) You can rub someones feet for 11 seconds after they ran 8 miles
20) Leave a message on a phone in 11 seconds
21) Crash a bike and have an instant headache in 11 seconds
22) I can type an entry in 11 seconds
23) You can dance for 11 seconds and have a great time
24) You can dance on a bar for 11 seconds and have 2 shots (not me)
25) You can make coffee in 11 seconds
26) You can get mad at someone in 11 seconds
27) Put a garter on and and off in 11 seconds
28) Eat a ton of gummie bears in 11 seconds
29) P someone off in 11 seconds
30) Listen to the first 11 seconds of Crazy B and you know what that song is

Friday, October 31, 2008

Last year about this time Ron, Taylor and I were in Florida doing Ironman, this year were eating a ton of candy "oh I mean healthy fruits" and watching one of my friends Marc (number 1292) doing Ironman he's going to Kick butt! I'm going to guess 10 hours wait I'm going to say 9 something!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sorry life has been really, really crazy! Just a little information - I'm planning a wedding, opening a Pilates Studio, planning on expanding our family before Ironman WI 2009 and so far everything is going so very, very, very good. We'll except I am not pregnant yet! “I don't want to get some of you too excited; however I've had so many people ask me for a photo of Blane and I so I found one from our last run together. The wedding is November 15- I will have more info for all of you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This was in the La Crosse Tribune it's funny they talk about the drunk and stupid at the Oktoberfest and then read the worth Mentioning! "Drunks and Fitness funny"!

Dan Springer: Drunk and stupid is a nasty combinationBy Dan Springer
.Drunken stupidity ran rampant this first weekend of Oktoberfest.Take, for example, the two college-age guys who decided to steal a manhole cover from the 800 block of Pine Street. A resident of the area who saw the pair struggling to lift the metal disk called police after seeing which direction they’d gone.While police stood guard to make sure no one fell into the open manhole, other officers paid the guys a visit.They confessed and apologized. “It was just drunken stupidity,” one told the officers.It also boggles the mind to see the number of people free on bond or probation who manage to do really stupid stuff in public that lands them back in jail.There’s the guy who caught an officer’s attention by relieving himself behind a vehicle ... during the Maple Leaf Parade.The cop later learned the guy was out on bond — with a no-drinking condition.In a similar incident, another fella was downtown with thousands of other festers when he, too, decided he had to empty his bladder but didn’t want to go inside, so he walked into the alley. Same outcome.I’ll grant you that if ever there was a time a person might get away withviolating a no-drinking condition, it would be Oktoberfest weekend, where it’s easy to blend into the crowd.That is, until you wander off alone and catch the eye of the hundreds of police officers and security personnel patrolling the area.The guy I did feel sorry for was a 22-year-old out on probation who was having a few beers at Saturday’s parade.Unfortunately, he looked young for his age, so an officer asked to see an ID.Now, he’s back in jail.

Worth Mentioning-I want to give a tip of the hat to the La Crosse Fire Department’s Combat Challenge Team — James Hillcoat, Jesse Walters, Blane Neher and Adam Markert — for finishing as the top Wisconsin team in the Midwest Regional Combat Challenge in Milwaukee earlier this month.The Challenge showcases firefighter fitness. Wearing full gear and a breathing apparatus, competitors go through a series of tasks that include climbing a five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175-pound “victim” as they race against themselves, their opponent and the clock.The La Crosse team was seventh among 16 teams from throughout the Midwest. Individually, Hillcoat placed fifth among 121 competitors and broke the 1:40 mark for the first time, placing him in the Combat Challenge Lion’s Den.Congratulations to the team — the hard work paid off.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lisa, Landen, Mariah and I took off after our Kickball event to the Bloomington MN. We knew we had to get a move on it packet pick up was ending at 4:00 and we were leaving at 1:35-45! Lisa is a fast driver ya know 75 -90 hehehe "just kidding" So were almost to Rochester MN and Lisa starts to slow down I'm thinking oh gosh she's getting pulled over but when I looked into the rear view mere I didn't see a cop but I heard Lisa say “we lost a bike”!!!! I thought we lost a bike what and holly %#$% ????? She pulls over we both jump out of the truck and there is my bike on the ground hanging from the bike rack with the Velcro straps on the wheels THANK GOD! I pick it up the seat is bad but good enough to sit on, the right break looks like it was melted down along with the handle bar! "WOWZA" we put it back up tighten everything down and we were off we get to the packet pick up with 8 min. to register that was close! When we get back to the hotel I take my bike off the rack thinking gosh the frame might be cracked or the wheels are going to be bent yada, yada, yada. I jumped on it and it was perfect well except the handle bar and the back break, so we get up to our room I called stairs to get some electrical tape to tape up that bar and break. I was feeling good with my new look of my bike whoooohooo lets rock!

Lisa and I get up at 5:00 am get a little something to eat! Were off – Lisa was under control she was looking great!

We get set up and run to the rest room about 9 times then it’s time to get in line. The duck sound goes off and my age group was off and running, I was feeling good I was trying to keep in control not to fast, not to slow I came into trans. took my long sleeve shirt off and jumped on my red and black extreme heheheee and I was off like a rocket I was feeling great, I wanted to do the bike in 106:00 or less, got off the bike on to the next run holy crud I was ready to puke my heart rate got up to high and I couldn’t get it under control I had to slow down as much has I could but not walk . Now it was I just wanted to finish not puke and get dizzy so that’s what I did.
I waited for Lisa here she comes strong as can be looking great she comes across the finish line with a huge smile.

I gave her a hug and said "Great job, that was awesome"! She finished another goal of her's GREAT JOB LISA!
Take a look at her site she is an inspiration!

This Irongirl was so fun, I can't wait to do this again!

No. 227
Danniela Nichols
Run1 15:08
Tran 1:36
Bike 1:03:55
Tran 1:15
Run2 17:21
Time 1:39:15

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


If you can't watch it just listen "Anything is possible when you put your mind to it"

This is funny!

My Brother Ray called me tonight talked to me about Ironman and how I'm feeling I told him Wonderful. Then he proceeded to ask me if I was feeling so good if I wanted to play kickball this weekend at 9:00 am (I guess a girl on their team couldn't play this Saturday so they need a sub.) I told him I would play only if he ran the race with me on Saturday that takes place at 8:00am he asked me "how far is it” and I said 1 mile but as we were talking a little more I said ok I can't lie it's 2.1 miles, I told him I think we can pull off a 7:00 or less min. mile so we can get to the game on time; he said do you want to kill me? But then he said "wait" "I can do that"! "I'm in" Note: My bother hasn't ran for years I mean years 3.1 miles is going to make him want to pick up running again. hehehee
I signed him and myself up, but soon he is going to notice it's a 3.1 mile run (I hope not until we get there) poor little brother Ray is going to sprint like a rocket for 3.1 miles because we need to get to the game on time this is going to be fun!
"Man I love it"! "and I mean that in a nice positive way"!

Slice of Life 5k in Lacrescent,,s6-239-283-284-0-0-0-0-1879186,00.html

Ironman WI September 07, 2008

This Ironman is going to be my 5th and I was going to put in as much as I could because I was doing it for my Great Uncle Todd, he had trained so hard to do this Ironman however, one day in his training rides he hit a deer “yep” you read that right he hit a deer on his bike so he was out no Ironman WI 2008. I didn’t tell him I was going to dedicate this race to him until I went across the finish line this is where he was working with my Aunt Ramona. He was going to find out with a shirt that read Number 5 is for the Great Uncle Todd!

Off to my experience.

Went to bed at about 8:30 pm Saturday night, woke up at 3:30 am ate some waffles, yogurt put some goodies ready for Blane and Landen they were going to be watching the event all day long.
We left the house about 5:00 am the roads were crazy already! We found a parking spot thank gosh, as I was grabbing my bags in the trunk of my car I all the sudden got this “oh my gosh your going to finish your 5th Ironman” it looks like it’s going to be a great day! Wait I though to myself it is going to be a great, wonderful fantastic day!. Butterflies started in my tummy I just kept thinking keep it together Sunshine! Just like I tell all my clients stay in control and relaxed.

My Mom and Step dad Bob were waiting there for us; they have been to 3 of my Ironman’s in WI. a long with my Great Uncle Todd and Aunt Ramona they been to the really, really HOT Ionman, The cold/rainy Ironman, and now the perfect weather one. It’s so very awesome to see your family and friends all over the course. Thanks Mom, Bob, G.U.T, Aunt Ramona Arne, Shannon and my wonderful Gramparents Bob and Ruth for taking the time out for me and watching me all day long! You will never know how much I appreciate your support!!

Ok back to it!
I put my bags where they needed to go, then on my way to my bike again for the 4th time everything looked great! Brand new spanking tires never been ridden on “OOPS” I forgot to do that”, tire pressure 118. I found some of my friends gave tons of hugs and good lucks, found Ron he had my wet suit it was time to jump into it meaning my wet suit… Tracie found me when we were walking down the ramp, it was so cool last time we were in Madison we went into the water together and again this year we did the same. We got out to the far end I went up front I love the craziness you can’t think of anything except swim and don’t stop even if you are run over, hit, punched kicked, yada, yada, yada! This time it was craziness the whole 2 miles “man oh man” that was fun you couldn’t stop unless you were ready to get run over!
I looked at my watch and it was 1:11 my fastest swim ever but then it took forever to get out of the water and across the mat, I ran up pointed at this guy and he grabbed a hold of my wet suit and pulled from the top however he didn’t know he had one of my straps to my suit he stopped thank gosh, I got it off the top sat down and my wet suit was off I seconds and my swim suit was still on whooohoo; up the ramp I go I ran all the way gave some friends hi fives and in the changing room I went changed and out I went. Off to the bathroom I didn’t walk in on anyone this time (Last time a man was in one going to the bathroom and he didn’t lock the door and I was in the stall with him) ran to my bike saw Blane “go babe’s go”, again saw Landen he yells “love you mom, go mom go” and my parents yelling “keep it up Danni”. Down the ramp I went that was awesome. Keeping it together and trying not to go off like a rocket and kept it nice and slow my heart rate was still 178-180 so I knew I had to relax or I wouldn’t be going any where fast! My bike ride was awesome the first loop, I seen so many friends and family all over screaming my name or go Sunshine go! When I got to the second loop the winds picked up I was right on with my nutrition however, I started to cramp up really, really bad I was changing positions on my bike so I would use different parts of my quads and at one point I had to keep moving because if I didn’t they could cramp. I was climbing one hill and my chain fell off holly crud it was amazing how that felt to get off your bike and back on it. I kept a positive mind and didn’t let anything get to me even when I was going 11 to 12 mph because of the winds. POSITIVE THINKING! Back to the helix I road as hard as I could up it people were screaming it was awesome I was off my bike.

On to the run! OUCH- my foot hurt so bad I have a stress fracture in it and I knew it was only going to get worse, I started running my first mile was 9:48 but then I had to bring it to run two min walk two, that wasn’t working I had to run one and walk one, this went on forever it felt, then all the sudden I seen some of my clients and friends running the race they were doing awesome! I kept a steady pace! As I tell everyone “keep the pace and you will stay in the race”. When I was coming up to the 13 mile there was my Aunt Ramona telling me you look great keep it up, then I came around the corner there was Landen, Blane, my mom and dad and more friends and family it was awesome! I grabbed my get my special needs bag and I was off again. I went Blane met be about 100 yards down he hands me the biggest Cheeseburger ever, yep you got it a Cheeseburger so here I am running and eating a Cheeseburger people couldn’t believe it, “ Is that a Cheeseburger your eating” they asked my response was yes it is and it is so very, very good. As most of you know I don’t eat Cheeseburgers ever!

Still dealing with the pain in my foot and my Achilles tendons - but I kept thinking it’s nothing like the pain my uncle went through. I started picking it up at mile 19 Blane was there to give me hug and a kiss “baby you are looking great, now kick some butt” I’ll see you at the finish line, so I picked it up again still at mile 19 I had to keep in control and not push it to hard; I wanted to get as close to 13:00 hour as I could, as I was coming around to the finish I could hear Mike say “if you want to break that 13:00:00 you better pick it up” I just couldn’t I had to keep in control, I looked a head there was Landen waiting for me he looked like he was ready to sprint again to the finish so I waved at him he came running out grabbed my hand and he sprinted and I mean sprinted in with me, we made it right at 13:00 hours man that was an awesome experience again!!!!! I grabbed the shirt I had around my waist for the race put it on and again it said number 5 is four the Great Uncle Todd, his look on his face was priceless I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! It was AWESOME!

Thanks to all my friends and family especially to those who have been there for me for all my events it’s a long day for us but even a longer day for my family and friends!

Sure Love all of you “Sunshine’s”!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Swim time- 1:15:08
Bike Time 6:24:38 Run Time: 5:06:47

Total Time: 13:00:15
More to come!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

GO Steve GO!

ARE YOU NUTS?? 2 Ironman Triathlons in 1 Week??

As you may have already heard on TV, radio, the internet, or in print (WGN, Endurance, Q101, Chicago Tribune, Windy City Sports, etc.) this week I am in the middle of completing 2 Ironman Triathlons in 1 week to raise awareness for a very rare and deadly bone marrow disease my wife is in remission from, Aplastic Anemia.

As I’m sure you know; an Ironman Triathlon is a grueling 140.6 mile race that includes 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling, and 26.2 miles of running. I just completed Ironman Louisville on August 31st and will race in Madison this weekend at Ironman Wisconsin , September 7.

Everyone is asking for donations these days. Why should you contribute to this? Because all I’m asking is for just $5.00! I am shamelessly begging you to PLEASE donate, no matter how big or small the amount. Every little bit really does count. I get NO BENEFIT from raising THIS money…no free wetsuit, no free airline ticket, no prizeS…NOTHING! I’m doing this simply to raise money for medical research, period.

I’ve done all the training, all you need to do is click and donate. Event if it’s only $5.00, PLEASE donate. Rare diseases need so much support as they have very little resources.
If you’ve already donated, consider donating again. I’m doing the race twice!

To donate just click on the “DONATE” button here:

Thanks for taking a second to contribute!

(If you want to see how the races went, you can go to

Some good info. for Ironman

Subject: Training & Ironman tid bits>>>

Well, I can imagine the growing excitement that is beginning to manifest itself as we get into Ironman week. I've already had some calls and e-mails with questions, and encourage more as you make your final preparations before you head down to Madison . A few items to share with you from my experience that may give you some thoughts to consider:

>>1. The long range forecast looks to be great for race day. Watch it daily, as it can and will change!!! 2004 forecast was for the upper 70's, and it got to 90!!! The moral of the story is to
pack for both warm and cold. Toe warmers and arm warmers for the bike are good ideas just in case. And some warm clothes for the pre race during body marking and waiting for the start, again just in case. The low 50's can get you pretty chilled after a couple hours.

>>2. Don't forget reflective tape for your shoes, jersey, and shorts for the run.

>>3. This week’s diet should take on more complex carbos and protein. Fish and Chicken work great, along with the standards like noodles, potatoes, rice, veggies, fruits, bagels, etc. Approx. 75% of your diet should be in the carbohydrate range, and don't worry about the extra pounds that you will put on. They will come in handy on race day, believe me!!!! Hydration is key even if the weather looks cool. Stay well hydrated leading up to race day. Rehearse over and over again, your race day strategy for nutrition and hydration.

>>4. Don't get caught up in the hype in Madison . Get plenty of rest during all the activities that will be going on.

Info. Provided by a friend..
Sunday's Ironman Number is 2118. I can't wait!

Cancer Survivors Turn Ironman Competitors

Reported by Mark McPherson

Friday night CBS is airing a fundraising event called Stand Up To Cancer to raise money for cancer research. And all this week we are brining you stories of local cancer survivors.

This is the story of 5 cancer survivors who have beaten the disease and are now taking on one of sports most grueling competitions.
They start before the sun comes up, training for one of the most excruciating races the world has to offer. They are preparing for the Wisconsin Ironman race, a 2.5 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. "It's a test of your body, your mind, everything," said Jim Conner, an Ironman competitor. "It's a fun experience, swimming, biking, and running 140.6, is a huge accomplishment," said Ironman Coach Danniela Nichols, "why do people do the Ironman? I think to push themselves to the limit to see how far they can push themselves."
When you are looking at a 140 miles 'pushing yourself' may seem like an understatement, but for some of these athletes it's become a necessary way of life. That's because in the group 5 are cancer survivors including Nichols whose survived it twice. "I had cancer when I was 21-years-old," said Nichols, "I had cervical cancer then and overcame that, and then in 2005 I had thyroid cancer."
Today this single mom has competed in 5 ironman races and now coaches other athletes. For these survivors, competing in the ironman is just another step on their journey to get better. "Even though you have a type of disease or a body situation or anything like that you just try to overcome that and focus on your goals," said Nichols. "This is one day that I have to go through of whatever pain it is and exhaustion and frustration and being upset," said competitor and cancer survivor Michelle Lamore, "and if I can deal with one day, really that's nothing compared to what I went through."
Being able to look back on what they've survived keeps them confident they can achievce what lay ahead, and makes them appreciate what they have. "Especially the little things," said Lamore, "you know now being able to even walk up the stairs, that was a huge thing, now I look at myself and I'm swimming across the lake."
The Wisconsin Ironman race takes place Sunday, September 7th at Lake Monona in Madison. The Stand Up To Cancer event airs Friday, September 5th on NewsChannel 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Training: up at 5:00 am out the door for a bike ride 45 min. with a 30 min. run-

Big Brother Tyler wants to take Landen to a Kicking Bear event to night take a look at this:
they should have fun! I will go for a little while but Tyler wants to send time with Landen.
Thursday Training:

Bike 1:30 Swam 50 min. and ran 1:30 not all at once!

I liked this artical: ok I had to put in my 2 cents about it!

By Marni Rakes
Feeling rushed in the morning? All the time 4:11am comes fast when you go to bed at 11:00 pm. Do you find it hard to wake up early for a morning workout, get your kids out the door on time and squeeze in a filling, nutritious meal after hitting the snooze button one too many times? Man if I did this "WOWZA" VERY, VERY BAD.. While breakfast might be the last thing on your mind as you dash out the door, it is important that a morning meal has a place in your routine. SO VERY TRUE!
For many individuals, consuming large late-night dinners, or many calorie-rich evening snacks, reduces the urge to eat upon waking. Likewise, eating dinner within an hour or two before bedtime may cause poor absorption of food and a restless night of sleeping. Avoid waking up to a full stomach by giving yourself at least three hours to digest a 400-500 calorie dinner (rich in lean protein, a little fat and complex carbohydrates) before going to bed. A small protein snack of around 50-150 calories is optional about an hour prior to bed, but avoid over-indulging in sweets, which tend to be high in empty calories and sugars.
As for the majority of active women, an early morning workout is how you like to start the day. Working out on an empty stomach is recommended for workouts lasting around an hour (or less), but neglecting to refuel post-workout is an unhealthy start to the day. The body has enough stored glycogen (digested carbohydrates) in the muscles to help you finish a 60-minute moderately intense workout first thing in the morning so long as the daily diet is balanced with several small protein and carbohydrate snacks (150-200 calories) and three portion-controlled meals (400-500 calories) every day.
In order to have plenty of energy for your morning workout, eating late at night is not an option. Workouts become compromised when undigested food is sitting in the stomach or you wake up bloated due to a late-night meal. Furthermore, eating too many simple carbohydrates in the evening increases the chance for unstable blood sugar levels, poor storage of muscle glycogen (potential fuel) and the probability that excess calories will be stored as fat.
Breakfast is the first chance to refuel liver and muscle glycogen after an overnight fast. Eating breakfast will not only help you recover quickly after a morning workout, but your mind and body will also feel energized all day. SO VERY TRUE! People who skip breakfast tend to be moody, irritable and tired and have a tendency to snack excessively, feel famished at lunchtime and experience uncontrollable cravings throughout the day. NO WAY JUST GET SOME GUMMY BEARS HEHEHE!
The morning meal must be practical and easy. You must anticipate the morning meal and know exactly what you will eat before starting your day. Your morning meal should be nutritious, filling and high in complex carbohydrates. Adding fiber, protein and fat to your calorie-controlled 350-500 calorie morning meal will also keep you full throughout the morning. Picking up your breakfast at a fast-food restaurant can be avoided by having ready-to-prepare items on-hand at your work or at your home. Breakfast does not have to take 30-minutes to prepare, but trying to save time with frozen meals and processed bars are not healthy food choices for your first meal of the day.
Try some of the following food items to ensure that you never have to skip breakfast again!

1 whole-wheat wrap (Check low-carb wraps to save calories. Prioritize fiber, protein and calories when finding the best wrap) 1 tbsp. natural or organic peanut butter 1 ½ tbsp. strawberry low-sugar or sugar-free jelly 1 tbsp. raisins 2 tbsp. slivered almonds or 1/4 cup granola (or dry cereal) Heat wrap for 10 seconds in microwave. This will help peanut butter spread easily. Spread peanut butter and jelly on wrap covering the entire inside of the wrap. 2. Sprinkle raisins, almonds and/or granola (or cereal) on wrap. 3. Roll up wrap and you are ready to go. *Optional: Eat with apple slices (1/2 apple, sliced).

2. Vanilla Strawberry Smoothie (w/ chocolate!!) *Within 30-minutes post-workout
½ cup light Silk vanilla milk ½ cup water 1/3 cup sliced strawberries (best if frozen) 4 ounces strawberry lit n' fit yogurt 4-5 ice cubes 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (1 serving protein should have 90-120 calories and at least 18g protein) 1 tbsp. Sugar-free syrup or 1 oz. dark chocolate bar. Blend first 5 ingredients until smooth. May need to add more water. 2. Add protein powder and blend until smooth. May need to add more water. 3. Poor into a tall cup. Drizzle 1 tbsp. sugar-free chocolate syrup on top or chop 1 ounce of dark chocolate and sprinkle on top J *Optional: Eat orange slices or berries w/ smoothie (about ½ orange or ½ cup berries).

3.The Woman Trying To Lose Weight - Quick, Simple And Yummy Waffles With Eggs 2 frozen whole-wheat waffles 2 tbsp. fat-free strawberry cream cheese Sugar-free syrup 1/8 cup chopped walnuts 4 eggs ¼ cup skim milk Spray butter.
Toast waffles. While waffles are toasting, spray a large microwave safe bowl w/ 4 squirts of spray butter to cover inside of bowl. 2. Crack 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg in bowl and add milk. Scramble eggs until they are mixed well. 3. Microwave eggs for 60-90 seconds (eggs may pop if left in microwave too long). Stir eggs and microwave again for 60-90 sec. until soft. 4. Eggs should be properly cooked, but soft enough to separate with a fork. Spoon out eggs onto a plate and "scramble" eggs with the bottom of a fork until eggs look scrambled. 5. Place the two waffles on the plate and spread w/ fat-free strawberry cream cheese (1 tbsp. per waffle). Sprinkle chopped walnuts on waffles and drizzle with sugar-free syrup. 6. Heat plate in microwave for 30-45 sec. until warm. Enjoy! *Optional: Spoon 2 -4 ounces of strawberry or vanilla Lit n' Fit yogurt on waffles.

4. Nutty Oatmeal With Fruit 1/3 cup instant oatmeal 2 tbsp. raisins 1/4 cup skim/soy milk Cinnamon ¼ cup mixed nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, walnuts - best if all chopped) 1/8 scoop protein powder (90-120 calories per serving, at least 18g protein) Banana Apple Grapes Berries 1. Pour oatmeal, raisins and nuts in microwave safe bowl. 2. Pour in skim/soy milk and stir. 3. Microwave for 2 minutes. May need to add more milk to meet your consistency needs. 4. While oatmeal is cooking, slice ½ banana and ½ apple and add grapes and berries to a small bowl (save the other ½ banana and apple for a mid-morning snack). 5. Sprinkle oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and add protein powder after cooking. May need to add more milk/water to meet your desired consistency after protein powder is added. 6. Cook oatmeal again for 30 - 45 seconds until hot. 7. Enjoy your oatmeal and fruit! *If your office does not have a microwave, use hot water from a coffee machine. *To save time, prepare all fixings for oatmeal (except protein powder) the night before work and place in the refrigerator in a zip-lock bag. When at work, oatmeal will be ready for the microwave. Don't forget a Tupperware microwave safe bowl, spoon and knife for cutting fruit! *Water is always an option when you don't have skim/soy milk.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Training for yesterday and today!

Yesterday -
2 hour bike ride in the am and 2 hours at night (I didn't have Landen so I ride bike)
45 min. run/walk
40 lungs
40 push ups
40 squats
200 abs

It was 90 something out and "man oh man" that was a killer, however I paid for it today I was on my couch most of the day today with a terrible headache, tummy ache, sweats and yada yada I hate it!

So tomorrow back at it but make sure I have a ton of Poweraid and Gatorade

"Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement."
Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What a training day yesterday was:

I teamed up with Jayde (swimmer) and Aunt Ramona (runner) and did a Team Triathlon, my foot is still killing me so team evens are better at this point. I have to tell myself my "A" race is Ironman WI...

The swim was very waive and this was Jayde's first triathlon she did awesome she came out of the water and looked great, I waited for her as she came up the hill, we exchanged the chip and I was off the bike course is really flat it was an all out sprint my heart rate got up to 194 wowza but then I came up on my sister Bethanne slowed down to tell her "Sunshine you are looking great keep it up". My Mom and Step Dad were on the course I caught them out the corner of my eye and waived, that was awesome. I was trying to keep my MPH at 22 and up but then there were 2 vehicles in my way they wouldn't pass anyone so that was it I passed them, no crud the lady in the van came up to me and said something like " you can't be passing a vehicle"- I was thinking "whatever Sunshine" Came in Aunt Ramona came running to me she took the timing chip put it on and she was off, Jayde and I went to the finish line and waited for her to come in we wanted to run across the finish line with her. Then all the sudden here she comes we ran with her in and she did awesome too. It was so fun! We took first place in the Team Event.

Then Ron, I and Tracie want to Madison we met Jim there we were going to ride the bike course well 70 miles. This was the first time since completing IronMan Wisconsin 2006 that I have been on the bike course. Again we planned on doing 1 loop. I love the bike course (outside of the ride from Verona to Mt. Horeb) with all the ups and downs -- keeps it interesting and you are always changing gears, going in and out of the aero bars, etc. Regarding my aero bars, last year I remember forcing myself to stay in the aero position on the bike as much as I could. It just didn't feel comfortable all the time and actually caused me some neck and shoulder pain from time to time. I had Dan from River Trails change my bike positioning and my aero bars just to see if that would take some of the pain out of my neck and make it more comfortable for me and it worked great, I didn't feel that much in my neck as I did last year and My shoulder's weren't to bad until today. But you do so much better and faster in an aero position I have to add it's so much more efficient. This year I haven't road over 112 miles but I feel great and confident.
It was a fun and long day!

I love this quote!
"You can quit, and no one will care if you do. But you will always know."
~John Collins, Ironman founder~

Jumpers Knee

Jumpers Knee (Patellar tendinitis / patellar tendinopathy)

What is jumpers knee / patella tendonitis?
The patellar tendon / ligament joins the kneecap (patella) to the shin bone or tibia
. This tendon is extremely strong and allows the quadriceps muscle group to straighten the leg. The quadriceps actively straighten the knee in jumping to propel the individual off the ground as well as functioning in stabilizing their landing.
As such this tendon comes under a large amount of stress especially in individuals who actively put extra strain on the knee joint such as those who regularly perform sports that involve direction changing and jumping movements. With repeated strain, micro-tears as well as collagen degeneration may occur as a result in the tendon.

This is known as patellar tendinopathy or Jumpers Knee. It should be distinguished from patella tendonitis as this latter condition indicates an inflammation of the tendon whereas tendinopathy is more about degeneration of the tendon. For the purpose of this article we have used the term patella tendonitis as well as tendinopathy but strictly speaking tendinopathy is usually the correct term.
What are the symptoms of jumpers knee / patella tendonitis?
Pain at the bottom and front of the kneecap especially when pressing in or palpating
Aching and stiffness after exertion.
Pain when you contract the quadriceps muscles.
The affected tendon may appear larger than the unaffected side.
May be associated with poor
Vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) function
Calf weakness may be present
Click here for the VISA interactive questionnaire to assess how bad your jumper's knee is.
Warning!! - This injury may seem like a niggling injury that is not that bad. Many athletes continue to train and compete on it as it may not be a debilitating injury and recovers after a short period of rest. However, neglect jumpers knee at your peril! If left to become chronic it can be very difficult to treat and may require surgery.
What can the athlete can do about patella tendinopathy?
This depends on the extent or grade of the injury:

Grade 1: Pain only after training
Continue training but apply ice or
cold therapy to the injury after each training session. Cold therapy can be applied by by ice massage or the use of ice packs. It is important the cold is applied at the point of pain on the tendon.
Wear a
heat retainer or support.
See a sports injury specialist / therapist who can apply
sports massage techniques and advise on rehabilitation. An eccentric strengthening programme is generally recommended.

Grade 2: Pain before and after exercise but pain reduces once warmed up.
Modify training activities to reduce the load on the tendon. Stop jumping or sprinting activities and replace them with steady running or swimming / running in water if necessary.
See a
sports injury specialist / therapist who can apply sports massage techniques and advise on rehabilitation.

Grade 3: Pain during activity which prevents you from training / performing at your best.
Rest completely from the aggravating activity. Replace it with swimming / running in water (if pain allows).
See a sports injury specialist / therapist who can apply
sports massage techniques and advise on rehabilitation.

Grade 4: Pain during every day activities which may or may not be getting worse.
Rest for a long period of time (at least 3 months!).
See a sports injury specialist / therapist who can apply sports massage techniques for patella tendonitis / tendinopathy and advise on
If the knee does not respond to rehabilitation then consult an Orthopaedic Surgeon as surgery may be required.

If you would like to look at Stretches and Strengthening exercises take a look at this site..

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Training for today- Drills in the pool with Landen
1.50 Bike
45 min. spinning class

No Running.... My foot is killing me however, a fast walk will do..

"When you feel that -I don't want to workout day, dig deep and put those shoes on and go you will feel so much better when your done"!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Training for today-
Running -50 min. of warm up of 1 mile then 5 x 3 min. with 3 min. off " now this depends on my foot" then 1 to 2 mile cool down.

Swimming 3200 yards

Abs 300

Taking Landen to his Baseball Game

Working with 5 of my clients

Going to a friends house to eat - I'm bringing Monster Cookies and Gummy Bears "yum, yum"

Something to think about!
"I's what's in you that makes you an Athlete"

I get asked this all the time!

How Much Fuel Do You Need During Long Rides?

By Jimmy Archer
Triathlete magazine

Cycling nutrition is a crucial aspect of any triathlete's training and racing plan. During a race, it's not practical to eat or drink during the swim, and, for many athletes, high calorie intake during the run can lead to stomach problems, including nausea and malabsorption. Thus, the bike leg is the prime time to take on calories—and an effective nutrition strategy on the bike can set you up for a good run.Marcus Garand, registered dietician and director of sports nutrition for NYC Triathlon Consulting Services, says, "During a race, the cycling leg offers the best opportunity to ingest solid food and fluids, bars, gels and sports drinks. Nutrition and hydration during the cycling leg sets the stage for a strong run. On the other hand, inadequate nutrition and poor hydration on the bike can lead to dehydration, cramping and GI issues."Yet, how do you know what, when and how much to take in? While every individual will have different needs, there are a few basic guidelines triathletes can follow to help ensure they give themselves the best possible opportunity for success on race day.In general all athletes will need:
16 to 32 ounces of fluid per hour
Plus, 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour
Here is where it can get a bit tricky. According to Neal Henderson, director of sports science at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Colorado, "At intensity, it is impossible to match your [fluid and calorie] intake to your body's expenditure. The body only has a finite capacity to absorb carbohydrates; thus, you can only take in so much before the body can't absorb any more. The result of over-intake of carbs is what leads to GI distress."Therefore, at higher intensities you will eventually reach a breaking point at which you will either have to slow down or risk bonking. One way to determine how long you can maintain a given intensity is to use a
power meter in your cycling training. Henderson states, "By using a power meter and observing the kilojoules you expend, you can get a fairly accurate measure of calories you are burning." This is due to the fact that, while cycling, there is very close to a 1:1 ratio of calories needed to kilojoules expended. If you don't have a power meter, you will have to do a bit of trial-and-error testing during your training. But you already know you will need somewhere between 16 and 32 ounces of fluid and 30 to 60 grams of carbs, so you have a ballpark to start with. After taking this into account, consider that the higher your intensity the higher your caloric expenditure will be. However, this is where the trial and error comes in; you can take in too much. Thus, be conservative in your intake adjustments and don't try and empty the cupboard before every ride. Here are a few nutrition tips for racing and long training rides:
Pack more gels and/or energy bars than you think you'll need. You may drop some or may have a craving for one over the other.
Try/test different fuel/hydration systems during training. If a system is hard to use or unreliable, you won't use it as frequently as you should.
Determine how much to carry and how much to get from aid stations. Depending upon what's being served on course, you will want to carry more or less food with you; however, note that most races feature well-stocked aid stations, so don't load yourself down unnecessarily.
Know what is at the aid stations and where they are located.
Base nutrition intake on time not on mile markers; set your watch to remind you to drink on schedule. Try to take in eight ounces every 15 minutes and close to one gel or half a bar per hour.
Mark your bottles accordingly so you know how much you're drinking. For example, measure out eight ounces and then mark eight-ounce increments on your bottles to help keep your nutrition plan on track.
Drink intermittently when your pace is steady.
Practice all nutrition and hydration strategies and techniques during training.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Training for today - Swimming 3800 yards.. I went to the lake and swam 2.4 miles, I was feeling so very good...
My legs were a little sore, so I didn't ride bike.

What is up with this!!!!
Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid Sold Out July 21, 2008
In keeping with the tradition set at Subaru Ironman Canada, the 11th edition of Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid, to be held July 26, 2009, has sold out on-site to general entry. There will be no online general entry for this event.Information regarding NAS Community Fund Spots will be available in the near future, please check or for details as they become available.
Our Next Ironman was going to be Ironman Lake Placid
My friends and I just tried registering for Ironman USA (Lake Placid) and it's sold out as you can read. "Man oh Man" what a disappointment... So next year we'll have to fly there and volunteer, stay over night and maybe we can get in line for 2010.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Training for to day was a 2 hour and 30 min. run, however mine was a run and walk my foot was on fire. Man it stinks...

I was in Door County last weekend and I was running in the woods and steped wrong and hurt the bottom of my foot.... If you know me I run on my toes all the time and I just twisted my center of my foot OUCH! I've given it a couple days off. Didn't do the race in Racine because of it.

But my legs feel great today they don't hurt at all from our ride yesterday!

Biked 1:39 up hills and flats feeling great!

"There is a strength of a quiet endurance as significant of courage as the most daring feats of prowess".
Henry Tuckerman
I hate smelly clothes- so I was looking on the Internet and found this:

Friday July 11, 2008

Embarrassing Running Problems- Many runners were relieved that they were not the only ones who had experienced some of those issues. And one runner had a question about another common problem that I didn't cover in the article: How can I get the smell out of my running clothes? Here's my response:
Technical fabrics are great for running because they wick away your sweat but, unfortunately, bacteria (which causes the smell) gets trapped in the fibers and can be hard to get out. Here are a couple of tricks that work:
Using baking soda helps. Pre-soak your clothes in a solution of water and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (or just use water and a cup of baking soda). You can use the pre-soak setting on the washing machine or do it in a separate container. Then wash and use Arm and Hammer laundry detergent. Try using a special detergent formulated for technical wear, such as Penguin Wash

By Christine Luff, Guide to Running / Jogging

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Training for today was 4:40 ride Tracie, Leanne and I left my house at 6:00 am and a short run. We ate Peanut Butter sandwich's, Power Bars, Gu, and Salted Nut rolls.

We were drinking accerlerade EFS We all felt great, NO cramps whooohoo... Running for tomorrow is 2:30. We'll see how we recovered from our ride today!

"Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory".
William Barclay

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Training today was fun! Swam over 1 mile with Tracie and Jason.

Biked 2 hours with Ron and Tracie.

300 abs

and a bag of Gummy bears with some licorice very, very good.

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I received this quote awhile ago from a friend that I miss! It's so very true!

"In practicing the art of parenthood an ounce of example is worth a ton of preachment".

This is so very Sad!

I don't even know what to say to this.

But I feel so very bad for his wife and two children who are 3 and 6.
Like he would always say "Live life like it's your last"
OK how is watching the Tour de France 2008? I love watching this I know it's 100 percent different that Lance isn't in it anymore. However it is fun to watch..

OK Training for today was teach spinning and an hour and a half bike it was awesome, hot, Hummed, and rain I love working out in this weather.

Ran 45 min. nice and easy!

I hurt my foot so bad and it's holding me back from running, not fun. However I can still ride and Swim...

Things to think about!

Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you ready or not,
to put this plan into action.

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it.

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich Any ideas, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.

There are no Failures in Competitive Swimming, Just Different Levels of Achievement.

More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Do not be too timid or squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


This was fun. 26 miles of all out sprint with yourseft or with a team. I teamed up with Todd we did this race together last year. Our goal was to beat our time from last year and we did by two min. it was fast, windy, rained and man it was fun.

I have to say great job to
My sister Bethanne
To Lisa R.
and to the Great Uncle Todd!


You all did awesome!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Got Energy Race is tomorrow!

I'm doing the sprint with two other girls. My Team is Kellen she is my swimmer, I will be doing the bike and Andrea will be doing the run. It's going to be awesome.

My work out for today- a swim with my Great Uncle Todd and a Fast bike ride with Garry. Just a warm up for tomorrow.

There is over 350 people in this event, it's going to be so fun doing something new - which is doing a sprint with a team.

Friday, June 06, 2008

This is a great articale

Real Thought for Food for Long Workouts

DR. MARK TARNOPOLSKY, a muscle physiology researcher at McMaster University in Canada and a physician, knows all about the exhortations by supplement makers and many nutritionists on what to eat and when to eat it for optimal performance.

The idea is that you are supposed to consume carbohydrates and proteins in a magical four-to-one ratio during endurance events like a long run or bike ride, and right after. The belief is that such nutritional diligence will improve your performance and speed your recovery.

Dr. Tarnopolsky, a 45-year-old trail runner and adventure racer, might be expected to seize upon the nutritional advice. (He won the Ontario trail running series in 2004, 2005 and 2006.)

So might his colleague, Stuart Phillips, a 41-year-old associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster who played rugby for Canada’s national team and now plays it for fun. He also runs, lifts weights and studies nutrition and performance.

In fact, neither researcher regularly uses energy drinks or energy bars. They just drink water, and eat real food. Dr. Tarnopolsky drinks fruit juice; Dr. Phillips eats fruit. And neither one feels a need to ingest a special combination of protein and carbohydrates within a short window of time, a few hours after exercising.

There are grains of truth to the nutrition advice, they and other experts say. But, as so often happens in sports, those grains of truth have been expanded into dictums and have formed the basis for an entire industry in “recovery” products.

They line the shelves of specialty sports stores and supermarkets with names like Accelerade drink, Endurox R4 powder, PowerBar Recovery bar.

“It does seem to me that as a group, athletes are particularly gullible,” said Michael Rennie, a physiologist at the University of Nottingham in England who studies muscle metabolism.

The idea that what you eat and when you eat it will make a big difference in your performance and recovery “is wishful thinking,” said Dr. Rennie, a 61-year-old who was a competitive swimmer and also used to play water polo and rugby.

Here is what is known about proteins, carbohydrates and performance.

During exercise, muscles stop the biochemical reactions used to maintain themselves such as replacing and resynthesizing the proteins needed for day to day activities. It’s not that exercise is damaging your muscles; it’s that they halt the maintenance process until exercise is over.

To do this maintenance, muscles must make protein, and to do so they need to absorb amino acids, the constituent parts of proteins, from the blood. Just after exercise, perhaps for a period no longer than a couple of hours, the protein-building processes of muscle cells are especially receptive to amino acids. That means that if you consume protein, your muscles will use it to quickly replenish proteins that were not made during exercise.

But muscles don’t need much protein, researchers say. Twenty grams is as much as a 176-pound man’s muscles can take. Women, who are smaller and have smaller muscles even compared to their body sizes, need less.

Dr. Rennie said that 10 to 15 grams of protein is probably adequate for any adult. And you don’t need a special drink or energy bar to get it. One egg has 6 grams of protein. Two ounces of chicken has more than 12 grams.

Muscles also need to replenish glycogen, their fuel supply, after a long exercise session — two hours of running, for example. For that they need carbohydrates. Muscle cells are especially efficient in absorbing carbohydrates from the blood just after exercise.

Once again, muscles don’t need much; about one gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight is plenty, Dr. Tarnopolsky said. He weighs 70 kilograms, or 154 pounds, which means he would need 70 grams of carbohydrates, or say, 27 ounces of fruit juice, he said.

Asker Jeukendrup, a 38-year-old 14-time Ironman-distance finisher who is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist at the University of Birmingham in England said the fastest glycogen replacement takes place in the four hours after exercise. Even so, most athletes need not worry.

“Most athletes will have at least 24 hours to recover,” Dr. Jeukendrup said. “We really are talking about a group of extremely elite sports people who train twice a day.” For them, he said, it can be necessary to rapidly replenish muscle glycogen.

The American College of Sports Medicine, in a position paper written by leading experts, reported that athletes who take a day or two to rest or do less-intense workouts between vigorous sessions can pretty much ignore the carbohydrate-timing advice.

The group wrote that for these athletes, “when sufficient carbohydrate is provided over a 24-hour period, the timing of intake does not appear to affect the amount of glycogen stored.”

For protein, it is not clear what the window is. Some studies concluded it was less than two hours, others said three hours, and some failed to find a window at all.

Dr. Rennie and his colleagues, writing in Annual Reviews of Physiology, concluded that “a possible ‘golden period’ ” for getting amino acids into muscles “remains a speculative, no matter how attractive, the concept.”

Although studies by Dr. Jeukendrup and several others have shown that consuming protein after exercise speeds up muscle protein synthesis, no one has shown that that translates into improved performance. The reason, Dr. Jeukendrup said, is that effects on performance, if they occur, won’t happen immediately. They can take 6 to 10 weeks of training. That makes it very hard to design and carry out studies to see if athletes really do improve if they consume protein after they exercise.

“You’d have to control everything, what they do, how they train, and also their carbohydrate and protein intake,” Dr. Jeukendrup said. “Those studies become almost impossible to do.”

As for the special four-to-one ratio of carbohydrates to protein, that, too, is not well established, researchers said. The idea was that you need both carbohydrates and protein consumed together because carbohydrates not only help muscles restore their glycogen but they also elicit the release of insulin. Insulin, the theory goes, helps muscles absorb amino acids.

Insulin may stimulate muscle protein synthesis in young rodents and in human cells grown in petri dishes, Dr. Rennie said. But studies in people have shown convincingly that insulin is not required for protein synthesis in adult human beings; it is amino acids that drive protein synthesis. As yet no convincing evidence exists that a special carbohydrate-to-protein ratio makes a noticeable difference in muscle protein maintenance after exercise. “There is no magic ratio,” Dr. Jeukendrup said.

The American College of Sports Medicine is equally skeptical. “Adding protein does not appreciably enhance glycogen repletion,” its paper states.

“Some studies suggested that adding proteins to carbohydrates during exercise can enhance performance,” Dr. Tarnopolsky said. “Many other studies suggested it didn’t do any good.”

Even if there are effects of protein and carbohydrates, they are not important to most exercisers, these researchers say. Serious triathletes and elite runners, who work out in the morning and at night, need to eat between training sessions. But people who are running a few miles a few days a week don’t need to worry about replenishing their muscles, Dr. Phillips said.

Dr. Rennie agreed. “If you are a superathlete, hundredths of a second matter,” he said. “But most Joes and Janes are just kidding themselves,” he said.

Some, like Dr. Jeukendrup, say they use a commercial protein-energy drink after training hard, for convenience.

Other researchers take their own nutritional advice. Dr. Tarnopolsky has a huge glass of juice, a bagel and a small piece of meat after a two- or three-hour run. Or he might have two large pieces of toast with butter and jam and a couple of scrambled eggs. But no energy bars, no energy drinks.

Dr. Phillips might have an energy bar during a long workout. But ordinarily he does not worry about getting a special carbohydrate-to-protein mix or timing his nutrition when he exercises. Instead, Dr. Phillips said, he simply eats real food at regular meals.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How to Tell When You're Over-reaching or Over-training

At some point during your athletic career you will experience fatigue—either for a few days or, possibly, for several months. Fatigue in otherwise healthy triathletes is typically the result of emotional, psychological or physical overload—or a combination of all three—and, ultimately, it takes a toll on your ability to perform.

Endurance athletes are particularly vulnerable to physical overload. Too much progressive training combined with incomplete recovery can create an over-reached athlete and an over-trained body.

The term over-reaching was adopted by exercise scientists to describe the short-term overload that can be managed within a few days. However, over-reaching can develop into over-training (from which it can be more difficult to recover) if the athlete does not mitigate the factors that caused the over-reaching or fails to allocate proper recovery time.

First, it's important to recognize that an athlete who repeatedly overloads his or her body without allowing adequate recovery time will eventually reach a state that requires rest. The length of the required rest period is one difference between over-reaching and over-training.

Secondly, over-reaching symptoms can sometimes be masked by an overzealous, type-A athlete. An athlete and/or a coach must objectively recognize the patterns and fluctuations in a training year to prevent the compromised results that accompany chronic over-training.

To begin, let's take a look at the characteristics that produce over-reaching. It is important to remember that individuals may demonstrate a broad range of causes. However, over-reaching is most commonly caused by:

1. Too much too soon, such as a 10 to 20 percent increase in training volume over a three- to four-week period

2. Frequently combining two harder variables in one training session (i.e. combining a long run with challenging hills or a tempo session with speed work)

3. Two or three high-intensity (i.e. near or above lactic threshold) workouts in one week on either the bike or run

4. Not allowing two days of easier sessions between the challenging workouts described in 2 and 3 above

5. Overload in psychological or emotional stress in other facets of your life

6. Lack of sleep

7. Poor nutritional habits before, during or immediately after workouts

8. Loading up your racing season with too many events

If only one of these statements matched your training style, then you might be able to get through the year. However, if you nodded your head to two or more then you are likely destined to experience over-reaching and possibly slide into over-training.

Walking a Fine Line

The three training parameters that dictate success for an endurance athlete are progression, overload and recovery. Without repeated days, weeks and months of workloads that break down and rebuild you, physiological progress would come to a standstill.

And, indeed, there are times throughout the year during which you need to train in a fatigued state. Your muscles may, at times, feel sore and heavy, but there is a fine line between preserving your body's ability to repair and rebound and pushing yourself into a spiral. In fact, rebound is the key word that differentiates a tired athlete from one who has gone too far and has crossed the line separating over-reaching from over-training.

As with the above causes of over-reaching, the symptoms of the condition demonstrated by each athlete may vary. Still, many commonalities exist:

1. Physiologists, coaches and athletes have looked at morning pulse rate as an indicator of over-reaching, and studies have confirmed that a pulse rate of four to six beats above your baseline normal can be an initial indication that you are fatigued but not necessarily over-reached. An easy day or a day off will usually bring your resting pulse back to normal. A more accurate indication of over-reaching is an inability to elevate your pulse rate and sustain it at a sub-threshold level. The body seemingly has a set governor that acts as a protective mechanism. When you are over-reached your muscles cannot and will not allow you to drive up the workload.

2. This inability to increase the pulse goes hand-in-hand with a muscular heaviness or overloaded feeling. Quite often there is a simultaneous tightness and stiffness in the joints. Regardless of the length of your warm-up, the muscles remain lethargic and heavy.

3. After a hard session the muscles can experience millions of micro-tears that can cause tenderness and soreness. The delayed onset of muscle soreness is a common symptom post-exercise (24 to 60 hours). However, if the muscles are sore for an extended period, even with light exercise, this can be a sign of over-reaching. In an effort to repair and rebuild the muscle damage, the muscle fills with water to flush out the by-products of exercise. This swelling can add to the heaviness described above.

4. A lack of sharpness during workouts as heart rate falls off for more than two days.

5. Eating habits are disrupted or compromised.

6. There is a decrease in your body weight.

If you have identified several of the above symptoms, and they last for three to five days or more, and if you ignore these symptoms, then you can push your body into a more severe state of fatigue called over-training.

Scheduling R & R to Avoid Over-training

Recognize that if over-reaching crops up several times during the year this is OK. However, if you experience a bout of over-reaching and the symptoms reoccur fewer than two weeks later (or linger, as described above), you need to modify your training workload.

Recovering from over-reaching requires four steps:

  1. Identify the symptoms.
  2. Take two full days of rest with no exercise.
  3. Take the following three days easy. No more than 50 minutes of exercise in one session. Do not attempt more than two of these easy sessions in one day.
  4. After this five-day period you can resume your normal training program.

However, note that the symptoms of over-reaching should dramatically reduce during the three easy days. If they do not, then you may be on the verge of over-training. If your sleep pattern, exercise load, or frequency of racing all dramatically increase and the ability to rebound diminishes, look out for over-training.

The symptoms of over-training can closely parallel over-reaching; however, without adequate recovery an over-trained athlete will quite often advance to a much deeper valley of fatigue. Over-trained athletes quite often have signs of improper hormone function, such as persistent colds, lack of sleep and muscular aches for several weeks.

In addition, repeated hard sessions with little or no rest can lead to chronic low levels of amino acids in the blood. As intensity increases amino acids are released to control muscle breakdown. Additionally, if the intake of carbohydrates and protein is low, particularly after exercise, then the rate of repair and protein synthesis can be delayed. This delay can, in turn, prevent the body from rebounding. Quite simply, the body never catches up to the ongoing demands placed upon it.

Over-training requires an extended recovery period of six to 12 weeks, and, in some cases, it may take several months to regain your prior fitness level. Here are the four key steps to help you recover from a bout of over-training:

  1. See a sports-medicine specialist. The protocol for evaluation will be determined by the specialist and should include a complete blood panel, muscle enzyme and hormone review.
  2. Rest. This may be total rest for several weeks or light activity as determined by your specialist, coach and yourself.
  3. Sleep. Increase the amount of sleep you get each night to ensure you rest for between seven and nine hours.
  4. Plot out a logical step-by-step increase in your training routine after a second evaluation. This gradual increase in your desired fitness level may take anywhere from six weeks to six months.

Over-reaching and over-training can be controlled by recognizing the early symptoms and required patterns of recovery. During a recovery day or week, you need to ensure your body is given enough time to rebuild. Never compromise proper recovery for another hard training session.

The key to improving is progression, overload and recovery. Use all three forms of training to maximize your training and racing potential. Recovery is not an excuse; it is a necessity.

By Dave Scott

Triathlete magazine