Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Indoor Cycling Class

In my quest to teach indoor cycling here in Houstin, I have been asked to participate in classes. I have never understood the correlation between taking a class and teaching a class, but OK.... I'll bite. And as a result, I have been utterly disappointed in the quality of classes here in Houston. I am shocked that participants think these classes are good, while I am counting down the minutes until we are finished.

Please understand, I am by no means the best instructor out there. In this, I am continually striving to learn more to be able to present better. I am networking and learning and trying new things, to make my classes better, to,provide the highest quality possible. And I honestly feel cheated when I am not provided the same quality I hope to deliver.

This morning, I participated in a class which could have been amazing. And yet, seemed lack luster. The instructor had good music for his purpose, BUT, he did not use a mike, so understanding his directions were at times challenging. He also was not clear in what we were hoping to achieve in class. Power, intensity, speed, what were we doing? And to what end?

And it seemed every song was more of the same choreography. Song one, song two, repeat. Pedal fast, increase tension, now repeat out of the saddle. Back in the saddle. Out of the saddle, let's do it again. And increase that tension, pedaling slowly, to the beat of the music, hovering (which we should not be doing anymore), and then for a five minute stretch just pedal as fast as you can.

Perhaps....... If he understood how to integrate power into the mix, the class would have been more meaningful. Or perhaps........ He was trying to accomplish that, but his vocabulary did not match his objectives.

But instead....... I found myself watching people bouncing in seats, hovering over saddles, and laying on handle bars. All things that are not effective in indoor cycling execution.

And somehow, they are able to determine if I can coach or teach a class by watching me participate.

Here's a thought: If you want to see how I teach, have me teach.


Seems pretty simple. But until then, I will continue doing my own thing, in your class.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Gels, goo, powders and STUFF

Supplements, protein powder, meal-replacement drinks........

Are they necessary?


That is a tricky question. One that I asked myself again this week as I was interviewed in an attempt to be recruited into yet another supplement company's MLM. (Well, they used a different name, but the bottom line is the person recruiting gets money for the work I do). And I listened the claims of how this is the best company, and if I had a product that was absolutely amazing would I not want to share it with my clients. And I politely declined, after being forthright and telling this person I am NOT a good candidate for the program.


Which leads me to two questions.


First: If I tell you outright I am not interested or am not a good candidate, why do you not believe me? Perhaps, your programming tells you this is the response you will get and how to circumvent it. Me: I get annoyed because it is clear you do not respect me as a person and my knowledge or ability to make a decision. If I am interested, I will say so. I am not. It is a reflection of me, not you.

I do not endorse one-product over another, because all of us are different. If I found the most amazing powder for me, it is just that, for me. It might make a client sick.

I further do not endorse or sell products because of the industry. As a coach, I am viewed through different lenses than others. I am not a registered dietician nor a nutritionist, but have studied quite a bit of nutrition out there. I am not comfortable selling a product to a client. They seek me out to be coached. We talk about food and if something beyond my scope arises, I have several qualified individuals to whom I can refer. I am not here to sell a fix; I am here to coach.

I also work with kids. The majority of my clients are children. Females. Society does enough damage to these young impressionable minds about body image, without me adding to the mix. We need to teach our kids to make better choices in terms of eating, developing a positive relationship with themselves, and in turn food, without convincing these that a pill, powder or gel is necessary.

And for me..... It is unethical. I will not push a product. I do not know 100% that your product is compliant with drug-testing protocols, for me or for my athletes. With all the scandals in sport, do I really want to add to the mix? I cannot in good faith recommend a supplement for an athlete.

But I can tell you that pineapple is a wonderful fruit, with enzymes that reduce inflammation which improves recovery, and it tastes good!

Second: why have all these supplement companies become predators and are leading coaches, personal trainers or anyone involved in the health, and fitness industry that the ONLY way to secure an income is by selling their product? They prey on the hopes and dreams and inadequacies that a qualified professional might experience while building a business.


My thoughts on supplements.

Yes, at times we all need to supplement our diet. Our diet should consist of balanced food groups. In my world, it is predominantly fruits and veggies, some fish, nuts and seeds, some grains and perhaps some other animal protein.

I do use whey protein from time to time, my favorite being ricotta cheese with walnuts and raspberries, put in the freezer for about 30minutes. Awesome mock ice cream treat!

I do take vitamins, including D3, C, E, B-complex and minerals like selenium and zinc, as well as fish oils.

But, I try to get the majority of my requirements from food.


Gels, powders and goo.

Yes, these can be useful in training and racing. (Experiment in practice how your body responds). My body does not do well with most of these concoctions. In this, I strive to get most of my fuel needs from food. I do not like the taste, consistency or how I feel from meal-replacement shakes. It is simpler for me, to eat real food.

Long training ride: peanut butter and jelly, celery and PB, Swedish fish.

Long run: Apple juice, Swedish fish, Payday bar, pretzels.

Swim: water and sometimes Rehydrate.


Otherwise, give me food.


The biggest notable ALL these companies say is that they use only all-natural products. They forget to tell you they grind these up (process them) to create a pill, shake or powder. They forget to tell you they are making processed foods. And while it may originate from all-natural products, the results are from processing.



Choose wisely. As for me..... Can I have some raspberries, please?


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Unexpected Delays!

What a week!

And it is only Tuesday.


This week started Sunday evening. I had ambitions of beginning new training protocols for iron 70.3 St Croix, 2017. And my body had different ideas.

I started shivering uncontrollably, and cranked the heat, curled up under a blanket.... Several blankets, and struggled all night. I drank water, moved slowly, crawled to the bathroom, and finally, I slept. The boys huddled close.

Monday, I stayed in bed until I felt somewhat human. And I went to teach two swim lessons at Rice. I walked there. I took it slow, felt great, until I tripped over my feet and an edge in the sidewalk and met the ground in a fall. Upon arriving home, I cranked the heat again, and curled up in bed.

And today...... Feeling slow, I managed to run some errands, walk to the library, and EAT! Real. Food.

I am starting to feel tired. And know I am on the path to recovery.

I hate being sick, or feeling less than stellar.

It not only takes my energy and spirit and really taxes my system and my training.


Tomorrow, I refocus and see what my body can do. A run? And perhaps, a swim.

And tomorrow, I begin to lay the foundation for St Croix 2017. My retirement race.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

I get by with a little help from my friends.....

In the spirit of love, my sister, has set up a gofundme account, to provide an opportunity for you to assist in the completion of my move.

In the catapult to Texas, I have encountered unforeseen expenses. I was prepared to move to The OBX. As a result, I have encountered some financial challenges.

I am working and networking to establish my business and training here in Houston. At times, I feel things are moving more slowly than I would like. But in it all, I believe God wants me here. I have risked a great deal moving to a city I have only been to twice, knowing no one, leaving behind friends and family.

And I am blessed.

So, if you are able and want to assist, I would be grateful.

Thank you in advance for your love and support.


Clock Confusion


As I post this on Daylight Savings time, the day we spring ahead, for reasons that make sense to someone, I jest at the thought of Clock Confusion. I recently was catapulted to Texas from the SouthCoast of Massachusetts, changing time zones in the process. The world had been starting an hour earlier for me up until mid-January.

Living with cats who do not understand time zone changes, and want to be fed, my normal patterns are really messed up. Nanuk has been waking me at 3:30am. In his defense, it would be the time we would be waking if we were still in MA. And the other boys join in the quest for me to feed them. I have learned it is simpler to wake and feed, so I can sleep. They settle after being fed. Unfortunately, I am not always able to fall back to sleep, end up reading, and then sleep until 7 or 8 am.

I am looking forward to regaining a pattern.

Perhaps, this will happen as I recommence my training which has tapered off due to nutritional restrictions, due to unforeseen financial restrictions.

I feel challenged.

But I will continue pressing forward.

I am determined,

more than ever to complete my Run the Year, 2016 this year, having completed 222.1miles so far.

I am determined to lose those last pesky-pounds. I have recently dropped 15.0.

I am determined to achieve my goal of doing one more ironman by the age of 50.

I am determined to continue to influence young-women to pursue their athletic goals.

Won't you join me? What are you determined to accomplish?

I want to hear from you about your goals and objectives. I want to hear your success stories, as I share mine.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Over the Top for PBJ.....


My relocate to Houston has presented some obstacles since my arrival.

Housing here is unique.

Work opportunities are great.

Mail is SLOWer than molasses.

And the check is in the mail.


In the midst of some of the chaos, I am learning to trust that God will provide. He has brought me here and will continue to take care of me. And in the midst of the chaos, I am amazed at all the angels in my life. The people who have helped me. People I would not expect. People who I can call family.

In the midst of the chaos, I am thrilled that I paid my rent, my boys are eating, etc... Etc... Etc.....

And yet, while I am thrilled that I have 10cents in my checking account and am not overdrawn, I have 10cents until pay day. And suddenly two weeks feels like a ginormous chasm to be crossed. And I my eating has suffered.

Yesterday, I was gifted the groceries pictured. Yesterday, I met another angel. I was moved to tears. I was amazed once again, where God is showing himself to me.

And when I got home, I made a PBJ sandwich old school. Lots of PB and jelly tucked inside. It was the most amazing tasting PBJ sandwich ever.

I am thankful to be blessed.