Fall is always a tough time when it comes to training. Any goal race is likely not for another ten or so months and the temperature is dropping quickly. Getting out the door seems to get harder and harder. But there is no reason to let mother nature dictate your training plan. The time to get in quality training is now. Athletes are committed to getting it done no matter the weather; there is always another race or goal to look towards and that’s what gets us moving.Speaking of another race, I recently completed my first 70.3 Ironman on September 18th and I am already signed up for another! They say that when you set a goal you should make sure you tell people. So that’s exactly what I’m doing – I am telling all of you I signed up for Lake Placid 70.3 Ironman on September 10, 2017. Don’t get me wrong – I am scared out of my mind. The whole thing freaks me out. But so did my last Ironman, which is what made the finish line that much sweeter.
Unlike my last Ironman this course is tough. Hills, hills and more hills. It was initially peer pressure that even got me to consider doing this race. My friends had all signed up….before I knew it I was entering my credit card information. The race sold out in less then 5 hours! Lake placid is one of the oldest and most beautiful Ironman courses. In some ways I feel like I got this golden ticket but I also kind of wish that I never found it! The swim is crystal clear, the bike has 3,000-4,000 feet of climbing, and the run is a challenging rolling hill course. I have to keep reminding myself that I have a year to train for this and there is nothing I can’t do in twelve months of training. I keep saying, “stop doubting yourself and do the work. Because a year from now you’ll be happy you did and you will enjoy every second being out there!”
My biggest concern for now is the bike. I know that when you work hard and train on hills, it shows. But as we transition into the colder months I have to make a concerted effort not to lose the fitness I gained on the bike all summer long. After doing a lot of research I found The Wahoo indoor trainer- Kickr. Simply place your bike on the trainer, connect it to a course, and you can virtually ride from the comfort of your own home. Unlike most trainers, this one actually stimulates the road. This is the perfect piece of equipment if you’re looking to get in quality rides all winter long. My coach can also prescribe certain workouts on this trainer that will allow me to focus on different training aspects, like cadence, wattage… And once the weather warms up I can take all that hard work on the Wahoo and translate it onto the open road!
One of my main concerns about the Lake Placid race is the hilly ride. Proper training is hard to come by when you live in New York City. The roads are flat and congested and it would be unsafe to try to discover new routes outside the city on my own. This investment was a no brainer. The Wahoo is safe and allows me to get my workouts in.
But most importantly, I knew I needed to get properly fitted on my Cannondale Slice. It’s one of the best bikes I’ve ever ridden but occasionally I experience neck and knee pain on my long rides. After asking around in the bike community, I got many recommendations to see Jonathon at Acme Bicycle Co. in Brooklyn. He put me on the Guro Bike so he could manually make adjustments for me to be more aero and more comfortable. The biggest change he made was putting me on the Cobb saddle, we tested several saddles but this one felt just right. It took a little while to get used to it but now I can’t imagine being on anything but the Cobb. If you live in the NYC area I highly recommend giving Jonathon a visit. I can honestly say that because of him I am able to get more power out of each pedal stroke, I can now ride with comfort and when I get off the bike my legs still feel fresh. I recently rode in prospect park where I ride often and PR’ed pretty much every segment without even trying. The two rides I went on so far post bike fit have been filled with PR’s even a QOM.
And speaking of fresh….Here is a hearty recipe that you will want to have on the stove, whether you are walking in from a brisk fall ride or hopping off the Wahoo trainer. This is an easy weeknight stew that uses miso paste to create a rich sweet and salty flavor. I you don’t already own miso paste you can probably find it near the tofu section at the grocery store. A little goes a long way in taking an ordinary dish to a sensational one! Serve this Sweet Potato Miso Chickpea Stew over quinoa or brown rice or just eat it alone. It’s a one pot, easy to clean up, seasonal favorite. Toss in your favorite greens like spinach, kale, collard greens etc….This recipe will make a big pot that you can serve up all week long.
- 2 whole onions, diced
- 3-4 sweet potatoes (4 cups) peeled and cubed
- 15 oz cooked chickpeas (1 can of organic chickpeas)
- 2 cups of greens (spinach,kale,collard greens…)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon of miso paste (I used white)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Spray a large pot with non-stick spray and place on the stove over medium-high heat .Add prepared onions.
- Cook onions until translucent, mixing ever few minutes, about ten minutes.
- Once the onion is cooked, add sweet potato, miso paste, cinnamon, garlic powder and water. Mix everything together to break up the miso paste. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover. Let cook for 30 minutes allowing the sweet potatoes to soften but not lose their shape.
- After the 30 minutes turn off the fire and add chickpeas and greens. Mix to combine and serve. Enjoy warm over your favorite grain.