Friday, March 20, 2015

The End of Whole30

I made it! I've finished the Whole30 and I'm so proud of myself for making it to the end and not quitting early. It was completely worth it for a few reasons and I'm sure it will have lasting effects on my eating choices going forward. It was however, the longest 30 days I've ever experienced. They say "it's only 30 days" but it feels like an eternity.

How do I feel? Really good. Like REALLY, really good. My guts feel happy. They have been loving the real food I've been feeding them. My sleep continues to be amazing (other than my kittens waking me up). And I feel generally stronger on my bike. Real food = more power? I think so! My clothes fit better and although weight loss wasn't the goal of this, I did loose 8 lbs. Not complaining!

My cravings are hit and miss. When I'm around things that are tempting, of course the cravings are bad. I knew I would struggle with beer temptations, so I stayed away from it as much as I could. There was one day I went to the Attic with Aaron and drank a water while he had a cocktail. That was tough. But for things other than beer, they aren't that bad. I don't crave cookies or brownies nearly as much as I did before Whole30 and honestly, I'm afraid I'll get a tummy ache if I eat them now.

I dedicate a lot of my success to meal planning. I made sure I always had food at home to eat and planned ahead to pack meals. The Whole30 requires a lot of cooking, dishwashing and tuperware. I swear I always had yams in the oven to prep for days ahead. Also, my work has some great Whole30 approved snacks like berries, nuts, hard boiled eggs, and deli meat, so I never had to worry about snacks while at work.

Was I 100% compliant the whole time? No. If you know me, I love half and half in my coffee and there was going to be nothing that came between us. Not even the Whole30. Cream was in my coffee every day and I never felt guilty about it.The oils the Whole30 suggest are coconut oil and extra virgil olive oil. I continued to eat butter and any other cooking oil like canola and avocado oil during my Whole30. I also ate Clif Shot Blocks and drank Nuun during bike races and had one small cheat at my friend's bachelorette party with a small glass of wine. Those small misteps weren't enough to bump me off the bandwagon though.

What was the hardest part? Not having a beer after [insert any workout or long day scenario]. I did 2 bike races during this and all I wanted was to go eat a burrito and have a beer afterwords. Instead, I ate my pre-packed post-race meal of chicken, yams and avocado and drank some water.

Would I do this again? Probably, but not in the immediate future. The results I've gotten out of my first Whole30 are awesome, but I found how much my social life is tied to drinking and eating. I need to find a balance where I can continue to eat clean, but still have a life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Jumping on the Whole30 Train

Oh hey, blog. Haven't seen you since last year. Meh...

I did, however, want to post about the Whole30. Yeah, I'm jumping on that train. It's funny how it all started. I was having dinner with friend who mentioned that she had given Whole30 a try, but only did it for 5 days because she found out that gluten was the main culprit for her issues. I responded with "I don't have the self-control or determination to do something like that." TWO days later, I started the Whole30.

Why did I decide to do it? I think it came down to me limiting my capabilities. Saying I don't have the self-control or determination to do this. I don't like limits. So one reason I'm doing this is to prove to myself I can. Secondly, I was generally feeling kinda crappy. Drinking a bit too much, eating lots of sugar... I've also had poor sinuses (can't breathe well through my nose) and I wondered if a diet change could help with it because it has for other people.

So here I am, 8 days in to the 30 day challenge of only eating a short list of items and excluding all of my vices. Protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fat. That's what I get to eat. Coming off of a fairly healthy diet (excluding the things mentioned above), transitioning to this way of eating has not been difficult. I eat a lot of eggs, yams, chicken, berries, salads, avocado, BACON... stuff I ate before. But I definitely miss things like BEER (side note: I can't remember the last time I've gone this long with out a beer and no I don't have a problem), a sweet treat after dinner, and my delicious wheat toast I like to have in the morning with my coffee.

One rule of the Whole30 is to not weigh yourself during the 30 days. I'm a rule breaker because I stepped on the scale yesterday and I'm down 3 pounds. 7 days and 3 lbs is not healthy or sustainable, so I need to make sure I'm eating enough. On the other hand, HELL YES. After putting on about 7 pounds when I transitioned from swim/bike/run, to just bike, I really have been wanting to get those pounds off again.

Another result I'm seeing from this is the sleep. I sleep so good now. Deep, deep sleep. Until the kitties wake me up... Historically, I'm really good at getting in 8-9 hours in bed, but the quality of sleep isn't always 100%. Now I'm getting high quality sleep for 8 hours. If this is the only result I see from this, it's worth it.

22 more days. I'll share my results when the time comes!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Peace out, 2014

I blogged a whopping total of 16 times in 2014. With the lack of posting, it seems like I should probably ditch the blog, but I like that it's here when I want to write something. It's like an old friend that is always there when you need them.

Year-ends always beg for a recap. It's a time to reflect on the past 365 days and plan for the next. Having a blog allows me to go back to a post I wrote in January where I stated the things I hoped to accomplish in 2014 and see how I did over the year.  Those things were:
  • Race a cycling road race - done. Raced a handful of road races and criteriums
  • PR in the 5k and half marathon - half done. PRd in the 5k in November (22:49!)
  • Get stronger on the bike - done. I'm stronger than I was last year, but there's still lots of room to get stronger
  • Run trails more - not done. Besides the handful of Ragnar trail races I ran, I didn't get out to the trails. In fact running wasn't a big priority in 2014.
  • Go backpacking - done. Enchantments trip in September.
  • Visit lots of National Parks - not done. The only new NP I visited this year was Bryce Canyon.
  • Floss daily - not done. I'm getting better though!
  • Make more friends - ongoing. It's not about quantity, it's about quality. 

 Other notable things that happened in 2014:

  • I got a mountain bike!
  • My man and I bought a house
  • I placed 6th in the MFG cyclocross series for Cat4 women
  • I biked 2,389 more miles in 2014 than in 2013 for a total of 5,734 miles
  • Changed jobs
So what's up for 2015?
  • Ride trail more
  • Compete in a MTB race
  • Get stronger on the bike. Specifically, work on being a strong climber
  • Win a criterium
  • Upgrade to Cat3 in Road and Cross
  • Backpack part of the PCT
  • Ride my bike out of state (either road or MTB)
  • Camp more
  • #livelikeliz
Happy New Year!

    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    The Ups and Downs of Cyclocross

    After a month's hiatus from racing cyclocross, I was able to get back out and race the past three weekends. My overall bike fitness seems to dropped off the face of the earth this Fall, so no expectations were set.

    Magnusson Park 
    One of the races within the MFG series, this race pulled about 40 Cat 4 ladies out to race. It's a flat, fast course that caters to the fit road cyclist, but still had some fun mud, run ups and tight turns. My teammate Mal has been crushing cross races lately, so I made it my goal to catch her and hang on. She was in my sights for a lot of the race, but would serge ahead on the long climb, which zapped my energy. Near the end of the race, I caught her and we rode together under the finish line banner not knowing that we had just been lapped by the 1/2 women, so that meant our race was over too. Our finished lacked any kind of excitement, but we finished 5th and 6th!

    Trying to keep up with Mal

    This race is under a different series, Cross Revolution, which are known for having more technical courses than MFG. Hearing others say "this is more technical than Silver Lake" (another really tough course) made the nerves rise while I warmed up on the trainer. I had a pretty "meh" attitude toward this race, so I dilly daddled and didn't allow time for a pre-ride of the course. Going in blind!

    This course had it all! Deep off camber mud, torn up dirt/rocky sections, barrier to a run up, more off camber, more run ups. It was a loooong course and I think we only did 4 laps. After a lap or two, I found myself again on the wheel of my teammate Mal (I LOVE RACING WITH HER) and we encouraged each other to keep pushing. She informed me that we were sitting 2nd and 3rd, which got me really pumped. WE COULD PODIUM! We kept the gas on for the final lap and I snagged 2nd and she came in right behind me for 3rd! Racing this course was really good practice. Technical sections usually scare me, but with more practice they are less daunting.

    May and Mal, at it again!

    SO FUN! 2nd and 3rd!

    After finishing 2 semi-successful races, I set higher goals for Marymoor. I wanted to podium. The schedule for this race was different than others with later start times and races going into the dark hours under the lights of the velodrome. Yes, a cyclocross race at a velodrome. The forecast called for increasing rain throughout the day and that's exactly what happened. The first races of the day were pretty dang dry with all parts of the course very ridable, but as the day progressed, that dirt turned to mud, which turned to deeper mud. #cyclocrossweather This cross season hasn't given us PNWers any mud practice, so many people including myself went into this race not knowing what to do with all the mud/off-camber mess that was this course.

    By the 2nd lap of the race, I was running all off camber sections, but even that was hard. My shoes were so packed with mud that I didn't have any better traction than my bike did, so I still fell. Try to stand up, fall again. It became very frustrating. I could barely walk! Some girls were able to ride this stuff and they passed me which made me quickly scratch my podium goals. By the 2nd to last lap, I was over it. Thoughts of a DNF passed through my mind. My bike became very difficult to pedal. I assumed that it was because I was tired, but no, it was because it was caked with mud. Somehow, I continued to the finish line and even eeked out a little sprint. Although I thought I was pretty much in last place, I came out in 11th, which is my worst result this season, but still pretty good in a field of 40. Post race, my attitude turned around once I had dry, warm clothes on and a beer in my hand. Looking back, I wish I would have had a better attitude about the mud instead of getting frustrated.

    Not as muddy as I feel.
    Hagens Berman/Society Consulting ladies!
    Woodland Park is this Sunday and the end of the MFG series. I have two goals:
    1. Keep up with my teammates
    2. Have fun no matter what. I'm not allowed to get pissed off.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    The end of my 20s

    Turning 30 always seemed so far off to me. 30 sounded so grown up. An age where I should have my shit together. I remember doing goal exercises when I was younger where we would state where we'd be in 5, 10, 15 years. Back then, I said I'd be married and own a house by 30. Those were my lame! Where is the adventure and excitement in those goals? Neither of those things have happened (yet), but I'm definitely not going to get down on myself because they haven't happened.

    In these last few days in my 20s, I've been doing the natural thing many people do when they reach a age milestone: reflecting. What am I happy with? What do I wish I would have done? What will I do with the next 30 years? Obviously I can't go back and change the things I wish I would have done, so I've been focusing on what stands out as the best times of my last 30 years and the things I want to get out of my life in the next 30.

    Best of times:
    • Being born a healthy baby, duh
    • Being born into the best family
    • Meeting friends in elementary and middle school who would continue to be my best friends years later
    • Graduating from college
    • Living in Bellingham/attending Western Washington University. I give Bellingham/WWU credit for my found love of nature, the mountains, snowboarding. I believe it really shaped me into the person I am today. 
    • Meeting Aaron and spending the last 8+ years with him
    • Finding my love for sweating: running, cycling, triathlon
    • Epic mid-week pow days at Mt. Baker when it was practically just my group of friends on the mountain
    • Summers vacations at Lake Vermilion with the family
    • Team Cat Club
    Looking forward:
    • Buy that house & get married! ;)
    • Say 'YES' to more adventure. No excuses, no regrets. #livelikeliz
    • Grow my Marketing career
    • Read more books, continue to learn
    • Be in nature more. It is guaranteed to sooth the soul and cure any and all things.
    • Have a kid. Maybe. 
    • Live in the woods (in a house/cabin, not hippie like)
    • Keep moving: cycling, running, hiking. 
    • Be happy

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014


    For me it was the period between 4th of July, which was my last crit, and September 1st when my excitement really started to build for cyclocross season. With full season of road racing under my belt along with some newly acquired mountain biking skills, I was hopeful that I could have a more successful cross season.

    After only one night of cross practice, I decided to shake off the cob webs and race Labor Day Cross on Sept 1st. The course was flat with some sharp turns, gravel, and barriers into a run up. Exactly the course (read: not technical) I needed to see where I was at.

    Off the line, I was 4th wheel behind two of my teammates, but I missed the 3rd or 4th turn riding straight into the tape and was quickly passed by a handful of girls. I spent the first 2 laps pacing off another girl, and had no idea how many cat 4s were in front of us. On lap 3 I felt okay and had enough gas to make my pass and chase down some others in front of me. The last lap was lonesome and when I'm by myself, I really don't know how much I need to push. There wasn't a chance I could catch anymore ladies so I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be passed. In a field of 17, I crossed the finish line 5th, the best I've ever done in a cross race! All my cycling this year is paying off!

    The real test of my fitness would be the first MFG race at Lake Samammish. These races pull fields much larger than Labor Day cross and better competition. On Sunday, I lined up with 39 other Cat 4s probably 3rd row back and was wishing I was closer to the front. On the first turn though, I was able to take it tighter than the majority of racers, so got in front of a good chunk of the field.

    The rest of the race I pretty much tried not to blow up and die while picking off other ladies. Not only was it hot (80+ degrees), there were 3 sand sections which required shouldering the bike and running through loose sand. Sand sucks the life out of you! Remounting the bike after the 3rd beach section, it was questionable whether or not I was going to be able to pedal my bike I was that tired. All I could think about was water, too. Why didn't I ask someone to give me a bottle hand up?!

    I finished the race in 8th place nearly keeling over my handlebars in exhaustion. I tried to muster out a wave and a "good job" to the other ladies, but I needed to get to the team tent, lay down in the shade and drink all the water on earth.

    At team camp back in February or March, I had set a goal of placing top 10 in a MFG cross race and I did it on the first race of the series! Last year I was consistently placing mid to back of the pack in cat 4s, so seeing a huge improvement this year is quite motivating. New goal? I want a WIN.

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    The NUUNjas do Ragnar Wasatch Back

    I ran Ragnar Wasatch Back this past weekend in the mountains of Utah. In it's 11th year running, this is Ragnar's original relay. Where it all started and where the name Ragnar came from.

    Team Nuunjas was a bit of a random group, but we all meshed really well. No van drama, just all really awesome people that I'd do another relay with anytime. I have no motivation to recap the whole weekend in detail, so here's are some photos to tell the story.

    I was runner 3 on the team and my first run was a 6.7 mile flattish run through beautiful Utah farm country. Strava file here.

    We cycled through our first runs and handed off to Van 2 around 6pm. We took the baton back at around 10pm at Snowbasin Ski area.
    Night time selfie!
    My 2nd leg was my night leg. 5 miles slightly up hill. Very peaceful and oh so many stars in the sky. Strava file here. And Cameron took a video of my exchange with George!

    Trying to sleep, but was not successful. At least I got to see the sun rise.
    Team waiting for Tiffany to come into Exchange 24.
    Utah is really pretty
    My final leg was the more difficult of the three. 7.7 miles of a lot of up and a lot of down. Now, I hadn't been running like at all prior to this relay, so after my first two legs, I was sore, tired, and frankly didn't want to run 7.7 miles. But of course I wasn't going to quit before I finished, so I shuffled along, each step hurting more than the last. This run was an ugly one. I walked a lot, it was hot, I was cranky, just wanted to be done. Knowing that I didn't have to run 1 more step once I reached the next exchanged powered me to keep pushing. Strava file here.

    My feelings about my final leg. I was being a little dramatic...
    But then I was done and I was happy again!
    The team rallied through everyone's final legs in the heat and after 31 hours of running, cheering, not sleeping, eating lot of Cheez-its and drinking a ton of Nuun, WE FINISHED!