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Gym Rat

You know, I used to be a gym rat. I loved the gym. Didn’t want to train outside (except for horseback riding), just inside, constantly, all the time. Then I started hiking with a good friend of mine and fell in love with outdoor training. Then I started racing triathlon and became addicted to the outdoors. The last 7 or 8 years I’ve been all about the outdoors, still doing a gym workout or two here and there, but mostly as many outdoor sports as I could get my hands on. Now I’m living on a cruise ship. Training outdoors is less feasible. Don’t get me wrong, when we dock on a Bahamanian island, I’m on the gangway with my one piece on and goggles in hand, ready to swim back and forth along the island, but for the most part, I need to re-connect with my long dormant gym rat. It’s been easier than I expected. One thing I’m really excited about is the chance to really focus on training and my health. I have a tendency to run myself ragged at home. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely not complaining, I love every single thing I do at home and am so happy to do them all, but sometimes I forget that I am in fact not invincible (shhhhhh that’s a secret) and eventually I am going to hurt myself. Case in point, savagely murdering both of my ankles this summer. They are rehabilitating nicely, which I’m very pleased with. My point (I swear I have one) is that I’m going to really focus on my health while I’m on board, I’m only working one job, and in my spare time, I’m pretty limited in available ways to fill my day. A very good friend of mine from home has offered to help me in my quest for the ultimate healthy state, and I was thrilled to accept!! We have been friends for at least ten years and he is one of the most positive, inspirational, and genuine human beings I have ever had the pleasure to know. I’m so excited to be a part of Team Alvarez!! Please check out his facebook page here: Team Alvarez!! Now, in order to practice what I preach, I am headed to bed, I have an early start tomorrow, and I need my beauty sleep!!

Play safe and happy training!

E

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Where did you train today??

So now that I live on a cruise ship, I’ve been focusing my training on rehabilitating my ankles after how badly I destroyed them this summer. I started by walking on an incline (12) for 25 minutes then running for 5 minutes, like my physio told me, and have slowly been working up a minute a day. If the cankle complains, I run the same amount of time the next day. Then when it’s happy again, I increase by a minute. I just got clearance to train in the guest gym, which also means I can run on the Sun Deck track!! Check it out!!! Where did everyone else train this morning??

Oh, and yes, on the right that IS INDEED a mini golf course!!! Check it out also!!

 

AMAZING!!

 

E

The Cankle

I have been a little absent for the last few weeks and I’m sorry about that….partially it’s because of an injury and partially I’ve been away. Let’s start with The Cankle. No matter how hard you try to prevent injuries as an athlete, it still happens. I work so hard to prevent injuries while I’m racing and training, and I very rarely injure myself during a race. However, two weeks ago, while walking back to my car with a coffee on my way to work, I tripped. Possibly on the air, possibly on an invisible cat, possibly on Doris Gravlin (don’t worry, she and I are friends, I’ve worked at the VGC for 5 years and we are very close.) Whatever it was, I flailed and sprained my ankle so badly that I was advised to not bear weight on it. This happened four days before Tough Mudder, which I wasn’t planning on missing. And I did not. But anyway, after this little mishap, my ankle swelled to a RIDICULOUS size, so much that I began calling it The Cankle, and making people do it’s bidding. Check it out…..

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So that’s The Cankle, and somehow the Cankle and I managed to run 18 km with 25 obstacles. More on that later. For all the other athletes out there who are cursing me for racing on this ankle, don’t worry, I’m paying for it now, but I’m stubborn and couldn’t not race. Sooo please forgive me, I’m a bad athlete, I don’t know how to rest.

Roll it out

So, for those of you who don’t know me, I’ll just throw this out there, I’ve had a lot of injuries. A LOT of injuries. Too many injuries. With injuries comes a host of professionals who teach you how to heal and how to prevent future injuries. One of such wonderfully amazing people is my physiotherapist. He taught me one of the most important training/recovery lessons I’ve ever learned. Roll it out. Foam rollers are your best friend. With athletes, there’s certain muscles and tendons that take a serious beating and are under tons of stress. Now I know we all are aware of the importance of stretching, but rolling muscles out with a foam roller is seriously the best thing you  can do for sore body parts. The IT band is a perfect example of something I constantly am rolling out. It attaches both to your outer knee and the front of your hip and when it’s tight you can really feel it, and that tightness can lead to more injuries. Just stretching alone never seems to properly get it, but roll on a foam roller up your outer thigh and I promise you will feel 100 percent better, or at least 98 percent better.

See, look how happy she is…and I bet her IT bands feel GREAT!!! So that’s what I have to say today….sore muscle? Roll it out!! Pain in the knee? Roll it out!! Hip flexors killing you? Roll it out!! Hurt feelings? Roll em out! Well, that last one might be tricky, but you get the point.

Ice Bath!!

Well, I had myself a lovely ice bath yesterday! It really really helped! My knees feel so much better. Now, granted they still hurt, a lot, but they aren’t nearly as swollen as I expected. Today, I’m staying off my feet, this morning I swam 600m with a foamie between my knees and hand paddles to hep me work on my upper body strength for swimming. But, as promised, here’s a little video of me and my ice bath. Enjoy!

 

You can’t win EVERY day

A really big part of training and racing is knowing that sometimes you just aren’t going to win. It took me a long long time, and many broken bones to realize that! Today was one of those days. Davey and I went out for a run this morning, and we were both tired, I forgot my comfy running shoes so I got a massive blister…just an all around fail. So we changed our plans, ran some stairs, did some pushups and called it a day. It was just one of those days. You can’t win every day! But just because we lost today doesn’t mean we can’t win tomorrow. Plus we ran stairs and did pushups so it’s kind of a half win.

However, you know who IS winning?? My new baby horse friend Kosmo. I say baby because he’s green and untrained and turning 4, but when you’re picturing him, don’t picture him little, he’s actually quite large. He’s just the sweetest thing ever. Yesterday he went lunging in a saddle for the first time and he was so well behaved!! I’m very excited to be working with him, he’s going to be such a wonderful project. There’s something amazing about working with green horses, you really build a very special bond.

I just wanna ride bikes!!

The weather has really been glorious the past few days, which of course makes outside training just the best thing ever!! A few days ago I went on a lovely road ride out to Sidney and back with an old friend. Pretty good time, about 5 mins a mile, a good place to start!! Ideally we will see that time drop in the upcoming weeks! We are going to try to plan a ride up to Comox and back, which is a pretty long trip so we would probably ride up, spend the night, and then ride back. I need to be doing more nice long rides if I hope to do well at the half-iron distance this summer!!

My visit to the physiotherapist went well. He does lots of IMS (intramuscular stimulation), which is probably my favorite and least favorite thing all at the same time. HE gave me some new excercises to do that will help me to not fall apart. The moral of this blog post is: DO WHAT YOUR PHYSIO SAYS……I’m so happy I have someone to put me back together when I start feeling broken.

Of supplements and joint pain

I would like some new knees please. Mine hurt me! Running has been not my friend lately, as I throw myself into spring training. The older I get, the more I realize that my parents are right and I do indeed need to take care of my body. I’m still working on that. Lots of glutamine, rest, and a few other helpful products save my life on a regular basis. Glutamine might actually be my best friend, in case you aren’t aware, it’s an amino acid that aids in recovery and muscle building. Absolutely crucial for any and all athletes out there, in my opinion. I also have a near obsessive rate of consumption of Greens Plus Extra Energy in Cappucino flavor. They pack vitamins, minerals, caffeine, chlorophyll and who knows what else in there and it really helps me. I am notorious for constantly having one on the go at work. Mmmmmmmm.

I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there. Horse products are way more awesome than people products. I worship at the temple of Mane n Tail because they created MINERAL ICE. Which is probably the best product ever. We use it on our hunter/jumper horses before we wrap their legs after shows or beach rides and one day I put some on my sore back. Sweet relief! Its icy and magical and makes sore muscles dissapear! I put it on everything from my back to my hamstrings to my knees. I also feel better about using it on myself because it’s made for horses so it’s not as full of crazy stuff as people products, plus it’s far more affordable than some of the human alternatives. Everyone I have given this product to has become hooked!

The other product I’m looking into getting was recommended to me by another rider, and she swears by hers. Back on Track is the company and they make amazing wraps and blankets and whatnot that have ceramic powder fused into the fibers. These products help increase circulation and blood flow and actually use your body’s heat and reflect it back as infrared heat, which helps to heal injuries. I think my knee would really love one so I’m going to get myself a present! I’ll let you know how it goes!!

Other things that I swear by in my diet: fish oils, vitamin c, WATER, carrots, glucosamine, vitamin d, iron, spinach, blueberries, coconut yogurt, fruit juice, sleep, lemons and green tea!

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hilly

Well the Bear Mountain 10k was yesterday. Now I know why they call it the hardest 10k in Canada. Cuz it is hard. And hilly. I had some extensive chiropractic work done right before the race and I must remember never to do that again. One of the areas he worked on must have been inflamed or irritated because I was in excruciating pain for the entire race and then most of the day after. The usual things that hurt didn’t hurt tho, which was amazing, We’ll see how it is today, headed out after work for the usual sunday run with Vic.

avoidance

feeling good….foot is a little tweaky after my workout today, but not painful, just kinda achy. 10k tomorrow will be a good test of it’s healedness…..which i don’t think is even a word…..

currently on the couch, avoiding taking my post-workout supplements….because my liquid iron tastes like garbage….
well, not garbage, like cold chicken broth. that’s exactly it, cold chicken broth. it makes me wanna vomit every day. So i avoid it. It takes me a good half an hour after each workout to work up the bravery to take my iron….blargh….ok ok …here i go,
iron time
ugh

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