Thursday, 31 March 2011 19:35

The Athlete's Plate - March 31, 2011

 

 

The Athlete's Plate has the pleasure this week of creating a menu for Amanda from Runninghood.  I had not been to Amanda's site before and when Nora nominated her I was excited to be able to go to another blogger's site and learn.

First few things I noticed about Amanda is that she is fast.  Don't believe me?  How about marathon times of 3:32 (Boston) and 3:22 (Napa Valley)!!!  That is some serious speed.  I also noticed that she is a mother of 3, and is currently sitting on 66 posts in 2010 and 66 posts in 2011 on her blog.

I went through her site looking for tidbits of information.  Items to lead me to being able to design a menu around her life.  I found some great information to be able to design a healthy menu for her.

Amanda, I hope you enjoy this menu as it was a lot of fun to find out more about you and your family.  I hope I made it so that you can create the meals with three kids and a husband.

 

Breakfast - Bear Naked (Lady) Granola, Greek Yogurt and Fruit

[caption id="attachment_1579" align="alignright" width="207" caption="Great way to start the day"][/caption] Ingredients: 1/4c bear naked peak protein granola, 1/4c strawberries, 1/4c raspberries, 1/4c blueberries, 1 medium banana (chopped), 1 container of greek yogurt Servings: 1 Nutritional Information: 435 calories, 7g Fat, 76g Carbs, 9g Fiber, 21g Protein Directions:

  1. Put 1/2 of the granola on the bottom of your bowl.
  2. Add in 1/2 the fruit and 1/2 the container of greek yogurt
  3. Add in the other 1/2 of the greek yogurt and top with remaining fruit
  4. Top off with remainder of granola.

This will allow you to get granola in every spoonful so that you can enjoy the crunchy texture combined with the smooth feel of the yogurt.  

  [caption id="attachment_1580" align="alignright" width="205" caption="Spinach adds a lot of nutrients to your smoothie"][/caption] AM Snack - Live Passionately Protein Shake

Indgredients: 1 medium banana, 1/4c frozen strawberries, 1/4c frozen blueberries, 1/4c frozen blackberries, 1/4c pineapple chuncks, 1/2c spinach, 1 scoop whey protein Servings: 1 Nutritional Information: 334 calories, 0.3g Fat, 44g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 28g Protein Directions:

  1. Place all items in a blender and whip until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and feel your body getting healthier with each sip.

 

Lunch - Kinesiotaping Kabobs

[caption id="attachment_1577" align="aligncenter" width="390" caption="Terrific taste in the middle of the day"][/caption]

 

Ingredients: 2 60z packages of tempeh (cubed), 2 yellow squash (1/2" rounds), 1 yellow onion (1/2" pieces), 1c cherry tomatoes, 1/2c baby portobella mushrooms (quartered), 1/4c tamarind paste, 2tbs soy sauce, 2tbs agave nectar, 2tbs olive oil, 1tsp dried oregano, a few dashed of your favorite hot sauce, skewers Servings: 6 Nutritional Information: 404 calories, 20g Fat, 42g Carbs, 11g Fiber, 21g Protein Directions:

  1. Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.  This will prevent burning.
  2. In a large bowl add tempeh, squash, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms.
  3. In a separate bowl combine tamarind paste, soy sauce, agave nectar, olive oil, dried oregano and hot sauce.  Stir until paste disolves.
  4. Pour marinade over tempeh and vegetables and set in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.  The longer the better.
  5. Remove tempeh and vegetables and begin creating kabobs by alternating tempeh and vegetables.
  6. Heat up grill pan or go outdoors to grill to a medium-high heat.
  7. Place skewers on grill and cook for 10-15 minutes turning every 3 minutes.
  8. Serve with marinade as dipping sauce

 

PM Snack - Fairy Magic Fig Bars

[caption id="attachment_1578" align="aligncenter" width="390" caption="Better than store bought"][/caption]

 

Ingredients: 2 60z pkgs dried figs, 1/2c Earth Balance Buttery Spread, 2 small eggs (for vegan use 1 flax egg), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2c brown sugar, 1/2c turbinado, 1/2tsp baking soda, 2c brown rice flour, 1/2c soy flour Servings: 24 Nutritional Information (per serving - Have 2): 409 calories, 12g Fat, 69g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 9g Protein Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. Place figs in food processor and grind until fine.
  3. In a pot place ground figs, 1c water, 1/4c brown sugar, 1tbsp flour and bring to a boil until clear.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Cream butter and sugars.
  5. Add in eggs, flour and baking soda (sifted together) and vanilla
  6. Combine ingredients until a dough if formed and cut in half.
  7. Spray 9x13 inch baking pan with canola oil.
  8. Roll out half the dough into baking pan.
  9. Spread fig filling over dough.
  10. Roll out other half of dough and place on top.
  11. Place pan in oven and bake until dough turns golden brown (approximately 10 minutes)
  12. Remove from oven and flip out of baking pan onto wire rack to cool.
  13. Once cool cut into bars.

 

  [caption id="attachment_1581" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Just like rice and beans only better"][/caption] Dinner: Boston Qualifier Quinoa and Black Beans

(recipe courtesy of cookingquinoa.com)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed, 1 can of petite cut diced tomatoes 2tbs extra virgin olive oil, 9 cloves garlic, chopped, 2 jalapeños, chopped (for an extra kick save the seeds), 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp mineral sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper, ¼ cup fresh oregano, ¼ cup fresh cilantro, ½ cup queso fresco (optional), 1 avocado, dicedServings: 6 Nutritional Information: 392 calories, 15g Fat, 52g Carbs, 11g Fiber, 16g Protein.

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water and quinoa to boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain in a fine metal colander.
  2. Bring 2-3 inches of water to boil. Place quinoa in colander over the water. Place a clean kitchen cloth over the pot and cover with a lid. (Make sure the cloth is not so large as to cause a fire hazard) Steam for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain tomatoes, retaining juices. Add enough water to juices so that you have one cup of liquid.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and jalapeno, cook for 30 seconds. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Add black beans, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds and add in tomato liquid. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, cilantro and quinoa and cook for 7 minutes.
  5. Serve with diced avocados and queso fresco

  Nutritional Information for the menu: 1975 Calories, 54g Fat, 284g Carbs, 40g Fiber, 93g Protein Nutritional Breakdown for Endurance Athletes: 57% Carbs, 19% Protein, 24% Fat   Amanda, please upload pictures of the dishes that you create to our Facebook page so that we can see the creations from other kitchens.  Your last task is to nominate another blogger for next week's Athlete's Plate menu.

Published in Athlete's Plate
[caption id="attachment_1443" align="alignleft" width="236" caption="E is for Electrolytes"][/caption] I have recently finished the book The Runner's Diet and it was chock full of information regarding carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  Or to use one term:  macro-nutrients.  There were chapters dedicated to these macro-nutrients and rightfully so as most people seem intent on focusing on these three, but as an endurance athlete there is more to being prepared than consuming a balanced diet of 55%-60% carbs, 15% protein and 20%-25% fat. There are electrolytes to worry about.  What is an electrolyte?  Electrolytes are the bodies salt which will help maintain fluid balance in your organ systems.  They are important in maintaining the integrity and function of your body.  Your next question is what are the normal names by which I might know what an electrolyte is?  The answer to that question is sodium, potassium and magnesium. There have been discussions, that I found online, about the need for electrolytes  and there are many interesting questions and points. Too much or too little? What is right for you? Are there dangers to watch out for? These are all valid; but the answers varied.  Endurance sports results in a lot of sweating which obviously results in a salt loss as well as water loss.  Your body does have an automatic process by which it balances salt and water concentrations.  Similar to water consumption guidelines, there is no hard and fast rule for replacing electrolytes.  Replacing electrolytes will vary depending on the climate you are in (hot temperatures are different than cold temperatures for water loss) as well as the intensity of the activity. From what I gathered there is no need to replace electrolytes immediately if the exercise lasts less than 3-4 hours.  Since most of us will be on the course for a half-iron distance, and certainly Iron distance race longer than 4 hours electrolyte replacement becomes an issue.  So how do you replace or avoid having to replace a lot of your electrolytes?  I read this on ultracycling.com and it made a lot of sense to me:   A plan to avoid the problems First of all, you can reduce your tendency to lose sodium by what you do when not training or competing. You can reduce the amount of sodium in your daily food. That will increase the level of aldosterone so that your body retains sodium better. Choose less salty foods. Use Morton Lite Salt in your salt shaker. That will reduce sodium and increase your potassium intake ( as will eating fruits and vegetables ). If you expect to compete in the heat, get heat acclimated as soon as possible. That will reduce your sweat rate under hot conditions. While you train, stay cool so that your sweat rate is lower. Wear light clothes, keep your jersey wet, and/or put ice on your neck. To satisfy your needs in a hot event you can take sodium in different forms. The simplest is table salt (a pinch per hour ). If an aid station has salt and boiled potatoes, you can dip a potato into the salt before eating it. V-8 and tomato juice are also good sources.Consume supplemental salt or electrolytes during the event. Most sports drinks have sodium levels that are fine for shorter distances, but inadequate for longer distances. Most gel products have insignificant amounts of sodium. You can use an electrolyte replacement supplement, but check the sodium content. Some riders take salt tablet such as Thermotabs. Some athletes use Stamina Electrolyte Tablets but those are not a good source of sodium or potassium (they are a good source of calcium and magnesium ). Some athletes use SUCCEED! Buffer/Electrolyte Caps that are formulated specifically for ultradistance athletes such as cyclists, triathletes and runners to supply sodium, buffers and sufficient amounts of potassium. As always, you need to drink. Don't wait until you are thirsty; the human thirst mechanism is too slow and inaccurate. As the adage goes: Eat before hunger, drink before thirst. When you finish a long training ride or event, you will usually have a deficit of water, calories and sodium. You will have a much smoother recovery if you replace all of those promptly. Soon after finishing, you can take an electrolyte supplement, 200 calories of carbohydrates and drink water until you are no longer thirsty, and are urinating again. In the days that follow, you will probably find that you have more energy and fewer aches and pains if you have promptly replaced water, carbohydrates and sodium after your long ride. [caption id="attachment_1441" align="alignright" width="248" caption="Water or Gatorade?"][/caption] And while it made sense to me I don't enjoy Gatorade because of its taste.  There are other reasons as well but in the end taste trumps all and I don't like how it tastes.  I use Accelerade from Pacific Health Labs on the bike.  It has the proven ration of 4:1 Carbohydrates to Protein and it also contains 180mg (8% of your daily value) and 55mg of Potassium (2% of your daily need.)  It contains only 60 calories per scoop in 12 fluid ounces.  Very good numbers especially when you compare it to Gatorade, which has 275mg of sodium in 150 calories for a 20-ounce bottle. You could eat a mini dill pickle and get 290mg of sodium with only 5 calories, but try eating that on the bike after you've been riding for 2+ hours.  Want some celery on the bike?  Well, it does have 100mg of sodium in only 20 calories but again the thought of pulling that out of your bento box just doesn't add up. I will gladly consume the Accelerade and the PowerBar Harvest bars that I have been training with.  I am consuming 1 PowerBar harvest bar every hour by cutting it into 4 pieces and eating every 15 minutes.  They have approximately 220 calories per bar so that meets my needs, and include 150mg of sodium and 240mg of potassium.  During my training I have not had any hunger pains running off the bike so I know that this works for me and I will not be changing it this close to race day.  

What do you drink or eat to replenish your electrolytes?  Did you know a banana has 422mg of potassium, but only 1mg of sodium?

Published in Train
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 13:02

It's A Lonely Road.....

It's A Lonely Road…..

by Jason Bahamundi

It's a lonely road filled with detours and pessimists to derail your progress

It's a lonely road at 4am running by the light of the moon on your own

It's a lonely road when all you can see is your breath and hear the crunch of gravel under your feet

It's a lonely road of sacrifice and humility

It's a lonely road of doubt and guilt

It's a lonely road…..

It's a lonely road until race evening when it's you and the butterflies

It's a lonely road until race morning when it's you and your goals

It's a lonely road until the start gun goes off and the adrenaline rushes in

It's a lonely road until the finish line is in sight

It's a lonely road until you look back and realize you had all you ever needed with you every step of the way

It's a lonely road…..

 
Published in Race
Monday, 28 February 2011 13:33

The Cupcake Marathon Spring 2011

[caption id="attachment_997" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="It's Like A Marathon But With A Cherry On Top"][/caption] Christel (Silly Girl Running) and I had a Facebook conversation after she posted a comment regarding running for cupcakes.  It was a comical conversation that has led to this announcement.  For about 1 month now Christel and I have been working on creating a virtual race that fits into the training season for Spring Marathons.  We wanted to create a race that would incorporate runners and walkers, marathoners and half-marathoners.  In other words an all-inclusive race focused on getting people moving in 2011. All of these conversations wound up with us creating the first Cupcake Marathon. The rules will be simple and laid out in a bit but know that whether you finish in 2 hours and 50 minutes or 6 hours that you have a chance to win prizes from some of our sponsors.  We are still working with some sponsors to finalize details and will keep adding as we move along which only means that there are more chances for you to win some fabulous prizes. Now you are asking yourself where do the cupcakes come in.  I am hear to tell you that if you enter the race you will be sent three recipes for cupcakes from a cookbook that I have purchased and actually made all three recipes so I know how good they taste.  We are still trying to find a cupcake sponsor to actually send you cupcakes if you win, but in the event that we don't find one and you don't win you will still be running for cupcakes. To date our sponsors include cases of HoneyMilk (US Only), 3 Bondi Bands, a Road ID, a GU Sampler Pack and a Hydrapack Gel Bot for those participating in the United States and Canada.  The European winners will be able to win coupons for cupcakes, 3 Sweaty Bands and Silly Girl Running fridge magnets. That is a lot of prizes to be handed out and we will continue to add more prizes as we work with various sponsors. The Cupcake Sponsors 2011

UPDATE:

Since this post went live we have been able to land a cupcake sponsor.  What does that mean to you?  It means that if you win via random.org you will actually have cupcakes shipped to your house (in the US only.)  Who was kind enough to become the cupcake sponsor.....Sugared Bakery is who. Who is Sugared Bakery you are asking.  Well it is a small bakery run by Elisabeth and she started her own company after reading a blog post about owning your dreams (sound familiar?)  She has been up and running for a couple of months now and is the official Cupcake Break sponsor of Fitbloggin 2011. Elisabeth was kind enough to donate the following:
  • 2 doz to the winner of the Marathon distance
  • 1 doz to the winner of the Half-Marathon distance
  • 1 doz Glitter Puff Cookies to the Marathon distance
  • 1 doz Glitter Puff Cookies to the Half-Marathon distance
Remember that Random.org will choose the winners so you don't have to worry about speed here. Want to know your choice of flavors: 1) Vanilla cupcake with vanilla/chocolate buttercream 2) Chocolate cupcake with chocolate/vanilla buttercream 3) Marble cupcake with chocolate/vanilla buttercream ***these 3 flavors can also be filled with an array of flavors (peanut butter, Nutella, dulce de leche, etc.)--if desired, the winner can tell me their filling of choice, and I'll make it happen. 4) Orange cupcake with orange cream filling & icing, with an orange fruit slice on top 5) Chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling, whipped chocolate buttercream 6) Chocolate cupcake with strawberry filling, peanut butter buttercream 7) Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese buttercream 8) Chocolate cupcake filled with caramel, with dulce de leche frosting, and crushed toffee & cocao nibs on top And for me the best part is you can order these VEGAN or standard.  Check out Sugared Bakery on Facebook and 'LIKE' them.
[caption id="attachment_1127" align="aligncenter" width="180" caption="Sugared Bakery"][/caption]
Can't wait to see if you are a winner in the Cupcake Marathon well no need to worry.  Sugared Bakery has kindly offered a $5 off coupon for their cupcakes using the code CTER5OFF.  Just go to their Facebook page order form place your order and then in the checkout process put in the CTER5OFF coupon code. So now you want to know the rules and here they are:

Event Dates: March 14th through March 26th (you do not have to complete the mileage on ONE run but over the course of the two weeks)

Event Distances: 1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles) and Marathon (26.2 miles).....you will need to select a distance when you submit your registration Registration: Submit your name, distance, and location through the Contact Me form. Proof of participation: We will require pictures of your Garmin, Polar, Nike+, Treadmill, etc showing the miles and the time.  We will also require that you submit a spreadsheet calculating your times (you will be emailed the spreadsheet after you submit your entry form) Prize Determination: Will be based on random.org.  You cannot win more than one item.  Read post to determine what you are eligible for. Pictures: We will require you to submit a photo with your bib that you can print by clicking on the picture below.   This is meant to be a fun way to get you active and moving in time for the spring racing season.  Depending on the success of this event there will be another Cupcake Marathon in the Fall. Happy racing and if you have any questions please use the Contact Me form to submit your questions.  

It's Like A Marathon But With A Cherry On Top

  [caption id="attachment_1114" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Got all the ingredients ready to start baking"][/caption]       [caption id="attachment_1115" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Into the oven they go....(my head needs some icing)"][/caption]         [caption id="attachment_1116" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Set the temp and the time"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1117" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Can I have one please?"][/caption]           [caption id="attachment_1111" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="Finished Product"][/caption]
Published in Race
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 13:00

Recovery Is Important Too.....

Recovery from a hard workout or any workout is necessary.  Your body needs time to heal from the workout/race that you just put it through.  Yes, recovery does include eating a nutritious snack within 30 minutes of exercise as well as a meal within 1.5 hours after that exercise but also rest.  Our bodies need to rest to help it recover from the workout you put it through.  That rest can come in the form of a great night's sleep or in the form of a nap. I am not a napper.  I typically utilize the time when my wife and step-son are napping getting reconnected with myself.  I use that as a time to reflect on life and just shut my mind off.  Of course sometimes I am on the laptop reading blogs and gathering information to help make me a better athlete. Then I stumbled across this beauty.  The Eames lounge chair. This left me thinking about how comfortable it would be to nestle my body into the lounge and stretching my legs onto the ottoman during a recovery nap.  Or even while typing a blog post and sitting back and relaxing.  Would there be a better way to recover from a long day? What really had me thinking was that the chair is permanently tilted at a 15 degree angle.  This had me scratching my head in the fact that there is no way I would write blog posts because I would be sleeping in it.  I started to also wonder if I could set up a training room with a treadmill, my bike trainer, some weights and this chair.  Would I ever leave the room? Trifuel had a post titles Snooze So You Don't Lose posted on July 21, 2010.  The article list the following 6 items as key to endurance athletes performing at their best by getting enough sleep: [caption id="attachment_737" align="alignleft" width="256" caption="He could have used the Eames Lounge Chair"][/caption] How much sleep each athlete needs varies from one individual to another but in general athletes require at least 7 hours of sleep a night. The athlete can increase the likelihood of getting enough quality by practicing habits of good “sleep hygiene”. Good sleep hygiene consists of: 1.) Maintaining a regular bedtime and awakening schedule including weekends. 2.) Establishing a regular, relaxing bedtime routine by adopting such rituals as taking a warm bath or shower, aroma therapy, reading, or listening to soothing music. 3.) Sleeping in a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool (65 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended). 4.) Finish eating 2-3 hours prior to bedtime 5.) Avoid caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime 6.) Avoid exercise, if possible, for 4 hours prior to bedtime. So my feeling is that I get around 5-6 hours of sleep per night and that having the Herman Miller Lounge and Ottoman will allow me to capture that other 1-2 hours that I need to perform at my best.

How do you recover?  Do you get enough sleep at night?  Do you nap?

Published in Train
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 08:00

Blood, Sweat and Tears

We have all heard this phrase before but what exactly does it mean.  For each individual it is going to mean something different.  The same way that being competitive means something different to each person.  There is no one definition and I think that we can say the same for a lot of items in life as well as endurance sports. When you train or race you put everything you have into it.  You will push yourself to a level you never thought existed.  Think about a time when you raced a 5k, 15k, half-marathon, marathon or triathlon.  At some point in that race you experienced a point that your mind told you to quit. You persevere and you get to the finish line.  You reflect on the race and think about what could have been done to get through that point where the mind said to quit.  You poured your blood, sweat and tears into that race and you will do it again.  Why?  Because the satisfaction on knowing that you stared your mind down and won.  The knowledge that nothing is impossible.  The sheer emotion of pumping your arms and the elation of jumping up and down when the race is over.  It doesn't matter how hard it was.  It doesn't matter that you almost didn't make it.....what matters is that you DID make it.  That you beat the course and in the process made yourself better as well as those around you. We don't always take stock of those around us when we are training or racing but rest assured there is always somebody watching.  Somebody sizing you up or somebody gaining knowledge.  Somebody getting inspired and motivated to push themselves and have them pour their own blood, sweat and tears into the process and the outcome.  Don't take anything for granted.  Don't EVER feel like it can't be done.  Others are counting on you to spill that tear of blood, that tear of sweat and that tear of emotion. I can't think of anything better than the accomplishment of hitting a goal.  It doesn't have to be endurance sport related either.  You have a big project at work and you hit the deadline despite all the questions you had about getting it done.  The best part of endurance sports is that we learn that what we put into it we will get out of it and we can then apply that to life. You pour your heart and soul into your training for that race day.  Sometimes you clean up and sometimes the course wins.  You may walk away disappointed that you didn't get that time or that you didn't qualify but in the grand scheme of things you poured your blood, sweat and tears into it and there is nothing better than knowing that. Life is hard and sports is a microchosim of that.  You learn that you can tackle even the hardest of projects or training sessions.  You go through the ringer and come out the other side a little battered and bruised with some blood but you come out.  That is the important part.  You finished what you started. There are no shortcuts to success.  It is done through hard work and determination.  It is done on the notion that nothing is guaranteed so take advantage of it TODAY and not tomorrow.  It is done through all the adversity.  No matter how you do it....well JUST DO IT! You can rest tomorrow.  You can relax tomorrow but you know you will not.  You know when the alarm goes off you will wake up and go at it again because that is what you do.  You shed blood, drip sweat and pour tears into your lifestyle.  Embrace it and let the world know that you just did something no matter what that something is.
Published in Train
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 12:19

Stop Using Can't and Start Using Can

CAN YOU REMOVE CAN'T FROM YOUR VOCABULARY?

As the readers of my blog know I have started the North Dallas business of Marathon Makeover.  I have been thinking a lot lately about the business and how to engage others in what is more than a marathon.  This running/triathlon/endurance sport idea is more than just a race or distance.  It is a lifestyle.  Changing people's lives is not easy especially when they are 'set' in their ways.

We Type A people think that we just go forward and it can be done....anything can be done.  Most people don't think that way though.  They need to be led and shown why it is good for them.  The question I keep coming back to is how do you show them?  I am running a campaign on Facebook that is targeted to our main group here in the North Dallas area.  I have posted on LinkedIn and Twitter about the program and because I am convinced that it can be done I want others to be convinced but does it happen that fast?  See an ad for running a marathon, click on it and join?  Obviously not.  Marketing experts will tell you it takes 7 points of touch before somebody takes an action.  So I will keep doing what I am doing in sending out press releases, Facebook ad campaigns, LinkedIn, etc to get to those 7 points but how do you get the message across that this lifestyle is FUN.

Obviously I love to race and being competitive is in my blood.  I love to train and excercise.  I love the choices I get to make regarding my diet on a daily basis.  It is 'easy' for me to choose a spinach salad over  penne vodka.  I used to think that the waiters or waitresses would think to themselves what is this guy ordering, but then I thought to myself that is their issue and not mine.  The problem with that thought process is that those are the exact people I want to work with.  Help them make healthier choices, but doing so could take all day because of how passionate I am about living a healthy lifestyle.

I hear all the time from family and friends that I can't do that.  I can't run a mile.  The only 13.1 miles I'm covering is in my car.  We have all heard it before and for me it is somewhat maddening.  I started running by doing a 1/4 mile walk, then 1/4 mile jog, then 1/4 mile walk, then 1/4 mile jog and be done.  15 minutes give or take for a week like that.  Then I moved up to another distance....2 miles.  And it kept growing but I didn't come into this world running a marathon.  For me the word can't is a total conversation ender.  Once you use that word then it doesn't matter why because you have shut down.  My step son says I can't carry this or I can't carry that.  I tell him fine leave it on the floor then and somebody who CAN will pick it up and carry it.  I want to get him out of the mindset before it even starts.

I don't look at the world as a world of not possibles.  I see the world in a way that leads me to believe that anything is possible.  It is a positive mindset that I have chosen and feel it benefits me.  If something truly cannot be done then it had better be because I tried and tried and tried and was unsuccessful, and not because I just looked at the project as too daunting.

When I was in Mississippi a few weeks ago, we did some video shooting for the website about what running, marathons and Marathon Makeover mean to us.  My story is not unlike a lot of folks out there who got started in endurance sports and have let it carry them forward.

This video captures me and my personality perfectly because it is about smiling and having fun.  Running and training for a marathon or half-ironman or ironman is fun.  You can see changes in your personality, changes in your work product, changes in your family and friends as they catch the bug from you.

Can you help me out today and tell somebody who uses the word can't that they can?  Tell them it's possible and they just need to change their mind for this one obstacle.  Once they see that they CAN do it they will think to themselves what else did I think I could not accomplish and now CAN.  It is amazing to see the mindset of a person change and I am asking you to become a catalyst for changing somebody's life.

Tell me what you did to help somebody stop using the word can't.



DAY 7 & 8 OF THANKS
This is going to be a combined day of thanks since I did not post it yesterday.

Day 7 - I am thankful today for what I got to do last night with my step son.  Last night after dinner I went to the grocery store because I wanted to cook with Chico.  He was at his Dad's all weekend and when he was back home I wanted to spend some time with him.  He loves to cook as do I.  So last night right after dinner he went to shower (Mom was watching - he is only 4) while I ran to the grocery store to get the ingredients for energy bars and granola that Marni (TriMarni) provided the recipe for. 

After I got home we turned the kitchen into a full-on restaurant kitchen with measuring spoons and cups and bowls and pans and ingredients and just had a blast making it.


It was getting the opportunity to spend time with my step-son and sharing a passion with him that I am thankful for.
  

Granola Ingredients
 
Energy Bar Ingredients


















Finished Energy Bars (prior to cutting)
Finished Granola











Day 8 - I am thankful for growing friendships.  I have a core group of guys that I used to hang out with when I was in NY.  Those were my boys and we shared our lives together all the time.  It was great.  I moved to Texas and knew nobody but my now wife (we were dating when I moved to Texas for her.)  I signed up for a softball league and met some great people.  I always thought to myself that they will never replace my boys.  And sure enough they haven't replaced them but they have added onto them.  Yesterday alone I got two emails and 2 phone calls from buddies that I met since I moved here and one invited me to the movies tonight (unable to attend b/c of a Board Mtg) and instead we changed it to lunch today.  The other buddy (Juan - see race report) called to tell me a story and followed that up with asking if I wanted to grab a beer down at the local restaurant in our neighborhood (unable to because I wanted to be with Chico.)  Seeing my friendships/relationships grow here in Texas from total strangers is what I'm thankful for.


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