This morning I realized that one year ago today I became a Kona qualifier.
One year ago yesterday I wrote the following on my facebook status
"is an IMWI finisher! And super sore! Finished 4th age group, 11st amateur female and 22nd overall. 10:57 finish time. I am amazed that my body let me "race" such a challenging Ironman. Crowds were amazing and helped me dig deep."
In 25 days I finally get to dig deep once again. For I haven't done a triathlon since IMWI which was 365 days ago. I have a 4-minute PR from the Jacksonville Half marathon (1:32) under my belt but I am going into this Ironman completely fresh and I am about to explode with excitement. Nothing makes me nervous about the Ironman for it is a race based on preparation. Not only physical but how you mentally approach the day. Of course, I get nervously excited because there are a few uncontrollables that can affect the day but I have to say that for every Ironman (including my first) I have felt this amazing sense of ease as if I know what my body is capable of doing and I trust that I will race my place. Of course, with my first IM (IMFL) I didn't really have a plan so I trusted my intuition and just listened to my body for all 140.6 miles.
What I love about my facebook post was the fact that I recognized what my body allowed me to do. Thanks to my body, I was able to "race". After watching so many inspiring athletes cross the finish line at the 2011 IMWI (via Ironman live), I could only imagine the thoughts of the thousands of finishers who couldn't believe what they had just done. For it doesn't matter if it is your first Ironman or 20th, running down the Ironman finishing line is priceless.
(Ironman Kentucky 2009 - finishing time 10:54)
One thing I have learned in the past year, is that I really love putting plant-based meals into my body. Sometimes my meals are super creative and I have to text Karel a picture because I am too excited to wait for him to get home and sometimes, well, the meals are not so blog worthy.
One thing I have also learned is that every meal and snack is an opportunity to provide my body with fuel and quality nutrients. Regardless if I am training for an event or focusing on my health, I take pride in the food that I put into my body. Without rules in my diet, I also realize that by eating well most of the time, the rest of the time allows for occasional treats where my body does not mind something atypical in my diet.
There was a time in my life, many years ago, where I would have ice cream for dinner or cereal for dinner. I excused the action because of a hard workout, lack of time to prepare a meal or well, because I just "wanted it". In my mind, if I "controlled" the calories, it would come out similar to if I had prepared a regular meal..so, in my mind, my body wouldn't gain weight. However, if it only worked that way.
Many people struggle with weight loss by constantly focusing on calories. I don't believe in counting calories nor do I believe that athletes should become overconsumed with weight. With the right nutrition and fueling plan ALONGSIDE the best possible training plan, an athlete can become very efficient, thus metabolizing fat for fuel, gain strength and power and fuel workouts with less calories than once believed (which will also help to minimize GI distress) and focus solely on training due to a healthy relationship with food.
I focus on color, vitamins, minerals and overall satisfaction with my meals. I recognize foods that may enhance my performance and based on experimentation, foods that may limit my performance.
I had a busy day with work at the hospital and the a long walk with Campster and by the time I got home, I had 20 minutes before Karel got home and I was ready to eat.
I turned on the oven to 450 for the potatoes and when the oven was pre-heated I sliced the potato, tossed the slices in olive oil, sprinkled with paprika and seasoned with pepper.
Because I don't believe in going into a meal starving, I had some carrot and cucumber slices with hummus and peanuts as I was making dinner.
I then prepared a stir-fry of red beans, mushrooms, garlic, onion, eggs and broccoli in olive oil and added a few slices of cheese.
Super easy and packed with color. I also finished my meal knowing that I had quality fuel for my Tuesday morning workout. Enjoy!