Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ZenTri Base and Nutrition Camp

If you haven't registered yet, check out the camp agenda that has been posted!  I'll be cooking and teaching (and making Brett cry when I beat him in the hill climb) for the camp, but I'm also looking forward to participating as a camper!  Last year I learned a ton of great info from Brett, Rich, Adam and Jessi and this year I'm looking forward to refining some of my new skills.

My nutrition theme this year will be The Top 10 Foods for Triathletes.  I've seen this list before and it looks different every time.  I'm going to bust up some myths and show you what you NEED to be eating. We'll also prepare and eat the foods we're learning about. How awesome is that?!?!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Teleclass! How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Packing on the Pounds

Check out the beard on this guy!
Healthy and Happy Holidays
(how to have your cake and eat it too!)

Over 2/3 of Americans are currently overweight or obese.  Of course there are numerous reasons for this epidemic, and our ‘national gluttony’ over the holidays plays a large part.  This overwhelming, over-consumption also taxes our immune system and makes us more prone to winter colds and flu.  

Don’t worry, I am not the Grinch or a Scrooge trying to take the fun out of your holidays.  There are many ways to get through this month-plus binge without gaining weight and getting sick.  And the good news is that you can still enjoy your holidays as much, if not more than you always have.

*Motivating facts:

  • The average person puts on 5-7 pounds during the holiday season.

  • During a typical Thanksgiving feast, the average person eats 7000+ calories.

  • You can approach holiday eating differently this year.


Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, let's get ourselves under control for the rest of our holiday feasting. Join me for an interactive teleclass and we'll discuss:

- How to survive the holiday season without becoming one of the above examples.
- Techniques to prevent holiday binge eating and promote a healthy lifestyle.
- How to strike a balance that allows you to "treat" yourself without denying yourself.
- And how to stay healthy and avoid a Winter cold or flu by making healthy food choices.

The class includes:

- A full set of notes
- Healthy holiday recipes
- Instructions for specific goal setting and planning to get you through
- Questions and Answers

Teleclass Details:

When: Wednesday, December 21st from 6:30-8pm ET

Where: Once you sign up, you will receive information in a confirmation email that includes the dial in number and access code for the call.

$25 (paid via paypal)

Includes: Complete plan for creating a holiday eating plan with an opportunity to ask questions, and a full set of notes and recipes from the class
Sign up: All you have to do is email me at and I will add you to the list!

** Spaces are limited because the conference line only allows for a certain number of guests. If enough people become interested, I will investigate larger call volume lines.

Monday, November 21, 2011

How I Plan to be THE BEST at EVERYTHING Next Tri-Season

Its the latest episode of Sports Nutrition with The Holisticguru!  You get to eavesdrop on my end of year review with Coach Dreamy!

Click here to listen to how I will rock.

Monday, November 14, 2011

ZenTri Camp Registration is Open!!!

You don't want to miss this.  It's our 3rd year of ZenTri Camp and its getting awesomer and awesomer!  This year we have a new kick ass coach (super fast pro woman), along with the superstars of the past 2 years.  You'll get to swim, bike, run, soak up awesome, and eat delicious healthy food - cooked by moi.  It's a perfect start for your next tri season.

More info and sign up here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beach 2 Battleship Race Report

Leading up to this race, I had high hopes. I had been running faster than ever and feeling incredibly strong. I was dropping boys left and right on all of my runs. To make it even better, Bobby was coming to be race sherpa and super friend. It was the one thing to give the race the CREW energy that fuels me.
We drove 11 hours to the pre-race dinner. Set Up Events put on a spectacular show. The expo, for a somewhat small race in comparison to others I had been to, really felt like a BIG DEAL and it was! John and I were treated like super stars, but I looked around and noticed that we weren't the only ones. The volunteers and staff were genuinely excited and interested in the athletes. It was a fun time. We didn't think we'd go to the athlete dinner that Thursday night when we arrived because its hard to eat gluten free at race events and the food is never that good. But it was free and already cooked so I walked in and took a look. It was amazing! Seriously! B2B has the best pre-race dinner I've ever had. Hands down (what does that even mean?) I was highly impressed.

That night we jumped in the ocean and made a wish. It was the loveliest evening.

Race morning I went through the usual race morning ritual and made myself race-pretty with my race make up. After I got my face and my kit on, I joined the others in the kitchen. I had never taken a coffee taper seriously before and this was going to be my first cup of coffee in over a week. I don't normally coffee taper because I don't drink much in the first place. I did it this time as an experiment and I swear it worked. I had a renewed vigor! A passion for life that felt overwhelming. I loved everything and everyone and I was ready to DESTROY THE FACE OFF OF THAT WINDY RACE COURSE WITH FURIOUS EVIL MONSTER DEATH KILLERS! I was ready to race.

It was awesome to have April, Bobby, John and Augie to hang with in the morning. Its not the deepest we've ever rolled, but it was still relatively deep and was deep enough to make me feel the love and support. I was excited for the swim because the current promised to make it the fastest of my life. The gun went off and the race started to the tune of Eminem. Awesome. I asked my coach, Coach Dreamy, how I should pace my swim. He said "swim as hard as you can". I may not have swam the whole thing as hard as I can but I didn't swim scared. I got right in there. I beat the crap out of everyone who beat on me. I didn't hide from the other swimmers, afraid I'd get a boo-boo. I was tough. This was a first. Everyone watch out, from now on I'm fearless. Then I swam a little out of the way for some reason. Just a little. No big. I got out of the water, looked at my watch, saw 50 minutes and thought "greeeeeeat. I'll never PR a swim again".

After a quick and successful T1, I was bundled up a bit for the bike when I passed a bank clock that told me it was 51 degrees. It was also windy. Then it got windier and even colder. I thought to myself, "wah". I pedaled hard to warm up. For the first 60 miles I was shaking and cold and drilling into the wind. I was careful not to draft because I wanted this to be my effort. I wanted to see how I stood up against the wind and cold. I focused on my nutrition and fought through. Did I mention I wore thigh highs with skulls on them instead of knee warmers? It was sexy. I started to wonder if I might be hypothermic and at what point I would have to quit. I decided that I would ride until my legs stopped making circles with the pedals underneath me or until someone pulled me off the course. I'm never going to drop out of a race unless I can't do it. I had been told that the wind would become a tailwind around mile 70 and seriously planned on that. I imagined sunshine and rainbow star sprinkles with unicorn smiles and marshmallow kittens at mile 70. I thought I would destroy someone for being wrong about that. And then, at mile 70 I saw my shadow beneath me. The sun was out! I laughed and said something out loud about my shadow like I was a maniac. I was so happy. In fact, I was happy even when I was physically miserable. I love racing!

I finished the bike and couldn't wait to run, as usual. T1 was uneventful and easy to navigate. I saw Augie's wife Meryl and that made me happy to have a cheerleader-volunteer.

At the start of the run I felt great. I wondered if I might break 4 hours for the marathon. I wondered if I might break 12 hours for the ironma... I mean, 140.6 distance. I started with the obsessive math. If I held back for a 9 min pace and maintained that I could do set some PRs. The run is described as mostly flat. Then I heard rumors that it isn't really flat. I thought, "well, to wimpy and negative people anything might not be flat". So I expected a flat run. I was wrong. There were 2 bridges with climbs then a steep dip into town and climb back out. Reverse that to come back to the turn around, then repeat it for a second loop. That is 6 good climbs. The good news is, I'm a running machine and I love a bit of a challenge because it gives me an advantage. Bring it. As I approached mile 2, the lead man was right behind me and I knew he was losing steam. He could hardly keep up with my pace and I was holding back. I wanted to keep him on my rearview to watch John overtake him. It was a cool spot to spectate from. Only one girl passed me on the run. She was flying. The course was super awesome. I loved the crowd downtown and there was a park with foot bridges and happy volunteers. I felt amazing and at mile 20-21 I realized I was running a 7:30 pace and had to chill out. I met a kick ass guy named Buck who recognized me from the interwebs. He was a welcomed distraction. I held back until mile 23 when I let myself drop the hammer and drill it in as hard as I wanted. I could not believe the time as I ran into the finisher's chute. I flew. Ecstatic. What an amazing feeling!



Pinch me. I still can't believe it. 8th woman overall and the 5th fastest (women's) run split!

Thank you to Augie for planting the seed to do this race and for showing me how tough I am with his crazy ass training ideas. Thank you to Stacey Richardson for making my B2B experience so wonderful and for being so welcoming. I gained an awesome new tri-friend in her. And thank you, thank you, thank you to John for coaching me for this. I never thought I would accomplish half of what he has pushed me to achieve. He says I'm still only part of the way there and I believe him. I'm going to continue to do everything he tells me to do for my 2012 season. The man is a tri-genius and the best boyfriend in all the cosmos. I am deeply grateful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beach 2 Battleship Race Report for Your Ears

Me getting pretty on race morning because it helps me race EVIL
A Beach 2 Battleship race report that you can listen to!  Click here to hear all about the race and laugh at my exhaustion only 24 hours post-race.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Athlete Tracker for Beach 2 Battleship

Last night, I ran screaming into the ocean in the dark. Naked. There wasn't anyone around and I knew it would give me luck for race day. The ocean and I have a relationship. And I'm going to swim 2.4 miles in the salty ocean water tomorrow morning.

I am already highly impressed with PPD Beach 2 Battleship. We arrived (after an 11 hour drive) just in time for the expo and athlete dinner. They had everything we needed along with friendly and funny volunteers. The food was spectacular.

This morning looks like this:

-wake up, no coffee
-sit on balcony in chair swing, no coffee
-freak out a little about the crazy wind gusts, drink plain hot water
-a short run to loosen up and shake off the cobwebs, yoga
-a 20-30 min spin on the bike to check in and to make sure everything is in tip top shape
-come home, set everything out for tomorrow
-perfect pre-race dinner
-walk on the beach

And here is your link to follow the race tomorrow:

I am bib #3, John is #1, and Augie is #133.

Oh, and the photo is of my race face.

AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! One more sleep! I can't wait to race!
Sent via hovercraft

Monday, October 17, 2011

Race Taper Nutrition - how not to mess it all up

Here is the latest podcast with Big Sexy Bobby (now bigger and sexier after going a bit crazy after his ironman - I'm gonna have to smack some sense into that boy).

Bobby rules.  Did I mention that he's coming all the way to North Carolina for my Beach 2 Battleship 140.6?!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Final Prep for Beach to Battleship

(Photo: My podium photo from Hightstown)
My final prep for Beach to Battleship 140.6 started with Savageman. That was a pretty serious brick workout and I was surprised to have recovered relatively quickly from it. I'm sticking with the prep then taper plan that John gave me and I feel faster and stronger than ever. I also have too much energy, which I don't understand. I should be exhausted! Maybe its because my diet has been spot on. It's also likely due to the fact that training A TON makes me HAPPY and HAPPY gives me buttloads of ENERGY. I did miss a few days because I had a cold, but I recovered quickly and pushed things back, giving myself a bit of a shorter taper (which may be better for me). John helped me adjust my plan by calling me immediately when I started to send him ironman freakout texts.

So, here it is:

Week #1 (easing into it with 2 races)

Sunday - Savageman as my 4 hour ride/ 2 hour run brick
Monday - DEAD
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 6 miles of walking/ 45 min run
Thursday - bike 45 minutes
Friday - swim 2000
Saturday - bike 45 minutes

Total: very low numbers for a prep week but it was also a recovery week

Week #2

Sunday - Hightstown Tri = 1 hour 21 min with 15 mile bike and 5 miles of running
Monday - Death Brick #2: 7 hr /100 mile hilly ride to Bear Mtn then 6 mile/ 52 min run
Tuesday - 50 min run/ swim 3000 yards
Wednesday - 18.5 mile run with tempo
Thursday - swim 2500 meters
Friday - 2 hour 45 minute bike with intervals
Saturday - 1 hour run

Total: 18 hours

Week #3

Sunday - 2.5 hour ride
Monday - sick
Tuesday - sick
Wednesday - 90 min run with tempo
Thursday - rest (murdering the last bit of sickness to prep for a big weekend)
Friday - 20 mile run in 2:38!!!
Saturday - 30 min bike commute

Total: 7 hours 45 minutes (LOW!)

Week #3 re-do

Sunday - 4k open water swim
Monday - 121 mile hilly ride/ 30 min run
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 2.5 hour run
***official taper start***
Thursday - 30 min swim
Friday - 45 min swim
Saturday - 30 min ride

Total: 14 hours 45 minutes

Looking at these totals makes me think "uh oh. I trained with a lot more volume for IMLP last year". BUT I'm feeling more fit than ever and I got all of my key workouts in. So we'll see how it pays off on race day!  I am so excited for this race and I'm really looking forward to hanging out in North Carolina in October!  I'll be on a beach in warmer weather. It's okay to hate me. I'll make it up to you by telling you how the race is so you can sign up next year!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hightstown Triathlon Race Report

The morning of this sprint race was the first time I ever said "I'm looking forward to getting in the water. Its already hot out!" And then we got word that the swim was canceled because the water was too cloudy to be safe. I always appreciate when an RD makes a safety call, especially in the swim, and I was happy to race a duathlon because running is my strength. This race was only 6 days after Savageman, though, and I was cooked. I didn't expect any major breakthroughs, I just wanted to have some fun doing what I love.

When we arrived I took a look at the water and saw that it must not have been a tough decision to cancel the swim. It looked like mud from the recent hurricane. We set up transition and did a bit of a ride then run on the course. The event was very well organized, the RD had a great sense of humor and was nice and bossy and straightforward during the mandatory meeting. Just the way I like 'em.

I was in the 4th wave with Sarah Leshner and was happy to have another girl I knew to hang with before the start. John, Steve, and Rooney all started in the waves ahead of us. Our wave went off and Sarah and I took off in the front to start the 2 mile run. Soon, 2 women passed us. I considered staying with them, but checked in with my steady breathing, thought of Savageman and the miles of riding and running still ahead of me, and I decided to let them go. Otherwise I would burn myself out too early, especially with such heavy legs. By the end of the run, I had caught a lot of the guys who started 2 waves ahead of me and I ran into T1 with Rooney, in our matching kits, like a collective BOSS.

I RACED the bike. I really pushed. The course was flat but I was feeling pretty confident because I had recently learned how to do a bit of bike maintenance and that had somehow also made me feel like a BOSS. I was flying. People kept yelling to me "I think you're the first female!" I thought they were wrong. They were, but that's cool. One guy was hanging onto my wheel and was drafting. We came to a corner and I, thanks to my killer bike handling skills, gracefully and swiftly made the corner. The silly man tried to pass me and wiped out. I thought "Oh no. My powers!" I asked of he was okay and then continued along. Soon after that, a group of guys who were riding in a pace line surrounded me. I was all "where'd you guys come from?" Then Rooney, the superhero, came swooping in out of nowhere and gave them heck and shot lasers through them for being dirty cheaters. Rooney said something like "go get 'em, finish strong". And I tore outta there into t2, feeling thankful for my homies.

I started the 5k run having no clue if I was really in first or second. I wanted to run hard but was a bit conservative because I expected to drop dead from "The Savage" at any moment. I kept my breathing pretty steady and started to pick people off, one by one. After about a mile I was on my own, for the most part. I hadn't seen another woman since the very beginning of the bike. It was then that I thought to myself "I'm kicking ass whether I run hard or not today". I knew that by telling myself the other women were too far back, I was risking learning a lesson the hard way... But I put it on cruise anyway. I was knackered. I had just done one of the HARDEST races of my life less than a week prior, so I relaxed the pace a bit to the finish. It turns out I was second woman overall! My first run split was really fast and my bike split was on FIYAH. That bought me some time for my slight laziness on the second run. I finished several minutes behind the first woman. There was no way I was catching her.

It felt good to be 2nd overall woman. I'm super happy with the result! And I'd definitely race at Hightstown again!
Sent via hovercraft

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Choose-Your-Own-Fall-Cleanse Adventure: Teleclass

(Pic: One of the reasons I need to do a Fall cleanse)

Join me for an interactive teleclass! This will be as awesome as my previous podcast appearances, but with the added benefit of being able to participate and ask questions in a conversational style.

Our first topic will focus on writing the perfect personalized fall cleanse. We'll answer the following questions:

* What are the benefits to doing a fall cleanse?
* Which cleanse is right for me?
* How should I expect to feel while I cleanse?
* How long should I plan to cleanse?
* And of course, any other questions that will come up...

From there, I will go over a step-by-step plan to create a cleanse that is perfect and personalized to address your specific needs, concerns and lifestyle. YOU will decide exactly what you want to focus on and the duration of time that you want to plan (with my help, of course).

Cleansing does not have to be incredibly complicated or painful. We're NOT talking about FASTING. The goal is to release toxins; improve health, vitality and energy levels; improve immunity to fight off winter cold and flu; and to reset healthy eating habits in a lasting and effective way.

Teleclass Details:

When: Sunday, October 23rd from 6:30-8pm ET

Where: Once you sign up, you will receive information in a confirmation email that includes the dial in number and access code for the call

$25 (paid via paypal)

Includes: Complete plan for creating a personalized fall cleanse with guidance, an opportunity to ask questions, and a full set of notes from the class

Sign up: All you have to do is email me at and I will add you to the list!

** Spaces are limited because the conference line only allows for a certain number of guests. If enough people become interested, I will investigate larger call volume lines.

*** For people who are interested, we will definitely be incorporating an #i8this challenge for added support during the cleanse

Monday, October 3, 2011

Savageman 70.0 Race Report

(Photo: John tackling The Wall on his ERC bike)

Don't let the fact that this race is .3 miles shorter than the usual half-iron fool you into thinking its easier. Its actually so insane that I spent the last 1/4 mile of running feeling incredibly grateful that the race wasn't .3 miles longer. By now, you've probably heard the talk about the "Westernport Wall" and "Killer Miller". They are insane climbs, at miles 20 and 40 respectively, on the bike portion ofthe race. Check out this video for a taste of the ridiculousness of The Wall. Even worse, no one really talks about the run. Well, that's only because the crazy difficult run is overshadowed by the bike. All together, this race was one of the top 3 hardest events I've ever done (and ironman is on that list forever because of the distance). The day before the race, our super fast friend, Kristoph, who has done this race several times and wouldn't shut up about it the day I met him, took us to The Wall to try a practice run. I didn't make an attempt. If I was gonna fall over on that thing I only wanted it to happen during the race.

Race morning was chilly but manageable. I knew the water would be warmer than the air and I felt confident that I brought the right gear for the bike. I put on my wetsuit a bit early and didn't dare get in the water to "warm up" ahead of time. I was grateful to have our lovely friend Noelle at the start to cheer us on. She had done the oly a couple of times and had some helpful pointers. She also kicked butt in her race the day prior. The gun went off and the water temp wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. I had a pretty decent swim for the amount of swim training I had been doing. We swam to a giant, inflated turtle, around it, then to a giant swan boat, around it, and back to shore. A lovely swim.

I spent a few extra minutes in t1, getting bundled up with gardening gloves, arm warmers, and the sexiest skull leg warmers you ever saw. The bike mount is at a hill and I had watched people struggle and fall over right at the start of the bike in the oly the day before. It was a funny mess and no one was very upset. This crazy hard race tends to attract people who see that type of struggle as a fun, added challenge. They're also saying to themselves "I'm the idiot who signed up for this". So I had calculated my bike mount and practiced the day before. It worked well and I looked like a superstar. Once over that first "hump" the smaller climbs and signs to go with them started right away. The first climb was called the "toothpick" and there were signs set out to heckle you about how small it would feel in retrospect. It was short but very steep. After that climb there is a technical descent that goes on for 17 or so miles, complete with switchbacks and winding turns, and no aero bars allowed to be used. I have to say, I passed a LOT of people on the descent because I have wicked bike handling skillz from SLB. I wasn't being wreckless. I was just GOOD. As you approach the end of that portion, you can hear the cries. The voices of the spectators who came to watch you attempt, and most likely fail, the climb up The Wall. Most of them aren't encouraging. They don't think you'll make it anyway. They're pointing and laughing. Its the MOST AWESOMEST THING EVER.

I rode closer and saw The Wall in front of me, in all its painful glory. Kristoph told me that Desiree Ficker went around it the year before (there is an option for that) so I thought "I'll never make it". And John told me I can do it, so I knew I had to try. There are 2 sections to The Wall. The first is a wildly steep, paved road. Then it "flattens" out for a few feet before you have to dig in for the wildly steep (31%) cracked cement portion. There's a sign right smack in the middle that adds a bit of an obstacle. The trick is not to end up with your tire in a deep crack. This is hard because you can barely control where your bike is going with much accuracy because you're desperately trying to keep all your weight over your front tire so you don't flip backwards. I made it up the first section, focused on steady breathing, and I felt MEGA STRONG. I knew I could make it all the way to the top. I got over the "flatter" section, ready to muscle up that thing. I almost rode into the sign trying to avoid a crack, but I straightened it out. My legs were pushing through and I was filled with a sense of gloriousness. I was 1/4 of the way up, then halfway up. I was focused on the prize and hardly distracted by the screams from the crowd in their crazy, scary costumes. Then...

The woman in front of me started to slow. I was all "don't slow down! We'll fall over!" I couldn't get around her because the road was a mess on either side. Then she went sideways. I went sideways to avoid hitting her and rode into the curb and was caught by one of the "catchers". They pulled me and my bike quickly out of the way. I walked the last 4 feet or so on the grass to the top. I wasn't upset. I wanted to know if I could climb something that steep and I convinced myself that I could. I felt incredible.

The rest of the bike was mostly UP. There were lots of painful climbs that weren't even noted because they weren't crazy enough. If the same climbs were near home, it would be THE CLIMB to train on. Here, it doesn't even get on the list. A "climb to the climb" ride was very SLB, which was also why I was killing it and loving every second. That camp gave me thicker skin. The weather was beautiful and the signs had me laughing through the entire bike. You couldn't wipe the grin off my face. Some of my favorites were:

"I was told this wouldn't be a hilly course!"

"Is this a false flat???"

"Course Architect (name of RD). Please call (phone number) with comments"

Then there was a series up a tough climb that said:

"Aero helmet $400"

"Lightweight racing wheels $1500"

"Triple chain ring, priceless"

Super fun. I never rode so hard in my life.

Then I had to run. Usually I'm excited to get out on the run. I was exhausted and my legs were screaming. I said "shutup legs" and took it out slow and easy to get into my rhythm. I was passing people right away. The run goes through a camp ground with a climb to get to the turn around. A slow and steady effort and I made it without walking. Then its downhill for a bit until you get to this off-road, steep section. Its the kind of steep where you walk or you run but you have to dig in with your fingernails. I ran it and people cheered like crazy because everyone was walking. Coming back down after the turn around had to be done with care to avoid rocks and roots in the trail. This is my kind of running. It was very Am Zof. Then we did another loop of the same.

I finished! I wasn't sure I could. The bike took me about 4 hours. And the run was just under 2 hours (I'm pretty proud of that). I was 19th woman, and with so much strong talent, I can even brag about that. Just to give you an idea, my 70.3 PR is 5:34. This 70.0 took me 6:50 and I felt stronger for this race than the PR. SO INTENSE.

You need to do this race next year. You all do.

A week later I raced a sprint and got 2nd OA woman. Don't ask me how that happened. I'll get to that race report soon enough.

Friday, September 30, 2011

How To Map Out Your Nutrition Plan For a Marathon! Do it. NOW.

I've been training a lot with Team Continuum as I build up to my ironman distance race (Beach 2 Battleship) in October. I have so much fun training with this group! Running and chatting with them has inspired me to dedicate the latest episode of Sports Nutrition with the Holisticguru to Fall marathon nutrition. Specifically, fueling for race day. Check it out here.

In other news, my BIG training push is going super well. I'm feeling stronger than ever and I'm learning a lot about myself as I make a leap into another level of athleticism. I'm becoming more familiar with my very specific strengths and weaknesses as a triathlete and I'm doing specific workouts to focus on these things. John Hirsch (my coach and boyfriend) is lots of the brains and love behind all of this progress. He's been encouraging and pushing me all season, along with training me and schooling me on how to realize my potential. I'm a lucky girl.

So here is the fun bike workout I did this morning. I thought I'd get bored with loops in Central Park but I had plenty to focus on:

5 loops total (about 31 miles)

#1- warm up, easy pace
#2/3- Anything But Shift- pick a gear in the upper-middle with the big ring (climbs tough, cadence high on flats) *second loop harder
#4- shift again but combine high cadence and strength
#5- cool down

This workout focused on my major bike weakness which is my slow cadence. It also incorporates strength which I'll need to combine with better pedaling efficiency in order to SLAY THE FACE OFF of the B2B bike course.

Also, I've been bike commuting with a focused goal and drills to make the 25 minutes each way feel like it counts.

Sent via hovercraft

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Come to SLB! Saturday 10/1/11 Last Day for Discount Early Registration!

So John sent out an email yesterday that got me all nostalgic and excited about Spain! I can't wait to be riding my butt off in the mountains instead of freezing my butt off in NYC!


It's Fall! I love Fall! But it means its getting cold. But there are 2 good things about the cold. 'CROSS and Strong Like Bull!

First off we have a bunch of test pilot cyclo cross bikes already in stock. Frames are all carbon and built come in about 15 lbs. Yeah, its that light and fast! Frames are 950 dollars. Fully built bikes are 1950-2450. Pics and such are on our Facebook page:

Second, 10.1.11 is the last day for early reg for the Spain Winter Camp Strong Like Bull! We only have 2 spots left for the second session, so don't dally.


We are going through and the direct URL is:

This is for the non-refundable deposit only.

Again we are including 2 free days to anyone tough enough to do both camps!

Cortijo Del Nava is a fantastic cortijo with central heating, larger
rooms, a paved driveway and located only minutes from the center of
Trabuco which offers a proper plaza, cafes, shops and allows athletes
a chance to unwind in an authentic Spanish town with wonderful people.
Cortijo del Nava also has owners on site to look after our needs, aw
well as hot showers, a cold pool (for ice bath), and working free
wifi. To get a tour of Strong Like Bull’s new digs check the slide
show here:{fe96293b-6027-4af2-ae7d-06292dca8a7f}&image=F0D05497CE5ABEC6!302&imagehi=F0D05497CE5ABEC6!300&CID=-1094281698472182074

We have also hired health counselor and triathlete Christine Lynch
again of to oversee the cooking and dietary
needs of the athletes. She will be providing 3 meals a day (included)
to fuel and power you for your training, she is also a certified yoga
instructor and will, again, be teaching yoga classes.

All rides have guilds/coaches and a sag van for support to bring your
gear, food, fluids and lunch.

We provide all transportation within Spain including airport pick up
and drop off. All rides will also be guided as well as supported with
a sag vehicle. We will also continue use the swim center we have been
using and provide transportation to and from there as well for the

We have started a Face Book page for SLB here:

Also we updated and you should check
there for updates throughout the year as well


Session 1 is 2/10/12 – 2/18/12
Session 2 is 2/19/12 – 2/27/12

The price is $1185 after 4/1/11 but remember price breaks for ealy reg
of $200, so its ONLY 985 if you sign up now.

We can not wait to make 2012 amazing and really hope you are there!!!

Sean and John"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The HolisticGuru Show - Caffeine!

Will it kill you???  Just kidding.

Listen to the latest podcast with myself and Big Sexy Bobby!  It's all about using coffee and caffeine to train and race.  Are you thinking of trying a coffee taper  before your next big race?  Is there an easier way?

Listen here!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'll Sleep When I'm... Not So Damn Happy

Today I planned to write up my Savageman race report. The race was one of my favorites, like, EVER.  The problem is, I'm exhausted and don't feel motivated to write it yet.  This is going to sound crazy but I've been suffering from insomnia for 2-3 weeks and it seems to be a result of feeling really content, excited and happy about where my life is.  I'm not drinking too much caffeine.  I'm not eating too much before bed.  I'm not lying awake and fretting about the next day.  It's too noisy, cold, hot or uncomfortable in my bed.  Instead, I'm just REALLY loving life.  I'm going to bed with thoughts of sugarplums dancing through my head.  I'm on a clear path in my life, surrounded by lots of love and support and beautiful people and experiences.  I'm not there yet, but I know where I'm going and I'm loving the process and journey to get there.  I'm not sleeping because I'm thinking about how good life is and when I do wake up too early its because I can't wait to start the next day.  WHAT?!?!  Do you hate me yet?

So I've been doing some research on insomnia and natural remedies, and I came up with an excellent article by Dr. Weil.  He suggests the usual remedies, such as herbs, relaxation techniques, white noise, exercise, etc.  He also suggests something called "mantram" (not "mantrum" which is a male temper-tantrum).  A mantram is a mantra that is repeated over and over to have a meditative effect and can be relaxing if your mind is racing.  It is best to choose a phrase that isn't so meaningful that it makes you think TOO much about the words you're repeating to yourself.  It's also suggested to choose a mantram from a list, rather than inventing one of your own.  Click here for more information on mantrams.

So here's what I'm going to try for the next few days:

- 15 minutes of relaxing yoga before bed each night
- Put the phone and clock away, don't watch the hours pass by (stressing it makes the exhaustion feel heavier and may be worse than being tired)
- If I can't fall asleep after 20 minutes or so, read. Right now I'm reading Anna Karenina.
- No more than 1 coffee per day, in the morning (I rarely have more than that anyway).
- Try valerian with melatonin to help fall asleep, taken 30 minutes before bed.
- Choose a mantram to repeat. I'm going to try: "Om Namah Shivaya"  (Ohm Nah-mah Shee-vah-yah) - an invocation to beauty and fearlessness.

Anyone else have any solutions that have worked that may be helpful to other readers?

Sent via hovercraft

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sesame Kale and Quinoa Recipes

Photo: Sesame Kale prepared by Sam

Some of my wonderful clients have been posting photos of recipes that I had shared with them.  Now people are all "Hey! That looks good! I wanna eat kale too!"  So, here are some of the recipes!

This one is from a favorite cookbook of mine called Greens, Glorious Greens:

Sesame Kale
Serves 3-4

¾ pound kale (about 6 cups), washed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame or olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
½ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
salt to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large 10- to 12-inch skillet that has a tight fitting lid.  Add chopped kale and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender.  Remove cooked kale with slotted spoon to drain, saving cooking water to drink.
  2. Rinse out and dry the skillet, then use it to heat the oil over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.  Stir in scallions and cook for another minute.
  3. Add cooked kale and salt to taste and stir to combine.  Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes until kale is hot.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
And this is the dish that I love to bring to Summer/ Fall parties and events:

Quiona Tabouli Salad 
Serves 8-10
2 c. quinoa, rinsed
¾ c. chopped, fresh parsley
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cucumber, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5 sprigs fresh mint, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ume plum vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Cool.  Combine quinoa, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, green onions, and mint.  Mix well.  Combine olive oil, ume plum vinegar and garlic and mix into salad.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

September 15th, 6:30pm: Marathon Fueling for Training and Racing!

Come one, come all!

I'm holding a workshop at Jackrabbit Sports on the UWS in NYC. Our special guests will be the Team Continuum NYC Marathon athletes, but don't worry, *the event is open to the public*. And its FREE! Come early and you can get a shoe fit from one of the fit experts at Jackrabbit. I highly recommend taking advantage of this service.

Whether You're Running Your First Marathon...

Or If You're Chasing That PR...

You NEED to have a Fueling Plan!

You will learn:

- nutrition simulation in training

- proper hydration

- how to avoid muscle cramping

- pre-race fueling

- race nutrition for the big day (how, why and what)

- post-race recovery fueling

- And... tips on how to avoid weight gain while training for the event. It happens all the time!

- Most importantly, bring your questions to be answered during the Q and A!

Marathon Fueling for Training and Racing

Where: Jackrabbit Sports UWS (140 West 72nd St)

When: Thursday, September 15th from 6:30-8pm

Cost: FREE! Come early and get your shoe fit before we start!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


(The Big Sexy Bobby himself, on the other side of the camera at Mirror Lake)

Sports Nutrition with THE HolisticGuru on Archrival Productions Podcast!!!

At IMLP I was approached by Bobby to start recording a regular tri nutrition show. I thought about it for ONE seconds and agreed, enthusiastically. I have always wanted to have a regularly scheduled podcast. I've even received emails from my fans asking me to put out my own podcast. There was no way I was going to be able to put the time in to learn the technology while trying to build my practice. So, I continued to jump on podcasts whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Well, now we have it, healthy and realistic nutrition advice for triathletes and runners. As of now, its a work in progress. We'll see how things progress as far as topics and the possibility for cooking video episodes (with pretty aprons). We'll also invite guests and answer questions from listener mail. Sound fun? I think so!

To listen to our first killer episode, click here. Its all about gluten, and "what's the big deal all of a sudden?"

And please, send us your ideas, opinions and questions:

We want to hear what you think!

Sent via hovercraft

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fan Mail: TV Snacking!

(Coraline is cheering for CREW and Team Continuum at the NYC Tri)

I got an email recently, from one of my fans wondering what to snack on while watching tv. I get this question, and questions about snacking, pretty often so I thought I'd quickly share my response here.

How to snack while watching tv:

1) Ask yourself if you're hungry. TV eating can be very mindless and unnecessary because what you really want is something to do with your hands, hand-to-mouth motion, or maybe you just want to treat yourself after a long day. This is why I like finger foods for mindless snacking (like grapes, edamame, popcorn, cherries).

2) Do you tend to crave salty or sweet? Smooth or crunchy? Other ideas would be frozen banana sorbet (just freeze and blend). Celery with peanut butter and raisins. Or my favorite, an orange sliced into quarters with a small handful of dark chocolate chips.

3) The key is to use portion control and to have a beginning and end to your snacking. When snacking mindlessly, we don't often feel satisfied by the snack because we are distracted from the experience of the food while we are eating it. It's a mental craving and becomes a bottomless pit until you can learn to snack mindfully. That doesn't mean not to snack while watching TV. Just be aware enough while you snack, so that you actually experience the snack.

4) Once you've finished snacking, you can sip herbal tea or even just brush your teeth as a close to your snacking.

Feel free to email me for a list of healthy snack ideas! Happy snacking!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Next Up: Beach to Battleship 140.6!

(John and Augie training in VT for B2B)

"I want to be the girl with the most cake" - Hole

As I've mentioned before, this has been an unplanned, "sure, why not?" tri season for me. I had hoped to do Rev3 Cedar Point full but had a scheduling conflict. It turns out, not making a race plan has had me racing and adventuring toward some awesome new goals! John is all about supporting non-WTC events, as am I, and that has driven the race map for the season. Read more about John's views on WTC events here.

I have to admit, without having a full 140.6 race on my own calendar I have been a bit envious of friends who are racing the full distance. This was kicked up a bit more when I went to IMLP to spectate. I had a killer time cheering and supporting my friends, but I want one too! In June, fellow CREWmate Augie suggested that John race Beach to Battleship. Augie did the half last year and loved the race. He's going for the full distance this year and I've watched him work HARD for the past 2 years for this goal. So John suggested I race with them at B2B! GREAT IDEA!!! I checked out the website, learned more about the race, and even talked to their people (who are super friendly, welcoming and helpful) and now I'm WAY totally pumped! And as usual, my favorite part of racing is the people I share the experience with, so it will be kick ass to have Augie and his super-awesome wife there. There is a half and a full distance, so EVERYONE SIGN UP here and come with me! We rolled deep to Lake Placid which meant lots of hanging out, cooking, strolls, photos, eating with friends, and meeting new people. I want that again so come out and race with us! I hear that North Carolina is gorgeous at the end of October and the race is dirt cheap compared to WTC.

Time to get serious about my training! I am out of my mind with excitement about this! Yay!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary, John!

I have a cute story for you guys. Its romantic, but don't worry, its about triathlon. Just trust me.

Two years ago I had been "seeing" John for a few months. I was fighting the use of the "girlfriend" label because only a year earlier I had an 8 year relationship end and I was a bit gun shy about taking anyone seriously. But my dearest friends knew and loved John, plus he was (is) dreamy, so my walls were starting to crumble. He invited me along to races and I started crushing, hard. In August of 2009, he invited me to Block Island for a weekend to do a sprint race where his family lives. I was all, "MEET YOUR FAMILY?!?! Woah." So I agreed to go, secretly giddy that he liked me that much.

Now I wasn't registered for the race and it was closed. John's sister was registered and just got news that she was pregnant, so the hope was to ask for a favor from the RD and let us switch. On the way to the race, John said "I'm going to ask the RD to let you race but he's not going to say yes for a friend. I need to tell him you're my girlfriend" So I was all "okay, whatever" And John said "so if I tell him that you HAVE to be my girlfriend". I laughed. Everything worked out and I got to race.
It was an AWESOME race. A sprint with a 5 mile beach run in the sand. BLISS. John won and I won my AG!!! At the awards ceremony, when they were giving awards to my AG, the RD didn't have my name so he called out "first place, John Hirsch's girlfriend!" I looked at John like "what do I do?" He said "go up and get it, but if you do that you're my girlfriend officially. That guy is an official." So I went up and got my award and claimed my title as John Hirsch's girlfriend.

Also, his family loved me!

This weekend is our 3rd trip to Block Island for the sprint tri, in the most magical place in the world. I feel like the luckiest girl in the universe.
Sent via hovercraft

Friday, July 29, 2011

Figure Out How to Fuel Your Body to Train and Race at Your Maximum Potential, NOW!

(Me, Anna, John and Grant at IMLP - the guys both had awesome results and they eat what I tell 'em... coincidence? I think not)

Holistic Nutrition Discount: *FoR OnE WEEK ONLY* $25 off initial consults and $50 off for monthly programs (per month!)

In the last couple of weeks I've had a few clients finish their 6-month programs with me. I want to replace them right away, especially with "A" fast approachging, people need to focus on FOOD FOR FUEL. Meanwhile, it is always a good time to make nutrition changes and to focus on health goals. With triathletes and runners in particular, the pressure of the looming race brings buckets full of motivation. You can tap into that motivational fear and squeeze all of your athletic potential out of it. Making healthy changes with your nutrition RIGHT NOW is perfect for a few reasons:

* Your body should be begging you to eat a healthier diet to support the work it does for you
* You'll learn how to eat according to your needs based on your bio-individuality, training volume, specific race goals and lifestyle
* You'll know HOW MUCH protein, carbs and fat to eat (and when to eat them) so that you feel awesomely fueled
* You'll learn the exact what/when/ how of racing nutrition for YOUR body
* You'll learn how to incorporate "nutrition simulators" into your training plan

And that's just what you'll improve related to your athletic goals. We will also focus on your other health goals and concerns (healthy weight, learning to cook, day-to-day nutrition, increased energy, etc). I've successfully helped so many people get healthier, without even turning their lives upside down to do it. Just ask around! You can start here.

You've thought about it... now DO IT. You can contact me at: OR through my website contact form.

*Offer good through August 5th.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Evil Racing Cult Bikes

A few people emailed me asking for details about the new ERC bikes in the photos on my blog. With all the hype, the Evil Cult Leader of ERC is extending the test pilot program for a bit longer. I'm gonna name mine "MagicStarSprinkleRainbowDeathKillerMachine".

Here is the info:



After what was a HUGELY successful first round of bikes we now have the machine built to bring Evil Racing Cult bikes into this world and in 2012 we plan to launch a full assault on Earth.

But before we do that we are allowing people one final chance to join us as Test Pilots. This sharply reduced pricing is for early adopters of our bikes. Get in before everyone else and get sweet hook ups before we go big.

Here is what we are offering:

The TT BIKE (shown below):

Razor thin, insanely aero and light as hell. This bike was just ridden by Test Pilot Grant Aidner to a PR and by me to a top 10 finish among the pro men at Ironman Lake Placid. Stiff, responsive and sick on the downhills, as well as a climbers dream TT bike, this combo is legit.

* Complete with ERC Carbon Wheels (choice of 50mm or 80mm front and rear or a combo of 50 mm front and 80mm rear at the same price. Also same price for tubular or carbon rim clincher)

*ERC all carbon handlebar wing and areo bars.

* Integrated carbon mast.

* SRAM Force. grouppo $3250

*Frame/Fork $975


(foto: the ERC TT bike going up famed Papa Bear en route to a top 10 finish at Ironman)


(foto: cleaned and ready for the day, sporting its bib number. Please note, this is the proto type and all future ERC Bikes will come with sick graphics.)


Named in Spanish because it was tested at in the highest mountains of Spain, the Mal Negro (black evil) is an amazing ride and is evil light.

* 1350 gram frame frame. Lighter than your mom.

* Wheel choice of the 20mm, 50mm, or 80mm rims. Carbon rim clincher or tubular. 1250 grams. If you get dropped on the climb its not this bikes fault!

* Compact gearing available.

* SRAM Force, grouppo.

* All carbon handlebars.

* Frame/Fork set $975

* Complete Bike 2850.


(foto: the first round of ERC bikes en route to to their owners. Please note they are all black but had white protective padding on.)


(foto: the Evil Racing Cult Bike is fueled by angry music, angry legs, and as shown here, coffee)


* wheel sets of 20mm, 50mm, 80mm Carbon Rim or all carbon tubulars are $985.

* ERC Handle TT Cockpit of Wing and TT bars $350

* ERC Cross Frame (not shown) $950.

* ERC Cross Wheels (same as our road/TT wheels but extra strong) $975


**please note: NY Residents must fork over tax to the man (a bit over 8%). Also please note while we don’t jerk you for “handling”, you might have to pay shipping).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lake Placid Sprint

(Mirror Lake - so pretty)

My ironmen needed an activity for last night, so I did them a solid and jumped into a local sprint tri to entertain them. It was an incredibly selfless act on my part. I'm good people.

It all happened so fast. I was dressed in my kit and being body marked within an hour of discovering that there was a race being held. I decided to go wetsuitless for the 400 yd swim because Anna went wetsuitless in her recovery swim an hour earlier. I was standing in the water, ready for the ready-set-go, when I looked back at John. He looked at me and said "WIN". And we were off!!! I wanted to see what would happen if I pretended I wasn't a little scared of swimming and I went out, balls to the wall, all out. That lasted for about 2 minutes until I was ready to drown. Once I collected myself, I settled into my usual leisurely pace and came out of the water somewhere in the middle of the crowd. It was a learning experience.

(As I come out of the water, a woman points and says "OMG! Check out those guns!")

My cheering squad was taking video of me and commentating and cracking me up through t1. In a Phil Liggett voice, John was saying "and here comes Christine Lynch, this is her first race in her new big girl shoes" because I now have REAL cycling shoes and pedals rather than my original mountain bike shoes and pedals. I'm not used to clipping in with them yet, and it was rainy, so to my opponents it looked like I didn't know how to ride a bike. I almost fell over trying to get going.

(This is a pro style flying cyclocross mount)

Well... they must have been surprised when I FLEW PASSED THEM once I got myself situated! Suckaaaazzzz!!! I got to ride the bike course backwards until we got to River Rd, then turned right, then right into town and back to Mirror Lake.

I made up for my wimpy swim and got to t2 in 3rd. My CREW was cheering and yelling my place. It was still raining but I hardly noticed. I threw on my running sneakers, Grant reminded me to take off my helmet (thanks Grant - you'd think I'd never done this) and I was off, on a mission to catch the 2 girls in front of me. Well, I didn't. I caught one guy and I considered staying behind him because that would put me in 10th overall and I thought that would be cute because John went 10th the day before at IMLP. Then I realized, if John went 10th I should go 9th. My finishing time was 1:10 for the 400 yd swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run. I'd say that's a pretty nice accomplishment.

(I had the loudest cheering section, YAY!)

(Recovery dinner - A CREW group effort)

And lastly, a few more photos of my ironmen as they recover from the big day! It was a day of eating, napping, strolling and Harry Potter watching. It was a PERFECT day.

(CREW porch breakfast picnic)

(then I found this)

(and these - Grant and Anna)

Thank you for making me race, CREW! And thank you for taking photos, John! I love you guys!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Ironman Day!

(Coffee taper is OVER)

I've been traveling to Lake Placid for IMLP for four years straight now. I'm already planning to be back next year. My heart, of this sport, lives in this town. It beats through the buzz and the love travels through the course and the athletes I meet. There truly is nothing like being here for this event. I'm a better and happier person for finding myself here, falling for triathlon.

(Yesterday's pro swim start)

Race day charges through my emotions like lightening. In 2008, I stood in the pouring rain and admired the people around me. I didn't understand how 140.6 could be possible. In 2009, I watched several friends go the distance for the first time. I watched with my friend Kate as her ironhubby (and a dear friend of mine) Phil finished his first ironman. I cried like a baby with that one, after having put in hours and hours of training with Phil for his big day. And then, in 2010, I became an ironman... YAY!

(Anna and Grant getting suited up)

IMLP 2011 was a a big day for me, though I wasn't racing. I was "staffing" John. Armed with a media pass, pen, notepad and stopwatch... I was nervous and excited! I even called John's dad the day before the race to go over any tips he would have for me. Poppa Hirsch is a badass spectator with a serious job to help John dominate. As it turns out, I'm damn good at it too!

(Cheering at Papa Bear!)

It was a hot day in the sun. I made friends with other spectators and had a blast. I was well prepared with everything I needed because I checked in with TheyTri before the race. The hours flew by and so did John! I'm so proud of him for his top 10 finish and I was honored to play a very important role for him. I'm also very proud of Grant with his 12:29 finish and Anna for her FOURTEENTH ironman!

(My very own MPRO)

(Grant on his new ERC bike, just out of t1)

Congrats to all of the IMLP 2011 athletes! I can't wait for next year!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lake Placid: Day 3 - Sh*t's Gettin' Real

This morning was the first day off the taper diet for the boys! I woke up and they were making gluten free pancakes and eggs. Still no coffee, though.

Not the greatest photo from my blackberry, but while we waited for breakfast, Grant gave me an airplane ride! No hands!

And here are the PERFECT pancakes. We got to enjoy these babies outside overlooking the view of the mountains! Pretty, right?

And here is the ERC bike that John will be kicking ass on tomorrow. This bike is going to blow you all away. It's DREAMY and FAST and I want one.

Pre-race dinner! I always keep it super simple. Brown rice pasta, tomato sauce, spinach and vegetarian "meat"balls. It was fabulous.

And here are my ironmen watching Versus commercials. You can feel this place vibrating with nerves and excitement. These three are my ironman heroes, along with everyone else I'll be seeing out there tomorrow.

Grant - I KNOW you're going to have the race you want tomorrow. It's the race you deserve. You've worked hard for this and your CREW family will be sending fierce vibes of love and support to you. When you feel the despair start to set in, picture us. We'll be there with you... hitting you with sparkly, inspirational shovels and making you punch your own face.

Anna - You're the most badass ironmangirl I've ever known. I'm gratefu to have your footsteps to follow and admire. I would never have advice to offer for someone who has your experience but I do have tons of CREW love. You'll race your race, like you race the rest, and we'll see you out there and think "that's our Miss Murder".

John - First, I love you. Second, you're SO READY for this race. I've watched you earn this with hours and hours of dedicated training. I'll be out there for you... supporting you with all of my heart, soul and might. Third, you're the BEST and I'm the LUCKIEST.

Tomorrow is your moment. "And that moment is a crossroads where everything you want will collide with everything standing in your way" -Versus Commercial