Next to my passion about food (cooking, eating, working), I love fitness, a.k.a. cardio stuff: running, cycling, hiking, rowing. This love affair supports one another: they're joined at the hip. For my goals and abilities it's a compatible marriage - takes work but worth the effort.
Boosting that regime to endurance training for an ironman distance triathlon - is - another - story.
It's NOT MY STORY. I hate competitive swimming, the training's too all-consuming, and I'm not that crazy.
This is Tammy Slauenwhite's story.
I met Tammy almost five years ago - the two of us were thrashing our way around the buoys in Fancy Lake - surrounded by other triathletes, some absolutely flying doing the front crawl.
We were both new comers to the Bridgewater Triathlon Club. Tammy was making the move to add to her personal trainer portfolio and I had just made a move across the country and wanted to meet active people.
Both of us met our objectives.
Fast track to the present. With a log book bulging with short races, several half-marathons, and two half-ironman distance races, Tammy is gunning for the big one.
What motivated her to commit to this??!!
- an ironman distance triathlon is on her bucket list
- the first ever EPIC Dartmouth
is scheduled for the 2012 Maritime race roster - in Halifax, an hour-plus from Tammy's home
- a charity route was a registration option (fund-raising for $1200 in lieu of paying $395). Her charity of choice was PRO Kids, an organization that matches youth and children in need with community-based recreational activities. Great fit.
Why aren't we all signing up??!!
Because last week alone was an 18-hour training week. (With still four months until race day, I'd be afraid to check what's coming down the pike in the training program.)
To see how that looks in the trenches, check out her facebook page: TamFit (Tammy Slauenwhite) is taking on EPIC Dartmouth for PRO kids, which will also provide information re: donating to PRO kids.
I wanted to know what a typical food-day looks like. From hitting the floor to hitting the sack.
- protein and fruit shake
- eggs with greens and salsa or oatmeal
- fruit and nuts
- salad greens - with some of these: veggies, unsalted nuts, seeds, chicken or beef or beans
- yogurt and berries
- veggies and protein (chicken, beef, fish, eggs)
- nuts, yogurt or hot milk
- other "whenever" - raw veggies, fruit, nuts, dates, sometimes home made peanut butter cookies.
- post-workout favourites - dates, nuts, thick protein shakes with banana, berries, yogurt, milk
- on the bike and the run - water, oranges (and oj), dates, bananas, homemade gel
Here's the gel recipe, previously posted
. Recipe tweak: finely chop the dates and soak for an hour before making for smoother blending.
The program: eating every 2-3 hours. "I allow my body to tell me. I don't like to go hungry and I don't like to get bloated so I tend to eat really small amounts at a time."
There's an obvious absence of grains, and Tammy's response to that: "since I cut back on wheat and grains I find my body less bloated and to fill up that space I find I eat more fruits and vegetables which I REALLY need - they have vitamins and minerals I need."
Looks like clean eating to me. And to date, this is what works for her. Tammy admits that consuming enough veggies and fruits is a challenge. Preparation, shopping (she likes to go organic if available) - along with the protein foods, the total food bill adds up. Not to mention that she has a teen-age son who also has a healthy appetite - sometimes for different food than what's on her plate which adds time in the kitchen.
Tackling an event like this is close to a full-time job commitment. To show support - besides get in a good long run, it's been great fun logging the miles with Tammy and friends. Her program says long runs are slow - yes! - but the time flies as we chat about food, fitness, family and more.
I admire Tammy's drive (and her fitness level) to go for such an ambitious dream. The inspiration she wants to share?
"Women my age [almost 40] can do the things they aspire to. It's not too late! Go for it."
Her wish for race day:
- not to be injured
- to be fueled properly (and stay that way) so she's not feeling hungry
- to have energy to be upright and smiling at the finish line
I wish you the best of days, Tammy.
Speaking of hunger, it's time to fuel up myself after today's 17km - a beautiful "rave run" by the Atlantic.
I've made a huge salad of greens, carrot strips, green onions, avocado, cauliflower florets, nuts, toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds and popped amaranth. The dressing - Creamy Tofu with Dill - is delicious, nutritious and reminds me of my grand-daughter, Brienne, who made it for many of our salads last summer. Do give this a try.
Creamy Tofu with Dill Dressing
1 1/2 cups soft or silken tofu
1 shallot, finely chopped
6 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
4 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. Herbamare
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. maple syrup
Mix everything in a blender (I used a Magic Bullet) until smooth and creamy. Makes about 2 cups - delicious on salads or as a dip for veggies.