Marathon Nutrition Seminar Recap

Marathon Nutrition Seminar Recap

Last week, I attended the Marathon Nutrition Seminar at Milestone Running with guest speaker, Dr. Krista Austin. She’s an exercise physiologist and nutritionist, and has worked with some of the best American runners. The event was sponsored by Generation UCan, and everyone received a free sample for going.

Recently, I’ve been having digestive distress on and off, and I am also gearing up for my first marathon after years off from the distance later this year, so I’m obviously very interested in the topic.

One of the first topics covered was Race Weight. But I actually liked Dr. Austin’s definition: the lightest you can get, without sacrificing performance. Ideally, you’re maximizing your power:weight ratio, you should try to maximize power first, and minimize weight after, but not so much that you lose power, or hurt yourself. If you’re losing weight, aim to do so before training for your goal race, and if you find yourself impatient, you’re not eating enough.

Which brings us to nutrition periodization. You should plan your nutrition about a year out from your goal race. She touched on Macro, Meso, and Micro nutrition cycles, but didn’t go much into detail. I’m reading a review article, “Periodized Nutrition for Athletes,” by A.E. Jeukendrup to deep dive into the topic.

Dr. Austin did emphasize following a My Plate model (not necessarily counting calories or macros), and showed the below plate percentages depending on your day’s training.

She recommends the My Fitness Pal app for calorie tracking, and estimating your calories needed for daily life. Then to consume 1 g of carbs for every minute you spend exerting yourself in exercise (which is either zone 3-5 from your Garmin, or an Rating of Perceived Exertion of 5+).

For during exercise fuel, you don’t need to fuel less than 60 minutes of RPE 5+ (recovery intervals don’t count;) If you are exercising for more that 60 minutes take in:

  • Moderate Exercise: 0.5-0.7g of carbs per minute (over 60min)
  • Intense Exercise: 1g of carb per minute (over 60)

Fuel should be low glycemic index (no spike in blood sugar) and high osmolality (easily absorbed by the gut)

Other general guidelines:

  • you should take in 20-25g of protein every 3 hours (and definitely within a few hours of a hard workout)
  • you should drink 0.5oz of water per pound of body weight
  • every pound you lose from exercise, you should consume 24oz of electrolyte drink
  • If you have digestive distress, reduce your fiber to 10g/day for 3 days before (and including) race day
  • Goal is stable blood glucose, you can lower the glycemic index of a high glycemic load food by consuming with protein

Keto & low carb came up briefly. She mentioned that if you feel good doing it, great. Do what works for you. Some athletes she works with get great results for body composition and lifting. However, she took the opportunity to reiterate that if you want to hit paces and push yourself in an endurance sport, you need the glycogen to support it. You can train to improve fat oxidation by training fasted, or on high fat/protein meal before running, but typically saves that for easy to easier days, nothing long or high intensity.

For race day, try something like UCan before the event, but after 45-60 min start taking in carbs. Whatever works for you. Practice well before your race so you can train low, and have time to practice your fuel. And practice carrying your fuel too. Us mortals aren’t as lucky as Meb to have bottles out on the course for us. Dr. Austin recommended taking whatever fuel you like with you on your run, and take water from the aid station.

There was nothing earth shattering in what she recommends, but it was a good review and reminder.  Although sponsored by UCan, Dr. Austin wasn’t overly pushy or promising of the product, which was nice. I’ve tried it once, but am willing to try the free sample before making my personal judgement.  The only thing that would have been nice, would be to discuss any differences between men & women’s fueling needs, but there’s not much research in the area, so I guess I understand.  I am starting to train my gut, and practicing with different fuels before I start real marathon training late summer. I can’t wait to see what this training cycle will show with more emphasis on during exercise fuel, not just lifestyle fueling.

A Letter to My Little Lion

A Letter to My Little Lion

Dear Rory, 

I have waited so long to meet you! Your daddy and I are going crazy with anticipation. I am overwhelmed by the thought that in a few short days, I will be able to hold you in my arms! 

Even before you are born, you are already teaching me so much. You are reminding me that as your mother, I am your guide. Despite any plans I make for you, you will follow your own path. As your guide, I am here to help you find your way, to protect you, to teach you, and to inspire you to be the best version of yourself. 

You have yet to make your appearance into the world, but I already love you more than I knew ever possible. I’ve been crying every day that I cannot hold you in my arms. You have inherited my persistence; it will help you achieve your goals throughout life.

I will do my best to teach you to be adventurous. That fear is inevitable, which is okay, but that you can do hard things despite feeling that fear. The world is full of adventure, but you must be willing to embrace all of the emotions that come with it. 

I promise to try my best to welcome you into this world, without expectation. I will do my best not to project my ideas, the should’s and should not’s that I have learned over a lifetime on who you are as a human. I want to teach you to be open-minded, to think critically, and to form your own opinions. That differences are to be embraced and appreciated, not feared or rejected. I want to teach you to speak up for your beliefs, for yourself, for others that need your help, and to do so respectfully. 

These are my goals and wishes that I have for us, my Little Lion. I cannot wait to teach you all of these lessons as well as sharing the world with you! We live in an amazing place, minutes from the ocean, miles from the desert, and a short drive from the mountains. I will show them all to you and teach you the power and beauty of our home here on earth. We will travel and experience cultures from around the world. Everyday you will be surrounded by love, from me, from Daddy, and your two doggy brothers. We have all been waiting patiently to meet you. We love you so much! 

All the love in my heart,


Gratitude list

Gratitude list

I read that a gratitude list helps cope with the last weeks of pregnancy and SUPER anticipation (read- anxiety) of my little one. So here it goes.

  1. I am grateful for my husband- seriously couldn’t make it through this without his willingness to listen to me complain and ability to make me laugh. Laughter is important right now.  IMG_7304
  2. I am grateful for my career. It is a big part of my identity, although not completely perfect, I’m grateful for the flexibility it is giving me now.
  3. I am grateful for my powerful body, still nurturing my fetus. I feel tired & uncomfortable. I have sporadic pains. I don’t even remember what “normal” feels like. But my body continues to stay healthy and support my fetus. I couldn’t ask for anything more. IMG_7294
  4. I am grateful for my baby’s movement. Seriously. This kid is going to whip my ass back in shape in no time! Feeling him move will be the one thing that I miss about pregnancy.
  5. I am grateful for the unconditional love from my dogs. Seriously, they are such troopers as I’ve become more of a homebody. And they let me snuggle them, and constantly watch my every move.
  6. I am grateful for the beautiful weather in May, in San Diego. Hot enough, but not uncomfortable. Daily beach walks = sanity.
  7. I am grateful for daily talks and texts  with my favorite people!
Surviving week 40

Surviving week 40

I’ve officially made it to month 10 of pregnancy. After 9 months, my patience is wearing thin. I’ve turned to my friend google to try to figure out what has worked for others during this last 1-2 weeks of gestation, and continuing to work after my due date. I learned that most women who have time & energy to contribute to the noise of the internet at this stressful point of transition, are extremely priviledge. So, instead of saying how you can navigate this time, here are some guidelines for EVERYONE ELSE in our culture, on what they can do to not be a fucking asshole. And of course, take into consideration who you are dealing with. This is limited to my own experience, but you can taylor it to fit the woman you are dealing with.

What NOT to say to a past-due pregnant woman:

1. What? Still no baby?

2. You’re still here? (especially at work)

3. Here’s a horrible story about ceserian birth

4. Have you tried xyz to start labor?

5. Here’s what happened to my wife to start labor.

Remember, she is barely holding it together. This time is not about your curiosity, think before speaking.

Things you can say to a past-due woman:

1. “Here, I brought you ice cream.”

2. “Is there anything I can do for you today?”

3.  Best of all, offer some authentic encouragement, “I think you’ll really get a kick out of giving birth I would’ve loved to do it several more times but just didn’t need all those babies”

Stay strong Mamas!


Growing Hearts, Growing Family

Growing Hearts, Growing Family

Dear Badger,

You came into our lives less than 2 years ago, yet it seems like a lifetime. You have completely changed Ian and me. Before you, we did not believe that we could give up our selfish lifestyle of going and doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. You showed me that love overcomes that. That I am capable of sacrifice for love; yes, I knew this from marriage, but our love is different. You actually NEED us, and depend on us for life. If I have something to do, I know that Ian can care for himself- feed himself and relieve himself. You showed me that love makes any inconvenience okay. Love makes me not care when I have to improvise how to clean up your poop, when I run out of poop bags on our walk. Love has shown me that caring for another being is far more important than going out, working, and working out. It is not a burden to stay home, I actually enjoy slowing down and spending time with you. And this love is not finite. In fact, it grows exponentially. You have shown me that I have more love in me to give. That I am not as selfish as I once was, that I do in fact have a motherly instinct. You might be the best life teacher I’ve had in my adult life. I love you, Badger.

You know that we adopted your brother, Rocco, almost a year ago. With your guidance, he has grown from a little puppy into a sweet young boy.

Adopting a puppy was so much more work than expected. House training took longer than expected; obedience training has taken a long time (adult dogs typically come knowing basic commands); outings take more planning – and patience! Our family grew, and our love continues to grow! You have taught your dad and I to work as a team, to split the work and help each other out when we need to. All of this, preparing us for the next big step: welcoming the newest addition to our family, a human puppy- a baby!


Your newest little brother will be joining us in a couple short months! I am so excited to meet him. We don’t get to pick him, like we picked Rocco. This is the little guy that we made, and we know he’s the right match for us. I can’t wait for you to meet him. I can’t wait to see you with him. I know you will be a caring big brother, a wonderful nanny dog.

Thank you, Badger, for the love you have given me, the love you brought out of me, and for convincing us that our pair should actually be a pack.


Build the Sisterhood

Build the Sisterhood

Build the Sisterhood – the first principle of flight, a manifesto of the Oiselle Volée. Probably the number one reason I joined Volée. From the manifesto it reads:

“We are only as strong as the bonds we build. And while most of us have them, we want to do more. We want to raise the ante in showing how women can support other women. To go further with the sisterhood …fostering strength and leadership not just in competition, but through every action, every day.” – See more at:

As I settle into my new life, back in sunny Southern California, I am doing a lot of soul searching.  What do I want my life to look like?  The first thing I do when trying to figure out how to do anything, is look around and see how other people are doing it.  So, I’ve spent a lot of time then, thinking about the women around me, their lives, and what it looks like.  I have an amazing collection of sister heroes that I will highlight here.  These are the stories of my #sisterheroes.

A hero is a person idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. These women are just that: fierce, strong and full of courage to dream big dreams and reach their goals no matter how big or how small.

 There are so many inspirational women out there, I hope to continue to write about those near me.  As the name implies, I plan to focus on women I view as peers, friends, and colleagues, but will not omit those I see as mentors as this series evolves.

Momento Mori

Momento Mori

“Remember that you will die.”

The brevity of life is part of what makes it so special.  When I think about death, I am not really afraid.  No, I don’t want to die, but eventually I will. Instead, I want to make my life here on earth as full of meaningfulness as possible.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve changed my perspective of time an priority.  I heard on Running on Om, a great podcast by Julia Hanlon about life and running and great people, an analogy that the time left you have left in life is like a savings account, and its up to you how to spend your time.  I love this analogy.  Reflecting on death puts a limit to the time you have saved and really forces you to live to the fullest.  I am intentionally focusing on trying to make my relationships more meaningful, not that I valued them less before, but that this is really a priority for me and I want to put my energy into meaningful relationships.

Death or injury can come from anywhere.  Do what you love, with the people you love. Life is too short not to. And don’t forget to #WomanUp2016

Writing prompt from my hero, Lauren Fleshman

Writing prompt from my hero, Lauren Fleshman

In her blog, Ask Lauren Fleshman, Lauren gives the writing prompt, to put pen to paper and write for 2 minutes. “What I really remember about that meal was…

…trying to eat with chopsticks, but anxiety making my hand shake so uncontrollably I could barely get food into my mouth.  I know this is where I belong, but this is not what I should be doing. Discounting my intuition makes me so unhappy.”

I’ve been searching for inspiration, and  am being drawn to the topic of anxiety, something I’ve suffered from without even noticing for years, even decades perhaps. I hope to use this medium to investigate the anxiety I feel and how to perform (in sport career, and life) despite fear and feelings of uncertainty. 

AoM #9 – Simply write about my day

AoM #9 – Simply write about my day

yesterday, like most weekdays, my I woke up to Tim Armstrong singing Wake Up at 5:30AM.  First things first, I go to the bathroom, drink a glass of water, then put the kettle on the stove for coffee.  I decided while moving to switch to french press coffee.  It is tastier, my counter is cleaner, but making it takes a decent fraction of my morning ritual.  While the water is boiling, I clean and prepare the press (and a little bit of the kitchen). For the 30 seconds I wait for the plumeria I hang like a ragdoll, feet shoulder distance apart, knees bent, butt on the cabinets, for a quick #hitreset. Stir the coffee, fill the remainder with water, and put the lid on.  About now, Badger gets up and comes to see what I’m doing.  I say, “Good morning!” and get some kisses and hugs.  He goes back to bed until I am ready to sit.  Once I pour my coffee, I grab my computer and go to the couch.  I didn’t write yesterday. Instead I read.  I read mostly about elite and professional runners.  Most notably, Like a Motherfuckerby Sara ‘Mac’ Robinson. She describes her journy running as a mother, feeling guilty for taking time for herself, away from her brand new human.  Her conclusion is that she better make the most of that time and run like a motherfucker, after all she owes it to her daughter and husband to run like a motherfucker. Now I have inspiration for my marathon trials posters (for which Mac is running)!

Now I realize that I’m cutting close on time so I need to shower.  Good thing its not hair washing day.  I shower, dress, pack my lunch and run out the door.  Thankful that its warming up (in the 50s this morning) and there is no condensation on the car.  My commute is becoming routine, I didn’t even need to look at GPS today.  I changed my route when my office location changed last week.  I get in and go straight to my office to begin the day.

I start work, editing a manuscript from the group that I am joining.  The software I requested is finally ready, so I begin install.  Later, around 8:25, I try to log in to watch the Center’s All-hands meeting.  My computer freezes, I decide to wait it out.  I continue editing on a hard copy I have of the manuscript.  Nothing is happening. Ctrl-Alt-Delete isn’t even doing anything.  Its been an hour, so I manually hard restart the machine.  I’m finally able to log-in.  I get into the Q&A at the all hands. Now my computer restarts on its own.  Okay.  Finally log back into the meeting, and its totally over. Awesome (<- sarcasm). At least I can add my edits to the digital copy.  I realize that I’m getting hungry, so I eat an apple and start my count down to lunch time.  Which is easy because my computer keeps prompting me to restart AGAIN.  After a game of being disrupted every 10 minutes, I set it to postpone for an hour and agree with myself to go to lunch then.

For lunch, I have cauliflower rice, 1/4 a huge ass baked sweet potato, leftover ‘carne asada,’ and an avocado.  Luckily the cafeteria below me has a microwave.  Once I go permanent, I think I will outfit my office with the luxuries of a minifridge to store my lunch in.   Surprisingly, I don’t finish lunch by the time I’m full.  This is good, I’ll have a nice second lunch later in the afternoon.  During lunch, I scroll through instagram.  One post catches my eye. An untranslateable greek work: meraki.  I do some googling about it and find this post and begin to notice a pattern of  what the universe is putting in front of me today.


After lunch, more editing.  Until I have to drive to another location for meetings.  Meeting 1 is about a project I can work on after this 3 month tour is up. Honestly, it sounds really interesting.  I will probably do it.  It is a good group, interesting work, and if it goes well can lead to collaboration (and funding) for part of my time in the future.  The second meeting is a required meeting for the program.  A more senior engineer, with a lot of initiative to make things happen, is presenting to all of us new professionals.  His main message is that if you find a gap of something you need, then take initiative to fill that gap.  We work for big brother, but our Center is supportive of people making things happen.  Awesome. (<-not sarcasm).

Take initiative.  Work/live with meraki.  Engineer/run/live like a motherfucker.  I get it.  I’ve taken a lot of time away from being passionate about my work.  I have been passionate about technology and making things happen, but not my work, not even my life.  I have taken some time to recover from grad school. I have been cautious, protected.  I am in a position now where I have opportunity at my finger tips.  Its time to go all in. Whole heartedly.  To love what I do, and be my best while I’m doing it.

I end my day with my second lunch and more editing.  When I come home, I feel totally drained.  I forgot my gym clothes in the morning, spent my evening at the grocery store. After coming home, I have intention of working out in our second room, but get distracted by planning dinner and reading about picky bars.

AoM #6

AoM #6

Today’s prompt was to pick a quotation about manhood and write about it. Well, I can’t relate to manhood so I tried to look up quotations on womanhood.  Ironically, many lists of quotations about womanhood are dominated by things men have said.  Go figure.  After searching, I found one that finally spoke to me:

“The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to TACKLE THE MOTHERFUCKING SHIT OUT OF IT.”  -Cheryl Strayed

Life is a wild ride.  We don’t have time to ‘act’ feminine, or manly, to seduce it.  We have to take what we have right now and use what we’ve got to go after what we want.  No one in adult life is going to tell you what you want or how to get it (unless you stay up too late watching infomercials).  Its up to you to decide, up to you to make the life of your dreams.

I chose this quotation because I’m still resonating with #womanup2016.  This year is about bravely chasing my dream life.  It won’t be easy, but I’m sure I can catch it!