First, let's catch up. How have you been? Well, you look great. You've obviously been taking care of yourself, getting some exercise and eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low and non-fat dairy products and, of course, lean BEEF! Good for you!
Me? Well, I've been traveling a lot. Since last June I've been to 22 states across this beautiful country meeting with farmers and ranchers who raise great-tasting, whole and nutritious BEEF. I love my job!
Following Ride the Rockies in June 2009 I traveled to Utica, NY in July to run the Boilermaker 15K with 100+ beef-loving athletes from across the country wearing our Team ZIP running jerseys to demonstrate the power of protein and other nutrients like zinc, iron and B vitamins found in beef.
In August I crossed a big-time goal off my "bucket list" riding to the top of the highest paved road in North America -- The Mt. Evans Highway -- from a starting elevation of 7,524 ft. in Idaho Springs, CO, to 14,258 ft. above sea level at the summit. Actually, I had to hike with my bike the last 100 ft. to the true summit to snap this picture. I don't advise doing this in cycling shoes but it had to be done!
Just yesterday I ran the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon with 220 other beef-loving athletes, turning in a new personal record time of 1:50:36 (8:22/mile). I was thrilled with the time, especially considering I hadn't logged many running miles this year. In fact, until two weeks ago I'd primarily been riding indoors on my Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 and CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer.
So, two weeks ago I came up with my two-week half marathon training program: five runs totaling 26 miles (3, 6, 10, 4 and 3 miles) with a little time on the trainer on non-running days.
As for nutrition, I ate a LOT of beef! In the week leading up to the run I had roast on Easter Sunday, a burger on Monday, filet mignon on Tuesday, beef jerky (as a snack) on Wednesday, BBQ beef for lunch and a ribeye for dinner on Thursday, brisket on Friday, and a huge Cowboy Cut (bone-in) ribeye for dinner on Saturday before the race. Sure, this is more than the USDA recommended serving of 3 oz. of protein per meal (5.5 per day), but I took my cue from Olympic 1500 meter runner Bernard Lagat, who told Runner's World in an article called "Secrets of the Olympians":
You gotta stick with what works...and BEEF works for me!
"I love steak, and I have to have steak the day before I race. Some people are afraid to eat steak before a competition because they think it'll make them too full and slow them down. But in Osaka [at the 2007 World Championships], before I raced, I went to Outback and ordered the biggest steak I could, and I won. You have to do what works for your body."
—Bernard Lagat, Tucson, Arizona
My big event this summer is the Boulder Ironman 70.3 triathlon (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run). This will be my second Ironman 70.3 distance event after a three-year hiatus. Shortly after I ran the Vineman 70.3 in July 2007 I was hit by a car while riding my bike and had to take a few months off from training. I started riding and running again but didn't back in the pool until this past winter, so haven't done any triathlon events since.
I'm looking forward to getting back into the groove of triathlon training this summer and have lots of events lined up between now and August 8, 2010, to prepare for Boulder. I hope you'll follow along as I ride, run and swim. Along the way I'll share my favorite recipes and tips for grilling great lean BEEF recipes!