Please help us in our fight to help loved ones with Parkinson's Disease live better today!

Please help us in our quest to help those afflicted with Parkinson's Disease live better today!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Good Flora & Other Myths

Training has officially begun and I already feel like I'm behind! I caught the nasty crud that's going around the week in-between Christmas and New Year's and have been fighting it ever since. Winter has come back with a vengeance to Colorado and while I love running in the cold, and don't mind running in the snow, I draw the line at running on ice. Considering I'm super-graceful on dry land, I don't take my chances on ice.  So, Freddy and I have been logging our miles in the gym and on our bike trainers. Not our idea of an awesome time, but hey, I'm just happy to be working up a sweat again!  Last Sunday, we did a 4 mile run followed by 2 back-to-back spin classes. And we were toast!  We tried another brick on Wednesday. This weekend I logged 10 miles on the Dreadmill and Freddy logged 6. We survived but have our work cut out for us for sure!

We got our first round of training from Coach Marco. He works differently from other coaches we have worked with in that he gives us 2 weeks of training at one time. Nothing more, because he likes to see how we are doing and build from there. Me being incredibly type A, may slowly go crazy with this as I like to see what's coming, but I will put on my patience hat and trust that all will be just fine! He's got a great balance of small bricks and takes a very "zen" approach to training. Which will come in handy on my next 100 mile bike ride when I'm pissed off at the world. I did, however, question his sanity when he told Freddy and I he would have us do some workouts "naked".  Visions of the Bobkie commercial which aired during the Tour de France a few years ago came to mind (sadly, I cannot find the commercial anywhere to post here so if you missed it, you're missing out), and I was more than a little disturbed. After some clarification from Marco (who now thinks I'm a complete freak), I found out that by "naked" he meant I cannot use a Garmin nor other toys I have to collect data. WTH??? Breathe, Kari. Breathe!

I'm slowly feeling myself become a new person. I'm paying closer attention to the fuel I'm putting in my body and adapting the "eat to run" mentality where food is not comfort, but instead, fuel for training. I'm not 100% there yet, but feel I'm on my way to making healthy changes. Part of this is increasing my pro-biotic intake. Marco is very organic in his approach to things and has been giving us nutrition tips in addition to our work-outs. One of the things he wanted me to try is Kombucha. He was super-sneaky in his suggestion. In a recent discussion, he asked "do you like tea and beer?" "OMG!!! I LOVE TEA!!", I enthusiastically responded. "Awesome", said Marco, proudly. "I'd like you to try Kombucha. It's a tea full of pro-biotics to keep your good flora in check". Um, is that Flora like the fairy in Sleeping Beauty? I liked her-she was sassy.  So off I go to Whole Paycheck-er-Whole Foods where I excitedly head towards the Kombucha section. I stare at the large cooler housing a billion bottles of this stuff when I notice that every bottle seems to have floaties in it. I can feel my enthusiasm towards this stupid tea leaving me quickly. I do what I usually do-make my decision based on price, grab two bottles of the cheapest brand and head towards the cashier. I asked the cashier if they sold Kombucha leaves that I could brew at home, you know, like real people tea that's yummy. He smiled and said "no, this is made from mushrooms and fermented (I guess this is why Marco asked if I liked beer). See those particles in the tea? Those are your probiotics. You are going to feel awesome and have so much energy!" Oh God. Can't I just take a pill or something? He continues, enthusiastically, but with a funny look on his face "have you ever tried Kombucha?" "No", I stated. He smiles "well, you either love it or hate it. Now, this particular brand does have a bit of a vinegar taste to it. Take it home and if you don't like it, bring it back and we'll be glad to exchange it or give you a refund." Oh boy. What have I gotten myself into? So, I get home, open the bottle and my nostrils close immediately, repulsed by the smell of cleaning solution that is Kombucha. I repeat "Good Flora. Good Flora" over and over in my head and take tiny sips of my 8 oz cup until it's empty. It's pretty horrible, I'm not gonna lie. I much prefer my Noosa yogurt to get my good flora movin'. But, I will be a good little athlete and do what my coach tells me. But, Marco, you and I have much different definitions of tea and beer.
In my learning period with Marco, I made the big mistake of saying I was heading to the dreadmill to get in my miles because of icy conditions. Any runner knows you call the treadmill what it is-a dreadmill. Marco quickly corrects me be saying "let's not refer to it as the dreadmill. Let's call it the joymill." Oh Marco, you little whipper-snapper, you and I are going to have so much fun together! But you know what? Damn it, it worked! I logged 10 miles on the "joymill" and it wasn't horrible! Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to make a habit of it, but I didn't want to kill the person next to me. Every time I thought of Marco calling it the joymill, I smiled, possibly even laughed as well!  Ok, the smile on my face was more likely due to my own personal Justin Timberlake concert I was having, but I'll give Marco a smidge of credit....