Stabilizing Endurance….

I haven’t been writing lately.  Always busy (like everyone).  Quite frankly, I’ve been a little down since my foot / hamstring injury, because I can’t run.  My biggest fear has been losing endurance.  As a distance runner, maintaining endurance is what it’s all about.  If I can’t make it to 26.2 and beyond… I don’t want to run.  My physical ailments will heal.  I’ll adjust to the custom orthodics (thanks to my extremely flat feet).  I have maintained physical exercise through cycling, swimming, yoga and weight training.  That’s all fine, but in terms of endurance, nothing compares to a good 2-4 hour-long run.  So what have I been doing?  I’m bound and determined to bike for over 2 hours, approximately 30 miles, every time I go out.  There’s a lot more that goes into planning for a long bike ride.  For one, riding makes you very hungry.  You won’t burn as many calories as you would running, but for some reason, you need to fuel while you ride.  I can go out for long runs on an empty stomach, drinking only water and occasionally eating a GU (energy gel) for a little boost of energy.  Cycling, I need substance, real food, maybe even a sports drink.  The hunger only happens on a real ride, never on a stationary bike or during a spin class.  I think it has to do with brain function.  While riding on the roads or trails, you have to constantly be aware of your surroundings.  Traffic behind you, pot holes, roots, branches, pedestrians, etc…. Plus the fact, you’re locked into your bike.  It’s difficult to jump out of the way if needed, like you can when you’re on your feet, running.  While running, you can zone out in certain areas, listen to music, manuever your feet to prevent falling etc….  You just can’t do that cycling.  Therefore, I think your energy is dispersed differently.  The fuel is as much for your brain as it is your belly.  This morning I rode just over 32 miles.  I would have gone further, perhaps 15 more miles, but my stomach was growling and I had to be back for a business appointment.  I had a snack at mile 16, but it just wasn’t enough.  I had a banana and fun size pack of m & m’s, which is 165 calories total.  Got me through 10 miles fine, but my stomach was growling like crazy for the next 6 miles. 

Cycling Snack 165 calories
Cycling Snack 165 calories

I got back just in time for a protein packed lunch and enough time to prep for my appointment.  I made myself an egg white omelette, which is something I eat often, especially after an intense / long work out.  An omelette is a great way to get rid of leftovers, veggies so they won’t go bad, etc…  It’s also a filling meal for approximately 400 – 500 calories.  I use egg whites, because it’s easy and I’m trying to cut down on fat any way possible.  If I had made this on a regular day, not after a 2-3 hour cardio work out, I would eliminate the cheese, ham and toast with butter.  These items add a lot of unwanted calories and fat. 

Today’s Egg White Omelette – 500 calories

  • 1/3 cup of Egg whites
  • 2 thin slices of deli ham chopped
  • tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped Vidalia onion
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 slice of french peasant bread toasted with 1 pat of unsalted butter
Today's egg white omelette
Today’s egg white omelette

Have you been injured and can’t participate in your favorite activity?  How do you compensate?  Are you an endurance junkie like me?  How do you make up the lost miles?  Let me know.  I’m an average person who loves running, cycling etc….  I’m always looking for new ideas and approaches….  Let’s get the conversation started….

Ironman….The race of all races

Ironman….The race of all races.  I am proud to have friends that have completed this 140.6 mile triathlon!  My friend Rachael has completed it twice.  Incredible!  I hope and plan on participating and completing an Ironman someday.  But, until then I will take pure pleasure in living vicariously through my Ironman friends.  They are my hero’s.  Ann, Rachael, Aixa and Pablo, Congratulations!  

Ironman Triathlon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon26.2-mile (42.16 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.[1][2][3]

Most Ironman events have a limited time of 17 hours to complete the race. The race typically starts at 7:00 a.m.; the mandatory swim cut off for the 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim is 9:20 a.m. (2 hours 20 minutes), the mandatory bike cut off time is 5:30 p.m. (8 hours 10 minutes), and the mandatory marathon cut off is midnight (6 hours 30 minutes). Any participant who manages to complete the triathlon in these timings is designated an Ironman.


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Mowing the lawn….

When I was a kid, mowing the lawn was my job.  Fortunately, it never seemed like a chore to me.  I liked doing it.  I still like doing it.  It had actually been a while since I’d done it.  We have a huge lawn so we purchased a tractor when we moved into our house 9 years ago.  I have no interest in using the rider, so I don’t.  My husband takes care of all mowing duties on a regular basis, until recently.  Our tractor broke and has been getting fixed for the past 3 weeks.  Luckily our neighbor had an extra push mower that she’s letting us borrow.  I have to admit, I was a little excited to take over the mowing for a few weeks.  Here’s why:
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Navigation Junkie….

This mornings post is a little quirky.  I’m hoping some runner’s, cyclist’s and traveling sales people out there can relate.  I am a “Navigation Junkie”!  I love the unknown, discovering a new route, driving to a new location, running a race and not knowing the route.  The freedom of just going and taking in everything your surroundings have to offer.  This morning I did a 6 mile solo run.  I was on my own, which meant I could listen to my music, make up a new route, talk to myself, sing out loud, etc… Really challenge myself, because I had to make sure I was back home by a certain time and not run too far over 6 miles.  I nailed it! My Garmin hit 6 miles right in front of my driveway, 3 min. prior to my goal time of 6:00am.  Mission accomplished! Continue reading “Navigation Junkie….”

Take it easy…It’s ok…

This morning my alarm didn’t go off, and I didn’t automatically wake up between 4:30 – 5:00am.  I actually slept until 6:45am.  At first, I woke up in a panic! By 6:45am, especially a weekday, my workout is done, lunches are made, I’m drinking my coffee and almost finished getting myself ready to start the day.  Then I realized, I must have needed the extra sleep.  Missing a grueling workout and breaking the routine once in a while is ok.  You don’t always “lose when you snooze”.   Continue reading “Take it easy…It’s ok…”

Outside our comfort zone….


The main purpose of Nicol Living is to help others gain self-sufficiency in ways that I do every single day.  I focus on things that are important to me Fitness, Clean Cooking and DIY projects.  You need to take charge bit by bit and learn how to accomplish things yourself.  We’re all responsible for our own destiny.  You can’t rely on others for everything.  With that said, today I want to talk about stepping outside your comfort zone in terms of exercise / fitness.
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As the temps rise…. I’ve decided to re-post “As the temps rise”, because now in addition to the heat, we have the humidity. Stay hydrated people. Especially as training kicks in for my fellow Fall marathon runners.

The heat is on in the Northeast.  Summer temps are rising.  Yesterday the temperature rose to the mid 90s.  I went for a 26 mile bike ride yesterday morning, knowing it was going to be “hot”.  For me summer training is difficult.  I’m not a fan of the heat!  I’ll take a long run in the middle of February at 10 degrees vs. the middle of July at 90 degrees any day.  The thing is, if you want to participate in triathlons, Marathons or distance bike races etc…. they pretty much all take place in the summer and fall.  That’s if you live in the NE.  What that means is, you have to do a lot of your grueling training sessions in the hot, humid weather.   Continue reading “As the temps rise…. I’ve decided to re-post “As the temps rise”, because now in addition to the heat, we have the humidity. Stay hydrated people. Especially as training kicks in for my fellow Fall marathon runners.”

Euphoria of Running….


Runner’s High!  We’ve all heard about it and often wonder if it’s actually true? Well, I believe it is, but it’s different for every person.  It falls in line with simply how good getting up and moving can make you feel.  My friend Michelle, is nursing a hamstring injury right now, so she’s unable to run.  She hates it, because she misses how fantastic running makes her feel physically and mentally.  But she brought up an excellent point about how she can still gain the same euphoric feeling. She said, “just getting out the door, going for a walk, breathing in the fresh air is good for now.”  Running / walking is as much a form of meditation as it is physical exercise.  I’ve always loved getting my runs in at the crack of dawn, as a way to start my day.  Others may love to end their day with a run as a major form of stress relief from all the curve balls thrown at them all day.  Whatever the reason, just getting out there can clear your head, relieve the stress and simply just make you feel great!  Who’s going to argue with that?   Continue reading “Euphoria of Running….”

Finding what’s right for you….

When it comes to exercise, it’s all about finding what’s right for you.  The key is to get moving!  For me, I like to try just about everything out there!  I’m fortunate to live in an extremely active community.  The town of Bethlehem has so many options!  There’s simply no excuse not to get out there and try something!  We have a beautiful paved rail trail for walking, biking, running etc….  Plenty of places to take an array of classes.  Foundry Fitness for all types of H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) classes.  Stephanie is a great instructor, I took her “Power” class this morning.  365 Fit for Yoga, Boot-camp & Spin. I’ve tried them all & they’re all fantastic.  Revive is fairly new to the area and they offer so much variety!  I love H.I.I.T Flow (Yoga Pose Holds), very Yin / Restorative.  I am also a fan of Barre!   Continue reading “Finding what’s right for you….”

Farmers Market Fun…


Great Saturday morning!  The season has begun!  Yesterday was the opening day of the Farmers Market where I live in the town of Bethlehem.  Farmers Markets are a great community resource.  They provide many introductions in regards to local farmers, craftsman, restaurants, musicians and more….  Regardless of where you live, more than likely you can find a farmers market within a fairly close proximity.  Take advantage of it!  If you attend the Delmar Farmers market on Saturday mornings, you know what a treat and social event it can be.  My son loves it!  He loves going early in the morning with me, trying all of the samples!  One of his favorites is “Puckers Pickles”.  We always leave with a huge jar of the horseradish pickles.  They are Delicious!  Puckers also makes a great Kimchi and Pak Dong.  I make my own which I will discuss in a future post, but if you have no interest in making your own, buying it from a place like Puckers is well worth it!  The health benefits of Kimchi are phenomenal (packed with probiotics).  New to the Delmar Farmers market this year is brilliant artist, Pam Collins.  Pam is a close friend, so I’m fortunate to own a few of her pottery pieces.  Her work is unique and absolutely beautiful.   Continue reading “Farmers Market Fun…”