Monday, April 30, 2012

Diet Quality Card Conclusion

Eighteen months of diet quality cards is enough.

What I've learned is: if I follow my food plan, my diet quality card will be all right. If I don't, it won't.

If I stick to my schedule, my food plan stays together. If I don't, it falls apart. And when it falls apart, I fall back on: bagel with cream cheese, sandwich, chips, and Coke, chicken torta, mac and cheese.

Things that interfere with my schedule: taking an exam that I've studied a year for. Bouts. Bouts, actually, are okay, bout followed by two Sunday track setup shifts for no particular reason, though enjoyable, not the greatest idea ever. That probably falls under Too much socializing. Getting sick.

When I will get it together for good: Never. There will be good weeks and bad weeks. After a bad week, pick yourself up and start over with a good week. The purpose of having a standard isn't to always live up to that standard, it's to have something sticking up out of the ground so that you can find your way back.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Practice Acts of Kindness

I just want you to know that I actually do love and am thinking seriously about all of these things, I feel bad that I keep picking on them. It is my nature! (I said that in my scorpion voice.) I was totally on board with kindness releasing serotonin, ahhh, all the way up to Move over Pfizer, like the opposite of you had me at hello. What is with the badassification of everything, can't sometimes an act of kindness just be an act of kindness?

Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.) Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside. What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness. How extraordinary is that? Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on. A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin. Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.

There, I fixed it. And now, a hearty YES to kindness! It's nice to do nice things for people, it makes you feel good and it makes them feel good. Totally recommend it. Need I say more? Don't think I don't see you looking down at the eight more inches of text.

The thing is. An act of kindness isn't, always, an act of kindness. I figure I'm talking to people who do practice acts of kindness probably all the time, am I right?

But first let me say first to the people who aren't reading this, give it a try! Try turning your attention ...outward. No no, the other direction. Not toward the mirror! Try not always trying to top somebody's witty comment with your own even wittier comment. Try just commenting "LOL!" or "hahaha," which I like even better. It's not that I'm anti-LOL. I am, if you must know, anti-ROTFL. Because when I type LOL, I am, actually, laughing out loud. But even somebody who laughs as much as me rarely actually rolls on the floor laughing. I mean, I have on a few occasions. But on those occasions, I was certainly not in any condition to operate a keyboard. I realize that I may be limited by my perspective as a person who's still rocking a Motorola RAZR and therefore connects to the internet only with my giant laptop. I suppose you smartphone people could be rolling on the floor laughing and portably typing ROTFL, but that means something was so funny that you fell to the floor without giving up your grip on your phone? Put that shit down for a second, seriously.

The reason I like hahaha better than LOL is because hahaha is the sound of your laughter. It is the most generous sound.

(Also I am not anti-LMAO, even though nobody actually laughs her AO. It is understood that this is figurative. ROTF could be literal.)

But back to when is an act of kindness not an act of kindness. Or when do acts of kindness stop making you feel good. Because you might be thinking that practicing acts of kindness isn't something that you do differently than happy people, but you aren't. Happy.

A thing that Myra and I talk about is, why do I always, or very frequently, or more frequently than is probably healthy for me, do nice things for people, and the answer is right up there: kindness a drug. It does make you feel good, so you do it again. And again, and again like a rat pushing a lever. And you know, people need things done for them all the time; so it's really easy to do nice things for people. An easy thing to do that makes you feel good, you see where this is going.

It's just like drugs, man. Or I guess it's not just like drugs because I don't think I'm supposed to say that a little bit of drugs is okay, just a lot of drugs is bad. Look, I'm not saying anything about drugs. About kindness, though. If it's not making you happy, you might have to try doing something harder.

Try doing something harder like what, I'm not going to tell you. Because I'm mean. Hahaha!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Phases of Training

I'm developing a new practice called SkateForm, and first of all credit where credit's due, the first of this type of practice for WCR was piloted by Jackie Daniels, a high-intensity practice focused on strength and fitness, which I named SkateFit, and when I was spitballing with Kola about this new practice that would be a low-intensity practice focused on postural stability and mobility, movement, and endurance, she said that was too much of a mouthful and why didn't I call it SkateForm.

So now I'm running trials for this new practice with my partner in crime, Mimi MeOW!! and I started the first trial practice with a little bit of time in front of the whiteboard, because I am a nerd. It's a pretty different practice for the league, I wanted to place it in the scope of training phases and objectives, and most pointedly, training strategies for those phases and objectives.

But now I'm trying to write it down, because track time is precious and if you read up beforehand, we can get right down to business. By which I mean kegels.

So roughly speaking, the phases of training go like this:

  1. health
  2. fitness
  3. performance
  4. peak
Different purposes for different people, in fact I have named the phases for their purposes. Strategies to address these purposes will manipulate three basic variables:
  • intensity
  • duration
  • frequency

I. Training for health

This guy is your couch potato, a sedentary guy, and what you want for him is to just be active. His training intensity is going to be low, it only has to be low for basic health benefits and if it's too high, it won't be fun and he won't do it. His training duration—how long he exercises in any given session—can also be fairly short, say thirty minutes or even less per session. Since he's doing low intensity and short duration training, his training frequency—the number of sessions he trains per week, can be relatively high—say most every day of the week.

II. Training for fitness

Here is your typical gymgoer, an active person, and what she wants is to be fit. Her training intensity is going to be moderate, nothing crazy. Probably some type of cardio—treadmill or elliptical or stationary cycle— and possibly some circuit strength training. Her workouts will be of moderate duration, say sixty minutes, and of moderate frequency, say 3-5 sessions per week depending on her schedule.

III. Training for performance

And this is where you train for derby, you're an athlete. What you want is to kick ass when you play. Your training intensity is generally high. Though it's slightly more complicated than that, hold that thought. In case you were wondering, a two hour practice is a long workout. And your training frequency should be 3/5 practices per week. That doesn't meant three-fifths of a practice, it means three high intensity key workouts and up to two low intensity recovery workouts per week.

For those of you keeping score, SkateFit is a key workout. SkateForm is a recovery workout.

IV. Training for peak performance

This is the extra high intensity training that you do if you want to be a jammer or an All-Star blocker. It's very performance-specific so I will leave it at that; but if you've been following what I've been saying, you should have figured out that the intensity of this type of practice is very high, the duration is very short, and the frequency is few and far between.

In summary:

Purpose Intensity Duration Frequency
Health low 30 minutes or less 6-7 days per week
Fitness moderate 60 minutes 3-5 days per week
Performance high/low 120 minutes 3/5 days per week—i.e., 3 key workouts, up to 2 recovery workouts
Peak high/low 120 minutes in a 3/5 plan, very short bursts of very high intensity training in select key workouts

I learned all this when I was studying for my exam, I have put it in my own words but this is basically what I was taught. It really helped make sense of my own fitness narrative; believe me, I have been through all of those stations. And it has helped me the most to understand, not even so much how to plan my training, but how to accept my training and how not to judge it by the wrong standards—e.g., when I used to go to the gym, I did the same workout five days a week, why am I so tired after just three practices? Because. They're. Harder. And. Longer. Workouts. And if I'm not tired after three practices, I should be working harder in them. I shouldn't be spreading myself evenly over five workouts, I should be playing the high-low because that's how you train when you're an athlete. Ha ha woah, I'm an athlete. I used to give myself stickers for going to the gym, and before that I gave myself a sticker if I put on my gym clothes even if then I lay down on the couch in my gym clothes.

Anyway, SkateForm is the low in high-low. It's not a baby practice, and it's not an easy practice. I mean, it is easy. Easy is doing something for you, though. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another Blog Planner

Dainty Squid plans her blog almost exactly the same way I do.

Curried Caulifower Stew with Chickpeas

curried veg stew with baked chicken

So I swapped out the potatoes in my curried vegetable stew for beans. I used to eat this stew with rice, but more often now with baked chicken.

olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
16 oz frozen cauliflower

Heat oil in a saute pan over low heat as you dice the onion. Turn up the heat to medium and saute the diced onion until almost browned, about ten minutes. Stir in the curry powder until fragrant, about a minute. Then add the chickpeas and tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the cauliflower, partially cover the pan and let simmer until well cooked about ten to twenty minutes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Work Outerwear
 skinny green scarf

skinny green scarf

That crazy 80 degree week that spring started with threw me off a bit, I forgot that I had planned for this skinny green scarf and back to maroon armies for spring outerwear.

My accessories for this black leather jacket go like this:

  • fall: black pinstriped scarf, maroon armies
  • winter: black pinstriped scarf, red knit hat and gloves
  • spring: skinny green knit scarf, maroon armies
I like how it's mix and match over the seasons. I love my armies.

I made this scarf, I know how to knit but all I knit are scarves. I knit for meditation, all I want to do is get started and keep going without thinking until I'm finished.

Directions for skinny green scarf

one skein Misti Alpaca Chunky or similar yarn
size 13ish needles

Cast on, say, sixteen stitches and knit in a moss stitch:

row 1: k1, p1
row 2: knit the purl stiches and purl the knit stitches

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have about a foot or two of yarn left, then cast off stitches. Weave in ends.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Greek Yogurt and Baked Apples

greek yogurt with baked apples

Four apples makes enough baked apples for three or four breakfasts, I bake them on Sunday and put them away in the refrigerator to eat during the week.

four apples
lemon juice
greek yogurt

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Cut apples into chunks and put them into a baking pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon. Cover the pan with foil and bake for twenty-five minutes.

Serve apple chunks over a bowl of greek yogurt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Every Day I Write The Book

p: i thought of a great title for a book.

p: everything i learned about law and order i learned in law & order.

p: which is actually true.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wouldn't Melt In His Mouth

p: oh good, you ate some potatoes!

p: aren't they good?

m: they're very good.

p: and they have protein.

p: and they have no added fat.

p: i cook the potato in well-salted water, and then i reserve some of the water. so then i mash the potatoes and beans together, and then i add the water back to get the right texture. so there's no butter added.

m: i added butter.

I Yam What I Am

p: ...

p: i just ate a pound of spinach.

m: you're going to become... popeye spock!

Bout Day Breakfast
 TF vs MA

fried eggs in spinach over mashed potatoes and cannellini beans with coffee and OJ

Fried eggs in spinach over mashed potatoes and cannellini beans with coffee and OJ

More bout day breakfasts!

Staring Contest and IKC Skate-Off Challenge

Friday, April 20, 2012

Common Law

m: do you mind if i steal the bathroom?

m: for about fifteen, twenty minutes?

m: for shower purposes?

p: is that really stealing?

m: in the tragedy of the commons sense.

p: occupying?

p: ha ha, occupy the bathroom.

m: making private use of.

p: privatizing.

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 schedule your life, not just work(outs)

Welp, this is kind of the same point as build lifestyle into your brand. But perhaps that was more focused on adjusting your expectations, and this is more focused on expanding your horizons.

3. Schedule Your Life, Not Just Work

“Reserve set times in your schedule for activities that allow you to recharge and that add value to your life, such as daily exercise, a weekly date or social night, reserved time for family activities, and a yearly vacation. You not only will have something to look forward to, but also extra motivation to manage your other time well so you do not have to cancel on others—and yourself!” -Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC

I mean, right? Last week I was more talking about all of the stuff that just has to get done in a life, how much time is left over, and how much you can realistically accomplish in the time that's left over; so if you want to accomplish something, say, in derby, you can ruthlessly prune every other blossom from the branch. Which leaves you with the branch—i.e., basic life stuff that you still have to deal with— and one fat angry bird of a blossom that is "Sorry I can't, I have roller derby," which, I'm not going to lie, has its uses. I don't know how it is botanically, but it's probably healthier in life to leave a few other blossoms on the branch.

And I mean blossoms, not laundry. Laundry is the branch. I suppose that working out or going out are the other blossoms for entrepreneurs, for whom work is the angry bird blossom. Working out does not count as an other blossom for derby, it's not other enough. Something other than derby, okay? In fact if I were to flip the above, work would be the other blossom. I'm sick to death of the "by day, by night" trope that's the most fascinating thing the average writer who just discovered roller derby can think to write about women who play roller derby, hello, not professional athletes, have to eat just like everybody else, hence day jobs. We're not Batman. And I simultaneously feel that "by day, by night" overstates the notion of double lives, schoolteacher or librarian or attorney or nurse plus bonus derby girl. I mean, I do know a schoolteacher and a librarian and an attorney and a nurse. But I also know me, I'd say all the pieces of my life just about adds up to one life. Someday I will have one whole life. Just saying, the double lives thing is just another superwoman myth to have to think about. And also, is something to think about. Because this derby blossom isn't going to be on this branch forever, it would be good to have one or two baby work blossoms ready to bloom.

Okay, so. There's that.

I meant this to be a nice post about recovery, and all that spilled out. Now I'm all stressed out.

I meant to write about scheduling yourself recovery time, and actual recovery at that. Recovery is not running on the days you're not skating. I'm not saying that running is bad; but that's cross-training, not recovery. But do you know what else, work is not recovery. And derby is not recovery from work. I'm also not saying that hitting bitches after a bad day at work isn't therapeutic. It isn't recovery, though.

So first of all don't just plan your training, plan your training and your recovery. Remember that what training does is break you down, and what recovery does is build you back up. Recovery is when you get what you've worked so hard for, why would you not recover? Don't just think of recovery as "not training," think of recovery as its own thing. Sleep, rest, relax, stretch, hydrate, eat your vegetables and protein! And actually once you aren't thinking about recovery as "not training," you start to see how a lot of things that are not training are not recovery. Like staying out all night and drinking. Which I'm also not saying isn't therapeutic. I'm not your mom, I'm just saying—

But beyond that, don't just plan your training and your recovery. Because you know, you're a whole person with a whole energy system and derby is a piece that's plugged into that whole system. I mean, if it's derby. It could be running marathons. I mean, it will never be running marathons for me. If you don't have enough energy to run your derby piece, you want to look at the whole system for where you can get it. At the other things using it that you could unplug, or power down.

I suppose that's the answer to balancing derby and work, you balance it over time. Derby uses umpty units of energy, you borrow that for now by deferring, say, doing meaningful work that you can make a living at. But you definitely schedule that for later, you keep those baby blossoms on the branch ready to bloom when derby's done.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Then What



SkateForm, check. Taxes, check.

* plan postseason league practice schedule
* meditate and brainstorm
* spring cleaning

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It Won't Be Long

p: ♪ lean on me ♫

p: ♫ when you're not strong ♪

p: okay but you have to maintain your core integrity or i won't be able to hold you up

Baked Chicken

baked chicken

Tucking the skin around the meat bastes each piece as it bakes. You can remove the skin before serving. I eat it, though.

I bake four or six pieces at the same time, then eat them for lunches with curried vegetable stew for the whole week.

chicken thighs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminium foil.

Pull the skin away from the meat, sprinkle the meat with salt, and tuck the skin around the meat. Arrange the pieces on the baking sheet.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

He Is Jealous Of My Inexplicable Crush

p: aaron eckhart is heroic.

m: isn't he usually the hero?

p: he played two face...

m: two face is heroic.

m: half the time.

p: ha ha!

m: he's better than ben stone.

Spring Work Wear

spring work wear

I have not gone shoe shopping yet for spring work shoes, I love how I say that as if "going shoe shopping" is something I actually do. And yes, I know that internet shoe shopping has been invented. My trust issues with buying shoes on the internet haven't caught up yet with the three pairs of boots that I have bought on the internet, and that I love in fact. So anyway, I am wearing my fatboy boots for work until this impasse breaks.

I have replaced my too short cotton sateen miniskirts with stretch cotton miniskirts, Xhiliration from Target. They have a really cute zipper detail in back that I guess doesn't show. Ha ha.

Work wear is as work wear does is another thing to think about. Meaning that I might be doing something else for work sooner or later? So wearing something else then.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baked Eggs in Potato Broccoli Hash

baked eggs and potato broccoli hash

What I wanted the potato broccoli hash for was as a filling for a frittata for Zombea's New Year's Day brunch. You know how to make a frittata, right? Four eggs, a quarter cup of milk, a quarter cup of shredded cheese, beaten together, poured over some kind of hash, and then baked at 350, 400 degrees until it's set.

Really though I'm only ever going to make a frittata once a year, if that. What I'm going to make three times a week is baked eggs and hash, basically a single-serve frittata.

a small pat of butter
leftover potato and vegetable hash
two eggs
a pinch of cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Actually what I do is throw the pat of butter into the ramekin and put it in the oven while I beat the eggs.

Beat the eggs and cheese together. Now take the ramekin out of the oven, the butter should be melted or at least softened enough to easily butter the bottom and sides of the ramekin. Spoon in hash about half or three quarters up and pour eggs over.

You might want to set the ramekin in a small baking dish, this one can overflow.

Bake for twenty-five minutes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 build lifestyle into your brand

Moving right along, I think entrepreneurs have plenty to say that applies to derby not only because playing this sport takes a certain amount of time and dedication but also because straight up running this business takes a certain amount of time and dedication. They say that derby is like having an extra part-time job; but it isn't, it's like having two extra part-time jobs.

2. Build Lifestyle into Your Brand

“These days so many people are focused on getting funding, explosive growth and spending 80 hours a week on their business. While that’s all great stuff, it can lead to burn out and unhappiness really quickly. Make lifestyle the most important factor in business from the beginning, and then grow with that principle in mind—less stress, more happiness.” -Sean Ogle, Location 180, LLC

You might be thinking, oh yeah, lifestyle is totally built into derby, isn't that what being a derby girl is? With the socks and stuff? I'm sorry to pick on socks, I love socks as much as the next girl. Or you know, winning the afterparty. Which also takes a certain amount of time and dedication and is sort of part of the business, so like a third extra part-time job. Let's make a distinction between this lifestyle and, you know, life.

Make life the most important factor in derby from the beginning, and then grow with that principle in mind—less stress, more happiness.

Boy, that is a pretty debatable statement. Between the sport and the business and the lifestyle, is there anything left for life? The sport and the business and the lifestyle, that isn't my life? Isn't derby my life? What is this "life" you speak of, you mean like my job? Doing the laundry, stuff like that? I mean yeah, I do mean stuff like that. That's what life means in "work-life balance," not the grand scheme of life. Nevermind the silly conundrum that work isn't the opposite or even the complement of life. All this is saying is, there's this thing that you want to do and there's all these other things that you have to do. And there are only so many hours in a day.

Here's how you make it work: with everything that you have to do on the one hand and with only so many hours in a day on the other hand, you put whatever you can fit from the one hand into the other hand. It's not all going to fit. I do the best job that I can with the league practice schedule; it takes about twenty hours every three months and then it is what it is, warts and all, until this time next year I will try to remove the warts. I'm okay with it being a work in progress. I'm okay with being a work in progress. Sometimes somebody asks me, Isn't there some way to merge my team calendar with the league calendar and the marketing calendar and show me just my events? And I say everything's possible, a robot that makes you scrambled eggs is possible. Right now we are serving eggs scrambled by me, though. Every year I get a little bit better at scrambling eggs. Every year I scramble just as many eggs as I can handle. So actually, I still see scrambling eggs as pleasant and fun. Make the most you can with what fits. Make that the most important factor from the beginning, and grow with that in mind.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Now What



I passed the ACE Personal Trainer Certification Exam.

* do taxes
* design SkateForm practice
* plan postseason league practice schedule
* meditate and brainstorm

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Udon with Tofu, Egg, and Peas

udon with egg and peas

The tofu is not pictured, okay? Because I don't have any, I'm already transitioning to cereal and almonds for my post workout snack. I am really only eating this for the record. The things I do for my blog.

So I finally weaned myself off ramen, I'm sure I told you about my friend's husband telling me that he could never quit smoking until he stopped trying to tell himself why smoking was bad for him and let himself say why smoking was good for him? Ramen is delicious, it's cheap, and you can make it in three minutes. Actually you can come home from practice and say Would youuuuu make me ramennnnn? and go to bed, and three minutes later you get ramen in bed.

Udon is all those things, too! It's probably not as cheap as ramen, I don't know. I don't do the grocery shopping. Except that udon is not full of fat. I'm not saying that it's a health food, it's recovery food. Immediately after a workout is when I eat simple carbs and light protein, it's pretty close to perfect for that.

a quarter block of tofu, diced
a package of udon noodles
about a half cup of frozen peas
1 teaspoon dashida
an egg

I cut the block of tofu into quarters, cover what I'm not using with water, and keep it in the fridge.

Fill a small saucepan with water, put in the diced tofu, and bring it to a boil. Add the noodles and let them cook for a minute, then add the peas and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and pour off the water until it just covers the noodles. Stir in the dashida—that's what I use, I think the udon comes with a flavoring packet—then crack in the egg and stir it up to thicken the broth.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Slow Chicken Cacciatore

slow chicken cacciatore with brussels sprouts

These are the Steamfresh brussels sprouts in light sauce, they're only okay. I really only like the plain Steamfresh veggies, which is to say, the broccoli and the green beans, which is all the Jewel has. Which is a little boring, but oh well.

4-5 chicken thighs
1 head garlic
1 small can tomato sauce or paste
1/2 lb mushroom
1 red bell pepper

Take the skin off the chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper and put in the bottom of the crock pot. Pour or spoon the tomato over the chicken.

Smash and peel the garlic, slice the mushrooms, and dice the pepper, and pile them on top of the chicken.

Set the slow cooker on low, and then go away for six to eight hours.

Serve with steamed vegetables.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tofu Scramble with Potato Broccoli Hash

potato and broccoli hash with tofu scramble

I actually made this because I wanted the hash for something else, but tofu scramble is always good.

For the hash:
1 potato, scrubbed
1 lb frozen broccoli
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 celery ribs, finely diced

Microwave the potato for just three minutes, then dice.

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat, then add the potatoes, onion, celery, and broccoli to the pan. Toss to coat potatoes in oil, then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and toss again, adding any herbs at this point, and cook for another 10-15 minutes until browned.

If you're going to make the tofu scramble, it goes like this:

For the tofu:
1 package extra-firm tofu
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Heat oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute lightly for 1-2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce.

Break the tofu into eight pieces, squeezing each piece until it's about half its original thickness, then loosely crumble it into the frying pan. Stir to combine with the onion-soy mixture and cook until heated through, about five minutes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 let go of fear

So I ran across "Ask The Entrepreneurs: 16 Ways to Master Your Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur" on Lifehacker and it mainly struck me that all of it could easily apply to playing derby. So I rewrote it!

1. Let Go of Fear

“Many entrepreneurs struggle with fear that if they’re not working every minute that they could possibly be working, their business will fail and they will regret not having put in more time. However, in my own experience and in observing other successful entrepreneurs, letting go of this fear not only leads to work-life balance but also more meaningful productivity and accomplishment.” -Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®
I mean, right? Many derby girls struggle with fear that if they're not practicing every minute that they could possibly be practicing, they will fail at derby and they will regret not having put in more time. However, in my own experience and in observing other successful derby girls, letting go of this fear not only leads to derby-life balance but also more meaningful productivity and accomplishment.

Now you know that there's girls who mostly want to be derby girls, and there's girls who want to play derby, and all of the former just read the above and thought to themselves, that's sooo right, and went right back to picking out fun socks on Sock Dreams, and all of the latter stopped reading at "will regret not having put in more time" and said to themselves, that's sooo right and went off to practice. Because not working every minute that you can possibly work basically means whatever you want it to mean.

So let me tell you straight out that there actually is a set optimal number of practices for athletes, and it is no more than four per week. And three, actually, is better than four. That is, three high intensity key workouts per week and one or two low intensity recovery workouts per week. High means that 10-20% of those workouts is above your anaerobic threshold, actually only a small portion but at your highest intensity for realz. Which you have to be honest about and not hold back! And low means low, like not break a sweat low. And the rest of the week for, hey, rest!

The worst possible thing you can do to yourself is work out as hard as you can six to seven days a week, because nobody can work out at their highest intensity for six to seven days a week. So you end up working at something short of highest intensity and also you end up not recovering ever, which is pretty much the opposite of the recipe for success.

Believe me I know, it's hard to get off that speeding train. It is a leap of faith. Not off an actual speeding train, that would not end well at all. This is not an actual train, though. Is my point.

Ha well, I meant to get through all sixteen points in one post. I should have known that wasn't going to happen. Sixteen points in sixteen posts, shall we then?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pomodoro Workout

So you know, a pomodoro workout is a workout that you do as a break between pomodoros. Pretty short breaks, like less than five minutes. And a lot of them, I do five 45-minute pomodoros in an afternoon—i.e., study for forty-five minutes then jump rope for less than five minutes, just once or twice a week. I don't have a giant fitness goal for this, I just have to digest the information I stuffed myself with before I can stuff myself with more information. But I also just learned that shorter, more frequent plyometric sessions separated by a few hours of recovery have been shown to be more effective in increasing bone strength than longer single sessions. So, I'm doing it right!

I liked what this guy had to say about getting started:

When first jumping rope, it is important that you become proficient with the rope before using it as a conditioning tool. If you have never jumped rope before, you can expect some initial frustration. You must first view your rope sessions as skill workouts. You need to develop skill with the rope, and then add it to your conditioning arsenal. If you try to use the rope for conditioning before developing skill with the rope, you are setting yourself up for failure and frustration.

Start with frequent, yet short jump rope sessions. For example, start with 20-second intervals on the rope. Just try to skip for 20 seconds without tripping on the rope. Keep the intervals brief, and stop before fatigue mounts. View these sessions as skill based workouts. You are learning a new skill (rope skipping). The body is much more capable of learning when it is fresh, not fatigued.

Perform these skill emphasis sessions regularly. Frequent practice is recommended. Eventually, you will move past 20 seconds, and begin working with 1, 2, and 3-minute rounds. Many boxers will skip rope for several rounds during each training session. 30 to 60 seconds of rest will separate each round.

He has good advice for picking out a jumprope and adjusting it to the proper length, too. A jumprope is a really simple thing that's been made complicated, keep it simple.

I started with three sets of 20 skips without tripping, nice and easy. I do running in place skips, because that's how you move your feet when you skate. I mastered that pretty quickly and then strung all three sets together, so 60 skips without tripping at a pace of about ten skips per ten seconds. NB: I count two foot contacts, one right and one left, as one skip.

Sets Skips Tempo Sessions
3 20 10 skips/10 seconds 5
1 60 10 skips/6 seconds 5
1 100 10 skips/6 seconds 5
2 100 10 skips/6 seconds 2.5

Where I've been for a few weeks is speeding up the pace to ten skips per six seconds, so 100 skips in a minute. I'm working on two goals, 1) not tripping, which I can do about 40% of the time, and 2) not slowing down, which I can't do at all. And my speed doesn't gradually decline, I can pretty reliably do 70 quick skips and then I hit the wall and visibly slow down. When I do finish without tripping, it is in sad slo-mo.

That's okay, I'm so much better than when I started! It's really rewarding, the feedback is built right in. And for such a small footprint workout, I feel like it's already improving my foot speed and agility on skates. I wonder how I'll be when 100 skips ain't no thang...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dates Stuffed with Coconut Oil

dates stuffed with coconut oil

I got the idea for these from Brendan Brazier's Fuel Bites, he says that dates and coconut oil both provide readily available energy to fuel performance. I am never going to put dates and coconut oil into a food processor and shape them into little bites, though. Dates are already shaped like little bites! What I'm going to do is yank the pits out of the dates, then stuff half a spoonful of coconut oil in the date. Whoop, I just gave away the whole recipe.

I should also mention that these are so delicious, you get the sweetness of the date and the ...meltyness of the coconut oil, which tastes like super smooth Mounds filling. I wrap a few of these in plastic to eat just before playing for a little extra energy boost.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Slow Moroccan Chicken

slow moroccan chicken with broccoli

4-5 chicken thighs
1 onion
3 carrots
a handful of prunes
1 small can tomato sauce

Take the skin off the chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper and put in the bottom of the crock pot. Dust with cinnamon.

Peel and dice the onion, scrub and slice the carrots, and slice the prunes, and pile them on top of the chicken. Pour over the tomato sauce.

Set the slow cooker on low, and then go away for six to eight hours.

Serve with steamed vegetables.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poached Eggs in Oatmeal
 with sweet potato bean mash

poached egg in oatmeal with sweet potato bean mash

So I'm really trying to eat protein for breakfast, but it was too cold to eat yogurt and how do you make eggs at work? Then I stumbled upon some instructions for poaching eggs in the microwave, I played around with it and ended up with this.

Though I draw the line at taking pictures of my food at work. Here it is modeling in my windowsill.

I have really cranked down my sweet tooth, even oatmeal with dried fruit is too sweet for me. Sweet potato is just sweet enough, and I swear with the beans it tastes like mochi.

1/4 cup quick cook oats
two eggs
sweet potato bean mash

First, the mash, which I happened to have on hand from a bout day breakfast. Remember the four sweet potatoes that you baked all at once? Rinse and drain a can of black or red beans and mash them. Grab one of your sweet potatoes and mash it into the mashed beans. This is also good just as a bed under some fried eggs, or fried into cakes.

Put the oats in a microwavable bowl and stir some hot water into them, enough to make it just soupy. Crack the eggs into the bowl and microwave it on high for 1-2 minutes, it depends on your microwave and whether you started with hot water like I said. I do 90 seconds in the microwave at my work, then I let the eggs sit for another 30 seconds.

Spoon some sweet potato bean mash over the oatmeal and stir it in.