First things first – I am thrilled to share some exciting news: I am partnering with BeeFree Gluten Free, a Noblesville, Ind. based gluten-free bakery! A sponsorship centered around quality gluten-free food… this is a triathlete’s dream.

I first came across BeeFree’s products at a farmer’s market a few years ago; BeeFree was a beacon of hope in the mess that was my newly diagnosed gluten-intolerance. The way to my heart is through quality, healthy ingredients… and granola. BeeFree has both. And cookies. I’m very excited to join the hive and officially join the BeeFree family!

BeeFree thrives on using quality ingredients to bake gluten-free products that are not an alternative to the standard glutenous baked good, but the main dish. My favorite product is their Warrior Mix, BeeFree’s take on granola. It’s a paleo and wholesome mix of nuts, seeds, honey and the occasional bit of chocolate. While I am not paleo, I am in love with Warrior Mix. This stuff is more than granola – it’s fuel. It sticks with you. Warrior Mix manages to keep me full and satisfied between class, training and the occasional New Girl binge-watching session. I’m anxious to experiment with some Warrior Mix on hard training days, particularly on long rides.

In addition to this exciting new partnership, I have some other exciting news – I’m running again! After 15 weeks of aqua-jogging, physical therapy and patience, I laced up my running shoes for a slow and steady return to running. After nearly three months free from running, we are starting at ground zero – every run has a focus on form, cadence and learning to listen to my body’s cues and physical signals – something I had forgotten how to do since becoming more competitive with my training and racing. Every run hasn’t been perfect, but I am becoming more in tune with my body and developing a keen ear for its pains, strengths and weaknesses.

It’s been a slow build, and that’s the way it should be. Slow and steady will win this race. Here are some notes from my training log along the return to run progression:

Run No. 1 – 5 minutes of “running:” “I think my right glute may be super weak, in fact I don’t think it’s really working… But the pain went away as soon as I stopped running. Before when I stopped running I couldn’t move or walk… so that’s major progress!”

Run No. 5 – 3×5 minutes of running/5 minutes of walking: “… There were a couple of minutes where I felt like a bona fide runner again! It was awesome! I stretched, did core and drank Osmo after like a good triathlete.”

Run No. 10 – 3×12 minutes of running/3 minutes of walking: “This was awesome! My endurance is lacking, but I think that’s mental more than anything… I’m excited!”

Run No. 13: 2×15 minutes of running/2 minutes of walking: “I felt SO GOOD. I didn’t want to stop running. Ever.”

Run No. 17: 25 minutes, letting the stride open up and rolling into some effort: “Well this was awkward. Running a little bit faster confused my legs… they felt like they need to be screwed together a little tighter. My shins, and feet, and ankles were a nuisance.”

Run No. 19: 35 minutes“I LOVE RUNNING.

Run No. 20: 5×5 minutes of running with harder efforts: “Oomph. My legs forgot how to run again.”

Run No. 25: 40 minutes: “Best run of 2015! I FOUND MY STRIDE. It was glorious. It only lasted seven minutes, but it was the best seven minutes ever.”

So, the last few weeks have been filled with some ups and downs, but I’m excited about where we’re headed. The 2015 season is about reclaiming my health, physically, emotionally and mentally. We’re starting from the ground up, and every brick is going to be a solid one. I won’t be racing many big races this year, but I will be building a strong and solid foundation. You have to be strong to be fit, and you have to be fit to be fast. I’m setting my ego aside this year, taking it slow, and remembering to trust and listen to my body. It knows a lot more than I do.

4 thoughts on “Running, Granola and a Fantastic Semester – Some Updates

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