Balancing culinary school, training, and general upkeep of life has been the most challenging part of the past couple of months. Days fly by and I don’t even know where they went. My training sometimes feels compromised as I fight to squish in three hours (or more) of training after class, lunch, and the usual necessities. (Thank god we have a dishwasher here in the U.S.!) In fact, it was as D and I were driving to Idaho, on our way to racing the Ironman Boise 70.3, that I realized the past few months have been filled with training surrounded by self doubt. The IM World Championships were a humbling experience for me last October – there was a great deal of athletic talent and I was privleged to be invited. I had a tough day on the Kona course, but a good race in the end. The last race on my 2008 calendar and, until this past weekend, it was the last triathlon I had competed in prior to taking on my double life as pastry chef/triathlete.
Squishing in training was something I was not used to in Okinawa. My life was built around it – yoga, training, eating, sleeping, repeating. Someday I hope to return to this schedule and to add baking to the mix! But, in 2009 it has been about BALANCE. PRECISION. SPEED. And taking advantage of the time I have.
So, as I was mentally preparing to get back to the triathlon game in Boise, I was thinking many things. I was thinking that I had to give it up for all of the work I had put in. All of the struggling I had done over the winter, on the trainer, to stay fit in the saddle. I had to agree that “c’est la vie” was the motto for this one, what will be will be. Get out there, Lentine. Push. Be proud. Accept the things you cannot change. Change the things you can. I reminded myself that I had been in this boat before, a bit nervous for a race, but trusting of what my body could do. In China, in Japan, and in Kona, this was always the case. And with that, onward we rode into the sunset, and into Boise.
The car is packed to the hilt with our gear, and of course with power snacks as I refuse to eat gas station food. Of course, not to be forgotten is my one-and-only triathlon breakfast: homemade granola. There are many things about race day that I cannot change – the weather, the ever-possible on-course mishap, the temperature of the water, dirt and grease on my legs. But nutrition is not one of them. At my very first triathlon, the Izena 88, I brought homemade granola. It has arrived in China, only to be eaten with water (no soymilk?!) and in Kona (even when LavaJava has excellent granola of their own.) My recipe has changed, but the principle hasn’t.
The recipe for my racing has changed, but the principles haven’t either. In Boise, I learned a good deal from the course, from the experience, and look forward to the next challenge! I finished 4th in my age group and set a new personal record for the 70.3 distance, 5:20.
The secret is the granola. (And the yoga. 😀 )
This granola is hearty, adaptable, delicious and is great race food. Packed with protein, no refined sugars, and just enough crunch and chunks.