Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Gear Day!

Today we got a whole pile of traveling, training, and racing gear to wear abroad...... including the traditional red and white racing unisuit, which is only to be worn at World Championships and Olympics. I got goosebumps as I tried it on.

Saturday, 23 June 2012


Phew! After a relaxing 70 minutes of cat6 on the spin bike, I can finally say I survived the week. All sixteen training sessions that is. The beautiful thing about this aching, all over, "I would steal candy from a child rather than walk to the grocery store" kind of muscle fatigue is that it means you put in a good amount of mileage and hard work that you can rely on for race day. Sixteen more training sessions and we will be on our way to Lithuania.

Friday, 22 June 2012

No Pain No Gain

Today we took this to a whole "nother" level. Well, mostly three seat in our four did. She was unable to do some of the weights due to a minor injury, so Ed had her do these sideways squat walks with a bungee between her ankles. This was on top of squats, lunges, and hack squats. She had to do two laps of the room, and after the first she was fighting back tears. Nevertheless, she finished her second lap and collapsed to the floor. One thing is for certain, when it comes to the last 500m of that race, I won't have any doubts that she is going to dig deep for that extra push.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

It's official!!! We are going to U23 worlds in Trakai, Lithuania! We have a  heavyweight women's (HW) 4- and 1x; and a lightweight (LW) 2x. For more information check out the Rowing Canada website.
We leave for our pre-competition training camp in under two weeks!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Heat wave

Despite drinking an entire bottle of dilute e-load and half a bottle of water, I still weighed in 1.1kg lighter post row than pre-row. It was 22 degrees Celsius at 7am, and the heat only rose exponentially. Tomorrow the temperature is going to skyrocket with a piping 34 degrees (it is supposed to feel like 45 with the humidity). Bring it on Sun! I've got my SPF 30, light t-shirt, frozen water bottle and sun hat. Every time I find myself complaining about "not doing well in the heat" I remind myself that I may one day race in this.  
As for whether or not we are going to worlds in the 4-, we are still waiting for the official press release on the Rowing Canada website. It should be up any day now.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Dangerous Dead Lifts

This afternoon, while on my way to the grocery store I noticed a faint smudge of "dirt" on both my shins. I wondered how it got there and promptly started rubbing it off.  I quickly realized that this smudge of "dirt" was actually bruising that ran nearly the full length of my shin. The cause: doing dead lifts in the weight room.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Selection Update

YAY! I made the cut for the 4-. We will be trialing it late next week to see if we can get a fast enough percentage of the "Gold Medal Standard", which is the calculated time that would give us a gold medal at world championships. If we are not fast enough, our coach will break the four into pairs and we will trial in pairs to see if any combinations are fast enough to go to worlds in a pair.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Practice in Fours

Racing it off in the two 4-'s during the sprint pyramid workout. The closest boat is the lightweight double, and I am two seat in the far 4- (the second from the right in the blue t-shirt). An exciting practice to say the least!
Photo courtesy of Liz's mom.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


You know it is going to be one hell of a tough week when your coach personally takes the time to warn you. So far we have done a 4x2k high rate workout and two all out race rate pyramids..... today is a lactate step test, tomorrow is 3x1250, and Saturday is 3x2k. Oh boy, was she ever right! Welcome to selection.
Yesterday I had the privilege of rowing in a 4- behind Sarah Black and Carolyn Gains, two girls from the senior squad. On the last 30 second piece of the pyramid we build our stroke rate up to a 48 and held a 46. I could hardly walk by the time we finally finished our row and got back to the dock. Breakfast was silent, as we all slumped against our benches waiting for the food to arrive. Once it did all you could hear was the sound of  eight hungry athletes simultaneously inhaling what food was in front of them. I guarantee that by the end of the week there will be at least one over fatigued, crying athlete. Especially because there has been at least on episode every week since I arrived. I have been getting  nine or more hours of sleep a night, and feel relatively "fresh" in the morning, so fingers crossed that it won't be me!
Newsflash: One starboard was sent home this week. It is planned that more athletes will be sent home this weekend. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Recipe: Recovery Snacks

*note, some of these recipes call for very specific brands etc. Feel free to substitute what is at your availability 
Strawberry Coconut Pudding 
Gourmet Nutrition  
Eat ½ a recipe 

Prep time 2 – 5 minutes 
¾ cuplow fat cottage cheese (or lactose-free yogurt if lactose intolerant) 
¼ cup coconut milk 
½ cup frozen strawberries (or blueberries, blackberries, mango) 
¼ tsp Sweetener 
1 scoop             Infinit whey protein powder or other clean for sport protein powder 

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. 
To thicken add 1 scoop tested protein powder – strawberry or vanilla.  To thin add a small amount of water, juice or milk to make a shake. 
1 large or 2 small servings 

Nutrition Profile per recipe: 

Banana Nut Squares 
From Gourmet Nutrition – recipe doubled and slightly altered 
Cut a small serving in half 

1 cup very ripe mashed banana 
4 eggs – preferably local 
½ cup cottage cheese 
1 cup old fashioned oats, spelt, or barley flakes 
4 cups walnut meal or a combination of other nuts  - grind nuts in a food processor, blender or place in a sealed bag and smash with the bottom of a pot. 
12 scoops (300 g) vanilla protein powder  - buy tested Iso-whey from Popeyes 
½ tsp baking soda 
¼ tsp salt 
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Whisk eggs.  Add banana and cottage cheese.  Combine remaining ingredients stirring until evenly mixed.  Combine wet with dry. 
Lightly butter or spray a 9x9 inch baking pan and add the mixture.  Bake for 10 – 15 minutes.  Should still be moist.  Cool, cut and store. 
16 small or 8 large  

Nutrition Profile per Serving: 
15 g 

1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks and 3/4 cup cottage cheese – 1 or 2% MF - mix  or eat separately  

3/4 cup cottage cheese + ½ cup salsa or fresh tomatoes and chopped green onion or 

¾ cup cottage cheese with 1/2 small diced apple and cinnamon.

Ingrid’s Power Spheres

This recipe is high in fibre, good quality fat, protein, healthy carbohydrates and anti- inflammatory nutrients.
Recipe doubled and slightly altered by SB
Makes 80 golf ball sized spheres
1 cup sesame seeds
4 cups old fashioned oats
4 cups sierra nut mixture – available at Thrifty foods
4 cups puffed rice or puffed millet cereal
1 cup ground flax
1.5 cups protein isolate – tested – I used Vanilla flavoured Precision Iso Pro
2 tsp cinnamon – or more if desired
2 cups honey or 3 cups for a slightly higher carb/sweeter tasting recovery treat
3 cups peanut butter
1 cup water – may need more if only using 2 cups honey.
Toast sesame seeds, set aside. Toast old-fashioned oats. In blender or food processor combine seeds and oats and pulse until flour like consistency – place in a bowl.
In a food processor or blender pulse sierra nut mixture (bulk section at Thrifty Foods), add to oat/seeds mixture.
Add puffed rice or puffed millet cereal, ground flax, protein isolate and

Recovery Part 1: Nutrition cont'd

It's been a while since I started the piece on recovery nutrition, but alas here we are again.
I will try to make this section as simple as possible to make it easier to follow, as this information can be a little overwhelming if you are unfamiliar with recovery nutrition. It is important to consume the ideal ratio of CHOs (carbohydrates) to protein post workout to replenish your glycogen stores and increase lean muscle mass (decrease protein breakdown and increase protein synthesis in your body). A simple guideline is 15-20g of protein and ~60g of CHOs.  If you would like to be more scientific, the ideal ratio (according to the nutrition section in "Rowing Faster" by Volker Nolte) is 1-1.5g of CHO per kg of body weight and 0.3-0.5g of protein per kg of body weight.
Although the ideal ratio of CHOs to protein is important to recovery, this could be deemed as an "anything" is better than nothing scenario where a handful of trail mix or a peanut butter sandwich is definitely better than nothing. Some simple recovery examples are: fruit smoothie with protein powder (free of banned substances), a small bag of almonds and dried fruit, low fat cottage cheese and dried or fresh fruit/berries. There are also many bars available for purchase, but these (especially the quality ones such as "elevate me" bars are quite expensive in the long run). I believe I have some recipes from a sports nutritionist stacked away somewhere and will share them if they surface.