Asian Pear/Apple Crisp Recipe

October 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Health Classes, Light Desserts, News, Nutrition, Recipes, Sides

This Asian Pear Crisp turned out delicious!  I usually like to make apple crisp this time of year but I decided to switch it up and made it with Asian pears since we had so many from our tree we needed to use up. It was so easy and tasty! 😋  view on Instagram (@CoachLoraErickson)

Here’s the recipe:

Wash and slice Asian pears and toss with cinnamon (can substitute apples). Preheat oven to 375°.  Top with a mixer of oats (I use about 4-5 packets of instant Maple & Brown sugar oatmeal), brown sugar (about 1/4 cup), and some melted butter (1/2 stick)and a dash of baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and what ever spices you like. Bake until bubbly and golden (about 35 minutes). Serve with ice-cream or whip topping (better plan some extra running miles, if you need help with training you know who to call 😉

Enjoy!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

#asianpear #alamode #crisp #foodie #kissthecook #nomnom #dessert #triathlete @theblonderunner

Join us at the My Gluten Free World Expo in October

September 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Health Classes, News, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety

I love to get involved in local events and have worked with many athletes that have Celiac Disease or are gluten intolerant.  This is a great expo that I have been to and very educational.  Come join us and tell all your friends and family members that might want to join in. Use the code GFWTWO for $2 off your tickets.  Learn more 

Want to win some tickets?  If so, visit Blonde Runner Health on Facebook and get your name in! Your chances are good! (see below)

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 World Championships – Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018

September 8, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

What an amazing experience it was to travel across the world to take part in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship event in South Africa. It was great to experience another culture as well as see and interact with animals in the wild. I am in awe of these amazing creatures. My favorite part of the experience however was the race.

I loved being able to ride a portion of the route earlier in the week with fellow athletes and hear different languages and ride on the opposite side of the road. It was so nice that the WTC offered an escorted ride with police officers for the first 11K. It felt great to get my legs moving after many hours of catching planes, long lay-overs and lots of sitting. They did announce at our race briefing that we would be riding on the right side of the road as usual for American races, which I was surprised but glad about.

As usual with Ironman brand events the race was well organized. There were some differences that I really liked here verses the races I have done in the States. For instance, I loved how the racks were on the ground in transition; we didn’t hang the bike, so even though it got windy after the bikes were checked they were not swaying around hitting each other and getting damaged. They were also easy to remove from the rack during the race speeding up the transition. I also really liked how we hung our transition bags. For this race there were two transitions. It was so easy to find the bags hung in number order and run through transition quickly. 
After racking my bike and hanging my bags Friday night it was time to relax before the big event. I made sure and put RockTape on my knee and neck to help prevent neck chafing and give knee support. This stuff really sticks and helps, I love it!
The next morning came quickly and before I knew it I was waiting anxiously in my swim wave corral. Unfortunately my age division was the last wave (12 of 12) and this is when the time seemed to go by slowly! I choose to wear my sleeveless XterraWetsuit (use the code CO-BLONDE to save 60%) since it’s better for my shoulder and I am used to cold water. It was in the low 60’s, so not bad. Most people were in long-sleeve wetsuits however I made the right choice for me. Finally 8:58 a.m. came and we were organized into groups of ten leaving every 5 seconds. I was in the third set of this beach start. Soon the horn sounded and I was off digging my toes deep in the sand every push off until I hit deeper water. The swim starts we had practiced earlier in the week became useful now and I had a decent and cautious start swimming over the waves and quickly became accustom to the salt water in my mouth. I worked to sight the first yellow buoy and it seemed to come quickly. As I continued pushing through the blue water I noticed the waves becoming more choppy, the further I got from the shore, making it more difficult to site the bouys. I stopped a few times to get my bearings to make sure I could swim as straight as possible. As I rounded the last turn I could see the scuba divers under the water (I found out later they were there to keep the sharks away). Soon I was approaching the shore hoping to catch a big wave to ride in on but no such luck. I hurried through transition grabbing my bag and after getting my gear on I quickly made my way to my bike.
I was happy to get going on the bike and experience the whole ride; especially the parts by the ocean. What a beautiful ride! I learned from the practice ride that the roads were bumpy and there was potential for wind. After all, Port Elizabeth is know as the “The Windy City,” as implied, it was windy on race day. Wind always makes me nervous so I slowed down on many occasions during the race. Safety first! There were some climbs but mostly the winds caused the slow downs. Overall I was passing quite a few ladies and many in other divisions so I knew I have made up some ground from the swim. As I continued along the course I managed to get my nutrition as needed and take advantage of uphills and downhills passing many athletes as I pedaled my way to the next transition. My legs still felt a bit stiff and my hamstrings were tight from sitting so much on the long flights. As I came into T2 (the second transition) I was excited to experience this out-and-back run by the ocean. I love these type of routes! It allows for a lot of camaraderie with other athletes. I felt pretty good at first and tried to stay loose but as I ran along my hamstrings really tightening up more and became pretty painful. I had been nursing a strain so wanted to be careful not to push too hard. I tried to take one mile at a time and stay positive although I wasn’t hitting the pacing I had planned for. Thank goodness I was wearing my new Hoka Bondi 6’s which offers superior cushioning and undoubtedly helped me through the run much better. I was able to manage my nutrition well and was thrilled to be able to take water bags/satchets with me as needed. The water bags were new to me and I loved them! Ultimately it helped me to get more water and keep moving. They also had the usual sports drink (High 5 brand), gels, bars, Coke, RedBull etc… but no ice. At the start of the race it was mid-50’s as it was the first day of Spring in Africa so no need for ice. Also everything in Africa was in Kilometers. The speed signs for driving, and the race signs. I liked it because I always think of the half marathon in terms of 4 x 5K’s (I was a 5,000 meter runner in college) plus 1 mile so it was easy to know my splits. I pushed through each mile and was delighted to see the finish carpet and joyfully run to the finish strong completing my second 70.3 World Championships event.
There is so much to learn from each race I do; overall it was a great race and amazing experience. There is something about competing against the best in the world that really makes a person determined to continue to improve and get stronger and better. I am so grateful to those that made this race possible for me and it wouldn’t have been complete without a safari or two (more pictures below). Thank you to all those who support me!
See more pictures:
Instagram: TheBlondeRunner
Facebook: BlondeRunnerLoraErickson

Sincerely,
Lora Erickson

Race Results: 6:04:04, Division Placing: 105th/186, OA Placing 882 of 1,374

There were some other highlights outside of racing I wanted to mention. I loved petting a Cheetah as well as riding an elephant and seeing so many animals on safari.

Fitness: Running and Triathlon Races Goal Setting Tips

December 30, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety

Goal setting is so important because it gives you focus to your training.  Check out these video clips for tips to set Fitness: Running and Triathlon Races Goal Setting Tips.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Goal Setting for Races Watch on YouTube

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting: Watch on YouTube (periscope rebroadcast)

Coach Lora’s Apple Crisp

November 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Light Desserts, News, Nutrition, Recipes

Coach Lora’s Apple Crisp
4-8 apples sliced, mix with 1-2 T. citrus juice (lemon, lime or orange) and coat with cinnamon sugar

Topping:
Stir together 1 1/2 cup of oats (can use Gluten Free oats), add 1/4 tsp baking power & 2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, stir all together then cut in 1/2 stick of butter,

Bake uncovered on 350 for 35-40 minutes until apples are tender and the top is crisp. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Learn more about Coach Lora

Aging: Changes That Impact Performance

October 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, Health Classes, News, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety

Aging Athlete Coach Lora Erickson Blonde RunnerAging: Changes that Impact Performance

There is no question that age has an impact on performance. If you compare the Boston Marathon Qualification times for an athlete in their 20’s and an athlete in their late 40’s you will see a 20 minute difference meaning that an athlete over 45 can qualify with a time 20 minutes slower than an athlete in their 20’s. That is a significant difference. As an athlete over 45 years of age that has competed for over 30’s years I can tell you that I have seen the effects of aging on my training.  Just this year my body has showed signs of early menopause.  The symptoms have had a big impact on my training and it has shown in my under-par performances.  For instance, hot flashes and night sweats have disrupted my sleep, weight gain has made the impact of running more difficult to recover from and the change in hormones have resulted in moods swings and hampered my ability to focus.  I often have to stop in the middle of a workout, because my heart is racing or a headache becomes too much to push through.  I know I am not alone and many women who are also athletes have been coping with these symptoms.  It is difficult to know that these changes often take many years before periods go away (the only good thing about menopause) but there are some things we can do to help.

Men also are impacted by changes with age. With a decrease in growth hormone and testosterone they often experience loss of muscle & strength and weight gain. The body can undergo vision, hearing and digestion changes.  The bodies’ ability to adapt to temperature changes and stay hydrated is also affected. A lack of focus is also reported in men.  As I have coached athletes of all ages over the years there are many things I do differently with older athletes.  The fact is, we are all aging and we need to be mindful as our bodies’ needs change.  Here are some suggestions to help cope with aging changes:

  • Allow more time for warming-up before exercise. Many of my more youthful athletes can skip a warm-up all together and not be affected too much, however older athletes need the warm-up. As we age our muscles lose elasticity and can be torn more easily, the joints are stiffer and the body needs time to prepare of exercise. I recommend older athletes warm-up 10-20 minutes on the elliptical before a run, weight training or ride. Or use the rowing machine before swimming.
  • Incorporate yoga into your exercise routine. Because the muscles do lose some elasticity as we age, it’s important to maintain flexibility and balance. I recommend adding yoga to your exercise routine 1-2 times a week.
  • Do weight training weekly. With the decrease in muscle tissue that accompanies aging I suggest doing more weight training. This will also promote bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Gaining muscle can also help keep the metabolism up and control weight gain. I recommend weight training 2-3 times a week.
  • Be mindful of your eating. Most people gain weight as they age due to hormone changes so it becomes more important to be mindful of what goes into your mouth. I recommend using the MyFitnessPal app to track your food and assist with making better food choices.
  • Take time for meditation. As we are older we have more experiences to reflect on. Take the time to allow for meaningful meditation and reflection. This can help keep us centered and cope with the mood swings. Meditation before bed can also help with sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. With the increased challenges aging poses it often becomes more difficult to keep up a good routine but exercise can help us cope with symptoms. Even 10-20 minutes of exercise counts on difficult days.
  • Allow more time for recovery from races and hard workouts. This has probably been the most difficult thing for me this race season. But my body simply doesn’t recover as quickly from hard workouts and races as it used to. How much time you need to recover really depends on your background and experience but I suggest listening to your body. Don’t be afraid to change a hard workout into an easy one if the body says so. It’s best to stay injury-free.
  • Be gentle with yourself. As a competitive athlete I know how difficult it can be to let go of slow performances. I try to remind myself that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone and I have years of race results to illustrate my hard work over the years. A friend reminded me recently that not all flowers bloom all of the time; it’s okay to just finish a race having done your best for that day because that is what the body will allow. I have recognized things get harder as we age and I have even more respect for older athletes. It reminds me to do the best I can for me. Wishing you healthy and happy training. Coach Lora Erickson

_____

Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete (top 5% in the world in her division) that recently competed in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. She is a long-time running and triathlon coach offering in-person as well as online coaching programs and community classes. She loves to work with beginners. To learn more contact her at theblonderunner@gmail.com or visit BlondeRunner.com

Read More:

The Aging Body

Menopause Symptoms

The Real Reason Old Olympians are Still Fit

Chicken Chili Crockpot Soup Recipe

I just love soups this time of year!  They are so yummy and warm when there is a nip in the air.  Chicken Chili Soup is one of my very favorites. The recipe is below. Enjoy!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Beetroot Pro Discount Code

This stuff is great! Give Beetroot Pro a try, you’ll love it!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Chattanooga, Tennessee – Saturday Sept. 9, 2017

It seems surreal to me to have experienced a competition along-side some of the best triathletes in the world. What an honor it was to participate in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee this past Saturday. It was a difficult race and I was thrilled to be able to check off another state towards my 50 states goal (Read More:Journey to Race in All 50 States). I arrived a few days early allowing me to attend the welcome banquet and have a day to put my bike back together, check-in and get acquainted with the race venue. Tennessee is a beautiful state and the humidity breeds ample foliage. The winding roads were surrounded by trees and greenery and I was excited to know that these would be the roads we would be riding and running on! I love nature!

My body was a little stiff and tired from the flight and travel but they managed to loosen up on a run. I had some physical limitations this year that have dampened my training efforts but overall my body felt pretty good, all things considered, and I was excited to be there.

Next I assembled my bike to find a mechanical problem that I remedied (or did the best I could, not being a bike mechanic). Then it was off to the grocery store for food. I always like to make my own stuff as much as I can so I can eat foods my body is used to. I also needed to pick up some Co2 cartridges for emergency tire changes since they are not allowed on the plane.

Then I checked in and picked up my packet and began assembling my bags and getting organized. I always feel so much better when everything is ready. This was a “clean transition” which means nothing more than bikes where allowed in the transition area. The bikes were packed tight with little space around them. Bags would be used for the ride and run and to be dropped off along with the bike Friday night before the race. This means I had to have everything ready in advance and as the race progresses each athlete picks up their bag, goes through a changing area and then moves to the next discipline. It would add a little bit of time to my overall time but everyone had to do it so I became familiar with all of that before dinner. 

The Welcome Banquet was spectacular gathering nearly 4,000 participants from all over the world (91 countries) who had qualified for this event in one big room. There was live music and a nice southern dinner with many choices including; pulled pork, chicken, slaw, green beans, corn muffins, green salad, fruit, chocolate brownies and pecan pie. We listened to many speakers welcome us with encouraging words. The highlight for me was when they introduced the youngest (18 years) and oldest athletes. The oldest man was 86! His finish would mark the oldest man to have ever completed the 70.3 WC event. So cool! What an inspiration and testament to triathlon being a life-long sport.

Race morning the transition was packed with excited athletes chattering about previous race experiences; the nervous energy was nearly palatable. I quickly double checked my bike and set up my nutrition then re-acquainted myself with all the transition ins-and-outs. Soon the women pro’s started. It was fun to see them run through their transition and cheer for them. Then finally it was time for me to head to the swim start.

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity we were taken down the corrals to the swim dock (nearly one hour and 40 minutes after the first women were in the water). Then we were off, as soon as I jumped in I could feel the current working against me. It was a difficult swim heading up-river which increased my anxiety but I tried to stay calm and focused. It seemed to take forever to get to each sight buoy and the sun was in my eyes. Finally it was over and a quick glance at my watch confirming my extremely slow swim time; certainly not a good representation of my ability however I quickly put it behind me and focused on the task at hand; there was no use dwelling on it. It is what it is!

I moved through transition smoothly grabbing my bike bag and switching to cycling gear; I stuffed my wetsuit in the bag and handed it to a volunteer and darted for transition. Sadly my bike was situated on the far side so there was a long run with my bike to the other side of the large transition area then I would finally be able to get on my bike. I kept moving and mounted quickly determined to make up some ground on the ride. I knew I could cycle strong. There was only a short distance before the long Lookout Mountain climb so I tried to get some nutrition in as soon as I could. I swallowed some river water but it didn’t seem to have the effect saltwater has on me so I was OK.

The climb seemed to come with no hesitation and soon I was spinning in my easiest gear and watching my heart rate climb. I tried to keep it in check and passed many women who were struggling and some who decided to walk their bike. It was a long leg-numbing climb similar to Snow Canyon in Utah with just some more twists and turns. After the main climb the route continued to be a series of inclines and descents with many turns, and I did drop my chain once. It seemed I spent much of my time in either the hardest gear descending quick then back into the easiest gear to climb so my legs were being put to the test. The route also teased with many false flats and a head wind the last 45 minutes.

Being the last wave of ladies in the water the women were spread out so it was difficult for me to really get into race mode since there were so few women around me and large gaps between racers. I worked on catching up to anyone I could see in the distance. A few times I was disappointed to catch a man doing a warm up ride (the men were competing the next day). Honestly, the ride was a little lonely with a few riders dotting the road. It was a welcome sight to see my “support crew” cheering for me at the half way mark. That really lifted my spirits. I tried to stay focused and ride strong getting all my planned nutrition in. It was not an easy course and to compound the problem my quads and back muscles were starting to spasm and I was getting odd pains in my hips. My muscles didn’t seem to be functioning properly. This was unusual. I later found out that my bike saddle had dropped over 1/2 inch over the course of 56 miles due to a problem with my saddle stem bolt/wedge system that keeps it in place. That explains all the odd pains I was having! My legs felt different but I pushed forward and was pleased to reach T2 without getting a flat tire.

Soon I was off on the run. No sooner did I start then my right quad completely seized up (only about .3 miles in) and I slowed to a walk. I remember thinking, “Oh no, this is going to be a long day!” I downed some extra electrolytes that I always bring with me just in case and took the time to put on some extra chafing cream under my arms. I then pushed my legs to run again. A fellow athlete I bumped into at the airport warned me that the run would be challenging as it was constantly up and down. I could not agree more: it was a challenge so I needed my legs to cooperate! As the miles wore on my legs felt more and more spent and didn’t seem to want to respond to my taunting so I resolved to focus on enjoying being part of this historic event. I took in the scenery and listened to people cheering. I always appreciate the volunteers that spend all day feeding us at aide stations and keeping us motivated. I thought about my friends and family and the encouraging words they have said to me recently. It was fun to see the community involved as many had lawn chairs out in the front of their houses cheering and my personal favorite; the sprinkler going in the road so we could run in it and cool ourselves down. Go USA! 🇺🇸

The temperatures where not too bad but the humidity made it feel hotter than it was. I looked forward to cheers from my friend and sister who had come to see me race. It was such a boost hearing those cheers by name and seeing familiar faces. They made fun signs for me and I found myself looking for those bright signs every turn; it really kept me going and I can’t thank them enough for their support! It was a long day and as I counted down the last 5K, I was delighted to know that I was going to finish an Ironman 70.3 World Championship that day.

I did it! I made it to the finish with a smile on my face grateful that I am physically able to do hard things and push my body despite my physical struggles this year. I am truly so grateful for my friends, family and sponsor support from near and far. Those kind encouraging words I get throughout the year carry me through the hard workouts and tough challenging courses like this one. You are so appreciated! Thank you!  Here’s to many more adventures together!

Coach Lora Erickson

Go USA! 🇺🇸 @champsys #beyourownbrand #bountifulbicycle #intermountainsportsmed #bountifulbicycle #xterrawetsuits #cocogo #ensoroller #Wasatchrunningcenter #dohardthings #gratitude

Related links:

I did it! IG link to post: https://instagram.com/p/BY1zP8Snzo9/

Number and visor picture on FB

Medal Monday IG post: https://instagram.com/p/BY63v7eHSt7/

Product Review: I love Beetroot Pro, it’s a portable powder!

I LOVE the health benefits of beets. Use the code RUNNER5 for $5 off and free shipping. Check out this awesome portable powder. Learn more 
Coach Lora Erickson
BlondeRunner.com

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