Sports Nutrition

26.2 Miles of Memories Fueled by Milk

26.2 Miles of Memories Fueled by Milk

By Ashley Sears, Moo Squad athlete sponsored by the Maine Dairy Promotion Board With the turning of the calendar and the dawn of a new year, we look towards the future and set goals that we hope to accomplish over the next 365 days. These goals may be necessary due to health, finances, family, etc., while others offer us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and try new activities, travel somewhere we’ve never been, start a different professional career track, or set a goal that is out of our comfort zones. I, along with my Moo Squad teammates, set forth our goals when we became members of the Maine Dairy Promotion Board’s team of athletes for our training, running/swimming/biking, events, and health and wellness. At the top of my list was to train and run my second marathon. In May of 2014, I trained for and ran my first marathon in Burlington, Vermont. The Vermont City Marathon offered rolling hills, great crowd support, and racing along the waterfront of Lake Champlain. The marathon is famous for its uphill climb at Mile 18 on Battery Street, a hill that never seems like it’s going to end. I was running well until that point in my race and unfortunately, the hill got the best of me. My calf muscles suffered as I tend to lose a lot of salt while I run, and I didn’t account for this in my training or hydration along the course. The last five miles were tough, as I was forced to run/walk and received assistance from EMTs on the course for my seizing calves. I finished the race with a final time of 4 hours, 18 minutes, and 29 seconds (4:18.29), and many running lessons learned along the way. I knew that I had a better race in me and that I could adjust my training to account for hydration, speed/pacing, and conditioning. Three years later, the urge to begin training for another marathon hit me and I signed up on February 13th (early Valentine’s Day present to myself?) for the Erie Marathon in Erie, PA. The course description reads “Flat, Fast & Fun, our course provides beautiful views of Lake Erie as well as the City of Erie Bayfront and miles of coastline beaches, marshes and wooded paths. Held on Presque Isle, in Erie, PA, many of our participants return year after year to run in our race and enjoy the natural beauty our location provides.” Based on the course description and articles I read in Runner’s World magazine, I knew this would be my next marathon. Beginning in April of 2017, I started an 18-week training plan written by long distance runner guru Hal Higdon. The plan called for three days of running during the week, a day of cross training, a long run day, and two rest or additional cross training days. I took one rest day per week and used the extra rest day for strength training and stretching. With gradual progressions in terms of distance and pace, I only suffered minor shin splints and otherwise, found the plan to be very realistic and flexible with my schedule. This plan helped me prepare and feel ready to toe the line on September 10th in Erie. When the morning of the race arrived, I was anxious and excited for what the day held in store. I was nervous going to bed that evening so I didn’t sleep the best, but felt awake and ready the next morning after consuming my pre-race breakfast ritual of a blueberry English muffin and powdered peanut butter with...

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Patience and Injury

Patience and Injury

If you are a follower of the Moo Squad and our blogs, you may know that I am converted runner. I used to be scared of 3 mile runs and hills, and over the last 3 years I have come to truly enjoy running. I often use my morning runs to collect my thoughts for the day and enjoy time running the trails in the beautiful Maine woods. What I did not realize was how much I enjoyed and appreciated that time until it was taken away. Almost a month ago, I slipped running down a hill on wet grass and thought nothing of it; I didn’t even hit the ground. About half a mile later, my knee had such pain that I was forced to walk over a mile back to my truck. I rested for three days and attempted to run again with the same pain returning after about 1 mile. After several doctor appointments and visiting my chiropractor, we figured out what was wrong. I irritated my IT band in my knee; it is the most odd injury that really only hurts when running because of impact. So, all day long I feel great, no pain. I get on a spin bike – awesome, no pain. I swim – amazing, no pain. I try jogging nice and slow on a treadmill and a half mile later have knee pain. So, as a 36-year-old I am learning once again that patience is a virtue and that you should listen to your body and give it time to heal. Although I am complaining, I really just want to run. This is not an easy lesson in my case. I ty to compete at a high level, and this fall would have been my third trip to Killington, Vt., for my favorite race of the year. So, I am going to stay home this year and continue my treatments – mostly acupuncture and cupping (Cooper thinks the red marks are funny). I hope that recovery is swift and that I will be stronger when I return. Until I can run again and get back to competing (October 7th is the goal), I will miss my mornings in the woods and clear thinking it allowed me each day, but it helps remind that I have come a long way and that running on a trail in the woods is much more valuable to me than I originally thought. Moral of the story is be patient. Your body will take care of itself if you give it the time. Pizza gets a bad rap as junk food, but if you top it with the right ingredients, it can be a well-rounded meal. Try this recipe for Spinoccoli Pizza from thebrewerandthebaker.com that uses spinach, arugula, broccoli florets and various cheeses along with a homemade white sauce. Spinoccoli Pizza Ingredients o For the sauce: o 1 Tbsp butter o 1 Tbsp flour o 1 clove garlic, minced o Fresh ground black pepper o Dash of nutmeg o 6 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan o 3/4 cup milk (I’ve used whole milk and skim with equally good results) o Salt For assembly: o Your favorite pizza dough, ready to stretch and bake o Olive oil, for brushing o 1/2 cup packed spinach-arugula mix, rough-chopped Coupons o 1 cup small broccoli florets o 2 oz crumbled goat cheese (or replace with cheddar) o 2 oz shredded mozzarella o Handful of grated Parmesan o Flour, for dusting surface o Coarse cornmeal, for dusting surface Instructions 1. Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven...

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Running for a cause

Running for a cause

By Jennifer Jones, sponsored Moo Squad athlete It’s safe to say that runners, bikers, triathletes, and competitors in general go through phases when they might lose motivation for competitions. When my motivation hits a wall, I find that channeling my energy to help a good cause can keep me going. This summer I was asked to participate in the 10th Annual Tri for a Cure Triathlon with a co-worker, Heather.  The Tri for a Cure is Maine’s only all-women triathlon, where thousands of women get together to participate in this event and join together in the fight against cancer.  We all raise money for this event to support for the Maine Cancer Foundation and help create a cancer-free Maine. This year, the more than 1300 participants raised over $2 million! Knowing that I was a part of that is incredibly inspiring. The Tri for a Cure is a sprint triathlon that consists of a USAT-sanctioned 1/3 mile swim, a 15 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run.  For the event, Heather and I completed the race as a relay team.   I completed the swim, Heather completed the bike, and we ran together. The swim was in the ocean. The water was wetsuit-worthy at 68 degrees but not too bad and was pretty calm. I swam the 1/3 mile swim course in 13 minutes and then made my way up to the bike transition to make the exchange to Heather. Heather made her way out onto the bike course and rocketed through the 15 miles in 48 minutes, and then we made our way out onto the run course. We cruised through the 3 mile run, and finished the entire race in 1 hour and 39 minutes, good enough for an 18th place relay team finish. The entire course is lined with loud and encouraging supporters, and probably one of the most inspiring races I have ever been in. We even ran past a lady holding up a sign that read, “I had chemo on Friday, you can do this!” And, if that isn’t the epitome of inspiration, I don’t know what is. When you need some extra energy; a great race day breakfast is overnight oats. I had a serving of overnight oats before the Tri for a Cure! Combine equal parts rolled oats and milk and yogurt, along with extra additions for flavoring. My favorite additions are almonds, mini chocolate chips, and...

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Cowabunga 5k and Family Dairy Day

Cowabunga 5k and Family Dairy Day

Sunday, June 25, 2017 SEE RESULTS FOR 2017 HERE: https://my.racewire.com/results/33524 Thank you to everyone who came out for the race! The day starts with a family-friendly 5k race around Back Cove in Portland, beginning and ending at Fleet Feet on Marginal Way at 9 a.m. There will be many prizes and plenty of chocolate milk for the racers. Stick around for our Family Dairy Day in the Fleet Feet parking lot from 10 a.m. – noon. It’s an opportunity to meet dairy farmers, pet a calf, make some ice cream, and more. Admission to the Family Dairy Day is free and open to everyone. Cost to register for the 5k is $10 for $20 for adults 18 and older.  Registration on-line is available until 7 p.m. on June 24. Registration will be available on the day of the race 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Fleet Feet. Please come early. Race packet pick up will begin at 7:30 a.m., also at Fleet Feet. Or we will be available for early pick up the night before, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Fleet Feet. The race course will begin at Fleet Feet Sports, heading from Bayside Trail next to Fleet Feet, out to Back Cove with a turnaround at Mile 1.5, and finishing on the Bayside Trail next to Fleet Feet. T-shirts will be guaranteed only to those who register by June 1, remainders will be first come, first serve. Profits from the race will go to the Reiche Community School’s summer food pantry, which is part of the Milk2MyPlate program. Register on-line. For more information, e-mail jami@drinkmainemilk.org or call 207-557-2711.       Thank you to our...

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June Dairy Month: A Milk Toast to our Maine Dairy Farmers

June Dairy Month: A Milk Toast to our Maine Dairy Farmers

By Ashley Sears, Esq.,  sponsored member of Maine Dairy Promotion Board’s Moo Squad. There’s nothing more refreshing after a workout or before a restful night’s sleep than a tall, wholesome glass of milk.  This month, we celebrate June Dairy Month and toast to our local Maine dairy farmers.  From grass to glass, Maine farmers focus on the well-being of their dairy cattle by providing them with a nutritious diet, fresh clean water, regular medical care, comfortable and safe living conditions, and most importantly, love.  Dairy farmers are also conscious stewards of the land, working to protect the water, air, and land that surround their farms so future generations may do the same.  In turn, Maine dairy cows provide us with nutrient-rich milk and some of our favorite dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.  The milk that is produced not only nourishes our bodies, it helps to strengthen our state’s economy by providing local jobs and supporting local businesses. As a fourth-generation dairy farmer, I learned from a young age that there is no vacation, sick, or snow days on the farm.  The health and happiness of our bovines is always our number one priority and the values of hard work, time management, compassion, and team work are instilled early on.  Some of life’s most difficult lessons are also learned on the farm.  With the birth of a new calf comes the joy and the anticipation of that calf growing up to be a strong and healthy member of the herd.  There are also the moments where we experience the loss of one of our favorite cows and feel like we have lost a member of our own family.  All the while, we work tirelessly to provide a life for these cows that we can be proud of, with a passion that is unparalleled. In the state of Maine, there are currently 246 dairy farms.  With increased costs of production, volatile milk prices, and decreased consumption of dairy products, it is a trying time for farmers.  Yet, dairy farmers continue to care for their animals 24/7, 365 days a year and work to provide our state and country with nature’s most natural, complete product: milk.  Milk is the number one food source of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium, and provides for strong bone growth, lowers the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and obesity, and provides for an overall quality diet. While we celebrate June Dairy Month for one month out of the year, I ask why we don’t recognize the efforts of Maine dairy farmers for twelve months, 365 days a year?  Join myself and members of the Maine Dairy Promotion Board on Sunday, June 25, 2017 as we host the inaugural Cowabunga 5K and Family Dairy Day in Portland, ME.  The event will feature a 5K run/walk, local farmers, baby calves, educational demonstrations, local and state dairy businesses and organizations, and an assortment of dairy products to sample.  Proceeds will be donated to the Howard C. Reiche Community School’s food pantry, which operates through the summer, as part of the Milk2MyPlate program.  For more information, please visit: http://drinkmainemilk.org/cowabunga-5k/. I encourage each of you to recognize and thank your local dairy farmer for their efforts to provide a high quality, nutritious product to our communities, our state, and our country.  I would also like to express my gratitude to consumers and Maine residents for their support of the dairy industry and placing their trust in Maine farmers to provide an abundant, safe food supply.  Cheers to many more years of...

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Soggy spring workouts

Soggy spring workouts

Well it is finally here – Spring, that is, and let us all go outside and enjoy those long walks, trails runs, swimming in the lake (brrr)…. Oh wait, yeah, it is raining again.  As I know many people love to get outside and enjoy the great state of Maine, the weather does not always cooperate. Thunder showers are fun to watch from inside and down pours are not inviting however those days that are not so extreme give you options, and as I see it you have two of them. First break out the raincoat, smart wool socks and layer up and keep with the plan. Numerous times, I have said no to going out because of the rain, and most of those times I could have gone but opted for the easier route, saying guess this is my off day or I will get on a treadmill. However, the times when I have stayed with the plan to go out always seem like the best workouts, most beautiful days, or I see the most wildlife. I encourage everyone this spring to not be afraid of a little mud, water, or cooler weather, be a big kid and go jump in the puddles. Get out and enjoy – run a little slower, walk a little less far, but you will be thankful you got outside. The second option is for those total wash out days, they happen and complete downpours are not fun to be outside in. Have plan for these days, many gyms, YMCA’s, Rock Climbing Clubs, and swimming pools have drop in Fees. $10-15 for a drop in fee is not the most cost efficient but if it is only once a month then it can be a great deal and offer you the chance to try something new or get your work out in. In addition, if you are looking for those great, efficient indoor workouts looks up some fitness classes. Again, most Gyms and YMCA’s have them or maybe a friend has DVD set of works outs you can do together. Just ’cause the sun is not shining does not mean it needs to rain on your parade. Have your rain day plan set in advance then it will not seem like a chore to find something to do when they do come. I have at least four alternative workout plans that I can use at any time. At the end of the day whether you go outside or stay in, the most important part is to enjoy your choice and not feel guilty about it.  Tomorrow is another day and the sun will come out this spring (right? It will, right?) In addition, we will all have the chance for new adventures or to continue old traditions. If you want, some great advice about making those memories be sure to read Jennifer Stevens Jones Blog from last month!   Jim’s family recipe – Mocha Cheesecake Brownies 3 1/2 cups sugar 1 2/3 cups butter (3 1/4 sticks) melted and cooled 3/4 cups cocoa 2 Tbsp instant coffee 1/8 tsp salt 6 large eggs 1 1/2 cups flour 1 Tbsp. vanilla Cheesecake Filling 2 pkg Philly cream cheese – softened 2/3 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla Garnish – 1 cup mini chocolate chips Beat together sugar, melted butter, cocoa, instant coffee and salt at medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. At low speed, slowly add flour. Add vanilla. Spread half the batter into a greased 10x 15 inch pan. Spoon filling gently onto brownie batter. Spoon/pour remaining brownie batter over...

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