Ok, I donâ€™t want to do a list of 53 not so funny things that make yesterday my favorite holiday, but the number refers to one reason this years July 4th was awesome. Itâ€™s a product line called Nutrition53, created by Bill Romanowski, that Iâ€™ve been sampling the last few weeks.
Thursday night I talked to my coach. The conversation was short because I was half asleep having expended all my energy watching the US Olympic Trials for swimming.
Dr. Mike: "How do you feel?â€
â€œDr. Mike: â€œGood, I want you to do a track workout tomorrowâ€
And so onâ€¦
Being in an unfamiliar bed can make my sleep a little restless, so I opened up a pack of the Nutrition 53 Sleep1. According to the label, â€œSleep1 contains full doses of ingredients that supplement your lifestyle and support healthy sleep habits such as Melatonin, 5 HTP, Zinc and Magnesium (ZMA), Valerian root, L-Glutamine, and more.â€ Which is pretty similar to other sleep aides like the Hammer REM Caps. The big difference is that Sleep1 comes in a powder (with flavors like Root Beer Float and Vanilla Raspberry it tastes great), so it forces you to drink some fluids before you go to bed. This wasnâ€™t the first time Iâ€™ve tried the product, and so far every time I do use it I sleep like a baby. No crazy dreams, no falling in and out of sleep â€“ itâ€™s like I just sink into my mattress. This has been a similar experience for me with the Hammer REM Caps, and even just over the counter pure melatonin but with one major difference: I wake up without any grogginess ready to take on the world.
I did wake up alert, but that didnâ€™t really mean I was in the mood for a track workout. It was gray outside and my legs were still tired from other hard workouts. I read on Courtenayâ€™s blog that she used Nuero1 as a pre-race drink and had great results. So far I had been using it as a study aid â€“ taking it before I study to keep me awake and to make sure I pay attention to what Iâ€™m reading. It works well for that. I chugged down a packet of Nuero1 and set off on my bike toward the track. At the first stop light I still felt crummy, and following some Z-Team cyclist seemed like a great deal of effort. 10 minutes later, however, when I arrived at the track I was totally jazzed. I did a short warm up and proceeded to have a fun and fast workout. The previous few days my HR had been through the roof while running, but for this workout it was nice and moderate through the warmup and didnâ€™t spike until I was running fast enough to deserve it.
I came back from the track feeling great. Then I stuffed down two waffles and a breakfast sausage (not my first choice, but when hungry and in a hurry one cannot be picky) then took off to a Bikram Yoga class at Red Dragon Yoga in Mill Valley. It was a 90 minute class during which time I lost about 10 pounds of sweat, but finished feeling even more energized. At this point Iâ€™m not sure if it was the Nuero1 still pushing me through the day (though the vitamin fluorescent urine assures me it was still in me), but it took only a 40 minute nap to be ready for the next adventure.
An easy spin around Tiburon was in order, but I didnâ€™t really want to go alone, so I called up Christine and asked if sheâ€™s like to join me. I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to play a little game called â€œhow long does it take to make Christine explode?â€ (Let me say here that sometimes Iâ€™m not a nice person). I was watching my own heart rate and going just hard enough that I was within my prescribed zone for an â€œeasy spinâ€, but just hard enough that Christine was out of hers. We got to downtown Tiburon and I aimed my bike up Belvedere. Itâ€™s about two miles around, but straight up. At this point I let my heart rate go a little higher and started chatting to Christine about anything that came to mind. She stopped talking about a minute in and soon she was panting up the hill. I was actually impressed how long she held on â€“ it wasnâ€™t until the top of the climb that I saw her get out of the saddle and her pedals almost completely stop turning. Her face was red, her jersey wet with sweat, and her legs were no longer moving.
A tinge of remorse stung me in the back. â€œCâ€™mon Christine, itâ€™s an easy spin, donâ€™t kill yourself,â€ my encouragement didnâ€™t help anything. â€œMy HR is 175!â€ I looked down at my Edge 705, â€œhuh, mine is 127.â€ Still not helping â€“ I decided to shut up. I killed Christine in 15 minutes, which is about how long it took Todd Herriott to crack me last spring. It hurts.
After the ride I got in the pool and a had a great set. two 800â€™s and four 200 IMâ€™s. Nothing spectacular or even difficult, but I felt great in the water, and I even got some comments from people at the club about how smooth my stroke looked.
Iâ€™m pretty sure I would not have had as much energy to get through my day if I hadnâ€™t taken the Nutrition 53 products. It insured that I got all my vitamins and minerals even when I was eating things like breakfast sausage and bbq chicken. I slept great (thanks to Sleep1), and started my day off with an awesome track workout (thanks to Nuero1). I did all my training and still had enough energy to watch the Olympic trials and the fireworks without passing out. It wasnâ€™t a typical July 4th, but it was nearly perfect.