Monday, February 28, 2011

Fresh Start to a New Season

As of today, I was number 51 on the Vineman 70.3 waiting list and 10 were notified bringing me to number 41! The list is moving fast!! I was told that they take the first 500-700 on the list through a friend of mine that is friends with the event manager; therefore, I think I have a spot! Last year, I did my first half-ironman in September thus starting my HIM training in April/May. This basically means that if I am doing Vineman - training starts ASAP!

Given that as of late, I have not really swam more than once a week or sometimes none, biked on my trainer at most 2 hours a week, and running at maybe 10-20 miles a week based on my feet and a sprained ankle, I needed to start picking up the hours if I wanted to start a 20 week plan which starts around 9 hours a week not counting yoga/strength training.

A few months ago my friend Bill received his certification to be a triathlon coach, so I am one of his first clients! He sent some tests so that I can do that over the next couple weeks to establish heart rates on the bike and run and for some swim times. We will be using Training Peaks which is a cool piece of software. I love data so this is right up my alley. Nicole, him and I met last week to go over the software, talk about race schedules and so that she could get her new aero-bars put on.
Since my swimming has been HORRIBLE , Germaine, the best swim coach around :), offered his assistance. He assessed a number of areas to work on and we had a great 1 hour session last week. I am quite confident that the only way to go is up from here.

My training week looked like this last week (2/21-2/27).

  • Monday - Bike test (10 min warm up with 5x30 sec sprints and 1 min rest, 30 min all out - last 20 min average heart rate - and 10 min cool down) - HR was 144 on average and max of 152. We decided that I need to do a time trial for a more accurate picture.
  • Tuesday - Swim (3x300 test with w/u 200m and c/d 300m - times were HORRIBLE (please don't laugh - I preface that I did not know how to swim besides doggy paddle about 3.5 years ago) at 6:29, 6:30, 6:26 - guess this is what I get for taking off of swimming for so long. I was feeling under the weather for a soon to be 3 day cold so I bagged running that night and did some back/chest/shoulder/arm weights.
  • Wednesday - Off (Sick)
  • Thursday - Off (Sick)
  • Friday - Afternoon swim lesson with Germaine where we timed 4x100s 1:45, 1:55, 2:05 and 1:49. PM - bike for 1 hour on trainer
  • Saturday - Run 6 miles at 57:56 (9:35min/mile pace)
  • Sunday - Bike - 1 hour on trainer
Total approximately 6 hours.

I have a good race schedule for this year:

4/17 - CGI Rutger's 1/2 Marathon
6/5 - Black Bear Olympic Triathlon - (This is a super hilly course - very excited! This is also where the new Poconos 70.3 will be this year)
6/18 - Parvin Sprint Triathlon
7/17 - Vineman 70.3
9/3 - Marlton Lakes Sprint Tri
9/10 - Quakerman 1/2 Iron distance race

I am super-excited - it looks like good weather this week and I can take "Aura" away from the TV and on the open road.
I set some attainable goals for this year:
1. 1/2 marathon time should be under 2 hours and if possible crank out a 1:50.
2. Improve my swim time through 3 days a week training and coaching from Germaine.
3. 1/2 Iron time at Vineman under 6 hours.
4. Run pace in sprint distance race at 8min/mile and 8:30-8:45 for Olympic distance.

This week I have plans for 3 swims/bikes/runs and yoga/2 weight sessions which will total about 9 hrs swim/bike/run and 2 hours of yoga/strength. I meet with Bill this week for another bike fitting and to design the plan for this season.

I also am starting off with my healthy detox to start the week clean. I think my liver needs a break and I want to work hard to earn what is now going to be in my basement....Ten Fidy

Monday, February 21, 2011

NOLA's onioninvasion and Mardi Gras 1/2 Marathon Report

I am going to try to make this short and sweet...hehe...but as an "Onion" it is in our blood to ramble and tell you every little detail "just in case" you want to know.
NOTE: My maiden name is Cipolone which is Italian for the Big Onion (hence @bigonion75)

What started out as a 6 day race vacation turned into a 9 day trip with a mix of race/play/work...I love New Orleans, it is one place I could live besides Jersey. Yup, Jersey (I am fist pumping as I type). I have been there every year since I graduated college either for work or to see my brother who moved there during college and never came home...He thinks he did that all on his own accord but in reality, I was there for a convention the year before, visited some voodoo shop and made him do it. I mean what if I couldn't get down there for work, I needed some way to be able to have crawfish and Abita's right?

If you have only been to Bourbon St and ONLY had Gumbo and Hurricanes when you went to New Orleans you have been missing out!! We still hit those touristy things though....

In addition to the race (I'll get there...) here are just some of the highlights:
  • Vacationed with my best friends and my sister so we could see my brother (#onioninvasion).
  • Went to some favorite places on Decatur - Pravda (great drinks and homemade pierogies), Angeli's (best hummus and red pepper spread), Molly's (bar) and Coop's (great New Orleans food).
  • I had my first "tweet-ups" where @big_onion introduced me to @Nola_Eats and @bugeyedguide - all of whom were awesome- on the #TourduPho! Yup New Orleans has the 3rd largest Vietnemese population in the country. We went to @Pho_Hoa on the West Bank (apparently we are the 1% of tourist that have been to the West Bank) which was our "pre-race" dinner and I even won a T-shirt! (other New Orleaners to follow - @juliapretus, @eatmenola and @nolamaven).
  • Visited New Orleans Rum Distillery.
  • Ate and drank on Magazine Street - Juan's Flying Burrito and the Bulldog. We also had some other good local beers besides the Abita Amber - LA31 Pale Ale and the Abita Andygator.
  • Pre-race activity of doing yoga at the Lululemon who had fantastic employees and one of the best cheerleaders during the race as we ran down Canal St besides the kids dressed up in KISS make-up singing Motley Crue.
I have never been so unprepared for a race and yet it was one of the best races. After the mishaps with plantar fasciitis and then a sprained ankle. I calculated that I took a total of 7 weeks off of running since September, not to mention the ice/snow we have had in NJ. My longest run since early November was 9 miles about 2 weeks prior to the race on a treadmill. I decided that this was going to be vacation and while I was there I just HAPPEN to be doing a long run that Sunday.

I have never done a Rock-n-Roll series race but if this is what they are all like - it was amazing. From the expo...
to the race it was by far the most well-run races. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 50's, it was flat, no wind, sunny, couldn't be more perfect and I was running with my best friends. We didn't start on time since we were (cough, cough) running late as usual....we had to use the port-a-potties which had a 20 min wait so we missed our wave. We weaved in and out of the crowd during the first 6 miles pacing went from 9:10 during the first couple to a pretty stead 9:45. We slowed down a bit during the middle walked some water stations and jogged, and then finished with 10 minute miles during the last few. We finished at 2:11 and the Garmin read about a 9:51 moving pace.

We relaxed with some free beers at the park and then headed back where the other festivities would occur.

The post-race party was BBQ at my little brother's @big_onion and @kerath's home. It was a great time and I was also really excited that I was able to meet a favorite blogger - Heidi Austin - TriAngel. Definitely check out this FAST girl that PR'd during the race with a 1:34!

My brother - the chef - made his own sausage and many other goodies (check out his blog - mronionsneighborhood)...

Nicole got the piece of king cake with the baby...

Christine, John and I drank hot sauce...

Christine cryed...

and...we somehow had bottomless lemoncello...

Needless to say, the trip was fabulous but I was tired and couldn't wait to get home and see Mike and Axl and Ozzy :)

NEXT UP - I found out I am number 65 on the waiting list for Vineman 7o.3!!
This week starts training and nutrition crack down....I am actually really excited for this! Off-season is officially over...

And last but not least...I will be starting my new blog - "MissFancyPant's Closet" - which is NOT a triathlon blog, not that this really is....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How to Keep Sane During a Northeast Winter - Part 3 - Winter Beer List and "Travesty" CD Release

This is the last installment of my 3 part series - How to Keep Sane During a Northeast Winter. So we had swimming, eating and well we can't forget the last part - beer....Okay, I love good wine as well, but there is something about getting cozy with one of these babies during the winter.

1. Southern Tier Chocolat - this is a great stout, it is smooth and not too sweet. A nice dessert?

2. Scaldis Noel - okay this is also dessert... this was an expensive keg but it was so worth it. It is a higher percentage of alcohol so be careful while drinking, 12%...It is a fantastic sweet and a little spice added to it.

3. Weyerbacker Merry Monks - another great beer from this fine Pennsylvania brewery. It tasted like it may have some pear notes to it. It is delicious...enough said.

4. Lefthand Milk Stout - OMG - this is amazing. If beer could be like a chocolate milk shake - this would be it.

5. Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu - I have to say - Dogfish Head may be my favorite brewery. I got this one for Christmas and it was exactly as the label describes: Wildflower honey, Muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers

6. Terrapin Hop Karma Brown IPA - this was a good beer, more of an everyday beer.

7. Trader Joe's Vintage Ale - this was a nice surprise when I walked into Trader Joe's....I bought it not having a big expectation. It was a great belgium style ale with some spices for the holidays.

8. La Chouffe Golden Ale - A belgium pale ale that deserves the 99 points it received from Beer Advocate.

9. Delirium Nocturnam - Belgium dark ale. This was very tasty and surprisingly not that strong.

10. And last but not least...


Nah, seriously, last night we had an amazing beer. I think I stated earlier that Dogfish Head does not disappoint - My Antonia actually started out as a collaboration beer with Birra del Borga - now they brew it in Delaware. This was very tasty, smooth, pilsner that's a bit hoppy.

So my husband, Mike Lock, as you know is the drummer in an awesome metal band - Beyond Dishonor (you may hear me talk about it from time to time).
They just released their second album - Travesty - I placed a little sampler below.

If you have some time, "like" them on Facebook or check out them out on Reverbnation.

And I will leave you with a short video of Mike drumming to "Otis" from the new album...

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to Keep Sane During a Northeast Winter - Part 2 - Clean Eating

Cooking Clean and Healthy Recipes
Cooking healthy especially during the winter we have had is important. It helps keep the body/mind in balance in my opinion. I recently purchased a few cookbooks - Barefoot Contessa "How Easy is This", Clean Food by Terry Walters and The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. Let me preface this, I am not vegan, but I do like to eat clean and like the way my body feels when I take a break - as you have seen on my detoxes I do here and there.

I think that everyone is entitled to their own views and that we should all respect each other on that. I have worked in the agricultural and animal health industry for years and have learned a lot about the industry that caused me to have my own opinions on what gets shown in the media, what is the reality and what is not, but I won't get into that here.

So you might say, for not being a pro-PETA girl, it's kind of funny that I bought Alicia Silverstone's book....maybe it was because Clueless was one of my favorite chick flick or maybe the recipes, I am not sure but let's just say my thoughts went from "intrigued" when I opened the book to "bored" by the first half of the book that consisted of her viewpoints and then "interested" in her recipes.

I highly suggest all three books. They were worth it for the recipes - I have already made a bunch of them!

Here are recipes of some of my favorite meals I've made during my winter season...

Blood Orange Balsamic Salad

There were two key elements to this salad:
  1. Goat cheese and blood oranges to spring mix, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes.
  2. AGED balsamic and a good extra virgin olive oil.

Baked Sundried Tomato Chicken Breasts with Whole Grain Spaghetti.

Chicken breasts
Sun dried tomato panko crusts at Whole Foods
Egg whites
Pesto (prepared unless you want to make homemade)
Sundried tomatoes
fresh mozzarello (mini balls)
Whole-grain spaghetti
1/4 cup of ricotta cheese (part skim)
A few swirls of olive oil
Red pepper, parsely seasoning
8 garlic cloves
Pecorino Romano cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 370 degrees. Bread the chicken breasts using egg whites and then the panko crusts. Place in a casserole dish and bake for 20 min.
Take out of the oven and add a dollop of pesto on each piece, sundried tomato and some mozzarella. Bake for an additional 15 min.

In the meantime boil salted water and make pasta al dente. Saute seasoning, garlic and olive oil. Save 1 cup of pasta water, add ricotta cheese and sauteed garlic and olive oil. Add pecorino romano cheese. This isn't calorie free but has lots of good stuff....
Halibut Veggie Tacos

1 Halibut steak
1 zucchini chopped
5 chopped portabellos
Taco seasoning
Tomato paste
5 cloves of garlic
1 onion chopped
Cilantro (if not recalled..)
Goat Cheese

Brush olive oil, salt and pepper on halibut steak. Bake halibut to flakes apart. I usually bake at 375 for about 20 min.
Sautee Veggies.
Use a low-carb whole wheat tortillas (I use Trader Joe's) and sprinkle hot sauce, cilantro and goat cheese.

Kale and Aduki Beans

Steam kale to a bright green. Saute garlic, onions, diced tomatoes and aduki beans. Add Kale and cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve with tilapia.

Pecan Cranberry Coconut Balls

1.5 cups of chopped pecans
1 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of almond butter (Trader Joe's with flax seed - no sugar added)
1/2 cup of maple syrup (I happened to have rum-infused maple syrup)
Unsweetened chopped coconut

Place in a food processor until it is somewhat smooth.

Make into teaspoon size balls and roll in unsweetened coconut. Makes about 18.

See you all later for Part 3 - the long awaited MissFancyPants' Winter Beer List - until then

Rock on!
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