Thursday, May 31, 2012

Training Fuel Recipes

Been posting a lot of "food porn" on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter (who doesn't have 18 accounts of social media now?), or at least what I consider food porn.

I have been promising some recipes so during my taper week where I actually have the extra hour and maybe a couple more because there is nothing else on TV....I decided to put together a post with my 8 go-to recipes especially in and around heavy training/race time.  I like to go mostly gluten-free (sometimes I have to throw in a non-GF) during this time.  I can't quite give up dairy and I know it doesn't agree with me so I just down-size and give myself a little cheese when needed...

Vegetable Mung Bean Pasta with Miso Tahini Sauce
(recipe by the Daily Garnish) except I add Mung Bean Pasta...

This dish is creamy (almost dairy-like) and when adding the mung bean pasta it adds another 20 grams of protein and its Gluten Free.  Check out the link for the recipe but I have been making it at least once a week to have left overs, I found it is a great recovery food after a run/bike!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Parsely Orzo Salad
(print recipe)

1 lb of chicken breasts
2 tspn olive oil
Various Seasonings (I use TJ's 21 seasoning salute)
Sea Salt

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 handful of fresh parsely chopped
2 tbspn romano cheese

1 bag Orzo
1 red onion
1 bell pepper
Lettuce (assorted)

1.  Let chicken marinate in various seasoning and olive oil in bag or container and grill.
2.  Combine dressing ingredients and put to side
3.  Boil orzo to al dente
4.  Chop/dice red onion, bell pepper.

Done - wasn't that easy!!

Chicken Sausage Butternut Squash Chili
(print recipe)

  • 1 package of TJ's jalepeno chicken sausage sliced
  • 1 lb of butternut squash chopped small
  • 1 tbsn olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cannelloni beans
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cilantro
  • 1 jalepeno chopped
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime squirted at end


Saute with olive oil, garlic onions and butternut squash for about 10 min. 
Add sausage, spices, tomatoes, beans, chicken broth and bring to boil. 
Let simmer until squash is soft.
Serve with cilantro, chopped jalepenos, lime juice and sliced avocado.

Asian Quinoa 
(print recipe)

10 sugar snap peas
1/2 cucumber diced
2 scallions diced
1 red onion diced
1 bell pepper (any color) diced
1 handful of cilantro chopped
1 avocado diced
1 cup of edamame

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

Brown rice vinegar
Sesame oil
TJ Sesame Ginger Vinagrette

Rinse quinoa, add to water in small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer covered until no liquid.  I like mine crunchy versus soft so I don't let it go the full time.
Add to all veggie ingredients.
For dressing I add equal parts of all but not really measured so a dash of each and then if it needs to be wetter I add more vinegar.
And, lastly, this little gem that I did last night when Yasi came over for our Mooseman planning!!

Mexican Quinoa
(print recipe)
I can't make this NOT upside down...
  The only addition to the old recipe was that I added green salsa and cumin to the dressing  and put it over my dad's lettuce he is growing in the yard!  I also worked in some ground turkey breast to give me a little extra protein.


2 cups water
1 cup quinoa (I used a red/white mix)
3/4 can black beans
1 bell pepper (any color)
1/2 cucumber
1 jalepeno
1/2 red onion
2 limes
1 tbspn olive oil


Rinse quinoa, and add to water in small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Simmer and cover until quinoa is done.

Make a salad with spinach, chopped veggies (cucumber, pepper, jalepeno, red onion), and juice of 2 limes and olive oil and toss.

Add in quinoa and salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Make a salad with spinach, chopped veggies (cucumber, pepper, jalepeno, red onion), and juice of 2 limes and olive oil and toss.

Add in quinoa and salt and pepper.  Enjoy!  Add in some green salsa if you need more "dressing" for the salad.

Best part of the Mexican Quinoa is you can add eggs and put in sprouted corn tortillas for breakfast!

And lastly, we started a new batch of our Nightstalker Stout...(recipe will be coming...)

Cheers as I get ready to finish up the work day and pack for New Hampshire!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Red Bank Olympic Race Report

Based on my last post, I think you saw I had a good race, not a great race, but a good one in the fact that the scales were tipping in favor of the things that went right for me.  As you may know, I ONLY get up early when deemed necessary.  I see 7am race start, 1 hour drive, and I need to pick up packet that morning.  NOW, it SAYS you can pick it up between 5-6am so normally I would get there at 5:50 promptly to make sure I am in line by 5:55...BUT I am going with my friend Yasi and from what I gathered after knowing her for the past 9 months is that she likes to be early.  So out of courtesy, I pick her up at the glorious hour of 4:30am....

In prep for the race, I got a mani-pedi to match my new SOAS kit and Laura came to braid my hair (I feel like a 10 year old girl saying that)....

I was truly happy to get there early.  For the first time I wasn't running around like a maniac thinking I am forgetting something, or it could have something to do with the checklist I printed out....I also enjoyed being around someone (Yasi) that was very even keeled and just a very positive person.  She has been a great person to train with and very motivating with her focus and hard-working personality. 

All ready to go - you would think I would have a quicker T time with this set-up
Please note - this calmness beforehand was not a true depiction of the swim, but it was pretty...
There isn't much to say but I choked....yup, I forgot how to swim.  After all the posts about "I love swimming," "I am getting better at swimming"....nope my first taste of salt water did it.  It was at that point I had my freak out moment.  Even the guy on the standing paddle board says "miss do you need to come out?" I am thinking "no, stupid, just let me get through my hissy fit, can't you see I am fine." Then the men 39+ start swimming over me.  "Lovely," I think.  "How the fuck am I going to finish this."  Then I stop my little fit, put on my big girl pants, (a little late since I think this went on for a good 7-8 minutes).  I start swimming just in time for the turn around where the waves come.  I am sure to normal people these were not waves but to me they were ridiculous.  I started feeling sea sick and glad I didn't eat that much...,but I swam the rest of the way in, pretty well actually (shame I didn't do that the whole way).  In a nut shell even with the hissy fit, it was still 5 min faster than my last Olympic. 

T1 was on ground, water bottle empty needed to refill...enough said....

I am always cautious on the bike especially after a couple things:  bike accident and my prior experience of calf cramping anytime I run over 25 miles off the bike.  I went harder up front, and there were random annoying hills that slowed me down a little.  Part of this is that I didn't really taper the week before since tapering was coming next week.  I felt a little heavy in the legs.  I was a little disappointed in my time since I know I am faster than this; however, the problem always comes in when you are one of the last people out of the water and biking alone and you cannot see your bike speed.  This hurts me a lot because I am much more competitive in nature and need people and something to strive for.  I am still happy and feel like I was strong but not fast. 
At least it looks good, right!!

Blah, I will never be a 1-2 minute ninja in transition, I need to practice this A LOT!!!

Finally!! For the first time I felt good, I took a Gu at mile 1.  I ran the first three cautious and as I noticed no cramping I took it home for the last three with mile times under 9 min finally.  I had an average of 9:13.  The good part is I would have been fine running another 6 miles.  My heart rate was in the 160's meaning I could have went harder on this.  I was so happy to not be in pain and actually sprint into the finish line in NO AGONY!!  This may not have been fast but this was a total win in my book and really made me feel a little more confident in my decision to switch the running gait to mid-foot and break up with my orthodics in place of the Brooks Pure. 

It was a great race!  Especially, for Yasi - who took home an age group win!!  Our friend Greg came out to do his long run and support us and we met some new friends, ate Mexican and then I relaxed with compression socks and a DogFish Head Burton Baton....good stuff.

I am still quite fearful of the Mooseman and the 16% incline on the bike, but I just started reading "As Good as Gold" by Kathryn Bertine and came across this quote:

"A good quest will do much more than take you from point A to B.  A good quest unlocks the myth of failure, the truth about scuccess, and the reality of the What Ifs.  A good quest will confirm that yes, you did the right thing simply by attempting.  A good quest will provide inner peace and mental harmony.  But first you have to hunt down Doubt and kick it square in the balls."

 That being said, I am kicking Doubt in the balls for Mooseman!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prepping for Mooseman!

This weekend really helped put things into perspective and now I am ready to go.  As you know from my past whining  race reports on races as of last year and the prior - I have been nothing short of feet issues, calf cramping.  For the first time, I am happy to report -  I had a great run/finish to a triathlon!!  I haven't said that in a long time and I didn't even care that the swim was a sh#*show and I could have had a better transitions (no surprise there) and probably went a little harder on the bike.

Hopefully, I will have some time tomorrow to put together an actual race report - but in summary....
Great friends, race, food and beer - what more can a girl want!
 It was a nice and surprising feeling when you do a negative split on the run portion of a race, that the last three miles felt even better than the first three and the thought that creeps up is maybe I should have went harder on the bike or went faster on the run. I was being slightly cautious to do more high cadence than more power on the bike, but, you know what I finally feel like it was a great rehearsal for the show on June 3rd. 

Most of you know, I will be doing Mooseman 70.3 on June 3rd.  There is a reason for why I am doing it...

My father-in-law, dad #2, Carle LaCouture was diagnosed with ALS in the fall of 2010.

I have watched him over the past year battle the disease with strength and tenacity and little to no complaint, taking every day one day at a time. It made me reflect on why I do these various races like a HIM in the first place. Instead of choosing a race this year based on a vacation location or whether the course is somewhat flat, I decided to do one based on Carle. I settled on Mooseman 70.3 New Hampshire for two reasons:

  1. 1. New Hampshire is where Carle grew up.
  2. This one was one of the more challenging race course (and beautiful). With the significant amount of climbing on the bike and run portion after starting out with a chilly swim, I figured this would be the most demanding and mean the most to complete something like this. Because Carle encounters much more difficult challenges battling this disease. So there is no reason, why me, who is healthy, can't undertake something like this.

I am hoping that this race, as small as it may be in the big scheme of things, helps in the awareness and funds to find a cure and treatment for ALS.

 If you wish to donate to something near and dear to our family's heart please click the link below. 

Tri-ing to fight ALS at Mooseman

As of next Friday I will be packing up my stuff, my husband, Carle and Nancy, my sister, Theresa and my parents, Betty and Tony and driving 6ish hours to the state of New Hampshire.  Hopefully I won't bore them to tears while they wait another 7 hours for me to finish...(budgeting hills)

I am so thankful every day for being healthy and to be able to do these events!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Ultimate Checklist

If you asked me a month ago if I was ready to race, I would have said with no hesitation "yup, I'm ready!" BUT when time is actually here, the butterflies come, I question the combined talent of my swim, bike, run capability and more importantly the ability to take off a wetsuit in less than 10 minutes...(just kidding, 5...) and then I worry about whether I will forget my....swim cap (yup did that 1 year), bike shoes (done), run shoes (yup, did that too), luckily all of these took place about 2 miles from my house at different races/rides.  So since everyone seems to LOVE to make fun of me and probably has bets on what I will forget on Sunday, I decided to post for you the checklist...
Found a pic from a couple years ago when I didn't forget anything...

  • 2 pair Goggles (always carry spare set)
  • Race cap
  • Wetsuit
  • Glide (for wetsuit - otherwise, it will seriously be 10 minutes)
  • Gel/Food for Pre-swim
  • Garmin (HR monitor or other device)

  • 2 Towels (one to get sand off or dirt or whatever you ran through)
  • Nutrition
  • Extra water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Air pump

  • Helmet
  • Bike shoes
  • Socks (if needed)
  • Sunglasses
  • Arm Warmers (if needed)
  • Bike (duh)
  • Bento box/bike bag with tubes/CO2/levers/nutrition (Gu/chomps/bars)
  • Aero water bottle
  • Water bottle (extra)
  • Nuun tablets

  • Race belt
  • Running shoes 
  • Socks (if needed)
  • Visor/Hat
  • Compression socks (if needed)
  • Gels
Sunday is race day and I really just have several goals:
  1. NO anxiety pre-race/swim
  2. Quicker transition times
  3. Not to forget anything
  4. Feel strong on the bike
  5. Negative split on the run (slow down in the beginning with a strong finish)

I don't have any big time goals, I really want to have fun and iron out the kinks before Mooseman!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Emotional Rollercoaster of a Triathlete

While soaking in the aftermath of a high volume week including a ride with over 4,600 of climbing and a 11 mile run the next morning, I thought about all the emotions I had this week. It's funny, I don't think any race has gotten me this upset with whether I can do this.  Maybe it is this "little elevation map that is playing in repeat in my head" for June 3rd....

So my emotions and training started off quite mildly...
"yeah good to be back after last week's recovery week"
"I'm feeling pretty solid"
"OMG I had the best brick I'm gonna be so fast all my training has come together"
"I needed this neutral bike spin, legs feel good for Sat"

AND then the emotions went to this...

Saturday - The 60mile 4,700+ft of climbing had me go through a range....
"Shit there is no way I can finish, I can't believe I may cry [when I realized I had to ride another 2 miles or so of climbing to get to my friends when I made a wrong turn], I should call Mike to pick me up, what if this is no comparison to Mooseman, what if I can't finish Mooseman, I'm so awesome I just climbed all that, I'm really fast on downhills, if I lose 5 lbs will I be faster? I'm starving, I'm thirsty, I hate my bike, I love my bike, I'm finished, I'll be fine for Mooseman, I'm so cool I just finished all that biking, we climbed so much, so ready..."
The photo top right is after the ride - note the faces were quite opposite during....
My new addiction - luckily I only do two spoonfuls...

Sunday's Long Run - my random thoughts and emotions over 11 miles
"Holy crap, my legs are heavy, I'm slow, okay I can do this, I still have 9 miles to go, shit, fuck, shit, my feet hurt, my legs hurt, waaa, stop feeling sorry for yourself, there are people out there that can't even walk, suck it up, okay, I'm going, this pace feels good, slow but good, I can manage this for Mooseman after the hills, maybe not, I think I need to walk, it's really hot, I think I should move faster but my legs aren't hearing my brain for some reason, this stupid electrolyte drink tastes like ass, I should have worn compression socks, I wonder what it would be like to jump in the canal, probably get some disease, those people kayaking look so peaceful, what if I asked them to kayak me to the car, damn it, why did I have to stop at the stop light, I can't restart, hold up mr. car, I have to walk across, okay I'm running, I love running, I hate running, this drink sucks, why do the mountain bikers look so happy and I just want to scream, I wish I could have time for a massage, I should swim tomorrow, why is this so difficult, okay 1 mile left, let's see what's in the tank, I got this, I'm done, I can do Mooseman..."

And the legs are done
In summary, although my emotions and thoughts were that of a schizophrenic, I think all in all, I needed this crazy week to put me in check for Mooseman....Okay you little mountain at 4.5% incline for 3.5 miles twice....(gulp) I'm ready to show you who's boss...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Life Happens and You Move On

Life can get crazy, sometimes at the most in-opportune moments, but you have to embrace it, prioritize and move on.  Last week was one of those weeks, it actually started off pretty fabulous with Mike's birthday and going to the Hulmeville Inn for an awesome selection of craft beers including taps of Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin
You can never be too metal to rock the Bieb shirt

All that was the precursor for his surgery (blamed on a chicken bone):
Humor goes a long way :)
Then came the massive amounts of stress due to everything going on that week - work crisis, best friend's wedding and HIM training (low man on the totem pole).  I got in a whopping 3 hours of actual physical activity.  Thankfully, it was a recovery week although I am thinking the stress may have made my heart rate a match to a brick workout in Zone 4....

Although I missed my top guy at the wedding while he was recouping (sorry baby), I had a fabulous time at the wedding with the girls and watched a very beautiful bride and her beau of 20 years finally tie the knot (and yes, my matron of honor toast addressed the infinitely long time of being boyfriend/girlfriend):

Moving on....this week and next week will be my biggest training weeks in prep for Mooseman!  I can't believe it is around the corner but I need to "compartmentalize" (a concept stolen from Beth) and hold my head and get 'er done.  I cleaned my office from the mayhem of work recently, only to resume full force on two more projects but with enough breather space to be a good wife/nurse, cook lots of energizing meals and get in my training.

Monday consisted of the normal "rest day" which was driving to a presentation for a project I live, slept and breathed for about a year.....and getting my food list down for the week.

Tuesday I kicked it off with work in the early morning and went swimming at lunch in a 3000 meter swim which was a lot of fun!  (Note:  I never used to associate swim and fun)

Swim Workout (Tuesday):
w/u - 300 swim, 200 k, 100 swim, 200 kick
Main set:
4x250 (100 mod/50 fast/100mod)
4x150 (50 m/50 f/50 m)
4x100 (25 m/50 f/25 m)
c/d - 200 swim

That evening it was trainer and catching up on a couple episodes of Smash and New Girl
2 hours with 2x30 min tempo (that was mind numbing on a trainer)

Wednesday morning was another early work day followed by 10am 2600m swim.  Lucky for me I bought some new goggle - Blue Seventy Nero Race Goggles... (bit of motivation)

Swim Workout (Wednesday):
w/u 200sw, 4x50 moderate/fast, 4x5 build
Main Set:
4x200 (race pace +:15)
4x100 (race pace +:15) swimming each 100 2-5 sec faster than race pace
c/d - 600 (100 sw/ 100 kick) + 100 swim

After work I still needed to do a hill repeat run for 5 miles and still had to be ready to make dinner for parents and Mike before my mom/dad/sis all go to New Orleans to see my brother at his new farm for 10 days (FOMO) and to meet MissFancyPants the lamb, in person (yes, my brother named a lamb after me read their post here on HighTail Farms).
Meet Fancy (aka Missfancypants the lamb!!)
I digress, so what do you do when you don't have hills but have an overpass around the corner?
1 mile at 9:30
1 mile at 8:58
2 miles of overpass (8x) at 8:40
1 mile (1/2 mile to CVS to pick up mother's day card and 1/2 mile to run home with cards) at 9:40

And now for Thursday -report for work, 2 hour brick and TRX!  Friday should be mellow with just a bike and swim, BUT the real test, the "am I prepared for Mooseman?" will be the 73 mile ride on Saturday that includes climbing in addition to an 8 mile "intense" climb.  But I will be with Yasi and friends sharing the grunting and bitching...Sunday, the "can I still take more" workout of  13 mile run and 3000 m swim.....

With that I bid you good morning and have a wonderful rest of the week filled with oatmeal and puppy dogs :)

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