Raining in San Diego, Thankgiving Wild Rice-Butternut Squash Salad and Brief Thoughts on Strength Training

I’m sitting at my computer at 5:00 a.m. listening to the rain that is coming down hard.  Yesterday I heard that San Diego was going to be getting rain overnight.  I asked if we were talking “San Diego Rain” (when it barely is spitting from the sky), or “Real Rain”; y’know, rain like everywhere else in the country gets.  For 6 hours, we’ve had real rain and all I’m missing now is a tin roof off of which to hear it ping.  You see, any sort of dampness (aka “San Diego Rain”) typically means that people hunker down like they do in the Northeast when there is a 3 foot snow storm.  Restaurants and retail outposts slow and the freeways will be a mess as San Diegans forget to how to drive in inclement weather (actually, I don’t think that they ever learned).  I donned on a sweatshirt, made myself a cup of tea and sat down to write.  I started thinking…… You know it’s the off season when You go three weeks instead of two weeks between pedicures You go to a show at 10:00 p.m. (that hasn’t happened YET, but I think that I could pull it off) Wine becomes Continue Reading →

10 days post Kona and Chocolate-Oat Energy Bites

Woo-wee it’s the off-season….or the non-comp season…..or whatever this time of year is supposed to be called.    I’m 10 days past racing in Kona.  After a week of barely any exercise and eating whatever (hello beer, grilled bread, donuts and chocolate-peanut M and M’s…….) I’m easing back into some semblance of a daily sweat and eating things made with kale and sweet potatoes.  Actually, I can only take about a week PLUS of the no exercise/eating whatever thing before I’m ready to get back to my normal, albeit dialed back,  lifestyle.    I jumped on the scale what am I…….effin” crazy? this morning to get some sort of benchmark as to how far I’ve fallen where I’m starting.  I’m only a tad over 5 lbs heavier than I was 3 weeks ago (that was the last time that I got on the scale). That’s not so bad for me.  Usually I’m up a dress size 2 weeks after the end of a season so….I’ll take it. Yesterday, my great friend, Heidi Swanson @veganxplorer sent over a recipe for oat-based energy bites:  I had everything in the house to make these and it took me all of 10 minutes from start to finish.   Continue Reading →

Kona 2014 Race Report

The best way to sum up this experience was that is was a fantastic week with this little thing called an “Ironman” thrown in for good measure. I am lucky enough to have raced in Kona several times prior (this was #5).  I wouldn’t call my attitude last week “complacent” but rather, “relaxed”.  I would be lying if I told you that today I was content with my placement;  but on that day, I was very happy with my finish.  I would also say that, for me, qualifying to tow the line is the bigger deal than the actual racing at Kona.  Once you get there, whether you place 4th or 52nd is not necessarily indicative of your triathlon ability and fitness because the race is so unpredictable.  EVERYONE is good.  EVERYONE is fit.  Kona is an interesting beast. I have seen Ironman age group champions crumble and others persevere. On race day, anything can happen. The Week  It was social. By this I mean, “Focused Athlete Social”.  Up 4:30 a.m. every morning, talking to people on the mainland; returning emails, etc.   The day would break about 6:00 a.m., and then we (me and Julie) would rally the other Groove girls (Gina Continue Reading →

THE QUESTION, The Ultimate Veggie Burger and Gearing up for Final Races

Today, I had THE QUESTION. You know, the one eventually asked by most omnivores to most vegans upon opening up a conversation about diet. You know, THE QUESTION. The BIG QUESTION.  Its huge, even G.I.A.N.T by some standards……. Where do you get your protein? However, I’m not knocking THE QUESTION.  A sense of smugness doesn’t come across me when asked THE QUESTION. I embrace THE QUESTION.  Having had (thus far) a very successful triathlon season, I’ve been dissecting my training and on most weeks fire off a flurry of questions to my coach. I’m sure that there are some of them at which he rolls his eyes and he’s been known to send me back a little snarkiness exasparation? immediately followed the real answer with the science to back it up.  But that’s me.  When I’m into something, I want to understand the madness behind the method.  I teach many culinary classes. Anyone can follow a recipe; but having someone guide you through “whys” of the “what” is really important to the development of most skills. I love responding to THE QUESTION.  Because of my passion for food and nutrition, I can rattle off how many grams of protein that I Continue Reading →

Thoughts, Fuel and Protocol for the Double Long Run Day

I’m getting of the last big workouts checked off before IMWhistler (3 weeks away).  One of the run cards that my coach dealt to me a couple of years ago was the split long run.  Instead doing one loooooonnnnnggg run; he splits it into a seemingly manageable double run: 1:30 in the a.m. and 1:20 in the p.m.  Physically, I think that this workout is easier and ultimately of better quality than the straight up LOOOONNNNGGGG run; but the mental part of waiting until the afternoon to pull off the second half and “the work” is extremely challenging (for me). While running twice in one day doesn’t usually strike me as daunting; the split double long run does.  Seeing it as part of the weekly workouts causes me apprehension and trepidation (which is probably why I was so squirrelly all over social media yesterday).  I mean, isn’t it easier more time efficient just to bang out ONE long run in the cool hours a few minutes past day break and then get on with the fun of the day (plans to hit “In and Out Burger” for lunch were postponed, dammit!)?  This is how yesterday’s workout read: Saturday, July 5th Continue Reading →

Basic Quinoa and Tapering for Boise 70.3

What do I do when I taper?  I cook; I drink tea; I rewrite songs LOL; I get a pedicure; I foam roll; I walk the dogs at night (not getting out of that one with the old “I have a long bike ride with the girls super early tomorrow….”); I bring my workout log to date; I take “Intro to Crossfit”, etc. Tomorrow I leave for the Boise 70.3 Half Ironman and I’ve made a concerted effort to pare down what was left in the frig.  I did a pretty good job as all that remains are jars of nuts, corn tortillas, avocados and condiments.  Ooooohhhh yeah,  there are also 2 bottles of wine as I’ve been really boring abstaining for the better part of 2 weeks. I almost always prepare my own meals for travel.  I find airport and rest stop food expensive and not as satisfying or nutritious unless you count Nutterbutters as “nutritious”. Today I cooked some quinoa and threw in the last of the vegetables, lemon, hemp seeds, seaweed, Sriracha and cumin. Strange flavor combination, I know, but it works.  Although I love ‘em, I don’t usually eat garlic and onions the two or three Continue Reading →

One Potato Two Potato…….

So I’m pretty sure that he’s eating carbs…..he’s training for an Ironman……Who?????  (Insert pic of David Beckham HERE.  Since I didn’t take the shirtless shot, it would be wrong of me to post.  But you get the general idea……:) The last two weeks have been extremely busy with training and work.  I think that this is the first year that I’ve pretty much done exactly what the coach has prescribed (minus a “booty class” here and there–his words).  I’ve been mindful about logging my workouts and even am recently dissecting power files (yeah, a big first).  My training load is manageable–it’s not about logging huge hours but it has a method to the madness.  Sometimes I beg for more (and then immediately regret it as my next workout up feels seemingly more challenging than it should be and I think “why am I asking for more?”).  The take-away here is:  LISTEN TO YOUR COACH.   FOLLOW THE PLAN. One thing I’m super consistent about is a carb-y breakfast.  Make that two.  I usually get up in the middle of the night before daybreak and make a couple of pieces of Cook’s Gluten-Free Sourdough Toast with Forked Avocado. Cook’s is a Continue Reading →

Vegan Coconut-Mango Ceviche and the Heat is On

I am spoiled.  Living on the coast of San Diego, most days are between 68-75 degrees.  A cold day is one that starts out at 39 degrees (when that happens, there’s a little snowflake icon that lights up on the dashboard of my car-super cute) Seriously, being a weather person in San Diego would be a no-brainer 355 days out of the year job security.    This week is different as it is Hot Hot Hot in America’s Finest City. Y’know, the lemme-see-if-I-can-fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk kinda hot. With Skye-the-Husky in tow (quick post-op check-up), I headed down to Road Runner Sports to exchange a pair of Hokas.  For the life of me, I don’t know WHY I thought my shoe size had changed from last year’s mode–duh–had to go back and get the right size #timesuck #imanidiot.  Once inland at RRS, my car thermostat read 99 degrees.   It’s the kind of weather where you just want to lay around the house with little-to-no clothing on instead of going for the run on your training schedule.  I think that two runs tomorrow when it’s 10-15 degrees cooler sounds WAY more appealing So what does one eat in the hot weather? Ceviche, a  South Continue Reading →

Recovery Weeks and Chocolate Espresso Energy Squares

I’m having a recovery week from training so I’ve had more time to do non-triathlon things that I usually reserve for the days in slower months.  I’m quickly finding out that, although I THINK I’m good at recovery weeks; I’m really not as they mess with my head-particularly when the fall smack in the middle of racing season (I could care less in January or February–I’ll take a good food event/movie/weekend away over a workout any day). However, during the racing season,  I stress about staying fit, keeping the miles up, losing strength, etc.  While CONCEPTUALLY I get “Recovery Days”,  I often find myself wanting to add in workouts (today, I did say “no” to what sounded like a fun bike ride, as I did NOT have one scheduled BUT in the same breath, I wanted to go to a one hour Core Strength Yoga class in place of my prescribed 20 minute core workout tonight and then try a new conditioning class tomorrow.  Yeah, I know. Emotion over intellect.  Tomorrow’s class went off the table.  The take-away here is:  follow the plan-there is a reason that it’s written that way. The other day, I tested a batch of energy Continue Reading →

A Gem of a Pinot, Hot Buttered Coffee and Running

I think that when Goldilocks became of age and morphed into an oenophile (she did that, right?), she became enamored with Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir grape is a difficult one to grow and the wines made from it are persnickety; some are too hot and sulfuric; some are too thin and acidic and lack backbone; and only a scant handful are Just Right.  Kokumi, a Japanese word describing a flavor concept with a sense of richness and balance, is the latest of my finds.  This small craft-wine producer out of Sonoma makes a perfect blend. In their words, the wine has a “bing cherry” and “plum” and “strawberry” and “orange zest” and, my favorite, “graphite” (which is wine-geek speak for “mineral”).This was a perfect match to a dinner showcasing some exceptional spring produce-thanks Kevin! On the training front, this past week I’ve finally felt that I’ve gotten the running groove back that’s been missing for so long.  It doesn’t hurt that I have a beautiful stretch of coastline on which to run up and down. I’m a triathlete first and foremost; but I love the run training the most.  Nothing makes me happier than opening up my weekly plan Continue Reading →