Saturday, August 13, 2016

Esprit De She- Lakeville MN

I've been thinking about writing a new blog post for awhile. Back in May I did a sprint triathlon called the Esprit de She in Lakeville, Minnesota.  I would venture to say that race has been one of my favorite races, if not my favorite. The swim was a short 200 yard pool swim, the bike was a rolling 14 miles, and the run a quick 2.

So you may be wondering, what brings you back to a race you did nearly 3 month ago?  Today I went to rooftop yoga in downtown Janesville held by True Studio, and the teacher Stephanie said something that really resonated with me. She said something along the lines of "in yoga we often name poses after things that children do, because you should do things in your life that bring you back to the joy you felt as a child".  This got me thinking of things that bring me joy. Today I am 8 days away from my first Half Ironman.  For you fellow athletes I'm sure you know my pain in scaling back training on the taper. In honor of next week's half I would like to share with you the joy (and some sorrow) that I felt at my sprint in May:

The week of May 16th came as a tough one. Early in the week I got word that my grandpa was not doing well, and he was in the hospital. A few days later on that Wednesday my dad and his brothers were preparing to drive to FL to see him. That morning I was up at 5:30 swimming laps in the pool with my friend Britten, and I felt my grandpa's presence with me. Later that day I learnt that my grandfather had passed that morning. Next came the question of, do we go to FL, do we stay here?  There was a lot of back and forth, but ultimately my mom and I decided with my older sister that we would still drive to Minnesota to be together. I took off of work early and mom and I headed to MN. We enjoyed our time with Alisha, and reflecting on good times with Grandpa. Saturday we headed down to Lakeville Minnesota for the packet pick-up. I was lucky number 110. At the packet pick-up they were doing temporary tattoos, I looked through the book, and found a turtle, and I knew I had to do the turtle. My grandpa lived in Florida for as long as I could remember, and it made me think of him.

Race day came before I knew it. On race morning I felt a little flustered. Transition 1 and 2 were separate, something I had never experienced before. I went to T2 to set up my run gear, then made my way back to T1 to set up my bike. I saw my friend Clair in transition 1, and we were able to get some pictures from the photographer before we had to lineup. 

The women lined up according to anticipated pace, I was really not sure where I wanted to line up, but I knew that I did not want to be at the back of the pack. I may have thought I was going to be a lot faster than I actually was, oops. I figured for this race I just wanted to go all out. At 7 AM the first swimmer jumped into the water, then before I knew it, it was my turn. I awkwardly jumped into the water and started my swim. We were zig-zagging the lanes for 5 lanes, on my first lane I pushed off the wall, but didn't get enough angle, and I had to duck under the lane line, oops. I was not as fast as I thought, and a few people passed me on the swim, but heck, I even caught up to the girl in front of me, Jamie that I was talking to as we waited to start. Out of the pool I could hear Clair and her aunts cheering for me. I shuffle-ran out to the transition (and may have gotten yelled at for my run). I was out of T1 in 1 minute flat, and soaking wet. 

Seeing how it was May, I thought it would have been a bit warmer than it felt, but I was also soaking wet at 7:30 in the morning. Once I was out of the parking lot I decided I was taking off. I followed the course signs with very few cyclists in sight. The course was rolling hills. A woman came up on me, and she was killing it on the flats, then we would get to the hills and I was killing it on the uphills. We exchanged some jokes about how she would see me again on the hill, and she did. After awhile on the bike I decided I was just going to hammer out the miles as fast as I could, I was having so much fun going up and down the hills. Late on the course there was a big downhill, and you better believe I shifted into my big ring and cruised down that hill pedaling it out. I came into T2, and a lot of the duathlon participants were on their way out of the bike. 

I ran to my spot, and there was a girl on her cell phone stopped right in front of my racking spot. I still feel kind of bad because I raised my voice at her and told her to move. In T2 I was a little slower, but my adrenaline was going. I took off out of T2 and as I passed a volunteer they had a surprised look on their face, looking bad I think it's because I was actually cruising a lot faster on the run than I felt. As usual my legs felt like bricks on the run after the bike. The run course was hot and felt a little miserable at the time. I had a couple of girls pass me, I  joked they needed to slow down they were making me look bad, but they insisted that I was doing great, and I should keep it up. I came around the final turn, and saw my favorite thing: my mom cheering as much as she could for me, arms in the air and all. I finished the race!  Not only did I finish the race, but I also placed 2nd in my age group! 

Esprit De She did something really cool for this race, they had photographers on the course, and they uploaded your pictures to Facebook once they were available. I absolutely love the picture they took of me 5 steps from the finish line, I am catching my breath my my hands on my hips, and the biggest smile on my face. There is something to be said for going out, and giving it everything you've got.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pureflow 2 vs Pureflow 3

If you are anything like me when you see that your favorite shoes are on sale you find justification to buy not only that pair of Pureflow 2's for 45% off, but also the latest and greatest Pureflow 3's. I am a loyal Brooks running advocate because I have found that Brooks running shoes are cut low enough that shoes do not rub on my ankles as other brands do.

When my new pairs of Pureflows arrived today I was mentally noting the differences I see, and decided that I should review these shoes against each other, will the Pureflow 3 be better than the 2?!

The Pureflow 3 appears to have a sleeker, more aesthetically appealing design, but will it be at the cost of functionality? The Pureflow 2 uses a single piece of a microfiber bonded to the outer shoe for support. Other notable differences include the side the shoe tongue is attached to, the material used to line the shoes, perhaps a slightly larger toe box, and a completely redesigned sole.

I hope you will join me in a few weeks for my non-scientific shoe analysis :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Not raw, but still amazing

For a few weeks I have been craving stir-fry, I've had enough vegetables to turn into stir-fry, but haven't had the time. Tonight I decided I wanted it enough to be patient and cook it up, and man was it amazing. I used a recipe I had found in Basic's (natural food co-op) weekly flyer from almost a year ago. The recipe was for Miso Ginger Stir-fry with Sea Vegetables. So naturally I used about 4/15 ingredients they listed :) Have I mentioned I don't always follow directions very well?!

My ingredient list:
-about 1 1/2 cups water
-2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
-grated Ginger
-2 tablespoons walnut oil

-1 medium onion chopped
-2 carrots chopped large
-1 rib celery chopped
-1-2 leaves red cabbage torn apart
-edamame (mine was from the freezer)
-zucchini (optional)

I threw the first 4 ingredients together while I worked on chopping my onion, then I added it to the pan for 2 minutes until soft. Next I added the carrots and celery (really I just added them as I finished chopping them up). I let them simmer for a minute then I added the edamame, red cabbage, and lastly some zucchini spirals I had left over. I served it over brown rice and enjoyed thoroughly. If you like your vegetables crisper you can always saute them with a little oil first and then add the sauce.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Raw Food Success!

It took a lot of prep work, but I must say my Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce was AMAZING!  First I got my ingredients ready (I modified a little, so here is what I used):
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 2 Zucchini 
  • Red Cabbage (about 3-4 leaves)
  • 2 carrots
  • Bean Sprouts
  • 1 Avocado
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
First I washed my veggies, then I got to work. I used my Pampered Chef Spiral and Slice to make the cucumber and zucchini into "noodles". Next I went to work on the red cabbage, to be honest, this was my first time working with cabbage.  I tried to cut the leaves, but they really looked pathetic so I turned to my food processor and added on the grating blade, this method appeared to be a failure at first, but then I noticed that it wasn't liquifying it as it appeared at first, but was actually making smaller grated pieces.  I grated 3-4 leaves and then put them on top of the "noodles".  Next I grated a couple of carrots, grabbed a handful of cilantro, diced some green onion, and threw some bean sprouts on top for this pretty arrangement:

I was prepping this for the next night, so I simply put it in my pampered chef glass Leakproof glass container 

Now onto the Peanut Sauce.  After chopping all of the veggies, my kitchen was a mess, and I was tired, so I decided that I would use regular peanut butter this time.  For the Peanut sauce I also gathered my ingredients:

  • 1 cup (raw) Peanut Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 inch or so of fresh Ginger
  • Lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP Raw Honey
  • 2 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (olive oil)
  • Water
  • Cayenne pepper
I simply combined all of the ingredients in the food processor besides the water and cayenne pepper and blended until smooth.  Add in water until you reach a desired consistency (1/2 cup-1/3 cup). Then I added a little cayenne pepper, I probably added a little more than I wanted, and it made it somewhat spicy, but still really good when I tried it. This made about 2 cups of sauce.  I transferred it to my 3 cup prep bowl and put it in the refrigerator for tonight.

Tonight was the moment of truth, a couple of friends whom I had promised I'd have over after I got back from vacation came over for dinner.  I transferred the veggies into a bigger bowl and mixed them up. I opted to leave the peanut sauce on the side so everyone could choose how much dressing they wanted.  From the first bite the Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce was a slam dunk.  With this recipe it tasted just like any warm Pad Thai I've ever eaten, even though it was completely raw.  The cilantro added a nice fresh taste, and even though I'm not a huge cucumber fan I didn't notice the difference between them and the zucchini.  For how easy the peanut sauce was to make I think I'd make it again and just go with a fewer variety of vegetables depending on time constraints.  I'd give this recipe a 5/5 without blinking an eye.

After we ate most of it!

 Recipe adapted from Raw Food Recipes by Abby Richards

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Raw Smoothies

I can't say that I love the smoothie I made tonight, but I don't hate it either. Similar to any recipe I tend to loosely follow recipes. Well, it didn't work out in my best interest tonight. The recipe book that I have is for 2-4 servings typically but I make my smoothies in a single cup blender, see the problem here? The recipe called for half a lemon, so I threw in half a lemon because I had it in my fridge, but then I didn't add as much of the other fruits and veggies called for (apple, celery and spinach); holy lemon! I'm definitely taking notes to include less lemon than suggested, try it and add more! Apart from all of the lemon I taste right now this smoothie seems like a great summertime drink.

And on a completely different topic, Elizabeth, Rob and I tried a little TRX this morning. Wow, what a workout, I was shaking before I left the athletic club! I wish that they offered free classes so I could do them!

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Year, New Me?

Greetings friends! Here we are January 27th, how many of you have kept your New Year's resolutions? And how many of you like me decided New Year's resolutions weren't really for them? This year I decided that I would pick a project around the house to get done every week, such as go through that junk drawer, or clean out the closet. So far, so good, until I was on vacation last week, so now it's time to get back in it. Which brings me to my point; on vacation last week in Punta Cana the food differences were astounding. Literally from eating too many carbs and delicious fruit for a week buffet overstuffed style I decided it was time for a food change when I got home. Before I left I had downloaded some free books off of Kindle, and was intrigued by a Raw eating recipe book I had downloaded.

I read through the books beginning chapters and skimmed some recipes and decided I could try this raw stuff a few days (meals) a week. So I thought perhaps you would like to share in my new adventure. First up was a veggie breakfast scramble. It was pretty easy with my food processor in hand. I blended sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and almonds until they were flour like, then added some cumin, chili powder and almond milk. Then I simply stirred in a tomato and scallion, and I was done! It was a relatively painless process, and the scramble didn't turn out too bad, although I think I'd omit the sunflower seeds next time.

My next project was with my mom's dehydrator, it didn't have any instructions, so I'm winging it. I put some blueberries and apple slices to get started. After work the apples were ready and will be a delicious snack; the blueberries are still dehydrating and on their way into blueberry vinaigrette dressing!

Project 3 after work tonight was a delicious smoothie. I blended a banana, half an apple, cocoa powder, spinach, and almond milk. So far, so good. I'm hoping to keep prepping some raw meals and share them with you guys. Have you ever cooked raw? Any suggestions for this newby?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Road ID

Road ID - Because you never know.  No one plans to have an accident while out running, biking, or whatever it is you like to do.  How many times have you been driving along and see another driver distracted, whether on their phone, yelling at their children, or just plain not paying attention?  Road ID is having a holiday sale until November 24th with 10-60% off.  I personally have 2 interactive ID's myself; one sport, and one slim wrist.  The sport was my 1st, and I still love it, but needed a new band, so I just ordered one for less than $4.  I chose interactive because my information may change, and a lot more information can be obtained quickly.