Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in Ohio

Kris and I traveled to Ohio for Christmas at my parents house; since they do not have Internet access at their house and I did not have time to go to a cafe to log on so no blogging during this time. 
It was a year since I was in Ohio and able to visit with family.  It was a great holiday with the family.  My 9 year old nephew (Logan) was spoiled; and his aunt helped with the spoiling.  It amazes me that a 9 year old can put together a Lego star wars with over 800 pieces in less than 4 hours.  I could not sit that long and have that type of concentration but it worked great while we were getting dinner ready he worked on the Lego set.  I was able to get him outside a little to run around 2 blocks with Kris and I.  He has a great little sprint/blocking action at the end.  I could not get around him on the sidewalk and he beat me.  I call a rematch!  I enjoyed spending time with Logan; they grow so quickly that we have to take advantage of the time we have with loved ones. 
It was my first gluten free Christmas, a fresh ham, butternut squash risotto; ripen goat cheese with berries & gluten free crackers (was going to do apples but ran out of time); fruit salad, veggie tray with hummus, cranberry applesauce, quinoa salmon salad were the gluten free menu and my sister brought sweet potato casserole and potato salad.  The dinner was good; but it was a little different for my family.  So thanks to my family for being understanding with my situation.  (However, they still do not entirely understand that I just can not "pick" out the crust.)
From the training front, I was able to get a few runs in last week and a couple short bikes which was good after 2 weeks of NOTHING.  The training is back but feeling a little sad because prior to the flu I was starting to feel good running and swimming.  The running is coming back but I have not be in the water in about 3 weeks because of flu and traveling.  I hope it comes back quick; I think my swimming comes back faster than someone who is not a swimmer by background. 

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 Recap Bike Training

I look back at 2009 and I think about the break through I had on my bike training.  I knew I needed to step up my bike training for 2009 to be competitive at Ironman Lake Placid.  Well, I did step it up with a few falls along the way.

It started with a camp in Tuscon at the Cycling House with frineds who train with my coach, Kathleen.  The trip was a huge success ending with a climb up Mt. Lemon 6,000’ +; 36 mile climb up.  I loved the challange and most everyone in the group successfully climbed it.  It is one of those climbs that just goes on forever but if you pace yourself and stick with it you can make it up.  Kris paced me up the climb; at times riding ahead and coming back for me but never leaving me for to long.  At the end it was Brenden with me (so Kris could ride ahead), to keep my spirts up through the end of the climb.  1st climbing training complete and much more to come.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tired of Being Sick

Today I started to feel better after the slide backwards on Monday and Tuesday.  It is 9 days of being sick.  I can list all the holiday events I missed over the past week; very frustrating that I am not able to spend time with friends during the holiday season.  At least I did not eat to much at the parties because I already feel like a blob from being sick.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Flu Continued

On Saturday I started to feel better but by Sunday; I had new symptoms and yuck.  On Sunday, I had planned to do an easy spin and swim to get back into training; that did not happen.  But some good news, fever is still gone but it is replaced with cough and sinus congestion and continued headache. So now 5 days of no training & I have had it with not feeling well.  4 days in bed; now 3 days of basically no activity except working (at a computer), baking, and decided to finish Christmas shopping on-line.  I am ready to feel better.
I decided after going to the doctor, again, and getting more prescriptions; I would help out the medications with a little good food.  (Which is normal, but last week I did not eat much but canned soup.)  I threw together a yummy fruit salad with blackberries, mango, blueberries, and bananas.  It is really good and feels great on the throat. YUM!

For dinner, I needed more help from food.  Lentil casserole I made on Sunday; Chicken I grilled on Saturday and a fridge full of veggies.  Baby bok choy or peppers & onions?  I did the tried and true; onions, peppers, garlic and threw in some cherry tomatoes.   A decent little dinner to help kill these little bugs running around in my body.

The last thing I did in the kitchen today is baked a few small loafs of banana bread - gluten free.  Wow, I had a small slice a few moments ago.  It is fabulous, it is moist and feels like I am eating bread with wheat flour.  Now, I will freeze 3 of the 4 mini loaves.  I am excited to see how they freeze.  (This will help during the season when my training greatly reduces my time in the kitchen.)

I love cooking, baking, experimenting; it is a way for me to be creative and it becomes a science project to me; sometimes they are good sometimes bad. No one needs to know about my absolute failures in the kitchen but I love to share with all when it does turn out. Kris does not to mind both success and failures.  Just received a call from Kris; he is done with his world tour for Winter 2009.   It is nice to have him back in the country.   Time to get some rest with hopes that my body will fights the little bugs getting me down. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Flu...at least it is December

Since Tuesday, I have been laid out with the flu.   The interesting little bug hits fast and hard.  The only hint was a little fatigue that I thought was because of holiday parties, baking and stress's in my life right now.  WRONG, I ran 6 miles on the treadmill in the morning before work, HR and pace was where I would expect it, (not where I want it though); 9 hours later I am thinking about a trainer ride but feel pretty miserable and take my temperature. 102.6 opps no training for me that night.  Just some Advil, fluids and out for the count.  After Dr confirmed what I guessed, I have the flu.  No training for me for a few days.  Actually, nothing for a few days other the lots of liquids, sleep and thankfully Netflix on demand.  At least, starting day 4... I am eating, keeping fever down, sitting up for a while and walked to get my mail since it has been a long 4 days. 
Fortunately it is December and missing a few days sick is not going to effect me.  This is just a small bump.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cancer Stinks

Today, was another reminder of keeping everything in perspective and we do not know the future.  Earlier this year, the day after Ironman Louisville to be exact I found out a very close person to me had ovarian cancer.  (It was hidden from me to not effect my race.)  This hit me pretty hard because I do not live near her to help out or be there for her.  I was told not to change my newly developed plans to go compete in Kona.  Since then, I have talked to her a few times but most of the time she does not feel well and does not talk about it much.

So today... I am talking to my mom and found out an old friend from home has breast cancer.  I do not understand why?  The good news is they were able to get all the cancer but...what? why?   This news has hit me hard and reminding me to appreciate my loved ones plus it is time to make some important decision for my future. 

Back to my off-season, today was the first time I did a same day run and bike.  I am surprised how tiring it is right now.  I had strong sessions for both of them; but after the bike I felt the familiar training fatigue.  My run pace & HR are right where I expect it for low-mid zone 2 and for the bike the power/HR was the same nothing to crazy out of control.  Tomorrow Swimming... More Butterfly?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thursday was a great day of biking and cooking.  Mountain biking was great; we hit the entire trail system at Chicopee including the advanced.  I can now say there is nothing I can not ride there.  It was a fun and challanging 2.5 hours of MTB when we included the advanced trail.  Copperhead has a lot more roots both up and down hill; a little rough on a hard tail.  I was able to ride faster through the corners on the easier trail once we did the copperhead successfully.  No real falls and not many foot down.  YIPPEE! 

Next came dinner, I had prepared in advance as much as I could but we still had 2.5 hours of solid cooking.  We had a great time preparing everything for our little Thanksgiving.  Unbelievable, everything turned out.  Kris did great on the risotto, constant stirring.  A perfect meal to a perfect day... except had to make due with serving dishes that a bachelor has...

Next day 3.5 hours of mountain biking then this...  (BTW, no real falls again!!!)

Needed food and entire body was shaking, how did I do Kona less than 2 months ago and 3.5 hours of MTB destroyed me.  I think it is using all those fast twitch muscles, to get over the roots and stuff. 

I still missed my family this weekend but the two days MTB were perfect with Kris.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This is another Thanksgiving that I am not with my family in Ohio.  I think I am at #5; I miss the wonderful Thanksgivings at my parents house.  But this one is the first one completely gluten free; and one reason I want it to be just me & Kris.  He is always willing to eat gluten free with me. 

The menu:
  • Fresh Turkey
  • Roasted Acorn Squash Risotto
  • Ruby Applesauce
  • Cider Roasted Vegetables
  • Pumkin Cheesecake
Yesterday I spent most of my evening working on preparing everything so it just needs assembled and cooked today.  So first a little mountain biking and fun on the trails.  Then home to a wonderful gluten free feast.

Thank you Karina's Kitchen blog for the recipes

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Love Hate Relationship... Mountain Biking

Kris and I spent Saturday mountain biking at Chicopee.  The day was a perfect fall day for being on the trails.  Since I am new to mountain biking, we start out easy and slow.  We went to the Red loop and I rode it cleanly.  When we completed the Red loop; Kris took some front fork pressure out.  I am still trying to gets Kris's Hardtail Litespeed setup for me.  So we went to the white loop I made all the technical areas that I never had made so I was feel great and had some confidence and like the new setup.  So I tried not to constantly be on my brakes.  BAD mistake, I hit a root incorrectly and lost control.  I am sliding and my hip nails a tree stopping the slide abruptly.  OUCH, darn.  I was doing so well.  I was able to walk off the immediate pain and continue riding.  Hense, the love hate relationship; mountain biking is a great change to the road riding.  I feel like a kid playing in the dirt when I am out on the trails.  It is a great workout; does not feel like I am working hard. (well most of the time)  Each weekend, I get better at mountain biking but every time I try to go faster; I fall increasing my odds of getting hurt.  I do not want to get an injury that will prevent me from training but I want to go faster so Kris can have a good ride; but do not want to get injured.  (On a side note, we did have a fellow rider tell Kris not to let me lead on the uphills because he can not keep up on the up hills.  HA HA HA)

We did continue to ride for another 2.5 hours with no more crashes.  I rode areas that I never road cleanly on the coyote loop, the switch backs!  I did it; it was a great day except the one crash.  I felt like I had a challenging ride and felt very satisfied.  I feel effects of the fall today; my neck feels like a little whiplash and hip really hurt when I did breaststroke otherwise it is just a little bothersome.  So do I continue the mountain biking or give it up to reduce risk of injury...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Swimming like Dolphins

When did triathletes start doing butterfly?  I thought we only knew how to swim freestyle; darn this off-season is throwing me some surprises.  I choose the wrong day to start actually swimming (not just using swimming to stay loose) after my transition period.  Weights/Abs Tuesday, then Wednesday a swim workout completely around butterfly; what kind of sick joke? Butterfly with a pull buoy, WHAT!!  Thanks goodness that was short.  I am not even sure how far I swam today but I did experience something that I very rarely feel in swimming; muscular fatigue.  Stroke was going to crap at the end of the practice so started to think about all the lovely dolphins that I saw in Kona and try to use the abs and back more to lift my arms out of the water.  It worked, I finished.  There has it... I am back swimming a real workout.   On a side note, kudos to Ashley for teaching all the triathletes other strokes and trying to fix all my butterfly flaws I learned XX years ago.  If you ever need to add a little ab work in; just dolphin kick on your back.  A great little ab work!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gorgeous Day for a Run

Had a great morning on Saturday watching Clearwater and following Coach Kathleen rock her way to 2nd place.  Congratulations to all the Clearwater finishers! It was great watching all morning.  I decided it was time to do the Sunday run on Saturday for hope of some mountain biking on Sunday plus it was 76 and sunny so a quiet easy run through the neighborhood and looking at the fall colors seemed perfect.  It was perfect until about 50 minutes into the run; I realized that I had not run more than 45 minutes since Kona and only on a flat treadmill.  Between the hills and head cold; my legs and lungs were fatigued.  Thankfully, I only had a little over a mile left.  I finished and realized it was the slowest run I have had since coming off my sprained ankle last year.  No worries, the lovely weather and scenery made it a perfect run.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hello Off Season (rebuiliding season)!

After a long 2009 season with many highs and lows I am finally in full blown off season.  So I start blogging about my triathlon, cooking and life experiences.  My 2009 season left me excited for 2010 but realizing the importance of rest.  So bring it on...