Saturday, August 28, 2010

Up & Running, Kona and "coldslop" recipe!

Thanks everyone for sending in your pictures/stories of endurance-sport gnarliness. Keep them coming and tell all your friends to send me their gross photos too. I plan on making a cool blog with all your nasty contributions, so don't worry, I won't be stingy and only share this with my CSUF classmates. There's enough grossness to go around.

Moving on...

Knee on the mend for good?
I decided to take Saturday off from any activity, minus some stretching and foam rolling, because things are going really really really good on the workout front and I don't want to push my luck by doing too much too soon. In the last four days, I've had 60 awesome miles of biking (thx to bike commuting), one stellar run and a lot of other fun workouts -- like a distance lake swim with aqua jogging intervals, the usual SPI gnarliness, rowing, etc.

The stellar run was on Friday and came right after master's swim. I got in 20 minutes of running on hard-packed dirt (30 min total since it was walk-run intervals). I felt 100% normal during and after, except the fact that my HR was soaring because I'm so out of shape... but that's the least of my worries right now. In the recent past, I've felt an odd lingering tightness/pressure feeling in and around the knee after "test" runs, but not this time. Woo hoo! I really wanted to workout Saturday, but I'm playing it safe instead. Thankfully we have a solid bike ride planned on Sunday with no slacking allowed.

Kona 2010 Baby!
Me in Kona last year, loving it... and guess what...

...turns out I will be reporting in Kona again this year, this time with Triathlete Magazine!!! I wasn't sure if this was going to pan out, but it is. I have to thank Matt Fitzgerald especially for helping me land this gig. I feel totally blessed that at least one of my talents is taking me to the Big Island for the mother of all triathlons. Be sure to keep an eye out for me in all the coverage. Plus, I think I know even more people who are racing this year, so that will only add to the fun. And D is going, so, well, that speaks volumes :)

Last but not least...

Coldslop aka kick-ass coleslawThis is a healthy guilt-free coleslaw recipe, but I like saying coldslop--I prefer a messy, hands-on eating style so that word is awesome in my book. Anyways, this coleslaw is protein-packed and totally guilt free because I use Greek yogurt instead of the traditional sour cream & mayo blend. I originally saw coleslaw being made on the Food Network (during a trainer sess of course), but it was so fatty and sugar filled... it was screaming for a healthy makeover. Enter TP into the kitchen...

12 oz bag - broccoli slaw blend

10 oz - shredded green cabbage

8 oz - shredded red cabbage

1 heaping handful fresh chopped cilantro

3 carrots - shredded or grated

1 apple coarsely chopped (about walnut-sized chunks)

juice of 3 limes

3 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cup nonfat or lowfat greek yogurt

2 tsp dried chives

1 tbsp dried onion flakes

8-10 packets stevia (or sweetener of choice)

1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in large bowl & chill in fridge for at least an hour for best results.

*Note: For an added kick, add 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper OR red pepper flakes but be careful… mine turned out waaaay too spicy (think I measured cayenne wrong, oops haha)

The above pic was taken a day after letting it chill and soak up the flavors; this pic below is what it looked like before mixing in the yogurt, etc. All fresh.....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Help: In Need of Gross Pictures

So school's back in session and I'm taking an amazing class -- philosophical perspectives of human movement. Sounds weird and boring, but it's not thanks to the awesome professor. He's an accomplished sports psychologist who's worked with some incredible athletes for decades, and in one day he had me hooked. I can tell it's going to be a good class.

Here's the thing. We're doing an "aesthetics" project based on our sport -- so of course mine is triathlon and basically all endurance sports. The project guidelines are pretty loose, we just have to portray our sport in an artsy way that will make everyone go "ohhh, ahhhh" or bring them to tears, or make em laugh, whatever. It's all about depicting your sport in a unique manner.

Sooo, I want to make people say, "Ewww! Wtf?! Gross! Why would people do that to themselves?!"

In order to achieve this, your help is needed. I want to create a picture collage of every gross thing that happens to the body as a result of endurance training -- blisters, lack of toenails, cuts & bruises, chaffing (appropriate-to-show areas), road rash, swelling (including bee sting swelling, a personal fav), injuries of all sorts, passed out at finish lines, taken away by medical, IVs, sunburns... do you see where I'm going with this? I want the harsh realities of triathlon & endurance sports to show how people are so easily willing to cause bodily harm in the name of performance.

So, can you pleeeease send me your gross, gruesome, gnarly photos? Add caption with name, date(s) of incident and optional story of the gross/gruesome thing - a sentence or two is fine.

Leave a comment if you're interested and I'll send you my email. The sooner the better.

And keep it PG... thanks!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Run/Training update

As was suggested in comments on my last post, back to the regularly scheduled triathlete. This is a blog about human-powered sports, no motors!

So, last week was a good one both mentally and physically on the training front.

Things are coming along slowly but surely. I've been biking pain free for 2-3 weeks now, and I'm slowly bringing up the volume. It's tough to see my avg mphs so much slower, but just got to have patience. With all that (+ strength & conditioning 2-4x week), my knee has been feeling great, so we figured it was time for a test run on a treadmill.

This is how I play it safe:
3 rounds...
10 inverted hamstring w toe touch
15 air squats
10 figure fours ea. side (hip/core activation)
10 split squats ea. side
10 windshield wipers (rotate legs side to side, good for the back)
...followed by a few minutes of skipping and walking lunges

treadmill (@ 1% incline)
2 min walk
3 min run (9:30 pace)
2 min walk
3 min run (9:00-9:15 pace)
1.5 min walk
4 min run (9:00-9:15 pace)
few-ish min walk

I focused on hip/glut activation and stable knee/leg tracking through the entire stride. We think my knee tracking was one of the major problems, so I have to work on stopping that. Running at a 9:00-9:30 pace almost made it hard because I wanted to be lazy with my stride, but it allowed me to focus on form & technique so all good. Felt strong.

Tried another run about six days later. Again, all was good. Then late last week, my ART/chiro guy put kineso tape on my glut area--hot pink for "energy" (BS? probably)--and I tried outdoor running on a flat dirt trail. I didn't even care that it was noon and about 150 degrees outside, I wanted to go for it!! Started off with an extensive warmup, then did my walk/run intervals. Logged in ~20 min run time with the intervals combined. Felt good.

By the end of the weekend I was sore. A combo of biking, strength & conditioning and re-introducing running will do that even if the total volume is far below what I once was doing regularly. But it was mostly good soreness. The knee was a tad on the tight side, but no bad/throbbing pain, so just rest on tap.

Hope to keep going with this progression and begin some sort of regular training again! Maybe even a bike race or two before the year ends.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fast cars & fun in Monterey

I'm sort of behind on blogging right now (life is h-e-c-t-i-c). Lots to talk about, including good news in the training/injury dept, but I can't skip last weekend up in Monetery.

One of my grandpa's many cars... I remember watching this one back in the '90s. Lots of wins.

The weekend turned out to be a lot more fun and jam-packed than I even expected, and boy was there a lot of indulgence. I cheated a lot! Half my luggage consisted of workout clothes, but none got used. A true first for me!

The real fun began Friday. It started with brekkie at a cool place I found (I'm the restaurant-scoper-outer of my family). Right away the cheating started. I had coffee with my omlette and fruit. First time in months. It was good. I had more.

Off to the races. The event for my grandpa was tied in with the annual Concourse d' Elegance, and all of Monterey was just insane with the most amazing cars you've ever seen. The cars at Laguna Seca were even more insane.

The best part was the VIP suite. I didn't realize our VIP passes were so VIP-ish! Air-conditioned suite with a patio overlooking the race track complete with amazingly delicious buffet lunches and all-you-can-drink alcohol, etc, all day. I expected subway sandwich platters, but it was totally gourmet fare. Everything from glazed sea bass to elaborate salads and a million things in between. Cheating continued with a glass a wine with lunch.

Eating on the patio overlooking the track... Great location for watching the vintage races.

We also spent a lot of time in the pits checking out all the cool car displays. They had a whole section set up with my grandpa's cars from the '40s to '90s.
Old-school Formula 1...
Apparently this one is a big deal...
My cousin, Haylee, and the sis posing... doesn't Haylee look like Mary Kate Olsen?
Straddling the Alligator...

This one is special... anyone heard of Cannonball Run?
My grandpa's trademark on his cars is the Eagle nose...
My grandpa really was the "star" of the weekend. Usually I just see him at family gatherings, so this was neat to see this. Him in an interview (left)... and him with an endless line of people wanting his autograph...

Randomly, Friday afternoon we hit up the Monterey Aquarium because everyone said you have to go to the aquarium. It was cool. But now that I've seen it once, I don't really need to see it again. I liked the seahorses and flamingos the best, but here's a cool jelly fish:Pretty legit shark masks too...

After an amazing tapas dinner and lots more wine, my sister and I hosted an impromptu dance party in our room. The hotel "accidentally" had to put us in a big suite with a fireplace, so we had lots of room to get down. (Btw, I am an awful dancer, like Elaine on Seinfeld, but I don't give a sh*t haha)

Saturday was more amazing food, wine and racing. To my surprise, I never got bored with all the car mayhem, even though I'm not much of a car person. There were even a couple scares & crashes to keep things interesting (although not good considering how much some of these cars are worth).
My uncle, Alex Gurney, who now races cars professionally, drove one of my grandpa's old cars around the track. He dressed up old-school style with a rag across his fast and all. It was pretty special.

Saturday evening was a little cocktail party to honor my grandpa some more. The guy had been going non-stop for days, and at 80-something, his energy and alertness was amazing. So many people pulling him in every direction 24/7 wanting to talk about decades worth of cars and racing. I can barely remember my races from 2007... don't know how he remembers stuff from the '50s!

My fam with the main man...Some amazing hors d'oeuvres came from this guy....

Speaking of hors d'oeuvres, while stuffing my face with food, I scoped out my future husband and went up to introduce myself.... Patrick Dempsy. Unfortunately, turns out he really does have a wife and kids that he doesn't seem willing to leave them, oh well ;-) But damn, Dr McDreamy is so gorgeous in person and so nice! And he races? Hot.
And this good-looking dude, Dario Franchitti, is also pretty famous in the racecar world, but he already has a hot wife--Ashley Judd. Super nice guy.

After another late night out in downtown Monterey--I actually saw nightlife past 11 p.m. for the first time in months haha!--Sunday came too fast. We decided to take Hwy 1 to SLO. A very beautiful, but long, slow drive that set us up for disaster. After we dropped off my sister in SLO, we sat in traffic for another five or so hours, making the total drive 11 hours (including lunch stop). I hated life from Santa barbara to OC. I'm not good at sitting for long periods, part of the reason why I can't work a 9-5 in an office.

But at least the sights were nice...

Let's just say I burnt off a lot of energy on Monday with workouts, work, errands, chores, you name it! Don't think I sat down for more than 5 min.

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A different kind of racing

Another atypical weekend is approaching. I'm heading up to Monterey to go celebrate and watch some fast RACING. This time it involves cars and horsepower instead of TT bikes and human-produced watts. My grandpa, Dan Gurney (mom's dad), is being honored this weekend for his lifetime achievements and influences in the auto-racing world....It's a big ordeal at Laguna Seca raceway with classic cars, lots of races, cocktail parties, fancy dinners, VIP status, mingling with "big names" (will I even recognize the "big names" of this world? who knows).... Yup, pretty much all things that are never on my typical agenda. I love it! Just hope I can find a gym or a pool for some workouts :)

When I was a kid, my grandpa's fame intimidated me. But that changed to admiration and respect as I grew up and learned about his career and image as a sports icon. Choosing to be a racecar driver back in the '40s-'50s wasn't an easy nor lucrative career path, and he definitely struggled early on. But he never gave up, and his dreams and passion led to immense success. He made it. Big time. And decades later, he's still going strong. I can only hope to have the same amount of success by following my passion. But so far I'm only in the "struggling" phase :)

To put his fame in perspective, back in the day ('60s-'70s) when auto racing was a bigger deal than it seems to be today this was a popular bumper sticker:Ha! Even better... He's won countless races all over the world and built winning race cars for years, but the one thing my gpa did that I LOVE to brag about is this: He was the first one ever to spray a bottle of champagne over a crowd after winning a race. Racing & alcohol... I definitely know I'm in the right family. Work hard / play hard :) Don't believe me... Click here.

So, yea. That's the plan for the rest of my week/weekend. A different change of pace from my usual endurance-sport-focused adventures, but I guess auto racing is an endurance sport in a way, just with a motor! I mean, some of those races go on and on and on, crazy. (By the way, my family thinks I'm slightly crazy for my non-motorized triathlon pursuits.)

I'll come back with good stories/photos!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend slacker

Progress is being made: I can bike again pain-free. Still no green light to run yet... patience. Last week I logged in a couple short "test" trainer sessions, then an extra special Saturday ride. I had a little escape to san diego planned so of course the bike was coming. Early Sat we got in a mellow coastal spin of about 35-40 miles (La Jolla to Carlsbad and back, including Torrey). Most the ride was spent chatting it up and the knee felt close to normal; however, the sad thing--my RPE was pretty high but mph were pathetically low. Sigh. My endurance bites right now. Just will take a lot of work to build it back up!

After the bike I did something I haven't done in ages... laid out at a pool with margaritas. Nice to relax and indulge with sugary sin.
The margarita-maker said the drinks weren't strong. I think he was BSing. But I am a total lightweight, and he, on the other hand, can knock 'em back then go set a PR or do some crazy physical feat (seriously, alcohol seems to enhance his performance). Thankfully a good dinner followed that included a little of this...
I never get sick of salmon. And this was caught by the host himself in Alaska. Doesn't get any better! Yum.

Sunday followed with a much-needed beach day and a day off from "real" exercise. After beach/surf fun I took a two-hour nap. Then I went shopping and for the first time in probably two years, I bought non-exercise-related clothing. I hate shopping. But I also hate raggedy clothes. I need a personal shopper.

The reason I even blog about a weekend like this is because they're rare in my world....

1) I'm NOT the lounge-around-at-the-pool-with-a-drink type. That would get BORING fast! But I have to keep reminding myself this is my offseason and I can afford the rest instead of more miles on the bike and a t-run.

2) Normally my weekends end by Sunday afternoon at which point I head to the computer for work. I have multiple Monday deadlines for newspapers and coaching, and for several reasons I often can't get it all done by Friday so weekend it is! Really, I don't mind because on the other hand I make my own schedule so that includes a lot of weekday exercise/activity anytime between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. when most others are in an office. One of my favs: Monday mid-morning yoga then noon masters in the sunshine.

Good news is I get to be a slacker later this week/weekend too, as long as I get my ish done now... more to come soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

More food creations

I bought myself a present on Friday: a food processor! Super exciting (no sarcasm, I'm dead serious). I think my excitement over this purchase shows that I'm truly a grandma at heart, in case my early bedtimes didn't already do so. I have to brag about my shopping skills too: between a gift certificate and a sale, this $225 Cuisinart cost me a mere $8. Score!

The first first recipe that I was dying to try: Pesto sauce!

More specifically: broccoli rabe, basil and walnut pesto sauce. I've seen a lot of healthy pesto recipes out there that I've wanted to try but couldn't until now--specifically a great one on Mark's Daily Apple. He put his on cod, and I had cod that needed to be cooked. Perfect. I modified by adding the basil and extra lemon. Btw, the good thing about walnuts vs. other nuts is their high omega-3 content and the fact that they have the best ratio of omega-6:omega-3 of all nuts. (We want that ratio to be 2:1 or 4:1, but unfortunately for most it's 10:1 or worse.)

Pesto Recipe:
1 bunch broccoli rabe
couple hearty handfuls of fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup walnuts
2/3 cup olive oil
juice of 1 large lemon
dash of salt

Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 3-5 min then strain. Add olive oil, garlic and walnuts to food processor and grind away, then add the broc, basil, lemon, s&p and grind until a smooth paste is formed. I ended up adding about 1/4 cup water because I didn't want my sauce so thick.
Finished product:The pesto went on this fish, cod sauteed in a little lemon juice and white wine. Oops, I forgot to take pic of it all together.... Food was too good :)
That pesto recipe makes a ton... Initially we had it as a topping on the cod and sitr-fry veggies. Since then, I've eaten some with nearly every meal. Goes great on scrambled eggs or as a salad dressing.

The next day I attempted the slicing mode to make "noodles" out of yellow squash and zucchini. The secret here is after slicing the veggies, you have to remove as much water from the squash/zucc as possible otherwise it turns mushy rather than noodle-like.

Speaking of noodles, my week ended with more than 13k of swimming and rowing. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the pool on Saturday... had personal stuff come up and yoga was all I could fit in before real life took over. But Sunday I got in ~3,000 yds as well as some aqua jogging. My arms were definitely fatigued, but my interval times weren't suffering (in my terms of what I normally can hit) so all good.

I really can't tell if I love or hate swimming right now. I usually hate the going-to-the-pool part. But I don't mind being in there and can stick to a full workout even when alone--no slacking. The best part is being done. Love that feeling. Usually it's either brekkie or lunch after swim, so even better.

Here's a post-swim salad I whipped up. I have a salad for lunch every day, and they're always slightly different. They consist of any veggies that are in our fridge, leftovers, a quality protein source and always a special twist. Sometimes the special twist is a sweet potato (on bigger workout days), but the twist on the salad below was kelp noodles. Mmm mmm seaweed is good.

I think all together this salad had spinach, chopped chicken breast, broccoli slaw, red cabbage, shredded carrots, radish, avocado, beets, fresh chopped cilantro, leftover sauteed bok choy, the kelp noodles and dressing of raspberry vinegarette/dijon mustard, lemon juice, a little salt, pepper and tumeric.