What’s Crazy? Giving Your Bike a Flat Tire So You Can Practice Changing It…

FOOD

Good food days!  It’s always nice when I have leftovers available, and as hectic as the past two days have been, that’s a really good thing too!

The coffee D made on Monday morning was icky.  I’ve been using coupons and buying whatever is on sale for the most part.  We used to be total coffee snobs (hello…we lived near Seattle in the late-90’s!).  When we moved from WA to WI in 1999, I remember going to the mall and buying a raspberry mocha from Gloria Jean’s Coffee Beans (were no Starbucks there – though frankly only the tourists in Seattle ever went to Starbucks).  They used chocolate milk, and it tasted like NyQuil.  As soon as we got home, D ordered me a cheap espresso machine from QVC so I could make my own!  When we bought coffee, it was only whole bean, and we’d often make custom blends.  My favorite was an Italian coffee, and we’d sometimes even order it!  We’re so not like that anymore!  My coffee consumption has gone down a ton, and we’ve pretty much become a Foldger’s family.  Still…if nice coffee is on sale, I’ll pick it up as a “treat”.  Well…apparently my expensive coffee taste buds no longer exist, because the stuff on Monday was not good.  I think because I drink black coffee, it’s impossible for me to mask the bad flavors with sweeteners and creamer.  Anyway, D noticed I didn’t like it and actually dumped it and made a new pot so I could have my single daily cup of joe.  He’s such a thoughtful guy!

I had to run out the door on Tuesday to get downtown for the day, so I threw together a breakfast salad to eat once I was there.  I have these containers called Fit N Fresh.  I’ve had them for years, and they’re totally awesome.  They sell them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and Target.  Anyway, they all have little snap in ice packs, so if I’m taking food where I don’t have access to a fridge (or don’t want to use the communal office fridge because they’re gross), these are perfect.  The kids use them all the time for school lunches (I don’t believe in using baggies or disposable packaging whenever possible), so they can take things like pasta or lettuce salads, sushi, or anything they want to keep chilled.  Anyway (excuse my rambling..I have a strange love for Tupperware and similar products), I threw together an awesome breakfast of fresh spinach, tofu eggless salad, the raw spiralized salad I made on Monday, and some sprouted lentils.  Again, totally full for hours.

An aerial view of my container!
my breakfast salad (notice it’s stuck between a laptop and a normal keyboard…yep…that busy!

Lunch was some reheated butternut squash mac and “un” cheese between conference calls.  Also very tasty and filling.  It’s a good thing too, since I frankly didn’t have time for lunch.  I brought an apple and a banana with me too in case I got the munchies…which I didn’t (was too busy…and full!).  On the car ride home stuck in craptastic traffic at 530, I ate my banana.  By the time I got home, figured out dinner for D and the kids, I had just enough time to drink a glass of chocolate soy milk (I had a sweet tooth) before running out the door just before 7.  I was a little hungry when I finally got home just after 9, but I certainly wasn’t going to eat that late…I’d never have fallen asleep.  Is it just me?  I can’t sleep if I have much food in my belly.

Breakfast this morning was a fresh juice smoothie.  I used the Vitamix instead of the juicer (I was looking for something filling…and honestly the Vitamix takes 45 seconds to clean, where the juicer has to be dismantled and put through the dishwasher!).  I didn’t add any water, so it was thick.  Just fresh pineapple, two peeled mandarin oranges, and fresh sliced mango.  It was really good and quite filling. 

I snacked on some baked lentil chips from Trader Joe’s.  I like my salty snacks, and with being gluten free – at least for Lent – I needed to go shopping and stock up on some alternatives!  These were actually really good (notice I said ‘were’…yes…they are now gone!), and quite frankly, pretty low calorie and very low in fat.  They were simply salt and pepper, and I was surprised by the spiciness.  If you have a TJ’s near you, I’d highly suggest them!

Lunch was a lentil and rice pilaf.  I’ll be honest – it wasn’t one I made from scratch.  It was the boxed Near East brand, and I didn’t like it too well.  I ate a little (with a ton of hot sauce) and decided I wasn’t hungry enough to eat any more.  I was also too busy to get anything else, so I finished it and went about my day.

Dinner tonight was totally awesome.  I made tempeh taco’s with a pickled radish slaw from a great site.  I actually made the radish slaw on Monday so it could pickle for a few days.  I didn’t realize I didn’t have OJ until it was mostly made, so I substituted a peach, mango, orange juice I DID have.  It did impart a different flavor, but no less awesome.

The tacos had a touch of spice from the chili powder (I used Ancho chili powder because it was what I had on hand), and I topped it with the slaw, chopped cilantro, onion, tomato, lettuce, and avocado.  Holy yummy.  I only have leftovers because I was going to run an hour later and couldn’t be TOO full.  I want to eat them all, but I may have to use my leftovers to give to friends and lure them into the awesomeness that is vegan eating!  Or…I can just email them the recipe and keep it all to myself.  That sounds good too.

this is what the tempeh packaging typically looks like.  In a regular grocery, it’s usually in the produce section on the hippie shelf
this is what it looks like right when you take it out of the package.  Don’t be scared – it’s SUPPOSED to look like that.  It’s not moldy or rotten or anything.
so I cubed it up, tossed it with the spices on the recipe (olive oil, cumin, garlic, chili powder, OJ, etc) and sauteed it up until nicely golden brown
all the toppings to decorate my tacos!  In the mason jar is the pickled radish and onion slaw.  I’m totally going to use that on everything for a while…until I can make more.  yeah for me, yet another way I find I can like radishes!
the finished product on some fresh corn tortillas.  I debated using romaine lettuce cups, but wanted the good carbs for my run.

FITNESS

Tuesday’s are normally run days for me, but instead it was Tri Club clinic night!  W held a clinic for us newbies to go over race day and transitions and to make us practice changing flat tires.

He told us to come with our front bike tires and two tire levers.  I felt like a moron – but I didn’t know what a tire lever was!  Apparently when everyone else uses butter knives or screwdrivers to take the rubber off the tire…there are actually TOOLS for that!  I am now the proud owner of a couple tire levers ($3 for 3 of them…can’t really complain about that…but it’s going into my running total of just how expensive this tri sport thing is!).  I also couldn’t figure out how to get my bike tire off (don’t laugh…I know my Dad is cringing right now reading this).  I was worried I was going to break something when D and I couldn’t just pop it off….so I put my bike in the van, went to the shop a couple minutes early, and A came out and showed me how to take it off. 

W, his wife M (who is in our club and a very awesome triathlete), and the morning Tri Club coach P proceeded to scare the crap out of us for over an hour with “tips” and “rules” about race day and transitions.  So essentially….

*forget your helmet.  Disqualified.
*forget your race number.  Disqualified.
*have anyone touch you or help you in any way.  Disqualified.
*anyone lends aid to you when you get a flat tire.  Disqualified.  (this ain’t no charity ride…no help wagons here my friends!  Do it yourself, or quit.)
*have a family member or crowd supporter hand you a bottle of water.  Disqualified.
*sneeze.  Disqualified (just kidding.  checking to see if you were paying attention).

Then there was the discussion of socks or no socks.  When you run from the water to the transition area with hundreds of other wet people to get your bike, you always get muddy.  Do you put socks on, or not?  M doesn’t do socks, W does – but with baby powder.  And P demonstrated how you roll them down in the set up, so when you’re feet are wet and muddy, you can easily put socks on your filthy feet.

Oh and the Tri is April 2nd.  April is a schizophrenic month in Virginia.  It could be 80.  It could be 30.  Regardless…I get out of the pool soaking wet and half naked and have to bike in whatever whether God has thrown at me and try not to get pneumonia.  Does this sound fun yet?

At this point, I’m freaked out.  The whole concept of what I’ve gotten myself into has now wormed it’s way into my head and is playing mental games with me.  I’m not ready.  I’m not in shape enough.  I’m going to die doing this.  Things like that bouncing around in my noggin.

I was IMing and emailing with my husband today about my total mental breakdown on the subject of the possibility of actually doing this and living to try and do it again, and he sent me this little nugget of wisdom.  “So what?  does it really matter if you’re not a Kenyan ultra uber super de-duper mega marathon triathlon sprinter pole vaulter triple jumper first place finishing star athlete?  You’re doing this for you.”  Truer words have never been spoken (or…emailed as the case may be).  Thanks baby.  My head is still screwed up on this…but this helped.

After he scared us, he made us practice fixing our flat tires.  Twice.  So we had to let all the air out, take out the inner tube, inflate it a bit with our mouths to give it shape, but it back in, put the rubber back on, and pump it up.  And learn how to use CO2 cartridges since there aren’t random tire pumps on the side of the road.  Though that would be cool.  Did I mention we had to do it twice?  I got to use my groovy new tire levers at least.  And found out I need to get a wedge bag for my saddle with all the necessary supplies to self service during the race should I get a flat.  Add THAT to the running total….

I finally started taking some pictures.  At one point, M took my camera and took a couple of me. 

my coach is wearing the brown shirt.  P, the morning club coach is the one standing, but leaning over in the grey shirt on the left.
This is L.  She’s very cool, and has done this before.  Always has encouraging things to say when things get tough
this is me!  Using my cool tire lever 🙂

I got home later than planned (W talks a lot…our 1 hr clinic turned into almost 2!).  It was a great use of time though.  I feel a bit better prepared.

Today I went swimming right after work.  Not a ton, just a 750 yd swim.  It was good, but I had a hard time focusing.  Due to major work problems, my pager and phone were going off like crazy, and I was worried about missing something vital (oh, like a call from a VP….again).  I stayed in long enough to get 15 laps done, and hopped out.

It’s was also Tri Club run night.  About a 6ish miler in our regular loop…half or so at race pace, a quarter either warming up or cooling down, and another quarter at tempo.  Yeah…I made it about 3/4 of a mile when my phone rang.  It sucked, but I had to head back and leave.  Duty called I guess.  So tomorrow – which is normally my rest day – will be a run day so I can make up for today.  If I have the energy, I may try and do two runs tomorrow.  One to make up for yesterday, and one for today.  We’ll see.  I hate morning runs.

LIFE

Do you ever have days where you think you’re surrounded by people who just try to go out of their way to make life difficult for you?  Yeah.  Me too.

So I try not to whine about work things much, because in the end, I really and truly love what I do and where I do it.  I have the world’s coolest boss, I get trusted to do the job I want to do the way I want to do it, my customers are great people who do their best to save peoples lives every single day (and I try to give them the technology tools to help them do that), and my team is the coolest ever of hardworking, dedicated, and smart people.  I certainly cannot complain about that.

But this week.  I’m in total chaos.  First – we have a new hospital near DC.  I have until October to bring my systems live at their hospital.  Yeah – all looks good.  Plenty of money budgeted for the one I have to take…until the vendor tells me…oh, your hardware can’t handle it and it should be replaced.  Hello, unbdugeted project.  No problem, I have to do this, not exactly optional, so my boss (coolest boss ever, remember?), gets me the money.  Not cheap either.  Nice!  But not until my vendor tries to sell me the Cadillac when all I need right now is a pinto.  I’ll buy the Cadillac NEXT year when I can budget for it.  That took most of my energy for a few days, but seems to be going okay for now….

Oh, and this system has no test system – only production (I haven’t had this system for very long…only about 3 months).  So what does my coolest boss do?  Get’s me the money.  Unbudgeted.

And my newest inherited system?  Crashed.  Three times.  TODAY.  Political nightmare this one has been.  This is a case of it being a REALLY old system (like 8 years old, never been upgraded) and no one was willing to invest the money they needed to to keep it rolling.  So what has my boss done?  Give me nearly a blank check to get it fixed the way I think it needs to be done so it’ll work well for my customers.  Again…unbudgeted.  And it isn’t going to be cheap.  Coolest Boss Ever.  But at some point, they’re going to figure out I’m too expensive to keep around!

Then I have another vendor on a new project quote me one thing – and then tell me (5 months later), that it’ll cost that….times 7…if I REALLY want to do the project we asked for…7 months ago.  Can I tell ya…same vendor as the other project.  Ugh.  That’s fun news to break…”sorry boss….this isn’t a $1.5 million dollar project….more like add an additional $300k and we can do what we were told we could last summer).  Yep.  That’ll fly well.  I know they’re just doing their jobs too..but today they are my scapegoats.  Tomorrow is another day.

So here I am whining about the job I love.  But I’m not.  It’s not the job that’s upsetting at all…quite the opposite actually.  Just a frustrating few weeks/months that will somehow work itself out like it always does because of the people I have the honor of working with.  Helps to have the Coolest Boss Ever.  So when I see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize a bit too late that it’s an oncoming train…she’ll be there to pull me out of the way just before I get squished.

On other notes….my plans for the rest of the week and through the weekend are pretty crazy too!  I have a dentist appt tomorrow, it’s Irish day tomorrow – my second favorite holiday and reason alone to celebrate somehow…typically with green beer, Sammie has a vet appt on Friday for vaccinations and for “getting old”, Friday night is Tri Club swim trials, Saturday is a group ride to raise money to support Red Cross Japan (which I haven’t mentioned on my blog because I try to keep my writing light hearted and goofy…and I am absolutely horrified and worried about Japan and what they’re facing…and can’t really convey it appropriately here), then swim again (this time while R has her lessons), stop at the Shamrock sports expo, cheer on some runners, and then head to DC for a couple days of meetings and general chaos.  Oh, and I got suckered into stopping by my friend’s house on Friday morning before work to give her cat his meds!  (she’s going camping to celebrate her hubby’s bday).  So…I imagine that with all of those activities, some of the stories I have to tell will be more interesting than my work drama!

Oh….and my turtle!  I almost forgot!  So D “rescued” a baby turtle near his office back in November.  Up until fairly recently, I’ve constantly worried that he’s been on the verge of death (never seen him eat, never really see him move from his fake shrub).  The last few weeks, he’s been a swimming fool though, and seems to be doing well.  I actually caught him sunning himself on his rock today, and was so excited I took pictures.  So goodnight, and here’s Kiko!

Bras Aren’t Pockets

FOOD

Sunday was pretty much a cereal day.  At least for two of my meals it was!  Breakfast was some cereal, vanilla soymilk, and half a banana.  And a cup of coffee of course.  I was in a hurry to get out of the house and just didn’t feel like preparing anything.

Around lunch time I made some tofu eggless salad that was really good.  I toasted a couple slices of a gluten free bread I picked up at Trader Joe’s and made open faced sandwhiches (I get more eggless salad that way!).  That was my pre-workout meal.  I can’t really guage it’s effectiveness since I didn’t eat close enough to the workout though.

basic recipe with veganaise, dry mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, salt, and pepper.  Can’t really go wrong!
lunch.  the bread slices are really tiny!

For dinner I was really hungry.  I ate the rest of the “pineapple stir fry” from Saturday, but was still hungry.  Hence my second bowl of cereal for the day (sans banana).

This morning I made tofu eggless salad cups for breakfast and sprinkled them with sprouted lentils for some crunch.  I think it was a better use of my calories, and just as filling as when I used the bread. 

Lunch was a macaroni and “un” cheese recipe I found as a link on one of the blogs I follow regularly.  The sauce is made with butternut squash, I skipped the bread crumbs, and I used brown rice noodles.  It was good (though needed salt) and very filling. 

I doubled the recipe so I’d have plenty for leftovers this week
I’m sorry…but doesn’t it just look awesome????  Who needs cheese?!

I’ve been going a little crazy with my spiralizer today.  I spiralized carrots, zucchini, and apple!  I tossed all that with some cabbage and pumpkin seeds, and a dressing of veganaise, stevia, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar (would have added horseradish if I had any) based off of Love, Veggies, and Yoga’s recipe.  Averie has many posts where she uses this versatile sauce and adds different things to it.  Very yummy, and it’ll definitely be a staple!!  After letting it marinate most of the afternoon, I put a dollop on top of some baby spinach leaves, and that was dinner.  Really, really good. 

vegan slaw dressing.  It made quite a bit, so I’ll have plenty over the next week or so
my salad with my spiralized fruit and veggies!

Oh, and I ate a clif bar before the bike ride tonight.  I was in a hurry, hungry, and it’s always done well for me before a workout.

FITNESS

Yesterday was a practice brick on the Smithfield course.  We all met up at the bike shop at 315pm and caravaned the hour drive to Smithfield.  It was a lot harder (and shorter) than I thought it would be.  First the harder part.  Hills.  Nothing like the hills in WI (which I haven’t biked in a LONG time), but still way more than we have where I live in VA.   I was constantly afraid of falling because it was my first ride clipped into my pedals, but I didn’t, so that’s good!  It was tough, but I got through.  I also thought it was 14 miles for some reason, but it’s only 10.  Good thing too.

The run was really hard after.  Unlike last week where running right after biking felt great – yesterday it didn’t.  My legs were rubber and I never hit a stride, which scares me.  I also fell (looking ahead of me instead of down at the big pile of branches and the ditch), and twisted my ankle a bit.  Felt more foolish than anything else.  So I didn’t fall while clipped into my bike going up hills – but I fell while running on a pretty flat surface.  Yeah….I got the irony of that one too.

The good news is that it was a beautiful day.  Upper 60’s, sunny, but more windy than I’d like.  Well, honestly I’d have loved NO wind, but that’s sort of impossible.  Anyway, I wore a sports bra, tank top, and tri shorts.  I’m all proud of myself that I looked athlete-ish, when I realized….I have no pockets.  And no little bags on my bike.  So what’s a girl to do with her keys, and Gu, and piece of paper that explains the routes???  Stick it in her bra, that’s what.  I’m sure it was hilarious as I was trying to find my key so I could stick my bike in the back of the van and grab my running shoes, or when I was hunting for the Gu at the end of the bike ride and before the run.  Everyone had a chuckle out of it and showed me their tiny little bags to store stuff like that.  It’s a darned good thing that my bras are pretty industrial strength..or I’d have been in trouble.  My hubby is awesome though…on the way home from work today, he stopped at Fat Frogs and bought me a little bag!

Tonight was our Tri club ride night.  So far, all of our rides have been either in a spin room or on trainers at the shop.  Tonight, though, was our first outdoor ride!  We were originally going to do a shop ride on the trainers, but after seeing our performance on the course last night, W wanted us to ride outside.  I can tell you that I most definitely needed that myself.  We all met up around 615pm and took off about 15 or so minutes later.  K and I stayed together since we’re pretty much at the same pace, and W rode most of the way with us too.  Much of my group are really great at this, and many have been doing it a long time.  They’re always encouraging of us newby back of the packers though, which does wonders when you’re only halfway through into a head wind and feel like giving up.

We went 13 miles total.  W would have liked us to do more, but we ran out of light.  Most of us finished just as the sun was setting and it was getting dark (for those who remember this growing up – street lights were on, so I should have been home!).  A few of us were hanging out where we had parked and were talking, when we realized two of our club members weren’t back yet.  It was WAY after full dark, and we were getting a bit worried.  They showed up about 10 minutes later laughing they had gotten lost.  Good thing B had a phone and used her GPS to find her their way back. 

Oh, and I used my new little bag to store my ID and my car key!!!  In the future..going to put my phone in it too.

Tomorrow we have a club clinic where W will walk us through the process of transitions during the race.  Like – where do I put my stuff between the different legs of the race?  What are the rules (like if you don’t have your helmet on when you leave the transition area, you get disqualified – important things like that).  I’m looking forward to it.

LIFE

The past couple of days have been mostly peaceful.  Well, except for today!  I didn’t sleep last night (D’s fault…he kept snoring and waking me up).  One of the kids was running a fever last night and stayed home today – so I did as well.  I’m fortunate to often have the option of conference calls and webex’s most of the time if I need to, and today was one of those days.  Between 4 meetings and scrambling around making sure my daughter was okay and cooking, it was busy and I didn’t get out of my jammies until after 5pm.

Saturday and Sunday were both beautiful, and my dog spent most of it outside sunning herself.  I’m getting worried about her.  I’m not handling her aging well.  I’ve noticed in the past two months that she’s not hearing as well (a car would drive by, and she’d bark her head off….now, she rarely notices unless someone rings the bell).  She’d always know when I was coming home and be at the window as my car drove up.  Not anymore.  She isn’t usually aware I’m home until I open the door.  Her eyes are a little cloudy, and she moves a little slower.  She’s still a puppy at heart, but as a Yellow Lab almost 9, I know she’s getting up there.  I just don’t like it.

Sammie on the back deck.  I’d have opened the screen, but I didn’t want her to move and ruin my shot!

R was playing with Playdoh this weekend.  The rules are she has to play in the kitchen and pick up after herself.  She decided to make a play doh version of me.  Very close likeness, if I do say so myself.

my play doh clone
without any promting, she grabbed the broom and started sweeping when she was done.  This was before she noticed I was watching…
…and after.  She’s a total ham…

This weekend is the Shamrock marathon weekend in Virginia Beach.  It’s the first year I haven’t done it since 2005 (the year after we moved here) and I’m kind of sad about that.  I’m still going to the Expo (I LOVE expos) and I’m planning to go down and cheer people on.  The crowds make the race, so if I’m not running it, I want to be cheering people on.  I know a bunch of people doing the half and a couple doing the full, so the least I can do is go down, drink some green beer, and root people on.  I know what it’s like to be dragging and have some random stranger in the crowd say something that makes me pick it up a bit.  It’ll be nice to be that someone for someone else for once.

Jellybean Hangovers Suck

FOOD

I can’t complain too much on the food front the past few days.  I got to have Thai food twice (both lunches….one with a friend because we needed to escape a bit, and one was a working/meeting lunch, but still very nice).  Besides, Tofu Green Curry twice in one week can rarely be a bad thing.

I made quite a few things – thanks to my Living Cookbook 2011.  It’s so easy to put recipes from blogs or magazines in it, that I’ve been actually able to make a bunch of yummy things. 

Allow me to illustrate!

From Love, Veggies, and Yoga comes the Cheezy Vegetable Bake!  Not much could be easier, and I highly recommend it for a quick meal that you can make with ingredients on hand.  For mine, I used 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped carrots, chopped broccoli, a can of Amy’s No Chicken Noodle soup (vegan of course), some spicy sesame salad sprinkle from the spice kit from my dad, and some nutritional yeast to give it that cheesy flavor.  Put it all together, bake it, and done! 

right after coming out of the oven
I’m a fan of a few of the Amy’s products when I’m in a hurry



dinner!



I also made an awesome raw breakfast Tuesday night for Wednesday morning.  I had a ridiculously early morning meeting (7am), and figured this was the perfect time to try one I’ve been looking at.  I didn’t take pictures because I ate it during the meeting (and while I’m totally cool whipping out the camera at a restaurant or friends house to snap pics of my meals….not so much at a 7am meeting with a bunch of cardiologists as I’m trying to keep a low profile – everyone hates IT people!).
Anyway, it’s from Oh She Glows, and it’s a chocolate banana oatmeal chia seed concoction that is absolute heaven.  I of course used vanilla soy milk instead of almond milk since we’re a nut free house.  It was so tasty and filling and satisfying that I can’t wait to make this a regular thing.  The fun thing is you just mix everything together the night before, and you have instant breakfast in the morning!
Breakfast this morning was a cup of coffee and then a raw avocado soup.  I know it may sound weird, but it was really good.  I put a cup of water, a peeled and pitted avocado, a garlic clove, some crushed red pepper, and lemon juice into the Vitamix and blended until smooth.  I topped it with some red onion and sliced cherry tomatoes.  It was really tasty, and I got the recipe from a raw food cookbook I picked up a few weeks ago and love.
I know it isn’t pretty…but it was really good!  Maybe a bit too spicy for a breakfast meal if you just woke up, but I was up an hour or two before I had it, so I was good!
At lunch time, R and I were at the mall, and I got to have my favorite Veggie Pho soup – loaded with rice noodles, broccoli, scallions, cabbage, and carrots. 
I made a juice as a snack after R and I got home.  Green apple, carrot, ginger, mango, pineapple, spinach, and orange in the juicer – not Vitamix.  Super yummy.
Dinner was a raw food extravaganza.  I didn’t wake up today planning for it to be a mostly raw day, but it just ended up that way.  I’m excited that it may be becoming a more natural alternative.  I’ll never go fully raw (I love my coffee, beans, and tofu too much), but I still love having raw meals too.   I ordered a sprializer from Amazon earlier in the week (so I can make noodles from veggies!).  It came today, so I just HAD to make zucchini noodles!  I marinated those and some tomatoes in a marinade of olive oil, tamari (soy sauce), and lemon juice for 2-3 hours.  It softened the zucchini and they tasted like al dente noodles.  Absolutely amazing!
my fun new sprializer
spiralized zucchini “noodles”
I also whipped out my dehydrator to make the pineapple “stir-fry” from the Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!) blog.  I was HIGHLY impressed.  I have a cheap-o dehydrator and it still did an awesome job.  Of course I had to use my new spiralizer on the carrots, but otherwise I just chopped up the veggies, tossed in the sauce, and put on the dehydrator try for about 2.5 hrs.  It was a little warmed and the veggies and pineapple had a soft but crunchy taste to them.  The marinade made the meal – especially since I’m such a balsamic vinegar fan.  The only thing I think I’ll do next time is reduce the amount of agave nectar.  It was a touch too sweet for me.
FITNESS
This week was all about rearranging the schedule.  I ran at home on Tuesday, and got 4 miles in.  I wasn’t going to, but I realized on Monday (thanks to a Tri club team mate), that Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and I was going to miss the Tri Club run.  It was rainy and crappy out, so I ran on the treadmill.  Not my favorite, but at least I have that option.
I missed the Friday swim club due to some drama with my son (long story….but working itself out.  He can’t be perfect ALL the time I guess).  I did go to the pool this morning though to get my workout in.  1000 yds in 25 minutes.  R’s swim class is a half hour, so I wanted to swim while she did.  Then we played in the other pool for a bit (somehow, I always end up being the horse that swims her around on my back).  She went on the slide, and then we hung out in the hot tub before showering up.
I am doing the Tri club’s brick workout tomorrow on the Smithfield course (the triathlon course) tomorrow.  We’re doing the course’s bike and run.  I’m nervous, but excited too (Smithfield has hills…which we do NOT where I live…too close to the ocean I guess).  I didn’t do the Fat Frogs group ride today because I want to be not sore for tomorrow.  I did, however, finally get clip shoes and pedals!  I put my bike up on the trainer this evening, practiced getting into and out of my pedals (I’m totally scared of falling), and cycled while watching Miami Vice on my computer in the green room (called such because of the wall colors and my lack of imagination otherwise).  I’m going to do a few laps in my neighborhood in the morning to practice on the road before the brick tomorrow.



my cool new shoes



don’t mind the mess.  This is the office/guest room.  Only room downstairs with carpet, so that’s where I cycle at home.

I have to say that I love Fat Frogs.  R and I went there after the mall, and they totally hooked me up.  They didn’t try to sell me the most expensive brands (like somewhere else I checked out did), and walked me through what was appropriate (and least expensive) for an entry level cyclist.  Then they put the pedals on my bike, put my bike up on their mount, and had me practice until I knew what I was doing.  W (my coach) was there (it’s his shop) and made some adjustments so the springs in the pedals where what they should be.  I ended up spending less on the shoes and pedals combined than I would have on just shoes at the other place.  Yeah Fat Frogs!!!
LIFE
A quick note on Lent.  Most people know that Lent started this past week.  The past few years, I haven’t given up anything, but rather tried working on what I think are my character flaws.  This year, I am doing both.  I’ve given up gluten (something I’ve always wanted to do, but never managed to stick with), and am working on improving my tolerance and understanding (it’s really so I can cope better at work more than anything else- the source of a lot of my stress is related to that – but it’s a good thing to work on regardless).
I was at the grocery a couple of days ago, passed by the Easter candy section, and ended up picking up a couple bags of jelly beans. Now…I’m NOT a candy eater most of the time, and I avoid sugar pretty regularly. Unfortunately, my stress level is the worst it’s been in a long time, and I found I absolutely NEEDED jellybeans as soon as I saw them. Yeah…I apparently forgot to tell my body about the sugar influx, and it didn’t react well at all. I ate jelly beans. Loved them all…and then couldn’t feel well for hours! I think I brushed my teeth 3 times, and finally just curled up in bed and drank as much water and I could trying to flush the nasty sugar out. Ick.  Jellybean hangover.

I wish I could say life has calmed down the past week or so.  It hasn’t.  I can’t remember when I’ve sustained this high of a stress level for this long.  It’s starting to take it’s toll on me, and I’m just counting down the days until vacation.
Speaking of vacations…..I’m an idiot.  Remember how I mentioned that R and I are taking a mommy-and-me trip to Disney World in April??  Well, I booked the trip this past Monday.  I got a killer deal on a two bedroom Sheraton Condo a half a mile from the Disney compound (about $370 for 5 days).  There’s a full kitchen and plenty of space (R told me to bring my juicer, which I thought was cute).  Anyway, a week or so ago I had looked at my calendar to confirm my days off, etc, and booked the trip accordingly.  I was meeting with my boss on Tuesday morning, and it turns out she’s taking her kids (and a friend each) to Disney during spring break too!  Cool….(her daughter is 16, and could watch R while my boss and I met at the hotel bar for a drink, right???).  My boss tells me the dates she’s going – and it’s the week after I am.  Bummer.  I guess my city has a different spring break than hers.  Strange, but not impossible.  Yeah.  Not really.  I went home and checked the school calendar….I had blocked the wrong week off!  Of course the trip is pretty much non-refundable, so I’m going to Disney a week earlier than I should be….which means R gets to take 3 unplanned days off of school.   Oops.
I did get a nice break on Thursday though.  3 of my girlfriends and I went out for drinks after work, and it was really nice.  I think we all needed it (A’s husband went out of town this week, S’s cat has been sick – but he seems on the mend, and L needed a break just like I did).  We spent about 4 hours chatting, eating, and having a couple of beers.  Yeah for girlfriends when life gets tough.
D hasn’t been feeling well, and we realized early this week that he’s in the beginning stages of a Crohn’s flare up.  He’s been good about his meds, but bad on his eating habits and stress levels.  He had 5 go-lives in 2 weeks, worked a lot of crazy hours, and he’s finding that the sheer physical stress can trigger a flare up.  He called his doctor who put him on the “flare up meds” yesterday.  Unfortunately, the treatment is as horrific as the disease is, and the meds make him sick.  The next couple of weeks will be rough for him (and the kids and I…we hate seeing him so uncomfortable), but hopefully it’ll be over soon.  He has to stick to soft foods and zero fiber until he’s better (fiber can cause bowel obstructions – and emergency surgery). 
On that note…going to leave you all with a funny picture.  D made tuna melt sandwiches for him and the kids the other night when I got home late.  Our cat, Bumble, gets wonky when tuna is opened, and I found out that D leaves the cans for her.  She REALLY loves that…..

Brick By Brick

FOOD

Today was a mixed bag on the food front.  It’s not that I ate badly, I just didn’t do any cooking (for myself), so it didn’t feel like my food was as healthy as it could be.

I was in a rush this morning, so after my coffee I had some lentil soup.  Before you get all excited that they were leftovers.  They weren’t.  Amen for Progresso when I don’t have time.  I had the 99% fat free lentil soup, which is decent enough and will do in a pinch.  I didn’t even have time for fresh juice this morning (sad).

Due to a bad morning and the fact that I can’t drink mid-day, I treated myself to some Thai food for lunch between meetings.  Just me, my Kindle, and some tofu green curry.  Yum! 

Dinner had to be light and easy before my workout.  I tried something new.  Nothing stellar on the culinary scale by any means.  Toasted rye bread with vegan mayo and vegan cheese.  Basically and old favorite of mine – toasty cheese sandwich.  It was tasty, but I wouldn’t necessarily go with that as a pre-workout standard.

FITNESS

This was actually the highlight of my day.  Monday’s are spin days, and we now do our spin classes on our trainers at Fat Frogs.  I was all excited because I finally have a trainer!  I got there a couple minutes early, and much of the class was already set up.  A (nice kid who works up at the shop) helped me get set up and made sure everything was properly aligned.  The trainers are actually freakishly easy to use.  That does NOT mean they make your workouts easy.  Quite the contrary!  In case you’re even a little curious here’s the link my trainer.  It’s nice, good for beginners, and I got a discount, so I can’t complain!

W put us through our paces with a solid 30 minute ride from hell.  We were pretty consistently at a high pace, and not much rest for the wicked.  We also immediately did a run.  So ta-da!!!!!  MY FIRST BRICK WORKOUT.  The last time I tried running right after biking, I thought I was going to fall down.  This time, it actually felt great.  W is screaming at us to get out of the shop and on the road (I think he was mimicking the race day transitions needing to be fast).  Maybe he just likes to yell, which is entirely possible.

We ran a 2.5 mile loop, and it was a nice run.  The temps were in the 50’s, but after having just sweat a ton, it didn’t feel cold.  Surprisingly, my legs actually worked.  The last time I tried doing this, I nearly fell over, so this is a bonus.  I biked, I ran, and I didn’t fall!  And while I’m still dead last, I felt great the entire time.  2 of the girls actually came back out to look for me as I was just getting back.  It was a sweet gesture, and I love how everyone really tries to look out for one another.

Tomorrow is a run day, but we’ll see since I had an unanticipated run day today.  I shouldn’t count it and still go, or at the very least, do something.  Maybe I’ll do yoga or swim or strength train.  Or, I could stop avoiding it, and just run.

LIFE

Life was a bit crazy today.  Do you ever have one of those moments that just totally throw you off your groove for the rest of the day?  That happened to me today.  I went to my first meeting this morning.  It’s an hour and a half work group, so I’m all set up, I have my tablet, my notebook, and my phone all ready to go.  I decided to follow the heard (big mistake) and grab a cup of coffee.  Now mind you – I had already had my cup of the day and certainly didn’t need anymore – but that didn’t stop me even a little bit.

I drank a sip or two of the coffee, and decided that nope….I really didn’t want it.  As soon as the meeting was over, I started grabbing my stuff to pack up.  At one point, I was balancing way too many things, and ended up dumping my now cold, but full cup of coffee all down my pants and part of my shirt.  I had to go home, change, and then get the other clothes to the dry cleaners.  Hence the Thai food mid-day.  That gave me just enough time to take 2 of my meetings on my cell, and then hit the restaurant.  It was exactly the mid-day destress I needed.  I read more of my new book, which I’m very much enjoying, eating good food, and not being bothered by anyone for the most part. 

After that, I went to my last meeting of the day which is always one of my favorites. It’s with one of our hospital administrators and she and I get along very well, so I love having my meetings with her. Then that was it for the day.  Headed home to get some critical things done, whip up dinner for the hubs and munchkins, and then ran out the door to workout like a crazy girl.

I have an early morning meeting the next two days, which is going to suck.  At least tomorrow’s meetings don’t end too terribly late, so I’ll still be back home at a reasonable time.

Oh, and today is my sister in law’s birthday.  Happy B Day Bridge!!!  I miss you.

Crying Over Spilt Juice

FOOD

I made a pumpkin-pie inspired tofu from the awesome Avery’s blog.  The only changes I made was based on what I had on hand and the fact that I don’t eat honey.  I used canned pumpkin instead of pumpkin butter, and agave instead of honey.  I also tossed in a good tsp of the pumpkin pie spice. 

I think I over cooked it maybe a little (I probably sliced mine much thinner than I should have), but after it marinated overnight, it was a very tasty treat indeed.  This is the first time I’ve ever made a sweet tofu dish.  I’m very happy with it, and I think it’ll be a regular item in my reportoire. 

Saturday morning was a light breakfast before a workout.  I had a cup of vanilla flavored espresso, which was yummy, and my standby pre-workout meal of toasted Ezekiel bread with sunflower seed butter and sliced banana.  This has certainly become my tried and true meal when I know I’m either going to be working out or if I know it’s going to be a long time before I can eat again (though I have NO problems busting out the snacks in meetings).

Saturday afternoon was the wild rice and radish salad on a bed of spinach, arugula, and with some onion and pepper diced in for fun and color.  I can’t believe how filling this salad is.  I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to eat wild rice, and I’ve certainly never had it as the only grain in a dish.  It’s much easier to work with than I anticipated, and I really like it.  Of course, it’s one of those items to pick up when it’s on sale since it’s certainly not cheap!

In the late afternoon, I was noticing I was feeling really sluggish.  I decided what I needed was a fresh juice.  D wanted one too, so I made his first.  2 green apples, 3 mandarin oranges, a big carrot, and 4 fresh strawberries.  I made mine next, which was the same, but with spinach too.  I served D’s, and as mine was in the cup on the counter, I washed the juicer and started the dish washer.  As I was trying to put the lid on my big cup (24 ounce cup, and nearly 3/4 full of awesome fresh juice), I spilled it all over the kitchen floor.  I was SO upset.  I cleaned up, and went back to what I was doing (working).  The juicer was already in the dishwasher, so there was no option to make another one.  Alas.  I ended up making a sugar-free raspberry latte with vanilla soymilk!  Not exactly the source of energy I was looking for, but it was still good and it worked.

My oldest was at an overnight bday party, so the rest of us decided to go out to dinner.  Going through the Entertainment book, we decided to try out a local Italian place (hello…married to an Italian.  It tends to be our default option when going out – and it can easily be vegan friendly).  So around 7pm, M, D, R, and I piled into the van and drove over to Chef Maria’s.  Surprise, surprise – they went out of business!  So, we drove around a bit, knowing it was a Saturday night, we were hungry, and we didn’t want to wait for a table.  We ended up in Great Bridge at a different Italian place we had never been to before.  I’m pretty sure we’ll never be back.  The service was so-so, and for an Italian restaurant, we were surprised that the only pasta options were spaghetti, penne, or linguine.  They ran out of spaghetti (D’s NOT a fan of linguine), so we all had to change up our pastas.  M had baked ziti, so he was good.  R had spaghetti marinara, but thankfully got the last of the spaghetti in the place.  I swapped out penne as my side, and D reluctantly had linguine.  My dish was actually really good – very thinly sliced eggplant with marinara sauce.  The breadsticks were decent, but not great, the marinara sauce was mediocre, but at least we weren’t hungry when we left.  Oh, and a totally rude woman tried running into the restaurant ahead of my family (I was holding the door open for D and the kids, and she shoved D aside, nearly ran over my youngest, all trying to muscle what she thought was the last available table from us).  Rude people suck.

This morning was a whole foods juice in my Vitamix of frozen banana, orange, flax seed, mango, and strawberry.  It was totally awesome, but ugly.  Even D said it was an unappetizing color.  Perhaps I could have put even more spinach in it (there was already over a cup) to make it greener, but not much could have made it taste better!  I also had a slice of the pumpkin pie tofu on a slice of toasted Ezekiel bread.  Yummy breakfast!

I wasn’t very hungry, but I knew I needed to eat, so I made something I’ve been wanting to make since I read about it.  Yes, it’s ANOTHER recipe from Love, Veggies, and Yoga’s Averie.  It’s a microwaved banana cake that should be illegal.  I can’t believe how ridiculously easy it is, and it’s another healthy sweet dish.  And that…can never be a bad thing!

Dinner is going now, and while I shouldn’t even say it (can you tell who’s blog I’ve read today??), it’s another Love, Veggies, and Yoga inspired rice cooker dish.  It’s still cooking, so I can’t say how it is, but I’m really excited about it.  I made a specific trip to Sam’s club today because I knew they had mango salsa (and trust me…I got a LOT more than just that).  I didn’t have any canned chickpeas, so I skipped the beans.  I put 1 cup of rice, 2.5 cups of water, 2-3 cups of frozen veggies (I used a blend of cauliflower, carrot, yellow squash, green beans, and broccoli), and for the spices, I used one from my Dad’s Christmas kit, called Caribbean Calypso

FITNESS

I can’t articulate how wonderful it is to be able to move again.  I will never again take for granted the fact that I am healthy, and don’t really have anything wrong with me.  My back/pelvis is healing, and my ankle is doing well.  Being sidelined from workouts for almost 2 weeks was more than I ever want to do again.  It’s funny, because I spent YEARS being totally sedentary.  From the time I got out of the Navy until just a couple of years ago, I didn’t voluntarily move my body with any real consistency for a good 8 or so years.  It’s easy to be lazy, but I can honestly say as one who’s been both – being lazy sucks.  It may take time and effort to be active, but it’s so totally worth it.  I am fit (not skinny….but very healthy), energetic, and happy.  So trust me, if you’re not active now…start.  You’ll be amazed at how forgiving your body is, even if you’ve neglected it for years.  I read the best analogy about a year or so ago.  Think of your body as you would a car.  If you never get the oil changed, do no maintenance, and just drive it, your car won’t last too long.  Your body is the same.  If you put time, money, and effort into keeping your car functioning for years – don’t you deserve to do that for your own body too?  At least a car you can replace.  Your body is the only one you ever get, so take care of it.  It’s NEVER too late!

On Saturday morning my alarm went off at 6am.  Ick.  However, I was excited, because I was going on my first EVER organized group bike ride.  I had been wanting to do this for weeks, but was pretty nervous about it.  I spoke to my coach on Wednesday to confirm that it was okay that I came as a total beginner, and he assured me it would be okay.

There were probably 30 or 40 of us there, and we were broken up into grade-related groups (A+, A, B+, B, C).  Based on W’s suggestion and my own nervouseness, I went into the C group.  It was fun recognizing people from the Tri Club – something I’ve never gotten to experience before.  Each group had a leader, and I immediately introduced myself to mine and explained that I was a first time rider.  I was in a group of 4, and they really took care of me.  There’s a lot to learn about road biking safety, and the group leader really took her time to teach me as much ettiquette as she could (like how to hand signal that you were ready to be the lead rider, oncoming cars, cars coming from behind, clear to turn, calling out road hazzards, etc). I’m going to do more research on that!  We went a total of 21 miles in an hour and a half, and I loved every second of it. 

I was reminded a lot of the bike trip my Dad and I took when I was 15, and it made me want to look into those again.  Who knows – if he starts riding soon, maybe it’ll be a father-daughter bike trip reunion!! (hint hint Dad!).

After the ride was over, there was fruit and bagels at the shop (Fat Frogs), and I hung out for a few minutes before going home.  Nothing like it being 930 am on a Saturday and your workout is already done for the day!

Today was a scheduled swim day, so I took off for the gym around 1050am (they open at 11 and are only 3 miles away).  It was another 30 minute steady swim – no drills – and I went a total of 1000 yds.  I also wore my new Tri Suit (explanation to come in a few paragraphs).  I wanted to work out in it to make sure it was comfortable, and it was. 

There were quite a few people there that I knew, which is (just like the bike ride yesterday), still strange.  There were 3 women from my Tri Club, one of their boyfriends who is helping coach her with swimming (he’s Coast Guard – and very nice), AND a woman I work with who was there with her husband and totally adorable little boy.  I’m kind of liking this social aspect of working out!

I find the first 100 yds to be challenging, and then I hit a groove where I feel like I could swim all day.  I’m sure that’s normal – warming up and all – but I’m not sure how to do that pre-race.  On a run it’s simple.  Run to warm up, then start your race.  How the heck do you warm up for a swimming race?  I doubt they’ll let me get a few pre-race laps in, so I think I’ll have to ask W or one of the swim coaches on the team that one….

Once I was warmed up, I really just kept going at a slow and steady pace.  I stopped after 30 minutes (that’s what’s on my training calendar), but I really could’ve kept going.  I spent about 10 minutes in the hot tub, then showered up and came home.

Fat Frogs was going to do a beginner clinic/ride today at 330.  My plan was to go as long as it wasn’t raining.  It was – and I was bummed.  It’s been a really long time since I’ve done any bike maintenance, and we were going to go over changing bike tires, and then do a 16 mile ride.  At 330, it was raining really hard, and I decided that karma didn’t want me pushing it too much. 

Tomorrow is my first workout on my new trainer.  I’m totally excited, but I know it’s going to be hard.  We’re going to run right after, so we’re technically doing a brick tomorrow night.  Should be interesting – last time I tried running right after biking, I wanted to fall over.

LIFE

It’s been a nice weekend.  Not a lazy weekend by any means, but still nice. 

Earlier this week D and I decided that I’m going to take our youngest to Disney World over spring break.  He can’t take off work, and I’ve taken the older kids on mom-only trips (A to Florida last year, just me and her, and the year before, M and I to WI to celebrate my parents’ 40th anniversary).  I’ve never just taken R somewhere, so since we both have off anyway, I’m going to take her to Orlando for 4 days.  I’m excited, and so is she. 

I’ve been using an old version of Mastercook for the past 6 years or so to organize my recipes.  I started having problems with it, so I started looking at new cookbook software.  I ended up downloading the free trial for (and then buying) the Living Cookbook 2011.  It is SO cool – I can type in recipes, scan them in, or even update with my iPhone (haven’t looked into how to do that  yet, but it’s still cool knowing I can).  I spent a few hours this weekend reading my favorite blogs and then entering the recipes I know I’ll make into the software.  All the ones I made this weekend from Love, Veggies, and Yoga are in there!

Saturday afternoon I went shopping with A.  I stopped at Aquawear (a local swim shop) and bought 3 pieces to make up my Tri suit.  The shorts are slightly padded, a swim/run bra, and a tank top.  I have less than a month before the Tri, so I knew I was running out of time to get this.

We hit the mall for a bday gift for her friend (she spent the night at a friend’s house and then that friend had a bday party today), then went home.  I really wanted to do some other running around, but I was so tired I just wanted to go home.

I spent several hours on Saturday working, but that’s okay.  I have a lot going on, and since I’m usually in meetings all day, this is really the best option I have.  At least I was in comfy clothes sitting in my bed while I worked.

After my workout today, I came home to drop my stuff off, went to get my nails done, and then went grocery shopping at Sam’s.  Aside from the mango salsa, I picked up pears, green apples (with all the juicing, I’m going through fruit like CRAZY!), a fresh pineapple, beer, wine, bread, bagels, and a few other things. 

I will say though, that I ran into one of my big pet peeves today….people who don’t return their grocery carts.  I mean, really??  Are people THAT lazy, that they can’t walk the extra 30-40 feet to either take their carts to the cart corrall or back to the store?  They’d rather occupy a parking space with their stupid cart because they’re too busy/lazy/annoying to put them back?  I dislike that more than I can say.  It’s funny, because my son always volunteers to take my carts and put them away because he knows how I feel about it.  That’s my boy.

Since coming home, I’ve cooked, cleaned, and am now relaxing.  I watched The Biggest Loser, made my rice dish, amcooking lasagna, and enjoying a glass or two of a red Copolla wine.  Life is good.

Sleepy Glasses

FOOD

This has been a fun food week.  I’ve really enjoyed all the juices and salads, and it really helps me feel wonderful!  On Tuesday evening, I made a wild rice and radish salad inspired by a recipe at The Chocolate Fig’s blog.  I didn’t add parsley (I don’t like it), carrots, nor chickpeas.  I don’t like raw carrots, and I wanted it really light, so I omitted the chickpeas.  The biggest reason I was excited about this recipe is because of my fear of radishes.  I remember my dad eating them when I was a kid, and I always thought they tasted yucky.  But just like my blueberry issue, I figure it’s more of a problem of preparation than with the food itself.  I will admit, rather than thinly slice the radishes, I diced them pretty small to mix into the salad.  Baby steps.  Once it was finished, I decided to use that in place of salad dressing on a spinach salad, and made this!

spinach, heirloom tomatoes, onion, and the wild rice salad.  Very yummy, and a nice accompaniment to American Idol (which is what we were watching)



 Wednesday morning I made several fresh juices – one for D, one for A, and one for me.  The only difference is that A and I both had spinach in ours.  D is afraid of green veggies in his juice still, so it was strictly fruit.

D’s juice of green apple, orange, carrots, and strawberries

 Lunch was the same as dinner on Tuesday, but I added more stuff to the salad.  I added diced bell peppers, arugula, cucumber, and onion.  Still very awesome and filling.

 I did some big grocery shopping this week.  I used the Coupon Mom website, and put together a big list for Kroger (where I got $40 worth of free food), and also went to Trader Joe’s and picked up some great items – including pineapple, mango, arugula, avocados, and bananas, and coffee.  All things I really needed!

Thursday’s juice (in my favorite Tervis cup with the Cherry Blossoms).  Strawberry, spinach, pineapple, orange, carrot, apple.  By far my favorite so far (but pineapples are a favorite fruit for me)

About an hour after my juice, I made this breakfast sandwich to eat in the car on the way to work.  Two slices toasted Ezekiel bread, nayonaise, 2 vegan sausage patties (the Yves brand), and some sliced avocado.  I wasn’t hungry for HOURS.

 Lunch was not what I had planned.  I was supposed to have time to stop at home, so I was going to make one of the salads mentioned above.  Instead, I stayed later in the office, and only had time to stop home and change out of my skirt into some jeans (afternoon off, but lots of appts), and grabbed a banana, some grapes, and (sad to admit), a handful of Pringles!

By the time I got home again, it was after 530, so I had a quick piece of Ezekiel toast with sunflower seed butter before going to the gym.

Dinner was half a wrap with spicy sauce and mixed veggies and rice, and some french fries from Wild Wing Cafe.  And 1 1/2 Corona Light beer (it’s the beer of the month, only $2.25!)

Friday morning I felt more like a whole juice than a juicer juice.  So I whipped this up: orange, spinach, mango, strawberry, frozen banana, and flax seed. 

I’m surprised it wasn’t green – must not have added enough spinach!  Regardless, it was fabulous, and I’m so going to make this one again.

It’s a darned good thing that my breakfast was so filling.  It was the last meal I had before 3pm!  I was anticipating having the ability to grab a wrap around noon, but that was thwarted.  I ended up going to Azar’s in Ghent for a tofu/falafel wrap with some hummus.  I also got their rolled oat “cookie”.  It looks more like the top part of a muffin, and is packed with oats, seeds, and dried fruit.  It was just the type of pre-workout energy I was looking for.  And it tasted really yummy too!

Dinner was a dish of brown rice pasta, green beans, corn, and a little earth balance mixed in, topped with tons of ground pepper.  I was planning a salad originally, but I have a big workout in the morning and need some carb-y dinner tonight.

Now I’m having a spicy bloody mary…with L’s pepper vodka.  It’s SO spicy now, that I have to use normal V8 and have a glass of water with me.  Sip the drink, sip the water to put out the flames in my mouth.  Keeps me hydrated.  It’s all good.

FITNESS

Wow, what a week.  A good week – happy to be active again and relatively pain-free (sore…which I expected…but no jarring pain).

My back was a little sore from my swim on Sunday, so I took Monday off.  Tuesday was a simple Warm & Light yoga class, which felt REALLY good.  It was slow going between the poses, she gave great instruction, and the room was only slightly warmed to enhance the muscle stretch.  It was absolutely perfect!

Wednesday was back with the team (as my coach yells “STRANGER DANGER” when I walk into the gym!).  It was group run, with 50 minutes at race-pace.  I did almost exactly 5 miles.  I’m still officially the slowest of the group (I was lapped by a few people!), but that’s okay.  Most of the run felt good.  I had a little knee pain (been compensating for the back I think), but nothing earth shattering.

My good friend S has been a workout fiend the past 6-8 weeks.  I’m VERY proud of her, so when she asked me to go to a Zumba class with her, I definitely said yes!  So Thursday at 640, we met at the gym to dance out collective butts off.  She’s been doing it for a few weeks, even sent me a video link about it – but I had NO clue what I was getting myself into.  The class was packed – a good 35-40 people in it, and our instructor was nuts.  It was fast, high paced dancing for 50 minutes.  Some of the dancing was Latin based – which I actually can do – but a lot of it was flat out club hip-hop dancing, butt shaking (think Shakira meets Beyonce), and at one point, I thought I was auditioning for the Lion King!  The only thing I didn’t like is there was very little instruction on the moves, so I was often lost for the first few steps.  Otherwise it was one heck of a workout (I was beet red and sweaty), and fun.  I laughed quite a bit, so that has to mean something, right?  Besides, if S wants me to go, and it’s not a Tri day, I’m there for her.

Today was Tri club swim night.  I got there about 10 minutes early to start warming up.  So did most of the crew though, so while I thought I was all cool and early, I wasn’t!  When we’re all there, there are 24 or 25 of us, and we have the use of 3 lanes, so sometimes it gets really crowded.  Nothing we can do about it except stay organized, which W does a good job at (if we’re dry, he’s yelling).  All told, it was about 1400 yds (I added it up quickly from the workout board before I left so I could figure out how far I went).  It went something like this:

*100 yd warm up
*200 yd drill – this is where we ALL mimicked the Smithfield swim – go up and down one lane, swim under the floating divider to the next lane over, swim up and back, go to the next lane, etc.  We did this for 100 yds, ran out of pool, got out, back in line, to do it again.  Controlled chaos.
*2 x 200 yds fast swim
*50 yds easy
*2 x 100 yds fast swim
*2 x 100 yds tempo
*200 yds cool down

I think I did an extra lap at the end, but not sure.  So 1400 yds-ish.  It was tough, but good.  W is always watching us and giving us direction.  I apparently kick like a runner!  Not a good thing when swimming.  I bend my knee too much and it causes my legs and feet to create a lot of drag – so I’m expending more energy than I could be.  I have to work on kicking from my hips more and keeping my knee only slightly bent.  So while I’m swimming, I have to pay attention to: my bilateral breathing, my arm motion, the placement of my hips, keeping my head straight down and not tilted up like I want to do, and how much bend I have in my knees.  It’s quite overwhelming to focus on SO many things.  I have no ability to zone out while swimming.  Sometimes that bums me out, especially in the beginning of the swim, but by the end I welcome it.  If I’m focused on all that, I can’t focus on how exhausted I am!

Tomorrow morning, I’m going on my first ever group bike ride!  I’m totally excited, but nervous.  This isn’t just the tri club, it’s the Fat Frogs weekend ride, which they do every weekend.  Lots of these guys are hard core, so it should at least be amusing.  Oh, and I also finally got a trainer!  I’m so excited – now I can ride my bike in the house (for those who don’t know – because I didn’t until recently – a trainer basically turns your road bike into a stationary bike!).

LIFE

This was another hectic week, but not quite as bad.  Monday I had some pretty big meetings and presentations to do, so I was out the door early and back home pretty late.  D stayed home with R who was still running intermittent fevers.  M woke up Tuesday morning not feeling well, so I stayed home with R and M and worked all day.  I have to say, working from home is awesome, but I work more when I do.  Since I don’t have to do my hair or makeup or iron clothes or anything, I start working as soon as I pour my coffee – around 630am.  I tend to not stop until it’s time to make dinner.  Around 630 pm!  So while it’s a great bonus for my job that I can do most of what I do as long as I have a computer and a phone – I think I’m actually much more productive and get more done, so it’s kind of a bonus for my employer too.  Yeah, Win-Win!

Tuesday evening was a lot of cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, and overall house stuff.  All the kids were back in school by Wednesday, so that was good.  Every other day at work, while busy and a few tense meetings, was nothing I can really complain about.

So, every night, D and I snuggle and fall asleep watching TV.  Usually I fall asleep first, and he turns the TV off and the fan on.  It’s our nightly thing, and we both really enjoy the quite time alone.  Anyway, I wear glasses.  Most days I wear contacts, but of course once those come out at night, I wear my specs.  I have two pair – one fairly new (end of last year), and one pretty old (about 5-6 years old).  Since getting my new glasses, my old ones have become my “sleepy glasses”.  I’m so worried about mangling my new ones, that as soon as I start getting ready for bed, I switch out either my contacts or my nice glasses for my sleepy glasses, so when we’re snuggling and I’m falling asleep, I’m not mashing them.  D things I’m totally ridiculous, and has been picking on me all week for having these (and more likely, because they have a name of sorts).  I think he just can’t comprehend how cool it is that I even HAVE sleepy glasses because he has perfect vision (the jerk). 

So it’s time for me to start heading to bed.  I have an early Saturday morning ride.  It’s 930 now, and it’ll likely be 1030 by the time I’m actually IN bed!  But first things first.  Take out the contacts.  Put on the sleepy glasses!