Thursday, 14 October 2010 13:16

Update to An Athlete's Plate

Today is Thursday so that means a new menu for the athlete in all of us.  5 delicious meals to help you stave off hunger.

Don't forget that nutrition isn't the only way to optimal energy and performance.  Massage is a key ingredient to living well and there is a FREE MASSAGE GIVEAWAY going on.  For rules on entry go here.

For today's (10/14/10) menu be sure to go here.

Tomorrow I will be posting a great interview with Ironman Megan Wiseman.  Be sure to visit tomorrow to find out what Megan says about balancing life/work and training.  Thank you to Megan for participating in the interview it was a fun experience.

For the interview with Ironman Elizabeth Wittmaack go here.
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Thursday, 14 October 2010 13:08

An Athlete's Plate from 10/7/10

Today (10/7/10)I am changing it up a bit.  I am going to provide you with 5 recipes that will constitute a menu for a healthy day of eating.  Eating less food more often will lead to weight loss and is a healthier way to eat rather then not eating all day and then filling up at dinner only.

I will be using recipes from those out in the blog world to compose this menu.  Links to their sites follow the meal.

Breakfast - Banana Whole Wheat Pancakes (I Tri To Be Me)
Ingredients for 12 4" Pancakes
* 2/3 C oats (or oat flour)
* 1 1/8C whole wheat flour
* 1 1/4tsp. baking powder
* 1/4tsp. salt
* 1tsp. cinnamon
* 1 flax egg (1Tbl. ground flax mixed with 3Tbl. water)
* 1Tbl. brown sugar (optional)
* 1 1/3C soymilk
* 1Tbl. applesauce
* 3/4tsp. vanilla extract
* 2 ripe bananas (the riper they are the sweeter the batter will be)

1. Blend oats in a blender until they resemble flour. Or, you can leave them as is.
2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl stir the eggs, milk, applesauce, and vanilla together. Mash the bananas and add them to the bowl.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
5. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes.
6. Pour by 1/4 cupfuls into a preheated skillet or pan.
7. Bake on one side until you see tiny bubbles appear, then flip and cook until done.
8. Enjoy!

Mid-AM Snack-Homemade Cherry Energy Bars (I Tri To Be Me)
Ingredients - Makes 12 Bars
* 1 1/4C rice cereal (like rice krispies)
* 1C uncooked rolled oats
* 3Tbl. ground flaxseed
* 1/4C chopped dried cherries
* 1/4C finely chopped almonds
* 1/4C brown rice syrup (can also use honey or maple syrup)
* 2Tbl. brown sugar
* 1/3C almond butter
* 1/4tsp. almond extract
1. Line an 8" square pan with wax paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine rice cereal, oats, flaxseed, cherries, and almonds
3. In a small saucepan over med-high heat, bring the syrup and brown sugar to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat and add the almond butter and almond extract. Stir until well blended.
5. Pour the almond butter mixture over the cereal mixture, stirring until coated. I used my hands to make sure it was well mixed.
6. Press the mixture firmly into the 8" pan and let cool. Once cooled, cut into 12 bars.
7. Wrap the bars in plastic wrap (or put in snack size ziploc bags) and store in the refrigerator. 9/30/2010 - Polenta Cakes with Black Bean Ragu and Shrimp (own recipe) 9/23/2010 - Chicken with Mango Salsa (from Healthy Recipes Cookbook by Annie Warner)
8. Enjoy!
Lunch - BBQ Eggplant Sandwich (I Eat Trees)
Yellow Onion
Whole Wheat Vegan Bread (or you can use just whole wheat bread)
1- Slice eggplant so that it can be grilled.  Place on grill to get charmarks on both sides then dice into bite size pieces.
2- Cut onion into bite size pieces and saute in pan until carmalized.  Just a little oil is all you need.
3- Put a little bit of oil on the outside of the bread.
4- Place eggplant, onion and spinach on bread and use paninin press.  Don't have a press then place right on the grill and flatten with another pan with a heavy can inside of the pan.
Serve with steamed vegetables and enjoy!
Mid-PM Snack - Brownie (I Tri To Be Me)
Ingredients - makes 12 brownies in a 9x9 pan
* 1 egg/ flax egg ( 1Tbl. flax mixed with 3Tbl. warm water)
* 1 1/8C applesauce (you only need the 1/8 C if you use raw sugar. If you use regular sugar, just use 1C applesauce)
* 1/2C raw/turbinado sugar
* 1tsp. vanilla
* 1/3C cocoa powder
* 1/2tsp. baking powder
* 1/2tsp. salt
* 1/4C oats ground in a processor to resemble flour
* 3Tbl. whole wheat pastry flour
* 3Tbl. whole wheat flour
* 2Tbl. wheat germ
(Note: if you don't want to mess with the different flours you could just use all whole wheat pastry flour)
* 1C chocolate chips
Directions: Ingredients - Makes 4 servings (1 tostada is a serving)
1. Preheat oven to 350degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9x9 pan.
2. Mix the flax egg, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl mix the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, flours, oats, and wheat germ together.
4. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix until just combined.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour the batter into the 9x9 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick/knife comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into the brownies.
Dinner - Shredded Chicken Tostadas - (A Mom's Rantings)

1 Tbsp canola oil 15 mL
2 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
1/4 onion, sliced into strips2-3 chicken breasts, 12 oz (350 g), cooked and shredded
1/2 tsp pepper 2 mL
3 tomatoes, grilled*
2 Tbsp chopped pickled jalapeños** 30 mL
1/2 cup water 125 mL
1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped 2 mL
1 chipotle chile, chopped
4 corn tostadas
1/2 small red onion, diced1/2 avocado, diced
1. In sauté pan, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add half of garlic and onion and sauté until brown. Add shredded chicken and pepper. Cook until heat through.
2. In saucepan over medium heat, combine tomatoes, remaining garlic, jalapeños, water, oregano and chipotle chile. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
3. To serve, warm tostadas and divide chicken equally on each tostada. Garnish with onion and avocado.
* To grill tomatoes, slice in half and remove pulp and seeds over sink. Place face down on grill or grill pan for 2-4 minutes.
** Beware, this dish is spicy hot, so use less jalapeños to tame it down to taste.

So there you have it.  5 delicious and tasty meals that can carry through the day.  Remember portion control especially on the brownies.


9/16/2010 - Turkey With Balsamic Vinegar (from Trimax Fitness)
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Sunday, 30 May 2010 16:30

Open Water Swim to Start My Sunday

I am so excited this morning over having completed my first Open Water Swim (OWS.)  It was incredible to have swam 1100 yards in the open water of Lake Grapevine.  I had such a blast becuase of the effort that I put in but also because of the fact that it is another learning experience for me.

Learning to deal with the waves and the various currents that come and go against your body.  Sighting is a big difference as there is no big black line on the bottom of the lake floor to follow.  I am really learning to enjoy the water and I almost feel like going out to the pool this evening for more swimming but not sure Coach C would want that (I've already emailed her to find out.)

In searching for ways to get better at the OWS I found an article written by Hazen Kent for that essentially says the best way to get better in OWS is to practice in the open water.  With that being said the 1100 yards this morning seems more and more important to my overall plan of doing Ironman then I would have thought.  Coach C told me she just wanted me to swim and that is essentially what I did and it was great practice for me.  This article reinforces that idea while also giving me some tips and drills for working on in the pool that will help me in the open water.

The link to the article is right here:     Open Water Swimming Tips For Triathletes: Overcoming Your Fears

After putting in 1100 yards of swimming which was essentially 50 and 75 yard drills with :20 RI I had a 9 mile easy run to put in.  The 9 miles was fairly smooth and easy.  My average HR was 145 with a max of 156, but that was always on the uphill portion of the run.  The average pace for the 9 mile run was 10:10 and I couldn't be happier with that run as it was so easy.

In looking at past easy Sunday runs the HR was slightly lower but they were more difficult and most likely because of the fact that I completely ignored my HRM and just ran.  I did not feel like my body was tired or dehydrated and that I could have run for miles at that pace and felt great at the end.

All in all, the Sunday training session was one to remember and one to build off of.  Next week when I head to the open water it will be another set of drills where I'm doing 75 and 100 yards with :20 RI to get in 400 yards and then maybe heading out and around the buoys for the last 600 yards and do those with the rest intervals of floating on my back and kicking to keep moving.  Now that I have done an OWS the intimidation is fading and the competitor in my is starting to show through.

Here is the map with some data of my run this morning:
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Today's swim training was in a word AWESOME.  I was a tad nervous this morning b/c I did not get into bed until 11pm or so and normally on a swim eve I like to get as much rest as possible so I'm not panicking in the pool and forgetting everything I have learned to date.

So when the alarm went off at 4am, and I hit snooze until 430a I felt like I was running late.  I knew I had to be home by 6:15a so Karen could get to work and I could take Jackson to school at 7am.  I did not want to rush the swim or miss any part of it, but I have to be in the water by 5am otherwise I won't make it.  DO NOT PANIC I told myself.  Get there and go slow and you will actually be faster.  Sounds odd, but its true.

I got through the warm up with no problems.  Got through the drills with ease, got through the first 100 of the main set in a breeze.  The 200 is where I had my only issue today and it was not from fatigue or anything else other then the fact that I swallowed some water and it affected my psyche.  I swallowed the water around the 75 yard mark and from 75 to 100 I was discombobulated.  I stopped after 100 for 10 seconds and right back at it with my head clear.  Once that was done it was smooth sailing.

For the first time during these swim drills I tackled the 25 yards hard the right way.  I swam faster then the drills, etc but I also did not kill myself so I wasn't able to breathe and I got through those 25 spints faster then ever before.

One trick (tip) I used today was the hip rotation.  I read about this in an article from the USAT and applied to today's training and it allowed me to breathe easier and longer.  All those yards were much easier for me then ever before.  Here is the link if you are interested in reading more about hip rotation in the pool:

This was a great way to start the day after the way the day ended yesterday and the good times are rolling.  Last night I played in our softball teams Spring Season Championship Game.  We came out a little flat in the first inning by not scoring a run but in the bottom of the 1st I walked two batters before a line drive was flagged by our shortstop to end the inning and any rally they had going.  We scored 8 in the 2nd and just kept going from there.  We ended up winning 17-4 and captured the trophy.  Great ending to a season that started out with us 0-2.  We never quit on ourselves or each other and won out.

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Monday, 17 May 2010 13:02

Back In The Pool.....

So after yesterday's disappointing swim session, this morning was back in the pool for another 1500 yards.

Before I get into that I want to share with you what Coach C emailed me after I told her about what I thought was a disappointing swim:

Everything looks good and solid,, and you will have some ups and downs.. That's training.
I am sure your tired, I have you swimming more then you ever have, I am expecting that.
Also, the excitement of a new bike, the fitting, that all plays into your day. I'd rather be on my new bike then swimming any day..LOL.. that may have been in the back of your head.. and that is PSYCHE ... I totally understand that.

Butt up head down... Keep practicing... it's KEY in efficient swimming and staying on top of the water.
So with those encouraging words in mind I got up at 4am today to hit the pool.  I needed to be in the water by 5am the latest b/c today Karen and I were trying something new.  I was going to take my step-son to school so I needed to be home before Karen left for work which is around 6:30am.
The training was W/U - 100y; Stroke Drills: 50 catch, 50 pull, 50 kicks, 50 fist all with :20 RI, followed by 2x100 :15 RI.  Main Set: 1x 100 @ 75%, 1x200 @ 80%; 4x 50@ 80%; Stroke Drils of 4x 50 catch, Sprints of 4x25 (:15 RI); Cool Down of 1x 200.
The swimming went great.  I slowed myself down to the point that it was almost effortless.  I felt like my kicks were stronger and when I rotated my hips to breathe and rest my left arm my kicks were still strong.  In the past when I rotated my hips my legs would stop.  It was great, especially the first 1x200 where I did it and felt that it was almost easy.  That is a great feeling coming on the heels of not coming close to 200 straight yesterday.
I love the positivity out of Coach C.  It helps keep me motivated and to keep pushing me to perform at my best and to get better.
As I told my step-son on the way to school today.....Practice Makes Perfect as well as Nobody In This Family Quits.  Words to live by.
Taking him to school today was special.  It felt like a great bonding moment and he kept asking me to take him to a baseball game again.  I took him opening day and he obviously loved being there so taking him will be a pleasure.  I am looking forward to that day.
I found this picture online this morning and thought it appropriate.......
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Monday, 17 May 2010 01:55

How a good training day goes south

So the training day started out great with a great 8 mile run.  Karen and I went to Katy Trail and it is a 7 mile out and back (3.5 mi each direction) and my goal was to do 6 miles EASY aerobic (135-145 HR) and then at around mile 6 to do 10x30 pick-ups at about 90 SPM.

The 6 miles went by fairly easily and during that time I counted that my SPM were about 80 so there wasn't much of an increase to 90.  I got through those 10x30s easily and the final .75 mi was a great cool down where my HR was lowered to the 135-145 range.

I finished with an average HR of 140 with a maximum of 154.  The fastest pace was 10:34 and the slowest was 10:52 so I kept a very even aerobic pace throughout the run.

Then the best part of the training day was going to RBM and buying my newest toy.  A Specialized Transition Comp (see pic.)  The fitting lasted about 2 hours and I gotta tell you during the laser portion of the fitting where they needed my cadence b/t 80 and 90 for what should have been 2 sets wound up being 3 sets b/c they forgot to set one of the shoes.  When the 3rd set was done I was sweating profusely and dripping.  Jeremy (the best bike rep there is at RBM) had to get me a 2nd bottle of water.  Once I walked out of that shop with my new bike and a host of other items I was ultra excited.  I couldn't stop from smiling all the way home.

This evening I got to use my new outdoor kitchen.  Grilled pork loin with red, yellow and orange peppers along with asparagus.  It was a great meal, especially when you put horseradish and whole grain mustard on the pork.  Unreal.

After that, it was time to hit the pool for the longest swim of the training to date.  That did not scare me at all as I was excited to hit the pool tonight.  BUT this was the toughest swim for me.  I could not get through the 300 yard warm-up without stopping at 150 and then doing 3 sets of 50 until I finished the 300.  I then did the 4x50, followed by drills but during the main set I was finished.  I could not do the 300, 200, 100 at all but I also did not stop.  I kept doing drills since I was already in the water and need to work on my stroke.  I did the 2x100 pull buoy that was part of the day, I did the 50 catch-up, the 100 RT/LT, the 50 kick, 50 fingerdrag and then I added in another 50 pull buoy and 50 kick plus 50 fist stroke.  The 4x50 HARD was great and for the best part the last 50 was the best 50 of the entire swim.  All in all I got in 1400 yards of swimming.

Just like in golf the last 50 lead me to believe that tomorrow's swim is going to be awesome.  I'm going to be great at the swim training tomorrow.
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Wednesday, 12 May 2010 17:22

It's Official

I am now officially registered for the event.  Registrations started at 12pm EST and I signed up right then.

There is no turning back now.

Find a great Coah ----- check
Register for Race ----- check
Train for a year ----- let's hope so
Compete ----- NO DOUBT
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Today turned out to be a very good day. This morning I had a great workout with Robert over in Grapevine. We ran the and rode the course for the Grapevine Tri in June.

We started out with the run to essentially tire out the legs before getting on the bike and then finished that up with another run to get the feel of trainsitioning from the bike to the run.

The first run we did was 3.5 miles followed by a 12.05 mile bike then followed by a 3.05 mile run.

The best part of this was that there was a stronghead wind and there are lots of tough hills on this course but at one point we took it slow and probably averaged 14 mph but at the end of the ride we finished at 16.8 mph which is 0.3 mph faster then the race last year and 0.2 mph faster then Caveman. I am excited as I think I can break 17.0 mph at Grapevine on June 5th.

The two runs averaged 8:36 and 8:13. We got faster on the 2nd run and that was after a fast first run and bike. I am excited to see how this all translates on race day, but I have to keep in mind that my bigger goal is Toyota in October, California in April and then 140.6 in 2012.

All in all it was a great training session.

From the training session I got home and showered up as the family was going to the museum today to check out the dinosaur exhibit. Lots of interesting facts about how the dinosaurs occupied Texas. There has been mammoth findings right near Loop 12 and there is an archeological dig going on right around Arlington. Fascinating information, and man were those dinos big.

My step-son seemed to have a great time while checking out the dino exhibits but I think he enjoyed the extra exhibits more. They had one on light, one DNA, one on farms and animals. Things to keep kids intrigued but what I found amazing was all the information that was available to adults to keep them interested.

I also got to see the Cotton Bowl upclose after all those years living on the East Coast and seeing it on TV.

Lastly, today was election day. I ran for a seat in our local government and based on unofficial results look to have won. The experience was incredible and such a valuable learning tool for myself. It was not just winning but the fact that I participated in something historic for our community of Castle Hills. A bunch of us got together down at Mezza Luna for an election night dinner and to find out the results together.

As it turns out 'unofficially' 9 independent residents got elected. We had been part of a Project RoundTable that discusses issues in the neighborhood and what we like/dislike and what can we actually change. From these informal gatherings I became more and more interested in being a bigger part of the solution and not just stand around to watch all go on around me.

Link to the election results:

I ran in District 1-B.

My first board meeting, once these votes become official, is most likely going to be on May 18th. I will be sworn in at that meeting and take the time to absorb all that I can so that my service on the board will be worth the while it took for those who voted for me. Thank you to everybody who voted whether it be for me or other candidates. Congratulations to all those that won today and I look forward to working on the Board of 1-B.

It is late and I will be watching the little man in the morning while Karen is out getting her own training in. She is looking to do a 7.5-8 mile run tomorrow AM. I hope it doesn't rain and that she gets a great run in. Go get 'em honey.

One last thing.....outdoor kitchen is looking great. Be on the lookout for full transformation of backyard in the very near future.
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I had a friend of mine video me in the water yesterday so that I could send to my coach to have my 'technique' broken down and to get help with my swim since this is by far my worst discipline.

I am posting this awful video so that as I get better I can see the transformation. I want this as a reminder of where I started.

I will post more about my training today after the election party tonight. Hopefully the election party is a celebration party.
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Saturday, 08 May 2010 03:42

Ugly Swimming This Evening

Headed up to 24 Hour Fitness to have my swim stroke filmed by my buddy with his underwater camera. I have known that my stroke is inefficient and just plain awful. I know that I just try to power my way through the swim and get out of the water as quickly as possible, but what I saw on video makes me thankful that Toyota is not until October 10 and that California is still a little under a year away.

What I saw was a lot of flailing and plain ugliness. Strokes were not in rhythm and neither were what you could call kicks. I am a little disappointed in myself right now in that I am just not that good at the swim portion. Hopefully with some training I can turn that around. Anywhere I can make up time I am looking for.

Stay tuned for the video as I will post it as soon as I have access to it. I am going to post it as a reminder of how bad I was. Yes, was because I am determined to get faster.

One positive I can take out of this is that while I did the first 50 I felt faster and I was trying the technique that my trainer had spoken of on Monday. I am going to go back to the pool early Sunday morning to put in training and not try to be a speed demon b/c that is where it falls apart.

Heading to bed now b/c tomorrow will be a training day of 4 mile run, 20 mile bike, 4 mile run. Trying to train myself that when I get on the bike, winded and having done some aerobic activity, to get the legs turning over. After that the bike-run brick will take hold and allow me to get through that feeling of your legs not cooperating at the start of the run.

6am start love it.

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