Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Water

I can't believe I haven't posted in a month. It's certainly not for a lack of training. I think a lack of time is the culprit. Graduating from college + getting ready to move + going on vacation = not a lot of free time to blog! But seeing as this is the one month anniversary of my last post, perhaps I should write something!

I think I'll write about water.

I'm terrible about drinking water. Often times I'll go days without drinking water, simply because I forget. And when I do remember, I don't drink enough of it. Instead I drink coffee, coffee and more coffee. And sometimes tea, because I think that tea is equivalent to, and an appropriate substitue for, water (though I know it's not!). This perpetual state of mild dehydration leads to poor workouts, lethargy, and poor eating habits. I often overeat, mistaking thirst for hunger cravings. Or maybe just ignoring the thirst and eating instead. Because honestly, I like food better than water. When I do drink enough water, I can immediatly notice a dramatic performance in my next workout. But then, inevitably, after that workout I slip back into my old anti-water habits.

Ok, let me bring this topic up to speed. For the last five days I've been vacationing with my family at a resort in Puerto Vallarta. It's pretty hot here. So I've been drinking lots of water. I'm also making sure I get some form of training in every day while I'm here. There are copious bottles of water around at all times (and for now, I'm going to ignore my usual vehement and heartfelt rant about the horrors of water bottles. Mexico = bad tap water = I have to drink bottled water..And no, I'm not happy about it). This excess of easy-to-drink water has kept me fairly well hydrated since I arrived. And the funny thing is...every morning when I get in my workout, I feel great. Energized. Strong. Fresh. And while lately I've been struggling with dizziness and fatigue during workouts in Ashland, I haven't had a dizzy spell once since we arrived. Coincidence? Maybe. But probably not. I'm excited to go back home, keep drinking water, and see if that doesn't fix the dizzy spells. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are merely a symptom of my constant dehydration.

Such an obvious solution. Such a simple fix. Water. It really is an athlete's best friend.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cornmeal Orange Cranberry Bread

These muffins are a delicious variation of this recipe. They're light, healthy, tart yet sweet, and the cornmeal gives them a wonderful crunch. I was skeptical about them, unsure whether or not I'd like the cranberry..but it's the perfect flavor with the nutty cornmeal. Though, they'd also be delicious with blueberries instead of cranberries..Next time!

1/2c all-purpose flour
1 1/2c wheat flour
1c cornmeal
1/2c sugar
1 1/2tsp salt
1 1/2tsp baking powder
1/2c apple sauce
1 1/4c milk
1/2c honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2c cranberries
1/3c fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest from 1 orange peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tray with paper liners. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a medium bowl, combine thoroughly the eggs, honey, apple sauce, milk, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and combine thoroughly. Fold in the cranberries and divide batter among the muffin cups. Bake for about 18 minutes, checking often after 14 minutes.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Lemon Bars

(Another amazing recipe I'll write more about later..I just had to get it online, for the time being.)

Dino’s Yummy Lemon Bars

1-cup soft butter
½ cup powdered sugar
2-cups unbleached flour

Cream butter with sugar and add flour ½ cup at a time until all 2 cups are added…. You may need to add a little more or less… what you want is crumbly dough… not like pea size… but more like walnut sized.

Press firmly into a lightly buttered 13x9 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly toasty brown…

4 extra large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
the zest from 2 Meyer lemons
¾ cup lemon juice (from the Meyer Lemons, if they don’t produce enough juice, use more to make up the difference… you can also use concentrated lemon juice… )
¼ cup milk (not skim, whole milk or ½ and ½)
dash salt

Beat the eggs till fluffy… add sugar and beat till nice and creamy… add flour and lemon zest… beat for a minute… then add the milk… and slowly add the lemon juice so it’s a nice almost custard like consistency…

Remove the hot crust from the oven and pour the filing immediately on the hot crust… turn down the oven to 300 degrees (leave the door open while you are pouring the filling to slightly cool off the oven) and return to the oven for 20 minutes or so… the bars are done when the filling is set… feeling firm to the touch, but not giggly…

Cool on a rack for at least one hour, then cool in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Cut into interesting bars and dust with powdered sugar.

Ginger Lemon Muffins

(This is a recipe my mother sent me. I'll write all about these amazing muffins soon!)

Lemon Ginger Muffins

Peel of 1 whole lemon (shaved off with vegetable peeler - yellow part only)
2/3 cup peeled fresh ginger, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup sugar
2 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. poppy seeds
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1cup milk + 1 T. vinegar)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)

Preheat oven to 350. Either use muffin liners or butter muffin tins very well. Combine first 3 ingredients in food processor or blender until it turns to a paste. Whisk together dry ingredients (sugar through ginger) in large bowl. Whisk last 4 ingredients together in medium bowl, then add ginger paste. Stir into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon into muffin cups.
(Optional - sprinkle tops with demerara sugar before baking.) Bake 20 - 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bread

The other night I was chatting on the phone with a good friend. Unable to sit still while talking, I decided to whip up a batch of this bread while talking. I suppose it speaks to the ease of this recipe that I was able to bake while having a phone conversation! And it was super easy--not very messy, didn't create very many dishes, and the ingredients list was relatively short. I also appreciated that the recipe called for a full can of pumpkin--most pumpkin recipes call for 1 cup of puree, so inevitably I find my fridge full of half-full, neglected cans of pumpkin!

The bread itself was just what pumpkin bread should be: moist, sweet and pumpkiny! I omitted the nuts, but that's just because I don't like nuts in my pumpkin bread. I also messed with the sugar amounts. I only had 1 cup of brown sugar, so I added that and used 1 1/3 cups of white sugar.

Fresh out of the oven, this bread was irresistible. Between Travis, the roommate and myself, one of the loaves was gone within a day. And did I mention that while this bread is in the oven, the whole house smelled amazing? Because it did. And so will yours.

Pumpkin Bread

2c all-purpose flour
1 1/2c whole wheat flour
1c brown sugar
1 1/2c granulated sugar
2tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon (the recipe calls for 1 tsp..but I really like cinnamon)
1tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
1c vegetable or canola oil
1/3c maple syrup
1/3c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease two bread pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, pumpkin, water and syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and combine thoroughly--make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well, to catch any hiding flour! Pour the batter into the two pans and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn halfway through. Bread is done when a skewer inserted in comes out clean. Let bread cool in pans for about 20 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks. Freeze well-wrapped in plastic, or store in an airtight container (though I wouldn't recommend storing it this starts to lose flavor after a few days).


Monday, November 22, 2010

Week One of Month One

Well, actually this is the beginning of Week Two..But I thought I'd do a recap of last week! I looked at my schedule about a week and a half ago, and realized that I could get in a month of solid base training before Mexico. I was so stoked! I don't know why it didn't occur to me sooner that I could start training before I leave the country for two weeks. But I'm glad I came to this obvious realization!

The first week went well! A few missed workouts due to school, but thankfully my graduation application was accepted, so I officially only have three more weeks of school left. Soon, the days of 'studying < training' are over! Or is it 'studying > training'? Clearly college has left some gaps in my education...

So back to workouts. Nothing major, nothing extraordinary. Lots of half-hour runs, 1k-1.5k swims, and hour-long rides.

(Actually, my ride on Friday was 1.75 hours, though I was only on the bike for about an hour of that..I flatted..and yes, it took me 45 minutes to fix the flat. Why? 1. I am the slowest flat-changer EVER. 2. My tool broke! 3. My tires are really, really stiff. And I will keep using that excuse even when they're well worn-in and supple as butter.)

Sunday I went on a 90 minute ride with Travis that started off great, albeit chilly, and ended with what might be my worst on-the-bike bonk to date. I don't know what happened. It might have been eating too little, it might've been dehydration, it might've been overheating with all my layers, or maybe it was a combination of all of that. But about 15 minutes from the house I got super hungry, super 'hot-flashy' hot (Not that I really know what that's like, of course, but I can't think of how else to describe it!), and I was getting lightheaded and spacey. My arms felt like they could barely support me, and my legs kept spinning though I felt like I had no control over that. I sure couldn't make it up hills very easily.. I just kept focusing on not falling over, and on the pumpkin bread that I could devour once I got home. Once I did get home I devoured pretty much everything in sight, and was exhausted for the rest of the day!

Today was a total workout fail. I don't feel well (still a little lightheaded and woozy), and I've been so busy all day..I hate making excuses this early into a training block, but I decided to skip workouts today, focus on getting things done, eating well and drinking lots of water, and diving headfirst back into workouts tomorrow (feeling great and rejuvenated, I hope!).

So, again, lessons learned. Tomorrow: Back to base, Week Two!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I actually did not make these cookies..Travis did! We were both craving dessert, but had just polished off the ice cream the other night...(see what I mean about needing to eat a bit healthier??) I was busy studying for a test, so he offered/I coerced him into baking. He mentioned how he'd love a chocolate chip cookie, and I mentioned, with a convincing tone and sly smile, how I'd just seen a recipe for a delicious, whole wheat chocolate chip cookie...the next thing I knew, he was pulling ingredients out of the cupboard!

I was curious about this recipe as it was, so last night's dessert-shortage worked out well. The raves on Orangette's blog had me intigued..could a simple chocolate chip cookie really be as good as her post made it seem? Was it really the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever? And how could one chocolate chip cookie be so much better than all the other perfectly delicious chocolate chip cookies out there? As it is, I am not someone who gets incredibly excited about chocolate chip cookies. Don't get me wrong--they are scrumptious, and I will never turn one down. But if I'm the one baking, I'll almost always prefer to make Pumpkin Cookies or ginger cookies or even double chocolate chip cookies. But rarely do I get the urge to bake plain old chocolate chippers. But Travis was the baker last night, so chocolate chip it was! And I will say--they were exactly what a good chocolate chip cookie should be: thick, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. The nuttiness of the whole wheat flour was great--it offset the sweetness just right. My only complaint with this recipe was its greasiness(and here it becomes apparent: maybe there is no perfect chocolate chip cookie..with such high standards and so many delicious variations, will there ever be a totally pefect, everything-I've-ever-wanted-in-a-chocolate-chip-cookie, chocolate chip cookie??). I think this might have to do with the fact that Travis melted the butter in the microwave to soften it..But we'll overlook that! Why? Because I am convinced that the sooner he becomes fed up with mixing butter and sugar with his hands, as I have to do every time I bake, the sooner we will get a stand mixer.

All that being said, this is a great cookie. The only amount I cannot vouche for is the chocolate chips--we just added them by the handful. I'm sure the recipe's amount is fine, as our cookies were a little light in the chip department.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (8oz.) unsalted butter (The recipe calls for cold and cubed butter, but we went for mostly liquified...Go with cold and cubed.)
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar (Oops again: we used light brown sugar. I doubt the difference is significant, but go with the dark just in case!)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
8oz chocolate chips (the recipe calls for chunks of bittersweet chocolate..all we had was chocolate chips!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line three baking sheets with parchement paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, knead together the butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs one at a time, combnining between. Add the vanilla and combine again. Pour the flour mixture over the wet mixture, and mix until the flour is just combined. Dont' overmix! Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Roll dough into balls equalling about 3tbsp and place evenly on the baking sheets, leaving 2-3 inches between each cookie (we got 8 per sheet). Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate completely (that is, bring the sheets on the bottom rack to the top and visa versa, and spin each sheet). Bake for another 8 minutes*. Allow the cookies to cool for five minutes on the sheets, then transfer them to wire cooling racks, or just dive right in!


*EDIT: I just ate one of these cookies since tasting one fresh out of the oven last's definitely very crunchy now. I'd recommend baking them for only 6 minutes after rotating the sheets.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Udon Noodles and Veggies with Peanut Sauce

The off-season must be coming to a close...I am baking less and less, and cooking more and more. Indeed, today was the start of my first 1 month training block! It's all base, and all fairly easy, but it's still exciting to be "training" again!

One of my main projects lately has been incorporating more produce into meals. While I'm sure Travis, and frankly me as well, would be content eating burritos all winter, it certainly wouldn't be healthy, nor would it support our training very well! I know with how much we put our bodies through we need to refuel with nutrient-dense, healthful foods instead of what's necessarily the "quickest acceptable dinner".

I have also been eyeing this recipe for awhile now. Who could resist chewy udon noodles, a creamy peanut sauce and a bed of soft, colorful veggies? Not me! And I figured with all the veggies it calls for, and the blast of protein in the sauce, this would be a great meal with which to kick off our 2011 season! I modified the recipe a bit because I was out of things, and also because I doubled the recipe.

Udon Noodles and Veggies with Peanut Sauce

2 packages whole wheat udon noodles
3 carrots, grated with the peeler
1/2 cabbage, chopped
1 large zuccini or yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
soy sauce for cooking
sriracha or another hot sauce for cooking
olive oil for cooking
minced garlic, for cooking

For The Sauce:
6oz 0% plain greek yogurt
6 tbsp creamy peanut butter
10 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp ground ginger
1tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 heaping spoonful minced garlic

In a wok or large skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Add the zuccini, and toss with a splash of soy sauce, a spoonful of minced garlic, and just a drop or two of hot sauce. When the zuccini is just barely tender, add the cabbage and carrot and heat for another minute or two, or until the zuccini is cooked and the cabbage and carrot are just soft. Set aside. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Once the water is boiling, add the udon noodles and cook until chewy. Scoop a bed of the vegetables onto a plate, pour a small amount of sauce over them, then top with noodles and more sauce. Tear cilantro over the whole thing, and if you have any, sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top.


Thursday, November 11, 2010


I haven't been baking or cooking very much lately! In fact, the wet burritos I made last night are about as adventurous as I've been in the kitchen for over a week! But I did want to write about a recipe I attempted awhile ago: Seitan!

The seitan recipe I found over at (neverhome)maker. I'd wanted to try it for awhile, so one day I just dove right in! Here's my recipe, as I made a few slight modifications.


1 1/2c wheat gluten flour
1/4c nutritional yeast
1tsp salt
2tsp paprika
2 tsp pepper
2 heaping spoonfuls minced garlic
3/4c cold water (PLUS about 3 tbsp)
4tsp tomato paste
1tsp olive oil
1tsp soy sauce
2 tsp vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients (including garlic) in a large bowl. Whisk together until well-combined. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients--EXCEPT the 3 tbsp water--whisking in the tomato paste last. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and combine well with your hands. If your seitan seems too dry, as mine did, add water from your 3 tbsp reserve until all of the dry ingredients are mixed in. The seitan becomes very gummy very quickly, and adding the extra water allowed me to keep mixing the seitan.

Roll the seitan into a log shape. Wrap in two layers of foil, twisting the ends to seal the roll, and bake on a baking sheet for 1.5 hours.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Monster Dash

Ran the Monster Dash Halloween Run on Halloween. It was definitely one of the most challenging courses I've ever run. The first two miles were uphill, followed by two steep, short downhill sections, and a gradual downhill to the finish.

It was also surprisingly, 80%? So of course I got totally, completely dehydrated. By the first mile I was getting random 'blackout flashes' at the bottom of my vision. I also got the worst cramps I've ever, ever run through. That last half mile hurt, not being able to take in a full breath. I think I had the pain written all over my face.

The frustrating this was, I ran a horrible time. I guess it just speaks to the difficulty of the course that my 23:53 time landed me a fourth-place finish. And also that it's not a competitive race..haha.

It was, however, really really fun to race again! I can already tell how all my distance training has improved my mental toughness. Usually I cannot suffer through a 5K without music. But cruising through a 7 mile run without music has helped alter my perspective. I was so happy to be out there, pushing it, just having fun doing so! And yes, I was having fun the whole time, despite the pain!

Now I just have to get through a few more weeks of school+training, and then Mexico, and then my training can start for real! I cannot wait!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mac N' Cheese

The wind has been wild here the last few days, and between midterm stress and being grumpy about the weather, I found myself craving a huge bowl of creamy mac n' cheese. Really, what better way to spend a chilly night inside than with hot, homemade, gooey mac n' cheese? And lucky me, we had company over for dinner last night. The danger with mac n' cheese is if no one is around to help me eat it, I will eat the whole thing. So I was thrilled to cook for five instead of one (ok, maybe two, if I decided to let Travis have any!).

I have four or five recipes bookmarked, and I want to try all of them, but I decided to stick with a true classic, and went with this recipe. No frilly fanciness, no 'adult' ingredients, just lots and lots of cheese. Perfect! I changed a few things, including doubling the recipe, which I would highly recommend! Between the five of us, plus a bowlful I set aside for our absent roommate, there weren't any leftovers! Guess next time I'll have to triple it, so I can have some more the next day! Mmm.

This recipe is very dish-intensive, but is totally worth it! I was fortunate enough to have a few kitchen helpers, which made a huge difference! With all the time-consuming steps to making this dish, having someone to whisk the milk mixture and/or cook the pasta is extremely helpful. If you're cooking solo, however, don't stress! This is a very manageable one-person dish; it'll just take a little longer. But again--it's totally worth it!

Mac N' Cheese

1lb smooth rigatoni noodles
16oz grated sharp cheddar
8oz grated monterey jack cheese
1/2c shredded parmesan
1/4c blue cheese crumbles
5 cups milk
6 tbsp plus 1 tsp unsalted butter
1/2 a large white onion, diced
2tbsp minced garlic
1tbsp dijon mustard
6 tbsp all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 9x12 casserole dish and set it aside.

Combine all the cheeses except the parmesan in a large bowl. Measure out a cup of the cheese blend and set it aside with the parmesan. You'll use this to top the mac n' cheese later.

In a small saucepan, melt the 1 tbsp of butter over medium-low until melted. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Remove the onion mixture from the saucepan, setting it aside in a small bowl. In a medium saucepan warm the milk. In another, larger saucepan melt the 6 tbsps of butter over medium-low heat. Immediately add the flour and whisk vigorously for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil to thicken the sauce. Whisk the entire time. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and add the onion mixture, spices, mustard and onion mixture. Then, stirring slowly, add the large bowl of your cheese blend. Stir until all the cheese is just melted.

Fill a large saucepan about 2/3 full with water. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for about ten minutes, or until the pasta is cooked. Drain, and add the pasta to the cheese mixture. Stir gently to combine thoroughly. Pour the mac n' cheese into the casserole dish, making sure it's evenly distributed. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese over the mac n' cheese. Then sprinkle the parmesan over the shredded cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the inside is still creamy.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

I'm sensing a common theme in this blog so far..


But can you blame me? It's the season for squash! And with the rain falling and the wind blowing, all I've been craving lately is squash. It's sweet, it's hearty, it's healthy, it's incredibly cheap right now.

Did I mention it's delicious?

Last night I got hit with another 'I have got to stop studying, for twenty minutes. I just want to bake!' urge. So I did! Again, Smitten Kitchen to the rescue! Her recipes are truly amazing. I did make quite a few changes to the recipe, of course, because I am on a constant mission to make things just a tad bit healthier. Unless it's that espresso chiffon cake I made last week... I'll post about that one someday soon! Maybe when I get a camera--what a perfect excuse to make that cake again!

Ok. Back to muffins. I substituted whole wheat flour, and played around with the sugar amounts, and overall they turned out pretty good! They have a great texture--light and moist inside, with a nice crisp top. They're pretty hearty from the whole wheat flour, and are definitely not as sweet as I was expecting, but I think they make a great breakfast muffin. I am bummed that the pumpkin flavor didn't come through more, but I'm not sure how to remedy that..

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2c whole wheat flour
1/3c canola oil (it's all i had--I'm sure vegetable oil would work just as well)
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2c + 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2c raw sugar
1/8c pure maple syrup
1c pumpkin puree
1tbsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Yield: 12 muffins, plus I made a little muffin patty with the extra batter..could probably yield 14 muffins total, depending on the size of your muffin pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups with muffin liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, pumpkin, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices and sugar (minus the 2-3 tbsp extra raw sugar). Whisk in the flour until just combined. Spoon batter into cups, filling each almost to the top. Using the leftover raw sugar, sprinkle a small amount of sugar on the top of each muffin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through. They're finished when a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let them cool in the muffin pan for about five minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. These are delicious when they're still slightly warm!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Oh. My. Gosh. This soup is amazing!

How amazing? Lick the bowl amazing. Lick your spoon amazing. Lick your boyfriend's bowl amazing.

..don't judge me.

It really is that good. And so far, everyone who's tasted this soup has tried a spoonful, paused, looked at me with wide eyes and said something along the lines of 'Wow' or 'That's incredible!' or 'There's no meat in that?' Yeah, I didn't really understand that last comment...BUT this soup does have amazing flavor, is filling without being heavy, is incredibly healthy, and is somehow almost better cold than it is hot! Though, as both versions are so delicious, it's hard to compare.

Am I getting the point across? About how good this soup is? About how you should make it right now? I hope so.

If not, consider this: at a dinner party last week I broke our blender! Why? Because I was unwilling to not make this soup. The bad part? No more soup until we get a new blender!

This recipe is adapted from one I found at Smitten Kitchen. The first time I made this soup I also made my own version of the croutons, but since I want this post to focus on the soup, just trust me: the croutons are really really good!

Butternut Squash Soup

1/4c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (I imagine canola oil would work well instead of butter)
10c 1/2in cubes of fresh butternut squash (about 1 large squash).
2 cans low sodium vegetable stock
1 large white onion, finely diced.
3 cloves minced garlic (or: 2 heaping spoonfuls of jarred minced garlic)*
3 sage leaves, minced*
1tbsp dried thyme
1/2tsp ground ginger*
1tsp salt*
1tsp pepper*
1/8c whipping cream (or half and half)

*I eyeball the spices in this recipe based on flavors I'm craving in the moment. If you like more sage, add another leaf or two! If you like lots of salt and pepper, add more! This recipe is great for adjusting to your personal flavor preferences!

In a large soup pot melt the butter on medium heat. Once melted, add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add the stock, squash, and spices. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat back to medium and cover, stirring occasionally. Once the squash is cooked all the way through (a fork should easily spear the squash) turn the heat off. In batches appropriate for your blender, puree the soup (Note: make sure each batch going into the blender has some broth in it--otherwise the squash won't blend easily). Pour blended soup into a large serving bowl. Once all the soup has been blended, stir in the whipping cream.


Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Glaze

Last night I decided I needed to take a study break. I also decided I needed to use those cans of pumpkin I'd just bought..I also decided I needed cookies.

Enter: Travis' Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Glaze. I found the original recipe at Joy The Baker's, beautiful site, but made several modifications to 'healthify' these amazing cookies. I wanted to at least include whole wheat flour, and reduce the amount of white sugar. Also, I'm not a big fan of butterscotch chips, so I left them out.

These cookies are amazing! I loved the slight heartiness the whole wheat flour gave them, and the slight crunch of the raw sugar. My roommate said he couldn't even tell they were 'healthier'! The maple glaze was the perfect addition. You just can't go wrong with maple and pumpkin! With how easy these cookies were to make, and how incredibly delicious they are, I have a feeling I'll be making these all winter long.

Here's my modified recipe:

Travis' Pumpkin Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
1c all-purpose flour
1c whole wheat flour
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2c white sugar
1/2c raw sugar
2 eggs
1/2c canola oil
1c canned pumpkin
1tsp vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients: (Modified from a recipe at Ice Cream Before Dinner)
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp half and half (or milk, or cream..)
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2c confectioner's sugar
1/4c light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 and line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. In another, smaller bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together until creamy and light (about 1 minute). Whisk in the oil, as you stir (this would be way easier with a stand mixer, I assume, but it worked fine slowly whisking with one hand and pouring oil with the other! Those of us without kitchen gadgets have to improvise!). Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture, and combine with a rubber spatula. The dough will be quite runny. If you have an ice cream scoop that equals 1/4c, use this to scoop dough onto baking sheets. Or, if you don't have a scoop (I don't!) a spoon works just fine! Simply eyeball the amount. Space cookies about 2 inches apart. I got 8 cookies on each sheet.

You can bake each sheet separately, as Joy recommends, or together, as I did because I simply didn't have the patience! If you bake them separately, bake each for about 16 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies feel just slightly firm, and the bottoms are just slightly golden brown. If you bake them together, rotate completely after ten minutes (that is, bring the sheets on the lower rack to the top rack, and visa versa, and spin each sheet). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes--they will stick to the parchment paper initially, but cooling them thoroughly will alleviate this. Once cooled, transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack.

While the cookies are cooling, in a small saucepan melt the butter, brown sugar and half and half on medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the syrup, and then the confectioner's sugar. And that's it! Once the cookies are completely cooled, dip them upside-down in the glaze, and return to the cooling racks until the glaze has set (of course, you'll have to try just one cookie immediately..and that's okay. I tried three.)

TIP: Place the parchment paper you baked the cookies on underneath the cooling racks, to catch any glaze drips!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well, only a few things to mention, I guess.

The first is the long run I went on last week that did not go so well. I hadn't run more than once or maybe twice during the week leading up to it, but decided I was going to go for it--8 miles. Also, for the last two months I've done more or less all of my running on trails. But for some reason I decided that the long run should be done on pavement. Or rather, I knew better, but also knew I have to start running on pavement at some point...the race next month is a road race, after all! So even though I knew better..I knew I should do an easy 45 minute trail run instead..I set out for a long run around town. It went well until the last two miles or so, when my knees started to HURT and at times were buckling underneath me. I stopped to walk about half a mile from home, because I couldn't justify it anymore. I should have walked long ago, but my pride wouldn't let me..Awful, I know. So I came home, iced immediately, and as to be expected the next few days my IT bands were pretty sore. I haven't run since then and they feel better! I've swam, and gone on a great ride (40 miles) but no running yet. I got scared thinking I was digging myself into another overtraining hole, and during the offseason, no less, so I backed off.

Which, I guess, leads me to the other training struggle I've encountered lately. I have a hard time accepting that it IS the offseason, and this IS the time when I can and should focus my attention on things besides triathlon and training. I'll be done with college in 6 and a half weeks, and right now that should be my main focus. Yet yesterday, when I didn't do anything active and hadn't the day before, either, I was getting so down on myself! I hate the feeling of not doing things. It's partly why I got into triathlon in the first place. So I can stay as active as I prefer to. But yesterday the hours quickly slipped away from me, and I had to accept that while I did have time for a short run, or ride, I'd be better off doing homework. So it's something I'm working on. Finding a better balance between training and other obligations, knowing where my priorities lay and accepting that, and making sure I am filling all my personal needs (training, schoolwork, and my new hobby: cooking!!) to a point where I don't feel like anything is lacking or missing in my life. Not training is definitely just as hard as training!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

End Of The Season

The last race of the season turned out to be the hardest. I should have known. I'll just write a quick report..

The swim was, in one word, cold. I jumped in before the race, jumped right back out, and spent the 5 minutes before my wave start panicking. I did not want to get in that water. It was a three-bouy course, and it took until the first bouy for my face to stop hurting from the cold, and for my arms to work. By the second bouy I could feel the water, and pull. In the final stretch I was cruising, but it was too little too late. I still swam a 15:26, my best OW swim of the season.

The bike was awful. I had one of those "hey, legs, where'd you go?" rides all the way out. After the turn-around I was able to put in some effort, but again, too little too late. Awful bike time of should have been in the 33s.

The run went great, other than excruciating achilles blisters from my new runners! The first half mile were awful--I was limping, swearing out loud, etc. Then I accepted the fact that my heels were going to hurt, and I was able to run a decent 20:50 run (7:30 pace).

Overall, I'm thrilled with what I accomplished this season. In only five months I learned how to ride a bike, learned how to swim for real, learned how to train (though I'm definitely not DONE learning how to train!), competed in three triathlons, qualified for nationals, and learned so much more, I wouldn't know where to start. To name a few important lessons: Integrity, consistency, mental toughness, believing in myself.

I can't wait until next season!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Longer and longer..

Today I ran for 50 minutes. Slowly.

I'm slightly tempted to map out my run and figure my pace. But I won't. It's minutes not miles that matter now!

My knees weren't too happy the last ten minutes. And my left knee threw a little fit at about 15 minutes.

Next long run: 2 laps around Greenlake in one week! That's been a goal of mine for so long!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Distance Running

I'm not a distance runner. I think since starting this blog I have only run 5 miles once. 4 miles is a 'good' run, usually.

Therefore, obviously, I'm training for a 9-mile race in November.

Today was Long Run #1. I spent all morning researching trails, picked the trail, and ran. 41 minutes. That's nearly five miles. And, there were hills. I'm calling it a success.

I could get used to this long, slow running stuff.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Well, I'm no longer stagnant. I can work out now. I can also sleep, eat, and talk.

Workouts started with a few hour-long spins around Talent. No speed, effort or climbing. They went well enough, though I could definitely feel the lack of riding in my legs! Last Friday I rode an hour and a half--my longest ride since the race. Baby steps. Yesterday I climbed up Dead Indian as far as the cattle went better than I expected--physically, not mentally--and this morning my legs are a little sore! I've really missed that feeling!

Swimming started off slow. Literally. I swam 1k, mostly pull. The next day, I swam 1.2k. Yesterday I swam a whole mile! I made the mistake of timing a few 200s..Yeah, not gonna do that again for awhile. All I can say is, I hope I gain back swim fitness as fast as I lost it.

Running is going well. I started off with a 20 minute jaunt in the park, then a few 25 minute runs, then a hilly half hour run the other day that miiiight not have been the best idea. After a few days of mild knee pain I'm feeling ready to run again. Not that the pain was terrible--it's just the sort of pain I would have run through in the past, only to lay myself up for the next two months. I've gotten so good at this consistency thing! Haha. I ordered new runners and treated myself to some new run wardrobe items (40% off sales...eek!) so I'm feeling ready to train for the 9 miler in mid-November.

Which I guess leads me to my Fall Goals. I know this is the time most triathletes take time off, relax, do the fun things they don't get to do while training and racing. However since I've only been training since, uh, March, I've decided to keep at it through the fall (my FAVORITE time to train, anyways!), take the better part of December off, and start building again in January. Basically my goals are about endurance right now, not necessarily speed. I'm working on adding time to every sport. By December I'm hoping to be at 3k swims, 3 hour rides and 60 minute runs, all comfortably and consistently. It'll be nice to take a step back from 'crash training' and spend more time focusing on what I skipped over this season: technique, climbing, patience, long runs etc. I'm really excited for this new chapter in training!

I was going to post about a bad day, a bad workout and the word of the day: Integrity...But this is turning into a novel so maybe I'll save that story for another day. Suffice to say, I've added 'integrity' to my list of fall training goals. :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Still no workouts. Not a thing since the race. My teeth, or rather the holes where they once were, are causing all sorts of problems. No food/fuel+pain pills=no workouts.

I'm trying to look at this rationally. It's only been 8 days. It feels like months, and I'm not kidding or exaggerating. BUT it has only been 8 days. Even if I'm not back at it for the rest of this week. Two weeks won't ruin my fitness. And I'll be fine for Black Diamond.

It's the mental part I'm having a hard time with. I can't do any of the things I love doing. It's been bringing me down, but at least now I know what's wrong with my jaw (dry socket) and the dentist has me on a new path to recovery.

It's a good lesson in patience, and in appreciating everything and every workout I'm able to do.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Portland Triathlon (A Novel)

I'm beyond pleased--I'm so proud--of my performance at Portland. It wasn't super fast, definitely not glitch-free, but in the end I accomplished what I set out to do, and that's what matters most.

Race morning went well. Greg cooked SuperOats and I had a bit of coffee, changed and was at the race site by 6am. It was such a treat being able to ride my bike to the race start, instead of having to deal with parking, cars, traffic etc! It made for a very stress-free morning! My plan was to get to the race early, so as to get a great spot in transition and have plenty of time to warm up. However when I got there, the racks were over half full! I managed to find a sweet spot though, right next to Bike In/Out, and with a good straight line to Run Out. As I was setting things up i heard there was going to be a mandatory meeting at 7am, and then all racers would be herded to the race start for the first sendoff of the waves. I ran around for probably 15 minutes trying to figure out if there'd be swim warm-up available after the meeting...I didn't want to warm up at 6:45 and sit in my cold, soggy wetsuit for an hour until my wave, but I also didn't want to start the swim without warming up! No one knew the answer to my question, so I decided I'd warm up after if I could, and if not, I wouldn't worry about it.

Turns out there was no warm up after the meeting. Instead we were all ushered down to the dock area, and without any audible warning they started sending waves off. At about the time of the first wave I realized I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and I was getting hungry! Not good right before a race! I dashed back into transition and found a granola bar to scarf down. As soon as I'd finished that and pulled my wetsuit on, I saw a herd of white-capped women walking towards the water! I hollered at a few and found out they were Olympic distance--I still had five minutes until my wave. Phew! So I stood close to the ramp and made sure I was one of the first women to walk down to the dock once our wave was called. I tried to get a straight line to the buoy, but from the water they were nearly impossible to see! For some reason the buoys were white and small and square, so from the water they were practically invisible. The swim start was nuts: The officials had all 100 or so of us sardined against the dock in the water, and once they yelled "Go" it was a typical mad rush. I panicked a bit, and my breathing got crazy because I'd never warmed up, but eventually I found some feet and told myself to calm down and stick with them. The problem was, the water was so brown and murky I couldn't see anyone's bubbles, and couldn't see their feet until they were about to kick me in the face! So I did what I could, and tried to feel for a draft, which helped for the first 300 meters or so. Right before the first buoy I must have hit an eddy or something--suddenly I got super dizzy and disoriented, and told myself to just keep swimming and keep following the others. At the second buoy I felt a lot better, and started booking it towards the dock. However the Swim Out was also poorly marked, and I suck at sighting, so I couldn't really see where I was supposed to be swimming the last 300 meters. The other swimmers were super spread out, so I didn't know who to follow. Thankfully when I got close enough to see signs, the Swim Out sign was right in front of me. I made it up the ladder (ladder? Really??) and ran up to transition. On the run up I was super tired and feeling a little apathetic, but I reminded myself I'd feel tons better once I was on the bike.

I got my shoes on quick, helmet on quick, and had a super fast transition--until, just as I was leaving transition, I realized my timing chip had come off with my wetsuit!! I spun around with my bike--nearly bowling over another guy!--and frantically started digging around my area. Here's where I was so glad my setup was so close to Bike In/Out!! So anyways I started pulling through the sleeves of my wetsuit and shaking it out hunting all over...then I spotted a timing ship across the isle. I yelled at a girl, "Is this yours? I lost mine!" She looked at me wildly, and when I noticed a chip on her ankle I thought, "Oh well!" and put it on and got on the bike. I figured worst case scenario: it wasn't my chip, and I was out of the running. But I didn't have anything to lose..I couldn't keep searching any longer! Once I was out on the bike I got down in the aeros, which I'm not super comfortable in anyways, almost instantly some guy rides up in front of me and boxes me into the curb. My pedal dragged for a few seconds while I tried to find room to ease off the curb, and once I did I steadied myself and hopped back up onto my hoods. I was so glad I didn't go down! I decided that since it was such a crowded bike course I'd stay in my hoods, and not risk getting bumped in the aeros again! The bike was a two-loop course, a slow uphill to a steeper short climb, then a long fast descent back towards the transition area. At the top of the hill on the first loop I was shifting up and heard a clank--sure enough, I'd dropped my chain! Fortunately I was right next to a parking lot loop, so I pulled off immediately, threw my chain back on, and sped off down the hill. Also annoying, was for the entire bike my nose was running sooo bad! It was irritating, if nothing else. Starting the second loop I was feeling pretty aggrivated by everything that had happened so far, but focused on keeping a steady pace, having a little water, and by the end of the second lap I'd talked myself into a better mood.

I racked my bike fast and while I was trying to jam on my runners the insole kept getting squished up in the toe! Finally I had to untie my shoe, put it on, and retie it. Ugh! Another failed transition. But I set out on the run with my goals rejuvenated, and immediately found a good rhythm. The run was fantastic. I felt great the whole time, and strong, and in the last mile I focused on pushing the run as hard as I could. I kept reminding myself how disappointed I'd be if I didn't qualify and still had something in the tank at the finish line, so I ran as hard as I could through the finish. I immediately went to the timing van and had the guy confirm that my chip was, in fact, mine! Thank goodness it was!

I placed second in my age group and was the 11th woman overall: a result I'm super pleased with! And best of all, I qualified for USAT Age Group Nationals! I won't go, but it was my main goal this year to simply qualify, and has me so excited for next season!

Sadly I haven't trained at all since the race! The next morning I went right to the dentist to get my wisdom teeth pulled, and have been on bed rest, gumming pudding and yogurt! But I know I need to rest, and the more I rest now the sooner I'll be back to swimbikerun! I can't wait!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Three days until Portland Triathlon. I'm nervous, and excited. One side of me is terrified of everything that could go wrong: a flat, a bad swim, poor transitions, running out of steam on the run... The other side of me keeps remembering that I've only been at this for four months. I should just have fun with it, and see where that takes me. I know I should listen to the second part.

Yesterday I did my last hard run before the race. I'm never doing 800s in the mid-morning summer heat again. Each one got windier, hotter and harder. I guess that's how repeats go. I'm still happy I finished all 6, and each was at 7:12 pace or faster. I think the splits were: 3:25/27/36/30/32/27 or something like that. Clearly I've forgotten how to pace.

Had another 'I forgot how to swim overnight' swim yesterday evening. I'm trying to put that out of my head, focus on the great swims I had last week, and get a good final swim in today.

Rode a TT this morning, too. 13.75 miles in 45 minutes. Averages out to 18mph. Not stellar, not bad. We'll see what happens on race day....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Best Swim Yet?

Yesterday's swim was great. As in, it demonstrated progress and potential. I am still not fast, but until I am fast, progress will be the most important thing!

Swim was:


4x50 on 1:10-Held :50s for all of these.
Rest 1:30.
4x100 on 2:10-Held sub 1:50s for all of these. Most between 1:44 and 1:47. That's damn good for me!

The last 100 was 1:40. Sweet!

If I can swim 1:50/100m in the race, I should have a sub-15:00 swim. That'd be cool!

Also a great ride yesterday morning, and a really solid brick today. Good ride, followed by two miles run at 7:30 pace. If I can have a good swim, stay upright on the bike, and gut out the last mile, I could have a good race!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Not a 'training log' sort of post, and maybe the first 'bloggy' post of this blog. But this is something I've been thinking about, and wanted to jot down.

The last week has been kind of a rough one as far as training. I've had some good sessions, like a 2 hour rolling ride last Sunday on my amazing new bike, and some awesome mile repeats on the treadmill last Tuesday, but since that workout, I've found myself encountering this word a lot in my training.


Lately, I've been using it as a means of self-negotiation. Such as the 90 minute ride planned for Saturday morning, which I turned into an hour ride after a poor night's sleep. Or the swim intervals yesterday I changed mid-session due to noodle arms. Or yesterday's run, supposed to be more speedy intervals, but after feeling drained, I told myself all I had to do instead was run half an hour in the park.

It's been like that pretty much since Friday.

And lately, each time I dive into a workout I changed at the last minute, I've been thinking about this word. What it means to compromise. It means to reach an agreement between two parties (myself and my training). It settles a dispute (between my legs and those repeats). It makes 'it' enough--but only just.

There's just one problem. 'Compromise' has two meanings.

The other meaning implies the endangering of something: in this case, my success as an athlete. Each time I've reached a compromise with myself regarding a workout, am I compromising my chances to qualify for Nationals? When I allow myself, at the last minute, to turn those last two 100s into 4x50s, am I compromising my chances at swimming fast enough next weekend? When I choose the less healthy food item at the coffee shop, reaching a compromise with myself that I'll eat a nutritious dinner, am I compromising my body's chance at healthy fuel?

This week has taught me a lot about the importance of compromises. Sometimes they're necessary, sometimes they're the most rational decision. Sometimes they compromise goals, and that's what I'm trying to avoid. I'm still learning how to give myself every possible chance to be the best athlete I can be, and not to compromise my chances at achieving my goals. I'm also learning where to draw the line with self-negotiation, and how much is too much.

Compromises vs. Compromising. Someday I'll have it figured out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good Few Days

Good swim yesterday. New favorite set of 4x100/4x75/4x50/4x100. Could barely make 1:50s on the first 100s...was getting super frustrated. Turned the 4x25 into a 100, and swam 1:37. Guess I can still swim okay...eventually...

Then a run that got cut really short. Bummer, but it was still speedy(ish).

Today was a good swim of warm up, then 4x50/4x100 x2. Way harder than I thought! It'll be fun to use this set more often and add distance to it. It'll be good for staying tough, I think.

Tonight was an amazing run. One that seemed to make all my woes disappear. A good hard (though it felt effortless!) mile repeat session on the treadmill. Not my fastest times, of course, but that doesn't matter. I was just so happy to be running like that again..without mental struggle, without hating it, without anything. I even got some gnarly dehydration cramps early on, and forced myself to run through them. I'm glad I did! I stayed tough, and more importantly, I stayed positive. I'm happy with that run!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


5 mile run
8:30 pace
88 degrees

I'm ok with that. But just ok.

Swim yesterday was good. That's kind of how swims have been lately.....just..good. But I feel like I lost a lot of fitness and confidence lately with the swim, so now am working on getting it back in time for Portland. I'll just keep trying, and hopefully it'll be enough on race day.

I GOT A NEW BIKE. By Saturday, gone are the aching shoulders, the sore back, the heavy frame, and the snickers of other riders. Instead I will be whizzing right past all the snickerers on my beautiful new Ridley Compact. I think I'll call her Roxanne or Roxy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blogging Break

It's been too long since my last post to recount all the workouts I've done...I guess the thing to mention now is my revisited training plan pre-Portland. I discovered that Portland Tri is the Age Group Nationals qualifying my new goal is to try to qualify. Whether or not I can achieve that goal with only three months of training behind me, I don't know. But I'm going to try my hardest.

In light of this new goal, and recent issues with making workouts and burning out and over-loading my plate, I redid my training plan for the next month. I realized that with school, homework, training and my job, I have a hard time making two workouts a day five or six days in a row. Somewhere in there I miss a day, and feel badly about it. This happened again on Thursday. I spent all evening thinking about my circumstances. Consistency seems so much easier for other people...but I'm not other people. And I thought about what makes me different. Or anyways, what affects ME. Not other people. I realized 1) If I only had a job, not a job I have to bring home each night (i.e. homework), training plans would be simpler. 2) I've never trained steadily through the summer heat. This is no doubt taking somewhat of a toll on me, mentally and physically. 3) I've never trained so consistently before. It's always GOcrashGocrashGo..CRASH. Not this time. 4) Maybe I'm just not ready for 2x daily, 6x a week workouts. And that's OK. I've only been at this for three months!

So now my plan is something like 'three days of workouts, one day off'. I just finished the first three days of training, and today is an off day. And I feel great! Tired, for sure, because I was able to focus more on my workouts without feeling overwhelmed by all I had to do before an off day, even when I was tired. This time, when I was tired, I knew I could rest soon. And therefore, I think my workouts went way better.

We'll see if this positive trend continues!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Long Week..

I don't remember most of the workouts I did the past 8 days, but I do remember many of them were good. Running's been going well, with some solid half hour runs sans knee pain, breathing issues, stomach cramps, etc. Just the running I needed to get under my belt before I move forward. Biking's going well..Some good rides solo, and with Travis. I'm sick of riding in 90+ degree heat though! Swimming's been interesting. I went to my first Master's swim group on Monday, and had probably the best swim workout of my life. Meant to go again on Wednesday but after a night of tossing and turning I couldn't get myself to function at 5am. Tried to swim later but it was as though I forgot how to swim overnight. After a mile of absolutely pitiful turns, horrible times, and all sorts of other swim catastrophes, I called it a day. I haven't worked out since then...I hit a sort of wall yesterday and there was no way I was getting on my bike as I had planned. today, too, the runners stay by the door and my suit stays hanging upstairs. I really did feel good enough to train today, but I have tons of homework looming over my head and I know I never train as well when I have something looming over me, so I'm taking the day off to get some homework done, and to get excited about training again. I am, really, I'm just trying to figure it all out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lots to Update!

I can't believe how lax I'm being about updating this thing! I'd better get more strict about the time I post I can't remember half the workouts I did, and that defeats the entire purpose of this blog!

Last Wednesday I swam 2k after class and rode an hour and a half.

Thursday I didn't work out...I've been having a hard time on Thursdays..they're the end of the school week for me, and I'm usually freaking out about a test or something and can't get myself to work out. If this Thursday presents the same issues, I'll go ahead and make that my off day from now on.

Friday I ran in the morning...thirty minutes or so, and it was hard! My legs felt fine, but my breathing was all screwed up. Like, I felt asthmatic or something...I couldn't take in a good breath. So it was a slow run, but a good lesson in toughing it out! I was supposed to run 40 minutes, but I couldn't make myself do it with such labored breathing! Then I rode a good two hours in the evening, the first hour alone and the second with Travis. I always ride better when I ride with him! So it was good.

Saturday I swam 2k and worked a lot on flip turns..the swim was ok. I'm working on improving my stroke, and playing around with different concepts/techniques. Flip turns are tiring!

Sunday I ran a 2 mile race in the morning! I tempo-ed it the whole was a fun race, so I didn't want to be the asshole 'charging' everyone. I ran it in 13:48. Good, considering I hadn't run fast in awhile! In the evening I rode about 45 minutes with Travis, a good hilly ride. I need to work on climbing. And consistency.

(Holy moly this is long!)

Monday I swam a mile which was really difficult because of my breathing...after that 2 mile race I got a gnarly cough that didn't really go away for a few days, so while I was swimming I found I couldn't take a good, full breath. Made it really hard! I worked on flips again, too, for about 2k total of swimming.

Tuesday I rode an easy hour before class. Easy. It was early, and I was tired, and I had to pee SO bad the whole time! But I hate to stop on the side of the road....Then I was supposed to run half an hour in the evening, but I had a horrible gut ache from some undercooked rice, so after running through excruciating stomach cramps for 20 minutes, I called it good. Felt bad about quitting early AGAIN, but I feel good in that my legs never hurt or got tired, so I think I'm in good running shape, I just need to get better about lining my cards up right for a good, long run. I've got it in the legs, I know.

All in all, training's going well. I'm still really frustrated with running right now, but I'm hoping it's just another running funk I'll push through.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More 'Good' Work

Whoops I'm behind! Good think I'm obsessive about marking off my day planner..otherwise I wouldn't remember what workouts I did!

Wednesday I rode an hour...that was a busy day, but I'm glad I at least got the ride in. I think I was supposed to swim....I'm having a hard time managing school, work and training, and sadly usually training is what has to get manipulated first. Anyways, yeah, rode on Wednesday.

Thursday I swam 2K in the morning, and rode 90 minutes in the evening. That ride was really was super hot, I was dehydrated (as always) and I couldn't seem to get my legs to 'go'. So I got in the 90 minutes, but not as hard as I'd hoped. They can't all be awesome efforts, I guess..

Friday through Sunday I did nothing! I was on vacation with Travis, and we left the bikes at home. So relaxing!

Monday was back at it. I swam 2.5K right after class--the longest I've swam. It went really well! 600 w/u, then 500/400/300/200/100 as 'cruise/race tempo/fast/painful/all out. Then a good cool down. Good swim! I ran 40 minutes in the evening, and that was rough. It was a mental challenge more than anything else, but I got it done. I didn't feel great, and I struggle a lot with staying positive on the run. When it hurts, it never gets better, and it's hard to keep going. But I did, and I'm happy. Was it a fast run? No. But I'm still learning, and I still got in the time!

Yesterday I rode an hour, out along 66 and then back up Crowson. Good ride--my knee never hurt, but it felt stiff. Which is better than pain! Still, I'll be happy when I get this bike fit figured out, and I can stop worrying about my back/knee. I ran in the evening...was supposed to be half an hour, but 15 minutes into the run I started getting these awful rolling stomach cramps, and I decided that rather than put so much mental effort into running through them for another 15 minutes, I just called it good at 20 minutes. It was supposed to be an easy run anyways, but I still get really frustrated when I can't finish a run. It seems like there's always something keeping me from finishing a run workout--allergies, dehydration, knee pain, etc...and I wonder how much of that is legitimate and how much of it is my own psychosomatic excuses for copping out early. I love to run, but it's hard, and I get frustrated with it so so so easily. I'm not very patient with gaining run fitness...and I want every run to be better than the last. Stupid, I know, but it's a huge aspect of what I struggle with mentally in training.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


It's going well. I'm thrilled to be back at it, getting my hands dirty.

Friday I ran half an hour. That run hurt. My allergies were horrible, and while my legs felt fine I could barely breathe. It became a balance of wimping out on the run and working extra hard to get in the full half the end I think I ran 25 minutes or so...and even though my legs never really felt it, I think I did all I could do that day. I hate when that happens.

Saturday I rode for 90 min, and did the orchard loop Trav took me on awhile ago. I love that ride! Though as I get stronger, I'm wishing it was longer...annyways. Rode that loop and felt great the whole time. When I was nearing home I realized my ride was going to be about 1:20, and I was deciding between throwing in an extra few miles with a little hill in it to round out or overshoot my 90 minute goal, or just call it a day. I called it a day. I wasn't very tired, and I really really wanted to keep riding my bike, but I know it's important that I don't gogogogoCRASH like I always do. I'm working really hard on pacing, be it time or speed or whatever. It's paying off, I can tell!

Sunday I took an unplanned day off. I was feeling really funky all morning, like lethargic and mopey and just really down, so I took the day off! Looking back, I think it was the right thing to do. Again, learning not to gogogoCRASH. Learning to PACE myself! :)

Monday I swam a mile in the morning, and that went well. 600 w/u pluss 3x400. I think I swam an extra 50 on the first 400, or else I was just SUPER tired, but the last two went well and I descended my times. I don't know if that means I'm not swimming hard enough at first or what (probably true)...Then in the evening I went on a great run! I hadn't run on the tready in a long time, and I just hopped on and busted out a 40 minute run, speeding up progressively. It was great--I never felt bad, nothing hurt, I felt like I could have run it a little faster but right now that's a good feeling to have after a workout...I definitely felt like I worked, though! 5 miles in 40 minutes, pretty good for where I'm at.

Today I rode an hour in the morning, which was okay. I rode up a slowly descending hill, and at a certain point my left knee started hurting every time I pushed into the pedal with that leg. It wasn't too bad at first but after a few minutes it definitely turned into 'turn around now before you mess something up!' pain. It even hurt while I descended, which I thought was weird, but by the time I got to the main road again it was a little better. Gonna get my bike fit looked at next week! Then it was a half hour run in the afternoon heat. I focused on finding a rhythm that felt comfortable, and sticking with it for the whole run. No worries about time, pace, distance, etc. Just running. And the run turned out great! I didn't overwork in the heat, and I never reached that 'I've blown up' point. I'm feeling really good about where my running's going. Not fast, but long, healthy, steady, strong.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

First Week Back

Training's been going well so far, especially considering how little I did last week.

Monday I swam 1600m..don't remember what the swim was, but I remember it felt pretty good. I ran in the evening, just 3 miles and it was pretty slow. But otherwise it felt fine.

Tuesday I rode with Travis. And hour ride with a short climb in the middle. I was so happy to be back on the bike! I felt horrible at first..really tired and a little woozy (I never drink enough water!) but by the time we got to the dump hill, and especially after, I felt tons better. I was supposed to run in the evening, but this Spanish class is proving to be way more work than I expected, so I spent the evening studying!

Wednesday I got up and swam in the morning before class..1650m, and that swim went really well. I think it was..600m w/u, 3x200 descending, 3x100 descending. Short but good. I was planning on 4x100 but by the 3rd rep I was getting really hungry and a third person was about to get in the lane, so I figured instead of fighting a crowd for 100m I'd call it a morning. In the evening I went on a great run-about 3.75 miles, and I just focused on finding a rhythm and sticking with it the whole time. It's something I struggle with--I tend to run too fast at first, or get to a certain point and realize I'm running 'too slow', or whatever, so sticking with a pace and not worrying about it was a good lesson.

This afternoon I swam 2K after class...that went pretty well. 600m w/u, then 400,300,3x200, 100c/d. I don't really know what to make of my 400 and 300 times, which were, I think, 8 minutes and 6 minutes, but my 200s went well: 3:50, 3:45, 3:40. Just glad to descend. I'm trying not to stress out about speed TOO much..for now..Tonight I rode an hour, and that went well too! Although on the way back I started to get crabby..first off I could have sworn my cleat was coming unscrewed again, but when I checked it was fine. I just wasted a lot of time worrying about it. Then I dropped my chain right when I was getting seriously hungry, like bonky wobbly hungry, so that made me grumpy. But the end of the ride was fine, and I got home and ate a TON. And now I'm happy and resting for the weekend!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Easy Week

It's been such an easy week. I ran half an hour on Wednesday..that's right, no workouts Sunday, Monday OR Tuesday! The run itself was definitely felt good to run, but also felt like it had been awhile!

I ran again yesterday, another easy half hour. That went way better. I love how after rest each run is faster/easier than the last! Ran the lake loop at 7:25 pace, so I guess I haven't lost too much. Though I'm starting to feel pretty lazy/cushy! :P

Next week it starts again. I can't wait to get going!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Update, Race report

The last few days before the race I didn't do much..I rode a little on Friday evening, and that's it!

The race went well! I approached it as: swim like I'm swimming in class, ride like I'm riding with Travis, run like I'm running a 5K. And for the most part it went well! All of my splits were a little slower than I would've liked, but I'm happy with a 1:23 sprint.
The swim was good: I got a good start and never really got boxed in. A few times I had to stop and look up because I was swimming into a group of people, but I think I got around them well and I spotted fairly well. The bike transition was okay..I just relaxed and it went fine. The bike was great--I probably could have pushed harder (that can be said for the whole thing!) but I'm happy with it. The run hurt..I was hungry and had to pee before the swim started, so by the run I was about to die! And my legs were cramping, but by the last mile I was able to run a 7 or so minute mile.

I'd consider the race a success all around! 16th woman overall, won my age group. It was a small race, and really low-key, but those are still good results! :)

This is going to be an eassssy week. Next week workouts, school and work start again, so the most exercise I've gotten so far has been walking to the grocery store for more ice cream!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finally, a good workout!

Well I never did fit in a swim yesterday, but the brick went really well. 45 minute ride (lik 25 minutes out, 20 back! It was all downhill at the turnaround) and then a good 18:30 run, which I think came to 2.5 miles. So..7:24 pace? Not bad, considering how very, very little I've been running lately.

I swam this morning instead, the first real swim in nearly a week. It was okay. I know the swim tomorrow will go better!

Tonight I'll run, then like I said a short swim tomorrow and an easy easy spin in the evening.

It's funny--I'm actually more excited for this race to be over so I can get back to training again than I am for the race itself! Pre-race nerves/despondancy I guess. I know I'm going to have tons of fun, and I know a week off of serious training will do me good, and then I can sink my teeth in again! I'm getting stoked for Applegate!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


What a rough week! Finals and race week don't mix well. Anyways, where was I..

Thursday I swam in class, a good mile, and ran 4 later. That run actually went really well..I ran around this random farm disctrict while Travis was doing a crit race, so I got to explore a little. And it was raining the perfect kind of rain for running in! So I just cruised around for half an hour and never really felt like I had to work for it. I stopped when my knees started sending off little alarm signals, but it was one of those days where I felt like i could keep running forever!

Friday I swam 2K at the Y, a good swim though I don't remember what it was. Then I rode an hour in the evening..again, don't remember what that ride was!

Saturday I met up with my swim teacher at the lake and we got in the water with our wetsuits and went over swim tactics. It was SO COLD. But now I feel like I'm mentally prepared for the water temp at Blue Lake. I didn't run that day. Yep, this is the day when my workouts started to slip..

Sunday I ran half an hour, easy. It was hot and humid for a change, and the temperature really took it out of me! But I got it done.

Monday I rode a little over an hour. Nothing special. But a fun ride!

Tuesday I didn't do anything. Study/Wrrands/Study/Work.

Today I've got to fit in a brick (60 min. ride plus 2 mile run) and a swim (1 mi. hard if it's crowded, 2K if it's not!) after my final at 5! Busy busy.

What a boring post! I wish I could remember my workouts better, but the days have been bleeding together and I can hardly remember what day it IS nevermind what happened days before! Next week will be easier to log. Just runs! I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ok..It's been a strange few days training-wise, so hopefully I can remember everything!

Friday I was supposed to do mile repeats and ride an hour, but my knee had been bothering me the last few days, so I decided to do my brick workout instead. It went really well! Other than getting rained/hailed on, the hour ride went well and the 2 mile run was surprisingly fast. It was a great workout, but sadly the only one of the day!

Saturday I swam 2K. No running, again, as my knee was still concerning me. I don't really remember what the swim was!

Sunday..I think I rode for an hour on Sunday. That's all! Oh yeah, I must have, because I rode out to Talent with Travis and his uncle. It was an early, cold, fun ride! It's nice to ride with people whose 'cruising' pace is just a tad faster than mine!

Monday I swam a mile, and then rode an hour. The swim was okay..just okay. Don't remember what it was though..and the ride went well! I was getting really frustrated with this lingering, nagging knee pain, so I rode kind of hard. I just wanted to feel like I was putting work into my legs again! Might've ridden longer, but I had to get to work.

Yesterday I swam in the wetsuit I'll be wearing next weekend! I warmed up, and then did an 800 time trial. I think the time was right at 14:00..which is okay. Not great, but okay.

Today I rode an hour in the morning..I was originally planning on doing a brick, but then I decided I'd rather focus on a ride, and focus on a run. So I rode out to Emigrant. That ride's a good 'Head down and focus' ride, because it's not nearly as pretty as riding out to Talent! And I think the hills are worth a little more. Long rollers, instead of super short little bumps. Anyways, so I rode out a ways, stopped at one point to check my cleat, and at that time the clock was at 25:something so I just decided to turn around, thinking I'd ride slower on the way home. As SOON as I turned around, it started pouring/hailing! I love riding in that kind of weather. I feel so badass, and ride that much harder. Of course i didn't stop to put on, just let the hail sting me and raced home. I threw in a .75 mile easy hill, and without the hill I would have definitely negative split the ride! It was awesome.

In the evening I ran an easy easy (but painful--I was super dehydrated) 3 mile run. Horrible run, as to be expected after taking five days off, but at least I got out there! Sometimes it's so hard to get going after a break. That's how I felt..but it can only get easier from here on out..for awhile, anyways!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Get It Done..

Wednesday I swam 1.5k and did core..I think the swim was a descending ladder of sorts. Then in the evening I went on an easy run..I really wasn't feeling it-tired, apathetic, just not wanting to run. So I decided to just go out there and even if I only ran a few miles, it'd be better than not running at all. Once I got into it I felt a little better, and wound up running the usual half-hour. When I got back and clocked my route, it said I ran 7:15 pace? Which seems WAY fast. So I don't really know what to think of that..oh well!

Yesterday I swam just shy of a mile in was super frustrating, because I feel like I swim a lot, and work on stroke and reach and rotation etc., but I never get faster! At least I got the work done, I guess. Then I rode an hour in the evening..I swear every bad/rude driver and barking dog was out today! I had to change my route on the way home when I was being chased by dogs behind fences on either side of the was just too freaky. Still got in the hour ride, though it never felt 'strong'. Again, I'd blast down hills and then crawl up them. Got the work done, thuogh. That's kind of been the motto of this week-just getting it done.

This always happens before a race, this apathy. Of course it's horribly times, as two weeks out from a tri is NOT the best time to want to take it easy! So it's head down, music on, mind off, get it done. Hopefully I'll start to see improvements, or get excited about the race, and the blahs will drop off!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunday I swam 2K! A good long swim for me. I got the single lane at the pool, too, so I was able to focus totally on the workout, and not on dodging scuba-mask swimmers!

Then I went on a great ride in the afternoon..1.5 hrs, into Phoenix and back. I tried to ride steady the whole time..I definitely need to work on climbing! I would get pretty fatigued on hills, then recover super fast when I bombed down the backside. Good ride though!

Monday I took the day off!!!!! It felt good, and was well-deserved.

Yesterday started with an hour ride. I tried to keep it easy, reminding myself to save it for the run later, though I still pushed myself a little bit. Really fun ride. In the afternoon I went on a run, and immediately I knew it was going to hurt. I just didn't have it in the legs. But I decided the run motto for the day was going to be "Champ it", so i ran a little further and a little faster than I thought I could! Turned into a good half hour run!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wednesday I ran 30 minutes with a friend, and that run went a lot better than Tuesday's! Still don't have any speed back, but I'm trying not to stress out about it. I also rode for an hour or so, SS for most of it. A really good ride!

Thursday I swam 1600m in was a tough swim. lots of fast 50s (and by fast I mean 50 sec..haha I'm no great swimmer!). And then..I rode my bike all around town, though I didn't go on a real ride. I'm considering it my 'easy ride' day! In the evening I finally climbed, too! I was so happy to be back in the rock gym!! It's so hard to fit climbing in around training, but I hope after this quarter I'll be able to climb more..

Yesterday I ran 4 miles on the'd been awhile since I ran at the gym, and I was pretty bored and feeling kind of negative about it, but I decided to 'persevere' and just do it. It wasn't like the run tired me out..I just get bored and try to talk myself out of finishing a run. That was pretty much my only workout of the day!

Today I swam in the morning..1600m and it went well! some hard 200s, and lots of pull. Then I worked a bit, and ran in the afternoon. just 30 minutes around town, but it was good practice for me to run in slight heat!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Up and Down the West Coast


Friday I drove to Seattle for Mother's Day, and managed a good 30 minute run down to the beach and back! It was so so so nice to run with the salty air filling my lungs. I love that smell. The run itself was okay..I've been feeling really sluggish on my runs lately, due probably to inconsistency..

Saturday I went on an hour long early morning ride on the Burke Gilman. Like the bike path in Ashland, it's hard to get in speed or hard work on the Burke, because of all the people! But I was having too much fun winding along the waterfront to care much. It was a beautiful day and a good ride!

Sunday I went on an hour ride in Portland with a group of guys..we rode through a neighborhood to yet another bike path! I'm loving this exploratory riding. I was hoping to run in the evening, but by the time I got back home (after the car overheating a few times!) it was too late to run.

Monday I finally swam! It felt soo good. The pool was super crowded, but whenever that happens I remind myself it's good practice for triathlon--I get a chance to choke on waves and spot and be crowded! I also got in a core session!

Yesterday I ran, and it did not go well. I was super dehydrated, and it was earlier in the morning than I usually run. It was a hard run, but I got tough in the last ten minutes. The first 20 were horrible though. This week is all about run consistency!

Boring post..but no great training stories! I've got a solid week this week, so hopefully adventures will occur! :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moving Along..

Ok, let's see if I can remember the last few days' workouts. It's been a low-key week, so it should be easy!

Tuesday after class I went on an hour ride along the bike path..I'd forgotten how bumpy that path is! Kind of frustrating when I'm trying to do pick-ups, and I keep having to brake so I don't launch over root mounds. Oh was still a beautiful ride! Then I went straight to swimming, where I only had time to bust out 1K of drills before I had to study for a test..swimming's kind of on the back burner this week, as I work on my stroke and focus a bit more on bringing biking back into my life!

Yesterday I only managed a 30 minute run around town. Nothing special, but as always I love the feeling of running after a few days off! It's the whole 'few days off' thing I need to work on..

Today was another short 1k drill swim, with a lot of stroke focus. I probably should invest in swim lessons..the instructor in the lap class can only help so much, with 15 other students to help. Oh well. Having the input of an experienced triathlete is definitely helping!

Then in the afternoon, I went on a great ride with a new friend! He took me all over these beautiful country roads I didn't even know existed. The ride was supposed to be an hour, but I was having too much fun to care, and nearly two hours later I made it home stoked to ride more!

Good day. Good day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Good Weekend

Well, I never made my ride on Friday-I took the whole day off! Saturday, however, turned into a pretty good day. I worked all morning, and then rode to the pool. I can't remember what the swim was, but it was 1.5k, and other than some right elbow pain, it was good! Then I hopped right on my bike and rode an hour out on HWY 66 and back. That was a fun ride! Super windy, sunny, calm roads. It became obvious that my bike's too big for me, but I'll deal with it.

Yesterday I got up and rode to the pool again and got in another good 1.5k swim, as a fun pyramid. Then in the evening I went on a good 40 minute run to the park, around the park for awhile getting lost, and then home. I hadn't run in a few days, and it felt great! And I even got in some core at the gym after swimming--I'm the worst about doing core!

Friday, April 30, 2010


Bit of a setback yesterday..i went for an easy 30 minute run in in the morning (over the next two weeks I'll be focusing on run endurance and healthy distance increase, not speed). My right knee hurt a bit on the inside, but nothing worse than usual. I thought nothing of it. Then I went to swim class, where I tried my hand at frog kicking! It didn't go well, and at one point I felt my knee 'pop'. Again, it was a little uncomfortable, but I didn't worry about it. After swimming, throughout the day my knee hurt progressively worse, until by 9pm anytime I was standing or walking, I was limping!

This morning I decided to walk to a coffee shop for breakfast, partly to test my knee. So far, no pain. But I definitely won't be running today--in fact, I'll likely take it easy and just ride and get in a core/strength session. In light of my knew training perspective (less can be more!) I'm only a little disappointed that I'm missing out on a good training day, but more than that I'm proud of myself for knowing when to back off for a day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Back At It

Well after a looong weekend where I did little but work and shower and sleep and work and do homework (and a 30 minute run on Monday), I finally had a day off today and was able to get in some good workouts. First was a 1.5k swim as 300s/150k/50s/200p/200s/200p/200s/100sh/100cd. It was a good workout, and I was so happy to be back in the pool! It's funny-when I first learned to swim..2 and a half years ago..I couldn't imagine missing the pool! But the more I stuck with swimming, the more I came to love and appreciate it.

After the swim I hopped on my bike for an easy ride out to the lake and back. I was a little pressed for time so the ride was only 45 minutes, but it was fun! My first ride with my new shoes and new bar tape. The weather kept things interesting too...sun, then wind, then rain, then hail (here is where I had to chuck my sunglasses onto the side of the road, because I couldn't see! Looking back, I probably just should have put them in my jersey pocket..haha..) and after the hail was more sun! So much fun!

After a meeting I hurried over to the Y for a yoga class. It wasn't as intense as I prefer yoga to be, but it's probably for the best that it was more of an hour long stretching session--I sure did need it! I'm hoping I'll be able to fit in one or two classes a week. Yoga really is so amazing.

Good day, all in all! I'm so happy to finally have a solid, steady day of training under my belt. And with a relaxed work schedule the next few weeks, hopefully I'll be able to fit in many more days like this one!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Gains!

This weekend has been an awesome one so far-and it's not even over! Yesterday I didn't swim very far (my shoulder kind of hurt, and with my new mentality of 'each workout doesn't have to be the longest and fastest' I stayed smart and kept it short. 500m of warm up, then 4x100 which descended well, then 100cd. In the evening I didn't exactly ride, but I did FINALLY learn how to ride in cleats! Now I just have to take my bike to the shop and have them help me switch out my pedals--it's for real, now! And I can get my pink bar tape! I've wanted pink tape forever, but told myself it'd be my present to myself when I learned to ride in cleats. Now I've earned it!

Today I ran a 5K-I wasn't sure how it was going to go, seeing as how I didn't run seriously the week beforehand because of overtraining. I told myself to take it easy and not stress out about it, to just turn the race into a good effort. And I think I did just that! 22:30...not a PR, but a good base run. I work the rest of the afternoon, so no more workouts, just running around the restaurant all night!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reality Check

Such a bad run yesterday! But I guess it's to be expected, after taking three days off of running. Ran a warm-up mile at 8, that felt fine. But from the first step I had the 'when will this be over' feeling. That's always a hard one to overcome, that negativity towards what I'm doing, and when it pops up in the first few seconds, it's especially hard to deal with! So I ended up running only three broken miles, the fastest at 7:20--not at all what I was hoping to do, but it was just one of those days I guess. At least I stretched afterwards! :) Then a nice climb, and no swimming.

Today went a little better..had a good swim where I worked on a lot but it only ended up being 1k! That's ok, though-I'll swim long tomorrow. Then in the evening I was about to go for a run in the park when I ran into some friends headed to the track! So I joined them, ran a warm up mile, and two 800s. The first was 2:58?! WAY too fast for me. But it really felt slow! So..maybe my legs just feel worse than they actually are? Anyways, ran the second at a much more reasonable 3:25. Done. Wrapped up the night with an hour of good climbing!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Post!

I wonder how many people use this title as their inaugural blog post title! But what else is there to say at first?

This weekend is my first serious 5K in about a year. I overtrained in the last few weeks, and all this week I've been-and will continue to-take it easy, to avoid seriously messing up my knees. I was really happy with where my running was at, and today will be my first serious run in almost a week. I hope I haven't lost too much speed! I had my heart set on PRing this weekend, but then I remembered that its' not the race this weekend that counts the most, it's all the races yet to come. I could run myself into the ground for one chance at a PR, or I could run smart and potentially save the PR for another race. But who knows? Maybe the race will go well!

Also, I'm becoming more and more set on the June triathlon. Tom at the bike shop reminded me the other day-in lines with my new running mentality-that each race doesn't have to be The One. I can train through this race, and probably should. It's in six and a half weeks! There's another tri in July I can do, and another great one in August. This race can be experience, and can serve to set me up to feel really prepared for races throughout the summer.