Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things I Know, But Ignore

-I should drink water. Every day.

-Junk food and triathlon trianing do not go well together.

-Every workout should have a purpose.

-To swim faster later, I must first swim slower--but correctly.

-Training is about consistency and commitment, moreso than anything else.

-Getting up at 4:30am won't kill me.

-Baking cookies will always be easier than training. But training will always be more rewarding than baking cookies.

Weekly Workouts 3/22-3/38

Honestly, I don't remember half the workouts I did this week. I didn't swim at all, I missed a few days in the middle of the week due to house-hunting (which ended up being totally worth it--we found a great little house!), and I know I was low on my weekly hours.

I did go on a great ride on Saturday--42 miles total, though I don't have a MPH hour average because I forgot to restart my Garmin at one point in my ride. Oops! I always do that. It's so annoying, but I try not to let it bug me, especially in Base, when the hours are what counts the most. The ride was great, despite some hail and lots of wind and rain, and running over a salamander. Ew.

I'm really hoping I can do a better job of maintaining hours and staying consistent from here on out. It'll be hard for awhile, until we're settled into our new place and our new routine..but I can't let it psych me out.

I just have do the best I can every day. It's all anyone can do!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Magnuson Race Series #3 Race Recap

Another 10K, another PR. Though I almost didn't go to the race at all. The morning of, I woke up with gnarly stomach issues. The kinds of stomach issues that are really not good to run through. But as the morning went on I started to feel a little better..and decided I'd at least use the race as a chance to get in my long run. I didn't have to race, I didn't have to PR, I just had to run 6.2 miles.

Once the race got going, though, I started to feel ok. I ran with a group of 5K racers for the first half, who were all running a 7:30 pace. I felt ok hanging with them, and knew that if I came through the 5K mark at 23:00, all I'd have to do to PR was keep running the same pace. I came through at 23:14 but picked the pace up a bit to catch a few folks in front of me..once I passed them in about 800m and then ran the rest of the race alone. Not fun! Especially since, for the rest of the race I kind ofthought I was winning the 10K race. Not a soul was in sight in front of me, and I'd already passed everyone nearby.. it wasn't until the last .25mi that I realized there was another woman in front of me (there were two, actually, but I only ever saw the one)! But it's ok--I can't control who I'm competing against in any race, so my goal is never to win, just to run a certain time. Which I did, so no complaints here! I came in at 45:03, the 3rd female finisher and 6th overall. I'm really excited to break 45:00 next month!

Weekly Workouts 3/15-3/21

Tuesday 3/15

30min. run

Wednesday 3/16

Bike: 2hr spin class

Thursday 3/17

Run: 30min.

Friday 3/18

Bike: 60min. trainer ride

Swim: 60min. OYO

Saturday 3/19

Run: 10K Race (45:03 PR)

Sunday 3/20

Bike: 2hr ride

Monday 3/21

Off! Finally!

Total Hours: 8 (9 including Monday's ride, as I didn't have a day off this week)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chocolate Chewies

Last night I made chocolate chewies. They were definitely chocolatey, and very very chewy. They looked like crater rings. They puffed up in the oven and then caved in on themselves. Paper-thin crusty cookie bits were everywhere. Half of them never cooked in the middle, while the other half were ok--but even thinner. I thought they tasted like powdered sugar. Travis thought they were weird, too. Mom and Dad loved them, but I think they were just saying that so as to not devistate their daughter.

I had really high hopes for these cookies, too. They are flourless and easy as pie (about 100 times easier, actually!), requiring only cocoa powder, egg whites, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. They are chocolaty and nonfat. But my cookies were SO dissapointing. I couldn't really figure out why, either. I followed the recipe exacty...except..I didn't.

Rereading the recipe at 101 Cookbooks just now, I was suddenly corrected.

No wonder they tasted like powdered sugar.

Who knew the extra 3T of cocoa powder could make such a difference? Oops..

(Yes, I still brought them to work and fed them to my coworkers. I'll bring them extra delicious cookies next week to make up for it.)


Tuesday 3/8:


Wednesday 3/9:

Run: 40min. (5K TT-21:23)

Swim: Masters Swim Workout

Thursday 3/10:

Bike: 60min. on trainer

Friday 3/11:

Run: 30min.

Swim: Master's Swim Workout

Saturday 3/12:

Elliptical: 40min.

Swim: 40 OYO

Sunday 3/13:

OFF (spent the day with my sweetie!)

Monday 3/14

Bike: 60min. trainer ride

Core: 20min.

Total Hours: 7

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Social Network

It's amazing to me, sometimes, how 'wired' socializing has become. I know more about some of the people whose blogs I read than I know about folks I am friends with in real life. I connect with bloggers on a daily basis, where I might go weeks without getting in touch with some of my good personal friends. I know what a certain blogger had for lunch yesterday, yet I don't know which state my best gal friend is in right now. Weird, huh?

Obviously, connecting through the internet is easier. It's convenient to boot. And it's also, to a huge extent, more comfortable. I can get pretty shy, and am definitely awkward around people I don't know. In fact, meeting new people is really stressful for me! I get nervous over what I'm saying, if I'm talking too loud, if they like me, etc. etc. It's nuts. And I know a lot of people share this anxiety. It's a big reason behind the success of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. People feel braver behind the Internet Mask, I think. More outgoing. More social. I know I do.

So when I read that Emily, the author of my favorite blog The Daily Garnish and her husband were coming to town, I thought it'd be a great chance to step outside my comfort zone and meet these people I know so much about, but have never met. They live on the other side of the country, after all.

(That is the other amazing thing about social networking: the national, and global bridge it creates, allowing people from every state and country and corner of the world to meet and get to know one's incredible. It blows my mind.)

So I emailed Emily, and met up with her, Casey and a huge group of other Seattle readers of Daily Garnish (and effectively took over Mighty-O Donuts! I felt kind of bad sequestering three of the store's six tables.) Going to this gathering was probably one of the most 'out-of-character' things I've ever done. Meeting one new person is awkward enough for me, and there I was, meeting ten other well as Emily and Casey. The concept was hard to wrap my mind around.

I was really interested in the dynamics of the whole gathering. A few women had gotten there early, and were sitting at a table already. I didn't know if they were there for the blog meeting too, so I stood around until I saw Emily and Casey walking in. Then it was like..well, it kind of reminded me of those 'flash dance' things on Youtube. Where everyone is standing around being normal, and all of a sudden everyone breaks out into a mad dance. In this case, Emily walked in and women from all corners of the shop stood up and walked over to her. More women walked in behind her, and gathered around as well. Pretty soon a group of 15 or so women (and a few guys!) were all standing around this woman who we all know so much about, and whose face we see on the internet every day, and who we feel like we truly know..we were all standing around, and then no one knew what to do. We eventually organized a huge table and all sat down. I have to was weird at first. It was kind of like how a celebrity walks into a store, and everyone gets nervous and excited. That was definitely the feeling in the air. Or maybe that was just me, and my nervous interpretation of the situation. I think the size of the crowd, and the diminutive space in the store, made it even more awkward. None of us seemed to have expected such a turnout. But eventually we all got chatting, and we ate donuts, and we drank coffee, and we relaxed.

We all bragged to Emily and Casey about our respective neighborhoods, we all threw out advice and suggestions on where to go, and we talked about the weather a lot. Because that's what people in Seattle do. We talk about the rain when it's raining, and when it's not raining we talk about how nice it is that it's not raining. But anyways..

I asked Casey at one point if this whole lifestyle was awkward for him, or weird, or if he's used to it. He said it's been a great way to meet people, and he really did seem used to it. It's still a strange concept to me, but maybe in a few years I'll have gotten over it.

It was weird but fun, and I met some really nice people who live here in Seattle. I mentioned to Emily the idea of sending out a group email so we'd all have each other's email addresses. It'd be great to get to know some of these girls more! I really would like to. The awkward initial meeting is over, and for me that's always the worst part of meeting someone new. At this point we've established things we have in common, and isn't that where friendships start?

So that was my morning, along with a 40min. jaunt on the elliptical before the gathering (was supposed to be a run, but my legs are tired!). Now I'm writing this at another coffee shop, before I go shopping for a little bit and then head off to swim. Should be a good day!

Thanks to Emily and Casey for letting us all inundate them with questions, and tips about Seattle. It was so fun to meet you guys! I really hope you have a great trip despite the rain, (See? It's all we can talk about up here!). I really hope we get the chance to meet again some day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On Caramel

Caramel...caramel on my mind.

It's true. I have been craving caramels nonstop since..well, since Halloween, actually, when I had a vanilla caramel for the first time in forever.

And since then, I've been caramel-crazy.

Good caramel is expensive, and bad caramel doesn't compare. So I haven't actually eaten much caramel lately. I just think abuot it. And dream about it. And drool on my keyboard while looking at pictures of it. And fantasize about the day I have enough time and courage to make them myself.

Because I know good caramel is worth it, I will patiently hold out for these.

Thank you, David Lebovitz, for leading me to this revelation. Someday I will ship this little box of caramels across the Atlantic ocean, and I will eat them, slowly, one by one.

And that will be that.

Until then, I'll keep dooling, and dreaming of these:

(photo courtesy of Henri Le Roux website)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Things I Want To Eat Right Now

But mostly, I want this:

Actually, I want fifty of them. Ok, thanks.

(photos courtesy of Google image search)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reality Check

Training has been pretty sporadic since I started work. I've had a hard time making the jump from having no job to working 40 hours a week. Throwing training in on top of that has been, well, a learning experience. I've gotten better at working out at 5:30 in the morning, and being okay with going to bed at 8:30 at night. It's taken some trial and error to figure out what combination of work + training + relaxing works best, and I'm still trying to get the hang of making it all happen. I thought I'd been doing pretty well though--missing a workout here and there, sure, but not really falling too far behind training.

Oh, was I ever wrong.

As I end my prep cycle this week and start by first base cycle next week, I looked back on my training over the last month to see how I did with reduced workout expectations. As it turns out, I did not even come close to meeing my prep cycle weekly hours. It had actually never occurred to me before to calculate my training in hours per week. Why not? I have no idea. But I'm glad I did figure it out. It's really opened my eyes to how much I'm actually training over a period of time. It's easy, in the chaos of a week, to simply skip a workout and forget about it. But at the end of the week, missing a workout here and shortening a workout there can add up, and lead to a seriously time-deficient training week.

My prep weeks were supposed to be between 7 and 9 hours. The first week was 6.5 hours. The second, 5.5. The third was 9.5. And the last, 5.

Talk about inconsistant! Not only to I need to seriously even things out over an entire training block, I need to make sure each week is meeting its time requirements, or at least coming close. It's all about consistency.

Sometimes I think learning how to train is harder than training!

Weekly Workouts 3/1-3/7

Tuesday 3/1

No Workouts

Wednesday 3/2

No Workouts (sick)

Thursday 3/3

Bike: 30min. trainer ride (still sick!)

Friday 3/4

Swim: Master's Swim

Saturday 3/5

Bike #1: 50min. trainer ride

Bike: #2: 45min. trainer ride

Swim: 20min. drills

Core: 20min.

Sunday 3/6

Run: 30min.

Monday 3/7

Bike: 30min. trainer ride

Run: 40min. home from work

Total Hours: 5.5

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cold Remedy


-Pho Than Brothers take-out.

-A movie.

-Ice cream.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nonfat Ginger Cookies

I have several go-to cookie recipes, and this is by far my favorite. The cookies are everything a ginger cookie should be: sweet, spicy, chewy, and all-around delicious.

But more importantly, this is the ultimate comfort cookie. It's the 'I got yelled at by my boss' cookie. Or the A pen leaked on my favorite jeans' cookie. Or even the 'It's raining outside, and that sucks' cookie'. It's a giant hug of a cookie.

It's also the 'I forgot to record America's Next Top Model this week' cookie.

Which, for the record, I totally remembered to do. But just in case I forget, there are always ginger cookies.

The recipe is based on David Lebovitz's.

Nonfat Ginger Cookies

2 1/4c all-purpose flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (Note: light brown sugar will work in a pinch)
1t baking soda
1/4t salt
1/2t freshly, finely ground black pepper
2t ground ginger
2 1/2t ground cinnamon
1/4t ground cloves
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4c unsweetened applesauce
1/3c molasses
Optional: 1/2c finely-chopped candied ginger

In a stand mixer, beat the molasses, applesauce and sugar on medium speed for five minutes. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.

Scrape sides of bowl, add egg whites, and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add dry ingredients and beat on low until thoroughly incorporated.

Chill the dough for half an hour*

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchement paper or silpats. Put racks in the top and bottom third of the oven.

Pour 1/3c granulated sugar into a bowl, and mix in 1T ground cinnamon plus 1/2t ground ginger. Drop dough in 1-2T amounts (depending on how big you want your cookies) into the sugar and roll into a rough ball, coating coating with sugar. Place cookies 2-3 inches apart. Bake two sheets at a time, for 12-14 minutes, rotating halfway through. At twelve minutes watch them carefully--the cookies are done as soon as the tops are set and slightly firm to the touch. Don't overbake them! Better to bake them a minute to little than a minute too long. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.


*Note: The first time I made these cookies, I didn't chill the dough and they turned out beautifully. The second time I made them, I did refrigerate the dough and they turned out great again, but much 'rounder'. Whether or not chilling or not chiling the dough will affect your cookies depends on many things. Chill if you like, or be bold and put them straight in the oven.

Weekly Workouts 2/22-2/28

Tuesday 2/22

Bike: 50min. trainer ride

Run: 5 miles, home from work.

Wednesday 2/23

Bike: 45min. trainer ride

Swim: Master's Swim Workout

Thursday 2/24

Swim: Master's Swim Workout

Friday 2/25

Run: 25min. on treadmill

Swim: Master's Swim Workout

Core Workout

Saturday 2/26

Bike: 60min. trainer ride

Sunday 2/27

Swim: Master's Swim Workout

Monday 2/28

Bike: 30min. trainer ride

Run: 5mi. home from work

Weekly Hours: 9.5