Friday, May 30, 2008

Kinda Tired

Had a great day on Monday with the old man and my brother. We rented a boat and just cruised around Lake Travis. It was lots of fun having him down here for the five short days he was here. Also caught up with some former Kona residents, The Gaertners (Scott, Wendy and Riely) while he was down. Great folks. Scott is probably the most extreme person I know.

Training has been pretty hard the past few days and I'm looking forward to Monday so I can throw some PM medication down the hatch and get some sleep.

Tuesday- track workout of 5x1600 below 5:20 pace with Marsh. It was so bloody windy at the track and made our 5:20s feel like 4:40s. We would hit the first 200m in 37-38 seconds and the remaining 200m in 42! It was like running into a wall. We were both very happy to hit and finish number five. Scary thing is we completed the set! Wondering what is to come. Finished the day off with a 4000m swim.

Wednesday-3hrs on the bike with some VO2 intervals. Very hilly ride in 95+ degrees. Finished the day off with a 3000m swim.

Thursday- 7x3min of VO2 intervals and then straight into a 2.5 hr ride in bloody hot conditions. Went to the pool and banged out 3grand and dropped my 200m average time down by 2 seconds.

Friday- running trails for 2x3 miles at tempo and nailed them both.

I'm now off for a power nap and then it will be to the pool for a hard 3,500m swim.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What a good grain!

Okay so for the longest time I avoided Buckwheat because I thought it was a wheat grain that I had somewhat of intolerance to. There are many people that think buckwheat is a cereal grain, but turns out its actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and it is a suitable substitute grain for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. To see all the goodness that is packed in this grain, check out That being said, I tried this new brand of organic buckwheat noodles called Ohana noodles that are fully cooked and easy to throw in a stir fry, etc.

I used these noodles and threw in the following.
1. chunks of cherry tomatoes and broccolini (baby broccoli)
2. Garlic and Pepper seasoning
3. Central Market Satay Ginger soy marinade
4. Tiny bit of cayenne pepper for James' spicy taste buds! (this is optional)
5. Salt to taste
6. Lean steak strips or shrimp/Chicken.
7. Olive oil for cooking meat and veggies.

In a medium skillet, throw in in chunks of cherry tomatoes and broccolini, olive oil, and seasoning. Cook till veggies are done. In another bowl, throw in the marinade with the diced chicken ,steak, or shrimp. Let that sit for bit then cook to your liking. Then, all you have to do with the noodles is heat them in the microwave for 3 minutes or so. Finally, throw all the ingredients together in a large serving bowl and toss. Lots of good veggies here and its tasty and super easy! I love this new brand of noodles!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cap Tex

After a week of brutal training I went into Cap Tex with some heavy legs but was ready for a hard day. With names like Marsh, Galuser, Serrano, McMillian, and some other heavy hitters it was going to be difficult. I would like to give a shout out to Brom from the Austin Statesman who wrote a piece about me before the race. Great article from a great athlete. Brom has thrown down a 2:59 Thanks again for the great write up Brom!

Swim got off after a long wait in the wetsuit. We must have been hanging out for 10 minutes all packed into a small space in 90 plus degrees. So once the gun went off it was rather refreshing for the first 100m. I started to the left and took off and noticed someone to my left. Any guesses who this fella was? Freakin' Marsh. We were the only two to the left and from our finish times, it looks like the left was best. We were able to put a huge gap on the rest of the field. I will not lie though, Marsh did gap me the last 200m on the swim.

The transition was horrible. I was slow off the mark and Marsh was able to extend the lead he had from the swim heading off onto the bike. I just was not able to get going on the bike and Marsh was doing a great job of pushing the pace on the bike. He was able to ride solo and hold off Serrano and myself.

The run was so humid and lots of people suffered out on the course including myself. I was was getting chased down during the first 5km and had to push hard with what i had left to hold a spot on the podium. It was not until i finally found ice in the course that I was able to cool down and get the legs moving again. P.S. Look for some pics in the near future of a cooling vest I have been using. Cosmo from hyper Wear has been doing a great job of making a great vest for athletes during the brutal summer heat.

So Marsh got me again! Congrats buddy. But it was Serrano who stole the show that day. He is a top Mexican ITU athlete who will most likely make the Olympic team for Mexico. He is racing World Champs in two weeks time. All the best Fransico!! Although it was not the result I was looking for, i was happy to be on the podium after the past week of training.

I'm back in to some brutal training again this week. Had a nasty swim set this morning and will be bringing the bucket along to the track tonight.

Friday, May 23, 2008

K-Swiss vs. Zoot on the track

Set for today: 5x1600m on the track

Brandon Marsh met me up at Hudson Bend middle school today for this session. We are both Source Endurance athletes and rivals. It was a great set and we nailed it pretty good. All miles were sub far under? Can't tell you all of our secrets :)

Brandon is a Zoot sponsored athlete while I am K-Swiss sponsored. I know when you first think of K-Swiss you think tennis or casual wear. Erase that thought and check out the new running shoes. They really are a nice shoe. I just saw Marsh's post so I will say the same thing. The K-SWISS shoes I have are the nicest shoes I have worn so far.

Tomorrow will be a 1.5hr ride a solid swim. Will be heading down to San Marcos tomorrow to check out a Toyota Tacoma. Might be retiring the old 4Runner.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You know you need a rest day when.......

You know your in need of a rest day when you actually jealous that your dog gets to be lazy and nap after just running a measly 3 miles on the greenbelt trails. That was my first workout of the day and I'd planned on biking or swimming later on in the day. I got extremely tired and knowing that I needed to catch up on work and life I opted for another 45 minutes at the gym before heading back to reality. Since I'm not the professional athlete in the family, I can do that, ha ha! Still a rest day is in need very very soon. Hmmm... maybe Sunday or monday???? Nah, I think i'll go for a swim!

Cap Tex Tri

Cap Tex is only a few days away and the training has been going well. Cap Tex will be a training race with the goal of being strong for a race down the road on the 8th of June. All that means is that I will not taper for the race. I will also be going as hard as I can. Coach Derick has me on a very high intensity block of training at the moment to get my biking up to par. I have done two fitness tests the past week and one went well and one went horrible. Have very challenging run and swim tomorrow that will be fun and painful. Saturday will be a long steady ride before heading into the race on Sunday.

Below are the tests I completed this week.

Test 1: LT/V02 Max sets on the bike
Result: I did rather poorly on the test and now why I had a horrible ride at Wildflower.
Goal: Build up my LT and VO2 max systems.

My sets this week have been very challenging but my body is adapting quickly to the higher and harder workload. I love the new workouts because every thing is so very specific. We hope to have my biking stronger in the next couple of weeks.

Test 2: 15 minute run on track
Result: I completed 11.5 loops of the track. Solid 5:10-5:14 pace
Goal: Have my sets longer at the above pace. I have to get comfortable running here

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Keeping the Mexican Theme

Yes, it was taco Tuesday yesterday but I decided not to opt for tacos. Instead I made a new recipe (still Mexican). The picture above is Salmon Jalapeno Black Bean Enchiladas. It went over quite well. I actually made James full in one sitting and we even had leftovers, CRAZY!! Okay, here's the recipe. I will give the healthy version of but there is a full fat version if anyone is interested in gut buster enchiladas, ha ha!

This serves 2 average people or 1 very hungry triathlete in training:
1. 6-8 oz. of grounded salmon burger patties.
2. 3-4 medium white corn tortillas
3. 1 can jalapeno or regular refried BLACK beans (low-fat).
4. 1 small can of jalapeno diced tomatoes
5. 1/2 cup low-fat mozzarella or pepper jack cheese.
6. 2-3 shakes of Cumin
7. 1 wedge of laughing cow cheese (light)
8. Salsa to taste

OPTIONAL- For those wanting extra carbs, add in some pre-cooked brown or spanish rice. I had some extra Santa Fe brown rice blend which I placed under the cheese before baking it in the oven.

Spray a baking dish with Pam or lightly drizzle it with olive oil. Take each corn tortilla a lightly pat on Brummel & brown yogurt butter or olive oil. Go ahead a cook salmon burger meat so that they are fully down but not well-done. In the meantime heat beans in microwave or stove top and mix in laughing cow cheese, cumin, and tomatoes. Make sure the cheese is all melted but its not too hot yet. Then place black mixture and salmon meat together in one bowl. Transfer heaping portions into each corn tortilla and roll tightly. Line each tortilla up in the baking dish. Cover the top of the tortillas with more tomatoes and salsa, then add the cheese on top to cover the tortillas evenly. I baked this for about 15-20 minutes on 350 degrees but it depends on how melted you like your cheese. You can also broil it for the last 3-5 minutes or so to get it even more browned. All together this should only take 30 minutes max. I heated mostly everything in the microwave and used leftover salmon burger patties so it was cake!
Let me know if anyone tries this!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Speaking of Hand-me downs

Bree Wee's current post talks about her list of hand me down Speedo swim suits from her other triathlon friends. I thought I'd post this picture of my nieces first hand me down from her Uncle James! She's wearing one of his many race day t-shirts. We think she'll grow into it soon, maybe a few more years and she can sport this tee after her first triathlon. WOO HOO!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Kicks

I arrived home the other day to two massive boxes at the front door. All my gear from K-Swiss had arrived and I felt like a five year old on Christmas morning! Let's just say I have a new wardrobe which I love. I have running shoes, casual shoes, sweats, sweaters, workout gear, training gear, board shorts, duffel bags, and hats. I sport my K-Swiss B-ball shorts daily now and roll baller style now baby!

With great support comes great responsibility, so I will announce some cool news in the coming weeks about some changes that have been made for success down the road.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Staples in our Home

A lot of people ask me what food I keep in the house and to be quite honest it varies from season to season. As I mentioned before I have a few food in tolerances and my poor husband gets to eat what I eat most of the time, luckily he likes almost everything I buy! The number one staple we have in our house is of course tons and tons of produce. James eats about 3-4 apples a day and if I have bananas in the house he will eat at least 2-3 on top of the apples. Fiber up baby! We also have mounds of salad, frozen veggies, berries, etc. All from Costco of course because this is James' favorite store EVER!! Anyway, here are a few other staples that we like to keep in the house that are delicious, nutritious, and worth spending a buck or two for.
1. Kashi Heart to Heart oat Cereal- 50% to 100% of the following vitamins
Vitamin A 100% as beta carotene)
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin B6
Folic Acid
Vitamin B12
2. Vans Wheat Free Mini Waffles- taste yummy with natural almond butter and made with brown rice flour and potato flour
3. Uncle Bens 90 second whole grain medley- my favorite is the Santa Fe blend made with brown rice, black beans, and corn. This is great as a side, in a tortilla, or even a Mexican stir fry with shrimp!
4. Light laughing cow cheese (about the only cheese I can tolerate). This cheese come in wedges that are only 35 calories, less than 2 grams of fat, and is a spreadable natural cheese. I love this on a brown rice tortilla with honey, cinnamon, and apple slices!
5. Yummy Costco Salmon Burgers (frozen). These patties are loaded with the Omega's. My favorite dish is to actually pair this with wild rice and steamed tomatoes and garlic. I cut up the burger and add curry, garlic, and balsamic to it then stir it into the wild rice and tomatoes for a tasty salmon bowl!
6. And then there is Juice Plus Thins. These tasty tablets contain a variety of all-natural ingredients including: fruit powders and extracts like malabar tamarind (garcenia cambogia), a citrus fruit that enhances the body’s ability to burn fat and helps naturally reduce hunger. We have both Chocolate and Apple Cinnamon. Take them before a meal with water. Definitely helps you stay regular as well! ha ha!

Well thats it for now. Let me know if anyone else has the same favorites!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Solid Day

Today was my first day back really since Wildflower! Since i was racing a sprint a week later I kept training very light since my knee's were still pretty sore from the half marathon. Then the fall last weekend kept me out of action because of the swelling. So I came back today, TORTURE TUESDAY!!!!!

Swimming has been coming along at a steady rate. I set a base time for all sets of 1:20 because that gives me just enough time at the wall to recover. In the past I would be holding 1:17 for my 100s and now I have it down to 1:12s so I have been pretty happy. Todays set:

w/u: 500s200k300p
set1: 5x200
Set2: 12x75 odd easy, even 25 no breath, 25 all out, 25 breath every 5
set3: 5x100
w/d: 500ez

x4 (bike 10min at LT, mile run)

Held onto 5:20 miles with a nasty hill in the mix going out. It really hurt. Just the entire set really hurt because the body was pretty stale. With big races coming up I have to hardin' up to get the power and leg turn-over to a hight standard.

I received a nasty look after my bike/run today because I left my workout gear drenched on our bathroom floor. My wife had my gear in her hands while she scoulded me. I got the last laugh though because she thought I had jumped in the shower with my clothes to rinse off and thats why they were wet....oh but I hadn't :) They were definitely all sweaty from my workout. I don't call it torture tuesday for a reason. She immediately dropped them yelling "GROSSE"!

If you're not hurting, you're not performing.

Love of my life over 2 years and still going strong!

Okay the first love of my life is James, but I have to say that runner up is definitely my love for Kombucha Synergy tea. (please ignore the ridiculous picture of Kirsten Dunst in the background). Because I have a few food intolerances (mainly dairy), Kombucha really helps me detox the liver and get in my probiotics that are usually found in yogurt and other dairy. The organic, bottled Chinese tea (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is cultured for 30 days to produce its “active enzymes” and “antioxidants.” It’s also got authentic—albeit grody-looking—green strands floating in it but if you can get past that, it tastes heavenly! Kombucha is said to have all kinds of healthy properties because of the fermentation...tons of good bacteria, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, it's a natural antibacterial, said to help detox your liver. I get mine at Whole Foods, People's Pharmacy, or Sun Harvest. The best brand out there is one called GTS Synergy kombucha. Its by far the best tasting! Warning, you might become rather broke drinking these drinks. I am only allowed 2 a week now and its killing me, but when I do get it or when James surprises me with one, I am ecstatic. Silly yes, but it sure makes my day!

If you are attempting to try this drink here are the top flavors to try.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Meat and Iron

I grew up with three older brothers and all they ever wanted was meat, meat, and more meat. Burgers, spaghetti and meat balls, meat loaf, whatever but we didn't have a vegetarian bone in our whole family. During one of Nutrition Science courses at UT Austin, our class had to study and "experience" the process of slaughtering meat and how it was then packaged for the USDA gov. inspection. I remember that day like yesterday. I brought a healthy choice roast beef sandwich for lunch and I couldn't even look at it after our class. No thanks! I decided to investigate more on how much meat the human body needs and the what choices are best. To make this story short, I'll get to my point. The human body does need meat or iron for that matter. Vegetarians can still get their iron too, just from different plant sources. I'm not bashing vegetarians, don't get me wrong. Iron's main function is to help carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs. When iron is low, this oxygen consumption slows down and therefore no oxygen is getting to our muscles and other organs. This creates fatigue, irritability, and headaches for us! Men need about 8mg per day and women under 50yr. need about 18mg.
Meat is one of the best sources of iron but certain ones are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol so be careful in choosing your red meat selection. Look for meat low in saturated in fat (4 grams and under). Sirloin, Pork Tenderloin, chicken or turkey sausage, and venison are some of the leanest sources of meat/poultry. This article has a great list of foods that are rich in Iron. It also provides more detail about this important mineral!
I tried this recipe out on James last week and it was a success. Not only did it give him a meat fix (although I used chicken sausage), it was hearty and healthy. Let me know if anyone tries it!

Serves 4.

1 lb chicken sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick (I used the feta and spinach sausage)
4 tsp olive oil
1 lb farfalle or rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained (do not rinse), 1/2 cup cooking water reserved
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 lb baby spinach
2 tsp oyster-flavor sauce
4 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil, and cook the chicken sausage over medium-high heat until it is browned. Add onion, red pepper and spinach, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add oyster sauce and soy sauce, and stir to combine. Add cooked pasta, and cook together for 2-3 minutes until pasta is incorporated with the sausage and vegetables. If needed, add a few Tbsp of reserved pasta water.

I also tried this recipe with brown rice instead of pasta with added thawed baby shrimp. And I added tomatoes and okra instead of red pepper.

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Little frustrated, I'm not gonna lie.

After my race last week in California I was not too happy and was looking forward to take out my frustration at "the rookie" triathlon. It was a short race with the swim at 300m, bike 11 miles, and run 2 miles. My run has been coming along especially after hard efforts on the bike, so I was looking forward to the race.

There was an awesome field today with Glauser, Evoe, York, Todd, Jason, and of course...BRANDON and his wife Amy all hitting the start line. So I had convinced my self all week that Brandon would not get me and I would take victory to even out the balance in the W-L section. I could see it every day in my head. I also remember the sting of defeat from our last battle at playtri (please note, Brandon is the man, and I have plenty of respect for him, I just have to make the story interesting).

Start begins well but soon realize that I am way too far to the left. I see Marsh to the far left and try and make my way over to him. Soon as I do I realize his wife is right beside me! Amy can swim fast, very fast and since defeating Brandon was on my mind, I tried as nicely as I could to cut Amy off! Sorry Amy. Found Marsh just after the turn around and we came out of the water 1,2,3. I'm thinking, man here is the play tri race all over again. We hit the bike and we are off flying. I just couldn't get going enough to catch Brandon and it was only a stretch of gravel, that almost took Brandon down, closed the gap on us some. The gap stayed all the way to the end and we also received some company with Patrick Evoe riding up. He had a great ride.

Nail transition, Brandon is not too far and it is time to go! I'm running out with Evoe and try to cut to the inside of him and it happens. No further then 100m down the path after I racked my bike, I took a hard spill. I came down hard on my left knee, army rolled once, and then tried to get up to pursue the chase but it was not happening. The intense pain of coming down hard took over and it took me a good minute to finally shake off the the limp. Now 60 seconds into a two mile race, it would have been impossible to bridge up to Marsh (unless my name was Ryan Hall), so I cruised slowly down and back to finish. Not ideal, but hey, it happens. Had some nice swelling that medical fixed up and then it was back to Austin.

Congrats Brandon and Amy Marsh for taking the wins. Best of luck in Memphis.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wildflower Report

12th Overall
Swim: 22:17
Bike: 2:26:28
Run: 1:20:24

Wildflower has come and gone and I sit at my computer writing this still very upset and disappointed with my race. I feel I was capable of placing in the top 10 and ended up finishing 12th overall.

I arrived at Lake San Antonio on Friday afternoon after doubting I would even arrive. I discovered my drivers license had expired which meant no rental car for James.
Something to remember #1 Make sure all forms of ID are current!
I ended up talking with John, from Phoenix, who was heading up to the race as well. I told my story to John and he offered me a ride up which I took up straight away. Turns out John is on the board of the Phoenix Tri Club and they had a camper down in the transition area! The guys from Phoenix Tri were fantastic! Thank you John, Scott, Jim, and everyone else who made me feel welcome and gave me a place to lay my head to rest.

Race morning came very fast and I was ready for the hurt as the field was stacked! McCormack, Lieto, Anderson, Bozzone, Leigh, McKenzie, etc. I had a horrible first 300meters in the swim and found myself at the back of the second pack! I was having none of that and swung wide and put the hammer down. I ended up catching the first back shortly after the turn around and settled in to the finish. My first goal of the race was complete. Swimming with the front back.

I jumped on the bike and was feeling good. I was in company with Leon Griffen, Ben Hoffman, McKenzie all the way up until mile 30 and then my legs said, "hey James! I think we are going to call it a day!". I figure my body was not use to my TT position as I had been riding my road for 95% of my training.
Something to remember #2: Ride your TT 100% of time 2-3 weeks out from race!
So I rode as hard as i could back into T2 so I could get my feet in contact with the ground because I was pissed and wanted to run off some frustration. I jumped off the bike and put on the new K-Swiss shoes I received the other night, and man! Yes, they are helping me out, but you have to try these shoes as they are so NICE. First run in them was a half Ironman with no socks and I had no blisters, no blood, and no hot spots. I will post some pics soon of the shoes.
I ran solid and clawed my way up a few positions but it was still not enough to make top 10. I will be back next year though for sure to place where I felt I should have. The course was fantastic! I love dirt trail roads and there is a lot of this on the course. Brutal uphills and brutal downhills.
Also met some great people during the race. Luke McKenzie and Amanda Balding, David Thompson, and Chris T. Wildflower is a race you HAVE to compete in if you're a triathlete.
Have the rookie this Saturday, maybe Memphis in May, then Cap Tex.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Good Luck at Wildflower!!

Good Luck to all who are racing at Wildflower, especially my husband JAMES! I am his number one cheerleader!! I just dropped him off at 5am this morning to catch a flight that he will hopefully make. We Cotter's fly stand by and that can make things quite interesting. I fly to LA this afternoon (stand by of course) to teach a Nutrition Course so I am very bummed I can't support my Husband at this huge race! Stay tuned as he will have several great footage of the race day with his new Flip Camera and a report on how things went down at the race site.
Signing out,