Sunday, April 22, 2007

Official Weathered Runner

I've been training, if not religiously, at least decently hard for several races I want to do this year. I have at least three triathlons I want to do, with one checked off (UC Davis Sprint Triathlon- see earlier blog), and two more planned for this summer- Donner Lake Sprint Triathlon, and the Pyramid Lake Triathlon. Two runs I also want to do in the next two weekends: The Nevada Wide Open Marathon De Mayo (although I'm only planning on doing the 10K) and Escape from Prison Hill, which is a half marathon that I'm splitting with Kevin (so I'm doing a half of a half- but the longer 7 mile half :). This run has some pretty intimidating hills/mountains, and I've been running some trails with my two faithful library companions, Chris and Turi. (I somehow conned them into running Escape from Prison Hill with me!) Even though it was a little windy today, it was a good day for run, and we did a 3.5 mile loop up at Peavine with some extra hill training. (Whose idea was that again?!?!) But not 5 minutes into the run my shoe caught on a rock because I wasn't lifting my feet, and I totally ate it. Luckily I was wearing long work-out type pants, so I got up quick as I could (felt like such an idiot!) ignored it, and we kept going. When we finally stopped at the end of the run I checked out my knee, and lo and behold, it was all bloody, and my hands were peppered with dirt under the skin as well. I haven't fallen while running in about 10 years, probably because mostly I run on my treadmill. Then Turi pointed out that both he and Chris had recently banged up their hands from falling on previous runs. I guess it was just my turn! I have a picture of all of our scabby hands together, but first, here is a shot of my knee:

I've decided that this shows my dedication to the sport and not to idiocy or clumsiness. (And here you say, whatever you need to tell yourself to make you feel better!) Now here are the hands:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dinner and Dessert

Tonight I had to fend for myself (and the boys) for dinner, so after much deliberation at work, Turi came up with a suggestion of making tuna-melt sandwiches. I've never made a tuna-melt sandwich before, but after brief instructions (they are pretty easy), I thought I'd try it! I happened to have a loaf of Sheepherder bread (super tasty and soft, but not quite comparable to Eric Schat's Sheepherder bread), and for the boys I used Monterey Jack cheese and tuna for their sandwich. (Gluing tip: put cheese on both sides of the tuna inside the bread to melt and help keep it all together. Thanks Turi!) For me, though, I used salmon and Asiago cheese, and can I just say what fantastic taste combination that turned out to be! I tried the boys' sandwich, and that was almost as good as mine, but then I prefer salmon. The sandwiches look a little burnt in this picture, but that's just the butter- they were actually the perfect "crispiness."

To round out the meal, I figured I should make something green, and add some carbs. So I made a side dish that I created myself (one of three) with Orzo pasta, yellow squash and zucchini. It's pretty easy, and I used to make it all the time for the boys when they were babies and still learning to eat solids. Basically you boil water (not too much), add Orzo pasta, some squash and zucchini, a boulion cube and some butter. Let it simmer until the pasta is done, and most of the water has boiled out. When it is almost finished cooking you can also add some cooked chicken or beef or whatever is left over in the fridge to add some protein if you want to serve a one-dish-dinner. It should be just slightly soupy, but that all seems to evaporate once it is served.

After dinner, we made chocolate cupcakes, compliments to Turi's grandmother Martha. I borrowed this recipe from his blog. I won't give away her recipe here, so you'll have to find it yourself on Turi's Stuff. I fudged a chocolate frosting recipe from The Joy of Cooking, and if the speed in which my boys scarfed their cupcakes has anything to do with how well they turned out, let's just say that actions speak louder than words. A fun evening, cooking and baking together, just me and my boys. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

UC Davis Triathlon

Big accomplishment today! Kevin and I drove to Davis for their annual sprint triathlon, where we met Scott (my brother) and his girlfriend Sara. Scott, big pansy, didn't race with us because he said he wasn't in good enough shape. Yeah right- he would have probably finished 20 minutes before any of the rest of us. But he did take all the pictures below, so you can see us in action. First, the pre-race picture of me and Kevin, while we are waiting for our heat to begin in the frigid cold.
The triathlon consisted of a 750 yard swim in a pool, a flat 18 mile bike ride, and a 4 mile run. First let me say that it was super crazy windy today, and a mere 45 degrees (with the wind chill factor) when we started our race. Kevin and I were in the 5th heat, so we didn't even start until 10:30 a.m., not that it was any warmer than the first wave that started at 9:00 (at least it didn't start at 7 like it did last year! Good thing I checked last night for the start time!). Here's me just about to get into the water:
Not a very flattering picture... You can see my numbers on my arm- I was #195. We had 17 minutes to finish the swim, and then you have to get out, no matter how many laps you've done (15 total). As I thought, it took me almost exactly 12 minutes- I heard them announce there were 5 minutes left over the loud speaker when I had about 4 strokes left. Kevin and I were lucky enough to get to share a lane- I'm on the right, and he's on the left.

And here's me getting out, and off to start the bike:

Also, not a very flattering picture. Thanks Scott! (Could you tell that was sarcastic?) He only took swimming pictures (apparently the memory card came out and he didn't know it, so the camera said it was full and he didn't take anymore until we finished). The swim was easy for me- have always been a swimmer, but I could feel the wind whipping my arms with every stroke. Not good, I was thinking even before I got out of that nice warm water. I took my time in the transition, dried off a bit and put on my windbreaker and a camel back- I always need lots of water when I bike. That 18 mile bike was brutal- the hardest ride I've ever done. I don't know how fast the wind was blowing, but I almost wiped out on the first turn- and quite a few people did! Kevin almost fell, and the guy right in front of him totally ate it. Not a good start. The route was approximately a rectangular shape. The first 8 or 9 miles were cake, aside from the turns. The wind was at my back and pushed me right along. I knew the ride back wasn't going to be fun though, because I was peddaling as fast as my bike would let me, and it was easy. Plus there was no breeze, no wind at all. And it was flat. My front tire was on backwards (not that it matters when biking) so my speedometer wasn't working, but I must have been going upwards of 30 mph. As soon as I turned, I was almost bowled over again from the galing wind- it knocked me from 27th gear to the 12th or 13th gear. Then came the ride back. Let me give you a little idea of how hard the wind was blowing. I was forced into first gear peddaling almost as hard as I could, with my head down, and one arm behind my back to create less drag. I'm sure I wasn't going more than 5 miles an hour. Even though that windbreaker was really nice on the first leg of the race when I was going fast (I was still cold and wet from the swim!), I was regretting it on the way back. It was acting as a bit of a sail and I had to push my sleeves up to stop them from whipping back and forth, and also to trim down on the drag they were creating. 7 or so miles of this back, and my legs were burning, my back was super achy, and I was super "saddle sore!" In fact, when I finally made it back to the transition area (after what seemed like FOREVER!), I could barely walk upright. The sun was out, at least, so it was warming up, but for the first half mile of the run my butt hurt so bad I almost walked. Eventually that wore off, and it turned out to be a very pleasant run, through the campus, and on a few trails next to a creek. I even managed to pick a eucalyptus leaf at the second mile marker where we turned around, and carried it all the way back, smelling it occasionally. While I was constantly passed on the bike, I passed about 4 people on the run- all the running I've been doing, both on my treadmill and some trail running with Chris and Turi had really paid off! I even had enough energy to sprint the last 200 or so yards to the finish, where all the club triathletes were sitting on the grass cheering in all the last stragglers (I was in the last heat, you know), and waiting for their awards. I finished in about 2 hours and 19 minutes. Kevin finished 2:09, and Sara totally kicked my butt with 2:02. I don't mind finishing last of our group, I was just happy I didn't stop on the bike, and that my swim and run went so well. I'm not as tired or sore as I thought I would be, but I guess I'll just have to wait until tomorrow to find out for sure... One last picture for you, of the three of us post-race, and happy it's over. :)