Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quick Recipes for Guests

Last weekend, just after I ran the NYRR Mini 10K, Billy's parents swung by for a visit.  His parents didn't want us going to "any trouble" cooking, which was good because we went crazy trying to clean up.  All in all, it was a great day, we got a lot of necessary cleaning done around the house and we had a delicious dinner at Amanda's in Hoboken.  However, before we went out I made some quick appetizers and we had some wine from the wineries out East (on Long Island).  The appetizers were easy but tasty.

Easy Tomato Basil Skewers
I heated up the grill and bathed some skewers in water.  I loaded the skewers up with cherry tomatoes in different colors, mozzarella and basil and grilled them until the tomatoes just popped and mozzarella was oozy. We served it with balsamic vinegar and little salt and pepper.

Baked Brie
I took brie put it in a small pie plate, heated the oven to 350 degrees and covered the brie with canned pears, honey and toasted walnuts.  I baked it until that was oozy and served with crackers.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Race Season....so far: Duathlon and 50 mile cycle

I have previously posted that I have been following a training plan for triathlon season made up of two different formats, one from triplyo (minus their plyo workouts that are for sale) and from Running Mag UK. I started following them just after the More Half.  At that point I had about 9 weeks until my first race and it is completely freaking me out that I am down to only a few weeks left and already into June!  When I realized I was on page two of both workouts I had to take a step back. 

I already did my first race so the jitters should be gone, but I usually end up jittery at every race.  The first race was the Ten Penny Ale Shamrock Duathlon and 5k in Glastonbury, CT run by the Hartford Marathon Foundation.  HMF runs great events so I was eager to sign up.  My friend Jen, who ran the More Half with me, also signed up.

I had gone up to CT on Friday since Billy was away traveling for work.  I was able to walk with my dad in support of NAMI (national association for mentally ill) on May 19th at their walk in Hartford in the morning then shoot down to Glastonbury for to scope out the race bike ride route.  Always a great and recommended idea.

Packet pick up didn't start til 3 so I was outta luck there.  Jen and I had planned to go up when she got to CT but unfortunately she hit a ton of traffic and was delayed, but that gave me time to say farewell to my parents who were hitting the road to my cousin's graduation and say hi to my friend Amanda who popped by with her lil cutie baby for a visit.

Jen and I left the house at the crack of dawn at 5:15 a.m. to head to be first in line for packet pick up at 6 a.m. we were near the first one's there and it was actually great because we had our choice of space for our bikes, which were right next to each other.  The race started at 7:30 and was a 5k, 16.1 mile bike and 5k.

We also had plenty of time to stretch and get ready and evidently it worked because I ran my fastest 5K in the opening run.  I tried to keep up with Jen but lost her quickly but evidently trying to see her from far away worked as I ran a 10 minute mile for the first 5k.  The bike was hilly but doable and my hill practice with Billy definitely paid off.  The last 5k I was very worried since it seemed everyone was done and I felt awful, but I found a friend running along at my pace and worked to keep up with her and was only 4 minutes behind my previous run in total. 

I was incredibly pleased with my results.  However as approach race #2 - the Women's Mini 10k nerves are creeping up.  My next big physical event after finishing the duathlong was a 50 mile bike ride Bike Boat Bike I did with Billy on June 2nd out in Greenport/Shelter Island. 

The scenery was amazing, riding along Shelter Island past fabulous homes and taking the ferry across was great fun.  You also passed all these amazing back country farm and vineyard areas along the route. The views of the water were great and we have some decent pictures - I will get the pictures from the first race with Jen as well as from our 50 miler and post them shortly.  We (Billy & I) were very excited at having gone this distance - previously this year we'd done some 20/25's and even a 35 while vacationing in Cape Cod along the CAPE COD RAIL TRAIL, which I highly recommend for cyclists. However, finishing 50 was a big accomplishment.  Shelter Island was somewhat hilly and provided a challenge but after that first 15 it was relatively flat until the end when around 40 you encountered some hills along the north shore.  We took a break at mile 35 and I was very glad because I had started to hate sitting on the bike.

At the start of the season, I had wanted to work on my cycling more as I could use some speed and endurance and I have a huge downfall of not standing up to get uphill and applying brakes on the downhill but I am getting better and the training of being on the road and not a spin bike is helpful.  During our Memorial Day trip to Cape Cod we did 35 miles on Day 1, 15 on Day 2 and 20 or more on Day 3 (which was actually in CT as we'd gone back to my parents and that was on the Farmington Rail Trail. The trip to Cape Cod was great, we stayed in Chatham and as a reward for running early each day and working out and going biking on our last day there my toesies got a spa reward.

Happy Training and Racing! Keep on TriN!

National Running Day: June 6th Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Yesterday was National Running Day.  Did you go out running?  You couldn't miss the commotion from NYRR and the Hartford Marathon Foundation expressing their excitement on Facebook and Twitter. 

This week I had originally wanted to get in a little more swimming practice and take care of my legs but I couldn't ignore such a great holiday and ended up going for a nice, slow run on Wednesday. I have a race coming up this weekend and my legs had biked quite a few miles over the weekend. I had taken Monday off following a 50 mile bike ride on Sunday and on Tuesday I had done some sprint work and had run 3.5 miles after a doing circuits, which were pretty intense because we had 2 guys show up so the women wanted to official kick their ass.  We did 3 sets of 5 cardio exercises with 50 seconds on and 10 off - power squats were always #5. The other 4 alternated - spider pushups, burpees, one leg squats, wood choppers, jump lunges, etc.  I had a bit more time Tuesday for a run because I was up early and I wanted to take advantage of the great weather.  I did do a swim for about 20 minutes on Wednesday; however I am getting nervous that I should be swimming more with the races quickly approaching.  Eek! 

I ended up in a different area of the city for work yesterday, Wednesday, down in Chelsea, and was in close proximity to Paragon Sporting Goods and I since still had a $10 gift card from my previous purchase of a new triathlon suit, I decided to swing by.  I have been looking for a good running outfit now that will be comfy and eliminate chafing while still looking cute and decided to try a running skirt.  A few friends swear by them and I figured it couldn't hurt. Turns out, in honor of National Running Day, they were having a SALE!! Of course rather than by the one skirt I ended up buying a cute black skirt.  Pink tank top that was on sale for the holiday, two new sports bras from Nike, and a pair of odd shorts from Nike that have bike shorts built in.  I tried on the skirt his morning and it looks nice but I am wondering what it will be liking running.  Now I am breaking every cardinal rule in the book of running by debating wearing it this weekend for the Women's mini 10K so I am determined to test it out tonight or tomorrow evening so as not to have any problems. 

Last night my friends and I went to Eataly, the Mario Batali restaurant so an extra run wouldn't hurt anyone.  The place was fantastic and while my friends were too stuffed for gelato I thought that was a crime against man and had some ice cream.  I am back on the diet wagon again, putting my calories and food into myfitnesspal and following my training plan. I plan to do a quick update now on races and will post how the 10K went next week. 

Happy National Running Day and Keep on Tri'N.