Monday, 26 August 2013

Will Tri For Medals

Not just one medal but two!

My goals for my first Olympic distance triathlon were to not get eaten by a shark (relatively easy in fresh water), to finish the bike portion without any tears or a flat tire and finish the race upright and smiling.

It's amazing to me the range of emotions that you feel before, during, and after a race.

I usually spend most of the time immediately before a race wondering what in the world I was thinking when I signed up, wondering if I could switch to a shorter distance, and convincing myself that I am not going to embarrass myself.

Checking the water temp.  It better be cold enough for a wetsuit!

Twice?  You want us to swim around twice?
During the swim portion of the race I have a ridiculous amount of fun and think about how awesome the sport of triathlon is until of course I need to start thinking about getting out of the water and on the bike. 

I spend every km of the bike thankful that I still don't have a flat (seriously learn how to change a flat!), telling myself that I'll walk up the hills if I have to (hasn't happened yet) and thanking the universe that I'm still alive as I barrel down a hill (still working on peddling instead of braking while going down hills).  I count down the kilometres until the run which I always convince myself is going to be much better than swimming and cycling (lies).

Transition area.

Beautiful bike course on quiet country roads.

We turn around before this hill?  Right?

Beautiful farms.

Not last.
Post race I feel like a superhero and wonder why I worked myself into such a tither.  It is all kind of ridiculous.

I did not finish last!  I was pleased with my swim time and it was so much fun.  It is possible to laugh and swim.  Why can't there be more swimming and less cycling? 

I was happy to have made it through the bike portion of the race without a flat or wanting to lay on the ground kicking and screaming (hills, wind, and everyone passing me makes me a feel a little like doing this) but not so happy that I was passed by EVERY SINGLE PERSON who was competing in the Olympic distance.  On the upside I did run my fastest 10K.

I received a participation medal (yes, I've finally taken it off) as well as a medal for finishing second in my age category.  I will confess that there were only two of us (the other person finished an ENTIRE HOUR before I did) and I'm not entirely convinced that my friend Mariane didn't bribe someone else into giving me their medal but I'll take it!

In the end I had tonnes of fun and I can check another item of my  New Year's to do list .

If you are thinking that you would like give triathlon a try check out St. Joseph Island Triathlon.  It's a great race and very beginner friendly.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Will Cycle For Minestrone With Basil Pesto

Summer Minestrone

I think I quit about every 10K of my 90K bike ride today.  Then, I quit again once I finished my ride and was supposed to be running.  I quit because my bed and two bouviers were calling.  I quit because I was sick and tired of battling it out with pickup trucks that like to drive too close and yell obscenities at cyclists (even though I was following all the rules).  I quit because I would rather be at home drinking coffee and eating soup.   I quit because I have a long run planned for tomorrow.  I quit because my legs were tired.

I might have quit over and over again but I also started again.  I did lots of math.  90K = 10 + 10 + 10.... or 10 + 10 + 10 + .5 + .25....  I bribed myself with honey stinger waffles. I thought about race day.  And, I thought about soup.

Anyone have some motivation to spare?  I'm accepting donations. 

Summer Minestrone  
(Serves 6-8)

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 sweet onion diced
2 cloves local garlic
2 large carrots sliced
1 small grated zucchini or your favourite summer squash
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
48 oz water + 2 vegetable bouillon cubes OR 48 oz of vegetable broth
1/8 buttercup squash diced (I didn't bother to peel)
1 14 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed (nobody likes bean slime)
1 T dried rosemary

In a large pot warm 1 tsp olive oil.  Add onion & garlic saute until onion is transparent.  Add carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, water, bouillon cubes, chickpeas, buttercup squash, rosemary & pesto.  Simmer on medium until carrots and squash are tender (30 minutes or so).

Monday, 5 August 2013

Will Run For Pesto Kale Chips

pesto kale chips

My love affair with kale isn't exactly a secret.  Neither is my love for pesto.      

Something that I don't love is wind.  Have you ever been mad at the wind?  Seems reasonable to me.  So mad that you want to stand on the side of the road, throw off your helmet, flail your arms, and stomp around (kind of like a 4 year old, don't want to leave grandma's atomic meltdown)?  I do have some self-restraint so this meltdown happened in my head (that & I needed to get home) but it was by far the worst bike ride I've ever been on.

To make things even better when I got home farmer says to me, "so you're not doing anything else? That's it."  She's a jerk.  I got over myself (barely) with the help of some kale.

Pesto Kale Chips

(serves 1 kale lover)

1 bunch of kale 
 1 T basil pesto

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Rinse kale & cut off the majority of the kale stems.  In a medium bowl combine kale & pesto.  Massage pesto into kale.  Place kale in a single layer on a baking stone.  Bake for 20 minutes turning after 10 minutes.  Watch the kale carefully during the last 5 minutes of baking.  Nobody likes burnt kale.