Sunday, January 31, 2010

My kitchen smells like toasting granola right now - I can't wait for it to come out of the oven...

Happy Birthday to George and Ladybug and Katy! Three birthdays right in a row... and Tom's earlier last week. Let the birthday season begin!

Friday, January 29, 2010

My routine has been switched up a little thanks to a new block of training in the last few weeks before the mandatory intensity of racing sets in. I'm thankful for the break - now waking up to ride instead of heading to the gym. Road riding has taken my undivided attention and I thank the heavens and stars for supplying the best January of winter weather we've ever had on record. Those long hard miles in the saddle are that much sweeter without the constant drizzle and soaked digits - character building miles for sure - but not missed in the least.

I'm dialing in my nutrition - creating a happy balance between what my body needs and what it craves. I'm sticking to my game plan of timing my food just right, having the right snacks on hand and believe it or not - spending less time doing food prep now. How did that happen? But as my waist line shrinks, just slightly, and my lean muscle mass becomes leaner, I know that it's working.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happiness is coming back to the car after pounding out the miles before 10am with multiple lactic threshold efforts and chowing down on some Muscle Gruel oatmeal with hand picked blueberries from summer and Recoverite to wash it down with. Who would have thought that such simple pleasures could make me so incredibly happy?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting ready

Tomorrow morning at about the time you wake up, I'll be out doing hill repeats up Hollywood hill, feeling the heart pound in my chest and pump my legs to climb up that mother of a hill three times. Fun times!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flip flop

A few weeks ago I picked up a copy of Precision Nutrition to dial in my food intake for maximum performance on and off the bike. With the "plan" comes a bunch of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner- oh and snacks too.

I have been following their guidelines for a little while and am so far pleased with the results. Mainly my fridge is just stoked full of whole some goodness foods - easy to prepare (for the most part) and quick to grab and fill yourself with delicious food at a moments hungry notice.

In the description of the recipes is a note stating how easy, moderate or hard they are. And I fancy myself somewhat of a good cook - able to try new things and am not afraid of any task. But for some reason, those "easy" recipes have been the biggest kitchen challenge I have ever encountered!

Example A - Protein powder snack bars. The label read "Peanut Butter Banana Protein Bar". Surely it can't be that hard? Listed in the ingredients is 8 scoops of vanilla protein whey powder. No problem! They sell that hippie shit at PCC just down the street from my house - in BULK! I come back home after picking up some essentials (which no longer contains any processed, white bread, crackers, heavily processed dairy items, etc) and get to it.

But there's one problem. No where in the book does it say how much a "scoop" is. Luckily PN has a website with all of that information in it. I look up how many grams are in a scoop and see 1 scoop/20g. I measure out 160 grams of protein. The protein pile resembles Mt. Fuji. I think to myself, gee, that looks like too much. But what do I know? I've never cooked with protein powder before. Hmmmm... interesting as I mixed the rest of the ingredients together it seems a little dry.... maybe I messed up my scoop per gram? Um, yeah. By 10 times! It was supposed to be 10 scoops per 20 grams. Nothing like a good additive to oatmeal.

Example 2 - the omelet flop. Ah, there's nothing like a good breakfast. Especially with smoked turkey, onions, spinach and bell peppers. But as I go to flip the eggs, I ended up flipping half of it on the FLOOR! As I pick it up I'm cursing the PN "easy" recipes and laughing at myself as I chew on some extra protein sauteed in my egg whites. Makiah was stoked about cleaning the floor, let me tell you.

Great way to start the morning - but it's sunny out so who cares?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Something's in the air....

Ah, a quiet Monday morning at my house. The sun is actually making an appearance by poking its head over the Cascades and doing its best to dry out what was one of the wetter weeks. Thank goodness my sump pump finally stopped running. Its cycle of turning on and then thumping off every 5 minutes was becoming far to common of a back ground noise. But hey, at least I know it's working!

This morning's ritual of checking my resting heart rate showed why I do it - it was a full 8 beats higher than normal. Turns out Jennie knows a thing or two about scheduling a rest day immediately after a hard block of training to a "T". :) And today's rest day should be all I need to re-set me for another solid week of training. The intensity and mileage keeps creeping up - as we slowly creep into the upcoming season. After a ton of road riding, yesterday's muddy mountain bike ride at St. Edwards park was a much welcomed shift. The hooping and hollering cured any negative thoughts and I rediscovered my LT. Thank goodness because it is much higher than what I thought it was. Now the trick is to get up to it during my intervals and keeping it there for 15 minutes! Can you say suffer fest?

On a side note - but equally related to cycling since everything in your life contributes to its balance - seems like everyone I talked to this past weekend about having a tough time both on and off the bike resonate with a, "ME TOO!" What's up with that? Lack of Vitamin D? Too much rain to the brain? Well here's to a new week of making the most of it...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Character Building

Remember how in my last post I bragged about not having to do intervals or be on my bike on Monday? Well it rained just as hard, if not harder, last night during my LT efforts and didn't let up my entire 3.5 hours on the bike. That's some solid character building, I tell you what!

Thankfully on my way out to my hill repeats, not far from Counterbalance, I discovered a puncture in the sidewall of my rear tire. I quickly flipped it and headed back to the shop where I had a guy change my dirty, nasty tire and make sure I was good to go on my adventure. He replaced it with such enthusiasm that I dedicated my first interval to him. He laughed as I exited the store through the sliding glass doors when we both noticed the down pour and sincerely said, good luck [nut case].

I can think of only a handful of occasions, and luckily this is the first one this year, where the water is coming down so hard that the bike lanes look like swelled river streams. Everything gets wet. Everything. And it's about 50 degrees out. And dark. But does that keep me indoors glued to the trainer for 2.5 hours? Heck no! I'd rather have brain surgery. My saving grace? Diving gloves, wool socks, shower pass jacket, ishuffle, bomber booties, Continental 4-Season Grand Prix, and Stella - my new favorite light.

I will say this though - when your gloves get that wet, they act like suction cups when you try to take them off to munch on a Hammer bar. Leave them off for too long and your hands will freeze, but slip them back on while you cram 8 bites into your mouth all at once and you'll be good to go.

I also noticed that I'm getting more fearless on descents. Not sure if that's attributed to not being able to see anything thanks to the pelting rain or the fact that it's pitch black out - but I can fly down hills without any tension in my upper body. And if you put your light on blink and cruise down a street with reflective bumps it serves as a strobe light... all you need is to add some disco music and you'll be having a great time!

Later as I sat on the couch after stripping my wet clothing off, jumping in the shower, eating a meal big enough for an army and trying to read up on nutrition, I couldn't help but let my eyes drift to sleep. Perhaps that ride took more out of me than I thought!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pineapple Express

Those in the NW know what that means - rain. The type of rain that leaves you drenched in no time. It seeps into everything you do - drains over fill, sump pumps start churning, human swallowing puddles form, land slides. It's as though we're being punished for having a beautiful dry weekend. But the working world is thankful for the good weather during those few days off - and welcome the steady drizzle on Monday, often the craziest day of the week.

Monday's are rest days for me. It gives me some time to play catch up - clean my filthy bikes, get some wholesome food back in my fridge, wax my skis, etc. And of course relax. So rain all you want gray sky. But please clear up for tomorrow for I have intervals to complete that are hard enough without adverse weather. :)

And props to the brave souls who are riding in this drippy weather. I'll be joining your ranks tomorrow.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Mmmm.... blueberries!

I needed a good dose of summer's bounty after today's soggy ride. What started off as a light drizzle turned into a monsoon by the time I met my half way point and headed home. Although wet, I was warm. Though tomorrow is going to be twice as long and twice as wet. It left me wondering, can I put embrocation on my feet?

Mmmmm... back to blueberries. The best fruit on the planet. And something I can eat MASSIVE quantities of, especially when they're fresh. Good thing they're frozen otherwise they'd be gone!

Also on tap for tonight - prepping for tomorrow. I know, exciting Friday night. But I have big goals to meet and high motivation to get there. Do I a) clean my bike, b)eat more blueberries, c) read through my cookbooks and plan some meals for next week, d) eat more blueberries, e)watch world cup skate skiing on the tele while eating more blueberries? Looks like blueberries win. MMMmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow - 2010.

10 years ago I was in Bellingham graduating from Western. 2000
9 years ago I married Ryan and he graduated from WWU. 2001
8 years ago we quit our jobs and traveled through Europe and moved to Seattle. 2002
7 years ago I worked in Bellevue and sold flooring on the Internet. 2003
6 years ago I started commuting to work by bike and doing STP. Coleman was born! 2004
5 years ago I quit my job and started riding full time and pursued my dreams. 2005
4 years ago I rode my bike well over 10,000 miles in a year. 2006
3 years ago we bought a cabin in Mazama. Laurel was born! 2007
2 years ago my world came to an abrupt halt when Ryan died. 2008
1 year ago I rebuilt my shattered life and cried a lot. 2009

My goodness it does seem that life speeds up as you get older. The ups, the downs, the ins and outs. Life just keeps on going.

And just a quick little reminder of the good times - this photo was taken in Mazama that first winter we had the cabin. I think of Ryan every time I skate Jack's loop out to proposal point (so named from Laura and Dale) and stop to stare at Goat Wall.