Monday, July 18, 2011

It's 5:00 somewhere

It was a tough weekend; the first of the "long" ones. Definitely the longest run and bike distances I've done in two months.

As I was sweating it out up a big hill about 20-miles into a 40-mile ride, I glanced at my watch and noticed it was 5:00 PM. I couldn't help but thinking about the beloved motto of Jimmy Buffet's Parrotheads: "It's 5:00 somewhere." But not here, I thought. Not for me. (Que tiny violins.) And, as if to underscore my point, or rub it in, at that very moment a rusty old car packed full of laughing teenagers rolled by, some upbeat latino/reggae/hip hop tune blasting from the speakers, the scent of incense and other aromas trailing in their wake.

The toughest hills in our county are within 10 miles of our house, and we hit them all. Eight miles in and I was ready to cry mercy and trade in my Gatorade for a margarita. But, I pushed on, letting my mind wander to distract me from the miles . . .

I reflected on the book I'm reading, "I'm Here to Win," by Chris McCormack and how he refers to his bike as his weapon. Well, before reading about Chris, I might have once thought that way too, given that the bike is my strongest leg. Now, however, that idea is a bit diminished, as Chris' Tsar Bomba makes my weapon seem more like a . . . water balloon? Yeah, that's about right. Something that is sometimes resilient and remains intact, even when dropped a few times, if it's not overinflated. But, other times, there is a slow leak until there's nothing left except a shriveled exterior or even a sudden explosion where the whole thing breaks apart. Yep, that pretty aptly describes me and my "weapon."

I'm Here To Win: A World Champion's Advice for Peak Performance

Thankfully, my “hottie” (the painful hot spot on my right foot) merely glared at me out of the corner of her eye, but was content to let her evil twins in my neck and lower back do her bidding for most of the ride. But, with 3-miles to go, she couldn't resist and joined the party, a triple threat of pinching, pulling and pain all having their 5:00 happy hour on my body.

Despite the fatigue, I topped the bike with a short 1-mile run on the advice of a friend who suggested I “make every bike a brick.” Believe it or not, the first quarter mile felt great—anything to be off the bike!

Yes, I am whining. We'd been up that day since 6:30 AM and spent six hours at the pool, first for our kids' swim meet and then our own 2000-meter swim, with a mere 90-minute break before we embarked on our ride. By the time we got home and put the kids to bed that night, the best we could manage for dinner was a plate of tortilla chips with melted cheese, served with some slightly redeeming homemade guac (Recipe to follow; so easy and so yummy!)

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I again chose the 5:00-hour on Sunday to head out for a 6-mile run. Mistake. On many levels. I really needed a morning to sleep in and, in truth, thoroughly enjoyed the extra z's and a rare leisurely morning. But, crime doesn't pay. While lazing around the air-conditioned casa, I neglected to drink enough water; looking back, I may have had only 8 oz all day in addition to an 8 oz chai tea. And, two hours pre-run, I ate a salad with wild salmon. Not a good choice. And let's not forget the heat. Since I slept away the morning window of opportunity, I was hoping the temps would cool off a bit by 5. It didn't. So, it was hot, I was dehydrated, and trying to process a plate of greens. Not good. By mile 4.7 I was doubled over with cramps and had to walk the rest of the way home. Not an experience I wish to repeat. Lesson learned.

I was also missing my favorite white UA Heat Gear tank, which was lifted at the pool last week. The shirt I wore instead was hot and designed just imperfectly so, so that it tugged on my iPod cord with each stride. Every 10 or so steps I had to yank the cord upward to keep my earbuds from popping out.

Oh well. Win some, lose some, but always learn some.

As for fuel, I was not a nutritional superstar this weekend and hope to do better next time:


Breakfast #1 (7:00 AM) Oatmeal, green tea.

Breakfast #2 (10:00 AM) Egg & cheese on pumpernickel bagel, bowl of fruit.

Pre-swim snack: Grapes, Lara bar

Pre-bike lunch: Tortilla chips and carrots with lemon hummus, (Note to self; do not eat chips within one hour of a bike ride), slice of whole wheat bread with almond butter & honey, ¼ cup of awful coffee that I pitched.

Ride fuel: 66 oz water + 1 Hammer Gel

Post-ride: Recoverite

Dinner: Tortilla chips with melted cheese and homemade guacamole.

Dessert: Drambuie nightcap. (Much needed.)


Breakfast: Herbal tea, whole grain pancakes with fruit.

Lunch: Oatmeal (yes, I was a bit off schedule)

Late afternoon/pre-run: Salad and wild salmon (good idea in theory; bad idea in practice), cup of chai.

Dinner: Shrimp Pad Thai (Delicious! See recipe below.) with carrots and hummus, and oranges.

Dessert: Ice cream (Yes, I know ice cream is technically a nutritional "no-no" but, darn it, if I'm working out six days a week I'm going to have ice cream when I want it!)


Homemade Guacamole

Two avocados
1 T. greek yogurt
1 lemon wedge
salt & pepper to taste

Wash avocados and slice lengthwise; remove pit and scoop flesh into a bowl; mash.
Add yogurt, and lemon, salt & pepper to taste. Lightly mash/mix. Serve with tortillas or pita chips. Use leftovers on sandwiches.

Shrimp Pad Thai (Thanks, Colleen!)

> 1/4 pound rice-stick noodles
> 1 teaspoon canola oil
> 1/2 pound large shrimp -- peeled and deveined
> 4 scallions -- chopped
> 2 cloves garlic -- minced
> 2 egg whites -- lightly beaten
> 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce -- (nam pla)
> 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce
> 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
> 2 cups bean sprouts
> 3 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts -- chopped
> 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
> 2 tablespoons sugar

Place the noodles in a large bowl and add enough hot water to cover; let stand until the noodles are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain, transfer the noodles to a large bowl of cold water to cool, and drain again. Set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are just opaque in the center, about 3 minutes. Add the scallions and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the egg whites, stirring gently, until they begin to set, about 30 seconds. Add the fish sauce, sugar, chili sauce, and soy sauce; cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 30 seconds. Add the drained noodles and the bean sprouts; cook, tossing gently, until mixed and heated through, 2-3 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the peanuts and cilantro.

Per serving (1 cup) 243 cal, 4 g. fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 67 mg Chol, 1,001 mg Sod, 36 g Carb, 3 g Fib, 15 g Prot, 56 mg Calc.

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