Is there anything better than taking a trip back home and enjoying meal after meal of home-cooked favorites? As much as I enjoy cooking for myself, there's just something special about those meals that you have memories of eating as a child.
I made a short trip home last weekend to do some training with the PTS Sports crew and get an updated bike fit. Fortunately, I also had some time to enjoy with the family. Post-swim and 2 hour bike I polished off the plate above in about 2 minutes flat. Warm whole wheat pitas topped with black beans and an avocado-tomato-cilantro salsa is a meal that is always comforting. Simple, yet so satisfying!
The weather for the weekend was nearly perfect - sunny and upper 60s during the day. Mom planned a Saturday family dinner appropriate for a summer evening - veggie burgers, roasted sweet potatoes, and slaw. The slaw was a unique twist on the traditional, with shredded brussel sprouts, pine nuts, and hard-boiled egg tossed in a caesar-like dressing. Roasted sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods!
For about a week or so I had been craving a burger, so when Mom was whipping up a batch of them on Saturday, I was beyond happy. Just looking at this picture leaves me wishing I had a similar plate to enjoy right now.
That night we gathered around the fire-pit and soaked up its warmth as the air temperature gradually dropped. We bundled in blankets and munched on gingerbread while chatting.
Sunday morning I managed to be cooked for yet again as the girls enjoyed a lazy morning while Dad went flying. The hearty breakfast included scrambled eggs with spinach and scallions, paleo morning glory muffins, strawberries, and blackberries.
Last week's workouts ended with a 12 mile run along the banks of the Chattahoochee River at Cochran Shoals. Without a doubt, this is my favorite place to run in Atlanta. In addition to providing beautiful scenery, the river also proves to be an excellent place for an ice bath post-workout. Here's a look at how the remainder of week seven's 13+ hours of training concluded, including the completion all 11 workouts.
Swimming (9600 yards) - Saturday's 10x100 (holding 1:20s) and 10x50s (on 0:40) was a tough one, but evidence that my swimming speed is benefiting from the strength work I've been doing.
Biking (4 hrs, 53 min) - Thursday's FTP test (aka hardest and most miserable hour on the bike) was my first now that my Quarq is installed. The result - FTP 189 watts and 3.32 watts/kg. Coach's response - "lots of intervals in your future".
Running (24.8 miles) - Between a fartlek run, 5k pace treadmill intervals, and a long run, my legs were feeling pretty sluggish by the end of the week.
Strength (2 hours)
This week's meals have been a hodgepodge of ingredients thrown together thanks to some later nights in the OR that left no time for cooking. Tuesday I roasted a trio of potatoes - sweet, japanese sweet, and red skins - and enjoyed eating them on several nights.
My favorite sandwich - Great Harvest Dakota bread, hummus, smashed avocado, tomato slices, and cracked pepper - also made a comeback.
Lastly, two Vegan Cuts boxes arrived on my doorstep last week. Royce and Erin gave me a three month membership for Christmas and it has been such a great gift. These boxes included a variety of snack bars, chips and crackers, chocolate, macaroons, peanut butter, teas, and my favorite Skratch drink mix.
I'll leave you with this week's Swim-Bike-Run recap. As week 8 comes to a conclusion, I'm beginning to sense just how quickly time is passing. Ironman Chattnooga is less than 7 months away!
Swimming (10,100 yards) - Several longer sets are pushing me to maintain speed over a longer duration
Biking (5 hours) - Learning to love those intervals!
Running (14.4 miles) - Monday's 5k treadmill pace intervals was the sole missed workout this week. The combination of a late night in the OR and tired legs were ample signs that rest was the better option.
Strength - 2 hours
Totals - 12 hours and 10 for 11 workouts
Next weekend I'm running the North Carolina Half-Marathon at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Is a sub-1:35 in the cards?