Sunday, January 26, 2014

SBR Week 3 and Recent Eats

The polar vortex is back yet again, and I'm over it.  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the winter and love nothing more than lazy days curled up by the fireplace, savoring a latte, cozy sweatshirts, and even a long run in the chilly air.  However, a temperature of 10 degrees with 25 mph winds is a whole new (and completely ridiculous) level of cold.  Despite managing the cold all week, today I through in the towel.  Plain and simple, I'm just tired of being cold.  Thus, I swapped a 6 mile tempo run for the bike trainer and 70 minutes of power intervals.  It was a worthy trade!

Bundled under a blanket and trying to stay warm -
afternoon tea and cookie while watching Downton Abbey (I'm hooked!).
Aside from that swap, I hit all of my other workouts for the week, just as prescribed.  At some point, I know the uncertainty of my schedule will wreak occasional havoc on my training plan, but until then, I love seeing each of those training peaks workouts turn green.  My runs were the most notable of this weeks training - including a 10 mile run last Sunday, followed by an 11 mile run Wednesday and 5 x 3 minutes @ sub-5k pace Friday.  I'm feeling good with the mileage so far, and I hope that trend continues.

Week 3 Totals - 11 hours, 50 minutes

Swim - 6000 yards
Bike - 4 hrs, 25 minutes
Run - 17.1 miles
Strength - 2 hours
Yoga - 1 hour

I think I'm a couple weeks behind with food pictures, so here's a look at what I've been eating recently.

Homemade Pizza: Trader Joe's whole wheat crust, marinara, roasted veggies (mushrooms, spinach, bell pepper, and red onion), and mozzarella

Leftovers from Vietnam Grille - vegetarian pho that was just as tasty and comforting the next day.
Roasting is my favorite winter cooking technique.  Even when I get home late, I can chop a mix of veggies, sweet potatoes, and a protein source, throw it all in the oven, and have a great meal in 45 minutes.  This particular  night I had tempeh in a cranberry horseradish sauce, caramelized sweet potatoes and carrots, baby radishes, and brussel sprouts with nutritional yeast.

Using the roasted leftovers, I created a bonus meal a few days later.  To put a completely different twist on the same ingredients, I sautéed the previously roasted mix, topped it with an egg, and served it all over a bed of arugula.

Of course you didn't expect me to leave out a pancake breakfast, did you?  This post-call plate of paleo sweet potato pancakes were rescued from the freezer, toasted, and topped with almond butter, banana, cinnamon, coconut, and maple syrup.

Last, but not least, tonight's dinner.  I mentioned last week my recent cravings for meat, so when I was at Fresh Market I picked up two stuffed chicken breasts that were on sale.  The organic chicken was stuffed with bell pepper, chipotle pepper, and jack cheese.  It had some major spice that I wasn't expecting!  Fortunately, I had sautéed garlic kale and roasted sweet potatoes and rutabaga to balance out the spice.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mother-Daughter Weekend and Sunday SBR - Week 2

The more appropriate name might have been "sister weekend" since Mom and I were asked multiple times if we were sisters.  Judge yourself based on the picture below, but apparently we look a bit alike.

A simple text on Friday morning - "Thinking about coming to Charlotte.  Give me a call!" was all it took to make a girls' weekend in Charlotte materialize.  By Friday evening I was done with work and Mom pulled into my driveway.  We kicked off our weekend at Heist Brewery with cocktails and tapas.  While the camera stayed tucked away, we munched on chicken and waffle bites, BBQ duck flatbread, brussel sprouts, scallops with an avocado cream, and chili with cornbread.  If you're looking for a casual restaurant with a cool vibe and unique food presentations, Heist is the place to dine.

My mission for Saturday was to share all of my favorite Charlotte weekend activities.  A perfect Saturday in the Queen City!  We started with a yoga class and then made our way to Not Just Coffee at Atherton Mill for caramel lattes.  Seriously the best cup of coffee in Charlotte.  We split a vegan chai custard donut just for good measure!

Next stop was the farmer's market for lots of local produce.  I'll be roasting parsnips, radishes, and sweet potatoes later this week!  Mom also picked out a selection of veggies for a big stir fry.  After some shopping, we worked up an appetite.  I've heard many good things about Vietnam Grill, but recently had gotten a rave review from a friend.  We started with an order of vegetarian rice paper rolls with a peanut sauce, and then shared two entrees.  The vegetarian pho was filled to the brim with vegetables and then topped with thai basil and bean shoots.  In contrast to the heat of the soup was a cold cabbage salad topped with jumbo shrimp.  We both agreed that it was a filling, yet healthy lunch, and we enjoyed trying a new cuisine.

We concluded our shopping with a few killer deals - a $150 pair of Mizunos for $42 and new bedding for two rooms for just $150 total.  My thrifty personality was quite pleased.

Later that evening we stopped by the taproom at Lenny Boy Kombucha for a couple tasting flights.  Our favorites were the "peach bomb" and "ginger".  We both agreed they were much more tasty than a beer samplers and look forward to coming back to sample different flavors throughout the year.

We weighed many dinner options, but eventually decided to enjoy a "restaurant week" experience at Napa on Providence.  The bread service included a warm toasty loaf served with pomegranate honey butter.  I tried to contain my carb-loving appetite, but could have dominated the entire loaf!

Our selections for the first course included:

Kale Salad: caramelized onions, roasted grape tomatoes, spiced pecans, house-cured & smoked pancetta with clementine vinaigrette

PEI Mussels – saffron crema, roasted red peppers, and green onions

The kale salad was  crisp and well seasoned and the sauce accompanying the mussels was good to the very last drop.  Does anyone else order mussels simply as a vehicle to soak bread in the savory sauce?

When it came time for our entrees, we were both considering the grouper.  However, in order to avoid getting two of the same thing, I stepped outside of my normally vegetarian/pescatarian diet and chose the pork chop.  I've had several meat cravings recently, so it seemed to be the appropriate choice.  We were both very pleased with our meals, ranting and raving about the execution, and sharing both entrees so we could each have a taste of each.

Grilled Pork Chop – carrot puree, braised cabbage, and apple gastrique
Apple-Crusted Grouper – roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed garlic spinach, fig & balsamic reduction
Keeping with our theme of sharing, we split two desserts.  The death by chocolate cake with coconut was an indulgent dark chocolate cake with layers of mousse and fulfilled our chocolate craving.  The lemon panna cotta was in complete contrast, with a cool lightness and flavors of strawberry, mint syrup, and candied lemon peel.  We left full and happy, and yet again, were impressed by Charlotte's restaurant scene.

Sunday was spent enjoying a lazy morning on the couch sipping on cups of tea and a late breakfast.  We both enjoyed every minute of our girls' weekend and I feel so fortunate that we love spending time together.  Thanks for coming to visit Mom!

Lastly, because it's Sunday, I'll fill you in the this week's workouts.

Swimming - 6400 yards

Biking - 4 hours and 40 minutes on the trainer

Running - 20.3 miles

Strength - 2 hours

Total Time:  12:35

It was a solid week of training and I hit all of my workouts.  I even squeezed in an hour on my yoga mat after a long bike trainer workout on Saturday.  As I sit here on Sunday night, hours after having completed my last workout of the week - a 10 mile run - my legs are certainly feeling the combination of strength work, bike power intervals, and run speed work.  It's all about getting stronger though, so I'll take that as a sign that I'm headed in the right direction.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday SBR - Week 1

Week one of 2014 triathlon training is officially in the books.  Only 37 more weeks to go before Ironman Chattanooga!

Swimming - 6300 yards

Biking - 3 hours on the trainer

Running -  15 miles

Strength - 2 hours

Total time = 9:10

I started the week with a swim performance test of 10x100 yards with 10 seconds between each set.  I was consistent throughout and very happy with my final 100 in 1:18.  Hopefully I can maintain some of that speed as we build distance.

Tuesday I had a dreaded lactate threshold bike test.  Ugh!  One of my least favorite workouts.  I got the job done, but don't look forward to repeating the test in a few weeks when I have my power meter.

Strength-wise, I'm trying something new by lifting heavier weights.  Coach says "squats = watts", so I'll be focusing on getting stronger during these next couple months of base training.   Royce would be proud that I'm moving beyond the girly dumbbells and into the muscle corner of the gym.  If nothing else, it's entertaining to watch the guys admire their own "buffness" in the mirrors.

The picture of the week is my newest training gadget - the Garmin 910 XT.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Magazine Appearance and Recent Eats

As I walked into clinic this afternoon, I picked up a copy of this month's Endurance Magazine that was sitting in the waiting room.  I typically read the magazine each month, looking for local races and the occasional interesting article.  I went about my way seeing patients, until I received a text from a friend with this picture and a note to check out Endurance Magazine.  Low and behold, just a few pages into the magazine is my smiling face on a full page spread.

To say I was surprised would be an understatement.  Several weeks ago I had answered some questions about my Ramblin' Rose experience and was told a quote or two might appear in the upcoming issue.  Little did I know that the quote would be accompanied by a giant picture!  

Have you heard about the recent cold weather?  Something named the "polar vortex?"  Here in the South we are completely incapable of handling single digit temperatures, not to mention a 1% chance of wintry precipitation.  Therefore, schools have been running on delays and bread and milk have disappeared from grocery store shelves.

Despite the chilly temperatures (warmer than it actually was thanks to the parking deck heat), the most exciting thing about this picture was my arrival time to work - 6:30AM!  Good-bye trauma, hello sleep!
Fortunately, it's starting to warm up and the sun was actually shining this afternoon.

Along with cold weather comes my craving for simple and comforting meals.   The past two weeks have been a combination of freezer staples, fresh produce, and tofu.  One day I roasted tofu and sweet potatoes and sautéed green beans and another day I combined left overs with a wild rice and vegetable frozen blend with added kale.

Over the weekend, I wanted nothing more than a warm bowl of soup.  Enter Trader Joe's Tomato soup, multigrain flatbread, and a salad with avocado (love it!).

Finally, the highlight this week has been a head of purple cabbage that I braised in a combination of red wine, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  I'm definitely going to be doing this more often, because it was so delicious.  Making it a complete meal was a serving of Earth Fare's organic mac and cheese and the last of the green beans.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Triathlon Season

Today marks the official start of my formal 2014 triathlon training.  I have some lofty goals this year, many of which are focused on this little race called Ironman Chattanooga in September.  Over the next 38 weeks, there is going to be a heck of a lot of swimming, biking, and running.  And just to add some variety here on the blog, I may possibly share just a photo or two of the tons (literally) of food that will keep me fueled.

I'm getting back to a more formal training program, as opposed to my self-directed training and racing of the last two seasons.  This season, I'll be racing for the PT Solutions Triathlon Team and be coached by Brett Daniels.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven history with long-course athletes.  Together, we're determined to make 2014 a successful season.

Here's how my season will shape up with respect to races:

5/4  Carolina Half-Iron

5/31 Tomahawk Tri

6/14 Tri Latta Sprint

6/29 PT Solutions Allatoona Sprint Tri

7/19 Stumpy Creek Int'l

8/2 Lake Logan Half-Iron

9/28 Ironman Chattanooga

There are several other events that I might sprinkle in, but those will be the major races on my calendar.

At the request of some family and friends, I'm going to try a new addition to the blog - a weekly training update.  I am frequently asked how I manage to fit training into a very busy professional life as an orthopedic resident, so I'm going to try to give you an idea.  My goal will be to have a weekly "Sunday SBR" (swim, bike run) post with the nitty gritty of training.

To say that I'm excited for this season would be an understatement!  At the same time, though, I'm a little (or maybe a lot) intimidated and nervous about the work that lies in front of me if I want to achieve my goals.   It should be interesting . . . .

See you at the races!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Good-bye 2013

Where have the past 365 days gone?  On one hand it seems like it's been forever since we celebrated Christmas 2012, yet it also seems hard to believe it could be 2014 already.  It hardly seems like it has been a year since I was writing my 13 in 2013 post.

Based on the fact that everyone seems to be recapping their highlights of 2013, I figure I will jump on the boat as well.  Rather than drag you along month by month, here are some high points in a few segments of my life.

  • Attended a sport medicine conference in Park City, UT 
  • Good-bye PGY-2 and hello PGY-3.  Each year get a bit better.  Still loving our group of residents!
  • I spent two whole months living as a vampire.  However, in November I completed my last month of night float EVER.
  • As of today, only six more months of in-house junior call.  Senior call brings a whole new set of responsibilities, but knowing that I'll no longer be spending 24 hours at a time in the hospital makes me very happy.
  • I think I've finally decided to pursue a pediatric sports medicine fellowship.  My recent trip to the IPOS Conference reaffirmed that decision.
  • 415 hours of total workouts
    • Swimming = 98 hours, 305831 yards (174 miles!)
    • Biking = 177 hours 
    • Running = 73 hours (506 miles)
    • Strength Training = 40 hours
    • Yoga = 22 hours
  • My first race placement with a cash payout
  • Two overall race wins - Ramblin' Rose and Red Top Mountain
  • Dad, Royce, and Erin did their first triathlon as a relay team
  • I made a crazy decision to race Ironman Chattanooga September 2014
Fun and Family
And with that, we reach January of 2014.    I'll be back with goals and plans for the year, but for now, I think this sums up my strategy quite well . . .