Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mom's Cooking

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?

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