Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dinner at Wolfgang's and The Good Ride

The week started with a visit from Mom to supervise some planned home construction.  Long story short, I have water leaking in a around a window frame and my landlord planned some major work to fix the problem.  In typical fashion, based on the useless landlord that he is and an equally pathetic "Mr. Fix-It" that he hires, they settled for some caulking rather than the more challenging, yet appropriate, intervention.  Fortunately, the "best Mom in the world" wasn't too upset that she drove four hours from Atlanta essentially for nothing.  We made the best of the situation though and enjoyed a couple of girls' evenings instead.  In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I prepared oven-baked nachos.  We both agreed that the simple meal was incredibly tasty and one we'll be adding to our respective dinner rotations.  The margaritas we sipped while enjoying the summer evening almost made it feel like a weekend.

On Tuesday night, I treated Mom to dinner at Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar as a combined thank you and early Mother's Day gift.  Since it was half-price bottles of wine that night, we were destined to enjoy a great Riesling.  Too weeknights in a row with alcohol consumption - I consider it part of my race recovery!  Despite very slow service, our food itself was delicious.

My asparagus and arugula salad was tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette and topped with pine nuts and ricotta salata.  For our entree, we shared one of their wood-fired pizzas - House-Made Lamb Sausage, Roasted Peppers, Goat Cheese, and Roasted Eggplant.  Although normally not sausage-eaters, we were both enticed to the lamb after we declared Wolfgang's lamb entree the best plate at Taste of the Nation.

Mid-week I found myself longing for a caribbean vacation - specifically this spectacular home and private pool in St. Lucia.  In reality, I'm stuck in the land of trauma, which equals "no vacations allowed."  Oh well, it was nice to dream!

Avocados and corn seem to be in abundance at the local markets.  One evening I combined a bed of local kale with a mix of veggies and mexican-spiced chicken from the market's hot bar to make a Mexican salad.  A grilled cheese quesadilla on the side was exactly the cheesy-carbohydrate goodness that I craved.

It's been far too long since I've had a lazy weekend morning to enjoy my most favorite breakfast meal - pancakes.  This morning's flapjacks were made with a base of oats, almond flour, greek yogurt, and banana, and were topped with molasses-cinnamon apples.

Finally, I have to share this recipe for Curried Chickpea Salad.   I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand, and was very pleased with the result.  This vegetarian-friendly dish reminds me exactly of the curried chicken salad that we enjoyed as a kid.  Throughout the week I determined it was equally as good as a salad topper or between slices of fresh bread.

Coming off my 70.3 race last weekend, training this week was all about recovery - easy swims, low resistance bikes, and just a couple shorter runs.  Aside from general fatigue and heaviness in my legs, I've felt pretty good.  My foot pain that started during the race last weekend isn't noticeable except for when I run.  I'm still hoping that it's going to disappear as quickly as it appeared.

Yesterday I participated in The Good Ride, a charity bike ride that celebrates cancer survivors and benefits 24 Hours of Booty.   I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but on July 25th and 26th I'll be riding endless loops around Charlotte's "Booty Loop" as a fundraising event for cancer research.  My personal goal is to raise $1000, and so far I'm at $600.  If you have a few spare dollars and are of the charitable nature, I'd be forever indebted to you if you could donate to the cause.  You can contribute your donation on my personal donation page.

Anyways, back to my 65 mile ride.  It was a cool and overcast day, making for ideal riding conditions.  I hung with a large group for the first 15 miles, but then gladly opted for riding with just a few others as the main pack broke apart.  My goal was to make this a base ride and I focused on breaking the riding into chunks based on the aid stations ago miles 30 and 50.  For once, I really enjoyed this long ride (a new personal distance record!) and still felt quite good when we finished.  Eating real food over the course of 3 hours and 35 minutes was a pleasant change from the usual gu and heed combination.  Peanut butter and jelly never tasted so good!

Here's a look at how the remainder of Week 17 on my journey toward Ironman Chattanooga played out.

Swim - 7600 yards
Bike - 5 hours
Run - 13.1 miles
Total - 9 hours, 14 minutes

This week it's back to the grind - just 139 days left until Ironman Chattanooga!

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