Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

IronGirl Bloomington 2008

This is my 4th year doing this race. The first year ( and there are some of you out there that know what i am talking about) it was inter-esting. Started at the MOA and the bike course was an out and back with no passing along the 494 bridge. Uh-huh. My vivid memory of that race was 1) I didnt really bike. 2) I could run 3) I was playing competitive tennis and so this was my one event in the summer that didnt include balls and rackets.
So you can guess who was the one holding things up along that no passing lane? ME! Nothing like a fast run leg only to hold up those that can bike faster. And I remind you we have our names on our bibs.

" GO JULIA!" this year was so much more enthusiastic than when it came from my fellow competitors who wanted oh so dearly to just pass me on that stretch of bike path! Kinda funny in hindsight and likely another reason that about 2 years ago i decided i needed to get biker legs. or pretend to. or at least try.

The 2nd year was better, last year was even better and this year the field was stacked! I was also amazed at how AWESOME the volunteers were. Maybe i am just not used to people cheering for me at races. Not saying that is bad or that I am needy, it just isnt something that happens to this magnitude when you are racing your bike up in St. Cloud in a Road race and there is nobody around other than a few "tick" fearing relatives.
Or maybe it doesnt help that i am not too fond of Crits. You do get folks cheering there.

But yesterday it was amazing! I have to say it felt so good to come into transition and have people really really cheering for you, LOUD! And remind you I dont know most those folks. So that is just really neat.
I didnt smile as much on the 2nd run bc i was in a bit of discomfort and I felt like I needed my inhaler, but i did
Crack a Huge Smile at the water stop on the second run when a volunteer started doing some sort of dance! I was alone so she was doing it for me. I couldnt help but crack up and she saw me. Mission accomplished.

So results are results and I think I got 15th overall. Considering last year i was 9th I was a kinda sad about that but when i stood in line to see the results the lady behind me quickly set my head straight when she said "I would be HAPPY with 15th.." kinda in that "get a clue sister!" tone. So i got a clue and I am quite honored to be racing in this event. MY runs were solidly fast ( 13:16 first run and 13:32 after the bike)my bike was not as fast as i had hoped. But I am thrilled to be able to put these discilpines together and chase those people that I know are such solid contributors to the multisport world...Julie Hull ( i kept her in sight on the first run! Lost her on the bike OBVIOUSLY!) and to think that when the gun went off..ok the duck screamed AFLAC! I was ahead of Margo for about 100 feet! 100 yard dash, I took her:)! And meeting new people, and conversing with old friends i havent seen as much since i started just biking. So sometime, not sure when, there is some more of this ahead. And yes that means less dawdling and having a tea party in the T's.

Here are some pictures that tell it all.

Leslie drove all the way from Kansas! MN nice said to her "hey you are shorter than I thought you would be." Nice Julia :( I think she took it in stride and we tried to even it out in the pics, she on her tippy toes and me in my slouched posture. I had the guts to introduce myself to Leslie as a blog stalker and she was cool enough to tell me she has some great energy drink called VERVE for us to try! Cant wait! She, by the way got 3rd overall. Quite the speedy gal!

Elizabeth and I are all smiles!Fan Numero Uno, honey, was out of town so i was on my own with self portraits.
Amy Klos won her age group 45-49 and continued to have a super season in the Multisport world.
And ... Smiley herself, Amy K, was loving the post race rub down. Both Amy's are such solid competitors and lovely to be around. So thanks gals, for a great day and hope to see you at more events in 2009.
PS: Ok have to admit my Anterior Tibs are crying "mother" for those runs. As some of you know i snuck a few 1-2 milers in after the last BlackDog and TNTT but my legs DO NOT have much mileage in them. So they are letting me know that. Or maybe it is that I actually LIFTED my legs up for Jen H. I think that was it.

Recipes...its about time..I know!
Running the risk that any eggplant dependent readers ( come on i know you are out there, closeted and afraid..) will starve.. here is my best GUESS, and i mean it, on how i make my favorite eggplant dishes.

1 large eggplant or 2 smaller japanese will do, deskinned and cubed to 1 inch
1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 red onion
2 zucchini squash, you can use yellow summer squash as well, cut into solid chunks
2Tbsp Olive oil
a few dashs of sea salt
alot of fresh oregano ( ok i used about 1/2 of that packet you buy since i dont grow it) or dried use a liberal amount, like 2-3 good solid shakes.
4 Large tomatoes, I dont de skin them or de-seed them I just cut them into about 8 pieces. It will get all mooshed up anyways so doesnt need to be pretty.

Thought on the veggies is that if you want the veggies to last with leftovers and not get soggy you gotta cut them a bit bigger. no pureeing here.

Saute the eggplant in the sea salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil. You want to do this on lower heat and let the eggplant soak up some of the oil and get a bit softer. Add the onion ( also cut up into 1 inch pieces) and a bit more of the olive oil. Get that sauteeing on a bit higher heat. Now start to add the tomatoes to get some liquid in there. IF you want I sometimes add a dash of chicken or veggie broth but once the tomatoes get in there it will get to be more liquid. Also add your oregano.

Add the remaning veggies and simmer on a lower heat till the tomatoes have broken up and it has a stew like consistency. Not soupy but stew like.

Take it off the heat and let it sit and then refrigerate till you want to eat it.
OR...let it cool off a bit and start gathering your greek olives, greek mizithra cheese ( or goat cheese or feta will do), and decide if you want to serve it over brown rice or over whole wheat penne or with a hunk of good bread...

It is really good if you also add mushrooms...broccoli got too soggy and stinks when it is reheated...It is also really good as an omlette filling.

Greek Dip
This is kind of made up but is good!
1 eggplant, medium sized SKIN ON.
1/2 cup Feta cheese
1/2 cup depitted greek olives, whatever you like..
1/2 cup hummus ( i use the greek hummus that has some greek spices in it already and some cucumber sauce..I think) HolyLand for you MN locals
1 Tbsp of Salsa Lisa Chipotle Salsa ( again local, get Salsa Lisa, she rocks)

Coat the Eggplant with olive oil and then broil under a medium hot broiler. You could grill it i suppose, but dont char the skin so much that the insides dont get cooked and soggy. It takes me about 10 minutes of rotating the eggplant to get it soft inside. Not soft mushy but soft enough that you can then:
Remove the skin ( hot hot hot, use caution) and manually (well you can use the blender but it isnt that hard to moosh it into a bowl with a fork) get the eggplant into a pureed form. Some chunks are great ... dont make it into smoothie consistency. Gross.
Let it cool a bit, and then add the hummus, the feta, the olives ( left them whole but make sure to take the pits out) and the hummus. Refrigerate.

This is maybe just a way to hide eggplant in hummus and salsa, but it works for me. The little chunks give it enough body to feel like it can supplement a meal. I eat it on veggies, on corn tortillas, or i put it on new potatoes. It is a good substitute for butter on good bread if you want something spreadable.


Friday, September 19, 2008


Here is what i have been thinking about ALOT lately. Not sure why. But i did bump into my former masters coach Beth today at the Y. She invited me back to masters..hmm..nice to be wanted. and nice to know it is there. Like 200 yards from my house. Umm, no excuse. other than the pool is WAY TOO HOT.

I am just letting it play out. As winter approaches, sadly it is what i do here, I know it is still 70 out and sunny but the inevitable is coming. The days are WAY shorter and you have to have mentally prepared for the bottom to drop out. It takes intention to get out early to workout/ride/run. Weather changes just are tough for me. I like it warm, balmy, downright hot if i had my choice. So..where am i going with this? ( not hot in the pool tho, 80 is great, 82 is ok, over 82 and i get cranky)

As you can tell from these pics ( and close ups they are not!) This isnt in MN. IT is in a freezing cold Pool in mexico. In January they dont heat their pools. Wowee, this one had to be 60 degrees. Wetsuit temps for me. Anyways...I love to swim. As long as my angry shoulder doesnt talk to me about the torn labrum ( more on that if anyone cares but you know you will get my PT talk on that and that will put most of you to sleep) I love to swim. Indoors gets old but overally it is a nice break for the mind and body.
Now also you can tell that I dont have the width in my shoulders to be like Dara. Replace her 10lb plate with a 1-2lb dumbbell or even some item i grab off my floor that appears to be a weight i can do repeatedly for 30-40 reps and I am good to go. Training endurance here, gotta get middle and lower traps working along with the delts and...
I found this scaled down DARA workout someplace. It is about 1/2 of what she does in this one workout. It actually looked do-able and didnt give any hilarious send off times. For example the only sets i have done recently have been 3-2-1's. I hit the 100's on 1.30 and was pretty amazed at that. But no way I would want to do or attempt to do 10 x 100 on 1.40 anytime soon. Unless i had the Chiro appts set up for 24-48 hours post.
But someplace in my head I keep thinking about one of these (see above) I cant say when and I cant say how, but I guess the point is I am excited to think about something that seems so impossible. And the more I read about other blogger chicks doing these I think "I could do that!"
First things first, other goals and other things along the way, like doing a half IM first, like breaking 17 at BlackDog ( PR is 17.01, as coach said "couldnt you have FOUND 1 second someplace??!!"), like doing a few OLY Tris, like running more to be sure that pesky hamstring tendonopathy has left town for good?

But interesting how these things penetrate my brain. The idea that there is more out there to discover and more in "here"(that would be my body, heart, and soul) to discover as well. My sister did THE IM in...1995?Kona. I dont even know...but I was sick and unable to go watch. It amazes me to this day that she did it. And maybe just maybe once her son is grown I can get her to think about doing another one.

That's all I have for today...I will post the recipe for the greek ratatouille but be warned I dont cook by directions...only really matters with baked goods tho, doesnt it:)?

Friday, September 12, 2008

What's up?
Making Ratatouille. Why dont people like Rat? I think it is because people are scared of...

Actually it is GREEK Rat, a tennis student gave me the recipe and it is GOOD! Add some olives and Mizithra cheese...good to go..
Other than cooking stuff i am training for this:

Yup. Runs. Not the cross kinda runs some of you do, but the kind where i get to be on my bike for a solid 22 miles before getting off and i get to run fast in my racing flats. Some trails ( love that) so not all on solid footing. It has been a blast so we will see how my, um...3 weeks of running will treat me next weekend!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Guess who won?

6-2, 7-5, 6-2
That's 5 in a row. Fed is one shy of Pistol Pete's record of 14 slams. (thanks to The Madness for correcting me. I must have been thinking it was Australia 09 already)
The Fed is back.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Friends, Family, Chickens and Gitchi-Gummi. A panorama of labor day happenings:

This is where it gets interesting...and this is where my family ( you blog stalkers on the east coast..who know the harsh reality of what you are about to see, especially when uncle Bobby is older than you are)

"tip toe on in."
"A bit colder below the surface. And did the sun just go under a cloud for a reason?"
"Crap, whose idea was this?"
"Ok, lets go check the temp of the river now."
Temp of the lake was 57 and the river was about 60.
So do you think i am a tad bit envious of the athletes that live and train in Hawaii?? Wish i could swim in this lake. Then again it wouldnt be what it is if there were wetsuited triathletes running around up here. Bears and Coyotes do eat speedos you know.

"Bob, your daughters are NUTZ!"

It looks so calm, and it was.
Sister Elizabeth. No she isnt THAT kind of a sister. Just MY sister.
Can you see any agates thru the water? that is how calm it was.

Ice bath baby, ice bath. I look like i am driving a bus.
Elizabeth headed on in.
Fun fun fun.
We had a super duper weather weekend on the North Shore.
The next day it snowed up there and Embarass MN was 28 degrees. Kidding. But reality is gonna hit soon. And I will be booking my tickets west, south, to the indoor pool:)