11/12/12

Fruit pizza and recent training update

And you thought muffins were my only baking creation? Ok, so it's nothing spectacular to look at it but sure does taste delicious!!! Who loves fruit pizza???
 
 
One of my favorites for a party or a holiday, I love making fruit pizza with seasonal fruits. This is a super easy dessert that is always a crowd pleaser. Of course, we all know that if it has fruit in the name, it has to be healthy right??? :)
 
3/4th -1 package chocolate chip or sugar cookie dough (depending on the size of your round baking dish)
Seasonal fruit (I recommend 3-4 options, chopped) - I used canned pineapple, pears, apple. If you use banana, be aware the banana will brown w/ leftovers (however leftovers are the best with this recipe!)
Optional: raisins, cranberries (as pictured), nuts, seeds
Whipped cream cheese (plain) or strawberry

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray pan with non stick spray.
3. Gently press cookie dough in pan to form a small layer (about the size of two tic-tacs on each other) - use a clean palm of your hand for pressing (have the kiddos help with this).
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown on edges (you want to remove when tough is still a little soft as it will firm-up when you let it cool). Do not cook as recommended on package, that will burn the "pizza".
5. Let pizza cool for 5-10 minutes. When cool, spread a light layer of cream cheese on pizza and top with seasonal (and/or canned) fruit.
 
 
After a needed 2-3 week break from my triathlon season, I always welcome a change of pace for a few months in order to remove myself from structured triathlon training. Over the past few years, I have welcomed my "unstructured structured" phase of training to include emphasis on running speed which includes 3 runs a week dedicated to training for one or two upcoming running races. As a pro-active triathlete, I am always thinking ahead not only with goals in mind but also what can I do to keep myself healthy and strong year-round. Lessons learned along the way but for the past two years, I spend a lot of my "training" energy on stretching, strength training, recovery and cross training in order to keep myself consistent with training. Learning from mistakes and thinking before I act, I have been able to be extremely consistent with training over the past two years and I feel my body is in a great place as I gear up for my 6th Ironman in July. Thinking ahead, it's not the distance that I think about when it comes to an Ironman because I don't do fear-based training. I know I can do the distances so my goal is to get stronger, more efficient, more economical and faster as an athlete. That means training smarter not further and making sure my body will respond to training stress over the next year, the year after, etc.

Although I love learning as I go, I believe my balanced approach to training which includes training hard and recovering harder prevents me from experiencing burnout, fatigue and injury. On the flip side, however, having specific intense and hard workouts keeps me motivated to see what my body is capable of achieving on a daily basis.
 
Since I am only running about 3.5-4 hours a week (25-30 miles/week) which includes running w/ walk intervals (for all my runs), I still swim twice a week (W, F) with my Master's Swim team and join the lodge ride in Nocattee on Saturday (around 52 miles round trip) which is fast and a lot of fun. Strength training includes primarily hip and core strength on W/F and lots of stretching morning and night. Depending on the week, I may do a tempo short swim (around a mile) on Monday but the past two weeks I have enjoyed having a full day off from training. Oh, and then there are lots of Campy walks and "sprint" runs around the block when I finish my run. Karel has been pacing me for the past two weeks for my long run which has been very helpful for my pacing. It hurts in a good way and I don't appreciate the progress I am making until the run is finished and I can analyze my logs.

So, what's all this hard work going toward??
 
This weekend I will be racing a local 10K with Karel and on December 16th I will be racing in the Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon.

 The training has been intense over the past few weeks and I'm excited to see if I can get closer to my BIG running goals. One would think that the upcoming races will show off training from the past month of run-specific training but as an athlete, I believe we bank fitness year after year, month after month and race after race...so long as the training is consistent and we keep having fun in our individual journey. Never stop performing beautifully.

When it comes to setting goals for sports/fitness, I believe we should all set realistic, yet challenging goals. Although seasonal goals will keep an athlete motivated throughout a season, I personally enjoy having long-term goals that keep me entertained on the possibility of achieving something beyond my capability at that moment in time. For the past few years, I have challenged my body to running a sub 1:30 half marathon and a sub 40 minute 10K. Earlier this year I broke 20 minutes in a 5K which hurt....bad. I love having a triathlete's body and toeing the line with "runners". I am not afraid to fail and as I have mentioned before I need faster athletes around me to help me reach my full potential. Although in triathlons, I am rarely set on a finishing time, there's something to be said about working so hard for a time in a running race. Picking the right race is important, the weather has to be ideal and the competition should be fierce. Will all things considered, I feel we can all reach goals or inch our way closer to the goals. Remember, some progress is better than no progress.
 
Half Marathon
12/16/2012 Jax Bank Half Marathon - 1:??:??
11/24/2011 Subaru Half Marathon - 1:31.51
12/19/2010 Jax Bank Half Marathon  - 1:32.34
11/28/2008 Outback Half Marathon - 1:36.30

10K11/17/2012 Mandarin 10K - ??:??
11/14/2011 Rotary 10K - 40.06
4/4/2009 Iron Girl 10K - 45.27
11/15/2008 Mandarin 10K - 45.08
 
 
Are you a goal setter? What's your BIG racing goal that seems so impossible but you are willing to work hard in order to achieve it? Or, did you recently achieve your BIG goal?