1/20/17

Healthy, delicious homemade banana bread



I love bananas. Karel calls me a monkey.
I certainly didn't take after my mom who has a slight banana allergy but instead, my dad just loved his daily banana (or two).

It's no surprise that I would love banana bread simple because it contains bananas. Plus, I hate wasting food so when my yellow bananas turn spotty, throwing them in the freezer for a future smoothie is a great option but I can't go wrong with making them the star ingredient in banana bread.

I'm still having so much fun with my Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook and I was literally waiting all week for my bananas to turn very ripe so that I could make the Spelt banana bread recipe on pg. 183 of the book. 

To learn more about Spelt, you can read more here. 
Spelt is an ancient form of wheat (cultivated since 5000 BC) and contains much less gluten than wheat so it may be tolerable for those who are gluten intolerant (but it should be avoided by those who have Celiac disease). 

Like many other grains, spelt contains fiber and protein, along with iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, selenium, B vitamins and folic acid.

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. It is super moist and satisfying with just enough sweetness to excite your taste buds.
I adapted the recipe from the cookbook and modified the ingredients just slightly. 



Spelt Banana Bread

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups spelt flour (or gluten free flour)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 stick salted butter (Plugra or Kerrygold are our favorite butter brands)
1/4 cup brown sugar (yep - that's it!)
2 eggs
2 large very ripe bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Handful of unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use cooking spray to grease a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan (or use butter).
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, use a handheld mixer or stand mixer to beat together the butter and sugar on low until combined. Add the eggs and continue to beat for 1 minute. Add the bananas and vanilla and beat just until combined.
4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the nuts.
5. Pour into the loaf pan and shake the pan to spread out the batter evenly. Sprinkle the top with coconut if using.  Bake in the center of the oven until the top is golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean (about 50-60 minutes). 
6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Use a knife around the edges to loosen and to carefully remove the loaf.

ENJOY!!! 

1/19/17

Ahhh, I need to lose weight!!


As an athlete, you probably feel that you work very hard to develop the necessary skills, resilience, stamina, power, speed and endurance to help you prepare for your upcoming athletic events. Developing the fitness to participate in a running or triathlon event requires a lot of training and it takes commitment and requires patience, so it's assumed that skipping workouts, being "all in" all the time, not caring, deviating from your training plan to do what other athletes are doing, or haphazardly guessing your way through training are not effective ways to reach your race day goals. You simply become inconsistent with training, you lose confidence in what you are doing and you may compromise your health.

Is nutrition an important component of your training?

If you don't work at healthy eating, you miss out on one of the best opportunities to improve your performance and to keep your body in good health. To perform at your best, your body needs to function at it's best and the best fuel comes from a healthy, balanced and well-planned and timed diet.

So what's an athlete to do if weight loss is a goal, alongside performance/fitness improvements? And for the purpose of this article, I'm speaking about weight loss that brings you to a healthy weight and not weight loss for aesthetics, to show off your abs or to tone up your butt or to lose a few vanity pounds.

I can't say it enough but eating a healthy diet as an athlete is not easy. When your time is limited, you are exhausted from training, energy expenditure is high, you get up early to workout and your appetite is ever-so unpredictable, energy comes and goes and you are tired and sore, developing the SKILLS to maintain a healthy diet as an athlete takes a lot of work.

Most athletes would rather put the time into training than to work on improving dietary habits but this strategy does not work. You see, if you don't work on developing healthy eating habits in your early season, how do you expect to carry healthy habits with you as your training volume and intensity increase as the season progresses?

Healthy eating and performance fueling requires education, trial and error, a lot of planning, commitment, organization and an open-mind. Most athletes need help to learn how to eat healthy as an athlete. Because of this, there are many credible professionals that specialize in helping athletes learn how to eat a healthy diet and how to eat for performance, so that you can develop healthy daily habits and smart fueling and hydration strategies in order to make the best food choices possible throughout the day and before, during and after workouts, in order to reach athletic excellence.

With so much nutritional advice available at your fingertips and a lot of overly confident nutrition experts, it's important that in your attempt to lose weight, you understand and accept that there are significant physical, psychological, emotional and social changes associated with dieting. Asking an athlete to restrict calories, starve the body of nutrients or avoid/restrict carbohydrates, when energy expenditure is high, can cause great emotional, cognitive and behavioral symptoms that are performance and health limiting....NOT ENHANCING. Intentional or not, when athletes do not "eat enough", the body systems become compromised and you feel horrible.

Dieting, or restrictive eating, may cause food obsessions, social isolation, fatigue, weakness, hormonal issues, bone loss, irritability, body temperature changes, anxiety, depression, low blood sugar, sleep disturbances and the desire or motivation that you once had to do what you love to do with your body is no longer a driving force to keep you present in your sport. Instead, your mind is obsessed with your body and not on performance or health.

Seeing that so many negative physical and psychological issues develop when exercise and nutrition are taken to the extreme, there must be a stop to all of this talk on "righteous, good vs bad, eliminate whole food groups, sugar is bad, don't use sport nutrition, fasted workout" eating. This is NOT a healthy approach to weight loss. Sadly, there are far too many misinformed athletes that do not have a good perspective on what is needed in the diet and before, during and after workouts, in order to keep the body in good health while working for fitness improvements. 


As for the athletes who ignore fad diets and work hard to organize and plan the diet in order to eat "enough" and fine-tune details like proper fueling and hydration for individual needs (often working with a sport dietitian), well, those are the athletes to look-up to on race day because not only are they having a lot of fun in training but they are fit, fast, healthy and prepared on race day. These athletes don't diet or obsess about body image, but they give themselves permission to eat, indulge and fuel for performance and well, a better overall quality of life.

If you are trying to lose weight for health and/or performance reasons, you should not have to devote every minute of your day eating or training as you try to lose weight. And never should you have to use extreme exercise and food restriction in order to achieve or to maintain your "goal" weight.

It makes me so sad to hear that there are so many athletes who feel so unhappy with their body shape, size or weight. Worrying all day about what to or not to eat, trying not to eat "too much" and grinding out workouts on empty just to look differently. When you restrict yourself from food, you don't become a better athlete. Instead, you become weak, tired and withdrawn. Extreme exercising to burn calories or to reward yourself with food is not performance enhancing and it's not health promoting. You can't perform well with this type of lifestyle. You may think that you look fitter but you may not be able to do much with your body. The mindset to be "thinner to be a winner" is not worth the price that your body has to pay when you are energy deprived and trying to train consistently.

Seeing that there is a safe way and an unhealthy way to lose weight, ask yourself the following YES or NO questions to see if you are taking a smart approach to weight loss?

-You have drastically cut out a significant amount of calories?
-You are avoiding specific food groups?
-You are frustrated that you are not losing weight fast enough?
-You are intentionally avoiding taking in calories before and during workouts?
-You have your weight on your mind when you are working out?
-You are finding yourself overeating on the weekends because you "deserve it"?
-You feel irritable and moody, often low in energy and hungry?
-You feel confident that you can maintain this type of diet for the rest of your life, and be happy?


A smart eating approach maintains energy levels as you change your body composition. A smart eating approach does not negatively affect your health.
A smart eating approach does not limit you from food groups.
A smart eating approach keeps you training consistently. 

A smart eating approach helps you get fit, fast and strong.
A smart eating approach is sustainable and sets you up for a lifestyle of healthy eating habits. 


If you have recently found yourself saying "Ahhh, I need to lose weight!!" remind yourself that it won't come from a diet, weight will not rapidly fall off, there's no quick fix and you can't maintain good health and optimize your performance with a rigid and restrictive style of eating.  

Not sure if you can safely and confidently lose weight on your own, without affecting your health and/or performance?

Don't use forums and the internet for advice.

Reach out to a Board Certified Sport Dietitian for help. 


1/18/17

Athlete spotlight: Sara Bard - The inspiring triathlete courageously living with stage IV cancer


Name: Sara Bard

Age: 54

City/State: Saint Joseph, Michigan 

Primary sport: Triathlon

How many years in the sport: 15 years, on and off

What Trimarni services have you used: Training plan (transition plan and strength training plan) and will be attending upcoming Greenville Skills camp in May.

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Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?


I ran and swam during college and probably raced one of the very first triathlons back in 1983. I won the whole thing, which now looking back is pretty funny. I think it was because I was the only one who could swim 500 yards Having 5 children limited my workout time, so I just continued with the sport of running, which is so much more time efficient than biking or swimming. When the kids got older, I did triathlons sporadically. We moved to Saint Joseph, Michigan in 2003 and discovered an awesome triathlon community and triathletes who raced all distances. We are home to the Ironman Steelhead 70.3 which brings us all together to volunteer and to participate in a great event. Recently, our triathlon club, The Tri-Avengers got started and I joined. It is great to have this community of people cheering for one another in the sport. It has made a huge difference in my desire to compete in triathlons again.



What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?


The Tri-Avengers tri-club and the fantastic athletes here in Saint Joseph.

What do you do for work?

I'm a retired RN and I home school my youngest daughter. I am currently a Challenge B Classical Conversations tutor for her age group.



How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?

Being a tutor has taken a lot of time. I think it is good for me, as I know my training hours are limited. I like to have all workouts done before 8:00 am so we can get school work going. Waiting until evening to workout is usually a big fail for me. I like to be in bed by 8:00 pm.

Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?

For me it's getting up early. If I don't....It's usually not going to happen.


Do you have kids?


I have 5 kids from 26-13 yrs old. Only 2 living at home.




How do you balance kids and training?

The kids don't really affect my training now since they are grown. The youngest is a diver, so my husband and I will try to fit our strength workout in while she is diving. My advice is to workout while they are doing whatever they are interested in. But with kids, this is where getting up early works for me. Thankfully, my husband likes to workout in the evening, so when the kids were little, I would go out in the morning to workout and he would go out in the evening to workout. We also invested in a running stroller when the kids were little.


How do you balance your training with your partner? 

We do some triathlons as a team, so it works well. He is a great biker, which is where I am weak, and I do the run and swim.



Do you have a race day lesson learned that you'd like to share?

Some days it just doesn't go your way and you have to be okay with it.


What are your top 3-5 tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well? 

1. Be thankful for what you have. 
2. Get up early. 
 3. Go to bed early.


How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey?

I was diagnosed with stage IV Neuroendocrine Tumor cancer in 2013. I was training for a half marathon and kept having trouble with diarrhea while running. Short story...went to our local GI doctor and 2 weeks later I heard those dreaded words, "You have cancer." To say it was a shock would be an understatement. This type of cancer (similar to what Steve Jobs had) is a slow growing cancer. That's good and bad. Good because you have times when it is stable, bad because chemotherapy and radiation don't work. It started in my small intestine and has metastasized to my liver. I had a large surgery on my liver Jan 2015 and I'm so thankful that I have been stable since then. I have some intestinal issues and fatigue, but overall, I'm doing well. I thank God he has given me what He has, to my family and husband who motivate me to keep moving forward and I'm thankful for triathlon and my triathlon community that keeps me going.  The sport of triathlon has helped me overcome the shock of being diagnosed with stage IV cancer. I have had 2 big surgeries and after the first one, I knew I did not want to stay in convalescent mode any longer than I had to. Training for the next triathlon helped motivate me to get up and do what I could do with my body.

What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food? 

It's a coke...full on....not diet.


What key races do you have planned in 2017

First one on the agenda is Blackwater Milton FL April 1. When I had my last MRI and labs, and all was stable in October, I celebrated by registering for that race. I grew up near there and I will be able to visit my mom. I also love the Battle of Waterloo Triathlon at Grass Lake Michigan. I especially like running through the park while swimming through the park lakes. It's funny to see people who don't like things touching them while they are in the water and then do the swim with lily pads and seaweed. I grew up in Florida, so I have a higher tolerance for strange things in the water with you.




What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?


I only plan one season at a time right now. I actually live in 6 month cycles and plan my training and racing based on MRI and lab results.

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1/17/17

Weekend recap: FOOD (from Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook)


Karel and I take our eating just as seriously as our training.
In other words, without counting calories, measuring food or recording/logging what we eat, we make a conscious effort every day to use food for nourishment, disease prevention and for fuel, while timing our nutrition with our training to best adapt to training stress. We do not have an off-limit food list, we never feel deprived, stuffed or guilty when eating, processed food IS consumed and we even eat gluten, dairy and sugar.  

What a refreshing statement seeing that so many athletes struggle with developing a healthy relationship with food and the body.

Having said all this, like any human being, creating a sustainable, enjoyable and healthy style of eating is always a work on progress. A typical week of eating for me is very different than how I ate 10 years ago and how I ate when I was a teenager. Even though I have been a vegetarian for almost 25 years, my definition of "healthy" eating has changed every year and it continues to evolve based on my love of cooking and trying new food creations. 

As someone who gets inspired by food pictures but feels overwhelmed and stressed when looking at a list of ingredients and instructions to follow, I have never been one to follow a recipe in a cookbook. That is, until I was given the Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook by Trimarni athlete Adam and his wife Taylor as a gift. As a Board Certified RD, health conscious individual and 11 year endurance triathlete, I am not only enjoying reading this cookbook but following the recipes (I still tweak the recipes a bit :)

I feel like this cookbook is a game changer for any athlete who wants to eat a more real food, varied diet. Why? Because the recipes are not only delicious but the ingredients are versatile. This cookbook does not prescribe to any diet fads but instead, includes a variety of starches, grains, oils, vegetables and proteins with plenty of gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and dairy free options depending on your dietary needs. 

I am having so much fun in the kitchen with this cook book and absolutely loving incorporating even more real food into our diet. For any athlete who feels like your eating strategies are based on calories, dietary trends, isolated food groups or restriction, I feel that this book will inspire you to eat in a more nourishing way, tasting food, eating mindfully and intuitively and above all, enjoying the fruits of your labor in the kitchen. 

And above all, I encourage you to eat a more varied, real food diet and to reduce the amount of convenient and heavily processed food in your typical eating regime. Spend more time in the kitchen with yourself, your kids or your spouse.

Need some real food inspiration?
Here are a few recipes that we enjoyed this past weekend.



(Note, I copied the recipes from the book but also omitted what I did/didn't do/use and added my notes. For example, many of the recipes call for toasted nuts or coconut and I did not toast the nuts before using them in the recipe). 




Moroccan Lentil Salad with Cauliflower Couscous
Pg. 96


Ingredients: 
1 cup dried green lentils, sorted and rinsed
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
2 cups loosely packed chopped kale, stems removed
1/2 cup chopped pistachios or almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives (I don't care for olives so I left this out)
1 tbsp ras el hanout, Moroccan spice blend (1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1 tsp turmeric + 1 tsp cumin + 1/4 tsp ground black pepper)
5 cups cauliflower couscous
Dressing: Maple-Dijon Apple Cider vinaigrette

Instructions: 
1. Place the lentils in medium pot, add salt and cover with 2 inches of water (my leftover tip: Double this portion of lentils). Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, but not mushy, 25-30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. 
2. Place the carrots, kale, nuts, apricots, olives and spice in a large bowl. 
3. Add the cauliflower couscous (see recipe below) and lentils and toss until evenly combined.
4. Add 2/3rds of the dressing (see recipe below), toss and taste. Add more dressing to taste, if needed. 
5. Cover the salad and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve. 


To make cauliflower couscous (pg 156)
1 large head cauliflower (1.5-2 lbs)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Quarter the cauliflower head and cut off the individual florets. In a food processor (I use the Ninja Master Food Prep), place the florets, filling only halfway and pulse several times until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and continue with the remaining florets until all resemble couscous size granules.
2. In large skillet set over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the cauliflower, cumin, salt and pepper and cook, stirring continuously until cauliflower is soft but still crisp (about 3 minutes). 

To make Maple-Dijon Apple Cider Vinaigrette (pg 173)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the oil, vinegar, syrup, mustard, shallot, salt and pepper in a glass jar with a lid. Shake vigorously until emulsified.
For a creamy vinaigrette, omit the syrup and instead, add 2 tbsp tahini.
The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. If the oil solidified, briefly microwave on low until melted. 


Cashew Pesto
Pg. 67
(Original recipe was an arugula cashew pesto but since I eat so much arugula in my daily diet, I omitted the arugula and just made the cashew pesto instead. The recipe called for 2 cups tightly packed arugula)

Ingredients
1 cup cashews or walnuts (I used cashews)
1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 or 2 cloves garlic (I used 2 and it was very garlicky - which we like!)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp white miso paste (I couldn't find this at the grocery so I omitted it)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions1. In a food processor, combine the nuts, (arugula), Parmesan an garlic. Process until coarsely chopped. Add the oil, miso, lemon juice and zest. Process until desired consistency is reached.
2. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
3. To make a sauce (thinner consistency) just add more olive oil, broth or water.
You can add this to a sandwich, wrap or pita, toss in a salad or add on top of boiled potatoes. 




Giddy-up Energy Bites

Pg. 57

Ingredients
12 large Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup dried unsweetened cherries (I used dried apricots)
1 cup raw chopped walnuts
1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp finely ground coffee beans
1/4 tsp fine sea salt (I use pink Himalayan salt when I cook as it contains iodine)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut

1. In a food processor, combine the dates, cherries, walnuts, almond butter, cocoa powder, coffee and salt. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients and then process on high speed for 1-2 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beneath the blade with a spatula. Process until the ingredients clump together. 
2. Empty the contents into a medium bowl. Use your hands to shape the mixture into 24-walnut-size balls and roll each ball in the coconut (I combined the coconut into the blender and omitted this step of rolling the balls in the coconut).
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month or in freezer for 6 months. 
A great snack before an early morning workout. Just be mindful of how well (or not so well) dried fruit digests in your belly before a workout). 



Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Scones
Pg. 59 - Karel's new favorite pre-workout snack!

Ingredients1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 /2 tsp fine sea salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
2 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk Greek yogurt (I used 0% Greek yogurt as it was what I had in the fridge)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 cup frozen blueberries

Instructions
1. Position rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it's the size of peas.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, vanilla and lemon zest. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in blueberries. The dough will be thick and sticky.
5. Drop the batter in large spoonfuls onto the baking sheet in the shape of a triangle. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
Bake until lightly browns on bottoms, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool. 
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Double Chocolate Teff Cookies
pg. 187 (I didn't have Teff flour so I used gluten-free all purpose flour)


These are SO good. Crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. Vegan and gluten free.


Ingredients
3/4 cup teff flour  (I used GF flour)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 60% Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt (I used pink H. salt)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (I used canola oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Add the maple syrup, oil and vanilla and stir just until combined. For a more tender cookie, cover the batter and refrigerate overnight prior to baking (I didn't do this last step - Karel was anxious to try these cookies!).
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Drop the batter by heaping tbsp 1 inch apart on the baking sheet (our cookies were a little bigger :)
5. Bake in the center of the oven until the bottoms are lightly brown. 12 minutes. Let the cookies cook for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. 
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I am excited to try out more recipes next weekend. Except for the scones - Karel is asking for more ASAP! I think this time I will change up the ingredients and make cranberry orange scones.

For now, we have a lot of leftovers to enjoy (the best part about cooking!). 

1/16/17

Weekend recap: Training


It's hard to believe that we will be racing in about 8 weeks at the conclusion of our Clermont training camp. We have been putting in some good work training indoors over the past few weeks due to the cooler temps and rainy days but with the weekend forecast looking good, we gathered up the crew for a Saturday long ride. Exploring Greenville on two wheels was on the training agenda and we took full advantage of our nicer weather! 


But first, a Friday swim workout for me and Karel to leave the arms heavy all day. 



MS: 30 x 100's at 85% on 1:28 cycle. 
Whew...that was a long swim requiring a lot of focus and energy! 
Karel swam with his buoyancy shorts (which have helped him out a lot with his swimming development) and paddles so he was much faster than me. He did his 100's on a 1:26 cycle! 

As for the rest of Friday, after working all day, I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist (yay for healthy teeth and gums!), stopped at the grocery to stock up the pantry and fridge for a weekend full of cooking and baking (recipes and food pics to come in the next blog!) and then took Campy for a long 1+ hour walk as I was tired of sitting all day. 


The weather was absolutely beautiful (70's and sunny) and it was just a perfect evening to be outside. Around 5pm, Campy and I walked to my mom's house and then we walked around her neighborhood before returning home. Karel had a RETUL fit on Friday afternoon + a private bike skills session to follow so he was rather tired from being on his feet and riding all afternoon so he had an early dinner and then relaxed in the evening while finishing up some work on the computer. Campy and I returned home from our walk and then I ate dinner before getting started with some cooking and baking (yum) for the next hour, before going to bed around 10pm. 



Thankfully, my no-rain dance worked and the rain that was planned for Saturday morning didn't happen so we had dry roads and cloudy skies instead for our 8:30am roll out. After spending the last two weekends inside for long trainer rides, it felt so good to be on the tri bike outside (and in great company with Trimarnis Bryan, Karel, Thomas and Al). 




Our plan was to ride to and up/down Caesar's head mountain, which was a great idea until the fog became too unsafe for us to continue riding to the top. Karel was leading the way and made the call that we needed to stop for safety reasons (even with lights on bikes). We stopped about 2 miles from the top, which was still 20 minutes of climbing and a fun descend to the bottom. 




The fog made for some pretty neat scenery while climbing and all around, it was just a great morning to be on my bike. 



After 3 hours and 45 minutes of riding (a little over 5000 feet of climbing), we made it back to Trimarni HQ's for a quick gear change to get ready for our brick run. Once again, the brick runs have been on the treadmill for the past two weekends so it was nice to pound the pavement with the guys for 25 minutes. 

After the brick, it was time to refuel with a recovery drink and some of my yummy treats that I made on Friday evening. Campy didn't want to miss out on the eating fun so he joined us in the garage, just in case anything tasty "accidentally" dropped on the ground. 



After resting for an hour on the couch, it was time to get some work done on the computer and then get to more cooking. We invited my mom over for dinner so she brought the main dish (stuffed shells with tofu) and I made the side dish which was a Moroccan lentil dish. And for dessert, chocolate cookies! Don't worry, I'll share the recipes and food pics tomorrow but to make your mouth water, you can head over to my Facebook page to check out the pictures. 

Karel and I were pretty tired on Saturday evening so we made it until about 9:30pm and then it was time to get ready for bed. No surprise, Campy was pooped from his exhausting day. 

Sunday was absolutely great for running. Just like Saturday, not too hot, not too cold. It felt so nice to be outside for 1 hour and 48 minutes of running. My run workout started off with a little hip/glute activation in our home-gym and then some outside dynamic stretching and then a 5 minute power walk to get the blood flowing. As for the rest of the run, it was a conversational pace run, where I incorporated 30 sec walk breaks every mile to reduce the overall training stress and included a stronger effort up any hills. Of course, where I live there are no shortage of hills so I had about 1000+ feet of stronger efforts. Surprisingly, my legs felt rather good throughout the entire run and I was able to keep good form. I stayed well hydrated with my Nathan hydration belt and refilled as needed throughout my run at water fountains. It was great to see so many people outside enjoying the nice weather!



Campy happily joined me for a post run walk as Karel was still out running (he warmed up with a 30 minute trainer bike before his 90 minute run). Karel rested for a little bit (and refueled) before an afternoon RETUL fit and I had some work to do on the computer before getting in one last swim workout (2250 yards) in the late afternoon to wrap up another great week of training. 

It was a successful, busy, yummy and active weekend of training and I could not be more thankful to my body for keeping me in good health so that I can live such an active lifestyle.