Jealous Tomatoes

29 07 2011

So, I got these guys in my CSA box last week.

Aren’t they purty? They were getting a little jealous of all the beautiful tomatoes I saw at the market over the weekend. They were annoyed that I wasn’t giving them the proper attention and having a photoshoot with them!

Well, I had special plans for them.

I saw Jenna’s recipe for Gnocchi with goat cheese, grape tomatoes, and basil, and immediately starred it in my Google Reader. Tomatoes + Basil + Goat Cheese? Yes please. I mean, what doesn’t taste good with goat cheese? Especially when the recipe calls for a “log” of it (6oz).

source

Anyhow, I realized I had everything I needed, except for the gnocchi, but I did have some angel hair pasta. Hmmm…

I wanted a bit more protein in my meal too, so I looked in my pantry and pulled out some cannelini beans. I also found some walnuts while in there, which I thought would be a nice addition too. There’s a lot more in my pantry…but yeah, its a little very disorganized and not exactly blog worthy.

What else from my CSA needed to be used up before Wednesday? A squash! My take on Jenna’s pasta dish was formulating very clearly in my head at this point.

So, I present to you, Steph’s Angel Hair Pasta with tomatoes, basil, squash, white beans, walnuts and goat cheese! (That’s a mouth full, so if you just want to call it angel hair pasta with veggies and goat cheese, that’s cool too)

Ingredients:

angel hair pasta (I had about 1/4 of a box left)

1/2 cup reserved pasta water

1/2 pint of grape tomatoes, halved

1 tomato, roughly chopped

1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/8 in rounds

1 can cannellini beans

1 small log of goat cheese

handful chopped walnuts (optional)

handful fresh basil, torn

EVOO, for sauteeing squash

salt and pepper, to taste

How to:

Cook pasta as directed on package.

While you are waiting for you water to boil and pasta to cook, saute the squash in a little EVOO. Turn off the heat, and add the tomatoes and beans.

When the pasta is done, drain the water, reserving about a half cup of the water. Dump the pasta into the pan with the squash and tomatoes.

Add the water and cheese to the pasta and veggies. Stir well to melt the cheese.

Stir in basil and walnuts.

Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite food combo?





Go Tri Surfside!

28 07 2011

Last Wednesday Chris and I decided to head to Surfside in Glover Park, D.C. for dinner.

We had been there many times before and knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into by going back: good margaritas, stellar chips and guac and really good Caribbean salads, burritos, quesadillas and tacos. As usual, I left completely satisfied, so when a bunch of our (Steph and my) tri friends decided to get together for dinner and drinks last night, I suggested Surfside! I can’t get enough! The sign on the wall was a big selling point for the group…

Steph, Victoria and I decided to get in a quick swim before meeting the rest of the girls for dinner. Apparently I did not get the memo about the matching suits…

While waiting for the group to arrive, we decided to get a head start on the 1/2 price pitchers.

The salt on the rims of the glasses is always the icing on the cake.  We were all super hungry but some of us had never met before and others had not seen each other in a while, so we ended up polishing off a good portion of the pitchers while chatting before we even ordered our food.

(from left) Victoria, Erin, Steph and Emily...

(from left) Lauren, Me and Sarah

We were also celebrating Emily’s amazing race this past weekend at Ironman Lake Placid. If you have not checked out her race recap, get over to her blog and check it out!

We did finally make it past the drinks and get some food. Like I said, the menu at Surside is amazing and even better, it is right there on the wall for you to see.

The food is delicious and I love that the dining is casual. You simply walk up to the counter to order and within 10 minutes a delicious meal is ready for you to devour. If you choose not to order one of the already designed menu items, you can create your own salad, tacos, quesadillas or burritos.

Steph, Erin and Emily making big decisions

The food was not surprisingly delicious, including the platters of chips and guac that were ordered for the table to share.

We only managed to get one group shot and for some reason it came out RED. So odd…

Of course, a night of dinner and drinks with triathletes would not be complete without dessert, so we piled in Stephs car and headed into Georgetown for some Ice Cream/Fro Yo at Thomas Sweet.

I think that I am going to actually go out on a limb right here and say that Thomas Sweet is my favorite fro yo in D.C. Big statement right there! They have about 50 flavors of ice cream, 15 flavors of frozen yogurt and a complete toppings bar with every topping you can think of. I probably should have called this post “Go Tri Surfside AND Thomas Sweet.” Seriously, do it.

Ice cream was enjoyed!

take 1!

Much better!

It was such a fun night. We all agreed that we had stayed out way past our usual bed times, but I think it was worth it! There is nothing like a good night out with good friends and good food.

Question of the Day: Have you ever met someone via the blog world before meeting them in person? Did it turn out how you expected??





Rocketts Landing Race Recap

27 07 2011

Happy Hump Day friends! I’m pretty pumped because tonight Chloe and I are headed to Surfside with several of our triathlete blogging buddies. Stay tuned for some pics!

The Rocketts Landing race results were posted on Monday morning, so without further adieu, here’s my race report!

As you all probably know, last week and into the weekend it was HOT. The weather report for Sunday (race day) was in the 90s, with a predicted heat index in the 100s. Knowing that it was going to be extremely hot while I was racing, I made a conscious decision to play it safe on the course, and not over exert myself. I wanted to cross the finish line,  not be checked into the ER.

On Sunday morning my roommate Steph and I woke up at 4:30am so we could eat breakfast and head down to the course to be there when transition opened at 5:30am. As we were getting ready, Steph told me that the race director had sent out an email to all the athletes at 10pm (after we were already asleep) reporting that the river was 91°, and they were making swim caps optional. I’ve NEVER been in a race where the water was so warm that swim caps were optional. With my head of hair, a swim cap really isn’t optional…after seeing this email before the race, I was legitimately uncomfortable and a little scared. Overheating was a real possibility here. I definitely needed to listen CAREFULLY to my body.

We arrived at transition at about 5:15 so we had to wait around for a few minutes until it opened up. I like getting to transition right as it opens, so I can snag a good spot on the rack, and get all my gear set up. I noted that there were already a handful of volunteers checked in wearing bright orange shirts. I was definitely hoping that they would be stationed on the bike course!

I racked my bike, and made sure all my gear was set up the way I wanted it. I was pretty excited about my location in transition; I was in the very last row of transition area, close to bike out.

Then, I walked down to the swim exit to see what 91° felt like. Now, to get to the swim exit, I left transition, walked a little ways on the blacktop, and then walked down 35 stairs, then followed some skinny carpet laid over gravel and rocks to another set of steps (maybe 15) that led to the dock where I’d exit the water. I didn’t realize that this triathlon had a fourth discipline, stair climbing.

Dock to exit the swim.

Climb these to get to transition.

When I finally reached the water, I dipped my foot in. WOW. That’s warmer than my bath tub. It was disgusting.

A little after 7, it was time for the 4th wave, women 35 and under, to start. The gun went off, and so did we.

Swim:

For the first time ever in a tri, I didn’t push myself too hard on the swim. It’s my strength and usually I try to go out hard and stay strong, but considering these conditions, I decided not to over exert myself. I got out in front of the mass, and could see 3-4 pink caps out in front of me, within catching distance. By the turn around, I had caught one, and I stayed right on her feet, drafting, the entire way to the dock. We hopped onto the dock at the same time, and I’m pretty sure she glared at me. I’m sure she didn’t like pulling me for 500 meters. Oh well, saved me some energy. 🙂

Time: 21:10

Rank: 4/39  (in Age Group)

T1:

As I hopped out of the water, I didn’t want to slip on the dock, or down the stairs, so I walked up them. I jogged to the next set of steps and walked those too, again, trying to be safe. I threw on my shoes, sunglasses, and helmet, and I was off!

Time: 2:52

Rank : 11/39

Bike:

This was definitely my favorite part of the race. There were a few small climbs, and a lot of flats and down hills. I felt pretty fast on the bike, but its definitely my weakest leg. I was constantly getting passed by other athletes, which is so frustrating, especially when you know they’ve started after you! (There were some stinkin’ fast women who were 35+)

The last few miles of the bike seemed to drag on, and so I began to mentally prepare myself for the run. I knew that the run had little shade, stairs (YES, AGAIN!), and the temperature was rising. I made a conscious decision to walk the stairs when I came to them. Better to be safe than sorry.

I definitely thanked all the volunteers I saw on the bike course, especially the ones at all the turns! I made it safely back to transition area, without tacking on any extra miles!

Time: 1:19.56

Pace: 18.6mph

Rank: 17/39

T2:

This transition was pretty uneventful. I switched my gear, grabbed a swig of Gatorade and was off.

Time: 1:26

Rank: 21/39

Run:

This was definitely not my favorite run course. It would have been great for a training run, or just a run by itself. But, as I mentioned, there were stairs. Multiple times. Was this some kind of Mud Run? Would I need to do some pushups, or run under a barbed wire fence too?

OK, so it wasn’t really THAT bad. Actually, this was the first Olympic tri I’ve done where I actually still felt strong during the run portion. (Maybe because I’ve never paced myself properly before?) I did walk all of the stairs, and the steep incline right before the turnaround, but other than that, I actually felt pretty good on the run. I grabbed water and Gatorade at every aid station, and dipped my hat in icy water each time it was available. I was NOT going to let this heat get to me!

Time: 56:02

Pace: 9:02 minutes/mile

Rank: 18/39

So I didn’t meet my goal for the run time-wise, but I didn’t die! It was a technical run, probably the most challenging one I’ve had in a tri. I’m definitely going to mix in some hill and speed workouts as I continue to train.

Overall time: 2:41:24

Rank: 12/39 (age group)

179 overall (I think?)

All things considered, I’m happy with my race. It wasn’t my best time, but I knew going into the day that it wouldn’t be, when I made a decision to race safe. Some people may think that I played it too safe, because it definitely wasn’t as hot as it could have been. But, I’m glad that I raced the way I did, and can enjoy the rest of my season. I’m optimistic about my remaining races (one more sprint and one more Olympic, as of now), and know the areas where I want to improve.

I had a great weekend racing and hanging out with the DC Tri peeps. What more could I ask for?

Question of the day: Have you ever had to stop a workout or hold back because of heat? How did you feel after? Were you glad you did it, or did you wish you had gone a little harder?