Experimenting

30 05 2012

One of the not so fun parts of being a mommy is potty training. Or at least that’s what I’m told, I don’t have kids! I have kitties, and the nice thing about cats is that they know where to go, no training needed.  🙂 Unless you want to be a crazy cat mommy and teach them to do this:

(source)

Bill and I have been talking a little about training these guys

to…er….use the toilet like civilized humans cats.

I’d been tossing around the idea of purchasing one of the training kits, and was randomly chatting with Mary about this (How it came up, I have no idea!). The next day, she sent me a tweet that Groupon was having a deal on CitiKitty. How random! So, I decided to go for it. Look what came in the mail today:

I know this doesn’t exactly go with the whole “triathlon” and “food” theme of my blog, but an unrelated post now and again doesn’t hurt 😉 I’ll keep ya posted on how this experiment goes.

I know they’re excited:

Speaking of experiments, I’m going to talk about an experiment I did tonight in the kitchen. I hope food and potty talk in the same post isn’t crossing a line…

Tonight my dinner plan was to make a simple meal of nachos with refried black beans, avocado slices, and some salsa. This week we have to work 10 hour days (7am-5:45pm) so I wanted something quick and easy.

Maybe it was because I watched “Chopped” while ellipticalling (is that even a word?), but a stroke of creativity hit me when I opened the fridge and saw the red pepper, mango, and mint (which I had purposefully bought to make this) in my fridge. Hmm how about some mango salsa to go with my nachos?

Oh, and why not kick it up a notch?

Yes, please.

Experiment success!

Mango Mojito Salsa

Ingredients:

1 mango, chopped into small-ish pieces
1 red pepper, chopped into small pieces
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
8-10 mint leaves, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 tbs olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
1 small cap full mango rum (optional)

How to:

Mix all the ingredients together. Serve with chips!

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Crystal River Sprint Triathlon

28 05 2012

Race number one in tri season 2012 is officially in the books!

On Saturday, I trekked up to Crystal River with Team XP Multisport for the Crystal River Sprint Triathlon (#1). The race started at 7:30 am and Crystal River is about an hour and a half north of Tampa, so Chuck picked me up bright and early to make the drive up there. We arrived with plenty of time to grab our numbers, get marked up, and set up.

I felt good about my set up and then headed to the beach where I met up with my friends Courtney, Meghann, and Jess. It hadn’t really hit me that I was racing in a few minutes. I think it stemmed from not really feeling prepared. Sure, I’ve been swimming a lot lately, and I’ve done a few bike rides, but since the marathon, I can count the number of times I’ve gone on a run on one hand, and I haven’t done any bricks. I guess I went into the day with a “this will be fun” and “this is a great workout for the day” attitude.

(Photo courtesy of Meghann)

As we walked towards the start, I was talking to Jess about which ends of transition were for entering and exiting. I hadn’t paid attention to which side was which when I was setting up, and I just counted the number of rows from one end of transition. After our chat, I realized that I had counted the number of rows from the exit of transition, not from where I’d be coming in from the swim and looking for my bike. DOH. She said there was an orange cap at the end of our row, so I could look for that. I figured it would be fine, and lined up for the swim.

Swim: 400 meters

The women were the 4th wave, behind the two waves of men and the 19 and under wave. It finally hit me that I was racing. And it also hit me that this was a sprint, which means the whole thing is HARD. This is gonna hurt. The gun went off and it was go time. I ran in, did a few dolphin dives, and fell into a groove. I felt myself pulling ahead, and then I saw Courtney approaching from the right. A little before the first buoy, she pulled ahead of me. We’re lane buddies in the pool and we push each other every time we practice. I was determined to stay with her as much as I could, so I got behind her and tried to catch a bit of her draft. I stayed by her feet (just far enough away so that she didn’t kick me 😉 ) the remainder of the swim, and hopped up just behind her when we got to the beach. She was the first female out of the water and I was the second.

(Photo courtesy of Mary, who was AWESOME and came to cheer us on with her hubby! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!)

Swim time: 6:12.4, 11th overall

T1:

I got out of the water and into transition where I saw the cap that Jess and I had discussed. Or so I thought. The row next to ours also had a swim cap on  the end, and it was a reddish orange, and I ran down that aisle looking for my bike. I found it, but it was on the next row over. DOH! So I ran back around the aisle, grabbed my gear and headed out. This was the transition I was most worried about,  since I knew I had my new bike shoes and I had never practiced a quick transition with them. After I made it out of transition with my bike, I got to the mount line and tried to clip in. Once, Twice, Three times…I slipped and almost fell off a few times, but finally after taking a deep breath and slowing myself down, I was able to clip in. MUST. WORK. ON. TRANSITIONS. I really need to learn to start with my shoes ON the bike.

I’m smiling through my teeth as I struggle with my shoes. On my agenda for today: practice!

Time: 1:00 (YIPES)

Bike: (15 miles)

Once I finally got clipped in, I hunkered down for the 15 mile ride. This was a flat out and back, and I quickly crouched down into my aero position. It took me a few miles to settle down, but I finally got into a groove. I knew Courtney was somewhere up ahead, and I knew that Jess probably wasn’t too far behind. I looked down at my odometer and tried to stay above 18 as much as I could. I also wanted to hold off as many female cyclists as I could, knowing that I had a bit of a lead from the swim, but also knowing that the bike leg is my weakest. Two females zoomed past me a few miles in, and then I saw Jess fly by shortly after. A few other women passed me, but I was able to stay close to this girl in a neon green swim suit. We jockeyed for position a few times on the course; I’d pass her, then she’d pass me. This happened a few times. There was also a 59 year old man and a 70 year old man who were with us too, and we’d all rotate who was leading the pack. Sometimes, I really like that triathlons put your age on your leg. I’m not sure how I should feel that I was biking at a similar pace to a 70 year old man though…I also noted that the green suit girl had a 24 on her leg. Though I wanted to catch her, when she came into transition ahead of me, I wasn’t too bothered by it since she wasn’t in my age group.

Time: 46:01.0, 19.6mph, 140th overall.

19.6 on a flat course? I’ll take it! However, I’d love to know how much I could fly with a lighter bike. I’m saving up 🙂

T2:

I don’t remember much about T2 except that I was worried about my foot. I was hoping that it wouldn’t hurt on the run. I was also hoping that the elastic shoe laces I had put on the night before and hadn’t practiced in would be the appropriate tightness and my shoes wouldn’t be too loose or too restricting. I zoomed out, feeling great.

Time: 0:53

Run: (3 miles)

I took off, fast. My legs felt great, and though there was a dull pain in my foot, it wasn’t debilitating. But soon the heat hit me. The run was on unshaded asphalt and it was HOT. I slowed down some, and settled into a more comfortable pace. I had no idea what pace I was running, since I left my Garmin at home. I had planned on running with a regular stopwatch, but when I was setting up transition, I pushed the “mode” button to get it to the stopwatch, and the watch died. Oh well. Anyhow, I had a faster transition than green suit girl, but soon, she made her move and passed me. I tried to keep her in my line of sight the whole time, and not let her get too far ahead of me.

It was so nice to see Mary on the course. She was an awesome cheerleader and photographer!

The run was 1.5 miles out and back, and the first mile felt like it took forever. When I got to the turnaround, I told myself “Only 1.5 miles left; that’s cake!” I think I picked it up a little, but I’ll never know, since I didn’t have a watch on.

When I saw the finish line, I sprinted. I could hear the other XPers cheering me on, and it put a big smile on my face. I also heard some guys cheering on someone else, and it sounded like she was right behind me by their cheers. I was NOT going to let another female pass me! Thankfully, she didn’t, and I didn’t turn around to see where she was either. Oh well.

Run time: 24:31.2,  8:10 pace,  105th overall

Final time: 1:18:37.2, 102 overall, 18th female, 5th in age group

I was pretty darn happy with that. The race was a lot more competitive than I had expected, but now I’m ready to train hard and improve my times with the other races in this series. Oh, and remember green suit girl? She was actually in my age group, and finished just ahead of me. Next time, I’ll get her!

It was quite a successful day for Team XP. I love training with these guys; not only are they all awesome athletes, they are super fun too!

Proof: After the race, we all headed over to Rainbow River to go tubing! This post is already wordy enough, so I’ll leave you with some pics:-) Check out Meghann’s post for some more!

Race numbers are essential for tubing.

Hope you guys had a great weekend! Happy Memorial Day!





Triathlon Season is Here!

24 05 2012

As I neared the end of my marathon training, I was anxious for triathlon season. I was tired of the running training, and I was ready for some long bike rides and bricks. Heck, I wanted to race a tri so badly, I considered signing up for a sprint on the weekend after the marathon. Thankfully I didn’t register, and I probably would have only done an aquabike anyhow because my foot was hurting pretty badly.

However, 2 days after the marathon I pulled the trigger and registered for the Crystal River Sprint Triathlon on May 26th. My XP Multisport swim buddies had this race on their calendar, and with talk of going to float down the Rainbow river afterwards, I was happy to sign up!

After registering, I sat idle on my race calendar. A sprint in May and a HIM in October were all I had planned. Usually by now, I’d have most of my races picked out, but this year the marathon took all my focus, and pushed my tri training to the side.

Another reason I didn’t happily fill my race calendar with tris right after the marathon ended was that I had heard that though there are LOTS of races in the area, many of them are sprints. In the summer it just gets too hot to do an Olympic. Though I enjoy them, I didn’t want to fill my summer with sprints only. I prefer longer distances, thank you.

That all changed this week. I did a little more research, and found an Olympic distance tri in Orlando on June 16th. So, Bill and I are going to race in the Moss Park Father’s Day triathlon together. I’m SUPER excited about this race because it is Bill’s first real tri! He’s been training hard, so I can’t wait to see how he does!! I’m also excited because the run is only 5.6 miles 🙂

This week also included several emails about the USAT Age Group National Championships. A few of my training buddies and I have all qualified, so we’ve casually been saying how it would be really fun to take our little team up there. By “up there” I mean Burlington, Vermont. And yes, we all live in Tampa, FL.

Jess sent out an email this week with the estimated costs of driving and flying up there (She’s awesome). A few more emails and tweets were exchanged, and then Courtney tweeted this:

Which was followed by:

ROAD TRIP!!! Yup, I’ll be headed up to Age Group Nationals with Team XPMultisport! It will certainly be an exhausting weekend, but tons of fun.

That gets me to two Olympics, one sprint, and one HIM for the season. I’m one happy camper triathlete. I’ve also got my eye on the Top Gun Sprint in July, but my wallet needed a break this week. 🙂

Oh, and my foot is feeling a TON better (knock on wood!), so I’m extra happy!

So, just like that, I’ve got races on my calendar, and I’m excited about the season. I’m looking forward to my first Florida race, but I’m also a little nervous about gators. EEP! I don’t think they’ll cause any problems with lots of athletes splashing around, but you never know! I’m also interested to see how the Florida competition compares to the DC competition. 🙂

Bring it on!