Monday, November 30, 2009

easy stir fried rice

My mom gave me this recipe and its really quick and easy to make. It lasts me a few days and provides some ample energy and a ton of flavor.

This is how I prepare it:

1 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp butter
2 cups water
4 sprigs of raw asparagus, minced
5 baby carrots, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sprigs of green onion/scallion, minced
olive oil
sesame oil
soy sauce

- boil the 2 cups of water with the butter and once boiling, add 1 cup basmati rice. cook till done.
- in a sautee pan, heat enough olive oil to sautee the minced asparagus and carrots. cook for about 5 mins
- then add the minced garlic and green onion/scallions, cook for 1 - 2 mins
- add a swirl of sesame oil to lubricate the pan so that the rice does not stick
- add the rice and mix with all ingredients in pan. add a bit more sesame oil if it sticks too much. a little sticking is OK.
- finally add a few splashes of soy sauce. add enough for desired taste

if you are quick, you can make this in 20 mins. you could even fry up an egg, chop it and mix it in @ the end. You could also add some fresh minced ginger in with the garlic and green onion/scallion.

I eat the rice with gingered chicken and the rest of the asparagus, baked. I'd say its fairly healthy? Regardless, it sure is TASTY!

And on the UNHEALTHY, but yet tasty front, I brewed up another 5 gallons of beer. Its a belgian blonde:

It will be ready to drink in 6 weeks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

7 miles to round out November

I finished up a personal record running month this morning by knocking off 7 miles; I'll end up with 73.78.....which for a seasoned marathoner is probably a week's worth of volume, but for me, is a milestone. I'm really trying to nail some confidence when running a half marathon. I want to race it for once instead of running to finish. I have 8 weeks till the NYRR Manhattan Half, and I am in a good place right now. Im for the first time consistently running 4 times/week and my body is able to take the abuse. I was feeling it a bit in my knees a bit in the final mile this morning.

Today's run:

Friday, November 27, 2009

fueled by turkey

I went "easy" last night on the turkey day dinner. Easy meaning only 3 slices of pie. haha!

So I had ZERO hunger issues this morning for my 4 mile run. I like running on holiday weekends because there is ZERO traffic in the mornings. Its this erie feeling like running through a ghost town, especially when you live in suburbia. I sometimes think of the beginning to "28 Days Later."

And when it comes to zombies, I always refer to Rule # 1 of "Zombieland,": CARDIO.


I haven't been on the bike in almost a week and my legs are not feeling 100% right now. I think I had a peak week last week because I never once felt fatigued, wheras this week I have only ran and my legs feel like crap every run. Maybe tomorrow I'll head out for a short ride.

I hopped into the pool on Wednesday and did 2300 yards. I felt wasted by the end, but at least I didn't feel as wasted. Monday is gonna be a big day in the pool.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

6 miler

Started the morning off with a tough 6 miler. I did 4 yesterday, so this made 10 in 2 days. The first 2 miles felt great, but by mile 5 the legs were hurting. The final mile felt better since I knew this pain was coming to an end. Its only going to get harder from here in the next few weeks! This was a good character building day.

Around the mile 5 marker is a 3/4 mile portion of trail running, which is spectacular. Saw a big beethoven type dog that from a distance looked like a black bear. Then soon after that was an absolutely GORGEOUS pure white Boxer. He was not on a leash and ran along side me for a bit to say hello. That lifted my spirits a bit.

I am finally reading Dean Karnazes' "Ultramarathon Man." Its been a quick read so far; Im only half way through it, but man, he is a BAMF! I think im about to start reading the part about the Death Valley ultra. Melted shoes anyone?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running for smoothies!

I was cleaning out my freezer the other day and I found a bag of frozen strawberries. They were taking up too much space, so I thought it was time to eat em. Well, I had some bananas and orange juice and I haven't used my blender in awhile. Smoothies!

And I am so glad that I floss. Those strawberry seeds are such a pain!

Ran another nice and easy 4 this morning. I figured out where that little psycho pomeranian dog lives. He was barking just as hard.

Monday, November 23, 2009

never stop swimming, OR ELSE! have two really rough swims in a row! haha!

Went @ lunch today and swam (more like struggled) 1550 yards. Did 10 x 150 on 3:00. I had to take an extra minute between the 5th and 6th 150. I was coming in around the 2:40 - 2:42 mark.

Man oh man this is the punishment I am receiving for slacking off in the pool. Utter punishment!

Still, my form and speed are way better than this time last year, so that is a relief. Can't wait to get my swim form back and laugh about these first swims back.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

good week in review, 6 miler to start new week

I had a good week. Biked 104 miles and ran 17.4. Swam only 2200, but we will keep that a secret ;)

Looking back at my logs over this past year, this past week (minus the swimming) would have been my most voluminous week all year. Uuuuhhhhhhh, wha?

How is this possible?!?!?!? I am in the freaking off season right now just taking it easy and my legs feel perfectly fine right now as I am typing this.

Well, the answer is: I biked 4 times and I ran 4 times. Thats it. No mystery. No magic involved. I just biked and ran 1 more time each than normal.

Here are my run/bike workouts:

Sunday 11/15/09 29.04 01:34:28 18.4446 5 00:46:24 00:09:17
Monday 11/16/09 18.04 01:07:35 16.0158

Tuesday 11/17/09

3 00:28:25 00:09:28
Wednesday 11/18/09 18.1 01:06:31 16.3267

Thursday 11/19/09

5 00:48:01 00:09:36
Friday 11/20/09

4.39 00:39:06 00:08:54
Saturday 11/21/09 39.07 02:07:30 18.3859

104.25 05:56:04 17.29 17.39 02:41:56 00:09:19

So right here explains what happens when you add a 4th day of running and biking. For me, I actually felt better and I put in more training load. I also noticed that I was taking it super easy on the runs. This week was a good accidental test that is really going to shape next year.

And this morning I went out for a 6 miler to start week #3 of my half marathon training. Talk about perfect weather!!! 53 degrees, lots of sun, and no wind. Ran an 8:55 pace and just felt great......after the 3 mile mark. You can check it out here:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

bought the right bike

I did a 39 miler this morning on my Cervelo P2 time trial bike. This was the longest ride that I have done on it while staying in the aero position for most of the time. My back never got sore and my arms only hurt a little. In other words, THIS is the bike for me and this ride justified me buying this bike.

I did the same route as last Sunday but I started 5 miles sooner on the same road which meant I had 10 more miles of aero riding on some nice straight road.

Unfortunately I got a flat @ mile 17. My steering suddenly became sluggish, which is a sign that the front tire was going soft. Easy fix. If its the rear tire, your bike starts bouncing when you pedal.

I am in love with this route! You can just go for miles and miles while cranking it in the big ring while in the aero position. Gonna spend a long time on these roads next season.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I haven't been in the pool for weeks. And before that, I'd only been in the pool for two weeks after I hadn't been in the pool for weeks. So let's just say I haven't put up more than 15,000 yards since the end of August!

So today I got into the pool with my super swimmer coworker. Fortunately he hasn't been as diligent in the swimming department either, so today was a good "restart" for us.

I was hitting times a LOT slower than times that I used to take for granted last summer. Take, for example, the 8 200's that we did today: I hit on my fastest a 3:35, which I basically had to sprint for (I used to hit 3:35 200's without blinking @ my peak). And my slowest one? 3:55. OUCH!

Hey, at least I will be able to see improvement this winter! :)

psycho doggies!

Planned on a 4 mile run this morning, but my mind was elsewhere when I realized I took the wrong turn and ended up going longer, which was ok.

The funny part about that was I came upon a woman walking her tiny pomeranian and she saw me first, and suddenly got into the defensive position and put a death grip upon the dog leash. Thats usually a sign that the dog was about to FLIP OUT! And flip out he did!

Pomeranian's are tiny dogs and that dog was a like a fly attached to a string anchored to a pole where the dog just flew around in circles around owner barking and just wanting to rip my head off! I pretended I didn't see anything and tried not to laugh! Fortunately they were on the other side of the road.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Finally my taste buds are accepting hommus! I have been really enjoying Cedar's Vegetable Hommus. I dip baby carrots into it. A really filling snack for me is about 24 baby carrots and 4 tablespoons of the hommus. Only comes out to be 200 measly calories!

Also, that tabbouleh knockoff that I made last nite is REALLY filling as well. I had some more for lunch today and I couldn't finish off my bowl.

I knocked off 5 more easy miles this morning. Held a super slow 9:36 average and just cruised. Felt good and I totally could have kept going for another 5. I am liking this easy running thing :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

yet another 18 miler, and a yummy greek-ish dinner

I hit up the same old same old 18 miler @ lunch. A bit colder today @ 53 degrees, but sunny and not a cloud in the sky = PERFECT RIDING WEATHER!

And I went a bit more adventurous for dinner tonight. I made a shrimp and feta tabbouleh knockoff. Instead of using bulger I used couscous instead, cuz you can cook it in about 5 mins. I boiled the shrimp. Here is the recipe. Warning: it has an explosion of flavor! (and its healthy :) )

Monday, November 16, 2009

May the Gu be with you

And on the 8th day, God said, "Let there be Chocolate Gu!" And there was Chocolate Gu.

Aaaaaaah, I bought a brand spankin new box of Chocolate Gu tonight. I wish I kept track of how many Chocolate Gu's I have eaten over the past 2-3 years. It probably amounts to, well, a LOT of calories! At least they were yummy calories :) Maybe for 2010 I'll keep track.

I like Chocolate Gu so much, that I have thought about substituting chocolate frosting on my birthday cake next month for Chocolate Gu. I still remember the first time I ate one. I cried! I was at the bottom of route 118 up in Northern NH about to climb Gonzo Pass, which is a pretty serious hill. I wasn't crying cuz of the hurt that I was about to endure, but rather because I had never eaten something so sweet and intense! It took me awhile to be able to eat another one. Eventually I got used to the sweetness and it has been a love affair ever since. Fon-Gu anyone?
It almost hit 60 @ lunch today so I went out for an 18 miler. Is it really November 16th? Feels more like April 16th. Legs felt a bit crispy, but they were loosend up by the end. Good recovery ride.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a nice route discovery

This ride has been in my backyard for almost 4 years, and my stubborness of not looking for new areas to ride kept me from riding some roads that I rode 3 seasons ago that are more appropriate to time trialing than where I ride in Greenwich, CT. Gaaarrr!!!!

But now I have found it:

And the cool thing is that I can tag on another 5 miles of perfect time trial riding at the start, to add 10 more miles total of staying in the aero position. The amount of R&D that I am doing now BETTER pay off next season! haha!

As for today's ride, it was just what I expected. Lots of staying in the aero position and boy oh boy is my Cervelo P2 a missile! Kudos go out again to Ed, my bike fitter for making my ride super comfy. Just gotta keep working on the engine!

So we did 29 miles, I pulled for most of it and on certain sections I could just haul ass! I wasn't incredibly consistent from start to finish, but there were about 3 sections of road where I was able to get comfy and go consistent. Looking at those sections from my computer, I was holding in the low 20-25 mph range. Not bad! No way I can hold that in the long term, but its always fun to do some intervals of that effort. The biggest thing that I am proud of though is that my cadence work was between 90 and 100 for most of the ride, which is right on target.

I will be visiting these roads often next season.

And finally, to finish my infinite ramblings, I have come to the conclusion that my riding style needs to change, and is already starting to change. Up to the end of this season, I have been more of an explosive rider where I would climb standing up and could always hit the gas climbing up a hill if I needed to. Well this meant that I was sacrificing those long haul muscles and no wonder I was not doing so well on the flat stretches @ Timberman. I of course flew up the 2 climbs at that race, but those savings were very short term vs the long term savings that I could have gotten by training on the flats more and would have helped my run.

Ok, I am done vomiting all of this post. Over and out!

The influence and results of using a heart rate monitor while running

Ran 5 miles on a totally flat trail this morning. I ran a 9:16 pace and what a difference from Friday's run! I split my time evenly between zones 2 and 3. Check out the run and splits, etc over @ Garmin Connect. HERE!

My heart rate never crept above 162. This is signifigant becauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse, I looked at Friday's run and I was completely in zone 3 from start to finish. No wonder I felt like crap! I basically started out too hard and maintained, whereas today, I started in zone 2 and finished in zone 3. I felt great by the finish and could have easily gone longer (those days are coming SOON).

This was a great test and is really going to influence the way I train next season, especially during my 12 week base period. When I hit those 14 hour peak weeks, there is NO WAY that I will be able to go hard every workout (or any workout). The game will be played at an easy intensity, but with lots of volume.

I am in a good place right now. I am craving putting in the work and putting up the #'s, except for in the pool :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

2010 Race Schedule

I think I am narrowing down my 2010 Race Schedule some more. The additions are mostly B and C races:

1/25/10: NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon / C
2/7/10: NYRR Bronx Half Marathon / C
3/21/10: NYC Half Marathon / B
4/26/10: Bronx Biathlon / C
5/23/10: Dutchess Triathlon / B
6/6/10: Mooseman 70.3 / A
8/7/10: Fronhofer Tool Triathlon / B
8/22/10: Timberman 70.3 / A
11/07/10: NYC Marathon / A+

I have noticed over the past two seasons that I usually have a peak 2 weeks after a shorter but more intense race, and this is why I am doing a sprint 2 weeks before Mooseman and an Olympic 2 weeks before Timberman. Plus, the Fronhofer course just looks incredible (on paper).

So it looks like I will have a nice 8 week gap between Mooseman and the Fronhofer Olympic. Plenty of time to recover and rebuild in time for the end of Tri season.

Then there will be a 10+ week gap between Timberman and the NYC Marathon to drop EVERYTHING and become a pure runner.

And since I am going coachless next year, its all going to be about following the plan.

running too hard

I ran 3 miles this morning in 27 mins flat for a 9:00 pace. Whatever, its my usual run pace.

But I felt like I was working really hard for that 9:00 pace. My legs are probably still not fully recovered from last Sunday, but I looked at my heart rate data after the run, and sure enough I was in zone 3 the entire time. I ran too hard!

For this type of run, which was a "go easy" run, I should have been in zone 2 or lower if I could have helped it. That means slowing down. I'm gonna do some tests with my garmin and try to do similar 3 mile runs @ a constant 9:15 and 9:30 paces to see what results I get. Hopefully the weather conditions will be similar and I hadn't chugged a bunch of caffeine the night before to get similar results, since so many factors can throw off your heart rate.

I tried looking for my last running heart rate test from last February, but its lost in some folder. Regardless, it should be fun discovering these zones this way. This is NOT scientific, but it gives me mini goals to accomplish which ALWAYS help out with the motivation factor.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

another easy run

Did a 4 miler this morning holding a 9:41 pace. Super easy and slow. I can still feel it a bit in my quads, but nothing like 2 days ago.

Had no idea what I was thinking as I was leaving the door I wore my heart rate monitor, but NO WATCH. haha! fortunately my running partner had a watch on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Last night my quads hurt SO bad that putting any pressure on them made me squirm.

Woke up this morning and hopped onto the trainer for 45 minutes pushing under 100 watts to go nice and easy and now my legs feel like a new pair.

Its funny, people at work yesterday were asking me if I was limping. No I was not limping; I could just barely move my legs. There is a difference! :)p

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

half marathon-ing!

This post is mostly for recording my current thoughts, but I thought I'd share :)

Starting to do research into pacing strategies for the half marathon in January. I feel like I am gonna graduate in 11 weeks by REALLY preparing myself for this half. So here are some decent articles that I found on the subject:

Gordo Byrn Half Ironman thread

The common theme that I got was that you should start out slow and ramp it up to mile 10, then hit the gas. Going out to hard is gonna burn you. This isnt a 5K or 10K! Also, trust your pacing from the McMillan Running Pace Calculator.

One of these Sunday's Im gonna run laps around the top of Central Park to get to know that section. I don't know how many times I have ran the loop from the transverse around 100th street and down. The only time I have ever raced above that was in the NYC Triathlon and I went into that totally blind (bad idea, btw).

If you have any half marathon racing suggestions, lets hear em!

another reset

I walked into work yesterday feeling VERY victorious after my successful 10K performance on Sunday.

I also walked into work VERY sore :) man oh man I am sure you know the feeling: your quads ache when you move slightly while seated in a chair!

The 10K run was also the end of one training cycle and now this morning I began the next training cycle which is an 11 week build up to the NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon on January 24th (if they hold the race on the same weekend as last year).

This is also my formal bid to FINALLY go sub 2 hours in a half marathon. No excuses this time! I can already see a storm dumping a foot of snow in Central Park that morning. haha!

Finally, I'd like to share how NOT to do a recovery workout. DO NOT sprint up hills on your bike for 18 miles the day after a 10K PR. So it was 70 degrees yesterday and probably the last nicest day of the year so we took advantage of the weather and headed out for a lunch time ride. We had a tail wind on the way out. Well that got our speed perspective out of whack to only going fast and on the way back it was hillier so we started hammering it up every hill we hit.

I got to the top of every hill wanting to die....but alas I hit another hill and then another hill and each time just hammered up it. stupid stupid stupid!!!

And as for my 3 mile run this morning?: 10 min mile pace!!! haha!.....seriously, my legs would go NO faster.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

new 5k/10k personal records!

I had a good day today in my running shoes by setting new 5K and 10K personal records during a 10K race. 22:56 5K split, 47:22 total for a 7:38 pace.

I did a totally random race out in Lindenhurst, NY on Long Island for the Hope for the Warriors run. I did the race merely as a motivational race to keep some sort of goal ahead of me so that I don't completely go flat during this off season. I was quite surprised at the turnout and support. It was a well run closed course race. I HIGHLY recommend this race.

My mile splits came out as:
7:10 (last .2 miles)

My 5K split was first EVER sub 23 min 5K. I actually felt good at the half way point and had this been a 5K, I woulda gone even harder. Things started to not go so well (as you can see in my splits) from this point onwards. Between mile 4 and 5 I was hurting pretty bad and was wanting the race to end already. Fortunately between 5 and the end, the terrain changed (we went up a bridge and down an off ramp) so that little bit of different terrain broke that last 1.2 miles up and it "felt" shorter. The final 200 yards were excruciating with the anticipation of finishing.

I used my heart rate monitor and I was in the high zone 4 for most of the definately way up there in threshold. I even stayed in zone 5 for 6:19 of the race.

I haven't gone this hard since the end of August. Good to know that my legs still have some speed left in them from this past season!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


So this indoor power training program is just the motivation that I need get the biking volume back up. This morning I headed outdoors for a 24 miler to round out 3 bike sessions for the week.

The leaves are mostly down so riding through the countryside of Greenwich, CT was pretty cool today:

Friday, November 6, 2009

week 1, Q2 session

I completed the week 1, Q2 session this morning. Looks like this:

10' @ 125 watts
5 x (20" @ 215 watts / 40" @ 125 watts)
Main Set:
5 x (1' @ 180 watts / 1' @ 125 watts)
15' @ 150 watts
5' @ 120 watts

Averaged 144 watts.

This was another "get reaquainted" with the trainer session. Sorta looking forward to the harder sessions....just sorta. haha!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

winter cycling power plan

I started a 10 week winter cycling power plan this morning. The goal of this is to improve your threshold power. A coach over @ is using his own program which looks really good and is made specifically for those with a power meter. He also has a HRM/RPE plan as well.

So today was workout #1. It looked like this via power (unfortunately my HRM didnt work):

And transcribed into human language, I did this:
Warm up:
10' @ 120 watts
5' (@ 15" @ 214 watts / 45" @ 120 watts)
Main Set:
10 x 30" @ 200 watts / 30" @ 120 watts
15' @ 150 watts
Cool down:
5' @ 120 watts

I'd say this workout was medium intensity. It felt strange spinning my legs fast on the trainer again and I believe this workout was meant to reacclimate yourself back on the trainer.

This is just the beginning, and its gonna get HARD starting next week when we do our first 20 min test.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

rockin' lunchtime run

50 degrees, sunny, and a slight breeze. Perfect 4.27 miles. Good run and I feel ready for Sunday's 10K.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

back on bike, super 7 miler, NYC marathon!

Biked 26 miles yesterday 1:55:00 easy. haha!!!

Then this morning I knocked out a super solid 7 miles in 1:00:54. My legs felt so good. I took the easy way and did 2 x 3.5 mile loops. Mentally, I just couldn't do a 7 mile loop. Plus, I negative split it. 30:43 for the first loop. 30:11 for the 2nd. And I could have kept going. Ah, it feels good to have some running form back again.

Finally I hopped onto the train and saw the NYC Marathon. This is to make sure that I am in fact AM going to run this thing next year. We first went to the finish @ central park and parked ourselves 600 meters from the finish. Saw Ryan Hall and Paula Radcliff win 4th. Absolutely amazing to see these elite runners come in so fast!

Then we headed up to 116th and 1st (mile 19) and saw the masses of people stream through. We found a good spot by the open door @ a bar called Orbit and had a nice brunch and mimosas as we watched the pace of thousands of people slowly slow. I went out and watched by the barriers a few times and studied the faces of everyone. They ranged from pure agony to just having a good time.

I hope I remember this spot next year and I wonder how I will feel. I honestly have NO IDEA how I am going to do. I guess it all depends on if I meet my goal of upping my run volume up enough over the course of next season. I think this next year is gonna fly by!