Monday, October 31, 2011

Marathon Monday - Week 7 of 18

With some creative scheduling, I eked out my mileage for last week by the seat of my pants.

I ran the Xterra 10K last weekend (race report coming!) and, without doing any specific hill training or trail running in the weeks prior, my legs paid for it last week.  Sunday they weren't too bad, but DOMS always hits me worse on Day 2 post-race, so Monday I was in some serious hurt.  I was supposed to get 10 miles that weekend for my long run but I figured the exertion required of the off-road race would equal a 10-mile LSD, so I called it even.  And post-race I felt that it took WAY more out of me than the 1/2 marathon a month earlier (my race pics show it, too, but that's another story).

Last weeks mileage:

  • Monday - Swam 1500yds - thought it would help.  It did, sorta.
  • Tuesday  30 minutes easy spin on trainer
  • Wednesday - Rest
  • Thursday - Rest
  • Friday - 3 miles
  • Saturday - 5 miles
  • Sunday - 3 miles
  • Monday - 7 miles
Running just wasn't quite happening on Wednesday.  As scheduled I should run Wed., Thur., Fri., rest on Sat., then long run on Sunday.  I'm OK with moving stuff around, A LITTLE BIT.  I figure Hal Higdon is the expert and I should try to stick with the basic plan as much as possible.  But life does require a little more flexibility sometimes.

I've bumped my morning alarm from 4:45 to 4:30 to try and get on a little earlier schedule so I can fit in the longer runs on Thursdays.  So far, so good.

I have a 12-mile run this Sunday ON THE ROAD for once, and with a new running partner.  I'm a little anxious about it, but looking forward to spending time outside and with someone to chat with on these long days.  We are both training for the same marathon, so our training schedules and mileage are pretty close.  She's a faster runner than me, but her long runs are at 10mm so I can hang with that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Great Coconut Milk Experiment

Coconut.  One of the (many) beautiful things about eating Paleo!  The only difficulty is finding unadulterated coconut products, especially coconut milk.  So, I decided to make my own.

With Bruce's help, we husked two of the three coconuts given to me by my friend and co-worker, Gina.  It has been difficult to find mature coconuts because everyone wants the water these days.  After several false starts, her and her husband provided us with THESE beauties.

We have worked out a trade deal - they give us coconuts, we give them avocados.  I like it!  The picture above shows one coconut with the husk still on, and two without.  Once you husk them you need to use them - they can leak or rot quickly.

These we just perfect - plenty of milky white flesh.

It's not easy getting the meat out of the shell.  If this was a Top Chef quickfire, I would have lost.  I've got to research to find an easier way to do this.

Here is the meat - don't worry about the dark peel - it doesn't impact the taste of the milk.

Put it all in the VitaMix and blend with enough hot water to make a slurry.

The slurry going into the nut milk bag.

Squeeze out all of the milk - use a nut milk bag instead of cheesecloth.  They work great!

The finished product!  It is delicious to drink just by itself over ice, blended into a smoothie, or used for many Paleo recipes that call for coconut milk.

I'm spoiled now, and only want fresh.  The trick will be to maintain a 1-2 per week supply of mature coconuts.  You'd think they'd be all over the place on an island, but apparently they are one of Maui's best kept secrets.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marathon Monday - Week 6 of 18

I had this crazy idea that I would post every day in the month of October.  For the first part of the month, I didn't feel like I had that much to say.  Now all the post ideas are piling up and I think this will be a banner posting week!

I've decided to dedicate Monday to marathon training updates.  I'm in week 6 (of 18) of Hal Higdon's novice training plan and so far, so good. 

I was supposed to have a 10-mile long run yesterday, but I raced in the Xterra Kapalua 10K trail run on Saturday.  Suffice it to say that I believe it was equal to the effort required of a 10-mile run, and then some!  (I have a full race report to post later this week.)  It actually felt harder than the 1/2 marathon I ran last month.

Sore quads today, which was helped by a little dip in the pool this morning...only 1500yds.  Today is a cross training day, so it was good timing.

Tuesday's are usually rest days for me, but I've unearthed the trainer in the garage so I can get back on the bike.  I think I'll go for an easy spin tomorrow morning to warm things back up.  There is a century ride mid-November (with a 25-mile option - perfect!), and a 36-miler in December.  I think a little time on the bike will be good, as long as it doesn't interfere too much with the longer mileage I'll be hitting those months.  

We'll see how it goes!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Smoothie Friday: Kiwi Green

It's Smoothie Friday!

Each Friday (for as long as I can keep it going), I'm going to post a recipe for a new Paleo smoothie creation.

Today is "Kiwi Green."


1C water
1/4 of an avocado
1 small banana
1 orange, peeled
1 kiwi, peeled
2T flaxseed meal
1 scoop egg white protein powder
1C raw spinach
1C ice

Blend on high for 1 minute in your blender.

A couple of notes:

  • If you do an sort of cooking, are following a Paleo nutrition plan, like to make smoothies, soups or blended cocktails, do yourself a favor and go buy a Vitamix!  I can't tell you how many cheap blenders I've burned up over the years, and you probably have done the same.  Add them up and you could have bought a Vitamix!  They are a little pricey, but worth every penny AND MORE.  I wish I had discovered them years ago.  Use a Vitamix and say goodbye to chunky, unpleasant smoothies.
  • Do you peel your kiwi when you eat it?  I have a friend who eats hers skin and all.  I can't seem to wrap my head around that, but if there's a benefit, I'll do it.  After all, I will throw flaxseed, nuts and other fibrous stuff in a smoothie, but kiwi skin?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Island Life

This, my friends, is a cane spider.  That is MY finger.

I can't tell you how much courage it took me to take this picture, even with the giant spider on the other side of the glass.  Large, speedy arachnids give me the creeps!  (Don't get me started on centipedes...)

They are quick and hard to kill.  They like to play dead.  Then, when you least expect it, they race off.  Eeek!

Triathlon on a "Shoestring"

Triathlon is an expensive sport..and I love a good bargain!

I was excited to see these Zoot Advantage 3.0 go on sale on the Zoot website.  I needed a new pair of trainers and I LOVE my Ultra TT's, so decided to try their stability shoe since I'm putting in a lot of miles training for the Maui Oceanfront Marathon.

When Bruce asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said, "Well, there's these shoes..."  He said to go ahead and order them.  So I was bummed when the Zoot site was out of my size (I know my foot looks svelte in this photo, but I wear a hard-to-find size 11).

Google to the rescue!  I found another site - Discount Tri Supply.  I was a little apprehensive about choosing a random retailer from Google, and I'd never heard about them before, but they did a great job!  They processed my order quickly, and shipped to me, in Hawaii, for FREE!  Plus, if it's your first order from them, find the link on the home page for a special "first time customer" code for 20% off!  I WILL order from them again.

Bargain aside, they feel wonderful.  Tomorrow is a rest day, so I won't have a chance to try them out until Wednesday, but I'm looking forward to running in these.

And you know the shoes make you run faster!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Paleo Osso Buco

Yesterday was a huge cooking day in my kitchen.  I got my copy of Paleo Comfort Foods earlier in the week, but I needed a day to myself to fully appreciate it!

There were so many dishes I wanted to make, but I had to limit myself and not get too carried away.  I still made several dishes, though.

The first was the Osso Buco with beautiful beef shanks from Whole Foods.  I was thrilled to find the grass-fed, LOCAL beef from Maui Cattle Company at only $3.99/lb!   I love WF's meat counter.

The meat seared beautifully in my favorite Le Creuset pot.  Then, in went the medley of vegetables - mostly from a couple of different farmers markets.  (Can you tell I like orange kitchen items?).

I finished up the sauce and popped it in the oven to simmer for a couple of hours.  The meat came out tender and the sauce was outstanding.  A very successful first attempt at this dish!

We had the carrot timbales and mashed cauliflower to go along with this colorful and super tasty dish.  Both recipes are from the book as well.  I was going to saute some chard for some extra green, but was too tired from all the other prep, so it didn't get done.

The carrot timbales were a hit - smooth, light and fluffy.  I made the recipe as printed, then read the variations AFTER it was cooked.  Although they were delicious I, personally, would like a little extra kick from ginger or curry next time.

The long cooking time makes this dish more appropriate for the weekend, but you could probably easily throw everything into a crockpot (after searing the meat and cooking the veg) and let it simmer all day for the same results.

Bon Appetit!

P.S. I'm going to write a review for the cookbook, but want to try a few more recipes first.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Plans and Paleo Comfort Foods!

It's October 1st, and I made a promise to myself to blog every day this month.

One of the things I'm MOST excited about is a new cookbook, "Paleo Comfort Foods," by Julie and Charles Mayfield.  It's FABULOUS!

But I'm too tired to provide details right now - it's late at night and my kitchen is a disaster.  More on what was cooked during my all day "Cooking Fandango" tomorrow!