Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stanford Treeathlon Race Report

500 Meter Pool Swim - 10:26
T1 - 3:06
20K Bike - 45:59
T2 - 2:34
5K Run - 32:10
Total time - 1:35:27-ish

What an amazingly excellent day! My goal for this race was just to improve on last year's time of 1:47:00 and I did that for sure:)

The swim was in an olympic sized pool and you do four laps around the perimeter to make up 500 meters. I lost the pack on the second lap. I'm just not a strong swimmer, if I could commit myself to more pool time, I'm sure that would change. But for now, I just don't have the time. Besides, I aged-up this year which means I'm in a super-dee-duper competitive age group which consists of 30-34 year old women...they are animals! I was pretty much on my own for the last two laps and was one of the last to leave the pool.

T-1 was all about trying to get warm and getting into my bike shoes. It took a bit longer than usual to get myself sorted out for some reason. Probably because I was....damn cold! :O

Getting out of the pool and into the transition area was tough, the water was warm (80 degrees!) and it was damn cold the leg muscles tend to contract and say "I don't wanna do what you want to do on that bike, are you crazy?" But you have to force them to listen to you because you are, in fact, the master and they must obey! The bike course is fairly hilly in the beginning with a respectable climb up front and some little annoying and energy-zapping rollers along the way. Halfway through the ride, you get to a downhill and flat section where I really made up some time. I got myself in aero and mashed a little bit (yes...when I want to go fast on a flat section I mash okay?). I think I averaged 20mph on that home stretch. In other words, I killed the course like I knew I would. Last year I managed to get TWO flat tires. So it was awesome that didn't happen again. I passed two women in my age group and that's always a good thing:D

Into transition area again after the most excellent bike ride and I slipped off the bike shoes and into the running shoes. Out of the helmet and into the hat. I honestly don't know what took me so long here, I'm usually never longer than 45-60 seconds...oh well. Off you go KT!

In my dream the other night led me to believe that I was going to get a podium spot for this race. In fact, I was supposed to come in second place in my age group. F*$&*ing lying-ass subconscious! I was nowhere near second place at any point during this race! As a matter of fact, the two women I passed on the bike ended up passing me on the run. Damn them all to hell! I did manage to keep running the entire time and that was really my only goal for the run portion. Last year I had to walk quite a bit because I had cramps in my legs. This year, my legs felt great and full of life:smile: Oh, and the volunteers are all liars. Every single one of them said "you're almost there!" for three straight miles!

Big Smile at Finish Line!
It's actually somewhere around 88% okay that I don't place in races because this is pure fun for me. Nothing in my life depends on whether I win a triathlon. But there is the competitive gene in me that wants it. It wants other things a college education...and that's where my time priorities are at the moment:)

Thanks for reading, have yourselves a great season;)

Link to Treeathlon photos

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cinncinnati Chili

I picked Sheri up at her house so that we could pick up our Stanford Treeathlon race packets and on the way home, we stopped by the store. Since I had no idea what I was going to do for dinner that night, I copy-catted her idea and we did our identical shopping:D

This is not your typical chili, it's less stick-to-your-ribs and more like soup. It had amazing flavor even though I didn't follow the recipe to it's exact instructions...when do I ever?! I used chipotle chili powder instead of regular chili powder and it was super spicy! Really good nonetheless, I served it with some whole wheat spaghetti.

Ingredients in my cute little silicone cups and the obligitory glass of wine:

Add the above to the ground turkey and onions in the large chili pot:

Finished product...YUM!:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Kick Ass!!

Oh - my - God. I thought my ass was going to start growing into the couch with as much laziness has been going on this three day weekend! PMS totally sucks but today I kicked it to the curb:D

My boycott to winter continues....the sun was out so I wore my short bike shorts and a t-shirt on my ride....even though it was around 60 degrees and colder with the wind I was cutting through. I don't care, if the sun is out I'm a very very very happy girl:)

I decided to ride the course that I'm racing next Sunday. I totally tore-it-up! I started at the beginning of Foothill Expressway, a road with very wide bike lanes and a rolling terrain. I turned onto Page Mill Road for a couple of climbs and then hit the Arastradero Loop with more climbing. I continued the loop onto Alpine Road where I put it in a big gear, got in aero and booked it all the way to Junipero Serra where I continued said booking:D I felt sooooooooo good. There is something to be said about tapering...although my laziness was not really considered a's just what I'm calling it:P

I got a little song in my head (I make up songs for everything) that went something like this:
Every day the sun is out is a good day to get on the bike, get on the bike, get on the bike...YYEEAAHHH YYEEEAHHH YEEEAAAHH!
Repeat about 200 times:)

Total mileage - 23
Total ride time - 1:27
Average Speed - 16.3 mph

I give the thumbs up to today's ride and my faithful GB
After I got home, I ditched the bike helmet and grabbed the dogger and ran for 30 minutes. Was my first brick of the year and it was a-w-e-s-o-m-e:)

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Oh man...sometimes you just have to be bad. And then the hubby asks for snacky things for dinner and you realize you need to be *really* bad! wasn't that bad, these nachos are certainly better than any you'll find at any authentic mexican restaurant. Don't they look yummy?

*Round corn chips
*Vegetarian refried beans
*Lean ground turkey - all spiced up with cumin, chile powder, salt and hot sauce
*White cheddar
*Jalapeno/Queso dip - the worst part of it...but if I'm going to do nachos...I'm going to have creamy cheese on them:P
*Reduced fat sour cream
*Fresh salsa

I should be studying....

But I'd rather make a German Pancake:) So easy, so good!

.5 c flour
.5 c milk
3 eggs
pinch salt
pinch baking powder
3 tbsp butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees and put butter in an 8x8 baking dish in the oven while it warms up. Mix all other ingredients together and add to the baking dish, cook for 20 mins....voila! You have German Pancake. I spruced mine up today though and added the following:
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cocoa powder

I topped it with chocolate syrup.....methinks that means I'm exhibiting the beginning signs of PMS:D

Weekend Dog Blogging #22

Huggy loves trips. Anytime you're going out the door, she wants to go. Typical for a dog, I guess, but the look of unbridled excitement she gets when she actually can tag along is priceless.

We planned a trip to Tahoe and would drop Huggy off in Placerville (Grandma's house) along the way so we could do our snowboarding....for some reason, they don't allow dogs on the slopes...go figure!

Huggy was in the car waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before everything else was packed in. She was there for an hour before we were ready to leave! And after all that waiting, she's still as excited, look at that face, she's my angel:)

If you'd like to join the weekend dog blogging, head on over to Sweetnicks and send her your permalink:)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging #37

Stella loves hidey holes, so when Les lays on the couch, he makes her a little cove of throw pillows under his legs. She crawls in and stays there for hours. It's super cute because she's not very affectionate, so this is as close as it gets to her giving him some lovin'.

Here's a great close-up of Buddy doing what he does best...looking regal/confused. He's 18 this year and the alzheimer's and senility is setting in, but I still love him to pieces:) There are not many opportunities to capture him on camera because he moves around a lot, but this was a good one.

Those of you that would like to join in the kitty blogging fun, visit Clare at Eatstuff and provide your permalink to her in the WCB comments. If you'd rather post your doggie pics, head on over to Sweetnicks and do that too!

New Kitchen Stuff!

Hubby and I went to Santana Row today to pick up some dress pants that Les bought the other day. As we were passing all of the shops, here's a quick conversation we had:

He says, "What can I buy the wifey today?"
Sheepishly, I said, "awww...nothin'."
And he says, "Come on, what do you want? Do you want something from Sur La Table?" Then my eyes lit up - but I tried to hide my enthusiasm - I said, "sure:)" Just like that....when I talk, I add emoticons in real life:D

So, here is what I ended up with:
1) Cake Decorator Set - I'm making cupcakes tomorrow, thanks to Emily at Baking Beast I've been craving these yum yums for a little while. Anyway, I want to pipe the icing on the way she did, but I had no I do!
2) Ceramic Slicer - Now I can get the onions done twice as fast without so many tears
3) Clips - for open bags of things that I'm too lazy to put into airtight containers
4) Slotted Spatula - I don't know why I need it, but it's yellow and it spoke to me.
5) Slotted Egg Flipper - Why not?!
6) a 2 cup measuring cup - Sheri has them, so should I:)
7) Veggie Peeler - my other one broke
8) Lemon zester/curler thingy -'s yellow...and I think I need it:D

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

Les was so organized for Valentine's Day this year, that my flowers arrived a day early, on the 13th:D I was working from home that day and was all giggly and giddy when the flower guy brought me the goods:)

My hubby is a total stud, he knows what to say and how to say it and never says anything he doesn't mean. Here's how the card read, "To the angel who stole my heart, in love with you always and forever and a day and a lot longer. Lxoxoxoxox"

Monday, February 13, 2006

Big Big...BIG Ride

Oh. My. God. Sheri chose our bike ride route today. She's been banned from making those decisions until it's been deemed (by me) that she can handle the responsibility!

There was climbing that started from mile ONE man! I'm not kidding...I'm being totally serious. Then there was more climbing for the next ten freaking miles! If you're thinking to yourself right now "oh, Katie...don't you think you're exagerating a little bit?". Well - I'm not, here's our elevation map from Sheri's GPS.

Whilst we were riding along minding our own business, this very rude reflective sign post popped up out of nowhere and viciously attacked Sheri. It tried to murder Sheri, if you will. Do you think I'm exagerating again? Think again ------->

This was her very first fall....ever....and she did get an injury out of it. We didn't think she'd have anything to show for it because her arm warmer was in tact...but underneath looked like this <------

After all of that crazy climbing was done with, we did our usual messing about. A few breaks for snacks and a little chit-chat. The ride itself was actually gorgeous. There were lots of cows and horses and a bunch of switchbacks coming down the Sunol grade that was quite pleasant. We started in Milpitas and rode all the way out Calaveras Road into Sunol. We had lunch at the only deli/cafe in town and gabbed about everything we always gab about. We talk a LOT. Check that - Sheri talks a lot - I only listen and nod my head in's a great partnership:D After we fed our bellies, we headed out towards Fremont on Niles Canyon Road....which seemed to be going downhill for 6ish miles...but the massive headwinds actually slowed us down and made us work quite a bit. DAMN that was hard work!

Here we are at the end of the ride, all tuckered out and hungry. When Sheri got home she slept for five hours and ate an entire pizza upon waking up. When I got home, I curled up with a heating pad because I got some monstrous cramps and slept for a few hours. When I woke up I wanted an entire pizza...but our house lacks pizza...I had to settle for butternut squash soup with crouons and melted Istara cheese:)

Total mileage - 42ish (GPS didn't capture the entire ride)
Total elevation gain - over 3000 feet
Total ride time - 5+ hours!

If you're a data whore like Sheri is here's a link to Motion Based GPS will even have you believe that we went 144.5 mph at some point during the ride! I told you my bike was fast:D

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging #36

This is our Stella burrowing in "her" blanket. Everything in this house is hers. There's not one thing that she doesn't own in this house! Anyway, she loves to play under the blankets. It makes it a bit difficult when trying to make the bed in the morning because there's always a kitten in the bed ruffling up my sheets!

Those of you that would like to join in the kitty blogging fun, visit Clare at Eatstuff and provide your permalink to her in the WCB comments. If you'd rather post your doggie pics, head on over to Sweetnicks and do that too!

Friday, February 10, 2006

It feels good to stay on target

This week totally tore me apart, but in a very good way. I started back at college and am taking two classes while working full time AND training for this season. This was the first week that I was completely on track and it felt wonderful. The more I have on my plate, the better my life is. I have to be busy...I'm German...which means I'm a workhorse. If I'm not doing something, I feel like a lazy cow...and that's not good!

**Monday - Master's Swim 1 hr AM. This is quite a feat for me. I am n-o-t a morning person, mornings and me = not friends. However, for the sake of the fat layer that needs to remove itself from my body, I managed to get there on time at 7:30...AM!

**Tuesday - day off, worked from home - I love being able to work from home. I get so much house stuff done while answering emails as well as consulting with clients. I can do laundry while on a conference call! It's cool:)

**Wednesday - Master's swim 1 hr AM - I am really loving these workouts. I'm able to take the swimming efficiency I learned with Total Immersion and pairing it with the Master's organized workouts to really pull off a great workout with purpose.
Ran 40 minutes PM with Huggy around the neighborhood.. Running is getting a lot better since I'm being faithful with gym workouts.

**Thursday - Afternoon run, 1 hr at Los Gatos Creek Trail with Huggy. I love this trail, there's just something about the trees and the water that make me happy while running. Hit the gym for an hour with Sheri after work. Was a nice workout, I lead the arms and legs, she leads abs and stretching. 'Tis a good partnership:)

**Friday - Gym 1 hr after having a crazy work day. I started getting a little PMSy and felt a major attitude problem coming on. So I immediatley squashed it by working out the demons with an amazing workout with weights. Lots of squats and lunges too. Demons, consider yourselves exercised! >:-}

Fridays are freakishly busy for me at work. It makes no sense...I'm a banker...that means that people shouldn't have anything for me to do on Fridays because they should be getting ready for the weekend. Why must the wait until the last possible moment on Friday afternoon to make me put out their fires? Lame I tell ya.

Tomorrow I have a bike ride planned with Sheri so we can get back on track with our HLS (if you can guess what that is, you get major points and possibly even a gift mailed to you) since she's been out of my life for the past month. We have a LOT of HLS to make up for:D

Sunday I am going to go for a hike with Huggy. I took her to Lexington Reservoir last weekend and it was full of long climbs and was a great workout. I'll probably chose a different trail though, just so I can learn new places in this beautiful Bay Area I live in.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

For Iron Benny.....and anyone else that cares:D

Didn't I say a while ago that I was gonna help a brotha out with some food stuff? Yes. Yes I did.

First I have to tell you that I am in no way, shape or form an expert on food, food preparation or taste. I only know what works for me and my busy schedule and that's what I'm going to share with you. Here are 10 tips to start you out on a quick journey to dinner.

1) Lean meat. No-brainer really. Turkey, chicken, pork tenderloin and the elk you just bought (score!). They tend to be bland on thier own, but please refer to #3 below for further instruction:)

2) Salt. Salt is your friend. It enhances the natural flavors of food and makes everything taste better. I use kosher salt, have it in a little remekin next to the stove for easy access to sprinkle over whatever I'm cooking. Since you're an endurance athlete, a little extra salt is not going to kill you anyway. You're working your electrolytes daily, so replenishing is a good idea:)

3) Marinate. When I come home from the grocery store, I immediately marinate whatever I have bought to cook for the week. Usually a pork tenderloin and some chicken breasts. The greatest marinades (IMO) consist of soy sauce, citrus, citrus zest, honey and spicy chile sauce. I have a recipe on my site that works wonders for meat and poultry.

4) Pound. In order to speed up the cooking process you must pound your meat thin....(not that meat you sicko!) Do this by layering, say, a chicken breast in between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a heavy pan to flatten it out to about 1/4-1/2 inch. Then you marinate it:) Thicker cuts of meat like a roast or pork tenderloin get seared quickly in the pan on high heat and finished off in the oven. I like the brown crust it gives and it also keeps it moist this way since you've basically made a juice barrier by searing it.

5) Roast. I roast everything. All of my veggies get showered in a bit of olive oil, salted and then thrown in the oven at high heat (400 degrees) for 15-20 mins. They are nice and carmelized, sweet and still crunchy. I like to actually taste my food.

6) Grill. While the veggies are roasting, I'm grilling the pre-marinated protein. And since I've pounded it flat, it takes very little time to cook on each side.

7) NO CROCKPOTTING! For feck's sake man, I can't believe that Nytro actually wants to join the ranks of folks that cook like this. It's an abominiation to food to throw it all together and make every mushy thing taste like the previous bite. Gross. And need to be hatin''s my blog and I can say what I want! I can only think of one good thing to make in a crockpot and that's chili. Everything're just being lazy. Good food doesn't take that long to make. Get fresh!

8) Starch. It's really just an afterthought at dinner for us. I don't like eating pasta or potatoes at dinner because we eat late and it just sits in my belly all night. But when I do, it's usually brown rice (I take a shortcut here and choose instant - you don't lose any of the good nutrients, but you do lose the time it takes to cook it!) seasoned with LOTS of fresh garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and olive oil.

9) Stir Fry. Ingenius really....veggies and meat cut small and cooked on very high heat so it all cooks at the same time. Yes! Make your own sauce or throw some bottled sauce on it for flavor...or just salt it:)

10) Magazines. Fine Cooking and Cooking Light magazines offer up very well-written recipes that are full of flavor and don't take very long to make. You usually have all ingredients on hand you just have to make the effort to follow a recipe.

When it comes time for me to make dinner, I usually just open the fridge and let my imagination take over. I rarely plan my meals out, but here are examples of what we have for dinner:

*Pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted veggies
*Chicken enchiladas (soooo easy! ask me for the recipe if you want it) with whole wheat tortillas and roasted veggies
*Boboli pizza with ham, pineapple, veggies and low-fat cheese
*Grilled chicken breasts, creamy polenta and spinach salad
*Turkey burgers with oven-roasted fries and salad
*Chile Verde (bite sized pork cooked in a bottled salsa verde) with whole wheat tortillas, vegetarian refried beans and spanish rice
*Stuffed pork chops, green beans and brown rice
*Wasabi Pea Tuna, cucumber and tomato salad
*Broiled salmon, stuffed portobello mushrooms and spinach salad
*Whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs and ceasar salad
*Turkey sloppy joes with whole wheat buns and salad
*Potato and Leek soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Those are all I can think of right now. It's all a sad reminder that I've got to go shopping.

Stay to the outside of the grocery store aisles unless you're shopping for bread and pasta. You'll find everything you need on the outside. Although I have been guilty of caving in and buying a box of Kraft Mac'N's not a steady diet of it. I stay away from most things processed and dehydrated and opt for fresh always.

I hope that helps....if can always fall back on the crockpot!

Giant Bunny!

As soon as I saw this, I immediately thought of Bunnygirl of the Tri Alliance:) Can you believe this rabbit? It's as big as a three year old person!
Herman the Giant Bunny

Here's a link to the article on the BBC website - get all your news from the Brits....they don't candy-coat anything!

baguette & bleu

One of my very favorite things is bread with oil and vinegar. All kinds of vinegar. Today I had a hankering for red wine vinegar. I sliced up some baguette and drizzled some of my yummy Olivas de Oro Seville olive oil and vinegar on top. Sprinkled some salt for good measure:) and then put some very nice bleu cheese on it. THEN as if that weren't enough, I served these with some pork tenderloin that I had made a little while beforehand. You can't see that though, it wasn't ready yet:D

Gnocchi with red wine sausage and fagioli

I've been reading some really impressive cooking blogs lately - Beyond Salmon and Lucullian delights and was inspired to Italian-up Friday nights' dinner.

I went to A.G. Ferrari in Palo Alto. A place where Sheri and I have eaten lunch together in the past after her ITB massage therapy. I loaded up my basket with some potato gnocchi, red wine sausage, borlotti (cranberry) beans and tomato and basil sauce.

This came together very quickly. Very effortlessly...boil the gnocchi, sautee the sausage and heat up the beans. Toss it all together in a Italian type pasta bowl to be authentic and MANGIA!

Thanks to Amy and her suggestion of the book "Everyday Cooking with Wine" by Andrea Immer, I have been educating myself on what types of wine to have with meals and I chose, Barbera d'alba, a medium bodied red and it was perfect!