Tag Archives: sugar

Hit With a Brick

3 Mar

We had a Bike/Run brick yesterday morning out on Key Biscayne. My training schedule said 45 minute bike/60 minute run but I ended up doing 30/90 because it dawned on me that I have a half marathon at the end of April and I haven’t run long in a hot minute. So I tagged along with the four intrepid freaks on our team who just started training for a Ironman Canada–it’s in August.

Anyway. Here’s what this brick day looked like:

I got up at 6AM and pulled all my crap together. Nutrition and hydration needs are taken care of first because if I forget these items, I am screwed.


From L2R/T2B: 20 oz of water with one Nuun tab dropped in–this comes with me on the bike; 14 oz bottle of pain water for whenever I want it; 20 oz bottle of water with one scoop of Endurox R4 mixed in for after the workout; one gel with caffeine for transition (not pictured) and one hammer gel for half way through the run.

This is breakfast:

Coffee, an English muffin with Brummel and Brown and cinnamon-sugar, and a banana. This is pretty standard before a long workout or race. The banana is optional but I have to have some kind of toasted bread product with some form of sugar on it. And I don’t do anything without coffee. I know it doesn’t look like a  lot considering I’m about to exercise for two hours but that’s where the gels come in. If I eat any more of this, my GI system will revolt midway through the run.

This is a picture of the log-jam getting onto the Rickenbacker:

For those of you reading this in other parts of the country, the Rickenbacker is the only way onto and out of Key Biscayne, unless you have a boat.

I didn’t get any pix of the bike ride. But that’s OK because it would have been dangerous to do so. But here’s a photo of the team right before heading out on the run:

Thanks to IWantToBeATriathlete for forcing us to take a group picture. It added time to transition but what can ya do? Sometimes, in life, you must pause to take things a little less seriously.

The run was long and slow and hot. Very hot. It’s been in the 80s here lately, which is unseasonable for February. My four running mates are in the base-building phase for Canada so that meant they had to stay in zone 1 for the run and we all basically trotted out 8.42 miles in 90 minutes. This was fine by me. First long run in three weeks and I felt every minute of it.

When the run was done, I chugged my Endurox and then jumped into the water to give my legs a little hyrdrotherapy. It was nice but did not save me from the soreness that followed later in the day. I was late getting to the Advil and didn’t ice long enough and–idiot me–I didn’t stretch. The day got crazy immediately after my workout and I just plum forgot to do it. So everything hurt until around 7PM when I had two Avery IPAs and half a homemade pizza. Ibuprofen, beer and carbs are always good for what ails ya.

But before I headed home yesterday morning, I took this pic of Alien Endurance Beach:

Not a bad looking training ground.


Perro Grande Muffins

17 Feb

As promised, here is the recipe for those vegan banana pumpkin muffins I made the other day. No, they are not made of big dogs. They’re vegan, remember? So I’ve decided to name them in honor of my favorite big-dog saving Miami vegan. She knows who she is.

I just did a nutrition analysis on them and while they’re fairly high in sugar, they’re also loaded with good stuff. They’re a great source of Calcium and Vitamin A and super low in saturated fat. In addition, each one boasts 4g of protein from non-animal sources and 3g of dietary fiber. I would have liked to get the fiber content up but I don’t know how to do that yet without driving up the calories. I am open to suggestions. Oh, they’re 106 calories each, by the way.

Above all else, they don’t taste like cardboard. They taste like a muffin. A really light, fluffy, spicy and not overly sweet muffin. They’re great hot out of the oven but they also freeze well. Cool them completely, wrap individually in plastic wrap and then stick them all in a large freezer bag. They’ll stay good frozen for about 2 weeks. Defrost in the fridge for a few hours before warming them up in the toaster or oven or toaster oven (if such things exist).

Perro Grande Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 12 muffins


1 cup King Arthur white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill soy flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 medium super-ripe bananas, mashed beyond recognition

1 cup plain canned pumpkin

1/4 cup agave

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Hit your muffin tin with a light coating of cooking spray or line with muffin cups. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine the mashed bananas, canned pumpkin and agave. Alternately add dry ingredients and almond milk to the banana-pumpkin mixture, stirring well to combine after each addition. Add sunflower seeds last and stir until incorporated but don’t over mix. Spoon into prepared muffin tin (each cup should be 3/4 full) and bake for about 25 minutes. The muffins should be golden brown and a toothpick inserted into one of ’em will come out clean.

Recovery Monday Bars

13 Feb

Today is Monday. Monday is a recovery day. Now, before I go any further into what this particular Monday has looked like, I want to make sure we’re all up to speed on the lingo. Recovery does not mean that I am “off” or enjoying a day of “rest.” On off days, I don’t have a scheduled triathlon workout but I can take care of other stuff–like my job, my badly neglected social life, etc…I can do yoga, I can tootle around on my bike. On full rest days, I’m supposed to stay off my legs as much as possible. Full rest days normally come 48 hours before a race or 24 hours before a long training session, say a long run or a long bike or a long bike followed by a long run (a.k.a. a “brick.”)

On recovery days, I still have to run. In fact, the run that is scheduled on my Training Peaks (more on TP later) is referred to as a “recovery run.” The benefits of recovery runs are apparently hotly debated. I am learning that most techniques for effective endurance training are. Hotly debated, that is. There doesn’t seem to be any debate that recovery runs are good for the athlete, just a debate about why they are good.

I’ve been told that RRs get blood moving through the legs again after a long or hard training run the previous day and that promotes the clearance of lactic acid. This article I just found on Active, claims that the benefits are more about training the runner to run on fatigued legs. Whatever. It’s a win-win either way and I gotta do one regardless. Tonight.

I gotta recoverun (ya’ like that?) tonight because I didn’t get up and do it this morning because I really, really wanted–no, I needed–to sleep in.

Another translation: “sleep in” for triathletes means, “wake up a minute after sunrise.”

But I don’t mind running at night. And I actually look forward to Monday night recovery runs because a) they’re easy (depending on where I am in the training schedule, they can be anywhere from 30-45 minutes at a luxuriously slow pace in a luxuriously low HR zone) b) I normally do them with the group (although tonight, I have to go it alone a little on the early side so I can make 6:30PM yoga so I can get home and get to bed before 10PM so I can get up at 6AM tomorrow to get my swim in before the work day begins) and c) …wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Recovery Monday. Yoga has to happen on a Recovery Monday otherwise I won’t be able to get to class until WEDNESDAY! Oh, the humanity! Before I started participating in this ridiculous sport, I was doing yoga 4-5 days a week. Now, I’m lucky if I can get eight classes in a month. If I don’t practice 2 days a week, I find that my running suffers. My sleep suffers. My brain suffers. My mood suffers. My friends suffer. My students suffer. There’s a whole lot of unnecessary suffering.

Also on Recovery Mondays (“RM,”) I like to catch up on “life” stuff. As in, I do laundry, I grade, I prep for classes. I’m feeding my teammate’s dog this week so I did that on RM. I bought a new vacuum last week so today I took that little red devil for a spin around the old casa. I also went grocery shopping.

And the same thing happens that always happens: I go off-list for a second and suddenly find myself in the granola bar aisle. This happens constantly. I never buy anything but it has become a kind of grand dream that I will find a box of granola bars that does NOT list High Fructose Corn Syrup (or even SUGAR) as its first ingredient. And even grander still, is the dream in which I find said bars and they don’t cost $5.99 for six of them.

So I stood in the aisle and I picked up every box of granola bars on the shelf and I scrutinized the labels, trying to find ONE that had less than say, 10g of sugar per serving. I’m sure I looked like a right ass, studying a box of Fiber One bars like it was a Biology text and finally I was like, “I never studied for biology.” And I threw the box at the head of a woman standing next to me (no, I didn’t) and I ran home in a rage (no, I didn’t)  to make my own (yes, I did).

I’ve tried making protein bars and granola bars in the past and I’ve never had much success. But this batch, I think, might be a winner. I also decided to experiment with soy flour (since I never have before and it packs a mega protein punch). It’s working for me.

I can’t remember exactly what I did–silly me, I didn’t write anything down–but I think it was like 2 2/3 cups oats, 1 cup soy flour, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, a handful of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup canned pumpkin, like 1/4 cup blue agave nectar, some cinnamon and a twee pour of almond milk. Mixed it all together, baked it in a 9×9 pan at 375 for 25 minutes and voila. Here they be:

I kinda can’t stop eating them. But I will. I will freeze half the batch (individually wrapped) and throw them in my lunch sack when needed. Oh, I also made those muffins on the rack below. Here’s their Sears glamour shot:

These are old hat at this point. Couple mashed bananas, more canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, white whole wheat (with some soy flour thrown in today), agave and almond milk. I make them all the time and freeze in pairs. I like to have one before a long bike. They’re totally vegan too. In fact, so are the bars!

But don’t worry. I roasted a chicken at the same time I was baking.  No pic of the chicken. That would be indecent. I will tear it apart and try not to think of it as it once was (alive) and use it in spicy chicken-vegetable hash and other such recipes this week.

So now that all that’s done, I can stuff myself into my “cold weather” running gear (it’s 60 degrees here today) and head out to recover.