Sunday, August 23, 2009

Home cooking

If you have followed my blog you should know that I am very opiniated when it comes to food. First of all I'm french and I grew up in an environment where a home cooked meal was served every night. Hey I even had breakfast with my parents until I left home when I was 23!
I am fortunate in the sense that I learned how to cook and it is now part of who I am. Cooking does come naturally for me. As we are getting older the weight tends to stay on. B and I are very fond of good food but we also want to be lean. I am making an effort to shop for the whole week, plan my meals in advance because it is better that way and with 2 kids a full time job I just don't have time to go shopping more than once a week in more than one store. I rather save that time to play with the kids or go for a bike ride.
Naturally I have my low week when nothing sounds good, when everything is frozen and at 9pm I haven't started anything. In general we try to keep our restaurant outings to one during week night and probably one or twice during the week end for brunch/lunch or dinner.
Why did I start on that post, because I went to a triathlon meeting last friday about nutrition. The core of the business that hosted us very nicely bugs me. They offer custom meals nutritious and balanced delivered to you. They are catering to people who don't like/know how to cook and rather go eat out every night. They advertise their product as time savings because you take out the shopping for/preparing/and cleaning after the meal, calorie controlled and also probably better for you.
Remember cooking comes naturally for me, it is a way for me to unwind after a long day at work. I do take pleasure putting together something new, something tasty and present it nicely for just the two of us. Hey I even cook for myself homemade soups when B is on a business trip. I tend to forget that everyone is not like me nor they want to be. Eventhough it really pisses me off when people advertise cooking healthy as time consuming I do understand that some people like it. The only thing is that at the end of the day you still depend on someone else, that you still have to plan days in advance what you are going to eat and this time you cannot accomodate your ingredients differently. For instance when I buy my ingredient for the week (meat, vegetables) I usually can swap things out and if on Saturday asianish pork with baby bok choy sounded good on tuesday I may rather have something more like a slow cooked pork with Italian flavors and polenta. I truly believe that you don't need to cook elaborate meals to put something both tasty and healthy. The key to success is a well stocked pantry, freezer and fridge. My mom bought me this awsome cook book called "They will be there in an hour". This book is filled with recipe to put together a whole meal in an hour. It also tells you what you should have in your pantry. Now for those of you who aborre the kitchen yes please go ahead and order your custom meals online. But for those of you who don't cook because it seems so complicated and so time consuming there are a lot of recipes that can be put together in a small amount of time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

runner's high

So last week I had an awsome run with my friend. I have the cooler temperature in the evening are so welcomed by me. I am definitely a cooler weather runner. This week I diligently went back to my training. I decreased the load though because I honestly cannot get up at 6am when going to bed at 11:30pm. I can't go to bed earlier when the kids are in bed at 8:30 and we don't have dinner until 9pm.
So I decided instead to spread it out therefore I have something to do every day and if I'm courageous well I can always to a double day. So Monday I went back to the pool after a 4 weeks stop. I think the Solana Beach triathlon and the awfully hard swim somewhat scared me and I have been avoiding the water. I think I was low on sugar eventhough I had a small (tiny some may say) before going. When I got out of the water I was seriously nauseous. I managed to swim 1200 yards in 30min.
Tuesday I was planning on going for a run with JE. She bailed on me and Pawel invited me to celebrate his birthday at his favorite mexican place with other coworkers. Since I'm usually totally asocial by lack of time I decided to postpone my run to thursday and do a trainer workout that evening instead. So here I am eating like a pig instead of working out but it was really nice. I couldn't believe that place though, they serve california burrito the size of someones head! I settled for one carne asada taco a little bit of bean.
That evening I was only able to put in 35min of my planned 45min session but my heart beat was in the 90% Heart rate zone most of the time.
In the meantime I got convinced to sign up for an aquathlon on thursday night. An aquathlon consists of 1000 meter swim at La Jolla Shores followed by a 3Mile run. I didn't feel like going but I know that in order for me to get better I need to get out there. Force myself out of my comfort zone. On the bright side I was going to be with some of my trigirls friend. Since thursday was going to be a swim and a run I decided to take the day off especially because I was going to have lunch with my friend D. Unfortunately she cancelled on me and I was going to go to the gym for a strength session when Bunny walked in my cube and invited me to lunch. Since she moved out of the "guetto building" I have barely talked to her so I eagerly accepted the evite and had a great sushi lunch! Late last night Mec woke up with a fever so I knew my aquathlon was jeapordized since I would have to share the day with B. I ended up working from home the whole day. B wanted to go for a run so we decided that we would go together and he would push the double stroller. Then we decided that it was time for Mac to bike while we run. So the caravan started B in the front with Mec in the stroller. Mac followed on his bike chattering away and I closed the procession. We started at a good pace of 9:15-9:30 min/miles. We ended up running 3.5M at probably 9:30-9:45 min/miles pace. It was awsome not only I didn't feel that tired but it was so awsome to be with the whole family. I think we are going to make that a weekly routine! Did I mention that today I really didn't want to go for a run, I was really tired and sluggish. I don't know what kind of day tomorrow will be since I don't think Mec will be ready to go back to school all I know is that I will make the time to do something for 30-60 minutes ;)
On another note, a friend of mine from work gave me a set of wheels for my bike and since I rather have an extra back wheel to use on my trainer. I bought a rear cassette which arrived on monday. Of course I don't know anything about bikes I needed tools to be able to install the darn thing on the wheels and then the wheels on the bike. I think I'm going to bring the whole thing to a bike store and have the guy show me and teach me a little bit more. In the mean time I'm going to have to fix my first flat before this week end bike ride. I will also try to make an appointment to look into putting aerobars on my bike!
All in all my training is puttering along. I'm keeping the consistency trying to add volume when I can but foremost I try to enjoy myself while pushing myself a little and live that busy life of ours in harmony. All I can say is that when I feel tired, cranky, depressed it usually happens the day I haven't worked out and it means I need to go do something anything!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday night already!!!

Friday I had a swimm planned! I was going to try to hook up some of my trigirls friend. However the stars didn't aligned. First they had a crazy 2m swim planned. Let's face it I wasn't feeling a 2miler at the cove. My last swim was the solana beach tri!!! I wanted only to do a 1m swim. Then I had a lot of work todo since Thursday night was spent mostly sleeping off a light stomach bug!
To top it off B had an evening meeting and I was therefor on picking up duty. I was going to go to the pool when my friend JE told me she was planning a 7M run that evening! after some Im exchange we decided to meet up that evening for a7m run in my neighborhood followed by dinner! At 6:30pm that night we slowly got started! It was great because she forced me to keep a slow pace 10:30 min/miles. As a result I felt great and eventhough we opted for a shorter run we did push ourselves and did a nasty hill! This was my first longish run 6m in a long time and it felt good! this also helped me shake off all my frustration!
We had a great evening with friends we had a little wine, simle food and finished the evening by watching Daniel Tosh!
Saturday morning we woke up a little groggy from the late might. We then headed to UTC to grab a bagel some coffee and my new sunglasses. Our next stop of the day was our friends D&B in Encinitas to celebrate J 5th birthday!
The kids had a blast on the big inflatable water slide that was in the yard. After some pizza, cake we headed back home. The boys went for a long bike ride they got lost in the bushes. I was planning on riding myself but since B didn't get home before 6pm and that at that time stomach was growling we settled for dinner at Fidels. We had a great evening.
The next day was Mec's birthday party. We know that the kids love it but we hate the whole organization of the event and the fact that a 2 hour party is taking our whole day! selfish I know. Anyways the party was nice i made cupcakes using my usual chocolate lava cake recipe. I then put some premade icing on it with tons of sprinkles of all kinds.
Then to get rid of the tension the day brought I went for a very quick ride. Then we kicked back and relaxed for the rest of the day....

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I know this post is petty but I need to vent.
So if you remember a previous post, I lost my prescription sunglasses the week end of my last triathlon. I had a frustrating trip to Lenscrafters (see previous post) when I found the perfect pair of sunglasses but I had to pay the polarized lenses eventhough I wasn't going to use them. Anyhow, after a few weeks not using sunglasses I finally decided to go back to lenscrafters and buy the darn sunglasses. Well here I am with my prescription credit card in hand but of course now the model I chose is too curved (wrapped around) and thus can't be used with my prescription.
I had to spend 270$ on a frame that I only marginally liked arghhhh.
Since I have been trying to look at the bright side, I didn't spend as much money as I expected and they were ready in an hour.

My other frustrating experience is when I realized that I won't be able to go to both my company picnic party and my son's best friend birthday. One being held in mission beach with no reserved parking from 10-3pm and the other one taking place in Encinitas from 11-2pm.
We had to write a 25$ deposit check to cover the loss in case of a no show. Since I had to cancel pretty late I was expecting to lose that deposit and I was OK with that. As I was going to go pick up my tee shirts since I lost my deposit I was told that since I cancelled I couldn't get my tee shirts. Curious I asked more questions, and I was told that the tee shirts would be given to another family that was on the waiting list. So basically, they found someone to take my spot, so my early cancellation notification prevented any money loss, yet I still lost my 25$ deposit. I know it is only 25$ but on principle I don't find it fair. I shouldn't have lost the 25$ if someone is going to take my spot!

To cap it all off, I went to Von's to do a few errands. Of course I put a bottle of wine and some beers in my cart. Eventhough I will be soon celebrate my 35th birthday I get carded all the time. Of course this time wasn't an exception and I gave my ID. What I didn't expect though is because my drivers license is expired it isn't a valid ID and so my beer and wine went under the counter. I was pissed this is ridiculous it's not like I'm even close of not being 21! The cashier told me that they were open until 1AM to which I answered I wasn't that desperate ;) I know they are just doing their job but come on! I barely have time to work, do my errands, workout and do all the things that I have to do on a daily basis without having to waste 4H00 at the DMV. I did make an appointment but it isn't before like the end of this month! So what I'm going to have to send B do the grocery shopping so that I don't have to go twice!
I know I should not be affected by such petty things. Sometimes when I am tired I have a harder time to shrug things off. This week is one of those week. I do need to keep looking at the bright things because in the end it isn't worth getting depressed/sad over this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I don't even remember when I last blogged. But I am sure I can safely start at my training. I have spent so much time figuring out the balance of my week. How I should train, how many time I should train what etc... to finally just put it all in the trash because 1- these days I just can't get up in the morning 2- Since I'm not putting so much volume I can safely train every day and the recovery week I can give myself one or two days off.
My weekly training will look like that: Monday swim 1500yds min, Tuesday run 4-5 M, Wednesday strength training, Thursday bike 45min or 60M, Friday swim 2000yds, Saturday bike 120 min or 90 min, Sunday run 6-7M.
Every 4 weeks I will have a recovery week where I decrease all activities.
After brain stormin torturing my brain on how to improve speed, talking to people to death about that I realized that in the early stage of triathlon or any other endurance sport what matters is the best. Just get your miles in even at a slower pace and improvement will follow.
Besides that, B's brother, his girlfriend and their lab puppy came to visit us. We had a blast I love watching the kids interact with their uncle/aunt/grandparents. They also had a blast with the dog. She was the cutest thing.
B's cousin was also in town and the cousin living in San Diego spent most of the week ends with us. In short we ate a lot, drank a lot and had a great time. I did manage to get a 2H00 bike ride with a trigirl. I had an absolute blast. It was fun we chatted a lot of the way but still managed to get a good workout.
On Sunday we went surfing and after 11 years living in San Diego and multiple surfing experiments I stood up on my board. In the white water but still. B bought a new long board for the family and us and it was really fun.
Monday I went for a run with B 3.5M at 9:30 min/mile pace. I always have that 2 min where I give up on the run about half way through. This is what I have to work on.
On tuesday everyone left so we were back to our little unite and it was nice. Of course I have a ton of work and MEC was sick this afternoon. She seems to be doing OK right now but who knows how long that is going to last.
BTW I haven't been able to go swim since Solana....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Short maybe long summary

So what has been happening in my life those past few days. I still haven't replaced my sunglasses. As I mentionned earlier I saw the perfect pair of Oakleys but the color I like is only available in polarized and I hate to spend an extra 55$ for lenses that I'm not gonna use anyways.

On top of it I have been thinking about doing Lasik for my eyes to avoid spending a fortune each time I need a new look or I misplace/break my glasses. I haven't made a decision and I do really need a new pair of sunglasses.
Last thursday I took my day off hoping to be able to fit in a 2H00 ride ahahah if running around packing is considered a ride then yes. I did manage to go to a bike store and talk to one of the guys. I felt like I had a big $ sign tattooed on my forehead kindof like I show up at a mechanics. I was asking about upgrading my bike a little and putting aerobars. I have talked to a lot of people and they all recommend it. Now I'm all excited.
So we left that day to visit my father in law in the Shasta Valley which is just off the 5 freeway about 13H00 from here. We flew to Redding arrived there at 10pm. We spent most of our time there in the swimming pool. The kids had a total blast and spent some quality time with their grandfather, the cats, looking at the vegetable garden (so jealous) and the chickens. On the last day we went to the Shasta mountain to go walk a little bit and we saw the end of a century ride... The end was going up the mountain about a 14M climb but so beautiful. I was drooling with envy. I don't think I'm in good enough shape to make that climb just yet but it looked very appealing.
Then we went to dinner in the best Thai/Vietnamese/Laos place ever smack in a small town. We flew back the next day, arrived at home after 11pm.
Since then life is back to its crazy self. After a week off training, I'm trying to figure out my training strategie for my next event in October. I was all about improving my speed like every single person out there. After bending a few peoples ear about how to train to get faster yadi yada I decided to just focus on building up the pace and strength. If I do all this then speed will come. This is what I am going to attempt:
week 1: 1-2Swim/3Bikes/2Runs/1Strength
week 2: 1-2Swim/2Bikes/3Runs/1Strength

My schedule is going to look like that:
Week 1:
Mon Off or easy swimm
Tue Bike AM
Wed Strength (swim AM if not done on Monday)
Thu Bike AM / Run Lunch
Fri Swim
Sat Long Bike
Sun Long Run

Week 2:
Mon Off or easy swim
Tue Run Lunch
Wed Strength (swim AM if not done on Monday)
Thu Bike AM/ Run lunch
Fri Swim
Sat Long Bike
Sun Long Run

If I am very couragous and I feel good I could probably double up both tue and thur and thus have 3B/3R but we will see. For now I would like to do a hill repeat on the weeks I have 3 bike workout and same for the run.
That's the plan. So this morning I got my butt out of bed at 6am to go ride. I did an easy ride because I was dog tired (didn't sleep very well) and thus I was sluggish. I still logged in 11M in 42min. Yesterday strength session left me really really sore. I can't barely move my pecs, bicepts. My inner thighs and abs are sensitive!
Finally to wrap up this lengthy post, we sent the kids to the circus with their uncle. We weren't too sure about this since it is at night, it is their first show besides Seaworld and Disneyland, which were both too loud. They seemed to be all excited and we haven't heard the phone yet.
We are also expecting my brother in law, his girlfriend and their puppy tonight. They will be staying with us through the week end.
Tomorrow I will try to go to the pool (probably at lunch time) saturday I am super excited since I'm going riding with a girl I have been wanting to ride with for a looong time and who has been so supportive and helpful. Yay MK!
Unfortunately other of my friends won't be there but another time RD & Bex.
I am not girlfriend type of girls. I mean I like to talk clothe and fashion but I am so much happier in an art store and now bike store. Bunny was awsome to train with but she went to the dark side of Yoga (jk) where I couldn't follow her and I miss our runs side by side huffing and puffing listening to our music, running together but still in our zone. I think I found a new running partner at Illumina JE and some riding and swimming partners that are into their training but who I can still follow.
One last funny annecdote, on tuesday I was planning on running with JE and I grabbed my sports bra, my running shoes and a towel. As I was looking for my stuff in the car before heading to the gym and change I realized I didn't have shorts! I asked all the girls around for a pair of something Michigan's full trunk only offered a pair of slacks. I wasn't about to give up my run for a forgetful event. As I was heading to Sports Chalet to buy a pair of shorts, a guy that I knew was just finishing his run. Shamefully I asked him if he didn't have any pair of shorts. He offered me a clean pair (not the one dripping off sweat) saying jokingly I hope they will stay on your body. I go to the gym victorious, put the shorts on and to my dismay they fit perfectly!
Some of the Solana Beach pix
This is me coming out of the water after 17min swim for 0.25M 80/88 looking exhausted

This is me on the bike chanting you can do this you know how to do this. I was able to maintain a 16.8mph avg speed.

Finally me crossing the finish line 49/88 and 9:06 min/miles pace for the run!

Stay tune.