Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paleo Week #2 Recap

At the end of the day, I will go with conformity and organized over witty humor and spontaneous fun (ok, on some things).  Here are list of the many titles I debated using above...

I have the best friends ever.  ...of all time!

What a weekend turn around!

Paleo culinary arts 101  ...an independent study course

Other than yesterday's short post, the last time you heard from me was Friday's post where I complained about how dismal this diet was making my life .  Later that day, I was invited to a friend's place for food.  Apparently two of my friends read that blog and it "broke their hearts," so they offered to fix me a caveman meal.  How awesome is it to have a super strict and albeit odd diet experiment and you have friends offering to help! 

I went over for brunch Saturday after spin class (my third for the week!).  I had steak and eggs with fried mixed bell peppers, spinach, and avocado.  Awesome!  But that's not all.  They proceeded to surprise me with attempting a caveman friendly pumpkin pie!

Caveman Pumpkin Pie

Crust
Blend pecans and almonds until finely chopped.  Broil dates for ~10 minutes.  Mix nuts and dates together and form to your pan of choice.  Bake at 350 for ~15-20 minutes.

Filling
Roast one sugar pumpkin and one sweet potato.  Puree softened "meat" of the pumpkin and sweet potato with the juice of an orange.  Grate as much cinnamon as you can from cinnamon sticks before you get tired, bored, or feel it's no longer worth it and add to puree.  Place filling in the crust and bake for ~20-25 minutes. 


It sure wasn't Sara Lee, but it was a nice change up.

Then when I got home that afternoon I had the urge to attempt apple pie; I figured that had to be easier than pumpkin!  Right?

Caveman Apple Pie

Crust
Blend peanuts and walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped.  Add nuts to one beaten egg.  If the mixture is runny, add more nuts.  Place in the pan of your choice (I chose a muffin tin) and bake at 350 for ~10 min.

Filling
Grab an apple of your choice.  Cut apple into chunks and blend in food processor.  Blend apple to your preference.  I left the skin on as well.  Add grated cinnamon as you'd like and scoop into crust.  Bake for ~15-20 minutes at 350 and enjoy!

It was too bad I forgot the muffin wrappers and couldn't figure out a non-stick spray alternative.  However, even as an apple pie crumble, it wasn't bad.

I also decided to fry a banana.  Why?  Don't ask me.  I was in a creative mood.  Turns out caramelizing the sugar in a banana tastes GREAT!

I went back over to the same friend's place the next night for our weekly LOST evening and they impressed me with yet another caveman dinner, a form of eggplant parmesan.  They used spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti, crushed almonds instead of  bread crumbs, and threw tomatoes into a pan of fried squash with oregano and thyme as a sauce.  Then they made chicken and almond meatballs with garlic and rosemary.  I gave them a raving 10 for creativeness and it was the best meal I've had in the last 14 days

My perspective has completely changed.  Four days ago I was about ready to give up on this diet.  Thankfully, due to the creative minds and empathetic hearts of my amazing friends, I'm back on track and ready to tackle the remaining 16 days!  It will take some ingenuity and lots of cooking time, but I'm going to make it.

And here is a look at what I've eaten in Paleo Week #2

Monday
Breakfast
2 Clementines
5 Scrambled eggs
Swai fillet
Snack
Banana
Lunch
Spring mix salad with chicken and lime
yellow bell pepper
peanuts
Snack
Granny smith apple
Dinner
none (breakfast was at 11:30am)

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Clementine
5 eggs
Swai fillet
Banana
Lunch
I don't recall
Dinner
I don't recall

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Eggs
Lunch
Spinach salad with chicken and lime
yellow bell pepper
Dinner
I don't recall

THURSDAY
Breakfast
Clementine
4 Eggs
Lunch
Swai fillet
Clementine
2nd Lunch
Sweet potato
Pomegranate
Banana
Peanuts
Dinner
Swait
6 Eggs
1/2 green and 1/2 yellow squash

FRIDAY

Breakfast
Banana
Clementine
Mushrooms with red onion
Lunch
Swait
Handful of mixed nuts
green squash
Dinner
Spring mix salad with chicken
yellow bell pepper
banana

SATURDAY
Breakfast
Clementine
4 Eggs
Snack
Mixed nuts
Clementine
Lunch
4 Eggs
Sirloin Steak
Mixed bell pepper (red, orange, yellow)
pumpkin / sweet potato pie
Dinner
Apple pie (peanuts/walnuts, egg, apple, cinnamon)
Swai
Clementine
Banana
Fried banana
Mixed nuts

SUNDAY
Breakfast
1 egg with apple and banana
Swait fillet
Snack
Mixed nuts
Lunch
Chicken breast
Spring salad
yellow pepper
pumpkin / sweet potato pie
Snack
Mixed nuts
Banana
Dinner
spaghetti squash
baked eggplant with almond crust
chicken & almond meatballs with garlic & rosemary
mixed tomatoes and squash with oregano and thyme

Only 16 Days Left!!!


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

I have the best friends in the world!

I have to run to work (not literally!), but I just wanted you guys to know that I have the best friends in the world!

After Friday's post about how dismal the whole Paleo thing was going, my friends saved me (yes, literally!).  I'll fill you guys in on the details real soon.  

The Paleo Week #2 report is underway.  I should have it up tomorrow. 

Until then...

Happy Monday!!


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

In Hindsight...

...maybe taking Thanksgiving Day to myself wasn't the best move. 

Aside from a two day trip to NY this past week for a family event, I hadn't had a day off (read: day to myself) for over two weeks.  Yesterday, instead of driving to my mother's or going to one of my friend's family's houses for the typical Thanksgiving dinner, I opted to stay home to relax, unwind, and collect myself. 

Turns out having time to myself means I focus that much more on the food I'd really rather be eating.  I was fighting every excuse not to give in on the 30 day experiment.  

I'm suffering from a severe lack of variety.  I eat similar meals almost daily; some items (ie. eggs and fish) twice a day.  I attempted making mashed butternut squash yesterday.  The taste was much different than I expected and not to my liking.  I ended up making sweet potato home fries instead.  However, it turns out my taste for sweet potatoes only goes for half of a potato.  Out of my desperation, I spent $20 this morning on raw nuts at an expensive health food store that will most likely only last through Saturday.  After yesterday's fail with butternnut squash I decided to give mushrooms a try.  I've always been a fan of mushrooms, but whenever I cook them they've turned out bland. 

I chopped up a quarter of a red onion, two large cloves of garlic and a full pack of mushrooms.  I dry pan fried them all with a lid.  They smelled amazing.  Too bad the taste wasn't the same.  I know the options are endless, but I'm running out of ideas!

Today I feel slightly better mentally.  However, yesterday I was planning on giving up at the week mark.  I'm hoping I can find enough self-restraint and creativeness to stick to the diet. 

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On another note, I did a bit of reading yesterday and finally figured out why so many Paleo recipes, cookbooks, and websites allow you to eat foods that seem to go directly against the premise of the diet.  As I see it, there are two version of the "Paleo diet."  The first is what I'm doing - strictly eating only what a caveman had access to.  This version cuts out all processed foods and limits you to raw, fresh ingredients.  The second and what seems to be the more popular version is what I will call the "Paleo Nutrient diet."  This version takes the nutrient profile that would have been provided in a caveman's diet and attempts to replicate it with modern foods.  This is why you see Paleo recipes that call for butter, oils, cured meats, sausage, cream, and even dark chocolate; all of which are not allowed in the former.  This is why I feel as if I'm stumbling around in the dark with recipes.  

That fact had been bothering me for awhile.  So while true paleo recipes are near impossible to find, at least now I can stop yelling "HYPOCRITE!" at my computer screen.  haha

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Questions
1.  How was your Thanksgiving?
My body feels relaxed, but my mind went crazy dreaming of non-Paleo foods all day.  

2. Do you function better when you have free time or when you're kept busy?
I tend to be more productive and less critical when I'm kept busy.  It's rare that I feel productive when I'm given true "free time."  Even time spent attempting to relax never feels accomplished. 


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Massacre Day!

Over the years, we've altered the names of holidays to be politically correct, censored our holiday tidings not to offend those who do not partake, and we even acknowledge the holidays of others in order to be accommodating.  But that doesn't apply to Turkeys! 

Happy Turkey Massacre Day!


Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone!!

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Questions
1.  What are you thankful for?!
I am thankful for the self-restraint to take today off of my diet!  I would give anything for a full plate of Jim's bacon stuffing, corn with real butter, mashed potatoes drowning in gravy, and giant pumpkin and apple pies - a la mode of course! 

2.  What are your Thanksgiving traditions?
When I was younger, my family would have a large dinner at either my house or my grandmothers.  I would go to a friends in the morning to join the Turkey Bowl football game and then spend all afternoon and evening with my relatives.  This year, I've already done my thanksgiving with friends and family, so I am enjoying a much desired day of rest at home watching movies and relaxing.  And since there wasn't a Turkey Bowl here today, I opted for spin class. 


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Since when did I become a night owl?!

I woke up today at 11AM.

11:00AM

One hour before NOON!

This work schedule is killing me!  But more importantly, I woke up frantic about food for the day.  I have 1.5 hours to make and eat breakfast and then make lunch/dinner.  No wonder the cavemen didn't have jobs.  It took them all day just to find, prep, and cook their meals.  haha

I would have really loved to go the easy route and pop a pizza in the oven, make some quick peanut butter sandwiches, or throw together a bunch of snack food, but unfortunately I have one of those nagging consciences; it would bug me forever if I gave in.  Ugh!

If you have any ideas for quick, go to snacks or meals under the Paleo diet, I'm all ears!  Just remember, no oils, no dark chocolate, no processed foods of any kind, no seasonings, and I'm allowed to eat legumes.  I'm sure there are other stipulations, but those are the ones that have come up so far.

P.S.  My breakfast now has become 6 eggs and a fish fillet.  I'll be hungry again in 2 hours.  Ugh!!

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Questions
1.  When you're rushed for time, what is your go to food?
I can't even count how many peanut butter sandwiches I would go through in a week when I'm rushed.  Probably 4-5 a day.  And that was just for snacking on between meals at work.

2.  Would waking up at 11AM bother you or would you revel in it?
The morning is my free time, so when I have to sleep later to make up for lost rest, it mentally starts my day off on the wrong foot.

3.  Anyone have big plans for I Hate Turkeys Day?
I will be going to spin class and then relaxing all day by myself.  I haven't had a day off in two weeks, so I'm boycotting this holiday in order to mentally check out!

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paleo Week #1 Recap

Today marks the start of Week #2 of my 30 Day Paleo Experiment.  What does that mean?!

I've survived one week of a being a caveman.
 ...nutritionally that is.

Therefore, I have to reflect on what the first week was like.

The worst part in the last seven days was Day #1, as seen HERE.  Without proper planning for how much or exactly what I'd be eating, my energy dropped low and that first day was a struggle.  Come Day #2, however, I did my best to eat more frequently and it seems to have worked so far.  On the opposite end, though, I haven't felt full since the day before the experiment began.


Having grown up being used to eating until I'm full, it has been odd to go so long without that familiar (and admittedly comforting) feeling.  On the positive side, I have not felt any heavy feeling in my stomach after a meal.  I honestly feel like I could go for a run or workout after any meal and what I just ate would have no ill effect on me as my normal meals before would have.  That alone made the entire first week worth the struggle.

Week #1 also brought a couple of other struggles.  I had to make a last minute trip to NY to see some family; none of which knew about my new diet.  While I watched everyone dig into plenty of processed foods and also felt the pressure of a time crunch on meal prep, I made it through with making all of my own meals.  YAY!  I was impressed.

Then less than 24 hours after making it home from NY, I had my first 2011 Thanksgiving Dinner.  And let me start by saying that the hosts were I-N-Credible!  Almost the entire meal was made caveman friendly - salad, green beans, turnips, squash, baked potatoes, turkey, cranberry/pomegranate sauce, and a fruit mix dessert.  I have such great friends!!  Thank you Chels and Maddy for helping me make it through Week #1 without caving!


Lastly, the only concern I've had thus far is my weight.  I started Day #1 at 170.5 and by Day #7 I was 166.5.  Fluctuation is always inherent, but as I said before, I'm keeping a close eye on my weight to make sure I'm eating enough.  I do also have to admit that I expected to lose a bit to start.  I've always felt our bodies fall in a balance.  Having taken all the processed sugars and foods off the scale is forcing my body to re-balance and I believe we would all assume that balance would be to the healthier end.  I just hope I stay more consistent in Week #2.

So here's the short hand on what I've learned this week...


Things I've learned about food...
- Pomegranates are a mess, yet delicious.
- Limes work great as a salad dressing
- Lemons and Limes squeezed into a jar of water also make an 'okay' version of lemon/limeade
- Fish (swai) and eggs mixed together taste great.
- I am not a fan of hard boiled eggs.
- Yellow bell peppers work great as snacks

Things I've learned about the Paleo diet...
- I spend at least 3 times as much of my day in the kitchen preparing and cooking meals
- I am never full
- I am never tired after eating.  I feel as though I could even workout.
- I eat much more frequent meals; frequent snacking.
- I eat fruit at every meal as a flavor boost.  Veggies don't have much flavor and aren't as delectable.
- My thirst has diminished dramatically; my guess is due to the absence of salty foods
-

And here is a look at what I've eaten in Paleo Week #1.


Monday
Breakfast
Clementine
Banana
3 Eggs with spinach & green pepper
Lunch
Banana
Clementine
Cantaloupe
Dinner
Spinach salad with granny smith apple and lime
Cantaloupe
Beef strips
Chicken medallions
Banana

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Banana
3 Hard boiled eggs
Lunch
Baked sweet potato
Baked eggplant with peanut crumbs
Dinner
Baked eggplant with peanut crumbs
Guacamole
Chicken medallions
Yellow bell pepper
Banana

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Baked eggplant with peanut crumbs
Banana
4 scrambled eggs
Lunch
Peanuts
Swai (fish) fillet
Broccoli
Dinner
Spinach salad with chicken, granny smith apple, and lime
yellow bell pepper
peanuts
guacamole
Snack
Banana

THURSDAY
Breakfast
5 scrambled eggs
Lunch
Spinach salad with chicken and guacamole
2nd Lunch
4 Eggs
2 Bananas
Grapes
Fresh broccoli
Dinner
Banana
Tilapia
Baked sweet potato

FRIDAY

Breakfast
6 eggs
yellow bell pepper
Snack
banana
raw cashews
Lunch
Tilapia
Baked sweet potato
yellow bell pepper
apple
salad with lime
Snack
Salad with lime
Raw cashews
Banana
Dinner
Raw Cashews

SATURDAY
Breakfast
5 Eggs
Banana
Snack
Cashews
Lunch
Spinach salad with chicken & guacamole
Cantaloupe
Peanuts
Snack
Cashews
Banana
Dinner
Spring mix salad with onion, yellow bell pepper, granny smith apple, & lime
Green beans
Turkey
Pomegranate
Turnips
Butternut squash
Baked russet potatoes with garlic and rosemary
Baked apple with walnuts, almonds, and grapes

SUNDAY
Breakfast
2 eggs
Cantaloupe
Lunch
Spinach salad with chicken, yellow bell pepper, and lime
Snack
Cashews
Dinner
4 eggs
Swai fillet
1/2 green and 1/2 yellow squash
Pomegranate

Only 21 days left!!


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Preemptive Strike!

I just realized that I will be in NY tomorrow and Friday.  Then I'll drive back to CT late Friday to be at work all day Saturday.  And the roommie just reminded me that we have a Thanksgiving Dinner Saturday night after work.  

Ugh, busy schedules!


So as a preemptive strike on my absenteeism this coming weekend, I thought I'd stay up late and write a blog post now.  How's that sound?  Good?  I hope so.  'Cause if you're unhappy, I don't want to hear about it.


First off, I want to explain a bit more about my 30 Day Paleo Experiment.  If you read online about the Paleo "Caveman" diet, you'll find that the basic premise is that you can't eat anything a caveman didn't have access to.  However, if you go through a typical Paleo recipe, you'll find them using things like olive oil, clarified butter (Ghee), honey, and salted/dried meats for a short list of examples.  It may just be me, but I see a disconnect here.  As far as I understood my history - and food processing - none of those existed back in the paleolithic day.  So while I appreciate everyone's advice on some great substitutes for common cooking items and foods, I'll be sticking to a more strict version.

Secondly, I have to admit that I've already cheated.  Call the diet police!!  Call me names!!  In my defense, however, I didn't realize it.  I went to grab cashews the other day at the store when I found that they had some sort of oil in the ingredients.  "Ok, can't eat those!"  Then I put two and two together, got four (yet again), and realized that the peanuts I used for an eggplant recipe yesterday had peanut oil in it.  So given the explanation above, that's a No-No!  I have since purchased unshelled, unsalted peanuts.  Let me tell you, they are a PAIN to shell. 

Third, I've discovered that homemade lemonade is great!  Squeeze half a lemon and half a lime into a half gallon jug, fill it with water, and you've got a bitter form of lemon/limeade.  I also noticed that this drink goes well with a granny smith apple, so I might try to soak a granny smith in homemade limeade next week for a new version.

Fourth, one stat I'm keeping track of throughout this experiment is my weight.  The experiment is to gain a new perspective on food and hopefully add a few new tricks into my normal diet.  It is not in order to lose weight or slim down in any way.  Since I started finishing off the last remains of my processed foods a week or so ago though, I've noticed more definition in my muscles.  I'm also down 2.5 lbs since Monday.  So while I find ways to increase my calorie intake (more meals more often), I'm keeping track of my weight to make sure I don't drop too much overall. 

Fifth, my biggest battle thus far is meal timing and energy.  When I eat regularly, I feel great.  I never feel full and unable to run around, my mind is attentive, and ready to go.  When I put off eating (aka, when it gets busy at work or when I wake up in the morning), my energy level is in the pits.  I still have to figure out how to combat the morning energy level. 

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Questions
1.  What are you up to this weekend?  Anything fun?
I still have to decide if I'm allowing myself to break the experiment for dinner at our Thanksgiving Dinner or not.  I really don't want to, but I know it's going to be incredibly difficult to stick to it unless I bring most of my own food.  We'll see.

2.  Do you exercise to eat or do you eat in order to minimize exercise?
I'm the former.  I've always exercised in order to be able to eat whatever the F I want.  I'm sure I'll still eat quite a bit of non-Paleo food when this is all done with, but I hope I pick up some new tricks.


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paleo Day #1: "Seemed Like A Great Idea at the Time"

Aside from being a great title for an autobiography, that is exactly what I was thinking yesterday afternoon while my stomach grumbled, my head swirled, and my body ran close to E in the tank.

Things I've learned
  • I am going to be eating a LOT more bananas
  • Trips to the grocery store may very well become daily
  • I need to eat much more often

Yesterday at work was quite busy, so my dinner was cut in half and pushed back about 2.5 hours.  So by the time I finally got to eat, my body was so hungry that I was craving processed food; something with dense calories.  I ate a salad, munch on some chicken and beef, and stuck it out.  I mean, come on!  It was Day #1.  I can't bail out this early (I have to at least wait 'till day #2).  I also got cut short on lunch with time, so I ate a bunch of fruit which did not fill me up for as long as I'm used to.  Might have been the trainer ride I did before work, but oh-well.

Here's Day #1 in food..

Breakfast
  • Clementine
  • Banana
  • 3 eggs scrambled with spinach and green pepper

Lunch
  • banana
  • clementine
  • 1/4 cantaloupe

Dinner
  • Spinach salad with 1/2 granny smith apple & lime
  • 1/4 cantaloupe
  • Beef strips
  • Chicken medallions
  • Banana

It is going to take some ingenuity as well as mental toughness to get through the next 29 days!  I've never felt more accurate in saying the following..

"Here goes nothing!"

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Questions
1.  Did you ever start something and then immediately after starting thought "why the heck am I doing this?!"
I'm not as prepared as some for a new diet with recipes, and a back up, but I'll hold out as long as I can.

2.  Do you have any go-to snacks that I might be able to steal the idea from?


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Paleo, Here We Go!

I have been talking a lot about wanting to try different diets - paleo, vegan, raw vegan...  But I'll be the first to admit that it's been All Talk!  So after a few days without power, I realized that it was the perfect time to finally walk the walk.  I had to get rid of 90% of what I had in the fridge, so why not use that as an excuse to only fill it with diet-specific foods.  Am I right?

So here we go..  I'm going Paleo!


For one month, I will be going Paleo.  I admit upfront that I have not read a lot into the specifics of what can and cannot be consumed under the Paleo diet because from what I've read, much of it disagrees with itself.  So I'm going with the basic premise and making it my own.

What am I allowed to eat?
For one month, I will eat only what cavemen had access to - vegetables, fresh meat, fruit, nuts, beans.  I will not eat anything from a box, can, or container of any kind and nothing will have been processed in any way.  However, I am allowed to cook any way I like.  I am also allowed to process the raw ingredients any way I like (I already have ideas for making tomato sauce for eggplant parm).

There are a few exceptions that I am allowing throughout the month including my daily vitamin, which admittedly only ever gets taken every 2 or 3 days (I'm bad at remembering to take it), and any items needed for illness (Airborne, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.). On top of that, I will most likely skip the diet for two Thanksgiving dinners and my work Christmas party.

What is going to be difficult?
Shall I list them all?!  No dairy, no OJ (I might just squeeze my own), no tea, no hot cocoa, no "quick meals" (I've become accustomed to the speed of boxed foods), only drinking water, cooking all the time, keeping all my veggies/fruits fresh, convincing friends that I'm not insane, and figuring out what to use as alternatives to come common non-Paleo food.

My Predictions
I predict I'll learn to live on a majority of fish and salads.  I bet I'll pick up some cool alternative ingredients for common meals and I might even learn to cook something new (I'm already working on multiple butternut squash ideas).  My guess is that I'll get sick of my normal veggies within a week.  Hopefully that will help me branch out and find at least a couple more that I didn't know I liked.  Also, I have no doubt that my food bill (already hovering around $45/week) is going to increase. 

I will do my best to keep a log of things I've learned including new ways to cook foods, new foods I really like, or new food combinations that turn out really well.

My call for help!
If you have any Paleo recipes or ideas that you've tried, know of, or heard of, I'm all ears!  Also if you know of a good Paleo substitute for cooking oils or bread crumbs, let me know.  My best guess for now on the bread crumbs would be crushed nuts, but that seems like a daunting culinary task.

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Questions
1.  Have you ever tried the Paleo diet?
If so, what were your thoughts and do you have any suggestions?  If not, is there any reason you haven't?

2.  What's your personal opinion on experimenting with your diet?
I personally love experimenting, so aside from the annoying work of relearning what to cook/eat, I'm looking forward to a fresh new perspective on food.


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Got Married! Surprise!

I've debated how best to start this post and to be honest, I have no idea.  So I'll just jump in.

I'm Married!


I'll start by saying that I've admittedly been keeping this quiet.  I'm sorry for keeping details from you.  I know it's bad blogger etiquette, but I'm sure you'll forgive me.  I'm not one to announce things until I know it's serious.  But those of you who follow me on twitter might have seen this announcement before today.

So let me tell you a bit about this whole thing from the beginning...

We met awhile ago.  She's a triathlete just like me.  And to put it politely, she's got a killer frame!  *wink*wink*  But on the more serious side, she's someone I will no doubt be racing with for quite some time!  And that's the reason I had to scoop her up.  I went to visit her this past weekend and things just fell into place.  Now, anyone who knows me knows I don't jump into things.  I didn't expect anything to happen, but the moment couldn't have felt more right.  So as of this past Saturday, we got engaged.  Crazy, I know!  It was a rather...  "quick" engagement.  We got married yesterday morning.  Obviously it wasn't anything big, just us and the official.  Then I carried her across the threshold that afternoon.  Since it was such a fast moving thing, I couldn't do anything other than make room for her at my place.  So until we have some better weather and the time to check out some places, she's content on holding it down at my place.  We've already been talking in incredible depth about what we want to do next Spring - some racecations we both want to do, a few more local races and day excursions...  Incredible!!

For those of you who are hitched yourself, I'm sure you'll understand the feeling of excitement I have with all of this.  For anyone else, just hold on and be yourself; when it happens, you'll totally understand!

And an odd little bit that I'm sure that you all will appreciate...  She's already told me that I'm allowed to look at as much porn as I want.  I just have to come home at the end of the night.  I know BDD will appreciate that!  I've been with a jealous type before and it did not work well, so this is perfect!! 

Odd, I know, but to each their own I guess.  Right?

So are you ready to meet her?

From here on out, I'm sure you'll be seeing and hearing a lot more about this special little lady!


Ok, here she is...


FELT S22


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Ride hard.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

100 @ 100 ...somewhat

100 Question @ 100 Followers!


...ok, not quite 100.  How about 10?

I only got 10 questions, so I'll give you the answers to those and maybe bring back the question idea later on.  Here goes nothing...

Question #1 from Richelle
What is your dream race?

This one is simple.  Kona.  The Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii is my ultimate goal right now.  I've got plenty of other races that I'd love to do like the Goofy challenge, Leadville, just about anything overseas, and the Tour de France, but Kona is my biggest dream goal.  As I've told people before, if I qualify for Kona, you'll get to see me running around like a maniac screaming with joy!  (so keep your eyes open for that!)


Question #2 from AJH
Of the three disciplines in a tri what are you best at? 

The swim is my forte!  I was a swimmer LONG before I picked up triathlons.  I was in the pool at six weeks old and swam competitively on three teams from 9 to 18 years old.  It's still not where it should be - I feel like I should be getting out of the water in the top 10 of my age group, but I guess that would require actual swim practices and not simply leaning on my swimming past to pull me through.

Question #3 from AJH
(Of the three disciplines in a tri) what do you like the most?


Given the above, you might expect "the swim," but you're wrong.  It's a toss up between the bike and the run.  I like the bike because it reminds me so much of when I was a kid, riding around town on my bike with my friends.  But the run is a lot of fun because it's where I really get to test myself.  How much is left in the tank?  How hard can I push myself?  And I really do like testing my limits.  Hopefully in the coming seasons I'll learn how to better push myself on the bike as well.  But for now, I might have to admit that I like the run the most.


Question #4 from AJH
If you could win a medal in the Olympics what would you want it to be in?

I think we can all agree the obvious answer would be Triathlon.  However, if we go pre-2004 (before triathlon was an olympic sport), I actually had thought quite a bit about going to the Olympics as a swimmer.  As I mentioned above, I was a serious competitive swimmer in middle/high school.  I was a breastroker and IMer, and in my freshman year I started really cutting down time.  From there on I dreamed of one day going to the Olympics in the 200 Breastroke either in 2004 or 2008.  Obviously I made neither.

Question #5 from Miguel
Best moment in a race?

Technically not a question, but I'll let it slide.  I have a few stellar moments in my races thus far, but my favorite might have to be just after crossing the finish line in my first Oly.  I had been chatting with a guy on the bike and then another guy on the run who I ran with for almost a third the course and after crossing the finish line, seeing all the other competitors in the post-race area, and those creating a finisher's chute, I knew I was hooked on the sport.  Knowing I was surrounded by so many athletic, healthy-living minded, fun-loving, and genuinely caring people, I literally didn't want to leave.  That might be the same reason why I signed up for another Oly for the very next weekend!  And if you don't count that because it was technically POST-race, then it would be coming out of T2 at Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island.  The first mile or so of the run is always exhilarating!  Plus it was my first 70.3.

Question #6 from Miguel
Worst moment at a race?

I've had a few.  The flat tire at Ironman 70.3 Worlds and finishing the bike solo was tough.  Stopping to walk on the run of both 70.3s this summer was a setback.  But my recent marathon will take the cake on this one.  My worst moment at a race was when I stopped to walk the first time in my marathon.  It was roughly 20.5 miles in.  I was playing games with my mind to try and tough out the last six miles, but my body just say "No way, I'm walking" and I knew I was toast.  I had gone out way too fast, already had knee problems, and had battled GI issues all morning.  I was still happy with my time overall, but having to walk was the culmination of my less than stellar training, the fact that I ignored my fast pace early on, and that I let my body dictate the run instead of my mental plan.


Question #7 from Just a Runner
What is your athletic goal(s) for 2011?

I guess I get to answer this one in hindsight.  First off, my goals were posted under the "Goals" tab at the top of the page.  While I accomplish them all, I did make a few - run my first marathon, compete in two 70.3 races, and run my 2nd half marathon (technically I'm allowing the 70.3 to count for that).  This year was focused more on firsts, so I wasn't shooting too hard for goal times either.  Next year that will switch gears a bit.

In 2012, I still want to run a separate half and full mary as well as another 70.3 (Quassy to be specific).  My only "first" race for next year will be the full iron distance tri.  So I'll be shooting for times on anything shorter than that.  After that, my main goal is simply to continue cutting time.  I want the opportunity to turn pro, but it depends on me.

Question #8 from Enthusiastic Runner
What is your day time job?

I am the Assistant Manager of a local gym in Connecticut.  In general, I help manage sales, general upkeep of the facility, do my best to keep the members happy, and most importantly help people reach their own fitness goals.  The last one isn't exactly written in the employee agreement, but it's generally understood.  I actually have members who come to me to ask for workouts or suggestions on how to reach their goals and I love it!

Question #9 from Gina
Funniest childhood moment?

Wow!  This one is tough.  I'm sure I'll step away from this post and then think something else was even funnier, but here's my best shot.  My grandmother used to take my sister and I on weekend trips to a local bird sanctuary.  They had a bunch of trails through the woods and we'd have a blast looking at the birds or playing games in the trees.  One day, my sister and I were running around in the woods when I saw a tree that had fallen down.  It had cracked maybe six feet from the base of the tree and was still propped up the base.  I thought it'd be a great idea to climb up on it.  My sister (as per normal at that age) followed me and we proceeded to jump up and down on the tree.  Just as my grandmother starts saying "Ok, I think that's enough.  Let's get down," I start hearing a *crack*.  Then the tree - then propped up on the remaining trunk - falls to the ground with us on it.  As you can guess, my grandmother nearly had a heart attack.  But my sister and I thought it was a lot of fun!  We proceeded immediately to the car and went home. 

Question #10 from Austin
Best thing to do when crossing the finish line?

Anything completely random that no one else has done.  As long as it draws attention to yourself (which is encouraged - YOU ran the race, not the spectators!), it's a GO!  My personal favorite finish line cross was at Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island.  Here's the video...

video


So there we go!

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Questions
1.  What is YOUR dream race?
Will I be meeting any of you guys out at Kona?

2.  Any Olympic dreams out there?

3.  What's YOUR favorite thing to do when crossing the finish line?


Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Celebration at Work

First off, I just want to say "congratulations" again to the NYC Marathon runners!!  I hope you're enjoying a restful and relaxing Monday!

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Now on with the show...

As of last week, one of the white boards in our break room at work looked like this...



"Congrats Kurt!"
"We (heart) you!"
"Go You!"

What is all the excitement about?

I got a promotion.  I am now the assistant manager!  And while this does mean that my vacation time is restricted to outside of Dec. 1st through April 30th (guess the Goofy Challenge is going to have to wait), it also means that taking racecations and my triathlon addiction are much more within my budget!  Yay for feeding my addiction!

And with some luck, I should be able to show you how I celebrated the promotion in the next few days!  For now I'll just say that it has me quite anxious!

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Questions
1.  How do you celebrate accomplishments?
Do you go out with friends?  Do you stay home and relax?  Do you go on vacations?

2.  If you were given a raise, promotion, or simply won a modest sum from the lottery, what would you do with it?
Would you put it away for a rainy day?  Would you feed it straight into your hobbies?  Would you donate it away to those in need?

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NYC Marathon Runners - Congrats!!

Congratulations to everyone who ran the ING NYC Marathon today!!


I wasn't able to pup up a "good luck" this morning before work and didn't catch the broadcast until the rerun in the afternoon.  Even then I was only able to catch bits of it.

No matter what, you did it and that's what counts.  Again, congratulations.  I look forward to reading everyone's race repots!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Power is Back!

This will be quick, but I am finally back to my apartment. 

"Why did you leave?" you may ask...

Well, in short, I lost power this past Saturday evening due to an extremely heavy snow storm.  I've been staying at a friend's place nearby that had power.  While annoying in some aspects, it was a fun surprise change of plans.

Here's a few posts I'll be working on over the next few days. 

Extended Sleepover!  We're Children Again!
Celebration at Work
Finally Kicking My Diet Into Gear

Depending on when I can get the needed pictures, I'll post them ASAP.  But until then, I need to clean, do laundry, and go grocery shopping. Hopefully everyone enjoyed a happy Halloween!

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Questions
1.  What did you go as for Halloween?
I spent all of Saturday attempting to configure a costume out of what I had.  I ended up being lazy and through on a red cape over all black clothes.  This Halloween was a big flop.

2.  What did you do for Halloween?
Did you trick or treat with your kids?  Did you go to holiday parties?  Anyone have a crazy/fun story?

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard.