Friday, February 27, 2009

Recovery Friday

Tri Diesel posted the other day about hitting a wall in his training. We all hit this wall. It's inevitable. As with anything else, can we find away through it or around it. I posted some thoughts for him to think about. One I forgot to include was some sage advice about what to do on recovery day.

If Possible:

  • Sit instead of standing
  • Lie down instead of sitting

Sounds simple enough. Game On.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Lasagna Stoup

So we have a subscription for the magazine "Everyday with Rachel Ray". I'll admit that it is one of the better cooking magazines we have subscribed to. We have tried many of the recipes and several have become favorites. We made the Lasagna Stoup today and it's a keeper. I replaced the ground beef with hot Italian sausage. Carrots got chopped with the onions and garlic. Oh it....the more I use the better. Also skipped the ricotta cheese, just not needed.

In the magazine it says this recipe makes 4 servings. Who you kidding!?!?!?! One pound of pasta? 6+ cups of fluid. One pound meat? Those are 4 BIIIIGGGGGG servings. This is at least 6 in my book of sensible eating.

So for the two of us we have some great leftovers. Cook On.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1 pound ground beef sirloin

Salt and pepper

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and grated

3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth

One 28-ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes

1 pound lasagna noodles, broken into jagged pieces

1 cup basil leaves, torn

1 cup whole-milk ricotta

Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, to pass around the table

1. In a soup pot, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrots and garlic and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water, the chicken broth and tomatoes; cover and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Serve the stoup in bowls and dollop with the ricotta. Pass the parmigiano-reggiano at the table.

Monday, February 23, 2009

True Sportsmanship

I was running on the treadmill this morning watching the local news on one TV and ESPN Sportscenter on another. A story came up on ESPN that almost stopped me in my tracks. With a lump in my throat I continued to run as the story continued on the screen.

Team's gesture supports grieving opponent

Updated: February 18, 2009, 2:49 PM ET

Two missed free throws, ordinarily the cause of a coach's headache, became the symbol of sportsmanship in a Milwaukee boys' basketball game earlier this month.

Milwaukee Madison senior Johntell Franklin, who lost his mother, Carlitha, to cancer on Saturday, Feb. 7, decided he wanted to play in that night's game against DeKalb (Ill.) High School after previously indicating he would sit out.

He arrived at the gym in the second quarter, but Franklin's name was not in the scorebook because his coach, Aaron Womack Jr., didn't expect him to be there.

Rules dictated Womack would have to be assessed a technical, but he was prepared to put Franklin in the game anyway. DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman and his players knew of the situation, and told the referees they did not want the call.

The referees had no choice. But Rohlman did.

"I gathered my kids and said, 'Who wants to take these free throws?'" Rohlman said, recounting the game to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Darius McNeal put up his hand. I said, 'You realize you're going to miss, right?' He nodded his head."

McNeal, a senior point guard, went to the line. The Milwaukee Madison players stayed by their bench, waiting for the free throws. Instead of seeing the ball go through the net, they saw the ball on the court, rolling over the end line.

"I turned around and saw the ref pick up the ball and hand it back to the player," Womack said in the Journal Sentinel. "And then [McNeal] did the same thing again."

Said Rohlman: "Darius set up for a regular free throw, but he only shot it two or three feet in front of him. It bounced once or twice and just rolled past the basket."

"I did it for the guy who lost his mom," McNeal told the newspaper. "It was the right thing to do."

Womack, overwhelmed by DeKalb's gesture, wrote a letter to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, which had first reported the story.

"As a principal, school, school district staff, and community you should all feel immense pride for the remarkable job that the coaching staff is doing in not only coaching these young men, but teaching them how to be leaders," Womack wrote.

DeKalb had traveled more than two hours for the game, and waited another two as Womack rushed from the hospital, where he had been with Franklin, to the school to gather his team.

"We were sympathetic to the circumstances and the events," Rohlman said in the Journal Sentinel. "We even told Coach Womack that it'd be OK to call off the game, but he said we had driven 2½ hours to get here and the kids wanted to play. So we said, 'Spend some time with your team and come out when you're ready.'"

The two schools had met twice previously, and this one ended with a Madison victory, but as in the other games, they also shared a pizza dinner, "four kids to a pizza, two Madison kids and two DeKalb kids," Womack told the Journal Sentinel.

"That letter became a big deal in DeKalb," Rohlman said in the paper. "We got lots of positive calls and e-mails because of it. Even though we lost the game, it was a true life lesson, and it's not one our kids are going to forget anytime soon."

Womack, in his letter to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, added this at the end: "I'd like to recognize Darius who stepped up to miss the shot on purpose. He could have been selfish and cared only for his own stats [I hope Coach Rohlman doesn't make him run for missing the free throws]."

As a principal, school, school district staff, and community you should all feel immense pride for the remarkable job that the coaching staff is doing in not only coaching these young men, but teaching them how to be leaders.

--Milwaukee Madison boys basketball coach Aaron Womack Jr.

These players are well on their way to becoming outstanding adults.

GAME ON Gentlemen.....GAME ON

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Training Gear

This could very well be my most favorite new piece of training gear for 2009. Don't confuse the black and yellow with the colors of a certain football team in Pennsylvania. Those of you that know me understand that I can give a rats ass about football. I've had the LiveStrong bracelet on for the past 3.5 years. I'm happy to add the black band for this years season. The black and yellow reminds me of Lance's kit colors.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Pizza of course.....

Yes it's been a veeeeerrrrrryyyyyy long time since we have had a WCW. And tonight is a great way to hopefully get back in the swing of things. When stuck trying to decide whats for dinner at the last minute what else comes to the rescue but pizza.

Now if you remember my previous recipes regarding pizza you know I'm a fan of doing pizza on the grill. Wait....I'm sorry.....did you think I was talking about ordering a slab of dough with red sauce, greasy pepperoni and cheese? Not tonight. Those pizzas have their place when the time is right......friends are need more than find a really good race (that's the best).

NO. This time I am in the kitchen using the oven. Check out what I did tonight. I just had to write about it.

I did my treadmill workout at the Y and was trying to decide what type of pizza to make during my run. I was living on the edge this time. I didn't have a recipe to follow so I was going to blend stuff I felt would go good together.

I stopped by the grocery store (Heinens for the locals) and grabbed my ingredients.

1 package of pre-made pizza dough
1 small jar of artichoke hearts
1 small jar of sun dried tomatoes - julienne cut
1 package of goat cheese
1 package of feta cheese
1 package of prosciutto

At home I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees with the pizza stone in the oven.

While the oven was heating I chopped up the artichoke hearts. I also mixed the two cheeses together in a small bowl. The strips of prosciutto was sliced in half crosswise so that they were the size of large pepperoni.

I then worked the pizza dough into a circle that would fit on the baking stone.

Once the oven reached 400 degrees I placed the dough on the stone and slid it back into the oven for 10 minutes. I HAVE NOT PUT ANY INGREDIENTS ON YET. Let the dough bake by itself for the 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes I then brushed some of the marinade from the artichoke jar onto the crust for flavor. Now the artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and cheese mixture are spread evenly over the crust. The prosciutto is placed on top of everything.

Back into the oven for at least 10 more minutes.

Oh man was this good. A nice glass of cabernet sauvigon helped accompany this pizza.

I love it when a spur of the moment dinner idea comes together.

That's how I.......IronChef....Game On.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Never Forget

I received an comment on one of my posts from a year ago. The comment made sense once I re-read my post. It was one of two posts about Hallie Nanda. It had been one year since she left us after battling cancer. I re-read the posts and the comments. I sat for a while remembering how Halle pushed me all summer during my training for Ironman Wisconsin. Silently giving me support from above during the harder parts of my of bike rides and runs.

I know she will be watching me push hard this year also and giving me strength to do my best.

I was forwarded the e-mail below from her husband....In case you are interested......Game On

FYI-- kid's book author Brian P. Cleary has dedicated his most recent book in memory of Hallie. He is the author of the best-selling Words Are CATegorical series and the Math is CATegorical, Adventures in Memory, and Sounds like Reading series. He has also written several other books. Mr. Cleary lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Last year, I spent portion of Hallie's memorial fund to purchase Brian Cleary books for Avon East. During Mr. Cleary's visit to Sanjay's school, every kid went home with a book which was signed by Mr. Cleary and purchased from the fund. Since Hallie spent most of her free time volunteering at the schools, I thought it was a fitting way to spend the money that so many of you donated in her memory.

It was very generous of Mr. Cleary to dedicate this book to her and I think it is his way of showing his appreciation for Hallie's commitment to the schools and the book contribution. I just wanted to let you know about the book in case you wanted to check it out.

If you are interested, here are the details:

Title: Straight and Curvy, Meek and Nervy

More about Antonyms

By Brian P. Cleary

Illustrated by Brian Gable

US$ 15.95

ISBN-13: 978-0-8225-7878-9

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finding Time To Be at Peace

This past weekend was a hectic one. Places to go, people to see. Valentines day was the worst of all with the running around we had to do. But no matter what we always find time to workout....and enjoy it. Saturday morning was no exception. We met our friend Dale in the Cleveland Metroparks for a morning run. The snow was coming down lightly and had covered the trails and path with a white blankie.

Dale and Aimee ran together on the path while I ran on the bridal trails. I became absorbed in my run and it almost reached a meditative state. I had also taken my camera along to capture the morning. I put together this video of pictures to share with my friends. Despite what alot of people say about hating the snow and cold of winter, I have really embraced the weather and enjoy the scenery. Make sure you are looking around during your runs outside. I hope you have beautiful parks to use like we do in Cleveland.

Monday, February 09, 2009

What do you think about while swimming?

Usually I'm too busy counting laps or watching my splits to think about much during my swims. However, today my thoughts reflected back upon my Ironman Wisconsin race last year. Specifically the start of the swim.

During a race pace interval of 400 yards I thought about how winded I was becoming and the need for more air was quite urgent. My arms were pulling hard through the water and needed more oxygen. At this point I start to breath three times on a side before switching to the opposite side.

For some reason the feeling or desire for more oxygen made me think about the dangers of swimming, and more directly how terrible it would be to drown. That single thought took me back to the start of my Ironman swim in Lake Monona.

The first two minutes of the swim was the most frightening moments I have ever had. I can't recall any other moment in my life when I thought I would, or could, die. Something happened to me during the beginning moments of the swim that completely freaked me out. I had a hard time controlling my feelings of anxiety and fear. I honestly thought there was a possibility that I would drown.

Despite many swim starts during races, open water swims, countless yards in the pool I felt completely unprepared. Somehow I managed to pull myself together and start swimming again.
When faced with danger people often have a fight or flight reaction. Does one fight back or flee from the danger?

I managed to do both. I had to fight my way across the path of other swimmers and I fled towards the open water away from the maelstrom of the 2000+ athletes. Once I reached the relative safety of the outer edge of the swim course I managed to settle into my race pace and the rest of the swim was uneventful. But those opening minutes that morning felt like the end of my world.

I find it curious how these types of memories pop up in my head often triggered by random thoughts. Maybe my mind was ready to deal with the memory and provide some revelation about myself. I'm glad though. The events and memories of an Ironman triathlon are hard to remember exactly due to the long day involved. But each one helps define the day and the person.

I finished the 400 yards at race pace. I felt like I was about to puke as I was sucking in air standing at the wall. But I will tell you felt good.

Game On.