Eighteen and counting!

logo-gg Yup, only 18 days until the opening ceremonies of The Gay Games in Cleveland and 19 until the sprint triathlon. I am so freaking excited! Sure, I’ve been racing all season with a mix of swimming events, one sprint triathlon, and a few road races, but the GG9 sprint triathlon is the one I have been waiting for since I registered last year. The Gay Games are going to be an historic event for Cleveland, and I can’t wait to be a part of them!

Last week set me back a little since I suffered from an asthma attack, but my lungs are finally beginning to feel like they are back to normal, which means it’s time for me to hit the training hard these next couple of weeks. I know it’s not proper training to be doing so much strength training during the season, but since I’m still working on getting stronger and building up muscle from my downtime last year, I’m breaking the rules a bit. I don’t expect to place in my age group at GG9. I’m sure the competition will be stiff as I am certain the pros/elites will be out in force. At least, that’s what I’m hoping because I really just want this event to be fabulously successful; however, I’m not settling for just finishing either. I “just finished” races years ago. Now it’s about setting PRs and doing my very best.

Speaking of doing my very best, I ran another 5K last weekend – Believe in Yourself 5K in Avon sponsored by the Lakeshore Day Camp – and I managed to shave off 15 seconds from the LULA 5K time putting me at 24:23. That’s still two minutes slower than my AG win at the Greyt Race back in 2012, but considering I managed to trim so much in such a short period of time, I’m feeling pretty damn proud of myself, especially since my lungs aren’t feeling 100% as of yet. I also managed to snag my second AG win. Not too shabby.

But as I’ve said before, this summer is not going to be all about the training. Last year was the “Summer of Glory” due to its length, but this year is the “Summer of Fun.” I’m pushing myself to try new things and get outside as much as possible. New in my training world are track sessions. I will complete my first one later this week, and I’m excited to work these sessions in on a regular basis since I know they will not only help improve my endurance, but they will also help me dial up the speed factor of my racing, especially the kick. I’m also trying SUP (standup paddleboard) later this week. I am so excited about this! I’ve signed up for one of 41° North’s “Sunset Tours” where we start by paddling down the Rocky River and make our way out onto Lake Erie for the sunset. Doesn’t that sound perfect?

This weekend I’ll be heading to Columbus to visit my friend and fellow shark lover Moffat (her name is Beth, but I am too used to calling her by her last name to make the switch). My Columbus experience is severely limited, so I am psyched to get a tour of Ohio’s capital city from one of my favorite people. I’m not sure what’s in store for me, but I’ll make sure to report back next week. Huzzah for summer adventures!

Food Love

I’ve made more food items from my beloved Racing Weight Cookbook and a couple of new smoothies in the Vitamix. Now that it’s summer and I’m home from traveling, there are some slightly more advanced recipes in the cookbook that I am eager to make and taste. I use the term “advanced” loosely because everything in the book is pretty darn easy to make. IMG_8341 IMG_8175 IMG_8337I tried the “Apple, Blueberry & Chicken Salad” on page 211 and it was the perfect summer salad. The most challenging aspect of the dish was making the glazed pecans, and it wasn’t that hard at all. I also made the rice with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese on page 121. It was crazy easy and great for a quick and filling lunch (along with some roasted Brussels sprouts). I also made the “Spiced Sweet-Potato & Almond Smoothie” on page 194, and even though it’s a cold drink, it is like fall in a glass. Think blended version of a sweet potato pie. Dee-lish. Additionally, I created a couple of fun non-recipe book smoothies. The first I’m calling “Berry Spinach Cream.” The ingredients are almond milk, coconut water, spinach, vanilla protein powder, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Use some ice if you’re not using frozen berries, or else you’ll have to chill the smoothie. It’s not a pretty color, but it’s quite tasty and makes a great recovery shake. Another yummy and good-for-you recovery shake is my “Tropsicle.” The ingredients for this summery creamsicle-like treat are almond milk, pineapple juice, vanilla protein powder, half a banana, frozen mango, frozen peaches, and fresh orange slices. Again, throw in some ice cubes if you’re not using chilled almond milk and/or frozen fruit. Sorry, but I don’t have any pictures of the above two smoothies because I consumed them immediately after making them. Whoops! I’ll make sure to take pics next time. Happy cooking!

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