Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guest Post: THE John Hirsch of Strong Like Bull Training Camp

Last 2 Spots for SLB

Posted on December 21st, 2010 by John

We are down to 2 spots for SLB. Go to www.stronglikebulltraining.com for all the info. Check out www.ironmanbobby.com for a rad video of the 2010 camp.

The dates are: 2.9.11-2.18.11

The price: $1125 for everything but airfare (food, housing, van support on all training rides, transportation within Spain, guides, coaching, bike mechanic)

15 seriously awesome training partners.

Email: info@stronglikebulltraining.com to get one of the last spots!

So ask yourself... Would you rather train here this winter?



Monday, December 20, 2010

The Story of the Cursed Bad Luck Shirt

It's the shirt I kept as a souvenir when I crashed my first race (Ridgefield Tri).

Then, one day, I decided to wear it for a run. I slipped in icy leaves, smashed my face, and got a nice concussion. That's when I started wondering about the Bad Luck Shirt's powers. This event has left the shirt with permanent dirt mark stains from the fall. You can see them if you look closely at the photo.

This morning, I was in the mood to do the long-sleeved-tee-under-the-short-sleeved-tee thing. Its comfy. I'm still sick. The first shirt I grabbed was the shirt of luck that is bad, not good. I thought for a minute and said "nah, I'm being silly, its just a shirt. It can't have powers". So I wore it.

As I was cooking the Soup of the Sick People, that I blogged about yesterday, I cried so hard over an onion that the tears made me drop my cutting board along with all of the chopped onion. I cleaned it up and didn't even make the connection. THEN, I put some soup in a container to bring with me. Double sized because it would be lunch and dinner. That's when it happened. My soup EXPLODED in my bag while I was on the subway and RUINED the following items:

-a check in a stamped envelope to be mailed out today
-my checkbook
-my hands free headset
-the book I am currently enjoying
-my wallet
-and my ipod got covered too, but I might have saved that

I'm out for the rest of the day, with only this shirt to wear. Please pray to your god(s) for me.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Waahhh... I have a cold :O

I haven't been sick with a cold in over a year. I'm always so proud of myself that I make efforts to AVOID getting sick, rather than just treat the sickness when it comes. I've succeeded at that for quite awhile now. But this time I have been defeated. I woke up this morning sneezing, runny nose and with a scratchy throat. I also have the lovely chills and spacey feeling. But whatever, I am gonna punch this cold in the face and kick it where it counts. Here's how:

1) On the first day, with the first signs of a cold, shut life off asap. Go home after work, only do what you have to do, cancel plans with friends (why get them sick too? Unless they're the one who got you sick, then you should make out with them for proper revenge). GO HOME and get your infected butt off the streets. The athletes out there will hate you if you don't go home and get away from them.

2) Take a eucalyptus bath. Make it hot, sweat it out. Suffer. DO NOT take medicine to dry up your sinuses or lower a fever below 100.3. Your body is getting rid of your cold, I don't recommend meddling with that. You can take medicine to get through a night of sleep if you absolutely can't miss work the next day. If you can miss work and shut down, do it! A day of rest now will save you 3 days missing work if this turns into an infection in your lungs. IF you HAVE to go to work, take medicine to get you through. When you are able to shut down, SUFFER. It heals you. Cough, sneeze, snot, fever... They are on your side to get you better.

3) Make soup with the following ingredients:

-chicken or veggie stock or broth
-onions (boiled in the soup, not sauteed)
-as much garlic as you can stand
-leafy greens
-protein optional (try beans, chicken, tempeh, etc)
-grain if you're hungry, though a proper cold will decrease your appetite so that your body isn't focused on digestion while its trying to heal at alarming rates.

4) Sleep is free medicine. Seriously? How many times do I have to tell you that? Stressed? Take a nap. Headache? Take a nap. Sick? Take a nap. Cranky? Go to bed. TIRED? Don't socialize, sleep.

5) Say, I can't do that. My life is too hectic. Then go to step 1 and start over, doing it right this time. All the while, repeating over and over to yourself "she was totally right".

(Photo: We decorated our tree last night with construction paper ornaments!)

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cross is...

I did my first cyclocross race! I can't believe I forgot to blog about this! AAAAHHHH!!!

When I first got into tri, I hadn't spent any time on a road bike. I had a lot to learn. But I started to put the hours in and the miles underneath me by bringing my bike everywhere I went. One day, I was driving with my dad in Amesbury, MA and I saw the craziest thing! "What the heck ARE THEY DOING???" So we stopped to watch and my dad and I both thought it was totally rad that they were riding all over the grass then picking up their bikes and jumping over things. My dad said "when ya gonna staht doin' that?" (He has a wicked Boston accent). I said "I bet I could do that".

Then, Jamie Bull did one and posted photos on his blog. I was all over him with questions. (Btw, congrats on your engagement, Sam and Jamie! I knew that one was coming). Jamie told me I would totally love cyclocross. And I was all, "yeah, someday... <Sigh>".

And now, John got us a cross bike and we can share it because I'm a tall drink of water. He likes cross for winter training so we registered for a race in RI - Verge Series #10. I showed up with my badass attitude on the morning of the race, John had me practice mounting and dismounting, and I rode a lap of the course. It was just like riding around my neighborhood and in the woods behind my parents house. I was totally amped. It was FREEZING out and John raced first, while I froze one hand off to get photos. He started almost last and still finished in the top 25%. He's so dreamy.

Now for my race! I had a bitch of a time clipping in on the pedals we were using but I didn't care. I was just out there to try it out and have some fun and be able to say I raced cross (\m/).

- I only fell once
- I got to run in the sand carrying a bike (and that was when I passed people)
- I got lots of practice with sharp cornering (which I'm really bad at)
- I looked like I knew what I was doing when I jumped over the thingies
- I got to ride with all the lead, superfast women (when they were on their fifth lap and I was on my fourth)
- I didn't finish last

Overall, a kick ass event! I can't wait to do another one. I hear there's a long one called Ironcross. I already want to do that. The most important thing to take away from this experience... I'm glad I approach triathlon and cycling with fun first and results fourth in importance (second is tri-food and third is tri-make-up). I frigging love this stuff.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Life Reckoning and Lentil Burgers

(Red Lentil Burger -recipe below- Photo by @mollybermea)

In order to kick off tri training on the right foot, I've decided to go "iron-monk" as John calls it. This isn't quite iron-monk though. It's more an early base season thingy. It's a reckoning. I started last Sunday by organizing my tri gear and whatnot so that I can get ready for a ride in less than 1 full hour (that's pretty much how long it took last weekend). I'm not really talking about a cleanse here. This is more of an emotional organizing and centering exercise. It's about routine.

For the next 20 days (until Christmas Eve)


- mostly vegan diet, with fish or eggs added, as needed
- one "treat" per day
- mostly tea, occasional coffee


- yoga each morning (of my choice OR the Tibetan Rites)
- light tri training (1-2 bikes per week, 2 or more runs per week)
- weight pile (2x per week)
- core (3x per week)
*This sounds like a lot but most are very short workouts and the routine is the point I want to focus on

Mental cleansing/self-care:

- read 1 book per week (which I love to do, so this is about making the time)
- 1 evening date per week with MYSELF
- cut down on some distractions (blackberry) when I could be quietly reflecting (like when I'm on a bus ride across town)

Its pretty simple and its how I like to live. John is spending December focused on training so he's pleased that my "reckoning" will roll over onto him. And here is a lentil burger recipe I plan to use this weekend:

Red Lentil Burgers

2 cups red lentils, washed and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups water
1/4 tbsp dried basil
1/4 tbsp cumin
1/8 tbsp turmeric
1/8 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp umeboshi vinegar (or rice vinegar)

1. In a pot, sauté the onion, garlic and cilantro. Add lentils and water and bring to a boil. Add basil, cumin, turmeric, thyme, tamari soy sauce and umeboshi vinegar. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Uncover, stir and cover again for 10 mins. Stir and simmer vigorously uncovered for 3 more minutes. It will look mushy because red lentils lose their shape when cooking.
3. Place lentils in a bowl in the fridge to cool.
4. When cool form burgers. Broil, or pan fry to serve.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Healthy(ish) Latkes

(This is John's godson. He will slay you with his cuteness)

I made latkes! And now you can make the same ones I made. It will be like we have a special connection. Because I made the latkes, now you're gonna make 'em, and I'm gonna eat them, and so are you. And maybe, just maybe, we'll be eating them at the same time. It will be like, even though we're far apart, and maybe we've never even met, we're sharing "healthy" greasy food with each other. I love you.

Zucchini and Carrot Fritters with Yogurt-Mint Dip

1 cup flour, more as needed (I use gluten free)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup milk (I use oat milk), more as needed
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large carrots, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
*I think it would be killer to cut up some spinach super fine and sneak it in here as well
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil or coconut oil for frying.

1. To make the batter for the fritters: in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, lemon zest and pepper.

2. Pour dry ingredients into wet; whisk until just blended. Stir in the carrots, zucchini and scallions. Allow to rest for 30 mins.

3. To make the yogurt dip: using a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife, mash together the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, yogurt, mint and 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Fill a wide saucepan with 1 inch of olive or coconut oil; heat until a small drip of batter browns immediately. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels. Working in batches, drop battered vegetables by the tablespoon into the oil, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden all over, about 3-4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer fritters to the cookie sheet to drain. Transfer fritters to a platter or plate; sprinkle with salt and serve with yogurt dip.
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Sweet Potato Quesadilla (for the fans)

(I stole this photo from @Zentriathlon)

For those of you who went ape-poop over the photo Brett posted about his quesadilla, here is the recipe I originally shared with him. I happen to know he eats it with sweet potato, and sometimes substitutes other main ingredients. I think his tweet was a version with bison meat (which you would just saute to add).

Sweet Potato Quesadilla

2 large sweet potatoes
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans
a jar of your fave salsa
1 pkg corn tortillas

1. Cook the sweet potatoes either in the oven if you have time, or in the microwave. Meanwhile, heat a can of refried beans and a can of black beans in a pan over low heat.

2. When the sweet potatoes are done, do your best not to burn yourself, and scrape the mush out of the skins and into a bowl. Mix with 1/2 cup or more of your favorite fancyish salsa (something with spices, onion, corn and jalapenos can be what makes this dish taste like it was a lot more work than it was).

3. Prepare 2 tortillas by adding a layer of refried beans, a layer of black beans, and a layer of sweet potato deliciousness on 1 of the tortillas, cover with the other. Transfer to an oiled pan and cook for about 4 mins on each side at medium heat. Eat with salsa and guacamole and lettuce. Variations: add a layer of chicken or beef, spinach and cheese.
Garnish with a lime.