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LIFE WITH A TRIATHLETE: QUOTES OF THE MONTH – MARCH

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We have found over the years that living with a triathlete provides many unforgettable and often unbelievable statements that give pause.  Some of what comes out of their mouths just has to be shared.  But, we’ve also found it’s not just the triathlete that utters these comments; we’re often just as guilty as is the rest of the family. So, we decided in the spirit of being good trisupporters, we would share some of them.  We have now been doing the quotes since November and will continue as long as they keep coming.  We have faith in our triathletes that you’ll see these for many more months ahead.  Plus, we’re sure you have your fair share, too.  So, get ready to spill.

  1. Trihubby at bike shop:  Can I get the tires in red?  They go better with my bike.  The poor salesperson he asked didn’t know if he was serious or not.  Since when did he get so concerned about matching colors?  And seriously….. if it looks faster does it really go faster?
  2. Child asks:  Where’s dad?  Me:  Check ecrumb.  Should I be concerned that ecrumb has now become part of our way to communicate with each other?
  3. Trihubby telling me about a conversation with a race sponsor:  Shops have a lot of bike inventory as the weather this winter was so bad and not many people bought new bikes.  It might be a good time to check it out.  Me:  Do you need a new bike?  Him:  Left the room.  Me:  Got my answer…..Oh, I keep forgetting that want and need are the same thing in this sport….
  4. Trihubby: Can I wear white?  Me: It’s too early yet. You know the rule – not until after Memorial Day.  Do I tell him honestly – UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL IT EVER BE OKAY FOR YOU TO WEAR WHITE!!  Has he never been behind someone in a race wearing white????
  5. Child getting ready for a big party she is co-hosting:  Mom, can you PLEASE tell dad to wear REAL clothes to our party.  I don’t want him to wear anything with a race on it.  I have a lot of friends coming and they just won’t understand.  You know…..
  6. Trihubby: I got a new kit and it’s super cool.  Me: Wait, I’ve heard that 43 times. How many trikits can you possibly need?  I don’t think I’m really exaggerating about the 43 kits….Have YOU counted lately?dzomahastk2photo 1
  7. Trihubby:  Did you read the new Triathlete Magazine?  There are recipes in here you could make for me that I bet would make me go faster.  Just saying.  Theme going on here about trying to make himself go faster.
  8. Trihubby goes into the food tent after Ironman 70.3 Oceanside and Andy Potts comes up to him, shakes his hand, and says:   Hi.  I’m Andy Potts.  He says: I know who YOU are.  I should be introducing myself to YOU.  I could see the smile on his face across the miles and over the phone – I wasn’t able to be at the race.
  9. Triwife:  I think my trihubby should ecrumb at the market.  He’s slways getting lost & then brings back “stuff I read about” in a tri magazine.
  10. Trihubby sitting looking through calorie counts for swordfish:  I need to weigh more things so it becomes intuitive to me.  He is officially obsessed with weighing food.
  11. Same trihubby weighed a pork chop he had for dinner:  Wow, it’s over half of pound.  That’s a lot of meat.  But, it has a bone in it, so probably not as bad.  After eating the meat, he weighed the bone:  That’s all it weighs?  I thought bones were heavier.  Did I include the plate?  I guess the intuition hasn’t kicked in yet.

 - THE TRIWIVEStwclwatPicMonkey Collage

IRONMAN 70.3 ST. CROIX – FOOD & FUN, PART 2

The Waves at Cane Bay restaurant.

If you are coming to Ironman 70.3 St. Croix, we hope you have checked out our Food & Fun, Part 1 guide that gives you a whole list of great things to do on the island.  Now, we’re back with equally great places to eat; from restaurants we’ve eaten at to places recommended by people who live and work on the island.  Again, as the race is in Christiansted, that will be our focus.  We hope you like seafood as you are on an island and  it should be pretty fresh…..We would also recommend making reservations for dinner as many places are small and get quite busy.

PLACES TO EAT

CHRISTIANSTED

Dinner

  • Savant - Jodi and I have eaten here several times and have never been disappointed.  We sat outside in the courtyard, but they also have an air-conditioned dining room if you so choose.  The menu is a mix of Thai, Mexican, and Caribbean cuisines with fresh fish and local produce.  They do offer plenty of meat dishes if you’re so inclined.  Fresh, flavorful, and creative is what Savant is known for.  The restaurant is located on Hospital Street in Christiansted close to the Fort.

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    Jodi and Guy enjoying dinner in the courtyard at Savant.

  • The Waves at Cane Bay –  This restaurant is located The Waves at Cane Bay Resort.  It is a small, romantic, outdoor restaurant that sits right on the water.  If hearing crashing waves while you dine is your ideal, this is the place for you.  Great menu, especially if you like fresh lobster.  Told it’s a hidden treasure.
  • Salud Bistro – Looks can be deceiving at this Mediterranean bistro, perfect for tapas. They offer fresh, local ingredients on their menu, with a great wine list.  They also have live music Tuesdays and Fridays should you feel the need to get some music in your life and listen to some local talent.
  • Tutto Bene - If you want Italian just because you like Italian or you have to carbo load, this should satisfy your craving.  It’s also a local favorite for traditional Italian cuisine.

  • Kendrick’s - Located in an old carriage house, this is a great choice if you want a nice night out.  Serving french-inspired cuisine from crab cakes to fresh seafood to rack of lamb.  A favorite among the locals.

Breakfast/Lunch

  • The Bistro -  Open for breakfast/lunch only with great sandwiches, salads, pastries, and coffee.  They also over outdoor or indoor seating with take out available.  Focus is on healthy options.
  • Cafe Christine –  A very tiny, out-of-the-way french bistro only open for lunch Monday – Friday.  But, most say well worth the effort.  Make a reservation even for lunch.
  • Renuatum Spa - Smoothies anyone?  These are delicious and made with FRESH coconut milk.  They also have great freshly baked bagels.
  • Singh’s Fast Food Restaurant – If you want to try where the locals frequent for a taste of West Indian, local cuisine, this is a great choice.  Said to have the best roti, which is flat bread stuffed with a variety of fillings.  Mostly for take-out, with a few tables.
  • The Avocado Pitt – This is a great option while exploring the shops, adjacent to the Fort.  Open for breakfast and lunch, they will even box up a lunch for your beach picnic.  Wide range, including omelets, pancakes, burgers, and plenty of vegetarian options.

FREDERIKSTED

  • Polly’s at the Pier - If you find yourself in Frederiksted during the day, check out Polly’s for lunch or breakfast.  Noted to have the best coffee on the island, plus they have vegetarian options on the menu AND great views.
  • Teres Veho Cantina – Before or after you’ve done some SUP (stand up paddle-boarding), stop and have a little breakfast or lunch at Teres Veho.  And, don’t miss their Hawaiian Shave Ice.

  • Eat@Cane Bay -  Known to be one of St. Croix’s best beach bar & restaurant, you can immerse yourself in the relaxed north shore vibe AT Eat @Cane Bay.  Enjoy friendly service, amazing food and drinks, soak in the sun or the sunset, sit back and people watch or dance to live reggae, it’s all about you having fun.  Enjoy lunch or dinner.

So, you should definitely not go hungry as you have many options to choose from.  Enjoy and soak up the local flavor of St. Croix…

 - THE TRIWIVES

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT ON ST. CROIX?

IRONMAN 70.3 ST. CROIX – FOOD & FUN, PART 1

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Sunrise in St. Croix race morning.

Jodi and I have been to Ironman 70.3 St. Croix several times each, so we have plenty of experience to share with you.  Plus, we were able to hook up with some locals to give you the inside scoop of things to do and places to eat.  It’s a fun race on a beautiful island, so how bad can it be.  Well,  just ask the triathletes and they may say something different – 2 words – THE BEAST!!!!  While they all complain about this 600-foot climb on the bike, it is also one of the draws to the race; they can say they tamed The Beast……The race does also boast one of the best pre-race Carbo Feasts during Jump Up (more on this later) and subsequent Awards Banquet, with its beach barbecue at the Divi Carina Bay Resort.  Actually, I don’t know of any other Ironman 70.3′s that have the banquet.

St. Croix offers a wide variety of water attractions and sports, along with historical ruins, a rich cultural history, and of course, local art and shopping.  While there are 2 main towns on the island, Christiansted and Frederiksted, the race takes place in Christiansted, so that will be our main focus.  One note, they drive on the left side of the road on St. Croix.  It does take a bit of getting used to – just remember left in your head, especially when making turns…..

 THINGS TO DO

  • A trip to St. Croix would not be complete without visiting Buck Island, only 1 of 2 underwater national monuments in the United States.  You will need to take a boat to get there, as it’s 2 miles off St. Croix.  Big Beard’s Adventure Tours and Caribbean Sea Adventures both offer full and half day sailing and snorkeling trips – gorgeous coral reef.  Turtle Beach, on the island, is renowned as one of the prettiest beaches.  You can pack a lunch and have a relaxing day.

Turtle Beach on Buck Island.

  • Water sports – You can take your pick here from kayaking to scuba diving to paddle boarding to kite surfing.  Try Freedom City Surf Board Shop in Frederiksted, along with Teres Veho for a little paddle boarding and lunch or Kite St. Croix for equipment and lessons.
  • We’ve touched on snorkeling trips and water sports, but I wanted to give you some great snorkeling locations and beaches.  Seek out Sandy Point, Isaac Bay, Annaly Bay, Cane Bay Beach, Chenay Bay Beach, and Jack’s Bay.  Northstar Bay has direct access to The Wall – a world-famous dive site where you can also snorkel.  Many of the beaches are populated by nesting turtles and birds.
  • Take a drive to Point Udall, the easternmost point in the U.S.  It has the Millennium Monument and Sundial created for the New Year in 2000.  Along the way, stop and see the Very Long Baseline Array Telescope, one of ten others in the world and have a picnic at Cramer’s Park, which is popular with the locals.
  • Want to see  the island in ways rarely experienced by visitors – from towering tropical forests to pristine shoreline hideaways?  Then, go 4-wheeling with Tan Tan Tours.  Full day, half day, and custom tours are available.  Hardly any hiking is involved, so may be a great thing to do before the race!
  • For a bit of culture, visit Fort Chirtianstavearn, a Danish fort built in 1749 and is right at the heart of the race.
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Fort Christianstavearn at dawn on race day.

  • Even though the race is called Captain Morgan, you may want to take a Cruzan Rum Distillery tour in Frederiksted.  Samples at the end for all.  Yo, ho, ho……
  • If you feel like going horseback riding, make sure to take an Equus horseback riding tour.  You can journey up the hills or along the beach.
  • If you feel like hiking, try the 2mile hike from the Carmbola Beach Resort to the Annaly Bay Tide Pools.  If can be slippery and steep in places, so bring appropriate gear and literally, watch your step.  Both the hike and the tide pools offer great scenery.  If you are driving, you can turn left before the guardhouse at the resort and find parking just ahead.  It is a rocky beach and not white sand.
  • A spa treatment anyone?  Check out Renuatum Spa for a calming experience and then enjoy one of their smoothies made with fresh coconut milk.
  • Jump Up is a carnival-like party held in the streets and along the boardwalk of Christiansted.  It will be held on Friday night, May 2, and as I mentioned above, will be the site of the Carbo Feast and shouldn’t be missed.  You can wander around, browse in the stores that stay open late, watch and listen to authentic Caribbean entertainment, and dine in a dozen local restaurants set up for the Carbo Party – guest tickets are sold at registration.  It has become one of the island’s favorite social events for both locals and visitors alike.  The streets are closed down and the party begins at 6 p.m. and goes until about 10 p.m.  You will also find many vendors on the streets, offering food and drink, arts and crafts, fine hand-crafted jewelry and much more.

  • This race does include a St. Croix Kids Cross Fit Challenge for ages 5-15 on Saturday, May 3, and relay races and a Sprint Triathlon on race day for those so inclined.  Be sure to check out the Ironman website for details.
  • The Buccaneer Resort is one of the nicest on the island.  You can access their Mermaid Beach even if you’re not staying there for the parking fee.  Very nice, quieter beach with a restaurant for lunch.
  • While you may not be coming to St. Croix to shop, you do have some un-touristy choices and we have a few favorites.
    • Without a doubt, Jodi and I have done some serious damage at ib designs.  Plus, I’ve bought many pieces for gifts over the years. This gem of a jewelry store offers gorgeous items; many one-of-a-kind, at all price points, from local artists, and custom work.  You need to check out their chaney pieces, which are made from broken pottery found on the island and dating back to the 1700′s.  No two pieces are alike.  Most of what I bought tend to be my go-to jewelry.  You can’t go wrong.  Seriously.

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      My personal collection of ib designs jewelry.

    • Try Asha’s for an eclectic array of items from all over the world and Shay’s for women’s clothing and accessories.  Scuba is perfect for t-shirts.

Well, this should keep you pretty busy during your stay.  If you need more details, be sure to check out Visit St. Croix and maybe even do a little island hopping if you have time and while you’re in the area…..

Next Up:  Food & Fun, Part 2 – our favorite places to eat followed by The Sport of Spectating, which will tell you how best to enjoy the race and see your triathlete.

 - THE TRIWIVES

DID WE MISS SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES ON ST. CROIX?

ON THE MENU – BEER BREAD

 

I love this bread.  It tastes sooooo good and couldn’t be easier to make.  You can have warm, toasty bread in no time.  Plus, you can add your own spices, veges, herbs, and/or cheese to suit your tastes; experiment with different beers and ales to add different flavor; AND it freezes well.  What’s not to love….

First:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose self-rising flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 – 12 oz. can cold beer
  • Melted butter or margarine

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix together first 4 ingredients until well-blended.
  • Pour into greased or sprayed 9 X 5 loaf pan (leave lumpy on top – do not smooth out).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 – 35  minutes until top is golden brown.
  • Drizzle melted butter or margarine over top.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.  Also great the next day in the toaster!

OPTIONS TO ADD TO BEER BATTER:

  • Fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary, oregano, dill, chives, or basil.  I usually add about 2 tbsp.
  • Chopped garlic, sliced scallion, cheddar cheese, even raisins (soak them before adding).  I usually add about 1/2 cup.
  • Use your imagination and try different combinations!

Let everyone think that you spent so much time making this bread!  They will love it and ask you for the recipe….

 - DANA

 

TYPICAL SATURDAY MORNING IN A TRI HOUSE – SHERRY

We know that each trifamily is different and we know the importance of sharing.  So, we wanted to take some time and tell you about our typical days in training season.  For all of us triwives, this is a way of life that we support and like to make part of our family lifestyle.  Over the next few weeks, we will share with you how triathlon training looks in our homes and we would love to hear about what it looks like in yours.  So, share all you trisupporters!!!  Dana & Jodi have shared life at their houses.  So, last, but not least…

Sherry finishes up with a typical Saturday morning at her house……

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So glad this picture is a distant memory with the snow….

I actually did a post many months ago called, It’s 3PM On A Saturday, but it had a slightly different focus and was one of our first posts, so probably not read by many people  So, I will forge on…… Saturday mornings in my house always start the same, with a dog walk.  No sleeping in in this house on weekends.  Our two furry friends would have no part of it.  Believe me, we’ve tried.  By 7am, they’ve been walked by my husband and I’ve put the coffee on.  However, depending on where in the cycle of race season he is,  it could be me doing the walking AND making the coffee, if he has a long day of training ahead.

Once my cup of coffee is poured, it’s on to the New York Times.  I truly look forward to this all week.  It is one of my simplest pleasures.  But, I must admit I read the paper quickly, just so I can get on to the puzzles.  Not just the Sunday magazine puzzle, but I also love the regular Saturday puzzle.  To complete one or both of these without cheating is the ultimate in satisfaction for me and it has made me a whiz at Words with Friends.  I can usually do the magazine, but the regular puzzle can be a true bitch.  I justify cheating as a learning experience!

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Yes, that’s a pen you see. Only way to go….

Breakfast again depends on what’s on my husband’s agenda, activity wise.  I may fix pancakes, scrambled eggs, or just a bagel.  If he wants oatmeal, he’s on his own.  I wish I was a fan, but I’m just not.  I’ve tried it every way, but my taste buds just scream NO.  Even one of my dogs who eats everything but lettuce is not a fan of oatmeal.  She will literally take it in her mouth and then just let it fall out.  Most attractive….

Once he’s consumed his breakfast and waited the obligatory time before exercising, he’s off to the basement or outside, weather permitting.  If he’s off on his bike, I always hope he’s got someone to ride with, but more often than not he doesn’t.  I don’t like long rides on his own.  We’ve had too many friends have “difficulties” while riding, so I much prefer he have company. (Just learned from Dana about RoadID’s ecrumbs, so will be downloading the App for the next ride).

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Then, I’m on my own.  Working form home during the week, gives me the luxury of NOT having to do Saturday morning errands.  I am free to be me…..What this consists of can be any one or combination of the following:

  • taking the pups to the beach for a run (end of November to end of March only)
  • volunteering at the local animal shelter
  • listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on NPR radio at 11 am – if you aren’t familiar with this show, tune in – you will not be disappointed (also repeats same time on Sunday)
  • performing duties for several boards that I sit on
  • catching up on my DVR programs
  • having brunch/lunch with friends who work during the week or chatting on the phone for the same reason

It may sound boring, but it makes me happy.  And, shouldn’t that be what Saturday mornings are for…..

 - SHERRY

WHAT DOES SATURDAY MORNING LOOK LIKE IN YOUR TRI HOUSE?

 

TO GO OR NOT TO GO – DO YOU NEED TO ATTEND ALL OF YOUR TRIATHLETE’S RACES?

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Certainly not missing a chance to see Austria

I recently was unable to attend one of my husband’s races.  In all the years he has been doing triathlons, I have been to almost every single one, seriously.  There were several local races in the early years that he went to with his first coach and good friend and I stayed home. But since then, I’ve tagged along as cheerleader, shoulder to lean on, hot bath preparer, co-expo shopper….You get the picture.  Not going this time, however, made me think if it always is a good idea or necessary to “tag along”.   Barring health issues or other serious reasons, under which circumstances is it okay to stay home WITHOUT feeling guilty?  So, I sat down and came up with a list of reasons for going and not going.  Maybe this will get you thinking, too…..

REASONS FOR GOING:

  • Someone is available for emotional support (they do love to hear words of encouragement on the course & to keep them company & calm before the race) and to help with gear (obviously how the term sherpa came about).
  • You’re both newbies.  The first is always the best and so memorable.  I still remember Lake Placid and the swim start every time I hear Clocks from Coldplay.IMG_0325
  • Depending on the location of the race, you do get a vacation.  Don’t just look at the venue;  look at the surrounding area and research if there are things for you to do.
  • If it’s a full-distance race, they could have physical and/or mechanical problems and could use some help after the race – good to have you there or if not you, a proxy.
  • This is totally dependent on the ability of your age-grouper, but if there is a high chance of them doing quite well at a race, you should think about going.  You don’t want to miss the PR, a chance at being on the podium at the awards ceremony, or the thrill of qualifying or a roll down opportunity for a World  Championship slot.
  • They don’t know anyone else at the race.  It’s not a lot of fun to go an event like this all by yourself and not have anyone to share it with.  That REALLY is part of the experience.  It’s certainly that way from the spectator’s point of view.
  • You have kids and someone will stay home and babysit while you and your triathlete get some time alone and away together.
  • You love this lifestyle as much as your triathlete.
  • You get to catch up with friends that you only see at races.

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    Jodi and I got to catch up at Ironman 70.3 St. Croix

  • You just might make new friends…..

REASONS FOR NOT GOING:

  • If the location is really NOT someplace you care to go to or the accommodations are not up to your standards.  My trihubby and his coach went to a local race (5 hour drive) a few years back and the conditions were so poor, they turned around and drove home.  They had booked a room at a “B & B” that turned out to be a farmhouse with a few rented bedrooms.  Actually scared them a bit.  Think Motel Hell (look this one up if you love horror movies – so worth it)…..
  • If you are on a budget, races are expensive.  Entry fees, travel expenses, and expo purchases will eat into it, especially if you’re taking the whole family and have to fly.
  • There may be a lot of races in the year and you only have x amount of vacation days from work.  You’ll need to prioritize which races to attend and those to ditch.
  • They are going with other triathletes, a triclub, or a coach.  No need to tag along here, unless you really want to.  I’ve done this and have felt out of place, especially if no other partners were present.

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    No need to tag along when with 2 good friends

  • If you have kids, you need to consider their ages, activities, school breaks, etc.  This is where balance comes in and if one of you has to be there for one of the kids’ activities, we know who that’s going to be.
  • You have been involved in this lifestyle for many years and your triathlete really doesn’t care anymore if you’re there or not and you’re happy to have some alone time.  (Ouch).

As I said, there will be times/circumstances that dictate whether or not you can travel to a race.  If you just don’t WANT to go, you should just say so and not feel guilty.  It can be difficult to be the spectator out there and you pretty much take a back seat to your triathlete.  I actually once heard – THIS IS ABOUT ME – and I guess by writing this, still remember it…..

 - SHERRY 

DO YOU FEEL GUILTY IF YOU DON’T ATTEND ONE OF YOUR TRIATHLETE’S RACES?

ON THE MENU – TACO NIGHT!

My family LOVES Taco Night and I do, too.  It just seems to make dinner fun…..This recipe will serve a crowd and you should have leftovers on hand for the week for breakfast tacos or nachos after school.  Not only do they taste great, but you can use ingredients to fit everyone’s preferences and essentially make them individualized.  In my household, I have to make them for a vegan and  for teenagers with their own specific tastes.  However you make them, tacos are yummy and easy and sure to please!  I really try to use all organic products, but so many times I have to substitute items if they are not available locally.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced sweet potato
  • 2 big handfuls chopped spinach or other greens of your choosing
  • Tofu, extra firm (optional)
  • Use any veggies on hand, such as zucchini or mushrooms
  • Brown rice, cooked as directed
  • 1 can rinsed black beans
  • Olive oil or vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsps chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 pound ground meat (your choice).  I use so many veggies, I keep the meat to 1/2 pound.
  • Cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • First things first, start your rice and cook as directed.
  • Sauté the onion, sweet potato, and other veggies in a little olive oil or vegetable broth.
  • Add a little salt and pepper.
  • Once nearly sautéed, add your spinach or other greens and seasonings and about 1/3 cup vegetable broth or water.  You can also add a hotter pepper, if you like.
  • Let simmer about 10 minutes over a very low heat.
  • If making vegan:  remove 1/2 for the meat, then
  • Add  1/3 cup black beans.  You can also add diced tofu here, too.  Vegan done!taconight1photo
  • I am lazy and do not like to wash pans, so I simply put the vegan version in my serving dish covered and start to brown the meat in the same pan.
  • Once almost browned, add the seasoned veggies and a little water to simmer a few minutes.
  • Transfer to the serving dish and done!

SERVING

  • To the cooked brown rice, add 1/2 cup vegetable broth, the rest of the black beans, and 1/2 tsp of all the seasonings, except add 1 tbsp chili powder.
  • If I have fresh tomatoes or corn (fresh corn on the grill is just the best if in season), I add them to the rice.
  • Season as you like for your family.
  • Serve both over organic whole wheat tortillas, taco shells, or whatever your family prefers.
  • I serve with a local raw goat cheese, avocado, shredded cabbage, or kraut and tomato.  But here again, this is a family preference.
  • Serve with a fruit salad on the side.

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LEFTOVERS

  • For my vegan, I take 1/2 pound extra firm tofu in a pan over a medium heat and mash with a potato masher.  I then add fresh or ground turmeric, ginger, and cumin and mix to taste.  Then I add the left over taco and serve with salsa as a breakfast taco.
  • For the non vegans, I simply scramble eggs with the leftovers and serve as a breakfast taco.
  • But the best is to put all the leftovers on chips with melted cheese and serve as an after school snack!

- DANA

HOW DO YOU MAKE TACO NIGHT?

TIPS FOR SURVIVING AN IN-SEASON VACATION WITH A TRIATHLETE

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Yellowstone National Park

Okay, it’s finally April and I’m in the mood for thinking about vacations.  I’ve had it with winter and being cooped up at home.  I did get one vacation in February and guess what we did, SKIED!!!!!  Didn’t even get to leave winter behind.  But, I digress.  Trying to decide where I want to go on vacation got me thinking about traveling with my trihubby during race season and all that entails.  I’m also considering myself lucky that I EVEN GET a separate vacation from a race venue; so many times they are combined.  Since I have done this a few times over the years, I thought I’d put down my thoughts and give you my top tips for surviving an in-season vacation with a triathlete.  It does take planning people….

PLAN A SPOT THAT HAS EASY ACCESS TO TRAINING.  Since your triathlete is into serious training at this point, you have to plan a trip where they can swim, bike, and run.  This means:

  • You have to have a body of water nearby, a lap pool at the hotel, or access to a community pool in town.
  • They will either be bringing their bike, renting a bike, or have to have access to a gym that has cycles or spinning classes – not an ideal way to train, but can serve the purpose.  If bringing the bike, make sure you know where a local bike shop is in case something needs fixing.  Also, check out our How To video on Packing a Tribike.  If they would like to rent, you need to do your research here too for what’s available.
  • Running can pretty much be done anywhere so yeah, no planning needed here.  Oh, unless of course their training mandates hills or flat surfaces.  Then, you’ll have to get a map of the local terrain (somewhat serious) or check with the hotel.  There are also websites that provide bike routes/trails such as TrailLink and MapMyRide.  Side note:  We once went to Cayo Espanto in Belize and there was no gym.  It was so small and all sand, so no place to even run.  Now this is high end travel – THEY BROUGHT A TREADMILL TO OUR ROOM!!!!  So, my trihubby ran on an outdoor patio facing the ocean for an example of Life Is Good.
  • Check to see if there are any cross-training activities that would work in lieu of swim/bike/run that perhaps you and/or the family can participate in.

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    Irish folk dancing may not be their idea of cross-training…..

  • Make sure you know the hours the gym is open in case they want to train early in the morning or late at night.

DECIDE WHETHER IT’S EASIER TO FLY OR DRIVE.  If you have to take a bike and a lot of gear, it might be easier to find a location that you can drive to.  That said,  if your vacation time is limited, don’t waste it on the road.

ACCEPT THAT THIS IS PROBABLY NOT GOING TO BE A LENGTHY OR YOUR DREAM VACATION.  In my experience, I have rarely gotten more than a weeks vacation during race season.  This is probably also not the time to do that African safari you have been dreaming of…..

PLAN A SPOT THAT YOU AND/OR THE FAMILY ARE MORE INTERESTED IN.  You will be spending more time vacationing then your triathlete, so it’s important that YOU love where you’re going.  An example I am partial to is northern California.  You have wine country, San Francisco, Monterey area, Yosemite….. AND they have a great training ground.

COMMUNICATE EXPECTATIONS GOING INTO THE VACATION.  Don’t wait until you’re on the trip to realize your triathlete will be gone 6 hours on a bike ride when you were planning to go to the Grand Canyon……Plan ahead when the training will take place to provide for plenty of together time.

REALIZE THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR SPONTANEITY.  Most of the activities on the vacation will have to be planned out around the training schedule.  There is little room for sleeping in one day or deciding to try say Vietnamese food, which you have never had before.

PLAN A SPOT THAT HAS ACTIVITIES FOR YOU &/OR THE KIDS.  You will have a lot of alone time if they are training, so you’ll need a lot of activities to occupy your time.  I’m thinking spas, beaches, amusement parks, hiking, sight-seeing…..

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Sightseeing doesn’t get much better than in Rome.

PLAN FOR PLENTY OF STINKY AND WET CLOTHES.  You will either need to bring plenty of laundry detergent, have access to a washer/dryer, or send out for hotel laundry (always the most expensive choice).  We do a lot in the sink and hang over the bathtub, shower rod…..  Also, bring a plastic bag with you for wet clothes.  Stuffits makes an odor-killing bag, especially for athletes.  We also often bring an extra suitcase just for dirty laundry coming home.

PACK ESSENTIALS AND/OR CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN BUY THEM AT THE LOCATION.  There are certain items that you need to bring, especially if they will be out riding or running in unknown territory.  Then there’s the items they need and you have to ensure you can buy them at the vacation spot or you will need to bring them.  Check with your athlete on what they need.  A few suggestions:

  • Post work-out wipes, such as Action Wipes
  • Road ID
  • FuelBelt for use on the run.
  • Wallet for credit card, cash, phone, and driver’s license
  • First Aid Kit; you can use a general one or get one specifically for cyclists, like Brave Soldier Crash Pack, for road rash.
  • Gu, gels, bars, or whatever other nutritional needs and likes they have that you may not be able to buy where you are

DON’T PLAN ON DANCING TIL DAWN OR SLEEPING IN UNTIL NOON.   Just saying, chances are they aren’t going to be doing a lot of drinking and partying, so don’t be disappointed if your disco craving doesn’t get satisfied!  And, if they have to get up early to get in a long workout, you either have to be very good at falling back to sleep or just give in to the early mornings and know where you can get coffee…….

 - SHERRY

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR VACATIONING WITH YOUR TRIATHLETE?

 

IRONMAN 70.3 CALIFORNIA OCEANSIDE – GREAT RACE DAY!

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I’m so proud of my triathlete.  After taking pretty much most of last year off from serious training and coming off a bad chest cold over the past month, he rocked Ironman 70.3 Oceanside.  I, unfortunately, was not there to cheer him on – one of the very few races I have missed.  But of course, I had friends to take my place – even pro Jesse Thomas –  and he knew I had him in my heart.  For those of you who follow this blog, I am home caring for my four-legged best friend who is having surgery on Tuesday.  He almost didn’t go, but I’m so glad he did.  He truly needed to finish this race to regain his confidence and rekindle his enthusiasm for the sport.  Nothing like getting those competitive juices flowing…..

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After the race, he gives me a call.  Hardly even a hello, how are things, before the race analysis starts.  He can’t resist providing me with the details even 3500 miles away.  But, this time I can say without a hint of sarcasm, that I was happy to listen.  Overall, very pleased with results considering he finds it a tough race and it’s early in the season.  Happy with swim – water and air temp warmer than in past years.  Bike course tough as usual with lots of hills.  Had been told by Matt Dixon and Jordan Rapp (don’t mean to name drop) to be conservative on the bike, whose words he heeded.  Run was reasonable – all I got out of him.

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My biggest question was how in the world he had a 4:40 T2 time, almost double everyone else’s.  Debated whether I should share his answer with you all or not.  Oh, well, that’s what we’re here for, right?  He was peeing and couldn’t stop!!!!!  Seriously…..I thought they tended to get dehydrated, not the opposite.  Says he really has to work on transition times, but not sure how you solve this one.  Thoughts?

Doing the race through Ironman XC, he won a spot to the 70.3 World Championships in Mont Tremblant.  But, even more impressive – to me at least –  he came in 15 overall in his age group.  Not bad for his reintroduction to the sport.  So, next up is Rev3 Quassy followed by Ironman Frankfurt.  Off to one heck of a season I’d say…..

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One final note:  He goes into the food tent and Andy Potts comes up to him and says, “Hi.  I’m Andy Potts”.  Carl says, “I know who YOU are.  I should be introducing myself to YOU”.  I could see the smile on his face across the miles.  Truly ended up being the perfect end to a great day.  Thanks Andy…..

Have to give credit to Frankie McDermond of Ironman XC for all the pictures and for taking care of Carl in my absence.  Thanks so much.

 - SHERRY

TYPICAL SATURDAY MORNING IN A TRIATHLETE HOUSE – DANA

We know that each trifamily is different and we know the importance of sharing.  So, we wanted to take some time and tell you about our typical days in training season.  For all of us triwives, this is a way of life that we support and like to make part of our family lifestyle.  Over the next few weeks, we will share with you how triathlon training looks in our homes and we would love to hear about what it looks like in yours.  We started a few weeks ago with Jodi.  So, share all you trisupporters!!!danagreecephoto

Dana’s up next with a typical Saturday morning at her house…….

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Some days we just like to spin…..

Saturdays are typically long ride days in our house and start about 40 minutes before the sun comes up.  We, as a family, decided that Saturdays are long ride days for one reason – the kids!  Our son is a competitive gymnast and leaves at 7:45AM and gets back between 11 and noon.  Our daughter tends to schedule dance rehearsals or choreography jobs on Saturday mornings, knowing they are long ride days and that we can all gather for lunch at home afterwards.  Side note:  Next year will be a whole different scenario as the kids will be off to college.  (Shouldn’t have gone there; tears welling up; getting sad…..)  Okay, back to the task at hand.

WE start early, as my trihubby likes a little something to eat before he gets on that bike.  Breakfast is not huge , an egg or tofu scramble and 1/2 avocado.  Then, it is off to the garage – his workout area – me with a cup of tea.  See, I do have an ulterior motive for getting up early with him and it’s really not just to fix him breakfast!  This is the time we get a chance to have a few minutes to ourselves.  It’s great talk time while trihubby preps his bike for the ride.  Then, he gives me his route and he is off; generally for 4-6 hours, getting him home no later than 1:30 ish.  Typically, bricks don’t start until later in the season, usually around late March.  Then, our days start even earlier, allowing for the timing to remain the same for lunch.  Priorities!

Once trihubby is off, then the kids start coming down for breakfast.  Typically, Saturday morning breakfast is fed at the kitchen counter in a rotating fashion, with three rounds served.

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Once the last child is off, it’s all about ME.  What I like most about Saturday mornings is that I also get a run in once everyone has left and then a long bath – me time – before I even have to think about starting lunch, even on short ride days.  I also dream of the solo vacation I had to Greece a few years back and that breakfast on the patio in Santori.  Aaaaaah…..

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danagreecephotoLunch is always big on Saturdays.  Our favorite is a big salad and grilled fish or when cold, chili or soup with a salad.

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After lunch, the kids tend to go their separate ways, depending on which activities are on their schedules.  David and I are then free to run errands, have a chat, go to a movie, or just chill.  At least until it’s time to start dinner…..

- DANA

WHAT DOES YOUR SATURDAY MORNING LOOK LIKE?

 

Next up: Sherry’s Saturdays