Countdown to Marin Tri - Winding down

Another good training week and some added recreation on the weekend walking around enjoying the city. Thursdays is probably the hardest cardio workout, with a challenging group fitness spin class and then progressive 10k run bricked after it. Other than that, just tried to do my best. My bike is at the shop for a full tune-up. I  hope to get it back soon.


It was nice to unwind a little this weekend and distract myself from the focus on training and diet and give myself a break. I went to Wharf Fest for lunch where they were having a chowder tasting of a dozen restaurants down at Fisherman's Wharf. This was a great opportunity to try all the chowders and vote for my favorite! Brick and Beam won the judges choice, and McCormick & Kuleto's won the people's choice. I agree those were good, but my favorite was Cioppino's and Blue Mermaid. I was craving sourdough for my carbs so went and grabbed a baguette to go with the chowder.

I enjoyed the SF Open Studios Art Exhibits and brought home a few affordable pieces. A seascape by Veerakeat and a print of my favorite swim spot by Lucia Gonnella. I love art and have to have it in my life in some shape or form to get my imagination and inspiration flowing. I don't know how artists survive nowadays with the lack of resources and space. It never seemed like a viable career option, and that worries me. If we don't do something the arts will disappear, then the city will be quite boring and soulless. We need more art to balance out all the tech, don't you think?

Favorite Swim Spot

Giclee print of painting by Lucia Gonnella


Countdown to Marin Tri - Staying on Track

Had a great week of training and even managed to donate red blood and platelets on Friday! Seeing some progress on the body comp! The combination of HFLC / Carb cycling diet and strength training is my ticket. This week I tried a little protein before the workout and banana protein shake after the workout with great results. Saved the carbiest foods for after workout and at night, no sugar, no refined grains, carbs are from veggies and little fruit portions. The night carbs is fuel for my next morning work-out, because I don't do carbs pre-workout, instead I do fats. The banana in the protein shake helps to get the good stuff into the muscles. At this point in training, I'm starting to add more small servings of fruit and squash for carbs to correspond with increased training volume and intensity.

The workouts:

HIIT / PLYO & RUNRUN 10kHIIT / PLYOSPIN / RUN BrickBlood DonationRestSWIM / Rest

The shake:
Hemp seeds blended with water = hemp milk
1 scoop Whey Factors
1/2 banana
1 cup of spinach

Pre-workout I add half a scoop of whey protein into my bonk-proof coffee. Just dissolve it in a little cold water first or it will clump.

The results:

Tanita BC-1000 Plus / Garmin Forerunner 310XT

I'm not sure how the blood donation affected the graph. I try to drink almost a gallon of water per day. The consumption of carbs significantly affects the graph, as well as long cardio sessions. I know partly what I'm seeing is glycogen and water weight getting pumped into my muscles. Tanita has some info on their website about this. Some people do not like looking at the scale every day, but it can be a powerful tool to see what is working and what is not. It helps if you weight yourself at the same time everyday. I weigh-in in the morning. I'm happy about how all this has helped me manage my weight for race day while still preserving strength and energy. I'll be racing a little leaner this year.

Happy Training!

My Metabolic Efficiency Journey


Countdown to Marin Tri - Swimming with Sharks

 Three weeks of real training left until Marin Tri! Here's a quick recap of what I did last week:

RESTRESTHIIT / PLYO, swimSWIMAthletic Conditioning 1 hr swimEZ Kayak

On Saturday we had a nice long swim along shore. It was too foggy to do Island to Island. We had great help with the incoming flood tide. Later on there was a shark sighting around Alcatraz, so it all worked out! Welcome to Sharktober!

The water has been clearer lately, probably due to lack of rain and runoff. This might be encouraging the sharks to explore our waters. It is a fact of open water swimming that you're swimming with wildlife, and at a certain point you just have to make the decision if you are going to let that interfere with your swimming habits. The only wildlife I usually ever see are the birds. The rest usually keep their distance from humans. The best thing is to go with a group or with a friend, and have a plan. I feel safe with my group, as we have experienced boat support. I also know that I am not the prey sharks are looking for, and the chances of encounters are rare. You just have to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. To tell you the truth I'm more worried about getting hit by a car on my bike commute.

Still paying close attention to my diet. I'm experimenting with post-workout nutrition to see what works the best. Last week I did broccoli or chard and cheese omelettes with avocado, saving the carbiest foods for at night. Energy levels are great and I was finishing my strength workouts strong. No weight gain, but I'm fine with gaining muscle so I make sure to get enough calories to fuel the workout and will up the good carbs a bit. Whatever I do, I will monitor it and see how it affects things. This week I will try protein shakes with half a banana, spinach and hempmilk post-workout. I like supplementing with hemp because it is high in protein, iron, magnesium and zinc. Hemp oil is also good for Omega-3s.

It's pumpkin season, so here is a Japanese Pumpkin / Kabocha Squash Muffin recipe.

2 cups Kabocha Squash puree
2 eggs
1/4 c. hemp protein powder or your favorite protein powder
1/4 c coconut flour or preference
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
Sweetened to taste with whatever you like to use (I use liquid stevia)

Put all in food processor, wet ingredients then dry. Blend and pour into non-stick muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes. Great as a dinner muffin or top with cream cheese frosting for dessert! Here are the macros if made sugar free:

Calories: 74
Protein: 7g
Carbs (net): 4g
Fat: 3g

Health Benefits of Winter Squash


Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm

Went to the Hoes Down at Full Belly Farm for the third year in a row! I also went in 2008 with my company, Sustainable Technologies, when we had a methane digester demo. It's fun to go every year and visit the farm and see the changes. This year I noticed they had more solar panels and my company helped them with energy efficiency upgrades to their farm so we had a demonstration of solar pumps and energy efficiency. The other thing different this year is that I biked there! I took the Capitol Corridor Amtrak train to Davis and got my weekend cycling in. It's a 3 and a half hour ride to the farm through mostly quiet county roads. The other half of the route is on the 16 which is very busy with very little shoulder to ride on. By improving cycling conditions on this route in Yolo County would definitely encourage more cycling tourism through this area.

Going to Full Belly Farm is like a weekend retreat, with lots of activities and workshops or you can just kick back and chill and enjoy the music and food. If you haven't tried their almond butter, I highly recommend you do! It is pure and natural with no additives and NOT thinned out with Palm Fruit Oil. During the event they offer camping areas for you to stay the night. It really is worth the trip. This year it also rained briefly and was a bit windy. It did not stop the party though! The rain was welcome and no one seemed to mind.

Hoes Down 2015
Hoes Down 2014
Hoes Down 2013

June in Pictures

June is all about: The Escape, Back on My Feet Runs, Trail runs, bike rides, the beach, Water World Swim and SUP, the wind and fog! I star...