Entries for month: August 2011

Tip's from the Pro's for ALCATRAZ!

Alcatraz , Professional Triathlete's , Training Tips No Comments »

If you're not feeling 100% confident about racing at this weekend San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz, listen to these pointers from the Elite's!
 

 

 

 "Remove sunglasses through the tunnel on the run and always be aware of downhill traffic on the run. Runners coming back down the switchbacks into Marina Green will be tired but carrying speed, the last combination you want to play chicken with. Stay to the right and avoid cutting in on the corners." - Dan McIntosh

 

 

 

                  

 

- "The bike course is on the technical side, so if you can make it out to pre-ride one or two times before race day it'd be well worth the effort."- Courtenay Brown
 - "I get cold easily, so last year in anticipation of a chilly   swim I took a dose of First Endurance PreRace in the hour before the start so that my metabolism would be going pretty strongly. I didn't have problems with the cold water so I'll be doing that again this year!" - Courtenay Brown

 

 

 

 

- "Hold on to your goggle and spread eagle when you jump - you want to stay at the top of the water!" - Kelly Dunleavy
- "Use the flat sections on the bike and run to drink and eat; remember, there aren't many flat sections." - Kelly Dunleavy
- "Do NOT go crazy trying to get up the sand ladder as fast as possible. There is a reason most of the pros walk." - Kelly Dunleavy

 

 

 


- "The San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz offers such a unique experience that it really cannot be compared to your standard international distance triathlon - the cold water and nervous energy on the boat, the hills, and sand ladder, and the satisfaction of completing the challenge. Plus I love San Francisco and the opportunities to explore the city. If you are a first timer, the best advice I can give you is just to stay relaxed and take the day as it comes! Listen to the swim briefing and get an understanding of the currents and best way to sight to shore and KNOW that it is going to be cold! Make sure your bike gears and brakes are all working well for the challenges of the hills and breaking the course up into smaller sections in your mind can help you focus better at the tast at hand. The run, while challenging, is one of the most scenic in the world - take the time to enjoy the view and know that everyone hurts on the san ladder. And most importantly remember to have fun out there." - Pip Taylor


- "My first tip for the San Francisco Triathlon from Alcatraz would be: make sure you are prepared for all kinds of weather. I pack everything from sunscreen to gloves, a rain jacket and over-bike shoe booties. San Francisco is notorious for its "wintery" summers. After living there for 3 years, I know that all too well. My second tip is to use the last flat section of the bike (along Mason Street) to get down a gel. I like to use a 2nd Surge Accel Gel because it has extra caffine. This not only perk me up after an early start to the day, but it gives me the energy to hit the flat section of the Presidio with a little extra speed to drop my competition. Once I hit the downhill to Bakers Beach, I down another gel. Its always good to have extra energy before the beach and the climb up the sand ladder!" - Leanda Cave

Recipe of the Week: Turkey Hummus Sliders

Recipes No Comments »

By: Food Network Magazine


Are you in the mood for a juicy burger with a Mediterranean twist, without flushing your days workout down the drain? These sliders are the perfect answer! Pair it with a fruit or green salad or homemade sweet potato fries for an awesome summer cookout.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 cup hummus, preferably spicy or roasted red pepper (about a 7-ounce container)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 16 mini pita pockets, preferably whole wheat, split open and warmed
- 2 to 3 plum tomatoes, sliced

DIRECTIONS
- Toss the cucumber, feta, vinegar, mint, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl; cover and refrigerate.
- Mix the turkey, 1/2 cup hummus, the parsley and coriander in a bowl; season generously with pepper. Dampen your hands and shape the mixture into 16 small patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the patties and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining patties in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Mix the remaining 1/2 cup hummus with a splash of hot water in a bowl. Spread some of the hummus on the inside of each pita; fill with a tomato slice, turkey patty and some of the cucumber mixture.

Photograph by Kana Okada
Recipe found at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/turkey-hummus-sliders-recipe/index.html

From New York, to Chicago, to ALCATRAZ!

Alcatraz , Athlete Stories No Comments »
By: Jocelyn Grier

It may have been a moment of mental lapse that compelled me to sign up for the SF tri at Alcatraz. ;o)

I have been to SF a couple of times over the past 10 years and fell in love with the area.  When I was on the web earlier this year looking for a challenging and interesting tri, I came across SF tri at Alcatraz.  I thought what a perfect match…one of my favorite cities coupled with one of my newest passions. I caught the tri fever two years ago after competing in my first tri in NYC. I was lucky enough to race alongside Natalie Morales and Hoda Kobe from the Today show in 9/09, compete in the world’s largest triathlon in Chicago 8/10, and finish my second NYC Tri this past weekend.


I can honestly say that swimming from Alcatraz has not been a lifelong goal for me…in fact as I type this email my stomach is doing flip-flops just thinking about it.  I was lucky enough to meet a couple of people this past weekend, (during the NYC tri), who have competed in past tri-California organized races that involve swimming in the bay.  They assured me it is not as bad as I think it will be, and they helped to put some of my fears to rest, (although I am still worried about the water temperature).

 

I think the experience is going to be awesome, and in spite of the paragraph above, I am so looking forward to competing on the 21st.  My family will be traveling with me and will be cheering me on as I race.  We plan to enjoy the city and surrounding areas the week following the tri.  I am looking forward to my second visit to Alcatraz and riding safely on the ferry, (all the way there and all the way back).

I May be “Certifiably Crazy”, but I love What I Do!

Alcatraz , Training Tips , Tri-California Ambassadors No Comments »

By: Brenda Hammans

This will be my fourth time swimming Alcatraz, and I’m afraid my friends really think I’m crazy.  “Certifiably crazy”, is how I’ve been described.  But once you do it, and do it again, you find yourself wanting to do it again, but better, and faster.  This year, my goal is to do just that….the swim is tough.  It’s cold! The last couple of times it’s been choppy.  But I continually want to improve my swim time.  So, my advice to “newbies” is to make sure they spend plenty of time in cold water (I sat in a bathtub of ice water for weeks before the race….it helps you acclimate), and to put earplugs in BOTH ears!

Sounds crazy, I know, but I have heard of several people who experience vertigo from the chill of the water.  If you put earplugs in, the water can’t get to your inner ear, and the vertigo will be avoided.  Make sure your goggles are underneath your Triathlon cap (hopefully, you also have an insulated cap under that).  Hold your goggles to your face to prevent them from coming off from the jump.  Never dive.  Jump off the boat scissor-style, and then swim like *#$*&#&$ once you hit that water!!

Honestly, although the bike is amazingly beautiful, and the run is challenging and memorable, it’s the swim that brings me back.  To say I swam Alcatraz is a real eye-opening, conversation stopper!  People are amazed and frankly, so am I especially when I watch those dreaded You-Tube videos.  Just swim like you always swim, and remember to site to be sure you don’t get too far off course.  And, more important than anything, enjoy the ride!  Take the time to flip over on your back to enjoy the view around you, and really absorb what it is you’re doing at that moment!  Priceless!

In every race, I take mental pictures of what I see throughout any of the 3 disciplines, since carrying a camera isn’t much of an option.  But there are scenes I will never forget in San Francisco.   The Golden Gate Bridge on every breath to the right in the swim, the beautiful homes, the terrain, and the shore on the bike, and Baker Beach, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge, and everything in-between on the run.

You see, if I can do it, anyone can do it.  I only learned to swim 2 ½ years ago.  Well…you put me in a pool and I’d be fine floating around, but I had never taken swimming lessons when I was a child, and certainly never knew how to swim with goggles, a cap, and all that other nonsense like ear plugs!  I had to learn how to swim freestyle (elbow up!), how to breathe correctly, etc.  It seemed so much harder than I thought it would, and as I was going through it, I would tell friends that I now know why we teach children to swim at a young age.  At the time, I was 44, and I felt like I was twisting and turning things that hadn’t twisted or turned in years!

Here’s how it started…When I moved to Michigan a little over 4 years ago, I knew no one.  One morning at the gym where I work out, a group was talking about doing a relay in a local duathlon.  They asked if I’d like to do the bike portion of the race, but I told them I couldn’t because I didn’t have a bike.  WELL!  One girl in the class spoke up, and offered her bike to me, if I would do it.  I couldn’t refuse.

Problem is….they never did the relay….they all signed up individually, so I did, as well.  I did 3-4 duathlons and realized I really didn’t like to run twice…but I couldn’t swim. That was in November.  So, in the cold December winter, I took swimming lessons every Friday night (sounds exciting, eh?!).  I did that for 3 months, until I joined the local Y to practice my swimming there.  I spent most of my time in what I like to call the “tadpole lane”, huffing and puffing after 25 yards.  I never thought it would get any easier, but eventually it did.  There was a group of “sharks”, as I liked to call them, in lanes 4 & 5.  They all swam very fast, and it just seemed like there were arms and water flying all over when they were there.  One day the “sharks” asked if I wanted to join them, and I did.

Today, they are my swim friends, and we swim together 2-3 times per week, or as often as my triathlon coach’s schedule allows.

I love doing triathlons out of state.  I’ve done only 2 in the state of Michigan, and all others out of state.  Last year, I completed 7 triathlons, all Olympic and half ironman distances.  This year, I will complete 8 triathlons, including my first full Ironman in Panama City, Florida on November 5th.

So, traveling to triathlons is how I vacation.   I love to find races in neat cities, like San Francisco, go a few days early, experience the people and the place, do the race, and then fly home.  It’s become a real hobby (although an expensive one!)
 

But mostly, I love going out into the city, starting to walk, and doing whatever I want to along the way.  To go to a new city, and have no plans is actually very relaxing to me.  My work schedule is very demanding in terms of time and travel.  It keeps me on the road quite a bit, so the challenge is to get in my necessary workouts on the road.  That means joining gyms across the country to have access to pools and treadmills for those cold winter mornings!  How do I do it? I have no idea…just do it, and everything should fall into place.  Weekends, unfortunately, are taken up mostly in training, and then recovering.  It doesn’t lend much to a social life, but I do enjoy what I do.

Recipe of the Week: Seared Figs and White Peaches with Balsamic Reduction

Recipes No Comments »
By: Amelia Saltsman, Cooking Light, June 2009
Looking for a refreshing, guilt-free dessert? Look no further. Use these flavorful fruits to curb your sweet tooth!
Ingredients
-       - 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
-       - 2 teaspoons butter, divided
-       - 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
-       - 4 firm ripe white peaches (about 1 3/4 pounds), halved and pitted
-       - 8 firm ripe Black Mission figs, halved lengthwise (about 1 pound)
-       - 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
-       - 1/3 cup crème fraîche
-       - 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation
1. Cook peppercorns in a small skillet over medium heat 6 minutes or until fragrant and toasted. Cool. Place peppercorns in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Crush peppercorns with a meat mallet or rolling pin; set aside.
2. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; stir in 1 teaspoon thyme. Add peaches, cut sides down, to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. Place 1 peach half, cut sides up, on each of 8 plates. Melt remaining 1 teaspoon butter in pan; stir in remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Add figs, cut sides down, to pan; cook 2 minutes or until browned. Place two fig halves on each plate.
3. Add vinegar to pan; cook over medium-low heat until reduced to 3 tablespoons (about 3 minutes). Cool slightly. Spoon about 2 teaspoons crème fraîche into the center of each peach half; drizzle about 1 teaspoon vinegar mixture over each serving. Sprinkle each serving with about 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving:
Calories: 133
Fat: 4.8g
Saturated fat: 2.8g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.4g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g
Protein: 1.6g
Carbohydrate: 22.4g
Fiber: 3.2g
Cholesterol: 12mg
Iron: 0.6mg
Sodium: 50mg
Calcium: 32mg

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/seared-figs-white-peaches-with-balsamic-reduction-10000001898534/