Healthy Living Fridays (vol 9)

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Breakfast Sandwich With Hash Browns

 

What you will need:

  • A whole grain English muffin
  • Organic egg (1)
  • Organic Turkey sausage (2 links)
  • Cheddar cheese (1 slice)
  • Potato (1)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Margarine
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Shred the potato in the food processor with the fine shredding disc or use a cheese grater.  Drain the liquid from the potato.  Preheat a medium frying pan over medium/high heat. Mix salt and pepper into the potato and make small flat patties.  Melt a small amount of margarine in the frying pan.  Add the potato patties.  Fry them until they’re golden brown, patting them down flat as they cook. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Preheat a small frying pan over low/medium heat with the egg sandwich making mould in the pan.  Spray the pan and the mould with the nonstick cooking spray.  Crack the egg into the mould.  Cook until firm and then remove the mould.  Flip the egg and cook the other side to your liking.  Cut the turkey sausages in halves and place them in the pan to cook until they’re golden brown.

Cut the english muffin in half.  Place them in the halogen oven or toaster oven with the outside up and cook on 370f until they’re crispy.  Flip them over and add the cheese.  Reduce the heat to 200f and melt the cheese.  Once the cheese is melted, remove the bread from the oven and add the turkey sausage and the egg.  Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.  Prep time is about 10 minutes.  Cooking time is about 10 minutes.

 

The Cape

 

 

 

Every July 4th weekend my bike club went to Cape Cod.  We would stay in Woods Hole, a few minutes away from the ferry going to Martha’s Vineyard.  I went in 2014 and 2015.  They were both very memorable trips but I’ll tell you all about the 2015 trip.  

I couldn’t really afford to go but I really like riding on the cape.  The Señor was going so I convinced him to let me room with him.  I think I worked out an extended payment plan with him but I couldn’t be sure.  It’s also possible that I still owe him money and hopefully I didn’t just remind him of that.

Everyone else went up Friday morning to get an extra day of cycling, but I had to work.  My plan was to go up after work on Friday but I worked late.  I decided not to drive in the dark because I was afraid of traveling on the deer filled dark highway.  I woke up early instead and started traveling at 5am. There was no traffic, except on the Bourne Bridge, and I was at the hotel by 9am.

The room that we were staying in was the same room I shared the previous trip.  Like the previous year, I didn’t get the bed of my choosing.  We were supposed to do the local ride that day and MV the following day but the weather was predicted to be bad the next day so, while I was driving, the other members voted on going to MV that day.  I bought my ferry ticket at the front desk, got dressed, and then we set sail for MV.

I was supposed to lead that ride but these guys did whatever the hell they wanted.  They didn’t listen to a thing I was trying to tell them.  We still had a really fun day.  MV is gorgeous.  One of the slower riders came with us although there was a slower group.  On top of that she had the ever exploding tire.  We must’ve stopped to change the damn thing like three times that day.  I laid in the grass and napped during one of the changes. I had a long day.

We took the traditional pic at the bluff and shortly after that we took the dinky little boat across the river to have lunch at the canal where parts of Jaws was filmed.  The rest of the ride was nice but was frustrating.  Towards the end of the ride a couple of us decided to go exploring.  There were roads we’ve never been on that I had found in a route.  The reason for that was because they were dirt roads.  It was a quick exploration.  Before we got on the ferry, we stopped at an ice cream shop. The one we normally stopped at wasn’t open so we went to the other one.  It was still very good.  I had a shake that they blended my protein powder into. It was a delicious Blueberry Chocolate shake.  I drank it on the ferry ride back.  

We went to a nice restaurant that night.  One of the guys chose it.  I couldn’t afford it but went anyway.  I had a little room on one of my charge cards and I deserved to live a little.  We saw some of the fireworks show in the distance as we walked back to the hotel.  

The next day was overcast but a nice day for a ride.  We went on the local ride that I’ve never been on.  It was July 4th and everything was quiet.  It was very pretty.  We rolled through the town of Sandwich and there was a fair going on.  We stopped there to use the restroom.  While we were there a classic fire truck rolled in.  I went up to the guys that brought it there and asked if I could take a pic with it and they obliged.  After that they asked if I wanted to go inside. I was in heaven.  It was super cool and classic.  

Some time after that I had a meltdown.  We were going so slow and that damn ever exploding tire needed a change every few miles.  It was all too much.  When we got to the point that everyone knew their way back, I demanded the room key from The Señor.  I finally got to breathe and do things my way.  I enjoyed those last few miles.  A couple miles from the end I bumped into one of the other guys from the ride and we enjoyed hauling ass together back to the hotel.  When we got there he asked why I peeled out and I told him I needed time to myself. He said that’s perfectly fine and normal and he was glad I had a good time.  When everyone got back, we enjoyed a couple beers by the pool and I may have gone for a swim.   

The next day we left early instead of riding to beat the holiday weekend traffic.  The year before it took us like eight hours.  We stopped at the Middle of Nowhere diner about an hour outside of the cape.  It was a quaint little diner and the food was very good.  We all had a few laughs before parting ways and making our way back home.  It was a nice weekend even though there were things that pissed me off.

My Own Little World

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I’m a social butterfly and I play well with others but I enjoy living in my own little world.  In my world I call the shots.  I decide when to roll and when to stop.  I can stop abruptly knowing there’s nobody behind me.  When life gets me down I can think things through.  When life is good I can revel in my joy as I smile within.  I roll at my own pace.  I can wander around from place to place.  It’s when I’m on my own that I ponder the meaning of life.  As I roll along I see things in a different light.  The answers to the questions in the universe present themselves to me.  I feel like I can finally breathe.  Life is beautiful all around me.  I think of the time before time and how good I have it.  I’m lucky to be a part of this world and experience nature.  I appreciate the life that was given to me.  I hope that everyone takes the time out to see what I see.

One Way to Montauk

 

Prior to this weekend I’d only done this ride as a group ride.  I’ve done it every year since 2015.  Every time has been fun but the most memorable, prior to this weekend, was the one we did in 2016. 

We met at 7am for a 7:30 start and is was already about 85f with high humidity.  The beginning and end were to be the same temperature but it would be in the 90s in the middle of the ride. In the first 15 miles one of the long time members had a blown tire.  His wife agreed to pick him up so he could change the tire and be dropped off at the deli stop and continue on with us from there. Two other members arranged to meet us at that stop as well.

The deli stop was in Yaphank at 35 miles into the ride, which was 45 miles into it this past weekend.  We met up with the other three members at the deli that we normally stop at on our annual ride.  I didn’t see it this past weekend.  We had a bite to eat, refilled our bottles, and took some pics.  After the deli, everything was very pretty.  From that point on, the rest of the ride was very scenic.  

We maintained a very good pace.  We stopped again around mile 50 for more water at a gas station.  By then the temps were in the 90s.  I sat inside an outdoor freezer that stored bags of ice.  It was very refreshing.  A few miles after that we stopped at the big duck to take pics.  I didn’t take any pics as I was grumpy from the early stages of heat exhaustion.  

We continued on and made the turn onto the next road and waited to regroup in the shade.  I laid on the ground after having some of my energy drink, a gel, and a cliff bar.  My skin was hot and my face was red.  Once we regrouped we were informed that one of the members wouldn’t be continuing on with us.  He was being picked up by our friend’s wife and would keep her company in the support car.  I tried to get up but both of my thighs cramped on the inside.  I sat there for a bit and drank more of my energy drink.  The guys offered to call the support car but I politely refused.  I had this. 

After a few minutes I was able to get up without cramping.  We were about to start riding again and the guy who always babysits those in need positioned himself in front of me and paced me well.  He always knows what to do.  The guys really didn’t know what to expect.  They later explained to me that most people are done once they start to cramp.  The lunch stop was about 15 miles from that point.  We stopped about 10 miles before the lunch stop to fill our bottles and use the restroom at a gas station.

When we got to the lunch stop a friend of ours was there to greet us and he said the best thing I ever heard.  He said “I have cold water”. He and his wife also brought fresh fruit for us.  We had our lunch, used the bathroom, and said our goodbyes.  We would see them again at the end of the ride. We had 30 miles until we got to the lighthouse.  What’s funny is that he didn’t get a ticket when he was pulled over at the lighthouse for missing a stop sign.  It was unintentional.  I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s a genuinely nice guy.

At the last stretch, about 15 miles until the lighthouse, it was hammer time.  We continued on in sub groups based on ability.  I was in the second or third group.  A couple miles until the lighthouse I was with one other person and he got a flat.  I was starting to get a cramp in my foot so he told me to continue on without him.  

When I reached the lighthouse there was one other person there.  The two people that were with him didn’t go all the way to the lighthouse.  They stopped in town for a burger and a beer before they caught their train back.  I said goodbye to them in town a few miles before the lighthouse.  We took some pics and cheered the rest of the group as they came in.  We had cars close by, and after they were retrieved, we piled in and went to the state park to shower before dinner.

It was a great day with a nice tailwind but it was way too hot to do a ride like that.  Since then I try to avoid hard rides when it’s uncomfortably hot.  I jump at the chance to do these rides when the temps are in the 60s and 70s, which is why I did my ride this past weekend.  The temps and wind were in my favor.  My advice is that, if you plan to do something kind of crazy, check the weather report first!

This Past Weekend (June 23-24)

 

 

This past weekend was such a blast! It was amazing all around.  On Friday night we went to a concert at Jones beach, which was a gift to me.  We saw Bonham, Whitesnake, & Foreigner.  What an amazing show.  Whitesnake still has really pretty hair and Foreigner is so engaging.  We took in all three performances and had a blast.

On Saturday I was supposed to go to the TT race.  The weather was too iffy to do all that driving so I skipped it.  My friends that went all had an amazing race and I’m so proud of their performance.  I was so tired from the concert and it was supposed to rain so I slept in instead of trying to get in a quick ride before the rain.  I had such a nice day with my sweetie.  He skipped the gym to hang with me and I’m so grateful that he did.  We got things done as well as enjoying some laziness. 

On Sunday there weren’t too many rides posted and I really didn’t feel like tying to hang onto a group for dear life.  The night before I was thinking of doing my bucket list ride.  The predicted weather was cool with low wind.  In the dream I had I text my friend and told her I wouldn’t be going to the group ride and told her what I was up to.  When I woke up I knew I had to do it.  I woke up and started to get ready for the group ride.  When my sweetie woke up I asked him if he could pick me up in Montauk later in the day.  He agreed and I told him that I was going to do a solo one way trip to Montauk.  He seemed a little concerned but I assured him I would call him if anything happened.  I’m thinking I’m probably experiencing a mid life crisis but at least I have a healthy outlet…..

I text my friend and told her that I wouldn’t be at the ride and told her what I was up to.  She was so happy for me.  I told her I’d share my crumbs with her after she showed concern asking for a text when I was done.  I use the Road ID app that sends a message to up to ten people when I’m on a ride and they can track me throughout the ride.  I told my sweetie to leave to come get me when I got to the 70 mile mark.  The ride was supposed to be 110 miles but I threw the route together quickly that morning from a past ride I’d done so I didn’t smooth out the glitches. It was filled with wrong turns. It was all a part of the adventure.  I had a great time regardless of the wrong turns and back tracking.

It really is a small world.  At the halfway mark I bumped into a group of riders and it just so happened one of them was a friend of mine.  He took a pic of and with me and then we went back on our rides.  It was so nice to see him.  

The best thing about riding on my own is I stopped whenever I felt like it.  I stopped to take many pics.  I didn’t need a bathroom stop but I did stop for a banana (which I paid for using a credit card) and to stretch my legs a bit.  The bulk of my stopping was to check the route to get back on track when I made false turns. I did text my sweetie letting him know I’d been delayed and gave him my ETA.  

As much as I was enjoying the beautiful scenery, I got excited when I was drawing closer to the end.  When I got to 100 miles I was starting to feel emotional.  I’d accomplished so much.  I had about 15 more miles to go.  Those last 15 miles went by so fast.  Before I knew it I was at the lighthouse and someone very special was waiting for me.  I cried.  I couldn’t believe I really did it.  We hugged and kissed for a little bit and then we got on with the pics.  He brought my protein shake and a change of clothes.  I changed in the restroom of the visitors center.  The only thing that I was sad about was that they no longer have ice cream there.  Instead of eating out east, we decided to drive back.  If we waited we’d hit even worse traffic with the city people returning home.  

All in all this weekend was amazing.  I had proved to myself that I truly am capable of anything that I put my mind to.  I want to thank that certain somebody that inspired me to put this ride on my bucket list.  It feels good to accomplish something so big and feel strong from that accomplishment.  I’m hoping that maybe we can do it together, after some planning, sometime later this summer or next year.  I think we would have a lot of fun. 

I want everyone to know that, whatever that thing is that you have been meaning to accomplish, work towards it and get it done.  Feel that sense of accomplishment that you have longed for.  Only you can make it happen and only you can draw strength from completing it. If I can do it, you certainly can!

Healthy Living Fridays (vol 8)

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Red Bliss Garlic Mashed Potatoes

 

What you will need:

  • Red Potatoes (unpeeled)
  • 2% Milk
  • Margarine
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

How to make it:

Boil the potatoes until they are soft.  Remove from water.  Combine the potatoes, milk, margarine, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl.  Whip the potatoes with a hand mixer on a high setting until they’re smooth and creamy.  Serve immediately as a side dish.

FTP & Me

 

 

I’ve been meaning to test my FTP.  I’ve noticed that my power readings on the road aren’t as high as what Zwift said my FTP was.  My power readings on the road have been increasing over the course of the season and I feel stronger but the numbers just aren’t adding up.  After the TT I was speaking with one of the guys and he was saying that my power numbers should be closer to my FTP. I worked my ass off so I knew it must be that it was wrong.  I suspected correctly.  

The last time I had an FTP increase was when I climbed up Mount Zwift.  When I did ERG workouts on Zwift they felt right.  I was using a high cadence and completed all the segments of every workout.  

What I’ve come to realize is that, although Zwift is an excellent training tool, the numbers are different than on the road.  This also explains why I had a 4 watt increase when I did an FTP test on Zwift about a month after the initial FTP test on Trainerroad.  In my experience the Zwift numbers are higher than on the road by about 4-6 watts.  I will keep my current Zwift FTP the same and use the Trainerroad numbers as my IRL FTP.  

In the long run, I need to increase my numbers while maintaining a real life.  My plan is to wake up earlier to do my strength workouts.  As much as I love riding outside I need to  do my VO2 Max intervals on the trainer.  I’ve been getting lazy and I’m ready to own up to that and be fully committed to getting stronger.  

I just want to take the time to thank the ladies that have inspired me.  The ladies that balance life and get their workouts in.  I’m inspired by all the early morning gym pics with no makeup.  These women do what it takes and get it done.  That’s the kind of lady I should and will be.

 

The Way Down

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It’s a long way up but it’ll all be worth it on the other side.  I’ll grind and grunt and do what I must to get up there.  If I work really hard I will get up to that top.  Once I’m there my heart rate will drop.  I will increase my cadence and my breathing will be even.  A little effort goes a long way.  I’m getting closer, I can almost see it. Here it is, just a tiny but more. I can’t give up now, or else I won’t fly down. The climb has stopped and I’m finally at the top. I’ll take a swig of my water before I drop. It’s finally here, my hard work has paid off. As I start my descent, I pedal to pick up some speed. It’s starting to get very steep. I stop to pedal and get more aero. I feel the wind in my helmet and I’m wearing a huge smile. I’m flying! I should be scared but, really, I’m not. I live for this thrill. I didn’t pay an entrance fee and I didn’t stand in line. I earned this right to be scared out of my mind. I’m loving every moment of this. I’m not even thinking about the climb that I’ve left behind. If you’ve seen me flying you can surely wager that my inner child is crying “wee” the whole way down!

This Past Weekend (Father’s Day Weekend)

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!  Thank you for reading everyone, I appreciate your support! This was a very exciting weekend for me!  This week was good, I got some good riding in and felt very good all week.  

On Saturday, I came out of my comfort zone to try something different.  My girl invited and encouraged me to do a Time Trial with her out in NJ.  At first I thought it was silly to drive all that way to ride 10 miles but then I thought it’d be nice to do a race that is based solely on my ability.  So we schlepped to NJ…..

It had to be the craziest day.  We get to the address that we were instructed to go to and there was nothing there.  It was a park. There were no cars and definitely no bikes.  We looked it up and put the correct address in the GPS and it was 10 minutes away.  We got to the correct lot and we were starting to getting ready when one of the guys we were with realized he didn’t have his shoes.  We drove 2 hours to get there and he had no shoes! 

I drank coffee in the car on our way there so, of course, I had to pee real bad.  My girl n I stood on the porto potty line and every time the door opened we got a whiff.  We knew it would be bad but this was an atrocity.  I almost threw up, I gagged the entire time I was in there.

The start line was 8 miles from the lot where we parked and registered.  My friends were still getting ready.  It was 7:40.  My girl was scheduled to start at 8:11, my start time was 8:12 and 30 seconds.  I don’t ride as fast as she does so I told her I would head to the start to warm up and when they caught up to me I would ride in with them.  Another guy we were with came with me.  The guys were scheduled to start about 10 minutes after us. On the way out of the lot another friend joined us.  The two of them helped me and another female participant get to the start.  As we were leaving the lot our other friend told us he was able to borrow shoes. This guy must be extremely lucky!

I got to the start line with 4 minutes to spare.  A couple minutes went by and my girl was still not there!  The lady that was there called her number, 577.  I told her that 577 was on her way.  She gave me the look.  With about a minute to spare, she showed up being pulled to the start by her husband at top speed.  I signaled for her to get in front of me, I was #580.  As soon as she got in front of me I yelled “577 is here”.  They said “good”.  

I thought I was going to vomit.  I was so nervous.  One by one, every 30 seconds, the ladies in front of me were dispatched.  I popped a gel while I waited for my turn.  I got to the start line. I never experienced someone holding me in place and, we all agreed, he did a poor job at it.  I clipped both feet in, they counted down from 5 seconds and told me to go.  

I started to pedal.  In my nervousness I forgot to shift into a lighter gear! It was so hard to get moving.  I stood and got a good rhythm going and I got in my drops.  After a couple minutes I realized I was going a bit hard and backed it down a bit.  I got passed.  I went a couple more miles.  I was looking down at my Garmin at my power readings and, when I looked back up, there was a deer! It didn’t just pass right in front of me but stood there looking at me. I had to stop pedaling.  Then it passed in front of me and I started pedaling again.  That f***ing deer! I lost seconds on that damn deer!  Some time after that I was passed again.  Another couple miles passed and my legs started to ache.  Oh hell no! I went harder.  I picked up speed. I was about 4 miles from the finish.  I kept that pace up.  When I hit the last mile I went harder. I was planning to do my standing sprint finish but, in my excitement, I had sensory overload.  I wasn’t quite sure where the finish was and I blew past it for safe measure.

I joined my girl across the street and we cheered everyone as they rolled in.  Once we were all back, we rolled back to the lot and awaited our results.  My girl came in 2nd, I came in 6th.  The fifth place finisher was 7 seconds before me.  If it wasn’t for that f***ing deer….. The guys all did very well. They all ranked high.  One of our guys came in first in his category!

We all went for a ride after.  I was hurting from being still for so long.  I also put the weight back on my bike to have supplies just in case.  Also, I completely forgot to put on my chamois cream so I was really squirmy.  I would’ve still been dropped by my friends but a girl can still make excuses…. I didn’t get dropped by just anyone, I was dropped by the best!

I now realize that although it was 10 miles, they were 10 of the most valuable miles I’ve ever ridden.  Driving a couple hours to ride a few miles was well worth the trip.  It really isn’t the quantity of miles, but the quality of those miles. I did a few things wrong that I wish I could change.  Luckily I get a do-over.  I’m going back this coming weekend to right all that I did wrong and do this thing! The only way to describe my feelings is that my inner me is awake and she is hungry for more.  She wants some.  

Sunday’s ride was really good.  It was short but hilly.  I felt an ache in a different part of my thighs that I’m used to but I had a good time and enjoyed the ride.  I cut the ride short by about 3 miles when they made a turn to go up more hills.  I didn’t feel like it, so I came back.  Once back to the shop I went in and joined the race team.  I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life.  I’m ready to have real goals and go about attaining them.

I wanna thank my girl, #577, for encouraging me to start chasing my dreams.  I’m a person that does but I was reluctant to get started.  I was scared of disappointing myself. I’m not the fastest but I try really hard.  I’m tired being afraid.  I may not be the fastest but I’m not on the right track to becoming fast.  I now have an entire community of people to learn from and we support each other.  I got it going on!

 

 

Healthy Living Fridays (vol 7)

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Sometimes I make recipes with whatever I have on hand.  I throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and pray that it tastes good together.  Such is the case with this recipe.  I had pork loin in the fridge that was defrosted to cook the day before but I ate out instead.

 

Whole Wheat Penne With Pork Loin and Mixed Veggies

 

What you will need:

  • Pork Loin (half pound)
  • Whole Wheat Penne (2 cups uncooked)
  • Garlic Cloves (3)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Organic Frozen Mixed Vegetables (1 cup)
  • Organic Tomato Sauce (16oz can)
  • Dried Oregano
  • Shredded Italian Cheese Blend (1/2 cup)
  • Parmesan

How to make it:

Slice the pork loin into stir fry sized pieces.  Cook in a frying pan over med/high flame until the pork isn’t pink anymore.

In a small pot, combine the tomato sauce, salt , pepper, oregano, onion powder, and use a garlic press to add crushed garlic.  Cook over medium heat and reduce the flame as it starts to boil.  When the pork is done add it to the sauce.  Stir occasionally.

Put the frozen vegetables in the microwave for about a minute and a half.

In a medium pot, boil the pasta until al dente.  Drain and return the pasta to the pot.  Add the sauce and the vegetables.  Cook it over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the Italian cheese blend.  Serve immediately with parmesan sprinkled on top.  Makes 2 servings.  Prep time is about 10 minutes.  Cooking time is about 20 minutes.