Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday night I attended a very festive and friendly Thanksgiving social with the T2 masters swimmers. I am looking forward to attending the party and seeing friendly faces. 

I owe my friend, John, a 6-pack because he took my splits when I swam the E-Postal 10K. 

I am suppose to bring a desert to the party and I was not sure if I wanted to cook one or purchase. I decided to see what I could make with Pineapples and cream cheese, and I found a recipe for pineapple sheet cake and cream cheese topping.  More on that later..

Saturday practice was GREAT and we had a nice turnout at FGCU!

Frank, Ginger, Shannon, Jill

500 loose
10 x 75 (drill/kick/swim) w/ fins @ 1:15 (2 free/1non free choice)


4 x 200 pull (2 @ 3:00, 2 @ 2:45)
4 x 100 IM @ 1:45


4 x 200 snorkel
4 x 100 free (2 @ 1:40, 2 @ 1:30)

400 cool

mixed stroke

Monday at San Carlos - Coach Sam's set:

Warm - 500 loose
8 x 50 (drill/swim) @ 1'

150/200 swim @ 2:50
50 kick @ 1'
150/200 swim @ 2:50
100 kick

Main - Pull
8 x 50 @ :55
6 x 75 @ 1:15
4 x 100 @ 1:30
500 choice

Rustic Tropical Pineapple Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 

Be prepared - the diet is out the window with this one!

I love the cooking app called - Big Oven.  I simply enter the two ingredients I had on hand, and a number of recipe options were available to choose from, so I chose the one that I knew I would not have to go to the store.  Based on what I learned from the reviews for this particular recipe I made my own variations and adjustments to the cake. 

As written:
2 C flour
2 C sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs 
20 oz can (about 2 cups crushed pineapple in juice, don't drain
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C nuts (I grounded them in coffee grinder - almonds)
8 oz cream cheese
4 T. butter
3 cups confectioners sugar (oops I used granulated, so I did not use all 3 cups, still delish)
1 tsp. vanilla
(nuts optional - did not use in the icing. 

Mix all together until smooth. (I fluffed the eggs first, added the flour and sugar, and alternated with the pineapple). Pour into greased glass baking sheet dish. Bake on 325 degree for 25-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, slowing add sugar and blend well. 

Notes:  I did not have vanilla on hand, so I used a tad of lemon and coconut flavoring to the cake. To the icing I added a tad of almond flavor.   I also used frozen pineapple, which I thawed in microwave, so I could crush them with potato crusher.  I greased the bottom and sides of the pan with coconut oil.   The reviews said that this cake was very dense, and I wanted to fluff it up a bit, so I added about a 1/3 cup of seltzer water.  The glass pan is the way to go for even cooking. Texture is moist and sticky, even with the seltzer. It was amazing and I highly recommend trying it.  YUM!!!!

The landscaping around the pool screen is finally complete and looks lovely. Those are pitch apple bushes. Thank you Mark the Landscaper, originally from New Castle, PA., who planted 18 of them by himself!

The kitchen nook chandelier is now complimented with the matching breakfast bar pendants.   - very cool set of modern lights from Golden lighting. They're different....The finish on them is called champagne. 

I have been having a ton of fun teaching swimming lessons to triathletes this past week. One particular lesson I taught was held at the Cape Coral Wellness Center pool.  After the lesson I had the opportunity to speak with the wellness coordinator about teaching Yoga and swimming at the center.  They happen to be hiring instructors, so hopefully my schedule will allow me to teach a few classes in Cape Coral and Ft. Myers. She wants me to do a mini audition for her so she can sample my class, which will take place this week. Yeah!

For Tuesday swim practice we will have a special opportunity to swim a 500 for time!

400 swim
100 kick
100 (non free/scull by 25)

1 x 200 swim
1 x 100 catch up with fist drill
1 x 200 swim
1 x 100 single arm (L/R, L/R)

6 x 50 kick descent 1>3
5 x 100 pull

Test set:
500 for time

cool 200 OR

4 x 300 odds stroke/free by 50, evens free
cool 100 

Happy Laps!!

Wednesday swimming might take place at FGCU in the AM. Workout TBD. 

Thanksgiving day swim will most likely be an ocean swim the the SWFL open water swimming group. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Autum Harvest

Well, it's been a nice fall here in SWFL.  We had a few days where the humidity seem to move out, which gave us the opportunity to open all the windows and doors. I would not say we are cooling off, but I guess upper 70s and mid 80s is "cooling' off.

I wanted to show off our formal dining room, where I was able to match the chandelier with some pretty wall paper..ooooh, aaaah.

This time of year is a good time to visit the markets where you can find local foods, vegetable, bread, pastries, dog treats, etc.  The farmers markets are all over town on different days.  A few weeks back I ventured to the Koreshan Park with my neighbor and her father, where we enjoyed the outdoors while shopping for delicious fruits and vegetables.

Norm is 90 years old. Norm and Russ play cribbage on a daily basis. He and his daughter have become great friends of ours.

Last Friday night, mom and dad invited us to "The Stage" which is in Bonita Springs. It's a dinner/live music venue. The band performing last week was a cover band for Beach Boys songs. We enjoyed movin' and a groovin' to their tunes. Here is mom and dad dancing!! Mom loves to jitter bug!

It was that Friday, that the news broke out about the terrible terrorist attack on France. I have been sicken by the event all week and feel extremely sad and mournful for the precious people that died and were injured. So many families affected.  It was a relief to learn that my dear friend and old high school beau and his SO were able to get home safely. According to his FB post, they were in a restaurant 15 minutes away from one of the blasts.

It's been so weird this week - to see people go about their day, like nothing happened. I listen to NPR and hear how frightened the people who live in France are.

I honestly don't think we are out of the woods, and at some point we will continue to fight this war on our turf.  I will not live in fear, as that is what they want us to do.

I want to change the subject to sports and triathlon. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who referred me to coach one of his friends who lives in CA and qualified for Kona 2016 during a 70.3 race. She won the military division of the race and she is very motivated. I was happy to oblige and I plan to prepare her for an excellent race on October 8, 2016!

Practices for this week: 11/16-20

Monday - solo swim at FGCU

300 swim, 200 pull, 100 kick
Main set - 1:30 base
500, 400, 300, 200, 100, - swim
100, 200, 300, 400, 500 - pull
cool 100

Tuesday Masters 5am

300 swim/ 200 pull/ 100 kick...

6 x 50 (odds drill/swim, evens kick/swim) @ 1’
Main SET – 2xs (pick your interval)
50 Swim @ 1:05/1:00/:55/:50
50 blast kick @ 1:00/1:05/1:10/1:15 (pick one interval and stay with it for entire set)
100 swim @ 2:00/1:50/1:45/1:40
50 blast kick
150 swim @ 2:50/2:45/2:30/2:15’
50 blast kick
150 swim @ 2:45/2:40/2:25/2:10
50 blast kick
100 swim @ 1:55/1:45/1:40/1:30
50 blast kick
50 swim @ 1:00/:55/:50/:45
8 x 100 @ 1:30/1:40/1:50/2:00
Breathe 3/5/7/9
Cool 100
Wednesday solo at FGCU
400 (25free/25back)
200 kick
3 x 300 pull (no paddles) - strong...

3 x 300 snorkel/paddles - long
300 kick
Cool - 3 x 100 (50free breathe every 4/50back)
Thursday - 5AM
500 loose
6 x 75 (fly/back/breast by 25) @ 1:20
2 x 75 free (fast/ez/fast by 25 @ 1:15
2 xs
1 x 200 (back/free by 50) @ 3:30 / 3:45  / 4:00
1 x 100 breast @ 2:15
1 x 200 (breast/free by 50)  3:45 / 4:00 / 4:15
1 x 100 fly @ 2’
1x 200 (fly/free by 50) 3:30 / 3:45 / 4:00
1 x 100 back @ 2’
 2xs Pull
1 x 200 @ 3:00
1 x 100 @ 1:30
 Cool 4 x 100 snorkel pace
Friday – Masters – Speed Play

500 loose
8 x 25 single arm (4 breathing to recovery arm side, 4 breathing to opposite side)
4 x 50 swim (25 fist / 25 swim)
14 x 25 @ :30
1 fast + 1 EZ
2 fast + 1 EZ
3 fast + 1 EZ
4 fast + 1 EZ
 4 xs                                  
150 fast @ 2:30             
75 ez
1 x 25 scull
2 xs
100 fast @ 1:45        
75 EZ
3 x 25 scull swim
4 xs
50 fast @ :45
25 ez
250 cool
Happy Laps!!!!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Family Challenge Relay #1

About a month ago I have a friend, Jennifer, who recommended me to her friends to participate on a relay leg (swim portion) of a triathlon that is traditionally held in Venice Beach, FL.  I was ecstatic when they ask me!  Of course, what's more fun than swimming in the ocean on a relay triathlon?!   Keep in mind that these ocean waters are no ordinary waters....they don't call it Sharky's Pier for nothing!  It is the shark capital of the world!  Maybe the race directors sent a memo to the sharks to inform them that there would be no fishing from the pier, and to stay away from that area until the triathlon was over. Ya think?

I met Scott and George for the first time one week before the race in Punta Gorda. We got to know each other and their significant others and had a nice time chatting and organizing the logistics of packet pick up and race day itinerary. Turns out, Scott is sponsored by 'TriSports" and since they were one of the major sponsors, he had a free entry into the race, giving us a free entry pass too!  Cool. I only needed to pay the USAT single day race admission. 

All of us had to be in attendance at the packet pick up on Saturday, as there was no pickup on Sunday, race day. This Family Challenge event offered two distances, the Olympic and a Half (70.3)  We were signed to relay the Olympic distance. (1.5k/40K10K) 

Saturday was a good opportunity to check out the waters and get a feel for how it will be going around the pier.  It was an easy 50 minute drive North, and the beach was gorgeous.  There is a very large restaurant and gift shop and all of this is located adjacent to a nice park, with jogging paths, and next to that a doggie park. Across the street is a driving range and a golf course. Pretty cool set up. 

I hopped in the water for a test swim just before meeting them for packet pick up. There was  a planned organized swim, so there were kayaks and swimmers out there already. As soon as I started swimming along, I immediately thought, oh crap, there are probably sharks out here. Oh well, I'll just keep swimming. I headed to a kayaker, and inquired with her about the course, since there were buoys stationed out there.  The waters were pretty clear, and the current was strong. The course was a little different. You start at the beach, head straight out past the pier (3-500m), take a hard right, and go North well past the pier, take a 45 degree right turn and angle in toward the pier where the sun was directly into your eyes, then make a 90 degree turn left to the beach.   The chop that was most bothersome was traveling at the 45 degree angle South bound.  I did not swim the entire course on Saturday, just simply around the pier. 

I headed to the showers, and rinsed, dressed, and made my way to the park to meet Scott and George for packet pick up plus the 'mandatory' meeting. There was no way I was going to stay for the entire meeting, as all of it did not pertain to my straight forward .9 mile swim. I just needed to know which direction to swim, and where to turn and finish. Simple!

I decided to drive up the morning of the race this time, rather than spending the night up North. It was not bad of a drive, as I took Highway 41 all the way because it was so early.  I planned it well. Race organization was very good. Plenty of parking in the grass. Headed over to body marking. I already had the chip from packet pick up.  So much easier, then lugging all the tri gear. Simply need cap and goggles.  I made a pit stop, walked to the beach start, where they were already sending off the waves for the half distance. I warmed up a little bit, ate a Power Bar gel and gathered for a group photo.


After all the half distance waves went off, we had a couple of minutes before the Olympic distance wave plus relays to start. I noticed this really tall guy in a sleeveless wetsuit. I started up a conversation with him. He was also doing a relay with his wife. He was swimming and cycling, and she was running. I asked him what his background was and he said water polo. Why he was wearing a wet suit came as a surprise, and he said because he just bought it and it was brand new.  Okay - fair enough. 

I made sure to situate myself so that I don't get trampled at the start. There was no worry for that, but you never know!  About 200meters into the start, I don't see anyone to me left anymore, and another 50 or 75m later, I noticed that I am passing the tall gentleman in the wet suit.  Okay - so now the only thing I have to contend with is getting around the other swimmers that started before us. I came upon one guy who was on his back doing the frog kick. Oh dear.   I tried not to crawl over anyone.  I knew the second turn buoy would be tricky and that angling toward the last turn buoy would take some navigational skills. The kayak support was very helpful.  Although because the sun was directly in front of the turn buoy, I had to remove my goggles to get a better look a few times.  I knew I needed to spot the little house thingy that was on the pier, since it was lined up with the buoy, which really helped as well. Part of it was I didn't trust that I was swimming a perfect line, and I was aiming for a perfect line!!  The chop to the last buoy was in our face. Anyway - navigation went well, and then the current was in our favor going into the beach. 

The only thing I was really concerned about was getting up the beach , and then running the 300 meters on the road into transition. Given that my hip had been sore, I planned for that and took Ibuprofen the night before. That helped A LOT.  I actually was running!  LOL!
Fat, but running 

 George was prepped to remove the chip and put it on Scott's ankle. Scott was ready to ride hard!   

Here is Scott returning from is 1:11 ride!
Nice work Scott!  He said it was pretty sketchy out there though. I am glad he returned safely. 

Now it was my turn to remove his chip and place it on George's ankle so he can take off running like a bat out of hell!  George was very amped up before the run. There was nothing I could do to calm him down. He had to run the the most heat, so his leg was no doubt the toughest of all!  He ran a very solid race despite the conditions. George is very fit and currently is in training for a marathon.

We awaited anxiously for him on the course. Here he is coming into the finish!  Nice job George!

Scott was able to run across the finish line with George, I was 
support personnel close behind --

Our team won overall relay division by about 30 minutes. We all had a blast and plan on competing next year.  Thanks guys and thank you Krissy for taking all the pictures!

Swim training practices for this past week can be found on the GSTC Masters Face Book page.   Kind of running short on time to put these in this post. 

Happy Laps!