Thursday, February 26, 2009

#58 - Cook 101...#'s 6-8

On a weekly basis I put together a menu and for once I've managed to stick to it rather well. Mainly because I really do need to concentrate on losing some weight. Even with a drink most nights I've managed to stay under 1,800 calories a day (and yes, I know if I cut out alcohol I'd lose weight faster but there are some things I won't do). Dinner has been inspired by the Wegman's magazine and are numbers 6,7,& 8 for my make 101 new recipes (click on the links to get the recipes - I didn't want this entry to be too long).
Here you go:

Pan-Seared Salmon Puttanesca with Fusilli

The title pretty much says everything that's in the recipe and I served it with some sauteed garlic spinach. This was a very easy to make recipe (took about 15 minutes). The only changes I made were I sauteed some garlic for the salmon and I used Smart Choice butter vs real butter. All in all about 550 calories or tasty goodness!


Typical chili with ground beef, onions, green peppers, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, kidney beans (oops, forgot to buy), and cannellini beans. The "odd" ingredients were worcestershire sauce, Wegmans Chili Sauce, and a beer (they recommended and I used India Pale Ale).

You'll notice there were no tomatoes so I added a can of diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning and I reduced the amount of Chili Sauce from the recipe to reduce the salt. Served this with some fat free sour cream and fat free cheddar cheese. Overall, tasted fine but the Turkey Chile with White Beans was much better.

Tomato Basil with Orzo Soup with Grilled Turkey and Gouda Sandwich (magazine said ham and gouda but I don't like ham and they called it a panini but I don't have a panini pan)

You can actually buy this soup already made at Wegman's and it is better then what I made. I think it's because I was not consistent with halving the recipe (halved some things, but not everything). The only other change I made was I used Italian Seasoning (from a tube - these are really good) so it wasn't just basil. For the sandwich, I made the grilled turkey/cheese with this tasty bread that I can't remember the name of but it's 100 calories for 2 slices, smart balance butter, 98% fat free turkey, and smoked gouda. The meal was good and very easy to make (30 min), but in the future I think I'll buy their version of this soup.

I'm a day behind on workouts because I skipped Sun. I keep saying I'll catch up and if I leave work early today I will do last nights run (I spun) and tonight's spin. 50 min run on Saturday, 2 hour ride on Sunday then "real" IMS training begins! WOOHOO!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Name Change

When I got divorced I checked the box to change my name back to my maiden name of Chavez. When The Ex saw that he pitched a fit, “we’ve been married ten years, this is an amicable divorce, we’re still friends, blah, blah, blah”. In other words, he convinced me to keep his name.

I recently found out that The Ex is now engaged. My reaction is mixed – certainly no jealousy because I am incredibly happy with Dude and where my life is now. The best way to describe it is I’m happy he found someone. I just hope he treats her far better then he ever treated me. Sadly though, from what I hear, he hasn’t changed so I fear he’s destined for failed marriage number two.

Back to the topic of discussion…now that he is getting married I think I should go back to my maiden name. No offense to him (we are still friendly) but his name means nothing to me, it’s just a daily reminder of a past failure.

On the other hand, my maiden name is from my father who I’ve met maybe 4 times in my life. So other then the connection to my siblings, that name means very little to me also. I think professionally it’s a great name – Esther Chavez just screams Hispanic. With my career aspirations it looks great for companies to have female minorities in senior management.

Finally, no one can pronounce my current last name (it’s a long “e” at the end). At the marathon finish I was Esther Le, Le, Le, Esther from The Sticks, VA.

But “Esther Chavez – You Are An Ironman”! Now that’s sweet!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some things just make me laugh

Yet another "saw this on FB and had to try it". Deal is you google your first name and needs in quotations("Esther needs") then list the first 10 things that comes up.

Esther needs...
1. a mullet and legwarmers
2. a bus
3. to go the doctor
4. it to all fit together
5. your help
6. a hot storyline
7. to get out more
8. a spanking with her feather duster
9. your help to win a stupid contest
10. a loan of 1,000 soles

When I saw #8 I had to post. Especially when combined with #6.

Hee Hee

Monday, February 23, 2009


That stands for Nothing Significant To Report. Last week was a transition week, so training schedule is light. Quite honestly, I barely did any of it. I spun for 40 minutes and I ran for 60 minutes. That's it!

I did cook another new meal - "Mom's Baked Fried Chicken with Gravy" and without reliving the memory by giving the recipe it scores:

We have another transition week this week and I've vowed to do more of the training. Mainly because, at the risk of repeating myself, I really need to get serious about this Ironman thing. So, time to FOCUS - get the training in (and I mean all of it), improve my nutrition (lose some weight), do strength and core workouts, and find a yoga class.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Final Marathon Post

I finished in 5:03, and no, I did not have a negative split

I did not get any blisters – Smart Wool Socks RULE

As far as I know all of my toenails are intact – toenails are still pretty from my pre-marathon pedicure

I never hit “the wall” – plenty of times that hurt, but no time of sapped energy or thoughts that I could not continue

Nutrition worked for the marathon but not sure about IMS - that last GU was tough to swallow

Need to get over my disgust of port-a-potties – I could have used one more break in the run (but I’m afraid I’d never start running again)

I need to work on my form. Coach Ed and Tony have both told me I sit back when I run and I never knew what they were talking about. Looking at pictures, I notice that I do kind of sit (like starting to squat) which could explain the quad pain.

I’d like to improve my time and someday get below 4:30

I'm seriously considering Marine Corp Marathon in the fall!

Now it’s time to get motivated and engaged in training for IMS. I can’t believe it’s just around the corner! YIKES!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Race Report - Myrtle Beach Marathon – 14 Feb 2009

Forgive me for being long winded - it was a long race!

Day before:
Dude drove us down there. We got a late start because, well, just because. He had been travelling, I put off final packing, I wanted to make him a great breakfast since I was dragging him down to Myrtle to watch a marathon, etc. So, 8 hours later, we make it to packet pick up and I get my bib – number 5411. We head to the hotel – 3500 Ocean Blvd, 1.3 miles from the race start. There should be plenty of time to organize my stuff, drink my traditional beer and still get plenty of sleep. EXCEPT, apparently there is Myrtle Beach, then there is North Myrtle Beach…16 miles away. Yes, I’m an idiot! Still organized my stuff and had my beer, but sleep was curtailed – no biggie, it was a restless night anyways!

Race morning
Woke up in plenty of time but started dicking around with the gear and stuff so ended up getting to the race with less then 15 minutes to spare. No time to find the tent so I gave my special needs bag to Dude and asked him to take it to the tent after we started. I searched for Jason and realized most of the other Team Z’ers were wearing their tri jersey so I changed shirts (I’m such a girl). Finally found Jason and got ready to go. Weather was perfect, race wasn’t too crowded, in a word, perfect.

Funny aside, as I was looking for Jason, I noticed the pacing flags, 4:30. 5, etc. I was wondering why there was so much room for these paces since there can’t be THAT many people who can run 5 minute miles for a marathon. Ohhhh, that’s hours!

Dude left his camera in the car (because I rushed him to the start because I didn’t want to go alone) so the only start pics are from my phone, so quality sucks!

Miles 1-13
We started with a nice pace, Zone 2 (well, my official zone 3, but I was able to carry an easy conversation the whole time so I call it zone 2). About 2 miles in there were a bunch of guys peeing in the woods. I looked at Jason and said, “this is one of the few times I wish I had a penis”. People around us just laughed at me. At some point Tim Greten passed us and we really wanted to speed up (seriously, the guy is not a runner AND he hasn’t been training) but we stuck to our plan and continued along. First "Dude Sighting" was Mile 8.

Around mile 9 we ran into McDonald’s for the bathroom break (my fear of no toilet paper and no place to wash my hands kept me out of the port-a-potties). At some point Jason looked at his watch and said, “Low zone 2, I could run an ultra-marathon like this” (he changed his story around mile 19). Next "Dude Sighting" was not suppose to be until Mile 18 but he heard me ask him to meet us at 13 with more drinks and nutrition. We passed the Team Z tent and continued on. I was feeling great and thought “easy-peasy, just have to do that one more time”. Our goal was to get to the half before the first person finished. Goal Achieved.

Miles 13.1 – 18
Nothing significant but I have to make fun of this woman in the white tank. She was doing the run/walk method so she’d speed by Jason and me, get way ahead then she’d walk. We’d eventually pass her and came up with the nickname Huffer. Her breathing was so loud and ragged when we’d pass – I swear, Zone 5. Eventually we stayed ahead of her and never heard the breathing again. Our next “Dude Sighting” came at 18, more liquids and some more PowerBar Jellies.

Miles 18.1-25
Every other mile SUCKED.
18-19=e-gads; 19-20=not so bad; 20-21=holy crap this hurts; 21-22=ok, I can do this; 22-23=very loud obscenities and lots of them; 23-24=I’ve lost feeling in my legs; 24-25= won’t this misery just end; 25-26.2=heaven, I’m in heaven, this race is DONE!

Sometime after 20 Jason and I both had our IPods in. So we were both singing really loud to drown each other out. I’m not sure if the other racers appreciated this as much as we did. That only lasted a mile. By mile 22 I barely had the energy to listen to the music, let alone sing.

Next “Dude Sighting” wasn’t supposed to be until mile 22 but it took us too long. Dude cycled back and met us around 21.5 and rode with us to the finish – yelling encouragement, and just keeping us company. Love, love, love that man!

Mile 25-26.2
Once we passed 25 we really picked up the pace. Got to the Team Z tent, did some high-fives, yelled out our burger order and continued running. We heard Iwan yell out, “You only have a mile to go”. Both Jason and I were like, WTF, it should only be ½ mile!

We got to the chute and started our sprint. We were full out running when Jason said “if I run any faster I’m gonna pull something”. We crossed the finish line and surprisingly no tears. I expected tears of joy.

Well, my race goals were Survive (Check), finish in less then 5 hours (5:03-but there was a potty break that probably took about 3 minutes, and test nutrition strategy (Check and spot-on).

Things nobody bothered to tell me:
After 26.2 miles of running you will forget how to walk.

There’s no easy way to stand up after using the bathroom after the race. I thought I’d be stuck in the stall forever.

There is a post marathon fog – I have no recollection of this picture being taken (and that’s only my 1st beer).

A hot tub is heaven!

The first step the morning after is shockingly painful!!!!

Your biceps will hurt – well, everything from the neck down will actually hurt.

It’s three days later and I already know I will do this again (aside from IMS). Yes it hurt and it was hard but looking back, it was kind of fun! Plus, in my 101 in 1001 I said I’d do three. One down, two to go!

I have to end by saying Dude is the greatest boyfriend ever and I am darn lucky to have him in my life. He sherpa’d my drinks and nutrition, he met us at 8,13, and 18, he rode with us (in the rain). He helped me get into my warm clothes after – it’s surprising how far away your feet are when you’re trying to take off your socks! He drove both ways with no complaints. He had dinner on Valentine’s Day with my former in-laws who were in town on vacation. He wins “Boyfriend of the Universe”!

Oh, and in case you were wondering – we never did make the strip clubs.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


My packing list for the marathon is a page and 1/2 long. It's a weekend trip where all I have to do is run!!!

Let's see, Ironman will be 9 days in Europe, two additional sports and all of their equipment, more nutrition, vacation, etc. I'm going to have to charter a private jet to Switzerland to carry everything!

I alter between being excited about Saturday and hoping they call the whole thing due to rain (ha-ha).

I like what Tony said though, it's a 10K with a 20 mile warm-up. I can do that!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

4 Days Till Marathon

Now I'm thinking about it, obsessing about it, worrying about it.

What to pack. What to put in special needs bag. I should have a spare pair of shoes - I only have one pair worthy of a marathon, the others have too many miles on them. It might rain. It might be hot. It might be humid. It's going to be dark at the beginning. How will I change out my lenses in my glasses if it gets sunny. Where does Dude need to be to change out my fuel belt bottles. What if he's not there when I need him. I should have bought an IPOD shuffle, my nano only lasts 3 hours. Should I still wear it and just not turn it on until the 2 hour mark? My nutrition has worked in training, will it work through the final 6.2 miles? What should I eat for breakfast? When should I eat breakfast? What if I get a blister? I've never had a blister. Should I pack some tissues in case there's no toilet paper in the porta-potties? Should I wear my long sleeve shirt under my other shirt? I hate being hot. How bad am I going to smell when I'm done?

Do I mentally have the strength to do this? Am I ready?

What if I finish and feel good - does that mean I didn't push myself? What if I finish and feel horrible - what's that going to do to my Ironman mindset?

What if I don't finish?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Marathon? What marathon? I bought a new bike!

My first marathon is on Saturday but all I can think about is my new bike. I did my taxes last week (101 in 1001 #25 - done for 2009) and I'm getting a decent amount back. In direct defiance to my natural instinct to save the money, I decided to get my very own tri bike.

And against my original plan, I bought a 2009 Cervelo P2. I wanted to avoid joining the Cervelo mafia but there's a reason about 40% of Team Z rides Cervelo - they are great bikes and you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Because she has P2 on the fork, and because she was bought with tax money, I've decided to name her Penny. She's comfy, she's fast, she's pretty, and she's mine, all mine!

So, today, 5 days before the marathon when I should be thinking strategy, nutrition, weather, special needs bag, etc. I'm thinking about deraillers, handlebar tape, bike fittings, and just how cool my bike is!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2009 Race Schedule

OK, here’s my race schedule. Everything up to July 12th is in preparation for July 12th. In other words, my life revolves around Ironman! It’s also a year of firsts – 1st marathon, 1st (and 2nd) 70.3’s, 1st 2-mile swim, and, of course, 1st Ironman. So here goes:

Myrtle Beach Marathon – Myrtle Beach, SC - 14 Feb 2009
Comments: I knew I had to run a marathon before IMS and when this came up on the calendar for a vote Jason called to say “Vote for Myrtle, it’s flat and there’s great strip clubs in Myrtle Beach”. Now I’m not sure why he thought that would lure me in but when I called Dude to tell him about it I did use it as a ploy. So in addition to my first marathon it might also be my first time going to a strip club. Nothing says romance like running 26.2 then watching topless women dance. Race Goal: Survive. Finish in less then 5 hours. Test nutrition strategy.

Scope it out 5K - Washington, DC - 29 March 2009
Comments: Just a fun little race the team does. We dress as Polyp’s (race raises money for colon cancer research) and the goal of the runners is to “catch the polyp’s”. No goal, other then to talk myself into getting up to run just a 5K.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler – Washington, DC – 5 Apr 2009
Comments: This was my first 10 miles ever last year. Did it in 1 hour 40 minutes (thanks for the catch Lindsay!) – would like to beat that this year. Not sure if this will become a tradition – I’m not a fan of running in crowds.

Rumpass in the Bumpass Oly (Relay) - Lake Anna, VA - 18 April 2009
Comments: Look at the name of the race - who wouldn’t want to do this race! Team IMS is relaying and we are each doing our weakest link for practice so Robin will be swimming, I’ll be cycling, and Jason will be running. We’re really just there for the t-shirt!

MAYBE - Rumpass in the Bumpass Sprint - Lake Anna, VA - 19 April 2009
Comments: Just to do a back-to-back race. This is a maybe – it would be fun to smoke a sprint course!

2009 Colonies Zone SCY Championship – Fairfax, VA - 24 April 2009
Comments: This was my first swim meet ever last year. I did the 1650 in 30 minutes (but very consistent with my splits) so I’d like to beat that. Problem is, I still have to register and the coordinator said there are only 3 slots left so I may end up doing the 1,000.

Kinetic Half Ironman - Lake Anna State Park - 9 May 2009
Comments: My 1st 70.3!!! Mom is coming to watch so my goal is to survive, put on a strong effort, test nutrition, learn how to race a 70.3. No time goals since I have no clue what my time should be…8 hours?? UPDATE: Goal less then 7 hours.

Reston 2 mile swim - Reston, VA - 24 May 2009
Comments: This will be my first OW 2 mile swim, a good test to estimate my IMS time.

Mooseman 70.3 – Newfound Lake, NH– 7 Jun 2009
Comments: Final practice race before IMS. Time to perfect my plans and to beat my Kinetic time. This event is wonderfully planned and the area is just perfect. Looking forward to going back up there!

PRR 4 miler - Ashburn, VA - 27 June 2009
Comments: Just a fun race in the sticks close to my house. Team race – so I’m there for the beer.

Ironman Switzerland - Zurich, Switzerland - 12 July 2009
Comments: Holy crap, I’m doing an Ironman. My ultimate goal is to finish within the time limit, healthy and smiling. Time wise: Worse case: 15:59:59 (well, worst case is anything over 16:00). My goal is 14:30. My ultra stretchy goal is less then 14:00. The best part of doing this in Switzerland is I’m almost guaranteed a daylight finish! Sun doesn’t set until around 10 pm.

No real plans after IMS. My short list of maybe’s (and I will definitely do at least one) are:
Luray Oly (Relay) – Luray, VA - 15 Aug 2009
Patriot’s International – Williamsburg, VA – 13 Sep 2009
Savageman 70.3 (Relay) – Deep Creek, MD - 19-20 Sep 2009
Giant Acorn – Lake Anna, VA – 3 October 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bib 1220 - IRONMAN Switzerland 2009

When I registered for IMS I had about 8 too many shots of tequila (stupid Patron) so I ended up buying a $150CH gift certificate. I just used $33CH to purchase my bib number: 1220 - or to help you remember Dec 20 - my birthday.

This makes it even more real!