Sunday, March 27, 2011

Double cookout weekend (3 weeks until NOLA)

Besides enjoying training, I love to cook on the grill.  Warning: do not read this post if you are hungry.  I grill just about every weekend year round, regardless of the temperature and weather.  It's rare that I get to cookout both days due to various social and volunteer events, but this weekend I was able to cook both days and made the most of it.  We had some snow Saturday and for some reason, cookouts in fowl weather taste even better for some reason.

View from my driveway where I grill
So Saturday, I went with the standard steak and a bacon wrapped, cream cheese chicken roll.  To mix things up, I added some chicken wings that I later mixed in hot sauce and some grilled pineapple.  Grilling the pineapple caramelizes the sugars oozing from it and gives it a unique taste.  Yum.

The yellow stuff is the pineapple.  Give it a try!
Sunday, I grilled for three families.  I normally grill for two, us and our neighbors across the street.  The neighbor's wife has ALS and the other neighbors and friends rotate providing meals just about every night.  Since I love grilling, it's not an inconvenience at all for me.  Sunday was tricky with the amount of food I was cooking, but luckily my neighbor, also a die hard griller, had extra space on his grill that he let me borrow.  So I cooked the mushrooms and asparagus on his grill.  For the mushrooms, I put some garlic, thyme, sage, and olive oil in a bowl, mixed the mushrooms in then put the mixture in aluminum foil.  I made three packets, one for each family.  For the asparagus, I put olive oil and Parmesan cheese on them and also put them in aluminum foil packets.  On my grill, I cooked a couple steaks, some bbq chicken breasts, a piece of Mahi Mahi, and put sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and put them right next to the coals.  Yum!

The fish has some oil, lime juice, and cilantro on it.  Yum!
Anyway, back to NOLA.  This week was a recovery week, which was nice.  I could definitely feel my legs getting even more fatigued on off days followed by feeling strong on the weekend.  I'm ready both mentally and physically (it's a relief to say that!).  Now it's about logistics and nutrition.  I do wish I was about 10 pounds lighter for the race, but given my cooking passion, it hasn't happened.  I do wish I was faster on the run, but I've been focused on building endurance without injury.  I might start focusing on run speed a bit this summer.  There is no reason I shouldn't be able to get down to a 7:30 pace (or lower).  I just need to put in the work.

Lake Pontchartrain is warming up quickly and at this rate, the swim probably won't be wet suit legal.  I bought a sleeveless wetsuit in December and finally tried it on today.  It's the same size as my sleeved Xterra wetsuit so I wasn't too worried about it.  I hope it's wetsuit legal, but if not, I'll deal with it.


Kate Geisen said...

That food looked really good...and I just ate!! Glad you're feeling ready. I was telling my friend today that I think I'm going to start working on speed after the marathon. At this point, though, a 7:30 pace would be wildly optimistic for me. 8:30's would make me happy.

Tri-James said...

I do not remember if I shared this - here are the temperature and water quality reports.

The race starts at #4 Ponchartrain Beach.

The temperatures and "fecal" counts fluctuate wildly depending on the amount of rainfall the week before. I would think that it would almost definitely be wetsuit legal.