Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Boy® & Dad Race Week

It is going to be a busy week for the Boy® and I. He is just coming off a weekend of ABC Swim finals. Poor kid, he had just qualified for a bunch of B-standard swim events last winter only to turn 11 and get bumped into the next age group. Now swimming with the 11-12 year old boys, he has had to 'requalify' with even faster swim standards. Not familiar with swim standards for Minnesota? Let me try and explain.

Types of Meets Available to Minnesota Swimmers

A/B/C Meets are for all swimmers. Event categories are divided into “C” and slower, “B” and “A” and faster. Think of C standard as a 3-hour marathon, B standard as Boston qualifier, A standard as running under 2 hrs 30 mins.

B/C Meets provide an intermediate level of competition for swimmers with “B” time and “C” times. The vast majority of kids swim here.

A Meets are for experienced swimmers who have achieved “A” times and faster. Team scores are kept and team awards are given. It is NOT easy getting an A time. These are gifted athletes.

State Meets are open to qualifiers with a “Champ" or State qualifying times or faster. These are the crème de la crème swimmers. Most would be successful anywhere in the nation. Amazing swimmers.

Zone Meets are annual regional championship meets held each August by USA Swimming. USA Swimming divides the country into four zones and each zone has its own meet and names a zone champion.  The zone meets are hosted in Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, or Indiana. My guess is, most kids who can get a Zone time will have a free ride in college via a swim scholarship

Let's look at some examples. For a 11-year old boy in the 50 free, a time of 45.69 is needed for a C time, 39:19 for a B time, 34:29 for a A time, 32:59 for a Champ time, and 29.79 for a Zone time. Pretty easy to understand.

So, the Boy® swam four times last weekend as he had a C-standard in the 50, 100, and 200 free and 50-back. He set PRs in the 50 free and 50 back and is nearing B times there.

This coming weekend he is swimming at the Minnesota State Long Course (LCM) Championship at the U of M. He will be swimming in the:
  • Fri - 400 Medley Relay (free)
  • Sat - 200 Medley Relay (free)
  • Sat - 400 Free Relay (2nd leg)
  • Sun - 200 Free Relay (3rd leg)
But, wait a minute. How can he be swimming at a Champ only event? Simple: Only one of the relay members has to have a Champ time. And the Boy® has a lot of simply AWESOME fellow swimmers on the team in his age group.

This should be a very good experience for him.....or it will be possibly detrimental. Emphasis on mental. He is on a very loaded team and is the obvious weak link. I can just imagine his fellow relay members are swimming in 1st or 2nd or 3rd when the exchange is made and he gets wiped out. Then we’ll be in the awkward position of knowing everyone is thinking, “we’d have won if not for him”. This could cause some mental scarring for the lad. But on the other hand, if the relay teams are successful then he’ll gain some much needed confidence.

He has tremendous, supportive teammates and outstanding coaches. If there is, say, a 20-meter lead in the medley relay when the boy splashes in with the last leg, and gets annihilated, I am confident in the fact his teammates and coaches will be there to pick him up. This should be a very interesting story to watch as the weekend unfolds.

I'll be there Friday, then I'll be off to Fargo for the Lindenwood 10K on Saturday morning (7AM). I intend to drive back immediately after and hope to catch the Saturday sessions. The 10K is the age graded event I've been telling you about.This should be fun as they award to the top two males and females in each age category: 19 and under, 20-29,30-39,40-49,50-59,60-69,70+. PLUS!! Age-Adjusted Awards to Top 5 Males and Top 5 Females! I'm excited about that.

Last year I was easily going under 40-minutes for a 10K. I'm not confident I can do that this coming Saturday. The run miles are only now starting to build to pre-injury levels after the pelvic stress fracture debacle from March. I should exceed 100-miles this month, my first such month since Feburary. I'll be looking to have a solid effort and let the chips fall where they may.

So, good luck to me and the Boy® this coming weekend! Hopefully, I have some good results to share after the dust settles.

Monday, July 25, 2011

TDF Fantasy Results

Thanks everyone for playing the 2011 Tour de France fantasy challenge. It was a great tour and having a fantasy team made it even more enjoyable.

Here are the final standings (click on image for larger view):

Nathan Asay (Team 1st) - First place and a $100 gift certificate to Running Warehouse
Dusan Maletic (Team Rivendell) - Second place and a $50 gift certificate to Running Warehouse
Steven Aesoph (Team I'm Fast) - Third place and a $25 gift certificate to Running Warehouse

* As the person who put the league together, I (Team Tundra Transition Zone) was not eligible for prizes)

All winners must email me (briankeithmaas@msn.com) their home email address so that I can send you an electronic gift card. (Steve, I already have yours). Please give me a couple days to process the request.

Thanks all for playing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Moroccan Grilled Salmon

While Cedar Plank Salmon remains my favorite grilled fish recipe, I will have to try out this one, courtesy Food Network Magazine.


1/2 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for garnish
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the grill
2 to 3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillets
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish


Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, coriander, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Pour half of the sauce into a large resealable plastic bag; cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce. Add the salmon to the bag and turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the bag over once.

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove the salmon from the marinade and blot off excess yogurt with paper towels. Lightly oil the grill and add the salmon; cook, turning once, until browned on the outside and opaque in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Serve with the reserved yogurt sauce and garnish with the herbs and lemon wedges.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Race Result: 2011 Heart of the Lakes Triathlon (aka the Big Heat)

Event: 2011 Heart of the Lakes (non-USAT)
Date: Sunday, July 17, 2011
Location: Annandale, MN. Water temperature was 79F
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 80F at start but heat index was at 87 rising to 91 during race; sunny & clear; wind from S at 10MPH; jungle like with dew point stuck near 80.
Official Results: Long Course Overall results; Short Course Overall results

Personal Results

Goal: 1:49.50
Official Time: 02:057.311
Overall: 120th overall (383 total); 67th in Males (224 total); 11th in 50-54 AG (37 total)

Wow, was this one just ugly. There is simply no way to put lipstick on this pig.

I signed up for this one solely for the Midwest Multisports Series bonus points. The event is not USAT so there was no par score coming out of it. Add jungle like humidity and heat.....I think you can safely say I was doing this for a speed workout. Except that for the run leg, there was walking and no speed!

Just loading up the bike as I headed out at 5:30 AM was bad. The air was so heavy I could hardly breath. When this massive, tropical heat hit earlier in the week my joints must have swollen up as my lower back was hurting, the knees were hurting, the feet were hurting. OK, let's not turn this into a whine fest as a lot of people handled the heat very well. I just was not one of those.

To the personal report!

Swim - 0.5 miles

Goal: 14:40
Official Time: 15:27; 12th in AG (37 total)

The announced water temp was 79F. The elites would not be allowed to wear a wet suit. I am a crap swimmer so I elected to wear mine. I put it on about 45-mins before and Charlie Roach came over to ask me if I had already been in the water. No Charlie....just sweating from the wet suit!

I warmed up well and basically just kept in the water like I always do. I can't say I had a bad swim. A few people complained of congestion afterwards but I thought it was fine. For the first 3/4's I was sandwiched in between two other swimmers which created some moments for me when passing others as I had to push into one or the other, but it was fairly smooth sailing.

I came out of the water in 15:04 and had a little run to the timing mat.


Goal: 02:30
Official Time: 02:46

Hey Mario, when you said this had a long transition I didn't know it meant to Rochester. Wow, was that a long run. Gave me plenty of time to strip down. I had one issue getting one leg clear but was otherwise fine.

Bike - 21.0 miles

Goal: 56:00 (22.5 MPH)
Official Time: 56:41 (22.2 MPH); 12th in AG (37 total)

The first 10 miles went pretty good. Wind was basically in our favor, and I was not overheated at this point. I was hanging at 23.4 MPH average and trying for more as I knew the southerly wind would scrub speed off and I wanted to cushion so I could stay on my goal.

The next 5 miles saw so rollers and the wind start to work against me. With 5 miles to go, I was sitting at 22.6 MPH average. Legs felt fine, not as good as MinneMan, but no cramps. The other thing I noticed was that it was starting to get really stinkin' hot. I was reaching for my water bottle every other mile. I usually hardly take fluids on the bike, period.

The last 5 miles turned us into the wind. I had a mild bonk, but recovered. But I finished a little out of my goal. But I was only a little over a minute off my goal, and I had been running good all week. So, I went into T2 thinking about doing what it took to go under 1 hour, 50 minutes.


Goal: 01:20
Official Time: 01:52

Again, long run to the rack. First time at this course so plainly misjudged this goal. As I have the past several races, I paused to put on socks. Luckily, my bike rack was in the shade. I took one last swig from my water bottle and was surprised to find it drained. Then the Death March started.

Run - 5.3 miles

Goal: 35:20 (6:40 pace)
Official Time: 48:47 (9:13 pace); 14th in AG (37 total)

The run took its toll on a lot of people today. Prime example, Tony Schiller, who has won the overall title at this event a record ten times, ran 8:51 per mile pace. On the other hand, the run didn't even faze some people such as this years overall champ, Dan Hedgecock who only ran 5:23 per mile pace. Did I mention that Dan raced in Iowa the day before, winning that event by 10-minutes?

I started out fine but within the first 400-yds I was really laboring. I told myself to just relax and take it solidly through mile 1 and reassess, and repeat each mile. As I approached the very first aid station, I grabbed water and sipped, and splashed. I never take water on any run under 13.1 miles. I knew I was in trouble.

This course has little shade. So there we were, out in the open, hot wind at our backs in a heat index that had to of been over 90F and I still had 4.3 miles to go. I hit the back stretch and.....walked. At the next aid station they were handing out wet, cool sponges. It was as if someone had just given me gold. I felt a bit better and started a slow trot.

Along the back stretch, I started to walk/run alternating between telephone poles. I would walk between one set of poles and then trot two. And repeat. I'd hit an aid station and double fist on water. People were passing me left and right and I didn't give a damn. It was funny, as other people had hit on the walk-run cycle as well. So ultimately, they'd pass me and I'd pass 'em back during their walking phase.

I think if I had pushed it, I would have been seeing someone in the ambulance afterwards. At times, I was very lightheaded. Sometimes, I get chilled. But the legs never gave out from under me. I just knew mentally that I could not push any harder or I'd put myself into danger.

It's just hard to accept that this day was not to be for me. But by playing it smart, I at least gave myself the chance to race again and make up for it at another race. And the next multisport race will be the Turtleman Du. I just hope to bring something special to the table that day. One should never gloat on great results or be overly sad on poor ones. Fate has a way of balancing things out.

Next Event:

Jul 30 - Lindenwood 10K; Fargo, NoDak - Age Graded running event! Age grading is a way of putting all race participants on a level playing field, regardless of age or gender. Age-graded scores let you compare your race times to those of different runners, as well as to the standard for your age and gender. An age graded calculator is used to determine an overall score.

Age-graded information allows you to adjust your performance to what it theoretically would have been during your prime running years (your 20's and a portion of your 30's depending on the race distance). Judge your performance, using an achievement percentile, without bias for gender or the aging process (in other words, you are measured against a specific standard for your age and sex). These percentiles can be interpreted as follows:

Over 90% --- World Class
Over 80% --- National Class
Over 70% --- Regional Class
Over 60% --- Local Class

Compare your performances for a specific race distance at various ages to determine which was your "best race". For example, as a 49 year old male my age-graded information for a 5K time of 18:48 came out to 76.666. That equates to a time of 16:55 that the calculator is saying I would have run in my prime. That's a pretty accurate reflection as I ran a 16:30 at the age of 28. The 76.666 equates to Regional Class. Neat, huh? That's about right for me. I would never get National class (80%+), certainly never World Class (90%+). But I've always have been somewhere in the podium mix regionally.

In any event, I wanted to share the calculator and logic with you. You can play with your times and see how you would rank. Then you just have to find an event that is age-graded and you can see how you do.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Arroz Cubano

This is the breakfast food of choice for Team Garmin-Cervelo rider Christian Vande Velde. As with any dish that is popular, every household has their own version. Some cooks prepare the rice with garlic, while others prepare simply white rice. Some may open a can of tomato sauce and sauté it with a bit of olive oil, while other use a sofrito with onions and peppers. So, this is the “sofrito” version of Arroz Cubano.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutesIngredients:

•sofrito (tomato sauce, see recipe below)
•2 cups uncooked rice
•3-4 cups water
•4 eggs
•Spanish virgin olive oil
•salt to taste

Sofrito is a tomato sauce that is made all over Spain and used in other recipes. Fresh or crushed canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers sautéed in olive oil. First, make the sofrito and set aside until needed.

Pour approximately 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a medium size sauce pan. Place on a burner on medium high heat. Pour the rice into the pan and coat the rice with the oil. Pour the water into the pan and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste. Then, reduce the heat, loosely cover and allow to simmer until rice is cooked – about 20 minutes.

Pour olive oil into a small frying pan until it is about 1/4" deep. Heat the oil on medium. Fry the eggs one at a time in the olive oil, sprinkling with a dash of salt.

As you take each egg from the frying pan, place a scoop of rice on a plate and make a depression in the center. Ladle some of the sofrito into the depression. Carefully top with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Race Result: 2011 MinneMan Triathlon

Event: 2011 MinneMan Triathlon (USAT)
Date: Saturday, July 2, 2011
Location: Oak Grove, MN
Hotel: Home, sweet home
Weather: 69F; sunny & clear; wind from WNW at 8-9 MPH; beautiful
Official Results: Overall results

Personal Results

Goal: 1:07.26
Official Time: 01:07.15
Overall: 30th overall (342 total); 18th in Males (175 total); 3rd in 50-54 AG (24 total)

I'm setting up in transition on a very beautiful Minnesota day. There is cycling extraordinaire Rick Christenson to my right. Across from me is the legendary Charlie Roach. Nearby is Scott Erickson. And then Terry Anderson shows up. I might as well just phone it in because there is no way I'm making the podium. But I recall back to a week earlier when I was saying the same thing about Waconia. And that ended well. So, chin up old man. You never know how it will play out.

And it played out very well. This was my best overall effort since January 23 when I made the podium in Houston at the Frost 'yer Fanny event. To be sure, my run is still way off what I should be doing but then it was my run at MinneMan that eked out the podium spot. But the swim was again surprisingly solid. And my bike is back in the mid-22 MPH average range meaning I should again be toying with 23 MPH average by seasons end.

I woke up at 4 AM feeling superb. There were no lingering doubts or the urge to grab just a few more moments of sleep. I wanted to get up and get out the door. A premonition to a good day, perhaps. And I had been playing this race over in my mind all week. I wanted to have a solid swim, get back over 22 MPH on the bike, be under 20-minutes on the three mile run.......and not think AT ALL about the pelvic stress fracture that I have been working my way back from.

And I think I met each of those challenges well. You be the judge. Time for the personal report.

Swim - 0.3 miles

Goal: 08:21
Official Time: 07:58; 3rd in AG (24 total)

You never know what kind of swim you will get at MinneMan. Sometimes the water is low and you have to run through yards and yards of water before you can even think about taking your first stroke. Other times it is weedy as heck. Other times the wind is so bad that the course is shortened a bit.

This year it was pretty much back to its proper distance. The weeds were a non-factor. And I only had to run through about 20-yards of water. Hey, at my age it is more tiring to dolphin dive than just run.

As usual, I stayed pretty wide to begin with. Traffic was minimal until we hit the turn-around and by then I was catching the previous waves that had been let go at three-minute intervals. But I didn't get kicked, maimed, or scratched. I swam until I touched bottom and then it was off to the long transition to T1. What is it with Minnesota and super long transitions?


Goal: 02:30
Official Time: 02:28

I was 2:31 here in 2010 and I just wanted to beat that time. The run took forever and a day.  While I came out of the water in 3rd behind Erickson and Alexander (who swims at the same Lifetime I do), Roach beat me out of transition so I was in 4th knowing each of those three are faster on the bike and that Christenson would be passing me at some point. I was looking at 5th for the day. But I kept the attitude positive because for the first time since Texas, I actually had some kick in the bike legs.

Bike - 13.0 miles

Goal: 35:08 (22.2 MPH)
Official Time: 34:52 (22.4 MPH); 4th in AG (24 total)

This time I was ready to ride. I went out hard and kept it that way. No bonk, no muscles cramps. Just good riding. We had the wind at our backs for the first three miles and I wanted to really build up speed before we turned into the wind. By the time we made that turn I was averaging 24.2 MPH. Nice.

Post race, others were saying the wind was bothering them on the back stretch of this loop bike course. For some reason, it just didn't bother me. I guess the stars were aligned. I mean, some race days you have it, and some race days you don't. On this day, I had it. May be a completely different story 15 days from now.

The thing I dislike about MinneMan is the final four miles. You loop through twisty-turny neighborhood roads. Your speed scrubs off no matter how much you try. Then you actually have to be on a narrow bike path for a half-mile or so. I happened upon severe congestion and tried to pass by going into a corner too hard and almost pulled a mulligan, but kept the bike upright and just swore a bit. Right before this nasty stretch, Christenson came roaring by me (all he did was average just under 25 MPH) and I just tried to keep him within my sights. So I was now sitting in 5th as far as I knew.


Goal: 01:30
Official Time: 01:45

Another loooooong run to transition. I was 1:25 here last year and wanted to be about the same but I had a little trouble with one of the tongues on my LunaRacers. And as with Waconia, I put on socks. Those blisters from Rochester are still healing.

The nice thing was, I came into the bike racks seeing only four bikes in the 50-54 age group. I came to learn afterwards that Alexander had flatted and rode in on the flat. Otherwise I'm sure he would have figured into the podium. So I exit T2 knowing I only have to pass Christenson to podium. But I am unsure how far ahead of me he is. As it ended up, I was 2:29 behind him. I'm glad I didn't know that at the time

Run - 3 miles

Goal: 19:57 (6:39 pace)
Official Time: 20:14 (6:45 pace); 2nd in AG (24 total)

I took off not quite as hard as I did at Waconia. I learned my lesson there: That my runs legs, while feeling stronger every week, are just not all there yet. I should be running sub 6:15's or lower. And I'm sure that will come. It's just going to take some time.

I start passing people and get the "nice pace" comments I am always grateful to hear from other participants. I'm looking for Christenson and can't see him at all. I just keep telling myself that a person can make up a lot of time over three miles and keep plugging away. Just a little before turn-around, I see Charlie coming back. All Charlie did was run a 17:47 (5:56 per mile pace) Then Erickson. Still haven't see Christenson. On this run course there is a hard left turn and about 30-yards or so to the turn-around. Well before that hard left turn, I see Christenson coming back. He must have a good 250 or 350 yards on me. Or more. Hard to judge, but I'm thinking there is no way I can catch him.

I keep pecking away.

With about a mile to go, I can finally see him from behind. That's all I needed. Blood in the water. With a half-mile to go I pass and I pass hard so he can't respond....if he even knew I was in his AG, I'm not sure.....but there was an initial response but then the footsteps fade behind me.

Now I'm just toast. I may have went too soon. I still have a good half-mile to the finish and I'm totally gassed. I just kept the stride as smooth and easy as possible, looked over my shoulder with a 100-yds to go and just went hard to the finish. Eked out a podium spot by 22-seconds in a very good age group. I was pretty stoked.

Maybe best of all, I ended up only eight seconds off the previous course record. Of course, the 50-54 AG record was lowered on this day. With Charlie Roach clocking a 1:02:52 (Previous record was by Terry Alexander - 1:07:07 in 2009). So, I'm very pleased to have been on record setting pace for a record that had held for two years.

For my efforts, I placed third in the male 50-54 AG and got one of the awards I admired at Manitou but was on the outside looking in.

MinneMan 50-54 3rd place award

OptumHealth Performance put on a good show as always. I really do like the official podium presentation. Nice touch and very classy.

L-R: Brian Maas, Charlie Roach, Scott Erickson

So many faces once again to meet and greet. I got to speak with Tim Litzinger and his son Zach. Zach officially became a triathlete at MinneMan. And I do see that Dad owns bragging rights for at least a little bit longer!!

Officiating this USAT event was the illustrious Bill Nevala. I again enjoyed chatting with Bill and we talked about how he is a Montana boy and how the Well Kept Wife™ and I honeymooned in Glacier. So he shared a photo of Lake McDonald with me as that was the site we first tented at. Yep, honeymoon in Glacier in a tent. Much better than a stupid drunk fest in Vegas....don't you think? Well, we do.

Mr. Chris Hawes was sporting his very sharp OptumHealth Performance and looking very dapper. Chris said he had an off day....but finishing 5th in your age group is NOT an off day in my book.

I also met Nick Morales from TriJuice.com. Nick likes the various recipes I post here now and then and wanted to ask if he could use some of them on his site. No problem. Always happy to share some nutritional value with the fellow tri-geeks. Nick tells me the Rev3 event in Wisconsin Dells will happen next August (2012). They are just working on the logistics. I think that would be a fun one to do.

Best of all, was yet another fellow triathlete acquaintance from my racing at the Lakes to Pines event these past four years in Park Rapids. Last week at Waconia it had been Neil King who has found the fountain of youth. This week it was David Lewis. All David did was place 8th overall. Once the Elites were thrown out, David was at top of the amateur board. I guess a 17:49 run will do that for you. Wow! It was great to see him again.

Next Event:

Jul 17 - Heart of the Lakes (Long Course) - Swim 1/2 Mi, Bike 21 Mi, Run 5.3 Mi

This will be my first time at this event. And while I thought I had ZERO chance of making the podium at Waconia (3rd in 50-54) and MinneMan (3rd in 50-54), I really do mean it this time. Take a look at some of the names already signed up in this very deep age group (no particular order): Dale Forde, Charlie Roach, Kevin Olsen, Kirk Vesterstein, David Goldberg, and Scott Ransom. Holy merde. And by the time registration closes it could be worse. But it will be fun. If there is one thing I can say about us older, distinguished gentleman of the sport.....there is zero animosity. No egos. We truly enjoy seeing one another and we have a good time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Product Review: Mizuno Competition Apparel

I recently did some shopping at Running Warehouse. Not for shoes this time but for apparel. I had heard good things about the Mizuno Competition Apparel line. I was in need of a new running outfit for road racing and needed a lightweight singlet and lightweight racing short with a 1" to 1 1/2" inseam with split leg.

For the top, I chose the Mizuno Men's Aero Singlet (Model Number: 420878) as pictured below. It is super thin. When it arrived I knew I had a terrific upper. The back and side areas have large mesh so I know without wearing the product it will breath like a dream. The design of the back is very cool looking. Again, I have not yet worn it but I just know this will be terrific. It retails at MSRP: $45.00 RW Price: $36.95.




For the bottom I chose the Mizuno Men's Aero Split Short (Model Number: 420881). It has a laser cut design and sheen material, and a super-fly half-split. I prefer a full split but this will do just fine. The material is sort of like, well, the best way I can describe it is the same lightweight material that tents are made out of. I'll be curious as to how it breathes and how it carries once it is soaked mid-way through a half-marathon. But it is cut well and fits me well. It has some mesh holes in the rear split which can be seen in the photos below. The short retails at MSRP: $48.00 RW Price: $38.95.



Both products are true to size. Best of all Running Warehouse offers free 2-day shipping. Can't beat that.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Texas Style Bacon, Beans and Eggs: Black Bean Chilaquiles

I often fuel myself with black beans. I also like to work eggs into the diet during race season. So, why not combine both and add a little kick Texas style? Have fun!

Total Time: 1 hr 25 min

Prep: 25 min

Inactive: 30 min

Cook: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings

Level: Easy
  • 12 corn or flour tortillas, cut into strips  
  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
  • 8 slices smoky lean bacon, sliced across the strips 1/2-inch long  
  • 1 red onion, peeled, quartered and sliced  
  • 2 Fresno or jalapeno chiles, sliced  
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped  
  • 1 (28-ounce) can black beans  
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (a scant palmful)  
  • 1 rounded tablespoon chile powder (a healthy palmful)  
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • 1 cup beer (recommended: Negra Modelo)  
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes 
  • Small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped  
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded hot pepper sharp Cheddar cheese or Pepper Jack cheese  
  • 4 eggs, to prepare any style (1 per person)  
  • Ripe avocado, halved, pitted and diced  
  • Lime, cut into wedges


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut tortillas into strips and spray with cooking spray. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until crisp. Arrange in casserole dish.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add bacon and brown then remove with a slotted spoon. To the skillet, add the onions, Fresno peppers, and garlic and saute a few minutes.

Add the beans and season with cumin, chile powder, salt, and pepper, stir in tomatoes, cilantro, and beer. Thicken 1 minute, then adjust seasoning and arrange on top of tortillas, and scatter in bacon bits and cheese.

Cool and store for make-ahead meal.

Bake in the hot oven until bubbly and hot, top with fried eggs (as soft or hard as you like), diced avocado and lime wedges.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Totals: Month Ending June 2011

This is what I see every time I go to lace up for the next workout. I may not be the fastest guy around. But it is the approach I take to my racing. One should leave it all out there. It's better to fail knowing you gave your best than to not even try.

Not a bad June. Not a great one. I keep having nightmares about the pelvic stress fracture making a second appearance as I start to ramp up the run mileage. But so far, those thoughts have been kept deep inside my REM sleep and not during my waking hours. I am taking GREAT caution with my running. Only this past week have I finally exceed the five mile mark which was my longest run since February 20 when I did a 10K training run. Next week I may try to get in a 6 miler.

I'm still dealing with a bad right hammy or IT band or something not quite right in that leg which is opposite the stress fracture area. It has slowly gotten better these past five weeks. Hopefully I can kick that minor injury in July.

June 2011 Total Numbers

Total Workout Hours: 31:54:57
Swim Yards - 20200
Bike Miles - 313.84
Run Miles - 68.18 (7:58 per mile avg)
Days Missed to Weather, Injury or Planned Rest - 4
Compare to last year -

June 2010 Total Numbers

Total Workout Hours: 31:39:51
Swim Yards - 20176
Bike Miles - 317.79
Run Miles - 53.97 (7:56 per mile pace)
Days Missed to Weather, Injury or Planned Rest - 5

Compare to last month -

May 2011 Total Numbers

Total Workout Hours: 28:46:07
Swim Yards - 21700
Bike Miles - 351.32
Run Miles - 25.19 (7:42 per mile avg)
Days Missed to Weather, Injury or Planned Rest - 7

Friday, July 1, 2011

2nd Annual Tour de France Fantasy Cycling Challenge

We had fun with this last year and gave away a very nice Tyr Transition bag in the process.

So, I am inviting you once again to sign up for the TravelersTour de France Fantasy Cycling Challenge. Sign up now at NBC Sports. See the Official Prizes, Rules and Scoring. There will be three prize levels this year (note that I am not eligible for prizes):

3rd place: $25 gift certificate to Running Warehouse
2nd place: $50 gift certificate to Running Warehouse
1st place: $100 gift certificate to Running Warehouse

Hey, who doesn't needs shoes or nice apparel?

To sign up for a team, click here to create your account. Once you have created an account, join the league with the information supplied below. Sign up ASAP, but understand that the Prologue through Stage 3 are the Practice stages, when we get to Stage 4, your score will be reset to zero as the Official Race Phase begins and your roster will be locked.

League Name: Tundra Transition Zone
League Password: triathlon

Everyone be sure and understand the rules. Once it officially begins (stage 4) your roster is locked although you can change your lineup each day. Looks like you will want a sprinter and a climber for sure.

Your team salary must not exceed $500. Participants will only be able to make changes to the fifteen (15) riders on their teams during the Practice Period. Participants who enter after the Practice Period will not be able to make changes to their team once they have selected their fifteen (15) riders. After selecting your team, you can select a starting lineup of nine (9) riders for the next day. Each day a rider from your starting lineup places within the top fifteen (15) riders for the day, or is identified as the overall leader, best climber, or best sprinter, you will receive points.

You may change your starting lineup of nine (9) riders each day, or leave it the same throughout the Contest Period. Only starting lineups changed at or before 2:59 a.m. ET each day will be realized the next day; changes to a lineup received after 2:59 a.m. ET on a given day will not be realized until two (2) days following the date the changes were made.

Good luck!