Thursday, July 19, 2012

Returned, Upcoming, and a Challenge to Self

So I have returned from England, where I spent the last two weeks with three other adults shepherding a group of 15 teens around some of my favorite places.

Did I eat clotted cream?  Hell, yes.  I must have had about 7 cream teas.  If I can get me some clotted cream, I do.  At under 4 pounds (usually, 3.25-3.50, and if you pay more, you are getting ripped off), it's the best deal in England.

Now that I'm home...

I have two events coming up: the Rolf Prima in the Grove, for which I'll be riding my NEW BIKE!, and the Leadman 150.

New bike?  Oh, yeah.  I sold my Trek road bike.  After three years and much tweaking, it was clear that the Bambino just doesn't fit my short torso and no team of bike mechanics was going to make it work.  Happily, I sold it to a great lady in my tri club who is blessed with a long torso.  I'll be buying my new bike within the next five days- I have two test rides to do between the two top candidates.  Cannondale CAAD 10, and Felt z85.  So far, the Felt is in the lead, because I could stick with my black, red, and white favorite color scheme, and I am nothing if not committed to cool colors.  :-)

The Rolf Prima will be an Olympic distance, and considering that most of my club is racing, I'm just hoping I won't be DEAD last.  Several of them are the types of people who place in their age group, but they are awesome athletes to train with!

Leadman?  Well, that one that is just over a half-Iron distance (with a slightly shorter run at 10 miles). I really wanted one more good race this year, and I'd been talking about bumping up to the half-Iron distance but couldn't find a race that fit my schedule.  When I saw Leadman on the FatCyclist website, I thought, "AWESOME!"  The Fat Cyclist has a propensity for doing difficult and insane things like an Ironman or the Leadville 100 or riding 100 miles on his rollers simply because he is stubborn and was clearly born without the normal amount of common sense.  You know he and I would be total besties, right?  We're practically twins separated at birth, at least when it comes to the stubborn and lack of common sense thing.

In other news, it's looking like a return to Vagabond Vegetarianism is in order.  I'd been veg for about 17 years before I took a break last summer.  Four years of rotating shifts in the emergency room had screwed up my body, and I was so chronically low in protein, Vit D and B, and iron, that I couldn't get it back to normal without the option of injections.  Um, thanks.  I'll eat some steak.  But now that all that is back to normal and I'm all healthy again, I've been seriously re-evaluating the meat thing.

It's never been an ethical or religious thing for me.  (Well, initially, I gave meat up for Lent, but still.)  I just like veggies and I love tofu.  I like cooking and get a kick out of the different grains and many different ways to prepare the same food- Zucchini?  Sure- blanched, baked, grilled, raw, fried, in soups, in pastas, as a pasta replacement, in cakes.  Mmmmm, caaaaaakes.  I also love things like Clean Food and Diet for a Small Planet and the puzzle pieces of nutrition.  You can tell me it's psuedo science if you like, but the truth is that my body just feels so good when I cook out of Clean Food or the Ani Phyo raw books.  (Ani Phyo and her raw stuff- amaze-balls.  Incredibly easy and tasty!)

And then there's the taste thing.  I found I just don't like the taste of most meats in most forms.  I don't like chicken, I really hate pork, and I loathe fat and gristle.  I was OK with boneless chicken breast... which is about as close to tofu as meat can get.  When M and I would eat a meal, he'd end up eating a third to half of what I had trimmed off my piece.  That man can suck chicken bones drier than anyone I've ever known.  But really... I just don't like the meat enough to make it worthwhile. Not to mention that it was boring cooking.  Cook stuff until it's hot, usually over a stove.  In a year, I've only found one- ONE- meat recipe I liked enough to think about trying again on my own.  (Thanks, Meredith, and your amazing schwarma recipe).  The rest of the time, Slacker Vagabond just let her really cool chef friend do all the hard work.  (She's on to me, though, I think!)

I'm not anti-meat- I think I'm finding it just doesn't work for me.  Your mileage may vary, and I will gladly bless your Kobe burger.

So I think I'm going to try a challenge with myself.  I'm reverting back to vegetarianism from now through Leadman... and I'm going to see if it doesn't help me out in the long run.  Har har... get it?  Long run.

Considering that, back in the day, (the day being when I lived in Arlington), I didn't think anything of riding a spur of the moment long ride of 65 miles on my heavy hybrid bike and I never ate meat then at all, I'm optimistic for this.

Which means, I have a grocery list to make.  After traveling for most of the month, I have a pretty bare fridge and pantry.  All I have are Hob Nobs, ravioli, bok choy, a jar of relish, and a can of tomatoes.  It's like one of those crazy reality shows in this house.

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