Friday, July 25, 2008

Morning Ride Pictures

Some days, I just fail to understand why people drive so much around here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sandy's Shakes

This post is to answer a request for a shake receipe. The items above are the ingredients I use for the "Pink Protein Smoothie" - recipe below.

This picture is for convincing Isaac that ground flaxseed can come in many different packages, not just the yellow bag. We can even grind our own seeds if we want to.

The Pink Protein Smoothie:

3/4 - 1 cup of soy (or cow) milk
3/4 - 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt (I use fruit flavored if I haven't enough real fruit, but prefer plain)
1 scoop (abt 1/4 c)EAS whey protein powder (Vanilla)
(Sam's Club and probably Wal-Mart carries it - per serving its a very economical way of getting lean whey protein in lots of every day dishes)
1 - 1 1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries (sliced are easier to blend than whole)
1 banana (frozen or room temp)
1-2 T ground flax seed (for the omega 3's and fiber)
4-6 ice cubes

I usually add 1 Tbls Carlson's lemon flavored fish oil for the Omega 3 oils - it adds to smoothness and doesn't taste fishy at all.

It seems easier to blend if I put the soy milk in first, then layer the fruit, protein and flax with the yogurt and ice. This will make 3-5 cups of DELICIOUS protein & calcium packed smoothie, with good amounts of Omega 3, potassium and vitamin C.
If you leave some of this in the fridge for a few hours, it will turn brownish because of the banana, but it still tastes great -- good to throw in a couple drops of red food color before blending leftovers for the kids.

Mocha Protein Shake

1 cup cold leftover coffee (the stronger, the better)
1/2 -1 cup soy (or cow) milk
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
2-4 ice cubes
opttional: 1/2-1 tsp cocoa powder (NOT hot chocolate mix)

My first experiment with a peanut butter flavored protein shake was not worth repeating (I used coffee in the liquid), but I imagine 1 cup of milk or yogurt with 1 scoop of protein powder (either vanilla or chocolate) and 2 Tbls peanut butter along with some ice cubes would taste good. Anybody got a good peanut butter combo?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Note to those looking to swim better: Swim outside

Why? Let's break it down, shall we? First, you have the sun which does wonders for your desire to swim that extra 500m when increasing yardage versus the mind numbingly dull fluorescent lights of the globo-gym pool. Second, you can swim 50m lengths, instead of laps, which adds to the interest factor, and is more long-course/open-water specific training. (Did I already mention the sunshine?) Third, you can bring people with you even if they don't share your love for a long swim (read: they can swim and then chill out and read by the pool). Fourth, you can see cool stuff by the pool like the Luna moth pictured above.

Finally, it's summer and winter looms with fierce dread. Brrr. Get outside!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Anybody else think about this?

When I get done with a ride, especially if the ride is TO work, I take a quick look in the mirror to make sure I am presentable. First I do this...

And then I think, "That's odd. Why does my head look like that? There's no way I can go into work looking like this."

"I look like, like, like, ummmm.....This!"

Oh well, what to do?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Show of hands

How many here think that most people out there have one of the following run through their head when they see you riding your bike to work:
1. That person must have been a drunk driver who got their license taken away or
2. That person must be poor and not able to afford car/insurance/gas


i think i get this vibe a lot...maybe its because i look like a wanker and not a cool biker

Below are pics of new fixed gear.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Come with Us...

So, here at The Torch, we're always seeking to promote healthy, physically active lifestyles. With that spirit in mind, Steve and myself adopted the idea of having team posting on Buckeye Outdoors. Some of you already use this site to log workouts, walks, hikes, gym visits, etc. It's very easy to use, and if you'd like (just let me know), I can add your workout in a widget to the side (see Steve's to the right). So if you'd like, sign up on buckeyeoutdoors, and then go find the Team "Torch de Fitness." You will need to request permission to join the team, but don't worry. I will give it.

So get off the fence.....

And come join us....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Bit of a Breakthrough

So a typical ride for me over the past two months has been one of two types: 1) Group ride with a couple guys who ride competitively (Sam hangs for as long as possible until getting wrecked, usually during difficult efforts) or 2) Solo ride of some sort.

All rides have been in road configuration sans aero bars. Well, yesterday things began to look up. We were planning to do a brick (for those that don't know, that's a bike followed by a run). The plan was to ride easy beginning and end, but in the middle include 5x(4-min effort w/2-min rest interval). Thus, the tri configuration was set up prior to the ride. I honestly forgot how much I like being in the aerobars with some skeletal support as opposed to musculature support of the road configuration. So effort number 1, we stay pretty even most of the way, with the training partner getting ahead at the end of the interval. Breakthrough came in interval 2, we had done about 2 minutes, and I was about 20 feet behind when we slowed, turned right and started going uphill. From somewhere (perhaps the suffering of all the previous rides) I found some power to go past the training partner (who is light and usually trounces me on hills) and continue accelerating on the hill. Closed out the interval feeling like a champ and held on in front. The next two we stayed pretty even, and he trounced me on the fifth with his endurance. But all the same. It was good to remember (by feeling) that I can throw down a little on the bike when I want to.

I think there's just something about being aero from which I get more power (ahh, the joys of fitness).

(is this a sweet looking bike or what?)

The run off the bike was a bit tough as the legs were feeling gelatinous near the end of the ride, but a planned upon fast first mile was cut by 15 seconds (probably due to group workout nature) and the following 2.8 miles were hard but good.

Lesson for today: keep going, keep mixing it up and don't overdo it. The breakthroughs will come.

Photos courtesy of

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

KY in the Summer (gotta love it)

This will be your encouraging post for the week/month/quarter. It's hard not to appreciate being outside this time of year, even if one lives in a highly urban area. Regardless, it's better than laying on a couch, and it's exceedingly more interesting. So even if it's a walk, go enjoy your life and slow it down with getting out of the building.

These are some pics from the ride home yesterday afternoon. I did beat the storm home.

Kid you not, there were some 7-8' tall corn stalks just a little further down the road...

On tap for today is a brick with the fellas and maybe a few minutes of Tour de France coverage after.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ride your A$$

These are some pictures from our ride yesterday. We needed to get out and move after the Fourth's Feast and a hard run at the 10-k.

A quick 10-k recap: I haven't been doing too much speed work, and was not as well-trained as last year. Hence, there were no PR expectations. That's Rodes city next March. Get ready. Mike and I had a little too much fun the night before hanging out and staying up late playing Madden. It was a good time. The next morning we all got out the door a little late (Katy, Mike, Amber, and myself) due to some bowel testing. There was a nice line at the port-o-lets and we all tested their hospitality prior to the race.

Mike and Amber both PR'd and had good races. Katy finished strong, but I'll let her tell you about it. I went out at about 7+min/mi pace and the HR was skyrocketing. I figured it wasn't a PR kind of day as earlier determined, so I went for a good tempo run and finished in 43:02. It was a good time. The weather was overcast and rainy, and pretty cool for July.

The 1st annual SAMBER Independence day cookout was a success with a lot of people coming over for inside out burgers and cornhole. Fun was had by all. Hopefully we'll get some pictures up on the other blog soon.

My riding buddy Jeff and I went out for a nice 45 mile ride saturday morning. Paris is lovely in the summer!

After that, came home and got some lunch and then Amber and I went for a 15-miler. She's getting stronger. About 1+ mph faster than the last ride. We stopped for a quick visit with a local farm inhabitant.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Take Care of your Ride

This is one of those articles where the author (preacher) needs to hear the message he's sending out. It is for such a reason that the author writes. It is very important (relative to bike world, not in respect to the numerous other actually important things in life) to take care of one's bike. Considering the amount of time and energy expended on it by those training, 15 minutes of care once a week is pretty well spent. It is in this vein that the author endeavors to inspire the readers to at least wipe down their bikes, clean and re-lube the chains and inspect their bikes from time to time. The author is by no means a bike mechanic, or even good at upkeep, but here are some resources (Thanks Bikesport Michigan and Google) for enjoying riding and your bike a bit more:

Maintenance Schedule
Preventative Maintenance
Pre-Race Tune-up
Keeping your bike out of the shop
Daily/Per ride inspection
Fixing a Flat

Before you get too worried and start running out to the store, remember that the people writing these articles run bike shops; hence they want your business (which is not a bad thing). Resist the urge to part with loads of cash. If you have something you don't understand on your bike, break out the internets. Google and youTube have countless resources for bike repair, maintenance, tune-up, weird little clicky noises, etc.

Enjoy the Ride.