IMCdA Training Summary: January 13-19

I was out of commission for the better part of a month but I’m finally back in Ironman training mode. This week, I started transitioning to a geriatric bedtime of 9pm to ensure I get enough sleep before my early morning swim and track sessions. At first, I would be in bed for a couple hours before finally falling asleep but my body finally adjusted after a few nights.

I recently purchased Feed Zone Portables which is full of recipes for real food (I’m done with gels and chews!) to eat while training and racing. To my delight, many recipes in the book are already vegan or can be easily modified. My experiment this week was to veganize the recipe for Liege waffles. I substituted almond milk, Earth Balance, and Ener-G egg replacer in place of milk, butter, and eggs, respectively. To make the waffles extra decadent, I topped them with a dollop of freshly whipped coconut cream. They were delicious!


Now I’ll never reach reach weight!

Funny Story of the Week:
I hit a nasty pothole during my ride on Saturday and ejected a bottle from one of my rear cages. As I was waddling over to pick it up, I saw a truck drive right over it, causing a mini explosion of water on the road. When I retrieved the bottle, I was amazed to see that bottle was perfectly intact. The cap is another story…


I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck…

Sad Story of the Week:

The aforementioned Saturday ride took us by the Uvas reservoir in Morgan Hill, one of the main triathlon venues in the Bay Area. The effects of the California drought are evident in this picture.


What drought?

Swim: 1,800 yards
Strength training: 90 minutes

Run: 6 miles at the track with 4×1 mile repeats

Swim: 2,800 yards
Bike: 1 hour on the trainer

Strength training: 90 minutes

Swim: 1,800 yards

Bike: 30 miles
Run: 10 minutes off the bike

Bike: 90 minutes on the trainer
Run: 10 minutes off the bike


Meals on Wheels: Kona Kakes

Some of you may remember my failed attempt to make rice cakes that resulted in pudding. After a bit of research, I learned that sticky rice requires less water than the 1:2 ratio used for regular rice and I have now mastered the art of making rice cakes!

In honor of the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii this weekend, I made some Kona-inspired rice cakes to fuel my ride (and any other time I feel like a yummy snack). These guys are loaded with coconut and will instantly transport you to the warm sunny beaches of the Big Island.

Kona Kakes

2 cups sticky rice (I recommend sushi or calrose rice)
3 cups water
2 tbsp sea salt
1 cup coconut flakes
2 tbsp chia seeds
4 dates, pitted and chopped (you can replace these with dried pineapples and/or mangos if you have them)

Rinse rice in running water until water runs clear then soak in water for at least 30 minutes.

Combine rice, water, and salt in a medium sauce on high heat.  Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover pot with lid.  The rice should take about 20 minutes to cook.

Transfer rice to a large bowl, fluff with fork, and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Fold in remaining ingredients.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (I use 2 bread loaf pans) use a rubber spatula to spread rice mixture evenly.

Refrigerate rice cakes until chilled, cut into squares, and wrap cakes for easy transport.

Meals on Wheels: Perpetuem Rice Cakes

As my training sessions grew longer, I started to realize that the energy gels, chewy things, drink mixes and other forms of over-priced sugar weren’t working out for me.  Even with constant refueling, my stomach was always growling with hunger because I was craving real food.  Worse yet, I felt like I was going to… ahem, explode… when I had to start running off the bike.  So I decided to start eating solid food while riding my bike.

First, I picked up some Picky Bars from Sports Basement to try.  It was a smart move by Jesse Thomas to plaster the logo all over his race kit (he’s the company’s CEO) because I never heard of these things until I watched him fly through the finish at Wildflower this year.  Picky Bars are made of dates, nuts, chocolate, other yummy things and just the right amount of cinnamon.  They made my mouth and tummy happy so I signed up for the Picky Club to receive a shipment of 18 bars every month.  I get 9 each of the vegan varieties, All-in-Almond and Smooth Caffeinator (you’re singing Smooth Operator in your head now, aren’t you?).

Then, one of my genius training partners recommended eating potatoes on long rides.  I pack 2-3 baby potatoes per hour on the road.  I prepare them the night before by boiling in salted water until they’re al dente then I lightly coat them in olive oil and roast them in the oven for a few minutes.  Let them cool overnight, throw them in a plastic bag, and you’re good to go.

On a long ride a few months ago, someone mentioned the rice cake recipes from The Feed Zone Cookbook.  They’re sticky rice based squares, not dry rice cakes you buy in the cereal isle of the grocery store.  I did a little googling and found a lot of pages with the bacon and eggs rice cake recipe (no thanks!).  Then, I found this apple cinnamon recipe and whipped it up immediately.  The result was delicious and easy to eat on the bike.  Rice cakes are great because you basically make a pot of sushi rice and throw in whatever you like.  I started experimenting in the kitchen and made a batch with coconut butter, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and almond meal that turned out great.

Yesterday, I had the idea to incorporate the Perpetuem powder that’s been sitting untouched for months.  Unfortunately, I took the rice off the stove too early and it wasn’t sticky enough so it turned out more like rice pudding.  I’m spending a lot of time on the bike trainer these days  so I can still eat it while I ride!

How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat? Umm, like this!

Here’s the recipe I used.  I hope it will inspire you to come up with your own awesome flavors and share them here!

Perpetuem rice cakes

1 1/2 cups sushi rice
3 cups water
2 tbsp salt
2 cups (8 scoops) Caffe Latte Perpetuem
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts (I used raw, but you can use roasted if you prefer)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 tbsp cinnamon

Rinse rice in a mesh strainer under running water for a couple minutes, until water runs clear.

Combine rice and water in medium sauce pot, over high heat.  Once water comes to a boil, add salt, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Cook until water is completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.  **Important: make sure all water is absorbed and rice is sticky before removing from heat**

Stir in remaining ingredients.  Transfer mixture to a greased 2 qt glass baking dish and spread evenly.  Allow rice to cool before cutting into individual pieces.

Check out this video a tutorial on wrapping your rice cakes.