tougher than I thought...

Saturday morning I packed my "tri" bag (I'll take a picture of it during race weekend), got my wetsuit & bike ready, and jumped in my friend Barbie's ride. She drove me & my friend Deb to Russell pond for our first open water swim. We shimmied into our wetsuits, grabbed the goggles, and waded out into the water. Brrr! a little chilly, but not unbearable. The wetsuit was so buoyant (I went with the ORCA one), and warm, I felt pretty good. There was a small swimming area, so we decided to swim laps in it. Let me just say, open water swimming is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I felt like I was working so hard, in fact my heart rate was skyrocketing up there. When I got home, I googled some tips, and basically what I got out of it was to try and swim as effortlessly as possible and not worry about speed. I'm going to creep out of work early tomorrow (3pm) since my caseload is light, so we can all go practice another open water swim.
Me, Deb & Barbie after our swim!

The roads around the pond made us nervous to ride on. Narrow, sharp, winding roads with steep hills. Barbie mentioned a park nearby, so we went there. Unloaded the gear from the car, and Barbie had a flat. She decided to run while Deb & I rode. Problem was, the area was so flat, and filled with people we  felt like we couldn't really work hard enough or pick up enough speed to get anything out of it. We took off a little while later for home.

Overall I'm reallly glad we went with the wetsuits! and I definitely need to get some more runs in. I had to work all day today, but I am going to the gym in the morning for a run, maybe a ride too. Especially since I just ate a mint chocolate chip sundae with reese's pieces my roomate brought me home.

I decided today that I really wanted to make something with Quinoa. I have a HUGE bag of it I bought at Costco that has barely been used. I just don't have any recipes for it. I googled around and settled on this...
Quinoa & Butternut Squash Gratin 
by Stephanie Gallager (HERE)
8 servings, 5 points each

what you need
1 20oz. package of peeled & cubed butternut squash or 1 1/2 # whole
1 cup organic quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp shallots
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 slice italian bread
salt & pepper to taste

Make it

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F
2. For pre-cut squash, pierce package with a fork and microwave for 4-5 minutes until tender. If using a whole squash, peel & cube, and place into plastic bag and seal. pierce with a fork and microwave as above.
cooking in the saucepan
3. Rinse quinoa and place in a large saucepan with squash, water & salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 min. Until all water is absorbed and quinoa blooms into spirals.
4. Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp olive oil, with shallots for 3 min. Add garlic and gook 2 min. Pour over quinoa and squash, mixing thoroughly. Add egg substitute, 3/4 cup of the cheese, salt & pepper to taste.
5. Transfer to baking dish. Pulse bread in a food proccesor or blender until bread crumbs form. Sprinkle remainer of cheese and bread crumbs over the gratin. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
finished result
6. Bake 35-45 min until top is golden brown

I thought it was delicious, I love butternut squash. It was just enough cheese, and the quinoa combination was just fabulous. This will make for excellent leftovers after my swim tomorrow night. Wish me luck!


IronGirl Jo said...

I love my wetsuit! It does keep you buoyant. My tips for open water swimming are:
1. Keep your swim stride as long as possible.
2. Sight often or you will get off track. Don't trust the feet in front of you ;).
3. Don't panic. Just try to relax as much as possible!

Love your blog!

Stephanie Anne said...

Thanks for the tips Jo! I went again & it was a little easier. Hoping I can get another wetsuit practice in on saturday!