Recovery Week

For the athlete in me, this week is “Recovery Week”. Not that it was completely necessary considering that I wasn’t sore after the race. But it was a good week to take it easy. I took Monday off, thinking that I could rest up, run some errands, and get some easy exercises in (an easy jog, a yoga session, something). That didn’t turn out as I had hoped. I ended up taking grandma to the doctor and sitting at the doctor’s office for an hour (Mom, who works at the doctor’s office, said it would be quick and that I should just wait). That made me miss my yoga session and made me STARVING (the yoga instructors recommend that you don’t eat anything before going to yoga, so I hadn’t eaten much that morning). So.. on the way home from the doctor’s office (around 1pm) I picked up some lunch for me and grandma.. and more or less spent the entire afternoon writing up my race report and watching 10 Things I Hate About You on ABC Family (yay for TV marathons!).

Monday was also the return of Monday Night Dinners!!! Huzzah!!! It was my turn to cook, and since I had the day off, I decided to throw something in the slow cooker and monitor it all day. It’s unnecessary to monitor something in the slow cooker. Actually, the whole point of the slow cooker is that you can set it in the morning and leave, and then dinner will be ready when you get home. But, I’d never just left it alone before, and wanted to make sure that it would not burn the house down. I also didn’t want to put a lot of effort into dinner.

I pulled a recipe from the Crock-Pot cookbook that I have from a few years ago: Heavenly Pork Roast. It was actually incredibly easy to prepare (took less than 20 minutes), and then just set it to cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours. What came out was this incredibly tender, well seasoned (maybe just a little salty) pork roast that fell apart with the touch of a fork. Would have made delicious carnitas tacos, but was just as good with steamed mixed veggies and/or rice.

RECIPE: Heavenly Pork Roast

Ingredients:

  • 1 3- to 4-pound pork roast (any kind) – I cut mine into two pieces because I had a smaller (4-qt) Crock-Pot. You may or may not need to do this depending on the size of your Crock-Pot.
  • 1 medium sized orange, sliced thick with peel
  • 2 pears, peeled and cored, sliced thick
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice (like POM wonderful)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt – My roast turned out a little salty, so this can probably be omitted or reduced by A LOT
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt – This is probably another reason why the roast ended up a little salty
  • 1 Tbsp steak season of your choice – I used McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning

Instructions:

  1. Combine pomegranate juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into Crock-Pot.
  2. Mix seasoning in a small bowl. Rub generously over roast.
  3. Place roast in Crock-Pot and turn to coat in pomegranate-sugar syrup.
  4. Cover roast with orange and pear slices.
  5. Cover Crock-Pot with lid and set on HIGH. Let roast for 6-8 hours, until roast is tender.
  6. Serve with sides of choice: steamed veggies, rice, taco fixin’s, etc.

On Wednesday, Minh and I were able to get a short ride in to the beach and back along the Santa Ana River (the usual ride). My bike was having mechanical problems on the way out, so we had to head back to the house so Minh could fix it (he wouldn’t let me help).

While he was working on my bike (not shifting properly.. too much slack in the cables), I was checking out the bike computer on my tri bike. It had all the typical information that I already knew (total distance on race day, total time on bike, etc).. but what I hadn’t looked at before was the maximum speed I hit on race day. I know that I went at least 36 mph on one of the downhills because I happened to look down at the computer and noticed it. I had assumed that that was my max speed since I didnt’ think I’d gone much faster. But.. I was mistaken. My max speed on race day was 38.5 MPH!!!! That’s INSANE! I’ve never gone that fast before. Obviously it’s not a speed that I can sustain, but just to know that I got that fast for even a second is incredible.

Once Minh had my bike working properly, we still had enough daylight to go out for a ride. It was pretty hard. I could barely go past 14 mph with the wind and my legs being a little bit fatigued. Minh pulled me the whole way out and most of the way back. He probably didn’t get as good a workout because he had to go a little slower, but I was grateful that he would pull me the whole way so that I wouldn’t get dropped.

After we got back from the ride and cleaned up, we picked up potato tacos from Tito’s (a place Minh found on Yelp). He’s been dying to try these potato tacos after reading how amazing they’re supposed to be. To be honest, they weren’t bad. I think Minh liked them a lot more than I did, but they were good. They tasted like potato tamales (because of the corn tortilla). We also picked up some chicken tacos and a carne asada sope. The guy there loaded us up with pickled carrots (the best I’ve ever had) and green onions and radishes and HOT SAUCE! Their hot sauce was really really good.. marginally better than Alberto’s.

Thursday was the first time I really felt the effects of the race on my body. My neck and upper back were killing me during the bike leg of the race (the combination of the distance and the lower aero position). I was feeling fine during the beginning of the week, but the ride on Wednesday must have aggravated it. Thursday morning my upper back was in so much pain (and still is) that it hurt to just sit at my desk. I tried to stretch it out all day, and Minh even tried to massage it out after work, but nothing seemed to help. I put a pain reliever patch on it over night and hoped that I could sleep it off, but still hurts this morning. I guess this means that I just need to work out my back better to build up some strength. Better start focusing on the lateral pull-downs.

Minh had given me a lima fruit that he got from his co-worker. Apparently, it’s like a cross between a lime and an orange. It looks like a cross between a lemon and a lime, it smells like a lemon, but it peels like a grapefruit. I ate it (finally) on Thursday at work. I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like, but it didn’t taste like much of anything. Like a really bland grapefruit. Maybe it just wasnt’ ready to get peeled yet.

ASI Photos posted their race photos up yesterday, so I took some screenshots of those. They turned out pretty nice, I might buy some. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a nice picture of me running with the ocean in the background. I know a guy took my picture at that location, but I couldn’t find it online. Oh wells.

Tonight, we had dinner at Thanh Long Restaurant with my uncle and his fiancee (newly engaged.. YAY!) visiting from SLC and my aunt visiting from PA. Minh and I ordered rice ”cooked in” clay pots (which they weren’t) with seafood and mushrooms and tofu. Dinner was ok… not good, not bad.. just OK.

Looking forward to Easter this weekend. My mom and aunt planned a last minute mini family reunion, so that should be fun. I usually only see my extended family maybe once or twice a year (if that even). It’s always nice to catch up with everyone.

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