Monday, November 30, 2009

Grocery Shopping with Alex Part Deux

I need to preface this blog post by stating that mama tellez stocked me up with some quality groceries which include:
1) Almond milk [yum]
2) Roasted eggplant tomato sauce [yumm <--Note one more 'm']
3) Frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
4) Celery...lots and lots of celery.

Now that we got that shit straight, let's get to what's in the basket shall we? This weeeeeeeek:
5) 2 bags of frozen pineapples. I'm basically going to make my delicious fruit salad all week.
6) Hummus - because hey, how else am I supposed to eat all that celery?
7) Lavvazza Italian Decaf Espresso [one shot of this is more than enough for me]
8) Ricera Mixed Berry soy-free, gluten-free "yogurt"
9) Bananas...can't get enough of these bad boys.
10) Apples, I'm recently on a chilled apple fetish.
11) Kale for morning smoothie
12) Chalula Hot Sauce! Can't find this anywhere! Stuff tastes sooooo good too!
13) Guiness Beer. More proof that buddha loves me =)

Put in 7.35 miles running a slow pace. Definitely a recovery run given the hell that is to come tomorrow. Can you say 9 ass-whooping miles in the AM followed by a bike ride in the PM? Ummmmm yea...I think the word you're looking for is: F#$%!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Soooooooo not looking at my bike tomorrow

That's how I'd describe my feelings right now for physical activity. I'm beat today and my legs - well, I don't think I have legs.

I sat and soaked in the hot tub and while that should make things feel better, my legs are still trashed. Let's see, how to describe it....not as bad as post-race day but resembles the feeling I get when I do my long runs.

Went grocery shopping today and I'll let you in on what was bought at whole foods. I felt the need to reward myself - this is a constant need btw - so I'm sipping a beer right now. I think old age is catching up to me =) Hard to believe I'll be the big deuce-five in 11 days. Crap. =)

My hope is that your legs aren't as trashed and that you can keep your eyes open for more than 9 seconds. I've passed out twice writing this short post...shameful isn't it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Delicious Fruit Salad

I got this recipe from the Cervelo Test Team's [pro cycling team] website where it lists their post-ride meal when they're doing their long 3-week stage races. Obviously, I've doctored it up a bit to no include refined sugars and stuff and I have attached 2 photos for you to see!

It's got everything the athlete needs. Carbs, good fats and some protein (4:1 ratio, carbs to protein). Here's what you'll need [feeds an Alex-size person]:
2 bananas sliced
1 orange, peeled and chopped
1 crisp red delicious apple
a round or two of fresh pineapple
1/2 lemon
some blueberries
raw granola if you got it, otherwise, a coarsely chopped LaraBar would suffice
some agave nectar

Chop fruit in chunks, add to bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice over the fruit salad, then top with raw granola and a generous drizzling of agave nectar. final step is obviously to devour!
As a note, that's the ricera yogurt I'm eating [made from brown rice and obviously, vegan]. Best flavor so far is strawberry.

p.s. I have to mention this or else I get my ass kicked. Went into Victoria's Secret today and smelled the scent "Very Sexy Hot" which smells very sexy - which, is ALSO a very good scent! I can see why women wear this...very good smelling for the record. Sigh...okay, now that my dignity is trashed I'll recover the parts with an electrolyte drink and compression tights. Hotness.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy "No turkey for me, thanks" Day

Aloha from sunny Waimanalo Bay Beach, Oahu!

Had a great Thanksgiving day with the family. Started off with a nice cup of tea, and then a 55 mile ride at an early 6:30am [man that's early]. But hey, gotta work to burn off those calories! Saw a lot of people on the road surprisingly. I was thinking, damn, these people were up before me and I was up at 5:50 on a holiday. Crap.

After the ride, I quickly showered, shaved and was back at home to get my parents. We stopped by Down to Earth foods where I got my Thanksgiving day meal which consisted of:
2 slices of gluten-free vegan 'pizza' with roasted tomatoes, tofu and caramelized onions, mock 'chikin' salad, 5 slices of seitan 'turkey' with garbanzo gravy. Kapow, put all those lost calories back in one sitting! =) My dad witnessed what he called 'a shameful display of gluttony' as I pigged out on the beach with the family.

For dinner, I had an amazing fruit salad that I need to share with all of you. Awesome recipe and stupid simple. You'll love it, promise.

Line of the day:
[while dad is driving]
Dad: You [Alex] drive with a lead foot and your mother has tunnel vision. Everything clear on the right? [he's making a left turn and asks my mom this]
Mom: I dunno, I have tunnel vision so I guess it looks alright!
Classic stuff!

Once again, pics from the beach and my parents passed out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Someone mentioned Thanksgiving today?

Faster than I can say "No turkey for me thanks", it's the eve of Thanksgiving. and my, what an interesting Thanksgiving it's been. This time last year, my parents were visiting me on the islands and spent Thanksgiving. You can see a picture of my mom and dad sleeping on the beach looking like a pair of beached whales! [thank god no whalers were there!]

At the time, I was still a pretty overweight kid as you'll notice from the photo [contrast this with the one of me sipping fresh coconut water in June this year! OR the one of me sharing some raw vegan desserts with one of my hanai mothers]. It's crazy because this lifestyle that I currently live, basically: eat, sleep, rest, cycle, run, shit, shave has been on repeat for an incredibly long time. And while it feels like I've been doing this my whole life, the truth is 1 year ago I was no where near where I am today. 2 completely - and I mean COMPLETELY different people now.

There's a lot to give thanks to and I'm going to save that blog post for tomorrow but for now, I'd like to give a hearty 'thanks' to life for always giving people chances to remake themselves. Ask my parents or anyone that knew me before what I'm like now and the answer will be pretty unanimous: night and day. And that's the beauty of life...that we get to reinvent ourselves many times over.
...And so, green smoothie in hand, cheers to you life. Despite your cruelty and unfairness at times, I can't imagine a life that is different then the one I have now =)

Spending the day with family tomorrow and we'll probably watch some movie and eat at the beach. Will be sure to take plenty of photos. Have a good Turkey day everyone, and if you can help it, go easy on the meat.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some might call it distasteful... regards to the provocative photo of Lady GaGa that I have. In truth, I chose that photo among many for precisely that reason: shock. I think part of what gives her that unique panache is her lack of conformity to things most fine "normal". Take for example the above photos taken at concerts. That's what she wears and let me say, it turns heads - more than once! So for the few that find it distasteful.."there's nothing else I can say" =) [know what song that's from!]

In other news, been getting into fuyu persimmons a lot and right now they are falling. Super sweet and jelly-like in the middle. Been making some killer green smoothies using blackberries. Here's the recipe
1) frozen blackberries
2) 2 bananas
3) lots of kale
4) 1 pear
5) water
Blend, whip, and enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lady GaGa - The Fame Monster

Ummm....hell yes! Lady GaGa's highly anticipated album, The Fame Monster released today and there are two words that I think describe it best: HOLY SHIT. Let's forget that whole what-gender-is-she-he-argument for a moment and take the album for what it is: DOUBLE URANIUM! [not even platinum son! too good for that! for those of you Chappelle Show lovers, that term was from what skit??????]

It was so good, I made a separate iTunes playlist which is basically the entire album. Which begs the question, why the hell did I need to create a playlist when the album would suffice? Good question. My guess: Senior moment. Cuz in like 3 weeks, I'm turning the big deuce-five! A quarter century old. 75 years away from being a centenarian! Social security, senior rates at movies, and Ross's Senior Appreciation Tuesday's here I come!

Before I conclude this post with more Lady GaGa awesomeness, let me also give a big shout out to everyone in the Yay Area. Soon, very soon, I have some good news to reveal.
Until then, you'll just have to hear me blab on about Ale-Ale-Alejandro 24/7 =)

Dear Dad -

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for naming me Ale-Ale-Ale-jandro.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

TIRED...flat out TIRED.

Lately, I've been really, REALLY tired. Dunno why really. My coaches say because my season is all but over there is a feeling of lethargy running rampant throughout my 139lb body. Right now, I just want to lay down the base going into the offseason - especially as we get closer to December and weather in Hawaii gets "colder" [65 degrees = BRRRRRRRRR!]

Having said that, I put in some okay-miles on the bike and some okay-miles running. My legs will certainly feel it but hey, that's why they make recovery tights no?

Even now as I type this, my eyes are getting pretty heavy and it's not the beer I had either! More than likely it has everything to do with my body saying "Hey Alex, let's take a few weeks and just put in some easy base miles and then ramp up again mid-December." Chances are, that's just my lame excuse that I'm not ready to but out intense run workouts juuuuuust yet. Enjoying cycling and learning and living.

But I wanted to let you all know that I'm still here and still kicking - just not as hard right now. Things will ramp up slowly as I put in more miles but for now, the little break has been good. And with 12/31 drawing closer, I need to focus on some job-related things anyways. sorry about the blog body is pooped [would say my mind is pooped also but this wouldn't be any different from an ordinary day!]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Race Day Photos

Here are some photos of race day taken at the event.
...and yes, this is a cop-out for blogging today. waaaaaay too tired to think about what to write so here you go.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Now, we hit the restart button

Okay, tomorrow, it's time to rock and roll with the running again. Indeed, I love, love, love cycling but I need to get back into running if I'm to have any shot at being in decent condition for Honolulu. Tried to eek out an 8 mile recovery run but then quit around mile 6 due to some intense bloating. Truly sucked to be out there. Every two miles I had to pee and my stomach felt full of water despite not drinking any for 4 hours prior to running. Lesson: NO MORE CABBAGE.

Been having some serious fun with my espresso machine [thanks Andy!] and it's been a learning process. My dad still drinks a ton of coffee so I make him espressos on it; still haven't figured out how to do the single-shot illy packs yet but small steps...

Been sleeping a lot too, wonder if that's just my body getting tired on me and not feeling 100% recovered. Although I do feel that way. Odd no? So starting tomorrow, regular training regimens will begin again and I'll be back to running hard / cycling hard. Lucky for me, Mike has a pretty similar schedule so we'll be pushing pedals all afternoon tomorrow. Night everyone.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vicious attack!

I was in Kahala with my parents for the day and we were grocery shopping and just futzing around for the most part when suddenly, this rabid t-rex tries to take a chunk of my face off! Lucky for me, I'm trained in last-second-t-rex-attacks-martial-arts so I knew the only way to ward off this creature it try and outrun it. Good thing I had on my Nike Air Max's =)

It's been really nice having family here. They're staying through the end of the month which is cool. However, we had this god-awful thai coconut curry today...nothing at all like phuket thai. This one was lacking coconut milk and heavy on ginger....ugh...pretty lackluster. BUT, we did buy a bunch of Oogave Soda ['soda' made with agave sugars, no caffeine, no gluten]. Rootbeer and Watermelon cream soda are my personal favorites!

Hope you all had a pleasant weekend and were able to stay away from all those crazy t-rex's runnin' around the place. It's Jurrasic Park in this place~

Friday, November 13, 2009

And just when you thought it was over...

....MORE tan-lines!!! What do you think of those bad boys! Sexy huh?! Yeah....I'm quite proud of these legs, where they've been and how hard they've worked. Notice those lines too! I think I'm one of the few cyclists on the islands that is actually proud of tan-lines. Like a badge of courage, I show them to all. What's worse is when I run in the dark, you can REALLY see those lines. Grosses me out just thinking about it.

Oh man, after a solid 7 mile run effort yesterday, my legs pretty tired this evening. I eeked out a meager AM cycle followed by a recovery 6 mile run. Tomorrow will be a gnarly effort. Lots of cycling in the AM, hopefully get a haircut before I embark on a 16 mile run. No more recovery, no more taper-up period. Full gas for the next 2 weeks before another 2 week taper down. Sigh...thank god there is no goal attached to Honolulu.

Listening to: Doorman by the Clipse
The Album: Till the Casket Drops [almost all produced b Neptunes]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Green Smoothies - A step by step guide's come down to this. Here is a step by step description of how to make my perfect green smoothie...or at least the one I'm digging at the moment. It's a little ass-backwards so forgive me. The first picture is of the finished product whereas the last picture is what goes into all that goodness. Let's get started...class is in session!
1. 3 freckled bananas [freckled = ripe]
2. 4 kale leaves
3. frozen blueberries
4. frozen mango chunks
5. raw cacao nibs
6. Laughing Giraffe Dessert r"aw-nola"

Picture 1 shows the ingredients.
Moving on to picture 2, we see 3 bananas in 3/4 cup of water. Easy peasy.
Picture 3 has blueberries and mango chunks added to the mixture.
Picture 4 shows the kale leaf being pulled from the stem. You need to do this because it will taste too bitter and like a blended salad [gross].
Picture 5 AKA 'the magic' is the end result of 20 seconds using the Vitamix. All done. Notice the blueberry color...looks nothing like a green elixir huh?
Taste is super sweet with some bitterness from the cacao. Promise you'll like's so easy, even a caveman can do it. [thank you, Geico]

Ran 7 miles today. Oooooh man that was punishing. Hadn't run hard in 2 days and I'm feeling it. Gracious...nothing that some brown rice pasta and chocolate stout beer can't solve.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recovery Process: 95%

Today marks the 10th and last day of my 'taper up' period before I start a 3 week all out effort in anticipation for the Honolulu Marathon. I think part of the reason why I'm feeling so well is I've been going around riding my bike a lot which has temporarily stopped the incessant pounding of my quads that running involves.

One thing: riding in Hawaii at night as some scary shit. No, like, really. All that surf and sun must get to them causing their vision and their cognitive reasoning to become clouded to the point of near-blindness and hence no respect or awareness of cyclist - or pedestrian's for that matter! One would think that wearing bright colors [reflective yellow] would do something. Nope. Wearing bright yellow is the same thing as wearing gunmetal black.

Lesson: Get lights and illuminate yourself like an xmas tree.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Recovery Process: 85%

It's been about 8+ days since I raced and was back in the bay area so things are getting better. I'm healthy and not injured which is great. My last race as some of you may recall, I was injured and was sidelined from running for about 2 weeks. However, my coach and I are tapering up so in the next 2 days, I'll be at 95% or thereabouts, ready for my final race of the season, the Honolulu Marathon, all 26.2 miles of her.

Today was a crappy day at work...but made better by consuming my chocolate stout beer. It's interesting but if I said it was bitter you all would go "no shit sherlock, it's beer". Yes, I get it. Oh! Before I forget! I tried my brown rice 'yogurt' and it was wonderful! I had it in peach flavor and it was marvelous. Topped off with some raw granola and you've got yourself my pre-snack-snack.

Speaking of raw granola...I got a goody pack from my sponsors at Laughing Giraffe desserts! They sent me some raw granola in two flavors:
1) Pineapple-Macadamia nut crunch
2) Orange-walnut-cacao granola
Incredible stuff. When you try it, you'll wonder why the hell you ate anything least, that's what I felt like.

Running feels okay, put in a solid 6 miles at a slow pace and no post-run soreness [yet]. Recovery ride on the bike in the AM. Here's the diet log...lot's of cooked food for some reason.
Breakfast - green smoothie with blueberries, dates, kale and bananas
Lunch - Tofu with brown rice and spicy cabbage salad
Dinner - Brown rice pasta and tofu 'chikin' strips.
Snacks - Water, brown rice pasta, Clif protein bars, beer. Sweeeet.

Drinkin' a beer on a Monday...what says corporate america more than that!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grocery Shopping with Alex

A few of you have wanted to know what's in Alex's grocery cart so I decided to dedicate a blog post to this topic. Before I get into what all that goodness is, please note that on Saturday, I bought 2 bags of steel cut oats [NOT instant oatmeal, you have to slow cook this one], a shitload of bananas, papayas and bananas. Now that we've established this, I'll get right into the selection of goodies.

5 Brown Rice 'yogurt' cups in blueberry, peach, strawberry and vanilla flavor. Soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free...pretty much free from all sins except goodness. I miss yogurt and I'm so happy there's a vegan-friendly alternative that is free from a lot of 'normal' vegan stuff [gluten, soy, nuts, etc..]
6-pack of Bison Organic Chocolate Stout beer - I'm working on my bitter tastebuds and figured I'd try with this beer. Drinking it as I type this blog in fact. Not bad...but bitter [no shit sherlock]
Bananas - because what trip to the store isn't complete without a ton of bananas
Brown rice pasta in fettuccini form
Arrabiatta sauce for the pasta
2 bags of frozen blueberries for smoothies
1 bag of frozen mango chunks
Kale...lot's of Kale.
Clif protein bars which are ALSO vegan.

So far, the best one people have liked about my Jens Voigt ode was the one about hair not growing on titanium, steel and brass.

Friday, November 6, 2009

An ode to Jens Voigt

Probably one of my favorite 'big guys' on tour. Here are some awesome 'facts' about Jens you probably never knew as I flipped open an old issue of ROAD magazine [bold indicates hearty laughter on my part]:

Jens doesn't read book. He simply attacks until the books relent and tell him everything he wants to know.

Jens doesn't spin or mash the pedals. He kicks them into submission.

Jens puts the 'laughter' in 'manslaughter'

Jens climbs so well for a big guy because he doesn't actually climb hills; the hills slink into the earth in fear as they see him approach.

Jens' testicles are bald because hair doesn't grow on titanium, brass and steel.

Jens once had a heart attack on the Tourmalet. Jens counterattacked repeatedly until he kicked its ass.

If Jens Voigt was a country, his principle exports would be pain, suffering and agony.

Jens Voigt believes it's not butter.

Jens Voigt doesn't complain about what suffering does to him. However, suffering complains about getting picked on constantly by Jens.

You are what you eat. Jens Voigt eats steel for breakfast, fire for lunch, and a mixture of titanium and carbon fiber for dinner. He washes it down with a tall glass of the tears of men he dropped, affectionately known as 'The Milk of Human Suffering'.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: Jens challenged Lance Armstrong to a "Who has more testicles" contest. Jens won with five.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You & me plus the devil makes 3

Sigh...this is going to be a rough post. I anticipate a loooong ass night. One of those nights where we all have had at one point in our of reflection and thought - mainly of the past and where I've been and what's to come. Obviously, I'm not in the mood to talk about it and I won't bore you all with the details.

However, you'll all be pleased to know that someone near and dear is slowly adopting the green smoothie revolution and so are her parents! Slowly but surely, the green smoothie revolution is at hand. Ryan and Bethany, you're clearly next. Do take note of her special blog post and pay attention when she talks about proportions. Couldn't have said it better myself Amelia!

She advocates a 3:1 ratio, sometimes even 5:1 [go on with your fruit self!] when it comes to fruit to vegetables. What does that look like? 5 bananas for every cup of spinach. Water and soymilk if you need it. Try, read what she has to say let me know what you think.

Myself...well, let's just try and make it to tomorrow morning shall we. Cheers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Green Smoothie Anyone

I'm taking this post to talk about green smoothies. A few of you have been hankering for more recipes and more 'user-friendly' ones for those that don't / aren't willing to make the full sacrifice to raw-vegan smoothies. No fear, I've thought of you and I have a smoothie that will go against ANY smoothie at Jamba Juice. Matter of fact, I'm thinking of blending one, serving it to them and then making the workers slap themselves for drinking anything different. Thoughts?

So as a rule of thumb, remember: when in doubt, add another banana. This is pretty much my life motto when it comes to, just have another banana. What's the worst that will happen? More fiber, more sugar [the good kind] and more energy. 70% fruit, 30% greens and you'll be fine. It may look revolting [see above] but you'll be alright. Promise.

This smoothie is called Chocolate-Green-Monster. It's ridonculously good. You read that correctly. RIDONCULOUSLY good. Simple, stupid and delicious. Perfect for the athlete and packs more food than Oprah Whinfrey stuffing herself silly with cheethos.
1) 3/4 cup water
2) 3/4 cup UNSWEETENED soymilk
3) 4 ice cubes
4) 2 bananas
5) Some kale [pull leaves off stem]
6) 3 Mejdool dates
7) Raw cacao nibs
8) Raw cacao powder
9) Raw-eos to crush and put inside smoothie

Proportions? Who needs em. Just combine them and mix it in a blender to your taste and it'll be good enough. Above are pictures of the ingredients, me devouring them and then my new 'got-smoothie' ad which has me sporting a green-smoothie 'stache. Hot huh? Notice the other picture where my mom snapped the photo too soon? Thanks mom!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Can't even run 5 miles to save my life

You heard it here first, I struggled so hard to run 5 miles today. Breaking a 10 minute pace seemed impossible. My coach has me running super easy for the next week and I have to. Only good thing is cycling seems alright. Can't get up hills for a few more days...still draining lactic acid.

Good news is, I can sit down pain-free. Whew. Have to say I've been watching Russell Peters on youtube...hilarious stuff. A canadian indian guy doing standup, can't go wrong with that. Check him out. Haven't been on iTunes yet. Will give an update when I know what's out there.

AM - Easy cycle
PM - Super easy run. And I STILL hurt.
Breakfast - Pineapple,banana,kale,date green smoothie
Lunch - Banana, kale, dates and cacao nib green smoothie. This was so good, I'm going to post photos of it tomorrow. Seriously, try and make this one, it's dirt easy and super tasty.
Dinner - Brown rice pasta, tofu and gluten-free, vegan pizza.

iTunes update, Tuesday Download:
50 Cent feat Ne-Yo, Baby By Me
Tiesto - Kaleidoscope

Monday, November 2, 2009

One word describes it all: OUCH!

One day after the race, I can safely say my legs are shot to holy hell. It hurts to stand, to sit and to lie down. Thus, rendering me useless and unfit for human life. Normally, this is no different from how I am most of the time with the slight exception to my athletic feats. However, given this soreness, it hurts to do anything and nothing which begs the question, what doesn't hurt? Answer: FLOATING in a pool. That's okay. Everything else - which is a lot of shit - hurts.

And of course, my mom is in town so we went grocery shopping, ate yummy vegan food and had great Thai for dinner. It's good to see her as always. However, I'm sad to be back on the island. I miss home and those that I connected with. And so, the flight back home was riddled with the following tracks:

Let me tell you something - T.I. ['when the attraction is apparent, it's hard to stop starin' - classy line from a classy rapper, no doubt]
Sakura - Ketsumeishi
Sunspot - Armin Van Buuren
Vanilla Twilight - Owl City. when I'm 'moody'.

But seriously, step your game up with that T.I. song

And now, the long week of recovery runs and easy bike outings begins as we prep for the Honolulu Marathon in a few weeks [awful being a racer I tell ya!]. I WILL however pop some bubbly this week and drink a few beers to celebrate my first win of my age group.

-Keep it pimpin', pimpin.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wham, Bam, Thank you ma'am

Done. 1:18.35 seconds, good enough for 6th overall, 1st in age group and some hardware on the return trip. That was BRUTAL. Not long hills like the SF half but short and sweet ones that came hard and fast [that's what she said].

Ugh, that sucked a big one. Seriously, the hills here were not that steep but constant. legs are totally f$%&$d. On to the buffet of vegan goodies now!