Sunday, October 31, 2010

Getting back to my [green] roots.

Took some time this past week to generally get fat and eat all the vegan deliciousness I could get my hands on. This would include [but is not limited to!]: Eddie's vegan cookies, LaraBars of every flavour, not so many bananas, Daiya vegan cheese on just about everything....and yeah...vegan pizza and vegan burgers. Put it to ya like this...if there was a vegan equivalent of 'letting oneself go', I LIVED IT. And it was equally as wonderful as it was gluttonous. :-)
Heck, it was so epic EVEN MY OMNIVORE FRIENDS were like "holy crap Alex!". Okay, they didn't say that. If anything they're 'excited' to see me eat large amounts of food - albeit, garden food in their opinion.

Nonetheless, I had to get all of that vegan binge eating outta me because this week is:
a) My last week of off-season slacking.
b) I start slowly transitioning to bike training starting next Monday. And oh won't that be a joyous occassion. I've been DYING to get on la biccicletta...

And so, this week's grocery list looked very different form most. If you knew me, you would anticipate that tough training is about to begin. Let's see what's cooking:
1) Bananas [lots of em. Surprised?]
2) peaches - or 'stone fruit'. they're in season and they're delicious.
3) Steel cut oats Oatmeal. Whatdya think the bananas are for?!
4) Box of 20 mangoes. Now those are in season too and every filipino out there is pumped up!
5) Apples - lots of these too.
6) 6-pack of Bass beer. Outstanding stuff!
7) Thai red rice. Much better than brown rice in my opinion.
8) Soy yogurt
9) vegan filipino adobo with eggplant, bell pepper and seitan. Yum.

And so that's the low-fat diet I'm on to prep for some hard hard training. Let's prey for a smooth landing. Good night Canada.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


What's that?! an SMS message? Or as the young people say: a "TEXT"?
Young William, sporting a handsome hat from Patagonia. Kid has good taste!
My mom relishing the role of playing grandma or as we say in tagalog: "lola".
It must be the offseason...there I am, all 151 lbs [!!!] of vegan lard. Get up fatty!

As a vegan, there's a certain kick I derive about telling people about my lifestyle and my love for animals and harsh dismay about eating them. There's this stern look of 'WTF!? you don't eat meat, where do you get your protein?! followed by a glance that if loosely translated in Slovakian probably comes out to: "oh, well that would explain why you're so thin and in shape." There are two problems with this:

1) I don't actually KNOW Slovakian...

2) and most importantly, I am NOT my racing weight [140-145ish..]. In fact, I'm no where close! I'm 151 lbs! Holy crap! Okay. Stop. Hold on. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

As it's my official offseason, I am taking 2 weeks off the bike and off of running. Yes, never thought I'd say it myself but I decided to have some rest. And honestly, I'm getting a bit antsy. It's been exactly 6 days and I am itching to get back on the bike and pound myself and my body into submission. When exercise becomes you, not exercising is like saying my name is NOT Alex Tellez.

BUT, I'm okay with that. Why? Because I am now coaching 6th grade girls basketball for my buddhist church. yes friends, this is the SAME buddhist church that I played basketball for and the SAME buddhist church my brother played basketball for. Simply put: this church has been a part of my life since an early age and that of my brother's. As such, I thought it fitting to give back to them and come full circle. And lemme tell ya..I'm LOVING the position of coach. These girls are fun, they laugh a lot [and horse around a lot!] but genuinely love the game. And that's refreshing in this day and age. And so while I have to tell them to silence the cell phones, clip their fingernails, put away the earings, and for gods sake shut that Justin Beiber kid up...the payoff comes in the joy of teaching youngsters about the game I so love. Stay tuned...our regular season begins in December!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Triathlon Hell Part 3

My mom titled this photo correctly: "Thank God it's all over with."
Bananas? Check. Gatorade? Check. Water? Check.
ThAAAR she is! the finish line and the most beautiful sight my sore eyes were seeing some 2 hours later.
Thank god...finally heading home. I am sooooooooooo napping in the car!
Oh. Dear. Lord. Almost. Done. I can see it now...vegan cupcakes as far as the eye can see!

The final episode in the chilling and epic trilogy known as Triathlon Hell.

---* Some 2 hours later running, swimming and biking

I cross the finish line tired, hungry and my left foot bleeding [running sockless = bad idea]. My first few thoughts after crossing the finish lines:

1) That wasn't so bad...
2) I could have gone much much faster at certain parts...
3) Where's the water?
4) Where's my family?
5) Where are the bananas?
6) Can we go for vegan burritos soon?

Thankfully, water, gatorade and bananas were bountiful at the finish line and I was more than happy to partake in the gluttony. Ms. Denise and the familia were present and I was happy to see a friendly face. I sat down shortly after I crossed the line and couldn't get up for the life of ass hurt and my shoulders were begging for rest. After taking some celebratory pics, we hopped in the car and went to Cafe Saturn where I ate and drank: 2 cane-sugar sweetened large sodas, 6 tacquitos [vegan], 1 vegan breakfast burrito, part of Denise's salad, part of my mom's salad and then part of my Dad's salad as I didn't want to forget anybody~! :-)

During the drive back, I passed out in the car, mouth open and drooling...almost as if I was cycling! After more calories and 8 hours of sleep I woke up and realized I wasn't that sore and that I could do that again. But the burning question is: do I want to do it again?

And therein lies the rub. I had to ask myself: Do I really love the sport? Do I have the potential to be great in it? What's my time frame? What's realistic? How fast can my swim pick up? Will I sacrifice in other sports to get better at the former? And really...the more and I more I asked myself and of myself the more I realized that which I already knew:

1) I hate swimming. I don't like it and I have no desire to do it.
2) I LOVE to cycle. I LIKE to race my bike [don't do it enough to develop a love yet...]
3) I LIKE to run and I KNOW I am good at it.

Having said that, I think I'm going to give up my tri ambitions - very happy I did one to know this! - and will take up running and cycling. At least this was my train of thought until I came to know the job duties of a DBA...
More on that later :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Triathlon Hell Part Deux

Oh yeah..that's the stuff right there! Armani wants me to be an underwear model for them. Okay I kid, I kid. Just a regular old model :-) Okay, I kid again.
T2 running. Just look at those arms! didn't see that before did ya! Well now it's all gone so ha! Oh wait...that's a bad thing huh?
Ms. Denise and I at the beach...moments before hell broke loose, we had some calamity and peace of mind to take it all in. Deep breath....
Dunno how many quarts of Gatorade I dumped on msyelf but the Gatorade marketing team would be happy

Marking...triathletes live for it, white clothes die by it. Not nearly as cool as it's meant out ot be but man look at those legs!

H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T!!!!

it's been a while hasn't it honey? Oh wait...gotta stop addressing the readers as such...:-)
Yes, it's been a while..yes, I left you hanging and yes, I survived. Whew. A cheesy apology won't suffice, so instead, I'll start by saying I've been "busy" reading up on a potential new career path as a DBA [look this one up], riding my bike, NOT swimming [my arms have now retracted to their usual stick-figure shape], running sometimes and enjoying the fruits of chocolate soy pudding. Mm mmmm...just think of a regular ole snack pack sans the cruelty and exploitation!

I was gone for so long, the war on terrorism even came to an end...heh...bad joke. I kid. No but seriously...I was gone so long, JERRY BROWN's lead hit double digits and furthermore, Thor Hushovd won the world championships, The OAKLAND RAIDERS spanked the Broncos [59-14 for all you Donkey fans] AND the SF Giants are going to the world series? In other strange and bizarre news, I need to talk about my traithlon experience.
And so without delay, let's cut to the chase.

THE SWIM - I was positioned in the group of death, age-group 20-29..full of newbies [me], pro's and wise cracking leperchans. yep..that bad. We were set to start at 8:30 but the fog came down on a chilly Santa Cruz morning. Then, at 8:45, we got the go-ahead and get in the water. Gun goes off...let's get this party started. For the next 29 mins, I'm in a washing machine full of men, punching, kicking, gouging and flailing their arms everywhich way in a desperate attempt to swim 1.2 miles around a pier and back to the beach. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I made it to the top of the second group and thought a) I'm not going to drown and b) I'm in pretty good position. Bam, out of the water, half the wetsuit around my waist and I'm off to my first transition.

T1 - FAIL. I forget where I racked my bike. Classic traitha-newbie mistake...I blow 2 minutes just looking for the damn thing. Quickly put on the specialized ass-beaters, helmet, spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch.

Bike - This was interesting. I had a number in mind...I was going to wind it up to 280 watts for the first couple of miles, then ratchet that beezy to 300 and chill out for the rest of the way. Somehow though, I ended up sitting around 280 most of the time and was very very conscious of pacing. Truth is, cycling is only one sport before running. Let's not forget I need to drop the bike and then run my vegan ass for 6 miles at a fast pace. Realzing that I could make up LOADS of time on the run, I settled into a 280 pace and basically lollygagged it in, taking in the sights of Davenport, CA. Interestingly, I saw the same rear ends for most of my ride. They would race past me on the flats [easily pushing over 320 watts] and then slow to a crawl on a hill...this is where I'd catch em...and then rinse wash and repeat. Nice guys, I think?

T2 - In a painstakingly slow 1 hr and 11 mins, I drop the bike for T2. Stupid slow, I know...but I was saving that for the transition and run. I dropped the bike, unzipped the tri-top, threw on the Nike LunaRacer shoe and set out to take names....

The Run - Not ONCE was I passed on the run. Instead, I passed some 30+ people, mostly men in their 20s and 30s who had that 'Im-no-tri-newbie-douchebag' look to them. I kept chugging along and kept passing people, always bowing my head and giving respect to oncoming runners. Around mile 4, things started to hurt...I was tired but most of all, I was hungry. I wanted something besides GU and electrolyte drink. It was hot too..90 degrees in Santa Cruz and of course, I'm wearing all black. Nice Alex, nice. But I do the run in a respectable time @ a 6:14 pace and finish 79th overall, 7th in class for my first Triathlon.

All in all, a gut-bursting experience...very exhilirating at first, my thoughts are that triathletes really really know how to pace themselves well. Because really, it's 3 sports in one event and you need to know your threshold and limit. I had no expectations I knew I couldn't place so I wen't for experience and all I have to say to any triathelte is: "CHAPEAU!"

Stay tuned for the ensuing carnage that happened at Cafe Saturn [vegan cafe] and my thoughts on triathlons in general....thanks for keeping the faith...I'm back. It's the offseason so expect regular posts from me as we head into hibernation.

Much love and respect,