Two-a-day training sessions are back on the calendar. Yes, tis the season! Many triathletes take the winter off and start up riding and running hard again in the spring, preparing for the cornucopia of races that sprinkle themselves through the summer and into fall, ending just in time to carve Thanksgiving turkey and fall back into food/comfort coma for the winter. These individuals have yet to “catch the bug.” The bug that busts you out of bed in the dark hours to hit the pool, making space for a ride later in the day, or tie on the running shoes for speed workouts and hill adventures in the middle of the week . And THEN proceed with business, life, housework, obligations as usual. That is until weekend when long rides and incredibly long trail runs dot the calendar again.
It sounds like a real buzz-kill, right?
But really, its an adopted way of life.
And one that requires a good amount of fuel.
As I am sure you have noticed by now, refueling for these long days is very important. And, I am in a special position because working with food, playing with recipes, and figuring out crafty ways to eat all of our favorite and dreamy things is part of what I do. It makes the rewards before, and after, a session all the more delicious. For example, warm multi-grain muffins for post-run, redefined mac n’ cheese or quinoa + roasted veggie salads for our evening meal, granola bars or quick, nutritious snacks for the whole day through. The nutritional build-up for weekend workouts is my favorite – after all, it usually means we have made it through a challenging week, and we are about to earn our keep. The weekend is time for both the heartiest challenge of all, and a mental/physical/spiritual recharge. So special breakfast is in order – not only for nutritional preparation, but because there is really nothing so satisfying to the soul as an amazing, special breakfast something.
So yesterday, Friday, was the day. Oh yes, this weekend will hold a long trail run and a long hilly bike, so the “off day” (weights only) was the day to enjoy our nutrients under mineral-rich maple syrup. (Bet you haven’t thought of your short stack in this way before.) Waffles were on the menu and boy, are we lucky – we were bound to burn them off before the weekend sweat-fest even begun.
Buzz – the 6:30am alarm went off and I immediately jumped out of bed (as I am oddly wont to do) and get our fabulous little waffle iron warm, melting butter, slicing apples for topping, and whipping egg whites while sipping coffee in my robe. “Day off!!!” I think with a little squeal of joy.
Sizzle sizzle. The waffles are done, the scent of roasted apples fills the air, espresso slowly but surely opening eyes completely. We mindfully spread syrup and watch the sun rise over the woods behind the house, chatting about the day. We take Gunner for a little walk, and head out for a few quick adventures before coming home to indulge in the absence of training schedule.
But as soon as the ignition in the car was on, it did not cease until the sun began to set. When you work for yourself, these days occur occasionally and they are always a surprise. First to Troutdale for a meeting, errandserrandserrands, Costco, meeting in the city, lunch-because-we-are-famished (note: these amazingly nutritious waffles will only sustain a very active person for 6 hours or so) another impromptu meeting to pick up new camera equipment, long slog through horrible traffic THEN phone calls, frantic emailing to catch people before the end of the business week, dinner preparations, the gym (to squeeze in that minimal amount of training for the day) and at last, FLOP. FIN.
For someone like me, its amazing to find that usual days, where the only agenda is to bop about town and achieve errands can be more exhausting than climbing up the hills in The Gorge for hours on end. I am so glad that we had waffles for breakfast – one can only guess the melted-pile-of-previous-selves that might have been found had we not been properly fed!
These are an adaptation of a recipe done by Heidi Swanson on her blog http://www.101cookbooks.com entitled “Power Waffles.” While they are not gluten free or vegan, they are especially attractive to me because they use a variety of whole grains, boost the protein content with egg whites and still have a fulfilling taste and satisfying bite to them – a little step away from the ordinary. The original recipe calls for non-fat milk, and you will notice that they do contain a bit of butter – all things in moderation, I believe. A substitute might work very nicely here. I call these “Go Ginger Waffles.” Enjoy often, whether your day includes a long slog in running shoes, or suit-and-tie!