Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Paleo Zucchini Bread with Ginger and Golden Raisins and My First Triathlon (not necessarily in that order)


With my first triathlon quickly approaching, I was feeling the nerves more and more each day. Because Kevin and I entered this triathlon to celebrate our second wedding anniversary, we decided to plan a little getaway the day before the race so we could be calm and relaxed when race day came.

We started the day in Bardstown, Kentucky. We stopped into Mammy's Kitchen for breakfast and then strolled the streets of historic downtown Bardstown. It is such a cute town and there were a lot of fun shops to peek into. 

Is this not the cutest town ever?

Before leaving Bardstown, we toured My Old Kentucky Home. The house was beautiful and the docents shared a lot of interesting historic facts about the home and the family that once resided there.

On the porch of My Old Kentucky Home

We drove about another 30 minutes south and came to Glendale, Kentucky, our final stop for the day. Glendale is a popular destination for antique lovers - they had about 8-10 antique shops with a lot of fun finds. We bought a few records and some old advertisement prints straight out of Mad Men.



The train runs right through the center of town!

We ate our pre-race meal at one of the two restaurants in town, The Whistle Stop. I wouldn't exactly call it "Paleo Friendly", but we made it work. I had the chopped steak with salad and a size of mixed veggies. After dinner, we walked back to our room and turned in early to get some rest before our big race!

Look at all that meat and veggie goodness!
The alarm went off at 5:15 Sunday morning, but I was already half awake thinking about the race. We got ready, ate a little pre-race breakfast of fruit and almond butter and loaded up the bikes. The reason we chose to stay in Glendale is that it is only 15 minutes from Elizabethtown, which is where the race was being held. We arrived in Elizabethtown by 6:00, which gave us plenty of time to set up our gear, get checked in and do a little stretching!
Getting my timing chip on

Gettin' all marked up

Look how bendy Kevin is!

Touching my toes
Around 8:00, they called us to line up at the doors of the gym. They would file us out to the outdoor pool in a single file line and start each swimmer in ten second intervals. Kevin was in the first group to go out so I had to wish him luck in the gym before he started. My Mom, my friend Heather and her daughter Savannah were all there to cheer us on..and take pictures!

I could see Kevin swimming as I waited in line, which distracted me from getting too nervous. I kept moving up in line waiting for my turn to jump in and swim.


Kevin nearing the end of the swim

When it was my turn, I jumped right in and started swimming. I thought it would take me a lap or two to calm down and get in the zone, but I immediately felt awesome on the swim. I passed a few swimmers and was only passed by one person near the end of the swim. I thought it would be freezing since we were outdoors and it was only about 60F that morning, but once I got going I felt fine. The swim went by pretty quickly and it was time to jump out and run to my bike.

Swimming my little heart out
I felt good coming out of the water so I ran to the transition area and got my gear on for the bike ride. My Mom and friends were there cheering me on so I chatted with them a bit while I was getting my helmet and shoes on. It was a 13 mile ride so I took one GU when I first hopped on the bike and carried one water bottle, which I didn't even finish. I ate a second GU as I was finishing up the bike ride. When will there be a Paleo friendly GU?

Safety First!

I saw Kevin coming back from the bike ride as I was headed out and shouted a quick hello to him. My Mom got a couple of great pictures of him as he finished up both the bike ride and the run.





The bike course was VERY hilly so it was tough to get a good pace going, but I just went as fast as I could and tried to push myself up the hills. I even passed a few guys, which is always a good confidence booster. :)

Approaching the bike transition area

By the time I finished the bike ride, Kevin had already completed the race so I got to see him and my Mom and friends as I transitioned to the run. I was still feeling great and was really excited to start the run. I pulled on my running shoes and my pink Buff and got right back out there. Kevin bought me Lock Laces for my running shoes for my birthday this year and I love them. They are elastic bands that you use on your shoes instead of laces and you can pull your shoes right on without having to tie them.

It was in the mid-70's by the time I started the run so it still felt good, but was definitely getting warmer. The run course was pretty flat and weaved through some neighborhoods near the swim center. It was a fun course. I noticed my calves tightening up during the run, but luckily it never got that bad. Before I knew it, I was coming up on the finish line. Everybody was there at the finish line cheering me on so I sprinted to the finish...I had to look good for the crowd. :)


Almost at the finish

I had no idea what my time was, but I knew that I felt great! I was so proud of my accomplishment and overcoming my fear of trying something new. I was ready to sign up for another one!


Celebrating a job well done with my hubby

A friend of ours had come in first and we knew Kevin had done pretty well so we decided to hang around for the awards ceremony. As they were announcing the winners for my age group, I heard them call my name. I had gotten second place in the 30-34 age group! I couldn't believe it. I was so surprised. Kevin also got second place in the 30-34 age group for males, but I wasn't surprised. He is fast and he works hard for it!

I got an even bigger surprise when I learned they had calculated the times incorrectly and I was actually FIRST in my age group! I was just so happy to have completed the race, I really was not expecting anything like this. I couldn't be happier with how the whole race went.

Here are my official times -

400 Meter Swim - 9:30
T1 - 2:34
13 Mile Bike Bike - 47:16
T2 - 1:21
5K Run - 27:22

Showing off our bling!

We drove back to Louisville for a BIG post-race brunch at Ramsi's. They do a buffet on Sundays and it is possible that I had three plates of food. Those plates were piled high with fruits, veggies and healthy proteins like chicken and fish so I felt zero guilt about my meal. There may have also been a few slices of bacon and some sausage links in there, but hey...I earned it!


This is what winners eat.

We celebrated by making the Paleo Zucchini Bread with Ginger and Golden Raisins recipe that I entered into the Kentucky State Fair this year. I didn't win a blue ribbon at the fair, but snacking on this bread sure made Kevin and I happy. This bread is so moist, which is something I have struggled with when making Paleo baked goods. The ginger and raisins give each bite a burst of flavor and the molasses gives it just a hint of sweetness.




Paleo Zucchini Bread with Ginger and Golden Raisins
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients
7 eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
1/2 cup golden raisins

Directions
Heat oven to 350F.

Spray a  9’’x5’’ bread pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until smooth. Add molasses and coconut oil and beat until well combined.

Add in vanilla and all spices to egg mixture and beat again.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking soda with a whisk until combined.

Stir zucchini into egg mixture.

Add flour to egg mixture and stir until combined. Pour in raisins and stir until evenly incorporated into batter.

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for one hour, remove from pan, slice and serve.







6 comments:

  1. Awesome post! Congrats on your first place win- reading about it is exhausting me! Any plans for another?

    Bread looks awesome- totes making this when my whole 30 is done!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! I am definitely doing another one...this weekend actually! :) My CrossFit gym is hosting a "Tri-Not-to-Hurl-athon". I'll probably try an Olympic distance next year.

      Let me know how you like the zucchini bread. It is really good topped with berries or banana.

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  2. Love the recipe and love love love the photo caption "this is what winners eat"! :-)

    Congrats Tara, to you both!

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  3. Congratulations! First place is awesome (well even just doing a race is awesome). You should definitely keep going with them. The write up almost made me want to give it a shot. Will have to learn how to ride a bike. I've never tried. But on that course with hopefully no cars will make it easier. Although my running will probably be closer to the 10min/mile mark. Your 27 minutes is inspiring.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! You could totally do it - I wonder if any local bike shops do beginner rides where you could get out there with some more experienced riders and get comfortable with it. When I started running I was much closer to 11 minute miles, it all comes with time!

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