Sunday was the Steelhead Iron Man here in St. Joseph, Michigan. Mr. Prevention was asked about 3-4 weeks ago if he wanted to do the half marathon portion of the relay. An ex-collegiate swimmer swam the 1.2 mile swim in Lake Michigan, our friend rode the 56 mile bike, and Mr. Prevention tagged off to run the 13.1 miles in the heat of the day. Luckily, the August temperatures were a very mild 72 degrees and the racers seriously lucked out weather-wise.
As I watched the bike-to-run transition, it reminded me of the time I did a sprint duathlon — run, bike, run. When I got off the bike, my legs REBELLED against running. Or any type of forward movement, for that matter. The body is simply not made to perform repetitive activities and to then switch to completely different motion and repetitive activity. It just doesn’t enjoy such transitions – I think it took all 3.1 miles of the final leg of the race to actually find my legs.
At the race on Sunday, I could physically see racer’s calves cramping. It made me feel their pain just watching! Ironman athletes are awe-inspiring. I’ve watched marathons and half marathons many times. But, these individuals are good at so many sports that are so very different. I can also understand the reality of the body’s physical limits and the amount of intense training and dedication that is involved in such athleticism. Truly incredible!
Mr. P’s team, we joked, was “Team Taper”. Mr. Prevention ran all of 2 long runs in preparation for the race, the biker managed to get up to 30 miles in training, but never close to the 56 miles, and the swimmer just went for it, no training involved. Let’s just say they were out to have fun. But, they did great!
Mr. P tagged off just before 1 pm for the half marathon portion of the race. He was off like a bat out of hell. We were able to track his pace online and saw that at at 1.6 miles he was at an 8:05 min/mile pace. At 4.6 miles, he was still holding pace. We were able to see him 3-4 times throughout the course and saw him finish the half marathon in 1:52-ish (8:30 min/mile pace).
When we were walking to the car, he inquired if I had plans for dinner. When I informed him my thought was Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers, he grumbled.
So, I fed the racer some chicken with some flatbread and made for a happy man post-race. I am in love with this chicken. The rest is just a perk!
- 4 pieces whole grain flat bread or pitas
- 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2½ tsp red wine vinegar, divided
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- ½ cup (2 oz) crumbled feta
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- Heat oven to 200 F. Wrap the bread in foil and place in oven.
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and onion; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, 1½ teaspoons of the vinegar, and the lemon juice. Slowly add 4 tablespoons of the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour 1 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the tomato mixture, toss, and set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining vinaigrette, toss, and set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the chicken to the skillet and cook through, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, and the remaining teaspoon of vinegar. Create the sandwiches by arranging the chicken, tomato-onion mixture, yogurt sauce, feta, and olives over the top. Serve hot.