I came across this jellyfish while walking our beach during low-tide this morning. Actually, there were at least eight of them scattered across the rocks and beginning to dry up. They were impressively large, at least two feet across and very thick and gummy-looking. I usually classify jellyfish in the same category as snakes (neat to look at from afar....very far away...but I am scared to death when our paths cross). I didn't exactly feel threatened by these today and was more curious as to what they were. Google helped me solve this mystery. They are Lion's Mane jellyfish, the largest in the world. Their sting is quite potent and has been known to be fatal. They move quite slowly and stay near the surface, relying on the currents to push them. Apparently it is common for them to be washed ashore during late summer as they seek out shallow, sheltered bays during the end of their one-year lifespan. I thought these were quite large, but apparently their bell-top can reach up to 8 feet across and their trains up to 30 meters! I am pretty sure if I had seen one this large on the beach I would have called in the paranormal experts.
Today was another great day on Mayne and we were treated to perfect September sunshine. We spent the morning at the farmer's market and the local craft shops (my favourite pastime). The afternoon began with lunch on the patio of the Mayne Inn and finished with a series of three long hikes on various trails around the island. I had great intentions to return to Mount Parke for a run but I have a cold right now that has left me feeling quite yucky. Maybe I will try tomorrow before I catch the ferry back to Vic.
I also wanted to share something I found quite amusing, but still awesome. The 100 Mile Diet is becoming somewhat of a trend, but for good reason. There was a 100 Mile Harvest Dinner in Fredericton this weekend and Mayne was hosting their own local dinner this week. However, on Mayne it's not called the 100 Mile Dinner....it's the 10 KM Dinner. This island is great!
I caught a ferry this morning to join my mom on Mayne Island. Our family has a great cottage with a beautiful view that I wish I could visit more often, but the lack of swimming pools makes a vacation impossible during race season. Now is the perfect time and I have fresh legs and lots of energy to check out the sights. Mt Parke is a regional park in the centre of the island and I am embarassed to say that I have never hiked there (I have a vague memory of starting the hike when I was about 13, but quickly turned back when the trail started to climb. Sweating it out "for fun" wasn't exactly my style back then). Today though, I was all for the challenge and had the company of my mom and dog, Chloe. Chloe isn't in the best of shape (that might be the world's biggest understatment...) and I am amazed that she hasn't come to associate my presence with physical exertion (we often joke that when I'm in Vancouver it's "boot camp" for Chloe). Today was no different and we were well into the forest before she realized what she had gotten herself into. It was a great hike and took about two hours round-trip. Chloe survived (barely) and even found a little spurt at the end to chase after some deer. We refueled at a blackberry bush before heading home for some dinner and wine. The sunset wasn't spectacular tonight so we are relaxing inside with a fire and maybe some Scrabble-playing. I hear my mom is hard to beat and I know she means business because I see the official Scrabble dictionary is already out on the table. Uh-oh!
Being back in Victoria I had thought I would spend the first few days enjoying my favourite cafes and restaurants, taking a break from cooking (I have been on quite the culinary roll lately). That all changed after a quick stop at Lifestyle Market, and I found myself back in the kitchen tonight with a new recipe to try. I madeLemony Chickpea Stir-Fry from one of my favourite recipe webpages, 101 Cookbooks. I stumbled across this recipe about a month ago, but passed it by as I thought it might lack flavour with the simple ingredients. Also, I have to admit that kale is not a favourite of mine, so the minimal flavouring with the bitter greens was enough to turn me off. For some reason, I pulled up this recipe today and decided to give it a try.
I made a few substitutions: coconut oil in place of the ghee, shallots for the onions, smoked tempeh for the tofu, and I even took a big risk and doubled the kale. I also zested the entire lemon as I am on a bit of a lemon kick these days.
It turned out very well with a refreshing and not-too-tart lemon flavour and attractive mix of textures. I think Wendy would agree :-)
It was also incredibly simple and was easily prepared start-to-finish in about 15 minutes.
I would definitely make this again but might try switching up some of the veggies next time (maybe broccoli?).
I realize I need to work on my food photography as the finished photo does not make this dish look overly appetizing. I promise it tastes much better than it looks!
I wanted to share these great drawings. They were done by Chinese schoolchildren in Beijing and placed in our bedrooms in the Athlete's Village. They were created for the athletes with the intention that we would take them home as a memento. Unfortunately many were left behind as they were framed and glued to a heavy board. I really wanted to bring mine home, as well as a couple of the others from the Canadian triathlon apartment. It took a little determination and some creative packing to get them here, but I am so glad that I did.
This morning started with a visit to the Boyce Farmer's Market. We are fortunate to live across the street from this year-round Saturday morning market, so apart from having to crawl out of bed, the weekend pastry and coffee make it worth the effort. Adam and I love to visit the market twice before it closes at 1pm. The first stop is for fruits, veggies, freshly roasted coffee, bread and any other treats that catch our eye. The early bird definitely gets the worm so if I want the fresh basil and wild boar sausages, I have got to be there early! The second stop is for lunch, which tends to happen post-run. This market is amazing for a small city and I am still amazed that it is year-round. Local, and often organic, fruits and veggies are in abundance as well as local crafters, fresh flowers, and today pumpkins even made a presence (If it wasn't mid-September, I might have bought one to carve). I'd have to say that this market might honestly be better than the Santa Monica farmer's market (sorry, Jason...). It doesn't quite have the same caliber of celebrity sightings, but the fact that you can get "cheesecake on a stick" makes it a clear winner in my books.
Today, though, was a one-stop market shop as UNB was host to a cross country race mid-day. It was very hard to walk by all the smells of the prepared foods (which, for some reason I still cannot figure out, is entirely chicken or beef souvlaki. Literally, every stall is selling souvlaki. I know it's really good, and the long lineups speak to this, but it still strikes me as somewhat odd for Fredericton).
Anyway, after filling my belly with goodness I jogged over to Odell Park to meet the girls. I've been training with the team and have really enjoyed helping out the girls with their workouts. This was the first "real" university race so the nerves were high. They all did great though and ran tough out there. It's often hard for me to watch from the sidelines without wanting to jump in, but today I was more than content to simply cheer. I honestly felt a lot of pride watching them run today.
Next up was the men's race with Adam. The course was very spectator friendly, so I had lots of opportunity to cheer and attempt to take photos. Adam had a really strong run and finished as the top UNB guy in 3rd.
We had a quick turnaround after the race to meet up at Tim, the coach's house for a potluck. I was nervous trying to decide what to bring tonight! Yes, silly things make me nervous but I had good reason tonight. I gave a nutrition talk to the team earlier this week so the pressure was on to prepare something that is healthy and tasty. I had about an hour to cook something up between the race and the potluck. I decided on pizza, with stone ground whole wheat crust and lots of tasty market purchases for the topping: spinach, tomatoes, olives, basil, shitake mushrooms, goat cheese, parmesan and olive oil. I'm my own worst critic when it comes to my cooking, but I was pleased with how it turned out. The recipe was found on the Epicurious website, which has yet to fail me. I think it was the secret ingredient of molasses that gave it a subtle sweetness.
The dinner was a blast, filled with good food and great company. As is always the case at potlucks, there were way too many desserts. But that is never really an issue with hungry runners. We finished off the night with some Guitar Hero and basement floor hockey. The hockey did get a little ridiculous rather quickly with the toddler-sized hockey sticks and some random scuba fins.
We all look way too serious in this photo. I guess we are not quite good enough to just rock-it-out like Bon Jovi.
I am now sitting at Tim Hortons. Honestly, I NEVER go when I'm at home in BC. But tonight our wireless signal at home wasn't strong enough to upload any photos, so here I am, enjoying the city-wide free wireless......oh, and of course my Tim Bits :)
This morning I woke up and decided I wanted to go swimming. This is nothing out of the norm for most triathletes, but for me, it has been 4.5 weeks since I've last swam. (not including my attempt to swim, or rather stay afloat only 10 days post-crash). I knew I had packed my swim suit and goggles somewhere in my luggage so once I dug them out, I searched for some pool lap swims. UNB had open swim at noon. Perfect. As I strolled out on deck I was faced with a dilemma: which lane? The choices were the usual easy, medium and fast lanes. There was too much pool noodle usage and side stroke action in the easy lane and there was no way I was going near the fast lane, so medium it was. I grabbed a set of fins as I was not exactly sure if I would be able to use my left arm at all, so I would need some propulsion to get through this. Unlike my last attempt at swimming, I was successful in putting on the swim cap. There was only minor mullet action sprouting out the back but I quickly hopped in before I drew any attention. There wasn't even time to put the fins on. Oh well. I start with single arm. It felt bizarre. Not swimming for over a month already feels weird enough, but add in the single arm factor and I swear I looked like I was doing the funky chicken. I had to put my ego aside and just focus on what I could do. Within a few lengths I was able to work up the courage to try a proper stroke and I was surprised I was able to do it! There was zero pressure on the water, but I was swimming and it didn't hurt. I even passed someone! YES! (of course that was the highlight of the swim...nevermind the fact that my fracture has healed enough to even let me swim) I forced myself to get out of the pool after a few hundred meters, careful not to overdo it on day 1.
As mentioned on my webpage, I have decided to mix things up a bit with the blogging. This page will be dedicated to my daily adventures in life: triathlon, cooking, traveling, shopping, poodle-spotting, gossiping, etc.
Basically, anything worth sharing, good or bad, can be found here.
My website will remain the same, but with a more formal approach. So please check the website later this year for updates on 2009.