Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lunges will make you remember why you did them in the first place.

It's true isn't it? Kind of like push ups when you do just a few more than you think you can (And yes, Heather, I'm doing extra push ups each morning because you suggested it.) Well, yesterday after a quick weight lifting session on my lunch hour, I went upstairs into the indoor suspended track and did 30 or so lunges. I didn't think too much of it...other than "I wonder if this will hurt?" And today, I'm pretty dang sore. It's a good thing though. We need the soreness occasionally to remind us we're really not all THAT fit and we better keep the train a movin'.

In some poor late attempt to get some cycling in for this weekend's duathalon, I had manfriend fix my bike tire and set up the trainer last night. I did a quick 30 min spin session while he prepared our chicken stir fry din din. Amazing how quickly spinning can get you sweating. And boy did those legs feel it!

Today, I did a mini duathalon at lunch...4 min run to the gym, 10 min spinning, 20 min treadmill (2% incline, 6-7mph). And after work since the sun was a shining, I hopped on the bike for a quick 11 miles on the road before making dinner. Tomorrow I'll probably fit in a little easy riding and running as long as these legs aren't shot. Which reminds me...I need to stretch!

Okay, I can't think anymore. Must mean it's bedtime. What is your go to SORE move? The one you do when you know you want to feel the burn later, or that you forget every time makes your buns, abs, or biceps hurt a day later.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shotgun Creek Trail Blast Recap

Race morning I had a few pieces of toast and 1/2 a TJ's vanilla yogurt. Toast with nut butter and banana always seems like the perfect combo on race day. I also chugged several glasses of H2O just to be sure I was hydrated.

The Shotgun Creek Trail Race included a 50K (30 mi), 25K (15.5) and a 10K (6.2). The 50k entrants started an hour before the 25k and 10k. K (Kristin) and I arrived at the Shotgun Creek recreation area about 40 min prior to our 10am start. Temps were in the high 40s and the sun was out. What more could you ask for?

Overpreparing as usual, I had my handheld water bottle filled with Gleukos. I ditched it prior to the race because there were aid stations nearly every two miles. There were a little over 100 participants in all three races. As we stood at the line, I realized it was definitely the smallest race I've ever been a part of. Small, but cool. No anthem, no professional runners just a "set, go!" and we were off.

The first 1.5 miles went by fairly easy along the logging road and we hit our first aid station. Then it was a gradual incline for the next several miles just trucking slowly along the logging roads. The 10K ers veered off up the hill and we kept going steady and up. The cool thing was that on the way out, the 50K and 10K racers were coming toward us so it made the route more exciting to see the next racer and try to guess if they were a crazy 50Ker or a 10Ker.

Around mile 7 we could see the big hill we'd be heading up (and only three other runners in sight), grabbed some water and trail mix from the boy scouts.

The highlight I'm telling you was the aid stations. We wished we'd had a small backpack or something to stash extras in (cuz you know how expensive Shot Bloks, Gu's and Lara Bars are)! Not only was there some serious runner fuel, but there were goodies like fruit snacks, trail mix, pretzels, peanut m&m's, etc. And each station was armed with boy scouts who were quite cheerful. Okay, moving on...

We finally reached the point where we were sent off the logging road and up the trail...STRAIGHT up the hill. The three other runners ahead of us were walking and it was clear that was our option as well. The incline was steep and the red mud wasn't any help either. So we huffed and puffed our way hiking up the hill for the next mile or so until it flattened out enough for us to run. That's where we hit what I'd say was the most fun running of the trail.

We spent the next mile or so running a decent pace flat or downhill dodging rocks and puddles. And then it was back to the logging road (and a beautiful view) and back down to the aid station at the bottom of the hill. We refueled and downed more H20 and headed back down the decent. By this time we were seeing the 50Kers headed back up on their 2nd loop of this thing...insane.

Everything felt good (more or less) until about mile 13. My toes were sore from gripping and hitting the insides of my shoes. My legs were feeling tired. My stomach was not feeling any of it. K was nice enough to stay with me even though I was lagging along. But it seriously felt like the longest few miles ever. We finally made it back into the park area and over the finish line in 2h 16min!

Turned out that the race director had measured a bit short so our course was in fact 14.7 mi, but in the scheme of things, more or less 15 miles and a great race! Also, this year's course was much different than last year's apparently because last year was almost all trail and crazy hilly with a little logging road. You won't hear complaining from us!

Just another natural ice bath post race, no biggie...

Post race, we grabbed some water, chili, pretzels and oranges. I grabbed my 3rd place medal because apparently you can win age groups if the race is small enough...ha! Later that evening, I made us Thai Tofu Splendidness. K brought the wine and Ben & Jerry's. Perfect way to celebrate a race well done (or completed) in my book!

Who doesn't love free stuff?? We got a free pair of Wigwam socks (pretty comfy, fyi) and I grabbed a few mini Lara Bars. Love those things...don't love the price.

Sunday, the legs were definitely feeling sore and tired. I walked the dog, did an easy 25 min yoga session and then met K for an easy 4 mi run. It was painful, but necessary. Later that afternoon, I headed out in the rain for a few miles on the bike and got my first flat in 1,400 miles of cycling. I walked the last mile home. Thank god I wasn't any further away. Just in time for manfriend to come home from New Jersey to fix a flat bike tire!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lululemon All Sport Bra Review

Out with the old and in with the new! On the left is my old Under Armor reversible sports bra that I loved. But alas, I've had it for years and it just doesn't support the girls like it used to. On the right is the Lululemon All Sport Bra I purchased a few weeks back in Portland.

I've had most of my sports bras for several years now and it was time to add a new one into the rotation. I had heard lots of positive reviews about the Ta Ta Tamer, but when I went to try it on, I just couldn't imagine wearing something with such defined cups to the gym (or on the running trails for that matter). I felt like I would just be sticking out like a sore thumb. I don't know, just a personal opinion. It seemed too much like a bra and less sporty.

For comfort and color, I chose the All Sport at $48, which is pretty average for a decent sports bra these days.

After using this for various activities now for a few weeks, including yoga, walking, running, weight lifting and boot camp, I was disappointed it didn't stand up in the running realm. It's definitely more of a yoga and light exercise sports bra. But comfortable, it definitely is! Plus, this girl is a total SUCKER for teal.

Alas, seeing as how I spend probably 75% of my exercising hours running, I would have preferred this to be a bit more supportive. For running and my next sports bra purchase, I'll stick with a Moving Comfort Fiona (or another similar style). What's your favorite sports bra? How often do you replace them?

Holy crap, I just did a little researching and several sites said you should replace a sports bra after a year...what?! Granted, it's probably a bit longer if you're rotating between 3-4 like I am. Phew.

Signs your bra is finito:
-you don't feel as supported anymore (duh!)
-the band or straps are no longer snug
-underwires are starting to peek through (yikes!)

And don't forget that the dryer breaks down the elastic! I always air dry my sports bras, special workout clothing and good jeans. AND Shotgun Creek Trail Blast recap to come on Monday-wish me luck!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I need your advice...and don't worry it's not scary.

So, I've been toying with the idea of switching this little ole Sassy Molassy over to a Wordpress or something of the like where i have a bit more freedom to roam if you will. No Blogger, your 16 design templates don't quite work for me (no versatility or variety). And A LOT of other things.

It just makes me wish I really KNEW html and how to design. That Journalism degree helped my writing and researching skills, however as a Public Relations focused student, we weren't encouraged to take classes for Photoshop or InDesign. Annoying now that I know better. Alas, I know the blog hosting shift is a time consuming one and me being a haphazard blogger with a FT job, I just want to hear your opinions. Come one, come all!

So, give it to me...

1) who hosts your blog? did you every switch and if so, why?
2) what are the advantages of your host?
3) what's a pain in the arse?
4) is it worth the cost/time to have your own url?
5) any other advice?


I'm off to meet my momsie (again), grandma and aunt for coffee just up the road (45 min)! It's definitely worth the drive for a little family time and good coffee. Plus, I have the day off. Just sayin'...

What are YOU doing this weekend? Oh, I'm running 15.5 miles in the mud and hills AND enjoying some good eats. Don't worry about me, but expect a recap on Monday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day in Photos

Today I was up early (still feeling sick) to make coffee and pancakes for the manfriend. This morning I used Bisquick, egg whites and water with a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract. Then I took 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries and raspberries and microwaved them for a bit and threw them into the pancake mix. I topped mine with nf yogurt, a scoop of maple almond butta, a splash of maple syrup and some berries!
Then it was on to organizing what had gotten totally out of hand. My bars, dark choc and luna moons are now happily occupying an organized little box inside my cupboard.

The sun made a brief appearance this morning so I decided to check these legs on the pavement. Jonah Bell and I ran for a total of 2 mi and walked for another mile. I even brought out the ole Garmin again to make sure it will work for Saturday's race. Sure enough, it does!

After the run, I had some Constant Comment tea in my fav Starbucks mug. Do you have a favorite mug? I only own a few since I'm so particular about my mugs.

And now for some pre facial photos. Because I took these ones with the Canon Rebel xt and the post facial photos with the Panasonic Lumix, you'll see a little quality difference. In other words, I think I looked better prior to the facial. HA!

It might be time for another's been almost 12 weeks since I last chopped it!

I guess this is the tired eyes bed head kind of look you get after a facial. I must say, the pressure points massage around my eyes and nose and the steam did wonders for this cold!

Then it was time to meet momsie for lunch, shopping and pedicures! I'm in pink polish, she's in red.

Manfriend is off to New Jersey early tomorrow morning for a work trip, so I have a long weekend to myself. I'm currently about halfway into the movie Changeling and I think I have to turn it off. It's just so depressing. Another Netflix FAIL, but you never know until you try! I guess I'll just have to get caught up on Grey's and Private Practice... :) I hope everyone had a fabulous day!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vitamin C and pedicures are all I need

My week has looked like this (more or less) in photos...

Monday I arrived to work to see this HUGE basket of Easter candy on our back table. Therefore, it was required that I make many stops daily to the basket to swipe more chocolate. I love Easter. My mom still makes a basket (or bag) of goodies up for me.

Tuesday I grabbed a free pumpkin loaf with my americano at Starbys! I must say, I could tell the pumpkin loaf has less sugar taste to it so I suppose that means they really are making their pastries healthier.

Then promptly picked up grapefruits at the grocery store and have been packing myself full of Vitamin C between fruits and Emergen C because guess what, I got another cold!

Ultimately, another cold wasn't what I wanted just a few days before I run this 15.5 mile trail run, but I also know that at this point any amount of running I could do wouldn't make my legs any stronger. So I'm taking these forced rest days as a sign that these legs are going to be ready to go on Saturday morning, riiiight? Yes, let's hope so.

Lucky for me, I decided to take tomorrow and Friday off of work so hopefully I can kick this cold with some down time. Tomorrow, I've scheduled my first ever facial at a cute little place downtown called Face It. A few hours later, I'm meeting my mom for pedicures. Not so sure how the pedicure will hold up in the mud, but I can't pass on the opportunity to get the feet pampered!

What's your favorite thing to spend a little extra on? Haircuts/color, massage, pedicure, manicure, facial?

I'm not sure if any of you read Chic Runner, but Danica's recap on the LA Marathon was fabulous, IMO. While she didn't run as well as she had hoped, it was inspiring to follow someone else's marathon journey and be reminded of what an accomplishment it is to be able to train for and run a full marathon. It got me excited for the Portland Marathon, for sure.

Okay, well this sickie needs her rest! I'll be back tomorrow with a few spa recaps if you're lucky.

Monday, March 22, 2010

On being domestic (and running)

I did a very adult thing yesterday. I put an entire couch on my credit card. A COUCH! Manfriend and I had been looking at them for a few months now and finally decided it was time. After all, he wants to get his house ready to sell in the next six months or so (we'll see...) and we can't have that dump of a college couch showing off the living room. No siree! I would show you what it looks like, but I'm afraid you might cringe and shame me for sitting on this thing every night.

I'm excited to show you the new beauty (with the fun pillows we picked out) when it arrives in six weeks. The couches are made in North Carolina and then shipped out. Can't wait! Maybe now I'll actually want to take a nap on the couch. The only trouble will be keeping that dog from thinking it's her new fancy dog bed! Any tips??

It's funny, after spending a chunk of change on that Europe trip last May and then a wee little road bike purchase, things like a couch seem normal. Although, to the wallet they seem a bit heavy. Not gonna lie, my heart was still beating decently when we walked out of the furniture store. Let's just say the credit card is going to be used sparingly for a few months. :) What's the biggest purchase you've made? Did it make you nervous?

In training news: I completed a rainy 9 miler on Sunday with about 8 min of decent climbing in the middle with just me and the ipod. Next Saturday is the Shotgun Creek Trail Blast 25k Run! It's going to be a hilly one. My running partner K found this blog post from the girl who won the thing last year and called it "The Race You Wish You Never Signed Up For." So basically, you need to start praying for And the following weekend I'll be headed for my first duathalon. Don't ask why I signed up for two different "firsts" on back to back weekends, but I guess it makes life exciting, eh?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recovery, Nutrition and Friday

Nothing too exciting to report here. I'm almost back to feeling 100%. However, last night I opted out of the SPEED workout and joined the runners on the trail for some easy running while they did their tempo workout and 400's. I managed to fit in about 6.5-7 miles in the sun.

I also had a good chat with our coach about what to do to try to prevent getting colds after strenuous workouts. I don't know about you, but after intense workouts (like last weekend) and 1/2 or full marathon races, I tend to get a decent cold in return for my efforts. I guess it's just my body's way of saying "sloooow down."

Coach mentioned a few key things important to a healthy recovery:
-Rest (Check! I get 8 hrs of sleep most eves.)
-Fueling within 30 min of exertion (Yep, I always make sure to get some carbs and protein in after a long workout or race even if I don't feel hungry bc I know the bod needs it.)
-Fueling again in two hours (Check!)
-Nutrition (Check!) *

*The nutrition area was the only one where while I feel confident I eat fairly healthy and balanced, she had me questioning my actions. Her doctor is currently putting her through a rigorous test to see if gluten, dairy, alcohol, sugar or meats are effecting her body's ability to recover. For a few days she eliminates one of the items and then tries to notice what effect it has on her body.

One surprising tidbit she mentioned during our chat was that as a professional runner, it's advised to stay away from soy products because they have estrogen, which female runners don't want (they want to have more testosterone to be able to compete at a high level). Crazy!

While I know I don't want to spend a ton of time analyzing everything I eat, I do want to think more about limiting my dairy to yogurt (hello live cultures!) and occasional cheese (because I love it). I also want to focus more on passing on meat or using alternative milks (almond/rice milk) for cereal and green monster smoothies.

Coach reports that after taking away the gluten, dairy, meat and sugar, her body is much happier. While running and her body's ability to operate at it's highest level is HER JOB, I appreciated hearing some strategies she's trying to see what happens. Have you tried eliminating some substances from your diet? Did you notice a change? Did you incorporate those items back in at some point or have you totally eliminated some foods?

Manfriend and I are going to a baseball game tonight in the sun after work. Tomorrow I plan on stealing him away for a little adventure north to some wineries and a little road trip action! After all, if you can't have a sunny vacation, why not get away just for a day? GOOD LUCK to all you first time marathoners out there...Heather!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (because you know you want some)

I'm not joking. When my friend K mentioned during a run that she'd seen a recipe for Guinness cupcakes, I knew I'd seen a recipe at We Are Not Martha and it was then decided that my St. Patty's Day baking would consist of Guinness...and chocolate.

So, last night I followed this recipe from Food Network. Holy yum. I just ate two with frosting, and that's saying something because this girl usually despises frosting. But this was just the perfect mix of cream cheese, whipping cream and powdered sugar.

I'm feeling a bit better. Manfriend came home after work and left me to head out with a group for 50 miles on the bike on a Wednesday evening. Pure craziness. I stayed in and watched The Answer Man on netflix and then took the dog for a 30 min walk while catching up with T. Then, I headed for the kitchen and got down to business.

It went from this...

To this. Oh, chocolatey goodness...

An then the icing

And finally, the finished product!

And now for the recipe...

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
2 cups sugar (I used half brown sugar and half white)
2 cups all-purposeflour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar (I used waaay less...maybe 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

To make the icing:
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.

Manfriend arrived home at 9 PM to which I had prepared some lovely Annie's mac 'n cheese. He promptly sat down and ate (out of the pan) it on my little munchkin kitchen stool.

He then went to work on some cupcakes.

If you can't tell, these cupcakes come highly recommended from men folk. They're the perfect mix of sweet balanced by the smooth taste of the stout. And it doesn't hurt to wash one down with a Guinness (or milk) in your hand.

Hope everyone had a Happy St. Patty's!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Would you? Could you?

I'm sick. Not full blown, but the throat is sore and the head hurts. I can't really concentrate when I try to work and I took half a sick day yesterday. Blah. Anywho, I had to get a little workout in today so I went to the gym at lunch for 20 min of spinning and 15 min of weights with the arms. Now I feel like junk.

Anyway, I just came across this article via about a blogger who is spending $365 on groceries IN A YEAR! Kind of amazing, no? I think I spend that in a matter of just a few months so to fathom spending just $1/day is near ridiculuosity.

I'm not sure I'd want to give up the occasional night on the town, baking projects which cause me to spend a wee bit much at the grocery store, and frankly, organic meat. It costs an arm and a leg and although I often enjoy eating vegetarian, I couldn't kick meat for good.

Well, I hope everyone's enjoying their St. Patty's Day. While I won't be out chugging green pints, I might sipping a Guinness as I whip up a batch of Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. That is if my head doesn't hit the pillow by 6 PM...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wide Awake

I woke up around 3:30 am with a bit of a scratchy throat. I hopped out of bed, grabbed a Vitamin C halls, chugged some water and went back to bed. An hour later I was still wide awake and famished. Don't you hate that? I could hear the growing sounds of people heading off to work, the train coming through town, and my stomach grumbling.

I was just about to get up and start doing something, anything when a wave of exhaustion hit me, thank goodness. These legs needed that extra few hours for sure. Yesterday since it was going to hit mid to high 60s here, I rode my bike to and from work, which made for a near brick workout again. I got home at 5:30 pm and was at the running group at 6.

I logged a slow 5 miler with just one minute of walking, but dang my whole body is feeling last weekend now. Thank goodness it's Tuesday rest day! Walking the dog and doing 15 min of a Dave Farmar yoga podcast is all I'll be allowing myself today. Hope everyone has a restful and happy Tuesday.

P.S. If you didn't get a chance to read the latest Kara Goucher article in Runner's World, go check it out! Such a good article. It makes you realize that if Kara Goucher has doubts about her abilities and speed, it's okay that we have doubts once in a while too. She does use tactics that work for her now though, like self affirmations. Does anyone else use those? Occasionally, during a speed workout (or marathon) I find myself repeating "You are strong. You can do this." and it seems to keep my mind in that happy place.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

No rest for the weary

Whew, this weekend was an exhausting one! Saturday, after my mentor training, manfriend and I headed out into the chilly sun for a nice 32 mile bike ride. It was generally moderate, other than the STEEP 3 mile climb he made us do. Not my favorite part of the ride, but I made it. Sometimes, the bike just makes me feel so weak. The muscles you use are so different than those used in running. When we got home, I was in transition mode for my run. Feet still numb from the wind chill, I jammed on the Nikes, took off the bike shorts and one of my tops, and grabbed the dog. I did 30 min of running and by the end felt hot all over. It was definitely rough, but I'm glad I did it.

This morning was a chilly one. K and I set off a little after 8:30 am in temps that were 38 or so. The hamstrings and hips were really feeling yesterday's bike, but I just kept moving on. I was amazed after 2 hrs and 5 min that I had actually made it 13 or so miles, considering how wrecked the legs felt. It definitely helps having a friend right beside you and the mental determination to just push on NO MATTER WHAT.

After a hot beverage and a chat, I headed to Trader Joe's for some goodies and home for lunch. I'm telling you, this lunch was to die for. Recently, I saw on twitter a mention about pesto being an awesome addition to a grilled cheese sandwich so I had to try it.

My combo included: deli turkey meat, TJ's pesto, Tillamook sharp cheddar, sliced mushroom and red pepper all inside a sandwich thin in the George Foreman! Yum. The sandwich thins are perfect because you can really get the cheese melty and everything inside the sandwich piping hot.

And my Trader Joe's goodies...cuz who doesn't need flowers and chocolate??

How can you resist this adorable little packaging? And the fact that everything on the ingredient list is artificial flavors, colorings or preservatives.

When we opened these puppies, they were HUGE. Nothing like the malt balls you buy from the store. That's why that for just 5 eggs, it's 190 cals and 23% of your daily saturated fat. Not gonna lie though, these are not as good as the original malt balls.

Okay, manfriend and I are off in search of some ice cream because clearly we deserve it. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cross training Friday

This morning I decided to hit the gym because the last thing I want to do after work on a Friday is workout when I could be starting my weekend. I left the dog unwalked (the shame!), but fed, the coffee brewing and the manfriend sleeping.

I know a lot of you who workout in the am eat a small snack (or nothing) before heading to the gym. However, this girl needs her breakfast or else she'd faint right there on the gym floor. I made some stove top oats w/ ricotta cheese, almond milk, cinnamon, 1/2 banana, chia seeds, a scoop of almond butta and some coconut flakes mixed in.

In the spirit of these "brick workouts," I wanted to mix it up for an hour. Here's how my workout went: 20 min spinning (and reading RW and Oprah mags), 15 min elliptical w/ arms, 10 min weights (chest press, walking lunges, push ups, assisted pull ups, dips, seated squats) and finally 1/4 mile or 12 laps of swimming.

I didn't feel dead at the end, which is good seeing as how tomorrow I plan on doing a real brick workout with a run, bike and another run. But I definitely got my sweat on and out of the way. Back at my desk I had 1/2 banana, a handful of trail mix and a string cheese. That should do me for a while.

But you know how it goes once you get that furnace burning. Sometimes there's just not enough to feed the beast! Lately, I've found myself highly annoyed when my stomach just isn't satisfied only 90 min after a meal or snack. I guess that means I've either got to find some more patience and ignore it, or find some more filling options.

Well, the plans for the weekend involve a mentor training tomorrow morning, brick fun, dinner with some friends who recently got engaged, a LR with my trail running partner in crime and most likely some quality time in the kitchen. :) What about you?

And, you should check out A Foodie Stays Fit's post about her relationship with the scale. Very interesting. I used to weigh myself daily looking for a specific number, but now I have a much healthier relationship with the scale. I step on it occasionally, but I'm not going to agonize over the number good or bad because I know how hard I'm working my body. What's your relationship with the scale?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A winner and positive thinking

Last night at boot camp as we were doing our final meditation after sweating a lot and doing a little yoga, the instructor said, "Now just focus for a minute on the things you have right now that make you content. It's important to remember we don't always have to be looking for something more, but we can be happy with where we are and what we have at this moment." Does anyone else struggle with this kind of thinking or am I the only one?

While boot camp is no doubt an awesome addition to my weekly routine that makes me get out of my comfort zone, physically, it also inspires me. I keep coming back for more not just because I'm noticing the physical results, but because sometimes when I can't put that positive thinking into my own head, it pays to have someone else preach it who believes it with their entire being. Each class, I find myself thinking "wow, I could really use to work on that."

It's definitely a balancing act, this whole real world thing with a full time job, friends, relationships, traveling, exercise, etc. Sometimes it's difficult to say "oh yeah, that would be nice, but it doesn't have to be done RIGHT NOW." I don't need the perfect job, city, wardrobe or home right now because I've got all I need and more. And what's the fun in perfection anyway?

I'm excited to read The Time Paradox recommended by my friend, T who has found this book to be extremely useful in living in the moment. And I'm currently reading Lean Forward into your Life recommended by Lisa that really focuses on living large and from the heart while giving something back to this place. I find that books like these really help me understand and explore the concerns I'm having better from an outside perspective.

And congrats to Jim McDannald who likes to put Cheerios in his yogurt! You will be getting some fabulous Oikos greek yogurt.
And because you live in my town (Jimbo), I'll hunt you down and give you the coupons. Thanks everyone for entering! I'm looking forward to doing more giveaways on the blogaroo.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Short but sweet

We just got home from seeing Crazy Heart and I'm telling you, if you haven't seen it already...go. What are you waiting for?? GO! Jeff Bridges definitely deserved his Oscar and Maggie Gyllenhaal wasn't bad either.

And the soundtrack and views of the open road...amazing. It made me itch for a road trip to nowhere special. Alright, night kids. Don't forget about the Oikos greek yogurt giveaway! Entries accepted until 9 pm PST Wed night.

What's the best movie you've seen lately? I've been filling up my Netflix queue with some good stuff I can't wait to get. Here's a sneak peek...La Vie en Rose, Changeling, Duplicity, New York, I Love You, The Princess and the Frog, Precious, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Hurt Locker, etc.

Butter, sugar and Mama Moe make the world go 'round.

Last night (after a nice 5 miler) was a night of quick bakes for me. After enjoying mushroom, pepper, spinach, cheese omlettes and pancakes for dinner, manfriend as usual asked "what's for dessert?" Some days I just laugh, but tonight I wanted to whip something up.

Please enjoy manfriend's bisquick pancakes. The large one was a bit of mistake so he got that one and I got the three baby ones.

Looking at my recipes and the ingredients I had in the cupboard, it had to be something fairly quick and easy. Mama Moe's cookies were just right. They are not for those who shy away from butter, sugar, oats or chocolate.

Step 1: bring to boil 1/2 c butter, 2 c sugar and 1/2 c milk in stove top pan
Step 2: combine 3 cups quick oats, 1 c coconut, 1 tsp salt, 3-6 tbsp cocoa powder
Step 3: add 1 tsp vanilla to stove top mixture
Step 4: combine oats w/ butter and sugar.
Step 5: Scoop on to wax paper and let sit until hardened (or pop them into the fridge)

Holy moses, these things were addicting. I stopped at 1.5. Otherwise, I think I would have been buzzing on sugar for a few hours.

Then, it was on to some homemade energy bars. My stash of Clif, Luna, Odwalla, etc bars is low (I have one left), so I figured it's time I attempt making them again.

This involved approx: 1/3 cup almond butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup (all microaved together), in a large bowl I combined 1 c rice krispies, 1 c oats, 1/4 c chopped dates, handful dried cranberries, handful chopped peanuts, dash chia seeds, 1 tbsp shredded coconut. Mixed together and pressed into a wax paper lined 8" x 8" pan and put it into the fridge to set.

I guess it wasn't really a night of baking since I didn't use the oven once, but rather a night of assembling. Do you have a favorite no bake recipe?

And don't forget about the Oikos greek yogurt giveaway!Entries accepted until Wed night! Ooh, and I found out yesterday that I was the winner of Iowa Girl Eats' chia seed giveaway! You know what that means...more chia seeds will be sneaking into my food.

Do you ever notice how much more exhausted you are the day after a longer than normal run/ride/swim? Like Monday morning I woke up exhausted and all day at work I felt like I could have taken a nap right on my keyboard.

Monday, March 8, 2010

LR and a giveaway!

Yesterday's LR went well...aka I survived. We set out at 8:30 am. After 40 miles on the bike Saturday, my legs weren't really feeling it, but I convinced them to keep going. K turned off after 3.5 miles and D and I headed on the bark path toward a nice big hill, through an orchard and back up and over that big hill.

The hill nearly finished me (I really wanted to stop and walk), but running with someone else is always a good motivator to keep on movin'. So, I powered through that hill much faster than I would have on my own and we made it back to the running store with 2 hrs and 13 or so miles under our belts. I should have had a water bottle with me, but I couldn't find it before leaving the house. Luckily, D gave me some of hers.

As usual, I fueled with some pomegranate Luna Moons. I love those things. I prefer them because I can get little doses of sugar over time rather than in one big shot. Plus, it gives me a little somethin' somethin' to look forward to. What's your favorite training fuel?

Today's Runner's World quote seemed fitting for all of us who have run, or will run a full marathon... "A marathon is like life with its ups and downs, but once you've done it you feel that you can do anything." -Anonymous

And a giveaway! Who doesn't LOVE giveaways??
The nice folks (Kristina) at Stoneyfield commented on my love for maple post and asked if I'd like some coupons for their Oikos greek yogurt. I'm really excited to try their carmel flavor!

Since I am a lover of organic yogurt for both snacking, smoothie making and sour cream replacing purposes, I said YES! And naturally, I wanted to pass on the love to one of my readers. The winner gets one 4-pack of Oikos and one 5.3oz container.

You have until Wednesday, 9PM PST to enter. You can enter to win by:

1) commenting below w/ your favorite yogurt mix in (mine's banana, blueberries and granola) OR
2) mentioning the contest on your blog and leave me the link in the comments!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's Official...

I signed up for my first duathalon yesterday! There's nothing like signing up for your first anything to get you excited and motivated to get training, that's for sure. Like this coming 25k trail race at the end of the month...if I don't train well, I will no doubt, be walking a decent portion.

I'm not going insane on training, but I am increasing the mileage on my weekend long run and incorporating some trails so I'm slightly prepared. Alas, I know this thing is going to kick my ass.

Now back to this duathalon. My friend J asked if I was interested in joining her and since I have a bike and all now, I figured why not? Plus, it's one easy step toward the whole tri world. We'll see what happens.

I'm really excited for the Spring Classic because it consists of a 5k run, 15 mi bike, and another 5k run! It doesn't sound too hard, other than that whole second 5k at the end. ;) It's the first weekend in April so I'll be doing back to back racing weekends, which hopefully won't bite me in the butt since the trail race and duathalon are fairly different.

In attempting to do some brick work today, I went out on a sunny, but chilly 40 mile ride with a local group. Then, feet still numb from the ride, shoved on the running shoes and went out for a 12 min jog. It wasn't at all like what I'll be doing for the duathalon, but I figure it can't hurt. The legs were definitely not feeling the whole running thing, but I did it and that's what really counts!

Want more info on brick workouts?
"A perfect time to incorporate a brick run is immediately after this long aerobic ride. Throw on those running shoes and go out for a quick brick run. You should run for 10-20 minutes at an easy to moderate pace for these brick runs. The goal of these workouts is to get the feeling of running on fatigued legs. You may notice that the first 5-10 minutes of running is the hardest. As you keep going, your leg muscles relax a little bit, and you’ll start running with a normal running stride by the end of the first mile." -XTerra Training

Tomorrow's goal is to get in a 12-13 mile run with some hills. Meanwhile, the manfriend and some of his other beastly friends are heading out for a 90+ mile ride. Insane, right? I would die. Or at least need to call a taxi.

P.S. Did you know Absolut(ly) Fit Laura is back to blogging? I didn't know until last night when I randomly clicked on her link off my blogroll. So excited to see her back! And, she's about to hit her goal of becoming the youngest maniac to run a marathon in all 50 states!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The strangest thing I've ever encountered on a run

I've encountered some strange things on a run from people who don't so much as smile at you when you wave or say hi to a naked guy near the river. But tonight, was by far the strangest.

Our Thursday night SPEED group often runs at a bark running path that is a 1 mile loop around a bunch of trees and grass. Tonight's workout was : warm up, 1.5 mi @ tempo, 3 min rest, 1.5 mi @ tempo, 4x400s @ mile pace, cool down.

It is widely known in the running/biking community that when you're on a trail/path void of cars, you always stay to the right (and pass on the left). At the end of my first 1.5 mi tempo, I was minding my sweet 7:30 min pace and hugging the right side of the path when a petite girl comes running at me also trying to hug my side. I seriously edged as far over as I could thinking "surely, she's going to go around me, right?!"

Wrong! The girl slammed into me, pushing me into the grass. I was pissed/shocked and yelled "Oh my god!" Apparently we were playing football and she was the blocker. The only problem was, someone forgot to tell me. I'm pretty sure I was in the right here, but tell me, have you ever had anything crazy like this happen to you on the running path? And if not, what is the strangest thing that's happened to you while running?

Almost every runner I've ever encountered seems to be very nice, understanding, etc. but this girl either had a really sh*tty day, is just not nice, or is confused about the rules of running on a bark path. Okay, enough ranting for the eve! Tonight we had turkey bacon avocado sandwiches for din din, courtesy of manfriend. Yum! Happy almost Friday!

P.S. Stay tuned for Monday's fun giveaway! It may or may not be related my recent post on my maple flavored obsession.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Make it a salad wrap!

After Sunday night's dinner at one of our favorite thai restaurants in town (and having salad wraps for our appetizer), I knew what was going to be on the menu this week. It's been a long time since I've made these babies, but they are fun, fairly easy, and healthy!

I got home late tonight so this was a great option that we had whipped up in 20 min flat (includes cooking tofu, cutting veggies and creating the peanut sauce).

Ingredients used: rice papers for wrapping, rice noodles, carrot, cucumber, extra firm tofu, romaine. Homemade peanut sauce: peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, light coconut milk. Google a recipe for measurements, or just buy A Taste of Thai Peanut Sauce and grab a can of coconut milk.

Although these aren't nearly as pretty looking as the restaurants do it, I love the process of putting it all together and wrapping it up!

And once you have it rolled, there's never too much peanut sauce. Bring it on! Manfriend was very satisfied with this dish. I dare you to try it.

I don't know what it is, but I have a monster headache tonight! Ugh. Maybe it was that 45 min of sleep I missed out on this morning. ;) The workout was pretty good (I took IGE's 3-2-1 treadmill advice this morning) and was happy with a change of pace...pun intended. I hopped on the T-mill for 33 min, which included warm up, 4 x (6.5, 7, 7.5 pace) for 3, 2, and 1 min respectively, 1 min walk in between sets, and cool down.

Then I headed into the weight room for: 3 sets walking lunges w/ 12lb dumb bells, 3 sets seated rows @ 70 lbs, 3 sets chest press @ 75 lbs, 3 sets back raise w/ 10lb weight, 2 sets push ups, abs and a little stretchy stretch. This was accomplished all in 18 min!

Okay, well it's past 10 pm, which means I should be in bed. Instead, we're watching some old cycling movie from the 70s and manfriend is setting up his very. own. blog. Can't say I'm not rubbing off on him a bit...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Belated Valentine!

Last year I signed up for a bloggy Valentine exchange through Ashalah and I knew when the time came this year I had to sign up again. Early February, I mailed my package of Oregon coffee and my favorite chocolate off to All Ears on Me and patiently waited.

And yesterday, my package arrived! My fellow blogger Froggy/Sarah had been working away at a lovely handmade item that was enclosed in the package.

Enclosed was: the pretty hand knitted lavendar eye mask/neck relaxation pack, some of my favorite Chocolove chocolate (and a new flavor I've been wanting to try!), a mini bonsai kit, and a fun colored pencil. Don't you just looove getting packages?

Okay, well my gym bag is packed for the morning. It's one of those weeks that's just been UGH. It seems like everyone is feeling it this week. I was ready for the weekend on Monday. The rest of the week is full of meetings and a few after hours, so I have to get my sweat on when I can.

Have you all hopped on the chia seed train? Kristin from Iowa Girl Eats is giving away a HUGE bag of them! Hop on over if you want to win! I bought a small scoop today at the grocery store from our bulk section and it cost $2.30 at $15.99/lb. These babies aren't cheap! And don't worry the cashier said to me "Ch ch ch ch Chia!" while checking me out...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cycling legs, customer service and Vienna?

These white legs saw 60 min of UV rays (and 11 miles on the bike) today. Soon enough, they'll be used to this whole sun thing. You're welcome, Siri, for photos of my legs. I'm loving this warmer weather...another day in the high 50s!

I rode the bike to work and then back home at lunch to grab my car and head to Les Schwab to get my tires checked out.

My car had been pulling to the left and I knew it had something to do with the tires. If you've not been or don't have Les Schwab in your part of the country, they have some seriously good and speedy customer service (those guys are running everywhere). In fact, if the phone rings and the customer service lady can't grab it, one of the guys from the shop comes running inside.

I'm not sure how they're able to switch responsibilities so quickly, but they're sure earning their keep! How important do you think customer service is in your choice of product or service? For me, it just depends on the item. But in the realm of my car (and since I can't call my dad at any given moment to fix it), I trust it to Les Schwab because I feel confident in their abilities and their forethought to tell the customer what's going on.

In this case, my left front tire was bulging and causing the car to pull to the left. So, they suggested either putting on a new tire or a used one (to better match the right front used tire). Bottom line, I left Les Schwab with the problemo fixed and a bill of...$0! Absolutely nothin! As part of their customer service guarantee, they often will fix, adjust, test the tires and not charge a dime because they know that when you are ready for brand new tires, you'll be back!

Okay, time to hit the hay. I left the sports bra at home today so I couldn't meet up with the group for the Monday run. And you know how "the girls" need their support. Instead, I drove home, geared up, and the manfriend biked next to me as I busted out a nice quick 5er. It was nice to have a chatting buddy. The last two minutes I really kicked it into high gear. It was one of those runs that just felt GOOD.

Then we met up with the runners for pizza, followed by grocery shopping and watching Jake pick...VIENNA?! Don't get it, but who really cares? And that Wings of Love song they played immediately following his proposal, it sucked. Nighty night!