Friday, April 30, 2010

A little speed never hurt ya

Well, not to much to report on these fronts. It's a busy work day ahead full of meetings, which is unlike most of my Fridays. And, I'm wearing black slacks rather than my typical Friday jean attire, but hey, it's still FRIDAY!

After work, I'll be jetting over to watch some serious runners do their thing at the Oregon Relays. Our SPEED coach, Lauren Fleshman will be running the 5k and other elite runners will be at Hayward doing their thing. Should be fun!

And last night, I was proud of myself. After donning the spandex and heading over to the track to meet the group, I was prepped for a tough workout. I got 15 min of warm up in, we did some drills, a few strides and it was time for the fun to begin.

I chose the pusher workout, while most everyone else was doing a shorter version because they're racing on Sunday.

Here's how I fared:
1600m - 7:17
1600m - 7:12
1200m - 5:22
800m - too tired to calculate
400m - 1:39

Thankfully, we had 2 min rest between each interval. But I was pretty happy that I was able to hold a steady pace the entire time, especially when I tend to start out too fast when attempting tempo pace.

This morning I definitely needed that 25 min yoga for runners session for some tight hamstrings. I need to stretch those better after EVERY run. Are you 'good' at stretching? I know it's really important, but often it's just too cold out or I just want to jump in the shower rather than lay around in sweaty spandex.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! I'm not sure what I'm doing yet, besides the marathon spectating and a long run, but I hope I find a little time to relax.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Are you a desk eater or a lunch break taker?

I'm generally half and half. Most of the time, I have good intentions of getting up, going for a walk, heading to the gym for a quick lifting session or just read a magazine and eat lunch anywhere BUT over my keyboard. But often, that's where I find myself.

Yesterday, I was a little stressed, grabbed my lunch, Lean Forward into your Life, and my reusable grocery bag and headed to our local shi shi market. I did a little grocery shopping before sitting down at their tables (just for customers who come in to grab lunch - or in my case groceries, including a Kombucha I enjoyed w/ lunch). It was a nice way to enjoy a new scenery, get some good produce and actually relax on my lunch break.

I highly recommend it!

Also, in Active's enewsletter, I spied Eugene, OR (my city) listed as the first of the Top 5 Trail Running Destinations in U.S.!

I was also excited to see that Nashville, Santa Fe and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were included because I know people who've lived/will live in all of these places! K (good friend and running buddy) will be moving to the land of the honky tonk for more school, Heather from DOTR is from New Mexico, and the manfriend went to college in the UP of Michigan and raves about it.

Happy almost Friday! I'm excited for the weekend to get here. This Sunday is the Eugene Marathon, so while I'm not running the 1/2 or the full, a lot of my friends are and it will be fun to spectate on le bike w/ friend K. Plus, the city will be jam packed with crazy runners. I think I might even head to the expo...just for fun.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leaning Forward into your Life

In reading these words, I thought they also might touch and inspire others.

Even in failure, do we not find often that our vision and resolve are strengthened? Perhaps what is more important than hitting exactly what you are aiming at is the simple act of aiming, in itself.

To actively move in the direction of your dreams and be open to the voice of the universe. To pursue each promising lead and allow the story to unfold. But considering our daily lives, it is a struggle for most of us to build up any kind of momentum at all. We find ourselves idling in what we think are pressing tasks. There is something to be said for stability and consistency, but I believe that if you do not make room in your life for purpose and passion, there will never be any.

And just a page later, I was struck by this.

If I am disatisfied with the where of where I stand and the what of what I do, I can either:
a) change the dreams I'm dreaming or
b) love the life I'm living and live it knowing it is everything I need.

~ Lean Forward into your Life by Mary Anne Radmacher

As a person who never quite feels satisfied with the where or the what, this gives some perspective to simply enjoying it. After all, THIS life is all that we have. Things may not be perfect or easy, but the truth is, if we have shelter and people we love (who love us back), what more do we need?

I need to take it easier on myself and let the journey happen. And not only that, I need to ENJOY the ride as it happens. Thanks for the book recommendation, Lisa!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homemade 'Super Awesome Granola'

Last night after a soppy run and whipping up pasta for dinner, I was feeling the itch to try out a new recipe. I settled on The Single Dish's 'Super Awesome Granola' because who can pass up a recipe with that name? I highly recommend making this if you're not necessarily hungry for a sweet treat, but want a divine smelling kitchen and a little breakfast pizaz to save for later.

*I made a few slight changes to this recipe swapping canola oil for vegetable oil and traded pecans for almonds and walnuts. I also nixed the flaxseed bc I didn't have any and threw in some chia seeds instead.

2 cups oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almonds
1/2-1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup coconut
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups dried cherries

And be sure to watch your granola carefully. My oven is hot and I overcooked the mixture just a bit too much. Not burnt, but just a little more toasty than I'd prefer.

First, mix up the oats, coconut, brown sugar, nuts and spices.

A kitchen helper is necessary.

Pure maple syrup is the key here.

Stir the wet (maple syrup, vanilla, oil) into the dry (oat and spice mixture).

Lay it all out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 deg for 35 min, stirring every 10 min or so.

Finally, mix in the tart cherries (I chose TJ's brand)!

It makes a great topper to a green monster smoothie, although the cherries did sink to bottom.

I'm looking forward to making the fruit and yogurt parfait with this. Yum.

In other news, it's pouring here. Sometimes the rain just makes me not care about how frumpy my work outfit may be. Today, for example, I'm wearing a pair of old gap pants that are a size or so too big and just hang from the hips. Bah! Here's to sunshine returning quick to these parts (and a JCrew shopping spree, of course)!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Outta the way, slow rider coming through!

This morning I headed off at 8:30 am to meet a local group for a 9am ride that was flat and about 35 miles. We meet at a park before the group pedals away at all sorts of speeds.

Within a few miles, I was dropped from the front pack, but luckily caught a couple I know from running. While the rest of the group went 18 mph or so, we rode at our pedestrian 15-16 mph. Although it frustrated me that I can't keep up with the main pack, I know that it simply means I need to continue riding regularly to build my cycling muscles. Plus, I had a nice ride and got to chat with two friends so it wasn't that bad.

I got home with 40 miles under my wheels. Then I took the dog for a nice walk/run in the sun.

In other news, last night the runners met for happy hour and then headed to the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The videos were completely amazing. If the festival is coming to your city, I HIGHLY recommend snagging a ticket.

My favorite by far was Rowing the Atlantic with Roz Savage. Click on the link to watch the short preview of her story.

"A few years ago, Roz Savage gave up what for many would be an ideal life (husband, great job, big house), picked up a few pairs of rowing oars and a boat to go with them and set off across the Atlantic Ocean — alone — in a rowboat." -Banff Film Fest

Has anyone ever been to a Banff film fest? Well, I'm off to tend to dinner. My crock pot just dinged so that means it's time to add the bbq sauce to our pulled pork! Yum.

Easiest recipe ever (thanks to Kristin @ IowaGirlEats)...crock pot, pork shoulder, dried onion soup mix, 1/4 cup balsamic and 1/2 cup water. Add bbq sauce afterward. Do you know an easier recipe that gives so much in return? I know I sure don't!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blackberry jam is key, people.

In honor of earth day, manfriend and I both biked it to work yesterday. Plus, the weather happened to show all sun so I wasn't discouraged. I managed to stuff all my work clothes, food, and running shoes into my backpack for the day.

I also made a pretty awesome sandwich if I do say so myself. Enclosed between Dave's Killer Bread is: avocado, blackberry jam, sharp aged Irish cheddar, spinach and smoked turkey.

Manfriend thought I was crazy to be putting jam in the mix, but let me tell ya, it went peeerfectly with the sharp cheddar.

It kind of reminded me of Kath's Crofter's sandwiches that always look AMAZING. Next time you make a sandwich, I highly recommend using your favorite jam paired w/ cream cheese or any cheese in fact.

When 6pm rolled around it was time for tempo work with the group. Our options were: 3, 4 or 5 mile tempo. After Wednesday's boot camp full of walking lunges, jump squats with weights and alternating jumping lunges, the legs were not feeling the tempo work. I squeeked out the 3 mile version, cooled down for another mile with K, and then ran another 1.5 mi back to the office. 6.5 miles done.

Sweaty and tired, I pulled on the bike shorts and shoes and slowly pedaled my way home. There's nothing like speed workout to make you feel like a fairly flat 5 mile ride is tough.

Manfriend arrived home shortly after and we got to work on chicken nachos. Yum. It's the perfect fun, easy, protein filled meal to throw together. Then we raced up to his friends house to visit for a bit (while the guys chatted bikes). They had a baby six months ago who is now squealing, rolling over, and making motor boat sounds with her mouth. It was absolutely adorable.

Okay, enough baby talk. It's time to get this Friday going. I took the dog for a nice 25 min walk and then did 20 min of a Dave Farmar podcast. Time for breakfast! I don't know where the week went, but halleluiah for Friday (and happy hr)!

Grocery Store Savings

We went to the grocery store last night for the second time this week. Because it's nearing the end of the month and money is getting tight, we hit up WinCo where you always leave with more than you could have anywhere else for the same price. It's actually jaw dropping every time we go.

For example, locally made Tillamook (Oregon) sliced cheese is just $2.48 at WinCo when it would be either $4.99-$5.99 anywhere else. Basically, WinCo cuts out the middle man so everything sits in the big brown shipping boxes they came in, but opened of course). As you shop, it's common to see a forklift come in and rearrange or add new stock to one of the entryway aisles where they simple drop pallets of product next to each other.

Last night I snagged an extra can of green beans and corn just because they were $.48 vs $.99 anywhere else. I will say, the one thing I tend not to buy there is much produce. Bagged spinach is fine, but I usually wait until I can get some organic produce to snag other fruits and veggies. Additionally, I don't buy meat here because again there aren't any organic types available. But for boxed items and even milk, yogurt, cereal, eggs, cheese, etc. it's a freakin' bargin.

Do you have a grocery store like this? Do you go there often? Our WinCo is only about 2 miles away, but we often hit up the Fred Meyer which is about a mile closer and a little nicer of a shopping experience.

And for all of you humor, I thought you might enjoy seeing our cereal choices. As we were making our selections, manfriend ran into a friend of his and said "yeah, I usually pick one fun cereal and one healthier choice."

I held up his two choices and just started laughing. You decide which was his "healthier" choice because I sure can't. *My picks were the two Kashi brand cereals.*

Not gonna lie, my grocery trips aren't always health laden. We did swing by the ice cream aisle so I could pick up a little Chocolate Brownie Thunder!

This puppy was under $3 and would have been $5 at any other grocery store. And the taste is just as awesome its the name.

On the grocery topic, manfriend and I are thinking of challenging ourselves for one month to only spend $XX per week. We haven't chosen an amount yet, but I think it would be good for us just to try. I hate going back to the store midweek for just a few things and walking out with another $50 bill. Details to come. Do you have a budget for your weekly or monthly food spending?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thoughts on Marathon Training

As the summer nears, I've been thinking more and more about my training schedule for the marathon and how my current workout routine will change. Truth is, these legs will be logging a lot of miles and things like boot camp, Jillian, cycling and yoga will have to take a back seat more than I'd like. After all, there are only so many hours in a day.

Today, Runner's World sent out this Ultimate Training Plan article which got me paranoia thinking...should I be upping my midweek mileage now? When will I have time to lift weights? Can I really do complete REST days? Will my usual marathon injuries come back?

After printing out the article and looking over both the intermediate and advanced plans, I decided that yes, I like having a plan. But starting now is not necessary. I'm going to continue building strength, running longish on weekends, and maybe add in a few more hills and perhaps even some tempo work to my runs.

A side note on weather. Just a few days ago, the weather was like this. This is not my pool (ha-I wish). It was however, beautiful scenery at a small batch local winery manfriend and I visited last weekend.

And last night, the rain was pouring. Pouring so hard that every time I drifted out of sleep I woke to sounds of raindrops incessantly thumping on the roof. Kind of like the day in Berlin when A and I so brilliantly decided to take a bike tour around the city and ended up wearing these fabulous ponchos with our summer attire. All the more reason to extend that lunch at the Brawthaus before heading back into the monsoon.

I guess that's Spring for ya. In that case, I'm ready to ditch Spring like a bad prom dress. Bring on the sun, full time. Congrats to friend D who finished the Boston Marathon in 3:37! So impressive, especially for a girl who said she wasn't really worried about her time.

I also wanted to share a few posts I've really appreciated lately about not worrying so much. Because I'm a worrier. And you might be too. Greens For Good and Eat Live Run. This was a pretty random post, eh? I guess it's time for bed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lounging Deserved. Shoes Optional.

Here I am surfing online from my bed because it just seemed perfect. After a 10 mile run, enjoying caffeinated beverages in the sun with a few runners, a Trader Joe's stop and finally a good four hours of yard work with the parents, I'm done. Showering feels so much better when you've really gotten yourself dirty. On the up side, the front and back yards look so much better.

I included the computer in there because I'm also browsing for dresses. After all, it is almost summer and I have two weddings to attend. And today's summer like temps (for Oregon anyway) of 70 deg really got me in a chipper mood. Anyone else obsessively browse JCrew, Anthropologie, LOFT or Modcloth to find the perfect dress? Yeah, I'm probably the only one...

Shortly after my lounging and browsing, manfriend woke up from his cat nap, showered and was ready for food. Weekends are often our dining out nights because we both pack so much into them we simply need. food. now. So we headed off to a local burger/brew joint where we each selected personal pizzas and beer. Yum. The tummy is now content.
The hawaiian for her...
And the house special for him...

All in all, another busy yet successful weekend. Thank goodness for parents (who also bring their hauling vehicles, chainsaws and pressure washers). What was the best part of your weekend?

P.S. Our hideous couch that I never let you see was not accepted by St. Vincent dePaul. Ha! Thankfully, Goodwill took it. Apparently, their standards are a bit lower, but this girl is not complaining!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Do Fridays make you giddy?

Well, they do me. I'm giving blood this morning so I've got to be sure to have a good breakfast. They say that's a good idea or something. ;)

Here are a few photos from our ladies night last Saturday. It was a great night of wine, laughter, gossip and some dancing. I love looking back on photos from fun nights.

Several of the girls got Spanish coffees. It was fun to watch the bar tender light the alcohol on fire. Not sure what was going on here, but K has some great expressions! I'm going to miss this girl. She graduates from law school in a month!

This is my excited face. We headed to the local country bar after classy drinks, for dancing and some serious people watching.

Yeah, Fridays pretty much make me feel like this...

Good luck to all those Boston runners out there! My friend D (on the left in the photo above) will be running the marathon on Monday. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stoneyfield Yogurt Review

Remember when I gave away some Stoneyfield Oikos yogurt coupons?

Well, I finally purchased a four pack of the carmel greek yogurt I had been eyeing. The first time I had one was around 3:30pm in the office when I usually get my afternoon hunger. I dug in until I had a moment of panic a few bites later thinking "Hey, I didn't check the calories on these babies. This could be way too much fat, calories and sugar for my afternoon snack."

After looking it up online, I realized I had nothing to worry about. Look at that protein and potassium!

The carmel is at the bottom in these containers so you have to be sure to mix it up. Not gonna lie, this flavor was good, but not my favorite flavor. This size was perfect for an on the go snack. I'm looking forward to picking up a larger container of the vanilla flavor to mix in smoothies, put on top of granola, etc. Thanks again, Stoneyfield!

A Breakfast Special

This morning I woke up a bit early to head down to the corner market for a gallon of milk. I've been wanting to make quiche for the last week or so and Thursday seemed just as good a day as any!

I combined chopped red and green bell peppers, onion, a few slices of deli turkey and a few sprigs of broccoli. Then added bisquick, cheese, eggs, milk and spices. After mixing together you simply pour it all into the greased cupcake tins. I found my recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook, but you can also google crustless quiche for similar recipes.

I cooked these babies for just 20 min and voila! That's the great part about the cupcake quiche...a much shorter baking time compared to a full dish quiche. These make for a great snack to fuel your hard workout or just a random Thursday work day!

In other news, the sun is coming out today! It should be around 60 degrees tonight for our SPEED workout. Happy tax day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Behold a new couch

I'm blogging straight from our new couch and it feels amazingly comfortable next to the old pathetic couch. Take a gander...

When it first arrived this morning, I wasn't sure it was the color we ordered. After careful inspection and the lamps on, I think it's the same color, but I'm not in love with it. I thought we were getting more of a tan color and this girl is picky about her browns (i.e. I used to HATE all shades of brown).

My favorite part is the pillows. I love the modern print we picked out with its calming colors.

Manfriend likes the color, but I'm still wavering. The room is small and dark so I think that's one thing making it look so different from what we picked out in the store. Perhaps I was a little color blind the day we chose the fabric?

I skipped tonight's run because the legs just weren't feeling the pounding. Instead, I did a fabulous Biggest Loser workout that had me sweating bullets. Then I moved on to 20 min of spinning on the trainer and another 10 of easy yoga. All of it combined felt easier than any easy run I could have done.

In other news, be careful when starting your dishwasher that nothing plastic has fallen to the bottom! We just noticed a funny smell coming from the kitchen and I discovered a plastic spatula melting on the heating element in the bottom of the dishwasher. FAIL.

The jury's still out on hills.

Sunday morning after a long night of drinks, laughter and some dancing with the girls, K and I met up for a long run. Our sights were set on the ribbon trail, a trail accessed by way of running up a large hill and through a park. It then rolls up and down along side a hill with great views and dumps you off into a golf course.

To get to the start of the trail, it takes a decent 10 or so minutes to make your way up the incline and through the park. By the time we got to the trail, my glutes and hamstrings were not so happy. But apparently what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

I only stopped to walk once so I suppose it was a success (seeing as how I could have walked once every 5 min or so) but man, that run had me thinking I should incorporate inclines into my midweek runs more frequently. It's just so easy to hop onto Pre's Trail around here because of its location and scenery.

So the next time you're feeling like your running is getting stronger, just head out to do some hills to bring yourself back to earth to feel really out of shape. 1 hr 25 min later we had finished 10 miles of fun.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I don't know what it is.

I don't know why, but for some reason I've been totally wiped this afternoon. Meanwhile, manfriend is having himself a serious hayday outshining me by cutting down all the bushes in front of the house, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, picking up dog doo from the yard, you name it!

This morning I woke up, read some of my latest Real Simple, started the coffee and made pumpkin oats. A while later, manfriend and I agreed we wanted donuts, but I said we could only if we walked. The donut shop is just about a mile away, but the temp was around 35 F (albeit sunny) at 9am. He obliged and we walked the dog there and back.

Shortly after, I headed out for a brisk 3.5 mile run before showering and heading to meet my Big Brothers Big SIsters youth for bowling and some park play time. Looking back, none of those things really should have been exhausting, but who knows. Later this afternoon, my parents were in town so we met them for a late lunch. It's always good to see the parents!

After we left, I could barely stay awake. I pretty much fell into the bed and didn't move for 35 min. I awoke to find the previously mentioned yard work completed and I still feel kind of comatose. I'm thinking last nights 25 mile hilly ride took more out of me than I expected...or just the combination of that and my entire day. Who knows!

Now I'm just sitting here wondering a) how I'm going to find the energy for a fabulous girls night b) what the heck I'm going to wear (we're supposed to dress up 'cougarish'-ha!) and c) how that 10 miler will go tomorrow morning with K.

Anyone have a great wake up trick that works for you? I tried making a green monster smoothie and that didn't do it. Plus, it was kind of gross. Okay, wish me luck! I'm off in search of some caffeine and a 'cougar' costume.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fun Fact Friday

Nothing special going on around here. Had a tough Thursday night run with the group. We did a few mile repeats at tempo and 10K paces. These legs were not feeling it after a two mini runs on Wed, but I survived!

On to Fun Fact Friday...

1. I have two younger brothers. One is just two years younger, which made it nice because we grew up together and did a lot of the same things (band, sports, lots of studying). The other is 10 years younger and no, he wasn't an accident. He's turning 17 next month and I can hardly believe it. He's nothing like the other brother. He's kind of a rebel, doesn't care about homework and doesn't see the value of college...yet. Alas, I love them both.

2. I'm a jewelry snob and yet, I really don't have much jewelry. Ironic, no? Not really...I'm picky and jewelry is expensive so I rarely bite the bullet. Although I do have a few pieces in mind from JessLC when that tax refund comes back to me!

3. My family never went on a family vacation on a plane together. My parents really liked the whole road trip in a mini van idea. UGH! Needless to say, I love to fly. My mom flew for the first time since she was 13 with me to my very first 1/2 marathon in Nashville!

4. I'm really craving a donut today. Who cares about bikini bodies anyway?? ;)

5. I woke up at 4:11 am and never went back to sleep. I hate bad nights of sleep. Luckily, they're very rare for me.

6. I just started mentoring for the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. I'm hanging out with my youth for the first time this weekend!

Okay, I better get going with my morning to do list (trash, dog walking, pushups, breakfast, etc)! I have a fun list of things planned this weekend, including a bike ride, a girls night and a long run. Have an awesome weekend. What are your top three Fun Friday Facts?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


After seeing my photos from the duathalon, I got in a little mental funk. Don't you hate when you see pics of yourself that just aren't great? I'll admit, I'm picky, but I just can't stand it. I especially hate when I feel "round" in photos and I know how many hours a week I spend getting my sweat on.

Not only that, last week I had a few more drinks than usual (a few beers here, a glass of wine there). It makes me think sometimes that I need to reign in the bites of sweets daily and limit alcohol to just one night a week. But where's the fun in that?

There's not doubt that these negative thoughts have something to do with the sunny weather right around the corner and these articles I've been seeing about getting "bikini ready." Blah. And you know what those articles make me do? After cringing because a) I'm not going anywhere sunny in the next few months and b) even if I were, I'm NOT bikini ready, I realize "HELL yes, sign me up on your 30 day plan. I NEED to be bikini ready."

In reality, I know it's my mind's way of freaking out because I'm just feeling the need to be a little more toned and ready for shorts season. So my plan is to make it a priority to hit the gym 2-3 times per week to build those fat burning muscles, keep upping the pushups in the am, work on the core and mix in some more tempo sessions in my runs. And, I'm going to focus on eating what I need, not just what I want. Lately, I haven't had enough filling snacks in the office with me so I resort to leftover easter candy to fill the void.

Today I picked up a Jillian dvd that was on hold for me at the library. Can't wait to do some of her feel the burn inducing workouts! I've been contemplating buying one of the BL workout dvd's but I usually get bored with doing the same routine over and over again.

And I just found a happier version of those bikini body articles on msn. These tend to make more sense to me than the prescriptive articles telling you to "eat this for breakfast, this for lunch and do these 10 exercises." Enjoy! I also found it interesting that Amber mentioned her need to focus on her food intake today just as I was feeling the need to get this off my chest. Funny how these things happen.

And, I'm really loving this tank. I heart JCrew. Does anyone else just wait around for the best version of your favorite store's sale? JCrew changes their deals so often that I know as soon as I actually pull the trigger on something I really want, the next offer will be even better. Gah.

Truth be told, I'm a shopper, but I am rarely buying those items I pop into my cart. It's nice to dream, eh? I've been browsing a lot lately because I need to find a few dresses for weddings in August and you've got to shop early to find the right dress (IMO).

Motto for this shape up season: do your best. everyone has different bodies. breathe.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Race Recap: Spring Creek Duathalon

I left work around 4:30 on Friday to get home and finish packing before manfriend and I could head to Portland. After he got home, we gathered our stuff, grabbed the dog and hopped in the car. Because my parents have a large fenced in yard and a dog of their own, it's a natural place to leave Jonah Bell when we need some easy, free dog sitting...not to mention the fact that she LOVES it.

After a long drive and a lot of rain, we made it to my friend J's, picked her up and headed to Pizza Fino for dinner. The atmosphere inside was so perfect. Dimly lit, but cool feeling. They even have a small bar at the front where you can enjoy drinks and a slice! We were pretty hungry so I ordered a salad, a glass of Arbor Brook Pinot Noir and the Pocket Aces pizza, which had carmelized onion, pancetta, and smoked mozzarella on red sauce. Yum. It wasn't by any means the BEST pizza I've had, but it hit the spot.

We went back to J's and hit the hay shortly after 10 pm. We got up around 7:45 am, I grabbed some toast w/ pb and banana slices and made some mango green tea. Then we loaded up the cars and headed to the race around 8:30. We arrived in 20 or so min to a fairly full lot and lots of racers. Packet pick up was easy peasy. We grabbed our packets and got to work on putting our numbers on our bikes, helmets and shirts.

Jess and I both got marked by volunteers...race # on left, age on right (to let other racers know how worried they should be when you bolt pass them). ;)

What I really liked was that no one was allowed into the transition zone without a race number on both their calves and bib. What does that mean? Your stuff is SAFE once you leave it in your stall.

J and I took a short 1/2 mile or so warm up about 15 min prior to the start. It was cold out, but just sort of sprinkling. We ran over to a fast food joint to use their bathrooms while 20+ athletes waited inline for a few porta potties. It just made sense...clean, warm, dry, inside. We made it back to the starting line to stand around for about 8 minutes before the start. At the last minute we ditched our jackets inside the transition zone because we knew we'd get too hot.

I was wearing a Smartwool bike jersey and arm warmers, Nike capris and my Smartwool beanie w/ some cheapo gloves. J and I had planned to run something like an 8 min pace for the 5k. Within the first 30 sec one of my mini Larabars went bouncing out of the back pocket of my jersey...FAIL. A mile or so later, my Luna moons bounced right out...FAIL. This time I turned back to snag them because they were my only fuel left for the entire race so I needed them.

It was an out and back 5k with just one little hill, no biggie. As we ran back into the transition I was just mentally going through my checklist. The transition took me 2:58...slooow. Next time, I won't have shoe covers, won't change gloves (from cheapos to padded cycling gloves) and will just wear either cycling shorts/pants OR running pants the entire race. Instead, I was switching over several things that weren't necessary for a simple out and back 15 miler.

Nothing too exciting on the bike. I was slow and got passed by a lot of people. The rain had still held off for which I was thankful for, but the wind was all up in my business trying to knock me down. So I just leaned into it. Not gonna lie, my butt and my brain were happy to be finished with those 15 miles. By this point J was about 7-8 min behind me because she was riding a mountain bike.

I was just happy to be on the final leg of the race. These legs were not feeling the whole running thing, but I urged them on and passed a lot of people who had previously passed me on the bike...SUCCESS! Oh and I left the 12 year old boy in the dust...SUCCESS! After looking at the results, I was humored to realize I ran the second 5k faster than the first. I think that means next time I don't hold back on that first one. Must. run. harder.

Overall time: 1:49:37
Age/Div Place: 8/21
1st 5K: 0:23:58
Transition 1: 2:58
15 mi bike: 0:56:43
Transition 2: 2:12
2nd 5K: 0:23:46

Overall, I'm happy with my performance. The race was fun, but nothing outstanding. I'd definitely do another duathalon in the future. I snagged some salty snacks (BBQ Popchips are the bomb, btw) and a few bites of chicken noodle soup from the post race food line and then we were off for a little Starbucks pick me up.

Well, I'm at a social media boot camp most of today for a work training. I'm excited to be armed with some new ways to think about and utilize social media. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

All outta flour!

Happy Easter! This weekend was a truly relaxing one, surprisingly enough. Even with a few hours of driving, a duathalon and Easter in the mix it was one of the better ones I've had. Race recap to come on Tuesday!

As I mentioned before, manfriend and I decided to skip my family Easter brunch and church service to have our own little brunch for two. We made our way to breakfast around 9:30am where we both chose eggs benedict, mine with smoked salmon and spinach added. OJ for me, coffee for him. No pics unfortunately. Once we rolled ourselves out of there, we were both in food good, but dangerous at the same time. I am not a napper.

We got home, I took the dog for a 30 min walk and manfriend took a little doze on the couch. After some house cleaning, and lawn mowing (by the man), we headed to the grocery store for Easter dinner goods! But can we please look at a few of these wonderful mowing pics? I just loved manfriend's jean inside boot look.

I don't think he so much loved my photo taking. Perhaps the yelling "hey, stop it. give me that camera!" was supposed to be my cue. ;)

After groceries, I hopped on the trainer for a 50 min of cycling while catching up on Private Practice. Now let's get to the good stuff. On the menu was meatloaf, broccoli, salad, zinfandel from Murphy-Goode and hot cross buns.

On to the Meat Loaf!

Add the spice to the garlic croutons...

Chop the red pepper, onion, carrot and garlic (I don't have a food processor so I have to chop them extra fine)...

Next, find pac man...

Add locally grown organic beef, 1 egg and mash it all together...

And be sure to make the "ew, this is really gross squishing meat" face...

Squish it into a loaf pan...

Then turn it all over on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and add the disgusting looking glaze (ketchup, honey, cumin, worcheschire sauce, hot sauce) after about 10 min of cooking. This puppy cooked for about 55 min and then it was time to eat! Meanwhile, I was also making some hot cross buns for dessert.

Like I said, I had to grab this Murphy-Goode at our local market's wine section because Jenna works there and I always enjoy making those blogger connections in the real world, even if it is just a bottle of WINE. The best part is that this 2007 Liar's Dice Zin was seriously good. And, I snagged it on sale for just $14 and change.

And on to the buns, 'cause I know how you like your buns...
First off, who knew hot cross buns took so much time? Geez those are some fussy buns.

I snagged this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. Needless to say, mine did not quite turn out like that and I nearly burnt them (and had to half the recipe because I was outta flour) so they were definitely one of my "adventures in baking."

Cinnamon and sugar for the middle...

Flatten the dough, sprinkle w/ cinnamon sugar and raisins and fold...

Roll 'em into balls and let 'em rise for 30+ min...

On the bright side, I discovered that while the frosting she used (egg white, powdered sugar and milk) seemed disgusting to me, that cream cheese whipped cream frosting I made for the Guinness Cupcakes worked perfectly on top of these puppies!

Feel free to look back at the Pioneer Woman's photos for the real deal. Mine are pitiful in comparison. Alas, I know you aren't the judging type so just trust me when I say these were good...not too sweet, but the just the perfect hint. I imagine these will pair well with a morning cup of tea or coffee.

Well, that's it for tonight gang. Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter and weekend 'cause it's back to the grind!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weekend forecast doesn't look good...

Happy Easter weekend! Aren't you just so excited for your sunny relaxing weekend? Um, yeah...not here! Hope you east coasters enjoy the sun (and apparently Iowa too).

Here, we have this to look forward to...

Apparently Spring is coming in like a lion. Anywho, rain and cold won't stop this duathalon! I've got my pants, tri shorts, jersey, arm warmers, thin jacket, shoe covers, gloves, shoes and helmet packed. Basically, I'm ready to run or ride in whatever this weather wants to throw at me. I'd prefer not to wear it all so let's not get too crazy out there, okay rain?

Tonight, manfriend and I are headed up to Ptown where we'll grab a bite to eat at a yummy pizza place (I haven't chosen yet exactly where, but you'll be sure to get the scoop). Then we'll stay at my friend J's house (who is also doing the race). We'll wake up not too early and get to the race around 9am which will give us plenty of time to get ready for our 10am start.

Today is a REST day and these legs are happy about that. Not a single bit of working out other than a measly 10 min walk with the dog. I did an easy 4.5 miles on the trail last night and the legs were just saying "please stop." the entire time.

Okay, hope you all have fun weekend plans! Manfriend and I are foregoing my family Easter brunch and semi church service that my grandpa does to have a brunch for two that does not include 45 min of driving each way. Part of me feels guilty for not following family tradition, but part of me is relieved we won't be driving the entire weekend. Doing anything special for the holiday?