Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stuffed Bell Peppers in a Snap!

Happy Halloween! We had to turn off our porch light and blow out the pumpkin candles because the trick or treaters tricked us out of treats. Our bowl is empty (minus the few pieces I stashed for the manfriend).

For a while now, I've been wanting to whip up some stuffed bell peppers. They're not only a healthy option, but they are mighty tasty, contain simple ingredients and don't take too long to prepare! I scoured several recipes online just to make sure I wasn't missing some key ingredient or step. Turns out, it was as simple as I had thought.

I wanted to make us a tasty, but not heavy dinner while we were watching the Oregon Ducks beat the USC Trojans AND carving pumpkins! :) I also wanted to make sure we had some real food before heading off to two Halloween parties where we'd be imbibing and snacking away.

First, cut your bell peppers in half.

Then, chop up and saute your choice of veggies (I used mushrooms, red onions, red pepper), add black beans and season (taco seasoning, chili powder, etc).

If you're a meat eater, ground turkey might also be a good addition here. Meanwhile, cook up some 10 min brown rice.

Mix it all together and add a little feta if you wish (I did because feta makes it betta)! Stuff those bell peppers and top with your choice of cheese (I used sharp Tillamook cheddar).

Cook at 400 for 30-45 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.

Add some salsa and sour cream (or in this case, plain yogurt) and devour!

And for my contribution to the runner party we were going to, I made pumpkin molasses cookies. Yum is all I have to say about that.

Check back tomorrow for our Halloween costumes! They were definitely a hit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Five Things Friday

Good morning!

I don't know about you, but I absolutely loooove a holiday weekend. And yes, I consider Halloween a serious holiday. The specialness of it all just makes me giddy inside.

Last year's Halloween cupcakes I took to work. This year I'm taking a batch of those brownies!

The sickness is still parking it's silly little self inside my nose and head. In the attempt to get better before tomorrow, I must stay inside for exercise purposes. Back to the gym? We'll see...

There may be an 8 mile lake run tomorrow morning that I'd like to join my running group on. Who cares that I've run no more than 4 miles at one time in the past two weeks. And then of course there are two Halloween parties to attend.

Okay, so on to this Five things Friday...

1. I woke up at 5 am (not normal for this 6:45 am riser) and figured it meant I needed to do a Five things Friday post.

2. Sometimes I turn on my favorite tunes and improv dance around the room as if I were a trained dancer. I'm sure it would look ridiculous to outsiders, but it's kind of like singing in your think you're pretty much a rock star.

3. I have dreams of being a Martha Stewart type decorator, but in truth decorating totally freaks me out. The manfriend has done all of the decorating in this house.

4. The holiday crunch is already creeping into my veins. I need to get my list making, present buying and out for the mail eaaarly because we'll be heading back to the midwest for Christmas. No sense worrying about gifts being smashed or stolen from the suitcase.

5. I meant to wear pink and a cute little pink ribbon several days this month and now it's the last day of breast cancer awareness. Perhaps I should finally find something pink in my closet. The only problem is that I should be wearing green and yellow. My Ducks are heading down to LA to play USC. ESPN GameDay will be there for the big game.

Good luck to all the marathoners out there! In addition to the Marine Corps Marathon, there are several other smaller marathons that bloggers out there are running. Sending my positive vibes your way.

I just commented on Caitlin's blog saying that she should mentally break the race down into chunks, focusing on certain things (fun and easy, keeping steady, powering through) every 5 or so miles. After writing it out it sounds so good I want to try it for myself during a marathon.

My attitude for Portland definitely wasn't all chipper because I felt a little defeated by my last minute hammy issue. Oh well, there's always next time!

How will you be celebrating (or not) Halloween? Are you dressing up? What are you Five things Friday (link to your post or leave it in the comments)? I'll post a pic or two of our costumes next week.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in the game!

Er, sort of.

After a long day at work (where was my nap?), I headed straight for the gym for a little focused workout. My goal was to spend 45 minutes there. I have to put time limits on myself at the gym or I'm tempted to stay for 2 hrs. And when I'm sick, I know that's just what I don't need.

Tonight's Mini Workout

1. Weights (10 min)

Supersets (alternating back and forth btwn two machines, 3 sets each) of:

-hamstring curl (50-55lbs), 12-15 reps
-seated row (70lbs), 12-15 reps


-45 deg back extension, 15 reps
-captain's chair reverse ab curl w/ legs straight and oblique twists, 30 reps

2. Spinning (10 min)

3. Treadmill (26 min)

1-10 min, 4 mph, 4-8% incline
11-16, 6.5-7.2 mph, 2% (increased speed every 30 sec or so)
16-18, 4.3 mph, 8.5%
18-23, 6.5 - 7.5 mph, 2.5% (increased speed every 30 sec)
23-24, 7 mph, 2.5%
24-26, 4.5-3.8 mph, 1% (cool down)

4. Stretching! (5 min)

I consider this a win. I got a short, but sweet overall body weight/core session in, easy cardio and a little running (10 min or so) and then some much needed stretching. I was in and out of the gym in less than an hour and didn't overdo it. My stomach was eating itself on the way home.

Do you have a favorite workout when you're crunched for time? I like to switch it up but mine usually combine a little cardio with a little weights. Sometimes it's a yoga podcast. And other times a quick 2 miles around the neighborhood!

We just downgraded our cable after having all the premium channels from July when we needed the Tour de France. Too bad, so sad - no more TLC, E! or ESPN. But, we still have Grey's Anatomy and a few other basics so we'll survive.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sick as a dog - day 4

Staying home sick is complete torture for me. That being said, after I've napped, read Born to Run, read blogs, blown my nose and drank more glasses of water than is necessary, it gave me a chance to bake.

And baking when your taste buds don't seem to be operating is the perfect time, eh?

Well, I'd been having this craving for a simple Bisquick coffee cake recipe I used to make out of my mom's old Natural Gas cookbook. I couldn't find the right one, but sort of made this one do. I would recommend searching for one that involves a bit more butter and brown sugar action mixed into the cake part, but that's just me.

And now that I did a little more searching, I found this recipe that calls for a bit more brown sugar and butter (double of each) for the streusel than the recipe I used. Oh well.

My antsy self decide to throw in a few tablespoons of pumpkin filling and stew some up some fresh from the orchard apple chunks to make this a bit more fallish. Ever since I saw Ashley's stewed apple take on Angela's strawberry oat squares, I have had a hankering for cookin' up some apples!

One thing that I absolutely LOVE about the food blogging community is how it's inspired me to get in the kitchen more than I might. I adore cooking and baking, but sometimes I just feel like "There's no time! Too much to do! So much work! Running! Cleaning the house!" that I let those worries overwhelm my need to just dig in and let my worries bubble away.

And without further ado, Bisquicky fall coffee cake. I also learned something about food photography. I'm at work during the hours when taking photos of food and such are ideal.

Notice this photo is way less appealing. Why? I used a flash. Ugh. Natural light is hands down, the best.

Manfriend said it was tasty. I saved myself a piece for tomorrow to test when my tastebuds are hopefully back in order.

On the cold front: It is possible for dogs to get colds. Jonah Bell has been sleeping, whining and laying near me a lot the past few days. I think she caught a case of the doggy cold. And, I should win some award for being able to go through 200 Kleenex's in 24 hrs. I had to return to the store today for another box and zinc/vitamin C lozenges.

P.S. Who says it must be all health food when you're sick? I've been balancing all of this baked goodness with green monsters and healthy dinners (in case you were wondering).

P.P.S. Today was the 5th day in a row I have not run or done some serious cardio. I've stuck to Dave Farmar yoga podcasts, dog walks and a little weight lifting around these parts. I'm getting antsy to get my sweat on.

I'm ready to kick this cold to the curb. Nighty night! Sleep tight!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You would be proud of me.

I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon like this.

Well, this plus sweats and socks and lots of rain outside.

I left work early because that cold I caught this weekend was really catching up to me and my brain just wasn't able to focus on projects w/ a sore throat and stuffy nose. I came home and parked it on the couch and FINISHED A BOOK while downing lots of tea. And then I took a glorious 45 minute nap.

I don't know about you, but when I'm sick, I hit that sickness with everything I can think of: extra vitamin C, Throat Coat tea w/ honey, hot steam, green smoothies, soup, lots of H2O and some rest. The last few years it feels like I've been getting more sick than I used to, which I attribute to never taking a break, getting overly stressed and working out constantly.

Each time my body gets sick, I get nearly knocked out so that I'm forced to do nothing. Over time, I'm finally realizing that this is my body's way of saying "Fine, if you won't sit down and relax every once in a while, I'm going to make you park it for 48 hrs straight."

Today, I'm not feeling much better and the highlight of my day will probably be walking the dog. I might also go through my stack of magazines and work a bit more on my vision board. Here's a few of the things I've ripped out so far.

Okay, well back to the sickie routine...grab kleenex, blow nose, wash hands, drink water, lay on couch and repeat.

And on aProject Food Buzz note: Have you seen these awesome Round #6 entries? I'm loving Angela's hiking bounty and Jenna's retro picnic. I've been so impressed with how much time and energy all of the entries have clearly taken. This challenge is no joke!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Brownies you need to make today

Saturday night, the manfriend started firing off dessert requests per the usual. When he mentioned brownies I thought "Hm, that might just be a challenge I'm up for." I googled, and soon enough, had the perfect simple recipe for me.

Do you know that before Saturday, I'd never baked brownies that weren't straight from the Betty Crocker box? It was definitely time that changed.

What do you need?
Cocoa powder
Baking powder
Sea salt
Powdered sugar

This turned out to be one of the easiest recipes I've made before.

First, melt the butta!

Remove from heat and add the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder and mix. I added a few cracks of sea salt in this step and I could taste it in the brownies. Yuuuum.

And all of a sudden you have gooey chocolate!

Pour into your 8" square pan and bake for 25 min at 350 degrees

Remove from oven and sprinkle snow/powdered sugar on top

Cut into 9 pieces so your significant other doesn't devour the entire pan in one sitting

And this is why I won't be using boxed brownie mix in the future. It was just too easy not to pass up.

Is there a recipe that's always intimidated you OR are you sure that the boxed/packaged/premade version is just easier?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting our run on

I hope you're having a relaxing/exciting/productive fall weekend! I'm feeling a bit of a sore throat coming on and I woke up early to have coffee and visit with my mom, grandma and aunt this morning. It's one of our favorite holiday traditions.

I wanted to show you the cool park my friends Jessica, Lauren (yes, one of my best friends from grade/middle/high school is also named Lauren) and I ran in last weekend. L2 lives in Tacoma, WA just about 40 min south of Seattle so we stayed there on Friday, ran Saturday morning and then headed into Seattle for the football game.

Keep in mind, this was one week post marathon. My first run after the marathon was last Friday and consisted of a short 20 minute run around the neighborhood.

The park was along the water and the site of an old mining plant. It was right next to this Scottish style links golf course that will be host to the 2015 U.S. Open.

There were a few hills here that my legs did not quite agree with. This was not one of them.

The old mine provided lots of cool photo opps!

Pioneer Sand and Gravel - 1946

This hill was no joke. It was prob between .25-.5 mile long but it zig zagged and was super steep.

But once we reached the top, we only had a few minutes of flat trail left before we could stop.

30 minutes and about 3 miles later, we were done.

The hills in this run reminded me that I'd like to incorporate hills into my runs more often. It makes the flats seem sooo much easier.

Earlier this week I read something in the newsletter about taking TWO WEEKS off running after a marathon. Guess who told me I should take two weeks off running post Portland? That's right, the manfriend. But I'm stubborn and my brain wanted to run so badly, even if my body didn't.

How long do you rest after a big race/effort? Do you listen to your body or your brain more often than not? My brain almost always wins the fight. But today, my body wins. It's a rest day. And on that note, I think this sore throat could use a mini DQ Blizzard. Mmmhmmm.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Music Mania

Tuesday night I was driving home from meeting the manfriend and a few other cyclists for dinner at a local bar and grill. I was listening to our local pop station and a few songs came on the air that had me rocking out.

Sometimes, I think "ugh, that stuff is just total trash." And other times the very same song gets me in a peppy mood. There was even a Justin Bieber song that (dare I say) I kind of liked. That's what I call a guilty pleasure.

This one, I had to come home and download.

Miley also has me "bobbing my head like yeah" these days...

And if you haven't heard Javier Colon, a friend passed this on to me. His voice is some kind of amazing. I just wish this song were for sale on itunes.

What's your guilty pleasure song these days? I'm a sucker for a sappy love song or something that I can dance or run to.

Well friends, there's a lot of excitement here in Eugene, OR. Our #1 in the Pac-10 Ducks take on UCLA tonight. It's weird to have a game on a weeknight, but I'm okay with it because our office is closing early and I have tickets!

Ooh, and we found Halloween costumes last night! After going to three second hand stores we found our outfits at Target. Go figure. It's the first time I've been there in months because I've been avoiding it for my wallet's and conscience's sake.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On Being Taken Care of

In the last two weeks post marathon, I've thought a lot about how much support and caring is necessary in the marathon training process.

I'm sure it's not unique to marathon training, but the nature of tackling a huge accomplishment does not come without some care and support. In these past few weeks, I've realized that without my support team (the manfriend, my physical therapist, my mom, Jonah Bell (the dog) and the running friends) the journey would have been a whole heck of a lot harder.

Why? Things are just easier when we have people to lean on, someone to take care of our aches and pains, people asking how we're feeling and how the training is going.

After such a tough and somewhat miserable race, I got emotional thinking about not only how much work I put into the marathon, but how much care I received from others. The manfriend was first and foremost my supporter, which is natural in a relationship.

He cheered me up after crappy runs, reminded me to ice and stretch when things weren't feeling 100% and has been understanding about my hours of relentless running. I'd like to say that my support for him in the bike racing realm is similar. But all the same, he deserves a little pat on the back and home cooked meals for his service. Thank you, manfriend!

It took me a long time to realize I could let people support and care for me and I didn't always have to be the crutch for everyone else to lean on. But I think we become stronger and better people the more we're able to care for and be cared for. Who's your biggest supporter and what's the best thing they've ever done for you?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Working on that to do list...

Last week with some sore legs on a mission to get just a little exercise in, I headed for the hills after work. The manfriend was doing some cyclocross training so I was determined to get out in the wilderness for a while on my own and be friendly with nature.

A lot of times after work I'll go running or just head to a gym or studio for class instead of taking advantage of what's around me.

But on this particular night, forced to be gentle on my body, I knew a sweet little hike would do me juuuust right.

And as you can see, I may also be getting a little photography of the changing leaves around these parts.

The good thing about the hike is that while it provided me with some light exercise, it also reminded me that my glutes and foot were sore and any serious pounding on them (i.e. running) would not be good on my body at that point. I happily obliged and walked the entire 2 miles.

What do you do to help yourself 'stop and smell the roses' so to speak? Getting outdoors has an instant calming effect on me, especially after a long, frustrating day at work. I should do this more often.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Squash it! Sunday

The weekend was fun. It went by too fast of course, but I enjoyed getting outside in Seattle and doing a little tailgating and football watching with friends.

When I got home this afternoon around 3 pm, the butternut squash on our counter was calling my name. You know how it goes. One minute you have a perfectly cute butternut squash and the next, a hideous mess and sore hands and arms.

Does anyone else feel my pain? Those butternuts are ridiculously hard to cut.

Eventually, I had these mangled chunks filling my cookie sheet, added olive oil, salt, pepper, some slices of onion and a few cloves of garlic and into the oven it went.

I didn't have the patience to clean and do anything with these. Into the trash they go.

After baking, peeling, adding vegetable stock, nutmeg and brown sugar and hand mixing, the pot sat on the stove for 30 minutes until goodness appeared. Then a heavy hand of cream gets stirred in and voila!

First you have to smell know, just to check that it's edible.

And it is!

Time to devour!

Joy is one freaking kitchen genius. This recipe is simple, yet amazing. I made this soup last year and I'd be silly not to make it at least once a year, every year. This would be perfect for a holiday dinner party.

Do you have a recipe that you just can't wait to pull out during certain times of the year? You may notice I'm digging right into that to do list of mine. Well, there's no time like the present!

And, a quick note about Halloween

A few years ago, Kristin, Candice and I ran the Portland Run Like Hell Half Marathon right around Halloween and dressed up as bees.

It was a surprisingly fun and easy costume to run in. What you can't see is the stinger tails we had pinned on to our rears that swung back and forth the entire race. ;)

I'm now accepting any fun/easyish halloween costume ideas! I have two parties to go to, but can wear the same thing to both. What are you going to be this year, if anything?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Well hello, Friday, so nice to see you!

Things are busy around these parts. I'm heading north again this weekend to hang out with these lovely ladies this weekend! Another high school group reunion. We'll be in Seattle attending a little football game...

Because many of us live on the west coast, we still get together a few times a year.

I'll be donning orange and black for Oregon State University this weekend even though they are huge rivals to University of Oregon just because I love my friends that much. Plus, OSU is playing UW, not UO! Got it? Okay then...

A few College Fun Facts for Friday:
-I grew up near OSU and went to all their athletic events as a child and then went to the rival school UO just 45 min south
-When I was applying for colleges I was determined to go to school in New York...until I realized that financially that would be QUITE the burden on my parents
-I used to want to be an OSU cheerleader. After all, what 5 yr old girl doesn't want to be?
- I really wanted to go to a small private school

What were your expectations for college? Did you end up where you though you'd be?

This morning I went on my first run since last Sunday! I've been really trying to take it easy around these parts with some light biking, swimming and a little hiking. But today I took the dog out for a 21 min jog and things went fairly well.

The calves are still pretty tight from the slight cramping they did for the last 6 miles of the marathon. And the top of my right foot is still a bit sore, but progress is being made. Okay, lots to do and not much time to do it!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! Good luck to Heather at Dietician on the Run who is running the Rock n Roll Denver Marathon this weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Past, Present or Future?

As I said yesterday (and I sure you other marathoners out there can attest to), there are things I've simply been looking forward to for months now.

With 4-5 nights a week spent focused on running and a few other focused on cross training, there is little time in a marathoner's schedule to just do what she/he wants! Well, now that the race is over, I'm ready to get on to those things and LIFE in general!

So, what have I been dreaming about?

1. A free week night to spend a few hours in the kitchen brewing up butternut squash soup, a pumpkin cheesecake, fluffy rolls and the list could go on

2. Time to do an hour long yoga classes, a bike ride, a muddy trail run where I don't care about distance or time

3. Taking photos of the changing leaves

4. Soaking up Fall because as I've discovered, I do love it so

5. A night with girlfriends at a wine bar

6. Reading a book and finishing it within a month

7. Taking a hike with the manfriend

8. Dreaming about the future (I'm already cutting out a bunch of stuff from magazines for my vision board)

9. Looking at my closet and figuring out what the heck I'm going to wear to work that makes me happy (every day is a challenge, people)

10. The pumpkin patch. Pumpkin beer. Pumkin carving.

What things have you been putting off because of your work/life schedule that you just can't wait to do? I know that being able to do just a few of these things will make me feel much more balanced in general.

On the workout front, I've been doing some light exercise around these parts. Monday I did a little spin on the bike, got a massage and took a walk with the runners. And yesterday, I went to the gym to spin for 20 min, did a little core work and then hopped in the pool for 20 min of easy laps. Pain level in the legs is: ~ 4 (was about a 9 post race).

When I think about all of these things I've simply been waiting to do, I notice that I'm not living in the moment. However, that's part of the marathoner's life. You're running all those miles to get to the end goal...finishing that 26.2. And once you finish that, you get the reward of going back to your regularly scheduled programming.

All the same, I think it's important to notice when we're living in the past, present or future. Would you say you spend most of your time living in the past, present or future? I'd say, I'm usually living in the present, although sometimes living more in the future when I'm not happy with what the present is showing me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Portland Marathon Recap, Part II!

For those of you who wanted the quick and dirty of the race recap last post, sorry about that! I just like telling the pre race story and the race day. Anyway, no worries, I'm not holding back any longer!

Sunday, October, 10, 2010

I woke up at 5 AM ready to go! After hearing the rain coming down, I debated whether or not to wear spandex capris or Nike tempo shorts. I finally settled on the tempo shorts since I'd have to be wearing my Ace wrap to support my hammy.

Breakfast was an english muffin with almond butter and banana. Eventually, it was time to wake the boys up and head out into the rain. Jessica and I made it to our coral with about 15 minutes until GO time.

To warm up the hammy I just did a bit of walking and stretching. The rain was pretty relentless and just kept coming down as the race announcer got us pumped up. Soon enough it was time for me to turn on the Garmin and guess what? The freaking thing would NOT turn on and it was fully charged.

It was one of those moments where I could have really panicked, but decided "you know what? I don't need the damn thing anyway. I'll just try to stay with the 3:40 pacer and do what I can." Needless to say, I was still frustrated. A few minutes later, we were hearded to the start line and hit the road running.

While the rain wasn't the ideal weather for a marathon, the temps weren't bad hovering in the low 60s. Around mile 4 I threw off my long sleeve and hat to my mom. I was totally impressed with the crowd support for this race. The city just comes out to cheer everyone on, which is so helpful.

Look how soaking wet and miserable I already look just a handful of miles into the race!

I was feeling pretty strong through mile 11 or so. I was running right next to the Red Lizard 3:40 pacer feeling great. Around mile 13 or so the pace, my leg and the weather started wearing on me. By mile 16 on this flat road headed out to the big hill at St. John's Bridge, I was feeling it, but still sticking with the 3:40 pace group.

As we headed over the bridge, I began really feeling like these legs weren't going to be able to hold my Boston Qualifier pace for the next 10 miles. I made the decision to be okay with what my body could do that day. I just kept pushing as I could, but fell off the 3:40 pace.

As usual, the 20 mile marker is when the body truly started revolting against the challenge I was putting it through. I hardly looked at the crowd, even though I knew my brother and his girlfriend would be near. From miles 20-24 I probably walked six or so times to give my body and feet a break.

From 24 on, I decided I would not walk, no matter what. At mile 25, a spectator yelled "You guys are awesome! You just ran 25 miles!" It was one of those 'holy crap! that is crazy' moments for me.

As I rounded the corner into the finish I saw the manfriend, my brother and the crowd and got pretty emotional.

I clocked in at 3:50:34 and couldn't have been happier to be done with that race. After grabbing a bunch of snacks in the finish line, I waddled out to find my support crew. The rain and the temps quickly cooled my body down and we high tailed/waddled it out of there because I was shaking and not making much sense.

My thoughts? Today was not my Boston Qualifier, I did not PR, but considering everything, I ran a pretty damn good race. Will I do another one? It's too early to tell. For now, FIVE is enough.

Post Race:
I showered, gingerly foam rolled and warmed up with hot cocoa. I also polished off several handfuls of Kettle Chips and various snacks.

Before heading home, we stopped at the nearby Lululemon because I've been dying to go. I picked myself up some spendy little spandex. As the manfriend said, "I could see you doing some serious damage in that store." He knows me too well. I bought the classic wunder under crops and the reverse groove shorts.

When we got home, we stopped by the store and picked up the first beer I've had in the last three weeks.

It was truly glorious!

Whew! If you made it through that marathon of a post, you're a rockstar! Thanks for all the encouragement along the way. I truly appreciate everyone's comments.

And although the marathon is over, I have some good posts sitting in the depths of my brain so stay tuned. I'll be back with the things I've been looking forward to for the past 3-4 months, now that this marathon is over.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Portland Marathon, here we come!

But first, a little cross race (cyclocross) for the manfriend!

Saturday, we headed north to one of our favorite cyclocross locations, Heiser Farms where the rain was coming down.

The family who owns the farm has so many great activities for kids to do. They even have this maze for the kids to go through, a mini functional railway and a pumpkin launcher!

The manfriend quickly went from clean...
to extremely dirty in a matter of 45 min flat. There was mud caked up and down his body and clumped on to every inch of his bike.

There was a looong line for the hose post race.

After changing and drying off, we continued north to Portland. My friend Jess, whom I ran with for the last 6 miles of the Portland Marathon LAST year and ran the Helvetia Half this past summer, was kind enough to let manfriend, myself and Jonah (the dog) stay at their house for the marathon.

And, she was running it again this year so it was very handy.

After getting settled, the manfriend and I met Amber and Lisa downtown for the expo and then dinner. It was so fun to actually meet them in person and talk face to face!

First, we headed down to pick up our bibs! The excitement/nervousness was starting to set in.

Portland is great because you get all these little goodies, like a complimentary marathon poster and an extra shirt!

After walking around and checking out EVERY row of the expo (I looove race expos), we were a bit tired and hot from standing and walking around so long in a hot, stuffy ballroom. We headed for Starbucks for bottled water and a good chat.

For dinner, I made reservations for us at a cute little Italian place, Iorio that had a few gluten free options for Lisa. It ended being a great choice to a bigger chain restaurant. Aren't they so cute?

I didn't even notice, but the manfriend and I were color coordinated.

I chose the wild mushroom and pepperoni pizza. It was okay, but a bit greasy for my liking. My salad and our appetizer cheese platter made up for it though!

Happily carbo loaded, we headed out. The manfriend and I headed back the house and chatted with Jess and her husband for a bit and went to bed around 9:30.

How'd the marathon go? How much did it rain? You'll just have to check back for Part II! AKA I'm digging up photos and this post is far too long already. Happy Monday!