Monday, January 31, 2011

My new drink of choice

During these past few long runs (some of which I've run with my friend Michelle), I've found a new favorite sports drink. Long mileage on the trails means my hand held water bottle and shot bloks are a must.

I bought these coconut waters last summer to see what all the fuss was about (a lot of bloggers seemed to be trying the stuff). But for some reason, I never tried them during my marathon training.

The nutritional stats: look at that potassium - no cramping here!

Don't get me wrong, these babies are a bit spendy ($2.49 for the big one, $1.69 for the small), but seeing as how I only use them for my long runs once a week and I do half water, half coconut water, it's not too bad. If you find some on sale at your local grocery, pick one up. The pineapple and pink guava are delish!

And in case you noticed the sunshine peaking through these photos, we Oregonians have been experiencing some GLORIOUS weather. Like high 40s to 50s with no showers in sight.

It made for a pleasant 13+ mile run yesterday morning.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can you hear the whir?

Look what showed up yesterday!

I was shocked to receive such a generous and fun gift from my parents for Christmas, but I had always dreamed of the aqua color so I exchanged the black one I got for this. You better believe I'm going to be seeking out recipes that involve lots of kneading and mixing.

Now excuse me, I have some baking to do.

P.S. Feel free to send me any links of recipes you love that involve a mixer. There's a whole new world of baking on my horizons.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just fit it in

Often times, things come up on random nights of the week that sound fun, but honestly, they get in the way of my workout. I know. Seriously, it's annoying. Yeah, this is part of dealing with my perfectionist tendancies.

But today, I dealt with it and moved my workout. Often times, I'm determined to put me first (have you heard about the movement?) rather than attend said museum opening, wine tasting or community event that I WANT TO ATTEND. For some reason, my workout always seems #1.

Ultimately, I know that a balance in all life's activities is important, but for some reason, I can't shake the idea of missing a workout (and I've yet to become an early riser).

Alas, the stars were aligned because when I popped out at lunch for my midday speed workout and some time on the bark trail, the sun was out and the temps were near 60! Seriously, it felt like a heat wave. I busted out a 1 mile warm up, some running drills the coaches make us do, 3x1 mile @ tempo (just under 8 min/mile) with the last 400 meters of each mile run super hard and 2 min walk break in between the miles and finally, a cool down 1.5 miles. It was glorious.

After work, I headed to my mentor appreciation social and realized it was totally worth moving around my plans. I networked and had some really meaningful conversations with a few people that made the hassle all worth it.

Who else is stubborn like me? Sometimes I feel like the earth is going to start convusling if I take more than one rest day per week. Yeah, I might have control issues.

Okay, time for bed. I need to get up early to get a little sweat on before a long day of meetings tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good eats this week

Truth is, someday I'd like to be one of those people who plans their meals each week. But for now, we just fly by the seat of our pants and buy a lot of the staple ingredients over and over again. Some weeks it's spaghetti, breakfast for dinner and grilled sandwiches.

And other days, some creative, tasty and quick meals come out of this kitchen.

Pumped up Mac n Cheese

Mixed in and baked: broccoli, green pepper, mushroom, carmelized onions and tomater. Any combo you like works.

I was excited to find this reduced sodium Annie's mac at the grocery store last weekend.

Tonight, after Lifeforce Fit, our stomachs were growling, but we needed to pick up some food for both the dog and ourselves. We swung by the fish market to pick up the star of our dinner - fresh halibut and a crab cake!

Halibut Tacos

Fish tacos are ridiculously quick to make because the fish can be cooked in a pan on the stove with a little olive oil, lemon, onion, salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes on each side over medium heat. While it's cooking you simply prepare your other toppings (cheese, avacado, tomato, beans, veggies, etc) and bam! Mine was eaten without the tortilla because the taco insides were just too good to be masked.

Some of our KEY grocery staples include:
beans (black, pinto, kidney)
bell peppers
whole wheat noodles

With these items on hand, it seems there's never the excuse that we don't have ANYTHING to make for dinner. Therefore, when we have weaknesses and kinda want to go out for dinner, it's easier to think of easy things we can whip up for super cheap at home. What are your grocery staples?

What's your favorite 20 min or less prep dinner?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Inspiration Board 2011

Thanks to Gina, I felt inspired to create an Inspiration Board for 2011. I've decided that while resolutions can be great, goals are better for me.

Sometimes it feels like if you don't follow through with all your resolutions that the year was a failure. However, if I have goals and an inspiration board to push me toward those goals, any progress toward those goals will be sucess to me.

And because I'm such a visual person and kinda crafty, I knew this would be a fun project at minimum.

The left side has Carrie Underwood because I really appreciate her positive outlook and envy that pair of legs. Something to aspire to. ;) A few other things I wrote were: to breathe, stretch and relax (life does not have to be so serious); perfection; and a working woredrobe (bc I need to start buying clothes I really need rather than multiples of the same thing).

The center is all about me not letting my fears getting in the way of what I want in life. The jewel tones simply make me happy.

The right side includes a reminder to focus on what my body tells me (stretch, skip a workout if needed, push it when I feel strong). It also includes a few reminders about saving some serious $$ because I need to get back into that habit. And then a nice table setting to remind me to continue truly enjoying making and eating yummy foods.

While this doesn't cover all of my goals for the year, I think this should be a good place to start and hopefully inspire growth and change in 2011. Overall, I want this year to be about stepping out of my comfort zone while staying relaxed. Life is too short to be spent stressed, serious and afraid.

One thing our Lifeforce Fit instructor often says near the end of class has really stuck with me: don't let anyone or anything get in the way of your dreams.

Do you have a theme for the year? Has anyone else created an inspiration board? I plan to hang mine next to my closet so I can glance at it when I'm getting ready in the morning.

Also, is anyone else watching The Bachelor this season? It seems like, more than ever, these women are getting seriously intense and Brad (the bachelor) is able to handle it all with ease. I'm definitely sucked in.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Helmet Hair

Saturday I wanted to get in a serious workout, but nothing that would thrash my legs. After all, I had a long run on the books for this morning.

The manfriend was headed out for 60 miles with his cycling cronies so I decided to hop on ole purple (mountain bike circa 1995?) and get a nice cross training workout in. The mf recently put fenders on this bike so I can ride in the rain without getting a lovely line of water and road gunk up my rear. The fenders worked like a charm.

I got out a bit early to checkout the REI scratch and dent sale (outdoor gear that has been used on major sale) and still had time to kill before the gym opened. I rode an extra few miles on the bike path along the river (which is crazy high right now) and then made my way to the gym.

Sexy Windy bike hair. Not quite long enough for a real ponytail.

This is what nerdy mountain bike commuting looks like.

At the gym I opted for 20 minutes on the elliptical (alternating hard and easier efforts 4 min: 1 min). Then I dug out the swimsuit (which hasn't seen the pool for maybe 6 months) and spent 25 minutes doing laps.

Someday I'll swim a mile, but yesterday I did 1,000 yards (20 laps, 40 pool lengths). I like swimming, but I don't love it. Perhaps because I'm so slow?

I showered and scarfed down my banana before pedaling on home. All in all, 14 miles cycled, 1,000 yards swam and 20 min ellipticalled. Not bad! While I was tired, it didn't make any of my muscles or joints scream like a tough weight session or run would have.

Oh and Amos Lee was fabulous. We were both so impressed by his voice and his writing abilities. It was cool to hear the unique stories of how each song was written.

After our late night, I even managed to wake up early this morning to get my run on. I guess a little planning and setting the alarm go a long way! Another 10 miler on the books. It feels good to be running these longer distances.

And with that, it's time to cook up some chicken enchiladas! Check back for a post on my inspiration board -- I finally finished it! Where oh where has the weekend gone?

Friday, January 21, 2011

One wrong ingredient

I bought this almond butter on sale at the grocery store because it was on sale for $3.99 and I was out of almond butter. Well, there's a reason this stuff was on sale. Yuck.

After one bite of it, I really should have tossed the whole jar. It was quite the disappointment.

Don't get me wrong, Blue Diamond hits the nail on the head on a lot of products like their Lime n Chili roasted almonds. Holy yum! But almond butter with honey, they just don't have it down yet.

Anywho, last night I attempted to make some homemade energy bars and the whole flavor is off because of the almond butter. I really should have used peanut butter like the recipe said anyway, but I'm a rebel like that.

Wrong ingredient aside, I still had fun putting these together. Just wished they had turned out a little better.

Lesson learned. Follow instructions and use ingredients you know and love! Trader Joe's, here I come.

Oh and the only weird thing on the Blue Diamond almond butter ingredient list was corn maltodextrin. Find out more about that here. I wonder if that's the reason the taste was just totally off or perhaps a bad batch of almonds?

I hope everyone is having a great Friday! Isn't it such a relief when Friday hits (or whenever your Fri is if you're not a m-f worker bee)?? I just bought tickets for the manfriend and I too see Amos Lee on Saturday night. It's been far too long since I've seen live music.

What fun thing are you looking forward to this weekend? What are you not so much looking forward to?

I'm looking forward to the concert (obviously) and a long run.

Not looking forward to vacuuming up the dog hair around our house, the rain and the weekend's end. ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

All is Forgiven

Someone stole ate the last 3/4 of my pint of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream last weekend. Granted, he was a little sick and stayed in bed most of the weekend, but I take ice cream stealing as a serious offense. It was all I could think about on my drive home from the coast so naturally, I was a bit disappointed to find no trace of this fatty frozen goodness in our freezer.

As a result, that someone felt obligated to replace it tonight as well as throw in a few of these baby sorbets to boot. All is now forgiven. :)

But seriously, you've gotta try this stuff. Putting down the spoon is no easy feat...until you realize each serving is oh, 360 calories and a mere 40% fat. Happy eating, er running your ass off!

And on that note, I did 30 burpees, 200 sit ups, 100 push ups and more last night at Lifeforce Fit. I think I need another set of burpees to earn some ice cream points.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Did you know?

Did you know that young women are delaying childbirth now more than ever?

While the economy definitely has something to do with it, women are finding that delaying pregnancy and finishing our educations results in higher wages over the long haul. And ultimately, more power when they return to work.

In 2010, births to ...
teens declined 6%
20-24 declined 7%
25-29 declined 4%
30-34 declined 2%
35-39 declined 1 %
40-44 rose 3% for the second yr in a row

I guess this struck me in a moment when I'm noticing so many women my age settling down, buying homes and starting their families. I often find myself questioning, 'should I be doing that?', 'don't I want that now?' and 'how much longer will my proverbial clock be ticking?'

I'm not one to say either way (motherhood or career woman first) is right or wrong, but I guess I find myself stuck smack dab in the middle of that crowd. Do you jump into a new career path right when you might want to settle down? Can you wait until after you begin motherhood to jump feet first into a new endeavor? Or can you do it all at once? (all rhetorical questions)

You can read the entire article by Elizabeth Gregory here at the Los Angeles Times.

Oh what you learn when you actually pick up a newspaper and read it. While I browse online news stories here and there, I find myself just rushing to get on to the next thing and am unlikely to really read an entire article. Does anyone else feel the same way? How do you consume most of your news?

I rely on the occasional online story or the television (local news, Today Show, NBC Nightly News) to get my fix, but there's often more time devoted to browsing or watching for pure entertainment purposes.

Hope your Tuesday was fabulous! It's nice to have a four day week this week. My head is still in a semi-fog of exhaustion.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Life's a Beach

While this weekend was a wee bit more tame this year than last, it was relaxing and a lot of fun. We're getting lame sensible in our old age so there wasn't a ton of imbibing or crazy talks this year. I guess you could say the whole growing up, finding a relationship and settling down thing happened to our group almost at once.

Either way, it was nice to reconnect and spend a lazy weekend on the beach. The weather was pretty stormy and the rain was coming down so we didn't do a ton outdoors, but I still managed to fit in a run both Saturday and Sunday as well as a little Dave Farmar podcast yoga and some strength training!

We got to the beach house Friday around 5 pm and spent the next 3 days catching up, eating a lot (I'm not sure if I was ever really hungry this weekend-oops!), watching movies and football, playing games (Apples to Apples and Balderdash) and reading. The book exchange was definitely a success. I came home with several new reads.

I got home this afternoon to the manfriend still trying to recover. I'm sure he's happy to have me back bossing him around and forcing him to eat meals, take a walk, drink water, etc. :)

Somehow, I didn't manage to bring many snacks with me this weekend and found myself craving sweets every night. I guess that's what happens when you are always used to having some form of sugar sitting around. Alas, I finally fulfilled the craving by making two loaves of banana bread straight from Betty Crocker's cookbook. There may be nothing better than a steaming slice of banana bread.

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Patient

Thank you so much for all your well wishes! The manfriend is doing much better and we are both SO happy to be home from the hospital.

While it's nice to be waited on hand and foot, the sleep isn't very comfortable or restful and the food isn't great either. He was probably interrupted every 30-60 minutes between all the pain/nausea/antibiotics medication they were giving him and all the tests they ran (cat scan, spinal tap, MRI, EEG, etc.).

He will be resting a lot this weekend, while I'll be catching up with my high school girlfriends at the beach. Because his scare turned out to be nothing major, we decided it would be fine for me to keep my plans for the weekend. But I'll definitely be checking in on my patient.

Thanks again! Know that we both appreciate all your positive thoughts and comments.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Life's Scary Stuff

Truth #1: The manfriend would not want me to write an entire post about this.

Truth #2: This experience scared me so much, I had to share. It was one of those "holy s&%$, why is this happening?" moments.

Last night, we got back from Lifeforce Fit. The manfriend had mentioned having a tingling/numb feeling in his right arm after class. When we got home he said he was going to puke and laid on the bedroom floor. He didn't puke.

It wasn't until we sat down for dinner that things got a little scary. I asked him a question and he couldn't really give me an answer. He just said a few words. I thought he just didn't want to know, he was annoyed that the gf was asking all these questions when he just wanted to relax and eat dinner.

Then he said something else that made me turn off the tv. He asked "where do I work?" I was like "you're joking, right?" He wasn't joking. For the life of him, he couldn't remember his boss, the company he works for, the dog's name, several of our friends' names. It even took him a minute to think of my name.

This is where it got really scary and tears started streaming down my face. I immediately grabbed the computer to look up stroke symptoms and my phone to start calling friends in the medical field. And then I called my parents. I demanded the manfriend put on some shoes and a coat because we were going to the hospital. He didn't want to go and he didn't want me calling friends to ask questions.

As I drove to the hospital, it was kind of this surreal moment in my head where I'm thinking "this cannot be happening. why? what if he never remembers this stuff? please don't be anything serious. should I drive the speed limit or SPEED to get there faster?" Ugh, it was terrifying. All the while, he is trying to relay facts to me that he does remember and I was trying to hold back tears.

It's safe to say, this is the last scenerio I imagined for a usually calm Wednesday night. At 9 pm we were checking into the ER with a friend there for support (thanks, Jimbo!) and my parents were on their way.

As he tried to relay what had happened to the ER nurse, the manfriend had difficulty even making a sentence. And when he did, it sounded like complete gibberish. He was getting frustrated with himself and it was really hard to watch. Eventually, he was seen by a doc and had a cat scan, which came back negative. He was also seen by a neurologist and got a spinal tap.

A while later, we were moved into a more comfortable room where he could be all hooked up getting his pain meds, nausea medication, IV, etc. Docs are saying it could be just a terrible migraine, but they aren't ruling out other possibilities, which is why we're still at the hospital waiting for various test results.

This morning (although I have a hard time distinguishing last night from this morn bc they mushed into one), the manfriend was able to speak in complete sentences and had his memory back. Whew!

*The neurologist just came in to tell us that she looked at all the test results, which were normal and it was a severe migraine. Crazy! I'm so glad it wasn't anything serious though.

Moral of the story is: when you think something is wrong, act on it. Don't wait! If this had been a stroke or something else severe, waiting could have meant a different outcome. I'm so glad we took ourselves to the experts and got it figured out.

Okay, I need some sleep. This chica is running on 2 hrs of interrupted sleep. Oh and with every towel we use, IV bag drained and nurse who shows up to take his vitals, I just imagine stacks of money flying off into space. Can't wait to see the bill!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just Sweat it Off!

The last week or so I've been feeling like a few extra lbs might be trying to creep their way back onto my love handles. And you know what? I'm not having it!

I realized I've let my nutrition slide a bit by having a drink or two a few nights a week, a few extra sweets here and there, having a snack when I'm not hungry, etc. So today, I nipped it in the butt. I got back on track with a beefed up salad and english muffin for lunch.

And those short morning workouts? They matter!

Even fitting in 15 minutes of weights, yoga, or running into my morning can make a big difference not only in my mood, but my waistline.

While I don't prefer cramming my workouts into short segments here and there throughout the day, sometimes that's what works for my schedule. I'm sure some of you feel the same way. Yes, it would be nice to hit the gym for 90 minutes, but some days you just can't find the time!

The past two mornings I took the dog on a short run (rather than a walk) just to get the heart pumping. I also shoved myself out of the office at lunch to run some trails and I'm so glad I did. However, I may change my mind about that after boot camp tonight. ;)

It's my first day back to Lifeforce Fit since, uh...early December. Wish me luck.

Some fabulous related blog posts from other bloggers:
Amber on those last 10 lbs (that don't really matter as much as we may think)
Emily on Calorie Counting (you must read all the amazing comments)
Angela's entire road to health series of posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cranky Pants and Born to Run

Sunday morning, I found myself stressing about a lot of things, mostly money related that we'll have to figure out somehow to afford in the future. On top of that, I made some oatmeal and blogged, getting a late start on my trail run plans.

Every Sunday, the running group meets for a 9am run and then coffee afterward. The group runs the same flat river path or bark trail. I was hoping however, to head to the hills for a hard run and then meet them afterward.

By 9:15 am I was JUST getting dressed so I knew I couldn't follow my plans. The money frustrations and being late, made me pretty upset. I considered meeting up with the group for coffee and then doing my run.

But pushing back my run made me cranky and I was already cranky enough so I knew I wouldn't be a chipper coffee guest. The reason I share all of this is because I know it's helpful for me to get others' perspectives on how they handle certain situations. I hope my story can help others in some way.

This is one where I really fought with myself to make 'the right choice.' The perfectionist in me just couldn't shake that I wasn't able to do EVERYTHING I wanted to that morning, in the order I wanted. Ultimately, I chose to to go on my run, shake off the bad vibes and move on with my day.

It was a hard decision because while I know I need my friends (who are mostly all part of the running group) and to be social, I needed that run more.

During the run, I tried to repeat to myself that I don't have to be perfect and in fact, shouldn't be. I shook off the bad vibes and kicked my own butt with 9 miles of hilly trail. And then, I rewarded myself with an amazingly creamy Americano at a cute little coffee shop, Vero and finally FINISHED Born to Run!

One of my many goals for 2011 is to not dwell on always making the perfect decision, but just enjoy where I am in that moment. I think this was one small lesson in me realizing I need to buck up and understand that I can't do it all and that's okay. In fact, maybe focusing on fewer big things will be more rewarding for me??

My thoughts on Born to Run: When I started this book say 3-4 months ago, I started running more on my forefoot than ever before because it made sense. After all, my current stride clearly wasn't perfect (hello injuries). Running on my forefoot more has been a nice change and my calves have definitely noticed the difference. No problems so far.

I thought it was cool to read about people who were able to run with barely no support because their feet were so strong. It all made sense how Vibrams became so popular - and yes, I'd like to try a pair, but not as my main running shoe.

The ultra running portion of the book was really cool. I loved hearing the history of the Tarahumara people and some of the famous ultras (Badwater 100) and the runners who have dominated those races. All in all, I'd highly recommend this interesting, easy read. And I like the fact that you don't have to be a runner to enjoy it because a lot of it is about the relationships between a group of these runners who come together ultimately for this 50 mile race in Mexico's Copper Canyon.

Have you read any page turners lately? My girlfriends and I are going to do a book exchange this weekend in Cannon Beach so I can find some more books to sit on my bookshelves. ;) Have you successfully dealt your way out of a funk recently?

*And in case you missed it, the Ducks lost to Auburn 22-19. The last 5 minutes of the game were pretty exciting, but otherwise it was kind of lack luster. I'm still completely satisfied with the season. It's not often your team gets to the National Championship. Go Ducks!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Aunt Linda's Coffee Cake

Yesterday, I met up with my family for a belated birthday lunch. One of the things I missed about being away from home for Christmas was my aunt's coffee cake (in addition to seeing my family). Christmas morning we usually have a big brunch at my grandparents' house before opening presents.

I thought you guys might enjoy the recipe.

If you like nuts, the topping of this coffee cake is your heaven. Well, that and the brown sugar. ;)

Favorite Coffee Cake
*adapted from Betty Crocker 1972

Use 8 or 9 inch square or rectangular pan

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

brown sugar
nuts (hazlenuts, pecans, almonds, etc)

Heat oven to 350 or 375*
Blend all ingredients and beat vigorously
Spread 1/2 in pan
Sprinkle on some of your filling/topping
Spread the rest of batter in pan
Add topping (if used, pat in the nuts so they stick)

*Bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick 1/2 way in is done. Check at 20 min just to be sure. Temp and time may vary based on your oven and the pan size.

Serve warm w/ coffee, tea or milk. Yum.

I also got a Silpat baking mat that I had on my Christmas list from my mom! I can't wait to try it out. It's supposed to be like reusable parchment paper or cooking spray and Jenna swears by them.

Has anyone else used a Silpat baking mat? Happy baking and happy Sunday! I'm itching to get back out on the trails so I may go find myself some mud to run in. We'll see.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Shout Out!

Guess who's going to kick some Auburn Tiger bum on Monday??


Sorry I've been MIA the past few days. I'm still recovering over here!

I did however run this morning for the first time since Monday! Cold, but fun and not too painful. I'm feeling about 90%...slowly, but surely I will be back to normal.

I just had to pop in and give a little shout out for my alma mater. This season I was a bit quieter about our football team, but when you're so immersed in it, it doesn't feel like such a big deal. I almost forgot we went to two home games, one of which ESPN GameDay was broadcasting from.

Anywho, I guess #2 in the nation is kind of a big deal. ;) Anyone and everyone I know who is a Duck is flying off to Glendale, AZ to watch the National Championship on Monday. You know who to root for if you happen to watch!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When sick: enlist all measures

I'm still not sure that any of these is curing the crappy cold and congestion I have going on, but I'll continue to pull out all my tricks until I'm told otherwise.


drank water
drank coffee and then tea (w/ honey)
rested (didn't even open an eyelid when the manfriend hustled off to work)
did some work from home
stayed in my pj's until 2 pm
whipped up some spicy soup (hey, maybe I'll scare the sickness away)
drank another gallon of water
spun on the trainer (hell, if I can't run, I'll try sweating it out indoors)
cleaned the bathroom
walked the dog
cooked up southwest pumpkin veggie burgers
contemplated making cookies (but we don't have brown sugar - thank god)
contemplated going to bed at 8:30 pm

I wish sick days could be more about laying on the couch watching your favorite movies and drifting of to sleep (the sleep I really need). But for some reason, I can't keep my butt parked in place when I see STUFF to do. Crossing my fingers I'll wake up tomorrow feeling 100%.

*In case you read via feed reader, I finally added an "About" page. Hey, it only took 3 years! ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You're a keeper

Two years ago today, the manfriend and I had our first date.

He told me it felt like a job interview.

I was pretty sure that was a bad thing.

Turns out, he kissed me and asked when we could meet again.

I said next week. He said how about Tuesday?

Happy anniversary, manfriend! I love you, spandex and all.

You've brought so much laughter and happiness to my life.

On how the manfriend and I met

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another year older

My birthday comes on the tail end of the holiday celebrations. Although I do love that my day is 1/2, I don't usually feel up to much hoopla (and frankly, neither does anyone else). I should have just changed my birthday a long time ago to June or something. Oh well.

Someday, I'll plan a big trip or party, but this year it was pretty low key.

After a few handfuls of Cracklin' Oat Bran (how amazing is that stuff?) and some Oregon Chai, I took the pup for a walk in the 25 degree temps.

I also opened up my one wrap gift I had saved from my brother's girlfriend. I love pretty packages.

And cute notecards I can use. Do you still send hand written notes? I still enjoy it and occasionally write friends I don't see often or my grandma during the summer when she's at their cabin.

The manfriend offered to make breakfast. We had scrambled eggs and toast. I had plans to meet Michelle (a friend from college, a cyclist and a semi-newbie to running) for a long run so a good breakfast was in order.

By the time we met at 10am, it was a balmy 28 degrees. Michelle is training for the Hagg Lake 25K trail race, which is said to be muddy and hilly.

My legs were a bit sore, but I hoped to survive 8 or 9 miles of her 11 mile run. We did about 5 miles of trail and flats before heading up the hills to seriously kick our asses. If the distance alone wasn't enough (probably my longest run since the marathon in October), the hills nearly killed me. Every time I run hills, and especially when I haven't run them often, I'm humbled by their power and my weakness.

Alas, we finished our run while she finished up her last few miles and I headed back to my car. 10 miles under my belt on my birthday in 1h 28 min (8:49 pace). A little sore, but not bad considering.

I also realized this rounded out my week of running to 30 miles, a high mileage week these days. Alas, that also means there wasn't much cross training, but I'll get back to that soon enough. Foam rolling and stretching was a must.

I refueled with a green smoothie and an umbrella for festiveness.

The manfriend and I ran some errands together and then came back to the couch where I enjoyed some Oakshire Espresso Stout

We made dinner at home and then went to TCBY for a little dessert and brought it home to watch The Game. Freaky movie! Has anyone else seen it? I kept saying "I don't like this!" but then didn't really want to turn it off.

As you can see, the most important part of the day was food and exercise. Would you expect anything less? I have a feeling 28's going to be a great year because I'm intent on making it so.

Saturday, January 1, 2011



Yesterday was the perfect last day of 2010. We headed out early into the cold temps to hike/run up Spencer's Butte and get a bird's eye view of Eugene and the entire Willamette Valley.

This also happens to be the location of one of the manfriend and I's first dates. We did a night hike with lots of layers and head lamps. It was a lot of fun and a little romantic looking down at the city lights below on the top of this peak.

After our 4+ mile run/hike, we showered and made up for all those burnt calories by eating a cinnamon roll (each) and a piece of coconut cream pie and doing a little beer tasting at the local brewery. Well, perhaps those resolutions for 2011 should include something about developing a new relationship with sugar, eh?

Our NYE plans were pretty low key. The intention was to go out for dinner and drinks with the manfriend and then come home to watch the ball drop with Carson Daly. However, after lots of good food (local gouda fondue and a great salad) and a few drinks, I was out.

I was determined to see the ball drop, but after falling asleep on the couch a few times, the manfriend asked "now why do you want to see the ball drop so bad?" I was incoherently tired and stumbled off to bed. So much for even counting down to midnight.

I hope everyone's New Year's Eve was just what you had hoped! Can't believe it's now 2011. 2010 seriously flew by faster than any year I can remember. Does that continue to happen year after year? I sure hope not. I plan to savour all the exciting moments of the year to come.