Friday, June 29, 2012

Road Trippin' to Sunshine

Growing up, road trips meant EARLY mornings (leaving the house by 6 am), breakfast at McDonalds (I can still remember eating pancakes from a styrofoam tray) and napping.

This time, it meant leaving town around 10 am after dropping off the dog AND stopping for egg and cheese mcmuffins before departing Eugene. 

No less than an hour later, the manfriend said he was hungry again. 

Bathroom and ice cream pit stop and back on the road. 

A few hrs later, we spotted a mountain in the distance. 

Mt. Shasta! 

Road trips are a wee less entertaining without a radio, fyi. And smartphones don't have the greatest speakers. Luckily, each of us switched driving about every 150 miles so time seemed to fly by!

We made it to Audrey and Andrew's house in Monterey, CA about 10 pm. After a little chat, we passed out. 

About 8 am, I woke up, made some tea and snuck outside to sit in the sun. 

A few hours later, Andrew took us to breakfast in Carmel (home of Pebble Beach golf course). Hello, birthday boy!

Cruising past Carmel (Audrey and Andrew got married at the beach in Carmel two years ago)

Seeing several cute beach cottages and homes

Who wants to live on the cliff when a earthquake or tsunami rolls through CA? Not me!

I forgot to bring my USB cord for my camera so these are all my phone pics. 

After a walk with the dog and a birthday beer on a patio along the Monterey wharf, we came back to the house to make pizza and watch the Olympic Trials.

What ensued was me screaming at the tv for the last few laps of the women's 5K. 

Heart is breaking for Julia tonight. Made a gutsy, but strong move with about three laps to go. It almost panned out for her, but with four one hundredths of a second, it didn't. Watch the interview here.

Alas, I'm so proud of both Julia Lucas and Lauren Fleshman. Now I'm sure they're just wondering "what next?"

This morning I headed out the door about 7 am for a run along the ocean. So peaceful to run along the water with a little breeze blowing. Knocked out 9 miles.

Now it's time to head north for Kyle and Sabrina's wedding! Rehearsal and dinner tonight!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cake Flop

Guess what? Today is the manfriend's 35th birthday!

Because we're probably somewhere on our road trip to my brother's wedding near San Francisco, I wanted to make the birthday boy his favorite cake early. 

So Sunday night, I busted out this special box of yellow cake mix I'd had in the cupboard for a while. This guy loves his yellow cake with chocolate frosting (because it reminds him of his childhood) so I always try to have a box on hand. 

Luckily, he's not too picky about how it looks as long as it tastes good!

As you can see, this was a total cake FLOP. For some reason, I opted to bake two round layers and didn't give them time to cool so when I tried to do the fliparoo, they pretty much crumbled.

OH, and I only had one egg left in the fridge (it called for 3) so I improvised and made two "flax eggs." Thank goodness for our Costco size bag of flax mix. It saves me time and time again!

Then I made cocoa buttercream frosting with not quite enough powdered sugar, but Pete thought it still tasted good. As you can see, we pretty much devoured half the cake right away so it couldn't have been THAT bad. 

Happy Birthday, old manfriend! I love you and can't wait to see what the future has in store for us.

Cheers to 35 years! 

What's your favorite kind of cake? I love chocolate with a raspberry or choc filling or white cake with lemon poppyseed. Ooh and anything with coconut flakes on top is a winner too!

Bah hahaha - the cake I made him for his 33rd bday was muuuch better looking that this one. Next time...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Good News!

All of our friends from the Oregon Track Club Elite made it to the finals in their respective races!

Monday, I left work around 4:30 pm, changed into my rain gear and jeans and raced over to the track to see the first track event, the women's steeplechase. 

Bridget Franek in green (OTC Elite/Nike) looked calm and comfortable the entire race and finished first in her heat, second overall with a 9:44 in the 3000m steeple. 

We had awesome seats, thanks to my friend Jimbo who is in town covering the meet and doing his typical Track Geek thing. You can bet those athletes heard me screaming!

Alysia Montano sure showed everyone how bad she wanted that win. About 200m into her 800m race, she took off like a bullet and kept the lead through the finish!

Julia Lucas is one of our two main Thurs night speed coaches. The other is her husband Ian Dobson who also ran in the men's 5K Monday night and moved on to the finals based on time with a 13:49. 

Most of the race, Julia stayed at the back of the pack, but as the laps ticked down to a mile to go, she started moving up, much to my relief. She finished 3rd in her heat and overall with 15:42.

This is truly her season.

Next up, was heat 1 with Lauren Fleshman. Let me tell you, when you know these people's stories and you talk to them in person, you can't help but feel completely connected to their joys and disappointments.

Fleshman is one of those runners with a good story, some heart breaking let downs and an epic comeback. She qualified for the finals by just a hair (after running only 10 miles per week the last several months), coming in 6th in her heat and digging with everything she had to make it.

This girl is a fighter, no doubt. Finished in 15:51.

As Fleshman crossed the finish line, there was a serious wave of relief on our entire side of the grandstands.

I felt like a proud mother dropping off her kid at kindergarten or something. It was just so freaking awesome to see these athletes do well and keep on excelling toward their dreams (despite that I have no effect on that). 

Dinner for these hungry track fans was Little Big Burger. I had a local vegetarian patty, while the manfriend had a meat version. They're just slightly bigger than slider size and $3.75. We also shared truffle oil fries - definitely tasty compared to a normal fry.

On our drive home, we were treated to this epic view. 

Now that we got everyone we wanted qualified, it's just a few nerve racking days until the finals. I'll definitely be checking twitter for updates in the midst of wedding excitement for Kyle and Sabrina. 

Here's hoping I packed everything I need/want for this weekend! You know how I feel about packing...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blur of a Weekend

But then again, aren't they all?

Greetings from the MIA! Things are busy around here. In case you haven't heard, the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials are in town.

What does that mean? Friday it meant work, work, work and then watch track and hang out with thousands of track fans all evening long in the pouring rain.

Despite the rain, it was still pretty awesome. The manfriend and I had tickets, but we opted to stay in the "Fan Fest" area for those who don't have tickets because they have several booths you can hang out in with tv's and views to the big screens displaying the track action. 

The highlight were the men's and women's 10,000 both done in the pouring rain. Not going to lie, they looked a little miserable out there cold and wet running so many laps, but both races were exciting.

Saturday, the manfriend and I had planned for a little adventure so I could run some trail and he could try his new mountain bike! That's right, this roadie is turning to the dark side. ;)

We headed out to Wypass, trails just out of town that a local mt bike group has been paving the way on for a while now. 

This combo of him mt biking and me running worked perfectly as we were often going similar paces, especially uphill. 


The trails out there aren't marked and I had only been there once so I got us lost a few times, but we made it back to the car just fine with 12.25 miles finished in 2 h 20 min or so. 

Fuel for me: 1 package Shot Blocks and water w/ electrolyte tablet, fuel for him: Clif Bar, water, Hammer mocha gu

On the drive home, we both kept chomping on pretzels and granola that I had brought with us. Clearly, we needed some serious protein and fat after our long adventure, so lunch was homemade hamburgers (on the George Foreman) and sweet potato fries. Yum. 

After resting, refueling and showering, we headed back to the Olympic Trials for an afternoon of 100m, 100m hurdles, 1500m in the decathlon, etc. The weather was still a bit rainy, but much improved upon Friday. 

And to really bring out the SUNSHINE, Ashton Eaton (former Oregon Duck) set a new world record in the decathlon right there at Hayward Field. I tell ya, crazy things happen at this place. 

Just as my stomach was starting to rumble again, I stopped by the Chobani tent where they were giving out FREE Chobani in the flavor of your choice (my favorite is pineapple). 

Seriously, I love when companies I love are giving away their product for others to enjoy. They had 17 flavors available from plain to raspberry to blood orange.

As usual, all the Nike/Tracktown12 signage is impressive and not understated

After the award ceremony for the decathlon, we headed out for dinner at the Wild Duck with a few friends and called it a night. It's crazy to call this place home in the midst of such a big event that so many people come from all over the country to experience. 

Sunday included lots of driving and a bridal shower for a high school friend in Portland. I made it home in time for some couch time, dinner and a walk around the neighborhood with my two buddies.

It's a short week for us. We're heading down to California for my brother's wedding in just a few days!

Tonight's Track & Field Highlight: will be the men's and women's 5K and the women's steeplechase. We have friends in all of those events (Julia Lucas, Lauren Fleshman, Ian Dobson & Bridget Franek), so nerves will be flying high and lots of cheering will ensue from 5-7 pm!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What goes DOWN must come UP!

After the long work weekend and another big event yesterday, I took today off to recuperate. I had a few appointments in the morning and then hit the trail around 1 pm. 

My body and mind were pretty exhausted (as pictured below) and I was hungry. Honestly, all I wanted to do was sleep. BUT, I love taking full advantage of days off and The Ridgeline Trail was on my to do list. 

I'll rest someday...maybe

I have about 8 weeks to get in trail running shape and the summer is already getting filled up, so I feel a bit of urgency to get on the trails for some longer distances. Ready or not.

I spy something...


Oh yes, I'm having fun (insert sarcasm)! My lactic acid filled legs from Sunday's race and Monday's bike commuting, weight lifting and run feel fabulous! Bah hahaha...

I was starting to think this trail running thing was a pretty bad idea about 15 minutes in because I just felt terrible. 

Several times I almost turned around, but somehow I kept going. And then I miraculously hit 30 minutes and felt good. This conveniently coincided with the trail flattening out a bit. But it also felt like my legs had flushed out some of that junk so I kept going.

On the Ridgeline Trail, what goes DOWN, must come UP. Makes sense I guess as you're going up and over one peak and on to the next the entire time, hence "The Ridgeline Trail." 

Luckily, the UP was made a bit easier with a Double Expresso Clif Shot - highly recommended!

At 20 minutes in, I wasn't sure if I would even hit 5 miles for the day, but after mile 4 or so, I started thinking "maybe I'll hit 7"...and a bit later, "maybe 8."

I finished 10 miles and my energy levels went from "blah" to "yippee" just like that. Now I just have a cranky hip flexor to deal with and some homemade lasagna to eat.

Hope your Tuesday was stellar!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pushing the Pace

Whew! I survived the weekend with minimal stress, lots of work and a few humid runs. 

Saturday after work, I called the manfriend (who had just finished a 60+ mile bike race) to ask if he wanted anything specific for dinner. He had already eaten mac 'n cheese, but requested ice cream and beer from the store. Gotta love an appetite like that. 

I came home and threw together a quick dinner as it was past 8pm and I was staaarving! 

Corn tortillas with leftover brown rice, black beans, spinach, mushroom, mozzarella, avocado and salsa

This morning I was up and at 'em to head to my first 8K! I thought I'd show you my socks because they're from the last time the Olympic Trials came to Eugene and I love them. 

Can you see the Olympic rings below "EUGENE?" I'm already excited for the Nike tent this year. My wallet is not. 

Is anyone else as obsessed with their workout clothes as I am?

Anyway, the Prost8K raises funds for a free mens prostate screening clinic each year. I got to the race about 7:30, grabbed my packet and did an easy mile warm up. 

Because it was a smaller, local race, I made my way to the front before the gun went off. 

As planned, I started off at tempo pace and held a 7:46 for quite a while. After a mile or so we went up and over a pedestrian bridge across the freeway and into neighborhoods. 

From miles 1-4, I slowly pushed the pace as the legs got warm and was cruising at a 7:30 by mile 4, when it was time to kick it up another notch. 

I may have left a bit too much in the legs - found myself sprinting hard the last 100m. Guess I could have pushed a bit harder that last mile. 

Anyway, with an official time of 37:40, it was enough to take 1st in my age group (out of 6) and 2nd female overall (out of 67). 

 Medal winner!

It's been a while since I've done a fast, local race so it was a nice change, but I realize I get more satisfaction from those longer sustained efforts (half and full marathons) than the short, fast stuff. Plus, I don't really push my pace regularly and running fast HURTS.

I've felt like my pace has slowed quite a bit in the last month, but it could be simply because I'm not pushing myself. It was nice to be reminded that my legs have a little speed somewhere inside. Maybe someday I'll actually train specifically for one of these short, fast races...

What was your best moment of the weekend? 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Finds, Fashion and Fitness

Happy FRIDAY! 

It's been a super busy week around here because we have a big meeting this weekend at work so I feel like we've all been plowing through things at lightning speed. Luckily, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in just a few days. 

With a busy weekend ahead, I'm trying to remain calm and appreciate the fact that I have a few hours to myself on Sunday and have already mentally scheduled my workouts in where I can fit them. 

Because my head's in a bit of a fog, I'm just going to post some randomness from the week. Enjoy!

New to me product of the week
Lavendar kombucha recommended by the Fitnessista

I try to snag a bottle of kombucha whenever I'm on the verge of sickness. It seems to do the trick most of the time. My favorite flavors of this brand are mango, guava and trilogy. 

New to me workout machine
This is one of those stair masters that is SUPER tall and has rotating steps so it's actually like you're climbing stairs because you have to step off one step and up to the next. 

I tried to do some faster speeds on it, but it was just too freaky. I almost smashed my toes a few times and the entire 8 minutes I felt like I was going to miss a step and face plant on the machine. 

Fashion Friday
I wore this on Monday in an effort to put together something fun and wear this skirt that I bought full price and haven't worn much. 

Sweater: Tar-get, neon top: LOFT, skirt: LOFT, sandals: Macy's (can't remember the brand)

First short race in I don't know how long
On Sunday I'm racing/running the Eugene Prost8K! Prostate cancer has touched a lot of men I know, whether it be family, friends and running peers. Plus, it fits my criteria of being affordable and held in an area other than the river bike path (where many races are held in Eugene). 

We'll see how I do. I've never run an 8K, but my plan is... to warm up for at least a mile, slow and easy. Then I'll hopefully start the race around tempo pace and just pick it up as I feel comfortable and when I hit the last mile, it's time to take it home! Finally, I'll round it out with another easy mile or so cool down. 

Giddy About
TrackTown 2012. Last time the Olympic Track and Field Trials  came to Eugene it was a big deal and my friends and I felt like it was summer break for two weeks in June. 

Except we're adults and had full time jobs and would spend most of the evenings watching races and then rubbing elbows with athletes, coaches and fans at the local establishments. It was amazing. Those 10 days are still etched in my memory. 

Did you try anything new this week - fitness or foodwise or other? Anyone racing this weekend?