May 29, 2010

A week in review and other things too

*  This was a pretty good training week considering I didn't get  much done last week.  It was a little hard to get back into the swing of things after my in-laws left, but once I did, it felt great to be back at it.  Here are my numbers for the week:

Bike:  3 1/2 hrs.
Run:  12.75 M (not great, but oh well)
Swim:  7034 yds (woohoo!)

*  I got to do another OWS swim this morning.  I stopped off at Starbucks for a pumpkin scone and soy chai latte (I know, I know, not the best breakfast, but it sure was yummy!), and headed for the lake.  I got in the water and realized it was much warmer than Sunday, and it actually felt great (no aching, frozen feet today!).  This means that the water temp. for my sprint tri on Friday will be nice too!  Hooray! :)

*  I officially started my marathon training this week.  I looked at many different plans and finally decided to go with this one here.  What I like about it is that it incorporates speed work and tempo runs.  I also like how it has me running 3x a week (although I'm adding a 4th easy run day), which is totally doable with my Half Ironman training.  So, I did my tempo run Thursday, which was awesome, and a long run (8M scheduled) today.

Now, I'm usually pretty good about my nutrition when it comes to working out, but for some reason, I totally blew it today!  As you know, I didn't have the best breakfast.  Then, I did my swim, came home around 9:30, then at 10:15 we headed to Wash Park where I could do my long run and my husband could run with the boys in the jogger.  When we got to the park I realized I had not eaten anything except a pumpkin scone since 7:15 this morning.  Yikes!  Luckily, I had brought a Gu to eat during my run, but I knew I might be in trouble.  Oh, and it was HOT this morning too...nice!  I started my run and was feeling fine.  I took some swigs out of my handheld every once in awhile and ate my Gu around mile 4.  I was sweating like crazy and was getting really hot.  Around mile 6, things started to turn.  I started cramping really bad and knew that there was no way I was going to make it to 8 miles.  I tried to regulate my breathing, but the cramps just started getting worse and eventually led to back cramps.  I made it to 6.5 miles and finally had to stop and walk.  I walked to the playground where my husband and boys were and called it a day.  This is another one I can chalk up to dehydration!  I feel so stupid for letting it happen, but for some reason my brain just wasn't functioning properly today (see bee post below for a possible reason why).
Hot and red post-run.  My husband joked that the white sweat marks on my visor looked like the Rocky Mountains.   Ha ha.
Other things too:

So, last night around 11:30, my youngest son woke up crying and calling for me.  I went into his room and he was sitting up straight in his bed.  I asked him what was wrong and he said he saw a "buggy" that was buzzing and flying around him.  I turned on his lamp and looked around and didn't see anything, but he was so scared and was on the verge of tears.  Then, I remembered how there were a bunch of bees swarming around our flowers earlier and how we watched them at a safe distance until they flew away.  So, I thought maybe he was just imagining the bees.  Anyways, I tried to lay him back down, but he wanted his daddy, so I called my husband in.  Again, he kept asking if we could see the bee, and we never saw anything or heard anything.  We would get him calmed down, he would fall asleep, then wake up a little while later crying about the bee.  This went on ALL NIGHT.  Finally, after a 3AM cry, he went to sleep for good.

So, here's the kicker.  I got back from my swim and my husband hands me a glass jar and says, "Look what I found in his room this morning."  I looked, and there inside the jar was a tiny bee.  OMG!  I felt so bad, but honestly we never saw/heard the bee all the times we went in there.  We just assumed he was having a bad dream about bees.  Poor little guy!  We made a point of letting the bee go into the flowers so he would know that the bee was no longer in his room.  But, he's probably going to be scarred for life!

*  My oldest has his last week of preschool this week.  I can't believe how fast the year just flew by!  It's crazy to think that it's almost June.  Wow!

*  Our peonies finally bloomed yesterday.  We have two big bushes of them in our backyard and I absolutely love them.  I look forward to them blooming every year because I just think they are so beautiful.  :)

* I had to get another new training watch.  I'm pretty sure the watch I got from Amazon was a total dud.  It fogged up the first time I wore it swimming and has since lost all of its waterproof abilities.  Ugh!  I contacted Timex warranty and they said I had to send them a $7 check with the watch so they could mail it back to me.  And, they said they couldn't guarantee that they could fix it or replace it!   Are you kidding me?  So, instead of dealing with them, I went to REI which is having a 25% off sale on Timex watches.  I talked to the guy and ended up getting this lovely watch:
 Yes, it's pretty much the same thing I had, but I love the design so much better.  It actually reminds me of my honeymoon in Kauai!  And, because REI has an awesome return policy, if anything goes wrong with it they will replace it, no questions asked!  Yay!

May 27, 2010

Oh Road Bike, I've Missed You So

Let me just start by saying that I LOVE my road bike.  I've loved it since the first day I test rode it 5 years ago.  It was my first "real" bike aside from a cheap Mountain bike I got in college, and I could not believe how comfortable it was.  Since I'm short (5' 4"), riding a bike was never really comfortable for me, until I was introduced to the world of women specific bikes.  Enter the Specialized Dolce Vita.  At first I was drawn to the color, but after that first ride, I was drawn to so much more.

Finishing up the bike leg of my first Half Ironman
This bike has been with me through all of my tris, from my first Sprint to my first Half Ironman.   I made some changes along the way, like adding clip-on aero bars (which have since been taken off) and upgrading the components, and to me, it is just an awesome bike!  This will be the first tri season that I won't be racing with it.  Since getting my tri bike in the fall, it's been pretty much collecting dust hanging in my garage.  Now, I love my tri bike, but there is just so much history with my road bike that it's been making me a little sad knowing that it's now a dust magnet.

That was until tonight.  My husband had the idea of going on a bike ride to the park with the boys in the Burley.  I got giddy with excitement because I was going to get the chance to ride my road bike again!  We got the boys all ready, got ourselves ready, and headed out.  At first I was afraid I wouldn't remember how to shift (ha ha), but as soon as I started riding, it all came back to me.  It was so comfortable and I felt right at home on it.  Oh, how I've missed it.  It was so great to just go for a nice, casual ride with my husband and boys and not worry about cadence, speed, distance, time, etc.  In fact, I don't even have a cycling computer on my bike anymore, so I have no idea how far we rode.

We got to the park, played, and may or may not have rode to DQ for chocolate cones dipped in sprinkles for the boys and small blizzards for my husband and I.  :)   It was a great little adventure and one that I hope will be repeated many times throughout the summer.

May 26, 2010

Humpastry Day - Choco Chia Cherry Bars

Choco Chia Cherry Bars
I know I posted an energy bar recipe for my last Humpastry Day post, but I saw this recipe in a post on and really wanted to try them out.  I have to say that I really like these!  The combo of chocolate, dates, cherries, and lemon zest is really yummy!  I made these this morning and ate one about 35 min. before my trainer ride because I was kind of dragging.  I don't know if it was a placebo effect, but I actually felt like I got a burst of energy from this little bar.  I don't think they would work too well on a ride because they're pretty sticky, so I plan on keeping them on hand in my fridge and using them pre-workout.   .

Makes 12 bars
*  3C pitted dates (the original recipe calls for 4 1/2C dates, but I thought this was a huge amount)
*  4Tbl. Agave syrup
*  1/4C cocoa powder
*  1/4C Chia seeds
*  1/2tsp. salt
*  1/2C dried cherries
*  1/2C chopped almonds
*  1/2C granola
*  Zest of 1 lemon

1.  Process ingredients in a food processor, 1/2 mixture at a time, until it clumps together.
2.  Line an 8x8 pan (the original recipe called for a 10x8, but I didn't have one) with waxed paper.
3.  Press the mixture into the pan.  **Note:  The mixture is really sticky.  I actually used a latex glove to spread the mixture in the pan.
Gross looking, but oh so good! :)
4.  Put the pan in the freezer for 15 min.
5.  Cut into 12 bars
6.  Wrap in plastic wrap or put in snack sized ziploc bags and store in the refrigerator.  
7.  Enjoy! 

May 24, 2010

Back at it!

Sorry I've been MIA lately.  My in-laws were in town this past week and left this morning, so we're all trying to get back into the swing of things around  here.  I've tried to keep up with everyone's blogs, but it's just amazing how many posts build up when you miss a couple of days!

So much has happened this past week, so I thought I'd do a quick recap!

* I am not going to post any numbers from last week because let's just say that not much training actually happened!  I was able to get in some swims, runs, and bike rides, but not nearly as much as I should have.  But, I'm o-kay with it because I got to spend tons of quality time with my in-laws (this is a good thing...they are awesome!), my husband (he took the week off too), and my two boys.

*  My husband and I decided to go on a bike date together on Saturday instead of doing a dinner date.  We never get to ride together because one of us is usually watching our boys, so it was a great treat.  We were supposed to do a 2 1/2 hr. ride, but once again, we had to cut it short to 1 1/2 because of Mother Nature.  This time, it was the wind that did us in.  It sucked! The crosswinds were so strong that I was having a really hard time keeping my bike on the road and not being blown into the traffic!  It was pretty scary, but we made it home safely.  Even with the wind, it was great to be out riding with my husband.

*  I did my first OWS yesterday and it was awesome!  The water was about 58 degrees....brrr, but the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day!  When I first walked into the water my feet started burning and aching from the cold.  I went under a couple of times to lesson the shock of the cold water on my face and try to warm up, but really I was just procrastinating.  Finally, I just said screw it and started swimming.  It was cold in the beginning, but soon I started warming up and the water actually felt great!
     The lake is in the process of being drained and worked on, so the water level was a little low.  At one point, as I neared the first buoy, I started getting caught in weeds and could actually feel sand.  I stopped and saw some guys standing up in the water about 20 feet in front of me.  I stood up, laughed a little, and got myself untangled from the weeds.  I walked about 10 feet further into the water and then it was fine to swim again.
     I felt great in the water, which is a far cry from how I usually feel when I do my first OWS of the season. I didn't freak out like I usually do and revert to swimming breast stroke every 10 strokes.  I really tried to focus on my stroke and sighting, and I felt fast!  I actually passed some swimmers and gained on the ones that started before me!  Woohoo!  It was a huge confidence booster and I can't wait to get out there again! :)

Life Stuff:
Three years ago, by youngest son was born 5 weeks premature.  He was so ready to come out that I literally pushed for about 5 minutes and he popped out (my first took 8 hours...yikes!).  He ended up having to spend a week in the NICU because he didn't have his sucking reflex yet and was having a hard time eating and gaining weight.  While that was very difficult, he got stronger, gained weight, and was finally able to come home with us.

Then, when he was 5 weeks old he stopped breathing and just started starring at me (which we found out was a sign he was  having a seizure) while I was trying to feed him one morning.  My husband was on his way out the door when I called to him, panicked.  We rushed to the ER where the doctors quickly gathered around him to keep him alive.  It was a nightmare.  I can remember sitting in the hallway watching a dozen doctors and nurses working on him trying to figure out what was wrong with him.  Without going into all of the details, he ended up getting tons of tests done, and an MRI which revealed that he had some type of brain damage which the doctors had never seen before.  It was determined that he was born with the brain damage, but no one knew what caused it or what it would mean for his development.  He ended up spending a week in the hospital, then was finally able to come home with us.

He received OT and PT every week to help him learn how to sit up, crawl, walk, etc..  And, we had to give him seizure medicine to keep the seizures at bay.  At 18months, we was developing so well that the OT and PT services were no longer needed.  And, at 2yrs. we were able to take him off the seizure medicine.  The doctors still do not know how his injury will effect him as he grows.  But, we'll take it as it comes.  So far, he is doing well and is a pretty normal 3 yr. old (with temper tantrums and all!).
  So, it was a pretty special birthday for our little guy!  He has come a long way from the tiny 5 pounder that he was when he was born.
Owen and Grammy

May 17, 2010

A Brick and Sugoi Review

**Note: this is a long post.  Sorry! 

The Brick:
We finally had a beautiful day Saturday morning, so I took advantage of the break from rain and did my brick.  My plan called for a 2 1/2 hr. ride followed by a 1hr. run, but once again, we were expecting rain, so I cut it to a 2hr ride/30min. run.  I am going to get my bike fit adjusted on Friday, so I was really glad I was able to get at least one more ride in outside before hand.  

Normally when I go on long bike rides I like to take fig newtons and cut up clif bars with me.  But, I wanted to test out a new GU I got, Espresso Love, and my homemade cherry energy bars.  I also attached my aero bottle to my bike to try it out as well.  I loaded up all of my stuff and headed out.  It was amazing to be back outside riding again.  It was a little chilly, but what really got me was the wind.  It wasn't too bad going out, but on my way back I was riding right into the wind and it sucked!  I powered through it though the best I could.  

Around 45min. into my ride I ate my GU (Yum!) and then came across a girl with a flat tire and what looked like a guy trying the help her.  As I came up to them I asked them if they were o-kay and the girl asked if I had a pump.  I stopped and told her I just had a CO2 pump, but I would be happy to let her use it.  She looked at me kind of strange, but then said thanks.  It turns out this girl was a new cyclist and was pretty much clueless about bikes and changing a tire.  She had a small hand pump attached to her bike (that was broken), but she didn't have a spare tube or tire levers to change a flat.  Huh?  The guy that was supposedly "helping" her didn't have a spare tube on him either.  Now, I don't know about all of you, but I always take 2 tubes and 2 CO2 cartridges with me when I'm going out for a long ride.  The last thing I want to do is have to call my husband to come and get me b/c I don't have the means to fix a flat.  Anyways, I could tell that she had never changed a tire before, but it was weird because I didn't know if she just wanted me to do it, or if she wanted to do it herself.  I ended up spending about 20 minutes assisting her through the process.  In the end, we went our separate ways, and I was glad I was able to help her out.  I know someday I may be in her shoes and need help, and I would hope that someone would stop to help me too.    

I hit my turn around point and headed back towards home.  I felt great in the aero position and am gaining more confidence with going fast (er) down hills.  One thing that freaks me out about the aero bars is the fact that the brakes aren't on them.  Thus, when I'm going down a hill and I feel the need to brake, transferring my hands from the aero bars to the brakes is tricky for me and scares me a little.  I always feel like if I don't do it just right I'll lose control and crash.  I know it will get easier the more I ride, but I also think it's a mental thing I need to just get over.  

A little over an hour into my ride I was starving!  My ride did happen to be around the time I normally eat lunch, but I also think maybe the GU just didn't cut it for me.  I scarfed down my cherry bar (yum again!) and felt much better!  I was almost home when my husband called to say that he had taken the boys in the burley to get lunch and wanted to know if I wanted to meet them at the park (which is right by our house).  Even though I was supposed to do a brick, I figured a short 30min. break to play at the park with my boys was 1) Not really going to be a huge brick deal breaker, and 2) a great way to balance working out with family time.  When I got to the park guess what my husband had for me?  A sandwich from Jimmy Johns!  Although I am a vegetarian, one thing I still eat is the Turkey Tom sub from there.  I can't seem to give it up, it is soooo good!  I eat it so infrequently, that I don't really feel bad about eating a little turkey. :)  I gobbled it up so fast and it was delicious!  Dark storm clouds once again started to appear in the sky, so we finished playing at the park and all rode home together.  

I was going to run outside, but due to the ominous clouds I opted for the treadmill.  Even though I had a short break between riding and running, I could still feel the effects of my long ride when I started running.  But, after a couple of minutes my legs felt great and I was able to knock out my 30min. run.  
Second brick - DONE!  

Sugoi Velocity Tri Short/Top Review:
The awesome people at Outside PR sent me a Sugoi Velocity Tri top and a pair of Velocity shorts to try out.  I have not had a chance to test them in the water yet, but I wore them on my brick.  
   Front View
Side View
  When I first got them, the material was so different than the other tri clothes I own.  It almost reminded me of a wind jacket material.  I wasn't sure how it would feel on, but when I put them on I have to say they were really comfortable.  The fabric stretches and is not in the least bit binding.  The shorts have a thin chamois that I couldn't even really feel, and I wasn't sure how my girly parts would do on a long ride.  But, after riding 2hrs. in the shorts without my girly parts hurting, I can honestly say that the chamois did its job.  Oh, and the legs do not have grippers (which I hate), so they didn't "cut into" my skin and create that flab bulge like some other tri shorts cause.  They rode up just a little bit on my ride, but not enough for it to be annoying or uncomfortable.  The only thing that kind of bothers me about the shorts is how the sides are white.  They are almost see-through.  Although there is nothing to "see" on the side of my legs, I still feel a little self-conscience in them.  My husband thinks I'm crazy and it's just part of my body image problems, but it is what it is.  
The top is also really comfortable.  It has a built is bra and a half zip in the front for extra ventilation.  It is stretchy and moves with my body, and I didn't get any chafing from it anywhere.  When I did my run, I was in my basement which makes for a muggy, hot run.  Plus, I sweat a lot when I run, so I was interested to see how this would do in the wicking department.  After my run, I felt like it did pretty well.  However, it did get a bit clingy from all of my sweat.  But, all of my tri tops do that, so it's nothing new.  It has two back pockets for GUs, an ID, etc.  But, they are kind of small and a little hard to get at.  I wanted to take this picture so you could see just where they are.  I think two side pockets would have been much better.  But, again, I don't really use the pockets in my tris (I keep my  nutrition on the bike in my bento box, and I use a handheld for the run b/c I hate relying on aid stations for hydration), so it's not a huge deal for me.  
All in all, I really like the shorts and top.  They are comfortable and I feel they would perform really well in a tri.  I am still debating what to wear for my sprint in a couple of weeks and this may be the outfit of choice.  Or, I may end up wearing the shorts and a different top.  I haven't figured it out yet.  

*Note:  I was not paid by OutsidePR or Sugoi to write this review.  These are my own thoughts and opinions.      

May 15, 2010

A week in review and other things too

*  I think this week went pretty well considering we had snow, thunderstorms, and crazy wind!  I missed another long bike ride last weekend b/c of good ole' Mother Nature and the Mother's Day 5k on Sunday.  However, the early swims, two-a-days, and evening workouts are definitely starting to catch up with me, and I was soooo tired on Friday.  I actually fell asleep on the couch while my two boys played right next to me.  It kind of freaked me out when I woke up, but our house wasn't burned down, so it was all good!  :)

Here are the numbers:
Bike:  2 hours (Yikes! This should have been more, but I did what I could.  I'm just really finding it hard to ride on the trainer for longer than an hour...ugh!)
Run: 2 1/2 hours (This includes my 5k PR...I'm still excited about it! ) :)
Swim: almost 6000M (My longest swim week yet...yay!)

*  I went to another Masters swim class.  It was actually really good this week.  Some people didn't show up, so I ended up having a lane to myself.  I felt fast and was able to complete most of the workout before I had to leave.  I have to leave about 10min. early in order to get home in time for my husband to leave for work, which is kind of a bummer.  So, I think I'm going to start going a little early to do the WU before the class starts and then jump right into the main set when the coach gets there.

*  I am going to have to start my marathon training pretty soon for the Denver Rock-n-Roll marathon in October.  So, I need some advice from you marathoners out there.  What is the best plan to follow?  Have any of you trained for a marathon and tri at the same time?  If so, how did you fit it all in?

Other things too:
*  I won an awesome towel from Words to Sweat By from Running Diva Mom and I got it in the mail this week!  It came in the cutest packaging:
And here's the towel with the phrase that I choose:
It is the perfect size for a workout towel.  And, when I used it when I ran on my treadmill the other night it absorbed all of my sweat!  I love it! :)

*  So, after planting all of these beautiful flowers for Mother's Day we ended up losing some of them when we got 2 inches of snow this week and the temps. dropped below freezing!  Are you kidding me?  Isn't it May?  Actually, I'm not surprised that it snowed because I do live in Colorado, but I am just tired of the cold.  We have paid our winter dues and we are ready for some nice, warm spring days!

*  My youngest son turns 3 years old this week!  I cannot believe how fast the years have gone by.

*  My in-laws are coming into town on Wednesday, so that means I have 3 days to clean, clean, clean!  Ha ha!  It will be great to have them here, and the boys are super excited for their Grammy and Grandad to come for a visit!

*  O-kay all you LOST fans out there.  How is it going to end?  I cannot believe there are only 2 episodes left!  My thinking is that in the end, the parallel life will end up being reality, but who knows.  This show is so unpredictable and that's what I love about it!

*  Speaking of shows, my two new favorite ones are Parenthood and Modern Family.  They are hilarious!  If you haven't seen them, you should definitely check them out.  I know it might sound like I watch a lot of t.v., but I do most of my trainer rides at night after we put our boys to bed, and watching funny shows really helps the time go by. :)

I hope you all have a great weekend! :)

May 12, 2010

Humpastry Day - Cherry Energy Bars

Homemade Cherry Energy Bars:
A long time ago I got a recipe for homemade energy bars and always wanted to make them, but I never had the right ingredients around.  Well, I was digging through my recipe box wondering what to make for Humpastry day and I found the recipe!   I have recipes for different versions, but I'm kind of on a cherry kick right now and thought these sounded good!  They have similar ingredients to cliff bars, but they're not as big and not as mushed together (if you've had a cliff bar before you know what I mean).  Although I would more likely use these on my longer bike rides in place of cliff bars, I had one before a 40min. run today and didn't have any problems.  :)

 Makes 12 bars **Note:  You could definitely double the recipe and make 24 bars in a 13x9" pan.  I just did 12 because I wanted to make sure I like them before I made 24 of them!  
*  1 1/4C rice cereal (like rice krispies)
*  1C uncooked rolled oats
*  3Tbl. ground flaxseed
*  1/4C chopped dried cherries
*  1/4C finely chopped almonds
*  1/4C brown rice syrup (can also use honey or maple syrup)
*  2Tbl. brown sugar
*  1/3C almond butter
*  1/4tsp. almond extract

1.  Line an 8" square pan with wax paper and set aside.
2.  In a large bowl combine rice cereal, oats, flaxseed, cherries, and almonds
3.  In a small saucepan over med-high heat, bring the syrup and brown sugar to a boil, stirring constantly.
4.  Remove from  heat and add the almond butter and almond extract.  Stir until well blended.
5.  Pour the almond butter mixture over the cereal mixture, stirring until coated.  I used my hands to make sure it was well mixed.
6.  Press the mixture firmly into the 8" pan and let cool.  Once cooled, cut into 12 bars.

7.  Wrap the bars in plastic wrap (or put in snack size ziploc bags) and store in the refrigerator.
8.  Enjoy!

May 10, 2010

A Perfect Mother's Day

Yesterday truly was a perfect Mother's Day.  :)

Mother's Day 5k Race Report:
The Mother's Day 5k wasn't scheduled to start until 9AM, but we wanted to give the boys a chance to play at the park before the race,  so we got there a little before 8.  Like I  mentioned before, the race was held at City Park.  It is a beautiful place with lakes, huge trees, and an awesome playground.   The weather was absolutely beautiful and there wasn't any wind to be felt!

When we got to the venue, I picked up my timing chip and bib, and started walking around the little booths.  I was so excited when I saw the "Run Like a Mother" booth.  I'm sure most of you know about the book already, but if not, you can check it out here.  Dimity's sister was running the booth and she was selling t-shirts.  So, look what I picked up:
I got a sticker for my training book, and a very cute, soft, and comfy shirt! :)

Anyways, back to the 5k.  As we were getting ready to go to the park I asked my husband if he wanted to run the race with the boys.  I like when they cheer me on at races, but I also know that this would have been a fun race for him too.  He was wearing his running stuff and we had the jogger, so at the last minute he decided to run too!  I took the boys to the park while he registered and they had a blast playing on all of the fun equipment.

Around 8:45 we headed to the start area.  No one was lining up yet, and it was a little strange.  Now, this was an inaugural event, so they were kind of scrambling to get things set for the beginning of the race.  But, we decided to line up even though no one else was.  As we lined up the announcer grabbed the microphone and told people to start heading to the starting line.  All at once, hundreds of people started making their way over.  It was kind of chaotic, but it all worked out.  The great thing about this event was that it brought out tons of people and families.  Everywhere I looked there were mothers having their picture taken with their kids.  It was awesome, and it made for a very relaxed and happy racing atmosphere.

Finally, it was time to start.  The gun went off and adrenaline took over and I just ran as hard as I could.  Within the first mile I felt the effects of my hour long run yesterday.  I know it probably wasn't the best idea to run an hour the day before a race I'm trying to PR, but whatever.  Through the entire race this other girl and I were pretty much running together.  Sometimes she would pull ahead, sometimes I would pull ahead, but it was great to have her push me.  By mile 2 my mouth was so dry I couldn't even swallow.  I could have stopped for some water, but I didn't want to take the time.  Plus, it was only 3.1 miles so I knew I'd be fine.  Finally, I had the finish line in my sights.  The girl and I took off in a sprint and she ended up beating me by 2 seconds.  It was an awesome race, but I was so happy to be done!
Here are my stats:
Time:  22:39 (7:18pace)  A NEW PR!  WOOHOO! :)
Sex Place: 9/376  (Top 10...another WOOHOO!)
Overall Place: 37/542

And, my husband did it in 26:56...with the jogger!  Hooray for him!
 Pre-race Mother's Day picture :)
Mother's Day:
After the race we headed out for our annual tradition of getting flowers and veggies for our garden.  The weather had warmed up quite a bit and it was the most beautiful day!  After working hard for the rest of the afternoon, here is what our front porch looks like:
Yes, I know there are a lot of planters, but what can I say, I love flowers!)
Part of our vegetable garden.  Tomatoes on top, herbs in the middle, carrots on the bottom.  The stepping stones are another Mother's Day tradition.  Each year I have the boys make their hand prints in the stones, then I use them in our garden.  I love them and they always make me smile every time I see (step on) them. :)

All in all, it was just a perfect day.  I got to spend Mother's Day with my family and I couldn't have felt more blessed.  I am so lucky to have two wonderful, healthy boys.  As cliche as this might sound, they really do make my life complete and I can't imagine my life without them.

I hope all the mothers out there also had a wonderful  Mother's Day!  :)

May 7, 2010

A week in review and other things too

My training went pretty good this week.  I'm still struggling to fit it all in, but I'm at peace with the fact that I will not be able to do it all every week.  If I have to cut back my bike from 3 to 2hrs. because of rain, that's fine.  If I have to cancel a swim because my son is sick and was up all night, that's fine too.  I do follow a training plan, but I'm not the type of person that feels defeated or guilty if I miss a workout or two.  The truth is, that my family and life take priority over my training, and I'm o.k. with that.  I do what I can and that's all I can hope for.  With that being said, here are my numbers for the week:

What I did, what I still need to do:
Bike:  4hr 45min. (~75M - Mostly on the trainer...uggh)
Run:  1hr 34min. (~12M) 1hr. run today
Swim:  4425yds. (Skipped this morning's swim b/c I was just too tired to get up!)
Yoga:  1hr.

*  I went to another Masters swim class on Thursday.  It went much better and I'm happy to say there were no tears involved.  I felt a little more confident, even though I'm still the slowest one.  I ended up sharing a lane with a guy who had to be a body builder.  He had huge arm and leg muscles, and literally had no neck...I'm not kidding!  I'm all for guys who want to have ripped muscles, but I just don't find "body builder" bodies attractive in the least bit.  Any other girls out there feel the same way?  I'd take a runner/biker/triathlete body over muscle man any day!   Anyways, every time we passed he made a huge wave and it always seemed to coincide with when I was breathing.  Needless to say, I think I swallowed a gallon of pool water..yuck!

*  Even though I still have to do the majority of my bike rides on my trainer, I can tell that I'm getting stronger.  Woohoo!  The weather this weekend is supposed to be beautiful, so I'm hoping to get in two rides outside!  Hooray!

*  I chickened out last weekend and didn't end up doing an OWS.  It was cold and rainy outside and I just didn't feel the need to be cold.  I can handle swimming in cold water if it's warm and sunny outside, but to be cold both in and out of the water I don't like.  I am getting cold just thinking about it...brrr!  I have 4 weekends before my sprint tri in June that I can practice open water swimming, so I think I'm going to wait a little longer to let the water warm up a bit.  I know, I know, I'm a wuss!

*  I'm racing in a Mother's Day 5k on Sunday.  I am so excited about it because it is at a place called City Park that is just beautiful.  I thought about running with my boys in the jogger, because it is a "Mother's Day" 5k, but I really want to try and get a 5k PR.  I know it probably sounds a little selfish, but almost every 5k we do is with our boys in the jogger.  Besides, they have an awesome playground that the boys love.  The course actually goes right by the playground.  So, my husband and boys are going to play at the playground and cheer me on when the race starts!  It should be a lot of fun! :)  

*  I am so excited about this weekend!  I think I've mentioned this before, but every year on Mother's day we pick out flowers and veggies to plant around our house and in our garden.  It is a lot of fun for us and our boys.  And, the weather is going to be in the low 70's; my perfect temperature! :)

*   I need to find a good book to read.  Lately, all I've been reading are my running magazines, which I love, but I'd like to find a good novel. I know books are kind of a personal thing, but does anyone have any good suggestions?

*  I wanted to put this picture in here just because I think it's hilarious!  We went to a garage sale over the weekend and saw a Spiderman costume.  Of course my oldest had to have it, and for $5 I couldn't pass it up!  Now, my boys are obsessed with dressing up in costumes!  They wear them every day, I kid you not! :)

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I also want to wish all of the mothers out there a very happy Mother's Day! :)

May 6, 2010

Tall Mom's Virtual 5k Race Report

Virtual 5k Race Report:
I registered for Tall Mom's Virtual 5k as a way to donate to Marathon for a Cure, and yesterday was the day for the race.  I was planning on running with my boys in the jogging stroller, but we never got the chance.  Clouds started rolling in, the winds picked up, and I really didn't want to be out and about with my boys if the sky decided to open up and rain.  So, I opted to run on the treadmill instead.  In honor of Mother's Day, I decided to let my boys decorate my bib.  They used water colors to paint it and then decorated it with some sea stickers.  Here it is in all of its beauty:
I got all of my stuff ready, set my boys up with an "Elmo's World" DVD and got running!  I don't know about all of you, but I actually run faster outside than on my treadmill.  So, I did the best I could.  Here are my stats:
It was hot in my basement and my youngest kept asking me things about Elmo..ha ha.  I found it hard to keep a fast pace, but I am happy with my 5k effort! :)

May 5, 2010

Humpastry Day - Fresh Strawberry Scones

Fresh Strawberry Scones:
Once again, I had an abundance of strawberries that needed to be eaten/used before going bad (I think I need to stop getting the gigantic flat of strawberries from Costco!).  I signed up to bring pastries to my son's preschool today for Teacher Appreciation week, so I decided to make some strawberry scones.  Overall, I think they came out pretty good, but could have been a little sweeter.  Strawberries don't sweeten when cooked, like other fruit.  So, if you like your scones on the sweeter side, I would suggest adding a little more sugar or making a glaze for the top, which is what I ended up doing.

Makes 8 scones
 *  2C whole wheat pastry flour
*  1/3C raw sugar (or more to taste)
*  1tsp. baking powder
*  1/4tsp. baking soda
*  1/2tsp. salt
*  Zest and juice from 1/2 and orange
*  8Tbl. coconut oil (or unsalted butter, frozen)
*  1/2C plain soy yogurt
*  1 flax egg (1Tbl. flax mixed with 3Tbl. water)
*  1/2C fresh strawberries, chopped (or frozen)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If using a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well.
2.  In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt and flax egg together until smooth.  Set aside.
3.  In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest together.
4.  Add the coconut oil, bits at a time.  OR, if using butter, grate the butter into the flour mixture.
5.  Use your fingers to work in the coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
6.  Add the strawberries and yogurt mix to the mixture.
 7.  Using a fork, mix it together until large dough clumps form.  Use your hands to press the dough into a ball.  **Note:  if the mixture is too wet, add more flour.
8.  Place on a lightly floured surface and form ball into a 8" circle and 3/4" thick.
9.  Use a sharp knife to cut the circle into 8 triangles.
10.  Grate a little bit more orange zest on top.
11.  Place the pieces on the baking stone, or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
12.  Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Here's how to make a glaze for the top:
1.  Squeeze the juice from the orange into a small bowl.
2.  Add some powdered sugar, a little at a time, until you have the desired consistency and taste.  I'm not putting an amount of sugar because I think powdered sugar is REALLY sweet and tend to use as little as possible.  However, some of you may like it super sweet and should add more to your taste.
3.  Once the scones are cooled, drizzle the glaze on top.
4.  Enjoy!

May 3, 2010

First Brick and a Review

The Brick:
Saturday I was scheduled to do my first brick; a 3 hr. bike ride followed by a 25 minute run.  The weather was touch and go with rain, so I decided to try and get a 2 hr. ride in, then come home and run on the treadmill.  I have only been able to ride outside a handful of times on my new bike, so I was really looking forward to getting out.  It was a little windy and overcast with the clouds threatening rain, but I ended up having a great ride!

I felt pretty good in the aero position, but I definitely need to get my fit adjusted.  Plus, I have my first tri of the season the first week of June, and I want my fit to be just right.  My in-laws are coming into town in a couple of weeks so I'm planning on scheduling it then when they can watch the boys.

I've decided to start experimenting with different nutrition this season.  Although I like shot bloks and sport beans, sometimes they are just too sweet and I have a hard time getting them down.  I tried gels a long time ago and nearly gagged, so I was really hesitant to try them again.  But, I saw a mint chocolate flavored gu and thought I'd give it a try.  Let me tell you that mint chocolate gu is AWESOME!  It was so good, and I didn't gag! Hooray!  I will definitely be trying that again on my long bike rides/runs.  Yum!    

Just as I was approaching the 1:45 hr. mark the storm clouds started rolling in, and I was glad that I had only planned a 2 hr. ride.  I rode home, gave my boys a quick hug, got a recap of what they had been doing while I was out, changed out of my warm bike gear, then hopped on the treadmill.  My legs felt a little heavy, but not horrible.  It took about a mile to get my "running" legs back, but other than that I felt great!  I ran at a nice pace for 25 minutes, then called it quits.  I was so happy that my first brick went so well, especially since I have my first sprint tri in a about a month.  Woohoo!  
The Review:
Awhile back, Beth at Shut up and Run was having a giveaway for new running gear.  To enter the contest, you had to submit a picture of why you needed new gear.  I choose this picture saying that I needed new shorts because the ones I had made me look like I had a penis! Ha ha.
I didn't win the contest, but Devon at Outside PR contacted me saying she'd like to help solve my problem!  Well, the next thing I know I got a pair of Sugoi Verve Shorts in the mail.  How awesome is that?!  I was so excited!
No, I don't have a crazy tan on my legs, that's just bad lighting in my house! :)
I wanted to wear the shorts out on several runs before I wrote a review.  And, I can happily say that these shorts are awesome!  They are really light and airy and feel so soft and smooth on.  Plus, I think they are super cute and have a flattering fit.  They have a built in liner that is a little big, but it doesn't really bother me when I'm running.  I sweat a lot when I run and these shorts do a great job at wicking the sweat away.  Oh, and the two side pockets are awesome.  They are perfect for carrying a gu, shot bloks, beans, etc.. while you run.  And another thing, no penis!  Ha ha!

*Note:  I was not paid to do this review.  It is my own doing and based on my own experience and opinion.   

May 2, 2010

The Sunday Sampler - Fitness

Welcome to another installment of The Sunday Sampler.  This is the day where I share my insights, thoughts, and opinions with you about different things in three categories: fitness (gear/clothing/accessories/etc.), parenthood, and health, rotating each category each week.  I hope that makes sense! :)  
My hope is that I will be able to help you along your adventure just like so many others have helped me. So, let me know what you think!  I'd love to read about your perspectives on these things as well!  :) 

TYR Transition Backpack:

When I first started doing tris I used a regular backpack to carry all of my gear for my races.  While it served it's purpose, I soon found that it just wasn't enough room.  Especially for the races where I needed a wetsuit.  It also drove me a little crazy because everything I needed for the race was basically just stuffed into one main compartment.  

Now, anyone that knows me knows that I like to be organized.  I will fully admit that I am an organizational freak!  I guess I just like for everything to have its' own place and know where to find things easily.  Enter the TYR Transition Backpack.

Here is some general information about it that I got from
 Outside Features:

  • Padded Adjustable Back Straps

  • 2 Padded Side Pockets for cell phone/MP3 Player w/ Slit for headphone wire

  • Completely unfolds with dual zippers

  • Two External Mesh Water Bottle Pockets

  • Reflective Binding on padded straps, side pockets and front face of bag

  • Large Outside Mesh Pocket

  • External Helmet Pocket with Safety Clip and Bungee Straps

  • 5” Expandable Mesh Bottom Compartment for a Wetsuit or Towel

  • Inside Features:

  • Two Large Internal Mesh Shoe Pockets – Running and Cycling

  • Removable Waterproof Bag for Wet Items (with clip for wetsuit)

  • Pros:
    * Being the organizational freak that I am, this bag has enough separate compartments to split things up.  For example, I put my shoes in one, nutrition in another, accessories (garmin, race belt, visor, etc..) in another, etc.  This is also nice because we all know how we check, double, and triple check all of our stuff the night before the race to make sure we have everything.  Because there are different, see-through compartments, I can tell that I have everything I need without having to unpack everything.   
    The gray pouch in the middle is the removable wetsuit bag.  It clips onto the bottom of the bag to keep it in place.

    *  It holds everything you will need for race day.

    *  It is actually really comfortable to wear, even though it's big.  For a couple of my races last year I actually rode to the race site so my husband and kiddos didn't have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to drop me off.  I wore this backpack and it worked perfectly. 

    *  The removable wetsuit bag is awesome!  It is big enough to fit your wetsuit in, but small enough so that it doesn't take up too much space.  Plus, it prevents getting all of your other gear wet after your race.  And, you can remove it if you don't need a wetsuit for your race. 

    *  It's pretty big for a backpack.  When I first put it on, because I'm so short, my husband joked that I looked like a Kindergartner on the first day of school carrying a huge backpack.  Ha ha!  
    *  It takes up more space in the transition area than a normal backpack.  But, what I do is lay out all my stuff on my towel, then scrunch down the backpack making it as compact as possible so it doesn't take up too much space for other people.  

    *  It costs about $60.  But, they are always on sale somewhere online. I got mine for about $45 last Christmas.  And, for what it's worth, I think trisports has them on sale right now.      

    All in all, I really like this as a transition backpack.  Yes, it's a little big, but to me it's worth it.  It works perfectly when I ride my bike to the race, it keeps all of my stuff organized, and it's nice to be able to get all of my stuff I need to the transition area in one trip. 

    * Please note:  I was not contacted or paid by TYR or trisports to review this product.  This review is my own opinion and is based on my experiences.