October 30, 2010

Tag, I'm it!!

Yay!  Colleen at IRONDIVA tagged me to do a fun questionnaire post!  If you haven't been to her blog, you should check it out!  O-kay, so here goes!

1.  If you could eat anything without any health repercussions or guilt, what would your meal be?

Out of all of the questions, this one was the hardest for me.  I don't really know why, but it was really difficult for me to think of something.  So, this answer may seem kind of lame, but whatever.  I absolutely love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and caramel.  So, I guess if I could eat anything it would be lots of goodies like samoa girl scout cookies, rolos, homemade fudge, Cold Stone's Founder's Favorite ice cream creation (sooo good!), reese's pieces, reese's peanut butter cups, chocolate chips with peanut butter (yes, I have been known to take a scoop of PB and load chocolate chips on top of it!), or any other thing you can think of that is pure chocolaty goodness! :)

2.  If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I've  never really been into wanting to meet some famous or historical person.  I don't know why, but I just never have.  So, I think I'm going to steal use Colleen's answer and say my blogger friends.  I just think it would be so much fun to put an actual face and personality to a name.  I love reading all of the comments I get and I love following all of your blogs.  I have learned so much from all of you, and it would just be nice to meet you in person.  Hopefully someday that will happen! :)

3.  Why did you start blogging and what did you expect when you started?
I started blogging last fall because I think I needed some way to connect to other people who were going through this crazy triathlon lifestyle.  I don't have any friends that are into endurance sports, so it was hard for me to talk to people about my training and what I was going through because they just didn't "get" it.  I started following a couple of blogs, and learned a lot about nutrition, training, products, etc.  I started wondering if maybe I had something to share with other athletes out there too.  I decided to start my blog, but I didn't tell anyone, not even my husband.  I was kind of embarrassed about it for some reason.  But, I found that I really enjoyed writing about my training and life.  I started connecting to people out there in the blogosphere that knew exactly what I was talking about, and it was awesome.
I honestly didn't expect anyone to follow me, but I found myself getting excited when I had 3 followers, then 5, then 10!  My blog has definitely evolved since the beginning.  My hope has always been that the things I share help others in some way, whether it be motivation, training tips, healthy recipes, or just support.
Like I mentioned above, I have learned so much and have gotten so much support and encouragement from all of you.  I hope I've done the same for you! :)

4.  What is the one book you could read over and over again?
I don't know if I can really pick one book that I loved so much to read over and over again.  But, I do have an author.  When I was younger, I was obsessed with wolves and would always pick books about them to read.  I was introduced to Jack London and loved every book that I read.  "Call of the Wild," "The Sea Wolf," and "White Fang" are some of the more popular ones.  So, while I may not have a specific book, I do have a specific author that I could read over and over again.    
5.  If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
I would love to go to Europe with my husband and do the whole bicycling tour thing, but on our own.  Since we both love riding, I just think it would be fun to tour different places while on a bike.  It would be cheaper, a way to get in exercise, and we'd get to see things that most "tourists" wouldn't get to see or experience.  We've talked about doing it someday when our boys are older.  Hopefully someday it will be a reality.  :)
6.  If you could have a TV show on the Food Network, what would it be?
Humpastry Day TV! :)  Ha ha.  I would actually love to have a show on Food Network that talked about how easy it is to switch ingredients for healthier ones.  Guests could email some of their favorite recipes, and we could work together to recreate their recipe incorporating better ingredients. I think the majority of people do not know how many different options there are out there to make their food healthier. I also think people assume that taking away the butter, sugar, and white flour will leave their food bland, but it's really not so.  Anyways, I just think that would be awesome! :)
7.  What was the best meal you ever had?
source Seriously, look at this view! 
You know, I have had a lot of good food in my life.  But, when I think about my best meal, it wasn't really the food that made it so great.  It was more of the atmosphere, company, and all around experience.  With that being said, I would have to say that the best meal I ever had was during our honeymoon in Kauai.  We went to this amazing seafood restaurant called The Beach House.  That was before we became vegetarians, so we had this macadamia encrusted mahi mahi that was absolutely delicious and the most amazing desert afterwards.  But what made it the best meal was the fact that it was such a romantic time.  The restaurant overlooked the ocean and the whole side of the restaurant was open to the outside.  You could smell the ocean, hear the ocean waves, and enjoy the most beautiful view ever of the sunset!  It was amazing!  

8.  Who has been your greatest influence on your love for food and learning to cook?
I would definitely have to say my mom.  Growing up we almost always ate dinner as a family.  My mom is an amazing cook and baker and she definitely had a huge influence on me.  But, my father-n-law was the one that started me thinking about being a vegetarian.  He recommended I read The China Study, which I did.  One month after reading that book, we started transitioning into vegetarians and haven't really looked back.

Since then, I have taken it upon myself to learn how to cook and bake as a vegetarian (almost vegan).  I got lots of great cookbooks and did lots of research online.  I found that just because you're a vegetarian, it doesn't mean you eat "healthy."  There are lots of vegetarians that are overweight.  So, as an endurance athlete, and a mother to two boys, I then took it one step further and really started thinking about the food we were eating and how to make it as healthy as possible.  We still eat pizza, Chipotle, and Jimmy John's, on occasion.  But, for the most part, we eat home cooked meals almost every night.  It can be a lot of work, but I have a system for planning meals and having certain ingredients on hand already.  My boys love to "cook" and "bake" with me, and I love that!  I can't wait until their older when I can start teaching them how to cook too.  Hopefully, I can instill healthy eating habits in my boys for when they get out on their own.  But, who knows.  Only time will tell!        

Alrighty, now I need to tag some of you!  I know there are some of you that have already been tagged, so I'll try and pick those of you who I haven't seen posts from yet!

1.  Cynthia at Balls in the Air
2.  Kristin at Gotta Love Triathlon
3.  Mark at Journeys of a Triathlete Father of Five
4.  Alisa at Ambitious Aspirations Make Great Accomplishments

October 27, 2010

Humpastry Day-Pear Bread and DIY Pumpkin Latte!

Pear Bread
I just realized that it's been about 3 weeks since I posted a recipe!  Yikes!  Hopefully the fact that I'm posting two recipes will make up for it! :)
I had some pears that were starting to get a little too ripe and I didn't want to throw them away.  So, I decided to try  making some pear bread.  I have never had pear bread, and I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised with the result.  This bread doesn't rise up like yeast breads, but it is moist and really good plain or warmed with melted butter on top.  I don't usually put nuts in my breads, but I think the combination of pears and pecans worked  nicely.  However, if you have a nut allergy, this bread would be good without them as well.  

Makes 2 loaves *Note: this bread freezes really well.  I usually keep one loaf to eat, and freeze the other one.

*  1/2C applesauce
*  1/4C coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
*  3/4C raw sugar
*  3/4C brown sugar
* 3 flax eggs (3Tbl. ground flax mixed with 9Tbl. warm water.  Let sit until thickened.)
*  3 pears -peeled, cored, and chopped
*  1C chopped pecans (optional)
*  2tsp. vanilla
*  3C whole wheat flour
*  1tsp. baking soda
*  1tsp. baking powder
*  1tsp. salt
*  1 1/2tsp. cinnamon
*  1/2tsp. nutmeg
*  1/4tsp. cloves

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the flax eggs and set aside. 
2.  Lightly grease two 8x4" loaf pans.
3.  In a large bowl, mix applesauce, oil, sugar, and flax eggs. 
4.  Stir in pears, pecans, and vanilla and stir to combine.
5.  In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
6.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
7.  Pour the batter into the two prepared loaf pans.
8.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
9.  Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
10.  Enjoy!  
DIY Pumpkin Latte:
I'm sure we've all seen the return of the Pumpkin Latte at Starbucks.  I really like their drink, but I could do without spending the money.  I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and tweaked it a little bit after some trial and error.  Let me tell you, this is soooo good!  I actually like it better than the one at Starbucks.  And, it's A LOT cheaper to do and is super easy to make.  You can drink it as is, or add some of your favorite morning coffee to it.  
We made this when we carved our pumpkins and my boys loved it!  Now that the weather is getting colder, it's nice to have a fun, warm drink, other than hot chocolate.  :)  I hope you like it! 
Makes 4 grande size servings
*  1C pumpkin puree (just pumpkin, NOT canned pumpkin pie puree)
*  1 quart (4cups) soymilk
*  1/4C sugar **Note: this could definitely be decreased.  I usually start with less, than add more if I think it needs it. 
*  1Tbl. vanilla extract
*  3/4tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
2.  Use a whisk to blend well.    
**Note:  The brown flecks in the picture are the spices.  This is pre-blended.  You have to keep whisking in order to incorporate the spices into the milk.  I usually use my immersion blender (best device EVER!!)  to get it completely mixed in.
3.  Heat to a simmer, do not boil.  
4.  Pour into your mugs and enjoy!!!  **Note: if you want to add coffee to it, I usually fill the mug 3/4 full of latte, then fill the rest with coffee.  Yum, yum, yum!!

I hope you all  have a good day! :) 


October 25, 2010

Pumpkin fun!

For the last few years we've been going to an actual farm where the boys can see farm animals, go on a hay ride, pick pumpkins, and do other fun things.  This year however, Halloween just snuck up on us (is October really almost over???) and we ran out of time.  At first I was a little sad that we wouldn't be doing our annual trip to the farm.  But, we found a fun local pumpkin patch to take the boys too, and they still had fun, so all was good.

The pumpkins:

Ian searched around for a long time before deciding on this one.  It was perfect!

Owen walked up to the biggest pumpkin in the patch and decided that was the one he wanted.  It was sooo cute.  But, we told him he had to be able to carry it, so he decided on this one instead. :)

Our family!  We've come to expect with family pictures that at least one person will be looking somewhere other than the camera! It is what it is.  Ha ha!

Let the carving begin!

                                                            I love this picture!

Finished products:
All of our pumpkins on the porch all ready for the trick-or-treaters.  Ian carved his little pumpkin all my himself.  He was so proud of himself! :)

Roasted pumpkin seeds anyone?  Yum!

October 22, 2010

A week in review and other things too

*  This week has been pretty low key because of my marathon on Sunday.  I have to say that I was sore the day after the race, but my soreness actually was not as bad as I thought it would be.  It makes me think about my current level of fitness and how, once again, I am amazed at what our bodies can do and overcome.
*  I have already designed my training plan for the RNR AZ marathon!  I'm excited about it and am anxious to get back out there training.  But, I know I need to let my body rest and fully recover before I take on the long runs again.  The last thing I want to do is start back too hard, too soon and end up injured.
* I went to my yoga class this week and we had a substitute teacher.  At first I was bummed because in the past, the subs haven't been that good.  But, I really liked the teacher.  We did a series of form poses/stretches and would hold them for awhile before moving on to the next one.  I didn't want a hard workout today and the poses were perfect for stretching my piriformis, hamstrings, and other leg muscles.  She also had us do these foot stretches and rubs that were amazing!  It was just what I needed!

Other Things Too:
*  Welcome new followers!!!  I cannot believe I almost have 200 followers!  Wow!  I'm thinking of doing another fun giveaway when I reach 200!!  Yay!

*  I had such a fun time with my mom, sister, and nephews!  All of the boys got along pretty good for the most part.  There were some crazy moments, but that's to be expected when you put 4 boys 5 and under all in the same house for 5 days! :)

Here are three of them playing in the water and mud!  Yes, they are typical boys!  :)

*  My husband celebrated his birthday on Monday!  We had a fun family party for him, then all dug into a delicious ice cream cake from Dairy Queen!  Seriously, those cakes are sooo good!

He's been getting into mountain biking again this year, so I went with that for the theme of his cake.  The boys got a kick out of the picture and thought it was the coolest thing!

*  Every day it seems like the days are getting shorter and shorter.  I love fall, but I do not like the shorter, darker days.  There are only so many hours of daylight that we can use to get training in outside, and inevitably, I'm going to have to start using my trainer and treadmill a lot more.

Lovely area isn't it??  We have to put the "fence" around it so the boys don't get into all of the equipment!

*  At the RNR Denver expo, there was a booth for the CEP compression socks.  I stopped and told the guy that I loved the socks and was planning on wearing them in the marathon.  He gave me a wristband with a website address on it and told me that if I submitted a picture of me racing in the socks I would get a free pair!  Score!  I'm planning on giving my sister the free pair because honestly, I don't really need another pair.  Although, the pink ones are pretty cute! :)
* I won this tri charm from a giveaway awhile back and I really like the graphics on it!  It has a swim, bike, and run picture around it.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet.  I may put it on a band as a bracelet or make it into a necklace, but I just don't know.  Any suggestions??

I hope you all have a great weekend! :)

October 19, 2010

Denver Rock-n-Roll Marathon Race Report

The short version:  I finished!  Isn't this medal awesome?  I love how it says, "Inaugural" on it and "26.2" on the guitar.  The mountains are actually sparkly too to look like snow!

* Warning: This post is pretty long!  :)
We woke up, had a pre-race breakfast of a bagel with almond butter, got dressed, and headed to the race.  My husband was nice enough to wake up early and drive us so we didn't have to deal with trying to park with thousands of other racers.  As we got closer to the freeway exit, the traffic was basically at a stand still.  Luckily, my sister had her phone with her that has GPS, so we were able to figure out some side streets to go down to get close to the site.  We were so glad that we didn't have to deal with parking because there were literally hundreds and hundreds of cars coming from different directions trying to find parking downtown.  We finally just decided to hop out of the car and walk to the start.

We ended up having to walk about 1-2 miles, which was kind of good because it was cold out and that brisk walk warmed up our legs.  Once we reached the start area, we basically had 15 minutes to gear check our bag and visit the port-a-potty.  Gear check was CRAZY!  Again, there were hundreds of racers trying to check their bags all at the same time.  Once that was done, we got in line to use the bathroom and the first coral of racers started.  We knew we wouldn't make the official start, and would probably miss our coral, but we weren't going to stress about it because there was nothing we could do about it.  Finally, we got done, ran towards the start, and joined in the masses of people.  We crossed the start with coral #7, said our good lucks to each other and took off!

The Good: Miles 1-19
The start of the race was amazing!  There were so many people cheering and yelling, and the energy was pretty intense!  It was so loud that I don't think I actually heard the music on my Shuffle until several miles into the race.  I had so much adrenaline running through  my body, that I had to work really hard not to run too fast.
The course wound through downtown for about 5 miles before heading to City Park.  I was surprised by how fast the miles were clicking by.  One thing that was kind of frustrating though was that my Garmin was ahead on mileage by about .4 of a mile.  So, when my Garmin said I reached the 5M mark, it was actually .4M ahead of me on the course.  This doesn't sound like a huge deal, but it would come into play later in the race.
The course continued for about another 5 miles around City Park.  I love that park, so it was nice being able to run through it.  I was holding my pace and I felt really good, and was just excited about being there doing my first marathon!  I kept reminding myself that my goal was to finish happy, so I embraced the Rock-n-Roll aspect of the course.  I high-fived all of the cheerleaders throughout the course, and said, "Woohoo" to all the bands!  I was just having a good time.

After leaving City Park, we got a taste of a pretty good sized hill.  I swear it was a mile long!  My legs were definitely feeling it, but I just kept going.  We ran towards another park, Cheeseman Park, before the course split into the 1/2 marathoners and full marathoners.  I saw a row of about 5 port-a-potties with hardly anyone waiting and decided to take advantage of it.  I did my business and started off again.  It was a little hard to get going again, but it was worth the stop.  

From mile 12-15 we were graced with some other hills.  They weren't exactly steep, but long.  My husband and boys were planning on meeting me around the 15M mark so I could exchange my Nathan bottles and ditch my long sleeve shirt.  The thought of seeing them really helped me mentally keep going.  I was still feeling good at this point, but my legs were definitely feeling the effects of the hills.

This is a picture my husband got of me running towards them.  I look like a complete dork, but I was SOOO excited to see them!
I pulled off to the side, kissed my husband, took off my long sleeved shirt, exchanged my bottles, gave my boys hugs and kisses, and headed off again.  I know I wasted several minutes doing all of this, but it was completely worth it to me.

And, I'm off to do the remaining 11.2 miles!

The next 5 miles were all ran around and within Wash Park.  I was actually looking forward to this part of the race because it is one of my favorite places to run.  However, around the 18 mile mark, I started burping A LOT!  I wasn't really worried about it, but after awhile, it started getting annoying.  I came around a bend and saw my husband and boys again!  This was such a great surprise because I didn't think I would see them until the finish!

Between the 19 and 20M mark I started feeling a little nauseous.  I knew that I needed to eat a gel because I hadn't had one since a little before mile 15, but it just did not sound appealing to me in the least bit.  However, I knew that if I didn't get it down I could potentially pay an even bigger price later in the run.  I tried to eat the gel while running, but it just wasn't happening.  I slowed to a walk in order to get it down, but it was not easy.  Once it was down, I started running again.

The Bad: Miles 20-26.2
I have read numerous times that the race in a marathon really starts at mile 20.  I guess I didn't really understand this, but I have to say that I completely agree with that statement.  After the 20M mark, I was entering the unknown.  Every step past that mile was further than I had ever run before, and it was hard!  As I mentioned earlier, my Garmin reached the mile markers before I did in the race and it was just mentally hard to see that.  I stopped looking at my Garmin from mile 21 to the finish.  It just wasn't worth it any more.  My stomach starting revolting and I got really nauseous.  * Warning: gross parts coming up.  When it got to the point that I thought I was going to throw-up, I would pull over to the side and proceed to dry heave over and over again.  I HATE dry heaving. Every time it happened, my back and abs would just tighten up and hurt like crazy.  I really wish I could have just thrown up, but it didn't happen.  I would start walking, start feeling a little better, start running again, then the nausea would take over again and I would repeat the same process.  I did that 3 TIMES in 3 miles!  It was horrible and disgusting and I didn't know how to stop it.

I felt like crap and I just wanted to be done.  The miles felt like they took forever!  The worst part was that between miles 23 and 24, we had to go up a hill, down the backside, turn around, then go up and down it again.  This was torture!!  I couldn't believe that they would put that hill in the last few miles of a marathon!!!  It took every thing that I had to keep going and just put one foot in front of the other.  

Around mile 25, I saw my sister!  She had run the 1/2 marathon, and had come out on the course to help me finish the last mile.  It was soooo awesome to see her and she gave me the motivation to keep going!  She told me that my husband and boys were by the finish shoot waiting for me.  She kept telling me that all I needed to do was run to Bannock street, then turn left into the finishing shoot.  I could see the runners ahead of me turning left towards the shoot, but they looked so far away.  She ran with me all the way to Bannock street into the shoot, then stopped and told me to, "Run to the balloons!"  The finish was lined with balloons and her saying that made me laugh enough to push through the nausea.

I saw my husband and heard my boys cheering for me and it was awesome!  I didn't feel any more nausea and was just overcome with joy at what I was about to accomplish.  I was finishing my first marathon!!! :)

Here is a picture my husband took of my coming into the finish.

I crossed the finish line and was so happy to be done!  There were two women with signs that read, "Free hugs" and I went up to them and got a hug!  It was great!

The Ugly:
I got my medal, then proceeded to be handed water, apple slices, and fruit snacks.  I just grabbed the stuff for my boys and kept walking.  It was at this point that my stomach started revolting again.  My sister called my name and I saw her on the other side of the shoot.  I told her I was going to throw-up and she just kept saying, "Keep going and we'll take care of you."  I was so nauseous, but I didn't want to throw-up in the shoot where all the volunteers were handing out food and drinks.  That would have been horrible!
I finally made it out to the grass, found some trash cans, and proceeded to throw-up over and over again.  It was horrible!  There were runners and their families all around me and I was so embarrassed.  I finally stopped and actually felt a little better!  My sister and I walked to an open grassy area, sat down, and waited for my husband and boys to join us.  

This is a picture of me and my sister after the race.  She rocked the 1/2 mary with a time of 2:08!
Can you see how white I am?  My lips have no color in them!

My biggest supporters...my husband and boys!

Final Thoughts:
26.2 Miles !!   (My Garmin read 26.6 miles...ugh) 
Overall Time:  4:01:43 (9:14pace/M)
Division Place:  55/270
Sex Place: 252/1357
Before I share my thoughts, I just want to take a moment to thank all of you.  I carried all of your good luck wishes and encouragement with me throughout the entire race!  :)

I don't really know how to feel about this race.  Because this was my first marathon, my main goal was just to finish.  I had a time goal in mind, but honestly, I didn't put much emphasis on it because I just didn't know how my body would perform.  I have no idea why my stomach revolted the way it did.  I have never experienced that in a race before.  I used gels, water, and NUUN like I did in all of my training runs, so I didn't do anything differently.  Any ideas???
I am so happy that I finished, but I wish it would have been under less pukey circumstances!  :)  One thing is for sure though, I now have something to work towards for the Arizona Rock-n-Roll Marathon in January!

As far as whether or not I think a marathon is harder than a Half Ironman, I have to say that I don't think it is.  How I felt at the end (besides being pukey) was really similar to how I felt after my last 70.3.  I think mentally it's harder because you're doing the same thing over and over again, whereas with the HIM, you mix it up with swimming, biking, and running.  I don't know, it's interesting to think about.  What do all of you think?  

Congrats of all of you that raced this past weekend too!  I'm a little behind on blogs because my family was in town, but I can't wait to read about all of your racing experiences too! :)  

October 16, 2010

Expo Fun!

Rock -n- Roll Expo!
My sister and I decided to hit up the expo on Friday rather than today to try and avoid a massive amount of runners.  We were so glad that we did because it was crazy downtown.  Trying to find parking was very frustrating, and there was traffic and people everywhere.  I can't even imagine what the expo was like today!  Probably total chaos!
Here is the swag that we got:
I absolutely love the race shirt, but big surprise, it is too big for me.  I ordered a small, but their sizing is way off. The small was huge!  I asked if I could exchange my shirt for the x-small, but they said I had to wait and do it by the finish line at the info. booth.  Whatever!  The good thing though is that my sister fits into my shirt, so my plan is to take her shirt (a medium) and try to exchange it.  If it doesn't work, then my husband gets another one of my awesome race shirts.  He's already a 70.3 poser (I gave him my 70.3 finisher visor), so adding a marathon shirt to the mix is no big deal! Ha ha!

Knowing I may not  have a race shirt, I decided to take matters into my own hands and buy another shirt.  I never do this because they're usually pretty pricey, but the shirt was actually reasonably priced and just too cute to pass up!  Oh, and I got a GoBelt too (a spin off of the Spibelt).  I won't be using it at the marathon, but I think it will be perfect for some of my mid length training runs where I need my cell phone, keys, gels, or when I do another 1/2 marathon.  It's pretty neat because it has loops for gels and clips to attach a race number to.  Yay for expo shopping! :)

I'm also excited because look what arrived in the mail yesterday?

I've been having a hard time with my earphones lately.  So, I took advantage of the deal Yurbuds was offering during Kona and ordered a pair.  They are really neat and fit my ears perfectly.  They feel really comfortable in my ears, so I'm looking forward to using them in my race.

 I wanted to do something fun with my sister for the race, so I found the coolest nail polish at Target.  It is called "Speedy Sunburst," so I'm hoping it will give me that extra speed I need to make it to the finish line!  Here we are all painted up!  I don't even remember the last time I had my finger nails painted, so the color is pretty shocking! :)

Oh, and a couple of you asked what I would be wearing so you could look for me on the course....thanks!  I need all the encouragement I can get!   Unfortunately, my outfit is going to be pretty boring.  I'm totally going for comfort and what I know will not chafe me for this race!  I'll be wearing my black visor, black Sugoi shorts, CEP compression socks, a blue short sleeve shirt, and my long sleeve blue shirt for the first part.  I'll also have my Nathan waistpack on!

Alright, it's 12 hours to go time!  Yikes!
I want to wish all of you racing tomorrow the best of luck!  I can't wait to hear how your races went! :)

October 14, 2010

Family fun and some yum!

So, I know I've been MIA for awhile and I missed a post for Humpastry Day, but I had a good reason!  My sister, her two boys (3 and 16mo.), and my mom are in town!  Yay!  We have been super busy catching up and trying to keep up with all four boys in the house!  It has been a little crazy, but they are all getting along really well and loving being together.

Yesterday was a free day at the Denver zoo, so we decided to bring the boys and battle the herds of people that take advantage of the free day.  It was crazy!  There were so many people there, but all of the boys had a lot of fun and loved seeing all of the animals.

Today, my sister and I went for a 5M run together.  I was supposed to do a tempo run, but I figured that since we're not really going to be able to run together on Sunday (she's doing the 1/2, I'm doing the full) that it would be nice to run with her today.  With the boys taken care of, we headed off for our run on the Highline Canal.  She is from AZ, so the altitude was definitely effecting her a little bit, but she did awesome!  It was nice to be able to spend some time with her and we ended up having a great run!
 My sister and me after our run :)

Guess what I found on my doorstep yesterday just in time for my marathon?  Woohoo!
Thank you Scott and Outside PR!  I haven't had the chance to use one on a run b/c I'm tapering, but I opened one and tasted it with my sister and mom.  I have to say that I really like the flavor!  It is super yummy!  We came to the conclusion that it is a mixture of peach and pineapple flavors, kind of like the taste of a pineapple lifesaver.  And, it has a dose of caffeine in it for that extra burst of power...ha ha!  I will definitely be using one of them during my marathon on Sunday! :)  

I hope you are all having a great week!  

October 8, 2010

A week in review and other things too

*  There are only 10 days left until my first marathon!  Where did the time go?  I'm getting really excited about it and am just ready to GO!  :)

*  Because this is a taper week, my runs have been pretty low key.  Today I decided to take my youngest on a short 3M run in the jogging stroller along the Highline canal.  This was the first time that I've actually pushed the jogger with only him in it and what a difference one less kid makes!  I mean, it was still an entire body workout, but it was so nice to only be pushing ~50lbs(stroller+ kid weight) instead of ~100lbs!  I stopped along the route to let him watch some water fountains, tractors, and other stuff.  It was actually a really fun time!

*  I know this doesn't really have anything to do with training, but here is a picture I took along the trail.  Notice the white stuff on top of the mountains?  Yep, that is snow.  The mountains got their first dusting of it last night!  Yikes!
Everyone chant with me:  Snow, snow, stay away,  don't come till November yay!  (I know that's lame, but I wanted it to rhyme..ha ha)  I really am not ready for snow yet.  We are finally getting fall like temperatures and it is so nice.

Other Things Too:
*  Now, I am not a huge beer fan, and actually don't really drink much alcohol at all.  I like a glass of wine (or two) with dinner on occassion, but really I'm fine without it.  But, my husband came across this beer and I have to say that I really like it!  It is just a really nice, drinkable beer.  Plus, how cute is the labeling? :)  If you see it in the store, check it out and let me know what you think about it!

*  Tonight is Parent's Night Out at my son's preschool.  They actually let siblings go too, so my husband and I are dropping off the boys and going out on a date!  Woohoo!  It's been awhile since we've had a date, so it's going to be nice to spend some quality time together.

*  I'm so excited because my mom, sister, her boys, and her husband are coming up next week for a visit!  My sister was originally going to run the marathon with me, but because of the crazy heat in AZ, it's been hard for her to train for the full.  So, she's coming out to do the 1/2 instead!  Yay!  I can't wait till they get here!  She has two boys too (1 1/2 & 3), so our house is going to be a mad house for a couple of days with four boys 5 and under all running around!  But, it will be sooo much fun! :)  

*  I know this may sound crazy, but I really want a dehydrator.  At first I thought they were silly appliances.  I mean, who would take the time to dehydrate fruit when you can buy it in the store??  But, the stuff in the store is expensive and full of ingredients that I can't even pronounce!  Plus, now that my boys are in school, I have been trying to give them healthy things in their lunches.  Being able to make homemade fruit roll-ups and dried fruit would just be awesome!
I've been doing some research and asked Amber at Almost Vegan what she uses and she recommended the Excalibur.  It got pretty good reviews on amazon, but I'm still having a hard time coughing up the money to get it.  Maybe Santa will get me one for Christmas this year!  :)

Alrighty, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

I know there are some of you racing this weekend, so GOOD LUCK! :)

Oh yeah, and I am so excited about Kona tomorrow and can't wait to see who wins!

October 5, 2010

Virtual Races All Around!

10/10/10 Virtual Race Reports:
I decided to participate in two 10k virtual races, Running Diva Mom's 10/10/10 10k race (here) and Running Off at the Mouth's Power of 10 Race to Finish Lupus (here).

I needed to do a 6M marathon pace tempo run as part of my marathon training, so I just decided to make it a 10k instead!
This is the bib I had my boys  make for the race.  My oldest colored it with Color Wonder markers, then my youngest got to pick 10 stickers to put on it! :)

After I dropped my boys off at school, I headed to Wash Park, one of my favorite places to run.  Wash Park has a running trail that goes around the entire park that is around 2.5 miles.  It is always filled with runners, no matter what time of day it is.  It always amazes me how many people come to run around the park, but it is just a beautiful place to run.  Here are some pics I took before heading out.

One of the lakes you run around.

The trail that I run on.  Isn't it beautiful?

Right from the start I thought it would be a great run.  The weather was perfect and I was just excited to get out and run!  I headed out on the trail and when I came to the west side all of the huge sprinklers were on and spraying all over the trail.  At first I thought about running around them to avoid them, but then I changed my mind and just decided to run right through them!  It was sooo much fun!  The water cooled me off a little bit and it just made me smile. I think adults need to spend more time running through sprinklers like our kids do! :)  The only bad thing about it was that the trail got a little wet and muddy, leading to this:
My shoes should be white! :)
Around the 3 mile mark, there was a guy that hopped onto the trail ahead of me.  He was running around the same pace as I was at the beginning, but then started running a little faster.  I was feeling good, so I decided to use him as my pacer and try to stay with him.  We ran one lap around the park, then he stopped at a parking lot.  I think he knew I was behind him the whole time because when he stopped he looked up at  me.  I said, "Thanks for pacing me!" and he laughed and said, "You too!"  It was pretty cool.  

I finished up my run and was really happy with my time! I've never actually done a 10k race, so I have nothing to compare my time to.  But, I ended up running the 10k in 51:38 for an avg. pace of 8:18min/M.  This is a little faster than what I was supposed to run, but oh well!  I was feeling good and having a great time!  

October 3, 2010

My toe and a 20 Miler!

My Toe:
I cannot believe I forgot to write a little blurb about my toe on my last post.  Some of you wrote comments asking me how it was (thanks!), so I thought I'd give you a little update.  For those of you who didn't read about it, you can see my lovely toe here.  Well, I'm happy to say that it is feeling much better!  I was actually able to drain it a little bit, but I just could not bring myself to take the nail off.  The swelling is gone, there is no pressure under the nail anymore, and it is almost pain free.  Yay! I know it is going to fall off eventually, so I'll just let Mother Nature decide when it's time for it to come off.  Until then, I'll deal with the black nail! :)

My 20 Miler:
Or otherwise known as the kick ass, confidence booster run I needed! :)
We had a little "cold" front come to Denver yesterday, making the high only in the upper 60s/low 70s.  Since the sun doesn't come up until 7A, I decided to start my run around 7:30.  It was in the 50s and I could see my breath when I got out of my car.  Brrrrr.  But, I knew I would warm up over the next 3 hours or so.  I decided to wear my shorts with my compression socks instead of my running tights b/c I wanted to see how they felt during a long run.  I know this was a gamble, especially since I was running 20 miles, but I was willing to take the chance.

I started running and was amazed at how many other people were already out on the trail.  I run on this trail a lot and I have never seen as many runners on it as I did yesterday.  It was awesome!
The trees were also very beautiful.  I took this picture at the beginning of the run.  Almost all of the trees along the trail were already changing.

I tried to keep my pace around 9:30 again, but my legs just wanted to go!  I don't know if it was because I was more rested, but my legs just felt "fresh."  I settled into a pace somewhere between 9:00-9:15 and just kept running, hoping this pace wouldn't come back and bite me later in my run.

7 miles into my run, I crossed a road I had never crossed before and continued on the path onto unchartered territory.  It was nice to be running along a new section of the trail and I really think this made my run go by faster then usual.  Around mile 9 I passed a park with a water fountain and a port-a-potty and made a mental note of where it was.  I made it to 10 miles, did a quick fist pump in the air, then turned around.  I was feeling really good and I was actually excited about completing the second part of my run.  I reached the water fountain, refilled one of my water bottles, then used the port-a-potty.  This is probably more info. then you care to know, but up until that point, I had been ducking behind trees and bushes to do my business.  So, it was nice to actually have a place to "go."  :)

Around mile 13, I saw two women running in front of me that looked really familiar.  I ran up next to them, and it was Julie from You Just Have to Tri! and Kathleen from Dare to Dream.  I was so excited to see them!  I ran next to them for awhile and learned that they were doing 11 miles!  They are both doing the Denver 1/2 marathon.  We chatted for a little bit, then I headed out to complete the rest of my run.  It was so fun to see them and it really gave me a boost of energy to keep on keepin' on!

From that point on, I just kept ticking off the miles.  I would get to mile 14 and say, "6 miles to go."  Then, before I knew it I was at mile 15.  5 miles to go.  At this point I decided to pick up the pace a little bit and run a couple miles at my marathon pace.  I got to mile 18 and remembered how hard my last 18 miler was at the end.  But today, I felt different.  I felt strong and was just having a great time being outside running.  I kept up my pace and was overcome with joy when I reached my car!  20.15 miles in 3 hrs. for a 8:58min/M avg. pace!!

Happy to be done with my first 20 miler! :)

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED my compression socks! They were really comfortable...not too tight and not too loose.  I didn't get any blisters, my feet never got hot, and I truly believe they helped me get through the run.  I will definitely be wearing them for my marathon.

See all the dust?  Yeah...my socks and shoes got pretty dirty from the trail!

I got home, and this is where I sat for the next 15 minutes.  Brrrr!  And  yes, I have swimsuit bottoms on!
Can you see my goosebumps?  Here, let me help you!
Then, after a nice, warm shower, I slipped on my compression tights and headed out to lunch.  Chipotle veggie burrito bowl anyone?

Overall, I was super happy and excited after my run!  That is the longest I have ever run, and I now know that I WILL be able to make it to the finish line of my marathon!  Yay!

I hope you are all having a great weekend! :)