May 31, 2011

Embrace the HEADWIND..

because you never know when you're going to get an AWESOME tailwind!!

 I was able to go on a 2 1/2 hr. bike ride today, and it was great!  I headed out and the wind was noticeable, but not too bad.  But, once I got about 40min. into my ride, the wind really started picking up!  It got so strong, and at one point I was literally only going 10mph!  I was breathing so hard, but I kept on keeping on.  Since I started my IMAZ training I have been trying to EMBRACE the wind instead of trying to avoid it.  IMAZ is known for being windy on the bike course, so I really need to spend as much time as I can riding in windy conditions.  I will be hoping and praying that it won't be too windy, but you just never know what race day will bring.  So, in the meantime, BRING IT WIND!!

I rode out for 1:15, then decided to turn around.  When I started heading back towards home  IT WAS AWESOME!!  I was able to average well over 20mph and it was so fun speeding down the trail on my tri bike!  The wind made such a big difference heading out that it actually took me 15minutes LESS to cover the same distance.  WOOHOO!  It was so much fun!  
You know you're jealous of my helmet hair!  :)
  Now, the bike is put away, and I'm sitting here relaxing in my compression tights as I type!  Life is good!
Ahhh...I LOVE these! 
I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!!

May 25, 2011

Minimalist/Barefoot Seminar!

As most of you know, I have been running in my Vibram Bikilas for awhile now and absolutely love them! When I'm not in the Bikilas, I have been running in the Pearl Izumi isoTransition shoe and have so far not had any more IT band flareups!!  Woohoo!!

Last night I was able to go to a minimalist/barefoot seminar held at a local running shop.  I got there right when it was supposed to start and I was surprised at how many people there were!  It was pretty packed, which was awesome!  I got some food, sat down, then looked across the way and saw someone that looked really familiar!  I immediately knew who it was and went over to introduce myself!  It was none other than Jill from Run With Jill!  I was so excited to finally meet her!  I moved my stuff to sit by her and we chatted for awhile before the discussion started!  She is so nice, like I knew she would be, and I'm hoping to be able to ride with her (and maybe do some barefoot running!) some time this summer! :)
Jill and me after the discussion
The cool thing about this event was that we got to listen to a panel of experts talk about their insights and advice on how to responsively integrate minimalist running into your training.  

The panel consisted of:

*  Michael Sandler, author of "Barefoot Running"
*  Thomas Howell, author of "The complete Idiot's Guide to Barefoot Running"
*  Dr. John Hill, Professor CU Sports Medicine, medical director of Leadville 100, ultra marathoner
*  Spencer White, director of Saucony Human Performance and Innovation Lab

I'm really glad I was able to go to this discussion.  Although I already knew a lot of the information they presented, it was good to hear their insights into the whole barefoot/minimalist movement.  Basically, here are the main points that I took away from the discussion:

1.  When you first start out, do NOT run any longer than 200yards.  GRADUALLY increase your mileage (200yds, 300yds, etc..).

2.  If your feet/calves start hurting, STOP and put your normal shoes on to finish your run.  LISTENING to your body is key to making the transition work!

3.  One thing I found very interesting was about efficiency.  It was found that the way your foot lands (heel/mid/forefoot) is not as important for efficiency as you would think.  Instead, having a strong CORE which allows you to have a good running form is what really matters for becoming a more efficient runner.
    ** At one point, Michael had us all stand up and get into the "proper" running position.  Basically, you want your shoulders back, arms close to your sides with a 90degree bend in your elbows, chest out and open, arms swinging front to back (not side to side or across your body).   In order to assume this position over a long run, you REALLY need to have a strong core.

Overall, it was a great discussion and I'm glad I was able to go!  I learned some great things, met Jill, AND I ended up winning a raffle prize!!
I got Michael's book, which I had him sign!  Woohoo!!!

Oh, and I got to see the new minimalist shoe from Saucony, the Hattori:
It was sooo light and flexible and I wish I would have had time to try it on!  It comes in some pretty cool colors too! :)

So, do any of you wear minimalist shoes?  If so, what is your favorite??  

May 21, 2011

Life Happens

So, I have been gone for way too long!  I have so many blogs to read, and hopefully I'll get to them soon, but for now, I am exhausted and emotionally drained.  I haven't been able to do one ounce of "traditional" training this past week, but as you'll read below, I got in plenty of "untraditional" training!  Here's what's been going on for the past week!

As you know, our house sold fairly quickly and we just didn't have time to find that "perfect" house for us.  We closed on our house yesterday, and without a new house to move into, we had to get all of our stuff out and the house cleaned and ready for the new owners.

If only, it was this easy to move out of a house!! 

Instead, we got a budget truck last Saturday, and from 7AM Saturday to 10PM Sunday, my husband and I managed to move almost everything out of our house into our 2bdrm. apartment (which has 2 flights of stairs by the way!!) AND into... 

our lovely storage unit where we had to load things onto carts, go into an elevator, go up 3 flights, then cart the stuff to our unit!  UGH!!  It took so long!  We stacked things as high as we could and packed it FULL, but it was still not enough space.  It is simply amazing what you accumulate after living in a house for 8 years!!  

So, where did the rest of the stuff go?? In the garage in our apartment! It is packed full, with just a little walkway done the middle!!

It was A LOT of work and we are still amazed at what we were able to get done in 1 weekend.

Then, this past week we had to get all the "little" stuff out of the house, which meant loading up the car, driving to the apt, unloading, walking up/down stairs, then driving back to the house to get more stuff.  OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!! 

 Once everything was out, it was time to clean and do paint touch-ups throughout the house.  I WISH I was as happy as the lady in that picture, but really I was an emotional mess!  With every room that I emptied and cleaned, I would have a little breakdown and shed a few tears.  Seeing empty rooms just made me really sad thinking about all of the memories we had over the years.  

But, I kept on going because it needed to be done.  And, when I was done, the house looked absolutely BEAUTIFUL.  I was proud of all the hard work we put in and knew the new owners would appreciate it too.   

Thursday night, the last night we officially owned the house, we had our final goodbye.  We decided to do a "picnic" dinner on the dining room floor.  

Then, we walked out to the "Magical fairy tree," the tree where my boys LOVED to dig and dig for hours!  They filled a treasure box with some of their toys, and we decided to bury it under the tree. 
 Our hope is that some day, there will be other little boys and girls digging under that tree that will find the treasure box.  Imagine how excited they will be when they dig it up!!   

 The entire process has been so emotional for me.  That was our first house.  We raised our boys there and have had so many special memories there.  It was very hard to say goodbye.  But, I know that we will find the perfect house for us (hopefully sooner rather than later!).  We are on this new adventure, and although it is going to be a little stressful, it will be all worth it in the end!  

May 11, 2011

Humpastry Day - Sneaky Brownies

Sneaky Brownies
I was in the mood for brownies the other day and came across an unusual recipe that incorporated spinach and berries.  It was too weird not to try, so of course I had to make it!  I changed the ingredients to make it even healthier, and the result was a chocolatey, moist brownie with just a hint of cherry!  They were good!  And, the best part,  no one even noticed the hidden ingredients!  He he! :)

Makes 16 brownies

Cherry Puree Ingredients:
*  1 1/2C spinach
*  3/4C fresh/frozen cherries (Note: I think you could use just about any berries for this, but I thought the choco/cherry combo sounded yummy!)
*  1/2tsp. lemon juice
*  1-2Tbl. water

Sneaky Brownie Ingredients:
* balance  butter
*  3/4C chocolate chips
*  2 flax eggs (2Tbl. ground flax mixed with 6Tbl. water)
*  2tsp. vanilla extract
*  1/2C raw sugar
*  1/2C cherry puree
*  2Tbl. whole wheat pastry flour
*  4Tbl. whole wheat flour
*  1Tbl. amaranth flour (or you could use wheat germ, or more whole wheat pastry flour)
*  1Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
*  1/4C oat flour (OR 1/4C rolled oats ground in a food processor)
*  1/4tsp. salt

Directions for the Cherry Puree:
1.  Place all ingredients into a blender/processor.

2.  Process on high until smooth, stopping if needed to scrape down the sides.
3.  Add more water if needed to make a smooth puree.  Set aside.
*Note:  The ingredients make more puree then you need for the brownies.  You can either save it for future use, or serve it to your son as "cherry juice."

As you can see from his face, he absolutely LOVED this stuff!  He drank EVERY LAST SIP of that puree, then proceeded to lick the cup until he had it all!  Ha ha!

Directions for the brownies:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the bottom of a 9" square pan and set aside.
2.  In a medium sized microwave safe bowl (you will be adding other stuff to this bowl later on),  melt the butter and chocolate chips.  Stir to combine and set aside to cool.

3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flours,  cocoa powder, oats, and salt.
4.  To the chocolate bowl, add the flax eggs, vanilla, sugar, and cherry puree.
5.  Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
6.  Pour the mixture into the 9" pan.
7.  Make sure you lick the chocolatey goodness from the mixing bowl!  Yum!!

7.  Bake for 30-35min., until a toothpick comes out clean.
8.  Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting into them.  Then, cut into 16 bars.
I just HAD to eat one before taking the picture..ha ha!
9.  Dust with powdered sugar in desired.
10.  Enjoy!

May 9, 2011

A Perfect Day!

I hope all of you moms out there had a wonderful day yesterday!  :)

Like the title says, I had a perfect day!  Instead of writing all about it, I thought I'd take you through my day in pictures.

Getting Mother's Day projects done in school:

And one made at home with their dad:

Getting a "big boy" bike for our youngest who turns 4 in a couple of weeks:

Teaching our oldest, who is almost 6, how to ride his bike without training wheels!
First on grass:
Then on the sidewalk:

Going on a family bike ride to Jimmy John's for lunch followed by lots of play time at the park.

Having one VERY tired little boy:

Having a DELICIOUS portabello burger for dinner followed by "Strawberry Good Cake:"

Ending the day with a very good glass of Pinot while enjoying the beautiful weather and the sun not going down until after 7:


May 7, 2011

A week in review and other things too

I went for a great run on Wednesday!  It was a beautiful day and I needed to get out, so I decided to go to my favorite running place, the Highline Canal.  I have not run outside since that day I only made it 1.5M and had to walk back to my car, so I was a little nervous.  BUT, it was great!  I ran 30min. in my VFFs, then switched shoes and ran the last 30min.
I felt fast and it felt awesome to be outside in the fresh air instead of on my treadmill.  I had a little bit of pressure/pain the last 10 minutes, but I think it's because I ran longer than I have since Jan.  I took it easy the last 10 minutes and did some nice stretches when I finished to keep my IT band happy!

Biking:  I rode my trainer for 1:30 the other night while watching WipeOut and Grey's Anatomy.  It wasn't too bad, but I cannot wait to start riding outside more regularly!!  I am kind of sick of the trainer!

Swimming:  I had some good swims this week.  :)  I'm still trying to figure out when I'm going to do my 3x swim,bike,runs a week, but hopefully I'll get into a routine soon and it will be all good!  I gotta tell you though, I'm getting tired of lap swimming.  I CANNOT wait to start doing some open water swimming!  Hopefully next weekend I'll be able to get out!

Other Things Too:
*  The boxes continue to get higher and higher and take up more space in our house.  Ugh!!  I cannot believe we're moving next weekend!  Where is May going?  Time is going by way too quickly and I don't like it!
*  Lately, I feel like my blog has been pretty lame.  With moving, things have just been so crazy busy here.  I always think of posts I'd like to write, but find myself not having the time to write them.  So, I'm sorry things have been lame here recently.  Hopefully after we move in the next few weeks things will get back to normal!

*  Lastly, I know many of are racing this weekend.  I want to wish all of you good luck!!!  I can't wait to read about your races! :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

May 3, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Baked Falafel

Baked Falafel
I have tried several falafel recipes in the past, but this one is by far my favorite!  My husband and boys love these too and there are never any leftovers because they all get gobbled up!  The flavors just go really well together and create a super yummy falafel!  It is perfect by itself, or dipped in hummus, but we like to eat it in a pita filled with tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, and tzatziki sauce!  YUM!
Serves 4
Makes 12 patties

*  1/2C chopped onion
*  6cloves garlic, minced
*  2-15oz. cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
*  8tsp. dried parsley (OR 1/2C chopped fresh parsley)
*  1/2tsp. baking soda
*  2Tbl. all-purpose flour
*  2tsp. cumin
*  1/2tsp. coriander
*  1/2tsp. salt (or more to taste)
*  2 flax eggs (2tbl. ground flax mixed with 6Tbl. water) (OR 2 eggs, beaten)
*  4tsp. olive oil

*  If your eyes tend to tear up when you cut onions, you might want to think about investing in a pair of onion goggles.  Yes, I said onion goggles!!  My  mom got these for me and I thought they were ridiculous, but they work!  I  may look like a complete idiot when I wear them, but it's totally worth it to me! :)

1.  Make the flax eggs and set aside.
2.  In a pan over med-high heat, saute the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5-7 min.
3.  In a food processor, put the garbanzo beans, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, and baking soda.  Process until coarsely pureed.
4.  Add the sauteed onions and garlic, flax eggs, and flour.  Pulse until combined.
5.  Shape the mixture into 12 patties and put them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
6.  While the mixture is in the fridge, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
7.  Put the patties on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
8.  Bake for 20 minutes, turning them 1/2 way through.
9. Eat them with hummus, tzatziki sauce, or in a pita filled with lots of goodies!
10.  ENJOY!!  :)

May 1, 2011

A week in review and Giveaway Winner!

*  Overall, my first week of IM training went great!  Woohoo!  I modified the running a little bit b/c I'm just getting back into it after my IT band injury, and I didn't want to overdo it.  BUT, I think next week I'll be able to get it all done. :)
Where my BRICK happened!  I would have liked to have done it outside, but this worked just fine. And, yes, I did the run in my VFFs and loved it.
*  I did my first BRICK of the season yesterday! It was short, only a 30min. bike/15min. run, but it felt great!  I was actually looking forward to doing it and ended up wishing it was longer.  However, I KNOW my feelings will change when my BRICKs turn into 5hr. bike ride/2hr. runs...ha ha!
Sweaty and happy after my run! :)
*  Remember how I did a post about the awesome TRX??  Well, I found a coupon for the pro pack and kind of hinted about it to my husband and guess what?  He decided to get it for me as an early b-day present (my b-day is in June)!  Woohoo!  Well, guess what came in the mail on Friday??
 I am so excited to get this thing set up!  The only problem is deciding where to put it.  I can't anchor it to any structure since we're moving, but I do have the door anchor, so I just need to find the perfect spot!  Yay!!!

Other Things Too:
*  GIVEAWAY WINNER:  I had 52 entries for the giveaway!  Based on, the winner of the earphones is.... Kathy from lettlingtales!!!  Kathy, send me an email with your address and I'll forward it on to auria so you can get your set of earphones! :)

*  So, it's official, we are moving into an apartment.  We just haven't found our "dream house" yet, and although it's not an ideal situation, I know it will be fine.  I found some free moving boxes off of Craigslist and have been packing up like crazy.  At first I got a little emotional about the whole thing and ended up calling my mom, bawling.  It hit me that we are actually leaving our first home...the home where both of my boys grew up.  It just made me really sad.  But, I know we are doing the right thing for our boys by moving.  I also know that wherever we end up, we will make a new home filled with love and happiness, just like we have now.      

*  Is it really May 1st??  WOW...where did the time go?  Time is flying by!

*  I hope you all have a great weekend!  :)