August 29, 2011

I Did My First Century Ride!!!

Yesterday I rode in my first century ride, Venus de Miles.  It is an all women's ride with distances varying from 32-100miles.  There were around 2000 women that came out for the ride and IT WAS AWESOME!!

Check out the t-shirt we got!  It is super cute and really soft!  I'm not a huge "yellow" fan, but I love this shirt!!

While I think the majority of women were out for a fun, leisurely ride, I wanted to use it as a training ride for IMAZ.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to test out my bike nutrition and push myself almost as if I was in an actual race.

From the get go, I felt like I was an odd man (woman) out.  I think I saw maybe 5 other tri bikes!  When we were waiting to start, all the women around me started asking me questions about my bike and about triathlons.  It was pretty cool.  AND, I think I convinced several of them to do their first tri next year! :)

Before I knew it, the whistle blew and we were off.  It was a little chilly out, but I knew by the midpoint I would be HOT, so I didn't dare complain about it.  Right off the bat I felt fantastic and just started cruising!  It was just so awesome to be out on the open roads and surrounded by the mountains.  It was sooo beautiful.

Around the 30M mark, another girl started riding with me and we got to talking.  It turns out she was a triathlete too and did IMLP this year!  She shared some IM tips with me and we rode together pretty much the rest of the way.  It was great!

Suddenly, as I was riding, I saw someone running on the other side of the road.  I was looking and looking, and thinking, "That looks like Chrissy."  Finally, I got almost right next to her and sure enough it was her!!  I yelled, "GO CHRISSY..WOOHOO!"  and she raised her hands in the air, said, "Woohoo!" and had a huge smile on her face!  IT WAS AWESOME!
All these women around me were like, who is that?  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??  Then, the other triathlete and I started talking all about her to these other was pretty funny!  I seriously thought about turning around just to see her again, but didn't.  It was definitely a highlight of my ride!

Finally, we hit the 50M mark, only to be faced with a 7M climb.  I have to admit, I suck at climbing!  I just don't do enough of it, even though I know I should, so it was definitely challenging for me.  Here is the profile map of the whole ride.  Nice to have that climb right in the middle huh?!
I just kept chugging along and finally I made it to the top at Jamestown!  I was sooo excited!  There was a much needed aid station at the top, so I grabbed some watermelon slices and rested for a bit.  The best part of climbing that hill though was going DOWN it on the way back!  It was fast and fun, but a little scary too.  There were a lot of turns and sight is limited, so with all of the traffic I just didn't feel comfortable riding in my aero bars.  BUT, I was still able to fly down the hill!  Weeeeeee!

After that, we just had a couple rolling hills, then the last 10miles were pretty flat and fast!  It was a perfect way to end the ride.  As I came into the finish chute, I think I had a huge smile on my face!  Up to this point, the longest I had ridden was 62 miles, so going 100 miles was just awesome to me.  I felt strong on this ride and it was definitely a HUGE confidence booster for IMAZ.

After the ride, I checked out the expo and got a new jersey!  I loved the design, colors, and just thought it was a super cute jersey! :)

Then, as I drove home, I had one more stop to make:

Seriously, I never drink these, but for some reason a carmel frappuccino was calling my name.  IT WAS DELICIOUS!!  Plus, with all the milk and chocolate in there, it's a pretty good recovery drink...right???!!!

August 25, 2011

The Heat Is On!

I don't know what is going on with Mother Nature these days, but it has been HOT!  We've been in the mid-upper 90's all week and we're supposed to have a high of 97 today!  WHAT?  97?  Yikes!

Well, I needed to do a 1:30 run today and normally I take my boys to the Kids' Club at 24hr. fitness and run on the treadmill.  BUT, today my husband had the day off, so I had the opportunity to run outside.  Woohoo!  Because it is supposed to be 97 today, I decided to go right after we dropped our oldest off at Kindergarten, around 9AM.  I got dressed and we all walked to my son's school.  I got some pretty strange looks from some parents.  I have to admit with my Garmin, Visor, Nathan Speed4 waistbelt, and my flashy new shoes I didn't look like ANYONE else there, but whatever!
Check out my new shoes...the Brooks ST5 racer!  They are sooo bright it's crazy!  But, I still LOVE them!  

I said goodbye to my boys and husband and headed out in the midst of minivans leaving the school.  It IS pretty funny to see so many SUVs and minivans in one place.. ha ha!  The weather was already HOT, so I decided to run an out and back route that I knew would be shaded.  I have also been taking it easy on my runs b/c of my IT band incident last week and wanted to be close to home in case it flared up again.

Well, I have to say that my run today was HOT, but AWESOME!  I didn't have any pain...yay!!  Towards the end it was super hot and I was sooo glad to be done!  I literally came inside, laid down on the floor, and let the cool AC in my house cool me off!  At least it makes good practice for IMAZ.

You know it's hot outside when my face turns the same color as  my shirt!  Ha ha
I hope you're all having a great week!! :)

August 23, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Homemade Instant Oatmeal
So, I know this isn't a dinner/lunch recipe, but I thought I'd share it with you for Tasty Tuesday anyways!  The last time we went camping, we brought along store bought instant oatmeal packets for our breakfast.  I was looking at them thinking there had to be a way to make these, AND make them healthier.  A little Google searching gave me tons and tons of results!  So, when my husband said he wanted me to get him some instant oatmeal packets for his backpacking trip this weekend, I knew what I had to do...make my own!!

Seriously, this is SOOO EASY to make!  And, what I like about it is that once you have the base you can add whatever your heart desires into the mix to  make it your own.  The options are pretty much limitless!  All you need to do after that is add hot water, and voila you have a yummy, nutritious, FAST breakfast!

Not only will these be awesome on our camping trips, but I am planning on making a bunch of packets to have on hand for quick, easy breakfasts when we're rushing about trying to get the boys to school on time!  I hope you like it! :)

Makes 1 packet

For the base:
*  1/4C quick cooking oats
*  2Tbl. oat flour (*Note: I just grind up 1/4C oats to make my own flour...easy peasy!)
*  1/8tsp. salt
*  snack bags to store it in

For the Mix-Ins: 
Raisin Brown Sugar Oatmeal
*  2Tbl. raisins
*  1Tbl. brown sugar
*  1/8 tsp. cinnamon
*  1tsp. chia seeds (or  more if you like)
*  1Tbl. chopped walnuts

1.  Take 1/4C oats and grind it up until you have a flour-like consistency.
2.  Mix together the oat flour, salt, and quick oats into a bowl.  This is your base!
3.  Now, you can add whatever ingredients you want!  I made the Raisin Brown Sugar one listed above, but again the possibilities are limitless!
4.  I put all the ingredients in snack sized baggies that my husband could bring with him on his trip.  I made another batch and stored them in my pantry for easy breakfasts.
5.  When you're ready to eat it, just add some hot water (more or less depending on how thick/runny you like your oatmeal).  You can also top it with fresh fruit (bananas, berries, etc.), more sweetener of choice, peanut butter, almond butter, etc....   YUM, YUM, YUM!!!
6.  Enjoy!
I know this isn't the greatest picture, but I forgot to take a picture before I started eating it!  :)

August 21, 2011

A blogger meet-up and other fun things too

Alisa and me.  I really need to do something with my hair!!
Last week Alisa was in town on a business trip, so we planned on meeting Tuesday morning for coffee.  I was able to drop my boys off at summer camp and meet her downtown, which was perfect!  I was so excited to meet her!!  She is so nice, like I knew she would be, and I had a great time talking to her.  Before I knew it, an hour had passed and she needed to go.  I wish we could have talked longer, but I am so glad that we were able to meet up!  Thanks Alisa!! :)
My son is the one in the green shirt.  Don't you love those tricycles in the back??
On Friday, my youngest son graduated from preschool!  I didn't even know they had a graduation from preschool, considering he'll be in Pre-K next year, which is just another year of preschool.  I thought it was kind of silly and debated taking him, but I am so glad I did.  IT WAS ADORABLE!  And, it made me realize just how big he's getting.  He's 4 now and I just can't believe it!

This is what happens when you mix BOYS + WATER + DIRT.  They were outside playing and I was inside doing laundry when I heard a lot of laughing.  I went outside and this is what I found.  They had pretty much covered themselves in the mud!!   They thought it was hilarious!!

I have been parenting solo this weekend because my husband headed down to Salida, CO to watch the first stage of the Pro Cycling Challenge!!  I am so jealous!!  I wish I could have gone with him, but it would have been CRAZY bringing our boys, and this is the first week of school, which is kind of important!  I can't wait to watch it on TV.  Hopefully it will be successful and we'll continue to have it every year, which would be awesome!!!

I hope you all had a great weekend! :)

August 17, 2011

Humpastry Day - Choco Cherry Chia Granola

Choco Cherry Chia Granola
I know it's been like a bazillion weeks since I last did a Humpastry post...sorry!  Unfortunately, with all of my training, I haven't had much time for baking.  BUT, I have been craving chocolate like crazy!!  Chocolate chip cookies?  Yes, please!  Thin mint frozen yogurt?  Yes, please!  Spoonfulls of peanut butter covered in chocolate chips?  Yes, please!  While I haven't been going crazy with this chocolate stuff, I have let myself indulge a couple of times.  Everything in moderation is my moto!

Anyways, because I've been on this chocolate kick, I decided to tweak my Homemade Granola recipe and make it chocolicious!  I think the end result turned out super yummy!  It is great on yogurt, ice cream, or even eaten by the handful right out of the container! :)  I hope you like it!

See that HUGE bag of choco chips?? I told you I was craving chocolate!  Oh, and ignore that almond extract in the picture...I didn't end up using it.

*  2C old-fashioned oats
*  1/2C chopped almonds (or nuts of choice)
*  1/4C ground flaxseed
*  1/4C chia seeds
*  2/3C grapenuts (or other nugget like cereal)
*  2/3C dried cherries (you can use any dried fruit here, but I like the choco cherry combo best!)
*  1/2tsp. cinnamon
*  1/8tsp. salt
*  2Tbl. coco powder

* 2/3C brown sugar
*  1/3C water
*  1Tbl. agave (or other sweetener)
*  1/2C choco chips

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3.  In a big bowl, combine all of the ingredients except brown sugar, water, agave, and choco chips.

4.  In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves (~2-3min).
5.  Remove from heat and add agave and chocolate chips.  Stir until combined.
6.  Pour the choco mixture into the dry mixture and stir until the dry mixture is coated.

7.  Spread the mixture onto the cookie sheet.

8.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
9.  Let cool completely (if you can wait that long!).  The granola will harden as it cools.
10.  Once cool, break into chunks and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
11.  Enjoy!

August 14, 2011

An all too familiar pain!

Right now I'm sitting here completely annoyed, frustrated, upset, sad, and just angry.  But the day didn't start out that way.  I was happy and excited about going out for my long run today because the weather was beautiful and I had decided to revisit my old favorite running trail, the Highline Canal.

I headed out for my run and there were so many people out on the trail running, walking, riding their bikes, and it was just nice to be out and about.  I had to do a 1:20 run, so I decided to do an out and back.  I felt great all the way out, but once I turned around at the 40min. mark, I started to feel a little twinge in my right knee.
Immediately I got paranoid because that is the knee that I had that horrible IT band injury that sidelined me for months!  I decided to slow it down a little and just try not to think about it.  But, unfortunately, the pain started getting worse.  At the 50min. mark, I decided to stop running.  Memories of not being able to run flooded into my mind and I knew that if I kept running I could be right back there.  Stopping, instead of finishing my run, just seemed like the best thing to do.

 I walked the rest of the way to my car almost on the verge of tears.  With only 3 months left until IMAZ this is just NOT something that I need nor want to be dealing with.  I thought I was done with this stupid injury and I don't understand what caused it.  But, I am thinking that it might have been the trail I was running on.  I have not run on that trail since I had my injury this spring.  It is a packed dirt trail that is pretty uneven.  So, maybe running on an uneven surface was the culprit???

All I know is that I really, really do not want to go down the path of PT appointments and not being able to run.  It sucked!  I'm not scheduled to run again until Tuesday, so hopefully my IT band will get its act together and be right again!  If you can, please send positive healing vibes my way!  I can use all I can get! :)

August 13, 2011

A week in review and other things too

This has been a pretty good training week for the most part.  Because we went on our camping trip, I missed several days of training, but it's all good and it was totally worth it! :)

I did my longest OWS to date this morning...2 MILES!!!  Woohoo!  I felt good and it was a great confidence booster! :)

One thing I noticed though was that I got sooo thirsty.  I swam two laps, and during the second lap my mouth was so dry.  You don't think I could stash a water bottle in my wetsuit do you?  Ha ha.

Oh, and I got new goggles!  My old ones finally gave out and started leaking, so I went on the search for a new pair.  I ended up getting the TYR NEST PRO and so far I like them!  They fit a lot differently then my old goggles, but I think they're going to work really well, especially in the open water!

I did another long brick this week and tested out a new nutrition plan.  Since I know I don't want to do all liquid nutrition, I did a mix of EFS drink, honey stinger waffles, and honey stinger chews (thanks for the idea Mandy)  They are sooo yummy and A LOT easier to chew than shot bloks.  I think it worked well for the most part, but I think I need to tweak the amount of EFS I take in next time.


Other Things Too:

*  I took my boys to our local dollar (technically $2.50) theater to see the movie Rio and it was awesome!  It was such a cute movie with a great story line and my boys loved it!  Jon [HERE] did some of the feather animation and I have to say it was beautiful!  Great job Jon!

* I got a new cookbook and I absolutely love it!  It was created by a mom of two adorable girls and it is full of delicious, easy recipes!  I'm planning on doing a full review of it soon!  In the mean time, if you want to check out her blog, which is awesome, you can check it out [HERE].

I broke down and ordered a t-shirt from Beth [HERE] and I LOVE it!  It is super cute and will be a great addition to my running wardrobe!  Thanks Beth! :)

By the way, I  had my 6yr. old take the picture.  It's a little crooked, but not bad! :)

* My husband has had a pretty long week at work, so I thought I would help out and mow the lawn for him.  I'm a little ashamed to say that I've only done it a handful of times, but it's just something "he does."  Anyways, I actually liked it.  Dare I say it was even relaxing?
Well, needless to say, the yard looked great!  BUT, I totally annihilated one of my dog's tennis balls.  I totally didn't see it in front of the mower and I mowed right over it!  OOPS!

I hope you are all having a great weekend!!!
Hopefully I'll be back with the Tasty Tuesday and Humpastry Day recipes soon! :)

August 9, 2011

Camping Fun!

We had a complete blast this weekend on our camping adventure!  This is the perfect time to go camping in the mountains because the weather is in the 70s during the day and 40s at night....just perfect!!  And, we were reminded just how perfect it was when we got home and it was 92 degrees..ugh!  But, that is one nice thing about Colorado.  You can leave the heat of the city for the cool of the mountains!  Anyways, I thought I'd share some of our adventure with all of you!  :)

Here's my husband at the end of the Copper Triangle ride.  He did awesome!  I swear, he drives me crazy with how good of a climber he is though.  He is just built for climbing.  If I were to attempt that however, I would be sucking wind and probably have to walk!

We loaded up his bike, grabbed a quick lunch and headed towards the campground.  Because it was already Saturday afternoon, we hoped there would still be a camp spot left, but knew we were taking a gamble.  After about an hour drive, we got to the campground and found it completely packed!  We went into the Holy Cross Wilderness which is absolutely beautiful and probably why it was so busy.  After driving around for awhile, we finally found a campsite in the National Forest.  It didn't have facilities, but we didn't have a choice at this point.

Now, normally NOT having facilities is alright, but with a 4 and 6yr. old we quickly learned that IT IS A MUST.  Needless to say, the boys got their first lesson in how to poop in the forest!  Ha ha!  And, my husband and I decided that tomorrow we would move camp when all the other campers headed home.

Our lovely new campsite.  Do you see the stream in the background?  It was awesome!  The boys loved throwing rocks/twigs in it and my husband loved fishing in it.  Plus, at night, the sound of the water  made the perfect background noise.

We drove up the road to a reservoir and the views from the top were so beautiful!

The boys even got to "fish!"  We didn't catch anything, but they had a blast anyways! :)

That night we had a new campfire desert instead of smores.  You take a banana, peel away the top part of the peel, cut it in half, then stuff with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Then you wrap it up with aluminum foil and put it on the campfire for about 20min.

The end product is an ooey, gooey, marshmellowy, chocolatey desert.  And, the best part (beside the deliciousness) is that you can eat it with a spoon right out of the banana peel for a mess free desert!  YUM, YUM, YUM!!


The next day, before heading back home, we decided to go on a hike.  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!  The wildflowers were amazing and literally covered the mountain sides.

It was a perfect end to a perfect weekend.  :)

August 5, 2011

Nature is calling!

This is what my living room is currently filled with:

Sleeping bags, therm-a-rests, a tent, chairs...

Bins full of fishing stuff, food, cooking stuff...


My husband is doing the Copper Triangle (78M bike ride cresting 3 Mountain passes) tomorrow, so we decided to make it into a weekend getaway!  Because of moving and my training we haven't been able to go camping yet, so we are super excited about this weekend!  Our boys are going crazy with excitement too...I love it!  It should be a fun time!

I hope you all have a great weekend!
AND, I want to give a huge shout out to all of you racing Boulder 70.3 tomorrow!!!  YOU CAN DO IT!! You are all going to ROCK and I can't wait to read all about your experience when we get back!  Good luck, good luck, good luck!! :)

August 1, 2011

You asked for it!

O-kay, so I know I'm a little late in posting my answers to all of your questions.  But, better late than never right?!  Sorry about the weird spacing...I'm not sure why it turned out like that!

Here goes!
Cynthia O'H asked: What is your greatest fear about The Ironman?

THE SWIM!!!  Seriously, I am scared to death of that mass swim start with 2000 other people.  I know I can do the distance, but I am afraid of being kicked, swam over, punched, and mostly of drowning!  I will definitely be the one standing back and waiting a little bit after the gun goes 

BDD asked:   If you couldn't do triathlons or running races, how would you stay active? 

Hiking, backpacking, and running around playing with my boys!  All the things I do in my "spare" time! :)

- Besides cooking and endurance sports, what are your other hobbies? 

I don't know if I  have any real hobbies.  I love to read magazines and books, but I don't know if that's really a hobby.  I do know how to crochet though!  I'm still working on this big blanket that's been about 6 years in the making...ha ha!  Someday I'll finish it!
- If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
Ha ha...good one BDD! :)  But, for the life of me I cannot think of a clever answer!
Christi asked:  Brad Pitt or George Clooney?

Brad Pitt...all the way!!

Jill asked:  What did you do with the sweat bees? I'm not sure I could sleep knowing they were in my backyard! Ha.
After reading all about the sweat bees, we actually just decided to leave them alone.  They really aren't malicious, they just want to make their home and live in it.  So, we let them be.  We check up on them every once in awhile to see if they're still there, but other than that I try NOT to think about them.  My boys play in the yard every day and they've never once gotten anywhere near them.  So, for now, we have sweat bee pets! :)
Now that we're practically neigbbors (I run 99% of my runs at CC park), when are we going to go for a run together? :)
Hopefully next week! :)

Miss Erosion asked: If you could give 3 pieces of advise for someone transitioning from running to tri's what would it be?
Hmm... 1) Take is easy at first.  Going from only running to adding biking and swimming will take a toll on your body.  You will be sore in places you've never been before b/c each sport uses different muscle groups!  
2)  Get a good bike fit.  This is very important!  If you don't have a good bike fit, you will be uncomfortable on the bike and it will make the workouts really tough!  I never realized what a difference it makes until AFTER I got a fit done!  Wow! 
3)  Find a training plan that works for you, your family, and your schedule.  It's a lot easier to find time to run 5 times/wk then it is to run,bike, and swim 3 times/week!  Finding a balance with life and training is key.  And, know that it is O-KAY to skip some workouts and change the plan a bit! :)
What has been your favorite race?

Honestly, my favorite race was the Muddy Buddy I did with my sister!  It was soo much fun and soo different then running races/tris and I absolutely loved it!  I would love to do it again!!  

Velma asked:  you seem to be such a good cook. How do you manage family cooking, planning meals, etc. I want to get better so suggestions are welcome!
Thanks for the "good cook" compliment! :)  I am an organizational freak (seriously!), so every week I sit down and decide what I want to cook for the week.  I go through the ideas/recipes and on a piece of paper I write the meals down for each day.  Then, on the other side I write the grocery list of all the things I'll need for the week.  I don't like going to the grocery store, so if I can get it all done at once, it's awesome!!  For me, I want us to have healthy meals, so planning them in advance is key for us.  Also, it makes it less likely that we'll look in the fridge, see nothing to eat, and end up going out to dinner.   
I also look to see what's on our schedule for certain days and make sure that if we have a lot going on I plan a dinner that's fast and easy to cook.  Actually, most of our meals are done in less than an hour, so that makes it nice.  Also, I have to say that I do stock our freezer with frozen veggie burgers, veggie raviolis, etc.  just in case I don't feel like cooking or something comes up and we need a quick meal! 
Funderson asked:  Did you know your house came with weird bees?, we did not! :)
 Angela and David asked:   Do sweat bees make honey in the ground?
I wish!  Wouldn't that be cool!!!  
Colleen asked:  I know you love to swim, bike and run. Do you think your boys will follow in Mommy's footsteps at some point?

I REALLY hope they do!  They always talk about wanting to go running/biking with me.  And, my oldest talks about doing triathlons with me when he gets older.  So, we'll see!  I would love it if they do, but I just want them to find something that makes them happy whether that's running, triathlon, soccer, etc.  :)

What is your favorite distance to run?
Actually, I don't know if I have a favorite distance.  It's more of like my favorite amount of time running.  I really like running for an hour...weird right??  But, running for an hour is just enough time to feel like I get a good workout, de-stress, work through whatever problems I have, and get back home to my family. 

Phew...that was a lot!  :)
I hope you are all having a great Monday!!!