March 31, 2012

Newly Found Motivation

After Ironman Arizona, I told myself that this season was going to be all about FUN!  I didn't want to do anything huge where I had to follow a strict training plan, and I wanted to take up trail running because it is something I've always wanted to do.  The problem lately though is that I just haven't been having very much fun.

For some reason, I decided to sign up for a 50k on June 1st.  The race is called the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty.  I saw the race, and thought, "This sounds like fun," so I signed up for it!  But, I don't know what I was thinking!  Take a look at the elevation profile..YIKES!:

While I am excited about doing the race, the problem is that I have REALLY been struggling with finding my motivation to get out there and run.  I don't have a problem with the short runs, but the long runs are KILLING me!  I find myself dreading the run, putting it off until the last minute, and sometimes even bailing out before I even put in the full distance.  For something like a 50k, this is NOT an option.

I am a firm believer that the mental aspect of training/racing is just as important as the physical.  When I start a run with negative thoughts, it is doomed from the start.  I KNOW this, yet I can't seem to shake it.  I'm NOT having fun with my running, and it is really bothering me.
So, when I found out that Scott Jurek was giving a talk at REI about motivation and what it takes to do ultras I signed up as fast as I could!  For those of you who don't know who Scott Jurek is, he is one of the top ultrarunners in the country...he is AMAZING!  You can read all about him HERE.   

He didn't talk about training or nutrition, but he did talk about the one thing that I really needed: motivation.  His presentation really went into the mental aspect of what it takes to go long and it was awesome!  A lot of what he talked about could be applied to all sports as well as all aspects of life.  It was just what I needed to kick my butt into gear, stop making excuses, stop having all the NEGATIVE thoughts, and get out there and RUN!!!

 This is a picture of him in front of a slide of his new book coming out in June.  He said he wanted to write a book not only about aspects of training for ultras, but as a vegan, he wanted to incorporate the nutrition side of it too!  As a vegetarian/almost vegan, I am really excited for this book to come out!  You can be sure I will be one of the first to order it! :)

At the end of the presentation he sat down to sign posters for whoever wanted one.  I stood in line for about 10min. to get one of those!  :)  I have to admit I felt really small  next to him...look how tall he is! Ha ha!

Not only did I leave there with a bunch of awesome goodies, but I left there with a new sense of motivation...which is just what I needed!

Oh..and if you're wondering about the "chop wood" comment on the poster, he talked about it in his presentation.  There is a saying that goes, "If you're going to chop wood, chop wood."  Basically it means that no matter what you're doing, weather you're running long, training for a tri, or working on a huge presentation, you need to focus and put all your energy into what you're doing at that moment and don't let any other outside forces (negative thoughts, life stresses, etc..) get in your way.  LOVE IT!

March 22, 2012

Thursday Trio - Spring Edition

I cannot believe it's been so long since my last post.  Things just seem to be really crazy right now, and I'm having a hard time keeping it all together!  Anyways, I thought I'd do a quick post about why I'm happy that it's FINALLY spring!

I LOVE, love, love this picture!!  Now that our boys are getting older, it's so much fun going on long bike rides together! :)

Playing baseball/catch in our backyard is something that we love to do as a family, so we ditched the cheapo Target mitts they had that were falling apart and bought our boys their first Louisville Slugger mitts!  They are both starting T-ball/coach's pitch next month and are so excited about it!  I just hope the warm weather we've been having stays b/c there's no way I'm going to be sitting outside in 30degrees watching them practice/play...brrr!!!

I'm soooo tired of having to bundle up to run outside!  The weather is going to be in the 70s this weekend throughout next week and I'm so excited about being able to run in shorts and short sleeved shirts!  Woohoo!!  BRING ON THE WARM WEATHER!! :)


March 14, 2012

REVIEW - PureFIt Nutrition Bars

PureFit Nutrition Bars
I was contacted by PureFit to see if I would be interested in trying out their nutrition bars, and after doing a little bit of research about the bars, I jumped on the opportunity!  I have to admit that I had not really heard of PureFit nutrition bars so I was excited about trying them out.

Here is the low down on the bars from their website: [HERE]
Kosher-certified and vegan-approved PureFit bars do not contain dairy, wheat, or gluten, and will not melt in their packaging. PureFit works diligently to provide high-quality, award-winning nutrition bars without artificial ingredients, sugar alcohols or common allergens, including milk, wheat or gluten.
100% All-Natural Ingredients, 18 Grams of Soy Protein, Non-GMO Soy, Unprecedented Great Taste. This low glycemic, nondairy bar is based on over 20 years of research and was not practical to manufacture until now. It offers:
  • NO Hydrogenated Oils
  • NO Animal Products - Vegan
  • NO Cholesterol or Trans Fatty Acids
  • NO Wheat or Gluten
  • NO Artificial Sweeteners
  • NO Hidden Carbohydrates
  • NO Sugar Alcohol

So, they sound great, BUT how do they taste???  We all know that you can have the healthiest bar out there, but if it doesn't taste good, no one is going to eat it!

I received 5 bars, Almond Crunch, Berry Almond Crunch, Chocolate Brownie, Granola Crunch, and Peanut Butter Crunch.
 I wanted to actually try the bars out in a way that I would use them, so I ate them after runs, during bike rides, and as a snack in between workouts.  I even enlisted the help of my husband to rate the bars on taste. :)

Here's what I thought about the taste.  I really liked the Berry Almond Crunch.  It reminded me of a Wildberry Powerbar, which I may or may not have been addicted to in college...ha ha!  It was definitely my favorite flavor.  As far as the others go, here's how I would rate them:

1. Berry Almond Crunch
2.  Chocolate Brownie
3.  Peanut Butter Crunch
4.  Granola Crunch
5.  Almond Crunch

*Note: Unfortunately,  I really didn't care for the taste of the Granola Crunch or Almond Crunch.  For me, and my husband, they both just seemed to be missing something, and just weren't very good.  

Overall, I liked the bars.  I thought they had a great consistency and could really see eating them on a long bike ride or after workouts.  But, at a price of $34.35 for 15 bars ($2.29/bar), they are a little pricey.  Plus, if you have been following my blog for awhile, you know how much I like to make my own energy bars.  That being said, if I was looking for a healthy bar in a store, I would definitely consider these bars.

*Note: Although I was given these bars to try out for free, these are my own thoughts and opinions.    

March 7, 2012

Humpastry Day - Brown Rice Krispie Treats

Brown Rice Krispie Treats
So, one day when I was running late and had nothing in the fridge for dinner, we decided to head to Noodles right down the street for dinner.  As many of you probably know, they always have a huge basket of Rice Krispie Treats right at the counter, which I'm sure they know will grab the attention of EVERY child that enters the place.  Normally, I don't cave in, but for whatever reason, that night I decided to get one of those gigantic treats for all of us to share.

I'm not going to lie, I was looking forward to it.  Making homemade Rice Krispie treats is a fond memory that I have of growing up.  I can remember making them with my mom, watching the marshmallows melt into gooey yumminess, then pouring it all over the Rice Krispies.  BUT, when I bit into that Noodle's treat, all I could taste was OIL.  YUCK!  It was greasy, flavorless, and just made me sick thinking about what we were eating.  After that, I vowed to find a better way to make these treats.  I wanted my boys to have the same fond memories of making these fun treats that I had with my mom.  So, when I got home I scoured the internet and actually found some great recipes!  Woohoo!!

This recipe is from a great site called Weelicious [HERE].  There are some awesome recipes on there, so go check it out!  Anyways, these Rice Krispie treats are a healthified version of the original.  Yes, it tastes different, but in a good way!  Plus, it packs some great protein power so I wouldn't hesitate giving one of these to my boys as a fun snack!  I made these as Valentine's day treats, hence the heart shape, but they are just as great cut into squares! :)

*Note: I know there have been studies on the news lately about how Organic Brown Rice Syrup has levels of arsenic in it.  While I do think this is just one more reason to be aware of what we're putting into our bodies, I'm not sure how I really feel about this study.  For one, in order to be effected by the arsenic you would literally have to eat a TON of this.  Also, I don't even buy organic brown rice syrup, so these aren't effected by it.  But, even if I did use the organic syrup, in a world full of fast food, highly processed foods, soda, dyes and chemicals, etc..that people put in their bodies EVERY day, a small Rice Krispie treat with a little brown rice syrup in it is far better to eat then any of that other crap in my opinion.

Now, onto the recipe! :)

Makes 16 treats

*  1/3C almond butter
*  1/3C peanut butter
*  2/3C brown rice syrup
*  3 1/2C Brown Rice Crisp cereal

1.  In a sauce pan, combine the peanut butter, almond butter, and brown rice syrup.
Over low heat, mix together until well combined, 2-5 minutes.
2)  Remove from heat and pour over Rice Kripies in a large bowl.  Mix until well combined.
3)  Pour into a lightly greased or parchment lined 8x8 pan.  Press the mixture down and into the corners.  I used the advice on the site and used a plastic tip ever!!!

4)  Cool in the fridge for ~5 minutes before cutting into bars...or hearts! :)

5)  Enjoy! Yum, yum, yum!!

March 1, 2012

Thursday Trio

This is my very first "Three Things Thursday" post, but I thought I'd name it something a little different!  :)  This has been one crazy week, hence the lack of blog posts.  But, I thought I'd share some of the highlights with you!

1)  Painting Fun:

Yes, I am STILL painting!  These are my painting jeans, and they have definitely seen better days!  Painting is taking forever, and I have no clue when we'll be done!

2.  Great Runs:
This week I've had 2 really great runs!   My first was on Sunday where I did a 10.5M trail run with the Denver Trail Runners.  It was a cold 25 degrees, but the sun was out and it was beautiful.  You would think that because it was below freezing, the ground would be frozen, but because the sun is so powerful here, there was A LOT of mud on the trails.  I had to keep stopping every so often to scrape the mud off my shoes because they would get so bogged down with it.  BUT, it was a blast and I loved every second of it!

The second great run was on Wednesday.  We had a sunny, warm, beautiful day here and I was lucky to get to run outside.  I started my 7M run in a SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT...Woohoo!  I couldn't even believe how nice it was.  BUT, 4M into my run, the winds picked up and it got COLD!  I was freezing.  I HATE the wind...absolutely hate it.  It just ruins everything.  :(

3.  Yummy Balls:
O-kay, I have seriously found a little slice of heaven in these things!  They are soooo good!  I've seen a lot of different versions of these and finally decided to make them.  I got the recipe from a new blog I found called Chocolate Covered Katie [HERE].  I modified it a little bit by rolling the balls in different things like coconut, sesame seeds, and chopped almonds.  Seriously, go check out her is full of AMAZING recipes!
I honestly think I have found the perfect thing to satisfy my crazy late night sweet tooth.   :)