August 30, 2010

Iron Girl Sprint Tri Race Report!

Or otherwise known as The Best Race Ever!!!
O-kay, there are several reason why this was the best race ever.  Not only was there a great outcome, but I got to meet and hang out with two wonderful blogger friends, I had the most fun I've had in a race, and I got a super cute race shirt!  Onto the race report!  *Feel free to skip around, it's a long one (aren't they all?)! :)

I got up at 4am, got dressed, got my bagel with peanut butter and honey ready, and headed out for my 45 minute drive to Boulder.  This is what I found when I got into the car.  I love my husband! :)
There was absolutely no traffic, and the drive up was pretty uneventful.  I got to the Boulder Reservoir and it was sooo dark outside.  I forgot my headlamp, which would have been perfect, and ended up walking all my stuff in the dark towards the packet pick-up tent.  For some reason, I thought race day packet pick-up would be crazy, but I was wrong.  There were no lines and I made it in and out with all of my stuff in less than 15minutes.  Woohoo!  Here is my swag:
   The black bag actually folds up into this neat little case.  It will be perfect for storing in my car for those times I forget my reusable shopping bags!
I got to the transition area and found out that I had to rack my bike based on bib numbers.  Apparently, the later you registered, the further you were from the entrance.  I ended up having to rack my bike in the very last row.  Now, at first I was bummed about it, until I realized that the bike exit was right by my bike row!  Score!  Woohoo!  I love having my bike close to the bike exit because it means I don't have to run very far in my bike shoes!

I got my transition area set up, visited the port-a-potties a couple of times, and basically hung out until transition closed at 6:30.  I debated whether or not to wear my wetsuit because a 1/4M swim is so short and I knew the water was in the low 70s.  I have never raced this season without my wetsuit, so I was leaning towards wearing it until I saw that no one else around me was wearing theirs.  I seriously was freaked out about what to do.  Finally, I said screw it, and walked out of transition without my wetsuit.  I got maybe 20feet out of the area when I turned right back around and went back to my spot.  I finally figured that if I was that stressed about whether or not to wear it, then I SHOULD wear it.  I had 5 minutes to get it on before transition closed.  Once I had it on I immediately knew I made the right decision.  I felt so much calmer and relaxed.  Having my wetsuit just comforts me somehow.

I headed down to the swim beach and proceeded to wait and wait and wait.  My wave was the 2nd to the last wave, and I didn't start until 7:20.  So, basically I had 50 minutes to wait around.  Usually I'm totally nervous before the race start, but I was just so calm.  I looked at the buoys in the water and almost laughed at how short the swim course seemed.  I mean, the 1/4M swim looked like nothing!  It was awesome and I was so excited to swim.  Oh, and there actually were a lot of women with wetsuits, so I wasn't the only one! :)

Swim (1/4M):
Get this, the count down for the swim start ended with the announcer screaming "AFLAC" like the duck in those horrible commercials.  It was so cheesy and we all started laughing about it.  We were off and it took awhile before it was deep enough to actually swim.  I was finally able to swim and just decided to swim as fast as I could.  It was tough because there were a lot of women struggling and they would just stop in front of me (I have been there so many times, so I totally know how they were feeling).  It made it difficult to swim because I didn't want to swim over them, but I finally found my groove and just kept swimming!  I made it to the first turn buoy, then the second, and before I knew it I was at the finish!  It was amazing how short that swim felt...I LOVED it!  I got out of the water with a huge smile on my face, pulled my wetsuit down, got a great towel from the volunteers to dry off with, and ran the LONG way to transition.

Swim stats:
1/4M swim time:  8:30 (includes the long run)    Rank: 93/619
* I looked at my watch after coming out of the water and it said about 7min, which isn't incredibly fast, but it was a great time for me!  Yay!

This was pretty uneventful.  I got my wetsuit off, shoes on, helmet on, glasses on, and I literally had to run like 20 feet to the bike exit!  It was great!
Time:  1:14

Bike (17.2M):
I got on my bike and just started riding.  Although I was doing this tri for fun, I still wanted to push myself and see what I could do.  Because I have ridden this course before I knew what to expect.  I knew the first few miles or so are the worst, but after that it's just a great, fun course.  As I got up to speed, I started focusing on all of the calves ahead of me.  I was looking for women in my age group, 30-34, and I found them.  I felt so good on my bike and I just kept passing women the entire time.  It was a really weird feeling actually, and I almost felt guilty about it.  I don't really know why except maybe that this race is really a "beginner" tri for the most part and I almost felt out of place.  I only got passed once, on a downhill turn that I didn't feel comfortable going fast on, but once we went up again, I passed her back and never saw her again.  After awhile I stopped seeing women between 30-34 and was wondering where they all were.  I kept thinking that they had super speedy swims and super fast bikes and were ahead of me.  So, I kept pushing myself, trying to catch the women in my AG.  Finally, I was back at the reservoir.  I got to the dismount line and headed into transition.

Bike Stats:
17.2M   Time:  49:01  Avg. Pace:  21.2mph    Rank:  10/619
Woohoo!  I am so thrilled with this time and my avg. pace! 
*  As a side note, I did the Boulder Sprint Tri last year and my time on the same course was 52:24, so I beat my time by almost 3 1/2 minutes! :)

Again, this was pretty uneventful.  I got into transition and there weren't any other bikes around me.  It was crazy!  I racked my bike, got my running stuff on, took a swig of NUUN, and headed out.
Time:  1:07

Run (3.1M):
I left transition and my legs felt awesome!  I knew at that point that I was going to be able to push it on the run and I was so happy about that.  After my run experience at my Half Ironman, this was just a great feeling to have.  I got on the course and just started to run.  I told myself that it was only a 5k and I could do it!  I felt great and just kept pushing forward.  At one point, the leader of the race passed me in the opposite direction and she was flying!  I kept looking at all of the calves on the women ahead of me and I never saw anyone in the 30-34 age range.  I just kept thinking how strange it was and wondering where they all were.  Because the run course is an out and back, you get to see everyone that's ahead of you.  I saw some women that looked like they could be in my AG, but really it's impossible to tell how old someone is.  As I was nearing the turn around, I saw Kathleen coming the opposite direction and yelled some words of encouragement.  I was so happy to see her and she looked great!  I finally got to the turn around and I swear I had a huge smile on my face.  I was having such a great run and just having so much fun.  I stopped for a brief second to grab a Gatorade and gulp it down, and then headed towards the finish.  I saw a women in front of me with a 3_ on her calf and I couldn't tell if it was 34 or 39, so I decided to pick it up a little bit and find out.  As I got closer I realized it was a 39, but I just kept going.  I could hear the announcer at the finish calling out women's names and I got so excited!  Finally, I was at the finish chute and I ran it in, put my arms in the air, and sprinted across the mat!

Run Stats:
3.1M  time:  23:11  avg. pace:  7:29/M    Rank:  7/619
*  Last years time at the Boulder Sprint was 25:29.  

Overall Stats:
Overall Time:  1:23:01
Overall Rank:  9/619  (Note:  5 of the women that finished ahead of me were in the 35-39 AG...That is a FAST group and I'll be joining their ranks next year!  Yikes!)
30-34 AG Place:  1/120   I GOT FIRST PLACE!!!!!   Yay!!!  

Post Race:
After I finished I waited by the finish area because I knew Kathleen would be finishing soon!  She came in and I cheered her on!  We hung out for a little while talking about the race, then Julie, another blogger, finished.  Here is a picture of all of us:

Me, Julie from You Just Have to Tri, and Kathleen from Dare to Dream

I was so glad to finally meet Julie!  She is so nice!  We all hung out for awhile, then headed to the food tent where they literally had a full spread of yummy, yummy food.  Salad, yogurt and granola, bagels, pancakes, fresh fruit, muffins, etc...  It was awesome!  We loaded up our plates, then found a place to sit.  I knew my husband and boys wouldn't be there for awhile, so I got to hang out and just relax.  It was nice.  

Then, we noticed that there were a bunch of women gathered around a table.  They had posted some results, so I went over to check them out.  Imagine my surprise when I saw my name at the top of the list on the first page! :)  Then, I looked at the AG of the women that placed ahead of me and realized I was the first one in my AG.  I was totally taken aback by that so I actually asked another girl if that meant I got first in my AG.  She said yes and congrats, then I headed back to the table with a huge smile on my face!  I could not believe that I won my AG!  I was beyond ecstatic!  Just then, my husband and boys showed up and I told him the news!  He was so happy for me!  Then, of course, we had to take lots of stupid pictures by the Aflac duck...don't ask me why!

My boys loved the duck!  They thought it was hilarious! 

Then, they had the awards ceremony.  Kathleen and  Julie were so cute and they waited around with me and my family!  I was so excited to see what I won!
Here is what I won:

I am not a jewelry person, but I will probably wear this on occasion.  It's very simple and very pretty.  Plus, I love the message behind the saying, "Race with Grace."

Isn't that awesome!?!  

Before heading back to Denver, we ended up playing in the water with the boys at the reservoir.  It was wonderful!  I love this picture b/c my youngest looks so happy.  :)  

So, my tri season is officially over.  :(  It is a bittersweet feeling.  I love racing and am kind of sad that I am not doing another tri until next year.  But, this tri was an awesome way to end the season!  Plus, now I get to really focus on my marathon training.  It will be different, but good! :)   

August 27, 2010

A week in review and other things too

*  This has been an interesting week because I have the Iron Girl Sprint Tri tomorrow and I wasn't sure what to do in terms of marathon training.  I'm really just doing the tri for fun, but I definitely didn't want to run tons of miles and not even be able to perform well in the tri.  So, I did a long run at the beginning of the week and a shorter run yesterday.  I had the awesome 1hr. bike ride on Wednesday, and even managed to get in some nice, easy swims at the gym.

*  I'm really excited about the tri tomorrow.   But, what I'm not too excited about is having to get up at 4am in order to make it to Boulder (~1hr. drive) to do the whole packet pick-up thing before heading to the transition area.  It should be an interesting drive.  I really hope I don't fall asleep!
* I did my yoga class yesterday and let's just say that it totally kicked my ass!  I am actually sore today from it in places that I haven't been sore in a long time.  What is it about yoga poses that really effect those tiny muscle areas?  Hopefully I won't still be sore for my race tomorrow!

* So, I am happy to say that I have made it to running 2 miles in my Vibrams and it felt great!  I wanted to run longer, but held back because of my race.  I can't wait to do a post on them, but I am waiting until I get a little bit more mileage out of them.  There's a race coming up in Sept. called the Naked Foot 5k.  It is the first ever barefoot running race in CO and I totally want to do it in my Vibrams!  Plus, they are helping Souls4Soles, which is just a great organization.    

Other things too:

*  Patrick at The Road (A Multi-sport Blog) came up with a great idea for an Olympic tri virtual race!  I am so excited about it!  Check out the link above for more information about it!

*  After I picked up my older son from Kindergarten yesterday he told me he drew a picture of me in art class.  This is what he drew:

I don't really have red hair or green pants/shoes, but I love it just the same! :)

*  Just an FYI:  REI is having their Labor Day sale and clearance event and they have NUUN on sale.  I totally stocked up!  Oh, and I may or may not have bought some other totally unnecessary things while I was there too! :)

*  So, I am totally addicted to  There are some sweet deals on there sometimes!  Check out what I picked up for $12!
That's right, a super cute, awesome pair of Ryders Adrenaline sunglasses!  Woohoo! :)

*  And, just for fun I have to mention this great gadget I picked up at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  It is called The Cherry Chomper and it is perfect for pitting cherries (or olives!).  My boys love it and are able to use it by themselves!  All you do is put the cherry in the "mouth," push down on the head, and the pit falls into the clear container.  It ROCKS!  Seriously, I don't know how I managed without it! :)

* Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a $40 gift certificate to CSN!  Woohoo!  I have to say though that I am blown away by the number of you that do not have a foam roller yet.  I really thought I was one of the last few without one!

I hope you all have a great weekend!  See you Sunday for my race report! :)  

August 26, 2010

CSN Giveaway - Woohoo!!

$40 CSN Gift Certificate Giveaway!!!
I was recently contacted by CSN to see if I wanted to do a giveaway!  I love giveaways, so of course I said yes!  I'm sure you have all heard of CSN by now.  They have been all over the blogisphere and are just an amazing company.  Here is a little blurb about them from their website:
CSN Stores offer an incomparable selection, a trained service team, and prices that won't be beat! From beds and desks to TV mounts, we can furnish your entire home, business, or school, and you can shop at all of our stores with one cart!
Seriously, with over 200 sites they have everything and anything you could possibly imagine from:

Kitchen Tables   - This would look great in our kitchen! 
to Foam Rollers - I think I am one of the last people to actually have one of these!  I definitely am going to get one, especially with my marathon training picking up! 

The contest will run until Wednesday, September 1st. I'll announce the winner on Thursday!

If you would like to win the CSN gift card, here's what you have to do!
*  Please leave a separate comment for each one!!

1.  Be a follower of my blog.  Or, if you already are, let me know! :)

2.  Tell me what you would buy with the $40 gift certificate

Good luck everyone!  I hope you are all having a great week! :)

August 25, 2010

A great day!

Why has it been a great day you might ask?  Well, let me tell you!

*  So, both of my boys are now officially in school, and I am finding myself left with time to do things I've never been able to do.  Now, I love my boys, but they make ordinary errands 100x more difficult.  I went to the grocery store this morning, all by myself, and it was so peaceful.  How many of you have ever considered grocery shopping peaceful?  Without my boys there was no whining, fighting, begging, or any drama in general.  It was just me walking around leisurely putting the groceries in my cart.  Usually I have my list all planned out and it's a mad dash through the store to make it out without the boys having some sort of meltdown.  Not today.  And it was sooooo nice.

*  Then, I decided to go for a bike ride.  What??  A bike ride in the middle of the morning in the middle of the week?  That's crazy talk!  Ha ha.  It was one of the best bike rides ever!  It's been awhile since I've been able to just go out for a ride without any training agenda in mind.  Yes, I know I'm doing a sprint tri on Saturday, but really my tri training is over.  It was beautiful out, there wasn't a lot of traffic, and I just rode and rode.  I ended up riding for about an hour, then headed home.
Seriously, can my helmet look any bigger on my head?  I have such a small head that I just look ridiculous in a helmet.  And, that is one reason why I will never have an aero helmet! 

*  When I got home there was a call from Runners Roost saying they got my shoes in!  Yay, a new pair of shoes!  I love my Brooks racers!  And, I got them for 20% off...woohoo!

*  On my way home from the store, my husband called to ask if I wanted to meet him for lunch.  What?  You mean I will actually be able to eat lunch with my husband without our boys?  Like a lunch date?  I cannot even remember the last time we've had lunch alone together.  It was awesome!

*  But, while all of that was nice, the real reason it was a great day was being able to play with my boys after school and talk to them all about their day.  I love them so much and cannot believe they are both in school now.  It blows my mind how fast they have grown up.

Yeah...we're all about crazy superhero costumes in our house! :)

Yes, he IS wearing one of my old race swim caps on his head.  What else are they good for? :)

August 23, 2010

The joys of camping

Our awesome campsite!
My husband had Friday off, so we decided to head up to the mountains for some camping fun this weekend.  Because the weather is going to start getting cooler in the mountains, we know that our weekends for camping are limited.  So, it was nice to be able to head up with our boys.  It turns out we picked a great weekend to go because we had record high temps here in Denver.  But, in the mountains, it was in the 70s-80s, which led to perfect days.  We went on an awesome hike, played in the creek, and had lots of fun.  I thought I would share some pictures from our trip.    

Within 5 minutes of getting to our campsite, our boys had found the biggest dirt pile they could find.  What is it about boys and dirt? :)

Playing by the creek.  I LOVE this picture of them!  They spent A LOT of time throwing rocks, sticks, sand, and anything else they could think of into the water.  They would have been content to play there all day.  

I decided to wear my Vibram Five Finger Bikilas for our hike.  Since my Half Ironman, I have been incorporating wearing them in my running, but this was the first time I've worn them hiking.  I LOVED them!  I'll be doing a post about them soon.  

A view from our hike!  It was so beautiful.  But, do you notice how most of the trees are NOT green?  

Here's a closer view.  The "grey" trees have all been killed by the bark beetles.  It is absolutely devastating to see what seems like over 90% of the trees dead.  At our campsite there were just piles and piles of cut up bark beetle trees.  The forest service has been cutting them down because no one knows when they are going to fall, and it's just too dangerous to have them around the camp sites.  I can't even imagine what these mountains are going to look like in the years to come when all of the dead trees fall.  

We decided to drive around and explore the surrounding area and we came across this.  It was so amazing.  Are there any geologists out there that can explain how this came to be like that?  It is crazy because the mountains are covered in trees and then there's just this huge vertical rock structure in the middle of nowhere! 

Our night view.  It was so quiet, peaceful, and beautiful up in the mountains.  It is really nice to be able to "unplug" every once in awhile and just enjoy the great outdoors with our boys. 

I hope you all had a great weekend!  I'm a little behind on your blogs, but I'll be stopping by soon.  :) 

August 19, 2010

Humpastry Day - Ginger Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ginger Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies:
I know this is a day late...sorry!  But, my oldest started Kindergarten today (I can't believe he's already starting school!) and I wanted to make him a special treat for when he got home.  So, my youngest and I went to work on these after we dropped him off this morning.  I saw the original recipe in an issue of Women's Running magazine and I thought it sounded interesting.  The recipe came from Leah Jurek, an ultramarathoner, and she said she makes these for a healthy post-run reward.  Although it is a pretty healthy recipe already, I tweaked the recipe a little bit and am happy with how they turned out.  The ginger makes for an interesting burst of flavor in the cookie, but if you don't like ginger I would skip this one.  Oh, and I thought about subbing applesauce for the oil, but I wasn't sure how it would be with the coconut and ginger flavors.  I think I might try them next time with 1/4C applesauce and 1/4C oil to cut down on the fat a little bit more.  If any of you decide to try it, please let me know how they turn out!

Makes about 2 dozen cookies
*  1C whole wheat pastry flour
*  1/2C garbanzo bean flour (you could also replace with whole wheat pastry flour)
*  1/4tsp. salt
*  1/4tsp. baking soda
*  1/2C shredded unsweetened coconut
*  3/4C chocolate chips
*  1/2C crystallized ginger, chopped
*  1/3 C soymilk
*  1/2C canola oil
*  1/2C raw sugar
*  1/4C almond butter
*  2tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
2.  Stir the flours, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
3.  Stir in the coconut, ginger, and chocolate chips.
4.  In a small bowl, heat the almond butter in the microwave for ~15sec.  Whisk the almond butter with the oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
5.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
6.  Form the dough into 1/2Tbl. size balls and put on the cookie sheet.
7.  Bake for 15-18minutes or until tops are starting to brown. (*Note: these cookies do not flatten out like other ones)
8.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
9.   Enjoy!

August 16, 2010

One more tri!

Aflac Iron Girl Sprint Tri - August 28th
So, I have been thinking about doing this race since early this spring when I found out about it.  It is an inaugural race in Boulder this year and I thought it would be fun to do.  But, I didn't know how my season would end up after my Half Ironman, so I never registered for it.  Well, I came across the website the other day and started thinking again about how fun it would be to do.  What I like about the race is that it is a pretty small event, it's a sprint distance, and it's an all women tri.  I talked to my husband about possibly doing it and he was all for it, so I registered for it this morning!  Woohoo!

My plan is to drive up early from Denver on the morning of the race by myself.  My husband and boys will meet me a little later once the race starts.  There really is no need for them to get up at 4:30 to drive and sit in the car until the 7am race start!

The distances are a little funky for a sprint (1/4M swim, 17.2M bike, and 3.1M run), but I am actually really excited about doing it!  Plus, I know two other bloggers, Kathleen at Dare to Dream, and Julie at You Just Have to Tri, that I would love to meet up with.   I thought my tri season was over after my Half Ironman, and I am thrilled to be able to do one more race!  Yay!

August 15, 2010

The Sunday Sampler - Fitness

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

Nathan Speed 4 Hydration Belt:

I absolutely love my Nathan handheld water bottle, but I realized when I started my marathon training that I would need something to get me through the longer runs.  So, I decided to head to my favorite running store and see what they had.  I tried on a lot of different belts, but the Nathan was by far the most comfortable.  The sales associate let me run with it on a treadmill for awhile and it felt good, but I was still hesitant to buy it because I generally do not like things around my waist.  Race belts even bother me sometimes.  I knew that I needed something though, so I decided to buy it and give it a try.

Here is some general info. about the belt:
  • It has 4 -10oz. bottles in molded holsters that allow quick one-handed access
  • It has front and rear stash pockets
  • It has an air-mesh moisture wicking backing
  • It has an adjustable velcro waist belt to insure the best fit
  • It comes in small, medium, and large

My thoughts:
The first time I used it on a run it took awhile for me to figure out how I wanted to wear it.  Some people wear it with the bottles in the front and back with the pouches on the side.  But, I preferred to wear it with the bottles on the sides.  I also found that I didn't like it on my actual waist, but on my hips instead.  I found that since it has an adjustable velcro waist I could cinch it tight around my hips so it would not bounce.  So far I have worn it numerous times and absolutely love it! 
*  It can hold up to 40oz. of liquid, which is great for my long runs.
*  It really is easy to get the bottles in and out of the holsters, and the bottles stay put.  I have never had a bottle fall out.
*  I love the two pouches.  I use the small pouch to hold my nutrition, which I wear in the front, and I use the bigger pouch to hold my phone, key, ID, cash, etc.  
*  Once I get it adjusted it DOES NOT MOVE or ride up.  I really thought it would ride up my waist, which I hate, but it doesn't.  Like I mentioned above, the adjustable velcro waist ensures that you can cinch it tight enough to keep it in place.
*  It does not bounce.  O-kay, maybe a little bit, but not enough for me to even notice it.  
*  You can switch out the bottles in exchange for smaller 8oz ones or gel flasks.  They all fit in the holsters! (See the picture above-you can see one of the bottles is a gel flask) 

*  Seriously, I can only come up with one con.  The bottles sometimes leak (just some drips) when I first fill them up and head out for my run, but they stop leaking within the first 1/2 mile.  Since I usually fill them up with Nuun, I'm thinking it has something to do with the carbonation.  I do let the bottles sit while the fizzing from the Nuun stops, so I'm not sure that's the cause.  But, I don't know why else they would drip at first and then stop.

All in all, I am really happy that I decided to buy the Nathan belt and give it a try.  I usually run on trails where it isn't convenient to stash water bottles along the way and there is no place to stop to get additional water, so this has been a lifesaver.  Plus, I love how I can use it for my hydration, nutrition, and storage for my key/phone.   

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

August 13, 2010

A week in review and other things too

*  What training?  Ha ha.  I've pretty much taken this week off to recover fully before I start back up with my marathon training.  I had the normal soreness that we all get after a big race, but I feel good now. Yay! I went on a hike with my boys earlier this week and it was just what I needed, physically and mentally.
*  Unlike my first Half Ironman last fall when I got a little depressed once it was over and didn't do anything for a couple of weeks, I am actually itching to get back out there!  The problem is that I don't have any more tris on my schedule.  :(  There are some sprints I could do, but I feel like I've already taken up so much time training and racing that I should probably give my family a break.  Plus, I know my marathon training is going to start getting pretty intense.  

* My husband was supposed to have a meeting Thursday morning, but it got canceled.  So, he asked if I wanted to go for a short run outside.  I was more than thrilled, so I got ready and headed out.  I didn't know what to expect from my legs, but they felt great and it was so nice to just be outside running with no agenda or plan in mind.  With all of my training, it's been awhile since I've just been able to "run."  4.25 miles later I was back home as happy as can be. :)

* My marathon training calls for a long 13M run this weekend.  I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to tackle that mileage, but I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.

*  I've decided to take on two new challenges:  Legs Love Lunges from 5 Miles Past Empty and the Hard CORE club.  Bring it on!
We are supposed to post before pics of our legs for the lunges challenge...ugh!  Let me tell you that I have always been very self-conscience about my legs so it took a lot to post these pics.  But, here they are.

Please ignore the fact that I need lotion on my legs big time!

Yikes!  I really didn't want to post this one!

Other Things Too:
*  We got some exciting news a couple of weeks ago.  Lance Armstrong made a huge announcement with a mayor stating that in August 20011 there will be a Tour de Colorado!  My husband is besides himself with excitement.  My husband and I have already said that when it comes, we are taking time off to go and watch the pros do their thing and tackle some of the huge mountains that we have here!  It's going to be so awesome! 

*  I have a confession to make: I like the show, "So You Think You Can Dance."  I am not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination, but what draws me to the show is the pure talent that these people have.  The way they can move their body and the dance moves they do just amaze me!  My husband hates the show and thinks it's lame, and I have to agree that the judging part is pretty lame.  But, it's still something I like to watch every once in awhile.  

*  Check out the veggies we got from our garden!  The cucumbers are growing like crazy and they are delicious!  My boys love to eat them plain for a snack...I love it!

*  How cool is the spam detector feature in blogger now?  I love it!

I hope you all have a great weekend! :)

August 11, 2010

Humpastry Day - Cran-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Cran-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies:
I feel like it's been awhile since I've posted a Humpastry day treat.  So, I decided to try a new recipe and bake some cookies!  I asked my boys if they wanted raisins or cranberries in them and my oldest said, "Why don't we use both?"  So, that's just what I did and I have to say that they turned out super yummy!  Oh, and the batter is absolutely delicious!  Because the recipe doesn't use eggs, you can eat it raw without worrying about getting sick.  Although, I suppose you could get sick from eating too much batter...ha ha!  Seriously though, the batter is GOOD!
Also, if you're doing the Gluten thing, these would be great treats for you because they use oats and oat flour (just look for the gluten free symbol on the oats if you're worried about cross contamination from the factory) instead of all-purpose or whole wheat! Yay!
The only negative thing about these cookies is that you have to chill the batter for at least!  I think the cookies are worth it though!  I hope you do too!  :)

Makes 24 cookies
*  2Tbl. ground flaxseed
*  3Tbl. water
*  1C oat flour   *Note: if you don't have oat flour, just blend up some old-fashioned oats until you have the consistency of flour.  I think I used about 1 1/2C oats to make the 1C oat flour.
*  1tsp. baking powder
*  1/2tsp. baking soda
*  1/2tsp. salt
*  1/2tsp. cinnamon
*  2Tbl. coconut oil   *You could also use vegan margarine or butter
*  1/2C brown sugar
*  1/4C raw sugar
*  1/4C applesauce
*  1tsp. vanilla extract
*  1 1/2C old-fashioned oats
*  1/2C raisins, cranberries, or a mix of the two

1.  Mix the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside.
2.  In a small bowl, stir together the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
3.  Beat the coconut oil, brown sugar, and raw sugar in a mixer for 1-2 min, or until light and fluffy.
4.  Add the applesauce, vanilla, and flax mixture to the bowl and beat until smooth.
5.  Add the oat flour mixture and stir until just combined.
6.  Add the oats and dried fruit and stir to combine.
7.  Cover and put in the refrigerator for 2 hours or longer.
8.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
9.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
10.  Scoop the dough into golf ball size balls (a little bigger than a Tbl. amount) and put them on the prepared cookie sheet.
11.  Flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass dipped in water.
12.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are just beginning to brown.
13.  Remove from oven, let cool for a minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
14.  Enjoy!

August 9, 2010

Feelin' HOT, HOT, HOT - Boulder 70.3 Race Report

Boulder 70.3 Race Report:
Thank you all for your emails and good luck wishes!  I thought about them all during my race! :)
Now let me warn you, this may be a little long!
My family and I drove up to Boulder Saturday mid-morning to do the whole packet pick-up and expo thing.  I was actually looking forward to the expo because I thought an Ironman branded 70.3 would have some good vendors.  We got to the expo, I got my packet, and started walking through the vendors.  What a disappointment!  I walked away from the expo with nothing but my race packet. :(  Not that I "needed" anything, but it's always fun to find something you can't live without.

The race swag:  A very cool wicking shirt, an awesome blue/black bag, water bottle, wheaties, eye drops, a not-so-cool poster, and a book full of awesome coupons!

Anyways, we decided to just stay the night in Boulder so we didn't have to make multiple trips to/from Denver.  We went to dinner at Pasta Jay's (yum!), then headed back to our hotel.  Because our hotel was pretty close to the race site, I just decided to ride my bike to the race in the morning.  That way my husband and boys didn't have to wake up super early to drive me there.
I got up at 4:30, ate my bagel with PB and honey, loaded up all of my stuff, and headed to the race.  It actually worked out great!  It only took me about 25 minutes to get to the race and I passed tons and tons of cars that were waiting to get in and park!  Woohoo!
I got to transition, racked my bike according to bib number, and set up all of my stuff.  Then, I proceeded to wait for 15 minutes to use the port-a-potty!  Are you kidding me?  It was so ridiculous!  I finally made it to the front, did my thing, and literally had to run back to my transition spot to get my swim stuff because I only had 5 minutes until transition closed! The sucky thing was that transition closed at 6:20, but my swim wave didn't start until 7:10.  I put my wetsuit on, grabbed a gu and my swim stuff, and headed out to the water.

I felt really good as I was waiting for my wave to start.  I wasn't too nervous, and was just ready to do it!  As you know, I was worried about the heat, but I had come to terms with the fact that it was going to be hot and I was just going to have to do the best I could.  As I was waiting I got to see Andy Potts complete his 1.2M swim in 23 minutes!  He came up the swim shoot and everyone just broke out in cheers and applause.  It was just awesome!  He ended up winning and finished in 3:46:50!  That is just amazing!

Those who have been following me for awhile know that my swim is my weakest discipline.  You also know that I tend to get really panicky and freak out in the water.  They called our wave into the water and a sense of calmness came over me.  The water temp. was perfect, the atmosphere was so exciting, and I was just ready to go!  It was a weird sensation because usually I'm a nervous wreck before the swim start!   I really think the Aquaman races helped prepare me for this.  The horn sounded and we were off!  I have to say that this was the best race swim that I have ever done!  I didn't panic once and I never reverted to the breast stroke except to go around the turn buoys.  I felt awesome and smooth in the water and it was such a great feeling!  I had no idea how fast I was going, but I was just happy to be having a panic free swim.  I saw the finish arch and swam as hard as I could.  I got out, ran up the long sandy hill, and headed into transition.

Swim Stats:  1.2M   Time: 42:20 (including running from water to transition)
*  I know that isn't a fast time, but honestly, I am happy with how I did.  Yes, I would have liked to have swam faster, but the fact that I was comfortable in the water and didn't panic is good enough for me!  Now that I feel I have the "panic" issue in control, my next goal will be to work on gaining speed!

This was pretty uneventful.  I had a little bit of trouble getting my wetsuit off my right foot so that wasted some time.  Also, my rack was towards the far corner of transition, so I had a ways to run.
Time: 2:48   (I didn't feel this slow, but it is what it is!)

I hopped on my bike and headed out.  There were a lot of riders leaving transition at the same time and it was pretty crowded.  The bike consisted of two loops and I had ridden the course last month so I knew what to expect.  I felt great on the bike and got into a nice rhythm pretty quickly.  I got passed by a lot of lean looking guys with aero helmets, tri bikes, and carbon wheels.  The majority of the men started behind me in the swim, so I was expecting that to happen.  But, I'm happy to say that I only got passed by maybe a handful of women!  Woohoo!  The first lap went great.  I felt fast and smooth and passed a lot of people.  At the start of the 2nd loop I was excited because I knew I was half way done.  I started to get a little tense in my neck and shoulders which kind of sucked, but I think it was because I was grabbing my aero bars so tight. I need to learn to have a more relaxed grip when I race.  I switched up my position from time to time to give my neck a break and it seemed to help a little.  Finally, I was ready to head back towards transition. I saw my husband and boys on the sidelines ringing their cowbells and cheering me on!  It was great to see them and was just what I needed!  :)

My husband took this picture while I passed by and headed into transition.  It's a little blurry, but I thought I'd post it anyways!  I was so ready to be done with the bike at this point.

Bike Stats:  56M
Time: 2:42:38    Avg. Pace: 20.66mph 
Woohoo!  I was so happy with this time and pace! :)

I took a little bit of time in T2 to put on more sunblock (this ended up being futile in the end) and use the bathroom, but it was needed!
Time: 3:12  (Horrible time, but whatever!)

Oh my god!  Did you notice the title of my post:  "Feelin' hot, hot, hot?"  Well, let's just say that the sun was merciless on that run course.  I headed out of transition and my legs felt like lead.  My hamstrings were so tight and I was a little worried.  But, I know that it usually takes me a mile or so to get my "running legs" so I wasn't panicked.  However, the lovely race people decided to put 3 big hills within the first 3 miles of the run. The first hill was painful, but I ran up it fine.  The second hill was tough and I thought about walking, but didn't.  The third hill just sucked all of the energy out of me.  There was an aid station on that hill, so I decided to walk and get a wet sponge to pour all over me.  It was heaven!  I started up again and my legs still felt really tired and heavy.  I kept looking at my Garmin and I was keeping a good pace, but I just felt off.  It was so hot and I could feel the sun burning my skin.  I decided that I was going to grab a sponge and cup of water to pour on me at every aid station and that is exactly what I did.  I had my Nathan handheld bottle with me full of Nuun, but it only lasted 5 miles before it was completely out.  From then on, I stopped at every aid station for either Gatorade or water.  Normally, I don't have to drink something every mile, but I honestly felt like I needed to during that run.  Oh, and the wet sponge were life savers.  They were awesome!

The run consisted of two loops, so around mile 6.5 we had to run right next to the finish shoot to start our 2nd loop.  This really sucked!  I was running with some racers and while some of them headed to the finish, I knew I still had 6.5 miles to go.  It was really hard mentally to keep going.  My hamstrings were still so tight and my left knee started hurting a little bit and I was really bummed because I knew I wasn't going to have a "great" run.  I did the whole negative self talk thing and had a little pity party for about a mile and then decided to change my mindset.  I decided to forget about my goal, stop looking at my Garmin, and just do my best to make it to the finish.  When I came upon the hills, I walked up them as fast as I could and I didn't even think twice about it.  I hardly ever walk in races, but I knew it was the best thing for me to do and I was o-kay with it.  It actually ended up being a pretty good strategy though because while I got passed by some people running up the hill, I would always pass them back once the course was flat again.  I do have to say though that I have never been in a race where so many people were walking during the run.  It was crazy!  I honestly do not think that anyone was immune to that heat.  It just really sucks the energy out of you.

At mile 8 I decided to try a cup of Coke.  I don't know why I decided to do this, because I do not drink Coke or any soda for that matter.  But, something about it just sounded so good.  I grabbed a cup, drank it down, and it tasted so good!  And, the best part about it was that I think I had the best mile after drinking that.  I got an almost instant energy boost and was able to start picking up the pace a little.  My clif shot bloks were a gooey, melted mess, so I started to grab bananas at the aid stations to eat.  They were awesome and so much better than gu or shot bloks.

Finally, I had 2 miles to go.  I was so happy!  I could see the tents by the finish line in the distance and they looked so far away.  I told myself to just keep running for a little while longer and then I would be done.  I picked up the pace as much as I could.  The last .1 mile was awesome because it was lined with spectators.  It gave me another energy boost to hear everyone cheering, ringing cowbells, and saying my name (our names were on our bib), that I picked it up again, even though it hurt, and sprinted into the finish shoot!  I crossed the finish line, heard my name being announced, said a loud, "Woohoo!" and almost fell over.  The timing chip people steadied me while they took off my chip, handed me a water and medal, and led me to a grassy patch to sit down in.  I was so happy to be done!

Check out the salt stains on my hat.  Umm..yeah, I was sweating like a pig!  When I finished, I felt my face.  You know what it's like when you stick your hands in a bag of potato chips and they come out all salty?  That is exactly how my face felt.  I had salt all over, it was just crazy!

Run Stats:  13.1M     Time:  2:05:15 (avg. pace: 9:33/M) 
 *  I knew my run time was not going to be great, but considering how I was feeling, I was o-kay with it.  This was actually the slowest I have ever run a half marathon, but it was also the first time running 13.1 miles in hell.  O-kay, so I know I wasn't in hell, but it sure felt like it! :)

Overall Thoughts:
I love the finisher medal with the mountains in the background!  We also got a hat, which I think is cool, but because I have a peanut head, I won't be able to wear it.  It looks like my husband is getting a new hat!

Overall Time:  5:36:13

Although the HIM I did last year was a completely different course, and the weather was in the 50s the entire time, my goal for this race was to beat my first HIM time, which was 5:42.  I honestly did not think I was going to beat that time and had pretty much given up on that goal during the 2nd loop of the run.  But, when I got home and realized I got a PR I was completely surprised!  
I am happy with my time, but I feel like I can't even really call it a PR because it WAS so different from my first half ironman.  Ya know?  

So, what I really took away from this race is not a PR, but:
* A new confidence in the swim.  You can not imagine (or maybe you can) how great it felt not to panic and just be able to swim smoothly in the water.  That is a feeling I will take with me to every race that I do from now on.
*  Knowing what it's like to go fast on the bike.  I was so happy with my bike time and average pace!  
*  Knowing that it's o-kay to walk when I need to in a race and not feel bad about it or think that it makes me less of a runner.  
*  Knowing that I could not have done any of it without the support of my husband.  He is amazing and I am so lucky to have him in my life.  Did I mention that when I finally met up with my husband after I finished he handed me an icy cold bottle of chocolate milk and a bag of ice to put over my shoulders.  It was just what I needed!
*  And, the last thing I will take away from this race is the importance of using sunscreen.  Although I applied and did my best to reapply, the sun won this fight:

I loved my Zoot tri top, but the mesh panel on the back led to some crazy burned spots.


Thank you again for all of your well wishes!  I hope you all had a good weekend!  I'm a little behind on reading your blogs but I'll get to them soon! :)