January 31, 2011

Fun In The Snow!

This weekend, my husband and I decided to take our boys up to Frisco to visit their aunt and uncle.  While the 3 hour drive, which normally takes a little over an hour, was NOT fun, once we got there it was nothing but FUN!

We went cross country skiing for the first time this season, and it was a blast!

Our family picture!  We actually went skiing in an area in Silverthorn that was FREE and so beautiful!  The temps were in the low 40s, so it was perfect!

Our oldest sporting his first pair of skis!  It wasn't that much to rent them, but I think we'll be looking on Craigslist for a cheap pair that he can wear throughout the season.  He was sooo excited to go cross country skiing, and did awesome for his first time doing it!  I was actually really surprised at how quickly he picked it up.  And, when he fell, he would get right back up and keep going.  I was so proud of him!

Since our youngest is only 3 1/2 we got a sled to pull him in.  We thought he might get upset at not being able to ski, but talked up the sled and got him really excited about it.  But, when it was time for him to actually go in it, out came the tears!  Poor little guy!  My brother-n-law pulled him for a short loop with me skiing next to them trying to make him happy, but it was no use.
After one lap, we took him out and I played in the snow with him while everyone else continued on.  I was bummed that I didn't get to ski more, but it is what it is!

I was able to get this cool picture of my sister-n-law, my husband, and my son skiing! Like I said, it was beautiful there!

Later that evening, we drove into Breckenridge to see the ice sculptures that were on display.  Every year they have an ice sculpture contest where people from all over the world come to compete.  Let me say, it was amazing to see what these people created from a block of ice...just amazing!

This was at the entrance to the sculptures.  My youngest loved the horse, so I took a picture of him with it.  Who cares that it's a Budweiser horse?! Ha ha!

Here are just a few of the sculptures that I thought were amazing!

This is a sculpture of Medusa.  I just thought it was awesome, and was one of my favorite ones.

The next day, the boys had a blast "sledding" down the huge mountain of snow in the front yard of my sister-n-law's house!  They get so much snow up there that the snow plows just plow the snow right into their yard!  Can you imagine??

Overall, it was an awesome weekend of fun!  It's so nice to have family that live in the mountains because it allows us to have adventures that we probably wouldn't be able to have!

January 28, 2011

A week in review and other things too

* My training can pretty much be summed up by one word: NADA.  The day after the marathon I started to get a little tickle in my throat.  Since I was in AZ I thought it was just allergies.  Oh, how I was wrong.  As soon as we got back to CO, I got sick AGAIN, and am still sick.  It's the same thing I had twice before during my training and I am soooo tired of it!  I just want to be well again. 
So, I haven't been doing anything except yoga.  I know my body is revolting and I need to just rest.  But, it sucks and I really want to get back at it.  Ugh!
But, is it just me or does it seem like everyone is getting this bronchitis/chest cold/gross snot thing this year.  It's crazy that so many of us are sick right now.  I hope we ALL feel better soon!
Some of my TriBella teammates!  
*  I am so excited about this!  I was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of a new all women's tri team in Colorado.  It is called TriBella and it is going to be awesome!  It is in conjunction with a new store that will be opening in Feb. called TriBella Multisport.  You can check it out [HERE], but basically it is going to be a multisport store tailed exclusively for WOMEN!  Woohoo!  It is a totally new concept, and it is much needed...don't you agree girls??
  We had our first get together last week and it was so much fun!  I am really looking forward to actually having women to train with, especially now that I'll be doing lots of LONG bike rides and runs for IMAZ training.

* Speaking of training, check out our new workout room.  Since we had our new carpet installed, we decided to change things up a bit in our basement and dedicate one bedroom to our training!  Woohoo!  Now, my husband and I can ride our trainers at the same time instead of taking turns.  We can even open some windows to get airflow so we don't suffocate!  And, we're going to put a small TV in there so we can watch our spinervals, movies, or whatever show we feel like.  Yay!

This is not a picture of me!  In fact, I can't even get my heels to touch the ground when I do it!  
* I went to yoga for the first time in over a month last week and I about died!  It is amazing how much strength I have lost in my arms and shoulders, and let me tell you, doing downward dogs and cobras over and over again were tough!  I seriously thought my arms were going to fall off!!

* My ITB is still being a bear!  Ugh!!  I started doing a ITB stretching routine twice a day, so hopefully between the stretching, yoga, and rest, it will heal up before I start training!  * Fingers crossed!*

Other things too:
*  This is for all the parents of boys out there.  I swear I have had to throw away 2 pairs of pants over the last couple of weeks because my oldest is constantly getting huge holes in the knee.  They start out as small holes, but by the end of the day it ends up as a massive hole that is too far gone to patch.  It's crazy!!  He's almost 6, so I know he plays hard with his friends at recess and stuff.   My question is, does this happen to all of your boys, or is it because I'm too cheap to buy expensive clothes for my boys.  Usually I get their clothes on the clearance rack at Target, but maybe I need to start spending a little more money??

* For those of you who missed my buildasign.com post, you can check it out [HERE].  If there are some of you still interested in getting your own tri cling, email me your address and I'll send one out to you!
Also, Megan at Buildasign.com has offered all of you a 10% discount if you're feeling creative and want to design something of your own!  You can use the code SWIMBIKERUN at checkout to receive the discount!   Woohoo!
*  I have noticed on several blogs that I follow, that more and more people are starting to incorporate  more vegetarian dishes into their diets.  I think it's awesome!  I know how intimidating it was for me when I first started eating vegetarian, and although I found recipes that seemed good, I just never knew how they were going to turn out.  So, I was thinking about posting some of my favorite vegetarian recipes on my blog for all of you to try, if you wanted.  I was thinking I could maybe do a post every other week and call it something fun??  I know there are already "Meatless mondays," but maybe I could do "Tasty Tuesday" or incorporate it into my Sunday Sampler posts?  What do you think??  Do you think it's something you might like??  Do you have any awesome name ideas??  Let me know what you think!! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!  :)

January 25, 2011

Build A Sign

About a month ago, I was contacted by Megan from Buildasign.com.  She gave me the awesome opportunity to create something from the site, and I was so excited!  I decided to do a triathlon inspired creation and it was so much fun!  I wanted to make something that was different than the standard swim, bike, run logo with people, so through some trial and error, this is what I came up with:
Originally, I thought about doing a sticker, but I wanted something I could put on my car that wasn't so permanent, so I decided to do a window cling.

I put it on my windshield and love it!   Please excuse the dirt and grime on my car.  It's almost impossible to keep my car clean in the winter!

If you don't feel like putting something on your car, here are just a few places where it will work:

On your laptop

On a mirror

You can even do it SUAR style and put it on the toilet!

Working with Megan was a great experience and I would not hesitate to buy something from the site in the future.  If you are interested in making your own creation, you can click on the link on my sidebar.  They have bumper stickerssignsbanners, and just about anything else you can think of!  The site is not only user friendly to navigate through all the awesome stuff, but it was really easy to create something.  Thank you Megan for the opportunity!!

So, here's the good news!!
Megan was kind enough to make extra window clings so I could give them away to my awesome followers!! Woohoo!!
Unfortunately, I don't have enough for all of you, so here's how it will work.  If you commented on my RNR AZ race report post (there were 33 of you!), you are guaranteed a window cling!  All you have to do is email me with your address and I'll send one out to you ASAP.  If I have any left over, I'll figure some way to divvy them up!

January 20, 2011

Rock-N-Roll AZ race report

Wow!  I just realized that the last time I blogged was Jan. 6th.  That is insane!  Hopefully now that the marathon is over, we're back from our trip, and our carpet is installed (yay!) things will get back to normal. :)

Going into this race, I really wasn't sure how I was going to do.  Because I was sick so often during my training, I let go of any sort of time goal and just decided to run it for fun.  Originally, my sister was going to run the full marathon too, but she got some crazy foot injuries and decided against it.  Her goal was to just run as far as she could and enjoy the race.  I decided that my new goal was to run with my husband and support him through his first marathon.  It was kind of strange because I wasn't nervous at all, but my husband was.  I don't think I've ever gone into a race not being nervous, and it was actually really nice not to have that nervousness.
Because this wasn't a typical race report for me, I thought I'd just list some of the pros and cons of the race as my race report!

*  An awesome race shirt!  I LOVE the colors, the design, and the fit.  Yay!

*  The way the event was organized was awesome!  The shuttle service to the start was great, there were hundreds of port-a-potties in different locations, and gear check was a cinch.  It was put together so much better than the Denver RNR marathon.

*  My husband and I met up with  my sister at the start and we were able to run together for the first few miles.  It was fun to all be together, even if it was for just a short while.

*  My mom, dad, and brother-n-law met us at different points throughout the race.  It was awesome to have them cheering for us!  I don't care what anyone says, but for me, having friends/family on the sidelines cheering definitely gives me a boost during a race.  Here is a picture my mom took of us.  I love it! :)
My husband, me, and my dad! :) 
*  The bands were awesome!!  I had my own music with me, but whenever I started to hear a band I would turn it off so I could  hear their  music.  I have to say that there were some great musicians playing out there for us!

*  There were packs of junior high (high school??) cheerleaders throughout the marathon that were awesome as well!  They all had different costume themes and you could hear them cheering before you ever saw them!  I made a point to high five as many of them as I could.  I thought it was awesome that they chose to spend half of their day cheering their hearts out for people they don't even know, and giving them high-fives was my way of letting them know I appreciated them!

*  The first part of the race went by soooo fast.  We hit the 13.1 mile marker and high-fived each other!  My husband was doing awesome and I was so proud of him.

*  There were these 2 big guys that I saw throughout the race on the sidelines.  They had a big sign that said, "Go (your name)" and for some reason I just thought it was hilarious.  I never heard them cheer, and their faces were blank most of the time, but they showed up in random places throughout the course and they always made me smile when I saw them.  So, thank you random guys with the sign! :)

*  I nailed my nutrition and hydration and never experienced any stomach issues like my last marathon.  I was pretty terrified of dry heaving and throwing up again, but it never happened!  Woohoo!!

*  Around the 24 mile mark, I crossed over a bridge that went over Tempe Town Lake.  I decided to stop and look out over the lake to where my Ironman Arizona swim start will be in November.  It was amazing!  I got a little dose of butterflies looking out over that water, imagining myself swimming 2.4 miles, and I was thankful for that moment.

*  I was hurting pretty bad at this point in the race (see the cons), but after I crossed the bridge, I saw my mom, dad, brother-n-law, and sister!  It was awesome to see them again!  I told my dad that I would be walking the 2.5 miles to the finish and he and my sister decided to walk them with me.  It was actually pretty fun (if you take the pain part out of it) walking that last part with them.  I think it would have been torture for me if I would have had to do that by myself, and I  may have had my first DNF, but with them by my side, we finished the race together.  

*  My sister was able to run 19 miles before having to stop!  Woohoo!!  I know you don't know about her injuries, but that is awesome for her, and I was so proud of her!!  She may not have finished the whole 26.2 miles, but 19 miles is still amazing!!  Yay for her!!!

*  When we reached the finisher's shoot, my dad went off to the side because he couldn't come down the shoot with us.  I told my sister that I wanted to try and run it in, so I fought through the pain and we slowly made our way to the finish.  When we got close to the finish, I grabbed my sister's hand and we crossed the finish line together!  It was awesome!!

* My husband finished his first marathon in 4:44!!  Woohoo!  It wasn't exactly the time he wanted, but he did awesome for his first marathon and I am sooo proud of him!

*  Check out the medal!  I love it!

*  We got to run in the SUN!  The weather in CO has been cold, so it was awesome to run in 70 degree weather with the sun shining down on us.

*  I wasn't able to meet up with the other bloggers on Friday night.  Boo!!

*  The entire course was on hot, hard asphalt.  I don't know about all of you, but I rarely train on asphalt.  Running on that the entire 26.2 miles was not the greatest!

*  Around the 15 mile mark, my husband's pace started to slow.  He made it clear that he didn't want to "hold me back," and he wanted me to keep going, but I wasn't going to leave him.

*  Around the 18 mile mark, my right knee started REALLY hurting.  I have never had any problems with my right knee, but I have had ITB issues with my left knee so I know what it feels like.  I ran through it, but it only got worse.  Before long, I could feel a burning pain from my ankle all the way up to my hip.  My ITB was NOT happy with me.

*  At the 22 mile mark, I told my husband I had to walk.  I told him to keep going and finish strong!  We gave each other a high-five, then separated for the first time in the race.  It sucked to see him run ahead, but I needed to walk, and I didn't want him to stop for me.  The pain was so intense that it literally brought tears to my eyes.  I would walk/limp for a couple of minutes, then try to run again.  The first step of running was always the worst, but I pushed through the pain.  I started doing this pattern of walking then attempting to run for the next 2 miles.  It HURT so bad!

Final Thoughts:
Although this marathon turned out completely different than I thought, and I was in pain the last part of the course, I can honestly say that I had a blast doing it.  I had fun out there and was smiling pretty much throughout the entire race.  The music, the cheerleaders, my husband, and my family all made it an awesome experience.

I think I'm pretty much done with marathons for now.  I can honestly say that I have no desire to do another one...not for awhile anyways.  In fact, the next one I do will be during Ironman Arizona.

Although I'm going to start swimming again, I am really looking forward to not having any type of training going on.  I start my official training for IMAZ in April, and until then, I'm going to take it easy.  I think I deserve some time off! :)

January 6, 2011

A week in review and other things too

Wow...I cannot believe it's been a week since I last posted!  Things have just been kind of crazy around here!  I know I usually do this post on Friday, but it's close enough.  I hope you all had a very happy New Year!  I am so ready to get this year started!!  :)

*  I am finally better!  Woohoo!  I do have to admit though, that I really liked not running for awhile.  Like I mentioned before, I have basically been training non-stop since last February, and I just got completely worn out.  So, although it sucked being sick, it was nice to just REST for two weeks.  I don't know what will happen in my marathon in 10 days (YIKES!), but it will be whatever it will be.  I am not running this to BQ or anything.  This may sound crazy, but qualifying for Boston is just something I really don't care about.  So, I'm going to have fun, enjoy the warmer weather (yay for 60 degrees!!), and support my husband in his first marathon!  Oh, and hopefully it won't end with me dry heaving and puking like my first one...YUCK!

*  I don't know about all of you, but my strength training has lacked big time!  I have been reading a lot about functional strength training and TRX suspension training [HERE].  I did some research about the TRX system which seems to be popping up everywhere recently, even though it's been around for awhile.  I have been thinking about getting one for my home, but I really wanted to try it out before I bought it because it's pretty pricey!  I finally decided to see if there was a place in Denver that did it, and I found the most amazing place!!  They had a free class Monday night for newbies, and I signed up to check it out.  IT WAS AWESOME!  The woman that led the class was a great instructor and I never once felt out of place, like I do sometimes when I start something new in a group setting.
The workout was fun and TOUGH!  I am still sore today, but I love it!  I am definitely going to try and go to more classes!  It will be hard to fit it into my schedule, but until I can afford a TRX on my own, I'm going to make it work.  I can really see how doing that type of "strength training" will be more effective then what I've been doing.  Plus, one of the instructors is a triathlete and she designs the workout based on exercises that would benefit triathletes!  How cool is that?!
Have any of you used a TRX?  If so, what do you think about it?  Do you think it's worth the money to buy one??

*  After my  marathon, this is going to be my view every morning at 4:30AM 4 times a week!  It is time to get back into the pool and tackle this whole swimming thing!  I'll be following a plan on beginnertriathlete.com that will hopefully help hold be accountable to getting my butt out of bed!

Other Things Too:
*  Remember how I said that things have just been kind of crazy and busy around here?  Well, we've been doing a lot of this:
  So we can get rid of this:

and replace it with new, soft, beautiful, stain free carpet in our basement!  Yay!

This carpet was on the floor when we moved in 8 years ago and it was nasty to begin with.  But, we didn't have the funds to replace it right away.  Then, once we had kids, we decided to wait until they were older to replace it b/c we knew it would get destroyed by them anyways.

It has been A LOT of work!  I've been repainting all of the walls because they just need a fresh new coat, and my husband and I are tackling ripping out all of the carpet ourselves to save on costs.  So, it's just been a dusty, dirty, painty (I know it's not a word, but it fits) mess!  But, my husband and I like doing home projects, so it's actually been kind of fun. :)

I hope you are all having a good week!  I have a lot of posts to read, so I'll try and get around to yours soon. Have a great weekend! :)