March 31, 2011

Cross training

Cross Training???

So, it's not really cross training in the conventional sense, but I have to say that painting IS definitely a workout.  Especially when it's the ceiling you're painting!  Ugh!  My shoulders, neck, and arms have never been this tired and sore!
Have you ever painted your ceilings before?  No??  I don't blame you!  It is a lot of work and is much harder, frustrating, and cumbersome then painting walls.

Plus, you're hands will end up looking like this:
My poor watch is covered in paint!  Good thing the awesome chlorine chemicals at the 24hr. fitness pool take it right off!

Oh, and check out my awesome, very fashionable painting outfit:
I told you it was awesome!  Ha ha!  Seriously, every time I paint, this is what I wear.  These are my "painting pants" because I can wipe excess paint on them and accidentally rub against a painted wall and not have to worry about ruining a pair of my normal pants.  Oh, and the bandanna is a must!  Otherwise, my hair would look just like my hand/watch.  Believe me, I know!!

Happy Thursday everyone!
It's supposed to be in the mid 70's this weekend!  You know what that means??  A bike ride OUTSIDE!  See ya later trainer!  Woohoo!!

March 25, 2011

My PT experience

On Wednesday, I had my first physical therapy session to try and get this whole IT band injury figured out.  I was nervous going in, but also excited about the prospect of gaining some sort of hope that I will be able to run again without pain.
The whole appointment took almost an hour.  I was really surprised that I was in there for that long, but glad that they were taking their time trying to figure things out.  They did a lot of different movements with my ankles, knee, and hip and compared my left to my right, the bad side.  I was AMAZED at how different my right leg acted when put through all of the movements.  Seriously, I had no idea that my right side was so jacked up.

One thing that surprised me was that my right ankle didn't rotate nearly as much as it should have.  The PT asked if I had ever had an ankle injury, which I haven't, because usually he sees the lack of movement from people who have had ankle strains, tears, ect.  He was thinking that if my ankle didn't work properly, allowing my foot to do it's natural pronation thing, then my hip would have to work to overcompensate that problem, maybe causing the IT band injury.
He continued doing all of these different movements, but then focused on my IT band length (as pictured above).  WOW..what a difference between my two sides.  I had pretty much full range of motion on my left side, but my right was sooo tight.
  Then, he tested my glute strength on both sides.  Basically he had me lay on my left side and raise my right leg up.  As he pushed down on my leg, the goal was for me to keep my leg up in the air.  However, my right glutes were so weak that it was REALLY hard to keep my leg up.  My left however, did awesome.
My new best friend!
So, as of now, I have 4 exercises, along with foam rolling 3X/day that I have do for homework over the next 3 weeks before my next appointment.  He said in the mean time, that I can continue to RULK (run/walk) as long as I take it easy and don't try to do too much too soon.  So, I'm going to start a walk/run regimin to get my miles in (along with the EFX machine) and just go from there.
The good news is that IMAZ isn't until November.  However, my training officially starts in 3 weeks.  YIKES!  

And, did I mention that I'm supposed to be running the Colfax 1/2 marathon in May?  DOUBLE YIKES!

BUT, I am not going to even think about the what-ifs at this point.  All I can do is hope and pray that my stretching, rest, and PT will be enough to get me back in the game. 

I know there are horrible things happening in the world right now, especially in Japan, and my IT band is nothing compared to what those people are going through.  I feel silly even complaining/whining about it.  But, running is just so much a part of who I am.  Without it I feel kind of lost and it is something that mentally is taking a toll on me.  So, this blog is my way of getting my frustration/stress/fear out so I don't keep it inside and self-destruct, or worse, start taking it out on my boys, which would be horrible!   

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

March 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Vegetarian Fajitas and Edamole

Although these require some marinating time, once that's done, these cook up super fast and are super yummy!  Another great thing about this recipe, is you can basically use whatever veggies you have on hand.  It's the spices that make it so good.  We usually eat them topped with our favorite salsa, some shredded cheese, and my homemade guacamole/edamole (see recipe below).  Then, we wrap it all up in some whole wheat tortillas!  Yum!
Serves 4
Marinating Time: 30min or longer
Cook Time:  15-20min.

*  2Tbl. olive oil
*  2Tbl. red wine vinegar
*  2Tbl. lemon juice
*  1tsp. oregano
*  1tsp. cumin
*  1tsp. chili powder (or more if you want more spice)
*  1tsp. cinnamon
*  1tsp. sugar
*  1clove garlic
*  Salt an pepper to taste

*  1small zucchini, juliened (cut into thin strips)
*  1med. yellow squash, juliened
*  3/4onion, sliced
*  1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
*  1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
*  2Tbl. olive oil
*  1cup corn
*  1 - 15oz. can low sodium black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed.

For marinating:
1.  In a large shallow bowl/dish, combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and spices.
2.  Add the veggies to the mixture and marinate in the fridge for at least 30min. **Note:  I actually marinate the veggies for at least an hour b/c I like them to be fully flavored, but if you're short on time, 30min. will do.  I have also prepared the veggies the night before, then just cooked up the fajitas the next night for dinner. Easy peasy! :)
To cook:
1.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
2.  Saute the veggies until tender, about 10-15minutes.
3.  Stir in the corn and beans.
4.  Increase heat and cook until heated through for 5 more minutes.
5.  Enjoy!

Homemade Edamole:
Usually I make a super yummy homemade guacamole, but I decided to experiment a little bit.  I have been seeing a lot of guacamole recipes made with edamame, hence the name edamole, and I thought I would give it a try.  I have to say that it turned out a lot better than I expected!  In fact, it was so good that I actually liked it better than my regular guacamole and am planning on making it this way from now on.  Yum!


*  1 1/2cup peeled edamame, fresh or frozen
*  1 avocado
*  1/2 onion
*  1 clove garlic, minced
*  1 1/2Tbl. lime juice
*  1 tomato
*  Sea salt to taste

1.  Cook the edamame according to the package and set aside to cool.
2.  Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and add it to a food processor/blender
3.  Add the edamame and pulse on and off until well pureed.
4.  Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined.
5.  Add salt to taste.
6.  Enjoy!  Seriously, it's GOOD!!

March 21, 2011

Before and After

We FINALLY finished our kitchen and bathroom projects!  Woohoo!  So, as promised, I thought I'd post some before and after pics.  It was a long process and took WAY longer than we thought it would, but it's done and we're happy! :)

The Kitchen:
Before:  This isn't a true "before" pic b/c the old backsplash is already ripped out, but imagine white 4" square tiles covering the back.
After:  Tada! :)  We had the countertops installed, but we did the rest ourselves.  I repainted the cabinets and laid/grouted the backsplash pretty much by myself.  My husband did help me towards the end just because two people working goes faster than one, and we wanted it to be DONE!  We're pretty happy with the end result. :)
The Bathroom:
Before:  Again, this isn't a true "before" pic because we had already taken out the shower enclosure wall and the old tile.  But, imagine black and white tiles on the floor and walls to the left of the sink area where our shower used to be.  In this picture, my husband has already built the new shower walls and floor.
 After:  Tada!!  We laid/grouted everything ourselves, and put in a new light fixture and eco friendly/efficient toilet.  We hired a company to come in and install the frameless shower walls and doors, and they are amazing!  Our goal was to open up the space, and I think we accomplished it! :)

I am so happy that these projects are done!  Now we can use our bathroom again instead of sharing one with our 2 boys!  Woohoo! :)

March 18, 2011

A week in review and other things too

*  Swimming: I was supposed to get up at 4:30 for a swim today, but the alarm went off, I shut it off, and went back to bed.  I was tired!  But, instead of skipping my swim all together, I decided to bring my little one to kids' club and go to the pool right after the Aqua class.  Usually I can't swim during the day b/c the lanes tend to be filled with the older men and women with their floaties, walking up and down the lanes.  But, I thought since they would pretty much all be in the Aqua class, they wouldn't stick around.  It was a gamble, but it was worth the try.
I went out to the pool 10min. before the class ended.  I was shocked to see how many people were in the Aqua class!  Seriously, the whole pool (3 lanes wide) was filled with older men and women!  Wow!  The class ended, and they all swarmed to the hot tub, leaving the lanes nice and open for me to swim!  Woohoo!
I had a great swim and will probably make this a daily thing from now on!  One less day of waking up at 4:30AM would be awesome!! :)
*  Running:  BLAH!  What can I say?  A big nada, nothing, not happening, zilch.  I decided to contact my dr. and see if she could get me a referral to see a Physical Therapist. It has been over 2 months since this whole IT band issue started and it's time to do a little bit more than just stretching and foam rolling!  Hopefully I'll get an appointment soon!  If not, I got some great referrals from Jill at Run With Jill (thanks Jill) to check out!

*  Biking:  I have yet to ride my bike outside!  The days are unseasonably warm here (although we did get a little layer of snow last night, which is already melted) and I have been aching to get outside.  But, it's on my trainer and that's where it will stay for now.

Other Things Too:
*  Guess what started popping up in our little garden??  Spring Peeps!!  Yay!  My boys saw them and got so excited.  Spring is coming!! :)
*  Our REI dividend is here!   Woohoo!  With all of our remodeling this year, we got a nice chunk of change for our dividend this year!  Now, what to buy?????
*  In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to make broccoli potato soup and give my boys green milk for dinner!  The soup looks kind of gross, but it's actually really good.  My boys got a kick out of the green milk and thought it was the coolest thing! Ha ha!
*  See that lovely bandage around my youngest son's head?  Well, my boys were playing outside after dinner when all of a sudden we hear our youngest crying.  We got out there and he told us that our oldest had hurt his head.  I asked him wear it hurt, and that's when I saw blood gashing out of the back of his head.  I remained calm (even though I was freaking out on the inside), brought him inside, and held him while my husband checked him out.  In the mean time, our oldest sat in time out until we were done.

Here's a little tip for all of you mom's out there that have yet to deal with head wounds.  They BLEED  A LOT, even if there is just a little scratch, which is what my youngest ended up having.  We put a cold pack on it and wrapped it up really good.  We didn't really need to do it, but it helped my son feel better and relax.

It turns out our oldest got a little upset with our youngest and threw a rock at him.  Can you believe that??  I was so furious!  What was he thinking??  We showed him the wound, which made him really upset, and I don't think he'll be throwing anything at anyone again (hopefully).

*  I know I have some new followers (woohoo!), so I wanted to let you know that I still have some tri clings left.  If anyone wants one, email me at with your address and I'll mail one out to you!

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

March 16, 2011

A Rulk

I have created a new word:  Rulk.  What is a rulk?
 Here is my definition:
1.  A mixture of running and walking.  So, instead of saying, I'm going to walk 2 min then run 2 min., you can just say, "I'm going to rulk for 2 minutes."
2.  What happens when you start out running, but end up having to walk.

This was what my car said the temperature was outside today when I decided to head out for a run.
67 degrees in March!  Woohoo!  March is typically our snowiest month, so this was awesome!

I decided to put on my new shoes from Pearl Izumi.  I give you the isoTransitions (review coming soon):
I drove to the Highline Canal, my favorite running trail, and headed out on my run.  It was absolutely beautiful out and it was so nice to be able to run outside again.  I didn't know how my knee would do, but I was hopeful.

I was taking it really easy, feeling good, enjoying the sunshine, when all of a sudden I got a twinge of pain in my knee.  I looked at my Garmin, and this is what I saw:
 I only made it 1.71 miles.  :(    Oh, and my new shoes, which are designed to be worn sockless, started to give me a nice blister on the back of my left heel.  Ugh!  I don't know what I was thinking!!  I should have used bodyglide or something, but I was just so excited to get out I didn't think about it.  Lesson learned!

So, I had a little pity party, said a few words, then decided to make the best of the situation.  Since I couldn't run, I decided I would just walk the rest of the way back to my car and just enjoy the beautiful day.  It is not often that I actually get to SLOW down and just enjoy my surroundings.  
I took my shoes off and walked 1.71miles back to my car.  Although my knee was hurting, I couldn't help but run short sections while I was barefoot.  So, I rulked it.  Yes, there were little pebbles that hurt like hell on the bottoms of my feet, but for the most part, it was AWESOME!
I know I wasn't able to run today, and I was pretty disappointed.  But, I am hopeful that if I keep up with my stretching and foam rolling, this annoying ITB issue will heal.  All I can do is hope.    

March 11, 2011

A week in review and other things too

*  Swimming:  I had a great swim this morning!  I met with one of my TriBella teammates and one of her friends and it was awesome!  I have always done my swims by myself because I get up so early (4:30) to get them done before my boys wake up.  But, what a difference it makes having someone to swim with. It was just nice having someone to do a workout with.  And, I can see how swimming with someone would really hold me accountable for actually doing the workout as planned.  Hopefully I'll get to swim with them again!
* Yoga - I went to my favorite yoga class and instead of a regular class, we learned about the 7 chakras.  The instructor took us through each one and it was very different, but in a good way.  I have to tell you though, that once we got to the end, I was in tears, along with many other people in the class.  There's just something about yoga and learning how to connect your breath, mind, and body to what's going on in your life that gets to me every time.

*  TriBella Team/Store:  The new TriBella store opened this week!  Woohoo!  For those of you that don't know, I joined a new tri team called TriBella, and the person in charge of it all opened a brand new multisport store in Denver dedicated solely to women!  It is going to be so awesome!  You can check them out on Facebook [HERE].  And, for those of you that live in CO, I have coupons to pass out for 10% off an item!  Email me if you're interested.

Along the same lines, we got our new team kits in! They were done by Sugoi, which makes great running and tri clothes, and I LOVE the top and shorts!  I also got a bike jersey that is super cute too!  It took all I had not to get arm warmers, socks, a visor, etc.. too. Ha ha!

*Running:  I've been taking it very slow and easy trying to ease back into things.  KC [HERE], who we all know is a Rockstar, gave me some great advice about using the elliptical for some of my runs.  So far it's been great.  Thanks KC! :)
One thing that's interesting is that there are a lot of people that go crazy on that machine!  They're bopping up and down, going super fast forwards and backwards, using it solely for an arm workout.  It definitely makes the time go by quickly when I can people watch!

* As I'm sure you all know, Jason [HERE] is hosting a virtual 1/2 mary/marathon race! I decided to do the 1/2 mary distance because 1) I love virtual races, 2) The name is awesome, and 3) There's some great prizes to be won!  If you haven't joined yet, visit Jason's blog and sign up!!

Other Things Too:
*  We finally got our kitchen pretty much done!  There are just a few finishing touches left to do, then it will be finished!  Woohoo!  I promise to post some before/after pics when it's all done.

*  Over the weekend, my oldest son fell out of a tree in our backyard.  I was working inside and decided to go check on my boys and I saw him climb up the tree from our kitchen window.  I was just getting ready to go outside to tell him to climb down because he was too high when I saw him fall.  My heart literally jumped out of my chest and I yelled to my husband to come outside.  I was TERRIFIED and all I could think about was broken neck, arm, leg, etc..  Luckily, he survived it with only some scratches, but mentally it really shook him up!  I knew  it would  happen sooner or later because all boys love to climb trees, but I am just very, very thankful that he was alright!
*  The weather here has been absolutely beautiful!!  Spring is in the air and I'm loving it!!  Hopefully I'll be able to get out for a ride this weekend.  That would be so awesome!

*  We finished our taxes!  Yay, yay, yay!!  It's so nice to be done with them!

I hope you all have a great weekend!  :)

March 7, 2011

A Massage AND a RUN!!

The Massage:
Several of you recommended I get a massage done to see if it would help with my ITB issues.  When I was training for my HIM and marathons, and having some piriformis issues, I went once a month to get a Sports Massage and it was HEAVEN!  So, I thought I would give it a try.
Well, this morning I finally went to my appointment!  For some reason I was nervous, but also anxious to see if Bethany (my massage therapist) could work some magic.  Let me just say that it was awesome.  She focused a lot on my right side and used just the right pressure.  It hurt, but felt good at the same time.  I left the appointment hopeful that the massage would give me some relief from my ITB pain.

The Run:

I decided to try out a run on the treadmill tonight after we put our boys down for the night.  I was really nervous because I just didn't want to feel that twinge of pain again.  Mentally, I just don't think I could have taken it.
I forced the negative thoughts aside, blasted my favorite running tunes, and just started running.  I decided to run at a nice, easy pace and not push it.
I felt good and I started getting excited.  I ran past the 1.4 mile mark, which is what I made it to last week, and got a huge smile on my face.  Around the 24min. mark I started to feel a little pressure on my knee.  Not a twinge of pain, just some pressure.  I probably could have kept running, but I didn't want to press my luck, so I stopped.
I made it to 24 minutes with NO PAIN!  Woohoo!  I know that isn't a huge amount of time, but considering the fact that I haven't really been able to run for the last 6 weeks, I'll take it! :)
After the run, I did my stretching routine (which I'm planning on posting about later this week) and foam rolled.  It hurt, but not as much as it did after my run last week!  Baby steps...that's what it's all about when dealing with an injury.
Happy and sweaty after my run! :)

March 5, 2011

Jumping on the ABC bandwagon!!

I have really liked reading everyone's ABC posts, so I thought I'd play along too!  :)

Age:  34, but I turn 35 in June which  means I'll be racing in a new 35-39 age group!  Yikes!
Bed size: King.
Chore you hate:  Cleaning the toilets!  It's just a dirty job.  Pee, pubes, and poop=GROSS!
Dogs: One - a black lab mix that we adopted from the pound.  He's huge, but very gentle, and my boys absolutely love him!
Essential start you day item:  Saying "Good Morning" to my boys!
Favorite color:  Green
Gold or silver:  Silver or platinum
Height: 5'4" - I wish I was taller!
Instruments:  None really, but I did take violin lessons before I had my boys.  It's something I've always wanted to learn to play.
Job title:  Used to be a teacher, but now am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom.
Kids: 2 boys, 3 and 5 years old.
Live:  In the awesome city of Denver where we get over 300 days of sunshine a year!
Mom's name:  Aleta
Nicknames:  Aim, Aimers
Overnight hospital stay:  Two times after delivering my boys.
Pet peeve:  When people are late - it drives me crazy!!
Quote from a movie:  "I'm your huckleberry" said by Val Kilmer in Tombstone
Right or left handed:  Right
Siblings:  2 sister, one older, one younger.  Yes, I'm the middle child.
Time you wake up:  4:30AM on swim days, 6:30 non swim days
Underwear:  Always, except when I'm swimming, biking, or running!
Vegetable you dislike:  Lima beans!  Yuck!  I cannot stand their texture!
What makes you late:  My husband, b/c he likes to be "fashionably late," and my boys b/c I always underestimate the amount of time it takes them to get ready!
X-rays you've had done: 1 when my dr. thought I might have pneumonia.
Yummy food you make:  My Humpastry day and Tasty Tuesday meals of course! :)
Zoo animal favorite:  The wolf.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  :)

March 2, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Veggie Chili

Before I get to the Tasty Tuesday recipe, I just want to say thank you very much for all of your kind words and encouragement about my ITB issues!  It means more to me then you know!  :)

Now, for the good stuff!!  I know it's not Tuesday, but better late than never!

Veggie Chili
When I think of the word "chili," the first thing that comes to mind is ground beef.  I used to eat some delicious meat based chili before becoming a vegetarian, but I have to say that this is pretty good.  I actually got the recipe from the Whole Foods website [HERE].  If you haven't seen their website, you should definitely check it out.  It has a ton of resources and is full of delicious recipes for vegans, vegetarians, and meat lovers!

This chili is perfect for a cool night!  Unlike meat based chili that takes quite a bit of time to make, this cooks up in only 45 minutes!  And, it also freezes really well.  I have served this for lots of meat lovers and they never even realize that the meat is missing!  Plus, it has a surprise ingredient that makes it super yummy!  We usually eat this with a side of homemade cornbread!  Let me know if you want that recipe too.  I hope you like it!

Serves 4-6
Time: 45 minutes!

*  3/4C frozen corn, thawed
*  3Tbl. olive oil, divided
*  1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
*  4 garlic cloves
*  1 medium white onion, chopped
*  Small can of mild green chilies *Note: I use mild green chilies b/c of my boys, but if you want some heat, use 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced (or more or less to taste).
*  1Tbl. cumin
*  1/2tsp. cinnamon
*  1tsp. coriander
*  1tsp. paprika
*  1/2tsp. chili powder (more or less to taste)
*  Sea salt and black pepper to taste *Note: I love salt, and b/c all the other ingredients are low sodium, I end up adding probably more than I should, but the salt really brings out all the yummy flavors!
*  2 -15oz cans no-salt black beans, rinsed and drained
*  1 -14.5oz can fire roasted tomatoes with juices
*  1C low sodium vegetable broth
*  1Tbl. lime juice
*  2-3Tbl. semi-sweet chocolate chips (The secret ingredient!!)

1.  In a large skillet, roast corn kernels over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until beginning to brown, about 3-5min. Remove and set aside. *Note: depending on how much time I have, sometimes I skip this step.  The chili tastes good either way! :)
2.  Turn heat down to medium and add 2Tbl. olive oil to the skillet.  Add the eggplant with a pinch of salt and cook until golden, about 10minutes.  Remove and set aside.
3.  Add the remaining 1Tbl. olive oil to the skillet and add the garlic.  Cook for 1 minute, then add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
4.  Stir in the chilies, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Cook for 1minute, stirring frequently.  **Note:  don't worry about the bits stuck to the bottom of your skillet.  In the next step, the broth and tomato juice will deglaze your pan once you add it and mix it in.
All my spices in a spice cup.  Do you have one of those?  If not, you can use a small ramekin too!  It just makes adding spices to meals sooo easy!! 

5.  Stir in the tomatoes, beans, vegetable broth, and lime juice.  Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
6.  Stir in the corn and eggplant and stir until heated through. *Note: I usually taste the chili before adding the choco chips to see if it needs more salt and pepper.  Now is the time to add more if needed! 
7.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until just melted.
8.  Enjoy! :)