April 26, 2011

Auria Exceed Earphones Review and GIVEAWAY!!

Auria Exceed Earphones
A while back I was asked if I wanted to try out and review a pair of Exceed Earphones.  Of course I said YES!

Here is what the website at auria.com [HERE] says about the Exceed Earphones:
Experience an exciting new level of comfort from our XFit system. Run, hike, bike or walk with the confidence that your earphones will remain in place.
Control volume with a mere finger touch to the stylized InLine control. Use the function button to control audio/video and answer/end calls. Take advantage of the integrated Microphone to make calls on iPhone 4/3GS/3G, Blackberry and Android phones.
Two sets of swappable Personalizers are included : a color-matched, painted set and a hand-picked graphical set.
The super-soft, black mesh carrying case is sized to hold most smartphones (including iPhone 4/3G/3GS and Blackberry models), Exceed earphones and accessories.
When I got them in the mail, I pulled out all the stuff and laid it out on my desk.  Here's what the package came with.

* Earphones
*  Mesh bag
*  Different sizes of ECO (Ear Canal Opening) rings to help you achieve the perfect fit
*  A set of graphic Personalizers that you can swap out to add some fun to the earphones.

The ECO rings are pretty cool and have little circles on them to indicate the different sizes.  I found them to be really easy to switch out.  But, I actually found that the ones that were originally on the earphones worked the best for me.

Another interesting feature is the InLine control button.  While I think it's a great idea in theory, I am used to just hitting the buttons on my shuffle and found myself not really using the button.  However, I can see how it would be a nice feature if you used it with your phone.

Now, you all know that I'm not up to running long distances (YET), but I was able to try these out in several runs ranging from 30-45minutes.  The first thing I did was switch out the Personalizers.  I thought the running girl image was a lot more fun than solid black.  Don't you think?

So, how did they work??
I thought they were awesome!  They are really easy to insert and did not move during my entire run.  Because they are quite bigger than my other earphones I thought they would feel heavy, but they didn't.  In fact, they are light weight and after awhile I didn't even feel them in my ears.

Another nice thing about these earphones is that they allow you to hear the ambient noise around you, which is a must for anyone running by themselves.  What I liked was that I was able to run on my treadmill in my workout room and still hear my boys playing in the other room. :)

So, if you think you might want to try these earphones, you're in luck!  The awesome people of Auria were kind enough to offer a free pair to one of you!  Woohoo!

Here's what you need to do:
* Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
1.  Be a follower. Or, let me know if you already are. :) 
2.  Tell me your favorite running song.

The contest will run until April 30th.  I will announce the winner on May 1st!  Good luck!!

April 22, 2011

A week in review and other things too


*  Biking:  My husband had Monday off, so we dropped our boys off at school and got ready for a bike ride.  It's been a LONG time since we were able to go on a ride together, so we were both pretty excited about it.
We decided to try out a new trail system that was built to extend one of the popular trails that goes throughout the city.  Usually, we head north into downtown Denver, but the trail was extended south.  IT WAS  AWESOME!  It's fairly new, so not a lot of people know about it yet, which made for a great ride.  The weather was a little windy, but other than that, it was perfect!
AND, I got to try out my new helmet (review coming soon)!  In a nutshell, I LOVED it!

* Swimming: Ummm...this needs some work.  I was doing great, but I haven't been sleeping well b/c my mind is just a mess right now with this whole house thing.  So, I've been exhausted, and it's made it hard to get up early.  AND, I haven't been able to make it after the aqua classes b/c that's usually when I'm meeting with the realtor, signing contracts, etc.  I KNOW...excuses, excuses!  The excuses WILL stop this weekend!!

*Running:  I'm happy, happy, happy about my runs lately!

BRING.        IT.         ON.

Other Stuff Too:

*  Selling our house had been pretty stressful and crazy!!  There is so much that is involved with it, but I thought I'd just list some of the good/bad things going on right now.
-Good: Our house is under contract and we're scheduled to close on May 20th!  Woohoo!
-Bad: We haven't found a house yet and may have to move to an apt. until we do.  Boo!
-Good: My house has never been so clean!
-Bad: Keeping it clean is a lot of work, especially when you have two boys and a big dog!
*  I may have a new running client!  I was contacted this past week by someone who is interested in qualifying for Boston this fall and would like some coaching help.  Our initial meeting went really well, so hopefully I'll be training her soon!
*  Happy Earth Day everyone!!  Although I think Earth Day should be every day, I hope this day makes people out there think twice about littering, not recycling, etc.  AND, if you want some free goodies today, Starbucks is giving away free coffee if you bring in a reusable mug.  Also, Whole Foods is giving away free reusable bags!  Woohoo!

Isn't that a cute bag?  It says, "I love my home...plant earth."

*  Jason at Cook Train Eat Race [HERE], asked if I would do a guest post on his blog today.  He and Matt from The Athlete's Plate are doing a cookie battle.  Of course, I said YES!  I love Jason's blog (if you don't follow him, you should because it's an awesome blog filled with TONS of great things).  So, if you get a chance, go check out the post and vote for my cookie recipe, Heart Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  THEY ARE GOOD!  Yum! :)  

*  Happy Easter everyone!!  I hope you all have a wonderful Easter filled with love, family, happiness, and lots and lots of candy!!  Ha ha! :)

April 19, 2011


Can I get a WOOT WOOT!!
HAPPY after my run.  And check out my new headphones...review coming soon! :)
So, I know 4.5miles is not a long distance, but for me, being able to run longer than 1 mile without pain is AWESOME!  You all know that I've been dealing with this nasty IT band injury since January.  I've been to my PT, done the exercises, and focused on strengthening the areas my PT felt were weak.  I have really been taking it easy on my runs, doing a RULK (run/walk) combo for each one, and running at a pace A LOT slower than my pre-injury days.  I started by doing .5M walk/.5M run, then increased it to .25M walk, .75Mrun, then increased it from there.
FINALLY, on Saturday I did a RULK of .25M walk/1.5M run and kept going until I reached the 4.5M run mark.  I felt awesome and almost back to normal again, but didn't want to push it.  I still have a lot of my fitness, but it's amazing how much "running" fitness you lose when you don't run on a regular basis.  The last thing I want to do is run too far, too soon and cause the IT to flare up again.

I don't know what exactly helped my IT band heal.  But, here are the things I think helped ME:
*  Taking a much needed rest from training.  I'll be the first to admit that I was totally overtrained when I did the AZ marathon.  My body was tired and I didn't listen.  Lesson learned!!
*  Strength exercises to strengthen my hips/glutes.  I really think the combo of my PT exercises and the TRX really helped.
* SLOWING down.  After the AZ marathon I tried running again at my normal pace and paid for it big time.  I think as runners, pace is such a big thing sometimes.  But, what I learned is that what really matters is that you're running at a pace that is working for you and not going to cause injuries.
*  My VFF Bikilas.  I started running in my VFF Bikilas again.  I started every RULK I did in my Bikilas and have now worked up to wearing them for 1.5M!  They are awesome and I love the way I feel when I run in them.
*  Running in a minimalist shoe.  I wish I could wear my Bikilas all the time, but my body is not ready for that yet.  So, the next best thing for me is running in a pair of minimalist shoes.  I absolutely love these shoes.  They are the isoTransition from Pearl Izumi and they are awesome!  They are meant to be worn sockless, but I'm not quite ready to experiment with that yet.  Plus, last time I tried that I got a huge blister!  I need to concentrate on getting my running back, so socks it is!

Hopefully, I'll be able to continue increasing my mileage without pain.  My training for IMAZ officially starts on Sunday, so I am just ecstatic that I'm finally getting better!!  Woohoo! :)

On a side note, I know today is supposed to be a Tasty Tuesday post, but I was just too excited about being able to run!!  I promise I'll get some Vegetarian and Humpastry Day recipes posted soon!

April 16, 2011

Awesome Mail!

It's not every day that you get THIS in the mail!  When I saw I had a package by my front door, I looked at who it was from and knew exactly what it was.  So, I had my boys do the honor of opening it!
You know what they found?

That's right.  They found

I love this picture because it shows their complete excitement about having this HUGE gummy bear!!
I won this awesome contest from EMZ  [HERE] and was so excited because I knew my boys would love this!  And, I might love it a little bit too! :)

So, what do you think the first thing we did was?  Here's a hint: Now you see them.

Now you don't.

That's right, we ate the poor gummy bear's ears!  Ha ha!  They were DELICIOUS!  Blue raspberry is a super yummy gummy bear flavor! YUM!

Look at how big those ears are in my boys' hands!

Seriously, this thing is HUGE!  It is literally as big as my head!  Ha ha.
Note: This picture was taken by my 3yr. old.  Not too bad huh? :)
I'm not sure how long we will have this gummy bear, but let's just say that a little bit of it disappears every day! :)

There was another awesome thing in the box too!

I'm sure you all know this by now, but EMZ is running in an amazing event.  She is doing a 24 hour treadmill charity run to benefit the Sojourner Center [HERE] which provides shelter and support to those affected by domestic violence.  She is going to ROCK it by the way!!  I donated to this amazing cause and got one of the famous t-shirts!  Woohoo!  The only problem is that it's way too big for me.  Bummer!  So, my husband is the proud new owner of this awesome shirt!

BUT, even though I can't wear the shirt, this phrase has become one of my favorites.  I have to say that it has been key for helping me get through my recovery runs on the treadmill.

Thanks EMZ!!  And, thanks Peanut for the little notes! :)

I want to give a huge shout out to all of you racing in the Boston marathon!  You are all going to do awesome and I can't wait to read all about your race!  GOOD LUCK, GOOD LUCK, GOOD LUCK!!!!

April 13, 2011

I love the TRX!

I have a confession...I do not like strength training.  Going to the gym, lifting weights, fighting over the machines/weights with huge bodybuilder guys just isn't fun!  Plus, I am not convinced that traditional strength training is the way to go for me, as a triathlete.  I know that strength training does play an important role, so I have been doing a lot of research about strength training and functional training.  One thing that keeps coming up is the TRX system [HERE].  The reviews from users of the TRX are all amazing, but the system is pretty pricey.  So, before making the decision to buy the system, I decided to give it a try.

For the past month I have been going to a place called The Power Method [HERE] for TRX classes.  We meet on M,W, and F mornings from 6-7AM.  Let me just tell you that I get such a great full body strength workout every time I go.   The instructor is awesome and always upbeat.  And, she plays awesome music that goes with the flow of the class.  I LOVE it!  

The system just makes sense to me.  If you don't know what the TRX is all about, take a couple of minutes and check out the video below. The system is designed such that you use your own body weight to make the movements harder/easier depending on your level of fitness.  I also like how the movements we do in the class mimic the movements we do as endurance athletes.  

Seriously, it is amazing what you can do with the system!  The only problem is that now that I am in love with it, I have to find a way to come up with some moola to buy one to have at home.  Ha ha!
Do any of you use the TRX?  If so, how do you like it?

*Note:  I was not given any money for this review of the TRX.  My review is based on my own experiences with the classes I have taken.  However, if Fitness Anywhere wants to give me an actual TRX to use at home and review, that would be awesome! :)  

April 8, 2011

A week in review and other things too

Swimming:  I am REALLY loving swimming mid morning after the aqua classes.  Seriously, it has been awesome!  AND, I feel like my stroke is finally coming along to the point where I can now focus on speeding things up a bit.
I went to a swim clinic Wed. night led by Carol Sharpless [HERE] and it was pretty good.  A lot of the stuff I already knew, but she did have some good tips and training ideas that I'm going to start working on.  I may even look into how much she charges for swim coaching lessons.  I'm just really freaked out about the swim for IMAZ, so maybe taking lessons will give me a little bit more confidence?!
Part of Cherry Creek State Park
Biking:  I was able to ride outside once this week, and it was awesome!  It was in the low 60s, and I only had an hour to ride, so I did a big loop around Cherry Creek State Park.  It felt great to be outside again!  The weather has been weird here, snow one day, warm sunshine the next.  So, I cannot wait for the days to warm up for good!  Riding outside is just so much more fun than riding on the trainer.

Running:  There's not much to say about my running.  My IT band is still giving me some problems, but it IS getting better!  Woohoo!  The other day, I rulked (run/walk) for about 45 min., walking for .25M, then running for .50M.  Total, I was able to run 3miles!  I felt like I could have continued, but I just ran out of time.  Exercising just takes so much more time when you have to take walking breaks.  BUT, if having to alternate between running/walking is what it will take to heal my IT band, then that's what I'm going to do.  It just sucks though...plain and simple.  I MISS running, I really do.

Other Things Too:
 *  So, my husband and I have decided to put our house on the market.  We actually LOVE our house, the neighborhood, and our neighbors.  But, we would just like to be closer to where my husband works and move into a better school district for our boys.  I know you're probably thinking, "but you just did all of those projects?"  Well, part of the reason we did them was for us, but also to make our  house a little more marketable.  After working REALLY hard to get our house ready, it was finally put into the system a couple of days ago.  Now, it's just a matter of trying to keep it clean.  But, with two boys and a dog who likes to poop every 5 minutes, this has not been easy.
It's a little scary for us because right now isn't exactly the best time to be selling a house.  But, it's just something we feel we need to do.  So, it's just a waiting game now.  Wish us luck!!

*  This is a tree in our neighbor's yard.  Do you see the thing way up on the top??  That is our neighborhood Golden Hawk.  Every spring she returns and takes to the sky.  Last year, she had some babies and we don't know if this one is a "baby" or the adult.  But, there are always several flying around.  We love watching these hawks soar through the sky.  They are amazing and HUGE! But, the coolest thing about seeing the  hawk again is that it truly symbolizes the fact that spring is here!! :)

Here is a close up:

My boys doing their "push-ups"

*  The other day, I was playing outside with my boys and we decided to do an obstacle course around the yard.  We would run in a big circle around the yard, jumping over the obstacles (big trucks, a baseball bat, etc..) along the way.  Then, when we got to the picnic table, we did push-ups and step-ups.  The boys had a blast and thought is was so fun!  We may have to do more of these obstacle courses in the future! :)

Jumping over "obstacles"

I hope you all have a great weekend!!  

I know there are a lot of you out there racing this weekend!  I want to wish the best of luck to all of you!  You can do it!!!  

April 5, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Quinoa

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Quinoa
Can I just say YUM?!!  This turned out sooo good!  I saw some good looking acorn squash at the store the other day and decided to buy them, not really knowing what I was going to do with them.  I found lots of recipes online for stuffing squash with different quinoa recipes, but ultimately this one won out.  I adapted it from a recipe I found on Whole Foods [HERE] and it is DELICIOUS and made my house smell so good!  My boys gobbled this up saying, "This is really yummy mommy!"  So, not only is it good, it is pretty easy to make too!  I hope you like it!

Serves 4
Time: About 1 hr. (most of which is just cooking time)
*Note: This makes a lot of "stuffing."  We stuffed 2 acorn squash (4 halves) and still had a lot of stuffing left over.  So, you could decrease the ingredients to have less stuffing, use 3 acorn squash, OR, like I will be doing, eat the left over stuffing the next day for lunch!  It is good all by itself!  Yum!
I forgot to take a picture of the acorn squash before putting them in the oven! 
*  1C quinoa *Note: I buy Quinoa that has been pre-rinsed, but if you don't have that, you need to rinse the quinoa in warm water before cooking it to remove the natural saponin coating off of it.  
*  1 1/2C orange juice
*  1 1/2C water
*  1tsp. cinnamon
*  1/2tsp. allspice
*  1/4tsp. nutmeg
*  1/2tsp. salt
*  1/2tsp. pepper
*  2 acorn squash  
*  1Tbl. olive oil
*  1 medium onion, diced
*  1 carrot, diced
*  1 celery rib, diced
*  1 apple, peeled and diced
*  1/2C dried cranberried
*  2Tbl. maple syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare/cut all ingredients.
2.  Cut each acorn squash in half and place cut-side down in a baking dish filled with 1/2" of water.  Bake for 40 minutes.  When it is done, remove from oven, turn cut-side up, and set aside.
3.  While the squash bakes, toast quinoa in a dry, pot for 3 minutes.
4.  Add the OJ, water, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
5.  Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

6.  While the quinoa simmers, heat 1Tbl. olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
7.  Saute the onion, carrot, celery, and apple for 8-10 minutes.
8.  Add the sauteed mixture to the simmering quinoa, along with the cranberries and maple syrup.
9.  Simmer for 10 more minutes, or until the quinoa is fully cooked and fluffy.
10.  Remove from heat.

11.  Turn the squash cut-side up and fill each half with the quinoa stuffing.
12.  Return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
13.  Enjoy!  Yum!

*Note:  Here is how much stuffing I had left over after stuffing the acorn squash.
It's quite a bit.  BUT, it is so good on its own, that I'm planning on eating it for lunch today!  Yum!

April 3, 2011

An Awesome Ride!

Yesterday was just an all around great day!  First, we had record temps here in Denver and the high ended up being 82 degrees!  It was BEAUTIFUL and just what we needed!  Secondly, I got to go on my first ride OUTSIDE of the season!  PLUS, I got to ride with some of my awesome TriBella teammates!  Woohoo!
Some of my awesome teammates!  I'm the second one from the left.
Here we are at the start of our ride.  We rode over to a group of people in a parking lot and asked them to take our picture.  They thought our team kits were pretty cool, and I have to agree! :)

There were a ton of  people out on their bikes, running, roller blading, etc.  It was awesome.  I think we have all been waiting for this day to come and everyone wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather.
If you notice in the picture, I'm wearing a long sleeved shirt under my jersey.  At the beginning of the ride it was great, but I actually ended up getting HOT!  I didn't dare complain though.  An 82 degree day in April is a luxury and I was just happy to be out riding.
At the turn around point.
We stopped an hour into the ride, then decided to turn around.  I have to say that I had a complete blast throughout the entire ride.  I have never really ridden in a group before, and it was just really nice to have someone to ride with and talk to.  Usually I train by myself, so it was quite different for me riding in a group.  But, it was awesome and something that I hope to do a lot more of.
Plus, some of us are doing Ironman races really close together, so we can potentially do a lot of our training together.  Woohoo!
I feel so fortunate to be a part of this team.  The women in the group are awesome and I am really looking forward to getting to know them even more this season!
Completely happy after my ride! :)
When I got home I was STARVING!  I didn't know how long of a ride we were planning on doing, but by the time I finished it was well after lunch!  Luckily, my husband is amazing and knew just what I needed.
Yum!  This veggie fajita bowl from Chipotle totally hit the spot!

And another thing, my light has been ignited and my motivation for training has returned!  I cannot wait to start my IMAZ training in a couple of weeks!  BRING IT ON!

From Christ at Pedestrian Runner [HERE]
One more thing.  Have you ever heard the saying, "If you don't like the weather here wait 10 minutes?" Well, check out what type of weather we're having today.
Dark ominous skies that are bringing rain which will turn into SNOW later today!  Ugh!