Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bike Commute

I bike commute to work quite often. It doesn't really count as part of my training as it's less than two miles from my home to work. Admittedly the proximity makes it pretty easy for me but I have a routine that makes it easier for me so I really wouldn't mind if I had to ride further.
First I pack my lunch (I almost always bring my lunch) wrap it in a plastic bag and place it in the bottom of my backpack. I put it in the bottom in case it leaks, I don't want anything to end up on my work clothes.
I then lay out all of the clothes and accessories I want to wear that day to make sure that I don't forget anything

I pack special jewelry in little bags to make sure it doesn't get scratched

I pack everything into a canvas bag to keep everything together in my backpack

I then just throw on shorts, a t-shirt, shoes and my helmet to ride in.

Do you ever bike commute? Any more tips to add?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Death of a Fatty

Yesterday morning I grabbed my old trusty "fatty" iPod nano to listen to on my way to work. It worked as normal, I paused it, locked the keys and threw it in my bag. After work I pulled it back out unlocked the keys and.... nothing, no response. I was confused, it worked this morning? Did I leave it on all day and the battery was just dead? I plugged it into my computer when I got home and iTunes didn't even recognize anything was there. Apparently my five year old iPod died a quiet death while I was working. Honestly I am happy I got five years out of it, I use it all the time, I have dropped it, sweat all over it and abused the poor thing.

Not wanting to go a day without entertainment (sad, I know) I ran to target after getting a quick bike fit, my seat was way too low, and bought a new nano touch screen. I love that it is smaller and has a clip like my shuffle so I won't have to shove it in my sports bra when I don't have pockets (gross).

I ordered a silicon case to help protect it, getting that first ding in a new electronic is the worst.

Goodbye fatty, you got me through many long runs, races, road trips, sleepless nights and much more, I will miss you.

In other new gear news I finally got a new helmet to replace the one I was wearing when I crashed, I wore it for a quick 20 miler on Sunday and it seems nice and comfortable.

Hopefully this one will take me through IM CDA!

Do you use an iPod for training, how often do you replace it?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Things I am willing to give up to be an ironman…

Training for an ironman will take somewhere between 8 and 20 hours of week of training, that is not including all of time spent planning, driving, prepping, packing, eating, buying gear, etc to support all of that training. It also takes a lot of money, not just the entry and travel fees but for all the gear, nutrition, and expenses to keep your body healthy (massages, foam rollers, etc). Also it takes a toll on your body, in many different ways. So I had to really think, what am I willing to give up to become an ironman? Here is my list so far:

• Looking good at work. I will have wet hair, and wrinkled clothes everyday (sorry boss)
• Having cute feet. I used to have cute feet now I have funky purple toe nails and perma blisters
• Money and time for vacations
• Most alcohol, not a good idea to drink when you have to get up early to go run/bike/swim
• Sleeping in, 4:20 am wake up calls x(
• Snowshoeing, I love to snowshoe in the winter but with IM training in full swing I don’t think we will have time to fit it in
• Smelling good, I can never get rid of that chlorine smell
• Most tv shows, this is ultimately for my benefit I think
• Facebook, oh wait I gave that up long ago and don’t miss that time suck at all
• Spending time on my yard, that will have to happen after June 24th

Here is the biggest one:
My Car. We have been thinking about going down to one car for some time, mostly to force to be better about alternative commuting for the environment. Cory and I both bike commute a lot so my Saturn Vue often sits in the garage. We decided the extra cash every month the we gain by not making a car payment or insurance would help fund the ironman. I am a bit nervous about going down to one car over the winter when bike commuting is harder but I think I am up for the challenge.

Here are the things I am not willing to give up:

• Spending time with my family, my parents just moved here and I won’t abandon them for IM training. They will make great puppy sitters on long training weekends though ;)
• Spending time with my dogs, they are like my children
• Time with my husband, I won’t have to though he is doing this thing with me!
• Quality of my work, my job is very important to me so I won’t slack on it but I will try to keep my hours closes to 40 a week so can fit everything else in.
• Sleep, I need it, period.

What do/would you give up for your dream?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I signed up today......Ironman Coeur d'Alene!

We finally decided between all of the ironman races for 2012. After watching videos and reading a lot of race reports we decided that Ironman Coeur d'Alene is the best choice for us. So we went online forked over a bunch of money and waved goodbye to our lives for the next ten months.

I am still on injured reserve as my knee is very painful so the focus for the next few months will have to be healing a building strength.

The race will be held on June 24th and that will be our 6th anniversary. We completed our first half ironman this year on our anniversary.

It may not be the most romantic way to spend the day but that's how we roll.

Any suggestions on how to survive this, while working a full+ time job, keeping up a house, and being a good daughter, sister, wife, friend, boss, coworker, neighbor, pet owner, etc?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things That Made Me Smile Today

A good friend sent this to me today and it made me smile:


From the Visionary Museum in Baltimore:

1. Expand the definition of a worthwhile life.
2. Engender respect for and delight in the gifts of others.
3. Increase awareness of the wide variety of choices available in life for all ... particularly students
4. Encourage each individual to build upon his or her own special knowledge and inner strengths
5. Promote the use of innate intelligence, intuition, self-exploration, and creative self-reliance.
6. Confirm the great hunger for finding out just what each of us can do best, in our own voice, at any age.
7. Empower the individual to choose to do that something really, really well.

Another thing that made me smile was watching the leaves fall out of trees and thinking of the promise of fall even though it’s still upper 90’s outside.

What made you smile today?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cory's Birthday Trip

Cory turned 32 last Friday and we were lucky enough to be able to take the day off work and act like tourists. I floated a few ideas past Cory and he decided that he wanted to ride the Cog Train from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak. While there were fantastic Views (see below) we weren't that impressed with the overall experience. It was....ok, I would suggest driving to the top instead and saving a few bucks.

When we got back to Manitou Springs we shopped for a bit then headed to Adams Mountain Cafe

They adhere to a slow food model, descried as:

Our century, which began and has developed under
the insignia of industrial revolution, first invented the machine and then took it as its life model.
We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes, and forces us to eat Fast Foods.
To be worthy of the name, <em>Homo sapiens</em> should rid themselves of speed before it reduces them to a species in danger of extinction.
A firm defense of quiet material pleasure is the only way to oppose the universal folly of Fast Life.
May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and
long lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of
multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.
Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.
In the name of productivity, Fast Life has changed our way of being and threatens our environment and our landscapes. So Slow Food is now the only true progressive answer.
That is what real culture is about: developing taste rather
than demeaning it. And what better way to set about this than an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, products?
Slow Food guarantees a better future. Slow Food is an idea that needs plenty of qualified supporters who can help turn this (slow) motion into an international movement with the little snail as its symbol.

We sat on their patio and had the best food!

We then went for a 78 mile bike ride on Saturday that went surprisingly well. On Sunday we helped my parents settle in to my brothers house where they are staying for a few weeks while looking for a house here in Colorado. We also had the chance to celebrate my dad's birthday with him for the first time in years. It was such a great weekend but it left me behind at work and home. Gees, how do you fit it all in?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!

I would say that Cory and I are planners, so when it comes to buying food for the week we plan out our diners and rarely "wing it". I like to know what we are going to buy and hate throwing away food that has gone bad. We start by making a dinner menu for the week (we don't plan lunches or breakfasts, we just make sure we have the usual ingredients in the house) We then make a shopping list.

Can you read the menu? It looks like all unhealthy foods like tacos, pizza, burritos, etc. It looks bad but these are all healthy, homemade versions. Here are our fish tacos with mango salsa from last week, SO YUMMY!

After making our list we head out, we almost always end up at two different stores, our favorites are Costco and Sunflower Market. Here is our haul:

We are pretty good at sticking to our menu, admittedly sometimes we end up with takeout (usually Indian)after a stressful day at work.

Do you plan out your meals, or do you decide as you go?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

65 mile ride

Cory and I decided to tackle our long ride today by riding a 65 mile loop mostly on bike paths. We mapped out our route on map my ride went over each turn and headed out. Even with all of the preparation we missed a turn and ended up going about 14 miles off course (the turn was seriously ambiguous and not marked) With the help of Cory's driod and google maps we were able to get back on course but we lost a lot of time and decided that it would be a bad idea to do the full loop now that it would be closer to an 80 mile ride and we didn't think we would be up for that yet. We decided to do an out and back and try to still get in 60ish miles.

Other than getting lost it was a great ride. I thought I would be much more uncomfortable in the 95 degree heat riding further than I ever have. I think the fact that I ate and drank a lot made this log ride almost feel easy (other than my sits, still need to work on making that more comfortable).

To make it through a 4+ hour ride I brought along all of this along:

3 Honey Stinger Waffles (seriously these are SO good) 160 calories each. and 2 Honey Stinger Chews also 160 calories each, Pink Lemonade is a new flavor and I think it was pretty good.

All ready to pack into my bento box.

I wanted to try to taking some protein with me so I mixed up some Hammer Perpetuem

I tried some before adding it to my bottle and couldn't stomach it. Sorry Hammer, I am not a fan, I had to dump it out and go with three bottles of grape nuun. I love my aerodrink, I really think it's the main reason I don't get dehydrated since it's so easy to drink from while riding.

About halfway through the ride we stopped at a gas station where I bought a gatorade and shared a Snickers with Cory. The attendant was kind enough to allow us to fill our bottles with ice and water for free. The ice didn't last long in the heat but it was nice for a while.

I didn't quite make it though all of my Honey Stingers so I ate approximately 900 calories on a 4.5 hour ride. I think it was a good amount for me, my stomach did well, I felt like I had consistent energy, and I wasn't starving when we finished.

How much do you eat on your long run/rides?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Makin’ it happen

That’s it, I am back on the wagon. After about three weeks of very little exercise I am determined to make it to Harvest moon half ironman in September. I have been plagued with injuries and illness this past month but I am ready to be back at it full force. I am not sure that my knee will allow me to get back to running the 30ish mile weeks I was before but I am hopeful that I will be able to pull out a slow half marathon anyway. I just know that I am up for trying.

Winston is disappointed that there will be less couch cuddle time but I am excited to get back to swim, bike, run, EAT!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July Recap

Even though I have been whining lately July was pretty fun here are some of the highlights:

Cory and I continued our 5th anniversary celebration by going to one of our favorite restaurants, The Melting Pot

We went to the Louisville location, it has a mine shaft theme.

The food was great and the company even better. We also had some fabulous trail runs before my knee gave up on me.

I was fortunate enough to travel to San Diego for work where I went to a workshop with the San Diego Zoo's Conservation department. They put us up in some swanky accommodations

I had the best time

Learned a lot

And met some fantastic people

Cory and I then Traveled to Portland (my favorite city ever) where we visited the Japanese gardens

So pretty, we were lucky enough to get a guided tour so we learned a lot. We then headed down for a quick tour of the rose gardens.

On Saturday we visited Portland's Saturday Market where I bought some hand made jewelry, the worlds coolest lamp that is being delivered soon and indulged in one of Cory's favorite things:

We visited family and went to Cory's brother's wedding reception (they ran off and tied the knot in Vegas in May) the happy family

Overall it was a good month and I am happy to move on to August. I know summer is fun but fall is my favorite season and I can't wait for cooler weather, turning leaves, holidays, baking and football. Counting down the days.....

What's your favorite season?