Monthly Archives: June 2011

Packed summer Saturday

Summer is finally here! After several weeks of cool temperatures and massive rain storms, Wisconsin finally got with the program and produced a gorgeous summer Saturday. We started it off with a quick 17 mile bike ride with a friend followed by an 11 mile run. We were actually supposed to run for 2 hours, but had to cut it about 20 mins short so I could dash home, shower, and get to my haircut appointment on time. Turns out my hairdresser was running late, and asked if I could come 30 mins later, so we could have gotten those two extra miles in. Oh well, I’m sure my legs will be grateful I didn’t run any further during our 70 mile bike ride today.

After my haircut, Steve and I walked to a restaurant called Hotch-A-Do for brunch. I had a Groupon that was expiring yesterday, and there’s no way I was letting it go to waste. We got lucky and scored the only open outdoor table, and immediately ordered some drinks.

That bloody mary was fantastic, and came with a tasty beer chaser. I’m not sure what it was, but it was good beer, and not some Miller Lite crap that a lot of places like to give me. I ordered the breakfast burrito:

Two organic eggs scrambled, green peppers, onions, morning spuds, vege chili, cheddar cheese all wrapped in a flour tortilla Includes a side of sour cream, our homemade salsa and topped with fresh avocado.

When the food came I died. This burrito was seriously the size of my head.

I pretty much just ate all of the delicious filling out of the tortilla so I wouldn’t explode. I would definitely recommend this place, and hope to go back to try their dinner sometime.

We kept right on rolling after brunch and headed out to Pewaukee Lake for Beach Party. It’s basically a little festival on the waterfront with food, music, and a water skiing show. We met up with my mom and Joe to watch the festivities.

These ladies were skiing on saucers with chairs balanced on top. Crazy.

Joe was the big winner of the ski club raffle, and won 15 sno-cones and a straw hat!

I got coconut mango. Mmmmm….

I know it’s hard to believe, but I ate this sno-cone instead of ice cream, rather than in addition to. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Eventually some of out friends showed up and we hung out and drank margaritas until about 9:30. Late night partying, I know. Me and my best running buddy Cara:

Cara and Mike have the cutest ever 3 month old baby Gavin, and they were out for the first time while leaving him with a baby sitter (her sister). Time to party it up!

Steve was almost abducted by a UFO, but I saved him.

On our way home I had a hankering for some real food, as my breakfast burrito finally felt digested after 8 hours. We stopped at Classic Slice for some giant slices of pizza. Steve eats here for lunch sometimes, but I had never experienced the ginormity that is their pizza. We each ordered a slice that was the size of at least half of a large pizza. Steve posed with his food without me even asking him to. Awesome.

My slice had tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and enough garlic that my sweat will probably smell during my bike ride today.

In case you are wondering if I ate that whole slice at 10:30pm, the answer is absolutely I did. The crust was very thin which is my favorite because I can eat more that way. And with that, it was time for bed.

What a great summer day. I love packing as much as possible into my day when it is nice out. Gotta take advantage while we can!

What did you do this weekend? Was it packed with anything exciting?

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Filed under Food, Friends, Fun, The bike, The run, Workouts

Superun 5k

On Wednesday evening Steve and I ran the Superun 5k in Milwaukee. This is a fun weeknight event run along Milwaukee’s Lakefront. Just before the race, I remembered how much I hate 5k’s. They hurt so so much, and though they are over pretty quickly, I’m not sure it is worth the pain. I had pretty low expectations because a) I’ve been training quite a bit lately and my legs haven’t exactly felt “fresh.” b) My stomach wasn’t feeling the greatest, and c) There is a massive hill climb around mile 2.25 that is killer.

As usual, I started out way too fast. The first mile winds through a park and then downhill to the lakefront. 6:31, oh boy. Mile two is flat, and though I was hurting, I was able to settle into a pretty good rhythm. 6:44, more like my 5k pace. Then I made the turn to start up the hill, and I died. The hill is around 1/3 of a mile long and fairly steep. By the time I got to the top I had spent all of my energy. Mile three was 7:39. Ouch. I did my best to not slow down any more on the way to the finish line, and I’m pretty sure I got passed by two women in my age group in the last 1/2 mile.

Official time: 21:59. Not really close to my best 5k time, but not too bad either considering that damn hill. I was so glad to be done, and was pleasantly surprised to get a medal for 4th place in my AG. I was 18/335 females and 110/679 overall. Steve was right on my heels the whole race and finished 7 seconds behind me, a huge PR for him!

The best part about the Superun is the free beer that is served afterwards. It was fun to just hang out with all of the runners and chat over some beers. So I guess 5k’s can be fun, when you disregard the actual running part.

Do you like 5k’s? What is your favorite race distance?

The longer the better for me. I prefer the pain to build up over time rather stabbing me in the gut immediately Smile I also live for the sense of accomplishment after a long race.

P.S. Go check out Hungry Runner Girl to win some sweet running capris!

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Filed under The run

Father’s Day Fun

I don’t want to talk too much about Saturday morning’s bike ride because, frankly, it sucked. I think my hard ride Thursday night followed by a decent 25-miler Friday morning just caught up with my legs and they said enough already.

Interestingly, we did a short brick run after the bike ride and I felt fine. Good, as a matter of fact.

After the workout it was time for more important things. Like going to my Dad’s house to celebrate Father’s Day! On the way there we made a stop at Walgreens to pick up some cards, when this happened.

I split this little package of deliciousness with Steve. I think all of the candy companies are trying to kill me with the addition of coconut options lately, along with Starbucks and their evil coconut mocha frappacino.

We got to my dad’s house and dug into some snacks before heading out on the boat.

Steve is driving here because my dad decided to do a little water skiing. I believe he has now gone 6 years in a row getting up on skis on his first try.

I contemplated skiing, but decided that the water was a bit too chilly for me yet. So I just hung out on the boat and soaked up some sun.

When we got back to the house my dad fired up the grill, and again, I did what I do best.

And that would be lounge around and drink beer. I wish I took a picture of the lake from the deck, because it really is a great view. Eventually I wandered over to see what the grill master had cookin’.

Sea bass, asparagus, potatoes, and breadsticks. He also grilled a steak for Steve because he is crazy and doesn’t like fish.

This meal was so so good. I actually inhaled half of that potato before I remembered to snap a pic. I don’t think there is anything better than dinner off of the grill during summer. And grilled breadsticks = genius.

As if dinner wasn’t tasty enough, Steve and I had made a little stop at Milwaukee Cupcake Co for dessert.

I think my dad is going to start his own blog.

I had the s’more cupcake.

Other flavors included chocolate pb cup (still the best ever), strawberry, and chocolate on chocolate. Milwaukee Cupcake Co still reigns supreme in my book.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! I love you!!

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Food, The bike, The run, Workouts

Sandwich from heaven

Oh yes, I went there. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about this sandwich all day. I believe I thought it up during my 7-mile run this morning. I thought about it all day at work. I thought about it while I was busting my butt to keep up with Steve on my bike after work.

When we got home from riding, it was time. Sunflower whole wheat bread from a local bakery brushed with coconut oil, Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter, sliced banana and cherry preserves, all grill into a gooey drippy crusty slice of heaven. It was everything I had been imagining all day and more. I had some kale chips on the side for a dose of something green and healthy, and the saltiness was the perfect compliment to my perfectly sweet sandwich.

What is your favorite kind of sandwich?

I am partial to grilled sandwiches, particularly if they include melty cheese or drippy peanut butter.

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Filed under Food, The bike, The run

Grocery shopping owns me

Today’s training was supposed to be a 1 hour bike plus 30 min run. It is in the 50’s and rainy today, so I decided to take a rest day and get a bunch of stuff done. Now I feel guilty. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for taking a rest day when I know my body needs it, but that is not the case today. I am just a wuss who won’t bike in the cold. I could have gone to the gym to complete this workout, but the thought of biking inside made me want to gag. So I made the most of my day inside and was actually very productive.

Things I got done:

  • 5 loads of laundry
  • cleaned both bathrooms
  • cleaned kitchen
  • dusted entire condo
  • vacuumed entire condo
  • mopped floors
  • read book
  • fell asleep while reading book and had a nice little nap
  • grocery shopping

Not bad, right? I did my shopping at Whole Foods today, and I thought I would show you my haul. I love seeing what other people buy at the grocery store. Stalker much?

From the left:

  • yogurt varietals
  • organic cottage cheese
  • organic cinnamon apple sauce
  • organic bananas
  • Three Sisters graham cereal (crack)
  • Justin’s chocolate pb and chocolate hazelnut butter (both on sale for $3 off!)
  • Siggi’s drinkable yogurt (aren’t they cute? on sale and I had a coupon)

  • bulk items: organic millet, raisins, and turkish apricots
  • kombucha
  • organic cantaloupe (on sale for $2.50!)
  • Barbara’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Puffins (!!!!!)

You may not know this about me, but I used to have a little problem with PB Puffins. I would buy the big box at TJ’s and they would not last long. I was able to break that addiction when TJ’s stopped carrying the PB variety. Sad smile I just couldn’t spend $5 for the small box at WF, so I quit cold turkey. However, when this baby caught my eye in the cereal isle it was all over. The box was in my cart before I even knew what was happening. Any bets on how long it will last?

Not pictured from my shopping trip: big tub of organic spinach, kale, coconut milk, and grapefruit juice. Now I have a confession: when I went into the store I swore I was only going to buy the produce, juice, bulk items, one Justin’s nut butter, and maybe some yogurt. I have been trying to cut down the grocery bill but clearly I have issues.

I have also been trying to eat down the cupboard, not only to save some cash on groceries, but also because we will be moving sometime in the not too distant future, and I don’t want to pack up a bunch of food. Just thinking ahead on that one, since it could very well take a year to get through all of this food. So far progress has been a little slow.

Yep, pretty much still packed to the brim. Help! I just can’t seem to pass up a deal at the store, and I love food. This doesn’t even include my coat closet cereal stash.

Yep, that would be an additional five boxes of cereal, a giant tub of oats, and a box of coffee pods to the left. I’m hopeless.

Are your cupboards packed like mine? Do you have issues with impulse buys at the grocery store?

Do you feel super-guilty when you skip a workout?

I know in the grand scheme of things missing one planned workout is not a big deal, but I still feel bad about it.

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Filed under Food, Triathlon

ChiRunning

This morning I had the opportunity to attend a ChiRunning workshop held at the clinic where I work. I have heard about the basic principles before, but I was interested in learning more. ChiRunning is a type of barefoot running style, and proponents claim it is more energy-efficient and decreases the risk of injury. This description on the ChiRuning website explains it very well:

“Chi Running blends the powerful movement principles from T’ai Chi, with running, to create a revolutionary approach to effortless and injury-free running. 

The cornerstones of  Chi Running are postural alignment and relaxation because the combination of the two is the best way to run faster, farther and injury-free. Chi Running includes: landing with a midfoot strike, using a “gravity-assisted” forward lean and engaging core strength for propulsion  rather than leg strength. This approach makes your running easier and healthier for your whole body.

First the instructor had us do a few body-loosening warm-up drills, then she videotaped us running how we normally run. Most of the people were heavy heel strikers, I was more of a midfoot striker, but my alignment was all wrong. ChiRunning has its own posture, which we learned step-by-step through drills. It involves leveling the pelvis, making sure the shoulders, hips, and ankles form a straight line, and relaxing the lower legs, especially the ankles.

You start to run by leaning forward as you hold the correct posture, and running becomes a controlled fall. Your feet land underneath you instead of out in front of you. Instead of pushing off with the ball of the foot, the focus is on lifting the heel, or peeling the foot off the ground. You should picture the earth as a treadmill, where all you have to do is bend your knees.

Emphasis is also placed on turnover rate. No matter how fast or slow you are running, you should be turning over at 180 footfalls per minute. The instructor even had a metronome to help us practice. Leaning forward is your “gas pedal.” The more you lean forward, the faster you will run. Your stride circle will become larger, but you will still be running at the same turnover rate.

Another interesting topic was arm swing. We were advised to swing our arms backwards instead of forwards. In other words, pretend you are elbowing someone behind you, keeping your arms bent at 90 degrees. By swinging them backwards, you are balancing out the forward lean.

Overall the workshop was interesting, and I learned a few tips that I will incorporate into my own running. At the end of the class we were videotaped again to see our progress, and I should be getting my videos soon to compare before and after. I will post them here so you can see what I am talking about.

Do you pay attention to your running form? Or do you just run however it feels natural?

I have been trying to pay more attention in the last year or two because I want to stay injury free. I know I used to be a heel-striker, and I have changed to midfoot which seems to be working for me. I also moved to a more minimal shoe which I love.

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Filed under The run

First OWS

Tonight marked my first open water swim of the year. A local tri coaching group puts on Monday night open water swims all summer, which is great. They provide a 1/4 mile course marked by buoys, and kayaks in the water for safety. I got to try out my new wetsuit that Steve gave me for my birthday last year.

It felt great, but when I put it on I noticed a tear in the crotch area. I don’t know how it happened because I don’t have any fingernails, but I am pretty bummed about it. Apparently they make a wetsuit repair kit that I will now have to buy. I swam a mile tonight, nothing crazy. The lake was pretty choppy so it was a little hard to sight the buoys, and at one point I inhaled a bunch of water and almost choked. Fun times. I have another swim on the agenda for tomorrow morning, this time in the pool, and then a group run after work.

Yep, should be perfect running weather 🙂

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Filed under The run, The swim, Triathlon