Monthly Archives: October 2011

The house

I don’t think I mentioned it on the blog, but Steve and I closed on a house last week. Yep, we are officially moving out of the city and into the suburbs. Finding a house in our desired area and within our budget was a bit of a challenge. Most of the homes we looked at were either

1) Super old. Like over 100 years old, which could be ok for some people, but we didn’t want to deal with oil burning heat tanks and all of the problems and work that come with a house that old.

2) Complete gut jobs. We are willing to do some work (as you will see), but some of the houses were complete remodel jobs which we had neither the time or money to tackle.

3) Plain weird. We saw some crazy things during our house hunt, such as a master bedroom with a master bath attached, but no door. And nowhere to put a door. Um, I don’t want to hear someone using the facility just on the other side of a half wall while I am sleeping. We also saw some amazingly gaudy fixtures, interesting DIY repairs, and many more things that made us scratch our heads.

Or some combination of all three of those things.

We were starting to worry that we would never find the perfect house to meet our needs. On our wish list included three bedrooms,  a two-car garage, a place to park the boat, a decent layout, and a small manageable yard. It doesn’t seem like that much to ask for, right? Well, after much searching, we finally found our house.

It needs work, but it’s mostly cosmetic. We are knocking out half of a wall to open up the kitchen, installing all new flooring, and painting the entire house. A ton of work was completed over this past weekend thanks to the help of my awesome family, so everything already looks quite different than the pictures in this post. I am still going to show the “before” pics here though, so that I can show the updates as they happen.

So without further ado…

The kitchen:

Living room:

Family/dining room:

Master bedroom:

Guest room:

Bedroom three/office:

Full bath:

So as you can see, lots of cosmetic work to be done. I will be updating with before and after photos of the rooms as we work on them. As I said, everything already looks quite different.

I am managing to fit in some running here and there, but to be honest it is taking a back seat right now. We are in sort of a time crunch with the house because we hope to move in right before Thanksgiving. Please pardon my lack of blogging and running-related posts for the next few weeks, things are getting crazy up in here!

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Filed under Family, House, Miscellany

Door County Fall 50

This weekend was the Door County Fall 50 Relay, an event that I have been looking forward to since registering for the race back in May. Our team, the Beer Chasers, was made up of me, Steve, and our friend James. Teams can be up to five people, but we decided we wanted to make it a little more of a challenge.

We also decided to camp for the weekend (my bright idea). Yes, it was just a wee bit chilly. No, we probably will not camp again next year. Friday afternoon we arrived at Peninsula State Park and got to work setting up camp.

Once the tents were up, we went to get firewood. I totally pretended to load some wood into the car so it would look like I was helping.

We got four bundles of wood because we knew it would be quite chilly, and we would need a raging fire to keep us warm.

We went out for dinner on Friday before returning to the campsite and making s’mores by the fire. We were bundled up in our tents shortly after 11pm to try to get some sleep before the race.

Our start time for the relay was 10am, so we were able to sleep in until around 7:30. We reluctantly got out from under our warm sleeping bags and got ready to run. Steve put the finishing touches on our team car before we left by drawing a foamy beer mug.

We drove up to Gill’s Rock, the tip of the Door Co Peninsula for the start. Here is the course map:

We snapped a pre-race team photo before I set out on the first leg.

Leg #1 was 4.8 miles, and I planned on running around a 7:45 pace. Well, I was feeling great and ended up running the first leg in 34:00, or 7:05 pace. I handed off the timing bracelet to Steve, and I knew we were off to a good start.

James and I drove to the next exchange point and waited for Steve to arrive. He came in faster than expected, and handed off to James.

We decided that after the first three legs, we would each run a double leg to minimize the amount of stopping and starting for each person. I was assigned to legs four and five, which ended up being 9.43 miles total. I got to run through Peninsula State Park, right past our campsite, and through the town of Fish Creek. I knew my pace would be slower than the first leg, but I couldn’t believe how fast I was still running. I ended up with a 7:20 average pace for those miles. When I finished, I immediately stuffed my face with a pb & banana sandwich, a chocolate chip cookie, and some M&M’s. Gotta keep the energy up!

Steve ran legs 6 & 7, while James and I manned the vehicle. I snapped a photo of Steve running as we drove by and something freaky happened with the camera.

James ran legs 8 & 9, and I couldn’t believe how fast the day was passing by. Before I knew it, I was up to finish the race by running leg #10. I had no idea how I would feel after already running two speedy legs and sitting around for a couple of hours, but I ended up surprising myself once again. At first when I took off I was a little stiff and my chest was tight, but after a few minutes I loosened up and ran my fastest leg yet.

Steve and James met me about a half a mile from the finish so we could all run it in to the finish line together. I was passing people left and right, and I pushed it as hard as I could. My average for the last 4.7 miles was 7:00, with the last mile being at 6:47 pace. I was amazed that I was able to run that fast with nearly 19 miles on my legs for the day.

We finished in a total of 6:09:46, which is a 7:24 average pace. Pretty speedy for 50 miles if you ask me.

This may be the only time in my life where I can say I ran 19 miles in one day with an average pace of 7:11. The Beer Chasers came in 6/148 in the mixed open teams division. Seeing as we only had 3 people and most teams had 5, I am really happy with our result.

There was a great post-race party with unlimited beer and pizza and a DJ. We took full advantage of the free beer, and then it was time to show off our bling.

I told Steve and James to look all gangsta’ and this is what happened:

I’m just gonna leave that one alone. I went triple-bling for the next shot.

Aaaannnnddddd…..we managed to take one normal photo as well.

Overall this race was more fun than I could have imagined. The people were so fun, there were great team costumes (note to self for next time), and it was basically just one big party all day. I think the Beer Chasers will definitely be back next year.

Back at the campfire, there was only one way to celebrate.

Yes, that would be a s’more made with a Reese’s cup in place of the Hershey’s chocolate. Genius, I know.

Oh yeah.

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Filed under Dessert, Food, Friends, Fun, Races, The run

Birthday love

I was feeling the love all day yesterday between Facebook messages, phone calls, texts, and special treats. I have the most amazing family, friends, and co-workers! When I got to work I was greeted with a birthday balloon which I proudly displayed on my chair all day long like a five year old.

My boss managed to find the single most appropriate birthday card ever.

The inside says “And that doesn’t just apply to your Birthday. That’s everyday good advice.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Another co-worker brought me a special birthday treat.

Chocolate peanut butter rice krispie heaven on a plate is what I’m going to call it. He knows me well. I could not stop sampling bite after bite after bite.

After work, with a belly full of treats and a beer, I headed over to the running trail to meet up with my Tuesday night running group. How else would I want to celebrate my birthday than by running twice in one day and eating sweets? Since I ran a 5k in the morning, we decided to make it a 10k for the evening. I ran mostly with my friend Cara, and we ended up running crazy-fast by the end of the run. Love when that happens!

Afterwards we hung out with the group, and everyone brought snacks and treats to share. Cara and Mike were celebrating their 3-year wedding anniversary. Again, running is the best way to celebrate anything!

Eventually we headed home and Steve gave me my birthday present.

Could it be any more perfect? This is the first “nice” watch I have ever owned and it is hot pink. I will be wearing it daily from now on. Love.

This morning I slept in until 7:30am, probably my body’s way of telling me it needs to recover from several days of mass sugar consumption. Excuse me while I go find something green to eat.

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Filed under Dessert, Food, Friends, Fun, The run

I’m getting old(er)

One year ago today, I celebrated my 30th birthday by running 30 miles. I will not be running 31 miles today (you know, work and cupcakes and stuff), so I started off the day with a brisk 3.1 miles instead. I am pretty sure that’s practically the same thing. Right?

Also, I woke up to this when I opened my computer screen:

It will be a great day indeed. Smile

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Filed under Miscellany, The run

Sunday Flapjacks

Our Saturday was lazy. Real lazy. We did get in a nice easy 14 mile run first thing in the morning, so I didn’t feel too bad about the rest of the day. It was spent on the couch reading, napping, and watching movies. (Side note: I finished the book Room by Emma Donoghue and it was fantastic). Finally around 7pm, prompted by BOGO coupons for Qdoba & Cold Stone Creamery and our growling stomachs, we headed out to feed. I could have done without the Qdoba,  but I powered through since it was a precursor to ice cream. Please go to Cold Stone and order the pumpkin ice cream with graham cracker crust and Twix mix-ins. Trust me. We got home and parked ourselves right back on the couch to watch Bridesmaids (OMG!). 

Since our Saturday was spent in the most lazy way possible, I am declaring today the most productive Sunday ever. I hate to admit that our condo has not been thoroughly cleaned since probably several months before Ironman. That puts us back at early summer. Gross? I know. I have no  excuse now that I am not spending 10 hours of my weekend training. I just hate cleaning.

I knew that I would need proper fuel for this endeavor, so I whipped up a special Sunday breakfast.

I used Kodiak Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix to make flapjacks. I don’t know how they are different than pancakes, but go with me here. I topped them with peanut butter and apple topping. For the apple topping I heated 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil in a pan, added one chopped organic fuji apple, and sautéed it until the pieces were slightly soft. I then sprinkled in a hefty dose of cinnamon and 1 TSP of maple syrup. It turned out perfectly sweet and delicious.

I am all carbed up and ready to be a lean, mean cleaning machine.

What are you doing with your Sunday?

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Filed under Books, Cooking, Food, The run

Glacial Trail 50k

October 9th, 2011

I have no feelings of nervousness for this race. No expectations. Driving in the dark I am calm, indifferent. The race starts and I am chatting with friends, joking around. I know these trails will be tough, but my head tells me thirty-one miles will be no problem. It could not be a more perfect day. Unseasonably warm, summer melting into fall. The fallen leaves, the brilliant colors, and a cool bite underneath the mild breeze are the only signs of October.

I run easy, stepping carefully over rocks and roots. There are constant obstacles hidden by the leaves, constant opportunities to succumb to the trail. I walk up the steep hills, saving energy. My pace is steady, slow, even. I try to take in the beauty of these woods, to breathe in the trees, the ancient landscape. A few close calls and I realize it is nearly impossible to take my eyes off of the trail.

I hit the turnaround feeling great. I feel like I can pick up the pace, finish strong. Fifteen miles seems like nothing. A few minutes later it hits. My stomach which has been on the verge of iffy all day twists itself into knots, my intestines wringing, cramping. I know I will not be able to continue to fuel. My pace slows as the pain fluctuates between tolerable and so sharp that I am forced to a sudden halt.

I sip as much fluid as I can tolerate, but I can feel the energy draining from my legs. Picking my feet up off the ground becomes a struggle. My hips strain with every step, my knees ache. Miles twenty through twenty-five are the worst. At twenty-two, the trail wins and I go down. I want to cry. I tell myself to get a grip, to keep moving forward.

I reach the last aide station and refill my water bottle. Time to regroup. Seven miles to go. I tell myself to suck it up, this is nothing. I swear there are twice as many rocks on the trail now, the hills twice as steep. Relentlessly rugged. With two miles to go I am back on even ground. It is such a mental relief to not have to focus on every step. I am able to pick up the pace to the finish. I see friendly faces right away and can’t help but smile. We recount the race, everyone with their own stories to tell. As soon as it’s over, the pain begins to fade. It always does. We forget about the hard parts and remember it as just another beautiful day in the woods. This is why I run.

Time: 5:09:44

3rd Place Female

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Filed under Nature, Races, The run

Saturday

October 8th

80 degrees and sunny

Out on the boat

Life is good

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Filed under Miscellany