Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My New Obsession

While exploring at Appalachian Outfitters over the weekend, I came across my new obsession - a Haiku purse. I had never heard of this brand, but instantly fell in love with it's beautiful design and practical style. It's ideal for traveling - having two spaces for water bottles or, in my case nowadays, sippy cup. I purchased the Haiku To-Go bag in Bamboo Green "Branch" design. Love love love it. I've been wearing it for 3 days now and have zero complaints. It's lightweight, holds everything, feels incredibly stylish and, best of all, it's not another unimaginative Coach purse.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hello Legs, It's Me, Robin

This morning was my scheduled 18-miler. I woke up at the same ridiculously early time of 6:30 am and out the door at 6:50. Although I am not an early morning runner, I do enjoy watching the sky go from dark to light. But this morning, I felt I was in slo-mo compliments of Thursday's P90X session. My glutes and quads were not at all interested in my ambitious morning agenda! Even during moments I could hear the P90x guy screaming Banana! Superman! Banana! And Superman! I know if I can stick with at least 2 sessions each week, my running will improve. Unfortunately, this also means walking John Wayne right before a gunfight. My one product endorsement would be for Theraballs. I have an orange one and Megan works MAGIC with it. Ten minutes of Theraball working out the knots and kinks and I am off and moving with less hobble.

A couple hours later, we hit up RIPE at the Botanical Garden and I scored myself a jar of habanero pickles from Fire. I've already eaten one and loved the all-over mouth burning sensation!

We even checked out Ingenuity Fest. Very interesting to say the least.

Good luck to Akron marathoners today. You had a beautiful day weather-wise!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Halloween Race in New Mexico - 200th Post!

Bridget and I have decided we will dress like the characters from her favorite book, Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, for our Halloween race in Albuquerque next month. So this weekend, I'll be putting together my costume. She already has her ladybug costume, thank goodness. For mine, I've decided I will pick up a yellow running shirt and sew bold black stripes across it. I'll wear my tri shorts underneath and stitch together a yellow tutu of tulle fabric with a black ribbon stitched in. I'll need to pick up a headband with antennae to complete the look! Stay tuned for pics of the final product this weekend.

Also on our agenda is an introduction to orienteering this weekend for Greg and I. I'm physically fit to bike and trek, but paddling requires a level of coordination that will be interesting at best. Especially when one of us has to stand up in the canoe to punch our control card at a checkpoint! No matter, we will have fun, probably get wet (I better pack everything in ziploc baggies!), and have some great stories I'm sure. And it's just 2 quick weeks away!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beauty of an Early Morning Long Run

At the beginning of my 15-mile long run I was greeted by this:

I had to stop just to capture the beauty. So often long runs are exhausting and, well, long. Seeing the sun rise kind of reminds me of how lucky I am to spend a little time enjoying allnthat mother nature has to share. This morning, I enjoyed seeing chipmunks zig-zagging in front of me, a raccoon that I swear was smiling at me, a gorgeous doe listening to me talk to her, and a crane in the middle of the river sitting on a rock just filling the units.

And all of this occurred before 9:30 am leaving me time to catch the last few minutes of Pablo Honey's dance class.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Best Potato Soup Recipe Ever!

This recipe first appeared in the October 2002 Cooking Light magazine. Greg and I were dating and I fixed this for him and his roommate. Not only did they both love it, but it became one of Megan's most requested dinners. With rain and fall-like temps, my baked potato soup had to make an appearance. And she loved it :)

4-6 Idaho baking potatoes (normal size)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
6 cups skim or 2% milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper as desired
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup chopped onion
4-6 bacon slices

Here's the easy part and takes less than 30 minutes:
1. Wash potatoes, prick with fork, wrap in paper towel and bake in microwave. When soft, scoop out of shell and mash in bowl.
2. Boil milk and flour till it starts getting thick and bubbly.
3. Add mashed up potatoes and cheese. Cook and stir for 8-10 minutes.
4. Add salt, pepper, and sour cream.
5. Top with chopped onion, more shredded cheese and bacon or as desired.

Serve with grilled cheese or just with simple, crusty bread. Great as leftovers, too!

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Preliminary Calculation

So far, I've run more than 700 miles. If my estimates are correct, I will reach 1,000 miles around Thanksgiving! Damn...that's all I got to say! Knowing I'll make this milestone makes up for the crappy day at work where I listened to people bitch and moan about who has violated the dress code...

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Decent Training Week

Training for an ultra is challenging when working full-time, being a mom and wife, while still trying to fit in a few minutes reading US Weekly (come on, I have to know "who wore it best"). But this week, pretty everything fell into place. Bridget and I are enjoying our stroller runs. I squeezed in my long run Saturday before Bridget's dance class meeting Greg and B at her class (thanks to Greg who got her to class on time). I met my mileage goals and feel pretty good. I also am incorporating 10 minutes of yoga each morning to improve my flexibility. And besides, yoga confuses the dog - he thinks I'm in the floor to play/pet him!

This week I was also able to catch my friend Karen rock a wonderful finish time in her debut 70.3 Iron(wo)man!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trip to the Backpacker's Shop

I would say today's shopping trip was unusual, but I'm finding outdoorsy shopping seems to be more of the norm here than, say, Banana Republic or GAP. We took our Adventure Race shopping list with us and headed down the road to the Backpacker's Shop. We got the essentials: first aid kit, emergency blankets, duct tape, protractor compass and we both picked up backpacks with bladders. We tried out Camelbacks but ended up falling head over heels for the Osprey line. I absolutely love mine. Poor Greg started panicking when he saw that I liked the more compact one and, it was at that moment, he started telling the sales associates that he was my Sherpa for this race! Obviously, my "Sherpa" purchased an Osprey with more storage!

We are nervous and excited since this is new territory for both of us. I've been reading up on orienteering and it's really quite a mentally and intellectually challenging sport. It's going to be awesome - we'd have it no other way!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Excited about October & November

October and November are going to be such great family fun months. Besides bringing wondeful autumn temperatures and breathtaking scenery with changing leaf colors, October and November will be filled with "mini" family racing vacations...or race-cations as they will be known in this family. Kicking off October, Greg and I will tackle not only our first Adventure Race but our first race as a team. Let's hope we're not like one of the dysfunctional couples from the Amazing Race, but a fine-tuned team! Later in October, Bridget and I will be teaming up to tackle a 10k race with her in the jogging stroller and both of us in Halloween costumes. The Day of the Tread race will be lined with pumpkins as course markers and will have exciting kids Halloween activities and food (as well as burritos) post-race! Then over the Veterans holiday, Meg will be joining me as I tackle my first ultra race, hoping to finish 50k before the 6-hour cutoff. It's going to be a close one, that's for sure!

Not only will I have some fantastic one-on-one family time, but I'll also rack up enough airline miles to maintain my Silver status! Woohoo!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunchtime Runs

...are a great way to break up a stressful day.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Comfort of a Training Plan

I can't be the only one that finds comfort in having a training plan. I feel so out of sorts when I'm running "just" to maintain my base, yet have no race or mileage goals. I realize it's a good thing to take breaks from structured training to prevent things like overuse injuries and burnout. But tonight, as I was reviewing my formal training plan for the November Rhode Island Ultra, I couldn't help but get excited. Even more exciting is the weather forecast this weekend. I have forgotten what it's like to run in sub 80 degrees/80% humidity.

Good luck to Karen and Elizabeth in tomorrow's race!