Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 a Year in Review

Wow what a year 2011 was! It is always so much fun to go back and relive some of it by putting together a "best of" post. (See the Best of 2010 here) If I'm honest with myself and you guys I really can't quite believe some of the things I did this year. Things I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would do let alone enjoy! So let's get to the list!

Favorite Race:
This is hard. I didn't have one real stand out race this year and my choice is probably going to seem kind of strange, but I'm going with Boulder Peak. Now as you may know from reading the race report I didn't love Old Stage and in fact had to walk that "hill" during this race, but overall it was a great day. Above all I really enjoyed being able to share the whole Boulder series (as well as much training) with a great group of people!

Paul, Kathleen, Sarah, Me and Lisa

Favorite Training Run:
I've got two, as you may notice I have a hard time narrowing these things down to just one. The first is a run I did that really was not that great but I felt like I turned my thinking around and made it into a good day. I wrote about it in a post entitled Big Girls Don't Cry . And next is a run that Kathleen and I did out at Chatfield while training for our spring 1/2 marathon. The weather turned crazy and it was quite an experience! It's not that it was "fun" exactly, just a memory that stands out in my mind.

Favorite Training Ride:
Lookout Mountain with Jill Well what can I say. If you haven't yet met Jill you really need to. She is so much fun and we had a blast making our maiden trip up Lookout and going just a tiny bit astray.

Favorite Picture:

From the post titled "Everyday is a new beginning"

And these two from our trip to Buena Vista

Favorite Accomplishment:
Well this one is a tie. Obviously completing my first 70.3 in Boulder was huge! But along with that I would have to say that the Rugged Maniac was just about as big. A totally different experience, but one that pushed me to my limits and made me step out of my comfort zone more so then Bolder.

Favorite Recipe:

I've enjoyed all of these recipes. However I'm going to pick two of my favorites based on the ones that I made most and it would have to be the Buckwheat Bake. It is an awesome breakfast when I'm looking for something different a little sweet and very easy to make.
I'm also going to list the Stuffed Poblano Peppers. I make these often, I would say close to at least once a month. They are however never the same. I use whatever I happen to have on hand. Usually left overs and they have never ever let me down!

So there are just a few of the highlights from my year. It truly was a great one and I believe that much of that is due to stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and trying new things has led to some wonderful experiences.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

No lie when I did a search for triathlon Christmas images or some such thing this was the first photo that came up!

Well Merry Chirstmas to me, I'll take both Santa! Seems these guys back in 2009 were training for a Christmas Tri in Melbourne. As a special gift to all of my female follwers make sure to check the link for a few more photos, I believe I'm going to become a follower and I'm thinking of booking a trip..any one want to go with?

Ok let's see if we can get back on track here....I really want to wish everyone the best for the holidays. I hope that you all have a wonderful time and get to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy all kinds of special holiday treats. I plan to!

Ok I can't resist one more I found while browsing around that blog....

Merry Chirstmas to all!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's here!!!

My Secret Santa gift arrived today and I just couldn't wait to open it! My gift was from Raina at Small Town Racer I have not followed her blog but after just a short look around, which included a post about Bon Jovi, a favorite of mine and some pictures of some adorable little boys! Ahh I remember when mine where that fact one of mine used to fall asleep listening to Bon Jovi at just about those same ages....any way back to the gift!

It was fantastic! She must have been in my house the other morning because when I pulled out my flashing light that I used when I ran in the dark the batteries where dead and low and behold we now have replacements! She also sent some of the Power Bar Protein bites and gels. I've never tried the bites so I look forward to trying them. They look yummy! And as if that wasn't enough she also sent very pretty earrings! Thank you very much Raina I look forward to following your blog and learning more about you. And thank you Jill for putting this all together! It was fun!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's for Dinner ? Pumpkin Risotto

So for some reason I have managed to go almost 47 years without ever having had risotto....what was wrong with me? This stuff is good! I made it for the first time a couple months ago and made it again just recently. My youngest son, Zach, the cheese lover, loves this stuff too. It is not hard to make but it is kind of time consuming. I think it's worth it though.

Pumpkin risotto- From
Servings: 4

15 g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup diced pumpkin (I use butternut)
3 -4 cups hot stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional, I didn't use)

1 Heat butter and oil together in a large saucepan or frypan.
2 Gently cook the onion and garlic.
3 Add the rice and cook, stirring until the rice is coated in the oil mix.

4 Cook this about 1 minute.
5 Stir in the pumpkin and mushrooms.
6 Pour over 1 cup of the hot stock.
7 Cook, stirring often until the liquid is almost all absorbed.
8 You don't want the liquid to be boiling in with the rice, just a gentle simmer.

9 Continue stirring and adding stock one cup at a time until the stock is all absorbed and the rice is tender.
10 This takes about 20 minutes.
11 You don't need to stand there stirring the whole time if you use a non-stick pot and return often.
12 Stir in the Parmesan cheese,seasoning and parsley.
13 It will go lovely and sticky with the cheese.
14 Serve immediately.
Not the best photo in fact it doesn't even look all that great in person...but it's not all about looks now is it?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

House keeping...HBBC and Tebow

Just need to do a little clean up around here. I updated my WFD? page and added all of the recipes that I have posted. I had no idea there were so many or that I had missed adding so many to the page. And then of course when I was almost done blogger did something strange, I lost most of the links and them and had to start all over. Fun, but it's done now and hopefully won't happen again.

And now on to the recap of HBBC Week 4
You know sometimes these challenges really give me the kick in the pants I need and I go all out...this time not so much although I still believe that it has still had me exercising several time when I may have just said what the heck and also made me eat just a little better, so I guess it is working right?
Saturday - 12 miles (4) on the trainer and F & V's 1
Sunday - 4 mile run (4) and F & V's 1
Monday - F & V's 1
Tuesday - F & V's 1
Wednesday - 1 mile warm up run 20 minutes strength (2) F & V's 1
Thursday - 20 minute swim (1) F & V's 1
Friday -nada...

Total points for the week 17

So is everyone ready for Christmas? I'm working on it...a few more gifts to get but since we are going to Mexico in February there will not be quite as much under the tree. I can't believe that Christmas is only a week away!

As I sit here and watching the Bronco game I feel that I must share with you the skit from SNL. It's a must see!

Just meet him half way guys...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Thing Thursday

I swam! I actually swam! The pool and locker rooms at my rec center are now back open! They have had all but the workout room closed since September and that would be the last time that I actually swam. fact it may actually have been at the 70.3 in August I would have to look. Let’s just say it was a little rough and I only did 650 yards and I can already feel it in my arms and shoulders. But on the plus side I didn’t drown!

I am finally getting my Secret Santa gift mailed out. Jill set up the Blogger Secret Santa gift exchange and what a chore it must have been, Thanks Jill! I wish I had been a little more creative in my gift but I’m just not....creative these days that is. I hope that it is enjoyed anyway. And I’m happy to have found a new blog to follow! Have you all gotten your Secret Santa gifts mailed/received?

You may remember that a few months back I volunteered to be a personal motivator for the Kick Start program that was sponsered by Skirt Sports. I enjoyed the experience very much and while I don't talk with my runner as often as I was we are still in contact, we ran the Turkey Trot together, and plan to do more in the future. Today they sent out a video that was made at the event. Some of the racers/motivators talking about what it meant to them as well as Isabel giviing us a last pep talk. You can see Rebecca and I crossing the finish line at the end.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2012 is shaping up.

So I've been giving some thought to the 2012 season as I assume most of you are doing. I have moments of excitement about it, and other days when I'm having a hard time mustering much enthusiasm.

2012 Schedule

April 15th – Platte River ½ - not to sure about this one. It's not my favorite course so I've thought about trying something different but I know a few people doing this one so that is always nice.

May 20 - Community Classic bike ride -Looking forward to this one, I've done it the last 3 years I believe, I just hope the weather is nicer then this year!

June? – Metro broker Sprint - I hear good things about this one and look forward to maybe giving it a try.

June 17th – Denver Century - I wasn't going to do this one this year but they changed the course and I'm excited about that, but not to worry we still get to do Lookout Mtn!

June 23rd – Loveland Lake to Lake - I'm thinking of doing this one and need to make a decision. I hear good things about it and it would be a new venue so that would be great... but I have to admit that it seems strange to me that early registration is $80 but if you want a shirt you have to pay $10 more. Also does seem a little early in the season for an oly distance.

July ? I got nothing...any ideas from you local folk?

August 5th - Boulder 70.3 - yes I want to give this one another a go. I know I can do better and believe it or not, I'm excited to do it again.

August 18th & 19th - Rattlesnake Oly and sprint back to back? This is a maybe but I think it would be fun.

Sept- Crescent Moon - I've only done this race once and I really enjoyed it. Every year I think I will do it again. (I volunteered this year) but seem to run out of money as I get to the end of the season.

Maybe just maybe a fall marathon...I'm not yet committed to this but I keep thinking about it at the very least possibly a 1/2.

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's for Dinner? Chipotle Vegetable Chili

So first off I have to admit that when I saw this recipe I thought it could go either way. Sometimes I like chipotle and sometimes not and the few times I've tried the cocoa powder in chili I didn't love it. I did like the combo of foods though so I though I would give it a try and I am so very glad I did. The flavors were fantastic and I really enjoyed it. And for a change I really made no changes. I think I would prefer it without the kale, or maybe I just needed to chop it a little better.

Chipotle Vegetable Chili - Fitness Magazine
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins

Makes: 4 servings - really big servings or

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 26 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (I used chicken and did add a little extra water)
2 cups chopped kale
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a medium stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add the parsnips, sweet potato and squash; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder and cinnamon; cook 1 minute.2. Add the tomatoes, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, and vegetable stock. Partially cover and simmer 20 minutes. Mix in the kale and stir until wilted. Add the black beans; stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste; serve
I'm looking forward to the leftovers!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HBBC Week 3 - And some inspiration

Week 3 update...not quite as complete but I do have the results.
Sat - FAIL
Sun - FAIL
Mon - 45 minutes yoga, F & V's 3 pts
Tues - 3 mile run and F & V's 4 pts
Wed - F & V's 1 pt
Thur - 3 mile run and F & V's 4 pts
Fri - 45 minutes yoga F & V's 1pt
Total week 15 pts...a bit of a back slide this week.

Feeling a little more inspired this week! Started it off with a trainer ride while watching Kona. Helped to keep the crying a little under control....and then I came across this link...well full out tears. You must go read won't be sorry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gettin' 'em in...

Your fruits and veggies that is? I don't usually have much problem, except those days where I just blow off everything. Umm yea I've had two of those this week, not good. So I thought with the HBBC challenge going on, and all of trying a little harder to get in 7 servings a day I would share a couple of ideas with you and maybe you can share a few new ones with me. I'm always looking for a new way to use them.

First off of course is the ever present salad. It makes a frequent appearance, however not as often as it use to. I used to think this was the only way to get veggies in. Boring....

One of my favorite ways to start the day is with an omelet. I usually use two eggs but you could also use egg whites or egg replacement. I use a bunch of veggies...and I do mean a bunch, because the cook down so much. I almost always use a big handful of fresh spinach as well as onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli slaw and whatever else I might have on hand. Sometimes I add refried beans and salsa. this is obviously before I flipped it closed because on this particular day that didn't go to well. :)

How about a little granola...minus the granola. Fruit...usually apple, banana and berries or pomegranate mixed with nuts, flaxmeal, chia seeds and sometimes dried fruit or maybe a little bit of real granola. Add vanilla soy milk and you have a fantastic breakfast.

Roasted veggies...seriously they do not get any better than this. It is without a doubt my favorite way to eat veggies. It makes even ones you don't like taste fantastic! I will not eat a brussel sprout any other way. This is a mix of carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, sweet potato, onion and brussel sprouts, a little olive oil some seasoning...mouthwatering!

And another favorite is of course for dessert...Banana "soft serve" ice cream only healthy..all you have to do is blend up frozen bananas with a little soy milk and then the sky is the limit! I love it with about 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder and chocolate soy milk...and of course some chocolate chips. You can also mix in other frozen fruit, like mango, or strawberries.

So tell do you get 'em in?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

HBBC Week 2

So hear it is my breakdown on another less than stellar week.

For my info and tracking I'm going to keep track my points for HBBC here. I will be journaling my fruits and veggies, but not necessarily all of my food....however I've noticed that writing it down here is still keeping me a little more honest.

How to earn points:
1 Point per mile (run/walk)
1 Point per 3 miles biked
1 Point per 20 minutes of weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, stretching or abs
1 Point per 15 minutes of low impact cardio (i.e. low impact aerobics, easy biking, skiing, skating, water aerobics, snow shoeing)
1 Point per 10 minutes of high impact cardio (i.e.spinning, kickboxing, lap swimming)
1 Per day where you reach a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies

Nov. 26th - Day 8
E - 4 mile run
B - Super huge omelet with spinach, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli slaw (2) 2 clementines (1)
D - Leftover Stuffed Poblano Peppers (4)
D - Chocolate Banana "soft serve" (1)
Total pts - 5

Nov. 27th - Day 9
Not a good day.
Total pts - 0

Monday Nov 28th Day 10
B - Omelet..tons of veggies mushrooms, spinach, broccoli slaw (2)
S - peppers with hummus (1)
L – Ham and Kale soup with salad (3) Clementine (1)
D – Noodles with frozen stir fried veggies (2)
D – Banana “soft serve” (1)
Total pts - 1

Tuesday Nov 29th Day 11
E - Bootcamp workout 50 minutes- 5 pts
B - Omelet..tons of veggies mushrooms, spinach, broccoli slaw (2)
S – Banana (1)
L – Couscous with broccoli and cauliflower and chicken (2) pear (1)
D – Bean tostadas with slaw(1)
D – Banana “soft serve” (1)
Total pts - 6

Wed. Nov 30th Day 12
E – 4 mile run – 4pts
B - Oatmeal with cranberry, pumpkin and pomegranate (1) one of the best oatmeal I’ve made for a while!
S - slaw (1)
L – Chili and salad (3), Clementine (1)
D – Bean tostadas with slaw(1)
Total pts - 5

Thursday Dec. 1 Day 13
B - Omelet with mushrooms, spinach, peppers (2)
S - Banana (1)
L – White Chili and Salad (3) Pear (1)
D – Roasted veggies (2) and butternut squash/ cauliflower risotto (1)
D - Mango with plain yogurt (1)
Total pts - 1

Friday Dec. 2 Day 14
E - 4 mile 4un - 4pts
B - Egg sandwich with spinach and a pear (1)
L - Left over Roasted veggies (2) and butternut squash/ cauliflower risotto (1)
S - apple (1)
Total pts - 4

Total points for the week 22

So as I said still not a stellar week. More points but still lacking. Exercise is week food not great even though I do get in my f & v's just to darn much.... As it was pointed out to me a plan would be good. Thanks Jen ! So this week I'm going to make a plan. I know that as far as exercise goes I always do better if I know what needs to be done. This arctic weather we are having doesn't help though as I really don't like running on a TM. Well maybe if I had one at my house I would get it done easier but I have a harder time making myself stop at the rec center, get all sweaty and then have to go out in the cold to get home again...excuses I know.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.....-Author unknown...

This past Sunday we had to make that very difficult decision that we knew was coming but hoped to avoid. And although I'm still haunted as to if I made the right decision, I know in my mind (if not my heart) that I did. Duke you are missed.
Duke with his sister Coco
Josh and lap dog duke
Zach and pillow Duke
Wants to go running Duke
Joe cool Duke

Not Duke but found on the internet and looks just like him including the attitude and tongue.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Week 1 HBBC and a Turkey Trot

For my info and tracking I'm going to keep track my points for HBBC here. I will be journaling my fruits and veggies, but not necessarily all of my food....however I've noticed that writing it down here is still keeping me a little more honest.

How to earn points:
1 Point per mile (run/walk)
1 Point per 3 miles biked
1 Point per 20 minutes of weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, stretching or abs
1 Point per 15 minutes of low impact cardio (i.e. low impact aerobics, easy biking, skiing, skating, water aerobics, snow shoeing)
1 Point per 10 minutes of high impact cardio (i.e.spinning, kickboxing, lap swimming)
1 Per day where you reach a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and veggies

Nov. 19th Day - 1
E-Not off to a great exercise happened. Could make many excuses, but that is pretty much what they would be.
L- Big plate of roasted veggies including cauliflower, sweet potato, turnip, carrots, and onion. It was soooo good ate more then I should have I'm sure. (7+)
S- banana (1)
Total pts - 1

Nov. 20th Day - 2
Run - 3 miles
B- 1/2 apple and pomegranate with cereal (1)
L - frozen veggies mixed in with Udon noodles and 2 clementines (4)
D - Salad with Italian sausage sandwich (2)
D - Banana/Pumpkin "soft serve" (2)
Total pts - 4

Nov. 21 Day - 3
Exercise - none...ok I'm going to have to get it together here...
B - Steel cut oats with pumpkin and cranberries (1)
S - Sweet peppers with hummus (1)
L - Salad with pear (5)
D - Bean tostadas topped with slaw (1)
D- Chocolate banana "soft serve" (1)
Total pts - 1

Nov. 22 Day - 4 Birthday...much bad food consumed with the good.
Exercise - 4 mile run
B- Omelet with tons of veggies- spinach, onions, peppers, broccoli slaw (2) and a banana (1)
S- Celery and Carrots w/ hummus (2)
D- Pizza piled high with mushrooms, spinach, onions, peppers (2)
Total pts - 5

Nov. 23 Day - 5
E- Bike ride 12 miles
B- 2 clementines (1)
L- Roasted veggies with chicken and rice (3)pear (1)
D- Stuffed Poblano Peppers (4)
Total pts - 5

Nov 24 Day - 6 Thanksgiving
E- 5k Turkey Trot
banana before race fruit after but no real veggies to speak of.
Total pts - 3

Nov 25 Day 7
E -
B- out for breakfast but did have fruit (1) with my french toast.
Finished the week much like it started..not so good.

Total pts - 0

So that rounds out the first week of the HBBC. Not the best week but could have been worse I guess. Going to work on getting in more exercise in week 2 and cutting out more bad food.

Now about that Turkey Trot
It was a beautiful morning for a race! The temps were around 40 at the start, the sky was blue and the sun bright! I met up with Rebecca (my racer from the Skirt Chaser) and we drove to the race together, it was nice to get the chance to catch up. We found good parking and headed up to the Rec center. We didn't have to much time to kill before we lined up. There seemed to be quite a few more people doing the race this year then last. I lined up where they sign for the 10-11 minute pace but as we stood there they moved the signs and there was no real way to make yourself up through the people so I was actually ended up more toward the back. Although since it didn't appear that people lined up that well it didn't really matter. I had told Rebecca that although I didn't know how it would go do to my lack of running, I planned to run this race as best I could and that I would see her at the finish. There was a bit of weaving at the start and as you can tell from the profile above you are either going up or you are going down on this course. The first mile heading down was very nice and for me very fast 9:42! The pain in my butt was not a pain but I was aware of it. The second mile going up was a bit rougher and I did take a few short walk breaks including walking the aid station, but still felt pretty good and still a good time for me at 11:08. A large part of the 3rd mile was again downhill, pathetically I still had a couple of very brief walk breaks and then got to the final uphill. I gave it all I had in that final stretch an my final mile showed a 10:28 and my final .16 a 9:19 for a total Garmin time of 32:45! Which for me is very good! They have not posted the official times yet last year I had a garmin time of 31:53 but for some reason an official time of 33:17. So as long as my official time this year isn't as far off as last, I should officially have a PR and even if I don't I'm very pleased with my time. Considering the lack of running I've done over the last 4-6 weeks I'm surprised that I was able to do what I did. Still hoping /thinking that a sub 30 minute 5k is in my future.

So off to a better week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's been a rough week around here for many reasons and I'm really looking forward to 5 days off work.

We found out earlier this week, that my dog, Duke, is not doing well. Although earlier blood tests showed him to be healthy, blood test now, to check the thyroid we thought was a problem, reveal many more issues. Unfortunately for many reason there is not much we can do, but give him a lot of love and hope that we have a little more time with him. Right now he still eating, he is just really tired and lacks much energy because of sever anemia. It's hard. He's still so young, only 6 1/2 but boxers are known for these things. He is such a good dog. Hard to imagine it around here without him.

An older picture of my youngest son Zach and Duke pretending to be a lap dog.

Eating this week is also a bit of a challenge. Yes we have Thanksgiving, but I also had a birthday. You know how that goes...far to much food. I have managed to get my veggies in so far for the HBBC challenge and some exercise. I will be posting an update of food and exercise post at the end of each week.

Ton's of congrats to both Aimee and Kathleen for finishing IMAZ! It was so exciting and stressful to track them all day! I am so very proud of both them and can't wait to hear all about it!

I am doing a turkey trot tomorrow. It's the same one I did last year and had hoped for a good time. However, since my running has been minimal due to the butt pain (although it is really pretty good right now) and it does seem to bother me the most on hills, up and down, and this course is pretty much up or down hill I don't know how well it will go. However also running is "my racer" from the Skirt Chaser so it will be good to chat and catch up with her some. And then it will off to the parents for a fabulous meal! What are your plans for the day?

And since I'm having a looonnngg 5 day weekend and today is supposed to be BEA-U-T-I-FUL, I'm going for bike ride.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope that even with all the not so good things that may be happening in your lives right now that you, like me still have many more to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

So much going on!!!

First I just want to give a shout out to Kathleen and Aimee who will be doing IMAZ this weekend! I am just so excited for both of them! I'm sure that many of you know them from blog world, and that is how I've met them originally, but I've also had the pleasure of meeting and racing with them several times, including this time we all raced together at IronGirl last year. It was so much fun! I can't wait to watch you ladies achieve the goals you have worked so hard for! Good luck and have fun Aimee and Kathleen!

Next up my other new friend Jill is hosting a Holiday Blogger gift exchange! It seems unbelievable to me that last year at this time I didn't read her blog or know Jill. We have had some great adventures this year including training for and completing our very first Century ride together! Go jointhe gift exchange! You know you want to!

Also the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge starts today! There is still time to sign up if you haven't! This is a first for me to so I'm also excited about it! Nothing like a good challenge to help minimize the holiday damage!

Partly because of the challenge and partly because I always feel like I'm missing something I'm also going to enter the world of Twitter. I am hopelessly lost over there so any helpful hints you can throw my way would be great. You can find me at @ujusthavetotri .... I think....

Now with all that being said I better get my butt out and put on some miles!

Happy weekend all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The best thing I ate this week? I'm trying to remember and struggling to tell you the truth...the soup I made was for sure a contender but I think I'm going to go with the Italian Sausage sandwich I had at work on Wednesday. Every year we do a customer appreciation lunch at work. The owner of the company makes Italian sausage, meatball and Italian beef sandwiches we serve to the customers. (See #3 from The Thursday Three) One good thing came out of this and that was the fact that the Italian sausage sandwich I had was TO-DIE-FOR...this was without a doubt some of the best sausage I’ve had, (he gets it from and Italian Deli every year)it is soft and slightly spicy the sauce was perfect, the rolls the perfect mix of crusty and soft and the hot pepper on top yummy! It was so messy and delicious! And since this is the only time of year I have one it was much enjoyed

Now it’s your turn...I want you tell me the best thing you ate...and remember it is all in the description, make my mouth water!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Three thing Thursday – Things I’ve noticed

1. Even though the scale is within about 3-4 lbs of what I was at all summer the decrease in exercise has changed my body in bad, bad ways.

2. Why is it when you are trying to watch your diet everyone brings you food?

3. People can be so incredibly rude and inconsiderate, especially when it comes to something that is free. I must make sure I’m making more of an effort to be considerate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's for Dinner? Neely's Chickpea, Ham and Swiss Chard Soup

Can I just say good stuff!!!! I actually got this recipe from my boss about a year ago. I had no idea who Neely was but it sounded good and I finally got around to making it and I'm sorry I didn't try it sooner. Recently a friend of mine posted a picture of herself with the Neely's on Facebook. So when I pulled out the recipe again I finally put two and two together. Now to be honest I can not tell you the last time I had bacon, and cooked with it? I just don't ever do that. But it made a huge difference in this recipe. The taste of the bacon in the soup was unbelievable! When I hit those smokey flavored bits it was heaven! And really it's 3 pieces of bacon slit between several servings so how bad can it be?

Neely's Chickpea, Ham and Swiss Chard Soup
4 Servings
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min.
Prep 20 min.
Cook 55 min.

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 (6-ounce) piece smoked ham steak, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 1 teaspoon)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 small bunch, stemmed and sliced into thin ribbons
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Hot Sauce and Worcestershire sauce, as needed (I tried the Worcestershire in one small bowl, didn't care for it and wouldn't use it again and because I used a whole teaspoon of pepper flakes I really didn't need hot sauce)
Grated Parmesan, for garnish (I used it but don't think I would miss it)

Add the bacon to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat

Fry until crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

To the same Dutch oven,(I removed all but about 1T of the bacon fat although the recipe didn't say to) add the onion, garlic, and carrot, and saute until the vegetables are tender, roughly 4 minutes.


Add the ham steak and red pepper flakes and adjust the seasonings
with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the Swiss chard and saute
until it begins to soften

Stir in the chicken broth, chickpeas or black-eyed peas, and the canned tomatoes with their juices. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Splash with some hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and bacon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

If not this what?

So over the weekend I attended the Roller Derby championships. It was the first time I’d been although I’ve been wanting to go for over a year. My mom, aunt and I went on the spur of the moment and yes we might have been a wee bit out of place but it was fun. The crowd was different than I expected. It was mostly female and I’m not sure I’ve seen that many tattoos, big tattoos in one place in a long time. It took awhile to start to catch on to what was going on and a girl sitting in front of us filled us in on some of the rules and game play. Loved, loved, loved the girls names like Bloody Mary and Physco Babble. It was however not near as aggressive as I thought it would be but there was some pushing and shoving. I gave some thought to what it would be like to try it, always looking for the next challenge you know. I’m pretty sure my old body couldn’t take the falling and skidding across the floor not to mention the fact that I’m not that good on skates. There was a time in my life when I thought of myself as a little bit wild and rebellious, which I think, would fit right in with the roller girl image, and hey I have a couple of tattoos that I could make bigger. Anyway it did get me to thinking that if I had to give up running and triathlons what would I want to do in its place. What hobby would I pick up? Is there another sport I would like to give a try? Softball? Tennis? I just don't know.

What about you?

If not this what?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cautiously Optomistic...

So I've run twice in the last 2 days. Not far and not fast (not that I'm ever fast) but I ran. Day one Friday 1/2 mile in I could feel my "cheek" wasn't pain but I could feel it for sure, by mile 1 1/2 I felt tightness in my outer thigh. Called it good at 2 miles. Today I went out and had virtually no pain. There were just a couple of times (mostly on hills both up and down) I did take it easy and walked for 30 seconds every 1/2 mile. I did 3 miles and for the most part felt great! I'm thinking of possibly one more ART session but I'm not sure if I need it or if I just need a little more time for the inflammation or irritation or whatever to heal. One of the great parts about getting to run today was that I was able to wear my new shoes. Even though I've had them for about a month I've only put 15 miles on them.....yea I've been running a bunch. I seriously love how I feel when I run in these shoes. Even if I'm not any faster, I feel faster. My feet are just so light it's like they float.

Because I am cautiously optimistic I signed up for this and this.