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.