Monday, October 11, 2010

Bear Chase Trail Run

About a month ago, I spontaneously decided to run the inaugural "Bear Chase Trail Run". I signed up, then I started to run some local trails. Then, I realized this was going to require some trail shoes. Days before the race--my last "long" run, I rolled my ankle while running at Marshall Mesa trail. Oops...bottomline: my ankles and stabilizing muscles just AREN'T used to this...and that is what I found out on race day too! Eeek!

We woke up at 4:30am and hit the road after grabbing a bite of bagel + almond butter + normal pre-race food. The race was down in Lakewood, CO--just south of Denver. We got to the race site in plenty of time. I had sweats on over my running tights and top, but I was FREEZING! We were right off this lake, so the breeze was particuarly cold to me. I really wished I had a pair of gloves!

The event also had a 50-miler and 50k, so those (crazy) runners started at 6:30am. It was fun to watch the little group go off.

Jesse and Maxwell came to cheer me on. It was fun to be with them before the race. Max was crazy. Jesse is patient and very brave to even consider the idea. :)

Half marathoners started at 7am sharp. We went out on this quick loop, back through the start then out into the trails. I started off feeling great. I positioned myself in the middle of the pack and I was passing people, while keeping a comfortable pace.

I'm feeling good at this point! Seeing Jesse and Max was really fun here.

Then we started running through this "sandy, silkly dirt". I heard someone behind me say "are we on the beach??" It really felt like that. Little did we know, 50% of the race was like that.

Then we hit the enormous hills. Bottomline: we climbed 1,000 ft of elevation and descended the same amount. It was brutal. On top of the highest point, I begin to have issues. I had an immediate headache and my calves started to cramp. I was really careful about taking in water and also started eating some CliffBar ShotBlocks, but my stomach was also churning. I was very frustrated at this point. The trails were really windy, so you couldn't really see many people...and I knew I was really slowing up. I've never had "issues" like this on a half marathon distance, so I was mentally negative.

Then we hit the "creek". Now when I think "creek", I think we'll kinda splash through and it'll be fun. Now, this water was up to my knees...we crossed it 4 times. Now my shoes feel like they weigh a ton! Squish, squish the rest of the way...

Towards the end I met a nice lady from Denver. We chatted til the end--she's in the photos below. It was her first trail race too and she thought the same as me! Oh, what a relief and encouragement to run with her :) Unfortunately that didn't cure my leg the end I was trying to push it in, but both calves and hamstrings were cramping--I literally couldn't straighten my legs fully. But I finished. I kinda felt like I ran 50!

My new friend, Danielle (I think that's her name! ha :)) We are just around the corner to the finish. My calves were goin' crazy at this point!!

Yay for altitude. Yay for hills. Yay for rocks, sand, roots, creeks, and the like that you run through when running a trail race. Hmm...we'll see about another one...maybe again. Looking back it was of those good, "Colorado" experiences. ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hiking Mt. Evans

We hiked Mt. Evans last weekend.

On our way, we drove through Golden, CO. I had never been there--lovely little town! We got coffee at this cute little coffee shop. Jesse thought it'd be awkward to take a photo, no photo :( haha

I'm just going to share a bunch of photos with you (captions are BELOW photos)--it was a blast!

Mt. Evans

Summit Lake. It was so beautiful.

First snow! was like 1/2 inch here, the most we hiked through was like 2 inches, but it got cold up there!

Here we are on the way up to summit this mountain!

My mountain man.

Keep following the rock pyramid piles...the guide across the mountain.

Jesse now has the camera...

"action shot, Bri" somehow it looks like I'm playing football.

This photo is to show how much faster Jesse hikes than I do. At this point, I think I was really cold too. So I was telling Jesse he might have to cut my frozen hands off. (We made a lot of "mistakes" this go around...gloves will be taken next time ;))

Summit Photo!

If you're still reading, you get to hear the full story. So we didn't know we could actually summit Mt. Evans...we knew the road leading up to the top was closed due to snow fall. The trails were open (as you just saw :)). But this meant that we didn't have quite the water and food needed to summit and then return back down the mountain the long way we came.

So we hiked down the side of the mountain...aka trail blazed our own.

The last photo shows what we hiked down.

May have been restricted land.

We made it ready for the next 14er!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

catching up...again...

So, here I am at this place again...behind on the blogworld.

Work has been a lot. I don't get home until 8:15-8:30 every Tuesday/Thursday when I work at CPTI and I have had a TON of paperwork to do in the evenings for home health care. Excuses, excuses...;)

Vegetable Curry I made (at least 1 1/2 weeks ago :/). Simple, easy. "Seeds of Change" curry sauce is the base...simmer with veggies (I just used frozen edamame, corn, and peas and fresh butternut squash--a little random combo, but it's what we had on hand). Served over quinoa with a side of broccoli. Jesse loved it.
The great outdoors. This is practically our backyard (just a few miles away from our apartment) This is the Four Mile Canyon where the "Boulder fire" was. You couldn't even see the foothills it was soo smoky. We were always fine...and I think everyone has moved back into their houses.
being artsy with the bike on a long ride.

CU-Boulder campus. I rode through on all these fun bike trails through campus and downtown Boulder. Loved it!

Again, artsy...:) We get to live in a beautiful place!!
I've been running on "real trails" aka no pavement involved :) to prepare for my half marathon in a few weeks. Sore feet/ankles due to actual rocks and roots, but lots of fun! I'll have to take my camera on a run soon to show you all! Hope I make it through the race...trail running is tough for a little city road running girl like me ;)
I think we might hike Long's Peak (one of the "14ers" Estes Park) on Saturday.
I'll try to keep up on postings...that is, if anyone reads this thing :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

26th year of life

Thursday was my 26th birthday. It was a great day. I had a lot of sadness being far from dear family and friends (more so the next day it all hit)...but so thankful for my wonderful husband, sweet pup, and a beautiful place I get to live.

Went to yoga. (love it)

Then went for a quick run (yes, I took Maxwell...not suppose to run him until he's 1 year old...but I wanted him to come with me)....but because I took him it turned into interval training. Whenever he'd see a rabbit, prairie dog (alot around our house), or nothing (I"m convinced he just thinks he sees something/just smells something and then RUNS!). He's kinda crazy. He is going to obedience school soon. He needs the dog park like 3 x day.

Then I treated myself to a cinnamon roll and coffee...and read the local paper.

Then I went for a bike ride. I went out towards El was hilly. I was sucking wind a good 3 hills worth. It was chilly, but perfect with my jacket on.

Then I met Jesse for lunch at Beau Jo's....some of my favorite pizza here! It was really yummy!

Then I went to Starbucks (yes, it's a must ;))...again, treated myself to a cinnamon dolce latte WITH whip...wooo hoo! I sipped on it as I talked to my Aunt Karen (birthday twin...only she turned 50 this year ;)) sister...and worked on some things for work.Then I was off to work!

3:30-8pm shift at Colorado PT Insitute. My evening schedule was packed full! 2 new patients...and my other returning patients are doing well. Good night in the clinic. But it was wierd that no one knew it was my birthday...oh well.

Finally, I'm driving home!! Jesse had told me to be sure to come through the front door (not the back porch door)...hmmm...I was excited. I love surprises!! :) I knocked on the front door to hear Jesse and Max running down the hall. Jesse opened the door and they both had birthday party hats on and Jesse was blowing a party horn! It was great!! Then I proceeded to see this:

So fun. So sweet. These are some of my very favorite things (listed above). I really do love being here...just the three of us :)

I just signed up for the Bear Chase Trail Race:
Check out the photos of the race course...b-e-a-uutiful! October 3rd running the half marathon distance (not crazy enough yet to do a 50K or 50 day). I just need motivation to consistently workout. I'm stoked.

Micalla just left town today...Ed and Shelli (my wonderful in-laws) are staying with us tonight. It's been great having wonderful visitors. I'll blog about that soon...:-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

homemade dough and more

It's been awhile since I've updated. Sorry.

For one, I've just felt really busy with starting two new jobs. (oh--I think that's blog world news :)

I'm working "prn" aka part-time/full-time with a home health care company called Interim. I started orientation last weeks...LOOOTS of paperwork (which is my least favorite part of my job), but I'll get the hang of it! Tomorrow I go observe a visit...and Wednesday I have my first new patient in home care.

Job #2: Colorado Physical Therapy Institute. Check out where I get to work!
CPTI seems like a really great place! It's a bit intimidating right now because I'm new to all the paperwork and team...and they have lots of cool, "state-of-the-art" equipment that I'll be learning. I'll share more about those as I learn :) I started last Thursday with orientation and then I saw 3 new patients (It was a LOONG day!!). Once I finish up orientation, my regular hours will just be Tuesday/Thursday 4-8pm...hoping that my patient load increases, which eventually will increase me to full time! :) My boss, Roger Rettig is a fantastic PT and a great teacher--he has LOTS of experience...and he is very kind. I am excited to work with him!

On to more fun stuff...I've been "into" making bread. (Side note: kinda steering away from the "gluten-free diet"--we're eating gluten in moderation...that's the bottom line)

It's a bit challenging learning how to make bread here in altitude, but I kinda like it! :) We ended up with edible bread (In fact, the "cinnamon swirl" loaf was gone fast!)...lots of it at that! The freezer has a few loaves...and wow, it's cheaper than buying (and I know what goes in it!!)

I also made some pretty good homemade pizza dough (organic whole wheat and spelt), which we had last night.

Here is the olive oil, zuchinni, tomato, mushroom, garlic, and goat cheese one.

I also made a red/green pepper, onion, mushroom, and mozarella cheese one...but the picture won't upload...maybe tomorrow! :)

Well, I'm off to getting things ready for my big Tuesday...which starts with Yoga at this little studio that's a minute walk 6:30 am! I"ve gone 3 times--love it!...hoping Jesse rolls outta bed and goes with me tomorrow!!

Any tips on baking bread...especially in altitude?? I'll take 'em! And then I'll try again in like a week or so (we have plenty of bread for now...;))

Friday, August 20, 2010

end of this week

I have been job hunting all week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and most of Thursday comprised of me researching clinics in the area, composing cover letters, printing resumes, and then visiting each Physical Therapy clinic in Broomfield/Westminster (south of Louisville), Lafayette/Louisville/Superior, and Boulder areas. I haven't counted, but I'm pretty sure I have gone to close to 30 clinics!

75% of the time the secretary or front desk personnel told me they weren't hiring, but they would take my resume.

15% of the time the secretary or front desk personnel (occassionally an actual therapist) told me they might be hiring...took my resume gladly...and I left the clinic feeling super exciting!

10% of the time I actually got to talk to the owner or manager of the one place on Wednesday I even got an "on the spot" interview!! woo hoo!

Bottom line: I have 4 good outpatient clinic leads. Some won't really know anything for a month or so. My "on the spot" interview one--well, I turned in the application and paperwork they asked me to fill out yesterday and met the whole staff. I was hoping to hear back by today, but guess that'll wait til Monday!

Also...I interviewed with Interim Home Health Care today! The interview went really well! Again, I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork. Today they were suppose to run my background check...and then we may start orientation on Monday!! So, I'm (PRETTY) sure I have a job in home health. I'm really excited because it's still orthopedic type patients and it's super flexible!

The stormy bike ride event
Yesterday I went out for a ride around 3:30...I was so excited to particular reason. I saw some dark clouds when I was heading out, but they didn't look too bad (or so I thought!). I was following a route that I found on mapmyride (super great website!!)...then I made my turn onto "Disk Rd."--I saw a sign that said "Private Property" and "No Trespassing"..I thought about turning around, but then I was like "maybe it's just for automobiles...?? besides, I found this route online!", so I proceeded. Then, I came up on one of those little security booths. At first I didn't see anyone in there (mind you, no contacts, no glasses...). Then, as I'm passing the booth, I see this head pop up and run out the little side door.

Yes, Mr. security man who tells me I cannot go any further and must turn around. Boo!

So, I turned around and starting making my own new map...thankfully consulting my google map application on my iPhone :)

So here I am on this slight incline of a hill...and by slight, I mean, it keeps slightly increasing. While increasing, it also started kind of sprinkling...then, it seemed like out of nowhere the rain was getting harder, I heard thunder, then I saw some lightning. The only thing around were these office buildings. I rode up to the front, parked the bike right outside the door and found shelter right inside the door.

So, I'm sitting there, texting Jesse to tell him what happened. I was going to just wait it out...but then this guy, who is leaving work comes up to me and says that he has a bike rack on the back of his Jeep and that he can give me a ride. I told him I was fine...pretty sure like two times...but he kinda insisted...I don't really remember what happened, because I've NEVER done this! But before I knew it, I had agreed...and he was going to pull up his blue Jeep.

Whoa...what am I thinking??!

So I get my bike on his bike rack...get in this blue Jeep...and down the road we go. The storm cleared about just a few miles down the road, so after super awkward conversation, I just told him he could drop me off on the side of the road and I'd ride the rest of the way home.

And that's what happened. Call it Mr. blue Jeep's kind deed of the day. Call it Bri's super thankful he didn't hurt her or steal her bike...and she won't be doing that again.

On the way home, I saw this beautiful "double rainbow"...not sure if that's the technical name, but it was like a "double decker" know, 2 ROY G BIVs. Have you heard of this before? Jesse never had. ROY G stands for Red/Orange/Yellow/Green/Blue/Indigo/Violet...the colors of the rainbow!

Then, I came home and made these yummy roasted veggie salads (yellow squash, yams, carrots, onion, garlic oven roasted...on a bed of romaine and kale (chopped)...along with quinoa and black beans). Full of great nutrients...and very filling!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

taco night

These are the yummy tacos I made tonight for dinner. I think I could eat these every night!!

Vegetarian Tacos
Beans: 1, 16 oz can of organic pinto beans
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
1/3 of a small white onion chopped

In a small pot on medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Then after about 2 minutes, add pinto beans. Cook on medium for about 5 more minutes, then lower to simmer.

Veggie filling: 1 small yellow squash
1/2 red onion
1 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
2 cloves of garlic
Chop all veggies into "small chunks". Then sauté veggies in pan on medium heat starting with onion/garlic, then peppers, and finally yellow squash. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Pico de Gallo: 2 medium tomatoes
1/2 white onion
handful of cilantro
1 lime
1 ear of corn
Dice tomatoes, onion, and cilantro and mix into a bowl. Cut corn off the cob and mix into tomato mixture. Cut lime in halves and squeeze juice into the mixture.

Fill organic corn tortilla shells with beans, veggies, and pico...LOVE IT!!

**You can use whatever veggie combo you choose. I really like the pepper/squash combo.**

Sunday, August 15, 2010

a weekend report...

I wish I could upload photos for this post...but we can't find the cord that we need for my Nikon.
I'll work on that and try to get photos up soon!

Friday night we ventured out to the "Louisville Street Faire"...every Friday night through the summer (this Friday was the last one) they block off a street, have lots of booths, things for the kiddos, and a band come play...oh and lots of food and drinks! Since this is talked about as the thing to do here, we decided we must go. So, here we are in dowtown Louisville...find a great parking spot...and walk in. It was wierd that we weren't meeting up with anyone...we had already eaten we had nothing to do...and no one to talk to :(. We made the best of it and kept pretending we were looking for know, I'd say to Jesse, "I thought we were meeting them you see them?" hahaha...made ourselves laugh. We made a big circle and left. Home by 8pm.

Saturday we took a long bike ride through Louisville/Lafeyette/Longmont/Erie area. It was hilly. We are in altitude. Jesse is so much faster than me. We were out for 2 hours and 45 minutes...I was completely done for. I did not feel well for until about 2 hours after the ride. Altitude is not cool, but it will be after we've trained in it and then go to Missouri for a race....hopefully :) What was amazing though were the sights on the ride...LOVE IT!

After recuperating (aka Bri taking a nap), we went up to El Dorado canyon for a hike/run with Maxwell, our beloved black lab. The trail was a bit steep. The views were amazing! I think I got some good photos of the scenery...we'll see when we get them uploaded onto the computer.

Today we ran together with Max on a trail close to our house that also loops right pass a dog park. It actually got kinda warm out there on the trail. Again, this trail has wonderful sights--at one point you can see the whole city (maybe more like town) of Louisville (and probably Lafayette) on one side and the flatirons on the other.

We also ventured down to Boulder for a little "shopping"--more like browsing and coveting clothes/gear we'd love it have. It was fun to be in the interesting array of people in Boulder. I want to just go sit at a coffee shop down on Pearl Street soon just to watch people!

Can't believe one week is behind us and another is coming up soon...

I'll post photos when I get this all figured out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Update and Bean & Veggie Soup recipe

Jesse is enjoying his job so far. He thinks he's going to really like it...especially once he really gets into his projects (there's been lots of "first week set-up" things so far!)

We came out here with just one car (our lovely diesel Jetta...she's great!) in order to simplify, so I've been dropping him off and picking him up from work--I feel like I'm taking him to school! :) Bike commuting, walking, and the bus system are so normal and convenient here, it's great!
We can run up to the Louisville Rec Center in about 6 minutes (we did yesterday...), walk to Starbucks (necessity :)), the nice salon I visited on Wednesday, various restaurants, etc. It's an easy bike ride to Whole Foods Market, Sports Authority, Target, and any other major chain business that is just about 1-2 miles away. We love the active community!

I (Bri) am still looking for a physical therapy job out here. It's a GREAT place to be a PT since the community is so active and athletic and there are LOTS of clinics here! The issue I'm running into is that a) there is a very low turnover (people come to Boulder area to work/live...then don't leave!) and b)it's very competitive (many employers have asked for 5+ years experience). I just printed out a bunch of resumes/cover letters and I'm going to just go introduce myself and offer a resume to several (4 or so...) clinics in the area that I think look interesting. The worst that could happen is they say "no"...right?? :)

I wanted to share my bean and veggie soup recipe with you all. I shared it with our friends Kristyn and Cort and they loved it! I made it last here it goes:

Organic Bean and Veggie Soup Recipe

*I use all organic materials...of course, you could choose not to.*

2, 20 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1, 20 oz can of black beans

1, 16 oz can of kidney beans (I switch up the bean variety...try whatever looks good!)

3/4 a bag of frozen corn

5-6 large carrots peeled and chopped

1 medium onion diced

1/2-3/4 a bunch of kale (or collard greens)

4 cups of water (use more or less depending on the consistency you are wanting)

salt and pepper or everyday seasoning of your choice to taste

Pour all ingredients into a pot. Set at a medium-hot heat, in order to bring to a slight boil. Keep at a medium heat for about 1 hour in order to cook the kale and carrots. Then, simmer on low until ready to eat.

Try serving it over quinoa or with cheese on top.

Get creative and add whatever veggies you want! (I've done asparagus, green beans, potatoes...)
This is like a once-a-week meal for us. It makes GREAT leftovers for lunches...and we also freeze it for a quick meal in the future.

Hope you like this simple, nutrient-filled meal!

...Off to find a job! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Colorado: our new adventure.

The beginning. The background.

Jesse and I both love the playground called "Colorado"...both for the scenery and the activities it has to offer. We had talked, even when just engaged to be wed, that we would like to one day live in Colorado, even if just for a short stint. So here we are, just one year of marriage down, and we're in Colorado!

Jesse found a great job in Boulder (an area we both really like!)...was given an offer...and we were to be moved out there, ready for him to start, in a matter of 3 weeks! The next 3 weeks was a whirlwind...getting renters in our house, packing our house, spending time with people, resigning from our jobs, and all the in between details.

We are so thankful for such wonderful family and friends that are supporting us through this transition. We feel it's the right thing for our "family" at this time. Jesse's job opportunity. Bri's potentially great physical therapy opportunities (athletes and ART). A "fresh start" with just the two of us. Enjoy the outdoors and activities of Colorado...all while trusting God more, relying on each other more, and enjoying life.

It was hard to leave St. Louis...many tears were shed...and it's hard being on the flipside, here in Colorado and it's JUST the two of us ;) We miss you, St. Louis! (and Kansas City!)

I just got back from my first bike ride out here...waiting for Jesse to roll in from his, I better finish up dinner! Spaghetti squash with sauteed zuchinni, tomato, kale, onion, and garlic is up for tonight!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Steelhead Ironman 70.3

I was writing this post and ALMOST finished when it was time for the computer to be packed and put in the moving truck in St. Louis. Here it is...race report from Steelhead 2 weeks ago!

We drove up to Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area in Michigan on Thursday. It was a lovely little downtown area that was easy to relax in. We unpacked, took a quick, easy ride around town, then got ready for dinner.

Friday we woke up and got a good little swim in. Jesse quickly taught me how to "dolphin dive" to enter the swim and gave me a few last tips on my swim stroke. The lake was so clear that most of the time you could see the sandy floor. It was a great swim. I finally felt confident about Saturday's race. We got a late breakfast at a cute little cafe, bummed around town, I took a nap, and lots of stretching that day! We went to dinner at the Port House Restaurant, where half of the restaurant was filled with triathletes.

Saturday morning came quick, but for once I wasn't lying in bed (in the dark) and trying to talk myself out of doing the race...which is usually what my mind does race morning. Instead, I was ready to go. I was excited. We got ready and grabbed our gear...out the door, just to find that it was raining--at some points it would classify as pouring/storming.

Swim. To start off, we had to walk down the sandy beach about 1 mile to get to the swim start. This was almost harder than the swim :) The lake was lovely. I felt good on the swim. No panicking. Just kept reminding myself "glide smoothly". I noticed the very base of my hair was starting to get caught on the velcro of my wetsuit and was pulling more and more as I turned my head to breathe. It got worse throughout the swim that during the last 500 meters or so, I could only turn to breathe on the right. (After my post-race shower, I went to comb my hair and found I had formed a lovely birds nest there...lovely! Lindsey untangled it though!) I had felt so good in the lake that when I got out and saw my time, I was disappointed that I was SO SLOW! Oh was a good, under control swim. And I wasn't the last one out. :)

1.2 miles. Done.

T1. The run through the sand and slightly uphill was a little tough after the swim, but at that point, I was just very happy to be out of the water and on to the bike. (see above photo)

Bike. Overall, it was nice. My age group (25-29) was the last women's wave to start, so I had all these fast guys passing me on the bike (the ones that hadn't already passed me on the swim :)). On the other hand, I did end up passing a good number of women, so that was encouraging. I kept my heart rate in control and would say that overall, it was fairly hilly, but a good course. My rear was so ready to be off the saddle that the last 6 miles were seriously brutal...they seemed soo long! I finished the bike a little faster than I had expected, so that was nice.

Another 56 miles. Total of 57.2 miles...done.

Run. First few miles were kinda's just so comforting to be on the last leg of the race. I walked the aid stations to be sure I was getting enough water/nutrition mile 4, though I kept walking a bit after the station due to a side stitch. Amanda, my new friend from Philadelphia came running up behind me and said "Come on, Brianna, you can do it!" (Our names were on our race number bibs). I started running with her and ran the next few miles with her--so nice to just chat with someone and take your mind off the pain. :) Then Jesse caught up with me (he started the swim about an hour after me) and we got to run much of the remaining half marathon together (normally I couldn't keep up with him, but he's been injured and was having to do a slow jog). That was a lot of fun to run with him! I was smiling a lot...a few spectators commented on two things when I ran past: a) the "bling" on my it. and b) that I was smiling...I was trying to trick my brain at that point. Also, my number one goal of the day (even over finishing!) was to have fun! ...and that I did!

Another 13.1 miles. Total of 70.3 miles...done and DONE! I was so excited to be done!

So glad we get to do this together...Happy 1st Anniversary, babe! :)

Almost immediately I was starting to think of what race I'll do next. It's addicting. Usually I have wanted to do a longer distance, but now I just want to become better. I started running March 2005 with my dear friend, Jessy Beard--I did my first 5K in April of 05...just started triathalons this year.

I want to become stronger. Be a healthier and better athlete. So next I'm going to start pilates and maybe run another marathon this fall/winter?

A few 70.3 races next year.

I think I'll do a full Ironman the following year....who knows! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

simpler days.

So, I think the news has made it around...

We are moving to Boulder, CO the first of August.

Last night we were going through our basement...our stuff. We got rid of 4-5 trash bags of trash. Have a pile to sell. A pile to give away. A pile to take with us. And a pile to store for now.

It was freeing to start getting a bit more simple.

One thing I'm looking forward to in the Colorado lifestyle are simpler days.

Steelhead news: I swam 2,000 m (about 1.2 miles) straight at the Y on Sunday in a little under 50 minutes. The swim won't be easy, but that's why I'm doing the half ironman, right?

I'll be ready....for steelhead...and the clean air of Colorado.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Big Shark Newtown Triathlon

At first I was delaying this post on purpose. Right after the race on Sunday I was feeling bummed about my race...I had this feeling of defeat after I finished.

Summary of my race: I pannicked within like 100 m of the swim. Honestly, it was like an out-of-body experience. I don't know why I pannicked. I guess because there were people all around me and I just could not get my stroke pattern down. Finally, I got it together (although, I really wanted to tell the lifeguard to pull me out...I reeally wanted to bail!) and I finished the swim. What a relief!!

The bike was fine. I pushed it pretty hard from the beginning. I passed some of the girls in my age group, so that was hopeful. It was a bit windy on the way back, so that slowed me down a bit, but I kept like a 17-18 mph average.

My legs then were pretty fried. I wouldn't say that my legs blew up, but at this point my heart rate had not been in the 150s at all...I had just stopped looking at my heart rate and tried to just go as hard as I could :)

It took about a mile to get my legs underneath me and get a good breathing and step rhythm going. Ended up running 9:30 miles...not the fastest, but heck--it'd be a long morning! :)

Looking back, it was a good experience. Sunday night I finally realized that it was fun and it's okay to not be fast. Not to mention, we still had long workouts the week and even the day before the race--I was not fresh for that race.

Steelhead. I'm gonna finish it. It's an endurance challenge.

Going to swim in the lake this weekend.
I can do this.

It will be hard. It will be fun.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


this will be me tomorrow...except no wetsuits :(
this is actually the newtown triathalon last year--found this random photo via google image--thanks to this fellow triathlete who posted this.
we went up to newtown our some ART treatment by Dr. Lytle...and then swam the course. 1000 meters.
the first 2/3s of the swim I would describe as survival.
i finally warmed up and felt okay on the last 1/3 of it.
my heart rate usually runs mid-130s while swimming in the pool.
today average heart rate=164. today's max heart rate=170.
i did finish the full route in about 25 minutes and 30 seconds.
hoping to beat that time in the morning.
i'm trying to not doubt/freak out that i won't be able to make the 1/2 ironman swim in a few weeks.
1.2 miles doesn't sound that is. :)

jesse just told me that he hope i have a great race tomorrow.
i think it's because he doesn't want me to back out on steelhead.
and he loves me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

gluten free

Gluten free. At first it just seemed like some fade in the health world...another one of those marketing tactics to get people to buy their product. I was ignorant. I didn't really know what gluten was, honestly.

gluten=a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley

Why I am tend towards a gluten free diet...especially a few days before big workouts:

1. gluten has been shown to increase the body's inflammatory response...which causes increased time for muscle and body system recovery

2. gluten has a higher glycemic load than gluten-free foods

3. gluten is found in many processed foods...we already rarely eat anything processed.

Many athletes have made the switch (and sacrifice at times) to the gluten free diet...some because they have been diagnosed with Celiac diease. Which, Celiac is one of the most undiagnosed autoimmune diseases in the US. One in every 133 American's suffer from Celiac's disease, which means they are unable to process and tolerate the protein commonly found in most breads, cereal, pizza, pastas...the list goes on.

Check out "Team Gluten Free":

Desiree Ficker is a professional triathlete that has gone gluten free and she has a blog that is interesting to read:

Here is our gluten free dinner we had tonight...pesto brown rice pasta with kale:
It's hard for me to think about going totally gluten-free, but maybe the benefits will outweigh the yumminess of pizza, breads, pancakes...the list goes on...:)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

28 days til Steelhead

I can't believe that it's been over a month since I've blogged. I need to get better at this. I always think of what I could write on here, but then just don't sit down at the computer.

In the last month...

-rode our bike out in hilly kicked my butt. Our water bottles were also soapy from soaking them that week, which we didn't realize til we were on the bike. So 3 1/2 hour ride with two soapy water bottles.

-I've seen a lot of patients respond positively and quickly with ART.

-swam in the Newtown lake for my first open water swim. Demo'd a 2XU wetsuit. Only slightly panicked once.

-rode from our house in St. Charles to Forest Park in University City last Saturday and today--about a 4 hour ride...again a hilly route, but last Saturday Jesse taught me how to shift correctly up hills...fabulously helpful (would have made the Hermann ride much better :)). Also had my very first flat last Saturday and Jesse was thankfully there because I would have missed a few steps--need to practice that one :)
*In this ride, I realized that I've really only been riding on the road for 4 1/2 months or so...I really can't believe that I've come this far.

The Newtown race will be my first...July 10th...a week from Sunday. Open water swim about 1000m, 20 mile bike ride, and 4 mile run. I'm excited.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturday we did our long ride. Rode out around Creve Coeur lake area for about 2 1/2 hours. Felt okay. My right knee had been bothering me since mid-week ride. I think I just strained my quadricep/patellar tendon when I was pedaling against the wind. It was really bugging me towards the end the ride. That's also when I took my first road "wreck". I was turning around to head back towards home...turned right into the wind. Between the gust of wind, my right knee not as strong on the pedal stroke, and my questionable balance at times on the bike...I wrecked in the middle of the road. No cars were around. I was fine. I did hit my head (helmet on!), which bounced off the ground. I rode home...just scrapped up on my knee and side. I had a bad headache and stiff neck for about 2 days. Jesse was great to rub my neck/shoulders Sunday and Monday night...really helped me!! Right away I wasn't scared to get back on the I am a bit. Back to overcoming fears and set backs. I feel like this right here is the theme to my Steelhead training. I want to be healthy. Hopefully upon race day I have reached good fitness and health, so I can go strong.

Today I'm going to try and get a "long" ride in. It's been stormy/rainy, so I'm hoping it clears up by early afternoon. I fly out to Dallas today and will be gone til late Sunday night, so I hope that my knee and the weather holds up so I can get time in on the bike. I'll be swimming, running, and lifting/core workouts the rest of the week/weekend at the hotel. :)

I'm excited for the Active Release Technique course in Dallas this weekend. I've been studying pretty hard...I'm starting to feel ready. I really want to do well at the course...learn a lot from other practitioners...and become competent at ART, so that my patients will experience great outcomes. I'm praying for good partners through the lab sections and that it will be restful amidst the all day lectures/intimidation of the practical test on Sunday.

Check out ART here:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

long ride.

Today we did our long ride. The weather was beautiful, but seemed windy throughout the entire ride. We went down highway 94, pass New Town, and through all these country farmland roads. It was beautiful. I felt better today overall, but still some "issues". My right hand was going tingly the first half of the ride--I just shifted my weight and changed my grip around--seemed to help. My seat is still a bit uncomfortable after about 45 minutes. Again, I rotated my hips forward (anterior pelivc tilted)...not sure if I'm suppose to, but it gets the pressure off my "sit bones", which the seat seems to have zero give. I need to do some research on how I should be sitting on my saddle. I really wish that I had a girl to ride with. Jesse is kind enough to ride the first 10 minutes or so with me to get me to the route and through traffic, but he's just so much faster than I...we can't ride together.
I rode right at 40 miles in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Very minimal hills, but I was pretty happy with that.

I'm sure glad that the two german shepherds that were chasing me on Silveres Road didn't bite me.

Lifting and core workout tomorrow. I want to start a Pilates class...not sure where to go and don't want to spend a ton of money, but I think it'd be awesome for me.

Back to studying for my ART (Active Release Technique) course...I want to be so good at this technique...I really believe in it! There's so much to do in the next 11 days until I go to Dallas for the course.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Catching up.

I'm always thinking of what I'd write on my blog, but actually sitting down at the computer happens so little. I want to be a bit more diligent in this, so that I can keep track of my training...and also share my thoughts that roll around in my head all day. Here's a bit of catching up from the last week or so...

Thursday I got a bike fit at Maplewood Cycle...Stewart was great. It seemed wonderful. I got new handlebars, a new seat, and adjusted just about everything. I got home that night, though and rode on my trainer to get my ride in...and my seat was really hurt my right hip (opposite of what it was previously). I was mad. Jesse consoled me and I decided I must break the new seat in. Hopefully it'll be a better ride soon. We'll see tomorrow.

I like Sunday workouts. Sunday is a very full day, but it's about the one day that I swim with Jesse. He's super fast and kicks my butt in the pool (as with everything else :)), but I like him watching me and giving me tips on my swim stroke. I was having goggle issues...again. Ticked off, but felt a bit stronger. I swam 200 m in less than 5 minutes, which was super exciting for me. My fastest up until then was 5:10.

I'm more and more aware of how much my core and strength play a huge role in my performance. I had a good lift (upper and lower extremity, along with core) yesterday (Monday).

Today I bought some lower profile goggles...some Speedo goggles. I tightend them up, put them on and they actually didn't leak at all. Lovely. But that's what I thought of the Barracudas (see previous post) and then they leaked in like 5 swims. Boo. Maybe I have a misshapen head. We'll see.
Today I felt pretty strong on the swim, but I realized that I'm torquing my arm, especially my left arm. I need to work on gliding better with my non-pulling through arm. I swam 800m, then I sat in the dry sauna. Love the dry sauna. Ran 3 miles on the treadmill. I do not like running on the treadmill--it practically drives me crazy, but I just had to today because of the time of day.

I've been super tired recently. I haven't been sleeping well every night. I feel exhausted during the day. I don't know why. I just haven't been feeling myself.

I'm also studying to be certified in Active Release Technique. I'm travelling to Dallas mid-May to be certified in Lower Extremity. I am excited to master this technique and further my career as a physical therapist.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


We rode 2 hours and 45 minutes Saturday--I rode all but about 30 minutes by myself. I stuck to the country rodes and the bike trail that leads to/from Creve Coeur lake.

I'm overcoming my fear of clipping out--successfully (but super early! :)) clipped out each time...also with less anxiety. Also, I rode to Creve Coeur Lake by myself, which didn't end up being a huge deal, but it was in my mind before I did it.

I am bruised on the right side of my pelvic bone, which made staying in my drop bars uncomfortable/painful, but I did it some to switch up positions.

The biggest thing I need to improve in now on the bike is my balance. That tiny, little road bike tire is difficult to balance on with any kind of weight shift, especially when you're getting tired. Also, I need to work on and experiment with my nutrition on the bike.

Today I noticed a lot of tightness in my hips again--may have strained the origin (top part--closest to your hip) of the hamstring. I am having pain with walking (the stance and push-off phase of gait) on my left side. I'm hoping stretching, some rest, and massage will work that out.

Tomorrow back to the pool (which always makes my back feel better...loove the distraction and stretching you get in the water), a good run, and some lifting.

I'm getting stronger.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It's been awhile, but I feel that blogging will begin again. Today was a day of "firsts" in my beginner triathlete world...

*First ride outdoors for the spring season...we rode down to Creve Coeur Lake and back--about 30 miles...and took a little under 2 hours. Jesse is very strong and fast...I, apparently, didn't work hard enough on the trainer and am clearly a new cyclist--practically died on the road today due to weak legs and my mid back killing me. Jesse gave me this great mantra that I'm telling myself now "I'm getting stronger"...I told myself that over a hundred times today--like when Jesse was flying far ahead of me and it was all I could do to keep pedaling--"I'm getting stronger".

*First fall on the bike...on the road. So I do have this fear of clipping out...maybe I'll give the background story some other time because there is a good reason why I have this fear. Here we were stopped at a light, I clipped out, all was well. One foot clipped in, one foot clipped out and on the ground, talking with Jesse...somehow lost my balance towards my clipped in side (not something you should do) and I bit it. Bike seat nose in my pelvic bone. And a middle aged woman rolled her window down to ask if I was ok. I think I've conquered that fear--it happened, my worst fear, and I survived.

*First time I had a small glimpse at what it means to be a triathlete, as I did my first "brick" workout. So, after the ride we changed into our running shoes and went for a short run. I had no control of my legs. (Hence the name "brick" run...your legs feel like bricks...I get it now!) I felt completed wasted...but I did it. We ran about 10 minutes and it felt like a marathon. This is what it's about--pushing your body through these three totally different events, and completing it. Before I was like "yeah, I can swim...I can bike...I can run" now, I have a whole new perspective--this is a huge challenge, freakin hard...and I'm going to work my hardest to feel good on race day.

Side note, but important: I'm so glad that my wonderful husband is helping me with this and "by my side"--not always literally, because he's amazing and strong, but I love pushing ourselves/each other together and talking about muscles and training stuff together. He's great.

I'm scared for Steelhead...but I'm super excited.

Monday, March 22, 2010

swam a mile

I haven't felt like I've had much to blog about recently...I haven't been in "blog mode"...

But, I realized this morning that I swam a mile on Saturday. I made the yards to miles conversion (well, Jesse did...and I looked it up online :)) This was a big marker for me. I also swam with Barracuda goggles for the first time---aa-mazing! They are wonderful. Crystal clear, no fog, fit so nice and don't dig into my face. Wonderful.

That's all I have. If you swim at all, you should check out Barracuda goggles.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I love goals. Sometimes I think I just love the idea of what could happen if I reached this certain goal. Of course, I always love meeting the goals I set. All too often they go unmet though. So, here are some goals for this next week that have been thinking about...

-wake up at 5am Monday - Friday, so that I can read my Bible before work and depending on my work schedule that day, get a workout in (or house work ;))
-don't skip or skimp on any workout this week (last week of "base training")
-feed my body with good, clean whole food that it needs to recover and function
(I already have a goal set to lose 6 pounds by March 27th...)
-drink my daily dose of ACV
-don't be lazy with housework
-treat each patient with excellent technique and care for their overall well-being

There we go...I'm excited for the week--the sunny weather definitely helps me! :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Meat...a "man's meal"

Here is proof that I do a) buy meat and b) buy red meat. I feel bad for Jesse sometimes since we have all these vegetarian meals. I've gone like two weeks without buying any meat. He doesn't complain and he also enjoys eating "clean" and healthy, but I still feel bad.

I've never real known much about meat--let alone "clean" meat. (grass-fed, non-hormonal meat). So I'm standing a bit lost in front of the stinky meat counter at Whole Foods. This is where I meet Matt, the meat guy. Matt told me about skirt steak...though it was a bit fatty, I was sold.

I made a simple marinade that consisted of olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and parsley (looked it up online!). The plan was to marinade it for a day--turned out to be two. :/ So, my only complaint about the meat is that it was suuuper salty!! It was good, though. J loved it! :) He grilled the meat, along with yellow squash and zucchini outside, steamed some broccoli, and made yam (sweet potato) baked fries...all while I rode my bike. It was a wonderful dinner. Oh, and my wonderful husband washed the dishes, too while he was cooking away!

Rode 45 minutes tonight on my trainer. My rear side is getting used to the bike seat. I'm just havimg some issues with the outside of my left foot--I must be pushing outward too much. I keep getting these sharp pains on the outside of my foot--only 2-3 times in a ride, but it hurts and it's annoying. I'm going to go to a bike shop soon to get fit...that should help, I'm sure!

I'm feeling back to normal health wise...and now Jesse is getting it--ugh! I'm bummed out. I hope it doesn't last all weekend! I love weekends!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ironman 70.3 Steelhead training has started...

Jesse and I started training last week in order to participate in Ironman 70.3 Steelhead (half ironman that is in Michigan) that will be July 31st. Jesse is my coach--he's a good one. :) There are many things that I love about Jesse, but this is one--I love being active and healthy with him. I'm glad we're on the same page with this--well, almost the same page--I might be a bit more "hardcore" about some things (aka ACV, meat...), but we balance each other out!

We are currently developing our "aerobic base" for the next week and a half or so--swimming, biking, and running at a lower intensity, but increase the volume. I've stayed fairly consistent and generally, I'm feeling good. I have been having some knee and hip issues, so I've had to substitute the elliptical or stairmaster for runs a few times. I have been focusing also on stretching and getting my body healthy, so that I can enter the bulk of our training healthy. I really want to start consistently doing yoga. I'm real bad at it and it seems so hard to fit in my schedule. I think I need to make this a priority in order to stay healthy.

Speaking of healthy, I've been plagued by this cold that does not want to go away at all! Since Sunday, I have been low energy, coughing, blowing my nose, sneezing, and sounding like a man--I'm done! I just want to be well! So, I've been getting extra sleep, getting my ACV and green tea in me, increasing vitamin C...all the good stuff.

Training keeps me pushing my body to fitness. Training keeps my mind sharp. Training helps me be disciplined in many areas of life. Training gives me connection points with my patients in the clinic. Training gives me lots of goals--along the way and on race day--that I get to strive after, and hopefully achieve. Training brings me closer to my hubby.

I really do love it and I'm glad to get back in the swing of things.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Apple Cider Vinegar

I am totally sold on this thing called Apple Cider Vinegar. For starters it can be found at your local grocery store or Whole Foods market for $5-6 a bottle...which lasts a long time. Let me tell you about this gem that I have found...

-it's described by many as a "cure all"
-is said it could destroy harmful bacteria in the digestive tract
-may speed up metabolism, which causing your body to burn fat quicker, often called the "fat burner" :)
-may help lower glucose levels--if taken with a meal, it can help lower the post-meal rise in glucose levels (I've read some stories about it curing/helping people who have diabetes)
-alkaline-acid balance of your body's system. Let's break this one down-so, our blood is natural slightly alkaline (more basic, than acidic), but many of the foods we eat (grains, meat, dairy) produce acid, causing our blood to be more acidic than it should. The problem is that it has been shown that a high acid diet may cause or lead to low energy, increased production of mucous, infections, anxiety, irritability, headaches, sore throat, nasal and sinus congestion, allergies (seasonal or other reactions), and it can also make you prone to arthritis and gout. AVC is an acid, but it has an alkalinizing effect on the body.

I expounded on that last one because it is where I have personally experienced a great difference with ACV. I started drinking my ACV drink (2-3 teaspoons of AVC with 8 oz of water with a pack of Stevia or agave nectar) three times a daily...faithfully! Also, I ate "clean and whole", exercised, and got good amounts of sleep. At the end of the week I realized that I didn't have my "afternoon crashes" at work on Thursday and Friday--note: I always get these afternoon crashes where I feel like I NEED coffee or a's awful! Back to the story, last week (my 2nd week), I wasn't as faithful--maybe I got one of my drinks in a day (if that) and I felt more tired and ended up sick on Friday with the head cold bug that was being passed around at work. Also, very important, is that you must get organic ACV...non-organic apple cider vinegar does not have the health's just vinegar! I personally chose the "Bragg's" seen in the picture above.

That's just my story...I think it's a very reasonable thing to pick up and try--and despite the fact that Jesse thinks it smells awful, which it does when sniffed from the bottle :), it's not that bad to sip on. [Other ACV recipes: add to your fruit smoothie, warm the ACV drink listed above in a mug and pretend it's coffee, use honey instead of sweetener...that's all I've got...if you have a recipe that you like, Shannon (my fellow ACV friend!), post that as well.

Have a healthy, simple day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

the start.

I want to be a blogger, but the thing that has held me back is the very thing that has been occurring the last 10 minutes--I keep typing, then deleting everything and starting over.
My dear friend and neighbor Shannon has inspired me. She is a great blogger.

I want to blog because I enjoy entering into the blog world as a spectator.
I want to blog to share thoughts on life.
I have been thinking about how to live well--physically, spiritually, emotionally, professionally...and also how to be simple at the same time. So, that's where the blog name came from...

Here are some general goals that I want to accomplish in my life...I love thinking about goals.
*be a godly wife (and mom...Lord willing, not soon :))
*be an excellent physical therapist; help people live well
*lead a simple, healthy lifestyle
*be an iron(wo)man
*live every moment in the full joy that is from Jesus