Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekend in Seattle

Sooo....since I last posted: I went on a run the other night with my husband. He is so awesome because he had gone to Crossfit and was super sore and was still willing to go on a run with me. Score:)
 We just did an easy 3 miles because we had just eaten (leftover quinoa stuffed peppers) - not a good idea right before a run. Ick. 
While we ran we saw the neighbors had a new friend:

I love running with my hubby-he makes me go faster than I normally would,he talks and keeps me company, and I feel safe as it gets darker. The I only problem is he insists that it counts as "date night" simply because it's time together. Not a date. Nice...yes. But def not a date. 
He was also wonderful because he put together a marathon plan for me. He loosely based it on a plan he used last year while training for his marathon and he knew I had been meaning to write out a plan. So now it is all roughly written done. On paper. Documented. Now I just need to run! And run! And run!

Today my mom and I flew to Washington so she could meet her new great grand baby. 

Here she is waiting for the plane :) She looks happy here but she was ready to call off the trip a few hours before. You see my mom has Dementia/ Alzheimer's and boy I didn't realize how this would stress her out. (and stress meout) Just packing her bags was too much. Anyway, I helped her pack and coaxed her not to cancel the trip. She hadn't seen my sister in a year and really would like to see the new baby.  I was so nervous it would turn bad at any second. But so far, so good! I've just been right there all the time and cheerful. 

On the flight over Northern California we saw some of the smoke from the fires they've been having there. And as we got closer to Washington we saw such beauty...

I told my sister that every time I visit it is 72* and spectacular! Love it!

Tomorrow I have a 10 mile run that I thought I would run outside. Love to see new scenery and all. Then I saw the hills around here. Never mind. Think I'll just do the hotel treadmill and get it over with so we can enjoy the day. ;)

Random people watching at the airport: flight attendant chewing gum and drinking a Starbucks. Yuck. Reminded me of the movie Sideways where he was chewing gum and wine tasting. Ew. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Been so busy the last few days I can't wait for the long weekend!

So my "long" run over the weekend turned out to only be 7 miles but it felt good.  Now I seriously need to kick it up a notch. In fact I realized I'm still working without a plan. I bookmarked a plan  a  while ago but I would like to fine tune it and write it all out. I've been concerned about doing Crossfit while training for the marathon because it really makes me so sore. If we work the legs hard then it just kills me to do a run the next day. My physical therapist was saying how we need more time to recover as we age.  Well....I'm aged and it sucks. So I'm thinking about how to continue Crossfit without killing myself with this marathon.

Over the weekend we hosted a little swim party with our 4H club and
 one of the families brought these beauties......

Aren't they beautiful?  I've never seen purple bell peppers before!!! So tonight after work I decided to make some stuffed peppers. I made them with ground beef but it would be super easy and yummy to make it vegetarian. 

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ground beef
1can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 c quinoa
1carrot diced
1.5 c shredded cheese (your choice)
1t cumin
1t chili powder

Clean and cut peppers in half. I had to lay mine down sideways because they wouldn't stand upright. In a large pot boil some water with some salt. Boil peppers for 5 minutes. Brown ground beef. Meanwhile cook quinoa according to package. Drain meat and set aside. Use same pan to cook onion and carrots in about 1 T of oil. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes (I used the spoon to kind of crush them) , cumin, chili powder, garlic, and ground beef. Add 1 cup of the cheese and mix well.  Place peppers in 9x13 pan (I sprayed first with Pam for easy cleanup) and fill with mixture top with remaining cheese.
I popped them in 350*oven for about 15-20 min just enough to heat through and melt cheese. 

Im not a photographer so forgive the picture. It really was fantastic with a great flavor. I wasn't sure about adding olives so we just added them at the end. This was a huge hit and I will definately make this again.
I will try it vegetarian as well by adding mushrooms and black beans and maybe some spinach.Yummy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Salinas Valley Half Marathon Review


I am new to this whole running world and have only done a handful of races. I've decided to start backwards with my race reviews. So the last race I ran was The Salinas Valley Half  Marathon three weeks ago.  I really wanted to do this race because of its beautiful location in the Salinas Valley on the foothills of the Santa Lucia mountains. It runs right along the River Road Wine Trail and it is absolutely beautiful. 

My first half marathon was last fall and I was super slow (like I'm embarrassed to say it was 2:45). Oh you know. But I didn't care really because I just wanted to finish. When I was tired I walked. When my IT band hurt I stopped to stretch it. But I loved it and I was so proud I finished. Anyways, flash forward and now I was on a mission to PR. My goal was really 2:30 but I secretly hoped it would be faster because I had been noting my times getting better.  When I heard about this race I liked the location because even in August I knew the Salinas Valley usually gets fog in the morning and this would be starting  at the Historic Soledad Mission and Finishing at Pessagno Winery.  

I had studied the course map and elevation and it looked perfect.

I was really only worried about miles six thru eight but the rest looked great.

We picked up our packet and bib at the expo on Friday and decided to make a day of it and go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and out to lunch at Cannery Row before heading to Salinas. 

The expo was good. I've only been to a couple but it had the usual health fair booths, bib  pickup and I liked the long sleeve race shirt and we each got a wine glass.  I also bought  a running skirt at a booth selling workout shirt, skirts, shorts, etc. all made of bamboo (?) material. Hmm. 

The next morning we got up super early (4:30 I think) and headed down to Soledad. All the parking was at Soledad High School and shuttle buses would take us to Soledad Mission. The buses were really nice but the bus driver got lost which was kinda funny because it was only like a 5min ride. I think he was heading to the finish line. He finally turned around but we were all snickering a little.

We got to the mission and there was a lot of porta pottys so there was never a line. (nice) There  was also coffee, bagels and bananas.  But it was so freezing. We were all huddled under the eaves of the mission and had to wait about 45 min for the start. 

                                                    (don't I look cold)

Finally it was time to line up for the race. So I started looking for the 2:15pacer. Even though my goal was 2:30 I wanted to try to stay with the 2:15group as long as possible. I figured eventually I would end up slower but still in my target. 

I was so cold waiting to start. I think it was only in the low fifties but that fog made it damp and it was breezy. I should have dumped my jacket because by mile 2 I was trying to take it off and tie it around my waist. They did have a place to drop your stuff at the misson and it would be sent to the finish. 

It was a bit more hills than I realized by looking at the elevation chart. Another thing was these were agricultural, rural, very banked roads so my IT band was screaming . I tried to stay in the center in the road if it was straight but if it turned and banked alot then I moved to the shoulder that was the flattest. That seemed to help. I also walked a bit thru the aid stations and drank at each one. Had a Gu at about mile 6. There were plenty of porta pottys along the way. Lots of aid stations. A few houses scattered here and there. One guy was cooking up bacon and passing it out. Lol. The local high school had several cheering sections which was nice. At mile 12 they were passing out strawberries. Yum! It was very scenic running thru the crops and the rolling hills. But certainly not alot of cheering crowds. 

I had lost sight of the 2:15 passer and was feeaking out because the next pace group was catching up with me. It was like being chased by the grim reaper and I booked it because I thought it was the 2:30 group and I really wanted to beat 'em. I finally realized it was the 2:20 pacer and I felt so much better. I just kept on going !!! My time......2:20!!!!
Yay! I PRed by 25minutes!!!!  My husband's goal was under 2 hours and his time was 1:59! 

This is a small race with only 1418 runners. Interesting fact they mentioned at the start: the course record is held by Diego Estrada 1:06 in 2010 and he was just in the Olympics in London running the 10,000m. 

The end was at Pessagno Winery which was beautiful. All the wineries we ran by had booths there for wine tasting. And we got a discount on any wines purchased. It was so pretty crossing the finish line and big purple grapes on the vines on either side. Nice:)

This race was very nice. It was beautiful, lots of support, well organized. Shuttle buses were plentiful and no waiting at all (and we didn't get lost getting back to the car). It was kinda pricey...that bothered my husband more than me ;) There was a BBQ lunch afterwards but that was extra too. They did offer a ton of fruit at the end as well as packages of sliced apples, free GUs, granola bars, bagels, etc. We ended up stopping in Salinas at BJ's Restaurant for lunch. 

Very nice day indeed.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Lunch at The Milias Restaurant

So my husband and I changed our plans and went our for lunch instead of a run. Great way to fit in a date while the kids are at school. So I think I will just rest up today and run tomorrow.

We headed to Gilroy, a neighboring town for errands and decided on a restaurant that reopened about a year ago under new ownership and beautifully redecorated. It's now called the Milias Restaurant. It has is decorated with antiques and historical pictures of Gilroy throughout the restaurant. 

On the upper left side of the picture you can partially see a projector and they were playing an old black and white movie with no sound on but it was a nice touch. 

In this picture you can see the movie. Below it are wine boxes with family or business names...pretty cool. And then some antique theater seats.

We started with some clam chowder and it was delicious. I love clam chowder when it is freshly made.

I had the Pear, Apple and Gorgonzola Salad. It was very good and had the best candied pecans and the perfect amount of dressing. And don't you think it is beautiful? 

My husband ordered the Rueben Sandwich . I did steal a bite of his and it was heavenly as well. 

When the bill came it came in this antique book. There is another local restaurant that we've seen this done and I think it's very cute. This one had a bunch of signatures and compliments . Fun idea.

Before we left we were checking out some old pictures and maps on the wall when the owner, Adam Sanchez came up and told us all about the remodel, acquiring the photos and maps and antiques. What a great job they have done.  He told us all the history of the building and it was really interesting. Love when old historic buildings get restored and when they end up with great food and great service it's the perfect combination.

Well, that was our lunch date. If you ever find yourself in Gilroy you must try the Milias Restaurant. 

Minestrone Soup and a day off

Hooray for the weekend! I always have Fridays off and right now my husband has Fridays off as well so we are off to run errands in a few minutes. But my amazing daughter, Katie helped me figure out this new blogging app on my iPad so I wanted to get this post up before I forget how to do it.  

                         (Here is a picture of my daughter/tech support, Katie.)

The other day before work I threw together our favorite Minestrone Soup in the crock pot. This recipe is super easy, delicious and full of veggies. The only thing I change is to add some hot pepper flakes and usually add fresh green beans.

It is especially good with fresh shaved Parmesean cheese on top and some French Bread. Yumm. 

Workout Wednesday: ran 3.5 with my daughter on her bike. Wanted to run 5 but she had        just finished water polo and said her shoulders hurt. I should have kept going but I didn't. Oh well. 

Workout Thursday: Crossfit before work. It was a weight lifting WOD (workout of the day). Overhead squats, front squats and back squats. Ugh. My legs are feeling it today. 
The overhead squats are the toughest and I think I did 45#. The front squats hurt my wrists but I did 65# and I love back squats.  I did 85#.

My husband wants to go for a trail run this morning and crossfit tonight. I'm not too sure because I'm so sore and think I need a rest day. I really need to run 10 miles this weekend. Maybe I'll run 4 miles this morning and 6 tonight when he does Crossfit. I'll let you know how it works out. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to work/school

After a fun weekend we were back to the ol grindstone yesterday. My husbands actually feeling pretty good. That or he's faking it :) 
My kids are in the second week of school which means.....homework! 

These are my 2 youngest. Beth is in second grade and Rachel is a sophomore in high school. Rachel just got in the water polo team and is exhausted everyday but she loves it. She is new to the sport and I am do proud she is really pushing herself. I would NEVER have done anything like that I high school. I was the kid that brought a forged note it I had a hangmail so I didn't have to do PE. 

Anyway, now that my husbands triathlon is over I need to get moving on this marathon training. Saturday I ran the 8 miles while he was on his bike. 

Workout Monday: ran easy 3 after work while Rachel rode her bike . Loved it. 

Workout Tuesday: Crossfit @5:30 am
                                Strength: shoulder press 3-3-3-3-3   I'm weak so I only did 45#
                                 Then for time:  10 rounds :
                       5 pull ups (I used a band)
           10 pushups ( I do girl pushups)
            15 double unders ( I had to do 30 singles)
Sheesh....I sound so wimpy! I just started crossfit in January and if I'm training for something it gets put on the back burner if I need to get more running in. I'm trying to commit to 2x/week while I train for this marathon. I also don't push myself too hard for 2 reasons....1) I'm afraid I'll get hurt and 2) if I get too sore than it makes my runs a nightmare. Some sore is good but there's a fine line ;)

Well, it's getting late so I better hit the sack. I'm planning to get a Minestrone Soup in the Crock Pot before work tomorrow. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Folsom Full Course Triathlon Recap

Well it seems odd that the first real race recap I do will be for my husband’s Half Ironman but I’m just going to start with what’s going on right now.

My husband did his first Sprint Triathlon this spring and he was then inspired to sign up for a longer distance. The only thing that surprised me was the one he chose is located in the Central Valley of California (about 3 hours from where we live) in the middle of August. Well, if you are familiar with the area you are well aware that temps in the summer are blistering and by the time he would be on the run portion it would be in the hottest time of the day.  Anyway, he was undeterred, continued training and on Friday we left for the Central Valley.

We decided to avoid the Sacramento Friday afternoon traffic and we took Hwy 49 and found ourselves in the Shenandoah Valley in Amador County. Wow!! It was beautiful with wineries everywhere and vineyards spreading across the rolling hills. It was amazing. Really wished we had time to stop and do some wine tasting.  I tried to get a good picture but we were going to fast. But I highly encourage you to check out wine tasting in Amador County. Beautiful.

We dropped off our 8 year old with some dear friends in Placerville so they could watch her for us, visited for a bit and then went to go check into the hotel. We stayed at the Larkspur Landing in Folsom and it was really a good choice. Close to the venue, easy to find, clean and reasonably priced. It had a kitchen, family room and separate bedroom. It offered breakfast and fresh cookies were always in the lobby when we went through.

Folsom has a ton of restaurants but we usually don’t like to eat at the regular chain restaurants and prefer locally owned places we asked the front desk. And that is how we found the amazing Italian restaurant Visconti’s. 

 It was very busy but we were able to be seated right away.  The service we very good and the food was out of this world.  My husband ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs and I had the Linguine con Gamberi & Asparagus.

Both were fantastic and I think we were licking the plates at the end.  We also had some of the local wine from the wineries we had seen earlier. Yummy!
When we got back to the hotel there must have been kids above us because it sounded like a herd of elephants. Nothing irritates a mother of four more than to check into a hotel (CHILDLESS) for the night and then to hear that much noise. Luckily it quieted down about 30 minutes later.

We got up at 4:30, ate breakfast and headed to Nimbus Flat State Park on Lake Natoma. The transition area opened at 5:30 and he got all his stuff set up. 

He wasn’t too happy with me taking pictures at this point. I told him he was giving me looks like a 12 year old boy gives his mom if she was snapping pics of him at his first middle school dance.  (“Stoppp! All the other triathletes are gonna make fun of me!)
He was scheduled to start the swim at 7:08 in the third wave.

It was about 68 degrees at that time but there were clouds and I had read on Facebook that it was raining in parts of the bay area. If that rain or at least the clouds would last then I was hoping it would keep the temps relatively mild (or at least bearable).
Said a little prayer for him and for all the swimmers.  It looked like one guy went out there about 50 yards, started doing the back stroke but wasn’t really going anywhere. For about 10 minutes he seemed to be in the same location. Well more waves started so 
I hope that guy did OK.

My husband came out of the water in about 40 minutes which I thought was fantastic. And he was smiling so I know he was happy with the swim part.

He jumped on his bike and started for the 56 miles. I saw the route and it seemed kind of strange with a lot of turn arounds and such. He said it went back out into just rolling hills but some was through the city streets so traffic was a nightmare for the cars.

I knew he would be gone for a good 3 hours so I took the opportunity to run 8 miles along the American River Parkway which was right there in the park only I took off in the opposite direction.

I was only going to run 6 miles but once I got out there I loved it! This path is 23 miles along the American River. It had tons of people on it!! It has 82 miles of maintained trails that are used by bikes, runner/walkers  and equestrians. I saw people fishing, picnic tables, restrooms, and water faucets. There is a fish hatchery there as well and an aquatic center that is used by Cal State Sacramento. The path is paved and wide for the bikers with wide shoulders for the runners.

And look at those beautiful clouds!!! They were sure helping to keep the temps low! I was hoping the bike portion was going well.

I just signed up for the California International Marathon here in Sacramento in December and I was so happy to be soaking up this great run!

After my run I quickly went back to the hotel, showered, and checked out. Then I hurried back to the park so I could see him transition from the bike to the run. When I got there I saw a bunch of people leaving that had finished the Sprint triathlon . They started after the long course and were already done. Wow.

Found a spot by the transition area, set up my chair and got out my cowbell.  This part was fun to be cheering on everyone and the smiles when they heard the cheering and everyone loved my cowbell ;)  I was sooo happy when he came in and ran over when he was in transition to encourage him and tell him it was still pretty mild out… IPhone said 72 degrees. He looked good but I knew a half marathon was still ahead.

The run was 2 laps around and when I saw him after the first lap he looked miserable. The clouds had left and boy it was getting hot! I saw him stop at the water station and drink and pour water over his head and then he kept on going! The second lap took a lot longer and he said he had to walk a bit on the second lap.

So he did it!!! His time was 6:54! I am so proud of him! I had him use the foam roller that evening and he said the next day he wasn’t even that sore. Scale of 1-10 in soreness he was only a 3. Humph…I was a 6 and I only ran 8 miles but whatever.
I asked him a million questions afterwards so I could share them with you. He said the race was really well run. Lots of water stations and support for the racers. One guy said he got 2 flats out on the course and Mike’s Bikes was there to help. The entertainment left after the sprint was done so it was pretty anti-climactic when he finished. It was a beautiful location and the weather held out for a bit and even had some raindrops.
Overall it was a great experience and he says he’s glad he did it but he might go back to just the Sprint Triathlons. (and I’m trying to talk him into running the CIM with me).


Friday, August 17, 2012

Husband's Half Ironman

We are packing up to leave town for my husband’s first Half Ironman Triathlon. I know I started this blog to talk about me! Me! Me! But this weekend is all about him. I think he is getting a bit nervous but I’m really excited for him. It is in Folsom and if you’re from California you know it’s going to be super hot there.
I’m hoping to get in a 10 mile run while he is on the bike part. I will have to either figure out a route or maybe go back to the hotel and go on the treadmill. We’ll see.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finally!! My first post!!

Welcome to my little blog. This will follow my journey to my first marathon (YIKES!).
I have always been interested in a healthy lifestyle and nutrition, regular exercise is new for me. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would become a runner…not a fast runner but a runner none the less.
I’m hoping this blog will be my voice, my opinion of things I do and see and experience. I’m hoping it will help me be accountable to myself as I strive for my goals.
I also enjoy cooking. None of the recipes are original so I will definitely need to learn how to link to the blogs I borrow from ;) Most of the recipes are healthy with a few fattening desserts thrown in the mix occasionally.