Monday, May 30, 2011

George's First Tooth & Memorial Day

Yesterday in church Pete noticed that George had a little tooth poking through! I feel like, "Already!?" But I remember Mindy being 4 months old when she got her first tooth too. It's really not a surprise with how much he's been wanting to bite everything, drooling and being extra fussy. I'm kind of sad that his toothless grin's days are numbered, though. It's a sharp little thing, too. He better be careful!

Today I just thought we'd take the kids swimming at the pool and I'd make some Indian food. Neither of those things happened, but I love what we did instead.

I got myself up at 5:30ish (closer to 6) and got myself to the pool. I went to bed nice and early last night, but it is always hard to get up early after you've slept in for a couple days. It's so easy to get back into those old habits! I'm not going to, though. Especially not this week because I've got swims scheduled every morning for 6 days in a row! I really want to hit the pool hard and not miss any either. (I'm a little excited too!) It was ok that I was a little late today since the kids didn't have school and Pete didn't have work.

I did 4 x 200 (swim, kick, pull, swim) to warm up, then for the main set: 1650 ladder (start with 275, then 250, 225, ....until 25.), and 200 easy to cool down. That's 2600 yards total.

It was a really hard workout since I started out thinking, "5 1/2 laps isn't very much" and went almost as hard as I could, and kept that up the whole time. I was in the pool for about an hour, and very tired and hungry when I got out!

I was supposed to do a little running speed work today, but my foot was still feeling a little tender from Friday's run (actually I should say Wednesday's run) so I decided to skip it.

When I got home, half the family (Pete and George) were still asleep and half the family (Mindy, Ethan, Elle) were watching TV so I just left them all to it, made myself some eggs and had a nice quiet breakfast. Of course, I had to make breakfast again when TV time was over at 10, and of course, I had to have a one of the waffles and pancakes....

After our late breakfast, we decided to take the kids to the park. Even though it had been raining and was still quite wet, we were hopeful it would clear up.

We drove to the park the kids had requested, which was actually driving into the rain. They got to play there for about 5 minutes before it was full-on raining/hailing. We piled back into the car and headed south, where the clouds looked a little less menacing. Pete looked up a park on his google maps, and we went in search of it.

When we first pulled up, we were a little disappointed. It looked really old, and we couldn't even see a playground. After a minute of looking, though, we spotted the playground so Pete and the kids took off for that while I got George changed and situated in his sling (He's so cute in there, I still can't get enough of it!)

The park turned out to be really cool!

There were all these little paths and trees going around it and a little amphitheater type place. Sure it was old, but it was fun to explore. Then saw a trail going down into the valley that we decided to hike down. It was so green and beautiful and the kids had fun running under the trees and getting their feet all muddy.

The only bad thing was that at one point when the kids had run ahead of us, someone's dog started running after Elle. I yelled down to her to just hold still so it wouldn't chase her. There were some other people by her that got the dogs attention away from her, which was really nice. We got to her at about the same time as the dog's owner who was just like, "She's friendly, she just doesn't know not to jump on kids yet" or something like that. We figured we were out of trouble since we were there and the owner was there, but then suddenly the dog really jumped up on Elle, and would have knocked her down if I hadn't been there to grab her. She got a big muddy paw print on her dress and on her leg and, of course, started crying. I don't know how much it hurt her or if it just scared her, but it made me mad and kind of ruined the rest of the hike for her. Pete told the lady that if her dog doesn't know not to jump on people, maybe she should put it on a leash. People and their dogs just annoy me so much sometimes! Remember, I almost got bitten the other day too. I mean, really, just because you love your dog, doesn't mean everyone else is going to, and you need to be responsible for it.

Anyway, hopping off my soap box now...

We hiked a little farther, but then it started raining and the path started getting muddier and muddier. Besides Elle hadn't brought a jacket so she was getting cold, so we headed back to the car.

It was such a fun little hike. Elle was a little sour after the dog incident, but Mindy and Ethan just loved it! Pete and I really enjoyed it too. We will definitely be going back to that park!

George just fell asleep in his sling, and I put a blanket over him so the light rain didn't bother him at all. He did start to get pretty heavy on my shoulder, though!

There was a little coffee shop just around the corner from the park so we stopped and got some muffins and hot chocolate to warm up Elle's little frozen hands. Then we decided we were hungry for lunch so we stopped and got Pizza before heading home. I got a really good salad too.

Our little outing turned into quite a bit more than we had planned, but it was really fun and I'm glad we got to spend the day as a family doing something fun outside even though it wasn't the nicest day ever. Besides, with all this rain, it's just so green and beautiful, I love it! It'll be hot and dry soon enough... Right?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't Stop Believin'

It was supposed to rain today so I had already decided to just do my 2.5 hour ride on the trainer. I had also decided to do it early in the morning so I could get it over with and spend the rest of the day with my family.

Then I ended up staying up late last night so we could get caught up on our Parks and Recreation! Love that show.

So, I decided to sleep in, and I really did get to sleep in. George slept until 9! It was awesome. Then, I looked out the window, and it was NOT raining! Yay! I took the kids to the park for a little while. Then we came back, got Mindy ready for her ballet rehearsal and had lunch. Pete took Mindy in and I got ready to head out on my ride. I told him I'd be back by 3:15 - thinking that way he wouldn't have to bring all the kids with him when it was time to pick her up at 4.

I got my water bottle all ready with EFS and set it on the counter. Last week I did 2 hours and only brought water so I was starving by the time I got home, and didn't want that to happen again! I grabbed some chocolate chip cookies to take with me since I am out of gel. (turns out these are really yummy, but a little tricky and quite messy to eat on the bike, especially if you keep them in your pocket!)

I couldn't find any keys, but I figured Pete would be home when I got back so I just hurried out and locked the door. Then I realized that I had left my water bottle on the counter! Two and a half hours without a drink would not be good so I tried, unsuccessfully, to break back into the house to get it.

The good news is that our house is not that easy to break into! The bad news is that I still didn't have a drink and I had now waisted 15 minutes of my time. I decided to just ride around a little until Pete got home, then I remembered I had some money in my little emergency pouch so I just went to 7-11 and bought a bottle of water. Easy peasy! Why didn't I think of that before!?

Anyway, I still wanted to be back at the time I told Pete so I just decided to do 2:15 instead. I ended up turning around when I got to the end of the bike path at the Farmington Frontrunner station, right by Lagoon. I checked the Garmin and I had gone 18 miles in 1:08 so it was the perfect place to turn around! It's so fun to be able to ride that far! I felt really awesome and was able to go a lot faster than my last few long rides. It really helps to have the Garmin so I can see my speed and I tried to keep it above 17 mph on the way there, and around 20 on the way home! So much fun! This is a really good route because it's mostly flat, and that's how Utah Half is.

After today's ride I feel hopeful that 20 mph average is not too crazy of a goal and I might be able to do it for Echo at least because it's only 25 miles, and I did 36 today in 2:09 which is almost 17 mph average. That's counting the time I spent in the gas station too.

When I got home, I was really confused because the door was locked, but it was the dead bolt, not the door knob that I had locked so I knew that they'd been home. Then I checked my phone and Pete had texted me, "Was I not supposed to pick her up at 3?" He had gone all the way across town to pick Mindy up an hour early. I called him and told him she got done at 4 so he headed home, and told me where he'd left a key for me. This was kind of nice because I got to stretch and take a quick shower before they got home, but poor George was so hungry! Poor little guy. He ate and was happy again, though. No harm done. Pete had to just turn around and head back to pick Mindy up for real this time. What a pain. We're kind of excited to have a little break from ballet after next week!

I've also decided it's harder to train for a half Ironman with a baby than to train for a full with a 2-year-old. But we're making it work.

I'm super happy with my training this week! A fun 12 mile run yesterday and 36 miles on the bike today. Love it! The weather has been cooperating so nicely too. It was a really nice day, maybe a little chilly and cloudy, but not bad until after I got home. It's raining really hard now.

I was making dinner when I looked at my arm and wondered if I'd touched it on the pan or something, then realized I had missed a spot with the sunscreen:

This is what happens to me when I'm outside for 2 hours - even when it's kind of cloudy! I'm glad I put sunscreen on at all so all my skin that was showing didn't end up like this!

Ok, seriously, time for bed!

Friday, May 27, 2011

George - 4 Months Old

George turned 4 months on the 16th (yeah, I know, that's almost 2 weeks ago!) so I just thought I'd give you his stats. :)

He weighed in at 16 pounds 14 ounces and he is 26 inches tall!

Pretty much any time someone sees him they comment on how big he is. It's already hard to imagine him as that tiny little baby he was 4 months ago. It's kind of sad, but also fun. I love this age, it is so cute to see him figuring things out like how to grab and play with (suck on) toys, and he is so fun to make laugh! He's still a really good baby, but is getting a little more fussy. I'm guessing this is from wanting to be able to do more now. He'll get there.

He hasn't rolled over again, but the doctor said that that's ok, and that rolling over isn't really a huge milestone. As long as he has done it so we know he has the strength (and believe me, this boy has the strength!), it's ok if he doesn't roll over.

I'm constantly amazed that we have 4 kids, but I'm just so glad to have this little guy in our family now!

It's A Beautiful Day - U2, 8 and 12 miles!

When I was in high school, my favorite band was U2. But wasn't it everyone's? I swear, anytime I looked through someone's CD collection, I was sure to find Joshua Tree in there. Did you notice that too, or was it just my group of friends? Anyway, when U2 came to Salt Lake in 1997 or '98, I had a friend who invited me to go see them! I was so excited! When it came time to head down, though, he didn't have the tickets. We just had to swing by and pick them up from another friend who, for some reason, had them. Well, it turns out she was packing up to move and had somehow packed the tickets into the moving truck. What?! So, we seriously went through the whole moving truck, unpacking everything they'd just packed looking for the dang tickets. We never found them. What a bummer! We all ended up just hanging out instead, and it was a fun night, but there was no U2.

Fast forward... um, 13 years.

Last year Pete got us tickets to U2, and he was super excited about it because Lenny Kravitz was opening for them. We soon found out that the tour was canceled, though, because Bono needed a serious back surgery. Bummer again! I felt like I was destined to never see U2!

We all got a rain check for when the tour was back on so just last week, Pete reminded me to check when U2 was, so I did and it was on Tuesday! I had a few minutes where I thought it might be easier to just sell the tickets and not worry about finding someone to watch the kids, especially since Pete wasn't very excited about going now that Lenny wasn't going to be there. All I could think about was the last time I left George to go to the ballet with Mindy, and how he ended up crying for like half an hour before I got home because he wouldn't take the bottle. I was so nervous about it! But, my sister-in-law offered to watch the kids, and several people reminded me that I would regret if it I didn't go, and who knows if I'd ever get another chance to see them. So, we went. I was so anxious about leaving George it made me feel sick, but it ended up working out perfectly. I fed him right before we left, then he went to bed like a little angle and didn't wake up while we were gone!

I'm so glad we went, it was an awesome show! And now I know can understand all the fuss about Bono! That guy is amazing! And so is the rest of the band. It was so cool to see them in person, even if they were so far away since we didn't have the greatest seats. They all looked super fit and just super cool, not to mention the amazing music they were making. We left after they played Vertigo so we wouldn't have to fight the crowds on the way out, and we could hear them play Sunday Bloody Sunday as we walked to the car.

Wednesday I had an 8 mile tempo run to do, and believe me, I didn't do it early since I stayed up so late the night before. George even woke up early so he was ready for a nap by the time I took the kids to school. I ran with them on their bikes to the school and back which is 2 miles, so I just needed to add 6 after I dropped Elle off at home. I decided to do some hills while I was at it and ran up the avenues.

It was a great run, except for the part where I almost got bit by a dog. It was on a leash, and I was just running out into the grass to run around them when it growled and actually touched my leg. Its owner pulled it away quickly so I wasn't really in danger, but I still almost sprained my ankle trying to get away. I almost started to cry when I stopped to check my ankle, I guess from the adrenaline! Luckily I was fine, though.

On the way home, I was so excited when Vertigo came on that I played it again when it ended, then switched the shuffle off and listened to the 5 other U2 songs I've got on my ipod.

I felt great for the whole 8 miles, but when I got home, I realized my foot was hurting. It's something new, kind of the toes and ball of my left foot felt bruised. It was weird, I don't know if it was from twisting my foot running away from the dog or what. I iced it and it felt better the next day, but still a little sore. I considered not doing my long run today, but it felt good this morning so I figured it was ok.

I ran up Canyon Road from North Temple which is closed to traffic and leads up to City Creek. It was pretty much uphill the whole first half, then downhill on the way home. I loved that! This is also a really nice route because I could just get drinks from the fountain at the West High track at miles 2 and 10, and use the bathrooms and get drinks from the fountain at City Creek at miles 4 and 8 when I took my GU. I didn't have to carry any water! That drinking fountain at City Creek has LITTrally THE BEST water in the world too. (Parks and Rec anyone?) So good!

I usually use Hammer Gel, but I tried GU today because that's what they're going to have on the half marathon course. I tried a chocolate and vanilla, and though the vanilla wasn't the most disgusting flavor ever (as Pete says), I didn't really like it. The chocolate was really good though! Both of them had caffeine in them, and I usually don't use caffeine at all so I wanted to see how it would affect me. I don't know if it was the caffeine, but I felt so good today! The hills and trees were beautiful and green, and the creek was full of rushing water so that was fun to run by. I even had enough energy to keep going pretty strong when the downhill flattened out at the end!

I even got to run to 4 U2 songs on the way home and re-live the concert one more time. That was even with it on shuffle! My ipod knows me so well. :)

Nothing really hurt and I just had a really nice run! That is, until I had about half a mile left, then my foot started hurting again. It's pretty sore now, and I'm kind of limping around again. I really hope it's nothing serious! It doesn't seem like it is if I was able to run 11.5 miles without it hurting, right?

George was still asleep when I got home at 8:30, and just lounged around in bed until I finally went and got him at 8:45 after stretching.

He was just waking up so he has a "What's going on?" look on his face here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

One of Those Mornings

This morning I was going to go run at 6, but George woke up at 4 so I was worried he wouldn't be ready to eat if I woke him up before I left, and that he'd be hungry before I got back if I didn't. So, I just went back to bed. I really wasn't looking forward to doing my speed work so maybe this was just an excuse. I don't know.

George did end up waking up at about 10 to 7. I might have been able to be back by then. It's hard to know, though. He was back to sleep by 8 so I decided to take the kids to school on my way to the track. Elle wanted to come with me so we packed her some toys and headed out. On the way there, there was a train, and it stopped on the tracks right in front of us. In the past I've turned around and gone the long way around when there's been a train and I always seem to regret it so when I asked Elle if I should turn around or wait, she said, "always wait." So cute.

So I waited while the train sat there for a minute, then backed up, then went forward, then backward again. I was just about to turn around, but decided to be patient. Just then it moved out of the way. I felt bad for the kid on the bike who was probably late for school. Two blocks later, I was that the track was filled with highschoolers. Dang, I hadn't even thought about the fact that school was now in. I'm used to running by there before school starts and the track is usually deserted.

I decided that, even if I was ok with dodging teenagers while I tried to do some fast miles, I didn't really like the idea of Elle playing by herself when there were so many people around so we got back in the car and headed home. There was a train again, but this time, I was smart enough to go a different way. :)

When I got home, I grabbed the garmin and headed out to just do my intervals on the streets.

When I first started going, I just felt so frail. My legs were hurting and my knees were hurting like with every step I might just break. I just felt so discouraged that I'm never going to get fast and just wanted to curl up and cry! I thought about just doing an easy recovery run instead, but after my slow warm-up mile (seriously, 12:10), I felt fine and Pete's words kept running through my head: "You won't get feaster if you don't do your speed work fast enough." I decided to give it my best shot.

I did my first mile in 8:39 and I wanted to cry for 2 more reasons, one because I didn't think I could do it that fast, and two because it hurt!

I decided I could do 2 more. It was hard, and I wasn't able to duplicate that time, but I was still happy with what I did:


I know that's really not that fast, but it's fast for me right now.

I did a total of 4.76 miles in 50:37, and I felt so much better than when I started!

I did some strength training for half an hour, then had my chocolate shake with spinach. Mmmmm

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

I didn't end up going to bed by 11 like I had hoped. Pete got home from the climbing gym right after I finished last night's blog post so I wanted to at least take a few minutes to talk to him. Then for some reason I had a really fitful night along with George waking up once at 2 so I wasn't able to sleep very well. When my alarm went off at 5:30, I was so tired and realized that I could have 2 more hours of blissful sleep if I skipped my swim so that's what I did. Too bad I still had to get up at 6:30 to feed George, but then I was able to go back to bed until 7:20 or so. I was kind of sad about missing my swim, but I really don't regret it. Sometimes we just need the sleep over the workout.

When George took his morning nap, I left him with Pete and headed out into the rain for my 6 mile tempo run. It was pretty tough. I didn't bring the garmin so I didn't know what my pace was, but I had my heart rate monitor so I kept my heart rate in the 170s for the middle 3 miles. I took it nice and easy for the first and last mile and a half. I did the same route as last week, and did it in about 1:03 so that's a 10:30 minute/mile average. Pretty sad for a tempo run, but I worked hard so that's what counts.

When I got home, I did a 15 minute arms strength workout from the Nike Training Club app. It was a killer! I had to do like a million pushups! I kept telling myself, "Chocolate shake, chocolate shake." and when I got done, I made myself a chocolate peanut butter banana protein shake and it was so good! I had a hard time lifting the glass to drink it, though! And it was hard to wash my hair. I'm going to have sore arms tomorrow.

George got a new toy today! Fun stuff!

When I first started my run, and now tonight, I don't know how to describe it other than it feels like the bones in my legs, my ankles, knees and hips are hurting. They feel kind of stiff so I was thinking it was because of the cold, but when I told Pete about it he asked me when my next rest week is. Then I realized I haven't had a rest week since that week I had my hurt foot, 3 weeks ago. I've been working really hard ever since. I looked at my schedule and I'm not scheduled to have another rest week until the week before my half marathon - 2 weeks from now. I should be having a rest week every 3-4 weeks so that's off. I'm obviously still not very good at making my own training schedule.

So, what to do? I need to keep building my running to do my 10 and 12-mile runs before the half marathon. But maybe I can just bring down the intensity and volume of my other workouts for the rest of this week to give myself a little recovery time. How does that sound? I'm off to a good start since I already skipped my swim today. I'll still swim tomorrow, but I'll do fewer laps, then a recovery spin. I'll keep my 10 mile run as planned then do a shorter ride on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Day In The Life of a Mom Triathlete

Someone asked me what a typical day is like for me. I thought that was perfect material for a blog post. This might be a little boring, but today was a pretty typical day for me so I thought I'd lay it all out for you:

5:22 - hit the snooze button

5:27 - get myself out of bed

5:30 - eat oatmeal with peanut butter and blueberries while reading a chapter from The New Testament, then checking tweets :)

5:50 - wake the baby up to feed him, change him, then put him back to bed (such a good baby, slept all night last night!)

6:10 - drive the half-mile to the pool because it's pouring rain

6:20 - start swimming (workout: wu: 4 x 75; main: 500swim, 500kick, 500pull, 500swim, all RPE 4; cd: 100 swim, 100 back)

7:15 - hurry to the locker room for a quick shower, then home

7:30 - make the kids turn the tv off (arg, every morning!) and get dressed, make my protein smoothie (today it was milk, strawberries, blueberries, banana, spinach and vanilla protein powder) and breakfast for the kids (eggs, bacon and smoothie)

8:00 - try to clean the kitchen up a little bit

8:10 - drive the kids to school since it's still pouring rain

8:30 - feed the baby (repeat every 2-3 hours)

9:30 - put baby down for a nap and hop on the trainer (workout: 1 hour easy spinning except for the 1-2 minute intervals every 4-5 minutes)

10:30 - stretch, and look up hotels for an upcoming trip for a few minutes

11:00 - heat up a few frozen oatmeal pancakes left-over from Saturday (I thought they were delish, but Mindy was mad at me for putting oatmeal in them...), top with butter and devour

11:10 - shower #2

12:00 - make lunch (chicken with spring mix, almonds, craisins and poppyseed dressing)

12:30 - try to clean the kitchen up a little bit

1:30 - quick trip to the grocery store before Pete heads out for a meeting

2:00 - put dinner in the crock pot (pork roast for carnitas!)

2:50 - pick kids up from school

3:00 - snack time (apples with peanut butter)/clean up kitchen/try to get kids to do homework

4:00 - start dinner (pico de gallo and black bean stuffed peppers to go with our tacos - mmmmm)

5:30 - fix something else for Mindy since dinner wasn't done in time

5:45 - drive Mindy to ballet

6:15 - carry Elle down to her bed since she fell asleep in the car

6:30 - eat dinner

7:15 - pick Mindy up from ballet

8:00 - get kids to finish chores and get ready for bed

8:15 - family scripture/prayer time

8:30 - Mindy and Ethan go to bed, but for some reason the baby's still awake

8:45 - start cleaning the kitchen

9:00 - baby is ready to go to bed like a little sweetie-pie

9:15 - clean the kitchen for reals this time (kind of), and switch the laundry

9:30 - get swim bag ready for tomorrow then write on blog about what I did today...

10:15 - move the laundry from my bed to the floor, and get ready for bed

11:00 - hopefully I'll be asleep!

I ♥ Peanut Butter - Protein Shake

It's already Tuesday again!? Ok, here's a quick one that I've just discovered and I LOVE!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Recovery Shake

1 cup milk
1 chopped up frozen banana (if you use a fresh one you might want to add ice)
1 big glob of peanut butter (I don't really measure, maybe 1/4 cup)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder

Put it all in the blender and blend for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.

Drink and enjoy within 30 minutes after a hard workout. It's a great recovery aid and reward! Mmmmm, think I'll have one in the morning!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What a Training Week!

This has been one awesome (and tiring) training week. Workouts of note were on Wednesday and Friday.

Early Wednesday, I did a tough swim where I had to do 20 x 75. Yes, 20! It's really not that crazy, it's just 1500 meters total, but I was doing it all almost as hard as I could. I just did them on 1:30 so it took me 30:00 to do them all and was easy to keep track of. I was able to keep my pace pretty steady, finishing each at about 1:20 so I'd have 10 seconds to rest between each set.

Then as soon as I got the baby fed and the kids to school, I headed out on a 6-mile tempo run. It was pretty tough, but sadly I'm still a bit slower than I was before I got pregnant. Sometimes it feels like I'll never get back there, but I have to have faith that if I've gotten there before, I can do it again!

After those 2 hard workouts, I was spent for the rest of the day! I was so tired, and so hungry! For the next couple of hours I couldn't seem to get enough to eat.

I was so tired that night that I decided to just sleep in the next day and possibly skip my swim or just do it later in the day if it worked out. This was just what I needed, and George even slept all night so when he woke up at 6:30 I felt so refreshed! I went and did my swim after dropping the kids off at school, then did a trainer ride when I got home. It was awesome that I got to get some extra rest and still get my workouts done! It's been so nice to have Pete be able to work from home too. He just got a new position at work, though, so it looks like the working from home days are ending soon. Sad. I will make it work, though. I've done it before!

Friday I ran 9 miles! Wahoo! There was a time when it wasn't a big deal for me to run 9 miles. Now is not that time! My legs were so tired for the rest of the day!

I did it in 1:34 so that's an average 10:29/mile.

I was happy to sleep in again today since Pete was going mountain biking so I couldn't go early. During George's naps I worked in the garden and ended up getting pretty obsessed with it, to the point of considering skipping my long ride so I could just finish getting the strawberries in! I thought about just doing a trainer ride in the evening, but it was such a nice day, it felt like that would be such a waste! So I headed out on my ride at about 3, with just short sleeves and shorts. When I went outside and saw the big black clouds rolling in, though, I grabbed a baggie for my phone and a jacket just in case.

At first, I thought I wouldn't need the jacket, but after about 20 minutes I turned the corner and the wind just hit me. It was so windy I wasn't sure it would be safe to stay on the roads so I got on the bike bath. I also decided those clouds really didn't look good so I turned around at the half hour point instead of the hour. I thought about either just making it a short ride, or finishing it on the trainer. My ride turned into a how-fast-can-I-get-back-home ride, and it got pretty rainy and pretty cold for a while. By the time I got back to the house, though, the storm had pretty much passed so I just kept riding and finished my 2 hours. I got about 26 miles in, just like last week. I'm glad I was able to finish it all outside. I need all the riding I can get!

It was a good day, and it's been a good week. I'm so happy I was able to get all my workouts in and just work really hard. I'm kind of excited for my rest day tomorrow, though.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I ♥ Peanut Butter - Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

It's Tuesday again, which means it's time for another swim/bike and time for another peanut butter recipe! (This is the second edition of my I ♥ Peanut Butter series. Make sure to check out last week's recipe too.)

The other day, it was time to find something to make for dinner (happens every day!) and I noticed that I hadn't had any peanut butter all day long! I decided to look for a recipe that had peanut butter in it to satisfy my craving, but still be healthy. This is the recipe I found.

When I tasted this chicken, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It is so good! The sauce is a little spicy, but not too spicy for us all to enjoy. You must give it a try!

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Butter lettuce leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves
Peanut sauce, recipe follows

Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.

Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked through. Serve the satays on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and cilantro; accompanied by a small bowl of peanut sauce on the side.

Peanut Sauce:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree to combine. While the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin out the sauce, you may not need all of it. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve with chicken satay.

Yield: 3 cups

I actually didn't have any skewers so I just cut the chicken up into bite size pieces before marinating it, then cooked it in peanut oil until it got all crispy. I served it with rice and fresh steamed green beans. I piled my chicken and beans onto my rice, then drizzled the sauce over it, and it was really good! The kids all enjoyed just dipping their chicken, though, so do whatever makes you happy!

The next day, I cooked up some more chicken, put it on some spring mix and used a little of the left-over sauce as dressing. This recipe makes a ton of sauce. We've actually had it again and just used the left-over sauce again, and there's still some left. I don't really know how long it's supposed to last, but it seems to keep in the fridge just fine.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Race for the Cure - Report

Thank you to those who donated to the Komen Race for the Cure that I got to be part of today!! Click here if you still want to donate.

Today I did my first brick of the season. Well, it was kind of a brick. With a really long transition. Like 40 minutes between the bike and the run. Does that count as a brick?

I got up early, and even though I really wanted to go back to bed, I headed out on my bike at 6am. I rode up to Centerville for an hour, then turned around and came back. Man, it was so fun cruising back down Orchard Lane on that slight downhill. That's my favorite thing about cycling!

Getting towards the end of my ride, I started to get really hungry. I had eaten a good size bowl of granola with bananas before I left, and taken a hammer gel at the half-way point so I didn't expect to get that hungry! I guess it's time to get some Perpetuem again. I don't remember ever getting that hungry using that.

For the last 20 minutes or so, all I could think about was the blueberry lemon cookie from RubySnap that Tammy, the owner, had promised us when we met up before the Race for the Cure. She was the one who got me to sign up and join her team. I love RubySnap - best cookies in the world!

I went strait to the Gateway where Pete and the kids were waiting for me. Pete was so sweet to get up early, pack all the kids up and fight the crowds just to bring me my shoes so I could do this as a brick. I also needed to feed George. I was supposed to be at our meeting spot at 8:10 to get together with my team from RubySnap, but I was a little late. By the time I got George fed, it was already past that time so I gave up on finding them. I was so sad to not be getting that cookie! I was starving by now!

Mostly I just needed to get to a bathroom before the race started though. I went inside, but there were like a million people in line. There were supposed to be port-a-potties too so I wasted a lot of my time running around looking for them. I couldn't find them, though, and by the time I got to the bathroom, it was time for the race to start. No big deal, though. There were so many people, I wouldn't have been able to start at the start anyway.

I just started my timer when I went under the balloon arch start. At least this way I had a lot of people to pass. And I mean a lot! I could not believe how many people there were! The streets were packed! I took this picture probably 15-20 minutes after I finished when we were walking back to the car. It was like that the whole time I was running, and they just kept coming!

I'm so glad so many people came out to support such a great cause, but it's not my idea of a good race when there's that many people. Mostly because of the bathroom and start line issue. It was kind of fun to be part of something so big, though. It was also fun to weave in and out of all the people the whole time, it made me feel really fast! On the other hand, I didn't feel like I was going very fast.

When I got to the 2 mile mark, my timer was at about 18 minutes! I thought I'd been going pretty slow. This reminded me to finally check my heart rate. It was at 180 so I allowed myself to believe that I really was keeping a pretty good pace, and tried to keep it up until the end. I saw Pete and Elle at the top of the Energy Solutions Arena stairs, and waved to them. It was so fun seeing them, and I was so glad they came even though I know it probably wasn't very fun for Pete. I'm so grateful to him for being so supportive!

It got pretty congested at the end, and I wondered why all these people were still going so slow when were were at the finish! I sprinted in, and it was awesome to look at my watch and see 29:09!

That's 20 seconds faster than last week! Wahoo! It's weird that I didn't really feel like I was going faster. It was either because I was all warmed up from my bike ride, or the adrenalin from having to pass people the entire time. I don't know, but it was a fun race!

I happily took an orange at the finish line, and set to work peeling it before I did anything else. I was so hungry! Then it took me a while to find Pete and the kids since it turned out he had to take them to the bathroom. Once we were all back together, we decided to go out to breakfast. Pete said he'd ride my bike home if I got the kids to the car. We had to walk a ways to get to the car, but George just sat in his sling and everybody was happy. It was also just such a beautiful day so I didn't mind!

We picked Pete up and went to Coachman's for breakfast. We were all starving because they hadn't had time to eat anything before they left, and it was after 10 by now. When we got home, George took a super nap which was really good because I started to feel kind of sick. I don't know if it was from being so hungry for that run or from stuffing myself with french toast, eggs and sausage afterwards....

Great workout, great cause, great day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Swim Breakthrough!

Yay for warm weather! We got shorts and sun dresses out today! Ok, so Elle's been wearing sun dresses all winter, but I didn't have to make her put a jacket on today!

Yesterday was a speed day for swimming, and I did one of my 100s in 1:44, but most of them were 1:46. Not bad.

Then I did 7 - 4:00 intervals on the trainer. When I first got on, my legs were not happy at all! But, just like with the run, they warmed up after about 10 minutes then they were fine. I put George in his car seat down there with me, and as soon as I started peddling, he fell asleep! Nothing like the hum of the trainer to put a baby to sleep!

He only slept for half an hour, but then he just sat there and smiled at me for the rest of the time. Best. Baby. Ever.

Today my legs feel much better, but it was still nice to have a day off for them since it was just my long swim day. I was so happy to see that it was warm enough and light enough for me to ride my bike the half-mile to the gym at 6am! It would seem like such a waste to drive. It's so awesome living this close! It really makes it less of a rush to swim because I don't really have to factor a commute into my time.

On the way there, I saw a dead duck in the road. It was so sad. It's little mate was just standing there like she was waiting for him to get up. So sad. It was gone when I came home so that's nice that somebody took care of it. I'd like to think that it wasn't really dead, and that it just got up and flew away, but I'm pretty sure it was dead. Sad.


I got to do 2000 yards continuous today. Fun fun! I knew it was kind of a long swim so I needed to pace myself, but I also wanted to give it a solid effort and see how fast I could do it.

At half-way through, I was on track to finish somewhere between 39:55 and 40:00.

Then, I kind of had a realization! They (I don't know who "they" are, but I'm sure you've heard this) always say not to use your legs too much during the swim because you need to save them for the run. So I've always tried to use my legs as little as possible. I have pretty much ignored them other than kicking them enough to keep them afloat. Well, today I said, "You guys could help out a little bit!" and started focusing on just doing little kicks to help propel me forward. It's amazing how much this helped! (DUH) I started knocking seconds off my time like crazy!

I finished my 2000 yards in 39:22! Yay! It was awesome, and I wasn't even killing myself to get there! Too bad I wasn't using my legs for the whole thing.

I can't believe it's taken me this long (Let's see, I've been doing tris for 6 years now) to figure this out. I told Pete about this when I got home, and he was like, "You just drag your legs?" It seems so dumb now that I think about it. Of course it will help to kick my legs, even just a little bit, instead of just dragging them behind me like dead fish. Or ducks. (too soon?).

George had his own little breakthrough today too. He's always hated tummy time, but it suddenly seems to have clicked for him! And (drum roll please) he rolled over from his tummy to his back! Mindy said he rolled from his back to his front too, but I didn't see it. She says she didn't help him, but I don't know.

Race For The Cure

Tomorrow I'm running in the Race For The Cure 5k. Being the terrible fund raiser that I am, I'm only giving you one day notice if you want to donate. Sorry about that! By participating in the Komen Race for the Cure®, you have an opportunity to make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer. Please take a minute to go to my fund raising page and donate even $5 if you're interested in helping to fight breast cancer. Thank you! I'll see you all tomorrow, and I'll be wearing pink! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Two Cents on Marathon Training

This morning I woke up just as sore, if not more sore, than last night. Those dang squats! I had slept in my tri shorts since that's the closest thing I have to compression for my quads, and I decided to wear them under my pants for my run too. I don't know how much this helped, or if it even helped at all.

I told myself that I would at least do a mile then see how I felt. Starting out was pretty hard, I'm sure I looked like a rusty robot trying to run. But after the first mile I was all warmed up and felt pretty good! I continued on up into the avenues. I love this route for my long runs because it's basically flat for the first mile, then a gradual uphill for the next mile, then up, up, up until it's time to turn around. Then I get to run nice and fast (well, relatively fast) back down. I love that part! Here are my numbers:
  1. 12:05
  2. 11:18
  3. 11:54
  4. 12:00
  5. 9:45
  6. 9:30
  7. 9:36
  8. 10:40
You can totally tell where the uphill/downhill is and where it flattens out again.

Total Distance: 8.08 miles
Total Time: 1:27
Average Pace: 10:52 min/mile

It wasn't a great pace, but I was just happy to get it done, and to feel good the whole time! It was a really nice run, and I remember now why 8 miles used to be my favorite distance to run. I'm also really excited for spring now that it might really be here!

As soon as I stopped running, I was in pain again (stupid squats!), and I'm back to being the robot again. It's so weird how that works!

You might think it's crazy to run up a hill for my long runs, but I just want to stress how important it is. I may not be the best person to give marathon training tips since I've only done two, but I wanted to tell you about the two main things I did differently in my training, and what I thought made my second one so much better.

1. Hills

Training for my first marathon was pretty scary. I was so worried about being able to do my long runs at all that I mapped out the flattest possible routes and pretty much avoided hills like the plague. I had heard that the St. George Marathon was all downhill anyway, so why would I need to train on hills? Well, there are hills in the St. George Marathon, so don't believe it if anyone tells you otherwise! When I got to the big hill at around mile 8, I couldn't handle it. From there on out my knee started hurting and I was finished. (There's a long ways to go after mile 8!).

When I was training for Coeur d'Alene, I knew there was a big hill that I would have to go up twice. I remembered how hard the hill was for me at St. George so this time I planned routes with lots of hills to run on, especially for my long runs. I knew I needed to learn how to throw a hill into the middle of my long run, get over it, recover and keep running. I may not have run a fast marathon at Coeur d'Alene, but that hill didn't kill me either!

2. Cross Training

Again, when I was training for my first marathon, I was so scared. Running is my weakness, and I knew I had to change my focus to running to be able to pull it off. I did this a little too much. I all but quit swimming and biking all together. I figured I needed all my strength to get my runs in and that the other stuff didn't matter. Even though my training plan had cross training days on it, I still didn't take this seriously. A couple months before my marathon, I had a hip injury which made me miss several of my long runs (but I still didn't throw in any cross training!), and I was constantly battling with a sore knee which I felt for most of the marathon. This was not a good experience at all. I think (and this is just a guess, there's no way to know for sure) that if I had been cross training more, I would have been less likely to get injured in both my hip and my knees.

Obviously, training for Coeur d'Alene was all cross training. I did equal amounts of swimming, biking, and running. Well, that actually can't be true, considering the 6-7 hour bike rides I'd do, but I was working on all three sports. I think I actually did less running than with my marathon training plan. This scared me, and I was nervous about falling apart on the run the whole time, but you know what? It didn't happen. I had an awesome experience on my run. Even after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112, I was able to run the marathon with a smile on my face. I didn't have any knee pain or anything like I'd experienced at St. George. Now, you tell me, is that just a coincidence?

So, to sum it up, running hills is really important and cross training is super important! And don't just casually cross train, really work those swims or bike rides or... what else do you do to cross train? I think just getting my body used to working out for extended periods of time (read: 7 hour bike rides), made it so the marathon wasn't such a shock to my system. I also think it strengthened muscles that would have stayed weak if I'd just done running.

So, there you go. That's my two cents on marathon training.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I ♥ Peanut Butter - Granola

I have been putting peanut butter on and in everything lately! I'm seriously obsessed with it. I wanted to share some of these recipes with you, but it would have been a bit of an overload to put them all in one post so I'm starting an "I Peanut Butter" series that will run every Tuesday (seemed like a good day to me!) until I run out of peanut butter recipes. Good idea? :)

I've always liked granola, but I hardly ever bought it because it was so expensive and because it's usually loaded with sugar. In fact, it's usually so sweet that, though I enjoy it, I end up feeling sick after eating it. I decided to try to make my own with low/no sugar.

I started with this recipe and got the brilliant idea to add peanut butter here.

I love this stuff. It's not too sweet, and I got my peanut butter, oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, honey and cinnamon in bulk at Costco so it's way cheaper than just buying granola.

Here's my loaded up shopping cart at Costco on Friday. Notice the peanut butter and the sleeping baby inside?

Plus, this way you can put whatever you want in it, and it's a lot better for you than most cereal!

I've decided that it's going to be my reward for getting up early. I get to have it before my workout in the morning, and that's it! I like it with milk and a little cut up banana like cereal, or just by the handful. In fact, I have a really hard time not grabbing a handful every time I walk by the cupboard. YUM! Enjoy!

Honey Nut Granola


5 cups regular oats
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped slivered almonds
1/2 cup sunflowr seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Mix together in a very large bowl, set aside.

Combine the following in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the peanut butter is all melted and it's well combined.

2/3 cup applesauce
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pour honey mixture over oat mixture, stirring to coat. Spread mixture in a thin layer onto a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300° for 30 minutes or until golden brown; stirring well every 10 minutes. Dump into a bowl and add 1 cup dried fruit. Cool completely.

Note: Store completely cooled granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. (if it lasts that long!)

If you don't want peanut butter in your granola (I can't imagine why not) you can substitute 4 teaspoons coconut oil, canola oil or butter for the peanut butter, and add 2 cups of dried fruit immediately after you bake it.

I love it with cranberries like the original recipe, but this time I split the batch and did half of it with apricots and half with blueberries. It's really good like this on plain yogurt!

Let us know what you think if you try it, or what you decide to put in yours!

PS - I came across this article today about why fat does not make us fat, and is, in fact, very good for us. It's the sugar and processed food we need to watch out for!

Also, I am ridiculously sore from yesterday! I really shouldn't have done that many squats and lunges! I just did a recovery swim and trainer ride today. I have to run 8 miles tomorrow! Ouch. Hopefully I can pull it off.

Monday, May 2, 2011

George's Blessing

This Sunday in church Pete gave George his baby blessing. This is where a worthy priesthood holder officially gives the baby his name for the records of the church, and also a special blessing. It was very beautiful, and I'm so grateful that Pete holds the priesthood and is able to do things like this for our family.

George is just such a sweet, happy little guy and we love him so much!

My sister-in-law, Heather, made his little outfit for him. Doesn't he look handsome!

She also made Mindy's dress when she got baptized, and here they are together. How wonderful to have such a talented and generous sister-in-law! Thank you, Heather, we love you!

Here are All the cousins on my side of the family. Baxter just saw Grandpa!

Here are all the cousins (and their parents) on Pete's side of the family (that live in this country).

I am so grateful for all the great family and friends who came for the blessing. We fed tacos to 35 people afterwards so that was pretty awesome!

Pete was an awesome taco chef!

Pete's aunt, Heather, was there so I told her that I'm all signed up for The Utah Half and that she needs to sign up too. She said she was having second thoughts because she forgot how expensive it is. That is the downside to being a triathlete. It's not a cheep sport. She said she would do it, though, so I'm excited to be able to race with her even if she'll be way ahead of me! We did the Little Red Riding Hood Century together a few weeks before my Ironman in 2009, and it was really fun.

Mile Intervals/Shape + Sculpt

Today it was really hard to get up early for my run since I stayed up a little too late last night writing that race report, but I had to do it early because Pete had a meeting at 8:30. I actually didn't hear my alarm and got up a little late, but managed to get out of the house by 6:30. I had to do 3 x 1600 intervals and my goal was to do them each in 9 minutes.

I did a slow mile to warm up, and a quarter mile of walking/jogging after each interval.
  1. 9:06
  2. 9:12
  3. 9:02
Total Time: 50:15
Total Distance: 4.75 miles
Average Pace: 10:35 min/mile

It was really hard, but I was pretty close to hitting my goal pace, especially on that last one, so I was happy with it!

I stretched, had a protein shake and took Ethan to school. Mindy stayed home because she was feeling sick. (Of course she was up causing trouble by lunchtime, though.) Then I fed George before starting my next workout.

I did the "Shape + Sculpt" workout on my Nike Training Club app. I didn't realize it was a 45 minute workout until I was 15 minutes into it, though! Ug, it was hard. I guess it's good it was a little longer, though, since I've skipped strength training the past 2 weeks. I was shaking by the end, but I finished it! I am going to be one sore mama tomorrow! I think I'll have to avoid the downstairs for a few days...

The crazy thing is that Pete's meeting got canceled so I didn't really need to go so early! I'm glad I did, though. It's always nice to just get it done, and it was nice to have him there cheering me on as I struggled to finish my strength training.

I always love a good hard workout, what a great way to start the day.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

SLRC Free 5k - Race Report

What a great Saturday!

My dad, being the awesome guy that he is, came to our house at 7am to watch the kids so we could go run the Salt Lake Running Company Free 5k. My sister was going to come with us, but she ended up having to work so it was just Pete and I. It was really nice, especially since we don't get out by ourselves much lately.

It was kind of hard to get up that early and make such a big deal about running 3 miles (excuse me, 3.1 miles). When we looked out the window and saw snow on the ground we were a little less than excited. But we grabbed some jackets, scraped the ice off the car, and headed down to the store.

I used 2 kid headbands to serve the dual purpose of keeping my hair out of my face and keeping my ears warm. They did a good job. Don't I look awesome? I noticed that it was 34 degrees on the way there.

We got there by 7:15 so we could be there for the raffle, in which I had 3 extra tickets (!!) since I bought my shoes there the other day. They were giving away awesome stuff like a tri suit, lots of shoes, shirts, fuel belts, and even a Garmin!

There were 1,000 people doing the race, and half of us squeezed into the store to watch B.J. Christensen announce the raffle winners. We got nice and toasty warm in there! Unfortunately, my extra 3 tickets didn't do any good, but oh well. It was a fun atmosphere to be around anyway.

At 8:00, we all walked down from the store to the starting line which happened to be right by where we parked . We were able to drop our jackets off since the sun had come out and it had warmed up a bit. I still had long sleeves and gloves and that was just perfect.

UPDATE: Here's the video they put out. You can see me talking to Pete at the start about 23 seconds in. :)

My ankle was feeling awesome, but as soon as we started running, I could feel it again. It never really got painful, just a little sore, so it wasn't a big deal. I stayed with Pete for a little over a mile. He had the Garmin so I had to stay with him if I wanted to know my stats. Plus it was just fun to run with him. We've actually never ran a race together. We've done tris together, but then we don't get to start together and only see each other in passing on the course. This was actually Pete's first 5k that wasn't in a tri. He commented on how weird it was to be running with so many people around us. In a tri, you're pretty much by yourself with a few other people here and there.

We ran down this beautiful tree-lined street and it looked magical all covered in snow. I may have been the only one, but I was now happy it had snowed.

I told Pete to go ahead if it felt like I was holding him back, and he did begin to pull ahead just before we got to the turn around. I could see him for about half the way back, then I lost him. I think I slowed down quite a bit, but I did try to keep pushing. When I was starting to wonder if it would ever end, I suddenly heard a stampede of people coming up behind me. Like a heard of cattle in the desert that had just seen water, they had seen the finish line. I wasn't going to let them pass me! They were a good motivator to step it up and finish strong!

I crossed the finish line at 30:29 which was much faster than I could have hoped for after averaging 13:35 minute miles on Wednesday! I don't think I've ever been as close to throwing up after running as I was when I crossed that finish line! I was even moving over to the side of the road, and thinking, "Please no!" Luckily it passed after a minute of walking around. I just wish I had a faster time to show for it!

Here were are afterwards with our awesome matching, free shirts! (I know, I'm so good at taking pictures of myself!)

When we got home, the kids were all just as happy as clams to be spending time with Grandpa, including George. It's aways nice to know they're happy while we're gone.

After I got George fed and done for a nap, I hopped on the trainer to do my long ride. It may have been the perfect temperature for a run, but it was still way to cold to ride outside! I didn't mind, though. It was only a 90 minute ride, and I can do things on the trainer I can't do outside.

I can talk to my kids when they periodically come into the room. I can check twitter while I ride. I can listened to music, and not worry about anyone hearing me sing along to White Sky by Vampire Weekend (you try listening to that and not *trying to* sing along!).

Ok, maybe Pete heard me, and maybe he thought, "what the heck is she doing in there?" But he still loves me. :)

We spent the rest of the day cleaning, shopping and getting ready for our big family get together the next day. Then Pete's brother and his wife offered to watch the kids so we could go out to dinner! Two dates in one day, AND a race AND a solid trainer ride? Does it get any better than that?! I tell you it does not!