{Window Wednesday} Javelinasssssss

A fun fascination with a lil stinky animal got a little out of hand here in Arizona.

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We saw them at The Desert Museum

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Sabino Canyon

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And we got a book!

Javelinas have been fun to chase through Arizona! We only have a few days left to find more. How’s your Wednesday?

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{Two Things Tuesday} Arizona Edition

1) We are on spring break with the kiddos in Arizona. This is my first trip here and thus far it does not disappoint. We flew in to Phoenix on Saturday night after a very long day of travel. Sunday included a fun little run around the community we are staying in. It was a nice way for me to become acquainted with some of the mid altitude desert scenery. Over the past few years I’ve migrated away from running first thing in the am, but it really is still the best. We were out while everyone was sleeping, saw the sun rise over the mountains and were further awoken by some of the wildlife (coyotes) we saw on the run. It was a great way to start the day. The rest of the day was spent exploring The Desert Museum with the kids. It was fantastic, beautiful and so well put together. We have a few more days left and I already I can say that I do not want to leave!

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Explorers, playing the part!

2) Yesterday I started the day with a swim that had been on my schedule from the weekend. For the first time, I was in a location with an outdoor lap pool. So while 3,000 yrds is boring and the wind was whipping like crazy, I was in a beautiful heated pool, surrounded by mountains and sunshine. I call it a win.

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Again, I don’t want to leave this….

How’s your Tuesday?

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{Two Things Tuesday} A Vacation & A Saddle

1) Ok.  I’m back from DC and have my feet planted firmly in New York State until Saturday that is.  On Saturday we are packing up the kids and heading to Arizona for the school vacation week.  To say that I am excited would be an understatement.  I am super excited to travel somewhere new as I’ve never visited Arizona.  I’m also glad to have a little vacation from work.  But I’m most excited about spending time on an adventure with my lil family.  We love adventuring so I’m really looking forward to the week away with them.

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Flash back to another vacation we had…

2) Saddle adjustments are coming down the pike.  For any of you who are friends with me on facebook, you already know that I am in hate with my bike saddle these days.  I have a Cobb Max Saddle on my bike.  I should say had, because it came off yesterday.  After doing over seven hours of cycling the last two weeks in a row, I can’t even stand to look at that saddle.  It has caused me more pain that is necessary.  All of this is made exceptionally strange in that last year I really liked the Cobb and was pretty comfortable on it.  Maybe I’ve changed my riding position. I have no clue.

photoThere’s the Cobb in all her glory.

So, now comes the trial and error of trying to find a saddle that I do like.  This aught to be fun… said no one. ever.  Yesterday and Adamo Attack was put on my bike.  I have a two hour ride tomorrow morning, actually the next two mornings.  So, I should have formed some what of an opinion before the week is out on this saddle.  Goodness hopes so because when you don’t even want to look at your bike, it makes it tough to train on it.  Here’s to hoping!

 

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Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile {Race Report}

Back in the swing of things and ready to tell you about the adventures in DC this weekend for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 miler.  A few years ago I ran the Rock and Roll half marathon in Washington DC.  I loved it.  I loved, loved, loved running through DC, near the monuments, etc.  I had heard about the Cherry Blossom run and had wanted to possibly go back at some point and run that.  However, I knew it was a popular race, knew it was a lottery, but never really looked into how to enter the lottery.   Until this year.  This year I marked my calendar and made a point of entering the lottery along with my boyfriend, Ben, and a really good old friend, Sully, who I hadn’t seen in forever that recently started running.  Low and behold we got in! And this race has a great lottery where you can enter together so it’s all or nothing.  Either you all get in or none of you get in.  This is great.

Anyway, fast forward from December to April and you have race weekend.  We drove down to DC on Friday night.  This made for a long drive after work, but we figured it made more sense to head all of the way in rather than drive part way and have to get up early on Saturday to continue driving.  We made it into our hotel in Bethesda, MD around midnight.

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Long Lost Friends!

On Saturday, we met up with Sully and headed out for a five-mile run on the Capital Crescent Trail.  It was literally two blocks from our hotel room.  It was a beautiful day, all be it slightly windy.  And it was sooooooooooooo nice to run outdoors in shorts and see the sunshine.  It certainly has been a long winter.  The trail was very busy but everyone was friendly.  We took it easy and just used it as a sort of shake out run for the day.  After showering and changing we hopped on the metro to head in to DC.

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Packet Pick Up Location

Our first stop was packet pick up at the National Building Museum.  The place was gorgeous.  The entire expo was fairly well run so it was easy to go get our packets and t-shirts without much confusion.  We wandered around the expo for a few minutes, but quickly decided we were starving so we headed out.  After some wandering about we decided upon an Irish pub for lunch where we all promptly consumed a bacon cheeseburger… (please don’t tell my coach!)  After that we headed down to see some monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial, etc. Again, it was nice to be outdoors and enjoying the day.  Maybe we should have been resting somewhere, but really the “race” was just being used as a nice long run so we covered a lot of ground sight-seeing on Saturday.  Oh well.

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After walking way too many miles we headed back to our hotel to rest for a bit before dinner.  We decided to do dinner somewhere near by the hotel.  It just made sense since there were a number of good restaurants there.  We settled on an Italian joint that was really quite good.  We had a very relaxing dinner filled with stories and laughter.  It was great to catch up with a very good friend as our lives have changed a lot over the years.  It was an early bed time as we had gotten in so late the night before and were going to have an early wake up call for the race.  I think I was in bed by 8:30 and fast asleep by 9:30.  Sweet sleep!

Race morning came with a wake up call at 5:00 AM.  Fortunately, that’s not all that early when you’re training for an Ironman.  I’m used to getting up and stupid early hours and prepping lots of things to go and train.  Frankly, going to a running race feels relatively easy as there isn’t much to bring of prepare.  We met down in the hotel lobby just before 6:00 AM for the metro ride into the city.  With such a large race (15,000 for the 10 mile) the Sunday metro lines opened early to transport racers to the start.  We were able to make it in and check our bags (we needed a coat for after the race) with no issues at all.  We then had about an hour to kill taking photos and making jokes before lining up in our corral.

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Photo bombing Sully! Ha…

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And being silly

The whole start was relatively low-key, especially considering that there were 15,000 runners.  The sunrise was beautiful over the Nations Capitol and that was touched off with the singing of the National Anthem.  Not a bad way to start the day.

We were the third wave to go off.  It took a bit for us to get to the start line, but we made our way there eventually.  Once the race took off it was really clear that it was going to be crowded for most of the run.  Fortunately, I had no intention of going out overly fast.  I really just wanted to enjoy the run.  Within minutes we had somehow lost Sully.  Ben & I ran the whole race together, but honestly we didn’t talk much.  Between dodging the people and just enjoying the scenery we were fairly occupied.  Around mile one I repeated a few times how very lucky we are to have opportunities like these.  We get to run in awesome places and see things in a way that maybe we wouldn’t have otherwise. It was a truly gorgeous morning and beautiful run.

Nothing really eventful happened throughout.  We were able to finish up and then quickly find Sully, collect our medals and grab the tiny bit of race finish food they provided.  The finish food was truly the only thing that I had to complain about.  There were bananas and small bags of granola.  That’s it.  So we hopped on the metro back toward the hotel and some food!  We needed to prep for the long drive home… which was made especially long with accidents etc along the way.

All in all, it was a really well run race, a beautiful course (I love DC) and I had a fantastic weekend catching up with an old friend.  I would do it again in heartbeat!

So, how was your weekend?  Any fun races to report?

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Week {5} IMLP

Like I said, yesterday, I have been a bit MIA as of late. Between adjusting to training, having family in town for the weekend and then starting my week at a two day conference for Museums, I have been busy. It’s all been good busy for the most part. I’m really enjoying the challenge of following a pretty heavy Ironman training plan and mastering the work and life balance as well. So anyway, here is how it breaks down for week 5:

Monday:
Rest Day – I love this day the most. Always.

Tuesday:
Two Hour Bike

Wednesday:
6.5 mile tempo run
2300 yrd swim
This was supposed to be 2650, but I blew off the plan and went to a masters swim class instead. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the coaching tips. Once again, I think I’m looking to join this group on the regular.

Thursday:
Two Hour Bike
45 min strength

Friday:
6.5 mile hill run
I skipped a swim to visit with my Mom and Aunt who were in town for the weekend and play some sweet board games with the kids.

Saturday:
3 Hour Bike – these trainer rides are getting long and boring. Just FYI.
1 mile transition run. I totally rocked this in my new Newton sneakers. We will see if they become part of the regular rotation.

Sunday:
3300 yrd swim – well that’s one way to start a Sunday morning.
10 mile run to close out the week.

This was a pretty heavy week. But generally speaking I enjoyed most of it. I am not going to pretend that doing 3 hours bike rides indoors on a trainer is any fun though. That is currently amounting to my least favorite part of the week. I only missed a 45 min strength session and a 2650 yrd swim. Not too shabby.

So, I closed out week 5 with the following:

Swim – 5600 yrds
Bike – 7 hours … 114 miles
Run – 3 hours 42 minutes … 22.5 miles
Strength – 45 minutes

For a grand total of 13 hours and 35 minutes this week. Overall feeling strong! And balancing life….

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Posted in Ironman, Ironman Lake Placid, Training Plan | 1 Comment

{Catching} Up – Thursday

Ok, so I have been uber busy as of late. So I have been relatively absent on the blog. I have been adjusting to being back in the swing of Ironman training. I am covering for the huge staffing shortage that we currently have at my place of employment. And I was at a conference for a few days.

Anyway…. I am back! And I am taking steps to make sure that I don’t disappear for so long in the future. As a quick way to sort of catch up, I am subbing in a three things Thursday to make up for it!

1) This weekend I am running my first lottery race this weekend. For several years I have eyed the DC Cherry Blossom 10 mile run. This year, I actually looked up how to enter and when I saw that it was a lottery I marked my calendar. I entered my name along with my loyal boyfriend…. he loves running races (not) and an old friend that has recently entered the world of endurance sports. We waited and then low and behold we got the email that let us know that we got in!

Anyway, fast forward and the race is coming up this Sunday am. Unfortunately, with Ironman training, this presents some challenges as we need to drive to DC and still try and get all of our training in. As a little spoiler alert, we have 16 hours of training so this presents a pretty serious challenge. There has been a lot of juggling of the schedule in order to try and make this work. All in all, I think we are going to make it work.

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I am really looking forward to this race. I have to determine my race outfit. I’m still contemplating getting my hands on a tutu …. SELF magazine can bare the brunt of that one. I’ve tutu’ed in DC before, so it would not be the first time. So boys, lets go to DC and do a little run!

2) I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think that spring may have actually arrived in Upstate New York. Yesterday I ran in shorts…. and I think that the sun was even shining. It was glorious. As of right now I am planning to ride my bike outside tonight. I can’t handle the thought of riding for two hours on the trainer tonight. I am hoping that being outside will be everything I remember it being. Because goodness knows, it has been a long time waiting for it to get here. So I’m hoping that spring sticks around for a while.

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3) And speaking of spring and riding bikes outside. Raven got a new pair of shoes yesterday. They don’t have tubes or tires yet, but aren’t they pretty? And is it bad when you want your bike to look pretty?

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So! That brings us to you! What are your plans for this beautiful spring Thursday? Any races on your schedule for the weekend?

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Posted in Bike, Cold Weather, Over Booked, Race | 1 Comment

{Two Things Tuesday} Food & Weather

1) I have newly become obsessed with avocados. I mean, I’ve been in love with guacamole for some time, but just recently I’ve started to find more things that I can put avocados on and in because I just love them. And in this whole clean eating thing they make a lot of sense for me. Healthy fat yada yada, filling and etc.

Anyway, Sunday nights dinner included an avocado cauliflower smash side dish. Holy cow. I absolutely loved this. I’m not sure that the bf did, but avocados are growing on him and it seems to be a process so maybe he will get there. But I LOVED it. I actually cannot wait to make it again. So do yourselves a favor and check it out!

Photo: Dinner with my best guy! Thai peanut wings, avocado cauliflower smash and salad. So yummy!

2) I am done-zo with winter. I know. Me and everyone else in the Northeast right? This winter has been one that seems outrageously long and crazily cold. I am dying to get my bike outside on the road. And I had really been looking to running on Sunday with a couple of friends in the sunshine. Well, we had some sunshine, but although there were temperatures of 32 with the windchill it was 14. And ya know, there was the running into the wind. We also were lucky enough to be able to try and traverse some large ice patches here and there just to keep things interesting. And of course, that is always super fun while running with a dog that you have tethered to your waist. SUPER FUN! We survived the run, but I am going on record that I.Am.Done.

Scram Sam, I am done with this weather no matter how much the pups like it!

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What’s your favorite healthy new food? Do you go crazy when you find a new food you love? And tell me… how’s the weather treating you, where ever you live?

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