Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Practicing Safe... Salad and other yumminess

Today I'm hosting a family potluck and play date for my MOMS Club. We have a boat load of tomatoes and basil in the garden right now and it's 1000* so making a caprese pasta salad seemed like a no brainer. Yesterday I picked up some fresh mozzarella from Trader Joes and although I had farfalle (bowtie pasta) at home I bought some orcecchiette because of it's cute round shape. I thought it would be a super cute dish to serve but instead I got this:

MMMMMMMM.... Condom salad, my favorite!!! The al dente texture does not help. Oh well, I figure I'll add some fresh spinach leaves and the green might break up the condommy look. Can't win them all.

I have made some meals that were a bit more successful and some were even out of my comfort zone. In the last few months I've been in a bit of a food rut making the same oatmeal, turkey sandwiches and bbq chicken salad over and over and over.

First, I made some cashew cream that was incredible. I've found that I probably have a lactose intolerance so cashew cream is my savior.

I just rinse about a 1/2 cup of raw cashews and soak them for a few hours. I drain them and then throw them in the blender and add a tbsp of water at a time until the the mixture is nice and creamy and then I season as I would alfredo or whatever. Maybe some garlic, nutmeg, a pinch of nutritional yeast. Super tasty. For the pasta above I just blended in some random leftover marinara and the result was rich, creamy, deep. I would eat this stuff alone, it was that great.

Then there is wild rice with steamed veggies and mmmm sauce. The mmmm sauce came about because I had some leftover homemade hummus that needed to be used and I just threw in the other ingredients she suggested and it was awesome sauce, literally. And yellow peppers, my favorite veggie ever. For this week.

OKRA! Breaded and baked. So very good. Weirdish dinner, Music Man called it "a meal of cubes", but it was so good and now I need more okra in my life. I trimmed and cut up the fresh okra in bite sized pieces. I dredged in rice flour, then egg, then an unmeasured mix of corn meal, rice flour, a little coconut flour, s&p,  garlic powder, onion powder and a dash of cayenne. Served with corn and bbq tofu.

And lastly, is cashew cheese pizza with my beloved peppers. Served with 3 berry salad with goat cheese, pecans and balsamic. For the cheese I made it a bit grainier, like ricotta by doing what I did with the cream, just blending less. I added a bit of salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and garlic powder to make it more savory and it was pretty great. The crust is a homemade multi-grain with wheat flour, almond meal and flax meal. I used a basic dough recipe of 2 cups flour/meal combo, 1 t salt, 1 cup water, 2 1/4 t yeast and 1 t sugar. just warm the water, put in sugar or honey and yeast and let proof. Mix flour with salt and then mix everything together in stand mixer, food processor or by hand. let rise for an hour, punch down, let rise again, roll out and let rest. Heat oven to 400 while dough is resting and bake for 8 minutes. remove from oven, top the pizza and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.


Aww Nuts

Exercise:  An easy 4 miler with the Little Man

This week has been a little nuts in our house. Music Man has a ridiculous deadline he's trying to meet and has been a little stressed, Little Man continues to wake up at all hours of the night, and I'm just trying to hold it all together. I feel like once Music Man finishes his project everything else might fall into place. But we also have a ton of events to attend and host this week so we're just busy, busy, busy.

Actually, all of August has been nuts with trips, visitors, events, lack of sleep and general exhaustion. I'm hoping September will flow a little more smoothly. I doubt it with school starting and Music Man possibly traveling again, but a girl can hope ;)

There are a few races I had in my sights for September but I'm not sure if that's realistic. I know I could complete the PacificCoast Triathlon but I'm not sure I'd enjoy it with how tired I've been. And having fun is a non negotiable requirement. I'm thinking a late fall or early marathon might be a good idea so I need to do some research and find one that won't be too huge or a logistical nightmare. Anyone know of a good one? Malibu? Long Beach? Maybe Long Beach is too soon... Santa Clarita? I need a gooooooaaaaaalllllll!!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Every Little Bit

Exercise: in the middle of a 4.5 mile run. Park play intermission

Last night was another rough, sleepless night. Little Man woke up at midnight and when I got out of bed I realized Music Man was still at work. It's always a little disconcerting to wake up that way and although Little Man went back to sleep immediately, I could not. I was up until Music Man got home and didn't get back to sleep until nearly 2. Early workout plans were shot.

Over two years now I've been a mom and I still find planning workouts and training difficult. I rarely skip a session because I enjoy working out but every day is a lesson in adapting and accepting :) But like yesterday, I've learned that some days 15 minutes is all I can get in and at least I tried. I also try to add in some extra activity like walks or family bike rides on those days. Every little bit counts.

Interestingly, I think the days of not being able to plan a workout may be coming to an end soon; or will become fewer and far between. No, I don't anticipate Little Man to suddenly sleep better (he's never slept) or that we'll win the lottery and get a maid and nanny :). No, Little Man starts preschool a week from today! Only 2 days a week to start, but that is 3 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get things done!

With those 2 days I really hope to maximize my alone time. I hope to get a workout in, work on some home projects and maybe get a pedicure or a haircut every now and then. And it will be great for him too! Hopefully all the playing and stimulation will wear him out and maybe he'll sleep better after all!

OK. Back to park time. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Quality Problems

Exercise: 15 minute bike ride

My legs are still a little sore from Saturday but I thought a short road ride might be beneficial to get things stretched and moving again. I also hadn't been on my road bike for a few weeks and was really craving it. The weather was beautiful and even on the chilly side so it was an awesome way to start. That's where the good news ends. Ha, I'm actually trying to make it sound dramatic when it wasn't really at all.

The ride was nice, just shortened to 4 miles when I got a flat. I probably could have fixed it myself but had to be back in 30 minutes so I called Music Man to get me. Of course there was crazy traffic and it took him almost that amount of time to get to me...4 miles away...gotta love LA traffic!

The place where Music Man could easily pick me up was about 1/2 a mile from where I got my flat so I took off my cycling shoes and hoofed it to the lot. About 30 cyclists passed me (I was on a bike path) and no one asked if I was OK. I guess they thought I liked to put on all my cycling gear and walk barefoot with my bike. Can't blame them, LA is full of weirdos.

When I got to the lot where I was meeting Music Man I stopped to really investigate my flat. I'm happy to say a very handsome dude offered to patch it for me but I declined, sadly ;), since Music Man was already on his way. I got the wheel and tire off and was looking at the tube right when Music Man got there and he offered to fix it so I could finish my ride but I had already wasted so much time and I need to teach myself how to fix it so this doesn't occur again. Thank god I wasn't mountain biking!

On our way home we got stuck in more traffic and Little Man fell asleep almost instantly. He's been driving us nuts with his 4 and 5am wake ups the past few days and now his schedule is totally screwed. He ended up sleeping for only an hour, which has been the case since last week (nightmare when you have a toddler) and the day has just felt screwy. A comedy of errors :)

Now I'm just trying to keep the whole fam damily :) happy until dinner. At least I'm in good spirits and am not taking for granted how lucky I am to have these quality problems. Boo hoo, I got a flat tire. How awesome it is to have a nice bike I get to ride for leisure. Oh no, my toddler won't sleep, at least I have a healthy little guy. And an awesome husband.

Dudes, life is good.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Exercise: 3 mile walk w/ Little Man

On Friday I had myself so psyched out, I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to finish the race, that I wouldn't measure up to the Bulldog. I convinced myself that maybe running wasn't my thing and maybe we should take a break. The race changed my outlook on sooooo many things; I surprised myself. I am capable.

I'm still in awe of how good I felt post race and how good I feel today. Music Man had to work yesterday so as soon as I got home from the race I was immediately on mom duty. Don't get me wrong, I was sore, but totally functional. I didn't just lay down and relax; I did dishes, vacuumed, grocery shopped and entertained the Little Man. It seems like small stuff but to me it was a testament to the fact that I trained well, raced well, and was reaping the rewards. The point is that running and I are back together :)

One of the first things I did when I woke up at 4am this morning (last of Little Man's molars, ugh) was look at all the upcoming ultras in my hood. I intend to follow through with the full Bulldog next year but might find another 50 a bit sooner or maybe I'm ready for marathon training again??? So many possibilities.

And finally, one last highlight of the weekend. Little Man has fought hats his entire life. At first it was a small battle and then became straight refusal. Until today. I just told him if he wore his hat he could play in the sand for 5 extra minutes. Kind of manipulative because he has no concept of time but he does understand more and extra :) I win! Again, it's the little things.

Have an awesome week!

Bulldog 50/50 Race Recap

Exercise: 15+ hilly, technical, cliff scaling miles at the Bulldog

Today was pretty awesome. Hands down,  Trail Run Events puts on the best races!

My alarm went off at 4:15 and I was actually well rested and ready to go. I was asleep just after 9 so I got a solid 7 hours of rest for the first time, pre race, ever. I had my Red Bull and plain bagel, no coffee or fiber pre race for me, I'll spare you the reasons ;). I got all my gear together yesterday afternoon to calm the nerves so I was ready in record time this morning. I spent a good 20 minutes just hanging out. I finally left at 5:30 to meet some ladies I was carpooling with to the race. We arrived bright and early but we got awesome parking and had plenty of time for potty breaks, bib pick up, and photo ops at the beautiful location.

The course winds around Malibu Creek State Park and it is absolutely gorgeous. Music Man took me hiking out there on one of our early dates and it was so romantic. The green shade trees, creek, and rock formations are stunning. It's also where the show M*A*S*H was filmed so there are a ton of old military vehicles out there. I love the trails I normally run but Malibu Creek is breathtaking and i can not wait to go run out there again.

Support on the run was so organized. There were park rangers every few miles and aid stations every 4 miles. And the aid stations had EVERYTHING. Gatorade, water, gels, orange slices, licorice, candy, cookies, salt, and someone said they saw honey buns and veggie sushi at one of the stations. Oh and first aid was there too, but somehow I finished without even a hot spot, so I never looked in their direction.

There were a few scary moments because the course was fairly technical. It was like an obstacle course at a few moments. There was the rock jumping, mountain climbing, cliff scaling and the creek crossing. I actually lost my footing at the creek and fell in but it was around mile 12 or 13 so I only had to run in soggy shoes for 2 miles. I think that's also when I started going crazy because I was thinking "this was probably what Vietnam was like". Except I was wearing shoes made for trails, technical clothes, it was about 1000 degrees cooler and 200% less humidity...Oh, and no one was trying to kill me. Yeah, so I'm a little crazy, but most runners are ;)

My outlook on this run was pretty bleak. I've been sweating my training the last few days and have been pretty cranky. But I have to say my training was pretty spot on for what I was hoping to accomplish. The official times haven't been posted yet but I did wear my Garmin and I'm pretty sure it worked. I went into this run just wanting to qualify for the 50k- sub 4 hour (this course is no joke). My realistic goal was 3:30, my happy place was 3:15 and my lofty goal was a flat 3. Garmin says.....3:11:06. Not too shabby! And I really worked my booty off for it.

What's important is that I finished happy, healthy and strong. I conserved energy by walking the hills. I used my tried and true fuel of Cytomax and Sports Beans. I had no tummy issues. And I smiled the whole time. I feel so grateful I was able to participate in this awesome event. If you're in SoCal and looking for a beautiful, character building 25 or 50k the Bulldog is awesome. Or if you feel like running some challenging trails I'm available!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Less Than 24 Hours Out

Exercise: nada, resting up for the big bad Bulldog tomorrow

Honestly, I'm totally shaking in my running shoes. I feel unprepared for this 25k and I'm so sluggish and am so afraid I'm going to be super slow. I'm afraid I'll want to quit and that its going to hurt. I'm afraid of the painful blisters and scrapes that I KNOW I will get because this is a trail race. I know I'm being a total wussy.

I wish I felt totally pumped for this race but I just don't. I have a serious case of the nerves and I really need to butch up. I know I will finish. I know I have trained; and pretty damn well at that, And I know I am making this into a way bigger deal than it is.

So I've just decided to focus on the end of the race. The part where I get to sit down and meetup with or wait for my carpooling buddies. Where I get to take a shower and drink a beer or 12 ;) By this time tomorrow I will be done and hopefully have a way better outlook than today!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bye-Bye Moto

Exercise: 4 mile run, negative splits

Today was my first day with my new Garmin 310xt. As far as I can tell it works perfectly and so much better than the Motoactv has in the last few months.

I received the Motoactv in May as a Mother's day gift and I was so excited about the music, map, and multi sport features. Cool features, too bad they never worked correctly. My main issue was that it lost signal ALL. THE. TIME. And often in places where I KNOW there is signal. Anytime I went under trees or in the shade of a building the gps would freak out. Then it started having trouble connecting to my heart rate monitor and then it would connect and jump around. The point of this device is to keep track of your athletic pursuits so the fact that it couldn't handle it's basic function was irritating.

There were numerous other little things that didn't work but I was willing to live with because I just wanted to be able to quickly see my pace and splits. The mileage was always a little off, like it would be 2.1 miles out and 2.2 on the way back, makes no sense but I imagine it was another gps thing. I also had a cadence sensor I used while cycling and it always took a few tries for it to just connect. Sometimes it would say it was connected and then not work. Not the end of the world but annoying for something that wasn't cheap.

Yesterday I spent 90 minutes on the phone with Motorola customer service trying to come up with some sort of solution or replacement after the device stopped connecting to anything at all. Argghh. They don't do replacements, they offered no solutions or help besides me shipping it to them and if I was lucky I would get it back in 12-14 business days, or 3 weeks. 3 WEEKS. I call BS. It's not that hard to do an advanced replacement. Especially because we paid $250 or so in May and you can now get one for $150.
Before I was even off the phone Music Man was ordering me a Garmin. I'm pretty sure I will never use a Motorola product again.

Not sure what I'll do with the Motoactv, maybe sell it on Ebay? Maybe it will work better after they fix it or send me a new one, but I doubt it. It seems like TONS of other people are having similar issues. And I probably would still try to use it if the customer service people were nicer, but man, they were awful. And I swear they just send you round and round so that you get annoyed and give up. Bad news, Motorola.

Please cross your fingers for me that the Garmin works!!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Road Rash Pin-Up

Exercise: Nada!!!

Yesterday I completed my last long run prior to Bulldog in just a few weeks. I did a flat 25k, or 15.6 miles, just to get the mileage on my feet. I will do my last trail run this weekend, about 8-10 miles, then I start my taper. My training has been about as spot on as it can be for this race but I'm still nervous because the elevation is ridiculous!!! And the heat...

Bulldog Motorway is considered a category 1 climb, with 5 being the easiest and 1 the hardest, with 1800 feet of climbing in 3.5 miles. Holy sh*t! Every weekend for the past few months I've trained on trails with category 2 climbs so I feel somewhat prepared but I know there will be a lot of walking. And although it seems like a completely slow time I'm hoping to finish in 3:30 with an average pace of just under 13:30. I'd love to finish under 3 but from what I hear that time might be a little unrealistic when one is struggling up a 3 mile cliff ;)

My run yesterday was long and easy. I wasn't going for any particular pace, I just wanted to get a 25k under my belt. It was hot, but not as terrible as I expected and I started on the later side so I'd have some heat training. It was totally Uneventful until mile 13.8 when I fell over. I have no idea what i tripped on but suddenly I was on the ground rolling. So graceless... I wasn't hurt to badly so I jumped up and turned around to make sure no one noticed and of course there was a pack of roadies approaching. I just smiled and said "can we just pretend that never happened?" but they were sincerely concerned and stopped to make sure I was ok. Once again the only thing that was really hurt was my pride. wah wah

Of course the fall happened the day before Music Man and I have a date night where we're actually going somewhere I get to dress up. And I bought a cute little dress for the occasion which will now highlight my uber sexy road rash. Even my tattoo has road rash, poor little pin-up :(

Oh well, at least I get to go out on a date. I'm super excited too. We're going to the Greek! To see Regina! It's been so long since I've been to a concert, I think the last one was Pavement at the Greek.

My Little Man just got up so I guess that's it for now. Have a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Exercise: 50 mins elliptical, 20 mins strength with lots of planks

Music Man is in Nashville for the week doing musicky things while Little Man and I are holding down the fort. We spent the early part of the week in Laguna tending to my parents (playing at the beach.) where Little Man decided to get a nasty cough and not sleep for 2 days.We are home again, for awhile hopefully, and sleep has still eluded us. Arrgghh. I feel pretty drained and exhausted but still got up at 5:15 to work out before the little dude woke up (for the 5th time last night.) Cross your fingers for me that we get some much needed rest tonight.

I've also been in an organizing frenzy for some unknown reason. Perhaps the heat or lack of running? I've made a good dent in our laundry room, which was a nightmare, by buying some colorful boxes and separating art supplies and hardware and all the various other junk.

I've also tossed a bunch of stuff. I'm not sure why I have a ton of 1/8 full cleaning products. I combined the ones that wouldn't create a toxic hazard and tossed what wouldn't be used. I love how much more space we have so I can accumulate more stuff!

Our house has a funny lay out with a funny little addition. There's a lot of weird space that we've tried to maximize but some has ended up wasted. So to combat this weird space we've made the living room the dining room and the dining room has now morphed from sitting room into a play room. It definitely makes the space less formal but it works really well for our needs and now we have a living room with zero toys. We just repurposed some shelving and storage units and added some boxes and voila, organized play space!

play room

dining room

I'm sure this will all change again in the next few weeks. That's how we roll ;) We're in the market for more modern chairs and benches to contrast the large, rustic table which should make the space look a little sleeker. We also plan to hardwire a pendant or chandelier so the space looks more defined. Right now we just have a swagged cord with a remote switch, which is fine but I'd love something more permanent and maybe blinged out a bit. That might be a hard sell with the man, but we'll see.

Lastly, we moved another dining table we have (my grandmother's old kitchen table) into our living room because we had a pretty large empty space to fill when we banned the toys. Ideally there would be a desk with a cute chair or a nice chair with ottoman there but for now it works as a game/puzzle/craft space which is pretty nice.

So that's what I've been up to since I haven't been running much. Hopefully I'll get a run in tomorrow but I'm not going to stress it. If I could go to the gym (if Little Man wasn't afraid of child care) I would definitely run but it might be too hot to run with the little dude. Temps are hovering around 105 in the valley and it's pretty terrible.

And here's what Dude has been up to.

The boys hangin' out

He's really into sitting in buckets and boxes

Have a great rest of your week!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back in the LBC

Exercise: 3.75 mile run/walk

Saturday's workout was a 13.1 hilly, technical, and character building :) trail run. My legs are still recovering so I took it easy today and just did a little shake out. Lucky for me I'm at the parental unit's once again so at least the weather was decent.

Today has turned out to be pretty decent for a Monday. My mother is feeling under the weather so Little Man and I came back down to the LBC to keep her company/ lift her spirits. It worked. And in return we get to be lazy beach bums. Well, lazy front yard bums. Little Man is enjoying his redneck hot tub:) and I'm enjoying not having to think about stuff that needs to get done around the house.

Here are a few photos from the past few days. Have a great week!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Bees are Coming

Exercise: 30 mins steady state elliptical, 20 mins arms and core

Last weekend Music man and I spent a few days in Laguna celebrating his birthday. It's perfect because we get free babysitting at the beach. It's the best vacation. What could be better? We arrived Thursday so we could ride together on Friday. We did a nice 33 mile ride around Laguna, Newport and Irvine. Nowadays we really prefer spending a few hours riding as opposed to formal "date night."

On Saturday we arranged to meet some friends at Stone Brewery in Escondido for Music Man's main celebration. It's like Disneyland for beer enthusiasts. They have gardens, tours, a huge gift shop and a pretty fun restaurant. I'm a bad blogger so I didn't take many food photos, but honestly, the food was really secondary to the beer. The menu isn't large so we probably shared half of the menu items between all of us and I wasn't super impressed. The standouts for me were the vegetables; the housemade kimchee and the greens that accompanied the sausage platter were out of this world. We also split the blueberry blue cheese jalapeno cheesecake and a brownie sundae for dessert. The brownie sundae was pretty straight forward and delicious. The cheesecake was definitely an acquired taste. A few of us enjoyed it but I think the majority thought it was really weird. Personally, I think there were too many components, I think blueberry blue cheese or blueberry jalapeno would have been enough. But I wouldn't kick it out of bed.

But the beer, totally worth the drive! I was DD so I nursed 1 beer and sipped a few others. They were all delicious. I was already a big fan of Stone, and all the tap beer really sealed the deal for me. So much so that  I decided to advertise for them...on my boobies ;)

Sunday was Music Man's actual birthday so I woke up bright and early to make blueberry pancakes and bacon. Soooo yummy. And then Music Man and I went out for another ride. We were both pretty tired from beer and my arduous 4 mile trail run the day before, so we decided to keep it to our normal 22 mile loop. It's still pretty difficult with a category 3 climb in the beginning and ending with the final 7 miles on a pretty congested and extremely windy highway. 

The ride was pretty relaxing and uneventful up to about mile 18 when I felt a searing pain and realized I had been stung by a bee. I swatted at the evil thing but it held on for dear life. I was ambivalent to stop due to lack of shoulder, the long line of speeding vehicles and a parade of mountain bikers enveloping me. I finally freed the bee but it's huge stinger was still embedded in my leg and I could not get the darn thing out. I flagged down Music Man, in tears, and my leg shook violently as he extracted the stinger. Luckily the pain really eased when the stinger was removed but I was still in shock.

A few months ago I was stung by a bee while running. I don't know if it's because it stung me through my capris or because I got the stinger out so quickly but I just had a little bump and rash, no big deal. But this time... my thigh swelled up like crazy and I had a huge burning lump on the inside of my thigh. I'll spare you the visual but it was like 1/2 a grapefruit sticking off my leg. By Monday morning I couldn't put any pressure on my right leg so walking was difficult. After seeing the doctor it turns out I'm a little more allergic than I have been in the past. I was prescribed a steroid which I took 1/4 of a dose of and that turned out to be enough to get the swelling to subside. By Tuesday I was feeling much better. It's still rashy and itchy but at least I can walk now.

Because of the pain and swelling I haven't run since Saturday. I have 13 hot trail miles on the schedule for this Saturday and I'm hoping to just get through it happily, no pace goals. And I now have an epi pen  that will always be in my camelbak or jersey from now on to make my run or ride a little safer.

Oh, I almost forgot, Music Man got stung on Wednesday while riding. He got stung on the inside of his mouth and his poor lips were huge. So he'll be carrying an epi pen from now on as well. AND, because it's a weird coincidence, I have to tell you Music man's dad got stung on his ear on Friday. If you're related to me, watch out. The bees are out to get us!!!

Lastly, Little Man woke up a little early this morning and I woke up a little late so I did my work out while he was awake, which I try not to do because it's crazy distracting. The whole time I was on the elliptical he yelled "Sit down, Mommy!!!!!" and when I started my strength he questioned "What doing Mommy?". "Why  doing that?" I explained to him that I was doing it to be healthy and because I liked it and he said "Yes, Sure, Weirdo" Ha!

Allow me to illustrate the real weirdo of the family:

Nice Diaper, Darth

Time to watch some Olympics! Have a fantastic week!
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