Tag Archives: weekend

A Chilly Weekend

10 Dec

This past weekend was a busy and chilly one! On Thursday, I ducked out of work early to get my hair cut! I chopped off 4-5 inches.

haircutI really like it BUT I haven’t had my hair this short for several years, so it’s taking some time to get used to it. It’s too short for a ponytail now, but still long enough to get in my face so exercising and brushing my teeth are interesting. It also requires a lot more work to look presentable – with long hair, I often blowdried it halfway and then put it up in a messy bun. Not anymore!

Friday, my work had our holiday party at a bowling alley, and I took Emma along. She was a hit! I was able to have one of my co-workers hold her while I was bowling and she was happy and content for almost 2 full games. I didn’t take any pictures though… *fail*

After the party, I went over to my friend Charlotte’s house to watch her 2 kids while she and her husband (also named Travis) went to his work Christmas party. They’re going to watch Emma this Thursday night while we go to (my) Travis’ work party. It was really fun watching her kids. They’re 4 and almost 2, and they were very obedient and fun! Emma was having a rough night though because she is very congested right now, and I think she’s getting her top 2 teeth. Poor baby.

On Saturday, Travis and I got up at 4 am to help out with our friend D’s Fa La La race. I took Emma up to my friend Carrie’s house, who graciously agreed to watch Emma at 6 am even though she isn’t a morning person! Fortunately, Emma was very happy and easy all day – and majorly cute.

emmatripleThe race went well, and even though it was only about 1 degree out, I stayed warm in my many layers as long as I was moving around. After the race, I picked Emma up and we went out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings with some of the race staff – our post-race tradition.

Once we were done eating, it was already 4 pm! Emma took a little nap on the way home, and stayed asleep long enough for me to get all our race stuff put away, which felt good to get done.

Sunday, Travis and I were on projection and lights so we had to get to church an hour early. I also forgot our gifts for the foster children that our church ‘adopts’ at Christmas so in the middle of church (when Emma was fussy because she needed a nap), I ran home to get them and Emma napped in the car. After church, we went straight home, ate lunch and then I took a 3 hour nap! I got up a little over halfway through to check on Travis and Emma, and Emma was still sleeping too! She slept for 2.5 hours, which happens fairly often on Sundays, but not any other day. Apparently, church is exhausting!

Even though I enjoy the chilly weather because the snow doesn’t melt, I do miss being able to be outside. I’m glad it’s finally warming up around here.

Training Recap: 1/9 – 1/15

16 Jan

Can’t believe it’s Monday already!

My Saturday was pretty standard: grocery shopping, house cleaning, long run, watching the Broncos get slaughtered.

Sunday was also pretty typical: church, lunch with friends, laying around watching TV. I was also productive in the kitchen for the first time in a while – I made banana bread using this recipe. Because of the altitude, I baked it at 325 for 1 hr 30 minutes (thanks to a note I had written on the recipe from last time I used it) instead of what they recommend and it turned out delicious.

I also made this zucchini soup that we’re going to eat tonight for dinner and boiled some eggs for salads this week thanks to the wonderfully precise and helpful instructions from Reluctant Entertainer. The eggs turned out well and they peel really easily, which was always the thing that prevented me from boiling eggs in the past. (Who has 10 minutes to spend peeling an egg?)

After a only-mildly-unpleasant dentist appointment this morning, I have been looking over my workouts from last week and am completely baffled. I took three rest days last week? I only ran 10 measly miles? 7 of which were during my long run on Saturday? No wonder it felt like crap.

Seriously, has this ever happened to you? I have no idea what I did last Monday night. My heart rate monitor and mapmyrun.com both say that I didn’t run. But why? And if I did take a rest day on Monday, why did I also take one on Wednesday and Friday? The ironic part was that our Wednesday night commitment was canceled so I even had an extra free night!

Apparently, the light upstairs was burnt out last week.

But I will say, I was exhausted last week. Probably because the week before, I had a record week – my total workout hours reached almost 5 and I burned 2,500 calories. I don’t think I’ve spent that much time training even for the Olympic triathlon. So maybe my body deceived me into resting?

Whatever happened, here is last week’s training.

Monday: Rest day?

Tuesday: 3.22 mile hill run (38:12, 11:51/mile)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 20 min spin bike, 15 min incline walk on treadmill, 15 min walk with dogs outside

For my 20 minutes (and 2nd time ever) on the spin bike, I alternated 1 minute easy, 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy, 1 minute RPM over 100, etc. Got out of the saddle a couple of times, which brought my heart rate over 170! Great workout. I would like to try a spin class but haven’t really made the effort or commitment.

On the treadmill, I started off at 4.0 mph at 4.0 incline, worked up by .5 increments to 6.0 incline, alternating between 4.0 and 4.5 walking pace every minute. Also a good workout!! (But now I realize that I did two hill workouts in a week… aye aye aye).

Friday: Rest (although I did do some light strength training at my PT appt and my hip flexors were still sore Saturday)

Saturday: 7.11 mile run (1:21:17, 11:26/mile)

I actually took the dogs with me for 5 miles on this run. I was hoping it would wear them out for our football party and it sort of worked (they tuckered out sooner, I think). My legs were sore and tired from the PT exercises I had done Friday morning and my legs were ready to be done after 4 miles – although I felt it a lot in my calves and they didn’t get worked at PT.

I think I also went out too fast because I did the first mile in 10:56. It was hard to tell how fast I was going with my sore legs so I was trying to just go at an easy pace. All that said, I’m satisfied with the run overall. If I kept that pace for the entire half marathon, I would still PR!

Sunday: 30 minute Tabata workout


This week, I am aiming to be more diligent about going to bed on time. That means I will have to do my workouts either at lunch or right after work, instead of eating dinner and then going to the gym later. Whenever I do that, I get to bed too late. And when I don’t get enough sleep, I feel like a zombie who wants to eat every refined carb in a 5 mile radius. That’s what happened Thursday night. Not pretty.

How does being tired affect your workouts/training?

Five Randos

13 Jan

1. I had my second physical therapy appointment this morning. I was dreading it because I thought I was going to be get poked with needles (I even had a blog post title of “Pins and Needles” thought up). But luckily, since I told the therapist that my lower back felt fine still, he said he would leave it alone. Woohoo!

But I still had plenty of unpleasantness to deal with. I told him that my upper back between my shoulder blades was still sore/tight so he cracked that area again, along with my neck, and then proceeded to massage/poke/pull my shoulder and upper back tendons as I turned my head to one side, then the other. That hurt. A lot. Not like the sharp pain of a needle but a deep muscle-y pain – like how your tight IT band feels when you massage when it with a foam roller. My shoulders are sore now, which he said might happen.

He also showed me some exercises I could do to strengthen my lower back and hips. I’ll demonstrate and post them soon, since they’re beneficial for all runners/athletes.

What I’ll demonstrate now is how to lower your keyboard:

With a keyboard tray! It took me until this morning to realize I could push the tray in (I just had it installed yesterday). Before, it was sticking out from the desk by about 8 inches. At that rate, I was going to need glasses from squinting.

Anyway, lowering my keyboard will prevent me from shrugging my shoulders so much – your upper arms should be perpendicular to the floor when sitting at your desk.

2. Lots of TV time this weekend. Tomorrow is the Olympic Marathon Trials coverage (2-4 pm MST – we’re the same as central) and the Broncos game. Go Tebow! I might have to go buy a Broncos shirt tonight…

Sunday, I will be watching My Fair Wedding because fellow blogger Danica’s wedding will be on. It’ll be cool to finally see everything she hasn’t been able to show on her blog.

But I’ll balance that TV time out with two runs – my long run of 7 miles on Saturday and my tempo run of 4 miles on Sunday (moved from yesterday because I ate too much for dinner and would have puked if I tried to run…one of those days).

3. I seem to be a running anomaly. I’ve input several times into the McMillan Running Calculator: my half marathon PR back in 2007, my most recent 5K time, and my most-likely-never-to-be-duplicated 5 mile run in the Denver RnR Half Mary Relay. Those times are all over the board and produce quite the varied results.

With the 3 different times, my predicted marathon finish time could be (respectively):




I’ll take the last one, thankyouverymuch.

Also according to the calculator, my long runs should be run at a pace around 12:45 to 13:15 per mile. Lately, I’ve been comfortably running, without challenge, an easy pace of 11:15/mile for my long runs. But apparently, that should be the pace for my tempo intervals, which I’ve been running at a 9:55 or 10:00 pace (those paces aren’t even on the chart).

So I’ve concluded that while the running calculators may give me a ballpark of +/- 30 minutes for my marathon time, I should just use my long runs as a judge for my goals (and obviously the runs that are closer to the marathon distance, not the 8 miler I just did last Saturday). I’m also planning on doing Yasso 800s for my speedwork during Weeks 10-16 of my marathon training plan. It’d be cool if it really works to predict your marathon time (click the link to read more details).

4. I’ve been waiting for Friday all week long. Regardless, when I woke up this morning, I was surprised that it was already Friday. Which means I have to clean my house because we’re having people over for the game tomorrow.

5a. My favorite lunch as of late has been big salads, thanks to my friends leafy romaine lettuce and Caesar croutons. If it weren’t for those two, I wouldn’t be eating salads. They have changed my life. (For some reason, I get sick of spinach every now and again and won’t eat it to save my life…unless it’s in a smoothie.)

Yeah, I scrimped a little too much on the lettuce for that salad… but I also eat the lettuce first and this was halfway through the salad.

5b. We got new dinnerware for Christmas from my parents. The dishes we got for our wedding were really cute ones from Target but since I am a dish-breaker by trade, we only had 4 big plates left and all of our bowls (minus 2) had giant chips out of them. We are really enjoying our new dishes. Thanks Mom and Dad!

They are the Platzgraff Java pattern.

It’s even prettier in person. They’re still on sale at Shopko if you need new dishes!

What’s your favorite thing for lunch? Do the running calculators predict your speeds correctly?

Training Recap: 1/2 – 1/8

9 Jan

My weekend was very relaxing – Friday night, Travis played broomball with some friends and I just stayed home. I made a frozen pizza for dinner, went to Target and bought some binders/scrapbooks to create a new picture album, a memory book for races, as well as a memory book for holidays, vacations, etc. Then I organized my scrapbooking tote and watched The Wedding Planner.

Saturday, I got up at 6:15 to eat breakfast and feed the pooches before heading out on a run at 6:50, right when it started getting light outside. I ended up doing 8.27 miles at a 11:12 pace, which I’m pretty excited about (that pace would give me a 4 minute PR in the half). After my run, I did 2 things I hadn’t done in a year: used Photoshop (tried to teach my friend how to use it for basic things) and got my hair cut. No, I hadn’t gotten my hair cut in over a year. Whoops.

But really, it’s because my hair only grew this much:

Maybe 6 inches?

Anyway, after my haircut, I took a nap while Travis hung this up in our guest bedroom:

This makes you want to come visit, doesn’t it?

Now you can understand my hesitation to let him put it up anywhere in our house – it’s HUGE. But supposedly this is just “temporary” until we can take it back to Minnesota to his parents’ house. I actually don’t hate it. I just think it looks awkward because of how big it is, and how small our house is.

Here’s a victory pic:

After I was done lamenting about what he had done to our lovely guest room, I worked on my race memory book, and then we went out to dinner at Namiko’s, a sushi bar near our house. We tried a couple of new kinds and found one that we loved – it was called Gemini and was a tempura roll with tuna, crab, and salmon inside. Delicious.

After that, we read and went to bed around 9:30. We lead such exciting lives, don’t we?

The next morning, we both slept in until 8:30! I can’t believe we got 11 hours of sleep. I got up at 6 to let the dogs out and feed them. But then I put Charlie back in her kennel and Katy crawled in between us on the bed for another 2 1/2 hours.

When we finally did get up, we went to church, grocery shopping, and then over to some friends’ house to watch the Broncos game. What a great game! We were all totally pumped that they won, and in the way that they did. Amazing. Go Tebow!

After the game, we went home, worked out, finished doing laundry and dishes, read for a while, and went to bed.

And now it’s Monday again! That means it’s time for a training recap.

Monday: 3.5 mile run (40:04, 11:29/mile)

Tuesday: Half mile repeats (total of 3.3 miles, all 4 around 4:30); 20 minutes strength training

For my strength training, I did the exercises I learned in physical therapy. The hardest one to do is backward lunges off a high step or box (this time I used a step with 4 risers, but I’ve also used a box jump before). Stand on your right foot with your left foot off the step. Slowly bend your right leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground and then step down on to your left foot, concentrating on keeping your right knee straight forward. Start with 1 set of 12-15 times and switch sides. Work up to 3 sets. Major butt soreness.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3.04 mile tempo run (31:15, 10:17/mile); 35 minutes of easy yoga

I did my usual tempo formula: 0.5 mile warmup, 2 miles tempo, 0.5 mile cool down. The tempo miles were 9:55 and 10:20. I think the second one was slower mostly because I had to pick up and throw away two poop bags and I didn’t stop my watch. My total time was still 7 seconds faster than the same run last week. Improvement!

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8.27 mile run (1:32:40, 11:12/mile)

I’ll give details about this run in another post, since I wore my new Under Armour tights. But for now, I’ll say that it was a tough run, but I’m very pleased with my pace.

Sunday: 45 minutes of Denise Austin’s Ultimate Fat Burner

An oldie but goodie. I’m not sure how smart it was to do this video – it involves a lot of lateral movements and plyometrics and now my right knee hurts a bit. But I sweated a lot and got my heart rate up to 173 so it was at least partly a success. I think I’m going to forego the run today though and do some cross training.

When was your last haircut?

What do you think about head mounts of animals? {I won’t be offended if you say you hate them… although Travis might be.}

Training Recap: 12/12 – 12/18

19 Dec

Aside from several hours on Saturday spent freaking out and raging on my poor husband, I actually had a very wonderful, relaxing weekend.

Friday, after shopping and partying with my co-workers, I went home at 3 – which was very helpful to my Christmas shopping! I stopped at Massage Envy on my way home to buy a Christmas present and then at Walmart to see if they had tulle that I could use to make a tutu for the race. Instead, I found some sweet-o boxers for both me and Trav – elf for me, Santa for him. (I’m lucky to have a husband willing to dress up with me.) Travis got home from work early too so we got to work wrapping presents and preparing gifts for mailing. We also finally baked our sugar cookies and figured out our race outfits.

Saturday, the race was a lot of fun. I’ll tell more details later… but I will say that I finished in 32:52, which is 48 seconds faster than last year! I will also say that 5K is my least favorite racing distance ever.

The rest of Saturday was spent by me freaking out about all the stuff I had to do: make an elk roast for dinner, go grocery shopping, buy one last present, mail/ship all Christmas presents, clean the house, and take a nap (ha!), all in 5.5 hours. And you know what? I did it. But not in style. Or niceness. Better luck next time.

After a short 30 minute “nap,” we had friends over for dinner, which was very fun and worth cleaning for. Shortly after they left at 8:45, I read for a while and went to bed.

Sunday morning, I read before church – I started Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Oh.my. I cried reading the first chapter AND have already called back to mind several things I read. I fully expect this to become one of my favorite books.

After church, we came home, ate lunch and napped/watched both the Packers and Broncos lose! Boo! (I am not a Packers fan BUT I will cheer for any team with a perfect record. I am now done cheering for them.) During the Broncos game, we took the dogs to the dog park for a bit and then drove up to Evergreen to get our skate on. I wish we would’ve remembered to bring Trav’s hockey sticks and a puck, but we didn’t. It was still fun skating around – Evergreen is a great place for skating. There’s a ton of ice space so you never feel crowded. But the ice was a little sketchy/ungroomed this time – maybe it’s not thick enough for the zamboni yet?

We ate dinner at The Woodcellar, a local bar/grill. Our food was absolutely delicious – I had the Hot Avocado Melt on Ciabatta bread with sweet potato fries. The fries were amazing. They had a seasoning similar to Arby’s curly fries. Mmmm… (And because Travis would give me crap about taking a picture of my food, you’ll have to use your imagination.)

Then we drove around our neighborhood looking at Christmas lights and what these houses lack in class, they make up for in quantity. The best most decorated house we saw:

It was seriously impressive how much they managed to fit in their yard. When I see houses decorated like this, I have 2 thoughts: Where do they store all that stuff? and How much money did they spend buying all that? 

When we got home, we attempted to watch Elf but weirdly, Travis was falling asleep after 20 minutes (that happens maybe 2 times a year)! So he went to bed and I stayed up for another 45 minutes before I figured I should probably go to bed – as today is Monday and all. Looking forward to two 4-day weeks coming up!

Now, on to the training recap:

Monday: Half mile repeats on track at Rec (4:14, 4:24, 4:30, 4:30) – 2.7 miles total

Lately, I’ve often been noticing that the thing holding me back from running faster is my lungs. That was definitely the case during this workout, as well as the 5k I did. Oh, silly little lungs.

Tuesday: P90X Yoga (1:20:00)

I almost made it all the way through the workout (it’s an hour and a half long), which is very exciting for me. The first time I ever did YogaX, I did the first 30 minutes and turned it off because I was so sore. This time, my shoulders were still a little sore the next day, but not bad at all. This is what I love about all exercise – seeing your body adapt and being able to do things you weren’t able to do before. The next thing I want to master in this workout are the balance poses after Warrior 3 (Standing Splits to Half Moon to Revolved Half Moon) – holy crap they’re hard!

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3.66 mile sleeprun (43:31, 11:53/mile)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5k race (32:52, 10:36/mile)

Sunday: 45 min ice skating

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have canceled any formal workouts this week in honor of my mental sanity and a week of relaxation before marathon training starts in a week! I pretty much went straight from my triathlon schedule to my base-building schedule so I just want one week off from having to fit workouts in and then it’s go-time. It also works out that it’s Christmas this week. 😉 Although maybe it’s not so good, since I need exercise more than ever to cancel out all the extra treats I’m eating!

Back with pics tomorrow, I promise hope!

Rest, finally.

22 Nov

Well friends, I finally got my restful weekend. Even though elk hunting back in October was supposed to be the end of the busyness, it wasn’t really. We still had a bunch of crap great stuff to keep us busy on the weekends, like butchering and vacuum-sealing animals, running errands, and fun stuff like dinner with friends and volunteering.

So when I had a whole Saturday with nothing planned and a Sunday with only church and dinner with friends (that ended up being postponed because one of them got sick), I saw my chance. A weekend of rest. 

I had to act fast. I made sure to ask Travis what he had planned, just in case he was staging Antelope Butchering Part 22 and expecting my willing participation. (Yes, we still.have.meat.to.cut.up. Will it ever end?!?!)

Once I was relieved to know that my vacuum-sealing skillz would not be needed, I then decided to figure out the bare minimum of things I had to accomplish on the weekend, in order to maximum the amount of time my butt could be glued to the couch.

I figured I needed to clean our house, go grocery shopping and get my two workouts in (5 mile run one day, 60 min cross-training + strength another). I probably would have just ditched the house cleaning, except I thought we were having dinner guests Sunday night, and my parents are coming into town today! I also only buy enough produce to last us a week and I can’t not have apples and bananas to eat for snacks, so grocery shopping is also necessary.

I decided to grocery shop on Saturday (because everyone and their Grandma goes to the grocery store on Sunday) and clean on Sunday (because dog hair mysteriously appears 30 seconds after I clean anything so it’s best to leave as little time as possible between when you clean and when guests arrive).

Anyway, my plan worked perfectly. Friday after work, I did a quick 3 mile tempo run and then promptly did nothing else for the rest of the evening besides drink wine and watch TV.

Saturday, I didn’t get to sleep in (because Katy got up at 6:45 and groaned at me to feed her) but I didn’t expect to (because Katy does that every morning) and actually read for a couple hours. I was able to finish The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg before it was due at the library. I really enjoyed it. But around 8:30, I fell asleep on the couch and at 9:30, I went back to bed. 🙂 Travis and I finally got up at 10:30.

Then I had breakfast, read some more, called my mom and friend Amy who’s living in California right now, tided up the office, typed up my notes from another library book (Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver – also good), went on a run with Travis and the pooches, and then Travis and I went out to eat at Pho Fusion, where I tried Pho for the first time. It was good but meh in my book. I’m not that much of a soup person and I don’t really like cabbage or celery so it’s probably just my weird quirks.

After dinner, Travis and I went to the grocery store and bought food for the week and Thanksgiving. It’s so much more fun going to the store when Travis comes with! We bought some gummy bears (for me) and ice cream (for him) to enjoy while watching Yogi Bear. I love, love, love animated movies so whenever I have the chance to rent a movie without Travis’ input, that’s what I usually choose. It was a cute movie – not my favorite, but I laughed a lot.

Sunday, we went to church, ate lunch and then I laid on the couch watching football for a little while. When Travis got up to go do stuff, I decided I should probably get started on laundry  and cleaning. Around 5, I went swimming and did yoga. After that, I finished cleaning, finished almost all of the laundry, and went to bed around 10.

Overall, it was a very nice weekend. I don’t think I could handle an entire weekend of doing absolutely nothing – I like having a balance between rest and productivity.

I am really looking forward to the holiday weekend – great food, great time with my parents, and lots of relaxing!

In a nutshell… Boots!

24 Oct

This is a strange feeling – being rested on a Monday.

How did that happen? By following my plan of relaxing Friday night, doing (7 loads of) laundry Saturday and cleaning Sunday. It worked beautifully.

The weekend in a nutshell:


“Cooked” a frozen pizza for dinner.

Researched boots online for 2 hours.

Gave up finding cute, warm boots.

Watched Parenthood.



Had coffee with Cathy.

Scored cute winter boots (detailed below).

Started laundry (insert between each of the following).

Returned overdue books.

Bought groceries.




Walked the dogs.

Enjoyed girls’ night (we watched a Bollywood movie – love it!).



Went to church.

Cleaned and tidied house.

Vacuum-sealed the last of the elk meat.



Spend time with God in prayer.

Went to the church potluck and meeting.

Watched Desperate Housewives.


There were other things I was tempted to do – clean this, put away that, weed out this drawer, organize that closet. But I didn’t. Instead, I intentionally stuck to my plan and while laundry was being laundered, I laid on the couch and read my book (right now, it’s We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates). And I am so glad that I gave myself that permission. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated today – but probably also because of my great time with God yesterday and today. I’ll blog about that later this week.

First things first – I am way more exciting about my new winter boots than I am about the details of elk hunting so I’m pushing hunting pics out until tomorrow.

So the story behind these boots is that the only pair of real winter boots I own are too small for me (and I won’t wear them in public). I got them a LONG time ago (high school?). The boots I have been wearing for the past 7 years are a pair of fashion boots that I bought while working at a department store in college. They don’t have any insulation and they are only kinda-sorta waterproof. So while I have worn them for snowshoeing, tromping around in the snow, and they have been very loyal to me, I’m not going to lie – my feet get pretty cold wearing them. As in, very cold. No insulation = no warmth.

Travis’ cousin emailed us to say that he could get a great discount on new Columbia gear through the store he works at, but only through the end of the month. So I started looking at Columbia boots, and quickly discovered all of the cute ones only had 200 g of Thinsulate! (Travis said that 400 g would be a bare minimum.) Don’t these people know that a lot of women want to be warm and cute? (And actually, Columbia only carries one boot with more than 200 g of Thinsulate that I could see). As I looked at other brands, those too were only 200 g. The only warm boots I could find looked so… booty. Do cute, warm boots exist anywhere? 

I didn’t want to spend $150, or even $100, or heck even $50 on boots I wouldn’t want to wear in public. I mean, how often do I go elk hunting or snowshoeing – twice a year, combined? I needed boots I could wear casually around town and not look like a goober. Anyway, after 2 hours of unfruitful searching (although I did really love these, but they didn’t have my size – single tear), I decided to just go to Dick’s Sporting Goods to try on boots in person.

And wouldn’t you know, on the 75% off clearance table, like a beacon of light, I saw these gems:

So comfy. So cute. So warm. So CHEAP.

Originally $149. I got them for $40.76. 

Since they were on clearance, I couldn’t find out how much insulation they had. I tried to look it up on Travis’ phone while we were in the store but to no avail, since they are no longer being made by Sorel (why, I don’t know because I have read nothing but rave reviews of them online). I tried on a bunch of other boots and felt “eh” about them. Plus, these were so cheap. And Sorel has a reputation for making a very high-quality, long-lasting boot. (In fact, that’s what brand my old-boots-that-I-won’t-wear are.)

We decided it was too sweet of a deal to pass up. Plus, their clearance items are returnable so I figured I could do a little more research on them and if I found a bunch of bad reviews, I could just return them. But the reviews are all good so I think they’re keepers.

I heart finding clearance deals, especially for things I would have paid full price for.

So if you have any questions about winter boots, I am now your expert.

What do you wear on your feet during the winter?

Snow and speed.

10 Oct

Saturday morning, we woke up to rain and cold. I normally would’ve been excited, since weather like that is not that common in Denver, but with the race on Sunday, I was a little nervous. Those would be miserable conditions for a race – 35 degrees and rainy. Yuck. We had also planned to drive up to the Winter Park / Fraser area to do some scouting for elk hunting next weekend. One of the main roads that they have used in years past was washed out by abnormally large runoff and hasn’t been rebuilt so Travis wanted to familiarize himself with some other roads.

But first things first – while Travis had the Forge at church Saturday morning, I had coffee with my friend, Cathy. Then Travis and I headed downtown for the race expo and packet pickup. Since this is by far the biggest race I’ve ever done, I really enjoyed the expo. Usually, the expos at the races I do consist of a handful of booths of stuff that I’m not really that interested in. But this expo was different. There had to have been 40-50 booths and almost everyone was giving away free stuff. (Score!) Travis looked at new running shoes and got a 15% coupon for Boulder Running Company – which I can use for buying new shoes too! I bought a new stick of BodyGlide (mine was almost gone). After an hour, we decided to head home.

We ate lunch and loaded up the pooches. As we were leaving Denver, we weren’t sure whether going up into the mountains was a good idea or a bad idea.

This was just the foothills. We decided to play it by ear. If we hit a bunch of traffic or the roads got really bad, we’d turn around and head home. Luckily, the roads were actually almost void of traffic (this is the lull time between tourist season and ski season) and the road conditions weren’t bad – I did tell Travis several times to slow down but that’s pretty much the norm when we’re driving in the mountains. We drove over Berthoud Pass into Winter Park, then turned off after Fraser onto the back country roads. There was a good 6 inches of snow on the ground so while everything was very pretty, the roads were very slick (mud + snow = slippery!).

The aspens stood out against the snow-covered evergreens – very pretty.

As we were driving along, Travis noticed tracks in the snow on the road. He thought they were elk tracks but then we saw this:

A moose!

That was the first moose I’d ever seen so I was pretty pumped!

We drove a little while more until we found a potential camping spot for elk hunting and then we let the pooches out to run around. This was potentially Charlie’s first time ever seeing snow so we were curious to find out if she’d like it.

She did.

I didn’t get many pictures of the dogs – they run so fast that it’s near impossible to catch them in action. But this is a still from one of the videos. It looks like Charlie was whirling up a snowstorm but it was actually Travis kicking snow on her. 🙂

She did really like the snow, though. Here are a few more stills of her and Katy running around (they’re not the greatest quality but it gives you an idea).


Katy loves snow too – they’ll be great Minnesotan dogs one day.

Travis was craving a burger and fries so we stopped in Silverthorne to get Wendy’s. I tried their new Caramel Apple Parfait and while it was good (when is ice cream bad?), I think it would be better with yogurt.

We got home around 5:30 and I tried to be productive but I spent about 45 minutes looking for a specific devotional in My Utmost for His Highest until my brain hurt and all I wanted to do was lay down. I wanted to just go to bed but we had to figure out directions and logistics for the next morning, as well as get our race stuff together. Once that was done around 9:45, we went to bed.

My alarm went off at 5:00 am and I pushed my snooze button twice without realizing it. Good thing it’s only 3 minutes long! By the third time my alarm went off, I woke up enough to wonder what I was supposed to be getting up for. Work? Church? What? Oh, the race.

My hair was pretty greasy from not washing it for 3 days so I took a shower. Since it was so cold outside, I figured I’d probably not do my normal thing of putting my hair up half wet so I dried it completely. I wore my 2XU compression pants with shorts over them (just cuz), a long sleeve tech shirt, and a fleece vest. I also wore an ear warmer and stretchy gloves during the race, but ended up taking them off about 3/4 of the way through. After peanut-butter-ing mini bagels for us to eat in the car and doctoring my coffee, we grabbed our stuff and left right on time at 5:45.

It only took us 15 minutes to get downtown, but another 10 to figure out how to get into the darned parking lot the race organizers had told us to park in. That was the only part of the race that was frustrating – they had pretty much every street surrounding the parking lot closed off. Makes it a little hard to get in and out.

Finally, we parked and Travis left to find the shuttle to the start line. He later told me that he waited 20 minutes by himself in the dark for the shuttle and was about ready to run back to the car and have me drive him to the start when the shuttle finally showed up. He got down to the start line with the perfect amount of time to go to the bathroom, check his bag, warmup and jump over the barricade into his corral – he only waited 3 minutes before the race started!

Meanwhile, I was sitting in the warm car checking Facebook and reading my Google Reader feeds on my phone. I got done with that around 7:00, which was when the race started. I was pretty close to the relay transition point so I didn’t need to leave until 7:15 or so to give myself plenty of time before Travis would arrive around 8:04. So to pass the time, I pinned my number on my vest.

I watched a bunch of cars get towed around.

Which made me nervous about getting towed. So I made a sign to put on our windshield.

I took some random pictures of my chip timer…

…and my bored face.

Finally, it was time! I got out of the car and it was COLD! My phone said 35 degrees. Brrrr!! I walked the 5 minutes to the relay transition area and stood around for about 15 minutes before doing a short warmup. Then I stretched, the race organizers explained what would happen, and we stood around some more. Finally, the wheelchair athletes started coming. Then the elite, crazy fast runners. Then the really fast runners. And then the fast runners, which was where Travis came. He was the 15th or so relay person to come in.

I saw him coming around the traffic circle and moved to the front of the crowd, to take some pictures of him coming in. I reached for the car key that I was supposed to hand him too but it wasn’t in my pocket! Oh no! As I heard my bib number called, I had to run back into the crowd to find the key. Luckily, I found it pretty easily and still had time to take a few pics of Travis coming in for the hand off.

He finished his leg in 1:04:36, at a pace of 8:16/mile. He said that the first mile was really crowded and they almost stopped completely after the first 500 yards or so, so we think that he was right on pace for the majority of his run, but that the first mile threw it off.

I handed him the camera and car key, grabbed the drumstick (our relay baton), and off I went. Since I was going to be entering the massive pack of runners way faster than me, I tried to be mindful and run on the very outside of the road, so that people didn’t have to swerve around me. Some still did but oh well. I was glad to be carrying something that showed I was a relay runner. Sorry to be so slow and running with the fast people!

But it was a LOT of fun to run with the fast people. I was in the thick of it – there were tons of runners around. Which probably was mostly to do with the 17,000 runners doing the race. If I had been back with the 11:30 minute/mile people, there probably would’ve been plenty there too. But running with the fast people also inspired me to run fast. My legs felt fantastic. The minute I started running, I felt great.

I pushed it. For the entire race, I toed the line between running my fastest and overdoing it. I started running at mile 7.8 and tried to calculate my pace at mile 9 but came up with an 11:30/mile. Crap! If I was having such a hard time maintaining that slow of a pace, this race was going to suck. I saw mile marker 10. I decided that if my pace really was 11:30, then there was no reason to really push myself like I was. But to my joy, I discovered that I had just done a 10:00 mile. Woohoo!

That gave me the motivation I needed to keep pushing.

Mile 11 – 9:45. Holy crap, I can’t believe it!

Mile 12 – 9:55. I’m actually running sub-10 minute miles!! But holy crap, this is hard. It’s so tempting to slow down. 

Mile 13 – 10:00. Only a mile left – don’t throw away this pace now! Think of how proud you’ll be. Think of how proud Travis will be. Keep pushing!

I picked up the pace for the last .1 when I heard Travis yell “Go Kath!” from the sidelines. I can honestly say that I ran my heart out in this race – so much so, that I almost felt like puking when I was done. That’s when you know you pushed it.

I finished 5.3 miles in 52:57. That is a 9:59 pace.


I am still on a high from that race! What an amazing feeling to dig down deep and perform in a way that I didn’t expect. I was aiming for at least an 11:00 pace, wondering if that was even a stretch. And I blew that away!

Final time: 1:58:58

Average pace: 9:05

25/86 co-ed relay teams

I’d like to think that if this had actually been a 10K, I’d have a new PR (the only 10K I’ve run, I did in 62:36). And perhaps, I would. But I’m not sure I could have maintained that pace for even another 9/10 of a mile. I was completely beat. Regardless, this proves to me that I still have some speed in me.

After the race, I found Travis and while he went to get some food (they didn’t have any in the relay transition area), I stretched. We walked around the expo a little, rode the shuttle back to our car and headed home.

About the race itself, I was thoroughly impressed. The Rock ‘n’ Roll peeps have their crap together. I give this event an A++. The registration was easy, the pre-race information was thorough (they thought of everything!), there were tons of volunteers and portapoos (and spectators!) everywhere, the race t-shirt and medal are awesome, and the post-race food was plentiful. They had anything and everything you could want to eat after a race. They also had a family meetup area, a stretching tent and space blankets. I would definitely recommend this race. It is worth every penny.

Anyway, when we got home, we showered, ate a snack, and got back in the car to head to a friend’s birthday party, where Travis played flag football. Football isn’t my thing so I just hung out with pooches and talked to the other people who weren’t playing.

Then we went to their house, where we ate a ton of food, drank margaritas and beer, and watched football. I talked to a lady who had ran the full marathon that morning – it was her 13th full marathon and she had done two half Ironmans this summer. Impressive.

We left the party around 3 and like usual, even though my plan was to plop on the couch the minute I walked in the door, I couldn’t resist being productive. So I did the dishes, did laundry, went to Target and the post office, got gas, and then rested. We watched the movie Bridesmaids, which we had heard was hilarious. Um… no? We actually thought it was depressing and pretty much sucked. I mean, there were a few funny parts. But overall, meh.

Today is a rest day but tomorrow, I start my base building training schedule. I will be taking several rest days during elk hunting – my MIL, Beth, and I will probably hike some but no running (because there will be no showers!). But then, it’s back to it!

It’s amazing what you can accomplish…

26 Sep

…when you don’t workout!

My weekend was lovely and productive. But I didn’t do a single workout – unless you count walking my pooches and watching them smear their poop all over Wheat Ridge sidewalks.

Friday night, I finally repainted my toenails while watching Parenthood – love that show! I went to bed around 9:30 (I don’t even feel the need to justify that) and read for a while while Travis played hockey.

Saturday, we got up bright and early for coffee with Cathy (me) and The Forge at church (Travis). Then we went home and while Travis watched football, I made my grocery list and went grocery shopping.

On the menu for this week:

The Zesty Chili is cooking in my crock pot right now.
With my refrigerator and shelves fully stocked, I set to making zucchini bread and muffins with one of our last zucchinis (single tear! not really – we’re kind of burned out on zucchini) and this gooey deliciousness for our care group BBQ on Sunday.

While my bread and muffins baked, I did the massive quantity of dishes that baking always produces, walked the pooches, and got ready for our date night: Yogurtland + Cheap Seats. Woohoo! The date literally cost us $13.

I got Mango Pineapple + Coconut + Peach and topped with a little bit of: kiwi, raspberries, pineapple, gummy bears, and cheesecake squares. Mmmmm… Travis had never been to Yogurtland before. As he was eating his delicious concoction, he said, “I understand what all the rage is about now.”

{Apologies for the bad pic.}

After Yogurtland, we saw Captain America for $7 total. It blows my mind that two people can see a movie at the discount theater for less than the price of one ticket at the main theater. Yay for discount theaters! (If this one ever goes out of business, I will be seriously sad.) The movie was great. As much as my sophisticated taste thought I would hate all of the Marvel Comic movies, I have to admit that I have loved each of them (I have seen Thor, both Iron Man 1 and 2 and now Captain America). The only one I haven’t seen is The Hulk – which I guess I’ll have to remedy before The Avengers comes out next May.

Sunday, we went to church and then bought a baby gift for my nephew, due in January! I bought 3 items from their registry, plus one fun thing (that I will mention later in case my sister-in-law happens to read this). Still very hard to believe that I am going to be an aunt. (I guess technically, I already am an aunt since Travis has a nephew but it feels weird to call myself his aunt…)

Then I finally tackled our messy office. It went from this:

To this:

Organization – welcome back.

I also downloaded all of our pictures from our camera onto our computer and deleted them off our camera, printed out our confirmation emails for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Relay, and sent pictures of Charlie to the vet who rescued her.

By 3:30, it was time to leave for our care group BBQ. I didn’t take any pics (stupid!) but a fun time (and LOTS of good food!) was had by all. I ended up feeling a little sick to my stomach by the end of the party so when I got home, I changed clothes and spent the rest of the evening on the couch (instead of cleaning and baking like I had hoped). Oh well. I watched the season finale of Drop Dead Diva (my #2 favorite show ever, after Bones) and the season premiere of Desperate Housewives – which was “eh.”

Things I wanted to get done that I didn’t (and need to before leaving for MN on Thursday night!!):

1. Vacuum. Dog hair is everywhere!

2. Laundry. Overflowing.

3. More baking. Specifically chocolate chip banana bread and pumpkin bread. Mmmm…

I also need to work out every day this week (since I will probably be taking off 4 days back in MN). I’m thinking a couple of runs, some yoga, and some time on the bike. We’ll see…

My weekend of relaxation is here!

9 Sep


That’s what I will be doing this weekend (except with a much less impressive view).

Against all odds, I have made it to my first free weekend in two months, and my second free weekend since the beginning of June. Woohoo!

I know that I said I was going to lay around and do absolutely nothing, not even clean my disgusting house. Yeah… that’s not really going to happen. Mostly because there are things that I would like to do this weekend that do not involve watching TV (and because I would feel disgusting if that’s all I did for 2 days… trust me, I’ve tried it).

So what is it I want to do this weekend? In order of importance (because free days fly by faster than I realize!):

1. Recharge, which means:

  • Sleep in. No alarm clock for me! (Except Sunday morning when I have to be at church by 9:15.) And if I feel like a nap, by all means.
  • Get in the Word for an extended period each morning with a cup of coffee. This is the thing that I have missed the most. I seriously haven’t done this in 3 months.
  • Read! I am currently reading Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn. I’ve really enjoyed it so far.
  • Take a walk outside in the cool(er) fall(ish) air with the pooches.
  • Drink a Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbuck’s.

2. Get caught up. Specifically:

  • Clean the house
  • Buy more dog food (and decide on which new food to buy) and treats
  • Organize all the mail, race stuff, and miscellaneous crap I’ve thrown in a pile in my office
  • Write Thank You to the Normans for a great Labor Day
  • Grocery shop
3. Train. I would gladly cross this one off my list, but alas, I have paid money for these races and would like to turn out a decent effort. My workouts look like:
  • 10 mile bike, 2 mile run tonight
  • 6 mile run + strength training tomorrow
  • 15 mile bike on Sunday
4. Go shopping. I need would like to buy:
  • Housewarming gift for friends
  • Shirt for my cousin’s wedding to go with the cute new skirt I got at the thrift store Tuesday (I’ll post my other great finds later)
  • Cute decorations and fabric for curtains for various areas of our house
If you think it’s weird that Travis isn’t involved in any of these plans, it’s because he’s going up to Wyoming antelope hunting this weekend. And then he’s going back out to Utah to count cacti next week. I’ll see him for a couple of hours Sunday but that’s it. I’m actually disappointed that he’s going to be gone so much (insert evidence of God’s grace in marriage here!).
Regardless, I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend! I may post tomorrow or Sunday but I forgot my phone in NC so I have no internet at home (gasp!). No phone and no Internet! What’s a girl to do?
See above.
Have a great weekend friends!