Matcha Green Tea Powder

It has happened.  The allergies that I dread every spring have finally caught up with me, and I haven’t been feeling good for a few days now.  My throat is sore, my nose is running, I have a cough that just won’t quit, and my energy levels are definitely low.  Unfortunately, this is the most intense time of year for me work-wise so I can’t even think about using a sick day.

IMG_1916

Which brings me to the topic at hand.  Recently, the folks at Kiss Me Organics reached out with an opportunity to review their Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder.  I am a huge tea lover with a particular affinity for green tea, but I knew very little about matcha green tea.  Nevertheless, I was intrigued so I jumped at the chance to give it a try.

I did a little research, and learned that matcha is a fine, unfermented version of green tea.  According to the recipe guide I received from Kiss Me Organics, matcha is derived from the entire green tea leaf which provides ten times the benefits of regular green tea like fat burning, relaxation, and, especially, energy.  I’ve been enjoying a cup of tea in the afternoons to get me through this low-energy allergy slump, and I really have noticed a difference.

I think the most interesting aspect of the matcha is the ability to use it in a ton of different recipes.  Kiss Me Organics sent me a recipe guide (which every first time purchaser receives!), and it was full of recipes from everything like your typical smoothies to pizza!

Of course, I had to get into the kitchen and experiment a little bit.  I started off with an easy smoothie for a pre-workout snack.

IMG_1943

I blended coconut milk, frozen strawberries and bananas, a little Greek yogurt, and two teaspoons of matcha powder.  It was delicious, but it’s a smoothie.  You can blend just about anything into a smoothie and it turns out great.  I was still skeptical about the matcha being versatile in all kinds of different recipes.

Next, I tried it in my protein pancakes for breakfast.  It worked really well!  The powder was slightly noticeable, and it gave the pancakes an earthy flavor.

IMG_1920

Last but not least, was the real test.  Brownies!  This particular recipe came straight from the Kiss Me Organics recipe guide with a few of my own tweaks.

IMG_1923

The original recipe called for all white chocolate, but I had to sub in a little dark chocolate due to my inability to read a shopping list at the grocery store.  I was a little bummed because the dark chocolate dimmed the green color from the matcha quite a bit.  That, however, was my only complaint!  These were really good.  I even took them to Mom’s and shared with everyone over the weekend.  Despite some inappropriate jokes from my family about the real origins of the green color in the brownies, everyone really enjoyed them!

All in all, I really enjoyed experimenting with the matcha powder.  I was impressed with versatility of it, and I’m really curious to try it out in a few savory dishes.  I might just have to give the pizza a try!  If you would like to try your own package of Matcha Green Tea Powder, you can find it on Amazon.  Don’t forget-you’ll also get the recipe guide.  Trust me-it’s worth it just for those brownies!

Do you like green tea?  What’s the most unusual ingredient you’ve ever cooked with?

Disclaimer:  I received a package of Matcha Green Tea Powder in exchange for a review here on the blog.  As always, all opinions are my own!

Kick Up Your Heels 5K

Welcome to another week!  I hope you guys all had a wonderful Easter weekend.  We spent the holiday weekend at home with my family, and we had a really Marvelous time.

MiMM

We spent Saturday afternoon hanging out with Dad, Tace, Caite, Justin, and my grandparents, Saturday evening with Mom and Joel doing a dinner and a movie, and Sunday morning celebrating Easter at my home church.

IMG_1926

Of course, we all had to pose for the obligatory Easter pictures.  Every major holiday or life event has been photographed in front of that fireplace.

IMG_1936

One of the best moments of the weekend happened right off the bat on Saturday morning.

IMG_1940

Mom, John, and I ran the Kick Up Your Heels 5K for Domestic Violence Awareness in my old college town.

I was really looking forward to this race because I had a feeling I had a PR in me waiting to happen.  I’ve been concentrating on speed work ever since my last half marathon, and I knew the course would be much flatter than I was used to.

The three of us got to the race to pick up our packets around 7:30 for an 8:00 start time.  It was a beautiful day for a race, and we stood around chatting with people we knew as we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Unfortunately, the race was a wee bit disorganized, and it was almost 8:30 before we took off.

By the time we started, I was more than ready to get going and started off strong out of the gate.  Like most of my races, I immediately got into a pretty fast pace.  The difference this time was I didn’t back off when I realized how fast I was going.  I was fairly certain that I could maintain it for the entire 3.1, and I decided to give it a go.

During the first mile, we went up and down one hill before starting a long, slow climb to the college.

At the one mile mark, the course started going downhill and then flattened out as expected for the remainder of the race.  I was still holding a pretty strong pace, and had to make myself stop glancing at my Garmin every five seconds in disbelief.

My energy started to fail with about half a mile to go, but I made the final turn and saw the long straightaway to the finish line.  I risked a glance at my Garmin one more time, and realized that I was going to finish well under my previous time if I could see it through to the end.  I gave it one last push, and crossed the finish line with nothing left in the tank.

My official time was 27:35 which means I shaved 1:40 off my best time for a PR.  I only took a moment to celebrate because I knew John couldn’t be too far behind me.  I got the camera ready on my phone to snap John coming across at 30:04.

photo (3)

Then it was time for both of us to cheer Mom coming across at 31:38.

photo (2)

Those times were good enough for a third place AG finish for John, and a first place AG finish for Mom!

I am super proud of both of them.  John is not into cardio and would rather lift weights any day, but he’s such a beast that he can roll out of bed and run a 5K no problem!  Mom took up running less than two months ago, and has been working very hard.  She beat her previous time by over 4:00 minutes on a much harder course!

IMG_1939

My age group was pretty competitive, and all of the top three finishers had times around twenty-three minutes.  I ended up sixth in my age group and fifteenth female overall.  With a shiny new PR under my belt, that is more than okay with me!

John and Mom both read the blog-feel free to give them some love in the comments!  What did you do over the holiday weekend?

The Backpacking Page

Happy Friday!  Does anyone else have the day off because of the holiday weekend?  I actually do despite all of the snow days we’ve had to miss.  Don’t worry-we’ll be paying for at the end of the year!

Today I wanted to do a little bit of an archival post.  You may have noticed a new tab at the top of the blog.  After many, many moons of John telling me I must put together a backpacking page, I’ve finally gotten it done!  I think it will be nice to have access to all of our trips in one place, and I’m really looking forward to updating it as we continue to take more and more backpacking trips.

For those of you who are new around here (hi!), I thought I do a little overview of exactly what you’ll find on the new page.  First up, the Colorado section!

Colorado

Weminuche Wilderness Day 1, Day 2Day 3 & 4

ColoradoVacation2011 222

 

This was my first big backpacking trip, and still my favorite one to date.  I lost a toenail and felt like a total badass!

Colorado Trail Segments 8-14

STB_1150

This was part of our summer 2013 trip, and a perfect example of how things don’t always go according to plan!

Blue Lakes (Day Hike)

IMG_1255

 

Blue Lakes in a little day hike just outside of Ridgeway, CO, and probably one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.

Montana

Glacier National Park (Day Hiking)

Glacier Vacation 160

 

We did several great day hikes in Glacier before starting the backpacking portion of the trail.  Any of them would be great for your next visit to the park!

Glacier National Park (Backpacking Trip)

IMG_0153

 

Our backpacking trip in Glacier was my first experience with bear bags and backcountry pit toilets!

Arkansas

Eagle Rock Loop

IMG_0816

 

This is a close to home loop trail that we’ve done numerous times.  It’s a great weekend trip that I love all year round, but the fall is truly beautiful.

Buffalo River Trail

IMG_0164

 

The Buffalo River Trail is farther afield, but close enough to home to get to a few times a year.  It’s another gorgeous route for fall colors!

Can you guys tell I’ve been missing my favorite pastime lately?  Going over these old trips is making my feet itch to get back on the trail.  After all,

download (1)

Have a great weekend!

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

Mother Nature’s Entertainment (Tips To Stay Safe During A Mountain Storm)

A few weeks ago, some of my very favorite outdoor bloggers, Heidi, Lynne, and Heather, shared a few funny (and not so funny!) stories about mishaps they’ve experienced over the years in the outdoors.  As an avid outdoorsman, I can tell you that even those of us with a lot of experience in the wild, can sometimes have trips that don’t always go according to plan.

After reading some of their stories, I got to thinking about some of the less than perfect adventures John and I have had in the outdoors, and one fairly recent experience stands out more than any other.

Last summer, we had high hopes of completing one section of the Colorado Trail.  We were set to hike our highest mileage to date, and I was excited about the idea of spending ten days on the trail.  Unfortunately, that particular section of the CT wasn’t all we had hoped.  It rained, we were attacked my demonic mosquitoes, and I saw far more dense trees than sweeping mountain views.

IMG_1176

Needless to say, we decided not to spend our biggest backpacking trip of the year not having very much fun, so we bailed early, hooked up with my dad, and headed to Ouray, Colorado, one of our favorite towns on the planet.

IMG_1203

You see where this is going, right?  Instead of being the pick me up to the trip we had hoped for, this is where we had, hands-down, the scariest experience to date in the backcountry.

What many of you may not realize is that Colorado actually does have a monsoon season.  In my experience, in the mountains, that usually translates into brief afternoon showers.That was not the case this time around.

IMG_1193

We headed into the mountains with only a short four mile trek to where we planned on making camp.  During the entire climb, we noticed the overcast skies, and we prayed we could make it to camp before the rain started.

Before we made camp, we did endure a minor soaking, but we hung out in Dad’s tent, ate dinner, and generally enjoyed the evening.  As we turned in for the night, we could hear some distance grumbling in the clouds, but didn’t think too much of it.

IMG_1213

That didn’t last long!  Within minutes the sky erupted into an incredible light and sound show.  Now, I am not a person that is usually scared of storms, but this was an entirely different animal.  It was literally right on top of us, and I was scared to death that we were going to be hit by the lightning.

Luckily, we made it out in one piece.  The next morning we awoke to find all of our equipment soaked through, and we decided to let nature win this time around and we headed back to town.  I am not too proud to say the whole ordeal shook me up, and, to this day, I find myself reacting very differently to storms even when I’m safely tucked in my house!

IMG_1194

So what can you do if you find yourself caught in a storm in the backcountry?  Here are a few tips to ensure your safety during those times Mother Nature gets a little bit angry:

1.  Get away from metal objects.  This could even include your tent!  If your tent poles are metal, it’s best to get out of your tent and seek shelter elsewhere as that metal can attract lightning.

2.  Keep an eye out.  You can usually see a storm coming in the mountains so keep a watch on it to ensure you’re somewhere safe before it hits.

3.  If at all possible, get below tree line.  We always try to time our high elevation climbs early in the day.  You do not want to be caught exposed above treeline during a storm.

4.  Most importantly, check the weather before you go.  Afternoon storms are common during the summer in the mountains, but if the forecast looks more volatile than usual, it might be best to postpone your trip for another time.

Like with most things, backpacking in the mountains always come with some risk, but, if you take some precautions, your risk can be minimized.  There’s nothing I love more than sleeping in my tent with the stars overhead, but, next time, I’ll forgo Mother Nature’s entertainment!

What’s your scariest outdoor experience?

An Evening With Gatsby

My weekend was all about one thing-Prom!  One of the many benefits of being a high school teacher (are you detecting the ever so slight sarcasm?) is that at some point in your career you will inevitably be a Prom sponsor.  My number got called this year, and Prom 2014 has been on my radar for many months.

To say I’ve been a wee bit stressed is an understatement.  It takes a lot of planning and work to pull off an event like this!  I joked a few times that I felt like I was planning my wedding all over again, and, trust me, that’s a pretty accurate comparison.

Luckily, it all went off spectacularly!  The decorations looked good, the music was great, and I really think the kids had a wonderful time.  They even got me out on the dance floor several times!

The theme for this year’s Prom was The Great Gatsby.

IMG_1906

I’m sure you all have noticed how popular the twenties era has become since the release of the movie last year, and it has definitely reached epic proportions in our part of the world.  I believe there are five other schools in our area with the exact same theme!

IMG_1904

Despite being somewhat unoriginal, I was really happy the kids decided on this theme.  Gatsby is one of my favorite books, and there is so many things you can do with the Roaring Twenties.  I wish I had more time to think about an outfit for myself-I would have definitely gone flapper!  Unfortunately, I didn’t go looking for own party duds until about noon yesterday!

I have to brag on John for a minute.  Not only did he come with me even after I told him he didn’t have to, but he manned the kitchen most of the night and did a ton to help us clean up.  He’s a keeper!

IMG_1910

I have to admit-I actually had a pretty good time.  I had suspected that I would be bored and staring down the clock, but, between making sure everything was running smoothly and dancing with some of my favorite kids on the planet, the night flew by.

IMG_1908

By the time the party calmed down and we cleaned everything up, it was after one before I went to sleep.  John and I woke up still exhausted Sunday morning, and quickly decided we’re getting too old!  We spent the rest of the day getting stuff done around the house and relaxing on the couch.

Despite all the fun I had, I’m very glad that it’s behind me.  The last few weeks have been hectic! I feel like I can breathe a little easier which is making my Monday pretty Marvelous.  Have a great one!

MiMM

Did you go to your high school Prom?  Tell me a good Prom story!

Running Bucket List

Let’s be honest-I’m always glad it’s Friday, but this week I am even more excited!  It has been a crazy couple of weeks, and, after we wrap up Prom tomorrow, I think I’ll finally be able to relax a little bit.  Today I’ll be busy transforming  a regular banquet hall into a replica of Gatsby’s house during one of his infamous parties.  I promise to take pictures!

Today I thought I would do my own version of a Friday Five.  After my first half-marathon, when the pain had subsided and all that was left was the “I just ran further than I ever thought possible.  I am amazing!” feeling, I started poking around the Internet for my next big race.  I realized early on that part of the fun of running was all the sights you get to see along the way so I wanted to see what cool destination races were out there.

bl

I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 destination races.  This is strictly based on the fact that I would be so jazzed to run in these particular places, and not on the organization of the race itself since I have no prior experiences with the races in question.  That being said, I have heard great things about most of the races on this list!

 

1.  Disney Princess Half

Full disclosure:  I HATE hot weather and humidity.  The mountains are in my soul, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to a beach.  I have very little use for the entire state of Florida.  All of those thoughts are suspended, however, when it comes to Walt Disney World.  I am one of those annoying people who truly feel like Disney World is magical.  I absolutely love the entire place, and running a half there sounds like so much fun.  Honestly, when it comes to destination racing, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the first one I go for!

 

2.  Rock ‘N Roll Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is probably my favorite city, and that’s why this makes the list right after Disney.  I have this idea in my head that a race would fly by in D.C. because I would be so busy looking at all the sights!

John and I are so cool that we honeymooned in D.C.

John and I are so cool that we honeymooned in D.C.

3.  Bolder Boulder 10K

You knew I had to put at least one Colorado race on this list!  Can you believe that as much as I love Colorado and have been there more times than I could count, I’ve never been to Boulder?  What a travesty!  I have this feeling that it would really be my kind of city, and this would be my kind of race.  It’s touted as one of the largest 10Ks in the country with people from all over coming in to take part.  I remember reading Lauren’s recap of her experience with the race last year, and it really sounded like a great big party with thousands of your closest friends.  I don’t think we’ll be making it out there for Memorial weekend this year, but this race will definitely happen in the near future!

 

4.  Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

I’ve only been to New Orleans once, and, to be quite honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan.  In my defense, I was 10!  It was a little bit of a shock to the system!  I think I could definitely appreciate it a little more as an adult, and I would love to run surrounded by so much history and fantastic architecture.

 

5.  The Hapalua

Admittedly, this one is a long shot.  It’s a new half marathon located in Hawaii that has gotten rave reviews in it’s few short years of existence.  I’m all about views when I’m running (pretty things distract me!), and I can just imagine that these would be hard to beat.

 

These races are the start of my running bucket list, and I’m excited to knock a few of them off in the next couple years.  I’m sure that the list will just continue to grow so I’d better get busy!  John might have to invest in a pilot’s license to make all this traveling a little cheaper!  Have a great weekend!

 Where would you love to go race?  Have you ever done any of the races on my list?

 

Pure Insanity!

Hey, hey!  I bet you were starting to wonder about me, huh? Well, let’s Think Out Loud for a little bit, and I’ll tell you all about why.  I’m so glad Amanda has organized this Thursday stream of consciousness because that’s what it’s like living inside my head these days!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1.  I’ve mentioned that I’m a Junior Class sponsor this year which in the world of education means one thing-PROM!  The Prom is this weekend, and I have been running around like crazy trying to get everything together.  Needless to say, I will be very happy when Saturday is over!

2.  On top of all the Prom insanity, Book Fair is this week.  We do two Book Fairs a year, and they are definitely the two weeks I look forward to least.  There is a reason I became a high school teacher.  I was so not cut out for little kids!

photo (1)

3.  There’s another 5K in town this weekend, and I have a small desire to do it.  I probably won’t since there is so much going on and I’m doing a race when we go home on Easter weekend, but peer pressure may get to me so don’t be surprised if you see me talking about it on social media!

4.  Speaking of running, my mileage has gone way down since my last half.  I’m not training for anything specific right now so I haven’t been putting as much pressure on myself to get the miles.  I don’t, however, want to lose my base so, experienced runners, how many miles should I shoot for each week so I’ll be ready to start training again in the fall?

5.  Cross Fit this week has been so good.  I’ve really felt on top of my game, and I honestly think I’m making some strides.  Dubs are killing me though!  I can do a ton of them.  I just can’t string them together.  I’m going to have to spend some time immersing myself in YouTube videos to figure it out.

6.  Yesterday I only had a handful of kids in class so I didn’t get much accomplished in the way of government.  Instead I tried to teach them a little bit about music.  These kids have never heard of Jim Croce, John Denver, James Taylor, or Carole King.  It breaks my heart a little.

7.  You guys, “The Fault In Our Stars” is so good.  I’m not to the end yet, but I suspect something bad is coming.  Nevertheless, it’s excellent so far.  Definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a while.

9780525478812_custom-7eb6cc16a8a3f2266865895e1718ac9e9d6232e0-s6-c30

8.  I know I said it last week, but I am so glad that summer is almost here.  Our lack of backpacking specifically and our lack of mountains in general the last several months is really starting to get to me.  I long ago decided that I need the mountains for my soul, and I am ready to get back to them.

IMG_1112

9.  I’m especially glad that I’ll get a double dose of mountains this summer since I’m going to Blend in June!  Heidi and I have been emailing back and forth about our plans for that weekend, and I’m really starting to get excited!  Remember there are still tickets available, and it’s going to be a fantastic time!

10.  Tonight John’s work is having a special company party at the drive-in.  It will just be employee’s and their families, and the best part is the movie we get to watch.

the-sandlot-is-20-years-old-where-is-the-cast-now-photos

 

(source)

This has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid, and I’m so excited to see it on the big screen!

That’s the end of my Thursday randomness.  I hope you all have a fantastic day!

What’s your favorite song right now?  Please see #4-I need advice!

Quirky Is Putting It Nicely

Hello, friends!  How was your weekend?  We had an exhausting but really fun one celebrating this guy.

IMG_1902

John’s 31st birthday was Sunday, and we celebrated out in nature.  I know that’s a huge shocker ;)  Jedd, Whitney, John, and I headed out Saturday morning to raft the Mulberry River, and we had a blast.  I have to be honest-normally, anything to do with the water is far outside by comfort zone.  Water is so unpredictable, and that scares me ever so slightly.  I didn’t want to be a party pooper though so I agreed to the trip, and I’m really glad I did.  The river was a lot of fun despite the fact the temperatures were down in the fifties!  We camped alongside the river Saturday night, and by the time we dragged in on Sunday and put all our gear away, I was out of it!  It was a great kind of exhaustion though, and exactly what I needed after a few stressful weeks.

IMG_1888

Since we are a full week into April, it’s time to do our monthly goal check in.  I have to say-I’m very happy about how well March went!

march

 

1.  Do a strict pull-up

So I didn’t quite get there, but I am so close!  I work on them every time I’m at the box, and I desperately want to get a pull-up bar for the house so I can get even more practice in.  I know it’s going to happen any day now!

2.  Get a Half-Marathon PR

Done!  I finished the Vike Hike Half last week with a time of 2:12:40.  That’s good enough for a 5:20 PR.  Now that I’m not distance training anymore, I’m really starting to concentrate on speed, and you better believe I’ve already started doing the math on what it would take to get below two hours!

IMG_1880

3.  Finish one substantial home-improvement project 

IMG_1839

I got most of the closet doors painted!  This may not sound like much, but we have been living in our house for almost five years without closet doors.  We took the old ones down when we moved it fully intending to replace them, and, before we knew it, years have gone by without getting this simple thing done!  Unfortunately, because our house is “quirky” there’s a bit of a problem actually putting them up so they’re not installed yet.  Instead, they are all leaning up against my kitchen wall.  Let’s hope they don’t sit there for another five years!

april

1.  Diversify breakfast

I always eat the same two things for breakfast:  oatmeal with an apple and PB & J or pancakes.  These are my two absolute favorite breakfasts, and I am much more of a sweet breakfast gal than a savory.  That being said, my CF coach has been on me about getting more protein at breakfast so I’m trying to make an effort to do some type of eggs at least a few mornings a week.  This will be a tough one because it’s just not what I want at that time of day.

photo (1)

This counts, right?

2.  PR a 5K

John and I are headed home for Easter in a couple weeks, and I’ve signed up to do a 5K in my old college town.  I’ve been doing some speed work, and the course will be much flatter than I’m use to so I have high hopes for this one!

3.  Get a hike in!

It feels like John and I have been so busy in the last seven or eight months which means that my favorite past time (yes, I still love hiking more than running or Cross Fit!) has taken a bit of a back seat.  April is definitely a great month for hiking in our part of the world so I hope to get out and take advantage of it.  Even if I can only make it a day hike!

There you have it!  You guys all need to wish me luck-the breakfast goal is going to be difficult!  Have a great day!

What are your goals this month?  Do you eat the same things for breakfast or are you good at switching it up?

Mental Game: A Race Recap!

I bet you though I was never going to get around to talking about it, huh?  This week has been all kinds of crazy, and I just now had the chance to sit down and write out my thoughts on my last half-marathon.

https_proxy

Months ago our little town was abuzz with the news that we would be hosting the first annual Vike Hike Half-Marathon.  Our local junior college (they’re the Vikings!) was the main sponsor, and everyone was really excited about it.  In the last few years, we have developed quite a running community for a town so small so the opportunity to have a half in our own backyard was a pretty big deal.

I honestly did not give this race much thought in the beginning.  I knew that the Cowtown half was the first one I would be running so all of my time, energy, and focus was spent on that.  The Vike Hike was just a concept in the back of my head.

I spent a few weeks after the Cowtown riding the high of having completed my first ever half-marathon, and I still wasn’t thinking too much about my next one.  As I came down off that high and really turned my attention to the race, I suddenly found myself the victim of some serious mental games.

It started with two less than stellar long runs that made me begin to doubt my abilities.  ”Maybe finishing the first one was just a fluke?”  ”Besides that was a pretty flat course.  The Vike Hike won’t be that way.”  ”Half the fun of running these races is going and see new things.  I’ll be looking at the same stuff I see everyday!”  These were just a few of the gems I had running through my head, but I managed to push them all to the back of my mind largely due to a very busy week before the race!

Before I knew it, the alarm was going off Saturday morning.  Despite the 7 AM start time, I didn’t have to get up too early since the start line was two miles away.  Gotta love local races for that reason alone!

Dad had driven up for the race, and we decided to jog those two miles as a warm-up.  We covered the distance easily, and made it to the race site with about twenty minutes to spare.  I spent that time chatting with a ton of people I know.  It really felt like one big party, and it was especially exciting because this was the first half for so many people.

The gun went off right at 7 o’clock, and we took off down a short hill.  Dad is much faster than me so I told him he didn’t have to worry about staying with me on this race.  I saw him look behind him a few times in the first couple hundred yards, and I waved at him to go ahead.

IMG_1875

 

I didn’t have to worry about running alone though.  I spotted my running buddy, Jessica, and I fell into pace beside her.

IMG_1870

The first part of the course wound us around the cemetery, through a stoplight, and up on to the highway that bypasses town.  They had shut down the entire northbound lane for the race so luckily we didn’t have to worry about traffic.

This was the part of the race I was concerned about.  The course had us running four miles down and then four miles back on a road that is extremely hilly.  It is up and down the whole way, and most of them are fairly steep.

IMG_1869

Despite my worries, I felt great through the turn around.  My legs felt strong and, once we made the turn, Jessica and I spent the next two miles giving high fives and cheers to the other people we knew along the way.

Around mile 7, my feet began to hurt it what felt like a repeat of the Cowtown race.  On a side note, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m wearing the wrong shoes, but that’s another post for another time.

I began to concentrate hard on my foot strike ensuring that I didn’t get lazy and begin landing on my heels.  I knew if I did that, knee pain wouldn’t be far behind.

We left the bypass at mile eight and ran back toward the college.  From mile ten through the finish, the course was the old familiar 5K route, and around this time Jess and I realized that we were on course for a PR if we could keep it up.

These were the leaders.  The top guy finished in 1:22!

These were the leaders. The top guy finished in 1:22!

At that point, the race became a complete mental game, and I’m so thankful I had a partner to encourage me along the way.  We took turns picking each other up when we felt the other flagging, and those three miles flew by relatively quickly.

We entered the college oval that would take us to the finish line.  Jessica saw the clock first, and yelled that we were going to make it under 2:13.  I was starting to gas out just a bit, but she told me to step it up because we were crossing together!  Sure enough we both finished with a time of 2:12:40 which was good enough for a PR!

John, Dad, and a ton of friends were waiting at the finish line.  Dad finished in 1:58-I told you he was fast!  I had actually seen John several times during the race.  He was able to drive around town pretty quickly, and catch me at several different points.  He’s responsible for all the great photos!

IMG_1880

This ended up being a really great race, and my worries unfounded.  I’m already looking forward to next year!

Do you psych yourself out for races?  Does anyone really LIKE hills?

I Am Furious!

Oh, wow, am I glad it’s Thursday.  I definitely need some time to write a stream of consciousness type of post.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1.  I definitely didn’t mean to go MIA on you all for two days, especially after I promised a race recap.  This week has been insane! There is a ton of things going on at work right now, and I’ve been running around like crazy all day everyday.  I’m so ready for the weekend.

2.  For example, Monday I took part in the political process.

photo

There was a huge rally in our capital city this week for education funding.  There was about 25,000 teachers, parents, and concerned citizens present, and I got to go along with our school’s contingent.  It was a very cool experience, and the manifestation of American democracy.  I’m nerdy enough to love it!  Plus, I got to see this girl!

photo

My good friend, Hayley, is finishing law school while working for a state organization fighting for better education.  I’m so proud of her!

3.  I gave myself an extended rest period after my half last weekend so my first time back at Crossfit was last night.  It was a great workout, and now that my racing season is over for a few months I really want to work on making some progress in the Crossfit arena.

4.  I also plan to devote the next few months to speed training.  I’ve got a few lofty goals in mind for my next race (whatever it might be!), and now that distance training is over for a bit I can concentrate on speed.

5.  Have I mentioned to you guys that I’m not a fan of spring?  It’s humid, rainy, and we are always under the threat of severe storms.  All that being said though, I’m really glad it’s April.  The end of the school year is approaching, and summer backpacking in the mountains is right on its heels.  I’m so homesick for Colorado!

6.  Can you guys indulge my obsession with TV for just a second?  I.am.furious.  The How I Met Your Mother series finale Monday night was terrible.  I didn’t like a single thing about it, and even though I saw it coming, I still felt a little sickened by the ending.  There is a ton of people who are irrationally angry about the fate of fake characters  just as irate as I am, and are making their voices heard.  This one sums up my thoughts perfectly.

7.  2014 has been a really good reading year for me so far.  I’ve already gotten through eleven books, and I just started “The Fault In Our Stars”.  I know I’m really behind on this one.  I’ve heard rave reviews about it for at least the last year, and I’m excited to get into it.

9780525478812_custom-7eb6cc16a8a3f2266865895e1718ac9e9d6232e0-s6-c30

8.  I have some pretty big news to share with all of you.

download

 

I’ve recently been selected to be a Fitfluential Ambassador!  I was super pumped when I received this news a few weeks ago.  This is an opportunity to work with some incredible people, and I’m looking forward to all the possibilities!

9.  It’s time to get this busy day started.  At least we’re on the backside of the week-come on weekend!  Have a great day!

Do you find the political process interesting?  Any other HIMYM fans out there?  Let me know your thoughts on the finale!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...