Adventures in Evergreen: Part I

Today’s Run: 12 miles. Bad ones.

This was the roughest run I’ve had in quite some time, most likely because of all the eating I did this weekend. I eat healthily most of the time, but I think it’s perfectly okay to splurge sometimes — especially when you’re celebrating, say, a five-year anniversary. So splurge I did, and this run was my body’s way of telling me that that splurgey-time is over and it’s time to get back on track. Thanks, body. Maybe send a friendly reminder text next time.

Enough about that. Let’s talk about that splurge-tastic weekend instead.

Originally, we had planned to do a two-day, one-night getaway for our anniversary, but then I saw that Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, would be in Boulder on Thursday night to discuss and sign his new book.

(source)

A few teacher-friends and I wanted to go, and J and I figured it was silly to drive home from Boulder at 9 p.m. and leave again for Evergreen early Friday morning, so we got a hotel in Broomfield and made a two-night getaway of it instead.

We stayed Thursday night in an aloft Hotel, which is apparently a new branch of  Starwood Hotels.

aloft

It was kind of a cool place — very trendy and modern. Too trendy to even capitalize its name. It was a nice place, though; I’d stay there again.

Friday started with an early run for me, then J and I cleaned up, grabbed some breakfast, and headed off to Evergreen.

Originally, we thought that maybe we’d do a short hike on Friday, but by the time we got to Evergreen (around 10:30), it was already pretty warm out,  so we decided to wait until Saturday to hike and spend Friday exploring the town. We did a little shopping, grabbed a little lunch, then headed over to Evergreen Lake.

A few weeks ago, I bought a Groupon for paddleboat rentals at Evergreen Lake. We were looking forward to paddleboating…until we realized that you can’t use a Groupon that you forgot to print. Whoops. So we decided just to walk around the lake and watch all the other paddleboaters/kayakers/SUP-ers.

Picture 002(not a bad view from here!)

As we walked, we saw this gate.

Picture 004I think you guys forgot something… like the rest of your fence.

Eventually, we cruised on back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. Which I will tell you all about later, when my computer decides to stop kicking me off the Internet every five minutes. Enjoy your Sunday!

What do you wish your body would tell you via text?

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Five Years of Wedded Bliss

Happy Anniversary to this guy!

j cropped

We’ve been married five years as of today, and they have flown by! It started here:

jordan%20seducing%20me(That’s our first date. It was Halloween; that’s not our usual weekend attire…or is it?)

Went here:

wedding

Then here:

Luau Love1

Here:

Yellowstone National Park

Here:

100_2384(Washington State…this is in Rainier National Park)

Here:

cali(California)

And a lot of other places along the way! We’re off today having more adventures. I’ll catch you up this weekend.

Honestly, I can’t believe how blessed I am to be spending my life with such a funny, sweet, caring, and patient fellow. Here’s to many more years! *clinkclink*

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever heard?

Tabata, Not Ciabatta

Today’s Run: 7.1 miles, s-l-o-w

I usually have a really hard time running recovery pace…it just feels so slow! But after two hard workouts yesterday, I knew that my legs needed a break, so I focused on keeping it easy.

“Wait, two hard workouts? But you only talked about hills yesterday.” Right. But my friend Jaylin (my running inspiration) saw this post, where I sang the praises of Carly from The Body Firm, and she suggested that I try Carly’s Wednesday night class, Core and Tabata. And I’m glad she did!

tabata class (This is The Body Firm‘s picture, not mine, and I think it’s from the Friday tabata class. But you get the idea.)

If you’re not familiar with tabatas, here’s how they work: you work as hard as possible for 20 seconds and “rest” for 10, repeating that cycle for four minutes. Each four-minute set is called a tabata. Last night, all the moves were on a bosu, which meant our cores had to work the whole time. We did 20 seconds of push-ups with a 10-second plank, then 20 seconds of plyo mountain climbers with a 10-second plank. We did those two sets for four minutes, and that was tabata one. The second tabata was 20 seconds of lunges with a 10-second rest (so we could switch legs), then 20 seconds of football runs with a 10-second squat.

I was dripping sweat by the end of the first tabata. I don’t mean that hyperbolically. The bottom of my bosu looked like a little pond. And by the end of the workout, this was all of us:

tabata cat(source)

 It was awesome. We did each tabata three times, so in a mere 24 minutes, we got a total-body, strength-and-cardio workout that was a real butt-kicker. Definitely try tabatas–especially if you’re short on time to work out!

When I got home, J asked me if my ciabatta class was delicious. Maybe he thought I was training to do this:

Speaking of ciabatta, let’s talk about bread. If you’ve perused the bread aisle lately, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of bread is not so healthy. Even the breads whose labels look healthy – proclaiming things like whole grain! heart healthy! – list about 9 billion ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup and a bunch of weird preservatives that most of us can’t pronounce.

Of course, not every bread is unhealthy – some of my favorite healthy breads are Food for Life, Rudi’s, and Udi’s – but none of those are available here. And if you can’t eat gluten, your options are even more limited. So what’s a sandwich-loving girl to do?

Eat collards, that’s what.

collard

These giant green leaves are ideal for making wraps. Just wash one and leave it a little wet, microwave it for 20-30 seconds, hack off the stem, and fill the leaf with your favorite sandwich fillings.

Does it taste like bread? No. Don’t be ridiculous. But it tastes good, it’s healthy, and you can pick it up and eat it sandwich-style. So that’s a win, in my book.

collard sammich1

It’s like a little present. Surprise! It’s a turkey burger!

If you don’t like or can’t find collards, red-leaf lettuce works well, too.

 

Have you ever done a tabata workout? If not, do you want to now?

Favorite sandwich fillings?

Potatoes for Dinner and Hills for Breakfast

Today’s Run: 8.6 miles – hill repeats

I started my workout a little after 5:30 this morning – about an hour earlier than yesterday – and it was so. much. cooler. Sleeping in is for chumps. Of course, finishing The Pillars of the Earth yesterday meant that I didn’t stay up reading half the night, so that made the whole early-morning thing easier.

My training schedule today called for “long hill repeats” –up and down hills that take two to three minutes to climb. The biggest hills in town take less than a minute, so it was time to head outta town…a little bit. My favorite hills for this type of workout are a little over four miles from home. Since I didn’t want my warm-up and cool-down to be longer than the actual workout, I grabbed my trusty two-wheeler and rode a little more than halfway there, then parked the bike and started the run. That way, my warm-up and cool-down were only about a mile and a half each—much better.

hill

(This is a crummy picture; I was using my phone and couldn’t really see the screen. Those are hills.)

These are my favorite hills to run repeats on because there are several in a row, which makes the workout feel MUCH less tedious than running up and down the same hill ten times.  These hills are perfect for this workout:

 hill graph

I got a nice, long downhill run for my cooldown and biked home.  I’m practically a duathlete (or not). And I got a bike ride in for Bike to Work Day, even though I don’t actually have to go to work today (neener neener).

(source)

 In other news, our five-year anniversary is Friday, so J brought me these yesterday:

flowers

I heard that someone *coughSarahcough* said that J and I are nauseating. Whatever. I got flowers.

So I made him potatoes for dinner. The poor potato has gotten a bad rap recently, but potatoes are actually good for you…as long as they’re not fried or smothered with cheese and butter, of course. Potatoes are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and B-vitamins, plus they provide complex carbohydrates to give you energy without a crash later on.  So eat them!

Here’s how we had ours:

fries

1 lb frozen French-fry cut potatoes (pre-cut, not pre-fried)

Fresh basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary

A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Baked at 450 for 15 minutes and devoured alongside turkey burgers.

Yum.

 

What’s your favorite potato recipe (healthy or not so much)?

Did you bike to work (or wherever) today?

Chicken? I Could Eat Some Chicken

Today’s Run: 9.1 miles, easy pace, super sweaty

I’m going to have to start running earlier in the morning. I’m such a pansy when it comes to heat. If I ever had to move to the south, I would probably just fall over dead. But it was a good run despite being sweaty. Especially since I got these in the mail yesterday:

Picture 003

Oooh, orange.

I also got these in the mail yesterday:

Picture

Summer reading, English-teacher style.

Anyway, my legs were pretty tired this morning and took a looong time to loosen up. I blame Carly at The Body Firm. I go to her Muscle Works class on Monday nights, and it is fantastic. If you live here, hit it up. She has a different workout every week, so it doesn’t get redundant, and she’s super high-energy. Her energy and encouragement definitely make me push harder than I would otherwise. Seriously, go. (No, The Body Firm is not paying me to say this. I just really like that class.)

After Muscle Works, I went to yoga. I do not like yoga. It’s not because of the instructor or anything; I’m just extremely inflexible and feel like this:

yoga (source)

But it’s good for me, so I go.

Yoga ends at 7:30, and by the time I bike home and shower, it’s close to 8:00, which is pretty late for dinner when you’re an old lady like me who goes to bed at 9. I definitely don’t want to spend extra time cooking, so I decided yesterday afternoon to put something in the crockpot.

I have a recipe for hoisin chicken drumsticks that’s pretty good, and we had drumsticks in the freezer that needed to be used, so I thought that was perfect. I dumped the chicken in the crockpot and got out the hoisin sauce…and realized that there were only about two tablespoons left in the jar. My recipe called for a half cup. I would have just stuck the chicken in the fridge and waited to start it, since I had to go grocery shopping anyway, but the Wal-Mart here doesn’t carry hoisin sauce. I just decided to improvise, and it turned out pretty tasty.

Crock-Pot Asian Chicken

Ingredients (I didn’t actually measure anything; these are estimates. Adjust as necessary):

Picture 001 –> See what happens when I take my own pictures? Craptastic.

2 lbs frozen chicken drumsticks (skinless is best if you can find them. Breasts would work, too)

2 T hoisin sauce

¼ cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

1 T Worcestershire sauce (bonus points for pronouncing it right)

1 T fish sauce

1 T honey

2 T sesame oil

3 t minced garlic

½ t ground ginger

¼ c water (I put it in the hoisin jar and shook it up)

Put the chicken in the crockpot. Mix all the other ingredients. Taste the sauce. If it’s gross, add more of something. If it’s good, dump it over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours. Open the cupboard and realize you had a brand new jar of hoisin this whole time.

Picture 002

Oh, wait, that last step was just mine. It’s hard to be this smart.

J had his chicken on rice; I had mine with a side of broccoli. Yummo.

Almost every time I make chicken, I think of this:

friends (source)

I remembered yesterday that all the good bloggers post questions for readers to answer in the comments. So:

Show me what a wimp I am: how hot was your workout today?

What’s your favorite Friends episode?

So…I’m a Blogger Now

Today’s Run: 8.2 miles with 10 200m strides

The first post seems awkward. You don’t really know me yet, but I’ve posted some basic info in the About Me and About the Blog sections…so what should I say here? I think I’ll just pretend that I’ve been blogging for a while and we’re pals, and I’ll start in the middle.

Today started Week 2 of training for Rock ‘n Roll Denver. For my last four marathons, I’ve used one of Pete Pfitzinger’s plans from Advanced Marathoning (if you’ve never read it, go buy it now. It’s fantastic.), but I bought Greg McMillan’s book You, Only Faster  in Boston and am using a plan from it this time. The book teaches you how to design your own training plan, based on your strengths and weaknesses as a runner. It was good stuff, and I’m interested to see how this training cycle and race turn out compared to my Pfitz races.

Today’s run was a rough one. It stormed hard last night – which was awesome, because we desperately need the moisture – but it made for a humid run. Colorado is not exactly a humid place, so on the rare occasion that it gets steamy, I don’t adjust well. I got lightheaded after my last couple of strides and had to sit down on the laundry room floor, head between the knees, dripping sweat, and make the husband bring me water and Nuun. It was super attractive, and he felt lucky to be married to me just then.  But the Nuun evened my electrolytes back out and I felt all better. Before the whole dizziness issue, it was a nice, uneventful run.

In other news, Teachers Write 2013 started today. It seems like it’s going to be a pretty awesome experience that will make me really work on my writing. And what could be cooler than summer camp….even if it is online? If you’re a teacher, check it out here.

Well, then.  I’m going to post this silly first post, then go buy some groceries and hopefully see some candidates for People of Wal-Mart.

P.S. I hope you like this blog. I promise there will soon be more pictures…that I actually take. Be gentle in your comments; it’s just a baby blog and still has a lot of developing to do.

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