Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two-for-Tuesday

Here’s what’s on my mind today:

Number 1:  Halloween wasn’t a big deal, but Thanksgiving kicked my ass.  Seriously, I had no problem limiting the candy, even ignoring it for days on end.  The stash is still barely half-eaten, sitting in a bag in the pantry and it doesn’t even call my name late in the afternoon.  But stuffing?  And mashed potatoes?  And – omg! – homemade rolls?  I couldn’t stop shoveling it in!  Thank goodness there was no leftover pie.  I pawned off as much of the leftovers on my kids as I possibly could over the weekend and used the last of the turkey last night in a pot of chili.  *whew*  Now I can get back to business as usual.

Number 2:  My new {anne franklin designs} necklace!!  I won this necklace a few weeks ago from aron over at runner’s rambles and I can’t even tell you how much I love it!  The necklaces anne makes are re-purposed Scrabble tiles, which makes them a really perfect size and weight for wearing around your neck.  The 18” length sits at just the right spot and the ribbon-and-cord combo gives it that little something extra.  She has so many cute designs – check them out! – I had some trouble deciding on just one (no worries, a few others have made their way onto my Christmas list).  Of course, in the end, I had to go with the “p” necklace.

Two-for-Tuesday 008

I actually have more than two things on my mind today, so – lucky you! – it’s a two-for-Two-for-Tuesday.

Number 1 (part two):  I got the strangest running injury ever during my long run this weekend – the tongue of my shoe rubbed the front of my ankle raw.  (Side note:  I think “ankle” is the wrong word here, but I can’t come up with another one.  It’s too high for the top of my foot, but it’s not my shin yet.  To me, the word ankle refers more to the protruding bones on either side and the back of course is the Achilles heel.  So what’s the front of your ankle called??)  I was wearing a pair of Zoot Active tights and this was the one inch of exposed skin between the tights and my socks.  (Another side note:  I love me some Zoot compression tights!  I have the “active” ones and the “recovery” ones and they are completely worth the *mumble mumble* bucks I spent on them.  Yeah, they’re that expensive.  Here’s the most awesome thing about being married to IronHubs:  we’re the same height, so we can share gear like tights, calf sleeves and arm sleeves.  It makes me way more willing to shell out the cash when I know things get double the use.)  I’ll spare you the photo of my whatever-that-body-part-is-called, but here’s my shoe.  My poor Newtons have so much blood on them!

Two-for-Tuesday 006

Number 2 (part two):  Christmas threw up in my house last night.  I love decorating for Christmas, even though the clutter will drive me bonkers by the time I take it all down on December 26th.  We cued up the Christmas Music playlist – Gary Hoey, Twisted Sister, Brian Setzer and Trans-Siberian Orchestra – and got to work putting out all the crap crafts.  My favorite part is putting the ornaments on the tree and reminiscing about where and when – or why (seriously, we have some crazy stuff on our tree.  Ten-inch plastic shark, anyone?) – we got them.   Even though the boys are older now, I still put out the handmade snowmen, reindeer and Santa crafts they made at school when they were little.  It may or may not have been a good idea to get the kids all sugared up (“Halloween candy for dessert?  Sure!”) before we started this project.

Trimming the Tree 009

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Thankfully, no one ended up crying or at the hospital, so YAY for happy family memories, right?

Trimming the Tree 024This is what the Christmas ornaments look like at our house – gotta love the endurance sports-themed tree!  I’m already designing a new one for IronHubs to commemorate Silverman.

Two for Tuesday 003

So what’s on your mind this Tuesday??

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Random Adventure Winner!!

Well, I’ve pulled myself out of my turkey coma long enough to pick another random winner from my “Not Your Average Adventure” virtual race – yay!

Adventure Winner 004

Gotta put on the hat first.  Apparently that also required me to make a duck face – who knew?

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I had to choose the winner from my chair because Rosy was on my lap.  She was supremely uninterested in my task.

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I attempted 29 pictures of myself drawing from the hat before finally enlisting IronHubs to come and help.  He got this pic in about five tries, by which time I was laughing hysterically.

Finally, a winner:

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Hooray!!  Megan from The Daily Sweat is the latest winner!!  Megan, please email me at PahlaB2@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Another winner will be announced soon!  I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

A little sweat this morning = (mostly) nice to the in-laws later today.

Turkey Spin 012Me and my BFF Coach Troy getting’ our sweat on.

Happy Thanksgiving, Bloggy Friends – I am thankful for YOU!!  I hope you all have a happy, safe and sweaty day; I can’t wait to read all the Turkey Trot race reports!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Snapshot Sunday

When I woke up this morning, the clock said this:

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so I had a big ol’ cup of this:

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got dressed in this:

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and went for a long, beautiful, cold and hilly run on this:

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where I saw gorgeous scenery like this:

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“De.  LISH!” is my two word mini-review for this:

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Right next to the bike path, I saw a HUGE flock of these:

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A few hours later, I ended my run looking like this:

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When I got back to my car, I finally understood why so many people had asked me if I was cold when I noticed that the temperature was this:

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One hot shower later, I put on these:

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and plunked my booty in front of the computer to watch this:

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Later, I baked up a couple of yummy loaves of this:

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and enjoyed another cup of this:

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Since it was a crisp and sunny fall day, IronHubs and I took our doggy for one of these:

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A lazy family Sunday wouldn’t be complete without a game of this:

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For dinner we had this:

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and after I clean up these:

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it won’t be long before I look like this:

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Happy Sunday!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blogging…

to bring you this:  my 100th post!!  Good gravy, who knew I had so much to blog about?  (Don’t answer that, I already know I talk a lot.)

I will not be providing you with a link to my very first post because it was extraordinarily yawn-worthy, but I will mention that I started blogging EXACTLY six months ago today:  May 19th.  Doncha love that?  It’s so neat and tidy, it completely satisfies the OCD part of me.  184 days of living in Blogville and apparently I’ve had something to yap about on 100 of those days.

You wanna crunch some other numbers?  Me, too.  Over the course of 100 posts:

  • I’ve won three awesome giveaways (but entered dozens more – I guess my odds aren’t all that good).
  • I competed in two virtual races (Mama Goes Masters and The Race to End Lupus).
  • and I hosted my own virtual race – don’t worry, more winners will be announced as soon as I stop my yammering here.
  • the tag I have used most frequently is “race photos” (15 times), followed closely by “triathlon” (14 times).  The tag “crazy” was used eight times and apparently I’ve only mentioned the Bee Gees once.  That’s gonna change real soon.
  • I raced two Sprint Tris, a Super Sprint Tri, a 10K and a marathon.  Five races in six months isn’t too shabby.
  • I’ve made 112 new friends!  Thanks for reading, even when I’m lame.

If this had been an actual blog post, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news or instructions (or possibly some cute pictures).  This concludes this test of the Average Athlete Blogging System.  Thank you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Adventure Winner #2!!

Hooray for enthusiastic winners (and thank you both for contacting me right away)!  It’s already time to announce Random Winner #2:

Virtual Race Winners 006Big Boy had to put the hat on, too.

Virtual Race Winners 010A repeat of yesterday’s picture – the hat full of names.

Virtual Race Winners 013Who will it be???  The suspense is killing me!

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YAY!!  Random Winner #2 is Julie from Julie’s Running Blog!!

Congratulations Julie – you get to choose from these fabulous prizes:

Spinervals “No Slackers Allowed!” DVD

Spinervals “Sweating Buckets” DVD

CafePress Beach Tote

Please send me an email (PahlaB2@gmail.com) with your choice and I’ll get your prize out to you lickety-split!

Didn’t win yet??  No worries, two more random winners will be announced soon!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Random Adventure Winner #1

You know how most bloggy giveaways have that little blurb when they announce a winner that the winner must contact them within 48 hours or a new one will be chosen?  Well, I think it took about 48 seconds for Elizabeth @ Canyon Cairns to respond yesterday – I love (and encourage) that sort of enthusiasm!

To choose the random winners, I went completely old school.  I put the commenters’ names into a spreadsheet, printed it out, cut it into strips and then drew the winners from a hat:

Virtual Race Winners 004I borrowed the hat from Little Boy.  I don’t think the cat was very excited to help.

Virtual Race Winners 005All the entrants.

Virtual Race Winners 009Folding all the strips of paper in half so we couldn’t accidentally read the names on them.

Virtual Race Winners 010All the names in a hat.

Virtual Race Winners 011You have to close your eyes and turn your head to make it fair.

Virtual Race Winners 012YAY!!  Random Winner #1 is Track Coach and Adorable Wife!!

Congratulations Tressa and Jesse!  Please email me (PahlaB2@gmail.com) with your choice of one of the Spinervals DVDs listed HERE or the CafePress beach tote!  You have 48 seconds to contact me…ha, ha, ha!!

More Random Winners coming soon!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grand Prize Adventure Winner!!

Happy Monday, Adventurers!  I know you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for this announcement, but first I have to tell you all THANK YOU for joining my virtual race!!  I’ve had such a blast hosting it and really enjoyed reading all the race reports!  Mud runs, bicycle rides and (dream) marathons, oh my!  I had such a hard time choosing just one Grand Prize winner, check out these awesome entries:

Chris over at Running After Daylight ran a 50K adventure, complete with broken bones – yikes!

Sophia the Ambitious Slacker got down and dirty with a Mud Run adventure, and even though there are no race pics there is a really cute bunny and a handsome pirate in her report!

Speaking of mud runs, Megan from the Daily Sweat rocked her muddy adventure in some mighty cute socks and yet somehow managed to stay pretty clean!

Darlene of My First 5K Blog fame, took a day off of work for her 5K adventure!  Oh, okay, it was a Veteran’s Day race, but she did awesome and took home an AG award, too.

The very picturesque ajh at AGE GROUPS ROCK had a chilly and alliterative bicycle adventure – woo hoo for a new commuting PR!!

One Crazy Penguin made me totally jealous with her 15K Chocolate adventure (and made me laugh by including a Spinal Tap reference in her report)!

Oh, and if you want a really good laugh, go check out Shalane Marcia’s virtual marathon adventure on Running Off at the Mouth.  This girl cracks me up!

ShebaJC over at Thankfully Thorns Have Roses fought through a bad cold, a bad stomach and bad knee pain during her 7-mile adventure, what a tough cookie!

Whitney from Running with Whit made a mad dash for the port-a-potties during her Race to P(ee) adventure!  I’m pretty sure she got a P(ee)R.  *groan*

The funny and festive Anne at Asthma and the Gift of Running really went all out for a birthday adventure – 4K of balloons, beautiful scenery and a cake, too!

I wish I could give prizes to everyone, but in the end I picked (drum roll, please…)

Elizabeth from Canyon Cairns!

Elizabeth went on a fantastic (and very challenging!) adventure, just to… well, I won’t spoil the ending for you, read it for yourself!

Congratulations Elizabeth, you get to choose TWO of the prizes described here.  Please email me at PahlaB2@gmail.com with your choices and I’ll let you know how to claim them.

Fellow adventurers, have no fear – four more lucky winners will be chosen at random.  Winner #1 will be announced later this week and will get to choose from the remaining prizes, then Winner #2 will be chosen, and so on.  I hope you all had a Happy Adventure!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Not Too Late!!

Yes, there's still time to enter the "Not Your Average Adventure" virtual race! (Sorry there's no link, I'm on my phone. Click the picture on my sidebar for the details.) Life got in the way of my best-laid plans this week, too, so I'll be accepting race reports all day today and announcing the first of several winners on Monday. Happy Adventuring!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ryders ‘Vela’ Sunglasses - Review

Let me tell you right off the bat that I am extremely picky about my sunglasses.  I wear sunglasses year-round because my eyes are very light sensitive and I own at least 20 pairs to rotate through because I don’t love any one pair enough to wear them all the time.  I have pretty specific criteria for both fit and function, too.  I can try on hundreds of pairs of glasses before buying one.  So when Ryders offered to send me a pair of sunglasses to review, my initial reaction was pretty tepid.  Cautiously optimistic at best.

I actually already own a pair of Ryders that I love.  I wear them for running, cycling and racing and they are awesome!  My only problem with the pair I own is that they are very “sporty” looking, so I can’t/won’t wear them for everyday use.

Well, then, how did I like the ‘Vela” sunglasses?  Holy cats, I LOVE them!!!

Suntech Optics / Bugaboos Eyewear

TEST #1:  Initial Reaction – I had seen a picture of them on the Ryders website, but they are even better-looking than I had thought.  Sporty, but casual.  I could see myself wearing them for daily use as well as running and racing.  They are super, super lightweight and when I put them on – without adjusting anything yet – they were very comfortable.  They aren’t girly or manly – IronHubs thought I looked cute in them and I thought they looked handsome on him.

TEST #2:  The Fit – I need sunglasses to fit me a certain way or I simply won’t wear them.  They need to sit high enough on my face that I can’t see over the top.  They must not pinch my nose or ears in any manner – ouch.  They need to sit far enough away from my eyes that my eyelashes don’t hit them, but not so far that I’m aware of the edges in my peripheral vision.  They need to sit firmly on my nose without sliding and they need to sit straight.  Did I mention that I’m picky??  Yeah.  Well, these puppies passed the fit test with flying colors!  The adjustable nosepiece made all the difference in the world on the fit, letting me sit the Velas on my face exactly the way I like them.

TEST #3:  The Function – It doesn’t matter how good they look if they don’t work, right?  This past weekend, I really put the Velas through their paces.  Nine + hours of driving?  No problem – they were still comfortable at the end of the drive.  18 mile long run?  They performed beyond my expectations – no slipping, no chafing, no fogging when I was sweating like a pig, and they were just dark enough in the sunny conditions.

TEST #4:  The Details – Here’s where the Velas show their stuff, all the little details that make a pair of sunglasses go from “good enough” to “completely awesome.”

Ryders Sunglasses 003They are very, very lightweight.  My postal scale is set for ounces.

Ryders Sunglasses 004They come with a fantastic hard case, way better than the flimsy bag you usually get.

Ryders Sunglasses 005They come with three pairs of lenses, for use on cloudy, glary days or eye protection – love it!

Ryders Sunglasses 006There is a little pouch for the extra lenses that velcros into the hard case.  As a girl who loses extra lenses frequently, I was thrilled with this!

Ryders Sunglasses 009Maybe my favorite feature of all, the armpiece has little grippy dots so you can grab the glasses off of your face with sweaty hands.  Pure genius.

TEST #5:  The Price – Bloggy Friends, it doesn’t get any better than this:  you can win a pair of them for FREE!!  One lucky adventurer from my virtual race is going to win a pair of Ryders ‘Vela’ sunglasses!!  It’s not too late to enter!  Okay, and even if you don’t win them, they retail for around 40 bucks – that’s a pretty incredible value for your money.

******************************

FYI:  Ryders sent me a pair of Vela sunglasses for free and is providing one lucky reader a pair for free.  The very *ahem* discerning (doesn’t that sound nicer than “picky?”) opinions are all mine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Little More about Silverman

You know how insanely proud of IronHubs I was, so I felt like he deserved his own post, but do you know who raced the Silverman Half-Distance last weekend??  Not only Ron (who kicked a$$ and PR’d), but MACCA!  Yes, two-time Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack!  I was lucky enough to catch sight of him a few times during the race and snap some pics.

SILVERMAN!! 058

Okay, I know this is not my finest performance as a photographer, but I honestly didn’t see him coming until he was right there in front of me.  IronHubs was already out on the bike course (the Half-Distance swim started an hour and a half after the Full-Distance), so I was more “people watching” than paying any real attention to the athletes.  When I saw him coming up the ramp out of T1, though, I scrambled to get a pic in time.  Please note, my camera is NOT zoomed for this one, he was that close!

Funny story – IronHubs actually saw Macca on the bike course (presumably while Macca was flying past him), and IronHubs’ first snarky thought upon seeing the Macca kit and bike was, “Dude, you’re such a Macca wannabe,” never thinking for an instant that it was the man himself!  We had a good laugh over how funny it would have been if he’d said that out loud.

SILVERMAN!! 062Watching him fly off the bike into T2 was, in a word, breathtaking.  His dismount was so seamless I almost missed it.

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Needless to say, he won the race.  And had a huge smile on his face and was giving high-fives all down the finishing chute.  He seriously looked like he wasn’t even breaking a sweat, but he was only 4 seconds off of setting a course record.  Wow!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SILVERMAN Spectator Report

Okay, this is actually a recap of the entire weekend with about a bazillion pictures, so you might want to grab a snack before you get going on this post!

We arrived in Lake Las Vegas Friday evening after a 9+ hour drive.  Lake Las Vegas is a ritzy resort town and our hotel (The Loews Resort – you say it like “lows.”  I wasn’t sure until we checked in and the attendant pronounced it that way, so I had been saying it different every time we talked about it – lews, low-eez, lee-yous, etc.) was absolutely amazing.  I’ve never stayed anyplace quite like it before.  They had a private white sand beach on the lake and two swimming pools.  The only thing missing was a continental breakfast.  I guess rich people don’t like free breakfast buffets.  Bummer.SILVERMAN!! 036

We don’t do a lot of “destination” races, but when we do, my favorite thing is staying at a hotel that has lots of other athletes.  The Loews parking lot was full of cars like this one.  Don’t you wish this was your license plate?????

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It was already dark when we arrived and we were tired, so it was off to bed with us.

Saturday morning, we got up sort of early (6 am), because The Hubs had a mandatory race meeting to attend at the Expo and I wanted to get in my long run.  The Expo was held at the Finish Line/T2, so The Hubs asked me to run the 13.1 mile course for him (he would do it twice, I just did it once plus a little) to do some recon.  Armed with a map (seriously, look at how convoluted this course it), I took off for a remarkably pleasant run.  I say “remarkably pleasant” because I had a complete and utter hydration belt fail, a bloody foot problem (yes, there’s a pic below – feel free to skip it!), I was tired from the very long drive, I am used to running at sea level and Lake Las Vegas is at 2000 ft. elevation, and check out the course profile.  Them there’s some serious hills!

Run Course

Silverman Run Profile

So, I’ve been having this problem on my long runs lately with one of my toenails cutting its next-door-neighbor toe.  I keep my toenails trimmed very short, so I really can’t figure out why this keeps happening.  It must be time to win buy some Injinjis.

SILVERMAN!! 002

When I peeled off my bloody sock, The Hubs said, “EWWWWWW. <pause>  Let me get the camera so you can take a picture of that.”  He knows me so well.

While I was running, The Hubs scored boatloads of free stuff at the expo.  Here’s all the race schwag (Silverman logo backpack, logo visor, logo water bottle, tons of Hammer samples, logo pen, logo playing cards – ha, ha, only in Vegas, right? – Triathlete magazine, and USAT stickers):

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Saturday afternoon, we took Mr. Bicycle and The Hubs’ transition bags to be checked in:

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Then we drove the run course, ate rice bowls for dinner and went to bed ridiculously early.  Having the time change the night before a race was awful, in my opinion.  It was just an extra hour to toss and turn and worry.

But, soon enough, Sunday morning arrived!  The alarm went off at 4:15, plenty of time for The Hubs to freak out get fully prepared for RACE DAY!

SILVERMAN!! 038 It was still dark when we got to the Swim Start.

SILVERMAN!! 043Hanging out on the dock before the deep water start.  I was on a bridge that they swam under, a perfect vantage point to watch the whole swim.

SILVERMAN!! 047And they’re off!!  Do you see that poor guy way in the back of the pack?  Not The Hubs, thank goodness!!  This poor guy obviously missed the start somehow – not an optimal way to start a race.  SWIM TIME – 1:28:08

SILVERMAN!! 051I admit it:  I didn’t see The Hubs get out of the water.  250 guys in wetsuits and yellow swim caps look EXACTLY the same stumbling exhaustedly out of a lake, in case you were wondering.  At least I caught him in transition.  T1 TIME – 11:07, apparently he was doing his taxes with Jeff!

SILVERMAN!! 052See you in 112 miles!!

SILVERMAN!! 023We drove part of the bike course Saturday afternoon – beautiful desert scenery.

Silverman Bike Course ProfileOh, and did I mention that the bike course was hilly??  The Silverman bills itself as The World’s Toughest Triathlon for a reason!  BIKE TIME – 6:37:08, T2 – 7:33.

SILVERMAN!! 075The Hubs headed out on the run course with a HUGE smile on his face!  Because of the looping nature of the course, I saw him at the start, Mile 4, Mile (almost) 13, Mile 17 and the finish.  He was smiling the whole time, in spite of some stomach troubles that had him doing more walking than running.  RUN TIME – 5:19:40.

SILVERMAN!! 081Words simply can’t describe how proud I was (and still am!) of The Hubs as he came running into the finish chute.  I was jumping up and down, screaming, crying and ringing my cowbell – it’s darn lucky I got any pics!  FINISH TIME – 13:43:43.

SILVERMAN!! 084IronHubs!

SILVERMAN!! 085The post-race fuel of champions?  Oh, yeah, baby – TWINKIES!!

We capped off the weekend by waking up early Monday morning (5 am) and driving the 9+ hours back home.  Yay.

*whew*  What an amazing weekend!  I never had any doubts that IronHubs could complete the race (and beat his time goal of 14 hours!), but watching him and the other triathletes grind it out was nothing short of awe-inspiring.  I had a front-row seat to one of the greatest shows on earth and you better believe that it made me want to do one of these things myself!! 

Congratulations to everyone who raced or spectated this weekend!!