LOVE (GF) Giveaway – Beans for Breakfast?

It’s no secret I love me some LOVE (Grown Foods), and every time the HQ team comes out with news for us it’s impossible to read it without a big ol’ smile! They are always so pumped about what’s going on, and their enthusiasm spreads far and wide!

In fact, it’s taken them so far that now the brand new Power O’s (gluten-free) Cereals are landing themselves right on the Whole Foods shelves! People are excited about having beans for breakfast – and why shouldn’t they be?! They’re essentially hidden in the form of adorable little o’s that taste delicious. Full of fiber, protein & other good things. And the Love team is so  pumped about this that they’re giving more cereal away fo’ free!

THIS IS LOVE:

Power Os Giveaway

Do ya want some?

Leave some love below & let me know – by Friday August 1!
(US & Canada residents only – please and thanks!)

——

Find the LOVE team online @lovegrownfoods (tweeting & insta-ing) and in stores @WholeFoods markets! #beansforbreakfast #powerOs

14 Comments

Filed under Giveaway, Nutrition

New Almaden Trail Race (Quicksilver Park)

While we’re less than half a mile to the coast here in Monterey, we happen to be spoiled by the West Coast’s tectonic genius and are also a short drive away from state parks, mountain ranges and endless trails for exploring.

2014-07-26 07.20.02-1

He did some searching and quickly found us a local trail race – New Almaden Race at Quicksilver Park. We had a few weeks to adjust to the microclimates here – if it’s 65* in Monterey assume that it’s at least 80* in San Jose? Got it! – and prepare our muscles for the changing terrain. He contemplated signing up for the half-marathon option, until we looked up race times from last year and the winner of the 10k came in around 1:35.

Uh….’scuse me?

The course is described as “hard with steep up and down hills”, oh, “ and is all exposed”. NOTED. We’ll start ‘small’ here in Cali. I figured the new Mizuno Hayates could handle all of the above – their first race-test. (We convinced Rachel to join us for her first trail race, too!)

2014-07-26 08.04.37 2014-07-26 08.02.24

It started early, at 7am, to keep the half + full marathons in cool temps for a little while. Six hundred feet of climbing in the first mile (slowest split of the day, rolling in at 13:42) will wake you up faster than any cup o’ joe! I started to do some math and assumed I’d be lucky to finish in 1:20, and decided to stick with that.

Mile 2 brought some reprieve-turned-quad-pounding with 400 ft of descent, offering little comfort on an out-and-back course. But at least this split resembled something similar to “running”, with a much faster 10:22. WHEW.

I didn’t see any runners on their way back until around mile 2.8, and started seriously wondering if I had somehow screwed up a very well-marked course. Luckily the leaders came up around the corner (hey, I know you!), followed by the only other person I saw before the half-way point aid station. Hm, I’m in fourth place….*

I stopped for a cup of water and friendly chit-chat with the volunteers at the aid station (mile 3.1) – I know with trail races they often have to check your number & make sure you’re still out there and moving. Starting up and out again, I learned the two runners closest to me were at least a quarter-mile back. New goal: keep it that way!

2014-07-26 08.02.10

The actual goal was to run as much as I physically could. The ‘rule’ was that if I didn’t have to lean forward to get up a climb, I had to try to run. Sometimes walking was actually more efficient, but it’s easy to keep walking even once you’re over the crest because this is tough. The faster you get your legs ‘running’, once they can, the easier it is to motivate them to keep moving.

Almaden Run Altitude

One hill I actually walked up backwards, in an attempt to save the calves and lower back some agony. One hill was so steep I walked down it, too.

2014-07-26 08.04.33-1

There was one different turn on the way back that would save us a few ups and downs, easing up on the quads and hamstrings just a little bit.  He was waiting at the 6-mile ‘mark’ (miles weren’t marked), ready to hop in and push me to the finish. You know, that annoying thing where a pacer runs just a few steps ahead of you when you’re exhausted and so close and like, REALLY dude?! , but you chase them anyway.

The Finish Line sprint was hardly that, but it felt good to go ‘fast’ on a relatively flat section and see that huge jug of cold water waiting for us!

New Almaden Quicksilver Park 10K

1:08:58
6.2 miles
Top Female Finisher
(
Small Race = Big rewards)

Huge thanks to the West Coast Trail Running Group for an excellent race, course & finisher’s food spread! We can’t wait to join you guys again soon!

3 Comments

Filed under race report, trail running, training

28: Part of Something Good

Everything there feels just as it should
You’re part of a life there, part of something good.
- Brandi Carlile –

Things looked very different on this 24th of July, as I sat in a Monterey, CA coffee shop, a quarter-mile from both the Pacific Ocean’s coast and the place we now call “home”, but thousands of miles from some of my favorite people.  We ran through the greens of Spanish Bay and along the water, nowhere near Lincoln or the Capital, but nothing to complain about here…

2014-07-24 06.11.25 2014-07-24 06.22.18

Here, we have historic adobe houses, new swanky houses, and beaches that somehow show you both the sunrise and sunset (thanks, geography! – I still haven’t really figured this one out). Here, we have a totally different life than that which surrounded me one year ago.

big mistake first step

Now, more than ever, I know that there is always an adventure to be had – just turn over a few pillows and look under a few unturned stones. Something’s waiting. I know that change is inevitable; embrace it, challenge it, tell it what’s up!, let it change you. And now I know what MAF training is, how much I still have to learn about running, how to say “hello” and “Goodnight” in Swahili, where the wineries can be found in Carmel Valley (and to take the Grapevine Express!)  and that there is also a “Monterey”, Mexico!

These are all equally important life things.

adventures 

 tonyhorton5kgirls adult stuff
IMG_3163   UnicornIMG_3057
 wonderfulIMG_3687 

Bateleur Camp_Sunrise 1 Amsterdam Canal Day
2014-04-11 06.42.55
  2014-07-03 16.51.41

 our year

Yep, that.

I know that even when it’s not perfect, it’s just how it should be.
It’s part of something good.

———————–

1 Comment

Filed under about me

Blazing New Trails: Running the Bay Trails with Mizuno

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Mizuno & Fitfluential. #blazenewtrails

———————————————————–

There’s a pedestrian trail down by the water; it takes you right along the Bay in either direction, providing blissfully flat terrain, no stop lights and a lot of people who nod, wave and say hello. It requires no thinking, no planning, and no fear that a hill may pop up outta nowhere!

Then, in our ‘backyard’, there is this:

2014-07-15 13.58.25

Trails, galore!

Trails that will take you up hills and around parks and to the a crest that spoils you with a view. I mean, checks it…

2014-07-15 14.16.54-1

The way my HR currently responds to said hills and trails makes them an enemy to most training runs, but that’s just fine. They give me an excuse to take an afternoon break, lace up my new Mizuno Hayates, and go explore – blaze new trails around our new digs.

2014-07-15 14.20.31  2014-07-17 08.25.01 IMG_0552

I’ve hesitated to invest in ‘real’ trail-running shoes, despite my recent forays into this aspect of the sport (exhibits A, B & C). They’re usually chunky, stiff, heavy, and not appropriate for the everyday-walk. I prefer versatile footwear. And now I know, I prefer Mizuno’s approach.

They took the road-runner into account with their new line of trail-running shoes. Specifically, these shoes boast a light weight (7.2 oz), a “low, light and highly adaptable” design that can take you right from trail, to road, and back.  I need just that! A shoe that goes from your front door to the summit is a friend of mine.

This shoe stays true to the Mizuno Wave, providing a stable shoe and smooth transitions. Check out the grip, the look and the eagerness to GO:

2014-07-17 08.24.34  2014-07-17 08.25.10

2014-07-15 13.58.08

On the bottom you see the “X-lug” grip, which any who have slipped and slid all around dirt (or concrete, we’re not judging here) know to be crucial. Keep me on my feet! Last but not least, these are designed to make the trail-seeking-runner happy – the lightweight approach means you “feel the trail, not you feet!”. No stomp-stomping here; just speedy, soft-landing bliss.

——-

Their true test is coming up, with our first {10K} adventure in
California off-road racing!

1 Comment

Filed under new things!, running, running gear, trail running

{MCM} Endurance Training Tales: Different Long Run Options

For the first time in a long time (possibly, ever?), I put on my big-girl marathon pants and started the training process nice n’ early. MCM announced the 16-weeks mark and I could be like “ON IT!” instead of Psh.

You could say I’ve had a change-of-heart.

stubborn goals

Training never really ceased or ‘started’ after Charlottesville – it was a seamless transition from recovery to 10k-race to right-back-at-it! The Coach hasn’t given up on me, and my heart is slowly coming back to bat after throwing the moving-stress-tantrum for a few weeks.  Because Charlottesville training was so different for me, I didn’t feel the intense need to take a ton of time off, or break-up with the marathon forever (just the hilly ones, maybe). Rather, I threw my hat in the MCM lottery because hot-damn I love that race with all my heart, and fate played spades. I’m in!

We’re doing this, MCM – round 3.

This year has been all about putting my ego to rest and letting a Coach tell me what to do, how to do it, and why to stop freaking out about my slow, easy, pace. It’s been about trying a new approach to endurance training, letting someone else take the reigns. I’ve become best friends with TrainingPeaks.com, my Polar watch (RC3 GPS/HRM) and MAF training.

My weekly training schedules of yore bare little-to-no resemblance to what my calendar fills up with these days. Exhibit A: the Long Run.

What I used to do: set out to tackle an exact mileage, increasing by ~2 miles each week, taking every third week “off” (step-back). 14, 16, 18, 20 – milers. The drill.

What I do now: leave the calculating and brain-waves and mad-scientist action to the Coach, of course! My Long Runs are almost always based on time, not miles, and are typically broken down into very specific sections.

I love this for a few reasons: it’s not monotonous, it gives my brain something to think about as I chug along, it challenges me in a different way, and on that note, it’s DIFFERENT. Some days I run solely based on heart-rate ranges (a), some days there are times + pace sections (b), some days it’s based on mileage and pace sections (c) and some days I look at my schedule, scratch my head and spend 5 minutes memorizing the flavor of the day.

Say what? Lemme explain…

(a) 2:00 hours: 30 min warm-up, 60 min at MAF*, 15 min MAF + 5, 15 min cool-down.

(b) 2:00 hours: 30 min warm-up, 45 min at MAF, 30 min at 5K Pace (RPE*), 15 min cool-down.

(c) 15 miles: 2-mile warm-up, 2 miles at 9:00 min/mile, 8 miles at 8:00 min/mile, 3 mile cool-down.

Disclaimer: warm-ups, cool-downs, MAF, paces, etc. are all unique to you. These are just random examples!

*Team TAD trains by the MAF method. I hate-love it.

——

If you’re feeling stagnant and ready for something new, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. There is always something to learn about yourself, your abilities, your comfort zone boundaries and the sport, itself. Changing the Long Run is something most endurance runners are hesitant to do – it’s THE gold standard of endurance running – but trust me, it has more to offer to you.

2 Comments

Filed under learning, marathon, running, training