Scenes from My Fun Weekend

I had such an insanely amazing weekend full of so much fun. Here’s a quick little recap for all ya’ll!

On Friday I got to see two of my fav girlies, Kate and Jules, who were both in town for a little while!

(Photo Circa Summer 2012)

kate and melanie

Friday night was date night at Piccolo with my honey. In case you missed it, you can read all about our fancy experience here!

Piccolo

 

Saturday I had lunch with my mom and dad, grandpa, and my great aunt and uncle who were in town!

Saturday afternoon we went to the Twins game. The Twins won and we got neat hats!

 

 

 

dana and melanie twins game

 

On Sunday, my mom and I completed our 6th Race for the Cure at Mall of America!

Mom and Melanie

mom and melanie race for the cure

 

Afterwards I had the family over to celebrate Mother’s Day and my grandpa’s birthday. I made pulled taco chicken and set out all of the fixin’s for Nacho Bar: chips, salsa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, jalepenos, guacamole, sour cream. So delicious!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mamas out there by the way!

nacho bar Nacho bar nacho salad

 

By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, I was spent. We ran one errand but besides that I spent the majority of the evening on the couch and then called it an early night.

It was one of those weekends where you look back and can’t believe how much fun you packed into such a short amount of time. I loved every second of it.

I’m going to leave it short and sweet for you all today. I have taken a four-day hiatus from Insanity and it’s time to get back in gear!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?! Were you able to relax?

Finally a Warm Run

What an enjoyable weekend. The weather was incredible, I was able to relax, hang out with family, friends, and run a 10k with Dana!

I can’t believe I neglected to take one photo of the actual race site at Minnehaha Park because it is a very beautiful area, but I didn’t. We raced up the streets parallel to the river, crossed the river, came back down the other side, and then crossed the river again. I am always happy when the route is an actual large loop versus multiple laps.

If you are local and are interested in a really nice 10K loop, check out the race course here: Minnehaha Get in Gear 10k Race Course

On Friday we headed over to Minnehaha to pick up our race bibs and scope out the giveaway goodies. We were about to head out and then our eyes caught sight of this:

salted nut roll

That is 25 lbs of pure salted nut roll heaven right there. They were cutting up sample bars and I just had to sample one myself and OMG. This was the best Salted Nut Roll I have ever eaten, and I’ve eaten my fair share. It was so soft and there was so much NOUGAT :smile:. I savored every last bite of that magical bar.

salted nut roll

 

Moving on to race day.

Dana and I gave ourselves plenty of time to get over to the race site but unfortunately the shuttle buses to get runners from the parking area to the race site were not super efficient and by the time we got to the race site, checked our bags (this took a while too) and got into the bathroom lines, we had about 15 minutes until start time.

The bathroom lines were reeeeaaaallly long. I started to get my little anxiety spurts that I get just prior to races and was nervous that we wouldn’t be at the start line when the race began. I knew it didn’t really matter if I was or wasn’t there when it actually began because we had time chips in our race bibs, but I just like to be where I’m supposed to be at any given time.

They made the five-minute until go time announcement and we were still in line, with about eight people still in front of us. Then the two-minute announcement was made and we were still four people back. The National Anthem was sung and there was 26 seconds of silence to honor Boston and everyone involved in the tragedy. The race began and we were still in line.

get in gear 10k

We finally got our turn for the glamorous porto-potty’s and then made a mad dash to the starting line while “washing” our hands with antibacterial goop. By the time we got to the start, there were still TONS of people who hadn’t yet crossed the start line. So basically all of that anxiety and rushing to get to the start line really wasn’t necessary.

 

That was how our race began.

The course was really great and spectators were lined all along the streets almost the entire way. At about one mile in I was struck with side aches on both sides. I used the breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth technique to try to get rid of those bad boys but I wasn’t having much luck. It wasn’t until about mile 5 that they started to go away. Needless to say this wasn’t my best or most enjoyable run, however I am always proud to say that I finished it and I didn’t stop to walk even once.

I finished in 1:01:26 which was about one minute slower than my January 1st 10K race. I was a little disappointed because I had wanted to break the one hour mark, but I didn’t get too hung up on it. I just ran 6.2 miles and I was going to be proud of it!

get in gear 10k

It was SO nice to run in warm weather and not have to be bundled up from head to toe. The sun felt heavenly.

By the time we got home I was exhausted and hungry. I made myself some food and then joined Moose out on the deck to get some rays and relax.

moose deck moose deck

Goodness he’s a big boy.

I gave my camera a rest for the remainder of the weekend but will tell you I had such an incredible weekend. The highlight was spending time with family and friends and enjoying the sunny warm weather.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

 

A Rainy Run and Spring Cleaning

Happppppppy Saturday! I don’t have a ton of fun photos for you today, but I do have a couple of food photos to share from yesterday.

Once again, I used the NutriBullet to whip up a smoothie. I’ve made this one before. In the mix was: banana, kale, almond milk, chocolate egg white protein powder, peanut butter, and aloe vera juice.

smoothie

Lunch: Quinoa, cheese, and peas. This was actually really good despite it being so simple. Sometimes simple is best. It was cooked quinoa, salt, pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, and peas.

quinoa and cheese and peas

Dinner: My favorite salmon!

salmon

 

 

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

I keep forgetting to mention that Dana and I have registered for a 10K race coming up at the end of April! My runs have become few and far between, and I’m going to blame that mostly on the weather. I know, lame excuse. Every time I am out for a run I feel fantastic, and every time I am done I always say I have GOT to do this more often. I wish I could bottle up these good endorphins and release them under my nose when I’m not feeling up to a run.

Now that I have a race to look forward to, I will be hitting the pavement more often again and am really looking forward to it.

Furthermore, the weather is really turning around here which makes it that much more enticing to run outside. Yesterday it was in the 50’s and today it is in the 40’s. The snow is melting super fast and I am loving it. Spring is officially here.

Can you spot the cardinal?!

cardinal and backyard

Dana, Moose, and I headed out for a rainy run this morning. We tried a new loop in our neighborhood and covered 4.7 miles. Despite it being wet, rainy, and a little chilly, it was still a GREAT run! My endurance and stamina felt wonderful and I am confident I will be just fine for the 10K in April.

My hands are struggling to type right now because they are still pretty chilled but my body is so happy. :smile:

Moose hung on through the whole run but he isn’t quite used to runs longer than 3 miles after the winter months. His back paws got a little scraped up and he was bleeding at the end of the run. It’s time to build up those paws again! We covered his wounds with socks and he is now fast asleep on the carpet. Poor guy!

moose

 

Since it is rainy, we have decided that today is SPRING CLEANING DAY! I am off to dust, windex, vacuum, and mop! Fun, fun, fun. Kidding, but it will feel really good to do a deep clean on the house.

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC Saturday! xoxo

A Successful 7k

I am in such a wonderful mood this afternoon after finishing the Get Lucky 7k this morning. I was a little nervous about the actual run because I haven’t been running lately, but as it turned out, it was a GREAT run. I felt like I could keep going and going and going, and that was on NO caffeine.

I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of banana with peanut butter and cinnamon…

peanut butter banana

Dana and I did our best to get “dressed up” for the occasion. I wore a t-shirt from senior year of high school that says “Senior Stars, You Wish.” I knew I kept that shirt around for a reason!

get lucky 7k 2013

Then we dug these hats out of the basement storage from our friends’ St. Patty’s party last year, and I felt a lot more festive!

get lucky 7k 2013 get lucky 7k 2013

This year’s outfits were a big step up from our last year’s Get Lucky outfits…

get lucky 2012

 

The temperature at last year’s run was in the 60’s, and this year it was in the 20’s. Quite the difference!

The course was very icy but I didn’t witness any falls fortunately. It was a cold first few miles, but I still felt fantastic.

At around mile two there was a celtic band playing which gave me a boost of energy, and people lined the course cheering us on the whole way. I loved every second of this race.

I completed the 4.4 miles in 40:31, so 9:13 minute/mile. I was VERY happy with that stat considering my lack of running lately. Now, I am super motivated to get out and start running more. I am still hoping for that warm weather soon, though.

Post-run lunch was a green salad (for St. Pat’s weekend of course :wink:). In this grand mix was mixed greens, zucchini, olives, peas, avocado, sunflower seeds, chicken, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil. It was a WINNER.

salad

I am in such an incredible mood today. We have fun plans to celebrate Dana’s birthday tonight with my family, and I am going to go relax a bit before I have to get ready.

Real quick though, here was my pre-race dinner from last night: Tilapia with rutabaga fries and broccoli. Very nummy.

tilapia

 

I hope you all have a super Saturday. Catch up with you soon. XOxo

Getting Back into Outdoor Running

Well, I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in a while…went for an outdoor run. The weather around here has been pretty nasty the last few weeks with cold temps followed by snow, so I have been taking my runs (albeit few runs) inside on the treadmill lately.

Yesterday morning I was planning on just that; running on the treadmill. I told Dana my plan and he said okay, but just so you know I am running outside today. Usually the only way I will run on snowy, icy, streets in the winter is if I’m running with someone else, that way if I were to fall, I’d have someone there to help me out. I made the decision to run with Dana and Moose outside.

I got all geared up and wore the same outfit as I did at our January 1st Polar Dash 10K run (photo from the polar dash), except no neck warmer:

dana and melanie polar dash 2013

 

It was 19°F when we were out. The first mile was really cold on my face, but not too long after that I was warming up real well.

The sidewalks in our neighborhood were kinda wishy-washy as far as being clear of snow and ice. Inevitably, the uphill sidewalks were the ones covered in snow so I felt like I was running in sand, uphill. Those hills made me feel pretty out of shape.

At mile two, my legs were feeling like a light load of bricks. The cold was getting to them but they kept moving. We completed our three-mile loop and I am happy to say I finally got an outdoor run in again.

I have less than one month until our 7K run and as long as I start running outside a little more often, I should be just fine. Who knows anyway, the weather could be pretty nice mid-March. Last year it was unseasonably warm. You just never know! You have to be prepared for anything.

From here on out, I’m hoping the weather will only improve and get warmer so I can really start to enjoy outdoor runs again! I’m ready for it.

When we got home I did some stretching, core exercises, and my plank-a-day. Then we got busy packing for our trip and working on some more food preparation!

I wanted to bring some dried fruit on our trip to snack on, so I placed apricots, peaches, pineapples, and bananas into the food dehydrator, covered it, and left it on for a long time; about nine hours.

food dehydrated

*I used canned fruit (in its own juice) for this and rinsed them thoroughly and dried them in the sink

For lunch I ate a grilled salmon fillet with zucchini. I ended up adding some honey dijon mustard to my plate because I’m not into plain salmon yet.

salmon

I finished lunch with a microwaved apple…

baked apple

Later in the afternoon before we left to run errands I snacked on a banana with peanut butter…

banana with peanut butter

Dinner was a grilled turkey burger with avocado, SCD ketchup, and mustard, and cooked carrots. Why do grill burgers taste SO much better?! It was delicious.

turkey burger with avocado

Finally at about 9:30 pm, the fruit was done dehydrating. We laid them out on the counter to cool down.

dried fruit dried fruit

And then bagged them up for the trip!

dried fruit

 

We do plan on visiting a local farm/farmer’s market to pick up fresh produce while we are in Turks and Caicos, but it’s nice to have other options too.

When we were in the Boundary Waters last May with my brother Scott and his girlfriend Nicole, Nicole had made a huge batch of dried fruit and I loved it so much that I went and bought a food dehydrator for myself. Dried fruit is one of my favorite treats, but I don’t like all of the sugar and additives that is often added to the store-bought kind (dried fruit has enough sugar on its own), so I try to make it myself the majority of the time. No additives here!

I have lots to do today so I better get to it. Have a great day!

 

A Healthy Start to 2013: Polar Dash 10K

I am very excited to recap on my run from yesterday so I am not wasting any time today.

New Year’s Day (yesterday) I got up bright and early to eat my usual banana and peanut butter pre-run breakfast and sip on a half a cup of coffee. I laid out all of my running gear the night before like I always do, I even pinned my number on my shirt and tied in my time chip to my shoe.

My nerves took over temporarily while thinking about the frigid temperatures, and I started to second guess if I had the right amount of clothes and layers on. On the ride over the thermometer read -7°F. The last long run we did outside it was 9°F outside. That’s a big difference! Dana reassured me that what I had on would be just fine and eventually I came to the realization that yes, I would be fine.
IMG_1271

We picked up my brother Kevin and his friend Jeremy (who ran the half-marathon with us in June) and drove to St. Paul. We parked and took the shuttle over to the starting area.

IMG_1274 IMG_1273

We all did the bathroom thing then headed over to the starting line. At this point the temperature had probably crept up to a whopping -4°F. You had to keep moving to keep the circulation flowing so everyone was jumping, running in place, stretching, and trying to stay warm. This was the hardest part of the whole race for me. From the time it took for us to leave our car in the lot and head to the starting line was about 25 minutes, and my toes were just not having it. They were starting to go numb. All I wanted to do was start running! I have never wanted to start running so bad!

Once the race began and our wave took off, the toes were still feeling pretty immobile, but at about mile 2 they were feeling fine. I ran next to Dana, Kevin, and Jeremy the whole race (minus the very end when K and J took off) which made it so much fun. Jeremy wore an afro wig and crazy 80’s shorts with a fanny pack and got all the runners pumped up and was highly entertaining. One girl even came up to him after the race and told him she was keeping an eye on his afro the whole race and PR’ed because of it!

Another form of entertainment was seeing all of the runner’s iced over faces. It was especially hysterical when men had big beards because the ice completely forms around the beard and turns it white. We all looked like we should have been in some sort of Christmas movie.

Here’s my frosty hair:

IMG_1278

Between the entertainment and running with the three boys and keeping each other company, the race flew by. Even though the temperature was sickly cold, there was no wind so the run actually didn’t feel too cold. Dana was right, I had worn the perfect amount of clothes and layers. It’s the same thing I wore on this training run except I wore a wicking  thermal insulated head band instead of a hat.

I felt like it was one of my easiest races actually (albeit not one of my fastest). I finished the run in 1 hour and 37 seconds. I was hoping to get an hour or less, but that’s alright. I’ll blame it on the very slow first mile due to a large mob of runners. :smile: I am still just very proud I finished a race in sub zero temperatures.

This was definitely one of the most fun races I have done too. I couldn’t believe all of the die hard Minnesotans who were out there running and out there cheering for the runners! I am so proud of my state.

Post-race the wonderful volunteers were handing out waters, goodies bags with bananas, salted nut rolls, and chips, and best of all HOT CHOCOLATE! I don’t mean any ordinary hot chocolate, this was like super chocolatey totally awesome hot chocolate. It tasted like heaven in my mouth. What a fun way to end the race!

IMG_1277

Our amazing team: Team Ice Pack.

IMG_1280

A little different from our group picture post half-marathon in June. Ha ha!

Besides the 10K, there was also a half-marathon and a 5K. The Polar Dash was put on by Team Ortho. I have raved about their races and the organization of the races in the past, and this one gets the same credit. The volunteers are so friendly, there is never a moment when you are unsure of where you need to be, they are right there for you if you need them, and they help you have fun and enjoy your races.

The Polar Dash race on January 1st was the perfect way to kick off a healthy new year! I felt fabulous!

We were all very excited to warm up and “thaw” in the car ride home.

IMG_1281

Immediately after walking in our front door I turned the heat up and hopped in a hot shower. I got into my coziest fleece pants and plopped myself on the couch for the majority of the day. I think the combination of the cold run and my body working hard to regulate my body temperature coupled with the fact that I slept terribly the night before set me up for a super drowsy day.

I did manage to dress the pup up in Polar Dash gear. It’s always good for a laugh or two. What a good sport.

IMG_1284

I was extremely hungry for lunch but had no ambition to make anything, so I snacked on some freeze dried salted edamame for some quick fuel and protein. These babies pack 12 grams of protein in a half a cup. They aren’t out-of-this-world fantastic tasting, but I do enjoy them and they are a healthy snack, and especially a good snack to pack if traveling.

salted edamame

Eventually I rounded up enough energy to make myself a healthy salad. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before but it did taste pretty darn good.

salad

A kajillion snacks happened in the afternoon. I had a bottomless pit of a stomach yesterday. I snacked on almonds, craisins, carrots, a banana, almond crackers, peanut butter. My appetite was insane.

Once dinner rolled around we were both still feeling pretty unmotivated, so we opted for easy. I found a can of refried beans in the cupboard, heated them up with some Parkers Farm salsa. I topped the beans on corn tortillas with shredded cheese, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and some more salsa.

bean tacos bean tacos

So simple and so delicious.

I did manage to prepare a meal for the crock pot that will be cooking all day today. I hope it turns out! I’ll let you know.

Off to work I go…Happy Wednesday (I keep wanting to say today is Thursday)!

One of My Favorite Meals

Thanksgiving 2012 was a success! 

The day started off with a pre-run breakfast of banana with peanut butter and cinnamon and a cup of coffee.

Then off to Hale to the Bird 5k for a gorgeous morning run. It was mid 50’s and absolutely perfect running weather. I ran my fastest 5k ever yesterday and am super pumped about it!

Photos courtesy of the beautiful Amanda :smile:

I was a co-sponsor of the event and Beautifully Nutty made it on the back of the shirts! I was a whole lotta excited about that!

After the race, Dana and I made our way home to get the turkey in the oven, look through the Black Friday ads, and have a couple of snacks to hold us over until dinner.

Dinner Time

Our guests arrived at 2:00 pm and we enjoyed delicious appetizers, drinks, and company. I also opened up birthday presents from my mom and dad and Kevin. Now my birthday is officially over. Bummer! I guess three weeks is long enough. :smile:

The turkey took a lot longer to cook than I expected (ahem 5 plus hours in the oven–are you kidding me?!), so when it finally came time to eat everyone was pretty darn hungry.

But you know what, it all worked out. Here is our lovely Thanksgiving meal…

Ta da! My very first turkey!

Cornbread stuffing, gluten-free (recipe to come!), and cheesy broccoli and cauliflower.

 

Mashed potatoes with a few lumps which is my FAVORITE. One big dog sitting by our feet while we ate just in case something were to drop. Sorry, no luck there pup.

 

My pretty plate. To the upper left of the photo is homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce often gets neglected. It was good though!

I cleaned my plate and then had two more bites of mashed potatoes before calling it quits. I wish I could temporarily grow a second stomach just for Thanksgiving so that I could eat a little bit more of this delicious meal. This is one of my favorite meals of all time.

Birthday Dessert

When dessert rolled around everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me and I blew out my birthday candles! I feel like my birthday is not complete until that song is sung. I love that my mom always harmonizes when she sings it.

 

For dessert I had a piece of mom’s homemade french silk pie (she made it gluten-free for me) and a small piece of pumpkin pie (minus the crust). Both were delectable!

With only a few minor set-backs during the meal preparation, I would say it was a very successful Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for my family for keeping my stress level under control when things don’t go as planned.

Now it’s time to start thinking about eating up those leftovers! I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday and were able to enjoy time with family and friends.

Catch up with you all soon! xoxo

 

 

Birthdays, 5k, State Fair

Yes, it was a jam-packed full of fun weekend.

It began Saturday morning. Dana and I hit the gym together (the what?!) and we worked through a back and bicep strength training routine. I left feeling very disappointed because I have noticed how weak I have become lately due to the U.C. and the limited energy I have had.

“But you gotta keep your head up….” and then laugh a little. I was pretty mopey after the gym but Dana cheered me up with this:

DSCN5232

My mood improved after that. I know I need to get through this, and will get through this, and I will slowly begin to rebuild my strength. After my little moment, I cheered up thinking about the fun day ahead.

Dana and I headed to my grandpa’s house to visit with him, my mom and dad, and many of other family members who were in from out of town. We were only able to stay for a short while, but I absolutely loved seeing each and every one of them. I miss them all so much.

While we were there I felt the need to explain to them why we were looking all gnarly that day in our 80’s outfits. We were heading to an 80’s themed birthday party…

DSCN5235

photo-003

For our dear friend, Stacy.

photo-002

DSCN5240     DSCN5245

DSCN5248DSCN5242

DSCN5254

photo-004     photo

The day was full of lots of laughs, big hair, neon, Glen Gulia, creepers (Nate and Nate) and great “rad” friends. We had a blast celebrating Stacy’s big day with her. Today is her ACTUAL birthday so…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STACY!!! Love ya!

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

Sunday

On Saturday morning Dana and I participated in our 3rd annual Minnesota State Fair Milk run. It is a 5k race which takes place just outside of the state fair grounds and starts at 7:45 am.

The weather was perfect. It was overcast, cool, and humid so I felt like my legs warmed up really fast but the cool temperature kept me cool. Duh?

Anyway, it felt like a great run. I am really curious to see our times which haven’t been posted yet. I felt like we were running at a pretty good pace but I’ve been wrong before so we’ll see.

photo-001

After the race we headed to the great Minnesota get-together, aka The Minnesota State Fair. Those of you who aren’t from MN, the state fair is a BIG deal around here. I frankly don’t think it deserves all of the hype, but I do enjoy going every year.

DSCN5266

It’s mostly a food fest, but there are other activities such as carnival rides, farm animals, sky rides, an agriculture building, a health building, etc. I do enjoy checking out a lot of those things, but I can’t handle crowds very well, so the visits are usually short lived.

Dana’s one item that he gets every year is the Pronto-Pup, or a corn dog if you will. I pass on the wiener on a stick.

DSCN5267    DSCN5269

Since I know we never stay long at the fair, and I have a limited stomach capacity, I try to choose my foods wisely. My first choice was falafel on a stick which I shared with hubs.

Next, was our free malts that we got from the Milk Run.

DSCN5274    DSCN5275

Mashed potatoes on a stick. These were actually very good. I was craving salty and this was definitely that. It was mashed potatoes, cheese, and bacon, all deep fried. Again, “says the dietitian.” We split these as well.

DSCN5283

The last item we wanted to try was the bacon ice cream. The ice cream had a maple flavor and the bacon added a touch of salty bite to the combo. Meh, it was okay. We both agreed we wouldn’t get it again, but were glad we tried it.

DSCN5284

Food fest 2012. I’m not proud of what I ate, but it only happens once a year so I know I shouldn’t feel too bad about it.

Sunday afternoon led us to celebrate yet another birthday, this one for my amazing brother Kevin. His birthday was last week but it worked out best to celebrate last night.

We had a very relaxing evening outside where we chatted, gave Kevi his birthday presents…

DSCN5293

Ate delicious turkey sliders with chili cheese dip courtesy a la madre…

DSCN5294

And birthday cake courtesy a la Melanie.

DSCN5287

DSCN5285

Kevin loves chocolate and peanut butter just as much as I do, so I decided to make him a chocolate peanut butter cake (inspired by Courtney).

I cheated and used a boxed gluten-free devil’s food cake mix. I baked two round cakes, and made a homemade peanut butter frosting to glue the layers together (don’t think I didn’t taste test the frosting as I was making the cake). It was peanut butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla all whipped together.

I then topped the cake with store-bought sugar-free chocolate frosting and finished it off with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups.

DSCN5296

DSCN5298

I completely forgot to snap a photo of the inside of the cake! It was beautiful too. Oh well. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t believe I was able to scarf down a piece of cake after all of the sugar I had already consumed that day. Blah. Dana and I both left feeling Thanksgiving stuffed, but it was well worth it. I loved celebrating with you Kevi! Love you all so much.

What an amazing weekend. Now, it’s time to detoxify my body from all of this extra sugar it’s not used to, and try to give it the rest it needs.

Have a great day everyone.

Not Quite a Warrior, More Like a Pansy

Hello there! Happy Sunday to all. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend. Mine has been busy, but a lot of fun.

Saturday Morning: Warrior Dash

It was Warrior Dash morning which meant I was going to have my typical pre-race meal: perfectly ripe banana with a light smear of Smart Balance peanut butter.

I gathered the first set of troops for a “I-just-got-out-of-bed-but-let’s-do-this” pre-race photo.

We made our way to Afton Alps and picked up some of our friends on the way. Parking cost $20 so we figured we would pack everyone in to one vehicle to cut the cost, and hey, we were going green too. The parking scene was an obstacle in itself–driving through farms, weaving around cones, riding over some seriously bumpy terrain; it was actually hysterical. Once we parked, we took a shuttle bus over to the race.

Here is my brother Kevi, and our friends Matt and Steph.

Dana and I, and behind us are our friends Adam and Stacy. Peace.

We arrived super early, which I love. We went and picked up our bib numbers, timing chips, t-shirts, and warrior headgear. We then had plenty of time to relax, pin our numbers on, use the facilities a couple of times, and snap some clean pre-race photos with our group.

Being that I have not been feeling my best lately, I was slightly nervous that this race wasn’t going to be a good idea. I become fatigued very easily, I feel weak, and my stamina isn’t where it could be, and mostly, I was afraid to be far from the restrooms. That’s the ugly truth. Not only that, I felt very sick the night before. I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good though, and mornings are usually better for me than night-time when there isn’t a whole lot of food being digested yet, so I decided to give it a go.

Off to the race we went. The first obstacle was a bunch of car tires tied up in a bunch, and you had to run through them kind of like you were playing football and knocking through everyone. I liked that one but that’s probably because I was the first one to run through and didn’t get knocked in the face by any of the swinging tires. :smile:

Let’s see the rest of the obstacles from what I remember:

  • Balance beam that slanted up down up down.
  • Climbing wall with uneven foot holdings and a slanted top which made it challenging to climb over.
  • Cargo net wall
  • Snow blowers set with water that basically blind you as you run through
  • Crawl under barbed wire on rocky grounds
  • Slightly slanted wall with rope to pull yourself up and over
  • Grassy steep hill and rope to pull yourself up
  • Hurdles and barbed wire so you had to go over a hurdle and then under a barbed wire, over a hurdle, under barbed wire, etc.
  • Water slide!
  • Jumping over fire twice
  • Mud pit
But the most challenging part of the race wasn’t the obstacles, it was BY FAR the insane amount of hills. In between the obstacles was 3 miles of “running” through the grassy, truly beautiful views of Afton Alps, but I would say (and I don’t think I’m exaggerating) that 60% of the running part was uphill. And I don’t mean little bunny hills, I mean crazy steep hills that even the most incredibly in-shape person would struggle to run up. My team walked most of the hills and even walking them was hard for me! I kept losing my breath and had one scary moment where I couldn’t catch my breath at all and felt like I was beginning to hyperventilate. This happened to me during the half marathon as well. I think what happens is when I begin to feel so short of breath, I begin to panic and the panic only makes the breathing more difficult. It is such a scary feeling though, not being able to catch your breath. The group I was with was so supportive and everyone kept cheering each other the entire way.
The race ends with the mud pit where you have to crawl on your elbows in 1-2 feet of wet mud under a barbed wire. This year they sprayed us with a hose while we crawled, which made it even more messy (but so fun!). Dana and I were very cliché thanks to me, and held muddy hands through the finish line.
We all finished in one piece. Kevin completely tore it up and finished probably 25 minutes before we did. Next year I tell ya, he is taking the prize. Seriously. (BTW the guy on the left in this photo is Stu, and he is Matt and Adam’s uncle and a friend of ours as well. He wasn’t in the previous photos).

After all the muddy shots, we headed to the rinse area where they had a snow-making machine shooting out a thick mist of water. It was very cold but felt good to get all the muck and dirt off! We then donated our shoes, dried off in the sun, and headed home.

I don’t know if I’m a true warrior. I’m more of a pansy, but I still finished the race. :smile: Intestinally speaking, I was fine during the race, but I could tell my stamina wasn’t where it used to be. My body is fighting hard right now and I understand that, so just completing the race at all was a big accomplishment for me.

Wedding Reception

Dana, Kev, and I had a wedding reception to get to. We showered up, making sure to clean out the mud in the ears, and headed to my cousin Mike and Jess’ wedding reception. They got married in Mexico in March and are having their reception back home to celebrate with everyone. It was set up in a large outdoor shelter near a public lake. It was so nice to be outside; it was a little hot, but I kind of liked it. They had the reception catered with the great classic barbecue foods: burgers, brats, chicken, beans, watermelon, pasta salads, and lettuce salad. I didn’t snap a photo of my lunch but I had a few bites of chicken, a half a burger, and a huge lettuce salad with mustard.  Mike and Jess did a wonderful job planning for the reception. Thanks for a great time!

At this point in time, I was completely beat, but Dana and I had a few errands we needed to run. It started with what was going to be a quick trip to our nearby natural food store, but we ended up having to make a trip to Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s in search of almond flour among other very particular items. If you’re looking for almond meal/flour, Trader Joe’s has the BEST deal. The other stores had the almond flour as well but it was about double the cost.

For dinner, I ate 1 1/2 leftover turkey burgers from Friday night with a side salad.

I think the burgers tasted even better the second time around!

The rest of the evening was spent with some food preparation.  Tomorrow’s post is going to be a big one. I am beginning a new way of eating, I don’t like the word diet so I am going to try and not call it that. It is going to heal my colitis, I know it is. I have already begun to feel better and I have only just started the process. I can’t wait to break it down for you, so check back tomorrow! I don’t mean to leave you high and dry, but there is a lot that goes into it, and I want to make sure I have adequate time to tell you everything I need to tell you. I have tomorrow off of work so it will be the perfect opportunity.

Alright, off to hopefully cut some awesome coupons. Have a great Sunday!

Sweet and Savory Burgers

Warriors, unite. It’s time for the Warrior Dash!

I am going to be tearing up hills, climbing over walls, crawling through mud, and running through the grassy course at Afton Alps today. I cannot wait to fill you in and hopefully share some good pictures with you.

Friday Breakfast

A classic of mine: banana and PB2.

Lunch 

I was at a conference for work, and they served an impressive taco bar. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately but I can tell ya it looked and tasted great. I loaded my plate with chicken, lettuce, cilantro, tomato, corn, black beans, onions, and salsa. For dessert I ate a small serving of sweet compote with blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

In the afternoon we ran a few errands and I munched on sugar snap peas and almonds. I am really anxious to tell you about the “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” book I mentioned to you yesterday. Melanie is going to be cleaning her gut, in a very healthy way. More to come so soon!

Dinner

Sweet and Savory Turkey Burgers (I didn’t measure exactly)—recipe idea from this site.

  • lean ground turkey*
  • 1 small apple peeled, cored and grated
  • 1/4 cup or less onion, grated
  • celery seed
  • dried sage
  • chives
  • black pepper
*You can substitute lean ground beef or ground chicken

I crunched on some watermelon before dinner. Note my fashionista outfit I’m sporting. You can usually find me in something of these sorts while I am home. I am all about the comfies.

I assembled the burgers, and Dana cooked them to perfection on the grill.

Such a great team. I plated my burger up with a small salad with olives and honey mustard, and two slices of cheddar cheese. Look, it’s a Christmas tree!

The rest of the night was spent getting ready for the Warrior Dash, painting my toe nails, and playing with the pooch.

We have a busy day ahead of us. Can’t wait to tell you about it! Have an AWESOME Saturday. :smile: