Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Tis the Season

Last night, I woke up around 11pm to the sound of a barking cough.  Randy heard it too.

"Crap."  We both said it at the same time.  I left my nice warm bed and went into Aleena's room.

I found her sitting up in bed, coughing on the exhale and wheezing on the inhale.  Not awesome.

This is not our first go-round with croup.  Both kids have had it many times, actually.  But last night was probably the worst I've seen it in this house.
She doesn't look sick...
Croup is the inflammation of the larynx are and is usually viral.  It's common in babies and kids up to age three, but can occur in older kids.  Read more about it on Croup usually starts as a little cold.  Aleena had a runny nose two days ago, and it seemed better yesterday.  I guess not.

Usually, when my kids get croup, I only notice it when they cry or get upset.  Croup is almost always worse at night.  If you've never been graced with croup at your house, or if you don't have kids, croup sounds like this:

Croup is scary for parents and kids.  The kids get scared by the sounds they are making, this upsets them and the croup gets worse.  This is what I saw with Aleena last night.  While she didn't cry, I noticed that she did start to freak out a little which made the wheezing worse.  I sat with her in the rocking chair rubbing her head and talking quietly to her.  I was about 2 minutes from bundling both of us up and sitting outside for a few minutes, as cold, humid air helps calm the inflammation, when she finally calmed down.  The coughing stopped, her breathing returned to normal and she started falling asleep.

We all went back to sleep, but I was on high-alert for the rest of the night.  I got up to check on her at 4am and made the decision to turn my 4:30 alarm off.  No run for me this morning.  I didn't want to leave just in case Aleena woke up again while Randy was in the shower.  I'm a mom first and a runner second.

Croup is usually treated with a couple of days of steroids.  This reduces the inflammation and gets rid of the cough and wheezing.  I've noticed that the cough is completely gone after the first dose.  We're seeing the pediatrician this afternoon.

If left untreated, croup can get worse and can be life-threatening, but the steroids kick it quickly when treated in the early stage.

Happy napping, everyone!  Oh wait.  Maybe that's just me.
Ever had croup in your house?  We get it once a year, and it's usually only one kid or the other.  They've never had it at the same time.  While croup is viral, and therefore, is contagious, most of the time, those exposed to croup will get a cold, but not necessarily croup.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Saucony Girl

I never really considered myself "brand loyal", but it seems that I'm a Saucony girl. 

I bought a new pair of running shoes two weeks ago.  I tried on three pairs, all different brands and ended up with the Saucony Guide 5.

My fifth pair of Saucony shoes in. a. row.

Aren't they pretty?  They smell good too.  Randy caught me sniffing them, he just rolled his eyes and shook his head. 

Crazy runners.

The first time I wore them, I felt something pressing into my ankle bone on both ankles.  Not cool.  I compared the shape of the shoe with the Omni that I'm wearing and the shape isn't all that different.  Then I saw it. The tongue of the Guide is gigantic really wide.  By the end of my run, they weren't bothering me anymore and I noticed that the tongues slid to the side a little.

I wore them again a few days later and I positioned the tongues to the side to begin with.  No problems.

At the expo for the Columbus Marathon, I asked the rep at the Saucony booth about the ridiculously wide tongues.  He lifted his pants a little so I could see his shoes with tongues to the side.

Alrighty then.

Otherwise, the shoes feel great.  Nice and cushy, the right amount of support and the colors are cute.  (Obviously, the color is the most important part!) But (oh come on, you knew there was a but) the Guide 6 comes out next month, which means next time I need new shoes, it will be yet another experiment.  Sigh.

Does it drive you crazy that the shoe companies come out with a new version for all shoes every year?  I, for one, would really like to find a shoe that I love and be able to buy it every time I need it for the rest of my life.  Is that asking too much?!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Heartbreaking Headlines

You may have read in the paper or seen on the news the story of the New York nanny who murdered two children she was caring for.

If you haven't, you can do so here.
But if you haven't, you just might be better off. 

I wish I'd never heard this news.  I can't unread what I read.  I can't unsee the visions running through my head.  I can't stop imagining what it's like to lose a child at the hand of another adult.  I can't stop imagining the horror, the grief, the rage.

I am so thankful that I'm able to stay at home with my little ladies.  Yes, I look forward to, and very much enjoy, my me-time, it's hard work raising responsible, independent, headstrong little ladies, but when I leave my children, it is in the hands of their father.

We have never hired a baby sitter.  Partly because we don't have the extra funds and partly because I remember baby sitting as a teenager.  Had there been an emergency, I wouldn't have had the faintest idea how to handle it.  Luckily there were never any emergencies.

After this gruesome event, I will probably never hire a baby sitter.  I have trust issues where the care of my children is concerned to begin with.  No one is watchful, careful, one is "enough".  I am no better parent than any other parent out there, but when it comes to my babies, if anyone is going to screw them up, it's going to be me. (insert sarcasm font)

Because we don't hire baby sitters, Randy and I rarely go out together without kids.  I go out with my friends, he goes out with his friends, but we don't get date nights all that often.  This isn't forever, though.  Someday, much sooner than I'd like, the little ladies won't be so little and Randy and I can date all we want.  Our babies are worth waiting for.
July 2012, our most recent date night
My heart physically aches for Marina Krim.  When I think about what she's going through, I feel nauseous.

I got up this morning before everyone else and I went for a cold, dark, rainy run.  It was soothing and peaceful.  When I returned, Aleena ran to the top of the stairs and excitedly yelled, "Hi, Mommy!"

That's what it's all about.

Hug your kids and stay safe, friends.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I was in the mood for muffins this week and I found this recipe on It looked pretty good and had a good rating with lots of comments, I read a few and most included these tips: add more cinnamon, don't fill the muffin cups all the way to the top (duh).  I noticed that there was another key ingredient missing from the recipe: vanilla extract.  In this house, we love our vanilla.
So I got to work, following the recipe, more or less...

I tried to make a crumbly topping with melted better, sugar and flour, but I used too much butter so the topping was more of a sauce than a crumble. 
It all worked out though, because of the saucy topping, the tops of the muffins were crispy and delicious.

What?  Doesn't everyone use multi-colored plastic plates?
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup brown)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 apples peeled, cored and chopped

2 tablespoons melted butter
mixture of white and brown sugar (since my topping didn't come out "right" I have no idea how much sugar you'll need)
1 tablespoon flour

Stir together the first 6 ingredients.  Add the oil, milk and egg, beat until batter is moist.  Fold in the apples.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and sprinkle topping.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Oh. My. Gosh.  These muffins are delicious.  Turns out, I'm not too bad at this whole cooking thing....

What have YOU been cooking up lately?
Are you a muffin lover?  What's your favorite? Generally, I'm a blueberry kind of girl, but if it's called a muffin, chances are, I'll like it. :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon Race Recap

This was such an amazing day.  From start to finish, great things happened.

I did not set any personal records (PRs), in fact, it was my slowest half marathon on record.  That could have contributed to the day's awesome factor.

With my hip taking most of the summer to heal, I didn't have a whole lot of time to speed train, so I didn't prepare to PR this race.  I felt that it was smarter to run it a little slower, especially with Ragnar looming. 

Several weeks ago, I told Kate that I'd pace her for her time goal.  Her first half marathon was in hell Cleveland.  We all know how THAT day turned out.  Her finish time was 2:36.  Because of the cooler temps, we knew she would PR Columbus, the question was, by how much?  She chose 2:20 as her goal time.

My mission for this race was to get Kate to the finish line by 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Saturday night, I laid out all of my clothes and gear and went to bed just before 10pm.
On Sunday, my alarm was set for 4:10am.  This would give me plenty of time to get dressed, eat some granola, apply my butterfly tattoos (Nationwide Children's Hospital's logo is butterflies, I picked up a few of these babies at the expo so I could have butterflies flying up my calf.  Pretty badass, if you ask me.) and meet Anne and Kate at 5am to drive downtown to find parking.
We got to the parking lot early enough that there were no attendants so we got to park for free!  Score!  We had a little time, so we sat in the nice warm car for a bit (where Jen, one of our Saturday morning running friends joined us) before heading out to meet our running group at 6am.  After a quick picture with RunDMC, we set out to find more of our Saturday morning running friends who were running the full, Erin and Sarah.  By the time we caught up with them, it was almost 7am and about time to check our bags at the gear check. I'm not going to lie: I was freezing.  It was below 40 degrees and we had no coats on.  Once the corrals started to fill up and we were standing in a crowd, it warmed up a little. 
When the gun went off for the second wave, my body rebelled a little.  It was so cold that my knees and ankles were stiff.  I thought to myself, "If this doesn't improve, it's going to be a long race.."  By mile 2, all moving parts were behaving exactly as they should.
The first half of the race flew by.  There was so much to look at between the other runners and the signs in the crowd.  My watch beeped at mile 5 and I couldn't believe we'd run 5 miles already!  Kate and I hung out with Erin and Sarah for most of the first 8 or so miles.  Kate was doing GREAT!  I was letting her set the pace and I was just tagging along.  We were on track for a 2:18 finish.
At mile 8, Kate started having trouble keeping her breath.  She'd been battling a chest cold and it was starting to give her problems.  We walked a few times in the next few miles so she could catch her breath.  The hills on High Street at 12 and 12.5 really gave her fits. (I'm thrilled to report that my hill training for Ragnar is really making a difference.  The hills on High Street that forced me to walk last year at CapCity didn't even slow me down this year.)  I was watching our pace creep up and at mile 12.5 I told Kate that if she wanted a 2:20 finish, we needed to move. We were cutting it close.  Kate said to me "As long as I come in faster than 2:36, I'm good."
She was trying to give up.
Not on my watch.
If we don't make it in 2:20, that's ok, but it won't be because I let Kate give up!
My watched beeped 13 miles just before we turned left onto Nationwide Boulevard to the downhill finish.  We sprinted to the finish line. 
We're going to make it!
I grabbed Kate's hand and cheered for her as we crossed the finish line in 2:19:55.
Who says running isn't a team sport?  
I was so thrilled for her.  I have tears in my eyes as I type.  Kate is the proud owner of a shiny new 16 minute PR.  Hell. Yea.
After Kate caught her breath, we took finish line pictures together.  I want so badly to post them, but those pesky copyright laws....  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my own since Randy wasn't attending this race.
After we made it out of the finish area, we caught up with Anne and Jen, heard all about their race and said good bye to Jen as she left with her family.  Anne, Kate and I went out to cheer on the finishers and wait for our friend Christa who was walking a half marathon for the first time.  We all screamed like lunatics when Christa went by.  She smiled and waved to us as she headed to the finish.
Such an awesome day already and it just kept getting better.
We walked the marathon course backward a little ways to see our Saturday morning friends and Amanda, a Ragnar teammate, finish the marathon.  We stopped to wait at mile 25.5, the bottom of the final hill of the marathon.  The 26 mile marker was at the top of the hill, then the course turned right to the downhill finish on Nationwide Boulevard.
Amanda came first, I had originally planned to jump in with her and run her in, but I saw that she had another Ragnar teammate, Doug, with her so I cheered and waved as they passed by.  Amanda finished with a huge PR. 
Erin came next.  Anne jumped in with her and ran her to the top of the hill and sent her down the finish chute and came back.  Erin finished a few minutes ahead of her goal time.
Sarah was next, I jumped in with her and ran her up the hill.  She wasn't too chatty.  She was tired and ready to be done.  I told her how great she was doing, that she only had a few minutes to go and I sent her down the finish chute.
A couple of minutes after I got back to our station at the bottom of the hill, Laurie, a friend on Dailymile who I met in person at the pub runs, came by.  Laurie is a race walker; a pretty impressive one. Her blog is called I can walk as fast as you run, and it's true. I asked her if she wanted company and she yelled "Yes, please!"  Laurie was a rock star.  She said she was getting tired and sore, but I still had to run to keep up with her.  She was very chatty and said she was really bored with no one to talk to.  I congratulated her at the top of the hill and sent her down the chute.
Amy, another pub runner who Ellie just adores, came up next.  I asked if she wanted company, she did, but wasn't very chatty.  No problem. I can distract.  I told her about the hill, it's short and not too steep, but at mile 26, I'm sure it felt like Mt. Everest.  I talked Amy up the hill, "you're doing great, you're almost there, don't look at the top..." Then I sent her down to the finish.
I was getting quite the hill workout!
When I got to the bottom of the hill, Anne and Kate were coming my way with Andrea.  This was Andrea's first marathon, our friend and Ragnar teammate, Allen, and Andrea's husband, Doug--who had already finished the marathon, were also with them.  Doug ran ahead and snapped a few pictures of Andrea's support parade.
Kate, me, Andrea, Anne
Andrea was tired, not smiling and she was answering our questions in grunts, not words.  Looking back, I giggle a little.  I was the same way by the time I finished the disaster of a marathon in Cleveland.  We all walked with Andrea to the top of the hill.  She found the strength to run down to the chute to the finish while we all ran along the outside of the chute cheering for her.
Andrea's finish was the perfect ending to an incredible day.  I love this sport.
Really, I'm not short.  They're all giants.  ;-)
*Special Thanks:
to Randy for setting his alarm for 4am because my neurotic self was afraid my alarm wouldn't go off and for keeping our children plus Kate's children which allowed us to hang out downtown to see all of our friends finish.  Without him, my spectacular day would not have been possible.
to Allen and Richard for coming down to cheer us on.  It's always great to see familiar faces on the course.
to Doug and Andrea for allowing me to use their pictures in this post.
About the race:
This was my first time running any part of the Columbus Marathon and I can't say enough good things about it.  This race was very well organized and the course was well marked.  There were tons of race volunteers and police officers manning all of the side streets. 
There were photographers everywhere.  Way more than I've seen at any other race and some of the pictures are really good!
The crowd support was incredible!  There were people everywhere!  Some of the signs were hysterical.  My favorite: If Brittney survived 2007, you can survive this marathon!
The water stops were plentiful and there was more than enough water to go around.  Take a lesson, Cleveland!
There were 18,000 racers and the course never felt crowded.  This could be because we positioned ourselves just right in the corrals, and/or because we started on a pretty wide road. Smart thinking, Columbus Marathon.
I will totally be running this race again next year.  Columbus is the best event I've been to.  Bonus: no hotel room needed.
If you made it to the end, thanks for reading.  I know I'm long winded.  There's just so much I want to remember!! (I have two purposes for writing, to preserve my memories and to share them with others.)
Were you at the Columbus Marathon this year?  What did you think? 
Have you run Columbus in the past?  Has it always been this awesome?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon Training: Week 11

It's race week, it's race week! (recap coming soon, I promise!)

It surprised me that "taper week" (not that there was much of a taper) didn't really bother me.  I wasn't antsy, or feigning to run.  I just kinda went with it.

On Monday I had a killer hill workout on the treadmill.  I jacked the incline up to 10% and --wow-- that was some hill.  That was the closest I've gotten to my Ragnar elevation change.  When I finished, my legs were all loosey-goosey, but I felt like a total badass.

Tuesday I dragged myself out of bed and did my abs ad arms workout.  I was really disappointed in myself for blowing it off last week.  My body could tell that it had been a while and I was sore the next day.  I decided that I wouldn't do it again on Thursday like I'd planned.  I didn't want to risk being sore on Sunday for the race.

Friday morning, I went out for a few short and easy miles.  It was my last run before Columbus.  Friday night, Randy asked me if I was ready for Sunday.  Actually, it hadn't really occurred to me, until that moment, to be nervous or consider that I wasn't prepared for the race.  I decided to go with my instinct that of course I'm ready.

What will be, will be, right?

Full race report coming soon!

Week 11
Monday- Run: 4mi
Tuesday- Strength: Abs & Arms, Bike 5.01mi
Wednesday- Run: 4.55mi
Thursday- Rest
Friday- Run: 3.38mi
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- RACE: 13.17mi, Run: 1.92mi
Total miles for week 11: 32.03
Total running miles: 27.02

How was YOUR week training?  Were you panicking about the race?  Or were you planning to go with the flow?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon training: Week 10

Another great week last week!  I got in another round of Ragnar training with 5 miles of hill repeats Wednesday morning, another 5 mile run Wednesday night and a 6 mile run Thursday morning.

A few bummers this week: I didn't get to ride Blue and I completely blew off strength training.  I'm a little disappointed in myself for that.  I'll make sure I get it in next week.

Last Sunday afternoon, I got a text message from my friend, and Ragnar teammate, Allen asking if I wanted company for my run on Monday.  I'll never turn down company for my morning runs.

Wednesday, Angie met me at the bottom of a big ass hill at 4:30am.  I know I've said that my neighborhood is pretty flat.  Let me clarify: I have 3 feet of elevation change in my entire 'hood.  The hill that we ran on Wednesday is a 70 foot gain in .3mi.  When I arrived, I told Angie that I'd be happy if we ran it 5 times.  While it's still not enough elevation practice for Ragnar, it's the most I've climbed since Cleveland...possibly ever.  Angie is a great cheerleader and I was very thankful I had her with me.  We ran that hill SEVEN times!  Success!  My goal for next time is 10 times.  If I were to get the same elevation gain that I'll have in Tennessee, I'll have to run it 24 times.  I'm pretty sure that won't happen.

Wednesday night, I ran a fast and dark 5 miles with Kate, who had been in California on vacation for a week.  It was nice to catch up.  I'd missed her.  Thursday morning was my first (and only) solo run of the week and on Saturday, I met a bunch of my usual weekend crazies (plus one new comer!  I'm pretty sure we didn't scare her off and she'll be back) for 10 miles.

I'm so excited for the Columbus Half Marathon next week!  I have many friends who are running it, many of them are running their first (half or full marathon).  I can't wait to see them at the start, then watch them cross the finish! 


I'm going to cry.  Signing off now.

Week 10
Monday- Run: 5mi
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- AM Run: 5mi, PM Run: 5mi
Thursday- Run: 6.05mi
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Run: 10.07mi
Sunday- Rest
Total miles for week 10: 31.12
Total running miles: 31.12

How was YOUR week? 
Are you running Columbus?  Feel ready?  I can't wait!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon Training: Week 9

Woohoo!  Week 9 and pain free!

I know, I say that every week, but it's pretty freaking exciting!

This week was a little different.  I got to run three times in the daylight!  Randy had to work third shift to cover for someone who was out sick on Sunday and Monday, so running at 5am wasn't an option as there was no one home to stay with the Little Ladies.  I ran on Monday at noon and met Anne at a metro park to run hills on Tuesday afternoon (more on that run later), then I met up with my usual Thursday evening group.

Given the choice, I'd always choose running first thing in the morning.  My days tend to wear me out (wouldn't it be great to be a bon-bon eating housewife?) and I find that I have to talk myself into running in the evenings and afternoons.  My first leg for Ragnar will be around 11am, so Monday's run was good training for me.

Tuesday evening, I met Anne for some hills.  My first Ragnar leg has 1600 feet of elevation gain and hers has about the same in elevation loss.  Yes, I get to run up the mountain and she gets to run down.  So there we were running up and down, minding our own business...we decided to try running up the sledding hill.  It's pretty steep.  We went charging up the hill and were greeted at the top of the hill by a naked man.  Yep, naked.  As the day he was born.

Anne and I said nothing, we just turned around and went back down the hill.  We did not do repeats on the sledding hill. 

The strange thing was, there was a female at the top of the hill too, but she was fully clothed.  I wonder if he lost a bet. "Don't worry, Honey.  We're at the top of this hill, no one can see you."

I think I saw them again in the parking lot as we were leaving the park, but I can't be sure.  I'm not certain I'd recognize the guy with clothes on.

As for the hills, it was a good workout and even kind of fun.  But not near enough elevation gain.  I'll be repeating a bigger hill next week.

Saturday's run was the best I've had in a long time.  I felt great the entire time.  I ran strong, I finished strong and with tons of energy.  There are several factors that contributed to this run's awesomeness: 
  • I got to run with my friends.  It's been a while since I've been able to join them for a group run and it was great to have their conversation for 12+ miles.  Two of my friends are running their first full marathon in 2 about exciting!
  • It was cold out.  My ideal running temperature is the low 40s.  I love the cold.  I actually wore a long sleeved shirt and kept it on for the entire run!  Unheard of!  I'm always the one peeling off layers.  Sure, you can say it:  I'm the stripper.
  • I tested out a new breakfast.  I've been eating toast with peanut butter in the mornings before runs.  I've been having tummy troubles: cramping, nausea, thinking I might poop my pants. (Oh, you didn't realize this was a TMI blog?)  Something needed to change.  Last week, I told y'all about the granola I made.  I've been eating it every morning for breakfast and I also ate some on yogurt before I ran hills with Anne on Tuesday afternoon and had no stomach issues.  Saturday was the test run with the granola breakfast.  I ate yogurt and granola only, no fruit. (Fiber before a long run?!  Crazy talk!)  Apparently granola is my super food.  Not only did my stomach feel great for the whole run, I forgot to fuel at mile 6!  Usually, my stomach is growling by mile 6 and I fuel (with Honeystinger Chews) to curb the hunger.  I saw 7.2 miles on my watch and realized that I never fueled.  I never felt hungry or weak (another sign that I need sugar).  Alrighty then.  Granola is the breakfast for me on race day.
  • I turned off the pace field on my Garmin.  Knowing my pace freaks me out.  If I think I'm going too fast, I "feel" tired and force myself to slow down.  If I think I'm going to slow, I speed up...and end up feeling tired and forcing myself to slow's exhausting.  If I just run for comfort without knowing my pace, I eliminate all of that over-thinking and enjoy the run a whole lot more.
On Sunday I had every intention to get my abs & arms workout in....buuuuuut....I never got out of my PJs and I had a lazy day instead.  It was glorious and I only feel a tiny bit guilty.

I'm so glad I had a kick ass last-double-digit-run before Columbus.  Technically, it should be time for taper...however, with Ragnar coming up in only FOUR WEEKS, there is no taper.  My mileage will decrease a little next week and the week after, but I still have to run hills.  No rest for the wicked.

Week 9
Monday- Run: 4.44mi
Tuesday- Run: 5.6mi
Wednesday- Run: 6.05mi
Thursday- Run: 5mi
Friday- Bike: 12.6mi
Saturday- Run: 12.6mi
Sunday- Rest
Total miles for Week 9: 46.29
Total running miles for Week 9: 33.69

How is YOUR training going?  Do any of you over-think your pace, or is it just me? It's ok, you can say it: I'm just strange.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Homemade Granola with Quinoa

I've recently joined Pinterest.  I've been avoiding it like the plague.  I spend so much time on the computer, I didn't want another time suck.  Anne has been telling me for a while that I should join if only for the recipes.  I finally broke down.

Oh.My.Gosh.  I had no idea what I was missing!  There are so many great recipes and ideas out there!  I should have joined months ago!

I know I've mentioned before that I'm a new-ish to cooking.  Randy is the chef in the family, but earlier this year, his work hours changed and he's not home in time to cook dinner anymore so that nasty task fell to me.  The housewife.  Who doesn't cook.  Perfect.

Lately, I've been having a hard time coming up with meal ideas and dinners around here have been pretty boring.  Pinterest has opened up a whole new world for me!  I'm having so much fun trying out new dinners--and they're really good!  I've also been trying out new hairstyles on the Little Ladies that I found on Pinterest.  Check me out!  I'm turning into a real housewife!  It only took five and a half years...but who's counting?

If you'd like, follow my boards on Pinterest.  Check out the Meal Ideas board.  I've tried out several of the recipes and they were a hit with the whole family.

Last week, I made granola that I found on Pinterest.  It's awesome.  I made a double batch and it didn't last long.  I found this pumpkin granola that I Thought sounded awesome, but Randy isn't a huge fan of pumpkin.  The pumpkin granola has toasted quinoa in it.  I like the idea of the extra protein so when I made the original granola recipe this week, I added quinoa.
Here's what you'll need:
4 cups oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and dried with a paper towel
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Here's what you do:
Spread the quinoa on a cookie sheet and toast in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring once.
Meanwhile, mix oats, cinnamon, salt and almonds in a large bowl.
Mix honey, butter, brown sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. (I started with frozen butter so I heated the butter to soften it and just mixed the rest of the wet ingredients in the small sauce pan.)
When the quinoa is done, add it to the dry ingredients then mix in the wet ingredients. (you'll have to use your hands.  Think of it as a sugar scrub.)
Spread the wet granola on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes turning every few minutes.

Cool and store in an airtight container for...well, I don't know how long.  Ours doesn't last more than a few days .
This has been my breakfast every morning:
honey crisp apple, blueberry yogurt and granola
Do you have a Pinterest account?  Have you checked out the recipes?  Tried any?  I've made the Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin twice now.  SO good!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Columbus Half Marathon Training: Week 8

This was a busy week and my social calendar was jam packed this weekend! (first world problems)  I managed to get in the miles and I even squeezed in abs and arms and a long ride on Blue.

On Wednesday morning, I met my friend, Angie, at 4:30am to run hill repeats.  Angie is on my Ragnar Relay team and will also be running the Tennessee hills in November.  I felt like a total badass until I checked the Garmin stats and found out that the hill isn't near big enough for Ragnar training.  Crap.  I'll be tackling a bigger hill next week.

On Saturday, Kate met me in my hood at 5am to join me for part of my long run.  I needed to get it done early since I had a baby shower to attend two hours away later that day.  I was originally going to run 13 miles, but cut it down because I had such a busy day planned and I didn't want to be too tired to enjoy it.  Don't worry, I wasn't.

My alter-ego
After the baby shower, I joined some of my mom-friends for our semi-annual retreat weekend.  We have been retreating since 2010.  We all drive about an hour north and hang out in the country for the weekend with comfy clothes, lots of food, even more alcohol, books, magazines, scrapbooks, bonfires and sometimes, Rock Band.  Oh yes, we get wild and rock out.  Our band name is Moms Rule and all of our characters have wild pink hair.  We knew during that first weekend that it would not be the last and the semi-annual Moms Rule Retreat Weekend was born.

This weekend, I was a little late to the party, but that didn't deter us from our usual shenanigans.
Here are a few gem moments:

Week 8
Monday- Run: 3.25mi
Tuesday- Strength: Abs & Arms
Wednesday- Run: 6mi
Thursday- Bike: 11.4mi (Random Thoughts), PM Run: 5mi
Friday- Rest
Saturday- Run: 10.56mi
Sunday- Rest
Total miles for Week 8: 36.21
Total running miles for Week 8: 24.81

How was YOUR training this week?
Do you ever get away for the weekend? I look forward to these weekends and I always come back a little hung over, thoroughly exhausted, completely refreshed and ecstatic to see Randy and the Little Ladies.