Thursday, April 28, 2011

William and Kate - Marathon Edition

I have a running goal, blogsters.  

No's not an elusive PR, or to run 10 marathons in a year (although a PR would be awesome!).  My dream is to get the most searched...most talked about embrace the coolest sport in the world. (Long Distance Running, of course!)

Possible Race Photo of Kate

As we all prepare for the wedding of the century, I can't help but think that all this hoopla would be a lot cooler if we were speculating not only on what designer would make Kate's dress but also on which brand of shoe Kate was going to wear after her wedding:  Mizuno or Brooks.  

I am convinced I can make Kate love running as much as we do and here's why:

Bike AND Cell phone?
1)  Kate is already active and clearly coordinated.  On the left is Kate riding a bike while on her phone!  Talk about coordination....

2)  She clearly has the patience and determination of a long distance runner.  Girl waited for like 9 years for a ring!

3)  She is accustomed to crowds.  I am certain that the paparazzi in London are nothing to deal with after you've gotten through the lines for a port-a-john  at a poorly planned race.

London Marathon 2012?

4)  As a fashionista herself, she'll be pleased to know that there are an array of fashion choices available such as the running skirt, the compression sock, and the arm warmer.

5)  Unlike yours truly, Kate can't take a bad photo.  For example something like the race photo monstrosity to the left would never happen to her.  

6)  For her, doing race calculations in kilometers will make perfect sense.

7)  I want to see if her hair is still perfect after running 17 miles in the rain !

That's all I've got!  Hopefully she is a reader of my blog (likely) and has been convinced.  :).
On a slightly different note (if you made it through this ridiculous entry), "Schwaggle" has a pretty good deal this time - $45 for $85 at!  They have running shoes online so it's a great time to get a good running shoe discount!
Schwaggle Link

I'm off to Central California tomorrow to run this (Avia Wildflower Triathlon Relay):
Should be a lot of fun may be more of a tempo than a race for me, but my semi competitive nature may get the better of me :).
Peace out and good luck to anyone racing this weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running Recovery Tips and Ducks

Hi hi!
Two things today!
1) The cute family of ducks I saw yesterday morning while on my run.   There is mom, dad, and three baby Mallards.  If there's any justice in the world, one day in the year 3000 I will come back to life as a baby duck.  

2) Let's Talk Race recovery, Well, it's Spring racing season (unless you live in Texas or Nigeria) and I don't know about you, but sitting on the couch exhausted after a race is only cool for a couple hours...we're all busy peeps with stuff to do, right? 
And my body doesn't recover well - I'm no SkinnyRunner (girl ran 1000(2) marathons in three dayz!)
When I finish a race, the last thing I want to do is stretch or eat something healthy.  

My inclination is to sit down for several hours and eat ice cream.  I read somewhere that chocolate milk is a good recovery food due to having lots of protein and carbs, so I started drinking that post race...bottom line, I'm still trying to find what works for me!  
Not Optimal Recovery Food

How do you recover from a race? Any tips? 

Here's some tips from the elites:

On Nutrition
"It's important to get something in your system as soon as you stop running"

-1993 World Championships marathon gold medalist Mark Plaatjes

On Taking It Easy
"It happens at least once a year,I get busy or impatient and I justify it, saying, 'I'm getting in the workouts, I'm checking the boxes, that's what's important.' I let the recovery aspects go, and I wind up sick or injured. I realize then that it's time to get focused and do the little things right. Sometimes I just need a kick in the butt."
 - Lauren Fleshman - U.S. champion at 5,000m in 2007.

Ice Baths (or just water)
"For me, hydrotherapy is an absolute must," she says. "During my heavy training I don't go more than once a week, but that weightless time just helps flush everything out." If you can't make it to the pool, take a cool bath. Ice is nice, but not necessary--just run cool water from the tap deep enough to cover your legs for a recovery boost."
- Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan

Monday, April 25, 2011

HOW many milks?? (Tres Leches)

I can't lie to your faces, blogworthies...I am kinda pleased right now.   After years of searching (ok maybe three recipes over the last 8 years worth), I have found a decent Tres Leches recipe (most delicious cake in the world:  Cake Description from Wikipedia).
Tres Leches AND Strawberries!

An added bonus is that I was able to use about 5 strawberries of the 500 that I purchased yesterday at bargain basement prices!

Truth be told, I should have tried this recipe a long time IS the highest rated one on Food Network...but the recipe looked hard, so I settled for lesser Tres Leches.  For this recipe, unless you are crazy and love to spend 10 hours getting egg whites to peak, you'll need some form of electric mixer :).

I set off making this cake yesterday because the cake should actually soak in the milk mixture overnight.  I have been fighting off a bit of a cold lately, so I took extra care not to breathe on the cake to avoid bringing a cake of death into work tomorrow.  
Cake 'o Death

Alright enough talk, let's get to the goodz!

The Recipe

Basically I followed Emeril's Recipe right off Food Network with a few adjustments...

You'll need for the Cake:
6 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking power
1/2 cup milk (recipe says whole but I used 2% and it was fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the "Three Milks" to Soak the Cake in:
1-14 ounce can evaporated milk (different than condensed milk!)
1-14 ounce can condensed mlik
1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Frosting (This is where I deviate from the Emeril recipe)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
A couple tablespoons of powdered sugar.  

Get a 9 x 13 baking pan and spread a little bit of oil in it to keep the cake from sticking when you add the batter later.  
Preheat oven to 350 F

Separate the eggs (this is pretty easy, spoon out the yolks).  Beat the 6 egg whites until soft peaks form.  This takes a long time so hang in there!!   This serves as a base of a VERY fluffy cake and is the key to success in this recipe.  Add sugar as you continue mixing and then add the egg yolks, one at a time, while continuing the beat the mixture.   

Mix the flour and baking power and then add to the egg / sugar bowl.  Alternate adding the flour mixture with adding the 1/2 cup milk.  Add the vanilla.  Do not let the mixture to sit or settle...add instantly to the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden- delicious.  
While the cake is cooking, make the "three milks".  Just mix together the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream.  
When cake is done, remove from the oven, and let it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then pour the milk mixture over it and let it sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours.  This is when the magic happens.....
After the cake has sat in the fridge, pour out any extra mixture (without pouring out the cake!).  Now whip the cup of whipping cream and powdered sugar together for the frosting.  Once it has thickened, spread the frosting on cake.  
If you want, you can add fruit as a garnish to the cake.  I added strawberries because (if you read yesterday's post), I have a billion of them.  I'm sure almost anything else would be awesome too.  
Heaven in a pan

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bargain Biker Babe?

Hi hi!  Hope your weekend was fabulousssss !  

A couple days back, my friend Madeline (triathlon dominatrix extraordinaire) asked me if I wanted to go on a bike ride with a couple of her friends this weekend.   

Being a complete newbie to biking, I said "heck yes!" eager to learn skillz.  
Unfortunately, my quads are still completely shot from the marathon last Monday.  I don't know how all you other blogsters appear completely recovered...jealous!!  
I figured a bike ride couldn't cause problems because I figured "hey it's cross training...different muscles, right?".  

"Indoor" Bike Rack
 On Saturday I got up at 5:30 AM to drive to Brentwood (LA) to meet these girls.  After a few snafus (I don't have a bike rack and couldn't get the front tire off my bike to get it in the car) which made me late to leave, I made the drive up to LA.

As soon as I got on the bike in Brentwood, I knew I was in for soreness was incredible....  Since I'd taken so long getting up to LA, I missed the start and I literally took off on my bike, hoping to randomly run into the girls on the bike path.  Miracles of miracles, I did!

The miracles ended there though.  I definitely couldn't hang with the girls and so Madeline was sweet enough to spend her morning teaching me how to ride a bike...big girl style.    She taught me all sorts of bike handling tips that probably come naturally to most, but definitely not to me.    :)

Afterwards I went to Ralphs to get some food....
And purchase a 10 week supply of strawberries at $.88 a pack!  I totally can't resist a deal!  
If you have a Ralphs near you RUN don't walk and buy some bargain deliciousness!   

I don't know about you, but I know what I'm eating tomorrow morning. :)

Which brings me to my question...

Do you buy ridiculous quantities of stuff when it's on sale just because you're excited about the freaking awesome deal?    

Channeling the 80s post workout 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter, Y'all!

From My Local Supermarket Display to Yours...

Hope it's Wonderful!  

(More posts tomorrow)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Next Races and Wild Friday Nights!

Happy Friday, Blogettas!  Before I get into the main part of this post, I'd like to say I hope you're having a great Friday.  On my Friday evenings when I am not out partying all night with all the other running bloggers, I usually face a big choice....

What To Watch ?!?!?

Indulge Wedding Dress Fantasies?
Watch sensationalist murder story?

Usually Say Yes To the Dress Wins!  Come know you love it too!  

But's the serious part of the post.  I need your help in choosing my next half marathon!  Only one is set in stone for next week:
Run with LC?
Running Leg of Wildflower Triathlon (May 1 - Half Marathon)

Option 1)  Laguna Hills Half Marathon - May 30
Pros:  Probably totally beautiful, I can schmooze with the Rich Folks, Relatively Cheap ($55), Kinda Close to Home
Cons:  Course is Hilly and I wanna PR :-)

Option 2)  Seattle Rock and Roll Half - Mid June
Pros:  Looks flat.  Trying out the Rock and Roll Series could be fun!  Cool weather (Seattle)
Cons:  Poor BF (in Seattle) will have to watch me race AGAIN!  Pricey.  Umm...Is the R&R series fun?

Race will likely be during the daytime

Option 3)  Ventura Beach Front Half  - Mid June
Pros:  Flat, Cheap, Possibly Pretty
Cons:  A bit of a drive for me, brochure says there might be a 30 second train delay?

So...what to choose?  Has anyone run any of these or anything in the R&R series?  

What races are you planning to dominate in this Spring?  :) 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interview: Ironman, Track Star (1:11 Half), Cool Dude Tells ALL

Oh Hai!  
Remember the tab in this blog that says "interviews" to introduce you to inspirational athletes that is totally empty?  Oh yeah...that one...

Well, I've finally got one for you!  Let me introduce you to Colin Wolfe.  

Generally he's awesome and here's why:  
He is HELLA FAST for one - we're talking a 54:29 10 mile and a 1:11 half marathon...but don't worry folks, he uses his powers for good.  He's active in volunteering with marathon kids, doesn't call me slow to my face, and most importantly, agreed to be my first interview.  True courage!  

First Victim

On Training
FB: From being a high school to college athlete, through demanding jobs and graduate school, you've managed to keep active and be highly competitive in races.  How to you make time to train?   

CW:  Besides drinking less beer than in college and going to bed before 9pm, two big aspects have changed as other priorities in life take precedence.
1.  Less in quantity but more quality races - during high school and college, I was racing once a week for most of the year.  It takes a toll physically and mentally.  By switching my focus to participating in 4 races a year with two peak races, it keeps me mentally fresh and allows me to spend time on other priorities without sacrificing too much in performance.
2. Focus on triathlons and cross-training - in college I was running 90-100 miles a week.  After 4 straight years of running that volume, it was time to find some balance to my training.  Getting into biking and swimming has even helped my running and provided me with a renewed outlet for my energy!

FB:  Complete the sentence.  I would never run long without my body glide applied (CW). 

On Racing

FB:  Describe your most vivid (good or bad) race memory: 

CW:  In elementary school, my Dad would put money under one of the flower pots on the front porch.  The first one around the 1.5 mile block would get the money.
I noticed after a couple times, my Dad stopped putting money on the porch and quit racing me.  I learned the importance of staying in school and running would not pay the bills.

FB:  What advice would you give to someone who wants to improve their race times?   
CW:  Be flexible and open - experiment with new ideas and gear to find what works for you.  Everyone's body / mind is unique and what might work for Kara Goucher may / may not work for you...

FB: You completed an Ironman in France.  In five descriptive words or less, summarize the experience (bonus points if all words start with the same letter).   
CW:  Fantastic French Experience! (not an oxymoron...) 

On Nutrition....
FB:  Gels, Bars, Beans, Normal food?  What food fueling routine helps you perform the best?   

CW: The less processed and easier to digest, the better.  I have been experimenting with making energy drinks from coconut water and organic juices.  I have a lot more energy at the end of a hard workout, especially in the hot summers.

Why Running is Peaceful + Awesome

FB:  You have traveled a lot.  Where is your favorite place to train?  

CW:  I have run on mountain trails, ocean-side boardwalks, thick forests, vineyards and smog filled South American cities  I don't really have a favorite place to train but many great mental pictures / memories from my training experiences in these places. 
When I travel, I get up early the first morning in a new city and run through downtown before any cars are on the road.  It is actually very peaceful and surprising how different a city appears with no one on the streets.

Thanks Colin! 
I feel faster just talking to you...

Oh Happy (Cupcake) Day!

Yesterday, I got a call from my apartment complex at work.  I picked up, assuming I had forgotten to pay the water bill or they wanted to tell us we weren't cool enough to be residents but instead I heard this:
"We have a delivery for you from Sprinkles Cupcakes!  What do you want us to do with it?"

Cue in music...

To share the context of these cupcakes....
When I started blogging way back 2 weeks ago, I was WAY jealous that lovely Skinny Runner got cupcakes mailed to her a few weeks back! Screw running apparel, this is the real deal :).  

I may or may not have mentioned my jealousy to a couple close girlfriends, so I figured unless I have a secret altruistic mind-reader friend, these sweet bundles of 100% joy were from one of these (real life) friends.  

Box of Joy

And sure enough they "easter and boston marathon package"  from this lovely girl on the left.  
So I did what any man, woman, child, or hungry squirrel would do:  I dug in...
Does anyone know what flavor the third row is?  


Now I'm off to attempt my first post-marathon run!  
I'm going to post my first interview tonight - get excited :).  

I hope you have a wonderful day - and if you live in the OC, stop on by and eat a cupcake! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Boston Marathon Race Report

Here GOES!! 

Pre Race
The night before Boston, I had dinner with my mom, brother, sis in law, and BF  (how awesome is it that they traveled all the way to Boston for this?? --  perhaps they heard my BQ time was 2:37 not 3:37??).  

For dinner, went to tasty Afgan place called "The Helmand".  Before my last marathon (Chicago 2009), I went out for Indian food.  I think I'm playing Russian Roulette with my pre-marathon dinner choices  (tmi?).

I couldn't sleep the night before at all due to nerves and excitement.  I couldn't believe that Boston (dream come true) was finally here! 
Here's my pre-race pile of gear.    

The next morning I woke up, and went downstairs to find that our B&B had gotten up early to make us coffee and bags of snacks!  How awesome is that...
Morning Pre Marathon Terror
We (the Charlotte Running club and I) took a couple cabs to catch a bus and finally found ourselves at the start of the race!  

Race Start:

The first few miles were pretty uneventful.  I knew I was going out a bit ambitiously (7:58 pace or so), but I kind of didn't care.  The marathon was different in that it almost felt like I was on a run with a ton of people rather than racing them.  This is probably because we were all seeded similarly and going about the same pace.  I went through the 10k around 49 minutes and the 10 mile mark at a similar pace.  I ate some sport beans right around then too.  There were tons of residents out supporting the runners with water, orange slices, etc.  The giant bunny ears I was wearing definitely helped get some cheers!  

I realized that I wasn't being very original wearing the ears though - I passed two girls who were wearing bunny ears as well!  

After about mile 10 or so, the race started to get a little more interesting.  We passed the Wellesley girls who were holding all sorts of "kiss me" signs and were cheering up a storm.  I high fived 90% of them and was having the time of my life.  

Mid Race

I passed the half right at 1:44 and some change and took a gel right around then.  This pace was still a bit ambitious for me, and by mile fifteen (I was trying to fool myself and was saying to myself that it was mile 5), my quads were starting to hurt.

Mile 16 was when things got a little tougher but I knew my family was going to be at mile 17 cheering for me, so I was still pretty excited.  I saw the Fam at 17....

    Freaking Awesome Sister In Law

This is what they saw:
Ridiculous rabbit running for glory

I had to bend down my ears because the wind was blowing them too much.  

Around mile 18, I started feeling tired.  I knew that I was slowing down as well, which wasn't helping my morale.  I wish I could say that I had some wonderful mantra to power through these miles, but really, I just focused, drank a lot of water, and ran. 

Last Leg

I told myself that the real race didn't start until mile 19.  By this time, my energy to slap fives with the kiddies and interact with anyone yelling "Bunny Ears"  was leaving me.  However, the crowd and volunteers continued to be amazing.  There was Gatorade at every stop, spectators with other food, and the Boston College students there to cheer us on.  It really was amazing.  

I also kept telling myself that no matter how uncomfortable I was, this was an experience of a lifetime and I gosh darned well better enjoy it!   It kind of worked :).  

At mile 22, I looked at my watch and realized I had to run the final 4.2 in around 40 minutes to PR.   I figured I could do this, and set a new goal - to "requalify" for Boston using the more difficult standards.  I mistakingly thought the new standards were 3:35:59 (I later realized I was wrong about this, it's 3:35:00!).  

The last miles were a bit of a blur.  Wonderful, Painful, Exhilaration.  
Is this woman text messaging??

The last miles clicked by and soon I saw the finish sign.  
I crossed at 3:35:16.  A PR of 2:07.  
Here's the online data:
14683Faster Bunny28F
Finish:PaceProj. TimeOffl. TimeOverallGenderDivision

All in all, a good race and a good effort.   I wish I had legit "new qualified" for Boston, but there are always goals for next races.  It was probably the most fun I've had in 26 miles ever, and that's pretty freaking wonderful.  I also think I finally feel like a "real" marathoner (that was #3) and that's pretty cool too.  :).  

Now time for the shout out to 
and ALL the other bloggers who ran Monday (or raced at all this weekend for that matter)!  (I'm still new in blog-town, sorry if I didn't remember to shout out for ya!).   

Well that's all I've got - hope you enjoyed !

Boston Weekend! -Pre-Race Tour Edition

I know you guys want the goods (the RACE REPORT) but the pre-race was too fun not to give a short shout out to first.  

The flight into Boston was just fine and the amount of people who were running the marathon on the plane was HUGE.    On the flight, I was pretty tired so I took 2 Tylenol PMs (my airplane sleep attempt) and tried to sleep as best I could.  

I met the BF in Logan airport Saturday morning and as you can imagine, I was well rested, not grumpy at all, and smelled wonderful.  Luckily, BF did not break with me on the spot and we took a cab to our cute B&B. 
Mary Prentiss Inn in Cambridge

We met up with my high school friend Boriana and her ridiculously fast members of the Charlotte NC running club (seriously fast.  one was in the elite women division....whoaaaa) and went to the expo.  

I think my expectations for the race expo were a little high - it was a little crowded and unexceptional in my opinion.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but because my expectations for all things Boston were sky high, I'm pretty sure anything short of my running into Joan Samuelson, her shaking my hand, and then offering me a free Lemon Luna Bar would have disappointed.  

HOWEVER - here is my real thrill of the expo - race goodie bag in hand!!

The Boston race shirts are also pretty sweet - yellow long-sleeve tech tees.

After fighting the expo crowds we went on the Boston Duck Tour.  It was great, but I was so tired at this point, I was falling asleep on the bus.  The only thing that kept me up was knowing that I'd dropped $34 on my tour ticket.   That, and lovely hilarious BF doing Sesame Street impressions to make me laugh (I have a very refined sense of humor).

The next day we toured around Cambridge and pretended to be Harvard students.  I loved Cambridge.  It was adorable with tons of unique shops and restaurants.

We didn't get to see some of the sights I would have loved to have seen in Boston (the inside of each Baskin Robbins, for example) BUT it was charming, easy to get around in (by public transit), and full of history.   I'd definitely recommend a trip to Boston to anyone.

I've heard the one must-see that we missed is walking Freedom Trail.  Next time... =)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Boston Quick update!!

3:35:16. Totally awesome volunteers and crowds. Sitting at Boston Logan on the way back to lax:). On virgin America so there will be movies!! Full weekend and race report coming soon.:)

I love you all (totally hopped up on endorphins )

Friday, April 15, 2011

Throwaway Clothes? Target, I was had.

This morning as I frantically was trying to get to work (unfortunately my blog does not support my Starbucks habit yet), I remembered I needed some "throw away clothes" for Boston.

The forecast in Boston looks perfect for a marathon but I think starting in ice cube form is a bad idea.

So I went to the local Target.

Let me preface this story by tell you all that I am rather thrifty.  I'm talking negotiate at Wal-Mart, have half-functioning car radio, buy my own auto parts thrifty.

I went to the women's section and even on the clearance rack, these were the cheapest pants I could find!
Still pretty pricey!

So I did what any girl standing in a long line for a bathroom would do.  I went to the men's (clothing section).  

And there I saw my oasis in a desert:

So happily found myself some menswear!  (Now I don't feel like these were such a good deal because Blue Eyed Runner got her clothes for 2 dollars!  But at the time I was happy).  

These clothes will fit me perfectly, right?

  Happy I would not freeze in Bean Town, I made a beeline for the checkout...

Waaa ohhhh detour!

(Love Target swimwear).  

Lucky for my wallet, willpower won out and I only purchased the sweats:

Someone please give that lady in the background an awesome shopping spree!
::I hope that wasn't mean spirited?::

So I happily am now prepared for my trip!

Now blog-tooths, I have to apologize...I will probably not be writing this weekend :(.  BUT I promise lots of fun material next week...

Have a WONDERFUL weekend doing what you do.