Thursday, February 27, 2014

Race Preview: The Inferno! Do you have what it takes?

Do you have a friend who is always getting you into "trouble"?

It all started a couple weeks ago, when I met up with some friends and wandered off to a local race expo.  It was a chance to see lots of great races at great prices and a chance to chat with some of the race directors to learn more about their events.  Many of the races I had not yet heard of...

One such race was "The Inferno".   Mariah was instantly up to the challenge and before I knew it... I'm somehow signed up too.  What the heck am I thinking?

The Inferno is an obstacle race that includes a distance swim within the course.  Race distances (after the swim) cover 13.1 miles and 25+ obstacles or a "smaller" 6 mile race with 15+ obstacles.  Don't be fooled that the shorter race distance will mean you are getting "off lightly".  This looks like an incredibly challenging event.

Can't swim?    Need to skip an obstacle?
Not to worry.  Safety is a priority.  In fact, if you come upon an obstacle that you can't safely complete, it's the recommendation of The Inferno that you skip the obstacle.  (But, to be eligible for any post-race awards, you must complete all obstacles.)   After accomplishing what you can (whether you were successful or not at every obstacle)... get yourself across the finish line and you can still qualify to receive a finishers medal.  And what is more amazing than after conquering challenges greater than those you've seen before, than to celebrate post race with a totally rad medal that will always remind you of your "beast mode"?  You can check out the beast of a medal on the webpage's slide show HERE.  

 I have to say, that I'm a wee bit scared (a lot).  A participant last year broke his arm in two places on the monkey bars.  To be fair, the racer finished and on top of those bad ass bragging rights, he's not daunted and super excited to participate again.... it just scares me, cause these are uber fit guys with rippling muscles.

I'm a flabby house wife and my weight training involves lifting kids in and out of shopping carts.

Do I have what it takes?

From the website:
The Inferno events are designed to test all round fitness and push you to your limits both physically and mentally. Long story short, you will NOT be able to roll off the couch and complete The Inferno. So do yourself a favor, Get Off Your Lazy Ass and train beforehand. 

There isn’t one workout that you can do that we can guarantee to get you 100% ready for the hell that will inevitably rain down on you during The Inferno; but some combination of Crossfit, Insanity, P90X, Asylum, Running and Weight Training will get you close enough to where you need to be!

One thing is for sure, my sole sisters get me into trouble... and by "trouble" I mean they challenge me to be better and do greater things that I might not have had the courage to try to accomplish with out them giving me that shove.

I won't likely learn how to swim in time for this event, but I had better figure out a training program!  Anyone want to volunteer to carry me across the monkey bars on their shoulders?  I'm really not joking.  

Come help me across those big obstacles or give me a cheer as you pass me by at this race!  Want to go?  I've been offered a race discount for 10% off:  MOMS10

Have you ever done an obstacle race?  Have any tips or pointers for training?  Let me know what you think of this bad boy...  Let's hope I'm not crying, crawling across the finish line (in pieces).  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Rainbow pizza recipe and gearing up to cheer!

We needed to "brighten up" our menu and I need to figure out how to encourage Bugaboo in her picky-eater stage... so cue the rainbows!  We just polished this off for lunch and it was something we'll be doing a lot more often.  It was delirious!
Taste the Rainbow!

Adapted from a recipe I found on Gimme Some Oven, Bugaboo helped me pick out some of her favorite veggies (or one's she claimed she was willing to try) and we set to work decorating.  This is very versatile... basically, roast a colorful assortment of veggies on a piece of bread with some cheese.  If I had a blue potato available, I'd have added that.

What you'll need:
tomato sauce
some olive oil
Italian seasoning
about an ounce of cheese per pizza (or more if you prefer)
and a rainbow of veggies:
        Red- plumb tomatoes cut in half
        Orange- Chopped Carrot, Orange Bell Pepper chopped
        Yellow- Yellow Bell Pepper chopped
        Green- Green Bell pepper chopped, broccoli florets broken up
        Purple- Purple cabbage leaves chopped, purple onion thinly sliced

What to do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on the size of your flat bread, the amount of sauce and veggies you use will vary.  Slather on the amount of tomato sauce that you like.  Sprinkle on a bit of cheese.  We used about an 1/8th of a cup for our small pieces of bread.

Arrange your colorful veggies and then drizzle with a little it of olive oil.  We used approx. 1/2 teaspoon on each pizza.  Sprinkle with a pinch of Italian seasoning and sprinkle with a dash of grated cheese.

Not too much!  You don't want to hide this beautiful creation under a lot of cheese.

Place on a non stick baking pan or pizza stone and bake for about 15 minutes or until bread is browning on the edges and veggies are tender.

Let cool and serve!


Today is also Valentine's day, so here's my valentine to you:

Sunday is the "Heart Breaker Half" and 5K and 10K race.  I wish I was able to participate, but there is no way I can afford to do all the races I would like to do.  So....
I'm going to be the crazy cheering lady on the sidelines!  (I even bought a very loud and obnoxious cowbell...)

I have quite a few friends running and even two who are doing their first half that day.
So, I need to make a sign... what should it say?
"I <3 Running, but you're cute too!"
"You make my <3 race!"
"Do what you love.  Love what you do."
"You can't outrun Cupid!"
"You're so hot, an ice bath can't cool you down!"

Which saying would encourage you on a sign during a race on "Valentine's weekend"?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snow! Snow! Snow! (And a little stir crazy with the freezing rain...)

Well, the greater Portland, Or area (along with Vancouver, Wa) has an advisory to stay out of the streets and stay indoors.  I was hoping to get a long run in today... but I watched my husband slip and slide down the sidewalk as he went to check on our elderly neighbors.  I think I'll stay in my warm and safe house (that still has power) and cook.  :)

Thanks to "Running With Harmony" on facebook, I tried her "crêpes" and LOVED them.  They're simple enough that I can cook them!

I'm not an egg fan, but I gave it a try and these are delicious! Give it a try and tell me what variations you try! These are very versatile and can have many different options... 

You will need:
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon of almond meal/flour
1 tablespoon of Gluten Free oats

Combine all ingredients except for the oats in blender, blend until smooth. Stir in oats. I also added a splash of vanilla extract and some cinnamon. 

Pour into hot skillet like you would for regular pancakes and GENTLY flip and cook other side. 

Once cooked, I drizzled mine in cinnamon and honey and ate like a pancake. 

An absolute delicious way to eat eggs! (Next time I'll try a little butter and lemon juice...)

Since we are stuck indoors with the slick ice... I guess today will be cross training on the exercise bike and a bit more cooking.  :)  I'm also going to whip up some of my "Running cookies" and you should be able to pull up the past post with the recipe HERE.

Chia seeds, oats, pumpkin protein powder, coconut flakes, cocoa powder and salt.
Pretty, isn't it?  They are super yummy too, and I hide them in the back of the fridge so that I only enjoy them while on a long run or one post run.

I did get to go out and enjoy some of the snow this week before it turned to ice.  We get small dustings of snow once every year or every other year... but nothing I'd really define as "snow".  This year, we got 8 inches!  Last time it really "snowed" (as I define it, with at least one inch accumulated) was 6 years ago!  I wasn't a runner then... So I did not hesitate to go out there and play in it!

First snow run ever!

Thursday was our first day of snow and we had a couple inches... I went out for what i told my husband would be a "quick half mile" and snuck in another mile on that.  It was glorious!  No one else had been out and no one was driving in it yet.  There was just me and the sound of my feet crunching the new snow.  It was soft and fun to feel the padded ground beneath my shoes.

Friday was a longer run and a lot more slow and slick.

Friday's run had me completely lost at 3.5 miles.
I have been using the Nike+ app to help me keep track of which shoes have how many miles on them... and I earned my "Storm" badge.  Fun little app with badges to help motivate you or competitions you can challenge other friends on the app with. Anyway...

An hour and a half in the snow, I got lost, misjudged where the curb started and ended at least twice (but didn't fall!) and trudged through a field of snow that was knee deep.  The duct tape over my shoes kept my feet dry and it was beautiful and fun to be out there... but as I neared my regular stomping grounds and was at the "one mile" landmark from home, I saw a car accident with police and an ambulance on the way.

Time to high tail it home.

As I got home, I checked the mail and got my valentines' gift for Squeakers and Bugaboo...

I decided to get them the "Love" badge with the heart on it... available for "a limited time" with RoadID.
You can get yours here:
(or send me a private message on my facebook page if you'd like a $1 off coupon).

I'd say it has been a "running focused" weekend of running, even if I didn't get my long run in!

And with that, here's the tune I always get stuck in my head when I think of snow...

Do you run in snow?  Own a treadmill or take the winter off?
Share your secrets!