Friday, October 28, 2011

What I am Thankful For…

A blog that I follow HannahViolin had a post today about doing a post every day in November about what she is thankful for. I am so going to do this. It might be hard to do a post every day, but I know that I do have a lot to be thankful for.

Before that we've got a Halloween slumber party for the kiddos tomorrow night, what the heck was I thinking? Then Halloween and trick-or-treating on Monday, and I can't believe it's almost November.

I did get a 4.5 mile run in this morning with Patti and Rochelle; we hit the loop by my house and didn't take the easy way out. We saved the long hill for the end. Hills make me stronger. It was the coldest morning so far this fall but it felt great out there with very little wind. I can take the hills, I cannot take the wind. Tomorrow we are going to run ten and take that same hill again. I've got to get ready for Tulsa.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I don't know if I've said this before, but I am not what you would call "Outdoorsy". I admit it, I feel no shame. When I was a kid when we spent summers in West Virginia on my aunt's farm you were more likely to find me inside reading a book than outside playing in the dirt. I used to be afraid of flies, and I remember spending hours killing flies on the front porch. The fact that the farm was in the hills of West Virginia and that flies do quite a bit of breeding there didn't deter me.

I did float down the creek on old tires with my cousins and siblings, although I tried my hardest to not actually get in the creek. I still feel the same about lakes and rivers and creeks. I like to think of myself as a swimming pool type of girl, I like to be able to see what is around me in the water.

That being said, the kiddos and I went out to Roman Nose State Park with my sisters and their families on Saturday. Josh had a medical procedure on Friday that prohibited him from participating in this fun filled trip. Here's what I learned this weekend…

  • The girl with the least amount of camping equipment will be in charge of chips and baked goods.
  • Even if I had a camping box, I don't own a car big enough to transport it.
  • A task like gathering fire wood will keep kids occupied for a long time.
  • If you sit close to the fire because it's freezing, you run the risk of getting burn holes in your fleece jacket.
  • My family has never heard of Ivy Block. (This was a HUGE shock, as they are all expert campers.)
  • When it's cold out there are less granddaddy longlegs on the outside of the tent.
  • The air inside your air mattress gets really cold when it's in the 40s.
  • Temps in the 40s and 50s might be perfect running temps, but they are not perfect sleeping in a tent temps.
  • When you camp in October it's always better to over pack.
  • That half bottle of wine will make you need to pee at about 3am.
  • Just because you sleep in a tent with 4 girls between the ages of six and twelve doesn't mean you will have someone to go to the bathroom with at 3am.
  • With eleven kids, the sleeping arrangements will change atleast 30 times between the time you set up the tents and actually go to bed.
  • It is possible to get to the end of A Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall.

In all it was a great trip. The kids had a great time, and I'd like to think that this is one of those trips that they will always remember. We did take them fishing on Sunday after we had packed up our camp. You have never heard kids whine so much. We had four kids that fished and seven that complained almost the whole time.

I can't wait until next time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Smell of Fresh Baked Bread…

I love to bake. I love finding new recipes and testing them out and I love the look on my friends or family's faces when I hit the mark.
 I have always wanted to bake my own bread. I have had some attempts, some good, some not so good. I have a recipe for white bread that I have been making off and on for the last few months. I know what you are thinking white bread is bad for you, right? Well, I say that if it's made by me and I know exactly what is in it (how much sugar is in it) then it's not all bad. The white bread recipe is a good one.

I also have a recipe for cinnamon swirl bread that is to die for. So good, that I can't make it every week or I will eat it every week, and then I will have to run that many more miles every week. On a side note, this bread is AWESOME as part of an egg white, fake sausage and cheese sandwich. Sweet + savory = yum. It also works well for French toast…Anyway…
I found a recipe for Honey Oat Bread on I had it in my recipe binder for a few weeks and finally decided to try it out on Sunday. Can I just say, WOW! It's a little sweet and very soft which seems to be lacking in the homemade breads I have made so far.

Here's the recipe:
Honey Oat Bread
Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oats
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk (almond or soy milk for vegan/dairy free)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons honey warmed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons oats
n a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt.

In a small bowl, or two cup measuring cup, warm the milk so that it's hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, stir in the water and honey.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing until it just comes together to form a dough. Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to soften it up.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Once doubled, place the dough on a clean, dry work surface. If the dough is too sticky, lightly flour the surface before continuing. With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough, tucking the ends as needed, into a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with a clean dry towel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

When the loaf is doubled again, brush the top with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the oats.

Place the bread in the oven and pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees.

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely before serving.

I could go on and on about how delicious this bread is. I used almond milk in mine, and I threw the oats into the chopper before I added them to the flour, just to grind them up a little. I also omitted the oats on the top and just did the warmed honey because I would love for my kiddos to eat this bread and oats on top would definitely deter them.
Give it a try; I don't think you will be disappointed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

OKC Race for the Cure 2011…

Carson, Paige, Hannah and Camy bright and early...
Me, Jen and Karen
Carson and Josh walking the 5k
Karen, Hannah and Paige walking the 1 mile.

The RFTC is one of my favorite races, my sisters and I have been participating for about ten years, and this is the first race I ever ran. I think that was in 2008 and it was UGLY. I remember not being able to run the entire thing, and my legs hurt and I had a stitch in my side and it was so hard.

My official time back then was 35:55, and I finished 139th out of 454 in my age group.
Since then I have gotten a little better:
Age Group Place
24 out of 102
10 out of 172
1 out of 84, 43rd overall

This time I finished first in my age group. How crazy is that? It was just over a year ago that my sister got me a Runner Girl sticker for my car and I contemplated whether I qualified as a runner before I put it on my car.

I am so proud that I got to hang out at the starting line with Josh and Jen, and they both did awesome as well. The big problem with the RFTC in the past is that the race is so big that you would spend more time dodging strollers and people that would sprint and then come to a dead stop in front of you. Last year was better because we made sure to get up close to the start, but this year they changed it all up and it was wonderful.

The Competitive 5K started at 8am, and the run/walk started at 8:30. Not only did I not have to dodge non-runners, but I also got to walk the 5k with my girls after I ran it. How awesome is that? I hope they work it out some more next year and keep the new format, my only complaint is that it was a mad house after I finished running and I didn't find the water before we started walking. I got water at a couple of water stops on the course, but the first one was already closed down by the time we got there. I was thirsty.

They changed up the route this year, and I so hope they can change it back next year. It was hilly, really it was HILLY. I know that hills make me stronger, and I do run some hills atleast once a week. (There is a good route by my house, it's a 4.5 mile loop that ends with a long gradual hill that I honestly hate, but I do it anyway.) Hills make me stronger, that's what I kept telling myself as I was fighting to get up the hills on the new route. They did keep the one big downhill at the end again this year, and I was pretty happy about that.

In all it was an awesome day. I set a new PR and won my age group in a race that means a lot to me. What could be better than that?

How about pictures?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fitness in the Middle of the Day…

I just walked a mile. Sure it was a pretty slow mile, it took me 29 minutes, but I am at work and I just walked a mile, and I was working. Wow, sounds impressive, right?

We have two of these…
I cannot get this picture to be right side up...

…right by where my desk is. They are in what we call Walking Room 1 and Walking Room 2. (You've gotta love when the place gets remodeled to make way for awesome things.)

So any of our employees in OKC can go in and schedule time and log into the computer and walk and work at the same time.

Generally, I hate the treadmill, I prefer to call it the dreadmill, and walking on a dreadmill is even worse. But, since I can get in there and get moving and get some work done I am all for it. I did, after all, have a big lunch and I hear that walking aids in digestion. AND, a mile is a mile no matter how slow it is.

I really should bring a pair of my tennis shoes up here and leave them in my desk, my shoes were not the best and I ended up barefoot because my feet were uncomfortable.

Now I don't feel like I need to take a nap.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What to do…

Since the marathon in May I have only done a few races. Here's what I have done with my summer vacation…

  • I walked the Autism 5k with my girls less than a week after the marathon.
  • The Corporate Challenge the second weekend in June. That was a 1 mile, 50 meter dash, women's relay (my leg was a 400), and a 10k.
  • The Norman Conquest bike ride was in July.
  • The Rock N Roll half in Chicago was in August.
  • The Brookhaven 5k the beginning of September.
  • The Tie Dye Tri was two weeks ago.

This is what I have coming up right now…

  • The Race for the Cure 5k is this Saturday. This is one of my favorite races. I've been walking or running it for almost ten years, it was the first 5k that I ran the entire time, and I am hoping to PR this weekend.
  • The Route 66 half marathon in Tulsa is the end of November.

Not a very impressive list of events in my opinion.

I love races. I love picking up my race packet, and getting my big and my timing chip. I love the feeling of anticipation and nervousness I get pre race. I love going out there and just giving it my all, not competing against other runners, but against myself.

Maybe I just haven't had a good long run in a week and a half.

Maybe it's because on the last few long runs I've done there was no one cheering me on towards the finish line. Yeah, maybe that's it; it sure makes all the difference.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tie Dye Tri Recap…

I have been extremely slow in getting my recap together, so here goes.

 This is my third year to participate and it just gets better and better. As usual I was up at the crack of dawn to load up my stuff and head to Rochelle's house. We left my car there so her husband and kiddos wouldn't have to walk to the Y, and loaded up in her truck and headed over right as the transition opened at 5:30am. We meet up with Rochelle's friend Kelli and Emily and got a prime transition location.

Let me just say that it was cold. It was in the 50s, and even though it was not as cold as last year, it was cold. There was a north wind that on Saturday the weatherman said would be 15-30 mph. Last year they moved the race from Saturday to Sunday and just like last year, the weather on Saturday was beautiful. Perfect conditions, no wind, that sort of thing, and then on Sunday it's colder and windy. Oh well, what can you do?

We beat the line and got checked in, picked up our race packets and t-shirts. I give high points for the backpacks we got this year, much better than a plastic bag that I would just throw away. After we got all of our stuff set out, and took some pictures, we took our bikes over to have the tire pressure checked. Seriously, I need these guys to come with me whenever I ride my bike; I hate airing up my tires.

Here's all my stuff.
Kelli, Rochelle and Emily

Kelli, me and Rochelle
It was windy!

Me, Rochelle and Kelli

 The hardest part of getting ready, especially in the cold, is the point where the only thing left to do is strip down to your bathing suit, or in my case this year my tri suit, grab your swim cap and goggles and run half naked barefoot through the Y parking lot to the gym to wait for the race to start. The last two years I have done this race solo, and I must say it was way more fun having a group to hang out with and fill the pre race time. 
Me and Rochelle

Emily, me, Rochelle and Kelli.  We look professional in our swim caps.

The lining up for the swim was a little less organized this year than the last two years, but I got my spot (#26) and my nerves really started hitting me when we were lined up by the pool. The minute I hit the water, though, they went away. I passed one person in the pool, I am still not sure what that girl was doing because she certainly wasn't going anywhere fast, and I didn't get passed by anyone. I did get kicked or hit in the face; I am not sure what happened because I didn't see it coming. Someone was passing a swimmer on the other side of my lane and I guess didn't consider me swimming in the opposite direction in the same lane. My swim time was 8:15, not as fast as I would have liked but I'll take it.

The bike was WWAAAAYYYY better for me this year. After two years on the crappy bike I had been riding around on, it was awesome to be on a good bike. I have also been on my bike a lot more this year than the last two years and I am very happy with my progress. I did get a little nervous at the start and had trouble getting clipped in, but I just took a deep breath to settle down and got clipped in and was on my way. With the strong north wind, it was pretty brutal going north, and at the turn around points the cops didn't leave much room for turning so I was pretty nervous about that. Rochelle almost wiped out on the second turn, thankfully she didn't. My bike time was 43:12, which was over six minutes faster than last year. Talk about improvement.

Then it was off to the run. My second transition was a little slower, switching from my bike shoes to my running shoes might need a little practice if I'm going to speed that up. I have decided that when I can't feel my legs it's easier to run. I can't tell if they are hurting. I did a good job of getting out of my head for the run, I didn't talk myself out of pushing myself and I think I put it all out there. I finished the run in 24:50, which is only 21 seconds slower than the Brookhaven 5k and my PR. Maybe I should swim and bike before every running race.

Here are my overall results:

 I finished 4th in my age group, and I was 16 out of 129 women overall. I am very happy with how I did. Who knows, maybe next year I'll be doing a half ironman instead of a sprint triathlon. You never know.

Rock n Roll…

A few weeks ago I got an email from the people that put on the Rock N Roll Marathon Series. Turns out, when you participate in multiple events in the series you get an additional medal. How cool is that? The medals from the races in Dallas and Chicago are AWESOME already, but they sent me this…

I would love to do all of their events. Not only are the medals great, the races were fantastic. Great race support, great organization at the start, and in Chicago they had people with hoses on the route and a wet sponge station near the end. If it had been hot out those would have come in handy.
Overall these have been my favorite races this year and I hope to do more of their events next year.