Monday, February 28, 2011

I don't care if it's 10 degrees out, I'm eating a smoothie!

In other news, I'm obsessed with my new blender. Tonight's dinner smoothie was almond milk, frozen peaches, frozen strawberries, a banana, and a ton of spinach.

However, the smoothies + the cold temps = me being way too cold. I need to figure out more things to make with my favorite new toy. Maybe edamame hummus? Maybe many kinds of hummus?

I was definitely feeling my major butt bruise from snowboarding on Saturday in spin class today. Ouch! After spin class, the room where I do my strength/core was packed, so I hopped on the elliptical for 30 minutes, hoping it would clear. By the time the room had emptied a little, I was so hungry, I bailed on lifting, and just went home so I could make a smoothie. Definitely the right decision.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Perfect Tahoe Weekend?

If you look up blue bird powder day in the dictionary, there would be a picture of yesterday in Lake Taco.

We got more than two feet of snow in 24 hours, between Thursday night and Friday night, and woke up to perfect blue skies yesterday morning. That meant only one thing, snowboarding lesson #2.

My wonderful friend Katie and I put on all of our snow gear, got coffee and bagels, and headed to the California base of Heavenly, about 3 miles from my house. After a run down a green slope with me, Katie headed off to do some runs with better powder that were a little more challenging. I kept practicing on the easier slope, but after 7 or 8 runs (and one extremely embarrassing fall getting off the lift), I felt ready to move up!

I found Katie, and she took me on some blue runs. I'm really excited about how quickly I'm picking up snowboarding. Though I've been skiing more times, I never got very confident on skis. I never got confident enough for skiing to be fun. With snowboarding, I feel confident in my ability to slow down or stop, so I feel confident enough to go fast. And going fast is fun. Also, how can you not have fun riding somewhere that looks like this?

From here.

I've got riding on my back edge down, now I'm working on using my toe edge. It's a little scary, because at one point in the turn, you're sliding backwards down the hill. It's hard to get used to the feeling and trust that you'll swing around, but I'm getting better. I definitely have fewer bruises, bumps, scrapes, and sore muscles than the last time I went out.

Apres ski (apres snowboard?), Katie and I went to MacDuffs Pub which just opened in Lake Taco in December. There's another one in Connecticut. I hadn't been there yet, but I've been hearing about how good it was, as our intern's boyfriend and some of his friends own it. It's awesome! Great food, good happy hour specials ($3 beer pints! Of good beer!), friendly staff, and, best of all, a tiny rottweiler puppy named Bob.

Full of cheese, garlic, and beer, I took a nap so I could have enough energy for the concert I was going to, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Katie, Carin, and I got to the show late (Like an hour late. Ooops.), and it was sold out. While we stood around and debated what we should do instead, the will call office told everyone waiting around that they would sell the unclaimed will call tickets for half off. Sweet! Half the show, for half the price. The band put on a great show, and there was so many beards and so much plaid. I was in heaven!

All in all, it was a pretty perfect Saturday, but it definitely drained me, and I have yet to work up the energy to do the 5 mile run I'm supposed to do today. I did go grocery shopping at my favorite place (though I did have to go to Safeway also because the Gross Out didn't have spinach. I need spinach!) and broke out my Valentine's Day present for the first time to make a delicious smoothie.

My (strange, but) delicious smoothie ingredients:
- Frozen strawberries
- Chocolate chai rice milk (This was on Gross Out special, so I was a little worried that it was going to be disgusting, but I decided to risk it for 99 cents.)
- Banana
- Spinach
- Peanut butter

I drank my wonderful beverage while catching up with my HLP and staring at Lake Taco.

Later I'm going to make a huge salad, do my taxes, and consolidate my loans, so this weekend is only getting better!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snowstorm benefits

1. I get to work from home. This means I cracked a work from home lunch beer at exactly 12:01.
2. I get to make my Save Servce! calls from home. Don't cancel AmeriCorps!
3. Watching the pup porpoise through snow drifts bigger than she is.
4. Since I flaked on going grocery shopping before it hit, I am being creative with my cooking. I made a version of this recipe, from Melissa Nibbles, except I used rice instead of pasta and my frozen vegetable mix is 90% carrots because I had already picked out all of the broccoli and cauliflower and added some garbanzo beans. It was delicious, filling, and I have leftovers. Those are my three main requirements for cooking.
5. When the snow finally stops, snowboarding will be super fun!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Snow! We are going to get a lot of it tonight through tomorrow. NOAA is predicting 2+ feet by Friday night, and they have been under-predicting all winter.
2. The gash in my leg from biking on Monday is gross and painful. I guess I shouldn't have ignored it when it happened.

If you look closely at the background, you can see a paraglider. This park is also a great place for beginning paragliding!

3. I have to move out of my awesome lake front home. My roommate and I got a 60 day notice from our landlord because his son wants to move into our apartment. I am really going to miss looking at Lake Tahoe while I have breakfast and my roommate's puppy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Biking outside! And week in review a little late.

Good news: I got to ride my bike outside two days! It was so awesome to ride around in the sunshine instead of indoors on a spin bike. I needed to a reminder of why I love to bike. Also, I am definitely way stronger than I used to be. I could stand up on my bike for entire runs down the trail, which I've never been able to do before.

I feel like such a bad ass in my full face helmet.

Elings Park. There are so many beautiful places to ride in Santa Barbara

Bad news: I forgot my shin guards, and I had a run in with a prickly bush. I'll definitely have a new shin scar to add to my collection. Also, pedaling outside was way harder than I hoped. I'll have to kick up the intensity in my spin classes.

Half Marathon: Training is going well. I've been hitting most of my mileage goals with no real knee pain. Plus, I think my feet have mostly adjusted to my inserts, and no new blisters. I need to get better about icing and foam rolling, because I am sure that as the miles creep up, I'll be needing that.

Triathlon: I've been hitting my minute goals for running and biking, but I'm still not doing so well with swimming. I was hoping to swim outside while I was in SB, but it didn't happen due to rain on Saturday. I think my friend Katie is going to begin training soon, so it will be awesome to train with someone.

This week we're supposed to get another 2 feet of snow between Thursday morning and Friday night, so I think that I'm going to go snowboarding this weekend. Hopefully, I will spend a little more time on my feet. I'll also be clinging to my memories of wearing shorts on the beach and riding my bike out doors in the sun.

There's mud on the bottom of my bike. That usually means something fun happened.

Bikes go this way!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

California is a big state

Yesterday afternoon I was wearing shorts at the beach. 488 miles and 8 and a half hours later, I pulled into my driveway where the snow was plowed into berms almost as high as my two story apartment building. It's so crazy that there's such variation in one state!

This weekend was definitely one of indulgence. Nearly 20 hours in a car led to the eating of a lot of unhealthy gas station snacks.

Some things I consumed in the car that I would not normally consume:
- Cheeze-its
- Jalapeno kettle chips
- Special K bar
- Peanut butter Snickers
- Regular Snickers
- Starbursts
- Honey roasted cashews
- Multiple servings of Diet Cherry Pepsi
- Gas station "iced latte"
- Pretzel rods

While all of these foods were perfect road trip food, I was definitely feeling a salt overload by the end of the road trip.

In addition to all of the delicious road trip snacks, I also indulged in (nearly) all of my favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara.
- Woodstock's Pizza: I have not found great pizza in Tahoe yet, so I had to get some Woodstock's with extra peppercinis.
- Daily Grind: I get the breakfast burrito with no meat and the cinnamon coffee. There was a huge mastiff there this weekend.
- Freebirds: It's always really busy, especially late night weekends selling burritos to drunk people, and I love their veggie nachos for those days when you want nachos for dinner. One order of nachos is huge! Split them with someone. Freebirds is in the heart of Isla Vista so it is always a great place for people watching.
- Coffee Collaborative: My favorite coffee shop in the Santa Barbara area opened right before I moved. I'm kind of a coffee snob, and this place has (in my opinion) the best coffee. The baristas are friendly, and they make caramel cold press coffee.
- McMaster's Steak & Hoagie: Best veggie "cheesesteak" ever! It's sauteed mushrooms, onions, and green peppers with mozzarella and marinara sauce. I usually make it a meal with fries because the fries are amazing. They're hand cut and fresh cooked and perfect. Also, the man who runs the place is the nicest man in the world.

Pictures of my food! How bloggery of me.

These fries say "eat me! eat me!"

While all in all it was a tasty trip to Santa Barbara, it was definitely a little unhealthy (I didn't even get into the number of beers, greyhounds, and fresh squeezed blood orange margaritas I drank) and overzealous. I went on a couple of decent bike rides, so I wasn't completely inactive, but I think that I can definitely lay off the salt, fat, processed food, and cheese for awhile.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


After driving for five hours through a snowstorm and 6 hours through a rain storm, I arrived in Santa Barbara to…more rain.

It rained all day Saturday, so our planned mountain bike did not occur. Instead, we sat on the couch, at a bunch of food, drank cheap beer, and played Street Fighter 4 and Wii Tennis.

I was a little worried that it would rain all weekend, and I wouldn’t get to ride outside, which I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. But I woke up this morning to a perfect Santa Barbara day.

By two or so, it had dried out enough to go on a little ride. It was still too wet to go on the trail we had originally planned, but it was good enough for a ride around Ellwood Park, a preserve that runs along the bluffs above the beach near Dan’s new house.

Beautiful day for a ride in a gorgeous place.

Can you spot Dan in this picture?

Dan contemplates a possible line.

Trying to avoid mud puddles.

Don't fall off the cliff!

Obviously I was prepared for a hard core ride in my t-shirt and cardigan.

A perfect escape from Lake Taco.

Hopefully, we'll get to go on another ride tomorrow before I leave back to the land of ice and snow.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stuck in Lodi again

Sometimes you have to drive through a blizzard.

I don't know if you've heard, but there is a major snowstorm hitting the Sierra right now. Last night I drove through it with my friend Katie.

We had plans to go to Santa Barbara for the long weekend, and, come hell or high water, we were going to make it to Santa Barbara.

We had originally planned that I would go down on Friday, and meet Katie in Lodi, where she had a meeting. However, Wednesday and Thursday we got about three feet of snow, and, according to the weather report, it was only going to snow more and more over Thursday night and into Friday. So we both got permission to leave work early on Thursday, and we headed out of town yesterday afternoon.

It. Was. Crazy!

Definitely the hardest snow I've ever driven through. Luckily, my car, Strawberry, has all wheel drive, and the nice men at Les Schwab put my chains on for me. We took off at a speedy 25 miles an hour, and we were on our way.

When we left, there were chain controls from Meyers, Ca to Kyburz, Ca. That's about 22 miles and pretty much the extent of the high mountain roads. We passed Kyburz. There were still chain controls. We got to Pollock Pines (40-ish miles). Still chain controls. We got to Camino. There was CalTrans trucks forcing us off Highway 50, so we took about a 20 minute detour through that bustling metropolis. We got to Placerville- 52 miles later, the chain controls were finally off. 52 miles is a really long ways to drive 25 miles an hour.

But we made it. I was glad I wasn't going the other direction (into Tahoe) because the traffic was insane going that direction. We also saw several accidents, probably people going too fast for conditions. Seriously people! Just because you drive a hummer, that doesn't mean you can drive 45 through a blizzard.

Eventually, we made it to Lodi and checked into the extremely upscale Lodi Best Western. After all the adrenaline from driving through the snow storm (and the difficulties of actually getting our chains off!) wore off, we realized we hadn't eaten all day.

As vegetarians, we decided against the hotel desk clerk's recommendation of a steak house, and instead tried out Lodi Beer Company. It was in a really adorable part of town, in a cool old building with high molded ceilings and exposed brickwork. All the food on the menu looked super good, but there were definitely more veggie options in the online menu than there were when we got to the restaurant, which was a little disappointing. I tried the Plowshear Porter, which was good, but not the best porter I've ever had. I've been going through a porter/stout phase lately so I had a lot to compare. Katie really like the Southern English Brown that she tried.

Like I mentioned, we hadn't eaten all day and were very hungry. We ordered the blue cheese fries (garlic fries with fresh blue cheese and a little blue cheese dressing for dipping) and a greek salad (no chicken) to split. We also each got an entree; Katie got pizza and I ordered baked macaroni and cheese, with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese.

All of the food was SO GOOD. I think even looking past the hunger that would have made pretty much anything taste good, our food was delicious. It was pretty hilarious when we had all of the plates of all of our food on the table. I wish we had taken a picture.

We managed to eat most of the fries, the whole salad, most of the pizza, and all of the macaroni and the side steamed veggies. I think our waitress was pretty impressed.

I've been trying to eat vegan when I'm cooking for myself this month, and have managed to be about 90% vegan for the last few weeks. I think all of the cheese in my meal last night was kind of a shock to my system, and we both fell into "cheese comas" by 10:30.

I'm not usually a morning work out person at all (I need enough sleep and food in my system), but the combination of the early bed time, still feeling full from the night before, and an early morning text from my boss, I was wide awake at 6:30 am. After laying there for another half an hour, I decided to just give up on sleep and bust out a quick run in the workout room just a couple doors down.

It felt great to start my morning off with a three miler while watching My Super Sweet 16 interspersed with weather reports of the snow storm I am no longer experiencing. I don't think I stretched enough after the run, which I'll probably regret during the 6 hours we still have left to drive.

All I can say is that it better stop raining in SB so I can go for a bike ride.

We also drove through Folsom.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Someone is just too cute!

And it's not the human who still hasn't showered.

I escaped from my snow prison!

Visibility cleared enough (I could see the lake!) that I felt comfortable leaving my house. I swept off the several inches of snow that had accumulated on my car, and headed to the gym.

I did three miles on the treadmill in 30 minutes. Yay on time, boo for being back on the treadmill. I also did 30 minutes on the stationary bike, and it was super tough after my run. Also difficult was doing arm weights after my hour and a half of shoveling. I powered through a few sets, but then I thought that I'll probably have to dig my car out again tomorrow, so I don't want to be too sore. So I did some abs and headed into work to check my email and grab some stuff, just in case tomorrow is another work from home day.

Now I am off to the grocery store for some snowstorm essentials, ie bread, peanut butter, broccoli, and beer.

I am so excited that my roommate and her puppy are back from the bay!

Meira says "hello!" Lynn say "I haven't showered in days!"

So much snow!

It hasn't really snowed here since January, but we are making up for it today. It's snowed about 2 feet since 10:30 last night, and it doesn't look like it's slowing down much.

We had a "snow day" from work today, where we can work from home. I slept in until 9:00 or so and then began the process of digging out my car. I figured I'd go in to work for a couple hours, hit the gym, finally pick up some chains so I can get out this weekend, etc. It took me about an hour and a half, including the section that I had to dig out twice because the guy who came to plow our parking area pushed snow up behind my car.

I got the car dug out, shoveled the deck, collected my stuff, warmed up my car...and I made it about a half a block, because visibility was practically zero, and going in to work/the gym wasn't worth crashing my car.

So I got a pretty good arm workout with all the shoveling I've done today, and I think I'll be doing some at home yoga. And playing in the snow with my roommate's puppy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week in Review

I think I figured out my plans for spring/summer. I've pretty much decided against doing this race. The lack of mountain biking and the slacking I'm doing on my swimming training has me thinking that it's not the race for me. Instead, I am going to focus on this one! It has a long bike section with a scary profile but I have until the end of August to prepare. I am also 90% sure that I'm going to do the American River Parkway Half Marathon. It will be my first ever half marathon, and the first time I've run longer than 8 miles since Ski to Sea 2008. Any Sacramento/Tahoe/Bay Area residents interested in running it too?

I'm also planning on going back to B-Ham for a race, either the Lake Padden Triathlon (if I can convince Jodi Christ Superstar to do it with me) or Ragnar Northwest Passage. Maybe both?

No swimming last week. Boo. Now that I've redesigned my training plan for the longer, further away race, I have a chance to start over. This will be the week! Maybe even some outdoor swimming when I am in Santa Barbara this weekend.

I am getting so bored of the spin bike! Don't get me wrong, I love my spin class, but I am ready to be outside. Dan is putting my new disk brakes on my bike right now, and I am so ready to ride some trails!

At least I got to run outside this weekend. I ran 3 miles on Friday and 4 miles on Sunday around my beautiful neighborhood. I definitely got some blisters on my arch from my insoles about mile 2 of 3, so I duct taped my feet for my 4 mile run. I had some hot spots at about 3.75, but much better than before. I think I'm going to shell out for some moleskin to see if that helps even more.

Now I'm off to sweat in spin class. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What the h Netflix?

So I decided to try out one of the yoga workout on Netflix Instant today. Check out my recommendations:

Notice anything odd? Look at the category- Quirky TV Shows Featuring a Strong Female Lead. And now the suggestion to the far right- Say Yes to the Dress.

Really Netflix? Really?

While I have occasionally been known to enjoy a Say Yes marathon or two, I strongly disagree that it is a. quirky and b. starring a strong female lead.

Female, yes. But strong? Not really. Are women spending thousands of dollars (often pressured by the salespeople to spend much more than their original budget) on their wedding dress(es)really what passes for strong female leads nowadays?

Sometimes I weep for the future.

In other news, my run outside yesterday was great and gorgeous and made me wish I had my camera. Also, I now have two blisters on the arch of my left foot from my inserts. Grr.

After being flabbergasted by Netflix suggestions, I tried out The Trainer's Edge: Long & Lean Yoga. I was not a fan. It was definitely a harder yoga workout than I am used to, and I think I've come to realize that I don't want to do yoga for conditioning. I was to do yoga for the mental benefits and flexibility and a little bit of strength. Mostly, I hate when yoga videos try to trick me into doing crunches by calling them "chest pulses". If I wanted to do crunches, I would do crunches.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Three things for Thursday

1. Dan was supposed to be on his way up here right now, but plans fell through, and he is not coming this weekend. He better get me the blender I asked for for VDay. But, on the bright side, I will be going to Santa Barbara next weekend! And my friend Katie is coming with me, so I don't have to drive by myself. Time to make some mix cds!

2. I finally decided what to name my car. Her name is Strawberry. Incidentally, strawberries are also the food I could eat the most of in one sitting. I ate two pounds in about an hour driving back from Mammoth last summer.

3. Tickets are now on sale for the 6th Annual Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival. You can go here to buy tickets, watch video clips, and learn more about the Film Fest. If you are in Tahoe, you can also buy tickets at the Alliance, MacDuff's, Patagonia, Gaia Licious, Tahoe Rock Shop, and Sierra Ski & Cycle Works. This is the first event I'm putting on for work, and I'm really excited about it! We have awesome films, a great venue, cool giveaways, and it supports a great cause. I hope if you are in the area you can make it! March 11th, MontBleu Casino, 7 - 10 pm. Kids welcome!

Since I was planning on having visitors this weekend, I also planned to do a long work out today just in case I had a little too much fun this weekend. I planned on going to spin, doing some lifting, and then going to yoga. However, after the elliptical and spin class, my knees were majorly complaining. Stupid stair climber. No more for me. So I decided to head home and ice instead. So now I am finishing off my toffee with frozen peas on my teas and tea in my hand. Lovely evening.

Does anyone else have Lincoln's Birthday off tomorrow? I do. Getting all of the holidays off is one of the benefits of nonprofits I have to say. I'm planning on sleeping in, addressing my floordrobe situation, making soup, and taking a long walk, enjoying the sun and the bare roads because SNOW is in the forecast.

Happy Birthday, Lincoln! Thanks for the day off!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

People are strange

I had the most interesting people watching experience at the gym tonight.

She was wearing, I kid you not:
- Skate shoes (with apparently no socks)
- Black sparkly leg warmers
- Maroon yoga type capris
- A cruise-wear style halter top with wooden beads for the neck strap. (Kind of like this)
- No bra
- Weightlifting gloves
- An NBA sweatband/wristband

And her outfit is not even the weirdest part!

Pretty much the whole time I was working out in the weight room, she was on the hip abductor/adductor machine. But she didn't do the normal abduction/adduction movements the machine is designed for. Instead, she stood, balanced on the foot rests and swung her knees in and out or swiveled her hips. I think she may have used the machine the normal way as well, but I was trying not to stare too much. That was hard. But she spend at least a half an hour on that machine. Lake Tahoe has some interesting locals.

I figured out a way to make the elliptical more interesting. It involved an attractive rugby player running on the treadmill in front of me, and a basketball game on the tv.

I did the stair machine, which made my knees hurt. No more stairs for me! Then I elliptical-ed and lifted and streeeeeeetched a lot.

Now I am eating a burrito, more toffee, and icing with my 99 cent frozen pea ice bags.

Change in training plan?

So I've been training for this awesome sounding triathlon: The XTERRA REAL Mountain Bike Triathlon with Super Sprint MTB Triathlon. However, the realization has slowly been dawning on me that, while I am pretty much on track with my non-swimming training, this triathlon's bike portion is a mountain bike leg. I haven't been on my mountain bike since October.

While I'm sure I'll ride down in Santa Barbara a couple of times before then, I am not confident about doing a 16 mile mountain bike ride pretty much cold.

I'm considering a few options.
1. Downgrade to the super sprint, for which the bike length is a more manageable 6 miles.
2. Switch up my training and do a half marathon at the end of April/beginning of May (maybe this one?) and do a later triathlon (like this one or this one or this one which one of my friends is interested in).
3. Suck it up and do it anyway.

I'm just not sure. Any advice?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If I had one magical power it would be...

Apparation*. I would want to be able to apparate. While there are many situations that apparating would be useful, (saving the environment by not driving to work every day, going to Santa Barbara without spending 9 hours in a car each way, escaping from zombies) I mainly want to be able to travel directly from the relaxation part at the end of yoga to my bed without having to get up or go outside. This would be especially useful on nights like tonight when it is 20 degrees out, and the wind is blowing 30 miles an hour, and my car is at the far end of the dark parking lot.

Instead of walking/freezing/un-relaxing, poof! I would be immediately in my bed. Then I would use the Imperius curse to force my roommate to make me tea. Or maybe I'd just ask nicely.

*I would not pick oculus reparo like someone we know.

In my excitement about the toffee that came in the mail today, I forgot to mention the other exciting package I got this weekend. I got new Superfeet inserts for my shoes! Apparently, I flatten my arches when I run, and along with some congenital knee issues, I had really horrible knee pain in high school. I saw a really awesome sports medicine doctor who diagnosed my issue, and, since then I've mostly run with orthotics in my shoes. When I was on my parents insurance, I had custom made ones that were really nice. Since then, though I've worn Superfeet Green.

In October I realized that my inserts were about 2 and a half years old. Ooops. Definitely supposed to replace them more often than that. I didn't put them in my new shoes, and had been running without them in December and January, but I started to get some twinges of knee pain at the beginning of February so I ordered some from ebay (brand new), and used money I had in my pay pal account, so it's like they were free!

I started breaking them in on Monday (I guess it's more like breaking my feet into them, though!) with a walk/run for 30 minutes. The last time I took a break from inserts, I got horrible blisters on the arches of my feet when I started wearing them for 4 or 5 mile runs, so I was hoping to avoid that by running shorter distances until my feet are used to them. Today I ran two miles at a 9:30 - 10 min mile pace (That's the longest I've been able to hold that pace at altitude! Yay!). I started to get some hot spots on my feet toward the end, but no blisters yet.

Now I'm just wondering if I should put them in my spin shoes. Anyone know? Are inserts good for bike shoes?

Awesome day! And a recipe.

I love that the sun is just starting to set when I get off work now! It makes me so happy. The sun setting behind the mountains has been so gorgeous the last couple of days. It makes me sad that I lost my camera charger and have been unable to take any pictures. Imagine something like this.

Then when I came home, there was a mysterious package on my porch! The box had a perishable sticker and a return address label of a toffee company, so I was pretty excited to open it. I tore into it as quickly as I could manage, and I was stoked to see that Dan's parents had sent me some of Brandini Toffee. We'd eaten a ton of it when I was in Palm Springs over Thanksgiving, and it's super good. The best part is the business was started by two best friends in high school to raise money for a trip to Italy, and now their younger sisters run the business while they're in college. They also use alternative energy to run their company!

It was an all-round good food day in my life. We had a welcome potluck for our new intern, and there was so much delicious, delicious food. There was curry soup, homemade potato salad, lasagna, spinach salad, hummus, cookies, brownies, cupcakes...the list goes on and on.

I had originally considered making polenta, but, since I have never made it before, I decided to go with something I make all the time: brussel sprouts. I was a little worried about how they'd go over, because some people seem to really hate brussel sprouts. But I thought if that happens, more for me! However, everyone seemed to like them. In fact, someone told me that I should always bring them to all potlucks, forever, no matter what the potluck theme is . Success!

I thought I'd share the recipe, if anyone was interested.

Brussel sprouts
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

For the potluck, I used a whole bag of brussel sprouts, but if I'm cooking for myself, I use 6 - 10 depending on size/how hungry I am.

1. Heat 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil in pot or pan with lid over medium low.
2. Cut off the end of the brussel sprouts and cut them in half.
3. Add brussel sprouts to pan, drizzle a little olive oil, and stir with a fork so they're lightly coated.
4. Add a pinch of salt and cracked pepper to taste.
4. Put on lid and let brussel sprouts cook until you can stick a fork through the big ones easily, stirring every couple minutes, so they all get time on the bottom. This will take usually take 8+ minutes, depending on temp and number of brussel sprouts.
5. For the last 30 seconds or so, turn the heat up to medium and stir so they sear a little bit.
6. Enjoy! They're best directly out of the pan, but they're also good refrigerated and served cold. I've never tried reheating them, so I'm not sure how well they reheat.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Last week in review

I did all of my biking. Unfortunately, it was all indoors. I am counting down the days to my next trip to Santa Barbara (11 days!), and all of the outdoor biking I will do.

Still no swimming. Bad. This week! I promise!

I did ran 4 times this week, but I didn't get my "long" run in. I was so excited to run outside yesterday, but I felt sick to my stomach. And I've already learned the hard way that running when my stomach already feels off is a recipe for disaster. So I took Sunday off, and enjoyed the sunshine through my kitchen window.

I lifted 4 times this week. Plus, I mixed it up more than the 8 - 10 lifts that I normally do. I also tried to get more of my body involved instead of just focusing on one area, like standing on one legs to do curls, etc.

No yoga or pilates classes this week, but I did some yoga on my own. I really think classes are important for me, but sometimes yoga on my own works out better for my schedule.

In non-workout life, I addressed 500 plus envelopes by hand this weekend, watched 10 episodes of Secret Life, 2 episodes of Battlestar Galactica (nerd alert!), and 12 episodes of Parks and Rec. My HLP, Jodi Christ Superstar told me that I have to watch Parks and Rec. I'm so glad she did, and Leslie Knoap is one of my new feminist icons. Ovaries before brovaries!

On Saturday night, I put on my tight jeans, thermal socks, boots and down coat and went to a bluegrass show at The Divided Sky. It was definitely the place to be in Lake Taco that night. A guy came up to me and said, "You look really nice. You're wearing jewelry. You went all out tonight." For the record, I was wearing giant ceramic earrings that I bought at Value Village and a plastic necklace from H&M. So it's not like I was blinging out like T Pain or anything. Lake Taco is a different kind of place. Bison was great, as was the hard cider that I drank. I forgot what kind it was, but it was delicious.

Since I was feeling sick on Sunday, and I care a negative amount about both the Packers and the Steelers, I didn't watch the Superbowl. I took advantage of the nearly empty laundromat and did a mountain of laundry. I managed to have more laundry than would fit in my basket, and had to have laundry overflow into a reusable shopping bag. It was pretty impressive.

Here's my latest workout jam: Tightrope by Janelle Monae feat. Big Boi. Sadly no imbedding.

And here's the non-workout tunes I've been listening to while addressing envelopes and dancing around my apartment:


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekend Update

I'm in the "F's" and my arm is already sore. Maybe I'll teach myself to write left handed.

I rearranged my workout schedule this week, and moved my rest day to Thursday. It was my roommate's last night working at The Divided Sky, an awesome restaurant/bar in Meyers, which is a small town a little outside of South Lake Tahoe. If you are ever in the area, check it out! They have really delicious, mostly organic food and a ton of really good vegetarian options. I think that I'm going to go back there tonight for a bluegrass concert.

Since I "rested" on Thursday, I went to spin this morning, and this is the first time I've been on a Saturday. I thought the class started at 8:30, so I got to the gym at about 8:10, thinking that I would have plenty of time to claim a good bike and warm up. Class actually started at 8:15, so I barely made it! I got stuck with one of the last bikes left, and I could not get my shoes to clip in at all. I must have tried for 5 minutes with no luck. I finally just gave up and put my running shoes back on and used the toe clips. I'd gotten so used to wearing my clipless shoes that it was quite the adjustment and so much harder! Especially on the hills.

I managed to get in a (sorta) brick and ran for about 15 minutes after spin class. I don't think I'd been to my gym on a Saturday morning. Waaaaaaay different crowd than the post-work weeknights group that I usually see. Several incidents of nearly Heidi Montag-level plastic surgery, fewer meatheads. Strange.

Now I am going to enjoy some more unrealistic ABC Family Melodramas about teen pregnancy, address more envelopes, and cook some lentils.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I heart Netflix!

I have to hand address 600+ envelopes for work this weekend. I am going to watch hours of my guilty pleasure shows (Secret Life is the definition of guilty pleasure. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I watch it in a public forum) and eat delicious things.

I just keep telling myself, "At least I get comp time. At least I get comp time."

Hopefully, I'll be able to fit a run (outside?!), spin class and pilates (first time ever!) in there somewhere.

The reason that I have 600+ envelopes to address is that we have our first big mailing of the year going out on Monday. And, apparently, potential donors are more likely to open a letter if the address is hand written. I also got to print out all 600+ letters today so our executive director could take them home to sign over the weekend, and, of course, our brand new fancy printer/copier/scanner decided to stop working. And the mail merge didn't work the first 6 times I did it. And the printer didn't have our letter head done until the afternoon. And my boss was gone, so there was no one to answer any of my questions.

It was a very stressful day, but I succeeded, all 600+ letters got printed and we're ready to go to the Executive Director by 4! So I let myself go early (benefit of the boss being gone) and made it to the gym in time to get a parking spot before the post work rush that always makes parking a fiasco.

Nothing too exciting at the gym, I just ran for 23 minutes (hill workout) and lifted focusing on my legs and back. I'm definitely getting stronger which is always exciting.

Tonight, 30 Rock on Hulu, tea in my mug, and brussel sprouts on my plate. Perfect Friday night?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mug intervention

New blog layout! Super exciting.

It's only a couple of days into February, and I did not start off the month very well on my fitness goals. Usually, I go straight from my office to the gym, which makes it that much harder to skip, but on Tuesdays, I usually go home and eat something before yoga. While living literally a stone's throw from Lake Taco has it's advantages , it is usually about three times as windy at my house than it is at work. By the time I got home, got into my yoga clothes, and ate some delicious hot soup, the wind had really started whipping. So I made the executive decision to sit on my ass in my yoga pants and watch Going the Distance. Normally, I dislike both chick flicks and Drew Barrymore, but I loved this movie! I love pretty much anything that features my secret boyfriend Charlie, but aside from that, I thought it was really funny. If you've ever been in a long distance relationship, you'll really appreciate it.

Yesterday, I did my short run that I skipped on Tuesday, and I did it a little faster than I normally run, which was great. Then I did 35 minutes on the elliptical, making up for missing my swim? Maybe? At least I use my arms on the elliptical? I did arms and abs as well, including the crazy plank which was hard.

I've started using the notepad app on my ipod to track my workouts, so if it takes me a couple days to get to the computer where I keep my spreadsheets, I don't have to try to remember what I actually did, mileage, weights etc.

So remember yesterday when I said that I had four mugs at my workstation? Actually, it was worse. The quick glance around that I took did not reveal 2 mugs that were hiding. That means I actually was hoarding six mugs. Six. Luckily, they were all clean. No gross moldy mugs hanging around.

Our office is across the street from a slightly sketchy thrift shop. Sometimes we take breaks and walk over there to see what exciting things we can find. It's where I found my awesome ski suit. I totally scored there today. Not only did we find a file cabinet for my new intern ($5!), I found a
couple of cute jars for my tea and quinoa, so they don't have to hang out in my cupboard in the bags they came in, constantly threatening to fall out and escape all over my kitchen floor. I also found a new travel coffee mug, because I stupidly left all of mine in my storage unit in Seattle, and, while I have not yet spilled coffee from a regular mug while driving, it's only a matter of time. I also bought a mug. My mug looks like the one above, but it says Lake Tahoe instead of Florida, and it has pine trees instead of palm trees. It's amazing. Hopefully, having one mug that is mine will prevent me from hoarding the office mugs.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Non Fitness February Goals

1. Track my spending! I'd been having some issues with syncing with my bank accounts, and, thus, didn't track for January. I finally did it by hand yesterday, and, wowzers, did I do poorly on my budget.

2. Stick to my budget. See above.

3. Buy no new clothes in February. That was an area my budget took a hard hit. A big chunk was because I finally broke down and bought a real winter coat, but still. If I absolutely need something (unlikely), I'll be thrifting it up. Better for the environment, too.

4. Limit the amount of mugs that accumulate in my workspace. Right now there are four. Sorry other people in the office who might want to use a mug!

5. Accept more social invitations. I should be less of a lone wolf and do stuff when people from work invite me. While staying within my budget.

We got a new intern at work, and she's mostly going to be mine. Yay! We're having a welcome potluck next week. Anyone have any suggestions for vegetarian/gluten-free/peanut free dishes to make?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Check it out! Sierra Nevada Alliance - 6th Annual Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour

We're putting on a film fest! If you are in the Reno/Tahoe/Sac/Bay area/own a private helicopter, come watch some great films, win prizes, drink beer and be inspired!

I want you to take a look at: Sierra Nevada Alliance - 6th Annual Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour 

January Totals & February Goals

January was the first month I've really worked out consistently since moving from Seattle in October. I did a fair amount of biking and other active things all summer, but the move and especially the couch surfing/temporary homelessness involved really affected my being active. I started working out again in mid-December when I was no longer working two jobs, but implementing my triathlon training plan really made me buckle down and get committed to working out. How did I do?

First the bad:
I swam 0 yards in January. Big fat zero.
That's not gonna work. I have tons "reasons" (oh, there's no pool at my's so cold...blah, blah, blah) but, really, they're just excuses. I totally should have made it to the pool.

Now the good:
I ran 25 miles in January.
While many runners have weekly mileage higher than that, this is awesome for me. I haven't run regularly since moving away from Bellingham and the ultimate running trail, Lake Padden. I was also still adjusting to the altitude change, though now that I've been here for 10 weeks, I probably can't use that excuse anymore! While my miles may be slow, I got them done.

I biked 196 miles in January (estimation).
I did all of these miles indoor on a spin bike, so this is just an estimation. I found a spin class that I love, and an instructor that always pushes me. I tend to bike more than what my training plan calls for (making up for those missed swim minutes!) because being in shape for mountain biking season is my main motivation for working out. Training for the triathlon is mainly to help keep me on track.

I started going to yoga once a week.
I have bone spurs in my lower back, (Everyone! If you have back pain, get checked it checked out stat. Don't ignore it and develop bone spurs!) and they barely bother me at all when my core is strong and my muscles are stretched out, i.e., I go to yoga. So good for me, and my preventative care.

I started strength training again.
Strength training is great. I can feel the difference in almost every aspect of my life!

February Goals:
1. Go swimming. At least twice a week. Starting Wednesday (aka tomorrow). If I don't, everyone has permission to yell at me.
2. Keep up the good work with running. Run at least half my miles at 10 min mile pace.
3. Keep up biking. Bike outside at least twice this month. Even if that only happens when I go to Santa Barbara.
4. Try out pilates. There is a pilates class at my gym that I haven't gone to yet, mostly because I am nervous. Get over it, and go to pilates.
5. Up my yoga to twice a week. Or do some combination of yoga/pilates twice a week.
6. Do something fun outdoors in the snow at least three times this month. Whether it's cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, etc.

So there they are. My goals for February. I decided to write them down so I can hold myself accountable more easily.