Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Burley Doesn't Tip Over!

Burley is attached to Dan's hybrid and my hybrid is next to his - this is from a different trip without any falling! =) 
 I learned this lesson the hard way.....

Thursday for my cross-training I decided to try to ride my road bike while pulling M in our Burley bike trailer.  I really haven't been riding my road bike regularly, but I thought it would be easier/more comfortable to pull him with that rather than on my bulkier hybrid bike.

I headed off in a new direction thinking that it would be flatter than our usual route...boy was I wrong!  I hadn't gotten too far down the path before I encountered an unexpected steep incline, ran out of gas while attempting to climb it, and then I couldn't unclip from my pedals before I tipped over in slow motion --> CRASH!

M was fine, totally unfazed, merely looking at me like I was crazy and practically laughing like it was funny.  I wasn't hurt at all, just embarrassed at falling in such a spectacularly ridiculous fashion.  And I was relieved to find out that M's trailer doesn't tip over at all when I go flying!  It is a beast and I love it.

Of course I changed directions, headed back in our usual route (which actually was flatter!) and we were able to stop to play at the park in the middle of our bike ride.  M had a meltdown on the way back home (he didn't want to leave the park) so I got to tow a screaming 1 year old the whole way home.  We were quite a pair, and I know we gave a good laugh to a couple of old folks getting their morning walk on.

Hope you are having a great weekend, and getting a smile at our silly antics in north Idaho!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2013!

Yesterday was Ironman day here in Coeur d'Alene!

I biked down to watch the swim start early Sunday morning.  We intended to go down and cheer at the finish after dinner, but M got sick, so I ended up cuddling him all night, the poor thing.  There was a live feed on the internet of the finish, so we still got to watch the finish line craziness, even though we weren't actually there.  I hope I can volunteer next year, I'd love to be a part of the Ironman party, and not just an admirer.  =)

Ironman is super inspiring to watch!  It is amazing to see what the competitors go through (working out for almost 17 hours!!) and to think about all the distance that they cover. 

This year they held a wave swim start rather than a mass start.  A lady from my running group was competing, and she told me about a month ago that she really likes the mass start.  I think she felt like going through the chaos of a mass start is the 'real' Ironman experience, but the wave start (Smart Start, I think they called it?) still looked like "controlled chaos" to me.  The first age-groupers jumped in the water around 6:35, and it was a steady flow of swimmers entering the water until 7 am.  Still looked like they were swimming in a dishwasher to me!

Congratulations to all of the finishers!  YOU are an IRONMAN!

Ironman CDA start  by photo:

Looking down the beach toward the start area.  The morning started off very foggy - but the fog cleared by 7 am, when the pros were exiting the water.

Pro Men in the water, age groupers milling around waiting to start.

Age groupers in the water!  Get after it!

The long wave of swimmers starting off their first lap!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Coeur d'Alene Half Marathon Race Review

It's been almost a month since I ran the Coeur d'Alene Half Marathon, so this recap is way overdue!!
I haven't seen any other CDA recaps online, so maybe this will prove helpful to someone thinking about running the race next year.

This race was a lot of fun.  I think I'll try to run it every year (but maybe not race it!), because it's on a beautiful course, the perfect size and just plain fun.

It starts out in the Riverstone development (a kind of outdoor shopping area close to, but not in, downtown and just off of the interstate).  Packet pickup is super easy and there is not really an expo, but you can browse the stores in Riverstone and Fleet Feet set up a both too.  I liked the race shirt (tech long-sleeve, white) and I've already worn it a bunch.  Plus, it only says "Marathon" and not "Half Marathon" so you get to look like a full marathoner.  Ha!

The full marathon starts 30 minutes before the half, and then they kind of loop around so that the half start folds in to them so both groups are running together for approximately half of the half marathon distance.  (Does that make sense?  We ran together until the turn-around point for the half)  There were a lot more runners doing the half as opposed to the full.

The weather was gorgeous and cool at the start.  I rode my bike down to the starting line, and that was probably the coldest bike ride of my life, ha!  I found my training buddy at the start (we had done nearly all of our long runs together) but since she was aiming for 10 min miles and I was aiming for 9 min miles, we split up pretty quickly.

There are no pacers or waves, the race is small enough that its easy enough to just start at once.

The first mile was super crowded since we were all crammed in one lane on Northwest Boulevard, the main drag into downtown.  This police car was actually cruising down the lane next to us with an officer on the loudspeaker repeating "you are off the course!" to anyone who was running on the outside of the cones.

The route is gorgeous because it has a lot of shade, runs through some lovely neighborhoods and along the lakeshore and on our great paved trail.  The full marathoners continue out to Higgins Point and then retrace their steps back along the same route as the halfers.  There were plenty of water/gatorade stops and the volunteers were super positive and helpful.

The only downside was the finish was very disorganized and there were only 2 people pouring water into small cups for finishers.  There were tons of people waiting for water and this was just taking too long.  Individual bottles of water would have been much more efficient.  They have a live band at the finish so it was quite a festive atmosphere.  The full marathon was not a Boston Qualifier this year because of construction going on downtown, but the construction doesn't block the course, I think they just had to change it around some.  I would describe it as a rolling course, and hill training definitely helps.

Other than the lack of drinks at the finish, I would definitely recommend this race to start off your summer!

The final 400m, up the hill and then they turn right to the finish line.

My little guy enjoyed the spectacle!

Post race breakfast at Le Peep - a MUST!  It is delicious!

Friday, June 21, 2013

5 Things From This Week

1.  We had non-stop rain for two days this week.  We had to turn the heat back on!  M and I were going a little stir-crazy with all of the time in the house, but some play time at an indoor play area and a trip to walk around Kohl's sure helped get the wiggles (and screams!) out.

2.  Speaking of M, he now says "yum" and "yay" occasionally.  It is adorable.

3.  I am trying out the Whole 30 program.  So far (day 5) it feels like it takes all of the fun out of eating.  But I guess that is kind of the point!  I know I eat way too much artificial sweetener/processed foods, and a friend is one week ahead of me on the program, so I thought I'd see if this has any positive effects.  I'm also curious to see what (if any) effect this may have on my unexplained infertility and running training.

4.  Speaking of running training - my next planned race is the Scenic Half Marathon in Sandpoint.  I'm going to try to follow a program that I found on Jenny Hadfield's site.  It is a 14 week program so I'm already a few weeks behind, but I like that it includes a lot of strength training, cross training and speedwork.

5.  It's Ironman weekend!  And our 6th wedding anniversary!  I'm hoping to get to watch some of both the Ironman start and finish this year.  Last year we didn't get to watch any of it, but I am a running/fitness groupie and I am kind of fascinated by the level of commitment that it takes to train for, complete and complete in Ironmans, so I am really hoping to check it out.  I did a few sprint triathlons as a law student and I still have my tri-bike, I just don't get out there on it nearly enough!  Oh, and for our anniversary, we're just going out for dinner.  =) We typically don't make a big deal out of our anniversary.  I think we'll do something fun though for our 10th, so I'm glad I've got some time to plan!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 17, 2013

On Father's Day and Every Day, We are Thankful for This Guy

D is such a wonderful blessing to me and M.  He spent most of his Father's Day working, but we were able to enjoy a nice evening walk together and time sitting outside enjoying the sunset and some adult beverages.  He is a great dad and he works super hard to provide for us.  He is my best friend and M is so fortunate to have such a good role model in his Daddy!

For Father's Day, he got a new coffee mug, a new beach chair and cheese-steaks for dinner.  I was thrilled to find the coffee mug because it was exactly like one that he misplaced about a month ago.  He really liked that other one (it never leaked!), so I was super excited to give him this replacement!  And he got a new beach chair because the fabric had completely fallen off of his old one, after about 6 years of faithful service on Chick's Beach in Virginia Beach and down at CDA Lake here.  The new beach chair has a cupholder too, so that's a bonus!  =)

Happy Father's Day, D!  You are our hero and we love you!

We love him for many reasons, here are a few:

He is always working hard for us so that we can do fun things, like our 2011 trip to Hawaii where he presented at an aerospace conference and I drank lava flows by the pool.

He is the BEST Uncle, adored by all of his nephews (and his new niece!).  Here he is giving our little nephew E a bath.

Here he is at his favorite place in the whole world, Lake Blanche with our nephew A.

He is a man of many talents!  He would not want me to list them all, so I won't, but he never ceases to amaze me.

He is a wonderful provider and role model for our son, shown here the day after he was born.

He is always up for a little Friday night relaxation, like a bike ride downtown for some apps and drinks!

Happy Father's Day to my D and all of the other wonderful fathers out there!  It is not an easy job and we are thankful to God for all that you do!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Flashback: Driving Across America - Part 2

I left off with our dirt road adventure from North Dakota down to South Dakota.  There literally was only a small road sign announcing that we had crossed from one Dakota into the other.  Pierre is the capital of South Dakota, but it is a small town probably smaller than the Hampton Roads area.  Once we were back on the interstate headed West, this is where you could really picture those "amber waves of grain."  The road cut through miles of pasture, but being early winter, the grass was short but snow hadn't yet fallen.

We made it to the Badlands National Park just before dusk.

The Badlands are remarkable.  Go visit and see for yourself!  I'd like to go back and hike around more in either the Spring or Fall.  It is such a fascinating area.  It is shocking to drive through miles of grasslands, and suddenly come upon these canyons and rock formations that appear to be so inhospitable to any kind of animal life.  But yet some amazing wildlife live there!  Big Horn Sheep!  Buffalo!  It was especially striking to visit in the winter, when we had the park nearly to ourselves. 

Oh don't worry, we didn't get cell phone reception here either!

Badlands Nat'l Park - Where is everybody?

We didn't hike around much because it was getting darker, but we did drive the main loop road and we were able to see these Big Horn Sheep just walking around these steep rock faces like it was no big deal. 
Big Horn Sheep in the Badlands
We also had a hilarious encounter with some buffalo.  One of the park rangers had directed us to a smaller road (dirt road, of course!) where we could see some buffalo.  Naturally, by this time, it was basically dark outside, so as I am turning my car around (Austin Powers style, 18 point turn) we see two HUGE buffalo standing right next to the road!  We were separated from them by merely a wire fence, so I thought it was a good idea to shine my headlights at them and start taking pictures.  Thankfully, no one was injured, although you can see that the quality of my photos is terrible!

I promise - there really is a buffalo in this picture.

We spent the night in this area and woke up to our first snowfall on the car.  Thankfully it was only a 1-2 inch accumulation, and it was already melting by the time we started driving up to Mt. Rushmore.  Mt. Rushmore is also incredible and it was really interesting to learn about how it was built.  Amazingly, we were practically the only people at both of these sites.  I highly recommend a trip to this part of SD because it is such a unique part of the country, particularly if you've lived your whole life on the East Coast.
Mt. Rushmore!
After spending the morning at Mt. Rushmore, we still had to drive through SD -->WY -->MT -->ID and we were concerned that this stretch of the trip would be the snowiest/most treacherous.  So when we stopped for gas, I asked my Mom to grab us provisions, i.e., the "largest size diet coke" she could find in the convenience store.  She came back with a 52 ouncer - that should do it!  Mayor Bloomberg would not have approved!  Haha!

Stay tuned for Part 3 - our final leg into Idaho!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Busy Start to Summer

We have had a fun and busy start to summer.  I wouldn't have it any other way and am so thankful for these adventures:

My husband was traveling recently for work, and here's a pic of the souvenir he brought me from London:

Royal Wedding Tea!
 We both got a good laugh out of how overly excited I was about this tea.  I guess he remembered that time I woke him up at 5 am in a hotel in Florida to watch the Royal Wedding!

Our little guy helped Dad pack

He got home just in time for the CDA Half Marathon.  I finished under 2 hours (barely - 1:58!), but 17 seconds behind my half marathon time in 2011, so I was still just a little bit disappointed.  But it really was a fun race, and I think I'll try to do it again next year!

Happy to be finished!
The weekend after the Race, M & I flew to New Jersey to visit some extended family and attend our college Reunions.  Traveling with a 14 month old on a full flight was exhausting, but thankfully my sister flew part of the way home with us, and then we had an empty seat in our row on our very last flight.

Getting some ice cream to cool off in the heat and humidity!

It was really hot and humid while we were there, but it was a great trip.  M got to see all of his cousins on my side of the family, and they are all boys and all so cute together.  His older cousins kept petting his head and saying "he is so soft!" and "he is so cute!"  Haha.

Cooling off after the P-Rade
My parents brought M up to Princeton on Saturday morning so he could meet my old college friends.  My sister (who is Class of '05) and I went up on Friday night to hit the Tents and visit with old friends.  Reunions with a baby is SO different than without!  I spent most of Saturday worrying that he was getting too hot, and searching for A/C.  I can't believe we used to live in the dorms with no A/C!  M had fun playing with the other '03 babies and cooling off in the courtyard by the Chapel, before we went to Mass.  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to see a lot of folks, but there were still lots of people that I didn't get to see or talk to enough.

In front of Nassau Hall!

Now we are thankful to be back home, enjoying our beautiful weather and enjoying getting back in our routine.  I got a few runs in this week, but mostly we've just been taking it easy.  And I'm way behind in my reading challenge (still on my Michael Pollan book!) but I'll get there!  We have some great gifts for D for Father's Day, so I'm hoping he'll be excited when he sees them!

Have a great weekend!