Meet Pepper!

I’ve been meaning to introduce you all to the newest member of my family:

Meet Pepper, my tri bike!  

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Isn’t she a beauty?

I started looking at triathlon bikes earlier this year after deciding I wanted to get into this wonderful sport, knowing my current bike, the Novara from REI just wasn’t going to cut it (speed wise).  I went to the bike shop up the street from my apartment and found a Trek bike on clearance.  The aero position almost felt natural, definitely more comfortable than my position on my road bike.  Unfortunately, the Trek was just too big for me and the nice woman fitting me was very honest, saying, well “we can make it fit, but you don’t want to do that.”  I really appreciated her honesty, and we left.

On a random Saturday after a bike ride and a trip to the farmer’s market, Tyler and I decided to just swing by Village Bicycles in Newport News just to take a look at what they had.  That’s when I found my bike.  It couldn’t have been more perfect.  Connie, one of the employees, was more than a huge help.  A triathlete herself, she knew what she was talking about and was more than supportive of my future tri goals.

After a few test rides–and finding an awesome place along the James River to ride–I decided on my bike:

A Felt B16W.

Luckily, we got a sweet deal on the bike because they were trying to sell it.  It seemed as if tri bikes weren’t their best sellers and we definitely took advantage of that and got an additional amount off.

My Novara went to a good home, a coworker of Tyler’s who wants to get into triathlons, which makes me so happy!

A week later I went and got fitted, had a new seat put on and eventually had the aerobars cut down after I tested it out for a couple of weeks to make sure the fit was correct.

Since getting my bike, I have learned that my triceps need to get much stronger for longer rides, but I’m working on that with lifting at home, but I’ve also been riding much faster than usual.  It is awesome and I can’t wait to see what I can do!

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I look forward to many rides and races on Pepper!

Tuesday on the Run: Running On Vacation

Good morning!  I just got back from a quick morning run and I’m excited for this week’s Tuesday on the run link up with AprilPatty and Erika .  This week’s topic: Running on vacation!

Most of my vacations are actually planned around races, because how fun is it to run a race in a new place?!   Today I’m going to talk about my favorite vacation race, which was the Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K.

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So, RAM Races can be hit or miss, so I was a bit hesitant to sign up for the race at first.  If you live in or around Washington DC, you probably know all about the mess that was the Hot Chocolate 15K from a couple of years ago.  Seattle’s race proved to be the complete opposite of the DC debacle and I’m so happy we signed up for it!

First of all, I love the PNW.  It is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.  The weather on race day was nice and crisp, but sunny which is perfect running weather for me.  Second, the air was so clean!  I didn’t even need my inhaler and had no shortness of breath even after a steep uphill.  Third, did I mention the beauty?!

You can barely see them, but there are the Cascades in the background.

A shot of the Cascades in the distance.

The race course started at the Space Needle, then we ran through some of downtown Seattle, then out to a more “rural” area for some hills on an out and back course and finished back at the Space Needle.  I didn’t take very many pictures on the run because I was too busy sightseeing and chatting with Tyler and looking like a ghost in pictures we did take.  See below.

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After we finished, we were treated to a mug with chocolate, fruit, pretzels and marshmallows and a cup of hot chocolate back near the start/finish area with a sweet view of the Space Needle.

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Not pictured is the awesome tech sweatshirt we received instead of a race t-shirt.  Mine has since gone to Goodwill because I found I had too many hoodies, but I’m sure whoever owns it now is pretty comfy.

I’m excited to announce I’ll be going back in 2015 to run the race again!

What has been your favorite destination race or staycation race?

21DSD: Week 2 Recap

Good morning!

Week two of the 21DSD is in the books!  Here’s a quick recap of how it went.

Week two proved to be a little more difficult than week one.  The initial excitement wore off and I found myself more tired this week than I did the last, especially on Thursday and Friday.  I’m pretty sure I’m not eating enough snacks, but I’m really not hungry between meals, and when I’m at work I can’t eat in patient care areas.  I’m sure this will change as I FINALLY increase my activity level this week.

I didn’t have many cravings, but on Friday I really wanted a piece of chocolate–not to worry, I resisted.  To be honest, all I wanted was a little dark chocolate, which is a change from my regular milk chocolate obsession.  I do plan to reintroduce small amounts of chocolate back into my regular diet after the detox.

oh how I miss you Theo….picture taken in 2013 during a Theo Factory tour :)

oh how I miss you Theo….picture taken in 2013 during a Theo Factory tour :)

Although I felt more tired this week, my sleep has been AWESOME.  I feel like it’s a deeper, sounder sleep than I and been getting.  As I said above, my tiredness is likely due to lack of snacking–I have a plan to fix that in week three!

My mood has been more level.  Not a lot of crankiness at all, just overall a happier person.

My favorite meal of the week (and so far) was the egg and sweet potato hash with peas.  I found the recipe at Nom Nom Paleo and just added peas and hot sauce.  So filling, so tasty.  It will definitely become a regular in the meal rotation.

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Onto week three!

Any ideas for quick, easy snacks that require minimal prep and travel well?

Happy Birthday Running Muffin!

Today, TWO great things are happening:

1.  Running Muffin turns ONE!

and

2.   It’s my last weekend shift ever as a nurse.  More on that in weeks to come!

SHOP

Running Muffin has been such a great creative outlet for this not-so-creative person.  I have watched my little blog grow over the past few months and I’ve met some awesome new people!

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future :)

Have a great weekend, and thank you for reading!!

 

Sweet Potato Nachos

On Saturday, Tyler and I were grocery shopping and thinking of what to have for dinner that evening.  We already had guacamole at home (and it needed to be eaten up in the next couple of days) and that inspired me to make a fun Saturday night meal:  sweet potato nachos!

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After reading this post by Angela last week, I’ve been trying to think of a way to health-ify some of my favorite Mexican dishes (it’s my favorite type of food).  This one is simple:  chips are replaced with sweet potatoes and topped with black beans and vegetables, you use as much or as little cheese as you want, and top it all with guacamole (you won’t even miss the sour cream).  Full of fiber and some good fats, it’s a healthy alternative to traditional nachos.

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Sweet Potato Nachos, serves 3-4

2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1 jalapeño, fine diced

1 green pepper, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1-2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded

(recipe continues below picture)

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the potatoes with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet in a single layer, using two sheets if necessary.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Note:  I kept my potatoes slightly soft.

While the potatoes are baking, combine the jalapeño, green pepper, red onion, beans and tomato in a bowl.

When the potatoes are finished, put them all on a single sheet pan, top with vegetable mixture and cheese. Put back in the oven until cheese is melted.  Top with guacamole and serve immediately.

Other healthy toppings include: plain Greek yogurt and salsa (look out for added sugars in store-bought varieties).

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Enjoy!