Odds and Ends

I don’t have any clear and concise things to tell you all, but there are a lot of odds and ends I wanted to share.

I got a splinter the day before Galveston. It was in the tip of my right index finger. I couldn’t type on my phone with that finger. I almost died. Clint and Clints dad looked for the splinter and poked around with needles and such, both determining there was no splinter. 5 days later, I got it out. Amazing how much a tiny fleck of wood can rock your world.

I met Biju Thomas and Allen Lim. I found out through twitter that they were going to be at an event less than a mile from my house! I had a ride to do so I threw my Feed Zone Cookbook up my jersey, rode out to meet PIC and we went and met the guys. So awesome!!! I got to talk to Biju about the recipes I have made and get a few tips on the one that flopped for me. We talked to Allen about the secret drink mix, Skratch Labs, how he developed it, and how he means for it to be mixed. These dudes are pretty freakin’ awesome and I’m stoked I got to meet them and pick their brains.

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They even signed my book for me, then I rode around with it the rest of the day up my jersey…not an easy feat.

The funny thing about it all was when I started cooking from the book and tweeting pictures of the food I was making I said to someone…was it Beth, or PIC?? I said…”Mark my words, I will meet these guys” I just knew I would. I’m sure it’s only the first time. Oh, and if you ride in Boulder, you have to swing by the corner of Broadway and 36 on the weekends, because Allen is usually out there with his rice cakes.

This last weekend my athlete Katie was in town visiting and we had some fun rides. On Friday we went to Ward with a fun little group. The descent down through Raymond to Lyons never gets old, but the howling wind from Lyons back to Boulder got a little old! It was one of the top 5 windiest days I’ve experienced out there, but at least it was warm wind!

Then on Saturday Katie got to ride again, but I drove the car providing SAG support this time, Troy rode as well. I have a whole new appreciation for all the times he has driven support for me, it’s boring! I spent some good time with Annie laying on the roof of the car looking at the clouds, that was fun!

At the top of Highgrade I had to take a picture of these guys. There were so many jokes that I wanted to make here, something about writing your phone number on your ass…dating advise…that sort of thing. But then I started wondering why on earth these guys were painted and I put it together. We just had a really bad fire near here with 900 homes evacuated, 27 homes burned, and 3 people died. So when you ride up Highgrade there are all these signs saying “Thank you Firefighters for saving our home.” I realized these animals were probably quickly evacuated in the fire and they just spray painted numbers on them so they could track who they belonged to. Such a hot and dry spring this year, everyone who lives in the mountains is already worried.

On the way down from Highgrade I saw a sign for eggs. EGGS!!! Like farm fresh, happy chicken eggs! Yes Please! I bought three dozen and will be bringing a backpack every time I ride Highgrade from now on. Fresh eggs…so happy!

Then, since I had all these wonderful fresh eggs I had to make the Frittata from the Feed Zone Cookbook. It turned out really well. I made it in my cast iron skillet, super yummy! It has a red pepper sauce on it that was really easy to make, just some EVOO, roasted red peppers (the ones in the jar) salt and lemon juice in the blender….whirl…and done! Nom!

I had the strangest ride yesterday. I am definitely still recovering from Galveston so every ride feels like a threat to my ego! Haha! Michelle dropped my ass (not the Donkey kind…but oddly on the same climb that the Donkey lives) last week. I always think I should recover quicker than I actually do. The wounds heal, and the legs aren’t sore, but there is always still the hidden fatigue, the kind you can’t see until your really strong training partner drops the hammer and you are left with choices…ride all out to keep up, or get dropped. Off the back I went, to wallow in self pity as we all do when we get dropped.

So yesterday, still nursing my legs and my ego I was out riding some hills when I passed a turkey on the road. Man, you can imagine how disapointed I was when I couldn’t get my phone out quickly enough to take picture of a turkey on my wheel. So sad I missed that one.

BUT THEN, I’m climbing up and I get passed by a girl like I’m standing still. That’s cool, I’m cool with that, you can’t stress when others pass you, especially if you don’t know them, heck, they could be Chrissie Wellington. At least you can convince yourself of that. But, here’s the deal…she’s wearing a boot. YES A BOOT. You can bet that I was pulling out the phone, and riding my tail off to get a picture of this. I don’t get passed by a girl on her bike in a boot without photo evidence. OFFICIAL BAMF!

Wait…here it is a little closer….

So, let’s just assume that my my ego was dealt the final blow on that one. I am reminded daily in this sport that if you take yourself too seriously, you will be humbled beyond belief. Just look around. You may pass a turkey…but then a girl in a boot will pass you back.

Lastly, spring has officially sprung here in Colorado. The pollen count is 5X higher than last year due to the early spring and my allergies have been worse this year than in the last 10 years. I’m not a fan of taking anything but I had to break down and take some medicine. We did have one random snowstorm and I got this shot on my phone. That tree is in full bloom, with snow all over it, I thought it was pretty.

Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got for now! 2 more weeks until NOLA 70.3. 2 more weeks of finding my legs again!

Oh, and Kompetitive Edge is doing a Newton clinic this weekend on the 14th. I’ll be there for sure, sounds so fun! Come out if you are in the area and have fun with us (click to enlarge)!

Sport Science

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Have you received any of these crazy Sport Science shirts in your race packet lately? You can tell because they have the little bright yellow tag on the sleeve. Last year our Phidipides shirts were Sport Science and I found myslelf working out in it a lot. At first glance it looked like your run of the mill cotton t-shirt. The first time I put it on I couldn’t believe how well it fit. They make women’s and mens shirts separately. The other track club members were pretty jazzed about it too.

A little about their philosophy:

In 2003, we launched sport science™ smarter performance™ for the fun-having, sport-playing, running, walking, hiking, commuting, climbing, training, traveling, going, doing active people of the world.

Our mission is to create products that do more so you can do more – clothing that can go anywhere and do anything, not just in regards to function, but to comfort and style as well. When true technical performance fuses with incredible comfort and versatility, smarter performance™ is the result.

Then I worked out in it and I knew something was different about it. The fabric that Sport Science uses feels soft and nice like cotton, but it wicks. Normal race shirts are either cotton, or tech. I never feel like I can wear my race t-shirts that are tech shirts around town because they are a little thin and breezy, and somewhat see through. I definitely can’t wear the cotton race tshirts to workout in. Not for any considerable workout at least. But these sport science shirts really bridge the gap. Practical Coaching used this company for their shirts this year…I bought three!

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Cruising through their website it looks like they make all different cuts of shirts. I would love to try out a sleeveless and a long sleeve, I definitely see a tied dyed shirt in my future, and the wool line looks really enticing.

Oh, and this isn’t just a chick thing. Troy has a habit of wearing things he likes over and over again until they die (usually beyond when they die). Despite the fact that our 17 hour training day shirts are pink, he wears it every other day (when he’s not wearing the grey Practical Coaching shirt). I haven’t told him it’s pink (he’s color blind). He hasn’t worn them out yet, and he said that if it was his choice he would wear only this brand of t-shirts. Pretty strong feelings from my mellow-smellow hubby!

If you haven’t raced a race that has Sport Science shirts you’ve got to find one! You wont be disappointed. If you know of a race that is putting Sport Science in their packets, leave the name and link in a comment below. And if you are Sport Science and you are reading this, I really love your product!

Core Concepts Sale

It just so happens that the same day I received my most recent Core Concepts order, they issued a fancy email with a 40% off sale on base layers. the coupon code for their online store is: BASE0209

I ordered the Firefly Long Sleeve in blue and it’s super cute.
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I have been drooling over the Full Tilt Zip Neck for some time, so I ordered myself up one in Plum. I love love love the off center zippered neck. It’s cute zipped up or down. The fit is really similar to the Cadence Hoodie.
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Lastly, I thought their Bamboo shirts were super adorable, so I grabbed the one with the fancy little bike on it.
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Interested in some Core layers for yourself? 40% off is pretty sweet, the online store is here, the coupon code is: BASE0209

Troy’s Lucky Day!

Today was a huge day for Troy! Being that I am the competitive/exercise/outdoor junkie he always gets the shaft when it comes to new gear. He’s the last to get new ski boots, the last to get new outdoor clothes, and he always wears shoes until his toes are sticking out before he replaces them. It doesn’t help that he hates spending money on himself, and that I am sorta the opposite :). He’s such a martyr!

Not today!

Tax Refund Baby! Going to get him new boots at Shoesfella.com!

Troy has wanted a custom jacket and pants from Beyond ever since they sponsored me. I am sort-of your average everyday sized girl, and Troy is odd in every way. At 6 foot 4 he has a standard sized torso, and extremely long legs. He’s skinny skinny. He wears medium shirts, but needs them extra long in length. Do they make those? No sir.

Beyond is the perfect company for Troy. Besides the fact that their garments have the best construction I have ever seen in outdoor gear, it’s custom. completely custom. At non-custom prices. Sweeeeet.

So today we measured Troy, all 20 measurements they wanted.
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And then we designed and built this:
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and this:
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The khaki color of the pants (not to be confused with kahiki…inside joke) will match the stripe on the sides of the jacket. He’s got custom pockets where he wants them. He added a waterproof zipper to the coat, and ski boot gaiters to the pants. This set up can take Troy from the slopes of Vail, to the ice falls in Ourey, to the peaks of Peru. It’s a versatile set up that he will get years and years (and knowing Troy…a few more years) out of it.

Congratulations baby on a year of hard work at Cigna, a year of shlepping around Annie gear to a million races, to becoming a much better skier, runner, and cyclist; for being a kind, humble, helpful guy, and for putting up with all my crap. I love you!

Core Concepts Wins the Apex Award!

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Let me be the first of many to extend a HUGE congratulations to Core Concepts! Every year Polartec awards several high tech garments their prestigious Apex Award. This year Core Concepts Carve Full Zip jacket is sharing the podium with other stellar companies including Patagonia, Marmot, and Merrell.

As an avid wearer of the Carve Full Zip jacket let me just say this coat is top notch and extremely deserving of the Apex award. I have been product testing it for the last few months and have yet to uncover a flaw. It fabric is divine for us women, and the stylish details will leave your friends drooling…like my friends are! Right friends? Don’t worry, the Carve Full Zip goes on sale in September.

Congratulations to the Core Concepts crew and especially to owners Noah and Erin! You have been such a joy to work with and I know that as the years go by Core Concepts will become a household name in outdoor apparel. Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to see the Carve Full Zip walking around the streets of Boulder, or on the slopes in Vail. Because, when it comes to ‘Active. Life. Style’ you guys nailed it!

Core Concepts Clothing

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce to you an AWESOME new company that I am going to be doing some product testing for. Core Concepts Clothing. Their products arose out of Idaho from a fundamental desire to get outside and play whenever time exists to do so. They have bridged the gap between function and style and I can’t wait to get to wearing their base layers. Core Concepts will be releasing their 2008 women’s line in Fall 2008 and you can bet your bananas that you are going to want to be first in line to pick up some of their hot-chick clothes (especially after you have to trounce around with me all summer wearing their cute new stuff).

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Like check out the Spellbound Soft Shell. You just don’t find technical jackets using Wind-proof Schoeller-WB400 fabric that look this hot on a girl. It’s like totally P-Coat style.

What excites me even more about Core Concepts is that they have taken the challenge of environmental consciousness seriously. They contribute to 1% for the planet which can be super tough for a newer company. Also, they use Bamboo and Recycled Products, along with purchasing bluesign products. All of us outdoorsy folks know that when you buy a piece of technical clothing it’s a very conscious decision. The folks at Core Concepts take your decision very seriously.

I will be reviewing some of their products throughout the summer so I urge you to come out and hike, bike and run with me to check them out too.

Cold Play Soft Shell Pant

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Once again I am a lucky lucky lady. I received a pair of the Cold Play Soft Shell Pant from Beyond Clothing this week. They are custom, as is everything that Beyond makes and they fit puuuurfect. It’s just wild because when you put them on you know they are made just for you. I can’t really describe the feeling of perfect fit, it’s WILD. The problem is, I’m spoiled now. I keep thinking…Beyond should make swim suits, Beyond should make bras…etc. I don’t think they are quite game for that, but once you go custom, it’s pretty tough to go back!

After wearing these pants up in the mountains this weekend I got thinking about climbing 14ers again. These pants would be very well suited to climbing 14ers, backpacking, hiking in Colorado with it’s crazy weather. They are surprisingly light for their obvious durability. I can’t wait to put these pants to the test! Dad and I are already knocking our heads together on how we can get up some 14ers together soon. You can bet I’ll be wearing these pants!

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Sir Edmund Hillary Remembered

  “Just before he died in 1986, Norgay finally wrote the truth, that Hillary had in fact been first [to reach the summit], and Hillary substantiated that. But, he was quick to tell me, ‘Believe me, to mountaineers, who’s first is not important. We’re a team'”   Everest Sir Edmund Hillary, along with guide Tenzing Norgay were the first men to summit Mount Everest in 1953. Last week Sir Edmund Hillary passed away in New Zealand, his native land. Please listen to the wonderful tribute that Frank Deford put together about Ed. NPR Tribute 

Sir Edmund Hillary Remembered

  “Just before he died in 1986, Norgay finally wrote the truth, that Hillary had in fact been first [to reach the summit], and Hillary substantiated that. But, he was quick to tell me, ‘Believe me, to mountaineers, who’s first is not important. We’re a team'”   Everest Sir Edmund Hillary, along with guide Tenzing Norgay were the first men to summit Mount Everest in 1953. Last week Sir Edmund Hillary passed away in New Zealand, his native land. Please listen to the wonderful tribute that Frank Deford put together about Ed. NPR Tribute 

The weekend recap…

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We had an awesome weekend! We traveled down to Pueblo so that Troy and Ron could climb Pikes Peak on Saturday as part of the Pikes Peak Challenge. Troy raised $225 for Brain Injury awareness, and Ron raised $702! Awesome Job! They hiked the whole thing together and it looks like and sounds like they really enjoyed each others company. It’s good for boys to get out and do boy things together and I am jazzed that they shared the 14er experience!

While they were hiking their butts off Michelle, Sam, Annie and I went to Michelle’s local Pueblo farm and bought veggies. The kids really enjoyed the pigs, chickens, hay, and especially the trampoline. Annie is at a stage where she likes to take my finger and lead me around to places, so we did a lot of that. The afternoon was full of play for the kiddos, and chatting it up for the moms. I spent several hours making an Apple Pie from scratch for dessert that evening. Thank you Marla and Roger for letting me pick all the apples off their trees!

When the boys got home it was great to re-hash the trip with them, and to hear about their experiences, and lessons learned. We had a great dinner, awesome apple pie, some weird custard stuff, watched a movie, and hit the hay at about 11.

I had a 22 mile run to do on Sunday. Michelle graciously agreed to watch Annie, and Troy and I got up at 5am to hit the trail. Troy agreed to ride along side me, so I loaded him up with Heed, Shot Blocks, Goo, Yogurt covered Raisins…you name it. He was like a moving aid station! I even strapped my Fuel Belt onto him. It was pitch dark for several miles. I heard my watch beeping as the miles passed but couldn’t see any of the numbers. Our route was out and back along the Pueblo River Trail and around the Pueblo Reservoir State Park. It started to get light as we were running up the trail next to the dam. As dry and scrubby as it is out there, the cool early morning made it very nice. The trail had a southwestern flair, but without the heat. Wonderful.

At about mile 8 Troy got a flat on his bike. He had a pump, but no spare tube. Eeek. He rode a little further with me while we talked about what to do, and we decided I would take my Fuel Belt onwards, out to mile 11 (my turnaround) and he would walk back towards the car. When I caught back up to him, he would ride the rest of the way with me. With no iPod to listen to I got a little bored after leaving him, so I started running faster to occupy myself. By the turn around I was cruising around 7:45-8:15 pace and feeling really good. My body had adjusted to the weight of the Fuel Belt and I was generally quite content. This continued all the way back. I met back up with Troy at mile 16, still jamming along nicely. I got a little GI distress but was lucky that it happened right as I approached a restroom, so I utilized that. After that I quit all calories and switched to water. I assume that because I met back up with Troy and started taking…hence thinking…that my stomach found it more difficult to process the calories since more blood was headed to my brain. Steve talked to me once about how your body can handle only two of the following three things: digestion, thought, exercise. One of them gets the boot. Switching to water totally worked and I was good for the rest of the run. At about mile 20.5 I was getting ready to be done. Most of the run I chose not to think about how far I had to go, I just kept my thoughts simple, but when you get to 20.5 miles and you know you only have 1.5 left, you can’t NOT think about it…and once you think about it….your ready to be done! So we said lots of positive things that last mile and were really giddy about how far I had run. By mile 22 I was happy to be at the car and to be done, but I also knew that I could have kept going if need be. So..I know I can do a marathon. I have convinced myself of it. I’ve passed the “spit test”. Which is cool because on October 14th…I’m gonna do one! I’m signed up for Denver Marathon.

Another great thing was my pace…right around 8:30 for the entire run. I would like to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and to do that I need to run 8:23 pace, so if Steve will give me his blessing I would like to aim for 8:00-8:15 pace on the marathon. We’ll see!

The rest of the day was great, I got addicted to watching all my fellow bloggers come past the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin. The drive home from Pueblo was uneventful…Annie didn’t throw up…WOOHOO! I was totally glued to the computer the rest of the evening watching the streaming Ironman video all night!

What a great weekend, I feel refreshed and confident! I’m sure all that will change Tuesday at track club…it always has a way of humbling me!