Friday, December 31, 2010

Felíz año nuevo

After a slightly less than perfect 2009, 2010 has been nothing short of incredible. While we've had our losses and sad times with the loss of our baby girl Abby, we've also ended the year rewarded with the beautiful red dog and Baxter partner in crime, Juliette.

We're fortunate to spend our New Years in our favorite place, with one of our favorite persons, Amanda. While the weekend did take a strange change in events when we went from a full house of 8, somehow we're down to 3. From car problems and friends being stranded by on the side of the road and towed home - to work emergencies and only a 16hour stay in Mexico for another friend. Either way, we have our girl A with us, and Baxter is ecstatic for his midnight makeout session.

My morning started out with a 9mile run to prime myself for the festivities. It was the perfect start to a day of celebration and to end a year of all things great. I added the miles to my log and made my year end tallies. I'm proud and happy to say I achieved my goals of 5000bike miles & 1000 run miles by year end. The final results are:

Bike: 5100.1, Run: 1018.42 and Swim: 318,648 yards.

I am very much looking forward to a happy, healthy and FUN 2011. Cheers everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dog Days of Christmas

It's been a beautiful few days here in Mexico. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Clear blue skies, temps around 70degrees and calm waters. The trip started out a little rough with Shane catching the stomach flu I had the week before Christmas. He did his best to rally and celebrate my birthday in traditional Mexico style, however his limits were reached when he left me with a fully raring fire on the deck at 7:45 pm on my birthday and went to bed. He knows I'm not going to let him live THAT one down.

All joking aside, he's feeling much better and I actually got him out of the house last night for Margaritas at the Lighthouse restaurant overlooking the town and beaches, followed by dinner at our favorite place, Reginas. Today might be the last perfect weather day as we're expected to have some rain storms tomorrow and cooler temps for the weekend. However, the sun will be back out come Thursday and we have some great friends coming to celebrate and ring in the new year. We need all the help we can get to stay up until midnight these days. I'm so excited to share our happy place with this group of peeps, and truth be told after a week of being honeymooned up with each other, I'm sure it is good for us to have others around. Nuf said :-)

Juliette has found her little piece of heaven here on the beaches of Las Conchas. This is our 4th dog we've brought here over the past several years and I think her excitement tops them all. She is pretty brave jumping in the cold waters to chase the birds and having endless miles of sandy beach at her disposal is just the icing on the cake. I had no idea that girl could run so FAST, but I am convinced she's been sandbagging a little bit on our runs.

I've had some great runs, including my 10mile birthday run. I had experience a weird back injury/pain the few days leading up to our trip so I was really uncomfortable and a little saddened that my birthday run might not happen. It's healing up quite nicely so I'm taking advantage of getting some extra running miles in here. Must offset all the extra liquid, chips and tortilla calories. I have no doubt I'll be fired up and ready to hit the training hard as soon as we get back! For now I'm just trying to enjoy this down time without going crazy being lazy!

Enjoy some of our fun holiday pics of the kids at Christmas :-)

My traditional birthday lunch and margarita at the Blue Marlin

Santa Paws hooked the doggies up!

Juliette was a great sport posing for the camera in this SILLY hat.

Probably because she knew she'd be rewarded with a trip to the beach that evening!

Typical Baxter, guarding his beach...

and... posing for the camera

I hope all of your holidays were as bright, sunny and happy! Next up.... the New Years Celebration (blog rated, of course).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2011 e21 Triathlon Team

I just found out last night that I was selected along with 24 other athletes to be part of the new 2011 e21 triathlon Team! I'm crazy excited for this opportunity and can't wait to meet the rest of my teammates.

I first heart the 'buzz' around this company, Arcadian Nutraceuticals, specifically their first product marketed in the US e21 Recovery, on Facebook (of course).

I was invited to "like" the product by a friend of a friend, and soon there after I was getting to read all the updates via the company, but most importantly, the product reviews posted by fellow athletes.

Soon I was linked up with Michelle Simmons and started following her blog. I found out she is good friends with a local friend and triathlete here in AZ, AND we are all doing Ironman CDA this year! A month or so after all this happened I was reading THIS post by Michelle. I've always been intrigued by the idea of being part of a sponsored team. I mean what's not to like? Promote and be a part of a great company and group of people doing something you love? Win Win, right?
What I liked most about the idea of this team was the product behind it. An organic electrolyte replacement capsule. With all the STUFF we put into our bodies to keep them fueled, hydrated, sugared and salted something that simple sounds fabulous, huh?

After submitting my application I received a note from Michelle, the tri team coordinator, that they were going to ship out sample packets of e21 to try the product out and wanted our feedback. I asked Michelle a few questions about dosage and what she thought of the results and after hearing what she had to say, I was VERY excited to try it out.

It just happened to be bike week when I received the sample packet. Bike week in the off season, that is. Legs were used to riding about 50-75miles (assuming I made all the workouts) per week and we were on tap for about 200+. The timing couldn't be better to try out the product.

While our rides were not too long, and the weather was cool so I wasn't needing any extra salt or electrolytes, I did take 2 pills each day. My legs were certainly tired, but what I can say is that I was far better off than my other half, Shane. By day 3 I was still feeling pretty strong and actually had Shane take a couple of the pills. He also said he noticed a difference in how his legs felt later that night. At least I could say it wasn't just in my head!

I'm very excited to use this product this spring as our AZ temps heat up. If anyone has ever trained with me or read this blog, you know how much salt I sweat, and how many salt pills I consume during my long rides and runs. After a few hours of trying to overcome salt loss headaches and popping those big pills like mad, swallowing those pills can be a bit much. Stay tuned for my followup reviews of e21 Recovery as well as their Joint Health Product.

We can all use a little help, right? I have a feeling my auto shipments are going to go quickly when Shane sees my results :-)

P.S. I haven't seen any art for our team kits yet... but I have a feeling I might be seen wearing just a bit of the unthinkable... *based on the logo*

Monday, December 13, 2010

12k's of Christmas

The 12k's of Christmas run was probably the best possible way the LaPan clan could end the year. I've been searching for a dog friendly "race" to do for well, as long as I can remember. It was such an amazing day, and I couldn't have been any more proud. You see, Saturday was the day that my boy, Baxter, officially proved something we've all known for a while.

My dog is faster than yours. My dog is a BAD ASS.

The race morning (10am, actually) was kinda crazy! Over 1500 people showed up and they had to start the races a little late because people were still trying to get registered. The park was full of little santas, elves and santa paws. It was a crazy warm morning, absolutely gorgeous!

The dogs were so good hanging out for about an hour before the race actually started! This is the first time we've had Juliette around so many people and dogs, but she did awesome! She definitely is a bit curious about other dogs, particularly little ones, but nothing to be worried about.

Baxter is ready to ROLL!

While the race allowed dogs to participate, they asked that we line up in the back. If you know anything about Baxter, he is NOT cool with that. But, we respected the race director and lined up behind the first dogs in the pack. The race started and Baxter and Shane were out of sight within minutes.

This race was all about Baxter. My boy is a true runner, and while he's had his fair share of injuries and down time over the years (haven't we all), nothing makes him more happy than running. And running FAST. So, rather than tag along with the boys and possibly slow them down (ie chase them) I decided I would take Juliette for her first race as well. I was fully prepared to walk some of the race for her since the longest we've been able to get her built up to in the short 2 weeks we've had her is about 2 miles. The race was a 6k, or 3.7 miles so I knew it would be a bit of a stretch for her, but she is a Vizsla so I had faith!

Little miss thing started out pretty speedy running up the grass hill at an 8min pace. I tried to slow her down but she was all GO GO GO. We were passing people the whole way, but it was a little un-nerving to be running in such a crowded pack when we don't have her trained that well yet. With Baxter, he understands directions; left, right, up, down, stop, fast, recover (although he chooses to ignore the last one). It makes running in traffic and crowds so easy. At one point Juliette got a little out of control and darted to the left a bit almost tripping someone. I apologized profusely and shorted Juliette's lead.

We stopped at the first water stop, just before the 6k turnaround and I tried to get Juliette to drink from the dog bowls they had out. She wasn't very interested so I tried a dixie cup, but again she also refused. We started back out on the course only to see Baxter and Shane heading our way! I was so excited. I could see how far in front they were and I had only seen maybe one other dog ahead of them. Baxter was smiling and gave me a quick look like "I gotta keep moving mom, no time for chit chat."

Juliette tried to get me to turn around and run with them, but soon gave in to my tugging on her leash. We made another stop at the water station on the way back. She was really starting to slow down so I was hoping she would take in some water. No luck, but she seemed ok so we were on our way.

With about a mile left in the race I saw a dog in front of us and slowly tried to get Juliette to pick up the pace to pass them. We finally got in front of the other dog and I spent the next half mile cheering Miss Juliette all the way to the finish.

I have no idea what kinda pace we ran with the stops and the course was actually 4 miles, but some how our brand new runner girl Juliette ran her way to 3rd in my age group and 3rd overall dog. Not bad for someone who just started running only 2 weeks ago! She is definitely a Vizsla, all heart!

Santa putting Juliette's medal on!

Her first "medal picture"

And wouldn't you know it Baxter ran himself into 5th place overall in the 6k, 1st DOG overall and 3rd in Shane's AG. He pulled Shane past a dog in the last mile to take the lead averaging 7min miles (pace including 2 water stops and being stopped at an intersection waiting for traffic).

And while they awarded the dogs presents (which we later found out were toothbrush and toothpaste = lame), all Baxter cared about was the BLING.

Not bad for a 9year old and 8 year old dog, eh? Yah, you can say it. My DOGS are BAD ASS. And if I can't win a race, my dog might as well, right? :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Little Miss thing and "stuff"

It's been 1 week since we got our new baby girl, Juliette. Things couldn't be going any more smoothly. Actually, I take that back. For an 8 year old dog, she sure doesn't like to sleep through the night. While I've never been a good sleeper anyway, she's still driving me nuts moving around the (our) bed all night long. It's MADDENING.

But, other than that and the fact she has decided she's allowed on our bed any time her little heart desires, she's an exceptionally good dog. Which, is saying a LOT for a Vizsla. She's learning how to run, although if she had it her way she would absolutely do with OUT the gentle leader. We've built her up to about 2 miles, but she isn't much for pacing so it's gonna take a bit to get her past that.

On Saturday we are all heading out to Gilbert for the 12k's of Christmas run. I have wanted to bring Baxter to a road race that allows "paws" for as long as I can remember, but either the ones I found didn't work out with our schedules or he was on the injured list. Not this time. Even if it is the morning after Shane's work Holiday party we will all be there with bells and sparkle and lots of red and green on. I think I'm more excited about our outfits than anything else. Shane & Baxter will be RACING the 6k, and after Baxter's appearance banditing some of the Fiesta Bowl Half marathon on Sunday all I can say is WATCH OUT BITCHES. My dog is going to pass you.

Juliette and I will be doing a leisurely 1.2k. We will look cute though. And, isn't that really all that matters?

So, Juliette is just a HOOT. She absolutely LOVES to play. My living room looks like a playground filled with toys. She has taken over all of Abby's old dog bones, which just makes my heart melt. When we get home she is so excited she that she shakes her whole body with joy. I call her "little miss thing" cause well, she kinda is just THAT.

We are however, getting her to be a little less little. She sure does love her food and has most certainly figured out where all the goodies are. Pretty sure Baxter trained her on that. I've caught the two snuggling on more than one occasion, but if ask Baxter about his "dog" he will roll his eyes at you, or ignore your question. He's snotty like that. I know he loves her though.

In other non-dog exciting news - training has been going great. Our coach sure is keeping us go go going through this "off season." While I haven't overdone it, or done much if any speedwork, I do feel like I'm building a nice solid base. After a failed attempt at "bike week," (we made it 4/6 rides but did get in a 4hr ride!) she has threatened to give us another one before year end. I'm not sure if that will actually happen or not with our annual Holiday in Mexico coming up in just a little over 2 weeks! Either way I have a feeling I will be a lot less hurt and trashed for the Answer to the Challenge this year. Mingus Mountain, I'm coming to get you.

I do however feel confident we are going to hit my goals of 5k biking & 1k running. To date totals as of this am are: Cycling Distance: 4879.40 Mi and Running Distance: 964.08 Mi

Did you notice the red and green theme? Yah, I'm being festive this year. We even put up our fancy tree at home this year (re: fancy only because we have a Charlie Brown tree we put up in. Mexico). And, like I said above I'm TOTALLY excited for the 12k run and we are ALL dressing up. I stalked the waiter at Oreganos on Sunday so I could copycat his Santa Hat. It's not just ANY Santa hat, but you'll have to wait to see the pictures. So.CUTE. Shane might end up looking a little bit gay, but gay is usually pretty hot, right? Anyways...

It's cold in AZ. I don't think it's any more cold than any other winter, but after this summer's training I'm completely ruined. I'm cold all the time. I wear more layers than I've ever worn in my life, even when it's 50degrees out. This am, I rode when it was 47degrees. I wore tights over my shorts, a long sleeve undershirt, a fleece long sleeve jersey, vest, ear warmers, long fingered gloves and toe warmers. I'm still cold and sitting at my desk in sweats with a blanket on my legs. I suppose a shower would help, but I think those are over-rated. At least before it's dark outside, anyways.

I'm so looking forward to getting back to Mexico. My liver is even trained for the bender relaxing vacation. Tis the Season. Even if it includes a day where I get closer to my "mid 30's" than my "early 30's." LAME. I'm crazy excited for my girl Amanda and her good "friend" to come ring in the New Year with us as well. We still have one room open - HINT HINT.

And one last little thought I'll leave you with. I did my tax estimates yesterday and while my income was less than the previous year's due to lack of work flow and the economy, blah blah... I apparently didn't "spend" as much either cause I need to increase my expenses. And, wouldn't you know that my computer is a POS and I think I'm finally getting talked into the cool kid club.


Need I say more? I'm just hoping it means I don't have to hit "CONTROL_ALT_DELETE" an average of 10 times per day. It interrupts my Scrabble time, ya know?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Icing on the cake

Tis the season to be jolly (and fat), right? RIGHT.

So, I think my body has gone into complete crappy sugar withdrawals. After training hard from Jan-August and shoving everything imaginable into my mouth to keep from bonking, especially on the bike I may have turned myself into a complete and utter SUGAR addict.

Don't get me wrong, I've always been a chocolate girl. I blame my increase love for dessert on my bff from college Erin who would choose ice cream and cake over dinner if she had the choice. Taking that to a whole new level I also blame my husband. He claims he was ruined by a good friend he worked with years ago who insisted that some sort of dessert was NECESSARY after each meal. Lunch & dinner. Myself, I would never turn down an offer for a piece of gooey chocolate cake, but most of the other stuff I could walk away from.

Until recently....

So here I am, the result of living with two complete sugar heads for the last 13 years. Top that off with a year of stuffing myself like clock work with sugary calories and I'm a lost cause. I think I've been blaming my chocolate addition as of late on "that time of the month," but if I'm being honest, that's really only a few days and my cravings are far beyond a few days of each month right now.

And now, I seem to be having all sorts of other, NON chocolate cravings. Like. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but last night I was coming out of the grocery store - a QUICK trip to replenish our triple sec so Shane could make me a lemon drop (seeing a pattern here? even a SUGARY DRINK) - as I was walking to the exit I turn to the right and there is a case of donuts.

DONUTS, really? My mouth actually started to water. I honestly can not even tell you the last time I ate a donut. Probably about the last time I ate a burger, or maybe even longer. After being completely grossed out at myself for even THINKING that maple bar looked good I ran to my car and was home with a much better alternative (cocktail) in my hand. And, I made myself feel a little better by offsetting my sugary drinks by making grilled chicken and spinach salad for dinner. Totally ='s ok, right?

Don't worry, I have a few other tricks in the bag. Peanut butter and chocolate. I've always had a bp&c obsession - but I find myself DROOLING at the thought of anything with those two ingredients. I have a theory on this too. All those damn energy bars I've consumed in the last few years were of course, PB & C. SO - my alternative to this yummy goodness in the picture, is making my famous PB&C protein smoothie.

The fastest most yummy way to get a healthy portion of calories and protein in your system. Ice plus 1 big scoop of chocolate rice protein powder, scoop of PB & Rice chocolate milk blended in the magic bullet. Pure heaven....

So - what's a girl to do? Get fat and happy and truly enjoy the holidays or get my ass back out on the bike so I can resume my regular scheduled crappy sugar consumption?

Thank God I signed up for a mid year Ironman, otherwise I might just turn into one of these.....and need a new wardrobe cause none of my jeans will fit anymore.