Race Recap: Rock ‘n Roll Portland

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Date: May 17, 2015

Location: Portland, Oregon

What? Rock n Roll Portland #RnRPDX

This was my second (or is it third?) time completing the Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon. (Am I the only one that loses track sometimes of the # of times I run in my favorite places?!)

I will say though, I do remember that the course was “eeh” in the past.  But we love Portland, so we always sign up.

This year however, the course was beautiful!  They really do take runner feedback seriously and boy, did they make this course a great one!  But more about that in a bit.

We live in a suburb of Seattle, so it’s pretty convenient for us to participate in the Portland runs.  It’s about a 2.5 hour drive.  This year, we bought a 3 pack Tourpass knowing we would be running Portland, Seattle and Vancouver BC.  Not only do we love our bling, but with the Cascadia for doing all 3 above mentioned runs, plus the Heavy Medals – you just can’t go wrong!

Saturday morning we left and made it to the Expo when they opened, at 12.  This expo is much smaller than the one in Seattle, but just as organized. Conveniently located as well and near a TriNet public transit system line. We walked in, got our bibs, made a quick walk through the booths (grabbed a few samples) and got out. It only took us about 30 minutes.

Next stop, before we checked in to our hotel was VooDoo Doughnut. I don’t think I could write this without including VooDoo. The wait is always at least 30 minutes but worth it!  Plus, it’s become our pre-race fuel in the morning. Can’t go wrong with Maple Bacon before a run!

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We stayed at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, which was one of the hotels listed on the RnR site.  We have stayed here for most of our runs. (We come back in October for the Portland Marathon and Half as well.)  No Free Wifi, but we are there for such a short amount of time that the other things about the hotel make it worth it.

They’re almost done renovating the rooms and we were pleasantly surprised to see how nice the room was this visit!

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The hotel is only a few blocks from the start and the finish line, and that’s the #1 reason we like this hotel. We can sleep in a bit, and it’s quick to get back before check out on race day.

Speaking of races….

When we woke up in the morning, the weather looked wet and cold but when we walked outside, it was actually perfect! We made the short walk to the start line, checked a bag, took the obligatory pre run photos, (and a selfie, of course) and headed towards our respective corrals.

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Last year, there was a delay at the beginning of the race due to a train. This year was no different, although they did get 3-4 corrals out before the train caused the delay.  No worries though!

This year’s course was a bit different than last year’s course. We started off running downtown towards the industrial part of town but quickly turned in to beautiful neighborhoods with pretty wide streets and lots of spectators out cheering us on.  There was even a proposal along the route! (Hope she said yes!!!)

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Last year, I remember being more in the city and I definitely preferred the scenery in the beautiful (and sometimes eclectic) neighborhoods of Portland.

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One thing that was a HUGE improvement over last year was that there was no stopping for trains or traffic.  Last year, I was stopped 4 times on the course and I know I wasn’t the only person that was a bit upset about it.

This year, they made a modification so the stopping would not be necessary. At one point in the course, Police Officers would send you to the left or to the right depending on the train schedule to avoid the train.  It just so happened that my running partner Emily and I were diverted. It was a bit confusing at first, because I had forgotten that it might happen but we were assured that we would be on the right course.

The fun part about that was that we were in first place for a few minutes!  Sure enough, when it came time for us to meet up with the rest of the runners, we were right back in step with the people we had been directly behind.   I say that was a great improvement.

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The course is pretty flat. There is a pretty good gradual, mile long hill but it was somewhat rolling and not terrible really.

The best part of going up, is that you must eventually come down.  And down we came, starting at mile 10.  What a great way to get some extra gas in the tank for sure!

The last mile of the course was over the bridge and water, gorgeous view and a hearing the finish line is always a great motivator to keep on pushing!

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At the finish line, (which was the PDX carpet, by the way!) there was plenty of Gatorade, Chocolate Milk (my favorite) Power Bars, Half Pops (another favorite) and of course our medals!

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The only slightly disappointing thing this year is that it seemed like there were fewer bands.

The website says there were supposed to be 10. I’m not sure what course they were playing on, but I’m certain I did not see 10 bands. It’s OK though. I had a great partner to chat with while we ran.

Portugal. The Man was the headliner. I will admit that I did not stop by and watch. My husband did though, and said they were good!

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Overall, I had a great time. I know I said it early on, but I’ll say it again. We love Portland.  We also love the Rock n Roll series.  This course became one of my top 5 courses (I’ve ran 20 races now) and I am not sure if they could even improve it for next year.   We’ll be back again to see though!

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Wife. Mother. Meal Prepper.
I don’t really like to run, but I do it anyways. :-)
I do like to take pictures.
Shall we connect?
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tyranelson
Myfitnesspal: healthytyra
WordPress: http://healthytyra.com/

BolderBOULDER Giveaway

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about the BolderBOULDER. Mainly because Meridith is flying in to run it with me. She arrives on Friday and WE ARE SO EXCITED about that. Also, I’ve been touting the race as one of the best in the country and checking out some of the sponsored gear the BolderBOULDER Folks were kind enough to share with me.  The Skechers GOrun 4s I tried were pretty sweet, and the Helly Hansen tech race shirts are always awesome. Bottom line, this race has the hook-up, and I’m sharing with you!

Up for grabs is this adorable pink tank top, and a BolderBOULDER bumper sticker. The shirt is size small, and they do run true to size. It’s super lightweight and perfect for summer training! It features a new tagline, “Run like 50,000 people are chasing you”.

SO CUTE!

SO CUTE!

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Because that’s how any people run the BolderBOULDER.

I know, super cute, right? And it’s so soft and comfy, I know it will be a favorite of whomever wins it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter often, this giveaway ends on Wednesday, May 27th. Good luck everyone!

 

This post is sponsored by the BolderBOULDER who provided the tank top to Scootadoot to do with as it will. We decided to give it away to one of our beautiful readers. It is size small, and is a polyester cotton blend.

Megaxe on the Mall

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of Kazaxe.

Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

Well. according to the team at Azuka-Bom, it’s this:

Axe means “positive vibes”, and it is exactly what our whole philosophy at Azuka-Bom is. We want you to have a place where you can feel great and have fun! “CASA DE AXE” = “House of Positive Vibes”.

Kazaxe is a party workout! We use international music you can FEEL rush through you. Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop, Soca, Samba, Axe, Brazilian Funk, Southern Line dances, even some Tinikling, haha. And we do not widdle waddle around, we get you moving. If you think “dancing” can’t be a hard workout, I say, you should just try.

Basically, it’s a super crazy-amazing dance workout. Every time I go, I sweat a ridiculous amount and have so much fun. I mean, just check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSqGNYpjVxE.

This weekend, the gals at Kazaxe held a MEGAXE – a giant dance sesh on the National Mall – to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. image1

Saturday was a beautiful day in DC, which also meant that it was hot and muggy. Seems like a perfect day to dance our butts off. In crazy rave-hippie neon colors. #logic

My girlfriends and I met up at the foot of the Washington Monument to get our dance on. We decked ourselves out in our best warrior paint and neon and glitter – I felt like Ke$ha. It was amazing.

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All of the neon. All over. Everything.

 

We got things started with a warm-up dance – and while warming up the muscles is important, we were already plenty warm. Needless to say, after one dance, the sweat? It was er’rywhere. Which meant that the neon warpaint was also everywhere.

This Megaxe was amazing – I’ve never been to any other workout class where I’m actively encouraged to twerk. Where twerking is part of the routine. The combination of so many styles of dance is probably my favorite part – and let me tell you, the quads? They get one helluva workout.

I also love Kaza because you don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy it. Yes, the moves look kind of hard and things move really quickly, but you just jump in and do the moves the best you can. All that matters is that you’re moving and having fun. It’s nearly impossible not too. The instructors love what they do and they want to make you work.

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All of that dancing in the hot, hot sun meant that in about 45 minutes, I’d downed about 4 bottles of water. So necessary. I could only stay for an hour of this two-hour class, but I wore my heart rate monitor and in an hour had burned something like 900 calories. This workout is no joke. Consequently, I also wanted to eat all the things by the time I got home.

Kaza is for everyone! It’s always so awesome to see so many different people get together to dance, get a good workout in, and have a ridiculous amount of fun. I don’t think we could have been smiling harder, even though we were exhausted and nearly dead. I can’t wait to get back to my next class… one of these days I’ll be able to dance like Beyonce. Some day.

GUEST POST: Fitness Advice from A Formerly Fat Guy Who Loves Food, TV, and Lounge Wear

I am slightly less fat now. Apparently that qualifies me to give others advice now.  Take this with a grain of salt.  (But not too much, we want to keep your total sodium down.)

People I Hate
I don’t want fitness advice on how to eat, exercise, and be happy from skinny twenty-year-old fitness trainers who ran track in high school and have never been fat a day in their lives; I’m sure they’ll be heartbroken by the news.  And those biggest loser folks locked in a dorm with their 24×7 trainers? They work way harder than I ever will be willing to work, and get to dedicate their entire day to their fitness.  I’ve got work, household chores, and uh, (cough, sputter) TV, that interfere with my attempts to get fit.  I honestly wish I could find a fitness trainer who proudly displays his/her pre fit picture on an ergonomic standing desk and can fawn endlessly over Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, The Flash, and House of Cards.  It is not surprising, then, that I suddenly realize I roughly fit the description of my own perfect trainer.  So, though not remotely qualified, I offer up my own story and “advice.”

Damn you Dr. Oz
I am a 51 year old male who spent 25+ years working a computer job, had zero interest in exercise, and ate to relieve stress, boredom, and because I really, really, like food.  Over the years I went from wearing a size 36 pant to wearing a size 38, to wearing a size 38 with an expanding waist band, and finally wearing a size 40.  Ok.. a size 40 with an expanding waist band.  I was 5’10, 240 (ish) lbs, obese on the BMI scale, and winded taking two flights of stairs- and was not phased by any of it.  I looked in the mirror regularly, saw the same charming, extremely good looking, and modest guy I’ve always seen, and continued ordering fries with my lunch.  Dr. Oz ruined it for me.

What comes before beginner?
Dr. Oz convinced me the fat around my belly was bad.  And, he had a plan- walk 10000 steps a day, it’ll make you lose fat.  He had a lot of other advice on supplements, eating right, etc., but I pretty much zoned out after the walking bit.  I ordered “You on a Diet” and the “You Workout.” and..  failed.  Even the beginner workout was overwhelming.  I couldn’t get through the 20 minute Pilates and stretching type workout without pausing the DVD to breath, and then couldn’t do half the stretching moves fully.  I needed the dreamer workout, not the beginner one.

Advice 1: Walk
So I bought a pedometer and walked.  10000 steps is a lot.  So I started smaller.  I walked slowly, and not very far.  I figured I could spare 30 minutes, so I walked for 30 minutes.  Not fast, and not very far.  Never more than 30 minutes.   Having a number to hit made me keep walking just a little more trying to get to 10000.  I’d park my car a little further away for a few extra steps.  I’d get up once in a while at work and make the “long loop” around the building on the way to the diet soda machine.  (Did I mention my soda addiction?)

Advice 2: Get a Fitbit
In December 2012 I finally started hitting my 10000 step goal.  For me, seeing the number on my device was important, a fuel gauge doesn’t cut it.   Having to look at my phone is too delayed.  The app is nice, but get a numerical display.   The Fitbit site has great charts, great history tracking, and ways to add your friends and compete!  I bought a Fitbit.

Advice 3: Have goals
Have a goal.  Some of my past and future goals (in order of difficulty): extend my 30 minutes of walking to 60 minutes.  Up my walking from 3 days a week to 5 days a week.  Enter a 5k.  Do the couch to 5k program (probably should have done that before entering the 5K.)  Enter another 5k.  Jog continuously for 1 minute.  Jog continuously for 1 mile.  Jog continuously for 2 miles.  Enter another 5k (do better than last year.) Jog continuously for 3.11 miles. Put my socks on standing up.  Sit cross legged.  Touch my toes.  Some of these may seem ridiculous or silly, but I assure you getting up a ½ hour early to walk did not seem simple at 5:30am. There were days when I had to fool myself by saying “I’ll just do 10 minutes of walking today,” to get myself out of bed.   The point is that having the goal keeps me moving in the right direction.  Small goals are OK!  Full Disclosure: I still haven’t jogged continuously for 5k, and can’t touch my toes (yet.)

Advice 4: Watch TV
I am, it seems, the only human being to watch TV or actually eat at McDonald’s.  I have given impromptu surveys, and can’t find anyone who watches more than a few hours of TV, or has EVER eaten at McDonalds.  If, however, you, like me, like to watch TV- use that as an excuse to workout.  Get an app, download your program to your phone, tablet, etc.. and only watch when you workout.  This is harder to do while walking outside without walking into a tree, so probably you should confine the use of workout TV to the gym.

Advice 5: You can’t outrun your mouth
I started walking 5 miles a day, almost every day, two years ago. I started jogging some of that along the way. I walked over 3 million steps in 2013, 3 million steps in 2014, and lost roughly (tada) zip, nada, nothing. Damn you and your lies Dr. Oz! I’m not complaining, though, because I didn’t add any weight over those two years, either, and I improved my overall fitness. I no longer got winded going up stairs, could walk / jog (WOGGING™ is a trademark of Byron Ferguson Fitness Enterprises), and go up and down the stairs without holding the banister. Here are some potential reasons I didn’t lose some weight at the same time: I ate more because working out made me hungrier, I added muscle mass (ha!), I figured since I was working out I could eat stuff that was a little worse (ouch, painfully true), or my average workout burned only burned 300 or so calories. The truth is, if you really need to lose weight, you’ve got to pay attention to the food you eat. I knew that, I just did my best to prove it wasn’t true for two years.

Two years not much progress on weight loss. October 2014- Started paying attention to food.

Two years not much progress on weight loss. October 2014- Started paying attention to food.

Advice 6: Eat a little better, rinse, repeat.
Shortly after I started paying attention to what I would eat using the MyFitnessPal app, I joined the Whole Life Challenge with my sister ( https://www.wholelifechallenge.com/.) The challenge encourages different eating habits, and has different levels. The simplest level asks you to cut out bad oils, sugar as an ingredient, bread and pasta, beer, soda, diet soda, chips, fries, and a few other foods. (What the heck is left!) While doing this “cold turkey” might be challenging (not hard- cancer is hard, not eating something is not hard -WLC), try cutting ONE thing out for ONE meal.  If I gave you $100 to not have soda for one meal, could you?  Of course! One meal is EASY!    Now just do that three times and you’ve done it for the day.  Good?  Try two days.  Say to yourself, “I have had ______ all my life, I can not have it just this once.”  Got the soda down?  Do the same for fries.  (OMG I love fries!)  Keep making small changes and eventually you WILL see a huge difference.

Advice 7: Fail quickly, rinse, repeat.
Once I started really paying attention to food, I bought a scale and logged my weight. I set my goal high- lose just one pound. Not 75 pounds overall. Just one pound (Really I wanted to lose all 75 pounds in one week but that seemed just a little unrealistic.) At the end of one week I had lost one pound. Winning! Two days later I had gained four pounds. Fail. :( I started again. This time I lost two pounds.

Obviously your weight is going to fluctuate daily, but weighing myself daily did three things for me. First, weighing daily made it impossible for me to hide going off the rails at that all-you-can-eat country buffet. Second, not hiding from the scale made me plan how I could go off the rails less (not less times, but like only going back for seconds ONCE at the buffet. Finally, this eventually made me go off the rails less FREQUENTLY! A way to measure, even an imperfect one, allows us to correct course and head in the right direction.

Chart showing weight loss via scale

Way off the rails in September. Restart. May looking a little rocky. Focus.

Advice 8: Jedi Mind Tricks
I’d like to think I’m too smart to fall for simple tricks, but the truth is I’m easily swayed. Here are a few mind tricks that made me make better decisions. If people ask me if I’m losing weight I never reply with “I’m working on it,” “so far,” etc. I say, “Thanks for noticing,” or better yet- “Only 20 more pounds to go.” Trying implies failure is still an option. There is no try; do or do not! At least tell yourself that. Also, stop telling yourself losing weight, working out, … is HARD! The Whole Life Challenge tricked me well by saying, “Cancer is hard, living a healthy lifestyle is EASY!” Tying hard to cancer made it impossible for me to whine to myself.. “it’s hard.” Finally, one last trick- when you’re at a meal and want those french fries, garlic toast, or other food non grata (not to be confused with au gratin,) remind yourself, “I am not a wild dog that has to eat everything someone puts in front of me. Just this once, I can not eat this.” I know, you’re thinking these are all silly word games. Words don’t matter. I’m not saying these. Yep. You’re right. Don’t say them. Don’t think of them. Oh, and don’t think of pink elephants today, young padawan.

Advice 9: Burn your bridges
I wore my size 38 expanding waist pants as long as my wife would let me. After she started calling me homeless man, I finally had to bite the bullet and start buying clothes. I hate buying clothes. I would much rather give my money to an obviously faking homeless guy. I could slowly transition, switching, as laundry required, between clothes that fit and don’t fit until I finally hit my target weight, or I could go all in. I went all in. I donated nearly my entire closet to Goodwill. My wife asked, “what if you put the weight back on?” I have in the past kept the old clothes, finished twenty pounds or so, and then put it all back. This time, however, I’ve made a full commitment. I’m not going back. The bridge is fully burnt. If I do go back, guess I’ll have to parade around buck ‘nekid. Nope. Not going back.

Advice 10: Don’t be done
The biggest problem with every other “diet” I’ve tried is that it was a diet. Oh, I told myself occasionally that I was doing a lifestyle change, but in truth, I knew it was a diet. The more weight I lost, the more likely I was to cheat. I’ve lost some weight, I’m entitled. My changes have started much slower this time, but every change I’ve made is something I can live with, and feel I HAVE to live with, forever.  I want to eat more real food, and less boxed stuff.  That’s not a diet, it’s a decision.  I want to eat less (or no) fried food.  That’s not a diet, it’s a decision.  The other problem with a diet was that after it was done, I was done.  Now I can go back to eating fries, etc- until I finally have to diet again.  This time I’ve made decisions that I will do forever.  And now, I don’t have to be done.  That change makes all the difference.

Do Something.  Anything.
I might be wrong.  Really.  If it doesn’t work, dump it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing you’ll keep getting what you already have.  I’ve gotten so much help from others online, I hope my story and advice will help someone.  Want to be my fitbit friend, email me telling me how much this helped?  My email is byron@byrini.com, and may the force be with you!

Byron Ferguson is a professional “computer guy,” who likes performing magic, building stuff, cooking, and hanging out with his family.  He does not like to exercise, but it a necessary part of his master plan to live forever.   So far his plan is going swimmingly. Byron currently lives in Parker, CO with his wife Toni and their two kids Nolan and Kyra.

 

Road Tested: Cultures for Health

Recently, the ladies over here at Scoot a Doot were approached by Cultures for Health, a real food company run by Julie and Eric Feickert. Their goal? To create a website where people making a food change in their own lives could find all the products and information they need to be successful. Part of that website provide folks with kits to make their own food. From yogurt, to cheese, to kefir, to sourdough, to kombucha – these starter kits provide the perfect opportunity to dip your toes into the world of sustainable, traditionally prepared foods. 

The lovely folks over there gave Meridith and Kyle the chance to try their hand at making some food… these are their stories.

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Kombucha.

Wait. What?

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Yes. You read that right. Kombucha. What is Kombucha? Well, according to the wisdom that is the internets (and Wikipedia, which, you know, ALWAYS has the right answer), kombucha is “a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black and/or green tea that is used as a functional food. It is produced by fermenting the tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or ‘SCOBY’.”

That’s a fun way to say it’s a delicious drink with debatable health benefits. Whatever. I like kombucha, though I usually buy it pre-made, in a bottle, at Whole Foods. It’s bubbly, and fizzy, and has a fun little tang to it.

So obviously, when Mer and I were offered the chance to test out the Cultures for Health kits, I jumped at the opportunity to try and make my own kombucha.

Things I knew going in:

  • Kombucha is cultured (duh, hence the name).
  • Unlike some cultures, kombucha takes a looong time.
  • This might be a struggle because I’m terribly impatient.

When my kit arrived, I immediately busted it open because I wanted to know what this process was going to be like and what other things I might need to gather to be successful.

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Turns out that I needed to get a bigger mason jar, but given that I’m dumb and that I don’t plan ahead, by the time I needed to start the culture to have something ready for this post, I hadn’t picked one up. Solution? Use the leftover coconut oil jar (washed, of course) instead. It was a little small, so I had to half the recipe. I was a little concerned about how successful this would be. #badplanning

Anyways. The process itself was fairly simple. Essentially, I had to brew some tea (the kit included some black tea, which I enjoy), add some sugar (more than I thought, but… science, I guess?), some vinegar and the SCOBY, and then… wait.

And wait.

And wait.

The instructions say that the starter culture is supposed to take roughly 30 days to cure. So far, it’s sat for 11. It’s looking good!

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I tasted a little off the top – and while the culture still isn’t completely ready yet, it’s definitely doing something! It’s sweet and vinegary (a little). I’m excited to see how it turns out after a month.

The instructions in this kit were very clear as to how this process was supposed to go – and while the recipe is fairly simple, the process for making the starter culture vs. your own kombucha tea can get a little confusing. I appreciated that these steps were delineated clearly. I also liked that they gave instructions on how to continue using your culture to make multiple batches of tea. If this goes well, I definitely will!

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Cheers!

 

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Mozzarella and tomato slices, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Homemade pizza with delicious melt-y cheese.

Yes indeed, I had big dreams for the Cultures for Health kits.

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My best sous chefs were prepped (aka: my kids) and ready to go. Although I’d never made cheese before I was confident that I could follow the directions in the booklet.

After all, how hard could it be?

Famous last words.

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The kits came with most of the ingredients, we needed to supple one gallon of cow or goat milk and chlorine-free water.

Note: don’t do what I did at first and get organic milk. Organic milk is highly pasteurized and that doesn’t work well when making cheese.

After actually reading the directions I ran to the store to get regular cows milk. We wanted to make sure we had the highest chance of success possible, and that means following the directions. (We also now have a lot of milk in my house – the kids are thrilled because this means lots of chocolate milk!) It also says in the booklet under the section “Before You Start”: Read all the instructions. Okay, okay, I get it. Reading is fundamental.

The kiddos love helping with food prep and I kept them busy, pouring the milking and mixing ingredients. The little guy has high food selectivity (Autism/mouth-feel, you do it to me every time!) but I’ve found if he is involved with making food, he’s more apt to at least try new things.

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Once we moved things to the stove, the kids helped stir the milk while we got it up to the proper temperature.

At this point, I think we were about a half hour into the process. The directions suggest that it takes about 30 minutes to make, in total. Obviously, we are not artisanal cheese makers. Yet.

Checking to see if the curds had separated from the whey. (They hadn't fully so we let them sit a few more minutes.)

Checking to see if the curds had separated from the whey. (They hadn’t fully so we let them sit a few more minutes.)

There was much singing about the Little Miss Muffet and tuffets and whatnot. I wasn’t exactly sure what we were doing at this point but I was hoping that we had good stuff going and soon would be feasting on mozzarella yummyness.

However, things weren’t looking so great when it came to the stretching of the curds. I had grand visions of being very twirly, creative at this point. Instead, this is what I got.

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Not so stretchy. Not so twirly.

I continued on with this, wishing, hoping, praying that it would magically turn into a beautiful shiny ball of mozzarella. Instead, this is what we wound up with…

Cheese?

Cheese?

So what went wrong? Well, I think the processing of the milk could have been a factor. Even though it wasn’t ultra-pasteurized, I’m assuming that this is where the I had issues. The booklet has troubleshooting tips and I think that we could have increased the amount of citric acid to help balance this.

Thankfully, each kit makes quite a good amount of cheese; I’ll try again because I’m bound and determined to make it work. Additionally, the website is helpful in troubleshooting and they have an 800 number and email for customer support, which I will be taking full advantage of in my next venture.

Homemade cheese will happen! I will triumph!

 

Thanks to ztpr and Cultures for Health for giving us the opportunity to try the products mentioned. No further compensation was given and as always, our opinions are our own.

Skechers You Say?

When the BolderBOULDER said they were sending me a brand spakin’ new pair of Skechers GOrun4s to try out, I was all “awesome, free shoes”! After all, it cannot be disputed that the two of the best words ever invented are ‘free’ and ‘shoes’, especially when they are in a sentence next to each other. That being said, the word ‘Skechers’ raised a little flag in my head. I was a teensy bit apprehensive to try them out. Mostly because I’m super careful and picky about my shoes, and never buy a pair without doing a gait analysis in them first. I firmly believe that the wrong shoes can seriously hurt you. Just ask Cam.

The other reason I was apprehensive was that, well…they’re Skechers. Granted, these kicks were developed by their Performance division with input from Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, but there was still a bit of a stigma in my head. And when I told people I was testing out a pair of Skechers for running, I got a similar reaction to the one I had. “Skechers? Really?”  “But do you think they’re really for running, though?” There was only one way to find out!

New (free) shoes are the BESTEST!

New (free) shoes are the BESTEST!

Things I liked: Right out of the box, the first thing I noticed about these shoes is how incredibly lightweight they are. According to the Skechers website, these weigh 5.2 oz per shoe (based on a size 7).  They should totally be floating in mid-air. Secondly, my husband LOVED them and if they were bigger, I think he might have stolen them from me. The sole is super cushy, and they felt fantastic when I put them on and wore them around the house one weekend. So far, these kicks were shaping up to be pretty awesome!

Things I Loved – It’s been SUPER rainy in Colorado the last few weeks, and getting outside to run has been a challenge.  That being said, the GOrun4s served me well on the treadmill and elliptical, and I think I would really love them for heavy walking activities like going to the zoo or walking the Vegas Strip.  I was able to get them out on one run, in the mud, for the final in my Walking & Jogging class. Yes, I took a class, and yes there was a final. Don’t judge! I was super sad they got all dirty, though. BUT, they held up great, they felt good, and my feet stayed dry, surprisingly.

New no longer but still comfy!

New no longer but still comfy!

Things I could have used more of: Over pronation of my left leg and being flat-footed results in the need for two things; a healthy drop and arch support. These shoes don’t have much of either, which is great if you like a minimal shoe. Which is, in fact, what this shoe is designed to be; minimal. If that is your thing, then I think you might like the GOrun4, and I think Cam should try a pair, too!

Overall, I like the GOrun4s, but I’m still deciding if I like them for longer distances. With the crappy weather lately I’ve not been able to go more than 3 miles in them, and mile 4 is usually when the over-pronating makes my left hip and knee hurty. The jury (me) is still deliberating. I’m excited to keep wearing them and see how they work for me throughout the summer. It will be nice to have a lighter, cooler pair of kicks to put into rotation!

I would recommend them to anyone who likes a minimal shoe, and don’t let the fact that they are Skechers make you pause. I found them to be quality shoes with quite a bit of science behind them. At least try a pair on, I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was!

 

This post was sponsored by the BolderBOULDER and Skechers, who provided one free pair of Chevron Houston Marathon Edition GOrun4s for me to use, review, and keep.

The Good Life – Philadelphia’s Broad Street 10 Miler

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It’s over.

The Broad Street Run. The past few months we spent so much time doing training runs and preparing for the race; now I have the post race blues. Whomp.

So what about my husband, Jay, the reluctant runner? How is he feeling after all of this?

Well…

Wellllllll…

I’ll get to that.

A little history: the Blue Cross Broad Street Run has been in existence for 36 years. It boosts that it’s the largest 10 mile race in the USA and I sure can believe it! The results page shows that 41,511 runners participated and the numbers on the bibs went into the 43,000s. That’s a lot of people. And it’s a lot of Philly love through and through.

The crew!

The crew!

We were in the pink corral, which is the very last corral, for those expecting to finish in 1:45 or longer. Which is exactly what category we fell into (the “or longer” category). During training runs we kept Jay’s pace, which put us at an exact 13 minute mile pace. Joining us for this run were two friends who I’ve known since flowered baby doll dresses were in fashion and running was uncool: Keri and Chrissy!

Chrissy, me, Keri

Chrissy, me, Keri – never ever forgetting to be awesome!

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This sums Chrissy up quite nicely. “Want to talk on a banana phone with me?” “Hell yeah!”

Since Broad Street is a point to point race, we parked near the finish line at the stadiums and took the Broad Street rail line, which is free for runners on race day, to the start staging area.

We got there in plenty of time and were able to use the porta-potties and take the above pictures without feeling rushed. When you’re in the Pink corral, it’s a lot of “hurry up and wait”.

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Ahhh, the Pink corral. Let me set the stage. You’re so far back from the start that you can’t actually hear the start of the race. No Star Spangled Banner for us and no clue of what’s actually going on up at the start of the race. So yes, a whole lot of cluelessness. We stood (im)patiently, waving to the helicopters circling overhead and entertaining ourselves.

In 2013 I started in the Pink corral and we got to the start at 49 minutes after the start. This year we started at 59 minutes after. More runners? More people in Pink? Not sure. But after one last stop at the porta-potties, we were off to the sounds of Weezer (anyone who knows me knows just how much this thrilled me).

I'd never been so excited to see a START line in my entire life.

I’d never been so excited to see a START line in my entire life and that’s a fact.

Jay’s plan, so subsequently OUR plan, was to run the first mile and then switch to 2:1 intervals. And run he did. That dude clocked a 10:30 the first mile. I asked him about twenty times if he knew how fast we were going (because it was definitely faster than his normal mile pace) and he either wasn’t able to hear me over his music or he was ignoring me.

I’m going to go with the first thought.

We hit the mile mark quickly and then switched into the 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking.

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The first five miles were flawless. We kept a solid averaged 12:20 pace after that first speedy mile and everything was going swimmingly. Runningly? That. We were cruising and everyone seemed as happy as running people could be.

2/3 smiling!

2/3 smiling!

There were bands. There were cheer squads. There were children outside of the children’s hospital again, waving and smiling and cheering from their wheelchairs. City Hall was becoming a more real sight and less a speck in the distance and it’s incredible.

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Walking with purpose. Look at the swoosh of my Sparkle! ;)

Walking with purpose. Look at the swish of my Sparkle! ;)

The Broad Street Run can be separated into two parts. Running toward City Hall (which is AWESOME) and then the after City Hall part. Which, I think, is still awesome. But that’s when you really start feeling the race. Mile 6 our pace slowed up a bit and our aches started to make themselves known.

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Personally I’m dealing with another bout of plantar fasciitis, which in no uncertain terms, BLOWS. It flared up during my last training run and here I am, dealing with it again. I was feeling it. Jay hips weren’t lying when they said they were feeling awful. Chrissy’s knee was acting up. And Keri’s shins were making a bit of noise.

So, yeah.

Thankfully the crowd support was just as awesome the second half as in the first half and we relied on that to help get us through those tougher miles.

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To really see all the signs, click on the pic. They were the best!

The water stations increased in the second half, which was good because it was pretty toasty out there. We haven’t had many hot days to train in so this was a little different than the weather we’ve been used to but the additional water and the occasional fire hydrant open helped cool us off. The cups on the street were a little slick, which comes along with a race as large as this one and not being able to clear them all.

The entire race Chrissy, Keri, and myself spent surrounding Jay – his own personal sparkling cheerleaders. Since Jay was plugged in to his music, we chatted along the way, pointing out cool sights and fun stuff. I hadn’t seen Chrissy in years before this weekend so it was really great to catch up! Yet another bonus of running 10 miles together.

You’ll notice that there are less pictures of Jay here. That’s because he was not thrilled with life. I took a selfie with him at one point. I’m not going to post it though because he just looks miserable. In fact maybe I’ll delete it from my phone and he’ll forget all about that feeling. Maybe?

The first part of the race has City Hall to focus on, while the second part has a slightly less visible sight, until you’re right there. The Navy Yard sign.

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Hello, you beautiful vision!

It signifies that there’s only about a quarter mile left so we were pretty jazzed to see it! Or I was pretty jazzed. I think Jay was saving his excitement for the finish line.

What's a Navy Yard without a ship?

What’s a Navy Yard without a ship?

As we drew closer and closer to the finish, I kept looking to Jay to see if he was ready for the sprint to the finish line. Once we were close enough, he took off like a shot and I knew that he was looking forward to wrapping up!

His goal was to finish under 2:15. His reach goal was 2:00. Had we kept the same pace we did the first half, we would have hit 2:00. We finished in 2:11 which is exactly 13 minute miles – training run pace held true. We high fived each other at the end and cheered our accomplishment. Some louder than others, natch.

We walked down the chute wondering exactly where we were headed. There wasn’t much guidance at that point. We continued to walk, in search of water, food, medals, something. Finally there were tables with water bottles. Then tents with bags of food and pretzels.

The volunteers were handing out the bags of food and the medals were nearly an afterthought. It was a bit odd. I understand not wanting to crowd the finishing chute with medals but I was surprised that they didn’t have more of a comprehensive flow in that regard. Eventually we got everything sorted out!

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On the long walk back to the car I made a teeny tiny comment about signing up again next year and sheesh, you would have thought I told Jay we were running another ten miles the next day with how quickly he said NO. So I guess he doesn’t want to do it again. (I think he forgot that we already registered for Beat the Blerch 10k in September.) (I’m not reminding him just yet.)

Our car held a glorious cooler filled with delightful beverages so once we finally got there we planted ourselves in the parking lot and relaxed, waiting for the crowds to disperse.

He longs to be close to me. That's why that finger is reaching out there.

He longs to be close to me. That’s why that finger is reaching out there.

So, it’s over. But if I get in via the lottery, I’ll be back, Broad Street! You can count on it.

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Have you ever done the Broad Street Run? Or a ten mile race? How about coerced your significant other into doing something they wouldn’t normally do? 

Dinosaur Food and New (Old) Shoes

We all know I have a sordid past with various shoe brands: Newton, Brooks, Altra, New Balance, Saucony…I got around.   After the AC Half, I chucked my Brooks.  I’m sorry, Brooks.  I gave you the good old college try.  I left them in New Jersey to be donated to someone who will hopefully be a better fit.

I’ve decided I’m going to go with what works.  I hopped online and chatted with Kyle from Skora, who also has flat feet.  He sent me some excellent ankle and strengthening exercises and this article which put things in perspective.  I am no longer going to battle my flat feet.  Instead, we’re joining forces!  I’m embracing my overpronation!  I will revel in my foot flatness!  And I will do this with the help of my Skora.  Because they’re comfortable.  They accept my feet, just as they are.  Skora, you complete me a la Jerry Maguire.  I’m sorry I doubted you, but you must have known you’ve been my sole mate all along.

Seriously, I love these shoes.

Who needs an arch, anyway?  Suck it, insoles.  I’m free-ballin’.

In addition to my new, old shoes, I’ve adopted a new, old diet.  In researching methods for controlling ADHD, I ran into this book, “Eat Like a Dinosaur” and it turned me on to Paleo for families.  Basically, it eliminates all processed flours and sugars. If it comes in a bag or a box, it’s not allowed.  I recently read this book, Go Wild, which suggests that the demand and stress of modern civilization have created a breeding ground for disease; mental illness, ADHD, obesity, cancer, depression, anxiety…and so on.

The book claims one solution is to get back to basics: fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, real fat, and wild caught animal protein.  Sounds logical to me!  So I made the switch.  And so did my children, involuntarily.  They’re pretty pissed about it and I still can’t get them to drink almond milk.  I started making one meal a day that was completely paleo, usually dinner.  I’m having some difficulty coming up with creative lunchbox solutions, but our pantry is quickly thinning out.  Sites like paleoparents.com and cookeatpaleo.com help immensely.  A lot of the recipes use cauliflower, coconut oil and flour, and almond flour.  There’s a recipe for granola that uses coconut instead of oats and it is da bomb.  That’s right, D-A-Bomb.  And even though I love cake, it hasn’t been hard to give up the sugar and starch.  It’s been a month and my gut feels happy.  I even signed up with Farm Fresh to You, a produce delivery service.  Unfortunately, alcohol is a no-no.  But I just can’t.  Confession: I still drink wine.  Don’t tell the paleo police.

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Almond flour cranberry muffins. My kids gobbled these up.

I don’t know if all the claims are true, but it can’t hurt, right?  And if nothing else, we are getting to try some new and interesting veggies.  I didn’t even know you could eat celery root!

 

If I Could Turn Back Time

 

(Feel free to hum along with me. This will now be stuck in my head for days).

Remember back in 2002, when Cher announced her ‘Farewell Tour’? And then it was popular, so she kept adding more shows? And it went on for years? And then she was still around, so it wasn’t even like a real farewell?

Do you think she felt a little silly and overdramatic for her exit theatrics, or wished she’d given more thought to calling it a ‘farewell’ tour?

Probably. (#relatable)

Now, I’m no Cher. I don’t have any ‘cheeky’ tattoos or a fishnet body stocking. I don’t have an Oscar. Or an Emmy. Or a Grammy. But, I do share (HAHA, GET IT) a few things with the singly named, raven haired wonder.

We like the same people.

Cher

We change our hair a lot.

Cher hairMe hair

And we both mayyyyy have a slight flair for the dramatic at times. But, I could certainly be in worse company, right?

I remember when my mother-in-law retired for a the first time, years ago. I saw her a few weeks afterwards, and I ask if she was loving it. I expected her to say how much less stressed she was, how nice it was to have free time. Do you know what she said?

“I’m bored.”

I didn’t get it then. I have two kids and a full time job. What is this ‘bored’ thing?

I kind of get it now. Without blogging, I found myself bored. I also found myself watching a LOT of reality television. But mostly, I found myself thinking ‘oh, I should write a post about that… oh wait.” And, I missed you guys!

Don’t get me wrong, breaks are nice. And I didn’t spend the whole time watching Married at First Sight (and Arranged and 19 Kids and Counting and Teen Mom), just some of it.

I also used that time to get my head together in terms of what’s next in my health & fitness journey. I had been in a rut for a couple of years, and I really needed to step back and look at where I want to be, and how I want to get there.

I stopped going to Weight Watchers, and started tracking on My Fitness Pal (down 19 pounds, heck yes!). I went back to Zumba classes, took a yoga class, started walking again. I got my butt back in the kitchen and started doing meal prep. I did a lot of reading. And I’m working hard on the internal stuff, too. Loving me. Embracing today. Doing things that make me happy.

And being a chick makes me happy.

So, in short, sorry about that time I got all emotionally dramatic and prematurely announced my retirement. If I could turn back time…

We’re Coming for You, BolderBOULDER.

Now that the AC half is over for 2015 and I’ve recovered from the gruesome death of a flu that I caught on my way home from New England, I can look ahead to the next fun, fitness-y related things on the horizon. In other words, we here at Scoot a Doot have NEWS, people. And news is always fun, yes? Yes!

A few weeks back, we got an email from the sweet folks over at the BolderBOULDER asking if we wanted to blog about our race experience this year. Seeing as this is my hometown race and we’re almost the same age, (this is the 37th year of the race), there was no question I’d be running it. Blogging about it ‘officially’ was just icing!

The absolute best part of this event is the fact the Meridith is coming to run it with me. She’s never been to Colorado before, and when she saw this, she had questions.

BBElevation_Map (938x580)

Mainly, “will I die?” Secondly, “we’re sticking together for this one, right?”

After much reassurance that she won’t pass out from the altitude, I promised her that the map was deceiving and the course wasn’t that bad. Then we talked about costumes because of course we were sticking together and we need to look cute doing it.

The other best thing about this year’s event is that the BolderBOULDER is sending over some nifty stuff from Skechers Performance, TomTom, and Helly Hansen for me to try out and tell you guys about. Here’s a sneak peak!

Skechers GoRun4

Skechers GoRun4

Then, as if that wasn’t awesome enough, I found out that in June I’ll be volunteering at Fitbloggin2015. We are super excited about this as I’ll get an opportunity to meet amazing and inspiring fellow bloggers as well as learn more about many topics driving and inspiring the fitness community now. Topics that I can learn about and come back and share with you all. Because sharing is good. And making new friends is the best! Plus, it’s in Denver this year, so I can go to the conference and still sleep in my bed. That’s my cake and I’m eating it.  Check out the topics and let’s talk about what speaks to you.

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So stay tuned because Scootadoot news never stops. Or something.