Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pizza Blow Up

We may have been the worst luck house guests of the century last night. But good thing our friends Natalie and Shawn are the coolest people around that they put up with us.

I finally worked again! Taught swim conditioning class in the morning and had a blast doing so. It is amazing how you forget how much you love doing something until you don't do it for awhile. Then it was off to run with the tri group around greenlake. Once again an adventure. We ran in the bike path, dodged cars, stomped on puddles and snow embankments, and only had one near fall via Karissa. Which happened, not because of the conditions, but because my mouth was running and she was trying to listen, good thing she does pilates twice weekly as she recovered from a near face plant like a gymnast on a regaining control on a balance beam.

Then we were invited to the Swistak's home for her famous pizza.

Arriving 15 minutes late, Shawn was already out the door upon realizing that they would need more pizza sauce to cater to his famished guests. So two pizzas it was going to be cooking.

(Mark added the seasonings to the side to demonstrate the ginourmousness of this pie- I claim the size is due to the massive amounts of veggies, however, he claims it is cheese...he is probably right)

Shawn ran around down town for nearly an hour as there was no pizza sauce left anywhere. Or it was his ploy to not have to listen to us chatter about triathlon for an hour of the night. As Natalie was more graciously concerned about making us some fab drinks in the dining room we suddenly heard a big bang from the kitchen. We all looked at each other with a "what happened" type stare and continued on with the liquid concoctions. A few seconds later we all reconsidered what the sound was at the same time:

Mark thought it was a sound he is all too familiar with-the sound of a champagne cork opening.

I thought it sounded like when the oven is preheating and you hear a bang because the broiler pan was left in the oven, of course, with the crusts form pizza rolls still on it. (Tell me someone else experiences that:))

Natalie some how avoided thinking it was anything, until we all walked over there and saw this:

Shattered glass in the oven. It was quite funny that Natalie thought it was her fault because she was pre-heating the oven at 425! Sorry Nat, even the cooker I am knows that you can heat those suckers up as much as you want...the glass should not break.

We proceeded downstairs to use the community oven and baked away.
Then the night went on and we all could not get enough attention from her beautiful cat Natasha (18 years old). If I didn't already have two I would have kid napped her in my back pocket, she has to weigh no more than 5 lbs.

(Natasha and her God mother Teresa)

(Mark believing he is the most loved by Natasha-sucka!)

(Natasha has had enough- pizza, attention, and crazy people)

As usual we extended our stay past midnight...we have a running problem with that...maybe we will make that a news year resolution. But Natalie and Shawn we had a great time with you guys....looking forward to more pizza, more natasha, more laughs and more ovens!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Swim Technique Clip

Here is an amazing view of Grant Hackett swimming the 1500. Teaching and getting an athlete to understand the concept of the front catch and also breathing patterns is something I work with on a daily basis. This is just another tool to utilize and see the proper demonstration of this technique. I love this video to because it is filmed during a race similar to that of the distance of triathlon events. Take note of the high elbow catch, the push through, body rotation, the reaching and the breathing patterns used.

Now get on that vasa, pull out the tubing and paddles!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy, happy holidays.

This time of year is jam packed with friends, family and traditions. A time I always look forward to. This year has been a bit different with Seattle being hit with the biggest snow storm of my life. In some ways you would believe it has made life more challenging but, for me, it forced a change to occur that really made this Christmas memorable. This year was a blessing.

Instead of the typical mad rush of working, shopping, holiday parties, and testing patience, everyone in Seattle was forced to take a break. The roads were bare of cars, shops abandoned, parties canceled. This meant, for us, more time with family. We spent two evenings at Mark's parents just having dinner, watching ironman dvd's and enjoying their company. I spent more time on the phone, talking with friends, catching up and making cards. I won't lie, we did get a bit stir crazy in the 550 square foot condo, but we will mention that another time!

My personal gift came early in that several times throughout the year I would say "I just need a vacation. A vacation where I can sit at home and just be." Well Santa was listening and I must have been a GOOD girl. I have not been to work in a week! Just been getting my workouts done, working on the new biz and hanging with the kitties and spending quality time with the family!

(Sienna says "Happy Holidays Folks")

We had to post pone our classic Christmas Eve of time with my mom's family due to the icy roads, but we were blessed with being able to see my dad's family, which we have not done in several years. It was a very valuable time with lots of food, crazy photos, and cookies that could last a lifetime...we have three tupperware containers full!

Distinctive holiday traditions were carried out:

Riding the ferry boat to Mom's...

(Seattle to Bremerton ferry)

Adorning Miss Molly in a christmas bow...

Beanies and socks= the best stocking stuffers....

(Please witness Mark's thrill in our matching reds)

(This is my 'Girls Next Door ' pose, just call me Kendra :)

And of course, thee unsightly holiday sweater....

Displayed by Mark's Uncle Jimmy whom had to make nonsense of my handcrafted Christmas cards (of which I did write 2009 on instead of 2008, it just shows my character!) He scored this article in our white elephant gift exchange, little did he know that I brought the gift, but that can be our little secret.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us!

Maybe that is a bit from the truth, but we are living it up in this ice cold weather. Talk all week around town, in the news, EVERYWHERE was about the big snow storm today. it is. It has been coming down since 3pm and is still going strong....they are expecting some heavy wind storms tonight too.

Here is a bit what the week presented:
Wednesday: Schools closed due to snow....WAIT...there was no snow!
Thursday: Schools and the whole town CLOSED due to major snow. Tried to get to the pool and...CLOSED.
Friday: Made it into work, met with a couple people, then headed home. The streets are icy, all the hilly roads are closed. You can get a full run down from our cutting edge broadcaster Tracy. If the news wasn't about an accident it was about the upcoming storm.
Saturday: Had to figure out a way to get the long run in before the hysteria. So I met with some incredibly dedicated triathletes and ran around the Greenlake area and Woodland Park trails. Once again, in the snow. It was like running on the beach...just all bundled up!

(Karissa, myself, Natalie...other troopers included Elizabeth and Mark)

Then the craziness! 100% of the Seattle population had to prepare for "The Storm". I am the #1 procrastinator in the world....however take note.... that is how I operate the BEST. We headed to the grocery store. It was like trying to find parking at the University Village the day before Christmas. Determinately we made it inside. The carts were down to the bare bones, people were lining the aisle to get to the checkout. So once again, it became a race....I shop (reminder-that is what I do second best) and then Mark waited in the express line. 20 items and 45 minutes later we were breaking out the mittens and beanies to venture out into the start of the snowfall!

Over to the movie store, where it was MY turn to pick the movies. No comments please, I need anything to get me through that nearly 3 hour bike ride tomorrow, especially since I have run out of pre-recorded Girls Next Door episodes! Bike is on trainer, movies in hand, and all systems are a GO. If the power goes out, the ipods are charged and the phone will be off, I need to save the battery so I can chit chat after the ride.

Anticipating this snow disturbance has not been painless. I actually showered AND blow dried my hair in case of a power outage. I printed out all workout plans on training peaks in case of no internet, and then of course, had to do a little shopping on line. K-swiss is offering a fantastic deal to Ben Collins supporters (THANK YOU BEN, we saved $73 and as my friend Karissa above says "you have to spend $ to save $). I had some fun designing custom K-swiss sneakers with the NEW team colors for tnmultisports (website to be launched in January). Mark gets himself a pair for Christmas too:)
Here is to you and tonight and hoping that the big bad wolf doesn't not come blow our house down.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thunder Snow Storm in Seattle

(5am, West Seattle, awoke to cancel computrainer)

(11am, just a bit brighter with a lot more snow)

I woke up this morning to the sound of a snow storm. Does that really happen? And does it really happen in Seattle? West Seattle has been a crazy mess today....but it is officially 4pm, I am still in my pj's and am enjoying continuing to watch the snow fall. I did get dressed for a short time to get coffee before Mark ventured in to Road Runner Sports.

(My Snow Feet- 7 inches!)

(squinting to miss the flakes in the eyes, no makeup, hair in beanie, lookin' good!)

(Left hand egg nog latte, right hand blackberry, his ears are warm, what more could this boy want?!)

(our street/sidewalk)

When it snows in Seattle you see everything. People were on their bikes on the sidewalks like the above. Now maybe I am not dedicated, or maybe I could consider myself smart,but seriously. The bike trainer will at least keep my skull together.
Then lots of kids were out on their sleds, parent towing them along. We stopped by Bartells and they were selling their last two sled discs- to adults...we should have gotten there

It is cozy here in the condo with the heat, the warm foods and the beautiful snow, it makes working out challenging, as we rarely get to enjoy such a sight. The crisp air makes the down comforter that much more enjoyable. However, we are off, to the pool, here we come!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12K events

This was a weekend of festivities! We had two 12K 's event. One was a race, the 12K's of Kirkland on Sunday , the other a pub run on Saturday. Now we (Mark and I) thought long and hard on this one. We wanted to hang out with our friends whom somehow always have the evites to these events (Rebecca and Jason-whom have thee most hilarious blot posts I have EVER read) and engage in the holiday hoopla, however, we also are on track for 2009 and wanted to have solid race on Sunday. We put our heads together and pre determined we would do 3 of the 12 pubs and then head home. Sounded perfect- being that the event started at 6pm, we would be home by 8, in bed by 9, blah blah! Somehow the pub event became a race. With over 150 people in tow we did not want to wait in line. And as athletes, everything has to be done before everyone else, the goal was to get the drink (for me water) as quickly as possible and be off to the next destination. When you are only spending 15 min at each place before you knew it we were on numbers 5, then 6, then 7, and 8, then food....okay, so we were home at 1030. To add to the fun it was snowing, not just the little Seattle sprinkle, but REALLY snowing. It was beautiful.

(Jason and Mark)

(Rebecca and I)

It was favorable that Saturday night was a race because when we arrived in Kirkland for the real "race" of the weekend, it had been canceled. I have been to races where portions of the event were nixed, but literally canceled. So we figured heck, we came for a run, so we will run. It was icy. The RD made a perfect decision. We nearly wiped out a few times, but we had fun, we joined up with some other friends and got in our 7 mile adventure. It was one of those workouts you will always remember. We were crazy to do such a thing, but we are now stronger because of it! We battled the streets, the wind, the cold chills, the silliness and came out on top. Sometimes just showing up is winning so we officially decided today that we WON! Yes, overall! We did it! We showed up, we conquered, we crossed our own finish line.

(Mark, Natalie and I- #1)

Friday, December 12, 2008

lieto and training

I have been feeling stronger than ever and really enjoying training. Pain free, colitis symptom free, I had forgotten how good it feels to train. Not to mention run, I mean REALLY run! It has been almost a year. I have found such a new love for running that Mark continually is telling me to hold up, "pull in the reigns". It is still early. So I jump on the bike! I have everything I need for indoor training from the Garmin 405 (you can get one at Road Runner Sports) heart rate monitor, television, computer in sight, and a cat! Sienna and I are working hard. It amazes me how much she whines when I am doing an interval because she can not sit on the aerobars. She loves to give kisses too. Here she is being interrupted for a photo op. Gotta love her "The world's neediest cat".

The week has been busy with events nearly every night. Last night Chris Lieto spoke alongside with Peter Schmidt at Inewmed (my favorite place in all of Seattle). It was great hearing his insights on racing, nutrition, Base Performance, and the love for his family. Facebook you can see the video of his son running his first 5K, literally zooming past the adults. AMAZING! I have been using the Base Recovery, Amino Acids and Base Water for nearly a year now and it has really helped. I notice the biggest difference with the recovery pills. Basically when you stop taking them is when your REALLY recognize how sore you are from trianing. The recovery pills have helped me get ready for the next workout on the schedule. I am excited to try the salts.

Thanks for the great presentation and thanks for everyone that came, I really enjoyed talking with you!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

0.416 meals a month.

I cook about 5 times a year, so if I do my math correctly that is about 0.416 times a month I tear up the kitchen. Nothin' tastes much better than a good 'ole chicken pot pie! Of course this only lasted us two meals!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Road Runner Sports, Gracies Gear and the Seattle Half Marathon

The holidays sure fly by around here with the Seattle Marathon falling every year the weekend post-thanksgiving.
I got to work all weekend at the expo with Road Runner Sports and Gracies Gear. What an event. Busy, busy, busy. Road Runner sports brings in boxes of shoes from the warehouse in San Diego. So many boxes we could not even unload them all before the start of the two day expo. The shoes sell for $50. It is a steal!!!

This year Road Runner Sports teamed up with Gracies Gear (Tracy's best friend too) to do a highlight on her amazing product that we hope will be carried in the RRS shops throughout the nation in 2009. Her line is unique and smart! We can all relate to shoving things (keys, gu, ipods) down our sport tops while working out, only to later have chaffing, or dead ipods. Gracie designs her clothing to have a pocket right on the center chest, the pockets hold the item in close it won't bounce around, there are typically three pockets within the one, it is a small zipper pouch, there is a small hole for your earphones and then on the shoulder another location to run the ear phones through so they are not bouncing around. It's just AMAZING! Check out these two beauties below...they are waiting for you to call or to offer you up some nuun . Did I mention the great colors too!

After this two day event expo is the 5am wake up call for the Seattle half marathon. We stayed the night at the Westin, 24th floor and could barely get down that morning due to all the racers.

10 minutes after the start runners were still arriving at the start line. The weather was the best it had been in years.

Here are Jeff, Mark, and Connie, pre strip down. I was honored to carry their luggage in my blue seventy back pack.

Post race I was shocked to find barely any of my friends/athletes that were racing...but I got a hold of a few of them.

Betsy, Chuck, Natalie
Congrats to everyone who raced!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Rocket, Turkey, Shark, Stuff...

Yes, Thanksgiving was long ago, but the events fly by this time of year, so just when you thought you had read everyone's thanksgiving post, you still have one more!

We had our fantastic friends Jill and Wayne's invite us over for our pre-Thanksgiving day festivities. They know how to cook, cater, and do everything in style, unlike our frequent bean and cheese burrito meals on the couch with a side of hot sauce. And of course there is always additional entertainment with our team mascot "Rocket". Sorry we extended our "quick casual meal, to well past 11pm". Rocket was ready for bed hours before we were ready to leave. But hanging out with your friends and family is what it is about and we really soaked it up. Thanks Wayne and Jill.

The next morning was filled with excitement for me, as day two of my new meds started. I ran 6 whole miles with no symptoms....AMAZING! That is what if feels like to be on the path to health. I finally enjoyed running for the first time in AGES. So on Thanksgiving I say "thanks" and appreciate that I am getting healthy. Although a long road, and many adventures ahead. I am able to get up and do the things I love to do!

Then we were off to the Webb home. I will not even start about how I cooked nada, zip, ziltch, ...but believe me, I did everyone a favor! Maybe next year I can work on my cooking skills, but as long as there is an ironman in the future...honesty tells me this will not be happening!

Mark's sister in-law made this creative, edible, centerpiece. Try to guess the makings. There are 6 food ingredients. And no guessing from the Webb family.

And the sharks tooth! Zack (Mark's nephew) has a few surgeries since our return from Kona, but we knew he would be strong and healthy following them. This shark tooth is a sign of his strength, and we were finally able to give it to him.

Since it takes longer to go home (up to 6 hours on a trip that normally takes 1.5 hours) than it does to fly around the world on Thanksgiving, my mom and I decided to do some shopping on Black Friday. Not sure about other cities, but in Seattle I have never quite seen this kind of picket line:

"Buy More Stuff".....

So our thanksgiving truly was a time of celebrating health, friends and family.