Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Trail Spotting

Yesterday I busted out my long run for the week, after a looonnnggg day at work...I'm so proud of myself.  That and the fact that I announced I would be running 9 miles on this blog provided about 75% of the motivation I needed to get out the door.  I headed out on the Burke Gilman trail right behind my place for a 4.5 mile out and back.  I've put in a LOT of miles on the BG trail, especially during marathon training, but the people watching last night was some of the weirdest I've ever seen.

Along with the approximately 1,000+ bikers commuting on the bike superhighway I saw the following:

1. Cross country skate man:

This guy obviously doesn't let the fact that it's not winter get in the way of his cross country skiing.  He was wearing these crazy looking skates, that sort of look like the above, complete with poles to move him along.  It actually looked like a pretty good workout and I saw him again on my way back...made me smile each time.

2. Big man on a little scooter:
like THIS little
And when I say I saw a big man I mean like biggest muscle man you can imagine big.  He was scooting by in this teeny tiny scooter all while wearing a very right wrestling singlet...seriously!  I tried google searching "muscle man in singlet" but this blog isn't rated R :).

3. SUPER scary hooded man:
it was actually about 100x more scarier than this
Then there was this dude wearing a red full face hooded mask thing.  It didn't really look like the above but more like a red KKK hood.  He was wearing totally normal clothes otherwise and after the shooting rampage in Seattle yesterday I was actually pretty scared....I'm pretty sure I upped my pace to about a 7:00 mile to pass him.

Question: What is the weirdest/scariest thing you have ever seen on a run?  

Monday, May 28, 2012

We've Got the Right Stuff...Baby #NUUNKOTB

If you don't follow breaking Nuun relay news on twitter...just this in:

Follow me!
and then Ragnar re-tweeted me, my head is going to explode with how important I feel right now
After tossing around a ton of relay team names, all incorporating Nuun of course, we decided on NUUN Kids on the Block.  #NUUNKOTB

My fellow Nuun teammate/vanmate Holly made the above graphic and I probably laughed out loud for approximately 15 minutes after seeing it.  PURE GENIUS!

I'm fairly certain there isn't a 20 or 30 something female out there who wasn't obsessed with New Kids on the Block growing up.  Personally, I favored Joey and had his poster in my room and NKOTB sheets on my bed.  I had all the tapes and even a concert VHS...what I wouldn't give to have kept all that goodness and not tossed it years ago.

I'll probably have about a MILLION more posts about this epic adventure so I won't bore you with all my ideas using NKOTB lyrics on our van...yet...

But let's talk about a training "plan" for my upcoming races shall we.  I use the word "plan" loosely because I don't really intend on following anything to a "T" but I have some goals for the months leading up to my races and I might as well share them so I actually do them.  This will be my fourth year running Rock and Roll Seattle and then Ragnar the next month.  Each year I train for the half marathon and then just ride that training to's worked pretty well.  BUT since I'm a super serious "sponsored" athlete now ;) I'll attempt to step up my game a bit. So for the next 8 weeks leading up to both races I will:
  1. Run at least 3 times a week
  2. Incorporate one run 6 miles or longer each week 
  3. Incorporate one speed run or hill run each week
  4. Keep up strength training - this has become an important part of my exercise routine over the past months and I intend to keep it up, even if that means sacrificing some running days for weight days.
new running shoes to kick off official training :)
So, with that in mind here is my planny plan for this week:

Monday - Easy 6 miles
Tuesday - Push workout (Chest, Tris, Shoulders)
Wednesday - 9 mile run
Thursday - Pull workout (Back, Biceps) + sprint session on the treadmill
Friday - Leg weights
Saturday - REST, although I'll be doing none of that since I'll be working at a science festival all day
Sunday - Spin + Yoga or just Yoga depending on how Saturday goes

Question: Do any of you do mid-week looonnngg runs?  Sometimes I struggle with fueling myself during the day and actually staying motivated to run that long after work.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Five Things Friday: Instagram Me!

This was supposed to be my semi-usual Three Things Thursday but life got in the way and now you get five things instead of are lucky!

I know I'm about million years behind the Instagram trend but I finally hopped on the train and it's a lot of fun!  To my credit I don't own an iPhone (the horror I know!) so I had to wait for an Android version...excuses excuses.  I've always complained how the camera on my phone kind of sucks and Instagram is the perfect way to make my pictures look not so sucky...thanks filters!  SIDENOTE: Why isn't Instagram in the dictionary yet?  My spell checker does not like it one bit!

Enough rambling, here are three things I've done in the past week captured on Instagram!

1. Pretty lights! 

After all the Girls on the Run craziness on Saturday I met some fun gal pals out for an earlyish dinner in Ballard.  We started at the Sexton with drinks and sweet potato fries.  If you live in Seattle, go to the Sexton...great drinks, yummy food, cool and casual atmosphere.  I need to go back and try the Sexton Mac, looks amazing.

2. Go Mariners!

No big deal, I'm in the dugout at Safeco Field.  I got the opportunity to help out with Weather Education Day before a Mariners day game and we got do a little presentation right on the field to over 4000 students. It was pretty awesome and the players came out on the field to warm up as we were finishing  When did I get so old and the professional baseball players get so young?  I felt slightly cougarish starring at them ;).

3. I'm Picky!

Picky for Picky Bars that is.  This awesome bar is so delicious and pretty much meets all my bar requirements.  No nuts or peanuts, no added sugar, around 7 grams of protein and under 200 calories.  Plus they were created by superstar runner Lauren Fleshman and other awesome ladies.  I joined their club so I'll get a monthly shipment of deliciousness delivered right to my door.  Go buy a three pack and try them today!
for real, the shirt smells amazing!
4. Nuun Goodies!
Nuun actually gave me another water bottle and a 4th tube of the good stuff but it was in my purse and at work 10 seconds after I opened the package, you never know when a dehydration emergency might strike!
The day after I received my package from Picky Bars I got a UPS delivery from Nuun.  They claim it was a consolation prize for not getting picked for Hood to Coast but of course that is so unnecessary since I'm running Ragnar with them...but I'll take the gift anyways ;).  I'll be sharing the love soon with a Nuun giveaway so stay tuned!

5. This is How We Walk!

This is pretty much my view on every Stacey walk or run.  She stretches out as far as possible in front of me, ears back and on a mission.  I'm not sure what that mission is but I know it has something to do with sniffing and eating grass, catching the scent of a squirrel, or possibly maintaining her physical fitness.

In running/exercise news, I know I've been slacking big time on making goals/plans and putting them out here for all to enjoy and I intend on getting back to that really soon because I need the motivation from you all and the accountability posting it online gives me.  Plus I just realized only ONE month until the Rock and Roll Seattle half marathon and TWO months until Ragnar with NUUN!

Question: Do you Instagram? Do you have a favorite image filter?  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Girls on the Run Spring 5K - AKA Best Saturday Ever!

WOW, what a whirlwind Saturday was.  I'm not even sure I can do this post justice since I can barely remember what happened between the hours of 5AM and 1PM but I'll do my best.  The spring Girls on the run 5K was at Seward Park in Seattle.  This 5K is the culmination of a 10 week after school program for elementary school girls.  If you have never heard of GOTR go check it out right now!

After getting somewhat involved in the organization by being a running buddy for one 5K and then volunteering to help with course setup last December I knew I wanted to take on a larger role with this amazing non profit. I got the chance this year after being asked to be the course lead on the 5K committee.   And just an FYI, GOTR Puget Sound literally has only THREE paid employees, ALL the rest are volunteers.  ALL the coaches, running buddies, 5K committee, auction committee, etc are awesome!
The rockstar 5K committee with superstar GOTR staff member Becky!
The day started with a 5AM alarm clock wakeup and I was on my way to Seward Park.  We got straight to work unloading a u-haul packed with tables, tents, a stage, cones, and much much more.  How they managed to pack an entire 5K into a small u-haul is still a huge mystery to me but it all fit!
Park before the festival was set up!

The festival in action!
My awesome friend Lindsey showed up right at 6 to run the 5K loop and mark the miles for me which was a serious weight off my back and prevented me from taking the time to do it the night before...thanks EY!!

She took her job very seriously and wrote the LARGEST mile numbers in chalk on the course!
A couple other volunteers arrived by 6:30 and we were off and setting up.  The finish line chute was constructed and I left EY and another good friend, Carol, to the decorating. They did an awesome job!

The course was all setup before 8:00 which gave me time to actually have a bite to eat and some coffee before my cheerleading volunteers arrived.  I got the chance to meet Becky from RunFunDone who is also my fellow Nuun Ragner runner.  And we later found out Dawn from Running at Dawn was a coach and we didn't even know it until after the race :(.  Becky took about a million amazing photos. She captured what this race is all about perfectly and recapped it beautifully on her own blog...CHECK IT OUT.

And because I didn't already need another reason to be convinced Nuun was AWESOME they came out to support GOTR too!

pic from RunFunDone
As soon as 9:00 rolled around some of my cheerleaders started showing up so I gave instructions, handed out maps, thanked them over and over again and got them out on the course to do their thang.  An actual cheerleading team showed up as well and I split them up to cheer on the girls where there wouldn't be other cheerleaders.

Next up, the balloon arch...the ONLY thing that almost went terribly wrong that day.  It wasn't constructed properly so the second we tried to move it, it started coming apart.  We raced to get it back together, added more balloons and drove it (VERY SLOWLY) to the start we just have to get it back to the finish...
How gorgeous is this start line!?
Before you know it, its 10AM and the race STARTS!  Of course the second we tried to move the balloon arch it started coming apart again but we made it back to the finish and were literally holding it up with our arms as the first runners finished.  After a quick round of duck tape it was in place for the rest of the runners.  We cursed the balloon arch many times that morning but the girls really loved running through it #totallyworthit.

Becky took some seriously awesome photos and I get teary eyed just looking through all of them.  These are just a few of my favorites from the post proud do these girls look!??

I had some time to actually breathe after the race was underway and once I got the ok that all runners were past a certain point in the course we went back out to clean it all up.  Cleaning up took no time and popping all the balloons in the arch was definitely very therapeutic after battling with it all morning.

It truly was an awesome and inspirational day!  Seeing all the girls completed their goal and the 100's of volunteers helping is what makes Girls on the Run such an amazing organization.  As we sat around eating pizza before loading up the u-haul we discussed the fall 5K and everyone on the committee agreed...we all can't wait to do all over again :).

I know a lot of you expressed interest in getting involved for the next 5K, so mark your calendars...the fall 5K is usually the first Saturday in December.  But before then there is going to be a couple of other opportunities to help this awesome organization:

1. Come to Fleet Feet this Thursday from 7:00-8:30 for a special ladies night benefiting Girls on the Run Puget Sound.  I'll be there and would love to meet anyone who comes.

2. There is a 10K race that will help benefit GOTR in August.  I will get the details soon, but I think it would be a fun blogger meetup!

QUESTION: Who raced this past weekend?  How did you do?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trader Joe's Quinoa Curry with Shrimp

I don't need to remind you all of my obsession with Trader Joe's do I?  Well recently my good friend and partner in Vancouver crime, Sonia, introduced me to a delicious combination using all things Trader Joe's.  The great thing about this recipe if you can modify the crap out of it according to your tastes.  You really just need four things: a grain, bottle of curry sauce, a protein, veggies.

Trader Joe's Quinoa Curry with Shrimp


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 bottle Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce
  • 1 bag frozen cooked Trader Joe's Shrimp
  • Veggies of your choosing - I had bell pepper, broccolini, shallots and some kale
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil


  • Cook that quinoa according to the package - make sure to rinse it with cold water first!
  • Chop those veggies
  • Heat olive oil in skillet and begin sauteing veggies
  • When veggies are soft add frozen shrimp and half the bottle of curry sauce
  • When the quinoa is done add the other half of the bottle of curry sauce and stir
  • Serve it up and eat it already!

My quinoa came out a tad runny so I would probably use less water than the box called for next time but it was still super delicious, super easy and super nutritious! 

The possibilities are endless with this dish just remember the four staple ingredients:
  1. Pick a grain - The first time I made this I was super lazy and just heated up two bags of Trader Joe's instant brown rice. Doing the paleo thing? Cauliflower rice could work!
  2. Thai Red Curry Sauce - I imagine you could use another curry sauce with this but that would just be cheating on TJ's and I don't know why you would do that!
  3. Protein - chicken would be delicious too or even tofu if you are a vegetarian
  4. Veggies - literally just throw in whatever veggies are in your fridge, you can't go wrong
Question: Have you made anything new to you lately and now you are obsessed with it like I am with this recipe?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Plea for Help - Girls on the Run 5K!

I interrupt regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this important plea for help!
We need volunteers for the Girls on the Run 5K THIS Saturday, May 19.  I talked a lot about the organization and how you can get involved here, so read up and see if this is something you would like to get involved with...believe me, you will!

We still have 19 volunteer spots to fill!  Go to the volunteerspot website and put in your email address to see the positions available. NOTE: After you click on the May 19 date on the calendar it appears to take a while for the whole list to be seen so wait a minute and then scroll down.  The last spot on the list is U-Haul.

If you want to put on your Team Sparkle skirt and cheer on the girls as they run the 5K course sign up to be a Course Cheerleader from 9:15-11:30AM.  You get to hand out mile prizes to the girls and motivate them up the hills of Seward Park.  If you plan on sleeping in on Saturday come help us take all the stuff back to storage and sign up for U-Haul Caravan to Return Supplies.

I will be there all day setting up the course, putting cheerleaders in place and taking down the course.  Let me know if you sign up and I'd love to meet you!

I will be back later this week with a "real" blog post but in the meantime I'm just trying to soak up every once of sun Seattle has decided to throw our way!

Question: Who is singing up to help this weekend? :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Three Things Thursday - Vancouver Edition

So, you all know I was in Vancouver last weekend and had a BLAST, but what the heck did I do that I enjoyed so much.  Here is Three Things Thursday, Vancouver edition.

1. Capilano Suspension Bridge
We drove straight to this bridge from Seattle to get our "exercise" in for the day.  I honestly had no idea what this park was or how big it was but I was pretty disappointed at it's size, especially for the hefty $35 admission.  We joked the whole time about what things were worth and came up with about a $20 price tag for the whole thing.  We did really enjoy it and felt like we did something everyone who visits Vancouver should do.
After the bridge adventure we checked into the Empire Landmark Hotel which was the cheapest I could find for a marathon weekend.  While it was super old with popcorn ceilings and dated furniture it was really clean and look at this VIEW from our balcony!

it's always nice to travel with a photographer...thanks Kristina!
2. Granville Island
After lunch we walked to a water taxi that took us to the insanely adorable Granville Island.  Someone should have told us it was a GIANT farmers market before we ate lunch at a restaurant beforehand.  All the food looked incredibly fresh and people were walking around with fresh crawdads everywhere!

3. Gastown
A foodie (also the photographer) in our group did tons of research before we took this trip and found some amazing places to eat and drink the night away.  Most of them were centered in Gastown so away we went.  We started at Boneta for a cocktail.  The food looked amazing there but we didn't partake.
Group shot!
Next we walked pretty much next door to Salt.  It is a tasting room where you pair meats with cheeses and whatever you drink.  We left it up to the bartender to give us a tasting plate and not surprisingly everything was amazing.  I think this would such a fun idea for a dinner party sometime!

The Comte cheese with Quince paste was my favorite!
By recommendation from our bartender at Salt we made our way over to the Diamond Club. They are so secretive their website isn't even up and running.  We spend the majority of our evening here because after one drink the bartender escorted us into this super secret speakeasy in the back of the restaurant.  When I say super secret I mean like behind a black curtain and a locked door kind of secret...I'm sure I'll be hunted down and killed for just telling you all about it.  No pics allowed in there but we enjoyed a couple complimentary shots and the french bartender made the best drink I've ever idea what was in it!

I would say we took in most of what Vancouver had to offer in the 24 hours were there and I will definitely be back!

Question: What's everyone up to this weekend?  I'm taking the train to Portland for a concert and time with a good friend and it's going to be over 80!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Week I Ran a Marathon

Holy moly...3000 calories burned, no wonder I was a hungry beast all week!
You know literally the whole week it took me to run a marathon.  I can honestly say I don't know that I've ever run 5 days in a row before IN MY LIFE.  I'm not really a run every day kind of gal and even when I was marathon training I only capped out at 4 days a week.  So, running 5 days in a row was a big test for my tired legs, especially since my weekly mileage was pretty pathetic lately.

I would say it was a smashing success.  I had to squeeze some runs into pretty short time spans in order to accommodate my social life, but I proved that you can ALWAYS make time for running or any physical activity if you put your mind to it.

Monday - 8 miles - 1:15:00 - 9:24 pace
I would say I'm most proud of this run.  I don't normally have any motivation to run more than 6 miles after a long work day but I didn't have any plans for the evening so I had time.  I set out without any fuel or water and ended up being able to take advantage of a couple of park water fountains.

Tuesday - 4 miles - 38:00 - 9:35 pace
Took my pup on this run and it made me sad when half way through she was already lagging behind and forcing me to slow my roll.  She is almost 10 now and being a herding breed is used to being SUPER active.  Watching her get old is hard...why can't dogs live as long as people??
Approximately 5 seconds after we got home from the run
Wednesday - 6.2 miles - 57:00- 9:11 pace
I literally rushed home from training downtown cursing traffic the whole way, switched into my running clothes and hit the road.  I knew I had to get those .2 miles done sometime so I put them at the end of this run. After showering I hit up a Girls on the Run meeting - 5K is almost here, have you signed up to run or volunteer yet?

Thursday - 5.0 miles - 47:00 - 9:26 pace
I completed this run on the treadmill since it was POURING outside.  I may be hardcore about getting my miles in for the week but I'm a self proclaimed weather baby.  Luckily, I had Food Network Chopped to keep me company for the whole run.  I also realized after this run I only had 3 SHORT miles to 26.2.

Friday - 3.0 miles - 29:00 - 9:39 pace
This run was HARD.  It was at 5:45 in the morning so I'm sure that had something to do with it, but I struggled the whole time.  Also done on the gym treadmill I just told myself it would be over in no time and to just bust it out, which is exactly what I did.

And just like that BAM...26.2 done!  And the I rested and boy did I rest!  Mariner game, Vancouver trip with some awesome lady friends and watching other people run 13.1 or 26.2 miles at the Vancouver marathon.

Look what I did with Picasa! A collage of our Capilano Bridge visit.
Watching the tiny runners from our hotel balcony.
No workout plan for this week, I'm trying to come up with some sort of hybrid Rock and Roll half / Ragnar Relay plan to get on paper.  Since I'm now considered a serious runner after being asked by Nuun to run on their Ragnar team I need to make a plan and stick to it!

Question: What fun thing did you do this past weekend?

Friday, May 4, 2012

I'm a Pretty Big Deal

I received some very awesome, super exciting, I feel really important type of news this week.  While I was a little sad to not get chosen for the Nuun Hood to Coast team, Nuun decided they just couldn't let me down so...

Not just Nuun the company, but Nuun employees and a few other people including Stacie from Skipping in Seattle.  We may already be discussing costumes for the race...Nuun has no idea what they got themselves into ;).

To say I'm excited about this is a HUGE understatement.  This will be my fourth year running the Northwest Passage relay I can't wait to make more relay memories...this time with the backing of the ultimate hydration and awesomeness of Nuun.

If you so desire you can get a sneak peak at how exciting this is going to be by reading my 2011 Ragnar Relay race recaps...Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

I'm seriously going to get in the best running shape of my life so I kick some major AS$ during this relay, being selected for this team has lit a huge fire under my running butt and I'm going to ride this feeling as long as I can!

I feel like this x100 right now!
Okay, I need to stop now before my big head explodes!

Have a great weekend everyone and tell me something awesome that happened to you this week.