What To Expect At The Texas State Fair!

17 Oct

I never realized that the Texas State Fair was such a BIG thing. I started to tell people I was going to Texas and the fair. The reaction was always the same. Oh wow! It is BIG! It is crazy! Take lots of pictures!!

We went! We saw! We ate! Go BIG or Go HOME in Texas!

We arrived at about 2. It is so big you have to take a shuttle from the parking lots.
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This is how I would break up the fair. 60% food; 30% midway/gamesrides; 5% animals; 5% miscellaneous. SO MUCH FOOD! It would be interesting to see how it really is broken up.

Food!! Most of our coupons went to food!!

Fried stuff:
IMG_2795[1]I love fried pickles. unfortunately these weren’t great!

Dessert:
IMG_2797[1]Connor could be my child! We split a fried Reece’s & cream and a nutty buddy bar. (We did share with everyone) :)

IMG_2775[1]Fried Oreos. Definitely interesting. The Oreo is very soft.

IMG_2756[1]Turkey legs. Literally a turkey leg. People were just carrying them around like they were an ice cream cone!

Midway!!
The boys went on a few rides. The rides are expensive. The girls were too cheap to do any rides! I was almost sad about it!

Connor made a friend!

Connor made a friend!

We think Connor liked the rides more than Lucas!

We think Connor liked the rides more than Lucas!

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Animals!!
Big presence of bacon around the fair!! OMG! This pig is 1237 pounds. He eats 20 lbs a day. (His favorites are oats and corn!)
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Miscellaneous!!
The Cotton Bowl stadium is right in the middle of fair park. We missed the big Oklahoma vs. Texas game the day before!
IMG_2753[1]They had an almost expo like area of all LOCAL Texas products. I thought that was real neat since I am super into shopping local. They had a ton of samples too!

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We found Big Tex!!
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This is what happens when you spend the day at the fair!!
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I am pretty sure I don’t need to go to another fair for a really long time!

Have you been to the Texas Fair? What is your favorite part of a fair??

The Big D

14 Oct

I have a friend (Ashley but we call her Matchin) who lives in a Dallas ‘burb. The same friend who I have visited in San Antonio before. (She moved this year). I also have a friend in DC (Mandi) and a friend in Phoenix (Abbey) and we all try to get together every year or two.

The plan was to meet in Dallas and then head to the lake for the weekend. We all arrived safe on Thursday and checked out Grapevine. On Friday we headed to Lake Texoma.

Road trippin'

Road trippin’

We had a wonderful weekend full of food, laughs, and fun. We hit up the grocery store on the way and bought lots of food and drinks.

It was super nice when we got there so we took the kayaks and SUP out on the lake. It was windy and choppy. I got up on the SUP pretty good. I got down on my knees a few times to navigate the swells. (Also the paddle was too short for me which made it a little more difficult) :)
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Matchin!

Matchin!

Abbey!

Abbey!

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Our afternoon snacks:
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We had lots of food. We grilled veggies, portobello mushrooms, chicken and tofu the first night.

We let Mandi and Abbey have rein over the kitchen. As much as I like to cook it is easier to let them do the cooking then all of us being in the kitchen! Matchin and I were on clean up duty.
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The second night Abbey made Eggplant Parm and Mandi made a caprese salad. Delicious!

I co-made the fire each night and was resident s’more maker.
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The second day was much much colder than the first so there was no water activities. We did check out the nature preserve and went on a 4 mile hike. Which was a nice way to break up the day.
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We headed back toward Dallas on Sunday, picked up the boys (Matchin’s hubs & kiddos), and headed to the Texas State Fair. (I am doing a separate post on that) but since I arrived Connor had been wanting to bake cookies. (I made cookies with him last summer.) After eating our weight in fried foods at the fair we went home and made cookies.

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Another fun trip to the south!!

Tales Of My Commute #7

7 Oct

I don’t know if you remember but in June I posted about my regular commute route starting construction. I went a couple different ways to work. Any other way sucks other than the way I go. After doing some investigation I realized Barbur would only be shut down “full” time for a couple of weekends. Other than that a couple of lanes would be closed at a time. But traffic could still go through.

So all summer I was biking through a construction zone. They were just working on re-enforcing the bridges. I made you a diagram!
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This is obviously not to scale. My route is a little over 3 miles to or from work. I would say half of it is on Barbur. (My paint shop skills need some work!) :)

I will have to say it was pretty nice because even when one of the lanes was closed, they let the cyclists go through if they were not working in that area. Which is what was happening for the most part. (THINK: when you go through a construction zone everything is blocked off and you wonder what they are actually working on!!)

Fast forward to this week. They are just about done and they paved the bridges!! Hal-le-lu-jah !! It is like riding on glass. It is so smooth. I rode on it yesterday and today going to work uphill. It was pretty good but it was way better when I headed home tonight going downhill in the dark. (I go a different way on Monday nights) It was like I was on a cloud!

Speaking of: is it a full moon tonight?!!
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No wonder it was such a shitty day at work! But an awesome night to be on my bike! It seemed so bright! The temperature was PERFECT! Life is good!

PATIENCE!

5 Oct

I watched the sunrise yesterday morning. It all started at 5:55am and ended right around 9:30. Yes!! 3.5 hours of running. Mostly on my own with the help of some Oiselle Flock to help me out at the end. Let me explain.

The view from the Sellwood bridge to the P-town skyline.
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You probably remember how excited I was to meet Chloe and Becky for a run last week. Even more excited to have someone to run with for my 20 miler!! Ha!

It happened. The text came Friday morning: Chloe was cancelling. I was on the verge of tears. I knew it was too good to be true. I could not decide if I was more pissed or sad. I had changed around my plans to make this run date happen. If she would have told me a day or 2 in advance I could have gone with my original plan of running on Thursday or Friday(like usual). But I had a great tempo run with Becky on Thursday and I could not discount that.

I decided I could probably use the mental confidence anyway. I was going to put my big girl panties on and run 17 miles alone (1/2 in the dark) and meet up with the Oiselle gals for the last 3. Yes that is why I was out and running at 5:55 in the morning.

I was positive and confident I could get this done. I had a big dinner. I had slept well this week. My schedule said I had to run well-under my race pace. I have a hard time with that because I already run really slow that I don’t want to run even slower but it worked! I am finding it more and more reasonable to be PATIENT when I am running a long run. I am trying to teach my body and mind to run slow at first so I can speed up later. IT IS WORKING!!! Who knew I could have even a little bit of patience! My first 3 miles were sllloooowwwww! I can do this. I can run even slower than slow! I actually loved being in the dark. The air was crisp and perfect temperature. I was “running” happy. I took in my Gu and Nuun. At all the right times.

I headed back home at 10.5 miles to drop all of my reflective gear and grab another water bottle. I did not think that I would be able to get to the flock meet up in time because I was running “slow” and I had started 10 minutes later than I wanted to.

I definitely sped up those 6.5 miles and actual made the meet-up only a couple of minutes late. :)

The meet up was for a “shake out” run for the gals that were running the marathon. These bitches “shake-out” pace is way faster than my tempo pace! HELLO!! I thought WTF I will try for a fast finish and see what happens!
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My last 3 miles: 9:28, 9:51, 9:33 and the last .33 were at a 9:13 pace. I really did feel amazing at the end and could definitely have gone longer! I am definitely beginning to BELIEVE THAT PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!

I am trying to coax Bird Legs into running with me in New York. It is so much “funner” to have someone to run with. She likes to start out too fast and I am going to try and hold her back. :)

I am really going to try and focus on going really slow and having patience in New York. It is going to be very difficult because we are in a faster corral than we should be in and the spectators and cheering and everything else going on!! Patience will be the name of the game!

#28daycountown

How do you survive a long run?!

Crater Lake: Ride Around The Rim!

30 Sep

Crater Lake could possibly be one of my favorite places in Oregon. I have been a few times. I haven’t been in about 7 years. It is sort of a trek to get there from Portland. I am astonished with how many people I talk to who have never been. It blows my mind!!

One of my 2013 Goals was to ride the rim. It never happened but when I heard they were doing 2 non-vehicle days in September. I quickly asked Erica if her and Nik would be interested in going down and riding. We planned for it. Here it is September!! (Dan was supposed to go but he hurt his back and decided against it) :(

Last week the forecast was seriously crap-ola for Saturday’s big ride. We almost bagged it but decided to go even if the weather was indeed going to be bad! The weather gods were with us and it was going to be cold/sunny/cloudy! That certainly beats the rain!

We arrived last Friday night. We stayed in Mazama Village. (3 miles South of the rim) Stayed in the cabins. They were perfect! Definitely cheaper than the lodge. We got up Saturday morning to a “crisp” 37 degrees. Holy smokes it was cold. We decided to go have breakfast and let it “warm-up” a bit before we started our adventure!! We were in no real hurry so we took our time getting ready.

At noon we opted to just ride to the rim, instead of driving the 3 miles and parking, it worked out perfect.

We were off.
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The climbing began immediately. It was gradual until we actually got to the rim. Once we hit the rim it was 4 miles of switchbacks to get us to our first look of the lake. Everything that I read about riding the rim was to start at the visitors center(right at the junction of the west/east rim) and ride clockwise.

We made it. Rim Village. It was Erica and Nik’s first time to the lake so it was that much more special!!
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The entire East rim (24 miles) was closed down to ONLY CYCLISTS. What a treat. It was so great to just ride in the middle of the road and not have to watch for cars!
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Discovery Point.
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Grouse Hill/Steel Bay Overlook.
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Grotto Cove.
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Don't we look cute without our helmets and sunglasses?

Don’t we look cute without our helmets and sunglasses?

Phantom Ship Overlook
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What.A.Ride!! Absolutely gorgeous. We had so much fun!! This ride really is no joke but it was definitely do-able. We saw lots of people on mountain bikes and hybrids. The lake is at 6000 ft elevation. That already makes it difficult. To make it even more difficult, we climbed 4300 feet in 40 miles. We knew it would be hard. We stopped a bunch of times(obviously) and had lots of snacks(which we didn’t really eat because we had such a big breakfast)!!

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Would I do it again? Probably not. It is a long drive to get there and it was more of a bucket list item. Would I recommend it? Absolutely YES!

Have you been to Crater Lake? What is your favorite National Park?

Training This Week!

25 Sep

Well another long run in the books this morning. I wanted to tell you a few things before I get into the run. I typically take Thursday as my rest day and my long run on Friday. (Because of the sufferfest Crater Lake ride on Saturday I decided to run long today and take tomorrow as my rest day. I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea or not. I was very nervous for multiple reasons!

Nervous:
Obviously because I didn’t have a good long run last week!
I had a strength work out yesterday morning. I was happy that we only did a few low body exercises. It was mostly upper body.
I did a longer shake out run then I wanted to with Becky and Chloe yesterday! (more on that in a minute)

Excited:
To try again
I had just gotten a new Oiselle tank that I wanted to wear.
I had just gotten a shipment from Gu with root beer and caramel macchiato. I wanted to try them out.

Here was my instructions:
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I do not know what my corral is but I will likely be in the 2nd or 3rd corral(there is only 4). I was planning on leaving at about 10 but I was up early on a whim and did not want to sit around all morning. I opted at leaving right about 9. It was cloudy and cool. I was positive and confident.

I had decided on 2 x 9 mile loops. So I could stop at home to do a water bottle change and grab more Gu. I changed up the direction on the 2nd loop. I wanted to target 10:30-10:40 pace on the first loop. Target 10:20-10:30 pace on the 2nd loop. I also wanted to negative split. I have been working on negative splitting my long runs. I really want to make a solid effort at having a faster second half than the first half of the race! Hello…what a concept! Everyone keeps saying practice on the bridges. I am sure that the bridges here in P-Town are not like the bridges in NYC but I can still practice. I was going over 2 bridges with a good incline. (2x)

My first loop went really well. I really tried to hold the reins on my pace. Patience. Patience. Patience. I felt amazing at mile 7 and if you recall from last week I wanted to quit. BAD!! Miles 8 and 9 were a little faster than I wanted it to be but I thought what the hell! I did my water bottle change and thought here we go.

The sun showed its face just as I was starting. Miles 10 and 11 were a little slower than I would have liked. I am not sure why. I felt almost like I had low blood sugar. It was really weird I thought I would keep going for a bit and see what happens. I got back over to the eastside and really forgot about it. It was probably the headwind that I was now facing. Then promptly had a much faster split so maybe it was just my watch. (I did feel like it was faster and wanted to not speed up until I got back to the westside (a little over 15 miles).

I sped up a little more after crossing the 4th bridge. I can’t say that I was still feeling amazing but decent. It was warm with the sun out. I finished really strong and happy to report that I averaged 10:24s with a 75(ish) second negative split.

The rest of my training was good this week too. I think that last weeks 16 miler was just a fluke. I do think that my dinner was part of it. I always eat pizza(homemade) before a long run and last week I had pasta. #fail

I met up with Becky and Chloe from the Oiselle Flock on Wednesday night. We did a 6 mile easy run. Chloe is also doing NYC marathon and Becky did it last year. We got a bunch of tips and had a fun run. I do almost all of my running on my own with the exception of Dan joining me once in a while. It was nice to meet up with the girls. Plus Chloe and I are similar pace and are going to do our 20 mile run together next weekend! #holla
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I also have to admit that I cheated. I got a well deserved Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwich. It was delicious and well worth the cheat!
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Anyone else do their long run during the week?!

5 For Friday!!

19 Sep

1. Well I spoke to soon when I was talking about my long runs yesterday. I went out for 16 this morning and it was hard right from the beginning. I am still not sure what happened. I did not get out there until 8:30ish. It was “hot.” The sun was out and it felt blazing. My tank was soaked within miles. I am not sure if I wasn’t fueled up enough. If I needed more salt. I didn’t feel tired. I had to give myself multiple pep talks. I wanted to quit at about 7. I was a mile from home and thought I could sub this run for the run I was doing on Sunday. I kept trucking up the hill.

The run was hilly and hard. I kept thinking I am just going to turn around and go do some flat. I kept going. Just get to the top of the hill. Get to the water fountain. One more mile to the top of the next hill. Get to the next water fountain. I just kept telling myself I could do this. I finally got off the hills. I was almost home at mile 12.3. I thought well I can go home and get some more fluid with calories(my Nuun and Gus were not cutting it) or just keep going. I was afraid if I went home I wouldn’t leave.

I kept trucking on. I was going to the east side to catch some shade. It was hard and miserable but it was flat. Something was off and I am still not sure what. Was I dehydrated? I did all the same fueling as I usually do. The run wasn’t any harder than the last time I went out for 16. Dang it. I finished and it was not pretty but I never gave up. I just have to put it aside and focus on the next run!! :)

2. NUUN!! If you buy some Nuun this weekend you get a free cowbell!
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Use the coupon code: nuunbassadorfriend for 20% one purchase.

3. I finished Year Of No Sugar. It was so good. I totally recommend it. It was a fast read too.
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Eve and her family of 4 gave up sugar for one year. Sugar was defined as added sugar. Fructose to be exact but they could eat fruit which has natural fructose in it. They set a couple of rules at the beginning. The whole book was different stories on how they handled it throughout the year. She just wants to bring awareness to the sugar epidemic. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. It is totally true. If you don’t look at the ingredients of the food you buy you should. There are so many different sugars. Sometimes I think the manufacturer wants to trick you. THE MORAL OF THE STORY: to eat whole foods and make things from scratch!

4. I scored a spot on the Oiselle Flock.
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I am super excited. I love Oiselle and what they stand for.

5. Speaking of scores: I also scored an opportunity to run The Nike Women’s 1/2 marathon in San Francisco in October. I really wanted to do the race but decided that I should not. Then I got the opp and thought what the hell!
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They changed this course this year. Should be interesting. But it will be nice to run some different areas!!
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What are you MOST EXCITED about this FALL??!!

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