Kelly the Culinarian: April 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Training Tuesday: Tech Troubles, Trainer Tantrums

This has been an eventful week, don't you think? Big secrets were revealed, miles were traveled and many more miles were trained through. I've been fairly consistent with two training sessions per day five days per week. It takes a lot of laundry (have you entered my WIN Detergent giveaway yet?), coordination and planning, but I feel like I'm settling into Ironman training while still maintaining the miles to run the Vermont Marathon. Which is 26 days away. No pressure ....

Because I make questionable life decisions and was busy last week, I ended up running 30 miles in the span of 24 hours. It panned out better than I ever thought - 10 miles at 8:12 at Waterfall Glen, then 20 waterfront miles in Seattle the next day to make sure I got in one last massive run before Vermont. My pace said 8:37 and I experienced every possible climate. It poured for the first 5k, then the sun came out, then it rained again. I also skipped lunch and had a Luna fiber bar right before running instead ... then proceeded not to fuel at all besides water. On paper, this should have been a disaster. In real life, it was actually electrifying.
Until I looked at the GPS. Why are these miles so wonky?
I then proceeded to not train for three days. I needed the rest after all the running, and apartment shopping is strangely exhausting. Because we didn't rent a car and I will be car-less in Seattle, we walked an obscene amount and I was actually kind of sore when we got home. My MisFit Shine tells the tale:
Earning all that oatmeal stout
Monday started with a swim workout from the training book I'm only loosely following - my focus is PRing at the Vermont Marathon, so when time is short, I go for running every time. This is evidently a recovery workout in IMWI training, so no wonder this workout seemed easy.
So I'm supposed to read this AND follow the workouts inside?
The evening workout was another bike session with Alyssa. It's lovely to set up our bikes in my now-empty basement (yay moving decluttering), but if we have to sit in front of that television screen for another week, I might go batty. It did give me an opportunity to test out the fancy new bike shorts I acquired, which are excellent. With a tri bike, you can't really skimp and buy the cheap shorts. I bought them on clearance, so I didn't have a color choice, but I really need to stop buying tri apparel that matches my bathroom. It won't be my bathroom for much longer anyways, but apparently I LOVE pool blue ... all of my tri suits and now cycling apparel demonstrate.
What $5K of bikes look like in my basement

I need a blue intervention
Anyone else buy the same colors over and over again?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Starting the Day with a #MorningWin

Space Needle selfie
I have partnered with belVita and Dannon to help promote the belVita and Dannon partnership. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who's stopped by the blog and offered their support on my big announcement. I'm breaking up with Chicago and taking up with Seattle. It's going to be a hell of a ride, and I'm excited to share it and move forward.

Gimme the chocolate and caramel macchiato, always
Needless to say, time is of the essence these days. I spent all weekend in Seattle apartment hunting and we got back super late from picking up the furface from my sister's apartment. I updated the blog with my big news and proceeded to get ready for the week. I've already revealed the secrets of a perfectly packed gym bag, which is how I end every day to get ready for the next set of workouts. Nothing like coming back from vacation and getting back into the routine.

Breakfast = bike fuel
Except we haven't been grocery shopping in, oh, like two weeks. Unless I wanted to have Brownie Brittle for breakfast (not a terrible idea), I had to make other plans. I'm at a point in training that I'm doing at least one, but typically two, sessions per day. Skipping a meal is not an option, unless murderously hangry Kelly is an option. To keep things simple, I went Crunchy belVita Breakfast Biscuits and Dannon® Oikos® Greek Nonfat Yogurt. It's just more than 300 calories, which is enough to get me through the first workout of the day without feeling too full. It's something easy that I can throw in my bag in the morning on my way to the first session, which today happened to be a swim workout at the gym. It was a drill workout that felt easy at the time, but I bet I'll be sore later. I've been eating the belVita biscuits for a while now - there are four in each pack and last summer, I broke them up to snack on while cycling. The blueberry kind really hit the spot.
It really does take this much stuff ... I can't worry about food, too

I was pretty happy to get this sponsored post opportunity because I'm always looking for a way to streamline the morning. I never used to be a morning person and would routinely sleep forever on the weekends to try and catch up. Ironman training does not make that an option, so I'll take any help I can get. Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro, joined up on this initiative to offer her insights to an easier morning:
  • Do as much as you can the night before. Leave as little preparation as possible until the last minute.
  • Spend twenty minutes at the end of each day planning your to-do list. 
  • Start your morning with a delicious, balanced breakfast. Together, the nutritious steady energy of belVita and 12 grams of protein in Dannon Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt along with a piece of fruit will help you get more out of your morning.
How do you save time in the morning?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Secret

I suck at secrets. I write about my life on the Internet, so keeping stuff to myself is really hard. But I've been holding onto a big secret for an insufferably long time.

It started as a whisper a long time ago. Years in fact. Back in 2011 when I made a work trip to a new city and had a blast. The whisper was there - home was not just a place, it was a feeling you had to embrace.
Original Starbucks, 2011
As a new runner, I didn't go far in Seattle, but I enjoyed the mild climate and all the food, drinks and sights to see.
Pre-run selfie, 2011
Then last fall, my wanderlust was in high gear and the whisper got louder. The trip Mandy and I took to the Pacific North West was the vacation of a lifetime. Something about that trip turned the tides for me.

I've always known I was not made to be a Midwestern girl. Snow makes me sad, traffic makes me mad. I was meant to drink craft beers, run year round, fall asleep to the sound of rain and embrace gray skies and misty mornings with French pressed coffee, fabulous-looking boots and commuting via bike.

I was made for Seattle.

The whisper became firmer and clearer. I've sold most of my possessions, wrapped up loose ends and set my fears aside. All the details shall soon be revealed, but starting this summer, I'm calling Jet City home. We spent the weekend walking the neighborhoods and weighing the pros and cons of apartments, after a 20-mile run in my new hometown confirmed what the whisper suggested all along: we don't have to flourish where we are planted. We will thrive where we lie roots, and this is where it begins.

Welcome to my next adventure. Hold onto your hats, it's going to be wild.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. Tim and I are heading out of town, which means we left the dog face with my sister after our Easter celebration. I very much miss his antics, even if it means I can eat a cookie without and audience and sleep through the night without someone demanding to be taken to his cage at 2 a.m. FYI, your cage is always in the same place, Napoleon.
Napoleon loves MacKenna so much

2. Tradewinds sent me a lovely care package this week of sweet and unsweetened tea. I had one last night after a run and it really hit the spot. Thanks for keeping me hydrated!

3. I had my best run in a long time yesterday. I got redemption from Waterfall Glen by ticking off 10 miles at an 8:12 pace. Vermont, I'm coming for ya ...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Potbelly's FLATS First Taste Preview Party

Mmm, sandwiches. Rachael joined me downtown last night for a sandwiches and secret swapping at Potbelly. The chain invited me out to debut their FLATS line, which will hit the market May 6.

First, we enjoyed a frozen raspberry lemonade. These bad boys won't join the menu until June, which is a shame. They're delicious.

Next up, we heard about how the multi grain FLATS were several years in the making as Potbelly looks to add healthier options to its repertoire. You can order any sandwich on a flatbread and save 90 calories. We tried them all - the wrecked, Mediterranean, chicken and cheese, turkey and Italian. My favorite was the wrecked - it was quite tasty.
 There was even live music! Rachael and I had a great time catching up and tasting treats.

The parting gifts were also quite memorable. Gimme those cookies!

Thanks for the invite and dinner, Potbelly! If you want to join in one of the FLATS First Taste shin digs, RSVP here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day Giveaway from WIN Detergent

sweaty KellyI sweat, both a lot and often. This whole Ironman Wisconsin pursuit is at times marred by rather unattractive aspects, like piles of nasty laundry every day. For example, yesterday I swam in the morning, ran at lunch and biked with Alyssa at night. This yield so much sweaty laundry. I had a load of laundry from yesterday alone. It's such a glamorous life.

The big problem is that if you don't keep on top of that laundry, it will let you know. This gear is not cheap and no one wants to smell funky when the stuff is clean. I was contacted by WIN Sport Detergent to try their products, and I was all in. They're launching a newly redesigned package in honor of Earth Day, so it's time for a giveaway!

But first, the detergent: the current version is septic safe, not tested on animals and contain 25 percent post consumer plastics. That's what I got in my inbox last week, and promptly put to great use in my household.

WIN Sports Detergent review

It definitely works! I used this a pile of sweaty towels with hot water and bleach, as well as a set of dark tech shirts and cycling shirts on cold. All my athletic apparel is back to normal after a spin with this stuff. It also doesn't leave any residue, which sometimes makes me itchy when I workout. What I like about the two-bottle pack is that the bottles are small, which is nice since I keep all that stuff on a shelf above the machines and I hate lugging out those massive Sam's Club-sized tubs of detergent. It's just a recipe for disaster.

The new bottles WIN debuts today, though, are pretty sweet. In addition to all the benefits my version has, the new sauce is fragrance free, dye free and are Design for the Environment certified. They also will comply with the yellow rating on the Whole Foods Eco Scale.
WIN Sports Detergent review
If you'd like to destink your duds while also helping Mother Earth, this giveaway is for you. I'll use rafflecopter to randomly select a winner next week, who will receive two bottles of the detergent shipped directly to them courtesy WIN.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 21, 2014

Motivation Monday

I'm getting really nervous about the races on my dance card - I've got the Vermont Marathon at the end of May, then the Ironman looming. This is not the time to worry or fret, though. Now is the time to do the work.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Our First Solo Easter

Happy Easter! This marks a strange milestone for my family. This is the first holiday my sisters and I have celebrate on our own. Our parents recently moved out of state and we had to forge our own traditions in their absence. We talked about a lot of different things - a drag show, a brewery tour, a Tour de Fat of local bakeries. We eventually settled on boozy brunch. I slept gloriously and started the day with coffee and walkies as a family.

Alyssa, who's now my neighbor, headed downtown with Tim and I where we met both sisters and MacKenna for brunch at Batter & Berries. It's BYOB, so we came prepared.

Mandy got us on the top of the list and we were seated right away. We split the super French toast sampler with the table, which is perhaps the most ridiculous platter ever. Caramel, strawberry, blueberry, birthday cake and pecan French toast on a single platter, all the homemade maple butter. And mimosas, because that's how we roll. Everything was delicious and we waddled back to Mandy's place for an Easter egg hunt.

Yes, I'll be 30 this year. No shame.

Mandy arranged the cutest hunt ever. There were 50 eggs hidden around her house. Some had candy, and some were empty, AKA, filled with disappointment. One egg, and only one, had $20 in it. And some espoused life messages. Those were the best.

After more mimosas, we were off.

Alyssa got the $20 egg, along with this inspirational message. Lucky.

I got lots of life messages.
Alyssa got a Haiku
We miss our parents a lot, but it was a great day for a new tradition.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Where I've Been

I tried to stay off the Interwebs in the past 24 hours for the sake of my sanity. I had Friday (mostly) off of work and set off for a long run in the morning with the club. I initially planned to do 15, which I dialed back to 13 because of heartburn. And then eventually made it to 11.25 miles when I felt nauseous and terrible. Waterfall Glen gets me every time - those hills kick my ass.

I eventually worked from Waterfall Glen, too, and soaked up the sun while live tweeting. Thank you, WiFi hotspots and rechargeable batteries for making this moment possible.

In the afternoon, I made a call to a local liquor store to see if they had Bell's Black Note Stout. It has a score of 100 on Beer Advocate and the entire Chicagoland area only received like 140 cases. But ask nicely and you shall receive not one, but two bottles of this lovely elixir.
The discovery of one great beverage deserves another, so you better believe I hit up some 99-cent DD iced coffee. Gimme.
The weather here is pretty awesome, so why we couldn't enjoy the new brews, we did have family happy hour on the patio.
Sadly, I started this morning with a new, pathetic PR. Nothing like three hours of sleep to start the day. Argh.
The output from my Misfit Shine
So instead of logging some quality sleep, I logged 2.5 hours with Suzie Slice this morning .... 
Before we drove to Wisconsin to see my niece for Easter. I was terrified of the Easter Bunny as a kid, because why wouldn't I be? Holycrapthisisterrifying.
Save me. Please.
We stopped at the Pearl Izumi outlet on the way home because with the new tri bike, the $20 bike shorts aren't cutting it anymore. I found some great gear on the clearance rack, then got another 15 percent off because I asked nicely. So full of win!
I match my phone
Of course, we couldn't leave the state of Wisconsin without picking up a sixer of New Glarus. My fridge is so legit right now.
Happy Saturday, everyone!