Thursday, December 30, 2010

A little less of this...

How many times have I said I'm going to lose my last 10-15 pounds? Many times. I'm really going to do it now. I'm starting a weight loss challenge group which I hope will help my motivation stick through to the end. I'm also going to try and document my progress. Competition, group support, and public shame. They motivate me.

I will not be filming myself in too tight spandex shorts and a sports bra weighing in, but I am trying to add a ticker to my blog that will show my progress. The challenge starts next week, Jan 2nd through March 26th. 12 weeks. That's a smidgen more than a pound a week. Aggressive.

Here is my strategy for now. I'm cutting back on the sweets. I've always had success when I've cut out most processed sugars. I've also got very scientific about my meal planning thanks to my recent nutrition and sports nutrition classes. I've calculated the amount of calories per day and per meal (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, little snack). I've also calculated my protein intake required.

I'm adding more strength training into my workout routines as well. I've usually lost weight when I've done more strength training. I've actually had a number of teachers at SLCC who have said the number one way to rev your metabolism is building muscles. You can take all the supplements and products and chuck em. Strength training is not the easiest but it's the best.

Basically what I'm doing for myself is based on a lot of study and research. I'd like to use this approach with clients in the future when I get my personal trainer cert. This is the dress rehearsal so to speak.

If anyone wants to join the weight loss challenge, just let me know. I have a group event set up in Facebook that has more details. You don't have to be local to participate either. Basically, it will be based on % of weight lost. Everyone pays in $20. 2nd place gets their money back. 1st place wins the pooled cash. We're up to $120 right now.

I should mention if anyone says to me, "you don't need to lose weight", I may smack you. While flattering, it's not motivating and I'm serious. I'm not overweight and I know that, but I'm doing this to be a better athlete and to give myself a little more buffer from slipping back into overweight status.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Band Name Contest

I have a jazz band I put together and have practiced with. I am making it a goal/ultimatium to put a small concert together early 2011. I don't have a band name though. It's a jazz band. I'm the lead singer and I have a piano/bass player. We may or may not have a percussionist and possibly a cellist for one number.

I used the and came up with some possible names. Post in the comments your favorite/vote. It's kind of fun. You can leave it blank or add words and it comes up with some really bizarre random stuff. Ok some of these I don't really want but were just funny/bizzarre and had to share.

  • Bootleg Jazz Pett Daddies
  • Random Metro
  • Blue Lotus
  • Jazz Misfits
  • Jazz Chihuahua and the Malicious Joy
  • Enigmatic Mango
  • Silky Divine
  • Divine Wisdom and the Sinner
  • Bohemian Amy Trio

Feel free to come up with a better suggestions as well. Please.

Adieu 2010

Here is an attempt at a brief list of accomplishments, major events, or dumb stuff I enjoyed doing in 2010.
  • Ran my 2nd marathon, took 39 mins off my previous time
  • Was runner 10 in the Wasatch Back Relay which means I ran "the Ragnar" leg--4 miles almost straight up
  • Rode the Tour de Cure 65 miler--longest ride to date
  • No pants ride (see my blog posting for details, good times)
  • Survived cousins slumber party at my house (4 kids one adult)
  • Formed a jazz band (will be performing in 2011)
  • Saw Muse in concert and lived to tell the tell
  • Finished 1/2 of an Associates degree program in Fitness Tech at SLCC while continuing to work full time
  • Got a dog (possibly my favorite thing I did this year, my little Milly makes me smile everyday) (however, if I had known how much work it would be beforehand (because I had to go back to the office to work and I expected some hardship but you don't "get" the separation anxiety problems until you see it, etc) I may not have got a dog, but I'm really glad I did because she's worth all the trouble. I really like taking care of her even when it is a less fun task like cleaning up dog vomit at 4 in the morning)(Plus when I think of the conditions she lived through before being rescued it makes me so sad. Rescued dogs are probably more work because of the psychological condition of the animals but is also so satisfying to see them start to trust again and improve. Besides, when have I ever picked the "normal" way of things?)

That's about all I can think of right now. After I started school that took over my life pretty good. I was not able to take an international trip with Misti due to that and a major work project she had so that will be moved to 2011.

Even better than my "accomplishments", I think I enjoyed just spending time with my awesome friends and family this year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mille Crepe cake

I've had this idea rolling around in my head for a while now. I recently found out the name of it which is mille crepe. Mille is french for thousand--implying many layers not literally a thousand. Crepe is french for crepe. :)

Technically I used my swedish pancake recipe because I have it memorized and it makes a nice "pancake". I used the Pot de Creme recipe from The Pioneer Woman for the filling. I used rum flavoring instead of vanilla though. It was delicious. If I could have fit my head in the blender I would have licked it clean. Curse this giant skull.

So I whipped up and cooked 21 crepes, made the pot de creme, then just layered. One crepe, spread the pot de creme evening, next crepe. 21 layers made a nice and heavy little pastry.

I wanted to take it to the next level so I piped out butterfly wings in white chocolate. This was a learning experience. I thought I would be able to just assembly the wings into butterflies on the cake slices. I ended up using toothpicks to hold them up. I have since done some research on this. Next time after I make the wings, I will place come wax paper in between tongs lean the wings on either side, then pipe the "body" on. That should enable the butter fly to stand on it's own. Live and learn. I was pleased with the results. I can't wait to make another cake for someone. Anyone having a birthday that likes butterflies?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Doggy meatloaf

I've seen some recipes for homemade dog food. I decided to give it a go. I made a "meatloaf" for the dog. Maybe I should call the recipe Milly Meatloaf. Or Millyloaf.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1 grated carrot
1/2 cup peas
1 1/2 cup cooked rice (or 3/4 cup uncooked, but you need to cook it)
1/2 cup oats

It mixes best by hand. Mash it all together. Spread it out in a cake pan. Bake it until it's cooked all the way. I don't remember how long that was.

I was able to cut it into 16 servings. The size would depend on how big your dog is. I gave it to Milly for dinner, so the rest of the day she gets her kibble. She seemed pleased with her dinner.

Milly likey.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin fest recipe #1

Butternut squash, pumpkin, coconut soup

1 cup water
1/2 butternut squash cubed
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
salt & pepper to taste
a pinch cayenne pepper to the spiciness level you like
1 tsp thai curry paste of choice (I used masaman)
1 tsp oyster sauce
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
4 oz sausage

Cook the squash in the water and coconut milk until it starts to get tender. Cook the sausage in a pan and add that to the pot. Add a little water to that pan and deglaze it and add the liquid to the soup. Add all the other ingredients.
So, basically I just used up some stuff I had in the fridge that I didn't want to go bad and I need to do something with all that pumpkin puree. Once I thought of adding the coconut milk it made it magical though. It was pretty good. I don't think I would have added sausage to it except that I had a half a package left and I thought, why not. If you don't use sausage, use broth instead of water.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin

I just roasted and pureed 2 pumpkins. I am going to have to start cooking with pumpkin every week. My current pumpkin recipe collection includes pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, and a Julia Child's pumpkin soup recipe.

In celebration of the vegetable I'm going to find some new recipes and I'll update my blog if I find some winners. If you have a good recipe let me know.

If you want to make your own puree, you just cut it in half, scoop out the insides, put each half cut side down on a pan, and cook at 350 degrees until it's soft. You can poke it with a fork or do a push test. Let it cool down. Cut it into chunks and puree it in a food processor or blender. I put about 1 1/2 to 2 cups in a freezer bag and freeze it in stacks so it stays flat.

Also I'd like to update my quinoa and beans experience. Made another batch but used 50/50 mix of black eyed peas (a bean fyi) and black beans. I used dried beans and cooked them in the crock pot (low setting 6 hours). I cooked the quinoa separate and added it to the beans when they were done. Instead of roma tomatoes, I made a little salsa of tomatillas, cucumber and the cilantro and added that instead. Loved it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's better for you? Fresh/frozen/canned

I watched a little nutrition video thing in my sports nutrition class this week. The guy was very practical and grounded in his philosophies. I've been asked recently a lot about what kind of vegetable is better for you, frozen or canned. This guy's response was, it's not the canned vegetables that are bad for us, it's the canned twinkies. Meaning, most Americans just need to get more vegetables in their diet however they will take them.

I agree with that absolutely. If you prefer canned vegies, go for it and leave the guilt behind you. Personally, I like fresh the best because I think they taste better. My preference. However, once you cook those fresh vegetables they lose some of their nutrients. It puts them about even with canned vegis. Frozen is the same deal. Once defrosted and cooked, you lose some nutrients. So, overall fresh, raw vegis are the best, but do you like raw vegis? I do, but I'm weird.

Most studies show, we aren't getting our recommended 3-4 servings of vegis every day. If you are getting 3-4 a day, then let's start splitting hairs over where they're farmed or shipped from, how they're preserved, and how you prepare them. Until then, just find some vegis you like and eat more of them.

Here's a little recipe to inspire you.

I ate this in China and managed to replicate it pretty closely by trial and error.

Szechaunese Green Beans

1 lb green beans (I hate to say it but get them fresh, the texture is better when stir-fried)
1 tbl chopped ginger
1/2 tsp chilli paste
1 Tbl dark soy (if at all possible use the dark soy, your standard table soy will not give you the same results)
1/2 tsp sugar
About 2-3 tsp peanut oil for cooking
2-3 oz ground pork (you can use ground turkey or chicken for a lighter meat)

Wash and snap off the ends of the beans. If they are really thick you may want to cut them length-wise, but I'm too lazy too, so I usually just toss them in whole.

Combine all the ingredients except the beans and meat if you use it.

Put the oil in a wok and heat it up. Add the meat (is using) and stir fry for about a minute. Then add the beans and continue stir frying for about another 2 mins. The meat should be cooked all the way through and the beans should be starting to brown on the outside. Brown, not burn.

Add all other ingredients and cook until most of the liquid is cooked off. About a minute.

This is a really quick dish. The longest part is snapping the bean ends. Since I'm single, I'll make this and eat most of it in one sitting. You can put it over rice too if you like rice. Another option is to toss in some peanuts instead of the meat. Peanut + rice = complete protein, good option for vegetarians.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Las Vegas Ragnar 2010

Team 87, the Frenchies

Every long distance relay I've done has had it's own little hiccups and group chemistry, but like every one I've done, it this one tons of fun and plenty challenging.

The starting line at The Valley of Fire was really amazing. While I still wish I had just slept in and not gone to the start line to see the team off, I did enjoy the views through first section of the course.

We actually got started an hour later than our start time. The first van got a little lost and we missed our time. We did get to all get in costume and apply moustaches. Moustaches for everyone!

Because we were at the start line and the first van had a long section it felt like we waited at exchange 6 forever. Forrrreeeeverrrr. I've never been so happy to get started as when Roger can running through in all his shirtless glory.

I don't have a terribly lot of day time pictures. I kid you not, van 2 did more night time running than day time. Here's a tip--whenever, wherever you can get some shut eye in a long distance relay, do it. And make sure you are eating regularly. We had two regular meals at exchange 6 before we even started. I am a big fan of bagels, pringles, grapes, and string cheese.

Exchange 12 was pretty posh. It was at a resort or something. Unfortunately we did not stick around. They had some guy playing guitar Jack Johnson style. He was pretty good. There were probably 20 people dangling their feet in the hot tub which I called "foot soup". I didn't get in. We did eat there. Since we were so late coming in they had knocked all the food down to $5. It was good.

Here's another tip--move on to the next exchange you are starting at. It's easier to settle down and rest then get up shortly before the next van exchange then to rest and get up and drive to the next exchange. That's how people are late and runners stand around for 30 min waiting for the next van.

The second set of legs for my van was dead of night to sunrise. There was some wind that wasn't fun, but the temperature was still pretty good for running. It never really got warm. Maybe 62 tops Saturday. Very good for running.
Because of the after 5:00 rule that you have to wear all your reflective gear, Tiff & I got to run all 3 legs in full gear. I was pretty thrilled. Our van wore our costumes the 3rd leg. It was fun. We also passed on a schlacked baguette. Very fun. It was sticky from all the previous man handling before it got to me but it was worth it. We got a lot of cheering and comments in costume and with the baguette. "Go Frenchies" or "Go Baguette" was heard a lot. One person coming in was thrilled that they passed the "guy with the baguette".
It was actually the 3rd set that we started catching up to the back pack. I think I passed 5 or 6 people in my last leg.

It was nice to finish. I can't say enough about how awesome the team was. I loved everyone in my van. As I recall now, we spent most of the time laughing. I learned some new terminology as well. Thank you dirty Ragnar runners. The women are the worst. I had a lot of help organizing the team as well which is awesome. It's not easy to put these things together, but I think overall it was a success.
And most important I got my finishers medal and the Saints & Sinners medal. That was some serious bling I was wearing through the casino. Like Flavor Flav style.
I am super greatful to all the race directors, SWAT team, and numerous volunteers that put this event on. I help with it last year, and it is insane the amount of organzation, man/womanpower, and dedication that it takes. Bravo!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quinoa & black beans

I keep hearing how quinoa is so amazing. It has the most protein of any grain, has as complete a protein as milk, more iron than other grains, has lots of other vitamins and minerals, and saves orphaned kittens from burning trees.

Technically it's not actually a grain but it looks like a grain and acts like a grain. It's really a seed so doesn't that make it a fruit? Anyhow it's really good for you and I've discovered it's pretty tasty.

I made a quinoa and black beans recipe. Delicious. I ate it straight up out of a bowl. It would work well as a meal in itself or as a side. I also thought it would be tasty wrapped in a tortilla with some cheese. I didn't have any tortillas though.

1 cup quinoa
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tbl lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cheyenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped

You bowl the quinoa in a pot of water for about 10 mins. I believe I used about 2 cups of water. If it starts to get too dry add a little more water.

Add the lime juice cumin, cheyenne pepper, & turmeric. You can add a pinch more or less of any of those per your preference for flavor and spiciness. I only like a hint of cumin so I kept it on the down low. Cook that on a very low temperature just so the flavors can settle in.

The quinoa should be light and fluffy. That's what all the recipes say. I wouldn't describe it as fluffy but I don't have a better word for it. Add the black beans and stir them in. Let them just sort of warm up, then don't need to cook. So, after a couple of minutes take it off the heat.

The cilantro and tomatoes are better fresh in my opinion so add them right before serving.Once again, add as much or as little to taste. I like a lot of cilantro.

I had this as leftovers 2 or 3 days and never got sick of it. It has a nice nutty flavor to it. Next in my quinoa adventures will be Martha Stewart's breakfast quinoa recipe.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fruit Days

I had a double header this weekend. It was Peach Days up in Brigham. We also got to celebrate the 2nd annual Raspberry Days at a private residence in Kaysville. Basically, I ate well this weekend. Probably a little too much, but I have a very happy and expanding tummy.

I made grilled baby bok choy & peaches with peanut satay sauce and Indonesian turkey burgers. The tb basically had a lime/green onion dressed slaw & the peanut satay sauce. Yummy.

I ended up running the Peach Day's 10k after all. Hehe. I took my running clothes in case I decided to go for a jog or something but really my subconscious wanted to run it. I kept my bad shoulder pinned to my side the whole time and just took it at a pace that was enjoyable and not strenuous. I finished in 59 mins and some change. Not bad for being broken. It was my 7th year in a row to run it. I had to.

The coolest thing I saw at the parade has to be the tank. Sorry, a tank driving down main street was just cool. Don't know why.

Raspberry Days. Oh the joy. It involves a lot of eating and drinking stuff that is made of raspberries or has raspberries in it somehow. Except the fettuccine alfredo. No raspberries but so delicious, there were no complaints. We also had pork tenderloin with a savory raspberry sauce, rolls with raspberry honey butter, raspberry Italian sodas, an amazing salad with raspberries and coconut and cashews and all kind of yummy stuff.

The setting was equally delightful. There were little tea lights all over in the grass. Magical little bonfires twinkling in the dusk.
It was the perfect way to end the summer/welcome the fall.

We laid on blankets after dinner to let the food digest before raspberry trifle and watched the stars and talked about why we like Jake--he's tall, American, feeds us, does dishes, and some other "blue" stuff. I then taunted the Blue's. You know I love you all.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busted shoulder & Millie the Italian Greyhound

Millie the Italian Greyhound did not bust my shoulder. I did that all by myself at Tony's birthday hockey party. I was shakin and bakin around Dave (successfully surprisingly) when I hit a tar strip and my skates stopped. The rest of me kept flying. Literally according to Tony. I took some air. My highly trained reaction skills from karate are to roll into a fall. I've done it successfully before. I think I had a little too much speed though. Another inch around and I would have rolled off my shoulder blades and been non-the-wiser to the miseries of broken bones (have never broken anything before this).

From what I've been told broken bones hurt less. I fractured my humerus and had a 3rd degree or complete tear in my AC joint. That means I tore the whole joint through. Ya, it hurts as bad as it sounds. It hurts bad enough to say all the swears I've ever heard in the church parking lot. I said things I don't say. I was as surprised as everyone else.

Anyhow, I didn't have to have surgery cause the bones stayed where they were supposed to. I'll be in a splint for 3-7 more weeks. I am finally getting some mobility back. I can lift my arm almost shoulder height. Very slowly. I'm trying to stop taking the pain killers too.
The day after the accident I was supposed to pick up my adopted dog. She came from a puppy mill that was shut down (a sort of mass producing breeder, generally dogs are not taken care of like they should be). I think she was quite neglected and lived most of her life in a kennel based on some behaviors I've noticed. Also, her teeth were so rotted that the rescue group had to have almost all of them pulled. She also had some tumors removed.
She is adjusting pretty good. We've got the "ladies don't eat poop" rule down pretty good. My mother is a saint. Not only did she take care of me over a week, but she let me pick up my dog and helped with her too. However, when we got home home, she has had a couple of accidents (#2) in the house. I think it might be in part from the stress of a 2nd move.
She spends most of the day sleeping while I work. I take her out for short walks and one long walk everyday to keep her active. She seems to enjoy that.
I feed her a corn cob probably for the first time. She looked at it very warily and finally licked it. She loved it. She gnawed and licked it forever.
Her tongue hangs out when she's relaxed. I don't know if it's because there are no teeth to stop it or what, but it cracks me up. I call her tonguey when I see it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

1/4 the way there

I just finished my first semester back at school. I am 1/4 of the way through my fit tech degree and yoga instructor certification. I love school but it does take a lot of time. I would much do either school or work part time (preferably work) but that's not really an option.

The highlights of the term. I really liked my assessment class. I've been assessing friends and family the past couple of weeks. I also enjoyed coming up with program designs based on those assessments. I don't know how good I am at planning them but it's like a puzzle. I like it. I also felt a lot of validation for the time and money I'm spending when I taught my twists series in the yoga class. I really, really enjoyed doing it and I think I did a decent job. I got good feedback from my peers anyhow.

If you thought I was bad about constantly talking about health and fitness before, I warn you, it will be even worse now. There's nothing quite so dangerous as being armed with knowledge.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wasatch Back Relay 2010

Yet another great Wasatch Back Relay event. There is just no other experience like 28+ hours in a car with 5 other people, leapfrogging across the state with another van full of 6 sweaty, tired runners. You not only feel close to your team, but everyone in the race. We had three people in my van I didn't even know before the race. We're practically besties now.

This year seemed like a fast race. I believe our finish time was 28:55:56. We placed 98th out of 658 in our division. I'd guess we were at least top 20% overall. Over 2 hours faster than the first year. There was a bit less tomfoolery, but it was nice to get done.

I managed to get in at least 3 hours of sleep but I felt like hell. Pardon the language but I did. I was pretty trashed. I think I pushed myself pretty hard on my legs.

This year was a bit warmer. There was a team that dressed like superheroes (real superheroes), and they ran in the full body suits even in the heat. Hardcore. They said it was pretty hot.

We were the Sisterwife Superheroes: The Real Sisterwives of Salt Lake County. Longest name as far as we can tell. We made up superhero personas. I was Plunder Woman--part Wonder Woman, part pirate. Basically I took my Wonder Woman costume from the Provo Halloween 1/2 M race and added some hooks and guns.

I was runner 10. Anyone who has participated regularly knows what that means. Runner 10 runs the hardest leg in the race. I would say runner 9 has the hardest set of 3 legs overall, but leg 34 is named after Ragnar for a reason. It was tough. It took me 63 mins to go 4 miles. It's an average gradient of over 7 degrees. Try running that on your treadmill sometime. I wanted to run it under an hour, but I feel ok with my time. I gave it everything I had left. I ran more than I walked. What I did run was pretty slow apparently, but like I said, give that try before you judge.

I can't think of anything especially funny or awesome. It was just a great race overall though. We were supposed to keep quote books in each vans. We didn't have a lot of good one liners. Just a constant stream of "that's what she said". It got funnier and funnier the later it got. I was also in a van with 5 guys. I loved it.

Next relay is the Ragnar Las Vegas. I'm gonna get my Saints and Sinners medal this year. We're also going to try again for Hood to Coast for next year. This will be the 3rd try. We get in a pre-lottery lottery. Keep your fingers crossed for us in October.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tour de Cure 2010

Despite what I may have texted some people directly after the ride, I will ride my bike again. I may still want to do an Ironman (just not any time soon). It wasn't that bad overall. I enjoyed at least 80% of this ride very much. 10% was a bit uncomfortable (to be expected). 10% was brutal and soul crushing.

As a recap, the Tour de Cure is a "fun" ride (meaning no official timing, no winners, you just ride and hopefully finish). It was created to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. It takes place in Brigham City, my home town. This is my 3rd year participating. I had signed up for the 25 miler previously. Actually 65 miles is the longest I've ever biked. Previous to this it was 54 miles (Vikingman 1/2 iron distance triathlon, also a windy ride).

The start this year was at Pioneer Park. They arranged for camping at the park for participants but I think the torrid rainfall Friday discouraged most people. Good idea though. The course basically goes out west Box Elder County. The 65'er turns at Lampo Junction and the 100'er goes out past ATK. It's basically a flat course except for a nice challenging hill for the 65'er and a little bit bigger climb for the 100'er over Golden Pass.

If you like rural, dessert scenery it's the ride for you. With all the rain we've had this year, it was actually very green right now. I really did enjoy the sights, which is probably obvious from all the photos.

The race organizers do a great job. The volunteers are enthusiastic. The sponsors were very supportive and had great food at rest stops and the lunch break area. That's one difference in running races, there's no "lunch" stop. I didn't spend too much time at the break areas. Just refueled a bit, fill up my water bottle, and got on the road again. For one thing it was cold. 20 degs below normal. It only sprinkled rain for maybe 10-20 mins, but with the miracle of technical materials, I dried quickly.

This is basically the area I grew up in. Of course I'm from the big city in the county, Brigham City. The population has probably held steady, around 20,000, since I was born. There's been a lot of growth around Brigham, but it doesn't feel like much has changed over the years. Outside of Brigham, it's very rural. I had cousins that lived in West Box Elder County when I was a kid. We thought it was cool to go visit the "country" folk. LOL. It has a desolate sort of beauty about it though. There's a lot of flavor and character out there though. The lunch stop was in Garland which has a great old, small town main street.

So where does the drama start in? The hill was tough but do-able. Part of the added challenge for that and the end of the ride was the fact that I didn't get my cable for my front derailleur replaced before the ride. Basically I'm stuck in the big gear (is that high or low? I can never remember). That just makes it harder on hills and into the wind.
Sigh, the wind. That is what nearly killed me at the end. Brutal is the word that's been going around but it doesn't full capture the essence of it. I mean on the last stretch back it was howling. I mean that literally, you could hear it shrieking across the fields. It's very intimidating mentally, not to mention physically when you have to lean into the cross wind gusts to keep from being pushed over by it.
The worst were about the last 2 miles. I just wanted to quit. It was straight into the headwind. I felt like someone had my breaks on. I mean you had to fight to move forward. And of course I was totally in the wrong gear. At one point I "manually" shifted the gear and it stayed in place for awhile. That last bit took all the air and energy and soul right out of me. I thought my knees my blow too. Also, because I couldn't pedal as fast anymore the cold got to me.
I'm pretty sure I had the first symptoms of hypothermia. If I had been any further out, I probably would have called for a ride and not finished. Not cause I'm a quitter, but I knew I was going to be in trouble physically soon if I didn't finish. But I pushed on and finished. I still would have quit 4 blocks out if someone had been there to pick me up. Seriously, 4 blocks away and I start crying (I wanted to long before this but didn't have the energy too).
Gloriously, the last two blocks were tailwind and slightly downhill. I just coasted in. I went home and took a long, hot shower to get my core temperature back up and crashed for a 3 hour nap. The only time I've been more exhausted was after the Vikingman 1/2 Iron, but I had also swam and run a lot too.

The best parts of the race where knowing it was for a good cause, beautiful scenery, challenging course (wind aside), and meeting awesome people. I have to give a shout out to Wanda and Doug. The only thing I really would have changed about this ride (other than getting my cable fixed) was dragging some friends into it with me. My top 2 favorite things for long bike rides are aero bars and drafting. Several miles out from the last rest stop Wanda and Doug passed me and invited me to join their draft line. I spent half the race wishing I could draft and even sneaking up on the tail of a few riders. Hehe. Bless you both for adding me to your line. It was a godsend I needed near the end. As hard as the end was, I'm so grateful I got that chance to save a little energy before the last little bit.
Don't be scared away when I try and drag you out next year for this ride. The wind is not common. It really is a great ride and it's for a great cause. Overall, it gets the Amy seal of awesomeness approval.