Banana + Chocolate + Chia

Even though morning comes quickly, my days are full, work is busy, and my commute sucks, I try real hard to make time during the work week for things I enjoy.  This isn’t always easy and takes planning.  Sometimes it’s big things, like dinner with the girls and sometimes, it’s the little things like watching a TV show with the BOY.  Exercise is also a big priority!  Although recently I’ve only been getting in 4x week.  My Thursdays used to be an easy day to get in an AM workout, but since I made some schedule changes, this has become harder.  I was venting about this to some friends at work when one of them said that it’s tough but sometimes you just have to get up before 6am.

 

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What?  Yea Right!  Okay, actually she was right!  And when she mentioned Wednesday night that she would be hitting the indoor track EARLY on Thursday, I said I’d be there.  I began pulling out my workout clothes and packing my gym bag shortly after walking in the door.  And then moved on to the next day’s EATS.

 

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My recent favorite has been this Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl.  It is seriously the best and leaves tons of room for creativity!  Megan made this amazing Chocolate Chia Protein Bowl, and I loved the idea of adding some chocolate, so I did!  I stirred in some cacao powder (who doesn’t love chocolate and banana?) Wednesday night and added a light sprinkle of granola Thursday morning before hitting the road.

 

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The track is near our office, so I snacked on a few bites of breakfast before my run, saving the rest for afterwards.  It was a gorgeous morning that would have been perfect for an outdoor winter run!  But I was happy to find my friend and motivator already running laps around the indoor track.

 

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We kept a nice pace and it was fun to have company for my early morning run!  It was exactly what my sore legs needed after Tuesday’s speed intervals.  I was only sad that we had to cut it short to get ready for work.  I would have much preferred an hour at Starbucks first!  But then again, who wouldn’t?!

 

 

Banana Chocolate Chia Breakfast Bowl with Flax

 

Ingredients

1 banana

1-2 tbsp flax

2 tbsp chia

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1 cup almond milk

Toppings

 

Directions

Mash your banana well.  Stir in the flax, chia, cacao, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top with berries, granola, nut butters, etc.

Tri Season Begins [and Ends]

This year’s triathlon season began this weekend in Green Lake, Wisconsin.  Since it was my only tri of the summer, I was really looking forward to the weekend!  Sadly, I had a cold leading up to the race but was so happy to wake up Sunday with an unstuffed nose and a clear head.  We had a fantastic day on Saturday playing on the lake before Sunday’s early morning rise.  The sun was just creeping up over the trees and the lake looked calm and peaceful.

 

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Note to self…don’t ever forget to bring oatmeal for out of town races or you’re breakfast will be this hodgepodge of brown rice, almond milk, banana, and blueberries.  Luckily, it tasted a little better than it looked!

 

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We headed down to the pier to load our bikes onto the boat.  I thought it was neat to drive to packet pickup in a boat, but arriving at a triathlon by boat…EVEN COOLER!!!

 

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I loved the wind in my hair as we bounced across the lake heading towards the race site.

 

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Look who was leading the way and even more excited to arrive!

 

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We unloaded our bikes at the pier and made our way to the transition site.  The Ripon Medical Center triathlon is a small (around 200 people) community race.  The transition area was easy to access and the other races were warm and friendly.

 

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The best part about the morning was watching the sun rise over the lake!

 

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It was stunning!

 

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Our pre-race pictures!

 

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Just before the boys entered the water, my parents and the BOY got dropped off to watch the race and cheer us on.  I was feeling a little nervous before entering the water.

 

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The boys went in about 10 minutes before me making the swim look easy (because for them…it is!).

 

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Finally it was our time…

 

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While I was out in the water, the boys came out of the water and went into transition.  My Dad got some awesome action shots along the way!

 

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What felt like hours later (although it was closer to 16 minutes), I finally excited the water and strolled my way into transition.

 

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My thoughts on my swim…the first 5 minutes went wonderfully. I was calm, my stroke was strong-ish, and I channeled my inner Olympian. Then I hit the first buoy, slowed down a bit, rounded the second buoy, and my goggles fogged up completely and I had no idea where I was going. I was able to make my way back to the beach, but my goggles were already starting to leak. I finished the last few feet breast stroking with my goggles on my forehead before dragging myself out of the water. My swim was slow, but steady and I was thrilled that I stayed calm and actually had some fun this time.

 

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I took my time in transition feeling excited to have the bike and run ahead of me. It was a gorgeous day to be out for a bike ride!

 

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I mounted my bike and rode off towards the 1 mile long hill that started the 15 mile bike ride. It was a tough transition powering up the hill, but once I made it to the highway, I hit my stride. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride and I love biking through the rolling hills surrounded by greens and farmland. The miles flew by, and I got a lot of practice switching my gears. I passed a few people around my age around mile 5 and then was on my own for most of the bike, except for the speedy guys on aerobikes whizzing by me. The ride was hilly, but for me the hardest part was riding the one mile back down to transition along the winding hill at 25mph.  I kept one hand on the brake and my eyes fixed forward hoping that I didn’t fall.  I arrived safely to transition about 15 minutes after my brother…

 

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Before heading out for a hilly 5K run.  Didn’t my dad get some incredible photos?!

 

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When I made it back to transition, there was only one portion of the race left and it was my favorite! I hit the run at full speed and then realized that I was headed back up another huge 1 mile hill.  Yikes!  The 5K was non-stop up and down, and I was happy that I had been training in the hills this summer!  I saw my brother right before the half way turn around point, and my parents were waiting for him at the finish.

 

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A few minutes later, it was my turn to sprint to the finish.  With the help of the hill, I had whole lot of momentum (and some adrenaline) to carry me across the finish line with the Fam cheering me on the whole way!

 

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During the last uphill portion of the run, I felt the strongest that I had all summer.  It was an amazing feeling!  It’s been a year of ups and downs and a few weeks of stress, but climbing up that final hill, I finally felt like a triathlete!  When I crossed the finish, I was in great spirits.  I loved everything about this race.  It was well run with some of the friendliest and most enthusiastic volunteers that I have ever seen.  And…who doesn’t want to dig into a huge slice (or four) of watermelon when they’re done?!  Not to mention that I did beat my brother by a full four minutes : )

 

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Post race…we were all smiles!!!  And, planning to return next summer to compete in the Green Lake Triathlon again!!!  I hope to see some of you there!

 

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We boarded our boat to head back home for some food and a victory beer!

 

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Plus a few handfuls of chocolate covered raisins…one of my post race favorite snacks!!!  All in all, it was such a fun and exciting weekend, and I am thrilled to have competed in my third tri season.  Even though it was the shortest of the three, it was definitely a weekend to remember!  I am huge fan of the sprint distance triathlon, and I see many more in my future : )

 

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A few days post race, I am feeling incredible!  My shoulders are a little sore (will someone please refer me back to this post next summer when it comes time for training in the pool?!), but I was back on my bike this morning for a leisurely ride, and I am looking forward to my family visiting this weekend.  Saturday, it is back to Wisconsin for the Rugged Maniac Mud Run!

 

Final Results

Swim: 16:00

Transition 1: 2:40

15 mile Bike: 55:49

Transition 2: 1:40

5k Run: 24:43

TOTAL: 1:40:50

Overall Place: 71

Division Place: 3/10

Female Place: 16/73

Spectacular Spring Sun

This past week, I have seen the most beautiful and colorful sunrises and magnificent sunsets…

 

All from the comfort of my car.  It is that exciting time of year when I am driving to work as the sun is rising and driving home before it actually sets.  This is a nice contrast to the dark mornings and nights of winter. 

 

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The sky was so inspiring to watch the golden sun rise in the horizon that I had to get some pictures with my cell phone.  No worries…MOST pictures were taken at stoplights (hence all the wires and poles in the way). 

 

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That same night, the clouds were stunning on my way to yoga.  Again, I grabbed my cell phone.  Even with the wires, the pictures turned out incredible!

 

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It just kept getting better, so I had to take a few more pics.  You all know that I am obsessed with with sunsets!

 

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What incredible sights have you seen from your car?