Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Review

I kept seeing lots of Facebook posts where people were excited to have the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte back at their favorite Starbucks. Being in Denmark the past 3 Autumns, I failed to have experienced this drink. I rectified that this past Sunday at a Target in Boston that also housed a Starbucks.

On a scale of 5 stars, I would give it a 3 out of 5. I ordered it decaf (I could write a whole post on how I think I am giving my baby caffeinated breast milk each time I drink coffee....seriously I obsess and look for hyperactivity and jitteriness in Wesley) , with skim milk with no whip cream. Since it was an afternoon snack, I did not want to go too crazy with the calories. The drink arrived at a warm temperature and I usually prefer my coffee drinks that are so hot it is just sippable, not gulp able. I could have chugged this after 5 minutes based on temperature. The drink was nice and spicy, but I didn't think it was too different from a chai latte. Overall, it was a good attempt to get me in the spirit of Autumn, but I probably won't order another one.

What are your thoughts on this drink, or feel free to suggest what I should get next time!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guest Post from "DH" - Ironman Wisconsin

"DH" aka dear husband aka Adam, asked if I would put his race report on my blog. He wants to share his experience of the Ironman, and thought this might be a good way to do it. Enjoy!

Hi friends,

Finally getting around to my Ironman Wisconsin race report. Thought
you might be interested, as many of you were aware of my training this

Age: 30
Weight: 63.2 kg (139 lbs)
FTP: 270ish W
Vdot: 60ish

Overall: 10:22:01
Swim: 1:04:52
T1: 5:34
Bike: 5:32:00
T2: 3:54 (most of which was peeing!)
Run: 3:35:41

I've told a few others this already, but I was dealing with a lot of
"friction" from everyday life going into this race, some good and some
bad. The robbery in late July threw us a curveball and set me back at
work, and then we had to try to deal with an apartment move while
simultaneously packing and preparing for a 9-week trip that started 2
days later. The trip was taking me from Denmark to (in order)
Toronto, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Madison, Houston, Hot Springs
(Arkansas), Boston, Amsterdam (where I am now), back to Boston,
Washington, and finally back to Denmark...most of it with Amber and
our 4-month old Wesley. My last big weeks of training and taper were
a bit compromised, being out of any routine whatsoever. I think I
actually lost a little too much weight during the taper, a time when
most people are concerned about the opposite--gaining weight!

The swim was 2 loops on a rectangular course in a lake. I was
concerned about 2400+ people starting in the water at the same time,
but thankfully the start line was very wide. I lined up near a ski
ramp in the middle of the start line, about 2 people back. Pleasantly
surprised at the space there. Started ok, about as much contact as I
expected. After a while the contact died down and I would just hit
"swim jams" every few minutes where people bunch up. Kicked harder in
the jams to get through and maintain space, but one of my legs started
cramping. Fought off one huge cramp 40 min in that had me worried, so
I played it conservatively for the remainder. Came out of the water
right about on target, a bonus given the relatively easy effort the
last 25 min.

Had a good transition, taking advantage of the wetsuit strippers and
then running past a lot of folks on the relatively way to the bikes.
The bike seemed to be okay for the first few miles, but once I got to
some of the bigger hills something started rubbing everytime I
switched to my easier gears. It got worse and eventually I had to
stop. Couldn't figure it out. Stopped again 3-4 times trying to
resolve it. Almost gave in to a nearby race marshall offering to call
official bike support for me at one point, but decided to ride there
(about 10 mi away). Avoided the easier gears on the way and had to
grind up some hills. Eventually hit the official bike support tent
and had them readjust the set screws in my dropouts, which did the
trick. I'm probably making a bigger deal out of this than it was, but
am interest to see how much time I spent stopping the first 50 mi (am
without the software to analyze my Garmin file for 2 months). Still
felt rough for miles 50-80 despite the fix, probably due to heat, but
nailed miles 80-112 of the bike trying to make up time.

Run was too hot (over 85 deg F) for a pale dude who trains in Denmark,
and the grinding on the bike came back to haunt me. Wasn't able to
punish 'em on the run as planned. Still a respectable finish, right
ahead of aging pro and former winner Heather Gollnick, who comes in
right after me:

I can't complain about the season I've had and my fitness level.
Podium finishes at nearly every race, a sub 4:30 half ironman, a sub
17-min 5k, and a sub-34 10k run in an Olympic distance triathlon were
some of the highlights. Normally I would be a bit down because I
really think this should have been the race to get me to the Ironman
World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I missed a qualification slot by
about 10 minutes. Lots of questions...what if I did not have problems
on the bike? What if I had paced the run more conservatively? Etc.
Thankfully, having my entire family (wife, baby, parents, sisters,
their boyfriends, etc.) at the race for support totally made up for
all of it.

Not sure what my plans are for next year. I need a break from Ironman
to focus on some career-related goals, but trust me, I'll be back with
a bang in late 2012 or in 2013!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jogging Strollers

Yep, I am in the market to buy one. I have narrowed it down to the Bob Revolution brand and either the SE model or the Ironman model. The SE model has a swivel front wheel which makes it a more multipurpose stroller, and costs a little more. The Ironman is mainly for jogging, and costs a little less. Which one, which one which one???? Whichever one I buy, I will be bringing back to Denmark with me.

Anyone have one or the other and love it? I hate buying things without trying it out first. I have been checking the Boston Craigslist to see if I can find one used.

We have been settling into our life here in Boston. We are staying with Crystal in her apartment in the heart of the city. I love the noise, the people, the shopping, BUT people here are so naughty at the crosswalks! All the pedestrians just walk in the middle of the street, and make cars stop to avoid hitting them. Seriously, are people so busy they can not wait the 1 minute for the light to change?

Between now and my next blog post, I plan to try the Pumpkin Spice Latte either from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts since everyone is talking about it on Facebook. I will report back.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wesley and His Women

It is so hard to get babies to look at the camera. Apparently, Grandma B was distracted too! : ) We are now in Boston staying with Crystal for 4 weeks. Whole Foods is a mere 15 minute walk from her place. I am afraid we could become groupies of this location. Have a good week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My momma can cook

Today after a wonderful 20 mile run while my Daddy rode next to me on a bike and told me stories about Hot Springs, I came home hungry. My mom made me lunch that consisted of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and a fresh salad. Here is the recipe for the meat loaf. Trust me, this is delish!

Grandma B's Meatloaf

2 lbs good quality ground chuck
20 saltine crackers
1/2 large onion, small dice
1 Anaheim or Poblano pepper, small dice
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (basil, garlic, oregano flavor is nice)

Using very clean hands, combine first six ingredients and 1/3 of the the tomato sauce.
Microwave or fry a small dollop to test for seasoning and then make into a loaf and pour the remaining tomato sauce on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until juices run clear or meat thermometer registers 180 degrees.

This is my Grandma Bylene's recipe. I am not sure why mom put in the directions to use "very clean hands". Does she think my paws are dirty? : ) Wash your hands, people, often.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Family Picture

Here we are at a family wedding. I had to put the DH on here because he is getting ready for his Ironman race on Sunday. We are driving to Wisconsin tomorrow. Wish us all luck! : )

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A few of my favorites

1. Flank Steak - We used Aunt Kelly's recipe for the marinade and grilled a couple of flank steaks that were so delicious. I love flank steak and using the grill.

2. Coconut Water - I had heard of this and picked up a container from Whole Foods. This stuff is supposed to replace electrolytes and was perfect after my long run. The first couple of sips was kind of bland and then it grows on you. Me likey.

3. Cervelo S2 - This is the bike I have been riding in The States. WAY too much bike for me, but so much fun to ride.

4. Mac Book Air - I like this thing so much better than my iPad. iPad is too similar to my iPhone. I just like having a keyboard.

5. Whole Foods - Good samples, good salad bar, fun bulk section, and make your own peanut butter and almond butter station. Wonder if they will go international?

Have a good day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wesley and Mommy Wednesday Update

I had my hair cut, colored, and straightened in Indy today. Had to take a picture since this only happens once or twice a year. Enjoy!