Marathon Training, Yoga Challenges, and Grandsons: Just a little recap

Busy weekend = mostly pictures. That and the Westminster Dog Show is distracting me. So, a little recap with a lot of pictures.

Marathon Training

What should be the biggest part of my recap is, well, not so much. I’m having schedule clashes, with clients who want to work out at 7:00 in the morning, and while I’m willing to get out there early, I’m hesitant to get out there too much in advance of the sunrise. That’s a long excuse for only two runs this week.

Running 2I did get out early on Wednesday, finishing my four miles by 6:00.

RunningAnd I did a 14 mile long run on Sunday (Saturday we had family stuff). I ran the first 5 miles with Alan and our neighbor, then took off on my own for the rest. The fire station is my perfect water stop. They have an ice machine, plus, well, firemen (though there weren’t any about on Sunday).

Total mileage only 18 miles! That should improve in the coming week. My work schedule is a little better and I have a cut back on the long run next weekend.

Yoga Challenge

Ironically, I’ve done much better with the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink that I did with running. I’ve managed at least a short practice every day since the beginning, and since I’m doing the Bringing Yoga Back challenge too (which fortunately work really well together), I’m really happy with my yoga efforts. I didn’t make it to a “real” class this week, but I practiced at home, both in and outdoors. Take a peek:

Week 2A little doggy-assisted yoga, my favorite kind.

Week 2_2While Alan worked the PS Half Marathon, I took a little run, the did a little posing.

Week 2_3Not only do I get help from my dogs, I get a lot of interest from the cats in the neighborhood.

Week 2_4I spread out my mat on the driveway to stretch after my Wednesday run.

Week 2_5I think I did a pretty good lizard pose variation, don’t you?

Week 2_6Back in the house, a 20 minute balance flow, and amazingly the dogs stayed clear (they were probably afraid I’d fall on them, my balance was that bad).

Week 2_8We traveled to Huntington Beach on Saturday for our twin grandsons’ 10th birthday party. While they played basketball, I posed.

Week 2_7I dragged Alan out for this one. Up in the trails behind our house, he took so many great pictures of my downward facing dog that I couldn’t choose just one.

Phew, week two in the books. I’m am so ready for week three!

Grandsons

As I mentioned, our grandsons turned 10 on Saturday (yes, they’re Valentine’s Day boys). It was a basketball themed party, so Alan and I had a chance to throw the ball around a little bit too. It had been 20 years a long time since I played basketball, and I was playing in flip flops, but I still managed a couple free throws (it seems much farther away than it did when I was younger!), and more than a few lay ups. From my Instagram:

Yes, we did. #basketball

A video posted by Debbe Woodruff (@coachdebbieruns) on

And this:

BirthdayThey asked to do this. #10yearoldboys

Valentine’s Day

We’re not big Valentine’s celebrators. We try to show our love daily, so it’s just not a big deal. We did, however, take the opportunity to stop for dinner at Native Foods on our way home from Huntington Beach on Saturday. It’s not exactly romantic, but it is our favorite restaurant. As I told one of our smartypants Facebook friends, it feels more romantic to us than candlelight and steaks!

Native Foods 3Native Foods 2Alan ordered three(!) cupcakes, so we had ALL the chocolate! I was really well fueled for my long run on Sunday. And fortunately not too sore from the basketball.

So, that was my week in training and life. What’s happening in yours? Any races, events, family fun?

Hiking to the Summit. And Other Fun Stuff

Snow Summit that is. In Big Bear.

Hiking to the Summit

Alan and I went back up to Big Bear over the weekend to visit our friend Cheryl, who lives about a quarter of a mile from Snow Summit, the big ski area there. Obviously there is no skiing going on right now, but the slopes are well used during the summer by hikers and mountain bikers. In fact, when we walked there for our hike, the parking lot was full!

Big BearI’m not sure why I love this picture so much. Maybe because I usually pose and try to look pretty and this time I’m obviously not.

One of the best things about traveling to the mountains (or the beach, or just about anywhere that isn’t the desert), is that we have a chance to sleep in a little without giving up any hope of exercising outdoors.  We actually slept until after 6:00 (believe me, that’s late in our world where cross country practice starts at 5:30 am), take our time, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and generally enjoy the morning before heading out for our hike at about 10:00.

Big Bear 14The view from in front of our friends house. This doesn’t really show the top of the mountain, but yes, we’re going up there.

Alan and I are in pretty good shape, but this hike was definitely a challenge. The trail was really steep in some areas, but really beautiful too. The views were stunning, especially of Big Bear Lake.

Big Bear 10At one point in our hike I was feeling cocky and started running up a fairly steep but smooth part of the trail. Of course Alan had to run too. After about 25 yards I’d had it. I started walking again, but found that I actually needed to stop to catch my breath. Ah, hiking in thin air.

Big Bear 12We did make it to the top (it was only a mile and a half..ha!). Once there we saw the big attraction of summertime Snow Summit..mountain biking.

Big Bear 7It’s huge! They have a lot of different courses from easy to difficult, and of course there are bike rentals at the base of the hill. The cyclists take the gondolas to the top and then ride all the way downhill. They keep the hiking trails separate, so you don’t have to worry about a random cyclist flying over a hill and mowing you down.

Big Bear 8That’s San Gorgonio in the background, a peak we usually see from the other side when we are at home in the desert.

Big Bear 9We stopped at the top long enough to refill our water bottles, take a couple pictures, and check out the elevation (about 8,200 feet). Then we headed back down. It was a lot easier (except on my gimpy knees). We even ran part of the way.

Big Bear 11We actually bumped into a couple people that recognized Alan. Yes, as announcer of many races in Southern California he is a little bit of a celebrity among runners. One of them was a cross country runner from Beaumont, in Big Bear for the altitude training, who ran the Palm Springs 5k (and half marathon).

Big Bear 6It was a great hike. Only about three miles, but oh, so challenging. In fact, I’m planning on bringing my cross country team up next week. We’re getting a good deal on a cabin and it will be great for their training (and their team building/bonding).

After the hike, we headed out to lunch with Cheryl. After a lot of Yelp searching and phone calls, we settled on a restaurant that was really close to her house. Alan had the vegetarian burrito, and I had the Southwestern salad, which was really good.

Big Bear 3The server “got it” when I explained what I needed, so when I asked about the dressing he told me that it wasn’t vegan. Instead, I created my own dressing on the spot, using the guacamole, salsa, a little oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. It was delicious!

The Rest of the Week: Featured on Instagram

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a lot of these pictures, but if not (why not?), here are some scenes from the week.

Big Bear 4

On Thursday morning I just wasn’t feeling the run, so I took a walk (which actually turned into mostly a run). Slowing down allows you to appreciate what you’re seeing out there (and gives you time to photograph it).

Big Bear 2The dogs were pretty happy when we got home from Big Bear. This is Goldie, our “special needs” girl, flashing her brightest smile.

Coco and Johnny were also excited that we were home, though you can’t exactly tell from their pictures.

Big Bear 15

Big Bear 16

On Thursday afternoons, we have our cross country “heat adaptation” practice at a park about 6:00 pm. The girls need to have some heat training so that they can compete at their league meets in September. After a couple weeks where it was too hot even for heat training, we met at the park and we all were pretty surpirsed at how busy it was in the middle of August when it was about 103 degrees. In addition to the girls, there were peewee football players, tennis and volleyball, even an ultimate Frisbee game going on. And of course, the aquatic center, right next door, was packed.

Big Bear 13

Rest in Peace Robin Williams

I was just so shocked and saddened by the death of Robin Williams that I need to take a moment here to pay my respects. I’ve been a fan since Mork and Mindy, was always proud that I was part of a focus audience for Good Morning Vietnam, adored his more serious roles in Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting, and Awakenings (one of my favorite movies ever). I loved that, despite his struggles with addiction, he was also an athlete, and a big supporter of the Challenged Athletes’ Foundation. I was stunned beyond words when I heard the news this afternoon, as I’m sure most people were. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

sports-sandiegoI hope you will take a moment to hug your loved ones a little closer, because you never know where our paths will lead.

What I Ate…Vegan on the Road at IHRSA

What you won’t find in this post: A list of elegant vegan restaurants, beautifully photographed entrees, or how I packed enough food to feast upon for four days. What you will find: How I survived, ate delicious food, some great memories, and created a few good pictures from my vegan on a budget weekend.

I did bring a few things with me. A small bunch of bananas. A few Clifbars. A tub of hummus, coconut milk creamer, and popcorn. Oh, and a bottle of wine. I wasn’t a girl scout, but I know about being prepared.

I am afraid that I don’t even remember the name of the cafe where I had lunch on my first day at the convention. I had bumped into Kymberly and we wanted to find a quick lunch close to the convention center. I figured I could always order a salad no matter where we went, and that is exactly what I did. Their chopped salad was pretty good with a good mix of vegetables. A little lemon, oil, vinegar, and pepper made a tasty dressing. It was the company that was the important part anyway.

By the time I checked in to my hotel on Wednesday, it was after 5 and I’d been on the go for over 12 hours. I really didn’t feel like searching out and driving to a vegan restaurant, so instead I headed to Little Italy, a neighborhood in downtown San Diego, where you will find many Italian restaurants and lots of pasta. I filled up on capelinni with tomato and basil and it was quite good. Not shown in the (incredibly bad) photo, the glass of wine I had with dinner.

Vegan at IHRSA

Bad picture, great food, at one of the Italian Restaurants in Little Italy.

Because I never made it to a grocery store (and I didn’t have a refrigerator in my room, just my cooler) breakfast on Thursday was a little, um, unplanned. A bagel and some fruit from the free continental breakfast at my hotel, plus a banana, and a Clifbar, were all I had through the day. By the time I finished up my last session for the day at 3:00, I was starving. I decided it was worth it to head over to one of the few vegan restaurants in San Diego, Evolution Fast Food.

vegan at IHRSA

I’d been there before, back when I was in town to deal with the death of my Aunt Lois, but I was kind of surprised at how easy it was to drive there from the convention center. Um, two miles straight up 5th St? No problem!

IHRSA 2

Once there I loaded up on a few things. A Buffalo Chick’n Sandwich, a veggie sandwich for the following day, a peachy dessert that was delicious and so huge that it lasted for the next 3 days, and a raw scramble, made with almonds, curry, cilantro and other seasonings that was really good.

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A little later in the evening, I headed over to meet my son and daughter in law for dinner. They are about a 20 minute drive from downtown so it was a pretty quick drive. After a little discussion (they are NOT vegan), we chose the Genghis Grill Mongolian Stir Fry. I was a little hesitant, but it turned out to be very good. The concept is that you select the ingredients of your meal as you pass through a salad bar type area. You pick your protein (they keep the tofu with the vegetables, not the meat, which is good), your seasoning, vegetables, and sauces then they grill them up and bring them to your table. I made sure to tell them that mine was vegetarian, and they promise to keep it separate for the meat-filled areas. It was delicious!

IHRSA 4

On Friday morning, I brought along my goodies from Evolution Fast Food, and ate some of the raw scramble before my shopping and exercise at the Lorna Jane grand opening. I ate my veggie sandwich while I was at the trade show (right after my Anti Gravity Yoga class when I needed some refueling).

After spending about four hours wandering the floor of the convention center, I was starving (again) and I couldn’t think of anything that sounded better than another Buffalo Chick’n Sandwich. This time I ordered it with fries and it was just as good as I remembered.

It was an early evening for me. After all the walking through the convention center, the classes at Lorna Jane and the trade show, I was pooped. The next day, Saturday, I grabbed yet another bagel and bowl of fruit from the hotel breakfast, but my main fuel for my last session of the convention was the last of the raw scramble (and a banana).

IHRSA 6

Then I was off to visit Samuel (and his parents) again. They invited me for brunch! We had a potato scramble, salad, guacamole, and a fruit bowl.

IHRSA 7

While some of my meals seem a little off the cuff and random, they really prove that it is possible to adhere to your vegan diet easily, even when you’re on the road. Nothing was fancy, but all was delicious.

How do you manage when you travel? Do you search for just the right restaurant, bring a lot of your own food, hit the supermarket when you arrive, or…?

Let’s Put This Week to Bed. In (Mostly) Pictures

I have rehashed this week to death. You’ve read about my accident, my feelings about my accident, and my completion of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge in spite of the accident. I am tired of talking about it myself. So, I won’t. Except that a decent size insurance check should be arriving today so let the car shopping will begin.

We deserved a good weekend and the good karma gods delivered. If you follow me on Instagram you have a good idea what we’ve been up to (and if not, why not?). In any case, here are some pictures from the last week.

Running Girl

Goodbye Running Girl

 

Egg Tofu

My new discover thanks to Cadry’s Kitchen. I can’t believe how easy it is too make “tofu eggs!”

Pizza

Mmmm, vegan pizza

Penny

On the trails with Penny on Saturday before leaving for the beach.

Penny and Mom

Encinitas

The view from our hotel room in Encinitas

Alan_Debbie

Enjoying a little sea breeze, watching kids playing in the ocean, adults playing beach volleyball. Life in So Cal in February!

Encinitas2

Sunset

One of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen. Also from the hotel room.

Sunset

This was about 5 minutes after the sun had set. Still amazing.

Native Foods

Dinner at Native Foods. Two weeks in a row!

Native Foods 2

Soul Bowl

Native Foods 3

Bad pic, good food. Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger.

Fog

A foggy morning on Sunday.

Debbie

At about mile 9 of 10.

Alan

Samuel

Finally, the reason for our trip to San Diego! 15 months old!

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We got to meet Chloe.

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Samuel 4

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Lunch at PF Changs. These pictures were much better than the food pics.

bla bla blaThe week ended on a good note. Nothing like spending time with family to remind you of what is important and how precious life is.

I guess it’s time to start looking for a new car. I have pretty much decided that I want to start by looking at another Honda CRV. It was such a good car that it’s hard to think about a different one. Unless I get a really good deal on something else!

I want to thank you again for the support, love and concern that you expressed through the last week. It truly helped me stay strong in spite of the circumstances.

So, how was your weekend? Any travel, events, or special family time?

Vegan Food on the Road, Cross Country, & Costume Party Run Update

Ignite

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Team Ignite Athlete, but I thought it was kind of cool how they jazzed up my picture, so I thought I’d share. I’ve been using the InRefresh Electrolytes, and loving it, especially in this humid, hot weather we’ve been suffering through enjoying lately. I didn’t carry my own fluids during the Costume Party Run, but I tried to hydrate as much as possible, both before and after the race, using InRefresh.

Costume Party Run Update

Speaking of the Costume Party Run, I received an email from Ken at Superhero Events. He thanked all the participants, asked for feedback about the race, and promised that it would be even bigger and better next year. The improvements will include providing tech shirts instead of trucker’s hats, and reducing the amount of distance spent running through the parking lot of Qualcomm. Hurray! Those were my only two, admittedly minor, complaints. And they are going to make the finisher’s medal even bigger! Next year, it will be the size of an actual 45 record. Huge! Can’t wait for next year. Hmmm, what should I go as?

Vegan Food

Cross Country

Cross Country practice started on Tuesday! I am always excited to get the season underway, meet the team, start training and planning for the upcoming year. The fact that practice started on the worst day, weather-wise, that we’ve had yet didn’t put a damper on my excitement.

Vegan Food - Costume Party Run

It looks pretty, but it was hot, humid, and even smoky! Though the weather managed to get even worse for my own run the next morning. Just gotta say, 70% humidity is HUGE in the desert! It just doesn’t happen. Until it does.

Vegan Food - Costume Party Run

Vegan Food on the Road

I always get excited when I travel to Encinitas, because I know that I’ll get to eat at my favorite restaurants. After we checked into the hotel on Saturday, Alan and I walked over to the Roxy for lunch. I was in the mood for hummus for some reason, so that’s what I ordered. The Hummus and Pita appetizer, plus a side salad (I didn’t take a picture of it but it was HUGE!).

Vegan Food

I couldn’t even eat the whole thing (the picture is missing a slice of hummus because I couldn’t wait–I reformed it into a 5 pointed star instead of 6). We burned it off by walking to Moonlight Beach to check out the renovations that had been done. They recently built a new dressing room/restroom/concessions complex, made some changes to the landscaping, and enlarged the picnic/playground area. It looked really nice.

Now that Native Foods has opened in Encinitas, there is never any doubt where we’re going to have dinner. I did post a teaser photo on Instagram, though.

Vegan Food

Alan and I both went old school. I had the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, he had the Chicken Run Ranch Burger. And we shared an order of Native Fries. And we each had a piece of apple pie. I had to fuel for my race, didn’t I?

Vegan Food

Vegan Food

Vegan Food

Honestly, I think I kind of overdid it at dinner. Fortunately I didn’t have any stomach issues during the race, but my tummy didn’t quite feel normal. Too much delicious food!

After the race (if you missed my recap click here) and a little rest, we headed to the Lotus Cafe for a late breakfast. I was delighted to see that they’d added a full line of breakfast items to their menu, including my favorite, Tofu Scramble. It was really very good. It was served with vegan breakfast sausage (I don’t think I’ve even tried that before!), and potatoes. It did a great job of refilling my tank!

Vegan Food

Even better than the food though, was who we got to eat with.

Vegan Food - family

Vegan Food - family

And especially

Vegan Food - Family

As you can see, Samuel is wearing a specially designed helmet that will correct and round out a flat spot on his head. According to my son, this has become more common since they now tell parents to always put an infant to sleep on their back. If they turn their head more often to one side than the other, it can develop a flat spot. The helmet will correct it, but he has to wear it for four-six months. Since that will encompass football season, my forward looking son and daughter-in-law had the helmet made in blue and are awaiting receipt of various Charger logo stickers to dress up Samuel’s helmet.

Vegan Food - family

I was mostly concerned because, for a baby who always has a smile on his face, Samuel didn’t look very happy. I was afraid the helmet was making him sad. They assured me that he was simply tired, and it was true that after a short nap, the true Samuel-face reappeared.

Vegan Food - family

I drove home feeling completely happy and satisfied on all levels. I successfully completed my half marathon within seconds of my two hour goal (I’m simply not going to sweat that 11 seconds), had great food the whole weekend, and best of all, got to spend time with my family. Life is good.

I’m a little late asking this, but I hope you’ll still tell me..How was your weekend? Did you compete in any events, eat at any great restaurants, spend time with family? It was such a long weekend that you may have had time to do all of the above!

I am an Official KindRunner! Plus Vegan Sofritas at Chipotle!

I Am A KindRunner!

As of today, I am not only a KindRunner Ambassador, I am myself a kind runner.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this post yesterday afternoon:

I had finally received my order from KindRunner! I had to wait a few days for my Mizuno Wave Rider 16s to be available in my size, so I was anxiously awaiting their delivery.

Now, new shoes are exciting, but with KindRunner, there is also this:

Now I get to be the kind runner by shipping back my old shoes (they go directly to Soles4Souls), to be rehabbed and given to someone who really needs them. Every time you buy a pair of shoes from KindRunner you receive a return shipping label for your old shoes. When they are received you will earn $10 in Kindness Cash Rewards that you can use on your next purchase. In spite of the picture above, I was only able to squeeze two pairs of my old shoes in the box. I still get $10 credit, and I will help twice as many people! Plus help keep those old shoes from ending up in a landfill for a long time.

KindRunner

What? You’re not sending away your running shoes?

There are a lot of great reasons to shop at KindRunner, like free three-way shipping, expert video reviews of every product that they sell, confident runner pricing, easy 365 returns, and of course the Kindness Cash Rewards, but to know that your shoes are going directly to someone who needs them is, to me, the most important. Click here for details about the KindRunner benefits.

KindRunner

Did I mention that as one of the first 500 KindRunner customers I receive free socks for life every time I buy a new pair of shoes? Truth!

New Shoes

Saturday is my next running day. I can’t wait! I plan to run a few miles in my purple shoes, then put them aside for the Costume Party Run on July 7.

Vegan at Chipotle!

Actually, it has always been possible to eat vegan at Chipotle. Their Veggie Bowl, Tacos, and Burritos are all vegan (if you skip the sour cream, cheese, and remember that the pinto beans have bacon in them). Their food is very good, reasonably priced, and I love any fast food joint at which I can order a beer.

There is a lot of vegan buzz right now, though, about Sofritas. What are Sofritas? From the Chipotle website: “We start with organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.

Sofritas have been available in Northern California for awhile, but Chipotle just made them available in all their California locations a few weeks ago. Healthy? Well, they are quite high in sodium, especially when combined with some of the salsas that Chipotle serves. Plus, remember that anything wrapped in a large flour tortilla will have an additional 250+ calories before you add any toppings.

Frankly, I am just happy to have a new vegan option available at a fast food restaurant that generally offers fresh, whole, made on the premises food. But, how does it taste? Alan and I decided to find out for ourselves.

KindRunner - Vegan Chipotle

We met there after work. As we waited in line, one of the servers brought around a sample tray with the Sofritas. It was nice to get a chance to have a taste before ordering.

The only thing I have ever ordered at Chipotle has been the Veggie Bowl. I decided to jump way out of my box, not only with the Sofritas, but by having them in a taco! Alan went that way too. I had the soft corn tortillas and he had the crispy shell.

Chipotle also has a choice of rice, so I stayed on the healthier side by ordering the brown. They still offer the pinto beans when your order the vegan food, which always bothers me. I know that non-vegetarians order veggie bowls, and now Sofritas, and that the menu clearly states “cooked with bacon,” but it just seems to me that unless someones states they want the pork-laden beans the vegan/vegetarian black beans should be offered. What is wrong with the sentence, “will you be having the black beans with that?” Then if someone says they prefer pinto, you can let them know, “those contain bacon, is that alright?”

Okay, mini rant over.

KindRunner - Vegan Chipotle

 My tacos were so messy that I had to eat them with a fork. With fresh, spicy, and corn salsa. I could only eat two. Were they worth the mess?

KindRunner - Vegan Chipotle

Alan’s tacos with a crispy shell and added guacamole. In the old pre-Sofritas days, the guac was free (with the veggie dishes). Now it is $2 extra. His crispy shells held together well. But how did they taste?

And the answer is…very good! The Sofritas are very tasty, the food is fresh, and I will be back for more (for sure because I was given a coupon for a free Sofritas Bowl, Burrito, or Tacos). Yes, the sodium is high, but I don’t eat there everyday, and I’m happy to have a good, vegan option at a fast food restaurant.

Oh, I asked the servers how the Sofritas were selling, and they said very well. Great job, California, keep buying them and Chipotle will keep on serving them.

Are you a Kind Runner? Do you eat at Chipotle? What is your favorite?