Sunday, September 30, 2012

September Foodie Penpals

It amazes me how every single month my Foodie Penpal never ceases to impress!!! This month my package came from Joanna, who blogs over at Midwestern Bite!  I knew based on our email conversations she was going to put together a great package, and that she did:

Pop Chips {Sour Cream and Onion}
Tomato Preserve {from the Amish Country}
Honey Sticks
Bee Pollen
Esther Price Chocolate {a local favorite and popular gift} 

Joann mentioned in her card that Bee Pollen has a lot of health benefits, so I quickly started doing some research. One website said A supply of bee pollen is like holding a whole health food store in the palm of your hand. This one convenient source is a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and oils, carbohydrates, amino acids, over 5,000 enzymes and coenzymes, hormones, peptones, polypeptides and globulins, high concentrations of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, and a variety of antibiotic substances. Another site referred to it as a superfood.  I've started out by putting a small amount of bee pollen on my PB toast, and am looking forward to incorporating it into more recipes.

I wasn't sure what to think about the Tomato Preserve, but it is delicious....especially as part of an almond butter & jelly sandwich!

This just might be new favorite dressing...good thing I can order it online

I love the opportunity  to meet new people every week from all over the country and to try local flavors from all over.  You too can join in on the Foodie Pen Pal fun:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ragnar Napa

At 4:45am on Friday, Van 2 of team SORE LEGS {Southern Oregon Running Enthusiasts, Luckily Enhances by Greater Seattle} met at the Wal-Mart parking lot to decorate our van and head south.  The excitement and energy was already high...I knew the next 2 days were going to be EPIC!

It didn't take Rosie long to pull out her snack of choice: giant carrots, and enjoyed eating them while boinging and group'ing {oh the things that are funny during a relay}

We used the GroupMe app to be able to group text so we would know where each van was at, but also have fun along the way.  And Rosie's text tone is a boinging you can imagine where we went with Group-in and boinging. The things that are coming when in a van for 40+ hours with people

After heading to the wrong transition, we headed back to transition 6, went through the safety briefing, etc and got ready to run our first set of legs! It was already getting hot, so we found some shade and waited for Emily to come in.   

Amanda totally rocked her first run and then handed off to Ann, who was running a short, but gnarly leg...with a ginormous climb! Ann loves hills and powered up it with a smile on her face, but was very happy to run up her last little hill and hand off to me.  My first let was 4.4 VERY HARD miles, with the first mile being straight up.  When I took off, I looked ahead and could see cars at the top...and they were WAY up there! I put my "head down, elbows back" {Ann's hill motto}, shortened my stride and powered to the top. Upon reaching the crest, I enjoyed a beautiful 3 miles through the country before handing off to Nate.

Nate and Paul {The Giver} both had LONG, tough runs, with minimal we pulled out the squirt guns; the runners were so thankful to be cooled off! Colin, our fearless leader {aka DD}, took every opportunity he could to relax and enjoy. Rosie finished our first legs off with a short run through town {lots of stops at traffic signals, giving us time to make it to the transition in time} and then we handed off to van 1 and headed to La Gunitas for some grub, interesting music and a break.  We were entertained with songs about ethanol, midgets and weed! {the rest of the trip we were singing about the "M" word and "ethanol, ethanol..."}

After about 2 hours of sleep in the van {the major exchange where we would be receiving the "baton" didn't have indoor sleeping, showers, and only had 3 indoor bathrooms...disappointing}we were ready to rock n roll through the fog lit streets of Santa Rosa. Amanda was thankful to find a running partner to run with as she was running past all of the bars just as they were closing...interesting characters out to say the least.  We were able to stop and check on her a few times, and make sure her ankle was ok {she had rolled it at the beginning of her run}. Next up was Ann, who rocked a Team Sparkle skirt for her nighttime run {I couldn't pass up a photo opportunity with another team of Team Sparkle runners}. And then it was ME...and I was a lil excited to be running at 1:30am. I had my tunes rocking through my Road Noise Vest and I was ready to go.  Luckily, I always had people around me so I felt safe and enjoyed running through the fog lit streets among a sea of blinking red lights.  Before I knew it I was handing off to Nate.  Nate had an 8 mile, no van support leg, so we went straight to the next exchange and got a little more shut eye.  I'm not sure what happened to me, but after Nate finished I curled up in the back of the van and didn't get out again...hence the lack of nighttime photos.  I slept through 2 exchanges {sorry team} and a container of pretzels &  a bag of food falling on my face!

Believe it or not, at this point in the relay, I had had NO caffeine {NONE from the time we left Medford}, so after resting a little bit we headed to, a flushing toilet and running water to brush my teeth were HEAVENLY!! Most people in van 2 had short third legs, but not me...I had 8.1, VERY HARD, NO VAN SUPPORT miles to run.  The phenomenal views of the wineries made every step of those hot, 8  miles worth it. It was seriously the most beautiful run EVER!

Clockwise starting top left: Amanda proud to be done, Rosie staying cool while waiting for Paul to come in, Rosie heading out on her 5 mile run to the finish, and Nate handing off to Paul

Clockwise starting top left: Ann heading off to enjoy an easy 2 miles, Amanda taking off for our last legs, "party foul" at the exchange, spirit tunnel for Amanda

Showing off our NUUN tattoos


{One of many} Finish line photo!

One of my tweeps and fellow blogger, Paulette, was running the relay as well, but in van 1.  Throughout the relay we would tweet back and forth, hoping to meet up at one of the major exchanges {I think I was sleeping the one time we were actually at the same place at the same time}.  She had tweeted me as we were waiting for Rosie to come in but I was running low on battery and had limitied my team came running through the finish line I saw Paulette standing there waiting and after taking a million team pictures, I ran up and gave her a big hug! It was SO nice to finally meet someone I felt like I already knew so well IRL!

Well I think it's safe to say I have a new running addiction: relays! Its amazing how well you get to know people and the relationships that are formed in such a short amount of time. I love the team aspect..the support, encouragement, and non-stop fun are truly one of a kind, and something that is hard to put into words. I already have my eye on Ragnar Wasatch Back {currently on the wait list}, Colorado and Tennessee for 2013...who wants to join me???