Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

My friend LK baked some yummy looking muffins over in St Kitts and blogged about it. They looked delicious and so I thought I'd try to make them GF and SF

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, GFSF


Cream Cheese Mixture:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Strussel Topping:
4 1/2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill GF Flour
3 mini scoops powder stevia (or 6 teaspoons sugar3sugar)
1 tablespoon Trader Joes Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Pumpkin base
1 1/2 cups Sorghum
1 cup BRM All GF Flour
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup agave syrup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon Trader joes Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup grape seed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine ingredients for each part of the recipe in separate bowls.

Fill greased muffin tins 1/2 full with pumpkin base. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of each muffin. Sprinkle the strussel topping on top.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Being Vain

Somethings are just meant to be they way God made them. Case in point:

I should never be Blond.
Aw... Much better.
Eat your heart out Fabio!

Beagle, Afghan Hound, or.... Romance Novel Stud?

Monday, October 18, 2010

COMP, Day 1

When I was in college, I specifically chose a major within the College of Science, so that I didn't have to write a thesis. I got to do fun things instead, like a hands-on internship (aka romping through the forest taking basal area measurements). Unfortunately, I decided to sign up for law school where one of the requirements before "they" hand you over your $90K piece of paper is to write something called a Comp Paper. This is a "high level research paper between 20-40 pages in length demonstrating an understanding of the topic." Similiarly to a College of Liberal Arts Major, long, dry paper writing might be something beneficial to your career. Some areas of law may also include this same type of writing. However, this area of law is likely limited to the academic areas of law. Don't get me wrong, writing is an essential part of law. We write memos, motions, and other documents relating to various practice areas. I plan to practice an area of law that requires minimal writing. Therefore, I think I'm not thrilled about this Comp Paper. Of course I decide to write my paper on the most un-research-able topic: "The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit". Apparently, there is very little out there about the impacts of this topic seeing that it JUST ended.

As many of you know, writing is not my forte. I make numerous spelling errors and typos. I write as if I have the grammar of a 5 year old, and I ramble off and create a blob of disjointed ideas.

It's a wonderful, sunny, fall day here in the PNW and I'd rather be outside playing with the Beagle. Instead, due to my procrastination, I'm inside, un-bathed, unamused, trying to pound out an intro and background on my comp. I am not thrilled.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New FiveFinger "Training" Plan

The weather is turning cold and dark. Triathlon season is officially over. I need another reason to get my butt back in gear. I'm one of those people who thrive when someone's yelling at me to work out and to do another lap or to do another 5 minutes. I have a hard time motivating myself. Ironically, (or not) I have no problem motivating others... ha.

As many of you know, I can run 5, 6 miles without problem. That is, no problem when I had a triathlon looming in the future. After my 2 miles in my VFFs the other day, I could definitely feel my muscles working. I want to be very careful to take things slowing when transitioning into "barefoot" running. I figure, I'm no worse off then a non-runner with traditional running shoes so I googled a few workouts. I came across this one that was suggested on the VFF website. This plan starts out very slow, but I think I can deal with this. My plan is to do the track workouts either after work at Hare Field, or on the chip path by my home. Am I concerned about the lack of high intensity cardio over the next few weeks? YOU BET. I have a lot of anxiety about this. However, nothing is stopping me from continuing my swim workouts and rides on my bike trainer. I am willing to slow down my running, to stay injury free.

Here is the plan below. Feel free to follow along if you're a current couch potato, or if you just need some extra motivation. It's supposedly the perfect "Couch to 5/10K plan".

Week 1:
On the track walk 1/2 lap, then jog 1/2 lap, walk a half, jog a half for 1 mile. You will alternate jogging & running 8 times (4 each) and complete 4 full laps. Now no matter how good you feel, go home. Do this 4 to 6 days a week; never less than 4 days or more than 6 days weekly.

When you complete 4 full laps, that's exactly 1 mile, now no matter how good you feel, go home. Do this 4 to 6 days a week.

Never less than 4 days or more than 6 days weekly.

Week 2:
(4 to 6 days per week) Start with a 5 minute warm up walk, then alternate walking & jogging and walk only half the distance of each jog, as follows:
Jog 1/4 mile (one lap) then
Walk 1/8 mile (1/2 half lap)
Jog 1/2 mile (2 laps)
Walk 1/4 mile (1 lap)
Jog 1/4 mile (1 lap)
Walk 1/8 mile (half-lap)
Jog 1/2 mile...go home

Week 3:
5 Days this week:
Day 1: Brisk 5 minute warm up walk, then:
1/2 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile jog; total 2 miles. Go home
Day 2: 5 minute warm up, then: 3/4 mile jog (3 laps) 1/2 mile walk (2 laps) 3/4 mile jog; total 2 miles. Go home.
Day 3: 5 minute warm up then: 2 mile jog (8 laps) NO WALKING!!!
Day 4: Repeat day 3
Day 5: Repeat Day 2.

Week 4:
5 workouts this week.
Day 1: warm up, then: 1/2 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 3/4 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile jog: total 2 1/4 miles. Go home.
Day 2: warm up, then: 1 mile jog (4 laps) 1/4 mile walk, 1 mile jog; total 2 1/4 miles. Go home.
Day 3: warm up, then: 2 1/4 mile jog (9 laps) NO WALKING! Day 4: Repeat Day 2
Day 5: Repeat Day3

Week 5:
Warm Up! Then jog 2.5 miles 4 to 6 days.
Week 6:
Warm Up! Then jog 2 miles 4 to 6 days.

Week 7:
Warm up! Then a 3 mile jog. You are ready for a 5K for fun. Not one this weekend? Here's your weekly 'Stay in Shape' schedule.
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 2.5 miles
Day 3: 3 miles
Day 4: 2.75 miles
Day 5: 3 miles

Week 8:
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 4 miles
Day 4: 3 miles
Day 5: 4 miles

Week 9:
Day 1: 4 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 4 miles
Day 5: 5 miles

Week 10:
Day 1: 5 miles
Day 2: 4 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 6 miles
Day 5: 5 mile

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Astoria Triathlon

Hi friends,

First off, let me start by saying I don't have my camera. my mother stole it because she went to Hong Kong for a couple of weeks. I suppose, since I don't pay rent, it's an even trade off.

What a weekend. I had my first trial on Friday! It went well.

REI's 20% coupon started Friday as well meaning I got to go buy the Vibram Fivefinger shoes I've been dying to try. They have been sold out online and in store... except for the last pair... in my size... truly meant to be.

I got this exact model and color. This one's suppose to be better than the other models for road running.

I didn't get a chance to try the shoes out because 1) I was ready to do a triathlon on Saturday, 2) my cousin and his wife from Canada visited for dinner and 3)TH and I had to drive to Ocean Park that night.

On Saturday, TH and I woke up early and drove to Fort Stevens for the First Annual Astoria Triathlon. This was a mini-sprint (400m, 10 miles, 2.6 miles). The weather was typical North Coast: rainy and windy. The swim started in Coffenbury Lake which was probably somewhere in the mid 50's. I really wished I bought the full sleeve wetsuit rather then the farmer john style. The swim started as a mass start. It also started with short notice. I was floating around in the water to get use to the temp when the organizer told everyone to get behind the buoys. I was walking back toward shore to meet with up TH. Before I got anywhere near TH, actually as soon as I crossed back behind the "start line" the organizer hit the start horn. I just gave TH a quick thumbs up and swam off. Swim was good. Super short, super cold. Made it to shore toward the front of the pack with a handful of people already in transition.

The bike started off great. It was pouring down rain, but I was flying. The court was an out and back so about halfway to the turn around, I saw the first biker heading back to transition. 3 men, and 1 woman. I was pretty happy about this since I really wanted to try to place again in my division. After the turn around my speed just vanished. I went to 22mph to struggling at 14. I thought that I might have had a flat, but at this point, I was ready to pick up my bike and run rather they try to fix a flat. for anyone who doesn't know... road tires are a pain to take on and off the rims. There was a super strong head wind that didn't help. I slowly made it back to transition and took off on the run.

The run was a 2.6 trail run around the lake. It was full of roots, puddles, and was only wide enough for a single file. It started as an uphill and I thought I was going to die. The trail slowly leveled out and I saw 3 people ahead of me (2 men, 1 woman). 2 of them (M and W) let me pass and I followed a guy probably in his late 40's for the next 2ish miles. Toward the end of the run I was really shocked to have no been passed by anyone, especially running is NOT my strong leg. I started to hear some heavy breathing behind me and realized that it was TH. (About time!). I graciously let him pass and we said a few quick words to each other as he took off. I could finally see/hear the finish and finished strong. I even hurdled over a fallen tree, and then nearly slipped on some wet roots. The race did not use timing chips, so I had no idea what my place or time was. I never seem to look at the time read out either because usually, I'm too frantic looking for water or TH. TH and I changed and settled and went to a covered area for the awards ceremony. The medals were handmade by a local artist with pottery. The top 3 men where announced and the medals were awesome. I was pretty anxious to get one. Then the top 3 women were announced. I didn't really pay attention because I don't worry about those awards. I look for top 3 in my AGE. haha not of the whole pack. 1st place went to the woman I saw on the bike ride. 2nd place went to...


I was pretty surprised by this. I got 2nd place overall women! While I do realize that this is a small scale triathlon and the distances are weird but I was excited about getting one of those cool medals. Getting any medal is awesome, but something handmade is more meaningful.

After talking to TH and finding out that his bike time was slow as well, we realized that this was probably due to the headwind on the return ride.

That evening, it was Clam Tide and TH has never been. My mom and step dad happen to have a house on the beach. We got our licenses and went out that night covered head to tow in rain gear. The wind speed was probably 40-50 mph. I was having trouble not getting blown over. The rain was also pretty stellar. I've been digging for razor clams before and frankly, I'm a little more gifted at triathlons than clamming. TH, the avid hunter, happens to be amazing at clamming. He caught his limit (15 clams). I caught like 3 and 2 of the times, TH pointed the clam hole out to me. For anyone whose been clamming it's pretty hard to spot the little dimple that the clams made in the sand. We were doing this at 8pm, in the dark, in the wind and rain. Typically it's advised to let the clam sit overnight in a bucket of salt water so that they "spit" aka poop out all the sand they have in their systems. We were anxious so I went to clean 4 to fry up. Okay, so razor clams look like... shall I say... a certain male body part. They were also still alive. So when i went to cut them apart they were move in my hand and it was really really gross. TH provided some help and moral support and we made it through. After eating, TH and I sat down to watch a movie on TV. The wind was so strong that it knocked our satellite out. No movie for us.

We left fairly earlier on Sunday morning because I had to get back to drive my mom to the airport. The drive went fine and included a pit stop to the Nike outlet for a pair of running capris. My mom and I went to Costco because she needed to pickup some last minute items. I got TH and I a pair of snowshoes. We wanted to get a pair last year but they sold out like Tickle-Me-Elmos.

This is a picture I stole from eBay which were retailed for $30 then what they were at Costco. I'm pretty sure this seller just bought them at Costco and is reselling them. Especially since it's packaged exactly the same way. Anywho... The snowshoes came with telescoping poles and a storage bag. I can't wait to go out and use them for some winter cardio.
Speaking of using purchased footwear... I went for a short 2 mile run in my FiveFingers. It was definitely different. I could feel the muscles in the feet working. I can definitely tell why the manufacturers say to slowly break them in mile by mile. I hope I'm not too sore tomorrow.

And now it's Sunday night and I haven't touched a single law book. I am screwed.