Tall Tales Tuesday: The Great Sand Dunes

I’ve been meaning to share the road trip to New Mexico that Rob and I took a few weeks ago with all of you, but thought breaking up the trip into a few Tall Tales Tuesday posts might be less overwhelming. Plus, it’s a way for me to share more pictures from the trip!

The places we went include:

  • The Great Sand Dunes
  • Alamosa
  • Toas for hiking
  • Bandalier National Monument
  • Santa Fe
  • Tent Rocks National Monument
  • Albuquerque

My favorite part of the trip was The Great Sand Dunes and Bandalier.

Sand Dune Signs

The sand dunes were absolutely gorgeous with the way they backed up to the snow capped mountains.

Views for days

Of course Rob and I decided to climb to the highest point, because why would we do anything less?

Highest point

The climb was tough and a bit windy. Wearing spandex was not the best choice as my legs kept getting sand blasted, but it was a good workout!

DSC06737

Once we reached the top, you could see the mountain range and the other half of the dunes. All they were missing was the ocean!

The way back down the dunes was so much fun! The dunes are super dubber steep, so we would run down them while our feet sunk into the side. Normally I get nervous on steep hiking trails, but since it was just sand, I wasn’t worried at all. It was giddy-laughter-giggly kind of fun.

Downhill running

I had to stop twice to empty the sand out of my shoes. There was so much that I could barely walk because my shoes felt like they were 3 sizes too small!

sand in my shoes

It was such a beautiful park. If you haven’t been and can make the drive, then you should absolutely stop by. It’s an easy afternoon adventure to hike around and play.

On our way out, Rob couldn’t resist a few strategic pictures

pictures in the road

and I couldn’t resist a few embarrassingly bad cartwheels.

Cartwheel

Ahh, open road. How I love you.

RQ: Have you played on sand dunes? What was your favorite road trip?

Tidbits From The Past Week

Now that things have seemed to settle down a bit after last week, I am hoping to get back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Here’s a bit of what’s been going on the past few days that are not track related (because I feel like that’s all I’ve talked/thought/dreamt about the past week):

I chaperoned a field trip to the Denver Art Museum on Wednesday. The kids were so well behaved and the Modern Masters exhibit was spectacular! I highly recommend going to see it. The contemporary section was rather interesting as well.

Denver Art Museum

Filmed some videos for the Spring Burn (My group is kicking butt!). My gym’s anterior room is not pretty to look at, but it works! Filming is pretty awkward, but I think I am getting used to it.

Filming for Spring Burn

My motley crew of a track team absolutely rocked their meet on Saturday! All 5 competitors had personal bests and one runner smashed the school record for the mile!

Motley Track Crew

Rob surprised me with tickets to see Spring Awakening at The Town Hall Arts Center on Saturday night. The 200+ seats theater was so cute! I didn’t love the story of the play, too funny to too sad too quickly, but the actors were phenomenal and it was wonderful to get out of the house and wreck our routine. (see what I did there?)

Spring Awakening

If you don’t have the Broadway station on your Pandora list, you need to add it. I just discovered it this week and am obsessed. Les Mis, Hercules, Sound of Music, Rent, Beauty and the Beast. All the best songs!

Broadway Pandora

RQ: What randomness from your past week do you have to share?

Tough Decisions

It has been a tough week. One of the toughest of my teaching career. For anyone who has been a first year teacher, then you know how tough I am talking about.

Unfortunately, I can’t share too much here. Here is what I can tell you:

On Monday, I made the decision to step down as assistant track coach. It broke my heart to walk away from the kids, but it was the right decision for both myself and them.

Lined up to throw

Tuesday was my last practice.

Friday afternoon I was asked to be head coach.

Today, there is a meet I know very limited information about. Including what time the coaches meeting is and what the goals are for the distance runners.

It has been a week full of second guessing, explaining, praying, tears, and reminding myself of this quote:

Respect Yourself

I have to hope and believe that the athletes can recover as a team from the events of the past week and that they will be stronger because of it. Monday starts a clean slate.

RQ: Have you ever had to make a decision that you knew was best for you but was extremely difficult to make?

Quick Pop In

It’s been a bit of a stressful day, so just popping in to share some more peaceful images from the weekend.

Cauliflower Tots. These are seriously a must!

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Snow in the morning, beautiful and sunny by the afternoon.

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Exploring New Mexico over spring break. (Ok, not the weekend, back it up to Wednesday.)

DSC06871

RQ: Do you have images that calm you on stressful days?

Blog-spiration and ENERGYbits Giveaway Winner

My blog feed has been blowing up with some seriously inspiring women the past few weeks and I just have to share it with you all! Especially if you need some extra motivation to get moving now that the weather is nice. Also especially if your workout felt like mine today.

So done

11 miles of death.

Stephanie from Now I Run wrote a post with a ton of good information for new runners.

Heather from Run Like a G! is training for her first marathon and just completed a 50 mile week!

Amy from Run Write Hike is running the Colorado Marathon in just one month and a half marathon tomorrow!

Kristen from Glitter and Dust is in training for the Boise Ironman!

Feel like sitting on the couch now?

ENERGYbits Giveaway Winner!

Full container

The winner of a sample pack of ENERGYbits is Emily!

Emily Wins!

Emily, email me at wreckingroutine@gmail.com and we will work out the details.

ENERGYbits are only available at ENERGYbits.com, and Jonathan (their Community Manager) has shared with me that he’d be happy to connect anyone with a current ambassador to share a discount on a bag of bits, or more info on their sample program – you can email him at jlevitt@energybits.com

RQ: How do you get motivated to get up and get going? 

Powerhouse Leg Workout

With the weather finally being consistently nice, the gym has been packed with people trying to get summer body ready. (Check out the Spring Burn if you’re one of those people!) There is one guy in particular at my apartment complex’s gym who chews gum extremely loudly while breathing ridiculously heavy. When he stretches.

This is also the same guy who will make a complete and utter mess of the weights with no regard for anyone else. Ugh. I only make a mess when no one else is there.

Making a mess in the empty gym Since I am wanting to avoid him, and you might have someone at your gym that you want to avoid as well, here is a sweaty, at-home or outside workout for you to try out. The goal is to fatigue your muscles before you have them do a power move. It’s a strength builder and calorie burner all in one!

Powerhouse

Links to a few moves in case you need some guidance:

Don’t forget to enter the ENERGYbits giveaway I have going on!

RQ: Do you have anyone in your gym that you try to avoid?

ENERGYbits Review and Giveaway

Last week, the wonderful Community Manager, Jonathan, at ENERGYbits sent me a sample of their product to try. I have been seeing ENERGYbits take off all over my twitter newsfeed and love how sincerely involved the company is in all of the athletic endeavors of its followers.

The first thing that struck me when I opened the container was, wow they are green! The second thing was, they smell like fish food.

Full container

As they should! ENERGYbits are made with spiralina algae. So, basically fish food. Here are a few other things to note about these little green tabs of energy:

  • They have the highest concentration of protein in the world. 64%!
  • Olympians have been using them for 50 years or so.
  • The spiraling algae, the bit’s one ingredient, is 100% organically grown.
  • There is no sugar, caffeine, or chemicals in them.
  • They can be used to curb your hunger.

Since I don’t like to eat just before I workout, but then suffer stomach pains afterwards until I get something in my body, I took a handful of ENERGYbits before 10-mile morning run.

Half a serving

Normally around mile 6, I start to get a bit mentally fatigued. But this time, I can honestly say, that once I hit the 10 mile mark, I actually felt like I could keep going. Mentally, I was alert and ready. Physically, my ankle was yelling (but that has nothing to do with the bits).

10 miles later...

The best part was that even though I hadn’t had breakfast, just one serving of bits (30 tabs), I wasn’t starving when I finished. I wasn’t even that hungry for about 30-40 minutes after, which NEVER happens. Usually I have to eat right away so I don’t gnaw my arm off.

All in all, I was seriously impressed with these little guys. One downside: I’m a bit of a burp-y runner and the fishiness of the bits was definitely noticeable, not bad, but was there.

 energybits

 If you’d like to try ENERGYbits for yourself, there are two ways to make it happen. 

1. Use the discount code BLOG on the ENERGYbits website to receive a 10% discount, or

2. Enter the giveaway to receive your very own sample size! To enter, just leave a comment below telling me how ENERGYbits might help your workout life. I will announce the winner on Saturday, April 5!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a sample size of ENERGYbits to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

RQ: How might ENERGYbits help your workout life?

Tall Tales Tuesday: Your Shoes Are a Problem

I wear a size 11 shoe. Being almost six feet tall, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Rob wears a size 14-15 shoe. Being 6’5”, that should also not be a surprise.

Sandals in Japan

No matter where we went in Asia, it seemed like our feet were always a problem.

Bare feet only

Shoes came off when entering houses, hotels, and temples.

Hostel entranceway

Shoes were changed to small winter boots when we wanted to explore an indoor sledding hill.

changing to snow boots

Shoes were left near demanding signs.

bossy bossy

Shoes were covered when touring a palace.

Shoe covers

Shoes were replaced with tiny slippers when walking on hardwood floors near a zen garden.

Slippers

At least we always knew which shoes were ours; they don’t make shelves big enough for our  shoes.

Guess which ones are ours

RQ: Do you have shoe problems?

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Rob and I do a big Costco haul about every 2 weeks. We load up on fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheese (because it’s a vice), and then spend the next two weeks surprising ourselves when we eat it all.

Typical Costco Haul…only half

I am a major advocate of trying not to waste anything we buy by letting it go bad and having to throw it out (expiration dates are a HUGE must-follow for me). So, a few weeks ago, when Friday night rolled around and we were getting low on food, I got a little creative with some Stuffed Bell Peppers.

Salty peppers

Basically, I took all the vegetables left in our fridge, and the one frozen chicken left in our freezer, and threw this meal together.

Surprisingly, it turned out really delicious. I love how versatile you can be with what vegetables you add, because none of the ones I used were on the three recipes I looked up. Expect the peppers, of course.

Oven ready

It takes almost no time to throw this together and it’s a dinner to feel good about. You can add brown rice or quinoa to your peppers, or serve it on the side. Personally, I didn’t use any and was stuffed after two and a half of these babies.

broken open and delicious

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 3 Bell Peppers (assorted colors)
  • 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 handfuls Spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 6 slices Cheese of choice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: Brown Rice or Quinoa

Directions:

  1.  Marinate cubed chicken breasts. (I used tomato sauce because that is what we had, but anything would work.)
  2. Cut peppers in half and empty out seeds.
  3. Toss mushrooms, onions, spinach, and tomatoes together in a small bowl.
  4. Stuff peppers with a small handful of marinated chicken.
  5. Continue stuffing with a handful of vegetable mix.
  6. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is done.
  7. Remove tinfoil and place one slice of cheese on top of each pepper. Bake until cheese is melted, about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.

RQ: Have you ever made stuffed bell peppers? What do you do with the leftover veggies right before a big grocery shop?