Five Things I'm Loving

Hello hello!  I'm here. I'm alive.  I'm just working and training like a crazy person.  I have a bunch of blog posts waiting to go ... but no time to finish them up.  

September is shaping up to be an intense month.  At work, it's very likely that I will have two trials (one is definite; one is probably 75%).  The kids start school.  Soccer, gymnastics, CCD and unofficial cheerleading (Little wants to cheer for Big's soccer games) start. And race-wise, it's my busiest month ... um ... ever.  I have my Quakerman half iron triathlon the Saturday after Labor Day.  Then the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon the next Sunday.  A week's break and then a 100-mile bike ride to support the MS City to Shore effort.  It is a little crazy that by month's end, I will have biked 156 miles and run 26.2 miles in races alone - not including those weekday training rides and runs.  I'll be sure to recap here.  And hopefully pepper the blog with other stuff too.

In the meantime, here are five little things I'm absolutely loving.  Snapped with the ol' iPhone 4 ... because that's how I roll these days.  

(1) new pink Sauconys

I was on a long run recently with my friend Amy. I mentioned at the beginning of the run that I was due for new shoes but hoping to get through my half iron and half marathon with my current ones.  With 8 miles in the bank and 2 to go, I realized that no ... I needed new shoes immediately.  When we got back to the parking lot, we looked at the soles and they were shot.  So off to Famous Footwear I went. I know I wear and love Sauconys, so I just took every single size 7 they had in every style of Saucony, made a pile and tried them all on.  Not surprisingly, in the end, I was down to the Cohesion, which is my style of choice.  There were two colors: grey with blue and PINK with ... I don't even know.  Lots of colors.  I decided to listen to my daughter's inner voice who would surely tell me that the grey ones were "too boyish."  So I bought the pink ones.  They are super pink and super fun and maybe it's in my head, but I think I run faster in them.  It could also have something to do with the fact that the soles are actually supporting me.

(2) Inversion IPA

I found this at my local Whole Foods.  I'm always game for trying a new hoppy IPA, and this one is pretty good.  It has a nice flavor, good balance of hops and a delicious after taste.  I'd get this again for sure.

It is certainly no Hop Devil, which is the IPA by which all other IPAs are judged (by me, but it should be by everyone), but then again, nothing can truly compare to the genius and deliciousness that is my beloved Victory Hop Devil IPA.  I even have a Hop Devil bike jersey, which always gets a lot of attention on the trail.  If Victory Breweries wishes to sponsor a middle of the pack triathlete, I'm your girl.  And I can be paid in Hop Devil currency.

(3) My Trek Lexa

I'm starting to like my bike more and more.  I don't think I will ever *love* it like I *love* running.  But the bike is growing on me.  It helps that the weather is getting cooler.  I had a nice ride with my friend Amy last weekend and the weather was just so perfect.  After my 100 mile bike ride at the end of September, my plan is to upgrade to aero bars, a new seat and new seat position. Oh, and new tape on the handlebars.  I think I'm going blue. Or possibly red. I've always loved the baby blue/red combination.  The pros will love it when they lap me on the IMLP bike course.

(4) Hammer Perpetuem

At the last open water swim I had, the organizers (who are triathlon coaches) had free samples of Hammer products.  One was the Hammer Perpetuem, which I've heard good things about.  It's a sort of energy/protein/carb/whatever drink that you use on long bike rides to keep your energy up.  I used to use diluted Gatorade ... and then tried the Perpetuem.  It was life changing.  I felt so much stronger on the bike, and better yet, I felt amazing when I went from the bike to the run.  I'm a convert.  I'll use this on my half iron and again on my 100 miler.  I didn't experience any tummy issues, but to be fair, I rarely experience tummy issues when I run or bike.  Also, I like the strawberry vanilla flavor.  It kind of tastes like a watered down milkshake.  At least that's what I tell myself.  And I realize this is probably not a selling point to most people.

(5)  Cookie Dough Lara Bars

Finally, I'm in love with the cookie dough flavor Lara bars on long bike rides and triathlons.  I never ate more than energy chews on the bike until this year (primarily because I wasn't doing long distance races) and Amy suggested I give Lara bars a try.  I was not a fan at first ... but then they grew on me and they are super easy to eat on the bike.   I like the cookie dough flavor because there is a sort of gooey center that is as close to cookie dough as a bar made of dates and nuts can be.

I have to laugh because my friend (and Amy's husband) Bill said that it reminded him of the cookie dough energy drink bit on Saturday Night Live (aka: cookie dough sport -- LOL!).  So now every time I take a bite of the bar, I imagine myself on that commercial.  Like this.

On that note, have a fabulous Wednesday.  And if you care to share anything you're currently loving (or hating!), even if it is chugging cookie dough (no judgment), please do.  

See you swoon,

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