Our New Addition, the Annual Urban Hike and Some Snack Chat

 

Let’s talk animals for a quick second. Obviously you knw we have two hairless cats, Rocky and Mowgli, but we also have chickens, tortoises and Gouldian finches.

When the hubs goes out of town for work I get to take care of the animals. I think I’m cool when I get assigned those chores.

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Luckily he doesn’t leave town very often and it’s never more than a few days because I’m not too sure the birds are really fond of me. Ha.

Well, as if life wasn’t crazy enough over here, we got a dog.

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Yes, yes we did.

All the boys (Daddy too) have been wanting a dog for a long time and I kept begging that they wait until summer when I can be home and handle the craziness a little bit better.

Well, we’re two weeks in and what do you know. we now have a new family member. His name is Bear.

The cats haven’t quite warmed up to him yet, but I’m sure it will just take some time.

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We took him on his first walk today and it was a partial success.

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The relaxing summer is over, but it’s already so amazing to see how happy the boys are and how much they already love him. Our sweet dog Turk left us almost two years ago and it has seemed like something has been missing. Well, not anymore.

Smile

Our fmaily friend and I have a little tradition of going on long urban hikes every six months to a year. Yesterday was our third one. It was 23 miles and took us about six and a half hours.

We walked inland to the coast.

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Then we headed north for a bit to get to our final destination.

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Other than than hike, I ran about 37 miles last week with one workout of mile repeats and my longest run being 13 miles. Everything was at an easy pace except those darn mile repeats. My weekly running total was about 38 miles.

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The best thing was that I actually got to run outside three times all in one week. That never happens, but the boys had VBS so I took advantage and ran outside.

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It was darn hot, but it was so fun to be able to run outside and take my time.

My 13 mile run was at the lake and the highlight was running into these guys.

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This upcoming week we’re looking at 45 miles, my first double run day and another AT workout.

I was at a fitness certification all day today, but will fill you in later because I definitely have to pass along all the reasons why you really should be doing HIIT workouts at least once a week. Ha ha.

Let’s talk snakcs and food for just a bit shall we? I try to not overthink food because when I do it makes me want more and takes up too much time, but I’ve been trying some new things and found some fun new snacks that I thought I’d pass along.

First of all, any KIND bar is the bomb.My current favorite bar is the Black Truffle Almond Sea Salt.

I had one in the car today actually after my training.

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The Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond is good too, but I’m all out of those already. They went pretty fast.

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I’ve been making Vega protein ice cream a lot lately and adding a 1/2 teaspoon of chlorella to the blender. The brown rice tortilla homemade cinnamon bowl is always a must too.

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My favorite way to eat it is on the couch watching Real Housewives of New York, but that doesn’t’ happen too often.

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If the protein ice cream is not in a bowl it’s more like a milkshake with the fattest straw I can find.

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I was sent some IPS protein chips to try. I was pretty impressed for protein chips. I went for the cinnamon flavor first, but they have other flavors too like white cheddar and BBQ.

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They say three servings per bag, but for me that’s in one sitting. I just can’t help it.

I discovered this Crispy Crunchy Mixed Fruit gems at Trader Joe’s.

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They are perfect for when you just need something sweet and crunchy. The dried coconut in there is my favorite.

I was also sent some I Heart Keenwah chocolate puffs.

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They come is dark chocolate peanut butter and dark chocolate sea salt. The peanut butter one is better, but both are pretty awesome since there’s dark chocolate involved.

I’ve had to moderate my Lenny & Larry Protein Cookie consumption, but holy smokes if you want a fabulous vegan protein cookie this is what you need!

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These Vega maca chocolate are hard to find sometimes (they have them on the website though), but it always makes me feel better when I know my dark chocoalte has a little maca in it.

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I was also sent this Leaner Creamer to sample.

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Here’s what the website says about it:

Leaner Creamer is a delicious addition to your morning java that suppresses appetite and promotes weight loss with its coconut oil based infused with its proprietary all-natural blend of Citrus Aurantium Extract, Hoodia and Green Tea Extract. Our all-natural coffee creamer is made with the perfect hint of vanilla that will keep you coming back for more. It’s the only all-natural powdered coffee creamer that promotes weight loss and appetite suppression

I thought it was okay. I didn’t love it and I couldn’t tell if it really suppressed my appetite that much, but the hazelnut flavor was good and I like that it’s coconut based and worth a try if you’re into things like that. I’m going to use it on days when I think I might need a little something extra in my coffee.

I’m sure these won’t last long either, but for the moment we have some teeny tiny Frieda’s Stokes purple sweet potatoes in the house.

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I’m pretty sure all stores are out of them now and these are small because they’re the last of the season’s crop, but I made homemade fries out of them tonight just by cutting them and roasting them in the oven at 425 on the convection setting.

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They went perfectly with lettuce turkey burger wraps and lots of guacamole.

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Mmmmmm hmmm……

Smile

Okay, that’s enough food chat.

Oh and just because the discount code is only good through Monday, you can still get 50% off the adjustable Handful Bra (discount is taken from original price, not the sale price). It comes out to $25 a bra which is a steal for these amazing bras.

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I wear one every single day and use them for working out, running, just the everyday casual bra and even with my dresses to church.

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I’m getting more and more obsessed with doTERRA oils by the day too and used the lemon oil to clean my wedding ring that hadn’t been cleaned in over 10 years.

Before.

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Really fancy cleaning tool I used.

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After.

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I thought oils were all just about emotions and diffusing and taking care of yourself and your family, but hey, they are very practical too. I just found a homemade shower cleaner I’m going to try out using melaluca too.

All I know is that I’ve been sleeping better than I have in years and I’m so loving using all the different doTERRA oils for so many different things.

I can talk oils forever too, so if you want to learn more feel free to email me (kristin@stuftfitness.com). Woot!

Smile

Have a wonderful week friends!

Father Joe’s Village’s TOWERthon

 

Holy smokes friends, was this one heck of an experience. I’ve known about this local TOWERthon event for a couple years and have always thought it would be something fun to do. This year my friend Linda who is an elite tower climber (yeah, she’s kind of a big deal, details to follow) told me she was coming out here to do it and encouraged me to sign up.

I wasn’t feeling too good Friday night and had some weird stuff going on with my stomach, but I figured depending on how well I felt I’d at least climb to the top a couple times to see what this was all about.

The registration was only $35 and all the proceeds went to help homeless teens at the Toussaint Academy so they can transform their lives and graduate high school, become self-sufficient young adults and also become college bound. How awesome is that?

There were two events with the registration: the sprint to see how fast you can climb up to the top once and then the 2 hour tower climb to see how many times you can climb up 20 flights (422 stairs).

I had no idea what to expect. I took a water bottle and a Vega Sport recovery accelerator packet, my Auria race belt and earphones and and that was it.

It wasn’t too crowded beforehand. There were a lot of people just hanging out and chatting. it wasn’t like a marathon start where everyone is hurrying to get into their corrals and such. Linda and I found each other right away.

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They had a pretty good variety of snacks just sitting out for climbers to take.

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Here’s a picture of the building. I hadn’t been in the stairwell at all, but hey, I like surprises.

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I got the all the tips from Linda and her hubby. Here’s what they told me:

Don’t run. CLIMB.

Use your arms. Pull, change it up- over under and both arms.

Hydrate and take breaks at the bottom.

The only stair climbing I had ever done was logging time on the dreaded Stairmill at the gym when I couldn’t run and running the stairs at the Convention Center downtown with the hubs. This was NOTHING like either of those.

I noticed as people were getting ready a lot of them were putting those things on their nose that helps them breath better. I didn’t really think about the fact that we were going to be climbing up a stuffy, sweaty stairwell for 2 hours and breathing might become an issue. I quickly ran to my car because I had some doTERRA Breathe drops in there and stuffed a couple in my pocket.

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You get in line to start because they start you about 10 seconds apart. Your timing chip is on your shoe so they can keep track of your time and how many times you actually climb up the stairs.

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At first I wasn’t too sure why everyone was getting in line, but then I figured it out and made my way to the back of the line with a couple of new friends and pretended I knew what I was doing. Ha.

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Here’s Linda off to start. She was up in front with the elites. They mean business, serious business.

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I on the other hand was taking a selfie and just hoping I could last the whole 2 hours and not fall on my face on any stairs.

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I actually did a quick shoe change last minute as i wasn’t sure what kind of shoes would be best for climbing. I didn’t know if support was more important or if it was better to have a lighter shoe. I chose support and went with me Mizuno Inspires. A lot of them had special climbing shoes that looks really light weight.

When it was go time I started off exactly how Linda told me not to and ran up the stairs. Dumb. By the 7th floor I could barely breathe and I realized I was doing it all wrong. I then tried to remember exactly what she told me and started skipping steps, using my legs and pulling the hand rails. That made the biggest difference ever. Thank goodness.

So let’s see, climbing the stairwell was everything you would imagine that it would be: hot, sweaty, not a lot of air flow, quiet, stuffy, etc.

The same goes for the first couple of elevator rides down too.

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Yeah, the first couple of times you stood in a crowd waiting for the elevator and then squished a bunch of other super sweaty people on it for the ride down. Too funny.

The crowds got a little better after the first few rides as people started slowing down, but the sweaty mess got worse.

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Lovely. Luckily one of my nice new friends let me borrow her extra set of gloves because not only were my hand super slippery, but the railings were slippery from everyone else’s sweat all over them.

They had people at every 3rd floor or so giving out water and cheering us on and on the 8th floor and the 16th floor there were fans.

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Those were my favorite floors.

I lost count of how many times I had climbed up around 6 or so. I figured I’d just keep going and try not to stop and hopefully the little chip on my shoe would keep track. Every time we started up the stairs we went over the timing mat and it beeped at us.

Since you pass the volunteers quite a few times every time you go up,  you get to chat with them a bit. I talked a nice one into taking some action shots so you all could see how this stair climbing thing goes down. I think this was about the 15th or so time up.

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And yes, my skirt was stuck with sweat to my legs for the majority of the time. Towards the end my shoes started squishing too. It made a really great sound. Classy.

I did ask a volunteer for a towel that I kept with me and tucked it in my racing belt. That was a life saver as every time I got to the top I had to do a little wipe down.

Oh stairs……

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I actually think I might love you.

Smile

So I learned it’s all about the pull and the big strides and the endurance. The only fuel I had during the race was those two doTERRA Breathe drops, but seriously they were perfect and I think I’m taking them with me to my next half marathon.

The timing works so you have 2 hours to climb as many times as possible and you have to START your last climb before the two hours are up. I got to the bottom of what I thought was going to be my last climb with about 10 seconds to spare so I figured waht the heck and went for one more. Why not, right?

The whole climbing up over and over things was actually really fun. It went by fast and was easier mentally than running a marathon for some reason. I really liked it.

Once it was over everyone was hanging out and we could go check to see what our total number was. I was thinking I did it around 15 times or so, but the guy told me 18. That would be 7,596 stairs. I’ll take it.

The real amazing lady though is Linda. She’s ranked 6th in the US and 23rd in the world! She competed in the US Championships in Las Vegas at the Stratosphere, Scale the Strat. She was 4th female there.

At our San Diego TOWERthon she was 2nd female overall and climbed up 23 times.

A-MAZ-ING.

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I ended up with 3rd place in my age group (30-39).

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There aren’t too many of these events around, but if and when my hip ever tells me I shouldn’t be running anymore then I think I’ve found my new sport.

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I was really curious to see what was going to be sore the next day and my legs felt pretty good (thank Deep Blue Rub), but I felt it a bit in my arms.

Anyhoo…..

I’m so glad I did this and now know what tower climbing is all about .It’s a serious thing and I’m so ready to be a part of it.

IN other news I have a lot of fun snacks to share and a pretty funny kitchen gadget (you may have already see our video on Instagram), but that post will come later this week.

But…..

You do need to know about this AWESOME Handful sale on the adjustable bra.

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Heck yes friends, 50% off on the adjustable bras. How awesome is that?

Use THIS LINK and the 50% discount will automatically be entered when you check out, but if it doesn’t use code STUFTMAMA.

Happy shopping!

 

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