Last weekend I visited one of my very best friends in Colorado Springs. I had never been before, and wanted to check out her new life in CO.
Between the views, the exploring, and the reconnecting of a beautiful friendship, it is difficult for me to articulate just how magical the weekend was.
"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery. Air. Mountains. Trees. People. I thought: this is what it is to be happy."
Let's start by taking a look out of my friend's window...that's right, this is her view. I was sitting at her kitchen table when I took these two photos. Wowza.
We took the Cog Railway to Inspiration Point. The track of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway is 8.9 miles long. The Cog usually takes you to the summit of Pikes Peak, but because of the snow, we stopped short at Inspiration Point.
Next stop, the Olympic Training Center.
After a good amount of back-and-forth banter (aka me making a million excuses), we decided to climb the infamous Incline.
It was my first time to conquer this beast, and KM's 5th time. Not to mention, she is a mere 6 months post hip replacement surgery, (technically, not supposed to be doing physical activity like this) and she kicked my butt the whole way up.
I can honestly say there are very few people in my life that I let into the dustiest corners of my soul. KM has been there. I tell her all the time, she just gets me. She is a pure inspiration to anyone who crosses her path. This was a HUGE accomplishment for her and I couldn't be more proud of her. Did I mention she is a rockstar?
Don't be fooled, I was bent over huffing and puffing at this point, while KM was just snapping photos like a BA. I was too terrified to look behind me. Talk about scared of heights...this was a doozy.
We made it to the top in a little over an hour - stepping on 2,800 railroad ties to the summit of Pikes Peak. The incline gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than 1 mile. This was the view we were rewarded with after completion. Literally, above the clouds.
We found a spot at the top of the mountain to dedicate to our accomplishment as we praised glory to God.
The only way to get back down Pikes Peak after completing the Incline is to hike down Barr Tail. That was difficult in itself, but so worth it - check out some of our views along the way...
Who lives sees, but who travels sees more.
BIC Bands Giveaway Winner:
Thank you to everyone who participated in the BIC Bands giveaway! The winner was chosen by random.org.
Congrats to #4 - Lauren!
I will be emailing you shortly.
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 small yellow squash, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium purple onion, sliced
5 mini assorted bell peppers, sliced
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
Cook on high for 4 hours.
I served it over quinoa, and it was splendid!
5 things yoga has taught me -
Honor your body.
Let go of things that can no longer serve you.
When your mind stops talking, your soul speaks.
Stay present. The time is now.
Yoga takes us to the present moment. The only place where life exists.
Smart Balance is part of Boulder Brands, which owns the Glutino and Udi's Gluten Free brands, as well as Earth Balance, Level Life, and EVOL.
Smart Balance sent me a bag of their new Peanut Butter Popcorn Nuggets to try - and I have to say – they were all sorts of deliciousness!
Each bite was filled with an even mix of the creaminess from the peanut butter and crunch from the peanuts and popcorn. I am a sucker for some crunch! They served as a great post workout snack for me.
The Peanut Butter Popcorn Nuggets are made with a blend of peanut butter, peanuts, oats, flaxseed, and popcorn. The bite-size nuggets are gluten-free, non-GMO, and contain 0 grams of trans fat.
For a 1 oz serving, there are 130 calories, 6g of fat (but no trans fat), 16 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein.
My only criticism is that the serving size is a tad small. I guess I was eating way more nuggets per serving than I should have been, because these didn't last long enough for me to go back for more 15 times!
All in all, this is definitely a snack I would buy for myself. I give Smart Balance Peanut Butter Popcorn Nuggets an A!
Disclaimer: I was sent a bag of Smart Balance Peanut Butter Nuggets for review at no cost. All opinions are my own.
What is your favorite go-to snack?
I have completed the 8th week of half marathon training - well, sort of...
As I mentioned last week, the past two weeks my training schedule looks quite different than the first 6 weeks. With traveling, other plans, and getting pretty sick sometimes things just have to shift and I have to do the best I can with the time I have. I was down for the count with an illness Saturday through Wednesday last week. Instead of pushing my body too hard before taking a trip to Colorado, I decided to take it easy and not force any workouts. This week I hope to get back to my workout routine.
Here is what last week's workouts looked like:
Friday: explored Colorado
Saturday: explored Colorado
Sunday: climbed The Incline and hiked Barr Trail in Colorado (more to come on my CO trip later)
This piece of inspiration spoke to me on this Monday morning. I hope it motivates you to start the week off right!
Check out the latest deal from PRO Compression - Shamrock sleeves and socks are 40% off when you use the discount code CLOVER. Get 'em fast because I don't think they will last long!
Hope you are having a glorious weekend!
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my blog. I cannot believe it has been a year already!
When I started this blog, I had no idea I would still be writing and posting a year later. I find it helps me channel some of my creativity and gives me a joyful yet purposeful hobby. Not to mention, it has helped keep me accountable in my training, running, and attempt at a healthy lifestyle. I have met new people through the blog world, and I learn something new everyday.
There is not much else to say except:
Thank you a million times - to my readers, my husband, my friends, my family, and fellow bloggers. The encouragement you have shown me has been overwhelming, and for that I am grateful.
I look forward to seeing what 2014 has in store, and I hope you will stick around to find out with me!
It has been hard to miss all of the recent hype surrounding BIC Bands. So, as you can imagine, I was stoked to be able to do a review and giveaway for my readers on these non-slip headbands!
HOW DID BIC BANDS START?
WHAT DOES BIC BANDS STAND FOR?
The non-slip headband that gives back - - How amazing is that?! I just love what this company stands for and the action they are taking to give back.
I feel like every girl experiences this at one point or another.. but one of the worst things is a headband that slips off your head (especially during exercise). An equally awful feeling is when a headband is way too tight around your head and ends up giving you a headache. Finding a happy medium can be quite challenging. (I know, #firstworldproblems)
To cut to the chase - I have found my happy medium with BIC Bands. I wore each one a few times for different workouts including, running, walking, cross training, yoga, just bopping around the house, and running errands. I had no issues with either headband being too loose or too tight. I was pleasantly surprised with the fit.
The non-slip headbands come in a variety of sizes and colors, including minnie, skinny, thin, and thick - - sparkles, neon, print, sporty, solid, and holiday. Prices range from $7 sale headbands to $15 thick headbands, with several in between.
Here is a close-up of the two headbands I was sent to review. The winner of the giveaway will receive the same styles - Skinny Neon Frost Poppin Pink & Thin Safari.
To be entered to win these two BIC Bands, all you have to do is check out the BIC Bands website and leave a comment telling me your favorite BIC Band.
You can get more entries by Facebooking or tweeting about the contest and linking to this blog post. Make sure you leave separate comments for multiple entries.
You have until Thursday 2/27 to enter.
I will choose one random winner (using random.org) and announce it on Friday 2/28.
Disclaimer: BIC Bands provided me with samples to review at no cost. All opinions are my own.