Monday, April 29, 2013

Back on the home improvement front

After a little hiatus from working on the fireplace, we got back on it this past weekend. Hosting Flora's graduation party on May 10th may have been a little motivation to crank it out :)

After some drywall work to cover up the gaps on the old fireplace, we covered the bottom brick with some 3x6in marble tiles.

Then we started working on the wall tile. The mosaic is definitely tricky to work with but definitely worth the extra hassle!

We still need to grout, touch up and mount the TV back up, but it's almost done! I know Bryce was a bit concerned about the mosaic but we both couldn't be happier with how it's turning out. 

After seeing Bryce's Mom's placemats in Vail, I realized that was the missing piece to our new dining table. We found some square and modern ones that really accent the other colors and are pumped how they look!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A weekend with a the little bro!

It's been since last summer that I've seen my little brother so we planned a little meet up in Fruita this past weekend. It worked out perfectly as Bryce had a moto race in Grand Junction on Sunday and it was the exact middle meeting spot between Boulder and Salt Lake City!

Before joining up with Jerry, his girlfriend Karen and their new pup Riley, we went for a fun MTB ride on Mary's Loop. We did the Horsethief and Steve Loops then made our way up and down the 'More Fun' trail. It was super technical but well worth it!

After meeting up with our SLC crew, we went to dinner at a cool Mexican place where inevitably we ran into a few friends from Boulder. We then headed out to the camp grounds where Jerry/Karen/Riley slept in a 2 person tent and we crashed in the van.

After making some coffee and finding a great breakfast joint, we headed out to 18 Road for a little mountain biking.

Since Karen is very new to the world of riding bicycles, she was on Jerry's old bike and used his helmet. Jerry in turn wore his skiing helmet and looked like a giant goober :)

With zero experience riding a bicycle on any form of singletrack, I couldn't have been more impressed with Karen. She is such a trooper and did awesome!

Although their new pup is a bit scared of people, she's still super cute and really fun once she warms up to you. After dinner and some bowling, we drove out to the race site to meet up with the usual suspects.

It was a bit chilly camping but the morning sunshine was warm and felt awesome. We helped Bryce get ready for his race then sent him on his way. After watching the start of the first test, Jerry and Karen took off to head back to Utah and I went for a nice jog. Bryce had a rough race but got through it safe and sound. We made a pit stop in Vail for some dinner and a much needed shower then finally made our way back to Boulder. It was so fun seeing Jerry and getting a chance to meet his adorable girlfriend and their new doggie!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stages Power Meters

It's no secret that I'm a big time numbers fan.  Whether it's sorting through Quickbooks files or looking at numbers from a workout, I never get tired of looking at the information.  Luckily, my coach Neal Henderson is the same way, and he loves looking at results from a good training session or race.  I've always been a fan of training with power measurement tools, but until recently, it's been a challenge.  Typically power meters have been in heavy wheel hubs and limit your wheel choice options at races and on training rides.

Boulder based company Stages Power has developed one of the smartest, simplest, and economical solutions to the power meter dilemma.  Rather than measuring torque through the rear hub, the stages meter measures strain on the crank arm through a very compact box attached inside the left crank arm.  It transmits though a variety of wireless options, typically ANT+ or Bluetooth.  After mounting my Stages equipped XTR crank arm to my mountain bike, syncing the power meter to my Timex Cycle Trainer was incredibly quick and easy.

The above picture shows some of my data from my first ride with the setup.  How cool is it to have power, GPS data, heart rate, and just about anything else you want with nothing more than a small box mounted inside your crank arm and compact bar mounted computer?!?! Better yet, I was able to run my lightweight 29er wheels.  If I wanted to switch to something else on race day... no problem!  Have a couple mountain bikes and want power on bother... just switch the left crank arm over!  It's such a clean, simple solution.  I love it!

It's awesome to have Stages just a couple miles from my house.  Our friend Matt Pacocha is working for Stages and even hooked me up with this sweet CO themed t-shirt :)  If you're in the market for a power measuring crank, Stages is definitely the answer.  Give Matt a call and enjoy the new simplicity of such a powerful training tool!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Bake Off Round #2

With the not-so-successful outcome of Flora's Hot Crossed Buns on Easter weekend, she was really hoping to seek redemption this past Saturday. This is quoted directly from Flora via Facebook "Bake off round #2. I lost again." - Can you guess who's cinnamon rolls belong to who?

Like the hot crossed buns, I've never attempted to make cinnamon rolls - especially not gluten and dairy free ones. However, my GF/vegan recipe using only agave as the sweetener surprisingly didn't turn out too bad. It did make a massive mess, but well worth it!

The bake off was in conjunction with some GF/DF pizza making with my friend's kids who are 4 and 7. We kept them quite entertained with Supercross and letting them judge the bake was great success :) We've been using the Bob's Red Mills GF Pizza crust but I decided to try out the Gluten Free Goddess's recipe that night. It did not disappoint and highly suggest it! Check it out -

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Back to ''Training''

April 1st marked my first official day back with Coach Neal Henderson and the rest of the APEX Coaching crew. After destroying my quads on a run/hike last Sunday, I really couldn't do too much in terms of intervals and pushing myself but probably a blessing in disguise. 

I'm really excited to be back on a schedule but truly looking forward to seeing progress in my fitness and mental state. I don't plan on racing until mid June so I'm taking it slow and steady. I need to keep telling myself that I don't want to be be fit and fast now, I want to crush ass and take names Sep-Jan for the CX season! In the meantime, I'll keep chipping away and continue to fuel myself with my favorite Powerbar treats. If you haven't had a chance to try out their new Energy Blend Smoothies, you need to. They have great flavor and a perfect consistency for any type of work out. Let me know if you want a sample :)

Monday, April 01, 2013

Hot Crossed Buns Bake-Off

What is a Good Friday without a little Bermuda/British tradition of Hot Crossed Buns?!?

I've never had them before so Flora and I decided to have a fun bake off. We both eat gluten free so we figured it would be somewhat of an even event. Although I had to keep mine dairy free as well, I found a great recipe online. The first pic shows the buns 'rising'. Mine are on the right and Flora's on the left. The above pic is what Flora's first batch looked like. Can we say Hot Crossed Pancakes?!?!?

She did a great job attempted to decorate but I think she must have forgotten a leavening agent of some kind :) Although I couldn't try them, apparently they weren't too bad. Her second batch with added flour and Xantham Gum were pretty ridiculous too...I guess anything with a ton of frosting can't taste too bad!

With his new haircut and our friend's pug begging incessently, Bryce enjoyed a few of my Hot Crossed Buns! I think we made 10 and there are currently zero left as of this Monday morning. I guess it's okay since we rode MTB's for 4hrs Saturday then hiked and dirt biked all day on Sunday. With sunny skies and mid 60 degree temps both days, I couldn't think of a better way to spend our Easter weekend :)