Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mmmm... Chocolate

The Chocolate Oracle Says You're Powerful

You are intense, powerful, and dramatic.

People respect the things you do...

And they're not sure if they could do them!

You are emotionally expressive and sensitive.

You're effected by everything around you.

Your friends appreciate your open heart, but they are afraid of hurting your feelings.

You love to be in love. You crave romance, whether you're single or not.

You feel lost when you don't feel passion... you need someone to adore.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What to wear?

Last year was my first winter riding year round. I had the whole what to wear thing down. Then winter 2008-2009 came and I had completely forgotten my guidelines. To top it off, I am not running which is a whole other set of gear to keep track of and DH is riding more in cooler weather so he asks me what he should wear. To prevent this from happening again, I started a chart which has been a good guideline.


Outdoor conditions
30, sunny, windPerformance brand tights over shorts, long sleeve performance T, long sleeve jersey, Pearl Izumi barrier jacket, winter gloves and liners
37, overcast, damp/drizzlePerformance brand tights over shorts, LS T, LS jersey, PI barrier jacket, winter gloves and liners
38 and sunny, no windPerformance brand tights over shorts, LS T, Novara jacket, winter gloves and liners
39-66, wind 5-10capris over shorts, LS T, Novara jacket, sleeveless jersey, summer gloves w/ liners, mtb socks
40-50, wind 5-10Performance brand tights over shorts, LS T, Novara jacket, winter gloves and liners
50 and overcastcapris, SS jersey with arm warmers, vest
58, damp, humid, wind 5-10shorts, SS jersey with arm warmers, vest

Cycling Gear:
  • Performance brand tights. I get them without chamois and wear them over my bike shorts. I have mostly Pearl Izumi UltraSensor shorts
  • Pearl Izumi Barrier jacket. This is good when it's below 40.
  • Gore Phantom Lady jacket.This is a great jacket for in between temperatures or days that have wild temperature swings. I like it best in the 37-47 temperature range.
  • Novara Tempest jacket. This is one of my favorite items right now. It's warm yet breathable and I've worn it from the low 40s up to about 60 degrees without either freezing or melting. The front panels are wind proof and the rear panels are breathable. If you REI has this model in stock, get it!
  • Headband. Below 50 degrees or so I wear my Pearl Izumi headband to keep my ears warm.
  • Toesies. To keep my feet from becoming bricks of ice, I put Pearl Izumi toe covers on my cycling shoes. I also wear winter weight socks -- DeFeet Wool Blaze
  • Gloves and glove liners. Full finger, winter weight gloves and glove liners are a must. The glove liners that I've used for the past year are Seirus Deluxe Thermax and gloves made with Gore Windstopper fabric.

I've had an easier time with the temperature when I am running since Runner's World has a What to Wear application. That has been a good starting point for me. I've read that for running you should dress for 20 degrees warmer than if what you would wear if you are not running. In other words, if you would wear shorts to go to the grocery store when it is 65 degrees out, you should wear shorts for running when it is 45 degrees outside.

Outdoor conditions
34, sunny, 13 mph windtights, 2 LS performance T, vest (frozen butt)
36 overcast, no windtights, LS performance T, sleeveless t, vest (comfy)
38, sunny, no windtights, LS performance T, vest
45, dark, no windcapris, LS performance T, vest
47, dark, no windskort, LS performance T, reflective belt
53, sunny, 10-15 mph wind
skort, LS performance T (comfy)

We deliver for you

Ordered an item from Amazon
  • 2/10, Amazon said, "We thought you'd like to know that we shipped your item..." Go to our web site to get your tracking number
  • two days after Amazon said it shipped (2/12) USPS said, "There is no record of this item. "

Sent cookies to my grandfather
  • one day after I sent it: "Your item was processed and left our RALEIGH, NC 27676 facility on February 11, 2009. "
That's handy, I went to the post office with it then. With this service, it kind of makes you wonder why the US Postal Service is in trouble!

I have to ask, "What can brown do for you?"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I have tasted the caramel filling and it is good!

Last night I tried the Samoas Bar recipe that I've been eyeing. Basically, you make a shortbread crust and let that cool. Then toast coconut and use that to make a caramel filling to spread on the shortbread. Once that has cooled, cut it into bars and dip the bottom in chocolate and finally drizzle chocolate on top. DH was in charge of the chocolate portion.

DH and I split one last night after the chocolate had hardened and DH pronounced it "a winner."

While waiting for all that cooling to take place, I went ahead and tried another recipe that I had an eye on -- M&M Oat Bars.   I thought that the recipe looked interesting and I am always on the lookout for nut-free items since they are easier for my grandfather to eat. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Garmin Forerunner 305, my new addition

I got myself a Garmin Forerunner 305 a few weeks ago and I think that I'm in love. The Forerunner 305 is billed as a multisport unit. I ordered it to prepare for the half marathon that I signed up for thinking that if I'm going to run a 13.1 mile course it would kind of be handy to know how far I am running in my training. Right away fellow runners suggested that I get SportTracks. I downloaded it and got a few of the recommended plugins and I was all set.

Although I originally bought the Forerunner for running, I quickly decided that I could carry on my love affair with the Garmin by using it on my bike. Most of my cycling friends have the Garmin Edge 705 which looks really neat and can give turn by turn directions.

I managed to get about every add on for the Forerunner. The cadence sensor allows me to use the Forerunner when my bike is on the trainer and the foot pod allows me to use the Forerunner on the treadmill. Both will allow the Forerunner to function if GPS signal is lost. When I asked Garmin technical support about the foot pod, they replied, "If the watch loses the GPS connection, the foot pod will then record the distance and speed if you should have it paired up." I have read that this is also the case for the cadence sensor.

For more information, you might want to take a look at CoolRunning. There's a nice discussion of the 305 vs the 405 there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Plans for spring

After much deliberation, I have made some pretty firm plans for spring. After a 100 mile bike ride on February 28, I will do a few running events in March, a duathlon in April and several cycling events in May.

February 28 - Frostbite Tour 100 miler
March 8 - St. Patty's Run Green 8k
March 14 - St. Patrick's Day Lo tide Run at Carolina Beach
April 5 - Carrboro Classic Endurance Sports Festival (Super Sprint Duathlon)
May 3 - Raven Rock Ramble 100 miler
May 23 - Skirt Chaser 5k
May 30 - Three Mountain Madness, 75 miles with 9,280 feet of climbing
June 6-7 - Tour de Cure (75 miles each day or 100 miles each day, currently under discussion)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog's Day at the Arboretum

Today at lunch I walked through the NCSU Arboretum to see what was going on.

The holly trees were still sporting their winter berries  and the February Gold daffodils were not yet golden

The miniature daffodils were just starting to poke out of the ground and the lenten roses were in bloom.

The winter flowering iris was in bloom and the winter honeysuckle was just starting to flower but the fragrence was already heavy in the air around it.