Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Things are Looking Up and a Change in Racing Plans

Kris: This is going to basically be a quick mish-mosh of some of our current happenings that, for once, are all moving us forward!!

Injury-wise I'm still only running 3 days per week but been keeping a decent pace on the longer runs and knee is feeling less and less achy on the days I'm not running.   Mark took a week off due to an Achilles strain and then took it easy and has been running with me this week and seems to have avoided any further damage.

It did dawn on us yesterday morning that we are less than 3 months from the Pipestem XTERRA triathlon and haven't been in the pool for a training swim in months.   Luckily the financial situation is turning around a bit so as long as we can motivate ourselves out of bed next week, we can pay our way back into morning Masters swim training 2x per week.  Getting out of bed has been impossible for us lately but we've been trying to force ourselves to bed earlier so it's not such a short night.

We managed to get a loan lined up and so the townhouse is being listed next week.  Granted it is being sold for much less than I bought it for but at this point, it's killing us financially so even at a loss, we'll end up with a smaller, much more manageable loan.   That will allow us to start paying off some debt, fix up our current house and start thinking about buying one that is better suited for us.  Cross your fingers!!

Well we did just find out one UNfortunate thing this evening.  Boulder 70.3 filled up before we got around enough money and courage to sign up for it.  Sorry Team Baby Dinosaur :( :(   So bummed that we aren't in for this one now but maybe we can rearrange and create a solid plan to come visit Colorado in September ;)

But that does mean we are now looking at any other race possibilites for July and August.  Something probably here in the Midwest so we can just make it a weekend driving trip.   Road or off-road triathlon or some unique endurance events.  

If you know of a great off-road triathlon, half iron triathlon or some other fun, unique endurance event, please comment and let me know!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Favorite Beer??

OK, so today while Kris and I were walking around the the Mall of America she asked me what my favorite beer was? I actually had to stop and think about it and I could not come up with an answer. So she asked me my top two favorite beers..... Still I had to think about it and I could not come up with a definite answer. So I spent some time and tried to think, if I walked into the liquor store or a bar what beer would I buy/order?

  • When I'm at a restaurant or a bar, the first beer that I look to see if they have is Blue Moon. A great beer on tap or from the bottle, but it has to be served with an orange.
  • Along the same lines is Leinie's Honey Weiss, served with a lemon wedge. I used to drink it a lot but recently it has fallen out of favor with me, not because I don't like it just because I think I have had my full.
  • Another beer that I truly enjoy is Michelob AmberBock. If I want to drink it though I have to buy it at the liquor store as it is a rare treat when you find it on tap in the bar.
  • Recently I find myself ordering Stella Artois whenever it is available. It is a great beer that has great bang for it's buck.
  • A new beer that I have been enjoying lately on a limited basis is New Glarus Brewery's Spotted Cow which is a great local beer from Wisconsin. Unfortunately it is only available when you take a trip into cheeseland.
  • A "Green" beer that I frequently purchase is Dos Equis. A good beer form south of the border that needs a lime wedge to enjoy. I am sensing a trend... Orange, Lemon and Lime's
  • I love REAL Irish beer and if I had to choose just one from the emerald isle I would have to go with the obvious choice.... Guinness. It is a beer that has to be server at just the right temperature, if it is warm it is as my brother would put it, like chewing on a tree branch. But when the temp is just right, it is a true pleasure to enjoy. Of note it is great as part of a Black and Tan as well.
  • If I include a German beer on my favorite list it would have to be Paulaner. A beer that I was introduced to several years ago during Oktoberfest at Gasthof. If your going to have Paulaner, make sure that you have it in a boot.
  • The last beer on my list would be Coors, and don't be mistaken and think I like Coors Light, No I am talking about the Original Coors Banquet Beer. It is really good, a great summer beer when it is hot. If you have never tried it or are only familiar with the "light" version, go out and buy the real thing!
When I was younger I used to drink different beers and I suspect that has a lot to due with the fact that I have grown up and have a better pallet. In my 20's I used to drink MGD a lot. I suppose it was cheaper and everyone else liked it so it was easy to bring a 12/24 pack to a party. In my late 30's I drank a local "Irish" beer, and if you have ever seen the tattoo on my arm you would know what beer I am talking about. Unfortunately that "Beer" has lost it's vision and not really worth it.

So can I answer my wife's question?? Sure. My favorite beer is any one of them on my list and depends on my mood and what I might be eating at the time. I am always open to suggestions and if you know of a beer that you think I would enjoy, please feel free to leave a comment let me know.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mr "OK-So-Actually" and Mrs "UH-So-Actually"

Kris: I've trying to find a better way to keep up with our blogging and also the posting of our videos.  Most of the videos we put together are part of our #Geocache365 Project, something we are trying to use to develop into more of a short film series eventually on it's own blog/site.

Now any of you that have seen all of our geocaching videos you may have come upon our horrible speaking habits.  Ever since I started watching our films clips, it's ridiculously obvious that both Mark and I stutter and severely overuse the words OK, So and Actually.    So.....please know we are going to keep working on that :)   Below is our most recent video of a find and some of our opinions on the archiving of the ET Power Trail.  You can find the rest of our Geocache365 videos by searching for makuhn2000 channel on YouTube.

It's pretty late in the evening so I'll cut this post here.   But I will say we had a really fun day today course marshalling for the Get Lucky Half Marathon.   We saw a number of our runner friends and then got to hang out with Team Baby Dinosaur for the afternoon while they were in town.   Those two are so much like us, it's funny awesome :)   Although I'm sure their house stays much cleaner than ours and is much less......uh.....chewed on.  

We spent some extra time Friday night trying to clean up so it was a little more presentable, and then I crossed my fingers that our sweet, not so intelligent Journey didn't make a puddle or mess on the floor for us to find when we arrived back at the house with our guests!   We love Journey dearly, but being a mistreated puppy mill dog, she's not all there and we have to be very patient with her mess making.

We'll try to get a training, rehab, racing update to you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras and lots of Food & Wine!!

Kris: This past weekend was a busy, fun weekend again starting with our Geocaching Mardi Gras party put on by our geocaching friends NOSNOW and Shadow's Friend.   It was so much fun to catch up with a number of our friends since I don't think we've been out to an event since our "Eat, Greet and Meet the Newlyweds" event back in December.  I was a little concerned we were going to have to show up at this Mardi Gras event without masks but thanks to a trip through the $1 aisle at Target the night before, we were all set :) Mark: Kris forgot to mention that our $1 aisle masks also earned us each a Mardi Gras geocoin.

Kris: Sunday morning was a morning of running and classes again at Life Time for me.   I could only run 6 miles and Mark was doing 12 so we ran his first 6 together on the trail from the St. Louis Park Life Time Fitness towards downtown and back and then while he finished his second 6 miles, I went in to a Barbell Strength class.   While I still get cranky about not being able to feel like I'm on a "real" marathon training schedule yet, I have really enjoyed being able to get in a run plus a class or two at the club on Sunday mornings.  Pace is actually doing fairly well, I've been able to keep all my runs below a 9:00min/mi pace.   The knee was a little achy after we were done working out but no pain during the run :) Mark: After the first six miles with Kris I grabbed her Garmin and headed back down the trail torwards downtown, when I got to Cedar Lake the time I turned and followed the trail doen to Lake Calhoun, and then over to Lake of the Isles and back to Cedar Lake on the way back to the club. It was supposed to be 6 miles according to the map at LTF but I made a wrong turn and it ended up being 7 miles. So being me, I had to run a little more, .1 and run a half marthon just for fun. What was fun was finally having HR information for a run. My average HR for 7.12 miles was 149bpm with a high of 162bpm and that was at a 7:57 average pace. Not sure what to make of that but it is interesting.

Kris: And it was probably a really good thing that we had our longer workout on Sunday morning since that afternoon we were headed to the Food and Wine Show.  I was so excited when I won two tickets for us to go to the show through a Twitter contest from Minnesota Monthly Magazine (thank you!!)   The two tickets were worth $150 total. Mark: Kris wins countless things via Twitter contests, while we were at the show, Urban Eatery mentioned they had a chance to win a $25 Gift card. Guess who won? Today Kris also happen to win tickets to the Pet Expo this coming weekend.

Kris: Luckily they had a number of food items in between the wine samples because I probably had the equivalent of 4 glasses of wine.   But my downfall I think was that I was so hungry coming in to the show, I ate too many larger samples so that by time we were half way through the show, we were starting to share our samplings! Mark: We ate so much, not only were we sharing the second half of the show, we were being picky about what samples we were eating. My tummy HURT for all the food.

Kris: At first I was having trouble holding on to my bag of coupons, my glass of wine, whatever the current sample was AND a fork.   But I made a very helpful discovery.   A lot of the samples came in a cup that fit in the top of my wine glass.   So I started having fun with that......

Bloody Mary | Curried Rice with Chicken

 A little coffee | Cole Slaw

 And the napkins were thick enough to form a plate for my bruschetta | Turkey Chili

Mushroom Dessert ( was ok) | Caramel Puff Corn

Baked Beans

And one of my favorite sections to go through had a huge line of cheese vendors.   I can't even tell you how many different cheese there were.  Everything from bleus to bries to new cheddar, old cheddar, smoked gouda....yum!!!  Here's a few looking down the one line of cheese samples:

And Mark gave me a bit of insight that really paid off.  He has worked at this show before and learned many of the vendors hand stuff out at the end of the last day.  Basically so they don't have to drag it back home.   With about 15 minutes left in the show, we started to double back on all the booths to see if anyone was giving stuff out.   OMG did we come home with a stash!   

We spent $5.00 to park, $2.00 to check our coats and ended up coming home with all this....

Mark: Just for fun let me itemize what you are looking in in that photo.
  • A case of 6 12oz Cameron Coffee (6x$7) plus two sample sizes
  • A 12 pack of Samual Adams
  • A 4 Pack of Pomegranate Ginger Ale
  • 1 Random Amber Ale, forgot who the brewer was.
  • 3 Wedges of Cheese 2x Gouda and Pepper Jack
  • 6 Bottles of water
  • 4 fortune cookies
  • 6 Carmel Dips (for apples)
Kris: Taking into account the tickets were free, this was awesome!  Especially the box of coffee :)

The Never Ending Love I Have for the Residents at Home for Life

Kris: I wrote this up and submitted as a possible guest post to the Home for Life blog.  It's not posted there yet but I wanted to make sure and post it to my readers as well.  If you want to put your money towards a wonderful animal charity, please consider Home for Life.
I need to start this story back a few years. I had been sponsoring a Feline Leukemia positive cat named Freeway.
He was a quiet, sweet, white cat with one blue eye and one green. We knew his time was limited but I got to give him lots of love until the end. It was a hard loss but when it was time for me to choose another cat to switch my sponsor to, another sweet white cat with one blue eye and one green stole my heart with her ridiculous amount of cuteness.

Her name was Olive and I learned from Lisa that was one of the first cats in the HFL crew. Over the years I sponsored her I just couldn’t get to see her enough as she treated my visits like she just won the kitty lottery. Always so happy and cuddly. So to cut right to it, her death was a painful loss. Her life was significantly lengthened by the care and attention she received from the Home for Life staff but unfortunately in her advanced age, an infection got the best of her very quickly.

It was hard to visit the sanctuary and not see her there but we recently made a special visit to decide who I would be transferring my sponsorship to. We spent time meeting lots of new cats and giving some love to a few that I have met many times before. I spent a day with Celeste with I volunteered at the MOA this past holiday season so she has earned a special place in my heart.

From the HFL website: Celeste was first sighted running as a stray at a trailer park in Wisconsin. Kind residents there left food and water out for her and she enjoyed and appreciated the attention. It is very likely she would not have survived had these people not reached out to her—Celeste is blind.

But you've never know it.  She gets around obstacles with ease and will come running right to me when I call her name.  And she's a serious cuddler!!  More than I've ever seen in any other cat.  She loves me to hold her and will put one paw on each shoulder and nudge my neck with her little wet nose for hours I think if I'd let her.  I’ve had a few people ask me why I didn’t choose to sponsor her but it’s only because 1) I know she already has sponsors and 2) whether I sponsor her or not, I will always go spend time with her when I’m at the sanctuary.

I had made a decision that I wanted to sponsor a cat that did not already have a sponsor. There are so many “normal” cats at the sanctuary that often get overlooked for sponsorships. They don’t have any special medical condition, unique situation or tragic story; they are just cats that need love as much as the next cat. Freeway had a horrible disease and I will always miss him. Olive, was a special cat with a special situation and I will always miss her too but now Mark and I are proud sponsors to just a sweet black cat who is a little hard of hearing.

His name is Jonathan. I didn't notice right away that he was quietly following me around. He would walk around me, give a subtle rub against my leg, then watch for an empty spot in my lap. He doesn't have any defects or known diseases, he's just a cat that was found to be deaf and found his way to Home for Life.
He's got lots of character and handsome, glowing yellow eyes. We spent a few minutes with him while Lisa was giving us his story and all of a sudden he decided the best place to perch would be on my shoulders. We have two wonderful rescue cats at home, one of who loves to spend time on my shoulders. So in that one move by Jonathan, he stole my heart. He chose us.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Surviving Winter Triathlon Training! (My Social Experiment)

Kris: So I'm sitting here at work and can't help but think about how lately I haven't been training nearly enough and feeling like a TOTAL slug.   I know I've been coming up with a number of excuses including lack of time and $$ but the things that seem to keep me from wanting to go out to the pool or spin or run (outdoors or at the club) are:
  • Snow
  • Cold Mornings
  • Icy Trails
  • Cold Afternoons
  • Shorter Days
  • Lack of Sunlight
  • Layers and Layers of Running Clothing
So as an active member or the social media community, I've decided I want to reach out and see if you would all be willing to help me put together a list of Your Best Ways to Stay Motivated!

So no matter what your outdoor sport, please post your best "kick in the butt" reason or saying or whatever so we can all have a place to come back to and read when we are feeling like sitting on the couch and not getting out to train.  If I get enough feedback, I'll compile them into a separate blog post for you all.    Please send this to all your athlete friends who are also trying to survive this winter and ask them to post! 

Thanks in advance, you are all awesome :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mini Golf and Golden Statues!!

Mark: We managed to keep busy this last weekend attending not one but two unique events.

On Friday night Kris and I along with our friends Steve and Bobbi took part in the Skyway Open, a mini golf event setup in the downtown Minneapolis skyways. The course features 18 one of a kind miniature golf holes created by local architecture firms. Steve and I have done this event in the past and we wanted to share the fun with our significant others this year. 

All in all in was a very fun evening! Our tee time was 6:30pm starting at Hole #1 in City Center, and I have to say the first 5 holes were my favorite, there were still plenty of people around and that added to the fun. Some of the later holes it was a bit sparse and then once the 19th Hole party started, a lot of the volunteers abandoned the holes they were "managing" and it was just the four of us at times.  Kris: It was a lot of fun for the 4 of us to hang out but I definitely was expecting it to be busier on a Friday night.

Kris: I managed to throw together a quick video of our outing.   Unfortunately I don't have the greatest editing software and video card so I'll likely say this every time I put up a video....excuse the cheap editing :-P

We were definitely not going to contend for lowest score, not even if we were playing best score for each hole. I think we even mentioned that we hoped they were randomly drawing prizes and then we might stand a chance. By the time we reached the 18th hole it was about 8:30 and the skyways were getting a bit chilly, so we turned in our scorecard and headed to the 19th Hole party in the LaSalle Plaza for the free beer and wine and free appetizers!! They even had a vodka company there making Bloody Marys with Horseradish Vodka. At first we thought that we might have missed out on the appetizers because all there was left was fruit (Kris: Which was great for me as I got a severe filling of mango slices!  Then came the cookies.....) but as we stood around chatting the table was replenished and then waiters appeared passing various hors d'oeuvres. For the very first time I got to try Steak Tartar, not bad!! Kris however was not a fan. I think we finally called it a night around 11pm, funny how that seems late to me nowdays.

On Sunday Evening Kris and I attended the Aegis Oscar Night Watching Party at the Ivy Hotel, an opportunity for us to really dress to the 9's and hit the town. A few weeks ago Crowd Cut had a 50% off ticket price for the Oscar party and we decided why not, lets try something new. So after spending the late morning early/afternoon getting in our workout we went home and spent some timing thinking about what to wear. Kris tried on several different dress options and I picked my favorite, I had a good idea what I was going to wear it just came down to picking the right tie.

So after "Puttin on the Ritz", we headed down to the Ivy and walked the red carpet, got our picture taken on the red carpet in front of a "Step 'n' Repeat" (Charlie and Mike will be proud) and headed upstairs to the party.

A geocaching friend of ours Josh (who also took over as Minneapolis Geocaching Examiner and writes great articles so check it out!) and his wife Tammy were also attending along with their friends Dave and Kim so we grabbed a table together near the front and started working on our Oscar predictions. You could buy a ballot card for $10 and try to win prizes based how many predictions you got right. Unfortunately we were making some of our predictions in the blind and we ended up getting about half of them right.

Besides the some basic appetizers, popcorn, Rum and Surly specials they had a huge table full of candy for everyone to munch on during the show. They had so much candy in fact that most people (including us) went home with plenty of candy.

Another one of my friends, Colin was at the party as well and I saw him and his wife Kelly briefly when they were at the appetizer table but by the time I got over to that side of the room they disappeared. He sent me a Facebook message at one point during the evening but we never hooked up.

We had so much fun that we would do this again in a heartbeat and I highly recommend that anyone else attend as well. And on a personal note, I got to see just how BEAUTIFUL my new bride really is!! Don't get me wrong, she is always beautiful to me but all dolled up she looks AMAZING!!! Kris:  Mark is incredible at earning bonus points ;) I think part of why I looked so good was because I got my super handsome husband by my side all night.  You looked hot too, honey ----<{@ Love you Handsome!!!

Search This Blog