Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Video of the roc race

Not filmed by us, but a great visual of the race as described in the previous post:
If you look closely in this one, you can see us! First, on the concrete things from 1:58-2:05 or so, I am taking my time going over them, and Blake is waiting for me. You catch another glimpse of us at 2:17. AND if you are careful, and pause it at 3:17 you can see us waiting to go next on the barrel thing.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Roc Race

Yesterday Blake and I completed a ridiculous obstacle course, and it was so much fun, we are already planning going again later this year or next year! There were 20 different obstacles ranging from piece of cake to difficult, but all of them we walked away from with a smile. We started with having to run through foam being showered on us, so you couldn't escape being wet almost as soon as the race started. (We are on the far right, I am wearing a white shirt, and Blake is wearing a greyish/green shirt). Photobucket Photobucket From there, our first actual challenge was the gorilla bars (which are monkey bars with guys in gorilla suits trying to knock you off (though they didn't try that hard). This was one of the ones that I was really nervous about being able to complete (due to my amazing upper arm strength), but I made it all the way across! I would do this race again just for that feeling alone!

Once we got past this, we headed to where a huge pile of inner tubes sat, and we had to carry the inner tube up a series of steps and along a walkway to where we rode the tube down a water slicked hill. I got soaked, but was still smiling as I got out of the the little water pool at the bottom of the hill. As we ran to our next obstacle, we were sprayed with colored powders (mainly green and orange), which when combined with the water from the previous obstacles made it so we were practically painted with the colors! We laughed at our colorful selves as we continued on our run.

 We came across a wall that we had to cross, and they had three different heights to choose from. I chose the shortest wall (probably about up to my waist), and Blake chose the tallest one, which was closer to his height. Quickly following getting over the wall, we had to go over 8 concrete stadores (those things you see on the sides of the freeways). Blake just launched himself over these quickly, where I had to lift myself up to sitting on them and then get over.

 My first failure of the race was the rock climbing wall. We had a narrow ledge to keep our feet on, and then a rock wall to hold on to as we moved across. I got about halfway before I lost my handhold, and fell (only 2 feet or so). In retrospect, if I had made more careful hand choices, I probably could have made it successfully across. Oh well, maybe next time.

Blake noticed that I significantly slowed down on my way to the next obstacle, and I will willingly admit that I was freaked out about this one. I am claustrophobic, and this next obstacle required going through a tunnel up a hill, and the tunnel was buried enough in dirt that it was crawling space only. But I did determine before even starting that in the effort of conquering fears that I WAS going to get through this obstacle! So, I made it through, didn't love it, but just kept going and felt great when I finished... until I saw the next obstacle... another tunnel! This one was even more buried, and it was slightly smaller than a comfortable crawl. But I made it through that one too. YAY!

 Mt. Rocmore was our next challenge. Possibly because of the accomplishment of the tunnels, for a lot of the remainder of the race, I found myself purposely choosing the harder option, because then the feeling of success is so much greater. So when faced with a large dirt pile to climb, and the option to use a net or a rope to go up, I chose the rope, and I did it well! We had a water slide next (which despite my best efforts I only went halfway across), and then on the belly flop, I used it like a slide (not sure why, I still think I was successful at this one).

The next obstacle required you to cross a pool of water over barrels tied together. It didn't look like an easy feat, and I didn't see anyone succeed (though Blake saw one), and even Blake didn't quite make it (though he was REALLY close). I made it about halfway, but felt like I put good effort into it, so didn't mind my second fail too much.

The scariest obstacle for me was the beast. It required you to go up a ladder, across and then up another ladder, and then across and down a fireman's pole. Going up the ladders really made me aware of the height that I was at and the fact that I didn't have a net, or a harness or anything but me keeping me safe (and the fact that I signed my life away in the waiver before I started didn't help either). But at each ladder, there was an easy ladder or a hard ladder... and both times I chose the harder one, and lived to tell the tale! It was fun going down the fireman's slide too.

Next we had to cross a tight rope with just a single rope at about shoulder height for support. About halfway out, they started to shake the ropes... and I didn't let myself get knocked off, and I successfully made it across. After another running section (which is of course in between all these obstacles) we came to tire mile. For the first large portion of these tires I ran them as expected, and quickly, but the last 10 feet or so I got tired and just stepped carefully through the end. By this point, I was really tired, and having to be urged by Blake to run, not just walk toward the last two obstacles. We had the stairs up to the huge slide, and sliding down. Photobucket Photobucket Our last obstacle was a Tarzan swing. I would give myself a 75-80% score on this one, where I didn't let go, and I made it across the water, but I didn't tuck in my legs enough, so they dragged through the water as I went. Blake's picture is blurry (my dad was taking these pictures, and he didn't know how to make the camera sports mode, and I didn't think to set it up for him before the race), but he didn't even touch the water. Photobucket Photobucket A little more running and we made it to the finish line! Photobucket Photobucket Though it wasn't the only reason we want to race again, it was really fun to see all of the crazy costumes that people came up with for the race. Next year, we plan on being brave, and getting more interesting ensembles. This year, we paid subtle tributes- me to a movie, and Blake to a video game. If you know what they are from, more power to you... but we purposely kept it somewhat obscure this year.  Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


For months I have been waiting for a phone call telling us about the child. Not that I understand the complete adoption process, but I thought it was pretty clear that it was the phone call and then sending a dossier, and proceeding from there. So it was quite a surprise to get an email ( not a call) that said to prepare our dossier. Apparently, there is reason to believe that there will be a child in our age range soon. As strange as it is, we have been asked to prepare our dossier and get it to Ghana as soon as possible. While it is different than I expected, it is definitely progress!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rediscovering the Farmer's Market

As we continue to enjoy making and eating more gourmet meals, I had begun to feel on numerous occasions that it would be nice to go to the Farmer's market again and get some of the fresh ingredients there. It also works well with our green philosophy to support local farms and eat seasonally. We generally don't need a lot of produce because we get so much in our CSA box, but there usually are one or two items that we need that we don't get in the box.
One of the biggest ones is fresh, organic berries. Our normal store, Sprouts, does occasionally have organic berries, but not consistently, and we enjoy eating them weekly. Also, I happen to enjoy the ambiance of the farmer's market where you get to interact with the person who grew your food. My friend Emily talks about choosing what places you want to support with your dollar, and we feel like the farmer's market is one of those places. We want the local farms to stay in business, and we want to support the small farms that don't have enough produce to sell to the stores, so even though it has proved to be somewhat more expensive than our normal shopping trips, we decided that for now, we will continue to go.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Here is a picture from our most recent trip. As far as produce goes, we just got berries, loquats,tomatoes and onions. However, we also stopped by the hummus stand and sampled a variety of hummus (we were given three pieces of pita bread and told we could sample any flavor we wanted) and purchased a unique and tasty chipotle hummus, which we have been enjoying with chips this week. Last week we went to a bread stand, and we enjoyed her bread so much that this week we came back and got two loaves. The last item that we purchased this week was granola. This was on our list for our grocery store portion of the trip, but when we saw someone selling it on our way out we decided to try it. It was a few dollars more than we would normally pay for the same amount of granola, but the flavor is so much improved over our usual granola, that we think that it is worth buying it again next week as well. Apparently the granola is toasted with a hint of coconut, and it impacts the flavor in a strikingly good way.
Since part of our thought process of returning the farmer's market weekly is to choose with our dollars, we currently plan to vary which produce stand we buy from and support different local farms each week. The question remains if we will make the same choice where bread and granola is concerned, where they have earned our loyalty from their great flavors.
These are some of the meals that we have made recently: Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App This is cauliflower tossed with prosciutto, dates, red pepper flakes and oil. Then we roasted the mixture in the oven, and ate it with a caper aioli on the side. We were very pleased with the results, and even though I felt like the dates were somewhat of a strange ingredient in this recipe, their sweetness really balanced out the spicy red pepper flakes. Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Grilled chicken with a fresh red pepper coulis with a side of braised celery Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Grilled trout with tomatoes stuffed with rice, mozzarella and basil topped with breadcrumbs and then baked Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Grilled bison topped with a red wine reduction served on top of mustard glazed parsnips.