Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas On The Farm

May you all have a happy and safe holiday!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Product Review: Instead Softcup

***Any guys reading this, especially any male relatives of mine... you may want to quit now.  This review may venture into the land of TMI! ***

"Softcup is a flexible cup that is worn internally, around your cervix. It collects, rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It's hypo-allergenic, latex-free and completely safe when used as directed." Sources: Text-; Photo- Instead Softcup Facebook Page 
I first heard of Instead Softcup last year at a race expo.  I even took home a sample and put in my bathroom closet.  But when I checked out the website to get more info, they basically said "this can take some practice".  And with my 2pk sample, I just never got brave enough to try it. 

But the concept intrigued me.  And every month, even though I wasn't quite brave enough, I looked at those Instead Softcup samples and said, "I wonder..."

So when the opportunity came up, I jumped at it.  And this is what I learned: 

1.  You will likely not get it right on the first try.  You might, but you very may not.  I didn't.  Wear a pad as extra protection on your first couple tries, just in case!  And for goodness sake, remember that the  "don't try anything new on race day" rule applies here... you do NOT want to be worried about whether or not you got it right in the middle of a race! 

2.  It doesn't take long to get it right.  I will admit that after a couple days the first cycle, I gave up.  But the next month, I tried again.  And you know what happened?  After a couple more days, it was just as easy as using tampons.  There is a lot of help on the website and even an "Ask The Doctor" where you can ask questions that you can't find the answer to already.

3.  For me, there was some leakage...but ONLY when I went to the bathroom.  At first this alarmed me.  I thought for sure it was because it didn't fit right or I had inserted Instead Softcup improperly.  Not so.  As long as this is the only time you are observing leakage, it is normal.  (Website FAQ full answer here.) 

Overall, I was very happy with the performance of the product.  I  really was able to go all day without worrying about having to run the bathroom every several hours to change a tampon.  Working out with Instead Softcup was very comfortable - didn't even know it was there.  This would be a GREAT product for race day.  Especially longer races like a marathon or half-iron triathlon.  

Now, despite all the good things about this product, I will likely not be using it as my regular period protection.  Why?  Plastic waste.  I currently use tampons with no applicator so there is only a very small amount of garbage, especially plastic, being produced by my usage.  That is not to say I won't use it.  It may not become my everyday period protection, but Instead Softcup is definitely a product I will use again, but for those occasions like a long race or training day (marathon shopping?).

Want to know more about Instead Softcup?  
I encourage you to check out 
their website at

I was compensated by Instead Softcup for this review, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely mine

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Getting Back In The Groove

So I'm finally to a place where I am starting to get back into a more normal routine!  The "new" house still isn't finished, some things are still in boxes, and there is still a lot of cleaning to be done at the old place.  For the most part, however, the tasks that need to be done, cannot be done with the "help" of a two-year old so except for a couple days a week that he goes to a sitter, we are starting to get back to "normal".

I've been able to get some swimming in.  Always, of course, followed by supper and conversation with my best tri-girlies! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

GOTRIbal Contest!!!

Head over to GOTRIBAL for a chance to win TWO entries to the Commitment Day 5K (held in 35 cities around the U.S, including Minneapolis!), PLUS some GOTRIbal goodies! Best of all, there really are no losers- All entries in the contest get $5 off the entry fee to the Commitment Day 5K on January 1, 2013!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where the hell have I been?

I announcing a little hiatus.  Not sure how long, but certainly until after the first of the year.  I may post if I come up with something I really have to say, but for now I want to take the pressure off myself.  I am so busy with the remodeling/moving that I just really don't feel like I have the time to update, but I feel bad when I don't.

Here's what I've been doing lately:

Workouts:  Pack boxes at night while toddler is sleeping.  Move them to stack by the door.  In the morning, load them into Jeep/trailer.  Drive to new house.  Unload boxes.  Unpack boxes.  Move empty boxes back to Jeep.  Drive home.  Bring empty boxes back into house.  Repeat.  Occasional home improvements such as installing vinyl tile, ripping out shag carpet and old linoleum also completed as well as things like digging potatoes and hauling rather large pieces of furniture by myself.  (My husband is impressed by the furniture moving.  I tell him that anger and impatience are great motivators and sources of strength.)

I ran a 10K in September and PR'd.

I ran a half-marathon in October and did much better than I expected to, considering I have been doing absolutely no running. 

Nutrition:  Using up whatever I can from the cupboards in an effort to move as little as possible... when I feel up to cooking.  working on the house/moving project and taking care of a toddler at the same time pretty much saps all my energy and time.  I haven't been eating nearly as well as I should.  And I'm ashamed to say that we have only harvested half of the potatoes and there are still probably 100lbs in the ground...

Mental Health: My mood has started to suffer in this whole process.  I have been doing this almost daily for a little more than two months now.  Our goal is to be moved in by the end of the month and have the old place cleaned out and ready for the new renters by December 31st.

We're going to be gone for a week coming up here.  Although I could really use some time away from the whole project, it does not help my stress level any to be gone for any extended time this close to the deadlines. 

Anyway, this is where I've been and where I will be for the next couple months.  As I said, I might post if feel like it, but I'm taking the pressure off and likely will not post until after the New Year.  In the meantime, I hope you all have wonderful holiday celebrations with family and friends!  See you in the New Year!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Five for Friday: October 12

1.  My husband, Dave, finished his first marathon last Sunday at the Twin Cities Marathon!!!  Official time 4:58:47.  So proud of him!

Dave, our son Liam, and Dave's dad Tom on the way to packet pickup.

2.  At the marathon expo, I met the ladies behind  I first heard of them through fellow GOTRIbal Ambassador and pro triathlete, Gillian Clayton. 

Photo from

My first thought after seeing their awesome shirts and cycling kit was, "I probably should get faster before I wear that..."  But then I saw this...

Not me... picture from

the Minne-skirt!  Um, LOVE at first sight!  Plus I find out that this is a Minnesota company?  How could I not buy one of these?!? 
So, of course, when at the expo, after meeting Jennifer and Gretchen ( and then walking around the expo, trying to convince my hubby why I just HAD to have one),  I purchased my very own Minne-skirt. 
This turned out to be a great decision when it was only 30 degrees on race morning!  GREAT running weather, COLD spectating weather!  My new skirt kept me nice and toasty warm!

3.  A friend linked this recipe on Facebook earlier this week.  These will be made in my house before the week is over.  They look delicious!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes via Girl Cooks World (photo: Girl Cooks World)

4.  Work on the "new" house is going well.  Today I played with my new toy... a brand new shiny miter saw!

Ain't she purty???

I also picked this find up off the curb during Windom's "junk days" with the idea of turning it into an entertainment center.  Painting is in progress.  I will post "after" pictures when I get it done.

A fresh coat of paint and some cord holes in the back should make her good as new!

5.  I am seriously considering taking a Facebook vacation until this election is over.  Presidential election, gay marriage on the ballot in Minnesota... political comments abound in my news feed (making me wonder sometimes why some of my friends are my friends).  I try not to use this blog or my Facebook page to discuss politics or religion, so this is the one thing I will say...  It makes my heart cringe to hear or read comments of bigotry, intolerance and hatred and then have them justified by the person giving the opinion with "because I am a Christian". 
I do not attend church regularly, and my belief may not be as strong as some, but I do know this:

Matthew 22:34-40
34But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, gathered themselves together. 35And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, trying him: 36Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? 37And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets. 
(Source: Bible, American Standard Version.)

There is no clause afterward that says, "except for homosexuals", except for (insert race or religion here)", "except for..."  Well, there just are no exceptions.  These commandments are given in Mark (12:28-31) and Luke (10:25-29) as well, so it seems to me that if you identify as a Christian, this would be a pretty important lesson. 

And that's all I will say about politics and religion for now. 

May you have a wonderful weekend free of political commercials! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Need a Swift Kick? the ass? 

Yep, GOTRIbal is doing it again... not only inspiring women to try endurance sports, but giving them the tools to do it!!!

GOTRIbal's new "Swift Kick" program is designed for those who want to try running.  Already a runner?  How about passing this info on to a friend, co-worker, sister, mom, etc...  Maybe even commit to doing it with her or "gift" the program to her!

From the GOTRIbal website:

"In The Swift Kick [in the ass!] 8-week program, you will receive:
  •  A formal training program, beginning Oct 29, that is designed to help you commit to doing something you’ve never done – Run/Walk 3 miles, or run the whole 5K!  This program will get you there with our Expert Coach, Wendy Mader!
  •  Access to a GOTRIbal Expert Coach to get your questions answered during the first week, middle week and last week of the program.
  •  A 24/7 exclusive online Tribe where you can meet and communicate with other women in the program; including your Coach!
  • Weekly Tips and inspirational notes from elite athletes like ultra-runner Dean Karnazes, GOTRIbal Ambassadors, and women just like YOU.
  • Special surprise gear for you to wear during the 5K event on January 1!"

Instead of waiting until you make a New Year's Resolution (I mean, c'mon... those things never work for most people anyway!), get started NOW and reach your goal THIS YEAR!!!  What are you waiting for??? 

Check out the GOTRIbal website for more details and to join this AMAZING program!

Now you may ask, aren't you a GOTRIbal Ambassador?  Why, YES, I am!!!  Does that mean I get compensated in any way for posting this? No!!!  I am a GOTRIbal Ambassador because I believe in GOTRIbal and what we, as a community, can do when we connect and inspire each other through sport!  Everything I do for GOTRIbal, I do for free. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Five For Friday: Oct. 5

Short on time lately, thus the lack of posting. I've been busy, busy, busy working on the farmhouse so we can get moved in before the snow flies.  Therefore, this week's FFF will be in pictures...
I tore out the shag carpet and found these tiles.  Still not what I eventually want, but better than the shag and will do for now!
Tore up the floor in the dining room and kitchen and replaced with vinyl tile.  This is the dining room floor before and after.
Why don't I update my blog at night?  Because I'm busy doing things like refinishing furniture at 11PM.
My cousin's wedding:  Don't worry, it was water.  I know because I gave it to him :)
Me and the monkey man!

My hubby is running his first marathon this weekend at Twin Cities!!!  Make sure to wish him luck, I know he'll appreciate it.  Liam and I are looking forward to a great weekend of race spectating and cheering!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Five For Friday: Sept. 21

If I get this posted before midnight, it still counts as a Friday post, right?  

1.  River Valley Fitness - (I couldn't find a website or Facebook page - if anyone does, please let me know and I'll link it!)
This new fitness center just opened in Windom September 1st.  I waited a long time for a real fitness center to come to town.  Sure, there is the Hospital Wellness Center...but they have a lot of cardio and are short on real weight-lifting.  Then there was Curves...ummmm, yeah, not for me.  (The one saving grace for me in this town was Sky Blue Yoga- Kris is awesome!)
River Valley is a real gym with cardio, weights, classes, and available personal training.  Too bad for the owner that since I waited so long I now own all my own equipment.  But if you are local, definitely check it out!!!

2. Girls Night Out - A new campaign by the downtown businesses here in Windom.  Every third Thursday of the month, from 4-8pm, there will be specials, refreshments, and giveaways.  Now if only Dave didn't have a meeting that same day...

3. Windom Area Girls Fastpitch Association 5K/10K  Yep, this is tomorrow morning.  I'm late posting this.  Sorry!  But here's the info:  This is Windom's second running event of two for the year.  Especially in this inaugural year, PLEASE support it!  We need more local running events and it supports women in sports.  Really, a no-brainer. 

4. Breast Health Walk  If you ever want to hear an inspiring story about how regular people get things done, this is it.  A local woman (my insurance agent) had an abnormal mammogram and was ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer.  Frustrated with the wait time for follow-up mammograms (we previously had a truck from over an hour-and-a-half away come to perform mammograms in Windom every few weeks), she and her daughter started a fundraiser walk last year to  raise funds to purchase mammography equipment for our local hospital.  Less than 1 year later, our local hospital has their own equipment.  This year's walk (and subsequent events) will promote their other goal- to help women struggling with breast health/cancer financially when needed. 
If you don't know anyone who has been affected by breast cancer, count yourself lucky.  If you do,  please support this event, or others like it in your own community. 

5. Dude, it's a small town... I'm lucky I can come up with four in one week!   Let's hear from you... What exciting things are happening in your own community?  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five For Friday: Sept. 14

1.  I am starting to get my motivation back!  And none too soon...I have a 10K tomorrow and a half marathon in a little over a month. 

2. Great little article on why your triathlon races may not be going as well as you'd like.  (Thanks to Gillian Clayton for sharing this on FB!)
"Top Ten Reasons Why You'll Never Peak For Your Triathlon"

3.  My latest endurance event?  Remodeling and redecorating the family farmhouse before we move in this fall. 
Work on the "new" house is going well.  The upstairs is more than half done space-wise.  The biggest holdup is the bathroom.  Dave has been working 6 days a week, leaving him little time to work on it.
I'm holding off on the hallway and stairs until we are done with the bathroom and have all our large furniture moved.  I'd rather avoid the frustration of getting dings in my newly painted walls & floor!

Today's project: moved that furniture to the other side of the room and painted the other half of the floor.  Next?  New baseboard (salvaged from another old house).

4. After having Liam gone for a week and eating a lot of quick, not-so-healthy food, I felt pretty crappy.  I've been back to my normal eating since we got back Tues night and, after only three days, already feel much better.  Let that be a lesson to me...

5.  The September Meditation Challenge is working well for me, also.  During the week of eating crap it was harder.  My brain felt full of cobwebs.  The last couple days I have set an intention with each morning's mediation.  Yesterday it was for energy.  It worked almost too well... I couldn't sleep last night and was wide awake and full of ENERGY!  So I did another meditation with an intention of restful sleep and drifted right off.  The power of the mind is amazing. 

*And a bonus sixth thing I saw just before I was about to post!
6. An article on from Susan Lacke entitled "Out There: Be Happy With Your Body". I think I'm bookmarking this one for when I'm have "one of those days".  I forget that my aesthetically imperfect body has powered me through a half-iron triathlon, 3 marathons, about a dozen half-marathons, and countless other races.  Certainly, something I need to remember more often!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Meditation Challenge


This month I will be participating in RunToTheFinish's Meditation Challenge.  This challenge is a little different than a lot of the blog challenges that are out there.  There are no set guidelines, no prizes... the goal is simply to progress over the course of the month.  And hopefully for me, instill a new healthy habit into my routine.

As a mother to a two-year old that keeps me going from sunup to sundown most days, I can definitely see how daily meditation could benefit me.  Taking time every day to slow down, to invite peace, to center myself, can only make me a better mother/wife/person.

Coincidentally, I saw this picture linked through a friend on Facebook the day I decided to commit to this challenge.  It speaks to what I hope to achieve by taking the challenge and making meditation a part of my daily life.  

I saw this on Facebook here, not sure about original photo credit.

I invite you to join the Meditation Challenge hosted by RunToTheFinish by signing up here

Friday, August 31, 2012

Five for Friday

1.  Sister Madonna Buder, Oldest Woman to Finish an Ironman  Sister Madonna Buder is so inspiring, becoming not only the oldest woman, but the oldest person to finish an Ironman with her finish in Canada.  If you have not read her book, The Grace To Race, I highly suggest it.  

2. Controlling migraine through diet:  I have checked out several books from my local library about controlling migraines naturally.  I have been having a lot of them lately and, well, I just don't have time for that.  I am very interested in using diet to reduce my incidence of migraines as that is something I can easily take control of.  I am hoping to have all of the books finished by the end of the holiday weekend.  I will then take a week to form a plan, based on the information gleaned from all of the books and implement it the following week.  I hope this works...

3.  I won a pair of Oakleys!!!  I entered a raffle from Amanda at RunToTheFinish to support Run10Feed10 and I won!  I chose the Drizzle sunglasses.  I LOVE them!!! 
I also won Love Grown Granola as part of my prize package.  I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the granola as I have heard wonderful things about it (and it's gluten-free!).  I can't wait to try it!

4.  Why I Also Almost Died During the 2012 New York City Ironman Triathlon  A good article about listening to your body and symptoms of distress while training and racing.  I had never heard of SIPE (swimming induced pulmonary edema) before this article. 

5.  My Rev3 decision:  And finally, I have decided to not go to Ohio to compete at Rev3 Cedar Point.  I decided that although it would most certainly be fun,  the potential after-effects on my body when I am not prepared are more than I want to deal with.  After last year's half-iron it took me a good 6 weeks to recover... it was miserable.  Better to not completely trash the body and be able to have fun another day! 

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rev3 Wisconsin Volunteer Report

Writing my last post about whether to race at Cedar Point or not reminded me that I still hadn't written my Rev3 Dells volunteer report!

Because I'm a bad blogger and took very few pictures, I'm using one of Rev3's :) (Photo from Rev3 website)

We arrived in Wisconsin Dells on Saturday afternoon, shortly before my first volunteer shift was scheduled to start.  We popped into the resort to check-in even though we couldn't get in the room yet.  (Everything was under my name, credit card, etc...)

View of our resort from the lake.  Don't my in-laws look happy to be there? ;)

That afternoon I was signed up to volunteer at packet pickup.  I had the second shift that day which was also the last opportunity for athletes to get their packets.  I was quickly trained and set up with a box of packets.  I was surprised that there was never really a huge line.  Athletes must have planned ahead with most of them checking in earlier because we never had a back-up of more than a couple people.  All the athletes were super-nice and very understanding if I had to direct one of their questions to someone else.  I even got to help check in a few of the pros- including Richie Cunningham! 

After my shift was over at 6pm, I was anxious to get back to our condo and get something for supper.  I was starving!

Part of the reason we got a condo was because my mother-in-law and I both have dietary restrictions.  Having the condo allowed us to be able to eat all together while meeting everyone's preferences and restrictions.  We had a great meal that first night of grilled salmon accompanied by veggies I had picked from the garden the day before - carrots, onions, zucchini, eggplant, and fresh salsa!

I woke up early enough Sunday morning to make some coffee and watch the swim start.  I had planned to go down to the actual start, but the road I tried to take didn't go through because of a private beach.  But I discovered that the swim went right past our resort's dock!

Sunday morning was perfect.  Overcast with a calm lake. 
This provided the perfect view and a nice non-crowded place to enjoy my coffee!  There were several others watching from the resort's patio or from their windows.  It was a great place to spectate from. 

Pro men swimming just in front of me. 
I watched the two waves of pros and all of the half competitors start.  I went back up to our room to get more coffee and continued to watch the Oly swimmers from our patio.

After the swim was over, I got ready to do my own run and headed out the door.  I found a road away from the triathlon course, without too much traffic, and put in my scheduled 8 miles. 

After my run I had some lunch, played with my family at the waterpark for a half hour, then headed over to the finish for my second volunteer shift of the weekend.

This time I was at the finish line.  I worked with the same Rev3 staff member that I had the day before, Kelly, so I was immediately comfortable in my new position, handing out medals.

It's interesting to see people's reactions upon finishing from that perspective.  Some of them are elated, some exhausted.  Only one was grumpy.  One of the awesome things about Rev3 races are that they let your family/support crew cross the finish line with you.  It was fun, and sometimes emotional, to see little kids crossing with their Mom, Dad, or in one case, I'm pretty sure it was Grandma!

Here's the official Age Group Recap Video.  The back of my head makes a cameo at about 9:13.  Don't blink or you'll miss it!

I had an awesome time volunteering at Rev3 Wisconsin! The staff and other volunteers were wonderful. Rev3 really puts on a great race! I wish I would have been racing, but really, if you can't race, volunteering is the next best way to get in on the action!

Friday, August 24, 2012

To Rev3 or Not?

As soon as I got the go-ahead to run a few weeks ago, I jumped on the chance to switch my race registration to Rev3 Cedar Point half.  I was super-excited to be able to get my half-iron back on the schedule for this year.  But training and motivation haven't been what I'd hoped since then. 

So now I have a decision to make.  Do I go to Cedar Point and just try to finish or do I just stay home? 

This will probably be my last attempt at this distance for the next few years.  I have decided to step back and take care of the nagging health issues that have been bothering me this year rather than attempting to limp my training through them. 

The registration is paid for.
I will get to meet some of my "internet friends". 
I will get a chance to complete my goal race distance for 2012 and my second half-iron.
I haven't raced at any distance since March and I am itching for a good race.
Rev3 puts on an awesome race! (I volunteered in WI.  They are a class-act!)

I am not well-trained and it would be a challenge to just finish.
I am traveling by myself.  Have you ever finished a difficult race where you knew no one and had no support crew?  I have.  It sucked. 
I could use the time to work on the house we will be moving into this fall.
I would be spending a good amount of money on a race that I would be doing "just because".  
After my half last year, it took me a good 6 weeks to recover.  I am at a lower level of fitness this year so my recovery could potentially be quite long and difficult.  

Advice?  Thoughts?  Virtual kick in the pants?  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Training Log Aug 6-12

Only one workout to report this week.  While hiking last Sunday, I was stung by a couple wasps.  Monday and Tuesday I had a migraine, followed by a low-grade fever on Wednesday and Thursday.  I think these symptoms were a reaction to the wasp bites.  This Monday, eight days after being stung, the sting sites welted up and became quite itchy.  At least this week, they (so far) are not impeding my workouts!

Friday and Saturday were packing/travel days for Rev3 Wisconsin Dells!  I was supposed to race the half at this venue, but because of my injury this summer, transferred my registration to Rev3 Cedar Point in September.  We opted to go to Wisconsin anyway, since my in-laws had plans to stay with us there.  Everyone had fun at the resort and waterpark and I worked two volunteer shifts at the race.  A race volunteer report will be coming soon! 

My only workout this week came on Sunday morning between watching the swim and working my volunteer shift.  An 8-mile run/walk.  It was scheduled as a run/walk since I'm building up pretty fast in order to get ready for Cedar Point.  I don't want the stress reaction or the tendinitis rearing their ugly heads again! 

I wanted to stay off the race course during my run, so I found a not-too-busy county road that had a good 2.5 mile stretch between main roads and ran back and forth.  I managed to get a few rolling hills in, so that was an extra training bonus. 

The first mile felt like death (probably due to feeling sick all week?)  and I was worried I wouldn't make the 8 miles even with the walking.  Luckily, after about a mile-and-a-half, I started to perk up and continued to feel better the further I went.  I still felt strong as I finished up, greatly increasing my confidence for my race in Cedar Point.  It may take me longer than I would like, but I WILL get there!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Annual Hall Lake Challenge

I've been pretty much a total slacker on my swimming this summer.  I've been trying to get out once a week to do an open water swim with the Fairmont Multisport Club, but even that is sometimes challenging (sick Liam, sleeping Liam, no one to watch Liam...).  Knowing that my half distance triathlon was pretty much out for August didn't help. 

But, regardless of not being able to bike or run, I did have this event to look forward to:  The First Annual Hall Lake Challenge!  A 1.4 mile point-to-point (as in straight across the lake) open water swim.  I even conned the hubby into swimming :) 

This was a really small event- like 17 swimmers small.  Each swimmer had their own non-motorized escort boat (this was a requirement).  In addition, there were several motorized boats lining the course in case of an emergency.  All of these boats were manned by volunteers- THANK YOU volunteers!!!

We got started with a short organization meeting, met our escorts, and had a little time to warm up.  Soon it was time to get this inaugural event underway!  It was a time trial start, with swimmers going off every 30 seconds.  The first swimmer to go got quite a bit of applause...I imagine the poor last person to go had very little fanfare at all.

Because this was such a small event, they used the buoys from their triathlon a few weeks before and there were only two, dividing the lake into 3 portions.  The escort boat really helped out with sighting.  The boats were directed to stay on track, and only chase after their swimmer if they got too far away.  This worked great as I had my boat stay on my breathing side so I could just sight the boat with each breath, rather than having to sight ahead for a buoy.  

Now remember, I have been a slacker.  I got tired quickly.  I don't think the buoys were placed accurately at 1/3 intervals either so that made it mentally hard when I got to the first one and saw my split was far slower than I had hoped.  But by the time I got to the second, with a faster split than the first, I knew that the buoys weren't evenly spaced and I felt a little better.

For the most part, I was breathing to my strong side, with my boat on the right.  About halfway across, I had her go to the left side so I could breathe that direction for a while.  If you don't know how to breathe on both sides, I suggest working on this valuable skill!  It was a nice break for the fatigued muscles on the one side and I actually went faster for a while just by switching sides.

But, my weak side fatigued quickly, and I went back to the right.  After a little while on that side, my muscles were just tired all over and I decided to breaststroke for a while.  And found another gear!  Ah, yes...using my muscles in a different way gave them new life and I found myself catching up to and passing another swimmer that I had been trailing at an even distance for most of the way.

I switched back to my normal freestyle stroke for the very end and soon found the bottom of the lake with my hands...I was done!  Extremely tired, VERY hungry, and done!  This was a distance PR for me and although I didn't swim as fast as I would have liked, I swam about as fast as I expected.  All around a success!

Every one of the 17 swimmers finished.  For most, this was a distance PR by a long way!  A couple of the swimmers really only learned to swim freestyle this year.

After the swim, we all enjoyed a picnic in the park with brats and beer (no beer for me, sadly...note to self...bring own gluten-free adult beverage next year).  Liam had a great day (thanks, Mayo family for watching him!) playing on the playground and in the lake.

Again,  a highly recommended event!  Fun, fun, FUN!!!

(All of these pictures were blatantly stolen from the Fairmont Multisport Club Facebook page.  Thanks to Noella for taking pics!)

There's a teeny-tiny yellow buoy in this pic.  That buoy is 1/3 of the way across. 
Each swimmer had a non-motorized boat escort.  Again, THANK YOU volunteers!
Dave, his escort, and Liam.
Me and my escort, Melissa.
Ready, set, GO!
Just after the last swimmer started. 
Hubby coming out of the water.
Me coming out of the water.
I'll take a handshake from Phil in lieu of a finisher's medal any day! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

GOTRIbal Mobile App Coming This Fall!

GOTRIbal's new mobile app is coming this fall, "Racing Around Town".  They haven't released all the details yet, but are offering the chance for people to sign up to get the app for free when they launch the beta version.  (The app will only be free to those who sign up early.) 
This is the description on the sign-up page: "Connections to people like you. Curated expert advice. And gifts from the brands you love."   I don't know anything more than this about the app, but I figure it's free and I love GOTRIbal - I'll try it. 

As a GOTRIbal Ambassador, I would be amiss if I did not share the invite with you :)  Don't worry, this is a no-pressure thing and definitely not a sales pitch.  I get no compensation for being an Ambassador and no one is tracking how many people I sign up.  Just wanted to share something I think might be fun!

Onward and upward! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Training Log July 30- Aug 5

This week started off strong, but ended with a big old pile of nothing.  My parents had their farm retirement auction this weekend and I completely underestimated the energy (and time) it would take to help them.   The auction was Saturday, we entertained family and did a little more cleanup on Sunday.  Now on Monday, I feel like I got hit by a truck...tired, a little achy, and quite sunburnt. 

Part of the problem was my nutrition this weekend.  I am fully aware that I could and should have eaten better, but I ate what was being served and what was convenient.  Lesson learned, lets see if I remember it next time. 

Mon: 1.5 mile walk with stroller
Tues: 3 mile run, 30 minute spin
Weds: 64 minute pace workout on trainer
Thurs: 5 mile run on treadmill
Fri:  50 min open water swimming
Sat: Scheduled day off
Sun: Walked around in the pasture with family, but no specific workout.

I am also part of a plank challenge for August.  The goal is to build to a 5 minute plank by the end of the month.  I started on the 1st at 45 seconds, increased it to 70 seconds by the 3rd, and haven't done one since.  I 'm not sure I'll get to 5 minutes, but I can use the core work so I'm sure going to try. 

Trying to be lazy today and recuperate.  I'm trying to get my diet back to normal too, but for some reason I'm craving junk today...Must...Resist...

This coming weekend is the triathlon that was supposed to be my 'A' race this year, Rev3 Wisconsin Dells.  I'm not racing, but volunteering instead.  Looking forward to watching a great race and having a lot of fun with a different view :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Women Rock!

I LOVE these inspirational banners that will be placed along the Women Rock course!

Women Rock is a new race in Minnesota this year with marathon, half-marathon, and 10K distances. I know several friends that are running this race. I wish I was! Not because if the jewelry, firefighters, or champagne, but because I think it would be amazing to run an all-women's race. I LOVE running races with my girlfriends and I think this would be just like a huge girl's-night-out but in a race. How fun would that be?!?

Check it out at:

*** I have no affiliation with this race or their organizer, Team Ortho, nor am I being compensated in any way. I just thought these banners were really cool :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Training Log July 20-29

This covers a little more than a week.  Including my first run after 5 weeks off!  
I headed to the orthopedist on Friday the 20th to (finally) get the results from my MRI two weeks after the test was run.  Results showed a stress reaction and mild tendinitis in the gluteal tendons.  Since, by the time we were actually reading the results, I had already had so much time off, he said I was okay to go ahead and start running again!  My instructions were to build up gradually and back off if I had any pain or achiness like before. 

Now, the orthopedist is over an hour away from home in a much larger town than the one I live in.  As in, shopping trips to this town are planned regularly by the locals here.  I even had some shopping I could have done myself.  But did I?  Heck, no!!! He had just cleared me to run...I went straight home and went for a run!!!

I've been icing my leg religiously, foam rolling, and making sure I remember to take my vitamins (especially the fish oil, the one I tend to forget because it's in the fridge.)

So here we are, 10 days after that first run back, and so far so good (knock on wood- yes, I'm superstitious).  I'm still out for my intended 'A' race at Rev3 Wisconsin Dells.  I will be volunteering there instead.  BUT, I am happy to have been able to transfer my registration to Rev3 Cedar Point!  I will still get to race my HalfRev this year!  No, I won't be as well trained as I had planned.  I may still PR, I may not.  I had intended to smash my time from my first half last year, but oh well.  I GET TO RACE!!!

Coach Wendy has got me building back up over these next few weeks.  Mostly just time on the legs.  This past week was kind of a 'listen-to-your-body' and a "why-won't-my-kid-nap-so-I can-workout" kind of week.

Fri 20- Ran 3 miles, 33:00.  Made myself walk part of it at the 2-mile mark just to be safe.  Felt GREAT to be back out!
Sat 21- 1.5 mile walk on our prairie trails with some family.  We had intended to do the whole 3 mile loop, but the ticks!!!  I don't know that I've ever seen them that bad in the middle of the summer.
Sun 22- Bike/run brick.  16 miles on the bike, 58:??; 20 minute run, 1.82 miles
Mon 23- Planned day off
Tue 24- Unplanned day off
Weds 25- 3 mile run with stroller, 38:22.  Liam wouldn't nap so I could get my trainer ride done so we went for a run.  At the hottest part of the day, with 2 miles of new mushy gravel.  That was exhausting!
Thurs 26- Potty-training boot camp for Liam, mental toughness training for mom. 
Fri 27- Day 2 of PT boot camp (see above).
Sat 28 - And again, he doesn't want to nap.  6.25 mile run with stroller, 72:38. 
Sun 29- Long bike ride: moderate pace, "ass-in-seat" time.  37.1 miles, 2:19:18

I'm excited to be back in it, but cautious.  This next couple weeks is going to be tough to get workouts in as planned.  Dave is out-of-town for work and Mom & Dad are having their farm retirement auction.  The running shouldn't be a problem, Liam does well in the stroller, and my leg seems to be handling the extra resistance just fine.  Swimming is always hard because of the lack of a place to swim locally.  The biking is what has the potential to really suffer.  If Liam won't nap, I can't get on the trainer.  I just don't trust him yet to keep his hands out of it and no workout is worth my kid losing his fingers.  If I workout after he goes to bed, I'm too energized and I can't sleep.  And getting up before him?  Hmmm...if you're about to suggest that, then you don't know me very well!  I am most definitely not a morning person. 

But I will do the best I can.  He will only be two for one year.  Next year he may be old enough to rationalize with about fingers and bike wheels.  If not, then the next. 

And now all this talk about napping and sleeping has me ready for bed!  Good night all, I've got a morning date with a handsome 2-yr old, a stroller, and my running shoes! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Garry Bjorkland Half-Marathon 2012 "Race" Recap

This wasn't really a race for me.  I was supposed to run the full marathon, but was injured.  So what did I do?  One week before, I begged the race director to let me step down in distance (usually against their policy because the half is the more popular race) so I could run with my dad and my sister in what is likely to be my dad's last half-marathon.  They were wonderfully nice and let me in (thank you Grandma's Marathon race management!!!)

For those who don't know, my dad was diagnosed with primary myelofibrosis several years ago.  Basically, it's a bone marrow disorder that causes a blood cancer.  He is on oral chemotherapy meds and manages pretty well on a day-to-day basis.  But he fatigues REALLY easily.  And he's a runner. 

At his fastest, he ran marathons under 3 hours.  Dad's goal for this race was to finish under the cut-off time of 3 hours, 4 minutes.  Quite a change of pace for him.  My and my sister's goal was to help dad reach his goal. 

Well, we are happy to report that we did it!  It was a PU (Personal Ugly- a term coined by my dad) for all of us, but we finished the only race where we've all run together under our goal time- 2:53:42. 

I wish my brain could have taken pictures as we were running along the course... instead, here are the pics from the race photography peeps...

At the start
Lift bridge in the background...I love Duluth...
My Dad!
Getting ready for our big finish.  One of my favorite pictures.
The finish line!!!
Three happy finishers!
LOVE this picture!  If only Dad weren't so tired...