My Second Tri Completed!

I made the trek to Chicago solo this past weekend.  Initially the family was going to come, we thought the boys would like seeing all the racers and me finishing.  But after realistically thinking about it the thought of dragging them there and waiting was too much for them.  My family jokes that its crazy that I can function on my own because I tend to not overly plan or check things out before I do something–this event was a good example!

To start, I had an idea of where to park my car vs. where my hotel was but I didn’t do a bunch of research.  I also didn’t realize until I was on my way and talking on the phone with my sister that there was a time difference–OOPS!  Not a huge deal but was good to know!  I wasn’t sure what wave I was in or what time I was starting either.

It was a weekend of many firsts for me starting with me getting an Uber.  Yes, I have never used the app, taken a ride or attempted to do anything at all.  So I of course goofed it all up.  But after my first failed attempt my second attempt I ended up with an awesome and friendly driver.  I arrived at the Chicago Hilton and there were a ton of athletes there.  It was pretty cool to see so many people there for the race.  I settled in and got ready for the Expo the next day.

It was strange (not bad!) to wake up to quiet in my room without little people waking me up and to get to shower without being interrupted!!!  I got ready and headed downstairs to the Expo.  I went to the mandatory meeting first, it was OK but for a first timer I didn’t feel like I was getting the information that I needed.  It almost would have been nice to have a first timer option and a “regular” option.  So then I headed to pick up my packet, it was fast, friendly, well staffed and organized.  I walked back through the expo, looked at some booths, talked to some people and decided to run up to my room and drop off my stuff, then head back down.  When I got to my room I realized I was missing my ID.  I had it at packet pick up but had foolishly stuck it in my back pocket with my phone…needless to say I didn’t have an ID for another 2 weeks (it showed up in the mail!!).  Below Pic is right after packet pick up.

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I did the early bike drop off and not sure how huge of a benefit it was because I still have to go back in the morning.  Not sure what the reasoning is for not being able to leave anything but your bike (that is the most expensive item you are leaving) besides things being moved around but if you told people to connect it to your bike and if you don’t thats on you, why can’t you just have one less thing to do in the morning?

Here is one view of all the bikes:

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I roamed the city in the afternoon, did some shopping (of course!) and as much as I wanted to check out some amazing Chicago restaurants I decided to play it safe and eat Chipotle for dinner.   I wasn’t overly nervous when I went to bed, except that I wouldn’t wake up with the alarm or wake up call (Seinfeld anyone?????)

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Well there wasn’t a need to worry I was up fine, dropped everything at my bike, headed back to the hotel and laid down, then got ready and went BACK down.  That’s when the nerves started–Why did I want to do this?  What if I get knocked in the head and no one sees me sink? Can I change my mind?  Will I be cold without a wetsuit???  And on and on and on…

It was finally my groups turn and I wasn’t sure how this was going to happen as the other triathlon I did we started on the beach (and it was madness!!) so I was one of the last ones in and the water actually wasn’t that bad (thank goodness!) and we treaded water for what felt like 30 seconds and we were off!!! It was choppy and I drank some (by accident and tasted like dirt!) but it wasn’t horrible and I felt pretty good when I got out of the water.  There were volunteers helping you out and they were amazing!!!

Below is where we came out of the water.

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There was a red carpet for us to run to our first transition, I was not prepared for the length—not sure what I was thinking but it was longer than I thought it would be.  I got to my bike and took a little too long in transaction but off on my bike I went.  I felt good on the bike but I was getting passed like crazy!!!  This is definitely not my strength but I finished 15 minutes faster than my goal, so yea me!!!

Second transition went faster and I felt really good getting off the bike and starting the run.  I think I started out too fast because I slowly started to loose steam.  I walked at the drink stations and ran the rest of the time.  I started getting anxious about just being done and was so happy to turn the corner and see the finish!!!

I did it!  I finished the Tri, raised money for Save The Children and maneuvered my way around Chicago!  Win, win, win 🙂

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I then had to go BACK and get my bike and went back to the hotel.  I didn’t hang out at the finish line long because I was still wet and felt pretty nasty so I took a nice long shower and got cleaned up.  I had prescheduled a massage and facial so I headed to the spa and enjoyed it sooo much!!  I was pretty tired so I got some amazing pizza from Lou Malnatis and it was AMAZING!!!

So to sum up this definitely gave me the push I needed to continue to train and look for another race…not sure which I will do but it will be next year.  I am now focusing on my China Trip!!!!

 

 

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I am going to run in China!

I have been keeping this amazing secret in until it was announced but now I can share it all I want!  I have been selected to go to Hefei, China in November for their half marathon to represent the Columbus Marathon through Sister Cities Athlete Exchange.  I feel so honored to be a part of this experience and I am so Excited!

So how did this come about?  I can’t even say for sure how I found it, it was on an email or a FB post–can’t remember but I read the information and then talked to the hubby.  I told him about it and he was 100% on board so off I went to work on the application.   I really didn’t think I would get a spot but I was still really excited.  The questions were pretty basic, not like a physics exam or anything but they did take some thought but they were good questions.  Click link below to see the application: Sister Cities Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon Exchange 2017

So I worked on it on and off for about 2-3 days (I am crazy and re-read about 40 times!) and I sent it off.  Then of course, how it usually works I see a post on Facebook that they are having an information meeting 2 days after I sent in my application-LOL.  So I went to the meeting and it became real that this could possibly happen.  Past participants were there and they had such great stories about their experiences and the people at Sister Cities were great and the director of the Columbus Marathon was there and it was awesome to hear him speak.  It was pretty casual meeting but really informative, I left anxiously/cautiously excited.

We left for vacation right after the deadline and they said at the meeting they would notify 1-2 weeks after.  So I  was anxious every time my phone rang wondering if I would get a call.  So mid week we went to lunch and I didn’t bring my phone so of course, what happened?? I got the call!!!  I was so excited and nervous so while the boys swam in the pool (while it rained!!) I sat under the tiki bar to watch them and called them back.  She was super nice and asked a couple questions and then said, “So what are you doing November 12th?  We would like to invite you to join us in Hefei, China as an ambassador for the Columbus marathon”.  I didn’t hesitate and said, “yes!!! I would love to!”

SOOO that is how it went down, now stay posted on the rest of the adventure 🙂

Check out the Announcement Page:

Columbus Marathon Sister Cities Announcement

My Facebook Announcement Picture-Cheeseball!!!!

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The Shell Hunt

I love shell hunting, I think I am the only one in my whole extended family that likes to but I can’t help myself -I love it.  I am not sure if it is the hunt, possible awesome find, the anticipation, the curiosity of what could be out there, maybe missing out on something or just walking the beach.  I would guess it’s a combo of all those things because I love a good sale too-which are the same reasons as above (minus the awesome view of the ocean!!)

So I have been hoping at least one of my kids would take up the love for shell hunting but I am not sure it’s working.  Every time we go to the beach I plan and research where to look, what time of day, what is the best beach, what we are looking for-hours of time on good old GOOGLE.  Drives the husband nuts.  So this vacation was no different.  We came to Outer Banks last year but we really just looked at the beach where we were staying.  We didn’t find much on the beach BUT we did find an absolute gem of a shell shop called Shipwreck.  It took a lot of digging to find this place and it is a bit out of the way depending on where you are staying but definitely worth the trip.  Great assortment of shells (though most not local), great prices, very mom and pop shop.  I will warn you though if you are looking for great customer service, this is not your spot.  Both trips we have made we weren’t spoken to until we were at the checkout but to me the experience, the variety of shells and items makes up the difference.  Check this link for their information:   Shipwreck Shell Shop

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This year, I didn’t do homework ahead of time because I didn’t know if I wanted to bother with making a trek to some random part of the island and coming up empty handed.  But once we got to Duck I was determined yet again on this vacation to have a shell hunting adventure. I googled like crazy our first night at our rental house for about 3 hours.  I found some beaches that were supposed to be good spots but ALL of the pages I looked said (of course) shelling is partial luck, partial weather, and partial location.

The next morning off we went!  We started in Duck, OBX and we headed down to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse area (We wanted to visit the lighthouses too).  The drive was about 1 1/2+ hours so we arrived around 10.  (We lost Kid #1’s flip flop somewhere in the house and after 30 mins of looking we just bought a new pair on the way but that put us behind!!)

We got to the beach we could see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the background-so cool!!  It was cloudy and a bit cool but still good shell hunting weather.  As soon as we got there we found an awesome screw shell.  It wasn’t in perfect condition but I was ecstatic, one of my all time great finds!

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The kids and hubby weren’t as excited as I was to find all the shells especially since we haven’t had great luck at the last couple of beaches for shells.   The boys played in the ocean, dug some holes, then would look for some shells and then go off to play again.

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The baby LOVED the beach, the ocean and the shells!!  Once she realized what we were doing she was picking up all kinds of shells and adding them to the collection.  It was a great success at the beach and while I might still be the only one with the true love of shell hunting, it was still a great family adventure!!!

And then off to the lighthouses we went!  We got to see Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  We didn’t get to climb them because the 2 youngest weren’t tall enough to climb so we walked around outside and took in all that was around the Lighthouses.  Definitely a great day!!!

Once we get them all cleaned and dried we are going to work on some fun craft projects with our shells, we will post once we complete them!!

If you are ever in the Outer Banks and like shell hunting I highly suggest checking out the beach and shell store!  Happy Hunting!

My First Swim

I was determined that today was the day I was going to do my first swim.  I had a plan…and of course that fell through!  I was going to take the boys to the neighborhood outdoor pool and swim on the break and leave baby girl at home with the hubby…and it rained.  So I packed up my gear and off to the Y I went!  I got there and the swim team was practicing and because of the rain it was pretty packed but I put on my swim cap, my NEW goggles and off I started.  I got new goggles after about 10 years of my past goggles and they were constantly getting foggy so I bought some Aegend swim goggles from Amazon and ready to check them out!!  Here is the link from Amazon where I bought them: Aegend swim goggles Amazon Link

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I wasn’t sure how much I could do so I didn’t have a total goal but I was thinking 8ish laps or about 30 minutes.  The pool is 25 yards (well so I thought but confirmed AFTER I swam-who does that???)   Well let’s just say I had no idea my pace because I had done at least 12 laps and about 9-10 minutes went by so I decided I would push to 30 minutes instead.  I hit 1200 yards and side note: here is a little something about me–I am SUPER superstitious about the number 13 SO I had to stop because I didn’t think I could do 1400 yards in 30 minutes.  Yes, I know this seems crazy but it’s who I am–I give partial blame to my dad!!!  So I finished a few minutes under 30 but I was happy!  I did about 70% of the total distance in the triathlon not too bad for a first swim in a few years!!!

IMG_2550Stay posted as I continue to push and train for this Awesome Chicago Triathlon, it will be here soon!!!!

 

The Mini Triathlon-Too cute NOT to watch!!

I wanted to think of a way to get my kids involved in my triathlon race and fundraising.  I decided what would be better than doing a “mock mini triathlon” for them and some of their friends (that I know are allowed to be recorded and put on YouTube!!!)  So the Mini Triathlon came to life.  I made them each a race bib (not sure if you can see but they all are some from of 48-Kids FAV #, no clue why!), set the date and Boom!  Here we go!

We tried to get the bibs on and line them up for some pics *Not an easy task, it was after 6:30 on a school evening so we were asking for trouble!  We did better when we asked them to do something silly or fun-

Like saying, “We are #1!”

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Based on timing and well all participants under the age of 6 we didn’t do it in “real triathlon” order.  We did the bike, then run, then swim (2 days later!).  They had a blast and of course we had some tears (well everyone but 2 I think-Blame it on too close to BEDTIME!!)

So please take a minute and watch this too cute video of my little munchkins and their besties-if it doesn’t make you smile You Crazy!!!!

My First MRTT Group Run-EEK

First you may ask from the title of this post: What is MRTT?  It stands for “Moms Run This Town” cute name huh?  It is a local running group (local meaning their are TONS of local groups across the country!)  to run with other moms and get support and it is free and easy to join.  I have been a member of the Facebook group for almost 3 years but really only participated virtually.  If interested check out their website here: Moms Run This Town

So anyway, I did something I have been avoiding for a while.  I finally broke out of my comfort zone and got up and met the local moms that run in the early am.  5AM-START.  I am NOT a morning person and feel that anything before 6 am is still the middle of the night!  But since it was Saturday it was at 6am so I figured it was as good of a time as any.

I was apprehensive because I didn’t know many in the group and I didn’t want to slow anyone down or be the super slow poke.  So I am not gonna lie I stressed about it all evening on Friday night.     I stressed about the mileage, the weather, what to wear, to carry a water bottle or not, when to wake up and if I should just bail.  And I knew I was being ridiculous but hey that’s me and I am way old enough that I now just own it.  I debated on not going and doing my usual solo running because I needed to get some miles in but I really didn’t want to be THAT girl either.  So I set my alarm and planned to get up and go.  I woke up in time and realized I didn’t know where the park was they were meeting at but I easily googled it and made it there with a few minutes to spare.

I pull in the parking lot and NO cars, I got kinda excited and disappointed all at the same time.  I check on the FB page quickly to see if it was cancelled but I just wasn’t far enough in the park.  I pulled in and there were 4 ladies ready and waiting.  So after a couple minutes of chatting another showed up and off we started.

I only had time to do 5 miles (they planned to do 8) but we did 5 1/2 which was perfect.  The pace started REALLY fast for me (close to 8MM!)  and I felt good thinking-I can do this but close to 2 miles I realized I was going too fast.  I slowed down, then slowed some more.  I was thinking, “Augh!  My nightmare is coming true-I AM the slowpoke!!!”  But these women are amazing in all sincerity AMAZING, 2 of them slowed down and ran with me.  We finished with about a 10-10:15 pace which for me is the norm but more importantly I ran with people, I even chatted a bit.  So overall it was a success and happy to say getting out of my comfort zone is always good.  I will definitely go again and push myself to do the 5am meetup Stay Posted!!!  Below the a pic after we ran, I didn’t ask the other Mommas if it was OK to post so just feet 🙂

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Dads Birthday (Not my dad!!!) 2017

This year the kids decided to make Dad some homemade cards (that were very decorative!!) and we made a personal pillow. I found a pillow at Walmart (for $5!!), it was an outdoor decorative pillow which was great because it was a synthetic material so the paint stuck perfectly.pillowWhile at Walmart I also got some multi surface craft paint (under $1.00) and we were set to decorate our pillow! paint923c850e-f47a-4ecb-b3b3-39c7693f9fb0_1.a82129ad3f0cfa55136199e4096eb3cf

The first thing I did was check to make sure the paint would work on the pillow so I made a little dot on the pillow, let it dry then tried to rub it off.  It didn’t smudge so we were ready to go!

We did a practice round and I brushed the paint on to their hands, FYI it apparently tickles when this is done 🙂  We practiced on some paper so I could figure out the right amount of paint to put on their hands.  Then I did the oldest (Pdawg) first (biggest hand!), then middle man (Mr. J) but when I got to baby girl I didn’t know if I should do hands or feet.  She isn’t a fan of things that feel “weird” so she tends to ball her hand up.  On the practice try she did good but from past experience I wasn’t sure I wanted to take the risk because I only had one shot with the pillow!  So I decided to do her feet instead.  She DID NOT like that at all.  Poor girl cried the whole time.

I was happy with how the prints turned out but it needed something else.  So I wrote each kids initial by their print and added the year and month.  Presto DONE!!!

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Their Dad loved it Successful Birthday gift complete!