Sunday, July 28, 2013

First Tri!

Well, its done. I conquered my first triathlon, and I have to say it was a blast!! I mean, I like running...but add some biking before that and a swim before that and you have a good time! :)

Today's race report I'll make short and sweet since I'm tired and need to go to bed. Anyhow, my first tri was a sprint...maybe technically a super sprint as it was a 400 yd swim, 11 mile bike and 5k run. It was the Women's Only Triathlon in Sylvania OH and is geared towards beginners who want to try out a tri, or women who are intimidated by larger co-ed races. This was a perfect race for me!

Today started at 3:30 a.m. The race started at 7:30 a.m. but we needed to get there by 6 a.m. for packet pickup (didn't do it the night before since it was an hr. drive). I needed time to get up, have my coffee, banana, yogurt and get ready to roll. Then I picked up my gal pals Ruth and Krystin and we were on our way! Oh yeah, it was also COLD! 50 degrees actually this morning. no good! it July!? So, I wore my warm-ups over my outfit as we were milling about getting our packets and set up in transition.

So, we made it just before 6 a.m. and had lots of time to spare which is good for me mentally so I could check out how things looked on my path from the swim and from bike to run, so I know what to look for to find my spot. Also of note, they had random bike racking, only by age group. So, I grabbed a spot on the end and faced my bike toward the bike out. I heard somewhere the end spots are the easiest to access....'they' were right. :)

At about 7:15 we were told to line up near the swim start. You start on this terrace and are seeded by time you think you'll finish the swim in. I was hoping for a 10 seeded myself appropriately. It was also a time trial start. So, everyone started at 4 second intervals. That was nice as I was freaked out by the prospect of swimming with lots of people at the beginning. Before I knew it, people were in the water and my turn was up! I took off ( albeit slowly). Then I mentally messed up. I got close to some swimmers who were faster and didn't have 'space', so I tried to find some and instead ended up killing my rhythm and that was that. The rest of my swim was long.....and slow....and well, not 10 min. :( Ended up being 14:30. Ouch! OH well, as soon as I had my land legs back I bounded up the quarry stairs(yes there were steep concrete stairs coming out, did I mention? And my body was tired! But, I shook it off and focused on T1. I passed a bunch of ladies on my way into transition, so that felt good. :) I did the first transition in 1:08. No wet suit, but I'll take it! I found my bike easily and did my change(though I forgot to dry my feet and my bike shoes are now wet) and ran my bike outta there!

On to the bike! This is the fun part! I love riding bikes! :) I picked up some speed and started passing lots of people. I 'caught' a lot of the faster swimmers which felt good, and even some of the dri tri-ers. I'm still not sure about this drafting thing, so I tried to keep my distance until I was sure I could stay in front of someone. The ride was FLAT! It was basically a huge square around cornfields. So much fun! I only had 2 complaints about the ride. 1 was it was really windy going 1 I struggled to maintain a decent speed. 2, was that at 1 intersection, one of the traffic directors motioned for me to stop, as they were stopping a vehicle, but then said to go! I was so annoyed, I lost a bunch of momentum and had to get it back. Sigh. On the up side I found a new hammer gel flavor I love. Raspberry! I had just 1 on the bike to hopefully stave off the stupid side cramps I've been getting as of late on the run after I bike(thinking electrolyte issue with the heat maybe?). Oh well, it was over before I knew it and I was on to T2. I managed a decent time in that one 45 seconds....and I was off.

Ugh! I hate that first mile running after the bike. My legs feel like lead, but I just kept them going....1st mile was slow, but then I got my rhythm and pace back and started to look for signs of other age groupers I might actually be running with. Didn't see many (none actually). So, I figured I was way behind. As I was passing the final water stop, I heard someone shout "you can catch her!"....I realized it was one of the volunteers telling me.....there was someone just in front of me that was my group. And yes, I was on her heels. With only a mile or less to go, I thought I had enough in reserve to pick it up a little. So, I did. And I passed her. Then I kept going at that slightly increased pace....then I came up on another one in my group...and passed her. That was kind of a fun game, but I figured they'd catch back up at some point....but never did. Before I knew it I saw the end and my family and friend cheering. I saw that last 100M and gave the rest of what I had. It was awesome! I finished strong and I cannot wait to do another!

I finished in 1:18...I was hoping for 1:14..which would've happened had it not been for my horrible swim. Well, I guess I know what I need to work on for next time. I hope to find 1 more to squeeze in this year sometime. :)

I definitely am hooked!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Tri Jitters

I really don't know what's wrong with me. I've been training for this tri on Sunday for a while, I know how to swim(mostly), know how to bike (decently), and I can run ok. So, why can I not shake this feeling of anxiety? I am normally pretty relaxed before a race. But this started like Monday this week. I can literally feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins any time I think about the darn race. Maybe its the swim doing it to me, since that's my biggest unknown....I'm doing my final swim tonight hoping to just calm my nerves a little.

I think maybe its because in the back of my mind, I'd really love to do well (like top 5 AG) for my first one. I know that's probably unlikely, but still. How cool would it be to do good first time out? So, there's that. Maybe if I let go of that I'll calm down. But, I have a hard time not thinking about a race as competitive. I mean that's why they call it a race right? Sigh. Everyone tells me a 1/2 marathon is harder than a sprint tri....somehow I feel like that's not true.

Well, hopefully I'll find a healthy way to shake these nerves before Sunday.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Early Riser

While its still February and most people probably aren't even thinking about summer yet, I on the other hand am, since I have several summer races planned this year as my 'get back into shape' program after having baby #2 last summer. As such, I have a 1/2 marathon, my first actual tri (hopefully), a couple 5K's for fun and a du all planned for the spring/summer time frame. So I've had to get my derriere in gear NOW.

 My challenge is getting back into decent running shape while its still cold before 'real' training begins. I've run now and then since Sawyer was born, but nothing consistent like I used to since I can never seem to find the time or energy once the boys are both in bed....well sometimes I do, but I'd also like to use that time to spend with the hubs or get ready for the next day, etc.

So, I decided in order to get my exercise on during the week, I needed to get up at (gasp), 4:30 a.m.! Ugh! I already get up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for work and get the boys up and ready for daycare to be out the door by 7 a.m. I really thought I would NEVER get up an extra hour earlier than that! That's crazy! BUT, I did it 2 times 2 weeks ago, a couple times last week and so far once this week(but also plan on Friday). Then at least I can get in 2 runs during the week in the am and 1 some other time during the weekend at a minimum.

My plan is to stick to this and once I'm at a month consistently, I'll reevaluate and fit in another run and or other cross training. Its a start anyway. I also gave myself an out. If the baby gets up in the night and I have a 4:30 workout planned, I get to skip it and do it that night or try again the next morning. I can't be too tired to go to work and function, nor is that safe. So, trying to program some structure while being flexible into my schedule to reach my fitness goals this year. Let see how it goes.

I'm excited to get back to it! Also, of note I am competing with some friends and family in a weight loss challenge...which I'm definitely not winning, but I have lost 1 lb. a week average for the last 6 weeks, so it could be worse. I am just 1 lb, away from pre-baby weight! woot! Next up, toning this mess up! :)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ode to a Treadmill

After just having completed yet another treadmill workout while its freezing outside, I'm once again reminded of my love hate relationship with my treadmill. On the one hand, yes I know I'm VERY fortunate to even have this piece of equipment IN MY HOUSE no less, so I CAN run when I'm too wimpy to brave the cold, or its just too dark. On the other hand, I can hardly stand being on it...its SO BOOOORING!

I've tried music, I've tried movies,but generally the treadmill is too loud to hear anything from the tv in the basement unless I turn it up to hearing loss levels, but yet I still find it mentally difficult not only to actually do a treadmill workout, but to PUSH myself on it. I always seem to fall into...well as long as I get the mileage in, that's ok right? No speed intervals, no hills, just flat, monotonous running...

So, I guess I need to make a plan to get more out of my workouts. I do want to actually improve my running speed, so I need to start on that. Now to just find a training plan to do that.....its seems like everything I find is "couch to 5k", "how to run your 1st 5k", not "how do I kill a 5K"? I guess that's my own challenge I need to work through. I almost wish I had run in my younger days so I would have some coaching info to draw from, but alas, its just me and the Internet I fear. Maybe the local running store geeks can help come to think of it.....

Happy running!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Competition is healthy right? Well, in my case, I need some to get my butt back in gear this year.
After September's Warrior Dash, I have not done 1 single solitary race and only a handful of actual workout runs.

Why? Well, turns out going back to work full time with 2 kids to get out the door to daycare in the morning is more than a lot of work. To make it more complicated, add in trying to get dinner on the table, both kids happy, and the house somewhat in order each night makes it exceedingly difficult to find any time for me to actually exercise.

BUT, there is hope. I do feel like now that the holidays are over, that I am getting into a good routine...with that and Sawyer now about done nursing, I can actually separate from him once in a while which adds up getting in some solid treadmill time! Well, that plus an awesome husband who will put our 3 yr. old down after I get the baby to bed so I can do so about 3 times a week.

In addition, the hubs came up with a little friendly FB friend competition to get us all back to ideal training weight sooner rather than later. We've all pitched in about 50 bucks and between now and May, whoever loses the most %-wise takes the pot. Woot! And yes, I am looking forward to winning and getting an awesome new post-baby running wardrobe this spring. :) That is until I saw my sis rocking her weight loss this week. Nothing like a little competition to kick it into high gear for me! cannot wait to get the last few baby lbs. off along with some extra so I have no extra on me going into the running season.

I would LOVE to actually RACE a race this year rather than just complete a race. I've been middle of the pack generally speaking, so I'm excited to earn my new physique and put the hurt on the racing competition. Hmmm....that sounded a little mean and braggy...well, we'll see what actually happens. But I would love
to take home some AG medals this year. No time like to present to set my goals right?

Now, to just find some training plans to get back in shape and FAST at the same time.

Here's to a new year and a new, hopefully faster ME!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Warrior Dash

So life has been pretty crazy this year. With adding little Sawyer to our family life has certainly become busier but also more fulfilling. There is nothing quite like seeing your 2 boys together. I think E is finally taking a liking to the little guy. :)

However with all of this business, running has taken a backseat again. During maternity leave I did get back out running by about 4 weeks pp. Yay me! I was up to 3-4 times a week at about 3 miles. Not too bad at all considering. Then I decided I needed a race in my life to liven things up. So, when my sis said she was doing Warrior Dash, I thought what the heck?  A fun goofy race to start me back! Mind you this was the last weekend before my return to work, so it was perfect! Um, yeah I completely underestimated this race.

I thought, oh a 5k with some fun obstacles thrown in, should be fun/relatively easy. Yeah, so the run was easy..the obstacles...not so much. But, lets rewind a little. I was supposed to do this race originally with my sis and a friend of hers....but she ended up with strep so that didn't happen. But, luckily a dear friend of mine, her husband and another friend of hers were doing it as well. So, I glommed onto their group instead. :)

And my husband being the supportive guy he is wanted to watch and bring the kids....awesome! I was stoked! Having never done one of these types of races before I really didn't know what to expect....but it is definitely not kid friendly! This place was nothing but dust and dirt and NO shade on a VERY sunny day. In addition there was REALLY LOUD music(which is awesome for racing, but not for little ones' ears), and people drinking everywhere.....yup, drunks at a race...go figure. So, needless to say one we arrived and found our friends, the hubs took the kiddos to a friend's house where we met up after. Good plan!

So, that just left me with a race to do! Our group of 4 got to the corral and got ready to go about 30 min ahead of time I'd guess.There were waves about every 30 minutes and everyone was assigned to a specific wave, but if you missed yours it didn't seem to be a big deal to get into another one. They certainly didn't check.

After few minutes the race horn blew and fireballs flew into the air to mark the start of our wave. The first 1 mile or so was uneventful. Mostly dirt or pavement and pretty flat. Then we got to the first obstacle where there was..wait for it...a LINE! yup, literally stopped and had to wait your turn to do it. ummm...hello...isn't this a race I thought? But, I am glad to have had a little time to size this thing up. It was a large wooden structure you climb up, have to maneuver over and then on the other side just let go and drop. I'd say this was maybe 15-20 feet tall. Eeek! We all made it over and then were off again. About another 1/10th of a mile and the next obstacle was upon us. A cool one where you had to pull yourself over wooden fences about 4-5 feet tall and then crawl under barbed wire alternately about 4-5 times. FUN! We stopped for a quick photo op on the course and then continued. WE barely got to a job again and the next obstacle was in our way. This was a horizontal cargo net about 4-5 feet in the air your had to bear-walk over(hands and feet). A little trickier than you'd think but not too bad. Also, it turns out I can run faster than I can do obstacles....I was the last one in our group done on almost every one except a couple. eesh. need to work on that.

Anyway, we ran maybe a quarter mile more and we made it to the first water obstacle. This one sucked! The water was over your head in most places and you had to haul your self out of the water onto these floating plastic containers strung together in a  line......there were about 4 rows of these with space in between.Did I mention I have NO upper body strength. Thank goodness for team members. WE helped each other over these stupid things and others behind us as well. We all made it but geez. I think this was the toughest one of all!

That was kind of how it went though...a little running(read: less than 1/4 mile) then an obstacle and repeat. Besides the water ones(there were two), the hardest thing for me was a giant wall you had to scale with a knotted rope to hang onto and little more that foot holds on the way up. Oh yeah and it was about 30 ft. high I think. I never knew I was really afraid of heights until this obstacle. I made it, but yeah, pretty sure I don't like heights. Also, real barbed wire was used a lot through this whole course like a fun decorating(but could hurt you). It all ended with a leap over fire and a crawl through mud. Blech! But we all made it, the whole team!

At the end we got a free beer (though not really free since its an expensive race fee). And of course a medal. All in all it was a good time, but don't expect to make good time and just have fun is how I chalked it up. I also decided I think I'm more of a road race kind of girl. Not sure if I'll really do another one, but I'm glad to have done something fun with friends and try something new! :)

And oh yeah, almost forgot....this race was back in about not keeping up on the 'ole blog! lol! Better late than never right?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The title of this blog is actually an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture.

After a girls weekend with a couple long time friends, I found that they are each participating in a CSA this upcoming summer. I think its something people have thought about but don't usually do, though I think its gaining in popularity. I have just heard about it from a few people in the past from work but not much else outside of it.

But basically how it works is that local farmers let the community buy shares for a a fixed price for either a period of time(18-20 weeks is common), or for the whole year if they are able to offer year round produce. This is paid usually in a lump sum at the beginning of the year when farmers most need help buying supplies for the growing season. Then when the farm produces, each member gets their 'share' of what is grown.

Cool idea huh?

So, you basically support local agriculture, get fresh produce every week, you know where it comes from and how it is grown, and you reduce your carbon footprint. Plus the produce is so much better than the stuff shipped from who knows where, where its in season. Yes it takes some getting used to, in preparing just the produce that is in season at that time instead of us being accustomed to having whatever produce we want at any given time of year, but I personally think its worth at least an experiment.

So, I started looking into local CSA's. Things that are important to me are cost,convenience,variety and whether or not its organic. I haven't bought a lot of organic produce in the past, but I like the idea and if I can get it local for not a huge increase in cost its worth it to me.

I did find a website called where I was able to hunt down some local CSA's.

The first was called Stone Coop Farm, was organic and the pickup location is directly on my drive home. The downfall I saw was that it was a little pricey compared to some others and the offerings seemed
a little limited compared to others. On the upside it would be super convenient to stop on my way home each week to pick it up. They offered produce for 18 weeks.

The next one was a larger operation located in Howell called JT Todosciuk Farms and Greenhouse LLC. They used traditional farming methods(aka non-organic), but was priced a little more reasonably with quite a wide variety. They offer produce for about 20 weeks which included melons...yum, and had a pickup in Howell, which is a little bit of a drive, but not too bad.

The last one I'm really interested in. Its a small operation(family started and owned) that began just in 2009 in Pinckney called Portage River Farm. This is only their 3rd season doing CSA I think. However, they offer full, half and individual shares(based on size of your family),so there are a couple pricing options which would be great for us! They also raise chickens organically for eggs(bonus!), and have bee hives for honey and maple trees for syrup that they make as well on a limited basis. They also provide year-round produce(with the exception of 2 weeks), and each share receives eggs, honey and syrup as a bonus as well. They also have plans to expand into fruit(they planted 30 some odd fruit trees last year and are installing berry patches this year).

Portage River Farm also practices sustainable and organic growing practices(though they are not officially organic yet as they are in the process of certification). Good enough for me though. And they also have a pick up point in Ann Arbor(where I work), and also have several other families from Brighton where we could potentially take turns driving out to get the produce for everyone else.

In addition they are all about the community aspect of it all and have bonfires, taffy pulls, sugaring parties, picnics etc to get members to check out the farm, kids can see the animals and you can feel a real community connection with where your food comes from. Cool huh?
Maybe I'm a bit idealistic in all of this, but it seems like the next best thing to having a garden of my own (which I doubt will happen with all the shade we have in our yard and a new baby on the way), and hopefully it'll get us into a more local mind set to reduce our carbon footprint.

Also, who doesn't like farm-fresh veggies? I know I do! Its always a treat getting fresh produce from my mom and step-dad's garden each year. Too bad they just didn't live closer. :)
Anyhow, that's it for now, but I hope to update on this after we secure a membership with a farm.