Whom do you resemble?

By , August 21, 2014 7:26 am

Do you think you resemble one of your parents more than the other? If so, which one?

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Dad, me and Mom

We met our friends’ newborn last night, so of course, we were talking about whose features he has, and it made me think about whose I have. 

It’s funny – I can pick up facial features on other people, and say “Oh yeah, you look (or don’t look) like your mom (or whomever)!”  But for some reason, I can’t seem to analyze my features with my own family, especially my siblings. People tell us we look similar, but I look at pictures of us and don’t see it. 

But this post is about parents, not siblings.

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Dad and me

I think I resemble a mix of both of them. 

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Me and Mom (and Steven)

But there is this one picture of my mom when she was younger that I think I look SO MUCH like, that I have to say, I think I might resemble her a bit more. Or maybe I just think that because I smile a lot like she is in that photo! Or… because we are both female and it’s easier for me to see the resemblances. 

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When you’re off, you’re off

By , August 20, 2014 11:02 am

I got a kick out of this article Steven sent me about Daimler’s (the German Automaker) solution for emails you receive when you have your “out-of-office” auto reply on – they delete them. Ha! How awesome is that?! Is someone continually emailing you even though you are off? You’ll NEVER see the emails. Ha. Ha ha.  

And I found this tidbit mentioned in the article to be interesting – that the tech industry and several unions in France have signed a deal that makes it so that companies can no longer contact their employees electronically after the working hours of the day are over! 

So… Europe is either really progressive, or people are going to be picking up the phone more to communicate with each other. Maybe a bit of both?

Now, compare that to what we have going on in the US – people who are too afraid to go on vacation, because of the amount of work they will have when they get back, the fear that no one can do what they do while they are gone, and that they don’t want to appear replaceable. Sigh. 

I actually read that first article this weekend, and right away, thought about how grateful I am that my company has such a great work/life balance. I feel free to take leave when I want, and rarely look at my phone when I am off, unless I am expecting something “urgent.” We work our set hours each day, rarely more. Our leaders respect our family time. I knew my company was like this as I was interviewing, and it’s a huge part of why I took the job

So to read that article yesterday, about people fearing taking a vacation… ugh, it just made me feel sad. Sad that people feel so trapped like that! Okay, and it made me interested in what the article called the “martyr” complex – that you are the ONLY one who can do your job. I wonder how many jobs are really that way. 

I like the Daimler attitude better (about why they are deleted the emails people get when they have their out-of-office on):

Daimler believes that people on break actually deserve a break, and that managers shouldn’t try to wring out a few extra hours of work that likely aren’t necessary. It might have a point: studies even suggest that Germany, France and other countries that discourage overtime are very productive.

How about you? When you’re off work, are you truly “off”? Do you have a hard time taking vacation?

I wonder how generational this is. There is definitely more of a devotion/loyalty to work in older generations, and a tendency to see it as a means to an end, in younger ones. 

Who do they think they’re foolin’?

By , August 19, 2014 6:21 am

Hee hee.

Last year the North Face Endurance Challenge had a virtual goody bag that included a free magazine subscription. Schweet! I had just acquired my first road bike, so I chose a subscription to Bicycling magazine, and it turned out being something that both Steven and I enjoyed reading!

So it’s almost a year later now and my subscription is over. I got a few emails, and a few mailers reminding me of this. But the emails and mailers had such higher pricing compared to the mail-in offers you get in the actual magazine. I was offered a great deal of $20 for a 11 issues, OR:

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Counter clockwise from top left (and just looking at the cost for most issues offered): 33 issues for $22, 22 issues for $22, or 22 issues for $18. So I can pay what they offered to start with – $1.81 an issue, or, respectively, $.66, $1.00, or $.81 an issue. 

When I write it out in cost per issue, it really isn’t THAT big of a difference, but you can see that I chose the “cheapest” one. BUT! I am paying the most upfront! So… did they get me? Or did I get them?

Ha ha. I do this with all of my magazine subscriptions – let them expire, then sign up again, with the lowest cost per issue. I usually don’t miss any issues by doing this, because they send me an older issue first, anyway. And it seems most magazines have their pricing set up this way! I saw inserts in Runner’s World offering 24 issues for $24, $20 and $14… all in one issue. Ha ha. Make sure you grab the right one!

Does anyone else do this with magazine subscriptions? Or at least notice how much the prices vary?

I wonder if many people subscribe to magazines anymore. You can read a lot of these articles online, for free, a few weeks after the publish date (or even earlier, sometimes!). But I am pretty old school – I still like reading paper copies! When I see a long article online I can’t focus to read it (or really, put it down when I fall asleep and pick it back up the next day). 

Gotta ride dem hills!

By , August 18, 2014 6:03 am

There’s a perception that Chicagoland is just flat flat flat. It’s the midwest afterall, right? People complain about the “hill” on the Chicago Marathon course – it’s an overpass, by the way. And actually, people use overpasses to do hill training… it’s either that or the treadmill. 

Or travel outside of the city to somewhere with hills!

The county I live in just outside of Chicago, Lake County, actually has plenty of places to run hills. The trail next to our house has hills. They aren’t ginormous, but they definitely challenge me. So much that I often wonder why people go out of their way to run hills. Ha ha ha. But then again, I tend to avoid them unless I have to! <— I’m lazy like that. 

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So there is this city out here, Barrington Hills, that some people will specifically travel to, to run or ride the hills for training. I’ve known lots of people to do this. It’s a beautiful area with big estates, forest preserves, horse farms, and yeah, some hills. I’ve actually run there, more out of the convenience of the location than for the hills, but I do see why people like working out there. 

Well, some of the residents are causing a stink about the cyclists going through there (pdf here), so much that they’ve made a website protesting bike lanes being added to the streets. 

The residents are saying the cyclists urinate in their yards, ride in groups so large they take over the road, and curse at drivers. The cyclists are saying the residents yell at them, throw things at them, try to run them off the road, and barricade them with their cars. 

Sigh. Can’t we all just get along?

I wasn’t surprised to read these things are happening, but I was surprised to read that some residents don’t want cyclists there. At all. One of the nice things about riding a bike is that you can travel far, and see lots of different places. It’s not like they are breaking in to a gated neighborhood to ride (geesh, I hope not)!

Of course, I can see why both parties are upset. I’ve been on both sides, as I am sure many of you have been. When I go out on my bike, I obey the rules of the road, and have some people ride way too close, cut me off, yell at me, and so on. And yeah, just the other day, I was driving home, and a large group of cyclists was taking up the entire road to my house – they were probably 5-6 abreast. I had to go in to the turning lane to slowly pass them. Luckily, I could do that. And luckily… I didn’t get too mad because I like to cycle in large groups, but geesh, share the road goes both ways!

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I think… there will just always be people who think rules and common decency don’t apply to them. Cyclists who don’t stop at lights, even with cars around. Cyclists who ride in the dark, in to traffic, with no reflective gear (saw that Friday night). Cars who ride too close, throw things at you, yell at you, and yeah, cut you off. As a cyclist, you learn who those other cyclists are and can choose not to ride with them. But you never know what the heck you are going to get with someone driving a car. 

I wonder how this will all turn out! If it were me, and that was a regular place that I went for hill cycling… I think I’d be going someplace else!

Is hill training so important to you that you would travel to do it?

(And that is not the only reason people ride there, of course! That is just my spin on it.)

Training Week 252

By , August 17, 2014 4:54 pm

Highlight of the Week: Doing my long run with Rachel on a crazy new-to-us path!

Week252 

Monday | August 11, 2014: 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 77°/81°, Time: 45:13, Pace: 11:18 avg, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: like my skin was on fire
Strength: Arms of Summer workout, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good
Tuesday | August 12, 2014: 5 m run (w/Kelly)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 63°/62°, Time: 50:26, Pace: 10:05 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: tired
Wednesday | August 13, 2014: rest
Thursday | August 14, 2014: 7 m run (w/Kelly)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 57°/54°, Time: 1:11:14, Pace: 10:08 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good!
Friday | August 15, 2014: teaching strength class + 14.75 m ride (w/Janet) + 3.2 m run
Strength: Arms of Summer workout, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake to Prairie Crossing, Temp: 48°/51°, Time: 58:09, Pace: 15.2 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: happy!
Loc: Ray Lake FP, Temp: 77°, Time: 33:33, Pace: 10:30, Difficulty: easy, Felt: content
Saturday | August 16, 2014: 22.2 m run (w/Rachel)
Loc: Geneva Lake Trail, Temp: 58°/78°, Time: 5:08:38, Pace: 13:54 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: decent enough
Sunday | August 17, 2014: 14.7 m ride & 3.3 m run (w/Bobbi for her LR)
Loc: DPRT to Independence Grove, Temp: 64°, Time: 2:37:42, Pace: 5.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 63°, Time: 42:18, Pace: 12:49 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fantastic

Notes:

  • I’ve been trying to ramp up my mileage this month in case I’m able to run the marathon I’m signed up for in October, and I realized that half way through the month, I had already run more miles than in July. Oops! The good news is, my body seems to like running more. I like it and it’s definitely making running feel easier! 
  • I rode both my road and mountain bike this week! Woo hoo! It’s crazy how much less time it takes me to complete any distance on my road bike – I am so used to thinking about how long things will take me when running them (and those estimates have been a bit too low (too fast) lately, ha ha)! I hope I can get out on my road bike a bit more when it’s still “warm” out!

Link to Training Week 251

Running around Geneva Lake

By , August 16, 2014 9:30 pm

Despite recently reading about the 21-mile path that goes around all of Geneva Lake (in Wisconsin) on Valerie’s blog (and having heard of it before!), I somehow forgot about it until Rachel mentioned it as a possible “meet-halfway-for-a-crazy-long-run” point. Yes, please! Sign me up! There are so many lakes around where I live, and it bums me out that there are rarely paths to run around them. That is not the case at Geneva Lake! There is a requirement that the 20 feet of land directly from the shoreline be public domain, around the ENTIRE lake. 

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Ha ha. There are NOT any requirements on what to do with the landscaping though, so you encounter ALL sorts of terrain – pavers, dirt, crushed rock, loose rock, grass (so much grass), places that seemed like all roots, sidewalk, wood, road, brick… you name it, I think we ran on it. I had my GoPro on, and it’s really interesting to flip through the photos and see how often the terrain changed*. 

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And that terrain is at all sort of, um, angles. Ha ha. So many stairs. So many downward slopes. So many hills. So much necessary careful walking. 

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I don’t know what I was thinking. I expected this to be a normal pace long run, not a trail run pace. But it was as difficult as a trail run. It IS a trail run. And it’s definitely on the muchos enjoyable scale of a trail run, too! 

It was such a treat (and a tease, really) to run next to the water (and not be in it)!

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And beautiful mansions line most of the trail! Can you imagine looking out your window and seeing a stranger go through your yard? I suppose the homeowners are used to it, but I couldn’t get over the fact that we were running so close to people’s homes! It felt a bit odd to run through someone’s “backyard.”

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I mean, look how close you’d get to some! 

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Ha ha. But we said hi to everyone we saw, whether they were on the path or in their yard. Many people commented on how beautiful and interesting the path is. And a few asked us if we were going all the way around. Yep yep!

Our plan was to run from Lake Geneva, west to Williams Bay, then stop in Fontana at a gas station for water… then to continue all the way around to the other side. 

The plan worked well other than me running out of water with a mile left (and Rachel offered me hers, so no biggie D). There are not many drinking fountains or places right off the path to purchase water. I actually think this description of the path difficulty, path etiquette, where to use bathrooms, and what you’ll see, is fantastic. 

Quite a bit of the path is shaded, and we had a nice wind, so it was a great morning to run… until it got closer and closer to noon and the sun got higher and higher! 

And unless you’re constantly checking a map, it’s kind of hard to tell where you are around the lake because of the bays and shape of it. As we got closer to the end, I was so eager to see the ferris wheel that our cars were parked by!

Ha ha, not that I was super eager for it to end, but with our added gas station excursion we put in over 22 miles! I was all talky talky for the first 18 miles, then hit the stage of the long run where your brain feels like mush, and you just need to focus on continued movement, and in the case of this run, not tripping. That is my rare quiet stage. Hee hee. 

I am so happy Rachel recommended we run this trail and that we got to do it together!

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We had been sort of planning to get together on her birthday weekend, and I think this was the perfect way to celebrate with doing something that we love to do together – explore new trails (and underestimate our running pace ha ha ha)!

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(and explore new bathrooms)

Happy Birthday, Rachel! Until our next run (in a week!!!)!

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Let me know if you ever run this trail! I want to do it again, especially now that I know what to expect! And maybe go the other direction the next time. I bet it would feel like a completely different trail!

*And how many frickin’ photos I ruined with my hand being in it. Ha. 

Data’s adoption story

By , August 15, 2014 12:47 pm

Oh my gosh, I loved this story (pdf here) about an agency that helps troops bring home the stray animals they “adopt” while serving overseas! It was so heart warming to read how the animals provide a sense of normalcy when the troops are there, and serve as a connection to the country their tour was in when they bring them back to their home country. Definitely read it if you want to feel all warm and fuzzy! Ha ha. 

Reading that made me think of Data’s adoption story, which is obviously NOTHING like that, but I realized, has never been shared in a blog post*! So, horrible segue be damned, here it is!

When I was in college in Iowa, and was still two years away from moving to Chicagoland to be with Steven, we’d talk about what kind of pet we’d like to have, when we lived together. 

Steven had never had a pet cat before (and I had), but for whatever reason, we decided we’d like to have a gray cat someday. Apparently, I mentioned this to my friend Kelsey, because when she saw a gray cat roaming around her neighborhood in early February 2005, she called me to tell me about it! I went over to meet Data for the first time!

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Doesn’t Data look different than he does now?

Data was friendly, looked well fed, and didn’t have front claws, so we thought maybe he was an abandoned house cat. I sent pictures to Steven and told him about Data and was all “OMG IT’S A SIGN WE MUST ADOPT THIS CAT!”

And at first, Steven was like, “Um… no.” But for whatever reason, he warmed up to the idea, and said yes. Maybe it was that I said we could name him Data (after the Star Trek character)? Or the fact that I had to leave very soon for a trip to New York City and we had to decide what to do with Data, because he kept going back to my friend’s apartment.

So we took Data to the local shelter. He was required to stay there a week, to see if whoever ditched him ever looked for him (they didn’t), and to make sure he was healthy/give him shots/etc. 

Unfortunately, I was still in NYC when the week long time frame ended and he was officially up for adoption, so I had Andrew and his wife pick up Data. The shelter had named him Chip, which we thought was funny – Data Chip! And when Andrew and his wife went to pick up Data and took some time checking out the other cats for fun, he reminded them they were there for him by sticking his arm out of the cage and bopping them on the head! Ha ha.

Data stayed with them for a few days until I got back. And got his first (and only!) bath and loved up on their cats.

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I got back from NYC on Valentine’s Day and picked Data up immediately! I was so excited to have him! He lived in my apartment for five days (which was so fun for me!) until Steven and I met in Iowa the following weekend, so he could take Data home!

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First family photo!

And Steven and Data have been besties ever since. Ha ha. Actually, it took Steven awhile to get used to having a cat in the house, since he never had one around before, but it didn’t take long for them to get used to each other, and become wonderful companions!  

Data never lets me forget that he’s lived in our house longer than me. Ha ha, when I first moved in, I felt like I was ruining their boys club! That’s why I spoil him so much… so he’ll like me as much as Steven. Yeah, that’s it! Hee hee!

If you have a pet, where are they from? 

*But has been shared here from which I am totally copying. 

Too soon?

By , August 14, 2014 6:19 am

Yesterday my Facebook feed was filled with cute pictures of people’s children going back to school.*

Think about this, guys. Yesterday was August 13th. 

THE THIRTEENTH. 

As in, “why the heck are these kids going back to school so early?!”

Ha, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that school was back in session and it means our neighborhood might be a bit quieter during the day (read: won’t have to hear bouncing basketballs all day), but DANG, it seems early. 

When you were in school, when did you typically “go back”? Parents, does August 13th seem early… or not early enough? (Ha ha.) 

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I think that is the last time anyone has referenced me as being “quiet.”

Where I lived in Iowa, it seemed we always went back the week before Labor Day, and that school always started in late August. I associate the start of school with my snister’s birthday, which is August 25th. And it was the same in college – the week before Labor Day. 

When I was in school, I would get really sad about going back. The other night I was telling friends how nice it is not to have that “end of summer” dread anymore. I think I just struggled with the change of routine. It’s better now that I just do something I dread all year round (juuuuuuust kidding!). 

*Which was a nice break from all the news/status updates about Robin Williams. Not that it is bothering me, but just that seeing it all is making me feel very overwhelmed and sad. 

I Run 4

By , August 13, 2014 10:37 am

This is not a sponsored post. This is something two of my close friends are doing, and I think is so fantastic, I want to share it with you. 

Have you heard of I Run 4? I Run 4 is a program where runners are matched with a child or adult with special needs, or the sibling of a child with special needs (Unsung Heroes, see below). That person becomes the runner’s “buddy,” and, you guessed it, the runner runs (or does other activities) for them! 

Each runner interacts with their buddy or their buddy’s parents through the group’s buddy Facebook page or the group’s sibling Facebook page, posting about the runs/activities they have done for their buddies and sharing photos. Runners are encouraged to wear their buddy’s name during a race, make a special shirt for their buddy, make them signs, take photos with something special they like, or (with permission) send their buddy race medals! The I Run 4 site has merchandise ideas, as well. 

What a cool program, right?

I was really surprised I hadn’t heard about this until recently, when two of my friends started participating! Dawn has had a buddy for quite some time, and Kelly just got hers! I sent them a few questions so I could share their experience with the program!

Thank you so much to Dawn and Kelly for letting me interview them and sharing their photos (and getting permission to post them)!

How did you hear about I Run 4?

Dawn: Through the Grayslake Running Club [four other members of the club participate in I Run 4].
Kelly: My best friend told me about the organization after I expressed a concern for future motivation. I returned to work in December, accepting a weekend nurse position. The only con to accepting this position would be losing my weekend long run and signing up for weekend races. Dawn suggested I sign up for a buddy to keep me motivated by sharing my running journey. Having someone to run with and/or for is motivationally inspiring!!   

Why did you decide to participate in I Run 4?

Dawn: Because I have a high school classmate who had a terrible car accident 15 years ago that left him disabled.  At our 30th high school class reunion (in 2012), I was humbled at how much he lost (though he’s not in a wheelchair, he is considered “disabled” and cannot drive or work) and had to depend on others for just the basic things to live life (like getting to the grocery store, doctor, to an event).  It made me realize how fortunate I truly was to be able to run and do crazy things like Spartan races. 
Kelly: I agreed with Dawn’s suggestion. I researched the organization right away but then held off questioning if my running/walking/biking journey would actually motivate or inspire another. Once Dawn was matched and I started seeing all of her posts, I saw the excitement and gratitude from her, her buddy and his family.  So I signed up in early June.

How long did it take to be assigned to a buddy?

Dawn: About four months. 
Kelly: Several weeks ago the I Run 4 organization started a buddy program for the siblings, referring to them as the Unsung Heroes. In the short time I have been involved with I Run 4 several of the buddies have passed, leaving many siblings behind.  For the siblings who have a special need sibling, they often feel left out/behind. Having a buddy, just like their special needs sibling, would help bond their sibling relationship. I signed up for a sibling buddy at the beginning of August and was matched on August 10th

Do you put any requests in for the “type” of buddy, or fill out a sort of questionnaire?  

Dawn: You can select to be a buddy for a child or an adult or either.  Other than that there wasn’t any other questions that I recall had to be answered. 
Kelly: No. I just submitted my name and basic demographic information. 

Are there costs to participate?

Dawn:  No, but you have to have a Facebook account because that is the way runners and buddies communicate.  I am also “friends” with his mom, though I don’t believe that is required.   It just lets us be more “connected” and supportive. 
Kelly: No.

What costs have you incurred on your own?

Dawn: I bought Zach a $3.00 t-shirt and bought a “Dawn Runs 4 Me” iron on decal. I have also bought 2 “I Run 4 Zach” decals for my car and I’ve registered for 3 virtual races (a 10k already run, a 5K and a half both coming up in September). 

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Kelly: Thus far none, however I have only been matched for a week. I plan on making temporary tattoos, shirts and possibly a tote bag for myself & my buddy.

Does I Run 4 give you guidelines?

Dawn: They have guidelines on what can be posted in the Facebook group. It is to be a positive atmosphere. You cannot post links to races or fundraisers. You are not allowed to use derogatory language.  The I Run 4 organization also has a separate Facebook group for virtual races where the medals that come with your paid registration fee already include a medal for the buddy. Usually with these virtual races you can also purchase additional medals (ie for a sibling) and/or tshirts other gear at reasonable prices.  Proceeds, I believe, go back into the organization. 
Kelly: Yes – there are rules on the Facebook page. 

Kim’s Edit – rules such as not to leave your buddy behind (it’s a permanent match), I Run 4 Siblings must have a special needs buddy already matched, one runner will be matched to one sibling, only matches made by I Run 4 will be honored, matches will be made according to the waiting list. 

Does I Run 4 set things up for you?

Dawn: They provide you with your match’s name and contact person (typically a parent).  They provide ongoing support to rectify buddy/runner issues (eg needing a rematch, etc.).
Kelly: Yes, the organization does all the matching the posts the matches several times a week on the private FB page. The runner & parent are tagged in the post. It is the responsibility of the runner & parent to initiate contact and post. 

How often and how do you interact with your buddy?

Dawn: My buddy is 8 years old.  I try to post at least once every day. Sometimes I post more than once.  I don’t worry about if his mom is posting back but if I don’t see any activity (such as a ‘like’) from her for a day or two, I’ll double check to make sure she sees the post because… you know… Facebook can sometimes be cranky!  All interaction has been through Facebook. His mom and I are “friends” on Facebook. 

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Kelly: I post to the FB each time I run and/or bike, so about 4-5 times a week.  I may also post when my 4-year-old son does a race. My buddy seems interested in my children, so I may post his races to see if she likes them.  Continue reading 'I Run 4'»

Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon Relay Race Report (2014)

By , August 12, 2014 6:35 am

I’ve said it before and I will say it again! Triathlon relays are so fun! Especially when so many people I know are doing it, too!

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This year, the studio I work at, Essential Fitness LLC (Efit), had four teams and one individual participating in the Iron Girl Pleasant Prairie Sprint Triathlon (last year, we had two teams and two individuals). And, xaarlin stayed at my place and was doing the full relay, too! SO MANY PEOPLE!!!

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I had actually been thinking about doing this race as my first triathlon, but changed plans when we decided to have several Efit teams. And yes, I asked who I thought was the fastest swimmer and runner to be on my team. Ha ha, why not?!

There was a lot of teasing about having a “stacked” team and even some straight up questioning if I should be the cyclist on that team. Yes, this was my first time being the cyclist on a relay team. But gosh, people, I don’t suck that much! Ha ha!

But all that talk, despite knowing my team (and me!) just wanted to have a good time, made me a bit nervous. My “happy with an average 16 mph pace” didn’t feel like it was going to cut it. So I looked at last year’s winning race results and saw the average bike pace was over 20 mph, and aimed to average 20. I wanted to push it the entire time and spend the whole (biking portion of the) race in the  ”pain cave.”

Great method, right? Don’t train for it, just push it on race day. Well, it is “only” 12 (or 11 – it’s not measured accurately) miles. I just biked 70 miles and that was easy… it should be fine, right?

Spoiler alert: it was fine. But I’ll tell the whole story!

This triathlon starts at 7:00 am with five-minute wave starts for age, starting with oldest athletes first. The relayers go with the youngest athletes, in the final wave at 7:45 am. Quick side note: it’s so interesting to watch this, because people are already on their bikes before your relay swimmer has even started, and already on their run, before your cyclist goes! The whole time, you don’t really know who is in first overall, since they could be in any one age group, and might not be the first to cross the finish line!

Our swimmer, Marlene, did fantastically, and was the third relay swimmer out of the water, with a time of 14:53 for the half mile swim. T1 was done in 47 seconds.

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Of course, the relayers are nervously waiting around at the transition area, wondering when their teammates are going to come in, and sometimes seeing the other teams take off before you (all of the relay bikes were racked together and off to the side).

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I knew we were in third when I started, and wondered if I could catch the first place relayer, who had just over a two minute head start. 

I pushed and pushed and pushed on my bike. I tend to be a lazy rider – spin, spin, spin, coast for awhile – there was NONE of that. I was pedaling in a medium high cadence the whole time. I shifted as necessary, but didn’t so much pay attention to what gear I was in, just that I kept that cadence up. That was pretty neat – I felt really connected with my bike, and that method worked really well!

There are rules about taking no more than twenty seconds to pass on the left then getting back over to the right, and maintaining a distance of four bike lengths between bikes. Yeah… I was almost in the left the entire time, passing people, and calling “on your left!” I rode on the right when I wasn’t passing. 

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I was passed by one person the entire time, and I kept playing tag with this other cyclist – she’d get ahead, then I would, then she would, and so on. I said to her “it’s unfortunate we can’t pace and draft off of each other!” She agreed. It was a bit windy and drafting would have been nice. 

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But other than the wind, the course was pretty good! There was a bit of uneven pavement, but I could keep pace there. Three smallish hills that slowed me down, but not terribly. I was worried about the two 180° turns, but there was no issue there (just losing speed). 

Most of my GoPro pictures look like this – me checking my speed to try to average that 20 mph. 

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I am not so good at math when I am working out, so I was trying to figure out if I was on target with pace, and knew if I got to 30 minutes and my watch said I had gone 10 miles, I would be on pace. 

I wasn’t. I was under. Too slow. But I kept pedaling as hard as I could, anyway!

I had told Yvonne, our runner, that I would try to cycle the advertised 12 miles in 35:00 minutes, and my final cycling time was 35:08! Right on target and a 20.5 average pace according to the official results. The Gramin recorded 11 miles at 19 mph pace. So… at least I hit around the 35:00 minute goal (I think a few people were really surprised I did!)!

My plan was to dismount my bike and take my shoes off then run all the way through transition to Yvonne. We had a good rack spot near bike and run exit, but were all the way across from swim and bike finish. 

So I got off my bike and my calves immediately cramped up. Gah! I ignored it and ran as fast as I could. I felt like I was running fast. Ha ha. Who knows!

Video of T2 from Brian

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T2 was done in 43 seconds and Yvonne took off! We knew she was aiming for a sub 21:00 5K, so we watched the rest of the relay teams come in, as well as our individual triathlete and xaarlin, then booked it to the finish to run in with Yvonne!

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Yvonne’s PR is 20:26 and she finished the 5K in 20:27. Gah! Second 5K this summer she has been off by a second! But man, she was looking fantastic on the run! She said she got all worked up and started out too fast, then slowed it down a bit, and really struggled with the sun and some nasty gravel part (must be new to this year – boo!). But you never would have guessed it when she came flying in!

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Oh! And what happened to the first place relay team? I never caught that girl on the bike – she was averaging 22 mph. We finished a minute and 46 seconds after them, overall! Yvonne made MAJOR headway on our overall time!

A hopeful goal of mine for this race was that I would beat my previous team sprint relay times on this course of around 1:30:00 each. We did. Our final time was 1:11:58, and we were the second relay team overall!!! 

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I felt so proud of my team and how hard we all pushed it! And I felt relieved that I belonged on the team with these two, after all the (teasing) comments I received about it. 

And I felt so proud of ALL the teams and individual athletes – and even the people I don’t know! This is a super supportive race, and it was fantastic to hang around at the finish and cheer on everyone.  

And I LOVE how many people came out to support us. Steven was there taking photos. I didn’t get a picture of us together, but apparently I can rely on the GoPro. 

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And several Efit friends were there spectating – special thanks to Bobbi, Pete, Rich, Mike, Brain E, and Dave! And of course, to Brian S, our trainer who encourages us to do so much!

 

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We wore pink headbands and pink ribbon tattoos in support of a friend with breast cancer

It really means a lot to have so much support. And especially for a hectic race like this. I mean, yes, it’s all in one area, but you are running all over to see the swim start, then back to transition, and to the finish. And watching for four teams and two individuals is a lot of work! I felt EXHAUSTED when it was all over!

This race left me really jazzed about what I could actually do on my bike if I train a bit. Of course, I mean in the single-event sense. I am sure I would have been much slower had I swam before I biked! And let’s not even talk about the run. Ha ha. 

Okay, and since this isn’t long enough, a few final thoughts:

  • I am so so proud of xaarlin for doing her first triathlon!
  • Like last year, I still think this race is crazy expensive to do the relay. But, they do have nice medals and shirts. Maybe some of the money is going to that?
  • There were new rules this year for relay transition – your bike had to be mounted (or stay mounted) before the ankle strap was transferred.
  • I left my left shoe a bit loose so my toes wouldn’t go numb as they have been. Now my left ankle is a bit sore from cycling so hard. Derrrr, Kim. 
  • Parking was much better this year, than last. 
  • I liked how you didn’t have to go as a relay team to get your packet this year – it made coordination easier. And I liked that they gave the cyclist and runner both a bib and bike stickers – I put my bib in the bibfolio! HOARD ALL THE RACE THINGS!!!

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