Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

I've been lazy and gym-less for some time now. First it was the "post tri" recovery/blues. Then it was "I'm not training for anything right now." Then I put my uber gym on hold, saving me $125 a month! 

I finally went back. A new gym. Close by but small. Different stuff, which is kind of nice after seeing the same equipment for nearly a year. Plus, due to a 3 month membership deal I'm only paying $99. Total. Way less that a month at my uber gym.  It's only for the next three months - then I'll be back over to LT.

First visit, I hopped on the first bike I saw and did 30 minutes, while people watching. In general, I'm 10-20 years younger than most clients working out. 
Honestly, since I'm there on weekend mid mornings, I'm probably one if the few that are under 60.

I actually like it. There's no hot bodybuilder to complete against. No one looking and thinking "what's she doing here?" In fact, the first visit on the locker room someone quietly complimented me and asked about my shirt. 

The HUGE downside is child care. This one costs $7 per child per visit. Taking Kellan a few times a week adds up; having all the kids and paying $21 for one workout, just isn't worth it. I only pay $30/ month for all three kids at LT! Figure in the summer we'll switch back.... Going 5 days a week, I could pay $30 a month at my ├╝ber gym, or pay $330 at the new place just for child care!  

As for my training, I have written it all out. I have a 12 week plan in gym #1 focusing on running, biking, and overall fitness with a few swims. Then I have a 13 week plan at the new gym, focussing more on my swimming. 

First triathlon is June 8, 2014. It's an hour drive but I think I'm going to just deal with the drive that spend $200 on hotel. The morning coffee will wake me up, and I'll sleep better in my own bed.

I wrote myself a reminder to get to the gym tomorrow....

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chicago Lifetime Triathlon 2013

Official time 2:15:09! I beat my little sister's time, and came in under all my "worst case" times, even in the swimming portion!

I decided to swim boat to boat, and while it was slow, I wasn't panicky or scared, since I knew I could swim boat to boat. I felt so proud when I got out of the water, even with two events left to go.

The bike was so enjoyable. I didn't race to kick butt; I raced to enjoy the skyline, the waterfront, the perfect weather, and to save my legs for part 3. It's here that I realized I was having a great time! I truly enjoyed this portion-- up the coast and back-- much more than the super sprint's "round and round in circles". 

The run was barely that. Lol. I had my GPS running app on my phone, my bottle full of Zym, and I took off at a speed walk. Super speed walk. I only ran at the photo spot halfway through, and then the last 1/4 mile or so, when all the people where cheering me on. I finished with a 12:30 pace, and I finished feeling strong and good! 

I flew through the finish area and ran back over to the start line, just in time to see my little sister start her Olympic distance triathlon. 

Looking forward to next year!
~Crazy eyes~
~Pause for a picture~
~2 medals in 2 days~

2013 Super Sprint

Official time was 62 minutes, only 1 minute shorter than last year. I lost a lot of time wrestling with my wetsuit. :( 

The highlite was watching my BIL race and my 8 year old son do the kids triathlon. I am so proud of them, especially Noah! 

As fun as its been, I don't think I'm sign up again for the next few years. I'm going to focus more on the Sprint triathlons now. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Crunch Time!

We leave at 1 pm tomorrow. I have a sitter coming to watch two of the kids; then we're picking our Tri kid up from school (yea, we're pulling him put early the first day of 3rd grade, lol) and driving to Chicago. Chicago traffic is so bad, we're doing our best to avoid it. We'll probably get downtown around the time packet pickup starts. Grab all our packets, get munchkin a race belt (I only have pink), and check out Saturday's course.

I'm not nervous at all about Saturday. Maybe nervous FOR my son's race, but not mine. Been there, done that, lol! However, I think kiddo is nervous so I want to show him as much as possible before his first triathlon.

Funny kid... All he wants is 1. an official shirt to wear to school on Monday, and 2. a medal. He *wants* to place, but he refused to train/practice all summer, so it's not likely. Hopefully this will plant the BUG, and he'll want to actually practice and do more in the future. I'd love to have him follow in my new Tri footsteps.

I AM terrified of Sunday. The swim portion. I am constantly telling myself, "You've done double the distance in the pool. Frequently. You've done this in open water, and yes it's hard, but you did it. You CAN DO IT." Repeat.

The bike... Eh, only 13 miles. Done more than that.

The run... A 5k. Done. Often.

The swim... A crazy chaos of 150 people going every 4 seconds who will be kicking me, hitting me, even swimming over me! OMG...

Seriously... My swim plan is to swim boat to boat and stay clear of everyone else. I'm estimating about double the time of my pool time, and I'm ok with that. :) As long as I get out on my own two feet, I'm good.

I've been making lists and packing for three days, so anything I forget I'll just buy at the Expo. I'm so ready to just go and do it!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

BTN Big 10k (5k)

It was my best run ever! The weather was perfect. My nutrition was great. I was surrounded by approximately 15,000 of my closest friends. There was just so much positive energy in the air!

First, I'd planned to take the train to the city, and then a cab to the race. Race planners predicted the parking garage would be full by 5:45, and additional parking was over a mile away. The train was scheduled to leave at 6:20 am. I was awake, packed, and ready to leave at 5:45.... and decided to drive. I'm SO glad I did! I arrived at the parking garage at 6:15 (before the train was even scheduled to leave!), and there was a ton of parking!

I spent the next two hours wandering around, watching the 10k runners finish, using the bathroom many times to prevent a "my bladder is going to explode" repeat of my last race, and waking up.

At 8:15 am our corrals started moving toward the start line. I had my iPhone set to MapMyRun and Songza, and my new Soleus heart rate monitor/watch ready to go.

My first mile was great at around 9:30. Second mile also great. As usual, third mile I stopped to walk briefly. But I was bookin' it!

Official time.... 31:04!!! Two freakin' minutes faster than my last two 5ks! A 10 min/mile pace average for the whole race!

I skipped the post-race beer since the line was 200-people-long, and headed home on a natural post-race high. :) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

I feel OLD

My joints are creaking. On a 20 mile bike ride with my sister, my knees were aching. My back was aching. My neck was aching. I think the only thing that wasn't aching was my face. I hobbled off my bike, and said to my sister, "I'm getting too old for this!"

My lovely sister didn't say, "No, you're not." or "You're still young."

She tells me, "Hah. Some people don't even START triathlons until they're in their 40's or older!"

Yeah, that made me feel soooooo much better, knowing I'm going to be passed by 50 year olds. LOL

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Run From the Cops 5k

After a week of 90-100° temperatures, this morning was a lovely mid-70's. Actually, when I first got in the car I turned the heat on for a few minutes to take the chill off! By race time it was perfect in the shade, and hot in the sun.

The run was a nice flat surface, out, loop, and back. The out and back section was partly shaded, but the loop was all in the sun. HOT.

The first mile I was smokin' at a 9:20 pace! The loop was harder being in the blaring sun, but I was at a 10:15 pace which is still really good for me! I was feeling good, and super excited about making a new personal best!

The last mile is always the hardest [obviously] but the coffee and 16 oz water bottle I'd had prerace was starting to cause issues. Like "my bladder is going to explode!"  Running got to be very difficult, LOL! I ended up speed walking more of the last mile than I would have liked, and I didn't stop going until I got to the Porta-Potties. :)

Official time 33:12. I came in 13/37 in my age group, and 77/180 of all females.

Next race is on Saturday!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I haven't posted much lately, and I'm sorry. It's been a rough couple weeks.

I pulled a muscle in my lower back June 28, and aggravated a nerve in that area June 29 on an obstacle at the Dirty Girl run. For nearly two weeks I had lower back pain, fluctuating from OUCH to "just aware of it." I finally succumbed and took a week off from training. I swam once but no running, biking, or heavy weight lifting.

Today I realized I could finally bend over without pain!! I ran/walked a little and still feel ok!

Now, the bummed part....

Thanks to plantar fasciitis for months in the spring, and now over two weeks with back pain, my running is about 50% slower than last year. :(

I pulled up an old post from last year... June 20, 2012 I was running 2 miles in 20-22 minutes. Today it took me over 30 with all the walking I had to do.

BUT! I have a plan! I'm adapting the run portion of my sister's Tri training plan to HOPEFULLY get me back to at least being able to run the course in 5 weeks. :D

I also have two, yes 2, 5k's next week. I'm not going to attempt a PR, but I think they'll give me a good idea if where I'm at right now.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dirty Girl Mud Run 2013

It's been 1 year since my first race ever! This year I ran with my older sister E (my little sister was benched due to an injury sustained during a triathlon last week).

It was a fun run, and I learned a few things. First, a pitcher of sangria does not make a good pre-race beverage. Mostly it just guarantees fatigue and mild nausea. Second, running a timed 5k on a flat surface is WAY easier than a rocky, hilly, muddy, ankle-twisting 5k with walls to climb and pits to wade through.

Third, E is in better shape than she let on. LOL! For months she's been saying "I'm going to be the slow one... I hope I don't hold you back..." Well, this lady was slowed down by ME. She's been practicing for our run by doing 3.1 miles at an average 10:45 mile pace!!! So awesome!!! I think I was holding HER back!

Now onto race day!

It was a chilly, overcast 62°, and just bordered on the edge of rain. When we were standing around before and after it was chilly. Spectators were in coats and sweatshirts. However, it was perfect for running!

All the obstacles were different from last year, which was nice. There were two inflatables, but they were much smaller than the Foam Fest inflatables. There were a few mud pits that were similar to each other; a few rope courses. The running course was similar to last year, with a bit of back-and-forth running.

We didn't technically time it, but I think it was around 45-50 minutes.

Overall I liked the Foam Fest course better due to the scenery, better inflatables, and more difficulty. However, I had such a great run, and weekend, spending time with newly- found sister! I'm looking forward to next year's run with both sisters and my sister-in-law. I've said it before and I'll say it again: even if we have to walk the whole mud run, it's the muddy sister bonding time that matters!!

(PS. You can and should wash your shoes after mud runs! These shoes have been through FOUR mud runs!)
K, me, and E, before the mud
Running, and running, and running...
We did it!
After washing!

Friday, June 14, 2013

2013 Triathlon Kick Off Event!

It was another super fun event! This was the 2nd Annual event, and it'll be an annual event for us too!

In contrast to last year's 90°, today was a high of 72°. PERFECT for the Wetsuit Dash! The water in Lake Michigan was 62°... I anticipated being cold and uncomfortable, but once my feet and face adjusted to the cold it was quite pleasant.

I LOVE my ProMotion wetsuit! This was its inaugural swim, and not only did it do its wetsuit duty, it fit perfectly. Thank you! I never ever would have thought I'd get a suit fit for ME at an "off the rack" price. :D

Anyhoooooo, the run was fun. I tried really hard to keep pace with my sister, and thanks to a red light, we were not the last to show up at the beach.

The beach was not kind. Very choppy water today. My sister did the 1 mile group swim while I did the OWS Clinic again. It was nice NOT being the newby and working on OWS drills, but in hindsight, I wish I had done the 1/2 mile group swim. I need the OWS practice more than anything. Plus, fighting the waves is quite a workout!

Only 71 days left!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Running BANANA?

I was out for a run in the neighborhood next door, and I saw a young couple moving in. As I passed them I heard "Look honey! It's a running banana!"


My first urge was to stop, turn around, and say something like, "My music isn't that loud... I can hear you!" But I kept running.

My second urge was to make a certain rude gesture to let them know I heard, but I don't do that sort of thing, ever.

After a few more minutes of running, I realized being compared to a banana isn't the worst thing to be called.

They could have called me an apple. Or a pear. Or a bunch of sour grapes. Bananas are tall and slim, and to be fair, I was wearing a yellow shirt.

I wear a lot of yellow and neon colors for visibility and safety, and this seems to prove it works. They certainly saw me enough to comment on it. I'll stick with being a running banana then, because at least I know I'll be seen. ;)

Foam Fest 5k Pictures

As promised, here are a few pictures from the muddy Foam Fest! I apologize for size and quality-- these are screen shots as I'm not paying $8-10 a picture.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Foam Fest 5K, aka Mother Nature's Revenge

Saturday was the Chicago Foam Fest 5k with my little sister and her husband, which for the record is no where near Chicago. It was actually about two hours south west, and since we're north of the city, it was about a two and half hour drive for us. For that reason alone I don't think we'll do it next year.

But I digress! On to the race report!

We arrived around 7 am to pick up our packets, and it was so well organized! There were plenty of pickup tables and little to no lines there. Next we went to the 21+ ID check tent to get our bracelets for the post-race free beer. At first the line was moving very slowly, but after a few minutes a few more staff members joined the tent, and the line flew.

It was only 7:30 am by then, so we took our time getting our bibs placed, knee pads on (BEST IDEA EVER!), and use the potty a few times. Another bonus-- they had Porta-Potties everywhere! No waits! It is possible that our wait-free experience was partially due to our early 8 am wave, but I didn't see any major lines on our way out at 10 am either.

We packed everything we were not taking on the course into my neon orange backpack, and checked it at the Gear Check tent. Again, no line!

Music was blasting at the starting line, and at 8 am we were off! The run was on trails through a forest, and is was Mother Nature's Revenge! We have had so much rain EVERYTHING was mud. Not "this is a mud obstacle" but the running paths were literally covered in a foot of mud and water. Smelly, stinky, animals poop in this forest mud. They had the more typical obstacles- mud pits, rope mazes, log piles, wood walls, climbing net, etc; and then they had the FOAM inflatable obstacles, which were super fun! Moonwalk, two slip'n'slides (not very slippery though), and the 30 foot Death Drop slide. I'm afraid of heights, but the Death Drop was probably my favorite obstacle there!

The hardest obstacle was Mother Nature made... an uphill climb, that normally would just be challenging on the gluts, but when wet and muddy was turned into a dangerous slippery slope. It also turned into the Everyone Helping Everyone place: you were either grabbing a helping hand or offering a helping hand in order to get up this mud hill. When I finally got to the top, I left like I did it! I'm a warrior! And it wasn't even a planned obstacle! LOL

Crossing the finish line, we were greeted with Foam Fest 5k Finisher Medals, snacks, and water. We picked up our free Mike's Hard drinks, our Foam Fest T-shirts, complimentary bottles of ZICO Coconut Water (the chocolate is soooooo good!), and people-watched for a little while. There were some great team shirts and costumes!

I didn't see many photographers on the course, but we got quite a few pictures at the finish line. I'll post them as soon as I can!

Overall, the event was WELL organized, the planned obstacles were fun, and Mother Nature's Obstacles were even more challenging! I'd love to do it again, but the drive was a bit much, and there are so many other Fun Runs we can do closer to home, like a Glo Run (it was the same day) and Run or Dye Chicago.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My Personal Super Sprint

Today starts my 2nd 12-Week Triathlon training program. My 1st 12-week training was ok; I did about 1/2 of it, focusing mostly on swimming, while letting my feet heal. Now it's FOR REAL.

To kickoff the REAL training, I did a Super Sprint at the gym today: 400 meter swim, 6.2 miles on the stationary bike, and 1.55 miles on the treadmill. I used the stopwatch and lap feature on my iPhone to keep track of each leg of the "race" and the overall time.

Then I accidentally hit Reset instead of Lap at the very end, and lost it all!!

Luckily, I'd been paying attention to it as I was going, so I can give approximate times. :)

The total time before my finger hit the evil Reset was 1:00 and some seconds. I clearly remember being happy I hit the hour mark on the head. Not award winning, but 3 minutes less then last year!

Swim 10:30
T1 9:45 Hahahaha.... wrestling out of a swimsuit and into clothes while trying to go quickly.... I'm sure the lady next to me was thinking, "Its a not a race..." I'm so grateful I don't have do that during a real race!
Bike 20:30
T2 1:45 Basically walking from the bike to the treadmill, drinking my water, and tightening my shoelaces.
Run 17:30

So that's my Day 1. :) I've got my training schedule set up, my open water swims planned, and in 12 weeks I'll do it again and see how my results compare before race day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Race to Wrigley 5k

6 am on Saturdays are becoming too familiar. ;) Actually, I was up at 5:30 so I could decide between multiple outfits, make coffee, and have some toast before my sister and BIL picked me up at 6:20.

It was an overcast cold 50° when we got to Chicago, and it didn't warm up. I'm glad I had knee-high socks with my capris, but by the end my thin pullover was wayyyy too hot over my T-shirt. Around mile 2 I pulled off to the side to take it off, since my earphones where woven down the arm. Worst decision. Those 30 seconds cost me 1) my sub 33 goal, and 2) a PR.

My official time was 33:09.

Yes, a minute and a half less than my last 5k, but still not where I want to be by August.

Also, I still need to work on my pre-race hydration. Buy mile 3 I was dieing.

Next two 5ks in June are muddy obstacle courses, which are so much fun!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Loop the Lakes 5k

It's a perfect 52° and sunny this morning. My feet are taped, my Aleve taken, and race packets picked up. This race is 2 loops around a lake, and its beautiful! I'm glad I got here at 7:30; by 8:15 it's a madhouse--- someone parked on the grass right in front of the pickup area! I'm sure the park officials will just looove that!

Another perk of getting here so early is the people watching. I've seen everything you can imagine. No one who looks professional, "I'll be done in 15 minutes" yet... Mostly the average moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, with a few kids too. Most of them are in long pants and long sleeves. I learned my lesson last year-- shorts! Dress as if it's 20° warmer. At the O'Hare 5k we were icicles while waiting in pants and gloves, and I was overheating by mile 2.

Post race:
First, one of those "few kids" was the top female. A 11 year old! Second female? Her 8 year old sister!!!!! I'll keep my eyes on the future Olympics. ;)

Second, I am VERY pleased with my 34:30. (Albeit 10 minutes slower than the 8 year old.) I haven't run since February. My feet HURT. I'm thrilled!

Honestly. Mile 1 was great. I felt great. Tape and Aleve holding up. :) By 1.5 my right [bad] foot was talking to me. A bit after mile 2 the lefty started talking. I had to walk more than I'd like between mile 2-3, but once I saw that finish line I was a full sprinter! :D

34:30 isn't my best, but its not my worst either. It was 11:12 min/mile pace, which if you've read past posts, it's faster than my 11:30 "go fast to go slow" training pace.

Next race is in two weeks, and I really, really, really, hope to be closer to 32-33 minutes. At the end of the upcoming race there's beer waiting for me. ;D

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Less than 60 hours....

Until 2013 5k attempt #2! The weather is SO much better! We're expecting upper 40's/low 50's at race time. Perfect! OTOH, my body is so much worse. :( Plantar fasciitis in both feet now, and I haven't really ran since February when the pain started. I'm doing everything I can think of to make Saturday's race tolerable. As it is, my awesome brother-in-law is going to be zooming past me!

I will get through this. I have to get through this. I also count my blessings that this is it. I know a blogger who has 8 weeks until her first Ironman, and she's ripped up her hip and looking at surgery. I'll survive!

In the words of my fellow triathlete, "Suck it up, buttercup!" Yes ma'am.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

At Least It's Not Broken....

The pain in my right foot.... Plantar fasciitis. Super fun. With a race in 10 days, I'm popping Aleve, stretching, massaging, and taping my foot. I'm also going to pick up an OTC arch support either Thursday or Friday. I'll be happy with a sub-40 5k at this point. I haven't really run since this pain started in late February!

I'll still be running faster than the people on the spectators. :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Swim Goal...

MET! I swam a mile today. 1,600 meters. It took an hour, but I took a break after every 40-80 meters. ;) It's more than double the Sprint Triathlon swim distances.

However, my right foot pain continues to hinder my running. I took a month off, and within 5 minutes of running my arch hurt again. I'm 95% sure it's my arch and pronating ankle. I have to just "suck it up buttercup" and go see a doctor for custom orthotics.

It's disappointing because my next 5k is in two and a half weeks, which is not enough time to get back to running shape. Worst case scenario, I walk 3 miles. :(

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Our New IDs

The little guy started school a few weeks ago, and with a severe speech delay, I was freaking out. What if he got lost? Wrong bus? Wrong class? He can't talk: he can't say his name, my name, or phone number.

I started looking for some ID bracelet or tag I could put on him with our numbers in case something ever happened. I found some kids ID dog tags from My Precious Kids for $10, and ordered them for all three of my kids. The little guy's tag is on his school coat right now, and when we went to Pump It Up I hooked it on his belt loop. :)

While searching for kids' IDs, I came across many options for adults. One that kept popping up was the Road ID bracelets. What I liked the most was all the options. I can get multiple bracelets in fun colors, and just switch the ID plate to whichever bracelet I wanted to wear that day. :) At the moment I only have bright yellow, which matches my running shoes and bike accessories.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Things are changing in the Mom2Triathlon house... Mom may be home more than usual once summer hits. Still a work on progress, but something exciting is coming... ;-)

Discipline has changed too. I like it; the kids do not. Coupons!!

In the past our evenings would sound like this..
Mom: Kid, it's time to do your homework.
Kid: Its soooooo haaaaaard. I caaaaan't dooooo it!!!! (that line can last at least 30 minutes)
Me: Do your homework or I'm taking away [tv, video games, iPhones, etc]!
Kid: I don't care!!! Whatever!
Mom: Fine, no games! And if you don't finish your homework you can go to your room!!!

Mom: It's time to do your homework. You have 1 hour. If you get it all done, 2 coupons for you! If its not done, no coupons. :(
Kid: Coupons?
Mom: yup, kid, new system. You need coupons to watch tv, play video games, or use a iPhone. No coupon, no games. Toys, books, and journals are free though! :)
Kid: I hate this!!
Mom: But it's working... [insert evil laugh]

FYI, coupons are also earned for school mornings, bedtimes, weekend chores, and Mom surprises. Mom Coupons get trips to McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts too. :D

I have been ready about FlyLady lately too. It's about creating habits to create a calm, less cluttered home. I'm still trying to figure how to mesh Flying with Tri'ing, so it's a work in progress. A positive work.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a bike and swim day, but I have to play it by ear. My Dad is in the hospital and its important I see him.

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pretty Swimming?

Doesn't exist. This what swimming 1320 meters does to a 1-day-old manicure:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ugh... Illness and Balance?

I've half written a bunch of posts over the last week or so, but none have felt ready to publish.

Munchkins had strep throat, fevers, and all the fun that having sick kids entails. Pretty much, we spent a week on the couch with Disney Junior playing 23/7. I ordered Dominos Pizza just to see another human when I reached a point of desperation. [The pizza was poor, but the custom-made mac & cheese pasta was super yummy!]

I had a job thing (more on that later) too. Job's been changing lately, and change is very stressful for me.

Today this picture popped up on my FB page and it really got me thinking.

Let go of the Shoulds, and just Be?

Like "I should clean the kitchen floor", "I should be doing laundry", "I should cook balanced family dinners", and "I shouldn't do anything that takes time away from my kids."

Just BE... who? I AM... a mom who takes her kids with her to the gym so after her workout they can go rock-climbing or swimming. I AM a mom who ignores the kitchen floor so I can play Super Mario Brothers with the kids. I AM the mom that provides clean clothes, but they may still be in laundry baskets at the moment. ;-) Hey, it's clean! As for cooking, my husband is the better balanced cook! Thank goodness he does most of the grocery shopping so there are always healthy options for snacks! I AM the mom who helps with homework while attempting to cook something. I AM the mom that misses out on 2 to 3 afternoons, dinners, and bedtimes with her family each week, so she can go to work at the hospital, taking care of YOUR family and friends. Which I do, with LOVE and COMPASSION, as if they were my own. Until midnight... and then I AM mom again, tucking in sheets and finding lost rabbits.

I Should get up in 7 hours and make a lovely well balanced breakfast that my kids would probably refuse to eat.

Or... I WILL make the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with frosting that they LOVE, devour, inhale... Maybe they'll even leave one left for me. :-)

And once I've sent them off to school [on a sugar high], I'll Consider the kitchen floor. Consider the dishes. Consider the remaining laundry.

And I'll GO for a run! And GO on the bike! And GO for a swim!

I know who I AM, and I'll be even BETTER when I get back.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Last Summer Registration, Done!

I lieu of a July 5k I signed up for a second June Obstacle run. Lets be honest, who really wants to run 3 miles in the Chicago July heat?!?! Not this mama.

My official race schedule is now April 27, May 11, June 1, June 29, and August 24/25. I do have September and October picked out, but I can't register this early. Plus, my pocketbook needs a break! These things get expensive!

And, unlike my February race, there's no backing out. The first two I'm doing with my brother-in-law, and the other three with my sister. And my son... can't forget his first triathlon is this August too!

It's a Family Thing!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fundraiser Race for Children's Hospital

I'm "Racing to Wrigley" on May 11! Fundraising supports the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital (formerly Children's Memorial), where my littlest munchkin was a hematology patient his first year of life. I'm so thankful for the doctors and nurses who supported us that year. If you'd like to make a donation the link is

http://www.race-cubs.com/racetowrigley2013/katsma. Thank you!

I am so thankful for the doctors and nurses that cared for KD when he was struggling with a rare (albeit) survivable diagnosis. KD was a patient for most of his first year of life. I am forever blessed with his health.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Insomniac Mom

I need to learn how to sleep. The years of night feedings/wakings have turned me into an insomniac.

Obviously, 8 miles of biking followed by 400 meters swimming followed by an 8 hours work day followed by a huge glass of wine isn't enough to wear me out. I'm still wide awake.

[In case you're curious, I got up at 7:45 am with the kids, did mom/wife/gym stuff, worked 3-11:30 pm, and its now 12:40 am. And I'll be up at 7:45 am to make breakfast, lunches, and get 3 kids off to school.] Just thinking about it should exhaust me!

I can't run right now, thanks to stress fractures in my right foot, so tomorrow will be swimming, and possibly a little biking. Today's swim was cut short by a snowstorm, so tomorrow I've got at least 1200 meters to do. :) I can't wait!

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm an official member!

I joined the Super Gym today, for real! After two weeks of free passes (Thank you, Emily!), I signed on the dotted line. I would have joined earlier, but I had to make sure the littlest munchkin was going to get into the Early Childhood preschool first. EC is free (public school) and he'll get speech therapy too! If he hadn't qualified I'd be paying for both privately, and a gym membership would have had to wait. So it was a good day. :-)

Double bonus, the "signup fee" I'd been quoted two weeks ago was waived due to a "end of the month" special. :-) Yay!!!

It's funny when I think of how much my perspective has changed. When we joined the Old Gym in 2006, I was leery of the cost. It was cheap per month, but had high joining fees. I figured we had to stay 2 years to make it worth it. We stayed until they closed their door a few months ago. I even got a personal trainer 2.5 years ago!

Six years later, I'm joining a place that costs 7 times as much per month, and not blinking. Six years ago I didn't exercise, I was younger, and didn't value my health as much. Now I work out 6 times a week because, aside from racing, I want to be healthy, and sharing that with my kids is very important. Super Gym has so many opportunities for the kids to be active and learn a healthy lifestyle.

Exercise is a family thing now. :-)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm Addicted

To the pool.

That's what it must be. On my rest day all I could think about was how much I wanted to swim. Technically, my next swim workout is Monday, but I think a few laps will be my daily reward for running and biking.

Tomorrow is a 20 minute run, and I get 2 hours of childcare.... :-)

Monday, February 18, 2013

A surprise call!

I got a phone call from the Super Gym, earlier today, offering to extend my guest pass another week! She actually dated it to the 28th, so I'll have gotten nearly two and a half weeks free. :-) I am definitely signing up!

We started our day at Chuck E Cheese, where the kids spent 4 hours and 250 tokens having tons of fun! My sister joined us for lunch too.

After coming home for my gym bag, the kids and I headed to the Super Gym for a swim.

45 minutes and 1200 meters later (3/4 mile), I'm feeling great! I won't swim laps in a tankini again though- it gets all floaty and rides up. You laugh, but by 20 laps it was getting very annoying. ;-)

Google tells me that a mile is 1,600 meters... that is my next swimming goal.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I already miss the pool!

I wanted to swim this morning, but due to time constraints and kid tennis lessons, I only managed a 25-minute bike ride. I found myself saying to my husband, "I'll just do my swim tomorrow." Which is something I never even imagined I'd say. Then it dawned on me...

Today was my last day of my 7-day pass to the Super Gym! No pool until I officially join February 25! Noooooooo!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Super Gym and 1000 Meters

I am trying out the Super Gym this week with a free 7-day pass. I like it so far. The littlest guy likes it A LOT. I had to finally pick him up and carry him out of the Kids Center. It has a two level jungle gym and computers with video games! If I was 3 I wouldn't want to leave either!

It's a little overwhelming. My former longterm gym had a 15 treadmills, a handful of elliptical machines, and 6 stationary bikes. This gym has like 100. Rows and rows and rows. Half have personal TVs on them! I'm pretty sure the cardio AREA of Super Gym is bigger than my entire old gym.

The place I'm training at right now has 3 treadmills. :)

The pools are the best part! I swam 1000 meters today. A thousand! That's 0.63 miles. That's almost triple what I had to do six months ago. That's more than the regular Sprint triathlon. And I have 6 months to go to train!

Best Valentine's Day ever. :-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Expedition: Swimming Pool


1 a: a journey or excursion undertaken for a specific purpose
2: efficient promptness : speed
3: a sending or setting forth
I like swimming. I grew up with a pool in the backyard. I hate swimming in front of people. I don't know if I'm a "pretty swimmer" or if I look like a drowning cat struggling against death. Swim caps, goggles, and utilitarian one piece swimsuits are not attractive or becoming on anyone bigger than a supermodel. If I had to pick between public speaking and public swimming, I'd rather give a speech.
However, one third of a triathlon is swimming, so practicing is a necessary evil. Not swimming just isn't an option if I want to do better this year. Last year's 375 meter swim was terrifying, challenging, and utterly exhausting, AND I still had to bike and run afterwards! I'm pretty sure the only reason I didn't drown last year was because the water was only chest deep.
With only 6 months to go to this year's triathlon, it was time to make an expedition to the pool. I had to get past my fear. I stopped at the sporting good store for a new swimming cap in normal BLACK, since mine are neon green and dayglo yellow. The bright ones are good for open water swimming when I want to be seen, but way too bright for the pool.
Then I dropped the little munchkin off at the Kids Center and told them I'd be at the pool. I was committed!
The Super Gym has two indoor pools. One is 25 m long and 80°F; the other is 20 m and 87°. I stuck my foot in the first pool, and went straight to the second. 87° is my style. Plus, less people in it! Bonus! My goal was 350 meters.
I swam 800 meters. That's a half a mile! I took my time, resting a few seconds after each lap. I didn't check the clock, but I guess it took about 40 minutes. I'm very pleased with myself. :D

Monday, February 11, 2013

New Running Shoes

I've been running for, what, a year and a half now? In the beginning I went a running store, walked, ran, tried on shoes, and was "fitted" for the Brook Adrenaline GTS. Loved them! Used the first pair for a year, then bought another pair after I wore my first in a Mud Run in June. I've been in pair #2 since.

Lately I've been trying to improve my running form by following the diagram. *Running* has gotten better, but now I get a low backache afterwards. I suspect it's the shoes.

I went to a new triathlon/running store, and talked to a nice young man. Tried on a few pairs, ran, he critiqued me and gave me MORE pointers, and I picked up Newton running shoes. They're shaped differently, like the part under the ball of foot is elevated, so my toes point up higher than in my Brooks.

I went for my first run in the Newtons today. The first mile was nice, very comfey. The second mile started to hurt. I quit around 1.9 miles with a painful right arch. I biked afterwards to continue my workout without the impact of the running.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cupid's Dash Race Report

I didn't run. It wasn't worth an injury.

I went to packet pickup yesterday, and that was uncrowded and well organized. However, it was so icy and slippery that I had a hard time walking to the store! We just had over a feet of snow over a sheet of ice, and last night's email from the race organizers warned of icy conditions along one road we'd be running on.

Then to top it off, it's raining.

With 9 more races planned for the year, I decided my ankles were worth more than than the $20 entry fee, and went back to bed. :)

Next up, St Paddy's 5k on March 9, assuming the weather is better....

Friday, February 8, 2013


Just a quick shout out to my little sister [who got me into this mess] and her husband [who will be running a bunch with me, keeping me accountable].

I have the BEST family ever!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Another mention.

We just got 2 feet of snow on top of an inch of ice. I plan to go to packet pick-up tomorrow or Saturday, but I'm wary of race conditions. I'm not hardcore [yet]. I can't risk injury at this point. So snow, ice, freezing rain = skip. :( I hope it doesn't come to that, but I have 9 more races, two of which are very important to me, and I won't risk an injury.

FX for good weather!!

Facebook vacation

I'm on a voluntary furlough from Facebook. I spend too much time there with my 250 "friends." I love being able to share our lives with friends and family, and seeing how they are.

But sometimes it seems like I'm ALWAYS checking Facebook. Anyone updated in the last 5 minutes?!?!

Since we're having 20 people for a party on Saturday, and I'm not the most dedicated of housekeepers, I figured if I took all my FB time and pit it towards cleaning and tidying, my house will sparkle on Saturday. :-) In reality I've just read more, played with the kids more, and worked more.

I still have "status update" thoughts pop into my head, but I'm glad I took this week off. Maybe once I re-activate my account I'll delete my iPhone app, which means I'll have to find our laptop when I want to see how all my Friends and doing.

FYI. I actually have a Mom2Triathlon FB page!! I haven't done anything to it yet, so wait and see.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Love... And marriage... And kids... And Triathlon?!

Anyone around my age can sing the theme song to "Married With Children." The show was 'just crazy' to my preteen brain, but the song lives forever. "Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage..."

Or you could go with the childhood rhythm "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage."

But wait, what happens when triathlon comes after that? It's not in the song or the rhyme. It's a new theme song with it's own drummer. The drummer? That would be me.

Love, check. (and I thank my lucky stars every day)

Marriage, check. However, married life while trying to work, run monthly 5ks, and train for a triathlon... It's work. I'm fortunate to be married to a fitness buff. Neither of us are saints. I know not to interrupt his weight-lifting sessions. He knows if I say, "I'm going for a run while it's a balmy 40°" to just watch the kids. I have my training time, mostly while the kids are at school and he's at work, and he has his training time after work [when I'm not working]. We make it work.

We budget for it too, which is an issue a lot of married triathletes deal with. I see a trainer, he sees a trainer. I buy a wetsuit, he buys supplements. I will need a new gym in March... he... never mind. I will budget for it.

Then come kids.

You can't "budget" kids. They need your time, energy, and love. I try to include them in my workouts and racing. One runs with me (he's got his own kids Tri in august). Another will play the iTouch while I ride the trainer. I look for races that also have Kid Runs so they can all participate. The youngest likes to be a "33 lb weight" when I'm at home. Starting in March the little one will come to the new gym with it's awesome Kids Room. In fact, this super-gym has a whole floor, basketball court, and pool/waterslide area just for kids! My older ones can't wait until I work out over the summer and they can play at the waterpark.

Last year I dragged my family to nearly all my races. I thought they'd enjoy seeing Mom compete, but I learned that the kids' perspective was more like, "I'm bored... Where's Mom? I'm bored... I see Mom [for 10 seconds]!! I'm bored... Are we done yet? Can I get another popsicle? Where's Mom?! I'm bored..." Times three, in our case.

You get the idea.

This year I've tried to choose races that are nearby so I can go alone and be home in just a few hours. Or I've picked races that my kids can participate in too, like the Zoo Fun Run. The only "family required" race is the triathlon because it's my BIG race, my son and sister are also running, and we'll be staying at a hotel downtown to be close to all the activity. Although I'm very tempted to leave the 3 year old with a grandparent so we can actually get sleep at the hotel... :-)

I hope through our training, racing, and dedication, my kids grow up to my version of the song:
"Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a race and mileage.
Dad was told by mother, you can't have one without the other..."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

5k Registration Time

It's starting! Time to put my money were my mouth is, and actually register for races.

First up, the February 10th Cupid Dash.
Next, March's St Paddy's 5k.
April is all set for a Loop the Lakes 5k with my brother-in-law.
May I haven't paid for yet. I want to do the Race to Wrigley 5k, but I'm only driving to Chicago if my brother-in-law and/or sister run too. Otherwise it's a local Mother's Day 5k.
June was paid for last year- another Dirty Girl 5k Mud Run. All fun, no timing. :)
July.... Any suggestions?
August.... The event of 2013... My triathlon. Paid for last year too. :D

Bring it on!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

No pain no gain...

Or sadomasochism?

As I've been hobbling around the house tonight after three tough leg workouts, it dawned in me that the pain had somehow morphed from "this sucks" to "this is great!" When the heck does that happen, and why the heck do I look forward to the next round of pain?? :)

No pain, no gain is a phrase I've been familiar with since childhood. I grew up on the Cathy comics as soon as I could read. I've suffered for beauty over the decades. Botox... Dozens of needles poking into your face in an effort to freeze the nerves and prevent wrinkles. Hair colors that sting the eyes abs burn the scalp. There was even the accidental chemical peel once- that hurt more than a dozen sunburns! Dieting. Waxing. Tweezing. Ouch!!

Two years ago I was lifting weights. I GOT the "no pain no gain" from that. I'd do my workouts twice a week, using the other 5 days to rest and recover. Then a year ago I added in *just enough* cardio to work my way up to a Super Sprint triathlon and a few [subpar] 5k's. It was challenging, for sure, but I always had enough recover time to make it tolerable.

Or perhaps I only gave 95%...

This year my mind is in a different place. This year it's 110%. "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."

Which translates into workouts 5 days a week. Sore, barely walking legs. Can't move arms. Fatigue. Hunger.

Hell yeah, bring it on! 2013 is a New, and better, Year!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Reflecting... On running...

I keep thinking about this morning's workout. I ran a comfortable mile as a warm-up. A WARM-UP!!!

A year ago I couldn't run a mile straight. Maybe if my life depended on it, but certainly not on a cozy treadmill at the gym. I started at a 15 minute mile pace a year ago, and I could do about 1/2 mile before I had to walk.

Today I did an easy 11:30 minute mile. And I only set the treadmill on easy because it was a WARM-UP.

Need to PREPARE. First 5k is February 10!

First workout of 2013!

Easy peasy butt-kicking. ;) I did a 1 mile run to warm-up, followed by an hour long killer leg workout with my husband and personal trainer. My trainer really pushed us... I felt pretty good but hubby had a hard time walking when it was over.

Tomorrow, the bike. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Plan!

Thanks to "1st Time Tri" (although it's technically not my first), I have a 12 week triathlon training plan. With small changes, the first 12 weeks are all running and biking. Then I'll do it AGAIN with all the swimming. (No pool until March.) That puts me at the end of June, with two more months to prepare even more before the Chicago Triathlon.

I'm excited! Plus, I still have monthly 5k races starting in March or April too! 2013 is going to be a great year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 has SO many Fun and Exciting things planned! Races, triathlons, mud runs, and a few runs with my kids. We're also currently at Walt Disney World, and plan to travel to Las Vegas and the Wisconsin Dells this year. :)

When we get home I'll be kicking off my 2012 training. January, February, and March are dedicated to running and biking. Goal: 4 miles run and 15 miles biked without dieing. April brings my [indoor] pool membership, so April and May are dedicated to swimming. Goal: 1/2 mile without dieing. June and July are my "put it all together for triathlon training" months. Goal: not dieing when I put them all together. ;)

If I survive it all, my August Super Sprint Triathlon goal is 45 minutes, from last year's 63 minutes. It's not "placing time" but it's a very respectable time. :D And totally doable.

"The will to win means nothing with the will to prepare."