Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thanks Santa!!!

This weekend we went and picked up my new bike at Gear West. It is so awesome and I love it! I rode on it on the trainer this morning and I can totally feel the difference from my old bike, just the smooth shifting and the feel. Too bad I won't be able to probably ride it until July. When the weather starts to get nicer I will be too pregos to go out on the road with it. We were at Gear West a couple of hours yesterday so I could get fitted on it - thanks to my sister Rachel for watching Owen for us because I don't think he would have been able to be there that long. He loves to go to the store though and ride the kid bikes but that wears off after about a half hour!

I am feeling great and not showing, but to me it looks like I'm just chubby. Still training and doing everything, just not with the intensity that I'm use to. I've learned that if you are in great shape before being pregnant you can do everything you were doing before, you just have to change things up a bit. I have also decided that I would like to get into doing some type of personal training with pre and post natal exercise, so I'm going to work on getting that certification before the next baby is born. I have so many ideas running through my head lately that I can't seem to sleep at night. I think about the baby, work, preparing for the next baby, racing next season, etc... I know it will all work out and to trust God in that area.
Owen has worn this Darth Vader costume now for three days in a row - the kid is obsessed with Star Wars and goes around the house telling everyone he rules the galaxy. It will be interesting when his new baby brother or sister may rule the galaxy for a while!
We are taking off to IL this next weekend to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. There will be tons of cousins there for Owen to play with - maybe one of them will show him how cool it is to use the potty! This is one thing that we have not mastered yet!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another one on the way

It has been a busy month with Halloween and Owen's birthday party. Owen was Mr. Incredible for Halloween and then the next day we celebrated his birthday with family. He had a Star Wars birthday party because he is obsessed with it! Derek loves it that he has a Star Wars buddy and I am glad I am not forced to watch the movies.

We also found out a couple of weeks ago that I am pregnant and due on June 17, 2010.
I knew I wanted more children I just wished that it didn’t take 9 months to be pregnant. I went back and forth on when I wanted to be pregnant. After my Rookie year last year I knew I would like to have one more summer of racing while I was in good shape but I didn’t want my children to be too far apart. It would have been nice to have the baby in early spring so I could get back to training and doing some races later in the summer but I think I could still do at least 3-4 and then some running and duathlon races in October. Owen will be 3 ½ years old when the baby is born and I think that he will be a great little helper. I am feeling good and getting over being nauseous all of the time and starting to get my energy back. I am planning on keeping up a good training program and doing all of the things I would normally do – I just think I will be a little bit slower!! One thing that I think will be good to do is swim and since swimming is such a technical sport – the bigger you are doesn’t really make too much of a difference – heck I will be able to float!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Updates - Pigman 1/2 Iron, St.Croix Valley Olympic and Peregrines Charities Triathlon

It has been a long time since I have blogged because 1) Life gets busy, 2) I was so upset after what happened at Big Creek I didn't want to write about racing and 3) I wasn't sure if people actually read my blog! However, after getting some emails from friends of how I did in some races I decided to do a recap of what has been going on in the last couple of months, hopefully this won't get too long.
In August I did my second 1/2 ironman distance and placed first at the race - it was called the Pigman Half Iron. It was a crazy day for the race though, with 40-50 mph cross winds that practically blew people off of their bike. I somehow managed to bike my way through it and came off the bike in first. This is an unfamiliar place for me because I am usually running people down, however, people were trying to run me down and it is not a good feeling being the chasee. Once I entered the park though and made my way to the finish line it was a great feeling knowing what I accomplished that day. Here are some highlights about the race from Jerry MacNeil's blog:

Pigman Half Iron

I needed some time to recover from Pigman so I didn't race until September 6th. The event was called St. Croix Valley Triathlon - Olympic Distance. I really like this race and do not know why more people don’t sign up for it. The course is tough but really scenic and in Hudson, WI which is right on the St. Croix River and only about 30-40 minutes from our house. Derek and I both were able to race that weekend because my sister in law was in town for a wedding and she and her husband watched Owen in the morning for us. The start of the race was a little chaotic because all of the men went in wave 1 and then all of the women started in wave 2 and it was a two loop course. On the second loop I got myself involved with the first wave and had to go around a lot of the men but I came out first for the women – probably the one and only time that will happen! I did have a decent swim – 24 minutes – which is the best I have done for an Olympic course. I felt like my sighting was good and I was pushing and building the whole time. I came off the bike leading the race and since I didn’t have any women to catch, my goal was to try and catch Derek. It was hard to get motivated because I seriously didn’t see anyone on the run. No one passed me and I didn’t pass anyone, it was really lonely. The only tme I started seeing people was when I started making my way back to the finish line. I crossed the finish line about a minute after Derek (women started about 3 minutes after the men). I thought it would have been funny to see us both sprinting to the finish against eachother. There would have been no way I would have outsprinted him though!

Now for the last race of the season…Peregrine Charities in Waterloo, Iowa. I did this race last year and I thought they did a great job for their first annual race. I was hoping there would be more people this year and want to get the word out about this wonderful race and organization. The race is really well organized, the volunteers are so helpful and encouraging, the prizes and gear bag they give out are awesome, and the race director is one of the nicest people you will meet. What is fun for us about doing this race is that we went to school at the University of Northern Iowa which is right next to Waterloo and so we are able to walk around the campus and reminisce about being in college! We were also lucky that we had both set of our parents there to help watch Owen so we both could do the event. I placed second last year in this race and it was also my last triathlon I was going to do this year so I wanted to do well. The course was a mile swim, 22 mile bike and a 6 mile run. I knew there was one really good swimmer in my wave so I was hoping not to come out too far back from her, unfortunately that didn’t work out too well. I knew I was struggling in the water because I was just not staying on course. It was really hard to see because we were swimming right into the sun but my sighting really stinks! It got really bad when I saw some green caps passing me (Derek was in wave 3 and in a green cap – they started 4 minutes behind my wave), then I saw Derek passing me with about 100 yards left in the water. I caught up to Derek right out of transition and he told me to kick it into gear and so I did. The bike course was pretty windy at certain times but that doesn't seem to bother me at all and I actually prefer it to be windy because that benefits me against my competitors. I knew there were two women in front of me, I caught one of them on the bike right at the turn around point and then I didn't catch my other competitor until we were almost to T2 - about a mile away. I knew I had a decent chance of winning if I was able to come into T2 first off of the bike and then have a steady run. I pushed it pretty hard for the first three miles because I knew I needed to build a lead. When I reached the turn around I checked my watch to see how long it would take me to see the next women. I figured I had about a 30 second lead until I saw Derek and he told me I had better push it because the other girls were looking strong and fast. I was then scared and actually started pretending there were people in front of me to catch because I needed some motivation to get to the end. The run is mostly on a trail but once you exit the trail you run on a road for about a mile. Once I hit the road I looked behind me every now and then and didn't see anyone. It felt great crossing the finish line knowing that I didn't have the best swim but was able to make up some time on the bike and run and to finish the season with a win.

Picture of Derek and I after the race

It has been a great summer but I am tired and need to take some time to rest and improve. I also think Owen is tired of going to races and I am looking forward to being able to spend more time with him and not have to worry that I shouldn't chase him around the house because I have a race tomorrow and should rest! I have a great coach who helped me realize that rest is just as important as the training and quality over quantity. I have had people ask me if I am going to do an Ironman and the answer is yes but not anytime soon. I am not sure when the best time would be, but it is something I would like to accomplish. Right now I just want to be able to enjoy racing and competing like I do, but also have that balance of spending time with my family and friends. Thanks to everyone who reads my blog I appreciate all of the nice comments, and looking forward to next year already!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Big Creek Race Report - Live and Learn

I knew comimg into this race I wouldn't be 100%, since this was my fourth week in a row of racing and the week after my first 1/2 Ironman. I actually thought about not racing, just to give me another week to recoved before Pigman. I should had listened to my body and taken the week off, but decided to make the trip to Iowa and race. Big Creek is such as great race and I really wanted to do it. I felt good at the start of the race, but I knew something was a little off. The day before we spent most of the afternoon trying to fix my bike at a local bike shop because it was making some strange noises that resurfaced again race morning.
This was the Midwest USAT Championships and I saw some fellow Minnesotans at the race so it was nice to see some familiar faces at the swim start. I pretty much got beat up on the swim....the elites and relay teams all started together and we were all fighting for position. Since I am not the strongest swimmer I let people swim ahead and then worked my way into position. I had a great swim by my standards, coming out of the water in less then 24 minutes. I think I was the 3rd elite woman out of the water. There were a lot of other women that came out right after me and I knew this was going to be a close race between myself and two or three other girls. Out on the bike I just didn't feel right. I was pushing really hard, but the whole time I was just telling myself to hang on. I came off of the bike in second place, about 30 seconds back from first. I knew I wasn't doing well because I didn't have a gel on the bike (it came off sometime during the race) and I drank all of my liquids and was still VERY thirsty. As I was heading out on the run everything fell apart. I knew I wasn't on when a fellow racer told me to keep it up as I passed him and I didn't say anything back! As I approached the first water stop I grabbed a drink but most of it fell out and I drank what I could. At about the second mile, I collasped. I tried getting up but saw balck and silver spots and knew it was time to be done. I am very dissapointed because I was on my way to a PR, but now I know that four weeks in a row is not for me. Thank you to all the volunteers who made sure I was OK and to the other racers (who actually stopped during the of them was in third place), I really appreciate it. I am not racing this weekend. but going to volunteer at the Turtleman Triathlon. Most of the time when I am a spectator at a race I am bummed because I am not participating - this weekend will be a different story!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chisago Lakes 1/2 Ironman Race Report

Whoo hoo - so glad I decided to try a 1/2 Ironman - I had a blast out there..... well perhaps until mile 10 of the run. This was the third race in the four straight weeks of racing and I felt great coming into it. I had gotten over my cold and was excited to try my hand at this distance. The weather could not had been better and there was going to be some great competition to race out there.

The swim went well, except that I lost my timing chip in the water. I felt it get more and more loose and then it finally came off. I knew there was no way I was going to find it so I kept on swimming. I came out of the water and yelled at Derek that I lost my chip and looked for a volunteer on my way to my bike. I told a volunteer what had happened and he said he would have a chip waiting for me when I got off of the bike.

With this being my first 1/2 Ironman I knew I needed to get my nutrition right and to push the bike pace, but not like I do on an Olympic race. I didn't think I was going out hard enough at first and started to pick up the pace at about mile 5. I took about 4 gels on the bike and consumed all of the liquids I could. It was hard to focus out there for so long so I kept picturing the Tour de France guys and how hard they have to focus!

Coming off of the bike I was in fourth place and knew that the girls ahead of me were good runners. My coach told me to pace myself on the run because I have a tendency to go out too fast and I wanted to build the pace. When I reached mile 1 I knew I was going too fast so I backed down and then saw at mile 3 I was at about 20 minutes into the run. I knew I needed to slow down to be able to last ten more miles. At mile 5 I decided to go for it, so I picked up the pace and started running with a guy who called himself "Crash".

Here is a picture of "Crash" and I coming out of T2 together

We were really cruising and it felt good. I was hoping to keep that pace up until the end but at about mile 10 I felt my legs get pretty tired and heavy. I knew if I kept my feet going I would get there. I finally saw Derek, my sister, my friend Becky and Owen at the end and it was so nice to see them and hear them cheering for me - I needed it! I thought about my run after the race and it was clear that I should had taken more nutrition. I only took one gel and some sport beans so for the next half - definitely more gel!!

I ended up getting third place overall and I'm very happy with the result. Next weekend is Big Creek in Iowa and it is the Midwest Region Age Group Championships. I did this race last year and liked the course and it is really close to my in-laws house so we won't have to wake up at 3:45am to get there!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heart of the Lakes Race Report

I didn’t have the best week leading up to this race. I started getting a really nasty sore throat on Monday followed by a cold, cough and runny nose by Wednesday. I tried to double up on Vitamin C, and rest, but by Saturday I still was feeling pretty run down. I really wanted to do well at this race because it was the Minnesota State Championships and I’d also have a good number of family members watching and racing. The weather leading up to this race wasn’t the best either – I didn’t mind though because it helped in making the race wetsuit legal (the cut-off for wetsuits is 72 degrees). I had a friend from work who has a cabin near the swim start. He called me Saturday afternoon and let me know the water was a balmy 68 degrees – I couldn’t have been happier! There was no way that the water was going to warm up four degrees when we were standing around in sweatshirts and coats on Saturday!

Sunday morning came early as we got out the door at 4:30am and I was feeling pretty good, considering my cold. The weather was a little on the chilly side at the start of the race, but it turned out to be a gorgeous day in the low 70’s by the end of the race. There were some amazing athletes in the Elite wave (men and women) and some were there to break some course records. The swim was a little rough with lots of people swimming on top of each other and fighting to gain position, but I was happy to come out of the water in 5th position. The bike course was very fast and a lot of fun. I felt great and ended up riding a 24 mph average and into 2nd position going out on the run. I knew that with having the cold this week something would suffer and it was my run. I was hoping to do a 6:15-6:20 pace but ended up doing 6:28’s. I also was bothered by something on my run and discovered after the race that I stubbed my middle toe pretty badly coming into T1. At first I thought it was broken, but I think it’s just a bad bruise. In all, I was happy with the overall 2nd place finish to the amazing Cathy Yndestad. Cathy broke the course record by almost 40 seconds!

Derek also had a solid race and probably his best performance yet. Derek’s Dad, brother, sister, and brother-in-law also turned in great performances and are truly hooked on triathlon. Here is a picture of all of us afterwards.

Next weekend I will be doing my first ½ Ironman – I am looking forward to this race a lot. I have been emailing Coach Dan everyday thinking of new questions, since I have no idea what to expect. It is in Chisago City and I’ve heard there is amazing Swedish ice cream to eat afterwards – yum!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lifetime Fitness Race Report

This weekend was the first of four straight weeks of racing and it couldn’t have started out any better. This was my first time racing the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon which takes on the south side of Minneapolis, only 15 minutes from my house. The competition at this race was definitely stacked, as two of the top Elite Amateurs were racing, as well as plenty of competition from out of state and Minnesota.
The race started early, but the 4:00AM wake up call was a lot better than the 3:00AM wake up for Hy-Vee a couple of weeks ago. The pros started first with the elite amateurs following shortly after. I wish I could have watched some of the pro's race but I did get to hang out with them after the race - details coming....

I have been working on sighting better in the open water so when I came out of the water at 24 minutes, I was really happy with that. The bike course was very technical with lots of turns and bumpy roads, so I wish I would have had a better bike split, but that will come with more experience and time in the saddle. I was happy with the run because I came off the bike in 8th position and caught most of the pack of women in the first 3 miles. The run course is two loops and I hoped on the 2nd loop I'd be able to catch a few more girls. I thought I was running faster the second loop, but the 3rd place finisher must have kicked it into gear, because I couldn't see her and she finished about a minute ahead of me. It would have been nice to get that 3rd position, but I was very happy with how my race went. I was also happy to hear as I was making my way to the finish line that Cathy Yndestad claimed first for our division. She is a top elite in the nation and was going up against other top athletes and this was a great race for her to win.

Now for the part of hanging out with the top professional triathletes. After I crossed the finish line I was approached by a volunteer informing me that I was the fourteenth woman to cross the finish line overall (pros included) and that I was chosen to be randomly drug tested. I was like sure – no problem. She said to go ahead and do what I needed to do, she would shadow me and when I was ready we would go to the church where they were doing the testing. I had no idea what to expect and thought this would take a couple of minutes, but wanted to let Derek know what I was doing so I gave him and Owen a quick hug and told him I would be right back. When I walked into the church basement, Andy Potts, Matt Reed, Greg Bennett, Laura Dibens, Becky Lavelle, and Sarah Haskins were all in there! It was pretty neat to be in the same room with them for a while and listen to them talk about their race – especially the men since it was so close at the end. The testing went a little longer than expected – about a hour and a half longer! First, I was very dehydrated and cold (I had my racing suit on and was sweaty and still wet). We're starting to potty train Owen and finally I realized that it's really hard to go to the bathroom when someone is staring at you. I do understand the need to do this type of testing and the company that did the testing was very polite and professional – let’s just hope that I am not that lucky number next time!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hy-Vee Triathlon Race Report

The Hy-Vee triathlon is definintely something to experience, however, the 3am wake up call Sunday morning is something I do not want to experience for a while. I had a lot of fun that day but not happy with the performance I gave. The race was not wetsuit legal and so I knew that I was going to have a slower swim than normal but didn't think I would have to overcome eight minutes on the leaders out of the water. I think I have figured out that I am definintely crossing over and not swimming straight so my plan of action is to CHANGE this pronto! I am constantly having to change my course of direction in the open water and this is costing me a lot of time. I also need to mentally get my head in the race, I am not sure if this comes with experience as I am a newbie to this sport or if it is just my impatient personality. I probably lost about 15-20 seconds on the run because I thought this one turnaround was where the cones were but someone shouted to me that I needed to turnaround and go to where the barrels were - arghhh... I ended up finishing 4th in the elite wave but 7th overall with the age groupers. Derek told me the other day that "Kort, you are the only one that puts the expectation on yourself - you need to go out there and do what you are capable of doing. Last year you were a rookie to the sport and there weren't any expectations -relax a little."
In all I had a great weekend with family and friends. There were some old college friends who were at the race watching and it was great hearing their voices cheering for me - thanks girls. Also, Owen got to see his favorite person race - his Grandpa. I tell ya - those two are something else. When Grandpa is in the room - no one else exists....however, Grandpa may have some competition from Tony the Tiger. All day long Owen kept talking about Tony the Tiger and how he wanted to see him again, I have never seen Owen run so fast in his life to catch that Tiger!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Copper Creek Race Report - Can I have a do-over???

Derek told me to wait a day or two before blogging, but I hope that by writing this I will feel better. Today was not my day to say the least. Last year I won a series of races called The Flatland Series, down in Iowa. We go to Des Moines a lot, since my in-laws live there and the Flatland team does a great job of organizing these events. I hadn't raced a sprint distance triathlon since my very first race, so I was looking forward to really pushing it for the short distance. I knew there was going to be some great competition at Copper. Two pros, TJ Tollakson and Michelle Witinok-Huber showed up for the big race. The morning of the race looked promising... no rain, however it was extremely foggy (last year they had to cancel the event due to thunderstorms). The race started about 30 minutes late, because of the fog, and when we started swimming it was still difficult to see. I felt good coming out of the water wanted to hit it hard on the bike. You couldn't see very far ahead, again due to the fog, so when I got to an intersection I was told by a police officer to turn left. After about half a mile, I just knew something didn't feel right. I was actually getting onto the highway. I turned around and completely stopped wondering if I should quit or keep going. I then saw a car pulling up to me and he said "sorry about that, you need to go back and turn left by the police officer". I took off in that direction trying to make up time. I saw another biker coming my way and told her to turn around because it was the wrong way. I knew that mistake cost me big time, because I went 0.7 miles over, when I looked at my computer after the race. I was able to pass one girl on the run, but was too far back to catch anyone else. I figured it cost me about 3 minutes. I know we there are lots of people that this has happened to in past races and I hope this will be the last time it happens to me. It just really stinks when you drive home for 3.5 hours thinking about it. Lesson learned - know the course inside and out and don't listen to anyone that tells you different!
On a good note - Derek won his age group. He is doing so great already this year and I am really happy for him!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Buffalo Triathlon Race Report

On Sunday, Derek and I arrived to a very cold day in Buffalo, MN. It was the first triathlon of the year for both of us and will most likely go down as one of the coldest! The weather didn't deter me because I love this race. Last year I won my age group and then decided to start racing in the elite waves. It is a challenging course with hills on the bike and run, and has lots of great volunteers and participants. I think between the Sprint and Olympic course there were about 1500 participants.

The weather in Minnesota is notorious for changing quickly. We have had great weather with highs in the upper 70's, but in the last 3 days it all went downhill. I think the high for Saturday was 55 degrees which made the morning of race day pretty chilly! As Derek and I were driving to the race the thermometer read 46 degrees. Unlike others, I like running in the heat and humidity – it seems that I do better in those conditions and knew it was going to be quite cold in the water and on the bike.

After the pre-race briefing all of the elite athletes started putting on their wetsuits and jumped in the lake for a “warm-up” and the lake was actually warmer than the air, so it felt really good to be in the water. I did not want to get out! I stayed in the back of the pack for the swim because I knew there were some really great swimmers (especially women, three of the seven elite women had the top ten swims on the day). I didn’t go all out in the beginning of the swim and stayed pretty aerobic and felt great coming out of the water. However, when I looked at my watch I was pretty dissapointed because I swam a minute slower than I had last year. I knew my sighting was really bad, because I was pretty far away from the buoys. I kept moving over to the right, but it felt like I was swimming in a straight line…WRONG! When I got up to my bike, I didn’t want to take the time to put on the underarmour shirt that I planned because I knew I was at least three or four minutes behind the other women.
The bike went great despite that I was FREEZING and the wind was blowing like crazy. I believe I was in fifth place coming into the bike and made my way up to second. I was so happy to get off the bike and start running to warm up, but it felt like I camped out in T2 for five minutes. My fingers were so frozen that I couldn’t get my helmet off and then my feet were so numb that it was hard to get them into my shoes. When I finally made it out of transition it felt like I had stumps on my toes and I don’t think my feet thawed out until the fourth mile of the run. I knew I was second coming out of transition and that Kate McCann is a great biker (and even better swimmer) and was probably about 2-3 minutes ahead of me and that Heidi Keller Miler was right behind me. As I made my way up the monster hill I could see Kate at the halfway point and kept telling myself to run faster. Close to the turnaround I saw Derek and he gave me inspiration to go-go-go. He told me “You can catch her Kort, do it.” I had read an article in a magazine a couple days before talking about going for the win and having confidence to go after it. I used that determination to push myself to the finish line, and get my second win as a newbie to this sport. Next weekend we are heading to Iowa and the weather looks to be much nicer – bring on the humidity!!

Below is a picture of Derek and I after he found out I had won.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Respect the Van!

Well we did it - we bought a minivan and I couldn't be happier. The purchase happened on Wednesday night. We spent about three hours at the car dealership and I think Owen was so hopped up on candy (I kept feeding it to him to be quiet as we were signing all the paperwork) that he didn't even get to say goodbye to the Nissan Altima. I was a little sad about saying goodbye to the Nissan, it was my first car that I bought after college without my parents help, and it was a good car to me. However, after having the van for a couple of days I can officially say good riddance! Owen really likes the new wheels - he keeps saying it is HIS car. It is so functional and will be so great when we can go to races and not have to take apart our bikes and put them in the trunk and then our wheels in the back with Owen trying to kick them the whole way to the race!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Apple Duathlon - High Caliber Competition

Saturday was the Apple Duathlon, which many say is one of the most competitive duathlon in America. I definintely think it was! The event was also a Worlds Qualifier, and the top three earn Team USA berths. I decided to go ahead and race elite just to see how I would do against the top.

It was a beautiful day and I felt good going into the race. The first 5K was brutal - I knew that the girls I was running with could run fast. There were 5 that did sub 6:00 miles. I would have liked to run a faster first 5K but I didn't know if I should conserve a little, but now I know what that feels like and to push harder. Coming into the first transition, my coach had told me that there was a hill at the beginning of the bike and I practiced getting into my shoes and felt comfortable with having them clipped into my bike, however, that didn't work out that well. I tried getting into my shoes too soon and I actually had to stop on the middle of the hill put my bike down, clip off my shoes, put my shoes on and then get back on my bike. I am thinking this cost me like a minute - AHHHHHH!

The picture above is me coming out of transition without my feet in the pedals. I was right there with a couple of girls and this mistake really cost me.

I made up a little time on the bike and passed three girls so I knew going into T2 that I most likely wasn't in contention to have a spot on the podium but still wanted to finish strong. The run was the same as the first 5k so I knew where I needed to push it into gear. I passed one girl on the run and just could see another runner in front of me but just didn't have enough at the end to catch her. I finished 7th overall so I am not overjoyous about that placing but know that I did well and should be proud. With being new to the sport I know I am going to make mistakes, I just need to learn from them and go on. Next race is Buffalo Triathlon and really looking forward to this race as I know the course pretty well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Move legs move

Yesterday was the first big race of the season - the Gear West Duathlon. It is a great race but a tough one. I haven't felt the best for the last two weeks, I have been battling this cold that just won't go away and haven't felt like running has been the strongest for me. However, it was going to be a great day - hardly any wind and lots of great competition. The race didn't start out as I would have liked though..... I was at the start line ready to go talking with some other girls when I heard some cheering and look out the corner of my eye and the elites have started the race! Needless to say I pretty much bolted my way through the crowd and probably gave up a lot of energy because I didn't know I was the first female for a while until I got passed and then got passed and passed some more. The run was a cross country style with running on the grass, trails and hills - I pretty much hated it. I was so glad to get on my bike and have been working on my transitions and was excited that I was able to mount on my bike and have my shoes clipped into their pedals and bike away. I caught up to a couple of girls on the bike but mega bikers Julie Hull and Jan Guenther caught up to me at about mile 10. I tried hanging with them because I knew that the run was only a 4K and I wouldn't have much time to try and catch them. Coming off of the bike I knew I wasn't far behind three of the women and that I was in fifth place. In the end my legs just didn't have it and finished fourth overall for female. Next weekend is the Apple Duathlon which is a qualifying event for the 2009 ITU Duathlon Short Course World Championship and they are some stellar duathletes coming from all over the United States to try and qualify for the event . I have been going back and forth about if I should race elite or age group. Since I am not planning on going to the World Championships I decided that I should just race elite and see how well I do against some of the best duathletes out there - Wish me luck!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Get in Gear 1/2 Marathon Race Report

The Get in Gear is a very popular race in the Twin Cities and many look forward to this event no matter the weather. Coming into this race the weather report looked very grim and unpleasent. Rain and possiby a chance of snow in the morning -YUCK! However, it actually turned out to be a great running day, minus the gusts of wind every now and then. The sun started to come out just as the race announcer told everyone that it was time to line up. The Elite 10K racers would start first - WOW are they ever fast. You could tell they meant business by the way they were warming up and preparing themselves - glad I wasn't in that group!

The morning of the race I thought back to what I didn't like about the 10K race I did just a couple of weeks ago and changed up a couple of things. I was definintely more prepared for this race and was able to get to the race site with plenty of time to warmup. I didn't have to worry about Owen this morning as I knew I would see him sometime during the race, because Derek was going to meet me at mile 9 and cheer me on.

My goal was to run 7:00 minute miles and I almost got there. I ran 7:03's but think I could have pushed myself a little harder and finished faster. I know at the last mile I was slowing down because I wasn't sure if I was going the right way. I asked some people if this was the 1/2 marathon and they said yes but everyone around me was walking and then there were people walking toward me - I was really confused. As it turns out it was the right way and the walkers were part of the 5K walk that started after the 1/2 marathon and 10K. I finished second female overall so I was happy about that - I swear I am champion of second place! I need to get over that hump!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Learning Experience

Yesterday was the first road race I have done since 2007 and we are going to put it in the books as a learning experience. For some reason I never seem to get my head into the game with road races. The race was a 10K organized by the City of Golden Valley - where I work. However, it left me a little frustrated, because it was probably the worst race I've had in the last year.

Before the race, we dropped Owen off at a friends house so we were kind of running late to the race and I am the type of person that races better when I am really warmed up and prepared (duh - aren't we all)!!! Derek ran the 10K too so we did like a 5 minute warm up with a couple pickups before the start. The weather was decent but not at all warm - I think it was about 30 degrees and I actually thrive in the warm weather. There were a couple of things that frustrated me during the run:
1. Was having some stomach issues
2. I had no idea where I was at - I couldn't see any mile markers and had a plan of where I wanted to be at for each mile
3. My darn hat and headband fell off my head I think around mile 2 during the run so I turned around and went and picked up it - probably loosing like 30 seconds and had to run the rest of the way with the hat in one hand and the headband in another. I thought about throwing it in someone's yard or at a spectator, but I knew that we needed to get Owen after the race and didn't want to be driving around looking for these items. I finished in a time of 41:44, so a 6:44 min/mile pace and the 3rd women overall. I need to remember to just think about the race and nothing else - push everything else out of your mind for that hour or so and dig deep.

I have another road race - the Get in Gear half marathon, in a couple of weeks before the duathlons and triathlons start. I actually like running longer distances and this one is in the city. There should be a lot of people watching, so it will be a fun one.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


On February 11th I turned 30 and Derek decided to make a party out of it! My birthday was on a Wednesday but we went out to celebrate on Friday. I thought we were going out to dinner and a show but to my surprise he coordinated a surprise party. I seriously had no idea that he had been plotting this for the last three weeks. He gave some excuse that he forgot the tickets at home while we were at dinner and that we would have plenty of time to go home and then to the show. Here are some things that he did this week without my knowledge:
1. Went to Costco and told me that the money he spent there was because his brother wanted to get some stuff there
2. He told me that we had to turn on the refrigerator downstairs because he read some article that you should turn appliances on every 6 months
3. Was picking up the house like a madman before we left for dinner and I was like "why do you care what the house looks like, it is just our family coming over."
As we were on our way to pick up the "tickets", there were some cars that were parked down the road from our house and I mentioned to Derek that "Wow looks like our neighbors are having a party". Little did I know the party was in my house! Thank you to everyone who helped Derek coordinate the party - especially to our brothers and sisters - Jared, Rachel, Bethany, and Jason. Thank you to Derek who surprises me everyday with his generosity and love.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Woga poses - according to Owen

I had a long run today and was pretty stiff when I got back so Owen helped me do some yoga (he says Woga) afterward. He loves to do downward facing dog and the cat poses.

The weather has been great here for the last couple of days - above 30's!!! The snow has melted a little and I hope it stays that way but I have a feeling that the cold weather is not through with us yet!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weather is making me grumpy

I was suppose to be running the Winter Carnival Half Marathon this weekend but since it is only going to be a high of 7 degrees for the day I decided that it probably wouldn't be the smartest idea. The last two days here in Minneapolis has been great weather but yet again we are settling in for a cold spell for the next week. I am starting to think we need to get a winter home or know someone who has one!
Owen hasn't been in the best spirits either. The poor little guy has a terrible cold and is absolutely miserable and is kind of making me miserable and grumpy too!
On the brighter side - my training is going well and I feel like I am swimming faster, yet I do have some technique I need to work on. Coach Dan is great though and I love the workouts he gives me - it really helps to have things changed up so I don't get in a rut. I wish I could have him at every swim session to tell me what I need to work on!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


It's a cold day here in Minnesota and since I didn't have to step outside for my workout Owen and I had a fun day inside.
Owen and I decided to first build a fort with the cushions from the couch but then I found the Superman outfit! A friend let us borrow the outfit from Halloween and I totally forgot we had it in his closet until today. I pulled it out for him and he was all about putting it on. He had a blast jumping on the cushions and pretending to be Superman. He was still wearing the outfit during lunch and told me that Superman was all done eating! We will see if Owen or Superman wakes up from his nap.