Posts Tagged With: fitness

Quick Countdown Workout

weight

 

 

It was one of those days – I just couldn’t convince myself to go to the gym. I knew I wanted to be active but just didn’t feel like facing the treadmill lines and stinky mats.

On days like these I like to work my creative juices and come up with my own workout circuits to keep things interesting. Here’s what I decided to do tonight (while watching an episode of Jeopardy – Teacher’s Tournament in my basement ;)):

 

50

 

40 30

20 10

 

 

 

What do you to mix up your workout routine?

 

 

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Peru Travel Plans and a Change of Race Plans

 

 Peru Travel Plans!

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About 2 years ago, Mike and I started talking about doing a trip to Peru. I have always wanted to hike to Machu Picchu. Mike has never been on an “Ashley Trip”, which made it an even more exciting adventure to plan.  Side note: an “Ashley Trip” consists of backpacks, hikes, bus rides, and hostels, as opposed to beaches, resorts, and free margaritas.

We quickly realized that we wouldn’t be able to make it happen during the summer of 2012, as the cost for flights alone are astronomical. In an attempt to make our vacation a priority, we created a separate “vacation savings” account and set up automatic transfers to take $5 a day out of our checking account so it would continue to grow. This account is considered untouchable (with the exception of vacation expenses, of course). Any extra bonus cash has also been deposited into this account. At the end of April, we realized that our Peru dreams might actually become a reality – we had reached just over $3,000, almost enough to pay for our flights 🙂

Let the planning begin – once we got the okay to take 2 weeks off at work, we bought our flights and started planning. Er…Ashley started planning and Mike said, “just tell me what clothes I need to buy”.

Fast forward to ONE WEEK before we begin our trip…

We’re about ready to go!  We will be spending 15 days in Peru starting late next week. Our general plan is as follows:

Days 1 – 3: Cusco

Day 4: Begin Machu Picchu hike – all day mountain biking

Day 5: Hike day 2 – also whitewater rafting

Day 6: Hike day 3 – also jungle ziplining

Day 7: Hike day 4 – arrive at Machu Picchu for sunrise and explore the ruins

Day 8: Train to Puno (on lake Titicaca) – called “one of the world’s greatest train journeys”.

Day 9: Boat trip on Lake Titicaca, spend the night with a local family on the floating island of Amantani

Day 10: Day 2 – boat trip on Lake Titicaca, visit Taquile island

Day 11: Bus to Arequipa, the 2nd largest city in Peru

Day 12: Free day to relax and explore Arequipa

Day 13: Hike the Colca Canyon, relax in local hot springs

Day 14: Colca Canyon day 2 – watch La Cruz del Condor

Day 15: Arequipa – Market tour and Peruvian Cooking Experience

Day 16: Back to the USA

 

Our trip sounds like it will be both incredibly amazingly awesome as well as exhausting. I am sure we will need a vacation from our vacation when we get home. I am just so pumped to share my love for real world travel with my husband – I hope he enjoys it as much as I do! I plan to keep a journal while we are there, so hopefully I’ll have some fun stories and photos to share with y’all when we return.

 

A change of race plans

keep_calm_and_carry_on

On another note…I had hoped to complete an Olympic distance triathlon this summer. I even made myself accountable by writing about it here and here. Do you want the good news or the bad news first?  How about the good news?  Okay. I did complete an Olympic distance training schedule and actually feel much better about my swimming abilities than I did before I started training. I even completed a “practice” race where I did all three disciplines on the same morning (.93 mile swim, 25 mile bike ride, 6.2 mile run). I’m pretty confident that I would be able to complete the triathlon I was planning on doing without a problem. However (bad news), I’ve decided that doing my very first Olympic tri right after 2 weeks in Peru might not be the smartest idea. Granted, we will be very active while we are in South America. However, I won’t be following any semblance of a training plan and we will certainly not be following a diet that is conducive to staying in race shape. I would rather hold off on doing my first big triathlon until I know that I’ll be prepared. That said, I plan on looking into a race early next summer.

So…now you know. Hopefully you’re not too disappointed in me and we can still be friends.

I’m actually really happy to get back into lifting weights and other forms of exercise. I’ve been following a tri training plan since the beginning of April, so it’s nice to have the freedom to do what makes me happy on any given day. “Gorgeous day for a bike ride! Let’s do that!” Or, “It’s too damn hot to run outside. Screw that”.  I just need to be careful not to fall off the workout wagon after our trip or I’ll need to go back into schedule mode.

 

Wherever you are and whatever you’re up to, I hope you’re happy and that life is treating you well. Catch you on the flip side. Hasta Luego!

Categories: Fitness, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Graniteman Triathlon

graniteman logo

It’s racing season!

Now that the lakes are finally thawed, triathlons are in full swing around Minnesota. I decided to forego the Buffalo Triathlon this year (which was my first tri ever last summer), since I’m a huge chicken and the water was FREEEZING. It’s worth mentioning the Buffalo Tri, however, as my rockstar buddy Jared WON the dang thing. First place, people!  So impressed by him.

buffalo tri - jared

The Graniteman is a series of 3 different triathlons in MN and is now in its 10th year. I managed to convince my sis-in-law to “try a tri” with me. She lives in St. Cloud, so the Graniteman was a logical choice. It’s fun to have someone to do these kinds of races with (and of course, to celebrate with and drink beer afterwards).

graniteman start

graniteman body marking

We have been getting some very serious storms this year and when my alarm went off at 5:15 AM the day of the race, it was raining cats and dogs with high winds and lightning. Not promising. But it looked like the severe weather was going to subside and the race was only delayed by ½ hour.

Swim – 1/3 mile : 13:18

The water temp in Lake George was a bit shocking, but with a wetsuit (albeit a sleeveless one), not too horrible. I managed to cut my foot on a rock right as I was running into the water, and ended up plucking rock chunks out of my cut foot later on that night. This was my very first open water swim of the season. I have been feeling much more confident in my swimming since I took a total immersion class at the YWCA this winter, however, the pool just can’t fully prepare you for the open water. Overall, I felt as though this swim went much more smoothly than the 2 other tris I did last summer. Baby steps, right?  It was also further than normal– 1/3 mile vs the standard 1/4 mile which is standard for a sprint distance triathlon.

T1 – 2:21

Out of the water and into the transition area. A bit sluggish in getting myself in order. Wetsuit off, goggles and cap off, feet wiped, socks & shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on, hair in a ponytail, go. Looking like a drowned rat on a bike.

Bike – 15.? Miles: 53:28

The ride was out of St. Cloud and onto County Rd. 8 and back. The whole ride out was a gradual incline, which was a bit of a rough way to start (but would’ve been a much worse way to finish).  The way out was also against a pretty fierce wind. I struggled to stay above 15mph, until the turnaround – then the wind was at our backs and we were on a gradual decline the way back. I was able to stay between 19 and 22 mph pretty much the whole way back into town. My overall average speed was 17.6 mph.

They claim it was a 15 mile ride, but my bike computer (and their official course map) told me more like 15.5.  hmmmm…

T2 – 1:42

Switched into my new running shoes, grabbed a Gu, and headed out for the run. The transition area was pretty huge – quite some distance between the timing mats considering the number of participants. On a positive note, there was plenty of space for bikes and you weren’t running into people during transition.

Run – 3.1 Miles: 25:25

The run was pretty uneventful, and per the norm, my legs felt like they just wouldn’t move as fast as my brain was telling them to. I kept a pace of 8:46 per mile, which I’m content with. With about ¼ mile left to go, I spotted a girl up ahead with a “4” on her right calf (my age group) and decided there was no way I was going to let her beat me…. so I sped up and passed her about 2 minutes before crossing the finish. On the final stretch I started to sprint and was neck and neck with some guy – I looked at him and smiled and asked, “So… wanna race?”. We both sped up and sprinted across the finish line… Yep, I kicked his butt 🙂

granteman finish


I finished the race in 1:36
– I’m happy with my results personally, but in the grand scheme of things, I got schooled. I think a lot of the “average joes” like me probably decided to bail on the race last-minute due to weather (there were over 100 no-shows)….leaving me to contend with the die-hards.  I missed placing in my age group by 2 minutes. There’s always next year!

graniteman results

This was a fun and well-supported race, and I actually liked that it was much smaller than the others I’ve done. I wouldn’t hesitate to do another Graniteman event in the future.

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The Value of a Training Schedule

 

finish line

The weather here in MN is FINALLY starting to warm up, although we have had about the rainiest spring in history (seriously, rain all but about 5 days out of the last 40…C’mon!!). With the warmer weather comes the all too short-lived patio season. After a long day of work, it’s so tempting to forego your planned workout in favor of a margarita and some sunshine with friends. “I’ll just do it tomorrow”, you say. Again, happy hour beckons.

As our motivation to exercise is inversely related to the presence of sunshine, now’s the time of year to keep yourself in check. If you’re one of those people that can wake up at 5AM and get your workout in, way to go (I’m giving you an air five right now). Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. Trust me, I’ve tried.

In discovering my interest for organized races like 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, duathlons, and triathlons in the past year or so, this time of year is characterized for me by a set training schedule for whatever event happens to be coming up next. I’m really not kidding – check out my recent tri training schedule that I’ve been carrying with me everywhere for the past 12 weeks:

 Tri Schedule

This is not to say that you have to follow the schedule to a “T” and never hang out with your friends on those rare, gorgeous, sunny days. I switch around my workouts regularly based on my plans for that week. but the mere fact that I HAVE the schedule to reference keeps me accountable. Sometimes I’ll get to the end of the week and have to make up those I missed on the weekends. And sometimes I miss one here or there entirely – but you know what? I certainly get more training in than if I were to just “wing it” and go workout when I felt motivated enough.

What do you want to achieve? There’s a training plan that can help you get there. These websites have easy-to-follow plans that can get you started and keep you driven to cross the finish line strong:

www.beginnertriathlete.com

www.trinewbies.com

www.c25k.com

www.runnersworld.com

www.shape.com

www.marathonrookie.com

www.triradar.com

Whatever your fitness level, there’s sure to be an event in your area that can both challenge you and keep you in check this summer. Visit a race site like www.runningintheusa.com to find a fun event/race near you. The first step is to register – once you’re committed, you’re more likely to follow-through on your training plans. Yeah, there’s a time and a place for burgers on the grill, margaritas, and pool lounging…but it will be all that much sweeter after you rock your scheduled workout 🙂

 

How do YOU stay motivated in the summer months?

 

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Cinco “Du” Mayo Duathlon

cinco du mayo logo
Well, the first race of the season is officially in the books!

It has been a rough “spring” here in MN to say the least. 2 snowfalls in May…what? So, when the forecast was showing rain and temps in the lower 30’s for our Duathlon last Saturday, we shouldn’t have been surprised.

The Cinco “du” Mayo Duathlon is always held the weekend closest to Cinco de Mayo in Stillwater, MN. There are 2 courses to choose from – the long course, consisting of a 5k, 20 mile bike ride, followed by another 5k, or the short course – a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike, and another 2 mile run. For the 2nd year in a row, Mike and I decided to do the short course.

We woke up Saturday morning to a balmy 33 degrees and rain. Started the day off on the wrong foot when our bike rack broke while trying to mount it to the car. Somehow Mike was able to finagle it to function well enough and we were on our way. We arrived in Stillwater about 5 minutes before they were scheduled to close the transition area. Lucky for us, the race coordinators were pretty lax on the rules…probably on account of the nasty weather we all had to deal with.

 cinco du mayo mike and ash


Run leg #1: 16:06

It was so chilly, we were all jumping around trying to keep warm and just couldn’t wait for the race to start so we could heat up. I started out my personal blunders by failing to double-knot my right shoe, which came completely untied after the first ½ mile. I wasn’t about to stop in the middle of such a short run, so I just dealt with the loose shoe and hoped I wouldn’t fall flat on my face. I finished run leg #1 in 16:06, or 8:03/mile avg…a pretty decent clip for me.

T1: 2:17

This transition was a disaster. If I really cared about my time, I would’ve kicked myself for how poky I was being. The quick run had warmed me up enough to remove my bulky jacket. In doing that, my headphones and phone got stuck around my race belt and I spent far too much time untangling everything. Plus with the ground being wet from the rain, I spent entirely too long taking off my running shoes and hopping around on one foot like an idiot to get into my cycling shoes. I’m sure the spectators found it pretty entertaining.

Bike leg: 38:55

As soon as I crossed the mount line, I clicked in and started going, only to have my pant leg catch in my bike chain. Whoops. I had forgotten to put on my ankle strap (probably because you shouldn’t have to wear PANTS to a race in May!).  So I had to stop, click out, get off my bike, put down my kickstand, and attach my strap…then get back to it.

This bike course is considered “highly coveted” training grounds for triathletes, due to its many rolling hills. Man, they aren’t kidding. The cold temps, combined with the wind and the hills made for a tough ride. Over the short 10-mile course, we climbed almost 500 feet in elevation. And for some reason, it seemed as though what went up did NOT come down. It felt like we were climbing hills about 80% of the time.

I averaged about 15.5 mph on the course. I feel like I definitely could improve my speed here. I foresee hill training is in my future…

cinco du mayo bike photo

T2: 1:56

Another sluggish transition…although I did make sure to double-knot both of my shoes this time around!

Run leg #2: 16:42

Coming off such a hilly bike ride, my legs felt like lead for the first mile or so on the run course. This is another one of those things I really need to force myself to practice if I plan on doing an Olympic triathlon. It felt like my legs were independent of my body for the first 10 minutes, then I got my momentum back. 36 seconds longer than the first run, but still managed to average an 8:21 mile. I closed the gap with a super speedy girl in front of me (who I later met and found out is a marathon runner), but couldn’t manage to pass her and ended up literally crossing the finish 2 seconds behind her. I was thankful that I was trying to pace with this chica or I imagine my 2nd run would have been much slower.

My first “Win”

I ended up finishing the race in 1:15:53, which is about a minute slower than last year. But when the race results came in, I was surprised to read that I had actually WON my age category, and took 5th place overall female! Of the top 4 women, 3 of them were 35 and one was 48!  Looks like some things do get better with age.

I was pretty stoked to get my very first ever race “trophy” – an etched margarita glass – which we promptly filled with a celebratory margarita when we got home!

 cinco du mayo finish

 

This was a fun, laid-back event and a great start to the spring, despite the yucky weather. Plus, you can’t really go wrong with free tacos and post-race margaritas 🙂

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Preparing for my first 1/2 Marathon

 

This Saturday I’ll attempt to run my first ½ marathon. With about 14,000 other runners. Holy moly!

The Monster Dash is apparently one of the largest ½ marathon events in the upper Midwest. And it’s also supposed to be a total blast. I’ve yet to comprehend how running for over 2 hours can create a crazy party-type atmosphere, but I guess I’ll find out in a few days.

This is my buddy, Jared. He likes to party.

There is a costume contest, and live bands every mile or so on the course…which is pretty much awesome. I haven’t decided if I’ll dress up. I think this time around, it might be more important to be comfortable than costumed.

So many runners!

My “Training”

There are a zillion different training schedules out there for people like me who have never attempted the 13.1 mile endeavor. You can check a few of them out here, here, and here….

Frankly, I couldn’t fathom the thought of running 4+ days per week and ignoring all other forms of training. When I trained for my first Triathlon last spring, I did just that – nothing but swimming, biking, and running for 3 months. I really missed weightlifting and found it tough to get back into it after the Tri. So, needless to say, I wanted to get the ½ marathon under my belt, but decided that a traditional run-heavy training plan was just not my cup ‘o tea.

Full disclosure: I will say that I certainly do think those 10-20 week training plans are smart, and a great way to increase your mileage slowly and avoid injury. So, in doing it “my way”, I took precautions and didn’t register for the event until a couple of weeks ago (once I had successfully completed an 11-mile “long run” and felt confident that I could take on the distance).

I do one “long run” each week. About 2 months ago, these “long runs” consisted of about 6-8 miles. I then gradually increased this mileage by about 1 mile per week, until my final long run of 12 miles last Monday. In between, I only run once or twice again each week…always under 5 miles.  Not your traditional ½ marathon training, but I have been able to improve my endurance, so apparently my way works too J

Pre-Race Checklist

A few items I won’t leave home without…

Pedialyte – WAY better (in my opinion) at hydrating than sports drinks. This stuff has been my savior on many of my long runs. 1 packet mixed with 8 oz water beforehand to pump myself full of electrolytes.

Ibuprofen – I’m generally against pills of any kind…but I’m not gonna lie. I will be taking 3 or 4 prior to the event to reduce swelling and pain in my knees and ankles. Do what works for you.

Well-fitting sports bra – I made the mistake of wearing a loose-fitting sports bra on one of my long runs. Never again. Owie.

Gu – I’ll bring along one Chocolate-flavored Gu packet, just in case. I may not end up using it, but would like to have it as an extra source of energy in case I hit a wall halfway through.

Music – this race actually allows headphones/iPods, etc.  Not that it will be necessary, with live bands every 10 minutes….but I’ll bring it just in case I require a Ke$ha fix to keep my feet moving.

CardioTrainer – Along with my music, my phone has an app called CardioTrainer that I use religiously when running. I literally will not run without it. Every couple of minutes, it tells me my speed and distance. This is OH SO IMPORTANT for me in a race, so I can pace myself and resist the tendency to start out too fast and bonk before reaching the finish line.

 

Ready or not…

I may not be the fastest (BAH!) but I feel as though I’m ready to run on Saturday. I’m going to be smart and listen to my body, take a couple of walk breaks if I need to, and try my best to have FUN while I’m doing it.

…Bring it!

How do you mentally prepare for your first attempt at a particular distance or event?

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4 days of OrangeTheory

So yesterday finished off my free week trial at OrangeTheory Fitness. I am officially a believer in this concept. After doing 4 classes (Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday) I am already down 4lbs and can tell that my upper body (back, specifically) is getting seriously WORKED. Needless to say, I signed up for a membership. $59 per month at the basic level, which includes four sessions per month and roll over if you don’t use them. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? I totally think so. Actually I will most likely cave in and switch to the $99 per month plan so I can go 2x per week instead. Do I keep my LA Fitness membership as well? Is $130/ month for fitness memberships money well spent, assuming you actually use it? If you live near an OrangeTheory Fitness, stop in and take advantage of their free week trial! You won’t be dissapointed. Oh yeah, and if you’re going to visit 3 days in a row, I recommend investing in some lifting gloves, or the rowing machine will make your hands look like this:

image

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OrangeTheory Fitness

 

 

I think the whole Groupon/LivingSocial/CrowdCut/DailyDeal market is getting a bit ridiculous. Now, I’m in the business of scoping out discounts (for my job, as well as for my own personal use), but 19,583,892,734 offers a day on things like blenders and leggings is a bit much.

Anyhow, a particular Groupon recently made its way to my inbox and I contributed to their click-through rate to see what it was all about. The offer was for a small, unique gym called OrangeTheory Fitness. Upon further research, I realized that I could get a free week of classes so the Groupon wasn’t really necessary. Why not?  I’ve become somewhat complacent at my current gym (LA Fitness) and was ready to try something new anyway. Plus, their Minneapolis location is about a mile from my work. Perfecto.

 

What is OrangeTheory all about?

OrangeTheory is a franchise, with locations all over the U.S.

According to their website, OrangeTheory Fitness is “a one-of-a-kind workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training, using a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training, and free weights to tone your body and gain energy throughout the day”.

They claim that participants burn up to 900 calories in a single 60 minute session.

What’s unique about this concept is that everyone wears heart rate monitors and your heart rate (and everyone else’s) is continuously displayed on several screens in the room.

 

 

My Experience

This workout was just plain awesome. The first 30 minutes or so were spent on the treadmill doing interval work. The goal is to keep your heart rate in your “orange zone” when you are doing a “push” (80-90% of max heart rate), and in your “green zone” when you’re at your “base pace” (70-80% of max heart rate). There are about 10-15 people in each class session, and the trainer will tell you to increase your speed or incline in intervals. Occassionally, they will tell you to go “all out”, which may push you into your red zone for a short time (over 90% of max heart rate). The orange zone is supposedly your target heart rate zone for optimal fat burning.

What I really liked about this concept is that you can’t cheat yourself. Everyone has different levels of fitness, so for some people, speed walking on the treadmill will put them in their orange zone. For others, it’s necessary to get up to a 7 or 8 mph run to get to that level. Regardless of your speed, everyone in the class can see what your heart rate is at, so if you’re not pushing yourself, you and everyone else know it.

After 30 minutes of interval work on the treadmills, we moved on to the weight room. Our group did some circuit training that involved kettlebell swings along with pushups and cross-body situps on the bosu balls. We then moved back into the cardio room and did sprints on the rowing machines. WOW. These machines are awesome. True water resistance (actual water in the rowing machine) which gives you a total body workout (back, legs, biceps, triceps, etc). In between rowing sprints, we did dumbbell curl presses and squats. Oof. The workout still wasn’t over 

Back to the weight room – our group was given one final circuit that involved suspended full-body pull-ups, medicine ball lunges, and flutter kicks with the medicine ball to finish the hour.

Every workout is different. Our trainer told us that they have created over 1,000 sequences so frequent visitors will never do the exact same workout twice.

 

The Verdict 

At the end of the 60 minute session, everyone’s final results are displayed on the screen. It shows you how much time you spent in each heart rate “zone”, indicating how hard you exerted yourself throughout the workout.

It’s so easy to work out absentmindedly at the gym. Not the case here. I got a much better workout than I generally do on my own and am encouraged to push myself through each interval. It’s like boot camp, only with more technology.

I was sore for several days after my first session. I’ll be going back a couple more times to use up my free week and will seriously consider enrolling at this gym in addition to my LA Fitness membership. Although it is expensive, it’s almost like having a personal trainer. I think that doing OrangeTheory even once per week on top of my regular workouts will give me a leg up to increasing my overall fitness.

 

Have you ever tried OrangeTheory Fitness, or another unique fitness concept? What did you think?

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Foodie Pen Pals – September


It’s foodie pen pals time again!

This time around, I was paired up with Patti, who blogs over at Heavy Girl to Healthy Girl, and has lost 112 lbs through healthy eating and exercise. WOW! 

Side note: My foodie pen pal for the month was April, who blogs over at April’s Mooseathon. Wanna see what I mailed to April this month?  Head over to her blog and check out her Foodie Pen Pals post!

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This month, Patti sent me a super unique and fun package!

1. I mentioned to her that I eat lots of salads and love to try unique and fun salad dressings. She sent me Ken’s Light Raspberry Walnut dressing. mmmmmmm….

2. Fruit and spice flavored tea. I am trying to get into drinking tea (I currently drink WAY too much coffee). This will be great, because I really can only do the sweet or highly flavored teas.

3. Organic spice grinders – one pesto and the other a tuscan spice mix. We have already used these several times in soups and in our ground beef/veggie dinner staple.

4. A set of mini candles, which she says help her relax…agreed!

5. here’s the kicker – Patti sent me weightlifting gloves – whaaaat?  How awesome is she? Somehow she read my mind, because I’ve been meaning to get a pair of these for quite some time now.

Thanks again to Patti for the fun goodies 🙂

…And a special thanks to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for coordinating!

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WANNA PARTICIPATE IN FOODIE PEN PALS??

Here are some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, this is what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

Categories: Miscellaneous Musings, More Eats | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

YWCA Women’s Triathlon

 

I have been a bad blogger lately. Life is busy…what can you do? Post your race recaps months after you complete them? Ok, deal.

 

The YWCA Women’s Triathlon on August 12th was a random, last minute decision on my part. I literally registered on the VERY FINAL day that they were accepting registrations. Needless to say, I hadn’t been doing much biking or swimming at all since my first triathlon in June. But what the heck. I’m not out to break any records.

 

It was about 65 degrees and drizzly that morning, which is actually pretty awesome for the athletes. However, I did feel bad for all of the shivering spectators who had to stand outside and wait for their loved ones to cross the finish line (sorry hunny).

 

Swim: 13:06

As I may have mentioned once or twice (or a dozen times), I am not the best swimmer out there. I did my best to keep my head down as much as possible during the 500 yard swim and to not get kicked in the face. I’d like to look into getting some swim coaching this winter…if anyone is familiar with a good program in the Twin Cities, hit me up!

 

T1: 2:44

It was quite a long transition from the beach to the bikes. Plus, my bike rack was in the very back corner of the parking lot. ugh. I wiped off my sandy feet and threw on my socks and bike shoes…helmet, check. Sunglasses, check. Go!

 

Bike: 48:51

I think this bike course was the flattest 15 ½ miles I have ever ridden in my life. AWESOME. I was only passed a couple of times by some pretty badass looking chicks, but most of the ride I was doing the passing (yay!). The bike definitely continues to be my strong suit, and I stayed over 19mph throughout the whole leg.

T2: :53

Helmet off, bike shoes off, running shoes on and go. Speedy Gonzales….zoom

 

Run: 27:37

Well hello, brick legs!  The run took us around Lake Nokomis and was a nice flat course. There were plenty of spectators cheering on the participants, which is always my favorite part about these events. I was a little disappointed with my time on the run; as I know I’m capable of a sub-26 minute 5k…guess it just wasn’t my day.

I crossed the finish line for a final time of 1:33:09 and came in 179th out of 967 athletes overall.

 

This was a super fun and laid-back event. There were several hundred first-time triathletes who participated, so it is very beginner-friendly. I may or may not do this one again next year…However, I would highly recommend it to anyone (females only, sorry guys) who has thought about doing a Tri but feels intimidated about being a first-timer. It is a well-supported race throughout and there are ton of people who participate with the goal of just finishing and having fun.

Why do you race? Is it to keep you motivated and on track?  Just for fun? Or to consistently challenge yourself?

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