iTryathlon Youth Sprint: Strawberry’s Perspective

Today’s post is a guest post from my favorite ginga ninja.  Last weekend Strawberry participated in the iTryathlon Sprint Tri.  So here’s the perspective of a Sprint Tri through the eyes of an 8-year old.

Standing at the starting line in a sea of women and looking petrified

Standing at the starting line in a sea of women and looking petrified

Strawberry’s Overview (Self-Typed):

Age Group Awards (Placed 2nd of 7)

Age Group Awards (Placed 2nd of 7)

So  i did it. I didn’t do very well though but i got second place in my age group. The running was really hard but it was just that big hill that slowed me down but i did the full itryathlon.  I was really bad at the biking super bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But the rest i was okay with the swim was really hard.

I was really struggling I saw Heather when i was running up a really big hill.  It was about 1 mile long, but the rest of the run was downhill so i just sprinted the rest of the way. Bike time I was really good at the up hill but not the big hill. I saw a dead goose i was just thinking of all the ways it it could’ve died and that goose did not look pretty for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So what do I do? Ride fast. I didn’t see it the second lap the helpers may have cleaned it up.

Photo by Mr. Heather

Photo by Mr. Heather

Strawberry’s Q&A (Spoken aloud and typed by Mom)

What was your favorite part?
Probably the running because it was the easiest.  It was the perfect temperature and I got to run through the clouds because it was still foggy.


What was the hardest part?
Biking for sure.  I didn’t have a gear shifting bike and people were zooming past me and I just kept going the same pace.  I felt a little depressed watching them zoom by.

In the transition area.  Thanks to mega volunteer Julie for this snapshot.

In the transition area. Thanks to mega volunteer Julie for this snapshot.

How did you feel when you were finished?
Sick but proud.  I felt like I might barf because it was hard to swim and catch my breath.  I almost threw up in the pool.  Ugh.  

Mom swimming me into the finish line

Mom swimming me into the finish line

If you did it again what would you do differently?
Probably do better on the biking.  I would like to have a gear shifting bike, not a BMX bike by then.  I might work to be a little faster.

How do you get through the hard parts of a race when you want to quit?
Don’t quit.  You have to stay strong and know it’s not about winning, it’s about having fun.  I kept thinking about what it would be like to finish a full triathlon and that made me finish.  You’ve gotta think strong to feel strong.

Just out of the pool!

Just out of the pool!

What would you tell other kids who are thinking about doing a triathlon?
It’s hard but you feel proud of yourself.  

At the awards ceremony - placed 2nd in his AG out of 7.  Go kiddo!

He was so happy at this very moment!


iTryathlon Race Recap

Saturday was the Renegade Race Series iTRYathlon.…and there’s so much to say – so you’ll hear more about it later, but mostly I want to give you the adult race recap for now…and the kid experience down the road….


First of all, I’m a total non-triathlete (this race confirmed this), but I really looked forward to this event to really try and stretch myself.  With about 3 weeks from “I’m going to do this” to race day, it wasn’t much time to physically train, but it was enough time to mentally piece myself together.  Good news – I got lots of pictures.  Bad news – I’m probably going to post most of them here….

If last year’s race was well done, this year’s was even better.  Between my much hated race day packet pick up (hello, race pickup party of 4 = chaos) and some major organizational errors like having the wrong bib number Sharpie tattooed on my body (sadly I can’t pass for an 6-year old boy, maybe an 11-year old one, but definitely not 6).

Margot and I at the starting line of the race.

Margot and I at the starting line of the race.

Performance Deets

5k – 21:03
Transition 1:  57 seconds
Bike (9 miles) – 33:58
Transition 2 – 2:03
Swim (200 yards) – 4:45

-Kid Zone. It’s truly, truly inspiring.  Let me tell you – this was no picnic for Strawberry.  His swim got incredibly rough (enough that a lifeguard had to jump in and I had to swim next to him to finish him home) and he was fighting mental wall after mental wall but knowing he tried his best (not doing THE best) was so important.  I watched Vanilla power through after getting tripped and taking a nasty spill at the starting line.  In addition, Vanilla and Chocolate officially became triathletes when they finished the race.

Proud yes...but Vanilla is still mad at the kid who tripped him at the starting line and made him fell.

Proud yes…but Vanilla is still mad at the kid who tripped him at the starting line and made him fell.

-2nd Place for Breakfast.  Apparently we put a little 2nd place AG sugar in our breakfast this morning because little red and I both snagged the title.


Check out who’s arms are 9 shades darker than her mid-section? #runnerstan

-AG Alma Mater.  In a super fun turn of events the woman who placed first in my AG was wearing a sweatshirt from my alma mater (University of Illinois)- and turned out to be a graduate as well- so it was an awesome added bonus to represent.  We were sure to make a scene and high five about it in front of everyone at the awards ceremony.

I-L-L- I-N-I - Representing some serious midwest alma mater

I’m pretty sure we’re having too much fun for the moment.  We had just awkwardly publicly high fived I-L-L- I-N-I – Representing some serious midwest alma mater

-Awesomesauce.  I think one of the greatest things in life is watching kids realize just how amazing they are.  All afternoon long, Chocolate kept mentioning how awesome he felt about the race.  When I did the last “tuck in” before I went to bed, I had to peel his medal from his sweaty little fist.  Awesomesauce indeed son.

-Familiar Faces – One of the best thing about these moderate-sized local races is you get to see a lot of familiar faces. From chasing Margot most of the race to seeing Heather before and after, and seeing Julie and Kelly volunteering on the course – it was most definitely comforting to see so many familiar faces along the way.

Chatting it up with Heather post race - whatever I was saying was clearly very dramatic.

Chatting it up with Heather post race – whatever I was saying was clearly very dramatic.  “Died, I almost DIED I tell you!”

The Not So Highlights
-Dead Legs.  Wanting to quit at mile 2 on the 5k because my legs hated me.  I was watching the speedy Margot peel away. Honestly around mile 2.5 I was done and wondering where I was going to have any energy left in my legs to finish the rest of the morning’s festivities.

Even if it's disguised as a triathlon - 5k's still suck.

Even if it’s disguised as a triathlon – 5k’s still suck.

-That’s Ugly.  So I took the bike to pool transition a little too fast and was totally winded when I jumped in.  Note:  This is bad.  I literally couldn’t keep my face in the water.  I swam with my face out most of the time and was incredibly awkward.  I knew that there was a cluster of us in my age group so my goal was to just go.  I’m pretty sure at one point I heard the kids on the side line go: “Is she okay?  Why is she doing that?” about my swimming.

Channeling my inner Dory with some, 'Just keep [ugly] swimming....

Channeling my inner Dory with some, ‘Just keep [ugly] swimming….

The end of the swim was such a fog and I was completely in over my head with the water, and the physical ability to get my breathing and body to align…it was scary ugly and just plain scary by the last few minutes.  I just knew that I had 2 women nipping at my heels and was trying to make up as much time as possible.

I've never been so happy to climb out of a pool...

I’ve never been so happy to climb out of a pool…

When all was said and done I went from iTryathlon to iTrySleeping

IMG_4506A huge thanks to Renegade Racing for letting the boys and I participate in this event.  They might have provided this opportunity, but we would have been there either way because we love their races, and particularly this event.

True Confession Thursday: All The Lazy Things

Workout Recap:  NOTHING

So I am basically way in #lazymode today.  I don’t know why but it’s there.  I literally couldn’t get myself to do anything today (aside from working a full day).  I packed my swimsuit in my gym bag and then proceeded to blaze right past the gym.  I thought about running, but the thought of tying my shoes was exhausting.  I looked at my bike, then poured a bowl of Raisin Bran for a snack.

Actual screenshot from yesterday

Actual screenshot from yesterday

Yes I declared running up the stairs the WOD (Workout of the Day).  I will justify it by saying, at least I ran fast, and I was winded.  For like 3 seconds.

Just how lazy am I?  My mother and I were discussing how sometimes you make questionable clothing choices.  You know, like the other day when I wore my biking shorts to the gym.


Which wouldn’t be a huge deal, except there’s that lovely crotch liner thing that was, you know…..SHOWING.  It wasn’t awkward at all.

1332261703384_6797466This Saturday is the iTRYathlon (see…I’m not lazy, I’m just tapering….or at least that’s what I’m telling myself).  I know I’ve written about this event a bunch of times, but it seriously is one of my favorite events and I am incredibly excited for a fun family morning!

What was the last embarrassing thing you did?

Any exciting plans this weekend?


Mind Over Matter

The other day was a significant day in the life of Strawberry….we learned a lot of lessons.  Most importantly, he learned the way to his mother’s heart early in the morning is to figure out how to make coffee.

IMG_4439The whole day was laced with meaningful conversations but he shared some serious conflict about the upcoming iTryathlon he’s participating in.  I have repeatedly told him he doesn’t need to do it, but he insists this is what he wants to do, despite his fears. (Sidenote: I  have NO idea where he gets this from. ;) )

Yes, he’s doing the full thing (3 mile run, 9 mile bike, 200 yard swim).

Strawberry:  What if I fall off my bike?  What if someone runs me over?  What if I fall off my bike and someone runs me over?
Me:  Uhh….errr….I’m kinda afraid of the same thing kid.  When was the last time you fell off your bike though, seriously?
Strawberry:  Yesterday.
[mother fail]

On a training run

On a training run

Here was the next life lesson this little bugger had to learn:  he has the “it” gene.  You know those people who drive you crazy?  The ones who can literally put their mind to something that’s humanly possible, but way outside the realm of expectation and can….well….nail it.

That’s him.  Raffle tickets – he’s probably got the winning one.  Bust out a sub 25-minute 5k at 7 years old.  Why not?  Your mom asks you to try and prove you’re ready for a triathlon without ANY training and do a 3 mile run and 10 mile bike – in his sleep (I really didn’t think he could do it).  Learning how to add and subtract fractions?  Did it on Monday morning before breakfast.  He’s actually been dying to write a blog post, I told him he can do a recap after the race on Saturday, but honestly I’m afraid he’ll probably do a better job  and take over the blog…

When I grow up….I want to be like him.

That said, I’m actually a little jittery about this weekend.  I’ve got niggly hammy which has been on and off since May, I still freak out going fast on my bike, I spent an hour the other day trying to figure out how to work the darn brakes so how am I actually supposed to, you know, use it, and in typical female fashion – I don’t know what to wear.

Didn’t I go through this last year?  Yes, and clearly I didn’t learn my lesson.

Do you have any littles you actually look up to?

What fear are you facing these days?

Lions, Bulldozers & Bears Oh My!

Weekly Recap
Sunday – Rest
Monday – 3 mile run
Tuesday – 3.5 mile run/walk
Wednesday – 45 minutes bike sprints, 1/2 mile swim
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 45 minute bike sprints
Saturday – 8 Glorious High Altitude Miles

I’ve been trying to placate that little niggle in my hammy – the doctor’s consensus – my pelvis is a little off and it’s probably all stemming from my BIG injury about 15 months ago and leading to these little tweaks since then.  I’m really really working on stabilizing it, doing my exercises, stretching, rolling, etc.

But when your pelvis goes whack, it’s really hard to get it back.

In an effort to focus on the positives, I took a little 24 hour “life breather” on Friday and did what that crazy Girl Scout bear did, and went over the mountain.

Happily hydrating & relaxing to prep for a 7,000 mile run

Happily hydrating & relaxing to prep for a sea level to 7,000 feet adventure

I spent Friday getting some R&R and serious hydration since elevation and I have a sordid history which usually involves it forcing me head first into a toilet.   I also decided it was  time to try and take the ol’ tires out for a spin on Saturday morning and see how my niggle would handle some mileage & terrain.

As we grabbed lunch, I saw this, which meant that I knew this mountain run was just meant to be.


I also found this amazing tshirt but my friends and family informed me that this was not meant to be.

Rastafarian Lion tie die shirt.  #bestthingever

Rastafarian Lion tie die shirt. #bestthingever PS You can’t take me anywhere…remember the snowman sweater?

So Saturday morning I set out  to give my body the best test…trail running at 7,000 feet with about 12 hours acclimation.  #idontdosmarthings

I took this bad boy stead and slow.  8 miles, about 1,500 feet elevation gain & views galore.  I was in heaven and my leg felt pretty good after as well.  I hopped off a few trails because I was afraid of bears and mountain lions and ended up on another trail that was being renovated (it was a rugged terrain trail for Jeeps or something crazy like that) and was face to face with bulldozers which were much scarier.


I probably could have gone another 4-5 miles (I love you endorphins), but alas, we had a boat rental that was waiting and I didn’t want to be left ashore.  And remember, recovery is just as important as the run, so I was sure to get some serious chilling of the legs in the icy cold lake.


No fish or animals were harmed in the recovery process….just an almost lost swimsuit top.

All in all, I’m still taking it easy on my legs and going to stick with far more cross training than running for the time being, but I think the outlook is looking better.  This is especially important since the iTryathlon is on Saturday.  And if not for my leg, my mind’s refreshed and cleared as we get into the “busy season” of life these next few weeks…

What’s the best run/workout you’ve had lately?

Do you have chances to “mini-charge”?  Not a full vacation, but a little getaway?

True Confession Thursday: Wet & Wild

45 Minutes Power Spinning
1/2 Mile Swimming
Sweaty Strides

My true confessions for the week:

-I still don’t understand how those true “swimming” suits look like they can fit a cabbage patch doll, and yet I can somehow squeeze into it.

-I spent about 30 minutes yesterday in the pool and spent the entire time thinking about 2 things:  1- I was contemplating the guilt I felt about having an affair with endorphins over my love of caffeine. I  spent a good part of the swim contemplating which chemical I liked more.  2- Bubbles.

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles...

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles…

Everyone made fun of that sad little yellow fish in the movie, but let me tell you, there’s something so cathartic and peaceful about watching bubbles moving all over your face.

-I was wearing my super sexy red Aesperis Pivot shorts yesterday during my maniacal spin session.  About 10 minutes in I looked down and noticed sweat in a very not nice place and spent the next 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get up and walk to the locker room without everyone thinking I had peed my pants.  Fear not, by the end of the 45 minute session, there was hardly a dry spot on the darn things.

Am I the only one who’s obsessed with not having “crotch sweat” (yep I just went there)?  I honestly wear only black running shorts (and one very bright neon pair that hides everything) because I HATE walking looking around like I peed my pants.  Or even worse, I actually did (#postpartumsprintingproblems).


I can handle the sweat on my shirt, back, neck, etc. but the second it’s on my pants I go kinda crazy about it showing.  Ask poor Sarah, who understands my obsession enough to send me pics of shorts with water/sweat poured on them to let me know if they passed my test.

Do you have a sweat phobia?

All The Grateful Things

3 miles running
Barely Strides

So it’s come to my attention that I’ve been a little bit…errr…ummm..obnoxious annoying whiny lately.

Yep.  Whiny.

It’s probably the company I keep – as I frequently say, “I don’t want whine in my ears, I want wine in my cup, let’s use a nicer voice”.

But alas, I think my kids have tainted me.  So to regroup, I’m going to take a moment to talk about all the things going on that are awesome.

1.  Warm Fuzzy Stuff.  No matter what’s happening on the outside, I’ve got serious stuff to be grateful for on the inside:  soul filling, spiritual stuff, the booger brains who’s giggles (and whines) fill my house with noise that makes my heart skip a beat every time I hear it, oh and I am getting married in 2.5 weeks.  #goodtimesahead

These dudes melt my freakin' heart every day...

These dudes melt my freakin’ heart every day…

2.  Scary Isn’t Bad.  While I’ve repeatedly talked about how scary trying new things is…guess what, I GET TO TRY NEW THINGS.  If it weren’t for trying new things I would be void of amazing things in my life like: brussels sprouts, asparagus, Twitter and being a mom.

3.  Stuff.  With the niggle in the hammy and my body being a little tweaky lately (all stemming from the hammy I’m sure), I’m grateful for my arsenal of tools to help keep me feeling better.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 7.52.20 AM.png

4.  My Friends Will Do This.  I might have pimped some premium grade grilled filet and a salad in exchange for a friend to do a full on alignment session on my back.  Actually my friend offered to do this after hearing my sad little sob story about concerns about doing a longer workout on Saturday morning (#runnerproblems) and volunteered to take a look.

Will your friends help get your pelvis in alignment on a Friday night?

Will your friends help get your pelvis in alignment on a Friday night?

What’s putting a smile on your face lately?

What’s something new you’ve tried recently?