MIA & The Return

Yes I have gone AWOL.

In the case of Sheila vs. the Jeep Patriot, the Jeep won…and I spent a bunch of the month sidelined.

About the only running I was doing, was a fondant version of me atop my birthday cake.



Now I’m in PT, working on rehabbing the ankle and can run about 3 miles at a time.

On Memorial Day, one of my favorite events is the Renegade Race Series Laguna Hills 5k, 10k and Half Marathon.  Strawberry and I set out for what was supposed to be an enjoyable morning and ended up with me looking like a terror of a mother.  #funtimes

It all started out so well.  Happy faces and port-a-pottie lines.

IMG_6759Strawberry talked of a PR and told me to do what I had to do to get him there.  And then he became me…crabby, out of my mind, irritable, barking orders from the starting corral me.


I asked him to calm down and to just focus on having fun.  He retied his shoes 27 times, adjusted his sock 14 times and declared his hatred for every seam in every piece of his clothing.  I told him to just get ready to have a good time and he muttered something under his breath and got even crabbier.  I asked one more time what he wanted to do about the race and he said, “PR…I can do this.”

So we shot out of the gate and I told him to just follow closely behind me and I’d get him through the twists and turns that are the beginning of the course.  He got mad.  He yelled at me.  I tried to be nice, he got angrier.

I finally pulled him off the course about a mile in and we had a little heart to heart about being nice and calm and just having fun.  When it looked like we were finally on the right foot (pun intended), he went down about 1.5 miles on a corner tripping over a street grate finding himself face first in asphalt.  We pulled it together, but he was officially mentally unglued.

It was a tough finish.  I had to gently encourage him, “Hey kiddo, just 7 more minutes and we’re done….do you want to finish?“,  “Should we walk for a few minutes?” or “Hey, do you just want to walk?” were met with growls, grumbles and “Be quiet Mom”‘s.

But we finished – he PRed (despite two stops) and all was well with the world….or at least it was once I had a cup of coffee.

Sadly I understand his agitation and anger during the race.  Some races I’m just crabby during the event and then after I’m asking when to sign up for the next one.  Runners, we’re a crazy breed.

What was your last race?

Are you a Crab McGab before or during races?



Just Around the River Bend!

Last week I got 20 miles in…slowly making my way back to normal and by slow, I mean REALLY slow miles.


Instead of focusing on the long, slow recovery I’m going to focus on the exciting things around the corner.

This Saturday I have one of my most favorite races EVER:  the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon.  


Photo from last year’s race…

I wrote about it a lot…(I seriously loved it so much) here, here, and here.  The trail, the views, the people, the super organized race…it’s all super amazing and I’m super excited Kiera (the race director) is giving me a chance to run it again.

I do know that this year’s race will not be the same as last year’s – I’m not in the same shape as I was and am still recovering from an injury.  This is not the race to lay it all out on the course.  This is a fabulously fun race with amazing people and I am excited to just finish (someone do me a favor and remind me of this on Saturday morning, okay?).

If you’re itching to get some miles in this weekend on the trail, registration is still open at the moment.  Sign up here.

On December 14, the boys and I are heading to Irvine to run the Rengade Race Series Troutman Sanders Santa Run.  Not only are there prizes for running fast, but there are also finisher’s medals (kid’s are thrilled) and costume prizes.  It’s a super family friendly race, and….prepare yourself…I’m actually working to put together costumes with the boys.  I NEVER run in costumes (or if we’re honest even dress up for Halloween), so this is a big deal in the casa.

I was looking up costumes for Vanilla and we found this gem and I almost died:

leglamp1Fear not, I doubt I will be as creative, but we are all working on something!

If you are interested in joining the crew and I for the Santa Run,be sure to register here and use the code SHEILAREP

What is the best running costume you’ve ever seen?

Any ideas for the costume contest?
I had one idea, but I was told it was lame sauce.

Dino Dash Race Recap

There’s a lot I could say about Sunday’s Dino Dash race, but let me just cut to the chase.

Each of the kiddos ate a giant breakfast of PR’s with a side of PR’s.

We clearly showed up meaning serious business...

We clearly showed up meaning serious business…

I took the harder way to the race start by running halfway there.  The kids, however, saved their energy and enjoyed their extra hour of rest by truly resting met me at the start line via car.  Luckily there was a great Expo going on because one of the kids ignored my, “Hey please eat breakfast” request which was clearly asking far too much and skipped his breakfast.  Fear not, turkey sausage and fruit were found so he was fueled for his race!

Thanks to Melissa's for providing the tiniest, sweetest apples ever before the race!

Thanks to Melissa’s for providing the tiniest, sweetest apples ever before the race!

I felt like an NBA center in the starting corral given that most participants only came up to my shoulders…and many to my belly button.  We set off and Strawberry took off like he always does and I kept yelling, “Slow down you’re going too fast!” every time I saw him on the course since he looked like he was sprinting.

Turns out no one listened to me that morning and my advice was not heeded – he was his usual Type A self and decided to try and keep up with the racing club kids and proceeded to…..

Checking out his finish time....

Checking out his finish time….

officially finish at 23:52.

It’s about 3 minutes faster than he’s ever run when he was pacing himself.  I was so proud of him – especially since we have not been running together lately – this was pure “play” training.  The smile on his face and swagger in his step the rest of the day was totally priceless.  Though it might have been less swagger and more calf soreness.

What about the rest of the crew?  Vanilla, Chocolate and I spent a good chunk of time enjoying the race.  They were just enjoying hanging around the other kids and running….mostly because the race is about 60% elementary age children.  The boys both finished in 28:11 & 28:14 which were their first sub 30-minute races.

We finished to a band, music, and FABULOUS post-race entertainment (food, games, and more crap than I know what to do with to fit into the house).  The highlight was when we discovered Chocolate has an amazing hula hooping talent and put on a show for a large group when he was doing all sorts of hula hoop tricks for a contest.

IMG_5081If you are in the area and have kids – this is a GREAT race to do with them.  From my experience, both the Dino Dash and the PCRF races are the most family friendly local races….they are great for kids who are new to running, hate running, just want to walk, their teacher made them do it, and families can do the race together.

Running for yourself is fun…running while watching kids dig deep and prove themselves right is priceless.

What’s the best PR you’ve seen someone else run?

Have you ever run a very-kid laden race?

True Confession Thursday: Tricks or Treats

While I’ve been on the road to recovery with my SI joint, some days I have felt super….

This is Chocolate's very own creation and design - from crayons to fabric, we made it happen - Super Black Man.

This is Chocolate’s very own creation and design – from crayons to fabric, we made it happen – Super Black Man.

And others, things are a little evil.

Evil minion, party of 2 (other child not pictured)

Evil minion, party of 2 (other child not pictured)

This week, things have been a little more evil than amazing, so I have kept the mileage low and slow and I scratched my weekend race plans.  This could be because of my back, or the fact that the 3 boys have been practicing their spooky tricks out on me – hiding in closets, turning the entire contents of the bathroom upside down, and perhaps the scariest of all – having the day after Halloween off from school! (Seriously, actually so excited about this!)

Initially I was going to do the Renegade Race Series Dino Dash 10k on Sunday, but since I knew I was going to binge on candy all weekend things were still a little off, a 10k race didn’t seem like a bright idea.  10k’s are always just brutal on my body and I know I won’t be able to just jog the thing.  So I opted to control the controllables on this one – myself.

Medal_OnlyInstead, the boys and I are taking it to the streets to do the 5k.  We’ve talked to some other families in the area to see if they will join us – so who knows what will happen. All I know is it will be an upROARious morning as it’s a 5k targeted towards elementary age school kids.  Plus this year they have finisher’s medals which is all I’ve heard about since the boys found out.

I think it’s brilliant timing – let the kids get all hopped up on candy & Halloween parties all weekend and then let them crash and burn with a 5k by Sunday before sending them back to school Monday morning.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

What was your favorite Halloween costume?

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.


Since Heather’s pretty much awesome and can do anything (run a marathon, raise amazing kidlets, train for an ultra, etc.) she’s been talking up the Renegade iTryathlon.  Last year was a blast (read about it here), and I was uber bummed to realize we were going to be camping that weekend and I couldn’t do it…until.

We canceled our camping trip.

There’s a lot of reasons why, but the perk is….the boys and I get to participate in the race again.

Showing off our bling at the iTryathlon last year.

Showing off our bling at the iTryathlon last year.

Last year Strawberry was the only one young enough to participate in the youth iTry, but this year the littles are all ramped up to do so!  That’s the beauty of this race – it’s women and kids so it’s super chill and super fun.

That said, I am now on the 1 month sprint triathlon training plan.

So far I have:
-Run a bunch
-Floated in the kiddie pool playing 3 Flags up last week
-Looked at my bike and remembered it needs to go to the shop

Clearly I’m super prepared for this.

But my lack of “readiness” is exactly what is so great about this race – it’s really about TRYING.  During the race last year, I yelled at people (in a nice way!), I sang, I cheered, I was silly.  I kept telling 13 year-old boys that they better beat me or I’d tell their friends.

I may have taken the run seriously....

I may have taken the run seriously….

I also learned I look like a huge dork on my bike. #runnerproblems

But I learned I look like a huge dork on my bike. #runnerproblems


Plain and simple.  While the crazy training schedule could improve your performance and will most definitely abate your fears, the TRY part in the iTRYathlon is what really matters.  I pretty much think “transition time” is how long it takes me to get out of the shower and into my car, that “drafting” is what happens with your beer at happy hour, and  that “bricks” belong on your house and not in a workout.  So I’m obviously a total rookie in this triathlon thing, but I can’t wait to give it another go.

Have you ever tried a Tri?

Of note….Renegade is giving the boys and I the opportunity to run this race, but these are my honest thoughts on the whole schtick.  I paid fully for this last year and would have happily done it again for the boys and I to have this experience as it’s a total blast.