Summer Sprint Recap: My First Triathlon!

There was a lot of nervousness going into just signing up for my first triathlon so I decided to sign up for 2 at the same time because I need to have 2 under my belt to fully comprehend this new sport I’ve stumbled on.

On race day, I drove to the race in a thunderstorm. Thunder, lightning and a downpour of rain. I was sure it would get canceled, or at least the swim would. As I arrived to pick up my packet I was informed that the race was still on! Maybe a slight delay but it would go on.

I was pretty confused receiving a bib number for my bike and lots of other small things that I’m not used to when running a road race. I tried to pretend like I had a clue what I was doing but I was a little lost. Luckily, I had a friend volunteering at the race and she was able to give me some pointers and make sure I was where I needed to be.

The Swim: Almost everyone is afraid of the swim but I have this huge fear of water when I can’t touch the bottom. It took me a while to get over swimming in the pool in the deep end. Now I fly through the water in the pool. However, I’m still getting over that fear in the open water. Especially in scary Lake Erie where you can’t see and there are crazy under tows. I only had 3 open water swims prior to this race.

Anyways, I put on my wetsuit and cap and headed to the swim start and was able to get in a quick warm up. I had a little freak out when I first got in the water to warm up but I pulled myself together and was able to calm down and get myself ready for the swim. The freak out is all in my head, I don’t start screaming or flailing my arms or anything. When then swim started, I ran as far as I could into the water and then when I couldn’t touch I started my swim.

I'm out there somewhere for the swim start.

I’m out there somewhere for the swim start.

As I start to actually swim I noticed the water was very rough out past the break wall. Everytime I tried to swim I just got tossed around. I could barely get a stroke in because the waves were knocking me back. I ended up rotating my swimming styles between breast stroke, freestyle and floating on my back. I kept telling myself “You are fine” “You’ve got this” “You won’t drown”. As I am telling myself this, people are clinging to the breakwall composing themselves or crying. I took quite a few gulps of water but finally made it to the turn to come back to shore. Doing so we had waves going in our direction and I was able to actually do a proper freestyle into shore. Total Swim: 14:32 (my goal was under 10 mins so I have some work to do). The best swim advice: There is no substitute for open water swimming. I don’t care how good or comfortable you are in the pool. the open water is a completely new ball game!

I had no idea when to start getting out of my wetsuit so I started doing it when I saw someone else do it too!

I had no idea when to start getting out of my wetsuit so I started doing it when I saw someone else do it too!

T1: I really know nothing about transitions but just tried to get ready to bike as quickly as possible. T1 time was 2:17 (My goal was under 2 mins)

The Bike: You think riding a bike is easy but I’ve found I have quite a few struggles with transitioning to riding my road bike. It’s also hard to ride my road bike in running shoes. in the rain. I was kind of shocked that I got passed A LOT while on the bike. I was pedaling as fast as I possibly could. Apparently I have to learn how to use the gears on my bike as I keep my bike in the same gear the whole time. Bike Time: 49:21 (My goal was under 45).

photo 3(7) photo 2(10) photo 5(3)

T2: All I had to do was park my bike and take off my helmet so this was an easy transition for me. T2 Time: 45 secs

The Run: Finally! The best part of the triathlon! The part I know I can do. The legs always feel a little weird after already completing 2 events. Which explains the weird shuffle thing that people were doing. Not me though, I was in my element and cruising. All those times I got passed on the bike now seemed ok as I passed multiple people on the run. I finished the run in 25:16 (My goal time was under 27!)

The Run

The Run- The part where I know what I am doing

Overall Finish Time: 1:32:12 and 4th in my age group. I couldn’t be happier with my first ever triathlon finish. All day I just couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome it was.

Now the question I’ve received from a lot of people is “Are you giving up running and marathoning?” No WAY! I love running and marathoning. Triathlons are just a new challenge for me and something to tackle. It will be my summer fling:)

Looking forward to my second triathlon to see what I’ve learned since my first.

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Summer Shape Up with a Giveaway from Balance Bar!

UPDATE: And the winner is….Susan!!

The winner was chosen using random.org.

Time to celebrate summer with some goodies from Balance Bar and Ball Canning!

THIS COULD BE YOURS!

THIS COULD BE YOURS!

I don’t know about you but I love summer merely for the fact that the weather is gorgeous and I just want to be outside playing everyday. Yes, I am 30 years old and still play outside! Running, Swimming, Biking, even throwing the football around if it gets me outside and active for a bit.

This summer Balance Bar is hosting some awesome ways to shape up this summer. There is multiple content on their site to check out, the videos are my favorite but there are also weekly giveaways on their Facebook page. And in a few weeks, certified trainer/complete bad ass Holly, will be leading a twitter chat to share tips on staying healthy (there is also a grand prize giveaway). The twitter chat will be on July 31st at 3pm SO BE THERE!

For the giveaway on this blog, you will receive some balance bars, cookies dough ones are my favorite (that’s why there aren’t many pictured on the blog…I already ate some). You will also receive some headphones and a mason jar that comes with a water infuser. A water what? A nifty gadget for your water so you can have fun flavored water for your workouts! Lemon water, cucumber water, watermelon/basil water. The possibilities are endless!

Mason jar to use for the water infuser. (my ugly hand and pretty blue walls are not include)d

Mason jar to use for the water infuser. (my ugly hand and pretty blue walls are not include)d

You can enter the giveaway by doing some or all of the following:

1.) Tell me your favorite way to celebrate summer?

2.) Follow Balance Bar on twitter or like them on Facebook. (leave a comment below telling me so)

3.) Follow Ball Canning on twitter or like them on Facebook.  (leave a comment below telling me so)

4.) Tweet “I want to win an @balancebar #SummerShapeUP giveaway from @mojamala2 http://bit.ly/1t0ZgrN” (You can tweet once a day until July 18th at noon)

The giveaway is open from now until July 18th at noon. Good Luck!

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Bay Days 5 Miler

For the past couple 4th of July’s I have either been out of town, injured or just not interested in running a 5 mile speed race in the July heat. Some years I find a 5K and run that instead. This year I decided to finally give the Bay Days 5 miler a shot and I got lucky with beyond perfect race temps.

photo 2(8)

I was able to do my 1.5 mile warm up and reminded of the downhill/flat course for the start of the race. I was lucky to run into another reader at the start of the race (Hi Debbie!) as well as catch up with some other runners that I normally see at the big races. Wish I had my phone with me to snap some pics.

It’s really hard at these big races to not go out too fast since people just blast by you, also because there are some baller runners at this race. After about a mile it started to thin out and I tried to concentrate on keeping a solid pace. I was coming off a bad race time so I was in need of a good time. A girl had passed me before the 1st mile but I had caught up and liked her pace. Before I knew it we were running together.

I never said a word to this girl while running with her but we pushed the pace with each other. Just enough to challenge each other but not lose each other. When we came close to another runner, we made room to go around them and then were back to running together. The last mile I felt my wheels coming off and told myself to just stick with her for half a mile more and then to drop back.

As we turned and were coming down one of the last streets I started to drop back, I was tired and wasn’t sure I could keep that pace. As soon as I started to drop back, the girl I was running with shook her head no and waved her arm for me to keep up and get back next to her. So I did.

You finish this race with about half a lap on the track. The girl picked up her pace and was going to finish hard, I tried to keep up with her and couldn’t do it so she pulled away. When I neared the straightaway I started sprinting and caught up with the girl and was able to finish with her.

Thanks for the picture Tim Kelly!

Thanks for the picture Tim Kelly!

I finished with a time of 37:08 and would have ran at least a min to a min and a half slower if I didn’t have the girl to pace with. It also shockingly helped me to place in my age group.

photo(1)

Next on the race schedule is…..well I think I have some explaining to do before I announce my next race…

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Running For Hope 5K Supporting Love Without Boundaries

I’m little behind on blogging lately as we are in the process of moving but I’m sure I’ll get caught up here pretty quickly.

The morning of this race is was quite toasty. Luckily most of the race is shaded as it takes place on a paved path and some trail in Avon. However, the trees that create the shade also create extra humidity on a hot day. I guess if I had to choose I would take the shade to get a break from the sun.

I did my normal 1.5 mile warmup and did most of it on the course so I knew what to expect once the race started.

Race Shirts!

Race Shirts!

When the race started I went out at a conservative 7:20 pace. My goal was to not go out too fast so I could have energy to push at the end. It paid off at the beginning because everyone who went out too fast I was able to pass in the first 1/2 mile. However, the whole race I felt like I was pushing it but my times were slipping.

At the turnaround I did my best to pick up the pace. I pushed and was able to pass 3 girls in the last mile of the race. Some were girls I sized up before the race and definitely thought they had me. I came in for the finish at 24:03! Holy crap what happened out there lol. I rarely run that time unless injured. I instantly felt better when I heard that everyone ran a minute or more slower than normal. I had the course GPS as accurate so my only thought is the humidity and trail slowed me down.

I ended up the 8th female overall and 1st in my age group! Which won me a $15 gift certificate to TGIFridays!

What is your favorite thing to order from TGIFridays?

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A Most Excellent Race 10K

It has been a few years since I have had a chance to run this race. I always enjoy it because I love supporting the Achievement Centers/Camp Cheerful in this area. I also  enjoy a good challenging 10K race to support them!

I had been looking forward to running this race because there are very little 10Ks in the area. You can run a 5K on any Saturday or Sunday during the summer in Cleveland but for 10Ks there are only a few the entire year.

Joe Haden from the Cleveland Browns helping out with the race.

Joe Haden from the Cleveland Browns helping out with the race.

I made 2 mistakes when signing up for this race. 1) forgetting how challenging the hills are and 2) forgetting that my legs needed to recover from the half marathon the week before. Perhaps runners suffer from memory loss and that’s why everyone keeps signing up for more races. And here everyone is all worried about runners having knee problems when they are older.

Anyways, the temps were quite perfect for the race, usually it can get toasty for this one. After a 1.5 mile warmup I was confident I was ready to run a decent race. Perhaps even close to my PR!

At the starting line, I talked to a few runners and even a fellow blog reader, Dina! Thanks for the new blogs to read Dina! I’ve been trying really hard to start off conservatively at races. I’m not very good at it but I’m trying. The first mile went by quickly and I think it was in the 7:20s. This race is a double loop and has some long stretches of uphill so I was trying to plan my attach for the second loop.

FYI -I am not in this picture so don't try to find me lol

FYI -I am not in this picture so don’t try to find me lol

I’m not sure what happened but I swear this race had some down hill/flat areas and then some uphills (blame runner memory loss). Maybe my legs were still recovering from last weeks hilly half but man did I start to struggle early on! To my tired legs, the entire race felt uphill.

The second half did not make me feel any better. Especially seeing all the 5K runners head into the finish and knowing I am heading out for another lap. However, I had to remind myself that it was one awesome training run and to take advantage of it.

I got passed by a couple girls but just tried to run my own race and not get down on myself. My pace didn’t drop much after the first half, I ended up coming in 7th female and 1st in my age group with a time of 48:43 a 7:51 pace (about 3-4 minutes from my PR time).

I love creative awards

I love creative awards

Next on the radar is the Avon Run for Hope 5K!

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You should have known it was about that time…

to celebrate Bodhi’s Birthday!!!!! Our little guy was born June 24th, 2013 so today he is officially 1 year old.

 

Teenie Weenie

6 week old Bodhi

Bodhi immediately melted our hearts. I think everyone was surprised how much Ryan and Bodhi instantly bonded.

My boys

My boys

Growing up with multiple dogs, I was surprised at the personality of this tiny dog.

         Exactly how I felt Sunday night    Yes he is wearing he Browns jersey again.

Bodhi’s first year was not quite perfect. I’m sure you all remember when he broke his leg :(

              Poor baby      Getting some love from Uncle Bill

It broke our hearts but he was a complete trooper. Nothing like potty training a dog and having to bag up their leg to take them outside….in one of Cleveland’s coldest winters.

Go outside?

Go outside?

However, Bodhi rallied and is a perfect little dude.

Bodhi puts his hand on Ryan's face to give him a kiss.

Bodhi puts his hand on Ryan’s face to give him a kiss.

So yesterday we had a small get together with our families to celebrate the perfect little dude.

There were presents to open.

photo 1(6)Time to play with Grandpa.

photo 2(6)Of course, we had to get an ice cake…with peanut butter filling.

photo 3(5)We even sang to him. We didn’t have a “1″ candle so we actually used a “0″ but you can’t tell!

photo 4(4)Can’t wait to celebrate many more birthdays and adventures with our pup!

Happy Birthday Bodhi!

 

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Park 2 Park Half Marathon: Holy Hills

I ran this race last year and remember it being hilly but I apparently forgot how hilly it actually was.

After watching the weather all week, I was expecting a high of 80 and imagined heat would be a factor. However, I got lucky since the temps were only 53 at the start. Naturally, I was freezing cold. A 1 mile warm up with Ryan and I finally started to warm up.

There were a couple changes announced at the start of the race. Such as a reminder of the rolling hills and the addition of another tough hill somewhere before the turnaround.

We lined up at the start of a trail entrance. That’s right this race has a little bit of trail in it…like a mile at the beginning and a mile at the end. The gun went off and instantly another girl and I were right with each other. I was so excited that I would have a friend to run the race with. (Friend as in, never met you before but hey if we run the same pace, let’s be friends).

Sadly, my friend was a little faster than me (Or didn’t know the hills that were coming) so I let her continue on while I slowed down to a more manageable pace. I held a solid 7:47 pace for about the first 5 miles. There are a lot of hills and I basically had to give myself little pep talks before each hill. As I neared the halfway point I knew the big hill was coming and I was hoping it was big and short… I was wrong.

The hill was ridiculous. I have no idea how I didn’t walk up it. The only thing keeping me running up it was thinking “I get to come back down on the way back”

You can just barely see the start of the hill in the packground. Thanks for the pic Jodi!

You can just barely see the start of the hill in the background. Thanks for the pic Jodi!

Mistake #1 in a hilly race: taking the downhills at full speed. So of course, that’s exactly what I did. By mile 8 I realized my mistake and held on until the wheels fell off at mile 10. At mile 10, I walked for about 30 seconds to let my legs get it back together and then I took off running again. However, my pace had fallen way off. The good news was I was in 2nd place! Overall! The leader was well in front of me, so unless she completely fell apart I was in a good position.

Coming in for the finish, thanks for the pic Ryan

Coming in for the finish, thanks for the pic Ryan

The last 3 miles were a challenge for me. The rolling hills on the way back were no help to me even if they were mostly downhills. I finally hit the trail portion of the race so I knew I was getting closer to the finish. I popped out of the trail and could see the finish. I wasn’t close to a PR but I pushed to finish the race anyways.

Park2Park1

I ended up 2nd female overall with a time of 1:47 (official results are still not up). Ryan was the first male overall!!! With a pretty impressive time with those nasty hills. I see a half marathon PR in both our futures.

Park2Park4After the race we went to celebrate father’s day with my father in law and had one of the most amazing brunches I have had in a long time!

ParkView - Crab benedict. The size and the price will not disappoint.

ParkView – Crab benedict. The size and the price will not disappoint.

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