Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ahhhh the midwest

I first came to small town Iowa in 2000...Ryan tried to prepare me...but the truth is it was just one of those things that you need to experience.  There are certainly things I look forward to when we come out here.  Namely the slowing down and enjoying the time with his family.

As an East coast girl...I often get caught off guard at the friendliness of the midwest.  This morning I went to the local pool to swim.  People from here...know if you are not local and they ask TONS of questions, it is like there is no filter.  Where you are from, what are you doing here, who are you visiting?  and most certainly they know your in laws or cousins because everyone knows everyone and everything. 

Every salad I have ever seen in the midwest has jello...really?  Brianna thought she had struck gold when she got pineapple whipped salad...I informed her that it was dessert and I think it lost its appeal some.  Jello and apples, strawberry pretzel jello just cracks me up.

All in all....we love coming...and getting back to a good old game of baseball in the backyard

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Copper Creek Sprint Tri

Since Mooseman was my big race...I have been trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the summer.  I had picked the Tex/Mex and Copper Creek to do as FUN races to round out June.

Typically in IA I try to race Hy-Vee but they changed the date to Labor Day and so I found Copper Creek was not that far from Ryans parents.  After running the 5k on Wed and then hopping in the car for a short 16 hour jaunt with the kiddos in tow..we arrived in IA on Friday night.

Truth be told, I was not sure how this race was going to go.  I am typically not sprint fast and the combination of the car and racing on Wed was not really ideal to have a great race on Sunday...but off I went at 4:30 am.

The cool thing about this swim is it is in a quarry.  So you had a little ledge as you got in but then it was deep, deep water.  We were treading for the start and there were three age groups with out wave.  The gun went off...and off we went.  Since the swim is a strength...I knew I should beat most of this wave out of the water.  I caught the wave in front of me and then spent the remainder of the swim weaving around people.

The swim was 10:40 and then I was off on the bike.  My transition was pretty good and my goal was to have no one in my age group pass me. 

The bike was hilly, not nearly like Mooseman but it was the large rolling hills.  I played cat and mouse with this guy and soon we reached the turn around on the bike.  Two women passed me, one was older and the other was younger,,,I ended up passing one of them on the way back and the bike seemed to be over quick..Final time on the bike was 38:08 - 19.7 mph which is the best I have done on this new bike.

Off to the the guy who I went back and forth with on the bike comes hauling out of transition on the run.  He slows down next to me and tells me that I am first in my age group and I need to hold on.  Then he takes I might catch him ha.  The run is out and back and the first half is ALL UPHILL...really I come to the midwest give the girl a little flat.  Anyways I do catch him on the uphill and then I am just trying to hold one. 

The finish goes around the quarry, so you see the finish about a mile from when you are actually done.  He ends up catching me about .3 mile from the finish and we end up finishing together...Thanks was fun.  The final run time was 25:33. 

The best was I did win my age that was SUPER FUN.  Elise, one of Ryan's cousins had come to cheer me on, so she got this pic.  My overall time was 1:16.27.  It was a good day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

We are here

We are in was a LONG ride and full of adventures.  Namely Jackson pooped through every single outfit on the way out here.  He also perfected the getmeoutofthecarrightnow scream..oh about 3 hours into said trip. 

Lots to write about but for now...this is how we feel about being out of the CAR!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tex/Mex 5k Race

The odds were probably stacked against me to PR  Nevermind the fact that the I went to pick up my bib and they did not have my registration yesterday.  The really nice Race Director told me that if I handed out shirts for the hour before the race she would let me run.  YEAH!

I was supposed to meet friends Melissa and Sarah prior but I was at the shirt distribution.  It was HOT, HOT, HOT...I think like 90 with 120% humidity.  I was dripping when I was handing out shirts.  I left a little early and threw my stuff in the car.  Went to pick up my was dead like never going to work again off I went with my watch!  Did a quick prerace warmup and then we were off.  Thank goodness there were lots of people out with hoses. 

The first mile is uphill, then you turn around and go down hill, then you climb up the same hill but different streets again....oh by the second mile I thought I was going to was not pretty.

Hang on...I did and finished.  A PR by over a minute and a margarita and taco at the end.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


What a BLAST!!!!  Ryan and I figured out on the way to Toronto that 2007 was the last time when we went away together for a night without the was LOOOOOOONG overdue.  We slept, watched movies, got stopped and pulled over by border patrol, went to a great wedding, and both were excited to return home to the kiddos.

We were lucky that we traveled with some of our best friends as well.  Tanya and Gary left their kids home and made the trek from Philly to Canada with us.  Our first stop was Niagra Falls, which happened to be the first place that Ryan and I vacationed when we were was fun to be back.

We headed to Toronto and stopped at the rehersal dinner and then to our hotel.  On Sat, we went to the wedding in the morning and then to the Toronto waterfront before the reception...

We had a great time at the wedding reception.  It was a 10 course traditional Chinese meal...Ryan was in his glory...jelly fish, shark fin soup, fish with the heads on them, conch...the list goes on.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Aly graduated from preschool last Thursday.  You can see that the robe did not stay on long since is really was not fashion conscious.  They had a cute little ceremony at school.

and then some cupcakes afterwards...then we took off to Toronto!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

at the ZOO!

We headed to the zoo this am with friends.  We LOVE the zoo.  I think we went 8 times last summer.  The kids like it because there is so much to do besides just watching the animals.  They can ride the camels and horses.

I was not sure how Jackson would do.  My plan was to keep him in the stroller until the Childrens zoo and then let him out there.  He did great until I let him out then he was on the move.  They have this tractor there and he is obsessed with tractors...good thing we head to IA in a week.

He could not get up that thing fast enough.

The problem arose when it was time to go....and then he walked around sobbing about the tractor I am sure...he was not happy that he needed to share!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

and the band plays on...

So I set my trainer up on the deck since the weather was really nice.  The plan was that I was going to ride while Jackson was down for his afternoon nap.  Aly had other plans...she decided that they were going to play music while I rode....

That lasted all of about...ummmmm .2 seconds as Jackson went bolting for the moving wheel as soon as I started.  I did get a little ride entertainment after he went to bed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Riveting news!

Our garden is OUT OF CONTROL...a huge problem that I planted things to close together.  I never claimed to have a green thumb.  In addition, I am married to someone from IA who has some farm background in him..and he tells me now.  Thankyouverymuch for the unsolictedadvice after the fact.

In other news, I spent the weekend unpacking, sorting clothes, retiring clothes that are not fitting my rapidly growing children and soon eoungh I will be repacking and heading west with the kiddos.

The weather has been cool and awesome to be outside.  It was super fun to be back at bootcamp this am and the kids have been enjoying the weather.

And then this is the last week of preschool.  I heard the nanny is starting next week...RIIIIGHHT!

Friday, June 10, 2011


A bunch of random things to catch up on...

R - Racing...I have not done a whole lot since Mooseman and am not sure what I am going to do for the rest of the summer.  The fun news is I have a 5k in two weeks that ends with a margarita and a taco.  A small sprint in IA and that will round out June.

A - Adore - These kids LOVE their daddy.  I think it is because he lets them do things that I would help trim trees, eat Doritos and watch movies on trips that take less than 5 minutes!

N - Nine - the number of nights we will spend in PA in June - we are on the road again to Toronto next week!

D - Detained - Speaking of Canada..last time we were here, we could not find Ryan's ID to get out of Canada.  Hopefully we will be able to have an easier time through customs.  Last time the customs agent took his wallet and promptly declared him an American with his Costco card.   The best part of this little trip is we are going SANS the kiddos....yep I am confident that this will be the HIGHLIGHT of my summer!

O -

M - Madness-  upon our return to PA there will be 7 kiddos 5 and under at our will be one crazy week!

Monday, June 6, 2011


It is done!  and a huge sigh of relief!

I started this venture when I was 7 months pregnant with Jackson.  I told Ryan I wanted to do a Half Ironman.  He laughed.  Then I told him I wanted to hire a coach...I think he just laughed harder.  Then I wanted a bike, and a trainer, and some goes on and on

But onward I went.  Training for this thing like a madwomen...and many will attest to that!

The race...the weather could not have been better.

The swim - my wave was in the middle.  The water was cold, I think 60.  About 500 yards in, I thought I might not be able to finish...the adreneline and the nerves I think.  It passed and I got out of the water in 28:51

The bike - leaving transition I had a minor mishap.  I forgot to put on my bib, it got caught in my chain and then I dropped my chain.  GREAT START.  Onward I went up those darn hills.  I made it up, stayed in aero for most of the descent and then climbed again.  My plan was to just ride based on feel and not get caught up in the masses of men that were passing me.  Overall, I thought the bike was okay.  56 miles later...3:19:55

The run - I have been working on my run off the bike ALL SPRING.  My plan was to keep the first 6 miles right around 9 and then see how I felt.  So onward I went and I felt pretty good the whole time final run time was 1:58.47

Final time 5:52.21

I learned a ton in the process.  Training for longer triathlon events is completely a family affair.  I have so many people to thank for being part of the process and helping make this MY DAY!

Ryan - I think there are a million things you would have rather me picked to do than a HIM.  Instead though you let me have my time.  While you may never understand what drives people to endurance events - you let me do what I needed to do and you supported me along the way!  Thanks for the bike, the coach, your time and most importantly your means the world to me.

Aly, Bri, and Jackson - No race would ever come close to the accomplishments in raising you...please stop terrorizing the babysitters so mommy can continue to train.  It is awesome that every time I come home with a medal you think I won.

My parents - without them no doubt this would not have been possible.  You watched our crew while I trained.  You mapped routes for the bike, sat at the lake while I swam and brought our girls to the finish.  I hope that I am half the parent that you have been to me.

Tara, Amy, Tanya, Susan, Erika, and Jen - while triathlon is not part of your world you are certainly the best girlfriends someone could ask for.  Thank you for listening!

Mary - 11 weeks post baby I started with you.  Your patience, support and dedication to the sport is truly AMAZING!  You were the reason I was able to complete this goal and I am truly appreciative of everything that you have done for me.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!  I cannot wait to see you in action at LP!