Slowing Down {Not By Choice}

Life has been busy, hence my lack of recent blog posts.  I have been committing to my yoga practice, trying to enjoy some outside bike rides and fires, working hard on a few different projects, and enjoying time with my new roommates.

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I have been drinking wine, teaching kids yoga, attending donut club, playing on the 606, reading like crazy, drinking a ton of espresso, and this past weekend we did a family trip up to Green Lake, Wisconsin.

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What I haven’t been doing much off…cooking, baking, and blogging.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some help in the kitchen and of course my BBQ master.  Plus, with new roommates, there are more of us to help out with all of the meal planning.  Last weekend was so super busy, I never even made it to the grocery store!  So that being said, it was very clear when about 2 weeks ago I was playing tennis with my dad, went to shag down a run away ball, and fell in a hole, rolling my left ankle to the sounds of cracking and popping that perhaps the universe was encouraging me to slow down.

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I iced and taped my ankle and focused on rest throughout the weekend.  I took a night off from yoga teacher training and an easy bike ride throughout town (see picture above).  At a time when my yoga practice was escalating and getting more intense, I too a step back.  It wasn’t easy but I listened to my body.  Luckily, the 5k I was supposed to run the next weekend got cancelled and by this weekend, I was feeling 85% better with only mild amounts of pain with lateral movements and Warrior II.  Last Friday, I even went out for a pain free run and Saturday morning did a fun yoga session on the dock with my mom in Wisconsin.

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However, Saturday took a sad turn when my right big toe got sliced by a sliding doggie gate.  It didn’t look good for my nail but didn’t look bad enough for a trip to the rural Wisconsin ER.  We bandaged up my toe and the weekend proceeded on with boat rides, food, crazy doggies, sunsets, and wine!

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It was a wonderful weekend get away and we all appreciated the sunshine and stories.

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Yesterday, I decided to have my toe checked out by the podiatrist.  All the funny walking had my left ankle acting up again and I wasn’t sure what to do with the wound.  The good news…no signs of infection.  The bad news…my big toe nail was coming off.  Somehow I made it through 2 marathons with all 10 toe nails and here after a casual weekend in Wisconsin, I was losing my first one.

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I was instructed to rest and so rest I did.  I spent last night off my feet, but didn’t sleep so well last night.  I took today off of work, figuring my right toe and now sore left ankle weren’t ready for the ball pit at work.  After a mid morning nap and a bandage change, my toe was feeling much better.  So much so that I got a bit antsy.  Since yoga, running, and biking were on the ‘No’ list, I took advantage of a yoga glo meditation.  And then whipped up 2 new raw recipes for snacks for the week.

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Which means after a quiet few months, I actually have some recipes to share.  The first one, I modified a bit using a little almond milk instead of extra honey to help the dough come together.  Both recipes below are as written without my modifications.

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These protein bites are super delicious and won’t last long in your house!  I was so successful that I decided to try one more with dates and peanut butter since we had both in the house.

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For this recipe, I added a little extra chia and because I didn’t have peanuts, I used a mix of nuts from a trail mix.

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I had to try a tiny bite before putting the bars into the fridge…

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And they are also super delish!  After all of the activity, I was ready to retreat back to my chair with a little more rest and some ice.

Because clearly, someone, somewhere is telling me to rest and slow down.  My plan for the week is to let pain be my guide and build up my activity level slowly as able each day.  I know that I will be back in my gym shoes and on my mat soon enough.  And within the next year, I’ll even have a brand new toe nail!

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Until then, I’ll be hanging with my new nurse!

How do you know when you need to slow down?

Have you ever lost a toe nail?

 

No Bake Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bites

From Cotter Crunch

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (around 65-75grams) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey ·
  • ½ cup almond meal or peanut flour (you can also just finely grind raw almonds) ·
  • ¼ cup nut butter (creamy no stir works best)
  • ¾ cup of gluten free quick oats or gluten free cereal of choice
  • Vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Grind up your oats or cereal in a food processor and transfer into a mixing bowl. This is optional. You can keep them whole as well and adjust the addition of honey.
  2. Add your almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, and nut butter. Stir ingredients all together.  Add in your honey and vanilla then mix again well with hands.
  3. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on cookie tray or plastic ware with parchment paper underneath.
  4. Dust with additional cinnamon and vanilla protein if desired.
  5. Keep in fridge or freezer for up to 6 weeks (if they last that long).

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Bars

From My Sequined Life

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted, whole dates
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (or 2x as much)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until the ingredients break down and become a mostly cohesive mixture. You will still have little pieces of peanuts remaining, and the consistency of the mixture should hold together when you press it together.
  2. Line a rimmed dish with parchment paper and press mixture into it, leaving your desired thickness.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing. Store bars in the refrigerator.

Back

Heelllooo! 

We are BACK from our weekend in Wisconsin (aka #WisonsinWeekend Part 2).  This time, we had friends and family to share the time with, and it was the most wonderful getaway.

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I had plans to post and share a whole bunch late last week, but instead…well, I went out to dinner last Thursday night to celebrate.  What?  I’m sure you will ask!  Well, remember that BIG test that took over my life this past winter?  I passed it!  I was beyond thrilled to find out Thursday at lunch, and the BOY and I decided that a celebration was in order. 

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Friday, I made it through the work day and then my dad, the BOY and I drove up to Green Lake.  Everyone arrived around 10pm Friday night and bubbles were popped and discussions begun.  The rest of the weekend proceeded with the perfect mix of rest, laughter, real conversations, naps, water fun, and snacks.

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I had planned to bake a few things to take to the lake, like these peanut butter cookies, then my oven broke. I did blend up a double batch of my favorite travel treat…Cookie Dough Balls.

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Sunday, we got home late and Monday was one of those GO GO GO days.  I had a haircut, eye doctor appointment, wedding stuff, grocery shopping, and of course a trip to the gym to accomplish….you know that kind of day.  I did have time to stop for lunch at one of my favorite places…Mmm!

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The good news is that we did get our oven fixed that day, so baking will be BACK.  I do need to get BACK to reading blogs and catch up on what’s going on in your lives too!  And speaking of BACK…we got our engagement pics BACK this weekend!

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And I almost forgot to mention!  Kids yoga is BACK in action this Friday.  Woo Hoo!!!

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On a totally different note…remember back when I said I was in the city doing something secret?

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Well Alex and Brittany, from Dig Primal and Sparkle Kitchen respectively, invited me to speak on their Podcast.  I am big fans of their honesty and ideas and was thrilled to preach about discuss natural movement in babies and of course my kids yoga classes!  I haven’t listened to it yet, but had such a fun time meeting Alex and chatting about kids and nerdy stuff.  I hope you’ll take a listen and let me know what you think?!

 

What are you getting back to this week?

#WisconsinWeekend

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If you’ve read my blog for a bit (or if you live nearby), then you fully understand the draw of Wisconsin on the weekends.  I know I’ve said it before but all my weekday stress melts away, the moment I cross the state line.  Some summers, the BOY and I have had more time to explore the state than others.  This year, we started early with a quick overnight up in Green Lake.  Saturday morning, we woke up early and then went back to sleep for an hour, hitting the road way later than expected.

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Our first stop was Madison to check out their world famous farmer’s market.  Without planning, we arrived at the spicy cheese bread corner.  YUM!  It was amazing and made the perfect mid morning snack. 

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We walked all along the market loop (in the wrong direction) admiring the plants and produce and eying the cheese and cookies.

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We decided that we would definitely make a trip back up to Madison and spend more time at the market and check out the shops and restaurants.  But for now, we continued on our journey up north to the lake.

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We are lucky that we have amazing friends who let us stay at their place this weekend.  We arrived in time for lunch (sausages on the grill), and then we dove right into the ‘lake life’ with beer and fishing on the pier!

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After our unsuccessful fishing mission, the BOY took a nap while I read my book.  Then, we went back down to the pier to watch the sunset.

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We had a late dinner and played games until we crashed in bed!

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Sunday morning, it was back on the pier for breakfast and fishing.  This time, we actually caught a fish!

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I took a nice long walk and then the BOY and I spent the day laughing, talking, and playing games until it 4pm, when it was time to drive back home.  It was sad to leave, but exciting because the BOY and I had a wonderful weekend together unplugging and bonding.  And, we are heading back up to Wisconsin with my family and our friends in a month.  I feel super recharged!  Woo hoo!

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Where do you like to go for weekend Getaways?

Dark Clouds, Blue Skies, and More Dark Clouds

We had our coldest summer weekend in Wisconsin to date!  We drove up to Green Lake, leaving around 1:30pm on Friday in the midst of rain storms, but when we arrived the sun was shining and the sky was blue.

 

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We able to have Happy Hour on the dock, but needed a few extra layers to stay warm in the wind.

 

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We had a stunning sunset, despite all of the clouds, just before dinner was ready on the grill.

 

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The next morning, the guys were up early with fishing poles on the dock.  I was in need of a 14 mile run.  My longest run of the season.  I didn’t know any local distances, nor do I have a GPS watch, so I decided that a two hour run would be sufficient.  With the hills and strong wind, I figured that might be closer to 13 miles.  Since the weather was chilly, I didn’t need to head out early for my run.  I was able to take a morning boat ride and enjoy my breakfast.  Around 10am, my parents and I got into the car.  They volunteered to be my athletic support and help me map out a course.

 

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When I read about the Pro Compression sale on Brittany and Megan’s website, I immediately bought a pair.  I took some major slack for the bright green color, but I joked that it meant they’d be able to see me from across the lake.

 

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Yes, my Mom and I have the same awesome purple running shoes!  She was walking while I was running.  We were able to scope out a great place to run, mostly around the lake with a few parts along the local highways.  I’m familiar with the route as I have biked it a few times before.  My parents dropped me off at the bottom of a HUGE hill and off I went.  I ran about 6 miles to the park where they were waiting to cheer me on and refill my water bottles.  In another hour, they came back to scoop me up.  Although my legs were tired and I wasn’t feeling fast, I did feel strong after 2 hours or running.  I’m sure the cool weather and amazing family support helped!

 

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I finished right around lunch time and returned back to the house to find everyone gathered around the table.  I dug right into my homemade hummus before making a salad with leftover salmon for lunch.  And sipping on a New Glarus beer.

 

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It’s the best part of running in Wisconsin!  After lunch we went back down to the docks for fishing round two.  My brother and the BOY (on separate docks below) tried their luck with the fish as dark clouds rolled through.  We sat under layers of towels for moral support and cheered them on.

 

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Throughout the day, the BOY caught three fish, but only one that I captured on camera!

 

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Due to the dark skies, we decided to move the day’s Happy Hour to the fire pit which was much warmer than the dock!

 

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There was no stunning sunset, but the thick clouds and sprinkles of rain rolling in and out throughout the evening caused quite a dramatic effect.

 

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We had another fantastic dinner and then made s’mores (with the giant mallows) by the fire.  When we woke up this morning, there was much of the same in terms of weather.  Dark clouds and chilly temps!  I was thrilled that I had not signed up for the triathlon again this year or I would have been fighting choppy water and heavy headwinds.  Should anyone really need this many layers to be outside on a July morning?!

 

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Since there wasn’t much interest in water sports, we took a boat ride into town to walk around before coming back and you guessed it, eating again : )

 

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We left around noon today and when we returned home, it was actually a gorgeous fall feeling day with the sun shining and clear blue skies!

I always feel unbelievable after a weekend in Wisconsin!  Luckily, the BOY and I are heading back up on Friday!  It was another fun week in marathon training, and I have picked up some tips from reading Hal Higdon’s book.

 

 

Total Weekly Mileage: 28 miles

I have to give a huge shout out to my BF Kelley and her Dad, for competing in Ironman Lake Placid today!  Way to go guys!!!

Tri Season Begins [and Ends]

This year’s triathlon season began this weekend in Green Lake, Wisconsin.  Since it was my only tri of the summer, I was really looking forward to the weekend!  Sadly, I had a cold leading up to the race but was so happy to wake up Sunday with an unstuffed nose and a clear head.  We had a fantastic day on Saturday playing on the lake before Sunday’s early morning rise.  The sun was just creeping up over the trees and the lake looked calm and peaceful.

 

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Note to self…don’t ever forget to bring oatmeal for out of town races or you’re breakfast will be this hodgepodge of brown rice, almond milk, banana, and blueberries.  Luckily, it tasted a little better than it looked!

 

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We headed down to the pier to load our bikes onto the boat.  I thought it was neat to drive to packet pickup in a boat, but arriving at a triathlon by boat…EVEN COOLER!!!

 

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I loved the wind in my hair as we bounced across the lake heading towards the race site.

 

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Look who was leading the way and even more excited to arrive!

 

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We unloaded our bikes at the pier and made our way to the transition site.  The Ripon Medical Center triathlon is a small (around 200 people) community race.  The transition area was easy to access and the other races were warm and friendly.

 

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The best part about the morning was watching the sun rise over the lake!

 

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It was stunning!

 

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Our pre-race pictures!

 

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Just before the boys entered the water, my parents and the BOY got dropped off to watch the race and cheer us on.  I was feeling a little nervous before entering the water.

 

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The boys went in about 10 minutes before me making the swim look easy (because for them…it is!).

 

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Finally it was our time…

 

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While I was out in the water, the boys came out of the water and went into transition.  My Dad got some awesome action shots along the way!

 

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What felt like hours later (although it was closer to 16 minutes), I finally excited the water and strolled my way into transition.

 

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My thoughts on my swim…the first 5 minutes went wonderfully. I was calm, my stroke was strong-ish, and I channeled my inner Olympian. Then I hit the first buoy, slowed down a bit, rounded the second buoy, and my goggles fogged up completely and I had no idea where I was going. I was able to make my way back to the beach, but my goggles were already starting to leak. I finished the last few feet breast stroking with my goggles on my forehead before dragging myself out of the water. My swim was slow, but steady and I was thrilled that I stayed calm and actually had some fun this time.

 

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I took my time in transition feeling excited to have the bike and run ahead of me. It was a gorgeous day to be out for a bike ride!

 

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I mounted my bike and rode off towards the 1 mile long hill that started the 15 mile bike ride. It was a tough transition powering up the hill, but once I made it to the highway, I hit my stride. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride and I love biking through the rolling hills surrounded by greens and farmland. The miles flew by, and I got a lot of practice switching my gears. I passed a few people around my age around mile 5 and then was on my own for most of the bike, except for the speedy guys on aerobikes whizzing by me. The ride was hilly, but for me the hardest part was riding the one mile back down to transition along the winding hill at 25mph.  I kept one hand on the brake and my eyes fixed forward hoping that I didn’t fall.  I arrived safely to transition about 15 minutes after my brother…

 

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Before heading out for a hilly 5K run.  Didn’t my dad get some incredible photos?!

 

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When I made it back to transition, there was only one portion of the race left and it was my favorite! I hit the run at full speed and then realized that I was headed back up another huge 1 mile hill.  Yikes!  The 5K was non-stop up and down, and I was happy that I had been training in the hills this summer!  I saw my brother right before the half way turn around point, and my parents were waiting for him at the finish.

 

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A few minutes later, it was my turn to sprint to the finish.  With the help of the hill, I had whole lot of momentum (and some adrenaline) to carry me across the finish line with the Fam cheering me on the whole way!

 

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During the last uphill portion of the run, I felt the strongest that I had all summer.  It was an amazing feeling!  It’s been a year of ups and downs and a few weeks of stress, but climbing up that final hill, I finally felt like a triathlete!  When I crossed the finish, I was in great spirits.  I loved everything about this race.  It was well run with some of the friendliest and most enthusiastic volunteers that I have ever seen.  And…who doesn’t want to dig into a huge slice (or four) of watermelon when they’re done?!  Not to mention that I did beat my brother by a full four minutes : )

 

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Post race…we were all smiles!!!  And, planning to return next summer to compete in the Green Lake Triathlon again!!!  I hope to see some of you there!

 

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We boarded our boat to head back home for some food and a victory beer!

 

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Plus a few handfuls of chocolate covered raisins…one of my post race favorite snacks!!!  All in all, it was such a fun and exciting weekend, and I am thrilled to have competed in my third tri season.  Even though it was the shortest of the three, it was definitely a weekend to remember!  I am huge fan of the sprint distance triathlon, and I see many more in my future : )

 

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A few days post race, I am feeling incredible!  My shoulders are a little sore (will someone please refer me back to this post next summer when it comes time for training in the pool?!), but I was back on my bike this morning for a leisurely ride, and I am looking forward to my family visiting this weekend.  Saturday, it is back to Wisconsin for the Rugged Maniac Mud Run!

 

Final Results

Swim: 16:00

Transition 1: 2:40

15 mile Bike: 55:49

Transition 2: 1:40

5k Run: 24:43

TOTAL: 1:40:50

Overall Place: 71

Division Place: 3/10

Female Place: 16/73

This Weekend in Wisconsin

Despite my cold, this weekend was fantastic and I’m not even sure where to begin.  I guess the best place is to thank everyone for your support with this weekend’s race.  I so appreciate the texts, emails, comments, rides, dinner, bike concierge, help with my gear, cheerleading, and photography (Dad…you did great work with my camera!).  I was smiling all weekend!

 

On Friday, we hit the road for Green Lake, Wisconsin.  We have close family friends with a house on the lake.  Their son, my brother and I were all doing the short distance triathlon on Sunday.  The three of us have never done a race together and after a year of talking about, I was excited for the weekend!  I knew that we would have a lot of fun hanging out (because we always do) and that this no-pressure race would be a fun way to be active and see more of Green Lake.  On the way up, I saw the biggest (and by that I mean the widest) rainbow that I have ever seen in my entire life.  I swear you could see every color clearly, and this picture doesn’t even do it justice!

 

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The BOY and I arrived a few minutes after my family just as the sun was setting over the lake.

 

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By the time we unpacked the car, my Mom already had a dinner spread set out for everyone.  We tucked into the couches to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  I guess I should warn you that I LOVE the Olympic games.  I used to think that I was going to be an Olympic gymnasts…crazy, I know…that is a story for a different day!  We dug into all of the sweets that I had made for the weekend and had a great time watching the parade of countries, trying to guess the sport of the flag holder, before the final torch was lit. 

 

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We went to bed at a reasonable time and were up early for some fun on the lake.  We all piled into the boat before breakfast to enjoy the beautiful weather and watch my brother do a wakeboard run.

 

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After the boat ride, our friend and I went out for a 30 minute run.  When we got back, most of the gang was awake, so we went over to the sand bar to hang out and throw around a football.

 

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Then zipped across the lack for packet pickup.  Coolest way to travel to packet pick up EVER!

 

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I was feeling less congested which was great, but my energy was totally shot!  I am surprised how much this cold took out of me.  I was starting to feel a little nervous, especially as the competitive talk between my brother and I began.  When we arrived at the site, they were already starting to set up for the race.  The three of us (my bro, our friend, and I) headed up to get our packets.  The boys had done this race in the past, so they knew exactly where to go.

 

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It was a gorgeous day and the views from the race site were impressive!

 

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We arrived home to find the pups catching up on the Olympic games.

 

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I jumped in the shower and then headed down to the pier for the ceremonial pre-triathlon braiding of the hair while the BOY, Mom and I sipped on a cocktail.

 

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With skirt steak on the menu, the BOY was pegged for grilling duty.  My contribution to dinner was the pasta, which I took care of quickly.  Unfortunately, the grill was a few burners short, and so the rest of dinner (minus the pasta) took much longer than expected.  I strolled down to the dock to watch the sun set (and take a few dozen pictures) before dinner.

 

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Dinner was incredible!  I had salmon, pasta, grilled veggies with olive oil, and ramen slaw and was seriously stuffed by the time I crashed on the couch.  I had zero room for dessert, but everyone else dug into the fudge and puppy chow.

 

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Despite taking an afternoon nap, I was wiped out from my cold and the day.  I watched a little of the Olympics, trying to channel my inner Michael Phelps and Park Tae-hwan for the triathlon swim.  Then, packed up my gear (checking everything for a second and third time) before heading up to bed around 10.

 

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As I lay in bed, I went through the morning’s race in my head trying to remember all of the details of transition and mentally preparing myself for the swim.  I did two tri’s last summer, but it’s been almost a year since my last one, which left me feeling a little rusty.  Although I felt well-trained, I wasn’t sure how much the cold would wear me out, and I knew it was going to be a hilly race.  Despite my nerves (which are pretty typical for me the night before a race), I slept great!  Until 5:20am on race day when my alarm went off before the sun was rising…

 

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Coming up next…Race Day in Green Lake, Wisconsin!

 

 

Can’t wait to read about this weekend’s triathlon details?  Here are last summer’s tri posts:

TREK Women’s Triathlon Part I

TREK Women’s Triathlon Part II

Bang’s Lake Olympic Distance

More Triathlon Photos

Wisconsin Weekend Part II

Let’s get back to the weekend!  I think I left off with the group heading up to the house to make dinner after a fun and exciting day of biking and boating!

 

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While everyone was getting cleaned off and pitching in to make dinner, the BOY and I decided to introduce the gang to our favorite appetizer, Grilled Feta!

 

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Nobody had ever heard of it, but they were more than willing to try it out.  We put a plate on the table, and people moved in and out of the room, stopping for bites of this warm gooey cheese.  They were very impressed, and by the time dinner was ready, there were only a few crumbles remaining!

 

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Our friends are doing a CSA this year and they brought up this week’s share.  It included these sweet and delicious strawberries that I just had to snap a picture of!

 

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My Mom and I were in charge of the dinner veggies.  Quite possibly, I spent more time eating berries and cheese, but I did manage to wash and cut a few veggies as well.  We made a huge fresh salad with the lettuce from the CSA.

 

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Meanwhile, the men were in charge of the grill, with some assistance from this furry friend (most likely looking for handouts)!

 

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I must say, there was a lot of excitement and chatter going on near the grill area.

 

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Our dinner turned out fantastic…especially this basket of stirfry CSA vegetables!  And the teriyaki salmon was mouth watering perfection.  I told the BOY to take notes because cedar plank salmon is my FAVORITE grilled fish!

 

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After dinner, we headed outside for some wine and the sunset…two things that you know I LOVE!

 

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It looked like it was going to be a promising evening!

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We all gathered around the pier to watch the sun setting and my dad play with this fun new toy!

 

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Which he almost lost under the pier, but DID loose under the aqua patio!

 

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The rescue mission provided us with some much needed entertainment as the sky was cloudier than I realized and the sunset was a little bland.

 

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I did manage to take a few pretty photos, but the conversations and laughter were the highlight of our night!

 

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That is until we all loaded back into the boat for some ice cream!

 

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There is an adorable little ice cream parlor on the other side of the lake, and we eagerly trekked in excited to try all of their unique flavors!

 

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Everyone loved their ice cream (and the chocolate turtle that we purchased)!  The BOY ordered a caramel sundae, which I must have eaten half of, and my Mom got this cotton candy ice cream that tasted EXACTLY like cotton candy.  I was a bigger fan of the chocolate fudge ice cream hiding underneath.

 

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We all piled back into the house exhausted after our long day of eating and activity.  I happily flung myself up onto the top bunk above the BOY were I crashed immediately.  I was so happy and relaxed after a fun day in Wisconsin and feeling so grateful for the close friends and family that I have.  I was looking forward to our next morning together before the BOY and I had to return home to the real world.

 

Did you miss it???

Here is the first Wisconsin Weekend post!

 

And you can read about our 4th of July trip to Green Lake last year too!