Five for Friday XVII

1. Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honor of the holiday, I wore my favorite (and totally obnoxious) fringe heart shirt with matching socks to work today.  It’s possible that my coworkers at my new job think I’m crazy!



2. We had plans to do a ValenThai night (bringing in Thai), but in a last minute change, the BOY picked up Mediterranean…ValenTerranean just doesn’t have the same ring : ) but tastes just as delicious!





3. Staying in for dinner tonight is perfect.  I am exhausted adjusting back to the cold weather and early morning work week.  I got up before 6am for my strength class yesterday and Cooper was singing to us at 5:30am today.  Yuck!  We do have reservations to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Season’s 52 tomorrow.



4. Are you watching any of the Olympics???  I have been catching pieces here and there this week.  I’m a total Olympic junkie, but check out who else is getting in on the action.


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Got him!

Even better than a laser pointer…right?!



5. Tomorrow, my mom and I are taking our second yoga workshop of the year.  The first one was a little more physical working on sun salutation.  This one has more of a mental focus.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!



What are you doing this Friday?

Broken Bummer

This is not typical pre race prep!




Yesterday was the Rugged Maniac 5k Race in Wilmot, Wisconsin, and I did not participate.




Because…on Thursday night, my little toe had not one, but three run ins with different pieces of furniture leaving it black and blue and officially broken.  Kinesiotape could not save it for yesterday’s race.




And instead, I spent a lot of time this weekend hobbling around, watching, the Olympics, and icing my bum foot.


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What makes everything even worse, is that my amazing family was in town visiting from the east coast.  For this reason, I taped my toes together and braved walking around Chicago to show them the city on Friday. 




It’s been almost 15 years since we’ve had family out to visit, so my whole family was super excited and really looking forward to the weekend.  We spent Friday downtown (pictures and posts to come) and then Saturday was the Durrty Cuzzn’s Mud Run complete with brightly colored team tshirts (courtesy of QiQi Collection Designs).




The day looked to be a beautiful one and our wave didn’t go off until 11am.  We all hopped into the car to drive the hour up north to the Wisconsin border.


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When we left, I wasn’t sure if I would be participating in the days event.  Luckily, I had an understudy ready to go…my brother!.


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We had three cars of participants, cheerleaders, and ‘press’ that arrived up at Wilmot a little before 10am on a warm and sunny morning.  My mom was all geared up for her first mudder!




It took us a few minutes to get organized.  I tested out my toe with a jog and decided that it would not be a good idea to run.  Based on the pain in my foot along with all the tightness in my ankle, knee, and hip after favoring it on Friday, plus the huge hills and obstacles I was staring at for the Rugged Maniac, it seemed smart to sit this one out.  But, I was totally bummed!


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Go Team Durrty Cuzzns!!!







We dropped the brightly colored kids off at the bounce house, and I joined my dad as part of the press taking pictures of the athletes.  We made our way over to the starting line.  In the Rugged Maniac races, the teams start in 15 minute waves throughout the morning.  One of my cousins and his wife had done this race in NJ earlier in the summer, so they were the team captains.






Getting into the starting area proved to be the first challenge!


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See you later!




Hooray Press Team!




The runners started by sprinting up a HUGE ski hill.


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Then back down the hill where we were waiting to cheer them on!


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They were all smiles as they joked and danced their way down before heading off to their first obstacle.


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They climbed up and over their first set of wood ladders.




And then hit the first patch of mud with enthusiasm!


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They continued on their way towards mile 1.  At this point, my dad and I lost the team for awhile, but my brother took his waterproof camera along for the ride, which made for some awesome pictures and videos.


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They headed off to do some more tough obstacles before we were able to catch up with them again at the mud slide.



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The moment I saw this slide, I was so jealous!  I had about 20 minutes while I was waiting for my family to watch everyone cruise down and crash into the huge pile of mud and it looked like a blast!  I have a feeling you may see pictures of me on this slide next summer!



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At the bottom of the slide, the team hit the 3 mile marker. 




But the race packed some serious obstacles into the last few yards!


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Including this fantastic face plant!






Tired, but in good spirits, everyone raced towards the finish for one last wall!




They finished together as a team still laughing their way across the finish line and straight to the water station.




The Durrty Cuzzn’s made an impressive team powering their way through high heat, big hills, and cool mud slides.  We were all super proud of my mom who wins the award for making the most friends along the course, and my brother did a great job as a last minute entry.


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We spent the most wonderful day together as a family! 




And there is already talk about our next family adventure (a triathlon) in 2013!  The racers showered off and we stopped for some lunch making it home just before a huge thunder storm rolled in. 




After a day on my feet, my toe was rather sore, so I went back to the couch with my peas to watch the triathlon.


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With the rain pouring, we hosted everyone back at our house to watch the day’s Olympic games, snack on some more delicious food, play Apples to Apples, and of course the racers relaxed with their evening massage : )




After a muddy day, they deserved it!

I am sad that I missed out on the opportunity to race with my cousins today, but it was so fun to be able to cheer them through the obstacles and capture it all on film!  I will definitely be in for the next family race…I’m sure my toe will be healed by then!

Olympic Fever

With like 3 hours of free time last night, I got caught up on my weekend race recap and the Olympics.  Did anyone else have tears in their eyes watching the women’s gymnastics team come together on the floor???  For as long as I can remember, I have LOVED the Olympics…and the summer games are definitely my favorite.  For obvious reasons, I’m a huge gymnastics fan (I lived in a gym for 12 years of my life), but I am digging the swimming and cycling as well.  Especially now that I know the big biker names from the Tour de France.  Next weekend, I’m hoping to catch the marathon, and I’ve never watched the triathlon before, but I am definitely going to DVR that.  The saddest thing for me about the Olympics is that I am at work all day and not at home on my couch discovering fun new sports and learning more about London!


This summer there has been tons of Olympic hype, and I am afraid that I have caught a serious case of Olympic fever!  This isn’t the first time though.  I can tell you stories of memorizing every detail of the girls gymnastics team in Atlanta and still remember the 1992 Dream Team poster that hung on my wall at overnight camp.  During those summers, my parents would send me cutouts from the newspaper to keep me posted on all the happenings while I was away.  At work, we are all such Olympic fans that we have the kids participating in athletic events and are rewarding them with cutout paper medals.  They are so motivated to get involved (especially in the pool), and the fever has spread!


It’s hard not to get all pumped up when magazines like this continue to arrive in your mailbox!




I got this magazine last month and immediately began flipping through the pages.  My Mom signed me up for Women’s Running at the marathon expo, and I am a huge fan.  It is a passionately written magazine that never ceases to inspire me.  For example, this Founder’s Note (titled Fever) concludes with this paragraph that just made me smile!




I too have always had Olympic dreams and hopes (even just to be a spectator would be incredible), and I channel my inner athlete during my weekly workouts and of course this weekend’s triathlon.  I will be dreaming of and continue to prepare my body for the 2048 Olympic games : )  What about you?


I’m guessing by the amount of people I have seen biking to/from work, the fact that road races continuously sell out, and the general enthusiasm for activity that running and biking are on the rise.  I came across this statistic in the magazine a few pages later.  How amazing that so many women are seeking out and attempting this awesome middle distance race.




I also came across this question, and was curious to know…what is your answer???




For me, it is definitely Number 2!!!  If you haven’t read Women’s Running and you’re looking for some inspiration, I highly recommend that you check it out.  Their blog, which often features bloggers that you know on the run, is also a joy to read!


Have you caught the Olympic Fever?

What sports are your all time favorites and what new ones have you discovered this year?



The Olympics are super exciting and will inspire me all month and into the fall (my favorite running season).  I still have my goal of  a half marathon PR this year that will require some training.  And I have found some interesting distance races (9k and 25k) that I am recruiting friends and family to run with me.  August 1st has snuck up on me, and I can’t believe that the first half of the year has flown by.  This past month has been an eventful one, and the Olympics came at the perfect time to carry me through a few stressful weeks.  I am looking forward to an Awesome August (details to come) with a whole lot of family and fun!


July Goals

Commute by bike

     –I did it!  I loved it!  And I can’t wait to do it again!  Speaking of bikes, this tribute to my bike is one of my favorite posts of the month!

Avoid white flour and sugar in an attempt to loose a few more LB’s around my middle

     -Making progress, but I will continue to work on this through the fall.  This has been especially challenging with sweets such as cookie brittle, cake batter fudge, pancakes, and this insanely good blueberry muffin French toast in the house.  Trust me…if you haven’t already, you should check out THAT recipe!

Make veggies the star of my meals (especially the green ones)

     -This has been tough being grill season and all because the BOY has been making some fantastic dinners, and I just can’t say no to a premade dinner when I walk in the door after a long day of work.

Get moving ever day

     -This has been my favorite goal to accomplish!  I have been adding in walks, casual bike rides, and some other fun activities with the BOY in an attempt to move every day.

Enjoy every mile of my 2012 triathlon!

     -Yes…I loved every minute, even the swim.  Read all about it here!


And in case that doesn’t give you enough detail of what I’ve been up to…check out my first ever Lately, I’ve Beenpost!  For the best no bake recipes of the summer, this post will have your mouth watering!



August Goals

***Since this is a super busy month and we are out of town a few weekends, I’m keeping the goals simple!

-Avoid MORE white flour and sugar in an attempt to shrink my middle

-Make yoga (classes and home practice) a priority to keep stress levels in check

-Sign up for some local road races

-Get moving on vacation!

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!




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




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!




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!





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




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.





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.




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.




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.




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…




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