Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why You Should Always Come In Second to Last in a Triathlon…

… and why I wished I had come in last ;)

Let me start by saying that I love my in-laws.  One of the reasons that I love my in-laws  is because they get me to do things that never in a million years would I even think about doing. Like two years ago when they had me run a 5k. The boys were a little more ambitious than us girls that year. They did the triple bypass and rode 120 miles on a bike over three pretty steep mountains. I know running three miles is nothing compared to that , but when you are as un-athletic and out of shape as I was at the time, running up that hill a mile into the race sure felt like it was the same ;)

This year we thought it was time, once again, to be united in an athletic goal, and for all of us-men and women- to be united in the same goal: to compete in a triathlon. Now I must admit, I may have thought of some excuses to get out of this. Like at one point the idea of pregnancy looked appealing as an option to get out of the race. One of my sisters-in-law did this race while 20 weeks pregnant(and she still beat me by at least an hour!) So not even pregnancy was a valid excuse for getting out of this one.

So I gave in and started training. I trained enough that I was confident that I could finish. I never really pushed myself in my training but I got comfortable in my ability to just finish the race, and that was enough for me. I have never been that competitive when it comes to sports, but it is not like it is a foreign concept to me. I grew up playing tennis but the competitiveness never really caught on. For this triathlon, there was never any goal of beating a certain time or beating a certain someone. Those thoughts never even crossed my mind- not in preparing for the race, or even during the race. To be honest, at one point during the triathlon I forgot that I was even in a race. I wish I had thought more about it. Then maybe I would have gotten more into my training, and then maybe my performance  would not have not been so pathetic. But hey, I finished right?

The race took place on Whidbey Island. It is a gorgeous island off the coast of Washington just north of Seattle. We flew up to Seattle on Wednesday and the race took place on Saturday. I just took things one day at a time, enjoying my time with the Hunts and all of the activities that they had planned for each day. I never got nervous until the morning of the race.

That morning (the morning of the race), I woke up in a panic. What did I get myself into? What if I don’t survive the race? I couldn’t think. I couldn’t eat. I could barely breathe.

By the time we got to the start of the swim I did calm down, but not completely. We made our way into the lake- this was going to be my first time swimming in open water. When they said to start I made it about 30 seconds into the swim before the the panic fully set in again. I looked up to the buoy that we were swimming to, and it seemed so far away. How was I ever going to get to it? Then, all of the sudden, I forgot how to swim and then, oh no, was I drowning? (by the way, I was not even close to drowning, I’m not even sure that is possible in a wet suit, but in my mind I was going down.) Finally, I made it to the first buoy and had calmed down enough that I swam straight to the second buoy with no problems. From the second buoy it was a straight shot to the end of phase 1 of the race. But that was just it, phase 1. All of the calm that was in me was gone. All I could think about was what was next. How was I going to ride a bike after this? And then run after that? I began swallowing water and splashing around. I don’t even know how I made it out of that lake. I just remember the glorious feeling of my hand touching the sand at the front of the lake. I had made it through the swim and I had survived.

I thought that I had been in the water for hours. In reality it had only been 30 minutes… the longest 30 minutes of my life. Ok, maybe I am being overly dramatic. But man that was tough.

Okay that is enough for today. I have written an essay and I am only done talking about the swim. Tomorrow I will finish up with the bike and the run. I promise they were less dramatic and a lot more fun, and I will explain why you will always want to come in last :) So stay tuned…

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dragon Boats!

We love the Dragon Boat festival. For the past couple of years we have talked about going, but then we have never gotten around to making it over there. This year we finally went back, and even more exciting than that, we got to bring some special guests along with us.

A niece and a couple of nephews were in town. We kidnapped them for the afternoon, and we made them come play with us. I don’t think they minded.

With balloon fishing…





Coloring our own dragon masks…


and even more tattooing. We all had a blast!


We checked out the karate demonstration and the magic show.


And in the end we came away with our very own ninjas and a warrior princess.

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Dragon boats 2011 was a success!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Random Thoughts on Gardening

This year we finally got around to planting a garden. We are complete garden novices. This garden was more of an experiment than anything. I was testing my mother nature abilities. We were experimenting with space. How much we think we have versus how much we actually have. How many seeds to plant. Is planting 100 zucchini seeds enough? Can I really ever get sick of zucchini? It is my favorite vegetable. The answer is most definitely yes!

We started with watermelon, zucchini, squash, carrots, green beans, lettuce, red bell pepper plant, orange bell pepper plant, one tomato plant, and one cherry tomato plant.

I planted the watermelon inside the house, and it was doing well. I never got around to transplanting them to the outside of the house. They died. Then I thought I could squeeze in a few carrot plants between my green beans and zucchini. But it wasn’t long before I realized that zucchini has no sense of boundaries, or that zucchini could care less about the concept of sharing (sounds strangely similar to my 16 month old). The zucchini quickly encroached upon my carrots and before it could completely consume them I had to dig the carrots up.

We also planted lettuce which grew beautifully, but for some unknown reason I never got around to picking any of the lettuce. It has now succumb to this ridiculous Colorado heat (I am all for summer, but I’m not sure I can take another 90 degree day). Now the lettuce is now no longer edible. Poor lettuce.  

Our zucchini grew strong as well as our squash. Maybe a little too strong. I picked a zucchini as big as my leg one day. No joke. I swear we have grown 100 pounds of zucchini this year. I have never eaten so many stuffed zucchini, zucchini crusted pizzas, zucchini parmesan crisps, zucchini relish, zucchini bread or any other of the numerous dishes that incorporate zucchini into their name.


Our zucchini grow big, but our squash grow quick. I swear I can pick five a day. They just keep coming. We have been out of town so much lately that our squash plant has withered up , turned yellow and still manages to produce insane amounts of squash. The little engine that could… that plant just wont give up.


I didn’t get a head start on our tomatoes this year. Since they got in the ground a little later than they should have we are just barely starting to see some ripened tomatoes. Although I have to be quick to pick them or the squirrels are there to feast. Squirrels are my worst enemy at the moment. Squirrels and Bee’s. Bee’s because they decided to build a nest in my sons sandbox. Seriously squirrels and bees… grrr!

Oh and I can’t forget about the beans- they have been fabulous!


Let’s take a look back at the beginning of our gardening process.


Here you can see a little of the progression of our garden.

The beginnings:


Mid summer garden:


This is the garden at the moment- completely over grown and sad looking. It is obvious that this summer we chose vacationing over gardening.



After all of that, have I loved gardening? Heck, yes! I’m already looking forward to next years garden.

A few lessons to learn for next summer.

  • Plant less zucchini
  • Remember to pick my lettuce
  • Rid the world of all squirrels before next summer- okay not a lesson just a completely doable and sane task ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Okay, time to play catch up again. I think I will start with our weekend in Breckenridge.  Back at the end of July, my entire family got together up in Breckenridge for a fabulous long weekend.


We stayed in this beautiful home on the mountain, about a mile past Peak 8.


We swam.


We hiked.


We played Minute to Win it games.



We jumped.


We experienced traumatic pony rides.


We got lost in a maze.



We rode the Alpine slide.



We panned for gold.


We jumped again.


We waved HI to everyone we passed on the gondola! Love my little man :) And the big one is not so bad himself ;)



We hung with Ma (Ethan’s way of saying Grandma).


We had a delicious movie night with custom popcorn flavors ( classic yellow, caramel, cookies ‘n cream, and cinnamon)…


…that even included our very own movie star!


We even enjoyed Colorado wildflowers.


Thank you Mom and Dad for a fabulous and fun filled weekend! It was a family reunion to remember!