Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Century Ride Ruined!

This year was my 5th year participating in the Headwaters 100 Bike Ride out of Park Rapids, MN (  The ride is a beautiful fall ride in northern Minnesota that winds through the lakes country around Park Rapids, Itasca State Park, Lake George, Emmaville, Nevis, and Dorset.  Typically fall colors are starting to peak with vibrant hues of orange, red, and yellow along with the contrasting greens of the pine stands.  Unfortunately this year the colors took a back seat to battling the rain.

The ride consists of three routes-42, 75, and 100 miles. The first year I rode 75, the second 70 with intention of 100 damn flat tires, the third and fourth 100, and the fifth wait for it 34 miles. It literally rained pretty much all morning and afternoon. I decided the 42 mile option would be best for me as I wasn't going to force myself to be miserable all day trying to do 100 miles in the rain. Boy, did I make the right decision.  The first rest stop was 16 miles in and it was downhill from there as I became very cold, wet, and just plain tired of the rain beating down on me!  Needless to say my friend Jen and I found a shortcut off the route which got us back to Park Rapids in 34 miles instead of 42!  Yippee!  It was wonderful getting out of the wet clothes and taking a warm shower. Since we were done much earlier than expected I even got an afternoon nap in at the hotel!!

There was a contingent of 13 cyclists from the Central Minnesota Bike Club riding.  A variety of distances were rode, from 25 to 100 miles!  Wow 100 miles in those conditions-that deserves an award!

Regardless of the weather the weekend was a blast with tons of laughs. On Friday, before the Saturday ride, Jen and I also did a bike tour of Itasca State Park and hit the main tourist attractions there.  It was a beautiful day to explore the park and we managed a total of 17 miles that day.

You can't tell by the picture but I am completely soaked from head to toe after 34 miles!
This shirt was great for the weekend!
The crew post ride!  Notice the interior decorating we did with a bike tire and the clock!

Headwaters of the Mississippi River


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I decided to top off my multisport season with my first Duathlon, Iron Girl-Bloomington.  I have nothing but positive things to say about this all female race!  The organization of the whole event and venue were wonderful!  You can definitely tell this is a race for females planned by females. Little extras, such as white table clothes on the post race breakfast tables and tables outside the bathrooms with extra toilet paper, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, Vaseline, and feminine products gave the race a little feminine twist.


Run: 16:11 (2 miles)
T1:  1:35
Bike:  1:16:30 (22 miles)
T2:  1:01
Run:  17:35 (2 miles)

The Run

I was excited for the short runs in this duathlon.  I also really surprised myself running an 8:06 min/mile for the first run and 8:48 min/mile for the second.  

And we're off!


The Bike

The bike course consisted of two loops. Initially I wasn't very satisfied with my 17.3 mph bike average. However, once I analyzed my data on Garmin Connect I realized that there was more elevation gain than I thought, making my bike average easier to swallow

Also working against me this race was a entertaining previous day at the Renaissance Fair  bit of a sore throat and head cold. All things considered I am satisfied by my performance.
15 of 97 in age group
61 of 716 overall

My cheering section!

I am an Ironman Iron Girl!
I would highly recommend this race to any female whether it is your first ever event or you are a seasoned veteran!  I am truly impressed by this Iron Girl Event!!  Did I mention the great post race food!?!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

ALASKA: Not Your Typical Race Review

This post is definitely not a typical race review. Instead, it is more of an Alaskan vacation review!  Amongst the tail end of my race season I scheduled an eight day trip to Alaska to visit family!

If you recall previously I decided not to do my half IM race partly due to upcoming travel plans and this was it!  Had I participated in the half IM, I would have flown out on two 3-hour plane rides the day after my race and probably still be stuck on the plane with stiff sore legs.  I looked my hardest for a race event occurring nearby when I was in AK, but came up empty handed.  Darn, I guess I'll just have to enjoy Alaska without a race---not a hard thing to do!  ;)

Highlights Of The Trip:

  • Alaskan Railroad
  • Husky Homestead-Jeff Kings' Iditarod Dog Sled Teams' home
  • Denali National Park
  • 49th State Brewery-home of the "Into The Wild" bus
  • Mt. McKinley-it came out for viewing the last two days of my trip
  • Talkeetna
  • Abundant wildlife
  • Hiking and picking fresh cranberries and blueberries
  • Wonderful time with family

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Last Triathlon of the Season!

Well, my triathlon season has finally come to an end for 2013. Yesterday I completed the not so short Square Lake Short Course.  My half IM distance has been tabled for the time being, see previous post.

Shannon and I ready to rock the hills of Stillwater!

Swim:  18:42 (0.5 mile)
T1:  2:11
Bike:  56:53 (16.5 miles)
T2:  0:28
Run:  50:01 (5 miles)

TOTAL:  2:08:13

I have been very blessed this year with great weather for almost every race with lower temperatures and lower humidity.  A huge thank you goes out to the weather gods!

Swim:  Square Lake was amazing to swim in, super clear and clean. I was ON with my sighting today and could actually see the buoys, unlike at Pigman last month. The turn around into the sun made sighting more challenging, but the buoys were still visible.  Coming out of the water into transition was a bit tricky as there was a huge flight of wood stairs to climb-see picture below.  However, the climb went very smoothly and was easier than I imagined. 

The stair climb to the transition area. 

Bike:  THE BIKE WAS HILLY!  (That is all I have to say about that!). ;). Well except that I was happy with my 19 mph average considering all the climbing I did. 

Run:  The run course circled the lake.  However, I did not actually see the lake on the run except for at the finish line. The five mile loop consisted of some good climbs and a combo of paved and gravel roads. 

The best part of the whole race!

I wasn't out to kill the race, instead I stayed relaxed and took it all in. Square Lake was my 9th race of the triathlon season and I am now ready for a break from the multi-sport training. In September I also have a duathlon, so I will focus on biking and running to finish out 2013. Oh yeah, and get back into the crossfit box after taking two months off!!!

Mom and I post race!