Monthly Archives

August 2015

Anniversary, Iron Girl, Life, Vacation

5 Things I Did This Summer

Summer is coming to a close… boohoo. I don’t mind autumn too much because it has some of the best seasonal foods as well as pretty trees and such BUT it means that the weather is getting colder and soon we’ll have “naked” trees everywhere. I dislike naked trees and I hate being cold.

To get me through the horrible winter months, I wrote this “5 Things I Did This Summer” list so I could look back on the good times and feel a little warmer inside.

1. College Graduation

I suppose this was technically in the spring, but it started off my summer well. It may have taken 5 years to get a 4-year degree, but I finally made it!

five things summer (11 of 12)

five things summer (12 of 12)

2. Moved from Michigan to Maryland

Braden just entered his 3rd and final year of PT school and he’s starting his clinical internships this fall. We were lucky that he was able to get placements for all 4 internships in Maryland near our families. However, this means we had to move states and pack up our first little nest together. Luckily we had some kind family members living nearby to help us out or else we’d probably still be trying to move.


five things summer (1 of 12)

five things summer (3 of 5)

five things summer (4 of 5)

3. Anniversary Vacation 

We wanted to do something special to celebrate our first anniversary so we spent 2 nights and 3 days at the Atlantis Inn in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This is my favorite beach spot “near” us so we had a lot of fun riding our bikes through Cape Henlopen State Park, eating ice cream, playing mini-golf at Shell We Golf, and just relaxing on the beach.

five things summer (8 of 12)

five things summer (5 of 5)

five things summer (9 of 12)

five things summer (10 of 12)

five things summer (1 of 5)

five things summer (2 of 5)

4. Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon

I spent the majority of my summer preparing for this event and it is probably the biggest highlight of my summer because I got to see all my hard work pay off. You can read about this one here.

Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon

5. Packed and sent my sister off to college

What a little grown-up she’s become. It’s especially hard to see her go because I’ve just moved back home after being away for 5 years. Well now she’s the one heading off to another state to become a smarter human being. Bye Nani :'(

High School Graduation

This is how we said goodbye…

…and this was me after she left.

I know I’m going to blink and it will be summer again soon, but for right now, it’s just really hard to say goodbye!

Exercise, Review, Running, Training

How I Got Under Armour Socks for Free

Well… Almost free. Does $1.05 count as really paying something?

Anyways, for the past few months, I have been tracking most of my exercises with the MapMyFitness apps. Specifically Map My Run and Map My Ride.

One of the things that you can do through this app is join public challenges. For example, one of the ongoing challenges is the BMW X1 Ultimate Fitness Xperience Challengein which you have to use the app to record 19 workouts in 6 weeks. If you complete the challenge within the time period, you will be entered to win a $500 gift card from Under Armour and a personal training package from Men’s Health.

I was recently entered into the 30/30 Challenge where you had 30 days to complete 30 miles by logging exercises of 20 minutes or longer. Because I had been training, I logged over 80 miles and was in the top 15% of 152,000 challenge participants.

30-30 challenge

Today I got an email claiming that I had “crushed” this challenge and I was being given a promo code for 15 dollars off any purchase from the Under Armour online store. All I had to do was spend $15.01 or more to qualify. I set out to find something I could get for free and I found this set of long socks that I thought would be great since the weather is getting colder. It was $15.99 for the pair.

UA socks

I used a 30-day free trial from ShopRunner to get 2-day free shipping and the grand total for my purchase came to $1.05.

I don’t know exactly why I got the $15 off and I don’t know if it will come around again or not. But I do know that I got a basically free pair of socks just because I worked out this past month… and that’s pretty cool.

Exercise, Iron Girl, Race, Triathlon, Weight loss, Women

Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon 2015 Recap

In April, I went in search of an event to help me lose weight and get in shape; I found the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon and I can’t believe it’s already over! Getting ready for my first triathlon has been my focus for the last three and a half months and now it’s finished.

Athlete's Wristband



Friday afternoon I went by Columbia Presbyterian Church for packet pick-up. I got my packet, timing chip, T-shirt, and TYR bag with the Iron Girl logo. I browsed some of the booths at the expo and the goggles at the TYR booth caught my eye. Everyone advises not to try anything new on race day but the goggles I had been using weren’t working well and these ones seemed amazing. So I bought them. P.S. They were amazing.




It’s mandatory to rack your bike during specific hours only on Saturday and it was a quick and seamless process. I was in the 2nd row off to the right of transition and only a few bikes in so that was convenient. I took a few minutes to analyze surroundings and test walking up the fairly steep little hill coming out of the transition area.


Sunday – Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon Race Day!

Sunday’s 4:15 wake-up call came quick. I had set out everything the night before. Clothes were ready to go, food was on the counter ready to be made, and all of my things were packed in their bag. My sister didn’t want to wake up to do my french braid so I sat by her bed while she did it with the lights off and her eyes closed. It was 65 degrees and still dark outside when we left the house just before 5. We arrived at the park 10 or so minutes later and figured the park was already full so we drove a couple blocks down the road across from the park for parking. I got my tires pumped up first thing and then I spent a few minutes getting my transition stuff ready before getting body marked and heading for the bathroom line.

I went back to transition just to double check all my stuff. At this point, the sun had started to come out and it was a really beautiful morning. Hubs and I started over towards the start line so I wouldn’t keep staring at my transition stuff. All morning they had been playing pumped up music, doing interviews and making announcements over top of the music; it was sort of like an “Iron Girl Radio Show”. I was really trying to take in the experience and calm my nerves before everything began.





After the national anthem, I went and joined my wave at the start line. We were the second wave to take off and the first group was relatively small so I was in the water within a few minutes of start time. Brady snapchatted my start.





I had just gone around the corner after entering the water when my nerves took over and I had to stop and try to calm down. A volunteer, who was in a kayak close by, came over to let me hold on and chatted with me while I got a hold of myself. I think it all hit me kind of fast and I guess I just needed a moment.

I don’t think I stopped for more than about 30 seconds before I kept going but it could have been longer. The sun wasn’t too far above the horizon and on the first straightaway we were blindly headed directly into the sun. I was swimming at an even, but fairly slow pace so I got passed by almost all the red people (my wave), probably most of the yellows (the next wave) and a handful of silvers (the wave after that). Going around the first turn I bopped some girl in the head so we started a quick conversation about how it was our first time each and then wished each other well before continuing on our individual treks.

After exiting the water, I began the run up towards transition and gave a wave to Brady on the way. While I was putting my shoes on, some girls came in behind me and one of them said to the other, “This is horrible! I am never doing this again!” I just sat there thinking, “Are you kidding me? This is amazing! I can’t wait to do it again!”

Of all the disciplines, I probably enjoyed the swim the most. I love being in the water and it was actually kind of relaxing once I was able to settle into my rhythm. The lake was nowhere near as gross as people expected it to be. The water is murky but I didn’t notice any goose grease or lake weeds trying to eat me.

Swim time: 37:28

T1: 4:54


I never got a chance to ride the course before the event but I had driven it 3 times. The hills on the 16 mile course that I thought would be the worst… weren’t. I was great at going downhill but horrible at going uphill. It was a pain to watch the people who I had just passed going down one hill, passing me as I went up the next. I had a conversation with this lady from Team Fight as we passed each other on a few of the hills. We decided, in our brief conversation, that if we combined the two of us, we’d be the perfect racer. The worst uphill was around mile 9 or so right after a long downhill.  As someone passed me she said, “ALL THE SWEAR WORDS!”

Because of the time trial start, everyone was spaced out over the course and there were never too many people crowded into one area. My back was really killing me the last 2 miles, but I was able to push through and finish the ride in a decent time.

Bike time: 1:15:18

T2: 1:42


My legs felt a little jelly coming back into transition but they were mostly okay by the time I started running. I had to walk/run intermittently for the first 2 miles because my left calf was feeling really tight. Gatorade hill is no small hill so it was encouraging to have volunteers and spectators lining the trail cheering all the women on. It was great to hear them say, “I see you number 82, you can do it!”

I ran most of the last 1.4 miles except for the backside of Gatorade Hill because I could walk up that hill faster than I could run it. The last half mile I think I was whimpering a little to keep from crying because I couldn’t believe that I was about to finish. The last few months of working up to this and being worried that maybe I wouldn’t be ready. The people cheering us on as we came in to the finish were truly amazing and I was almost overwhelmed by how fulfilling it felt to cross the finish line. I was immediately awarded my finishers medal and then stripped of my timing chip before I could grab a drink and go celebrate with my husband and family.


Run time: 46:26

Overall time: 2:45:49

I’m not excited about my time, I know I can do so much better in that sense, but I am so proud of this accomplishment considering that 4 months ago I had a fitness level of about 0 and my neurosurgeon was telling me I needed surgery to fix my herniated disc. I still have back pain and I still only have partial feeling in part of my right leg… but I did it!

One of the greatest things about doing this event was the response from friends and family members who told me how inspired they felt by what I did and how much they would like to be a part of the experience next year.

I’ve told my husband that I can’t imagine any other event being as perfect as this one. The volunteers and other participants were so encouraging and the location is in my hometown so it’s comfortable and familiar. I wasn’t prepared for how lonely I would feel the next day with no big event to look forward when I’ve been preparing all summer. But for now I’m planning to keep getting healthier, keep getting stronger, and come back even better next year. Until 2016 Iron Girl.

iron girl columbia triathlon