Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Lack of Trick or Treaters Means I Have Time for Silly Drawings

It's 8:20pm on Halloween night and we have had 5 trick or treaters. With all this down time, a costume idea popped into my head. I'm certainly not going to dress up at this hour, so I decided to draw it instead.

I present to you:

Mocking Blue Jay

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Participating in a Race while Standing Still: I volunteered at the Snohomish River Run

Have you ever wanted to participate in a race and thought: "I just can't do that"?

Or, "Yeah that would be cool, but":

 And yet, you look at races and you want to DO SOMETHING!

Well stop wanting, and start doing!

How, you ask? I will tell you:

You probably already figured out this was where I was going based on the post's title, but seriously, it can be really fun.

Last weekend, our Girls on the Run chapter volunteered at the Snohomish River Run. The run also had us as their charity partner. We're a brand new chapter, I'm on the board, and it is all incredibly cool.

We needed a couple of dozen volunteers, so I got to work on recruiting. I managed to convince three coworkers to join me:


Diana, who spearheaded my cheering squad at my Oly tri,

and Patty.

Those of you who were around in the early days will remember Patty as my bike instructor and triathlon teammate.

The hardest part of volunteering is that you still have to get up really early, but once we arrived I saw that Kerry, our GOTR board chair, had things under control.

We were the first and last water stop for both the 10k AND the half marathon! We had 14 adults and half as many kids and we were busy! For about 2 hours it was pretty much a non-stop stream of racers! My table was in charge of the sports drink, Nuun, while the other table had water.

I struggled with what to tell slightly delirious runners after initially shouting out that I had Nuun. When they asked if I had Gatorade I wasn't sure if they were just asking if it was a sports drink or if they wanted specifics.

Personally, I always want the specifics.

As incredibly useful as that was to the people rushing by, the majority of the time I just yelled louder:

The other thing I shouted often was:

For most of the race we had some good tunes blasting from Kerry's car, and as the racers spread out to a trickle, we danced, chatted, and started guessing when the last person would come by. I made the executive decision for those I had driven that we were staying until the very end.

Yeah, it was a pretty creepy thing to say.

But listen, there is nothing more disheartening than getting to a water table when they are packing up, and it is JUST WRONG to eliminate a station before the last person has passed by.

I also did not want to recreate the situation Christy and I were in at last year's Beat the Blerch marathon: Two hours in, our head volunteer announced she was going home with her music and took two volunteers away with her, leaving me suddenly in charge with no idea what my responsibilities were.

Talk about poor volunteer etiquette.

Since we were staying, Kelly decided to skip up the road a bit and encourage people midpoint.

After we were certain the last racer had come by, Diana texted her to head back. She ran back at an impressive speed!

She had been busy in that field.

All in all, it was a fun day that was successful for our Girls on the Run chapter and it seemed like the racers enjoyed themselves too! Ya know, for pushing your body through 13.1 miles on your feet nonstop.

So remember, you don't have to run/walk/wheelchair your way through a race to be part of it. In the immortal words of Rydell High's Principal McGee:


1. Do you like to volunteer? If so, where?
2. Have you ever been part of Girls on the Run? What do you think about it?
3. Are your coworkers people you don't mind seeing outside of work?
4. Most importantly, do you know what movie I borrowed that last saying from? (If you don't, I'm afraid we might not be able to be friends, so maybe you should Google it.)


Friday, September 25, 2015

A Review of the OOFOS OOlala Sandal. Hint: they're really comfy

Disclaimer: I was provided one pair of OOFOS sandals in exchange for a blog post review. I was not given any additional compensation and all opinions are my own.

I have a pair of OOFOS OOAHHs, and I live in them.

So when I was offered a pair from their new OOlala line to review, I couldn't say no. I was a little worried, though, because I have a history with thong-style sandals.

The whole rubber between the toes thing is usually pretty icky.

I requested the Cosmic Blue pair, pictured here.

I decided to spend more time in the shoes to be confident in my review, since the OOAHHs took a few weeks to break in.

OOFOS is proud of their patented footbed for its "tremendous arch support" and I agree. It's the first thing I noticed when I slipped the shoes on, especially in my left foot. I have fairly flat feet and my left side in general is just weaker than my right. I get especially tight, and I noticed the OOlala sandal stretched out the muscles all through the middle of my foot.

Check out that sweet arch.

I don't expect that to be everyone's experience, but it was mine.

Here's my breakdown:

1. The supportive, yet cushiony sole.

2. The miraculously comfortable thong that fits snugly between your toes without cutting into your foot.

3. They also haven't slipped at all, which is a concern I have for untethered shoes.

4. They are definitely not just for running recovery. If you have pain in your feet, legs, hips, I would suggest looking into the OOFOS line. They have lots of supportive shoes.

5. They're just really comfy.

Some comfy shoe time with a photo bomb by April.

1. They say they upped the style factor, but really these are still rubbery foam sandals and don't exactly go with my work clothes.

The bottom line is that I really like the OOFOS line of shoes and the OOlalas did not let me down.

They get the Thumbs Up from me:

The OOlalas retail for $59.99 and come in several different colors.  They're also sold on,, and other shoe retailers.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It's Time for Speed Work!

I'm not fast. 

I was born 11 days late and I've been trying to catch up ever since. My body has 2 settings:

Setting #1:

Inevitably followed by Setting #2:

Every single morning.

I can be slow. Maddeningly slow.

I understand this because when people are slower than I want them to be it is maddening.

But when I do try to hustle, especially when I'm encouraged to do so by others, my brain and body just stop communicating and I freeze up.

System error from brain to muscles.

Well, now that I've been hitting new distances in my training and races I really want to pick up the pace so I'm not out on the course all day (especially if I want to do even longer races). And that's clearly a problem given the above information.  So my new goal is speed work!

Just call me "Maverick".

I will be returning to indoor cycling classes, going to the track, and working on swimming faster. I even got some fancy flippers.

Stay tuned!

P.S. I may not be speedy yet, but at least I can do the hustle!

If you're too young to know it or just want to enjoy, please visit a lovely compilation of 70s ladies and gents Doing the Hustle. It really gets going at the 30 second mark.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

I am an Olympic (Distance) Triathlete! My recap of the 2015 Seafair triathlon.

There's something to be said for making goals. This was me in January of 2014:

However, I gave myself a small caveat that I might wait until 2015 in order to pair it with my big birthday.

After spending more time in the pool and on the bike than ever before, I finally got the nerve to sign up for the Seafair Triathlon. It includes a 1 mile swim, 20 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. But enough of the boring details, let's jump right into race day, shall we?

The transition area was filled with mostly super-fit and experienced triathletes, me, and one guy who was not up to speed on all the finer details of the course.

It took an hour between getting into transition and getting into the water.  I wandered in with my wave and just as we were being counted down I looked around and discovered I was right up near the front.

How did that happen?? What a terrible place to be!

Before I had a chance to do anything about it, we were off! There was a flurry of arms, torsos, and legs as all the skilled swimmers ran me over, but then I had my own space in the water.

It took me get into my swimming rhythm. Ok it took half a mile; the entire first loop. Part of it was just getting my swim groove, part of it was navigating the course (more on that in a minute) and part of it was the one girl who kept swimming into me.

There's always one.

At the time I was super annoyed because I kept moving out of her way and then she would just swim right back into me over and over again! But I think the issue was that she swam to the left and I swam right. Eventually I managed to move away from her for good, and decided to just enjoy the swim.

There was only one teeny tiny little problem with that.

I really need to work on my sighting.

I'm pretty sure this is an accurate portrayal of my swim; the course is in red, the yellow arrows are me.

Needless to say, I was incredibly happy to make it out of the water and  head over to transition. I spent a leisurely 7 minutes and 5 seconds removing my wetsuit, drying my feet, getting my bike shoes on, and re-applying sunscreen.

That's, like, an hour in triathlon time. But it was awfully nice to have space to myself since everyone else at my rack was already on the bike.

I started my ride, and a few minutes in I noticed my friend Diana standing on the side of the road. By the time it registered, I was already passing her.  I shouted hello and then realized she had brought two more friends, Jess and Amanda with her!

They jumped up and shouted encouragement at my back.

The Olympic race shared the first/last part of the course with the sprint tri, but when they turned around we went straight. And it got very lonely.

**For those of you who are not familiar with the term WYCWYC, it means "what you can, when you can." You can check it out at!

*And for those of you unfamiliar with the term DFL, allow me to enlighten you personally:

Anyway, soon after that I hit my turnaround and began to see not just one, but several struggling cyclists still heading toward the turn.

Just kidding, I'll always be a wycwycer.

I continued on, rejoined some sprinters again for a while, then was on my own again as I headed down the hill to the next turnaround. There were no race marshals or even cones to denote the course, but there was an empty police car that marked the turn.

Close to the end I started anticipating my friends and waved madly as I got closer. This time they were ready for me!

I pushed to the end and coasted to a stop at the dismount.  And then proceeded to fall over while TriGuy was taking my picture.

With my bruised ego in hand, I went through T2 in 3:45. By then the sun was hot.

I grabbed a cup of water on my way out and started to run.  There were about a dozen or so people around and at Mile 2 there was a hill that just kept going. I chatted with a lady as we walked up it together. She was doing the sprint and would not have to do the hill again. Lucky.

There was a water station at the top. It was the only water station on the run. I grabbed a couple of cups and continued down the hill.

I ran past TriGuy and started my second loop.

It was getting really warm at this point.

There were now far fewer runners/walkers. I think I saw five. I did, however, see lots of people out for a walk. I had a conversation with one of them as I was deep in my delirium.

I wasn't positive, but I took his word for it.

I walked up the hill for the second time and the volunteers were already packing up the water table. But I made sure I got what I needed.

I think I drank 2 cups and the rest went on my head and down my shirt.

I headed down the hill and saw a girl going off on a side path because, once again, there were no course markers.

She didn't hear me but I assume she eventually found her way.

Finally, I saw the finish line!

Can I just say how lucky I am to have friends and a husband who will wake up early on the weekend just to shout at me for a few seconds?? You can't beat the adrenaline rush of hearing them cheer you on and seeing their awesome signs!

I crossed the line, got some water, got sent back for my medal, and wandered out of the chute.

Actually, there was no chute by the time I got there. There was just a table stacked with bagels and a handful of bananas.

Our results were posted quickly:

I was truly at the back of the pack. BUT, my swim was 17:34 faster than I thought it would be, and my overall finish was 9:00 faster than I thought. So I am happy with my first Olympic triathlon!

And I got a shiny new medal!

Woot woot!



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