July Recap

July was such a fun and busy month for us. We had something going on every weekend this month, which is great and exhausting at the same time. The first weekend was filled with various 4th of July events. We went over to a friend’s mom’s house in historic Webster Groves for the parade the morning of the 4th. That night we went and watched Kirkwood’s fireworks. Tim and I both agreed that Webster puts on a better show. It might have been where we were watching the show from, though.

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Tim signed us up for the Freedom 4 Miler race, so we did that on the 5th. It was Tim’s first running race, and he did so good! I thought 4 miles was a little ambitious for his first run, but he powered through and we finished with a decent time! We went sailing later that day—first time out to the lake all summer. (Oops)

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The following weekend we had our friends John and Melanie’s wedding. It was so much fun. Their reception was at Third Degree Glass Factory, so we got to watch glass blowers during the cocktail hour.

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I was “Sober Sally” that night because I had to get up at 5 AM to do the New Town Triathlon the next morning.

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I finally learned how I’m able to ride a bike in a skirt. Now I just need to get a cruiser with a basket so I can ride to the grocery store.

I keep dreaming of going back to Europe. Seeing this time-lapsed video of Barcelona isn’t helping that feeling go away any time soon.

We headed to the Ozarks for a quick weekend getaway for our friend Matt’s birthday. I’m almost shocked I didn’t come home sunburnt. I did, however, come home with a couple bruises on my rear because of a cannon ball into the lake from the dock’s roof.

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Tim came running up the basement stairs one evening and told me that I HAD to watch this “All I Do is Farm” parody video.

And then there’s “12 Ways to Piss Off a Nebraskan“. I’m sure I could add a couple more, even though Nebraska and Missouri are practically the same.

Holy cow, we have vegetables growing in a small garden off the side of our house!! The basil plant seems to be doing okay (I think the sun is frying it), we have peppers coming in and we’re finally started to see the start of a couple tomatoes. We planted a few other things quite late, but the cucumber and zucchini squash has started to sprout.

I did a second triathlon this past weekend, and Tim did it too!

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This week has been busy with cleaning and prepping for a party at our house tomorrow—it’s luau themed!

—m.

Triathlon #4

I did another sprint triathlon just two weeks after my last one. And guess what? Tim did this one, too!

I did the Tour de Kirkwood sprint triathlon for the first time two years ago, and since I wasn’t able to do it last year I wanted to be sure to do it this year. It’s meant more as a participation event so it’s great for beginners. They don’t give out awards or prizes and don’t announce people’s name when crossing the finish line like at most other races. You can still look up how you rank against everyone online though. And even though it’s meant as a beginner’s event, it’s a bit challenging with hills on the bike AND run portion. This shorter race gives me another chance to run through the motions for transitions—especially since I may (or may not) do an Olympic distance next summer.

These two beautiful photos are provided by the event’s photographer…watermark and all.

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The swim was 400m in a 25m pool, so we had to swim down and back in one lane before moving onto the next lane. I personally don’t care for pool swims—people are so close together and it can easily get congested. However, it’s a security blanket (in a sense) for the “non-fish” people who may need to hang onto the side for a second longer.

The bike portion was 10 miles with hills. There’s one road that’s almost a fake flat, aaaaand then you quickly realize that it’s not. Oh hey long hill! The two five mile loops allow you to see a small portion of Kirkwood, which is full of cute homes.

And lastly, the run! After leaving the transition area we did two loops through the park, complete with more hills. I once again ran slower than my normal pace during this race. I went out and ran at an 8:15 pace no problem this morning, but during the race I was hovering right around a 9 minute pace. Which, by the way, is a totally fine pace…I would just prefer that I was able to be more consistent with my running. Practice. Practice. Practice.

I’m super proud of Tim for taking on this race. He hates swimming, so he didn’t swim once to prepare. He did bike and run though! Since he doesn’t care for the swimming, he said he would just do duathlons in the future.

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Next up for Tim: Pedal the Cause 50 mile bike ride and next up for me: GO! St. Louis Halloween Half Marathon

—m.

Triathlon #3

This past weekend, I raced in the New Town Triathlon for the second year in a row. It’s a challenging race (and one of the more competitive tris in the St. Louis area) but I’ve had fun doing it the last two summers. My only goal this year was to finish better than last year. I ended up shaving about six minutes off my time this years, so I consider that a success!

The New Town Tri is just shy of Olympic distance with a .62 mile open water swim, 20 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. The swim course changed this year, which I heard a lot of the participants talking about while we waited to enter the lake. Both last year and this year’s swim portion was the same distance, but this year’s swim course was longer.  So either last year’s was shorter than .62 miles or this years was longer than that. Either way, it was longer and my time only differed by 27 seconds from last year.

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I’m not very good about practicing the transitions, but I do run through them in my head. I definitely improved my times this year and cut my transition times almost in half! Last year, I spent 0:05:23 (5 minutes and 53 seconds) between the two transitions and this year I was able to cut that time down to 0:03:21. Obviously, there is still TONS of time that I could cut out. Prime example as to why I should practice those.

One thing I did practice and sort-of nail down was dismounting from the bike when coming in for the second transition. I’m really happy with how I did on the bike this year. It’s the worst leg of the race for me, but I also have the chance to see the most improvement here. I’m not a strong cyclist, but I was able to increase my speed and cut down my time by 5 minutes from last year. It may not seem that impressive, but I consider that a huge win to me. Oh, and I did successfully dismount from the bike without eating it. Woohoo!

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As for the run…enter some slight disappointment here. I consider the run portion my strongest of the three, but I ran slower this year. Perhaps I went overboard on the bike? I would prefer to not think that. Maybe I’ll blame the fact that it was probably over 80 degree with 99% humidity by that point. In all realty, I didn’t run that much slower than last year. I finished that portion just 1 minute behind last year’s time so it’s not the end of the world. (But it kind of is)

Official time: 2 hours and 7 minutes. Goal for next year: Under two hours.

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I’m doing another sprint tri in two weeks and Tim will be joining me. It’s more of a fun one and doesn’t give out prizes, but it gives me another opportunity to practice and go through the motions.

—m.

Pre-Race Jitters

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My triathlon is Sunday morning and the pre-race jitters have already set in. Instead of focusing on the progress I’ve made during my training over the last 8ish weeks, all I can think about is what I should have done more of—more swimming, biked longer, practiced transitions.

I did this triathlon last summer, so at least I’m more familiar with the event overall. I haven’t invested in a wetsuit, so I’m keeping my fingers cross about the water temperature. And that I don’t eat it when dismounting from the bike. That would be embarrassing. And probably painful.

But it’s not like I’m a pro. I do it for the challenge. And because it’s fun.

“because it’s fun.”  Said like 2 people ever.

(Trying to pump myself up here.)

—m.

Drooling Over: Engraved Rolling Pins

As if my love of cutting and serving boards isn’t enough, I’ve found a line of rolling pins I love. I don’t bake many things that require the use of a rolling pin, but if I did, I would for sure use one of these engraved rolling pis. I mean, who wouldn’t want their pie crusts or cookies to have designs in them?! The best part? You can order a customized pin!

RollingPins Valek Rolling Pins Etsy Store

June Recap

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I never get tired of Nellie with a big ol’ puppy smile on her face. We were getting ready for a walk, and she was uber excited.

Several months ago I came across a mention of Union Wine Company out in Oregon producing wine in a can and there was a sign up for preorders. You know I ordered some! The verdict at work was “it’s surprisingly not bad!” We weren’t quite sure what to expect. Now I can be classy when wanting to drink wine in an area that doesn’t allow glass (IE: a pool) instead of using a red solo cup.

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Speaking of wine…in 2013, the United States consumed more wine than France for the first time ever. Clearly I helped contribute to this state.

I flew home to Nebraska for a long weekend…had a cousin’s bridal shower, a small family reunion and Father’s Day. While I was back, my grandma helped me make made me a clutch with fabric I bought. I’m pretty excited about it. We used this tutorial.

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I repainted our bedroom and am not exactly happy with the results. We’ll see how I feel in a few months after I get a couple other things like new a rug and nightstands in the room.

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The World Cup started a couple weeks ago…guess who has been glued to the TV? (Hint: Tim) Several of my coworkers and I took an extra long lunch to watch US vs Germany game last week. I made the St. Louis Post Dispatch gallery (picture 7 & 8) of soccer fans. July means Tour de France…guess who will be glued to the TV then as well?

June has also been a month of swimming, biking and running for me. I have my first triathlon of July in just two weeks. This past weekend’s long training day consisted of a 16 mile bike ride followed by a 3 mile run. I’m not where I’d like to be on the bike, but I did this race last year so I at least know what to expect for the most part. Tim is doing a shorter tri with me in late July (his first), so of course I get to drag his butt out of bed before 7 AM on Saturdays.

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And lastly, 40 Maps that Explain Food in America. Some of the maps are quite fascinating, and so true. As a farmer’s daughter, the agriculture maps are especially interesting to me.

I’m looking forward to July!

—m.