Superiorman 41.5 2015 Recap

The amount of things I’ve packed into the last ten days is NOT recommended. The only reason I’ve survived all the craziness is because I have an amazing set of family and friends who support me. 

Saturday afternoon I headed to Duluth to check in to Superiorman. My VIP entry meant that they mailed some aspects of the race to my parent’s house, where I don’t live anymore. So my parents and brother had to travel in the afternoon also, so I could start the check-in process.

Superiorman Transition

I quickly set up transition, and made the mistake of dropping off a bag of stuff that I needed, but I didn’t note exactly what was in that bag. (You can just see it in the background). I knew I’d have plenty of time in the morning to line things up perfectly, plus I didn’t want it to get accidentally kicked as others did their setup.

Superiorman morningAfter a delicious dinner at Scenic Cafe, I quickly fell asleep. The craziness of the week had caught up to me enough that sleeping on a pullout couch in a strange hotel couldn’t even keep me awake. I did wake once at 3:30 am, but easily slept until my alarm went off at 4:30, I quickly changed and started walking to transition, taking a quick stop for a snapchat. ( @katie_LF  if you want to follow me).

Escape from the Vista Fleet

I sat in transition from 5 am until 6:30 am when they made us go outside and wait to load the boat. I chatted with strangers about nerves and perceived water temp, and ended up seeing a high school classmate and college classmate that were also racing the 41.5 distance. At 7:30 my high school classmate jumped off the boat, and 4 seconds later I followed. My face was freezing, I immediately wished I had a long sleeved wetsuit. The classmate was backstroking, and another friend had mentioned that as a great way to stay active while probably relaxing a bit. So onto my back I went. I ended up backstroking 95% of the swim.

Superiorman swim

I was impressed by the ramp, and the crew that assisted in pulling us out of the water, I cannot imagine how cold their legs were! My friends Josh and Dave from the Lakes Area Multisport group were competing in the 70.3 distance race, and my friend Ellen was spectating. She was kind enough to take my picture a few times! So the photos of me, were clearly taken by her, I did not have my cellphone with on the course.

Katie Cummings Triathlon Bike

This is from the end of the bike course, and a very accurate picture of the technicalities of the start and finish of the bike. There were multiple on-ramps and off-ramps, all with tight turns, which did not allow for enjoying the downhill, or preparing for the uphill. I was impressed with my speed on Highway 61 express, at some point I saw 18 miles per hour on my watch. I thought I had a little wind holding me back, so when I hit the halfway point I was fairly certain I would finish. The road conditions weren’t perfect, I saw flats, and was concerned a few times that I would hit a similar fate. On scenic highway 61 I started to slow down. I know I saw 16 mph, and it may have been even slower. Thankfully I had my friend Mike’s voice in my head, and I was able to get back to good form, which sped me back up.

Katie Looking Forward Superiorman

Do NOT let this smile fool you. The run was not all smiles and sunshine. I started the “run” with a walk a minute, run a minute interval, which lasted at least the first mile. I heard a spectator claiming “when you get off the bike your legs feel like jello”. She is WRONG. When you get off the bike your legs feel like lead. If they feel like jello you haven’t been riding hard enough. Eventually I was able to run for two minutes, walk for a minute. And further into the course I almost hit running 3 minutes, walk a minute. I still haven’t figured out how to use my garmin in multisport mode effectively, so after a while I finally got it to tell me intervals of running 6 minutes, and walking 1 minute, which I followed somewhat for the second half of the course.

Superiorman 41.5 finish

I had attended the pre-race meeting on Saturday afternoon with Josh, and he gave me the tip to put ice down my shorts if it was available on the run. And let me tell you, it felt freaking fantastic!!! Next time I’ll put it down my top as well. I hate the way this hat looks on, but with the sun I was very happy to have it. It was easy to have good energy at this point because I was so darn happy to have actually gotten to the run, and because I didn’t have to do a second lap like the 70.3 athletes did.

In the final mile I saw my parents driving down the road (with Johnny attending they weren’t able to navigate crowds to fully spectate) and I hoped they would park and come find me at the finish. As I crossed the finish line I had a volunteer place ice on my back (which felt awesome), I struggled to catch my breath for a bit, and eventually chugged two bottles of water. I started to make my way towards the transition area so I could call my parents and see if I was able to say hi to them.

Superiorman spectatingI was able to see them and take a quick picture with Johnny (my brother). He was not happy that I wasn’t riding with them back to Aitkin. Instead I took a quick shower at the hotel, and then walked the course backwards to see Josh and cheer for him. The Lakes Area Multisport group has been so influential in the goals I have set in the last three years, and I know I wouldn’t have crossed the finish line if it weren’t for their support.

I spent a few more hours in Duluth attending my favorite places, and generally smiling like a fool before driving back down to the Twin Cities. Monday was a rough work day, but I had two cups of coffee instead of my usual 1, and managed a 4 mile walk in the evening. My hips and glutes are incredibly sore, and my left knee is also in quite a bit of pain.

Lake Avenue Cafe Duluth MN

I had plenty of crazy thoughts during the race for what my challenge should be next summer….Part of me wants to take on Grandma’s Marathon again, another part of me wants to attempt the full 70.3 Superiorman. But I would need to do actual training in order to survive the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. Next I have the Twin Cities 10 mile, so I’m sure those endorphins will make me want to take on the Twin Cities Marathon… For now I’ll just focus on staying active through the winter and see where life takes me.

Do you have any goals for this fall/winter? Or are you already looking at next summer’s races?

 

 

Chance Chat #35: Failure to Try

I’ve been up since 5 preparing for the Superiorman Triathlon Short Course! (as long as nothing dramatic happens). I have no idea if I will finish. It’s been over a week since I’ve been in a lake, or on a bike. I could have deferred my entry to next year, but I felt it was best to jump in and do the dang thing.

Not To Try

Not Trying would be a failure. I know I can do each distance individually, I’m not sure how my body will react to doing each distance back to back to back, but I know I won’t fail. Even if I don’t finish… lining up, jumping off the boat, and seeing what happens will be a success.

Failure is something I have talked about a lot this year. As I make all sorts of changes this year it is highly likely that a couple of these changes will need to be changed again. But hiding at home is not an option. I have to be brave enough to make a mistake. I have to take a chance and try something.

Trying is powerful. It allows me to recognize that I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, and I don’t know exactly what will happen.

Is there anything you are going to try in the next year? Or if you’re really brave, in the next week or month?

P.S. Here’s 15 weeks ago where I talked about failure vs. failing.

Golfing: Glass Half Full

Living up north, and working for a family business, you’d think I’d be able to prioritize time on the golf course. This hasn’t been the case. On Tuesday last week I went out for the first time this season, and most likely the last time. The benefit of playing infrequently, is you always have an awesome day, because you have zero expectations on your swing or your score. (Oh, and I don’t even bother keeping score).

Golfing Analogy

You can just barely see my ball in this photo. Just to the left of the sand trap. I was so pumped by this shot, as I was positioned for an easy chip and putt (or two, or three). But my golfing partner saw something different. That person saw my shot as a few feet short of the putting green. Which is true. It is. But when I’m doing an activity once a year, I can’t focus on the negative. I’ve got to keep it fun and positive.

Celebrate what is going good! Don’t focus on the shortcomings, because you will always find them. Work towards getting better, but note that you can’t work on all things at the same time. My golf game is not a concern right now. I can comfortable play 9 holes, and that’s all I need. In a few years maybe it will be my preferred form of outdoor workout. For now, I’ll stick with playing once a year and playing for fun.

Is there an activity that you aren’t good at, AND don’t care to improve on at this time? Or do you naturally see the negative (i.e. missed the putting green) instead of the positive (i.e. missed the sand trap)?

 

New Job Check-In

If I ever disappear from the blog for a couple days/weeks, feel free to assume its because life has gotten in the way. As I transition into a new job, I am going to be re-learning how to allocate my time. I started this blog when I had a full time job and could only write in the evenings/weekends. So I know it can be done! But I really enjoyed in my last position being able to type up a post whenever inspiration struck.

This weekend I was a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding. We had a blast on Friday hanging out at our college campus (Gustavus) and setting up the reception. We visited our favorite bars (Patrick’s and The Flame) after the rehearsal dinner Friday night. Spent all Saturday morning getting hair and makeup done for photos, and then enjoyed the ceremony, reception, and dance. This was the first wedding where I can remember wanting to cry multiple times, and laughing out loud. There was so much joy!

Sunglasses Selfie

Of course that led to staying up late, and Sunday I was super tired. It might have been overcast, but I wore my sunglasses for the drive back to the cities anyways. I went to a Candlelight yoga class that was surprisingly low key (in a really good way) cooked up Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken (gotta blog that “recipe” someday) and made a batch of Iowa Girl Eats Black Bean, Sweet Corn, Tomato, and Quinoa Burritos. Hopefully they’re good, I made up 10 of them and froze them for future lunches.

1st day of work selfie

I was in bed by 10, but didn’t sleep the greatest. Morning came and it was time to drive to work! The first day went well, lots of policies and procedures. I’m grateful that the company has an extended training program, so I don’t feel rushed/overwhelmed.

Grandma Flowers

 

I was supposed to tour an apartment, but that got pushed to later in the week. Instead I took a C2 class at Corepower before going back to Grandpa and Grandma’s house. They were very interested in the orange chicken, so we ate that with cashews (which were a fabulous addition) sprinkled on top. I’m glad for my first few weeks I’ll be staying with them and have kind loving people to come home to and share about my day.

So there’s a long winded “what I’ve been up to”. I’m curious what you’re up to this week! Are you soaking up summer activities before Labor Day?

Or, are you looking forward to some big changes this fall?

Chance Chat #34: Relationship Calendars

Whew. While I’m writing this prior to Sunday morning, I’m already wondering what Sunday morning will bring. My dear college friends are getting married, and the ceremony and reception will be on campus. The college itself hasn’t changed in huge ways, but my personal changes have been tremendous.

Relationship Calendars

So many things in life are dependent on following a calendar. Yet when it comes to relationships, the calendar is thrown out the window. I know plenty of couples who have had their babies before getting married, and plenty of couples who choose to date for a decade before tying the knot. I have no idea when my soul will be ready to be with another. I like that think that I am ready, but I also believe that I’m waiting for my next relationship for a reason. Whoever that man is, he must be busy accomplishing things before we find each other. Or, maybe its that I know the person, and it isn’t the right time. Either way, I need to trust that my soul will know when the timing is right. Scheduling the time will only force a situation that isn’t supposed to happen.

How long have you and your significant other been together? Do you feel that there is a “right” amount of time to be single between relationships?

Job Searching and Triathlon Training: Not that Different

As I mentioned, next weekend I’ll be racing the Superiorman Triathlon. I also didn’t mention…I’m scheduled to start work on Monday. And after 5 days at a new job, the first thing I want to do…is spend 5 hours on a couch, not 41.5 miles swimming, biking, and running. But I’m doing it anyways!

Job Searching and Triathlon Training

TIME: both searching and training require a time commitment. I focused job searching from about 9 am to 3 pm Monday-Friday. There were exceptions to the rule, but consistently applying kept the options rolling in. Training also requires a time commitment, this my schedule it worked best to do afternoon workouts as I ran off the stress of sitting at the computer. But I also had a few good early morning bike rides.

CONNECTIONS: Everything is easier with a connections. In the triathlon world I rely on Lakes Area Multisport and the members to ensure that I’m training smart and going to the right places for help.

I hate networking

I wrote about it in my Networking series, but getting out and meeting people is so helpful when you’re applying for a job. Sitting at your computer is good, but having people look over your resume, or pass along jobs that might be a match is so valuable.

PAY-OFF: If you do the right things, the work will pay off. Not always as quickly as you want, not always in time to meet the goal you set, but each step forward takes you one step closer to the goal. If you don’t apply for the job, the recruiter can’t contact you. If you don’t take the time to train, you don’t get to complete the race.

Freehouse Pi Beer 3.14

I had pretty strong goals for when I wanted a new job, and it was way before the month of August. I had my dark days, when people asked me how the job search was going and I told them “it’s awful” because it was. Its not something I wish on anyone, but you do what you gotta do, and keep moving forward. Even a bad experience is an experience. (Although getting to try the 3.14 Pi Beer that’s new for the Minnesota State Fair was not one of those “bad” experiences).

Lakes Area Multisport

Thank you so much to all of those who encouraged me to apply, who gave me feedback on my resume, who even retweeted that I was job searching. I already did a Facebook thank you to the Lakes Area Multisport team, those people were a huge part of my happiness in the last three years, and I will be working out with them every chance I get when visiting home. (Even in the bitter cold, cause we are crazy like that).

Do you find that completely different activities sometimes have similar qualities?

Chance Chat #33: Creative vs. Control

I’m not traditionally creative. I struggle to visualize things before they are in front of me. I tend to go with the tried and true process. If you tell me that taking steps 1, 2, and 3 will result in reaching a goal. I will do steps 1, 2, and 3. I might do a few extra things, or modify those steps depending on my skills. But I follow the process.

Creative Process Pinterest

Surrendering control is not something that comes easily to me. My mother is constantly reminding me that I cannot be in charge of everything. I’m working on it. I recognize that some things just happen. And that is okay. I might get a few warnings, but sometimes I’ll get a surprise, and I just need to roll with it. The last few days have all been about rolling with it. And that’s going to continue for the next month or more.

Are you creative? Or do you prefer control?

Ready for This? Superiorman Triathlon – Short Course

Somehow in two weeks I will be preparing to drive to Duluth for the Superiorman Triathlon. I don’t know how this happened. My training has been seriously lacking, but I’m going for the adventure anyways. There’s a huge chance that I will be a DNF (did not finish). But with my one little word for 2015 being “Chance” I have to do it. I can’t wait until next year. There is no way that next year I’ll be more ready for the course.

Brick Workout

In May and June I was great at completing workouts and making sure I got plenty of time in the bike saddle. But after I went to Chile and Bolivia, and got sick….the workouts have not been as great. Last weekend I did do a duathlon workout a run, bike, run, however there was plenty of walking included in the “run” portions.

Duathlon Workout

I keep claiming I’m going to swim more, but it doesn’t actually happen. I did manage to go to the Tuesday morning bike group, and had a great first half of the ride. We did an out and back route and I really struggled to keep the pace on the second half.

Yoga Sculpt Setup

Thankfully I finally went back to yoga on Monday, and I took a class at Corepower on Wednesday. I also purchased a 10 pack, so I’ll have a good outlet for releasing stress because….

The next two weeks also include me being in a wedding, and hopefully starting a new job! (More details on this to come). In addition, I have every weekend in September filled with plans. Thank goodness I’m used to a crazy schedule.

What would you do? Cancel the race until next year? Or just go enjoy it and not worry about the finish time/fitness level?

Networking: Local Events

I’m not a fan of events that are specifically for jobseekers or networking. I find that the conversation is stilted and the atmosphere is less fun. I’d much rather go to an industry event and chat with people. The organizations I’ve listed are marketing based, but each industry has their own set of organizations you can be a part of.

Do Your Homework: There are plenty of networking opportunities. Some are free, and there are plenty that ask $10-$40 per event, sometimes more. Use your time and money wisely.

Chamber of Commerce: Old School, but still effective. In my small town our Chamber is fantastic, but if they aren’t hosting the type of events you are interested in, suggest them! Offer to help organize the type of event you want to see. Fresh ideas and new talent are almost always welcomed.

Social Media Breakfast: My favorite event. I love that I can see some awesome people, and learn about a new topic each month. The timing of events for Friday mornings probably won’t work for my next job. But I have been so thankful this spring and summer to be able to attend and connect with more people.

Social Media Breakfast MSP selfie

Photo from SemiHealthNut!

Minnesota Bloggers Conference: Tickets went on sale Monday!!! I have loved each time I have attended this event and while it isn’t free this year, I am more than happy to spend $20 for a day full of learning. Here is my recap from last year.

Minnesota Bloggers Conference

Creative Mornings: I haven’t been able to attend an event yet, but its on my to-do list!

Minneapolis is a city of warm summers, freezing winters and a lake at every turn of the corner. We have a bustling creative community and want to strengthen our relationships and potential by sharing what we do with each other.

Mima: Has a ton of events throughout the year, I’m not a member yet. But depending on what company I end up with, I hope to be able to join.

Adfed: What I love about this group is they offer a student membership! And I’ve already used their job board to apply for a few jobs that I didn’t see posted anywhere else!

Dress Code: Varies! If I don’t have friends going to an event I have asked the organizers. Each industry is going to be different, but with creatives you can get away with jeans. Personally I feel most comfortable in a dress, but that’s just me!

 

P.S. Wondering what you should say when you’re there? Read “the conversation” here!

Chance Chat #32: Proof

This week I’m telling you straight out: I don’t agree with this statement.

Proof

Goose Bumps are a great sign, but I don’t think they should be the deciding sign. If you declare “I want to be a Doctor” maybe you should look into the details of what that will entail. There might be other ways to help people or be involved in medicine without spending a million years in school.

I believe in taking steps towards success.

I believe in being open to the future.

I believe in mystery.

There are things that I want, but I’m open to those things changing as life changes.

Do you agree? Can blind faith be enough to sustain you?