My Own Ever After…Brewfest Recap

TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Everyone wants a happy ending, but stories don’t wrap up neatly, if they wrap up at all. Today you’ll have to shut the book where you shut it and make up your own ever after.

Yesterday’s horoscope was perfect for me. I’ve known for a while that it’s going to be up to me to figure out how my story ends. No one is going to do it for me.

Harvest Moon Briefest

Saturday I volunteered to help set up the Harvest Moon Brewfest. And next year I’ll be asking all my friends to come join me, because it was awesome!! I love that Aitkin has a building with such character and potential. I love that there are locals willing to support endeavors, and out of towners who came to check it out too!

Selfie with home-brew

There were a few awkward moments though. One person asked me who I came to the event with…which was myself. I didn’t see the need to bring a buddy when the event is wandering around and trying beer, there were going to be plenty of people I could talk to. And yes, the photo is intentionally a selfie reflection. Although that other person behind me wasn’t intentional.

brainerd lakes beer

The other awkward moment was when someone asked…so where’s your significant other? I have no idea where the idea that I had a significant other came from, but I pretty much started laughing immediately. I don’t blame either of these people for making assumptions. It’d be great if I had a partner in crime. But at the moment I’m single, and I’m writing my own story.

katie and johnny

And there’s always the love of this guy. It may just be sibling love, but he’s pretty great.

Chance Chat #37: Running Wild

What hurts more….walking slowly into a brick wall? Or running through it?

She ran wildly

Pain cannot be avoided in life. Last year’s “peace perspective” was a lot of protecting myself from pain. But this year’s one little word of “chance” has been about leaving my safety net, and embracing that not everything will be peaceful.

I foresee plenty of discomfort in the next couple weeks/months. I’m re-learning how to be in a classroom, trying to adjust to “big city” living, and trying to keep different relationships strong throughout all the changes.

Here’s hoping I can embrace the change, the wild emotions, and find some joy in these fearful experiences.

What do you do when you’re scared? Do you shut down? Or do you pick up the pace?

Day in the Life: New Job!!

I’m still new to my job, and will be considered new for quite a while….but I thought I’d share a little of what my routine looks like these days!

6:00 am – Alarm goes off! Wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast. Possibly blowdry/straighten hair. The first week I straightened my hair and wore makeup each day, and then I stopped. While I like doing all the beauty stuff every now and then, its not fun when it’s every day. Breakfast is usually trader joe’s cold brew, with peanut butter toast, or yogurt and granola.

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Ball Jar

7:20 am – Drive to Work! I could maybe leave at 7:30, but if there is an accident or traffic I would cut it super close, so for now I just enjoy getting to work a few minutes early.

8 am – noon: Classroom time! I know this will change, but we typically go over what we finished with the day before, and then start to learn a new aspect of the job.

not a food blogger

Noon – 1 pm: Lunch break! I typically pack a lunch, eat it quick, then go for a short walk around the buildings. There is a nice path down the road, but then I wouldn’t have time to eat. (also, I’m not a food blogger, hence my super basic photo)

1 pm – 5 pm: More Classroom time! If we’ve learned a new skill in the morning we practice that, otherwise we’re probably learning something new in the afternoon.

Edina Park

5 pm – 7 pm: Workout! Or Walk…or Errands. I don’t want to workout from 5 am to 6 am, so for now I’m trying to do it before I go home for the night. Right now I’m referring to “home” as my grandparents house. I also want to make sure I’m eating dinner with them, and spending some quality time together. They are huge Twins’ Baseball fans, so we are watching a lot of games.

pork sriracha dinner

This night’s dinner was pork tenderloin, rice, green beans, and a healthy serving of sriracha. It’s been so wonderful spending time with my grandparents, and less stressful than attempting to figure out my living situation immediately. I do have a studio apartment secured, and I think I’ll be actually staying there by mid-October.

How quickly have you moved from one place to the next? Same day? Over the course of a weekend? Or over the course of a month like I am? (which seems unlikely, but if you’ve done it, tell me about it!)

Chance Chat #36: Wake Up

Ahhh, Sunday morning. I really really really hope I’m still sleeping when this post goes live. I haven’t had a chance to NOT set an alarm in quite a few weeks.

Chance Chat 36 Wake Up

In the first two weeks of work I haven’t had a morning where I hit the snooze repeatedly. Don’t get me wrong, I am tired, and I do want to snooze, I just know the few extra minutes of sleep isn’t going to help. With all the changes that have come up I know sleep is important, so I’m trying my best to be in bed by 10 each night.

Do you hop out of bed and take on the new challenge? Or do you snooze as long as possible before a busy day?

August 2015 Recap

Of course on Monday I wrote about my Superiorman 41.5 experience, but let’s start at the beginning of August, I shared my training this summer (aka basically not training). And how it relates to job searching. I am gainfully employed now, and made a point to share how the first week went.

1st day of work selfie

I also shared the music I listened to all summer. Previewed plenty of State Fair treats (and am still trying to figure out when I can go and get another taste)!

Minnesota State Fair Food 2015

I explained exactly what’s happened to me in the last three years, which had an outstanding 900+ views on Facebook.

Katie and John

I also updated my Networking series, with outlining some awesome local events.

And finally gave a little shout out to the first and last time I went golfing this summer. Unless I happen to do 9 holes this weekend, but I kind of doubt that. I’ll just keep the glass half full for the one time I did get on the course.

While its hard to believe that summer is over, September and October are usually my favorite months, so I’m ready for whatever they bring! What are you “looking forward” to this fall?

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?