Lake Guntersville Triathlon

So, G and I signed up for Lake Guntersville Triathlon (Olympic Distance) and completed it this past weekend.  You cannot beat the “early bird” pricing – $25!!!  We have done this race for the past 3 years and love it.  The bike course is very rolling and the run is very rolling as well.  The run is also part road and part trail – so there is your fair warning.

I love Lake Guntersville State Park and the Lodge!  We usually drive up after work and spend the night.  The rooms are nice, fantastic pool, workout room, and great restaurants on site.

The Lodge from the race site.

Hand carved bear inside the lobby.

Our room view!

This race is pretty low key – low stress.  It starts at 8am, central time and you can pretty much stay in transition until your wave is called.  It is an in water start and each wave goes off every three minutes.  I think there was a total of 4 waves this year. (Total people for both the sprint and Olympic @300).

G, me, Buck, and Kristie

I beat my time from last year by a minute, so I totally consider that a win.  G however beat me for the 1st time in this race by 2 minutes.  Guess I need to start training a little harder, not that we are competitive with each other at all 😉

Coming back in from the bike.

I wore my new kit from #BestTriClubEver and it worked perfectly!  No hot spots and it did not ride up anywhere.  Looking forward to next years race already!

Next up….. Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (which if you want a discount code for this race, let me know)

 

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Irish Soles 5K

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day….run a 5K.

This was a pretty low-key race, that had a nice long sleeve shirt for each participant.  I will say, that the course was fantastic!  It was an out and back with one good hill, so a total of two hills.  G and I did not expect too much on time because we have not been training at all.  The only thing I wanted to do was break 30 minutes, which honestly I did not think I could do.

Photos by: Jane Webb

Stats:

Me: 4 out of 9 in AG, time: 29:53, pace: 9:37

G: 6 out of 11 in AG, time: 27:31, pace: 8:52

We were both pretty happy with the results and wondered what we could do if we really trained……

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The Moth Ball

Ladies that live in and around Chattanooga, TN this is a “MUST” event!!  I learned about The Moth Ball from my sister that actually lived in Chicago at the time.  Basically, this is a women’s only event, where you can get out those old unused dresses for an evening full of fabulous music and great food.

This has been going on since 2012 and this year was my second time going and definitely not my last time.  All proceeds from the event go to a local charity and each year a different charity is selected – this year it was “Chattanooga Room in the Inn”.  For those that do not know about Room in the Inn, it is a shelter for women and children that helps them regain their independence with dignity and security.  They provide transitional housing, three meals a day,
access to healthcare, life skills training, mentoring, parenting classes, etc.  Such a worthy cause!!!

So make sure and put The Moth Ball on your calendar for next year ladies!!!

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Chattanooga Half Marathon

I’ve been wanting to participate in this event ever since it came into existence, which was last year.  Luckily timing worked out perfectly this year, so I was super stoked about getting to run in it.  However I knew it was going to be a tough race to swallow because I am currently attempting to Heart Rate Zone train and coach said to run this in Zone 2 the entire time…..which is sooooo slow…..So, needless to say it was my slowest half marathon ever and I am trying to be ok with that. 🙂

So about the race……Friday night they have a “Start the weekend off right” with a party and live music!  Saturday they have a 5K and kids race.  Then Sunday is when the half marathon and marathon take place.  Basically it’s a weekend family event, which is totally cool for people coming to town for this race.

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Start of the 5K Race

The 5K race is a very fast and flat race, so I have heard.  The marathon, half marathon is a point to point race with some good flats/downhills and some pretty good uphills!  You park at the finish line and they shuttle you to the start.

I love the start location of the main event, at the corner of Board and Aquarium Way.

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They had the presentation of colors and the Star Spangled Banner was played on an electric guitar by Sugarland’s Thad Beaty, which was pretty cool.

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I love the first 1.5 miles is right downtown, so you know it’s flat!  After you make a turn on 20th street you end up running by the river for a while and then up onto Amnicola Hwy for a bit, then you start towards the UTC campus.  People, this is not an easy course, but it is not the hardest either…. There are a couple of tough hills, especially one dubbed “cardiac hill” which is around the UTC campus.  I saw a couple of people walking up that hill backwards!

Like I said, this was going to be a very slow run for me so it was all uneventful.  I really did love this course, I loved how it took you through Chattanooga’s history.  Running through the UTC campus, by the National Cemetery, through Chattanooga’s first subdivision, then Southside.  I cannot wait to do this again next year!

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For all of you “Bling” people….here is the medal 🙂

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Oh and a total surprise, was Dave Ragsdale was the announcer.  For those of you that do Ironman, he is one of their finish line announcers!

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Dave Ragsdale

The Pros:

  • Great Expo
  • FREE RACE PICTURES!!!  (Even though you have logos on them, that’s pretty rad!)
  • The course
  • The medal (river/bldg in a running shoe shape)
  • The announcer!!
  • Meal tickets, so you can choose which Food Truck you want to eat from!

The Cons:

  • Nothing that I can think of……
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Start line before we dropped some jackets/long sleeves at bag drop.

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Meal Delivery Programs

These seem to have become very popular  over the last couple of years.  Many people ask, is it for them??  I think it is all based on your own opinion not what others say.  I started doing this last year because I decided I wanted to start eating fish, but had no idea how to cook it.  Also, I was tired of eating the same thing day in and day out.  One awesome thing about these programs is that it comes with all the ingredients you need (other than olive oil) and step by step instructions.  When cooking my first meal, I felt like a chef!

Now the question is, which one should you try???  I have tried Blue Apron, Home Chef, and Plated.

I first started out with Blue Apron because their salmon recipes looked really good.  It did not disappoint, the food was amazing and the flavor of everything was off the hook.  I loved the everything was fresh and all the recipes were very healthy.  The only downside to Blue Apron that you spent a lot of time cutting and chopping stuff up.  Plus, you used so many dishes.  G would complain the entire time he washed dishes because that was his job since I did all the cooking.  Also, you are locked in to ordering at least three meals a week.  Plus, your meal selection is limited.

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I will openly tell anyone that I did not like Home Chef because there was not a lot of flavor in the food.  It was cheaper than the others, however it just did not satisfy my craving for flavor.  Also, while the recipes did vary from healthy to not-so-healthy the meat was not hormone free.  Yeah-yeah I sound like a crazy person, but I can really tell a difference.    (Yes that is a glob of butter on that steak.)

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I started ordering from Plated last month and I have been loving it!  It seems like there is a lot less prep work than Blue Apron, but it still has plenty of flavor.  Meals come packaged like the other two meal delivery programs, but there is a little less waste.  Like the other delivery programs, everything is recyclable which is always a plus.

I plan on continuing using Plated for awhile.  I like that you do not have to order 3 meals a week and there are a lot of different meals to choose from.  Currently we just order two meals and week, but we can change that anytime.  Also, I like the fact that you can include a dessert if you so choose with your weekly subscription.

So, there are my thoughts on meal delivery services.  If anyone would like to try out Plated let me know because I have some free boxes I can send.

Until next time…..

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Glass Fusion 103

So, here is what the glass fusion 102 vase turned out like…..pretty neat.  Now it is sitting up on a bookcase at home.

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I’m finally taking a breath in order to hurry and talk about the last Glass Fusion class Trish and I went to at Fired Up Fused Glass.  I think by far this was my favorite class!!  We picked our platter glass color and then came up with a design using glass powder, which was pretty cool.

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When working with powders you have to wear some very fashionable masks!

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Trish and I rocking our masks.

This time I went with a black base and my “inspiration” (if you can call it that) was the cosmic outer space.

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Looks pretty cool, right???  Even though I was totally out of my comfort zone for three weeks doing this, I loved learning about all the different techniques and how much work was involved in making fused glass pieces.

If you ever want to try it out, you must sign up for a class with Mary Jane at Fired Up Fused Glass, which  is located downtown Chattanooga, TN right across from the YMCA.  Click here for the latest class schedule.

Until Next Time…….

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Glass Fusion 102

Well here is how my project from Glass Fusion 101 turned out.  I think it looks pretty cool and I link how the edges are not straight.  However, now that I know how the glass spreads I would have used something smaller for the Mickey head because Mickey is fat! 🙂

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If I didn’t mention last time, this is a progressive class.  So this week we moved onto something a little more involved.  We are making vases, which is a two firing process.  The first firing is to melt the glass, or tac it.  The second firing is to slump the glass, which means you put the glass on a vase mold and it melts to the molded shape.

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After going over the firing process and learning about the tools used to cut circles we started cutting our own.  Luckily I got my circle cut on the first try!  It was harder than it looks.

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Remember I am not crafty or artsy, so I decided to go with something I thought was easy.  While others used different pieces of glass, I used glass rods.  We will see how this turns out….I’m wondering how delicate is it going to be???

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If anyone is interested in trying this Mary Jane is going to start another Glass Fusion 101 class on February 8th.  All you have to do is sign up!  I think it’s very interesting and worth your time.

 

Until next time….Thanks for reading

 

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Glass Fusion – What is it?

So for the past couple of years a fun group of girls get together and do something crafty/artsy.  Which I do not fall into either of those categories but I go because it is fun to get out of your comfort zone every now and again.  Also, these ladies make anything fun!  We have attended paint classes, completed pottery projects and now it is time to move onto glass fusion….

Trish and I were the only ones in our “girl group” that were able to attend this class.  I had no idea what to expect and it turned out to be a lot more fun than I would have thought it could be.  

Trish and I in class.

Trish and I in class.

At first you have to go over all the safety instructions, you don’t want to get glass in your eye!  After that we went over how the process works and then we started learning how to cut glass.  The picture below is of a kiln, which “melts” and/or “cooks” the glass and turns your creation into a masterpiece.

A Kiln

A Kiln

Here I am learning how to cut glass…..it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.   I cannot really cut in a straight line (shocking I know) and I did not break one row correctly.  Practice makes perfect, right?

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Next, it was time to design what you wanted your cheese board (aka – platter) to be.  Here is when I totally struggle because I no nothing about art and design.  I looked around the room and some of these people had gorgeous creations.  I decided to just use a bunch of blues and put it all randomly on the 12×12 backing glass.  Do you see the “hidden Mickey”?

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How did it turn out????  I guess you will have to see next time.  I get to pick it up this week.  I’m also, going to the next glass fusion 102 glass, which I think we will be making a vase!

If you are interested in Glass Fusion, check out where I went here: Fired Up! Fused Glass  —Mary is awesome!

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Looking Ahead in 2017

I find it rather strange that prior to the end of 2016, you need to almost have your “main” race schedule planned for 2017.  Does anyone else do this?  Anyway, G and I have decided to take a year off of the full 140.6 Ironman distance and focus on trying to find balance in our lives.  Do not get me wrong, we have already signed up for a couple of half marathons, an Olympic distance triathlon, and a 70.3 Ironman event.  HA!

A couple of items worth mentioning for 2017.  (1) I am now an RRCA certified running coach (along with some other awesome Chattanooga Track Club Members)  I’m not sure what I am going to do with this yet, but I am very happy to have a lot more knowledge in running and now I am more confident in the questions I answer for friends.

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(2) I joined an online Tri Club, called SBM & TriFecta Club.  This triathlon club was put together by Swim Bike Mom.  I am super excited about this club because of all the amazing discounts, giveaways, and knowing that anything SBM puts together is going to be awesome!!  Which you can join this now and save $30 with “nothingbutlove” code!  It is worth it just for the discounts!!!  Learn more at www.besttriclubever.com

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(3) Last but not least, I am the Vice President of Communications for the Chattanooga Track Club.  I’m super excited about this but also a little nervous….there is a lot expected of me and I do not want to disappoint the President, who is also a great friend of mine.

Jan 2017 Chattanooga Track Club Board Retreat

Jan 2017 Chattanooga Track Club Board Retreat

 

So what do you see when you look ahead of 2017??

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