This Penny Tris

a blog about a mom who tris (swim, bike, run, parent and more)

Running, running, treadmill running February 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 9:26 pm

When we last spoke, I declared that I’ve been running inside and that I’ve been trying some new workouts to keep it interesting.  I’ve been continuing with those workouts and it’s been going pretty well.

Both the girls and I had the day off on Monday, but that didn’t give us a free day, we helped package soup for the local food shelf with our church and then we were lucky and got to go to the dentist…yipee! Here’s a new one for you: I am so old that one of my filings is starting to rust…yes, I’m like an old car! Seriously this is something I’ve never heard of, but it did make me laugh. It’s a sure sign you are old when you start to rust. 🙂

Tuesday I did my new 5 mile workout again. I’m not sure it was easier, but I am going to keep using it. It gets me 5 miles in under 45 minutes and that is even with walking the first 2 minutes! Wednesday night I ran my regular 8 miles. My music player was dead which was a little bummer, but I visited with the trainer and a friend at the gym, so that helped pass the time.

Then, the best thing happened on Friday…I went to the gym to run after work (because I had gone to book club during lunch) and all of the treadmills were full! The temperature was nice and the wind had died down and it was sprinkle snowing. So, I put on my outside run clothes and off I went. I haven’t run outside in weeks and it felt so good! I got in a nice 5 miles. It was refreshing and exactly what I needed. I’ve never been so happy that the gym was busy. I would have run inside because I thought it was still windy and this forced me out – ahhh, what a relief!

Today was a busy girl scout day and tomorrow I get to run long because I have time. I will be running inside because of the fact that it is supposed to be 2 degrees and it snowed last night which means the path will be slick as can be – ugh! And Monday night I think I’m going to swim…I think I almost forget how to swim it’s been so long since I’ve been in the pool! I can hardly wait!

I’ll let you know how it goes.


Winter…..please leave now February 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 8:23 pm

Well, it has been a while since I’ve posted, but mainly because it’s winter and there isn’t much exciting to say about my running and such. I’ve considered starting a weekly topic to write about to keep me more motivated to blog, but I’m not sure what theme I would write about…any suggestions??

I’ve been running on the treadmill and working on speed intervals and hill intervals. I ususally do at least one (sometimes 2 or 3) speed workouts a week and one longer hill workout.  I have a hard time just running on the treadmill at lunch because I get bored, so intervals are a must. It is a little different if there is something to watch, but the news isn’t really a good distraction.

I’ve gotten my 5 miles down to 44:19. That was today. I think I can be faster outside, but I know this is my fastest on the treadmill. For hills, I’ve been running 8 miles and I picked a program on the treadmill and go with it. I’ve done it twice. Last week I did it and actually threw up a little – seriously! That made me feel terribly out of shape! I know that hills are tough, but Oh My! This week I did the same and at least didn’t toss my cookies this time!!

I’ve also been doing some weight training this month. I’ve actually done them for 2 weeks now, so hopefully I can stick with it. I’ve been doing arms and legs every other day and some abs on random. I’ve also been doing planks each day. Some days I change it up and instead of doing planks, I’ll do handstands (against the wall) – those are hard. The goal is to gain a little arm strength and maybe tone my legs a little 🙂 I’m not trying to be a super model or anything, just trying to look strong and feel confident.


I’m signed up for the virtual version of the Race for the Halo tomorrow, but I think I may have to run it inside. The high is forcasted at 5 with a windchill of -20. If I had a covered/protected from the wind area, I could run outside, but since the wide open space I have to run in has no protection for any elements, I may cave and head to the gym. It’s all good, it’s about being healthy, not about freezing to death!


I am also doing a virtual 8k (4.98miles) this week, which I am using my 5 miles today for. That one I didn’t buy the medal or shirt for, but I will record my time as part of the Winter Miles Challenge. I did it last year too, but this year the bling was kind of boring, so I didn’t splurge on that one…trying to collect the best bling instead of the most bling this year. 

So far I am signed up for 16 races this year. I have completed 3 of them (Polar Dash) so far and hopefully the Race for the Halo will be completed tomorrow.


On another fun note, I signed all 4 of us up for the Color Run this year. Morgan and 2 friends from dance want to do it and as I looked into it, I discovered that if the 4 of us did it, it would only be $10 more than if 3 of us did it, so Ryan agreed. This will work out better, then one of us can run with the big kids and one of us can run with the little kid. This way, the big kids won’t be lost in the sea of people. I’m not sure either of them is ready to run 3 miles, but it can easily be a run/walk and we have plenty of time to get ready for it. It will be July 12th, so it’s a few weeks before the Miracle Kids and the more prepared they are for the Color Run, the more prepared they will be for the Miracle Kids Triathlon.

Tomorrow is the start of Girl Scout cookie sales – yipee! Seriously though, cookie sales is good, but it takes a lot of effort by the parents. Hopefully it goes smoothly and the weather warms up a little by next weekend.

Happy Valentine’s day to all! 



By Faith…. January 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 4:40 pm

I’m trying something new this year. I joined an online book club. Each month the person who came up with the idea (Sarah) will give us a theme and we get to read whichever book we pick and then review it on our blog. Sarah then has a link-up on her blog for all that are participating and we are all listed with our link so we can all read other bloggers reviews and pick new books to read. Sounds like a great idea – I’m in!!
January’s theme was a Motivational Book. Hmmm, not usually my first choice, so off to the library I go. I walk in and my 2 favorite librarians are at the desk and I say “I need a motivational book.” One (Gabby) looks at the other (Jackie) and Jackie walks away. Gabby is talking to her as she goes and she just nods her head in agreement. They both knew the book I should read and all it took were 5 words. I love that about my library! Anywho…onto the review:
By Faith, Not By Sight
The Inspiring Story of a Blind Prodigy, a Life-Threatening Illness, and an Unexpected Gift
by: Scott MacIntyre with Jennifer Schuchmann
I’ll start with this info for those of you that watch American Idol. This is the man that appeared in Season eight of American Idol.
At the beginning of the book, you wonder how they are going to make a whole book because it seems to start at a point in his life where everything seemed to be working out for him. He was 19 and graduating from college with honors, he was one of the speakers at the graduation ceremony and was invited to dinner with the Dean after the ceremony and would soon be continuing his studies in London. That is all wonderful news for a sighted person, it is even far more extraordinary for a blind person to have accomplished so much at such a young age. Unfortunately, the wonderful day was halted with a phone call from his doctor. Scott and his parents are far stronger than I can ever hope to be. They understood the news, but continued on with everything they needed to do and were strong through the journey.
“Is it possible to be high on a mountain and deep in a valley at the same time?”
I don’t want to give away too much of the book, because I really think it’s a great read and you should definitely consider reading it.
During the good times of their lives, the MacIntyre family praised God for what he gave them. During the difficult times, they asked God for strength. Their faith never wavered. The book made me consider my faith. How I could be different, how could I be stronger if I had a stronger faith?
Because I hadn’t watched American Idol when Scott was on, I found that part of the book interesting too. It really shows some behind the scenes that you can’t know/see while watching the show. After the finale for the season, the top 10 performers get to go on tour with Idol. I found that interesting to read about too.
I enjoyed the book. I find it amazing how people are so able to overcome struggles and how during those struggles, they are still able to find peace in knowing God and understanding that he has a plan and they are able to trust Him.
My favorite quote from the book came near the end:
“But I believe God is bigger than all of this and has a plan for my life that reaches far beyond the circumstances of today. I have dealt with these kinds of situations before and know that everything happens for a reason, and in time, I very well may look back on this and finally realize it was for the best. That something better was waiting just around the corner.”
I hope that I, as well as all of you, can be strong enough to believe this is true in times of trouble when we need encouragement.


2015 Polar Dash Super Yeti Challenge January 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 5:03 pm

Yep, that’s a long title for a long race! New Year’s Day, Stacy and I headed to St. Paul to run the polar dash. This was our second year, and what a difference a year makes! This year, the temperature was above zero! Actually it was at least 20 degrees warmer than last year.

We started the morning with a 15 mile race. We lined up and before we had a chance to get cold we were off. We agreed to start out easy and increase pace as we went on. We were about to mile 3 and a man ran in between the two of us. He started talking to us and did a really good job of carrying the conversation. Our pace was a bit faster than I thought I could keep for the next 12 miles, but I was content listening to him talk. He is an 8 time Ironman Finisher and a soldier that is being deployed again soon – this is his only race this year because of that. He talked all about doing a Disney Challenge (Goofy) and how fun it was. He continued to talk and I ran with them until about mile 9, then I told Stacy that I was going to walk the next water stop. She was concerned about me, but I assured her I would be good and I’d meet her at the finish. I was relieved that she had somebody to run with, and relieved that I was running my own race. I was just behind them until mile 11, which was the final turnaround. I watched them get a little further ahead, but I was good. I lost sight of them, but I was enjoying my race. I walked through 3 or 4 water stops and ran the rest of the time. When my watch clicked at the last mile, I was relieved again. I pressed on and made sure to finish with a smile and some gas left in the tank because I still had the next 2 races of the Yeti Challenge left. I finished in 2:18:58 for 15 miles…not to bad! Ok, honestly, I was really happy with that! One year earlier, we finished the 14 mile race in 2:17:34, so I was less than 2 minutes slower and ran a whole extra mile! That’s a huge improvement!

I found Stacy where she waited for me and we collected our medals and went to find dry warm gloves before our next race started – we had 10 minutes! We swapped gloves and headed back to the start line. This race was 1500 meters, so about 1.25 miles. There were lots of families running, so lots of congestion, but we still averaged around 10 minutes per mile. The official time is not listed online, but it’s all good, we survived the 2nd race of the challenge and raced together for this one. There was time for some hot chocolate and bananas before the final race. That is both good and bad – good because yum, bad because waiting around equals stiff knees and feet!

We got back in the start chute for the final race of the challenge the 5k. There were a lot of people for this event. We struggled to find a place to run and we seemed to be stuck behind all of the walkers. We weaved and weaved and weaved some more. Once my legs warmed back up, I honestly didn’t feel too bad. We ended up finishing about 32:23. Not the best, but considering the congestion and the fact that we had already run 16.2 miles, I’ll take it!

That makes a total of 19.3 miles to kick off 2015. The weather was good, the company was great and the bling is fabulous!!


I’m proud of my year! December 27, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 10:26 pm

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in so long. I’m shocked at how fast December seemed to fly by. I can’t believe it is the end of the year already!

The month of December had a lot of fun activities for our family: band concert, church program, Dance recital, 4 Dance competitions, Cookie making, Claire’s Birthday, pheasant hunting, Yeti challenge training (including a 20 mile run), and finally ice fishing… wonder I haven’t blogged!

We started the month with Morgan’s first Dance Competition on the varsity Synergy Dance Team. This was very exciting since she is only in 7th grade. The day they were told who made the competition squad, she was very excited. This helped her confidence after being on the B team for volleyball this fall. The team does really well. Their division is really tough and they have a goal to have less points (less is better) at each competition and understand with so many big teams, winning isn’t easy, but they just want to improve on their score. We are so proud of her, she’s an amazing young lady!


The day after that, Claire’s dance class was chosen to perform at the dance instructor’s church. This was her first performance there and she was pretty tickled about being chosen. I like that we actually get to see them in a costume before the recital this way. I had another mom snap a picture of us.


Next came Claire’s birthday. We had some cupcakes and did some crafts at church. The day after, I took her and a friend to get pedicures at the nail salon – what a fun party! We had to rush off to the Girl Scout Christmas party after that, but it was a fun idea and a good time for Claire and Ava.



The Christmas dance recital was on the 19th. I have always loved dance recital day. It is so fun to watch all of their hard work pay off and to see the smiles on their faces as they perform is priceless. Claire especially has the most genuine smile of any girl out there.


The day of the dance recital, I used my last PTO day from work. I always like to be off work early so I can get their makeup and hair done, but this time, I had a bigger plan…I wanted to get my last LONG run of 20 miles in before all of the craziness of the weekend set in. We had the recital Friday night, dance competition Saturday and Church Christmas program on Sunday. I got the girls on the bus at 7:10 and had to wait until almost 8 am for it to be light enough to run on the highway – didn’t want to start the day getting hit by a car! I left the house shortly after 8 and headed on the same path I used for my other 20 mile run earlier this fall. I took it easy and just tried to enjoy it. The weather was cool (around 20) and there was just a little wind. The day of my 15 miler, the wind was CRAZY. I finally asked Ryan to drive and pick me up so that I could just run with the wind instead of into it – much better! Anyway, back to the 20 miler…I made my way to town and the 13 mile beep. I felt really good and didn’t make any stops in town like I did last time (to refill my water) and kept going toward home. The most funny part of this run was seeing the mailman on one county road on the south side of town (about mile 8 of my run) and then seeing him again about mile 17 of my run on the north side of town. I wonder what he was thinking of the crazy lady running for hours on a Friday morning. I made it home and honestly felt really good. I was a few seconds per mile slower this 20 mile run than last time (I think 4 seconds per mile), but I felt good! I was sure to hydrate well so that I would be ready for the recital that night and I even had enough energy to stop at Wal-mart on my way home from the recital! I’m guessing it was the chicken broth I drank after my run that helped my hydration and my sodium levels and made for an easy recovery. No matter the reason, I felt great and I am happy that I made another 20 mile run a success!


After all of that fun, we finally arrived at Christmas. This was my year to have my family here on Christmas Eve. I don’t enjoy being the hostess, but it was a success, so it’s all good!


And this weekend, one last 13 mile run (I’ll confess my yearly total after the year ends) for me and a weekend of ice fishing for Ryan. I took the girls to one of our favorite resturants (Mongo’s) for lunch today for girls day out while Ryan was away for the weekend. It was a good day and then I got a suprise visit from a great friend that has moved to Wyoming and was home visiting for Christmas. It was a great visit and it reminds me of how much I miss her! As the year winds down, I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and I can’t wait to see what next year brings! 


I saw this earlier today and I had to save it – it’s the perfect way to think!

Happy New Year to all!!


Good Bye November December 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 9:56 pm

It is the first day of December and with that I bring you my final race recaps of 2014.

On Thanksgiving day, I raced a local 5k called the Turkey Tagalong. Last year was the first time I ran on the holiday and it worked so well that there was no reason I couldn’t do it again this year. I ran and then went to Ryan’s dads for lunch.

The weather was cold (-5) and there was some snowy patches on the ground, so it was important to watch my footing. I set a pr last year at this race and feel a little short of it this year, but still finished with a very respectable 25:20. That time was good enough to get me a 9th place overall finish. I have never finished a race in the single digits before, I was pretty excited!

After family time for lunch and a little shopping with my sister-in-law, we were off to my parents’ for supper. The girls enjoyed seeing all of their cousins throughout the day.

After one rest day, it was time for the Moustache Run half marathon on Saturday. Thankfully the weather was warmer, but there was fresh snow which made the footing difficult for this race.

The race started at 8:30 and we started running on a brick road (red, not yellow) that wasn’t plowed very well and then crossed the beautiful Stone Arch Bridge before getting to some dry roads. The course was hilly added on top of the slippery ground. Both Stacy and I had a mental struggle with this race. I have never been more relieved to see the half way mark of a race. We crossed the half mark at 1:01 and some seconds – much better than we felt. As we turned around, it was much better. We got to fly down the hills we had to climb on the way out, but had to climb the ones we went down before. There was one good one with about 4 miles to go, but there were 2 climbs on the way back that almost did us in. Thankfully we crested the final one and knew we had about 2 miles to go. Stacy asked me to stay with her until mile 12. I didn’t have enough gas left to push much harder, so I did stay with her. As we turned onto the bridge, the breeze was in our faces, that made it a little more difficult to push. We finally made it across the bridge and turned the final turn. It was about 4 blocks that seemed to never end. We stayed together the whole time and finished right next to each other. We were both relieved to be done and agreed that our struggle was mostly mental. We both had some discomfort (my hips, her feet) but we blamed that on the icy ground. We finished with a great time of 2:01:57.


I have been very consistent this year with my times, I’ve had half marathons ranging from 1:59 to 2:01. I certainly can’t complain about those times!

Now it’s time to train for the Polar Dash run on New Year’s day…I’m going to need some better footing that day….please!

Oh, and we attended the tree lighting at the local hospital last night. Claire’s favorite part is the reindeer!



The house is decorated (except the tree) and the gifts are wrapped…bring on Christmas!


Thankful thoughts November 22, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — pennyverdeck @ 12:55 pm

I didn’t realize it had been so long since I posted, I hope nobody was missing me too much 🙂

I haven’t been doing much exciting running, I suppose that is why I haven’t been here lately. Since the weather turned winter like, I’ve been doing my running inside. Last weekend I even braved 11 miles inside. It wasn’t terrible, I watched some tv to pass the time. I try to do intervals to break up the boring view.

Since I don’t have running to talk about, I’m going to post some things I am thankful for. I invite you to add a comment and tell me something you are thankful for.

* My Family – Ryan and the girls are very important to me, I am so thankful for them and everything they add to my life!

* My original family – Our parents and siblings, through everything life hands us, we are family and nothing could take their places in my heart.

* My Friends – In real life and my online friends. I hope all of you know that I love how you all make my life what it is.

* My Life – I am happy to have the life I have, our home, our busy activity schedule, our lazy weekend evenings of hanging out with the kids and watching the shows they like to watch, just spending time with them – I’m enjoying it now, because soon enough, they will be too busy to hang out with us.

* Racing – You knew I was going to put racing on the list! I love racing and all it has added to my life!

* Being a race Ambassador – I was excited to learn this week that I will remain an Ambassador for Esprit de She and I also learned that I get to be an Ambassador for the Lifetime Triathlon Series this year – if you are a triathlete, look for my name on the list! These are both a great honor.

For now, that starts my list. I would love to see your comments of something to add to my list, or what you are thankful for.

May you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!