Swim24 Challenge Recap

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in the first swimming relay of it’s kind. Swim24 is a charity event that was raising money for the San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program. All money raised goes toward giving swim lessons to kids who’s families can’t afford them. Drowning is the #1 cause of death for kids 5 and under. The challenge given was to gather a team of 2-12 people and swim for 24hrs straight to raise money and awareness for Drowning Prevention. Swim8

Two weeks out from the event, I only had 5 people signed up to be on my team. It was going to be a loooong 24hrs of swimming. Fortunately, our team pulled through and found 4 more people to help swim! One of which we accumulated on the day of the event. More to come on that. We ended up with 9 people. Thank goodness!

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The event started at noon on Saturday, August 30th. We brought a tent, blankets, pillows, lots of swimsuits, goggles, and dry clothes, both for during the day, and warm clothes for at night. The event took place at the University of California – San Diego pool – Canyonview. There were a few areas around the pool, including grassy areas, that people set up camp for the 24+hours that we were going to be there. We found a grassy spot, and saw other people grabbing lounge chairs to sleep on. Not a bad idea. So, we grabbed a few for ourselves, and opted to forego the tent. I mean were we really going to sleep, anyway?

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All 8 of us check-in and were ready to go. We didn’t have a real plan in place, and decided to be flexible. In fact, a woman who swims regularly saw signs for the event, and decided to just show up on event day to see if she could participate. We had room on our team, and of course, we happily accepted her on our team, and were excited to have her contribute. Fran was a big ball of positive energy, and one that we would need on Sunday. A small backstory on Fran: Fran’s husband got in a BMX accident in 2010, and landed on his head, and broke a bunch of ribs, which ended up creating a wound in his aorta. He was rushed to the hospital and at one point during surgery was pronounced dead. He survived, and as he recooperated, unfortunately, a blood clot had gone to his brain. Long story short, Fran’s life changed forever. She is now the primary care giver for her husband, and rarely has time for herself to do the things she loves. You could tell by Fran’s energy that this was an experience that she will never forget and that she truly embraced. It reminded all of us to live in the moment, and not take anything for granted. Although Fran couldn’t stay over night, she came back the next morning and brought bagels and coffee to us sleep deprived swimmers, and brought back the energy we needed to complete this event. She was a pure joy. And for a glimpse of 24hrs we could see through her eyes, as if everything in life is a miracle. It was truly a blessing to have met her.

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Okay, back to the event. So, with 9 of us, and 2 not being able to stay over night, we started out with 15min increments, rotating all the way through our 9. We did another round of 15, then a round of 30min, and then a round of 15, before Jill and Fran both had to take off. We then to get through the night and allow for a bit of rest, all 7 of us overnighters swam for 1hr. We then went back to 30min increments, and then Fran and Jill met back up with us in the morning to finish out our round of 30min. We then went to 10min increments, and then finished up with 45min of 100yd relays, all swimming as fast and hard as we could. We wanted to get as many yards as we could. None of us went in with a competitive mindset, but as the numbers were adding up, we all started setting small goals for ourselves. It was kind of cool to see us all reach them. By the end, we were exhausted. Throughout the 24hrs there was a DJ, a band that came and brought a bunch of energy, food for dinner and breakfast, water, and a whole lot of fun.

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Night Swimming

Night Swimming

Night Swimming

All the news stations, NBC, Fox, etc. came to cover the event, which was really cool. There were a total of 19 teams that participated in this 1st year charity event, and teams had anywhere from 6 to 12 people on them. There were high school swim teams, club teams, triathletes, and those who just love to swim. Every team had their own strategy going in, and it was interesting to see each team try to swim for 24hrs. By the end of 24hrs, as a whole group, we had raised over $61,000. It costs $100 to teach a kid how to swim in the pool and ocean, and teach them water safety as well in the pool and ocean, which means 6,100 kids will be given water safety and swim lessons. Sooooo cool! I can’t wait to participate again next year! Thank you to all those who donated in your own way, whether it was monetarily, positive thoughts and energy, or supportive and kind words. It was more than we could have asked for, so thanks!

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Fun Facts:

Our team – Mermaids and Mermen

Total Yards Swam – 88,850

Total Miles – 50.48

Personally

Total Yards Swam – 11,100

Total Miles – 6.3

Total Time – 2hrs 57min

Total Time Slept – 0

This challenged inspired me to challenge all of you, which brings me to the September Fitness Challenge! The Project Neon September Fitness Challenge is to swim 30 by Sept 30th. That’s 30,000yds by the end of September. That’s on average 1,000yds a day. You can do it!

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Life Lesson – Timing

It’s funny how life works. Timing truly seems to be everything. I have no idea what the universe has in store for any of us. I just had a thought…man, wouldn’t that be kind of cool, if we could just see a glimmer? Actually, that’s a scary thought. It’s scary to not know what is coming, but it’s also exciting, and if we knew what was coming, would we live our lives differently?

Life is full of “what ifs” and timing. I like to believe we have some control over our lives and what trajectory our lives take. Every day we make choices, decisions, that impact the rest of our life.

timing 1

Have you ever seen “The Butterfly Effect”? Great movie. It seriously opens up your mind about how our lives change based on the tiniest decisions.

It could be as simple as whether you go for a run or not tomorrow morning, and whether you could have met someone on that run who would offer you a job opportunity that would change your life, or meet a person that could be the love of your life, etc. Or it could be bigger, like if you go on a backpacking trip in Thailand or a beach vacation in Greece.

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Timing has become a big part of my life since moving out to San Diego. And I’m not sure what it all means. I think the number one thing I have learned is that, each person who comes into my life, teaches me something new. And every day I take a step forward and keep creating a beautiful story.

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In your life, have you met someone, where the connection between you is like electricity, but no matter what you do, the timing just isn’t right? And there’s nothing you can do about it. I suppose there is never, nothing, you can do. But, maybe they live in another country, maybe they have a girlfriend/boyfriend or are married.

timing 4

It’s funny, we are all made up differently, but for me, I put LOVE, above everything else. I’ve noticed this. I don’t know why, but my dream is to find the love of my life, to travel with my best friend, raise a family, and just share my life, and for them to share their life with me. Some people are more career oriented, or focused on success, etc. There is no right or wrong way to live life, and we are all wired differently, and we all have our own contributions to make to the world, and our own purpose for being here. Which is why, be who you are, say what you feel, and live your own life and passions, and what’s meant to be will be. The people who are meant to be in your life will be, the career you’re supposed to have will be, and truly we are all just trying to figure out the best way to live this life as happy as we possibly can. Know that each person is making decisions based on their own happiness, and if two decisions add up to the same decision, then the timing matches. It all comes down to two people choosing the same thing. Whether that be a person choosing you for a job opening, and you choosing them to take that job, or someone choosing to be with you, and you choosing to be with them. No matter what, if the two choices aren’t adding up, then keep moving forward, eventually the right choices will match up.

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Someday it will all make sense, and all the pieces will fall into place, there will be no questions, there will be no what ifs. But, for now, where you are in this exact moment is where you are supposed to be. Let life evolve, don’t force it.

Tuesday Twelve – Beauty Products

I swear we are all, always searching for our favorite beauty products, and so I thought I’d share with you all, my top twelve right now. :)

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1. Super Goop – CC Cream 35SPF

2. Neutrogena – Oil Free Eye Make-Up Remover

3. Bumble and Bumble – Thickening Hairspray

4. Kiehl’s – Deep Moisture Clarifying Cream

5. Kiehl’s – Acne Blemish Control Daily Skin-Clearing Treatment

6. Benefit – They’re Real Mascara

7. Smashbox – Hyperlash Mascara

8. Two-Faced – Eyeshadows

9. Smashbox – Eyelid primer

10. Sumita – Eye Contrast Pencil

11. Dove – Deodorant

12. Sephora Lip Gloss

 

Do you use any of these? If so, which ones? 

Half Marathon Training Commences!

Ironman Whistler may be over, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more racing to do! I’m enjoying all this extra time to spend it how I want to spend it, but I still love setting goals. I don’t think I will ever be just a “gym-goer”. I just don’t have it in me. I like training for things, improving, and challenging myself.

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The first challenge up is the 24hr swim relay this coming weekend to raise money for “Waterproofing America” initiative. All proceeds will go to the San Diego Junior Lifeguard’s Foundation’s water safety and drowning prevention programs. If you are interested in supporting the cause, please donate here on my fundraising account. :)

beach run

After swimming for 24hrs, and honestly I’ll probably have to swim 3hrs of that 24. #ouch. Then it’s time to get into full blown half marathon training. I’m excited to focus on running for a bit. I love to run. And I lost a lot of my speed training for ironmans over the past few years. I want to get my speed back, and then prepare myself for next summer when it’s triathlon season again. I haven’t run an open half marathon since 2010. How crazy is that? But it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and get speedy again! My best half marathon time is 1:37:xx. I don’t think I’ll do that for this one, but you never know. I’m hoping for 1:50, and then I’ll keep working my way back into the 1:30’s from there.

sunrise run

The half marathon I signed up for is the Temecula Half. If you are interested in racing and haven’t signed up yet, feel free to use my discount code for 10% off:

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I’ve been loving every second of running! I had to take a break from running for about a month after ironman whistler because I was getting too sore after every workout. Since taking, nearly two full rest weeks, I’m feeling much better and my body is finally recovering faster! I’m also enjoying playing soccer on Monday nights, although my legs are still getting used to all the agility and shooting. In fact, my quads are so sore after every game from shooting the ball!

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My Ironman Race Day Diet

After my Ironman Whistler Race Report, I received a lot of comments and questions on my race day diet. Many people were surprised at how few calories I take in on race day. So, I wanted to address some of these questions and comments.

I have always been someone who performs better with less calories in the tank. I have definitely struggled with digestive problems in the past with endurance sports, and it wasn’t pretty. I began to learn what I can and can’t eat before a swim, bike, or run.

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Generally, before a workout, I have to have digested all of my food, or have nothing in the tank, like when I wake up. Then I either eat a banana with peanut butter or a bar right now I’m diggin’ either Bobo’s Oat Bars or Harmony Bars. I eat that 5min before my workout and I’m good to go.

During workouts I have learned that I can’t digest a lot otherwise it goes right through me. I also feel best, and can push myself harder when I have less calories in my system than more. So, during workouts, I eat just enough to keep me from feeling hungry. If I start to feel hungry, I know that I’m in for a really tough workout, and I’m definitely going to bonk. But, if I’m full, I’m going to feel slow and lethargic. So, I pretty much eat just to keep myself from feeling hungry.

Harmony Bars

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It is different for everyone, and it took a lot of practice to figure out my nutrition game plan.

I remember preparing for my first marathon, and eating nothing. Seriously nothing for my 2hr+ runs. I had no idea about nutrition and I often felt sick after my runs and I wasn’t sure why. Turns out because my stomach was “eating itself” and I would ultimately feel extremely nauseous. Then through trial and error, I learned the balance of how much or little I needed to eat before I went out for a workout, and how much I could eat during a workout. I have tested the limits plenty of times, and let me tell you, eating a lot for me, just ends up being a miserable workout, so I lean towards eating less. This has worked the best for me, and has made all 4 Ironmans for me, very successful.

Also, I highly recommend playing with different sources of your fuel. That was a huge thing for me too. It took me awhile to narrow down what products work for me and which don’t. I try new ones occasionally, but for the most part stick to the core.

Let me know if you have any more specific questions, but I hope this answers some of your questions. :)

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10 Day You Challenge – 3 Films

This is tough, because there are soooo many great movies, how can I only pick 3?

1. Blackfish – This documentary is the best documentary I’ve seen in a long time. As a lover of all things ocean, and orcas and dolphins being my favorite animals, this film really hit home for me.

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2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – I become obsessed with these books when I was in college. I had three best friends in college (all of which are still close friends of mine today), and we would joke about creating a pair of pants that we would share. I love the stories and I just love anything that is about friendship. :)

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3. The Little Mermaid – Again, I LOVE the ocean. I wanted to be the Little Mermaid 110% growing up, in fact, for like two years straight when I was a kid, I would come home after school and watch this movie. Seriously, almost every day. The music, the ocean, a love story, what’s better than that?

Little Mermaid

 

What are the first three films that come to mind for you? I say first that come to mind, because seriously, there are way too many movies these days for us all to have only three favorites. ;)

4 Books

10 day You Challenge

I LOVE to read. I didn’t always love to read, but something hit me when I got to college. My freshman year English writing professor chose a lot of interesting books that I could really relate to, and suddenly I was like I love to read!

1. Monkeys by Susan Minot – This is the first book that my Freshman Year English Professor assigned us to read, and it is was the book that was the catalyst in turning me into the reader I am today.

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2. Matilda by Roald Dahl – This is my childhood favorite book. I have read Matilda, at least 10 times. I don’t know why, but I just love it!

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3. The Notebook – Anyone who knows me, knows I am a die-hard romantic. I love love stories. They inspire me. They make me hopeful. And they aren’t always glamorous and this shows that. But, when the going gets tough, love conquers all. It truly makes me feel that what’s meant to be will be. And the truth is, the book is just as good as the movie. :) Maybe the few movies I can say is as good as the book.

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4. Como Agua Para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel – This is the first Spanish novel I ever read, and obviously falls into the “love” category. It’s also a good movie. But it is one of my favorite Spanish books of all time. (Side note: for those who don’t know, my mom’s a High School Spanish Teacher, which is what ignited my love of all things Spanish)

como agua para chocolate

 

What are your 4 favorite books? Or books that have made a big difference in your life?

Next up: 3 Films (I promise I won’t include The Notebook – even though it is my favorite movie of all time :))

10 Day You Challenge – 5 Foods

10 day You Challenge

 

I LOVE food. There are a few foods that I really, truly LOVE, and I have loved them since I was a kid.

1. Ice Cream – this is #1 because well I even have “froyo lover” in my Twitter and Instagram bio. I mean I truly love ice cream and frozen yogurt. When I was growing up, we had the Schwann’s truck come, and he would drop off chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. This has been my favorite since I can remember. In fact, every year for my birthday my mom would get me an ice cream cake because I didn’t like “regular” cakes. Half was chocolate chip cookie dough, and the other half my 2nd fave flavor, cookies and cream. Anyway, I would eat pretty much a whole gallon of ice cream a week. haha. Yup. I LOVE ice cream. And since self serve froyo came out, this has been my latest love. I love putting a few different flavors in my cup and putting the toppings on too. It’s the absolute best!

Ice Cream

 

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2. Flank Steak – I love steak but flank steak or filet mignon are probably my two favorites. YUM!

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3. My mom’s holiday mashed potatoes – omg. They are sooo good. I seriously can’t get enough of them during Thanksgiving and Christmas. LOVE.

holiday mashed potatoes

4. My mom’s Pumpkin Bread – I honestly can down a loaf of my mom’s pumpkin bread in one day, it’s that good. I love all things pumpkin. Maybe it’s growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and when the leaves start falling, it is one of the most beautiful times of the year up there. And the taste of pumpkin is to die for.

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5. Brunch – I realize this is not a food, but all things that come with brunch I love. Seriously. I love pancakes, omelets, mimosas, waffles, toast, acai bowls, etc. Brunch/breakfast may always be my favorite meal of the day. :)

Day 4

 

If you didn’t get a chance to read the other days of the 10 Day You Challenge so far, here you go: 10 Secrets, 9 Loves, 8 Fears, 7 Wants, 6 places.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: 4 Books.

10 Day You Challenge – Six Places

10 day You Challenge

 

 

Alrighty, now that I have a bit more free time back in my schedule since Ironman Whistler is over, I’m going to continue the 10 Day You Challenge. :)

If you want to read the others you can here: 10 Secrets, 9 Loves, 8 Fears, 7 Wants.

Today is 6 places.

Costa Rica – It’s the first country that I traveled to outside of the U.S. I went as a foreign exchange student when I was 12. One of the coolest experiences of my life. Fell “in love” (you know 12yr old love) with a cute Costa Rican and we wrote love letters back and forth for awhile. Went White Water Rafting. Went zip lining through the rain forest. And was immersed in a language that I only knew the basics of. It was pretty cool.

costa rica

Spain – It’s the country I’ve traveled to the most. 5x. I LOVE Spain. My favorite city is Valencia. It’s right on the beach and it’s beautiful.

valencia spain

Milwaukee – It’s where I was born. I’m a total cheesehead and Packers fan. I love cheese, beer, and brats. And growing up in a place where I could ride my bike to the local pool and not worry about cars or anything else dangerous for that matter. I had a big front yard and a big back yard to play in. I grew up practically right on Lake Michigan which gave me my appreciation for water.

milwaukee wisconsin

Australia – It’s the country I want to visit the most next, but I definitely will need at least 2 weeks to explore it because it’s so big and there’s so much to see!

australia

San Diego – It was my dream to live here one day and I made it happen. :) It was the best decision I have ever made. This place makes me happy.

Sunset at Ocean Beach San Diego

Sweden – This is where my roots are. I still have relatives over there and I hope to go to Sweden one day too and meet all of them.

sweden

The one thing all of these places have in common: WATER. There is something about being near water that puts my soul at ease and brings joy to my life. :)

Stay tuned for 5 foods tomorrow.