Iron Girl Triathlon Recap: Cleremont 2013

I am not sure how in the world I forgot to recap this race, but I did! Bad Jenny. BAD BAD BAD!!

The race was held the last weekend in September so I'm going to do the best that I can to remember what happened oh 4 months ago. Surprised

I was excited to do this race. I had several buddies from CrossFit doing it (and for two of them it was their FIRST tri ever) and I had Denise, Chrissy, Megan, there as well.

This wasn't my first triathlon, but it was my first one of 2013!

Denise, Chrissy and I went up the day before the tri so we wouldn't have to worry about driving up in the wee hours of the morning. We wanted to make sure we were well rested!

The Cleremont course also promised hills, so we wanted to drive the course and see what we were up against.

After packet pick-up and the "expo" (which really for expo standards, was quite lame) we grabbed the map and off we went.

Yes there were hills. The largest hill was up Jalarmy Road. It looked steep but I had no idea how steep until I actually tried to ride up it on my Trek!

Photos courtesy of Denise is Run DMT

We also got a peek at Lake Minneola. I wasn't concerned about the lake swim at all, and thought that it looked like a pretty decent swim course.

It was the run that I was most worried about, so I knew the swim and the bike would have to be my saving grace for this race.

As we were walking to put our bikes in transition, I was checking out the swim! 

Throughout the course of the summer I had been cycling and rowing. I swam twice, and ran a handful of times. But cycling was really the only activity I had been doing in addition to my normal CrossFit workouts.

We had a carb loading dinner at the Olive Garden, and went to bed at a decent hour!

Our alarm went off, we changed, grabbed breakfast and headed down to the course which was only a few miles from our hotel.

We were there before the sun went up! Thankfully I had an extra Polar shirt to keep on over my tri suit!

My age group was set to be the second group in the water at 7:33am. I was ready. Again, I knew I'd have to do well on the swim and the bike to feel like I had accomplished what I set out to do.

The swim was GREAT. I went in the front to the far right side and when we were ready to go, off I went. I veered off course just a tad, but overall it didn't impact me at all. I finished the 1/2 mile swim in 18:26, made it through transition in 3:09, changed into my shoes, put on my helmet, and off I went.

The bike course was GREAT. This is where I made up a lot of time. I was passing riders and feeling really strong. I even managed to tackle those hills. I also realized that I need to have my bike adjusted. I mean, I already KNEW that I needed a tune-up and had mentioned it to Denise on several of our rides, but did I do it. No. I could have done better on the bike course if my bike had been properly tuned.

It was a beautiful course (no photos...I forgot my phone charger, so it died very early on) and I finished in 48:52. Again through the transition and dreading the run. I got off the bike feeling strong. Changed shoes, took off my helmet, put on my visor and I started off.

I didn't make it far before that dang right piriformis muscle started bothering me. I wogged for as long as I could, and I knew I'd be getting passed soon by Denise. That girl can run. And yup, right near mile 1 she came up behind me! I hollered to her "I knew you'd pass me on the run" and off she went. When I got to the mile 1 water station, I asked if I could shorten my planned 3 mile to the shorter 2 mile without being disqualified and they said yes. So I turned around and finished with the 2 mile distance.

Overall the event took me 1:41:18 and I really did love every second of it.

 

And I'm glad I got done first because it meant I could cheer Denise, Chrissy, Megan, Jen, Amanda, Renee, and Chris through the finish line! Watching them finish was inspiring.

This was a great race, well organized and super fun.

I even had people cheering me on that I didn't know!

Too bad it won't be coming back to this location in 2014. The closest race will be in Atlanta. Maybe I can go? We'll see! I know that there are several Tri's I want to do in 2014, and I really need to train the run, but it HURTS. And not the good kind of hurt. Ugh.

 

I was happy to be able to participate in this race on behalf of Polar Heart Rate monitors.

Push Away the Screen: The Blue Man Group Orlando

Haley's birthday was very blue!

Not blue because she was sad, but blue because we had the opportunity to go to Orlando and see the infamous Blue Man Group.

Our show was scheduled to begin at 6pm, so we arrived at Universal City Walk by 5pm, had some snacks and drinks, and then went to pick up our tickets at Will Call.

Walking up to the box office the #TampaTrio was getting so excited by all the colorful paint inspired signs that they were seeing!

We picked up our tickets and saw that we were in row BB. I had no idea where that was and thought maybe it was in the 28th row with A-Z being the first 26 rows, and then starting up with double letters for rows behind that.

I was wrong.

We were in the 2nd row. Which is considered the "splash zone" and they provided us with ponchos. As you can tell from the photo, they also serve food and drinks at the show. The kids each had a Churro (their favorite amusement park snack) and James and I each had an adult beverage.

The show has a very strict NO CAMERA, NO PHONES, NO SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING, so I happily turned my devices off. I was there to #pushawaythescreen, so it made it even easier to just say NO!

The show started with the BANG of drums, and didn't let up the entire time! They are more than musicians though. At one point during the early part of the show, one of the Blue Men popped open a bag of marshmallows and tossed a few ordinary marshmallows into the audience. Then,  Blue Man One takes his position about 20 feet from Blue Man Two, reaches into the bag, takes aim and arcs one right into Blue Man Two's open mouth. The feat earns a smattering of applause. But the Blue Men are just getting started. Rocking to a drum beat, Blue Man One tosses another one to Blue Man Two. And another. And another. Each marshmallow lands in Blue Man Two's mouth, with his cheeks bulging, and eyes widening! The applause turns to hoots and hollers and the audience counts along, 19, 29, 21, 22, 23.

After a pause to shove these back, he's ready for more. After 35 or so direct hits, Blue Man Two ends the ceremony by recycling the slobbery white mass as a free-form sculpture. It looks like a pile of cream cheese, but it's art.

And this is when he held it out on his hands....offering it to the audience, looking at my son Ronin as he did this.

So what do you think Ronin did?? HE CLIMBED THE STAIRS, GOT ON THE STAGE AND TOOK THE SLOBBERY SCULPTURE FROM BLUE MAN TWO'S OUTSTRETCHED HANDS!! And walked back down the stairs, smiling and laughing....so proud of the white wet masterpiece.

 

Special thanks to the Blue Man Group for taking this photo and sending it to us!

I immediately took off my poncho, met Ronin at the stairs, wrapped the sculpture in it, placed it under my seat, grabbed Ronin's hands and we quickly exited the theater to head to the bathroom.

After a hand wash, and a good laugh, we went back to head to our seats where we learned that we were locked out of the theater because the Blue Men were doing an act that couldn't be disturbed!

I understood, but Ronin did not. He was upset. Not throwing himself on the floor crying upset, but bummed out because he was missing the show. It was at this point that the Show Manager came out and asked if this was the boy who had gone on stage for the sculpture. I said "yes, this his him." And he proceeds to tell us that in the HISTORY OF THE SHOW NO ONE HAS EVER TAKEN THEM UP ON THEIR OFFER TO TAKE THE SCULPTURE.

The manager proceeds to tell us that he'd like to have our family meet some of the Blue Man Group and band members after the show, and he gives us a designated meeting spot.

Say what??? He also tells us that the sculpture is not made of marshmallows, but rather of SOMETHING ELSE!! Yuck, not that it wasn't gross enough with marshmallow, but to learn that it was something else, something secret, super gross and that he's going to send someone to pick it up from us before the show's end.

The doors re-opened and back we went to our seat. We made it through the rest of the show, and it was fantastic. The music was lively and the beat was contagious.

There was only one negative (though James considers it a positive) and that is that we did not get sprayed with paint or water, or ANYTHING! I guess that's good since I had my poncho wrapped up with a mystery substance sculpture, but the kids were pretty disappointed. They were hoping to get MESSY!

But their disappointment quickly turned to smiles! If you look closely in my hand, you can see the white mystery substance sculpture all wrapped up in my poncho!

We got to meet TWO members of the Blue Man Group, including the one who made the Marshmallow/Mystery Substance Sculpture, and he gave to Ronin a REMO DRUM HEAD THAT HE HAD USED IN THE SHOW!! 

 

We also got to meet Kevin, one of the drummers in the group and he gave the kids a quick drumming lesson. I spent the rest of the evening listening to Ella play "her sticks" on various objects throughout Universal City Walk. She's actually pretty good. She certainly has an ear for music.

Overall we all had a night that we will not soon forget! It was a great way for us to laugh together and Push Away the Screen.

 

Have you ever seen the Blue Man Group??

 

Disclaimer: Our family was provided with 5 tickets to see and review the show. All opinions are ours. 

Lake Buena Vista Resorts and Spa-Reflections Spa Review

Disclaimer: I received complimentary services. No other compensation was received. Photos and opinions are my own.

 Last Tuesday I was invited to spend a day of pampering at Reflections Spa at Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa. I received a schedule stating that check-in was at 9:45 and from 10am-11am was relaxation and meditation. I checked in, put on my robe, and went out in to the relaxing room for my hour of meditation.

For some reason I just assumed that at a Spa an hour of meditation would take on a yoga like feel, with someone leading a class so to speak. But no. We just sat in this room. With drinks, and cookies, and gossip magazines. I could not relax at all. If I had known I'd just be sitting on my own accord I would have brought a good book to read.

My first treatment was scheduled to being at 11am, but I waited an additional 30 minutes, finally being led out of the meditation room at 11:30.

I was able to pick 2 services. My first service was a 50 minute Tropical Island Massage – "This ultra luxurious full body massage captures the feel and smells of the island. Surrender your senses and release all tensions as our skilled massage therapists create a massage designed just for your unique needs." It did feel really good and I was able to relax. The oils she used on me smelled so good, I loved it!

Immediately upon finishing up my massage, my next service was ready to begin, so off I went for my first ever facial! For my 50 minute facial included a careful analysis of my skin, followed by cleansing, exfoliation and treatment mask application.  She said my skin looked good. Some sun damage, and a few blackheads, but overall it was fine. She asked if I wanted the blackheads extracted. I've never had a facial before. She told me it would hurt pretty bad. I was like "eh, whatever, go for it." Oh it hurt all right. Really bad. I had to have her stop before she was able to finish. Ouch. But she warned me! The rest of my facial was stress-free and relaxing.

With my two services completed, next on my schedule was lunch. But I couldn't eat anything but the fruit kabobs. They were good and all, but I told them of my dietary restrictions, and so all I got was fruit.

But I did grab some of those cookies for my trio.

After lunch was another hour of meditation and I was not up for that, so I changed my clothing and left, smelling of the tropics and feeling refreshed and relaxed.

I'd like to come back to Stay Sky with my family. It looks like a great place to #pushawaythescreen. With 498 lavishly furnished multi-bedroom suites, families have ACCOMMODATIONS  room to kick back, relax and feel right at home. All suites feature fully equipped kitchens, granite countertops and appliances including dishwasher, refrigerator, stove and microwave allowing guests to prepare the perfect meal before or after hitting the pool and theme parks.Suites offer two-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans and feature additional amenities including in-room washer and dryer, fully equipped kitchen with dishes and silverware, living room, dining room and outdoor balconies. Master bathrooms feature an oversized Jacuzzi tub, his/her sinks and separate walk-in shower.  It's so important when our family travels that we have control over our meals so a fridge, stove, is a MUST for us!

But really, the pool area is really high up on our list of activities and this hotel claims to have a good one!
"Spectacular, zero-entry pirate themed pool features a 61-foot long pirate shipwreck complete with towering water slide that spirals its way around the underbelly of the ship to splash in front of mom and dad. Poolside sun loungers, hammocks and Jacuzzi add to the relaxing ambiance.The pirate plunge pool is open everyday from 7 am to 10 pm.  Which is AWESOME if you have early risers like I do!

I went to Lake Buena Vista Resorts to experience Reflections Spa and want to go back for another relaxing massage and to have fun with my kids! Smile

 

Have you ever had a facial? Did you enjoy it?