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a half marathon happened

When Layla and I get together -- like we did for the SeaWheeze half marathon in Vancouver earlier this month -- hilarity ensues.

Dear Vancouver: You were warned.

It's like we forget how to be adults.

Absolutely play with your food.

And pose with taxidermy.

Wait, it gets so much better. Better than you ever thought possible. In fact, the Best Thing Ever.


Dear Asian cosmetics store that convinced us to buy these masks age-defying beauty treatments that allow us to live our dream of being in the cast of "Cats": Thank you. (Although maybe being in "Cats" was entirely my dream and not Layla's. Dear Layla: Thank you for supporting my dream. You are a good friend. And now there is a scary photo of us on the internet forever.)

Oh, and the race? That was fun too. Yes, we waited in line for three hours to get into the expo store and then promptly proceeded to lose our minds and start grabbing everything in sight. But in the end we were rational, narrowed down our purchases and avoided being in debt for the next 20 years due to Luxtreme.

Spotted: The fine line between entrepreneurial and insane.

Shenanigans and shopping aside, the race itself was great -- a lot better than I expected. We all know I've been struggling with motivation when it comes to running. (I can ride my bike all day, every day, but lately with running, I'll do everything possible to come up with excuses. I've actually started running point-to-point routes and taking the Nice Ride bikeshare home because biking has become how I reward myself for slogging through a run.)

Meanwhile, Layla was recovering from an achilles injury. We didn't have high hopes, so we seeded ourselves with the 2:20 pace group. Our plan was to start together and then see what happened -- no pressure to stay together. (Because we're chill and well-adjusted like that.)

At the starting line!

Yet somehow -- I've never done this with anyone ever -- we ran every single step of the race together. The only times we got separated were at the aid stations, but then we always found each other afterward. Both of us finished in exactly 2:13:17. (Feel free to interpret this as a metaphor of our deep and profound friendship.)

And then we took photos with towels on our heads because that's the sort of thing we do. (Again: Friendship.)

Other thoughts on the race: Grab your girl friends and sign up. SeaWheeze is well-organized, the course is pretty (a few little hills -- nice change from the Midwest), the crowd support is awesome and the swag is good (shorts!). But know that the course is long (my Garmin said 13.45), the lines can try your patience (getting the post-race breakfast was insane) and some of the aid stations this year had people dressed in nude full-body leotards jumping around and cheering and it was really scary and I could barely handle it because nude full-body leotards.

However, at Mile 12, there was a man with a sign that said "Think Happy Thoughts," and I may or may not have said "Penis!"


Since SeaWheeze is a lululemon event, there was also a lot of yoga.

I didn't participate; I just took awkward photos of a sea of strangers' butts. 

recent conversation

Me: So if these crackers are called Partners and you are my partner, does this mean I can call you --

The mister: No. Just no.

not your average bike race

You know when something is so awesome you want everyone you like to experience it too? (Meanwhile, the people you don't like can learn about it, only they find out too late, after the event has already sold out, so they stare wistfully at their computer screens while a loud "WOMP WOMP" plays in the background.) That's how I feel about the Urban Assault Ride -- a wacky bike event that's part "Amazing Race," part obstacle course and designed to get you outside, exploring urban trails and learning about the city you live in.

Seriously, it is so much fun.

The mister and I saddled up yesterday to compete as Team Tubby Sharks. (Backstory: He's had a fat stuffed shark named Shark Dog since college. And I had the same exact shark growing up, so clearly it's fate we're together. Only he's a better shark parent than I am, since I have no idea where my shark is now and I periodically text my mom and ask her to look for it, and then she ignores my texts. I have a strong suspicion she's donated my shark to Goodwill. I also have a strong suspicion I may get in trouble for telling the whole world about my boyfriend's stuffed animal.)

Shark Dog is locked and loaded.

The event started at Surly Brewing, and there were five regular checkpoints with challenges (everything from puzzles to obstacles to jumping in a pool with all your clothes on) and two "mystery stops." (You had to solve an anagram to find the first mystery stop, and once you got there, they gave you the clue for the second mystery stop, which was a photo of a tower -- you had to figure out what the tower was and where it was located, and then bike there.)

I was excited to unearth my commuter bike (whose name is Maude and who has been sadly neglected for years and years) and not wear spandex for once. Shark Dog was excited to make new friends.

Here we are at the first checkpoint!

And the mister was excited about our detour to the new Vikings stadium. 

Gorgeous, isn't it? Plus I ate a hot dog while we were there. Because why not preview the food too, right? (Don't worry -- I'm still a Niners fan.)

Then it was off to the first mystery stop at First Avenue ...

... followed by some skateboard bowling at another checkpoint ...

... and some slingshot action. (Note: They make you wear your helmet the whole time, even when you're not on the bike. Clearly, they know how clumsy I am.)

Isn't this a really attractive pose?

My favorite challenge was the paperboy route -- the mister rode in circles and threw newspapers at me, and I had to catch three of them in a plastic USPS box. Super fun and ridiculous.

The event finished back at Surly, with a big wheel ride.

And then everyone got two beer tickets. I gave mine to Shark Dog since I'm a glutard.

"Mmm. Surly Hell is delicious!"

And then we hung out, ate food truck fare and rode mini bikes.

This is way more difficult than it looks.
An awesome way to spend the morning!

return to my roots

Before I was mediocre at triathlon, I was mediocre at ballet.

And I loved it. I loved the discipline, the technique, the pianist playing in the corner, the French words, the counting to eight and then counting to eight again and again. And even though I knew I'd never have the right feet and I'd started too late to ever be on pointe, I still spent most of my free time every summer in ballet class.

And now, 18 years later, I've finally gone back. I took a beginning ballet class tonight at the Minnesota Dance Theatre & School.

It felt good to put these shoes on again. (I can't believe I actually still have them.) And the pianist played the "Star Wars" theme when we did grand battement at the barre. 

And look at how beautiful this studio is: 

I didn't care that I have pretty much zero flexibility now and that my saute is like maybe a centimeter off the ground (the teacher actually yelled "Jump higher!" at me) and that fondue really just makes me think of cheese. It simply felt wonderful to be there again.