Athlete Profile: Taylor Seavey - Off-road Resume

Two years ago off-road triathlete Taylor Seavey borrowed his mom's mountain bike so he could compete in his first sprint triathlon, the Polar Bear Pink Cheeks Triathlon in his hometown of Seward, Alaska.

Though Seavey grew up living in a yurt and being homeschooled, he'd been swimming competitively with the high school swim team for two years. Ready for a challenge, Seavey signed up for the tri with about three weeks to prepare. The Polar Bear Pink Cheeks Triathlon is a reverse tri, with athletes running 5K, biking 10K (mountain bikes recommended) and finishing with a 900-meter pool swim.

"That morning I was pretty nervous because I'd just started biking and running two weeks before the race," says Seavey. Determined to have fun, he used his nerves and went for it, taking eighth place overall and beating his swim coach. "I was like, 'Whoa, this is awesome, I wanna do more!'” he says.
Solid choice. Now, two years later, Seavey, his parents and the family dog Buffet, are on a six-month training and racing RV trip, touring the western U.S. via eleven events in six states.

For the last year, Seavey's worked with Amber Monforte and Conrad Stoltz of Stoltz Racing. He calls Monforte the Torturer (read his post here). They communicate weekly via e-mail and she writes his weekly workouts. This April, Seavey, his dad, Monforte and Stoltz met up in Reno for a mountain bike training ride. In his post, Seavey says Stoltz (3x Xterra World Champion known as the Caveman) pretty much rides the trails like he's on a dirt bike instead of a regular mountain bike.

"My racing performance has improved a lot since being coached by Amber and Conrad," says Seavey. "I’m now finishing much stronger than I was last year and I can push harder during races without going over the edge."

When the time is right, Seavey hopes to turn his frequent podium performances as an age-grouper into a pro career. "I would like to build up to being one of the top amateurs especially in off-road triathlons before going pro so I'm not in a big hurry," he says. (Learn more about the elite qualification process here.)

His other life-goal—to enjoy life as much as possible each day! "If I wasn’t a triathlete and I wanted to be active I would probably be swimming one day, then biking or running the other," Seavey says.

He also loves snowboarding, snowmachining and camping, but someone else better reel-in dinner. "I'm not a very good fisherman, I have a tough time trying to catch fish!" he says. And, when he was younger, he wasn't that interested in his wild backyard stomping grounds, but he loved to escape through reading.

Seavey and I share similar tastes in TV (24) and movies (Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Avatar). And then there's music—it takes me a second to catch up with Seavey's confident humor. For favorite music on his blogger profile, he writes, "Let me think ...."

When Seavey was seven months old his parents noticed he wasn't responding to their voices or other sounds. "My dad even did his own test of starting and running a chainsaw behind me to see if it scared me," he says. "But apparently I ignored him haha." Last time his hearing was tested Seavey was 98 percent deaf.

On race day Seavey wears a tri suit with the word deaf written on the back. "In training it’s usually not necessary to have those marks because my Dad is along for the ride or run too," he says. "Earlier this season at the Lavaman Triathlon, during a dicey section of the bike course involving a sharp corner and a speed bump, volunteers were warning me about the speed bump but I didn’t hear them or see the speed bump. Consequently, I went flying over the handlebars of my tri bike. Fortunately nothing was broken, I was more concerned about my bike and I apologized to it! Then I was able to get back on and finish."

- Turn to p. 56 of the July issue of Triathlete Magazine for a feature on Seavey.
"I felt very honored to be interviewed by Triathlete Magazine," says Seavey. "I’m happy to help people see that they can do anything once they set their mind and especially heart into it."
See pictures from his photo shoot here. Preview the digital issue of Triathlete and enjoy Seavey's feature here.

- "As the only deaf person in Seward my parents decided to teach me English rather than ASL, meaning that I sign pretty much how hearing people speak rather than in American Sign Language," Seavey says.

- Alaskan triathletes race most between May and August, when the weather is more cooperative. "In December I did one winter triathlon in Palmer, a little bit north of Anchorage, and it was a fun race," says Seavey. "I did it on my mountain bike with studded tires on icy roads and it was a frosty five degrees below zero F."

photos used with permission from Seavey

Questions for You
- Is Alaska on your list of must-sees? Thanks to my parents, I visited Alaska in 2009, with stops in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. This is my picture of Glacier Bay—it was incredible.
- RV experience? Growing up I loved touring parts of the U.S. from N.Y.C. to Yellowstone in our family Winnebago. The Winnie burned down when I was almost 16 on our way to the Magic Kingdom!
- How long did you train for your first triathlon?
Thanks Taylor for the interviews and for your patience and willingness to be featured! I hope my three sons grow up with a similar sense of confidence, humor and solid ground beneath their feet. Best wishes to you!

Truitt's 1st Swim Meet!

- Swimmer's hair.
- Spaghettios.Boiled eggs. Puppychow.
- "Go! Go! Go!"

This weekend our son Truitt competed in his first swim meet! Ken and I volunteered (timer, concessions) and chased our other kids around while enjoying our first swim meet experience.

- The youngest swimmers were adorable. So tiny! And great swimmers.
- The teen swimmers were fluid works of art. The events were easy to watch, gorgeous swimming.
- The inside pool venue was hot and muggy! Next time I'll wear a tank top for sure. I'm hoping the warm, moist air was beneficial for my awful cold and cough?
We're proud of our little swimmer! Go Sharks!

Questions for You:
- Did you compete on a swim team growing up? Or do you now?
- What's your favorite age or event to watch?
- Favorite swim team cheer?
photos by us

A Sparkle Skirt Pick-Me-Up!

It was pure fun writing about off-road triathlete Carrie Lundell in my lastest athlete profile "Offroad Family Adventures & Sparkle Skirts!" Can you imagine running six miles within your neighborhood cul de sac? Sometimes a little Sparkle helps you do big things!

After learning more about Lundell and her Team Sparkle teammates I had to have a Team Sparkle skirt of my own! I bought a green one.

From Team Sparkle's web site I liked knowing "when you purchase a sparkle skirt, you join Team Sparkle. A group of women who understand YOU and who YOU are. While wearing your sparkle skirt, not only will your family & friends be able to spot you a mile away, you will (literally!) receive compliments galore, and you will have the confidence that comes with knowing you have Team Sparkle, a collective group of women in all ages, shapes, size & ability, 'at your back.'”

The skirt arrived today—happiness in a priority-box mailer! I love my new skirt—it's beautiful and FUN! For me it was a well-timed pick-me-up as I've been sick all week and I've missed multiple workouts. I can't wait to test it out!

Find out more about Lundell and her creative gifts showcased on her blog and about Team Sparkle in the profile. Go Carrie!

photo credits by me: My good camera is not available, but even with the semi-broken camera, the green skirt sparkles (with poor lighting) on the stairs, or outside on my front walk.

Athlete Profile: Carrie Lundell - Offroad Family Adventures & Sparkle Skirts!

"F***'n AWESOME!" That's what off-road mama Carrie Lundell heard after going endo during her first XTERRA triathlon!

"I guess if you're going to crash, you might as well make it a good one," she wrote in a post-race update. Lundell bit it five miles into the bike segment of the XTERRA Real Triathlon in Granite Bay, Calif., (2009 course .5-mile swim, 13-mile bike, 4-mile run). She finished her first tri in 2:36:19 while earning an unexpected but memorable trophy!

Race day flies by especially with a strong cheering section. Lundell, a former cheerleader, calls her kids her best cheerleaders. "Nothing makes me push harder than when I see them at the side of the course holding up their signs that say "go mommy!" she says. And when you see on your daughter's school work that their 'favorite athlete' is 'mom'—it makes it even sweeter when I can bring home a little trophy for our home, she says. (Lundell's won two age-group awards in 2010.)

Mountain biking and triathlon is a family thing for the Lundells.
With Grandma's help with the kids, Lundell and her husband raced together for the first time this year, though they missed their cheering section! For more race time, they're rotating racing and cheering through a summer mountain-bike series. And their oldest daughter completed her first duathlon this summer and can't wait to finish her first triathlon!

"It's nice to have a common interest; a way to spend our time together besides going out to dinner and a movie," she says. "And because we both do it, we know what it's like to have to put in the time training for a race. It makes it easier for us to help each other carve out that training time in our family life. Also, it's always easy to buy gifts for each other."

Lundell and her husband picked up mountain biking after moving to California from New York City. She began running to help her mountain bike endurance and then thanks to her niece's encouragement she added swimming to the mix.

"In high school I was a (gasp) cheerleader," she says. "That was the extent of my 'sports' involvement. Which just goes to show you, it's never too late to become an athlete. I can't imagine my life without active sports now."

She also discovered "working out" sucks, but training for an event is awesome. "Setting a physical goal for yourself like running a 5K or competing in your first triathlon will bring you much more joy, satisfaction and lasting lifestyle change than a goal that has to do with dress size or pounds lost," Lundell says. "Adopting an active lifestyle not only changes your body, making it stronger, it has the ability to change your emotions and your soul."

When Lundell realized this she used her passion to encourage others, organizing a "Give it a Try-athlon" for 19 women (ages 18-65) from her church. She helped these ladies train for three months and then tearily witnessed their lives changed as they all crossed the finish line on race day, she says.

Also, I can't say enough about having good training companions," says Lundell. "It is so much more fun (and easy to get out the door) if you have someone to train with. And it's also a lot of fun to have friends to race with too."

Within her blog This Mama Makes Stuff, this talented triathlete offers readers all sorts of amazing !!! creative resources including:
- art lessons: value, color, texture, basically each of the seven elements of art (new to me!)
- refashions: quilts and shirts turn into skirts, skirts turn into dresses and bedsheets transform into gorgeous pieces!
- tutorials: headbands, slim slacks, twirly skirts, butterfly wings, homemade vanilla and more.

To carve out creative workout time, Lundell's uses family-friendly tools like the jogging stroller and family-friendly training locations like the neighborhood cul de sac or HS track. "I've also done mountain bike training rides pulling kids in the trailer," she says. "I consider these types of training sessions to be strength training as well as endurance."

She heads to the local high school track for speed workouts and lets the kids play on the field while she runs around the track. And, when she needs to stick closer to home, Lundell's neighbor figured out that eight laps around their cul de sac equals one mile.

"As a last resort I can get my run in circling the cul de sac while the kids play out front with the neighbor kids," she says.

"I once ran six miles just in the cul de sac," Lundell says.
It's easy to spot Lundell on race day—she sparkles! Team Sparkle began with a simple skirt Lundell made her daughter to wear during a family mountain bike event. "I could see her coming down the trail a mile away with the way she sparkled in the sun," says Lundell. And so she made sparkly skirts for herself and two girlfriends to wear at the Huntington Beach Surf City Marathon, making it easy for family members to spot them along the course.

"During our race, we got hundreds of comments and compliments about our skirts," she says. "People would cheer for us just because of our skirts. We all realized during that race, we had something special going on with these running skirts. A couple of weeks later, Team Sparkle was born."

The company is not only about the skirts—it is about inspiring women to push themselves to their physical limits whether that means running your first 5K or taking the plunge to try your first Ultra, she says.

"It is really amazing the confidence you feel when you're wearing a Team Sparkle skirt," she says. "You know you are part of something bigger than yourself. You get love from the crowd and you want to make the 'team' proud."

Lundell and fellow Team Sparkle triathletes made quite an impression at the Renegade Off Road Triathlon. Lundell took second (AG), her friend Kelly took third (AG) and friends Brenna and Elise took first and second in their agegroups. The overall first-place woman purchased her first Sparkle skirt the next morning! Go Team Sparkle!

Team Sparkle also showed up at The Relay, a running event challenging teams of 12 to cover 200 miles in 36 hours through 36 cities. Team Sparkle added fancy socks to pump up the fun of this extended experience. Awesome photo here!

Carrie: Specialized Safire, purchased after her Santa Cruz Juliana got crushed in a rear-end back-rack collision. She also loves her old Schwinn beach cruiser with baby seat and basket for riding around town.
Todd: Santa Cruz Blur LT Carbon, Specialized Epic, a Trek commuter bike and a unicycle!
The kids: 4 & 7 year-olds have Specialized Hotrocks, a hand-me-down beach cruiser and garage sale vintage Schwinn cruiser with banana seat. The youngest has a Strider Balance bike.
Family: Chariot Bike trailer and a third wheel.

"My husband LOVES to research bikes," says Lundell. "He puts together complex Excel spreadsheets before making a purchase. Needless to say, we have a lot of bikes. Sometimes I think it's way too many. But, it's what our family loves to do together, it's what keeps us in shape & gets us outside—that makes the investment worthwhile."

Learn more about Lundell and her family here. And later this year, Lundell will have to update that family profile, as they are excited to meet and greet another baby! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

Questions for You:
- What helps you spot your athlete on race day?
- What's your flavor: Traditional tri or off-road?
- What family-friendly training tip can you add?

p.s. I ordered a Team Sparkle skirt in green. Pictures to come!

photos contributed by Carrie Lundell.

Lake Mills Sprint Tri 2010: 2nd Athena!

Last weekend I was happy to compete in my first sprint tri of the season. Yippee!!!

The Lake Mills Triathlon is a .25-mile swim, 16-mile bike and 3.2-mile run. It's the first of three local sprint triathlons included in the Wisconsin Triathlon Series. The weather was cool (low fifties) and fortunately the rain held.

This was the third time I've done Lake Mills (2005 mom of two, 2008 new mom of three). The bike segment was new, same distance (16 miles) but was a new route due to construction.

Results 2005, 2008, 2010:
Swim: 14:22, T1: 3:16, Bike: 57:31 (15.65), T2: 1:11, Run: 35:17 (11:02/mile)
overall 1:51:35

2008: Swim: 12:18, T1: 2:55, Bike: 54:21 (17.6 ), T2: 1:02, Run: 35:39 (11:08/mile)
overall 1:46:12

2010: Swim: 11:21, T1: 1:45, Bike: 56:02 (17.1), T2: 1:03, Run: 30:48 (9:37/mile)
overall 1:40:57, 2nd place Athena Division! :-)

Race Day Notes & Thoughts:
prerace - : I left my sunglasses in the car. Ken went to get them while I juggled holding my youngest who was having a tantrum while my middle son had to pee. Not ideal pre-race bubble of calm!
prerace + : Someone pointed out a park bathroom with real toilets, so I skipped the super long port-a-potty line and traded up for a real bathroom trip pre-race.

Swim: The water was warm and choppy. The air was colder than the water, so I hung out in the lake after my warm-up. They combined the Clydesdales & Athenas in Wave 9. My mom noticed I picked a fine group of athletes to line up behind. (picture: me in pink goggles) I hit the beach around 10:30, though I didn't cross the timing mat until after 11 minutes. I was hoping to be under 10 minutes, but I had issues swimming straight on the way in... Ken was annoyed watching from shore & took this picture (above) to show how far off I was. That splash all by itself to the left side is me. I started off well, even with crazy arm (picture above), I managed to sight OK in the beginning of the swim.

T1: Great transition spot and I was happy to cut time over my T1s in 2005 and 2008.

Bike: I have zero bike pictures. Ken didn't recognize me each time I came through transition and with three kids along, he was busy. My sister saw me each time. Thanks Sue & family for coming! I heard your voice several times! The bike felt good. I was hoping to average closer to 18 mph, even though it was a new route, so I was a little bummed to get ~17mph.

T2: One second slower!!!
Run: I chased down another Athena during the second half of the run. I didn't know how many other Athenas were ahead of me, but I wanted to pass her. I wasn't sure if she'd have a big kick in the last 1.5 miles and push my pace, so when I passed I tried to give a little, "there's no way you'll pass me back" attitude. I didn't say anything or make any motions, but I imagined speaking those words in a loud voice as I ran by while using rock-solid form.
I did try to stay in the moment during the bike and run. I was thrilled to cut almost five minutes off my run time, especially good since I've focused the least on the run segment itself. Dustin Maher's bootcamp workouts + Jessi Stensland's MovementU both helped me improve, especially glute bridges, partner chariots, step-ups and rapid response. My swim coaches Katie & Nick are amazing. I love Thursday morning Fun Club.
After the race Ken commented on how my body type has changed. He said he was looking for a different shape on the bike and run segments and that's how he missed taking my picture.
See photos above: me with dark short hair & pink hat/top at Lake Mills 2008 and me in blue outfit at Lake Mills 2010. I was very happy to be racing BOTH years!
I was THRILLED to receive my first award. Last year I took third at Devil's Challenge in Athena, but I didn't know it, and left race site not knowing I'd won. This year at Lake Mills I took 2nd in Athena (At this event Athena Division means I weigh 145+ pounds. It's the athlete's choice to register as an Age-grouper or as an Athena).
When I walked up to get my plaque the announcer said, "Look at that smile, she is SO excited to win an award!" And I was! I was surprised how nonchalant or uncomfortable most other award winners were. Actually many of the athletes who won, win all summer long. Amazing athletes!!
But for me it was a good reminder to celebrate!
To smile and be happy, to enjoy this simple sport that brings me joy.
It's funny how something so basic can be the hardest part of my finish-line experience. I'd rather hit "stop" and review the ways I could save time or frown and wonder where I'd place if I registered as an agegrouper. JOY stealers!!!!

Be careful people. Protect your race-day experience! There is value there, no matter what, even with a DNF. (2x for me, another post.)
It reminds me of this clip:

It's tradition in our family to bite the medal post-race. Most triathlons now give tech t's instead of medals, so I bit my award.
Photos by Ken, my hubby. Thanks!

Other tidbits:
- Someone lost their bike seat and rode 4 miles without it! Race support found it on the course.
- Someone crushed a small rabbit with their bike tire... ew.
- I dropped my water bottle by mistake, first time during an event.
Questions for You:
- When is your next race?
- What did you feel like winning an award?
- What's the first thing you think of post-finish?

Athlete Profile: Cheryl Jestis - A New Race: Cancer + 1st Triathlon!

It’s common to toss and turn the night before your first triathlon. You’re either too excited or too nervous to rest well, but hours later you step out bed and get it done, eventually crossing a finish line—and life goes on.

Unfortunately it wasn’t nerves or adrenaline messing with Cheryl Jestis’ pre-race slumber—it was something with a bigger kick. Jestis needed more than rest, she required a cure.

Two days before her first triathlon Jestis learned the lump on her shoulder blade was cancer, changing the type and scope of the new race waiting for her. The Champaign MiniTri was now small potatoes.
After deciding to go through with the tri, she didn’t spend much time thinking about it. “I would love to say I spent that night having some deeply spiritual experience or that I prayed all through the night to the only one would could make a difference,” says Jestis. And while she did pray a little, she thought most about life. “I stared at the ceiling a lot. Then I stared at the wall. Eventually I stared at the ceiling again, then the other wall.”

Between periods of numbness and denial, Jestis came to two conclusions. “I decided for me the only things that mattered were my relationship with God and my relationship with others,” she says. The predominate thought that night was, “I can’t leave my daughters. My husband can’t do it without me. It’s not acceptable therefore I will not accept it,” she says.

After maybe two hours of rest, Jestis got out bed for the big race.
“I have to admit, once I got there and I got into the training I was SO glad to be there. Three years of dreaming and months of training led to this day,” she says.
In the minutes before the race Jestis chose to forget awhile about the diagnosis and what that might mean and simply run her race. That’s when Hebrews 12:1 came to mind, she says. “I needed to ‘throw off everything that hinders’ and ‘run the race marked out for me with perseverance,’” says Jestis.

The Champaign MiniTri was a reverse tri, so Jestis swam first, a 400-meter pool swim, followed by a six-mile bike and two-mile run.

Race day went well. The swim was fun and easy, a nice warm-up for the bike says Jestis. She wanted to take it easy on the bike and save her legs for the run but says once she got on the bike her competitive juices kicked in and she pretty much went all out.

After T2, her sister Vicky and friend Suzi jumped in running behind Jestis for part of the run course. The women realized how symbolic this bandit-running role was post-race.

“I was running out in front and they were there right behind me representing the many that would support me through the cancer and its treatments in the coming months,” she says. The bandits took off, letting Jestis drive toward the finish. “That part I had to do alone and I ran with all I had. I summoned every ounce of strength and emotion I had left and poured it all out on the last stretch of pavement. I crossed the finish line. I survived!” Jestis took sixth in her age-group, well done!

Jestis' friends and family surrounded her at the finish. “Steve, Emily, Kelsey, Mark, Rusty, Vicki, Tony, Suzi, David and Aaron were all there to support me, encourage me, cheer for me, photograph the event and celebrate endurance when it was over,” she says. “These same people and many more did the same thing for me in my race with cancer.”

“This mini-triathlon is symbolic of the new race I'm in—my race to victory over cancer. I’ve trained for it physically, I don't particularly want to be in this race, but I'll run it with all I've got and I am so blessed knowing I have TONS of bandit runners along with me. I look forward to the day when we stand and celebrate together, blissfully exhausted, with the finish line behind and a future ahead!" she says.

7-4-09 Her sister Vicki noticed a bump on Jestis' left scapula. She mentioned the bump to her doctor that week at her annual physical. To be safe the doctor sent her for x-rays that day and scheduled an MRI for after Jestis' vacation. Cheryl and her family went to San Diego (the birthplace of U.S. triathlon) and had the best vacation of their lives. She ran around Mission Bay each morning while watching the sunrise.
7-30-09 MRI followed by a phone call. The doctor seemed certain it was cancer.
7-31-09 Jestis read the MRI report. “When I read this report I wanted to throw up,” she says. “I learned there was one very large mass, another large mass and possibly a third (or maybe it was an extension of the first, they couldn't tell). There were several other smaller ones around the large ones. They could not tell if there was bony involvement but there was definite stranding with other tissue. In addition to that lots of medical terminology I didn't understand. That was a most difficult day but God had friends and family members positioned strategically in the exact times and places to give me the support I so desperately needed.”
8-1-09 Champaign Mini Triathlon.
8-22-09 Grade 3 Follicular Lymphoma. Stage II This is a Non-Hodgkins B-cell slow growing form of lymphoma. Started treatments. During treatments Jestis ran the Woolyworm 5K. She was frustrated because she had to walk some that day. “It was tough to know I was losing ground to chemo,” she says.
1-12-10 Last radiation treatment.
3-31-10 Cancer free day.
Cheryl Jestis lost 100 pounds before becoming a triathlete! Motivated by the early deaths of her parents and in-laws, Jestis lost the weight over five years through a combination of healthy eating, strong relationships and exercise. Stay tuned for more about Jestis and this aspect of her fitness experience!

$100 Winner!
After reading hundreds of amazing stories, recently chose Jestis’ entry as winner of its “Favorite Active Experience” contest. Read Jestis’ inspirational entry and the 35-plus reader responses here.

“I was shocked when I got the facebook message from telling me I’d won!” says Jestis. She reads’s facebook posts almost every day and frequently reads articles on many different topics. Jestis put the gift card to good use—she bought new running shoes. Congratulations Cheryl!

Jestis' Favorite Quotes, Verses & Songs

  • "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” ~unknown,
  • “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden,
  • “Live in day-tight compartments.” ~Dale Carnegie,
  • “He has turned your walls into a platform.” ~Molly Jones,
  • “Adjust your attitude, adjust your pace, adjust your face.” ~Cheryl Jestis,
  • “This is the last hill.” ~Rusty Van Rheeden (and especially fond of this version from Rusty, just before my first chemo treatment, “I don’t suppose you’d believe me if I told you this is the last hill.”
  • Hebrews 12:1 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
  • Matthew 22:37-40 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
  • Mandisa’s songs "God Speaking" and "Broken Hallelujah" are special to Jestis. She heard Mandisa perform both songs live at a Women of Faith conference shortly after her diagnosis.

Photos: taken by Jestis' friends and family.

Questions for You:
- How long did you dream of becoming a triathlete?
- What's the least amount of sleep you've gotten pre-race?
- Have you seen bandit athletes in an event?

**Thanks Cheryl for the interview! I hope you'll have more chances to Tell Your Story!

Dragonfly Eggs, OWS & Trail Running

Last week we went to my inlaws' "farm" -- FUN time including:
- An open water swim with my husband. Parts of the lake were weedy, creating a kelp-like forest to swim through or across. It reminded me of past vacations to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and to the Seattle Aquarium. Sea Otters are the cutest!

- While the kids splashed around in the pond/mud, I took dragonfly pictures. One dragonfly was pulsing/dipping her tail into the water and laying eggs. My camera has a delay, but it was fun to watch. In the second picture on the top row you can see her body is vertical and touching the pond. I think the dragonfly in the second picture on the bottom row looks like an x-wing starfighter.

- Then, while on a trail run I saw my favorite dragonfly--the big one (see picture bottom left). In April one year this dragonfly hung out by our dryer vent for a few days. I thought it was dead or frozen, but two days later it flew away! Two weeks ago my toddler and I saw another one at the park near our house. I saw one by the pond too, but couldn't catch it with my camera.
I saw the dragonfly near this area of the farm, though this photo was taken in the fall, it's one of my favorite sections to walk, run, jog through with a combination of pines and sand.

- Other dragonflies at the pond.

- Ken with our toddler riding the 4-wheeler (he was going slow, but it made me nervous.)

Questions for You:
- What insect do you like?
- How do you feel about swimming through, on and around weeds?
photos by me