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.

1 comment:

Big Daddy Diesel said...

- What helps you spot your athlete on race day?

I wear compression sleeves the whole race, even the swim, friends say it makes it easier to locate.

- What's your flavor: Traditional tri or off-road?

I do traditional, but would like to dabble in xterra at some point

- What family-friendly training tip can you add?

Just have fun and soak it all in, really thats what it is all about, having fun.