2014: A Summer of Adventure

By Tanya

The summer of 2014 has certainly shaped up to be one of new experiences and adventures. As evidenced by the lack of new blog posts, we Sole Sisters have been hitting the road this summer.

Carissa and Jodi have both traveled across the U.S. on family vacations, and in true Sole Sister fashion, running, swimming and hiking along the way. I have remained closer to home gearing up for my first triathlon, the Mid-Simmer Olympic Tri on August 3rd at Blue Lake Park in Portland, Oregon. I somehow convinced Carissa to do the Mid Summer Tri with me and it has been fantastic to have a training partner. Jodi wanted to join us but she had some friends who offered her a spot in the Cascade Lakes Relay on the same day. She has always wanted to run that race and couldn't pass it up so she has been training amongst her travels.

Training for this triathlon has been a fantastic experience! I have followed though on my initial plan to split my training week up into one long ride, one long run, one ride/run brick workout, and two swim/core workout days and my body has felt really good!

Carissa and I are blessed to live close enough that we can ride from my house through the city and into the beautiful countryside and back again in a 28 mile loop, which we have done quite a few times in the wee hours of the morning. There is something really special about being out in nature rolling through the countryside and back again while the city is just waking up. The more I have gotten out on my bike the more comfortable I have become and I can now truly say I love cycling.

I also have taken my swimming to the next level by participating in some open water swims hosted by Zing3 Endurance Coaching in the Willamette River. Once I had Carissa committed to the tri, I convinced her she should come to the open water swims with me.

The first swim we did, both of us were super nervous. Swimming in open water with a bunch of other people is definitely more challenging than in a pool. I got kicked in the head a few times, swallowed some delicious green water and added quite a bit of distance to my swim by my lack of sighting skills, but we powered through it. We both felt like a train wreck afterward, so we decided to go back and do it all again the next week! The next week we felt more confident and less nervous. We made it our goal to swim steady and we both made the entire 1500 meters without a hitch!

I found out that Athletes Lounge was hosting a tri training at Hagg Lake where you swim 300 yards, bike 10 miles, and run 2 miles on a trail. Carissa was out of town that day and I was hesitant to do it on my own, but I knew that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I went out there by myself and just did it.  Boy am I glad I did!

I felt pretty confident going into the swim but was surprised by how challenging it was. I think it is because it was such a short distance that I didn't really have time to settle into a good rhythm. I was nervous about the biking portion because I have never ridden in a crowd before, but I actually had a blast on the bike!

Another guy and I had a back and forth battle on the hills.  I was better on the ups and he was better on the downs. As we pulled into the running transition area, he shouted to me "You may have beat me on the bike, but see if you can catch me on the run!"

I am not one to shrink to a challenge, so I set off with a mission, however, the trail did me in. I have not run on a trail for over two years and this was definitely a rough forest trail. A little of the way in I slightly rolled my ankle, and I knew I had to be a bit cautious on it for the remainder of the trail. I ran my best and ended with a strong sprint to the finish and a pretty good overall time. My ankle hurt for a few days after the race but overall my body felt great!

So here we are less than one week from the big event. Carissa and I went out to swim at Blue Lake today and unfortunately we could only swim within the public swim area, which happened to be 3 feet at the deepest and filled to the brim with kids and families. We did a few short laps and were able to get a feel for the water, but mostly we just got practice sighting by trying to avoid bumping into parents or getting jumped on by children. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day and fun to be scoping out the course.

Jodi gets back from vacation just in time to hit the road for her big relay race as well. I'm sure we will all have plenty to write about in the upcoming weeks. Never a dull moment and never short on adventure. True Sole Sister Style!


  1. Go Tanya Go!!!!! You are going to be amazing. (You too C!)

  2. Wow Tanya you ARE amazing! Thanks for being a great inspiration.

    1. Yeah, you're one to talk Cheryl. You are my inspiration!

  3. Good to hear from you guys again! Tanya, I can't wait to hear how it goes for you. I'm sure it will be awesome! :)

    1. Thanks Claire! It's good to be back. I am so excited to have found something my body likes. I'm super excited to tri it for real!