Five months ago I began training for Tri Fort Worth. Tri Fort Worth is Fort Worth’s very first Ironman and Half Ironman distance triathlons. After completing two Sprint Tri’s in 2016, I decided to take a stab at a Half. The Sprint Tri’s consist of a .5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. On the other hand, the Half is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.
I signed up again with Trident Sports, which I can’t say enough nice things about, to help me with all of the training. For this event Tracy was my coach and she is just awesome! In another week or so I’ll do a blog post that goes a little more in depth with the training, because it’s really interesting, but for now I’ll just share with you my race day experience.
The day before the race everyone had to drop off their transition bags. Our run bags (which have everything we’ll need for the run – shoes, hat, sunscreen, etc) were held at the Fort Worth Convention Center and our bike and bike bags were at Marine Creek Lake.
There are obviously a ton of expensive bikes that were left there overnight, so there was a ton of security.
On race day I woke up around 5:00, of course I didn’t sleep much, and we got to Marine Creek around 6:30. It was storming with lots of lighting in the area, so everything was delayed about an hour or so. Dad and Nathan were the BEST support team during the ride. Also, I was so excited again to see Mayor Betsy Price. I love her. She also trains with Trident and was doing the bike portion of the race today on a relay team.
Here is (almost) the whole Trident Team.
It was really exciting to see all the people getting ready for the swim. I believe there were 100 doing the Full and 500 doing the Half.
Here is a cool little clip of the first guys in the water who were doing the Full.
Here is me (not so gracefully getting out of the water).
Once out of the water, it was time to get on the bike.
Because this race was an ‘official event’ they don’t allow any electronic devices – which means no music. For some reason, the only song stuck in my head during the 56 mile ride was Country Grammar by Nelly.
I tend to forget how hilly Fort Worth is, but it definitely is!
Once the ride was done, it was time to begin the last leg – a 13.1 mile run. Yikes.
Running was by far the hardest part for me.
I’m so thankful that about half way through the run Marisol and I hooked up. She’s also apart of Team Trident and she really helped me get through the run! With about two miles left Blair also hooked up with us, who is also apart of Trident. I was so happy to have finished together with these amazing women.
Nathan was so sweet and of course as soon as I crossed the finish line I burst into tears. Almost 6 months of training finally was over and I think the exhaustion just caught up to me.
Here is a picture of me with Blair and Marisol.
Lee is a beast – this was his first Half as well and he completed it in 6.5 hours. Awesome!
I was soooooo thankful for such an awesome support group who came out on race day – I feel so blessed.
A huge shout out to my family and friends for all of their support during this whole adventure and especially Nathan. He’s been so supportive and patient during all the training, so now that it’s over, we’ll keep playing golf and tennis! I also want to thank Tracy, I couldn’t ever have trained for this without her!
For my birthday Nathan and I went to the Fort Worth Botanical Garden. The weather was gorgeous and here are a few of my favorite images!
If you haven’t had a chance yet to visit the gardens, it’s really a great way to enjoy an afternoon in Cowtown.
Last weekend Nathan and I ventured to Scarborough to the Renaissance Festival. He was a first-timer, so I was really excited to see what he thought. Mom and Dad used to take J4 and I every couple of years growing up. I always remember thinking it was funny to see mom’s students working there. Usually we’d see them around the Dan Rather Building of Communications in jeans and oversized sweat-shirts… however at the Ren Fest, her female students would typically be wenches with their boobs up to their necks. Hilarious.
For those unfortunate souls who have never been to the Renaissance Festival, you are missing out on some pretty amazing people watching… and food!
The Renaissance Festival is historically based in the 16th century, under the reign of King Henry VIII. The festival is 35 acres and located in Waxahachie, Texas. (There are other locations throughout the US.) There are 21 stages with more than 200 performances. Three jousting shows take place each day. There are about 150 cast members that make up the characters at Scarborough Renaissance Festival.
The Scarborough Renaissance Festival also features 200 shops selling goods such as candles, soaps, jewelry, children’s toys and even musical instruments. Many of the craftsmen selling their goods also provide demonstrations on how the items are made.
One of the shows we really enjoyed were the jugglers, they were so good!
Y’all know how much I love food and especially macaroni and cheese, so you can imagine my delight to have fried macaroni and cheese on a stick!
Nathan went the more traditional route and enjoyed a sausage on a stick with a side of french fries. I’m assuming all of these wonderful foods were around during the 16th century, right?
The jousting was entertaining, especially when the guys got off their horses to engage in a sword fight. It was funny, like watching bad professional wrestling. Also, please note the Grim Reaper following around this random guy.
The petting zoo was small, but fun. I want a baby goat so bad. Or a little baby piglet.
Llamas trip me out. Their underbites make me laugh so bad. I feel like this llama’s name is Francine.
Camels. I love camels. We each took a ride on a camel, it was literally only a 30 second ride, but totally worth the $5.
You probably can’t tell because it’s so small in this picture, but I am wearing a small gold camel on my necklace.
I say this all the time, but I do need to do a better job of posting my adventures on here. Life is great and I feel very blessed.
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
For this year’s second annual ski trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico, we stayed at Andrea’s house (a friend to Nathan’s parents). She has a wonderful home in the mountains that has a beautiful view. Below is the view from her back porch after a light snow. How gorgeous!
We couldn’t have asked for better weather. For our drive from Fort Worth to Ruidoso it was sunny and in the high 60s/low 70s, yet during our first night, it snowed. Everywhere you go in this area, there are deer, wild turkeys and elk. Here is a herd of elk we saw one morning by the local elementary school.
We arrived on Saturday evening and had a late dinner at Rio Grande Bar & Grille. I had a loaded baked potato.
On Sunday we took it easy and ate lunch at the Inn of the Mountain Gods and then had dinner at the Texas Club.
Monday was our first day of skiing at Ski Apache and it was gorgeous driving up the mountain.
Wow – why am I so pale? I guess I need more sun in my life. The views driving up were so pretty, we were literally driving in and out of the clouds.
The drive up to Ski Apache is 12 miles long.
Tuesday was our second day skiing and it was awesome! The visibility was literally next to none. I think I’ll definitely frame the picture below on the ski lift.
This is only the second time I’ve gone skiing as an adult so I’m definitely a beginner. However, I think I’m doing pretty good. I stuck mostly with the greens but did end up going on two blues.
Nathan has about as much skiing experience as I do and he’s also doing awesome! We both think if we can come up here once a year and ski for a few days, that we’ll end up being really good.
After a morning on the slopes, we went with Nathan’s parents to the bowling alley. It was really fun because I have always had great memories at good ole’ Huntsville Lanes growing up.
Since Tuesday was also Valentine’s Day, Nathan and I ate dinner at The Ranchers Steak & Seafood. Nathan had the prime rib and I had the Alaskan king crab dish – which is my favorite meal! He helped me pick out some really beautiful opal earrings and necklace and I helped him pick out some new sunglasses.
On Wednesday morning we ate at The Log Cabin and I had the pecan waffle with a side of bacon. I’m on a big bacon kick right now. 🙂
After breakfast (we’ve eaten so well on this trip) we decided to go and play a little disc golf. Nathan is really good… while Gary and I are… well, we are still working on our game. Suzanne joined us for what ended up being quite the hike. The fact that none of us lost a single disc is pretty remarkable.
Thursday was our last day on the slopes and I went down two blue slopes, which means I’m definitely improving.
We got lucky again with the clouds on our way home, look below at how gorgeous the view was driving down the mountain. We were literally in the clouds.
Our last day was spent with Nathan’s parents while they house hunted for a vacation home and.. fingers crossed… they may have found one. I don’t want to say too much and jinx it, but it could be really awesome and the location is great!
On our drive home, we stopped at Aunt Shirley‘s house for an awesome breakfast – green chili quiche, cinnamon rolls, fruit and asparagus with a dill dipping sauce. Everything tasted so good and it’s always so wonderful when we get to stop and visit with her. She lives in Roswell, NM, home of the aliens.
We had a wonderful vacation and I’m so thankful that Nathan’s parents let me tag along – such wonderful memories were created. Now back to reality!
This year for Christmas everyone made their way up to Kalamazoo, MI to spend some time with Grandma Mary… Mother Mary… or Mary Weezie as I like to call her. I was lucky enough to arrive a day before everyone else, so it only seem natural to take advantage of our alone time. What better past-time than showing her the latest Snapchat filters.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, Chloe is the best traveler. She has flown on an airplane many times and is so well behaved. She was pretty tired when we finally arrived, so found her ‘spot’ and hunkered down for the evening.
The first night that mom and dad were there, we had dinner with Chuck and Marianne. They’ve been friends with grandma and grandpa for years and years. Last year they moved into The Village and it was wonderful to see them and catch up.
We were so happy to have Clare, John IV’s girlfriend, come up and spend Christmas with us. It was her first time to see snow but unfortunately the day we were going to go sledding was the day the snow decided to melt.
It’s only a few times a year that the Cochran clan are all together, so we really try and enjoy the time we have together.
We love our games! I found this funny game called “Watch Ya’ Mouth” and it was hilarious. You put these funny plastic things in your mouth that are similar to what dentists have in their offices. You have to read different phrases and your partner has to decipher what you are saying. It’s soooo funny! I have some great pictures of mom and dad wearing the mouth piece, but of course, mom has threatened my life if I ever leak the pictures of her. 😉
One of the traditions I hope to continue with my family is something my mom started years ago. When J4 and I were too small to read, she created photo cards for all the presents, so we could help hand out the gifts based on who’s picture was on the package. Doing this year after year, you end up with a great collection of family photos and you end up reminiscing while you open presents.
Clare found really cute socks for all of us to wear – I love that she embraces her inner crazy cat lady. Please note the cats on her socks!
I’m always so curious what other family’s traditions are – we wake up, open presents and have Christmas music playing and then typically eat Kringle sent from Aunt Shirley and a breakfast casserole.
The whole gang. ❤️
While in town we stopped by the old family farm – one of Michigan’s last centennial farm that was owned by the same family the entire time. 150 years is pretty dang impressive! They mostly grew cherries and grapes.
The day after Christmas we had all the Pugsley cousins over for dinner, I think everyone had a really good time. It’s always really nice to see everyone! Below is Scott, Michael and John.
John and the kids were all in charge of passing out presents.
Mom and our Cousin Sally – they are so cute!
And of course mom and dad with Will and Sue. Will showed us his unbelievable collection of antique cars and metal toys. To keep the anonymity I haven’t added any photographs of his collection, but I can promise you – TV producers would love to get ahold of him!
I was in Michigan for almost a week but the time just flew by. We all had a great time together and I feel so blessed to have such a fun family.
If you are looking for a really good dessert for fall, check out the Chai Spiced Apple Clafoutis featuring unique spices from Raw Spice Bar.
RawSpiceBar’s Peppercorn Chai
1 cup milk or heavy cream
12 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp. salt
4 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine milk, eggs, 6 tbsp butter, vanilla, flour, 2 tsp sugar, and salt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Melt 4 tbsp butter in a large skillet. Add apples, 1⁄2 cup sugar and RawSpiceBar’s Peppercorn Chai.
Cook until apples are glazed, about 5 minutes.
Add half batter to greased pie plate.
Arrange apple slices on top, reserving juices, then pour remaining batter over apples.
Sprinkle remaining sugar on top and bake until golden, 25-30 minutes.
Drizzle with warmed reserved apple juices.
If you are interested in trying new and exotic spices from around the world, Raw Spice Bar is a great option. They ship you new spices each month for literally only $8. Do it!
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