Despite my excitement for our impending adventure to Des Moines I made sure I had a ‘stabilizing’ breakfast Friday morning of Overnight Oats. To keep it fun + indulgent it featured a few fun add-ins.


P1050819 P1050820

After breakfast I got cracking on my to-do list and made sure we had all the appropriate goods for the weekend.

Of course the non-edible essentials:


Day of breakfast essentials:


Lunch for the road:


An awesome new Sabra hummus flavor:


Naked juice made with Coconut Water:

Matt + I munched + crunched our way to Des Moines and ran the necessary Des Moines stops. We ran a few Des Moines exclusive errands (Hello, World Market + Marshall’s) and then met up with our friends for a pre-triathlon dinner at TGI Friday’s.

Potstickers – I had 1.5


Dragonfire Chicken – All the broccoli + 1/2 the chicken/rice combo


Vanilla Bean Cheesecake – Matt + I shared


We spent the rest of the evening watching Bring It On in our hotel room.


Saturday we woke up bright + early and fueled for the day. I ate a Thin Bun covered with some TJ’s Almond Butter with most of a banana on top. A standard race day breakfast, no?


We headed to Waukee to get our race packets.




Our Super Fans hung out while we grabbed our race packets + got ready to start the race. The Pieathlon was a super unique event in the fact that it had a menu-like option. You could do one, two, or all three events and then pick the distance that you desired for each. Since it had such a variation of events + start times the event wasn’t timed.



We started the 400 swim a little after 7:45. I was really excited that the event kicked off with an event that I was so confident with. I would of been a mental mess if the race started with a run.


The swim was fast + uneventful, even though the temperature of the water was super warm.



After transition 1 Aubrey + I headed off on our bikes. She opted for the 20+ mile ride, while I stuck with the shorter 9 mile ride. I really had my heart set on completing the 5k at the end, so I didn’t want to push it too much with the bike. The ride was flat, but super scenic.

I got pretty bored, but there were a ton of runners + bikers all throughout the trail so there was tons of “Good Mornings” + “You GO Girls!” Around mile 6 I stopped to take a butt-rest + had some water and a few Sharkies. Matt + Adam ended up driving by at the exactly the same time as I took my break + took some photos.


By the end of the ride I was getting tired and really not looking forward to the run portion.



With some encouragement from the guys I took off on my run. The first 1/4 of a mile was super challenging. I had biking legs + I felt like a piece of Jell-o. Although running has always been hard for me mentally, I knew that the 3 miles would also be physically challenging since I had only ran twice (a mile each) as part of my training.

My goal was to run/jog until I saw Aubrey bike past me on her return from her bike leg. I ended up seeing her just as I finished my first mile. We had a quick pep-talk and I was on my way, determined to finish my first Triathlon.

The rest of the run was through neighborhoods + I only saw a few other runners. My goal for the entire Triathlon was under 2 hours, but I knew if I ran a 35 minute 5k I’d finish under an hour and forty five minutes.


The last 2 miles had no mile markers + there were a few stop lights. I ended up finishing the 5k in just under 35 minutes which is my fastest 5k (especially considering the chat + stoplights).


Aubrey + I post-Tri


And the Pie portion of the Pieathlon.



Matt + I shared a slice of Apple Crumble topped with some homemade ice cream that had been churned by someone on a bike.


DSM Farmer’s Market

After the pie + a quick sports massage we headed to downtown Des Moines for the Farmer’s Market.

I was immediately surprised by the crowds + the sheer size of the farmer’s market.



There were tons of tents selling every type of food known to man, but I had my heart set on one thing.


Pupusas! The wonderfully cheesy goodness made famous by Miss IGE had been calling my name for weeks! I ordered the Cheese, which was filled into a corn tortilla + then topped with coleslaw + salsa.


My stomach was a little eh so I only was able to stomach half before I had to call it quits.


Matt + I continued our tour of the farmer’s market.




We ended up with some serious loot including some lettuce, zucchini + some goat meat! We also got some fresh Gouda, which we immediately broke into once we got home.


After the Farmer’s Market we headed back to Iowa City and I spent the rest of the day eating + lounging around. I truly can’t express how proud of myself I am and I’d be lying if I said I was tear-free for the entire Triathlon. I truly can do anything I put my mind too, and so can you!

Thanks to everyone who offered me motivation + words of encouragement!



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37 responses to “Tri-a-la-mode


    Congratulations on your tri – you should be very proud! :D:D

    So glad you could partake in a Papusa too – I didn’t get one this weekend and am kicking myself for it! 😉

  2. Way to go Kate! 😀

  3. great job! you tackled that triathalon and totally came out victorious!

  4. FUN! Good job! I love the pictures of the tri. I hope next year when I sign up for a triathlon, I can find one with the swimming part in the pool. I’m a bit frightened of the idea of being trampled in open water…

  5. Meg

    Congratulations, girl! You should be very proud!

  6. Congrats girlie! You did awesome!

  7. peppadew hummus!? what is this! nice!

    congrats on the triathalon!

  8. you go girl!! Congrats on the tri! I don’t think I could do it 🙂
    And what?! Peppadew hummus?! Tell us more…

  9. wow what a GREAT WEEKEND!! great job! and awesome eats-that hummus sounds CRAZY.. ?

  10. CONGRATS! That is so awesome!

  11. YAY KATE! You are awesome sweetheart! And look at all that pie! That is my all-time favorite type of dessert…I would have easily made myself sick! 🙂

  12. What an accomplishment! Congratulations! I can’t imagine running that far after biking that far – major jell-o legs! I am drooling over that pie and bike-churned ice cream…I think I would do a tri just for that at the end 🙂

  13. I love the idea of being treated to all kinds of pie after a triathalon. That’s a good way to end it.

    And love the look of those potstickers – they look delicious.

  14. AWESOME job on the triathalon girl!! pieathon?!?! there is such a thing?! thats crrrazy!

  15. Super congrats! Not only is it amazing that you finished, but that you ran your fastest 5k after barely training for that portion is even greater.
    You definitely deserved that pie.

  16. Congrats Kate!!!!! That’s incredible. I can’t believe you just did a tri! What an accomplishment!

  17. That is SO AWESOME! Sounds like a great race, and a great weekend. Can’t wait to do my first in the next month or two. 🙂

  18. You are awesome! Congrats on the tri! I am hoping to do one this summer too and your recap is a total inspiration to me.

  19. Congrats!

    I’m loving the vanilla bean cheesecake!

  20. Congrats!!! You should be very proud!

    I guess I didn’t realize that was your first time at the DM market? Isn’t it great? Did you end up meeting any other bloggers that day?

  21. PIEATHLON!! Seriously amazing. I think I might even travel out of state to find one of those. Even though I think I would prefer a chocolate chip cookie doughathlon…

  22. You are AWESOME!!! And so inspiring!! Giving you a huge pat on the back! Way to go, girl! If I were you, I would go out with friends and start bragging away! 😉

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  24. Congrats on the tri!! I bet it felt great to accomplish. And how awesome to have pie at the finish. 😀

  25. Good job on the triathalon! An the fm looks like fun. Did you buy rhubarb at all? Not many people grow it over here, it takes almost three years to grow! Are most of the farms there local to De Moines? Fun fun! 🙂

  26. Great job on your tri!

    And Go Red Sox 😉 Loved your back pack!

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  28. I’m so proud of you Kate! I wish we could have seen each other on Saturday. You got some great stuff at the market, that gouda is insanity, and the asparagus has been excellent.

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  34. Renee

    Hi, congrats on completing your first Tri (last year), have you done other races since?? I am looking to do this Tri, it would be my first.
    question, is it timed? Or you track your own time? I was kind of trying to guestimate what time each event might take. I have not done a Tri before and am looking to do this one.

    transitions? how was that done there? Was it confusing or well marked?

    I like your pictures, I will have to take some for posterity.

    • This was my first, and only so far ( I do want to do more eventually), triathlon and it wasn’t timed. Most larger triathlons are, but this one was low key and laid back which was exactly what I wanted from my first tri experience. The transitions were laid back, and it was clearly marked, but I’ve gotten the feeling that they are even more clearly marked and accounted for in bigger tris since they have more people. If you are trying to figure out your particular times, it always good to do a dry run, with transitions and everything, before the actual race. As for the pictures, I had some great paparazzi! I hope this helps, if you have any more questions please email me. Good luck Renee!

  35. Renee

    thank you for the information! I appreciate it. I am inspired by your post, and hope to have a happy story like yours.

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