Author: jennypaul87

About jennypaul87

Jenny is a triathlete, mountain biker, bow hunter, and outdoors-woman from Austin, TX. She races every chance she gets, from 5ks to Ironmans, and loves being outdoors any way she can. Her love for Moxie's jerseys is made obvious from her permanent racer-back tan lines thanks to the Texas sun! Her blog, Cowgirls Tri (www.cowgirlstri.blogspot.com) covers her training and races, and seeks to show everyone, especially women, that they can do anything they put their minds to, including building their own bike or racing an Ironman!

How to Stay Sane Organizing a Charity Ride

Cyclists have a lot of love in their hearts. We love riding our bikes, talking about our bikes, and talking to people who also love bikes. We love the communities we ride in and around, and we love doing good for ourselves and for others.

When it comes to making a positive impact on the community, the natural inclination is to find a way to join something we enjoy with something that can help others. Thus, charity bike rides grow in popularity year after year, raising incredible amounts of money for a wide array of causes, from military veterans, shelter pets, children’s cancer research, to my personal heartfelt mission of seniors and adults with disabilities.

Thinking of starting a ride to benefit your favorite cause? Event planning and organizing, at any level, can be overwhelming, but the results are often well worth it! As a professional fundraiser working in the nonprofit field, I myself recently started the process of planning a charity ride for my organization, Family Eldercare in Austin, Texas, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned from the process. This is not a complete list because that would be much too long for a blog post, but I hope it provides a good basic set of ideas to guide you!

In the Beginning Continue reading

You Spell “Heartbreak” D-N-F

August 7, 2016 at Ironman Boulder was going to by my day. For 20 weeks, I had trained, putting in 15-20 hours of swimming, biking, or running a week, meticulously tracking my progress and ensuring every piece of the puzzle laid in place. Ironman Boulder, my second full distance race, was my chance to make right what I felt had gone wrong for my at my first event. I was a faster swimmer now, a confident cyclist, and my running had improved enough I felt pretty sure I wouldn’t take 7 hours to run a marathon ever again.10

The day was going to be my day. Until it wasn’t. All of the best laid plans, the bright outlook, the excitement and enthusiasm proved to be not enough and instead, on race day, I learned something new: what failure felt like. I learned a lesson that is real, emotionally raw, heartbreaking, and hard enough that even now, days later, I’m still dazed.  When the medic pulled my chip at mile 101 of the race, my heart sunk and my stomach knotted- not only in my own self-pity, but in the realization that Continue reading

Staying Cool and Hydrated when Moving to Antarctica is Not an Option

It’s summer and boy, oh boy, is it hot outside! While there are many reasons to feel blessed to live in the beautiful place that I do, heat indexes well over 110 degrees and humidity regularly over 50% (and commonly over 80%) are two reasons to develop a healthy respect for Austin, Texas summers.

For those that do not live in the South and Southwest, here’s a fun little taste of my weather forecast this week:

What does looking at this forecast do for me besides inform my complaining about the weather and cause my alarm clock to ring earlier? It lets me know it’s time to take precautions that will allow me to train and race in these conditions while staying cool and hydrated!

If you live in a hot area, or will travel to one for a race, there are a few key factors to keep in mind: Hydration, clothing choices, timing, and self-care! Continue reading

Finding Your Park

Did you know the National Park Service turns 100 this year? The United States are home to millions of acres of wild, beautiful landscapes preserved for our enjoyment, reflection, and to ensure that places that are truly wild stay that way for future generations to experience.

One of the best ways to experience our national parks is, of course, by bike! Whether shredding single track in bear country or cruising paved trails near the seashore, our National Parks offer some truly special places to see from the saddle. Continue reading

Boost Your Pedal Power with an E-Bike

My love for bikes is no secret. At any possible moment, I’ve got one of my three bikes out and I’m off on two wheels to work out, commute to my job, run an errand, or just cruise around and explore somewhere new. The health benefits for both my mind and body are scientifically and anecdotal-ly inarguable! I love the burning feeling in my legs as I push my body and brain to new limits, and sweating it out is the best therapy there is.

However, for millions of people across the world, bikes are not only a fun mode of transportation, they are sometimes the only, or at least the most practical, mode. For them, the daily commute to work through traffic is stressful on their bodies, and finding an economical, environmentally friendly way to combat fatigue and make commuting by bike attainable is incredibly important.

Thankfully, there are electronic assist bikes, or e-bikes, for short. E-bikes are Continue reading

Plant Power for Athletes

Those that know me know I am most definitely not a vegetarian, much less a vegan. I am an avid hunter and take a lot of pride in harvesting, cleaning, and processing my own meat- it’s organic, grass-fed, antibiotic free, and all the other “clean” buzzwords out there!

However, we are all different, and in the world of endurance sports, diet is just as much of a training factor as the miles you put in. While I prefer to get protein from venison, turkey, and fish, many have experienced incredible gains by adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. Although that is not a choice everyone will want to make, I was curious to learn more from someone who has, so I contacted my friend Lauren.

Lauren racing Jack’s Generic Tri, 2015

Lauren is an amazing triathlete who races with T3 in my hometown of Austin, TX. She and I met in 2015 while we were both training for Ironman Texas, a first full distance Ironman for both of us. She completed her race almost 2 full hours faster than me, and has been steadily kicking my butt ever since, so I thought it wise to seek out Continue reading

I Want to Ride My Bicycle: The Different Types of Cycling Events Explained

As the number of bikes currently hanging from the wall in my house continues to grow (we are up to 5 between the two of us!) so, too, does it seem the number of ways to ride my bikes grows! I am an avid cyclist who primarily rides as a triathlete, both on and off road, but the world of cycling is by no means as simple as road or dirt. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just hitting the road, here’s a great primer on the many ways you can get obsessed with this awesome hobby!

Road Events

Time Trials – Time trials are exactly what they sound like- a race against time. The events are a set distance (typically 10, 25, 50 miles, etc.) OR a set time (12 or 24 hours). The goal is to go as fast as possible on the set distance, or cover as much distance as possible in the set time. These races also occasionally include a segment called a Hill Climb, or hill sprint, where racers go as fast as possible up a short but steep hill.shutterstock108206231

A time trial bike will look familiar to triathletes- it’s where triathlon bikes came from! This sport is all about being as aero as possible, so racers typically have specialized helmets, shoe covers, wheels, and incredibly dialed in bike fits.

Road Races & Criteriums – Race distances for road races can be Continue reading

Soups & Stews for Weeknight Meals

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Learn how to make this and 6 other delicious soups!

One of the hardest parts of being a multi-sport athlete is the combination of ALWAYS being hungry and NEVER having time! While meal prepping, slow cookers, and planning have grown in popularity in recent years, there seems to never be a perfect way for athletes to balance their needs for nutritious, hearty meals with the fact that they work full time and work out one — many times twice — a day.

While I admittedly still don’t have a perfect solution (sorry, beloved fiance of mine, for the multitude of chicken fajita salads – I hate grocery shopping!) I have found that cooking big batches of yummy soups and stews helps me have something on hand for nights where I can’t think of good dinners or, more realistically, nights where I just don’t have the energy to spend a zillion dollars at the store!

Soups and stews are a great solution for many reasons: they’re easy to cook in big batches, they’re freeze-able, they’re Continue reading