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This Sunday I will compete in the Iron Girl Duathlon which will be held at Normandale Lake Park in Bloomington MN. The race starts with a 2 mile run, followed by a 22 mile bike ride then finishes with another 2 mile run.

I signed up for this race on June 20, after watching the boys run the Gary Bjorkland ½ Marathon in Duluth. Their determination and desire to take on a challenge inspired me to do the same. I’ve spent the summer running and biking, putting on more miles
than I ever have in the past. I realize I’m not doing as many as some other may be, but it’s still an increase for me. Mentally it has been a great experience to take on challenges, set goals and accomplish them.

I have to admit I’m starting to get nervous, or perhaps excited would be a better word. After focusing on this race all summer, it’s only a few short days away. From all I hear, it’s a great event. Since I haven’t done this before, I don’t have any specific times in mind. My only goal is to compete as well as I can and to have fun. My kids call me Iron Mom and I can’t wait to be one after the race on Sunday.

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This week I spent two days in Washington D.C. with pork producers from around the country. We had the great opportunity to be updated on issues that are important to pork producers and in turn, had the chance to share that information with my elected officials.

I have been to Washington D.C. before, but I still get a thrill each time I see the Washington Monument. I’ll admit I love history and the fact that I am in a city filled with historical significance is inspiring.

What’s even more impressive is the freedom we have to participate in the democratic process. Our “visits to the hill” allow us to meet with Representatives and Senators and openly talk to them about the issues that are vital to our work as pork producers – as providers of healthy, lean, protein for the world.

Of course while I’m busy making my point, numerous other individuals are making theirs, some in contrast to mine. While we often complain about how slow government works, in reality it’s part of the checks and balances that keeps our country from veering too far in one direction.

Our voice does make a difference; how else will our elected officials know what we need and how their actions affect us?

The nursery remodeling project continues to progress as Dale starts to put together the gating for the pens. He was fortunate to be able to get the gating and feeders from a pork producer friend who did not need them for his building project. As you can see by the picture, he’s making progress.

Of course, along the way he’s taken time out for a few days at the State Fair. Dale also continues to focus on running since he’s doing the City of Lakes 25K this Sunday, Sept 11.

Dale had to wait on the ridge ventilation, but he’s working on closing up the areas where the old fans were located and framing out the areas where the new fans will be.

Meanwhile, harvest is just around the corner….

New Gating

I feel the last sands of summertime slipping through my fingers. Even though the temperatures today are predicted to be 90-95, I can tell summer is winding down and it makes me a little sad. Last week we were at the State Fair. The boys did well, especially on their interviews, but the State Fair signals the close of summer.  Soon the the carefree days and unstructured schedules and lack of homework will be replaced with school schedules and nights of homework. Campfires will be less frequent and we’ll actually need them to keep warm, instead of just roasting a marshmellow.

Then again, the kids are ready to go back to school; they’ve even admitted it in public. They’ll enjoy being with their friends more reqularly. Cross Country has started and the thrill of the competition will once again be felt every week, which the boys enjoy.

I’m going to enjoy every last minute of summer that I can.