Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Path

This blog is currently in process of changing course - taking a new path.  If the changes you see intrigue you, feel free to stop by from time to time and check on my progress.

“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”
 - Nick Hornby     

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I'm back for the moment

I've been laying low these days and I've been pretty busy at home and work. Some of my New Years resolutions included doing some painting and other home improvements. Painting is still not accomplished but we have completed some other tasks - so we're accomplishing some of the things on our list.
Work is crazy - some days more managable than others. I have to thank God that I'm employed though. My Aunt just found out the company she has worked at since highschool is shutting their doors in their community. My Aunt doesn't have much else to fall back on - and she's too young to retire. I'm not going to complain about mine.
I have managed to have a little bit of fun. The VP at our company "volunteered" me to help coordinate an around the office golf tournement. Each suite has their own "course." On the course there are 6 different teams who are responsible for creating a hole. Teams can get as creative as they like. Some themes I've heard of so far is "A tour of Vegas," and "Alice in Wonderland." It begins tomorrow and I'm pretty excited to see how creative everyone is!
The year started out with some with below zero temps. Not too big of a deal if your spending the day indoors - but I and a few friends brought in the New Year by jumping in a nearby lake.
It was c-o-l-d, about 1 or 2 degrees below zero to be exact. I'm not sure what the windchill was - but quite frankly I'm not sure I wanted to know. Here are a few photos of myself and one of my teammates Tristud.
The first photo is a few of us lounging on a few of the blocks of ice they pulled out of the lake to provide us with our "swimming hole." Pictures are coming Steve - I promisssssssse!

I just started back with the P2 group out of St. Paul and while I'm probably one of the slower teammates - it's always good to have those that challenge you and make you aspire to be faster, quicker & stronger. I've been focusing on lifting a little more which I've enjoyed but it's time I begin managing to mesh the two together. I only work out with the group once per week because it's hard for me to get there most days - so the vast majority of my training is on my own. I've still been a little gun shy to really let loose as my hip still gets sore from time to time. Yesterday I had a crappy work out. Squats, lunges and leg curls followed by a weak attempt at cardio. Only 22 minutes to be exact on the precore machine. My hip was sooooo sore. I was not looking forward to my P2 workout this morning. In fact - I was dreading it. I made my way to the P2 pit and found a spot to set up my bike. Coach Matt popped in a move - The Bourne Identity - which really gets my adreneline going with all the kick ass parts....suffice to say - I had a kick-ass work out myself and ended up running for a bit afterwards too! Yeah! I was so stoked, I talked Mark into heading to the gym this evening for a little extra workout, shoulders and back. My kind of day.
Last night I registered Mark and I for our volunteer duties at the Ironman USA in Lake Placid. Our favorite jobs (wetsuit peeling, bodymarking & finish line catchers) were taken already. Bummer. Mark was especially upset - as he wasn't going to get the "hot-chick bodymarking" job I had promised him...but hopefully we'll get one of the run aide stations so I can jump around like a silly fool cheering on the likes of Kim and everyone else!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm Feeling Fiesty!

It's been awhile since I posted last. Sorry Kevin! I know you've been looking for some neeeeeew material.
Let me start by saying that for NOT being able to train a whole lot - I've been busier than all get out. I have been following my PT orders - and I have also been trying to get back into weight lifting - which has always been my favorite past time. (triathlon comes in a near 2nd) It feels great to get into the gym and do sets of four to failure. I can't do that on all my excercises - say the bench press - unless I ask some unsuspecting person at the gym - and typically I just don't like to bother anyone - so I tend to push it right to "below" failure. That one last rep that you can barely manage to get back on the rack - while some guy across the room is placing a $50 bet on whether or not it'll end up on my chest. Yeah - that's what get's me going. Tomorrow night it's biceps for sure....and if I'm lucky - I won't be able to straighten my arms by the time I walk out of the gym. I love lifting. I've been riding a bit on my bike still and have added some swimming, coupled with aqua running, so at least I'm getting in the some triathlon specific work outs.
I rec'd great news(that makes me nervous for some reason)from my surgeon on Monday. I CAN START RUNNING AGAIN! WOO HOOOOOOOOOO! That excitement lasted all of two seconds before I began chewing my fingernails w/ nervousness - and telling the Dr. "Uhm - that makes me nervous. Are you for real? Do you REALLY think I'm ready? I mean REALLLLLY?" Dr. Larson - Yes. "Ohhhhhh, I didn't think I'd get the go ahead until January or February. Are you SURE?" Dr. Larson - "yes. - but that doesn't mean to go out and run 13 miles...." Tiffany - (eyes wide open w/ a horrified look) "Are you kidding me? No flippin' way! Uhm - it will be like 1/2 mile on SOFT terrain (well as soft as you can get in MN right now) and then it will be a run/walk for that 1/2 mile.....oh - and no more than a 10% increase each week. That's my plan. What do you think Dr. Larson?" Dr. Larson - "it sounds like a good plan." Yeah - so I think I'll start that in January......for now I think no impact/no resistance for starters/on the elyptical sounds 'bout that?"
Dr. Larson - (holding back laughter)"I think that sounds practical too." "Good luck - see you in six months." I was all smiles the rest of the way home and I think I've told everyone that will even look at me - "Hey - I got the clearance to RUN! Isn't that fabulous?" Next summer when I'm complaining about running and tell you all about how much I suck at running etc, etc. - Kindly direct me back to this post - please.
Last week I got the wild hair to make some truffles - so I made a bee-line for my favorite website - The Food Network and searched for truffles. I found what was a relatively easy recipe for ganache/truffles. I learned from a few mistakes and know what I'll do differently next time. While the recipe was pretty easy - the process was just tedious. But they were gooooood. Too good to keep at home, so both Mark and I took a few to work. I swore I would never make them again - but I've already decided to make some for Thanksgiving as dessert(more than likely a double batch) and I'll probably make some for work again - oh and I'll probably make some for everyone at my Chiro/massage therapist. I LOVE to bake, I have simply not done a lot because of time constraints - coupled with the fact that I would probably weigh 300 lbs by now if I did. Oh but how I wish I had room for a kitchen aide w/ all the special attachments, in my kitchen. (big sigh)
Work has been going well. There is tons of ambiguity - but I see lots of opportunity. Some days are a little more frustrating that others - but that's life. I like it and I like the people I work with so far. There are a few of us who are cubbie neighbors and when everyone is there - we have a few minutes each day of some serious harassing and sometimes very serious conversations. Yesterday, SOMEHOW the conversation became, "who are your fab five?" Meaning - who are the actors/actresses that if given the opportunity - would be considered "freebies" with no contesting from your significant other. Anyone who has seen the sitcom FRIENDS, knows what this is all about - but I'm telling you - I don't know that I will ever laminate that list. It changes from time to time.....and the list is kinda/sorta six, rather than five. My list? Clive Owen(actor), Colin Ferrel(actor), Anderson Cooper(journalist, author, reporter), Jeff O'Neill(Center for Toronto Maple Leafs)and Keith Tkachuk(Left Wing for the St. Louis Blues). My sixth however, is considerably older than I - but he is the epitome of bad ass - and one of my favorite actors ever......Robert Dinero. Hmmmmmm, it's a toss up of whether or not he'd make the freebie list - but what I would give to sit down and have a long conversation with him. WOW. Really though - that's all just fun talk cuz there's nobody who can replace my best friend and love of my life, even temporarily. In the words of Christina Aguilera, "Ain't No Other Man."
It's hard to think that Thanksgiving is next week - and Christmas is right around the corner. There's a few things on the Tiffy Tuffy's Xmas list - but the highest on my list is a donation in my name to the Wildlife Alliance & Second Harvest Heartland and World Wildlife Fund. Obviously there are tons of great charities in our world. Probably too many to choose from. But I am blessed with health, love and basic comforts. I have ALL I need and then some. It's important to give back not only to the community but to the world. I used to volunteer at a homeless center back in WI and it was an eye opening experience. Since I've moved to the TC area - I just haven't found the right "fit" for me personally in order to volunteer. When Anderson Cooper's Planet In Peril was showcased on CNN - along with all the other shows I watch on the Discovery Channel talking about Global Warming and the impacts to animals- I thought my actions needed to change somehow. Maybe in my family of young and impressionable neices & nephews (not really - but that's a whole other story) maybe I can spur something in one or more of them to help give back....and so on....and so forth. Don't get me wrong - there will be some 2XU and other work out related paraphanalia on my list....
On that note - I hope you are thankful and blessed enough to stop and think what you might do with a few extra dollars. Will you make a difference?

Happy Thanksgiving all -

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Rainbow Amidst Clouds

Ok - I had some pretty concerned folks out there, and I'm sorry. I didn't mean to leave any cryptic messages on the blog. I simply wanted to leave a little memorial for a close friend w/out boring everyone with the details. I can see where you might have gotten concerned and for being a friend and checking in w/ me to make sure I'm ok - I thank you.

Typically around this time of year I have overwhelming memories and dreams of a friend I had in highschool. He had a troubled family life - he was angry and often in turmoil and my parents always warned that it would be my demise if I continued to be associated with him. He was one of my closest friends and we stayed in contact long after highschool. It was one of those relationships were you had each others back no matter what - and in the right time & place - could have flourished into something much more - it simply never did - and there was just an understanding that we were special to one another, period.

After several years of E.R. visits for stitches/bar fightsa/countless late night phone calls/anger management and soul searching, he shared with me how happy he had become in recent times. He was getting help, letting go of all that anger - controlling what he could and letting go of the rest. This was a huge step for him because he simply wasn't the kind of guy to share his emotions and let things. H got help though and delt with his issues. I was so happy for him and proud of him - we held hands - we had a good cry. He was able to move on. He had even met a nice girl that he had been dating for awhile and there was mention of engagement rings, weddings and children. He wanted quite a few.)

A few weeks later - he was killed in a freak accident on the construction site where he was working. He was hit in the chest with a 15 ft peice from a crane and died from internal injuries before they could get him to the ground. I was stunned when a friend called to tell me. I cried for days. I couldn't understand and I was the angry one then. I think my belief in God was highly challenged and it took me a long time to understand what his death meant to me. I struggled beyond words to make something positive out of his loss and it often felt as if someone had just reached into my chest and ripped out my heart. Other times I'd cry until I just couldn't catch my breathe. Mark and I had just become friends and he spent countless nights consoling me and just listening to me tell stories about the crazy things we used to do. Since then, I'm sure he's heard some of those same stories several times over. It's been years since Tracy left this earth - and I still have a hard time remembering him w/out tears although I know he was finally without anger and turmoil when he passed.

After quite some time had passed - I was thinking of him and still cursing God for taking him from us - I had the realization that Tracy would never be able to fulfull those dreams he shared with me of having a wife and family. Determined to find a positive from his death - I realized I owed it to him to live out my dreams....or at least attempt them. I decided right there that I needed to head back to school to finish my degree.....I took my life back and became an active participant and I began making my plans & laying the foundation for one day crossing a finish line as an Ironman.

So - that's my story - my tribute for Tracy. In a nutshell, LIVE, make every day count and don't let a day go by without telling important people in your life how much they mean to you. Kisses, hugs, the words "I love you," should be commonplace. We don't know how much time we have here - and for those who have already passed on - well, I think we owe it to them to make our lives count and live out our dreams. If you're familiar with triathlon, you're probably familiar with the quote, "Anything is possible."

My tag line? I guess you could say I'm "Living out dreams in honor of those who can't."

I went to see Maya Angelou last night. Her message was an important one - be someone's rainbow amidst clouds..... I guess, simply put, Tracy was my rainbow.....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In memory

Always a friend
I miss you

Monday, October 1, 2007

They have NO Clue!

My man is currently in Wyoming doing one of the things most primative and the one thing that is held most sacred among most men. He is hunting Mule Deer to add jerkey in our freezer and more than likely - if the rack even comes close to Boone & Crocket standards, I'll have another head mounted on the basement wall. Please hun - don't take into consideration that our cat won't dare even show it's head in the basement any longer.... Please - oh Please - can you blow another deer to smitherenes? We so do need another dead carcass on our wall.
Seriously, I don't mind them but our cat really did enjoy hanging out in the basement in order to watch all the critters outside our sliding glass door. We will often catch her peering, longingly down the stair way. Her little whiskers twitching and her long tail ever so slowly moves from side to side. She has at times been brave enough to make her way to the landing but that's as far as it gets. One sound and pffffft - up the stairs and under the bed for the rest of the day. While Thunder longs for the day she doesn't have to worry about "predators" in the basement, I on the other hand enjoy jerkey and steaks. I do have to admit though I can only take so much on the steaks, as I do not have the biggest palate for venison. Especially if it's really gamey.
While Mark was driving his way through the darkness to Wyoming - I was out whooping it up with the MN Tri Club and their end of year dinner. It was a fabulous time and it was a chance to meet some new triathletes. This picture is of myself and a girlfriend.(who by the way has sneeky speed) The helmets and signs are for one of the tri club members who had recently been involved in a bike accident. It sounds like it was one of those "quick" rides that he chose not to wear a helmet. From what I have heard though, he is doing well and is expected to have a complete recovery. The crutches are compliments of me and they are no prop.
I'm making my move this week to go crutch free. I have been trying over the weekend and the pain was a little more than expected. Today however the pain was a little more tolerable when I walked without them today at work. (1/2 day) Tomorrow - I'm living on the edge and leaving them in the car and goin' all day baby! (well, at least I'll try) I have been spinning 10-15 minute increments with no resistance and should be able to hit the pool in another 2 weeks. Oh - will that pool be a WELCOME sight. Most of the time I dread going to the pool - but sittin' on the couch gaining 5 lbs/day just WATCHING the Foodnetwork is not working too well for me. It will be 3-6 mo's though before I can even THINK about hittin' the pavement with my running shoes. While running is probably my least favorite of triathlon, I miss the time it has afforded me to process the days/weeks events. While the short runs have never allowed me much time to think about more than the hills/path in front of me - the long grueling runs are the ones that allowed me to sort out the events that unfolded the days prior. Those extra long runs are also special time between me and the "big guy." (or big girl - whichever you prefer). Those are the runs I miss most since I really have not committed to a church since I've moved to the Twin Cities. I'm not sure why I haven't but maybe this down time will be reason enough to take the search a little more seriously.
I'm enjoying my new job. The people are very nice. I'm still working my way through the myriad of paperwork and orientation which is expected for the first few days of a new company but am hopeful I can begin to delve into work shortly. I'm happy with my decision to move.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Police Escort & a Perfect Fall Day

The Irongirl Duathlon was in Bloomington today. I was a little grouchy when the alarm went off this morning as the P2 gang got together for a little end of year social last night. It was a great time and I actually got to see poeple in street clothes for once! While I am totally bummed I couldn't compete at the Irongirl - I had a GREAT time volunteering. I was in a remote spot out on the bike. While it's hard to see everyone you want - I think I did get to see and cheer for my friends & teammates at least once. Luke's wife competed in her first Irongirl and was ROCKIN' the course! Yeah Kari! My friend Santi was out there too and she saw me before I even saw her.
It was a perfect, perfect day. Did I mention it was perfect? It was a little chilly at the start and then the sun beamed and it was warm. As the day progressed, the pile of jackets and fleece pullovers began to pile at my feet as the day got warmer.
Once the last biker made her way past me - the police office I had been speaking to asked me if I needed any help. Well......I would LOVE to get into part (which was restricted) so I don't have to hobble my way a total of 1/2 mile from the parking ramp to the park...."Never fear - policeman on motorcycle at your service." So I got a police escort through restricted areas and into the park. It was sort of fun. hee hee While I obviously didn't get to see any of my friends finish - I at least got to catch some of the awards as well watching and cheering for the few final finishers. It was awesome.
When I arrived home I noticed some people putting up a huge poster - It's a Boy! on our next door neighbors garage door. How fun! I have been so excited for them. I have to admit I was a little bummed - 'cuz I was hoping he would arrive on MY special day (today) but oh well. Apparently he was on his own time schedule. So - noticing I was smelling as if I had just raced myself, I jumped in the shower and no more than I jumped out - but my mum called to wish me a Happy Birthday. Yes - it's the Big Day so it was nice to hear from her and catch up on her comings/goings. We also talked about how the trees are beginning to turn and how fall is simply the most beautiful time of year.(of course it's beautiful mom - it's my b-day! duh!) :-) We reminisced a little about past birthdays. It was customary to spend time on my birthday weekend at a local apple orchard. My grandmother & I were extremely close and we used to buy fresh apples & grapes etc and I would help her make applie pies, crisp, fresh berry pie, etc etc. I spent countless hours with her in the kitchen - and it was the time I most looked forward to every year. My birthday was just reason. My grandmother ALWAYS gave me the same basket to me every year and it was filled with tons of fresh, local fruit and gladiolas. They were/are one of my favorite flowers. I miss that - since I've moved to MN, I haven't made it to an orchard yet. I've been after Mark.....maybe one of these days.
Later - I met up with my friends Santi and Trimama for a little Big Ten Action. (No - I don't mean college sports my friend) - Big Ten has the best subs and the most awesome hot wings. I normally don't get excited or even eat hot wings - but these are the best! We sat on their patio and conversed about the race season - likes/dislikes, future or even distant races as well as past events.
When I got home - I noticed I had some emails - and recieved some wonderful birthday messages from really wonderful people. It was very nice & thoughtful - and it brought smiles to my face.
Tonight - I actually get to spend some time with Mark (he's been entertaining friends in from out of town) and celebrate my birthday. Chances are - a good movie and maybe some ice cream sounds perfect.
So - not only was this a perfect fall day - it was a perfect day filled with fun, activity, retrospect and looking ahead to the future.
Thanks to all who sent B-day wishes. It made my day. Hats off to all who completed the Irongirl duathlon.