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.

Friday, September 21, 2007

First Week Down - Physical Therapy and Finishing a Chapter

This is the first week after my hip surgery - and it hasn't been all that bad. :-) I had the surgery last Thursday and headed back to work w/crutches on Monday. Since I had just given my notice at my place of employment, I really didn't want to miss any work. I have to say - I wasn't all that productive - not that I didn't want to be, the drugs made it hard to focus. There were also times I've spaced out (sometimes in mid-sentence) and couldn't remember what I was talking about. I'm assuming that is resulting from the pain killers. I've also had a few restless nights because of the pain medication, but other than that, I can't complain.
Well - I could, a little. It's hard to get around in those crutches! While I've mastered the art of maneuvering on the dang things - it simply gets tiring when you are on them for long periods of time. Take for instance yesterday. I decided that I needed to run a few errands after work but before meeting a few friends. I had an hour to do a couple of exchanges at Macy's. A shirt in the men's section for Mark and some lotion in the women's section. At Ridgedale the men's section however is in a completely different section of the mall from the women's. Providing I had at least another stop outside of the mall to make - I needed to haul ass. I had sweat pouring down my sides and back. Nice. Made my exchanges and then hurried over to my next stop - circled my way around the store, an item here - an item there - oh and yeah, I really need one of those too! Hmmm, do you need some help carrying those? No? Let's see you juggle those items to the counter. I'm sure someone got their humor for the day. I finally made it the car and was in need of a fresh shirt - literally. Luckily I had an extra one. Sweet! So I changed there in the parking lot. :-)

I had my first physical therapy appointment and am rather pleased. I got to ride on the bike for about 10 minutes. Not a great deal of pain - I classify it as discomfort. The RX is to bike at home (in my trainer) for at least a minimum of 10 minutes per day to assist with keeping the joint mobile. In a week I should be able to swim as much as I want - I just need to get clearance from Doc Larson who I see on Tuesday. Can't wait to get started down the road to recovery!

Today was my last day in my job - and next wed. I begin anew. I'm looking forward to learning a new place, meeting new people. Meeting new people is always a challenge for me though - not sure why. I try to push outside of my comfort zone. Perfect example was at Ironman Wisconsin. I inadvertently found myself meeting up with some of bloggers when I was trying to locate Tac Boy to wish him good luck. Since I was there - I got to meet Jumper but we had emailed each other a few times, so meeting him was somehow "safe." I mustered up enough courage to walk over and introduce myself to a couple whom I had just stumbled across their blogs. They were from one my old haunts, Janesville, Wisconsin. Velo Bela and BigMike are are also relatively new to the sport of multi sport, who from the sounds of it - might have just got bitten by the Ironman bug. :-) Anyway - we chatted a bit while Mark lingered and then I politely made my exit from the group. Big step for me. Not sure if it showed - but somehow I survived and maybe next time I can be a little better with the small talk. Baby steps though, baby steps.
Anyway - I left my old job behind me on Friday - which I thought would be much easier. Throughout the day people popped by and wished me good luck. I smiled and politely said thanks etc etc. Then however came the time when the team I sit the closest to began to leave - I broke down. These people are salt of the earth. Some of the nicest people I will ever meet. I had no time to fight the tears befor they hit surface. There they were - for everyone to see. Big hugs - more tears - and promises to keep in touch. Yeesh! When I thought it couldn't get any worse - my Director came out, with a balloon and gift in tow. (lucky for me - I was not empty handed - I had a flowering plant and card for her too!) At first it was awkward. There was a silence - and then we both locked eyes and our tears both hit us at the same time - we hugged and we cried. It was soooooo hard and as I sit here writing this - I'm in tears - and I know I'm going to miss her. She is a wonderful boss, and person. She whispered to me "anytime you want to come back - you pick up the phone and call me." I know I'm leaving on good terms - but it was time for me to make a move and put some bad stuff behind me, get some experience with a national corporation and broaden my horizens a little. I think I had become too complacent and that's never a good thing. So - on Wednesday of this coming week - so begins a new chapter.....

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hip Surgery? Can't wait!

Yesterday was my scheduled surgery for my hip scope. I have to say I was a little nervous just because they really couldn't find anything in my hip from my MRI's. They had done a set of normal xrays and found that my socket was tilted and that it was probably a hip impingement - but Dr. Chris Larson was confident he would find a labral tear. The other thing that made me nervous was Mark telling me that I would have a choice of either a spinal block anesthesia or general anesthesia. The thought of being awake while they were ripping my leg open sounded appealing and interesting - but on the other hand I was afraid I would feel them tugging and pulling on my leg and that made me a little squeemish. As luck would have it - they did NOT give me a choice and advised me that the Dr prefered to have general anesthesia. Whew - I didn't have to make any choices.
I don't even remember being wheeled into the surgery room. I was OUT! The surgery took a couple of hours and indicated that I did in fact have a labral tear of which they stitched up and then ground down part of my socket as well. They sent me home with 4 medications and crutches and I get to use the crutches for at least two weeks. Yikes! It looks as if I could be beginning my new job on crutches. Nice!
I can't say enough nice things about Tria, where I had my surgery. The people were extremely nice and very thorough. They even give the family members pagers so the dr's can locate them and talk to them after the surgery is complete.
Anyway - I've been home resting as much as possible, foot elevated, ice etc.
My pain has not as bad as what I had anticipated - so I guess I'm lucky that way. It just sucks not being able to run, bike, swim, in line skate or any other activity I'd like to do when the weather is so beautiful.

Funnest time EVER!

I'm quite positive "funnest" is not a word but that is the way I'm summing up my time back home for Ironman Wisconsin. While I did have my share of dorkiness, like accidentally shutting off my cell phone when I knew people would be trying to connect with me. Duh!
We did make it to early Saturday volunteer meeting and I saw one of my P2 buddies gathering information for the rest of the gang who would volunteering as wetsuit peelers (or strippers - whichever word you prefer!)
We sat around a talked to a few people like Chivalry Chris and I met a new friend from Iowa who has traveled a few times to Minnesota to race. She inquired about teams etc so I gave her as much information I could on the various Tri Groups in the twin cities however that I especially partial to Gear West & P2.
We traveled our way through the Athlete Village waiting for my fellow P2'r Luke. I was supposed to meet him for a quick swim after the meeting - but he wasn't calling! Then I thought maybe I'd just head to the water to find him. Nadda - pulled out the cell phone and guess what - the freaking think was off! Man - I was bummed. So I missed a call from Trimama and Luke. I felt like such a dork. We did end up seeing Luke when he was finished and chatted a bit. We were also admiring the bikes of pro triathletes Dave Harju and Marie Danais. I asked Dave if he needed me to "watch" his bike for him. We also ran into some local homies just turned pro, Dan Cohen and John Shelp of SCS Multisport John was my coach for my first Ironman in Wisconsin.
After saying our goodbyes and wishing Luke good luck - we made our way back up to the Athlete Village where we ran into Trimama, Tac and the Tribe. They were looking to meet up with some of the other bloggers. It was neat to meet all these people whose blogs you read. I met Triboomer, Bolder, Jumper, Velo Bela and her husband Big Mike.
Would have loved to stick around longer but we made arrangements to meet a friend of ours for lunch and headed over the Janesville, WI to tip a few back and watch football.
Our next stop was back in Madison where we picked up one of my friends, Stephanie as she would be staying with us.

When we arrived the following day we made a line to the transition area and then headed to the water to assume our positions as wet suite peelers. It was a blast! I somehow missed my friends Luke and TK from P2, but I was fortunate enough to see one of our friends John - I apologize for whomever I jumped in front of to strip him. After I stripped him of his suit I just kept screaming "go John!!"
After our duties were complete we hit the Ironman Store and the Inside out Sports for some shopping. I purchased a nice fleece and a couple of stickers but that was it. I was totally impressed with my ability to say "no" if really didn't need it.
After shopping we headed over to the Great Dane, which is by far my favorite joint in Mad City. I used to frequent the place when I lived in Madison and they always have great beer, great food and great prices - hence the name Great Dane. We sat outside in the patio area and the weather could not have been any better.
We watched the pro's head out onto the run course followed by some of the age groupers. We got a few pictures of some of the competitors and then made our way to our next volunteer duty which was at the Headhunters headquarters on State Street. That tent was rock'in! Mark and I both became security, preventing boneheads from stepping in front of the racers. Some people can really be clueless. After things died down a bit I was able to focus all my time and energy on the racers. I sreamed at the top of my lungs calling them either by name or by their number. I danced for them, I jumped up & down for them, I clapped as hard as I could for them and even gave them high-fives. If someone smiled because of my crazy ways - it was worth it.
We didn't get a ton of photos - but the memories are great. The greatest news of the day however is that our friend John who has been trying to qualify for Kona has finally done it! I'm so happy for him. Another one of our Gear West team and acquaintance, Jey also qualified - YEAH!! - so I'm going to planning a trip to Kona in 2008 to cheer on my fellow racers. I CANNOT WAIT!!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

SAVE & Other Happenings

This has been a busy week and somewhat exciting week. I have an opportunity (fingers crossed) to begin a new career at a new company. I currently work at an insurance company in the twin cities. Since a year ago however, I've lost a lot of drive and ambition which is not simply how I NORMALLY am. The situation I was in was not ideal by any means and simply put, I was not going to get any help from my boss. I realized there are many people out there willing to take advantage of you. If you have a strong work ethic - all I have to say is "watch out!" There will be someone waiting to let you do their work for them and then take all the credit. For the sake that someone from my work might "happen" their way to this post. That's all I've got to say about my experience.
I was fortunate enough to gain a new position internally but the whole entire fiasco (with my boss and with the company HR Dept) left an awful taste in my mouth.....and I guess maybe it's just time to move on. While I love my new boss - I don't feel very good about where I work and I kinda think that's important.
So this week, I got a call from a friend asking me if I'd be interested in making a move. Are you crazy! Uhm - Yeah! I had previously interviewed for this company in the spring but had been nervous about the amount of travel they didn't tell me about. It's one of those things were you ask how much travel is actually involved - and they respond with a question - "how much do you think is too much?" Yeah - I made a bee-line towards the door. Tstorms is really a creature of habit - and triathlon training becomes kinda hard when you're traveling all the time. Needless to say I passed on the position.
This new position is perfect and right up my alley - so I'm waiting to hear back from the recruiter. I'm nervous and excited.
I've been working out since my return from Lake Placid - although I've not ridden my bike since my return and tonight was my second 30 minute run. I've swam a few times, once in the pool and a few times in Bush Lake (my favorite until recently - but more to come on that!) Mainly I've been focusing my attention to lifting free weights, which was my first love prior to triathlon. I miss it tremendously and it's felt nice to get back in and focus on the muscle and not really have to worry about squeezing in a 45 minute swim, 60 minute bike or 90 minute run on top of that. I've forgotten some of the old favorites - so I've even busted out Mark's book, The new Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's a welcome change.
Last night, Mark & I attended a benefit to raise money for Taconite Boy's Janus Charity Fund Benefit for Ironman Wisconsin next weekend. Tac's benefit is SAVE and their mission is "prevent suicide through public awareness and education, eliminate stigma and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide. The picture above is from the benefit. Mark is on the left and Tac is on the right. It was a gorgeous night and we had a lot of fun. Here is one of the tables set up with wines, cheeses etc. (Did I mention it was a wine tasting?) The other is Trimama with Mark guzzling down the leftovers! Tac boy raised $1,000 dollars last night, but he still has almost another $1,000 to reach his goal.
Did You Know
•More people die from suicide than from homicide.
•Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.
•For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
•80% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.

If you or someone you love has been affected by Suicide, please consider donating to this worthy cause. You can donate by going to his blog and looking for the Janus Charity Callenge link.

So - about my favorite place to swim - Bush Lake. While talking about training with Tac Boy last night- he asked me if I knew about the beach closing - of which I replied, "NO????" To make a long story short - apparently there have been too many birds on the beach if you know what I mean - therefore they had to close the beach due to ecoli. Since Tac Boy, Trimama, Sir Kraut and I have been swimming there up until recently, it sort of gives me the willies. And it was SO CLEAN up until I left for LP. I shudder to think how much poop it takes to close a beach......Ick....

It's hard to think that tomorrow is September 1st. This weekend - there are projects to be completed. Well, one for sure - cleaning and staining the deck. Yuck.

We also have Gopher Football season beginning tomorrow against Bowling Green. Mark is an avid Gopher fan, whilst I am an avid Badger Fan. (having grown up in Wisconsin - my allegiance is still Red/White!) I do however wear Gopher colors with the exception of when they play Wisco!

Sunday - I'm joining my fellow P2 teammates for what may be my last official run of the season with my team before surgery. Can't wait to see coach and everyone. It's been awhile!

Monday - some of my Gear West team mates are having an end of the season triathlon - Lake Minnewashta style. You can show up for the swim and swim as little or as much as you like - followed by T1; bagels, o.j., muffins, gatorade - whatever. Maybe - an hour or so later the bike - again you can bike as little or as much as you like - followed by T2. Perhaps you care for a few bagels, or perhaps you might crack open a beer.....I think you get the picture.

I hope everyone will be enjoying their weekend with family & friends and enjoying the "working man's holiday" weekend.

Be safe!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Waiting for my volunteer duties

I'm excited about my volunteer duties at Ironman Wisconsin in a few weeks. Following that I will be volunteering at the Irongirl Duathlon in Bloomington. It's one of the coolest events, which by the way takes place on my B-day. I'm bummed I won't be able to participate in the event. It takes place just a couple of weeks after my hip surgery so I simply had to forfeit my entry...
I'm even more excited that I've confirmed 5 days at the Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid in order to train on the course and volunteer.
I've actually thought quite a bit about taking the year off of triathlon - maybe I should make it strictly a year of volunteering instead of racing.....

Monday, August 6, 2007

My extended family

Now that IMLP is checked off on the List of things to complete this summer, I am looking forward to IM MOO. This got me to thinking....

A few years ago I went to the inaugural IM Wisconsin event by myself - knowing no one. None of my friends were interested in joining me and at that point in my life - I was practically afraid of my own shadow let alone going somewhere by msyelf and being forced to meet new people. I spent all day there - taking in the sites and reveling in the thought that I wanted to do this thing called triathlon.

Now, we go to IM knowing so many acquaintances, friends and local triathletes that it's like showing up for a family reunion. There's always those family members you are particularly close with and those that you've heard of but not seen or
talked too much - but still have a connection with. You see them and suddenly you have a big smile on your face and you cheer for them all the same. The same goes for the local races. It's like showing up to a family get-together. I feel very fortunate for those I've had the opportunity to meet and call friend.

While I'm not AS shy as I used to be, I'm still a little overwhelmed sometimes at the thought of meeting new people. I've learned from some of my extended family though how to be more social and quite frankly - having such wonderful family makes it easy to FEEL comfortable. Sort of like being wrapped in your favorite blankie...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Race Report

Swim - The swim was the craziest I've ever experienced. Mirror Lake where we swam is pretty narrow for the most part and to fit almost 2300 people in a mass swim start is sort of crazy. I placed myself with a friend in the back of the speedy swimmers and sort of on the inside by the dock to align myself with the buoys we needed to swim around. That proved to be a very costly mistake. It took me almost 2-3 minutes to even get across the start line! Once across - I could merely dog paddle or tread water to hold my ground and look for ANY open space to begin swimming. I would not really find a good comfortable pace until lap two however, due to the congestion of bodies. At the beginning of lap two - the athletes actually run out of the water onto the beach and then back into the water on the other side. Once I started running, my left leg cramped horribly and when I tried swimming it simply kept cramping. I swam back to where I could stand and massaged my calf for a minute until most of the pain subsided enough to swim. That was the first cramp of that magnitude I've ever experienced in a race and I really thought it was going to prevent me from completing the swim!

Bike - The bike was simply too gorgeous for words. I wished I would have taken a camera with me but I'm afraid I would never have been able to complete the course in time if I had done so! I had friends warn me to be extremely relaxed and to take my time on the first loop of the bike course. The hills were very long and high but very manageable as long as you found a good cadence and stuck with it. On most of the big hills I could only manage about 6-7 miles/hour. There is a long down hill once you reach the top of one of the sections which is about 6 miles long. It was amazing - my first loop I managed to reach 47 miles/hour - but due to the wind on the second loop I could only muster 35 miles/hour. There was a section where it's an out & back and the turn around has an aide station. At the turn around there is actually a very small town which looks like there are only about 20-30 homes. I have heard stories about this place and that they have a different theme each year and dress up in costumes etc. All I can say is that as we were approaching the town you could hear the thumping of the music for miles. Once I hit the town limits it was mayhem and throngs of people everywhere. My eyes misted over a little because I do not believe I've ever experienced anything like it. It was a huge party just for us. You couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. This years theme? Halloween. They had balloon arches and they had the lawn/house ornaments out, balloon arches etc I stopped at this aide station both times and talked with some of the volunteers. They were a blast - and I told them they were the highlight of my trip. I had some Gastric problems on the bike right away - and it took me a bit to dissect the issue and then try to correct it. I think my Gatorade concoction was too harsh - so I had to dilute it. It would take me until about mile 13 of the run to really get over that.

Run - The run was quite hilly in spots, but again, there were some amazing sights. As I mentioned the first 13 miles my stomach was pretty upset but I knew that I was going to be able to finish in time - so I wasn't worried too much. While I tried to push myself somewhat - if I saw a person struggling - I stopped and walked a bit with them and chatted w/ them. I think one of the most interesting things about this sport is that it brings so many different people together and you have the opportunity to learn so much from others - what drives them, what inspires them, why they do this thing called Ironman. It's purely a blessing that any of us can do it - and it's another blessing to meet so many other wonderful people. The spectators where awesome as well. I don't think there was a minute that went by that I didn't hear my name called out - telling me I "looked good," or "keep going - you can do it!" I was hoping to have finished in 15 hours - but considering the views I stopped to take in and the amazing people I met along the way - I think it's worth the extra time.
If anyone is looking for a place to race their first or next Ironman. I firmly recommend Lake Placid.
My Finish Line Catcher was FABULOUS! She was extremely nice and very patient. (Even though I know you need to keep everyone moving!) She even took the picture of Mark and I!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lake Placid - The Vacation (Not Really)

There are plenty of things to do while visiting Lake Placid although we didn't do a ton of "vacationing." We did however make our way up to Whiteface Mountain. We took a gondola ride as well as traveled to the very tippy top of the mountain. When you drive to the top of the mountain there is actually a castle at the top! I had no idea!
The road was actually constructed during the depression to help stimulate the economy and create work for people and is called the Veterans Memorial Highway, in memory of the veterans of WWI. Franklin Roosevelt was involved with the creation of the highway which began in 1929. The road took approximately 4 years to complete.
The castle on top was constructed from the granite they had taken from the highway construction and there is actually an elevator inside to take you to the top OR you can take a trail to the top if you're not afraid of heights. (I took the elevator!)

The only other thing we got to check out was the Olympic Hockey Arena. Mark is an avid hockey fan so it was important that we visit. While he did spend some time there by himself while I was putting my gear together I got an opportunity to peak in there and snap some photos after I dropped my bike and gear off.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lake Placid - The Town

Before I jump right into my review of Ironman Lake Placid - let me please say a few things about this town and the people which live there. These people were amazing. They made us feel welcomed and made us feel as if we were home.
The picture is actually professional triathletes Dave Harju and Marie Danais. I met them on their way to the Athletes Village from obtaining their morning coffee. They were extremely nice and actually seemed quite surprised that someone wanted to take their photo!
The town makes use of every inch of space I swear. It is crammed to capacity of restaurants, hotels, motels, condos, stores and parking space. It is very tight quarters, which makes parking a hot commodity.
We stayed at the Best Western Golden Arrow. We didn't have one of the standard rooms, rather we had a condo off of mainstreet. The main hotel overlooks Mirror Lake and from the street you can look through the picture windows to the lake. It was a nice place.

We ate at Charlie's the night before the big day, which is the restaurant affiliated with the Golden Arrow.
When I went for a practice swim, I took some time to take in the views. It was then that I realized that while on Main Street there are several stores between our Condo and the actual hotel, in the back - the hotel extended all the way to our condo and then some!

Lake Placid - The Drive

We left the Twin Cities around 5:15 A.M. We finally decided to rest our heads in Buffalo, New York. It was approximately a 16 hour day filled with a ton of rain between Cleveland, Ohio and Buffalo, New York. Needless to say Mark was a little testy when we decided to stop as he had taken it upon himself to drive this entire distance. Let me go on record by saying I DID offer to drive several times!
Lucky for us we had a list of potential hotels in a varied number of cities to call ahead to reserve a room. We called several places in Buffalo and after SEVERAL attempts, found a place which had one hotel room left. We took it.
As we were approaching the stop light where we would turn right into the parking lot a car abruptly cut us off. After a few choice words out of Mark's mouth we followed them into the parking lot of the hotel. I quickly tried to get out of the vehicle so I wouldn't have to stand behind whomever had pulled in. I saw a group of women unload like clowns out of the vehicle which had cut us off. I ended up following them into the hotel. Crap. I was pissed.
As I stood behind the group of rude ladies, tapping my foot quite feverishly, I heard one of the ladies tell the clerk, "yes - I would like to reserve a room for the night." My ears raised like Scooby Doo - WHAAAT? You don't have a reservation? HA! Step aside rude ladies..... That's Karma for you.

The next day we got on the road around 9:00 AM. Once we reached the outskirts of Watertown, New York we hit the winding roads on Route 3/3A which gave us some breathtaking views of mountains, streams and lakes. At one point we stopped briefly in Saranac and met a couple of guys who were driving an SUV completely filled with bikes. 16 bikes total. There were several on top, several on the back and four in side. They were driving from North Carolina while the rest of their group flew. What nice guys! Too bad I didn't get photos. We didn't arrive in Lake Placid until 3:30 and man were we tired....but not too tired to scope out the town. The town makes use of every inch of space I swear. It is crammed to capacity of restaurants, hotels, motels, condos, stores and parking space. It is very tight quarters, which makes parking a hot commodity. The people here were extremely nice. They made us feel very welcomed and made us feel as if we were home. I instantly feel in love with Lake Placid.

Lake Minnewashta Triathlon Camp

How long it's been since I've posted. It's shameful! Anyway - the month leading up to Lake Placid I was taking care of some unfinished business and having some well needed fun.

After the Fourth of July, a couple of my friends brought in Paul Huddle and Paula Newby Fraser for a triathlon camp held on Lake Minnewashta. I did this same camp last year and it was a blast. Paul is extremely funny and I think the whole group appreciated his direct and no-nonsense approach to the sport. This year he brought his wife and we had an equally fun time. It was great to have such icons of the sport leading our small camp. It was quite an honor and I learned quite a bit.

Because I had gotten a hip injection the day prior I was not allowed to do any of the open water swimming. Because I decided to push myself and bike the following day, I found my injection site/hip quite painful the next few days. So - I also ended up missing out on the track workout. I was still able to listen in, take notes and take some photos for the team.

Friday, June 29, 2007


It's been awhile since I've posted anything - so.....where to start.....hmmmm....

Well, I guess I can start with the fact that I've had at least one solid, GOOD week of training. I had a week where my times were down and body felt good and overall could not complain about anything - including my hip! Yeah! So I was a little less than optimistic about a 100 mile bike I had scheduled for Saturday. Heck - at Liberty, my hip didn't last past mile marker 35.....what made me think it was going to be any different on THIS ride?
I don't know if it was the air temp being extremely low for the majority of the day - but all-in-all I had a great ride. It was even in less time than anticipated. I even followed up with 40 minutes of running. I couldn't beleive it - I FELT GOOD!
But let's back up a bit, to earlier that morning when I was chastizing a fellow rider -Tac Boy and his friend Tri-Turbo Kraut to put some sun-screen on. Well - somehow in all that mothering I failed to add some SPF to my own back. You can imagine a back having not see the sun all spring/summer what a 7 hour ride could do for you. Can you say Krispy Kritter? (speaking of which - I think that was a favorite cereal of mine when I was much younger - very similar to Alpha-Bits - but I digress) Therefore it was an afternoon of happiness and much pain for me. Youch! It is however healing - seemingly very slowly I must add. Of course - it didn't help much that I THOUGHT I was going swimming on Wednesday night. Put the swimsuit on and as I rolled the racer back straps up my back side - YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHH! Mother of Pearl!!! HUN? Blister? What blisters? IS there ANY skin on my back left? I was lucky to have ANY skin on my back and quite frankly felt as I'd been skinned and quartered like a deer.
OK - so back to my great self-esteem building weekend 'o workouts...
Quick shower....dressy casual clothes on - oh - did I fail to mention we had a wedding reception/barbecue to go to? Made a cameo, ate some food - dropped off a card and some money - met the family - chit-chatted a bit and said our goodbye's. I sort of felt like we were eating & running. (which we were) Lucky for me the bride knew I had a busy schedule to keep.
So - Sunday brought a couple of obstacles. The Waconia Triathlon. Mark and I had promised a friend of ours we would come out and cheer him on - not to mention my fellow P2er's and Gear West teammates. The triathlon in and of itself does not appear to be an obstacle but when you couple it with a threat of soring heat and humidity and a need to complete a 3 hour run....and the fact that we KNEW it would be at least noon by the time we got out of there - well - silly me....I simply was not prepared to run midday in that type of heat. I've just not acclimated well enough. And for those of you who are thinking - well - there IS Sunday evening....bite your tongue. Sunday nights are religious in our household and are left for watching t.v. and actually trying to cram in 72 hours of "relaxing" into the last few hours of the weekend. That leaves one option - get up butt early and run your 3 hours prior to leaving for the race at 7:00 AM- build in at least 1/2 hour to shower and re-fuel....and another 1/2 hour on the front end to make some oatmeal and cram it down my throat - you guessed it - Clock was set for 3:00 A.M.

At first it was a little errie as it was still dark - but I still felt geeewwwd. 1 hour into things and a few hills later - starting to show some signs of familiarity, resembling Ironman Wisconsin. Hips and quads a little sore. Carbs, need some carbs....ok - refueled....I'm geeeewwwd to go... 8 mile mark - hey - what's that in the middle of road (slight distraction) Oh - hey - it's a baby bunny! Baby bunny - you shouldn't be here....shew! Shew! What are you stupid? Are you have a death wish? Off the road with you!!! Ok - onto running.....10 mile mark - oh yeah.....this is EXACTLY how I felt at Wisco! Ugh - keep the legs moving...... Just think Tif....only 16.2 miles to go if this were the real thing.....11 mile mark - ok - walking for a bit is a good thing - after all - I'm not - you need to run...pick up your feet you lazy fat a**! Mile 13 - yeah - I'm almost home - I'm turnin' in. I'm tired - I just want to curl up on the sidewalk and go to sleep.....You should really run another 1/2 hour......but you don't have tiiiiiime! Besides - you're barely running! Come on now - what kind of work out is that REALLY? Ok - you win - I'm going home. Three hours next weekend for sure - ok? Yeah - sure - 3 hours. (fingers crossed behind back) 3 hours - you got it!

So - I made it to Waconia and cheered on several friends and teammates and several of those I didn't know - or had just met recently. Chatted w/ my coach who told me I was insane - but pointed out I was clearly ready for LP since in less than 24 hours I had put in over 12 hours of work outs....this made me a little happy. I had tons of fun and it was simply nice that I didn't have to race for once. I was home - back in bed before to la-la land and dream about next weekends workouts......ooh - that hurts, turn off sunburned back - to side......exit into a peaceful sleep.
I'm happy - I'm sunburned - I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pitty Party of One Be Done

I've been sort of crabby around the house these last few days and pretty solice at work. After having put so much effort forth into a race where I felt completely miserable I had a hard time sleeping as my hip would simply not allow me to get comfortable so I was up most of the night on Saturday night. I watched The Pelican Brief twice and The Client once all beginning around 2:00 AM. I was registered the following day in one of my favorite sprint distance races, which I've completed every year since moving to the Twin Cities area. The Manitou Sprint is part of the Midwest Events series sponsored by my favorite triathlon store Gear West and they have AWESOME Giveaways.....Did I mention they were awesome? They give away a Zipp Wheel set, a Tribag filled with bike shoes, speedplays, a helmet, body glide, a speedo fastskin etc and they also give away a QR carbon fiber frame. All race participants have an opportunity to to win one of these great give-aways but you MUST be present to win. You might see where I'm going with this.
Considering I had little sleep and my hip was a pain...I decided to stay home and and keep my body on ice. I thought briefly - Tif you should really go, if nothing else to cheer on your Gear West Teammates but alas I made the decision to stay home and rest/sleep.
Imagine my surprise, when I received an e-mail from one of my teammates later that day advising me my name had been the first drawn for the bike frame........
long pause here to muster my composure..........
ARE YOU FLIPPIN' KIDDING ME? Seriously folks, I could have cried. Well, actually, I think I did. It was the proverbial "icing on the cake" to a weekend where I HAD BEEN super excited to race.
I've had to remind myself these past few days there are tons of people who would kill to be in my shoes, hip pain and all and what importance does a new Carbon Bike Frame have? I mean really. Of course it's extremely nice - who wouldn't want it....but there are more important things to worry about or get upset over. Losing out on a good opportunity - well - why it may suck, it surely isn't the end of the world. And maybe, just maybe, that bike frame went to someone who really needed it. (that's what I'm telling myself anyway)Why then am I feeling so blue? It's beyond me. It's just a pity party I guess. One I'm snapping out of as of today. I've got tons of things to be happy about and be grateful for and I'm counting my blessings.
Case in point - this Friday evening Mark and I are going to a benefit to help raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. My coach from Ironman Wisconsin and recently turned Pro triathlete was diagnosed a year ago with Leukemia. His wife has chosen to compete at Ironman Lake Placid as a tribute to his vitality and love for life. So far, treatment has been successful and we're all extremely grateful. We enjoy his presence far too much.

Tonight as I was preparing to send out a graduation card to a cousin of mine....I re-read the card I had purchased several weeks ago and it really had a nice message so I'm going to post it here, mostly for myself. However I hope you enjoy.

“Lemons and Roses”

Life can bring lemons and roses –
The bitter along with the sweet –
And it’s mainly the way that we handle those things
That determines success or defeat.

Enjoy all the roses life brings you,
But notice how quickly they fade,
While lessons you think of
As toughest to swallow
Can always become lemonade.

For lemons and roses are both a reward
For your efforts in every endeavor.
And to think of them both
As the gifts of a lifetime
Will make you a winner forever.

Attitude is everthing -
Good Night all

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Race Report - Liberty 70.3

Let me first start out by saying how much I looked forward to completing this race. Seriously. I was pumped, excited, exuberant blah, blah, get the picture. I ate right, I was well rested. I felt ready. Other than my ongoing hip issues and of course this nagging cough I haven't kicked yet I felt ready.

I started the swim and it took me awhile to get into a comfortable rhythm but after a few coughs I was well on my way. Little did I know that one of the buoys had apparently broke free and had meandered a couple hundred feet. All of the ladies in my wave, including me swam to buoy tacking on that distance and time to our swim course. Actual distance swam - 1.4.

Oblivious to the extra energy spent during the swim, I swiftly move through T1 to the bike. I spent little time in T1 and actually was rather impressed with my cat like reflexes. (I wish) On the bike - I was feeling rather good about my pace until we got out onto the main drag and was hit full on by a strong head wind. CRAP! Oh well - this too shall pass....I passed people and was passed by others stronger than myself. On the way back in of course we had the wind at our back which was extremely nice. This however was a two loop bike I got to experience that wind for a 2nd time. Nice. I sooo missed the opportunity to race in windy conditions. NOT. As time wore on the bike I noticed the nagging pain in my left hip begin at mile 35. How bad could it get though? At some point I felt a pop in my right hip followed by extreme discomfort. Nah - couldn't be. Shake it off.

T2 - still quick with cat like reflexes however I was sort of ticked off at how much pain I was experiencing in my left hip. (the ongoing Labral tear story) Normally I don't put my gear away in transition, however I so pissed and my gear bag happened to be open just enough that I tossed in my shoes, I jammed in my helmet for good measure. Then running shoes on, number belt, fuel belt, visor - I'm off like a prom dress. Only thing is - this hip thing is still nagging, and beginning to nag a little more. I walked the first mile 1/2. I focused then on running 5 minutes on - 1 minute off, walking the aide stations. For a brief couple of miles I really thought the pain was going to go away. 1/2 point - complete flare up. Tears, anxiety, thoughts of IMLP gone.....I walked, ran, walked more and more, ran a little - more tears. Thanking the volunteers through complete tears - th-an-k yo-u f-for vol -shniph-unt-eering....there was a medic on the course on a bike. At mile 8 he began hovering. To tell you the truth I thought several times about throwing in the towel. At this point even walking was excruciating. Now it's two minutes of running by two minutes of walking. Mile 11....Mile 12....and at mile 12 1/2 I saw Mark w/ his camera. Tears in full force - I knew the finish line was close. I kept thinking - this was somehow not the day I envisioned. This bites ass! I'll take it though because I didn't quit. But did I mention that this REALLY SUCKED?!?

Positives I took away from this day - It was a mental victory for sure. Perseverance is key. Friends and loved ones who greet you at the finish line with smiles, kind words and even better hugs when you are salty, grimy and stinky are worth more than money.

Bring on the recovery week - bring on the last few weeks of Ironman training. Mentally - I'm tough enough. Now if I can only get my body to cooperate.....

Here's to mental toughness -

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Train Hard - so you can enjoy yourself

These were the words I heard from Greg Lemond's Exercise Physiologist Dan Zeman on Friday evening when I picked up my packet for my first and only Olympic race this year, at Buffalo.

I have to admit - these words of advise do not seem to be rocket science - but yet I've never quite thought of racing/training this way. The approach - rather than train to bust your butt to leave all you have on the course and shave seconds off your time from last year, why not train so you can do the same race you did last year "more comfortably." Hmmmmmm....So being that I have been pretty sick these past few weeks and hacking up a lung prior to entering the brisk waters of Buffalo this a.m. I decided this was the approach to take.
Let's face it, coughing coupled with swimming does not make a favorable outcome. Picture coughing, followed by MORE coughing because of unexpected water intake. Ugh! I was happy to see the last of the big yellow rubber duckies behind me. If anyone is wondering about the ducks - well, take a look at their site and you'll find out.
The bike and the run were much more "relaxing." While I didn't have a stellar performance, I was fortunate enough to cheer on several other friends and acquinatances as they passed me. (heading to the finish line on an out/back course) I even met a few new friends and chit chatted a bit with them before settling into a comfortable pace with a fellow GW teammate of mine. He's doing Ironman Zurich in a few weeks, so this was his final race before making the trek overseas. How exciting!

I was pleasantly pleased with the overcast day we had. The night before I was secretly hoping for rain (a little bit of rain.) Years past this day could bring wind and an unforgiving sun. Ok - so it's only a 6.2 mile run - but hey I'm a middle of the packer so I'm out there longer ok? I was happy with the rain. Sorry to any of you who feel to the contrary!

The greatest news of all however is the feeling of leaving the race and not spending the rest of the afternoon in extreme discomfort as in years past. My legs were not as stiff and sore so I'm happy about that. So - I really took what Mr. Zeman had to say, to heart and I feel pretty good about that. I know I could have pushed myself harder to have a better time but rather I chose to stop and meet some people along the way. I had a great day and I truly enjoyed myself.

Now I only have two more races this next weekend. I have a 1/2 iron race on Saturday and I am signed up for a sprint on Sunday. Not sure I'll make the sprint....but I can surely go cheer on some fellow teammates. After that, all I have is the final home stretch of training until IM LP. 7 weeks and counting.......

Monday, May 28, 2007

Great weekend of training

I did my first duathlon of the season while developing bronchitis and raced in 40 degree temps. Not one of my briter moments - but hey - the bright side is that my first run split was better than last year - the bad news is - my overall time was :24 seconds slower than last year. Bummer.
So - I was really looking forward to this weekend to get in some well needed training. Since I've been sick I simply have not felt like training and have headed straight for bed almost every night this past week. Saturday, I did my first two hour bike in pretty cool and windy conditions. Came home....soaked in a hot tub.....slept for an hour.....headed out for a two hour run. While it was the best run, I did it and it felt GREAT! Sunday, I met my coach and teammates and headed out to the Afton hills. I was excited with anticipation as I've heard the hills out there are horrendous. First, however, we did a little two hour runs through the hills and trails of Afton State Park.
Now - can I ask you - have you ever heard someone have an asthma attack? Have you ever caught a fish and watched it try and breathe once you've pulled it into the boat - gapping for air? Yeah - if you've seen either one of those, or both, you can invision what I must have looked like and sounded like. It brought me to tears and I felt so weak. At 1 1/2 hours I was ready to call it quits but my a new friend of mine piped up and said - no - we have to do two hours. Thanks Michelle. I needed that. Onward and upward. (literally)
After that, we biked for about an hour and hills were everything and more I expected and made me feel good for getting my butt out of bed that morning. So good - I bought a season pass and I'm going back for more.....hopefully.....

The Season is here and I'm not

I've been doing this endurance thing for a few years. It was something I began because it was a dream of mine since watching Sian Welch and Wendy Ingraham in 1997. When I volunteered at the first Wisconsin Ironman as a finish line catcher, I thought to myself - this is it - it's time....what do I need to do to get started.
I've since done a few races here and there and even participated & finished my first Ironman in Wisconsin in 2005. In 2006 I was depressed I had not signed up for any Ironman races - but knowing my body - well - I'm probably not one of those people who can just pick up and do them year after year.
Last year - I talked a friend of mine into doing Lake Placid with me - and I just don't feel it this year. Nothing seems to be coming together like it should. I've had hip problems to contend with, talk of surgery....blah, blah, blah....and now four weeks of sinus infections and bronchitis. Crap - just shoot me now.
The only two races I'm signed up for other than LP(an olympic and 1/2 iron) are back to back weekends this weekend and next and I feel I'm not ready.... and then only one month of training until show time. This is insane. I'm not ready - not at all......

Monday, May 21, 2007

Newbie Tri Blogger

Work in Progress - Thanks for stopping by!