Monday, December 31, 2007

So ends the year...

Year-end summary:

In 2007, I ran 427 miles. I cycled for 1296 miles. I swam 58,225 (meters/yards?). I did strength work in the gym 36 times.

I completed two 5K, two 10K, two sprint tri, two oly tri, two half-marathons and one oddball race.

I wasted a little $$ on a few races. There were two 5Ks that I didn't run. I also forwarded the race registration on one sprint triathlon to the next year.

Thoughts about 2007:

A lot of my 2007 was good. I established exercise as an integral part of my everyday life. I completed races in new distances, 10k, oly tri, half-marathon, and gained more self-confidence. I met some really neat people blogging and in 'real-life' and have new friends and know more people at races. I commuted to work by bike twice a week during the summer and early fall. I bought a comfy new carbon bike. Husband bought his first ever road bike. I discovered how fun it is to ride with Husband. Husband joined me on almost all of the running races and even ran at my side at both half-marys. I discovered running skirts. I never took anything too seriously and had loads of fun.

Some parts of 2007 were not so good. It has been incredibly difficult to balance everything while working full time and working around the kids schedules. I had open water anxiety issues to work through. I am slow as molasses and not getting any faster. I had a motivation set back in December; it's scary how easy it is to get back into the coach potato life. I still feel like an athlete poser.

Thoughts for 2008:

Not quite sure what I want to do this year, so I don't have big goals laid out yet. I think I want to do three or four half-marathons and try to break 2:30:00. I might like to do the MS150 in August or some similar long distance cycling event. I want to improve my oly distance performance.

I also want to make a life change that has a positive impact on the environment and possibly motivates others to do the same. Watch this space.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

re-framing at its finest

shattered glass ornaments = reason to explore after Christmas sales

below freezing mornings = opportunity to spend more time at the gym

two extra apples-to-apples games = $60 giftcard at Borders

crazed teenagers stuck at home for two weeks = family time

upcoming freezing cold New Years morning = trail run with husband

holiday food temptations = weight challenge reward seems all the more sweet...

nine on the ninth = just what I needed

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's Wednesday already?!?

I truly hope that everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Day Before:

Don't know about the rest of you, but I've always enjoyed Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day itself. This Christmas Eve was nearly perfect. We had our traditional New Mexican meal, went to the candlelight service, and spent time afterwards as a family paying games while listening to Christmas music. Good times. :)

The Day Of:

On Christmas morning, we discovered that Santa, family, & friends were very kind to us again this year. I appreciate all the thoughtful gifts, but I must tell you that this will forever be remembered as the year of Apples-to-Apples.

The first one got a response of "Oooh! It's Apples-to-Apples. That's a fun game."

The second one "Oh my gosh, it's another Apples-to-Apples. I told you that it's fun."


Don't get me wrong, it's a great game, and we had a blast playing it yesterday afternoon, but I'm not quite sure what we'll do with the extra two.

On a more serious note, Son offered to say grace before our Christmas meal. It was touching to hear a heart-filled thanks for the day in his own words.

The Day After:

I avoided it on Monday, but hopped on the scale this morning to see what kind of damage has been done in the past week.

I'm reminded now that cookies and cheese and pastries and mashed potatoes and stuffing and holiday food in general are NOT going to help me reach my weight goal by my birthday in Feb.

I am now only -2 of the desired -8. Boys and girls, it's time to get serious...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Chocolate Peppermint Goodness

This afternoon, I made some chocolate peppermint spoons to be used in warm milk, hot chocolate, or coffee. They turned out cute, wrapped simply with some saran wrap and tied with ribbon. And they are super easy. Thought I'd share. :)

1 cup chocolate chips
1 candy cane - crushed
12 plastic spoons

Melt the chocolate chips on low. Using a metal spoon, coat both sides of the the plastic spoon with chocolate. Place on aluminum foil or wax paper. Sprinkle crushed peppermint on top. Harden in the refrigerator.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Follies

Haven't been very active this week. Did my two strength workouts this weekend and that's about it.

I had a Wii party at the house for my colleagues on Tuesday afternoon. I came home early to put some food out only to find our Christmas tree laying on the floor amidst a pile of shattered glass ornaments. :(

I wouldn't have bothered to post at all, but I have been tagged by Cindy, so I'll give it a go. I'm not tagging anyone 'cuz I don't want any of you to get my icky cold virus germs. I am to post five random things about me that you may or may not know. I've chosen to stick to a theme of Christmas Eve traditions.

1) Honey Nut Cheerios is the reindeer food of choice that my family puts out for Santa's flying friends.

2) Our kids get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It always turns out to be new pyjamas.

3) We put out luminarias and also enjoy driving around other neighborhoods looking at them.

4) At the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church, we sing "Silent Night, Holy Night" while lighting candles. It always makes me cry.

5) I make the traditional New Mexico posole and tamales meal for Christmas Eve, but I don't care for either.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Not running, but...

No running today, still coughing. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

After about 20 tries, I successfully got a photo of Son and Daughter that they liked enough to let me print them up and send them out in our Christmas cards this year. Thanks to the magic of digital photography, I can share it with you all as well.

Sigh. They are growing up too fast.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Follies

I only made it through half a day at work on both Tue and Wed. Nobody in the office seemed to want me there anyway... something about keeping my germs away from the healthy people.

I started feeling better Thursday and felt even better today especially after my appointment at the salon for a sassy new haircut. :)

I believe Im on the mend. The weekend seems promising for some quality exercise.

Have a good weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thoughts from the Nightstand

I wonder... if I take half a dose of nyquil at 1am, will it help with cold symptoms and let me get to sleep without oversleeping?

Oh.My.Gosh, I just realized that my 8 on the 8th time turns out to be 88mins. What a strange coincidence.

That's almost a full min per mile faster than my half mary time. I think I want to work on maintaining that pace for a half mary. Could I do it?

Is that a cold sore forming on my lip. Wonderful. I feel like crud and now I'm going to look like crud.

I wonder what is making those vertical shadows on the wall. It doesn't make any sense

I wish it would snow just a little bit. Enough with the rain already.

Why do viruses make us cough and get congested. I don't think anyone has ever explained what do they do to the body that causes those reactions.

I hope I feel better in the morning.

I'm so tired. I just want to get back to sleep...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ah yes, it's a Monday....

Stepped on the scale this morning. For a moment, it seemed to want to tell me that I was down another half pound, but it changed it's mind and decided to render a verdict of "no change from last week". I stepped off. I stepped back on. Still no change. Stepped off. Stepped back on. Stepped off. Stepped back on. Same result. Sigh.

This morning I attempted to run on the treadmill before work at the fitness center. What a miserable experience. In addition to my normal despise of the treadmill, I found that it was simply too freaking hot in there. After 1.5 miles, I stepped off and walked outsideo to try to cool off. I probably looked like a crazy women standing outside in a running skirt and sleeveless shirt in thirty-something degree weather. After a few minutes, I went back in, found a fan, aimed it at the treadmill, and managed another 1.25 miles before I felt like I was going to collapse from a combination of overheating and boredom.

It rained again today. Tomorrow we're expecting rain and snow. Oh joy.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

How not to pace yourself

aka "Jingle Bell 10K Race Report"

aka "Virtual 8 on the 8th Race Report"

aka "You seriously expect me to run in THIS?!?!?"

It's been a while since I've posted on my blog. I've had a busy week and I'm not feeling up to par. Wednesday, I came down with a headcold. Thursday, son had a Christmas concert. Friday, Bandit had oral surgery to remove a broken tooth (and a dental cleaning while he was under). And today is pegged for 8 on the 8th.

Let's start with the weather forcast that I woke up to: High of 51, winds 20-30mph, chance of rain 40% .

Husband & I were scheduled to run the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 10K this morning. We arrived at the race site about an hour ahead of the start time so that we could pick up our packets, get our chips, etc.

We spent most of the pre-race time in the car trying to stay warm. I asked him if he thought it would rain. He looked up at the grey skies and said "nahhh"

This race is at Balloon Fiesta park with two loops scheduled for the 10K. There is a long low grade hill for most of miles 1 and 4. There are other hills, not as significant. This is the 2nd year that we've run this race (last year just one loop for the 5K) so we knew what to expect.

Before I get to the detailed race report, I want to say that I am disappointed in the race this year. We run this because it raises money for the Arthritis Foundation, but I'm not sure I'll run it again next year. There was not a single aid station on the course....NONE...NADA...ZIP. There was confusion when we arrived about our race numbers (the numbers on the list didn't match the numbers on the bags with our names). And when we got home, we realized that while my bag had a shirt (a nice one, I might add), Husband's bag did not contain a shirt. What's up with that? As I type this, he is headed back over to the venue in hopes that someone is still there so he can get his shirt.

At about 7minutes before the scheduled start time, there was an announcement for all 10K runners to assemble at the start line because the race was going to start on time. We got out of the car and went over to the assembly area, only to be led through a pre-race macarena warm-up. Ugggh. It's cold and windy. Let's just start running, people!!

When that was over, we walked to the start line, and the race finally began with the sound of a horn. Between miles 1 and 2, I wondered, hmmm, do I feel rain? By mile 3, there was no question. It was rain.

Folks, I've lived in the desert for 17yrs. When it rains, we stay inside. We certainly don't run in it. I mean, something bad could happen. You might slip and fall. You could get a raindrop in your eye and be blinded or something. I dunno, just something bad might happen.

But then again, on a course with no aid stations, I guess it gives you a way to stay hydrated.

BTW, I carried my hydration belt with two little 8 oz bottles of accelerade and shoved a gel in my skirt pocket. I felt a little silly wearing a hydration belt at a 10K race, but once I realized that there wasn't anything for us out on the course, I suddenly felt brilliant!!

I won't bore you with the details of the run. I ran, and it rained, and I got wet. That pretty much sums it up. On the car ride on the way home, I started shivering and realized that my clothes were soaking wet. There's no way you're convincing me otherwise, running in the rain is something to be avoided.

On with the numbers. You will notice that my pace was all over the map. Hence the title of the post.

10K finish time 01:09:20 per my Garmin.
Pace 11:03

Mile 1: 10:50
Mile 2: 9:50
Mile 3: 10:59
Mile 4: 12:20*
Mile 5: 11:06
Mile 6: 11:06
Mile 6.26: 2:41 (9:58 pace)

1.75 add on: 18:40 (10:41 pace)**

8 on the 8th Finish time: 1:28:00 (did I add wrong?? It turned out completely even, weird.)
pace: 11:00 (does that seem right?)

* I ended up walking a bit on mile 4. I decided to take off my sweatshirt and also took a gel and some accelerade

** I want to be honest and put myself out there for a possible DQ for 8 on the 8th because my add-on miles actually happened on the 7th; I had planned on doing it today after the race, but there's no way I'm heading back out in today's blustery wet weather. It's your call, virtual race officials.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What's your Carrot?

All month, I assumed that I must be lacking motivation, because I haven't seemed to get myself to do much mid-week running or speed-work. This was particularly concerning in the past week since my knees and hip have been feeling much better for the past week or so. I also haven't been to the pool for months and I actually really enjoy swimming

All year long, I was pursuing a goal of "going farther". With that carrot out in front of me, I was motivated to do train in a way that allowed me to increaseddistance from 5K to 10K to half-marathon and from sprint to olympic. It got me out on my bike, into the pool, into the lake, and steadily increasing my running distance week after week.

Guess what? I actually don't think I'm un-motivated. I simply have a new carrot out in front of me. It probably won't last for more than a few months, but my carrot for the off season is to lose those pesky 8 pounds.

This carrot makes me do different things than the previous carrot. It motivates me to do strength training at the gym. It motivates me to schedule and enjoy long slow distance runs without increasing distance. It motivates me to think about what and how much I'm eating. It doesn't seem to care about swimming.

Some of you might have more than one carrot at a time, but this is the only one that I'm actively pursuing at the moment, and that's fine by me. Today I am down another 0.5 lbs bringing me to -3 of my goal of -8.

So...What's your carrot?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Nov Tally

The Numbers:
- Running: 24.5 miles
- Biking: 59.5 miles
- Swimming: nada
- Gym: Completed 7 upper body strength workouts
- Races: 1 5K Finished (Hobbler Gobbler), 1 5K DNS (Doggie Dash)
- Weight: lost total of 2.5 pounds against goal of 8 by Feb

- Running mileage way down, but my knees and hip are thanking me for it.
- Increased gym workouts as planned.
- It's neat how things turn out. What I thought would be a fun 5K with Bandit didn't work out at all, but a spontaneous one in cold windy weather that should have been miserable turned out to be a lot of fun. :)
- Good progress to weight goal. Yay!

December Outlook:
- Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis (10K) as part of 8 on the 8th.
- Maintain gym workouts; add legs.
- Ramp up running volume again. :)
- Begin plan for 2008

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Random thoughts

Well, my vacation week is coming to an end. Time to face reality tomorrow. Wahhhh!!! I really really really really really don't want to go to work tomorrow. Sigh.

While I was off, one of the things that I did was clean out a closet, a desk, and one of the kitchen cabinets. Husband cleaned out several more kitchen cabinets. I can't say that we're quite done as there are things that need to go somewhere still, but I am happy with the results. However, I did have to envoke a new rule in the house - no more starting to clean out something until all of the stuff from the last cleaned out something have been dispositioned.

Another thing that I did, as mentioned in my last post, was run a 5K on Thanksgiving. I just now looked at the results. I was 5th of 10 in my age group. Sure, I was close to the back of the pack for the whole event, but I was dead smack in the middle for my age group. I kinda' like like that.

Black Friday was more like White Friday here. We actually got a little bit of snow, but it's gone now.

Ran/walked 7 miles easy today. I took water with me, rather than my usual Accelerade in the hydration belt. We'll pretend it was an experiment, rather than an oversight. Won't do that experiment again anytime soon, I hope. Accelerade wins over water.

Punpkin pie is evil. I'm afraid to weigh myself tomorrow. EDITED: The scale was kind to me. Amazingly, it returned a slightly smaller number once again. I am now -2.5 of my goal of -8.0.

I just officially signed up Husband & I to run the Jingle Bell 10K on Dec8th. Its a run for the Arthritis Foundation - very special to us.

Assuming I am able to complete that event, it will bring my 2007 race totals to 2 5Ks, 2 10Ks, 2 sprint tris, 2 oly tris, 2 half-marys, and one oddball - Tammy's run on Jan 1 in over a foot of snow (shortened to an 8K). I also had 2 DNS and one race registration forwarded to next year's event. Overall, I'm quite pleased.

It might not seem like much to most of you, but I need to put this in perspective.

In 2006 I finished six 5Ks and one sprint triathlon. In 2005, I finished one and only one 5K (my first!) and I learned to swim. For 40 yrs prior to that, I basically did nothing.

It's all relative. I'm planning to chalk up 2007 as a GREAT year. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

I'm thankful for awesome kids and a great husband. For a roof over our heads, plenty of food in the house. For employment that provides more than we need to survive. For my pets. For friends, co-workers, family, and fellow bloggers that give me encouragement when I need it. I'm thankful for good health and finances that allow me to run, bike, swim, be it race, train, or play. For freedom. For living in the USA, here in beautiful New Mexico. The list really goes on and on.

Case in point: I had written off participating in any of the local trots on Thanksgiving morning because of concerns that running hard may further aggravating my troublesome knees and hips. But then I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from a friend indicating that she was coming into town a day early to beat the storm and wanted to know if I'd be interested in running the Hobbler Gobbler.

Who am I to say no? We HobbleGobbled our way for 3.1 Miles on a blustery cold Thanksgiving morning. It was cold and at times I wondered why the heck we were doing this, but I'm so thankful to have a friend to nudge me out the door and share the experience.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vacation Day...

Second day off work this week...and what do I have to show for it?

For one thing, I think I'm now a Guitar Hero groupie. Does this count for something?!?!

My son totally rocks this game, and has already completed intermediate mode. Me, not so much. I'm in awe. But I've found "my song." I'm practicing "Stricken" and my high score in beginner mode on this particular song is 98,000-something at the moment. If you play this game, leave a comment re:your fav song, where you're at, etc.

Oh yeah, I bet you now think that I've wasted the entire day rockin' in my PJs. You are So.Wrong.

Husband & I actually went on a nice 40mile bike ride with lunch break today. He asked me what pace we were going at one point, and I informed him that we were going at precisely "a leisurely pace." What did he expect? It's the off season, and I'm on vacation.

Actually, I must say that today was an insanely nice day, 67deg or something. We're expecting snow on Thanksgiving, so I think that may well have been our last nice day until spring.

Topped it off by going out for Chinese food for dinner.

Danger Will Robinson! Diet gone awry!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Morning Cheers and Jeers


First off, Boys and girls, Husband and I took the week as vacation. I cannot tell you how happy I am to not be going into the office for a whole week.

First thing that I did on my day off was step on the scale for my Monday morning weigh-in. To my surprise, it returned another smaller number. I'm now -2 of my goal of -8 by early February. Unbelievable. This next week is going to be a challenge with Thanksgiving happening, but it's all a matter of portion control. At least that's how I'm approaching it.

And a double cheer on this last one. The kids happily bagged up leaves from the backyard so they could earn the extra money they needed to buy Guitar Hero for the Wii (they had most of it already, but needed a little more). And then they bought the game which has turned out to be a lot of fun. While I have time off work, I just may spend time unleashing my inner Guitar Hero. LOL.


My knees and hip continue to bother me. As a result, my recent runs have been shorter and slower and with more walking. I probably ought to see someone if still an issue next week. Sigh.

We're in the market for a new water softener (btw, this is probably the root cause for why we had to repair the dishwasher).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Strength Training

I have been going to the gym for upper body strength work once a week for the past few months. It's taken me a while to appreciate the time spent doing exercise that seems to be very boring to me. However, everything I read says I should be doing this 2-3 times per week to maximize results. Since I'm starting to enjoy the slow pace of strength work and the mornings are pretty chilly these days before work, I've decided to commit to twice a week effective least until the morning weather is a little friendlier.

Anyway, all that's left now is for me to make it happen. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday Weigh-In thoughts

Yes, I know it's Tuesday. Just ignore that one little fact, please.

1) Mr.Scale tells me I'm -1.0. That's good news. I'd love to celebrate by eating badly, but instead, I'll celebrating by posting that factoid here. Not quite as fulfilling, but it will have to do.

2) So many kind comments about me looking fit. THANK YOU. I admit, I had to look again at the latest photo and I am amazed at the person I see. You really have no idea how much progress I've made in the past two years because (conveniently) I don't have a before and after photo (I managed to avoid the cameras in the before phase). You'll just have to trust me on this.

3) Not happy about still having knee and hip issues. :(

4) We had to put Boots down a year ago yesterday. Still haven't buried his ashes in the back yard as intended (they are in an urn in the Study). Will make a point to do that sometime in the next few weeks. He was a good dog.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Five things I've learned this weekend

1) Pick a time of the day for weigh-ins and stick with it. I'm sure there is some scientific reason for it, but it seems to me that weight fluctuates all over the place during the day. For now on, I'm only weighing myself in the morning. It doesn't matter one bit what my weight is at any other time of the day.

2) There's a reason why skirts specifically designed for running have built in briefs instead of shorts. As such, my most favorite skirt for running is the chocqua one I bought from and happen to be modeling in the photo to the left. NOTE: I'm wearing big 'ol goofy headphones, my ears don't really look that weird!! Also, the sun was low in the sky when the photo was taken, so the photo turned out dark. Sorry about that!

3) Half a bagel with peanut butter and an apple makes a much better pre-workout meal than fried potatoes topped with green chile and cheese and a side of ice cream. No need to thank me, I'm here to help.

4) A calm voice reminding a teenage boy to keep the car centered between the yellow line and the side of the road actually yields better results than a look of panic while shouting the he's too far to the right.

5) Sometimes checking out a new trail/path yields leads to a great find. Other times it leaves you breathless walking your bike at the top of a steep hill wondering how the heck you'll get back down. Either way, it's a blessing to have good health and another day on this earth. Don't get frustrated, be happy.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Making the most of things

Love Mary Gee's comment (inch by inch and it's a cinch, yard by yard it's very hard). How true.

Today I decided to simply address the dishwasher issue. I was actually able to get a repair person to come out during lunch time. He thinks the motor needs to be replaced (ouch. that's about $400 with labor), but possibly soaking it with vinegar water might remove some deposits that are keeping it from working properly. Decided to try the vinegar route before committing to a new motor.

Somewhat out of the blue, I decided to start painting the kids bathroom. I have the kitchen in somewhat of a half-painted state and should finish that before starting something else, but I felt like painting something and working in the kitchen seemed like a bad idea with the dishwasher issue.

Why am I telling you this? Well, yesterday morning I did my normal upper body strength workout, but I upped the weights on a few exercises. As a result, my arms, shoulders, back were a little sore while I was painting, but in a good way. And it made me smile. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Is it Friday yet?

My job has stress that comes in waves. Lately the waves have been of the tidal variety and I feel like I'm being swept around beyond my control. Today was a particulary cruddy day.

Wouldn't be so bad if I could just run it off. But with the time change, I'm encountering darkness right when I'm home and able to run. And I just don't like running in the evening dark. Morning dark doesn't bother me so much, but evening dark does. Not sure why, but it does. And when I'm under stress, I don't sleep well. So it's hard to get up early to run because I'm really tired. Bummer.

Wouldn't be so bad if the dishwasher hadn't recently decided to stop functioning. But it did. I'll make a call tomorrow for an appt to have it serviced, but for now we're washing dishes by hand.

Wouldn't be so bad if the dryer was working properly. But it isn't. So it's taking longer to get clothes dried and I'm behind on laundy too.

Wouldn't be so bad if Husband wasn't going to be out of town next week, leaving me to manage all the driving in circles to get kids to and from whereever they need to be on time (rather than our usual divide and conquer approach). Especially since this usually means I need to come in a little late or leave a little early from work which causes me to get further behind at work.

Wouldn't be so bad if my work laptop hard drive hadn't crashed causing me to have to spend a day waiting on a new build only to find that practically every application I need wasn't included in the standard build, requiring a new download/install.

Wouldn't be so bad if the bathroom scale would cut me some slack...just for a few that I didn't start off my challenge to self with my weight going in the wrong direction.

I have a lot of things to be thankful for in my life. A.lot. But right now, my job doesn't seem like it's one of them. And none of those other things on their own would be such a big deal, it's just everything at once that is hard to deal with. But I really seriously need to have the discussion with Husband to reconsider whether I need to be working right now. Life is just too short to be miserable over something as meaningless as a job, don't you think?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Battle of the Bulge - Challenge to self

How to explain this? I really don't think there is anything wrong with my weight if I simply consider the number in comparison to my height. The problem is in comparison to my bone structure. I am really tired of having no defined waistline and extra bulge in the mid-section.

Basically, my self-image is that of a pudgy stick figure. I realize that I'm never going to be one of those curvy women, so at this point I'm just trying to pull off somewhat of an athletic look. The mid-section bulge has to go. And this winter, I'm going to work on shedding a few pounds.

The Challenge: Lose 8 lbs between now and 13-Feb (which happens to be my 43rd b'day).

The Reward: $150 shopping extravaganza for a running skirt of my choice and all the coordinating tops and/or other accessories that happen to suit my fancy.

This will be WAY harder than any of you might realize.

For one thing, I've just discovered that Baskin-Robbins now has peanut butter topping, something that I haven't had available for the 17yrs that I moved away from Friendly's territory. Peanut.Butter.Topping. Have you tried this stuff?!?! Oh.My.Gosh. You have no idea how much of a weakness I have for ice cream with peanut butter topping. It's pure evil. It's calling my name even as I type...

Then there's this little event called THANKSGIVING in which I carbo-load on pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes and other yummies until I about expload.

Then the Christmas baking. Aye carumba.

Think I can do it? I'm really not sure that I can.

And if I can't, I'm thinkin' I might as well just belly up to the Baskin Robbins bar and order me a big ol' sundae with peanut butter topping right now...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Today's choice - Champion Running Skirt

I've decided to model and give a report on each of my skirts as I test them out. Today I wore my Champion running skirt from the sale rack at target. I've worn this one to the gym a few times and it works well for that. There is a zippered pocket in back, perfect for keys. There are built-in shorts underneath, from the same material as the skirt. I wore it today hoping to give a field test report from running in it, but that will have to wait for another day.

For you dog people, the hands-free leash is around my waist under the long sleeve shirt. I even got Bandit to tolerate the yellow bandana. We were color coordinated and ready to do this thing.

I arrived early to the race venue to find at least a hundred dogs already there. Some better behaved than others; but most (including mine) in a what can only be described as a heightened state of sensory overload. I was struggling to get Bandit to ignore the other dogs and focus on me. I hadn't even made it from the parking lot to the starting area when I realized that this wasn't going to be a fun way for me to spend my morning afterall. And since FUN is my over-riding goal at the moment, I simply turned around, got back in the car, and headed home. With that decision comes my second DNS for the year.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Just stuff

I've made it through Daughter's B'day without her just fine so far. I think it was worse thinking about it than living it.

My alarm is set at the crazy early time of 1:40am so that I can pick up son who is due back from a Marching Band competition at 2am. Ugggh. It's worth it though. He called a few hours ago very excited that they made finals for the first time. This is their last competition of the year, so it's a nice ending after all the hard work they've put in.

Speaking of son, he's taking driving lessons. I took him out for 20mins of driving practice on Friday before dinner and about had a nervous breakdown.

I've quickly gone from zero to one to two to three running skirts. Love them all. Now I have the dilema of figuring out which one to wear tomorrow.

Doggie Dash packet included a bandana for Bandit and some lamb&rice jerky. He likes the jerky. The bandana...not so much.

Two days at the gym so far this month. And one day shoveling rock for some friends. Not bad, eh?

Well, I need to call it an early night so that I'm coherent when it's time to pick up son. Gulp. A 1:40am wake up. I've tried, but it seems there is just no way to make that seem reasonable.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So Ends Another Month

The Stats:
- Ran 61.8 miles
- Biked 44 miles
- didn't Swim at all
- Completed 2 upper body strength workouts at the Gym
- Completed 1 half marathon

- This was my highest running volume month EVER, despite a few weeks of total slackage and borderline burn-out. Makes me wonder what I could do in November if I really put my mind to it...
- All my bike mileage was from a single adventure with Husband, and I loved every minute of it.
- I'm happy. And that is most important of all. :)

November Outlook:
- Running with Bandit on Sunday.
- Planning to get back into the gym habit.
- Might do a Turkey trot of some sort.
- Fitness for fitness sake and pure enjoyment, not because of training for an event.

Monday, October 29, 2007


1) How much slack do you have on the leash?

Well, when I run with el Bandito (Spanish for Bandit) I use a hands-free leash system that connects to my waist with a lunge buster that helps tremendously if he decides he wants dash off suddenly after a bunny or whatnot.

2) Have you thought about bringing water for him?

Yes. I will bring a bowl and fill it with water from bottles after the race so Bandit can re-hydrate.

3) What's the sudden obsession with running skirts?

Dunno. I didn't have said obsession when I started and then suddenly I did a few weeks ago. But now that I do, surely you can't blame me for wanting to look cute?!?!

4) Have you lost interest in triathlon? All you talk about now is running, and you haven't mentioned any triathlon goals for 2008.

No, I haven't lost interest in triathlon. I'm not a hardcore athlete that trains/races through the whole year. I'm in it for fun and nothing more. My triathlon season probably starts back up in May. In the mean time, I don't want to sit on my rear eating ice cream everyday, so please indulge me as I focus a bit more on running for now. Life is short. I want to live it to the fullest and am still exploring different ways to do that. :)

5) How do you feel about your baby turning 14 and being out of state on her birthday this weekend?

Okay, nobody actually asked me this question, but I wanted to work this in somehow because it is on my mind. It bothers me more than it does her. It's weird, and I'm not happy about it. :(

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Skirt Obsession & Doggie Dash Training

I returned the odd-colored gym girl skirt and decided to shop around some more. They had an all black one that was clearly too big and kinda boring from a color perspective, but WAY on sale. I decided to take that (and still got $$ back with the exchange) and altered it when I got home. I too the waist in a full 2" by adding a pleat. I think it turned out cute and fits well now! I ran in it today and I felt awesome.

This afternoon, I've been obsessing over the skirts at I want to order something 'fun' and can't decide between choctreuse, chocqua, and navy/white (or the and light blue). I think I'm going with Chocqua and if it fits well, will put some other color on my Christmas list. :)

Obsessed? Maybe. Not sure why, but I think I need to abandon shorts in favor of skirts. I just do. Today I was thinking that I could potentially even swim in one and do a pool swim sprint tri entirely in a skirt...

Training for the Doggie Dash w/ Bandit is going not so well. Part of the concern has been leash training with him with distractions. I'm concerned about keeping him in control when surrounded with a bunch of running human/dog pairs. The other concern is my knees which haven't been the same after the half-marathon. I've openly reconsidered the race, but Husband thinks I'll be fine if I'm okay with starting at the back and walking as much as needed to keep Bandit under control and the knees in check. I really want to give it a go, so I just need to ultra-conservative on my approach to the event, and I think it will turn out okay.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


When I decided to take a break, I truly did NOT mean for it to mean sleeping in, eating cake (for breakfast), and slacking off (completely), yet that is exactly what I have been doing. Trying to get serious now. Game face on.

1) I've decided to enter the 5K Doggie Dash (with Bandit) that happens 10am Sunday 04Nov. I must give a shoutout to Cindy for pointing this opportunity out to me. I love the idea of this race. It's something fun that I can't take too seriously because I'll have doggy in tow. Money goes to AHA and you should know by now that I'm an animal lover. I'll be home alone most of that weekend and need something to do anyway. Also, I don't want to compete in the RR Duathlon (5K run, 25K, bike 5K run) that same day because I need to pick my son up at 3am that morning.

2) I've decided to return the running skirt that I bought last week becuase the colors of this particular skirt (purplish blue and pink) are all wrong for me. Trust me on this. But I'm going to order something online that should be a better match for my color palette/taste (hopefully brown!!).

3) I'm thinking about buying a Brooks Nightlife cap to get me through the dark running hours that are facing me for the next several months - it's bright yellow with splices of reflective stuff plus a blinking light. What do y'all think?? Good investment or waste of $$ ?

4) Our half-mary photos are available. I like a few of the ones of Husband & I running side-by-side. I think I might order a few 5x7s because looking at these pics just makes me happy. If I could figure out how to show them to you, I would, but I can't, so you'll have to trust me on this too.

[edited - if you want to go to the trouble to see the photos, you can go to and enter bib#1206. The ones I like the most are 0041 and 0042.]

Okay, so there you have it. For the short term, I need to put a training schedule together for Bandit and I. I think we'll do 2 miles tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This and That


Official time was based on crossing the start mat (not gun time), so my official finish was 2:36:58 for a pace of 11:59 min/mi. I'll take that as a Personal Best for this distance even though is it actually a negligible improvement.


Naproxin has been my friend. Knee pain is not making me happy.


I think I want to give the half-marathon distance another go at the Fiesta de Albuquerque in April. I don't feel like I've done it 'gracefully' yet; I still need to conquer those last three miles.

I'm toying with the idea of the MS-150 in August. I like the idea of a LONG bike ride that isn't a race.

Beyond that, I'm not sure.


I'll probably do something for fun, but I'm not sure what that might be (yet).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Duke City Half-Mary Finisher!


"We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment" - Jim Rohn

...for me today, it was the pain of discipline.


Yesterday morning, Husband went downtown to get our packets. I *heart* the brown long sleeve t-shirt that we got. It's totally my color.

I agonized last night over the weather forcast. Yesterday it was pretty nice...80deg when we spent the afternoon at Wilson Stadium watching the 5A schools compete in Pageant of the Bands. It was hard to believe that the weather forcast for today could come true. But when I woke up in the morning and heard the wind howling, I knew that they were right...a cold front/storm had moved in.

I decided to wear my favorite running shorts underneath a pair of capri length athletic pants and a sleeveless shirt underneath a long sleeve one with the thumb hole thing, no gloves. Also my yellow hat. Stepped outside to test my attire in the crisp morning air, and it seemed okay. I loaded up my fuel belt with Accelerade and 3 gels. Used a race belt for my number, and strapped my Garmin on my wrist.

We arrived at the race venue early enough to search the crowd for familiar faces and watch the full Marathon start, but it was a good 5 degrees cooler downtown that it had been at home and the wind had picked up. We ended up taking cover inside a building instead. At 15mins before the scheduled start, we braved the cold air and made our way to the start line.

The race started pretty much on time. I was happy about that. I started my Garmin when the gun went off, not when we crossed the mat. I'm not sure if they used the start mat or gun time as official time. I noted that it took about 48 seconds for us to get to the start mat, in case that matters.


My Garmin made a weird beeeeep. I looked down. Lost satellite connection...something about hitting I did. Maybe I shouldn't have? My Garmin was basically just a watch for the rest of the race, so I was blind to my pace. Drat!! Guess we're just gonna' run on feel today.

Took our first walk break after the 1st aid station (mile 2?). By then I was feeling fairly comfortable, not cold anymore.

Took our next walk break after the 3rd aid station (mile 4?). I took a little extra time to take a gel and take off my long sleeve shirt and tie it around my waist. I was feeling pretty good, but had no idea what pace we were doing.

We stopped for walk breaks at the next two aid stations (miles 5, 6?). The aid stations offered water and gatorade. Sometimes I took water, other times I just used it as a reminder to drink some of my accelerade.

I hit the lap button on my Garmin at the turn point, and looked at the elapsed time for the first time: 1:15:45. I was convinced that was better than my half-point time at Chips-n-Salsa. I was happy and smiled. I looked up and noticed a race photographer. It will be interesting to see how that photo turned out (assuming they took one).

I started paying attention to elapsed time on my watch at the next several mile markers.

17 minutes later, we had gone another 1.5 miles. I tried doing the math in my head and figured that we were running something under 12 min/mile up to this point.

I started hitting the lap button at every mile marker. The next two miles were 12:38, 12:13.

I was getting warm. I told husband that I wanted to stop at the next mile marker to take off my pants so I could just run in shorts. I also needed another gel. With an extra long walk break, that next mile clocked in at 13:29.

Then I don't really know what happened. My ankles started to hurt. My lower back started to hurt. My knees started to hurt. My hips started to hurt. I hadn't had any pain up to this point and suddenly everything seemed to hurt. Every step sent pain shooting through my body. It hurt so much, I was fighting back tears. To add insult to injury, the wind picked back up. Noticing that I no longer had a happy face, Husband suggested another walk break. That seemed like a good idea. I put my long sleeve shirt back on. It seemed like everyone passed me while I hobbled and limp/walked. 13:30 min later, another mile was behind us.

I noticed a woman with a really cute running skirt who also happened to be walking. I shouted "hey, cute running skirt!" to her. She smiled and said "thanks"

Volunteers tried to be helpful and were telling us "One mile to go"...then "a half mile to go." I shouted "That's too far! I'm so done with running!!" The cute skirt lady came up beside me and said "Come on, you can do it. You're almost there."

That last half mile took forever. Cute skirt lady started counting down the blocks. Husband was a few steps ahead and kept looking back to make sure I was still moving forward.

And then finally we were done.


I'm blessed - I'm extremely grateful that Husband ran this with me today. Having him there with me this morning was awesome.

It's a wash - On Friday, I told Cindy that I'd either run this one faster or slower than Chips-n-Salsa and either way was okay with me. Instead, it was almost exactly the same! According to my watch, I ended up finishing a mere 15secs faster than my last half-marathon. It will be interesting to see what the official time is.

I hurt...a lot - I'm happy to have finished, but my body hurts all over. The aches and pains in my joints/low back make me wonder if this distance is simply more than my body can safely handle. I remain in awe of all of you who are somehow able to run farther distances.

I think I need a break - I don't have anthing else on my race calendar right now, and I really don't know what I want to do next. Nothing's jumping out at me. I think I'll take some time to figure it out.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Half-Mary a'comin'

I haven't done anything since Monday. Nada. Zip. My next plan run happens to be 13.1 miles on Sunday morning. I wish I could get pyched up for it, but I guess I'm looking at it as just another run.

I hope to see Cindy there. Consider leaving her some comment love, she's facing her first full Marathon at the same venue!! Go Cindy Go!!

This morning we went out for a little 'retail therapy'. I'm pleased to have found a gym-girl skirt on sale. I've toyed with the idea of wearing it on Sunday, but I probably ought to make sure I like running in it before committing to wear it for 13.1 miles. I probably should stick with my favorite running shorts.

Scratch that. Looks like tights may be in order...I just now looked at the weather forcast for Sunday. It's gonna be chilly and they're saying winds 25-35 MPH. Yikes!!

Hey Cindy, you might get to test those new gloves out sooner than you thought. Now I'm wishing I had bought some. :(

P.S. Thanks for all the supportive comments on my last post. You folks make it hard for me to sulk around for too long. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What goes up must come down

Sorry in advance, this is mostly a venting post for my own mental health. Skip it if you want to read about training or PRs or were looking for light reading. I'll try to keep it brief in case you go ahead and read on...

After having an awesome day on Monday, things seem to have gone downhill fast.

#1) I got a call that my dad has been in the hospital for a few weeks with some complications after getting a flu or something like that. Neither my sister or I are on great terms with our dad. Realizing that some day (soon or in the future) we are going to be forced to make some decisions on his behalf really shook things up.

#2) I received an anonymous note complaining about Bandit's barking during the day while we're at work. We've had him since January and nobody has said anything to us before. I know the recent balloon fiesta really freaked him out. Should I assume this is a new issue? Has it been going on for months? I want to take care of the problem, but since the note-writer didn't have the kahunas to let him/herself be known, I don't know who to ask for more info or to find out if what we try to do to rectify the situation is sufficient. Sigh. I've re-enlisted in-home trainers and they come again next Thursday morning.

#3) Remember when I mentioned work stress for the past few weeks? Whaat I didn't mention is that we're going through layoffs in my department. People have been finding out their status as of this week. My group seems to have been one of the hardest hit. I didn't lose my job, but several of my coworkers did. It hasn't been fun.

#4) Our microwave died. This wouldn't be such a big dea, but with issues 1-3, this is just really bad timing to have to deal with this.

Something to ponder - I wonder if running/biking/swimming makes me happy simply because it temporarily distracts me from the reality of life?!?! Has anyone else ever felt like that??

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Taper Schmaper

Saturday afternoon, I went 7.2miles with Hubby. He went further, but I'm not sure how much. He literaly runs circles around me when he tries to run 'with' me because can't match my slow pace. It must be funny to watch.

This morning, I went 8.5 miles total. I was happy to have the company of Shytrigirl for 3 of those miles. We were also escorted by some black dog for a couple miles(frustrating!!). My morning run ended with a 2 mile stretch up a hill and back. It sure is a lot easier to do that hill at the beginning of a run than it is at the end.

Add that to the 3 miles on Friday and I've covered about 18miles in the past 3 days. With a half-marathon one week out, I'm pretty sure that I'm violating all of the rules of tapering, but I really don't care. For my own sake, I needed to run more than I needed to taper. And you know what? I'm feeling a lot less stressed now. :)

One last random topic. A few of you have commented on the new photos that I put up. Thanks!! Once I got past how disgusing my body looks, I decided that I actually like that photo on the bike at Elephant Man. I don't recall seeing the photographer; so I think the smile was just an honest expression of how I was feeling at the time...happily enjoying such a beautiful morning. I do this stuff simply because I can, not because I'm any good at it. And when I'm out there, I feel alive beyond words. That photo is on my blog to remind me of the real point whenever I'm beating myself up about something as pointless as the length of time at which it takes me to traverse the course. :)

Friday, October 12, 2007


Today I did get outside to run, but only three-ish miles. This morning I felt like I needed to divert some of my pent up negative energy (aka anxiety from work stress).

I decided to run two miles 'fast' (5K pace), trying to hold a pace or negative split, and then run easy coming home. And I was determined to do this outside and enjoy the scenery and fresh air.

Mr. Garmin says that I was mostly successful. Not sure why I slowed down on that second half mile segment, maybe because I had to cross the road?!? Anyway, I did what I set out to do which is a confidence builder in and of itself.

What's not so great is that I realized just how much I *don't* like running 'fast' (5K pace). That was supposed to be my 5K pace. After several months of longer slower runs, I don't think I could hold it up that pace for an entire 5K; at least I don't think I'd *want* to. On the other hand, that easy segment at the end was considerably more enjoyable.

This leaves me feeling like Goldilocks when it comes to running. A 5K is too short and fast. A half-marathon seems too long . So what (if any) distance is just right? Or is it just a matter of not being quite prepared again? Sigh.

I need to figure this out so that I know what I want to do next...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One step at a time...

This morning I did get to the gym for my upper body strength workout and while I was there I added 20mins on the dreadmill just to get some more running into my schedule. I brought my shuffle and tried to mix it up a bit by changing the dreadmill speed up or down when different songs came on so I could run to the rhythm. That was enough of a distraction to keep me moving for step at a time

I have found my job to be incredibly stressful for the past few weeks and today was no exception. To be perfectly honest, I don't handle stress very well and often let it get the best of me. I've had a few sleepless nights this week and that really needs to change. I'm looking forward to a longer run OUTSIDE tomorrow to clear my head. I intend to enjoy the moment for what it is and let my stress step at a time

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Whole Lotta Nuttin'

That pretty much sums up my training week so far. Also describes how much Apple Pie is remaining.

On Monday, It was really cold in the morning so attempted to run on the treadmill at the fitness center at work. I wanted to do 4 miles, but it was sooooo incredibly boring that I just couldn't take it and quit at 2. I have no idea why anyone would enjoy running on a treadmill, and I applaud those of you who don't enjoy it but have the willpower to do it anyway.

On Tuesday, I felt stuck at home until about 9:15 because my dog would not go outside and he needed to be outside because the cleaning people (who come every 2 weeks) were coming later that afternoon. Why wouldn't he go outside? Well, we have this little event known as the International Balloon Fiesta going on this week. There are somewhere near a thousand balloons registered. That's a whole lotta' balloons. Apparently, Bandit is TERRIFIED by the big scary balloon invasion and on Tuesday they were touching down all over our neighborhood.

Then there was today. I would have liked to bike to work. Instead, I had to drop off my car at the shop to have a tire repaired and do some other work. And this evening, I'm attending an event at Daughter's school.

Mabe the tides will turn tomorrow. Thursday is my scheduled strength workout at the gym. I'll probably go ahead and do that, and/or if I'm feeling brave I may give that treadmill another attempt.

On Friday, I really MUST run. I have a half-marathon in less than 2 weeks and at this rate I'm not going to be in any better position for it than last time. :(

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Still Slow

I did my longish slow run Saturday instead of the usual Sunday morning before church because I was expecting to need to pick son up very early this morning* when he returned from a Band competition in Denver. After that, I knew I'd want to 'sleep in' and my long run just wasn't going to happen . Very Early as in he called at 3:45am asking me to be there in a half hour. Yikes!

If anyone was concerned that my earlier run this week might be an indication that I've lost rights to tuse my slow-n-steady moniker, the answer is a resounding NO. First 3 miles came in around 11:30 (which is what I was aiming at); Next three about 12:15 (a little slower, not bad); final 3 around 14:00 (mostly wogging - walking/jogging). Not exactly the confidence builder I was hoping for. Oh well.

Today was going to be a Sunday afternoon bike ride, but it was too windy for my taste and I had the overwhelming urge to make home-made apple pie. Hmmm. Skipped ride for apple pie. Wonder if that has anything to do with my ever-expanding mid-section? Nahhhhhhh....

Friday, October 5, 2007

Battle of the Bulge

Some people decide to pick-up a healthy lifestyle so that they can lose weight. Good thing that wasn't MY motivation. I currently weigh more than I ever have before (with the exception of when I was pregnant). What is up with that? It's mostly in my mid-section. I have some serious tummy flab going on.

My daughter has been tracking her weight and height since the beginning of the year. She is now a half inch taller than me and weighs a full 24pounds less. There is a 6 inch difference in our waist measurments. I was whining about this to her, and she mustered up all her teenage wisdom and said "Mom, you've had two kids and you're OLD. You look good for your age. I hope I look as good as you do when I'm old". Thanks, dear.

Old me and my tummy flab better get our act together, because Husband and I are now signed up for the Duke City half-marathon on 21-Oct. Bring it on!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Running Experiment

The Plan:
Run "Fast" for a mile (think 5K pace), being careful not to go out too fast and burn out. Walk a quarter mile. Run "Fast" for a quarter mile trying to duplicate the pace from the first mile. Walk a quarter mile. Run "FastFast" for the final quarter mile.
The Results:
Not bad! First mile average was 9:56min/mi, and I did a reasonable job guarding against going out too fast. First quarter mile was 9:49 - pretty good pace match. Final quarter mile was 8:38. For me, that is really good.
(Note: Pay no attention to that little leftover .01 mile, I just didn't hit my stop button on time!!)
The Purpose:
I have done a lot of long slow runs and hadn't done anything resembling speedwork for months. I wanted to reassure myself that I can, in fact, pull off something faster than an 11:30 if I really try. I also wanted to see if I could replicate a pace by feel. Finally, I wanted to see how fast I could run (all out) for a short distance.
The Conclusion:
I think it was a success. I might try this again in a few weeks.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Keeping me Honest

In the spirit of keeping me honest, here are my stats for September. At some point, I'm going to graph this to give a better picture of my progress over the year. :)

Run: 48.5 miles

Bike: 190 miles

Swim: 9000 meters

Other: 5 gym workouts - upper body strength

Races: a half-mary and an Oly tri

Thoughts: 1) Adding the upper body strength has been interesting, but it came at the cost of swim or run time. I'll continue for at least another month before deciding if that stays or goes. 2) I really feel like I need to run more, but I'm not sure how to fit that in. 3) I'm happy about those races. I had fun. 4) Fall is here! Bike commuting will become a test of will-power in colder dark mornings. How much do I want it? Guess I'll find out soon!!

October Outlook: May or may not do another half-marathon in about 3 weeks. I'm leaving this to Husband's whim. I want to keep working on my run base and will target 9-10miles for the next few Sundays. No other races planned. I don't do well without a goal; this could be interesting.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I am an Elephant Man - or something like that :)

(I'll try to edit this later and add links to fellow bloggers. Sorry, I can never remember how to do that and want to get this posted)


Got a call from GeekGirl on Saturday afternoon. She was on the bike course following S.Baboo and gave me the low down. In summary, I should expect it to be hilly, bumpy, & scenic.

My friend & I left at about 2:30pm and drove through a storm. It quite windy when we arrived. We drove the bike course and I knew that this was going to be a challenge. I had little sinking feeling in my stomach and started feeling quite anxious about how the next morning would unfold.

We attended the pre-race meeting and the athlete's dinner, which was pretty good.

SWTriGal walked over to the car with us to admire my new steed (photo is of friend taking bike off car).

We called it an early night and slept well as per the plan.

We arrived plenty early in transition and got set up near the bike out. During the pre-race meeting, I was surprised by the Most-Wonderful-and-Supportive husband who had awakened at some rediculous hour to drive down alone so that he could be there to support me before and after the swim. I am SO BLESSED; I cannot tell you how much that meant to me.

They concluded the pre-race meeting with a blessing from a local Pastor and the National Anthem. I thought that was a nice touch.

The Swim

The swim was basically in the shape of a triangle. They started the race in two waves - men under 50, then everyone else. They started our wave when the men had cleared the second bouy. I counted to 10 and started swimming. This time, my swim was MUCH better, in that I didn't panic and need to flip on my back or anything. However, I did manage to swim terribly off course in the middle and probably added and extra two tenths of a mile, so my swim time wasn't so good. Despite this, my goal for the swim was simply to swim 'well' and not panic, and in my mind I accomplished this. Next time, I'll add 'stay on course' to my plan!!


I'm not sure where T1 officially started and the swim ended, but the run from the water to T1 was very long and uphill. I had placed my sandals near the water so I didn't have to trudge all that way barefoot. That was a good move. Husband was there to cheer me on. That really lifted my spirits. He made a point to let me know that he would be heading home and told me to have fun. I still can't believe he drove 2.5hrs each way just to stay for an hour or so. He SO ROCKS!! Other than that, T1 was pretty uneventful. My wetsuit came off easier than it did at Buffman Squeaky and I was happy about that.

The Bike

The bike was challenging, very challenging. But I must say that there were portions that were just absolutely BEAUTIFUL. As much as I was struggling, I couldn't help but enjoy it because of the scenery. At one point, I even caught myself singing out loud.

Cindy yelled "We're doing great" or something like that as she passed me at mile 6. I didn't see very many other cyclists out there, maybe three. It was a bit lonely.

They had bottle exchanges at miles 10 and 20. I picked up some water at mile 10.

I leap frogged with one woman who was having trouble with her wheel. She ended up getting a flat near the end and walked her bike into T2 (bummer!!).


It was a little disheartening to see people packing up to leave while I entered transition, but T2 seemed to go smoothly. I was very happy to be off my bike and start the run. I remembered to WoooHooo as per the plan. ;)

The Run

I started off happy to be running, and this quickly faded. The run course was difficult, more so than I expected and had trained for. It was hilly and hot. At my last Oly, I ran the whole thing. This time, I walked quite a bit. The first .8 miles was a bit of a trail run including a fairly steep uphill portion in sand!! :(

On my second mile, I saw SWTriGal and my friend, both looking strong out there. On the second Dam, I saw Cindy. We cheered and hooted for each other. That was a bright spot for me. :)

GeekGirl and her fellow Outlaws were manning the water station at the run turn point. Their station rocked and was by far the best out there. They even won a trophy for it. In addition to having water/gatorade, I was fully hosed down with a power squirt gun, a few folks dumped water on me per my request, and I was offered Gu (I refused, having just had one a half mile earlier).

With about a mile and half left, I really ran out of steam and two runners passed me including the lady who had walked her bike in with a flat.

After what seemed like an eternity, the finish line was finally within earshot. I crossed the line waving my arms in the air like a crazy woman.

Post Race

My friend got a massage while waiting for me to finish. I was hungry and took advantage of the food that they had out. All of my friends placed in their respective divisions. I loved cheering for them. The RD made a point to stop the awards when the final finisher was crossing the line so we could all cheer for her. That rocked.

I wish they had a slow-n-steady division (awards for the final three finishers in reverse order, wouldn't that be cool??). I wouldn't placed in that either, because I think I was fourth from last overall.


This was a first time event and a really well done race. The volunteers were awesome. I tried to thank everyone one of them when I passed them on the course. The RD did a great job; I'm planning to send her a note of thanks. The officials rocked and kept the course safe. My Totally-Awesome-Most-Wonderful Husband came down to watch me swim, which was incredible beyond words. The water was comfortable. The bike course was absolutely beautiful (albeit very challenging). The run wasn't so much fun for me, but we did get the unique opportunity to run across the Dam which has been closed to the public since 9/11. The only downside (and this is very minor) is that the shirts are plain white with black ink.

All-in-all, I'm glad I put this one on my calendar. It was a nice ending to my 2007 Tri season.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Something of a plan

Mon - Off
Tue - 2-3 mi easry run - didn't happen
Wed - 4.5mi run with hills - done
Thu - Upper body strength - done
Fri - Swim; 6 mi easy run
Sat - short, easy bike
Sun - RACE

Leave Sat 2pm - meet friend who is driving
Arrive Elephante Butte 5pm
Check in, packet pick-up
Drive bike course
Athlete's dinner/meeting
Early to bed
Sleep well
Bagel & PB at 6am
Arrive transition 6:30am
Stay calm
Swim well (good form)
Be happy
Luna bars and Accelerade on the bike
Spin easy up the hills
Don't worry about getting passed
Gel on the bike when 6mi left
WooHoo at start of run
H20/Gatorade from run aid stations
Gel at turn point
Enjoy the moment
Finish smiling
Thank volunteers
Come home
Post race report
Sleep well

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mental Prep

What's the opposite of being psyched out? Psyched in? Well, whatever it is, that is what I'm trying to do for myself.

Today Husband & I completed 18miles of our intended 20-30mile ride. This was not a fun afternoon to be riding, it was windy and rainy. I only got about 12miles and 2 of the 3 hills recorded by my Garmin because I accidently turned it off before we were done. Grrrrr. I really wanted data from the third hill.

We were tackling said hills in preparation for next week's Elephant Man Triathlon especially after seeing the reconnaissance report from SWTrigal.

According to my Garmin, that second little hill we did today climbs 200ft in about a half mile. I just barely made it to the top...slowly...but I did make it. The hill at the end of Elephant man is a 400ft climb over about 4 miles. I think a long slow climb is going to find me taking a long (slow) time. And the bike profile shows a lot of little rollers before we get to that climb. It's going to be challenging, but doable.

I expect my training this week to be hit and miss. Husband is travelling, so I'll be on my own during the work week to get the kids to school and such. This means no bike commuting, no early morning gym, and probably no morning runs. Sigh. I'll just do the best with whatever opportunities come my way and chalk the rest up to tapering.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chuggin' Along

Yesterday Cindy & I planned to go to Cochiti Lake and swim. We did go to Cochiti Lake and we did swim. But we did not swim *at* Cochiti Lake. As it turns out, yesterday was very foggy in the morning. We went in and out of fog on the way up to the lake hoping that it would clear up or be clear when we got there. No such luck. We got there and the gate was closed. DRAT!

Anyway, we were good and swam at the gym. It wasn't the same as swimming a mile or so in the lake, but I'm confident that we are both ready to do the swim at Elephant Man. Since she comments, but doesn't blog, feel free to leave some encouragement for her here - this will be her first Oly!! I'll be sure to pass it on. :)

This morning, I had a two hour block of time available to run. I took advantage of it and finished 9.5 milrd with a few minutes to spare. Tomorrow I'm hoping to complete some sort of middle distance bike ride (20-30miles) in the afternoon with Husband.

Daughter got 3 inches off her hair today. Despite the fact that she loves how her hair turned out and actually thanked me for taking her, all I could get on camera was her 'annoyed at Mom' look. LOL. That's life with a teenage girl.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's on my mind today

1) GORP (Good Ol' Raisins & Peanuts)

Yummmm. I just love this stuff. I'm thinking of replacing some of the peanuts with soy nuts and adding some 'craisins' and/or other dried fruit and putting it in my bento box for my long rides. What would be better is if I could figure out how to bake this into some sort of bar so I could grab bite sized pieces rather than have to scoop up loose stuff. Someone suggested using peanut butter to glue it together and make balls & then roll it in powdered sugar...sounds messy to me.

2) Alternative Energy

Today I signed up to buy 300 KWatts of Wind Engery per month as part of my regular utility service. Wind energy is clean, uses no fossil fuels or water, and generates no waste. I've been looking at replacing my SUV with a Hybrid SUV (I have my eye on something that will be available next fall). With the kind of driving that I do, I could expect to run my car on the rechargeable battery fairly often. I also consider the use of "Lisa-Power" to get myself to work 2 days a week as a positive alternative energy source. I really should cycle more often to do errands.

I do think that our society as a whole needs to be more responsible about non-renewable resources and waste in general. My teenage son questions whether we can make a difference. I believe we *all* make a difference one way or another in the choices we make about recycling, energy sources, water use, etc.

3) Elephant Man.

The bike profile is scaring me. I"m just gonna' do what I can do, but the closer the race gets, the more freaked out I get about the bike portion.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Only my Nose is Running

Yep, that's right. Today's long run? Didn't happen. I know that it is okay to train as long as whatever ails me is above the neck, but I just felt miserable all day and didn't see the point is pushing myself. I slept in this morning *and* took a nap this afternoon. I actually feel better now than I did earlier today, so maybe I'm on the mend. Or maybe it's the cold medicine. LOL.

I was contemplating the missed run. I don't think it will impact me too greatly for Elephant Man (which is now only 2 weeks away). I do, however, think it might have been the deal breaker with regard to whether or not I attempt a second half marathon at the end of October. If I do another one, I really don't want to go in without the distance. I don't want to run more than 8 miles next weekend so that I'm in good shape for the Elephant Man the following week. I'll only do a 10K at the end of that Oly. So my next chance for a decently long (12ish) mile run will be the week after that. That will be after having long runs of 0, 8, 6 consecutively...maybe not such a great idea. I'll play it by ear. I'm really not sure I even *want* to run another half-marathon so this could all be a mute point.

After my nap, I spent some time on my bikes. First, I replaced the rear break pads on my Giant. I had replaced the front ones some time ago and the rears were in bad shape. Next I installed front and rear lights. My commute isn't in dark yet, but I've seen other bikes with their lights on in the early morning and I think it is a wise decision to help be visible to cars.

The last thing I did was swap the seats between the two bikes. The one on the left is what was on my LeMond, the one on the right is the cushy Rx Serfas gel saddle that I had put on my Giant. I took a picture, because I notice several differences. The Serfas is wider in the back and has never caused pain to the 'sit' area. The other saddle is narrower and has left me with some hot spots. Yes, that saddle is a pain in the butt! Also, the Serfas is split farther toward the front. The other saddle is actually solid at the very front. No wonder my tender female parts have been sore! Anyway, I can tolerate the uncomfortable saddle on my short commutes at least until I buy another Serfas or something else for my LeMond. But I am *not* doing any more long rides on that other saddle.

Ah...wouldn't you know it, Performance Bike has another sale going on. Husband wants a second pair of bike shorts (Ha! I've converted him!), and I'm looking for some of that highly reflective stuff to wear in the morning. Off to spend more $$...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bike and Sneeze

Woke up this morning sniffling and sneezing and my throat is scratchy. Drat! It seems I've caught a cold. That didn't stop us from our morning bike ride, although I wasn't breaking any speed records today. We only managed to cover 39miles in the time it took us to go 45miles on Labor Day. Oh well. Now, I wish I could figure out a way to strap a box of tissues to my bike...