Wednesday, May 30, 2007



- replaced adjustable stem with fixed stem
- removed goofy top-bar brakes
- re-routed brake cables
- replaced old computer with new one (with cadence)
- added airstryke aerobars
- added profile aerobottle
- re-wrapped with blue tape
- added blue water bottle cage (for fun)
- new pump mounted to bottle cage

The view from my seat sure looks different! Aerobars will take some practice, but after that windy weekend in Lubbock without them, I'm convinced this was a wise investment.

Son's room during demolition last weekend.

...and Son's room today with walls gone blue and tile installed. It's obviously not quite done, but we're getting closer. By end of day tomorrow, the baseboards should be back up and we'll be ready to start moving things back in. I am *so* ready for this to be over.

I didn't take photos of daughter's room, but she's got tile too and we picked up a blue area rug and funky blue storage shelves.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Friday morning, I took my bike in for some work. I'll post more about that when I get it back. I really hope I end up happy with what I'm having done... That was the beginning of my weekend of changes.

Then I picked up Son's friend and they helped me get stuff out of son's room and closets and start tearing up carpetting. Having two teenagers on deck sure makes furniture moving a much more manageable task. When they were done helping me, they went to friend's house to help shovel gravel and build a tortoise pen. Teenage boys can really come in handy. :)

Once empty, his room began morphing from a boring off white color to "Herringbone," a muted blue/green that seems quite fitting. I found an area rug at Target online that I want to get for will be perfect. I need to check a few local Targets to see if they have it in stock so that I don't have to pay shipping.

Then Daughter helped haul all her stuff out of her room and we got the carpetting out of there as well. At this point, their stuff is all over the house whereever they could find room to put it. The garage has the tile and mortar and grout plus the old carpet and pads. I'm not a neat freak, but this is pushing even *my* limits.

We ordered her a new computer desk that should arrive by week's end, just in time to put the room back together. We started painting her room a few months ago and I have some touch up that I want to do, but no more energy today. It will just have to wait until Friday.

Husband (aka "Bloody Knuckles") says we're paying someone to remove the carpet, tackboard, and screws when we do the last two rooms in the house later this summer. Wanna' guess why??

Tomorrow at 7am, the tiling begins. Hopefully it will be done by end of day Thursday. Coincidentally, the same day my bike is due to be ready to come home. Friday I'll finish touch up painting in Daughter's room and we begin putting things back together.

Will post pics later.

Oh, and I managed to sneak in a 7mile run this morning. I *REALLY* needed it.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Can't wait to go to work tomorrow, I need a rest....LOL

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Do home improvement projects count as cross training?

Today I am particularly fatigued. I'm blaming it on two days in a row of biking to work. I think need to space by bike to work days farther apart. That hill on the way in is killer. Plus I may not have taken enough rest after my crazy adventures in Lubbock last weekend. I guess I should listen to my body more closely.

Even if I don't get a lot of training done this weekend, I will be doing some physical labor. We need to get everything out of both kids rooms and get the carpet pulled up by end of day Monday. Tile arrives Saturday. It would be ideal if painting is well underway before tiling begins. Son's room needs painting to begin. Daughter's room just needs touch-up detail to be completed. I'll be keeping busy.

I'm thinking tomorrow morning might be the perfect day to take my bike in for some work I want done on it. If they need to keep it for several days, now is a better time than most. Yeah, that is what I think I will do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chips-n-Salsa anyone?

I didn't think I would ever look at my splits, but after a few sleeps it no longer seemed like such a bad idea. I did indeed have a cruddy "swim" and an even cruddier bike leg, but my run ROCKED - 68:50 from whenever they started the run clock.

I was feeling really good on the run and believe that I could have kept on going. So as of a few moments ago, I'm fixin' to test that theory at the Chips-n-Salsa half-marathon in early September.

Ladies and Gentlemen, after 20months of putting on my running shoes and heading out the door, I think I have finally become a runner. Now to work on becoming a cyclist and open-water swimmer...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Buffman Squeaky Race Report

It wouldn't be a complete story if I didn't include what I did the two days prior to my first ever international distance triathlon. The course consists of a 1500M open water swim, 40K bike with freaking steep hills, finishing with a 10K run along the lake.

Updated with photos and links


My friend & I at some point in the past few months apparently lost our minds momentarily and decided to meet up with some athletes who were training for a 70.3 at this same venue later next month. So, we found ourselves in Lubbock waking up before the sun came up to 51 degrees and rain, went over to the lake, and proceeded out on what was my longest and most miserable bike experience ever. First off, we had not packed for 51deg and rain. When we left town the day before, the forcast said 68deg, partly cloudy, chance of afternoon thundershowers. Secondly, Our intention had been to ride a good bit of the course, but turn around early (it was a triple out and back) and cut it short by a good 20 miles...we didn't know the course well enough and ended up completing all but 10 miles of it. Let's just say I was shivering cold and a weeeee bit cranky when we got back to the car after 46miles in the cold rain.

After the ride, we went back to the hotel, took a warm shower, ate some lunch, and climbed into bed for a nap that was WAY too short.

Back to the lake in the afternoon to talk about transition, put on the wet suits, and splash around in the water for a half hour. For the three of us ladies in the photo, this was to be our first time in the open water wearing wetsuits. Don't let the forced smiles fool you, we were FREEZING. The goal was to get used to being in the water with the wetsuits. It was really cold and we didn't stay in too long or really do much swimming.

Afterwards, back to the hotel, another hot shower, dinner, and an early lights out.


Another early wake up call. Back to the lake to run the course. Everyone else ran the full half marathon course, I cut it short at 7 miles. It was a balmy 55deg, no rain, and actually nice for running. When I got back from the run, I went back out with my camera and took a few photos around the lake.

By now, the race directors and volunteers were beginning to set up the course for the race the next day. I remember thinking, "Oh yeah, I have a race tomorrow."

We spent a good half hour practicing transitions. Then it was time for open water swim practice.
Wetsuits back on. Off we went with the goal of swimming across the lake and back two times.

Then it happened. My first open water anxiety attack. I can't rationally explain what happened, but I can tell you that it resulted in flailing, splashing, coughing, flipping over to my back, counting to ten, flipping back over, flailing again, splashing, flipping over...and this went on and on and on. I eventually made it across and back...once...then declared myself done.

While the others were gliding effortlessly across the water, I made a teary phone call to Husband telling him that I was in the wrong sport. I wasn't sure I would make the swim the next day and even if I did it was going to be a long morning and I was looking at a 4 hr projected finish at this point. He told me not to worry. He didn't care how long it took me to finish or if I finished at all. He just wanted me home in one piece. I walked over to the water, forced a smile, and cheered on the others as they finished their second loop.

Then we left for a late lunch, a pep talk, packet pick-up, and called it an early night.


It was maybe 57 deg and hazy when we took off to the lake for the third day in a row. Found a spot to rack the bike, got set up, body marking, etc. Spent a little time chatting with Misty. Got the wetsuits on and walked over to the water. Decided to get in and 'swim' a little and discovered that I could kind of swim with my head above the water which was a good learning. Walked to the beach and waited for the horn.

Counted to five after the horn went off and then started in. In less than 30seconds, I was back to the flailing, coughing, freaking out, flipping over, I can't do this, what I am here for, splashing nonsense that had plagued me the day before. This went on for a good 800M. A guy on a boat stayed near me and asked if I was okay. "I'm fine, just let me swim," I snapped back. I'm sure he was thinking...okay lady, then DO IT! I thought about swimming to boat, jumping in, and calling it a day right then and there. But I remembered what Bubba told me - just keep moving forward - and I realized that I WAS moving forward albeit not very gracefully or quickly. And then I guess I finally decided to swim. It was so much easier and faster than the flailing, splashing, coughing nonsense and I started passing the others at the back of the swim pack. From that point on, I was determined to be a finisher. I was amazed at how quickly I found myself at the shore once I started swimming.

With that pathetic performance behind me, it was time for my 'weak link' - the bike. I was glad that I had ridden 46 miles in the cold rain a few days earlier, because 25miles didn't seem so bad even having to face 5 hills in a noticeable amount of wind while being exhausted after wasting so much energy in the lake.

Some of the athletes from the day before screamed "WooHoo!! You made it out of the water! You can do it!" as they saw me going out while they were coming in. Triathletes rock.

I'm pretty sure that everyone who was behind me on the swim eventually passed me on the bike, but I didn't care. I was determined to be a finisher and I just kept moving forward. It's kind of nice being dead last on the bike. Nobody else passes you, and you get your own chase crew. :)

Coming in, one of the volunteers said, it you still want to run, head out toward the porta potties and around. Are you kidding?!?! Heck yeah, I wanna' run!!

The run was amazing. Within a quarter mile, I passed someone. Most of the runners were finishing were shouting encouragement. By the turn point, there were now three people behind me. Volunteers were commenting that I looked good and was smiling. I kept moving forward.

I love this picture that my friend shot just before I turned into the finish chute. I have been working on my running form and it seems to be paying off.

I was really happy when I made it across the line.

It's kind of a blur after that. People were talking to me, but I had a hard time processing it. I kept forgetting what I was about to do next. I had to lean on someone to put track pants on over my shorts. I couldn't bend down to pick up and pack up my wetsuit. Somehow we managed to pack up, shower, and head home.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Details to follow...

I have a lot to say, but right now I am exhausted.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I am well aware that I need to focus on cycling improvement and should probably be wearing a CAUTION sign on my back. With that in mind...

Monday I biked to work on a different route than I normally take. That turned out to be scary. Won't go that way again. Plus I couldn't quite make it all the way up the hill. Bummer.
Tuesday was a horrible day. I didn't end up back home until 10:30pm. No riding to work, no swimming, no running. Plus I ended up really tired this morning and slept in when I should have gone to the pool. Oh well.

However, this morning I tried yet another route to work. This one increased my commute by almost 2 miles, but the ride was smooth and mostly traffic free. I felt a lot safer. I've decided that this is the route I'm taking from now on. Plus I made it up the hill - I almost didn't, but dug deep and kept going when I wanted to give up.

Last Saturday when we were at Performance, I picked up a quick release rack for my bike. I haven't had time to fiddle with it, hopefully can get this set up next week. The plan is to attach my backpack to the rack with bungee cords for now. Maybe I'll find a more elegant solution down the road, but that should help a ton, in the short term. I need to get my backpack with the laptop off my back to improve my balance.

I'll be offline after tomorrow morning until next week. Next post should be reflections after my attempt at an Olympic Distance triathlon. Not sure how this adventure will play out. I expect it to be ugly, but I'm giving it a shot and intend to have fun in the process.

Catch you on the flip side!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Jay Benson Race Report

Saturday afternoon, I picked up ShyTriGirl at her folks' house and we headed out for packet pickup. Afterwards, we stopped at the new Performance Bike shop in town. Then we were off for some 'carbo loading.' I really enjoyed spending time talking with her. When I got back home, I got my things organized for the morning and called it an early evening.

I did not sleep well. I think I woke up 4 times during the night needing to use the bathroom - nervous stomache. I had been very calm up until that point. Oddly, I was mostly fretting about next weekend rather than this race. I'm goofy that way.

Sunday morning came, and ShyTriGirl picked me up, we loaded the bikes on the back of her vehicle, and we were off. When we arrived at the base, there was a long, slow line of cars trying to get past security. As it turns out, the race ended up being delayed a half hour or so because of the difficulty getting folks in.

Found a spot in the transition area that was fairly close to the bike in/out. Got it set up. Practiced sighting my transition area coming from both directions. Eventually, I was satisfied that I would be able to find it. Also checked out the pool entrance/exit to be sure I understood how that would work out. Found my friend who is going to the training camp and oly tri with me next weekend. She showed me how to better attach my number to my bike.

Then it was mostly waiting. It was getting warm and I ended up taking off the long sleeve shirt that I had intended to wear. Found some nice people to lend us some sun screen. Note to self - put sunscreen in the transition bag next time!

We watched the men take off as well as the leaders coming in from the run. Our wave (women and relay teams) were slated to start 30min after the men. Eventually it was time for us to get start.

And off we went...

I was hoping to use my other friend as my 'pace man' and try to keep up with her as far as I could. However, after about four footsteps, I realized that wasn't going to happen and I was going to have to pace myself.

Throughout the on the run, all I could think about was how hot it was. I didn't have my Garmin and they didn't have mile markers, so I had no idea what pace I was doing, but I was getting tired. I was happy when the transition area was in sight.

Took off my race belt and hat while running through transition, set it down, put on my helmet, switched shoes, drank some water, ate a few bloks, and headed out.

The course started off flat. At that point, I felt like I was doing okay, not great, but okay. Then somewhere out of nowhere, there were hills. Crud! Now I was doing not so okay, but I thought "Just keep pedalling, just keep pedalling" and so I did.

ShyTriGirl came whirring past me, said something encouraging, and left me in the dust. I wanted to say something nice back, but all I could manage was a grunt.

Eventually the bike leg was over. Racked the bike, took off my helmet, shoes, socks, and grabbed my swim cap and goggles. Then ran through transition and around and finally arrived at the pool.

The swim was a miserable experience. It was really crowded in there, there were people doing breaststroke, I was getting kicked and hit, plus I was winded. At one point, I got flustered and rolled over to my back to catch my breath and regain my composure. After that, I did better and just thought "swim, Lisa, you know how to do this!"

Finish time according to my watch was 01:32:04. I had expected to finish somewhere between 01:30:00 and 01:35:00, so no complaining from me.

And then it was over. Bikes back on the car and heading home...

Without digging too deeply into my splits, it is clear to me that I either have to get better on the bike or learn to accept it for what it is. I would like to post a bike split someday that doesn't make me feel cruddy.

But overall, I can truly say that I had fun. Plus I don't feel nearly as beat as I did after my first triathlon, so I'm encouraged that my fitness level is improving. And no injury this time. WoooHoo!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Reverse Sprint a-comin'

I keep writing posts, then deleting them, then writing new ones, deleting, etc. So I'll keep it short.

My first triathlon of the season, which is also my 2nd triathlon ever, is on Sunday. It is a reverse sprint. I'm freakishly calm about it. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Catch you on the flip side!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Speedwork - Bandit style

His tail wags when I pick up the leash.

He sits patiently for me to put it on.

He grabs the lead with his teeth and pulls toward the door.

He's off like a bullet. I do my best to keep up.

Beats the heck outta' track work. :)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Run for the Zoo

This morning Husband, Son, & I participated in the Run for the Zoo 5K. Daughter stayed home, sleeping in, so there was noone to take photos.

This event is always packed, with thousands of participants showing up for one of four races: timed 10K, timed 5K, 5K fun run/walk, 1mile fun run/walk.

Because of the crowd, I didn't have any performance goals, just wanted to have fun.

I brought my Garmin and decided to hit start when I made my way to the start line, rather than when the gun went off.

At mile 1, Garmin told me that I had hit an 8:45min/mi pace. Holy Smokes!!The guy at the mile marker called out something like 9:12. The 25-30second difference made sense given how long it took me to cross the start line.

At mile 2, I heard the guy call out something like 18:35, my garmin says 18:10. That's a 9:24 pace for me on mile 2. Yesssssssss.

I got a chuckle out of some of the signs that volunteers were holding up. "Almost there!" Yeah, right, there is a still a mile to go!! "Exercise is fun!" Easy for you to say, you're just standing there holding a sign!! LOL.

I couldn't see the clock at the finish line, but my Garmin says that I finished in 28:34, which would be a personal best by about 14 seconds. However, I'm guessing the official time will probably be right around 29:00 +/- a few seconds and won't end up being a PR after all. That is still a very good 5K time for me. It is better than I expected to do this morning, and I'm happy!

I asked Husband what his time was. He doesn't know. He couldn't see the clock when he finished and wasn't wearing a watch; will find out what his time was when results are posted.

Son knocked a good two minutes off his last 5K time, and finished right around 31:40. He was running with me up to the half-way point when he told me he had a cramp and stopped to walk for a bit.

After the race, we had popsicles, bagels, gatoraide, water, and energy bars. Yummy stuff. All in all, it was a fun morning.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Sabrina is the name of the color that has been chosen for our bedroom walls. Sabrina has been pushed aside for months, waiting for her turn in the spotlight.

When I woke up yesterday, I felt like this weekend needed to be different. I went for a swim in the morning and decided to forgo a long run in the afternoon so that I would have time to get Sabrina out of the garage and into the bedroom where she belonged.

The conversation I had with Husband when he got home sounded like this:

"Don't go in the bedroom until I get back home, the walls need to dry."

"What do you mean, need to dry?"

"I started painting and the walls by the door are still wet. I need to go out to get a few things. Wait until I get back home before you go in there."

"You started painting?!?! I thought you were going for a run."

"Yeah, well I figured if I got started today, we could probably get it finished this weekend. And that would be one thing off our list before the tiling project"

"Wow. Thanks."

You know what? I think I made the right decision. I'm happy Sabrina finally made her debut.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Are we there yet?

It's May. Time for the rubber to meet the road.

Here's what the month looks like for me:

  • This weekend - Run for the Zoo 5K - Running with husband and son. Daughter has declared "running isn't fun!!" and is staying home. There are a lot of folks running this event and it takes a half mile or more to get into a decent pace. No performance goals. GOALS: Have fun; cheer wildly for son; enjoy husband cheering wildly for me!!

  • Next weekend - Jay Benson Sprint Tri (a reverse tri) - First time for me to do a reverse tri. Have plans to meet up with ShyTriGirl which is actually the highlight of the weekend for me!! Goals: Have fun; meet up with ShyTriGirl; figure out how reverse tri's work; finish; don't get hurt!!

  • Following Thursday - Arrive in Lubbock for two-day half-iron distance Tri camp (Oh.My.Gosh.What.Have.I.Gotten.Myself.Into) immediately followed by my first ever Oly Tri on Sunday. Goals: Have fun, finish, don't get hurt, and try not to be dead last.

  • I'm really hoping to be in for a FUN ride over the next few weeks because...

  • Upon return home - Kiss family. Promise to take a break, and spend more time with them. Work like mad to remove furniture from kids rooms, rip out carpet in anticipation of tiling project that got delayed because of my extra-curricular activities, and resume previously interuppted daily life including half finished room painting endeavors and disregarded yard and garden work. I owe them BIG TIME for letting me indulge myself recently.

I don't know how any working full-time mothers with busy kids and other family obligations and home improvement projects can keep up the training and racing demands of anything more than what I've tried to do. I realize that I simply can't sustain it, and really need to devote more time to my family this summer.