Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monthly Tally

Swim - 6000 M
Bike - 186 miles
Run - 42 miles
Races - nothing

Thoughts: I lost focus in July, but managed to maintain a decent level of biking and running mileage just for fun and fitness. :)

August Outlook: There's a Sprint Tri on my calendar early in the month. Training plan focusses on prep for the half-marathon in early September. I'll have to make changes and kick my tri training up a notch if I decide to sign up for the ElephantMan (Oly).

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Swam ~1 mile on Friday in open water. No anxiety attack! Yay!!
I have enough blueberries and lemon yogurt for 2 more batches of muffins.
Went on an awesome 30 mile bike adventure with Husband on Saturday
Went shopping with Daughter. She now has 4 pairs of school pants
and 5 new polos...we found great sales!!
My first half-mary is only 6 weeks away
Accelerade sent me 7 bottles each of four flavors to test and blog about
I've been getting a good 8 hrs of sleep each night all weekend
Ran 9 miles this morning. I'm tired and sore, but pleased!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Go Girl! goes back.

I had chosed the Go Girl! jersey, but it fits me so poorly that I'm sending it back for a refund (not a different size, and not a different jersey). B'ah! So much for spending my "health for life" $$ on a cute bike jersey.

However, I think I might spend it on an entry to another race. The Elephant man Oly distance triathlon was just officially announced. It is located a few hrs away and will be held at the end of Sept. If I can get an "ALL CLEAR" from the family, I'm signing up. That will give me something to focus on and train for other than just the half mary earlier that month. I could use the motivation. :)

(edited because I don't know how I forgot to include the next part)

My 15yr old son is in marching band. They've been working hard all summer, particularly the past two weeks in all-day band camp. Today was their first public performance and they were AWESOME. The cool part...here I am in the audience, scanning the field for my son and taping the whole show. Immediately afterwards, he asked "can I see it?" I'm intrigued. How did he know I had taped it? Well, he was scanning the whole audience during the show looking for us. He found us and saw that I was taping it. And that made him happy. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I spy, out of the corner of my eye...

Things observed along side the road while cycing to work today:

a Wendy's bag
dead snake
a beer bottle
dead bunny
broken glass
a pair of boxer shorts
horse poop
a single shoe
a large dead bird (possibly a chicken)
a water bottle

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


My body hates me!!

My skeletal frame is built like an upside down triangle. Wider shoulder, narrow hips. This is NOT how a woman is supposed to be built. I've very happy that my daugther inherited some other woman's frame. Her proportions looks good. Mine are just wrong. I have no womanly curves. This is not to say that my body is totally devoid of curves, but let me assure you, they aren't womanly.

I carry my weight in the mid-section. I guess that makes me "thick in the middle". It's really hard to find clothes that fit when you are 42yrs old, shaped like an upside down triangle that's bulging in the middle. Clothing manufacturers expect women to have hips. And those that don't are supposed to have skinny waists. I don't fit in either of those scenarios. Nothing fits.

I've gained 8 lbs in the past two months. I gave up ice cream a few weeks ago and STILL gained another lb after that. Ugggh.

My bike jersey (to be unveiled) arrived and I'm thinking up trading up from a MEDIUM to a LARGE because I'm thick in the middle and it's tight. Sigh.

I wanted to order a hydration belt of some sort and needed to measure my waist/hips to figure out the size. Either my measuring tape shrunk in the wash, or I'm getting even THICKER in the middle. I'm not ordering this or any other clothing item until I lose some weight!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Blueberry Muffins with a Twist of Lemon

That's kind of how my weekend training went. Starts off sweet, but with a lingering sour aftertaste.

Yesterday I rode 26.6 miles on my bike. Ten solo, the rest with my husband. I really enjoyed riding with him. At the end, I asked how he was feeling and he said he felt pretty good. He asked if that was my normal speed, which it was.

Well, apparently it seemed like a bit of a slow pace for him. Yes, folks, I'm THAT pathetic on the bike. Even newbies on the bike are dumbfounded. Ouch.

This morning I went for a run. Let's start with what went well. I got up and out the door. That's a big win for me lately. I didn't leave anything important at home. Huge improvement over last week. I maintained fairly even paces between the first and second half of my run. That's something I have been working on.

However, I only managed about 6.3 miles total with an average pace of something like 13.8 min/mi. There is nothing particularly wrong with that except that I usually maintain 11.5-12.5 min/mi pace on my Sunday runs and have been going 8+ miles. This is totally going in the wrong direction! I am getting slower *and* my total run distance is decreasing! This is not exactly how half-marathon training is supposed to work. Sigh.

As for the muffins, I'm thinking of making a batch this afternoon. Here's a
recipe. Let me know what you think if you try them out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Think like a dog...

The Making of a Pack

When we were first married , we brought home an Australian Shephard cross puppy. We had all kinds of puppy problems with Charky, but we took him to obedience classes and he turned into a well mannered, attentive companion. He clearly recognized Husband as leader. A year or so later, during a time when Husband was on a temp assignment in another state, I decided Charky needed a canine companion and adopted a 9 month old dog, Bosco. Charky established himself as alpha dog and took it upon himself to keep Bosco in line. A few years later, we started a family. The dogs were great with the kids. Can't explain what I was thinking exactly, but one day I brought home another dog, Boots (Well, he needed a home and how much harder could it be to take care of three dogs when you already have two?). Boots established himself in the middle of the pack and Bosco was happy at the bottom. A few years after that, I decided a cat would be great and brought home Mitts ended up second in authority because Boots was afraid of him. Mitts and Bosco were great buddies. Are you keeping up? At this point the Pack contained two human adults, two human children, three dogs, and one cat.

One sad day, at age 14, Charky's lifetime was over. Within a year, we added a second cat. Cookie didn't care for the dogs, but Boots was afraid of her and Bosco just wasn't interested and all was well. A few years later, Bosco passed away peacefully in the back yard at age 16. This left poor Boots as the lone dog in a house with the two cats. We said our last goodbye to Boots this past November.

Starting Over

We weren't sure we wanted to start over with that whole thing because the ending is so difficult. But after a few months, we agreed to bring a new dog into the family. To be more accurate, Husband agreed that I could get a new dog. And that is how Bandit found his way out of an animal shelter, and into our home earlier this year.

I absolutely love this dog, but he also came to us with what turned into a growing list of undesirable behaviors:
- Marking (aka peeing on stuff in the house)
- Demanding attention
- Jumping
- Separation anxiety
- Stealing food
- Won't come when called
- Pulling/leading on the leash
- Chaser of all things small and fast*
- Bolting out the door

I have been intending to enroll him in some sort of obedience class, but with my busy life, it hadn't happened.

A few weeks ago, my Husband intended to sit on the sofa, unwind, and watch a Cubs game. First problem was that the corner of the sofa has been marked and needed to be cleaned up. He grumbled and took care of that then sat down. Bandit ran over and started nudging and barking and demanding attention. He grumbled that he didn't want to play right now. Something was wrong with the TV. After fiddling with a few connections he realized that Bandit had shorted out the cable box** by 'marking' it as well.

That was the last straw. Husband wasn't at all happy with my dog, he wasn't happy with me, and the tension in the house was thick.

Think Like a Dog

On the advice of a few trusted friends, I decided to enlist Bark Busters for help. I liked the idea of them working with us in the home. They believe that most of Bandit's issues come from his view of the pack and where he fits in. He hasn't acknowledged us as leaders and is trying to assume that role. This makes a lot of sense to me. We've seen how dogs behave and establish a pack.

They spent about three hours with us during the first visit, and we noticed improvement in most of the problem areas right away.

We've learned how to communicate with Bandit in a way that he understands. Husband's relationship with Bandit is better (phew!). They left us with homework, tips/tools/techniques, their phone number, and scheduled a follow-up visit in 2 weeks. I'm encouraged. I'll let you know how it goes.

* I have included photos of a few of the small and fast things that Bandit enjoys chasing. As it turns ot, at least two of them do not enjoy being chased and can draw blood from the nose of a dog when provoked.

** Looking back, it is somewhat funny that Bandit killed the cable box by peeing on it, but no humor was found at that exact moment

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Have Chosen & Other News

Thanks for your comments on the bike jerseys. I'll tell you this much - it helped me narrow down to A & B. The final decision...well you'll just have to wait to find out. :)

Biked to work today in 26:15 which was a PB by one whole minute. I know this because I'm a dork and keep a running B2W tally on my white board at work.

Due to popular request by my family, friends, and coworkers - I also requested a locker at the gym onsite which they grant to folks who bike to work 2 days or more per week. It would mean that I have to ride a bit farther and leave a bit earlier...but I could shower at work and keep stuff in a locker vs. carrying it all with me.

It should keep me on track & smelling better. They monitor it, so I will have to maintain biking to work 2x per week to keep the locker. As far as I can tell, the only downsides are having to leave earlier, travel a bit farther, and restart my dorky B2W tally. The advantages outweight the disadvantages.

Stay tuned for "Adventures with In-Home Dog Training" and the story of why we decided to pay an animal behavioralist to help us with Bandit...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bike Jersey Shopping

So get this....we had the opportunity to participate in a "Health for Life" program at work and they actually paid us for it. Participation included getting some blood work, blood pressure, and other vitals done; taking a health survey; and meeting with a personal health coach. I now have in my hot little hands $50 worth of Amazon.com credits. How cool is that?!?!

I decided to use it on a short sleeve bike jersey. I like bright colors and have narrowed it down to the following three choices. Wanna' help me decide? Here are the choices:

Exhibit A: Go Girl Luna. This jersey screams Go Girl all over it - on the chest, on the arms, on the sides. If that doesn't encourage audience participation while trying to get up those hills, I don't know what does. GO GIRL!!!

Exhibit B: Green Biker Chick. I love the lime green color; what a way to stand out in the crowd!! Why doesn't anyone make a green biker Slow & Steady Tortoise shirt?? That's what I really want.

Exhibit C: Hippy Chick. It caught my eye because of the colors, but it almost didn't make the cut because while I'm into peace and love and don't wear makeup, I'm not really the "Hippy Chick" type. But then again, what does that have to do with fashion!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Random thoughts from the nightstand

Many bloggers have cool mastheads. I want one. I have no idea how to make one, but I want one. Can I sign up for Masthead 101? I think I lost my original Turtle photo when my computer crashed and that HAS to be included in any new masthead.
Life was easier when I thought getting a new bike was out of the question. Now I find myself paralyzed with indecision. How will I ever make a decision on this?
Making a list of random thoughts from the nightstand is a good way to pass time when you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, but doesn't really help with getting back to sleep. Nor does doing laundry, unloading the dishwasher, painting your toenails, or surfing the internet.
Sleep aids work. The key is remembering to take them before you fall asleep. They aren't useful at all if you don't think about it until 2am and have to be up in 4 hours.
What is it about Monday's that make them seem so dreadful? I've had many Thursdays that were way cruddier than Mondays.
The in-home dog trainers (animal behavioralists) are coming on Friday. I need a list of behavioral issues that we want to work on. Oh good! Something else to do...
I really should wash my car. And vacuum the inside.
We need a new vacuum. Drat! I forgot all about that this weekend.
There is something about a fresh coat of bright pink nail polish on my toes that makes me feel all pretty.
It sounds like there is a cricket in the bedroom. Man, that thing is LOUD. No wonder I can't sleep!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stupid Human Tricks

My half marathon count-down reminds me that I have less than 2 months to go. It's time to get serious and ramp up my mileage.

A little background. Bandit has become my running buddy for short (2-3mi) runs. Sometimes, I take him for a 2-3 mile loop, bring him in, and head out again on my own for longer distances. He's a great running companion, so I take him with me most of the time that I head out. As a result, he knows running clothes when he sees them. He also knows the sound of the Garmin turning on is the signal that it is about time to head out the door.

I was planning 9 miles on a route that didn't include my dog-friendly 2-3mile loop. I got ready, put my cell phone in one pocket, grabbed two gels, put on my Garmin and he started getting excited. He wasn't coming with me and didn't take it well. I tried to convince him that I wasn't leaving him forever and that he didn't need to wake up the whole house (and neighborhood) barking at the window when I left. I was so involved in trying to settle him down and leave without him escaping out the door with me, that I performed Stupid Human Trick #1 and left one very important thing at home. Read on...

My run/walk thing has been working pretty well for me, so that is what I intended to do - taking walk breaks at every mile. I figured that miles 3 and 6 would be good places for nutrition/hydration and I could take longer breaks there if needed.

Miles 1 and 2 pretty much went as planned.

I got to mile 3, and grabbed a gel out of my pocket. Yummy. Then wanted to wash it down with some water. But...er...ummm...I realized I had left it at home. I had planned to wear my camelbak, but with all the hubabaloo with the dog, I forgot to grab it on my way out.

I could have (okay, should have) turned back, but instead, I performed Stupid Human Trick #2 - and decided to keep going. It's the middle of the summer and I live in the freaking desert. 9 miles is a long way to go without water. I have no idea what I was thinking.

At mile 4.5, I wasn't feeling so good, but it was time to turn around and head back. I was having trouble doing the math in my head to figure out when to take my next gel (this isn't rocket science, but I was getting a little fuzzy headed). I started walking every half mile and tried to work things out in my head.

At some point, I was doing a more walking than running. I was trying to figure out where the nearest water fountain might be and if it would be closer than home. It was really hard to think straight, so I kept heading towards home.

Mile 6 arrived and I took my second gel. I tried to convince myself that it counted as hydration. Myself wasn't convinced.

Mile 7 arrived and I no longer wanted to train for a half marathon. I figured that I was too stupid and should throw in the towel before I injured myself in some permanent way. I was just about to call home and give up.

Then off in the distance I saw a figure that looked surprisingly similar to my husband on a bike. I shook my head in disbelief. And he was waving at me and carrying ice water. Apparently, he had taken Bandit out for a run expecting to catch up with me for my last mile. When I didn't show up and didn't show up, he came out looking for me. I guzzled it down, thanked him, grumbled something about only an idiot would head out for 9 miles without hydration. He asked if I was okay or if he should get the car. I thought about it for a bit and decided that I was okay and wanted to finish what I started.

When it was all said and done, I had travelled 9.15miles by foot (my average pace was too slow to refer to it as a 'run', so we'll use the term 'by foot')

I spent a lot of time doubting myself today, but I've decided to try this exact route again next week. I'm pretty sure that I won't forget my camelbak this time.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tagged and Bike stuff

First things first. Geekgirl tagged me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger. Thanks!

I'm supposed to tag five more. It's just too hard to choose five (so many of you ROCK!), so I'm taking the easy way out and just tagging my virtual training partner, Karen.

Speaking of training, here's what I've been up to for the past few days.

Yesterday, I went up to Cochiti Lake with Geekgirl, who was very patient with me in the water. Guess what? I actually managed to swim without having an anxiety attack. It was encouraging. Maybe I don't have to limit myself to pool swims afterall. I think I just need more practice in the open water.

Today, Husband and I went bike shopping again. I didn't buy anything, but I have to tell you that I am really liking the ride that the LeMond Versaille and its carbon fiber frame has to offer. I need to do more thinking before laying out that much cash for a road bike vs. a triathlon bike, but the ride is just incredible.

He ended up buying the K2 Mach 2.0 from REI. It seems to be a great bike at this price point and was the one he enjoyed the most.

Despite my warnings, he didn't want to spend any extra money on flat protection of any kind, a saddle bag, extra tubes, tire levers, pump, etc. Okay fine. We were anxious to hop on the bikes when we got home. We decided to down to a local grocery store for a few things (abut 5 miles away) to test out his new ride. On the way back he's yelling "FLAAAATTTTTT" and pointing to his rear tire.

My next gift for him will be a 'self-sufficiency' kit. I'm thinking that he'll actually appreciate it now. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Non-training rambling

If I didn't know better, I'd think today was a Monday.

It all started last night when I managed to fall asleep without taking my meds which are designed to help with my sleep disorder. On the same night that my husband managed to come down with some stomach ailment.

By time my alarm went off I am sure that I'd spent more time awake than asleep and felt like DogDoo. I skipped my morning workout - it wouldn't have been productive anyway. I also seriously considered re-starting my coffee habit, but didn't.

I arrived at work only to have the pleasure of being invited to one of those behind closed doors meetings that lasted almost a full two hours. Those are never fun.

But I managed to make it through the work day and things got a little better. My MIL sent daughter a package in the mail with material and instructions for making her own beads and using them for jewelry. All we needed was a toaster oven to get Miss I'm-a-teenager-who-gets-bored-easily-and-when-that-happens-I-make-everyone-miserable on her way to having something to keep her busy for a few days/weeks. I managed to score one at Walmart at $18.88 by taking the display model. Ha!

And tomorrow starts my weekend. Yay!!

Oh - and I bought my husband a present for his new bike - a Terry Fly saddle. Now he just needs a bike to put it on. LOL.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where to start...

So, I have been looking into a new wheelset for my bike. I have even bid a few times on ebay, with no wins. This is in attempt to help me with racing...

I ordered the Toppeak MTX DX bag and MTX qbeam rack for commuting. Without verifying it, I had hoped I could cram my laptop in that bag and get the weight off my back for commuting. It arrived today. Laptop *can* be crammed in. Great! But, while it is supposed to fit all seatposts- it doesn't fit mine. Gah!!! Mine seems to be undersized. I need some sort of shim or a new seatpost or this isn't going to work. Sigh...

Meanwhile, Husband & I have been looking at roadbikes for him. He's not willing to spend too much so we're looking at entry level bikes. Similar to what I am on right now. No biggy. Just need to try some out, decide what he likes best, and buy one.

While we are shopping for him, I had an encounter with the LeMond Versailles WSD (steel and carbon). Okay, sure, technically I shouldn't have even been set an eye on this particular bike while shopping for a 6'1" man. In my defense, the encounter occured while I was left alone and unsupervised in the bike shop during one of his test rides; it's not my fault if the bike was calling my name.

I came home, looked up reviews, stared longingly at the literature I brought home, and grumbled about how I wish I could get a new bike now that I have more experience and have a better idea what I'm looking for.

He said something like "Well, if you *really* want it, why don't you just go back and buy it?"

Bug-eyed, jaw-dropping silence... I had no response at all

The thoughts in my mind raced. "Is this really *the bike* I want if I buy a new one?!?! Why was I so interested in this instead of a triathlon/TT bike? And how long do I have before he changes his mind? And what does that mean for my current bike?!?!? And do I need an extra set of aerobars or do I just move the onse I just got? Extra pedal, saddle, gosh...do I really want to spend that much right now? I really need to solve that commuting problem with the rack not fitting. And...and...and... "

Life can be so complicated sometimes. I have no idea what I'm going to do.

[p.s. only ran 2 miles today]

Monday, July 9, 2007

Not bad for a Monday

Yesterday my 6 miles turned to 6.85 miles and it was a lovely overcast morning. Ahhhh. Felt good.

It seems that my virtual training buddy and I both got off to a good start this week.

Today's plan was bike to work, which I did. It wasn't too bad in the morning, but it was hot on the way home. We're doing work in a different building so I had to carry more stuff than usual. It was really too much weight for me, and now my shoulders/upper back are a bit sore.

I was focussed, I was feeling it, but I can't really say that I was enjoying it. ;)

Tomorrow morning I'm giving myself the option to bike to work again or optionally run 3+ miles. Based on how my shoulders feel, I will probably take the run option.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

working my way out of a slump

Ladies and gentlemen, I've been in a slump for the past month and a half and I hereby declare my intentions of fighting my way out of it.

No sleeping in, no blowing it off because it's too hot, no excuses about not enough time, no complaining that I'm so slow it doesn't matter if I train or not. One way or another, I'm dragging this body off the couch and outside for some exercise.

I've had three encouraging days so far. Short run (2mi) on Thu with Bandit. Swam (1600) then biked a few errands on Fri (9mi). Biked an errand today (9.5mi). Lame, yes. But I'm off the couch and I'm counting it as success. Everything begins somewhere, right?

Tomorrow - 6 miles by foot - run/walk/crawl...whatever it takes!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

rose-colored glasses

I'm making an attempt at finding the positive and skipping the negative today. Looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, if you will.

I was able to take the rest of the week off from work. I have no specific plans which means I can spend the time however I want.

I don't know the technical name of the springy thing that broke on the garage door a few days ago, but I think I found someone who can come look at it and/or fix it tomorrow. And by golly, that *was* on the top of my list for how to spend my time since I don't have to go into work.

My computer is running faster with less crud on it. And as far as I know, I am too. Now that my downloaded Garmin records are gone, I get to start fresh with my run/bike data. As far as I know, today was a PR on that 2 mile loop with a hill - and while we're at it, I can't prove to myself that I've ever gone farther than that either.

I didn't lose *all* of my digital photos. I hadn't cleared the memory card in my camera for a few months and was able to redownload those.

My son got his top braces off today. What a killer smile! We go back for his retainer next week. And the bottom braces come off a few weeks later. Then the bottom retainer the week after that. By the end of the next month, I'll be able to find my way to the orthodontics office on auto-pilot.

After the dog broke the cable box by 'marking' it, it was *easy* to convince Husband that we should look into in-home dog-training sessions.
Today is only supposed to have a high of 90deg; that's practically a cold spell.

I've discovered that the sit-on-you-rear-all-day-complaining-about-the-heat-while-eating-ice-cream diet doesn't work unless your goal is to gain 5lbs fast. And by sharing that with others, I may have just saved someone from learning that the hard way. No need to thank me, I'm here to help.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

computer crash!

Shortly after my last post, my computer crashed. We've tried several times to bring it back to life...to no avail so far. I may need to get a new computer, not sure yet.

Posting this because for the few of you who may have emailed me about something or another, I cannot get to my email at the moment. I'm not ignoring you. I can post or comment if I use another computer, but I cannot get to my email at all.

Hope to be back online soon.

UPDATE: 04-Jul

I'm back up with a new hard drive. So far I cannot retreive anything from my old hard drive which means I lost my address book, all my old email, my favorites (including all your blog sites), my digital photos (wahhhhh!), etc. Bear with me as I try to get back up and running...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Keeping me honest

June Totals:
Pretty wimpy as expected...sigh. I do a lot of my training in the AM, but lately I've been spending a lot of that time sleeping.

Run - 29 miles

Bike - 126.5 miles

Swim - 4675M

Races - 2 (sprint, 10K)

July Forcast:
No races planned this month. I need to concentrate on figuring out how to deal with the fatigue that has been plaguing me, and get back into my groove.