Friday, February 27, 2009


So did you know that wednesday I rode outside for 3 hours? I had a rare day with no work till 2pm.
Did you know I ran hills thursday and the road/hill was clear? Last time i ran hills on snow my calves let me know that was a NO-NO. It took me 4 weeks to get the Soleus and the Flexor Digitorum ( let me know if you want a post on all the cool muscles in your calves and the extrinisic/intrinsics of your feet bc at this point I am really not going to post anymore about weather. After today! HA!)
This is Friday. Sun is out. Last night it was seriously a Blizzard. I couldnt see a thing. I was a white knuckle driver coming home from work. And i didnt even get to work bc I couldnt see and the ice on the windshield wipers was crusted on my windshield.
More snow in case you didnt get enough of it in the earlier pictures.
Moral of the story is this: I know WE LOVE to talk about the weather and how cold it is. But really March is our snowiest month. And it isnt March yet. Luckily it will be gone. Sooner or Later. Likely later.But no whineing from anyone that doesnt have their streets covered in white.
Poor lost bike.
But soon.....
Go-Go will get her time on the dry roads of TT land and Tri land and...
I can dress like a colorful posterboard and ride to Aravaca. This way the Border Patrol driving up and down Aravaca Road will see me and so will the folks trying to bust into AZ from Mexico.
In the mean time I have plenty of snow in the freezer for upcoming ice baths.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Huge thanks to this cool gal below who helped me thru my first swim meet! I knew nobody. NOBODY. For those of you that know me ( Honey, are you reading??) it is rare or even unheard of that I dont go somewhere and know SOMEONE. Though that was hardly the tough part of the day.

The real challenge was the scallops. Now i cant say FOR SURE that the scallops we ate friday night are to blame. It could have been the asparagus, it could have been the pasta?? likely not. Good wheat pasta doesnt often make one ill. But starting saturday afternoon I started having some GI distress. I will leave it at that. But lets just say saturday night was not spent resting peacefully. Coach Jen wondered if it was nerves. Yes I did think it may have been nerves...10% of it. But when Honey was also admitting some "issues" I was certain it was dietary. Or the 24 hour Flu.
Granted I wasnt SO SICK I couldnt at least show up and see what this swim meet was all about. I did manage some breakfast, oatmeal and a banana, but that was about all my stomach was intersted in. I headed out and went to the U of MN. Great pool. Great aquatic center! I was so happy when Lori got there and she was happy I was there bc she had no money and had called to see if i could spot her some cash-ola to renew her license and to enter the races. Lori was coming from swim meet # 2? #3 ? as she coaches kids and her daughter specifically!

So onto the race ( s)..plural. Remember who coaches me. Jen the Fish.
The game plan was 100-500-50-1650. I knew when 6am came ( and having been up many times) that it was an all or nothing day. I knew I had to do either all the short ones OR the long one. I didnt think i had it in me to do all of them. Plus monday's are my LONG work day. I have Toasted myself too many times on sundays and then monday comes and it makes for a long week. By now Aaron had showed up too.
Aaron is a great kid. More on Aaron later. But remember that Aaron makes me lead the lane. I dont mind as he says " I Cant swim fast in the morning." Ok.
So 100 up..."crap...Goggles on, tight. Head DOWN, Dont look up." all those funny beeps and we are off. I almost win the heat but the dude next to me beats me to the pad. Fun. splits were like 35 and 37 somethin' and i come out with a 1.13. cool. literally. I cool down and then have to wait FOR-EVER for the 500.

It was FREEZING in there. I mean FREEZING. EVERYONE, even those that werent as lean were running around with hats and hats and pants and sweatshirts. At one point i was shivering so much that Lori got the code to sneak into the steam room but we didnt have time before all our events. She was doing all Breast, I was doing all Free. Darn. The air was nice, clean, no chlorine but it was chilly. Aaron, Lori and I were shaking it was so cold.

Next up 500. "Hmm. I think i should have warmed up again, but oh well...I am lucky i only have had to run to the loo once so far." So i line up and go. I imediately am behind in my heat but that is ok. Lori isnt dropping the count cards so i get really confused, "did i get in the wrong lane?" Finally around 7 she starts dropping in the card. Phew. I know i started too slow but i was happy to pick it up and get moving. When i see card 10 I know i am halfway there and i start to think about the pain locker. Too late, maybe in hindsight. My time was fine, Lori said i descended all the 50's after about 200 yards and i finished around 7 minutes. I wanted to go sub 7, but i do know that next time I need to warm up again even if i am shaking I am so cold. As I said. I wasnt cold in the water I was cold on the deck.

Last is the 50. Lori says " You can do sub 35. Go for 30-35. Turn your arms over, and dont breathe. Breathing is for wimps." So that is what i do. I dont breathe and I pump my arms as fast as i can. (Ok i lied, i did breathe too much, but not on the last 12 yards I promise!) I come up breathless with 34.05! Ok barely made it under 35! I am not a sprinter so this is good for me to work on.

Now Aaron, does a 1.03 in the 100 free! And a 30 in the 50 free! Dude you are so leading the lane next time! Granted in his defense he says he has no endurance but i suggested he work on that! HA!

I will certainly go back again and will do the 1650 or the 1000 next time. And I was so happy i dove off the blocks and didnt lose my goggles and they didnt fill with water!!! Last time i did a swim meet was when i was in my teens and I dont think we even wore goggles. So progress my friends, progress. And as i told Aaron, "We showed up! That itself is a huge!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


As you can tell this post has nothing to do with red as a symbol or anger:) Quite the opposite. Red in the color of LOVE and Valentine's is more like it. I have to admit I am becoming a convert to the merits of Valentine's day spent with my Honey. I hate dropping $3 on a Hallmark card that will then be recylced, yet I love the idea of dropping $3 or more on groceries and good eats to be able to spend the evening with my favorite dining partner! But first we had some things to do! And Lululemon was on top of the list.

We planned to ride outdoors but MN weather is fickle and after we had a balmy week and weekend prior, the Valentine's saturday was a bit brisk for both of us. Sun was out but the wind was what i call biting. If it is biting me when i am walking it will be stinging me when i am flying down the street at mock 10 ( HA!) speeds. So we both did trainer wko's and got it done.

Then off to Edina for a bit of LL shopping. Honey even found some yoga pants so everybody left with a prize.

I had to laugh as Honey was just as excited with the truffles while i was thinking i made out best with my bag o' Lulu loot. Below are the nice gals that found me just about everything that could fit me in the showroom. Now sadly it was a showroom, so limited sizes. But gladly it was a showroom or i would have likely singlehandedly stimulated the economy that day. ( oh Honey got something so it wasnt all me, really)

Here we are outside the showroom looking all pleased with our purchases and planning our next move. Which was to go home and hang out. We decided that the best thing we could give each other was our time and attention. So that is what we did!
And what may you ask did we do with a bottle of Chablis, Triscuits and an electric drill?
Funny you should wonder. But there really was no correlation:)
Honey had a coconut that we had been pushing around for a month. Now I got it at a Target and who knows how long it had been sitting there. I used to love coconut and I often buy the coconut water and add it to smoothies. So I was jazzed to get the real thing. But Wow was that nasty. I mean REALLY nasty. I think it must have spoiled as it tasted like musty rancid putrid grossness. I was going to say it tasted like dirty socks but I dont really know what that tastes like, thankfully.
So after we drained the water and vowed never to drink that again from a coconut that had been on the shelves in MN for too long, we thought we could salvage the meat. HA, that was dumb, as the poisonous water had obviously poisoned the meat. Honey went outside and threw the coconut on the ice and it cracked. Of course, it tasted like dirty sock meat and it went out as well.
Last night I made him drink some coconut water that i knew was good. Just to get him on the path of healing and forgiveness of coconuts. So far his acceptance that all coconuts arent rancid is moving forwards.
* I am sorta serious as I am always trying to get him to branch out from his beloved safe foods like Chili and Vanilla Soy milk. Almond Milk was a no-go, and he has tried and liked Boca Burgers bc they hold the ketchup and pickles well:) So when a new food fails I have to rebuild trust. And hopefully you know i am sorta kidding with this tangent as well.

Here I am modeling my new LL headband.
And this was part of the main course on Valentine's night. Asparagus Risotto with Chevre.
I LOVE making risotto from scratch. It is so tasty and I add about 2x as much veggies as the recipe calls for. This night I also added nearly 5x as much garlic and had heartburn all night. I never get heartburn so I know exactly what it was from. Oh and we baked garlic too, so double garlic. We also had grilled Opah and some nine grain rolls and yes, some Chablis!

Triscuits were for snacking and to get that coconut off my tastebuds.
All in all a super nice night. We watched a movie on the big screen and then by 11pm it was lights out! Happy Belated Valentine's to you all and Honey, thanks for a super weekend! I love you!

UPDATE: Iona got a cortisone shot in her hip and is doing better. Vet says it may help for 6 weeks or not at all. She still cant get up too easily but was rolling in the snow last night which likely didnt feel good since it was only an inch over all the ice in the backyard!

Monday, February 16, 2009

IONA: Queen of 880

Quick post, I have to go to work. And more later on the Valentine's weekend.
Iona is my parent's dog. She is 12+ years young and has been a trooper. She is one of many Golden's we have had. Penny. Mocha. Candy. Iona. All lived nice long lives, other than Mocha who was epileptic and drown at our cabin up north. I cant think of a more heart wrenching way to lose a pup. So the fact that Iona " HI-H0-Iona!"or "I-own-a- dog" or "BABY!!!" or "the Worm,"
or one of many of her names she has acquired over the last decade now failing isnt a bad thing. She seems comfortable for the most part and my parents diligently empty her Glucosamine Chondroiton tablet into her food each morning.
She still hops to attention when you come in ( but since she cant get up too easily she really does hop) and since my parents have wood floors she does the splits alot bc her back legs cant hold her up ..not unlike the seniors i work with she has trouble on the ice and she has trouble going up and down stairs and needs to rest mid flight. Getting in and out of her "Chair" is tough.
I wish i could train her to do what i train my seniors to do and encourage her to use her core and her glutes to get out of bed. But i think the best thing I can do is to visit her, to love her and to tell her that it is ok and she doesnt need to please us anymore. She isnt gone yet but I just hate the thought of her being in pain. So this post is a tribute to Iona and all the squirrels, rabbits and birds she has caught and subsequently killed ( sorry) in the backyard. And for all the joy she still gives us bc it really is true that Golden's love unconditionally.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

REST..Swim... and Lilydale Racket Club

I thought alot about what to write about this week. Being in a mild winter thaw has allowed some nice outdoor rides and i have been careful to not overdo it. This is a rest week for me and at times i felt more tired than when i wasnt in a rest week. But doing only 2 swims this week was so nice for my left shoulder. The Awesome DC that adjusts my first rib every few weeks reminded me that "Julia you dont have to swim as hard as you can every you?" and that was
totally what i needed to hear. Even though nobody, no coach, no teammate/lanemate says I have to lead the lane every time in masters, they expect it, and i do. And usually it is fine. Last week I got to swim with Rachel who is 24 yo and a former collegiate swimmer. I had kinda set a goal of 7:15 for a 500 since I have only timed it once and I was around 7:25. So I will spare you the details but with Rachel at my side ( one lane over, we have a weird lane issue at our Y, since our aquatics director doesnt want us taking more than 2 dude? anyways...breathe..count 10-9-8 ok where was I?)

Oh Rachel...So we ended a rather long set with the 500. Lets just say I never thought i would swim a 17.02 and Rachel did a 16.59. Sweet. I am proud to say that I kept it together with a 24 yo. ( Who could be my kid!) So thursday masters our coach had us do a broken mile. "Julia, Rachel isnt here. oh hmm..." I was quick to say "Ya know, that is just fine.." I did just fine in that mile and i didnt put the hammer down until we hit the 200. I loved it. My body loved it. All is well and my shoulder wasnt popping around all weekend.

So today...Ride! I am kinda sick in that I often like the trainer. I like the trainer bc it has a definite beginning and end. There is a set wko and I pretty much always know i am going to get a good wko and i wont get cold. I cant catch up on some dumb show or watch tennis. ( and I still havent seen the entire rafa Fed match...I may not watch it but i want to see the final set)

Since it is quite boring to tell you all the time it takes to get ready to ride, check the wind, decide on trails vs roads ( roads won since the trails are a bit icey) I had to put a foot down a few times friday to navigate this. In the same day tho i got to practice ice riding ( sans turns) which really is a great exercise in "Stay very quiet ( upper body) pedal into it and coast on thru..." or what i like to say "NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS." and all is good. The back wheel spins out so easily otherwise. and whatever you think DONT BREAK. Kinda like a car on ice really.

Yes that is slick ice on the left so i actually got on the right hand side and cruised on thru, and yes put a foot down. No harm in that.

So as i was riding I had some time on my hands. I decided to ride solo today and wanted to get off the paths ( remember the ice) and do some climbing. AS much as riding the cross fendered bike with 60 psi ( wooohoo i went up from 40 psi) is torture and really there is no time it feels easy I know it will pay off come spring. And it is so AWESOME to take the Road bike out in Tucson and feel like you are so light and flying up hills! So i lugged that puppy around some hills south of St. Paul. Most of the motorists were quite tolerant and happy. Another reason it is good to get out of the metro. Even if we are supposed to have good bike lanes in the metro and we do, the drivers are just often ANNOYED at us. Even if you practice good bike etiquette, and yes that means stopping at Stop Signs not blowing through them.

So as i was heading into a west wind ( 10-15 mph, but at 32 degrees that still isnt too nice) up a hill i realized that my picture would be of Lilydale.

This is where i learned to play tennis. We spent ALOT of time there. This is where my team won 5 straight MNSHSL State Tennis Titles and where I had my senior year graduation lock in party. ( Sweet, we got to play tennis all night long...and racketball and swim and play more tennis...)
And guess has been closed now for over 2 years. Sitting there. Empty. Nada. I heard the nets are still up and I bet there are some pretty happy rodents running around.

So it goes. One Riverfront View is having a hard time selling...go figure. I have no comment on the housing market and I am not qualified to comment anyways but I think it is sad ( ok sad for me) that this great club still stands there empty. Pros had to find work elsewhere ( likely getting sucked into the monopoly we call LIFETIME..) and members hustled to find a club that had a family and non corporate atmosphere ( again read NOT LIFETIME). For being in the North, MN especially the twin cities has ALOT of avid tennis players. And obviously we cant play outside from about October -Late April. That is alot of indoor court time especially on the weekends and evenings. And for some ( read LIFETIME) that is a huge revenue. I just bet the people that bought this land are kicking themselves over this one.

So before i get off on a tennis tangent...happy weekend to you all and may the sun be shining on your face and at your back for the week ahead. Now i have to go see IONA! And get ready for honey's work party tonight! Woot! I have been instructed to look hot. We shall see, that has different meanings in MN In the winter. I think he means "dont wear 2 layers of long underwear! and dont look like this!"