Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dear Tucson.... I miss you.

23 at the start. 38 at the finish. 3+ hours. One gel. I dropped it. Ever try to get a gel out of a side pocket ( under a vest) with Lobster gloves on? Then get the gloves back on? Rich went back to get it ( good ) so we didnt pollute. So i finished it. Potholes and dirt and sand and gravel.
At least no ice. Drivers and roads not quite ready for the TT bike. But soon. I hope.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why you need to pick up your feet:

Disclaimer: Something goofy is going on with my Font settings and i cant figure it out so I dont intend to have some paragraph fonts large and others not. Just go with it:)

Ok granted all you FB people have seen this, but If i had to give a rundown on my last 10 days in Tucson and Green Valley the only low point, was, literally, my yardsale on gravel the day BEFORE my first easy day in a week. Kind of like the warning you hear when skiing..."Lifts close at 4pm, so when you are thinking you want to get ONE more run in, know that is when most accidents occur!"
In my defense I was tired. Didnt think I was of course and since I am good on trails and was ONLY running on gravel beside the cart path ( yes the bike lanes are also GOLF cart paths in green valley) why would I worry. Forgetting that over the course of the last 6 days I had climbed Mt. Lemmon, done 4 rides of over 3.5 hours with hills and the day before the YARDSALE I did a 4.5 hour ride with a 30 min T run. Not boasting, just kinda soaking up the love of the outdoors and the fact that I knew i would come home to this ( meaning today it is 32 and rain/snowing...hello trainer!)
So off i went and at exactly 12 min into the nice 75 min run I caught my toe on a rather protruding LIP in the corner that i turned a bit too Hot. I really startled myself. I got up, thought that I would be smart and walked a minute or two.
Nothing was broken. ( I hoped:)!) and other than some lovely blood all over me I continued on my way. Passing some morning walkers I must have looked a bit, well..desheveled, but isnt it amazing what a visor and dark glasses can do for you? Kind of makes me think nobody sees me! I had a bit of an HTFU moment as well, thinking....if I did this at a race I wouldnt stop, so keep going. When i finished my run I went back to Rich's mom's house/casa and was hoping that Rich was there to give me some TLC! He was gone! Then I got tired and cried a bit just bc I wanted someone to pay attention to me. Funny. Then I had another HTFU moment and got too concerned with his mom and getting her towel's bloody:) I iced up, cleaned up and had some food. And then realized how tired i was.
Alas, too much to say about the drama of a run:) Rosemary ( Rich's mom) was pretty funny tho when she saw me. And fitting that since i spend most my work time helping Older adults ( She is nearly 80 yo) work on balance and falls prevention, that here she is, from then on telling me to lift my feet each time i ran after the fall. Yes I think the constnat reminders were payback!

So other than that one down are some highlights:
Lemmon...need I say more. Grind is the only way to describe it. And Wishing that they didnt have mile markers..especially at miles 1-14. Ughh. It really helped when Rene said ( I think it was Rene, or ??) "Its like a marathon, look at the mile markers like you are in a marathon." that helped! The descent was beautiful and other than having a sore low back at the bottom it was well worth the climb. I think Rene and I were the only ones who went to the VERY TIP TOP bc we got confused and thought we had to get back up that last steep climb, oh well, we missed the pie and the coffee but Ally was there with our warm clothing and the motorcyle dudes wanted our picture so we were studettes up there!

Jen, Jerome, Spencer. Need I say more? Great fun, great leaders, and each in their own way gave us challenging yet manageable wko's and advice. Jen is prettier in person. Jerome is cuter in person and Spencer opens his mouth and I immediately laughed bc he always was ripping on himself or making a funny comment.

Cold Tub. Awesome. Loved it.

Roomate Kate-O. As much fun as I would have imagined, then some. We got along great, and snoring aside ( dude, you penetrated the airline supplied earplugs!) sign me up for 2010!

Celebrating Ben's birthday at the sushi place. Ha, sushi was great. Ben was so surprised.

Wasnt really his birthday. Then he yells "its not my birthday!" And Mary and I are thinking "and you are paying for the dessert we just got, keep it down, shh!!!"

Other highlights include:
ALL THE CAMPERS. I know this is old story to most of you, but this was really a great few days for me! I met bloggers that i had ( healthy or decide) had stalked and "Gotten to know" without knowing them. Read their posts and seen the dedication and approach not only to training but to life in general. Kari the running yankee..Marit the superstar motor minnesotan who has quite a reputation with the MN boat club as well....they want you back! Kate-O, Kelleye M, I mean anyone that has completed an IM while remaining happliy married and a mother...means you have some juggling skills! As Kari said in her blog post, it is amazing to see how each of us approached training and life and to be sorrounded by such positive and supportive people. Jenny J, who one time i heard say " hi, jenny from Iowa." and then i realized i had watched too much of the Bachelor bc I was waiting for the next person to say..." Kellye, from Georgia. ( insert nice southern accent.) Mary and Jenny were rockstars running with me on the trails, thanks gals!

So off to Green Valley I went with Rich after camp. I think he was a bit stunned at how much i had to say. But thanks honey bc I really thought I was going to have to stuff a sock in it but you really did want to know what i learned. Besides some techy stuff ( like how to not drop my elbow underwater) I think the thing I learned the most, that Rich and I both worked on the next week, was ride/run fueling. AMAZING what a gel an hour can do for you. Not rocket science is it. But when you arent used to doing it, why would you? We both also fell in love with the Infinit products. Thanks to Beth S for that one! Not so much with the chalk in Hammer Perpetuem. I made Rich drink that and i think he threw the bottle out bc it caked to the side :(

Here are some more highlight pics from Green Valley.
Overall we rode monday, tuesday, thursday, saturday all rides of 3-4.5 hours. winds were light until saturday when we motored back to Aravaca and then hightailed it home with a slight side/tailwind. My highlight that day was not only the Gadsen coffee house stop ( so worth the ride if you can do it...about 25 miles on Aravaca road) but flying thru the border patrol stop at well over 25 mph. Slowed a bit but something about seeing your MPH flash on the screen just got me going!

Yea I dont really like chocolate that much..but i do like white frosting!

Rich's brother and his son were in town...great to hang out with them for a few days as well!
Besides fighting for the remote between the NCAA's and watching the FED play tennis at Indian Wells...umm. no contest....we also rented the Big Lebowski since they hadnt seen it. I swear that movie gets funnier everytime.

Family dinner. Friday night Walleye! Minnesotans take over Kristofers for a good old fish fry!Rosemary is at the far right. What a gal. She turns 80 yo in July, just 3 days after my mom. Go girls!

Oops Rich is sideways. Gotta fix that later:) Ok babbling post, but had to spew it out sometime. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Teething: or Aunt Julia has a nice shoulder.

So this goes to show you that it aint all about muscle .. a nephew needs some good ol' bone to gnaw on everyonce and a while. And this shows that even though I dont have kids, I am always there for my nephews. No matter what they may need :)

Now most of us dont know the value of a good mud bath. Iona did. She shows us how to really cool off when it is hot outside at the cabin. And the leash. Ahh, the leash. After she had already run off more times than we can count, including running up highway 61 on July 4th in search of who know's what and ending up in the dog pound in Two Harbors...and swimming 1/2 way across Lake Superior ( yes THAT lake, no she didnt have her wetsuit on) in pursuit of a family of Loons....Ok you get the point. She was a wild one. Pure Passion.
My dad said he chose her bc he wanted the best hunter. He chose the puppy that was the most acitve that wasnt sleeping quietly or looking timid and demure. The first week we got her home she climbed up the side of her cage and got onto the counter, fell off, and broke her leg.
I think some of you have children ( boys?) like this! Iona was pure Tom-Boy-Dog!

I had a nice ride today outside. 2.5 hours of riding. I still cry a bit when I see a Golden taking it's master for a walk, but I know that Iona is fine. I am almost fine, but I miss my friend Iona.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Today, March 2 2009 Iona's life journey ended. My parents spent the night downstairs on the couch at her side. We think she had had a stroke. In addition to pure weakness in her legs and hips, a front right paw that looked like a softball ( arthritis) and a sunken head ( atrophy of the masseter muscle) she wasnt giving up. Saturday night she dragged herself up the stairs to my parents bedroom bumping into walls as she went. My mom and dad were patient and saintly setting up yoga mats thru the house so she could walk on the slippery wood floors.

I wasnt ready for this. And before anyone starts with the "it is a dog, it isnt a person" stuff just know that for whatever reason Iona's passing has hit me hard. I dont know for sure why. Maybe it is as Rich said the feeling of "Man, if this is that hard, I wonder how hard it is going to be when I lose a loved PERSON." I havent lost a loved one since my mom's mom "Mimi" passed away. It was a long time ago, I cant even tell you how long ago. At least 10 years.
But I think it is more than that. Iona got me thru some rough years of my life in my late 20's and 30's. I dont blog about it alot but just know that she was there for me and she always greeted me with a smile, the hi-ho-iona dance and more barks and jumps than i usually wanted. I Am not going to analyze it too much. I will say this, I did a bang up workout on the trainer from 9-10:15 am, I was focused I was working on nutrition ( I even gagged down a gel just to PRACTICE, ick) and i hit the watts right on. ( And before you get all nervous, trust me, my watts wont blow you away, have you seen my chicken legs?!) Ok I had to make a joke just needed it.
And when i finished to cool down I suddenly burst into tears. I started wanting hospice care for the dog. I didnt want her to have that white knuckle drive to the vet and that fear in her eyes.
I wanted to do something so she wasnt alone and wasnt scared. And from then on my sunny sunday was spent crying about every hour, even in her presence, which likely upset her more than me:)
Funny how you can press out feelings of stress or anxiety but after a really hard effort it is like the flood gates open. Wow. Rich and I had Guthrie Tickets to see Shakespeares's Two Gentelman from Verona. I knew it would be good for me to go. And wouldnt you know it there was a dog in the play and a song about "big brown eyes." Great. Just what i needed. Not.
So today, monday, my parents took her in. I had given her permission to let go and as my mom said " I wish lightening would strike or she would just die at home." But from what i heard ( yes I was the one driving around all day to my worksites with the dark hollywood glasses on to cover my puffy eyes) it was lovely. Our vet is a great man and we like him alot. I feel calm in his presence and i just pray that Iona's journey was peaceful and that she is now swimming in the lake, chasing squirrels and has a constant hand at her side to pet her.

Below are just some pictures that I like. Her favorite place was at our cabin so I think the plan is to put her ashes up there so she is always in the great outdoors. Encampment Forest. Her second home.

Listening to nephew Joe sing the chipmunk song with his webkin. Tolerant dog!
And Yes she knows how to use the foam roller.

Bye Baby!!! We love you.