Sunday, January 31, 2010

No Noseplug Needed: Icebreakers Swim Meet Report!!!WITH PICTURES!

Well well. What a weekend.
It started with saturday being a bit "off kilter" I got up and did my easy run, but somehow even in an easy run of an hour outdoors at 2 degrees I managed to put myself into a sleep coma ALL afternoon. The run itself was fine. It was a bit chilly out but not bad and since it was supposed to be a flat Z1-2 run I kept it at that. But where i live there is no such thing as flat, so i just took it easy up the hills. It was sunny and nice so i got my dose of serontonin and D but still by noon i was feeling like a mack truck hit me.

Uh - oh. Was it time to finally get a winter cold.
I was too in need of a nap to even think about WHY.

The funny thing is that Rich fixed the toilet, woke me up to tell me he was going out and he needed to turn off the water, etc, etc...then i woke up and he was going to church at 5. OMG. I never sleep like that, 3 hours, comatose..unless I am sick....OR....women know what i am going to say...

Last week was rest week. That means all bodily functions re-set! Woohoo. Ugh...

So i decided that sunday would come, I would go to the swim meet and swim as i felt. Even tho I woke up ( after another 9 hours) and felt like Rip Van Winkle. Can i go back to bed now?
At 7am Rich said..."get going.." And i did.

I drove to the U of MN Natatorium ( So why is it called the NAT and not the SWIMATORIUM? ha that was what rich wanted to know!!!) That cracked me up. I got there way too early but that was ok, bc somehow i forgot it was sunday. But i saw my good buddy Barb, who i went to grad school with, and have been in touch with alot on and off, but more OFF lately. She is a swim goddess and I love her perspective and outlook on life. She coaches high school swimming teams and also has her own coaching business. Her ladies welcomed me with open arms and even counted for me in the 1k and the 500. Thank you! And look at this place?? I feel so lucky to swim there!!

So I warmed up about 800 with them, and had to say I was thrilled that i could find the flags on the backstroke and actually flip and not miss the wall. (more on this later) When they said they were doing 1k warmup I was happy with 800 since i last year I was SOOO CoLD that i was afraid to warm up.


THIS YEAR...I was not that cold! First off I brought.. (Ok laugh) 4 suits. And 4 towels! It could have been warmer in there, as last year there was all this cold air blowing and also this year I may have ( ahem, ok, its ok) a bit more MEAT on my frame. Or maybe i had hibernated all day saturday and my stores were full, whatever it was i seemed better, but once again i kept laughing that I was warmest when i was in the pool!

1000 was first. I will spare you all the details but my main goal was to not go out too fast. I havent swum this distance even in practice and so despite a wu I didnt really do many pick ups and so i wanted to just feel the water and not be out of control in the first 500. I think i was a bit too laissez faire the first 500 but when people told me my 50 splits were totally consistent and that my last 100 was negative i knew i had done what i wanted.

Next up was the 50 back. I had decided to use a noseplug but once i got in the water i knew i didnt need it. I just made sure to come off my turn with a bit of a streamline, not fully prone, and i was fine. That sucked the wind out of me. Whew! I think i was 41 seconds not sure.

Then we had a bit of a break, wardrobe change! Then it was the 400 IM medly relay. I was first. I was off and was again sucking wind big time and turned over too soon on the 75 turn and had to REALLY REALLY REACH with my long arm to get to the wall. And really didnt get a good push. DANG. So i got to the block hard...and swam it in and off my relay mate went. TO the FLY! I got out and was like "why is everyone else doing 100 breast?" LOL Well...we went in the wrong order! OMG. I was more worried about not getting us Dq'd and meanwhile my relaymate said NO it's Back Fly Breast Free. I kinda thought that was wrong but she is the local MN masters person ( like a liason to USA masters) so i thought she knew. And let me be clear I really dont care. I was asked to be a relaymate and said "sure" but it was more of a learning and fun thing, so i laughed! when we were Dq'd!) and no noseplug!

Then a bit more break and then it was the 200free relay ( i was anchor! yikes!) and then right after that the 100 free. So i had been refueling like a champ, and that meant i was noshing on all sorts of stuff. Vanilla milk, banana, power bars, a gel, etc..and Inifinit all day long. and I have no idea what time it is, just that i found it amazing how many people really want to do the 100 FLY :) I mean like 9 heats!

So I anchored the 200 free relay then went to the 100 free. Boom. all good, all OUT i mean ALL OUT!!! So as i said, the 50 back sprint took it out of me. NOW, after all that sprinting I was suffering.....

TO GET MY BUTT OUT OF THE POOL!!! I mean TRICEPS dont fail me now!
I am also amazed at how my legs seemed to become one with the bleechers anytime i sat for too long!

Last but not least was the 500. I decided, at the advice of my teammate, the USA swimming person, to swim the 500 as a cool down. "Yes this is a good idea, I am tired and It is running late and i really didnt want to be here from 8am to 4pm." But...I mean...really? Hello? Can you say " LEAVE IT IN THE POOL?" I got on the blocks and said " this is nothing, just swim and at 300 if you are totally dying then you can just keep dying, but if you think you have an iota in you then you had better HTFU and just leave it in the pool."So i did. I dont know my 50 splits but i do know i went under 7 minutes and that was pretty darn sweet.

You know what else was sweet? We paid $10 to swim. You can do 5 events and then relays, so you get as much swimming as you can handle. AND if you preregistered you got a $10 gift certificate to:



Or Target....

How sweet is that?

A good workout, sore lats and a lat fatigue i havent ever felt ( from getting out of the pool likely!) AND $10 at Caribou!!!

YEA for swimming meets!

And DOUBLE YEA bc FED won his 16th Slam today. Just watched it on DVR tonight!

PS pics to come!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


That is where my brain was today while i ran. A little of this and a little of that. On most my long runs I am solo, actually i do most of my training alone and that is weird when i look at it in comparison to how my athletic life evolved. Cant play tennis alone can ya? And so much of tennis is social. I always played with people I genuinely liked, many of whom I am still friends with and could have easily stood at the net and talked for 60 minutes instead of playing ( and yes we did do that at times!) In the summer we often had practice matches where we would get 4 women and play about 90 minutes of singles then finish up with about 60 minutes of doubles. Then sometimes there was a cooler in the car of cold stuff. Yum. Not always beer, mind you.
My favorite was playing late afternoon doubles at the Clay courts. And then the happy hour bevies on the deck. Then ride my bike home:) ( I live about 1 mile from the club!)

So when i am grunting and huffing on a trainer ride, or swimming in the early hours solo or with a few peeps that say " You scare us when you come down those stairs to the pool deck holding that piece of paper," ( That paper is the printed workout from ZenSwimMaster Jen)
or like today, running on the lovely streets and trails of my little riverside home I am truly amazed that I like to get up every morning and do this. I do miss training with people, but in many ways this is a healthier and happier way for me to train and feel like it isnt all that my life is about.

Today for example...Run long. Ride short ( which means a short car drive into town where my trainer still sits, in CLUB JMW...stole that from ERich) and then moving more stuff from the condo. So call that strength training. And home to work a bit and get ready for some chili eating family members to come cheer for the Vikes. Now. Granted its Winter and you may say "um so that isnt that much going on." And really it isnt. But the way MN works is that come the first sign of spring ( and this weekends rain seems to make us think its April) we go FULL TILT till Labor day. Its like as soon as the weather is grill weather everything is done at 150%.
So hibernation, as in...." THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN IS ON!" and getting my Powertap to download and upload thru a Mac computer and the VMFUSION I have is saturday night fun for us. And sleeping in. I mean really. I kinda think that sleep is the magic bullet here. If you can afford to get 8-9-10 hours a night on the weekends who is going to argue. My body sure is happy and if i can start my run at 8:10am instead of 7am why not? And as much as i miss the social ness of spin class I can tell ya that I am surely content and getting my A$$ kicked my the aforementioned ZenMaster Coach of mine and i can start at any time in the am and not stress about getting a bike and what fan is going to be blowing on me. ( Not a fan, fan.)
*** I am reading Andre's book right now so the ZEN master is from that. Barbara Streisand called Andre a Zen master. Weird. Fascinating. But good book. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE Steffi Graf so i am glad Andre ditched Brook and figured it out.

See Mishmash.
But back to my run.
I was thinking that while i literally barely made it out the driveway bc it was so icey (we have a nice 90 degree turn with a nice down slope) and was thankful I can ski and run at the same time bc I nearly ended up in the neigbors snow bank, which is ice now, so that would have hurt...that it felt like a good run. Temps 32 on the nose, mist=ice falling, and as soon as i hit pavement I felt like i had some legs. This is the first run i have felt like that in a long time. Maybe it is that i know i am now on a rest week, or maybe I am amped up from a hard week and I will not be moving much monday. But i think it was mostly that I was running on road that was wet but i had some traction. I mean the kind where you decide to go faster and you, and you dont slide backwards and pull a hammie. Of course there were spots i had to walk, and spots i had to stop where the water has pooled and it was one big ice patch. I did my dance with the sand trucks, and they did their best to avoid me, much thanks goes to the city workers who i also danced around with on Xmas day when we had rain and sleet as well.
But as i started to feel effortless and like a runner I realized that one of my big goals for 2010 is to go under 5 hours in a 70.3 yet I had failed to really pick a race based only on this goal. Was that dumb? I mean in hindsight i think i should have picked a flat and "easier" race to meet this goal. The one's i picked are calenderwise tough: April? Hmm...that could be anything come April, and then June, but KS 70.3 where i know there are two transitions, which doesnt really mean they will be fast, and it is hilly. So I picked it up a bit while thinking this, and then shook my head at myself and said this:
"Julia, picking a course JUST for a time is not how you are going to be happy or fufilled. That is like deciding before a match that you want to beat this person in tenni and then trying to control everything you can to beat him or her. Just like in tennis, play your game, stay in the moment, execute from your strengths, minimize your weaknesses and if you feel good and have an edge take a few chances." If you break 5 in a race it will be because you did all of this same as when you win a match, all the sudden the final game is there and you know if you can hold your nerves together and keep playing to win, you will. But trust me, getting to that game where you are serving to win comes from doing your homework and not putting the wagon ( breaking 5) ahead of the horse ( training, smart racing, etc...)

So that may have lost you, but it sure helped me to know that if i dont break 5 next year maybe i will break it in 2011 or maybe there will just be other goals I meet and that will be ok, too.

So hope you are having a great weekend. And for all you peeps that cant run today I thought of you today. I really did. I said to myself, this fun is for Marit, Damie, Beth, Becca, and I am sure there are more of you but I am sad that so many of you are sidelined at the moment. Have faith, you will heal!

PS GO VIKES. Sorry all you SAINT's FANS, it's our turn. And really there are some NUTTY crazy MN Vikings fans that I do really think have some issues. one guy on the news last night had this grey wiry beard and he hasnt shaved since the Vikes were in the superbowl, um, like 20+ years ago? His poor wife looked a bit desperate for a win.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hot Diggity Dog! Look what the mailman brought today!

So other than honey telling me i sing in my sleep, this has been a great day!! Look what arrived!
Doesnt get much better than Coffee AND ART, does it?
Thanks Kiwami ( Andre!), and thanks June and Wade:) No hiding now. Yup that's my name!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wonder what it feels like to run on terra firma...

Ironman 70.3 LonestarGuess i will find out again in April.
Oh I will get some practice in Tucson, but I am totally stoked for this race. Or practice race or the chance to be outside. My sister lives in Houston and is doing the OLY. So i will sherpa for her saturday and she will sherpa for me sunday.
My nephew will come along and play on water slides and hopefully make me laugh as i run in circles around Moody Gardens in the Texas heat. No complaints from me.
Good times to come!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We interrupt the 2010 planned race calender for this special announcement:

Dear Julia,

Congratulations! You are now registered for Team Evergreen Triple Bypass.

Thanks for registering for Triple Bypass. See you July 10th!

For more information about the Triple please check our website at:

I wonder if this is like going up LEMMON 3x? I am more scared for the descent(s) than the climb(s)!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Live Free or Die

The granite of New Hampshire and my love for Dartmouth brought me to that Title.
I want to live my life with no rules and without looking over my shoulder wondering if I offended anyone or If something i write or post on the internet is going to haunt me or hurt me or a loved one. So that being said I thought alot about what you all said in the comments and what this blog means to me.
Ahem. IT IS A BLOG. Hello...! ? nothing more nothing less. I know that if i dont post a wide variety of things then i worried people would think all I did was train. That i was a Jen Harrison Automatic Triathlete. Jen = my higher power. And then i start to put personal things on and it is used to hurt me and a loved one. Ok. Cant win can ya?

I fully intend to keep writing it and I fully intend to not let anyone else's baggage and issues become mine. Because if I start omitting things that make me who I am, then what is the point of writing this blog anyways? Eh? Then we are all crazy and pretending to be what we arent.

I am not moving to Hawaii, but it sure sounds nice, but with some recent events I sure have wanted to get out of this zip code. At the same time tho I can tell you that I am downright ecstatic and happily in love. I cant say it any better than that.

Marriage suits us and we are happy to be where we are today. Nothing more nothing less. We just get up early like alot of folks, head to the pool or the bike, go to work, see our families and friends, go to church, eat, sleep, nothing too fancy. It is just how things work. And it is working for us, we have nothing to complain about and we work very hard to remind each other how lucky we are and how we CHOOSE DAILY...we have a choice, what our attitude will be to things that may challenge us. We try very hard to be honest with ourselves and know we cant change anyone else, but we can change how we react and what we let demonize us.

As for Rich's saddens me that at a time when he is struggling with real physical issues and challenges that he is forced to deal with material and trivial issues that really do nothing more but raise his stress and anxiety. His job is tiring and challenging but he loves it too, and feels he really is able to help people and do a good job of it. If you need your wisdom teeth out or some oral surgery, let me know.

My job is keeping me happy and luckily not as stressed. I love my job! I get to teach people how to stand up tall and work on their strength and balance in a way that they genuinely seem to enjoy. One of my students told me the other day that " Class was almost fun!" haha. Love that.
Here is a picture of all the toys i have in my basket for an obstacle course i set up.
Bubble wrap, towels, dyna disc, etc....i think i was picking up so the santa is in the basket but they had to walk on different surfaces with dark glasses and carry the basket. Arent I nice? They even got to be near the railing if they needed it:)

And just because I am feeling like sharing all the good in my life, I had to share this picture of me ballgirling for Chrissie Evert. I must have been in 6th grade, and there was a tournament at the old Met Center. Remember those yellow and green seats? GO NORTH STARS! Oh they are in Dallas now? :)

Ok then, back to business. Blogging about training, triathlon and maybe some visits with Roger and Ruby. She is doing well:) happy as a clam~! But one Very Important question...should i get my name on my backside on my new Tri kit? My new name wont fit but my first name would.
Should I? Should I?

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I have been contemplating this post for a few days and nights ( at around 3am, to be exact)
To start, I am not one to be dramatic. I conciously try to not be an alarmist or to draw attention to myself, but I do love to post pictures and share my lovely family and friends on the blog. But, sometimes when day to day events and information is used in a way that puts me or my husband or family in a bad context, I say enough is enough.

So...I try to not use this blog as a training journal. I have enough of that with Training Peaks and as we all know, that is a struggle in and of itself, though getting better. But it may become more of a blog about my triathlons, my workouts and well...not much more.

I dont want to stop the blog, bc that isnt fair to my family and people that catch up with me on the blog. Nor is it fair to Dartmouth or Roger ( !!!ha!) but if you want more details, pictures of fun things i am doing and where i am doing them, things i have purchased with my hard earned money, then you can find that on FB. If you arent my friend, find me and friend me. If you arent my friend for real, then go away.

All is fine. And life was good before anyone even read my blog, and it will be good even if I dont feel right posting as much personal stuff as I have been. And now you are going to have to guess, if it is real or not... I am moving to Hawaii. And I am selling my car and quitting my job.
IS it real or is it pretend? And if you do care that much, then start your own blog and get a life of your own.

But I AM GOING TO AG NATZ! Tuscaloosa here i come! Yes that is real. I promise.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hello Winter!

Well, what to do what to do...I am not going to rant and rave about the -14 we had this am, but HELLO WINTER!

but just know that historically NEXT week and the week after ( the 2nd and 3rd weeks of Jan) are usually the coldest. Then winter is over. haha. I was driving home from the Y today and my car read -10, in bright sunshine. All I could think was "when i am in Tucson and it is 50, that will seem warm." Sad thing is that even if "WE CAN HANDLE IT, we are from MN..." Who wants to handle it! I far prefer 70 and up and have outgrown the " I am so tough, and i want to brag about it.." I think it's insane to be outside doing stuff when it is this cold. Ok..soapbox over. It is sunny so that is nice.

I had a great week with Marit in town.
No we didnt plan the suits, but those dolphin uglies are the best. And they arent ugly IMO.

I had met Marit last year in Tucson and loved her supportive and encouraging attitude from day 1. Plus she likes sheet cake and cupcakes, and so do I:) We swam a few times and I tell ya, I swam faster than i have ever swum. Even if she dropped me in the warm up, she helped me with my flip turn ( since i smacked her a few times with my wandering octupus arms) and then I caught back up to her:) I guess when you are 28 yo versus 43 yo you dont need to warm up as much! Then we went to get coffee at my sponsor shop Nina's. I have been avoiding caffeine in coffee since i was having some issues with FCBD, figure it out, if you dont then you dont need to know, but i went to order a Capp ( I have been sooo good...) and I was going to order Decaf, and Marit says.." What has the MOST caffeine of everything on that drink board. I want that!" Go girl. After she saw the foam on my Capp she still enjoyed her depth charge but next time we both got the DQ-esque foamy capps. And yes. I am back on decaf! No worse for the wear. I think she flew out today, at -15 I know she was ready to get back to Cali! Miss you Marit and thanks for pushing me in the pool.

Other than that I have had a few knee tweeks running on this:

It may not look that bad but btwn running in the ruts in the street, not to mention there are cars, to the sidewalks where some losers ( ok they are losers) who dont shovel the first real snowfall...then it melts..( it was 38 here Xmas day) and duh, then it refreezes and you have all this crater-esque rough sidewalk that is impossible to run on much less even walk on. Running anything other than in survival mode is impossible. So somewhere in the last week running on this stuff outside...falling down the spiral staircase when i was carrying a laundry basket ( no it wasnot the Martini night!) and doing alot of bike->weight->bikewkos' I strained my patellar tendon ...ugh. Last year it was my Gastroc, doing bounding on a cold packed ground outside. Seems winter is just rough on the body! And as much as i can tolerate 1x week on the TM, today's 1 hour on the elliptical and then 20 min on the TM ( to replace a long run) was rough. Granted at the temps we had i was just happy to be inside.

So i go to my car to get my water bottle and...At least I could use it to ice my knee.

The one thing i havent done yet in the HOLY BATMAN ITS COLD mode is to make snow.
I will try to capture it on camera, but i am comfy inside...boil some water. go outside. Throw it up in the air. and it snows. It is actually pretty cool to see.

Tonight we have an office party at a nice restaurant. Kind of a fancy place, actually.... hhehehehe. Rich and I have some fun up our sleeves. Look what we are bringing. We just havent figured out who's chair it is going under.

See winter makes you do crazy things. Stay warm all you people.. the rest of you who are afraid to go ride your bikes when it is 40 degrees, see you in Tucson.