Sunday, March 21, 2010


First of all thank to all of you, those i know, and those i dont, and those i hope to meet sometime soon...for all your nice comments on Uncle Angus. I did a race report but didnt do a family weekend funeral report:) It's always heartbreaking to gather as a family when it is sorrounding a death. Our wedding was the last family gathering and since i was kinda "out of it" in a good way! It was fun to see cousins and aunts and uncles back in the twin cities. As usual we laughed and cried and then did it all over again. I know Angus would have enjoyed the party and I know he was looking down on us happy to see us all together.

So onward and upward, right? Sorta.

The last few weeks have been rough. I dont usually get doubtful but other than fearing falling on ice, which is thankfully gone, it just seems that training has been kinda BLAH. I know its March. I baited Jen for a pep talk, and I needed it, to remind me I am human. I can take days off that are unscheduled, and as Angela said someplace sometime in blogville " I have Jen to save me from myself."

When i played tennis all the time alot of it was teaching and I could do that everyday all day. I am finding that now at the age of almost 44 I take more time to recover. In my head I dont, but the open road races that are longer than 10k just kill me. My quads have been tight since last weekend's run and ride bonanza, so tight that my massage therapist even was doing what i call the ART-DEEP TISSUE combo deal. On top of that my shoulder has been sore. I will save you the PT jargon, but after swimming wed i had a tweak in the front of my shoulder. No doubt due to my new love, the ATOMIC push up. I have some instability in my left shoulder and a partially torn labrum so i am always treating it with kid gloves while at the same time trying to strengthen it to avoid going under the knife.

So to top it off when i asked her about my sore shoulder, she said : "you have the Full Meal've got your fries ( points to my upper trap), your shake ( points to my pecs/bicep tendon), and your burger ( and points to my general rotator cuff area)"


I did laugh tho, bc it was super funny, and of course i love to diagnose myself, even tho that is a dangerous thing to do and leads to mental trauma or the thought that i need to amputate or have surgery. Not really.

So going into Tucson camp I have a few goals:
Be outside in temps above 40
Meet some neat people and laugh some more
See Jen and Jerome again, and try not to insert foot in mouth like last year where i said to her..."You are prettier in person." Ok that's not so bad but it sounded kinda funny to me:) and to her i think.
Work hard but respect my aches and pains

Ok my bike is clean, I have grease under my fingernails, and I just put my positive cap on again.
Rich is sick so playing nurse Nancy is no good either. Gotta add my immune cap to that positive cap I guess:)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Irish for a day 10 mile race report

I did a race.
And i didnt fall.

Last week this is what i looked like after my sunday run:

Which led to a week of this:

Not necessarily in the snow as it rained all week, but lots of ice. and lots of arnica on my bruised and angry knee's. Just bruises, but still not fun to bruise your knee caps OR your sub patellar tendon area. Since i had already had my share of PTSD from this:

Arke 5 Ft. 3 In. Black Civik Stair Kit, K03020

And now add in some ice disquised as mud about 20 minutes into a 1:45 run and
I decided my best option to make it to the start line was to dress like this: ALL WEEK.
Bubble wrap would not cut it. I had to get out the michelin man outfit.

Luckily with proper body armour, ice, and some rest and not alot of running i tested the bruised appendages ( i took off the suit) on Wednesday and felt that it was gonna be ok for saturday. I tested it again friday and I knew i was good to go.

This week has been rough. Per my last post, this week started out sunday night at 10 pm as a nightmare of a week, and with no sun, and sore knees i was pretty down in the dumps. The last thing i wanted to do was to take anything away from what really mattered this week and that was my family and Uncle Angus's legacy. At the same time I was really starting to think that I would REALLY have to wear this suit to run in the desert in Tucson since i didnt want to fall into a cactus. So regardless of the pace i ran today I wanted to toe the line, be smart and just get out there and run a race. ( Last race i signed up for i couldnt do bc of the dreaded spiral stair fall #2)

Anyways, did you really want a race report? I mean this is far more interesting isnt it? What goes thru my head leading up to toeing the line?

Friday we had a wonderful day of laughter, tears, memories, hugs, tears, more smiles, more tears and by 4:30 pm I was ready for bed. I dont know if any of you are like this but once i get a good cry on, I am like a baby. Tuck me in. Night night. But off to dinner we went and more fun was had by all.

So when 6:30 dawned, luckily i was thankful for a 9am start. Got the breakfast down, working on eating MORE before i race, and had ample time for all that goes down before a race.
Got to the start and here is your pictorial of that:

Best word to describe this is RAW....we were running around 2 lakes, and there is a nice NORTHERN breeze those Canadians sent us. Brr....

Hmm, I have to get out of this car to warm up sometime....but first let me do the "gelling"

Funny is that of all the places to park I parked right next to my buddy Steve.
So we chatted it up a bit, i wished him happy birthday, told him i have a cupcake raincheck for him since the only cupcake i could get yesterday was from the funeral and i thought that was bad karma, and we started to get warmed up. I didnt see him at the start but he cheered me into the finish where he said "you looked rough" Yup. I. Felt. Rough.

So here is my race report:
I ran without any watch or anything. We had a clock at mile 1 and mile 5. Coach said to not start out too fast, and given my week prior with emotional and physical stress I was seriously just happy to be there. It was FREEEEEEZING before we started and FREEEEEEEEZING after we finished, but during the run i was just great. If not a bit hot when we were running with the wind.

Mile 1 7:11 Felt easy
Mile 2-5?? I know i ran a 7:00 in there and i started to see something in the near distance. As we crested one of many sneaky little hills It became clear to me what was now in my sights.

3-Wide Double Tier Locker

I wasnt in it yet, but that door had just opened. Upper right hand ? That's mine!

Around mile 5 the curiosity was killing me. I was sorrounded by guys, all of whom looked to be about 25-30 yo. They all had big spaceships on their wrists. The GARMIN patrol. Everywhere.
So as we got closer to mile 6 and I stepped my right foot into the LOCKER I said : "Ok Garmin boys, what pace are we doing here?"
Lead Garmin boy ( whom i was doing a nice job drafting off in the wind, or i should say I was nicely in his slipstream) said "7:06 now, 7:11 overall."
Me : "thanks."
and that was pretty much all she wrote.
When i had gotten "comfortable" in the locker I knew that mile 6-7 was gonna be hanging on to my Garmin boys, and as we crested another hill to come into the final loop of the same lake we looped to begin with we were met with the 5k runners. Ugh. My Michelin armour was ready, I dodged, i tucked, i scampered, and i made it thru the sea of 5k'ers finishing their 1 loop. Now the work began. 3 more miles.

Lead Garmin boy came by and said " Bad. Time. For. A. Side. Stitch" But he seemed determined to catch Garmin boy #2 and off he went. Told me in btwn breathes that we were at 7:15 pace.

And around mile 8, after yet another sneaky hill, I pretty much slammed that Locker door shut and sat in there in the dark wishing for it to be over. No knee pain, my left glute medius started to cramp and i tell ya that was the longest last mile I have run since...( my last race?Hahaha)

We had to re-join the 10 milers headed into their last lap and so again the agility drills took place going downhill into the finish chute. Garmin boy bested me by about 30 seconds, but that is ok. I was pleased finishing under 1:12 and pleased that those last 2 miles i just told myself to "sit in the locker and gut it out." I kept hoping that my TRX was going to give me some great finishing spurt, but maybe it did...i sure think i helped me get over those hills.

Steve met me at the finish, I grabbed some snacks, gave my free beer coupon to a lucky gal, and we jogged back to our cars and talked about how the race had gone. Steve had his Recoverite in the car, me, my chocolate milk and we toasted each other, snapped a picture and headed off.

Happy Birthday to Steve! And while we trash talk each other alot about pool workouts, Steve can run like the wind! So nice job Steve, and as i said, perhaps we need to settle this on the bike sometime:)!

The weather is still grey, damp and cold. Forecast calls for 59 sunday, but i really dont believe it. Long ride outside tommorrow, fenders will be key, and if the bonechilling weather continues I may be doing the 50/50. 2 hours out 2 hours in. Tennis on tv? Roger on tv at Indian Wells? That could very easily be my deciding factor.

Here's to y'all staying upright. I can lend you some bubble wrap if you need it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You will always be #1

My uncle Angus died this past weekend. It was quite a shock, something we are all still grieving over. I am in disbelief that a vital person can be gone so quickly. He lived alone but was fully independent and was packed for his next trip to Naples, FL. He and my Aunt Marge travelled there often to escape the winter.

Aunt Marge was my 4th grade teacher. She was the head of the lower school that i attended and she was like a mom. Can you imagine having your mom teach you 4th grade. I LOVED 4th grade, not only was my "mom" the teacher but my cousin Sara ( her daughter) was in my class. 4th grade rocked! You have to know she had a special gift to be able to teach her own child, AND her neice. ( and a few years later she taught my younger brother)

Marge left us way too early as well. 6 years ago to be precise.

Uncle Angus was a quiet one. He was the youngest of my dad's siblings, and after Marge passed he made sure to visit and re-visit alot of the places he had travelled with her. I will always remember Aunt Marge for her special and kind words as both an Aunt and a teacher, and her charm bracelet that rattled on the counter as she cut the beef tenderloin at Christmas eve dinner. And for her apricot jello. She made this fantastic jello mold that we still try to make each Xmas eve even though our's isnt nearly as good as she made it. I also remember after church on sunday going to my cousin Sara's house and we would eat Ring O Noodle soup and then get to walk to the Tom thumb ( which, Um, was like a mile or more...! ) to get candy. Sara used to get these big chocolate chunk things. I have no idea what they were! And I would usually get a sugary treat like those straws filled with sugar or the Lic-a-Stick.

Angus was quiet. He gave good hugs though and you knew he was fully present even if he wasnt yapping away like some of the rest of us. I mean we have a BIG family, someone has to keep the crowd mellow:) I remember this fall he called me a few times, and left me messages bc he wanted to help a friend get into a personal training job. It was so Angus, he was so soft spoken, but so thoughtful in trying to help a friend.

And how can i leave out the Christmas tree socks. About 20 + years ago all the men in the family got matching Xmas tree socks, that they wore on Xmas eve. Over the years people moved, socks wore out, people slacked on their dedication to THE SOCK.

Men's Abstract Christmas Trees Socks

Not Angus.

This past winter, Christmas 2009, Angus had his socks on. I am not sure if he was the only one or there may have been one more. But he told my mom..." I just wear them each year, put them back in the drawer, and then find them a year later." We laughed so hard...wondering and knowing that perhaps his socks were so well preserved since they hadnt been washed! But heck, Xmas eve dinner lasts all of 3 hours? Likely the socks had only a good 18 hour day in them. No need to wash!

Uncle Angus is Angus 1. Angus 2 is my cousin Angus ( Uncle George's son) and Angus 3 is Angus 1's son. So have no fear #1, you will always be NUMBER ONE!

Here are some pictures i thought would remind me of #1.

Alaska, where he travelled with Marge.
Encampment River
Lupin in full bloom.

And My Dad and Mom. Whom I cherish every minute I have with you.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The weekend starts early!

Before i start writing my la-dee-dah post on my outdoor Brick ( pat myself on the back...yeah me) I have to give a huge shout out to Powerbar! Ok sure you may dump my butt and tell me you dont want to sponsor me, ( and no i havent heard a word, but am expecting that 1,304,200,400 other women my age would also be good ambassadors for your products...
But anyways...I love these gel blasts. I was not a fan to begin with bc they seemed odd texture. Yesterday on my ride when my lobster glove was stuck on my hand and i had no way to get to a powergel ( Green Apple, btw), much less rip the the top off, while still travelling at high speeds on the Wagon ( that is a joke) I managed to get to these. As soon as i shoved 3 in my mouth i thought "BRILLIANT!!!!" You are an oral surgeon's ( or dentist if you want to make it simple) dream. And more important you are my dream.
No stickiness in my teeth.
No gummy chewiness
No chewing needed
These were great. I think i could possibly even run and eat these.
Ok end of the PSA.

The day had been mapped out to include 4 loops to begin with, but when i thought about it i knew that meant climbing 4 x Ohio and 4 x Marie and for those of you who know those hills, that isnt a good time on the "wagon" ( with her fenders, she just is dang heavy)
So instead i added onto the loop to make it 2 loops instead. But as you can tell from the roads below, I didnt really account for 1) The Wagon 2) Bad roads 3) ice where i had to get off and put a foot down 4) stop lights since i made the loop more urban. So i got thru 1.5 loops in 4 hours and that was good enough for me!
Note: I did think of this while riding and know some of you ladies are curious about riding outside on snow and ice and during your spring thaw. ( as I write this DC/Mid Atlantic is either getting more snow or you are all drinking lemonade under the blossoming trees, I know it all changes so fast!) But...
DONT hit the brakes if you see ice. I think that is the biggest instinct you have to overcome. I came around a corner yesterday headed down under a freeway and duh if it wasnt totally iced over. MY instinct was to hit the rear brakes ( and then fishtail) but i just cruised on thru, staying very quiet up top and spinning in an easy gear. IF you have speedup and cant stop, keep going. IF you are going slow and have time, put a foot down. But by all means DONT SLAM ON THE BRAKES!!!

Above was what alot of the roads look like. Pot hole heaven. Job security for summer construction crews i guess. And a few large puddles that were ice on top and I did put a foot down bc i knew i would go right thru and potentially get stuck...or go over!

You can see the bike path in there, cant you?

Mid ride Rest Area
I know i am not really telling you about the ride, but what is there to tell? It was 26 when i left and it warmed up nicely. I was toasty, I dont think i really needed the toe warmers bc they were burning my toes by the end, but i never and shy about being a bit warm.
I rode hard, as hard as the wagon would allow, and tried to work on my nutrition. Kinda hard to do in the winter, but i tried. I seem to not need as much in the winter, but i think deceptively you get dehydrated...anyways i wasnt bc I had to stop about 2:40 in and found this nice rest stop.

Rich asked how the shammy butter tasted, and thankfully i couldnt tell him. The Powergels and the blasts were my top picks:)and left a bit of trash at this rest stop as well. Pet peeve, dont throw your wrappers folks you are gonna be a sticky mess when you are done anyways, just put them in your pocket and do the wash ( after you take the wrappers out of course)

And back to the roads for loop 2 +

Upon finishing there was that run. I had a fantastic run last time i did the outdoor long ride so i was optimistic about this one ...sometimes its a self fulfilling prophecy to think mid - ride how tired your legs are and how hard you worked all week and that you had this many more hills do go, and how heavy your legs feel I work hard to just NOT go there. I have to admit i was SOO glad to be off the wagon, but kinda was excited to go run! I had orders to run 10 min Z1 then the rest of the run was Z2.

Now some of you know that Jen's Zones seem to be a "bit" more challenging this year. I can run pretty darn hard/fast ( fast for me) and still be in Z2. So When i hit the road on the peg legs It was hard to keep it in Z1, but i tried. After 10 min Z2 was easy to keep and i was moving ALOT faster than i felt. It felt hard but i felt like i could have run all day ( ok not all day but for another 5 miles!)

I kept thinking about how hard those first 1-2 miles are after you just biked 56 miles, and how it is good to not start running too fast or too hard. And then i thought about how running 10 miles has been pretty routine for me, and then i thought about how those last 2-3 miles are just plain HARD. And then i realized I was HOT. I mean HOT like it felt like it was 60 degrees outside. I didnt even have alot of clothing on. I somehow thought " I bet its record highs today, it has to be at least 50 out here." I was sweating like it was summer. ( well not really)
And here is proof, see I am suntanned:) and sweating!

IT was 40 degrees. See, whacked out temperature perspective...gotta love it.
And what a difference the sun makes.

So off i go to the "pool" for some ice time and my recovery snacks. I know the Twizzlers have no place in this but in my world, they do....

Looks like some dirty ice, yup, the snow is melting! Horray!

And while this is random...I wanted to be in the Lake, and i tried, but my ice bath wasnt this cold. But i love this pic, summer at the cabin, and especially my sister in the background getting the heck out of DODGE as fast as the rocks under her toes will let her escape Lake Superior's chill!

Then mom and dad had me over for Salmon at their home! Yippee for Salmon.
So..since I did my saturday ride on friday i got to do my friday swim on saturday AM.
Loved it. 10x 400 a variety of things, it really wasnt bad at all.

Enjoy your weekend everyone...Think SPRING!

PS...Roger is back at it at Indian Wells starting in about a week! If you live in so-cal you get your butt over to indian wells and watch, this is the most fan friendly venue out there. I would pick it over a Slam venue anyday. You can watch the pros practice, warm up, and i even saw Rog a few years back...and Agassi, and Henin and Venus and...but to be honest, the best tennis at any of these events is usually the middle ranked pros. They are SO good, it amazes me how good they are and they are ranked like 30-50.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Yard

In response to Beth's great post on the CLUB, Rich and I went in search of the greek yogurt. I am not a fan of Sam's, and when i saw the bargain deal they had on this and on lots of other packaged and um...well...less than appetizing things, I knew my plan to keep shopping at the coop for my organic fruits and veggies and local grass fed ( when possible) meats, poultry would stick. I actually dropped Rich off and headed back into town for produce.

Then again we got some organic blueberries and a pinnapple, and our yogurt..oh and toilet we didnt cave and get this......Are you serious? People buy that? Not to sound all high and healthy, but grossssssssss.....

Monday, March 01, 2010

Monday Monday

Monday morning is in full swing and as much as i dread getting up at dark o' thirty to swim i can see that its getting lighter earlier and when we are mid swim set and its light out i somehow feel like i am running late..I am so used to swimming while its dark outside. Of course indoors so its not like i get to see the sun rise, really. Maybe in a few months!

Weekend was pretty mellow, and despite wanting to get outside to ride again I was happy with the 5 minute prep to go ride the trainer as opposed to the 30 min prep to ride outside. I laughed reading some email i got from Troy Jacobson ( the OTHER coach Troy) saying how long it takes to prep to ride outside...15 minutes..really Troy? you must not have to layer and chemically heat and put on helmet covers and get your lobster gloves so you can actually shift and...ok point taken.

It was a recovery week for me as well and tho i always love those it still is funny since my friends think that should mean NO training. Wheras I am learning it just means less volume but still some punch to the wko's. I am getting it....somehow during recovery weeks i also start to notice little nagging things. And back to monday...monday comes and i am so happy to get that swim done early and now is the impending dread/excitement/fear/excitement of TRX later in the day! As I said last post I have really liked this alot and i do think its slowly making me stronger. ( Tho i know you need 4-6 weeks to actually get stronger) so I am trying to be patient and work thru those aches and pains. I have alot of left gleno-humeral in stability
Shoulder stuff, likely due to hitting too many high backhands and also falling off my bike and landing smack on my shoulder about 4 years ago. So i go between thinking i need to have my labrum repaired ( likely culprit) to not even knowing i have a problem to strengthening the cuff to feeling like i need it repaired to overdoing it on the swim to not feeling it get the trend. So the TRX is good but often i over do it and dont know it until the 24-48 hr DOMS sets in. C'est la vie. Hubby seems to think i should just keep up with the 1:1's and not do the class, but i think i may just have to try to exercise restraint in class and not have to do it all. Even tho that kills me to have to stop when everyone else isnt. But i know i am not everyone else, so it goes.

Other than the monday monday stuff...its getting warmer. 40's perhaps ( late in the day..still cold in the AM) and the Olympics are over. Bachelor finale tonight ( so tune in for the last 12 minutes?) and the Office Baby epsisode is thursday. That is a must see. And even tho the Olympics are over and I will miss that each night I am sick of TV. Horrors. I am ready to be spending more idle time outside, in the garden, riding, pooling etc...And at the risk of offending much as i was in awe and inspired by many of the athletes....many of them not even winning medals....Hands down give me the TDF( july) or the US OPEN( late august-sept) and then you will see true despair when it is over.

So happy monday y'all....and's March. I had better go look at my road bike bc that baby is taking me up Lemmon in about 3 weeks!!! Cant wait to see all my JH peeps!