Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 plans, Florida Trip, Skiing ( on fake snow, grr), Life in General...oh my...

Greetings from sub zero MN. Land of cold and no snow. I will lead off with the disappointment I have that we have so little snow. I guess it is what it is, and the only consolation is that eventually it will be time to hit the road on the bike and maybe that will be easier without as much snow. At the same time I suspect we will get socked in March. Touche! I can ski at a few places that make snow, one being a downhill area but obviously ever other skier goes there too, including the high school teams. Sorta like a treadmill or spin class for skiers, all penned up. Not all that fun. Anyhoo....

2013 plans. Are still all over the place. I had planned to go to BSLT 70.3 but they pulled the Kona slots and my partner in crime REALLY wanted to go for that reason only. I was like "whatever, sure  I will go" but she isnt going and its a really really tough place to get to from MN and its expensive. So no go on that race. Leaving  me with a few choices ( and please, you guys/gals can tell me what you are doing so i can meet up with you!).
I may go back to Kansas. Love that race, have a great homestay and for me familiar is good. ITs a drag going alone, its a long drive and Renne is not into it this year so I'd be solo. Which is ok since i know the drill and have a friend there, Leslie C! Otherwise I may stay here and do Liberty half. I would really like a Vegas slot tho, so that means ponying up and getting to a race that can qualify me. Not too excited about Racine in July. So unless i go to NO 70.3 in April, which sorta appeals to me but having cancelled the swim two years, not so much.
What is for sure?
AG nationals is for sure.
A few local races are for sure.
Maybe Vegas or maybe LC nationals ( half distance) but i really want to run the TC 10 miler so that october half seems too late in my head.
Signing up for an IM in 2014? Yes thank you. Not sure which one but again. 3's a charm. Madison. Gotta love the course and I do love that course. And the ease with which you can get there and train. But again. Open to ideas...IMLP Maybe. Ive heard its a beast but is it more of a beast than Moo? or just a different breed? I like the idea of IM Texas still...but its early. I do know i do best in a warmer climate so CDA is out. Maybe IM Canada in its new location. Lots to choose from i know.

Enough on that. Will hope to regain a bit of speed and obviously I have "stuff" to do here, more on that in the LIFE section of the blog.

Florida trip: Photos! While i went to Drive mr and mrs Mairs ( Daisy) around I did get in some fun.  We had a great time with my former Piano teacher Marianne Tobias. She has a house there, and lives in Indianopolis. She is a concert pianist and travels the world. Her son Jim was my brothers best friend and tennis teammate. While she has had some obstacles and tragedies in her life ( husbands lost, marriages broken) she remains generous and so lovely to all of us. We miss her in the twin cities!
Here we are the first saturday we are there, on her deck watching the sunset. It was that warm out!

 Then sunday we went out on greg's ( Gilligan)boat. He owns Captiva Kayak and he docks at MA's so she got him to take us out to see the sunset. IT was super cloudy so we didnt think we would get a good sunset but little did we know what was to come. In the mean time MA had her jug of white wine I think it was Pinot Grigo. And a pic with my mom and dad as dad kneeled down he got a quad cramp so he was trying to get up when the pic was snapped!

 The Boat was in the Xmas parade so here it is looking at North Captiva with the snowman ready to take a dip. North Captiva is only accessible by boat or air.

And while this pic doesnt do it justice they called this "BLUE SKY PINK" it was the most vivid and lovely color I had ever seen. I was so thankful to see this! WE then motored back into MA's dock and headed home to get some pizza after the lovely evening she had planned for us.
She had to go home to IN so we missed her after that weekend!

While getting pizza i found these: I love the KCCO and of course had to get the Dog charm too!

Here is a boring sunset:) not really, but we never saw a green flash. Ive only seen one from the beach in LaJolla.
 In addition to driving my parents and seeing sunsets I got in some swims. I would go to Sanibel/Captiva JUST to use this pool! Last year I had run the Naples Half Marathon and was beat up good so my pool wrkos were a bit recovery ish. This year i go to tear it up a bit more. I also got in some really good runs. I do have to say that my lower legs were not happy with cement and flat flat flat. I am happy to be back in the midwest!

We ate alot of seafood, and had one of the best meals at the Mucky Duck. I loved these signs:

I knew JPH would appreciate the Stressed=Dessert one!

 And. The jury is still out if the SOAS kit is cuter than the PRINCE tennis outfit. Very different and each has its use. NOT interchangeable Im afraid!  Dad and i hit some balls and had a blast, then 45 min later a front moved in and it Dorothy and Toto were flying around outside our windows. Funny how fast that happened!

And for your viewing pleasure. My dad didnt want to be taped! All I can say is holy slow motion tennis. 

 My dad's sister lives in naples and we drove to visit them. How it can take so long to go such a short distance is beside me, but Im glad we saw them. They dont travel as much as they used to, and my mom and dad are pretty mobile still so Im glad i could be a part of another Mairs party! 

Now onto the final chapter of today's blog. If you are still here!
Life in general! Ive been pretty tight lipped on my life outside triathlon and skiing and that is fine by me. I am doing well. I would never have imagined i would be doing as well as I am right now. While this merits its own blog entry I just need to say and want to say that I really do appreciate all the concern and care many of you have expressed to me. Some from people i dont know in what i would say " inappropriate delivery" but I know you all care.
Im spending time with  someone who means alot to me, and I am smiling and laughing and feeling happy. Its not that I wasnt happy with Rich, but none of you walked in my ( our shoes) the last year or his life. I am forever changed because of my love from and for Rich, he wont be replaced. At the same time I trust myself and I trust that Rich is with me guiding me in all aspects of my life.
People told me i would see things ( not ghosts!) but signals that he is with me. I have.
I smile.

Thanks for reading and stay warm!!!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Whole Lot of Skiing Going On

The blogworld is quiet these days. And when i start to read a blog and someone is posting about some epic this or that they did I just close it down. Not that others doing 3hour rides or 2 hour runs is bad, not my point at all. But I just have no interest in it right now. Sorta funny how this past winter I have finally gotten outside to ENJOY the winter.

We have had a pretty mild winter. To some it may seem cold, but once you have skiied in 0 or below, when its 9 deg like it was today and the sun is out, its almost called WARM. I also have been a good user of the chemical heat warmers in both my hands and toes. Gloves and boots. Those save the day. And for anyone that has Reynauds as i do, it pays to be a bit sweaty up top because then your digits and toes dont get robbed of heat to heat your core. I hate being clammy when i am done but it pays off during the ski for me to be a bit warmup top!

I sorta feel like i need to write a post on skiing and all that i have learned in the count em 10 times i have skiied. I think i am at the point where i know what i need to work on and i know how bad my technique is. I feel like a swimmer that is going nowhere, has good fitness but still is basically not moving forward as efficiently as i could be. Add in snow and temp changes and waxes that change daily and new skis that have alot of structure ( grooves in the bottom) that like to hang on or grab thesnow, add in less snow than we need, and its all sort of a roulette as to how you feel. Luckily i am in that newbie stage where i cant really tell. I always blame myself, not the snow or the skis:)

One thing i am super excited about is that i taught myself how to V1 Right AND V1 Left. its alot like swimming breathing. You naturally can V1 to one direction better. But that means a bit of overuse or just plain one side works more. So this may be chinese but when you go up a hill V1 Right means i am poling ( both at the same time) the same time i am putting my RIGHT ski down, the LEFT kicks out. V1 Left means i am putting both poles down when i put my Left ski down ( or i am gliding into that left leg) as the Right ski kicks out. Kinda crazy how the poles make things way harder, so there are drills, just like in swimming.

Anyways I am doing a race. I couldnt NOT do a race, even if i get dead last. I am doing a 35K race up on Mora, its the Mora Korteloppet. The VAsoloppet is 58k that is too far for me. Today i skiied about 16 miles which is about 25K so i still have a few more long skis i need to do, and just like in IM I am lucky that my engine gets revved up after about an hour, and i pretty much feel like i can keep going. Not fast, but hopefully steady. I havent figured out how to eat anything yet but my plan for Mora is to just get it done, enjoy it, not get stuck too far behind people but then again I may be one of those PEOPLE.

Other than that things are good. I head to FLA for a week which will cut my ski time of course, but i plan to do some outdoor swims and catchup on some running. And some reading.

My Coach has been gracious to let me flounder in the ski world. I really really like it alot and see that its pulling me in. Long range plan is the Birkie in 2014. I like sports that take some technique and fitness. TEnnis was like that. After 40 years i still recall hours and hours of drills and form work. I seem to thrive on sports where you can improve with technique. After Mora I will try to get back to regular Tri training but i have to say i think i am hooked :)