Thursday, December 30, 2010

Geared Up

I had this brilliant idea to take a picture of all my awesome running-biking-swimming related Christmas gifts piled in front of tree and do a great post about how spoiled I am. But on Christmas Eve the memory card in my camara crapped out so I didn't really have a camara. And since Christmas my external hard drive (where I back up all my pictures) seems to have fried itself. And Sophie took off with my zip drives (where I store pictures) and stashed them in one of her hiding places, yet to be discovered.

So you'll have to settle for my much less interesting recitation of all my awesome gifts.

My running partner got me an awesome legit bike helmet that matches my new road bike. I am so excited to get my bike out on the road. Hell, I might even wear the new helmet while I ride my bike on the trainer. Just because it looks so cool. My old helmet was a purple monstrosity from Target that cost $8, was too big, and had my sticker from the Chisago Lakes tri permanently stuck to the side. I can't wait to throw that thing in the garbage.

My running partner also bought my some CEP compression socks - bright pink. I have been wanting compression socks forever, so I was super happy about these. Now I just have to start doing some double digit runs so I feel like I deserve them!

My hubby bought me a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline, about 800 pairs of Under Armour running socks, and a whole stocking full of Gu. You know you are a runner when you get all whipped up about a Christmas stocking full of slimy, questionably flavored, quasi-food products.

My brother bought me the Triathletes Training Bible. Before you go thinking he is so perceptive for knowing I would want such a thing, let me clear that up - I e-mailed him my Borders 50% off coupon and told him to go buy it. But still, I'm looking forward to reading up and hopefully seeing some improvements in my triathlons in 2011.

Finally, the day after Christmas, with my Christmas money from my grandparents, I bought two new Nike winter running tops on the cheap at Sports Authority. I love them because they are a little longer and keep my tummy warm.

I'm all set and ready to run for another year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Review

Now that I've made it through the Christmas holiday intact, it's time to wind down 2010 and get ready for a new year. The end of 2010 - opening my own law office - has been front and center, so it's nice to look back at the goals I set at the beginning of the year and see my progress.

My goals:
Run at least one race every month Yep. Some of them weren't very pretty, but I did do something every single month of the year.
Run a sub-2:00 half marathon. Fail. Came closer, but still about two minutes shy.
Run at least one marathon. Yep. I actually completed two marathon training cycles, had a DNF at the Madison Marathon in May, and then finished Twin Cities in October.
350 minutes of exercise a week. I did really well with this until the stress-fest that was November and the holiday madness of December. I have had a couple of months this summer during which I did some sort of workout every single day. I am working back to that!
Spend less money. I would say I've done this. May husband would say otherwise.
Read at least 50 books. I've finished 56, almost done with #57 - finishing up the year with a running book, Again to Carthage by John L. Parker, Jr.

My best 2010 accomplishment wasn't even on my mind when I set my goals last January - triathlon. But this year I trained for and completed three triathlons. Some triathlon-related goals will definitely be making their way onto the 2011 goal list!

I have felt a little bit down about my athletic side the last couple of months - all the stress of finishing up at my last job and starting the new office sort of took over. But reviewing my goals and recalling some proud running (and swimming and biking) moments from the year have helped me put it into perspective a little bit. I am very excited about turning the fresh page on a new training calendar!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I am in full on winter running mode - which means I never check the temperature, I just throw on my two layers of pants and three layers of tops and head out the door. Imagine my surprise when, at dark o'thirty this morning, I left the house to a balmy 20 degrees. It has been so cold this month that that 20 degrees felt like 60. Which made for one HOT three mile run. Of course, I was working extra hard to run through five inches of fresh snow, so that heated me right on up too.

If this "warm" weather could stick around, I may actually be able to handle winter without rocking back and forth on the floor crying like a crazy person.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Rules of Racing

As I'm putting together my 2011 race calendar, I'm developing some rules of racing. My new #1 rule: Do Not Pay $70 (or more) for a half marathon. I had seen some information for an indoor trail half marathon in New Richmond, Wisconsin in February and thought it would be a good way to get an early test race in for marathon training. I went on the website to register and it was $70. The Monster Half Marathon I ran in October was $70+ as well. Seriously?

Maybe we are spoiled here in Minnesota, but there a lot of good half marathons that are not that expensive. The Earth Day 1/2 in April in St. Cloud has early registration now for $35. And you get a nice medal, super nice shirt, and it is an awesome race. One of my beloved half-marathons, the Madison Mini-Marathon is $50ish and again, you get a nice medal, super nice shirt, awesome course, great race.

So no, I will not be paying $70 for a half marathon. Sorry. For $10 more I can register for the Fargo full tomorrow, and for $15 more I can register for Grandma's full. More mileage for your buck . . .

On a completely unrelated note, I just knocked out some more office floor sit ups and push ups (see yesterday's post). Do I sense the beginning of some sort of streak?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I Love Being My Own Boss: Reason #852

It's after 2:00. My lunch (and, I admit it, a few Christmas cookies) have put me into a semi-comatose state. No problem. I'll just get down on the floor and do some sit ups and push ups. I'm feeling much more awake, and yep, I think my abs are flatter already.

Now I'm trying to figure out a way to fit my bike & trainer somewhere in the office . . .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bests and Worsts

Jill, for her Monday Brain Exchange, posted about her best and worst races of 2010. I have been thinking a lot about my WORST races, because my string of 5k failures of the last couple months have probably been my worst. So it is nice to remember the BEST:

I have two - the Chisago Lakes Sprint Tri and Twin Cities Marathon. The tri was great because I had been so sure that I would never learn to swim and never do a triathlon, and I did it. I had a smile on my face the whole race. Twin Cities was another race where I just smiled just about the whole time. Even though it wasn't a PR race, I ran strong and had a good race.

When I started thinking about my worst races, I at first didn't even think about my DNF at the Madison Marathon in May (where I dropped out at mile 11). It only occurred to me as I was writing this post that maybe that should be my worst race. But I don't think so. While that was definitely not a happy experience, going through it helped change my attitude about running and racing in a good way.

Thanks for the topic Jill! It was fun to think back on some great races.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's that sound?

Oh, it's just my quads. Screaming.

Did I mention I took a little break from kettlebells? (Okay, I took a little break from all things sweat-worthy.) But kettlebells. Yeah, I hadn't gone since October. I decided last night should mark my glorious return to the kettlebells gym. I missed it, I wanted to be someplace warm (and the kettlebell gym is STEAMY), and oh yeah, I stepped on the scale Monday. Ouch.

So we started out class with a warm up of eight billion walking lunges. While carrying a kettlebell. And while my shoulders and upper back and arms and ass are all sore from the variety of tortures that followed, it is those damn walking lunges I am feeling today.

Don't worry. I was able to drown out the sound of the screaming and get in a little run after work today. Which means, wait for it, runs three days in a row. Is it safe to say I'm back?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Race Report - Reindeer Run 5K

I have had a string of race-fails lately - the ice out for the Como Park Turkey 5K, and then too cold weather Thanksgiving morning to take Sophie out to my planned 10K - so my running partner signed us up for the Reindeer Run 5K yesterday. He also signed Sophie up for the kid's race. So even though a snowstorm dumped a few inches on the twin cities Friday night and early Saturday morning, we were still determined to get down to Lake Harriet for the race.

On the way down, I called my mom and told her we were still running so she could meet us at the lake to watch Sophie during the 5K. When she called back to say she was stuck in her driveway and was trying to shovel out to get there in time, we probably should have taken it as a sign and turned around. But we didn't.

We got to Lake Harriet to find a bazillion cars snaking through the still mostly un-plowed streets trying to find parking. Finally found a spot - too late for the kid's race. My mom called - she was on the other side of the lake. Decided she would stay where she was and wait for the race to pass her. Which met the first two miles of the race with Sophie. Ever run a 5K with a three year old on your shoulders?

Two miles with Sophie on my shoulders (crying first because she wanted to go home, and then because she had to pee) later, I saw my mom. We then detoured off the race course to deposit Sophie in my mom's car so they could go find a bathroom. And I ran the last mile in. I couldn't find the finish line, so never saw the clock. I think it took close to an hour by the time all was said and done.

So one last big race fail to finish out 2010. Oh well. I'll take it as a positive omen that 2011 is going to be outstanding.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pajama Wars

I am in a fierce battle with a pair of baggy green moose pants and the race t-shirt from the 2009 Lindstrom Loppet 5K. My favorite pair of PJ's are out to get me. After work, they call to me, and as soon as I get out of my work clothes they are begging me to put them on. In the morning, their call is even worse - together with my comfy bed and super soft pillow those bastards have been triple-teaming me every day for weeks.

But tonight, I arise the victor. I let them think they won again - when I came home from work, I shed my dress clothes and put them on. But, later while my hubby was giving Sophie a bath, I saw a chance to finally win a battle. I ditched the PJ's on the dryer and threw on a pair of shorts and t-shirt. And did Jillian's 30 day shred.

I hope those PJ's learned their lesson, because tomorrow morning I'm taking them on again (together with their pals, bed and pillow) and prying myself out of bed at 4:45 to get to the pool.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


With two days left in November, I think it's safe to say that this month will be my lowest running mileage month for 2010. Also probably my least amount of hours of training (of any sort) for the year. With opening the new office (tomorrow!), all of my energy has been directed to work stuff. So on the workOUT stuff, let's just call November a wash.

So December . . . time to get back at it. I need to get a nice little base going because marathon training starts mid-January. Starting this week, I am shooting for running 20 miles per week. Considering I ran 3 miles last week and 6 miles the week before, this will be a good increase. Yikes. I also need to get my swim back on. I've missed the past three weeks. So I need to swim at least Wednesday mornings. Friday mornings too if I feel motivated. I also need to haul my bike in the house and get it on the trainer. And do some strength training.

Time to get off my butt and get sweating!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ice Out

Sophie and I were planning on running a Turkey Trot 5K this morning, along with my running partner Jim, at Como Park. Unfortunately a little bit of an ice storm hit the twin cities and the roads were pretty slick. I didn't want to risk driving, especially with the kidlet, so we were a DNS for the race. First time I have missed this race in 6 years! I am hoping to run a 10K Thanksgiving morning, so I'll still get some race action this week.

In other news, it is t-minus 7 days until the opening of my new law firm! I did LOTS of furniture shopping this weekend, stocked up on office supplies, and got paint samples. Aside from finishing out my last few days at my current office, this week will be full of work on the new office. I am so excited. And poor.

Hope you all had great weekends . . . I'm off to catch up on your running adventures!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's About Time

Some of you who have been reading for a while (and who surely recall each and every of my super exciting races and events) may recall that way back last year I decided to do a little deal called the Mora Classic. Mora being a town about 20 miles west of here. The Classic being four events held throughout the year - a canoe race, a half marathon, a bike race, and a cross country ski race. Do all four in one year and you get a special medal. An athletic challenge plus another medal to add to my collection? Yes please.

So I completed all of the events.

May 2009 - 15 mile canoe race

August 2009 - 1/2 marathon

September 2009 - 50 mile bike tour

February 2010 - 35k cross country ski race

After completing all the events, I waited patiently to receive my fabulous classic medal in the mail. And waited. And waited. And waited. It never came.

And then my running partner sent me a text today.

Yep. He tracked down my medal. By means that may resort to the filing of a harassment restraining order. But let's focus on what's important - I finally, finally have my little medal, which I can promptly hang around my closet doorknob.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Snap Crackle Pop

You know what may be a sign that you need to do more yoga? Having to turn up the TV multiple times during the 30 minutes of The Firm Power Yoga just so you can hear the soothing instructions over the giant bowl of Rice Krispies cackling away on the counter. Oh wait, no cereal, just my bones.

I guess it's been a while. After a few days of inactivity (still struggling to get back into my routine!), after I put Sophie to bed tonight I knew I needed to do something. I'm in single parenting season (what others may refer to as hunting season), so I was confined to the house. And I ate a late supper, so I didn't want to bounce around too much. Yoga seemed like the perfect choice. And it was. Aside from hearing every single bone and joint in my body creak and groan, it was great to stretch and yet still get a little bit of "strength" work in.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coming Out of the Funk

In case you need solid evidence of the funk I've been in, behold my weekly recap:

Monday: nada
Tuesday: ice cream on the couch while watching Biggest Loser
Wednesday: 700 m. swim (a glimpse of hope!)
Thursday: resting up from that swim, apparently
Friday: nothing
Saturday: 6 miles
Sunday: 4 miles, 25 min. strength work

I think the funk actually started clearing on Thursday. I had a couple of aha moments. One may or may not have involved stepping on the scale. Yikes. The other was that little nagging voice in the back of my mind trying to remind me that running and working out always makes me feel better. I've never felt more stressed or upset AFTER a run - it always helps. So Thursday night I sat down and made plan for the rest of the month (Friday was an intentional rest day because I had some other stuff going on).

My runs yesterday and today, while slow, felt good. I was happy to be outside (admidst the steady sound of gun shots - hello hunting opener) and happy to be moving. I'm planning on jumping back into morning running this week - hopefully daylight savings time will help. You'd think after running for nearly 10 years, it would be a no brainer to run through stress and life drama. And yet the cheesecake and the ice cream still have their pull . . . I'm a work in progress!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quick Catch Up

I had lots of fun running the Monster Half Marathon in Minneapolis on Saturday. I finished in 2:09:something - not my best time, but I am happy with the race. I was bummed to miss my planned afternoon 5k. We had to catch a shuttle bus from the half finish back to the start where we were parked and had to wait in line for over an hour for the bus - could not make it back to Anoka in time for the 5k. No double header for me!

My posting and commenting may be a bit sporadic for a while. While I hate to wish away time, I would like to push fast foward on the month of November. What is usually a rough month with my hubby's work schedule is quadrupled by my trying to set up my new office and finish at the old. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully as things get settled in the next few weeks I will be back to normal workouts and normal blogging. Happy training!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My goals for October were pretty low key - recover and have fun. And while I have enjoyed not having to run any specific distance or workout, I find myself struggling to stay in the moment. I keep looking ahead, to my next marathon, to the next triathlon season . . . This week's obsession has been marathon training plans. Note to self: the next marathon training cycle doesn't start until February, calm the hell down.

I'm trying to remind myself that I have lots of good things happening right now that I can focus on. Like Saturday's double header - the Monster Dash Half Marathon at 8:30 and the Anoka Gray Ghost 5K at 12:50. That will be fun and challenging. And shouldn't be glossed over by me trying to figure out how I'll do speedwork in February.

How do you keep it in the here and now?

Monday, October 25, 2010

At Least It's Not Snowing . . .

Every beautiful day we have had this month (and we have had A LOT of them), I have thought, "oh, is this the last one?" I have been loving the weather but live in the constant impending doom of another Minnesota winter (overly dramatic? no, never). This morning when the alarm went off for my early morning run, I opened one eye and glanced at the window. Dark. And is that rain I hear? I pulled the down comforter, recently rescued from its summer home in the bottom of the cedar chest, over my head and went back to sleep. I did manage to run after work - in the wind and rain - so it wasn't a total loss.

Anyhow . . . the weekly training recap from last week:

Monday: 3 miles easy (am), 4 miles hills (pm)
Tuesday: 3 miles easy (am), 1 hour kettlebells (pm)
Wednesday: 800 m. swim (am)
Thursday: rest day
Friday: 2 mile walk
Saturday: 5 mile race
Sunday: Jillian's No More Trouble Zones DVD

I came down with a nasty cold/sore throat/crap on Wednesday that kind of killed the week. It is still lingering . . . maybe something to do with the stress of spending my workdays with a boss who refuses to talk to me since I put my notice in two weeks ago? Yeck. Thank goodness for sweat therapy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Race Report - Run for the Apples 5 Miler

This morning I ran the Run for the Apples 5 miler in White Bear Lake. My running partner Jim and I have run this race almost every year for the last five (or 6?) years. It is on the hilly trails through an apple orchard - most of the course is either dirt or grass. Some soft sand, and a small section about halfway through on pavement. My mom and Sophie came along to cheer us on (and enjoy the apple treats).

The start of this race is always very crowded, as lots and lots of runners attempt to all get onto a narrow dirt road at the start. But I wasn't worried about time today and just went with the flow, passing people when I could. I also wanted to conserve energy for the BAH (Big Ass Hill) just after the first mile marker. Seriously, that thing kills me every time. So I did my thing, gasping for breath when the massive hills started kicking my butt. I took a couple of walk breaks when I felt like I needed to get my heart rate down a little.

At one point I stripped off my long sleeve shirt, and ended up taking my bondi band off with it. Although I hate to lose my favorite ("Run" with a heart), there was no way I could go back to get it. Too many people. A few seconds later, I felt a tap - a lady had grabbed my headband and gave it back to me. Thanks lady in the lime green!

After what seemed like more hills than last year, we were finally within a mile to the finish time. I kept pushing and flew as fast as I could down the final downhill. I ran through the finish, spotting Sophie and my mom just before I crossed the line. I forgot to stop my watch, and didn't even look at the clock - so I had no clue what time I finished in. I just checked the race results and my time was 47:44. Quite a bit slower than my 43:17 course PR from 2008, but that's okay. I had a great time, and it was a perfect morning for a run.

When we finished buying apple treats, kids were lining up for a half mile kids race. Sophie insisted on joining in. I ran with her and we did a loop on the trails that included a big uphill and the nice downhill to the 5 miler finish line. She made it the whole way! As we got closer to the finish, I kept telling her to run to the finish line. She was running her little legs off and pumping her arms in the air - it was so freaking cute. She got to cross the big finish line, and got an apple and a medal.

The timing for the race ended up being perfect. As soon the race finished, a cold front came through and the temps dropped. It has been raining off and on since, and right now it is pouring rain and thundering. Perfect weather for two racing girls to cuddle up and recover (while watching Curious George, of course).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shaking Things Up

First, I am so looking forward to reading how all the Long Beach and Grand Rapids runners did today . . . love the race reports.

Second, a weekly training recap. I've sort of fallen off posting these, but want to get back on track.

Monday: 5 miles hills
Tuesday: 1 hour kettlebells
Wednesday: 1000 m. swim
Thursday: 2 mile walk
Friday: 12 mile bike
Saturday: dancing??? That counts, right?
Sunday: rest (maybe some yoga later)

I need to get my run back on! It has been a rough week, getting to the title of this post - I put in my notice at work on Wednesday. My last day will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I will be working on opening my own law firm. It made for a stressful week, but I am excited and looking forward to what the future holds.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Backwards Forwards

Looking back . . . a couple more things on the marathon before it becomes ancient history:
  • You might not be able to tell in the pictures I posted, but I wore my lightening socks for the race. Knee high, black and white stripes, with hot pink lightening bolts. Totally hot. I actually got tons of comments during the race, which helped propel me forward. Even after the race at Chipotle someone commented that they saw me on the course and remembered my socks.
  • The marathon results website shows how many people you passed in the last 6.2 miles (and how many people passed you). I passed 264 people, and 104 people passed me. Not too shabby.
  • Triathlons make for good marathon training. It wasn't a real secret that I sacrificed my long runs to the tri god over the summer. From June 1st until the marathon, I did 7 runs over 10 miles - 2 10 milers, an 11 miler, a 12 miler, a 16 miler, and a 20 miler. Plus one half marathon. About half of what I've done my last two marathon training cycles. I also sacrificed my speed work for after-work open water swims most of the summer. And although I wasn't in PR shape for the marathon, I felt strong throughout the race. No regrets about my summer training.

And looking forward:

  • October is about recovery and fun. I nailed the recovery last week - a couple of walks, one swim, and a 15 mile bike. Plus some yoga here and there. Now for the fun - I have three more races this month, including a Halloween double header on the 30th - the Monster Half Marathon in the morning and then the Anoka 5K in the afternoon.
  • November, December, and the worst months of the Season-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named will be about base building for my next marathon . . . Fargo 2011!
  • As a continuing offering up to the afore-mentioned tri god, my cross training goal for the Season-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named is to improve my swim. I thought hard about shooting for a half-ironman next year, but I seriously need to get my act together in the water before I do that.

I enjoyed my first post-marathon run this afternoon - perfect weather, my legs felt great - yep, still love to run!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Sophie turned three today! I can't believe how fast the last three years have gone. In honor of her third birthday, here's three reasons why I think this girl is destined to become an athlete:

1) She has three kinds of shoes: fancy shoes, cowboy boots and running shoes. Call the running shoe "tennis shoes" and the girl will bring all her toddler wrath down on your head.

2) Tonight she hopped up on one of her step stools and started stretching to touch her toes. Her grandma asked her what she was doing. In her best three-going-on-thirteen voice, she said, "I'm stretching because my legs are sore." Why? "From my race."

3) When I told her we would be staying in a hotel this weekend and we could go swimming, she said, "Good. I need to practice for my triathlon."

LOVE this kid.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Race Report - Twin Cities Marathon

My #1 fan!

This morning my mom dropped me off at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis a little over an hour before the start of the marathon. It was a brisk morning - 39 degrees - and I was actually worried I might be chilly in the race. I went inside the dome to use the restroom and to stay warm while waiting for the start. Right away I ran into Julie and it was great to wait out the start of the race with a familiar face.

Before long, we headed outside to drop off our sweat bags and line up in the corral. As we packed in like sardines with 11,000 of our closest running friends, I quickly realized I would not have a problem feeling cold during the race. I warmed up fast! National anthem, first corral start, and then we were off.

In my last post, I said that one of my main goals was to enjoy the race. I really fulfilled this goal, especially the first 10 or so miles. There were so many spectators out on the course, the weather was beautiful, all the people running around me were in high spirits - it was easy to get carried along with all the excitement. I kept ticking off the lakes as we passed them, and the first part of the race felt like it went very quickly.

Miles 11ish through 16 were the most difficult of the race for me. For a couple mile stretch in there things seemed to quiet down a little. Less spectators, runners working hard meant less chatting and cheering, and the scenery wasn't as exciting. I had expected to see my brother and Sophie near the halfway point, but they didn't make it in time. I missed out on the nice boost seeing them would have brought. About mile 13, my legs started cramping up. I stopped to stretch a couple of times, but it didn't really help.

At mile 16, my running partner Jim was on the side with his wife. He jumped in and ran to nearly the finish with me. This was a HUGE help. He also had my handheld filled with kona kola nuun, which was a welcome change from the powerade and water on the course. Running with Jim gave me and new strength and I kept going strong.

My leg cramping never went away, but I just kept ticking off the miles. Once we were at the 22 mile mark and onto Summit Ave., I was in my home stretch! I just kept my eyes peeled for the St. Paul Cathedral (soooo close to the finish). Just before the cathedral, Jim's wife was on the sidelines again, and she said Sophie was waiting for me at the finish. This, along with the nice downhill past the cathedral and into mile 26, was the push I needed.

I ran down the hill strong, saw Sophie and my mom and brother cheering for me, and kicked it to the finish. Final time - 4:44:54. My second fastest marathon time, and a course PR for me by about 11 minutes.

Although this wasn't a marathon PR for me, I still feel that this was the strongest I have ever run a marathon. I have never experienced leg cramping like I did today, and yet I totally ran through it, just stopping at the water stops. In the past I would have walked MUCH more - in fact, in prior marathons, I have walked more for less painful problems. I am very proud of how I ran the race, and just had an awesome day.

Thank you all for your supportive comments and good vibes - I thought of you many times out on the course today!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ready to Run

I've got my packet, I've picked out my race outfit (almost) and I'm ready to go! I am really looking forward to this race. When I was in St. Paul today to pick up my packet, I drove down the last few miles of the course and I could just picture myself running stong down the route on Sunday.

My goals for Twin Cities are simple:
1) Enjoy the race. Don't take any moment (of pain or of joy) for granted.

2) Finish, with a smile on my face.

3) Do my best.

No time goal. I really want to focus on just running strong and happy.

Catch ya in a couple of days and 26.2 miles!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Excuse Me, I'm Tapering

Wednesday is traffic court date in my world. Not because I get so many tickets that I have to go to traffic court every week, but because I prosecute for some of our local cities and it's my job. Before afternoon court, all the prosecutees line up and wait to talk so we can try to resolve their cases. Anyhow, today I was dealing with one defendant and the next person in line kept hovering. As in two inches from my face. I snapped at him, "Could you back up and wait your turn?" His response? "Why do you have to be so mean?"

I figured I had three possible responses:
1) "Why do you have be so stupid?"

2) "I don't mean to be mean, but I'm running a marathon on Sunday, which means I've basically been doing jack-shit nothing for exercise for a week or so and I'm all twitchy and about to lose my mind."

3) Silence.

I chose silence. Probably the right choice.

Other behavioral lapses I'm blaming on tapering: giving my ice pack more loving than I've been giving my husband, and eating everything in sight. What? I have to feed my tape(r) worm.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Perfect Fall Workout

Yesterday I wanted to get out for a bike ride and a run. I managed to get a two-for-one! I picked up Jim and we took our bikes up to Hinckley to the bike trail. I hadn't ridden my new road bike since my last tri (been out on my hybrid many times with Sophie in the baby seat, though), and I was eager to take it out for a spin.

We rode 10 miles on the bike trail to the Audubon Center. There, we ditched the bikes for a little trail running.

Then it was back on the bike for 10 miles back to the trail head.

I was like the poster child for exercise-induced endorphins. I was all "the leaves are so beautiful," "the weather is so perfect," "that dead skunk smells so fresh." I'm sure Jim was ready to toss me into the completely gorgeous, crystal clear lake by which we were running. Although, it would have been nice to get in a swim . . .

Friday, September 24, 2010

Never Thought I Could

When I was in high school, I could barely run a mile. I never thought one mile would seem short.

When I started running regularly for exercise, I thought races were for fast people. I never thought I would run one.

When I started running races, I thought 10K was nearly impossible. I said, "I'll never run a marathon."

When I trained for my first marathon, I thought one would be enough. I never thought I would want to do another one (or four).

When I heard about people doing triathlons, I thought it would be fun. But I never thought I could learn to swim.

I have run farther and faster, and swam farther, and biked farther, than I ever thought I could. What are YOU doing that you once thought was impossible?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Must be Go Time

Almost out of Gu . . . must be time to run a marathon!

Thanks for all your advice about my last big long run this weekend. I listened! I scrapped the 50 mile bike ride yesterday (trading it instead for an 8 mile ride into town with Sophie on the bike) and ran 20 this morning. And I am so glad I did. It was a great run, and a nice confidence builder for the marathon. I am very grateful to my awesome running partner Jim for running the 20 with me (even though he is not running a fall marathon) and to his wife for watching Sophie so we could run.

After the run, Sophie and I headed to my mom's for apple day. You know what makes for great post-run recovery? Warm apple crisp and vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taper? From What?

As I was flipping through my calendar this morning trying to figure out what's going on (typical Monday morning) I realized the Twin Cities marathon is only 20 days away. Less than 3 weeks. In my last two rounds of marathon training, my last three weekend long runs have been 15, 13, and 10. You know what I did this past weekend? Hint: it wasn't running 15 miles. In fact, I was at a friend's cabin, forgot my sports bras, and ended up walking two miles. Oops.

That really is in keeping with this entire marathon training cycle. I started out strong, but quickly scrapped the program. My summer training has been more of "gee I think I'll do a triathlon this weekend" than "must get in the long run." And it has made me really, really happy. I wouldn't trade it for a thing. And while I know I'm certainly not trained to go for a PR at Twin Cities, I have the fitness to finish.

So that leaves me with this weekend and where I need your help. Two weeks out from the marathon. I am wondering if I should try to do a 20 miler or do something shorter. I haven't done a 20 miler yet this cycle (I know, you're probably all un-following me now for the cardinal marathon training sin). So for confidence purposes I would really like to get one in. Oh, one other thing - I'm doing a 50 mile bike ride on Saturday. So do I do my 20 on Sunday and THEN start my taper? Or should I try to hit 13-15 Sunday and call it good?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Seeing Summer out the Door

I had a great long weekend saying goodbye to summer. I spent all Friday doing my fall cleaning (and for a few hours actually had my entire house clean at the same time!). Sunday morning, I enjoyed a beautiful, cool long run. And then it was off to the golf course for one last tournament.

Just the usual shenanigans.

Then Sunday morning Sophie and I were up bright and early to spend the day at the State Fair with my in-laws.

Bring on fall!

I was tagged by a couple of classy ladies with the Cherry on Top Award and that other happiness award that's going around. Thanks to my tri-idol, P and my fellow Packer lover, Jeri! By now I'm sure you are familiar with the rules. And while I agree with a lot of you that I wouldn't change much because even the bad stuff and mistakes brought me to where I am today, I would change lots of little things. Like my underwear. Just kidding. But I wish I would have been nicer to my siblings when we were young. And I wish I never would have gotten that Richard Simmons haircut when I was in 5th grade.

Anyhow, onto 10 things that make me happy - the fall version:
1. The whole month of October (my favorite races, Sophie's birthday, Halloween - I love it!).

2. Changing leaves.

3. Cool running temps.

4. New shows on TV.

5. Knowing that the holidays are coming, yet still being able to cling to denial about that frigid bitch winter.

6. Jeans and sweatshirts.

7. The start of my fall "sports" - bowling and book club.

8. Soup season.

9. Colder nights = dead mosquitos.

10. My one year anniversary at the kettlebell gym - I got a free shirt AND discounted class prices.

I know I'm supposed to tag people, but my keyboard is messed up and if I have to deal with it for much longer I might throw my computer out the window! So if you're reading this and you haven't done this yet, consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Own Back to School

At the risk of revealing my true inner nerd (oh, you already knew I was a nerd?), I will confess: I am jealous of anyone who gets to go back to school. I would happily be packing my big red backpack with new spiral notebooks and shiny pink pens and heading off to some new educational adventure, but my husband thinks (for some reason) that I should pay off my law school student loans first. Whatever.

Even though I can't go back to school, I can celebrate fall as a time to get back to a schedule. What sort of schedule? Oh, how about marathon training? Seeing as how Twin Cities is only a month away, this might not be a bad idea. Although I ran several good long runs during August (inluding a half-marathon), my total running mileage was only 80 miles. Oops. A little too much vacation, golf, and triathlon.

Time to get my running legs back. I ran a great hard three miler after work today, which was equal parts looking for a good run and running away from the eight bazillion totally freaking crazy people I had to deal with at work today. AND I am working like a mad woman to schedule a 20 miler within the next 7 days (but having babysitter problems - anyone want to watch my almost-3 year old for a few hours???).

So it's back to school, running style: early morning runs, speed or hill work two nights a week after work, and long runs on the weekend. I'm not quite ready to bid farewell to my summer romance - I'll still be at the pool a couple of mornings a week and I had a great bike ride on the trail last night.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Race Report - Lakes Country Triathlon

I registerd for this tri after Chisago, when I decided I just hadn't had enough triathlon for this season. I somehow managed to coerce two of my friends into signing up too, so I wasn't going alone. Saturday afternoon I met up with Laura and Sandy and we headed to Brainerd. Laura forgot her helmet, so when we got into town we had to stop at local bike shop. She got a helmet, AND a new bike. Which means I inherited her old one! Yay for a road bike!

Sunday morning we were up and at the beach ready to go. While getting set up in transition, I ran into Wendy. It was great to chat with her. I would have taken a picture with her, but she is so cute and little, I would have looked like a giant ogre next to her and my weak self-esteem can't handled that. :)

After the pleasant distraction of meeting Wendy, it was back to thinking about the race ahead. The nerves started to kick in. It was windy. I was really worried about how difficult the wind might make the bike feel. I reminded myself that my last few bike training ride have been windy, so I was well trained.

Ready to go!

I was in wave 6 (waves were by sex/age), and I got more and more nervous standing there waiting for the swim start. The water looked rough. And the buoys looked oh so far. And the water looked rough. I had two really great 3/4 mile open water swims last week, so I kept telling myself that this was only 1/2 mile and tried to stay calm. All that went out the window when I got in the water. It was so choppy. I felt like I was being tossed around like a beach ball. And like I was going nowhere. To avoid full-on panic, I relied on the breast stroke. And just kept swimming. After what felt like at least an hour in the water, my fingers brushed sand during my stroke and I stood up. And promptly stumbled and fell sideways like a sloppy drunk. I have experienced dizziness during and after lake swims before, but this was way worse. I had trouble walking out of the water and staying upright.
Swim time (1/2 mile): 27:34 (slow, but not as bad as it felt!)

I managed to jog into transition and then just stood there staring at my stuff. I was really out of it, and still feeling dizzy from the swim. Finally I started remembering what I was supposed to be doing and got moving.
T1: 3:43 (why yes, I did lay down and take a quick nap before the bike)

So then I was onto my new inherited Raleigh bike and off. I drank some gatorade the first few miles in an attempt to chase away the drained feeling I had after the swim. For as windy as it was, the wind really did not bother me for most of the bike. I just kept pedalling away. There were a few decent hills, with one bigger, long hill at about 7 miles, and I felt awesome on the hills. The benefit of being one of the last people out of the water from the second to last wave was that I passed a lot of people on the bike, and I never got passed once!
Bike (17.3 miles): 1:00:40 (SO close to breaking 1 hour - next year!)

Back into transition, go to put my bike back, oh wait, someone else's bike is in my spot actually sitting on top of my towel and swim stuff. Thanks. I had to move a couple of bikes to get mine back in.
T2: 1:06

Then it was off for the run. I was so tired. I think my swim exhaustion finally caught up with me. I fought with myself to keep running, but ended up walking through the water stops. I still managed to pass quite a few people on the run. The final stretch back into the park to the finish felt slightly downhill and I knew I was getting close, so I was able to give a little kick at the end.
Run (3.9 miles): 37:49 (yeck, I can do better than that)
Total time: 2:10:49

After going through the finish, I grabbed some water and rushed to get my camara and get back to the finish in time to cheer on my friends (and get great pictures of them crossing the finish line). We then headed back to the water to cool off.

Done! Funny how the water looks so much calmer two hours later . . .

Even with the rough swim, this race just continued to build my love for triathlon. I can't wait for next summer and a new triathlon season to see how much I can improve.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mama Goes Masters Virtual Race Report

Last night I toasted MCM Mama's 40th birthday with a few cocktails. While I'm sure she would have preferred that I honor her with a few beers I've never heard of, I was more in the mood for my favorite golf drink. It's the thought that counts, right?

After a late night celebrating the end of another golf season, my race day alarm went off way too early. But I thought I had a good chance of winning my age group in this race, so I rolled out of bed and got ready. When I finally stepped outside, I was thrilled to feel brisk, cool air. The race director informed the race participant that timing would be a little weird because she didn't have any timing device. Apparently she had already packed her bag for a triathlon this weekend and she was afraid she would forget her timing device if she pulled it out. So she thought it would be appropriate to look at the oven clock before starting the race, and then, upon finishing, run back down the driveway, onto the back deck, into the kitchen and check the time. Oh, and then she forget to look at the clock before the start. The race director? Not so bright.

After the timing mishap, the race was off. The first mile was a celebration of all things cool weather. I said good morning to the crazy people who walk their dogs by carrying them down the road and checked out the sleeping alpacas.

During the second mile, I started regretting the extra drink or two I had in honor of MCM Mama. But for the third mile, the race course turned onto one of my favorite running roads, and the nice gentle downhill helped me forget my queasiness.

Finally I was on the home stretch. I sprinted the finish line (mailbox) and left it all out on the course.

Per the race director's instructions, I ran into the house to look at the oven clock for my finish time. The clock read 6:47. Now, I don't really understand this timing process, but I'm pretty sure that means I ran a 6:47/mile pace. Damn, I am fast. Or I guess it could mean that the race took me 6 hours and 47 minutes . . .

A few more hours of work and I am off for a fun weekend - State Fair and then my third triathlon. Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Race Report - Madison Mini Marathon

I ran this race last year for its inaugural year and I knew I definitely wanted to run again this year, because it was just so much fun. We drove through a monsoon Friday to get to Madison for the packet pick-up, and then to Beloit to my grandparent's house. Then it as up bright and early Saturday to head back to Madison for the race.

After a little it of hassle finding parking, we headed over to the start area to find the porta potties. We had to wait in line forever - I thought we would have to abandon the line in order to get to the start. Luckily we made it just in time and made it to the back of the start with about 30 seconds to spare. We were so far back, I'm pretty sure people who were planning to crawl the race were in front of us.

The first few miles of this race go through the University and downtown areas of Madison and are so fun. There are lots of spectators, music groups, and plenty to see.

This may be a good time to talk about the weather. It was crazy humid. Thankfully it was overcast so the sun wasn't beating down on us, but it was seriously hot. By the end of the first mile I was completely soaked with sweat. By the end of the second mile I changed my race strategy from "maybe I'll go to a PR" to "maybe I will avoid heat stroke." I walked the water stops, making sure to drink plenty and dumping water on my head.

At mile 11ish, the course starts back along the lake towards the University of Wisconsin. It was very tempting to get a little open water swim in and finish the race by water instead of road. But I resisted and finished (with an uphill in the last two tenths of a mile). 2:12:08. Definitely not a PR, but not a PW either. I headed right to the lake.

I had a lot of fun running this race again this year, although I must say it was more fun last year when it was 45 degrees. Even though my time pretty much sucked, I am happy with how I ran.

After the race, it was back to my grandma and grandpa's for a little recovery.

Don't even try to tell me you don't hang upside down from the monkey bars to recover from hard runs. Totally normal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

House Arrest

Sometimes life likes to screw with your training. This is one of those weeks. My husband is on his annual trip to the Boundary Waters, so I am a single parent. I had to kill five hours last night sitting at a city council meeting. And then get up super early this morning to drive four hours away for a court hearing that lasted three minutes (and then drive four hours back, of course). Although the crazy week has put a damper on my running, it has allowed me to totally nail my first week of the Hard CORE club. And I have become reacqainted with my Wii fit. Let's just call it a mini taper for my half on Saturday.

While my hubby has been away, I managed to get recruited as the newest member of his men's bowling league. I'm not sure if this is due to my widely renowned bowling prowess (highly likely) or if I should take it as a sign that I need to start shaving my upper lip. Either way, I hope my husband is as excited about little extra kid-free quality time as I am.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

My younger sister Michele and I are 16 months apart. Growing up, she was the skinny athletic one and I was the chubby nerd. Michele played sports, could do cartwheels, and wore a size 0 all through high school. I ate hot dogs, read books, and tried to squeeze myself into too small juniors size clothes. For all my growing up years, my own self worth was centered around comparing myself to my younger, more beautiul sister. Ah, the torture of being a young girl . . .

When I started running, first for exercise during college and then to feed my newfound addiction to road races in 2004, I also started to change the way I measured my own value. It has been a long journey, but I now can celebrate the body that has run MANY races (including 3 marathons), given birth to a healthy, beautiful little girl, and so much more.

Besides giving me a new, more confident outlook, what I loved about running was that i was MY thing. No one else in my family, including Michele, ran road races. I loved doing something that was all my own. And then Michele started running. For other sisters, this would probably be great news - one more running partner! For Michele and I, it has been a source of unspoken tension.

When we have run races together, I get so focused on where Michele is and whether she is beating me that I forget to run my own race. I compare my finish time to hers and feel like a failure if I am not as fast, even if I PR. I know the scorecard: my 5K and marathon PR's are faster, she's got me beat in the 10K and half-marathon.

I have been working on moving past this. Partly because my mom told me to suck it up and get over myself, and partly because my running partner Jim has constantly reminde me that I run for ME. This weekend, I'll get a chance to put it into practice. Both Michele and I are running the half in Madison. Instead of worrying whether I'm in front of or behind my sister, I am going to concentate on powering up hills, staying strong, and celebrating one more opportunity to participate in the sport I have come to love. Run my own race.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reconnected, Finally

Our phone and internet went out during a storm on Tuesday night. Qwest finally came out and fixed it yesterday. Saturday. Maybe I am a touch impatient, but really, that was a long wait for what ended up taking 10 seconds to fix. Anyhow, while I was back in the dark ages without any connection to the outside world, I got in some workouts (and some rest days!):

Monday: 3 miles track (not so speedy of a workout because it was HOT)
Tuesday: 3 miles easy, 1 hour kettlebells
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: rest
Friday: 16 miles
Saturday: 1/2 mi. swim/16 mile bike/2 mile run
Sunday: Hard CORE club core workout

Except for those two rest days in the middle of the week, not too bad. I ended up getting a little (or a lot) heat sick during golf Wednesday night, which left me feeling pretty crappy all day Thursday. The heat and humidity has finally broken, so I am planning on getting so good workouts in this week.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Vacation

We just returned from our annual summer family vacation with my in-laws. A week of reading while watching my daughter splash around and play in the sand, interspersed with some golf, boating, drinking, and games. Good times. While on vacation, I managed to bike 20 miles, do a bike/run brick workout, swim a little, and run just enough to break in my new shoes.

Nothing says back to reality like a long run - I'm getting up early to try to beat the heat tomorrow! Looking forward to catching up with what you all have been up to for the last week.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why I Do It

A big group of people I know did the Chisago tri - mostly from my kettlebells class. But three ladies are very special to me. My friends Krista, Cindy, and Laurette are all gals that I met professionally and somehow managed to convince to do the tri. These are not people who are OCD about working out like some of the rest of us. They decided to do the training and do the tri. Post-race Monday led to this e-mail exchange:

Hello all of my Extreme Friends,
I just wanted to thank you all for pushing me to do the Tri. Although I believe I may have been cursing you at some point during the race (j/k), I am proud of myself for completing it! You all are my “Extreme Friends”.

When do you guys want to do another one?
(really, this is what you expect from me, right?)

You name the date. Your groupies will follow. You're the leader of the pack! No iron man though!

You are Extreme!
I believe Krista and Cindy were going to be doing the Chisago Tri next year???
I think that Heather needs to do the Half-Ironman!

I was home yesterday recuperating :-) Adam and I both had such a great time. I said I would never do it again but now I am not so sure... Adam is already researching training plans. Many thanks to each of you for pushing me to train, and keeping me motivated, and encouraging me when I had so many doubts. The sweetest part of the whole event was getting to the finish line and having you all there waiting for me along with my wonderful son. That is a moment I will never ever forget. Thanks again.

I feel so inspired by these ladies, and so lucky to have friends that will say YES when I say, "Hey, how about we do this . . ." And that part about me needing to do a half-ironman? Yes, I think I do.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Thirty-one years ago today, my mom gave birth to her favorite child - me! For any of you still searching for last minute gifts, I would really like a nice road bike. I'll be celebrating all day with a typical Wednesday of traffic court. Birthday cake for the first person with a valid driver's license!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Race Report - Chisago Lakes Sprint Triathlon

My tri weekend started Saturday. I met some friends at the course in Chisago City Saturday afternoon to pick up our packets and do a practice swim.

Sophie hung out with my mom on the beach while I swam. After we swam and checked out all the ins and outs of the transition area, we took off. Had a great pasta dinner and tried to calm down my excitement and nerves to get a good night's sleep.

I was up bright and early and ready to go. We got to the park right at 6:00. Set up our transition areas and got my first ever body marking.

So legit! Because they have the half iron waves go out first (and I was in wave 30), I had lots of time to use the porta potties, chat with my friends, and get worked up. Finally, at about 8:00, I was on the beach and getting ready for my wave to start.

I was so nervous! As I stood on the beach watching the swimmers out in the water, I had to work hard to control my emotions. I was sappy about doing something I never thought I could do, scared of swimming with so many people, excited to get my race under way . . . Many deep, calming breaths later I heard, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!"

I focused on staying calm and just doing my thing. I had to use the breast stroke briefly twice on the way out (once when I kept getting kicked repeatedly and decided to find myself a new piece of real estate and once when I started verging on a little panic). The water in this lake was even more disgusting than the water in the local beach where I do my open water swims, which I didn't think was possible. On the way back, I didn't have to breast stroke at all, so I was overall very proud of my swim.

Once I got to the beach, I ran out of the water and up the long hill to the transition area.

Total swim time (1/4 mile): 13:46. Yes, I am a super slow swimmer. Try not to hold it against me - I just started swimming in March!

I quickly found my bike in transition and got down to business getting my helmet, garmin, and shoes on. I was so happy with my swim and really felt like the hard part was over. T1 time: 2:59.

My goal on the bike was to ride about 16MPH. I know this is pretty slow, but I knew I could do that pace and still feel good for the run. I had to fight the urge to ride faster, but just kept telling myself to stick to my plan. I passed quite a few people from earlier waves on the bike, so I was happy. I think I had a smile plastered on my face the whole bike - I was having so much fun cheering on friends as I saw them, thanking the volunteers, just taking it all in. At about the 19 mile mark my friend's 15 year old son caught up to me (he started a wave behind me). We have done some training together and I had been waiting for him to catch me. I was so excited to see how much fun he was having - this was his first race of any sort EVER and he was having a blast. The last couple of miles flew by as we finished the bike together and I rode in with a smile on my face.

Total bike time (22 miles): 1:21:17. I navigated around a gal who fell as she was getting off her bike and headed back into transition. The walk through transition seemed to get the kinks out of my legs and after ditching my helmet, I felt ready to run. T2 time: 1:53.

My 15-year old pal Adam started the run with me. He was most nervous for the run, so I just kept encouraging him. I felt awesome. I was so excited to be running, and felt a ton of energy from the other racers and spectators. My plan was to take it easy on the out portion and pick up the pace on the way back if I had anything left in the tank. There was a water stop at the turn around and I walked while taking a quick drink of water. Then I started running right away again. As I got within a mile of the finish, I started feeling sad that the race was over - I did not want it to end. I think I even started slowing a little bit, just because I just was not ready for it to be over. Before I knew it, I was back in the park, heading UPHILL to the finish (torture!). I passed under the Swedish flag and then hit the finish line.
Total run time (3.1 miles): 28:35. Finish time: 2:08:31.

My litle brother and my running partner Jim were there to cheer me on (and take a ton of pictures) and I was ready to celebrate.

After I drank some water, I found my phone in the transition area and texted my husband: "That was awesome!" This race definitely sealed the deal on my love affair with triathlon. I can't wait to do another one and see where this new passion takes me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Roadkill Wednesday

I got up early and ran six miles this morning, and somehow managed to convince my running partner Jim to run with me. About a mile and a half into our run, we encountered a dead racoon. It was on its back with its little claws up in the air. Half a mile later, we could see another dead animal on the road. A baby skunk. As we got close to it, Jim made a comment about all the roadkill. And then the skunk moved. It was alive.

I seriously was more afraid of that damn skunk than I was last summer when we saw two bears on our morning run. Yes a bear may eat me, but I've heard you can never quite get rid of that skunk smell!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Love Version 2

While my housework and my laundry may be suffering, I'm continuing my perfect summer weekends. Some friends of ours rented a lake home for the week and invited us to spend Thursday and Friday night with them. We had a great time relaxing on the boat and hanging out by the fire.

Sophie finally seems to enjoy the boat. This was a nice little preview of our summer vacation - only a couple of weeks away! As a bonus, on the way home we stopped and did a little shopping. I ended up finding a TYR swimsuit on sale for half off. I guess my days of swimming laps slighty over-exposed in my 10 year old tankini are over!

I ended up taking a rest day yesterday, ending my streak since June 1st of training everyday. I planned on doing a long bike ride when we got home from the lake, but it was storming by the time we got home. And I must have been tired and needed a little rest because I was in bed by 8:30. Even with the rest day, I'm happy with my training from this week:

Monday: 3 miles easy (am), 4 miles track pm
Tuesday: 1 hour kettlebells
Wednesday: 1000 m. swim
Thursday: 750 m. open water swim
Friday: 4 miles hilly tempo (I wasn't totally lazy while we were at the lake!)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 14 miles

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time to Ramp It Up

Last week's training, before the new week gets too far under way:

Monday: 4.5 mile run, 10.5 mile bike (this was supposed to be my long run for the week before, but it was too hot!)
Tuesday: 3 miles easy
Wednesday: 850 m. swim
Thursday: 3 miles easy
Friday: 1000 m. open water swim, Jillian No More Trouble Zones DVD
Saturday: 22 mile bike, 3 mile run
Sunday: 11 HOT and HILLY miles

I need to get my head in marathon mode! I'm having so much fun with tri training, I haven't been too dedicatd to my long runs. But that is changing. When I was sitting in court for six hours today, I flipped my court calendar over and made a list of the weekends left between now and Twin Cities and the distances I want to hit each week. I need to make those long runs a priority. Remember when I asked you to keep me accountable. I'm ready for my bitch slap . . .

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Love

I am in the middle of a perfect summer weekend . . . the kind of weekend that makes you realize summer is going way too fast, but makes you wish summer could stick around forever.

I started off yesterday by getting up early and heading to the pool (the beer worked!). But the gal who opens the pool during the summer was a no show. So I talked one of my swimming friends and her son into heading into the beach for an early morning open water swim. It was gorgeous, swimming in the sunrise. The rest of the day was spent golfing with my hubby and Sophie, and then hanging out at a friend's pool.

This morning, I went down to the Chisago Lakes tri course and did a practice bike and run - 22 mile bike, 3 mile run on the tri course. It was awesome. I am hopped up on triathlon like Sophie gets hopped up on popsicles. I came home and relaxed while Sophie napped, then we went to a BBQ and then hubby and I had a date night golfing with friends.

One more weekend day left! In keeping with my perfect summer weekend, I'm planning a great workout (long run) and then some fun. If only I didn't have to go back to work . . .

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1) Today was almost a rest day. After working out every day since the 1st of June, I overslept and missed my run this morning, got stuck at work late and missed my after work run, and had plans this evening. Luckily Sophie talked my hubby into taking her for a four wheeler ride, so I had just enough time to submit myself to 20 minutes worth of Jillian torture 30 day shred style. Whew. The streak lives.

2) Tomorrow is an early swim morning. My hubby tells me he's getting up early to go fishing (which would mean no swimming for me). I've been very sweetly bringing him beers . . . don't want to miss my swim!

3) I golfed my best game of the year last night. Which wasn't even the best part. What WAS the best? When the super young golf course employee came to get my cart and I made some comment about golfing so bad this year I might need to take up knitting instead, he replied, "You are way too young to knit." Bless his 10 years younger than me soul.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Locked Out

Tuesday night is kettlebell night. I swapped Sophie out for my friend Sandy (we pawn off our kids on one poor, under-paid babysitter on Tuesday nights) and we headed to class. Only to find that the place was completely locked up. We waited until 5 minutes after class started, and no one showed up. No e-mail, no facebook message, just no show.

We were not happy, especially because we drive 35 minutes one way to get to kettlebells. And, by the time we screwed around waiting, getting gas, and driving through ridiculous construction, we were gone as long as we would have been if we actually had class. And yet none of the body-strengthening benefits. Grr.

I'd like to say I came home and did some alternate workout, but, well, that would be a lie. Good thing I ran this morning. Because I'm pretty sure prepping scorecards for golf league and eating pizza do NOT count as training.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Race Report - Freedom Five 5k

I was supposed to go to Beloit, WI this weekend for my grandma's 80th birthday party. Sophie got sick Thursday and we were up all night Thursday, at the clinic for three hours Friday, and up all night again Friday night. So the whole driving 7 hours thing? Yeah, that didn't happen.

By this morning, I needed a little break. My in-laws got up early and came over to sit with Sophie and I headed over to Siren, WI for a 5k.

Right before we lined up for the race . . . it was steamy out! I was hoping for a little rain during race to cool us off.

I got my wish - and more! It started pouring before the race started, and kept rainin steadily throughout the race. I was soaked. I don't know if it was the heat, the rain, the sleepness nights, or the countless squats and lunges Jillian made me do yesterday, but I was s-l-o-w. Finished in 26:57. Slowest 5k in a long time. Oh well. A crappy run is still better than sitting on the couch!

Post-race. This picture does not do justice to my drowned rat look!

The race today finished up a pretty decent week of workouts:

Monday: 5.5 miles (w/5x800)
Tuesday: 3 miles easy (am), 1 hour kettlebells (pm)
Wednesday: 800 m. swim (pool hours are reduced for the rest of the summer - I had to swim quick and get my butt home to get to work)
Thursday: 3 miles easy (am), 600 m. swim (lunch)
Friday: 700 m. swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run
Saturday: Jillian Michaels - No More Trouble Zones DVD
Sunday: 5k race

My long run for the week is pushed to tomorow . . . hope we get a little break from the heat and humidity. For now, I'm going to spend the rest of Sophie's nap time watching a triathlon on TV. That counts as training, right?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why Yes Your Honor, That IS Algae in my Hair

In an effort to increase my swim time in the open water (without decreasing my other workout time or family time) I'm hitting up the local beach at lunch once a week between now and Chisago for a little OWS. So today at 11:00 I showed up at the beach in my suit, did a superman like change, swam 600 yards, and then back to the suit, back to the office.

The positives? I know the open water swims are great for the tri training, and I always love getting a little extra workout in. And being in the sunshine and water in the middle of the day was a nice boost.

The negatives? I may smell a little like a lake. Although I'm 90% sure I smell more like Clinique Happy Heart than lake, so I'm okay. My legs feel a little bit gritty under my nylons. And my hair is dripping wet.

Final analysis? Totally worth it. For a long time, I've been the dirty, sweaty mom that picks my child up from daycare with the sweat rolling off my legs. Might as well add stinky algae hair in court to the list. Besides, if people don't like it, I have two canned responses: "If you don't want to see me, don't drink and drive." and "You think I smell bad? You should smell your stale cigarette stinky ass."

Have a great 4th of July weekend!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

30 Days

Since tomorrow is the last day of June and I have a morning swim planned, I think it is safe to post this - I worked out every day the month of June! I started thinking about a whole month of workouts in May, when I realized about halfway through the month that I hadn't missed a day. Then with tapering for the marathon and my back bothering me, I missed three days at the end of the month. But the seed was planted.

So what did my 30 days look like?
16 runs for a total of 68 miles (including one 5k race)
9 swims for a total of 9,500 m. (including my first ever tri!)
6 bikes for a total of 68.5 miles
5 yoga sessions
3 Jillian Michael videos
2 kettlebell classes
for a total of 29.5 hours working out

I feel great from following this schedule. I really only had a couple of days where I had to consciously do some workout in order to keep the 30 day thing going. I loved it so much, I plan to keep going into the month of July. We are traveling this weekend, so it will take a little more effort, but it is totally worth it. So here's to 31 days in July (with more running miles!) - anyone care to join me?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Very First Ever Tri

This morning was the mini triathlon put on by our city chamber of commerce as part of Freedom Fest. 300 yard swim, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run. I was excited to do this as a low key practice for Chisago Lakes next month. But I was so nervous! I was mostly worried about the swim, especially when I arrived and saw that the turnaround (a couple of teenagers in a paddleboat) was farther out than I thought it would be.

In the water and ready to go! That's my friend Erin on the left in the lifejacket - she was a turbo in that thing. There were several people wearing lifejacket, and a few others using kickboards. I told you it was low key. Anyhow, I'm in the middle and my friend Martine is on the right. Note on costuming: I really wasn't sure what to wear. I didn't want to spend any money on tri gear without knowing how much I would use it. So I wore my ridiculous 10 year old swimsuit with my sports bra underneath (the swimsuit definitely not enough support for the run!), and then pulled Nike tempo shorts and a top on for the bike and run.

And we're off. I think you can see my swim cap with the hearts on it in this pic, just at the left elbow of the lady in green and blue. There were about 50 people in the tri, but we started on both sides of the dock so it didn't feel crowded. I did better than I expected in the swim. This tri was not timed, so I'm not sure how long the swim took, but I did a good job of staying calm. I had a moment on the way out where I thought I could't possibly make it, but I told myself to just keep swimming. I switched to breast stroke a couple of times to calm myself down. Once I got to the paddleboat turnaround, I knew I could make it. I swam back and was out of the water for my transition.

The Nike shorts were a bad idea. Especially once I got to the run. They were still sopping wet and kept riding up, very uncomfortable. I think I need to do some shopping before Chisago! Anyhow . . . the bike was good. I wore my Garmin for the bike and run, didn't stop it for the transition - total time for the 11 mile bike and 2 mile run was 1:03. Not too bad for riding my hybrid bike.

When I started running, my legs were sore! I knew the second half of the course would be a nice downhill, so I just kept telling myself to make it to that point and I would be fine. It was about at the downhill that my legs started to loosen up and I was able to run the second mile faster. 1st mile was approxmately 9:10, second was 8:45.

All done! This really was so much fun, and I am really excited for Chisago - just one month away. Today helped me figure out some things to work on for Chisago: figure out my gear (including borrowing a road bike from a friend), continue to work on my swim, and do more bike/run bricks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This morning my alarm went off at 5:45 and I got out of bed to go for a run. I put on my running clothes and put my contacts in. And then I took my contacts out, put my pjs back on, and went back to bed. Oops.

I'd like to say I have some reasonable excuse, like it was raining a torrential downpour or I was overly tired from a lack of sleep. But it was nice out. And I went to bed at 9:00 last night.

I think it comes from my attitude that my morning runs are "optional" because they are not runs on my training program. But I function so much better if I get up and exercise right away. Tomorrow I will get up early and get my swim on, and Thursday, I promise, I will do my easy morning run. So there.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

One Week Down . . .

15 to go until Twin Cities! I started off with a good week of training.

Monday: 5 miles (w/4x800)
Tuesday: 3 miles easy
Wednesday: 1200 m. swim
Thursday: 5 miles (w/2 at tempo pace); 30 min. yoga
Friday: 950 m. swim, 12 mile bike
Saturday: 11 mile bike, 1.5 mile run
Sunday: 10 miles

I am wondering if my FIRST program ups the long runs too soon. The first few weeks call for 13, 15, 17, and 20. I followed this last time around and felt like I maybe peaked to early. So I'm thinking of doing 10, 13, 15, and 17. What do you think? It didn't break my heart to cut back to 10 today because it was hot and I was running in the mega hills by my in-laws.

Goals for this week? Get the strength training back. I'm planning on going back to kettlebells, also need to make sure I work in some Jillian.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tempo Track Sweatfest

I decided to do tonight's tempo run at the high school track because the weather peeps were predicted storms. I figured if a storm came through, I'd rather stay nice and close to my car.

This first tempo run on the schedule was pretty easy - 2 easy miles, 2 miles at "short tempo" pace, and 2 miles cooldown. Thankfully the wind decided to throw down a challenge (just what I needed) by blasting me in the face. Add to the wind the 90 degree temp and hot, hot sun and it was quite the run.

It started to cloud over as I finihed the run. Now I'm home listening the thunder and rain. I'm hoping once this storm goes through our weather will clear up: I've got a swim and bike planned for tomorrow, a golf event tomorrow afternoon, my first open water swim Saturday morning (followed by a bike and run for my own little mini practice triathlon) AND my first long run of this training cycle Sunday. Should be a fun weekend. Good luck to everyone racing this weekend - can't wait to read all the race reports!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Training Time

A quick recap of my last "off" week:

Monday: 3 miles easy (am), 4.5 miles w/2x400, 2x800, 2x400 (pm)
Tuesday: 3.6 miles easy, 30 min yoga
Wednesday: 1100 m. swim
Thursday: 3.1 miles easy
Friday: 1000 m. swim, Jillian's No More Trouble Zones DVD
Saturday: 22 mile bike w/1 mile run
Sunday: Jillian's 30 Day Shred (level 2)

Now, tomorrow, training for Twin Cities starts. I'm using the FIRST program for the third time. My main goal for this training cycle? Do everything better. Easy enough, right? I want to push myself through the track workouts, nail the tempo runs, and be strong on the long runs.

Your job? Yes, you have a job. Don't let me be a summer slacker. If I start posting things like "I skipped the long run today to float around on the pontoon and drink beer" reach through the interwebs and slap me. Don't get me wrong, pontoon floating and beer drinking have their place, it' just AFTER the weekend long run is done.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sign Me Up

"The Freedom Fest Mini-Triathlon consists of a 300 yd lake swim, 12 mile bike ride and 2 mile run/walk and is not a competetive event. It is used for fun and exercise. Bikers must have a helmet and swimmers may use a flotation device, if desired."

Low key, no? A perfect little practice triathlon for before Chisago Lakes next month. So I dropped off my $15 check and I'm off to find my flotation device. Well, I guess I should probably try to swim without the arm floaties . . .

What I really love about this triathlon (aside from the ultra cheap registration and the convenient location 6 miles from my front door) is the waiver. I almost peed my pants reading it. I'd quote it here, but I'm sure it's not really that funny to anyone but my nerd brain. I think it is even funnier because I know the spandex, headband wearing pain in the ass lawyer who drafted it.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Recovery Week Wrap-up

I spent the last week focusing on getting over my back injury and mentally getting over my DNF at last Sunday's Madison Marathon. I actually managed to get in some good cross training workouts.

Monday: rest day (LONG drive back from Beloit, WI - back pain + car ride = torture)
Tuesday: 30 min yoga (plus chiro)
Wednesday: 1000 m. swim
Thursday: 7 mile bike, 15 min yoga
Friday: 2000 m. swim, 1 mile run (plus chiro)
Saturday: 5k race
Sunday: Jillian's 30 day shred (level 2)

Friday's swim was a distance PR for me - I wanted to swim at least a mile, and once I hit the mile mark, I still felt good so I kept swimming until open swim closed. I dried off and headed out into the rain for a quick one mile jog.

Saturday I ran a 5k in Grantsburg, WI. Nothing too noteworthy - after running a super strong first mile in 7:33, I sort of died and finished in 25:46. Sophie ran the kid's race. Her little medal must have given her medal fever, because later while I was putting away laundry, she came in wearing:

Apparently she found my race medals. She also flipped out Saturday morning because she didn't have legit running clothes to wear. I wonder if Nike tempo shorts come in toddler size . . .

I'm looking forward to adding back in some miles this week. One more "limbo" week and the training begins for Twin Citis Marathon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Bright Side

Thank you all for your supportive comments on my last post. My back is feeling a million times better - a trip to the chiropractor, lots of yoga, ice, some swimming - it is all helping.

With all my daisy downerness post-race, I didn't get to fill you in on some of the highlights. So here some pics.

My sister and Sophie checking out the view from what Sophie called our "fancy room." It was fancy! My uncle is the head chef a the Edgewater in Madison and he hooked us up with an awesome suite.

This is my "I think I might be done crying and hyperventilating, so sure, you can take a picture" look. Cute, no?

On Monday, we checked out the Memorial Day parade in my hometown.

Oh, also, I picked up some great stuff at the expo - a cute shirt from One More Mile, a necklace from Lift Your Sole, AND a Spi belt.

I'm hoping to get a little run in tomorrow, and run a local 5k on Saturday. Have a great weekend!