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!