Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spring Training -- already?

Today was the kick off for spring and early summer marathon training.

February 24th??? While a winter storm warning is in effect, currently dumping about 10" of snow here?

As we say in Minnesota "yeah, you betcha".

Actually, I should clarify: as MINNESOTANS would say, "Yeah, you betcha".

Those of us originally from Wisconsin would probably say "are you nuts"?

Nuts we are it would seem, because at 8:00 am this morning, throngs of the hearty were bundling up and heading out to the trails to start the process of getting back to some level of fitness and speed.

I ran with my running club this morning -- it was really nice to see some old familiar faces that I haven't seen since the end of Twin Cities Marathon (TCM) training last fall.

I ran with Gary and Dori -- we plodded along for 6.2 miles. Once we got out on to the roads, it wasn't so bad outside. I bought some rubber spikes at Bed, Bath and Beyond that attached to the bottom of my running shoes. The extra grip from the spikes really helped me feel more confident about my footing on the snow and ice.

It was amazing how tough the run was though: partly because it was cold and blowy running in to the wind, partly because I have not run 6 miles in a very long time, but mostly because I am much bulker than I was last fall.


I did face the music last Monday when I saw the doc and got on the scale. The number wasn't pretty, but I'm ready to start tackling the bulk so I can be ready for warmer weather and less clothes. (That is the one really nice thing about living here and having winter: you can hide a lot underneath sweaters.)

When we were out on the trails, we ran past my TCM training partners Marcia and Mary. I'll be training with them again starting next week. We have a number of people that are trying to get in to Grandma's 1/2 marathon that are planning to train "unofficially" this time around. We'll try to follow a similar routine that the official group will be using, but because a few of the people aren't members of the health club, they are trying to avoid the (hefty non-member) cost for joining the official group.

After the run, Dori and I went to breakfast with a couple of other friends: Sarah and MaryJo. It was great to sit and catch up.

I was very happy to spend time with my friends, just shooting the breeze, enjoying each others company and having some very relaxed fun.

Hubby and I are now hunkered down in the house with the cats all around us. The snow is really coming down and we are very grateful that we have no where we have to be but here -- the house is warm and dry -- we're happy, we're healthy and we are very content.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tri U Mah -- 1st tri for 2007

I participated in the 3rd Annual Tri U Mah Indoor Triathlon today at the University of Minnesota. This event was the first triathlon that I ever did -- way back when in 2005.

The event is different than regular tri's in that participants swim, bike and run for 30-minutes in each sport, with a 10-minute transition between swim/bike and bike/run. The winners are determined by total distance covered during the 30-minute segments.

It is also different than most tri's because participants swim in a POOL -- in their own LANE without people swimming over them or having to do much siteing. As long as you can see the big blue line at the bottom of the pool, you are going to find the other side of the swim lane. Love that part.

Hubby did the tri with me last year -- but this year he opted to just be my cheer squad and personal photographer. Go HUBBY!

The photo at the top of this post is one my swim coach would love -- I'm gliding nicely on my side, my right arm is outstretched, with my left arm coming up on the rail to meet it, my head is looking straight down -- the only criticism I can hear my coach say is "get your head underwater"....

The other swim photo is 'artsy' and kind of cool -- and the one below of me on the bike is blurry, but I like it because it simulates how fast I was going at the time. ha ha.

It was a great swim for me -- I went .76 of a mile in the 30 minute time frame. My first year (before swim lessons), I covered .59 miles. Last year, .61 miles. I was very proud of my swim distance this year.

The bike was okay -- 6.42 miles (more than last year, less than 2005) and the run was 2.49 miles (slightly more than last year, slightly less than 205). I'm definitely carrying more weight this year than in years past and that is reflected in my times for the "dry land" events.

All in all, I covered more distance this year than ever -- 9.67 -- still less than my personal goal of 10 miles. I can't complain much though. I feel like it is a good start for my 2007 season.

My good friend Kathy and her husband did the event today too -- their first ever tri. They looked great in the water and I captured this shot of them on the bikes, still smiling and looking strong:

Training will start for Grandma's on February 24th. (Can you believe it???) That should help me increase my land speed -- however, I know that I have got to do some thing about my ever-increasing weight.

I have to see the doctor tomorrow morning (regular check up time). This is the check up that I cancelled in January because I didn't want to get on the scale. I've only INCREASED my weight since then, so tomorrow will be no picnic.

However, there is no time like the present to get depressed, feel like a miserable failure so I can get my act together. Again, ha ha.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


My whirlwind tour of the west coast continues: I'm now in Portland.

I'm getting certified to teach a new course at my company and the woman who did the certification today is actually an old friend that I used to work with.

It was great to see her and to catch up. She offices with another old colleague, so at one point, the three of us got a chance to gossip, share old stories and create a couple new ones.

I miss working with these women sometimes -- they are only one of two teams of former co-workers that I'd actually consider working with again. They are both bright, funny and interesting.

Portland is another great city. Very interesting and vibrant downtown filled with coffee shops, restaurants, interesting places to walk and window shop and lots of people.

My hotel is very conveniently located near several Starbucks and also has a pool. I'm going to go and get in a few laps tonight.

My friend told me about a great running path that winds along the Willamette River, located about 5 blocks from my hotel. I got out tonight and ran the path for about 30 minutes. The river is beautiful -- especially tonight because of the huge full moon that was rising above it. It's a 'working river', so I saw a barge pushing some thing out to some where and another huge cargo ship that must have been recently unloaded. There were lots of runners and bikers out even though the temps were "cold". (It is probably in the 40s here).

I shouldn't complain about the cold -- the wind chills are supposed to be awful in Minneapolis this weekend. My running club cancelled the run scheduled for Saturday because of the prediction of -20 below wind chills.

I'll be staying indoors, scrapbooking with my friend Marcia before I go INSIDE to hit the gym.