Monday, May 28, 2007

Long Days

Days are long -- not just because we are approaching June 21st -- the longest day of the year -- but because the Edina Art Fair is June 1st and Hubby is really working to finalize his booth and photos.

Hubby does photography on the side and he is very, very talented. The Edina Art Fair is a juried art fair (meaning that a panel of people judge the work and determine who will be in and who won't). Hubby sent his work in last year (first art fair he tried to get in to) and was selected. We had a great time working the fair, meeting people, selling some of his photos. The problem last year was his location. He was tucked in an alley that was not well travelled by fairgoers.

THIS year will be different. He has a space that rocks and has a number of new photos this year that are breathtaking: some wonderful B & Ws from Europe and Minnesota's North Shore; great color shots from Europe and around our neighborhood.

Hubby works best under stress -- he is your typical "I'll write the paper the night before it is due" kind of we are at crunch week.

And, naturally, most things that can go wrong, have gone wrong. His MAC crashed and is now at the MAC doctor; he hooked up the back up PC and went back to printing and has run out of Light Cyan ink; so....we are certain to have some long nights before the fair opens on Friday.

I'm sure we'll get it all done, though. That is always how it goes.


The weekend was great. I got an 11.1 mile run in on Saturday and felt really strong. Finally got on my bike for about 20 minutes yesterday and was happy that I remembered how to ride (ha ha); today, I ran 6.8 miles -- felt a little more sluggish, but probably where I should be for where I am in training. Hubby and I also squeezed in 9 holes of golf tonight and I had my lowest score ever: 33. I had two pars and two birdies....Hurrah.


Tomorrow is another vacation day for me. I'll get in a swim, have a doctor's appointment and will meet my Beginning Running Team for a dinner tomorrow night.

Looking forward to an excellent day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

What's Goin' On....

Life has picked up the pace, that is for sure.

Work is busy, busy, busy. Projects are all coming together for delivery at about the same time and there is a lot of coordination that has to happen for everything to happen smoothly.

I had to go to San Francisco for a business meeting and got a chance to take a really nice six-mile run. Started at Union Square, ran down to the Ferry Building and then ran along the water past Fisherman's Wharf, up to a beach and back.

Out in the bay near the beach were a number of triathletes doing an open water swim practice. They were all decked out in their full body bodysuits, swimming in a long circle around buoys used for markers.

Seeing them reminded me of several things: 1) time to get back in to swimming. My first tri is on June 30th. My BIG tri is on July 14th. 2) Open water swimming still freaks the heck out of me.

I really admire those swimmers that confidently swim in the ocean. The likelihood of me being comfortable swimming in the ocean is pretty small. I'm not all that comfortable in a fresh water lake if I can't touch the bottom. It is a miracle that I can do outside tri's at all....

When I got back to Minneapolis, I set up a swim lesson with Dave, my amazing swim coach, who is getting ready to do his DOUBLE CROSSING of the English Channel. That means he swims from England to France, has up to 15 minutes to "rest" and then he swims back to England.

He is doing this as a personal challenge and also to raise money for our local YWCAs. He coaches a swim team of young people -- very young people. Kids, really. The team, called the Otters, will have several members going over to England to swim a single crossing as a relay team. Even those kids have more guts that I do.... No wet suits allowed; can't hold on to the guide boat to rest for a second (or many); salt water, currents and jelly fish.

Sure puts swimming in a puny Minnesota lake in perspective.

It had been a long time since I'd been in the pool and my technique was terrible. Fortunately, I have five lessons left and several weeks to get myself ready for that 0.9 mile swim in July.


My morning fitness group is over and the results are in. Officially, I lost 22 pounds. (HURRAH!). I say officially, because I weighed myself this a.m. after working out on my own as was down another 2 lbs. Although I like that number, it is probably misleading, since I had worked out and really lost a lot of water through sweat. I'll take what I can get.

The program was very helpful to me in getting me very fit -- increasing my endurance -- losing pounds that had been being very stubborn. I also met some really great women, who were all fun and very dedicated. Everyone lost weight and I believe that all of us met our goals.

We were all very disappointed at the end of the program, however, when we all were at the last class and the team leader did not have any plans or ideas for us for maintenance.

I, naturally, called the corporate office and complained. The man I spoke with was very empathetic, but really had no resolution as of yet. (The big excuse they all had was that the nutritionist at our facility had quit, so there was no one in place for us to work with. My argument back was that they didn't reduce our fee for the program, even though we got less "benefit" (no nutritionist) AND that other facilities have nutritionists, so why couldn't one of them helped us?

So for now, I'm still working out in the morning on my own and sticking with the diet. We'll see how that all shakes out.

I did do a test to find out what my actual heart rate zones should be (instead of guessing, like I was doing in the morning). Turns out, my AT (anaerobic threshold) is 171, not 150. (oops!)

AT is the point at which your body switches from burning mostly fat as fuel to burning more sugar. There are five zones to consider when doing heart rate training. Zones 1 - 3 are the fat burning zones; then there is AT, then there are zones 4 & 5 (aka the "killer" zones).

I had been working out in the a.m. under the assumption that my AT was 150, so hitting the bottom of zone 3 would have been at about 139. That is the rate that I tried to maintain during the a.m. workouts.

With an actual AT of 171, 139 is really in zone 2 -- so, I could have worked much harder!

During the test, I also found out that I am pretty efficient in burning fat in zones 1 and 2, which would make sense, since I had trained in those zones for 12 weeks.

Knowing this will help me with both my morning treadmill workouts and my running workouts.


Golf is in full swing (ha ha). I'm having fun golfing in the league with Hubby...and also had a great time golfing with my sister, sister-in-law and another friend last Tuesday.


Disappointed in the Democrats backing down off of the timetables for withdrawal, but not as disappointed as in our President for getting us in this mess in the first place.


That is about it for now...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

LPGA day of Fun....

I went to a women's golf clinic hosted by the LPGA last Monday. It was terrific.

There were about 120 women -- some who took the day off of work to learn, play and network and others that were clearly the "ladies who lunch" set.

The host of the event -- the LPGA -- had one of their touring professionals chair the day. We were lucky to have a woman named Cindy Miller. She is in her 50's, played on a number of tours, was on the Big Break golf show, and was voted Golf for Women's Teacher of the Year last year.

I loved her! She was very candid, very brass, very funny. Just my kind of female role model. And she swings a mean golf club, let me tell you.

The day was very full, but also very relaxed. We were able to really talk with all the pros there, get great tips and they gave us a very fun goodie bag. (Nice touch, because this event was not cheap).

We were broken up in to teams of about eight, including a golf pro, who was part of our team all day.

I was part of about six groups of beginners. We spent the morning practicing putting, chipping and our full swing. The other women on my team were in varying stages of "begginer". Our pro was a woman that is the featured golf expert on a morning T.V. show here in the Twin Cities. She was great. Fun, informative, helpful.

After lunch, we played on the course. The clinic was held at a very swanky, private golf club that just happens to be located very near where I live. It was great fun to play on a course I've only driven by....

I think I picked up some good tips that will help improve my game -- especially with holding my club and positioning of the ball when I chip.

I'm looking forward to participating in the clinic again next year.

My friend, LaVeta, and I are also taking three lessons together. LaVeta and her husband are our partners in the Couples Golf League. I'm hoping that all of this practice will help lower my score over the summer.

So golf on top of running and starting to get ready for triathlon season. I'll be busy, but outside, which you can't beat this time of year here in Minnesota.

Ahhhh -- summer!