Sunday, January 25, 2009

Callie Does Triathlon

It may be a little hard to see, but that is Callie peaking out from my TYR backpack. She is looking for her goggles...

Tri U Mah -- a fantastic indoor triathlon held at the University of Minnesota -- is only two weeks away.

I'm doing the event this year with Marcia, Nat and Gary. I'm very excited to get back in to "the season".

The event always represents the "unofficial" official start of training season for me. Unofficial because it is held in FEBRUARY in MINNESOTA, so it is kind of tough to be very "in" to training when the winds are whipping, the snow is mounting and the days are still dismally dark.

But, it is official because the event signals "hope" that winter will end sooner rather than later and then the real fun begins.

The event's format is pretty cool: swim for 30 minutes; bike for 30 minutes; run for 30 minutes. T1 and T2 are both 10 ten minutes long. Volunteers measure the completed distance in each discipline and who ever covers the most ground during the event wins. (It is never me...)

Tri U Mah was the first triathlon I ever did and, apparently, that first time was five years ago. It's the 5th anniversary of the event and there are about six people (including me) that have participated every year. The six of us are being "highlighted" in some way or another during the event, which is nice. The people putting together asked for a photo to use, so I sent one from Lifetime Fitness a couple summers ago. I looked relatively fit, which is certainly not the case right now.

I've put on my usual share of winter weight, which is never a surprise and always a drag (literally and figuratively).

Although I have been better at working out again, I certainly have not been training in earnest. I've had some great days with my food (meaning no candy or sugar) followed by days of nothing but candy and sugar.

So, changing in to my swim suit today to get ready for my mini rehearsal for Tri U Mah meant avoiding the mirror at all costs. Same with positioning myself on a bike and a treadmill -- I found the ones with the least mirror exposure. I can feel my bulky bulkiness, I don't really need to see it... (Denial, denial, denial...)

I only did 20 minutes each of swimming, biking and running today. I covered 990 yards swimming (or .5625 miles); 5.62 miles on the bike and 1.70 running.

I should have covered more ground running, but a friend of mine, Phyllis, was at the club today. I haven't seen her in a very long time, so she and I chatted for about 8 minutes while I walked very quickly on the treadmill.

Sometimes chatting is more important than focusing on the distance...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You know it's cold in Minnesota when....

Although the temperature is no longer in the deep, DEEP freeze, it is still cold and snowy here.

Hey, it is January 19th. What do I expect?

Thought I'd share a photo of our beloved cat Lefty.

He is the "baby" cat in the family and an absolute hoot.

When he hears our furnace kick in, he runs to the bathroom and puts his front paws on the heat register so he can have the blowing air warm his tummy.

Proud parents that we are, Hubby and I think he is a door a bull....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Out of the Igloo

The temperature here is FINALLY above zero.

I woke up to a balmy 10 degrees. Woo hoo!

After 86 hours below zero -- including two mornings of wake-up air temps of 21 BELOW, ten-ABOVE felt like summmer.

Well, maybe not summer, but certainly much better.

I woke up in time to run with my friends Mary, Marcia, Gary and Sarah. We only ran about 5 miles, but it was really nice to be outside and to breathe some fresh air.

Although I'm not in hard-core training, I did swim twice this week; did an hour of cardio Tuesday and ran today.

I also successfully did not eat candy for three days. Progress, not perfection.

This afternoon, Hubby and I went to see Annie, the golden retriever that made the news last December.

She had been shot twice (by some jerkassholeidiot that has yet to be caught) and was left to die in a freezing snowbank somewhere in rural Minnesota.

A good Samaritan found her and brought her to the Twin Cities where Rescue a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM)and the University of Minnesota Small Animal Clinic took her under their wings and saved her.

I've been following her story on the RAGOM website. Really a horrible story with a wonderful ending.

Today, RAGOM arranged a "thank you" party for people that have been supporting Annie through contributions or love or interest at a suburban car dealer.

Hubby and I went to say hello and to give her a hug. The place was packed with lots of well-wishers and other RAGOM dogs.

Annie was great. Friendly, cute, warm, oh-so-lovable. Very tolerant of everyone petting her and giving her praise and cookies.

The other dogs were also really sweet, wonderful dogs.

I was so happy that we got to go to say "hello" and to give a little bit of of a contribution to RAGOM.

I took a couple photos using my camera phone and now I have my whole evening ahead of me to figure out how to get them off of my phone and on the here....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Scales: fish-kind and "uh oh" kind

Today was a big day for me.

I got on the scale.

Uh oh!

While the number was not a big surprise, it is a bigger number than I want.

I certainly lived it up between my birthday and January 1st -- so now the Piper must be paid...with less calories in and more calories burned.

All in all, the number wasn't as scary as I thought and I should be able to get back to a more reasonable training weight within six to eight weeks, if I do this nice and steady.

I also went to a 3-hour swim clinic (hence, the loose association to "fish" referenced above).

Dave Cameron taught the clinic. I've worked with Dave a lot over the last few years and he has helped me become a more efficient swimmer. (Then again, when we first started working together, he was working with a guppy-student that was probably a "1" on the scale (yet another fish refrence)of 1 - 10 for efficiency).

I finally got to sign up for an advanced class -- YIPPEE. He had a clinic for beginners before the advanced clinic started. There were maybe 20 people in it. It was fun for me to watch them and to actually see some of the "newbie" things they did that I no longer do.

For example, I no longer swim like a barge (flat in the water). I swim more like a sailboat (up on my sides), which helps me cut through the water better.

Our workshop only had four swimmers; I was the only girl.

We did a warm up working on focal points: 3 sets of 200 free counting swim stroke; 100 skate; 100 build. First set focused on head position; second on extension; third on hip rotations.

Then we played 9 rounds of "golf", where you add your strokes and your time while working on drills.

I did okay on the first two rounds, but slowed down considerably in the other 7...Fortnately, the boys weren't too much further ahead of me, so I didn't feel too wimpy.

Then we did a 50 (25 strong/ 25 sprint). Dave filmed us during the golf game and the sprint and we all watched the videos for pointers, etc.

We did some more drill work (kicking; extensions, etc.). It was all wonderful.

I learned a lot and have some great things to work on.

Dave is supposed to email us our tapes, so I'm hoping to post one here.

I'm getting excited for tri season!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Resolutions Update and Social Media

This is what I wrote down for my beginning list of 2009 resolutions:

  • Exercise 6 times per week, including a Masters Swim on Tuesday/Thursday.
  • Go Vegetarian 2 times per week (Tuesday and Thursday would be easiest)
  • Minimum Athena weight by the time Lifetime Fitness Triathlon rolls around (July 11th)
  • Breath deeply
  • Save money.

Let's see where I am in relationship to these lofty goals as of January EIGHTH, 2009:

Exercise: Four days: ran a 10K; another 2.3 miles another day; lifted weights once; swam once; walked briskly and rode a stationary bike once. So I did six things, not six days....AND the Masters swim happens at 5:30 in the A. wtf M which should count for extra credit.
  • Rational: not yet in "training" Reality: It is freezing cold here and I've been woozy (really).

Vegetarian: So far, so good.

  • Rational: it is pretty easy. Reality: It's only been ONE Tuesday and One Thursday. Also, chocolate does not contain any meat by-products (I hope).

Minimum Athena: I have't gotten on a scale in months. I'm petrified.

  • Rational: I'm petrified. Reality: July is a long time away and I need to just face the number.

Breath deeply. Every day. No rational or reality comment needed.

Save Money: I think spending less counts too, yes?


I've become sort of a Social Media junkie, getting in to Facebook and Linkedin...A couple of my bloggie friends are into this too (Steve and Tri to be Funny).

Anyone else?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Happy New Year to all!

Hubby and I spent an incredibly quiet night at home bringing in 2009.

We were hoping to be able to rent a movie from our Cable provider, but the service was down yesterday. So we flipped between football, "Saving Private Ryan", a show focused on former people that were on episodes of "Made" and "True Life", and "bringin' in the New Year in NYC" shows on CNN, NBC and ABC.


It was really nice to be cuddly on the couch -- don' t get me wrong. It was just a little sleepy, which is really want I wanted to do at about 9:00 pm.

I was convinced to stay awake until 12:04 am, when I went to bed and Hubby, who had indulged in a little 12-year old scotch, found "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" on a t.v. channel and stayed awake to watch it until 3:30 am.

I ran the Polar 10K with my running pals Marcia, Gary and Mary this morning.

The race was a rude reminder that the holidays are over and it is time to get back to Reality.

I ran a great 5k on Thanksgiving day and have really been very slug like ever since. Barely laced up my shoes once; put in minimal miles (except for walking to the fridge); ate sugar as if it was going out of style.

I could really tell during the race. I was slow, sluggish, winded. A long, long cry from where I was in August after Pigman 1/2 iron...

BUT, the course was pretty, I had a great time with my friends and I got through it.

I also bumped in to a friend of mind from grade school /high school that I've recently re-met on Facebook...Tom I.

I joined Facebook (FB) late last fall and have been having some fun finding old friends, like Tom. I didn't know he was running the race today, so it was fun to recognize his picture from FB and to see him in-person. We ran the first mile together and caught up (in-between my wheezing).

So 2009 is here -- full of CHANGE (1/20/09!) and opportunities and a successful reintroduction to Training and eating healthier..

I wish health for every one.

I wish for a year were things settle down and we all get back to "normal".

I wish peace for all.

I wish rockin' PRs for all my running/tri friends.

I wish that we all have fun starring in our very own Reality shows...