Friday, February 27, 2009

Sooooooo sick of winter.....

Tomorrow is the last day of February.

Thank heavens, is all I can say.

I'm really sick of winter.

Sick of snow, ice, cold, freezing, white, mittens, boots, scarves and Chapstick.

Looking forward to heat, humidity, sunshine, grass, open water swims, tee shirts, birds and barbeques.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

TAG: I'm It...

Nat tagged me to answer some questions.  

It is not 25 random things, just 5 short, simple questions.

So here it goes:

1.  If you could travel to any time/ place in history, when/where would you go?

Probably the 40's -- around and after WWII, here in the U.S.  Women were gaining more "independence", the U.S. was pretty exciting.  I would either like to have lived in a big city like Chicago or New York OR, I would have liked to have lived in Milwaukee and have been friends with my parents.  It would have been very interesting to know them when they were young adults. 

2.  What is your biggest dream for 2009?

Honestly, my biggest dream is that this economic nightmare would stop.  It would be great if the economy would get back on track so people could get back to work and 401k/investment balances would be restored to pre-recession levels.   I'd love to see infrastructure spending and Green Technology lead the way.

Personally, my biggest dream is my same dream as always:  that all my friends and loved ones (including me) are happy, healthy and live to see another year.  (OH!  and many be one golf score for me this year under 100!)

3.  Which do you like best:  Swim, Bike or Run?

Varies from year to year.   A couple years ago, it was running.   Now, I'm really in to swimming.  Probably because I've spent more time in the pool.  Running feels "hard" right now; biking has been limited to spin classes.  
I reserve the right to re-answer this question in July after my first 1/2 iron event for the summer...

4.  What is your "go to" song on your iPod when you need a boost?

"Ballad of John and Yoko".  No kidding.

5.  What is your favorite season?

Duh.  Any one with no snow on the ground and temperatures above 70.

Wanna play?  Add a comment that says "Interview Me", and then just post your answers on your blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another video (because I figured out how to upload it...). Earlier in the event. My arms are in much better position and I have pretty good hip rotation.

Checking in

A little experiement here, with a video of me swimming at Tri U Mah. Must have been later in the event, because my arms are not recovering very well.


Spent most of last week in Tempe, where it was "cold".

Cold, of course, is relative. For me, temps in the low 60s felt fantastic. For Tempe-ians, it felt frosty.

I cracked up the morning I drove to the office and passed many people walking to what ever destination wearing hoodies, jackets, scarves, gloves and Uggs.

Heck, we Minnesotans would be breaking out the wet suits for our first open water swims....

Anyway: my goal was to work and to work out like a maniac.

I only worked like a maniac. We had number of very big meetings slated for Thursday that I was helping to orchestrate.

Late, late nights; early, early mornings and not much else in-between.

Fortunately, I found a Whole Foods about 2 miles from my hotel, which was also next door to Starbucks, so I had healthy food and good coffee all week.

I came back to truely cold Minnesota (temps only touching the low 20s) and to my loving hubby on Friday.

We spent a great Valentine's Day together, complete with a yummy seafood dinner (seared tuna and white bean salad, seared scallops and spicy squash).

Today, I SHOULD have gotten up early this morning to run with my friends, but I just couldn't drag my carcass out of bed. After I finally got up, Hubby and I took Sabrina shopping to help stimulate the economy -- er, I mean help her update her wardrobe.

Hubby and I did make it to the health club tonight, though. He biked and I swam. Felt good to move again.

Speaking of moving again, I found out I placed 3rd in my age group at Tri U Mah. Third out of eight, so not such a big deal, but big enough for me.

Goals for the week: Keep my committments to friends for swimming and running; keep off the sugar. Keep moving forward.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tri U Mah Rocks

Tri U Mah indoor tri was yesterday.

I participated in the event with my good friends Nat, Marcia, Marty, Heather and her husband, and Dave.

It was the 5th year of the event and the 5th year I've participated. The organizers wanted to make a "big deal" out of their anniversary so they profiled the five of us that have done the event every year.

They made a nice poster highlighting us and our comments, which was a nice thing. We were asked to submit a photo, so I sent in one from 2007, which I was fit and trim. Turns out I wasn't the ONLY one that did that. Most of us wanted to highlight the buff I was very pleased with my swim: .984 miles in 30 minutes. That is very, very good for me. Master's class must be helping.

My bike had a couple of bumps: I got on the bike about 30 seconds after start time; hit my stop button at 9:01 on the clock and had to wait for a volunteer to restart my cycle. Ended up with a paltry 6.63 miles -- pretty lousy.

My run was not very spectacular: 2.70 miles in 30 minutes. I decided not to kill myself, but then realized, as I was taking it easy, that I was running 14.30 miles. That was a little TOO easy, so I bumped up the pace a bit.

It is evident that I am out of peak training shape, but that is the whole point of Tri U Mah: a stark reminder to get my rear in gear.

Everyone else did a great job with the event. After we were done, we all went for a very late lunch and to catch up.

All in all a great and fun day.

So 2009 is off to a fine start! One tri down, eight tris to go!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lulled in to believing spring is on its way

The last couple of days here have been WONDERFUL.

Above zero. Above FREEZING! Snow is melting! Ground has been revealed!

Of course, I know and understand that it is only February -- early February at that.

But still: Hope SPRINGs eternal, or something like that.


The other way I know that spring is coming is because Tri U Mah is tomorrow. First tri of 2009.

I also started training for Fargo 1/2 last Thursday. My running buddies and I are working with a new training group this time around -- Running Room.

There were about 32 runners at the kickoff last Thursday. We broke down in to several pace groups, the last one being 12+ minute miles.

This is a far, far cry from my last training group, where having them recognize a pace group of 10 minutes/mile was a really big deal.

My friend Cheryl and I started with the 10:30 group -- sounds slow, but I was very happy in that group considering I've been lallygagging since Thanksgiving.

It was great to be back out and running with a purpose.

Put a little spring in my step...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ahh, Fresh Air, Sunshine and 40 degrees!

We finally, finally, FINALLY had our January thaw on the 31st of January.

Yippie - eye- 0h - kai - yeah!

It has been a miserable winter for us. Long, cold, dark, snowy....bleech.

Yesterday's temperature and sunshine got people out of their houses and doldrums. The lakes were packed with runners and walkers; the ice-boarders were out in droves. Snow melted and a weird, stringy brown substance was revealed.

The City of the Lakes Loppet Luminary event was last night. It's held on Lake of the Isles. (Yes, literally ON the frozen lake). People cross-country ski or snowshoe or just walk the course, which is lined by ice luminaries.

Local ski shops and outdoor groups have tents set up and volunteers pass out hot cider, there a fire for folks to warm up by, and it is always a lot of fun to just get out.

With the warmer weather, there were a lot more participants out on the ice. Hubby and I met our friends Mary, Tom and Mary's daughter Layla. We all walked part of the course and then had coffee.

Today wasn't bad either, with temperatures in the mid-30s and more sunshine. I got out for a long walk and it was so wonderful to feel the sun on my face and to not have to wear a hat.

Training for spring marathons/half marathons and the like start this week. My band of happy running friends and I will start our training for Fargo 1/2 on Thursday. It is going to be a very rude snap back to reality to go from casual running to an actual "plan" again.

But, my jeans are very, very tight so... who knows. Maybe it will be a good thing to run more than once a week...

I'm leaving you with two last photos for the day.

I'm one of "those" people that feed the critters who happen to visit our yard. I feed the birds, the bunnies and the squirrels.

There are some who hate squirrels. "Flying rats" I believe they call them.

I happen to think they are very cute and the ones in our yard are really, really cute(and really, really fat).

My favorite of the bunch is the one that has a little kink in his tail and "lists" to the right, as if he had a stroke.

He was in the yard today and here are some pics of him devouring the core of an apple I had just finished: