Sunday, December 21, 2008

In which I let myself go

Ew. I'm so mad at myself. Me and Oprah. I read an article by her in her magazine today about how embarrassed and angry with herself she is for gaining nearly 40 pounds back. That's exactly how I feel. Although it's only 5-7 pounds it's a lot of lost muscle and feelings of self worth. No I'm not worth what I weigh or look like, but I don't feel good when I don't exercise. Yes, my life has come to that. I can't believe that I can't ignore that fact. I'm not myself when I'm not exercising. Sheesh. So what? Now I'm supposed to work out for the rest of my life? Great.

OK. Just a hint of sarcasm there.

But this is the season of hope. I have, if nothing else, hope. No, I have hope and faith. Time to start the revolution again. Time to fuel the fire to achieve. All is not lost; hope remains. Faith that God gave me the tools to be healthy.

This sounds a lot like a New Year's resolution if you ask me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Vegas 1/2 Marathon

This race is SO FUN! Yes, after you turn off the strip the only people left clapping are the homeless people who slept there the night before. Heck, even on the strip there aren't many people in Vegas up at 6AM. But who cares!?! There is so much dazzle to look at!

The race started a 6AM Sunday morning. I guess the story starts before that though. I quit training for this race November 2nd. That is the day I ran 9 miles and until December 7th I hadn't run more than 5 miles per week. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but I was past the point of caring how the race would turn out. I would enjoy it. I would get a medal. I would gorge myself at the buffet. I had my best girls there; no matter what I was just happy to be there with them.
Well, the race started at 6AM at Mandalay Bay. It's still dark at 6AM. There was the full Vegas strip in all it's excessive glory laid out before me.

Elvi, Santa's and veils were all around. Robin Leech was commentating. Yes. The Robin Leech. My plan: run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, enjoy, repeat (about 1000 times). The gun went off. Nay, not the gun. The fireworks.

SPECTACULAR.
I cried. I was directly underneath the spot where they were lighting them off when the finale happened. What an overwhelming feeling. Amazing. Absolutely amazing to count myself amongst all these athletes. What an amazing blessing. I could be out there. I could run. God gave me that day, and I was going to enjoy it. It still makes me tingle and get a little emotional thinking about it.
So for the rest of the 4 mile or so Strip, I putzed around. I pulled over to take pictures. Several in some spots if they didn't turn out. What did I care. I wasn't in a hurry. I was in it for the long haul.
Saw the girls at about mile 3 and I lept into the air and proclaimed "Fresh as a daisy!" And surprisingly, I was. Ok. Well, things were going so well I decided to run my usual 10 minutes and walk 1.
I passed the run through wedding chapel where a bunch of Elvi were clapping for the newlyweds.
The next water stop featured wedding cake so I partook. Miles 5-8 or so were solid. Flat course. Kept on going. Was feeling ok. Around mile 9 though I started to think that maybe a little endurance training might have done me some good. My legs were getting tired. Starting to run again after the walks were getting really hard. But I was still passing people. Huh. Saw my girls again at mile ten. I puffed "Fresh........as..................................a daisy" and barely kicked a heal in the air. They screamed and clapped and cheered, so I sped away with a some renewed energy. My legs were shaking by that point though, so I started walking about every 1/2 mile instead.


Mile 11 I realized, I only had 2 miles left. Which meant if I kept it up, at the MOST 25 minutes. That would mean UNDER a 2:30 1/2!?!? Wha??? My April 1/2 was 2:40 something, maybe 2:45. No way. No way.

Mile 12. The marathoners passed me. Why didn't I get a picture of that? Oh yeah, because I was concentrating on trying to feel my legs. But the 1st and 2nd finishers in the marathon blew past us all. It was way cool. They? Looked fresh as daisies.

FINALLY. The finish. Nice medal. Hugs all around. I ran as fast as I could for the last .10 - which seemed like a long way. My face was all contorted with pain and lack of oxygen. 2:29:09. I never would have believed it if the chip didn't record it. I had more fun though that any race.

These girls are rock solid.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dome Running

Last night I went to the metrodome to run. I've been wanting to try this for a while now. It's nice actually. You pay your dollar and can run as long as you want around and around the dome from 5-7pm. It's safe. It's warm (but not too warm). It's got a nice concrete floor that you don't have to worry about tripping on and there is plenty of stuff to look at on the walls.

Only problem?

It made me want a hot dog, real bad! I don't think it actually smelled like a hot dog in there, but whenever I am at the dome it does. During Twins games it smells like hot dogs and nachos and popcorn and beer and....YUM. I couldn't stop thinking about all the wonderful concessions!

70 laps will yield 26.2 miles. SEVENTY LAPS! Yiy. I did 11. That was 4.35. Which is practically 13.1. I'm so ready for this 1/2! (I'm psyching myself out here)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Optimistic

December is going to go right! I'm going to remain calm while shopping and wedding planning. I'm going to work out and feel good about myself again. I'm going to start a new job and bring only my good habits with me. I'm going to develop new good habits and skills.

And it's all going to start with a trip to Las Vegas and a 1/2 Marathon. Yessiree - December is going to be alright!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bittersweet ending

I turned in my resignation at my job yesterday. I am leaving for a position in another company that will give me an opportunity to develop my leadership and communication skills. I'll learn a ton about project management and even potentially be managing a few other people. My skill set will help give me a background for what I'm going to be learning. It's all good on paper.


But it's so sad in my heart. How can I sit there and tell my two managers that I like my job, I enjoy working for them, I think they are great and have really done a lot for me. And that I like the company....because then tell me again why am I leaving??? Oh yes. This great opportunity.


I'm so excited about this new position because it's going to be a real challenge. I'll be working on things that have high visibility and can make a huge impact on the way things are currently being done. The corporate culture there seems a little bit more conservative, more demanding. But I'm excited to see how I fare in that kind of environment. I want to excel!


My managers didn't even know I was looking. Heck, I didn't know I was looking, this kind of just fell in my lap. I had to keep it professional when I told them I was leaving. I cried though. But then wasn't the time to gush about my high regard for them and the company. And now I'm screaming inside to tell them how hard of a decision this was and how I truly think they are wonderful bosses. I have so much respect for them both. It's agonizing.


This decision is made. There can't be any room for doubt and regret. I made the choice. I hope it was the right one.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blissfully in Denial

Life is pretty good right now. I just returned from a trip to visit my parents in NM, a destination which I love and will forever miss. We finalized the design for wedding invitations that mom will be making. All 120 of them. By hand. And they will be perfect because mom won't settle for less. Even though I would. I bought a wedding dress! It really happened so quickly. I can't post a picture because my fiance reads this. Infrequently, but I can't take that chance. There will be plenty of pictures later I'm sure. It looks amazing though and if I can lose 10 pounds I'll be able to breathe in it! That's a joke. But it is tight - like OJ Simpson glove tight. And that is no joke.

I'll be heading to Vegas with some girl friends in a couple of weeks and it is going to be a BLAST!

Except for that pesky 13.1 mile run I promised to do while there. Enter denial. Holy cow! I haven't been running regularly and last week I didn't run even once. My training has been pathetic. I did have a glimmer of hope a few times there when I did long runs on the weekends (twice) but it's gotten bad again. And the thing is, I'm not worried. Oh, I know it's gonna be a hard race because of my lack of training. It makes me a little sad because it feels so good to really rock a race and this one I will just be running. It will be like a really uncomfortable long run instead of a race I am psyched about and ready to conquer. Should I be more worried than I am? Maybe, but I still feel like I can do it. I still believe that I am in good enough shape to wing a 1/2 Marathon. Huh. Well I guess that is some kind of accomplishment. Me? Winging 13 miles?? Other people can do it. Why can't I? We'll see.

I'm not down and out yet though! I've got 3 weeks left and I'm not planning a big taper. If I can get up to 11 miles again I'll feel ready. One thing that the denial is helping with is that I still believe there is time and at the same time I understand that time is running out so I feel like I am in a good position mentally. I've got all of the urgency with none of the guilt.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Do I ever love to vote. I really feel a sense of pride and civic duty as I carefully fill in the bubble of the candidate of my choice. I read it over slowly and methodically knowing that this does have an impact. This will make a difference. Now I know all about how electorial votes work, but to get an electorial vote somebody has to vote out there.

I voted for Bill Clinton when I was 18 years old in 1996 and ever since then I have been so excited to be involve. I can't wait to go home and watch the election results. I should make some popcorn!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Long Run Recap

Sunday I ran 9 miles. It wasn't too bad. Not as bad as last weeks 8 miles so that is a good sign. It pretty much sums up the run though, when at mile 4.23 I felt something hit my leg and I thought "Oooh! I think my shoelace is untied!! Better stop" then I looked and it wasn't and thought "Oh :( Guess not. All right, I'll keep going". My legs have just been getting so tired on the trip towards the end. Maybe I need to keep shifting the pace so they can try something new.

Are runners arrogant trail hogs who think everyone should yield to them? I am. I was having an issue early on with walkers talking up the whole trail in groups of 3 and 4. I don't care if you are running sprints or crawling on your knees, be considerate of other people on the trail and move. Ok, but the actuality is my complaining on my blog and thinking negative thoughts in my head isn't going to make other people more or less thoughtful. I'm even willing to admit that I may be wrong. Maybe I should be going around them. Although this generally takes more effort and I realize I am running, but I'm all about using as little effort as possible.

Revelation hit at that moment. I'm telling myself all kinds of positive thoughts during the run, but thinking negatively about the people on the path who won't move. Who was that possibly going to help? Negative is negative and if I'm going to be enjoying and completing the run I have to enjoy every bit of it and that means NO NEGATIVITY. None. Enjoy it and be grateful that the day was given to you or be a complainer. It was a BEAUTIFULLY perfect day. There were tons of people out enjoying the weather. I saw this adorable 2-3 year old girl running/waddling next to her dad (so cute!!) all determined with her little hands balled into fists swinging her arms wildly back and forth.

So I think, thank God I'm able to exercise today and enjoy this. Thanks for the wind to provide resistance and make me stronger, thanks for the hills too. Thanks for the time to think about my fiance and how much I love that we are both into running. It's what we do. And I thought about my friends who think I'm a runner. When I started to walk at an unscheduled break I thought, The Fab 5 thinks your a runner. They think you can do it, why can't you? I can.

It was a good run then. Lots of positive thoughts once I realized this was the better way to go. I even ran 9.16 miles instead of 9. Big harry deal I know, but the point is I didn't HAVE to run that extra .16. Finally starting to feel good about running. It's scary how much your mind can slip when you break routine for even a few weeks!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Confessions of a procrastinator

While I no longer fear the long run (thanks to last weeks gruelling 8) I have a new annoyance. So what if I can get out there and do the long run, I wanted to feel good about it. I wanted to feel strong. And, well, yet another week of procrastination has put me at 0 miles for the week and 15 to do in 3 days.

All I can do now is get a good run in tonight and feel good about it. I can go to spin class or do a short, easy run tomorrow and then do 9 miles on Sunday. I can actually do these runs and also vow to stick to a plan for next week and GET IN THE RUNNING. And enjoy it, it's not enough. It's not enough to say I'm gonna do this. I won't really truly start feeling better once I have done this stuff. So right now, this minute, what's a girl to do to make herself feel like everything is gonna be ok.

Maybe I've go these post-race blues. Where I felt like I accomplished something and reached a goal and then never quite reveled in it because that technically wasn't the ultimate goal. There is another race right around the corner. I don't know. I can't find a rhythm. No rhythm with running and working out and no rhythm with eating healthy and losing weight. And I don't feel right about blaming it on my schedule or the parties coming up or the weather. It's just me. I'm on a plateau. I either need to jump off the edge and call it good and stop feeling guilty. Or find a bigger mountain out there that I just can't stop myself from climbing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I say that this blog is about my latest fitness craze and whatever else comes along that I want to try out. But let's face facts. I'm only writing about two things for the next few months. Running and weddings. Hmmm sounds like ironic topics to be paired together.

I finally got to my 8 mile run. It was bad. But Success!! Because I did it. I let go of all expectations and just ran it. I think I will get back to my regular self after this week and the 9 miles I run this weekend. My legs just need to be reminded of what is expected of them.

I find I'm more reflective when I'm running and struggling. These types of runs can also be the most rewarding. That's where it's all laid out on the table. Either you bring it or you don't. And for me running provides this deeply personal accomplishement because nobody knows how difficult this particular run was or wasn't. They can't feel exactly what I had to ask of myself to accomplish it. Likewise only I know when I have a seeminly good run but deep down know I could have done better. You can never lie to yourself. You always know. And words just CANNOT describe. You never know what you're made of or what you're capable of unless you are tested.

This week I'm lifting in the mornings again, trying to cross train and getting in at least 3 runs.

As far as wedding planning goes - how fun! It really is. I'm getting to do all the fun stuff I've dreamed about every time a friend has gotten married or just because I'm a girl. Look at dresses, think about my family and friends being there and involved, taste cake samples. But there is also some not fun stuff and it all seems to have to be done at once. Because we are getting married in 4 months we need to book everything at once. The vendors we want are available and everything so that's not the problem, it just we need to book appointments to talk to these people, and we need to get quotes from all these other people, and everything in one huge pile!

Right now we are working on a DJ, photographer, wedding party, guest list, hotel room blocks, invitations, dinner menu and dresses.

We are done with: reception site, ceremony site and.....yeah. That's all.

I don't even want to list what we have to do after that.

AND I have got to finish the blanket I was supposed to give my cousin LAST Christmas. I'm so close, but I lost interest. Sad. I'm yelling at myself to PULL IT TOGETHER ALREADY!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tag

My first tag! Let me just say I'm honored :) Now down to the nitty gritty.


10 Years Ago:
1. Having a rockin' time at St. Cloud State University
2. Was struggling to raise my GPA
3. Was cashiering at the grocery store
4. Complaining about having to walk from the farthest parking lot to my dorm (incidentally - I ran a 1/2 marathon on that campus this year - things have really changed!)
5. Hmmm...That was a long time ago....


5 Things on Today's "To Do" List:
1. Run
2. Meet friends for a birthday celebration
3. Drink water
4. Schedule another bridal try on thing at a place
5. Do some stuff at work.


5 Things that I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Become a philanthropist
2. Tavel. A lot.
3. Give some money to my family or buy them all gifts
4. Probably quit my job. I like it, but come on. I'm a millionaire!
5. Make more money. Gotta keep the philanthropy going.


5 Places I have lived:
1. Pierpont, SD
2. Alberta, MN
3. St. Cloud, MN
4. Farmington, NM
5. Minneapolis, MN


5 Jobs I have had:
1. Subway Sandwich Artist - back when we took pride in our art :)
2. Paper Shredder Extraordinaire
3. Data Analyst
4. Grocery store cashier
5. Front Desk person at a hotel

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A run is a run

Nothing exciting or thrilling, or even particularly challenging about last nights treadmill run except that I FINALLY got back to running. I got a glimmer of motivation from it and I just need to feed that feeling a few more times to officially be back on the training wagon. My legs were a little reluctant towards the end. But as long as I get out there and continue to give it what I've got I think I will be back to my peak in a few weeks; having excellent long runs and enjoy it.

I can't shake this feeling that I have been 2 steps behind for the past 2 weeks and frantically trying to catch up. Behind in training, work, my life....There is just so much going on with friends and family activities, trying to plan a wedding now in 5 1/2 months, running, working, Toastmasters - the list goes on. So far I haven't had any major meltdowns which surprises me. I guess I feel like I've been handling everything fairly well, but I still feel a little bit like I am waiting for that meltdown.

Balance. Word of the week. Remember to balance, Emily.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blech.....

Ug. Blaaaaa. eh.

I was supposed to run 8 miles yesterday.

Didn't happen.

I was supposed to run 8 miles today.

Didn't happen.

I am supposed to run 8 miles tomorrow.

Is it gonna happen?

I sure as heck hope so. I'm in a running funk. I think I need to have an honest conversation with myself and it goes like this. This run, might suck. It might be really hard. You might feel defeated, deflated, discomfort and downtrodden. But the important thing is that I DO IT. It's not too late. I haven't lost it yet. I certainly can't wait much longer, but it's not to late. I just need to get right back on that horse. Find a small shred of motivation somewhere in my body and nurture it until it is in full bloom again. Like it was for the 10 mile. I've got about a month and a half until the Vegas Half, and that race was supposed to be my race of the year. So tomorrow, I'll allow myself NO option. Not one single shred of an excuse. There is no question; no doubt. I put my shoes on, and walk out that door. And then whatever happens, I've got to find one thing to feel good about. It will probably be the fact that I did it. No matter how much I walk, no matter how cold I get or how tired I am. I've got to do this. I cannot remain on this slide.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A pretty good story - Chapter 4

The Finale - October 9th-11th
I remember eating a lot on this vacation. We at at this place called Taco Surf twice. Yummy. I can't say that enough. The carne asada? The best! And it's so cheap. This is where we went on Wednesday night to celebrate our engagement and where we ended our vacation before leaving for the airport. Back in Boston I had a swordfish kabob. That was back when I was still trying to be relatively healthy. But after he proposed, well, what's the point. I can let myself go now. :) Just kidding.

Another discovery: Yogurt Land. What a concept. If anybody has $400,000 for a franchise and wants to go into business with me, let me know. This place rocks!! You pick up a large bowl and fill it with any kind of (nearly fat free) frozen yogurt you want. There are like 15 flavors and they are good all by themselves. Then you can add any toppings you want: Captain Crunch, chocolate sprinkles, caramel, marshmallows, kiwi, cheesecake bits, gummy bears....really ANYTHING. Then - 30 cents an ounce. And that's it. It's a beautifully simple concept. And very tasty! We went there twice as well. I wish we would have found it sooner - I would have went everyday.

We walked around various locations in San Diego. We went back to La Jolla beach on Friday where all the magic happened and frolicked in the ocean. Funny thing about the ocean. I had fun kayaking, I cannot wait to learn to serf in it, but also. I'm terrified of it. My mom gave me a healthy dose of fear when I was younger and visiting for the first time and it stayed with me I guess. Not to mention one time when I did actually almost drown in 3 inches of water because of the tides. So, I'm afraid, but I still like to go in. I just took it easy is all. When we were out kayaking we saw multiple pairs of people out swimming from point to point. Like in the middle of the ocean! Our guide says that people do it all the time and there are even buoys to mark your path. And you don't have to have a license or anything? They just let any yahoo swim out there in that crazy, unpredictable ocean? I guess so. I so want to do it! It makes my boyfriend nervous though. I'll have to go sometime when he isn't around. :)

We also went to Balboa park and saw some pretty cacti and gardens. Balboa Park is where the San Diego zoo is. I had never been to the rest of the park. It's a pretty neat place actually. I would probably go back when some events are happening instead of just wandering around.

The amazing thing about the week is on Wednesday when when it mattered the most the weather was perfect. Blue skies - 90. Perfect. The rest of the time was cloudy, very windy, a little cold. So we were really blessed that everything worked out the way it did.

Truly awesome vacation!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A pretty good story - Chapter 3

Best Day Ever - October 8
As planned we woke up at 6AM to watch the sunrise over Boston Harbor. It was a little chilly but I had some coffee and a light jacket. The water and sky were so peaceful. Although we couldn't see it yet, the sun was starting to rise and turning the sky brilliant pinks and oranges.

Finally the sun peaked over the trees. It was too bright to watch but we got some good pictures.
Walking back to the hotel my boyfriend (of 3 years to that day) told me that today we were going to chase one of my dreams. #17 on the 5 year plan. We were going to watch the sun rise on the East coast and set on the West. We had about 2.5 hours to pack and get to the airport to catch our next flight to San Diego!!!
This is so crazy! But we are really doing it. I couldn't believe it.

When we arrived in San Diego and picked up a the rental car and I get another surprise. We need to be in La Jolla beach by 4 to go on a kayaking tour of the La Jolla caves. It was 90 degrees and perfect blue skies so I was happy to get in the water. The kayaking trip was fun. I had never done that before. Not as much work as I thought it would be until I realized my boyfriend was doing most of the work. He was sitting behind me so I didn't notice how much he was paddling. Oops.


When we returned we rode one small wave onto the beach and returned our gear to the rental place. We got back to the beach in plenty of time to watch the sun set. It was beautiful. It was overwhelming to think of what we had just done. It was amazing just being there. Then as the sun dipped below the horizon, he got down on his knee in front of me and asked me to marry him. Our lives are about to begin together and they will end together like the sun.


The end. Happily ever after and everything!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A pretty good story - Chapter 2

The Vacation - October 6

Monday began much the same way that Sunday morning had begun. I was up early but this time headed downtown to catch a plane. My boyfriend and I were headed to Boston for a week long vacation. This vacation was 3 years in the making so I was really excited.

We spent the first day, which was actually only 1/2 a day after travel, at MIT and Harvard. If I had the choice, I would have gone to MIT. Everyone there had this certain look. Like they just looked smart. Or maybe it's better described at nerdy. OK not everyone was a huge nerd, but they did seem smart to me. Harvard has a different feel. More privileged perhaps. Just really distinguished. There is a lot of history in that town. The east coast is the oldest history the USA has to offer. And I mean USA - I realized there is much older history from coast to coast prior to the pilgrims landing.
Tuesday we did the Freedom Trail. You walk throughout Boston following this red line on the ground and see the historical spots. Boston is a really beautiful city. Impeccably clean. Quite different than anywhere I have been. Lots of brick. So far in the two days we had probably walked 6-7 miles. Both Monday and Tuesday nights my legs just ached and I was falling asleep by 9. This was definitely the affects of the run on Sunday. Like good little runners we also ran 2.5 (grueling) miles on Tuesday. I'm training for a 1/2 Marathon now don't'cha know.

Plans were wide open for the rest of the week, but we did know that we wanted to wake up to watch the sunrise over Boston Harbor on Wednesday.

A pretty good story - Chapter 1

TC 10 Mile - Sunday, October 5th

Sunday morning started out a little cool and overcast as my boyfriend and I headed downtown for our races. For him, the TC Marathon, for me, the TC 10. Was I ever ready for this race. I was just so excited because I new it would be great and I'm sure the endorphins carried me through the first 30 minutes.

Mile 1 - people are going to the bathroom already!?! Cripes people, it's only 10 miles. Didn't your mothers ever teach you to go before you leave? I didn't get it.

Mile 3 - Wow, that went really fast. Over the river and through the snow....well, over the river anyway. The new I-35 bridge was sparkling new.

Mile 5 - Seriously! Mile 5. I just powered up some hills. I hauled on the downhills. I'm running by at least 50-75 people per mile. Or maybe 5-10. But doing great. What's that I see Summit Ave already? This race is flying by. I even ran down a few squirrels. Granted they were already dead but I did accidentally step on one. Standing there in the crowd as I ran on Summit was 3/5 of my circle of friends called the Fab 5. 1/5 lives in another state and 1/5 of us was running (that was me). High fives all around and a big smile carried me on.

Mile 6 - PowerShot time. Cafe Latte with 2X the caffeine for that extra boot up the hills. I think it worked. I swear I was speeding along and felt really strong. I couldn't believe it had been 6 miles already. Oh look! There's Allison! She was having a great hair day!

Mile 8 - The last two miles was more of the same. But then. It started to sprinkle. By 8.5 it was raining and by 9 it was a downpour. I lost a little of my optimism. Instantly, the race was hard. My legs were tired, I was done. I was cold despite my really cut outfit and matching leg warming socks.


The Last Quarter Mile - I couldn't feel my legs and was starting the downhill part toward the finish. I just wanted to be done so I was running as fast as my legs would move back and forth. I was worried I would stumble and roll into the finish. But I didn't. Finished with a 1:42 and change - 13 minutes faster than last year (and about 13 pounds lighter - maybe that helped). The Fab 5 minus 1 was there at the finish to hold an umbrella and get me some coffee. It was really nice to have them there. It's always a huge bonus to finish and not feel alone, I think.

I was never more uncomfortable all day than after finishing. It was freezing and raining. My body was in good shape though. In fact I felt like I had just run a 5K instead of 10 miles. The next day though....yeah - my legs reminded me how far I ran. Youch!

Monday, September 22, 2008

In the end

It was totally worth it. I completed my 10-Mile training program with 11 miles on Sunday. I was excited for the run for many reasons.

1. I was going to have family around to encourage me. And run with me for the last 3 miles or so.
2. Last weeks 10 mile sucked because I was trying something new. Wanted to eliminate walk breaks. But now I know. I feel better, finish stronger AND am faster when I incorporate well timed walks. This run could not be worse or more painful than last week.
3. This was the LAST long run before the 10 mile.
4. My attitude. I just feeeeeeeeelt like this is going to be a great run. This run was my Everest (for this training session).

I am happy to report that this run will be listed in "The Top 5 Best Runs - EVER".

1. Bolder Boulder 2006. Ran with my dad.
2. 1st 1/2 marathon - Earth Day 1/2, April 2008
3. Turkey Run 5k - 2007. Fast and beautiful.
4. 11 mile training run with family
5.

I spent the weekend at my grandma's house with a good lot of my extended family there. We picked apples from the tree on Saturday, went to the local parks and had a great day playing in the beautiful weather. The only regrettable thing was that I couldn't stay up very late to talk with my cousins because I had to get up early the next morning to run. Oh - I also regret not having enough time to go down the water slide at the hotel. That was unfortunate.

My aunt and uncle and 3 cousins (15, 12, 10) said they planned to rotate in and run the whole way with me!! I expected to be alone for the majority of the run so this was a most welcome surprise. We started at my cousin's house which is kind of in the country and took the long way to my grandma's house. The fam rotated about 2 mile legs with at least 2 of them running at a time. At about .3 miles in we passed a field of about 5-6 horses and as we ran by they ran along the fence past us to the other end of the field. It was really cool. We talked until about mile 8.5 - which I usually would have quit talking about mile 3 and I felt great. I extended my run time between walk breaks and I still felt great. The weather was perfect, the course was new and fun and I even managed negative splits! Holy cow! When I got to grandma's there was a note that said "Breakfast is on the counter and coffee is made" (everyone was at the hotel swimming or at church), so I had cantaloupe and scones from Great Harvest bakery courtesy of my most talented baker cousin. There is nothing better after a run than Great Harvest race rolls. Or Great Harvest fruit muffins. Or Great Harvest Berry Scones. Or.... you get the idea. This was one of those weekends you remember as the good 'ol days.

I am so ready for this run. I'm so excited. I'm also really nervous that I'll let myself down. What if it doesn't go as great? What if I try to push harder and I run out of steam? What if I don't push hard enough and I feel like I could have done more?

Maybe I'll take a look at what else is on my list for the next few weeks since the running is slowing down for the next few weeks.......I notice that "Crochet blanket for cousin" has been up there for a while.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ripped from the headlines

"Her co-workers found her in a crumpled heap at the base of the treadmill. The machine still whirring at a dutiful 5.4 mph. She always seemed like a person who was in relatively good shape. Nobody could understand it. Then the autopsy revealed the cause of death that only a few had suspected: Stage 4 Boredom."

"It's no wonder. The poor girl was looking at this for the better part of an hour. " The chief of police said.

Pictures of the crime scene:

While I appreciate my company answering our request to have a fitness room in the new building, I'm not sure it will do any good if they don't get a tv or at the very least a radio. I don't think that is asking too much. Every Wednesday I come in here for a last chance workout before Weight Watchers and today I forgot my iPod. I tried running 4 miles.

I JUST COULDN'T DO IT.

I did 2. Fine. I'll take it and get the rock out of here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blubber Run 5K

Best way to recap is with photos:


My team. Double Dare contestants. Clearly, we took the physical challange!


A human fly swatter.....


Who swatted at passing flys.
A beer bottle. I think he had friends. Like 5 of them.


And the US Women's Gymnastics team. The cop was real though.

This is not your ordinary 5k. People dress up and have fun. It's sponsored by a brewery so there is a beer stop at the 1/2 way point instead of water. Well, the did have water. Fun times last weekend though!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Goal for the week

I am so backlogged with posts. I have two in the kitty just waiting for me to upload some pictures so they can be complete. So if I post 3 times in one day in the next week, no, my life isn't that exciting, I'm just trying to catch up.

This quick little post is to hold myself accountable. Put your goals in writing and they are more likely to happen??

Goal: This week log 20 miles.
Secondary goal: Eat to fuel my body. Just because I am eating the right amount of calories (ie Weight Watcher points) doesn't mean the food has been good fuel. I need to adjust that.


Plan: 10 miles on Friday and what ever is left on Sunday; probably < 3 miles

Challenge: Big weekend for parties. Blubber Run 5K on Saturday morning (which is more like an Oktoberfest with minimal running), party Saturday night, bloody marys and breakfast followed by the Vikings game on Sunday. Will need to find time to fit the last 3 in.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tid Bits

Took the dog for a walk last night (this should now read, last week). I love the dog. Sometimes she gets on my nerves and I don't like the dog, but I always love the dog. I do believe the dog would drag me out of a burning building if I had passed out from smoke inhalation. It was a nice walk. Just me and the dog.

I bought this yogurt this weekend (ahem - last weekend) and if you put in a granola mixture (I used vanilla almond granola) it tastes like a banana cream pie. But get the Banilla not the Vanilla as pictured below. I couldn't find a picture of Banilla. (Banilla = Banana/Vanilla)

And finally, two pictures of the Mississippi Headwaters. This is where it all begin people!



Shoes - Let's obsess shall we?

I bought two pairs of shoes last night because I cannot decide which I like better. One is a stability shoe and one is cushioning. Well, let me start at the beginning I guess. I was going to buy Pearl Izumi's. I have come to love, love, love those shoes. They feel really solid. Since there is no exact formula for what is the best shoe hands down we have to go with what feels good. Sometimes I think too much emphasis is put on this shoe business, but whatever. I encourage the obsession at times too. But I go with what works. And I don't care if I don't need a stability shoe because I'm a normal pronator, it feels good and mentally I think it helps. I would wear flip flops if I thought it gave me any sort of edge to cross a finish line.

I march into the store and say I want to try on the Pearl Izumi SynchroInfinity in an 8.5. No problem. I also want to try on the SynchroFloats. No problem. Then he says "Have you tried the Mizuno Creations, or how about a Nike Triax, or Brooks something...." like he is trying to help me find the best possible shoe or something! The nerve! I'll skip why I didn't like Aisics, Brooks or Nike to say right now that I really liked the Mizuno's. A lot. But my brain was going "no! no! no! - we love Pearls remember!!!". So I bought both. I can't keep both. I will take both to the gym and run in both and make a final decision at some point.

Here's pictures of the shoes. Please post your vote in the comments! I'm trying to break my all time comment record of 4.







Mizuno Creation 9











Pearl Izumi
SynchroInfinity






I can't decide because I like them both equally for different reasons. I like the Mizuno's (left) because the feel like the shoe and my foot are one. Like I am barely wearing a shoe at all. At the same time they are firm and I can feel the arch support. I don't feel like there is much between my foot and the road; I don't like a lot of cushioning because it feels like I am sliding around on it. I'm not that light in my loafers, you know? Also at the end of long runs I tend to get sloppy so while I don't need and stability for up to 6 miles, after that I don't control myself so I need the shoe to pick up some of the slack and not let my ankles turn in.

I like the Pearl's (right) because the feel like a really solid shoe. I can feel the stability in the pads of my feet when I hit the ground, good arch support. It just feels more substantial. But it also feels like maybe I don't need all that substance? Course I'm not exactly worn out when I jog around the store so maybe I'll appreciate the extra sense of a solid shoe at the end of 10 miles. I guess it is coming down to me trying something new that I think will work, or sticking with what I know I like and what works.

Yes yes, I can get one now and then the other after that pair wears out, but I don't have that long of an attention span. I'll forget my longing in another 300+ miles and find a replacement for the new "must have, will always love" shoe.

What do you think?
How do I decide?
Any advice?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Finally in a groove

This could be a boring post. But that's ok. It's ok because I feel pretty good about where things are at currently. I ran 8 miles on Sunday and even though it wasn't as noticeably great as the 7 from last week, I ran it and that was good. I went to yoga on Saturday morning and had the kind of class that I think they want you to have every time. I was relaxed and tried my best but did what my body was able to do. And I focused on my breathing like they keep reminding you to do. I really enjoyed the experience.

I napped, cleaned up just a little - the dishes still aren't done, went to the state fair, went for a pontoon ride on the mighty Mississip., held a darling baby, went for a walk around the lake and started to prep a room for painting. I would say my mood all weekend and into this week is simply content. I'm not feeling behind or rushed or anything. I'd like to hang on to this feeling. It's good.

The Republican National Convention is in town for the weekend/week and even though I'm not a republican it's kind of A Big Deal. We went to a restaurant on the river in St. Paul on Friday night and saw all of the preparations and security and national news tents. It was pretty cool. At this point I would like to pull out this high horse I keep in the closet and say some things.

I think it is totally absurd that Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy is being sprawled all over every network and analyzed and scrutinized all over the country. I mean that poor girl. I feel so badly for her. One day she is just another pregnant teen and the next she is national news! Who cares! The other thing is that I'm not sure I agree with the choice that Governor Palin is making. She has a 4 month old son who is down syndrome (and only mentioning this because he will require more care/attention than a baby without downs) another young daughter, and a pregnant daughter. As a mother (that I am not) I'm not sure this would be the choice I would make not quite knowing how many hours she will have to put in campaigning but assuming it will be A LOT. If it was a man in her would I feel differently? I think so..... and that really surprises me to say because I consider myself to be more of the liberal type when it comes to feminism and gender and the like. But I don't wear combat boots :) Anyway, I find her intriguing. An obvious strategic move by McCain who I still won't be voting for, but I would like to hear more from this Palin. I would like to learn more about her. It will be interesting to see how the campaign progresses.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

That's a Fact, Jack!!

(Post was started Sunday night and is referring to the run from that day)

You know, Emily, just when I think you couldn’t be any worse of a runner, you go out and have a run like that.

And totally REDEEM yourself!!!

After last weeks horrible debacle of a long run I thought this whole training thing up to the 10 mile was going to be uphill the whole way. Good for building endurance but very hard on the ego. My goal again for this run was to feel successful. In order for me to feel successful I wanted to feel good during the entire run. I always feel good for the first 2 minutes but after the first 1.5 miles it can be a major struggle. I feel out of breath, not able to catch up. My heart pounds or my legs are dead weight. Just couldn’t seem to find the right combination to feel comfortable. I would go out and just run what I feel and then end up giving up and feeling unsuccessful. Or I would try to go as fast as I could thinking I could pull it of for a short distance. Whatever would go wrong it was frustrating. The only thing not frustrating was that I was putting in the miles. But I wanted to enjoy it. Is that so wrong?


But this run, I was successful. I felt good the whole run. I ran 10 minutes and walked 1 the whole way and you know what. The first mile was my slowest. I got faster with each mile. That never happens to me! And at the end I felt so good. I wasn't completely spent. I was challenged; it's not like the entire run was a cake walk. I wanted to walk a bit more at the end but I kept going. It was just what I wanted and what I expect running to be. A bit of a test of will and spirit, but a good accomplished feeling at the end.

7 miles in the books.

4 Score

Emily - For one million dollars, here is your question:

How far are you going to run today?

A) Only as far as it is from the couch to the bathroom
B) The scheduled 4 miles
C) 1 furlong
D) A shortened 3 miles and I probably won't finish that

Ummmm. Uh. I'd like to use a lifeline and phone a friend.

I called just to complain at first but then she asked "Do you want me run with you?".

"No. (because then I have to run) OK fine. Yes."

On some level I must have known I had to run. I skipped having a beer at the company fun outing. I called her knowing full well that her response was likely and when we started running with the intent of at least 3 and we will see how we feel at 2 I said we have to do 4 because I have to get that done today. Another day won't work this week. The answer then, was B. We ran 4.

So thanks Allison. Couldn't have/Wouldn't have done it without you.

You know those runs where you don't want to go, but you put your shoes on. And you calculate how much you can cut back and still feel like you gave it a reasonable effort. But then you come around, pick up the pace and feel completely invigorated and bounding with energy when you are done. And you wonder how you could have considered skipping out on that feeling???

This was so NOT one of those runs. I felt tired and crabby when I started and the feeling continued until the last step and breath. And guess what today is like? More of the same. But I ran dang it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thankful for a good run

I'm feeling refreshed today. Last night I ran 4 miles on the treadmill. The plan was to run 3 minutes and walk 1. I finished with an average pace of 11:30; not far off what it would have been with no walking, but I felt really good about it. I wasn't beating myself up for not finishing or going faster. It felt good and it was an achievable goal I set for myself. Not going analyze this strategy or pace or ANYTHING about this treadmill run. I had a good run. Who knows what the next one will bring, but I want to focus on setting challenging yet achievable goals. In the event that I set a too challenging goal I can say at least I tried and then try again or restate my goal. All I know is it feels wonderful to feel successful and that has been missing from my running lately.

"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach." Benjamin Mays

Monday, August 18, 2008

That’s not me

In an interview with Michael Phelps yesterday, or tomorrow or right now (who really knows in Beijing time) Bob Costas was asking him about the 200M butterfly where his goggles filled up with water and he couldn’t see but still swam an amazing race. Michael said that he was so mad after the race (feeling that he could have done better even though it was a WR!), that he couldn’t even see where he was in the pool because everything was so blurry. He said he had to resort to counting stokes for the last back and forth to get an idea of where he was in the pool. Costas said something to the effect that Tiger Woods could have had an excuse in the Master’s for doing poorly or losing (if he had); that Michael too, could have had an excuse. It was a justifiable out. Michael just said “That’s not me. I swim and I leave everything in the pool.” He goes on to say that’s just swimming, things happen and you still have to try to do your best and just deal with it. That’s why he’s a champion and an amazing person.

Oooh. Chilling. Recalling it now send chills up my spine.

I was thinking this a while ago and this just solidified my thoughts. Sometimes it’s hot and I have a bad run. Sometimes I’m hungry and I have a bad run. Sometimes the planets align and everything is perfect and I have a bad run. But all of those runs, good or bad, is how I run. Not how fast or how long I run defines me; what defines me as a runner is my willingness to persevere. It doesn’t matter what excuses you have or what the conditions were. What matters is your attitude and you tenacity and how you react to diversity. That’s what makes me the runner I am and the athlete I am. Yes, I said athlete. I went there.

I feel like I should put a disclaimer on this post. I complain. I make excuses. I sometimes have difficulty pushing myself. But I’m working on it. There are great role models in this world . Even my 15 year old cousin who doesn’t complain and always tries her best. And she mastered that attitude in half the time I did. There is something to learn from every athlete.


For my next trick, I will be running with the intent of pushing myself to discomfort. (Because trust me, in a 1/2 marathon - there is discomfort) It may only be a 3 mile run to build a foundation but it's just as important to my training as any other run, and so is the next one, and the next. Treat every step as if it were the most important. Because it is.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Putting the Slow in "Long Slow Distance"

Ok - I stole that from about 5 other bloggers, but seriously? One of top 5 worst runs EV-AR!

1. Torchlight 5K 2007 - Hot, hot, hot and humid
2. Riverfest 10K 2008 - the altitude killed me
3. Last two miles of the 1/2 marathon
4. 8/14 6 mile training run!!

Ug. I have to think that there is a point to the taper week. If this 6 miles was instead a 10K race I wouldn't have been lifting weights every morning at 6AM, I wouldn't have run much and the race would have been ok. So I think then, that the fact that my legs were spent from a workout on Tuesday and I was tired from working out this morning compounded to give me "The Worst Run Ever". BUT - I did it. That was want I wanted. I wanted to do it. No matter how I did it. I said in a previous blog post even if I had to walk 3 miles, I'd do it. I dang near did have to walk that much!

I walked for the better part of the 4th mile and then ran the entire 5th, but was finished after 5. I ended the last mile by doing 1 minute of walking and 1 minute of running. Then .10 of a mile running and 1 minute walking, then finally jogged (yes jogged) the last .30 miles. Phew! I think I should mention that I kept the average pace under 12 minutes even with all the walking.

I am right about at a good exhaustion level for my lasik. I should sleep like a baby when I get home! See ya'll better tomorrow! :)

And WHY did I not take two weeks off work to watch every minute of the Olympics??? I am watching them now waiting to go to the Dr.'s office and this is great!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grey Skies Are Gonna Clear Up

Put on a happy face
Wipe of the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face

Take of the gloomy mask of tragedy
It's not your style
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
That you decided to smile

Pick out a pleasant outlook
Stick out that noble chin
Wipe off that full-of-doubt look
Snap on a happy grin

Spread sunshine all over the place
And just put on a happy
Put on a happy face

~The Supremes

I can't take the pressure of trying to "catch up" on mileage, so I've decided to wipe the slate clean. I'm starting fresh with Training Week 3 as it was intended to be done. 3-3's and a 6. Except that with my lasik happening this week, I might need to rearrange, but I'm not worried. I'll get the running in. I might have a tough time going 6, but I think if I take it at a comfortable pace I'll make it. Well of course I'll make it. When I say 6 I mean 6. Even if I have to walk for a mile. I'll cross 6. It's got to be like that with every long run. You just gotta do it. One of my biggest fears is knowing my limits. I was thinking last night on my run that what's gotta happen, what you gotta do to safeguard against that is when you think you have reached your limit, when you don't think you have any left, that's when you go farther. Just a little. It's important to keep yourself pushing for more. But don't forget to recognize accomplishment!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

24 Usable Hours in Every Day

Ug. I feel horrible. And not because I am 30.

It's because I ran 4 miles last week. Not 4 for my long run. I mean 4 total. That's 10 short of what was scheduled. With the birthday party and all the preparation, there was NO TIME. And it really really bothered me all last week. I guess I am just going to have to carry on and do the best that I can with the time that I have. This weeks menu looks like this:

M - 5 miles
W - 3-4 with hill repeats
Th - Lasik surgery
6 miles??? When will I feel good enough to complete that?

This sucks. What can I do? How can I make myself feel like I am doing all that I can? I want to squeeze everything in, but I know myself too well. I don't do well physically or mentally with squeezing a bunch in. There is only so much squeezing I can handle.

I don't know. Maybe it's just Monday, and I'm complaining because it is hard to come back to real life after such a fabulous weekend. I hope I'm more optimistic after my 5 miles tonight.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Woo Hoo!!!

It's my birthday tomorrow: 08-08-08 in case you didn't know.


How fun is that?

Monday, August 4, 2008

On my list

1. Learn Spanish (like comprehend and say sentences)
2. Learn to surf
3. Visit Ireland --DONE
4. Do a Triathlon --DONE
5. Run a 7 minute mile
6. Do ONE pull up
7. Lose 100 pounds
8. Buy and wear leather pants (I think I am over this one......)
9. Learn to snowboard --DONE
10. Read 30 books in one year
11. Volunteer --DONE
12. Change my own oil
13. Read the Bible
14. Get masters degree
15. Learn Latin (just some)
16. Get Married --DONE
18. Play ein Klein Nocht on the piano
19. Bench my weight
20. Leave a $100 tip for a waitperson
21. Go to the Kentucky Derby
22. Run the Burrito Union 10-Hour Triathlon

I think that is good for now. Most of these I would like to complete in the next 5-10 years so I will leave a few vacant slots for when I turn 40 and reassess the situation.


What happened to everyone!?!

It must have been a heck of a weekend because none of my bloggy peeps have updated anything since last Friday. :( I read blogs like most people read the news. I like to sip my coffee and catch up with everyone and everything.

(I can see the hypocracy here that I myself have no weekend update either. Let this be a lesson to us all how easy it is to point the perverbial finger. It just leaves 3 fingers pointing back at ourselves) -- That's supposed to be funny.



Friday, August 1, 2008

In the past 30 years

In the past 30 years I have accomplished a lot. Before I start making my list of the stuff I still want to do next I thought I should reflect on all my accomplishments thus far. Plus I'm turning 30 people! Time to reflect.

1. Lost 83 pounds
2. Ran a 10K
3. Visited 5 horse tracks

4. Took golf lessons
5. Walked in HS Graduation with a Green (a long time ago, but at one time was life or death)
6. Can play the piano (although exponentially losing skills)
7. Completed the calculus series
8. Became a volunteer
9. Ran a 10-Mile race
10. Took up snowboarding
11. Have a retirement fund
12. Visited the Statue of Liberty
13. Got a job I like
14. Took Spanish classes

Yup. Things have been pretty good for me. I would count myself among blessed. I would even say I am more blessed than I deserve. So why am I not freaked out about turning 30? It's because I'm just getting warmed up baby!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh! What fun lies ahead???

I saw this and I instantly thought FUN! I am so doing this. It's going on my 5 year plan (soon to be published along with the 1st 30 years of life reflections)

What is the Burrito Union Triathalon you ask??


Go ahead. Click on that picture to read more. Ha! What a challange!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kickoff Week

This is week one of ten in training for the TC 10. I train for one week per mile. Sounds about right. Last night was my first "official" run.

I felt so good, it felt so right. The sun had set but was still light outside which meant it was the perfect temperature. Even the humidity had somehow gone away. I was rested and hydrated and fed. Should have been stellar.

It was less than. I could have sworn I was going so fast but my avg. pace ended up being 11:01.

Mile 1: 10:48
Mile 2: 10:53
Mile 3 11:19

I still think something might be broken, yet I count it amongst the good runs because:

1. I never contemplated stopping
2. My legs felt fresh
3. I was able to slow down and breath through some side aches without stopping
4. I enjoyed the night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Torchlight 5K and beyond

Last night was the Torchlight 5k downtown. It's a great run down Hennepin and across the river. Stacks of people in sometimes unbelievable heat and humidity, although last night was quite pleasant. The race itself I loved. I ran a pretty fast first mile (my friend said 9:40 something??) and then we parted ways. I had a side cramp from running faster than usual and that is normal for her so she kept going. I don't know how far or fast I ran because my garmin was off on the mileage. All I know is that I ran a "5K" in 33:40, but according to many other sources it was probably more like 3.4 or 3.5 miles. I logged it as 3.25 and called it good. Which means I ran a not bad race. I liked it anyway. The after race party is a whole other story. I dislike this portion of the race so much that I might just take my cousins to the parade instead next year and watch the runners go by. 5,000 people are crammed into a ridiculously small area all trying to get to water. Not fun. It was a positive experience though.

The beyond part is that my friend and I have for the past two weeks been doing Jillian workouts at 6AM M-Th. (If you've never heard me RAVE about Jillian - LOVE her workouts. Tough, but fair) By Thursday every part of my body aches and I am oh so tired. You can trust that! Last week (Week 1) it took me 3 full days to recover and even on the 3rd day I wasn't 100% ache free. I wouldn't say that I've been feeling exhilarated about doing this, but I feel like I am achieving something. I'm usually left pretty spent by 9PM. I was hoping that by the end of the 2nd week I would be getting into some sort of routine. Actually, I do wake up easier at 5:30 now, but I'm still run through a million excuses as to why I can't go this morning, or how I will make it up later. When will I accept that there is no out. This is what I am doing? Do I need 2 more weeks? Three maybe? I hope to continue running in the mornings when the weight lifting is over so I hope I ditch the excuses because I'll be on my own then; no friend to rely on to make me get going.

Training for the TC 10 begins again next week. I'm pretty excited for it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Photo Recap - With Commentary



What? Is this the poster of Bo Derek from the movie "10"? No - it's me finishing the swim!







Leaving Transition 1.
I keep hearing the theme from the Wicked Witch of the West here. I feel like I am on a Sunday cruise here on my cross bike while everyone else was hunched in the aerodynamic position on their $5000 Tri Bikes.

Notice how I totally just blew by the guy on crutches! Yeah - and he was doing the Olympic distance. But I caught him!!

Feelin' strong. Almost there......

And the big finish. While I find this picture a tad bit revealing, I'm posting it anyway because hey, that's life. I can't be concerned with making sure my shirt is pulled down in the proper control top position. The shorts are very unforgiving with the muffin top I found out also. But as I said. I was finishing in the zone with a final burst of juice. So all I see is focus and determination and a big fat heart!

There. Now I think I am done reliving the moment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Tri-ed!

I Tri-ed and I liked!

I can't tell you how nervous I was before the race and I can't even say why. Maybe it was because the books were talking about placing your shoes in this exact location, and your socks precisely here, and do this just so. And then the announcer lady in the transition area mentioned how much the triathletes have to think about this morning like putting their bike in the gear they want to start in. You've got to be kidding me right??? I skipped that little bit of advice.

We got to the race area about 5:30. This is what Minneapolis looks like at 5:30. A bueat huh?

This is my swim. Out to that buoy way out there between the other buoys.

Not so bad I thought comparing it to the Olympic distance. And speaking of the Olympics, I saw Olympiads racing!! How cool is that! I saw Sarah Haskins and some guy representing Canada, but I won't be cheering for him for obvious reasons. It's going to be mighty fun watching them in Beijing in August.

Right up to the swim I kept thinking "I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe it." In fact until I was up to my neck in water and started to swim I was thinking that. But then, it all went so fast.


The swim left room for much improvement. Mostly I could have swam better, longer but there were so many times where I had to putz around and plan a strategy of how I would get around other swimmers. Plus I could improve my swimming over all. For my next (yes, I said next) I will be working on swimming the most.

The bike was great. I passed a lot of people and was feeling really strong. In fact, my placement in the swim was probably like 79th percentile and for the bike it was like 52nd percentile (or something like that) so I feel confident in that area.

On the run, I told myself to just run for 10 minutes like in training and if you still feel weird, just walk. I made it way past 10 minutes. I walked through the 2nd water stop which was about 1.25 miles in, and then blew through the last one. I ran 10:31 minute miles after all that! I figure that means that I am totally NOT reaching my potential when I run just regular. Sad. I figure I should never be over 11 minute miles unless it is extra hot or I am coming off a particularly grueling run.

It was so much fun, and the thing is I was right. I think I was in relatively good shape to do this so training was not exceptionally hard. The short course was a great distance too. I didn't get in over my head on my first time out. For as good as I felt doing the .4 swim, 15 mile bike and 3.1 mile run, I was glad to not be doing anymore. I think there are a few more short course tris in my future. Maybe an Olympic distance farther down the line, but I would like to stick to this one again because now that I have the experience I know I could do better. And better is not a slam on this event. I did great. I gave it my all and I didn't give in. I'm very pleased with the outcome.
They said in the morning "You came to this race today as a cross trainer. By the end of the day you will be a triathlete." So there you have it folks. I'm a triathlete.

More pics to come.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pre-Race Recap

I wasn't going to post it because usually I'm about reaching my goal (sometimes time related) not about the actual finish time, but I'm gonna go ahead and post my tri times anyway.

Triathlon Splits

Swim .4 mile
Time: 18:54.0
Pace: 2:56 /100m

Transition #1
Time:5:00.6

Bike 15 miles
Time: 58:32.6
Pace: 15.4MPH

Transition #2
Time: 3:15.2

Run 3 mile
Time: 31:32.1
Pace: 10:31/M


Total time: 1:57:14
Goal time: 2 hours


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Me? Nervous?

I just read some last minute articles about race stategies for beginning triathletes and what to do on race day. There is so much to remember! So much I didn't think about. Dang. This is serious business. It's not like a fun 5k. Which somehow I figured for my first time I could just have fun with it. I'm just trying it out; like babysitting. All the fun and none of the resposibility.

With running it's: Garmin - check. Gu - check. Race number - check. K. GO!

With this (what I'm reading) is it will be: Body markings - check. Bike helmet & bike - check. Shoes - check. Socks - check. Towel - check. Sunscreen, sun glasses, body glide, race number, race number belt, gu, water, kitchin sink - check, check and check.

And that's just the equipment!

It's also remembering to not freak out in the water. Steady and composed reaches the beach. Where did I park? Find my bike. Put my shoes on. Fix my hair (I assume this will bother me a bit) Don't forget the sunscreen and the Garmin and the race number. Faster on the second half. Warm up for the first 5 minutes, hit the first hills standing. Where do I park this thing? Ok - now finally. Run. Ah. Just run. Run how I feel. And this is where my heart comes back into it. don't stop, don't stop. Actually it will be - just keep going, keep running. Because I feel positives are better than negatives.

Maybe I should have a checklist at my transition spot for myself. I am kind of a list girl.
So me? Nervous? Nah. I just feel like this:

The final stretch

Well, here I am in the final week before the race. If by 'taper' they mean put on a few pounds, skip your last combo workout and completely rest then I got this last week nailed. GAH! Terrible, horrible, horrible, terrible week! Apparently I love hot dogs as much as I love fireworks.

Tonight is pretty much a colossal waste (in the workout department), but tomorrow. Ah, tomorrow. The sun will come out tomorrow. I'll run and bike and maybe swim, but I'll space it out so's not to work too hard. I am tapering after all.

Should I be nervous? I don't think so. Just because I haven't been following the plan to the letter doesn't mean I won't finish. Confidence not regret is the key.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4th of July Weekend

Send up a flare if you love the 4th of July!

My one friend likes parades.

My other friend likes pirate.

I love, love, L-O-V-E fireworks.

I love how we used to watch fireworks go up one at a time from our backyard when I was a kid. I love watching huge displays with patriotic music. I love shooting off fireworks myself. As a kid we used to sit on my grandma's porch lighting and throwing black cats one after the other and then beg our parents for $1 to go buy another pack. I was probably only 5 (maybe 8); it's a wonder I still have all my fingers and relatively good hearing. Now a days you can't even buy fireworks unless you are 18. Eh - let em blow off a few fingers....it's all part of the experience I say.

I wish I was going to be around to run a 5K this weekend. Sounds fun. Or maybe it just sounds fun because I know it's not an option. That'll happen sometimes. But I do have a plan. It's good to have a plan. I have a plan on how to enjoy the 4th without being disappointed on the scale. I want to have a good time the whole week. The plan is called workout to eat. If I go running both days that I am gone that will give me some extra wiggle room and help with training. It's a win/win.

So before this glorious weekend begins I need to bike, swim, pack, go to the horse track, bike swim, work, buy a card, pack some more, and

Do the Dishes. Suck.

Happy 4th of July!! Hope it's fun all around!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Needed Rest??

The two Dwarfs that would describe me best right now are Sleepy and Grumpy. Last night I took a nap from 6-8, thinking I would get up by 7:30 for my workout. Instead of getting up at 7:30 I got up at 8 and crawled into bed and slept until this morning. No explanation. No reason. I feel fine. Maybe I have felt a little run down lately, but certainly not sick. Whatever the reason, I feel much more refreshed today, so maybe I just needed the sleep.

It's hard to accept that it's what my body needed without feeling guilty for missing a workout. I'm doing a good job, I just need to remind myself of that. And a hard workout tonight will feel refreshing and put me back on track. I'm gonna let last night go because life is to short to harbor guilt and regret but oh how I hate the could of, should ofs.

Yesterday concludes my 3 days off - well 2.5 really because I did swim on Sunday. It's back to business.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Prepatory Swimming

I went swimming in the lake today. Wowza. If I had a nickle for every time I said or thought "How hard can it be?"......well, then I would have hired somebody to type this for me while I dictate. And as many countless times as I have thought "How hard can it be?" I have followed it up with "I'm sure it will be challenging, yes, but how hard....." I digress. As my friend always says with a shrug "She'll learn."

Swimming in the lake is different. There is no place to rest. This is the major difference. And I think the hardest part. I learned from a guy also doing the tri that there are people with noodles every 50 feet or so that way you can rest if you need to, you just can't swim with them. But it was FUN! I think that I am going to be pretty pumped coming off the swim and hitting the bike, that should last me a good 3 miles into the ride. It was a pretty windy day today and the waves didn't seem all that bad and the water ceased feeling cold as soon as I dunked my head. These are the things I was worried about. The only thing left to experience is the other swimmers all trying to get to the same place as me. But how can I practice that. Somethings you just have to experience baby.

I think my strategy is something like:

1. Just get through the swim.
2. Get onto the bike as fast as you can. Ride out the downhill and push hard on the uphill. I'm gonna try to make up some time on the bike if that is at all possible.
3. Slow and steady with the run (not win as in WIN, but win as in don't die)

It's getting close. I'm feeling good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All it takes is a little heart

I feel like I have finally gotten into the real meat of swimming. The plan has been calling for swimming 400 yards as fast as you can while keeping good form. I can swim 100 yards in about 3 minutes so it takes me about 12 minutes to finish. And that's about 1/2 the Tri swim. What's fun is that I can swim this semi-continuously. I don't do flip turns but I only rest at the wall for 3-5 seconds before turning. I know I can swim 100 yards faster - in fact I did my last one in 2:30 but I know I couldn't keep that up so I want to be consistent and keep a strong stroke. The swimming is coming around. Still much improvement and practice to be made, but for the time I have, I'm pleased. I'm really excited to try my new suit in the lake sometime soon! As soon as the bottoms come in.....

And as far as biking, I feel that is going well also. I can say with certainty that my legs are getting stronger, and the transition between biking and running is getting smoother. The course is slightly hilly so that could add some challange. I should bike that route one of these days just to feel prepared.

That leaves the running. Lately, even getting a 5k in seems like a challenge. And on the 12th I'll have to do it after swimming and running. I kept thinking on my run last night "You think it's difficult now....It ain't gonna get any easier". I also was thinking "Slow down, but you don't stop". I was all about encouragement in my thoughts yet I was still struggling to push. Which made me think, I've got it in my head, but do I have it in my heart? Yes, I believe I do, I just need to trust myself that I do.

Like my new favorite quote "What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matter compared to what lies within us." I kept thinking, it's going to take all my heart to do the triathlon in a time I can feel pleased with. Whatever time that is, if I feel like I brought my A game, I'm happy. Anyway, then on my run I kept telling myself "It's gonna take heart....It's gonna take heart". I've got to get my heart in the game. Then, and only then will I feel like the force I want to be.