Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Midweek Mumbo Jumbo

I would like to thank you guys for the awesome tri clothing tips!!!!  I am taking notes like a maniac and checking out the recommended websites for good deals.

The Bike
I took my geezer of a bike out for a little spin last night.  The new smooth road tires made it easier to maneuver but it didn't ride well at all.  It felt like the chain was going to come off and the gears made funny noises.  I refuse to buy a new bike before this race.  I guess I had better haul that thing in for a tune up.   **sigh**There goes a few more of my hard earned dollars.  By the end of this triathlon, I am going to have to keep this as a hobby because of all the money that I am sinking into one stupid little race.  This race may fall under the terms "seemed like a great idea at the time".  The good news is that I didn't fly over my handle bars, wipe out, or get a flat tire.  

On a side note, my little ride of 3.5 miles last night really made for one sore arse today.  It seems obscene that someone like me with "natural padding" would have a need for padded shorts.  Perhaps getting a seat (or saddle in proper cycling terms) that resembles a tractor seat may help the problem.  Thanks Sarge for that awesome idea!
 
Mason Jars
Mason Jars seem to be all the rage these days.  It seems like everywhere I look, people are using them for recipes or crafts.  Several months ago, my friend told me about Mason Jar Salads and how she packs them on Sunday night for an entire work week.  I have been intrigued so I found some ideas on Pinterest and put together my own Mason Jar Salad.  I have to say this is GENIUS! You layer the salad in reverse order in the jar starting with the dressing.  The salad is fresh and not soggy and it keeps really well.  My version contained light balsamic, feta, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppercini peppers, kalmata olives, and spinach.  It was easy to carry, the dressing didn't leak all over, and I liked having the option to eat right from the jar.  I think I have my new favorite stand by lunch!


I also have been packing Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal for breakfast.  They are also made in a mason jar.   I puffy heart this recipe and it is an awesome to be able to quickly grab it out of the fridge to eat it at work.

Other stuff
I did hot yoga last night and I sucked at it.  I couldn't focus on "being present" and I kept falling over.  Not good....again, I will blame marathon legs even though it as been over a week now.

Today it is a bazillion degrees outside so I think I maybe try the bike again tonight if my arse can handle it.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sausage Casing

Friday night I decided to destroy any self esteem that I may have had....I went shopping for triathlon swim wear. 

The first stop was Dicks Sporting Goods.  They did not have a huge selection.  I looked at regular athletic swimwear and they had nothing that would work for me.  I tried on every suit they had in my size (6 total) and not one of them had even a shelf bra in them.  That might work for some women but I've got what doctors call "huge melons" and a bigger version of my 4 year old's swimsuit ain't gonna cut it.  Swimming with my chesticles uncontained is a hazard......just sayin'.
Next stop was Sports Authority.  Same issue, see above.  Ugh....are all swimmers flat chested?

Final stop of the night was REI.  At least there I was able to ask a sales person a thing or two about what I should really wear.  She was very knowledgeable and made some great suggestions.  Her recommendation was a pair of thinly padded shorts paired with a fitted tri tank top.  She picked out a few items that had more support for a gal like me and piled them in my arms.  I took all the items she suggested into the fitting room and I suddenly felt hopeful.
The shorts were awesome, the top was another story.  I struggled to get this thing on.  I huffed and puffed and finally got the top on.  It may have made a "schloooooooop" noise as it snapped over my flesh.  "How are you doing" the nice sales lady knocked on my door and I could not speak as my internal organs were being pushed up into my throat.  "Fine" I squeaked.  She responded that the items should fit "snug".  Little did she know that I may have dislocated my shoulder trying to shimmy into this contraption.  I would say that this tank fit the definition of "snug".  Let me just say squeezing my fat ass into full body Spanx would have been easier.
Finally it was on correctly and actually it didn't feel that bad.  I might even say it was comfortable and it even passed the "bounce" test (bounce test= jumping up and down in the fitting room to make sure boob bounce is kept to a minimum).  I was almost sold on it until I glanced in the mirror.  I looked like the damn Michelin Man sucked into sausage casing.  I was traumatized by the three-way mirror.  I peeled off the clothing,  put them on discard rack, and ran as fast I could out of that store.

I took a photo of myself in the outfit mentioned above however, I do not have the courage to post.  It will be my inspiration drop few pounds before this race.  I really wish upon registration they had a box to check that states the following:

By checking this box you acknowledge that you will be wearing swimwear in public.

Yeah....kind of forgot about that issue.

On a side note, breaking into the tri world is SPENDY.  I mentioned that I am riding my 14 year old mountain bike for this race because this is my first and maybe only triathlon.  Rather than buy a new bike, I had road tires put on and the sucker needs a tune up.  I had to shell dough for that expense.  I don't have a swim suit to train in.  That is going to be another hit to the bank account (can anyone please tell me why the hell swimwear is so expensive?),  Bike shorts, $80....are you kidding me?  I am shopping around for deals, but still!  What if I don't even like the sport?  Or even worse, what if I love it?  This is just what my family needs....another expensive sport!

Running Notes:
Saturday 2.6 miles in 30 minutes (11:32 pace)
Monday  2.25 miles in 27 minutes (11:46 pace)

My legs are still feeling heavy from the marathon but I am happy to have run at least 2 consecutive miles under 12 minutes.  I hope that I can bring my per mile pace down significantly over the next year.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So Now What?

Grandma's Marathon is over and done.  So now what???

I thought I would "Tri" something new.  I signed up for a TRIATHLON.  I am shitting my pants scared excited for a new type of adventure.  It is a 500 yard swim, a 15 mike bike, and a 5K race.  No problem, right?


I never really had the desire to complete a tri so truthfully I am not sure why I am doing this.  They look like so much damn work.  I am not going to lie, I am a bit scared to swim in the lake.  There are critters in there and I don't do wildlife real well.  Plus, I have seen one too many dogs take a dump in Lake Nokomis (gag).  Did I mention, I have not done an athletic type swim since high school?  Worse than putting on a swimsuit and swimming in a fish invested, shitty lake is the bike.  I have visions of myself wiping out or doing a Superman over my handle bars.  My on a bike is going to be very interesting.

As I type this, I am kind of questioning my sanity for signing up for something when I am not a fan of two out of the three events. So why am I doing this?  I have outlined a few reasons below that will serve as a reminder to myself not to have drinks with friends because they get me to do crazy things.
  • It seemed like a good idea at the time.
  • I am doing it with my friend Leah.
  • I was promised beer and cake afterwords.
  • It looks kinda fun.
  • It will give me something fresh to blog about.
  • It is something new and different and I want to see what the triathlon hoopla is all about.
  • It is an easy one for first timers (or so says my friend Jill).
  • You can use pool noodles if needed (yay!!!)
  • I would like to incorporate swimming into my routine and if I don't have an event that requires it, I will never do it.
  • It is close to home.
  • It is for chicks only.
  • I won't know if I like it until I "tri" it.
That is what I am going to be up to for the next 7 weeks.  I will start training at the Country Club (aka Richfield Municipal Pool) and I will dust off my 14 year old mountain bike and take it out for a spin. I will be a swimming (dog paddling), biking, running, fool.

Any words of advice for a Virgin Triathlete?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Unbelievable

Only three days ago, I was wrapping up Grandma's Marathon in Duluth. It was a beautiful sunny day when I left for home. Today, it was a completely different story. The entire city is flooded. They got hit with over 9 inches of rain!!!! To put it into perspective....one inch of rain is approximately 12" of snow!

These are just a few photos off of KQDS facebook page that show the devastation. The Lake Superior Zoo was hit hard, so hard that 2 seals and a Polar Bear were flushed from their enclosures and several animals drowned. The Grandma's Marathon course was a river! This is so sad for me to see my hometown this way.
 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grandma's Marathon Race Report

PRE-RACE
  • Finally got to Duluth after fighting some nasty traffic.  Ugh....it sucked.
  • Friday we spent most of the day at the Expo and we made it a family affair.  Chubby Hubby and Kelli's hublet hung with the kids while we frantically tried on running attire to wear for the race.  All of the kids thought it was awesome.  They had a huge family event with Mascots and kid races.

    Diva had her photo taken with the Champ the UMD Bulldog.  She told him Gophers are far superior!
  • I bought a completely new outfit at the Expo which included a new hat and sunglasses.  Hal Higdon was sitting on my shoulder calling me an idiot for breaking the number one marathon rule of never wear anything new for race day.  I found the perfect running skirt....Thanks Moving Comfort!!! 
  • I ran into Bobbi randomly as I just made my purchases.  I am sad that I didn't have a chance to chat too long with her because my kiddos were warming up to run their own race.
  • The kids did the Whipper Snapper races and I have to say, I have some scrappy competitive kids.  Diva was out for blood!
  • After spending the majority of the day at the Expo events, we headed home to a fantastic carbo loading meal made by my parents.
  • The little headache that was brewing all day turned into a blinding migraine.  I was not the most social person during dinner.
  • I decided to try on my clothes and realized I didn't have my $65 compression socks that I bought just a few days ago specifically for this marathon.  I am obsessed with the fact that I spent $65 on ONE PAIR OF SOCKS.  I don't spend that on a pair of shoes.
  • After a holy hissy fit, I headed back to the Expo with a little less than an hour to spare to buy new socks because I just had to have them for this race.  Thankfully they had the socks I needed and I am now the proud owner of TWO pairs of really expensive socks.  I hope my family knows why we are eating ramen for the next few weeks.
  • I got home and my migraine was so bad I threw up.  I do not remember how I got to bed.  I don't even have a fun story that goes with the passing out.  hmmmmpf.
  • I woke up in my clothes with my head still pounding at 2AM and puked a couple more times.  I could not fall back to sleep and I decided it was time to get up to get ready for the race. 
  • Chubby Hubby and my oldest child got up at the crack of dawn to volunteer at the finish line.  My 9 year old son was in charge of the beer tickets....Nice.
  • My brother made me a finishers cake and my mother said I could not have any if I didn't finish.  She even wrote on my arm...."no cake, love mom".

  • I got picked up at 6:30AM to make our way to the start.  From the time that this photo was taken to the time I got out of the car (taking 5 steps) I lost one of my rubber Yurbuds.  Ugh.  Migraine, missing socks, and now the Yurbud.  This was not looking good (even though I did my best "I'm so Preeeeety pose" below).


THE RACE
I lined up around 7:30 AM in a packed crowd....shoulder to shoulder with strangers.  I was incredibly calm despite the night and morning I had.  The crowd seemed pretty calm too, well at least were I was standing.  I was focused and I kept praying to myself that I would need God on my side for this one (no, I did not spontaneously combust when I broke out into prayer).     The gun went off and the crowd slowly started inching forward.  Six minutes and forty-one seconds later I was off!  I  clicked play on my iPod and it randomly played "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele.  I laughed out loud because this is one of my brother's "special" songs with raunchy lyrics.  At least I knew I could have some entertainment on the course.  

 
The first few miles were a blur.  I was still battling a migraine and each step made it throb even more.  Around mile five, I popped a few Advil and hoped that it would help.  Mile 8 I thought I was having a stroke.  I saw wavy lines in front of me and my left side of my body tingled.  I felt like I was running with one leg severely shorter than the other.  I had a few moments were I thought I was going to hit the pavement and be "that" person who gets picked up in the meat wagon.  I was determined not to let that happen so I slowed my pace (if that is possible to do without stopping) and made it to mile 10.  From there I walked almost an entire mile.  My headache finally disappeared and interesting enough so did the heat.  The sun was gone and the temps dropped like crazy.   It was perfect running weather but freezing cold if you were working a water station or a spectator (this huge weather shift cause a lot of problems for a lot of people).  

I don't know if it was just because I was numb from exhaustion, but the course seemed really mellow and quiet.  Dare I say the race was kind of boring?  This is highly unusual for Grandma's.  The spectators were not in abundance like I have seen in the past.  Maybe they were out there earlier for the faster runners but it was pretty desolate for the majority my run.  Don't get me wrong, there were some GREAT groups out there but they were pretty few and far between.  I also didn't see any funny t-shirts, costumes, JOGglers, or anything out of the ordinary.  As a back of the backer, this is where the prime entertainment happens and I didn't see any of it.  I just had to entertain myself for a realllllllllly long time.  If you know me, you know I need people around me!

As I kept on keeping on, I glanced down at my Garmin at mile 16 and did a triple take.  I was at 3:30 and if I pushed it I was on track for a PR.  I got kind of giddy and started picking up the pace.  I was at the point were I KNEW I was going to finish and I wanted to do well.  I was energized at mile 17 with another song botched by my brother,  "Hey There Delilah (Vagina)".  I was getting crazy looks from people because I was BELLY LAUGHING and crying.....can you say overly tired and easily amused?

When I hit mile 19 was was starving for some human interaction.  I still felt AMAZING (which NEVER happens).  I started chatted with another woman and we hit it off right away.  I decided then that I wanted to have fun for the rest of the way into Duluth.  I stopped caring about time and just focused on getting it done with a smile on my face.  We laughed and had a great time while we conquered the last few miles.  I learned it was her first marathon and 50th birthday present to herself.  Her grand babies were cheering her on from Canada.  Arm in arm, we crossed that finish line in the cold rain at 5:54:49.  I could not have been more thrilled!!!!!  God heard me and helped me get across that line (probably because he didn't want to hear me take his name in vain anymore during training....gah!)

I was greeted by my oldest son, Chubby Hubby, Kelli, and her Hubby at the finish line.  The guys (including my son) volunteered at the finish line giving out t-shirts. It was one of the most awesome things to be greeted by loved ones right at the end. 

Another finish line photo ruined with the stopping of the Garmin.

Kelli and I at the finish line. 


CELEBRATION!
CHEERS.... To a fun race, a fun weekend, and to fun friends and family!

 I am sad that the marathon is over already and I am already planning next years Grandma's Marathon weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On My Way.....Kinda

3:00PM
I am done with work for FOUR FULL DAYS!
6:00PM

Stuck in traffic. Looks like our 2 hour drive is going to be 4.

I will see you in Duluth!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

JITTERS

I woke up Sunday morning and went about my normal business, scroll through my Facebook news feed whilst drinking coffee and ignoring my children.  I gasped in horror (and maybe bit my lip too) when I came across this update:
HOLY SHIT!  How is it race week already?

Am I excited?  YES! YES! YES! The build up is to the big day is so exciting!


  • My friend Kelli has made her way into town. 
  • I get to see Bobbi in a few days!
  • I am making my own plans for my Thursday departure.
  • Carbo loading meal is planned.
  • Cake is (almost) ordered.
  • I've got my marathon toes!  Oh that is a story.....explaining my crazy idea with a language barrier.  My lady looked at her coworker, said something in Vietnamese, looked at me and started laughing.  Hmmmmmph.....hopefully she gave me some good juju and they get me to the finish line.



Am I ready?  HELLLLLLL NO (But are you ever REALLY ready?)
I have been struggling mentally (and a little physically).  I am in a little bit of a running depression.  My DNF that I had at Twin Cities Marathon this past October really shook my confidence.  I do believe the Garmin might be one of the greatest inventions of all time yet it seems to be the number one reason for my running depression.  I have never used a Garmin to train before and never figured out how fast I went.  I would just go out and do it.  The Garmin pushes me but frustrates me too when I look down and see that I am not running as fast as I think I am.  I get frustrated and the frustration causes negative thoughts and the negative thoughts end up being the demise of my run. 

My run last night was actually okay.  My legs felt like lead but I got out of my head and just enjoyed being outside.  I toyed with the idea of leaving the Garmin at home, but I need my numbers.  I have become too dependent on them.  I just ignored what it said.  No matter what, this marathon is not going to be fast.  I would like to finish is 5:30 minutes but I am not going put the expectation of time out there.  I am just going to run my own race and be fine with it.  I am going to have a blast and I am going to get my race bling.  The shift in my attitude may or may not have something to do with a 7 hour course limit!!!  I hope I can keep the sag wagon far away from me.

On a completely unrelated sidenote.....the running skirt I was so excited about sucks.  The shorts ride up and it is a recipe for major chub rub. I am glad I found that out BEFORE the marathon.

I will leave this post looking for a couple of suggestions.
1.  Compression socks....what brand do you use?
2.  Leave me a comment with a new song or two for my new an improved marathon playlist. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Food Field Trip

Yesterday,  the crazy work broads and I decided to venture off campus for lunch.  We were going to head downtown in search of Food Trucks.  Yes, Food Trucks, don't judge.  These are not "roach coaches" that sell stale ham salad "sammiches" and over priced candy.  These trucks have everything from sushi to cupcakes.  Chubby Hubby finds these trucks "disburbing".  Huh....yet he has no problem eating at Taco Bell.  Personally, the most disturbing thing about them is trying to just pick one.

Look!!!  I am riding a real City Bus!!!
(Yes, I am a total Diva when it comes to public transportation.....long story)
Ohhhhh Food Trucks!
 There were BLOCKS of them lined up.



First Stop, Cupcake!!! Raspberry Chocolate.  
This place won Cupcake Wars on the Food Network.
YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My final choice was the
Twisted Philly Cheese Steak.  It was heavenly!

Ahhhh, the glutony.  Today is it is back to the ever exciting yogurt, veggies, soup, and lots and lots of water.

Today is National Running Day.  Hal is having me celebrate by running 6 miles tonight.  What do you have planned?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up


Friday I paid a visit to one of my favorite people in the whole world, my chiropractor.  I went in for a little tune up and to have her pay some special attention to my Achilles.  They have been tight and I certainly do not want to relive the incident from the Twin Cities Marathon.....an unhappy ending of a  big fat DNF.

She was a little concerned how tight they were and brought in the big guns....the Graston Tools.  If you are not familiar with the Graston Technique, it is ridiculously painful yet the results are nothing short of  miraculous.  Basically the instruments pictured are combed over your muscles to "catch" and break up all the scar tissue.    I think this could give water boarding a run for its money as a form of severe torture.  I am not going to lie, it hurts like a son of a bitch but it seems to always help me (I had this done for both my IT band and shin splints).

She tortured me and she claimed she did it lightly (riiiiiiiight) then sent me on my way.  She told me to ease up on the running this weekend and ice, heat, and stretch.  I am supposed to go back tomorrow for another torture treatment.  All of this is a reminder that I need to stretch more.  If I just took some extra time to stretch, I wouldn't be in this predicament.

Besides the Chiropractor and a run that was cut short (Only 3 slow miles today....Dr's orders!), the weekend was pretty low key.  I am not used to low key because we are always running all over the place.  Chubby Hubby was away for the day and I got to spend some quality time with the kiddos.  We went mini golfing and then came home and had some friends over for a "the momma's are gonna sip cocktails while you brats kids play" play date.  It was great to catch up with a couple of my girl friends and not have to go anywhere.

We did have a little excitement.....we have new neighbors that just moved into the house right behind us.  We are good friends with the old owners and this poor couple has no idea what they are in for.  I asked my friend who moved out if the ink was dry on the closing papers so I could let my kids out to play (they were on mandatory lock down to increase the value of the house....kidding).  Sure enough, by 9AM my children were out there drilling them with questions and trying to make them watch their kid tricks on the swing set.   Diva was out with Chubby Hubby when he introduced himself and she started screaming for me to come out and meet them as well.  I looked like a train wreck....I was unshowered and I had to scramble to put on a bra.  I stumbled out in some running clothes to make it look like I just worked out.  We chatted for a few minutes and then my middle child, honest to God climbed the fence, and asked them if he could move in with them.  That is when they looked at each other with a fearful look and said they had to go back to work.  Maybe bringing them some booze as a welcome gift is in order.

On that note, I am off to ice, heat, and repeat.