Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ouchie! My Bum!

Yes, as the title of this little rambling lets on, I will be talking about my bum. Alright, alright, before you get too grossed out, I'm not going to go on about the workings of my fine little tushy, but rather my fantastic gluteus maximus. I heart my gluteus maximus, a lot. That puppy helps me grind up hills, power through snow drifts in the morning, and provides a nice amount of cushion to sit on all day long at work ( and in the off-season, maybe a little too much). Thank you gluteus maximus. I don't know where I would be without you, other than not fitting into my pants.

Ok, you may ask where the h3ll I'm going with this business, but I assure you I do have a point here people. On Saturday I paid (and yes I did pay a pretty penny) a visit to my massage therapist. I heart her a lot. As you have probably read before, she has the hands of the Incredible Hulk. Instead of turning green when she is angry, she takes it out on your body during a massage... Ouchie! So, back to Saturday. I had the impression that Terri would be working mostly on my lower back and pelvic area because I had once again successfully thrown my hips and lower back out of whack shoveling the weekend prior. Yeah, I know, I'm that good. So Terri went through her normal routine and it was time for me to flip so she could work on my backside.


My back had the usual knots that Terri dug her elbow into, and then she got down to my aforementioned bum. Holy Jesus, Mary and Joseph did that woman find treasure (please people, get your heads out of the gutter!!). I have never been dealt such pain from that woman in all my visits! It felt worse than the time she worked on me after I crashed my bike into a fence (yeah, we'll save THAT story for another time...). I was whimpering, SHE MADE ME WHIMPER! It was a good thing it was a Saturday and no one else was in the clinic to hear how pathetic I sounded, it may have been embarrassing. Trudging through the snow to the bus stop has done a number on my fantastic gluteus maximus. My apologies to my bum for the abuse the past few weeks! I hope you can forgive me, but mostly I hope you can forgive Terri. She means well...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On the Verge...

...of another season. Last night was the mentor workshop for Team in Training. It was really great to see everyone again. Well, by saying that, it sounds like I haven't seen most of my teammates since last season which is not true. I have actually seen most of them over the course of the short off-season that we have had thus far. I guess that is a testament to how good a group of friends we have all become. I am excited for the season to begin, although I really am enjoying the unstructured time off that is the off-season.

I think we have a really great group of mentors this year that is anchored by a crazy and fun coaching staff (a little bias there, I know!) and such a fantastic and supportive staff at the LLS offices. I know I am extremely thankful for how supportive the staff were to me last year and I can expect the same stellar performance this year. Recruitment starts soon and I am especially psyched for that. (AHEM! Yes lady friends of mine that complain about not seeing me once the season starts, I'm talking to you!! Want to spend time with me? SIGN UP! hehehe) There is no better feeling than knowing that you helped someone make the commitment to join the team and accomplish something bigger than themselves. Awesome.

There are always the downfalls of the season... Raging hunger (ugh, I get tired of eating and bored of the food I cook), no time to do anything but eat, train, work and sleep (and eat and eat and eat and eat), missing all my favorite tv shows (good thing the writers are on strike!) and just generally feeling like I'm missing out on all the good weather up at the cabin (yes my family feels left out too). Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm not ready to hear from everyone again, "must be hard to eat whatever you want." and "I don't know how you do that. I can hardly drive that far!" I think that is by far the worst part of training and/or being and endurance athlete, having to constantly explain yourself to people that just don't get it and probably never will. Their loss right?

Now that the season is upon us, I really need to kick my fund-raising into high gear. I feel like I have been slacking, but I suppose that is because I have been. At the meeting last night, I picked up some TNT stationary so that is added motivation to get my letter written and send it out. For some reason, not many people have been responding to my emails. Hm...harass them at home it is! hehehe

Alright, I am going to go and not do core work with Mr. Fury...something about coaching and needing to be in shape. Yeah, I know right? Blah, blah, blah...

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ever since I hurt my back, I have been a major slacker. I felt better after a couple massages, a bottle of advil liquid tablets and making friends with both the ice pack and heating pad. Since October I have gone to one swim class and ran twice. I am a bum. This usually happens around the holidays so it's not unusual given my history, but I really need to step it up. It's not going to help that there's going to be a good amount of food on the table come Thursday. I heart turkey and mashed potatoes and green bean cassarole and gravy and corn and salad and more turkey and more potatoes and more gravy and bread and pie. Of all the tasty Thanksgiving treats, I do not heart stuffing for sure. I helped my grandma make it and I haven't eaten it since that nasty tradition started. I don't care if there are no turkey parts in it all you no turkey parts stuffing makers. Whenever I see the abomination, I cannot help but think of my 8-year-old self stuffing turkey liver, heart and neck into the meat grinder. S-I-C-K! Alrighty then, I will leave you with that pretty visual. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Laid Up

...or horizontally to be more precise. Yes, I "threw out" my back. I wouldn't be so stupid to actually throw my back anywhere because I really do like it where it is. I did do something horribly painful to it. I don't know exactly what, but it hurts. A lot. On Tuesday night, Mr. Fury and I were moving boxes and furniture around in our office. I sat down to rest, and all I could feel was a horrible pain in my back. Yesterday morning I woke up and could barely move. On a scale of awesomeness, it came in at a BIG fat 0.

I visited our lovely massage therapist yesterday and she fixed me up nice and good. I'm not quite dancing around or jumping for joy yet, but I'm getting there. I'm back at work today and feeling a lot better, but I'm still going to visit "Stronghands" Terri again. She is S-T-R-O-N-G! She could make the manliest of men cry like a baby beneath her strength. Just shaking her hand, you know you're in for a serious massage. Worth. Every. Penny.

Ok, I can't handle sitting in this chair anymore. I need to get up and move around...err shuffle...

Friday, October 19, 2007

"The Longest Friday Ever" Day!

I have officially deemed today as, "The Longest Friday Ever!" day. Congratulations today, you've set a world record for taking forever to end. So, in "honor" of "The Longest Friday Ever," I decided to do some web surfing and see what I've been missing on every one's blogs.

Here is all I have to report:

I often read what TriSaraTops is up to because she always has something wonderfully entertaining or just plain wonderful to say. She recently had a baby, cute as a button by the way, and it has been fun to follow along on her journey to, and now during, motherhood. All I can say is WOW! Pregnancy and motherhood sound like the most amazing journeys ever. I really don't think there is anything like it. Nothing. Nada. So congratulations Sara, I will continue to follow along as I can wait for my life to go down that road. (My radar is sensing Mr. Fury squirming in his seat. haha)

Swim class was fantastically fantastical on Wednesday night. I may be extremely sarcastic, we can't know for sure. I definitely had no issues with skipping class, but (caution: sarcasm up ahead) Mr. Fury INSISTED we go, and I was in shock over his enthusiasm. No, really. I have never seen him so excited to get in the pool. OK, just kidding. I can't lie. We both did not want to go, but we did anyway. Sometimes I wonder why I sign up for classes like that because I usually end up not wanting to do it anymore about a week into it. I know I'm benefiting from it, but I would much rather just sit on the couch right now. Well, really I would just rather sit on the couch all the time at this point in the year. The weather is KILLING me slowly. All this rain and gloomy weather is a serious downer. I liked it better when the sun was shining, temperatures were comfortable and my motivation was at an all time high. Ahhhh, the good ol' days...

My friend JV is going to deliver to me a Thanksgiving present. Awesome. I can't wait. (Please see previous post). That's all folks. Have a great weekend!

P.S. I set up my fundraising page for Ironman Wisconsin. CHECK IT OUT (and donate....)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Swim Class and a 10k

So, I’m sure you all are dying to hear how swim class went last week. One word: ouchie! My spell check is telling me “ouchie” is not a word, but I guarantee that it is a feeling. I felt ouchie in my lats, I felt ouchie in my lungs and I felt ouchie pounding in my chest. Well, actually that was my heart in my chest, but it was yelling OUCHIE!! in the middle (and beginning and end) of our workout. Iron J didn’t have any suggestions as far as my form was concerned, which I’ll take as a good sign. The other good news is that I’m feeling a lot better in the water. I think my form is starting to come along, I’ll keep you posted.

This weekend was the Autumn Woods Classic. A bunch of TNTers and I went up to Maple Grove and ran the 10k course which ran through Elm Creek Park. It wasn’t really a classic cross country race because we ran on a paved trail through the park, but there were streams and lakes! It really was a beautiful course, and if it weren’t so far from where I lived, I would probably run in the park more often. I hope I can get up there a few times next season and take advantage of the nice trails.

How did the race go? Oh, it was fine. I, being very excited to race, started out too fast and also finished too fast. I ran an average of 8:38/mile which is MUCH faster than what I normally run. I survived though, with only a minor stomach ache. I blame that on being hungry at race start. The race started at 10am, which is much later than I am use to running, which threw me off as to what time I should eat breakfast. Since it was a shorter distance race, I didn’t bring any gels or sport beans with me to eat either. Maybe that’s why I ran so fast, it got me to the food tent at the finish faster…

The rest of the weekend was pretty nice. I took a much too short nap on the couch after the post race party, and then the Iron Fury and I took a trip to Home Depot. Good times had by all or at least Mr. Fury as he was in heaven looking at power tools. I made a deal with him. He could have whatever he wanted at Home Depot if I could buy a sweet (used) 2006 Trek Madone 5.2 from my friend JV. He didn’t get whatever he wanted at Home Depot (by choice), so there’s still hope for a new road bike for me :) Don’t think I won’t let you know how this one turns out..

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Race Report: Twin Cities Marathon

This title is a little misleading, or completely misleading. You would think that I actually ran Twin Cities Marathon, but I didn’t. I had the misfortune of illness since Friday and it lingered until Sunday morning. Since I had my race number and my fantastic training partner Kimmi was racing, I did run from mile 20 to the finish line with her.

I was really disappointed to have to drop out of the race, but I knew it was best for my body. I had been looking forward to it as it is my hometown marathon, but taking care of my health needed to be on the top of my "to do" list this weekend. It was a good thing that I didn't run because the temperatures topped out at 82 during the race and it was muggy like a hot summer day. Talk about Indian Summer...

Mr. Fury took his bike out to mile 17 and caught Kimmi when, as she stated, "it's starting to hurt..." 17 is an early wall to hit, especially when the ALARC sponsored wall is at mile 20, but that was due to the weather conditions. It was like racing at Life Time Fitness Triathlon, it was HORRIBLE! I was so happy to meet Kimmi at mile 20, and I think she felt the same way. She started crying when she saw me and I told her to "put the tears away, we're not at the finish yet!" Besides, she was going to need that fluid for later in the race, NO WASTING!

Kimmi was in rough shape, her quads were cramping, she was dehydrated and she was drenched in sweat. All she wanted were some ice cubes, but there were none to be found. We did eventually find some around mile 23, but it was a long shuffle to find them. I kept telling Kimmi to smile when she wanted to frown. Here is a typical conversation:

::Kimmi frowning::

Me: Remember to smile, it helps!

Kimmi: Ok... (feabily)

Me: We're going to get through this. I'm going to get you across that finish line, I'll throw you across my back if I have to!!

Kimmi: Do you promise??

Me: Yes! I promise!! You can do this!!

Kimmi: Ok... (feabily)

Me: We just have to keep moving forward. If you start moving backwards, that's quitting and you're not quitting!

Kimmi: Ok, keep moving forward. I can do that, just not very fast.

And she was right, it wasn't very fast, but she never started moving backwards or stopped for too long. We momentarily paused to massage her quads and so that Kimmi could hug everyone we knew along the course. Hugs kept her going. The biggest thing that kept her moving was seeing our training partner and good friend Safety (Iron) Bob. All day we thought he had to work and was going to miss Kimmi's first marathon. He came through, as he always does, and was waiting for us at the Team in Training cheer station at mile 22. Kimmi was so elated she was crying and hugging and shuffling along all at the same time.

Safety (Iron) Bob ran along side us for about a 1/3 of mile and dropped off. After seeing and talking to him, Kimmi started running faster. She had more energy and I knew it really lifted her spirits to have Safety (Iron) Bob there cheering her on. We pretty much shuffled the rest of the way to the Cathedral with our friend Becca running alongside us on the sidewalk, cheering Kimmi on. We turned the corner at the Cathedral and Kimmi must have felt such relief to see the finish chute up ahead. We were running down the final hill to the finish when she said, "Can we slow down? I want to take it all in." So we slowed down, heard the crowd cheering her on, and I said to her, "See! You're a marathoner! You're going to finish!!" Kimmi has probably never been happier to see the finish line of any race she's participated in, and I couldn't be more proud of her. It was a rough day with the heat and humidity on a hilly course, but she pulled through it and I never doubted that for a second.

Congratulations Kimmi, you're a marathoner!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Kick, Pull...glugg...glugg...glugg...

Just for fun, and improvement, a group of my TNT friends and I signed up for a swim class through St. Paul City adult education programs. We're all in the adult advanced swim group and that makes it sound like we know what we're doing. Well, I will speak for only myself here, but all that means is I (and maybe others) are in the advanced class because we are very advanced in not knowing what I am (we're) doing. I'm so advanced at not knowing what I'm doing, that I now feel like I'm drowning instead of swimming when the instructor corrects my unknowingness in the water.

Last night was my first class. Last week was actually the official start of the class, but I was busy packing boxes and going through my things for our (The Silent Fury and I) move to our new house on Sunday. So, anyway, back to my first class. I was really excited to get back in the pool and out of open water swimming. I enjoy being able to follow the black line on the bottom of the pool and the comfort of knowing that no little (or big) fishies are going to nibble on my toes. For some reason though, I got a little panicky and my excitement faded when walking through the doors of the high school where our swim lessons are held. I sensed Mr. Fury was feeling the same way because his face slowly dropped the closer we got to the pool area. I felt like it was the first day of school again. Instead of worrying if everyone liked me, I was worried that the instructor was going to tear apart my stroke...and well also that I was going to have a steady diet of chlorine over the next hour or so. (Only one of those fears proved to be mostly true....Mmmmmmm chlorine.)

Our instructor was really great. We'll call him Iron J for our purposes here. He just earned the title Ironman in September along with The Silent (Iron) Fury and Safety (Iron) Bob. Iron J knows his stuff although I have no idea what his credentials are... After forcing us to get in the water, we went through a 200 warm-up and WOW, from the feel of things, I probably could have used the whole class as a warm-up. We continued-on with some drills. (Enter mouthful(s) of chlorinated water stage left.) Fast forward to our main set: 6 x 100, :10 rest, 4 x 150, :15 rest, 3 x 200, :20 rest. HELLO, WAKE-UP BODY YOU NEED TO MOVE (faster)! I haven't had a serious workout in the water since my season ended in late July. Last night was a wake-up call.

After my third 100, Iron J stopped me to point out that I wasn't rotating enough. I was pausing too much between strokes and lying flat in the water causing too much drag.

Ok, thank you Iron J, I'll work on that.

Self-talk: Come on body. Rotate more. Abs and obliques, this is your cue so WORK IT!!

::pause for response::

Self-talk: Hello? Abs? Obliques? Anybody home?

::no response::

Well, I guess I deserved that non-response from my body as I have ignored the fact that those muscles exist. Apparently eating cake, chips and drinking soda does not make for a friendly relationship with your core. Thanks for the reminder body, you could have warned me earlier.

I felt like I was starting to rotate more and it was beginning to feel a little normal. After getting through the 100s, on to the 150s, and again Iron J in his infinite wisdom had another suggestion for me. He wanted me to pull more with my lats and less with my shoulder when following through on my stroke. Apparently, I was reaching down too far in the water and not bending my elbow enough which caused me to not catch a lot of water or use my strength when following through on my stroke.

Me: Ok, thank you Iron J, I'll work on that.

Iron J: You look confused.

Me: Well, not confused as much as overwhelmed. I feel like I'm drowning. Do I look like I'm drowning?? It's all so much to think about and when I start thinking about what I'm doing, I start to slowly sink in the water...

Iron J: Do you want me to only give you one suggestion a class?

Me: How many suggestions do you have for me?!?! Am I that bad???!!?

Iron J: No, no. You're stroke looks great, it's just the technical things in the water. It really does look good.

Me: Ok, thank you. Give me all the suggestions you think I need. I just feel a little overwhelmed by this drowning feeling.

I think by the end of the class, which was only one of the 200s for me, I was feeling more confident and a little faster. The water started to feel like silk as I was gliding through it. So that's what it feels like to swim, eh?? Good deal, I think I can handle that...

Time for cake?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


It is official. I have signed up, along with a few friends, for Ironman Wisconsin 2008. We haven't officially started our training yet, but it is so far one of the most terrifying, exciting and emotional races I have ever taken on.

All through my 1/2 Ironman in July, I thought, "I can do an Ironman! I know I can!" and I still believe that. So, I have confidence if nothing else. There is no doubt that it will be one of the biggest challenges of my life. I look forward to every twinge of pain, every thought of self-doubt and all the new things I will learn about myself. This is my space to let it all out so you can take it all in. Stay tuned!