Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Funny

Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Summary

My duathlon race was yesterday, and I thought I would summarize the whole thing while it's still fresh in my mind....sort of as a way of remembering things I want to remember.  Before that though, I have to give a BIG thank you to my husband, John.  He sacrificed basically his whole Saturday and most of his Sunday so that I could be out busy with other things.  He took the kids to parks on Saturday, packed them up and got them to the race on Sunday, and took the BEST race pictures I've ever had!  Thank you!

I was gone all day on Saturday for a workshop with a local non-profit group I volunteer with.  I was there from 8:30 - 4:30...with an 1 1/2 break where I went to pick up my race day packet and attend a race talk where they go over tips and info about race day.  So I was kind of beat come Saturday night and had no trouble falling asleep.

I woke up around 5:15 Sunday morning, dressed, had breakfast, and spent some time re-packing my bags to make sure I had everything.  Here's what I brought along:

Transition Bag (Bag that stayed with my bike in transition area...had things I might need as I switch from run to bike to run)
- Towel to lay things on
- Banana
- Extra water bottle
- Extra nutrition bar
- bike helmet
- sunglasses

Extra bag I carried with me before race started....and then got stashed in the bushes with hopes it would still be there when I got back:
- sweatshirt I wore pre-race
- sweatpants I wore pre-race
- water bottle
- 2 nutrition bars (depending on what I felt like eating later)
- gloves
- $5.....again, just in case

I left the house, bike pre-loaded, at 5:50 am.  I was able to eat breakfast, drink some orange juice, and didn't feel very nervous - just excited.  That it, until I got to the parking garage near the race and saw the HUGE line of cars waiting to get in and park.  Then I got nervous, and frustrated that I didn't leave the house earlier.  Actually, it wasn't that bad, and I was parked and on my way to the race area by about 6:15, just as it started to RAIN.  It was pitch black, so you couldn't tell if it was really cloudy or just a random shower.  Soon enough it stopped, and I decided it was just Mother Nature's blessing of the event.  I made it into the transition area and got my bike "racked" by 6:30.  I was SO relieved to see both of my friends right away.  One had her bike racked 6 rows away, and the other was right next to me.  (It goes by your race number)  Given that there were just under 1500 participants, I think I got very lucky!

So, it's just after 6:30....race starts at 7:30, and my wave started at 8:00.  LOTS of time to stand around, visit the bathroom, etc.  There were lots of porta-potties, but really long lines.  We found a secret treasure of a bathroom....hardly any line....but no doors on the stalls....so, you just suck it up and get to know people real quick.

Soon enough it came time for my wave to start and again, I was lucky that my friend Anne was in my wave.  Our friend Vickie, had already been sent off 10 minutes earlier.  Anne and I paced ourselves pretty well for the first run section.  It was 1 lap around the lake, which was 2 miles.  We both knew we were running fast....but neither wanted to slow down.  We were passing people left and right for a while.  My time for the first 2 miles?  17:11.....that's about 8:35 per mile.  I'm QUITE happy about that leg of the race!!!!!

Now on to the bike.  First of all, I found my bike!  Believe me, when you see a sea of 1500 bikes...you're a little unsure about whether you'll get turned around and lost or not.  I ate 1/2 banana, drank some water, put on my helmet, sunglasses and got my bike unracked.  And I jogged my bike out to the mounting area where we could get on our bikes.  My transition time was 2:07....pretty good for a first timer.  Honestly - I thought about just copping a squat for 15 minutes and then get going.... :)

On to the bike....it felt SO good to sit down after standing for almost 2 hours.  My legs were tired from the run, but now there were doing something different so it wasn't too bad.  It did take me 2-3 miles to really get into a nice groove.  Remember all those people I was passing on the run?  Well, they were passing me right back on the bike.  It's funny because you realize there are "runners" who are doing a running/biking race...and "bikers" who are doing a biking/running race.  :)  There were TONS of fancy schmancy speed bikes....you know the kind where they're practically laying down flat and ZOOMING by you?  I was just glad there was plenty of passing room, and I could just do my own thing.  Don't get me wrong - I did pass people, but certainly was more of a passEE than a passER.  I also enjoyed the Power Beans (jelly beans...with a kick) that I had stashed in my bike bag under my seat.  I had 2-3 on each lap and it was just enough of a treat to keep me motivated. 

So we had to do 2 laps of about 11-12 miles.  There were lots of hills....some quite long and strung out...but it always helped when there was a group of people at the top yelling for you to "put the hammer down!" and  "Get up here!"  I did the first lap in about 52 minutes, and the second lap in about 53 minutes.  Oddly enough, I thought that I really pushed harder the first time around, and took it easier the 2nd time around.  Guess not!  Total bike time - 1:45:07.  There WAS a crash on the first lap that was really scary.  When I got there - the ambulance was putting a girl on a board, with a neckbrace - her head was bleeding, but she was awake. 

Got back to the transition area, racked my bike, drank some water, took my helmet off, took long-sleeve shirt off and tied it around my waist...and I was off.  Transition time: 1:51. 

On to the final 2 mile run.  Just as I was heading out of transition area I saw John and the kids.  SOOO happy to see them.  I really did help push me along cuz I knew as soon as I was done with this last lap - I'd see them again.  Remember all those people on bikes who were passing me??  Well, I passed them right back on the run..at least those who had passed me on the second lap. :)  There were SOO many people walking!  Honestly, my legs wouldn't let me walk...they wanted to keep moving.  I couldn't do a normal stride, it was much shorter...but I kept it quick and moving.  And it helped to pass SOO many people. :)  Coming up on the finish line I passed a whole bunch of people because I really didn't want anyone directly in front of me when I crossed the finish line. :)  My second run time: 19:51.  I'm happy with that because I didn't want to go slower than a 10 minute mile. 



Overall, my total race time was 2:26:07.  When I was adding segments up in my head weeks before the race I thought - 20 minute first run, 2 hour bike, 20 minute last run.  That'd be pretty average for me and put me at 2:40:00.  Then as the race got closer, I started thinking about an "ideal goal" time and came up with 2:15:00.  Sooooo, I ended up being closer to my goal time than my average time....and I'd call that a success. 



Another positive would be that I'm not sore today.  I don't feel any different than I would if I would have run 5-6 miles yesterday.  My shoulders are a bit tired and sore from sitting in the bike position for so long, but they're always tired and sore. :)  I was also supposed to go to our church picnic after the race and run their 3k race...but I was too late.  It took forever to get out of the parking garage!  So they had already sent the runners off when I got there. But that's ok. :)  Knowing that I could have done it was good enough for me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Active weeks!

Boy, we've been pretty busy with things since school started.  I'm still convinced I'll forget to take Will to school some morning.  So far everyone is liking things, although Katie says that she doesn't like the bus this year because there's never a place to sit.  Will has jumped right in and talks about friends he's made already.  It's pretty cute.  I drop him off, and he runs up to either Joshua or Will C. (my Will is Will P.) and says "Hi guys, what should we do today?" 

We've also managed to go to the Hyland Park book festival (7th year in a row....thank you very much!), took my niece Sarah and the kids to Como Town/Zoo, went camping last weekend, and saw the Foo Fighters.  Oh, and don't forget that I'm still training for the duathlon in....4 days.

Hmmm, where should I start.  Well, I'll start with the simplest entry first.  I have a movie to upload from Como and pictures from camping.  And since I have to get Will to preschool in 20 minutes, and I have a meeting all morning today - you'll have to wait for those.

We've known the Foo Fighters were coming to St. Paul since May, I think.  We didn't buy tickets right away because it was on a school night.  Who would we get to babysit?  All our babysitters were still in school and would have to get up early the next morning - probably wouldn't be able to babysit til midnight the night before.  If only I knew someone who didn't have to be up early the next morning....

But wait!  I do!  My niece, Sarah would be a freshman at the U in September.  So....I may have dropped some hints about trying to get a late class on Thursdays when she went to register.  Luckily, she was all about late classes, so it wasn't a problem.  I was able to pick her up the afternoon of concert day and she babysat the kids, put them to bed. 

Ok - now for the concert....it was great!  The opening band, Rise Against was a LITTLE to loud pounding for me.  I think my chest rattled and shook for 10 minutes after they were done - great stage work, cool music, just too much bass.  We had been sitting in different seats for the opener because we got there a little late and didn't want to make all the people in our row stand up just yet.  But then the real owners of the seats showed up and we had to move.  We got in our row and I said something to the woman sitting by us - who happened to be sitting in our seats - something like "Hey - we're 5 &6 but don't worry about it, we'll just scoot down for now."  She gave me a dirty look and scooted herself and her husband down.  Well.....obviously she misunderstood me and I'm thinking to myself, I'll have to apologize for the misunderstanding once this bass pounding roar is done with. 

The opening act finished and everyone in our row got up and went upstairs - we followed.  We wanted to look at t-shirts, go to the bathroom and find some drinks.  We get back, the Foo start and they are beyond wonderful.  We decided that this was the FOURTH time we were seeing them....but we may be forgetting one in there somewhere.   My neighbor lady wasn't back yet so I could enjoy my elbow space.  But she and her husband returned 3-4 songs in, stood for about 2 songs......AND THEN SAT THE REST OF THE FRICKING CONCERT!  He stood for a few songs here and there and I could see out of the corner of my eye her pulling on his pants leg to sit down.

Now, let me take a moment to describe where our seats were at.  We had fricking awesome seats.  Fan seats - not just casual listener seats.  We were on the side of the stage (not directly on the side, but towards the front a bit) and in the 10th row.  Let's just say, I could see the sweat, and the sideburns.  Knowing how much it probably pissed her off that EVERYONE was on their feet the whole show, I made an extra attempt to jump and dance as close to her as possible and scream as much as I could. :)  You know, doing my little part to help her "enjoy" the show. 

It reminded me of a Pearl Jam that my friend Shelley and I went to in July 2006.  Again we had pretty good seats (fan club seats) - on the floor, row 29.  Anyway - we were enjoying all the people around us - except this little blonde chippee directly in front of us.  She was in her early 20's and there with her boyfriend.  During Pearl Jam's set she constantly insisted on taking pictures....not of the band....but of her and her boyfriend.  You know, when you hold the camera in front of you to get an off center picture of yourself?  Well, he was NOT having it and getting annoyed because he wanted to enjoy the band, and she kept whining about how she wanted to take their picture.  She easily took 15 pictures of the two of them....along with our angry faces in the background....getting blinded by the flash. 

And....we did NOT go through her purse, laughing at how much make-up she brought to the concert, using her powder, etc.  We did not.  Nope, not us. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Funny....among other things


Want to hear something else funny?  We're camping this weekend.  Outside.  In a tent.  Any other time, that wouldn't be funny, but it's like 48 degrees here right now....with a high of only 60.  :)  So - I'm leaving the swimsuits at home and packing mittens and hats.  And Katie hates wearing layers - so it should be REALLY enjoyable. ;) 

However, the thought of everyone snuggled together in a tent with a ton of blankets, no bugs, and able to sleep late because it doesn't reach 75 by 6 am does sound kind of nice.

On the duathlon training front.....I was going to do a bike ride today with the 2 year old while my two were in school, however that's going to get nixed because I have to go to the store to get food and work on getting things packed.  So, maybe I'll still get a 30 minute run in tomorrow, and I am FOR sure biking the entire race route on Sunday.  That'll be my big ride before backing off for the rest of the week, and just work on hydrating and stretching.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back to school

But first.....a training update.

So I ran my 5 miles last Friday.  (I had only run 3 miles in the last 10 days, and surprise, surprise - 5 miles was a bit tough!)
Then I had a pretty busy, active weekend - Monday came and I was beat, and it was windy and hot.  Enough excuses for you??  So I ran 3 miles, and then biked 5 miles.  I'm happy I did that because I discovered that the transition from running to biking isn't so bad.  In fact, I didn't really have trouble with it at all.  I was happy to get to sit down on a bike, and my legs were happy to try something new. 

I also tried a Power Gel before getting on the bike.  I'm experimenting with food that I'll be eating during the race.  I'm going to need at least 1 thing to eat that will help replace lost electrolytes and energy...and also something that can kick in pretty quickly.  So after the 3 miles, I opened up the Power Gel...and oh my Lord...I thought I was going to get sick.  It did NOT taste like I was expecting and I had to wash it down with a crap load of water.  That said, I felt so much better 15 minutes into the bike ride, and I really could have gone farther, but I had to get Will from preschool.  So far, I will plan on eating breakfast before the race....but I may only get down toast.  Then I'll eat a Kind bar (YUMMY!) 30 minutes before the race, if I feel like it....then 1/2 banana after the run....(I always have a banana after runs)....and something else midway through the bike....it may just be the Power Jelly Beans.  Although they are really chewy, I can eat 1-2 at a time and they are easy to pop in. 

Today, I was planning on taking the 2 year old out for a bike ride while my 2 are in school.  We'll see....it's pretty darn chilly at 43 degrees.....but I'd like to get 10 miles in at least.  Once I get moving, I know I'll be warm enough, but I'm more concerned about her riding in the trailer in a constant wind. 

Now on to school.....we are in our 1st full week of school for everyone and so far - it's been a great year. :)  Will LOVES his preschool and knows about 5 kids in his class.  His teacher says he is being a good listener, which at this point is all I'm shooting for.
Katie really likes 2nd grade, even though there's more homework this year.  She'll have 3-4 math assignments to do at home every week.  And we also have spelling tests to get back into.  So far, it's been pretty easy to get her to make time for it.  She also started a dance class this week - and says it's lots of fun.  Again, we'll see....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember that duathlon thingie? It's in 14 days!

So I've been getting ready for this Iron Girl Duathlon....but it's kind of freaking me out that it's in 14 days!  They have a "suggested" training schedule, and I'm not even close to following that because I just don't have the time to commit.  So I've been doing what I can, when I can. 

The race will be a 2 mile run, 22 mile bike ride, 2 mile run.  It helps that I can run that distance already and I don't have to focus as hard on that as I would have had to last year.  I'm still running, but not because I have to train - I just like to get out and run. 

I do have to force myself to make time to bike.  I've gotten some decent rides in - but have only been able to manage 1 longish ride a week. (10-13 miles)  Last Thursday I didn't have my 2 year old babysitting child to watch so it was just Will and I.  I threw him in the trailer (well, not really THREW)...and I tried to bike as long as he would let me.  I was able to go about 7 miles before I felt like I was going to die.  It had been a loooong time since I pulled him in the trailer!  Then we stopped to play at the park, and I made it another 2 miles home.  So.....can I double those 9 miles and count it as 18.....maybe 15????  C'mon....I'm pulling 60 pounds of kid and trailer!

Here's my training plan for the next two weeks.
9/9/ - 5 mile run while Katie and Will are in school (no 2 year old this day)
9/10-9/11 (weekend)- John is out of town so I am busy entertaining kids...have fun outdoor activities already planned.
9/12 - 5 mile run while Katie and Will are in school (no 2 year old this day)
9/14 - bike with 2 year old while K & W are in school....hope to go 12 miles
9/16 - bike with 2 year old while K & W are in school....hope to go 15 miles
9/17 - nice, easy 30-40 minute run
9/18 - bike duathlon route...22 miles
9/20 - practice transition from run to bike to run.  Run .5 mile, bike 2-3 miles...repeat 4 times.
9/21 - shorter bike ride with 2 year old....5-8 miles    ????
9/23 - shorter 2 mile run    ???
9/24 - NO BEER :)
9/25 - RACE DAY

Anyway - that's my ideal 2 weeks....may not all happen, but it helps to get it all lined out.  Must do's are the duathlon route and transition practice.  Everything else will shake out and work in when I can.  It will help if the weather stays as nice as it has been.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Funny

Here is a Friday Funny dedicated to my parents who celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary yesterday. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

College Days


Here is my niece, Sarah, and I at the Twins game this past Monday.  She started classes at the University of MN this week, and has now been up here for 10 days.  Do you remember going away to college?  Being alone for an extended period of time for the first time in your life?  She's handling it like a superstar, much better than I did. 

I sort of remember the few weeks leading up to leaving for college...staying up as late as possible, spending every last second with old friends, promising that things wouldn't change.

And then you go your own way to a place where people don't know anything about you, and vice versa.  In some ways it's wonderful, and in others, terrifying.    Eventually things do change (thankfully) and you begin to shift worlds a bit.  Suddenly your focus is more on college and less on hometown life.  For some, this takes months, for others years.  But it does happen.  And hopefully you walk away with amazing friends from college and a few tried and true friends who stuck with you from high school.

I pulled out my diaries from college cuz I thought maybe there would be words of wisdom in there I could pass along.  I kept a diary/journal for each year of college....I thought maybe there would be something in there about my first few weeks...but no, just mindless dribble about boys.  Honestly - it was like Facebook on paper.  I had quotes, song lyrics, movie lines, you name it....all having to do with adolescent boys.  To read it now is like to bang your head against the wall, scream, and have an intense urge to shake the girl who wrote this crap until she realizes that life has a way of working itself out, if you allow it.

Note:  The last diary is 100% about John...and is kind of entertaining to read....but he also makes random appearances throughout the other books too. :)  I guess I always had my eye on him.

But college these days has changed SO much from when I was there just 11-14 years ago.  (Oh, holy hell, has it been that long??)  Anyway - in those days I didn't have a cell phone, no one had their own laptop, no wireless Internet, no skyping, no Facebook, heck - e-mail was just catching on!  I was paying $.10 - $.15 a minute to call anyone.  There was one month my phone bill was $300! 

So hang in there freshman Sarah!  Feel free to leave your own horror college freshman story to make my niece feel better!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Renaissance Festival

This past weekend we went to the Renaissance Festival here in MN.  You can imagine my SHOCK when John suggested it on Friday as something to do over the weekend.  I've always wanted to try and get there, but never thought John would be up for it....let alone suggest it. :)  So you better believe I wasn't gonna let him change his mind.

We left the house about 9:30 Sunday morning armed with sweatshirts, coats, etc. because we weren't exactly sure what the weather was going to do.  The forecast called for sunny/partly cloudy skies...yet it started raining on the way there.  It was a bit windy and chilly, but the sun came out later and it turned pretty nice.

We walked up to the front gates and it was really funny to watch the kid's faces as the people in their get-ups started yelling at everyone coming in, making fun of them, you name it. Their eyes got big, mouths open....  And I don't think they understood why a few were yelling "Save the children!  For God's sake don't bring in the children!"

But as soon as we got in the gates, the kids were met by a woman in a very fancy dress, handing out "jewels"...made Katie's day.  We watched a juggler attempting to juggling ping pong balls with his mouth and Katie and Will thought it was funny that he stole a guy's hat from the audience and he yelled at one little girl to "SHUT UP KID!"  Then he went on to ask if her Daddy was here...she said no.  He said "Good, then I won't get my butt kicked."

John did some archery, then I shot 3 arrows (only 1 hitting the target), and Katie shot 2...both hitting smack in the middle. 

Here is "Legolas" showing off his skill.  John shot probably 10 arrows...all hitting the target, most right between the eyes of the smiley face....poor little guy.



We played a couple games, the kids went through a maze, then we watched the "Puke & Snot" show - a comedic team of two guys trading insults and puns for 20 minutes.  It's the longest running show at the Renaissance Festival and I had seen it 20 years ago when I was there the last time.  The kids were too young (thankfully) to get many of the jokes, but they laugh at them all and Will liked the fact they were on a "pirate ship".

Then we went and watched the Armored Joust...was crowded, but we got good seats on the grass.  That was pretty cool to watch, and I think the kids liked it too.

It wasn't "completely" fake....the jousting poles they used would snap and splinter from the blows, so it must have smarted a LITTLE bit.  Then the joust turned into a sword fight.


Katie and Will shaking hands with our side's knight.
After that, we headed to a magic show at Katie's request.  I found one listed, so we headed there to get seats.  The fact that it was called "Pizpor Magic Show" didn't deter us.....maybe it should have.  (Piss poor) :)  Again - it was really funny, and most of the jokes were over the kids' heads, but they laughed at some of his bad tricks that they could tell weren't real. 

But the best "bad parenting" event of the day was when we took the kids through "The King's Dungeon".  A display of torture devices used throughout this time in history....complete with mannequins.  It had a nice little description of each device and what it was used for, which Katie was nice enough to read to all of us. ;)

Will is not so sure what to think of the mannequins that appear to be screaming in pain....

It goes without saying that Will got freaked out....but wanted to immediately go back in once we were outside.  What can I say....I guess we're all a little morbid.
This sign reads: "Men who repeatedly got drunk were locked in the dungeon overnight then stripped of their clothes and chained to an empty ale barrow and forced to walk the streets for three consecutive days."
See...we're teaching things that every kid should know.
 

We headed home about 3:30 or so... and covered in dust and dirt. :)  But it was a great day, and we'll be sure to head back in 6-7 years when the kids understand more of the sex jokes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Funny

Get you chemistry hats on.....