Friday, August 31, 2012

Funny Friday

Ok - I'm a mean mom, but I thought this was funny.

And as I showing Katie and Will the pictures later....they laughed too. 

So the three of them were riding on the paddle board.  John started rocking it and they thought that was fun.

Pretty soon they started begging Dad to tip them over.....


Just about...


They are also mad...

...very mad.  :)  But it didn't last long.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Busy week back!

Holy cow - it's been a busy week back at home.  State fair, 2 school open houses, beach day, pool day, and it isn't even Friday yet!

Let me see where were we....ah yes, vacation pictures.....

On Tuesday last week we rented a boat for the day.  The kids were able to catch fish off the docks, but they really got a kick out of catching them in the open water.  I didn't mind putting the worms on the hooks, but I let John deal with getting the fish off.  I attempted one time and then gave up.  I DID however manage to get one off later in the week.  Deb: 1  John: 50

Katie driving the boat!

Will is the king of the world....

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Northern cabin vacation

Oh boy do I have some good pictures for you all.  We had an amazing time on our week up north.  It was just so great and we got to experience so many things together.  I think for the most part everyone was in a good mood for every day.  (Well, 3 out of 4 anyway.....we'd switch off.)

We left last Saturday and drove about 3 1/2 hours north / northwest towards the area of Remer, MN and Longville, MN.  The cabin was technically in Remer, but we never actually went into that town.  Longville, however, was a little hotspot of about 143 people. :)  We stayed in a 2 bedroom cabin that had a loft with another 2 beds.  The kids slept up there.  We had a stove, oven, fridgerator, microwave, toaster and coffee pot.  It had a good sized dining table and a little loveseat.  No tv, no air conditioning.  Luckily, we didn't need either.

Thunderlake Lodge is a family run and owned resort of about 7-8 cabins and 5-6 hotel type rooms.  It was small enough that the owner greeted you as soon as you drove up and were immediately introduced to his wife and their 14 month old son.  They had canoes, peddleboats, and kayaks all free to use, and boats that you could rent for the day.  A small beach was closeby that had tons of sand toys, a playground, beach volleyball court, and a very nice lake with a swimming dock. 

Honestly, the days kind of blurred together after Monday.  So here are some highlights.....

John in the kayak.

Katie and John in the peddleboats.

Will enjoying the sand as Katie drifts off in the lake.

John and I both found it pretty challenging to stand on the paddleboard.....

....Katie, on the other hand, was a rockstar on it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On to the bike....

So after I got all laced up, I hopped on the bike. It felt good to be doing something other than swimming, and I felt comfortable on my bike. I love my bike. After having done a race with "her" already - we were bonded. Many more participants had "tri bikes" or "racing bikes" which meant they had really narrow, thin wheels, special pedals/shoes/straps, and special handlebars. I didn't have any of those things - just me and my road bike. The course was pretty and scenic, along the Mississippi River, but I couldn't see much of it for all the trees. I also wasn't looking around that much. I was concentrating on where I was going and who was coming up behind me. Overall, the course wasn't too hilly. A few up hills that I had to work a little harder on, but nothing like a couple of the hills in the duathlon last fall.
Thanks to the cooler temperature and/or the amount of water I swallowed in the swim - I didn't take too many water drinks. I think I grabbed my water bottle twice for a couple quick sips. My goal was to finish the 15.5 miles in an hour or less - and I wanted to try to have an average speed of at least 15 miles per hour.
My time - 1:02:37
Average Speed - 14.9 mph
I felt pretty good about that.

After that, it was time to re-rack my bike. It was funny - when I came out of the swim to get my bike - it was VERY easy to find. On my entire side of racked bikes - probably 500 or so....mine was the only one there. Pretty easy to spot. When it came time to put the bike back, it was a little more trickier to find my spot. I knew this would be the case which is why I picked a towel laid out for transition that I would recognize quickly. Got my helmet off, grabbed a bite of a banana and a drink of water, and I was off on the run.
I knew it would feel "odd" to run after riding the bike so that wasn't shocking. I would say after the first 1/2 mile it began to feel more normal. That's they way it's been in the past and wasn't anything new race day. All of a sudden I was at the mile marker - and then suddenly it was 2 - and then I was coming around the last corner. The run went by very quickly for me, I was very relaxed and enjoyed it. I was about 1-2 minutes off my "average" mile pace, but - again - that's ok.

My run time - 32:26
Average pace - 10:28 per mile

The only thing that bothered me the whole race was how hard it was to let go of being in the water. For the first 6 miles on the bike - I was re-playing everything that happened in the swim. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was remembering the swim, and the water, and the chaos. It made me very emotional and I cried to John as soon as he asked me about it at the finish. I have very mixed feeling about the whole race. I liked how I biked/ran. I finished the swim, and I know I should be happy about that - but I didn't finish it the way I wanted to. I'm not disappointed that I stopped at almost every noodle - I expected to do that. It was how I swam between noodles. I didn't get my head in water as far as I should have, my hips were dragging, my kicks weren't as effective, I wasn't side breathing. I wasn't able to apply what I had been learning and training for in the pool. Again, I chalk it up to inexperience. Now the question remains - do I want to gain more experience in this area or is it a "been there, done that" kind of thing.

I relate it to someone having a baby. As soon as they go through labor and have the baby if someone asks them if they want to do it again....most are going to reply with a very strong "Hell no." Then time passes.....

Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm here.....and here's what happened.

The triathlon is officially past tense.  I got through the swim and it was way harder on my head than my muscles.  Luckily I could legally wear the wet suit that I rented because the water temp was below 78 degrees.  It was really the only thing that helped me calm down when I felt like I was gonna loose it.

A short least I'll try to keep it short. 
I woke up at 5:45 am and thought I'd just lay there til the alarm went off. The alarm didn't go off at 5:50 am as planned.  When I checked I saw that I had set it incorrectly the night before - was set for 5:50 pm.....I don't know how I woke up on time, but I did.

I had breakfast and got dressed.  I had loaded the bike and packed my bags the night before so I was ready to go.  It took me about 20-25 minutes to get there and parked.  I parked behind a woman who was there to watch the race.  Her DIL was volunteering as a noodle swimmer.  I told her that I would say hi since odds are I would probably be meeting her.  (I didn't.)
I met friends on the way there and we walked to the transition area to set up our things and rack our bikes.  Setting up your transition area is an artform all on it's own.  You need your helmet, sunglasses, socks/shoes, race bib, etc all set and ready to go when you need them.  And some people have shoes just for biking/just for running.  We then went and got "marked up" with our race #, age, and swim wave.  We got our timing chip, and had time for a bathroom run before the mandatory swim meeting at 7:40. 


I was in swim wave 6 - start time 8:15.  I was a deer in headlights.  Can you see me up there??  Off to the left - white swim cap.  Anyone that hugged me and wished me good luck brought tears to my eyes.  I didn't know what to expect and didn't know if I was going to be swimming in on my own or riding in on a boat because I'd had to be picked up.  The swim route is sort of like a swim out at an angle (150 yards), turn a corner - swim the backstretch (200 yards), swim back at an angle (150 yards).  They set us off and I walked very slowly into the water, letting others plow on ahead.  I didn't want to louse up anyone's rhythm.  Finally I got to a point where it was time to lift my feet up and go - I didn't think about it too much and am actually surprised that I didn't freeze right there.  The toughest thing was just sticking my head in the water and finding a rhythm....actually I never did do that.  Tried once and it was so unnerving not to know what was ahead of me.  So most of the time my head was bobbing at water level - much of what was exhausting me in the beginning.  I skipping the first noodle person and went to the second.  Stayed a minute - then skipped another noodle person and went to Cathy.  (At this point I was hanging out with them....I might as well get their name.)  I stayed with Cathy about 2 minutes because by then the next wave was coming up on me and I just wanted to let them go by.  I think I stayed too long because she pretty much had to say - get going!  Just do it!  This was right before the first turn and I think that was intimidating me too. 

I went around the turn, and then started back floating - back floated past a noodle person (I think) and then flipped over to see where I was.  I couldn't see anything - no swimmers, no noodle people, no buoys.  I didn't have the first clue which direction to swim.  For some reason things were turned around for me - it didn't seem like I was going in the right direction - yet I didn't know which direction I had come from.  It was at this point - looking back, that I would have panicked big time if it hadn't been for the wet suit.  In that - I could easily tread water and know that I wasn't going down.  Just find a noodle person, get to them and ask directions. :)  And that's what I did.  I was a little less than halfway.

From this point on, I didn't try to skip noodles.  I went to every noodle, just didn't stay very long.  30-45 seconds.  Enough time to get their name and make my offer to run twice as long later, if they would just take me to shore now.  They were great - very encouraging and calming.  In the end I finally hit the sand with my feet - sweet, sweet sand.  I wasn't very dizzy getting out of the water - I expected worse.  Probably because I spent as much time vertical in the water as horizontal. 

My swim time - 28:53.  I beat my initial guess by 67 seconds. :)  So that's something, right?  Plus - there are TWO people that finished the race and were slower in the water than me.  I'm thinking the 3 of us should get together and commiserate.

I pulled off the top of my wet suit, saw great friends cheering me on as I climbed up the sand - which made me cry...again.  I washed my feet off in the kiddie pools waiting for us and ran to the transition area to get my bike.  Pulled off the wet suit (easily)...pulled on my running skirt, socks, ankle wrap, shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and watch.  I was ready to go off on my bike.  Time for all this madness - 4:08.  I got held up a few times when I was getting wet suit off and putting my ankle wrap on because I kept having to take my timing chip off.  (It was velcroed onto my ankle)  Then I'd put it back on only to find out I have to take it off again to get the ankle wrap on. 

Next up - 15.5 miles on the bike.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5 days and counting....

I realized I haven't updated much on my ankle - been busy these last 2 weeks.  The first week after I hurt my ankle I thought it was healing pretty well - I could walk on it with out much of a limp.  Then about 7 days in - holy hell.  I had pressed it the wrong way getting up one day and pretty much had to start all over again.  The swelling came back - couldn't put all my weight on it, etc.  Now it's about 2-1/2 weeks after the initial fall and it feels pretty good.  I got a compression wrap to wear and that helps a lot.  It just feels more secure.  I've ridden the bike, gone running and swimming and it feels pretty good.  Aches for a while afterwards, but feels ok during the actual activity.  So I'm sure it will be fine for the race - however, I'll still wear the wrap for the bike and the run portions. 

My final swimming lesson is tonight - they have helped a lot and I've learned some great tips and things to work on.  I've been promised a whole lane tonight - so far I've just been working in about 5-6 meters, flipping, breathing, etc. and have only swum lanes on my own.  I'm having issues with the 3rd/4th breath while I swim and at that point I flip over because I'm not getting good air.  I'm hoping to correct that and get better.  If not, well - then I'll just do more flipping during the race and that's ok too. 

The race is Sunday.  If the water temperature is below 84 degrees, they will allow me to wear a wet suit which will provide me with more buoyancy, and I'll only have to focus on forward movement.  I'll get done faster, but won't be eligible for finishing prizes.  That's ok - I'm a ways off from that.....
While I will feel more comfortable during the actual swim - I'll be a bit anxious about getting the damn thing off during the transition.

My friend Anne (aka Debbie Downer) has told me that she thinks the water temp will be warmer than 84 because we've had such a long warm spring/summer.  (That's ok Anne....I still love ya. Little does she know I'll be attaching a rope to her ankles so she can pull me along....)  No anxiety about the transition without the wet just the water.  Which I'll be fine anyway - just will take longer. 

Here's my expected finishing time for each portion......
Swim - 30 minutes
Transition to bike - 4 minutes
Bike - 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes
Transition to run - 2 minutes
Run - 30-35 minutes

My starting time is I should be done around 10:15-10:30 depending on how much my ankle yells at me for doing all 3 at the same time.  I'm really upset that I hurt my ankle at all.  I mean I was only worried about the swim - I felt totally comfortable with the bike and run portion.  Now, it's my ankle that makes me think those parts will take longer - well, on the run anyway.  And that last leg was going to be my favorite part.  Well, maybe "favorite" is too strong of a word - but it was the part that I knew the best.  I know what I will feel like, I KNOW that I can do that portion well, I know how to calm my mind and body down when it's telling me to stop.  I'm getting there on the bike....I'm more comfortable with it, and I know what my body feels like on a long ride, and how I can get it to just give a little more without stopping.  That "override the brain" feature is what I'm missing in the swim.  My head says "What are you doing!?  You can't do this!  Flip over and grab on to something!"  I remember those thoughts going through my head when I first started running too.  It'll come.  I'm just not sure I enjoy swimming enough to keep trying. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Another request

I've added a new Caring Bridge website over on the right side.....there's another little girl and her family who would really benefit from some prayers, good vibes, happy thoughts - whatever you got.