Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Good Mirror

Have you ever found a mirror that made you look really good? Almost like rose-colored glasses, but in mirror form? In the restroom at my office, there is such a mirror. In this mirror, I am tall (willowy, even) and never have a fat day. Sure, I still feel like I'm having fat days and can still look like an idiot with post-it notes stuck to my shirt or shoes that don't match, but I'm always buff in this mirror. I think that mirrors should be rated in this manner when you buy them. Wouldn't everyone be a lot happier with the skinny and buff mirror? Who wants to have a fat mirror or one with lights that shine on your blemishes?

In other news, I'm not going to do the race at Callaway Gardens. Not only is it the same day as the first Georgia game, it's really far away. And, I don't think I want to swim 1,000 yards in open water. Is that really lame?

Here is a summary of my recovery week this week:

Sun: rest - rode back from Cordele, washed dog and various other items in the yard

Mon: 1,600 yard swim, 800 yards in a row, which was not that hard except that my goggles fogged up. My shoulder issue appears to be not a swimming injury, but a computer issue. I lean into my left shoulder when I'm on the computer and it gets sore. How silly is that?

Tues: 3.13 mile run at 9:40 avg pace. This was to be a 5 miler, but my tummy revolted and I had to go home.

Wed: 6.28 mile run at 9:43 avg pace. I ran at 3pm and it was hot. I'm pleased with the pace, though, during the running portions of my workout (I stopped the clock for drinking and potty).

Thurs: 20 mile bike with the North Atlanta Multisport group at unknown speed, 1.5 mile run at conversational pace. I was going to do a 5K run, but the tummy acted up again.

Fri: Rest. I was up until 12am on Thursday paying the bills so getting up early to swim before work was a no go.

Sat: 7.4 mile run at 10:35 avg pace. This was the first run of my winter half-marathon training. I had planned to do an easy 7-8 miles (whichever) while listening to the end of my murder mystery. My legs/knees were stiff in the beginning but started to feel better after about mile 3. When I turned around at mile 3.5, though, my tummy revolted again and I did the old walk/run to the Starbucks and waited for it to open so that I could use their facilities and buy some water. Boy, did the scones look good! More run/walk on the way home so the combined 10:35 pace is not so bad considering all of the walking. It's weird that in distance training my limiting factor is not overall fitness but always something else (knees, back, tummy) Or maybe that's just a component of the overall, I dunno.

Totals: 1,600 yards of swimming, 20 miles of biking, 18.31 miles running. Not too bad. I hope to be able to add one more bike into the weekly mix during the winter, but we will have to see.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dagny and the bike

Here is a photo of Dagny from our playground visit on Monday. For some reason, it only migrated from my phone through my email today, even though I sent it only seconds after taking the photo. You can see the shiner she got from running into the table in Grammie/Grampa's RV.

Dagny starts preschool next month. Because her birthday is in October, she is in the 18 month class instead of the 2 year old class - even though she will turn two right after school starts. So, I've been worrying that she will kick the asses of the other students. Have you met Dagny? She is delightful but very demanding and you won't ever take advantage of her. This is good but I've been very concerned about her running roughshod over a bunch of younger children who aren't the "second child." Dagny's teacher called last week and I told her my concerns. No worries, she said - all but two kids in the class will be two before the end of October. And, her daughter was similar in temperament at home but was an angel at school. I like this woman already.

Doug kept this girls this evening so I could go on the NAMS group ride. We rode 20 hilly miles after the rain (!) and then some of us ran a bit. I ran with one of the other women, but had to cut my run short because I had to go potty. Stupid GI tract. On the bike, I have no idea how fast we went, because I forgot my Garmin but I only dropped my chain once so it was a good ride. My front deraileur is still messed up (though it worked perfectly when Doug and I were testing it yesterday) so I stayed mainly in the small ring because it wouldn't jump up. Then, when I tried to wrench it up there, it fell right on over the edge - DOH! I learned that it sucks to be the slow one because while everyone waits for you at the turns (it's a no-drop ride), you don't get a chance to rest there. I don't rest on my solo rides, anyway so I don't know why I thought I would get to here.

Good news, I found the missing pad from my bike helmet! It was attached to one of my gloves - no more abraded forehead or kleenex in my hat. Whooo!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We're Trashy

This is the scene from our driveway on Sunday. Annika is dancing on the pack-n-play mattress to get the water out because I had to scrub and disinfect it. Then, we left it outside for many hours to dry in the heat. Dagny removed her diaper sometime during her nap on Saturday afternoon and smeared feces and urine all over herself and Grammie's pack-n-play, which necessitated the giant clean-up. We also washed Grammie's booster chair and our dog since we were out there. Annika also wanted her picture taken - so that is the next photo. The camera phone seems to take decent pictures, but the color is questionable.

The other two photos are of Dagny and Annika at the park on Monday. In the first, they are wearing the sunglasses they insisted on bringing with them. The same ones that spent the remainder of the park visit in my pocket. Dagny pronounces glasses "yakkies." In the second photo, Dagny put her glasses on her head like mine (Annika's were already in my pocket) and they both smiled - at the SAME TIME!

On Saturday, Doug and I raced in the Georgia Veteran's Triathlon in Cordele, Georgia. Doug's folks had taken their RV down to the park earlier in the week and the girls spent the nights with them while Doug and I stayed in the "villa" at the state park. It was really just a hotel room, but it had a coffee maker and a small fridge so we were thrilled.

I finished in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 13 seconds for 4th place in my age group (out of 17). I was 2nd out of the water in the swim, mid-pack in the bike and 1st in the run (!!) so it was a really good race for me. I missed beating my 5K personal record by only 6 seconds. We will do this race again, because it was very fun and the park was great for the kids.

Here is how my recovery/taper week stacked up:

Sun: Hansgrohe Acworth Race, 400 yard swim, 13 mile bike, 5K run in 1 hr 15 minutes. Great race, I had a blast.

Mon: 3.16 miles at 10:22 pace. Easy.

Tues: off

Wed: 12.18 mile bike at 13.7 mph. Hot, damn hot!

Thurs: 3.04 miles at 10:33 pace. Easy run - was starting to go faster after mile 1, but my tummy disagreed.

Fri: off

Sat: Georgia Veteran's Race, 400 yard swim, 13.6 mile bike, 5K run in 1 hr 18 minutes.

Totals: 800 yards swimming, 38.78 miles biking, 12.4 miles running. I actually probably swam an even 1,000 yards, if you count the warm-ups so I wasn't as big a lazy behind as I thought this week (I forgot that the racing counts in the mileage totals). Doug is trying to convince me to try the Olympic distance race at Callaway Gardens in September. I won't be at all competitive and the swim will be HARD, but I'm considering it. Nat, Jason, Wes - what about you?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Race Photos

Here are the official race photos. You can search by bib number in the little box on the left. This link is for the search on my photos, but Natalie is 288, Dee Dee is 200 and I'm 257. I like the photo of us all on the bike - boy do we look professional, but my favorite is Dee Dee on the run.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Photos and Ironman

Here are photos that Ryan took from our race on Sunday. The first one is the part where we came up the last hill to where Doug and Ryan and the kids were standing before the sprint to the finish line. The second one shows my team Bachman shirt on the sprint.

In lieu of the photo of our race from my camera, which I'm having a hard time getting to my computer, please also enjoy the ones that Wes took here and here. You can see from the first link which clothes to look for in the second one. Nat is pink, Dee Dee is red and I'm blue.

Also, some of you might not know that my friend Jason did an Ironman some time back. I just got around to reading his race report here, and let me just say that Jason is a badassMF. Seriously.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I did it!

I'll edit to add the photos later, but here are the results from Sunday's efforts.

Swim 400 meters: 00:06:54, 17th in age group
T1: 2 mins, 30 secs
Bike 13 miles: 00:41:55, 16th in age group, 18.6 avg mph
T2: 47 secs
Run: 00:23:49, 6th in age group, 7:41 min per mile pace
Total: 1 hr, 15 mins, 53 secs, 9th out of 108 in 35-39 age group, 40/260 overall

I woke up at 4:10am, which was early because I set my phone alarm and forgot the "remind me before the meeting" function starts alerting before the appointed meeting time. Oops. So, that was about 5 hours of sleep because I stayed up until nearly 11 trying to make the Yankz work with my shoes (DOH!) and Dagny woke with a bad dream at 12:41 so I got up and set my alarm at that point. I showered, dressed, ate breakfast (1/2 bowl of cereal with soy milk), had coffee, finished packing, and made water, milk and cheerios packages for the girls. Nat and I were late leaving at 5:30-ish (aren't I always late?) but still made it to the race site in plenty of time. Ryan had loaded our bikes for us so we were golden. We found a place to park and walked our bikes in the dark to the race area.

We got marked, used the potties, obtained our timing chips and went to the transition area. Thank goodness Nat had a flashlight in her car because it was dark. Add that to your gear lists now, because just imagine trying to use a porto-pottie in the dark! I had eaten my 1/2 immodium and drank water in the car so I was feeling fine. I asked some officials about where we would be going in and out of transition and after setting up my area, I practiced where we would come in, what I would do and where I would go in each phase of the race. A bike guy came around and pumped up our tires. He told us "in a sprint, if you are not hurting, you aren't going fast enough" so I used that as my mantra throughout the race. Nat and I got primo rack locations right by the entrance from the swim. We applied caps and goggles and walked down to the beach to warm up in the water. This was my first open water swim ever. The water was warm and the color of milky tea. No visibility at all. I swam about a hundred yards and decided I was done. Nat swam to the first buoy and back. I ate three Shot Bloks and drank some water. We met Wes and his wife, Dee Dee and some of their friends. Wes is even more buff in person, folks. We found some of the bike ride folks from our ride on Thursday and my friend Laurie from college/law school. It really helped me to see all of these people. I kept searching for them in the crowd to help me feel less nervous.


The first two waves of women started in the water and seemed to run a long way. Well, that is because the water was knee-deep until the first buoy. There was no way to swim so we ran. I seeded myself in the middle of the wave because this was my first tri and I was worried about getting in the way. Given my swim time, this was probably a mistake. Next time, I'll get towards the front (behind the real speedies) and near the outside. I never found a swim rhythm at all. I'm an easy swimmer but the triathlon swim was really a free-for-all. Because of the visibility of the water, I just tried not to hurt anyone and to swim as many strokes as possible before hitting anyone, stopping or breaststroking to determine my location. The buoys were huge and orange so they were easy to spot, but I got disoriented very quickly with my head down. I think I may try to mimic Dee Dee's stoke next time because she looked very comfy in the warm-up. My googles started to leak on the left side as I rounded the last buoy so rather than try to fix them, I just closed my left eye and tried to finish as quickly as possible so that my contact wouldn't float away. Wes was taking photos of the swim finish, so if there of one where my eye is closed, that is why.

There was a baby pool full of water on the way into transition so that we could wade through to rinse our feet. Genius! I dropped my cap and goggles on my towel in transition, put on my shirt, put the gu flask and phone in my pockets, got my hat and sunglasses, ran around to the other side of my bike, dried my feet, applied shoes and socks, applied hat, sunglasses and garmin. Set garmin for bike and left. WHOO! It felt like I did this really fast, but actually no.

We passed the mount line and were off. There were lots of speed bumps on the way out of the park but I managed not to crash on them. I suck on the bike so my goal was to hammer it as hard as possible, maybe catch Nat and not crash. My gears got messed-up on Thursday's ride so I couldn't shift to the big ring without being in the hardest of the rear gears. I was nervous about this and stayed in the big ring as much as possible to avoid getting stuck in the small ring for the duration. The new saddle was great and more slippery than the old one so I was able to adjust position with no problem. I had forgotten (both times!) to take my bodyglide into the porto-potty so I was lube-free in the bottom zone. This was bad, but I was able to tolerate it. Since I am new to biking, I was very worried about the drafting rules. I tried to stay away from all other bikers and pass speedily. There were only 2-3 big hills where I had to get out of the seat to climb and the rest were rollers. I felt like I was flying, way faster than I've ever ridden before. I saw my shadow as I sped down Hwy 41 and I looked like a real biker in my aerobars! My top speed was 33.5 and I ate Hammer gel at miles 3 and 10 and alternated between my water and Cliff electrolyte drink bottles at regular intervals. Doug and I had discussed the nutrition plan prior to the race and though I thought that I could do the race without anything (or maybe 1 gel and some water), he thought I would do better if I fueled more and had some electrolyte drink. In retrospect, I think Doug was right on. He got the "Doug was right" dance for that! At about mile 4, I saw Doug and the girls. That made me cry. It was so great to see them. The bike was really, really fun. I passed a bajillion people and most of the women who passed me without getting passed back were the ones who were wearing only bathing suits (the real pros) so I felt awesome about the bike.

I had some moments of indecision about whether or not to bring my phone so I could have been faster here. I don't know why I even considered it; it seems dumb now. The race number belt worked great and I applied it and my visor as I ran out of the gate for the run.

We started out over some speed bumps and at some point I saw Dee Dee again. Cheered for her and soldiered on. This run was HARD. Because the lake is a low point (obviously), and our finish was in downtown Acworth, it was basically an uphill race though the course was rolling. Usually the run starts and ends in the transition area so it is a wash, so this was odd. For the first little while, I fiddled with my phone trying to get it affixed to my body, which was dumb. My calves hurt for the first half mile, which has not happened to me before. I think it was the hammering on the bike because I've never ridden that fast before either. After what felt like an eternity, I began to think that they had forgotten to put mile markers on the run, I sneaked a peek at Garmin (who was still in bike mode, because I decided in transition that it would take to long to change the setting for run) and I was at 13.85 miles (13 for the bike plus 0.85). Only 0.85! Ugh! I had seen Nat in transition when she had to run back to return her helmet, so I made it my goal to keep her in sight. Catching up was out of the question. She was 300-400 yards ahead of me, pink skirt swishing, and I checked every few minutes to see if I could still see her (sometimes yes, sometimes no). This run hurt. At the first aid station (maybe the second, I don't remember), I tried to get water but got gatorade. Very unpleasant - I was redlining the heartrate so gatorade was not tolerable. I didn't wear the heartrate monitor because it would have taken too long to put on, but that is my perceived exertion. At the second aid station, I got water and drank a few sips and poured the rest on my head - ahhh, delightful! I kept repeating the mantra "if it doesn't hurt, too slow," and it was working, I hurt! I kept thinking maybe I could speed up in mile three because that is what Doug does. Nope. People started walking in the last mile. I slapped hands with one lady who was doing what appeared to be Tai Chi with her arms as she walked. She looked like she could have used a high five so I gave her one. At times, I ran with my eyes closed - just tried to keep moving as fast as I could go. I didn't bother to look at Garmin again after that first time so I had no idea what the pace was. As we rounded a corner into downtown, the volunteers yelled "only 400 yards." "Liars," I thought, and looked hopefully for the finish line. No finish line, but Doug, Annika and Dagny were at the top of the hill with Ryan, Beau, Carmella and Lola yelling for us. "Only 100 yards," they yelled. So I tried to sprint it out as best I could and finished as the clock said 1 hr, 26 mins. There were showers under a gate at the finish so you could go under the spray. Ahh, wonderful.

Wow, I had such a good time. I'm getting all vaklempt even thinking about it. I'm really looking forward to the race on Saturday. Today, however, I'm resting, because my knee and shoulder hurt. It's clear, though, that I'm not even close to fit enough to do an Olympic distance race (1.5 K swim, 40K bike, 10K run) so I have work to do this winter. : )

Saturday, August 11, 2007


This is the last photo of Dagny with her intact front tooth. She and Annika were playing this afternoon and suddenly there was crying and the tooth was broken again. Dammit.

I said bad words really loud and I'll be calling the dentist on Monday to see if he thinks we should bother re-fixing it or not.

In other news, while walking Annika into church last week, she asked "Mom, what's a tomboy?" Hm. That is a hard question.

"Well," I stalled while I thought about it, "it's kind of an outdated saying from when girls didn't get to do so much fun stuff as boys." "Yeah, but what is a tomboy?" she asked. So, I expounded at length (just like my Dad would have done) about how a long time ago girls didn't like to play sports or run around outside or yell or wear pants and how people called girls who did that "tomboys." And how now, girls and boys both like to do all of that stuff so it doesn't really mean anything. Annika listened politely while holding my hand and walking as fast as she could (we were late, again).

"Yeah, but what's a TOMBOWYEE?" she said when I was done.

"I just explained."


"A what?"

"TOMBO WEE!! (thinking - Geez mom, you are so stupid)"

Tumbleweed. She was saying tumbleweed.

She didn't want social commentary, she wanted to talk about rolling across the prairie. So we talked about that and why they roll (roundness) and that was the end of that.

But I never really realized that the word tomboy was antiquated until I tried to explain it. How cool is that?

Predictions and a Group Ride

I've been messing around with the triathlon race calculator this morning and I can safely say that there is no way I will do my race in 1 hour and 15 minutes. That was my super secret goal. I thought I was the only person that had the super secret goal, but after reading race reports on the cool running and beginner triathlete boards, I know that everyone does this. So, anyway, given my suckiness on the bike, I've revised my goal to 1 hour 30 minutes. I think this is completely do-able so long as I don't have any equipment or potty problems. My bike is shifting badly (doesn't want to go into the big ring unless on the highest of the back gears) so cross your fingers for that. I'm hoping Doug and I can adjust it this afternoon. If not, I'll limp it through the race and already have an appointment with my REI friends on Thursday.

So, Nat and I will be getting up good and early tomorrow for the trek to Acworth to hang with about 500 other women racers. We are already nervous and have conferred more than 3 times about the plans. I'm packing my gear now and have already put my race number on the cool belt. I have tested and washed my outfit (this top, but with the Rapida low-rise shorts). Low-rise shorts are the bomb and feel much better on my tummy because they aren't actually touching my tummy. Look for me in my Team Bachman bike shirt.

Nat, Doug and I rode in a group ride with the North Atlanta Multisports group on Thursday. It was my first "official" ride and though I struggled through parts of it, I did OK. I didn't crash or cause anyone else to crash so I think it was a win. The group was very nice and welcoming and didn't act like I was big idiot, which was awfully generous of them.

This week:

Sunday: 15.6 mile ride on part of the Mayor's Route at 14.6 mph. It was lovely this morning and I had a great time. Doug and Annika got me Krispy Kreme donuts for a special birthday surprise breakfast. : )

Monday: 1,200 yard swim before work.

Tuesday: 12.09 mile bike at 14.1 mph. I went in the afternoon and it was really freaking hot. My planned 20 mile ride turned into a 12 mile ride (I thought I'd just run a little after) and then the run dropped off because I was toast.

Wednesday: 4.13 mile run with audio book at 9:38 min/mile pace. Easy peasy.

Thursday: 20 mile group ride turned into about 14 miles because of the heat. I forgot to turn on my Garmin so I only got part of the ride. The 9.14 miles I captured were at a 9.1 pace but we stopped a lot to regroup and drink water. I got up to about 21 mph down by the river because I was drafting. Drafting is fun! Then, 3.04 mile run at 9:25 min/mile. Conversational pace, no pushing. Beer/wing repeats at Taco Mac after. Thanks to my folks for having our little friends for dinner and playtime while Doug and I rode.

Friday: I had to get up early to pay bills and missed my swim. De facto rest day.

Saturday: 900 yard easy swim. Was going to do the usual 1,200 yard swim but (1) I'm supposed to be resting today, and (2) my shoulder hurt. The shoulder is not injured, so I must have just slept on it funny but I thought it would be dumb to push through it the day before my race.

Totals: 2,100 yards swimming, 41.69 miles biking and 7.17 miles running. Tapering looks a lot like laziness to me. Anyway, after next week's race in Cordele, I'll start training for the half marathons this winter so look for more running. Good thing Doug has a million books on his Audible account. I have a super secret goal for the running too, but I'm keeping it secret for now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Technology v. Steph, Part 2

So, when the lightning hit our house a few months back, our computer was compromised (among assorted other things). The internet card stopped working. This computer was ancient so we thought it might be good to just get a new one since the memory was too full to do anything with it. This week was the back-to-school tax free holiday and computer sale at Sam's Club, so we bought a new computer for CHEEEAP that is way better than the old one. I spent all day yesterday putting it together, registering and hooking it up. I thought it would be a good exercise to keep me technology-savvy. Yeah, not so much fun, though.

After the whole day of computer activity, I've managed to back-up our bookkeeping files, install a printer driver and setup our email. I worked hard to install the bookkeeping programs onto new computer, but no. Windows Vista doesn't have a "run" button like XP so you have to take the CD out and reinsert it for each installation try. And, if you don't have a CD, you are screwed. And, some programs are not compatible with Vista. I'll have to confer with the software vendor to see what the fix for that is! I also failed to backup our old computer files to a CD because there is not enough RAM on the old machine to write them to the CD. It keeps telling me to delete stuff and try again. Whoo hoo. Just wait, though, I'll be a computer whiz before this is over.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I apologize to any family exercisers that I offended this morning when I yelled at the guy in the mini-SUV to kiss my butt and called him an asshole after he beeped at me during my bike ride. I should not have said those things out loud. It was rude. I'm going to have to look it up to be certain, but I think that I was legally in the right. I did ride in the middle of (and block) his lane for about 300 yds, but it was my lane too and I couldn't be on the right for him to pass because I was about to turn left and I couldn't be on the centerline because of the oncoming cars that kept veering over the line to pass bikers on their side of the road. Asshole.
I have much to post about from this ride but it will have to wait until I have some free time. Instead, here are photos of my bike (the kick-ass new one that Doug bought me last month) and Doug's bike (that he bought online and put together himself) and my sweet girls enjoying the spinning chair in our office. Guess which bike is Doug's.

This week:

Sunday: 8 mile bike to and from the park with Doug and the girls. Doug pulled the trailer so I can't say that I did much work. And, (1) I couldn't catch Doug getting up the hill out of the neighborhood, and (2) he PASSED ME when we were on the flatter part of the ride. Wow, it's clear what I'll be working on all winter.

Monday: 1200 yd swim - 200 w/up; 2 x 400; 200 c/d

Tuesday: Tri-ed it out for the first time in the afternoon heat. 1 mile bike to pool; transition; 400 yard swim; transition; 11.8 mile bike at 14.4 mph (including dropping backpack back at our house); transition; 3.12 mile run in the flats at 8:59 min/mile. I got many weird looks at the pool and some honking during the ride. It was hot and I felt like ass but I finished in about an hour and a half/hour and 40 mins, whipped.

Wednesday: 1200 yd swim same as Monday - I lacked motivation and imagination this week. I did switch-up the drills for each 100 of the 400s to help me count the laps but I still think I did 50 extra.

Thursday: 4.01 mile run at 9:46 pace around the hood. Started slow and would have sped up, but my tummy seriously disagreed.

Friday: 1400 yd swim. Same as Monday but with 500 yard tests to see if I could do it - no problem.

Saturday: 9.86 mile bike at 15.7 mph; 3.17 mile run at 8:01 min/mile. Nana and Papa had the kids overnight so I took my hung-over self to the river for an easy brick today. It was awesome and I felt great but didn't push hard. Thanks to Doug's advice about the immodium and my Dad's advice about how much to take, no potty stops. : ) Nat, I discovered that the bike path in Martin's Landing keeps going around until it comes back out on Riverside Road. The bike lane ends but the road keeps going. That makes a good loop with some killer hills that will mostly eliminate having to re-cross Riverside or brave the guardrail on Wileo to get enough miles.

Total: 3,800 yards swimming, 23.46 miles biking and 10.3 miles running. I felt horrible all week with the neverending head cold and the tummy bug but finally broke through on Saturday. It felt like I was working hard, but my totals don't agree. Oh well - let the laziness, oops, I mean the TAPER, begin!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

That's The Way

We were the ones with the screaming child at the pool last night. Dagny got tired from all of the filling and dumping of watering cans and the one jump off of the diving board and lost her marbles. She screamed bloody murder as I carried her across the deck to our table, dried and disrobed her until we got to the car. It's interesting how quickly her mood can go from mellow to disaster.

Annika, on the other hand, jumped off of the diving board over and over with no apparent ill effects. Even with the adjusted (some floating pads removed) swim vest, she doesn't ever want to leave.

In other news, I did a nutrition/clothing/transition test of the triathlon distance yesterday (thank you, Doug). I know, I know, it's a short enough race that I ought not need any nutrition but we've been thinking that a couple of Gus or Hammer Gels never hurt anyone and might help avoid energy burnout at the end. All went well despite some odd looks from the other folks at our pool. I'll post about it over the weekend. I may not be speedy but I can finish.