Sunday, December 30, 2007


On Wednesday when I rode my bike, I forgot to take a gel with me. Since our bodies contain 2,000 calories and I was drinking water and Nuun (electrolyte drink), I decided upon realizing my error that I would be OK. I rode down to the river and back. Usually on this trip, I would have a gel at the turnaround point and possibly another on the way back. However, it wasn't hot and I wasn't going super fast so I thought it would be fine. This was a solo ride but I told myself that Nat would have agreed.

Normal people might be OK to bike for two hours without fuel. Those of you who've been around when I haven't eaten know that I tend to get very cranky. So, I was on my way home and crossing the big road when a guy in an orange Honda Element thought he wouldn't yield like he was supposed to as he turned onto my road. I gave him some lip and told him to yield (he as inside the car so he didn't hear me) but thought I would pass him without incident. He had his own lane, so it should not have even been a concern except if he didn't see me when merging into the main lane, which is always a danger.

Unfortunately, just then I hit a hole in the road and it knocked my shakey hands (the shakes happen when my sugar is low) off of my handle bars. I was not using the aero bars but was holding onto the "horns" where the brakes are. Luckily, I caught myself when my forearm hit my aero bars on the way down because I would have hit my chin on them except that arm stopped the fall. I have a very nice bruise there now. Anyway, I veered over in front of the guy by accident but remained upright and moving during all of this drama. Thank goodness the guy was paying good attention or I would be flat. I'm very sorry orange Honda guy.

After the adrenaline wore off, I decided that this was a sign that I did NOT need to add a loop down the "other" side of the subdivision as I had planned (to get to 2 hours - I like a round number) and instead I headed home. Pshew!

So, the moral of the story is - a girl has gotta eat.

Here is the weekly report, which I am thinking of omitting from the blog and posting on the Beginner Triathlete forum instead. They have cool graphs and I like graphs. Any objections?

Sun: Nothing. Had big plans but life intervened. Big Christmas dinner with my family.
Mon: 3.51 mile run at 10:10 pace (10:39 pace if you count the 1/2 mile walk at the end). Lunch with Doug's family and Christmas Eve Mass in the gym. Note to self, 3:15 is not early enough for the 4pm Mass. There was no room in the sanctuary and we got the last non-bleacher seats (important since my Grammy is 87) in the gym.
Tues: 3.54 mile run at 10:45 pace (10:52 pace if you count the walk). IT band issues today - I think Nat is right that my legs don't like the cold. Santa came! My family came for lunch and Doug's parents came for dinner. Doug cooked the feast and we were going to eat without guests but thought they might be lonely.
Wed: 26.95 mile bike to river and back at 14.4 mph avg
Thurs: 2,500 yard swim. 5x500 in 50 minutes - all easy except for the last 500.
Fri: 3.51 mile run at 10:15 pace (10:39 if you count the walk). Lovely morning - one of the other members of the dark-30 club and I were congratulating each other on the beautiful weather. Then, the skies opened up while I was in the shower. Good thing I ran because work was stressful this day.
Sat: 32.42 mile bike at 13 mph avg. Nat and I both forgot our Garmins so this time and distance (and therefore speed) are estimates. It felt harder than 13 mph but we did ride for 2.5 hours so maybe that was it.
Totals: 2,500 yards swimming, 59.37 miles biking and 10.56 miles running. The running was actually only 9 miles and the rest walking fast. I'm trying to take it slow with the running comeback, but next week - 4 miles! Whooo!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Flight of the Bumblebee

Here are some videos from the loudest toy my kids got for Christmas this year. Thanks to my family for that. This is a beehive-shaped skipping device that plays "Flight of the Bumblebee" at full volume. It is a variation on the Skip-It toy from the 1980s (found that out on wikipedia). Here is a photo link so you can see what I'm talking about - link. Do you remember friends having the Skip-it? I loved that thing. This new toy is actually not as easy as the Skip-It, but boy do the girls ever like to have it on. It could drive a certain someone crazy, if we let it. You can't really hear the relentlessness of the song on these videos because they are from my phone but that's not bad video from the phone!

Oh, and Dagny and I enjoyed looking at all of the versions of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on YouTube. The one we picked was the most fun so you should check it out.

I get to bike with Nat later, so happy trails. Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Eat too Much

It seems like, in between presents, we cooked, ate and cleaned-up all day yesterday.

For breakfast, cereal (for me only - I love cereal), bacon, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, pineapple.

For lunch/brunch, my family came over. I thought I would share the fabulous new recipes I found to make them. Alas, Cook's Illustrated does not let you link to or even view their recipes without joining their site. I hate that, but may have to renew my subscription anyway just because these recipes were so good. If you see the Christmas baking issue of their magazine at the store, it is definitely worth buying. The menu: again with the bacon, french toast casserole with walnut topping, toasted oatmeal scones, sectioned oranges and grapefruit. Don't forget the mimosas and the tarte d'alsace from Trader Joes for appetizer. We forgot that we had bought the fruit from the kid in the band next door. It was a big surprise when the big box arrived on Friday. We've only now (after three large family events) eaten enough to put the remainder in the fridge. I managed not to slice my hand doing the grapefruit this time.

Doug has been looking forward to making Christmas dinner for weeks. Turkey (brined and roasted), stuffing with apples and walnuts (not supposed to be cornbread stuffing, but I didn't know that. oops. Shopper error), green beans, Emeril's cheddar bacon mashed potatoes and the leftover casserole from lunch for dessert. I did peel my fingers more than three times while doing the potatoes. Grammy always says that everything is better with a little blood in it.

Whew. Better start running now to get working off all of that bacon and cream!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

Aside - today Doug and I compared the tread on my new and old (retired) running shoes because I accidentally tried to wear one of each and noticed that the wear is already starting to show on my new shoes.

"How many miles on them?" he asked.

I just did a lot of number crunching on my Training Center program and the answer is a whopping 66.6 miles. Yep, since October 26. Nat runs that many miles in one week. No wonder I was slow in the race today.

Back to the topic. Stay on task! That is our new mantra at home because Annika can't concentrate long enough to put her shoes on, brush her teeth or use the bathroom. Stay on task!

Anyway, triathletes and runners, have you ever noticed that sometimes people take your fitness for granted? Like, it's just luck that you aren't obese? Or that you can eat whatever you want because you exercise? I have a friend that does this - she always (in a very nice way, because she really is a sweet woman) mentions that I'm so lucky that I'm small.

Well, let me tell you folks. I'm not small. I'm not saying I'm fat, because that isn't true. But small, no.

I know this because I went to a certain underwear store recently. Because of my build, I have a hard time finding bras that fit so I asked for help. The woman eyeballed me and said "what do you wear now, 32?" Um, no. She measured me and insisted that I had to be a 34 at most so I tried that. My skin and whatnot leaked out the sides of the garment so I asked for her to take another humiliating look. I'm a 36. Pair that with the "nearly don't need one" cup size and it makes for difficult fitting.

Anyway, I have a point here beyond my stupid boobs.

I think that people (and by people, I mean women) would be more satisfied with their bodies and themselves if they could focus on their overall fitness instead of (a) dress size, (b) weight, or (c) body mass index, which is just a function of weight. Sure, there are people who wear size 0 and 2. I am not one of them - my frame is larger. So what. My 36 inch chest will not go into a size 2 shirt without the "fat-man-in-a-little-coat" feeling. Those strong bones and muscles mean that I can heft both of my kids into my arms and carry them (sometimes kicking and screaming) at the same time. And, you know what? The more expensive the clothes, the bigger the sizes are. A 0 at Nordstrom is a hell of a lot bigger than a 0 at Kohls. Buy what fits and clip out the tags! Sure, there are women who weigh 100 lbs. Also not me. So what. At 100 lbs, I would look like a skeleton. I don't know what a good BMI would be but my guess is tall and willowy is better than short and stubby. Bad news for the 5 foot 3 inch world. Again, who cares.

At the risk of sounding like I have a complex (which I clearly do - and what woman doesn't?), I think that this short and sturdy (my Grammy's word) body is pretty good. It sure does a lot of fun stuff even if the knees are sketchy. I think that perhaps people would enjoy their bodies more if they just used them more. It's hard to think your body is "wrong" when it will take you on a 5K or a 30 mile bike ride or a mile in the pool.

But is it luck that my body will do this stuff? Heck no. It's hard work and a lot of it. And some hefty denial of yummies. Sarah and Wes and Anne will tell you that. The hard work allows you to eat the yummies and drink the beer, but it doesn't give you license to go crazy.

Um, maybe I didn't have a point after all.

Anyway, here's the report:

Sun: No exercise. Baked 2 batches pumpkin bread, 3 batches cookies. Feet swollen and hands cracking by the end.
Mon: 3,000 yd swim. Done as 1x2,000; 2x500. There was a woman on the BT board who mentioned that she swam her first mile so I had to see if I could do it too. Not that I'm competitive or anything.
Tues: 3.52 mile run at 10:41 pace in the flats. This was actually at a 10:10 pace plus a walk for a half mile at the end.
Wed: 3.52 mile run at 10:19 pace - actually 9:50 pace plus same walk as Tues. I got up at 2am this morning because the dog had to pee and then I just stayed up because I had to do a bunch of work before taking the girls to school and then I had to do some Santa shopping. Then, late in the afternoon while we were making dinner, the guy on the other side of the deal that I worked all morning on changed it all around so that we had to redo all of the work. Sigh.
Thurs: 2,500 yard swim. 5x500. Shoulder still too sore for speed drill. Or, just too lazy and snotty. I forgot to go to my car appointment this morning. oops. Might need to bake them some cookies for that.
Fri: Nada. Got up at 4:15 to pay bills so I'd have time to run before work. Went upstairs to run and found out that the nanny had called in sick. Doug and I played tag-team with the childcare instead of working out. 1 batch brownies and 2 batches cookies to complete the baking extravganza.
Sat: 3.18 mile run at 8:49 pace. Doug and girls and I ran the Virginia Highlands Christmas 5K. It was nice race - challenging hills and pretty neighborhoods. Doug had informed me that we would run 9 1/2 minute miles because I'm still healing. Then, the crowd was really thick at the start. We bobbed and weaved a lot the first mile and I lost Doug/Annika in the fray. It's hard to maneuver strollers in a crowd. At the 1 mile mark, I still hadn't caught Doug and noticed that we were on an 8:15 min/mile pace. I decided that Doug meant that I was supposed to be doing the 9 1/2 minute pace so I slowed down and allowed them to accelerate away from me. Then, Dagny's hands got cold because they were exposed. I stopped, put her hands and her Teddy under the bunting and restarted. She hurled Teddy from the stroller and started to cry. She wanted Teddy but not in the blanket. Sigh. Then the hills. They were tough. I passed many people as I bumbled down the hills but they all passed me back on the uphills. I finished in 27 minutes, XX seconds. Not a PR, but still a fun race and morning with my peeps. Thanks to Sara and Pete for the loan of their stroller.
Totals: 5,500 yds swimming, 0 biking, 10.22 miles run/walking. This running fitness is going to take a long time to come back. Maybe I'll get so much faster in the swim that it will even out. NOT!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let the Baking Begin

This is the last week of school, of Dagny's sports class, of Annika's basketball, of the garbage guys, mailman, etc before the Christmas breaks/vacations. That means only one thing - baking. Thank goodness that the room moms in both classes have collected money for the teacher's gifts. Now all I have to do is the cookies, breads, etc.

I've perused the cookbooks and recipe box and the girls and I will hit the Publix after basketball. I cut my run/walk short today because I'll be on my feet all afternoon while the girls nap. That is OK -I have learned that supportive shoes are important for long recipes. Is that silly? I don't think so. When I was pregnant, I had to put phone books on the floor to elevate one foot to relieve the pressure on my back. Compared to that, wearing cushioned shoes is nothing.

Annika is going to see "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" with my mom tonight. She is so excited, she can't stand it. :) Dagny is hanging with us while Lotzie and Mrs. Lotzie come for dinner. Dagny is not ready for prime time yet so we can't take her for an evening at their house. I think it's going to be a nice day.

All this optimism and good cheer - because I RAN TODAY. That's right - RAN. It wasn't my fastest and I'm a little stiff and will be applying the frozen peas after my shower, but still. Endorphins, you are my friend. Dooce has an excellent post this week about doing what it takes to appreciate your life. For me, that is running. And beer. If you tend towards the blues or nerves or anxiety or rage, you should read the post and the comments. Heck, you all should read it. She says what needs to be said.

Here is the report for this week:

Sun: 3.07 mile run/walk at 12:05 min pace
Mon: 26.3 mile bike with Nat. Biker B*tches are Back! We rode up to the bike store and around the Roswell route. It was a beautiful day.
Tues: 3.11 mile run/walk (mostly walk) at 11.31 min pace
Wed: 29.78 mile bike at 14.1 mph and 1.09 mile run at 9:24 pace in the flats. I rode the reverse of the ride Nat and I did on Monday and then added a loop out to Nat's folks. This is a longer bike than I thought it would be, and also faster because the 2 hrs 5 mins includes one potty break and one replacing of dropped chain. Doug was worried that I might have messed-up my chain, but I said no - it was shifter error. And I ran! Wooo! So, so happy with that.
Thurs: 2,500 yard swim. Lazy lazy 2 x 1,000 and then a 500 to finish. My shoulder was sore so I didn't attempt Nat's fast drill.
Fri: 2,500 yard swim. Shoulder didn't want to do the fast drill today either. 2 x 1,000 and then a 500 to finish. I think the first 1,000 came in under 20 mins, though, so that is something good. I've found that it takes me many laps to get warmed up and work out the kinks. Right about that time, my googles fog up. Weird.
Sat: 3.64 mile run at 10:06 min pace in the flats. Actually, I ran 3 miles at 9:30ish pace and then walked the last half mile to cool down. I replayed Doug's voice in my head so that I didn't overdo it and mess up my knee on my first run back.

Totals: 5,000 yards swimming; 56.08 miles biking; 10.91 miles run/walking. I'm very pleased with this week's activity. I'm not feeling so fat and my mood has improved greatly. : )

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back II Life

Can anyone guess the title reference? No, it's not Prince. He would say "Back 2 Life."

So anyway, I ran/walked yesterday! Whoo hooo! : ) So awesome. And, I turned my dad on to "Map My Run" for his walk routes and he told me that he's been running a little too. To get his wind up for the tennis, don't you know. Still - that is great. He kicks ass.

Last week was Doug's birthday and we went to F.A.B. for dinner with a bunch of dear friends. Do not be put off by the dippy name (stands for French American Brasserie) or the downtown location. Yes, it took 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there (rush hour) and 1 hour 30 minutes to get home (road work and Thrashers game), but the food was awesome. I found this place on TripAdvisor and the reviewers did not lie. Yummo. Joe ordered our appetizers and we had a potato dip that tasted like heaven. OK, heaven sauteed in bacon fat. Mmmmm. Everything is better with bacon. It went perfectly with the wine, not that I had much because I was driving, but still. . .

Here is the weekly report:

Sun: 3.12 mile walk at 13+ pace. Garmin has this on Monday but I think it is wrong.

Mon: 3,000 yard swim. Had to leave early for shopping but still a good swim.

Tues: 3.07 mile walk at 13:45 pace. I was trying to go faster, but couldn't do it on the hills.

Wed: 14 mile bike in one hour. Nat and I rode and both forgot our Garmins. I used "Map My Ride" to determine the mileage and since were only gone an hour (because I had to go to the office), I know the speed. It was fun and my knee didn't hurt at all after.

Thurs: 2,500 yard swim. 500; 1,000; 1,000. Someone actually spoke to me at the pool! Whoo! He said that they have tried to recruit him to the masters team. I was jealous that they wanted him on their team. He's a good swimmer, though - passed me a bunch of times. My hairdryer died at some point prior to me using it this morning. SIGH. Good thing I had a clip so that I didn't have to detour back home.

Fri: 19.97 mile bike at 14.4 mph. Had the day off, so I rode down to the river and then back. Note to all in the area - Wileo Road is closed and the detour has you go west on Hwy 120 to Coleman Road. The hill is loooong, but gentle. However, the speeding traffic who uniformly failed to merge into the empty left lane (going in the same direction because this is a divided road) were really scary. And some woman in a red Expedition decided to take me out on Coleman. Hmm, my bright yellow bike and red helmet must have distracted her from the fact that she didn't have the right of way. SIGH. I skidded sideways but managed to recover and not say any bad words. I did yell at her, though. On second thought, I might have said some bad words - or at least one really bad one.

Sat: 4.01 mile walk at 13.23 mile pace. I did this walk in shorts while everyone in our neighborhood was putting up their Christmas lights! Holy cow, the weather is weird this week.

Totals: 5,500 yards swimming, 33.97 miles biking, 10.20 miles walking. This is such an improvement. I feel like a new woman. My knee is sore, but not the sharp pains I'd been having. I think it really was the seat position - Colin was right. I may need to move it down even further.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Just Makes Me Stronger?

Yeah, so, I'm walking. And it's sucking.

But first, here are some photos. The first two are of the turkeys we made for Dagny's class Thanksgiving party. Annika helped me so we made some for her class too. Thanks to Linda for giving me the instructions. Here is a link to the book they came from, which her sister-in-law wrote. Very fun project with 4-5 year olds. The top is the second batch, which were better because we had determined that we DID need the second caramel for the head and that the beak needed to be up there and not below.

Here is Dagny in the first of our many attempts to get a Christmas card photo. She loves the puppies on her shirt, which I just noticed that you can't see. Rats - they are really cute.

And, Annika in her new jammies. I just wrote that I don't know why we were taking photos in our jammies, but I remembered that I was taking pictures of the girls playing hide and seek (HILARIOUS!) and Annika found such a good place and looked so devilish that I snapped her.

Here is a photo of Dagny counting. 1...2...3...789 He-aah I come!

Apparently the other photos in this series got corrupted or I accidentally took movies. Oh well, they were awesome. We can use this as an opportunity to see if I can do the movie upload. Here is Annika doing ring-around-the-rosy with Dogarita while we make dinner.

Weekly workout update:

Sun: Nothing. Not even church. We were so whipped that we couldn't make it to anything.

Mon: 3,000 yard swim. I did Nat's fast 10 x 100 drill and a 1,000 plus 500 w/u and c/d. I might have done 3,100 yards because I lost count while trying to figure out how many laps were in 2 miles.

Tues: Again with the nothing. Thought that I'd rest the knee for a run on Thurs.

Wed: 3,600 yard swim. 1,000 w/u, 600, 1,000, 2x500. See, Jerry said that 72 laps is a mile so I thought I would make it my goal to swim the ironman distance (2.4 miles). This is two miles so I'm pretty pleased with that, especially since I have no other outlets for my tension and craziness. Doug suggested that I get to 2.85 because that is the distance around our block - it would take significantly longer to swim, though - like 2 full hrs.

Thurs: 0.38 mile walk. I thought I'd do an easy run and walk if necessary. My knee had other plans and even walking hurt so I bagged it after just doing the warm-up.

Fri: 2,500 yard swim. All 500s - as fast as possible (50minutes or a little less) because you have to finish early to beat the high school girls to the showers.

Sat: 3.08 mile walk. 13.42 minute per mile pace. It was a beautiful day and running hurt so I walked. Sigh.

Totals: Last week was negligible except for the race. 9,100 yards swimming, 0 miles biking, 3.46 miles walking. Baby steps, baby steps. I hope to walk today or tomorrow. Cross fingers.

OMG, that video was so fun that I have to put another one on.