Friday, September 30, 2005

T-48 or so

I had a dream last night that I grew a mustache. This lack of exercise is really getting to me. Ever focused on the marathon, my dilemma with the mustache was that I didn't want that on my finishing photo. So, I worried and fretted about how to get rid of it. I didn't want to shave because that would only make it worse, so I spent the balance of that dream looking obviously transgendered. Oh, to have access to photo shop at times like these, that could be a fun experiment.

Or not.

"Mom, there is a 13 year old boy on the bus and he has his own cell phone and he can date."

Hyphen Girl doesn't like taking the bus, I don't entirely blame her, but that might be an ace she wants to save for a little later in life. Primarily because she still lives safely inside the bubble of "you don't have a cell phone, you're years from dating and you're barely allowed outside the house without supervision". I've got to give her credit for trying though, that was a fairly insightful bluff.

She is focused on her own "marathon" experience right now anyhow. She is going to run part of the bike course which constitutes a non public school fundraiser, whereby the kids raise pledges for covering any or all of a 9 mile bike course. She has been loosely training since her 5K this summer in anticipation of the highlight of the running season, The Turkey Trot. Each year for the past 11 we've gathered as many friends as were available to run this race on Thanksgiving morning. This will be her first year and she is psyched. A couple of friends from school are training to run with her, and hopefully their moms will come along for the ride. She has a plan mapped out down to which gel pack to consume enroute. Since that is all part of the experience I'm not about to tell her she probably doesn't need a nutrition supplement on a four mile run, I think I'll even fill my flask belt for her. Four miles is a long run when 3 is the farthest you've travelled.

Her homeroom is potentially stopping by the site today, hence the entry. I spent the summer listening to Radio Disney and gaining small insights into the tweener world. Check that, it's more like the pre tweener world, they graduate up the secular food chain a little faster each year.

Soapinator is going to a birthday party today at a store I remain highly conflicted about. The store is little girl fantasy on steroids, or should I say on MTV. The idea is that they get their hair and make up done and play dress up. No problem with girls and dress up, I think it's great. This store extends dress up to the next level where you get to see your 8 year old arrayed like Brittany or Christina complete with song and dance. Again, not great role models but still fairly innocent primarily becasue the kids don't get it. It gets creepy when the dress up becomes an extension of the mom's own psychosexual Desparate Housewife fantasy. Women elevating their daughter's sexuality publicly in the hopes that alluring daughter equates to vixen mother is simply too disturbing. Soapinator, you can be a squirrly little girl for many years to come. If the mom hosting the party wasn't a great woman and mom Soap wouldn't be going. As it is, I think they will have a great time, six 8 year old giggling girls. Look out brothers.

Speaking of which, they will be home with dad tonight as I have to work. When the wife is out it's game/cigar/scotch night at single dad's house. So the question, how much do you clean house when the boys are coming over? Check that. Beer's in the fridge, wood is in the fire pit (I don't want to smell one hint of cigar in my living room boys-smoke outside!) I'll clean tomorrow (taper style) for the carbo load dinner here tomorrow night.

Next post race report.

Have a great weekend!

Hi 6th Graders!

HG sends a shout out to her homeroom class. Yo!
Thanks for your prayers for the marathon. Sam's mom is running as well as Ian's mom. It's exciting to set a goal like that, train hard and God willing pass the finish line.
We'll see you at the other Marathon Saturday, have a great time biking!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 la la ....

Current favorite family song: "Bicycle" by Queen. Sorry no link but you can get it at Itunes.

Did you know when boys see "virtually indestructible" on a toy package they take it as a personal challenge?

Can someone please tell me which marketing genius conspired to stamp that on the styrofoam glider we picked up last night?

My house is really clean right now. Funny how 12 or so extra hours in a week can help you catch up on the piles. I rode my bicycle (see now the song is stuck in my head for the duration) to the bank and on a few errands yesterday. I still need to go pick up a few hammer gels and was ready to go this afternoon but Buck Naked Boy got on the bus, broke down crying, got off the bus, went and crawled in my bed and slept for almost 3 hours. Kindergarten can be tough I guess, there is that pressure to learn everything you need to know, and he just needed a nap. This is why this year is just warm up kindergarten for him. Next year he will go to school with the other three and will do kindergarten all over again. Next year's K will be 3 days all day, so it will be like a promotion for him. He wanted to eat lunch at 9:00 this morning because it was raining. For some reason he really wanted to go to school in the rain. No matter how I configured the argument he could not get around the idea that eating lunch does not precipitate the arrival of the bus. 5 year old logic, I eat lunch, I yell that news down the street to the bus driver, and the bus arrives. It's worked everyday for the last 3 weeks, it ought to work today. As the clouds cleared and the rain stopped his frown grew darker. Suddenly I was the arbiter of all weather patterns and it was my fault that the bus did not arrive while it was raining.
I was briefly tempted to soothe his grief with the assurance that I would make a rainy day for him if it were in my power, but somehow that seemed to reinforce the idea that parents can universally deliver the every whim or request of a kid. I'm sorry son, some days it rains and some days it doesn't. So, we sat on the steps and waited for the bus. I told him I was sorry that he couldn't go to school in the rain, but then he declared that I'm not allowed to talk...or sing...or hum...
He didn't want to call for the bus, he just flat out didn't want to go to school. So, he went to bed, and I worked on piles. He woke up in a far more pleasant mood and my house was a little cleaner.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Training without training

My beloved Broncos won 30-10 last night. Yea!!!!! I'll admit, I fell asleep in the middle of the third quarter, they had the game in hand and I'm trying to make sure I rest well this week. If it had been any other team I wouldn't have made it to half time. Bronco games and chilli go together like Elway and (insert just about any WR or TE) so I whipped up a batch. Like Orange Crush and Mile High Salutes, my chili is not for the faint of heart nor for those afflicted with Little Kahuna Brother problems. "fire in the hole" takes on a whole new meaning. Like they say, if you can't take the heat stay out of my kitchen. Or, you can just eat waffles with my kids. Typically belgian waffles are a Sunday brunch affair, but I made the exception because we weren't home for brunch and I love my kids and don't want to prematurely fry their taste buds. The waffles are a whole other food catagory. My two ocd kids spend 15 minutes just preparing their masterpiece. Should I be worried about the one who decorates each square of 2 waffles with perfect synchronicity before consuming? Contrast that with the two who prefer the dump and shovel technique and it's quite a spectacle. BTW the waffle camps aren't divided by gender either, there is one boy/girl in each camp.

Verticle Man signed up for Chang's so the movement is growing. With Commodore's new swimming lake we could have a great kick off training weekend for Ironman '06.

Of course this presumes I've made a final decision on Florida (my long held contention has been that I need to complete a marathon first-ask me Monday) and that any of the tri geek alliance wants to hang out with Trimama in Arizona in January and that any of you plan to be actually training in January. If you live in a cold state do you really have a choice. Just think, training outside in the winter-I know bizarre concept.

One final very rewarding part to all of this endurance stuff. For some reason it is easier to persuade people to try running 3 miles or 13 miles when you are traveling 26.2 or 140.6. To date Team Trimama has added 8 members and is growing every week. That's not including work clients, so 8 new people training for better health, that's a good thing.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Just another day at the office

Doug! Steve! What's up?
Looking large, gentlemen. You
guys want the rest of my power
-- holding it up.
(holding it up)
No, we got a Nitro bar.
(holding it up)
How 'bout an Energy Booster Bar?
(holding it up)
No, we got a Muscle Triplicator
Okay, but let me know if you need
some carbs. I got a case of
'carbolicious' in the back. But
supplements aside, can I get some
quality time with you fellas?
We're in between sets. Lay it on.
How long we been friends?
All seven years of high school.
That's right. That's why I got to be
real with you now. And I'm not gonna
sugar coat it. As a professional
trainer, I'm a little worried about
your pecs. You guys don't go all the
way down. It's called full
extension. And I'm not seeing it.
Craig, you're right. We actually had
a long talk about that the other
I just don't want you to cheat
yourselves. I'm sorry I had to come
down on you like this, but in a weird
way, that's my job.
Hey, that's why we love you and we
hate you
Still friends?
You know it.

I've only seen this scene of the movie, but I saw it the other night when I had just returned from work. I'm still laughing on about 8 levels. It must be the taper is getting to my brain. Speaking of which, only 6 days to go-whooo hooo. Everything seems to be working well, I'm getting in a lot of stretching to keep loose. My only running this week will be errands, which find me searching out a foam roller for..whatever foam rollers are for. My understanding is a dual massage/stretching run better thing. I think I'll pick up some carbolicious while I'm at it.

And bum bum bum buuuummmm. The Broncos are on Monday Night Football tonight. Now that's how to manage a taper. I will not break training (light beer) I will not break training (light beer) I will not break traing........

Saturday, September 24, 2005

check out how to win this
and help the children separated from their families during Katrina

hey look, I'm rambling.....

"So, are you here for the health fair?" he said as he waved his cigarette at me.

Yes, I am

(draaaaaagggggg) cough, "It's around the front of the building" pointing with his other, as yet unlit, but soon to be lit off end of burning one, cigarette.

One of my many job responsibilities is to go to metro area businesses that are hosting health fairs for their employees. I take blood pressure and administer body fat percentage tests. I'm just guessing that my very helpful tour guide will not be attending today. I personally hold no moral judgements against those who smoke. It is a legal, regulated activity and people engage in it knowing the full impact on health and economy. Smokes are $4.00 a pack here now with about $2.50 of that being tax to off set health costs and raise revenue for the state. I do think smoking is foolish for both health and economic reasons. That thought was cemented as I watched my grandfather drown in his own bodily fluid as he died from lung cancer-a lifelong smoker.

So, I spent the morning talking fat with people. Talking health with people. Our display for the Y included a basket of chocolate kisses. Of course no one takes a kiss straight on. There is always the obligatory, "oh I shouldn't" comment. Then there are the hands that come sneaking around from behind the display to snag a candy. Somehow I think the candy sneak would be far more effective if the perpetrator wasn't trying to conceal a 300 pound frame behind a carboard sign. I bite my tongue on so many comments it hurts when I leave. Better my tongue than the feelings of those who wouldn't understand my sense of humor that sees irony and humor in most things.

This health fair was a little slow so I tested myself and added yet another reason to love triathlon. A bodyfat percentage less than 1/2 of twice my age. It took me half of my six mile run to figure out that equation, so if you need help I'll provide a tutorial. hint: 37-1=2F Yes, I was thrilled. This age/body fat criteria makes 40 look like La vida loca.

Finally, totally cool, I have 2 friends to go to packet pick up with-those things aren't any fun alone, and I just heard last night my boss is running the marathon and we run the same pace so we are going to try to hook up. Yea!!!!!!!!

Have a good safe weekend everybody

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Caution, taper ahead

With 10 days to go until
TCM I can see the taper on the horizon. No endurance athlete cares much for tapers, I hate them in mid season in particular. I've figured out that my muscles are the most fatigued about 6 days after a long run, so I am aiming for one last speed workout and one final long run this week. Then rest and wait. I will probably run 2-3 miles on Tues and a short bike on Thurs and then that's it. I tried the speed workout yesterday in the afternoon heat (92 degrees) and humidity. We even had tornados last night, unheard of in September. Since it was the last day of summer, and it was hot, we stopped for the obligatory after school ice cream. The speed workout started well with a 3:53 loop (that I've calculated to be 800 yards or .45 miles) for a warm up. Loop 2 on 45 sec rest was 3:35, at the end of which it occured to me that a McDonalds strawberry shake, no matter how appealing on a hot day, is not a good pre speed workout snack. Loop 3 on 2:10 rest (Soapinator had to take a cycle on her bike and I had to time her) took 3:21. Ironically I thought I was slowing down and barked in my own ear for the final 300. "Don't you dare quit! I don't care if strawberry comes blowing out your nose you are not quitting on this loop. We don't quit in the middle of a loop! Move your a-s-s!

Mommy you sound like you are dying.

gasp, gasp. Just catching my breath. Buuurrrrpppp.

Oh, nice one mom (what am I teaching these kids?

So, now decision time. The shake I should never have consumed is bubbling in the back of my throat waiting to spray chunky pepto bismal across the landscape. Its hot and my runs are feeling progressively less productive right now. Will one more lap add to my marathon experience or just leave pink acid burning the inside of my noise all night?

Then I glance at "the hill" 100 yards of sheer childhood thrill when covered with snow. It occured to me that it might be better to change this one into a hill workout. I have no idea why I thought running hills would be easier on the stomach than sprints, but the burp seemed to have helped and I ran to the top of the hill. As I toed up the last several yards I felt a tightening in my achilles that didn't feel so good. No, that didn't feel right at all. Decision time again. I could run several more hills and get in a good stressing working out, but I could also snap that tendon and be done.

Some days you just need to quit when you are ahead, or at least quit when that little voice is saying, hey moron, you're ahead right now but don't tempt fate, it's not worth it. I have no idea if running would have brought injury, and with only 10 days to go it just wasn't worth finding out the hard way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Compelling reasons

This my friends is what spammers have reduced me to. You see, I don't wear glasses, I've been 20-20 my whole life. Now with the onset of spam blockers and age it has become necessary to use this handy little thing to get the screen to stop moving with all of your spam blockers. Thanks for the geritol experience.

BTW, with all of your spam blockers I've noticed considerably less spam in my comments in spite of not enabling my site-which is another sign of age as I can't figure out how to get the thing to engage.

About my Ironman considerations, on the plus side of the ledger, I have my health right now, which is never guaranteed, so it makes sense to dive in while you know you can swim.

Check this out for all you minivan drivers.

and here you can view other favorites such as "Jesus loves me but he can't stand you". Classic.

Another item on the plus side of the ledger, I drive a minivan but I don't want my life to be a minivan life. Ironman elevates above minivan (even if Ford is the sponsor--allow me to elaborate before I peeve all of the Ford afficianados-well let's just say Ford Truck would be a better sponsor, better then say Found On the Road Dead. This is an endurance race afterall.)

Finally, I really like the idea of being part of a team, part of a group training towards a common goal. I think it will be beyond words to celebrate with the tri geek team as each member crosses the finish line. Can I cheer sitting on the bench? Absolutely. My high school basketball team won it's first state championship my senior year of high school. I worked year round for six years to achieve that moment and I cheered when it arrived. The only problem was that I was cheering from Minnesota and my team was in Colorado-we had moved at the start of my senior year. It would be fun to be in the game this year and acutally get the hardware.

So, the contemplation continues...for about 46 more days...

Monday, September 19, 2005


No cohesive thought here today, there are too many naked barbies laying around the house so I really need to clean up this morning. That and the 12 loads of laundry in various stages of sort, wash, fold and put away. Ironically, there are no barbie clothes in the piles so they will end up in a pile of Roman debauchery at the top of the stairs for now.

Along with the normal piles of household, work, and life to contend with, my brain is always slightly on the Ironman horizon. The whole endevour strikes me as counterintuitive to my personality and position in life. Crossing the Ironman finish line requires a good deal of money and time, neither of which I am comfortable consuming solely for myself. For Tridaddy, Florida is a forgone conclusion and he is ready to move heaven and earth to make it all happen. So, while my mind is filled with should I really, and what if's, he is posting pictures of the Florida beach on our desk top--for inspiration--he says. It would be so much easier if this was his pursuit that I was supporting. For whatever reason we seem fated to experience Ironman through our effort but my body. I believe strongly in fate and purpose for life, it just drives me nuts not knowing the point behind the compelling providence which will bring me to that "click the button" moment Nov 6th. That's what is strange about this, I don't need it, in the sense that my life is challenging enough. I'm not a demonstrative person, so I'm not likely to run around exclaiming my ironman status-well a little tatoo would be in order- I frankly don't care to spread that information too widely-primarily because it goes beyond the comprehension of most of the people I know. Yet hardly a day goes by that my mind doesn't wander to some place on that course. Certainly every workout at some point brings reflection on what that particular discipline will feel like in Florida.

It's like I have a disease. A beastly triathlon disease. Minus the compulsion. And the addiction. I would be perfectly content to remain in the ranks of the sprint/occasional olympic triathlete.

Who am I kidding? I want to go to Florida. I want to train and build and move toward that incredible goal. I just don't want my family to lack anything in the process.

I've got to start believing that if this really is providence, it will all work out in the end.

I have a suspicion the "exactly why am I doing this?" question will be a constant refrain over the next year. I am looking forward to the answer.

(so long as because you are a selfish egomaniac isn't among the answers. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

T-16 and counting

Twin Cities marathon, (which thank goodness has no sponsor as yet because I really don't want to run the Tetrisil Twin Cities "soothe the itch" Marathon. Which would spawn the obligatory Playtex "Go with the flow" woman's marathon. Go ahead, conjure up your own sponsors,) is only 2 weeks away. (I'm fully aware of the grammatical nightmare of that last sentence-it's late though so cut me some slack please) I'm ready... I think. Compared to triathlons, marathons are just not as nerve wracking. Lace on your shoes and run. Ok, run a really long time, but run. Walk if you need to, eat before you need to, drink enough fluids and just keep moving. I can do that. I hope to do it effectively. I will be quite pleased to do it very effectively. I hold no expectations other than to finish becasue I never have. If this goes well I plan to train a little harder for Chang's in January.

I did receive my confirmation packet and laughed along with Hyphen Girl when she pointed out the following lost and found procedure:

Lost & Found items, including Lost Kids (the distant cousins of The Lost Boys), should be turned into and/or can be picked up at the Information Booth located just outside the Secured Finish Area (see Finish Area Map). Any articles found will be sent to this Information Booth and may be claimed here until 3:00 pm race day. Articles will be held in the Marathon Office until November 4. Thereafter all items not claimed will be donated to charity.

The way I understand, I have free childcare until at least 3:00 that day. For the more unruly of The Tribe home will be The Marathon Office until November 4th, when The Mother will pick them up in The Car and bring them to The Home. Although there is always that charity option...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

IM Race report

I wanted to wait to post my pics and story of IMmoo until my fellow athletes had the opportunity to tell their stories. Go read Tri Geek Dreams and Chris's race reports, then come back for the spectators view.

Oh, and I had a little extra iron in my blood so I ran 15.75 miles in 2:10 yesterday- which is good because my first ever marathon is only three weeks out. Now on to the report.

We arrived in Wisconsin's capitol city Saturday night about 8. The capitol was lit and beautiful although I swear the streets of St. Paul were laid out by the same drunk irishmen (of Gov Ventura's fame) as the ones who designed St. Paul.

We pulled into the hotel parking lot and of course the first thing I saw was this which might be the only other exception I could make to the no bumper sticker rule.

Our fellow team from the local bike club were no where to be found so we planted ourselves in the pub of the hotel for a beer and to watch Ohio State choke, leaving just a splinter of room atop the Big 10. (at least for a week-the Gophers are still beating up the local high school teams and have a 2-0 record) Much to our delight all shots were $3.00. I had to ask, does that include eeeevvveeeerrrry bottle on the shelves. Yes it did. How unfortunate for my training that the dusty old bottles of tequila and scotch were included. We each indulged in a generous shot for the sake of frugality.

There were several loud gatherings outside our room that night, the final one at about 4:30 am. I woke up and realized it was race day and that I could sleep another hour. Somehow my fear of being eaten by a shark slipped into my dreams and I was at IMFL '06. To combat a shark attack I was going to swim in a shark shaped micro sub. A true evolutionary miracle that, a shark with bilateral breathing.

Of course there are no sharks in Lake Monona and it was a beautiful day for a swim. I'll warn you in advance I was such a bundle of nerves most of my pictures are blurry. There was quite a procession of athletes as they made their way through the swim arch to the lake.
Every few minutes the announcer gave the count of how many were in the water. The intensity on the faces was palpable.
This couple kindly posed for a picture as they readied themselves for the swim.

The national anthem was sung as the final athletes entered the water.That always tears me up but more so on such an inspiring day--9/11 Ironman.

The last swimmers crossed the arch and entered the water as anticipation filled the crowd and athletes alike. The official race number was just under 2100 athletes, an amazing spectacle all in the lake at once. Chris mentioned the lake water was 72 degress. I wonder if that was before or after the line up. Hundreds of spectators were on hand and a great cheer erupted with the firing of the starting canon. They say the start of an Ironman race is like a washing machine, I can believe it. The elites get a little starting area to themselves, but the other 2050 swimmers churn the water at the same time. I was amazed at the arm turnover speed for the leaders. 2.4 miles in 47 minutes. That was just plain amazing. The swim was a double loop, so I couldn't help but think what it was like to be finishing your first lap when the leaders swam past you and exited the course.
Among the first swimmers to exit was a young man who had been cut from his college swim team for not having enough endurance. Oops.

The transition area was set up at the top of a parking ramp which meant you ran a good 1/4 mile up the ramp helix to get to your bike. The ramp was lined with spectators and there were tons of "crews" with signs and shirts. My favorite of the day was this woman.I'll look for her next year. We watched the first several hundred swimmers exit the water and then scrounged up a cup of coffee. The most agonizing story of the day was the guy who shared our bench calling home to his mom to let her know he wouldn't be racing. He had strained his back golfing the week before and couldn't get it to go back in line to race. How disappointing. We extended our sympathy--he'll be out there again. We reported to our aid station a little before 11. The pirate thing turned out to be fun and we had great station captains. We handed out soaked sponges as the runners piled through. The run is also a double loop and our street was a 2 way run street so we saw the runners 4 times. That got a little chaotic about 3pm. I've also easily seen some of the most creative uses for ice in cooling down that I could ever have imagined.

Now, including my stint at Lifetime, I have absorbed the sweat of some of the worlds truly most gifted and inspiring athletes, my shoes were soaked with water and sweat as we made our way home. I hope a little of that grit and determination find their way into my blood for this next year, but for now it's just enough to say I saw it all unfold.

Great race to all of you 1/2 and Ironmen, it was a fun and truly an inspiring day

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Mr. 400!!!!!

Congrats to our own Mr. 400!!!!!!!!!!!

I wouldn't dream of stealing his thunder, so read about it all

here when he's recovered enough to share.

Way to go Chris on an extremely hot, humid and challenging day.

You are an IRONMAN!!!!!!!

One small step...

It's been a long, hot sweaty day and we weren't even competing. Had a total blast, much more to follow tomorrow.

Until then, here is my one more small step to IRONMAN.

Note, I deliberately did not cross that finish line--I'm saving that for the real thing :)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

You want me to be a what?

Ok, so we started receiving emails for our volunteer station at Ironman. Now keep in mind the city hosting this incredible event is affectionately nicknamed "Mad City" in honor of the college students who make up forty percent of the population. (Or was it for the forty percent of the population being politicians?)

Being a U of MN alumni, I was happily obliged to travel to mad city on different occasions like Badger/Gopher games. Unlike the U of MN, the Badgers play in a wonderful outdoor stadium and the crowds rival Lambeau in their revelry. Beer for breakfast anyone? As part of the fun the student section had taken to body passing, which generally entailed several drunk young men passing one drunk and buxom young woman from the bottom of the section to the top. Other paraphenelia was also passed, and anything inanimate was eventually heaved over the top wall to the chants of "O--ver, O--ver". On occasion a freshman guy would be sent up the passing line to the chant of "O-ver, O--ver" but somehow the inebriates detected a heartbeat, perhaps because of the string of profanity bellowing from their prey, and dropped the poor guy on the top bleacher. Of course all of the frivolity was conducted under the watchful eyes of security guards who were charged with keeping all hands and feet inside the roller coaster at all times. A beach ball would be produced and start batting around the student section and the guards would descend to confiscate. A cat and mouse game would ensue where the student body would allow the guard to get just so close to the ball before batting it to another section. The game would end abruptly with a deflating plunge of Ed, the security guard, Geene's knife into the ball which had been batted to him by the aforementioned freshman male.

O--ver, O--ver!

It was all part of the raucous fun of games at Camp Randall. Nothing serious ever happened. Nothing, that is until the year before I started school. Somehow, probably owing to the aging of the stadium and the constant beating the bleachers withstood, a section of bleacher tore free. The Badgers were being pummeled 40-3 in the first half and the students were thirsty for, well of course beer, but also some excitement. The dethroned coeds hoisted their polyvinyl slab above their heads and almost instantly the rejoinder began.

O--ver, O--ver!

The security guards couldn't move fast enough and the bench wasn't dropped like the frosh. Down it crashed three stories to it's splintered death.

Forty percent cheered raucously. Forty percent began penning wrongful death lawsuits. Beer was banned from Camp Randall.

At least beer sales were banned. Administrators never seemed to notice the additional heft of stadium goers in subsequent years, and wisely, no more benches were hoisted to their demise. A mutual concession.

These and many other memories flooded my mind as I read the email distribution list. Significantly more than 40 percent of recepients were I think I've mistakenly wandered into the Wildflower, Cal Poly, aide station. Then I read the next email from our intrepid captain of the aid station. She wants a theme for our water stop.

"Pirates of Lake Monona". They want us to dress up in costume for our aid station, to entertain the runners, and of course ourselves. Tridaddy thinks it's great because he thinks I'm going to be standing out there in my string bikini. Thank the gods a volunteer t shirt is required attire.

I haven't been anywhere near a frat theme party for almost 20 years. I have no nostalgic longing to re live my college days, but I also don't want to be the freshman killjoy. I might look like I'm 20 (I am still carded and was recently accused of holding a fake id-no kidding) but I've lost the swagger of youth. The minute I open my mouth I'm busted. I don't know the lingo, and I've long since abandoned the mannerisms. They want me to dress like a pirate, and all I can think of is my kid's birthday party. Somehow I don't think they are the same. Maybe the rum and cokes will bring it all back.

On second thought, more memories of Madison tell me I really ought to stick with water...

Lot's of pics and Ironman enthusiam to follow Monday.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Bait's in the water

I was already totally psyched about getting out of Dodge this winter to run in PF Chang's RnR Marathon for so many reasons, not the least of which is 70 degrees verses 20 below. Then I read this:

P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon Partners with Multisports

San Diego, Calif. (September 2, 2005) -- Runners and triathletes of all levels are invited to learn from some of the best in the field at the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Multisports Experience, presented by Triathlete Magazine that will be held in conjunction with the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon. Set for Jan. 12-14, 2006, the camp will culminate with participation in the third annual rock 'n' roll road race scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 15.

This is a new venture for the staff and athletes of Partnering with the PF Chang's Rock 'n Roll Arizona Martathon and Half Marathon, right in the venue that hosts the Ironman Arizona Triathlon in April 2006, has presented a perfect opportunity to merge athletes from both groups. Triathletes wanting to get a feel for the AZ environment can use the Marathon or Half Marathon as a great training day as well as attend lectures and informal workouts to support their triathlon goal.

Likewise, it is the perfect time for runners looking for some cross training knowledge to get some exposure to the multisports environment. The staff for the camp is quite the star studded affair with commitmentss from Peter Reid, Heather Fuhr and Michellie Jones.
Paula Newby-Fraser will be leading the 3.40 marathon pace group on race day, and there is a tentative commitment from the other star triathletes to pace different groups in both the Marathon and Half Marathon.

The whole Multisports team will be out in Tempe in January and looking forward to this new venture as the kick off our 2006 season of camps and clinics.

and now I am euphoric. Oh, may my winter training go well and may some other geeked triathletes take the bait


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Alton Brown, Tri Toe and Porno Mags

I love Alton Brown. He speaks my language as a food scientist/dietitian, and two nights ago he made power bars. Link to follow when I get time to put it up.

I officially entered the world of distance running with one black toenail. Am I proud of my "marathon toe"? You better believe it. A lot of miles went into the creation of that dying piece of appendage. "Mom, you have triathlon toe." surmised Hyphen Girl--(tri toe even better)--"that's cool. Do you think I will get that if I keep running?" Perhaps young running daughter, perhaps. Of course, this conversation was being conducted as I applied nail polish to my little mark of distinction. A short time remains for open toe sandals and I see no need to repulse any shy, eye averting people I encounter today.

Speaking of eye averting, my "Get your geek on!" magnet has created a stir amongst some of the more moralistic set at the kids school and at church.There's a naked man on that mom's car! The obligatory shading of child's eyes. The obligatory second and third glance. Pure Porno! And what is that device of sadomasochistic torture he is holding? Hmmmm? And what exactly is a geek anyhow?

If you have to ask, I'm not sure you have the guts to know.

Now, for any of you doubting my committment to the blog alliance, know I spent my sole 36 free minutes posting this and catching up on as many sites as I was able- Hope all are well and next week I'll be back.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The setting of the summer sun

The sun is setting perceptibly sooner now that Labor Day has passed. It seems to hasten it's descent across the evening sky, leaving a dusk that tarries not. I'm sure it is a deception of the mind to assign winter's paranoid to the sun, still I can't help but think the sun has little desire to remain when the cold artic wind begins it's encroachment. Yes, I know, we have winter and shorter days because of the earth's rotation around the sun and that we are beginning our movement to the furthest point on the ellipse from the sun and so on. I am complete emotion today. There is no logic in my brain for now. One final lingering sunset last night, a final tip of the hat to the last day of summer. While the calendar allows for autumn to begin September 22nd, fall starts for us when the first choke of diesel fuel belches from the school bus exhaust. I allowed myself to remain a little delusional yesterday. Afterall, it was 93 degrees, we began the morning with a 1.3 mile swim (longest open water in my life and it felt wonderful) continued the day with boats, bar b que and beer, and had a wonderful time with friends and family.

What should I pick up for school lunches tomorrow? Screech like a needle across vinyl. Tridaddy was going to stop at the store on the way home and asked the simple question. How could he have known that one question would serve to explode my whole scheme of, "yes I'm glad they are going back, they are really getting bored at home. Finally, no more playing cruise director, police officer and maid. I'm glad to have afternoons free. blah, blah, blah"

I woke up all emotion this morning. No reasoning to be had here, and for good reason. I'm being displaced. After 12 years of constant duty I'm being displaced. Now, granted, I can't think of a better bunch of people to take over my role, but I'm being displaced. I told myself this would be easy. I told myself this will be great. I told myself all of the things that I have to do with that time, mentoring young inner city girls, leading a mentoring book club of young women, volunteering at school, training for Ironman, paperwork and bookeeping for the comany, work at the Y. But those are all square pegs in the round hole in a mother's heart.

"Mom, I spend more time with my teacher than I spend with you now."

Plink, just like that they jumped out of the nest. All right, some of them needed a little nudge and one needed a giant push, but they are off and flying.

I wasn't prepared for the sun to set so quickly this fall.

They come home in the evening to roost, but they are learning to fly. I'm glad for them and I'm glad for our family. I don't diminish my value to them in their lives because they are flying, it's just a paradigm shift that I didn't completely prepare for; simply because it is not logical, it's all emotion. It's about being nudged aside to allow for others to help in raising and nuturing them. Others that they need, and we need, but still others. I wasn't emotionally prepared for others today. Particularly others who are other's by vocation. It's what they do. It's not who they are, but it's what they do. They teach. They love my kids and they nuture my kids and they teach. Mom is not a vocation. It's not what you do, it's what you are. It's both. I am more than mom, I am much more than mom. But, I am mom. Still, all the time, 24/7 until I die, I am mom. I can't explain it. My logical mind has an answer to every irrational thought I raise, like I said, it's all emotion. I rarely run on emotion, I'm a logical person. Today I had planned to put in 12 miles when I dropped the youngest at kindergarten. I came home and cleaned their rooms instead. I guess I had to nudge back a little-it's not good to run on emotion afterall.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

IKEA meatballs, my secret weapon

No, this has nothing to do with a training advantage gained by eating pre formed dog food carefully congealed in brown ooze with a compliment of ligonberry sauce on the side. I did manage a speedy 9 miles on the treadmill followed by a rigorous weight routine before the dreaded IKEA meal. Try saying that with a mouth full of burgoo. My muscles seem to have forgotten what weights are all about, and I can barely raise my arms today, but I digress. It is MN Tridaddy's birthday weekend which means he pretty much is king for the days and gets to do whatever he wants. Yes men, whatever he wants, within reason. (Within reason being a wife's favorite caveat) At any rate, he wanted to eat at IKEA Saturday night. It was a rare Saturday night with the kids, so off we went. I think he holds to the mistaken belief that IKEA is a cheap dinner with the Tribe. Granted, we feed a family of six for $12.52 and there is the promise of an hour's free child care afterward, but here is the dirty little secret: those 15 meatballs leaves him wanting to take a walk, which inevitably leads to the maze of housewares which is a marketing marvel. By the time we reach the check out point, I've accumulated a yellow bag full of fairly pointless but absolutely essential doo dads. I've also remodeled the living room 7 times over and have taken the dimensions for a new bedroom. Now, granted, I think ninety percent of IKEA is prefabricated crap, but I buy and scheme in spite of myself. I know where to shop for a higher level of quality and thus, the $12.52 dinner now costs $1765.32. Which is no small price for being made to consume these.One saving grace, having been raised in the southwest, I know the value of a bottle of sauce. The great tragedy in scadanavian food is that it actually has the ability to un do Frank's Hot Sauce. By undo, I mean a sauce generally capable of peeling the skin from your tongue is reduced to a whimpering ketchup when engulfed by swedish gravy. If only their neutrality could have been so pervasive in WWII.

We have "One last Tri" tomorrow, which is actually a good excuse to exercise early and swill beer and bar b que for the balance of the day with the local tri club. It is going to be 95 here tomorrow, so a lake is sounding pretty decent. Have a great Labor Day to all.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The times they are a changin' (?)

Commodore has a great take on the tragedy of the south. This tri family will do it's part as well. Of course with donations to relief agencies, of course with prayers. Hyphen Girl just had her birthday and was planning to take some friends to a local amusement park for her "kid" party. She decided that she would prefer to have a party where kids brought donations for the victims. We are hoping to find a way to send care packages to displaced kids in Houston or some of the other shelters. More on that later. Was I proud of my 12 year old for volunteering to give up her birthday? You better believe it.
We are also limiting our driving to essentials and walking as often as we can. We live within blocks of the grocery store, Target etc. It's good excercise and the kids inevitably pretend we are pilgrams or settlers or some sort of thing. I imagine that is because Buck Nacked Boy rides in the little red wagon and it sounds like a covered wagon as we clang along. You have no idea the workout pulling that thing up and down the hills around our house.
You can call me a romantic, but I personally like the idea of our culture being forced to slow down a little. I hope the high gas prices compell parents to reduce the number of sports and activities that kids are involved in. There is a PSA running now that explains some day in September is set aside for a "night at home for dinner night". Have we digressed so far that families can only manage one night home for dinner a month? I can't imagine not meeting for dinner regularly. Granted, my kids don't really have a choice, they are too young to drive anywhere. But we really enjoy our dinner hour. Each night the table is set, the candles are lit, the meal is passed, a prayer of thanks is said and we eat. We talk about our days. Two years ago we began a habit of passing some item a kid has picked out one to another. When you have the item you have the floor. You talk about your day for a few minutes and then entertain questions or comments. We've listened and laughed and cried and laughed some more.
I think that living a life of sacrifice and want builds character. I've informed my kids that some of our eating habits are going to change because it is going to cost more to live now. No more McDonalds?! Oh, angst! They'll see the golden arches again, just not on a weekly basis as they are accustomed to doing.
I've also decided to take the governments advice, finally, and put an emergency locker in our basement. Water, dry food, waterproof matches, blankets, a radio, batteries, first aide etc. Given what we've seen on tv, a .357 or 9mm will probably be in the offing as well. (yes we will keep it locked away-no the kids won't know we have it, yes we will take firearms safety, yes we will go to a shooting range regularly to ensure we know how to use it, yes it will only be for emergencies, no we won't conceal and carry-I think I've covered it)
We are diligent in our preparation for races that have virtually no consequence to our daily lives (with the obvious exception of mental character, physical health etc) working hard to train for control of as many of the variables as possible. It just makes sense to me to do the same for my family. Some day my kids might laugh at mom's emergency locker, much like we view the relics of bomb shelters in our neighborhood, I certainly hope so.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It's official! Tridaddy and I are traveling to the great Southwest for Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon! While I'm not typically compelled to lead, I do expect some of my fellow Ironman wanna be's to follow me here! :) In particular you frost bitten midwesterners who know you are going to be socked in by snow and ice in January--Escape! You must Escape!

And for you local types, which in my mind, local extends pretty much up the coast to Canada, and across the border states pretty well to Florida, how can you miss so great a training opportunity? Bands, running partners, a great party at the end!

It's MLK weekend, so that makes it a 3 day weekend--need I say more?