Sunday, July 30, 2006

No doubt, this is going to cost us a bundle

To have a family with one triathlete is pricey, which makes a family with two athletes costly, but a family with five triathletes, my goodness; please note tip jar to the right, your generosity is appreciated. (ah, just kidding-for now) The tri addiction has infected the entire Tribe, down to it's littlest member, so on with the report.

The alarm clock blared in my ear at 4 am. My parents are weird so they get up early every day to train or work. We are playing musical beds in our house since every one is trying to find the coolest place to sleep since it is so hot out, even at night. I was sleeping with my mom so I heard her mumbling something about there is no freakin way she was going to go run this morning, she shut off the alarm and we both fell back to sleep. A few hours later my mom woke me up to say it was time to get ready to go to the kids triathlon. I was so nervous I didn't want to eat. It took forever to get to the race and we watched lightening come down as we got closer. But the storm had passed by the time we got to the race. There were a billion kids and parents walking towards the race and there were lot's of people telling us where to go and what to do. I was glad my mom races because she knew what to do. First we registered, then we had our arms marked with our race number. My sister got a smiley face with hers. My brother was so nervous he put his helmet on backward. but my mom helped him out. She showed us where to set up our bikes.
My sister got to wear my mom's uniform because it fit her, but I got to wear her race belt. I looked around at the other bikes and noticed that not too many of them had gears. Hot Rock has 21 gears. I am so going to be fast on my bike.

(a parental note: what have we done?)

I was getting so scared that I started to cry. My mom reminded me that we were really here just to have fun and meet some new friends. So, my sister and I talked to the girls waiting for the swim.

The race was supposed to start at 9:00, but the guy started it five minutes early. A lot of kids that were supposed to be swimming didn't know it, including my big sister. She was upset at first, but then she decided to just swim with me. I'm glad she was with me, it made me feel better. There was one mom whose kids didn't go in time and she yelled and screamed at him. I think she missed the part about this is supposed to be fun. Finally it was time for us to swim. I started in the back of the group and my sister started up front. My mom said we both went off like torpedos. I like to swim and I swam by some girls, but then someone kicked me so I walked a few steps. Then the water got too deep and I swam around the floating thing and back to shore. The kids walked and swam as much as they could. My sister tried to swim through some kids, but she didn't want to hurt any of the younger kids, so she slowed down a little and just tried to swim around them. We both came out of the water near the front, and then we had to run up to our bikes. That was a long hill to run up. I hated that hill. My dad stayed down by the water to take pictures of my brother, and my mom ran up the hill to cheer for us on our way out biking. I love to bike! Out of the park, down the street, around the cone, that 2 miles went by really quick. I passed as many kids as I could. My mom was waiting when I came back and cheered some more. She yelled at me to drop my bike and helmet and run! Run! She was cheering and clapping. I ran as fast as I could, and I'm glad it was only a quarter mile. I was breathing hard the whole time, and I ran by my dad cheering and taking pictures, when I saw the finish line I just sprinted as fast as I could. They tore off my number and hung a medal around my neck. My mom was waiting for my sister to finish her bike part. My sister had to ride farther and run farther. At the end of the race she was kind of disaapointed because she didn't get to race against any of the kids her age. She had to go all alone since the other kids had swam earlier than her. She didn't really get to race. And she drank one of my mom's sports drinks that morning and didn't eat anything and it was warm, so she pretty much just wanted to throw up at the end. I'm glad she didn't barf, that would be gross. I met up with my mom and she gave me a big hug.

I am a triathlete!

My mom and I went to watch my sister and brother come in from the run, and we cheered for them. It was fun to see them get their medals. We all did it!

Even my little brother had a good time, and he got to eat snacks at the end.

The rain was starting again so we gathered our things and left to go home. Because the race didn't start right my parents didn't even think about there being an awards ceremony at the end. We headed home, stopping at McDonalds for breakfast, yea pancakes! My dad's friend called to let us know that I had won! I got second in my age group. That's the first trophy I've ever won! I hope our friends were able to pick the trophy up for us.

We all want to do another race now. My mom said there is one in August called The Miracle Kids triathlon. It is where you get to race for a kid who is sick with cancer. I hope we can do that one.

Good bye.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

3 Freshly minted triathletes, and 1 podium

I'll let The Tribe tell their own story- suffice to say, we had Fuuuuunnnnnn!!!!!

Oh, and I have no voice :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mom, I don't know those Kahuna guys...

Soapinator appreciated the comments her blog drew, but the "shout out" part threw her a little, so I schooled her in the other studly men of the blogosphere. Bolder
is the smack talkin', bike flyin', chocolate loving, mountain hangin', PDawg!

"Oh, I love him!" "He can have a shout out!"

Not sure if she means the two or four legged man at this stage of her life-she seems to love horses and the guy on Fantastic Four with equal fourth grade enthusiasm- read voluminous, high pitched, squeal. Either way, you rank Bold!
The Flatman
is a Lance loving, bike (see you can't use the word whoring when discussing with a 9 year old) loving, awesome family man with a really cute dog.



He can have a shout out!

For the record, The Silent Fury, Walchkaget's a shout out because he drinks his beverages through a swimming noodle :)The Iron Pol gets a shout out because there is a little Iron Pol; "Are we going to babysit him" "puleassseeee!" and Cliff gets a big brotherly hug.

She can have the site back Sunday afternoon when she can write her own race report.

I found THE KING!!! He's training his way to Iron, with a bad neck and all! Send him a virtual slap on the back. Carefully.

How Trimama got had.

June 4th

"Trinephew and I want to buy a photo scanner for my sister for her birthday."

Trihubby's sister is a single mom to five kids dealing with the extraordinary additional stress of an ex with paranoid schizophrenia. It's a train wreck, but she is a strong woman, with strong faith, and carries on.

They are kind of expensive, but that sounds like a great gift.

June 4th + 2 hours

Scanner is installed and sitting on printer desk.

Sister in law's birthday is July 14th.

"I thought I'd use it to scan some of our photos before I give it to her."

Trihubby had been angling for a scanner for months but it didn't fit our current budget guidelines.

Oh, that's cool.

Oh, that's really cool (sentimental tears as more and more pictures of my babies show up on the screen saver slide show daily)

Yesterday I was at Target with The Tribe and called Trihubby to chat about what to get his mom for her birthday.

"She'd probably like some of those garden lanterns."

Oh yea, that would be great for her front yard.

"Pick some up for my sister's present too"

Uh, scanner....sitting on my desk....

"Oh, Trinephew decided to buy something else for his mom" On or around June 10th.

Admittedly the best end run around my veto pen to date.

Doubled up yesterday, mile or so open water swim, 24 mile time trial bike (18.7 avs!!!!!!) with the Tri Club
run/lift today

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Tribe is taking over...

My mom is busy tearing up the carpet in my bedroom so we've taken over for her this week. So here goes,
Hi Kahuna and Iron Wil, It's Soapinator and I'm doing my first triathlon on Saturday, July 27th.

I practiced yesterday with biking and running and tomorrow I will practice swimming. Today is my day off. I'm really nervous for my race.

I hope you guys like my blog

Update: Blogger stinks!!!!! Why is is taking forever and ever to upload photos?!?!?

Tribe training is going well- can't wait for the race report :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Over my heart attack and I love it when I am right.

After LFT last Saturday the temps really picked up so we decided to convene at the Mall of America instead of spending another night hunkered down inside with air conditioning. The mall has a seven story parking ramp which continues to be a final destination for a handful of destitute souls, so the top floor is often cordoned off unless the mall is particularly crowded, as it tends to be on a hot, humid, Minnesota evening. The Tribe talked me into parking at the top of the ramp because the ascent is a little like a roller coaster ride, and seventy some odd feet in the air provides some breathtaking views of the city. So up we went, with excitement mounting on each turn of the ramp. "Park at the edge mom! We want a view!" So I parked, and buzzed Trihubby on the cell phone to see where he had parked Stella. Before I knew what was happening, Buck Naked Boy had jumped out of the car and headed for the outer wall of the ramp. It took him about 2 seconds to begin to scale the wall "to get a view" and look over the edge.

My kids assure me that every head in the mall popped up like a colony of prairie dogs when I screamed his name, I'm not sure Niagara would have drowned me out.

And that is all Trihubby heard. My screams and

Damn it!

Hyphen Girl and Swinging Girl had already jumped out of the car and were standing close enough to grab him down from the 4 foot wall. All I saw in that flash was him going up the wall, and over the wall. He had no concept of how much momentum he had gathered as he jumped up to the top, but my mind calculated that instantaneously, and just about exploded right up until the moment his sister caught him and dragged him down off the wall.

I ordered the Tribe back into the car and got out of the car leaving them with mouths hanging open. I had to calm down and pull my mind back from hysteria. I called Trihubby and choked out what had just happened, he having only the benefit of my screaming into the phone and then silence. We agreed on a meeting place, I pulled the car down to a lower level and we made our way into the mall. I was still shaking when I went to bed that night. I had screamed his name so loud that for the remainder of the night, when I would call his name no sound was produced from my vocal cords. BNB just had that deer in the headlights look for a while. My kids have never seen me react like that.

That's the tough thing about having kids, you love them, you pour your life into them, and sometimes, tragically, they can be taken from you prematurely. If I don't have to re live an experience like that again it would be just fine.

Now, on to training. When I planned my season this past winter I periodized it to include three main races; two half iron and IMFL. Eleven months is a long time to implement a training plan, so I knew I would need some down time, and definitely a mental break from the rigors of training. I decided to take a break from June 11th until July 6th. At first my down time felt great. For two and a half weeks I trained when I wanted to train and only pushed as hard as I felt like pushing. As it turned out, I didn't have a lot of time devoted to swimming and my runs pretty much sucked banana monkeys. It occured to me pretty much daily in that last week and a half that I suck, I'm never going to do an ironman, I should retire now while I could and go live in a big fat cave somewhere, it's over. I had no mental energy left, and every workout felt like hell. In the back of my mind I knew this was exactly what I needed. Well, not the cave part, but the non compelled training. I needed to panic a little, I needed to fret and I needed to rest. Then I rode my century ride. Yes! I can ride 100 miles, strong. In elements of wind and heat and hills. I took it easy at camp, letting the recovery time set in and then began to train again in earnest.

Now, I feel great! I've had several great runs, a fantastic swim, and (drum roll) a rockin bike ride. Our Weds night tri club ride intimidated the heck out of me for weeks. It is fast and technical, with several turns, dips and switches. I didn't know the route, I usually got dropped by the hammer heads and I just didn't like it. The ride was cancelled early Weds due to storms, but by staging time, the clouds had parted and a handful of us gathered to set out. I knew from the outset I'd be biking alone, so I was going to ride out the first 10 miles and then instead of turning into the "technical" portion, I was just going to continue down the highway and turn back. Solo rides can be so mind clearing and one thing I realized, finally, is that part of the reason I get "dumped" is that the group of 30-40 ride out in a pack, and I tend to hang back, and duh, therefore do not get the benefit of drafting. They draft, and therefore travel a lot faster through the first part of the course, the part where I get dropped.

I am going to learn to draft. I am also going to start warming up 5 minutes before we ride out. I am old. I need to warm up before I hammer.

When I reached the point of decision, do I go down the highway or do I try to navigate the ride course on my own, my mind just said, damn it all to hell. Am I Trimama, or what? I think I can manage my way through a lousy bike course. So, I took off. Someone, for who knows what reason has marked our course with white arrows, so I followed the arrows. And I made it. Well, I missed one turn, but it only took me a few moments to figure it out. I tend to underestimate myself-often.

By the time I returned to the part of the course I knew, I was flying, both physically and mentally.

I did it!!!!

I know, it's the little things.

Skynyrds "Freebird" hit the mp3 when I was coasting through town, and I felt a little love left in my legs-it was hammer time.

Sorry to roadie who thought he would hang on my shoulder. I don't know you, but I sure as heck am not waiting for an introduction. See Ya! Poor guy. I think every time I would ease up a few seconds to recover he thought he was catching me, then it was go time and good bye. Ok, that was fun.

I set a 7 minute PR over the 23 mile course. Trimama is Back!!

Swim, run and work today- 2 hour slow bike tomorrow

Happy weekend!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hell Freezes Over

Well, not exactly. I'm downloading a bunch of old cd's and among them was The Eagles, "Hell Freezes Over". It's 92 and 82%humidity this morning, I think hell is fighting back.

I left The Tribe last evening with two 25 gallon tubs, one in the front yard, one back, and an arsenal of cups, pitchers and bowls and neighborhood water war II was on. I had a bike ride to log, so I left Trihubby in charge and rode off into the heat of the evening. It's the dog days of summer where even the rain smells like wet shag. The last I saw, Trihubby was down, taking a dousing-I hope he makes it.

It was a straighforward, 22 mile ride on the local bike path, but then at mile 11 I came upon this

It was a Bastille Day celebration with live music, cold beer and a crowd of about 1000, I was in my local tri club kit, so I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the extremely colorful, earthy sort of group that had gathered. But the music was great, so I called Trihubby and he motored down on the Stella so we could share a cold beer (we had to do Newcastle Brown ale because the American swill beer was sold out go figure-what would a Bastille Day be without essential British and American support? :) It occured to me as we watched the bands that I still had to ride home, and it was getting dark, meaning my dark shaded glasses would be utterly ineffective on the ride. So, I handed them off to hubby and enjoyed the beauty of the last pink of sunset on the lakes.

Until the first cloud of gnats. and the second. and the third. You get the picture. and it was getting darker.

Suddenly, every schizophrenic, homeless guy I knew to live along that path filtered into my brain and the path suddenly became darker. And the trees grew larger and encrouched more. It was Sleepy Hollow all over again and the headless horseman was out there somewhere. I had a need for speed, but every time I'd hammer down, I'd fly through another swarm of gnats. My eyes became a veritable graveyard for the little buggers. That's when it occured to me that it wouldn't be the headless horseman that caught me but the mother of all bugs. I was suddenly repentant of every bug I'd ever squashed. Like they say, karma is a be-otch.

I arrived home, eyes in tact, the kids were clean, the grass was watered, training goes on and life is good

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Kemper wins, going away!

Hunter Kemper took home $230,xxx in prize money at LFT beating the pack by seconds. Less than one minute separated the top 8 athletes, with Emma Snowsill taking 9th overall, 1st woman- not quite two minutes behind Kemper. She only had about 45 seconds on him when they pulled through the run out transition. But she looked cute in her pre race interviews, and took home $85,000 I think.

We manned our station, recording athlete numbers, for six hours-and for the most part we had fun. It got a little long at the end, but then Mary Stroebe, the 82 year old came through, and we still had plenty of energy to cheer. Then the final runner came through, as most athletes were leaving for shade and air conditioning, so we cheered even louder. I swear it takes far more guts for the common man to labor in 95 degrees and wicked humidity for 3 plus hours, than it takes the pros and elites. But that's just my humble opinion.

I have no voice left.

I'm guessing this transition area costs more than my house.

We are going to try a 2 hour bike ride tonight-if the non existent (according to the weathermen) storms pass over. It's supposed to be wickedly hot today, but's it's rained since 5 this morning.

Trimama out!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Could you tell the kids they need to keep the

water fights outside from now on. Apparently by kids, I need to include all of them.

Arriving home from a doctor appointment last night, the Tribe met me at the door in full tilt commotion. But they were all bathed. Did dad give you a bath?

No, we had a water fight! A huge water fight. That would explain the flood on the kitchen floor, (that's one way to get it clean). I guess spraying the kitchen sink hose at the kids was Trihubby's way of killing two birds with one stone.

Did you get dad back?

"Oh yea baby! Oh yea!"


But the water fights need to be contained outdoors, the carpet on the back step doesn't dry so well. In case you are wondering, I just roll my eyes and shake my head. I love having a husband who loves our kids and has fun with them, even if it means mopping up the kitchen floor on occasion.

Buck Naked and Soapinator are having a CO2 war right now-in other words, they are blowing on each other. BNB didn't know what CO2 was at first and had great indignation until his sister explained it's just your exhaled air.

We decided to drop from our race on Sunday-it's going to be 100 or so degrees with a very high humidity. While it stinks to lose the entry fee, the cost of racing might be higher-it's a 6 or so hour day when all is said and done, and that just doesn't compliment our current training plan that well. It seems a long ride or run early in the am is a better deposit than a long, heat exhausting day. A friend is going to pick up our tees and schwag-so we're good.

I will be flogged if I forget to mention that Hyphen Girl colored her hair. Close your eyes and think tweener girl.

"Mom, I'm going to die my hair pink and blue, pierce my nose and get a tattoo"

That's fine honey, so long as it all goes back to normal on September 5th-the first day of school.

"And I'm going to chopped my hair short and spiky"

Ok, dear. I had a suspiscion that rebel tweener was giving expression to all of the stress of finals, projects, homework and end of year pressure, coupled with the fun of shocking the more conservative teachers at her school. A friend of mine has a niece who gives expression of herself with multi colored hair, and agreed to help HG with her transformation. As the weeks of summer wore on, and the more relaxed pace of being home settled in, the hair designs moderated.

HG got her ears pierced and on Monday died her hair a lovely auburn brunette.

Check out the Transition Area olympics atTrigeek dreams This is my favorite transition photo, only because it is my first tri-the one that got it all started (note the mountain bike) I'll have to work on an official entry.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Is it redundant to say I'm busy?

Yes, definitely. But aren't we all. Here's the catch, I'm not really busy per say, just bumping along the same routine, but summer is different. Summer is crowded. By crowded I don't mean crowded with running here and there, but crowded with The Tribe. They are everywhere, all the time! For some undefineable reason, the moment I sit at the computer to check mail, blog, touch base with all of you they go LOTR, except instead of "one ring to rule them all" it's "one tap,, tap, tap" to rule them all. They are drawn to the tap. They are ruled by the tap. Swear to mother earth, the minute they hear the tap, they drop everything to crowd the computer and relay the angst and anecdotes of their lives. I want them to be ruled by the swish, swish of the washing machine, or maybe the dishwasher, but those sounds seem to make them disappear. Perhaps a sound effect relayed over the tap, tap noise is the solution to my sequestering problem.

At any rate, I'm doing my best to keep up with my fellow bloggies, wherever I check in I see good things going on.

The Huddle camp was fantastic! So much information, so much fun. About 30 people with a common passion for multisport. Everyone with busy lives, doing what we can to eke in some training, with others as often as we can. Cold beer just goes down better when shared with friends at the end of a training day.

I have lot's of info, which I'm working to write up as a separate link, should be up in the next day or so. Two highlights however:

1) When you are biking and your cell phone rings, even if it is a call from a party in a "huge" deal, make certain you have actually stopped your bike before answering said phone. Braking and answering will produce a header, a face plant, and 3 stitches, a black eye, and a nickname of "crash", as our lovely hostess demonstrated for us all. She claimed the crash was born of a desire to do anything to avoid a transition run.

2) Prior to an "A" race, (absolutely you need to plan your season and demarcate races by priority to attain overall goals) you need to go caffeine free for 3 weeks. The 3 weeks isn't as troubling as the first 3 days. I am not a coffee addict in the sense that I drink the stuff all day long, but I do enjoy my morning cup. I tried skipping it this morning and quickly learned that Trimama without that cup is crabby Trimama. It might be a bad night's sleep and a little PMS, so I'm going to try again.

The rationale is that by going stimulant free over those weeks your training is "true" compelled by no artificial stimulant. You will sleep better, train a little harder and when you finally drink that cup on race morning, it will be like rocket fuel.

On a long day, such as in half and full iron distance races, once on the course, when you go to caffeine, you've gotta stay with caffeine. Caffeine has a half life, so a constant source, every couple hours or so is essential to prevent a mental crash.

I realize this will be point 3, take it as an extended trailer-lucky you:

Recovery is important. I took a training vacation that began June 11th and extended to July 6th, when we did the 100. Over that time I only trained within the parameters of where my mind was willing to go, if I felt like walking, I walked. I didn't count my laps in the pool, and I biked at whatever speed my legs wanted to produce. Still in recovery from the 100 at camp, I swam slow, I biked slower and dropped from the 40 mile hot, windy ride at mile 13, when my deep glut muscle was burning, and then proceeded to have the best run I've had since May on Sunday. I'm hungry again. Hungry to train, hungry to focus, hungry to do what it takes to make the iron distance. Given my mental mumbling when I trained after Liberty, if I'd pushed through, I'm fairly certain I would be injured, discouraged and burned out by the end of August.

November is a long time away.

Ironman training should be planned over 12 weeks max.

Food for thought.

Liffetime Fitness Tri comes to town again Saturday. The forecast is for 100 degrees. My friends, that is not a "dry heat" 100, that's a hot, humid 100. That lake is going to feel like syrup, that bike is going to feel like a lava field, and that run is going to melt your legs.

Can't wait to watch it all unfold.

Snowsill is my personal favorite this year. She was passed by her fellow Aussie last year in the final K, and the men finally claimed a vicotry. She won the race for the women, and I don't think she is going to get passed again. There is $250,000 at stake for the winner, with another $250,000 in cash for each additional spot.

I am the "out to run" number marker-so I get to see up close and personal the start of the run for the pros (cool) the elites (amazing) the 80 + year olds (remarkable) and the everyman (inspiring). Volunteers rock and it's fun to be one in a race such as this.

I left my camera at a friends house on the 4th-must get it back- all dialogue and no action makes for a boring film

Until then,

Happy tap tapping!


Friday, July 07, 2006

Hello from the shores of Gitchee Gumee

Camp week continues. Soapinator and SLJ are enjoying camp- "It rocks!" was the exact report. Trihubbby and I embarked on our own version of "camp" and headed to the north shore for a much appreciated break from the daily grind. Of course, when you are encamped on one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world it just makes sense to explore on foot. We went for a 4-5 mile run on Wedsnesday, then hung around Canal Park for the evening. Duluth has done a reasonably good job at economic recovery following the all out collapse of the taconite/iron industry in the late '70s early '80s. It's a tourist destination for the most part, with the benefit of incredible natural beauty, they do tourism well. Duluth is the type of city you can drive to and feel like you are a million miles away from everything.

I am a century virgin no longer! The Harold Munger trail is 63 miles of pavement that runs from Duluth to Hinkley and boasts of being the longest paved trail in the world. It is dotted with state parks and small towns, and abundant in wild life and clean air. We saw a dozen or so deer, including several fawns and were promised a bear attack by one of the trail workers. That made us ride a little faster. I had a stash of Nutter Butters and sunflowers seeds, so I felt confident I could throw a feast at a bear that would distract him from my legs.

(however, while visiting a friend on the 4th I met said friend's sister who commented on Trimama's legs. "Wow, your legs are so strong looking, they're so muscular, I just want to touch them"

That'll cost you extra. I've been paid peculiar compliments before, that tops them all.)

Since said legs might appeal to a bear, I kept my HEED bottle handy, a useful weapon against wildlife of all sizes.

We rode out 50 miles, made a big ceremonial deal of turning back and rode on. AVS at mile 30 14.8, AVS at mile 50 15.2. What we barely perceived was that the rail bed which was the original intent of the path climbed for most of the first leg. That is the most bizzare feeling, when you are pushing hard and not gaining speed. Once we made the turn back it was rare for the speedometer to drop below 19, 20, 21 mph. Final AVS 17.3. There was one part of the trail that was under construction, so we arrived back at our car short of the 100 by 1.5 miles. Ugg. There was no way we were going home without that century so we rode around the neighborhood until that baby turned over!

I can't tell you what that does for my iron confidence. I know I can ride 100 miles. I felt fantastic at the end. It was a hot 85 degrees and Florida humid, with wind. I ran around in the parking lot a few minutes, confident that I could strike out on a run. Although, I definitely will do a lot more bricks between now and November.

We drove back into town for a cold beer, a shower, and a nap. I slept welll with that unknown weight of century off my shoulders.

Huddle camp starts tonight

Lot's of pics and info to follow-I'll take good notes, because tri races are definitely not a test you can cheat on.

Oh, and cheers to Trihubby who pulled the trigger and entered Ironman Zurich for June 24, 2007.

Ziggy zagy, ziggy zagy, Oi,oi,oi