Sunday, April 30, 2006

The century ride

That wasn't.

I trained. I anticipated. I ate pasta. I recruited.

But it just wasn't to be.

I thought this would be my first epic century ride-seemed fitting on my 38th (gulp) birthday.
But the weather refused to cooperate. Saturday's radar showed a mass of green the size of, well the entire midwest and it was cold (44 F) and rainy all day. The creepy monster storm was re cycling like a hurricane, blowing in from the east-we never get wind from the east- and swirling back up on itself. We adjusted our plans and opted for the 62 mile route. by 8 that night the floodwaters were rising and my training partner and I were bailing. I to stay afloat, she to jump ship altogether.

5 am Sunday morning came and the green mass hadn't moved, so we rolled over and went back to bed thinking a later start might help. 7:30 am-sometimes you just have to say to heck with it and ride.

It was 9:00 by the time we'd driven to the ride, unpacked, drank coffee, checked in etc.

The first hour was great. Our $6.00 rain suits worked like a charm and we were comfortably warm. Hit a landspeed record of 32 and pulled in 17 miles. Then came the real hills. and the wind. Damn 20-25 mph wind.

The hill that sealed my fate was a 1300 meter verticle with a 60 degree rise. Over the previous hills we'd fly down and spin like crazy up. I knew I was in trouble when flying down into the wind netted 12mph. I watched the spedometer drop 12-11-10-9-8-7-6 and I was standing. My quads were burning and there was 40 more miles to cover. So I disgraced myself and all bikerdom and walked the final 300 meters. Dang. Trihubby for the record reached the top with room to spare. He is such a stud.

We rolled on, but somewhere around mile 25 I realized this is just not fun. Fun can be working hard and gutting it out. But this was just straight into the wind, no talking, just gritting, not fun. And it was my birthday. We arrived at the rest stop and refueled with the idea that we would ride to mile 48 and reassess. But 12 miles of the 18 were straight into that wind. The Tribe was waiting at home to go out to dinner with grandma and grandpa and we were far from home.

So, we turned back to the rest stop, clocking 32 bitchin miles

100 will have to wait for another day

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Broken Belly Buttons, Epic Training, An evil mistress, and stomach flu

I'm sitting here eating my BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples, tea) hoping that this is the same 18 hour flu that's afflicted my various friends, trying not to fret that my training plan has gone into the abyss. It's just not right when you spend more time in the bathroom than training on any day. It's not even good reading time, speed reading is simply not my forte.

So, I meant to tell you that the boys are enscounced in shirt optional season which has yielded a constant fascination in Buck Naked Boy for his navel. "My Belly button is broken" "It gets all googly when I sit down" Googly being a kindergarten specific word that means his belly button disappears under the roll of his tummy when he sits down. Hence it is broken. Duct tape couldn't fix that one, and duct tape fixes everything. I am hereby ban from owning duct tape, it has something to do with destroying the finish on the cabinet when I used some to hang my calender. It was better than a nail hole- Trihubby didn't agree with my logic. He threw away my duct tape. I plan to have a roll of duct tape in my special needs bag.

I would probably devise a way to train today if it weren't for my epic training weekend. (I hope your mind didn't linger on duct tape.)

Friday 5.45 miles of hills, hills and more hills ran in 52 minutes
Saturday 13 mile run pacing between 8:30 and 9:15 min miles.

and Sunday, cue the orchestra I rode 61.2 miles in 3:53 which is just shy of 16mph average with top speed of 29mph and bottom speed of 12 mph (there were some nasty hills in the west metro). This means essentially nothing to anyone but me, but I rode alone, out into the countryside, for 4 hours. I told you learning to change my tire revolutionized my training. I seriously thought I might be restricted to keeping on my 12 mile loop that keeps me within 5 miles of home. I yelled triumphantly when I entered the driveway. That's the longest bike ride I've ever taken and it was just plain awesome. Next up, 102 miles of MN Iron-this Sunday. This flu had better be gone by then.

Finally, Trihubby has a new mistress and is threatening to spend considerable time with her. What is a Trimama to do?
Buy a pair of hot pants and cat eyes and join him, of course. Who knows, with the money we will save in gas we might be able to afford dinner out.

So here is the fairly humorous part of this: Trihubby wants me to get a motorcycle endorsement. He wants me learn to ride "Stella". Has he not seen the scraps on the car bumper? Does he not read my blogessional?

I bet I get my duct tape back.

Happy days all

Monday, April 24, 2006

Gone, gone, gone

My weekend post about epic rides and all things training just dissappeared into the 4th ring of blogger hell-I hope they enjoy it. It's too late to retype, but tomorrow is another day.

until then

good night


Saturday, April 22, 2006

I broke my arm today.

Did I frighten you? I don't have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) but if I did I would refinance right about now. Of course drawing equity for some new tri stuff at the same time.

Remember when you were failing college calculus so you wrote a letter to your parents telling them you were pregnant, writing just enough minutia for the shock to sink in, only to pull a reverse at the end informing them that you weren't actually pregnant but that you were failing calculus; look on the bright side, things could be worse.

So, shocking you with I broke my arm today seemed like a suitable cushion for the real news:

I got a job as a stripper today.

Not the four minute floosy Durham type of stripper, no this is a performance for thousands. The really unique part of this stripping job is that you get to pull the rubber off of your friends. Friends like Iron Wil and Trisaratops and Spandex King and Chivalry Chris

Actually, Trihubby and I will be stripping together. On the shores of Lake Monona in Madison. On September 10th. I promise it will be a great show. Particularly because we won't be the main feature.

We'll be handing out refreshments from 11-3 as well. So, if you're in the area, stop on by.

On the home front, Buck Naked Boy's baby is doing fine. Hyphen Girl is giving me a little grannie warm up. For the next week I will be the proud grandmother of a ten pound bag of sugar. It's "Sugar baby" week. When I was in high school the psuedo baby was an egg, my how things change

We had the Festival of Fools to attend last night. The year-end mayhem of a school carnival where the Tribe, horribly over indulged, play midway games to earn stickers to trade in for yet more junk. The most coveted prize last night was the bottle of blue "invisible" ink. Ok, I admit, that was pretty cool. You squirt the girl you've been secretly in love with all year but have really just pestered to distraction because you are too young and immature to connect feelings with words, so you just bug her, and now squirt her, and she squeals and runs off to tell her gaggle of friends that cute boy squirt her and they all scream in acceptable delight and run off to play more games to earn their own bottle of ink to tag their future puppy love interests and by the time they have earned a bottle the blue streak across their back has turned into a mere wet spot.

Why can't all stains be formed by invisible ink? I think it's the Tide conspiracy. They really could make a fabric that turns all stains to water, but Tide continuously prowls for tinkershop patent aspire-er and secretly buys them off to keep said fabric from market place. Lord knows the entire cosmos would kilter if moms didn't spend 17.2 hours a week washing and folding laundry. Tide saves the universe. And I for one thank them wholeheartedly.

The gaming of interest for BNB was the cake walk. One ticket entitles you to circumvent a cake laden table, stepping from number to number, prod along by muzak blaring from radio speakers long since compromised by playing at concert level volume in teens room. Continuous looping of The Beach Boys "I get around" sung through a wax paper covered comb. Five minutes and 1.7 dizzying miles later, when volunteer dad returns from his distracted gazing upon the wonders of modern surgery displayed by Plastic Mom, the music halts and 24 feet scurry to find a number to possess. "say 5, say 5, say 5"


Oh, we didn't win. Again.

"I can't leave until I win."

So back in line, back in circle.

"I know why it's called a cake walk. Because you walk in a circle and someone wins a cake"

Well that makes the tuition payments worthwhile. Seven tries. Eight tries. Trihubby wanders in with Standing Long Jump. I coerce them into joining us with the hope that our occupation of four of twelve spots would assure a victory.

Say 7,8,9,10. Say 7,8,9,10

4 Little pony tail girl who has already won twice goes to pick out her third cake. I resist the urge to trip her as she saunters by.

I knew we should have employed a random scatter strategy. Odds are diminished in sequential selections.

Just when I began to feel like a deranged inmate on "The Midnight Express" we heard


Wonderful, glorious 12. We won! We won! I'm free! I'm free!

BNB selected a six pack of cupcakes that would not leave his hands for the next two hours. Smile and swagger: priceless.

Spring cleaning and ten mile run today. Riding the Liberty 70.3 course tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ten thoughts from the weekend

1) Confidence lost: biking sucks. I'm going to die out on the roads. Why am I doing a tri when I can't bike? A trainer indoors is fiercely different than hills, wind and moving traffic.

2) Confidence regained: 117 training miles and one week later. I love biking. I love the open road. I can't wait to tri-I can't wait to pass people. Look ma, no hands. Well, I'm not that confident yet, but even Trihubby commented on my increase in speed (read confidence) on the bike.

3) When confronted by corpulent middle aged man in a pick up truck, who stops at a stop sign, disgorges from his truck and bawls in your face that he is going to turn you and your friends into speed bumps next time he sees you on the road you:
a) pull out your glock 9, shoot out his tires and offer him a ride home
b) only dream about A, while thanking him for his concern for your safety and ride on
c) regale with laughter when your tri club captain, who also happens to be a police officer in one of the most "hood" like cities in the Twins schools said motorist in the particulars of MN traffic law concerning bicylces.

4) Does anyone aside of myself have a problem with this picture? Apparently not as Trihubby was the object of attack at SLJ's birthday party. What is not immediately obvious is that Hyphen Girl and her friend are locked inside the car with an arsenal of water ballons that they lob through the window, quickly closing it before they can be attacked by water guns. My mini van has become an organic experience, I guess a water gun deluge could only help. Thankfully, no one slipped off the top of the car.

5) retaining wall 5- Trimama depth perception still 0. Apparently I need snow drifts to navigate.

6) Will 100 miles the end of April
a) kill me
b) be a good indicator of where I am and where I need to go
c) be an awesome way to spend a birthday-especially if The Gunner shows up with the RV-can you say tail gate city?

7) Trihubby got out on his niece's motorcycle this weekend-brought back a good deal of nostalgia-we met and fell in love riding his then bike around the lakes 17 springs ago. No, you may not buy another bike right now. (a point that we agree on so long as the kids are dependant on us)

8) Charts that track how far you have run are great. Wrist worn gps units that say things like "get moving lard butt" and "is that all you've got?" are evil.

9) Spring thunderstorms are awesome- spring thunderstorms that turn to snow will guarantee the arrival of the men in white lab coats.

10) Does the incredibly impressive owl that recently took up residence in the tree in our front yard necessarily mean my invitatation to Hogwarts was lost in the mail?

16.5 mile bike today, with 5 mile run- run and weights with core tomorrow

have a good one

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Invasion of the ?

It's 72 degrees at 9:32 pm. The last time it was 72 degrees at night in Minnesota was early last fall. I can almost hear the polar ice caps melting. Let the whole damn thing melt as far as I'm concerned, ocean front property in Minnesota would be nice. Sorry southern United States, but you had your turn. Ok, I didn't mean that. I've had too much wine and not enough sleep and just spent six hours re creating Narnia for 8, eight year old boys. Just to make things fun I decided to double book the night and host a maundy Thursday meal and a birthday party on the same night. Lovely. The boys had fun, the grown ups were well fed and I missed one of the best nights of church in the entire year-but it was worth it.

In the fun department, I changed my bike tire the other day. First time ever for this bike. Did it with the same tube, which is saying something since I went through three with the mountain bike last year. I began the project with the idea of timing myself, but quickly gave that up when Buck Naked's idea of "help" was playing "hide the tool from mom". The bottom line, I did it. Something like diving in the pool to start a workout-it's the little things that boost your confidence.

Confidence is good.

Biking with my local tri club is not confidence boosting. They average somewhere between 19 mph and lightspeed. It's all the same when all you see is backs-and then nothing. We covered 35 miles (including the ride from home to the meeting spot)-not bad for me, not bad at all. The beginning of the ride is mentally tough, which gives way to hills that I would flatten if I were queen for the day, but the final 15 miles are nice rolling hills and scenic lake. The good news is that I felt very strong at the end and wasn't ready to get off the bike yet. A tribute to all those trainer miles. I an so not ready for a century ride. That better change in the next 2 weeks.

I ride my first ever 100 on April 30th-my birthday. I had the choice between the Big Sur Marathon and this ride. I need saddle time, so it was stay in town and ride like crazy. I think I need to fill my shorts with jello. 100 miles is a long way to ride. Met up with Iron Chris on the ride-he is a great guy. How awesome is it that you meet so many strangers in the blogosphere, and some of them become real, in the flesh, good guys. How fortunate am I?

I departed from The Plan this week to really focus on biking, but I need to get in a swim and run tomorrow- so off to bed. Sat holds another 2 hour ride adventure.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BuckNakedBoy is Pregnant, I'm about to be an accomplice to a double homicide and the garage just burned down.

But other than that we are fine here.

I took The Tribe to the dentist the other week and unbeknownst to me, Buck Naked Boy came home pregnant. The fact that he is a five year old boy notwithstanding, I had no idea they could do that at the dentist. Yet, he assures me that he is having a baby; a girl in fact because the dentist told him and it's going to come out of his booty-Standing Long Jump told him this was so. No matter of logic can dissuade him from his assertion.

So, I'm going to be a grandma.

Soapinator is traveling from Indiana to Oregon on a pioneer trail and I helped her pack the covered wagon. Apparantly one water barrel isn't sufficient, and they are dying of thirst somewhere in Texas- which if you ask me seems like a very ass backward way to get to Oregon (pronounced Or Gone) The prescribed option would be to pay ten dollars to buy water from the well, but why waste a few greenbacks when you've packed a barrel of gun powder. Her team decided to raid the well, kill the sentries and be on their way. I should have known there would be problems when she failed the 10 Commandments in Bible.

Do grandma's look good in stripes?

I finished my brick today with a run to the cigar store thinking it would be a beautiful night to sit out by the fire and enjoy the beginning of spring training. I jumped into the shower, thinking how lovely and even a little romantic it would be to have firelight flickering in through the glass block window of the bathroom. Trihubby, the aspiring arsonist, took his cue from God Almighty leading his people through the desert, and erected a 16 foot wall of flame in the fire pit. On the bright side, there is a strong chance of finding diamonds amongst the sand of the patio brick in the morning, which will be beneficial as I'm fairly certain that the color- fade resistant warranty on the new garage siding does not cover molten ash discoloration and melting.

It all evens out in the end.

In my aspiration to begin biking to Florida by November (Ellie, if you beat me there I'll buy you a beer) I've made it 29 miles to St. Paul. Not exactly the start I anticipated, but how could I leave with troubles like these?

Monday, April 10, 2006

The missing link

It was Standing Long Jumps (SLJ) 8th birthday Sunday. He got a bike (went the less expensive route since he wouldn't know the difference) "I've got shocks!" "I've got gears!" It was boy nirvana. They had a soft tail model, so the "Green Goblin" looks pretty tweaked. He needed a new helmet so I picked one up at the same time. However I didn't notice the name of the helmet at the time. - The Missing Link

"Ha, SLJ's the missing link."

How sublime for a big sister when she can tease younger brother without him knowing he is being called a half step from Neanderthal. It's in the ball park of "SLJ, your epidermis is showing!" He promptly moved to transform her into a rabbit with his new magic set. Grandma and grandpa went the cheap route too, as the wand just didn't produce the desired result.

Sunday is family breakfast day, or brunch as it were. It's the only meal of the day so it's generally met with gusto and enthusiasm. Add a family birthday and we're talking the lalapalooza of Sunday breakfast. I generally zip over to the store after church to pick up the fixings and buy food for the week. Today as I backed out of the driveway Trihubby yelled to tell me some friend was going to call me so turn my phone on. Some mysterious friend, and he had no idea who it was.---riiiigggghhhhtttttt. It took about 10 seconds to figure out that I was on deck to be the "Surprised" triathlete of the week on Get Your Geek On podcast. Fortunately, it only took another 10 seconds before THE CALL arrived, because if I'd had a chance to think about it, I probably wouldn't have answered the phone. Not that I don't want to talk to Iron Wil and Kahuna, I'd love to sit and chat with them for hours. They are two people who have had more positive influence in my life than any one in at least a decade. Because, while I have many friends and aquaintances, triathlon has introduced an absolute paradigm shift into my life. So, the concept of actually talking with Wil and Kahuna made me nervous as hell. Recall my instant stupidity when meeting Jesse Stensland. When I grow tired while swimming I think, "keep moving Iron Wil wouldn't stop" or when the idea of biking intimidates me (like now because my bike just doesn't fit right and I feel like a massive crash waiting to happen) I think "Kahuna wouldn't back down now". If I don't train, if I don't push, I don't get the opportunity to stay on this great team. Of course I could still blog, but for me, being a part of the team is doing more than sitting in the bleachers. Kahuna and Iron Wil are the anchor and the rudder (they can fight over who is which) for me, because they started it all, and they lead well. Kahuna asked me why I got into multisport-you can listen to the podcast for the rest of that story- but the real answer is why I stayed in multisport.

It's because I love it! I love being on this team. I love reading all the blogs and seeing all of the challenges taken and challenges conquered. I love seeing the creativity and commitment as we all contort our lives to pursue these endeavors. Triathlon isn't all of life, but it just seems to make all of life better.

So, I did answer the phone and we had a lovely chat about a variety of topics such as cooking faux paux, man busting manatees that make the ocean a frightening place, training, taxes, tattoos and tequila. There is a good chance that the hair on Kahuna's cochlea is still lying flat, so it might be worthwhile to listen to that segment during an intense hill workout. At least for my part, it felt like depth charge intensity, but that might just be due to my excitement.

Saturday was a double workout to make up for missing Friday, so I did 3000 yards in the pool, pleasantly surprised that my improved hand entry moved that time back to 55 minutes. I've let go of some of the drill training and returned to simple form swimming, and it feels good. The pool was crowded so the swimming was SOS like. Circle swim with constant snaking around bodies. I like the extra chop in the water that swim lessons and kids jumping into the pool provides.

300 w/u
2X400 2nd pull ri :30
3X300 3rd pull ri :30
3X200 3rd pull ri:30
3X100 3rd pull
100 c/d

Then I ran in the afternoon with Trihubby, a easy 45 minute 5 miler.
Today it's going to be 70-2 hour bike ride-let's go baby!

Friday, April 07, 2006

I managed to stay on green today.

"I managed to stay on green today. " Standing Long Jump (SLJ) stated with great relief. Second grade behavior is governed by stop lights. Good behavior-green, disruptive-yellow (warning, slow down), constant disruption-red and congratulations you've earned a trip to the principal's office. Now jump into my mind which cruises at hypersonic jet speed when it comes to school and behavior. I live in this precarious balance between knowing that boys are boys and need to be able to be boys, versus zero tolerance for making a teacher's responsibility greater because you don't want to exercise self control and want to disrupt the class. As I learned at our recent conferences, this is the kid who spontaneously and regularly breaks into an arbitrary range of noises during class. He sings, hums, buzzes, etc. primarily when he has completed his work and is waiting to move on to the next assignment. I can see where it drives his teacher nuts, but I had to laugh in spite of myself-I do the same thing-the singing and humming part. I always have a song in my head, and I love to torment my kids with knowing obscure lines from songs that mimic anything they say. But I digress, back to warp speed evaluation of "I managed to not get in trouble today"

What does that mean, you managed to stay on green?
As opposed to every other day?
Are you getting in trouble?
Did I miss a call from a teacher?
Talk to me boy!

Good thing SLJ does not live inside my head and was able to nochalantly inform me

"I managed to stay on green even with a substitute teacher. I've never managed that before." If I have zero tolerance for misbehavior, the substitute teacher in question has 32 degrees below zero tolerance for misbehavior. This sub governs with a yellow fist, particularly when it comes to boys. I think they breathe a sigh of relief when the day ends with their proverbial backsides in tact. Because, while the school doesn't employ corporal punishment, it is not a pleasant experience to visit the principal, red card in hand. He stayed on green with the sub nazi-that's my boy.

SLJ turns 8 on Sunday and of course I wonder where my little boy went, but I love the young man that he is becoming. We are looking for a bike for him-an upgrade from the single speed discount store model. I'm inclined to think he is old enough to take care of a "real" bike, so we are looking into the Trek multi gear models. My only caution is that bikes tend to ride off in our neighborhood and SLJ tends to be a little absent minded and will leave his bike in the driveway regularly. It's a tough call when deciding what degree of risk you want to expose your kid to versus what level of responsibility and privilege you want him to have. If we upgrade to a little larger, but cheap bike, a moment of forgetfulness costs a lot less and the bike could be replaced. On the other hand, the Trek bike would just be a far better bike to suit the purposes of family outings and to let him know we trust him with more expensive things. And his equally absent minded sister has taken very good care of her "upgrade" bike. So, we'll see.

Have a great weekend-it's going to be warm and sunny here-all training will be outdoors-glad there's no swimming in the mix.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bugs in the house? It must be spring.

I'm finding cans filled with grass, topped with ventilated saran wrap around the house-it must be spring. Each can holds some dilapidated moth Soapinator is trying to resuscitate. Thank goodness she hasn't found any baby rodents etc. My friends dog had a tasty dinner of something the other day. Most likely baby racoons that were brought up out of the sewer during the recent deluge. This week has been going by quickly but I'm managing to continue on The Plan. Sunday was a long run.

I didn't want to run but my coach kicked me out the door-into the freezing rain. Freezing rain is not a euphemysm here-it was raining and the temp read 36. Ok, not exactly freezing but read on. I didn't want to run until Bono told me "I want to run" as the first song to pop up on the ipod. I was up the hill before "I want to hide" so no chance going back and burrowing under the down comforter like I wanted to do. The rain was more like foggy spitting when I began, but by mile 4 it was pouring. My tights were clinging to my legs at first, but body heat lost out to windchill, my tights froze and I won't be shaving for a week. If for no other reason than coach deserves some prickle. By the time "I fell into a burning ring of fire" came up I was ready to take the song literally. I clicked off 8 or 9 miles in what was scheduled as a 1:20 run. I really need a Garmin (hint hint-bday/mom day-I know you read this Trihubby and Hyphen girl)

Yesterday was the first outdoor bike ride of the season-glorious. At first I felt like a one year old learning to walk, but by mile 6 it was all coming back to me. I need to gain confidence in my balancing ability-"Training for Ironman" suggests setting up cans and weaving around them. I ride a black top trail that is lined, so I could weave for miles and miles. (The Who missed it on that song-who cares about seeing when you can weave) I stuck with The Plan and only rode one loop which took an hour. This is a good training path because it seems to always be windy.

Swam 1700 yards today and got into the swimming groove-booyah! I think I hit on a good stroke entry technique that didn't include my bicep slapping the water. I don't think slapping is good. Don't ask me why, I've started my last two swims by diving into the pool. I've never done that before, but for some reason it felt good. As if I knew what I was doing. Ended the workout with a 3.5 mile run which reminded me why stretching is good and that I need to remember it.

I couldn't touch my toes this morning and groaned when I got out of bed. Strethching is good.

So, life is good, The Tribe is well and this post is entirely too long.