Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ironman;it's supposed to be fun

And it was! I'm standing in the town home hot tub re warming myself after icing my legs in the pool, realizing I'm returning home to the Tribe in full Holiday mode. There won't be time for posting, so while it's still vacation, here goes.

First off, a huge, huge thanks to Tac and The Tribe, and my family and friends. You don't do Ironman alone, and I have the best group around me anyone could ask for, I love you guys and thought of each of you many times throughout the day. Thanks especially to Commodore, Suplinds, Big J, Shane and Krista, Fe Lady, my local tri buddies (Steve, Helen, KY, Tim and Karen) for hanging out and helping Tac through the day-you guys were awesome support!

On to the race. As I had mentioned last week, I've been fighting a chest cold that just didn't want to go away and settled deeper into my chest as the week progressed. I was hoping I had turned the corner by race day but it was not to be. I woke up in a heavy sweat about 2 race morning with a fit of coughing spasms-blah. Overall, I felt strong and pretty well rested, so I couldn't see any reason to not start the day, and this is Ironman. How many shots do you get at this in a lifetime?

Everything about the day just felt right, I felt light, not too anxious, not scared, just ready to take on the day. I dressed, tattoo'd my arms with Tribe tat's (courtesy of the local Tribe Multisport-how handy was that. If you are ever in Scottsdale and need something or just want to hang out and talk racing, go there, they are awesome!) Breakfast went down a little hard as it always does on a big race morning and we were off in the beautiful pre dawn of Tempe.

The race was phenomenally staffed and it was pretty quick work checking in with body marking, bag drop etc. I had picked up a small speaker system for my bike (the size of a roll of quarters) that plugged into my shuffle so I quick taped my set up in place. No headphones in ears=perfectly course legal- learned that at Florida. I had tuneage on the bike-so awesome. Off to the porta potties, the coffee was talking and I knew it was going to be a good race day! whew. Into the wetsuit, one last bear hug from Tac and it was time to go to the water.

I was surprised by how many athletes were standing on the dock just staring at the water waiting to get in. It was 6:55 and we had a 200 yd swim to the start line. Having seen a large group of athletes stranded on the shore at Madison when the canon sounded I had no intention of not being at the start when the canon sounded. C'mon people, you have to swim 2.4 in this, what's an extra 5 minutes? Of course I'm a hardy minnesotoan and I thought the water was balmy. I was really warm race morning, shedding clothes like a hard luck poker player. I arrived at the start just to hear the final notes of our countries anthem and a huge cheer go up from the crowd. AZ is a fantastic spectator venue and the bridge above us was thick with people cheering. My strategy was to swim to the left side of the very large swim lane and make my way to the right at the end of the first 2000 yds. Clockwork. I couldn't believe how fast those first 1000 ticked off, building, building, stadium, bridge. I was moving easy through the water and barely encountered other athletes. A few pulls, one dunk that ticked me off because the guy had brushed my feet 3 or 4 times and knew I was there, but nothing major. I swam a little off course here and there, but overall, once I found my line I held it to the bridge and beyond. I did notice my arm turnover was not quite as strong, and I could feel my chest tight. Just not quite enough oxygen making it's way through those lungs. Go past the bridge, turn and head back home. about halfway back my right calf began to tighten and I knew I had to keep moving quick as it was definitely going to cramp. And it did with about 200 yards to go. I couldn't flex my foot it was so frozen in place. I paused and willed it to bend and ouch it did. I just wanted to get to the ramp. A lot of people were converging on that ramp at the same time and it was a little like a polo match during that last 100 yards. Bring it on, this is Ironman. I had to swim with one foot flexed to keep it from cramping, nothing like a little drag. haha.Great volunteers hauled you out of the water and I ran-yes ran- to the wet suit stripping area where Tac and Fe Lady were ready to go. Bear hug, down! Down! they had me stripped and I was on my way. Why was I running? I have no idea. The clock said 1:26- matching my Florida time and at that point it was time to reassess my goals. One lovely note, all of the athletes departed the water with a crazy mustache/beard thing- hmm sediment is good for you. I'm good for minerals for about 6 months.

I wanted to hit a 13:15 finish time, but could just feel that I had to move that off the table, because while I felt solid, I didn't feel as though I would have the air capacity to kick in my speed work.

The AZ bike is a 3 loop deal where you weave through town and then head up into the foothills. When we biked our practice bike it had been windy which made the climb slow and the return wickedly fast. 40 up, 20 down kind of thing. I held off on my music so I could just take in the day. The morning was clean and fantastic, the mountains breathtaking(in more ways then one) My plan was to go 75 percent on loop 1, 80 on loop 2 and 85 on loop 3. My plan was working like clockwork. I felt confident and strong returning to town, fueled up at The Big J rest stop, with my goldfish I'd brought along, and headed out for loop 2. About 5 miles in mental fatigue began to hit so on with the tunes and down with the bag of mini M&M's I brought. Great brain food for a race course. MMMM, and crunch happiness for the mouth that is getting sick of just drinking. I rolled up the hill a little faster the second lap and was making good time on the return. Stop at special needs, scarf the ham sandwhich, pick up the uber expensive spare tube I didn't want to lose and shove it in my back pocket, pop in another cough drop and roll on down the hill. I was rolling at a good clip, feeling pretty strong for the mileage. About 2 miles out from the turnaround I rolled through an aid station and pulled to the right for water. I had slowed to about 12 mph and was filling my aero bottle when all of a sudden I heard a "S*%#!" and then a crunch and in slow motion I thought, "hey there's the ground- I don't think I'm supposed to be flying over my handle bars headed for the ground" Then smack on my head, my bad hip and worse on my bum knee. Crack went the knee. I'd felt that same crack about 14 months before, same searing pain and I thought, damn! my race just ended. My left foot had unclipped but the the right was was twisted around still attached. "ok, is anything broke?" Please don't say broke. The uber intense Age Group Kona wanna be who had swiped me, had landed hard and was up and swearing. Hm, excuse me, you ran into me, and there was more then enough room to go around clean. But how are you, are you ok. He didn't pause to answer, swore at the aid workers who tried to help him out and rolled off. Alrighty then, I'm fine thanks for asking. But the aid workers were fantastic. My water spilled and for some reason that seemed relevant at the time. I think my brain was still catching up. I could feel something seeping through my bike shorts on my hip but decided it would be worse to look then to not know. I stood up, my head hurt, but my legs seemed to be working. They did a quick once over of my bike, and it was good, so I mounted and rolled on. Hmm. Ok 14 months of rehab and now I may or may not be able to use this leg for running. It seemed like a pretty good time to have a good freak out cry, so I did-going about 95 mph on adrenaline alone. I rolled into the turn around and the gang was all there cheering. Tac was at the end taking pictures and I was trying to hold it together. I was shaking pretty bad though. Tac lifted my bike short up to reveal a lovely oozing raspberry. I think I need more M&M's. I told him I have no idea if I will be able to run. "Hey, we've got all night, you can walk it if you need to." Apparently my brain did not hear him when he yelled, just dial it back a little, because I was moving. Back to the hill, up the hill, and look here, the wind had shifted. We were blown up the hill, so up and back the speeds were much closer. 30 decent on the first loop, 22 on the 3rd. I was pretty much done with the bike by mile 100, so I was glad those last 12 went so fast. I have one quirk with Ironman. My odometer on my bike read 122 miles when I was finished. This odometer is always spot on when I ride at home on pre measured distances. According to my Avs, I had knocked out an 18- but of course the bike clock stops when I do, so I ended up with a 16 ish. I was a little bummed, and yet, in the back of my mind, I'm going to keep that faster pace as a trophy- just because somewhere between what was and is lies the truth. :-)

I had good energy and felt mentally ready to run. Unlike Florida, where I ran one mile at a time and added up, this race I decided to count down. I have no idea why, except that I liked the idea of the miles melting away. AZ is a crazy weird run where you go out and back and up and down and round and round. Someone said it is like a butterfly, I was thinking more drunk Irishman. Most awesome thing, they had a massage tent at the second aid station. My calves were so tight I was having trouble running, so I pulled over. 5 quick minutes later and wow, I could move my feet again. I wasn't feeling any pain from the crash, and things were holding up well, so I ran. Here though is where the stupid cold kicked in, I think all the dusty air of the bike showed up, so if my heart went over 150 I started wheezing and couldn't breathe. I generally run at at 160-5 HR, so I needed to moderate it quite a bit. I ran until I started to wheez and then I would walk. By mile 6 I had figured out a good pace and that is when things really started to move. I ran with Tac across the bridge going into the final loop and was amazed at how trained and how good I felt. One loop to go and I was a happy camper. Most awesome of awesome, I was rapidly passing all of those bikers who had out gunned me. He who laughs last boys. I chatted with a lot of runners, joked with the volunteers and kicked off the miles. I thought about Commodore who had never had the chance to run this run, and Kahuna who was down with bad feet. I thought about how awesome it was as a Minnesotoan how wonderful it was to run in late October in shorts, I thought about the Tribe. When times got anywhere near funky, I thought about all the kids and folks who never get a chance to do what I am doing, and I smiled and said a prayer for them. Last fall after my crash, I strung a "Miracles Happen" pendant around my neck. It was a souvenir from the MIracles of Mitch Kid's Triathlon. It hasn't left my neck, and on this night I was proof to that statement. I negative split the second loop and was running strong when I met up with Tac at the 20 mile bridge. I had a lot of energy and a 10 K to do. I thought a sub 14 would be a great finish, but it was going to be close. One most awesome moment on the run, it must have been after about my 15th shot of Coke, I was flying and I cruised by a couple of guys walking- "Geez" was all I heard. Can you still be running at mile 20 of an Ironman? Oh, yea baby. One more negative split and I was rounding the shoot to the finish line. About a quarter mile out I realized I wasn't going to break the 14 mark, so I slowed up and savored. This was it! The end of long year, and I wanted to soak up every sight, smell and flavor. Ok, not flavor- I was a sweaty mess.

I adjusted my hat and arm warmers for the finish photo and cruised the finish shoot. I high fived both sides of the corral and whooped! (One note for spectators, you really need to flex that arm on a high five-one guy stiff armed me and I almost went down, but I regained composure- quick bow to the crowd, more high fives and "Trimama, you are an Ironman!" Break that tape and hang that metal around my neck. How cool it's a cactus-yea!

I felt amazing! I felt light. I felt like me. No tears at this finish, no burden to unload, just triumph. Wow! I met up with Duane and he gave me the biggest bear hug! Love it. Then Tac was there and it was all good.

The rest of the story is just pizza and sprite and beer and Taco Bell and a call home to let them know I was done. Oh, and then about 10 minutes of spasmodic coughing that threatened to send my pizza into the outer stratosphere. But it was all ok, because we had reached the end..........

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ironman one week out

With a chest cold keeping me home for the morning (Coach Taconite insisted) I thought I'd catch all two of you still reading the travails of "Trimama's blog" up to date on life with The Tribe. I am one of those of the persuasion that we make time for the things that are important to us, so I can't really say that my reluctance to blog is strictly time related. No, I'd attribute it more to a long season of keeping life closer to the vest, or chest as it might be. I believe now there are seasons for healing and growth which are precious and tender and private in contrast to those that are meant to be lived out loud and with more public support and input. I've enjoyed this season, focused on friends close at hand, virtually and proximally. It's been a long but fruitful struggle from broken body to restored faith, and someday I might share more of it out loud, but for now I am content to prepare myself for this punctuation mark of a race. In terms of grammar and racing, I would love an exclamation point, but feel as though I am more poised for a period; merely the end of one chapter and the start of another. I sort of prefer periods to exclamation points, they are easier on the soul. It does seem as though there should be something in between. I suppose that is why they invented fonts. Life lived in Arial is so much preferred to Times New Roman. It would be fun to be all Chalkboard all the time, but enough of that, although it is curious that Blogger defaults to Lucinda Grande. Blogger, the Grande ultimate in narcissism. Of course saying that tongue in cheek as Blogger has been a fantastic means of finding wonderful friends and soulmates.

Tac and I met up with Ironmom Jenny, Laura, Nick and many others at our annual Tri Night Banquet. Very fun and good to see friends in clothing that is not spandex. With the exception of Jenny who was modeling some of the greatest race wear I have yet to see. Hopefully I’ll be able to sport some on the AZ race course ☺. Tac actually told me that I need to spend a few minutes in transition fixing my hair and looking nice for the run. He’s that worried I am going to best his time- I saw him packing lipstick in with my transition gear. I’m not sure a race photo would be complete without my hair spazzing out of my braides from every side, but I’ll see what I can do. I am planning to wear my sexy socks on the run- they made a huge difference at Whistlestop, I love em! And that is explanation point worthy.

We returned home to find Chopper asleep in our bed. He is insisting that he only sleeps well in our bed, and needs to repose right between Tac and I. I have taken great pains to explain to him that though he is small he really doesn’t fit. He wants another mattress, I think we will comply soon. He gave me a long hug on his way up to bed and it occurred to me that it will be a miserable week when my little boy no longer wants a hug from mom. He is my snuggly one and life will be very empty without that. One more plus to fostering and adoption.

That is what I am liking about this race, it is a period. It is the end of one thing and the beginning of another. Florida was a much needed exclamation point. It was the closing of something greater, a relief, a celebration of how far I’d come. There is something to be said when you don’t have to travel quite so far to go 140.6. There is something very tranquil in a period. Something wonderful when there is room in your mind to do something you love, and still have space for exclamation points. How blessed am I?

We arrive in Arizona on Thursday, looking forward to seeing Commodore et al, Momo, Fe Lady (perhaps) and many others. Shoot us an email so we know who to look for and contact with dinner plans etc. We have a pool and plan to use it accordingly-especially Monday after the race.

Until then....(how wonderful, a string of periods that says precisely what I mean)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

IMFL-Go Bloggie Friends

Lana, Tim, Michelle and Ryan


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The stories of our lives

"I love Mom's stories about her life. They're funny and interesting. I'm never going to have stories to tell like hers." So came the innocent whims of my ten year old. Fast forward five years, and now she has stories. Good stories, happy stories and sadly, the kind of stories you wish your kids never have to tell. The stories of how politics can sharpen a friends tongue into a steely knife that wounds with accusations like "racist" and "fanatic" when nothing in your character supports that claim. How mutually assured boundaries around conversations can be breached without warning with a fire of arrows meant to wound and bring death; said in full confidence or ignorance, the blood is still red and the wounds bring pain and distrust, bewildering to a 15 year old-mostly comprehensible to a 40 year old, even in the case when the knife is intended to bring death by a thousand cuts. The cuts hurt, and yet you turn to the one you know can heal. The one who says "love is patient, love is kind, love suffers long and love keeps no record of wrongs." You love deeper, knowing full well that to do so means you will be hurt again. You will be slandered and skewered, mostly for your fundamental beliefs. You love as completely as you are able, and in such, you are only slightly able to comprehend what was meant by "forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing", and also "there is no greater love than this, but that a man would lay down his life for his friend". I want the story of my life to be one of laying down, of setting aside pride, of love. My tongue is the smallest part of my being and yet the most capable of wounding, therefore I pray that god would give me grace to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Keep writing daughter, in the end, your stories will be too wonderful to tell

Sunday, October 12, 2008

26.2 miles to Ironman

The Trimama Road to Ironman

Scope AZ course Jan 2008- Check mental image in place

Learn to run again-check

Apple Blossom Half Mary- suck it up and go May 2008 - prove to yourself that you can start slow, run in last place, finish strong, let that broken knee carry you and be happy - check

Learn to bike again- Check

Buffalo Olympic Tri- June 2008- back in the saddle- conquer the fear and lovin it- check

Chisago Half Ironman-Bike freakin pr and conquer the mental demons- check

Whistlestop Marathon Oct 2008- sorry Dr. Gulli-but a girl's got to do what a girls got to do, and this girl has to prove to herself that she still has what it takes to go the distance- 26.2 holy freakin cow miles (were those shotgun blasts? why yes, it's duck opener, that's right) had a number of bail out moments- but I shuffled on not unlike the Energizer Bunny (the one who's been sitting in Rover's dog house for a number of months, stuffing falling out, springs popping in back, missing an ear, and yet she keeps on going) The woman with cookies at mile 18 gets an automatic pass to heaven in my book.

58 degree ice water never felt so soothing (and yes I brought my wet suit and went for an early morning swim), tequila never went down so smooth, sweet friendships have rarely meant so much, fall colors have not looked so brilliant; leaving just one thing to say

Let's get it on!

I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined and heard my cry. He lifted me up out of the pits, out of the miry clay. I will sing, sing a new song. How long to sing this song? He set my feet upon a rock, made my footsteps firm. Many will see, many will see and hear


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fe Lady asks, and Fe Lady gets.....

There is nothing quite like an IM training- huge omelet (with mushrooms, feta, scallions and Gruyere with a side of hash browns topped with home made salsa)-beer- induced Sunday nap. aaaawwwww. Just enough exhaustion to ignore the pile of clothes waiting to be folded, the dishes that need to be washed and ......

Training for a second Ironman is mentally so much easier. There is no wondering, can I do this? I know I can. And, I know I can again. The pressure falls off when it's "just do". The miles are adding up fast and happily sans injury, more or less. I have a massage therapist and a chiropractor to thank for this. One year ago I broke my tibia and tore my ACL. The doctor wasn't terribly optimistic about my iron endeavour. He said it takes six months to a year to recover just to walking with an injury like mine. He explained the MRI doesn't lie. He doesn't know Trimama. It's been a long 12 months, the first 6 were quite hellish, but here we are. I figured if Adrian Pederson can do it, so can I. It's not like I want to play running back in the NFL, I just want to race an Ironman :-)

Tac has worked his sexy little backside off making work, work in a staggering economy, so as we approach the October 1 abort date, we are both satisfied that we can go forward with our little trip in November. We've been on the fence all summer trying to arrange priorities and playing the financial guessing game, waiting to decide if we should go or not go. We are almost to the point of no return; we've reached iron giddy. What is it about this race that just excites one to participate? It is fantastically unique, and perhaps that is explanation enough. I doubt it. Something to ponder as I train this week. It's a long bike week, so I will do a spin, a short bike and a century ride (Friday) Then the next week I will run a marathon because I need another endurance challenge before Arizona to shake out any mental obstacles that might be waiting. Then a few more weeks of alternating 4 mid distance brick training days and the sprint/century week right on up to taper. I swim 2500 in intervals in a pool once a week and do 3600-4000 yards in the old lake once a week. Might I add that this weeks low temps in the 40's is going to make that lake swim rather gritty this Thursday. Uggh. Can you say polar cap? She was right at 61ish this past Friday.

Friday is Homecoming! Go Skippers! The High Schooler (as HG shall henceforth be named) is going with a group of friends to the dance-gulp. At least that was the plan. And I need to go dress shopping-holy cow when is that going to fit into the week? Pictures to post on Face Book- because Blogger just stinks for pictures now.

So, that is it in a nutshell.

Poke me or ping me or in some other way let me know if you are going to be in Arizona- I can't wait to see old friends and meet up with new ones.

Thanks for asking and have a good one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I know, I haven't been posting.....

I've written a lot in my head- but that doesn't count. Just not enough minutes in a day to tap on the keyboard. When I poke around, looks like everyone is transitioning out of tri season well- so here is a little bug in your ear for next summer

Bigun and Blink are going Iron Jenny, Tac and I are teaming with the Bigun as a team

Anyone else?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I figured if I pull the covers over my eyes and roll over

I'd never have to get out of bed and take my baby off to high school today. But, the world doesn't work that way, and our kids grow up and we nudge them along, albeit begrudgingly at times, to adulthood. Outwardly I can be the supportive mom, but inwardly tears are flowing. I'm proud of my girl, already so much an adult. She is going to be fine in that vast, echoing building, that holds one of the best high schools in our state, it's just going to take a few days to convince me of that.

We concluded our wonderful summer last night with the annual "night before the first day of school mani/pedi" watching Finding Nemo. There are few things that right our little world better then a nice manicure and foot massage. Chopper stored up an entire days worth of hugs as Marlin pursued Nemo.

The sun is rising in a post Gustav ball of flame, and the shower beckons, just not quite as loud as the covers....

Monday, August 04, 2008

My baby is growing up

Today I dropped HG off at soccer practice, she was reviewing her driving skills as we went along. Next year she won't need me to drop her off. She'll be like her teammates who showed up on their own. Tomorrow we go and pick up her schedule and find her locker. Next year locker combinations and high school id's will be so "last year". I relish this time of firsts, knowing full well that this is what they are. It's an amazing transition to watch as your kids go from "need" to "want" I trust that we've nurtured our relationship so that want will grow as need recedes in this final cycle. I see my friends with older children and I relish that thought.

I made my monthly sojourn to middle americana again today. I don't know why small towns and vast farmlands are so cathartic to me. There is something about the slow, methodical process of planting and growing and harvesting. The movement of time, constant and dependable. Crops that failed this year, will grow next; there is always tomorrow. The county fairs are in full swing, replete with tractor pulls and local bands "that actually auditioned for Star Search", FFA and livestock competitions. I really want to go to a rodeo with the Tribe, so we might make one yet. Aaahh, the waning days of summer.

Dutifully marked by the trek to Target for school supplies. Only one "you have 4 children" comments this year. The Tribe is getting quieter. This year I tried a new tactic, they all got their own basket. We went through the lists, then I had them each lay out their supplies, one at at time (yes, right there on the floor at Target) But we made it home with everything, and funny, no extras this year. I think I have 7 bags of forgotten "extras" under my bed currently. School supplies are met with a combination of excitement and trepidation. Soap spent dinner cartooning her worst fears of pending middle school which included an 8th grade pterydactyl devouring a "sixlet" But there were muffins for everyone, so it must have worked out ok in the end.

And one final note (because I am still getting over whatever ill bacteria inhabited my gut during Saturday's lake swim-please God, send rain!)

Quench Gum. Six degrees of separation allows me to proudly say my childhood friend was the friend of the inventor of Quench Gum. If you haven't tried it, it's a worthwhile sensory experience. Get ready to pucker. It was meant to be a sort of electrolyte replacement gum, I have no notion of it's nutritional impact. I do know that 6 girls in a backyard tent playing "truth or dare" can get whipped up into hysterics as they see who can shove the most pieces in their mouth. Bear in mind, one is more then enough to make your salivary glands seize up. I believe 12 was the record, for all you uber competitive types.

Tac and I are enjoying the sounds of summer on the front step, kids playing, cicadias buzzing, cold beer in hand (which only makes a sound if you slurp, or burb), and whatever new application Tac is playing on his 3G.

I love summer

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"I just digested the bad guy"

You got your TomKat, you got your Bradjolina and now, Tacmama. Thanks to Steve in a bowl full of sunshine for the pic.

It's midseason for most in Triworld, however, for us racing in November the year is just getting started. Especially for me, who spent the early season with Tac in training and the family vacation etc. So life went flying along to the end of July and my first significant race in 20 months. And I trained how? Sporadically at best. Some weeks focused, others working like a dog and racing kids all over town. For six months I've been rehabbing my knee, every little workout a new discovery in how I could push those tendons and muscles. I looked at Chisago Half as a marker for where my training was at. I'd won the entry at a banquet last fall, which was providential- I needed to do this race and I wouldn't have done it on my own volition. Tac sensing how totally jacked I was racing this distance signed up to be my rabbit. We raced side by side pretty much through the entire day. Cool. My plan was to apply constant pressure like an accelerator on a road trip (you see, I have that down) watch my nutrition (why does every race burp make me think of that line from Innerspace?) and secretly hope to secure a pr on the bike.

Check, check and check.

Swim 40 ish minutes including my waterside wetsuit strip and run up the grassy knoll. Pretty much the usual here-2000 yards, fairly straight and to course. Chatted with some HIM newby's including a friends hubby from work. The water was beautiful and the race vibe was there. When I hit the turn around my mind had still not settled into racing, so I spent the final 1000 yards counting up and down to 100. You do what you gotta do.

Transition I had a great run up from the water- that always makes me feel like I'm racing even on days when I am just finishing. A couple minutes- more clothes then a shorter race. Swigged some nutrition and we were off.


Bike 3:02 18:49 avs PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I broke 18 for the first time ever and that just plain rocks. Nutritioned well, geared well, not much else to say. The course is flatter then anything around her, and therefore fast. Oh, yea, except anyone who happens to find themselves in Arizona in November, feel free to come up and say "Chamois Butter" if five or so hundred people remind me, I might actually remember. There were several moments I was certain I would never enjoy marital bliss again, so Chamois Butter is the key word here. Especially on hot and humid days. Blah. I did groan at mile 40 with the thought we still had 16 miles to go. My bike computer wasn't working and I thought we were closer. Then it occurred to me that I would still have 72 miles to go in an Ironman and I sighed (darn I have a lot of training to go).

In MInnesota we repair our roads by A) tear the whole thing up and start over thus creating a season entirely unto itself (fall, winter, spring and road construction) B) repeatedly fill in the cracks with tar goo C) let the road go to hell until A is necessary thus securing the state of the unions for decades to come.

The final five miles of the bike road were "C" and really made me wish I'd gotten that cracked tooth/filling fixed before the race. Although it was handy that it had shook completely loose-made the dentist job easier on Monday.

I've always wondered (and feared) what would happen if the fatigue and stress of racing threw me into a PTSD state. I've come close many times racing and training, but always regained control, it's not great. Had I respected the distance and nature of this race, if I had thought longer about mental training, if I'd seen the warning signs of a week of intense nightmares and subtle daytime detachment I might have had a better run and avoided the total meltdown that ensued.

I didn't

Run 2:33 (mind you a 2:10 would have PR'd my HIM time-was that asking too much?)

Block 1: Ok, let's go, yea! Let's PR

Block 2: I feel like crap. I want to puke, my calves are cramped and my legs feel like lead and I'm tired of racing.

Mile 2: I don't want to do this run Tac

Mile 3: I'm ready to quit. Ok, let's get to mile 6

Mile 4: Pretty much no nutrition is getting to my brain, and my race focus is shot. (not that it was there all along) We had gone out in the last wave of the HIM'ers so there weren't a whole lot of folks out on the run with us. That stunk, especially as I am a race talked. I need stimulation and Tac didn't feel like talking-the entire time. Too much quiet and too much brain activity is not a good idea.

I told Tac I was definitely entering a zone where this is no longer profitable. I don't think he understood me. He was busy scooping his jaw off the ground. It never occurred to him that I would bail. I had a sense mentally things were getting a little dicey.

Miles 5-7 not so bad- we picked up speed and we'd made the all important turn around point of no return. I mean, you're standing in the middle of a cornfield six miles from town, there's not a lot you can do but move forward. Unless of course you have to "go" in which case you dive into a ditch and water the weeds.

PSA brought to you by me.

There is a lovely roadside grass that looks not unlike the stuff that grows in your yard, only longer and taller. Handy cover when you need to "go". It's called "sawgrass" That name was not by mistake. It's not particularly helpful if you carry a few blades in your spandex either. Mary Kay Extra Emollient Night Cream in my new best friend.

And now back to this weeks Lifetime Drama (damn I wish my life didn't read like a chick flick sometimes)

I was fueling as best I could, but the brain needs carbs and the muscles need carbs and since moving forward as fast as you can is the goal when you really suck as a runner the muscles got priority. So the brain says, all right, fine you want to roll that way, how about a nice movie? And that is PTSD in a nutshell.

I started crying at mile 7- cried to mile 8

Got mad. Sucked it up, ate some jelly beans, stopped crying.

Mile 9 started crying again. Couldn't stop. It sucked.

Miles 10-11 must have got some sugar to my brain- the gatorade, jelly beans, and Quench gum must have worked.

Miles 12-13 Good side- we are almost there-finally. Bad news, my brain wasn't finished. Blah. I was getting angry now. I didn't want to be crying at the finish line, hell I didn't want to be crying at all. Tac was doing his best keeping me moving. I just needed to get food. Solid food.

Saw Jumper again (he just plained rocked the day cheering all over the course) He could tell I wasn't doing so good. He thought it was my knee.

Very Bright moment-my body felt awesome. No knee pain, no hip pain, no nothing. Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love my massage therapist, she is a miracle worker.

Finally finished

6:2XX something. Not my best HIM, not my worst. Could have been better. I'm sure I learned something- like bring your own buffet, bring your ipod and above all else, get in some mental training before November.

Ate PB & J, talked with Training and Bloggie friends like IronJenny (second AG hardware woo hoo) Erin and Mark (their first HIM-Awesome) and I met Ironmom who flattened the course with a 45 minute PR enroute to IM Louisville next month.

I apologize to my friends who thought it was my knee. I needed to focus on something other then what was going on in my head, so the knee was an easy default. You all helped immensely, being out there, cheering and I refocused quickly. I love you guys.

So, that's my race report. I'm feeling pretty good about what I can get done between now and Novemeber. I feel great about the first 2/3rds of the race, especially sustaining a rocking good speed on the bike for 56 miles.

The run is the run and it will get better. Now I know what PTSD racing looks like it, and I got through it. I supposed the imagery of sawgrass kept me from going all fetal in the weeds :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A little parenting help, please

I realize I begin most posts with "wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I posted" Realizing that I have a lot to say and not very much time to say it. Since I started this blog in 2005, there is clearly a correlation with the aging of my kids and my decline of writing time. And they aren't even that busy, compared to the month to come.

That being said, here are some insights into the Tribe household this summer, in no particular order. By all means, comment and help as necessary.

Would someone please, for the love of god, tell me that when you were 10 and purchased your first "nut cup" you used it to tell yourself "knock, knock" jokes. And for that matter, your 11 year old sister went screaming around the neighborhood on her bike yelling, "NUT CUP! NUT CUP! Urp got a NUT CUP ewwwww......"

I had no idea.

and that your 8 year old brother categorically denied any future involvement in a sport which includes said "nut cup" He will be sticking to golf and soccer. I think we need to have a little conversation about male protection.

So, yes, the older boy has a new set of cleats, a mouth guard and a nut cup, pursuant to playing football. Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, I didn't say that. He is built for football, but had consistently insisted on not playing a team sport. It took a lot of convincing for him to embrace my philosophy that most team sports are nothing like the recess scrums involving one player dominating the game as a ball hog; The LA Lakers notwithstanding. He cleated up and went to the combine and came away with a huge smile.

"Mom, you were right, I love football" whew. His league has some great coaches, including Bigun's brother, only with
"this huge roll of muscle on his shoulders"

I can't think of many things more enjoyable then the crisp smell of fall in the air, the kaleidoscope of color in the foliage and the boys suited up to throw around the pigskin. Substitute the girls with a soccer ball and Trimama will be fully competitorized this fall.

But Trimama, aren't you training for an Ironman?

Why yes. Yes I am. And the training is going slow but sure. We race a 70.3 this Sunday in Chisago. It feels to get back in the saddle, the asphalt and the lake again. We have been exclusively swimming in lakes so far, no pool = a happy Trimama.

Speaking of lakes. If your absolutely beautiful swimming hole occasionally yields a looming dark shadow below follow these handy tri tips.

1) Repeat the Tac Boy mantra: My foot is larger then most predatory fish in this lake, they should swim the other way. It works and extra bonus: you swim faster.

2) Paint your toenails. Don't just paint them, paint them black or dark blue, bearing in mind that most lures include colors such as red, bright pink and orange for a reason.

3) Swim in a larger person's wake-you end up looking like the freaking Loch Ness Monster to the poisson below.

4) As you navigate the trail around the local nature center and you are startled by one of these, and he flairs up and hisses at you, and you jump and scream, calm yourself with thoughts of this which is currently available in "all you care to eat" style at IKEA. I care to eat exactly "0". I can hardly imagine a food which takes so much effort and yields so little reward. Sunflower seeds have more meat.


The Tribe minus HG is at camp this week. The result of too much work for me which equals too much time alone together for them. They start picking on each other when they go unsupervised by an adult for too long. Returning home today they were peacefully wiped out. I don't recall so tranquil a night here since last Christmas night.

August is a month of birthdays and it's hard to say who frets more over their "list" HG or Chopper. Chopper is in the 5th edition of his list, so I think he wins this year.

It's also the month we celebrate the big 18. That's not so bad, 18 years is pleasantly close to 20 years of marriage; a milestone.

I'm currently rounding out my training plan for the rest of the season. Much to my surprise, I added a marathon Oct 10th. It's not just flat, it's downhill, so I figure I will run with friends and use it as a final long training. I'll walk if I feel like I'm going to blow up my legs. I have a few century rides and just keep swimming in mind. All the parts are staying in tact thanks to my phenom of a massage therapist and my chiropractor.

Happy Trails

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tac's Two timing me!

I've heard a mid life crisis can vex a typically faithful man, lure him away to a younger mistress; I never thought he would fall to an Ironmaiden. But alas, it has happened.

"Do you know I did an Ironman? Twice?" I've taken to asking him if he works for Ford. That didn't go over so well. But he is helping me train, pushing me on the bike, joining me for my swims across Bush Lake.

"So, by coaching you, I'm actually defeating myself?" Oops he's figured it out. I think there is an ulterior motive though. Seems like the cheering section at IMAZ is growing with soon to be '09 ers. I'm never sure if Race Intentions should be treated like expectant pregnancies, where you let the bearer bring the news in their time, but let's just say, Tac's goading his Pod Partner as well so I feel a bit of a throw down coming on. Tac is already angling for a Morning After Slip.

"I just want to finish" has hit the back burner. November 23rd is locked into the iphone.

Start 7:00 am- canon fires and the wake wash down the gutter commences.

8:13 pm Tac Boy will be de throned!

Of course, I have my virtual training partner She Ra (or is it Fe Ra) pulling me out of bed most mornings-I'm actually following my BT Training plan, so far. I've ramped up the massage therapy in hopes I can figure out the swelling of my knee and ankles and I plan to do a whole lot of back of the pack biking to push my speed.

I'm training for 8:13 (which I just figured out is 13:13-am I tempting some kind of fate?-good thing I'm not superstitious)

We had a rockin' good Somewhat Annual 4th of July Party, great fun with pictures and report to follow.

Happy Weekend, now go celebrate your Freedom!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ever wonder what happens to a tree that doesn't stretch it's roots deep?

This behemoth climbed to great heights, fully confident in his footing. Until the storms blew, and the saturated grounds softened and reality sent him crashing to the ground. Sorrowfully, he took a few down with him, scarring many others. This vacation has been a profound time to reflect on my roots as I marvel at the creation that has literally soared above us. How deeply vested am I in my faith, an immovable God, my friends, my family, my convictions and the loved ones I hold dear? On vacation, when all else is pulled away, and life is put on hold, it is simple to embrace and know all that is dear to me. I am profoundly grateful for this time.

By now you've read several race reports and know that Ironman lived up to all it's promises.

We departed mid Tuesday morning for Washington and Canada, only after a brief errand to Kmart to secure another car top carrier. A certain Schwag whore was now accompanying us and we needed more space aloft. If I didn't think it would ensure a short decade in a canadian lockup, I would have snapped a photo of the Customs officer who looked with incredulity into the cavern of the Tacmobile, fully loaded with 7 travelers plus luggage and supplies. I sincerely doubt you could have wedged an apple into the Tacmobile at this point. Although, we did wedge in a lime which was dutifully confiscated at the American border. I secretly think they had confiscated a case of Coronas earlier and now the party was complete.

It would be a cinch to settle down in any of the localities we have visited thus far, but I think the front runners would certainly be Coeur D Alene and Billings. We loved CdA so much we decided to defer the trek to Glacier for another vacation and settled in for one last evening along the big lake. Lovely. Tac wrapped up his mental race report as we strolled along the run route and dined on the water front. Snagging the last two hotel rooms in town, we enjoyed one last, lovely night of rest before the long haul home.

But not before a stop at Tac's T1 spot.

Chatting with the .Bigun the desire to move was concensus; do I sense a relocation of the year round training grounds for the Dots?

3200 miles of adventure in the can, 900 to go. Wish us well and send a shoe horn if you've got one,

Trimama out.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

There are a few things in life the Good Lord must have intended me to see

and this is one of them. How else could I explain my flat tire 13 miles outside of Harlowton, Montana? Sure enough, the gauge reading tire pressure began winking at me and I watched as 40 psi went to 30, to 20 to 10 until I finally found a place to pull over on the two lane road. Now, I had contemplated what I would do with a car emergency, as a single mom with my five children, out in the middle of no where, and I was comforted in knowing that Mrs. Greyhound was my escort. How lucky for us that the car rental company neglected to include a drivers manual with the tire iron. But the Good Lord was at work, and somehow we figured out how to lower the doughnut from it's nest in the undercarriage, jacked up the car with the help of Urp and Chopper, and reloaded. That manual would have come in handy as we reconfigured the interior of the car trying to lift out the spare, only to discover a wee small hole in the bumper that the tire iron slipped through, to turn a bolt to lower the spare. (I know, I'm amazing)

Back to Harlowton, back to the "Testy Festy". Two nice young men fix our tire, we lunch and reload and head back out of town, at peace with the universe for having experienced the TF.

However, I am not at peace with the world of never ending beans. About 200 miles out of Billings I met with a local as I surveyed the filling station map.

"Where ya headed?"


"Take the interstate to 12 and turn off. The first town you meet up you gotta stop for some beans"


"Yup. 100 year old pot. They never cleaned it out. Just add new beans everyday. Best beans anywhere."

Now for some odd reason, 100 year old beans appealed to me. You can't beat a good pot of beans. If nothing else, I needed a picture of the magic pot. But bean town never materialized. There was an exit on 12, I kept looking for a town. No town, just a barn. Cue the Twilight Zone music. Is it possible only those with the raw faith to heed a stranger's summon, who will actually take the exit, get to experience the magic beans. Damn.

On the plus side, most people never got to leave those TZ towns, and we had a dude ranch to find.

We landed safely in Coeur D Alene around 6:00 local time, a little crusty, a lot dusty and in great delight at our home for the next several days.

DiLicious has her Sherpa Shack prepped and ready to party. The athletes are wrapping up their preparations. There is a blogger swim at 9 this morning. Then off to the amusement park with The Tribe, Big J and company, and the Greyhounds. Then tomorrow it's the big dance. Sherpa Di and I are taking over the microphone from the boys, so be ready to banter when we shove the mic in your face.

More from the party so big only the West could host it, later.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Even the Rainbows are bigger here

Two Montana evenings, two gorgeous thunderstorms rolling across the plains. Mrs. Greyhound and I sat on the screen porch drinking wine, listening to the coyotes hunting, (thank goodness no bears yet) and watching the lightening flash.

Our new best friends

11 year old horse heaven

Ready to ride Urp, Chopper and I headed out on a guided ATV adventure up into the hills. We met up with the rest of the group who arrived by horseback.

We are staying at a working cattle ranch. The yearlings are being made ready for market, which entails a lot of wrangling and moving of cattle. In spite of all our current technology, it remains that the best way to wrangle cattle is by horse. Western poetry unfolding as you watch the men, their horses and the work dogs drive the cattle. I could live here.

So that is day one of our Great West Adventure!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

You know it's time for vacation when....'ve broken the last of your souvenir mugs from the previous vacation can't shake the vacation songs from your head- I am so downloading Van Halen's Diver Down album, especially their rendition of Happy Trails.

I'd give you more, but there is laundry, packing, shopping, mapping and wow left to get done before O dark hundred Tuesday Morning. I'm a morning driver and I want the day at least 2/3rds done by lunch time.

See you all in CdA!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I hate Steve Jobs

Well, actually, I have a working iphone and therefore was not home from work throughout the day checking status reports on the release of 2. But we are a collective unit here in the Trimama household, so if one of us hates Steve Jobs, we all hate Steve Jobs. The man clearly has no idea how important "Monkeyball" is to a family vacation or else he would have had the minions working overtime to produce. Oh well.

"Mom, you got new shoes". This being the third Tribe member to notice the nifty pair of hiking sandals I grabbed from the clearance rack at REI caused me to realize one of two things: I need to get out and shop more; one new pair of shoes a year (that aren't tri intended) probably puts my merit as a woman at risk. And two, It's summertime! These are my annual summertime shoes. Last years REI summertime shoes held up extremely well, they will continue to represent good times.

We were at REI to find more neoprene for Tac. He is now so sufficiently bedecked in neoprene he could perform a moonwalk undeterred. If we had been this mindful of protection years ago there would be no Tribe. "How are you going to even know you have swam if you never feel the water?"

"Stop humming Darth Vadar music!" How can I help myself. We are on the hourly countdown to CdA, and since each pronouncement has an air of angst, DV music seemed suitable.

Try it. See, it works.

But Ironman isn't doom, it's adventure. So the new theme music, heretofore will be, Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Steve Jobs gets Darth Vadar.

We are ironing out the post- school stress and depression wrinkles from the Tribe. Some acclimate to summer better then others, and I am giving them all a wide berth to be chippy and short; family needs to be a safe place to vent, so long as no gratuitous damage is done in the venting. Vacation will be a good remedy for all.

"Mom, we need the guy who fixes the front door to come."

The guy who fixes the front door was currently making cookies, but has otherwise been detained by training and keeping a roof over our head.

The handle has fallen off of the front, glass, storm door. That has nothing to do with the constant slamming of that door by the Tribe et al.

It certainly has nothing to do with the Soapinator's Pied Piper effect in the neighborhood. Every time I glance outside there is some new kid in my yard.

"Who is that?"

"So and so"

"Where is he from?"

"I don't know, but he's nice"

Add one more Little Neighbor Kid to the mix and it's all good. Off, to Costco I go, Little Neighbor Kids get hungry. But I'm hiding the water canons before I leave. Last time I returned to find a nice trail of grass, mud and water going in the front door and out the back. Apparently they figured out the shortest distance between two points, say the front yard to the back yard, is through the house. Not to mention the nice launching pad off the back steps.

Training is going well. For the amusement of al I am going to the "speed" workout with my Local Tri Club tonight. I'm really only going because, A) I can-finally and B) there are a number of people I haven't seen all winter and I look forward to catching up with them. Verbally, not physically. Who knows, I might shave a few seconds off my 5K.

I trained 7 clients in 6 hours yesterday. Whew. Collectively, I probably completed a few hundred squats, lunges, ab curls and plank minutes.

So, that's a wrap. By this time next week, if all goes according to plan, I'll be eating breakfast in Fargo.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Not your average race report

But first a little chat about Trimama's bootay. I've noticed a mysterious trend of pictures lately, with an unusual emphasis on my posterior. I thought I was being paranoid until I was looking through "Highlight" pictures with Little Neighbor Boy (LNB) last night. I was showing him pics from the kids Miracles of Mitch tri last summer. 60 highlight photos including this. (sorry you've got to scroll to pic 41) I've long threatened to rent the space. I'd prefer Iron Jenny sponsorship with Immodium. I'd be proud to wear an Immodium singlet so long as "We don't run" could be emblazoned on my back side. I'm on the wrong computer to post more derierre pics to prove my point, and that would be gratuitous for this family friendly blog.

So, on to the Buffalo Triathlon race report. Let me just say, it feels great to be a triathlete. I wrote my buddy Kahuna an email yesterday following an early morning lake swim, it just doesn't get much sweeter then this. And it's sweet because I have family and friends and a sense of humor (which becomes essential as the race unfolds) but let's go back a week or so shall we.

For any of you readers who track back a few years with me, you know I carry a certain amount of baggage in my brain that pops up in PTSD symptoms. Generally, healthy living, good meds, a great support system, a rock solid faith and a cold beer at the end of the day all keep the nightmares in check. But some weeks, the nightmares win and decide to pop up during the day. I hate these weeks because there is a decisive shift from my controlling the nightmares to the nightmares controlling me. My brain gets tired, I have to sleep more, and I definitely need to go at it on auto pilot a little more. Flashbacks are weird. They tug at your emotions for a good deal of time, reaching out for your conscious mind, like a splinter festering. Eventually whatever event is driving the wreck makes it's way to the mental video room and all hell breaks loose. Blah. Strangely, this nightmare made a full blown appearance while I was out on a training run with Taconite. (Now Tac isn't all that scary to run with, by contrast, he knows well how to sit quietly in the car while I tremble, and hold my hand until all is well) It's not all that uncommon for nightmares to pop while I train-training builds seratonin-seratonin is one of the complex chemicals of memory. Exercise has been an essential tool toward a healthy, integrated life for me. So, there I was running, brain freaking out, and I could feel my blood sugar plummet. My brain was working overtime. I made it back to the car, drank some water, ate a cookie and sat there and trembled until the thoughts passed. Tac arrived, and waited with me. Tac's the only one I let in on this part of my life. I tend to be pretty reticent about talking about my life. One might think talking would help, but by contrast, it's more like turning out the lights and waiting for the monsters to come out from under the bed. I tread carefully. There's enough toxin in the world anyhow. So, why share now, Trimama?

Because, sharing what my week was about gives you a little insight into how freakin awesome it was to be back to racing again!

Now the bummer of PTSD is that you can contain it but you really (at least that I know) can't control it. In the back of my mind I'm always aware (and a little cautious) of the potential on the race course. Racing seems to have it's own compartment in my brain- I think it's because it's so darn fun! So, let's get on with the race.

I bought a new wet suit on Ebay-long sleeve. As of Saturday, time and weather had not permitted me to hit the open water in this suit. So, Saturday morning, 0600, with fog lifting off the chilly lakes, Tac, TriThunderboy and I hit our favorite training lake. The suit worked like a dream How can you go wrong swimming with the rising sun? I hit the sand after a good 30 minute training swim and dolphined out of the water, practicing for T1. The suit was a bit tough to pull off the legs, they were too long. But here in lies my dilemma, I didn't want to alter the suit before racing in it because if the legs are in the wrong place my calves cramp on the swim. So I left it long. And here is were a sense of humor becomes important.

Race morning was beautiful and the rubber ducky's were towed into position. I bantered with my fellow athletes, met up with friends I knew and made my way to the lake. A fellow IMAZ athlete, Robert met me lakeside and we zipped each other up. Or at least I thought we did. The horn blew, I took off, and about 150 yards out I felt a sudden chill down my back. Hmm. I don't recall that feeling, and I know my wet suit was toasty when I took off. Robert had missed the top of the zipper and my back opened. I made my way to a lifeguard for help getting zipped back up. 3 or so minutes later I was back in the water. The rest of the swim was uneventful until I hit the shore. I can strip in 15 seconds on shore with help from the water. Not today. The wet suit that didn't want to stay on, didn't want to come off. Several of my friends, Nick, Laura, Tac, as well as the crowd were there cheering. Go, Trimama, Go. "I can't get my da*& wet suit off!" Nick had some good advice, standup and push at it with my legs. Ok, then I went down. And my knee screamed at me. And for a brief moment I thought that was the end of the season. "Don't panic. Stand up" "Ok, I can stand" Finally, after 4-5 minutes wrestling with it, I finally pulled my left leg out. The crowd cheered. That was a little embarassing. And riotously funny at the same time. I mean what are you going to do. (Note to self: scissors, body glide and practice)

Swim 34:XX Now, when I subtract my buffoonery, that is a Trimama PR!! And I never felt like I was swimming hard, just nice easy strokes. (at the risk of sounding like a chronically injured person, I think I have even more swim in me- I'd had a chiropractic appointment and the doc dislocated my left arm Friday. I got HG to relocate it Saturday, but it was tender from swimming Sat morning, so I favored it- I need to do some PT and get those interior shoulder muscles stronger)

Bike: No FEAR! I Flew! I past people and I rocked the course with another PR! My cyclocomputer hadn't been working, but bubble bike must have known it was time to race, because, when I needed it, I looked down expecting to see blank and was pleased to see 22's often enough. Got a lot of inquiries about my tattoo. I think it made folks feel better as I past them. Oh, she's and Ironman, she can pass me. I like making folks feel better about themselves, so I'm upgrading the tattoo to an M-Dot with a Yellow winking smiley face in the circle, after Arizona. I don't know my final time, but my bike computer had me at 18 over 24.5 miles. So, while my knee can be jacked up on the bike at times, giving me no power whatsoever, all of the squats and lunges seems to have built some other power that engages at opportune time. That, or it was the "fast" air I had the race mechanic put into the tires pre race. Finally, aerobottles- use them, love them. They make nutrition simple and constant.

Run: uggh. Well, not really. It's just that it takes me 2 miles to warm up, this race no exception. My goal was to do the 10K in an hour. I felt great overall. I never bonked and I had a strong final 3 miles, surprising Tac. But it still took me 1:04 to finish. I'd forgotten the hills on the run. The very good thing was that the hip junk that plagued my half mary was no where to be found and my legs felt good, albeit slow. Maybe I need to do Trisaratops blood doping technique :-)

So, 3:07 total time. My goal was to break 3:10. My previous time on this course was a 2:57-but I knew that was elusive considering the knee and the continued rehab. I finished strong and ecstatic.

I am so ready to train again. Next up, Chisago Half in July.

The Tribe wraps up school this week, with the big 8th grade graduation. One final week of a quiet house. I'm going to need training this summer :-)

3 weeks to Coeur D Alene!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Well, Al didn't drown

He actually bought a training pack, so it will be back to the pool with the hopes that my lip enunciation will be sufficient. Did I mention Al speaks only broken english. Shows how articulate Trimama truly is; I am wicked at charades though.

I took half The Tribe on the weekly sojourn to Costco, an atypical Saturday errand, and I instantly recalled why when I hit the parking lot. Costco, the random labyrinth where strawberries stocked next to sunglasses makes perfect sense to some supply chain manager. I'm clueless, except in my own Costco, which makes perfect sense to me, therefore, I can never move. What makes little sense to me is shoppers who discard unwanted items several aisles from their pick up point. I am also clueless as to what compelled the patron with the dual melons to leave them in the toilet paper aisle. What forces of nature prevailed upon a person to drop the melons for the tp? I entertained myself with a tale of woe for the duration of my shopping excursion. At some point she will meet up with the fellow who was carting 6 quarts of blueberries, and only 6 quarts of blueberries, through the parking lot when we arrived. I hope he is making cordial.

Spring has sprung in all it's glory, lilacs, cherry and apple blossoms, hmmmmm. The Tribe pitched a tent in the backyard and intends to sleep under the stars tonight. I'll leave the back door open. Last Saturday I biked 45 miles up hill and into the wind with Tac. Sunday I ran 13 miles up hill and into the wind at the Hastings Apple Blossom run. Today I met up with IronJenny, Iron Nick, Jumper, Robert, Iron Steve and Greg and about 150 other local cyclists to do the first supported century of our tri club. My plan was to do 50. 25 more miles up hill and into the wind and it finally occurred to meet that maybe we should ride the loop backward. Ahhh. Downhill with a tail wind is nice. We were riding a circle, as Iron Jenny pointed out, but there is something to be said for "into the wind to start", "back to the wind to finish."

I rode most of the time with Jumper as my wingman, what a great guy. Our legs were toast when we made the final turn, falling short of the 50 mile goal, but pleased with the overall ride. My new motto "Suck it up Trimama and just do it" I've had to say that to myself a lot lately as I've come to realize that my days of 8:xx min miles and strength on the hills are a thing of the past. 4 months of atrophied quadriceps is tougher to overcome then I could have imagined. So, when I think I suck and feel like quitting, especially when I feel like the anchor around everyone's neck on a group ride, I just say "suck it up and go". It's not going to get better whining about it. It certainly isn't going to improve by quitting on myself. So, I take every opportunity and see it as a building process. With my first tri i(n almost a year) next weekend, I think I'm going to be saying that a lot. This whole Tri thing is a tremendous opportunity that a very small minority have a chance to partake in, I don't want to shame myself by complaining that it's not precisely what I want it to be.

That includes the water temperature. You won't hear a single murmur out me about 52 degree water. Not a peep. My lips will be chattering too hard to say anything at all.

HG just returned from a week in Chicago with her class. It's an 8th grade rite of passage that manages to pack every site seeing adventure in the windy city into 3 days. I was pooped reading the itinary. They had a great time and came back with memories for a lifetime.

School is wrapping up for the year, yea. I find the pace of summer very agreeable. We depart for CdA mid June-totally psyched! Our plans include a dude ranch in Montana, Ironman of course (we are the finish line), Orca Island in the San Juans and wrapping the whole thing up in Glacier National. Road trip baby! I'm looking forward to meeting all the bloggie folks.

I want to compile a map of arrival dates and lodging for everyone so we can make a plan of meeting attack. Shoot me an email and I'll see what I can do to put it all together.

For those of you training, enjoy the final push and for us Sherpa folks, hang in there, it's almost here :-)!

Happy and blessed Memorial Weekend

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Redefining Snuggle Time

With me arising at 4 am two days a week to work, and Tac going out at 4 am on the two opposing days, our morning snuggle time has waned. We could adapt if we wanted to rouse earlier, but sleep time is already a commodity. So, this morning, a Tac swim morning, I decided we needed to redefine snuggle time. Not like this though, that's just odd. I don't want to snuggle a perfect stranger. If I wanted to snuggle a stranger, I'd work 80 hours a week. This morning I showed for a rare early am swim session. Sharing a lane as swim support=snuggle time, well sort of. I'm sure Tac was delighted to see me, except he wasn't wearing his contacts so I could just as easily been the 80 year old in the lane next to him. That would have been preferable I'm sure, when I scooped down like the mom that I am and picked up his towel that was lying in the gutter getting wet. The towel that enfolded his beloved iphone. Hey look, an iphone sinks, good thing it's in a waterproof case.

Apparently there is no such thing as a waterproof case for an iphone. Steve Jobs is a moron. (I have to blame someone, it certainly wouldn't fall on the person who brings their non waterproof iphone to the side of a pool, or for that matter the person who carries their phone around in a pocket without protection) I know, I am evil.

I get a chance to redeem myself tomorrow with a new client. New client is hearing impaired but assured me he sort of reads lips and his aides would be in a ziploc bag by the side of the pool if he needed to hear me. I fail to understand how that will help him as he goes down for the third time. I sincerely think if you get Trimama in the pool in her swimsuit you should have to pay more, if for no other reason then my liability insurance is going to skyrocket after this. " Trimama I didn't know you were a swim instructor." I didn't either, but I did a triathlon, so close enough in my managers mind. I get the deaf, drowning guy.

Tac and HG just returned from rugby, so it's dinner time

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Put your money where your values are

I travelled to small town americana yesterday on an errand. The Twin Cities are a uniquely vibrant town where a 30 minute drive puts you smack in the middle of no where. Not quite so much "no where" as it was 150 years ago when fellows like Blakely settled in with their ox and families to conjure an existence from a rich but unforgiving land. Blakely must have been a decent fellow as eventually others settled by the Blakely place and now he is a town. I would like to be a town someday. Comfrey was a town as well, until the '98 tornado swept it off the map. Amazing how a force of nature can stop history in it's tracks. My few bucks and prayers go out to the citizens of Myanmar who certainly have a renewed respect for the forces of nature.

I chatted with a client yesterday about events unfolding in the world. We were breaking it down to our level; what can I do? He sells eco friendly cleaning supplies. I suggested he sell "put your money where your values are". I expect a residual check in the mail. I also proffered the idea that if every person in America ate only the calories they needed to sustain their life for one day, perhaps a week; no more then you need, no waste, a definite impact could be made. Consider your latest walk through a restaurant, I see a lot of waste on plates. Multiply that by 300 million. A lean america would conserve immensely. Fuel, health care, food costs, waste, my goodness add it all up. I don't suspect an obese nation will go lean for the sake of humanity anytime soon, but I can dream. The law of unintended consequences leads me to think I'm not a big fan of the new light bulbs. I can't eat native bred fish for the mercury concentration in the water. How about if I only use the lights I need, and turn them off when I leave the room? What if we all only used what we needed?

The law of unintended consequences hit closer to home Sunday afternoon. Tac was gone for the weekend and Chopper takes that as a license to whine and back talk. I'm not a big fan of back talk. More to the point, I'm not a big fan of kids disrespecting their elders. He went to his room. I went to mine for an afternoon recovery from my morning LSD run. Before I succumbed to that delicious sleep of fatigue, I told the Soapinator to free Chopper from his penance in ten minutes. An hour later I awoke, vaguely aware that a voice was missing from the murmur in the living room. Chopper must have fallen into a much needed nap. Good, except for the pile of paper airplanes accumulating at the bottom of the stairs. "mom, cin i com don now?" a dozen times. Perhaps he could have put a finer point on his question if he had landed a plane against the head of his forgetful sister. Chopper is our industrious one.

"Oh, I don't care".
Mom, you say that a lot lately. demanding an explanation. Well, there are questions that require a definitive no, such as, "Mom can I cut Soapinator's hair?" and some that earn an immediate "yes" Mom, do you want a backrub?" Then there are the ones I really want to say "no" to, but for lack of a moral or immediate threat to life or limb or school pictures, I have to relent and say yes. Such as, "mom, can we build a fort in the living room?" Knowing full well that in spite of well meaning promises to clean up after themselves, there will be an aftermath. The Tribe is afterall their own act of nature. Here is where my two interests collide. I don't want more work, but I also want them to play and create and explore. So, in counting the costs, my resignation generally falls with "oh, I don't care"

I had an awesome birthday, primarily because of all the phone calls, texts, comments and etc. Thanks friends and family!

Tac is back, tan and rejuvenated by his time away- huge thanks to Kahuna, Grayhound and Curly Sue for hanging with the Big guy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I declare the war on global warming over-we won!

I began this year, (with Minnesota's coldest winter in recent history,) joking that this was God's Job-like response to Al Gore.

It's not funny anymore.

For Minneapolis, MN 55426


So Far Today
Lo: 21°FRain: 0.00"Hi: 25°FGust: NE 0
Wind Chill: 24°F

Your Forecast for Minneapolis, MN
Hi: 55 °F Lo: 38 °F
Partly Cloudy... more
Hi: 63 °FLo: 47 °F
Partly Cloudy... more

I have yet to see a tulip or crocus and nary a leaf on a tree. Aaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I'm done.

Not much of a prelude to Happy Birthday to Me!

I turn 40 tomorrow. (long philosophical post to follow)

In honor of 40, I'll be doing

4000 yard swim (4 miles? You're freakin kidding me-my arms would pop out of their sockets)
40 mile bike
4 mile run.

Then I'm going to go watch HG play rugby and go to dinner, where in true Rugby fashion, I will drink 40 ounces of beer.


where is Fe Lady? Her blog disappeared! A little help here?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

When baby steps make you feel 10 feet tall

It's like learning to ride a bike....

Weeks of apprehension. Will I be able to bike again?
A morning of anxiety. I sincerely doubt my clients walked upright and pain free Tuesday as I put them through the workout I generally would do at this point, if not for them.
I shook as I prepped. If my knee fails, just how bad will it hurt.
I stood on the driveway for 5 minutes, maybe longer. Our driveway turns out onto a subtle, but climbable hill, and I'm not keen on zero mph crashes.
I rolled my bike to the top of the hill, knowing eventually I was going to have to suck it up and just do this. Maybe I should go back and switch out my cleats and pedals, I'm not so sure it's a good idea to do this maiden voyage on the new ones. Excuses. Just go.

And I went. Slowly at first, clipping out numerous times and stopping just to be sure I could do so in the oft time necessary instant.

And a funny thing happened on the way to mile 2. I remembered. All the miles, all the rides, all the times clipping in and out. And once you remember you know what happens, you soar. Rolling along I watched the final remains of winter breaking up in tiny chunks along the shore of Cedar Lake and I marveled at all of the stored potential of spring. So caught up in the moment was I that I missed the fact that I was standing in my pedals, until I sat back down. 6 weeks ago I couldn't stand.

18 miles of rolling pavement. In the grand scheme of things, baby steps, I know. But sometimes it's the baby steps that make you feel 10 feet tall.

Trimama is back!

In other news, I scoped a new client today-in the event all of Monday's folks quit on me. Nice gal, we got to talking tri's. Turns out she has a co worker who lives in Oregon who does tri s and as it happens also blogs. He had suggested she go to My Local Bike shop to check out a new road bike. Of course, I heard blog and my ears perked up. Who was this blogging Oregonian? and how did he know about My Local Bike shop? I questioned this potential client and tri training buddy.

Well he knows this guy named Taconite Boy who is all about Triathlon.

I busted out laughing.

Do I tell the big guy he is almost famous?

The pillow is calling, cheers to you all

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Maybe worm poo is the answer to all things

It sure isn't spittle. Which brings us to,

The Question of the Week

You are at work, when you notice a person having difficulty working the new, "technically sophisticated" storage lockers. Being the fab, phenom employee that you are, you go to the assist; because life is more then wiping sweat and dust off of treadmills.

"Yes, mam, you have to close the locker before you lock it. That's it." Conversation ensues. But conversation doesn't matter as the only salient point is that spittle is flying. Everywhere. Um hm, I trained you. Yes, you should follow up with me.......eeeeee."

Spittle on the cheek? Ok. Spittle on the chin? Well a little precarious, but we are still ok. But then that flagrant, foul drop hits a perfect trajectory...and lands on your lip.


A) Run screaming to the eye wash fountain in the janitor closet, only to be retarded mid stride by the recollection that the eyewash is merely that- water to wash the eyes. And this isn't your eye, this is your lip, which guards the orafice by which all things travel to and from your body. You opt for chugging bleach instead.

B) Grow up Trimama, you exchange bodily fluids with Tac Boy all the time.

C) But this isn't Tac Boy, where's the bleach?

D) Did you know that, like, 70% of dust we inhale and exhale every day is really skin cells that have sloughed off of other people?

E) I'm going permanent SARS mask from this point forward

F) How can this be coming from a woman who has wiped butts and noses for more then a decade?

G) Go ahead, fill in the blank

I saw in a documentary that worm poo is really great for growing marijuana....and other things. I'm not sure what "other" things are, but the guy from Princeton who invented worm poo is making a lot of money turning other folks garbage into fertilizer. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

Enough about poo, for I have sinned. Perhaps not mortal, but certainly grievous. What? Did I miss the latest download of The Tac Boy and Bigun show? No, worse. Leaving the feverish Tac (who happens to be an Ironman) at home, I bundled up (bundling because it is still so cold here that I switched my iphone weather gauge to celcius; somehow 1 degree here isn't quite so awful when it is only 28 in Tempe- so long as we are all freezing I'm good) The Tribe and departed for the local burger joint. For no odd reason, I donned my Ironman Finisher fleece. Now, in the Tac Boy/Trimama life of yin and yang, I am the IM recluse to Tac Boy's Schwag Whore. My tattoo remains hidden, and my schwag wear is limited, apparently to blustery days out with The Tribe. I sit my "single mom" arse down at the burger joint and proceed to dine with The Tribe. At some point in the evening, I catch a glimpse of the bright red "M" across the room. Just a simple white shirt, on a handsome, athlete, age grouper of a guy. Now we are easily within each other's eye shot. He could no more miss my "M" as I could miss his. And I knew, at some point it would happen. Our eyes would meet, a slight nod, and in typical Minnesota fashion, the subtle wave. We just acknowledge people in our clans up here. And we were in each other's 140.6 miles clan. You know it's coming. It's a sixth sense understanding. I glanced up, our eyes brushed in contact.....and I balked! I looked away! I denied this fellow athlete his due. At that one moment, feeling much more conscious of mama then Trimama, I felt sub iron. I felt that to put myself in this guys league was to defame the name and spirit of the athlete. I really need to get out more. Perhaps I really need to get out on my bike more. So, white shirt Ironman Guy at local burger joint, I'm sorry, really, truly sorry. Wave, wave. (was that second wave overkill?)

Ok, so I stopped by my local bike shop to pick up new cleats and shades. It's 65 wonderful degrees tomorrow and other then the fact that it is bloody tax day, I have no excuse for not getting my skittish, ridiculous self out on a bike tomorrow. Wish me luck, and if you encounter me on the trail, well, don't worry if I don't wave, I'll be white knuckling this maiden voyage of the new knee until it's done. I'm such a wuss.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I'm perplexed by the pickle thing...

As it lingers. But on to other things. 8 inches of snow are currently melting in torrents down the street. Question, what do you get when you take two really stressed out men, give them a microphone and a recording program? The Tac Boy and Bigun Show! All I know is that I got two stress calls from Tac at work, he passed on dinner, opting for a glass of wine and the next thing I knew he was down in the lower wing of the Tribe castle (read basement) laughing his backside off. Is that a good sign? You be the judge. I think the episode is due to release next Tuesday.

We spent the weekend up on Lake Gitcheegumee. Just saying the word makes me relax. I think every state should have a city like Duluth, where just by leaving your own air space and traveling there makes you feel relaxed. "We are far too easily amused" I mentioned to Tac, after realizing we had spent 15 or so minutes trying to drop rocks through the thin layer of ice on the canal. Flip the rock and it skittered along the surface, give it a good, crushing chuck, and it plunked through the ice and spiraled to the bottom. Clear, ice cold water. Into which we chucked several dozen rocks. Either exclaiming or sighing after each one. We are far too easily amused. I'm not bothered at all by that, HG, in "almost" 15 year old apathy has a different disposition. Ok, some new stores were our collective destination, so she didn't appreciate the detour quite as much. Not until we reached the stores and she realized the value of her younger siblings having exhausted their squirrely nature along the beach shore. Sometimes, but not very often, moms are wise.

We hiked around a state park on Saturday. The beavers were hard at work aaah potential.

Gotta run, Tac is waiting for some post run refreshment at the local pub. That must be Wildflower training

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm craving pickles right now

and I have no idea why. I don't even like pickles. I like the marinated cucumbers that they put on a sandwich at Subway. But I don't like Subway, so I have no intention of meeting that craving with a bad sandwich. Sorry Jared.

I booked our hotel room for Ironman Arizona yesterday. That's fairly optimistic considering how between my knee, the wretched flu and the kids on Spring Break, my training has been shot to heck. I plan to do the Trail Mix 25k in 3 weeks and a 62 mile bike ride in 4. I think.

I wonder if some mental deficiency is contributing to the pickle problem. That might explain why I think I can run 15 miles on trails when I can barely run 8 on a flat, paved trail.

American Idol is way too much fun this year. I would buy Brooke White's album tomorrow.

I arrived at work Monday with a commendation letter on my desk and posted throughout the Y. Two weeks ago I helped to save a life. One of our older members went into to cardiac arrest, and I was one of two first responders. In first response, training is everything and I am incredibly grateful for mine being current and for giving me the confidence to know what to do and how to keep a cool head. If you don't know how to perform CPR go get certified. It's cheap, it's easy and it might make the difference between life and death for someone, someday.

The Tribe is on Spring break this week, but it hardly feels like spring at a whopping 34 degrees. I've heard promise of 60 next week, we'll see. They are having a great week, sleeping in, staying up late, etc.

Gotta run and meet up with Tac for a business meeting.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Spring

Lana has a wonderful post today, to which I hesitate to add, except for that I had the best worst run of my recent career today. Near 50 degrees, snow melting in waterfalls down the gutters and street, birds singing, and caterpillars! Little black, fuzzy caterpillars. Now the run was poor at best, my leg was sore from my long run this weekend, and I knew I should have gone for a swim, but how can you not run when spring is out your door. I still have crud in my lungs, which didn't effect Saturdays run, but it seemed to give me shallow breathing- what's the saying? A bad day running is always better then a good day at the office, I'll take the run. Tomorrow I will go swim and bike, it's supposed to snow. We are hosting Easter this year, so the weekend training gets amended a little. Tac and Bigun are working on another podcast-it should be available soon.

That's my quick off to see what is happening in your corners of the universe

Thursday, March 13, 2008

And I thought I was sick of snow

My poor friends in Canada must really be feeling it, if if comes to this

Our snow is melting fast and dirty, and it feels wonderful to have radiant sun! Outdoor season is closing fast, yea! Tac and I went out for a quick reconnect dinner last night, followed by a drive around the local lakes, past boob beach, and other noted landmarks. You can almost hear the ice beginning to melt. In the meantime, Tac continues to train for Wildflower and CDA, and I don't feel much like a triathlete at all. I was telling Tac, I want my 2006 legs back. Maybe I need to have a baby :-) I was telling Tac last night, I still feel every step I take-I have to think of the biomechanics every time I walk because my leg still feels like "other". Then the flu hits and I'm still recovering. Today will be my first workout in over a week. I need to get my mojo back. I miss the honeymoon years of triathlon where everything is an adventure and nothing really hurts. But, you have to train what you've got, so I plan to spin for an hour before work today, and we'll take it from there- November is a long way off-thank goodness!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Someone shut the door, we aren't heating the neighborhood!

Lo: 18°Snow
Hi: 25°Lo: 6°Snow
Hi: 15°Lo: 1°Partly Cloudy
Hi: 16°Lo: 1°Mostly Sunny
Hi: 20°Lo: 13°Partly Cloudy
Hi: 35°Lo: 20°Partly Cloudy
Hi: 38°Lo: 20°Partly Cloudy

My brothers and sisters in the south need to stop rolling over and hogging all the blankets-it's cold up here. I mean, do you really need 80 degrees the first week of March? What are you doing in bed anyhow, shouldn't you be out training? The Tac and The .Bigun have knocked another podcast in the can, I take no responsibility whatsoever.

HG wants to know, if theoretically she likes Boy and theoretically if Boy likes her can they be dating. I told her to theoretically ask me again when she is 16. Tac and I see no reason to awaken love before it's time. Beyond that, I think a lot of poor decisions are made in the midst of break up angst. I don't think the majority of today's 14 year olds are adequate in consequential thinking and see no reason for her to be "dating" right now. Beyond all of this, she and Boy are good friends, and I think that friendship is better preserved by not adding teen romance to the mix. Case in point, Boy has "dated" and broken up with numerous girls in the past year, none of which currently speak to him. Old fashioned, I know. But modern thinking has produced a lot of divorces, teen pregnancies and catastrophic STD's. If we are wrong, we've just delayed her dating by a few months, but if we are right, well, there is no "I told you so".

I came home from work Monday with 3 inches of water in the basement. Fortunately it was a main drain and not the "main". Huh? 45 minutes of noise, 24 hours of stink and she's running clear. Now, hopefully the flood dries out without ruining the Pergo.

Tuesday morning dawned with Y laid out with a sore throat and fever- so off to the Urgent Care. I think it's strep. The doc says strep is a minor possibility. I say its' strep. Doc returns with prescription. So, 48 hours of mandated home care and the Y is good as new with the exception of thick, throaty healing voice.

Wednesday dawn very early with a fresh blanket of snow. Open at the Y 5am. Train, train train. Yea! By 9 my throat is feeling thick and my ears are burning. Fast forward, this evening. Yep, I'm sick with something. Blah. HG makes dinner, while I oversee from the bedroom as Tac is spinning away in the basement. Want to know what is going on with your kids, pay attention when they are playing "Truth, dare, double dare, promise or repeat" I have no clue what "Promise, or Repeat" means but it has something to do with vague promises of marrying movie stars so long as they fit X and Y criteria. Oh, boy. It's good to pay attention because eventually the dares go to toilet water and dog food. That's when I intervened. The last thing I need is toilet water induced stomach flu.

So, it's a crazy week, with record breaking cold on the way. Any warm, healing wishes would be welcome up here, time to give some of those blankets back!