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!