Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I was woken up by my niece booking up the stairs to her parents room as the sun was just peeking out over the horizon. I wanted to go back to sleep but I knew that wasn't an option. My mom knocked on the door and told me that the girls were up and ready to open gifts. "The sun isn't even up yet" I said. It was a losing battle. You can't reason with little girls on Christmas morning.
It was a great Christmas morning and I loved watching my nieces open their gifts. I received some excellent gifts (thanks everyone) too. Plus the view of the pond is nice while drinking coffee. Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Halloween Oreos

I was innocently pushing my cart through the grocery store while shopping for the healthiest of foods.  It was all going well when suddenly from one of the nearby end caps I heard tiny whispers of chocolatey seduction.  I started to move quickly away but made the mistake of looking over my shoulder towards the promises of taste bud bliss.

What the?!?!?! It was too late, I was caught in the neon glow of sugary goodness.  Delicious Oreos with neon ORANGE cream filling.

I love things that are orange. I love delicious chocolatey Oreos. Combining the two creates something that I could not walk away from. I had to let a package jump into my cart and join me in the car ride home.  I was able to ignore the siren song of the fantastic treats last night.  I thought about inviting people over so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat the whole pack on my own. I almost did it but the thought of giving away such treasures was too much to bear.  I resigned myself to the knowledge that it is me against the black and orange temptresses in their little plastic house.  The key is to devour eat them in one sitting moderation.  Tonight I decided to put myself to the test.  Could I just eat four Halloween treats? The answer is YES! Well, so far yes, I may wake up in the middle of the night or sleep walk to the sinfully delicious cookies.  Who knows for sure until the dreaded sun comes up way too early in the morning.  While I pulled apart the cookies and ate them in pieces, one dog slept (knowing he would get none) and the other dog relaxed while keeping an eye on me (hoping that I would lose my senses and give up a crumb.....fool).  I am also enjoying a Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale.  Pure freaking heaven of a night!
What about you? Are you drawn to Oreos or other cookie treats? Do the odd holiday versions make you want them more or less?

Monday, August 1, 2011

WAM300 teaser post

I finished the WAM300 ride yesterday and I am SORE!  I mean like sore everywhere.  I am sore in places I didn't realize existed.  That being said it was an amazing ride with rock star people and I already plan on doing it again.  That's right, even at the peak of soreness and not wanting to be within 15 feet of my bike, I know I want to saddle up next year and log another 300 miles to raise money for these awesome kids that need a break from the treatments and surgeries that have become the norm for them.  They deserve a trip to Disney World to see the princesses or to see the great national parks in an RV.  They need to know that there is a light at the end of the long, dark, painful tunnel that they are in.  I will do a whole post up about the ride this week but I am still traveling home right now.  You should check out WAM for yourself.  They have the 300 and 50 mile rides.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Knee update

Good news on the knee front.  It feels a lot better than it did just 24 hours ago.  The swelling has come down significantly and it isn't as stiff.  It is still a little sore but I like the direction it is headed.  I am going to head to the gym tonight to do some easy spinning on the stationary bike to get a real picture of where it is.  I need it to be 100% by Friday morning when the Make-A-Wish 300 miles in 3 days across Michigan starts.  The good thing is that the ride doesn't have a lot of hills on it.  It looks like 1400 ft of elevation gain on the first day and most of that is within the first 30-40 miles.  As long as the knee holds up for those uphills I should be able to survive the rest of it.   At least I hope I do. Of course I am going nowhere if I don't get packed tonight.  I need to triple check my list so that I don't forget anything.  It isn't easy to reduce everything you need (including sleeping bag and mat to sleep on) down to one bag weighing 25 lbs or less.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mountain biking

I decided to try my hand at mountain biking.  Some friends and I have been trying to go for a few weeks but something always got in the way.  Mostly it was work but once the trails were closed because it was raining.  Well, we finally made it happen yesterday.  One of the guys goes to the mountain biking trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (NWC) all the time so he was our guide.  Matt is much faster than we are and can take off and disappear in a second so Colby started calling him Ghost.  We started off on the green trails for beginners.  Riding on the trails, threading through trees, and finding the right line through roots and rocks  definitely took some getting used to.  My first thought was "This is bat shit crazy".  After we finished the lake loop I was feeling a little more confident and we decided to hit a blue trail (intermediate).  Ghost did well in keeping us out of ditches and things but we really need to work on his timing.  He would warn you JUST before you were on top of something.  There was barely any time to get ready.  We went barreling down a hill on a trail that was maybe 2 feet wide and PACKED with rocks.  I couldn't focus on what was ahead because everything was bouncing up and down so much as I plummeted down this hill.  All of could think was "oh shit don't fall don't fall". I couldn't tell you how long that hill was but it seemed like it went on forever (so probably 3 seconds).  As I got more comfortable on the bike I was able to go faster and ride more smoothly.  This is when Ghost decided we should hit a black (advanced) loop.  Sure, why not, I am feeling pretty good.  I now know that there is a big difference between the blue trails and the black trails.  For one thing, the black trails like to make you climb straight up over roots and rocks.  I quickly learned that I have a lot to learn about picking lines and climbing in a mountain bike environment.  I kept hitting a rock or root just right and BAM, I was dead stopped.  Let me tell you how impossible it is to get started again when you are part way up a steep hill and there are still obstacles all around you.  I did get to ride some berms which were a lot of fun once you get used to them.  As we were finishing the black loop I came up on a little berm and decided to keep my speed by riding it high.  I learned something new right then.  The top of the berm was more pine straw and soft dirt than hard packed berm.  I washed out the front wheel and came down HARD! 
Knee is a little swollen

Thankfully I was in the back so nobody saw it and I didn't get run over.  As I lay there for a minute I was thinking that going mountain biking a week before I am headed to Michigan to ride 300 miles over 3 days might not have been the best idea.  The knee hurt for awhile but we finished riding the blue trail and then the green trail again as a cool down.  I did much better on the green trail the 2nd time around and really enjoyed myself.  I am definitely going to be doing more mountain biking in the future.  Now I am watching my knee and hoping it will be back to normal by next Friday.  It is a little swollen and sore right now.
It gets dirty mountain biking.


Have you been mountain biking? What was your first fall?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Side stitches

Yesterday had to be the suckiest ride I have had all year long.  I had mapped out a new route from my house that got me to 50 miles and was excited to try it out.  I then foolishly slept in and Sunday morning and was either going to have to ride in the heat of the day or what until the end of the day.  I chose the end of the day when it cooled off a little bit.  This allowed me to get things done around the house which was nice.  At 5pm I decided it was time to get out there and try this new route out.  It was an out and back with a loop on it.  The nice thing about the loop is that I can add more miles if I want by just going back around the loop.  The 50 mile plan had me going around the loop twice.  This is the first time in a looong time that I didn't have my Garmin FR60 with me as it has been sent back to Garmin due to water under the face which took out most of the screen.  Thankfully they are fixing it free of charge but it sucks not having data.  I used my Cat Eye cycling computer to keep track of things but it just isn't the same.   I was using my new Mavic Tri Race cycling shoes (1st time) and realized a few miles down the road that the cleat on the right shoe need to be adjusted slightly.  It was putting my foot in a weird position which was causing discomfort.  I stopped at mile 4 and loosened the shoe which helped a lot but by then the right foot just wasn't happy.  Don't get me wrong I love the shoes; I just should have had tools in my bag or used a much shorter ride to shake them out.  The biggest issue was side cramps or stitches or whatever you want to call it.  It started about mile 3 on the right side and showed up on the left side about a mile later.  I wish I knew what brought it on but I don't.  All I can tell you is that it got worse and worse as the ride went on.  By mile 20 it was really beating me up and the more I pedaled the worse it hurt.  I would have to pedal hard and then when it hurt to breathe I coasted until it eased up enough to get back to it.  Those last 10 miles where much slower than I would have wanted and I was feeling totally drained by the whole thing.  I was hoping to try for another 20 miles but my body had let me know it wasn't having anymore without upping the pain.  I decided to shut it down and head home.  It was mix feeling kind of thing.  I hated not doing the goal of 50 miles but felt good that I had pushed through the pain for 26 miles.  It took a little over an hour before the effects of the cramping went away.  I am going to do some research on this to try and figure out how to avoid it in the future. I have a feeling that my lack of core workouts recently may play a factor.

Has anyone else had side cramp issues on the bike or run that they were able to resolve?  How did you resolve it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Training recap

Here is my training recap for the last week.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Run 35 minutes - my "run" is still very rough.  My cardio is in serious need of improvement.

Wednesday: Swim 1000 meters
                    Warm up: 100m
                     Sighting drill: 4 x 50 m (w/ 30 sec rest)
                     Freestyle swim: 3 x 200m (w/ 45 sec rest)
                     Cool down: 100m

Thursday: Weight training: 80 min
                 Brick -Bike 1 hour (20 miles); Run 13 min (1 mile)

Friday: Night Out

Saturday: Bike 25 miles 1:40 (first real group ride)

Sunday: Swim 1400 m
             Warm up: 200m
              Flutter kick drills: 4 x 50m (30 sec rest)
              Freestyle swim: 2 x 200m (1 min rest)
              Fartlek swim: 400 meters (50 hard, 50easy)
              Cool down: 200m

OK, so Friday was supposed to be a run day but I didn't wake up early and then work got crazy and I had to meet people out that night to see the band Live so it was sacrificed.  All I hear in my head when I don't workout in the morning is a quote I saw on Sweaty Emily's page that said "I never regret a morning workout but I regret every morning I don’t workout."  I head my head in shame now. 
This is a new week and today is a rest day which for the first time has made me feel antsy.  I have a lot of mile to catch up on for #500MIJ and I wanted to do something but I am sticking to the plan and following the rest days.
One last thing, I am in need of donations for the LIVESTRONG Davis event on July 10th.  Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated and goes to a good cause. Plus it allows me to ride a 70 mile cycling event with Team Fatty!  Thanks for your help.
http://davis2011.livestrong.org/squirrelhead

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Feeling good again

I am feeling pretty good these days. I have gotten myself back on track with my training finally.  A little late for my last race but no worries, I am right on time for upcoming races.  I did the Tri Latta Sprint Triathlon on Saturday which was a great event.  I really enjoyed the course and will be making a point to do it again next year.  I was thankful that the run course was on trails through the woods so it was nice a shady which was excellent since it had started to warm up.  I had a lot of fun.
Sunday I meet up with a friend so that we could do the 100 Miles of Nowhere ride that Fatty puts on every year.  We had never actually ridden 100 miles so it was a good opportunity to see what it was all about and if we could even do it.  The goal is obviously to ride 100 miles in one day but the trick is to find a short loop to do it on or to ride it on a trainer.  Basically you should feel like you are going nowhere for a very very very long time.  We started out at 10am (I realized later that we should have started much earlier) and rode the 1.5 mile loop.  We took a break at 25 miles to refill water bottles and visit the nutrition table.

What? I like to have options.

 We went back at it and as the heat started to kick in.  While circling the same loop is a little boring after awhile, it allowed me to figure out the best way to ride certain spots on the loop.  It was a great learning experience for sure.  My riding partner was fading fast so we stopped for lunch at mile 45.  It was starting to get pretty hot so I setup my trainer in his basement to knock out five miles I had left to reach 50 miles.  It would have really bugged me to stop before I finished the 50 miles.  The lunch break was MUCH longer than I had planned for it to be but it helped to get my riding partner rested up and back on the bike.  We changed the loop from a 1.5 mile loop to a 1.3 mile loop.  The 1.3 mile loop was nice because it was something new to see for the second 50 miles.  The riding partner made it about 15 miles and then was cooked.  He dropped and went back to the house.  The one good thing was I could now just zone out and start pedaling away.  I rode to 81 miles and then stopped to refill my water bottles.  It was about 91 degrees out but I was feeling pretty good.  As I started off to finish my last 19  miles the threat of storms finally made good and it started to rain.  It actually felt pretty good and it cooled everything.  I was counting down laps as I went and making up little rhymes to go along with it.  #5 is alive! 4 then the door. 3 then I am free. 2 then I am through. 1 and DONE!  The last 3 laps were really taking it out of me but half way through that last lap I was on FIRE! When my garmin showed 100 miles I was so pumped! Nothing hurt, I just felt amazing!!
100 MILES BABY!!!






Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another day....

Today was chock full of meetings which I am not really a big fan of.  I know that some people like meetings and would have them all day long if they had a choice but to me it feels like it's a day of talking about being productive but not actually being productive.  Plus, it always seems like meetings bring the retardation out of your fellow co-workers and you just want to just over the table at them and snuff them out.  Anyway........Once I left it was quickly a much better day.  When I got home I managed to unpack a few more boxes (clearly I am in no rush).  I found the wok that I was looking for last night which made me pretty happy which is probably a little weird but I was so sue me.  After I got tired of unpacking (two whole boxes) I remembered that I am supposed to be riding 500 miles in June thanks to a few ladies on Twitter.  LauraKatie, and Susan decided that they should ride 500 miles in June and we nice enough to let me join in on the self punishment.  I am a little behind with only 10 miles on the books since I was out of town on vacation in FL and I have been slacking.  So I jumped on the trainer and rode 20 miles to bring the total up to 30 miles.
My view for 20 miles.

It felt good to ride 20 miles while watching Killers.  I need to learn to stretch a lot better because my calves started to tighten up a lot and started to feel like they wanted to cramp up when I started to push hard.  I managed to get the 20 miles done in about 59 minutes.  After that I cooked up some veggies and scarfed them down while being eyed by my two beagles.  Once I was finished and they realized that they weren't getting fed any people food, they crashed out while I knocked out some homework.  Now, it is time to crash.

Want to join the 500 miles in June?  You know you want to join in all the fun.  It trends as #500MIJ on Twitter.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birthday week!

Last week was my birthday week.  It was pretty low key which was good since I have so much going with work, my moving, and my sister and her family moving.  My family and some friends made dinner for me which was excellent.  I did get fussed at a little bit because apparently I was late.  Of course nobody ever told me what time this thing was kicking off so how was I supposed to know?  I had to mow the lawn at my brother in-law's house since he is traveling so much and they were trying to sell it.  They actually just accepted an offer on it this weekend.  Clearly it was because of the excellent job I did on the lawn.  Anyway, I told them to settle down and that I would be there as soon as I was done.  It was my birthday after all.  The other good thing this last week was that I have gotten back on track with my workouts.  The early morning workouts have been the toughest.  Totally worth it once I am done but crawling out of the bed is near impossible some days.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it will be worth it in the long run.  I also got a 21 mile ride in on Saturday which felt better than I thought it would.  I averaged a 16.5 mile an hour pace.  Once I find my Garmin USB ANT stick I can upload last weeks data.  Of course I ended up with a sweet cycling tan on my arms.  Redheads do not tan at all.  We go right from white to red.

The place is still full of boxes.  Right now I am more concerned with spending time with my nieces than I am unpacking boxes.  I am going to miss those sweet little monkeys.  I was over at their house today to help my brother in-law get a few things done.  I ended up watching the girls so they could swim in the pool.  Of course I didn't even think to bring my suit so I couldn't get in the water with them. I had to settle with sitting on the side trying to keep myself in whatever shade I could find.  Near the end of it I thought I was going to melt.  It was worth it to watch them have so much fun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Gym!

Now that I have moved I finally got over to gym and signed up.  It has a 25Y and a 50M pool so I can get back to swim training which has been pretty sparse so far this season.  I want to improve my swim a lot this season.  I am planning on starting to do some morning swims.  That sounds like a good way to kick off my day. 

Since it also has a ton of classes as part of the deal, I think I will finally take a spin class.  I have heard a lot of people talking about how great the spin classes are and how much they kick your butt.  I think I am finally ready to step up and take a spin class beating.  If it will make me a better cyclist I will take the pain.  I went to the gym tonight so that they could get a baseline for me.  That was pretty interesting for me to see where I am now.  There is still a lot of room for improvement but it was nice to see that I have made some good progress on my goals.  Plus now I have something to measure against as I continue forward.
How tough is the spin class in the beginning?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back to it

I seem to have found my way out of the darkness that had me absent from workouts. (side-note
: as I types that the lights went off. I guess I need to move around more) I feel like I am relatively settled into to the new place. Don't be crazy and think everything is unpacked, setup, and tidy because it isn't. But I do feel like I know where my basic necessities are and I can function again. So far only 1 plate, 1 shot glass, and 1 vase has broken. Not too bad I guess. I found a nice 20 mile cycling route up to the lake that I am going to try out this weekend. It should be just what I need to kick off the return to workout tour. I an finally over the sickness that plagued me for a month so it is time. My workout partner has finally returned from 3 weeks of work travel and he is in need of getting back on the workout train as well. Plus hr just got a bee bike so I know he is ready to do some pedaling.
I also need to get to the grocery store so I can start eating right again. I have been craving some green smoothies thanks to Frayed Laces



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So many boxes!


I thought I had reduced that amount of "stuff" that I had over the last few moves.  Well, I KNOW that I have but it still seems like a TON of stuff.  With school and work (I can't even say training because that has gone to hell in a hand basket (who in the world came up with that saying and what were they drinking)) I have had little time or energy to deal with the boxes.  I unpacked about three clothes boxes yesterday.  Today I did much better by unpacking 4 kitchen boxes and loading the dishwasher and running it.  The dishwasher is OLD!! It is one of those portable kinds that you can disconnect and move around.  I get what the need was back in the day but it is totally strange to see one now.  Needless to say it is not whisper quiet but more like garage thrash band.  

Anyway, slowly the place will get unpacked and put into shape. I am still working out the best place for all the different things that I have for my kitchen.  You know if you put the glasses or silverware in the wrong place it will bug you after a few weeks.  At least it would bug me. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Moving time!

The work event I have been at all week finally ended and I was able to go home.  Now I get to PACK!! Well, finish packing.  I have to pick up the U haul at 7am so that we can get started at 8am.  Hopefully it will be quick and easy and very uneventful.  My internet is being installed on Sunday which means I will have 24 hours without being able to use my computer.  Thankfully I will have my iPhone to save me.  Right now I am going to crash out and get some much needed sleep.
A little glimpse into the awesomeness that is me before I go.  One of the fun bonding events they did this weekend was a pit crew challenge.  Each team had 5 people.  One guy handles the jack two have the airguns and two handle the tires.  It was a very interesting to learn the different jobs and then actually run through it.  I was on the winning team that set the all time record of 54 seconds.  That is pretty fast to change 4 tires. Or so I thought before they let us know that a NASCAR team does it in 14 seconds.  Really?!?! 14 seconds is crazy fast.  I have no idea how they pull that off at all.  Anyway, I got a sweet trophy for my kickass performance.  Oh yeah, that's right.  Of course I should have been given a 6 foot tall monster trophy for keeping away from desserts like this chocolate cake.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A long work week ahead

I have a long work week ahead of me.  I am supporting a work event for some executives so I am stuck in a hotel all week working 14-16 hour days.  Plus I have to fit in school work and training during all of this fun.
Doesn't everyone have their bike on a trainer in their hotel room?  I would love to go ride outside but I can't be gone from the hotel that long just in case one of the big boys needs anything.  It isn't all bad though.  They feed you well and make sure there is plenty of wine in the evenings.
There are also these geese that have decided that one of the planters on the balcony is their private clubhouse.  If you go out on their side of the patio they honk and hiss at you until you go back to the other side of the patio.  It is pretty funny to watch.
Does anyone else take their bikes to the hotel with them? How do you keep to your training when you are traveling?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

3 Things Thursday

I am wicked tired and have work to get done before I can crash out tonight so I have decided to steal the 3 Things Thursday idea.  I can get a post up and you can learn a little about me. Careful with that though, you don't want get caught up in that quicksand. ;)





1. My newest niece is the cutest thing in the world.  How awesome is her little sock monkey hat? I am actually a little jealous of it.  All of my 7 nieces are beautiful sweet (most of the time) girls.  My nephew is a wild little maniac that I also love.

2. There is something about luchadores that is awesome!! On a trip to San Antonio I bought myself a luchador mask.  I break it out when I am feeling goofy or it is battle time.  I think I would like to run a race in it sometime this year.  I will add that to the must do list!  Who is with me?

 3. I really really really really miss my trips to Paris.  That was the best thing about my old job.  I was able to travel to Europe a ton! I would hot Paris at least 5 times a year, not to mention London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Amsterdam, and Stockholm.  The picture above was from a spring picnic in the Gardens of Versailles.  Great friends, food, and best of all WINE!  The greatest thing was that my friend Shana Banana lives in Paris so I always got to see Paris from a locals view.  She is a great friend that I totally miss and always makes the perfect bite.

I have a sprint triathlon on Sunday.  We will see how much I can improve my time from the race I did at the end of March.  Then I will analyze my performance, realize I need to train harder and push hard to be stronger and faster for my June sprint triathlon.




Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Longhorn!

I had no idea that there were longhorn cattle in the area until I happened upon them during my hill ride last week.  I had to pull off to the side and take a picture of one of them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

No more excuses

After seeing all the tweets and blog entries from everyone running and cheering at the Boston Marathon I realized that I need to stop with the excuses and push myself to stick to the training.  The race doesn't wait for me to stop being sick and get back to my training.  I also got last weeks totals for my workouts and I was shamed.  This is not the vision that I had for myself this year at all.  Plus, the race date arrives whether I am ready or not.  So it is time to get ready! I put on my big boy biking shorts and rode the 12 miles that were on the training for today.  A quick side note here; my Pearl Izumi bike shorts were not nearly as comfortable and awesome as my Twin Six bibs.  I need to get myself more of those.  Tonight was a nice easy spin on the trainer and the legs felt pretty good.  It was a little sucky when the cough drop I was using to keep from coughing dropped out of my mouth when I was pushing it and breathing a little hard.  Every time I would get a tickle in my throat I would look down and see that partially used cough drop just laying there taunting me.  There was no stopping to get it or another one.  Remember, no more excuses, only getting the job done. So I pedaled a little faster to get those miles behind me so I could get something to kill off that damned throat tickle.  I was able to distract myself from the tickle by watching High Fidelity.   That is a great movie with a killer cast and a rocking soundtrack.
 
Top Five Places you want to visit.
Australia
New Zealand
Fiji
South Africa
Argentina 

What are your top five places that you want to visit?





Training fail this weekend.

This weekend was a training black hole.  I am feeling very weak about the whole thing.  Sunday was scheduled to be a rest day but Saturday I was suppose to do a 20 mile ride on the bike.  This chest cold has really been kicking my tail and I had a slam packed weekend.  The ride just got away from me in the middle of everything else that was going on.  The good news is that I was able to help my brother-in-law out with a lot of work at the house that needed to be done so they can sell the house and move to MI.  I also was able to spend a lot of time with my nieces over the weekend which I love.  I will miss them so much when they move to the great white north.  Back to the subject (I wander as you can see).  When I had failed to get the ride in on Saturday I told myself I would get up early on Sunday and do the ride before church.  I passed out hard Saturday night without taking my cough medicine.  BIG MISTAKE!!!  I woke up at some point during the night and was in an awful coughing fit.  Once it let up enough I quickly took that but had to wait forever for it to kill off the coughing.  So much for a night a peaceful sleep.  Hopefully I will get that tonight.  I cannot wait for this chest cold to be gone so I can get back to some hard training.  My run still sucks and I can't get a run in without hacking a lung.  The bike is doing better and I am feeling pretty good about that.  I guess I just have to keep at it and do the best that I can.

What do you do about training when you are sick?  Do you slow down at all or just continue training like nothing is happening?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Training sick

I finally managed to drag my lazy butt out of the bed this morning and ride an easy 10 miles on the trainer since it was still dark out there.  I keep thinking I should get a light for Ginger (my bike) so that I can ride in the o'dark early hours.  There are so many options out there for lights.  It is tough to decide what to go with.  I was still feeling drained during the ride but I averaged almost 18 mph over the 10 miles which I feel pretty good with.  I am happy that my speed is increasing.  By the end of this month I should be in shape enough to start doing group rides with a couple cycling groups in the area.  While I have ridden a motorcycle in large groups, I have never ridden a bicycle in a large group.  I think it will be very educational but I am hoping that I pick it up quick and don't cause issues (crashes, yo-yo effect). I also got a weights workout in after work.  I am starting to feel a difference from them.  My swim is getting more solid for sure.
Some great news to report today! My application on a rental house was accepted and I will be moving closer to Charlotte in May.  I am currently out in the boonies where not very much happens.  The new place is 10-15 minutes from the center of Charlotte and right in the middle of where all the tri clubs like to do groups rides and runs.  Plus there is a gym close by with 2 indoor pools so I can swim before work now. WOOHOO!!
Do you ride your bike in the dark?  If so, what do you recommend for a light?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Phlegmville

I have been infected with a super evil gorilla sitting on my chest fill my lungs with phlegm cause me to hack until I see stars and feel like passing out oogey sickness.  I tried to sleep, take a ton of vitamins, and flush it with a ton of water but that didn't work at all.  It started to effect my training so I made a doctors appt.  The first thing they did was take blood.  I know you don't realize this yet but I am not a huge fan of having blood taken.  A quick listen to my lungs and the doc gave me antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine.  The cough syrup is KEY! I have been lucky enough to have been born into a family that has the genetic predisposition to hernias.  I know, it's like winning the lottery right?  Some of you are probably thinking, What? That's crazy?  Oh yeah, tell me how 3 regular hernias and a hiatal hernia.  There is only one other hernia that I haven't had (something with the belly button).  Anyway, massive coughing attacks led to the last two hernias so I am very quick to kill it off with as much force as I can find.  I tried to run today and made it about 1/2 of a mile before I thought I was going to pass out I was coughing so hard.  I kid you not, I literally saw stars.  I am hoping these drugs kill it quickly!  I need to get back on track with my training.  I feel like I am so far behind already.  Well, my head is a swimmy from the cough medicine so I am going to pass out now.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Slacking

I know, I am totally slacking on updates.  I need to post about my first sprint tri of the season but I have a new project coming online, I am trying to find a new place to live, and spend time with my sweet nieces before they move to Michigan in a month.  I promise I will get it all posted up this week.  On a good note, I went to signup for my 3rd and 4th race for the season and found out that the 3rd race in my schedule was...........SOLD OUT! WHAT?!?! Sold out? How in the world did that happen.  After an email to the event coordinator I discovered that the my LBS Inside Out Sports had entries for the race.  All I had to do is go down there and pay the money for my entry.  That my friends is exactly what I did.  I got down there as fast as I could and saved the 3rd race on my race schedule.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crazy thoughts of running

I have my first sprint tri of the season on Sunday.  I wish I was more prepared than I am but there is nothing I can do about that now.  This is my benchmark race for the season which is good because I just have to improve from there.  Of course this is the week that I decided to run and ride outside in my hilly neighborhood and totally killed my legs.  I am hoping that they spring back in time for the race otherwise it is going to be a very long day.  The strangest thing is that while pondering if my legs will return after rubbing them down with icy hot, I had a crazy thought.  I wonder if I can fit training in for a marathon this year?  After a short conversation with myself about the craziness of this thought, my rational side had talked my crazy dreamer side down to a 1/2 marathon.  I crawled under the covers and passed out for the night.  The next day I did some looking into training for the 1/2 marathon and the next thing I know my crazy dreamer side had pulled up marathon training and convinced my rational side that training for a marathon was the best idea.  Not only that, but also to use the 1/2 marathon as a training goal on the way to the marathon.  I am currently trying to be able to run a decent 5k and these are the ideas that I have. You know what they say, go big or go home.  Marathon training has now been incorporated into my triathlon and cycling training.  Let the good times roll!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Snowboarding in WV

Last weekend some friends and I went to West Virginia to play in the snow.  I hadn't done any snowboarding in at least two years and knew I was going to rusty for sure.  When I was packing I decided to just take one board so the Burton got left at home and the Libtech Emma Peel got loaded in the car.  The drive was longer for me now that I am driving up from Charlotte instead of from the DC area.  Of course nothing in Davis WV has an actual address for me to enter into the GPS so I just winged it with my iphone map.  It found me a nice route but seems to favor the twisty winding back roads.  The drive wasn't too bad but it did get a little sketchy for the last couple hours due to the dark and snow coming down.  I used the GPS as a heads up display so I knew what curves were coming up ahead.  Finally, my video games skills come in handy in the real world.  I was hoping to get to the Ski Barn to drop my board off to get waxed and tuned.  Of course they close at 8pm and I roll up at 8:15pm hoping that they might still be there.  It was a ghost town! Oh well, the boards in good shape so I headed to the house.  It was a great first night of spicy chili, beer pong, hot tubing and general goofiness thanks to a big bottle of J├Ąger. Who the hell brought that thing anyway?! Oh wait.......that was me.
The next day I was a little slow but we got things worked out and had tickets and rentals (for those that needed it) ready to go by 10:30 or so.  The first day of boarding for me was a lot of shaking off the rust and remembering what I was supposed to be doing.  It was cold, snowing and WINDY! By the end of the day I was pretty fluid and having fun.  Then it was another night of great friends, great food, many beverages, hot tub, and funny antics.  The second day of boarding I went out with the boys and we had a great day making all the different runs on the hill.  It was warmer on this day which was nice because the hill wasn't all ice.  It was a little slushy but I just called it east coast power and had a blast.  The final night of great food, drinks, hot tub and playing pool.  Daylight savings throws a monkey wrench into the works when you stay up until 4:30am and have to be up early (an hour earlier than early thanks to DST) to check out of the house.  Thankfully I am quick to get moving and had the car ready to go in no time. I said my goodbyes to my great friends and headed home. Thankfully I could use the GPS this time and it showed me all the big highways home.  I had forgotten how much I liked to snowboard.
A huge thanks to Kels for setting everything up!
Congratulations again to Malc and T on their engagement. That was awesome news!
 I even made pecan chocolate chip banana bread.

PS If you are interested in an AWESOME giveaway you need to check out And I ran...WHY?: Spring Break & a Giveaway!  She has some fantastic things in her giveaway package like candy, GU, socks, and sweet tunes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

ABCs

 I saw a few other bloggers doing their ABCs so I did it while procrastinating getting off my tail and painting.

A~Age: 38. My 39th is just a few months away. Yay for CAKE!

B~ Bed Size: Queen bed. I like to stretch out and have plenty of space.

C~Chore you hate: cleaning the bathroom.

D~Dogs: 2 crazy beagles that love to drive me crazy.

E~Essential Start your Day Item: A shower. I wake up under the streaming water.

F~Favorite Color: Orange.

G~Gold or Silver: uh....I'm not a big jewelry person but I would go silver.

H~Height: 6'3"

I~Instruments you play: I played the baritone when I was in middle school.

J~Job Title: Senior IT Analyst. You have to love vague titles.

K~Kids: No kids at this time.   

L~Live: Charlotte NC.            

M~Mom’s Name: Mom....duh    

N~Nicknames: Clearly that would be Squirrelhead.

O~Overnight Hospital Stays: Oh so many overnight stays. Several hernia surgeries including a diaphramatic hernia and a jaw surgery.

P~Pet Peeve: unreasonable people

R~Right or Left Handed: Right handed

S~Siblings: Three sisters. One older and two younger.

T~Time you wake up: Usually I wake up about 7am but I am trying to change that to 5:30am so I can workout in the morning.

U~Underwear: Yes nosey I do wear underwear. I wear boxers and boxer briefs for workouts.

V~Vegetable you Dislike: I always seem to have issues with eggplant.

W~What Makes You Late: I think that is just me and my love of sleeping.

X~X-rays You’ve had Done: teeth, jaw (a lot of extra hardware), knee, elbow, abdomen, ankle. It is kind of scary when it's all written out like this.

Y~Yummy Food you Make: I make all kinds of good food.  Recently I made a fruit tart that turned out really well.

Z~Zoo Animal Favorite: The monkeys are my favorite. They remind me of me and my friends.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wiped out!

It has been a rough week at work and I have been staying up too late.  I think I paid for that during my workout today.  My workouts have been getting better and I feel like I am improving.  I am still doing the couch 2 5k program and so far I am adapting quickly to the increased running each week.  Thanks to my Garmin FR60 I can see that I am going faster and farther every time I run.  I feel like my breathing is getting better which really helps at the end of the run.  Yesterday I ran 2.6 miles in the 30 minute walk/run couch 2 5k program and I didn't feel like I was dying.  Don't get me wrong, I was tired when I was done but I didn't want to throw running in the dumpster and throw a match in behind it.  The bike tonight was beyond draining!! I have been riding the stationary bike at the gym because my workout partner doesn't have his road bike yet.  I think I am going to have to start riding the Felt on the trainer (or outside once I find a route that doesn't have monster hills) because I am hating the stationary bike.  It doesn't let me adjust it enough and I do not feel comfortable on it at all.  I need to be riding the bike that I will be on for my triathlons and century rides this year.  That is why I got the new saddle for it after all.  That brings us to swimming.  I have not been swimming since October.  That needs to change for sure but I need to find a pool.  I was using my sisters pool but the pump is crapping out on them and now they are moving in May and probably won't be replacing it.  So, I need a new pool to swim in.  I think I have found one that is in the area that I am planning to move into but I don't want to join it just yet because it isn't that close to where I am now.  I plan to check with them and see if I can do some day passes so I can swim on the weekend.  I have to shake the rust off by March 27th when I do the first sprint tri of the season.  It's only 250 yards but I want to be strong for it.
Side note: I got a new mountain bike thanks to my company.  Thanks company!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Building the run

I am trying to work on my running (slow jogging really) so I can improve my triathlon times.  As you know the run segment of my triathlons are like a huge battleship anchor dragging the swim and bike segments under the water like they pissed off the mob.  So I am doing the couch 2 5k program to help me to get up to speed and keep me one track. Otherwise I would just slack off on the run workouts like I always have. I have been having some issues with my shin muscles getting really tight and making me slow way down.  I found some good stretches to do to help me with it but I wanted to see if I could get some inserts for my shoes.  At some point (years ago) someone told me that I overpronate and needed motion control.  I thought maybe I could use an insert that would increase the motion control.  Anyway, I got to Fleet Feet in Charlotte because they are serious runner people and will know what I need.  The guy did the whole shoe fit process where I had to walk and jog barefoot. Turns out I have a teeny bit of pronation and collapsing arches.  The shoes I bought on a wicked deal at the end of last season (and are big motion control shoes) are causing some of the issues.  CRAP! This also means......you guessed it.......new shoes needed.  Fantastic!  I tried out a few pairs of shoes that the guy brought me and ended up with Brooks Dyad 6 running shoes.  They are a neutral shoe which good because I could then add an insert that gave me a little more control and fixed the collapsing arch issue.  So far they are feeling pretty good.  I am hoping that the new shoe setup and the stretches eliminate the shin tightness so that I can continue to suffer as I work at the run.  I am hoping to be able to jog the whole 5k of my 1st sprint triathlon at the end of March.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New mountain bike!

Wow, I just realized how long it has been since my last post.  I have got to get better at posting more often. I have some good news that I am very excited about.  I just ordered a Trek/Gary Fisher Tarpon mountain bike and didn't have to pay one dime for it. How awesome is that?  My company has a program where you can earn points for going above and beyond your normal duties.  For instance, I helped with a migration of a site over a weekend and it all went very well and was given points.  I finally decided to use my points and went looking through the huge list of awards you could get and decided on a mountain bike.  We have great trails in this area and I know a few people that ride them.  I decided that this would be a good add-on to my training.  I am still training for LIVESTRONG Davis CA event and the WAM 300 event which are both in July.  I am also planning to do several sprint triathlons this year.  I signed up for two of them so far.  The first one is at the end of March and the second is in May.  My workouts are going very well so far.  I have started doing the couch 2 5K to help me fix my non-existent run abilities.  Now all I need to do is find a pool to swim at.  Last year I was able to swim in my sister's pool but they are going to be moving soon so that is gone now.  I am looking at one but I need to figure out all the costs and make sure it fits the budget.  Meanwhile, I will be waiting for my new mountain bike which should ship next week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

work work work

Last weekend I had to fly to MA to integrate a company that we had purchased.  First I have to say that it was FREEZING!!!  Holy crap I couldn't believe how frozen I felt on a short walk to the car.  I do not know how in the world people deal with that kind of cold.  The integration had some issues that were unrelated to my group.  It was a bunch of 16 hour days of busting tail to get it all done but we got all the systems integrated into our systems.  Sadly, we had to cancel our planned day of snowmobiling due to the other group causing everything to fall behind. Thanks guys! It was nice to get back home last night and sleep in my own bed.  I was able to get good sleep but it didn't feel like nearly enough this morning when I had to wake up. I was happy to get a workout in after work.  It really beat me down but it was much needed and felt great.  Now off to bed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

School is killing me!

I have gone back to college to finally finish my degree.  I did very well with the first three sets of classes making A's in all of them.  This last set of classes have really been a royal pain in my backside!  It doesn't help that my work schedule has been insane over the last month.  I have been working on several projects which have had me working long hours.  This is not conducive to coming home and working on the school work that I had at home stacking up.  Not to mention that the classes were not classes that I liked at all.  That really didn't help me out at all.  I just turned in my last papers for both of these classes and at this point I am hoping to come out with Cs and do better with the next set of classes.  Can you guess when those classes start?  A couple of week you say? Oh no, that would be all to wise.  The two new classes start tomorrow.  I kick myself everyday for not finishing my degree many many years ago when life was simple and work was minimal.  I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I have to do this non-stop for the next couple of years.  I am praying that I pass the two classes that I just finished.  I need get better organized for these next classes.  I need to do well in my classes and increase my workouts so that I am ready for my big cycling events in July and the triathlons that I want to do this year.  If I could just win the lottery it would make life a whole lot easier.