Monday, December 29, 2008


Now that the brunt of the dreaded holiday season is behind me I am starting to regain some sanity and balance. Key word starting.

The actual holiday was relatively low key. There was some hope of playing in the snow on Christmas eve and/or Christmas day, but as my ribs are still uber sore it was taken off the schedule. Instead the running buddy took me for a nice dinner on Christmas eve, followed by drinks at the local open 365 days a year dive bar. Hey, beggars can't be choosers. We also did a little gift exchanging, which while unexpected, and sort of overwhelming, was awesome. The running buddy recruited my coworker Geoff to snoop in my stuff to see what size I would need (those scoundrels!! and I was sitting there while this snooping took place) so that he could get me the Patagonia R2!!I love it and all its furry goodness!!! Now truth be told, the gift was a little selfish. Every time the running buddy wore his R2 I would insist on petting him. I was told now that I have my own I can stop doing that. I'd like to think of this as the running buddy's loss and my gain really. My present for him was a vintage Old Style t-shirt (ask me sometime about the backpack full of skunky Old Style...).
Not to be outdone, I also made sure to share one of my guilty pleasures with him. I subjected the running buddy to watching Crossroads, the high quality Britney flick. Love it. Who doesn't love a lil Britney now and again?!

Other than the fine cinematography, the best part of the evening was tie between the fact the running buddy wrapped my present, which for him was making a MAJOR effort, and the chill hanging out time. So it really isn't a close tie, or a tie at all, but I did love the wrapping jobs (Christmas paper complete with PINK bows). Its definitely a landslide win by the quality time. Thanks running buddy.

I slept most of Christmas day. I think I rolled out of bed finally for good around 4 or so. Sometimes a girl just needs her beauty sleep. After some eating, putzing around the apartment, and primping, the running buddy took me to a holiday thang at a friend's house. There were Old Fashioneds and Trivial Pursuit. Oh, and way too much food. But it was good time. I tell ya, that running buddy really stepped up his game this holiday. Who know he was such a swell guy?!

Friday we ventured out for a little run action. It had actual warmed up quite a bit, and by that I mean it went from 0 to low 30's. I have determined during this run that while the snow makes for a lower impact more forgiving experience, I really dislike running on ice. And seeing as this year Madison has opted not to do a good job of keeping the paths and such clear, everything is unpleasantly icy. I was also hoping that running would aggravate my ribs less, but it seems as though everything is still bothering it. I guess that's the price to pay to be epic.

OH!! The other redeeming quality of this years holiday bs is that my dear friend from college was back in the state and we got to spend some quality time together. Jamie and here bf Franklin had taken the time out of their fancy schmancy NYC lifestyle to come back to Wisco for some family and friends time. And I got to hang out with them!!
Saturday the running buddy and I had high hopes for another run, but my ribs were still reeling and angry from the day before, so in the interest of not continuing to aggravate them we opted to lay low. Saturday night another one of my coworkers was in town and we all did dinner and drinks, followed by a birthday get together for another friend. Franklin was nice enough to let Jamie come out and play with me and have some quality girl time Saturday night, which was awesome! =D We've renewed our vows to keep in touch better and even made some future get together plans.
The weekend was wrapped up with brunch with Jamie, Franklin and friends, evening drinks with more in town friends, and one exhausted Katie!! How is it that with 4 1/2 days off I am even more tired than when I started?! I have my bike home finally from product testing and am looking to get back on the trainer, I found a master swim course in the area that sounds promising, and any day now my ribs will stop hurting enough to get out and get my run on.

Did I mention I'm laying off of snowboarding for a while....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it snow!

For those of you not living in the beautiful Midwest (riiiiight), you might not know that we've been getting all sorts of snowy awesomeness already this year. Last night we got something like 9 or 10" of powdery goodness, on top of the decent stash of snow that had fallen in the past 2 weeks. And I LOVE IT!

What does this mean for my training these days? Well, it means that there hasn't been much to speak of. Hey, I'm just being honest here people. I've been out playing in the snow, and recovering from my playing in the snow, as much as possible. Which, I might add, my coach does consider cross training, so I'm not being a complete bum... To make matters worse, my running buddy totally feeds my snow playing obsession by willingly chauffeuring me to the hill whenever we go.

Last week was my first time back on the board since last season, and it was incredible. It was like I'd never taken a summer break.
The snow was awesome and I looked good! Then Wednesday night we ventured out in the frigid temperatures to find that the snow was super icy and it turned out to be not so much fun. Especially un-fun when I decided to, while doing nothing even remotely impressive or cool, go head first into the ice and then flat on to my back on the sheet of ice. THWAP! I went down hard. There are bruises on parts of my body I didn't know even came into contact with anything. I laid there gasping for air my head spinning for sometime. Thank goodness for helmets or I don't know that I would've gotten up. Once I managed to successfully get air into my lungs I was up and moving again, confirming that nothing was dysfunctionally broken, but boy was I hurting.

So Thursday.... The smart person would opt to lay low and recover, right? Key word, smart. I apparently do not fall into that category. So while my rib cage was searingly painful with every breathe, and I still was unable to consistently focus my eyes, I made plans with the running buddy to head back to the hill. My coworker Geoff, cycling extraordinaire and voice of reason, told me that at the rate I was going I wasn't going to make it to Ironman 09. This did make me stop and think a little, but seriously, it had been a sunny great afternoon and with the temperatures promising to stay in the upper teens through the evening, how could I say no? Back to the hill we go. I secretly blame the running buddy and his conniving ways. My theory was that there was nothing a fist full of ibuprofen couldn't fix. I was sure to play it on the safe side, no epic crashes to speak of. But just the same, when I got home I was immobile with pain. Little or no sleep was had. Every move and roll I made jiggled my ribs and made me mutter some very unladylike things.

So what am I planning to do tonight? Head out to the hill of course!! Did you miss the part at the beginning where I said we just got another like 10" of powder??

Rest is for the weary!

And I swear, Scout's Honor, that as of January 1st my game plan and serious training will start. Coach Edde, you have my word on that!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008



So I am one of the lucky few that got into the 2009 Escape from Alcatraz through the application/lottery process. And I AM CRAZY EXCITED!!! But...

It just so happens that Escape from Alcatraz is the same weekend that I am registered to do teh Kansas 70.3. Of course. Just my luck. Grrrrr-umble! Decisions, decisions.

Do I go for the race I have been obsessed with and watched like a stalker for years or not? I'm already registered for Kansas, the logistics are much simpler, its closer, I'll be racing with friends and maybe have a few friends come down to see me.... Getting out to San Fran for the race could be quite the debacle and rather spendy. At most I'd have maybe one partner in crime with me. And I'd have to pay for hotel and everything else to boot.....but its a dream race oppurtunity in my world!!

What to do, what to do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Even wonderful weekends have to end.

So all and all the past few days have been pretty rockstar. With the exception of an awful day at work on Friday, things were on the up and up. So rather than get bogged down with the ick that was work, I'm going to revel in the wonderfulness of the rest of it.Thursday night I made it out running with my running buddy. And um, he handed my ass to me! That's right boys and girls, handed it to me. Its just not fair!! I'm suppose to be the better runner. That's the only thing I've had on him. Grr. It looks like I've found new motivation to get out and running.

Friday was the work holiday party. Nothing to get too worked up about. There were drinks, dinner (holy salty potatoes batman!), and a magician! That's right. For the "adult" party there were card tricks, and rope tricks and more. How exciting! Riiiight. But afterwards the usual suspects, some special guests (yeah Jenn and Geoff!!) and I headed to Jolly Bob's for our own par-tay. Some fruity cocktails, some dancing and some inappropriate behavior was had by all. Awesome.

Saturday started with sleeping in. Wonderful delicious sleeping in. Followed by my first day on the snow this season. WOO WOO! That's right. It was time for some cross training snowboard style. My running buddy headed out to the local hill for a few hours of frolicking in the snow. And for it being my first time back on the board this year, I dominated. That's right, you take your Thursday night run and I'll raise you some fun in the snow where I look sassy good. It was snow-licious. If only I could cross train on the snow more often.

Later Saturday night my coworker Darren's holiday party. Having just finished the majority of their remodeling on their house, Darren and his wife Lisa decided it was time to throw a little get together. Talk about a cool couple. Great hobbies, funny stories, and all around nice people. I think I want to be them when I grow up. I attempted to whip up some asiago cheese dip for the shindig, but as I am a questionable cook at best, I was sure to bring some beer as well just in case. There was food, beverages, and good company. I got to check out Darren's fleet of bikes and bike and ski shop in the basement....can we say jealous?! I have to admit though, I was a pretty lame gal. I think I managed to stay up and quasi-social until 11'ish, and that was after sleeping on the way home from the hill earlier. It was home and too bed relatively early for this party pooper.

Today I was a lean mean cleaning machine! Dirt was no match for me. I'm hoping to get out for a run yet this evening, but we'll see how the night progresses.

All in all, it was a near perfect weekend. One's like this don't come along very often. Good friends, good times, great weekend. Sigh. But all good things must come to an end. Here's hoping for another weekend like this is the near future.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

101 Excuses...

I'm finding myself in a winter slump. Having been off and on sick for the better part of the last month, my training has been sporadic at best lately. My coach Edde, that's right buddy I'm calling you out, told me to rest up and recover because as of January 1 its go time. At first I scoffed at his take it easy advice, but pretty soon feeling run down got the better of me and slacking off became the norm. My trainer is sitting bike-less in my apartment and my running stuff hasn't been touched since last Thursday. Getting home and trying to get out and run when its pitch black dark and brrr-tastically cold out does nothing to help the motivation (and yes, I could run in the morning, but the same cold dark complaints apply then too.....).

So as January 1 is just over 2 weeks away now I am trying desperately to get my act together. I don't feel as though my goals are unattainable given the time frame, but if I don't get my act together soon this could get UGLY!

One of my coworkers, Jon, is out there running at lunch. Another one of my coworkers, Geoff, not only is our product testing guru during work hours, but is still logging trainer time out side of work like an animal. I don't know how these kids are doing it. I keep thinking maybe if I turn my hour lunch into a run or quality trainer time here at work I'll get in my workouts like these . But then I realize that I would have to shower in the gross showers at work, or worse yet, sit and be the smelly kid at work the rest of the day. So yes, there is an excuse for EVERYTHING!

Lucky for me, the usual suspect of a running buddy is making me stick to the Thursday night run tonight. I'm hoping for a solid 4-5m. but that will all depend on how I feel once we're out the door. Hopefully I can put the running buddy through their paces as per usual.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maybe the holidays do exist...

As anyone that knows me well can attest to, I am not a holiday person. For reasons all my own, I just do not care for them. In fact, if I could just fast forward through the end of November and all of December and wake on New Year's Day, I'd be just fine with that. But every once in a while I come across something makes me second guess my renouncing of this time of year.

In making my rounds on the usual blogs I stumbled upon the blog The Mother Letter Project. While I am not a mother, nor do I have plans on becoming one any time int he near future, this definitely touched my heart. The thought that goes into this project and how this family is celebrating the holidays this year is wonderful and makes be believe that the true spirit of the holidays does still exist.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Get out the VOTE!

Looking for a little motivation?
Want to share what keeps you motivated?

Check out what gets fellows athletes through the trainer months and vote for your favorite motivating mantra!

Kansas 70.3

How did I forget the most exciting news of last week?!?!

I am officially registered for the 2009 Ironman Kansas 70.3!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Weekend Sans Training

Well more or less without training.

After my cold run on Thursday evening, I went into to work to find out that I would be product testing for the day. Which in my line of work, means riding my bike on a trainer for the majority of the day. Fun, double fun!

I've pretty openly expressed my distaste for trainer time. It's just soooooooo boring! I want to go, to feel like I'm accomplishing something. And when product testing at work I don't even get to rock out to the music of my choice or drown my sorrows in bad television. I just ride, sweat, and space out. What I have learned in this is that my butt is in fact tough enough to sit on my saddle for 6+ hours, and that comes as quite a relief knowing that I will most definitely not being finishing the 122m IM course in anything lest than that.

Initially my plan for Friday night was to hit up the freshly fallen snow with my running buddy for some "cross training" snowboard style. But much to my dismay, after my long day spent cranking away on a trainer I was a little too friend to much other than sit. So in lieu of playing in the snow we opted to go to a movie and veg (4 Christmases, funny funny, highly recommend and I don't even like the holidays).

Seeing as I had heard from a friend of mine earlier in the day on Friday about an epic trail run on Saturday, I was ok with resting for the night and hitting the trails with gusto on Saturday morning. The plan was 9am at the arb for a 2hr run. To be honest, I knew I could only hang with his pace for about an hour before I was liable to tip over out of sheer exhaustion. But a run is a run. What I didn't anticipate happening was sleeping right through the run on Saturday morning. Apparently I was way more tired from the day before than I thought.

The rest of my weekend went to wining and dining our visiting dealers, including a trip to Lambeau on Sunday. While this sounds great in theory, and it is in many many regards, it does in fact have its downfalls. First, it makes for a loooong weekend with little free time. Second, it's tiring! And lastly, while delicious, it means all food and all beverage all the time. When you eat your way through the weekend its definitely necessary to get some solid training in there (and more than just curling your beverage of choice to your mouth).

Now its Monday, and I am still exhausted, and we have some wicked winter weather headed our way. I'm hoping to get in a run of sorts before the freezing rain and snow sets in....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Battling the Brrr!

So after all the drama caused at my birthday by my running buddy, this buddy is back and wanting to run with me again. Hmmmm. While I am going to proceed with caution, I am certainly not one to shun a willing training partner. It's always nice to have someone to train with (especially one that you can put through their paces as your own personal payback....), so I concede to make an after work running date.

So Thursday night we both get all layered and geared up and head out for a nice leisurely run of 4 or so miles. It was slippery and slow going. Is it normal to have your times increase when combating the snow, ice and cold? I hope so because mine most certainly have. Anyways, the run itself was uneventful and good. I had actually really missed our weekly run, just don't tell the runn9ing buddy that. Having someone to get you out the door when the conditions are less than ideal and keep your pace up (because you cannot let them be faster) is always good. Not to mention our bantering, while not always witty, is certainly always entertaining. So while this running buddy o' mine is far from on my A list, they've certainly scored some points by running in the snow with me.

Post run I get home to stretch, to find that as soon as I stop moving its like intsa-freeze! Hypothermia had set in people, and I was C.O.L.D. I think the problem is that even with all my fancy schmancy wicking thermo way too expensive gear, I never seem to get my layers quite right. I'm always cold when I first venture out, 10 or so minutes in I start to warm up nicely, but given another 10mins or so I am sweating like a criminal! Which means that as soon as I stop and the wind blows I am miserable! Worst is my legs, specifically my thighs and butt. No matter how many layers I have one they are always cold. And let me be the first to reassure that they are well insulated to start with. So I am at home trying to stretch and I am violently chattering away. While the 1/2hour shower I took next certainly did help, I was cold the rest of the night.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Marathons and Duathlons and Triathlons, OH MY!

I'm starting to plan, or I suppose think about is a more realistic spin, my 2009 race season....and I need help!! 

The only sure things on the list are the Kansas 70.3 in June and Ironman Wisconsin in September.  I really want to do a marathon before Ironman to, you know, build my running confidence.  And I'm pretty set on the Door County Triathlon in July....  Beyond that, who knows!  I hear there's some pretty great early season races in North Carolina (and there's pretty cool cats who live there).

If you check out my race list on the side you'll see what I'm thinking about doing.  Obviously the list needs to be narrowed down a wee bit, but I'm looking for feedback on what races to do, who's doing what and where ya'll be headed out to see me!  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbye November

I never thought I would be wishing my birthday month away, but this year I am glad to see it go. After being sick for past 2 weeks and the birthday debacle that was, I am relieved for December to be here (but will be even happier when the holidays are over).

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To wrap up training for month of November, I have to fess up that it wasn't the month it was suppose to be. Sad to say that the Berbee Derby did not happen on Thanksgiving. I woke up at about 4am that morning with such a sore throat I could barely swallow, not to mention the congestion that made it hard to breath. I sent a very early morning and teary eyed text msg to my running buddy to say I didn't think I had it in me. I got a message back at 6:45am, a slightly more acceptable hour of day to be communicating withothers, asking me if I was going to be able to muster through it. Again, in my sick delirium, this started the waterworks and I texted back my sad no, I don't think I am capable of even getting out of bed. Sad. (My running buddy did win some points back by delivering juice and movies to help my my miserable sick time more bearable.)

But after almost 4 full days in bed (from when I got home from work Wednesday night until Sunday afternoon) I was itching to get out and blow the stink off me Sunday. I decided why not sweat the cold out with a run?

Keep in mind I hadn't run in over 2wks now and there hadn't been any physical activity for almost a week, but who's counting? I geared up in my best taking on the cold and snow gear and headed out. I had fully resigned myself to a short slow run, and I thought that it was going to be awful. But in fact it was quite the opposite.

Sure it was slow, and only a handful of miles long, but it was wonderful. As I started to run I noticed the size of the snowflakes and how pretty the new light layer of snow was. It was gorgeous out! The snowflakes were some of the biggest I had ever seen and everything was so pretty.

Knowing that I wasn't feeling nearly 100% this run was to take in the snowfall and remember that I do in fact really like running. I think that sometimes you need runs like that to clear your mind and regroup.
I thought about how I'm looking forward to winter cross training, skiing and snowshoeing, my goals for the upcoming year and my motivations. But mainly I just thought about how I felt lucky to be able to get out a run on beautiful day like it was.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Birthday Week BLEW a big one.

Thanks to a little help from varying sources this was one of the ickiest birthday weeks, and especially birthday's, I can imagine. We're talking right up there with my 9th birthday when I had my tonsils out.

So as mentioned in a previous blog, I was rockin' a pretty heinous kidney infection and feeling pretty blech all week. Everything hurt, I had no energy, the antibiotics made me bloat like I was hatching sea monkey's in my stomach, I had to pee every 3 1/2 mins (but didn't want to!), and I was cranky. To add insult to injury, in this pleasant state, I was nominated to come in and work, and by work I mean ride a bike like a madman, for 4hrs on that Saturday aka my birthday. I was pissed.

Turns out riding the crap out of my bike on a trainer is enough to make you want to die while recovering from a kidney infection. I felt awful. I managed to muscle through my 4hr stint and promptly went home to pass out for the next 4 1/2hrs.

So the evening was to begin around 6:30ish when my date was suppose to pick me up. Considering I crawled out of bed at 5:30 I didn't have a lot of time to spare or make miracles happen. So when the phone rings at 6 and I see it's my date (and I'm still in my towel) I was a little nervous about the state of my readiness. But don't worry, it gets better. Well my date, and former running buddy, decided to wait until 6pm (30mins before the scheduled pick up time for those of you doing th math) to BAIL ON ME. That's right, turns out there's another party that he wanted to go to (which is a whole other story not going to make it onto my blog so I don't seem overly pissed off or bitter). 30 friggin minutes before he was suppose to pick me up. Insert tears here.


We'll fast forward and omit my nasty thoughts and comments. At that point I thought he'd still make a cameo as it was my birthday (and he knew how important my birthday was to me). Nope, sure didn't. Jackass.

Dinner was good. All the usual suspects (less my jackass of a date) were there, Bryn, Ryan, Jon and Joan. I had some friends stop out I don't get to see very often, Kristen and Jenn (sorry Geoff, I see you every day at work). One of my most favorite guys in the whole world, Max drove up to see me for the weekend and brought he equally entertaining friend Ross. We played some pool, drank some beers, ate some food. The basics. But after that I was ready to throw in the towel. I was tired, not feeling good and still reeling from being stood up.

We'll end the birthday debacle there.

There's oh so much more to the story, but what's the use. I was sure to thank my lame ass undependable (former running buddy) date for helping me get over my ridiculous obsession with birthdays. Oh, and I gave the gift back. That's just me.

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Maybe it's what I get but I have now seemingly come down with the bird flu. That's right people, I feel nasty.

Monday I came into work and had the pleasure of not 4 hrs of ass busting trainer riding, but close to 7. What a work out. It was like the never ending interval training from hell.

No real surprise, what with an immune system run down from the k-infection of last week and the stress and drama of the weekend, I am sick. My glands are much more like growths and my nose is running like a busted faucet. I. AM. HOT.

In light of week 2 of feeling shit-tay I am opting out of the Berbee Derby tomorrow. Maybe. I may still run it because, well these are the poor decisions I tend to make. I haven't run in oh, say, almost 2wks, but no big deal. There's a 10k and a lil 5k. At the very least I can bust out a 5k. We'll see.

This gal has got to get back on the training wagon.....and soon.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This just about sums it up......

A man was out jogging in the forest one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will tell everyone how smart and brave you are and how you are my hero." The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I'll stay with you for a year and do ANYTHING you want." Again the man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket. Finally the frog asked, "What's the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess that I'll stay with you for a year and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The man replied, "Look, I'm a Triathlete. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."

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What can I say, turn princess into prince and girlfriend into boyfriend, and that's kind of me in a nutshell these days. Which is why I prefer my potential suitors not around all the time, waaaay easier to manage from a distance. And I'm ok with that. I mean some day my prince/biker and/or triathlete will come....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Week Training....Maybe Not

So I haven't been feeling so hot the past few days, but was in complete Birthday Week denial of any potential ailments. It was just not part of the plans.

Until this morning, and my trip to the local Urgent Care.

So I didn't sleep at all last night, again. The night before I chalked it up to too much caffeine and excitement, and yes, I glossed right over the not feeling quite right. Well as I got up to pee last night for the ump-teenth time and was not enjoying any part of it, I realized it might be time to face reality.

That nagging back and stomach pain, the do I don't debate over whether or not I really have to go to the bathroom (again), peeing every 7-9 mins, and most enjoyably, thinking I might die every time I do. That's right kids, I was pretty sure the joys of an UTI had set in. WOO WOO!

Now I do not enjoy the doctor. The only person I fear more than the doctor is the dentist. Either way, doctor or dentist, I avoid them like the plague. I realized that not only was I going to have to go to the doctor, but as my oh so understanding boss is not keen on allowing unscheduled appointments to pop up, I was going to have to venture to my local ER or Urgent Care, and as it was clearly not an emergency, I chose the later.

Sign in. Sit. Wait. You know the routine. Nurse calls my name, hands me the much coveted plastic cup, explains to me how to properly urinate in it, and lets me know I can resume my sit and wait routine after. Yes ma'am.

A while later I have the joy of seeing, admittedly a quite nice one, the doctor. I'll raise you one UTI and give you a Kidney infection she says. What a gal! This is of course after after some poking and prodding, and beating me repeatedly in the kidney region. So she probably wasn't beating me, but it sure felt like it.

Oh no, this is not the end of this story.

After giving me her perfectly feasible and acceptable diagnosis, she provides to ask me thoughts on chlamydia, and by this I mean she's asking whether or not I should be concerned over it. When I was able to start forming actual words with my mouth again I asked her if there was some reason I should be. I was told no, but since many of the symptoms, apparently, are quite similar she thought she should ask. Now let me take a moment to tell you that I am no connoisseur of chlamydia, or any sexually transmitted party favor for that matter, so how the hell would I know. You're the doctor lady. I can quite confidently say that there would be no reason for this to have crossed mind, but of course just he mention of it was enough to send me down a hypochondriac's dream road. So after a few minutes of terrified paranoid conversation the doctor reassured me, as she initial had diagnosed, that it was nothing more than a kidney infection.

And this is why I do not like, I repeat DO NOT, like doctors.

Needless to say training, among many other things, is off the schedule for the next handful of days. I refuse to let this destroy my Birthday Week, but things are looking bleak and feeling even worse.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Week!!!

I LOVE birthdays. Love, love, love them! Mine, my friends, doesn't matter, I get excited!!

In past years I have been known to celebrate my entire birth month. That's right, the month of November has been my month to par-tay! But with age has come maturity (right) and I've decided to narrow it down to a Birthday Week. But I'm not narrowing any farther, so don't bother asking. And really, I there are so many wonderful people in my life that share the same birth month as me I was starting to feel a little selfish. There's my mom, my grandma, Lacey, Jimbo, my running buddy (and designated Birthday Date!), my favorite RM Ron, Kristen and her adorable son Nolan, the cute Verona cop....and so many others. Seriously, it's a big birthday month. There are apparently a lot of very frisky people in February!

But enough about other birthdays, let's get back to the task at hand, my Birthday Week!!

Sunday kicked it all off with birthday outfit shopping. The look is key. All options had to be considered. After significant online browsing, and a preliminary trip to the mall (yuck) I was ready to pull the trigger. Off to the mall again, ick double ick. But Ieft the mall victorious (with a little help from my very patient friend Bryn) with not only a sassy new birthday outfit but adorable new shoes too!

The rest of the week is a bit of a blur as well. Tuesday I'm brewing with the boys, Thursday it just so turns out one of my fav bands is playing a Birthday Week concert for me (well maybe not a officially, but they are in town during my Birthday Week so it counts), Friday is busy busy busy, and then Saturday is the big day!!

Now usually I dedicate this blog to my training or attempts at. How in world doe Birthday Week fit into that? Well that's just it. I'm putting this out there to try to keep myself honest. To start it all on an honest note is good, right? Well then, scout's honor, I swear I'll be doing my best to train around all the Birthday Week activities. For instance, tonight? No set official Birthday Week plans, so I will be running, same with Wednesday. And yesterday I did an hour of yoga, followed by 45mins of "I would rather chew off my big toe than be on this trainer"* trainer time. Friday and Saturday might be a wee bit dicey, but I promise to try very hard to squeeze something productive in.

*As awesome as my SuperMag is, it's still a trainer. I'm still working on coming to terms with, and embracing, my trainer time. But let's face it, it's just no fun!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rainy Day Runnin'

Let me start by saying that this week has been hellacious! That's right people, it's been just a lil slice of hell on earth. Details are going to be omitted to protect the innocent.

Well, when Thursday afternoon rolled around there was it was no real surprise that I wasn't stoked about running. In fact, I wasn't planning on running. I know that whenever I get out there and run I feel better, but I was in a just f'it sort of mood. I was looking forward to an evening of beer and self pity. But then the phone rang and it was my weekend running buddy calling to inquire about the status of the run. Dammit! How do I say no then without losing face (and trust me saving face is of the utmost importance said individual)? So I sucked it up and set a time.

When these arrangements were made the weather wasn't too bleak. Little chilly, some intermittent light drizzle, but totally run-able.

Then run time came and it was a whole other story.

It was miserable. The temperature dropped more with it being dark out. The occasional drizzle turned into a steady rain. Ick, ick, double ick. But run we did. And I don't even think I was the most miserable.

Eventually cold and rain be damned, I hit my stride and had a pretty average run. My pace was where I wanted it to be considering all things, but it was a struggle. Something about the cold damp just makes me ache like a geriatric!

The poor sucker who conned me into running on such an unpleasant evening did not have quite the same run I did, and quite honestly I don't blame them one bit. They sucked it up and did minimal whining, and kept up with me for most of the run. I definitely am giving a HUGE monumental shout out to this fellow masochist of mine for making me get out there and run as much as I jsut didn't want to.

And in case you were running, after a loooooong hot shower, I did proceed to drink beer and eat pizza in bed to compensate for the week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So it's official. Its not only getting dark out really early, but it's getting cold! And by cold, I mean my ass goes numb when I run, brrrrr cold.

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This past Saturday I was optimistic about a nice 6m run and I had a sidekick to run it with me (the same fool who has taken my LMR by New Year's challenge). With the temp hovering around 39 and windy, I geared up in my tights, long sleeves, headband and gloves and was ready for it. Til I went outside. I think my running buddy had the same thought. But we decided to keep moving hoping that after we had a mile or so under our belts we would warm up and it would become much easier. And so we ran.

What neither of us accounted for was the additional aches and pains that come with cold weather running. Everything's a little stiffer, the joints a little achy-er, breathing a little harder. Having had a few more months of running under my belt, my body was feeling a little more resilient than other's. It was one of those slow and steady days. Around mile 2 or so I noticed that I was starting to drop my running buddy, which was not the plan. I slowed down to see how things were going and if everything was ok. Apparently it was not as my companion was having some vicious knee pain (sally!) and was just feeling off. I decided to finish off the first leg of a 5 1/2m run and pick them up on the way back (I'm proud to say that my lil runnin' buddy pushed through the half way point of 5m).

On the way home, however, there was much walking to be done as my partner in crime was in pain (sally!). We alternated jogging and walking on the way home and tried to stay moving. Everyone has off days. We all feel like soem days we just can run another step or have the desire to do so. So I give props for pushing through....sort of.

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My second adventure in cold weather running was last night. Last night was COLDER than Saturday with the temp dipping down to 30 by the time I headed out. This night would call for my thermal tights.

I get all bundled up and head out. The first few breaths and steps felt a little like getting sucker punched, but I knew that if I kept moving after a mile or so I would start to hit my stride and I'd be ok, and so I did.

What I quickly discovered is that my wonderful fleecy thermal tights had apparently lost their drawstring waist cord, and I spent a good portion of my ride heaving up my pants like some sort of plumber (well I had enough upper body layers on to keep my plumbers crack safely tucked away, but it was there in spirit). Talk about drooooopy drawers!

Anywho. I was chuggin along my run actually feeling pretty darn good. It was suppose to be my easy run of the week, only 4'ish miles, slowish pace, but I was feeling strong and just kept moving. At my turn around point I debated going farther, but decided to head back but keep up my pace. I've found running in my cold weather gear to be very calming as I can't really see my watch, or at least it takes a lot of effort to see it, and therefore I tend not to. But at the half way point I took a peek. And what to my surprise did I find but that I had been keeping a PR pace on the first half of my run. I was stoked and still feeling great so I decided to see how close to that pace I could keep.

Truth be told my over all pace was just off of my last PR, but not by much. AND my last PR pace was done on my 5k route, and this run was 1.1m longer, so technically.....I kicked that run's boot-ay!

Tonight's suppose to be another fartlek night, but seeing the sleety snow outside makes me second guess my desire to sprint on slippery pavement.....we'll see. That and I'm jonesin' to hit the mall (ick, I know) to start scoping out a birthday ensemble for my upcoming birthday bash. I think I can justify an extra rest day this week after last night's run and in preparation of my 2 longer runs this week.....we'll see.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


So about that fartlek thing, turns out, harder than anticipated. And I'm not even sure I did it right.

All I know is I went home tired and am sore today.

The jury is still out on this whole fartlek thing.

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On a different note, apparently this running thing is contagious. That every same friend of mine that has agreed to take on the Lake Monona Route (LMR) before the year's end is yet again ponying up to run with me tonight. That was until it turned out to be raining babies today. We'll see if this run takes place. The plan is to meet at my casa at 5:45ish tonight for a leisurely 5-miler. I had planned to take the day off in light of last night's workout, but how can I say no to a running date?!

I'm hoping that as I walk out of work tonight it will have become a cool crisp fall evening, devoid of the rain and winds of earlier. Oh, and regardless of the weather, I realllllly hope that my legs can keep themselves in motion and get through the run. No pain, no gain......right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Speedplay Day!!

That's right, today marks my first attempt to delve into the world of speedplay. Everything I've read, and all my fellow runners I've consulted, seem to think this fartlek thing is the best thing to happen since sliced bread. I, however, am skeptical.

"Speed play, or "fartlek" in Swedish (the concept originated in Sweden), is a free-flowing format in which you run faster for however long (or short) you want to."

"It's true: fartlek is almost as fun to do as it is to say. "Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and consists of bursts of speed in the middle of a training run. Essentially, it's an unstructured interval session, the track without the rules. Fartlek gets your legs used to a variety of paces and in the process gives you an enhanced awareness of your ability to keep up those paces at various distances."

See, I'm not a "fast" runner. Really I'm not particualrly fast at anything. And to farther elaborate, I'm not really a runner in the typical sense. I'm no string bean, svelte and spritely lady effortlessly floating down the trail at 7min/mile pace smiling and conversing, all the while only working up a slight glisten. No, no. I much more of the stout chick plodding along down the path at (on my very best day) 9:30min/mile pace , sweating like my life depends on it, radioactively red in the face, gasping for air and occasionally grunting a response at my fellow runners. I don't make running look easy and effortless. In fact I feel as though I make the non-runner wonder why in the world one would want to endure such apparent torture. But when it comes down to it, I run. And my own dirty little secret is that I grown to really kind of enjoy running. I like seeing how far I can go, and next time can I get there a little faster.

How did I end up at this fartlek place? Well, last Friday on my short run, I decided that as it was a short run it would be a great opportunity to warm up and then all out run a mile to see where my 1-mile time is. What the hey. And so I did, and much to my surprise and pleasure I was able to crank out my timed 1-mile in the fastest time I have ever ran. Faster than in high school. And it was quite the respectable 1-mile pace if I do say so myself. So I may have cramped and had to walk 1/4m to recover, but that's so not the point. So if I've been able to slowly chip off time on my mile (and overall pace) just by running and adding distance, what happens when I kick it up a notch? Hmmmmm.

But I digress. Today is my first trip down the fartlek lane and I'm sure hoping its all they claim it is. I really enjoy my longer slower runs. But I'm hoping by committing my body to this speedplay thing once a week for the next several weeks, maybe my long slow runs won't be quite so slow. Or that when it comes to race day I can kick it into race pace and score some new PR's.

I'll keep you posted on if this speed thang is all they say it is.....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Payback's a B*tch!

So if you recall back on October 1st I wrote about how a friend of mine coerced me the weekend before to get my sorry ass back on my bike and ride? And that this friend put me through my paces? Decent distance, a few hills, a hell of a lot of gravel, and a construction sight?Right. Good times.

Well, as the title indicates, Payback's a B*TCH!! That's right, this friend of mine, quite out of the blue, decided to run with me last night. I'm pretty up front and honest with people about my snail like pace, and had been mocked endlessly for this by said friend. Well it's not so slow when you're struggling to keep up now is it buddy?

That's right, I was looking to do 4.5-5m at my usual pace. We met at my house to start the run, at which point I was informed that they've never run that far before. Interesting. Suddenly their game isn't quite what the talk would have you believe. So we headed out walking to my normal start point, you know, my normal warm up walk. Got there, and game on. Suddenly my slow wasn't so slow now was it. Truth be told, I felt great running, and having this friend along helped motivate me to keep my pace up.

Around 1.5m we had to stop briefly so my friend could stretch....around 2.5 we had to stop so they could tie their shoe.....not to mention all the brief stops at intersections.... Man! There was a lot of stopping.

So in the last quarter mile, as usual, I slowly started to ramp up my speed. "So you wanna race?" To which I replied, "No, no. But go right ahead." But in that last 100 i was ready for my normal all out sprint to the end. It's just what I do. I believe in finishing strong and leaving it all out there. Not all of us were prepared, and by the end point of the run my poor friend was keeled over thinking they were going to vomit. (Awesome!)

Later that night a few friendly text messages were exchanged, and the gauntlet has been thrown! The goal is to take on the Lake Monona Route (again for me, first time for my friend) before the year is out.

Bring. It. On

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So to go with the sweet new Pro Series Trainer's CycleOps is rolling out this fall they're asking "What's Your Mantra?"

To me it's very inspiring to see what keeps other's going, to know I'm not alone, to know that someone else is chasing Kona, to know that someone else just wants to look hot in a swimsuit come spring....

Check it out! See what keeps other's going, and if you have your own personal mantra, put it out there for others to see.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just as Tom Hanks said "There's no crying in baseball," and Hillary Biscay said "There's no walking in Ironman," I too am pronouncing my rule. I'm putting it out there for all to read, and more importantly, to hold me to.

There is no quitting in Katie.

That's right, I've taken my blows and I've felt crummy. We all do. Other's have doubted me and voiced their ignorant opinions. And inevitably I've done the feeling sorry for myself bit every time, but at the the end of the day, where has that gotten me? Nowhere. So I decided that come hell or high water, my new #1 rule in life is "There is no quitting in Katie."

These last few weeks have been rough. The 2 for 1 ear infections are kicking my ass, and leaving me drained and ornery. When the wind hasn't been howling over my fragile ears and making me want to cry, I've been cramping on my runs because of my inconsistent running habits. If it's not one things it's always going to be another. That's life. Suck it up sista!

So last night I took my tired self home from work, thought of about a 100 reasons not to go, but instead I bundled up, and took my sally ass running. And you know what, I liked it. I get so bogged down with splits and times and distances and averages and heart rate and on and on and on that I tend to forget how much I like to just get out and run. I wish I could say that I went sans my GPS like IronMin, but she is just a better woman that I am. (I did however tuck my watch up my sleeve so I couldn't see any of the info I just can't live without.)

I ran to clear my mind. I ran to take in the cool crisp fall evening. I ran to get one day closer to my goal. I ran because, well, I hadn't in a week. But most importantly, I ran.

At the end I got home to see that I had run a little slower than normal, but I was ok with that. I had overdressed as usually and sweat like a hardworking hooker, but noting a shower couldn't fix. I was a little sore from taking a week, but I felt good. My ears hurt, but didn't feel any worse. I was definitely done for the night, but I was actually looking forward to my next run.

Its easy to stay on track when things are going just as planned. But it takes a whole lot more to keep going when the odds are against you. But I can always take that next step and make that effort (however small it might be), and that's why "There is no quitting in Katie."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So I finally broke down and went to the doctor. I've been feeling like I'm getting sick and just worn out exhausted for weeks. The straw that broke the Katie's back was the ridiculous amount of ear pain I've been in. I can't hear, the pressure and throbbing are constant, I can't sleep on either side, and god help the person who dares touch my ears.

Malaria? Not likely. The plague? Quite possible. Amputation of the ears? An option. Death? Imminent! Allergies? What? Really? Hmmm.....

So the doctor thinks its just allergies gone wild. What am I allergic to? Not sure. Little did I know but according to doc allergies, untreated, can give you that same worn out icky I'm getting sick feeling, but it won't go away until the allergies are treated. Nice. So let's add other pill or two to the morning regime, and now, wait for it, a nose spray! Because who doesn't want to squirt stuff up their nose. That's hot!

And the brain pain? Well that'd be all sort of fluid and such just hanging out in my ears squishing my eardrums and creating a whole lot o fun! But once my sinuses clear it will all be smooth sailing....

In the meantime, finding the energy to do, well, anything is tough. Let alone go for a run or bike (both of which create all sorts of violent air flow over my sensitive lil ears). And going near water until the pressure decreases is just not going to happen. If the juices in my ears aren't draining now, why add more? Really, I'm just not into S&M.

So if you have an awesome at home remedy to ease the pain and get my life and training back to normal, I'M ALL EARS!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Moab....maybe not.

Flights went up over $200 from last week to this week. $200!!!

Looks like this gal will be forgoing the much needed vacation in attempts to be financially responsible.

When it rains it pours my friend.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

And by that I really mean, How Katie Got Her Run Back

One word: FALL!!
Something about the change in the weather has brought life back to my run. And it's wonderful...

After struggling for a few hours to find the motivation to actually get out there and run last night, it was amazing when I did. It was a bit breezy, but all in all quite nice. And the cool weather evening run was better than I've done in months. I cruised at a great pace, did a handful of miles, and felt good when I got home.

I'm actually back to looking forward to running again.


Now if only I could say the same for my biking.

Biking to the bar aside, I have been on maybe 2 bike rides since my crash, aka the "bear attack." One of those rides was this past weekend when I went with a friend of mine.

After not nearly enough sleep the night before, and several hours of standing at the Farmer's Market in the morning, I allowed myself to be talked into a casual Saturday afternoon ride. After eating some question left over mac and cheese I found in my fridge I geared up and headed over to meet my partner in crime for said ride. I was promised that it would be relatively flat and just a mellow ride. should have thought to ask who it was going to be mellow for, but I didn't.

There were a few little climbs that left me out of breath and feeling lame, especially as my friend was able to cruise up them holding a conversation with me (and by holding a conversation I mean that I was talked at/to while I huffed and puffed up the hill). There were equally as many time on the ride where I thought I was going to lose my mac and cheese, but I really think that has more to do with it being questionably good to start with.

Then there was all the gravel. Now for a girl who has recently sent herself flying across the pavement gravel is sort of a deal breaker. Especially when its on windy down hill country roads. Seriously people, just pave the road. There were more than a few profanities and expletives used while on this section of the road, both at the road conditions and the friend who dragged me there.

OH! And let us not forget the off roading through the construction. Apparently some consider "Road Closed" to be more of a suggestion. When the sign came into view and we still turned and headed that why I started to wonder if this so called friend of mine was trying to give me a heart attack. Don't worry, its totally ride-able. Just some loose dirt. Riiiiiiight. Then there was that giant hole that we had to squeak by by climbing on the giant dirt mound.....

Overall the ride wasn't too bad. I certainly didn't set any records or impress anyone, but I managed to get myself from start to finish. It didn't do much to calm my fears on the bike, but every little bit helps. Only time will tell if I get myself out on a bike this weekend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Maybe Moab?

So I just scored the sweetest of invites to mountain bike Moab the beginning of November. Not only is the company sure to be some of the best around, but the riding possibilities and memories are sure to be epic. This strikes me as a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I cannot believe it was offered to me! I'm giddy like a twitterpated school girl for goodness sakes!

I can't overlook, amidst all the excitement, the little bit of sheer terror this trip evokes. Let me just throw out the fact that I haven't mountain biked in something like 6yrs.... That Moab is like real mountain biking. There are big ass hills and such, not to mention I'm sure some pretty gnarly singletrack. This gal, who is more than a wee bit accident prone, cannot, I REPEAT CANNOT, afford to get hurt this year.

I suppose I can do little more than embrace my life motto and go big or go home! I mean, hello, I have like a month to learn how to mountain bike, right?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin 2008

So long time in the works were my thoughts on Ironman WI 08. It was another one of those moving and amazing weekends that in fact led to my lapse of common sense and registering for IM WI 09.

This year it was all Ironman all the time leading up to the big day.

The day my compadres from Inside Out Sports rolled into town, Wednesday I believe, I went down to say hi, bring some Wisconsin hospitality (cheese curds and beer from the Great Dane of course) and hang out. It was great to see everyone as I hadn't seen them since the Rhode Island 70.3. Oh, and I dropped of my custom single speed frame, the pinglespeed if you will, so that the top notch staff could install the headset and bb for me. From there I headed down to my captain's meeting to find out the last minute updates for this years Race. More beer and food was had at the Great Dane while I chatted with all of the rockin' volunteers people from NA Sports.

Thursday I braved the rain, wind and all around icky weather to work the CycleOps PowerTap tent at the event. The weather was pretty nasty, but the company was good as I got to hang out with Edde from Inside Out Sports and Tim and Jacques from Cervelo. It was crazy to see the athletes venture out in the yuck to pick up their packets and see the vendors. I sure wouldn't be out in that grossness before a big race. Thursday night was capped off with a volunteer meeting to get my lifeguards ready for the big day. Friday was more of the same but with better weather.

Saturday the excitement was definitely mounting. Bright and early I was off to another volunteer meeting, followed by tracking down wetsuits and stopping by the expo. And I got to pick up the pinglspeed from Lawrence. It was looking pretty sweet! (Thanks dude!!) From there it was home to collect my thoughts and gear for the big day on Sunday.

4am...alarm clock goes off and I'm up. I headed down to the swim start to make sure that we were ready for the ~2200 athletes. Volunteers in place, I headed down to the swim finish line to watch the start and prepared to pull the swimmers from the water. That's right, this year I got my dream job and got to help the athletes out of the water as the finished the swim. The swim start was overwhelming and amazing as always. I'd be lying if I said it I wasn't just a little choked up. Its just such an overwhelming to watch the day start of so many dreams come true. This is what these athletes have worked so hard for so long.

The swim came and went and my official responsibilities were done for the day. I defintely went home for a nap before heading back down to the Terrace to watch more of the race. In all of my years watching and volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin, I have yet to actually make it out onto the run course, and this year was no different.

I had a pretty good idea of when the first Pro's would be finishing and we were sure to back down there to watch that. It was really exciting to watch the oh so attractive Chris McDonald take first for the men.

8hrs 43mins 29secs


The first female to roll in was Hillary Biscay. This was her first Ironman win, not to mention the fact that both she and Chris had just done Ironman Kentucky the week before. Wild!

9hrs 47mins 25secs

These people are amazing. I guess its all in a days work for them...

After watching Chris and Hillary become Ironman Wisconsin Champions we headed down to State St to grab some dinner and watch the runners from there. Its amazing to see athletes from all walks of life, all shapes, sizes and ages come out and work towards the same goal. And the fans! These family members and friends have been there every step of the way. While it all culminates in one day, there is so much more to the story, and these people have been through it all.

As the 17hr time limit closed in on the race we found our way back to the finish line area, and eventually into the VIP area with the Inside Out Sports kids. And wouldn't you know, there were the same athletes that just schooled IM WI kicking back enjoy the food and festivities like they had just gone for a leisurely stroll by the lake. (I'll have to track down my pictures from that night and properly pay tribute to the cool cats from Inside Out.....)

So these are two of the brave and patient people who are near and dear to my heart and who tolerate my obsession with Ironman. (Leave it alone, its my thing.) Just as they were some of my fearless volunteers and spent hours watching the race with me that day, I know they (along with many others) will be with me on my journey to Ironman 09!

Lots of hugs and kisses go out to Bryn and Ryan!!

Reality Check

In the midst of a long hum-drum sort of week at work, no motivation to do anything, I decided it was time to stop making excuses and feeling sorry for myself and just plain start to make it happen.

I received an email from a my coach the other day, which has helped me start to crawl out of slump. He wrote that...

"For now, I would say just maintain some fitness and take advantage of hopefully some more decent weather to be outside. There is no magic formula and one year out you should just be focusing on basic fitness, flexibility and FUN to help prepare you for the real training later this year."

I sort of chewed on it for a while to digest and tried to put things in perspective. But he's right. The fact is that I have a long year ahead of me. One that frightens me and makes me question my sanity. One that excites me. One that I'm proud to say I've undertaken. There are many long months to come, so now is the time to get back to the basics.

Why am I doing this?

I love the sport and the challenge.
I'm chasing down a life long dream.
To be surrounded by all the beautiful tri bodies.
For a little bit healthier lifestyle.
To prove to others I can
To prove to myself that I can.

I am stronger than I though I was.

There's my short list. But these thoughts, among others, have become somewhat of a mantra. When I hit the wall on any given work out, I bring it back to the mental game. I'm trying to remember to train my body AND my mind. I've working on re-reading (for about the 10th time) The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training. I'm rallying the troops and refocusing. I can do this. I will do this.

So I put on my running shoes last night and I ran. I gave myself attainable goals and no excuses not to make them. And when I stopped making excuses, accepted the fact it wasn't going to be easy, and just went for it, I did it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back in the swing of things....sort of

So it's officially 4 weeks to the day that I crashed and burned at Pigman (also known as the "bear attack") and I still hurt.

The limp is gone, the bruises faded, but I'm still not feeling 100%. There's a strange lump of scar tissue on my hip and my ribs still twinge with every impact, but I consider that just a little extra character.

But what's worse than the nagging pain is the fact that I'm not training at the level I had been. My run is slower. I've yet to get over the mental hurdle and back on the bike for any serious miles. I want to run like I was running a month ago. I want to get on the bike and ride and log the serious miles.

I'll keep pushing, and I'll get there. But right now the biggest battle I'm facing is purely mental.

Monday, September 8, 2008



Saturday, September 6, 2008


Let me tell you about an amazing friend and coworker of mine, Bryn.

The madness all started earlier this summer. Spending oddles of time with me, and having met a pretty cool tri-atha-boyfriend Noah, she decided to take on a triathlon herself.

Now Bryn is a rockin' paddler, and can hold her own in just about any water sport. One might say she's part fish. Did I mention she's pretty fierce kickball player too? Yeah, well she is.

On a bike though, thats a different story. And while she's the first to take her over energized rottweiller Roxy on an epic walk, she's tell you in a heartbeat how mush she detests running. She's naturally a pretty fit lil' hottie, but this triathlon thing was going to be whole new undertaking.

For Christmas last year her mom hooked her up (with the help of another one of our coworkers) with a pretty sweet little road bike. So she has the gear. She even has the clipless pedals and sort of knows how to use them (despite a few times tipping over, but really who hasn't done that). But unfortunately for the bike it wasn't getting quite as much love and attention as a bike of its stature should.

That was all about to change.

We picked a race and I helped her devise a training plan. The Lake Geneva Super Sprint was the goal, and when we we got serious about training she had about a month and half to get ready for it. The distances at hand were a .2 mile swim/17 mile bike/1 mile run, all quite attainable but needless to say Bryn was nervous.

I would like to go on the record to say that from the start I stood by not only would she finish, but that she would do it in under 2hrs.

Fast forward to race weekend.

Unfortunately due to other obligations I wasn't going to be able to be there on race day. What kind of friend and coach was I? I talk her into this adventure, help her train, and then bail on her? What a lame-o, I know. But I knew that she was going to be in very good hands with Noah (assuming that the car was gassed up and the speed limit was obeyed). Bryn and I both knew she had done her homework and was ready, but she was nervous. It certainly didn't help anything that I had crashed like none other just a few weeks prior at Pigman and she had to be there to pick up the carnage. Trying to build her confidence I even made a little bet with her. I bet her one whole US dollar that not only would she finish but it would be in less than 2 hours. She took that bet, and off she nervously went. At this point all I could do was continue to send her all my happy speedy thoughts. Now all I could do was sit and wait like an expectant parent...

And then I got the call.

That chick rocked it! Not only did she finish....not only did she sneak in under 2 hrs...girl kick that triathlon's butt! 1hr 35mins 44sec.

Way to go Bryn!!!

Out of the run and headed to the bike. Look at that smile! I think its safe to say we have a new triathlete in the family!

For a girl who hates to run look at her go. Girl's got some wheels on her!

I am so proud to have been a part of Bryn's journey. She is capable of accomplishing anything she sets her mind to. And I hope she even had a little fun along the way. XOXO!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pigman, The Sequel

So where was I.....ah yes, the bike.

I headed out of transition feeling pretty good.  I had just conquered the scariest part, in my opinion, of the race.  The swim was over and I was on my bike.

Now truth be told, I enjoy the bike, I even enjoy training on my bike, but had fallen a wee bit short of training expectations this summer.  I was confident I could finish this bike leg feeling good, but lets face it, it wasn't going to mind blowingly fast.  Instead I knew my ideal power zones, my goal MPH, my nutrition plan, and ballpark how long it would take me and I was set.

So again, I'm on my bike.  I'm chugging along, holdin my own.  As the morning and ride go on it's starting to heat up.  This is Iowa here folks, they don't grow trees, they grow corn.  And corn provides very little shade.  I had slathered on the the sunscreen in the morning for that reason.  The other assurance I was made about Iowa is that there is no such thing as hills there.  Well that wasn't entirely true, but the hills weren't quite like we grow them at home.

Due to road construction or cow crossings or something that had rerouted the course this year, and according to many athletes made it a much more challenging ride.  Hmm.  Just what I needed, another challenge.  But so far all I had encountered was some rolling hills, nothing suicidal.

Every 21 or so miles there was a water station, which was lovely.  My goal by every water station was to have put a bottle of fluid away to stay hydrated in the heat.  Between that and my assorted gels, blocks and caplets I was feeling well fed and watered.

On a side note, I have yet to find a saddle in my years of riding that is comfortable.  Be it the saddle or the position, I don't know, but its not do good come mile 40 something.  And the newest saddle I'd been riding for a weeks was no  different.

Around the time I was starting to get a wee sore on the saddle and ready to be off and running I saw that Noah and Bryn had ventured out to the course to cheer me on.  I love all the friendly volunteers and the support they give, but there is nothing better than a familiar face.  

There were a few hills and windy roads that sort of made me want to cry near the end of the ride, but before I knew it I was turning back into the park that the race was out of.  I told myself I could kick it up a notch and still make my time goal.   Here was cruising as best as I could down into the park.  I see the mile 1 water aid station, which means I have a mile left on the bike.  

Around this same time there was friendly automobile coming into the park that couldn't bother to wait for the bikes.  Zoom zoom, around me it went.  But oh wait, there was another bike just a wee bit up the road....and an ambulance coming out of the park.  And the cars brakes go on.  Seeing as the car had just cut me off, my options were to ride straight into the rear of the car or slam on my brakes as well.  So slam on the brakes I did.  And over the handle bars I went.

I remember this wicked flipping Superman-esque flying motion, and then the pavement.  As soon as I hit the ground, my cat like reflexes kicked in and I was up grabbing the bike and getting out of the way.  Said car that caused this acrobatic routine of mine kept right on driving, but the ambulance was nice enough to stop and check on me.  It must have been quite the maneuver because many of the nearby volunteers and spectators where on foot and headed my way to see if I was ok.

I had no idea how or what I just did.  My hip hurt, my shoulder hurt, my elbow hurt, and my ribs hurt.  I wasn't sure if I had just had the wind knocked out of me or what, but breathing was very very difficult.  Did I hit my head?  I have no idea.  I sat on the side of the road for 10 or so minutes trying to breath and regain my composure.  After this little break, tears still rolling down my face, I decide at the very least I'm going to finish the bike.  I coast most of the last mile, dismount the bike and walk through transition to rack my bike. 

I see Ryan waiting by the fence, completely clueless as to my wipe out, waiting to see how I feel and cheer me on.  I rack my bike and stand there for a bit trying to determine what to do.  I struggle out of my bike shoes, at this point pissed as hell that all this had just taken place.  I'm trying to calm down, assess the damages, and decide if I can keep going.  Fueled by frustration and adrenaline I have this great idea that I can do the run.  

I decided that if I started moving the pain and stiffness would pass and I could muscle through it.  Around mile 1 I started to second guess this decision.  Noah met me at about this point to see how I was doing and to cheer me on.  This is where the realization started to set in that this was not going to be my day.  But I was going to go as far as I could.

Mile 2....still in pain, still struggling, still can't breath.  It's hot out at this point, and again I remind you that this is Iowa and there is no such thing as shade.  

I called it at mile 3.  As I waited for the car to pick me up I contemplated starting to run again.  I thought I would reassess the situation at mile 4.  But I thought about the pace I had been making the past 3 miles, the heat and the pain and decided I was doing the right thing.

I was delivered to the race doctor who decided I wasn't going to die but that I was going to hurt for some time.  Duh.  One of the friendly and attractive med students was kind enough to pick all of the gravel out of my various abrasions and ice me down.  As long as I didn't breath or move I was doing ok.

The trip home was uncomfortable to say the least.  Perhaps even stiff and painful.  Once home there was a trip to the hospital and pain meds to be had.  Busted up ribs, mangled hip and multiple bruises were my battle wounds.

Given a day or so for the wounds to percolate they weren't feeling any better, but boy were they looking pretty delicious.

It was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in a long time.  To have trained so hard all summer and have it end this way?  This was certainly not my fairy tale ending.