Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Experiments with Water that Matter

The other day, as the kids and I walked home from school in the rain, Carmella told me she learned about the 3 states of matter in science.

Shakespearian aside: Yes, I am the mean mom who makes her kids walk home from school in the rain. It was only a light drizzly rain and it just kills me to waste time and gas to drive the half mile to the school to sit in the carpool lane. Besides, what kid doesn't like playing in the rain? And Beau and Carmella? Cute as all get out but definitely not made of sugar. So them melting wasn't an issue.

I asked Carmella "So my little genius, what are the 3 states of matter?

Solid, liquid, and gas. Carmella recited with her usual know it all perfection.

Beau said. Yeah, I know that. I know science, he added for emphasis. In case there was ever any question. Beau? Already knows everything.

I said,"So. Let me guess. Did you talk about water?"

She was surprised that I guessed this. Especially since Beau and Carmella pretty much think I am an incompetent idiot but she confirmed what I suspected. And just so you can prepare yourself for what happens in second grade I am going to tell you. They reveal to the children the mystery of water: vapor, ice and swimming pools.

Swimming pools?

Well, Monday I was suppose to meet a group for an open water swim. (See how it is really all about me?) But there was a threat of storms so I didn't want to waste my time and my gas (read 40 minute drive) to potentially not get a workout in. I can always swim at the gym. Better safe than wasting a workout, I always say. So I bailed on the open water swim.

This experiment proved a complete failure.

The pool at the gym was so cloudy I couldn't see the black line. How the hell am I suppose to do flip turns if I have no idea where the wall is? Besides. It is a pool. With chemicals. Why the hell is it so murky? That is just scary. So I did pilates instead. In my book, also known as: complete waste of time. This was the first day in I don't know how long that I did not break a sweat. I was sure I was retaining water as result and I can promise you. As a girl? That is never good.

I should also add: pilates is a complete waste of time that 2 days later my abs are now sore from. How did this happen?

The experiments with water continued on Tuesday. I was further thwarted by the rain. We had tornado warnings and sirens going off and thunder and wind and lightening. I contemplated the treadmill but my heart couldn't do it. The treadmill. It just isn't my happy place. What can I say? I like to be happy when I run. That is just my thing. Others? They like to win. That isn't what motivates me. Happiness and feeling good, that motivates me. My soul is little like that.

So when the storms abated and the tornado warnings expired I headed out in the light rain. And over the course of 10 miles it would rain, then pour, then not rain and then rain again.

Whatever. I got wet. It was warm so the rain was actually nice. But see how running in the rain makes me look all glistening and pretty?

Hideous. I know.

But since I was already wet I went to the gym to try to swim. The pool was still cloudy but at least I could see the wall so it was an improvement. Nothing spectacular but 2000 yds in 35 minutes.

I would say this experiment with water was a moderate success.

Last night I got a text from Steph that she and Doug and Neal were planning to ride 50 miles today. Did I want to come? Yes, I thought, I do. But I needed/had planned to do my week's long run on Wednesday. Besides. I thought. I think it is going to rain. And I? I do not ride my bike in the rain. So I politely declined the invitation.

So I ran today. And it did rain. Not a hard rain but a very persistent and annoying rain. And I did not want to run it but I need to ride my bike this week and I've already swam twice so I had to do my long run today if I wanted to get it in. Ugh. So I made myself do it. But I negotiated it the whole way.

Optimistically I had planned to run 21 miles. I realized pretty early on that I would not be sticking to that plan. Really I only need to run a 2 hour run this week. I had just been greedy in thinking about the 21 miler. I don't need it and my achilles, which have been complaining, certainly don't need it. So I cut out the miles I usually run on the park trails because they were void of other people and mostly because I didn't want to experiment with mud.

While ran I wondered about Steph, Doug and Neal and assumed they bailed on the ride. But bail they did not. You can read about Steph's dangerous experiment with water here.

My experiment with water today was much less exciting and worked out to be quite pedestrian with a little over 16 miles at an 8:32 pace. Not fabulous but whatever. It is in the books. And I think, geez I hope, I am done playing in the rain this week.

But my little scientists are not done playing with water.
After school, Beau -- while I helped Carmella with her math homework -- did some "experiments" at the kitchen sink with a rubber band, a coke bottle and water. Lots and lots of water. I quickly found homework for Beau too.

But then while I folded laundry Carmella decided to "experiment with matter."

I heard the talk about the experiment going on downstairs and heard the freezer opening and closing. The faucet turning off and on. But, you know, I was busy. With laundry. Not paying attention to my children "experimenting with matter."

So tonight when I came downstairs and opened the freezer to get my ice packs so I could ice my Achilles this is what I found:

I really, really hope that it is only water in those Easter eggs. I did over hear my two little scientists discussing syrup. And I really, really hope they were only hypothesizing and speaking in theory only.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Exercising the Redneck from Within

I am not talking about this type of redneck.

What I am referring to as redneck might just simply be called being a boy. I don't know. I'm a girl and it just might be that my girlness and girl parts is why I don't "get" the being a boy thing. I must admit that I find some of this boyness quite distasteful and would rather my son not like such things.

What things?

Well, I have long noticed that almost all boys I know, I mean men--wait, really, is there a difference?-- all seem to get this fire in their eyes when the subjects of NASCAR, guns, hunting, fishing, farm equipment, trucks, ATV's, boats, knives, etc come up. Even some men who I would think wouldn't like that stuff get all excited when one of those subjects come up. I always feel sidelined by it. Like, wait, I thought you were my friend, not one of those that like all that, that boy stuff.

Yes, and I do know many girls who like some of those things too.

They are also rednecks.

And since my husband loves all of those things it has been an uphill battle trying to save my son from being a complete redneck. I mean, we live in Georgia. Sure it is metro Atlanta but the force is extra strong here cause it is still the South. It is encouraged here. Almost required I think to get your balls if you are a guy. I've only seen a handful of men escape it. They don't live here anymore.

The other day though Beau said something that made me think there just might still be hope for him. The teeniest of glimmers. Blink and you missed it glimmers.

Let me set it up for you.

Beau use to call it "reindeer shooting."

As in; "My Daddy? My Daddy kills reindeer." Or, "My Daddy is reindeer shooting this weekend."

He would say this at speech and his speech teacher, once she got over the horror that a 3 year old talks about killing reindeer, she would tell me that it was very impressive that Beau got the "d" sound in all the correct spots in the sentence. How's that for professionalism?

And she was right. It was impressive because that was back when Beau most often omitted the "d" sound. Three cheers for Beau!

And last year, when he was in preK (thank God he didn't do this at his Baptist preschool he attended at ages 2 and 3) he spent a lot of time talking about how "his Daddy? His Daddy was a hunter and he killed deer. It was cool."

As embarrassing as it was to have Beau flaunting and spreading the redneck disease at school it did cause some extra problems. Apparently one little boy, a soft animal loving little boy, would cry when Beau would talk about "shooting deer". Then Beau and the little boy would get into a heated debated about the virtues of killing deer versus not killing deer (they are cute and have pretty brown eyes the little boy would argue) and both boys would get time outs. Sigh.

You know. There were only so many battles I could pick to fight with Beau.

And anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT, at all, supportive of the killing of deer. Not because I have a particular soft spot for deer (they are pretty but they can be a menace) but because I do not like deer meat, I do not want stuffed deer head trophies in house and, most importantly, because I am hunting widow from October until December which infringes on prime time marathon racing season. Pisses me off every year. I also do not, at all, see the point of sitting in a tree for endless hours, having to be quiet and waiting for unsuspecting deer to trot along. I don't get the sport of it at all. Just seems like a HUGE waste of time to me. And don't even get me started on the hunting outfits. You know, if nothing else, it is always about the outfit with me. Hunting clothes these days aren't even good camouflage and even if the patterns weren't so awful you'd think they could at least compensate and cut the clothes so they hung attractively.

And believe me.

In our house I have NOT been secretive or quiet about my distaste for deer season. But despite my loud and differing opinions my son still wants to go deer shooting with his Daddy.

Apparently Ryan promised Beau that when he was 7 he would take him deer shooting. "With arrows," Beau told me, "not guns."

And then Beau was quiet for a second. Contemplating, I suppose. After a moment he asked in the quietest Beau voice possible,"Mommy, do they allow blankies when you go deer shooting?"

Repressed snort, giggle and hiding huge proud smile as I pretended to not understand the question. "What Beau?"

"You know like Blue? Would they allow me to bring Blue to hunting camp?"

And I said, so joyful inside, "Yes! I definitely think blankies are allowed. I would bring my blankie, you know, if I had one."

Of course, Ryan, upon learning of the conversation, set him straight. No blankies allowed.

Then later to me, Ryan said, "I told him he couldn't go until he was 7 or 8. Surely he won't still want to have Blue then. . ."

It is a losing battle.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ride Out of Redneck Mecca

It was akin to a religious experience:

Pulling into the parking lot from the access road and seeing that big Budweiser sign, smelling the hops (though I think it smelled like french fries) and then seeing a parking lot full of cyclists and cars with bike racks just gave me the warm fuzzies.

I was worried and briefly lost that fuzzy feeling when I stepped out of the car and the first thing I saw was a dead Luna moth. However, I chose not to see it as a potential omen. Which proved wise because apparently seeing moths on bike rides mean nothing as Joe saw one too and he didn't die either.

The Budplant in Carterville, GA. is VERY generous and allows cyclists to use their parking lot and ride out to the country back roads. Recall that in June I rode the Cartersville Century but I have never ridden out of the Budplant. I've heard about it but I have never been there myself.

Until today.

Today Doug, Steph and I headed up to Cartersville to do a practice brick. Word is that Cartersville is very similar to the bike course in the SC Half Iron. And just so you know, this was Steph and Doug's gig. I invited myself along and ruined any chances of afternoon delight in a cow pasture for them. Though, I think, the hours in the saddle probably had that ruled out anyway. But I just wanted to say thanks to them for letting me tag along.

This was my second time this week to practice a brick after a longish bike ride. The past 3 bricks I have done I have struggled with GI issues--which is new for me. The first was 2 weeks ago when I rode 57 miles and then ran a 4 mile brick. I did okay but I couldn't have run more than 4, if you catch my meaning. The next was my 1 mile swim, 36 mile bike and 9.6 mile run. That time I had to stop at 5 miles to use the restroom. And the most painful was just this past Wednesday: 47 miles on the bike and 5k run. Horrible tummy cramps.

So today was my chance to get it right and test out some new nutrition. That was my goal. Doug and Steph's--which I guess I misunderstood-- was to ride race pace and then try to run race pace. I didn't care as much about pace as I did about not having my tummy hurt.

They told me the plan was 17 mph--which is my race goal but I will be fine with anything under 3 hours and 20 minutes. (Really, I am just hoping for some race day magic. ) But I figured 17mph would be fine for me since Neal and I did average that for most of the century ride until I had a huge fade factor around 70 miles.

And fortunately the temperature today was in the high 70's/low 80's. Down right arctic compared to my last bricks that finished up in the low 90's.

Unfortunately Fay was showing us her ass and blowing some big wind our way.

Doug started out very aggressive and I was struggling. I tried to negotiate a bit slower pace since the wind was just killing me but he said no. So I kinda pouted for about oh, 20 miles. But around 25 I realized that I wasn't feeling that bad and I was totally fine and would make it. So for the last part of the ride I actually felt really good. I mean sure I was tired but no more tired than if we had ridden 1-2 mph slower.

We finished at 2:39 at 46.55 miles at 17.6 mph.

Then we, and by we I mean Doug, racked our bikes and we all ran out. Steph said, as always, she was going to go slow and wasn't going to keep up with us. Doug and I hung together the first few miles. The strap on my Garmin broke so it was in my pocket, so no GPS. My achilles started giving me trouble immediately. They have been tight/sore all week and the result is the tight/crampy feeling in my calves that throws off my stride and makes running painful. I had iced them last night--and am icing them now. Still tight.

My hope was that they would loosen up after the first mile. Nope. After the second mile I asked Doug our avg pace: 7:59 he said. A few minutes later I told him I had to walk for a second. He took that opportunity to ditch me and went back to look for Steph who had stopped to meet some trucker's at the truck stop I think. Doug fouled that plan. I think a husband just knows these things.

The tightness eased up after a few seconds and I resumed pace. Since I no longer had my pace reporter with me I operated on the assumption that I was still running around an 8 minute pace. My only goal for the HIM is sub 2 hours. 8 will be fine. Sub7:50 will be ideal. I ran just past 41 minutes to ensure I got in at least 5 miles. Honestly, I wasn't really trying to practice any pace. I just didn't want to have a tummy ache. But the 8 minute pace had felt comfortable (with the exception of the achilles issue) so I assume that is what I maintained. My achilles's did release a little and I finished up feeling great. I thought about running a little more but decided it wouldn't be wise.

So the good news of the day is NO GI issues. Even better, I didn't even have to stop to pee on the run (did on the bike though).

It should be noted that it was cooler today and I did only run 5 miles. BUT every brick my GI issues were presenting themselves before the 4 mile point so I have to assume either what I ate today worked or it just being 10 degrees cooler made the difference.

So in case anyone is curious here is--in my opinion--the ridiculous amount of food for a 3 hour bike ride that I consumed:
24 oz of water
20 oz of HEED
2 GU's (one vanilla, one Roctane)
1.5 packages of Lance's Peanut butter on Wheat crackers.

I also brought 20 oz of HEED on the run but didn't drink very much since I realized I wouldn't need it since I was only running a little while.

Here is the rest of the week's log:
Sunday: Easy day. Rode down at the river for an hour 18.95 miles.

Monday: Slowww 6 mile run--9:19 pace. I had to walk a bit up a hill due to Achilles issues. Then a 2000 yd swim that also sucked (34 minutes/ 1:42 per 100yd avg)

Tuesday: 21 mile run at an 8:12 pace.

Wednesday: Day of doom where I was an anchor. 47 mile ride at 16.4 mph pace. 3.1 mile run in 28 minutes.

Thursday: Lost mojo but rallied myself for an 8 mile run, walked a bit here and there. 9:23 avg pace.

Friday: Again an easy day. 7 miles on the Leita Thompson Trail with Lola. 9:34 avg pace. Bailed on planned swim. Just didn't want to get wet.

Saturday: 46.5 bike 17.6 mph/5 mile run 8:20 pace.

Run: 50 miles
Cycle: 112 miles
Swim: 2000 yds

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Anchor and The Moth

Are one in the same.
I am always the moth but lately, this week, I am also the anchor.

And this isn't some obscure attempt at metaphor. I mean it literally. I am a weight that sinks.

To be sure, I am not an anchor in the sense that "holds it all together" but rather one that holds things back, weighs things down. Specifically, one that sinks swiftly to the bottom of a lake and gets stuck in some logs or some of that mysterious bottom of the lake creepy debris.

This always happens and I've known it was coming. I've been on a streak of good training pretty much since my disastrous last marathon in the spring. Training that for the most part has been pain free.

And yes, I admit that mostly that is due to the fact that I was running around 40-45 mpw instead of 50-60 mpw. My body rewarded me with things like being able to get out of bed in the morning and walk-- just like everyone else-- down the stairs; forward, not sideways and gripping the railing for support. A railing, it should be noted, that needs to be screwed a little tighter on the wall after enduring my weight for the past 3 years I've been running marathons. It is just a disaster waiting to happen. Ryan, get on that for me. You know, when you get back from the beach.

And I have responded to my body feeling good by doing what I always do: piling on the miles, little recovery, getting lazy about stretching, not going to yoga, not icing the calves, not being vigilant about ice baths, drinking too many post run celebratory beers or wine instead of re-hydrating with water, forgetting to eat enough-- you know all the same stuff I did last year that led to the most miserable winter training ever and calf injury that still haunts me.

It is doubtful that I am going to change. Like a moth to a flame I am committed to doing the same thing over and over again. I know that doesn't make me sound too smart but what can I say? I like to train. I don't like to rest and do all that good for your body crap. So I don't.

And because of that I will probably continue to have days like I did Wednesday.

Wednesday was the day where I was the anchor. I held people back, I struggled and let myself down. It was humbling and now has me quite worried about this upcoming half ironman.

So worried that I had a nightmare about the race last night. I dreamed that it was race day and I was setting up. Steph wouldn't set up next to me and told me to go to this other rack. I was surrounded by what looked like really out of shape old men. It was then that I realized I had forgotten all my nutrition. I didn't even have water. I told Steph about it. In real life Steph goes on every ride with enough Gu and electrolytes for 4 people. But in my dream she had nothing to share. She couldn't even spare a single Gu. The guy next to me on the rack though had an extra Gu and offered it to me. I ate it right there. Then I went off to scrounge for more food, water and Gatorade. While one my search the race started.

I gave up my search and ran to the water's edge. The last wave had just gone out. I dove in the water which started out as a pool but then changed to a lake. A very dark lake. I was trying to pass people but I couldn't. So I started to do the butterfly. I butterflied over all the swimmers and finished the race in my goal time.

One guy, after the swim, tried to get me disqualified argueing that doing the butterfly in a triathlon was "illegal".

I raced around transition trying to find my bike but it was gone. And then I woke up.

This dream is the direct result of a conversation I had had yesterday with Steph. She pretty much told me my planned 600 calories for the HIM was ridiculously low. She thinks I need close to 2000. I just don't know I am going to consume that much. Clearly, my subconscious is very worried about.

And as I mentioned the dream is also related to Wednesday's disastrous ride. I met Steph and Doug and also called Neal to join us for a ride through Roswell. Steph said brick. I said yay, though said I would be very slow since I was certain my legs would be tired from my hard 21 mile run the day before. Steph said that was fine since her speed is slow.


We all met and I was thinking we were going to ride 30 miles top and run 3 or 4 miles. I figured this was doable since a few weeks ago the day after running 21 miles I rode 43 miles in Roswell. Wasn't fast and wasn't easy but I hung.

But Steph said she had to work, unlike the rest of us schmucks, on Thursday. She wanted to ride 40 and run 6 miles. I figured well, okay. Why not.

Well, let me tell you why not. Because the day/night before even though I took an ice bath I did not eat very much and I drink maybe a little too much wine and not nearly enough water. Anyone who has every run 21 miles in 85 degree heat will tell you that water? Might be a good idea. But I figure if Jesus turned water into the wine then wine must be better for you than water.

This is not so my friends. Not so at all. At least not after a long run.

The ride was hard for me the whole time but I did have this period where I was feeling strong and I wanted to mix it up. So we rode some extra hills and as it turned out, extra miles.

I began to pay for my exuberance dearly when we got down by the river--the easy part of the ride. Steph and I got stuck on a turn by some traffic and the guys got ahead of us. I knew I wasn't going to catch them but figured Steph and I would hang together. But then Steph blew past me. Let's go Natalie!!! She yelled.

I was DYING of thirst and was just sucking on my water bottle and trying to catch her. I also realized at this point that we probably still had an hour or so to go. I decided to go ahead and have the ONE gel I brought. My plan though-- yeah, I did have one, not a good one but I had one--had been just the Gatorade and water I brought. I don't know why I thought that would be enough for a 40 mile ride and 3 mile ride but that is what I thought.

I felt defeated having that gel and anyone who has ever done any endurance stuff knows that once the wheels come off it is almost impossible to put them back on. Too little too late.

I had my gel and sucked down the water. And hoped for some magic to happen. Steph wasn't that far ahead of me and I saw where she met up with the guys. Luckily they got stuck at the light and it changed right as I got there and we all went through it together.

I thought, whew back with the group! I am good.

But then they dropped the hammer and apparently it hit me on my foot because I looked up and they were way, way ahead. I pedaled pedaled pedaled and my quads hated hated hated me. Then my calves started saying knot knot knot.
Who's there? I asked.
Cramp, biyatch.
Garmin said I was doing 21 mph in my desperate attempt to catch back up to the group and get in the good graces of the draft but the cramps in my calves said back off or get locked out.

I backed it down and figured I was on my own. But nicely they had waited for me before we did the climb up Eves Rd. Gotta admit. I kinda wish they had dropped me.

Neal, took pity on me and blew smoke up my ass about how strong I was and how much improvement I'd made and how he liked my pace better than Doug's pace. I told him I was much more comfortable with the ridicule most people dish out to me. His kindness made me feel he was being facetious. People, I explained, just aren't that nice to me. And then I went on the complain how hard the bike was for me. Neal is a nice guy and I appreciate his encouragement very much but yeah, I know I suck. Eventually, maybe, I will get better. If not? Well, I'll just keep running.

So I made it through the ride by the grace of Neal's tire. Draft draft draft and I don't mean beer. I wish though.

I will say by the last 5 miles everyone was pretty beaten down. It was a head tucked, no talking ride by the end. We ended with 47 miles at a 16.5 mph pace. Neal bailed out on the run. Steph was still maintaining her 6 miles and I was in for 3. Doug was just quiet but came along.

It was probably close to 90 degrees as it was well after noon. The first mile came off terrible as usual. I was burdened by tummy cramps. They came and went. Steph was behind me the whole way yelling "Too fast! Slow down! 10 minute miles!" And I would try but I just can't nail that pace. So I would forge ahead and then be halted by the cramps and chills that often accompany such tummy distress. Then they would disappear and I would run on, pass Steph and Doug again. Rinse, repeat, run on. Finally I was in the last mile and knew the faster I ran the sooner I was done and could have some water. This little 5k run that took me 28 minutes felt infinitely worse than any single point during my 21 mile run the day before that I ran almost a minute faster per mile. And yes, it does make me feel a tiny bit better than both Steph and Doug called it done at the 5k too.

The rest of the day I was a total waste of a human being. I even made the kids do their homework with me on the couch. And it was only after they called me lazy did I get up and fold a little laundry, clean a bathroom, make some dinner and then resume my horizontal position on the couch. I can't recall ever feeling that wiped out after any race or any training day. Just ridiculous.

However, while laying prone on the couch I planned my next day's workout. A 10 mile run. Easy pace, no watch, I thought. But 10 miles? I could do that everyday.

Apparently not though.

I woke up not wanting to run, bike or swim. I think when they dropped the hammer down at the river I dropped my mojo. All I wanted to do was just wanted to lay on the couch. But I hate sloth. It eats me up inside. I hate not sticking to my plans.

I talked myself down to just 6 easy miles. The 6 easy miles then became just a walk. A walk, I said. It will be okay. Everybody needs an easy day. You don't have to run 50 miles this week if you don't want to. It'll be okay.

So I went for a walk and it was nice out. Little warm but less humid and there was breeze. The effects of Hurricane Fay I guess.

So I rallied and headed out for a 6 mile run. But then I started to feel pretty okay and turned off on my 10 mile route. Then I realized I was a bit thirsty at 4 miles. Still dehydrated I guess.

So I stopped and had some water at Walgreens. The air conditioning? Awesome. The water? Cold and refreshing. I couldn't get enough of it. And this was water fountain water. When is that ever good? Again, very dehydrated.

I stepped outside of Walgreens and was immediately overwhelmed by the desire to not run. But I had to get home. Again, I tired to rally with just 6 miles. No. And I turned on heel and headed back the 4 miles I had just run.

At least this will be easier I thought-- it being mostly 4 miles down hill. Yet some how I found myself walking. I was dying for a glass of orange juice. Orange juice was all I could think of. What is this walking about I asked myself? You can't walk down a hill.Who does that?
Nothing hurts, so there is no reason not to run. Run.
But if you run you can lay back on the couch and drink your orange juice sooner than if you just walk.
So I ran home. But I didn't like it.

And yesterday, while I laid on the couch and drank my orange juice, I thought tomorrow I will just run 6 miles and swim 2000 yds. Just put the distance in, don't worry about the pace. Saturday will be your big training day.

Today I woke up feeling much better. But I bailed on my swim. Just couldn't do it. I did run though. 7 miles on the Leita Trail. The weather was just too pleasant to pass up a day of running. And I have been less slothlike today so I have a tiny bit of optimism for tomorrow's 50 mile bike 6 mile run brick. And hopefully I wont have to be the anchor tomorrow. But yes, I will still be the moth to the flame. I am always the moth.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hey Johnny! The Devil is Running Loose in Roswell . . .

You know I love some Johnny Cash.
He always has a place on my playlists.

Today was my planned long run day. My 3rd 21+ miler this month and this marathon training cycle. And already the novelty has worn off.

Don't get me wrong. I do love the 3 hour run but week after week, yeah, it gets a little old. Not to mention it is hard to get excited about running for 3 hours when it is 85 degrees. I could totally get psyched for a 3 hour run in some cool fall weather with some brightly colored leaves. But I've got about 3 months til I see that run.

As I have mentioned before, I am a morning person but the first thing I thought when I woke up at 6 this morning was "Man. I do not want to run for 3 hours."

My recovery run yesterday was pitiful. I had to walk up the big hill. Ever since Dave the Ultra runner (guy who paced me at Chickamuaga) told me I wasn't doing myself any favors by walking up hills in training I have made a concerted effort to run up every hill in training (at least when not injured). But the tight calf issue reared its ugly knotted head yesterday and I walked up one hill. (Hangs head in shame.)

Then my 2000 yd swim didn't go much better. Goggles gave me one heck of a headache and I thought maybe all the pressure was about an impending sinus infection.

But I woke up this morning with no excuses. So I got my crap together. A list, by the way, that is much shorter than the stuff I need to run, bike and swim.

I planned to do the same route I have been running from my parent's house in Roswell. Out to Historic Roswell and then looping back and hitting the Roswell area park and the Leita Thompson trail.

I was actually surprised at how well the first mile went. The first mile never goes well. Usually in the first mile I think of reasons of why I shouldn't run or how I could make it shorter. But everything felt pretty darn good. No excuses. I was further surprised that I was at my first planned rest stop a couple of minutes earlier than the previous weeks. The miles were just falling away.

Had I, unknowingly, made a deal with someone?

As I headed out down Canton St I passed a bunch of police officers in a parking lot. They were all putting on helmets and bullet proof vests. There was probably 10-15 of them. They did look a bit casual so I assumed that maybe this was a training maneuver of some sort and not a real bomb squad emergency.

I did pass a few more patrol cars but then the run was uneventful for awhile.

Well, there was this one guy who tried to pass me on the park trail. I only saw his looming shadow. His shadow was creeping up on mine as we came around a curve, just past the tennis courts. So I picked up the pace.

It just brings me down to get passed.

Also, last time a guy passed me at the park it was Camden's dad. We had raced it out for about a half mile and joked back and forth for a few minutes while running and then I realized after I turned off that the reason he was racing/talking to me was because I knew him. I can never remember his name and it is just getting embarrassing at this point. I run into him all the time and, for the record, Camden's dad is a good looking guy. You'd think I could remember the name, the face of an attractive man. At the very least, I am pretty sure he is not use to women not remembering him and must think I am just a complete moron. Which, I am but nevertheless I couldn't risk it being Camden's dad and not recognize him yet again. So for that reason and also because I don't like getting passed I could not let looming shadow guy pass me.

Note to self: Must make effort to learn name of Camden's dad so I won't have to wear myself out running too fast on long runs.

Next was the always miserable part of my run. And it wasn't fun today either but not as terrible as the first time. It was pretty hot but I maintained and I got over it.

Took my second break to refill water and ran out into some neighborhoods and then hit the Leita Thompson trail. I was around 14 and half miles at this point. Just under 2 hours. I look forward the whole run to running the trail. It is my reward. It is cool and shady in the woods. Well, relatively cool and shady. It is just nice and peaceful. I usually run two of the 2.5 mile loops and then head the 2 miles back to my parents.

All was very nice, very typical until I was coming down the hill to the dam. I had just passed these teenagers walking on the trail and was wondering why they weren't in school when I noticed right ahead of me 4 police cars. (For those that use to live here or are familiar with the park it use to be Richard G's driveway and is on the lake we use to play in-- where his spring house use to be.)

The police saw me coming and got out of their cars. I took my headphones off and stopped right next to their cars. One of them asked me if I had happened to see a man wandering in the woods carrying a pitch fork?

Now I knew this run felt hot as hell but I didn't think I had quite run straight to hell. At least not yet.

"I'm sorry, what? A guy with a pitchfork?"

Of course, part of me, the part that giggles at everything, is thinking: Devil is loose in Roswell! News at 5.

He chuckles, obviously onto my thinking and explains that they had received a call on a guy wandering the trail with a pitchfork. It is probably just a construction worker, he said.

I told him that still wasn't very comforting to hear (I mean yes, a construction worker is probably less menacing than the Devil but still I don't want to meet anyone in the woods wielding a pitchfork. I don't care what your day job is; if you've got a pitchfork I don't want to be alone in the woods with you.)

I assured him and myself, that at least I had my trusty pocket knife!

And yes, all four of the police officers laughed at me and my trusty little knife.

And no, no one offered me a ride or said that I was in imminent danger.

So yes, I ran on.

But I decided to bail on the second trail loop and altered my route to add on the 2 lost miles on the road.

So the run worked out to be 21 miles and a little change in 2 hours and 52 minutes at an 8:12 pace. Do you see how just thinking that the Devil might be after you can make one run faster?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Is This Why People Love Dogs?

Here is my disclaimer.
And anyone who knows me can vouch for it:
I am not a dog person.

I was never a dog hater but I was one those . . .
that preferred cats.

There I said it.

Hate me if you have to.

I mean if Dogwood Girl (speaking of bonafide, crazy dog loving, dog kissing girls) isn't going to care that she might have pissed off her life long crush and all her friends from high school then I am not going to care for being known as not a dog lover.

Just to be clear, I am not a hater.

Just not all that passionate about dog.

I thought though if maybe I had a dog all my own I might get it. You know, why people are so crazy about dogs. Why they don't think they are stinky and annoying.
I mean I get the whole puppy is cute thing but then they get big and stinky and they have all this hair and they chew on your stuff and you can't take them every where so then you have to worry about what you are going to do with your dog. I mean. Dogs? Are a lot of work.

My kids though LOVE dogs. They go up to strangers wanting to pet their dog and they like to talk about dogs and say things like: "Mommy! I just saw my first real life Yorkie!" Or, "Mommy. Chihuahuas? Chihuahuas take tiny poopies. We should get one."

I mean it is look at this dog or aw, look how cute that dog is--when really, the dog is NOT cute at all. But my kids are totally gaga for all dogs.

So I consented to a dog but it had to be a dog of my choice. Crazy as it sounds I like big dogs. I just don't see the point of a little dog. I mean if you are going to get something that size you should get a cat. But alas, I am very allergic to cats. Ask Fishstick's cat:

That picture is what happens to my eyes after I touch the cute kitties.

My choice in a dog was a Husky. Huskies are not for everyone but first and foremost the are pretty. I know. That just makes you hate me even a little more. I don't like ugly dogs. Whatever. Go join PETA.

So, I had to have a pretty dog. I mean if you are on the fence about dogs anyway looks really do count. Second I wanted a dog that could run with me and could run far. Third I had to have a dog I am not allergic to. I seem to be allergic to Goldens, Labs, Chows, and Sharpei's. But for some reason I know Huskies and Malamutes don't bother me. Which is totally bizarre considering the amount of hair they shed but my parents had both a Husky and a Malamute and I never had issue with them.

So we have Lola!

I do love Lola. She has come so far and as Huskies go she is an awesome dog.

But she is A LOT of work. A LOT.

She does make the kids happy and she is good and she is a great running partner but I still don't get the whole dogs make you all melty inside thing.

Until today. I think the experience was akin to when the Grinch's heart grew--or was it melted--whatever, you get the point. I, moi, was almost at the dog melting point.

Wow. Are you still with me?

Okay, so this morning the kids were downstairs eating their breakfast and Lola was barking. Huskies don't usually bark. They chatter, whine, howl and yelp but bark isn't something they really do. So when Lola barks something is up.

I yelled down to the kids to leave the poor dog alone and eat their breakfast. Kids claimed innocence but were still cackling away as if they were up to no good and Lola was still barking like there was an intruder.

So I yelled again. At Beau. As he is usually the Lola instigator. He and the dog have a very special relationship.

I come downstairs to see what all the barking is about and apparently Lola is totally freaked out by Beau's homework. I bet she wanted to eat it.
What homework?

This homework:

Beau had to decorate a little Beau for his kindergarten class. It has a photo collage all over it.

So of course he had a bit of fun with Lola.
I mean this was like bad kitty boy Thor (may his bad kitty soul rest in peace) and his irrational fear of the blue coat hanger. I mean how could you not chase her around the living room with the Beau doll?
No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Look, here she is. She is laughing:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Packing a Diaper Bag and Getting Out of the House with a Newborn Might Be Easier.

Until I started training for triathlons-- or really that one sprint I did last year and the half iron man I am going to do-- I thought the biggest organizational challenge I had faced was getting out of the house with a newborn and 2 year old.

Inevitably something was always forgotten.Every morning was a mad dash around the house where I would change newborn diapers and outfits and put shoes on a 2 year old at least 3 times before I finally made it to the car.

Pretty much by the time Beau came a long I had figured out to just kept most essentials in my car. But even with that step taken care of getting 2 little kids out of the house and to the car was such a challenge that sometimes when I finally made it to the car and had everyone buckled in I would start crying. Tears of relief and also tears of frustration that something so seemingly simple could be so unbelievably hard.

Boy, I am glad that we are past that. But you know me. Apparently I like to make things hard in my life. Remember. I'm the person who finally got both kids out of diapers and immediately went and got a puppy.

At any rate I am not naturally the most organized of people. I am definitely not a list maker. I've tried all that but I feel like I am wasting time sitting down to make the list. Carmella though, every time I forget something, is there with her commentary of; "You know Mommy, you really should make a list. Then you won't forget stuff all the time."

7 years old and she already has the world figured out.

Carmella though, unlike me, is a list girl. She makes bazillions of list. She always has a notebook and is out there scribbling her lists. List of what they will do this week on what days. List of friends and all the people she knows. List of stuff she can do, wants to do, has done etc. Carmella is a list maker. I am not.

Though she is right. I probably should start making them. I should make them so that when I plan a big swim, bike, run training day I won't do dumb things like forget my running shoes. See the biggest challenge of training for half iron man so far (for me) isn't juggling the run, bike, or swim or the bigger training volume or avoiding injury. It is remembering all the crap that I need to run, bike, or swim.

So the kids are back in school and I hit the training hard this week. I really had a fantastic week volume wise. I wish I had the stamina and the time to train like this every week. But since I also have to do things like clean my house, do laundry, have energy to play with my kids and do the admin stuff for the business I can't train like this every week. And if tried to I think the only other activities I would get in would be eating and sleeping. Actually, maybe just sleeping.

Sunday: 43 mile bike ride with Steph, Leslie and David in Roswell. Legs were toast from the previous day's 21.5 mile run.

Monday: Celebrated kids back in school with an easy run of 5 miles on the Leita Thompson trail with Lola and then hit the pool for a 3000 yd straight swim. Nothing spectacular. 1:38 100yd avg. Hope to swim a bit faster at the HIM.

I tricked Neal into riding with me. I told him it would be close to 40 but it ended up being just over 57 miles. And it was hilly. We did most of the Roswell Mile High route. I think the ride is called that because it is over a mile of climbing. We also did some of the Steph and Nat easy Roswell ride. I tried to cut out one big hill but mistakenly turned down a road with an even bigger hill and Neal was like this one is worse! Oh well. We are stronger for it, right? He was great company.

After Neal and I parted ways I ran a 4 mile brick at an 8 min mile pace.

Wednesday: I planned this week to do a marathon cut back week in regards to the long run. I still wanted something longish so it had to be today. I wasn't so keen on running but I made myself suck it up. Wasn't the best but wasn't the worst and it was quite hilly: 16.6 miles at an 8:53 min mile pace. Eh.

Thursday: Easy day. No watch day. Run according to feel day. 7 miles on the Leita Thompson trail with Lola. I actually felt great. Had a really great run. Spent the rest of the day cleaning the house. Vacuuming up dog hair with the shop vac. I count that has a workout you know.

Friday: Little big day training. Suppose to be dress rehearsal, nutrition testing and figuring out my endurance. I had organized most of my stuff the night before and had plenty of time in the morning to get the rest of my crap together. I set up my little transition station on the passenger side of my car and tried to think of everything:
Goggles? Check!
Cap? Check!
Water bottles, Luna bottle, Gu, Cliff bars etc . . . Check!
Bike shoes? Check!
Favorite socks? Check!
Helmet? Check!
Gloves? Check!
Sunscreen? Check!
Glasses? Check!
Bike pump?
Id? Check!
Cell phone? Check!
Garmin? Check!
Change of clothes? Check!
Running shoes? Oops! whawhawhaaaa Game over.

I am such a bonehead.

I drove to the La Fitness near my house and swam a mile in 28 minutes. Little disappointed that my Zoot tri top has a bit of drag. Not sure what, if anything, I am going to do about that. I didn't have any chafing issues and other than the drag in the pool the outfit worked great. Sugoi tri shorts and Zoot tank, for the record. Very comfortable with great strategic pockets.

Transition was about 8 minutes.What? That's fast right?

Seriously, I had to walk from the gym pool all the way to end of the parking lot, pump up my tires and put on all my bike gear. Pretty sure I will be a lot faster in a tri. I mean, geez, at least I hope I am faster.

It was then that I realized I had forgotten my running shoes. It wasn't a huge deal. Just meant I had to drive home to get them and would have to run from there. So that kinda f'd up my bike run transition. Decided then that I would punish myself by running 3 extra miles.

I rode over to meet Doug. To my surprise he had organized my bike route. He's not controlling at all. Really. I didn't care. I was happy have one aspect of my day not to worry about. And, I was just happy to have the company. Ride was 36.3 miles at 15.8 mph. Again, I really hope I am A LOT faster in the HIM. I can only be so fast on the swim and the run. Bike kinda eats up most of the time so I need to try to work a little harder there otherwise I'll be out there for 2 days.

Doug and I parted ways and I drove home to my house. Changed into my shoes and hit the road for the run. I did not love this run. I had major GI issues and had to stop around 5 miles to use the bathroom. This is a huge problem. I NEVER have GI issues like that. I am hoping it is a fluke. I will not be happy if I have to stop during the HIM portion of the run. I will say that it was 87 degrees during the run and maybe I didn't have enough electrolytes. Or maybe it was the Cliff bar on the bike. I am thinking I will try some salt tabs and more Gu instead of a Cliff bar.

The run worked out to be 9.6 miles at an 8:38 pace. I know the South Carolina course will not be nearly as hilly as this run and hopefully it won't be as hot so I should be faster. Unless there are GI issues.

So it wasn't a perfect training day but that's okay. That is why it is called training. As I always say: better to struggle in training than in a race. I'll take everyday in training to suck if I can have a perfect race.

Saturday: 10 mile run on the Green way (read flat) trail: 7:49 avg pace. Good run. It was hot too. Amazing how just taking away either heat or hills makes a difference for me.

Week's Totals:
Run: 52 miles
Bike: 136 miles
Swim: 4,750 yds (not quite 3 miles)
190 miles for the week.

Oh, number of ice baths: Three. Funny how ice baths in the summer are so much pleasurable than in the winter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To Be Certain. It is a Yellow Jersey For Beau. Not a Red Shirt.

Monday was the first day of school for the kids.

In particular, it was Beau's first day of kindergarten.

Beau is not new to school.

He went to the 2 and 3 yr old mother morning out programs and also Ga Prek. Beau has also been receiving speech therapy since he was 2. So you would think with all this schooling Beau would be well prepared for kindergarten. And he probably would be if kindergarten was how it was when I went to kindergarten. But kindergarten these days is like how first grade was for my generation.

Oh geez, my generation. (rolling eyes at self) I have long resisted even thinking that phrase and now here it just clicked right off my finger tips into a blog post. Ugh. I might as well be 78 not 37 using that expression.

Anyway, I started worrying about sending my son with a late summer birthday to kindergarten before he was even born. Most people around here redshirt their boys with summer or spring birthdays. Not so much girls but it is almost assumed that if your child is a boy and is born in June, July, or August you will be keeping them back a year. And I have to admit that when Carmella (a February birthday) was in kindergarten most of the boys that were not redshirted struggled. But I personally think the redshirting--especially simply because of a child's birthday--is creating a viscous cycle and pretty soon kindergarten is going to be exactly like second grade.

This is not to say that some children SHOULD wait. But just because they are a boy and born in July doesn't mean they shouldn't go to kindergarten when they are 5.

In Beau's case I had the extra quandary of his speech problem. On the one hand going to kindergarten would mean more consistent speech therapy. On the other not going would be mean a compromise in therapy. And Beau had, after all, successfully completed Ga Pre K. I just didn't see the point of him repeating prek and missing out on valuable speech therapy. He did say, on many occasions, that pre k was boring.I decided, if need be, repeating kindergarten would be more beneficial for him--even if it carried a social stigma--than repeating prek.

It should also be mentioned that Beau pretty much got in trouble everyday at pre k. Not trouble like you might think. Mostly it was for talking-- like during nap time. Problem was that Beau didn't take naps and an hour nap was a ridiculous amount of time for them to expect him to sit still and be quiet. I couldn't do that. And at the very least, it is hard to discipline a child with a speech disorder for talking too much. I mean, I've spent the last 4 years of Beau's life encouraging him to speak and to say it correctly and to keep saying it. So I am sure it has been confusing for him to hear: Say this, repeat it again. No. Now be quiet. Talk, now be quiet for 6 1/2 hours, unless you raise your hand.

Lastly, it may be easy for some parents to redshirt their children. Their children won't even know. But Beau? Beau knows all about kindergarten and that when you are 5? You go to kindergarten. Beau has been dying to go to kindergarten since Carmella went.There was no getting around not sending Beau without Beau knowing that and being pissed off about it. The kid, if nothing else, knows when he is getting the shaft. I think it might be a second kid thing.

So Monday morning I sent Beau off to kindergarten. And I was nervous. I don't think I was filled with the same sort apprehension I think other parents have when they put their kid on the bus for kindergarten but more of "am I doing the right thing?" anxiety. I will be probably checking myself with that for the rest of Beau's academic life. As I think Beau is going to have an uphill battle with academics.

I did too. But I made it. I did better than I think anyone ever expected me to. I am sure Beau will too.

So yes. Definitely. So far, I think yes. Yes, I have made the right choice for Beau.

Beau is lucky. Luckier than most kindergartners.

Beau is lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) because almost the entire staff at the school knows him.

Why do they know him?

Well first because he is Beau and he does things like go up to strangers and says "My name is Beau. Now you know my name. We are not strangers." But mostly because for the past 2 years his speech therapy has been at the school. He has eaten in the cafeteria, had temper tantrums about NOT going to speech in the front hall, played on the playground, been to assemblies, been up and down all the halls, he's been to the fall festival, used the big kid bathrooms, been to the media center, the school store, to the office etc.

And don't forget.
Big sister Carmella goes to this school.

And remember.
Carmella has the reputation of being the nice girl, the good girl. People like Carmella and Carmella adores her brother. So all of Carmella's classmates from kindergarten and first grade know Beau. The boys think he is funny and the girls think he is adorable. To say the least, Beau has definitely asserted his presence at the school even if he hasn't been a student there until now.

But the best of all is his teacher.
Ms. B, his teacher, was also Carmella's kindergarten teacher. He knows all about being B's "Busy Bee". Heck, Beau has actually participated in about half of homework I know Ms. Bartlett will be sending home since he couldn't stand to be left out when Carmella did her homework.

Not to mention. Ms. B has a soft spot for Beau. I remind her about how naughty he can be. How strong willed he can be.
And she says, "But, he is so cute that he can get away with it."
I warn her to not let him know she thinks that.
She tells me not to worry.
She knows Beau.
He will be fine, she says.

And so far, she is right. He is doing great. Though, Beau did admit to me that he is being a bit shy at kindergarten. I asked if he was going to keep up the shy facade and he said he was. At parent orientation last night I warned them about the shyness and then tried to press Ms. B and her assistant Ms. S for dirt on Beau but they laughed me off. They had nothing. He is good.

And, I am already getting work home. He is drawing. He is cutting. He is pasting. He is writing. He is learning. He is even letting me read stories to him. Generally, Beau is very emphatic that I can only read science books or bird catalogs to him. But last night I got to read Skippy John Jones and he laughed the whole time.

So maybe kindergarten will be Beau's thing. I still have some doubts but I can't argue with the smiles and the excitement I see on his face.

And lastly, I should also mention that my kids and I seem to be fighting childhood obesity single handedly. I know that is probably a boastfully gross statement but the first day of school they rode their bikes to school. There were only 4 bikes that day on the bike rack. One was Carmella's, one was Beau's, one was Carmella's BFF Reina and the 4th was some 5th grader's.

Tuesday I noted a 5th and 6th bike. A set of brothers had been added to our peleton. Wednesday I noted yet another bike, obviously an upper classman since it was a mountain bike. Wednesday, I also noted more people walking their kids and even a few parents on bikes.

Yesterday, Beau recruited our neighbor to ride with us and today when we racked our bikes there were 11 bikes on the rack. They barely had room. The school is going to have to spring for another bike rack soon at this rate.

Oh, and you know that Beau is SO proud to be the only kindergartner that rides his bike to school.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It must be Christmas

Or the night before a race.

'Cause I can't sleep I am so freaking excited.

Kids though seem to be having no problem sleeping as they have been sacked out since about 8pm.

Why all the excitement?

Tomorrow is the first day of school!!

See how excited Carmella is?

And Beau.

Beau starts kindergarten.

Wait. Here is Beau.
Wanna know why Beau gets all the ladies?

Cause he is a real cyclist.
He did his first ever bike race today!

He was so psyched and cute and not nervous at all. He didn't win but he didn't lose either. Keep in mind he has only been riding his bike without training wheels for 2 months. Next year he will take them all out.

Wait. I got video (Beau is in yellow jersey):

And here are some of the big boys who raced today:

My friend Paul raced cat 4 and the masters. He either took 4th or 5th in the cat 4 and he didn't know his place in master's.

But Tyler won it for the master's group.
The Mainstay (7) raced the pro/cat 1 and 2.
He looked good at the start but it was not his day. I don't know who won this race as we had to leave to get the kids home to bed.

And I too spent some time on my bike today. Albeit much, much slower than any of those guys (and gals).

I don't know what I was expecting since I had a long hard run yesterday but I really underestimated how tired my legs would be. The first half of the ride felt the worst and it wasn't until around 25 miles my legs relented and said: Okay, I guess we will cooperate.

Once I got them on board the ride became much more comfortable. There wasn't any soreness just muscle fatigue. It was like one of those times where I was certain I could feel the actual building of muscle happening. I should have taken before and after pictures of my quads.

There was an option to do the Roswell 40+ loop twice but I knew after the first few big climbs on the second loop I would be hating myself. So I ended up with 43 miles and a 15.5 mph. Geez, I need to get myself a new motor for my bike cause this one is broke.

It was a beautiful day to ride and Leslie, David and Steph were great company. Props to Leslie and David for doing the loop twice. Glad y'all let me come along and put up with my putzer pace.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I am not a Dead Head but I agree:

It is a hand-me down. There is a road. And damn, I do wish for that pebble in still water. . . or at least the still water. . .

No, I am not a deadhead by any stretch but Ripple is my favorite Dead song. For the record? Everyone should have one.

And while last week's long run's theme song was this:

Definitely (hence the lead in) this week's long run--exact same route as last week's--theme song was this:

I don't want to say the run was easy this week but yeah, compared to last week it was easy. I just had one of those runs today. There was one rough patch. I always have at least one but it was hardly a blip on my radar. I felt stronger when I finished this run than when I started it and that just rarely ever happens when you are out there running for 3 hours-- in a Georgia August, no less.

So let's compare last week's 21.56 miles to this week's 21.56 miles:
3 hours and 8 minutes vs 3 hours and change;
8:44 pace vs 8:23 pace.

Most key is the temperature:
Last week's beginning temp was 77 and finishing was 90.
This week: 63 at the start and 80 at the finish.
Also humidity, which is always the killer, was only 30% today. Last Saturday it was 57%.

There really isn't much else to say. I just had a fantastic run and didn't feel overwhelmed by the time at all. Also, best of all? I finished this run at 7:13 pace. I ran the last mile at well under marathon goal pace. So yeah. Sorry if I sound like a braggart. It is just so incredible that I had a run like that in August. I typically don't see a run like that until October. Heck, if at all. Keep in mind, overall pace is only, what? 10 seconds off my best ever marathon pace so far. So yeah, I have reasons to be happy. To be proud. Don't knock me down, bitches.

However, I cannot say the rest of the week has been such a throw down training-wise:
Sunday: Just a quick recovery run. 3.34 miles in 30 minutes.

Monday: 32.16 miles on the bike. 17+ mph.

Tuesday: 12 miles in 1:37 @ a 8:10 pace. Kids rode their bikes and I ran along side. Great run. Temps were in the high 80's and it was humid as, well some one's nasty armpit.

Later I swam and raced it out to get as much in before Aquafit kicked me out of the pool: 3500 yds with an average 1:43 100yd pace. Break down is as follows:
Warm up: 500yds 7:49
Then I had goggle issues trying to do my long set:
1st 2000 yd attempt: 500 yds-7:58
2nd--500yds--8:10 (gag)
4th attempt 250 yds: 4:06
5th attempt 1750 yds 26:45 then was thwarted by Aquafit. Whatever. Sucked.

Wednesday: 10 miles "recovery" run. No watch but about an hour 30 for the whole run. 9 minute miles. It was disgustingly hot.

Thursday: Suppose to be a swim in the morning/bike in the evening day. Bike got thwarted by afternoon thunderstorms. I should have run when it cleared up but I didn't. I was sloth.
Swim was this (so embarrassing):

I had planned to do 500 warm up. Then 100fly, 100back, 100breast, 100free with 30 sec rest in between each 100. Then repeat set. Then 1000 straight swim. Goal was 2400ish yds for the day.

Well the first set of the 400IM killed me. Boy, do I ever suck.

Here is what I ended up doing:
500 warm up: 7:39

Then the work set:
50 fly: :41
I was DYING--though I did maintain good form-- and had to take a rest. I was pissed I couldn't do the 100. I suck.
50 fly: :44
Sort shocked this was so close to the first 50-- especially considering how my form totally fell to bits about 10yds from the wall.

Most sad is that as a kid my 50 fly was under 40 seconds. I am thinking 33 seconds. Not totally sure about that. Maybe faster. I really can't remember. At any rate the fly was my stroke and I suck now.

How is at 10 years old I kicked ass in it? I swear I think I am fitter than I was at 10 but maybe not. . .

30 seconds rest
100 back: 1:36
I am always so nervous about hitting the wall that I slow down from all my looking. Not to mention my back flip turn is very rusty. Now days I see the kids flip over and do a regular turn. Old habits are hard to break.
30 sec rest
100 breast: 1:44
I HATE breast but I can't tell you how good it felt compared to the fly and back. Obviously slower than any other stroke but I was always a crappy breast stroker. I just don't have the talent to make this fast. But those that can are phenomenal swimmers.
30 sec rest
100 free: 1:21 Eh, I'll take it.
1 minute rest where I was dying and decided not to repeat set.
500 yd easy: 8:40
1000 yd: 17:04

Friday: I had the kids' open house in the am and then had to register them for activities. So I had to wait until afternoon to get any sort of workout in--never a good sign. And well? It bit donkey bootay.

24.26 miles on the bike at a 16.81 mph.

I was so scared on this ride. It was windy and the drivers were in a huge hurry to get home. I had planned to go longer but just chickened out of it. I was very disappointed about it. Bike was not good this week. But I guess you can't have good in all three when you do all three. Run was up, swim was decent and bike was down. Way down.


Le week's end totals:
Run: 47 miles
Bike: 56 miles
Swim: 5900 yds (5.5 miles)
Total: 108.5 miles

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

BeauPOOLooza V Pictures

So we had our annual BeauPOOLooza party to celebrate Beau's birthday. And this year, like always, was a blast and another great party is in the books.

But missing were two key elements that have halmarked past BeauPOOLooza's. First was, since he is 5 and all and might actually start remembering how everyone behaves at his birthday party we did without the keg this year. More notably missing were the keg stands. After all, we do have to start setting some kind an example. Not to mention that Beau is starting to speak much clearer and his teachers will probably understand him when he tells them about what he did at his birthday party. Oh, but no worries. We still had beer. It is an end of the summer pool party.

Also, missing for the first year ever, was rain. In fact, I think this is the first time I threw an outside party and it didn't rain. I kept waiting for the dark clouds and monsoon like rain but it didn't happen. I mean in the past, me throwing a party was a sure fire way to help the drought. My power must be weakening.

So aside from keg stands and rain everything else was in keeping with the BeauPOOLooza tradition: games, pool, good times.

The cake:

The "I survived BeauPOOLooza V" t-shirts:

I have to admit my proudest moment of the day was when I asked Beau why he wasn't wearing the bathing suit I laid out for him (It was Hawian themed). He pointed out that the one he was wearing had sharks on it and , it matched his party. See? That is why having a theme is so important Pookie. It gives you structure. And kids? They need structure. And I can tell. He will be able to write one heck of research paper (or blog post), you know, as soon as he learns to write because Beau? Beau already gets the importance of theme. How many 5 year olds can say that?

Beau with the drawing "tall" Anthony (Beau likes to inappropriately describe people with their physical attributes before their name. Just so there is no confusion.) did on his back.

The Dolphins vs. The sharks relay races:

The "Sea Horses on Land" relay races:
You had to make horse sounds and gallop, or risk disqualification. Also note that the games we play are completely dictated but what kind of stock they have at the Dollar Store. I got lucky this year that they actually had dolphin and shark floats. I kinda had to use a little creativity for the horse heads Beau insisted on getting.

Sea Horses on land became well, sea horses.

They also worked well as oars for Beau's boat.

Carmella and Reina give Livi "tatoos"

Beau and short Patric (once known as Baby Pat)

The adults.

Blowing out the candles

Well, this party pretty much always marks the end of summer. And I'm okay with that. Beau and Carmella go to the meet and greet tomorrow and Monday, oh blessed Monday, school begins.