July 31st, 2007

So last Sunday was it…race day, the big one.  I have spent months preparing for this one event, this 1/2 ironman.  My hope during the entire season was that the training plan I had so haphazardly chosen last fall would allow me to finish, unhurt, all intact and maybe even want to do it all again once the challenge was complete. 

The entire weekend was filled with races.  First, CT and a couple buddies got to try their hands at doing a triathlon.  I had to pick up all my race information at the race site and they just so happen to make a day out of it for the kids.  Talk about amazing, these kids (ages 3-12) had to keep it all together through three different sporting events without parental help (ok the three year olds got help).  Once over the finish line all CT talked about was doing his NEXT race. I hope we haven’t created a monster.

So the race…I was nervous.  Very nervous.  Jen decided spontaneously Saturday night to sign up for the sprint distance race, she got in, which meant she drove with me to the race at 5:00 am.  There’s nothing better than having a friend by your side when you’re that nervous.  Thanks Jen.

It was a beautiful morning standing on the edge of the lake waiting for the gun to go off.  The swim portion was almost uneventful.  I finished in 36 minutes, which wasn’t earth shattering but kept plenty of reserve in the tank for everything else.

The bike was next, 56 miles of road ahead of me.  My hope was I could finish it in 3 hours.  Do you know what goes through a persons mind, alone at 20 mph, on hot corn field roads for that amount of time?  Well let me tell you, a lot. 

The day before I had stopped to buy CT some Yanks for his shoes for the race (we haven’t mastered tying yet) and while I was at the running store I started talking to the manager about my race and my race nutrition.  This woman imparted so much information to me that I took it all, devoured it and worked in into the race plan.  And then hoped to God it was going to work. 

She had me eating or drinking something every 15 minutes and at the top of the hour it just started all over again.  This made the time pass and every time I ingested something I thought of this woman and how lucky I was I bumped into her just yesterday.  Thanks Ann.

About every seven miles I would suddenly burst into tears, happy tears, tears of thankfulness for my health, my family, my friends, my life, tears that I’m lucky enough to be able to even do try to attempt this feat.  And as the tears would come I would suddenly think of my friend Nathan.  Nathan does this thing where he tells a story and at the end of it he takes his hands and in a very effeminate fashion waves them (at the wrist) up and down by his eyes like a delicate china doll fan and says, “And then I wept.”  So every time I started to cry, at the same moment, I would think of that and start to laugh.  Thanks Nathan.

Hour three of the race got tough.  The negative thoughts started coming in.  I started thinking of Adam, the three kids, my parents and his dad all driving down in the same car.  What if they all got killed?  Would they call me off the course?  I had to shake that off as fast as it came. 

I was still on my bike and I was feeling tired.  The heat was setting in.  I knew I could beat 3 hours if I just kept plugging along. As I pulled up to the transition area my computer read 2 hours and 50 minutes, I was very pleased.  Not only with my time but to see my family (alive) waiting there and cheering me on.

My bike was situated right on the outer edge so I could talk with them while I changed into my running shoes, slapped on some sun screen and  grabbed my shot blocks.  I handed PJ my cherry lip balm, in case I never returned, and then took off. 

The thought of a 13.1 mile run was daunting; I was feeling “it”.  The first two miles of the run consisted of severe leg cramps.  I had to just plod along, I stopped several times to massage my legs.  I tried to stretch but when I did my legs would just seize up. 

People were flying past me.  I had to find it in my head to be “ok” with that.  At this point, it needed to not matter that people were passing me.  I needed to will the cramps in my legs to go away, they had to go away.

There were moments were I would tell myself, “Just run to the next cone, then you can walk”.  This went on until mile six when I saw them, I needed to see them, hear them, stop and talk with them, tell them it was so hard and so hot.  I’m not sure I could have made it without them there.  Thank you Adam, CT, PJ, KP, mom, dad, Jen, Erika, Peter & Papa.  They gave me the strength to keep going.  

I walked through all the remaining water stops to take in as much water and Gatorade as I could and then moved on.  In my mind I kept signing that little ditty, “put on foot in front of the other” over and over and over. 

I finally got to mile 11.  Just two miles left.  And then, as Nathan says, I wept.  Right then and there I realized I could do it, I was really going to finish.  It was real, two miles away was the finish line.

I rounded the park where I just yesterday saw CT run through the finish line, I saw PJ and Papa buy the swings, CT right by the path and my family and friends on the hill yelling for me and cheering me on.  Thanks Erik and Aimee for being there too.

As I ran through the balloon arched finish line with a time of 5 hours and 45 seconds, there was no way I was going to do that race again.  Once was defiantly enough.  I hugged Adam and started to cry, so happy to have completed the journey and even more happy to be done.

As I stood in line to get a massage after the race, Jen walked over with my race results, I took fourth in my age group and 31st out of all the woman. 

Oh, now wait one minute…that changes everything.  See ya next year!

Just random thoughts

July 26th, 2007

Did you know if you simply forget about the cat vomit on the floor behind the chair and come back to it three weeks later… it just vacuums right up.

My dad’s cigar smoking buddies have a new nick name for him, Terminal Tom.  They find this just hysterical.

I haven’t had hemorrhoids since KP was born and now I have an entire blackberry patch growing in my anus three days before a 1/2 IRONMAN.

It is the beautiful Minnesota summer days, when I really appreciate being able to stay at home with my kids.

You like whaaaaa?

July 23rd, 2007

Adam and I started dating in Driver’s Ed.  That’s right…stop laughing.  That meant, when we turned 30 (seven years ago) we had already spent half our lives together.  I know…kinda cute, weird, awesome and creepy all at the same time. 

All that said, I think I got the guy pretty much pegged on just about all counts, until this weekend.  This past weekend we had Nana and Papa over for dinner.  I was trying to figure out what to make for a quick dessert with our dozen rotting black bananas and what do I find,  a recipe for Banana Cream Pie.

I personally am not a big fan of Banana Cream Pie, nor is anyone else in my house.  We would never order it and I most certainly would rarely eat it if it was offered, but I had all the ingredients so what was I to do?

And as it comes out of the oven Adam suddenly proclaims his love for Banana Cream Pie.  You what?  YOU…THE MAN I HAVE BEEN WITH FOR ALL THESE YEARS LOVES BANANA CREAM PIE AND I DON‘T KNOW ABOUT IT!

How cool is that?  I still don’t know everything about him.


July 20th, 2007

ALL THREE of my children spent the past week from 9 am to 12 pm at Vacation Bible School.  This break from my wee ones has been fabulous and wonderful and a little taste of what this fall has in store for me with KP going to preschool two mornings a week. 

After their “program” wrapped up we ate a picnic lunch with the group and headed home.   

In the car I asked CT what his favorite part of the week was. His response…“the pizza”.  Then he went on to say, “I don’t get it, all week we have been looking for clues to the “Quest for the Truth” (that’s this years theme) and it’s THE BIBLE.  The bible is not that hard to find!”

Good Luck!

July 20th, 2007

To my oh so mighty friends who are doing amazing things this weekend…

Courtney may you find speed and strength on the 70.3 mile course in California.  We’ll be watching from this end. 

And to The Bickersons who never stop amazing me. 

Iowa, Banana Cream pie, Bloody Marys and The Bickersons.  The Ragbrai wouldn’t be the same if you two didn’t show up for it.  Enjoy your week away and I hope you find libraries along the way to share your wild adventures with us.


08’s Challenge?

July 19th, 2007

Adam came home late from a meeting last week.  As we were catching up on the day’s events he told me of this co-worker of his who use to do marathons (until his knees got shot) and now participates in triathlons and for the fun of it just for a challenge, swims The Minnetonka Challenge.

How wonderfully ridiculous is that? 

Do you know what Bobs are?

July 17th, 2007

I saw an old high school classmate at a Nana’s gathering with all the Grandmother’s and their grandkids and witnessed this woman with her almost three year old twins and her nine month old.  The twins…totally potty trained. 

That’s when the light went on.  I said to myself, let’s do this deal, let’s release me from babydom all together, let’s get big boy on your ass.  Actually, I knew it was time; the kid puts on his own diaper.

So we kicked off two weeks ago and the whole deal has actually gone rather swimmingly. 

During week one KP got a sticker on his potty chart anytime he “tinkled”.  Yes, tinkled is our family term for urinate.  If he got to 20 stamps we got to go to the store and buy his very own underwear.  You see he had been wearing his brother’s old Bob the Builder underwear.  And would you really expect anything else than siblings sharing old underwear from me?

In about three days we set off to the store.  What kind of underwear did he pick?  Sponge Bob.  And now, it doesn’t matter if there are dinos, cars or various Bob’s on the underwear, KP calls all underwear BOBS.   Even mine.

15.2 seconds away from 3rd

July 16th, 2007

What an amazing race and what an amazing head-case I am.

Around 6:15 am the officials made the determination that the amateur athletes could wear their wet-suits.  This one simple little thing made my head spin.  You see if you wear a wet-suit in the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon you would not be able to place in the top three. 

So there it was…was I good enough?  Was today a day I could make top three?  With this level of competition could I make top three?  With a 1/2 Ironman two weeks away, is it even smart to try?  Who the hell am I to think I could ever make top three in only my 6th triathlon?  In only my first full Olympic distance course that had not been shortened? 

In those five to ten minutes I had put so much pressure on myself I could barley breathe and I  had no idea how to proceed. 

That new found inner voice started talking me off the ledge, telling me it was ok and that it would be ok however I placed.  So I heeded those words and decided I can simply do my best…today.  So I took my wet suit, against Jen’s advice, and just swam, biked and ran the best possible race I could.

This was a day that taught me a lot about myself, my racing, my abilities and my ability to hold back just enough to save myself from myself and still be really happy with whatever the outcome. 

 At 37, I think I might just be growing up. And yes…I really was 15.2 seconds away from 3rd place.



Tri Dreams

July 13th, 2007

Every year, right before a big race, I have a triathlon related dream.  These dreams typically include me, the race and something not so good happening during the race.

My dream last year included my bike getting stolen.  This year’s dream also included my bike.  Hmmm, that’s interesting for so many reasons. 

ANYWAY, in last night’s dream, I had mounted my bike and was heading down some street with many other racers beside me.  Suddenly my tires went flat and then started to completely shred into tiny bits until they finally fell completely off my bike rendering me absolutely incapable of finishing the race.

I just love those success story dreams.


July 12th, 2007

Smooch, originally uploaded by sellke.

Happy 37th Babe!