Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Round 2

Starting this afternoon another snow storm is rolling into the area. Between now and Friday night we should end up with at least another foot if not more. Some reports are saying up to 20 inches but I’m sure we won’t get close to that. Not that I wouldn’t mind if we did. It might be a little on the late side but I’ll take the snow anytime.

The last two nights I’ve ended up as a big sweaty heap. (get your minds out of the gutter) First off was yoga which as usual kicked my butt. Usually it’s a good workout but on Monday night I was actually dripping as I was trying to hold some of the balancing positions. I was holding a pose and all of a sudden I hear this drip, drip, drip as the sweat is rolling off my head and hitting my mat. Ok Judy (instructor) you got me, I’m working out, can we stop now? For the love…

Then last night was our team cycle night. I led two spin sessions and was beat afterwards. I went armed with a new mix and workout and the team kicked some butt and pushed through the hard workout. The best part was each person had a partner and they would switch off sprinting through “I’m the Scatman.” (one of the best songs ever…hehe) When they weren’t sprinting they were cheering their partner on. It’s amazing how much easier something seems when you have your own personal cheerleader right next to you.

Tonight the team will be back in the pool well that is if the snow doesn’t keep us off the roads. Train on…

QOTD: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Monday, February 26, 2007


The weekend blast left over a foot of snow in its wake. The range varies depending on your location, but we haven’t had a snow like this in years and it was great. Yes there is the hassle of shoveling, snow blowing, plowing roads and all that but this is the upper Midwest. It suppose to snow a lot and having a foot on the ground should be the norm. This of course has not been the norm since our winters have been so weak. Anyway it’s great to have all the snow and to just seen it fall for a day and a half was pretty sweet.

The storm held off a bit so we were able to get our team run in on Saturday morning without much trouble. There was only a dusting on the ground when we met up as a team. It ended up being a lot of fun and the team seemed to enjoy having a bit of snow on the ground. Maybe it was more a relief that we didn’t have more but no matter we had a good turnout and a good run.

Later in the afternoon Ms. R, Kimmi, and I headed out into the heavy falling snow to get a swim in. I’m not going to say that it was unproductive, but I don’t think our hearts/minds weren’t into doing a real workout. I think we spent more time working on flip turns then actual swimming. Which I think was ok given the nature of the day. With all the snow it was kind of snow day and all about doing what you wanted.

This trend continued on Sunday. Most people around our place were busy trying to dig themselves out from all the snow that had fallen overnight. The sup to our apartment showed up and started blowing out the driveway and sidewalk. Shadoweyes (a couple good pics of Kimmi and Harley) and company helped out. I stayed in with Ms. R and we worked on breakfast. After a loaf of bread, 15 eggs, 1 pound of bacon, hashbrowns, and OJ we were all fit for a food comma. Ahhhh food comma!

The rest of the weekend was pretty much the usual with grocery shopping and washing clothes. I guess there are some things that have to be taken care of even during a snow day. Hopefully the snow will stick around for just a little bit. Nothing like looking out our window and seeing everything covered with a foot of snow. I heart snow….

Friday, February 23, 2007

Little Steps Add Up

Last night Ms. R and I headed down to SafetyBob’s do another spin session. It was a shorter session but it was still time in the saddle. TriSaraTops once told me to spend as much time in the saddle as possible and that’s what I’m doing. It might be for shorter spurts at the moment, but it all adds up at the end. Though maybe next time we should spend more time in the saddle then we did eating pizza. Opps

This weekend we are suppose to get a pretty big storm through the area. Some weather peeps are saying as much as a foot of snow. That would be pretty sweet in my opinion. We haven’t had a snow like that around here is years. The weather may affect our team run tomorrow, but unless it’s like a blizzard out there we’ll probably still run. I think it will be fun to do a snow run and a good workout for the team. Besides we were do for at least one more big storm before winter starts to tail off.

Hope you all have a great weekend. If the storm really takes off I might be sending out an SOS for someone to come shovel me out of my apartment. hehe Until then here are some pictures from our cycle/core session on Tuesday. Later folks…

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


With all that I’m undertaking this season the list of sacrifices I will have to make it quite long. Training and coaching will take me almost completely out of my usual social circle. There will be the hits to the body and my health that comes along with such training. The hours asleep will not be the right ratio for the hours that I’m awake and the energy that I will be expending. The list goes on, but these are known upfront and some are unavoidable. Yes you always strive to negate the effects of training and the things that land on the chopping block, but in the end something will end up there. As much as I’m ok with the sacrifices it will take to make it across the finish line at IMWI.

There is one part that is really hard to swallow, yet there is little I can do about it. That is the sacrifices that others will make on my behalf. This mainly includes the time away from those very close people in my life. Those relationships that will have to learn how to compromise in order continue and thrive. That things will have to evolve enough to support the limited hours in each day. That others will have to do a lot of rearranging of their lives in order for me to be successful. This continues to be a hard pill for me to swallow and it’s one that I’ve procrastinated in taking. Like many endurance athletes I’m a typical control freak, but this time around I have control of even less.

In looking at this situation my efforts can only be applied in a few spots to help ease the affects this season will bring. Overall I can think of one way to ease this frustration that I have with the sacrifices others will make and hopefully theirs as well. That is to honor them with every workout that takes me away from those I’m close to. That I give my best every time I step out the door so that every hour that I’m away will not be wasted. All I can hope for is that my efforts will match what others have sacrificed for me so that when the day is over all parties involved can truly say that it was all worth it. That the sacrifices that everyone has made will have their payoff in September and everyone can share in the finale of this amazing journey.

That is my hope and dream for myself as well as everyone who has a stake in or just watching my Ironman journey. On that note I must say thank you to all…

Monday, February 19, 2007

Soon to be typical?

After finishing a long day at work on Friday I headed down to SafetyBob’s with Ms. R and Kimmi to do some spinning. No going out and having a cocktail or just relaxing on the couch. Nope after a long day it was time to get in the saddle and grind it out. I don’t think anyone, well besides Bob, was 100% excited about spending a Friday night on the trainer, but we managed ok. I brought down “What it Takes” to help pass the time. Overall it was a good session and I was glad we had put the time in. “Money in the bank,” was Bob’s comment afterwards and I had to agree. With work and coaching it’s going to be hard to get all my training in this year. Workouts on Friday night’s are just one of the things that will become pretty typical this season. Oh the joy…

(Our setup in Bob's basement)

(Kimmi, Ms. R, and Me wincing in pain)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Getting Caught Up

Life has taken me out of blogland for the last few days. Here is my attempt to get all caught up in one post. Ok, seat buckles fastened? Let’s go…

Saturday AM: Unfortunately we had to cancel our first team run this past weekend. The temp was still below average and below zero when 8:00 AM rolled around. We try to keep the best interest in our athletes in mind at all times and we figured that sending them home with frostbite would not be a good thing. So I did get one more Saturday morning to stay in bed. As much as I wanted to be out with the team it was nice to stay under the warm covers and head back to dream land.

Saturday PM: Ms. R and I spent the evening celebrating national rip-you-off-day, aka Valentine’s Days. hehe I actually have nothing against the idea behind the Hallmark holiday. I think it’s good to show appreciation and affection to those in your life. I just don’t like the fact of prices being jacked for the occasion. So instead of having to go give blood to send some flowers we took up a show after a nice dinner. Cirque du Soleil was in town and neither of us had seen it before. It was an entertaining show and we had a good time. It was a nice way to spend some time with just the two of us.

Sunday: I did my first double workout of the year. We went for a short run in the morning followed by a swim in the afternoon. The run was absolutely miserable. It was only like 3 miles, but it felt like 10. Nothing felt right and I struggled through most of it. Thankfully the swim went better. We had a group of 4 that ventured to the university in the afternoon. The pool was busy, but we were able to take over a lane for ourselves and proceeded to go long and strong.

Monday: Yoga…Like I need to say that it kicked my butt. It always kicks my butt, but I think its getting better. Hmm…that might be wishful thinking or the instructor is just trying to be nice.

Tuesday: Holy crap the pain. Tuesday is our group cycle night. Til we can get outside we use a spin class studio at a local gym. The problem is that we have a huge team (100+) so we have to schedule people at different times. Between me and the other coach we are leading spinning, running, and core workouts with people on ½ hour shifts. I started with running with our advanced group and then spinning for an hour with two beginner groups. Holy crap was I tired and sore after that. My calf muscles were close to cramping during the last spin session. I could feel them firing on every pedal stroke and I waiting for them to lock up. My voice was shot as well since the mic wasn’t working and I had to yell instructions. Overall everyone did really well and we managed to get over 80 people though a workout or two. If workouts like that don’t shock the body at this point in the season, I don’t know what will.

Wednesday: Happy Valentine’s Day for those of you who are into that sort of thing. Tonight we have our group swim. I’m not sure how my voice is going to fair after last night, but what can you do when you have to coach. Add in all that chlorine and dry air and you’ve got yourself a good old time. So that’s what on tap for tonight. We’ll see how the holiday affects our turnout. We’ll see who the diehards are tonight.

So whether you are working out, off doing who-knows-what with that special someone, doing the group get-together thing (maybe a little anti V-day vibe), or something completely different just make sure it’s what you truly want to be doing on this fine Hallmark holiday night…

Thursday, February 08, 2007

So Worth It

Last night we had our first team swim. He had a huge turnout which was great. We’re lucky that we have a pool all to ourselves or else we’d never be able to handle the numbers. The lane lines were not up which made it a bit interesting as people tried to stay out of each other’s way. Overall they all did amazing for their first team swim. It didn’t matter their skill level, everyone participated and seemed to leave with a smile on their faces. Well that is until they went into the really cold locker rooms.

This morning I received an e-mail from one of the teammates who had sent it to the coaches and mentors. It was a great e-mail from a new swimmer who came out last night and gave it her all. She went on to say that this is her first experience in really learning how to do a real swim stroke and how excited she is about this experience. It was great to hear that someone enjoyed the team workout so much and who went the extra mile to send a little thank you e-mail. Hearing that people are coming out and challenging themselves is why I enjoy coaching so much. It’s what makes the time, energy, and effort that we put into the teams so worth it.

Here is a bit from the e-mail, it totally made my day and I’m sure the other coach and mentors feel the same way. So to the sender…Thank You!

Top 10 reasons why you all totally ROCK:

10. i hate (and there are VERY few things i would ever say i 'hate') cold water - and tonight i got in and didn't think twice about it.
9. whether you were there tonight or not, you're giving your time to be there to encourage, teach and support us.
8. you had smiles on your faces the entire night.
7. it was COLD in that pool, and you guys spent extra time in there to help us learn.
6. not only do you laugh at each laugh with each other.
5. you must have gotten kicked 100 times, and you were still smiling at the end of the night! (maybe that was because you were finally able to get out of the pool?? ;)
4. we met new people - thank you, mike, for throwing the "who's one person you've met so far?" question out early in the evening. up until that point, i'm pretty positive we were all focusing more on the mechanicals of the downhill than on the people we were bumping into along the way.
3. my lats actually are kinda sore...
2. amidst dodging flying tennis balls, we learned how much of a team YOU all are.
1. i caught glimpses all night of people learning new things...and was giddy-excited at the thought of how we'll all share in those moments with each other over the next 6 months...making the celebration at the finish line that much sweeter.

One final note...For the few mentors who actually visit my site, thank you for all you help last night. The water was cold and you all stuck it out to help our beginners after your own workout and we really appreciate all your help. Mentors rock!

Monday, February 05, 2007

3 Items

For those who don’t live in the Midwest we are currently suffering from some rather cold temperatures. For the past few days, yes I did say days, it has not warmed up to even 0 °F. So needless to say we are in a bit of a frosty weather pattern. They are saying that temps should reach above zero sometime tomorrow. It that’s the case it will be a freaking heat wave around these parts.

This past Saturday we had our TNT Kick-off party. Overall it went really well and we had a good turnout. We also had a good number of people join that day which is always nice. We’re still are hoping to recruit a few more people before the end of February. I think we will have a great tri team this year. We seem to have a good mix of ages and abilities. This will challenge us as coaches, but usually leads to a closer knit team. I also had an unexpected blogger meet-up when Firefly showed up to support the summer teams.

Finally when Sunday rolled around I had one goal and that was to get in the water. Thankfully I had Ms. R and another friend who both wanted to swim. The three of us made the trip over to the university center to get some pool time in. It wasn’t always “long and strong” as my friends Rocko, a former colligate swimmer, says your stroke should be, but we managed a decent swim. I was just relieved to get in the water after my issues last week. Next time I’ll just take Trimama’s advice and go cut a whole in the ice when the pools are not available.

That’s in from the frosty North…

Friday, February 02, 2007

Shutout Again

Ok so apparently I’ve really pissed off Poseidon because last night was another bust on the swimming front. I went to the new gym last night to finally get a swim in. Of course I get there and there is a sign on the pool door saying it’s closed and they are sorry for any inconvenience. Are you kidding? What is it going to take for me to get into the water? Anyway I wasn’t too happy to find that out and I didn’t have any other workout clothes with me, so it was back home again with no workout to speak of. I was temped to run when I got home but with the thermometer reading 1°F. I decided that it might not be the best idea. It was already dark and the temp would be falling. I’ll put off getting frostbite for another day.

Tomorrow is the kickoff to our TNT summer season. I’ll looking forward to the kickoff and meeting the new team. Plus it will be fun to see those who are returning, but that I haven’t seen since the summer. Beyond the kick off and hopefully a workout or two it should be a pretty laid back weekend. This is exactly how I’d prefer my last “free” weekend be. After this weekend the season will be on and there will be no sleeping in on Saturday mornings for at least the next 6-9 months. Man I’m going to miss sleeping in.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Breaks

Last night after work the plan was to run some errands and then head to the pool. The errands included signing up for a new gym membership. I need a new place to swim since the pool I swim at a lot is being shut down for months while they put in new pool. The new pool will be really sweet, but this was not good timing for me. Anyway after filling all the paper work and getting my membership card I was all set. Now this new gym has many locations, but not all have pools so I wasn’t able to just swim there. Even though I’m running a little late I head over to the university to use their nice aquatic facility. I finally get there, get changed and I’m sitting at edge of the pool wetting my goggles when something falls out of my hands. I look down to see that my goggles are now in two pieces. WTF! The nosepiece of my goggles had ripped it two. Noooooooooooooooo Are you kidding me? What? Why? Come on give me a break! Needless to say I was not a happy camper. I knew that I didn’t have a spare with me. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr So I stood up and went back to the locker room to change back into my clothes. I stomped back to my car and went home. I couldn’t believe it after all the time running around and then being good and going to swim even if I couldn’t be there that long and then my goggles break. Just so wrong!

Ok my rant is over. I guess I’ll keep trying on this whole swim thing cause for whatever reason something comes up whenever I make the effort to get in the water. I must have pissed off Poseidon or something…