Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Friends are family you make for yourself

Just a few thoughts about the rest of the holiday weekend. I have a great family-in-law that is alot of fun. I am lucky to have many friends and acquiantences through work and training. I am happiest when there are 8+ kids from the neighborhood eating pb&j's at our table for lunch and the house is a mess. However....I live 500 miles from my family (which is small to begin with) and most of my closest friends. So my limited time with them is something I look forward to and treasure. This weekend one of my dearest friends PJ came to visit with her awesome family. My heart is always lighter when I'm around her. Her oldest tells the best stories, her middle has the best smile and her youngest....well, she's just the best. Her husband is great company and a great dad and lets us go do girl stuff without complaining. Some of the things Candi and Brandi got to do:
*watched our kids swim
*fed the goats at Grant's Farm
*sample some sort of new malted strawberry/cranberry adult beverages
*SHOP - PJ is a power shopper :)
*Cheesecake Factory for dessert
*10K run (scoffed at the 80degree heat and humidity and laughed at the puker and sweaty guys)
*got some sun at the pool
*Cardinals game....Pujols hit a 3 run homer and Dan caught a foul ball that bounced off the upper deck
*saw the Arch
*Ted Drews custard

All in all it was a fabulous weekend. I hope the gods of weather, friendship and family shined on everyone this weekend.

You Back off Beaverhausen!!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

What a great weekend. The kind when things get tough and you need to remember something good to get you out of the slump. This was one of those.

First, Saturday morning is training day. Hot. Humid. Like stand around and sweat humid. Key word: hydrate. Two water bottles...for an hour ride-check. Arrive just as swimmers are regrouping for the bike ride. Decision to ride 15mile race course made by about 6 of us....8 or so to head out for the 28mile loop. Map? One street markings - check. Consensus on route to check. Somehow, I end up with the map...therefore I have been elected to NOT get us lost on a hilly course on a morning that feels like we're riding in a blast furnace. I do my best but can you guess where this is going? Yup I missed a turn. Ended up riding an extra 7 or so miles (translates into about an extra 30 min ride with the hills). I'm thinking I'm probably not making any friends. Everyone's water bottles are empty. But, I am once again reminded why this is such a great sport. No whining.....just a little ribbing about what a great workout we got in. Off the bikes, hit the trails for a 20 minute run. Not going fast enough to get lost this time so I'm safe. Fantasizing about the HUGE fountain diet coke (not a good recovery drink btw) I'm stopping for on the way home. Next weekend I'm actually going to get wet....first open water swimming since I was a kid. I love the water but lakes/rivers/oceans still give me the heebie-jeebies. Should be interesting. The picture is Alpine Lake....swim is across the lake and back.
My goals this week are to continue to adapt to the heat which means slower paces and since I"m not breaking any speed records, that means longer workouts. It's summer in St. Louie!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thank You Soldiers for your sacrifice

I'm cheating, using someone else's words. I admit that there is alot that's wrong in this country, but I am still thankful I was born here and live here and Monday I remember all who have served. I will be sitting within shouting distance of home plate at the new Cardinals stadium singing the national anthem....and I am thankful that I don't have to worry (much) about the place being blown to smithereens.

A Veteran Died Today(Author Unknown)
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done.
In his exploits with his buddies, they were heroes, everyone.
And 'tho sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a Veteran died today.
No he won't be mourned by many, just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family, quietly going on his way;
And the world won't note his passing 'tho a Veteran died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
The politician's stipend and the style in which he lives,
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary Veteran, who has offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps a pension small.
It's so easy to forget them, for it is so long ago,
That our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys, went to battle, but we know.
It was not the politicians and their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us our freedom that our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out, with his ever waffling stand?
Or would you want a Veteran, who has sworn to defend,
His home, his kin and Country, and would fight until the end?
He was just a common Veteran and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us, we may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the Military's part,
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor, while he's here to hear the praise,
Than at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline, in the paper that might say,

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.

Feeling uninspired today. I don't know how to tell if anyone if following this earthshattering blog but for anyone keeping track I did do my ride last night. I was a little shy of 19mph.....17.7 to be exact. I ventured out solo again....there are packs of riders that form pelotons and pace lines but I didn't feel like asking to join anyone and I didn't recognize any ladies from last year (the boys are mostly hard core and snobs). With winds 10-15mph that means no one to draft with and therefore save the legs a bit. good workout this way though. Head down, legs pumpin. Spitting out bugs.
Tuesdays I sit in a windowless office all day. Torturefest. Not good for the spirit. Only a few more minutes. The PMS isn't helping.

Monday, May 22, 2006

"What would you do if you knew you would not fail?"

Well, I have to brag a little on my best girls. They got up at the crack of dawn and ran another 13.1 miles (or 13.42 depending on who you ask ;) ). And they ran FAST. So fast they would have left me in the dust. They all got personal PR's (personal records). All this leading up to their first full marathon this October 1. They might give me credit for getting them started but they are getting themselves to the start AND finish lines their own strong selves. A lot of hard effort and time goes into getting to the starting line.....and alot of inner stregnth and motivation gets them to the finish line. This time the finish line was in Lambeau Field. I hate that I missed it but was there in spirit sending my GIRL POWER! Go BOB!! You make me proud to know you.

Tonight I play on my bike with a group of about 100 roadies for a flat 26 miles. I hope to up my ave mph to about 19. And I have a new jersey that is very cool. Gotta look good to feel good :). Share the road!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"The miracle isn't that I finished, it's that I had the courage to start!" -J. Bingham

I've been reading about the nutrition aspects of effective training and keep gravitating to the news that chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. Amen!!!! I just gave it a try....we'll see how long it takes for my superpowers to return. I think I'll make this little diary a bit of a training log as well, because to be honest, I don't have all that much to say. But as is common behavior of tri-geek, I can always talk about my training (or my bike)!!! This morning I had the pleasure of heading out to HILLY Innsbrook for a little bike/run brick. Was a beautiful morning and I was solo on this particular morning. Spent about 50minutes on the bike....mostly in granny gear spinning up some big hills. But what comes up, must come down and that's the fun part. The force of gravity exerted upon my significant mass allows me to exceed those limits with little effort on the downhill. (fun!!!) The sun came out as I was changing into my running shoes and after 30 minutes up and down some more hills, I headed home. All this in preparation for a race on June 10th including my first open water swim.
My goal with these "races" is to "finish on my feet". I'll never win any races or even come close. But I truely love pushing my muscles and mind to see how far they will take me. It is my play time. Swimming, riding and running remind me of being a kid. And there are all shapes and sizes and every single person out on the course on any particular day is happy and smiling just to be there. It's contagious! As adults, we rarely hear, "great job, good effort, hang in there", or my favorite, "looking good!" (because I know for a fact that when I'm tired and hot I look like HELL). But I guarantee if you have a race number pinned to your chest you'll hear all kinds of encouragement. Give it a try....dare ya. Oh, and there's always free food at the finish...and sometimes beer. Another good recovery drink.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Life Is Short

Working in the medical field I am reminded every day to never take health or life for granted. Living in the moment is something that I struggle with but try very hard to do. My lovely 5 year old has it down is short-be sparkly and wear lots of blue eyeshadow!

Change, when it comes, cracks everything open. -Dorothy Allison

Ok Burt and whoever. Here I am. I don't know if I'll have anything for ya but check back and I'll see what I can come up with.