Friday, November 24, 2006

A New Tradition

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I am thankful for all of you.

My perfect Thanksgiving Day went like this: my friends Laura and Greg got up to run the Turkey Trot with me (along with over 8,000 others) around the streets of beautiful Minneapolis. If we had run it as a relay, we could have circled the globe. I am so thankful I live here in Minneapolis. This city is so beautiful, with so many fun things to do, and if you don't really love it there is another one, St. Paul, just across the bridge. Each has its own distinct personality.

On the drive home I received a text from my dear friend Mike (far left), just saying that he was thankful for me. I am thankful for him, too. What a crazy and fun friendship we have had! We've traveled to Vegas, Colorado, Chicago and other neat places for marathons, relays... Once he let me watch while he got 12 stitches in his head (playing basketball in a bar in Chicago). And he was there for me when a dear friendship of mine disolved (over my friend's new girlfriend who didn't like that he had a friend that was a girl - even a happily-married-uber-Christian-totally-square-mom-type like me). It made my day that he thought to text me on Thanksgiving morning.

After the run, Laura and I met Trimama, Taconite Boy, Hyphen Girl, and their dog "A" for coffee. As we left we all voiced that we were thankful for each other, which is just really so nice to hear! I get home and check my email, and there is one from Boomer and his wife! (Thanks!! You, too!)

Then while eating dinner with my wonderful immediate and extended family, I got a similar text from Commodore, (thanks buddy!) and so I just had to sit on the couch for a half-hour, texting my friends, too. At each name as I was scrolling down, I got to think of each person; and each one has brought something important to me. (Trimama, I love this picture of us at the start of Ironman Florida... I found it in my phone yesterday while I was busy texting!) Sorry I didn't go people watching (I mean shopping) with you this morning. After your 4 a.m. phone call (thanks for the invite, though!) I laid my still-drunk head back on its pillow.

Life is so great. YOU are all are so great. I feel so Blessed. I hope I didn't miss too many "letters" in the alphabet in my address-book ---- if so I aplogize. But I am indeed thankful for all of you in blog-land.

So this will be my new Thanksgiving Tradition. Now that I figured out the "duplicate" button it won't take quite as long, but I will truly enjoy thinking of you all when I send yours. Thanks everybody for texting back, too. It was so sweet to keep hearing the text bell ring all night as people would discover their text and hit "reply". There sure was a lot of love flying around the satellites yesterday.



Saturday, November 18, 2006

Tri-Night 2006

Last night was the annual end-of-season Awards Banquet in the Twin Cities. The usual Best Performance, Rookie-of-the-Year, and Age-Group awards were presented. This year we also began a new tradition of People's Choice Awards.
Cathy Lee won Most Flats.
Chad Milner won Fastest Flat Changer.
Santi Bromley won Most Gruesome Road Rash.
Laura Nyhus won Most Present Cheerleader.
Dan Cohen won Most in Need of a Map on Rides.
Kris Swarthout won Smelliest Running Shoes.
Brett Lovaas won Pees the Most in his Wetsuit.
I forget who won Most See-Through Bike Shorts, but he won a new pair of Perl Izumi's. (sp?)
I was the winner for the much coveted "Best Road-Trip Roommate", so all of you doing Wildflower with me in May can rest assured that I do not snore, hog the blankets, leave toothpaste in the sink or hair in the shower.

Trimama and TaconiteBoy were at the party so I had a beer with them, and then tried to eat T-Boys dinner.

John Shelp (my x/c ski coach) won our most sincere award "Most Embodies the Spirit of Triathlon" and he was pretty moved by that, and we were all touched by his emotion. He's had a rough, fantastic, beautiful and horrible year with his cancer diagnosis and new baby daughter. I think he and Micki have hit the highest highs and lowest lows in the span of the last 6 months.

It was a really really fun evening full of surprises and hilarious presenters. Plus it's always fun trying to identify your training buddies with nice clothes on, smelling fresh (as in "clean" fresh, not "ripe" fresh), and no sunglasses or sweaty helmet-hair.

Triathlon season is now officially, OFFICIALLY over now. It was a great year for a lot of reasons. Bring on the snow now....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cheaters on the Course

This is a photo my buddy took while at the 70.3 World Championship in Clearwarer FL last weekend. I say we look up their race numers and post them on, just as Paul Huddle suggested (at the Mandatory Race Meeting in Panama City the weekend before. remember that commment? ... and the whole room broke out in cheers and laughter?).
Yet the next day on the bike course at Florida IM, I had never seen so much cheating in any race of any length ever. Seems the drafting issue is getting worse.
On the course at Ironman I passed a girl late in the race. She was still on somebody's wheel, as she had been when she passed me hours earlier. But now I had the tail wind and with my new disk wheel was FLYING. I finally had the chance to ask if she was still planning to call herself "Ironman" tonight even though she cheated all day. OK, after almost 6 hours of watching cheaters, I started speaking up!
This picture at the World Championship tells it all. Comm's also got an article on cheating on his site today, check it out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Where's the snow?

Mid November in Minnesota and not a spec of snow, so I have to get my kids to ride their bikes with me around the neighborhood while I rollerski. It gets dark here by 5pm, so either we do homework OR we go around the block with mom. My hubba got home from deep-sea-fishing this evening so I got him to do their homework.
I am eager for the snow so that I can try out the actual "skiing". I've never done this x/c freestyle thing, so before I go getting confident on the rollerskis, maybe I should find out if they relate/ translate to skiing. The Birkebeiner is only fourteen weeks away. Does anybody know how may miles 51 kilometers is, anyway? Should I be concerned?

Tuesday Night Kitchen Spinning

On Tuesday nights at 6pm we set up our bikes and watch Spinervals DVDs or movies or a few episodes of Futurama.... If we move the furniture into the hall, we can fit fourteen trainers. After spinning last night we cooked dinner and then sat by the firepit and had a beer. Just this one bike session per week over last winter was SO GREAT for our tri season. When we were able to begin biking outside, we didn't have that "My-legs-are-so-out-of-shape" conditioning curve. Plus, we got to see each other all year round.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Me and Bobby

This is me with my son, Bobby. He is sweet and cute and smart and I can't even remember my life before he was born.

Jenny's "Major Award"

This is me getting my plaque for 1st place in the Athena Division.

My time was 11:48:50, by personal best.

Florida Ironman Photos

Trimama, Kahuma, Comm, Robo-Stu, Ironjenny on the Panama City Beach. T-minus 45 hours...

But I can explain...

I don't know why I am posting this picture. Somebody sent it to me and I just cannot stop laughing. He looks to be about 3-stories up on that building. Maybe it's romantic in a desperate sort of way. Anyway, it's sure funny from down here!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ski class update

I bought those roller-skis that you see people using on the park paths all around Minneapolis a few weeks ago. I'm still pretty uncoordinated, but the learning curve is quite steep. After only 7 or 8 training sessions, I didn't fall at all this week! The American Birkebeiner is the race I will attempt - it's Feb 24th, 2007. It's 51 kilometers (30-some-odd miles). I'll be 45 and this will be my first x/c ski event ever.
The legend (as I understand it) is this: the infant King of Norway was about to be killed by his uncle, who was trying to steal the throne. So a group of birkebeiners ("skiers"?) skied in with their swords and shields, rescued the infant, and he became the rightful King of Norway. I have no idea when or if this happened in real history, but 9,000 other believers and I will ski in this infant-king's honor in just 3 months...
To this day, there are Birkebeiner races in several countries all over the world. Several die-hards actually do the whole race on wooden skies, brandishing real swords and shields. They carry fake babies in back-packs most of the race, then switch them for real babies for the last mile or so. After the babies cross the finish line, a giant Norwegian Drunken-fest is launched for the 9,000-odd skiers. That was all I needed to hear. Drunken-anything is a good enough event for me and my pals. We signed up before we actually bought any of the equipment. Which, by the way, is kind of pricey!!!
We don't have any snow yet, but it's only November 11th in Minnesota.... I'd kind of like to see what it's like on skis rather than my roller-skate-skis... but I guess we all have to wait.
My coach, John, has been working with me weekly, and I am gaining both skill and confidence out on the park paths. Just so you know, John has his own struggles. In May he learned of his stage 3.5 of 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He reminds me of Lance Armstrong - he is standing strong and standing down cancer. It is so inspiring just to be around him; I doubt he realizes that. Sometimes I forget he's sick because he looks so "normal". On occasion, he's really tired, but shows up for me at practice anyway. I ran my 20th marathon last month as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He needs a cure, bad. He has two little girls under 3, and a lovely, funny, fun-loving wife.
So those of you following my ski adventure, I ask you to please pray for John. Everytime you read my blog, please pause and mention John to Him.

Friday, November 10, 2006