Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ironman Pillows

Here is Momo's pillow - I love this one! It's white corrugated chenile, dark pink calico cotton, and light pink fake fur. The back is the dark pink. I can't see too many of the guys wanting the little balls around the edges, but heck - as Momo says... "Pink is an Attitude". Momo - send me your address and I'll mail it to you tomorrow. And again - thank you so much for your donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. mmmwwaaaaahh!!!

Hi everybody - OK, I made two pillows so far. They are 20" x 20" and 95% feather/ 5% down. The top one has white corduroy on the front, and muted plaid flannel on the back. The lower one has the same grey flannel on the front, and is all white corduroy on the back. The trim is black cotton "roping".

I decided not to charge a fee for them, but rather just ask that you make a donation to my girlfriend Micki's Team-in-Training site:

Every now and then I blog about my ski coach who is battling follicular lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkins. John is Micki's husband. Please take a look at her site even if you don't want a pillow. The money goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which funnels money into research for a cure as well as patient aid.

But if you DO want a pillow, just let me know after you donated and I will send one out to you. Please specify foam or feathers. If you have any particular colors, details you'd like me to customize yours with, let me know! I have access to zillions of fabrics at the outlet here in town... or if you want to send me your own fabric, I can do that, too. The postage and materials (pillow, trim, fabric, thread & needles - I don't know why but they break a lot) are somewhere around $25, so if you can donate at least that much, it'd be great.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Tagged with a "New" Tag ---

TJ and Momo both tagged me - so here are my responses.

1. Describe a memory from your first triathlon ever.

It was the Manitou Sprint Tri in 2003. I did it on a city-bike with big knobby moutain-bike tires. I remember counting how many people flew by me on the bike and thinking, "good thing I can swim"....

2. Describe a memory from your most recent triathlon.

It was Ironman Florida, just a couple months ago. At body marking I asked the volunteer to write "for Coach John" on my leg. (John is my friend and ski coach - he was diagnosed with stage 3.5 [out of 4] non-Hodgkins lymphoma in May.) I just started bawling as the guy was writing John's name on my leg. TriBoomer, whom I had just met the day before, was there and I told him about my friend and why I wanted to honor him with this race, and so he wrote John's name on a piece of paper and carried it all 140.6 miles. TriBoomer is top drawer. John had told me before I left that if I didn't take a bunch of pictures on the bike and run courses that I could break 12 hours. So I left my camera in my gear bag, prayed for John and hung out with God pretty much all day, and finished in 11:48, which is now my PR.

3. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in a tri?

In my second tri (Lifetime Fitness Olympic Tri, 2003) , I wasn't familiar with the bike rules and was riding "with" some guy almost the whole course. Kind of leap-frogging. As the bike leg was ending, I called out, "thanks! it was fun riding with you"... and he yelled back that I was an idiot and he was turning in my number for a variety of violations (which I now realize I did commit). I ended up being assessed a 2 minute penalty and took 4th place in my age group (would have been 2nd). Now I am a true stickler for the bike rules!

4. What's the most thrilling thing that's happened to you in a tri?

Winning the Athena division at IM Florida in November. Totally unexpected. I had forgotten I even registered Athena. But at 5'9" and 155 I must have figured I may as well since I do qualify by at least 5 pounds... I got a plaque and a nice bag of schwag, and got to get up on stage and hold my plaque over my head with all the other division winners while we got our pictures taken.

5. What is something you discovered about yourself by doing triathlons?

That everybody is here for their own reasons. All the reasons are good ones. And even if nobody understands mine, that's OK.

6. What is The Big Goal that you're working towards?

Living in a way that I think will let God know that I am grateful for all of this.

Check out the latest post from Julia in Italy - and read the article she wrote... awesome! and what an adventure in Italy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Winter Carnival Half marathon and More pillows

Tomorrow morning is the St. Paul Winter Carnival Half Marathon. I will be there with my running buddies. I will toss a snowball or two in honor of all of my TriBlogger friends, and I will (of course) take lots of pictures on the course... ;-)

Today I intended to paint the media room in the basement, but instead I made three more pillows for auction at our school's Spring Gala (annual fundraiser)... they are themed after the school sports teams .... check them out! Only about 10 more to go...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pronunciation is Everything

I had quite a laugh today while reading Nytro's blog. In her race report last week she was over-sharing the way so many runners do about some half-marathon health issues.
I commented on how funny that was and asked if she was going to be posting any pictures of "pussy blisters". I meant that as in "pus-filled", like an adjective, not like a noun. I never use that word as a noun! I hate that word!
Regardless, I now have a visual in my head of what she thought I meant and it's like a joke that won't die. I've been laughing about it for over an hour. I'm still laughing right now!
bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.... ;-)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ski update

I've been putting in my time on the ski trails. This stuff is hard work. I have to admit that I don't really enjoy skiing the way I enjoy running, biking or swimming.
First off, your hands are all tucked away in your mittens which are velcro'ed into your ski poles. So there's no talking on the phone or txt messaging. Even getting a drink is a major hassle of unclipping and retrieving... it all work.

Above is me with a couple Laura and I met on the trails at Baker Park. They are both 72 years old and have ski'ed the Birkebeiner at least 10 times. They've run more than 50 marathons. Most notably, they weren't whining about having to the unnatural things like skiing up hills. Good sturdy Norwegians.

This is how I spend a lot of time out there. I still fall. A lot. Four times in an hour. I am working my butt off out there. Inside of 15 minutes, I am DRENCHED in sweat, and my heart rate hits 171 (my max) every hill. My coach John doesn't let me rest until I get to the top of each one, and then I get an "active recovery" where I have to continue to V1 while my heart rate drops. All I can think of is I wish I could just stop and rest.

This is me with Laura. She's enjoying it more than I am. On this day our goal was to put in two solid hours. The first hour was so hard and boring that we stopped at her car and got her camera and just made videos of ourselves for the second hour. I will hopefully have it up on youtube for viewing on Tuesday.

Afterward we are still smiling. We skied 10.43 miles and did a time trial for a 5k loop, where our pace was 9:04 minutes per mile. We are estimating that we will take about 5 hours to finish (31.7 miles) on race day.
Today I ran long and slow - my favorite kind of run. We had to run through some snowdrifts on the sidewalks, but it was still beautiful. About 15 degrees and sunny. Not a single whining word was uttered. Ahhhhh... back to my old self... at least until tomorrow's long ski at 2:30 p.m... one more month until race day and I can be done with skiing!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Swim Technique and "Ick Factor"

Swimming is all about technique. Spending a lot of time on drills is the best way to smooth out your stroke, and be more fish-like in the water. Some people use an assortment of gadgets like fins and paddles and such. I hear that works, but I usually just do the drills that require no apparati. (is that plural for apparatus?)
Anyway, I had an abbreviated swim this morning because I was on the phone with a friend who was consoling my fuming mind about our school's fundraiser. Here's what I need to vent about.

The Ick Factor

We've been at this school since pre-K for both Bobby and Ally. This is our fifth year; the school opened its doors six years ago. So we've almost been there since the beginning. I've been on the committee for our Spring Gala every year, so I of course volunteered again this year. But it's different this year -- I hate it.

There are several people that are new to Providence that came here from other private schools, and they were on the fundraising committees there. I think they did things differently at their old schools, and I hate that they want us to do it "their" way at "my" school.

Yes, I called it "my" school. I feel that way. Most of the parents feel that way. Even the kids take ownership of the culture here. Each day I walk up that gorgeous sidewalk to that special place and some kid I often don't even know opens the door for me. Kids I do know say, "Hi, Mrs. Moore!" I love the place and I feel like the place loves me.

The founding families - just a handful of people - built this school for us. It was a gift. The generosity around here is mind-blowing. Those founding families don't even know my kids and to look around and see what they have given to US PERSONALLY. I get teary driving up the driveway sometimes. Considering the backgrounds that I and my husband come from - this is just an indescribable gift.... Anyway, the theme of the Gala this year is "We are Family". I love that. I have always felt like family even when I am sitting among some of the wealthiest, most influential parents in the country. One father is one of President Bush's advisors and they talk fiscal policy while flying on Air Force One. Another is #12 in the Forbes Wealthiest Americans list. One founding family owns a winery in Napa - wine you and I drink probably at least once every year. And the guy who invented the bar code system AND that magnetic stip on the back of your hotel room key and credit card? He gave us this place and his kids are here. Big people. Rich people. But if I hadn't been told "who" these people were, I would have never guessed it in a million years. Never once have they made me feel inferior.

But these new people do.

Here's a sampling of what's being discussed in the last three Gala meetings. Try not to hurl if you are wearing anything special:

1). Let's monitor the donated items because we don't want any (insert visual grimace that could only mean "lesser") items. Let's not open it up to just "anything". We want high ticket, good items.

2). Let's hit up X-person (I'm omitting his name because he's a professional sports athlete on a team here in Minneapolis) -- last year he only gave an iPod. He needs to be giving more than that.

3). Last year's idea to have the 4th grade students make a cookbook was a good idea, but c'mon - it had spiral binding. It was unattractive. It only sold for $225. It was our cheapest item of the night. [gasp - since when is $225 for a cookbook not good enough???????]

4). Someone suggested we offer internships to upperclassmen. [awesome idea] Does anyone own a business or know someone who does who'd like to have an unpaid intern shadow them and "work" for them for two weeks. My girlfriend, sitting right next to me in the meeting, said her husband is an oral surgeon, and he'd probably love to show a kid what he does. [he once wired back-together the face of another friend of mine who had an accident and fell on his face, breaking his jaw in several places and chipping out most of his front teeth]. Mean Girl looked at my GF, stared blankly at her, and then turned her head away to the rest of the group and said, I meant, like, A.W. is vice president of a bank that her family started. I think that's the kind of internships we are looking for. [gasp - did Mean Girl just tell my GF that what her hubba does is not good enough? besides, I think watching surgery surely would be at least as interesting as attending fiscal planning meetings and lunches and staring over someone shoulder while they read Excel spreadsheets. But really, how rude was that?]

5). Ticket prices. Some parents don't attend the Gala because the tickets are too expensive. [last year they were $125 per person]. So this year we are sending out a "sliding scale" ticket. You will have the option of paying $50, $100, $200, or $400 per person for the party. [I'm sorry, but if I receive a ticket in the mail that offers me a sliding scale, I will be insulted. I'd expect to see that from a social worker at a womens health clinic in the city, but not on my school's party invite].

So it's the "ick" factor that is just unpallateable for me. I love this place and I know I shouldn't let these Mean Girls change that. But I've never seen people behave this way. It's a level of snobbishness that I think is disgusting. So if the cheapest item last year sold for $225, and they want to change up the assortment so that there is nothing that "cheap", then I and "poor folks" like me won't get to have any fun in the Silent Auction. And that's fun to do! Sorry, Mean Girls, but there are a lot of people - like me - who used to feel good about winning even a $60 item, knowing the money went to our school. The Live Auction items can be as pricey as you want, but leave at least the Silent Auction to the "poor folks"!

So if you've taken the time to read this, and thanks if you have, please offer your suggestion: do I:

a). bail out and quit now, or
b). continue with what I committed to do (sew spirit-themed pillows), and just smile and nod and try to fly under the radar. It's so icky to me that I don't even want my name in the book as being part of the committee.

Monday, January 08, 2007

VO2 Test results and TAGGED

I did my O2 Metabolic Assessment today at Lifetime. My results explain why I never seem to lose any weight when I run a lot, but when I bike a lot I do. Now I get it - I am in a lower (fat-burning) zone when I bike. What I need to add to my workout plan are: 2 x one hour walks, where my heart rate is about 116; and 1 x one hour dreadmill workout where I do a 15 minute warmup, gradually working my way up in 2-minutes increments to my Anaerobic Threshhold at 165 bpm; followed by three sets of 8-minute builds from 116 to 165, which I will hold for 5 minutes, cut immediately, and when I get back down to 116, I start the second 8-minute build to 165.

For those of you who pay attention to these numbers, here they are! Analyze away! I will likely forget them after I hit send. But I did find it interesting and will try to fit the extra hours into my regimen to get in some low-zone time.

Heart Rate Zones
Zone 1 - up to 116 bpm
Zone 2 - 116 - 149
Zone 3 - 149 - 165
Zone 4 - 165 - 182
Zone 5 - 182 +

Recovery Information
After one minute, I dropped from 170 to 138 (32 beats)
After two minutes, I dropped to 114 (56 beats)

VO2 Peak - 55.2
VO2 Peak Heart Rate - 171

The VO2 peak of 55.2 was really good, considering anything over 42 is considered "excellent".

Fitness Level at VO2 Peak Information
VO2 Peak (ml/kg/min) - 55.2
AT (ml/kg/min) - 53.2
Fitness Level (AT%) - 96%

(The goal is to have these two numbers as close together as possible. Mine had a 4% difference)

Fat utilization profile
Zone 1 - 52% fat; 48% carbs
Zone 2 - 50% fat; 50% carbs
Zone 3 - 25% fat; 75% carbs
Zone 4 - 1% fat; 99% carbs
Zone 5 - didn't actually measure - probably 100% carbs

Also, I got tagged by RunBubba Run -

Here's how it goes:
1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

And the nearest book is called What Your First Grader Needs to Know, edited by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.

pg. 123, Sentence 5 - 8:

Because the Epic of Gilgamesh was written down, we can learn a lot from it and about how the people in long-ago Mesopotamia saw the world. It tells us what they admired in a hero, what gods they worshiped, and how they thought the gods wanted them to behave. Like the ancient Egyptians, the Mesopotamian people worshiped many gods.

What????? my first grader knows this????? I learned this in 8th grade. Oh, my.

I am now tagging,, and

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Garmin update

Now I know why I don't lose weight running. In this morning's 10 mile, 1:36:42 run, I only burned 308 calories. My average heart rate was 166. A little zone3, a little more zone 4 and 6.6miles at zone 5.

That sucks! Put me on my bike!!!

Stats for my stationary trainer in my kitchen for a 50 minute ride: 686 calories burned; 645' ascent; 702' descent; average cadence 255 rpm. Now that oughta make Coach Troy proud, but I swear I never pedal faster than 90. I have a 55 tooth big ring that I plod along in. And where did the hills come from? My tiles are totally level in the kitchen, I am SURE.

I didn't set this baby up myself, so what did IronNick do wrong?

Please no comments suggesting that I read the directions... that takes the fun out of the whole thing.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I've been busy...

OK, I feel like I need to explain why I haven't used my new Garmin. In addition to ski training, Ironman training, parenting, being a halfway decent wife, and not skipping lunch with my girlfriends, I've been tiling the kitchen in my basement.
Tons of curves and angles and lots of cutting on the wetsaw outside (I'm in Minnesota - brrrrr). The tiles you see in the photo are sand colored, and even have tiny sparkles like real sand. Where you see the tape will be 1" mosaic tiles made from stained glass. That part will look like overlapping ribbons, kind of like a wave. The glass tiles are teal green/blue, light sea blue, and dark sea blue. I think's it's going to rock once we are finished.
I also had to sew a school-spirit themed pillow to auction off at my kids' school fundraiser in April. The rampant lion and the fringe are belting leather, and the background is crushed velvet. I liked the contrast of dressy and casual in the fabrics I chose. I just need to finish cutting the fringed edges and it'll be ready to turn in tomorrow.

NY Resolution update

OK, so my new year's resolution was to start and keep a training log. I am pleased to report that I have stuck with it for 4 days IN.A.ROW. Which means I have surpassed my success rate of last year's resolution (to actually get up and blow-dry my hair, put together a decent outfit, and wear make-up everyday) which only lasted 3 days. Woo-hoo!

I'm using two logs, actually - an on-line log at and a paper log in my Franklin Planner. (Did I ever mention that I love my Franklin Planner? I do. If I ever lost it I'd probably just kill myself because I wouldn't have any friends and I wouldn't have anything to do).

I hopefully will post my workouts from RunAhead to my sidebar, but first I need Trimama, Taconite Boy or IronNick to come over and show me how. I'm not much of a directions-reader, which could explain why I haven't once used the Garmin 305 that I got for Christmas even though IronNick DID come over and set it up for me already...

In the pool today I decided to time myself for 1000 yards to set a starting point so I can figure out if I actually get faster this year. Not that I really care very much, but now I'm just curious. My three IM splits to date were 1:09, 1:08, and 1:10 -- the 1:10 being Florida a couple months ago and it was so rough out there that the beach was actually closed and one athlete sadly did drown. I am very consistent, and I think I am the same speed year in/ year out whether I train much or not. Anyway, I was right about 16 minutes. That's about a 1:36/100 yards. Which makes me wonder why I am so much slower in open water when I get to wear a wetsuit.

Anyway, when I was a kid I was a great little swimmer. I still have all my ribbons and trophies in a box in the basement. Going through them I discovered that at one race I did a 5:35 for a 500yd freestyle; and at the same meet won a silver medal with a 19:33.6 for a 1650yd freestyle. That was when I was 12. Now I'm 44 and things have slowed down a bit! When we moved from Texas to Connecticut that year I also saved a newspaper article in the sports section that announced my sister and me as the "Texas Tornados" who had just arrived and surprised the Connecticut swimming scene... ahhh... my glory days were peaked out by 7th grade.....

Monday, January 01, 2007

Trip to the American Girl store in Chicago with Ally

We arrived in Chicago, checked in and headed out for dinner. Ally is enjoying a perfect Shirley Temple at the Char House.

We got up the next morning to discover that the American Girl store is directly across the street from the Park Hyatt. Ally just stood in front of the display window and watched the animated dolls "perform". She was so excited to be there, yet she could not rush inside ... she really enjoyed the animated window display. (look, Mom! they're really tap dancing!)
Once inside, Ally selected a doll that looks like herself, and got her a cute outfit (which coincidentally is available in real-girl sizes, too).
We were surprised to learn that, in the store's bathroom, they have doll-holders affixed to the wall so that you can pee without having to put your new doll on the floor. How clever!We went to the Theatre Revue - a live show featuring girls acting out roles and stories from the American Girl books. After that we took a carriage ride that took us over to Lake Michigan and back around downtown.
Ally just looked around, pointed out anything that was particularly cool, and sipped at her vanilla steamer. She kept saying that we should do this again next year.
We shopped some more and then had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe...

...and taxi'ed back to the hotel to get to bed. She and her doll (yeah - those are matching pajamas -- I told you before we even left that I was doomed... it's true!)...

And woke up and had room service... took a bath with candle-light and used up all the sea salts and other spa products that were supplied (!), got dressed (in the same outfit as yesterday! So cute! She loved that outfit, and I was glad she didn't ask for another set of matching outfits for the next day...
We had her doll's hair styled at the doll-salon, got Ally's photo taken with her doll for a magazine cover thing they sell... and shopped some more,

(which resulted in a second AG doll named Elizabeth, and an outfit for her - ouch), and then had lunch before heading back to Minneapolis.

Ally looked so grown up shopping in Chicago...... she's only six, and still so sweet... During the day she passed me a note that said, "I love today". I am SOOOO saving that. I may be "doomed" by the AG girl thing, but like I said before, soon she will be a teenager and will hate me.
This weekend was perfect. I love her so overwhelmingly it makes me want to cry.
Thank you, God.
I love life.
All of it. ;-)

Got my Geek On!

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Went to bed early last night just so I could rest up and be fully prepared for the big event. Upon arrival --- first things first -- liquid bravery.

... followed by the mandatory Athlete Meeting. T-Storms, Trimama, and me.

Jeff and I start the swim. Interestingly enough, we covered the 5 yards in record time. Jeff is wearing a stars-and-stripes man-thong. Okay, now I just have to wonder where he got that sort of thing. We'll have to get the skinny on that in Zurich... maybe we can get him to wear it for the swim there in June. It'll be his first full Ironman ;-) .
T1 Team Photo: T-Storms, me, Jeff, IronDia, Siobhan, and Trimama. Taconite Boy did not jump per doctor's orders, but I think that's his shadow in front. It was cold.
Awhile later we ate some non-New-Year's-Resolution-approved food that Trimama baked herself, and placed a "surprise-a-triathlete" call to IronKahuna. (yeah - we copied that idea from your podcast IK and Wil)!!

Official Team Photo after the finish. That's IronNick in the front with glasses on his head. He told us that he just signed up for Ironman Zurich yesterday. Awesome!! I think we have 22 going now. What a blast that will be. Nick, IronDia and I all did Brazil IM together just this spring, so it will be awesome to do another foreign race with him. He's a great travel buddy - so easy going and fun. Has everybody checked out IronNick's websites? He has two. The first one, highlights where all the races are (world-wide); and gives you all the skinny on the goings-on in the tri world. Check them out!

What a fun way to start the year. Kahuna and Wil - this was a great idea! Can't wait to hear how all the other tri's around the globe went. I doubt we did the longest one, but maybe we did the coldest one?