Monday, January 14, 2008

Phoenix Rock-n-Roll Marathon

Well, Blogger doesn't seem to want to let me move my pictures or text around the page, so you are getting my race report backwards. (!!??) Has anybody else ever had that happen??? Anway, here is the weekend in reverse.

Here is sunset over Phoenix on Sunday. We climbed up Camelback Mountain after the marathon - it is a really technical climb requiring 4 points of contact a lot of the way, but so much fun to scramble over all those boulders to the top. But we made it and the sunset was awesome. It gets dark really fast, so we were stupidly descending in the dark much of the way. Still awesome, though.

This is me breaking a full sweat climbing up.

This is Erin and Sarah (Laura's sister) after the race. Erin PR'd and ran a 3:56. She and Lana ran together from start to finish! I got a 4:18, which I am happy with. Not my best; not my worst - right in the middle. After the finish I got to meet TriDogmom and IronShane! They have the cutest dogs and I let them have my popcicle. ;-) I can't believe I didn't take their picture seeing that I had my camera in my hand. Told ya I get stupid when I exercise.

This is me around mile 15 showing that I liked this band the best.

This is me getting smoked by TriDummy around mile 1. He started off so fast!!!

Here are Mark (my training buddy from home), Erin, Lana, and Sarah freezing while waiting for the gun to go off. It would turn out to be a beautiful day for running. It was Mark's first marathon and he was strong and cheerful the whole way. I lost him around mile 22 as I started getting a lot of phone calls - thankfully - because I was getting tired and wanted to walk a little. My last 3 or 4 miles were 11:05 pace! Thanks for calling everybody - that was relief.

Me and Lana before the start. No nerves!

Trimama, her friend Laura, TriDummy, Lana, Hugo, me and Sarah.

Erin has success before the start! Phew!!!!!

The blogger dinner at Macaroni Grill.

Trimama and Lana.

Sarah, IronGreg, and IrongirlNyhus at dinner.

Me and Commodore! It's been way too long, buddy. It was great seeing you, Carol and mighty Mo. Comm PR'd the half marathon with something crazy like a 1:46.

And I finally met Momo! Love, love, love her - how can you not? And Frankie is adorable and funny.

Trimama, IrongirlNyhus, me, Commodore and Lana.

It was so great to see so many bloggers out there! Afterward our races, DV joined us as our friend's house where we were staying and we made dinner and played poker. With pumpkin seeds as chips. Which kept getting eaten. DV ran the half and then jumped in his car to drive to the Grand Canyon - check out his pictures - they are great.

IrongirlNyhus, IronGreg, Erin and I had a great trip and had such a blast seeing Comm, Lana, Trimama, and their friends and family.
So that's the backwards report - Has anyone else had the problem where you can highlight but not drag that info to another place? Anyway, you get the picture - it was fun.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


What I've learned so far:
1). That I eat most of my calories in the form of snacks - that I'm not a big eater of "meals".
2). That I eat between 2500 and 2900 caolories a day.
3). That a lot of calories come from my kids' crusts, and from "popping" things in my mouth without thinking about it. For example, while making a healthy 1/2 sandwich, I will "pop" one slice of cheese and one slice of turkey in my mouth while making it.
4). That I burn between 500 and 1200 calories per day.
5). That what I consider a "portion" is actually twice the size of the manufacturer's portion size (i.e. cereal!)
6). That the weight I gained in the fall when I was struggling with my heart and therefore not exercising at all, can be attributed to the 1000 calorie excess I was eating and not exercising away. I've kept that weight on with holiday junk (but tasty!) food and alcohol at parties during the holidays.

So, what I need to do to lose those 10 pounds is to cut out the mindless "popping" of food into my mouth, quit drinking (well, maybe except at the after party at the marathon this weekend), and toss out all the leftover holiday candy, including what's left in the box of See's Candies. I can't eat even the "but it's my favorite" junk.

I'll re-post about every week or so on this topic. I need to be 155 lbs to race and not feel like I'm lugging too much of myself along.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Little grammar lesson

Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

The winners are:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

12. Karmageddon: It's when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes, and it's a serious bummer.

13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

14. Glibido: All talk and no action.

15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem sm arter when they come at you rapidly.

16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

18. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

I laughed my arse off especially at #2, #3, #8, and #17!!!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Balmy day here in Minneapolis

It's 46 degrees here and awesome, so Terri and I ran the lakes downtown today. It was so nice to be able to take our gloves off and not have our fingers turn black and fall off from frostbite.
We were slow, though. Terri has the excuse that she hasn't run 10 miles since Zurich Ironman (June), but I have no such excuse. My excuse for being slow is that I have gained weight. Like 10 pounds. As of this morning I am 165 pounds of holiday drinking and eating everything in sight (which actually started before the holidays). I wonder if I can lose that before the Phoenix Rock-n-Roll marathon on Sunday. ;-) My heart rate wasn't really high or anything, there is just more of me to lug along and it's slow-going. Arghhhh. I started a food journal today. I've never been much of a dieter so this in itself is depressing.

The kids go back to school tomorrow, which is kind of sad, too. I loved having them around, and we had a really great vacation in Hawaii, and we have snow forts and snowmen in the front yard, and Bobby even tried cross-country skiing. But tomorrow it's back to the old schedule. The dreadmill of the school year. Arghhhh.

On the bright side, I will at least be able to get the house in shape. There is junk everywhere. All the Christmas stuff is still up, and the kids drop all their toys or books or papers or plates - really everything - just laying around for me to pick up. All that little miscellaneous stuff from the pockets of everybody's luggage and carry-ons is laying around, too. I think that may be why I'm in such a bad mood today. The clutter brings me down. In a couple days (like by tomorrow 3pm) hopefully everything will be picked up and put away and I'll perk up. If I've lost the 10 pounds by tomorrow that should help, too.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008


After two vacations in Hawaii during whale season, I finally spotted the gentle giants! At the end of the day, as the kids were heading back into the water near sunset for more snorkeling, there it was. The plume of mist shooting up into the air. Then a black body, then tail. There were probably four whales together, and yes, I was quite far away, but they were surfacing and motoring around the island. I've never seen this. And I've even paid big bucks to be taken out on one of those "whale sighting excursions". Yea!!! I've always wanted to see this!
Anyway, first the kids swam in the hotel pool for a while. Here are Bob and Bobby by a little waterfall between pools.

Then we drove over to Waimea Canyon and Ko'kee State Park to hike to the falls. It was about a four hour hike and very beautiful, but also quite different from the Na'Pali hike. The kids loved the jungle. My calves are very tight.
While we were at the Waimea official "Lookout", a rainbow appeared inside the canyon:

Family pic:

But we were here to hike it, so we found the trailhead and began. Here is me with the kids probably getting a little too close to the edge:
We hiked about two hours to get here. On the way up, we met an Ottwa/Ojibwe Indian named Two Dogs, whom we hiked with for a while - super interesting guy. Anyway, he brought a drum with him and sang songs at the top of the canyon, and told us about them and what they meant. He also told us that Minnesota actually means "The Creator playing tricks with you". Makes sense considering that with all the lakes, you constantly have to drive around them whenever you are trying to get someplace.
He also said that a couple of elders in his tribe has passed away in the last year and he was singing for them. How cool was this.
Tomorrow our flight is at 11:30 p.m., so we have one more full day...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends... you guys were such a beautiful source of inspiration, humor, friendship and comaraderie in 2007. Thank you. I've enjoyed meeting all of you, and look forward to the trips I have planned in 2008 with many of you. Bring on CDA, Vineman, Orca's Island, Ice Age Ultra, Phoenix R-n-R, Florida al. Blogging has really made the triathlon world smaller, and you are all such special people to me.

Here's a recap of yesterday on beautiful Kaua'i.

I went running just before dawn for about 8 miles. It was cloudy and cool-ish, and it rained a few times on the way inland. But after I turned around and headed back to the beach, the sun came out and there was a huge double rainbow behind me. I was starting to wonder why so many cars were stopping to take pictures until I realized the rainbow was their subject, not me. (tee-hee)

I showered, and we all headed out to the northwest shore. Here are Bobby and Ally at the trailhead for the hike. Notice how nice and clean and white their clothes are.

We hiked 4 1/2 hours through thick and very slippery clay-mud. The kids never complained, I was so impressed! It rained on and off all day. We all made it to "the beach", and then up another trail to the pointy cliff, then turned around. Too bad my Garmin battery is shot - it would have been fun to see how far and how high we climbed.

It was a trip that had its dangers. First, Bobby was totally in his adventurous element and took off. I mean, he was so far ahead of us we had no idea where he was. So the first hour was spent with Bob, Ally and me pressing on as fast as we could trying to find him and be assured he hadn't fallen off - it was extremely slippery and he was obviously traveling quite fast. We finally caught him, and he was muddy but fine and was actually really sorry when he saw how worried we were. After we re-grouped and set off again, Bob slipped in mud and Bobby yelled, "Dad fell!". I turned around and saw his feet pointed upward, his head out of sight, but obviously he was hanging upside down, on his back, off the cliff, and he was clutching brush. Thank God for the brush. Those of you who have hiked this trail know what I mean!

We had to cross the "stream" (which rushes across lava rocks just before it dumps into the ocean) to get to the beach. On the way over, it was about thigh high on me, so I put Ally on my back and made my way across. Bobby and Bob crossed holding hands. After hiking to the pointy cliff and back, the water from all the rain had risen to about waist-high on me. I was holding onto Ally for dear life (hers) and was losing her. A couple of big guys on the shore rushed in and grabbed her from me and I made my way over. The look on Bobby's eyes were something I won't soon forget.

All ended well, but I kept playing it all over and over in my head and had a hard time falling asleep last night. The kids had a blast, and Bob and I did, too, so I'll just focus on that and the fact that everybody is still here! Check out the mud - the kids painted warrior stripes on their faces.

After the hike, we swam in the beach at the trailhead to rinse off. There were more tropical fish to watch, so I was of course the bad guy when I dragged them out of the water. We are staying on the south side of the island (Poipu), so we had about an hours drive in wet clothes. We were soaked and starving, but the absolute splendor of that hike is so worth it.
There were fireworks at the Marriott to ring in the new year, but we were all asleep at 8:00. At least we saw New York ring in the new year... ;-)