Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Perfect Weekend

I'm a couple days late, but I just have to post that I had the best weekend ever.

Friday after work, (those of you who haven't read lately, I did get the job at Coke and finished my second [great] week there, so when I say after work that's because I have a job now...) I met Susan, Lori, and Carla at Medina Country Club for a quick drink. We all used to run together a couple times a week, we've taken the winter off, and now I can only hope I ever get to run with my girls again! But we had a nice toast and it was great to see them! 

Yes, what you see in the picture is correct -- Susan has pulled out prescription drugs to be washed down with a dirty martini. 
Please don't try this at home. 

Anyway, after a while, Bob dropped off Ally at the club so we could have a little mother-daughter dinner. Amazing how when you only have one kid at a time, there is no fighting, and just lots of talking and bonding. I love her.

Then on Saturday I got up early early and ran just under 21 miles with my good friend UltraGuy. We began in chilly darkness under the stars, then listened as the first birds woke up, and kept running as the sun rose and our world come alive. It was awesome! The miles wore on, as we knew they would, but we were prepared with our iPods. I'd loaded his favorite running playlist, and he'd loaded mine, so we listened song-by-song to each other's faves for the last couple of hours. We went nice and slow and took stretching breaks, and a gas station break and wound up averaging 10:20's. I played with the kids a while, then at night headed over to my good friend Jill's house for a runner/triathlete party. I love you guys! Thanks Jill!

Here I am with IronLaura...

... and Renee and Russ and Dana and Paul... all of us "Puke-and-Rally" teammates from the Colorado Relay...

Then on Sunday morning, Bob and the kids and I met Laura and Greg at church (and you all know how much I LOVE Pastor Dan - feel free to download this week's sermon - just click on the MEDIA tab, then the AUDIO tab, then the date March 29).

And that night Laura, Greg, Bobby, Ally and I headed down to the Excel Center to see Chris Tomlin  -- it was a great concert! Honestly, there is no greater joy in my life than watching my children rock out to great Christian music, praising their God.

The one thing I didn't do this weekend was laundry. Better get on that...

Saturday, March 21, 2009


IronNick, UltraGuy and I did a nice 17 miler this morning - resting up for next weekend's 20 miler. It was beautiful out today - just a touch of frost on the ground when we started at 7:00, and definitely over 35 degrees by the time we finished. Here are our splits:

1- 9:58
2 - 9:38
3 - 9:33
4 - 9:32
5 - 9:19
6 - 9:17
7 - 9:20
8 - 9:53
9 - 10:21
10 - 9:43
11 - 10:15
12 - 9:50
13 - 9:46
14 - 9:37
15 - 10:20
16 - 12:01
17 - 10:34

Our splits were very steady, but we did take a couple of breaks to stretch UltraGuy's ache-y butt. Well, he calls it his paraformis (or pair-of-aces?) but it still just means ache-y butt to me. I think he was just trying to impress Nick and me with his knowledge of Latin in the early, early hours of dawn. ;-) But anyway, he's got lots of ultra stuff on his race calendar and there is no gain in inflaming that nerve or muscle early in the season. I hope you feel better buddy - Holly and I are counting on you getting us up Moose Mountain for our own first ultras later this season, so take care of your butt!

The kids and Bob and I are now heading over to Dia and Jen's house for a tri club party - I'll bring my camera. I will post some pics, and hopefully get some cookies made to send to Robert along with another group card. We all miss you so much, friend! Thirty six days down, only 329 to go. I hope you know we are thinking of you everyday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Week in review

Well, I started at Coke this week - and I love it! They gave me a sweet office with windows and even said I can decorate it -- I wonder if they know what I do for a hobby?!?! In a week there will be custom draperies, wainscoting, a lovely floor lamp and reading chair, a hand-knotted persian rug, maybe a tapestry for the wall behind my desk... ;-)

Everyone is really nice - from the drivers to the manager of the whole bottling facility. Who, by the way, told me yesterday that Dasani is the hydration sponsor for the Stillwater Marathon on May 24th. He said he was running it and asked me to run it with with him, so of course I said sure. ;-) So now I have seven marathons between May and November... and one of those is a 50-mile ultra and another is in an Ironman -- my running legs will be is top shape!

Tomorrow I run 17 or 18 with the LTF Running Club - and maybe Trimama will join us at some point. It got cold again, so I either have to start spinning again, or bundle up. 

I'll try to remember to bring my Garmin tomorrow so I can post splits. Hope you are all enjoying the change of season - hopefully it will change here, too, soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Training update

Today Nick, Terri, Erin and I did our long run. I ended up going a bit extra and did 20 miles at about 9:40's. I'm glad to have that first long run under my belt as I've got all long races left for the year. I felt great the whole run, but my calves are screaming because....

On Thursday night I did Johnnie Jensen's spin workout - it's inSANE. It was two hours long, a wattage based class with steady holding drills at 250 watts, high gear sprints from a dead stop (like large chain ring in front - I ride a 55 tooth - and 12 in back) - get to 250 watts and then hold the wattage for 10 seconds, then brake to stop and do it again... for eight minute sets. The sweat was dripping off my EVERYTHING -- ping, ping, ping, ping. Every half hour we'd dismount and take a race-transition speed "break" by running the stairs - two flights per lap, 20 laps... not just running, but HOPPING on two feet all the way up two flights, running down; then two laps lunge-walking every-other-step, then running back down. Twenty. Laps. Then back to the bikes for more wattage work. We did 60 stair laps, then  for our last "break" we did lunges up and down the hallway. I'm guessing it was at least 72 lunges. And then back on the bikes. It was CRAZY. 

Which is why I can't wait to go back next week.

But the hopping of the stairwell left my calves really tight, so after running 20 today, I think my legs are screaming for a break.

But it's going to be 60 degrees tomorrow so Terri and I (and maybe Erin) are going to get at least an hour on our bikes outside. Nick -- I'll call you in the morning -- Vamanos!!

On a sad note, Amanda the lamb died at the age of one week. Apparently her mom abandoned her because something was indeed wrong with her. On the 6th day, she stopped eating, and the vet put her to sleep on the 7th. What a short life for such a sweet girl. But she got a lot of love and attention from all her people friends, and she sure gave a lot of love to us. Rest in peace, sweet Amanda.

Bobby had his final game today for basketball. They ended up in fourth place overall, and they lost to Heritage's team (Bobby plays for our church, not for his school, Heritage). So he played against a bunch of 5th graders in his class. It was a close game that we lost by only two points. Bobby said that while it would have been awesome to win, it was better to lose to a bunch of friends than to lose to a bunch of jerks. 

He's right. And it was fun cheering for both teams at the game!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Amanda and Coke

Meet Amanda - she's three days old! She's a little lamb that Jenn rescued after her mother rejected her. She'll be going to live on Jenn's parents' farm tomorrow. She's adorable! The kids got to bottle feed her and it was so cool! She's so sweet. (So is the lamb.) 
She's wearing a diaper. (the lamb.) ;-)

Nick, you are such a natural with that bottle - te-he-he.

IronLaura, Ally, Bobby and Amanda-the-Lamb. Isn't she adorable?

... of course what night would be complete without a little RockBand? Here are Bobby, Ally, and Tony trying not to get boo'ed off the stage...

And finally - finally! -- Yes, I did get the position at Coke! It is official as soon as I pass the drug test and the background check, which are next week. But Dan (my boss's boss) called today to let me know so that I didn't have to go through the weekend without having heard from him. Good thing I don't have any felonies on my record.


7:00 a.m. running the downtown lakes - starting at Calhoun Executive Center - be there!!

Dad's 80th Birthday

Last weekend the kids and I went to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday. All four of us kids were there, along with 4 of their grandkids and one grandkid-in-law and one significant other. It was nice to see everyone since we rarely get together all at once.

This is my mom, brother Rick, Dad, sister Katie in the back row, and in front is my brother Dave, and Bobby and Ally and Chubs the boxer.

This is at the restaurant - Bobby and Ally are being tempted and spoiled with [virgin] hurricanes. My parents are both from New Orleans.

This is my brother Rick, my mom, me, my dad (notice he is standing up - he had a stroke three years ago but he can get out of his wheelchair now and took a few steps for us), and Bobby, Ally, and my little brother Dave.

This is my mom - after chowing at dinner the night before, we also had brunch at my niece's house on Sunday.

Dave, me and Bobby.

Back in Minneapolis, I burned off some of those calories with a kitchen spin. Here are me, Nick, Dia, Laura and Erik rocking out to the hip tunes of Coach Troy. (not! don't you wish we could plug our own music onto his DVD's -- it's horrible, horrible music!)

... and then everybody left. If you're not spinning all winter long in Minnesota, you will rue those first spring rides. This is a great way to keep your "bike legs," AND stay in touch with your buddies. I love my training group. You guys make it fun and make it all worthwhile! xoxoxox

On a final note, I did my 17 miler this week (averaged 9:25's), followed by about 8 miles (recovery) the next day, so my running legs are getting in shape too. T-minus 64 days to Fargo Marathon!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


What motivates you? Sometimes it's a friendly challenge. Not that anybody could ever accuse me of smack-talkin' my teammates, but Darren Olsen there's no way, no WAY you can beat me on the swim contest. Better luck tomorrow catching up, dude. I put in 3100 yards today of quality... and I mean QUALITY strokes. My face was read for at least two hours afterward. See you at the spin tonight. That'll be me in the front row. As in, just ahead of you. ;-)

Sometimes we are motivated by music. Below is my latest Running Music Playlist. It is about an hour long. Feel free to download all or part of it - but if you load up the whole list, I promise these tunes will have you rocking your cadence and posting splits that are spot on. Plus, I personally guarantee that you will feel like a million bucks afterward. 


1 - Since U Been Gone -- Kelly Clarkson
2 - Something Beautiful -- Newsboys
3 -  In Wonder -- Newsboys
4 - The Mission -- Newsboys
5 - I am Free -- Newsboys (THE best running song ever recorded, BTW)
6 - Give you Glory -- Jeremy Camp
7 - Made to Love -- tobyMac
8 - I'm for You -- tobyMac
9 - Ignition -- tobyMac (place this song where you need to really be jump-started)
10 - Gone -- Kelly Clarkson
11 - Coming up to Breathe -- Mercy Me
12 - Behind these hazel eyes -- Kelly Clarkson
13 - Your Love is Better than Life -- Newsboys
14 - Testify to Love -- Avalon
15 - Keep on Shinin' - Third Day
16 -- Lose My Soul -- tobyMac