Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So, as I hunt down things that I can actually eat and avoid the onslaught of temptation (thank you Girl year how about a fruit sale?) I'm continually asking myself....why? Why am I doing this?

And I would like to get all philosophical and idealistic about how its for my health, and athletic performance, and how I'll just feel better about life. What-ever. Lets get real. The only thing that motivates me right now is the idea of needing to buy all new pants.

So I decided to feed that vanity and sweeten the pot. After all, what is challenge without reward? And I'm thinking this reward is going to start with "s" and end with "ahhhhh....". Because quite frankly, I will have earned it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

(get rid of the) Fat Tuesday

I am not religiously obligated to sacrifice during lent, but I've never been one to pass up a challenge. And so it is, that I find myself throwing down a few rules for the next 40 days....

No Refined Sugar
I've done this before and it really made a huge difference. Its kind of a pain because you'd be shocked at how sugar is in EVERYthing, but it forces you to make smarter decisions about what you eat with one simple rule.

No Dairy
They may kick me out of the state for this one, but there's a lot of info out there about dairy and how it affects the body. I'm doing this more as an experiment than anything. I just want to see if I notice a change in how I feel if I do this for a few weeks. 40 days seems like a great little test run.

The 100 Push-up Challenge
Because soon the snow will melt (yes, really it will) and it will be sleeveless-dress and teeny tank-top season again, which means people will be able to see my arms! And aesthetics aside, my wimpy upper body could use a little strength. Join me, won't you. Its a free program. And it looks downright easy. Just for reference, I did the initial challenge and I can do a whopping FIVE push-ups. I'm doing them classic style girlie-girl push-ups. If I'm starting from the beginning I might as well do it right.

Three minutes of abs
....just for fun...and because I'm already on the ground doing push-ups. Might as well add on three minutes of abs. Three different ab exercises for one minute each, every time I do push-ups. Three minutes. You always have three extra minutes, right?!

And P.S. -- I'm already caffeine free now for 5 days. FIVE WHOLE DAYS. So I'm rollin' with it for the next 40.

Its like extreme makeover, triathlon-style! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

OK Winter, I give

Apparently, I'm a total wimp about the cold. And the dark. And the combination of the two is completely insurmountable.

So, remind me again why I live in Wisconsin? Where, for a solid three months of the year it is cold -- well below freezing, cold. And dark when I leave work.

I had been using some free gym passes to get a few workouts in. And then tried out a new Anytime Fitness, for another week of free membership. But when that ran out....nothin'. No workouts. For a week.

I was then supposed to be at a Team in Training workout Saturday morning....thinking I'd kick-start my workout habits back into gear with that. OR.....I could oversleep and just meet up with everyone for breakfast. Excellent.

So my complete lack of self-motivation has prompted action. That action being the start of some serious scheduling, and planning. That starts THIS week. Because I have a lot of stuff coming up.

Like RACES --

I am committed to the Green Bay Half Marathon and that is the end of the story. I'm doing it. And the more training I do the less pain I will feel on race day, so its best I get on that. Seeing how my training should have started like OVER THREE weeks ago. But who's counting? I think realistically my goal of a PR for that race is out the window. But we'll see.


In addition to a fun wedding in April I'll be attending, there are exactly 103 days until my sister walks down the isle. Which means that while I can't technically say I'm training for Tahoe...or Lake Mills....or the Blue Mounds Trail Run....or any number of other great races I wanted to do that happen THAT WEEKEND (Hi you!).....what I am training for are pictures. Pictures that will be around, for like....FOREVER. And if the threat of that lasting memory isn't enough to get me to kick it into high gear, I don't know what will motivate me.

So there has been a flurry of planning happening around here. Calorie calculating, meal planning, workout scheduling, name it and I have probably tried to hunt down or create an easy tracking method for it. My fridge is full of fruits and veggies. And my workout bag is about to be packed for a 6am swim tomorrow.

Let training season begin! (try to pretend I didn't say that about a month ago....It's for real this time...)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another start line I didn't make

You can file the Birkie under "things I will not be doing anytime soon." The race was held this weekend in the beautiful, vacation destination to the world's rich and famous -- Hayward, WI. Luckily, the Oscars are this weekend so the town was free to be overrun with crazy, spandex-laden Nordic endurance freaks instead of celebs.

I, however, was not there. I had great intentions of toe-ing the start line....but like other years, things got in the way, and another race opportunity was missed. Though perhaps that was for the best. You see, I learned a little bit about this Nordic skiing business in Utah this year....and, well....lets just say I have more work to do than I thought.

So seeing how the famous Utah snow decided to go on its own vacation during mine, (leaving consecutive 40-degree sunshine days and a crusty, glacier-like snow pack in its wake) I opted for an alternative workout at Snowbasin -- nordic skiing.

Seemed like a fun way to burn off a few calories -- and at a significantly discounted rate when compared to the lift ticket I would have bought. So I decide to take it to the next level and rent the skate skis. No graceful, classic gliding for me. No, no. I’m theoretically training for the Birkie after all. This was going to be an all-out full-body cardio fest.

Thing is, I’ve never actually tried skate-skis. And I’ve really only been on classic skis a handful of times. So why I had it in my head that I was some sort of expert on the skinny skis, I can’t explain. But I really figured this would be easy as pie.

So where did it all go so wrong?

One – if there is a crusty, glacial-like hardpack on the mountain, one should not assume that there will be soft, friendly snow on the Nordic trail. Nope. Glacial hard-pack all around.

Two – one who is somewhat familiar with the sport of skiing should know that skis are skis. Nordic, alpine, skinny, fat, whathaveu…..they are all designed to glide across snow, and are therefore quite slippery on the bottom.

Three – one should not assume that the terrain will be flat just because one is not technically "on the mountain."

All of these unfounded assumptions led to quite a rude awakening for me out there on that friendly little Nordic track. Starting with the initial decent. That’s right – decent. As in, the trail started off by dropping down a big ol’ hill.

No big deal if you’re on your K2s. But these skinny little buggers are a little squirrel-ly. And slippery, did I mention slippery? Needless to say the ice crusted mound that I was supposed to so gracefully descend to send me off on my speedy little way, knocked me flat on my backside. Hard and fast. Took my tailbone days to recover. And the afternoon did not get better from there.

I don’t know how they make it look so easy. Perhaps I am woefully uncoordinated, but I might as well have been on a treadmill for as much forward progress as I seemed to be making. Old ladies were passing me. Seriously. I got lapped. By old ladies. And it was not for lack of trying. I was working my tail off , yet going absolutely nowhere.

I'm blaming the hard snow for my inability to get any sort of traction. Though, a lack of coordination may have also played a small part. At any rate, there were moments where I would be trying to move straight ahead, but find myself slipping sideways with the slight slope of the trail. My ankles were buckling and I was using muscles that I didn't even know ankles had.

Incredibly frustrating, and humbling. I really wanted to cry. I found myself thinking things like, "I would rather run a marathon than do this all afternoon!"

Clearly all my energies were being directed away from my brain because marathons are hard. Crazy-hard. And I hate running.
I have never been so happy to take off a pair of skiis and run across the parking lot to the car. Freedom!

So ya, no Birkie for me this year. Maybe next year....with a little (or a lot) of practice. And maybe some bike shorts under the spandex on those first couple training workouts.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Things I should not have seen in Utah

I needed to see two feet of powder in Utah. I did NOT need to see Paris Hilton and her new BFF. But there I was, nonchalantly trying to listen to a concert for free behind the music venue at Sundance when Paris and her entourage march by. I didn't even take the camera out until I realized she was going to be about two feet from me so I figure, 'oh why not'.

Add to the list of things I did not need to see....Kim and Courtney Kardashian, one of the Cheetah girls (don't ask me which one, I don't even know how many of them there are), Mariah Carey and her husband, Hulk Hogan's ex-wife (explain to me what she was doing at Sundance?), Jeremy Jackson (played Hobie on Baywatch, all grown up now and recently made a showing on the Tyra talk show so you know he's going places).

We actually saw quite a few other celebs, but these were the most ridiculous.

And speaking of ridiculous....there was Snowbasin.

Although, I did need to see that. THAT was hilarious. Seriously, how do you roll up to the slopes in that get-up? I'll tell you that guy better have some mad-crazy skills on the mountain. You don't rock a suit like that on the bunny hill.

More adventures from Snowbasin tomorrow....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The travel backlog

Since I have been a blogging slacker the past couple weeks I'm going to attempt to play a little catch-up with some travel stories that I missed because of all the, well...all the travel. Lots going on with tri-season ramping up too, and all the planning and plotting and whining that goes along with that, (you'd be whining about 6am cycling workouts on Saturdays too....considering its only February!) so there should be lots to talk about.

So after two amazing weeks in Colorado, I was back in the Midwest for a whoppin' three days before heading out for a long weekend in Utah -- the perfect plan for those that have trouble adjusting to the 'real world' after travel. Not the perfect plan for tending to the giant piles of work that have likely accumulated in your absence.

I was, on the whole, underwhelmed with Utah. But I'll have more on that later. Until then, this is what you do when it is 40-degrees and doesn't snow for over seven days in a row in the mountains.
You go to Arches National Park. When you SHOULD be getting face shots of this remarkable Utah instead, spend 8 hours in a car wondering why you didn't just take those three wasted days in the middle off and DRIVE to Park City (a mere five hours from where you had been in Colorado) so that you would have a car to DRIVE you back to someplace that has snow right now.

And to further add to my frustration, I had debated about lugging my "good" camera but decided that would be silly since I would be on the mountain every day. So I now found myself in a photographers playground with a low-end, digital point-and-shoot. A camera I specifically bought under the premise that it should be something I wouldn't cry about if I dropped it in a snowbank (which I actually did, while snowshoeing in Steamboat) or accidentally fling it off a cliff somewhere.

So I watched the sunset, and did what I could with the equipment I had. Here are a few more pics:
About mid-way through the drive it got foggy and frosty.

Then, nothing but wide open spaces.
Then about 30 minutes before sunset. Arches. Stellar timing, eh? It's Utah's fault though. If I hadn't had to spend an hour looking for a coffee shop en route we would have had a lot more time. But I'll talk about my opinion of Utah's relationship with caffeine some other time....

The sunset was quite nice. Its really the best part of the day anyway. If anyone would like a guide to seeing Arches National Park in 30 minutes, just let me know. It can be done.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Be mine?

If we are going to talk about hearts, and roses and other such nonsense related to this hallmark holiday....
I heart this bike.
I don't really need a new bike. (I need to work on the engine for the bike I already have.) But I've got that new bike itch. And this just looks like it should be my bike. I can already envision the new blue tri-tops....and maybe a new helmet.....CUTE! Ahem....I mean "cute" in the speediest, toughest triathlon kind-of way. You know...not in the "i'm going to be out there for-ever and everyone is going to see me so I better look darn put together" kind-of way. Of course.
I sure wish my bank account looked like it had a "cute" $1,800 that it just needed to spend.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Everybody poops.

But its a brave few who are totally open to talking about it.

If you know me at all, you know I had to post this after I read it. Absolutely hilarious in its complete absurdity to the non-athlete crowd. But I think if you're reading this blog you can probably relate to that mid-workout panic feeling. Or perhaps you get the pre-race jitters a little worse than most? We've all been there....well maybe not exactly where she was....but you get my point.

Poop is funny. Enjoy.