Thursday, August 27, 2009

When Life Gives you Lyme(s), make... Margaritas?

No, technically* it's not funny, but it kinda is... seems tests have come back and I tested positive for Lyme disease and Ehrlichia. Yay. Docs think that compounded the other things going on to make me feel so poo-ey the last few months. Just been tired all the time and not functioning, racing or training like myself at all.

Now that I'm on meds, I'm hoping to be feeling tip top in a few days and get back to what this blog is about... training and racing!!

Since I have been training, albeit super, super easy, here are some observations about life recently:

1. Keeping your HR low on a hill sometimes means having to walk or death shuffle. Other times, you will think you are running well and the dog will be walking as you huff and puff away.

2. Running in 90 degree heat with no humidity feels great!

3. Construction guys are always creepy and no one likes to be cat-called. I've now taken to reminding them that they wake me up at 5:30 every morning. And I might use a bad word or two. Hey, I need something to atone for on Yom Kippur!

4. A lot of people think I'm crazy w/ Ironman and all, but my friend Kate is SUPER crazy. (good luck and I hope you kick all those pro-lady butts at IMLOU this weekend!). She is beyond vegan, well, beyond anything I know. Ultramarathoner champion multiple times over.. she lives on Bananas and the occasional nut. Literally, like 10 bananas a day.

5. Wednesday night, post bike race is made for Mexican meals - SO good after a hard race!

6. Dexter re-runs are not good for treating insomnia.

7. Having new Sponsors vying for my promotions and sending lots of cool stuff? Awesome!

8. Looking into MBA programs with the boyfriend - super cool.

9. If you aren't feeling like yourself and are sleeping for 3 hours instead of that nice little 30 minute nap you plan, go get tested for Lyme. It's evil... evil I tell you!

10. Planning kick-ass Italian escapes is one of the most fun activities ever!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Goal list

Just off the top of my head!

Athletic Goals for 2009/2o10:
Cat 2 cycling card
Run a 50 miler
Run a 100 miler
Run 25 miles for my 25 bday - point to point
Sub 11 at Ironman FL, Sub 10:40 at Ironman FL
Sub 1:30 1/2 mar during a 1/2 Iron
Sub 3:45 marathon at IM
Sub 3 marathon on it's own
Sub 2:30 1/2 Iron bike split
Sub 5 bike split at IM
Sub 55 Swim at IM
Swim marathon - 5 miles or more
Climb Everest (or maybe another mountain - an no, not in 2010)
Qualify to race Pro
Top Amateur at IM LP
Other IM to do in this lifetime:
IM Canada, France, CDA, UK, Switzerland, Australia, W. Australia, Canary Islands, Malaysia, SOuth Africa, Brazil, Barcelona.

Monday, August 24, 2009


WoWza - thanks for the Target Training folks for finding THIS super sweet video.

Fun in the Sun!

So yesterday I was not the one being cheered, but the one doing the cheering... along with Luna girl and Miss Hannah.

Jer and Sam took on their first Olympic distance race and the best thing to make you want to race has to be watching one! The boys were super relaxed before the start - the rumored wetsuitless swim ended up allowing wetsuits and that seemed to calm everyone's nerves.

There was something wonderful about standing on the shore of the water, watching all of these athletes prepare for their race. Standing there in flip flops and jeans, walking my dog and talking with Hannah about everything from babies to MBA's. The gun went off and while I was nervous and excited for Sam and Jer, that usual panic I feel was missing - 1. I was not in charge of all of these people, 2. I wasn't maxing out my heart rate to be first out of the water!

The boys both had great swims, especially considering Jer had never swum that far and Sam doesn't do any tri training (Yea, and there is something great about that too!).

Once out of the water, I could finally relax - those two are machines on their bikes and can run just as well. Sam debuted his beautiful new Slice - in a new paint job that has not been previewed yet. It was FAST!! Just as I was expecting him back in from the bike portion, I heard an ambulance and it immediately turned me into "mother hen". All I could think was that his bars were not tightened and had fallen or something of the sort... and yes, I am officially becoming my Mother.

Thankfully, both Sam and Jer made it in just fine - everyone was entertained by our cheering and antics. Just a blast. There is nothing like seeing people coming out of transition for the run portion (well, maybe coming across the finish), but there is so much energy, exhuberance and excitement, it's impossible not to cheer!

Like a total do-do bird, I missed Sam and Jer coming across the line, but it was a great day all-around. Sam took 16th overall, not a bad day at all!

Being on the sidelines meant a bit of recon work - I always like to see what other race directors are doing and it's something you can't really grasp when you're in the midst of a lactate threshold endeavor. Beyond that, I was able to scope out the short course competition, which still includes Ironman champ, Donna Kay-Ness. She demolished the women's field, but my friend Cassie came in a strong 2nd place. Her boyfriend, Max from Thule I believe smashed the aqua-bike and it was great to see all the HEAT athletes and other tri friends.

In other news, CONGRATULATIONS TO HANNAH AND NOAH - game over. Just kidding!! Congrats on your nuptials, you two make a beautiful couple!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today's hilarity - luna calls to the noon whistle (and anytime the fire whistle goes off)

Oh Happy Day

"Don't let the past remind you of what you are not now. I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are." - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Goodness, here I have these good intentions to keep you all updated, and I haven't blogged since Sunday! Things are great - LOVING this heat, despite all the heat-haters. Believe me, all I have to think of is a single moment in -5 degree weather, 3 feet of snow and I'm praising the heat! It's not all that bad, neither is the humidity. Makes you tough and makes you learn how to dress and hydrate.

I'm still on training parole - keeping the heart rate below 145 - and it's a challenge! Today I walked up a hill (granted, it was 22 percent grade for those 500 feet), but it's the first time I've walked during a run in years. I tried to remind myself this is fine for right now - keeping things easy and just staying active.

Sam and the boys are gearing up for an Olympic distance tri this Sunday and I'm bummed that I'll be on the sidelines... especially since I've vowed for a re-match against the boy!

Tonight we celebrate though - we celebrate eachother and today's milestone!

Open water swim, hot run and now... champagne! I am so blessed to have a partner that is not only my love, but my friend, my family, a part of me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

One Beastie I Be

Unlike Mike D, I'm not "all alone with nobody" - in fact it's the exact opposite! Busy times and thankfully (for my wallet) I'm in demand with a bunch of local artists and new sponsors!

Lots of exciting things happening in planning the Winter training camp, so stay tuned as we'll have the grand unveiling shortly! The camp is pretty much full, but we'll have a spot for 1-2 more couples.

I got a few emails from people saying, "Don't race, don't train, just get better." Fear not, I'm doing just fine and as for "getting better" I'm fit and healthy, I just have a funky heart. Mind you, I was doing fine before I even found out about this medical condition... Gosh, I feel ridiculous saying that. I think things are only limiters if we allow ourselves to believe they are limiters. Mind over matter and all that jazz. I'm seeing a new Cardiologist next week that is a crazy bike racer, so we will figure out the best course of action with these leaky heart valves. Until then, I'm keeping my heart rate low and enjoying the scenery (because I'm going so slowly, I have time for it!). Hoping to get the clear to race the crit and Olympic tri next weekend.

Keeping the attitude positive and just truckin' along - there's too much to be done with the business and just life in general (I seriously don't know how people manage children and spouses- I can barely handle myself). Trying not to give myself palpitations (B/c apparently that's bad). As the hospital tech said to me, "People wonder all the time how they'll die - you pretty much know how you're going to go eventually". Super and VERY uplifting!

In the meantime, I'm enjoying saying to Sam every time he teases me "Do you want that to be the last thing I hear before I keel over?" - It makes me laugh and it makes him mad, so it's a win-win HAH!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Round 2 man, I must be training again, looking tired but Patagonia makes everything better!!

Happy feet - thanks Patagonia

Today's YAY moment

Thanks, crystal Rock!!!

We're captive on a Carousel of Time.

Wow, so it's been a few days since I last posted. In that time, I've traveled to Michigan, then Minnesota and back again for the lovely Hagen-Carlson wedding! Minneapolis was surprisingly wonderful - liberal, artsy and full of great food, culture, music and fixed gear bicycles, not to mention 10,000 lakes!

Sam and I left at a FURLY hour (thank you, Seiler's for that creation of F*cking Early) for the airport on Thursday, arriving at Isaac and Karen's house about 10 AM. They were in full-on wedding mode, so Sam and I decided to be good guests and GET OUT of the house! I was happy to walk around and explore the city as it is super walker/biker friendly.

We found a great vegan/vegetarian restaurant and shop called Tao right on the main strip. It was super and as soon as we walked in, I loved it. Bluegrass music was playing and as I looked up into the rafters, I realized it was a 3-piece live band playing! The guys behind the counter looked like they had recently enjoyed something other than their delectable food and the baby strapped on our servers back was happy as could be.

After lunch, we walked around the city, checked out the many fun eco-friendly boutiques and just enjoyed strolling hand in hand. It was the perfect escape. That night, we hit up the local grocer and made dinner, sat at the dining room table and began laughing at the site of the two of us, sitting in this home in the suburbs... we're just not that grown up yet!

The following day was filled with crazy storms, so we did what all good Americans would (and should hah) do, we went to the Mall of America. This place is about the size of Connecticut with a full amusement park inside. We walked around for a few hours just taking it in - truly crazy how packed it was!

That night, the boys descended on the house - 7 of Sam and Isaac's childhood friends drove or flew in from New York, Virginia and New Hampshire. The party had begun!

Saturday, wedding day was great, we took some major detours on our way to the ceremony and made it for the tail end. Uggg, boys. The bride, location and whole atmosphere was beautiful and really reflected the couple. Then we danced and danced and danced and danced some more until it was about 2:45 AM and time to go home (to the hotel, thankfully).

Sunday and Monday we were back to the city of Minneapolis and bopped around some more. I was pleased that each day I got in some nice runs through the parks by the house. Just glorious and the body felt good.

As soon as I got back, I got a call from my doctor - it turns out the cardio tests were not all clear. I promise to fill you all in on the details, but the echo cardiogram has shown that the valves to my heart are leaking. This is not a hereditary condition and is something that I was most likely born with. It does explain some sensations and occurences that I wrote off previously. Before you all start worrying, I have a great set of doctors and will keep you all up to date on what's happening. In the meantime, I'm allowed to keep working out, but at a very low heart rate.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Return of Optimism

"A change is gonna come" Ben Solee

I was in the car yesterday, a full week removed from IM Lake Placid. NPR switched to the gawd-awful "marketplace" program and I just had to get away from it! I switched the player to CD mode and what came on but the beautiful music of Ben Solee. I was introduced to this artist by Michael and Marcia Seiler down in Kentucky.

The music itself is unique, he can go from a bluesy tune to true Kentucky Bluegrass! On certain tracks, he also plays his cello like a guitar, it is really heavenly music.

It was the perfect recipe for putting me in a good mood yesterday. Especially when my favorite track came on. He sings, "When the storm comes, will you reject the rain? If it falls not soft, if it falls not tame. Are you strong enough to bend? Don't stand against the wind, 'cause you know, you gonna break."

It made me think of all that's happened this year. The good and the bad, but isn't it harder to remember the good sometimes? With "New Years in August" in full swing, I'm taking the song to heart. I'm doing crazy yoga-bending-pretzel on my life and the results have been fantastic. Of course, 2 new major sponsorship deals will do that for ya!

My mind is coming around too - today I spent an hour looking at upcoming races before Ironman Florida on November 7th. I found TONS and am more excited than ever to get going again.

This morning I saw my heart for the first time - literally saw my heart - on the screen during an echo-cardiogram. It is truly a marvel. To see and to hear your heart (apart from the beating in your head and chest) gives a whole new understanding. Now I'm sure that when I do my check-ins mid-race or mid-training ride, I can actually visualize what's happening when my heart beats - to see the main arteries and ventricles open and close.

Despite my grilling, the Sonographer would not give me any indication on the readings or what she saw. She did however tell me I have a big heart and somehow that makes carrying a heavy one around now and then, a bit better.