Saturday, May 30, 2009

Could Someone Please Explain...

...why anyone cares that Spencer and Heidi got married for like the third time now? 

I'm really not sure what they've done to merit celebrity. Appear on a reality show about 23-year-old entitlement hounds who somehow drive Audi convertibles, yes. But there are so many questions left unanswered. Something to ponder on today's run. 

If I weren't addicted to I am SURE I wouldn't have a clue who they are because they haven't actually done anything. But perhaps someday "Speidi" will be the answer to a NY Times crossword puzzle clue...and none of the old people will know it. It will be comparable to my level of knowledge surrounding High School Musical. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Apple Duathlon Recap

Saturday we had a duathlon in Sartell, the Apple Duathlon (5K run, 33K bike, 5K run).

I'd never done a duathlon before and was slightly dreading having to start a race running instead of swimming but it turned out to be pretty fun. (Fun like, "In seven minutes, this will be all over and then you can drink a gallon of water and collapse on the hood of the Civic.") 

This race was a World Duathlon Championships qualifying race, so there were a ton of out-of-state competitors who'd flown in to compete. This resulted in an incredibly deep field, much tougher than normal. However, most people there weren't actually trying to qualify for this world championship, myself included.

That said, I feel quite proud to have placed 5th in my age group and 38th overall. Seriously, like half of the 37 women ahead of me were from other states! And I'm pretty sure you don't travel to a different state for a duathlon unless you plan to throw it down.

One of the trickiest parts of the race was avoiding drafting and blocking on the bike. Drafting is riding closer than two bike lengths to the person in front of you. Blocking is essentially what can happen when you're trying not to draft--if you're riding the same speed as someone else but are trying not to draft by riding a few body lengths to the left...and so potentially blocking people that are coming from behind from passing. 

Because the first run doesn't quite fan out people like a swim does in a tri, bikers of similar speeds can get bunched up on the course and have to play cat-and-mouse with each other (passing, then being passed, passing, etc.) to avoid drafting. This was the case for me--but no penalties received! Because I'm SO conscientious like that.

Both runs were the same loop and I felt GREAT coming off the bike, springy even, which is rare. I'd like to think it's because I "played the bike smart." Unfortunately Mile 3 of Run #2 was where I slowed down, which I attribute to post-Colorado training camp fatigue. I was on pace to match Run #1, but the 3rd mile must have been about 30 seconds slower! Ugh. It's hard to describe or rationalize. Next time I just need to dig a bit deeper and hang even tougher. Lesson learned!  

Micah also did well (5th in his age group), so we're 2-for-2 on matching age group placings! Maybe we can match the Guinness Book of World Records if we keep it up all season. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Manitou Springs

We made it! Our flight to Denver was really bumpy, but on time. Then seven (of 22) of us loaded into a Dodge Caravan rental and hit the road for Colorado Springs. Dinner at Savelli's (pepperoni & green olive calzones) and then a stop at Safeway for groceries. Turkey sandwiches and rice pudding for four days, here we come!

The weather is warm, clear, and sunny, and we're off for a 90' run at 9:30am, then a long bike ride up Cheyenne Mountain in the afternoon (with a starting elevation of 6500 ft!).

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Focus for May

I've decided I'm not going to be a smiley face abuser. 

At some point in the evolution of email/texting/IM, sideways faces :) :) ;) all over the place seems to be an unconscious response to the fact that words alone cannot always provide the context you'd have if you were talking in person. 

But wait! People communicated through written word long before the iPhone fell out of the sky, and I'm pretty sure there weren't a lot of telegrams that ended in :) :) :) How have we reached a point where this is fast becoming accepted punctuation in and of itself? I'm finding it to be unnecessary! 

Granted, I've been known to be a happy typer, and it's not like I have it out for anyone who tells me to have a nice day. I've used many a smiley face to add just a touch of softness to an otherwise bland work email and when I wanted people to like me. But like anything, marginal utility applies. When you start ending every sentence with a smiley face, where does it stop? It's like telling someone "I love you" every five minutes. 

So. What's a happy person to do? I'd say maybe just try to kick it old school and rediscover the time-honored beauties: . , ; ! ? I'm personally planning to really get back into the exclamation point. And limit myself to two smileys a week.

:) There's one.

Day of Moms!

Yesterday we DID UP Mother's Day. Proving yet again that brunch is not hard to choreograph if the cooking of bacon with hot grease flying is not involved.

Unfortunately it's hard to get a picture of the whole group when you're the host, but here are just a couple shots.

How cute are they? 

Or these kids? (Jon, the eyes! the eyes!)

And a picture of our new countertops! 
Fake wood, to you I say adieu.

We're off to Colorado Springs on Wednesday for P2 Camp--better known as RUN then BIKE then RUN/BIKE then BIKE/RUN then eat a gigantic calzone. I'm really looking forward to it. All the usual comedians will be there, and there's nothing like funny when you're doing a 2-hour run up a mountain! 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

His and Hers

First triathlon of the season! Who would have thought we'd walk away as 1st Place 20-29 Male (2nd overall) and 1st Place 20-29 Female (5th overall)? A couples first. 

It was a beautiful day to race. Early May is always iffy, but we got sun and somewhat warm temps! The pool swim was obviously not a variable in terms of warmth and it went according to plan. The bike went better than expected, and part of it was on a paved path with a tailwind, which meant FLYING! The other direction back facing the wind was a different story, but hey, it's what I've trained for. 

I seriously couldn't believe I heard someone say "she's fast" when I ran by during the run portion. I felt like I had cinder blocks on both feet. (Fairly common after riding a bike as hard as possible.) But I was just happy to be racing healthy! 

It's strange how many months of winter go by where you think about races coming up, and mainly how far away they seem. The next thing you know, it's almost WARM out and everything is in full swing! Love it! 

P.S. A big shoutout to hubs for getting written up in the Minnesota Tri News blog for his stellar performance!