Tuesday, December 30, 2008

House, and other randomness

Before I forget, let me add to the list of things my HyVee does not have:
Plain goat cheese, graham cracker and Oreo cookie crumbs, jalapenos (well they did, but only like 10 and I needed more), bite sized gold and flour tortilla Tostitos. GAH!

So, the past couple of weeks have been pretty void of any sort of training with all the craziness of the holidays. It has been a lot of fun, but I am definitely looking forward to pulling myself away from all the junk I've been eating and getting back to working out. But, it's fun for now. I was all set to go run 12 on Saturday, but I woke up at about 3am to 100mph winds (that may ben a bit of an exaggeration) and the power getting knocked out. Then when my alarm went off at 6:15, I woke to the sound of thunder and lightning and pouring down rain. I have had just about ENOUGH of running in thunderstorms, let alone thunderstorms at the end of December, so I decided to just skip it. So I just went back to sleep and rode my trainer for a bit when I got up. Apparently I wasnt the only one who didnt feel like running in that crap, in Eladio's weekly email he said that only 13 people showed up. Out of 200-some.

So anywho, after my second Saturday in a row of not running, I spent all damn day on Sunday giving the house a thorough cleaning. Usually I spend about 3 hours cleaning on Sundays, but we're having a NYE party and I wanted the thing spic and span. I live in constant fear of people coming over and thinking my house is dirty, and being that we'll have 30+ people in the house tomorrow night, I just couldnt risk any filth. It's a bad trait I picked up from my mom. I never understood why she cared what other people though of how clean the house was, now I do. I used to actually really enjoy cleaning. Having an apartment, and then a 700 sqft house made it pretty easy. And I might even venture to say, fun. But not now! It's not like our new house is a mansion of any sort, but it's much larger than what I'm used to and what I grew up in. So it takes way longer to clean. And it's pretty much all hardwoods except for the stairs and upstairs hallway and the master bedroom, and hardwoods are a pain in my ass to keep clean. Especially when you have 3 mongrels leaving their paw prints all over. But, it's better than having filthy carpet.

While I'm on the topic of the house here are some pics of it since not many people have seen it yet. We moved in Labor Day weekend, so have been here a few months. It still feels pretty empty to me though, I guess I need to go buy more stuff to fill it up!

All houses are ugly in the winter, so I didnt bother taking a picture of the outside. So here's one from the summer:
When you walk in, the living room is to your left. This room is still pretty empty except for our old couch and the Christmas tree. I havent painted this one yet or hung anything on the walls because I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do in here, and I dont know what color I want to paint it. Also, my parents are trying to pawn their piano off on me, so it would have to go in here which would affect what I can do.

Beyond the living room is the dining room. I did get this room painted, but I still need to get stuff up on the walls besides the one lone mirror. After I painted, we put up the new light fixture. The one that came with the house was UG-LY, so it needed to go immediately. I am also wanting to get the china cabinet that goes with my table, which would go on the wall to the right. When you walk in the front door, straight ahead of you is the family room. It has dark wood paneling, which I hate. Dan, and apparently everyone else that comes over, loves it. I think it makes the room too dark and makes it look like a hunting lodge. It is really nice paneling, I just dont care for it. I would say this room is the most set up of any of them in the house. I still need to get a couple more things up on the walls, something above the love seat and something between the mirror and the window. I ordered an area rug which should be here this week, so that will help warm it up a bit too.
And of course, no family room is complete without the huge-ass 50" tv. Actually, it looks kind of small here. Maybe we should have gone for the 60"!

And here's where all the magic happens! No, not the bedroom. Pervs. My kitchen! This is the main thing I would change about the house. It's not a bad kitchen per se, just outdated. And I really dislike the layout. There is a U-shaped area between the stove, sink and dishwasher, then you have to walk to the other side of the kitchen for the oven. Just not a very efficient layout. I told Dan our first major project is tearing the whole thing out and making it bigger and better. But, that's going to be an expensive undertaking, so it will be a while. This is livable for now though. I painted that color, it was yellow when we moved in. I want a green kitchen. I'm still not sure how I feel about this green though, it turned out a little brighter than I was planning. I'm in no mood to repaint a room I just did though, so it will just have to do. And your eyes do not deceive you, that is in fact a sweet vintage parquet floor!

See my fancy washer and dryer back there!? I love doing laundry now! This house has a gas hook up for the dryer, so we HAD to get a new one since our old set was electric. HAD to. There's also a half bath over there across from the W&D. Three toilets in the house is a luxury when you are coming from a house with only one tiny bathroom!

I'm saving up pictures of food to put on that blank wall, I think it should look pretty nice. I just need to get a couple more. The oven is just to the right of the doorway into the family room (see, far away from the stove and sink!), and it is the tiniest oven I have ever seen. We barely fit the Thanksgiving turkey in it.

The house is a split level, so you go up half a flight and there is the master bedroom and another bedroom, then up another half flight for the other 2 bedrooms. This is on the landing in front of the master bedroom to kind of give you an idea. To the left is one bedroom, behind me is the master:
So, the front bedroom I have no idea what to do with. The guest bedroom is upstairs, and we only have one spare bed at this point. We're thinking about putting another bed or a futon in here or something for the dogs, but right now my bike lives here and we keep the dog crates in here. Oh, and Dan uses this closet, which means I have my own closet all to myself! I'm painting this room next, I'm thinking red. I have always wanted a red room, so now I'm going to give myself one.
Here's the master, I really havent done anything with this room yet either. It took me a while to figure out what color I wanted to paint it, and I finally decided. So I'll do this one after I paint the front bedroom. I'm kind of dreading it though, because it's goign to mean painting all the trim and doors since the previous owner had the brilliant idea of painting them green. Can't wait!

Here's the master bath, exciting I know. Gotta love the original green tile all over everything. We'll eventually gut it, but for now it's livable.
Note all the room in front of the toilet. If you saw our old house before we redid the bathroom, you know that you had to sit sideways on the toilet because it was so close to the vanity and there wasnt enough room for your knees. So this bathroom is huge in comparison. You could put a footstool there and just stretch out.
I didnt take a picture of the guest bedroom because I hadnt washed the sheets since the last person had stayed over, and I didnt feel like making the bed just to take a picture.

Here is the purple office! Obviously, I havent really set this room up yet either. We got the computer hooked up, so that was a major accomplishment in itself. I'll paint this room after the master bedroom, so once I get that done I'll figure out how I want to decorate and arrange it.

Here is the guest bath. When we moved in, it was BRIGHT yellow. I dont know who thought that was a good idea, because it wasnt. At all. This is much better I think.

And, there's your tour. Oh, there's a basement, but it has orange utility carpet and is kind of ugly, so I didnt bother taking any pictures. There IS a bar down there though, which is kind of cool. It's a vintage 70's model with the padded edge and all. Pretty sweet.

Good thing I enjoy painting, because I still have a lot of it to do!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I registered today for my first race of next season, HyVee. Well, it's not chronologically the first, but the first one I've signed up for. So Bryce, this means I'm officially coming with you. Tim, I'm guessing you'll be there too.

I did so despite my recent frustrations with my neighborhood HyVee. FIRST, on Sunday I was doing my weekly grocery shopping, and they didnt have crushed tomatoes. At all. I was making chili and I needed some damn crushed tomatoes! I like my chili thick, not soupy, so I just needed them. And HyVee didnt have any. Well, they had "Italian style', the kind with basil. That would not work for chili. So I pretty much went into an immediate rage, which I tend to do when I can't find something I want/need, and it ruined the rest of my shopping. Then I had to go to the WalMart Neighborhood Market across the street to get my stupid tomatoes. I despise WalMart and all they stand for, but I was not driving my ass all over town looking for crushed tomatoes.

THEN, last night I stopped at HyVee to get some white chocolate chips for the cookies I was going to make for our "neighborhood traveling goodie plate" (more on that later) and they didnt have any! They didnt have any fucking white chocolate chips! GAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! You can imagine the rage this sent me into, since that was the only thing I went to the store for. So again, I had to go over to WalMart. WalMart is directly across Metcalf, but it took me damn near 10 minutes just to get over there because everyone was driving like such a moron because there was a little bit of snow on the road. Then the damn cookies didnt even turn out that great and now I have to redo them. Fuckin'A.

So, the traveling neighborhood goodie plate. On Sunday, the neighbor girl brought over a plate of cookies. Great. Fantastic. It was only after we started eating them that we realized there was writing on the plate. I shit you not, this is what it says:

This is our traveling
To say "We love you! We think you're great!"
Enjoy these goodies we have for you,
then here is what you have to do...
Fill it with treats and pass it along,
Share love with your neighbor-
and dont wait too long!

So basically, I HAVE to make cookies and take them to one of the neighbors. Then the plate goes on to get a little more pushy and tells me to hurry the F up. I dont think I like this plate.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Double D's

I finally hit double digits on a run. Before I even got out of bed Saturday morning, I could hear the wind blowing outside. It was rattling the windows, and just generally making it sound like not a good day for a run. When I opened the front door to step outside to check the temperature, I truly would not have been surprised to see a damn cow blow by. It was that windy. But the temperature was actually really nice, somewhere around 50. So the wind could be tolerated.

For some reason, the 11:40 pace group is really small. Like only six of us. The 12:00 group is really big, and the 11:20 group is really big, but not ours. We started off at Ward Parkway Mall, I LOVE this route. We run up through Brookside, in the neighborhoods around Loose Park, and this day cut over into Mission Hills. I love running through these neighborhoods. There were two other gals in my group going 10 miles, so I had some company the entire way. About half a mile before we turned around, we were just running along chatting when a HUGE branch crashed down about 3 feet in front of us. This was no twig, it for sure would have caused some major damage if it had hit one of us. Thats how windy it was, the trees were blowing apart.

I felt really good the whole run, didnt have a problem keeping up the pace, even with the wind in my face the entire way back. My IT bands did start tightening up, so I guess it's time to break out the ol' foam roller now that my mileage is starting to get higher. And I know I said after my last run that I was going to start taping my toes, but of course I forgot. So I ended up with a couple of good blisters on my pinky toes. One toe hadn't healed up completely from last week, so it was blister on blister. Those are always fun.

Of course you all know that the Kona broadcast was on Saturday. Court came over to watch, and we had a good time discussing what a princess Macca is, and laughing at the footage of Stadler freaking out in 2005 that they will probably be showing every year until the day we die. Also decided that we need to be friends with Chrissie Wellington because she's just too stinking cute. Then we concluded the night by the four of us going down to Ponaks and going through about 2 and a half pitchers of margaritas. Tasty!

And this is completely unrelated, but I was telling Cout and Eric about how Norman Rockwell our neighborhood is, and this illustrates it perfectly. We moved into our house at the end of August, so we're not NEW new. But last night the people around the corner from us had a "lets welcome the new neighbors" party. There have been a couple of other families move in this fall, so it wasnt just us. It was actually really fun! I just cant get over how friendly everyone is and how tight-knit this neighborhood seems to be. A lot of the couples there were older, like 50's or 60's, but there were a few younger couples. One of which just moved in on Saturday and seem like the kind of people we would hang out with anyway. The old timers were talking about how they all go down to the neighborhood pool in the summer and drink beer, all the get togethers they have, taking their kids trick or treating while pulling a case of beer, and so on and so forth. We also found out that everyone thinks the lady we purchased our house from was a complete bitch, which was kind of funny since we got that impression when we met her. The people who hosted the party have the same layout as us, so it was interesting to see what they've done with their house and how completely different it is than ours, even though it's got the same floor plan. So yes, I live in some sort of movie where the neighbors actually like each other and hang out.

Oh, and has anyone ever heard of a cat having an "emotional eating" problem? Because apparently our neihbors cat does.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon

I had to skip RE last weekend due to some family stuff, and didn't do a whole lot of running in the interim. I DID get up and run on Thanksgiving morning though. However, uh, that was the last time before Saturday. So instead of doing the 10 that I had on my schedule, I decided to just do 8. BUT! I moved up a pace group. That's right folks, I graduated myself from the 12 min/mile group to the 11:40 min/mile group. I know, I know. That is smokin fast. Try not to hate.

So, we set out, all 4 of us in our little pace group. I'm finding that I like the winter session of RE because the groups are much smaller than the spring and fall sessions. Anyway. We were just chugging along by the river in Parkville, having a nice conversation, and I was feeling good. It was probably 40 degrees, which is amazing for December. I didnt even need a jacket, just 2 layers. Got out to the turnaround, and it was just the pace group leader and I heading back. So we just set off at our own pace, we've got pretty similar strides so fell into a rhythm pretty quickly. We were just going along chatting it up, and her Garmin kept beeping because we were GOING TOO FAST. We were clipping along at about 10:45/mile! Now, I know most people wouln't be happy with going that "slow", but for someone me who, well, you've seen my race times, that was pretty good. And it felt good too. So, maybe there is hope for me to break a 30 minute 5K yet!

Sunday I was going to go to the gym, but had been out of the house all day so I just didnt feel like leaving again. So....I set up my trainer and hopped on that for the first time in, oh, since before IMFL. Man, I forgot how tough that thing is! I was laid out on my bike, getting into my grove, rockin' out to some JT (and maybe some old school Ice Cube - I mean, lets be honest. Is there any better song for spinning than "You Can Do It"? I think not. If you dont believe me, put it on your ipod and jump on the trainer. You'll see.) when drip, drip, drip, on my front wheel. I had sweat dripping off my forehead. And that was after like 15 minutes. I do NOT sweat. Well, not enough for it to be dripping off of me. So, I actually felt like I was actually DOING something for the first time in quite a while. I really miss long rides, so I'm looking forward to getting back out on my bike once it's nice out. Maybe this year I'll ride over to Lawrence and actually make it to Chipotle like I always planned!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Well whaddya know, I can run

So, I ran 6 miles on Saturday. My longest run in over a year. LAME! But it felt awesome! Like nothing at all. Oh, and did I mention it was like 25 degrees out? Well it was. I really do like running in the cold once I get acclimated to it, and apparently I'm acclimated. I love not feeling like my body is about to catch on fire, I love not feeling like I'm about to pass out from heat stroke, I love slathering my face in Vaseline to protect it from wind burn, I love getting frost all over the outside of my jacket from the sweat freezing (though it wasn't QUITE cold enough for that yet) and I love the feeling of realizing that my ass and thighs are completely frozen once I stop moving. Weird, I know.

Planning on 8 miles next weekend. If that goes well, 10 the following weekend. I can't wait to get back up into double digit mileage! I also fully plan on getting up Thanksgiving morning and getting a good 3 miles in before sit down and eat 5 lbs of food.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

To the peeps at my gym

I'm taking my cue from Robyn on this one. I'm no trainer, and I'm no expert, but now that I've been back in the gym regularly for a bit now I have GOT to comment on some of this stuff.

Back Hair Dude: No. Please, dont wear a wife beater to the gym. Ever. Or anywhere else in public. Because it just makes me want to avoid any piece of equipment that your back hair has been touching. Actually, you probably shouldnt wear it in your house either, because someone might see through the window or come to the door. Now, I realize that MOST guys have some back hair. That is fine. But when it's black and curly and crawls up your neck and down your arms...thats where I (and most other ladies) draw the line.

High School Kids: This is not the mall. Or wherever else you all like to hang out these days. To the girls, running around in ass shorts giggling and trying to do I dont know WHAT that was with a bar that weighs more than you do, is not cute. You're likely to break your damn necks that way. And to the boys, uh, I know you're trying to impress the little twits, but you cannot do curls with 50 lb weights. My arms are actually bigger than yours, so yeah.

Asian Guy: I'm sorry I laughed. But it was too damn funny watching you jump up trying to grab on to the pull up bar. You're 4'6", get a step!

Asian Guy's Wife: Do you understand the concept of personal space? Because standing a foot away from me while I'm lifting is getting in my personal space. Do I need to draw a bubble around myself? Please step off.

MILF: I get it. You're skinny and you've got big fake knockers. That you like to show off. You look pretty good for 50. I'll give you that. But seriously, learn to put stuff away after you're done. I dont like having to unload the Smith machine after you get done with it (even though you were doing squats with 10 lb weights, what!? I use more that that for calf raises), and I dont like tripping and nearly killing myself becaue you left some weights on the floor next to the bench. I'm also sure that the dude you were flirting with was NOT your husband, and I really dont care, but please try to not fake laugh so loud. If I can hear you over my headphones, it's too loud. You're just making yourself look ridiculous.

And to the moms who bring their little kids into the gym: STOP! There is a mf-ing daycare provided!!! I do NOT need your kids running around screaming and bumping into me while I'm trying to work out. I dont appreciate them playing with the equipment that I'm needing to use, and then getting dirty looks from you when I ask if they could move. Keep them in check. Better yet, keep them OUT of the gym. Kthx.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No, I'm not dead

I'm back. For real this time. I swear! It has been a lazy, joyous year of sitting on my butt getting fat. Well, that may be an exaggeration. But it has been nice not doing anything. Obviously I wasnt ready. Moved into a new house, Court got married, lots has been going on. So it's not like I've been bored.

But for some reason, when it started getting close to IMFL this year, I started getting that itch again. Wishing that I was doing the race. Wishing I was in good enough shape to even THINK about doing the race. Plus, Court's wedding was that same weekend, and Robyn was back for it. So between Court and I reminiscing and talking to R about her experience at IMLOU this year, it got me excited about racing again next year. I had forgotten how much fun it is to have races to look forward to!

So I got my ass in gear and signed up for the winter session of RE. I picked a spring marathon, and made out a training schedule for myself. Last Saturday was the first day of RE and it was GREAT to be back. Lots of familiar faces, lots of new ones, and best of all....I finally got to wear my IM finishers jacket that I bought last year! Yup, I bought the damn thing and then never ran last winter so I never wore it. It's the little things :) I only went 4 miles, but I have been running MAYBE twice a week, like a mile and a half each time. So I felt good about that. It was a little frustrating because my heart and lungs used to far outlast my legs. Not so much anymore! I was having a hard time carrying on a conversation by the time I turned around at 2 miles. But I did it, and it felt good, and I enjoyed it. So that is the important thing. And I know my body knows what to do, so the fitness will come back quickly. I've also been lifting twice a week, which I love. I didnt life AT ALL while I was training for Florida, so it's nice to be back in the gym. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. So now the plan is to concentrate on running and lifting, then start adding in some biking and swimming after the first of the year. I'll be back to my old self in no time!

Without further ado, I present Julie's Tentative 2009 Race Schedule! Of course, I havent completely gone over this with the hubs yet. I think he enjoyed a summer of not being drug along to a race every weekend :)

April 26: Oklahoma City Marathon
May 17: Heritage Park Triathlon
June 6: QuarterMax Triathlon
June 14: Kansas 70.3 Triathlon (Alcatraz is also this weekend, and I considered throwing my name in the hat for the lottery, but that can wait!)
June 28: HyVee Triathlon
July 12: Shawnee Mission Triathlon
August 1: Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon
August ???: UltraMax event in KC - I am SO excited about this, now they just need to announce a date and venue!
September 12: OMC Women's Triathlon

I'm also kicking around the idea of the Chicago marathon, which would be mid-October. I'm still thinking I want to do the 50 States, so getting 2 marathons a year would be a good pace. And Court is trying to talk me into doing the Redman Full with her in Oklahoma on September 19th. MAYBE the half if they have any general entry slots (it's the Halfmax National Championship next year, another good reason to do it since UM is putting it on). Since I'm already doing the OKC marathon in April, I dont want to waste 2 races on one state since full IM distance races count towards the 50 States :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why I had to miss Kansas 70.3

My sister-in-law got married over the weekend in Colorado, it was lovely! I didnt, however, enjoy the 9 hour drive. But, I didnt have to do any of the driving, so it was OK. The last couple of times we've gone to CO I have checked out a book on CD from the library, but I think I missed half of this one because I kept falling asleep.

I also discovered that Colorado is a bit more rigid with their alcohol. We ate at a mexican place and they had a 3 margarita limit! Granted, they were some strong magaritas, but no stronger than Ponaks. They wouldnt even let us get a pitcher! But other than that, it was a nice time :)

The happy bride and groom

The reception location

And those of you who only know me through my blog probably think I always look like ass since the only pictures you ever see of me are from a race. So here is proof that I actually clean up nicely.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tag, I'm it

I've been tagged by Morgan.....who is apparently in Runners Edge and I didnt know it! Well, i guess perhaps I would have known if I had been going :) So anyway, here goes:

1. How would I describe my running 10 years ago?
Nada. 10 years ago I was in college, and MAYBE worked out a couple of times a month. Running was never involved though, and it sounded like a horrible way to exercise. I thought anyone who ran marathons was stupid.

2. What is your best and worst race experience?
The worst was HalfMax in 2006. That was my one and only DNF to date. It was awful. It was painful, and humiliating. It made me never want to do another race again. Conversely, my best race experience was HalfMax 2007! (surprised that it's not IMFL?? :) Since it had been so awful the year before, finishing it the second time around was awesome. I loved every second of the race, and was more than trained for it. It was great.

3. Why do you run?
It is sort of an means to an end. I HAVE gotten to the point where I usually enjoy it, but typically it's to fulfill some higher goal. Like finishing a tri, or maybe shooting for the 50-States club.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Like Morgan said, the best piece of advice that I have ever gotten is that you are only competing against yourself. I am slow. I mean, 70-year old woman slow. Slow slow. I will never win any age group awards....unless maybe I'm still running when I'm 85 and I'm the only one in my AG. I used to be embarassed about my pace, but pretty soon I realized that nobody else thinks anything of it, so I shouldnt either. Nobody is looking at me thinking "damn, that chick is slow". Well, maybe they are, but they keep it to themselves! So I just stopped caring about how fast or slow I run in comparison to other people and decided to focus on how fast or slow I run in comparison to my own previous times.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
Anyone who has been reading my blog for the past year knows quite a bit, so lets see..... I'm so terrified of spiders that I have started going to a different floor to use the bathroom at work because 2 of the ceiling tiles are missing in the one on my floor, and I'm afraid a spider will jump out onto me. Even if I'm not in the stall under the missing tiles.

And I would tag people, but pretty much everyone I know who blogs has already been tagged :P

Friday, May 30, 2008

A little motivation

Some days, I look down at my M-dot and think "gee, I really dont deserve this". Usually it's when I'm sitting on the couch feeling guilty about deciding to stay in and watch an episode of CSI that I've already seen 5 times rather than go for a run. More often than not, if I'm looking at it while I'm in the process of trying to decide "CSI or run", it will motivate me to go out and run.

It's funny that 7 months (and 10, erh, 15 lbs) later I can still be motivated and pushed along by my Ironman experience even though I'm not really training for anything, and have no plans to train for any big races in the near future. While I was training, it was the thought of finishing that motivated me, and I guess it's still the same today. And I think now 140.6 miles seems longer than it did before I completed it.

Dawn had this posted on her blog, I found it pretty relevant:

Ironman It follows you everywhere. Like an ever-present shadow or an alter ego, and at times it can follow you like an annoying guilt-inducing time management stalker. But most often it follows you around as a confidence-inspiring best friend. Ironman is always with you.

You realize in this crazy and dynamic sport that Ironman is not just a logo on the products that appear everywhere around us---on supermarket shelves, in clothing stores and bike stores. Ironman is not just a race or a goal. Ironman is a life-changing experience that irrevocably gifts you with intense lessons about yourself and a fitness level that is often unsurpassed.

Whether you are training to race in your first Ironman, or you’ve finished nine World Championship Ironman races in Hawaii, this experience stays with you. When you mention the words of Ironman triathlon to other people, it changes things. It changes things in you, and it changes things in them. Telling someone you’re an Ironman or that you are going to do one commits you in a binding way. It has been said that when you fully commit to something or someone, you find it easier to tell other people. It’s also been said that once you are fully committed to something or someone, you are bound by your word and your internal commitment to yourself.

Wearing an Ironman T-shirt opens the door for people to talk to you in airports, on the street, or in restaurants. And like a club with a secret handshake, when you see other people who have finished an Ironman, there is a silent understanding. Most relationships are forged with a common experience, and the bond of experiencing an Ironman is one that breaks conventional relationship boundaries. Just go to Kona---or Lake Placid or France---to witness people from all over the world with ultra-diverse backgrounds becoming part of a very special and supportive family.

With the commitment to train and race in an Ironman, you’ve started along the yellow brick road that will present you with far more than the lions and tigers and bears of your own self-doubt and fear. Training gives you a strong heart, physiologically and emotionally. Racing will grant you courage. Finishing will give you dauntless confidence. This yellow brick road to Kona, Hawaii---or to any Ironman race worldwide---will be jammed with lessons. You’ll rapidly learn that biking shoes are like ice skates on the slippery floors of grocery stores and that a bike can seem just a few pounds lighter than your running shoes. You will also learn very difficult lessons that will shake and sort your priorities in life like a powerful earthquake, revealing the basic truths that support who is really important to you.

If you’re not myopically focused on the size of your chain ring, or your finishing time, then Ironman just may teach you what you honestly value in your life. You will learn the basic lessons of what to eat, how to train, and how to run a marathon after being glued to your bike seat for more than 112 miles. You will learn that the wind, the rain, the heat and the struggle are often overshadowed, even forgotten, when you reach the last few miles of an Ironman and find the courage to break through your own boundaries. It is inevitable that when you watch an Ironman, or when you do an Ironman, the words never or never again will pass through your mind as you click your running shoes together at mile 15 of the run and say, “I wish I was home, I wish I was home.” But then you’ll realize that it’s within the Ironman experience that you just may find yourself more at home than laying in your bed on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Ironman may follow you like a shadow, but like all kids, you’re destined to find out that your shadow is a mere representative image cast by an object blocking illuminating rays. And that object is you, rebuilt with the adventurous fortitude of the Ironman experience. Let your running shoes click together in your next stride and glance down at your shadow. You’re home.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New goal

I have to get faster. I HAVE to. I NEED to be faster. So, last night I started working on it. I ran 2 miles in 18:35. That is pretty darn fast for me! I would like to be able to run a sub-30 5K by the end of the summer, I think it's doable. Especially if I pick one with a flat course. I never did any speed work last year (I know, bad Ironman training), so I'm kind of looking forward to have something new and different to work on this summer. I've accepted the fact that I have now trained for and raced the longest distance I will ever cover, so speed is going to need to replace distance in my training.

Oh, and someone found my blog this week by googling "triathlons and dislike of swimming". Is it that obvious?!!?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I earned a burrito!

There are only two instances in which I feel justified eating an 1100 calorie Chipotle burrito: after a long workout (and I haven’t had any of those recently) or after a race. So what did I have for lunch yesterday?? Chipotle, of course!

For not having trained much this spring, Heritage Park went surprisingly well. My friend Audrey came out to watch and take pics, so hopefully she’ll have some up on her blog soon since I told Dan not to bother bringing my camera. I think this might be the first race where I’ve had absolutely NO nervousness at all beforehand. Which was definitely nice, because it meant no emergency trips to the port-a-john right before the start.

My swim time was about a minute slower than last year, which I’m OK with considering this was my first OWS of the season. Ok, I lied, it was my first swim at all since IMFL. I guess that’s not a total lie, because it WAS my first OWS…..it just happened to be my first swim of any sort. But it went OK, and I was happy to see that I hadn’t forgotten how to swim. I was also pleased that my wetsuit still fit. My only problem was that I discovered when we got down there that I was out of anti-fog, so I just had to lick out my goggles, which never works as well. So they kept fogging over and I had to stop a couple of times to sight.

The bike was a little bit of a different story. I didn’t have trouble with it or anything, it was just SLOW. Last year I averaged 17.8 mph on the bike leg, this year I averaged 14.1. Uh yeah, guess I need to be riding more. It’s kind of frustrating to have lost so much strength on the bike, but I know it’s just a matter of getting back out there and riding regularly. So no worries. Bryce passed me as I was starting my second loop and he was starting his first, I was a little concerned that he might lap me before I finished, but I managed to stay ahead of him.

The run was actually OK, I kept an 11:07 pace, which isn’t too bad for me. Last year I had a 10:42 pace, and I had been doing a LOT more running in the spring since I had just done Lincoln marathon a few weeks before. I felt good on the whole run, just walked through the two aid stations and ran the rest of the time. I saw Bryce as he was heading out on an out-and-back portion and I was finishing it, and figured he would catch me since he’s a much faster runner, but he didn’t until RIGHT at the very end, I crossed the finish line literally about a second before he did. Of course, his swim heat started 15 minutes after mine, but whatever, I still won.

My overall time was 1:34:02, about 7 minutes slower than last year, but about 7 minutes faster than 06.

Audrey ended up having an extra ticket to the Brigade game since her husband had an early soccer game, so I spent the afternoon with her at that. Good times. It was my first AFL game, a little different, but still fun. I would like to note that we were sitting behind a group of swingers. Dudes don’t rub each others’ shoulders. They just don’t.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wetsuit for HP

I see a lot of people have been finding my blog this week based on a Google search of "heritage park triathlon wetsuit", or some form of that. It's funny to see the ways people find your blog, I think the funniest one I ever got was "peeing while running", but I digress.

Yes, wear a wetsuit. The water temp is about 64 degrees, which is damn cold. Last year, most people wore a wetsuit, and we'd had a warmer spring than we have this year. I will be wearing mine....assuming it still fits.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What is the point?!

So, my first race of the season is coming up this Sunday, Heritage Park. You'd think I would be excited for it like I always have been in the past, but I'm just not this year. I think mostly due to the fact that last wekend I realized that the entire race is going to take less time than my swim at IM. Well, SHOULD take less time than my swim. So either a) I am a really slow swimmer, or b) HP is just a really short course. I think a combination of the two. I'm sitting here thinking, what is the point of a 90 minute race! Really, dragging my ass out of bed at 5am for a race that short just doesnt hold the same appeal that it used to.

Not to mention, in years past I've had a pretty good sized group of friends doing the race, but this year I only know one other person who is doing it. It's always fun to have your friends there, but this time it will be just Dan and Bryce, who will just be on the lookout for the chick in the school girl outfit. Oh well. While I'm on my bike and when I'm running, I'll just remind myself "hey, at least you're not still swimming!". BUT, I'm sure it will be fun, I just need to get there. Here's my recap of last years race:

Penny gives Heritage Park a big 'ol stink eye!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ok, Ok, I get it!

I have been informed by multiple sources that I suck for not updating my blog, so here goes. I finally got another job and just started last week. So that is good. I had a nice 4 month hiatus....too bad the weather was craptastic the entire time. You would think that with all that free time I might have been motivated to do some serious training, but no. I just sat on the couch watching Food Network and Lifetime, getting fatter and fatter. Ok well I didn't get fat, but I sure feel like a lardo after 5 months of barely working out.

I did finally sign up for my first race of the season, Heritage Park tri the 18th of May. At least, I think it's the 18th. Obviously I'm not nearly as concerned with the details, like when races actually are, as I was last year. And now that the weather is starting to turn nice again, I'm actually beginning to get the itch to get out there and train. Of course, I havent really scratched that itch yet, but it's coming!

I've ridden my bike a total of once, swam zero times, and run an average of maybe once a week. So yeah, I need to get my butt in gear for HP. It's just a sprint and I can handle it no problem, but I dont exactly want to come out with a worse time than last year. Also, I aged up this year. I'm now competing in the 30-34 AG. Yikes! No more 20-somethings for me. Maybe I should go run after work.

In other news, we just got done remodeling the bathroom. And I say "done", meaning that the bathroom is functional, it's not quite finished yet. Our house was built in the 50's and the bathroom looked like it hadnt been updated since then. I know it had, but it was still in pretty bad shape. Yellow tile covering the entire room, oversized vanity directly across from the toilet that required you to sit sideways on the toilet, rotting window frame in the shower that sprouted mushrooms last summer, the works. Yes, we actually had mushrooms growing IN the shower. Dan did most of the work with the help of a few guys who know more what they're doing, and it looks pretty good for a few amateurs who gave it the ol' college try. Just dont look too closely at the walls. (see Dan, I talk about you in my blog)

Next up on the home repair list, replacing the kitchen counters and back splash and installing a tile floor, and refninishing the hardwoods in the rest of the house. Then it will be time to put it on the market and hope it doesnt take a year to sell.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Well, I guess I'm not technically back in the saddle since I haven't been on my bike yet since November, but I'm at least working out. I took almost 3 full month off from doing anything physical, I figured I just needed the break. And it has been oh so nice not HAVING to get up early to go run or whatever. I signed up for Runners Edge again and went to the first session at the end of January, then skipped every week until this last weekend. It's just so hard getting on a schedule again! But I finally feel like I'm ready to really start training again.

People keep asking me what races I'm doing this year, and I truly dont know yet. This time last year I had my whole season mapped out, and now I have nothing. I know I dont want to do anything longer than an Oly and a half marathon. No half IM's, and no marathons for me this year. Long mileage just doesnt sound appealing right now.

So, I will PROBABLY be doing the following races, though I havent really taken the time or effort to look up any race calendars to see when things are.
- Heritage Park Tri
- Hospital Hill half mary
- Shawnee Mission long course
- KC Womens Tri
- Quarter Max

I hear there's another all women's tri in the area this year, but I dont know when. So maybe that one too. It's SO nice not having to be as hard core and serious about it as I was last year! I still want to do more IM's in the future, but not for a long while. And some day soon, i will get my bike down out of the rafters and actually clean it off so I can start riding again. It still has my IMFL numbers and dried, sticky Gatorade all over it.

In other news, I got laid off from my job in December. I'm still not working, but at least I've finally started getting called for interviews. Where was all this free time when I was training for Florida!?