Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ice Run

Chicago Tribune - Tommy Skilling's weather forecast

Tuesday high 48 / low -1

Near 50-degree temp plunge begins late afternoon. Developing 50 m.p.h. gusts send wind chills plunging to -20 to -30-degrees by daybreak Wednesday. Mild through mid p.m. Tuesday. Spotty showers build to a period of rain. A t-storm? Accumulating evening snow. 2"-4" some heavier totals NW. Blowing snow,
possible whiteout conditions.

I dropped Gracie off at dance class tonight. I had an hour to kill and decided to get 5 miles in. Tommy Skilling was calling for winter storm warnings, which was hard for me to comprehend since it was in the 40's, it was raining and windy but it felt more like spring than winter.

I got thru the 1st mile with the wind to my back and then my left. It was still feeling pretty warm. As I headed west I turned into the wind gusts and began to feel the temperature drop. It was blowing so hard I was worried a lawn ornament might come at me from someones yard. I only had 4 miles left and even with the wind I was keeping a good pace. It was still raining and the ground was wet. The Garmin chimed, mile 2 was completed. Then my feet started to slide. The ground was literally freezing with each steps I took. I tried to ignore it but slid again. Shoot! So I moved my run over to the grass parkways. This is going to stink I had 2 1/2 miles left, and had to run it in the dark on wet grass. Would try the street every once in a while but would slip as soon as I put my foot on the pavement. UGH! With a half mile left I was worried about getting back to dance class on time. The wet grass was starting to freeze and my feet were now soaked. It was so dark and difficult to see where I was running I would walk and then start running once I realized what the ground was like.

Got back to dance class with no time to spare. I saw Gracie lining up to leave as I was walking into the building. My feet were freezing and my toes felt numb. I have been running for a long time and don't ever remember having the ground freeze right under the steps I took. Tomorrow night, I'm heading to the school. I hate running in a circle 81 times but it's wind free in the building and there's no ice. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

To Bike or Not to Bike

How I spent my breakfast time this week-end

Friday 1/18/08 - 9:15

I walked into the restaurant and my dear friend from high school was reading the paper waiting for me. I gave her a big hug, well as big as I could while she was sitting in the booth and then found my spot on the other side of the table.

Our conversation was filled with catching up from the last time we saw each other. And then she asked .....

"So you only have your blog calendar filled until June. What's up?"

Me - Well, I've been thinking about that. I really think I'm afraid to get on my bike again. I loved last year and spent a lot of time on the bike. I haven't been on it since October. I'm thinking I'm avoiding it all together. Does that sound weird?

Cin - No. She said with her reassuring smile, shaking her head.

Then the conversation moved on to something else. But my words started to haunt me. Later that day I got email of what my tri pals were doing this week-end. I had a lite running schedule so I decided to bite the bullet and use one of those mornings to ride. I picked Saturday.

Saturday 1/19/08 - 7:22 a.m.

Cell phone rings. It's my tri mate. "Hey, where are you?" - "I see you," I tell him. He was meeting me at the main intersection of a different mountain bike riding place. "Great, oh I see you, ok follow me" he said. "Hey, should we wait for Jim?" I ask. "Nope, he's there!" so off we go.
We zig zag up this small incline and then sharp left into the parking area. I'm excited because the sun is coming out and the snow is sparkling, the scenery is amazing. The lake is frozen but you can tell it still has spots that might not be completely trust worthy, even if it was -2 outside. We all stay in our cars and finish getting dress. Scott I. lends me goggle to wear, which were great. Off we ride into the woods. The ruts to follow are covered in snow so I just do my best to stay with the group. Your mind can not wander while riding here. Your attention must stay completely focused on the ride. I'm trying to focus on staying up right, avoiding trees and sticks and tree trunks. Swerving and spinning. It's hard to concentration because everything looks so pretty. Then my thoughts start taking me back to when I was a kid and we would ride our bikes thru the forest area behind Trinity College. There was never any fear back then. We would just go. Then I was brought back to the present. Some how I'm on the ground and my bike is on top of me. UGH! Hope no one saw that. I struggle to get the bike off. Catch up to the guys. It's a great morning. End up walking up a lot of the hills. That's ok. I really like this. How can I fit this into the runs. Jim is managing the ride effortlessly as he shows us which way to go. I ask him how long he's been riding "Only about 2 years". Great I'm thinking this is going to take me 2 years. It's as if Scott I. reads my mind and tells me that I'll catch on in no time. Rick's words continue to ring true - the only way to become a good rider is to get on the bike as often as possible.

Get back to the car. My phone rings, Scott is having trouble with getting me into the Horribly Hilly Hundreds. I told him not to worry about it. It wasn't meant to be. "Oh no" he tells me. He's determined to get me in. Then Rick calls me. He's frozen on the computer, he can't get into HHH. I tell him Scott's trying and he will try for Rick too. Here's a pic of Ken comforting me as I get the news that registration is a big pain in the butt just like last year. I get home. Scott's still trying. He has 3 windows open all of them frozen at the registration place. We sit there and watch the screen for about 20 minutes and then get the message that our time has expired on that website. I don't get in, neither does Rick. We're going to get in, I know we both want to get back there. I have a final hill to conquer :)

Sunday 1/20/08 - 7:30 a.m.

It's just a small group out running this morning. Scott starts out fast. I'm hoping it's the cold weather that has him moving at this pace and things will slow down. Nope, we're still moving quickly by mile 2. I tell Tom that I need to slow it down. He said he'll stay with me. Ken and Scott slowly pull away from us. It is another amazing morning. The 9 1/2 miles went by quick. I feel bad for Tom tho, he feels blisters forming on his foot. OUCH! That's the worst, once that feeling starts miles can pass at a snails pace. We were actually moving pretty good for it being as cold as it was and for the blisters. I made plans on Saturday to ride Sunday too but had to change the plans when I never made it to mass Saturday night. It was hard to leave the guys as they got their bikes ready. Told them I would pray for them like I always do.

Looked at my running schedule last night. I was so excited to start riding - "I'm gonna do this type attitude" until I looked at the time I need to put in this week-end. I have to sit down and make some choices here. Something I'm never good at. To bike or not to bike? That is the question. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

One of My Favorite Things ..... about running

When running, just like riding over a long period of time, your mind can take over the physical actions of your legs and before you know it you're lost in a thought. This is one of my favorite things about running. I had to run for 3 and a half hours Sunday. Most of the run was done with the group. And during the run, conversation was kept alive with funny stories of adult men jumping off of roofs into swimming pools. Then the group broke off and began to mountain bike leaving just me and Bubba to finish up. I think we were both getting tired and for the last 30 minutes things stayed pretty quiet. It's amazing how clear a sound can be on a cold winter morning. Trains running on the track seem to rattle louder. The ground beneath your feet makes a recognizable sound which causes vibrations up your leg, threw your body, a sensation that can feel like pain sometimes, usually after about 12 miles. :) But when it's quiet all these things become clearer. And that's when the mind just kind of takes over and you can get lost in a thought. Sometimes being taken back to a time in your life that you really enjoyed or to place where you are trying to find resolution with something. It's a great place to be. Like I said it's one of the things I like best about running.

While I was out in the cold yesterday morning Scott took the kids to a farm in the area. Gracie loves horses. And the farm has a horse and pony. So off they went. Turns out the horses eat candy canes and we had extra from the holidays so while I was out pounding the frozen path the kids were feeding "Pony", the pony's name candy canes. It's a great feeling knowing your family is enjoying the morning in the same way you are. Even if we weren't together. When the kids got home Gracie told me I was with her even if I wasn't with her. "You know where you were mom?" she asked me. And then she pointed to her heart. I said, "That's funny Grace, cause you came with me this morning too, you were right there in my heart with me." Then we both giggled. Ah, life can be so good.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Trail Running and Signing With a :)

Ran the trails both Saturday and Sunday. It was challenging for sure. Saturday was snowy and icey and by Sunday, well it was just a mess. We ran the streets for 7 1/2 miles. It would have been 7 but I got us lost coming back. Nothing worse than getting a group of cyclists lost while running back to get on their mountain bikes. After the road run a trimate and I kept going on the trails. Starting out is wasn't bad. We were warned before getting on the we would slide just by standing on the ice. We had our yax trax on whiched helped things go smoothly on the ice. The mud was what was making things difficult. If it wasn't icy then it was muddy. And the mud stuck. Just when I would free myself from it by running, I would run thru more. UGH! With about 4 miles left I started slipping all over the place. After stopping for some water I realized my yax trax rolled up my foot. So, I pulled it down, mud - yuck and all and finished slip free.

Don't ask why I feel the need to write this but I do, so here it goes. I'm not the kind of person that dotted my i's with hearts growing up or put cutesy little pictures on stuff. Well, except for me and Cin, we had this one thing we would always put on our notes in high school, but that's not what I'm talking about. For some reason, when I write emails, I'm compelled to sign off with a smile - you know :). I've tried stopping with the new year but can't. Hmmm, suppose I could have a worse habit that I can't break. I'll figure this out eventually. :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

More Pics and a Resolution

That's me, coming in from a double loop ride up in Verona. If I'm not mistaken this was the day I met my possium friend. With all the riding I did last summer, I saw a lot of road kill.

Ah, nothing like an ice cold lemonade after a long ride. Well, it wasn't ice cold but it did taste good. :)

What a crazy day this was up at the Dairyland Dare. Rain, wind, sun. A very well organized ride.

Here's Gracie and Zak during one of our many trips to the zoo this summer.

Bike transition at the Ironman. What do I like best about this picture? After looking at I realized Scott is just a head of me on the bike. See the middle left? And just behind me is Gil. Never knew I was that close to Scott on the bike until looking at the pics a couple of weeks after the race.

Halloween 2007 - the Barbie Cheerleader and the dragon/dinosaur/Spidarman lizard

It's obvious this me and Scott on our wedding day. We celebrated 20 years in 2007. Tom R. asked me how long we've been married - he then asked how old the kids were - and then in usual Tom fashion quipped - "Man you guys must love each other to be married for that long and not have kids."

Scott and the kids putting a gingerbread house together this Christmas. We tried baking gingerbread men to decorate ourselves, the recipe I used called for a 1/4 cup ginger - it was a typo - we got some cool looking cookies that we couldn't eat. So I bought the packaged house - funny thing is we aren't eating that either. :)

My trimates on the last long run/ride of the year (well, that I made it to, there was one more after this one). It was foggy but not as foggy as it looks. My camera was breaking down - Santa brought me a new one for Christmas. :)

I am truly blessed. I lived a good year and look forward to 2008. My resolution. I don't like to make them - but this year I think I discovered something about myself and am going to try to live by the words - "trust a man by not what he says but by what he does".