Sunday, March 30, 2008

Clinton Lake Ultra

Saturday 3/29 - Sunrise: Not sure of the time but I was up. Actually I was up way before. We left the house at 3:05. Got to the run at 5:15. It was me, Caroline, Bubba and the race director. A very friendly and excited man who told us where to park. If it was light out I would have objected but since it was dark I never saw the signs on the wooden boxes we parked next to. It wasn't until 7:35 when I was doing some yoga that I realized we parked right next to the fish cleaning bins. Thankfully it was cold.

The start time arrived. I was a little nervous which surprised me. I thought I would be jumping out of my skin beside myself nervous but I wasn't. My stomach rolled around for about 5 minutes and then I was good. Yikes, the last time I felt this way was Boston. Hmmm.

We listened to a brief talk on the race course, thanked the volunteers and then we were off. It was chilly for sure but sunny and we felt no wind. The elevation change was immediate, 50 yards out of the parking lot and we were met by our first hill. We went up, we went down, we went up and then down. After doing this about 4 times we finally went up and stayed paralell for a while and then went down. The course was very well marked with white paint markings on the trees. And the mile markers were bright yellow dixie plates with numbers in the center that were tacked to tree trunks. You couldn't site the run by following the paint markings for too long though because it was easy to lose your footing on the unstable ground. This was definitely a challenge.

I felt extremely calm running out there. I don't know what I did to get that way, maybe it was the lack of sleep. When I started out I decided I wasn't going to race. It was my first time running a long distance on a trail and burn out can sneak up on you. In retrospect I wish I did push myself a little more. My goal was to keep the same pace on all 3 loops. I came close on my first 2 laps and then fell a little short on the third. I changed my shoes and socks after 20 miles and used the facilities so I know that added a couple extra minutes from the first to second lap.

The best parts of the day

The sunrise


Noticing a huge mushroom on the trail - there was no way I could take a picture of it. It was between mile 1 and 2 and I was still in the starting pac of runners. I hoped it would be there the second time but it was trampled into nothingness and gone by the time I reached the spot.

The plank - I think it might be one of those "you had to be there stories" - I ran with Caroline who is a good 10+ pounds lighter than me - I ran across the plank first and then hear the plank crash back into the water and Caroline gasp. I was just waiting to see her fly in front of me. Luckly she had the presence of mind not get on until I was off. We had to stop running cause we were laughing so hard.

The laughter - there was a lot of it. On the 3rd loop an older gentleman told us were talking way to much to be on our 3rd loop. I took it as a compliment.

Skiing down the mud on my feet and not FALLING! Oh yeah, that was worth the price of the race!

Giving into just running through the mud. It was all good after that. :)

The lake

The wind changing direction from the 2nd loop to the third

The finish

I was asking myself at mile 29 if I was ready for 20 more. I know I am mentally. Which is so odd because it's usually the other way around. Physically I'm ready while my mind beats the demons away. If you saw me walking today you would know why I'm no so sure about being ready physically. :) I'll heal. :) :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Stuck in My Head

The following are conversations that I had last week that are now stuck in my head ....

Wednesday 3/19

Bernie - I really don't mind long rides in the wind.
Me - Is it because you are able to relax your body and your mind and just ride.
Bernie - (with a big smile and a long pause, while shaking his head up and down) Yeah.

Saturday 3/22 - Morning

Donna - I'm running Boston with Lori. I'm going to Bandit.
Me - How cool is that!
Donna - Yeah, well I know some people are against it but I think the race knows it happens and they just kind of accept it.
Me - That is so cool!

Saturday 3/22 - Night

Zak - I really hope the Easter bunny brings me that bag from Costco.
Me- What if he doesn't?
Zak - Well, he's my friend and I like him so I'll forgive him.

I'm the classic person that complicates life to the point that I forget to stop and enjoy. While running yesterday, after Easter dinner, these three conversations stuck in my mind until I disected them over and over and over again. Funny, I came up with the same bottom line for all of them ..... life is simple so keep it that way. I know we are living in a world where Oprah is promoting this concept and authors are making millions from it. I've never been able to concentrate long enough to finish a book so to come to this realization without reading is good. Actually it's one I already knew, it's one we all know but need to be reminded of every once in a while.

To ride and just enjoy, to run and just enjoy, to have friends and just enjoy them. That's life. To complicate with weather, or time, or words is nothing more than a waste of energy.

So my goal this spring and a spring in the years to come .... ride into the wind with a smile, I'll pick the bugs out later, bandit the Boston marathon - I think that's the only way I will take the pressure off myself and enjoy every step! and Love my family and friends.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Apparently Bubba has tagged me. I think this officially makes me a blogger. The object of being tagged - I need to tell you 7 things about me that you didn't know. Hmmm, I share quite a bit with you so this is taking me a while to come up with. Well, here it comes ....

1. I'm adopted. I'm a twin and my sister and I were adopted at birth. The most annoying thing about being adopted is when people ask me, "So your brother, (who is 2 years older than me, and was also adopted at birth) is he really your brother or is he adopted too?" WHAT?! Of course he's my brother. What kind of question is that. I guess I understand why they ask but what they don't realize is my family is the only family I know. I don't go up to people asking them, "Hey, are you sure that's your brother cause he looks a lot like the milk man." Sorry, that's pretty crass. I do like to answer the question, "Did your mother know she was having twins?" Nope, she had no clue until after we were born and got the phone call from her lawyer. :)

2. My husband was only the second man I ever dated. Wow, that's pretty wild when I start thinking about it. We dated for 4 years and then got married. Will I be happy if my daughter only dates 2 men and then decides to marry one of them? Nope, but I'll have to trust that she knows herself well enough to take one of the biggest steps of her life.

And no, I didn't forget about my son. I see Zak getting married at 35. I imagine he'll be dating a lot between 16 and 34. :)

3. I can eat a container of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey in one sitting. And if the container was bigger I would probably keep going. I love ice cream. I get tired of chocolate, candy, popcorn and other snacks but for some reason I could just keep on eating and eating ice cream. Very scary. :0

4. I hate long car rides. HATE, HATE, HATE them!!! Driving up to Madison last year was torture for me. Thank God my family and tri-mates kept me occupied most of the time. Growing up we would drive to northern Wisconsin and it was never pleasant for me. My sister has these great memories of looking out the window and just spending time with the family. Not me. It's interesting how the same experience can affect everyone differently.

5. I was voted the shyest person in my high school graduating class. I remember this girl coming up to me and telling me I wasn't really the shyest person in our class. That it was really someone else and that I should tell all my friends to vote for her and not me. All I could say was "OK". There was no way I was going to tell anyone who they should vote for. I could barely say hi to most of the people at school. Like I was really going to tell people who to vote for, that's funny.

6. I was a licensed EMT from 1997 to 2001. I never worked as an EMT and didn't want to but when I was running on a path in Park Forest back in 1996 a man collapsed right at the trunk of my car. I had no idea what to do. Luckly it was a Sunday morning and there was a large group of people around. One of them being a doctor. Someone had a cell phone and called 911. Fortunely the young man was ok but it made me realize I didn't know CPR or much else for that matter if someone got hurt and there was no help around. So I took a 16 week class at Moraine Valley Community College. I had the best time taking that class. I was also training for the 1997 Disney Marathon at the time. It was nice finishing the class and taking the state exam and then going on a running vacation after it. Thankfully I have never had to use anything I learned from the class. Well, actually now that I'm writing this, there was the year at Danskin when a young girl was severely dehydrated and disoriented. Her friends were panicing and didn't know what to do. My sister went and got a police officer who was finishing up directing traffic and Keri and I got her to the curb and sat her down. She couldn't drink anything with out heaving. Luckly the ambulance arrived quickly. I hate Danskin. It's so over crowded and so hot. I feel like it's a disaster waiting to happen - Chicaog Marathon 2007.

7. I hit a tree head on while sledding as a child. I received 21 stitches in my forehead and had a scar that showed for many, many years after that. To this day I have extremely vivid dreams, especially nightmares. And I can't help but wonder if it's from getting knocked in the head so hard.

Well, that's it. Ok, who gets tagged. Well, hmmm ....... Bubba named a couple of people. I only have a couple of blogger friends so I tag


Doug J


and I love reading

Iron mom Jenny


Marcy. Not sure if they will read this but, I'll put it out there anyway.

Thanks for listening. Boy, I feel better now. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Life's Lessons

Everything that happens in my life is a lesson to be learned from. It's funny because if something goes good, well I figure I learned the lesson, bring on a new one. Well. I'm slowly realizing that it doesn't work that way. Every situation that presents itself is one to learn from each time, a good outcome one time (qualifying for Boston) doesn't guarantee a good outcome the next time (running Boston).

Training for this trail run has been a real challenge. We had a cold winter, there was down time with the flu/cold and this week-end there was my family. I found my self missing my family on the week-end. My daughter wanted me home Sunday morning. I'm a stay at home mom and always excused my time away from them because I spend so much time with them during the week. But I think I'm starting to burn out a little here because I couldn't stand the thought of not being with Grace, Zak and Scott on Sunday morning. I had to make a decision cut time from my training plan and be with the family or train.

Now, this may sound like an excuse to some, if I were reading this post I would start screaming, EXCUSE, just an excuse to get out of running, but like I said, I'm really starting to have this burned out feeling. Just blah. I'm finding nothing positive from hitting the paths, streets and trails. It's just countless, endless hours of moving. It's not a good feeling at all.

I'm the kind of person that doesn't stray from a training plan. Not gonna happen. If it told me to run 4 hours and 7 minutes before the sun rises then that's what I'm doing. I'm just not feeling that anymore though. Ok, GOD I'm getting it. In need to loosen up.

I did end up running 22.5 on Saturday with trail master Dennis. I like that new title. Our tri mate Jeff named him that. Many know him as RunBubbaRun. I guess I could call him Trail Master Bubba. We got out early and hit the path in the dark. It distracted me from my negative thoughts for a while. It was one great experience. Except a duck kept following me, or maybe it wasn't a duck :O. (Gotta figure out what's causing that) We would see the deer and a racoon running from us. The birds would sing every once in a while. It sounded like they were on my shoulder they were so close. Like I said it was great. Caroline and I got 20 in Sunday. 3 hours 40 minutes. I was supposed to do 5 hours.

Here's the best part about the runs this week-end. After thinking about it and beating myself up for not getting all of it in, I gave myself permission to let it go. Hope I'm not losing anyone with the pshych babble but really, it felt so good to just say, I did what I could. I could do no more than that. I'm not saying I'm completely giving up the running plan and what ever will be will be but I have to start to relax a little here or I will self destruct.

My new plan. Run, run, and run some more but relax. I will finish the 50 miles in April. I have 24 hours to do it. So, if I'm crawling across at 23:59.59, then it is what it is. Ok, honestly can't stand the thought of that but if I have to learn to except that, then I will. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Here's the Deal ....

Here's the DEAL on Wednesday 3/12/08 .....

We walked to school this morning. Of course we had to walk really, really fast because the fire breathing dragons were chasing us. This is a very interesting way to start your day. Needless to say we got to school in record time. It's amazing what a little sunshine and an imagination can do to brighten your day.

Oh, got 6 miles in after dropping off the kids. No wind, no ice, no snow. YEAH!

Well, the friendly lady, from Deal or No Deal, that I wanted to win the million didn't. I was so bummed. I watched until she made the deal. She had the million dollar case. She sold it for $206,000.00 UGH! She seemed happy to get the money she got. Wanted to be to the pool by 8 p.m. so I missed meeting the next contestant. Scott ended up watching until the end and he thinks the guy is going to win on Monday. Now he's hooked too. :)

We finally worked out an agreement with the local Masters Swim group for the tri club to swim on Wednesday and Friday nights. We have the blessed fortune of having 2 very experienced swimmers coaching us. Bernie and MJ. They aren't asking for anything. NOTHING. ZIP. I've said before and I'll keep saying how much I appreciate what they are doing for us. I was disappointed that they didn't make it in the paper. Oh, did I mention the local paper did a short story on our group?

I love the picture of the gang in the pool. Aren't they a handsome group? :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

M O N E Y ! ! !

So I'm running Sunday morning with Caroline and Dennis. Caroline has to make a pitstop. We trying getting into the local high school but it's locked up. So we head over to Dunkin Dounuts. She goes in. It's pretty chilly so we start running around the parking lot to stay warm. We travel about 200 yrds from the building and I see a dollar on the ground. Then I see another one and another. MONEY! I squeal. It was all over the ground. It was the weirdest thing because it was blowing but it wasn't going anywhere, part of it was frozen to the ground. I ended up with $4 and Dennis with $8. He was lucky enough to get a $5 bill. He offered me a $1, I think to even the find but I couldn't take it. I didn't pick it up in time :) He told Caroline he never saw me move so fast. FUNNY! Really, because I some how saw myself trying to balance on some slippery spots of ice and pick up the money at the same time. Not pretty.

I was happy to get 2 hours in Sunday. I hardly coughed and felt pretty good once we got going. I moved slow but it was all good. Next week-end is a long one. 4 hours Saturday / 5 hours Sunday. I'm doubling my vitamin C and trying to get as much rest as possible. :)

Oh, if you read this on Monday. Be sure to watch Deal or No Deal tonight. I think someone's going to win the million dollars!!! I'm so excited. I'll keep you posted :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Another Confession

Ok, I've got to get everyone healthy and get out of this house. I'm watching TV with the kids and laughing at the programs they are watching. If you've ever seen "That's So Raven" or "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" you'll know why I'm getting worried, Scott's very worried.

Hopefully, this is my last confession. I'll see father Tom before mass on Saturday so you guys are subject to anymore of this.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Confession Time

Ok, have to put this out there. After spending a week in the house with sick kids and a sicker hubby I have been reduced to watching a lot of TV. Which can really turn your brain to mush. With that said, I have a new addiction. I can not get enough of "Deal or No Deal". Have you seen it? It's like watching a live scratch off lottery ticket. The contestants start out so certain they have the million dollar case and by the end of the show are crying because they have to decide if they should settle for less than what the fantasized they had. Now that's great TV huh? Soon I'll be back out there in the real world and Howie, his girls & their cases, and the ultra secretive banker can suck somebody else into the world of game show TV.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sicker Than a Dog

Who made that expression up? Sicker than a dog? My mom used to say it when I was a kid. "I talked to so and so's mom, they won't be in school for a week - they're sicker than a dog". It's a weird way to put things but I find myself saying it now. The end of this week my house was "sicker than a dog".

The kids caught a flu bug early in the week. I kept them home from school on Wednesday. Both kids had temps over 100. Funny thing about a stomach bug is even if you don't have it you start to feel like you do after cleaning up after kids. Sorry, hope you aren't eating as you read this. Thursday Scott starts with a cough. Friday, he's got a high fever, he won't take his temp because, he is a man, you can feel the heat coming off of him just standing by him. He goes to work and comes straight home and crawls into bed. I can feel it coming on too. My ears are plugged and throat burns. By Saturday morning I'm miserable. Everything aches. The head, the legs, the head, my arms, the head, you get the idea.

I call Bubba and tell him I won't be running with him today. If I start feeling better I'll run thru my neighborhood and meet up with him tomorrow. Classic flu. Don't want to eat or drink anything but know I have to. What I do eat, well it doesn't taste. The kids are really good as their father lay in bed and then on the couch downstairs and I do my best to get what ever they need for the day. Dang, the pounding head won't stop. I nap from 2:30 to 4:30. I hate taking a nap when I'm sick. You never really rest. You have strange dreams and wake up off and on the whole time.

It's Sunday. I didn't run at all this week-end. I'm starting to feel better. Food tastes again. Tomorrow I'll get out there and get some miles in. Ugh! I was supposed to taper next week. Well, looks like the taper was this week-end instead.