Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Break Brick

Kids were off school today for Easter Break, though I didn't see them much because they were busy playing with their cousins down the street.  I snuck off for a bit while they were gone and knocked out 35 min on the trainer (per the Tour training plan) and then a 5K run to the bank (and back) to make a deposit.  This is my first brick workout in AGES.  I'm ashamed how I've been putting them off - might make the duathlon in two weeks kind of interesting.  This finished out all of the "Spatula" events except a 10K walk.  Fingers crossed I win something.

Wrapped up my day watching my daughter open her birthday gifts - a new bow from her dad (purple) and gift certificates from me.  Tomorrow we are also going shopping and getting mom/daughter pedicures.   And then Saturday is her birthday party with her friends.  Not a bad way to celebrate being nine.  Hard to believe - doesn't seem that long ago that I was bring her home and cuddling with her curled up in a ball on my chest.

The weather is warming up - almost got hot on my run.  So my husband said he'd put my new tire on my bike tomorrow morning so I can try to squeeze in my 40 miles on the road (per the Tour plan) sometime over the holiday weekend.  I'm kind of dreading hitting the hills and wind again.  And with no netflix, etc to distract me.  Time to toughen up!

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi
Biking = 245.3 miles
Running = 71.1 miles

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Per the Plan

Seriously considered blowing off my planned workout after another long day of work yesterday.  But at 9 PM, I finally drug my butt off the couch and got to work.  The Tour De Cure training plan called for a moderate 40 min spin.  I jumped on the trainer and watched some streaming Netflix for 45 min of cranking it out.  That is about 10.1 miles = easy enough to count as a "Spatula" 10K.

Today wasn't as productive work wise.  No good reason, just tough to get my head in the right space.  I had a completely frustrating attempt at purchasing a gift for my daughter's 9th birthday (tomorrow).  Settled on a gift certificate towards her heart's desire (a Vera Bradley something or another - ugh - who is this child that suddenly is all about the label?).  She has Brownies tonight, but the kids are off school the next three days for Easter break. 

Tomorrow I need to do another workout - trainer time per the Tour plan.  But I also need to squeeze in a run - at least a 5K to finish out my "Spatula" races.  I have a duathlon on 4/6 that I fear I am unprepared for having done NO bricks of late.  And somewhere in the day, I need to put my Supermom cape back on and whip up some cupcakes (or at the very least - head to the grocery store and buy some).  Good times.

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi
Biking = 237.4 miles
Running = 68.0 miles

Monday, March 25, 2013

Long Trainer Ride on Snowy Sunday

I never got around to my 2nd short trainer ride on Thursday night and punted on Friday too.  Saturday I was too busy with my supermom duties making pies for the chili supper at school and a crisp for home and muffins with some more leftover apples (per daughter's request and then she promptly turned her nose up at them).  The whole evening was shot with the music performance, art show and chili supper plus 7 PM mass (which was long with Palm Sunday reading of the Passion). 

So as I got out of bed early yesterday (Sunday) to a driving snowstorm, I jumped right into my tights and headed down to the garage for 35 miles. 
My deck on Sunday after my trainer ride -
this snow mostly fell between 6:30 AM and noon

My poor daffodils nearly buried in the snow - Spring my ass!

Front yard with the snow still coming down and blowing like crazy
The laptop wouldn't play my Netflix DVD (some security issue?) and wouldn't connect to the internet (the wireless card shot craps a year or two ago and the plug in receiver has now joined it).  In desparation for something to watch, I grabbed my daughter's High School Musical DVD and got it playing.  FINALLY got on the trainer and started pedaling away.  I've actually found that musicals aren't too bad to work out to and those Disney ones have some catchy tunes.  I watched the movie all the way through once and then skipped through and did some more songs afterwards to get the final miles in. 

And for continued fun with the "Spatula" races, I got my son to catch a few pics of me on the trainer with my spatulas.  I'm using this long ride for my "30K Any Way".  Praying the snow melts soon enough for me to get a run in at some point.  Long day of work today.  Another planned for tomorrow, but will probably do a 10K "Spatula" spin tomorrow night.
Riding with Spatulas - Yes, my pain cave isn't much to look at
Check out my Spatula "aerobars"
35 miles on trainer - a Spatula victory!

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi
Biking = 227.3 miles
Running = 68.0 miles

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cold Morning w/ Great Friend

I feared that Susan would want to bail, but I guess she needed the "therapy" as much as I did because she agreed to suck it up when we woke up to temps in the teens and go for a long run anyway.  At least it wasn't snowing  It slowly climbed into the 20's as we met at the Katy Trail to do our "usual" route.  I was anxious to get going to keep from getting cold.  I tend to take off a bit too fast, but Susan kept me reigned in.  We talked about my mil issues, my busy life and her busy life.  We walked when we had to and ran when we could.  She had a lunch date with her husband so we had to pick up the pace at the end to get back.  I came home to leftovers.  We forgot to take a pic at the river overlook (our usual spot) so we agreed it was fine to do it at the end by the sign for the historical marker:

Our turn around is at a Lewis and Clark Historical Marker -
4.2 miles out and 4.2 miles back = 8.4 miles
When I got home, I wanted to count this for one of my "Spatula" races.  I signed up for more than one (though I don't truthfully remember which ones).  We'll call this one the 10K (plus a little).  I didn't really watch the time, but we tend to be pretty slow.  Probably around 13-14 min/mile - too much talking.  Let's call it 84 minutes give or take for the 10K since it was probably around 2 hours for the 8.4 miles.  Thankfully, the virtual race winners are selected randomly and not on time.  I took a few pics for the  photo contest using my camera timer too:

Running with Spatulas - post 10K+

Thank you for all your kind words regarding my mother-in-law.  It is especially hard because we have been dealing with this stuff when most of our friends are still relying on their parents to help them and have no clue about taking care of ailing loved ones yet.  I suppose I'll appreciate it when this stage of life is behind us about the time they all enter it.  As my wonderful grandmother used to tell me, "This too, shall pass." 

For my Tour de Cure training plan, I still need to knock out 30 min on the trainer tonight.  I'll probably do that after kiddos go to bed (and my TV shows are over).  Should be able to count that as the 10K bike "race".  I'm closing in on my initial fundraising goal for the ride.  If I can get another $40 by April 1, I'll get to wear the special jersey.  Yay!  Donate HERE if you would like to help.  thank you to all of my blogger friends who have already donated!  You guys are awesome!

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi
Biking = 192.3 miles
Running = 68.0 miles

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Life Stress + Not So EZ Spin

We are dealing with a lot in our household.  And it seems we've been dealing with "something" off and on (mostly on) for a while.  Sometimes it has been unemployment (husband's and mine), sometimes it has been kids (mostly the general innocuous parenting crap, but lately a bit more as my son is entering puberty), but mostly we feel like we've been dealing with the decline of our parents. 

My dad was in poor health, then my stepmom, then she died, then he died, and in the middle of it my mother-in-law has increasing dementia even though she will only be 65 in April.  I've said before that it was tough because I felt like diabetes took my dad piece by piece in his final years and that it was a long grieving process (that I still sometimes feel isn't over).  My husband told me last night he had no idea how bad that time was for me until now - as he starts his own grieving of the person his mom used to be and trying to accept the person she is now.  Some stuff is coming to a head with decisions about her future that are wearing heavy on our hearts.

Last night, I needed to get 30 minutes EZ in on my training plan for the Tour de Cure.  But my husband was needing to talk.  So we talked while I cut his hair and then I changed clothes to jump on the trainer.  But he was still sitting in the garage where I left him when I got back.  So I let him talk some more while I cranked out my 30 min.  And they felt anything but easy.  I'm sure some of it was the gear setting and the fact he torqued the tension up the other day.  But some was the emotional toll this is taking on us.  I'm so sad for him and it is probably bringing up some of my own grief that I had shoved on the back shelf of my mind.

Didn't get much sleep last night.  Read the rest of a book until 11 and then was up to pee at 4 and husband started talking when I got back in bed never letting me get back to sleep.  Had a long day of working on a report for a client that wasn't going as well as I had hoped.  Husband was on spring break so he covered most of the housework while I was at the office.  Then he headed to a meeting and I took the kids to McDs - bailing on dealing with dinner tonight.

Hoping the snow that is predicted for tomorrow (damn groundhog) will hold off long enough for Susan and I to bundle up for a run.  I could really use our "friend" time to do some emotional unloading.  Sometime during the day I also need to do another 30 min spin.  And of course, try to get the draft of the report finished and off to my client plus some other work.  Always something.  Sorry to be such a downer.

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi
Biking = 192.3 miles
Running = 59.6 miles

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Luck of Irish 5K + 30 mi on Trainer

A busy week without a lot of working out usually leads me to trying to make up for it a bit over the weekend.  Friday the weather was the nicest it has been in months, but except for literally taking a walk in the park, I ended up having a couple drinks with neighbors and just hanging out Friday night.  Stupid - gave me a headache and some guilt over no biking outdoors. 

Saturday morning, I got up my daughter up on the early side and we headed down to the Luck of the Irish 5K in downtown Jefferson City.  Weather had turned super cloudy and cool with some wind overnight.  So much for our tiny taste of spring.  We had more than enough time for getting our packets.  We ran into a lot of people we know including Lukas from Team Virtus and some former co-workers and bike friends and neighbors and other friends from school, family members, etc.  Daughter was a social bee buzzing from group of friends to group of friends.  When there was only about 10 min before the race, we headed up the hill to the start line and hung with Susan and her boys and my niece waiting for the gun.

Girls are ready to run.  Mine is on the left and her cousin is on the right.
You may recall last year, she went out super fast and then spent the next couple of miles sobbing about not being able to do the full distance.  Oh what a difference a year makes.  She mostly stuck with me and worked on pacing and holding it together when she was struggling.  My niece ran out ahead at first, but we caught her after about the first mile and she mostly ran with us beyond that pacing with us the same walk/run mixture.  We tried to run the downhills, walk the steeper uphills and a mixture on the flats.  We played "I Spy" and "Run to that next sign" or "driveway" or "light".  We had almost no fussing except one minor side stitch early on.  It was a pleasure sticking together.

I knew running with my soon to be 9 year old would mean no PR though truthfully, my running is kind of sucking lately and there wasn't a lot of the time that I was really slowed down by her.  When she thought we were almost done (she didn't realize that the finish line was about 0.1 mi past the start), she started sprinting and she knocked it out of the park.  The race clock starts with the gun, but there is a sensor at the finish line that records your time at the end.  She finished in 36:47 and I came in right behind her and with my niece at 37:07.  Last year she did 40:04 so a great PR on a hard course with hills.  She may be able to outrun me in another year or two so I'll enjoy sharing this with her as long as I can.
Me and my girl catching our breath at the finish

Susan and I at the finish.  Moms are always stuck carrying everything.
Today nearly got away from me.  Lots of little things (home and work) in the way, but I finally sucked it up to face my 2.25 hours on the trainer.  I had 30 miles on the training plan for Tour De Cure (feel free to donate HERE - I'm almost to my $500 goal!).  I started with watching a movie and was interrupted at 1:29 by a husband who, although he cooks a lot of the time, seemed clueless on how to fry up some turkey cutlets for dinner.  So I got dinner started and let him finish it up so I could get back to the trainer.  Laptop died with about 12 min to go so I listened to a few tunes on my phone and called it good.  I'm feeling it too - husband thought he'd help by tightening the tension a bit.  Ouch.  He bought me a new tire the other day and said he'll help me figure out how to change it when the weather finally doesn't suck (oh, after 70's on Friday - it snowed this morning.  Welcome to Missouri!)

Today I also heard about the loss of a friend from high school.  I spent four years of choir with this guy, but hadn't really kept in touch (though he'd sold me my bathroom and kitchen fixtures when we built our house 10 years ago).  He had a gorgeous voice and a beautiful spirit.  He had just turned 40.  There was a car accident, he got out to check the damage and collapsed and was dead an hour later.  So hard to wrap my head around.  Another reminder that life can be short and I shouldn't put off too many things for "someday".

Kids are off school tomorrow.  Husband is off school all week (spring break).  I'm going to try to get some work done.  They are hoping to go to the gun range with a new purchase they recently made.  Both of my boys are giddy with excitement.  Daughter isn't a slouch at the range either though.  She is getting a bow for her birthday and will probably be outshooting her brother in no time.

Swimming = 7800 yds = 4.4 mi
Biking = 282.3 miles
Running = 72.2 miles

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Back to Reading

I had been on a bit of a reading binge a while back, but got busy (though in all reality - watching crappy TV shows could have fallen by the wayside instead) and didn't have much I wanted to read (seemed like all the books I wanted were always checked out at the library and I'm really trying not to spend money on books that I can read for free).  But about a month ago, I managed to snag four books at the library.  I've read two and because Jamie over at Couch to Ironwoman had one of them on her book club this month, I figured I'd better get my reviews done.  As I've said before, these aren't compensated in any way - books were free from Daniel Boone Regional Library and the opinions are entirely my own.

A Life Without Limits - Chrissie Wellington's book was in some ways exactly what I expected and in other ways, not at all what I expected.  It was very upbeat with some amount of self-deprication.  While it definitely talks about her road to 13 Ironman wins (and NO losses - holy hell), it isn't necessarily a book "about triathlon".  I really enjoyed a lot of the book that had nothing to do with her road to Iron-fame.  You see how various people came into her life at times that may have laid building blocks to her success, but you also see a lot of how her own tenacity (and yes, even obsessiveness) played into it.  I loved all of her stories of her wanderlust - the many places she's taken time out of a busy life to not just visit, but time to really live in.  I feel completely sheltered and boring reading about her leaps of faith that led to amazing adventures (and some outright crazy shit).  Her love for her friends and her family are apparent - but that really didn't surprise me.  She is incredibly bright and would have been (and will be) successful at anything she put her mind to.  I heartily recommend this book.  I devoured it in about one day and have toyed with reading it again before I take it back.

Mile Markers - I had wanted to read Kristin Armstrong's book for a while though it had some mixed reviews on Amazon and other sites.  Some people complained that a fair amount of the book was rehashed material from her Runner's World blog.  But I don't get Runner's World so it was all new to me.  Some people complained that she talks too much about her kids and her faith and said "enough already".  I felt quite the opposite.  As far as the kids go, mine are integral to just about every conversation I have because they are such a big part of my life.  So I found the entries in the book (that yes, do read a fair bit like blog entries) to be like having a conversation with a friend.  It was obvious that she was at a very similar stage of life to me as she wrote this (plus or minus a few years) and I found it VERY relatable.  If you are 20-30 years old and either unmarried or relatively newlywed, I can see where you wouldn't have related as much.  If you are 40-45, give or take, and have kids - you will "get it" and hopefully see it the way I did.  Several passages felt like she was speaking right to me.  I want to buy a copy and re-read it and underline stuff to give it to a friend as a gift because these are things I want to say to her.  While there are some references to her religious beliefs, I didn't find them overpowering though maybe they are just well in line with many of my own beliefs that it didn't bother me.  While there are a few references to her infamous ex-husband, if you didn't know who he was - most of the comments could be about any single mom's negotiation of managing the kids' time with dad (though I thankfully don't relate as much to those issues).

Both books get two thumbs up from me and are recommended.  I think I'd really like being friends with either of these women if I ever got the chance.  Enjoyed a peak into their lives and thoughts on both life and athletic pursuits.

As for my training, another crazy week of work is almost behind me. Monday and Wednesday I didn't work out.  Tuesday I got done with an evening meeting in enough time to come home and put in 11.7 miles on the trainer.  Today it has turned pretty nice and sunny. I should have gone for a run or ride, but I got busy goofing around after a day full of appointments.  Then almost forgot to take daughter to volleyball practice (actually did forget - friend texted me).  Got back, made dinner, visited with husband's aunt who had stopped by from out of town, watched a TV show and the day was gone.  Tomorrow is supposed to be on the verge of hot for this time of year (rumor is 70's).  Kids are off school so we'll see if I can sneak off before dinner for a ride - thank you daylight savings.  Need to get 30 miles for my training plan. 

Getting close to earning the champion jersey for Tour de Cure.  Need just $66 more in donations by April 1.  If you'd like to help me, click HERE for my personal donation page.  You can read all about my personal reasons for supporting the American Diabetes Association.

Swimming = 7800 yds = 4.4 mi
Biking = 252.0 miles
Running = 69.1 miles

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It could be worse...

Woke up to steady rain.  We had slept in somewhat intentionally and it was too late to go to our usual 8:30 mass.  Apparently, almost everyone had that issue with the time change as I saw a lot of 8:30 "regulars" at 10:00 mass.  Husband grilled us hamburgers for a nice big lunch, I sorted through some papers and headed to the grocery store.  By the time I got back and put everything away (including my stash of 49 cent sandwich bread), it was just minutes before we had to go to my niece's birthday party. 

We hung out with the family and ate gooey butter cake and oreo dessert and ice cream.  I think I gained 5 lbs.  The sun had come out for a bit and I was stoked as we walked home (across the street).  I texted Susan to see if she could join me for a run, but she was working (call weekend).  Then I texted Stacy and she called and said she was on the other side of town and the clouds were DARK.  Darn it!  With the dawdling, I was slowly losing my window to run.

About the time I walked out the door, the wind was picking up, the temperature dropping and the sprinkling ensued.  My husband was just getting back from a walk and thought I was nuts, but I assured him that after the SHITR, I really could never again use crappy weather as an excuse not to go for a short run.  I managed a much better pace than usual given I didn't want to be out too long in the now much steadier rain.  Just ran about 1.8 miles - nothing to write home about, but a nice shake out from yesterday's biking.

So the moral of the story is that it can always be worse - just reflect back to that crazy night in January whenever in doubt.

Swimming = 7800 yds = 4.4 mi
Biking = 240.3 miles
Running = 69.1 miles

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Finally the Weekend!

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger....right?  Let's just say it is a darned good thing that we had a pretty quiet weekend planned. 

Thursday was another crazy day of work.  Left mid-afternoon in order to get home and started on the housework by 4:00.  Last minute cancellation of volleyball practice was a welcome respite from my hectic day. 

But while digging through my bag, I found a copy of the training plan for the Tour de Cure.  I had a minor freak out when I realized the that 12th week of the training plan didn't include the event itself (ie. no taper).  So really, it is a 13 week training plan with the idea that you would probably do a couple easy spins that last week just to keep fresh for your century on the weekend.  Ack - that meant that I needed to do week one this past week!  How can the event be closing in so quickly?!  I need to get busy on my fundraising too though I sent out some emails to friends this week.  Read about why I am riding to stop diabetes and donate HERE.

The good news is that the first week only required a 20 min easy spin, a strength/core workout and a 25 mile ride.  I had already planned on a trainer workout on Thursday night so after we finished dinner, I jumped on and did 46 minutes which is approximately 10.3 miles.  The strength/core workout was going to have to be punted though.

Friday was another busy day.  Spent the morning preparing and before long it was time to testify.  Thankfully, my testimony lasted less than an hour and even with some waiting around I was out of there by 2:15.  I drove over to the pool only to remember it doesn't open until 3.  After a little dawdling, I went in to get changed and waited for the door to the pool to be unlocked.  Jumped in and knocked out 2000 yards - hell yeah!  Came home and went out with my family for salad and breadsticks. 

Joined in on some discussion about a gravel ride this morning with the Team Virtus guys who are busy training for Dirty Kanza.  The mileage was going to be about the same so I thought I'd join in.   I got the new bike rack on the car and laid out clothes and crossed my fingers that the warming trend would continue.  Unfortunately, they wanted to leave at the ass crack of dawn so I needed to get to bed early.

Enter my husband telling me he wanted to get a new phone.  He has finally entered the current millenium.  His old phone only called people.  It could take pictures, but with no data or texting plan - there wasn't much point.  While we were at the store, I told them my phone wouldn't update to the new Android version and wouldn't connect to my computer.  The guy tried to help me by supposedly backing everything up to a microSD card, but he only backed up my texts.  I lost ALL of my contacts, all of my apps, all of calendar entries, etc.  Oh my dear Lord - what a freaking disaster.  I spent a long time trying to retrieve some of my contacts through my old texts and figuring out how to fix the computer connection problems (install new drivers).

Needless to say, I got to bed late.  Ugh!!  Dragged my butt out of bed at 5:30 and it was pouring rain.  But indicated it was supposed to be over by 6:15 (the time we were to meet).  So I loaded up and headed out.  But the rain just got harder and it was windy as hell and it was COLD!  We discussed it, ogled the Monster bike that Robby had borrowed and goofed around until 7.  We finally called it as a washout as the trail was going to be a sloppy mess and even worse for me on my knobby tires.  Luke took a funny pic as we all wondered where Bob was (though I blinked and started laughing).
Where's Bob?
Later in the day, the sun came out and it warmed up a fair bit.  I got on my mountain bike and knocked out 10.75 miles with a couple loops around Scholastic.  Truthfully, it totally sucked - I had forgotten how yucky the wind can be.  And the sun was warm and I felt a little overdressed.  I did manage to listen to a little music on my phone - one plus of getting it fixed since I've been having to bum music from my boy.  Also felt like I need to adjust the saddle as it felt too far forward which caused some tweaking in my hips..  Came home and mapped my ride so I could see how much longer I needed to go on the trainer to get in my 25 miles.  Then got going while watching a little Netflix and the beginning of a movie.  Actually ended with 26.5 total.  Yay! 

I'm kind of feeling it tonight.  I'll need to do some kind of shake out run tomorrow.  Just found out we have a cake and ice cream for my niece's 10th birthday at 2, but that leaves most of the day to squeeze in 30-45 minutes of running. 

So that is the update on my crazy life and how I've managed to sneak in some workouts.  Now I need to go put the sheets back on my daughter's bed (were in my last load of a ton of laundry) so she can get to bed and be ready for mass an hour early tomorrow.  Happy Daylight Savings!  Yay for more light in the evening!

Swimming = 7800 yds = 4.4 mi
Biking = 240.3 miles
Running = 67.3 miles

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Another great trip!

Work is cranking away at an insane pace lately.  As a self-employed person, this is both good and bad.  No one to take the load off of me (sole proprietor w/ no employees), but good to know that I'll be able to send out some juicy bills soon.  And most are municipal clients that generally pay without a lot of fuss or delay.  Yay.  But I'm definitely meeting myself coming and going.  Having just returned late Sunday afternoon from Omaha, I spent Monday catching up a little at home and heading to the CPA to get my taxes done.  Also stopped in at the Y and registered for the Luck of the Irish 5k and finally went online and registered for my April du and May tri.  Early on Tuesday, I turned around and headed to Kansas City.

Spent all morning through lunch with one client, then all afternoon with another, then to Walmart to get a phone charger (we had one die in a drawer accident) and some ibuprofen for my wicked headache, then to the hotel to meet my friend Mary, then to another hotel because the first one was crappier than she had thought, then out to dinner at Applebees, to Party City to pick up stuff for daughter's bday party later this month, to Kohls to do some shopping (pretty stuff for me!) and back to hotel to crash after a gabfest.  It totally just worked out that she could meet up with me on this trip before she leaves for a fantastic vacation out in Vegas and Red Rocks.  It was super great to catch up with her!

Got up early this morning, gabbed a bit more and headed to fitness center.  I hogged the only treadmill while she did the recumbant bike.  More gabbing made the time go by quickly.  I knocked out 3.7 miles and then gave her the treadmill while I ran up to shower.  We had a nice hot breakfast (Holiday Inn Express Liberty- big kudos) and then talked for about 15 min before I had to pack up and leave.  Another three hour meeting and I was back burning up the highway.  I realized about Blue Springs (far eastern suburb of KC metro) that I was never going to be back in time for kid pickup so I called in reinforcements (neighbor). 

I had seen a post on our tri club listserv last night for a nearly new bike rack for $75 (Saris Bones 2).  I was stoked as I had been watching Ebay for a deal on one.  I'm tired of stuffing my bike in my back seat!  I texted the lady and scored!  As I was coming back into town, she said she was coming to Jeff City for errands and could meet me.  Double score as she lives about 25 min away from me.  So I stopped at the ATM and then met her in the grocery store parking lot to pick up my purchase.  Yay!!  It took me a bit to figure out how to hook it all up, but it looks like it will be just what I need.

Nice touch that it fits over my spoiler!
Dinner, emails, parent meeting for archery team, two loads of laundry, supervising finishing of homework, research parking code nightmare for another client, etc, etc.  I'm totally pooped and looking forward to bedtime.  Tomorrow is another busy day plus housework and volleyball practice in the evening.  Friday is another busy day and my first court testimony as an expert witness.  If I'm done early enough, I'd like to hit the pool.  The weekend can't come soon enough!

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi
Biking = 203.5 miles
Running = 67.3 miles

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Awesome Weekend

I have to admit that my mojo was slipping a little with all the snow the last couple of weeks.  I hadn't run because I don't have a gym membership, treadmill or clear sidewalks.  I was slammed with work (not entirely a bad thing) and I was pretty mentally fried a couple nights.  Then add jumping in a car and driving to Omaha (5.5 hours) by myself for a conference in fairly steady flurries.  The good news that the snow was actually less as I went north. 

Spent Friday afternoon with two long-time friends (Pam and Kim) who are both civil engineers (though that is only mildly relevant to our friendship).  Pam lives in Waverly, NE and Kim in Denver, CO.  These Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conferences are often the only time we really get to hang out so we purposely got there on the early side.  We spent the afternoon at a wonderful exhibit on the women's suffrage movement and "Women Who Rock" (featuring artifacts from various famous women in musical history).  It was in the Durham Museum in this amazing old train station whose architecture alone was worth the $9 admission. 
Rock On Ladies!  Pam and I at the exhibit entrance.
Left the museum and headed to the ice breaker event because Pam had all the cookies (crazy long story) for the weekend in her car.  We got there and had a ball in a photo booth (must scan this - hilarious viking hats), playing casino games, dancing, eating, drinking (though I only had one with alcohol) - even got a 15 min chair massage.  They had a live Twitter feed on a big screen so if you follow me,  I was harrassing Pam for all at the conference opening to see.  But it really was a fun evening with my friends.  We decided not to go out afterwards as we were pretty beat and knew we'd be chatting for a while back at the hotel.

Pam cleaning up at the Roulette table.  You bought extra raffle tickets w/ chips - I won a smelly candle.
Slept like garbage because of snoring roommates.  Oops.  So I got up early and did 4 miles on the hotel treadmill.  I walked some while talking to a sweet student from Fort Collins, CO.  It was nice to knock that out.  Showered, dressed and soon it was time for the breakfast, various breakout sessions, keynote lunch, more sessions, great dinner, brief awards and finale of dueling pianos.  What a great conference!  The Wichita ladies will have a hard time topping that next year! Icon13 was a total hit in my book. 
These guys were a lot of fun! 
But the super duper most awesome part of the weekend was that the keynote (and one breakout session)speaker was Patricia Walsh.  She currently holds the record for Ironman for a blind triathlete.  She also just happens to be an electrical engineer.  She worked for Microsoft for 6 years before leaving to start her own speaking business while she trains for the 2016 paraolympics.  She lives in Austin, but left the warmth of the south to join the Region i women for a wonderful weekend.  She spoke on blasting past perceptions - those we have of ourself, those people try to put on us and charging forward with "Blind Ambition".  She is also currently working on a book.  I'll be on the waiting list!  I highly recommend her for any kind of conference.  Love her attitude!
Patricia Walsh at the breakout session
Unfortunately, through some oversight on both sides of the fence - she was left to kind of fend for herself in a strange town that is not overly disabled friendly.  So Pam told her we'd pick her up this morning and take her to breakfast and then to the airport for her flight.  So we rolled into her hotel parking lot at 6:30 AM and took her to Perkins, enjoyed breakfast, and then helped her get on her way.  But make no mistake, she really didn't need our help - this is one tough cookie!

Got a couple pics with Patricia after the keynote lunch. 
So sweet!  She was even giving training tips and such.
I also met a lady from Kansas City who works for Garmin as an engineer (though not on the watches) that is preparing for IMWI so we visited a lot and I sat with her at dinner.  I hope to keep in touch with her and follow her journey. 

So is that a cosmic kick in the pants or what?  So tonight I jumped on the trainer for 80 minutes.  The twelve week training plan for Tour De Cure starts in a week, but there is no time like the present to get some time in the saddle.

Swimming = 5800 yds = 3.3 mi (must find a way to the pool this week!)
Biking = 203.5 miles
Running = 63.6 miles