Thursday, July 30, 2009

This is July???

What a weather month it's been. Only 3 days with official highs over 80 for the summer I heard on the radio the other day. Today, barely 70 degrees. Good for running, that's for sure. Most summers we have to endure so much heat and humidity, even in the early mornings. Not so this year. I hear it's supposed to be a cold winter as well. Everything is still so green ...

I forgot to mention a little comment from the fair yesterday. When I arrived to purchase my entry ticket, the kid (teenager) who was selling them asked if I was a senior. :-0 Nooooooooo!!!!! I should have said yes and saved a buck. :-)

The price for the Rochester Half Marathon goes up Saturday. Get those entries in!! We also still need lots and lots of volunteers. Email Jean if you can help us out. Thank you!!
This morning, I was hoping to get up and go for a bike ride. But it was raining. So I looked at the radar online and thought that it might be through Rochester shortly and went and cleaned bathrooms. But it was still drizzling and I didn't want to ride in the rain so I got on the Stairmaster instead. It's been a while since I've been on that thing, but it was a good chance to get caught up on some magazines. It's still a good workout!! Tomorrow, it's back to the pool.
After work, I stopped by Running Room to see Peg ...

about Half Marathon online registrations. After I left I drove through the Y parking lot and saw "the guys" looking at something on top of Jim Benike's van.

It's a new kayak. One that he can stand up in. He intends to use it for hunting.

He had this accessory that he can put through a slot in the bottom and pedal his way through the water. That's one way to get your miles in I guess!

He also got some wheels so he can drag it around.
He said you can get big cushy wheels as well, kind of an all-terrain wheel I guess, for sandy conditions.
My next door neighbor called this afternoon and said she was bringing over some dinner this evening. Very nice of her. It was pork roast, potatoes, rolls, applesauce and a pie (blueberry, cherry, peach I believe). Very yummy.

Ted is doing very well. He's pretty much self-sufficient now. Only needs assistance with the occasional task that's easiest with two hands. He's been back to volunteering at Hawthorne Education Center (with Matt, actually, who's doing his service hours for Student Government) the last couple of days. He goes back to Mayo tomorrow for some follow-up appointments.

I'm going up to St. Cloud to run the Granite City 5K on Saturday. I'm a River Runner after all! And it's a club race. Should be fun. I'm bringing cookies. :-) M&M / Chocolate Chip. On the way home I'm stopping at a swim shop in Burnsville for some swim "toys"--flippers and paddles.

That being said, I've decided not to do the Waseca Tri on Sunday. I'm going to wait and do one on 8/23--either Baxter or St. Paul. They each have a 1/2 mile swim, which will be a challenge for me. I know I can do 1/4 (and have been doing it weekly at TNT), but a mile still terrifies me. So I think the 1/2 mile is a good decision. I'll keep you posted.

Time to get to bed. Intend to be at the pool no later than 5:30 AM.

Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Close Encounter of the TWINS Kind

My son Eric was at the Twins game last night and after the game they went out. Who should they run into at the same establishment, but 2 players--Delmon Young and Anthony Swarzak. Eric talked to them for a while. I asked if there were lots of people around them and Eric said no--they were by themselves. Funny conversation. Ask me about it sometime ... (Eric didn't want me to post it.)

Well, I've redeemed my cookie-baking skills. But only SLIGHTLY. I went back down to the fair this evening, ran down there actually, and checked out the Domestic Arts building again. My Chewy Chocolate Cookies did win a 3rd place ribbon.

So ... it cost me $2 to get in to find out I'd won a 50 cent premium check. Ha! (Yes, they do issue you a check for 50 cents and if you're not there to pick it up on Sunday, they'll mail it. :-) The first place ones must taste amazing, because they looked like little rocks. :-) Second place entry looked very nice indeed.

All non-sale clothing at Running Room is now 15% off thru August 9.

Today's workout(s): Ran down to the pool and swam with the Orcas masters club again for an hour. Ran home. Then ran another 4.5 miles. Ran down to the fair and home for 6.82 miles.

Here was my 8 PM dinner. Yeah, you guessed it. Yet another salad. With black raspberries that I picked this afternoon and some lemon chicken kabob meat. Fresh apricots. Sugar snap peas from the garden. Etc. Very tasty. And for dessert ... the last cookie baked for the fair. A Snickerdoodle. :-)

Thought for the day: "It isn't the load that weighs us down--it's the way we carry it."

Carry on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jim, Jim, Jim ...

Today it was off to the Olmsted County Fair at noon for the annual Tom Thumb Mini Donut Run. We headed out to Bear Creek and Mayo H.S. before the donut indulgence commenced. And what's the Jim, Jim, Jim about? Well, pictured above (I'm in the front, of course) are Jim Postier, Jim Martinson, Jim Postier's son, Jim Benike, Gary Malat and K.C. Reed. While the guys went to buy donuts, ...

I checked out the Domestic Arts building, where the cookies are displayed. Judging was in progress, but I sneaked in anyway. I think they were done with cookies. No ribbons for me. Not a single one. But it actually didn't bother me. As long as my friends like my cookies, I'm good!! But I probably will try again next year. :-) After giving my cookie report to the guys, we set up this photo. About 2 seconds later that donut was in Jim Martinson's mouth. (I actually did eat one before this photo was taken. It was good, but one was enough. :-)

Then it was back down food avenue and all the associated smells of fried food and on our way back to the Y...

where the guys could sample the ribbon-unworthy cookies!! 4.51 miles on a beautiful summer day. I went out another half mile to get a nice round 5-miler in. :-)

This morning's workout was a 30-mile bike ride, out through Salem Corners ...

and up to MN 30 and back home. When I got back I still had 10 minutes before I needed to get in the shower, so I quick ran a mile to practice running on "noodle legs". I must say that I notice a calorie deficit more actutely on the bike than I do on the run. Today was another of those days where I was famished when I got home.

This evening I wrote an article for the Running Room August eMagazine about my Rochesterfeset Triathlon experience. Brought back lots of fun memories. So look for that in the near future in your Inbox.

I didn't make my goal today of sitting on the patio for a half hour. My bad. Too many things to do I guess. I'll try again tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow ... I'll be back at Soldier's Field pool bright and early at 5:30 AM, taking in lots of chlorinated pool water, trying to do these drills! But if they help me swim faster, that's what matters.

Here's a recipe passed along by my friend Margo. I've not tried it, but it sounds delicious. It's from Bon Appetit.

Napa Valley Cabernet Burgers

1 750-ml bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup minced shallots
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (15% fat)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
4 4 1/2-inch squares focaccia, cut horizontally in half
8 large tomato slices
2 cups arugula

Boil wine and shallots in medium saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 min. Add 1 Tbsp. butter and brown sugar; whisk until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Mix remaining 8 Tbsp. butter and rosemary in small bowl. Set aside. Prepare grill (med-high heat). Mix beef, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup wine-shallot mixture in bowl. Form meat into four 5” squares or rounds. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill burgers until brown on bottom, about 3 min. Turn burgers and brush with wine-shallot mixture. Continue grilling burgers until cooked to desired doneness, turning, brushing occasionally with wine-shallot mixture, about 4 min longer for med-rare. Sprinkle with cheese after last turn and grill until cheese melts. Spread cut sides of bread with rosemary butter. Grill, cut side down, until golden, about 2 min. (guess butter melts into bread). Arrange bread, grilled side up, on plates. Top bottom halves with burgers, then tomatoes and arugula. Cover with top halves.

Quote for the day: "Use what talents you pssess; the woods would be very silent if no bird sang there except those that sang best."


Monday, July 27, 2009

Cookies, cookies and more cookies

Yup. It's Olmsted County Fair (no longer "Free" Fair) week. And as such, it was my day to bake cookies. Lots of 'em. It was humid, and I didn't have the air on, and I could tell they weren't turning out quite right. Added some extra flour to each of them. I hope the judges find them satisfactory. Or better yet, blue ribbon quality. I have my fingers crossed but I know the competition is stiff. Here are my entries:
Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip cookies ...

Chewy Chocolate Cookies (Chocolate Drop division) ... and

Snickerdoodles ("other" drop cookie), a Palmer family favorite. :-)

For the fair, you have to pick 3 cookies that are most uniform, best looking-etc, ...

and bring them on a 6" white paper plate in a plastic bag. Those are my entries, and the leftovers. These are the judging criteria:

Size, shape................5
Moisture Content...5
Flavor and Odor.....25
Total 100

One of my most coveted possessions is my dacor dual-fuel range (gas top, convection oven). Love it!

The "Y guys" (or anyone else who shows up at the Y at noon) gets to taste test the entries. We're running to the fair. They have an annual tradition of going to the fair one day and getting Tom Thumb mini donuts. I think I'll just run along ... maybe I'll nab just one from one of their bags ...
Join us!!

Did you know ... that there is always an even number of rows of kernels on an ear of sweet corn? Yup. It's true. More fun facts to know and tell ...

This morning at 5:30 AM, I arrived at the Soldier's Field outdoor pool ...

to swim with the Orcas masters' swim club, coached by John Sfire. It was fun to swim outside, and that long pool takes some getting used to! There are multiple people swimming in each lane. Lots of talented "older" swimmers in this town. John said that fundamentally my stroke is fine. But I lift my head a little when I breathe and that causes my hips to sink. So I need to keep my face facing down (and this will help pop my legs up, too). I also bring my arms around too fast (this was a surprise) and need to swivel from the hips. He gave me some drills to try ... oh my. They were a challenge ... like putting my arms tight against my sides and kicking down the length of the pool and turning over swiveling from the hips (not turning my head) then when on my back, swiveling over again. Try it sometime ... for me, oh my, I'm sure it would have been America's Funniest Videos material. But eventually, I did get the hang of it. Then I added arm strokes to that but I had to flip only when one arm was straight overhead and the other had finished the pull. It was hard "pulling" this all together, but I am grateful for the assistance!! I'm planning to return on Wednesday. Mike Schmitt decided to join in the fun as well!

Joe Ryan told me about a website called Beginner Triathlete There's a forum for each state, plus lots of other information. And it's not just for beginners, actually. There are forums, items for sale, race info, tons of stuff. You could spend a lot of time out there.

I thought I'd show a close-up of one of the 27 plates that Jeanne made for awards for the Women's Race on Saturday. She must have spent soooooo many hours on these. She's had so many nice awards through the (26) years that she's directed this race.
Matt and I went to the garden yesterday. So here's yesterday's picks ...

broccoli, sugar snap peas, green beans and a few hills of potatoes. Tomorrow, I intend to spend 1/2 an hour just sitting ... outside ... (barring the rain in the forecast). I need to take care of myself, enjoy a little quiet time, and "chill".

Good night. ;-)

Sleepless in Rochester

So I figured I might as well get up and finish up my posting for the weekend. Let's see ...

Yesterday when I got up, I added some more recipes and photos to my recipe blog Then it was off to church. Matt played a couple of pieces on trumpet during the service(s) ...

along with April, our director of music, on the piano. They did a great job.

After church, I made a batch of cherry jam and froze the rest of the cherries for a pie during the winter.

After that, I left for my bike ride. As I mentioned in the last post, I went to Pine Island. I'd noticed LOTS of motorcycles out on county 5, more than I'd ever usually see. When I got to Pine Island, I wanted to refill my water bottle. Part of the main street was blocked off, and the doors to the fire station were open, so I went over there. It looked like every firefighter in Pine Island was there, with their bright red P.I.F.D. shirts on. So I asked if there was a place that I could fill my bottled. Sure, they said. Come on in. He asked if I wanted ice cold water. How nice. Sure, that would be fine, I said. He filled by bottled with a couple of plastic bottles that they had chilling. Also, whatever they had cooking smelled so good. I asked what was going on. He said it was the Ride for Ronald McDonald house and this was one of their stops. Oh, yes. I'd read about that in previous years in the P-B. And that explained all the motorcycles out. I must have seen about 100 of them between the ride up and the ride back. Anyway, I enjoyed the ride but was ready to be done when I got home. My legs were tired.

Saturday, I had a wedding at church. I'm a wedding coordinator--I make sure the day flows as it should, tend to all the details, etc. I also know the family, and they asked if I'd cut cake.

This reception was held at the church. The first time that happened during the years I've been doing this. One of the families there with a son in the wedding was the Verkerke family, including Jeff and Lisa. Turns out they're both runners and we have friends in common: Tom O'Leary, John Shonyo, Kit Hawkins. We had fun talking both Friday and Saturday.

We need LOTS of volunteers for the Rochester Half Marathon on 8/22. If you can volunteer, and please, please consider it, contact Jean

Just a tidbit from the P-B article on Jeanne Block, Women's Race director ... she's not a skateboarder. She's an inline skater. We got a chuckle out of that.

Well, it's soon time for me to head down to the pool. Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend, cont'd.

It's late ... 10:38 PM so I'll make this a quick one. I'm trying to get the Women's Race photos into a photobucket slideshow but either my PC (most likely) or Photobucket is unbearably slow. Here we go ...

Went on a 50.32 mile bike ride this afternoon. Up to Pine Island via Salem Corners and Byron. Nice ride. Nice NW wind. Wunderground said it was 3 mph from the NE. Not. So. Much. But I enjoyed the ride. I decided to come back home the same way I went up, which I hadn't done before. Everything looks so much different going the other direction.

Tonight after supper Matt and I went to DQ. I figured that a couple times each summer a DQ cone should be on the agenda. I had one with Cathy Torgerson on the way home from the Mpls Marathon, so now maybe I've reached my quota for the season. :-) I enjoyed every bite. Matt said he would only go if we stayed there, sat at a table and enjoyed it. He's been on my case to relax a little bit each day. It's very hard. I'm pretty tightly wound. And I've not read the newspaper in a week ...

Tomorrow morning is my swim with the Orcas masters' swim club. Then after work it's my baking frenzy for the fair. Entries are due by 8 PM. I don't have a recipe for the chocolate baking contest yet so might have to nix that entry. Since I won last year, I feel like I'll be a failure if I don't win again, so maybe it's just as well if I don't enter. :-)

Well, my alarm is going off in precisely 6 hours. I better sign off and leave the rest for another day. I'm not operating on enough sleep these days ...

Sweet dreams.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Super Saturday

"My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride" -- If Today Was Your Last Day, Nickelback

Rochester Women's Race (4 miles)

(That's Sonja Kranz and myself ... it's a running dress from New Balance! Very comfy.)

That's what the Women's Race was today. I left my fears behind and decided to race. It felt sooooo go to be racing again, even though I do need to suck it up and hang on to my pace when I'm getting tired in that last mile!! The race was won by course record (22:58 in 1985) holder Marie Boyd. (Don't know her time yet. I had to leave early to go do a wedding.) I was third overall (passed by a very nice gal from Sacramento, CA in the last 1/2 mile..arghhh...I could hear her gaining on me) and 2nd in the 45-49 age group (winner Marie Boyd is also 45-49). My time was 27:10 Splits: 6:35 6:48 6:50 6:57 I'll take it. :-) I just looked it up and this was a PR for me, my previous P.R. being 27:56 on 7/24/01. Figuring a 7 minute pace for the last mile, my 5K split would have been 20:55 which is also a P.R. for me, my previous being 21:21 on 9/22/01. (I know the last half mile was the slowest ...) The 1 and 3 mile splits were off and during the race I looked at my watch at 19:55 thinking that was my 5K split. Oh well ... but I'm still happy with a 5K PR, too. A good day at the races.

I have to put in a plug for us 40 and older females: The top 5 runners were all 40 or older. :-)

Not one to leave well enough alone, at about 5:00 this evening I decided to do my long run for the weekend so I could do a long bike ride tomorrow. I haven't ridden much since last Sunday. So I ran up to 55th St NW and back for about 14.5 miles. Saw Jen Bradt on her bike. Actually, she saw me ... in the berry bushes!

(With the Women's Race, warm-up and cool down, I got in 20.93 for the day. The evening run was very slow and leisurely, filled with lots of black raspberry picking ...

and eating. :-)

At Christ Community Church parking lot, it looked like they were having a little car show so I wandered over. I'll call it "Muscle Cars & More".

A powder blue 1953 Chevy.

I'd LOVE to drive this sweet little Porsche. I looked at the spdedometer and it only goes up to 160.

A sweet Harley.

I've soooooooooo much more to post. To be continued tomorrow ............

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not much is newsworthy today. Maybe the weather?? 1.75" in our backyard this morning/afternoon. I almost rode my bike to my 10:00 AM P.T. appointment but with the dark clouds to the north decided against it. Good decision! It just poured and poured right when my appointment finished. And I heard they had 2" hail in Dodge County. Nasty weather system, that's for sure.

I am doing a wedding at church tomorrow but will also be able to run the Rochester Women's Race (4 miles, Silver Lake) so I'm happy about that. It always feels tough because I run hard the whole time, but it's a favorite race. The atmosphere is always so much fun. As are the awards--handmade by Jeanne, all 27 of them. Every year. BTW: there is a story about Jeanne and the race in the P-B this evening. (Thank you Chris O'Brien for the link.)

I've decided to run the MDRA 15K on August 9 and the City of Lakes 25K on September 13. They're part of the USATF race circuit so I'll be running them for my St. Cloud River Runners women's race team. 15K is my favorite race distance.

I got an email from John Sfire, the Orcas masters swim coach and I'll be meeting him at the (outdoor) Soldier's Field pool at 5:30 AM for some swim instruction. I'm looking forward to getting some more help in addition to what Shaun Palmer has already done for me. I need ALL the help I can get!!

Today I did some bike shopping/looking at Bicycle Sports. I'll go back sometime soon and test ride them. They didn't want me to do any test riding with all the rain today, which was understandable. There are a few Specialized and maybe one Bianchi that I'll try.

Well, this is going to be a short post tonight. More tomorrow. There should be photos from the women's race.

Have a great evening!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Did You Know ...

that ... if you peel a banana from the "bottom" (the end farthest from the tree) you don't get any of those strings? Fun facts to know and tell. And I thought I'd start this post with something light. :-)

that ... there was an article story in yesterday's Post-Bulletin about Joann Johnson riding TRAM (bike ride across MN) for the past 20 years, raising money for MS? Check it out. I've got several friends with MS, so this is something I certainly support.

that ... the Garmin 310XT Garmin 310XT is now available at Running Room? Yup, it's true. (Note: I think by default the prices on the Running Room website are in Canadian dollars ... just so you don't get sticker shock!)

that ... I ran with my friend "Etta" this morning? We ran somewhere over 4 miles at 6 AM. Very pleasant and fun. Her dog Puck came along "for the ride". He loves to run. I was very humbled by her post today. It was such a simple, easy thing to do for her and with her--just go for a little run together. :-) She probably thinks I made her day. Little does she know that she made my day.

that ... I rode down to the DQ on the beltline to meet her (about 3.5 miles) and ran a few more miles when I got home for a total of 9.09 miles. I stopped along the way to pick (and eat) black raspberries, which are just a little past their prime now, so instead of a 10-mile run, I ended up with 9. :-) Totally fine with that. And I again stained the nails and fingers on my right hand purplish. It's very evident during the summer that I'm a "worker" bee rather than a "queen" bee. Beautiful manicured nails they are not!!

that ... I did TNT tonight? (Helmet hair--ugh!)

It was a beautiful evening for a practice triathlon. The suggested workout was the usual 2 loops--2 loops in the water for 400M, 2 loops on the bike for about 8 miles and 2 mile run--but in reverse. So it would be run/bike/swim. 5 of us decided that we'd rather do things in the usual order--swim/bike/run. So that's what we did. And I decided ... that I wanted to do 3 "loops" of everything. So I did a 600 meter swim, 12 mile bike and 5K run. Totals for the day (I rode up to TNT): 32.20 miles on the bike, 12.19 miles running, 600 meter swim. A good workout.

that ... I made Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies for TNT? A Ron Giles favorite.

We had a small group,

and several people ended up bringing home a handful of them.

Peanut butter cookies (from Cook's Illustrated)

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup extra-crunch peanut butter, preferably Jif, room temperature
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup roasted salted peanuts, ground in food processor to resemble bread crumbs (about 14 pulses)

Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with a mixer, scraping bowl as necessary. Beat in peanut butter until fully incorporated, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.

Gently stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture. Add ground peanuts, stir gently until incorporated.

Working with generous 2 tablespoons roll dough into 2-inch balls. Place on cookie sheets, leaving 2-1/2 inches between each ball. Press each dough ball twice with a dinner fork dipped in cold water to make a cross hatch design. (I don't do this--I just flatten them slightly.)

Bake, reversing position of cookie sheet, halfway through baking time, until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along edges but not on top, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet until set, about 4 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Thank you to whoever shouted, "And by the way, I love your blog!" as I was riding away. :-) You rock.

When I got home, and after I got cleaned up, I made my I-never-seem-to-tire-of-it salad. I had some greens that needed to be used up. The rest of the family had hamburgers on the grill. Just didn't feel like eating a leftover hamburger at the time. But I had some leftover sweet corn. And some Great Harvest 9-grain bread. Yummy meal.

Well, I guess I better do my P.T. (I have another appt. in the morning) and then get to bed. Twins are on ... and they're winning! 3-0. I love Fridays--I don't have to set my alarm.

Quote for the day:

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend." --Albert Camus


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Power of Words

Today, I felt a bit like I was in a pressure cooker. Everywhere I turned I saw things that needed doing or someone that wanted me for something and I felt overwhelmed. I felt like I might implode (I tend to go inward when stressed, not outward. I'm not a yeller.) Unfinished landscaping project in front of the house (95% done--need one more yew), Matt wanted a haircut, the kitchen was a mess--AGAIN, Rochester Half Marathon entries that need to get entered in the database--about 40 of them, LUABC minutes to type up, phone calls and emails to return, Physical Therapy to do twice a day, work needing to be done at the garden, a house to clean, errands to run, dinner to prepare, movies to return, ... Yeah, nothing urgent, earth-shattering or overwhelming in and of itself, but I just was feeling stressed by it all. And I'm tired.

Then I stopped in at Olmsted Medical Center for a minute and a young man was opening the door for everyone who was coming or going.

I smiled on the way in and thanked him for opening the door. Same on the way out. I had walked a few steps toward the parking lot and decided to turn around and just say a few words. It was a beautiful afternoon and I asked the young man if the automatic door was broken or whether he was just lucky and got to be outside for work today. He said that actually he was a volunteer there. Then he said something that made me do a double take--he said that he and his brother considered me their "ultimate role model". Excuse me? I thought. I didn't even know this guy! He said that they see me at church and he mentioned the triathlon and cookie baking/marathon running articles about me in the paper. He said that his brother Brian was the one with the fastest swim at the Rochestfest Tri and he was 15 seconds behind. Ah! The Kiels! This was Alex Kiel I was talking to. Yes, I certainly had heard about these very talented swimmers from Century High School. Well he'd blown me away with his comment and absolutely made my day. Wow--the power of a few well-timed words.

Well, we got to talking swimming and I told him that my swim was certainly the weakest part of my tri (his is running he said) and I asked him if he had any tips for becoming a faster swimmer. He said it's all technique. The solution is not like running intervals, doing speedwork, hills, etc. is for a runner. It's working on form and efficiency. He said that a good place to get some help and advice was the Orcas Master Swim Club. I googled it and sure enough, one of the things mentioned on their site that the club can provide is assistance for triathletes looking to improve their swim. Perfect! So I emailed them to see what might time and place work the best for getting some help. They swim early mornings at the Rec Center and Soldier's Field pools. As I'm an early morning exerciser I think this might just work out! And I am so thankful that I happened upon Alex today. :-)

This morning I ran down to the Y to lift and swim. On the way down, Jamie Bakkum-Gamez and Erin Carey ran by. :-) We greeted each other. The pool was busy today. Most lanes were being shared. I asked a guy who was taking a breather at the edge of the pool in the shallow end whether I could share his lane. Sure! he said. He said that he understood that I was into triathlon now. Well, I didn't know him, but he obviously knew of me. He said that I'm "famous" and that he works in the same lab with Wendy Nevala. Another little word, just one, that sure made me feel good and brought a big smile from me. His name is Matt. We got to to talking triathlon (he's done both Rochesterfest Triathlons) and sports in general. I asked him what his sports background was--primarily water polo, and he used to swim to stay in shape for that and does a few running races and rides his bike to work. Nice guy. And he was a good swimmer.

Short stories long, or long stories short ... we sometimes just don't realize the impact our words can have on a person, good or bad. Today, it was good. So I am going to challenge myself, and I challenge you, to give at least one compliment each day. It's such an easy thing to do. And it's totally free. And whether or not it makes you feel better, you just might make someone else's day. :-)

Quote for the day: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." --Leo Buscaglia


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Information Overload

First off, I'll just say I was gobsmacked this morning when I found out the Twins lost that game last night. Un.Be.Lievable. They were ahead 12-2 the last I'd heard. I thought they had that one in the bag. (Yeah, I heard about the bad call at home plate, but they must have done plenty of the wrong things to have that call decide the game!!)

This morning I decided it would be a "run" day. So I headed out and went down Fox Valley Drive to the west to do my "around the hill" 7.15 mile loop. I decided I'd bring tunes today, which I don't normally do. But it got me pumped up. (Nothing like a little Nickelback, Kid Rock, etc. to get the blood flowing. Don't worry, I have more mellow stuff on my play list, too. ;-) So I decided this would be a good day to start doing some pick-ups as all systems were go. The temps were pleasant--64 degrees--and it was a little humid, but nice. Slight south wind. So at mile 2 after getting warmed up, I decided I'd do 1 minute pick-ups at 6:30 pace with 2 minutes rest in between. I did 4 miles of that. I felt GREAT. My legs, and my brain, are wanting to race again. During the last one, I was telling myself to hang on, keep the pace, finish strong. So I looked down at my GPS and I was doing 5:42 pace. Wow. Pump. Me. Up. I was psyched. Mile 6 is just south of Historic Hill/County 22 hill south of 2nd Street. So I continued up that, around the hill clockwise to 6th St SW, and up Folwell Drive to home as I wasn't ready to quit yet, for a total of 10.03 miles. A wonderful workout. Great way to start the day. I also decided it's time to get the new asics shoes out of the box for my next run. These were feeling pretty "flat".

Tomorrow, it's back to the Y to lift and swim. Thursday AM I'm going for an early morning run with LaRee. :-) I look forward to catching up with her.

Then I spent the day in the cities. Dropping off Rochester Half Marathon & 5K race entry forms at various running stores ...

and bike shopping.

That's where the "information overload" comes into play. Road bike or tri bike? Aluminum or carbon fiber? Cervelo or Quintana Roo or Trek or Held or Cannondale or ... ??? Are Shimano Ultegra components really necessary? (I welcome any and all opinions on the aforementioned, you triathletes out there!)

I was pretty sure I wanted a road bike. More versatile. And after sitting on a tri bike, more comfortable. (I was on a $4200 Cervelo. Out of my price range!! But it was the right frame size: 56 cm) But the guy at Gear West mentioned that your legs are going to feel fresher after coming off a tri bike than off a road bike due to more heavily used quads on a tri bike. Hmmm. And of course there is the advantage of the aerodynamic position on the tri bike. So ... now I have lots more information, but feel no closer to being able to make a decision. Other than I will buy a bike locally (if I buy it new). Just easier all around. Help ............. !!

It'd be so easy to drop a boatload of $ at these stores ... bikes, accessories, shoes, clothes--running, biking, and/or tri. But I was a good girl today. I bought one fun thing. A Skirt Sports overskirt with snap-type things under a flap on the waistband for a race number. Kind of like a race belt, but a lot more fun. And stylish. :-) Can't wait to "tri" it out!

I stopped at Trader Joe's (St. Louis Park) before leaving for home. It's soooooo much fun to look around there. Didn't buy anything too unusual (but picked up some Pesto Parmesan Turkey Burgers), and found this fun little lemon pepper grinder for $1.99 so I decided I had to try it.

Saturday is the Rochester Women's Race (4 miles). I highly recommend it to all you females out there. 8:30 AM at Silver Lake east shelter. My good friend Jeanne Block is the race director and has been for it must be almost 30 years by now. All girls. All fun. Door prizes. Handmade awards in 5-year age increments, 3 deep. RTC Grand Prix event. Muffins and pop afterward. What's not too like? I hope to make it, but have to do a wedding at noon and pictures are at 10:00 AM. Maybe I can squeeze a race in there somehow!!

Thanks for all the positive feeback about my new recipe blog I want to add to it and will as time permits.

As I was driving home from the cities, I experienced a lot of weather.

I drove through very heavy rain south of Cannon Falls, and another storm in Olmsted County about 7:15. South of the cities at about Coates, there was a rainbow as the sun was coming out behind me and the Cannon Falls storm was in front of me.

So ... here's my quote for the day: "May there always be work for your hands to do, may your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine on your windowpane, may a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you, may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you." -- Irish Blessing

Go. Be. Do.