Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And Fun Was Had By All

I joined 13 other runners last night at the Gamehaven Scout camp for a preview of the 5+ mile course to be used for the race in November. It's akin to Living History Farms in Des Moines, but some say it's a lot more fun!! We didn't encounter any snow yesterday, but the bog was a little bit wet.

After standing around in the parking lot getting cold (60's and breezy) most of went to Whistle Binkie's on the Lake to socialize. Fun evening.

This morning, on tired legs after 5.78 miles in the evening yesterday and 5.0 miles in the AM along with an hour swim and lifting, I ran 12.02 miles. By the end, I must say I'd finally tired myself out. As I sit here typing, I'm debating whether to go out for a leisurely bike ride. Still haven't decided. It's so nice out ... Just mowed, weeded, watered, clipped a hedge and cut some flowers.

Kathryn told me about a bike rally in LaCrosse this weekend. Rides from 30-100 miles Thurs thru Monday. I might go over and ride but it's pretty loosely organized it seems. I'll think about it.

Congratulations to my friends Lisa and Wanda (center and right, with Deb on the left) who set PRs on Saturday at the half marathon!! They are really running well. That's not an easy course.

Deb, Lisa, Wanda
I have lots of pictures to post from the half marathon, but they're on my laptop and I'm on my desktop so I'll have to do that in another post.

A few tidbits about Sunday's tri ... the overall winner was a 16-year old male with a 1:12. Second and fifth place finishers (overall) were female. :-) There's no way I was going to be in the prize money. Great athletes. Also, no age-group awards were given out. :-( Don't wetsuits just make a girl look look fab?? Not so much. Like a stuffed sausage is more like it.

Congratulations to my St. Cloud DuTri friends who completed IM events this weekend!! Louisville:  Nicole (Bergh) Haas #285, Cindy Lewandowski #586, Amy Woolsey # 542 , Raechel Konczewski #267, Melany Swenson #149. Grant Swenson # 1335, Adam Konczewski #975, Pam Stevens #667, Daryl Stevens #2837, Sheila Pearson #135, Kathy Carlson #639, Kate Adams #649. Canada: Michael Murray. You guys are amazing!!

Later. Enjoy these waning days of summer.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Black Clouds, Silver Linings

Well, I'm happy to report that I survived the tri. During the swim, I wasn't entirely sure that survival would be an option. I'll start at the beginning ...

As soon as the half marathon was over, I packed up the car ...

and headed for Marshall and my cousin Cindy's house. We had a yummy tortellini pesto dinner ...

and then made our way to Canby and my cousin Nancy's house, where we spent the night (to be closer to Lake Cochrane, SD where the tri was taking place). Transition opened at 6:00 AM. I was plenty nervous and wanted to get there early to get the lay of the land and try to ease the jitters. I got there as the sun was coming up.

Storm clouds were brewing to the SW, and I saw flashes of lightning. I was secretly hoping that the swim would be cancelled. I just had no confidence in my ability to swim in open water, having not donned my wetsuit in 2 years and also not having done any open water swimming in the same period. No brick workouts. No transition practice. This could be ugly. And I was plenty nervous.

After getting my spot ready, there was nothing to do but wait. Seeing that most of the participants had tri bikes made me even more nervous. But as hilly as the course was, I'm not sure this turned out to be a big advantage. They announced that the water temperature was 69.1 degrees (brrr!!!) and wetsuits were definitely legal. I'd be wearing mine for sure, both for warmth and buoyancy. I got body marked on my arms and calves (she put mine on the SIDE of my legs whereas everyone else's were on the back of the calf).

The skies were still threatening so during the pre-race announcements they told us to be patient please as they were checking the radar ... there were still lightning flashes in the distance. At the 11th hour they decided that the race would start on time. Or so they thought. At 8:00, as the men were waiting in the water, for some reason they shot the gun before the timing system was activitated and the guys took off. The officials started yelling at them to stop. Well, it's pretty hard to hear someone yelling when you're swimming. So one of the two jet skis finally had to go out in front of 3 swimmers to get them to stop and come back to the start. They decided that they'd start the women first and give the guys a chance to catch their breath and start them later. So at 8:05AM, we were off.

Right away I got swam over (Cindy saw it too) and swam into someone's feet and got a mouth full of water. And I just never recovered. I felt panic-y and hyperventilated the whole time I was in the water. I momentarily thought about quitting (one gal did quit after the swim) but kept going, having to do sidestroke and breast stroke. Every time I tried to do the crawl and put my face in that cold pea-green water I just freaked. I really regretted not having donned my wetsuit or done any open water swimming in the last two years. Finally after 12+ minutes, I made to shore. I was humiliated. We had a 2-foot wooden wall to climb up in the process of heading to T1.

Later in the day when the weather was GORGEOUS
I quickly made my way to my bike to take off my wetsuit (and that didn't happen quickly) and into my bike shoes, socks and helmet.

Then I was off to ride the 15.5 mile loop course.

I had issues on the ride too. It rained ... hard. Felt like pellets at times. I had on my sunglasses and with the rain they were hard to see out of. So I finally just took them off and in the process, one of the lenses popped out. Drat. But I retrieved it and popped the whole mess in my back pocket. The bike course was VERY hilly. I don't think there was even an 1/8 mile that was flat anywhere on the course. And something was rubbing on my front wheel but I didn't want to stop and check on it. About midway through the ride there was a huge lightning bolt ahead of us. I later heard from Cindy that they considered stopping us before the run, to resume later but let us go. And with the rain and slippery roads and feeling skittish about flatting, I could only average 18.2 mph on the ride. :-( But I did pass quite a few people which was fun. After all, virtually everyone was ahead of me getting out of the water.

After getting back to T2, I dropped off the bike and headed out for the run. Yippee. Getting closer to being done. The run course was again VERY hilly. I don't know what to compare it to around here. Maybe Elton Hills Drive on the east end, but the hills were tighter and higher. It was up, down, up down, all around the lake. And to top it off, my shoe came untied. Socks were soaking wet, but that didn't seem to be an issue. After 4.4 miles around, I was done.

7.52 pace running. Not great, but all I could do on that tough course. 1:39:55 finish time. Got out of the water in last place for females by 4 minutes. Ended up in 4th place and won my age division (but there were no age group awards, contrary to the website.) :-( Glad I did it, but learned a few lessons in the process.

Thank you to my cousins Nancy and Cindy for being there to cheer me on.

Carrie Tollefson was there cheering on her sister, brother-in-law, husband and father who were all participating. She remembered me (from the River Runner banquet). I was thrilled!! And she was happy to pose for a couple of pictures.

Then it was off to the cabin for a wonderful brunch with my relatives and a lovely and relaxing pontoon ride around the lake.

Later in the day, it was back to Marshall to Cindy's house where we were treated to a visit from more relatives including my cousin Wendy and husband Bill and Wendy's parents Wanda and Huns (Adrian). A very nice end to a fun day.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to run the Gamehaven course at 6:15 PM. Feel free to join us. I'm hoping to get some cookies made.

I ran 10.58 miles this morning in Marshall. Rode 40.63 miles tonight. Tired now.

Enough for today. Good night.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Half!!

It's almost upon us. THANK YOU Jen and Jean for the amazing amount of work you have put into this race. You're my heroes. There was a very good turnout at Running Room this evening for registration.

It was fun to see some of you that I don't see too often any more. Dave Duncan!! (Green shirt, camo shorts. :-) Thank you to everyone who has volunteered, good luck to all those who are running. May you be fleet of foot.

Jean took us to Panera for lunch. I had the You Pick Two ... chose the options with the least number of calories (other than soup) ... Country Turkey half sandwich and half a Poppyseed Chicken Salad.

After the race tomorrow, I'm headed to SW MN for the tri on Sunday morning (which is actually on a lake outside Gary, SD). I'm staying with cousins. Looking forward to seeing them again. I'm doing this just for fun ... not sure I even remember all the nuances of triathlon. We shall see.

I got my disposal working the other day. It stopped running when I was putting all the defrosted produce down there. Not even a hum. Thanks to Google, I determined that it had overheated and there was a red button on the bottom of the unit that needed to be reset. That did the trick. No plumber needed. I also determined that the freezer stopped working because a GFCI outlet had been tripped. Reset it and now the freezer is running again. I'm going to leave the fridge unplugged. Still sick about all the produce I'd grown, picked and froze. Putting all those sweet little peas down the train was heartbreaking. And putting 4 Giordano's pizzas in the trash was a killer. :-(

Today's workout: 1 hour freestyle swim, lift, 25 mile bike. Yesterday: 16.2 mile run straight north. Didn't have the mental energy to figure out anything more complicated. Made it to the first gravel road crossing on the Douglas Trail at 8.1 miles.

Sunday, there is a group running from the RAC at 6 AM. 15-20 miles (negotiable). All are welcome.

Life is full of mountains and valleys. Mine has been mostly valleys of late. Nothing seems to work out for me. Here's hoping that you're livin' on the mountaintop. :-)

Good night.

Busy Days Ahead

Today will largely be spent getting ready for the race tomorrow and packing for my tri on Sunday. Lots of stuff to be picked up, delivered and set up before we can make this happen!! Thanks Jen and Jean for all you have done and are doing. They are doing the lion's share of the work. I'm just food and medical.

Went to the RTC potluck picnic last night. Lots of good food as usual. It was a perfect evening ... perfect for any outdoor activity.

Julie drew this sketch of me in 15 minutes.

Here's a photo of the spoils that I found in my downstairs fridge when the power was out. It was just awful. That's mold floating on top of the berry juice on the bottom.

Well, the days are fleeting. Have a good one.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I got home last night to find that my fridge and upright freezer in the basement hadn't been running. Everything was defrosted and moldy. Blueberry juice stained the floor. Lost all the blueberries, raspberries, corn, beans, squash and peas I'd frozen. 4 pizzas from Giordano's in Chicago. Cherries picked, pitted (lots of work) and frozen. Salmon. It was a heartbreaking, smelly, messy mess. So sad. I spent 3 hours cleaning it up but there is more to be done. I was putting the produce down the garbage disposal but after about 15 gallons of stuff, that seized up so now I have that to deal with too.

We can still use help on the Half Marathon on Saturday morning. Please, please consider helping if you are not already, and you are not running. We'd really appreciate it. You can email Jean at

The Rochester Track Club annual potluck picnic is tonight at 6 pm at Soldier's Field picnic shelter. I hope to be there and hope you do too.

Hardly slept a wink. Guess I will go into work now.

Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Still Alive

Yes, I'm still alive. Just not spending much time blogging, but I will get back to it. Lets see ... workouts. Wednesday was about 6 miles. Thursday, warmup (just over a mile) and then 4 x 6 minutes at 7:00 pace then 2 miles at 7:30 pace and then a cooldown. 8.54 miles total. Friday, hiking (somewhere around 10 miles). Today, 10 mile run and 2 mile hike.

I'm signed up for a triathlon next Sunday at Lake Cochran, SD where I spent a lot of time when I was younger. 400 yard swim, 18 mile bike, 4 mile run (around the lake). It's been 2 years this weekend since I've done a tri. I hope I remember what to do. :-) It's a new tri, and very small. 50 triathletes total allowed (25 men and 25 women).

We can still use a few volunteers for the Rochester Half Marathon on the 27th. If you can help out, please contact Jean at Thanks!!

That's it for today. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Up at 3:51 today. Just couldn't sleep last night. :-( So thought I'd throw a little post out here.

Friday morning's run was 13.45 miles and Saturday brought the 103.10 mile bike ride and all it's problems. But that day ended on a good note as Eric brought his girlfriend Alley down so we could meet her. She's a doll. I like her a lot.

I made pesto pasta with potatoes and green beans, a tossed salad and bread. Cherry pie for dessert after we looked through Memory Albums which was fun. I made them for each of the boys when they graduated from high school.

Sunday brought a surprise knock on the door ... Dan Strain!!

He had a bag of cherry tomatoes for me. I had him take a look at my rim and tire, hoping to help me figure out why the 3 flats in 24 hours. More on that later. Sunday evening I met some friends at Down by the Riverside for the Uriah Heep concert. About all I can say is it was LOUD. Very loud.

Monday morning I decided to do a real long run so I ran 20.01 miles with not a minute to spare before work. Monday afternoon brought a trip to Rochester Cycling & Fitness and a chat with Charly Tri (didn't get a photo) hoping to get a solution to the flatting problem. He said he knows what the problem was ... too much riding! Ha!! The tire was worn thin and every little thing was causing punctures. So I got a couple of red and black Continentals. Nice.

I hope they're fast. :-) BTW: Sunday afternoon was spent finding leaks in tubes and patching them.

I was able to find someone to transfer my number to for the Mpls Du (thank you Buddy!) so now I am entered in the Outland Challenge tri on 8/28 out in Gary, SD. It's a first-year, small (25 females, 25 males) race on Lake Cochrane where my great uncle had a cabin. I spent quite a bit of town out there in years past so it'll be fun to be able to "tri" this. Haven't done one in 2 years, but we'll see how it goes.

Well, I'm fresh out of news. Have a super day.