Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not so bad!

While most people wouldn't give a second thought to the way they swim, those of us that do triathlons spend hours in the pool each week trying to improve it. Since I was insanely curious about my form I talked my sister into taking some video (Thanks Ash!)

The swim was a very weak area of me last season, I just didn't enjoy it. Thankfully this season it is becoming more enjoyable and my form, judging by the video is better than I expected which is very encouraging.

Keep in mind it was filmed only a few hours after a race.

Any input or suggestions you triathletes might have for me would be great, feel free to leave a comment!

Floods & Blizzards

It is difficult to put to words the trials and triumphs I along with countless others in this area experienced last week in our battle against a rapidly rising river.

Lines of laborers & laughter outlined this city. We have been exhausted physically & emotionally. But we have rallied together & embraced what looked to be an impossible feat at times.

At the beginning of the week I did what I could to maintain a reasonable amount of training in the morning then sandbagging in the afternoon or evening. Eventually the need became too great & the toll on my tired/sore muscles wouldn't allow for that. I am not disappointed about missed training, it was necessary, but I am longing to get back to a normal routine.

It is hard to believe looking at the miles of sandbag levees & over a foot of fresh snow that in just 38days the Fargo Marathon will be run. I am looking forward to it now more than ever. Side-by-side the people of this city, knee deep in mud, covered in sand & falling rain (or snow) put forth a monumental effort to save the very ground thousands of runners will tread.

Yes, there are neighborhoods here that are almost unrecognizable due to the flooding. Wednesday I found myself in a sandbag line along a portion of the scenic route I run nearly every weekend. I was shocked when I finally realized where I was. It is now under at least 8-10ft of water.

Trails have been flooded or crumbled, houses have been lost, a few levees have been breached, but overall we have been successful & that is something to celebrate!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A few words...

Since roughly 124 miles of training amongst the three sports has left me with limited time & energy this week to blog I thought I would keep it short & use pictures to say the majority of the words for me.

As you can see my week has been beautiful & yummy.

On Tuesday Tangerine made it out of the garage for a ride around the parking lot. Still too much gravel & snow to ride far. I am hopeful for next week!

On Wednesday Jeremy surprised me with my mystery birthday gift that he could barely keep secret until it arrived. The new Ipod Shuffle. The card attached read "May this fuel your efforts & remind you that I am with you each step of the way." the engraving on the clip reads "For My Beloved Swim, Bike, Run".

The start of this week was a struggle to find solid ambition for training. (I'm in one of those grind weeks.) Between the encouragement of other triathletes/runners at the gym, during my Thursday group run & the gift from DH I was in good spirits for my 12mile run today. My body felt great, the conditions were perfect & the playlist function on the shuffle made it easy to listen to sermons along the way.

Now for the really sweet stuff. CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Or breakfast as it turned out this morning.) My Birthday is on Monday and since Nichole's isn't open on Monday Jeremiah brought a Sea Salt Chocolate Charamel Almond cake home for me early. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. And no, there is none left.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some things remain the same...

While catching up with an old friend I hadn't spoken with much over the past 2-3 years a prominent question was raised...

Is there anything about you that is the same?

On the surface there is very little, but the core remains the same.

Opposed to previous plans & desires I am not living alone in a canvas tent isolated somewhere deep in the wilderness writing about the joys and struggles of primitive life all the while compiling a vast work of photographic art to go along with the novel.

Instead I am living with my husband in a 3rd story apartment in suburbia writing about the joys and struggles of training for a 1/2 iron & marathon all the while compiling a vast work of photographic art that captures Other's life moments & whatever I find beautiful in my daily life.

I never did spent over a month on a three part tour of New Zealand, Fiji & Australia relishing in the beauty and culture of those wonderful places.

Instead the engine on the car I had just bought seized eating up all of my trip funds that were then needed to replace a vehicle. The month I would've spent on the tour I spent getting to know the amazing man who I would later marry & his family.

I no longer define the closeness of a friend by how much we agree on topics of life & religion. We are all imperfect people. I delight in how those imperfections reveal character and have the capacity to spur another person on. If we all agreed how would we grow in knowledge & understanding?

My appearance is no more anchored on trademark hair. Function has come before vanity. Function equaled to 2ft. less hair, no perms & no color, but I can fit it into a swim cap, under a helmet and run without being slapped by it.

My life, as it has always been, is one driven by passion & what my God has blessed.

The life I live now, while drastically different than what it used to be or what I thought it would be, is not a compromise to previous passions. Passion itself has not been relinquished, but rather morphed into other loves, adventures and activities.

Of course the quip of stubbornness has not relinquished either. (Only goes to prove the comment I made earlier about the imperfect.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Blizzard & Birthday Bike Shoes...

While spring may be on it's way (as evidenced by the daffodils on my previous post.) the weather this week has been less than convincing. Falling snow on Monday lead to a blizzard that closed down most of Fargo yesterday. Thankfully my Beloved was able to work from home so we hunkered down for the day & marveled at the lack of visibility beyond our 3rd story patio.

Contrary to the concerns of my friends & family, no, I did not run outside yesterday. I will admit that a curiosity of what running in such weather would actually feel like had crossed my mind, but that is all the further it got. So it was another Tuesday stuck on the dreadmill for 3miles.

Much to my delight peering out the window this morning I was not only able to see the road, but a passel of people headed to work on what looked to be clear roads. Time to hit the gym again. Roughly two hours later my 1.2mile swim, 21.6mile bike & 1mile recovery run/walk were complete. Another solid training session logged.

Driving home I grabbed out Jeremy's point & shoot to take a few shots of the blizzard "aftermath". Some pretty large drifts out there!

Now that you've seen the height of the drifts (as tall as a FedEx truck) imagine running through them. I am trying to be optimistic that at least some of the 7miles of my long run tomorrow morning will be cleared. The snow crews in Fargo have done an awesome job clearing the roads so far which means there is hope!

On to the exciting part of my day... (If you don't count the Reubens I had for dinner.) Since Island Park Cycles will be packed hosting the St. Patty's 5k on Saturday Jeremiah approved the picking up of my b-day present early to avoid the chance of my size being out of stock should someone else be interested in the shoes. So here they are my Specialized Elite Rd. :)

I tried on at least 6 different shoes, different makes & models and kept coming back to these. Beautiful fit & the velcro straps mean easier entry/exit during tri season. Just makes me all the more anxious to hop on Tangerine to try them out. For now I will settle with staring at how pretty they are sitting in their box.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Time & training...

Time was a scarce commodity last week . Training on the other hand was plentiful & stellar.

Swim: I actually had portions of my swim where I had enough of a rhythm going that I didn't have to tell myself what move to make next or when to breathe. It came naturally. Getting my 1.2 miles into a reasonable time set is looking more attainable.

Bike: After doubling my mileage last week I am more then pleased with my body's capability to adjust to what I throw at it. I am getting stronger.

Run: Upon completing my 5mile route with the people at DBRC Thursday I was shocked to look at the clock and realize I had maintained a 9:10 for the entire distance. A strong 10.5 long run finished off the week. Running the full 26.2 come may 9th looks promising and enjoyable.

As of mid-week last wk. I am registered for my 1st HIM on June 13th. Weeks of preparation continue, but I am blessed. My husband has yet to grow tired of my constant tri-talk and is a great encouragement. I also love training & am appreciating the chatter of the ladies at the Y and the "regulars" I see there.

More on this week to come.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

wind, Drifts & Dreadmills

I woke up this morning to the ever annoying *WHAP* the ceiling fan/vent in our apartment makes repeatedly & without rhythm whenever the wind has exceeded 20mph. While it may be a beautiful, sunny, 29 above outside the wind, windchill and accompanying snow drifts have left me less then zealous about braving the elements to do my run today. So I am stuck on the dreadmill, thankfully for only 3 short miles.

With the weather somewhat messing with my timeline for today and the desire to bake I have made this...

Upon doing so, (for the second time in little over a week), I have decided that reading Runner's World while hungry is a BAD IDEA. Their "Healthy" suggestions/recipe for banana bread is not what ended up in my bread-pan, but rather what recipe I could find that didn't include eggs as I was out. 

The result amounts to a not-so-healthy but very tasty morsel.  The good news is any future attempt at making another loaf will cease as I am now out of both eggs & butter. 

Carb loading, not always a bad thing, but I'm fairly certain not intended to be paired with shortening. All the more incentive to get myself out the door, down a few flights of stairs and onto the dreadmill I have fruitlessly been trying to talk myself into hopping on.  Sigh.

As a footnote: Yesterday's training went very well. Upping the mileage on the bike while still maintaining a strong swim afterward was difficult but successful. Hopefully tomorrow will be more of the same!