Thursday, July 31, 2008

Madison, WI

I am here for the nerd alert conference know to all as Mathfest...yes there really is such a thing.

I want to live here! It is absolutely amazing! I have run the past two mornings along the lake and it seems like everyone here rides a bike and commutes to work. I have even seen a group of triathletes swimming in the lake both mornings. Had I brought a swim suit I could have joined in (but they did have wetsuits on-so it might be super cold).

I would imagine though once school gets back in session, things get a little crazy here but the downtown area is just gorgeous and friendly and neat restaurants and shops. I even got sucked in to try an east African restaurant-and it was interesting.

Alright, off to listen to some great talks about all things math. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Triathlon

I actually had a pretty good race this past weekend!

After not doing so hot last weekend I went into this one with the goal to really push myself as hard as I could. I have read a lot of blogs lately about others who are always talking to themselves during the race...focus, push harder, keep your head down, etc... and after talking with Eric, I thought I would give it a try.

To be honest-we had this discussion about how I don't really think about anything when I am racing. I just swim, ride and then run and think about having fun or how much it hurts. :) So I tried a different approach.

The format is quite different-still a sprint tri but split up at 375m swim, 1.5 mile run, 20K bike, 1.5mile run, 375m swim. I took the first swim out hard and fast determined to get on Duncan's feet (he beat me by a minute last week out of the water). I ran into him at the first buoy and I was like sweet, I just need to hang on, and I did. Came out of the water with him and maybe 3 or 4th overall.

Note: As posted before-I was still the ONLY women racing in the open wave-so I was in a wave with all the boys. All of the women started 8 min behind me.

I pushed really hard on the first run and the bike. It was pretty hilly and I manage to pass 2 men!! I was SOOOOO excited about this and I don't know if I have ever passed another guy on the bike (since I usually come out of the water in the front). The second run hurt like hell and I got into the water for my last swim and had left nothing for it. This was the longest 375m EVER! I had no feeling in my arms and couldn't even get my body going. It took me until about half way through to start coming back around and get my head back into it to push hard the last little bit.

I finished and then watched the clock. Three of the women that started 8 min back came in before 8 min had gone by, one only beat me by a few seconds. But the lady that won beat me by 4 min last week managed only 2 minutes this weekend-so I must say that is quite the improvement. And Sarah-who I usually am really close with and who beat me by 2 min back a month ago...I managed to beat her by a minute this time. The power of positive thinking might make a world of difference!

Again-no good pictures. Eric needs to learn how to take some pics at these events.

In other news...we have finally settled on a dining room color and have decided to go with a coffered ceiling and a chair rail but no paneling or beadboard. The painting will be getting done this coming weekend and then I will post a picture!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

I recently read The Other Boleyn Girl for our book club in the neighborhood. Well, I really listened to it on CD (23 hours of the same monotone lady), but it was amazing. Our book club had decided to pick a book that had been turned into a movie and we read the book and then watched the movie together.

I would highly recommend the book. It is the story of Anne Boleyn's (the one who got beheaded by King Henry VIII) other sister Mary. It is in a sense historically pretty accurate in turns of what was going on at the time and how Henry VIII was breaking from Rome, but it was more a story about the lives of the Boleyn's and I found it extremely fascinating. I would highly recommend the book.

However, the movie was a disaster. It was far from the book and left out a lot of things which if I had not read the book would have been confused. Some of our book club members though hadn't read the book and did like the movie, but I must say the book is 100x better than what they created on film.

For this month, everyone is choosing whatever book they want to read. I am halfway through At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks, but have decided to also read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I actually watched the lecture the other day on You Tube and it was pretty good and have heard great things about the book.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Triangle Triathlon

Bri and I before the start:

A few thoughts about yesterday's events...

(1) How I was 2 min slower on the bike than 2 years ago is beyond me. I didn't think I was that unfit and I thought I pushed the hills pretty hard.

(2) How I was 20 second faster on the run from 2 years ago is even crazier...I know I was running decent back then and I was running slow a month ago. This means I had to admit defeat to eric and tell him that maybe his new run plan is working. (Or maybe that since my bike was slower, I was able to run faster).

(3) For sure, my lack of swimming fitness directly correlates to my feeling terrible on the bike. I need to swim more, even though I hate that I have to. But really-swimming more just means swimming 2x a week and having them be good workouts. We'll see if I can fit that in with ez's new run every day plan. Finding the place to do them is the hard part. But I emailed two swim coaches today about some stuff. We'll see...

(4) I had a terrible swim-probably my worst since starting tri's 4 years ago. This is my own fault having not been swimming hardly at all in the past few weeks.

(4) I suprisingly was only 2nd last elite female. I think the other person though didn't sign up correctly. That is 2 for 2 this year. :) Still-Alysia and I are the only ones to be able to fight for last elite Bri.

(5) I race again on Saturday...yikes. But right now I am the only elite female. If this stays the same, this would me I would win (my category right-I could and probably will still get beat by a few age groupers)...and as Eric pointed out, I would also still be last. :)

(6) Bri knows waaaaaaay to much about Ninja Warriors. Alysia knows how to through a great party-with a fully stocked bar, she was the mixing drink queen.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pictures from Shenendoah

Here we are hiking away...

One of the most humorous events: watching Eric and Erik hang the food bags, which I think took at least 30 minutes.

Day 2: Aren't Ashley and I super strong!!!

The stop at the waterfall...(the Eric's are intensely watching a snake)

Since we seriously hiked in the woods with no overlooks the entire time, on our drive to Charlottesville that evening we stopped at an overlook to take a picture. We were freezing from being soaking wet from the rain:

Friday, July 11, 2008


I got home from my run this morning and turned on the tv. The weather was on, it was 7:15am and this is what it said.

Temp: 75
Dew Point: 67
Humidity: 92

92% at 7:15am. Seriously?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hiking in Shenandoah Valley

The Plan:
Friday July 4th:
Drive up and meet our friends EriK and Ashley in the middle of Shenandoah National Park around 1:00. Hike 4 miles to campsite...set up camp and have some fun.

Saturday July 5th:
Enjoy a nice breakfast in the woods and hike 8-ish miles viewing some waterfalls along the way, then set up camp and enjoy the evening.

Sunday July 6th:
Hike 6ish miles rounding out our loop after some breakfast then drive back home.

What actually happened:
Friday July 4th:
Got delayed a little at the house and meet up with Erik and Ashley at 2:00. Got ready to go and it downpoured. We hung out under the information center where we were starting our hike for 10 minutes and then headed out when it stopped raining. We hiked 5+ miles and finally found a campsite. Set up camp, ate some great freeze dried dinner and homemade brownies, hung out, watched the two Eric's hang our food (which took like 30 minutes) and went to bed. poured down rain, leaving EriK's shoes soaking wet since he had left them outside the tent fly.

Saturday July 5th:
Got up late and ate some poptarts and an apple. Everything was pretty wet but it wasn't raining anymore. Packed up and left at 10:20am for our hike. We climbed a mountain that lasted 1.7 (or 1.2) miles where we stopped numerous times. Hiked a few more miles and stopped for lunch and a road crossing of Skyline Dr. We probably stayed here for an hour. Hiked a little on the AT and down the mountain and stopped at a nice waterfall for a little break. We got to what was suppose to be campsite #2 around 3:00pm and decided to hike a little further to find another campsite.

This hiking a little further meant climbing up another mountain along the river with no campsite to be found for us. I think we climbed up for at least 2 miles. Close to 6:30 EriK decided to OK a spot that was almost like a campsite. And we were less than a mile to a campground. We started to unpack and the bugs were out of control. I voted to hike to the campground and everyone else ended up agreeing. When we got to the campground, we were in a cloud and 5 minutes later it downpoured.

I think it downpoured for maybe 30 minutes. We all walked in the pouring rain for 5 min to the ranger station and got under it to stay somewhat dry while we debated what to do. We were freezing at this point and our car was a mile down the road. Hmmmm.....

Maybe 10 minutes later, the ranger drove Eric down to the car and we packed it up. :)
Drove to Charlottesville, VA and ate some pizza at almost 10pm and drove to one of EriK and Ashley's family friends house and went to bed.

Sunday July 6th:
Woke up and showered and left Dan's house around 9am, stopped at a local bagel shop and had breakfast and coffee before driving home.

I will post some pics soon once Ashley sends me a few (I only took a couple). My hamstrings and glutes are still sore. But one lesson we all learned: campsites are not that common in Shenandoah, so plan accordingly.

MONDAY July 7th:
Eric convinced me to go for a long ride yesterday to Chapel Hill and then he would ride home. I took the hilly route (WHAT WAS I THINKING). Called ez twice thinking I wouldn't make it not knowing how far/close I was since I was taking a new route. The last time I called, he told me 7 miles. OK, I can make it...but it wasn't 7, it was 10. Those last 3 miles were torture.

I get to the car and pack my bike in and start driving home, not the quick way but the long way, past the creamery I have been dying to try. As I get closer I pass Eric on his way riding home and way. He ends up pulling in the ice cream store telling me he knew I was headed there when I passed him, and tells me he doesn't think he is going to make it home. We agree that he will ride a little while and i will pick him up down the road after I eat my homemade, straight from the cows ice cream (one scoop vanilla lavender, once scoop carolina crunch-which were both excellent).

So I rode 50 and suffer like there is no tomorrow because he tells me I can make it, and he rides 23 and drive him home. The race this weekend might be painful.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Summer School...

Monica, I wish I were you today. I have had the luxury of sitting around and doing nothing for over a month now, and I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I got in a lot more training than I imagined. Maybe only a few days off in a month, with lot and lots of running, which I according to the running god EZ will make me faster. :)

Monday, I had to drive myself back to HPU for a month of summer school. After a fun mini tri-camp with the Nick and Jen over the weekend (lots and lots of wii with some minimal training), I barely managed to drive home on Monday without falling asleep. Monday's day off from training didn't do much good, as yesterday I only managed to run in the morning and again had to nap yesterday when i got home. This morning...nothing. Eric even decided to take a sick day and is busy staining our deck while I sit in my office. The goal tonight: the hammerfest ride tonight followed by most likely a terrible 20 min run-we'll see how fun that is.

Summer school is no fun...but someone has to pay for the new bike EZ wants. :)

I went from going back and forth to doing an Ironman next year, to not doing an Ironman, but doing a half this September, to not even doing the half this Semptember in a matter of 3 days. But you know me, that might all change tomorrow.