Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a bat in the house!

Yes, last night we had a bat in the house. Just after I went to bed, I hear Todd yelling there is a bat in the house, Daisy is barking like crazy. I just paryed he didn't ask me to get out of bed to help him catch it. no way do I want to have to be near a bat. That's Todd's job :-)

He shovelled the dogs into the bedroom with me, Junior into the garage, and 15 minutes and a few nibbles on his fingers (through golves) later, he had the bat out of the house!

I was going to put a photo of a bat on this entry, but ick! they are so ugly, I couldn't look at it.

Ran again this morning, first run since the race. Right hamstring is a bit sore (it is always sore though), but other than that I felt fine. Back on the mtb tonight out at the Wap! Can't wait!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

almost SKUNKED!

They are cute, BUT..., while walking the dogs this morning at 5:30, I spot one walking towards us from the other side of the road, as we are walking up this short steep hill in my neighborhood. One we always mosey up nice and slow at Sam's hill pace. As soon as I see that white stripe I yell 'SKUNK!' and take off running up the hill, the dogs trailing me, probably wondering what the heck SKUNK! means. Slowing at the top I look back and see him running the opposite way towards cover. I guess he was as afraid of us as I was of him. Of course, I'm sure the dogs wouldn't have minded a little stink, they roll around in the worst smells they can find. But fortunately we made it home without requiring skunk cleansing baths.

I'm still a bit sore today. So I'm just going to enjoy a sunny swim at the outdoor pool after work. I have to laugh at the luck of the weather. All last week was mild and low 80's. The weekend mid 90's both days. Monday I don't even think we broke 80 as the clouds from hurricane Faye clouded up the sky off and on all day. Today will be similarly pleasant.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nuclear Meltdown

I went to the Great Buckeye Challenge yesterday. The temps in the last 2 weeks have been mild, low humidity, very pleasant. saturday the high hit 95, and I was concerned for the race. They hold 3 races, a sprint, middle, and half, all on the same course. The sprint goes first, then the middle, and the half starts last. Not sure why, other than we need more challenge like running 13 miles at noon in the 90+ shadeless heat!

Anyways, the swim was uneventful. Swam around lots of people, nothing new there. The course may have been slightly long. I was out in 35min. Normally I'm 28-30. Not a single man or woman was under 30. But the odd thing was the awful chafe on the inside of my left bicep from my Desoto suit. I've been getting this every race, and each time I attributed it to my other top on the run, my camelback... But now I know what it was! Well, I won't be wearing it anymore because I got a nice little gash in it too. ok, so next year I get to buy something new!

The bike was ok. I didn't feel the heat until the last hour. Its a 2 loop course. One stretch of 4 miles was full of potholes, nice manuevering on the tri-bike. But I love my bike. Very comfortable for me.Split was 2:51. ok for a rolling hilly course.

I fumbled around in t2 as someone next to me had hung their wetsuit in my bike rack spot. Very nice, thank you. I was worried starting the run. It was very hot. My feet were hot. There was no shade. I stuck ice in my pockets, in my top, on my head. A 2 loop run again. I made myself run the first 6 miles no matter what. But then it was all over. I made deals with myself. Run 100 steps, walk at most 100. This went on for the whole 7 miles. Plus longer stops at aid stations trying to get my temp down. Trying to get my heart rate down. I knew this was my worst race ever. I don't wear a watch when I race. And sure enough, I recorded my slowest ever hald ironman. The first one I did 10 years ago was 5:45. Yesterday 5:46. Best time ever is 5:15 (last year). I felt pretty squashed. Heat races are out for me now (well, I can manage shorter races, but when I start running 13+ miles after noon, I can't do those anymore). Long races are also questionable in my mind. I don't really have the mental toughness that I thought I had. I'm ok with that. I love xterra, and I love my new bike, and will keep working on run speed, and do more short races. Life is too short to do something you really don't enjoy - when its something you just do for fun!

After the race I stood under a cold shower for a few minutes. Body temp was still high. Got to my parents one hour away, and went to bed with a mega-dose of advil, and cold cloths on my head. Managed a milk shake a few hours later, and was basically in bed for 12 hours. That is not the way I want to ever finish a race again.

No work today! No workout today! Just me and the pups and Jr hanging out at home.

I went to Ohio for a PR and came away with heat exhaustion

too sick to drive home last night. Was in bed from 5pm until now - 4am. more later

Thursday, August 21, 2008


There are 3 things I obsess about a bit more than I should:

I love food. Especially food high in calories, and sweet! Ice Cream. Chocolate. Cookies. Hohos. Cherry Pie. Peach Pie. Chocolate. Ice Cream. You get the picture. The last few years I’ve learned to control my love of sweets, but there are some days, even some weeks (this week being one of them) where I just can’t eat enough to satisfy my sugar tooth. It bums me out when I don’t exercise that control. I really have to do better.

Am I training well? I seem to be tired a lot. My legs felt fatigued for over a month. My swimming usually feels like crap. And I want to nap all the time. So, am I training well, and just need to wait for the part of the training/race cycle where the legs will come around, or am I overtrained, or am I undertrained. I worry about it a lot. I think I’m overtrained, so I want to rest. But I worry that I’m undertrained, so if I rest, I’ll be even more undertrained, so I better not rest. Then I’m still tired. Its such a vicious circle.

Am I ready for my next race? I have my first half ironman of the season this weekend. Of course, I want to race well. I’d be very happy with a PR. I rarely feel ready for a race. I sometimes wish I was just staying home. But sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. So, that’s what I will try to do this Sunday. As I read in one of my favorite race reports of the year ‘I will eat pain for breakfast!’. Well, I’ll try! After years as an age group swimmer, suffering was what you had to master to go far. I feel like I suffered a lot when I was young, training so hard, and racing to the max, sometimes its difficult for me as an adult to push myself quite that hard.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


do we have so many freaking mosquitos this summer!

and why won't my sweet little cat Junior just stay in the fenced in backyard, instead of always hopping the 5ft tall fence so he can escape into the big bad world

and why do I have to work! I took a day off today, last minute, and oh, was it nice!

and why do all the best tasting foods have to have so many calories! I feel a little pooch redeveloping :-(

why did it have to be so hot early summer, and now so nice. I spent $65 on a membership to our outdoor pool ,and have swum there 5 times because the water got so hot so quickly - just a measley $12 per swim! ugh. Today it was perfect. I'll try to go a lot in the next 2 weeks before it closes to get my money's worth.

and WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY does summer have to end, and the students come back to town. I love it when they are gone. No long lines anywhere. Quiet streets. Empty campus. In less than a week it will be chaos.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

so sad olympic swimming is over

but, wow, what a week of swimming!

what can you say about Phelps? He's redefined what's possible.

and Lochte, well, he's one of my favorite swimmers, so glad he won individual gold.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

what dog days of summer?

August is typically hot, humid, icky, typical 'dog days of summer' weather in southern Indiana. But the last 5 days or so have been absolutely perfect. upper 70's, low humidity. And throw Olympic swimming on top of it, and the only thing that could make my days more perfect is to not have to go to work!

More impressions of the olympic swimming...

I can't say enough about Micheal Phelps. The guy is simply amazing. In my opinion he is the greatest swimmer ever. period.

The other person I'm so impressed with is Aaron Piersol. Yeah, he just swims backstroke (in the big meets), but his attitude is so awesome. He is so laid back and relaxed, but at the same time such a fierce competitor when it comes down to the wire. The 200 back showdown with he and Ryan Lochte will be fabulous. I want to pull for Ryan because I think he is such an amazing athlete, who just happens to swim the same events as Phelps and Piersol, so he always has his work cut out. Maybe they can tie for gold! After all the both hold the world record in the 200back (at least they did at the time I wrote this).

A Bloomington local, Joel Stager, is in Beijing watching the Olympics. Joel is still a fantastic masters swimmer, and runs the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University. He has been blogging his time in Beijing.

Mark Warkentin (olympic 10k swimmer) is also blogging, its a great read.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

what I've learned from Michael Pehlps


Practice the little details - they can make all the difference

Don't skimp on breakfast (typical Phelps breakfast: two egg-and-cheese sandwiches, a bowl of grits, a large omelet and a tall stack of chocolate chip pancakes. )

Monday, August 11, 2008


yeah, yeah, I know. KFC isn't exactly the food of champions. But Sam loved it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

those numbers!

I’m a numbers person. Always have been. Always will. I think in numbers a lot. I have a bachelors degree in math. Math always came easy to me. Swimming was a great sport for me growing up because I found swimming was all about numbers – how many hours will I swim today, how many yards, what’s the next set, how many repeats, total yards, what’s the interval, what’s the pace, when will I leave on the next repeat, how many strokes per lap for different efforts, and different degrees of fatigue, what’s the cut to qualify for this meet or that meet, or to make top8 in this event, or what’s my pr, what are my splits. My mind just thrived on how the numbers could occupy my thoughts all about the sport I lived. And its stuck with me all these years. Yesterday at the pool I hopped in and started swimming. Immediately I knew it was going to be a good workout. My arms and core felt strong, but loose. Each stroke was long but strong. I usually take 13 strokes per 25 yards, for a comfortable moderate effort. Yesterday I was at 12, and felt so easy, and was holding 1:20 pace. So I skipped a warmup and just did an 800 for pace, and maintained the 12 strokes the whole way, nipping under 1:20 per 100 the whole way. I love it when my body just works right. Then some IM, some drills, some kicking, some sprinting. Just mixed it up so I could feel the water in all the different ways I like. And counted strokes, counted kicks, counted underwater kicks, sendoffs, what time will I finish up the workout. Those Numbers!

This is an awesome article about Michael Phelps and how he works the numbers too.

Long run this morning. I’m not quite as good at the number thing when I run, but they are still there. I have no way to gauge pace, miles, since I’m just out running on the road. But I could steps to that next light. How many cops is that I’ve seen today? How many more minutes do I have. If I turn here and loop over there, that gives me an extra 10-15 minutes. I make myself guess exactly how many minutes it will be, and then check my guestimate when I get to that point. Today’s run was boring. I ran alone for 2:20, and when I went for my second gel, it wouldn’t tear open, and I squeezed it so hard while I tried to tear the top off, it squirted out of the bottom all over my stomach. Its supposed to go IN my stomach, not all over the outside of it! I did survive the run. I’m actually often surprised that I get through them. I don’t have the most positive attitude towards long runs. I really do try, its just not easy for me. I’ll keep trying.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

things are exploding!

Last night I had a short ride with some hard intervals on schedule. I started with a dull headache, and between a helmet on my head, sunglasses on the bridge of my nose, and above my ears, and my neck and eyes straining to look up off the aerobars, within 30 minutes I thought my head was going to explode. I suffered and almost called Todd to come pick me up, but it seemed so ridiculous to not just get home. I fell onto the floor and let the throbbing in my head stop, and my legs stop shaking, and my stomach settle down. explosion #1.

This morning I had a hard run, with 2x10min at z4-5. ugh. The legs felt heavy, the humidity was 93% before I left. I opted for 1 15min z4 interval, because I was just feeling to darn tired to do 2. And after a couple minutes I thought the lungs would explode! I'm becoming such a wimp.

Then I noticed we've had a mini explosion of apples on our apple tree! The deer must be so happy. Maybe that's why we have so many deer in our neighborhood. The families are so large, several new babies these past 2 weeks. They are very cute. I feel bad for them though that they don't have more forest to hide out in, just patches here and there. I also had another fox sighting this morning when I walked the dogs. I always get a bit nervous when I see him, until I remind myself he's probably more scared seeing me than I am seeing him! I hope they all get some rest today, it looks like another hot one.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I have to swim tonight

and my nice 50m indoor pool is closed for the month of AUgust for repairs. The outdoor 50m pool is 88 degrees - too hot to even cool off in, let alone actually swim in. SO, I'm off to swim at Royer pool. Its a small 6lane,25 yard pool. It will probably be crowded with rec swimmers, and I'll get pissed off, and I really can't afford to. I have to get in good swim workouts for the next two months, and my options are not good!

On a more interesting swim note, yesterday I watched a special on National Geographic channel about the design, building and eco-technologies used in the Swim Cube in Beijing. It was fascinating. Can't wait to see the olympic swimming competition! Here are some interesting facts about the Beijing swim cube if you are so inclined to read more about it.

where's the whoop-ass

Friday evening I was watching the Daily Show with John Stewart, as he interviewed Brian Williams (of NBC nightly news), and they were jabbing at each other, laughing, when Brian says something like 'I'm here for 30 seconds and I have to pull out the can of whoop-ass already'. I was cracking up. On the long ride Saturday, I had to dig into mine, even the ice cream sandwich half way through, and the cherry slush with 15miles to go, didn't refill my can of whoop-ass! But it was a good ride none the less. Sunday I opted for a mtb ride (since I still have a couple of xterras on schedule - including my first time to head to Tahoe, and 9000 feet of altitude! - I must be crazy). Anyways, we start riding up the trail, its a gradual uphill at the start, and my legs still felt empty, and I had forgotten all of my food! On the long climb up Aynes Loop, I was in zone 5, suffering, no whoop-ass in those legs! But things got better as I rode, and I even rode decently on the newer rocky section. I started to bonk with one more uphill and the downhill to the finish, Heather gave me a roctane gu, and that at least filled the hollow feeling in my stomach to get me back to the car, where I made a mad dash to the covenience store down the road and gulped down my chocolate milk chugs! oops, I was supposed to do a run after that ride, but it wasn't happening. So later in the day I thought I better htfu, and go run. SO I threw on a tri top, and swim bottom, shorts, grabbed my swim cap and goggles and planned a run to the pool, a quick few laps nad run back home. The water temp was hotter than the air temp! No refreshment there (and I won't even bore you with my bitching about the other swimmers that I encountered in just 200meters of swimming). It was better to start running again. As I was running I was considering the fact that the Steelhead half IM (that I did last year) had to cancel their swim in beautiful Lake Michigan yesterday). What a sad state, that we have so many tris that get swims cancelled these days. So much liability for the race directors, and athletes who enter events who can't swim well enough for rd's to be comfortable to allow a swim in somewhat rough conditions. I thought back to the half IM I did back in '99 down in Panama City. The beach was closed the three days leading up to the race, the surf was 5-6 foot high, talk of a change to a duathlon. Race morning, it was a bit lower, I have a photo of a wave charging out into the sirf, the wave height taller than they are, the swim went on! I was so psyched. It was rough, but good for me! Anyways, I don't mind the rough swim conditions, I guess I should toughen up about the bike and run too!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

road ride to Cataract falls

This quaint general store outside of cataract falls:

close to this beautiful covered bridge, just below the falls:

No photo of the falls, as we didn't have our park passes to get in to the park to go see the falls, as we were too cheap to pay. Next time we'll remember, as this was a beautiful ride, we will do it again for sure. Who knew there are waterfalls in Indiana!

a little more about the bridge above:
The Cataract Falls Covered Bridge is located in the Cataract Falls State Recreation Area and crosses the Eel River (or Mill Creek), just above the Upper Falls, in Section 35, Township 12 North, and Range 4 West, Owen County. This single span Smith #4 Truss structure has a length of 140 feet, or 150 feet including the 5-foot overhang at each end, is 13 feet 6 inches wide and 13 feet 6 inches high. Built in 1882 by the Smith Bridge Company, The road bypassed the Cataract Falls Covered Bridge in 1988 and restoration was completed in 1995 by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The Cataract Falls Covered Bridge was listed as #14-60-01 in the 1977 World Guide.