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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fish On

Tuesday I decided to do something a little different than my usual brick ("b"ike-"r"un-ick) or pieces of it, so I decided to go to the Y after work and work on my lap swimming. Before work I packed my bag so I could just stop in on my way home and I was pretty proud of myself for being so efficient.
After my last meeting, I headed to the Y in my car and I was trying to remember if I had everything I needed, checking off the contents of my gym bag in my head. As I drove I could not recall seeing my goggles, which I confirmed by rifling through the bag in the parking lot of the Y. Rats! I headed home to collect my goggles, and after a search of everywhere they weren't, I finally tossed them into my bag along with a pair I swiped from my son that looked cooler than mine - they were Speedo goggles that had holographic dinosaur eyes on the eye pieces, really pretty cool looking.
After a short drive back to the Y, I quickly got changed and up to the pool. I got a little lost on my way to the pool since the route through the stairwell is not well marked and I had not taken this route to the pool in a couple of years. Rats again - It's a little embarrassing to be wandering the staircase of the Y in your swimsuit.......
I went to put on my cool dinosaur goggles and as I tried to pull them over my head, -SNAP!- the ancient rubber strap broke. No biggie- I will just tie the 2 ends together and still wear them, so I gave that a whirl. Tie, tighten, SNAP! Tie, tighten, SNAP! By the time I realized I was not going to be able to rig up the goggles to work, I had 2 eyepieces with about an inch of strap attached to each side. RATS! Back to the locker room to get my own plain blah goggles out of my locker........
Finally, I was ready to jump and in start lapping. I took off quickly from the block and began a nicely paced freestyle with a 3:1 stroke to breath ratio, beautiful form if I do say so myself. That lasted exactly 50 yds. Lack of oxygen to my brain led me to decide that I should breathe every other stroke to ensure I did not pass out. That lasted 50 more yards. Then I decided that I should take it easy for a little bit, so I switched to the breaststroke for a couple laps, which ended up being the next 300 yards. After that my new pattern was 50 free, followed by 350 of breaststroke "recovery". I got in 1200 yards that way (3/4 of a mile!), but I was disappointed that I did not have more stamina for freestyle. Definitely will have to work on that some more.... At 1200 yds, I was noticing that there was a middle school aged group of swimmers on the deck warming up, I assume it was the Y swim team. When they began jumping into the water and starting laps, I decided it was time to get out and hit the showers, fearing my already bruised pride would suffer another crushing blow if I were to share the lanes with these quick young things.
(I did hear a couple of guys discussing a "triathlon stroke" and how to do it, and I kept my eye on them to see if they might be practicing it, but that never materialized (Besides that, one cannot watch guys in Speedo nuthuggers for long without laughing out loud.......... nuthuggers=yucky). Anyone have any idea where I can get more info on the triathlon stroke? It has something to do with a dolphin kick, and that's about all I know. My bro-in-law Jeff was talking about it last year too after the Devils Lake tri, but I still don't get what it entails and would like to give it a try. )
I made my way back to the locker room and I get to the entry from the pool stairs and realize that it does not take my key card, you need a combination to punch into the keypad to open the door. What do you suppose that is...??? RATS! I had to tromp out into the main hall in my dripping wet swimsuit and swimcap, wrapped in a towel and use the keycard on the regular door.
I took a steam (OMG- my favorite "pamper me" thing about the Y), then showered and got ready to go home. I realized I had not packed a comb for my ragmop head (RATS!) and was going to have to try to shape it with my fingers. I went to the mirror to work on this and did a double take at what I saw. To say that my mascara had run a bit in the pool would be an understatement. I was pretty much looking like Alice Cooper on crack, with black circles, runs, and smears almost to my jawline that were now dried onto my skin. ("how many people had I talked to with this mess on my face?" I began to count them up in my head......) I could not get the mess to scrub off, it seemed to be permanent so after a little scrubbing I realized it wasn't coming off. I packed up the rest of my stuff and walked out of the Y, sporting a wet rats nest of a hairdo and looking like a kid had scribbled on my face with a Sharpie.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Spin Class is not for the faint of heart

I did my first spin class at the Y tonight with Mike. I had a blast, but boy-o-boy was it a workout! We did a 50 minute class tonight. I think on Saturday morning we will go back for the 90 minute class and see if we can hack it.

The hardest part of the class was all the standing up we had to di simulating hills and something she called "continuous sets" where we basically stood up and sat down rpeatedly over and over and over for a whole song - KILLER!

My butt and thighs are on fire so I know I got a good workout.

In other good news, I went to conferences for the boys tonight and heard good things. We are far from perfect but I also did not leave feeling like the worst mother on earth, so I am chalking it up in the win column.

Today is my mom's birthday, so gotta give a shout out to the birthday girl in Costa Rica where they winter. Happy birthday mom, here's a picture of you thinking about your birthday cake (kidding!) .

(Sorry, mom but this picture really gave me a giggle!) By the way, I saw Sally C today and she wants to know if you got the phone message from her singing you a song...... if not I guess someone else in Central America got a serenade from Sally. (that makes me giggle too)
Be sure to check out Mike's tribute to my mother too. Growing older is hell, and it's a kids job to remind you of it every step of the way!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Product Review: The Furminator

I am sure I have mentioned in previous posts that we have two terrifically hairy Springer Spaniels. I am constantly on the lookout for ideas to cut down on the hair production, or at least keep the hairballs from building up around the house. Nevertheless, there is seldom a day where i don't pick a dog hair out of my mouth or eye or have to lint roll the dog hair off my pants before leaving for work. It's just one of the joys of having dogs I guess.
For the last several weeks, I have been eyeing a new brush at the pet store called The Furminator. They had it all set up with a snazzy display and a video showing how wonderful it is on a constant loop. I think I have watched the video dozens of times in the past few months and considered buying it several times. I have asked Steve the Lizard guy (I'm sure he has a last name, but he has been known as the Lizard guy ever since we started raising geckos) about a million questions. Mostly I ask if it really works, and he has always said yes. In my mind, though I am skeptical - I figured he just figures that anyone considering spending $40 for a dog brush in the first place musts not need much convincing.
Well, Friday night we stopped into our favorite pet store for dog food and crickets for the geckos, and as I passed the Furminator display, they are on sale. Against my better judgement, the urge for an impulse buy was uncontrollable - I bought one.
Friday night was beauty night for my girls. We brushed teeth and then we furminated the dogs. I raked through their coats as I usually do. The end result was a PILE of dog hair large enough to knit myself another dog. So, yes folks if you are foolish enough to spend the cost of dinner and a movie on a dog brush, you will not be sorry. And yes, it really does work.

One more weekend closer to the Crazylegs

Well another weekend down, and lots of hours in on the Blackburn. Yesterday I rode an hour and 20 and I did another 30 tonight. I had big plans to do an indoor duathlon this weekend but lost all motivation and concentrated on getting some homework done instead.

I also had a few adventures into veggie land in the past few days. I am going to give two thumbs up to spinach ravioli and a OK rating to baked butternut squash. The squash is pretty blah with just salt and pepper - anyone have a good low-cal recipe to share??

We decided today to join the Y for a few more options in exercises. Plannign to do a spin class tomorrow and I would like to fine tune my swim strokes before the tri season starts. Plus, the treadmill and trainer are starting to wear a little thin - how often can you really move on them without feeling like a hamster on a wheel?

Best of all, we picked up our new mountain bikes today. Here's mine:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Top Ten List

This is the 18th Valetine's Day Mike and I have celebrated, making this a good opportunity to reflect on why I like the guy, although Mike has already beaten me to the punch this year.
I am a big fan of Letterman's Top ten lists, so here goes with mine:

Top Ten Reasons To Like Mike
10- He makes me laugh every day. Well, almost every day, some days he goes snowmobiling.
9- He loves to shop. If I express the slightest amount of interest, he starts in with "Get it," "Buy it," "I love it - get it," "if you want it get it," and so on until the item lands in my cart.
8- He notices when I have a new haircut. Usually. Or at least he fakes it really well.
7- He always remembers my birthday without a reminder. And the prsents have gotten WAY better. (His first holiday gift to me was maternity underwear........ so we had a lot of room to grow from there LOL)
6- He loves his boys and is always proud of them, he is a very attentive dad. (Unless he's snowmobiling.) Seriously, he never misses a game, a program, a conference, or any other event and he is the loudest cheerleader there.
5- He likes to clean the house with me. We are still working on getting his laundry put away, but no one is perfect.
4- He makes me breakfast on Sunday mornings. Used to be omelettes, hash browns, and bagels in the chubby days, now it's Southwest Egg Beaters and dry Flaxseed toast. Still good and I don't have to cook it. Yeah, Mike.
3- He tells me I am beautiful every day, no matter what I look like. What girl wouldn't love that??
2- He always drives, pumps gas, and fixes my stuff. I never have to figure out where the oil goes, how to put something together, or how to make my damn computer quit acting up. He just does it, sometimes without asking.
1- He pushes me to do the best that I can and be the best that I can be, and supports me every inch of the way.
Happy Valentines Day M-Dot - I heart you!

(What? you expected me to say something dirty nasty?? Come on folks, my MOM and DAD read my blog from Costa Rica!)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Updated Mileage Totals

Well the neurotic in me is showing. I have gone back and painstakingly tabulated my indoor mileage back to January 1, 2007, so I can accurately track my mileage for 2007, with a goal of reaching 2007 miles for the year (I borrowed that from See Red Run's blog - thought it was a cool idea, although I may have to count my bike miles to make it....). So anyhow, here goes:

January 2007 Miles:
Indoor Bike Miles: 147.52
Indoor Run Miles (treadmill and elliptical): 17.08
Outdoor Run miles: 16.73
Total Run Miles: 33.81

February 2007 Miles: (as of 2/11/07)
Indoor Bike Miles: 55.36
Indoor Run Miles (treadmill and elliptical): 23.31
Outdoor Run Miles: 0
Total Run Miles: 23.31

2007 Cumulative Total Bike: 202.88
2007Cumulative Total Run:57.12

Lifetime miles (recorded):
Indoor Bike: 216.0
Outdoor Bike: 393.28
Total Bike miles: 609.28
Indoor Run: 40.39
Outdoor Run: 141.55
Total Run Miles: 181.94

I love data. :-)

Friday, February 9, 2007

Wisconsin Winter Humor

60 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Wisconsin plant gardens.

50 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Madison sunbathe.

40 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Wisconsin drive with the windows down.

32 above zero:
Distilled water freezes.
The water in Lake Michigan gets thicker.

20 above zero:
Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Wisconsin throw on a flannel shirt.

15 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Wisconsin have the last cookout before it gets cold.

People in Miami all die.
People in Wisconsin close the windows.

10 below zero:
Californians fly away to Mexico
People in Wisconsin get out their winter coats.

25 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Wisconsin are selling cookies door to door.

40 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Wisconsin let the dogs sleep indoors.

100 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
People in Wisconsin get upset because they can't start the Mini-Van.

460 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale.)
People in Wisconsin start saying..."Cold 'nuff fer ya?"

500 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Wisconsin public schools will open 2 hours late.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

2006 Outdoor Mileage Report

Well, I have looked at many other people's blogs and marvel at the amount of mileage they have logged, wondering where my own mileage would be if I added it up. There are a couple things that have held me back from figuring it out, such as:
  • I have outdoor activity logged in 3 different Garmins, first as a spotty once-in-a-while recording on Mike's Garmin, then on my own, then on the replacement after Maddy ate the first one.
  • Especially as we first started exercising, a lot of our activity was tracked on indoor equipment and as minutes, not miles.
  • A lot of activity this late Fall/Winter have been indoors too - it would be a major endeavor to try to tablulate that mileage accurately.

So after many days of thinking about it, I decided to take the easier road of my options and at least tabulate OUTDOOR mileage, which is the real thing rather than the indoor simulation. Or at least from the time I started recording it regularly until now.

Running Miles for 2006: 124.82 miles

Total Cumulative Miles to date: 141.55 miles

Road Bike miles for 2006/cumulative miles to date: 393.23 miles

I am not as impressed as I thought I would be. Be on the lookout next year for much more impressive numbers. 2007 is bound to me a much higher mileage year!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Southern Wisconsin, the Frozen Tundra

It is officially freezing. As I sit watching the Bears get spanked (**sniffling** ) in the Superbowl, I am also watching a running banner of school closings for tomorrow and there are already lots of them, all because of the wind chill advisory. Without the wind chill factor the current temp is a balmy -2 degrees. BRRRR!
I spent the first half of the game in the trainer tonight, then another 30 on the elliptical, so igot a lot of cardio time in tonight, hopefully enough to counteract the "Schlop" Mike made for the football game. Schlop officially is a warm gooey mixture Velveeta, chili, and ground beef eaten with tortilla chips. Yummy, fatty, sloppy good football food.
The most exciting part of my weekend was ordering my new hardtail mountain bike. It's not pink, but it sure is pretty. I can't wait to get off road this spring! I also bought myself a new gel seat for the road bike, which is awesome - I almost don't need the padded shorts......almost. Thank you Uncle Sam for sending my taxes back to me to spend on something fun!

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