Click Here to Get One for Yourself

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Janet vs. Truck

The following is a letter from my friend Janet's husband he asked me to share with my friends and co-workers.
Hello everyone,

Last night (Tuesday, Aug. 28th) at about 6:35pm, my wife (Janet) was hit by a pick-up truck while riding her bike on Rockport Rd. She was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital. After tending her wounds, taking a few x-rays, and pumping her full of pain pills and muscle relaxers, they released her at about 2:30am this morning (Wednesday). She returned to the hospital today for more x-rays and an MRI where they discovered a compression fracture to one of the vertebrae in her middle back, and another smaller one in her lower back.

The good news is she is alive, walking, is at home, and is expected to recover completely! Other than allowing the bumps, bruises, scrapes, and small fractures to heal, we do not expect she will need any other medical treatment. She is in good spirits and counting her blessings.

The bad news is that her new carbon road bike did not fair as well. The frame is broken, and it was taken by the police as evidence of the crime committed on her.

After hitting her, the driver did not stop. Although there were several people who witnessed the vehicle leaving the scene and were able to give descriptions of the vehicle to the police, at this point we do not know who the driver was. The police have pieces from the vehicle as evidence and have said they will be conducting an investigation with the hopes of catching the individual responsible.

Although were not expecting the person to be caught, it sure would be awesome if he/she were found and held accountable. If you notice a 1999 – 2007 red Chevy (or GMC) pick-up truck with damage to the front passenger-side headlight/turn marker area, it would be great if you would note the license plate number and pass it along to me (or the Janesville Police). We have all heard too many stories of people not taking responsibility for their actions and/or not respecting cyclist’s rights to the road.

Janet and I would like to say “thanks” to everyone who has expressed concern, have brought meals and flowers, and have offered their prayers. At this point, we expect to have Janet back on a new road bike by next spring, if not sooner (maybe even later this fall). If you know Janet, you know she won’t let a little thing like a pick-up truck running her over stop her from participating in the sport she lovesJ

Ride safe!
Bob & Janet

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Send a Good thought or three please

A little while ago, I got a call from my friend (and co-worker)s husband, calling from the ER. On the weekly Velo Club road ride (which Bob tried to talk us into going on earlier tonight) She was hit by a truck, hit and run. Word is she will be OK, but we're worried about her so please send a couple good thoughts or prayers her way. It's a scary thing to happen, and the scariest part is it could be any one of us out there on the road.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Lobster with a Side of Wings

Sunday morning Mike and I were up and on the road at O-Dark-Thirty headed out to watch the Accenture Triathlon in Chicago. We had a fairly nice ride in with a little fog but very little traffic. About halfway in, we remembered that we left the cowbells on top of the fridge …. Bummer. We headed for the exit that would point us toward Lakeshore Drive and the Miracle Mile and parked somewhere in Egypt and walked a mile or more up Monroe to Lake Michigan to find the Biguns.
For the first time, we met Di (and later Bigun himself), their friends Andy and Brittany, Roman from Boulder, and Dr Dave from Omaha. What a nice bunch of folks! They had a great spot all laid out under a stand of shade trees just off from the swim finish.
The tri itself was absolutely GINORMOUS…… like 8000 athletes and their fan clubs, people everywhere. Mike and I found our way to a piece of shoreline along the last few hundred yards of the swim and watched them swim by. Looking up the shoreline, all you could see was a never-ending moving line of swim caps along the shoreline for as far back as you could see. It was really cool to look out and see it. We sat for quite a while watching the people stroking past us, looking at the technique, their form, their wetsuits (or lack of – BRRRRR!) – some came in strong, some came by us obviously about out of gas, others reached and clung to the ropes for rest. I think it was good for Mike to see that even at an event this size there people doing whatever had to be done to get to the finish – sidestroke, doggy paddle, elementary backstroke, anything and everything.
After watching Dave, Roman, and Marc head out of the water, we headed to the other side of transition to where the bike came back in from Lakeshore Drive. A girl could get a serious case of bike envy sitting there, let me tell ya! Saw a sweet pink Trek Equinox roll by and fell in love, then fell a few more times for a variety of other pretty bikes. There were lots of people running by playing Hike-a-bike with flat tires or mechanical problems on their way back to transition (We learned later they had been told that if they had a flat, etc they were just done, don’t fix it, so I guess they were just trying to make it back in). Before long we saw Roman and the Bigun roll on by, looking strong.
Then we headed on over to the run finish to wait for the grand finale. On the way we stopped and snapped a couple shots at Buckingham fountain. It was her 80th birthday and they were serving cake.
Not far away, we headed in towards the finish line. We arrived just in time to watch Bigun finish. Then we hung around waiting for the awards and checking out the booths. This is where I fell in love with yet another bike – the Orbea Diva. She was beautiful. I thought momentarily about hiking my miniskirt up round my waist and hopping on, but thought maybe it would be a bad idea to flash my underwear to downtown Chicago. We did watch the salesgirl walk her out when they packed up and Di and I worked on a plan to kick the salesgirl in the shins and ride off with the Diva, but I don’t think Di would have shared well with me since she was eying the Diva up too…..
This group took down lots of bling – Bigun took 2/10 in his division and Roman should have placed somewhere too but was overlooked and is working on straightening that out.
I thought it was really cool to see the pros that were there. I don’t recognize a lot of names, but there were a few that I remember reading about in the magazines – Becky Lavelle, Michellie Jones, and others – so it was cool to see them up close and persona, among the masses racing just like everyone else.
Afterwards we took a drive up the lakeshore near the Northwestern campus and had an early supper with the group at a little wing place. It was a nice end to a really fun day and we enjoyed the company of these nice folks. Beautiful day, exciting race, good company, and good food – who could ask for more?
It was also a long day, longer than we had expected and I am positively glowing, not so much from the joy of triathlon-watching, but more from the hours I stupidly spent in the sun without sunscreen on.the.lakefront. My face, chest and back felt like someone lit me on fire - a bonafide lobster. Should be all good again in a day or so. I have 2 colors I turn – pasty white or fire red, no middle ground.

We arrived home and got caught up with IMKY-Live right quick. We saw Baboo cross the finish line, ad then checked in on our other blog peeps and Tawnya’s dad. Misty was down to the wire and we bummed when we watched the clock turn to 17 hours, but our spirits were buoyed when we heard the announcer say the cutoff had been extended 37 minutes as that was the time the last swimmer hit the water. We waited patiently sure she was going to make it. We watched her last four-minute split load to the athlete tracker and within a few minutes we watched her cross under the finish. What a cool moment. Shortly after that, I read Baboo’s post he had written about her in the wee hours before the race and it brought me to tears. It’s official – she is my new hero.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Speedwork, Pancakes, and Football - related? you decide

Tuesday was our last official SWAT practice. How sad to see the season come to an end. we sure had a good time with this group this summer and though I'm sure we will continue to do things through the year, the last practice just signals to me that the summer is ending sooner than I would like to see. Bummer.
Thursday we headed to Edgerton to do our first speedwork workout at the HS track with a subgroup of SWAT. I dreaded it all day. Don't get me wrong, I have no qualms with doing some work to up my speed. What I was dreading was knowing how much faster everyone int he group is than me. We pulled up to Martin and Tawnya's house and there was a group of us ready to go soon. Allison and Dave, Tawnya, Brian, Mike and I, and we met someone new - Anne, who is training to qualify for the Boston Marathon. So yeah I was pretty much dead in the water. We took off as a group on a 1.5 mile warmup run to the track where the real work would begin. They were all way ahead of me on there warmup, laughing and joking around. Meanwhile I am running as fast as I could without my heart exploding and the best I could do was to keep them within earshot because they were out of sight a couple times. It's a good thing they are a really loud rowdy bunch. We soon reached the track and decided on doing 400m sprints taking off at 5 minute increments. we did I think 6 sets, I was doing splits of 2:10-2:17 per 400, not a rocket but not terrible, especially for me. Oh yeah, and at that speed I was getting smoked like a cheap cigar...... When the sets were done, we jogged back. Well they called it lollygagging, but I was actually at a pretty comfortable speed and was actually able to stay involved in conversation, so you KNOW they were going slow. It was fun, as it usually is but it is also a reminder of just how far I need to come yet before I feel ready for an IM distance.

Today, for a nice change of pace we had a nice little bit of rain. Since it was so nice out, we thought we would go stand in the rain and watch a football game. my son had his first official sophomore game. It was a good game and Lucas did awesome, playing O-line and D-line, and getting pulled out once in a while to catch his breath. Some nice hits from my boy. I wish it were easier for me to follow the game. I have a really hard time keeping track of him and processing what is going on at the same time - he gets lost in a sea of green and gold. Tonight they played at the middle school instead of the stadium since the fields are soaked so I am hoping next week's game will be easier to watch since we hope to be in the stands and elevated a little bit.

After the game, we waited at school for Lucas and gave him a ride home since it was raining. Holy Crap does wet football clothing STINK when it's wet, especially when it is crammed inside my SUV. I don't know what was worse - the cleats or the gloves. Good thing home just a few houses away from the school or I may have gotten sick- EWW EWWW EWWWWWW! Wet jerseys, gloves, under armour, uniform, pads, etc went immediately into the washer before the stench infected my house. I think they may need a second wash to get the stank out. Yuck.
Tomorrow is another opportunity to get smoked on the run - the group is doing their weekly Pancake Run - an hour of running followed by pancakes at the Riverside. Mike is working in the morning so I guess that's out.

Sunday we head to Chi Town for the day to watch the Bigun kick ass and ring the cowbells. Should be fun.

Good luck to all those at IMKY. We will be thinking about you all!

Monday, August 20, 2007

So Do I Look Faster??

Spent 2.5 hours in the chair getting my hair cut, colored, and highlighted.
Can't bring myself to sweat up my new 'do, so I can only imagine it made me suddenly rocket fast.....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Row Row Row your Boat, Gently Down the Stream....

Friday I took the day off so I could go to Lucas's first scrimmage of the season. I just love to watch my boy play football and I had a great time. Mike uploaded some video to youtube with some footage of my baby kicking ass. Awesome. (He is #55 in green and white).

That afternoon we ran some errands, then Mike and I went to Madison with my sister Michele to pick up her new pink bike, a Specialized Dolce - Sweet bike. I wonder if I could switch it with mine and maybe she wouldn't notice?? I will have to think on that.

Saturday morning I got up early to get Lucas off to football practice, then took off and ran a 6.5 mile route on my own and let Mike sleep in. He went out with his buddy and got in late. The route was different than normal and I looked for some hills which wasn't a problem since our neighborhood has plenty of them. When we got back to the house, we went to pick up a leopard gecko and some crickets to feed it. We had a tank set up ready and it was my nephew Jake's 8th birthday. He has admired our lizards (We have 4 currently) for so long I am glad I was able to get him his own. I think he liked it. His party was nice and Michele made great ice cream cake - yummy. (The lizard was a hit)
After the party we took a road trip to Endurance House in Madison. We were needing some new running shoes and we decided it was time to do their video evaluation of our stride and get recommendations for shoes based on our stride. It was pretty cool. They put you on the treadmill in flats and had you run. Then they slow the film down to watch the foot strike and load transfers, etc. I wish we would get a copy of the video, but I didn't even think to ask until we were gone. After watching my video, the guy said the mechanics of my stride were great, no pronation or other issues. He told me basically I could wear just about any shoe, but he brought out his top 4 recommendations - a Mizuno shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline, the Asics Nimbus, and the Asics Kayano 13. The arch it funny in the mizuno. The Brooks was OK, but felt like there was a lump under the ball of my foot. The 2 Asics both felt good, neither one really felt better than the other. I am just coming out of the Nimbus 7 and I have liked it, but I decided to give the Kayanos a try. One thing I found interesting was that he put me in a B width shoe and they felt fine. I have been buying D's because of my gargantuan Flintstone feet, but he said I didn't need them, they were supposed to fit snug for running. Go figure. He also said my occasional issues with forefoot numbness were possibly because I lace my shoes too loose down low and too tight up top. (I tried lacing them the way he said for today's run - no problems whatsoever....)

Today was another rainy day. it broke briefly about noon and Mike and I drove to the top of the hill and parked in the school parking lot (so we wouldn't have to get our new shoes muddy walking through the dirt road or soaking wet tromping though the grass). We ran a 4 mile loop to test out the new kicks and they felt so good we did another 2 mile loop back to Crosby and around. The shoes rock. And the run was fun. I have 26 miles in for the week - a marathon. I have been trying to follow my Runner World half marathon plan. I seem to run the tempos too slow and the long runs too fast. I guess it gives me something to work on.

Tomorrow is a much needed day off (from training anyhow). After work, I am headed to Studio 107 to wash that gray right outta my hair and get a fresh cut. I decided not to go to Stripper Girl at Salon Gianna this time and go see Jenny from the Tri Club. I like her and I bet she does an awesome job.
It has rained and rained and rained this week and no end in sight in the near future. It rained all day yesterday and all day today. We are supposed to get another ton overnight tonight. The Madison area is flooding like crazy, we just saw a house that is under a ton of water on the news. If this keeps up I am going to need a boat to paddle to work. I know my plants were thirsty but JEESH - Enough is Enough!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I’ll take mine without a jackhammer, thank you very much.

My week thus far has consisted of the following:
Monday: I swam laps for an hour while Mike took his swim lesson with Martin. That is always relaxing, swimming laps. For quite a while it was just me in the lane, back and forth, back and forth. Before long I was joined in the lane, first by Dr Kolste, who swam nice slow laps at a pretty comparable pace to mine, then in came Kitty the Ironwoman to do some laps. That was all good. Then we were joined by an old guy lapping the sidestroke. I think it was probably rude and it pissed him off a little that I kept passing around him in the lane but GEESH it seemed important to me at the time to do better than a 5:00 100m. Oh Well.
When the swim lesson was done, Mike and I went into “transition” and did a 5 mile out and back loop from the pool to the poop plant and back, fairly uneventful. Kinda slow, but that’s just me. I tried to test Jeff’s theory that the half mile before and after the plant would be fast, but I don’t think it made a difference in my plodding pace, sorry to say.

Tuesday: This was the next-to-the-last SWAT practice at Rockport, which makes me sad. I have so enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and the benefits of training with others at varying levels, most of which are faster than mine. It really pushes you to not only try to keep up with the stronger athletes, but also boosts morale to be able to offer support and encouragement to those less advanced (for me this is on the bike).
We swam (I got in a couple 1000m), then we took a bike ride. We chose a route that went on the back roads, which was great for me. I t was a really hilly route and when we got to the turnaround, I shared that there was a bitch of a hill just a couple miles ahead that we had not enjoyed riding (TWICE!) this weekend. So of course we took off to ride that hill. I still hate it by the way, but it is getting easier. We just backtracked our route on the way back, which was fine. It did start to get pretty dark on the way back, which makes me nervous because I hadn’t planned on it and the only light we had for the group was my taillight. When we got back to the parking lot we took the usual 2.25-mile loop around the trail and it felt pretty good. All in all a good training night – pretty easy pace with a good mix of activities, paces, and people to talk to. Sounds like there is a Masters Swim group in the works for the winter at the Milton HS Pool, which we will for sure take advantage of.

I don’t remember if I have mentioned this before but our road is under some major construction this summer. It is a main road to the high school and had outgrown its simple country road status and needed some improvements. The process to widen it, add a bike lane, curb & gutter, and sidewalks began mid-June and we have endured some minor inconveniences up to this point. Our mailbox was relocated ¼ mile up the road onto Austin Rd, the dry weather creates a dust bowl effect whenever the people who ignore the “Street Closed” sign cut through, the bajillion stakes/flags/markers/spray painting all over the lawn, and cutting down all our mature trees from the terrace were annoying but we worked around them.
This week we reached a whole new level of inconvenience. They began the work of digging out the road in preparation for leveling the road and cutting in the curb. There is heavy equipment parked everywhere. There is soft mushy dirt everywhere. Every time I drive away from the house, I feel like on of those dad-burned Duke boys flying up the bumpy dirt road, mud flying everywhere. Monday I rode the scooter to work and couldn’t get down the road to get home due to all the construction, ended up baja-ing through the grass from the school and through my backyard. It was quite a sight I’m sure, but it worked.
Have I mentioned it has become monsoon season here? We have been DOUSED with rain the past week or so. It rained Monday overnight, so I was hard pressed to get up the hill from my house to reach solid road and get to work. I ended up getting up to the wheel well in mud in 4WD halfway up the hill, then having to chuck it into 4Low, turn sideways and gun it up the wrong side of the street. The only thing that got me out of the hole was thinking about having to call Mike at 0530 while he was still in bed to come get me unstuck. Man Rule #4440 – DON’T POKE THE BEAR. If you wake him he is very, very grouchy….
The way home was equally dicey. I came up Mineral Point Rd, a direct shot from work to find equipment busily blocking me off. I could see the house but couldn’t get there. So I turned around and drove around the block (which is actually almost a 2 mile re-route since there is a big chunk of school property that must be bypassed an a highway to enter and get off of – much more than going around a regular block…) to enter the other side of Mineral point from Austin Road. I stopped to get the mail then headed down the road, eventually getting there through the muddy soft road. I checked for the newspaper, then called to find out where it was since I hadn’t gotten one the night before either. The Gazette guy told me the carrier had dropped the off at the mailboxes on Austin Road (Wasn’t I just there!!!!). I walked back up to check and sure enough there was a pile rubberbanded together and shoved between a couple of mailboxes in the bank of 12 or so. Like I would have actually found that on my own, but whatever…..
O the way back from tri practice, it was dark and we saw 3 or 4 guys standing in a hole with shovels, which was surrounded by a huge flood light and some digging type equipment. They looked sweaty and grouchy and I couldn’t tell what they were doing. When we prepared to go to bed, I said to Mike it sounded like they were out there still working on the road… like a jackhammer sound. It went on for while. We listened to it. I got madder and madder.
Finally, I had enough. I got up out of bed and found some flip flops and a flashlight to go see what was up with all the racket. I marched across the wet grass, through the school lot and approached the small group of workers standing in the hole. They did not look happy to see me. Perhaps it was because I looked like a crazy woman- the hair looked like I was sleeping on my head, wearing jammie pants hiked up to my knees, mismatched flip-flops, marching up hill out of the dark. The noise was so loud it was deafening. I waved my flashlight and pointed angrily to my watch. I shouted “It’s 11:30 for gods sake!” but they couldn’t hear me. One guy finally crawled out of the hole and came over. I shouted “Is there a plan to be done sometime soon??????? It’s late , I’m tired, and we have to work tomorrow!!” After several repetitions, he said “Hopefully” and gave me a look like I was insane. I refrained from killing him. “Wahts the plan here?” I shouted. He gave me some cock and bull story about a power line that had been pulled by some machine, blah blah blah, had to be fixed so no one loses power….” I could see I was getting nowhere. I ranted for a minute more, telling them they better be done soon or I was gonna…. (They looked really scared at this point, or maybe it was just hurting them to try so hard not to laugh at me…) . I turned around, waving my arms, bitching over my shoulder at them, and stomped away home like a spoiled child.
Returning to bed, Mike rolled over and said, (with the jackhammering noise echoing through the bedroom) “I see you really were able to quiet them down.” Miraculously, he was not smothered in his sleep last night…….
The noise finally stopped at about 0300. Yadda, yadda, yadda, I’m really tired today. I see myself being called the crazy lady who lives on the corner in the very near future.......
This morning- another Baja adventure thru the mud pit. It is predicted to rain all day and into tomorrow. Not sure if we will even be able to get home, we may need to park at the school and walk home. What do I get in return for all these marvelous improvements and minor joys inconveniences you ask? I get a bill from the city for $6000 or so. Yeah me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend Update

Friday Night after work, I took a big bike in the country all by myself since Mike wanted to run. It was good to get out there and hammer the pedals. I took a long route and tried to detour a busy road, which is where I got a little lost and also found the biggest hill ever. Couple hundred feet of climbing in a pretty short distance - not fun, but I did it.

Saturday, we had thought about doing a race - we had 2 to choose from, one in Beloit and the other in Broadhead. Apparently they were both super secret races since we could not really get any details on them. Mike even emailed and asked specifically when, where, and how much for the race, and they emailed back without really answering his questions. So, since Mike was on call for work anyhow, we decided to scrap those plans. My thought was if it was that hard to get details or find really any basic info at all, that the field of runners for these 10K's would be very very small and consist of hardcore folks..... translation: I would get totally smoked. I was OK with not doing any race. Instead I watched my niece Isabel for a couple hours while Michele got a haircut and all gussied up for the Lone Star concert at GOEX where here hubby works. We had a blast. She loved watching the dogs run around and act stupid (it really isn't an act, it just comes natural to them...), except when Maddy would lick the bottoms of her feet.

In the afternoon, we went to the Parker Football Team Picnic. It was hot and was inside the school which was quite hot and humid. I might also mention that it took place directly after Saturday practice, so the room was packed with sweaty teenage boys and was smelling quite rank, Eau de Sweatsock I believe it was called. After 3 hours we arrived home with Lucas the proud owner of a new t-shirt, this one for qualifying for the 1000 Yard Club which recognizes performance and community service throughout the year. Pretty cool, although I could think of a couple other ways to spend my Saturday off......

We watched a couple movies and headed to bed with the intention of getting up early and driving to Madison to ride a loop of the IMWI course. We slept in a little and had to scrap that plan as the heat predicted for the day was not conducive to a late start. Instead we took the Velo Club route to Beckman Mill, a restored mill that is also a county park. It was a nice 40+ mile ride and I hadn't ever taken that way before although a lot of it was actually roads I ride all the time. Bonus - I got to climb the same big monster hill I had hated to ride AGAIN!

The first picture is a lovely shot of my behind (thanks, Mike....) showcasing what see on nearly every coutry road ride, miles and miles, and miles of corn with a smattering of farmhouses.
The second picture is Mike after using the incredibly clean facilities at Beckman Mill County Park. This last picture is a shot of the pond the buildings overlook. Thought I would get an artsy shot in there for Di.

Now, in other news, Mike and I were one of the front page stories of the Janesville Gazette today. That was kind of cool. I am having a bit of difficulty getting over the fact that she included our starting weights, something I have been pretty protective of by telling people what I have lost in pounds rather that where I started. I have always figured anyone that really wanted to know could do the math themselves..... Anyhow, there it was paragraph one, every fat girl's nightmare - your weight printed for all the world to see on the front page of the paper. A little mortifying, but I think I am getting over it. The rest of the article was pretty nice, so I should really just shut up and enjoy it. Besides, it was my own fault for telling her, I just thought it went without saying that any girl would not be happy with that.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I Thought I Asked for UN-leaded......

Took a painfully slow run on the bike path with Mike to night. We took a big run last night and I felt like I could run forever - it was such a treat to run on fresh legs. Tonight - no such luck. The trailhead to the poop plant is 5.5 miles and flat. It should have been a breeze, but it wasn't. Sometimes I'm just not feeling it ya know?
I had on a new running outfit. Normally I love the C9 stuff, but these totally bugged me. The shorts were too low rise and too short legged. The top was too loose and I had to wear a bra to keep the girls in check in addition to the tank. I hate that.
It was hot. And muggy. I was whiny. Most importantly, someone somehow filled my butt with lead - I didn't ask for that.
Best I can say is it's over and my legs are sore. Whoop-Dee-Doo. I'm biking tomorrow, forget this running crap.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Thank God Its not Tuesday today!

Wisconsin has been hit hard by rain the week. It’s hot and humid, stifling really. Aside from the fact that it makes exercise more tiring, it does some funny things to a girl’s hair. Tuesday was no exception on the hair front. The humidity was so high, my hair was a frizzy, poufy mess. When I got home from work and looked at it, I thought I was looking at Roseanne Roseannadanna in the mirror. Big hair – huge.

So I pull the Brillo pad back into a ponytail and start thinking about SWAT workout Tuesday evening. Man it was going to feel good to jump into that pool and swim some laps! As I stand at the kitchen counter working on a pre-practice snack, my son ambles up to the counter and says, “Yeah, there was a little problem with the laundry….. I spilled a little of the soap.”

Understatement of the year. Sunday, I cracked open my new super-economy size jug of Tide HE super-concentrated detergent, 110 loads worth in all. I used a capful, the rest was left sitting atop my washer. I hesitantly headed down to the laundry room to survey the damage. There was Tide on the ceiling, running down the walls, standing an inch deep on the floor, spilling out of the room over the approach soaking into the BEIGE (now blue) carpet in a large semi-circle. It had run under the machines and was soaking into the baseboard woodwork and the wall behind it. It was running down the front of both the washer and the dryer. There was a small laundry basket filled with blue soapy towels. There was one towel on the floor in front of the machines, I think for the purpose of holding the soap in one location, which incidentally was under the washer and dryer and up against the plaster walls and baseboard wood. I stood and looked in disbelief, pretty sure there was steam blowing out of both ears at that point. Bad words were said. Thankfully, there was plenty of soap available to wash my mouth out……..

I could tell immediately by looking at the scene what happened. We (and by we I mean my almost adult, think we are all grown children) stuffed the HE washer with as many awkward heavy imbalanced items as possible. We pulled the jug of detergent forward to fill the cup. We did not push it back so it was more centered on the washer, we just left it hanging from the edge because that was easier. As soon as it hit “SPIN” the first time, the jug plummeted from the top of the washer, hit the floor, backsplashed upwards to the ceiling and wall, cracked open and leaked out the bottom. We of course were playing video games or otherwise not paying attention and went back several hours later to transfer the wash to the dryer. Surveying the mess, we used a couple towels to wipe up a little bit then placed a towel in front of the washer so it quit leaking forward where we could reach it. Then we went back to our video games.

The carpet cleaner was out of the closet and standing all farfled up just outside the room on the carpet. It was full of water, which was seeping slowly into the carpet. I picked up the attached hose to move the machine onto the tile and realized too late the hose was filled with soapy water that were the remnants of a failed attempt to use it to extract the soap from the carpet, so soap and water went running everywhere out of the hose. More bad words were said. Looking closer at the carpet on the threshold of the room, I noticed that the carpet cleaner beater brushes had frayed the carpet badly along the edge where it had been used.

Lucas had to go to orientation at Papa Murphy’s, so I sent Nick to give him a ride and wait around. Truth be told I may have poked someone’s eyes out had they stuck around for the clean up, already knowing how well the first attempt had been done. Before long, Mike was home and together we spent roughly 2.5 hours sliding around mopping up soap. We scooped soap into a dustpan and poured it into the utility sink. We pulled out the machines and scooped, and scrubbed, and washed and rinsed and mopped behind them. We wiped down the walls, the ceiling, the woodwork, the cabinets, the door, the machines and everything else in the room. Ever tried to wash up soap? It’s harder and slipperier than it sounds.

Cost of that load of laundry:
- $30 in detergent
- $?? repairing/replacing the carpet
- $?? replacing the woodwork
- $?? refinishing the mushy soapy plaster, repairing the wall, painting
- $30 for replacing the two now ruined mops
- our time in missed training hours – PRICELESS!

Needless to say, by the time we were done, we had pretty much missed most of SWAT practice. The sky was darkening, so a run or bike on our own was ruled out too. I was frustrated. We missed our workouts Monday too due to rainy weather.

We headed out instead to do some errands so hopefully we could be back on track Wednesday. In the car, I noticed that the skin on my hands and feet and forearms were starting to feel a burning sensation. I quickly realized that it was a chemical irritation from the ultra concentrated detergent we had been swimming in for hours. Looking at my feet I could see where the detergent had actually started eating away layers of my toenail polish. I looked at the palm of my hand, which was also sore and noticed it was bruised along the area where I was holding the mop handle and the scrub brush. I remembered earlier that I had noticed my wedding ring needed to be looked at because it needed to be sized again. Looking at it closer now, I saw it was bent and actually broken after the soap cleanup. So while we were out, we stopped at the jewelry store to drop it off for repair.

We stopped the car and going around the backside of the Envoy, I cut the corner too tight and ran into Thelma (the bike rack) who bit me pretty hard in the ribcage. OUCH.
After dropping off the ring, we went to see my good friend Vicky since we were at the Mall and collect on my coupon for free PINK flip flops. Vicky’s Secret by the way is that her underwear is uncomfortable and is not that much better than Wal-Mart…...

I have never looked so forward to a day being over in my whole life. Once we were home, Mike and I worked on our Bigun tribute song, which was so much fun, it almost made the farfled up mess that was my evening worth it.

Thank God It’s Wednesday, that’s all I have to say today! I still have Roseanne Roseannadanna’s hair though. Hope that isn’t a sign of things to come today……..

Ran a 10Kwith Mike after work tonight so we are back on track again. Yeah.

I used the training assistant on RWOL today to tweak my training plan for the Half Marathon in September and tonight I will be working on that some more. We’ll see how it goes. It just doesn’t seem like there is enough running to get ready for a race of that size, but we’ll see. After all, they are the experts, I am a mere mortal so what do I know?

Monday, August 6, 2007

I love it when it's all about me........ TAGGED!

Tagged by Mrs Bigun
Well, this is fun. I was just thinking that since I had reached the 100 post mark that it was time for a 100 things about me post, but this is more fun.

Jobs I’ve Held:
Corn detasseling in 7th and 8th grade. One time, my whole bus got fired because a couple guys got in a food fight on the bus and my dad drove me over to the office ad went inside. I was back at work the next day – very cool “papa bear” move.
Little Caesar’s Pizza Pizza, age 16. I was the dough making queen
High school and college summers- lifeguard/swim instructor at Rockport Pool Hands down the coolest job ever.
High school winters – lifeguard for lap swim at Rock County Pool. Worked 5-8 Mon-Thursday. Did my homework while people who knew how to swim did laps. Quite boring actually but the hours were great for a teenager.
College Year 1 – Waitressing Night shift at the Oasis Restaurant (Truck stop) – Yuck.
Waitressing at Perkins – cool job, good money, always smelled like grease and syrup.
Asst DON at Fair Oaks Health care center – first nursing job, totally blew.
Lead RN/Care Plan Coordinator, then DON for Mercy Manor and then Mercy Manor Transition Center- good job, great hours, great people to work with. Being on call all the time and having to deal with sucky stuff, not always so fun.

Movies I Can Watch Over & Over:
Shawshank Redemption
Forest Gump
Legally Blonde (any of them)
Really anything with Reese Witherspoon
Any of the Bourne movies
Mystery Men
and (I’m with Di on this one) the one that goes without saying... A Christmas Story.

My Guilty Pleasures:
Chocolate Ganache Cake
Apple Cinnamon Streusel Bread for Walmart
Mint Oreo Blizzard
Culvers Butterburger and Fries
Chi Chi’s Lobster Enchiladas
Buying clothes (lots of them) in the regular persons section (with no EXTRA on any of the size tags)
running shoes
bike shoes
Bike gear
Electronic gadgets
Cooking gadgets (although I don’t cook really)

Places I Have Lived (in order):
Beloit, WI
Rockford, IL
Mendota, IL
Janesville, WI
Whitewater, WI (UW-W dorms)
Janesville, WI (again)

Shows I Enjoy:
Law & Order – all of them
Biggest Loser
Big Brother
Amazing Race
Singing Bee
Friends (can almost say the words to all of them) American Idol (only the first and last shows)House
CSI – all of them

Places I Have Been on Vacation:
Franklin, NC (mikes mom)
Elwood, IN (my grandparents)
Muncie, IN (Ball State last month)
Denver, CO (my sister)
Rockton, IL (my grandparents)
Orlando, FL - twice
Tampa, FL
St Augustine, FL
Cocoa Beach, FL
Appleton, WI (paper discovery dauthlon this spring)
Northern Wisconsin (various locations) many summers as a kid
Sad to say, I think that’s it. But I really do hate to travel – Jwim likes to sleep in her own bed…..

Favorite Foods:
Fresh fruit – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, Anjou pears, granny smith apples, watermelon, kiwi, pretty much any fruits
Corn on the cob roasted on the grill
Southwest Egg beaters with Sweet potatoes, onions, green peppers and turkey
Smart Ones Chicken Enchilada Suiza
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough anything
Milk chocolate anything
Fannie May mint meltaways

Websites I Visit Daily:
Lots of blogs (see sidebar)
Runners World Online
Addicting Mahjongg the hard one
Awards I’ve Won:
HS graduation top 10 (8/333)
AAUW scholarship – twice – once in HS and last year as an adult
Scholarship last year from mercy volunteers
Phi Kappa Phi honor society (BSU)
Medals/awards at 3 of the 4 multisports I did this year – Evansville Duathlon, Beloit Biathlon, Janesville Triathlon (although not from a big field, but hey…)
Nicknames I’ve Been Called:
JWim (like JLo – from Mike)
Jenny Keeney Weenie (my maiden name – Keeney….. my friends were not very creative apparently)
Now for my victims....This is tougher than I thougt to choose just 5....... I am going to tag 5 people here to do the same post, people that I admire and here's why:

My sister Tracy- who has an adventurous spirit and isn't afraid to try anything
My sister Michele - who manages everything on her plate with ease and humor
RunAthena - who is a wonderful writer and one of the most interesting people I have met, one of the first people I met in the blog community who made me feel extremely welcome!
Pat in Arizona- who always has something funny and encouraging to say, has an interesting perspective on life
Regina - who is a dedicated cyclist and got married on a tandem bike in vegas which I think is totally cool!
Amended List:
Mike and I chose many of the same people so I am adding people to my list -
Obrats (good guy and big loser - in a good wasy), Erin (doing Ironman Wisconsin next month- hats off), Collin (new triathlete) , and Steve (the next biggest loser and soon to be triathlete!), Come on down! Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Me, simpsonized

So, here I am simpsonized. You have no idea how long it took me to get this figured out - downright embarrassing.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Oregon Fun Run Race Report

On Friday, Mike and I took a big bike ride in the country, our regular route around Afton and back. I call the route "The Black Angus" owing to the fact that just before we turn onto Plymouth Church Rd, there is a big farm with big black cows/bulls all over the field, I assume they are black angus cows, but I am just guessing. Not really significant until you know that I spent an entire afternoon riding up and down that area of the country this past spring (like for HOURS) all by myself trying to find "that one farm with the big black buffalos". Somehow I remembered the big bulls as buffalo and wasted most of an afternoon looking for them on my bike. There IS a buffalo farm on River Rd, however the pasture is out back and you can't see them from the road anyhow.
But I digress...... Mike and I rode the Angus route Friday after work. It was hotter than snot outside and it felt good to get out and make our own wind. We rode hard and fast and it was super fun for me. It took me a while to figure out what Mike was doing. He would blast past me up the hills (unusual for him) and then coast down the other side while I attacked on the downhills and flats, breezing past him. Finally he told me he was working on hill climbing and not worrying about the downhills, since he knew how to do them.
We worked out Friday night to go to the Oregon Fun Run Saturday morning with my sister and her husband and family. We got up bright and early and drove to Michele and Jeffs. Jacob decided to ride in our car and so we set him up with his seat and his DVD of one of the Star Wars movies for the ride. When we arrived in Oregon at the town shelter, we got registered quick. Race fees were CHEAP again - $12 including late entry fee AND a tshirt. And what a shirt it is. My favorite so far, cotton candy pink, with artsy runners all over it. An odd choice for a unisex race, but I am totally digging it.

First up was Jacob in the kids 1K. He took off fast and was bumming a little when he got back, but he did just awesome - I was very proud of him. He got a medal and a tshirt. Then he drank the strongest gatorade ever made and said "If I ever want to run a race again, tell me no."

In a few minutes, Mike, Jeff, Michele, and I were up to start the regular races. Michele had registered for the 5K (her second race) and the rest of us were registered for the 10K. There weren't many runners at this race and they both took off at the same time. All the rest of the 10Kers were out in front of me fast, except for one old duffer who was just a couple steps behind me. I could tell quickly I was probably looking at DFL and psyched myself out a bit. I decided to stick with Michele and run with her in the 5K, do it together and keep her company. That was after all why we registered for this race, to do something with my sister. We were pretty much the back of the 5K pack too, but at least we were last together and we weren't too far off the rest of the runners. We ran fartlek style with just a few short walk breaks for Michele to catch her breath. As we moved past mile 2, we started to notice a guy up ahead also run/walking. He would run as far as he could, look back and make sure we were far enough behind him and start to walk. When he heard us start to run again, he look back and start to run again. Seemed like he was just trying to make sure he was not going to get chicked. So we decided on a sneak attack with him as our goal guy to beat. We ran as quietly as we could when he was walking and tried to stop to a walk when he looked like he was going to look back to see if we were walking so he wouldn't start to run again. That worked pretty well and we finally ran past him and got ahead. We got to the last couple hundred yards to the finish line and all of a sudden we heard him behind us picking up speed and Michele took off like a shot, I couldn't catch her and neither could stealth guy. We crossed the finish 1-2-3, with stealth guy taking the DFL title.
Once Michele can run non-fartlek she is so going to kick my butt on the runs. Even with all the walking, we still averaged 12 minute miles, which is better than where I was at that point in my 5K career last summer. I so need to turn 40 so we are in different age groups. (I cannot believe that thought crossed my mind....... funny).
On the way home, I was mad at myself for chickening out of the 10K, so when I got home I decided to run the other half of it, just to prove I can. I paid for a 10K race, got a shirt for a 10K, and I felt like I cheated myself out of what should have been out of vanity. I took off by myself and ran down by the hospital and up Bond for a 4.08 mile run, a total for the day of 7.33 miles, a 10K plus pennance for splitting it up. There, now I feel better. And not like a cheater.

The pictures I got of Mike are awful - blurry and unfocused as usual. I was excited to be at the finish ahead of him so he would have pictures of him for a change and they turned out like crap. I decided I have taken my last blurry action shot, so we went to get an updated camera with some image stabilization. Yeah - new stuff!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Full Moon 5K - the Race Report

Tonight we drove to Madison for the Full Moon Run, a 5K Mike did last year with Jeff. We parked in Olin-Turville Park and headed to the shelter to register. For our $15 race fee we not only did not have to pay extra for race day registration, but instead of the bag advertised, we got Mizuno tech tees from Moving Shoes- SWEET! So far, best goodies value for the money by far.
The Schwag: several keychains that look like Reebok runnign shoes, a little rubber bracelet for my nephew Jake, a clip on flasher, and a Mizuno tech tee.

The race started on the other side of Monona Bay at 9PM (that's 2100 for you military type folks, so I thought I would include civilian time so as not to get Bigun all ruffled up again.... :-) ), which was about a 15-20 minute hike from the Park along the beach. It was buggy and we couldn't wait to get started since we were getting bitten alive by skeeters the size of pigeons.

I looked around at the crowd of about 400 and picked some folks that looked like they were about my size/speed. I picked a few folks to keep my eye on and we were read to go.

This was an interesting run. I had never done an event in the dark before. I took off with the pack and it was motivating to stay with them since it was dark and I didn't want to lose sight of them. We all got flashing light things to wear, which was really helpful in sighting where we were headed.

Because it was dark, it was harder to push the pace, but it was also harder to watch the pace on the Garmin, so tonight was about pushing perceived effort and not worrying about watching the numbers on the Garmin - no HR pacing, no pace data, just me and listening to how on fire my lungs and legs felt.

We started in the back of the pack and I stayed on Mike's heels for a while, mostly because he was emailing taunts to me all day trying to egg me on. Someday I will be able to keep pace with him and make him eat my dust, but tonight was not the night. I passed a few folks in the first mile, but made the most headway after the 1 and 2 mile markers. You could almost see it on the runners who slowed to walk after these markers say to themselves "What! Ive only gone a MILE! I gotta walk...." Slowly I overtook them, and said Good Job as I passed by whenever I could (sometimes I was pushing so hard I couldn't talk). I passed Old Guy and his wife. I passed the cross country kids who pooped out after mile 2. I passed Rocket Kid who took out from the start like his pants were on fire, then lost his mojo along the way. After mile 2, I came up on the Chubby Red Shirt Girls I had eyed up at the start. I passed them and stayed a few hundred yards ahead - yeah me. They were my goal people I had set myself to pass and I had. As we neared Olin-Turville and the finish, they suddenly ran past me with a big burst. The last 1/4 mile was up a huge hill after pushing it on a really flat course, and the Red Shirt Girls lost oomph as they neared the top of the hill. Since I am used to finishing uphill, I felt pretty at home and kicked it down, re-passing them and going as fast as I could down the short downhill and through the chute. Final time on the clock .....33:08 by their clock, 33:15 by the Garmin, but as usual I forgot to hit stop when I crossed the finish (I always get a few seconds of standing around until Mike yells "Stop your timer!!!" - every race, without fail). I am very satisfied with that. I was panting pretty hard and I don't think I could have pushed much harder.

Would I do it again? maybe. it's pretty late to start and tomorrow's a work day. I plan to be tired. It was fun though and the Tshirt whore got a techie tee, so it's all good. We'll see.

What I learned for next year:

- Bring bug spray.... lakeside + dusk = bug bites

- Bring water, there are no water stops

- Remember to bring your race belt..... hey

- Headlamp?? maybe, I 'll have to think about it. I have one, but when I wear it Mike calls me The Miner

32:11.89 (official time) 137/162 female, 27/38 age group, 314/348 overall
(GRRRR- 2 seconds over my PR time and STILL in the back of the pack - last year I was 5-7 minutes longer and middle fo thepack - What gives????)

View My Stats

Calculate your Calories