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Wednesday, May 28, 2008


It has been a few days since we finished up the marathon and I've been a little quiet, reflecting back on the experience. Originally, I had wanted to find out if this was the stuff I was made of. Because I know that I want to try IMWI next year, I felt like I had to do this, to know what it felt like to go this distance by itself, to know what it feels like and to assimilate it into how I wold think it might feel to go this distance AFTER having swam 2.4 and biked 112 miles.
I had a very specific progression in mind for my year this year. First, the marathon, followed by two HIM distances (SORT and Pigman) in relatively quick succession, all completed prior to going to IMWI with the intention of feeling solidly like I have the fortitude to successfully complete that particular journey next year. Sure there are some smaller fun events I have in mind, but those are really my A races and objectives.
I think the reason I have been so introspective the past few days is that I feel like I shortchanged myself. I have spent weeks, months really, trying to work a plan to get me across the finish line in 5.5 hours or so. That's not lightning fast, but a respectable enough time for a first attempt.
My plan started in January, carefully mapped out with tempo runs, long runs, speedwork (that makes me laugh a little to write that.......'s all relative I guess.) and all the things I needed. So many factors contributed to not fully working it - blizzards, cold, family crises, and finally nagging injuries I brought on myself trying to ramp up too quickly towards catching the end of the plan and being ready. Sometimes just plain laziness get in the way. The end result is that I failed my plan, and I don't feel like I gave this race the best I had. I disappointed myself.
One of the things I have found in the past couple years of getting to this point is that triathlon is about competing with yourself. That means training for and with yourself, and competing towards the goals you have set for yourself when you toe the line. I am comfortable, probably most comfortable, doing these training things by myself, alone. Sure I enjoy taking a bike with a friend or going to the Tuesday Tri-Out for SWAT, but really feel like my most productive days are those where it is just me on the road or in the pool working on my own personal goals and having that time in my own head to clear out the stressors from the day. I enjoy spending an hour, or sometimes two or three hitting the road alone.
Does all this take away from my time with my family? Really I don't think so. For me it boils down to planning. If I have somewhere to be to be there for my kids, I need to figure out something to be able to meet my needs and theirs too. Let's be honest- these boys don't need or want me around them 24/7. They need to know I am there for them if they need me, to provide enough groceries/meals to sustain themselves, and then for me to get the hell out of their way and let them live their lives. most days they barely notice that I get home from work, let alone to say much more than hi or to have even a 15 minute conversation with me that I don't initiate. They are on the verge of adulthood- they don't need me breathing down their neck all the time, they just need some guidance from time to time when they start to wander off the path. I think there is room for me to get my "Me Time" in and still be a good mom. Scratch that - a better mom who is happy and healthy and hopefully setting a good example. I can make excuses about how I need to give p that time to offer it to my kids, but that would just be making excuses. Life happens, and you have to arrange your training plans around it so that you can balance them both. Pirate says it alot and it's the truth, "The more you do, the more you get done."
So anyway where as I going with this?
Oh yeah- I've been in a funk a little bit because I don't feel like I gave it my best effort, all that I could have done. Some of it was training, some was injury, but there was a part of me that made a choice not to push myself.
So no commitment yet for sure, but i am thinking about doing it again. If not this year on another course, then the same run in 2008. For me. Smarter, faster, and more satisfying.
In a masochistic kind of way, i kind of liked it. Not so much at the time, but the process of getting there and getting it done.
Life is a process, and this is only the first of many steps. This wasn't just something I checked off my To Do Bucket List as ToDone.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wake Up Call

Here is just a little slice of what life is like when you live next door to the high school. It's Memorial Day, the day after you finish a marathon. You plan to sleep until noon. Then you look out your bedroom window to see this go by at 0900:

Yep. It's the Parker HS marching band warming up for the parade.

Before they moved the parking lot, there was a buffer field area between us and them. No such luck anymore, they march right past our backyard playing Anchors Away on the tuba. Semper Fi.

This morning I am trying to figure out how I slept through that gorilla beating me p with the Tokyo phone book. If I could lift these stumps that used to be arms to touch my head, I am pretty sure I would find that my hair even hurts.

The knee still feels a little tweaked, but not as bad as I had anticipated, so maybe this is in the realm of normal.

When I got up this morning and came downstairs, Mike was typing away at the puter. Putting together a plan for HIM training. Another wake call I think. Yep, now we're serious.

A few more random thoughts about yesterday:

- I can see how someone would go to some very dark place out there alone, especially if they were falling apart. Wow. Glad Mike was there with me. Focusing on keeping him well kept me out of those places for sure. No time to feel sorry for myself, it was Nursey Cheerleader time (sounds like some sort of fantasy porn movie doesn't it).

- I need to work on some speedwalking for IM, keeping a pace that can be a placeholder until I am recovered enough to run again and make up time.

- Why did all the road in Madison slant upwards so sharply from the curb to the road? The whole outer half of every running lane was like walking the pitch of a rooftop. Sucked.

- the support stations and the fans along the roadside in Madison were THE best ever. Wow. They were great.

- And best of all I am up 3 pounds from yesterday morning. After going 26.2 miles as fast as I could. That is just sick and wrong. Burn 3300 calories, and gain weight. Poop.

- I can't figure out why my hands got so puffy by mid-race. They looked like mottled red and white sausages. Huge. Better today though. All the salty Gatortang, Sports Beans, Shot Blocks? Pretty sure I had a lot in common with Lot's Wife in the salt department anyway.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Report of Sorts

So here is the quick and dirty race results for me from the Madison Marathon:
bib number: 2234
age: 38
overall place: 1189 out of 1191
division place: 59 out of 59
gender place: 455 out of 455
pace: 15:08
10k: 1:17:50
half: 2:54:52
mile 18: 4:14:35
chip time: 6:36:35

I went to bed nervous last night. It was hard to get to sleep with my heart pounding so hard.
Got up at 4:30am, ate a little oatmeal and yogurt, got dressed, left instructions for the boys how to get to the finish line and we were off. We arrived off the shuttle bus onto the square an hour before the race and we walked around and stretched. I think we were the first bus and I headed right to the porta to deposit my breakfast Diet Coke while there was no line. Mike was looking for anywhere to slip into and warm up (those businesses on the square are no dummies - they know if they open at dawn, racers with no money will hang out in their store and not by anything. So... nothing was open). We ran into Alison from the SWAT team just before the race and got a quick picture in. I believe that is when Mike commented I had a Carrot-Top thing going on. Nice.
We were off shortly thereafter and were pretty much last right from the gun. No worries, we were going to take it slow, shooting for 12-12:30 miles for the long haul. The plan we cooked p as the final version in the car went something like this: Run easy pace for the fist 5 miles, keep it p if we can through the first 10, then run 7 minutes and walk 3 thereafter With the ultimate goal of getting to the finish line between 5:30 and 6 hours, which coincidentally was when they planned to close the course. We were going to stick together, fully envisioning some walking if my knee went south.
So the first 3 miles, we managed to pass 3 people. At the mile 3 aid station I had to pee and wait in line which lost us those 3 people. I ran to catch up to Mike who was walking and waiting for me. We ran pretty much the whole first half and at the half we had made up enough time to be about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. It felt surprisingly good. Mike and I had high fived at every mile marker. mike was thanking everyone for volunteering that he saw. He took his coat off his shoulders but left them in his sleeves about midway to the half-marker. For some reason he was running then with his thumbs up and the half-off coat made him jerk around like Elaine dancing on Seinfeld. I thought I might lose an eye so I moved over a ways in the lane.
After the half marker we were averaging a 13:20 or so mile. With some cushion I wanted to walk a little while, but we walked fast. I don't know who the masochist was designing this course, but it felt like the hills were all on the second half. It was hilly, or at least felt hilly. We decided early on to walk the uphills to save power and energy. So we started walking a lot more in the second half. it still felt pretty good for a couple more miles. We passed a few people and were slowly gaining ground, still on pace.
This course was interesting. it was like a hodgepodge of all the courses we were used to running in Madison all mashed together. So it was familiar which was good, but I also knew kind of what was coming. Like those sucky hills through downtown to the Stadium (crazylegs) and that windy sucky patch through the Arboretum (the 10K route by the zoo).
I was feeling like we were starting to pick up the pace a little and I looked at mike and he was white. Said he didn't feel good so we slowed to a slower walk pace. That was our turning point, where we went from singing "The wheels on the bus go round and round" to the point where the wheels completely fell off the bus and started to crash. he went from feeling like barfing to trying to walk it out, then decided he needed a porta like NOW. We asked one of the bike cops who were circling behind us if they knew where the next bathroom was. they asked someone, who said in like a mile as we entered the Arboretum. Like 2 miles later we got there. I kept telling Mike if he needed to he could slip into the woods along the road and take care of business. I even volunteered my shirt sleeve. He decided no, since we were being followed by the hearse (an SUV driven by a Dane County Sheriff) and 2 police men on bikes, all about 5 feet behind us. They had slowly moved onto us as the last runners as the others we had passed gave up and hitched a ride back. Mike didn't look good heading into the pot. He was white as a sheet, stripped off his coat and water belt and chucked them on the ground. I waited what felt like forever. Just as I decided he had probably died on the toilet and I was going to break in, out popped a new man. We were able to run/walk for a mile or 2, and then we were just done. My knee had stiffened up and I just couldn't take the downhills running. Mike was cramping and hurting and we just decided we were going to walk it the rest of the way in, intent on finishing. That last few miles from the Arboretum to the finish were just an exercise in mental toughness and tenacity. With the cops behind us, we overheard them tell like everyone at every intersection, "Yep, they're the last ones, you can pack it up." Thanks guys, that's really working for my morale. I was getting pissier by the minute. people walking by or passing on their bikes saying words of encouragement just plain made me want to punch them. obviously, we are being followed by a hearse so quit telling me Good Job! It's not helping me and just makes me ornery. We passed a couple people somehow. One girl went to the bathroom. Then we passed a guy with "5:00 pace team" on his back...... I guess the wheels fell off his bus too. So the hearse followed them for awhile and got off our back.
The walking got harder and harder for Mike. i tried to walk up ahead and see if that would help him pick p the pace, but he was really just cooked. We toughed it out and just set to cross the finish whenever we got there. We passed one guy washing his motorcycle in his driveway who hollered "Keep going! You all get the same medal!" I stifled a "Bite Me." The chick we passed way back sucked it up and in the final mile shuffle jogged up ahead of us a few hundred feet and then walked ahead of us. If she hadn't been so damn nice, I'd have been pissed at her but hey I would have done the same thing so I let it go. I texted Lucas to let them know we were really close and be watching. Mike was cooked and obviously in pain. From somewhere he was able to gut it out to the finish. as we were getting towards the last few hundred yards, he said "I think I might need to go to Medical at the end." He looked rough. Just before the chute, we saw Nick and Lucas sitting on a big cement block waiting for us. They chatted with us and asked how we were doing. Then we headed in for the finish. The guy with the mike wanted to interview us. Mike said no. I again stifled a bite me. we crossed the finish and we got a medal and a warm bottle of water. The lady said there was food and massages around the other side of the tent. She lied. They were all packed up and and pulling down, not so much as a fricking orange to nibble on.
We finished. It sucked, but we lived. And the 5:00 pace guy came in behind us so we were not DFL.
We got home and inspected our wounds. My knee hurt in anything but neutral. My big toe hurt under the nail, and I gleefully stripped off the polish, sure I had earned my badge of honor - the coveted black toenail- or at least a good blood blister, but nada, nothing but pink nailbed. Rats.
We ate some Red Robin, and DQ sundaes, and headed for the hot tub, all of which were the best ever.

The Good:
- I was so proud of Mike today. That was tough and he was hurting for a long time. I know he thinks he disappointed me somehow, but whatever I couldn't be prouder.
- My kids were there for the finish. I can't tell you how motivational it was for me to keep going knowing they were waiting. And to see them there at the end - the best.
- It's done and we are members of the finishers club.
- I know I can do this again. Smarter and faster.

The Bad:
- It hurt. We both got a healthy dose of respect today for the distance. I will definitely pay more attention to doing ALL of my long runs.

I probably have more witty repartee to share, but I am tired and going to bed so it will have to wait for tomorrow.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

You know you've missed my pictures, So here you go!

This morning we got Lucas off to his drive time for Drivers Ed, then headed to Madison to pick up our race packets at the Expo.
Here is the free stuff (minus all the stupid flyers and discount cards). Not much, but we DID get a free cowbell!
Here' the shirt. Tech tee. Cool. The back says finisher so I can't try it on til the race is over. Bad mojo and all that. Mike is pouting because the XL is none too XL.
We found a few things to buy. Here is the graphic on the shirts we bought to wear tomorrow. Pretty sweet.
Yeah. They pretty much saw us coming a mile away. Picked just a few necessities- new lucky Balega socks, the brat shirts, a pair of Race Ready compression shorts for me with a pink zip case for my Fuel Belt to store some of my favorite paper products tomorrow, a gel flask for Mike and the new Caffeinated Sports Beans and some Shot Blocks.
After the Expo we headed up to the Capital Square for the Farmers Market. There was lots of good stuff to eat, and freaky people to watch- Granolas with blond ratty dreadlocks and tie dye tshirts, Bible thumpers preaching the Apocalypse and shaking signs around, and some sort of impromptu anti-war musical/play on the lawn of the Capital building. We ate some yummy stuff but the only thing we brought home was a free bumper sticker for Beefcake's new car. He was thrilled by the way. We stopped at this great nursery on the way home and picked up some great flowers for the house.

Here are the 2 ginourmous hanging baskets for the back deck. What I like best? Petunias are pretty hard to kill. Important stuff for my house.

Big planter for the front step. Matches the siding.
To the far left, we got some hanging bags full of wave petunias to hang from the lights and you can see the planter too on the right. Rascal's rock garden ready to bloom any time now. Looks great with the construction backdrop from the Parker school renovation wouldn't you say?
One of many artsy fartsy shots. I'll spare you the rest.

The very first Clematis bloom of the year form the trellis. There's like a hundred more ready to pop.

Proof positive the Mike "I'm not grouchy" Wimmer always looks grouchy and always says he's not. Always.

My 2 favorite dogs chillin in the back yard, Daisy and Maddy. Also known these days as Fanny Fat Ass and Betty Big Butt.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Well here's a new one (ladies only)

First things first- if you have XY chromosomes, click here.

There. that should occupy them for a while. We alone now? Good.

So........... now that's it's just us girls, here is my question O the day. When you do a marathon for say, 5-6 hours, where do you keep your spare ....... feminine products without sweating them all up before you need them? Never been an issue before, guess I've been lucky.

I'm thinking duct tape spare tampax to the back side of my race number.... would that be stupid? I'm open to suggestions here ladies, help a sister out!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Last Tempo Run before the Madison Marathon

Feeling pretty good about todays run. Did 5 miles as planned at a pretty comfortable pace. If I can keep it up for another 21 miles, I could finish in 5.5 hours. And not get yanked off the course.
AND my knee didn't feel bad at all after some stretching I learned when I took Lucas to Dr Rutherfords office today for his physical. BONUS! (He had his athletic trainer come in and teach Lucas to strech his hip flexors and ITB becuase they are extremely tight.... what do you know, mom needs those exercises too. And they work!!!)

Route:--Elev. Avg:854 ft
Location:Rock, WIElev. Gain:-42 ft
Time:04:50 PMDifficulty:2.2 / 5.0
Weather:A Few Clouds
64 F temp; 27% humidity
64 F heat index; winds NW 14

Distance:5.08 miles
Speed:4.7 mph
Pace:12' 44 /miHeart Rate:167 bpm (Avg)
Calories:627183 bpm (Peak)
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Heart Rate (bpm)
Heart Rate Zones
In Zone
In Zone
Zone 5167 - 1850h 45m70% 4.07 mi
Zone 4148 - 1670h 23m36% 1.71 mi
Zone 3130 - 1480h 02m3% 0.12 mi
Zone 2111 - 1300h 01m1% 0.07 mi
Zone 193 - 1110h 00m0% 0.01 mi
(none)out of range0h 00m0% 0.01 mi
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
111' 57-0' 475.0+0.3156-72 ft
213' 16+0' 324.5-0.2164-20 ft
314' 38+1' 544.1-0.61650 ft
45' 51-6' 5310.2+5.5176+10 ft
513' 16+0' 324.5-0.2173+33 ft
end13' 18+0' 344.5-0.2175+7 ft
Versus average of 12' 44 min/mile

Posted from

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Bad

Lucas points out to me this afternoon that I neglected to mention what a beast he was at last weeks track meet, where he bettered his best throw by 9 feet in the shotput and took fourth place at the meet.
My sincerest apologies for the oversight there Beefy!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beloit Biathlon 2008

Saturday morning we arose bright and early to head south to Beloit about 20 minutes away to take part in the Beloit Wellness Biathlon put on annually by the Stateline YMCA. I was excited about the first multisport of the year, but even more excited to be there for the first multisport EVER for my little sister. And There was no pressure this year for me, since I already won the 2008 medal from this event last May.
It was cold and we got registered quickly and started setting up transition. We were some of the very first people to arrive so we had our pick of places to set up shop. We chose our spots by the proximity to our cars, but in hind sight maybe we should have thought a little harder about where Bike In/Out was located, but live and learn. We did remember to bring a bike rack this year so we didn't have to lay the bikes down on the ground. The shirts were very loud- rainbow tie dye in fact. The guy with the megaphone had a matching floppy fishing hat. Not a good look in case you were wondering....
Because of some road construction, the run course was moved and was almost a half mile longer for each leg, making it difficult to know where I would compare to last years time.
As we stood around waiting for the race to start, we found some tri club buddies who were there: Brian and Anne (who rocked the course in Boston a few weeks back by the way), Johnny Y Brown who was there cheering on his brother (JYB told Mike he would take lots of pictures of us since we were sherpa-less and email them ....... do you see any pictures in this post?? Yeah, me neither).
We all registered race day, so we were in the last wave. Mike, Michele, and I all picked our goal people. Once we had them picked out, we announced it by saying "If I can't beat THAT girl/guy, I am not allowed to eat for a MONTH!"
When our wave finally took off, we ran with the crowd a few hundred yards trying to keep up with our pace cars, way to fast. I suggested to Michele we were going to fast fort he start so we let Mike take off ahead and slowed down to a little more realistic pace for us to stay running and not have to stop and pant. It wasn't long before we got ahead of our goal girls. They had taken off like a shot only to fizzle out in the end. Nothing super special for the first 2 mile run, just that it was eventually over. You can see it here.
We got on our bikes at the same time, and Michele was gracious enough to encourage me to go on up ahead, which I did. It was windy as hell just like my ride the night before, but what the heck, it was only 11 miles so I gave it all I had- as fast as I could go and as hard as I could pedal. I especially like smoking past the "kites" (the people sitting bolt upright on their comfort bikes) just because you feel like you get the most bang for your buck in the impressing other people area. I just had to take a little pleasure in it at the moment, since most of them would likely pass me on the run later. You can see the bike here.
I had given it all I had on the bike, not leaving much for the run. I was a little slower than the first run. My knee was a little twingy so I kept it slow and easy, just plodded along to get to the finish. At the finish, Mike, Brian, and Anne were there cheering, which always makes me pick up the pace, even though I don't know where I found it. If you want to see it, click here.
So my time ended up 16 minutes over last year's time of 1:12:59. This years time by Garmin - 1:29:26. I am chalking 12 of those minutes to the excess run time over last year. I would probably have met or beat last year's time had I run a little faster, but a week from my first marathon I was not going to push it. Sue me.
Bottom line: we didn't win, but we weren't last either. And they served subs and energy drinks at the finish so it's all good.

Funny things from the day:
- my sister looking at some super serious triathlete guy warming up, wearing a very short tri top and tiny tri shorts. She says "Oh my god is the half shirt REALLY necessary??" In mid-eye roll, she says "Oh wait I went to high school with that guy, he's not a jock." Ended up he was JYB's brother and came in somewhere in the top 5 of the elite wave.
- Heading up the street on my last run, a bunch of little kids were standing in their yard watching us go by. one little girl about 7 years old looks at my bib number (855 or something like that) and asks me with big wide eyes "Is that how far you have to run?" My reply: "Sure feels like it today!"
- Heading out of T1 with our bikes, Michele and I hear a volunteer shout out "Hey your helmets on backwards!" After Michele and I both patted our heads and it sunk in she wasn't talking to us, we looked at the girl trotting behind us and sure enough she had her helmet on backwards. I really didn't realize that was even possible to do, but it apparently it is. And the chick didn't even stop to turn it around. Truly, it looked like it hurt. Poor thing. She just kept saying "Are you guys already done? Are you done?" I finally told her no, we were starting the bike just like her. Sheesh!
- Mike gave the tour of the back of our car a dozen times. Yes we love the Thelma. Yes it is the best thing since sliced bread. We should get some sort of kickback for the free advertising. Maybe a free shirt or something.
- I wore my Primalwear Where the Wild Things Are bike jersey. I had like a dozen conversations about it. The lady at the gas stations, some guy shouting out "love the shirt" from the run course, and some crazy lady we had a hard time shaking off us at the food table afterwards. It was kind of weird. later we wore our race shirts out to run errands, and got equally as many comments on them. i thought I might have to give it up to some old lady at the grocery store. Not sure I have ever had so many people admiring my wardrobe in one day. It was tres odd.

BIG SHOUT OUT to my sister, the newest multisport athlete in the family. Yeah Michele!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Nebraska Hills (wind) meets Wisconsin rollers for a windblown sufferfest. There were times on this ride I was actually leaning at a 45 degree angle just to keep upright during the gusts.

Route:--Elev. Avg:827 ft
Location:Rock, WIElev. Gain:+7 ft
Date:05/16/08Up/Downhill: [+1404/-1397]
Time:04:36 PMDifficulty:4.6 / 5.0
Weather:Mostly Cloudy
 72 F temp; 30% humidity
 72 F heat index; winds W 14 G 22

Distance: 31.10 miles
Speed:14.2 mph
Pace:4' 14 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Speed (mph)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
14' 40+0' 2612.8-1.40 ft
25' 24+1' 1011.1-3.1+20 ft
33' 35-0' 3816.7+2.5-55 ft
44' 05-0' 0814.7+0.5+33 ft
53' 03-1' 1019.6+5.4-10 ft
63' 34-0' 3916.8+2.6-43 ft
73' 29-0' 4417.2+3.0-19 ft
84' 28+0' 1413.4-0.8+6 ft
95' 21+1' 0711.2-3.0+27 ft
104' 15+0' 0114.1-0.1-49 ft
114' 05-0' 0814.7+0.5+6 ft
124' 48+0' 3412.5-1.7+49 ft
135' 01+0' 4711.9-2.2-62 ft
144' 46+0' 3212.6-1.6+29 ft
152' 22-1' 5125.2+11.00 ft
164' 19+0' 0513.9-0.30 ft
173' 28-0' 4517.3+3.1-36 ft
183' 44-0' 2916.0+1.8+6 ft
194' 39+0' 2512.9-1.3-16 ft
204' 09-0' 0414.4+0.2+10 ft
217' 58+3' 447.5-6.7+115 ft
222' 22-1' 5125.2+11.1-125 ft
233' 05-1' 0819.4+5.2+16 ft
240' 01-4' 123583.9+3569.70 ft
254' 30+0' 1613.3-0.9-29 ft
262' 25-1' 4824.8+10.6-7 ft
274' 38+0' 2412.9-1.3+20 ft
284' 55+0' 4112.2-2.0+33 ft
294' 30+0' 1613.3-0.9+6 ft
303' 55-0' 1815.3+1.1+6 ft
315' 07+0' 5311.7-2.5+23 ft
324' 36+0' 2213.0-1.2+10 ft
332' 30-1' 4323.9+9.7+16 ft
end5' 11+0' 5711.6-2.6+27 ft
Versus average of 14.2 mph

Posted from

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Today I took short slow run after 9 days of rest from running. This was intentional - I was trying to give my IT band a rest and see if it helped with pain. I had to try SOMETHING..... there's this marathon in like 12 days and it would be nice to be in some sort if injury-free state so I can attempt to finish it instead of sitting at Bratfest waiting for Mike to come over the timing mat. I could eat a lot of brats in 5-6 hours, especially if I am feeling sorry for myself for missing a race.

So anyhow I prepared to run by popping in my Yoga for Athletes DVD and doing about 35 minutes of yoga as a pre-run stretch. I took it very easy, did a little walking and waited for the familiar pain twinges to set in. Funny thing was they never really kicked in. I was a little sore from time to time, but nothing like the searing pain that has led to my extreme frustration these last few weeks that rendered me virtually unable to complete my final build in volume for the Madison Marathon. Now that I am feeling a little better, I should be tapering.

Anyone have suggestions where I should be going with these last 12 days? I frankly am at a loss. I am resolved to go for it, be undertrained, and hope for the best.

I also took the pups in for their checkups. Daisy, my 10 year old ESS, got a clean bill of health. They said she's old (DUH) and she has a chipped tooth (probably from holding rocks in her mouth from time to time). Maddy is also a pretty healthy girl too. She's about 3 1/2, and still acts like a dumb puppy, but age is catching up to her a little too. I noticed when I gave them their spring buzz cut that her hiney was a bit larger than when I shaved her in the fall. Well after setting Betty Big-Butt on the scale, we saw the cold hard truth - 56 pounds! That is an 11# gain (24%!!!) since her last visit 10 months ago. Time for Maddy to quit eating both bowls of food when her sister's not looking. Also started her on a little doggy Detrol to address her little "leakage" issues. We shall see if that works.

Getting to the vet was interesting. Maddy is a nervous car rider and requires an empty stomach and some dramamine for every trip, no matter how short. The last time we went to the vet, she barfed 3 times on the way there (the vet is about 6-7 miles away). Today, we got to within sight of the building before she let the first (and only) gutload loose. YEAH! AND she didn't puke at all on the way home. Double yeah! If your interested, the Toyota Matrix is a godsend for those with queasy dogs - when you fold the seats down, the surface is hard plastic - no carpet- making cleanup a breeze. On the downside, braking and turning sends them skidding across the car. It's also pretty little and one of my dainty girls was letting some RANK nervous farts, so it was kind of like rolling down the road in a mobile latrine.

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