Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whoa! This Leaf Is HEAVY!

Folks, I don't know quite how to put this. Since I started this blog in April, I've had many false starts. Lots of big schemes; very little follow through. I was really hoping that the move to Iowa would help me shed the old ways for good.

So I've been in Iowa for one month. And I've been training. And eating better. (WAY better!)

Gosh. I just don't know how to break this to you. I almost can't find the words.

Well, here goes...

Since my June 30th arrival in Iowa, my weight is DOWN:

I'm not out of the woods yet. I've got to keep this up -- I need three more weeks like this, not missing workouts and eating right -- to make this a habit that will stand up to my school schedule.

Can I get a woot-woot?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Will Blog for Snacks

The COOLEST thing happened today: I arrived home from a training run and there was a package in front of my door from Duane and Kelly. That all by itself was super cool...then I opened it.

And howled!

Corn bread, corn tortillas, corn puffs, popcorn, corn cob holders, corn chips, corn nuts, creamed corn, and whole kernel corn. (This sentence is even funnier if you read it using Bubba's voice from Forrest Gump.)

I'm sure you've noticed I've been MIA for the last week. I had a mild case of the doldrums that seemed to be going around tribloggerland last week. This package + some much-needed words of empathy and support from Megan and Jenny = KrissyGo back in business.

Thanks, guys!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Bad News First...

So my "secret" goals for last week were to ride my bike three times and do the Beef Days 5K.

Due to an alarm clock misfunction (okay, I set it for pm instead of am--what a numbskull), I missed the 5K.

But I did manage to get out on the bike four times last week:

Bike: 55 miles

Climb: 1706 ft

Not terrible. Look out leaf, I'm comin' to getcha!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Smoothest Pavement in the Land

Today I rode my bike to the town of West Branch, IA to have lunch at the Herbert Hoover Birthplace and Library. West Branch is about 9 miles away along the -- you guessed it -- Herbert Hoover Highway.

The weather paid me back for this week's storms with a beautiful day in the mid 70s and a breeze strong enough to cool me off, but not enough to affect the ride. I was just out for leisure, anyway. But here's the breakdown, in case you're interested:

Distance: 18.35 miles
Climbing: 522 ft

A pleasant surprise: there is a WINERY less than 5 miles from my house! (Though I don't recommend trying to ride a bike after you've been drinking. It is A LOT harder than I thought you might think.) I can't wait to stop in for a tasting.

Moral of the story: I had a great day, a great lunch, and a great ride.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Well, Tea gone and done did it: in her comment on my last post she said she'd have to go back and "catch up" on my blog. Immediately, I mentally summarized what I thought she might find.

Aww crap.

In my unpacking adventures I came across the scrapbook/journals I put together for each of the two years I've been at this triathlon thing. They are nothing more than two small binders full of the same thing that's on my blog:

"I'm really gonna do this. No really, this time I mean it. I'm really gonna train."

Then: "Um, so here's why I haven't been training."


"Wow. I was super-slow and miserable at this race. Probably because I haven't been training. But next week, I'm really gonna get serious. And here's an impossibly unrealistic race goal to boot."

I found these binders last week and then took mental inventory of all the bloggers who are in roughly the same place...and I got really mad at myself for all the time I've been wasting, but mostly for all the lame excuse-making. GeekGirl (and others) and I started triathlon at about the same time. Today, she is in the healthy weight range, and well on her way to an Ironman showing. I am not. And I DNF'd.

When I started, I only had 7 pounds to lose to be back in the healthy range. Since then, I've gained even more weight -- putting on the bulk of it (15 lbs.) since last October when I decided to train for Ironman. I even got to be Athena weight (which is pretty serious on my 5'1" frame).

It's very tempting to point out my increases in endurance, but that would just be one more act of denial. So I'm not going to do it. Turns out, I'm my own mortal nemesis.

I will simply end by saying that I have my goal for this week, and I will blog about it only when I reach it. You've all got to be pretty sick of reading about all my big plans and grand schemes. Frankly, I'm sick of proclaiming them to the world and then failing.
SO...join me next time when...well...no promises. Join me next time when I post another blog entry.

I. Don't. Like. This.

And neither does The Boots.

Last night, I had to go to the storm shelter.

Yup. The sirens were going off, the news had a call-in report that a funnel cloud touched down less than a mile from my house (the newscasters seemed pretty skeptical, but I wasn't going to push it).

Also, they said, "If you are in a mobile home, get out and to a safe place immediately."

Needless to say, it was another rough night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Windows of Opportunity

Oy. What a night.

From Accuweather.com:
Another Night of Storms
7/17/2007 2:35 PM The storm system that hammered the central Plains on Monday will produce strong thunderstorms across the Upper Midwest tonight.

Hammered is a good way to put it. I was up 'til 1am with Boots and her thunderstorm anxiety. I don't know if the thunder here is louder, or if my strong, sturdy house with a foundation in New Mexico did a better job of muffling the sound than my confidence-shaking mobile home.

Either way, even I got a little ansty last night, getting through my first tornado watch (we had them in New Mexico, too, but I think they mean it here in Iowa).

Then I got in a little nap until 4am, when the storming started all over again.

Another nap from 11:30 until 1:30. I took advantage of the break in the storm to get Boots to the vet for some stronger medication (like Alprazolam). Benadryl just isn't going to cut it.

I also took advantage of the brief sun to sneak in a 12-mile bike ride.

Okay, that's not me.

But that's pretty much what my route looks like. Corn, corn, corn. I did the same loop as last Monday, only backwards. It smelled of wet poop (cow, dog, pig, who knows?) the WHOLE way.

A shower and another nap from 8-9.

The storms are supposed to start again at midnight tonight and go on until Friday morning.

So here's the thing: along with naps I snuck a bike ride into my day? I might turn this leaf over yet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Moonlight Chase 2007

A Good Ol' Fashioned Street Party!
I drove about 45 minutes east to the small town of Eldridge, Iowa. This is a 4-mile night run through town with tiki torches and luminarias lining the entire course. On this night, if you live in Eldridge, there are exactly three options:

1. Run/walk this race.
2. Eat, drink, and be merry at the downtown street party.
3. Cheer, play music, fire up your Christmas lights, and/or hose off athletes along the route (which is BY FAR the coolest thing EVER).

This guy did the first two, but not in order. I watched this guy drink two beers in the half-hour before the race. Each entrant got (among other things) a free beer token, so I think he cashed in his own and his buddy's at 8:30 (start time was 9:00pm). I dunno, maybe that was his interpretation of carbo loading and being a clydesdale. Highly bloggable, nonetheless.

So anywho...you all know I was sick earlier this week. I was worried that I would have to skip this or else walk it. By some small miracle, I was well enough to run the whole thing! (Thank you, thank you very much.)

Here's the breakdown:

Mile 1: Wisteria Lane (11:17)

The start line is basically the end of downtown, so you head into residential areas immediately. This stretch is best described as Wisteria Lane -- the homes were obviously new, but looked like middle America all the way. People were out cheering, but for the most part it seemed like a fairly sedate affair. I was most struck by the extraordinary number of kids in this race. Awesome! (Almost as awesome as Kelly, who completed her first tri on Saturday.) In this first mile, the rowdiest people were the six junior high girls running near me doing exactly what I did at their age: shout/sing silly songs and then break out into shrill giggles. (I have faith that Kelly had on her game face and kept the shrill giggling to a minimum -- eye of the tiger!)

Mile 2: Let's Get This Party Started! (11:58)

Alright, here's where things started to get interesting. In a slightly older section of houses, more people were out. There seemed to be designated PA music providers on every block (I heard Pour Some Sugar on Me, Crazy Train, and Smoke on the Water). This was the first of many Christmas light sightings, and there was even a little jazz combo of high school kids on one corner playing Chameleon.

Mile 3: Something's Afoot (13:23)

Okay, it was muggy and I was starting to get tired on top of drenched with sweat. Plus, for a "fast and flat course," there was this big ol' hill in the middle of it! "The only hill in Eldridge," one guy yelled as we ran past. By this time, there seemed to be a lot more people out in their yards, lots more people with their garden hoses (thank God!), and a little more inebriation.

Mile 4: The Wheels Come Off (10:20)

I got faster and sweatier; the crowd got drunker and funnier. A little ways past the last water hand-off was a string of guys holding their beers out. In the last half-mile, a few of them actually ran in with us. Anyway, I picked up the pace and moved up through the crowd. Then in the last 220m, I managed to pick off another 5 or 6 peeps for a finish of 46:55 and average pace of 11:43. :I

Between the sick and the not training, I'm just happy I was able to run the whole thing and still feel good today. I'm also thrilled that I felt good enough to run hard at the end. But I'm not sure what to think of my time and/or pace. I've definitely slowed down, but I don't know which of the two is responsible (a little of both, I suspect).

Overall, though, I will most remember what a neat community experience Eldridge offered up. I will definitely return next year!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Corn Flu Epidemic '07

Well, I've been in Iowa for a week and a half, and I think I've come down with the Corn Flu.

Avian Flu or Corn Flu?

Symptoms: Vomiting every morning...headaches, sore throat, achy all over, uncontrollable napping and whining.

I had better get down to the CDC...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My New Nemesis

Her name is Triowa.

(I swear I didn't mean to do this...it just sort of happened with the first line. I'll just ask for your forgiveness now.)

She's got hills, wind, and muggy heat.
This chick is gonna be tough to beat.

I've got to improve my Cornman time.
I'll work and train (and even rhyme--sorry folks).


Got out for a ride last night in a shower
And increased my avg speed by a whole mile per hour!

I'll stop this rhyming now, I mean it.
Anybody want a peanut?

Alright, that's quite enough of THAT!

But my big deal is that I got out on my bike yesterday even though it was raining. I live at the edge of town, which makes getting on the road really easy. PLUS: what's prettier than vast carpets of green under a blue, blue sky? When those fields of green are crisp and fresh under a rainy sky.

SUPER-PLUS: I swear Iowa has the smoothest pavement in all the land.

[Break for nap that came out of nowhere.]

Aww crap: I think my little ride in the rain ran me down enough to catch a cold. SONUVA! So I'll take it easy tonight...zinc, vitamin C, echinacea, etc. and just walk the dogs instead of going for a run. :(

Triowa: 2 (For Cornman and the cold.)

KrissyGo: 1 (I deserve something for the ride, don't I?)

Monday, July 9, 2007

We are the Champions...of the Midwest

'Nuff said.

Cornman Tri 2007

I got to meet Duane and his family! What a swell guy! I even got to see him quite a bit on the course, which was a nice boostie on what was a really challenging day.

Time for some more math:

Moving - 3 weeks of training + the Hill of Death + more hills + wind = Ugh Fest '07

...and a finish time of 2:12 -- on a SPRINT!

All right, I get it. I have to train.

Not Just a River in Egypt

In the days leading up to this thing, I was in a lot of denial. even as I packed my stuff (the night BEFORE!!) I still didn't believe I was actually going to go through with it. And the next morning, as I was loading the car and driving away...even as I set up my transition area, I still could not believe that I was going to participate in this race. It wasn't until I was in the water getting pummelled (for the first time ever) that I accepted my fate. "I guess I'm doing this," I told myself, finally.

Swim ~12 minutes

Ugh Fest begins. This is the first time I've done an open water swim that was actually crowded. Even at IMAZ I had plenty of space to just SWIM. I spent a good portion of the first 100m doing a breast-stroke/sculling/treading water because I got myself stuck in a clump that moved just slightly slower than me.

Bike ~1:17 (times are approximate because my HRM does not have a lap function -- WTF?!)

I passed Duane just before the Hill of Death. Lots of people walked their bikes up this thing. I'm proud to say that I stayed on my bike and pedaled the whole thing. Apparently even that is an accomplishment becuase I saw a woman about 10 yards ahead of me just completely fall off of her bike and into the tall reeds (you know, when you're clipped in and going _really_ slow and you just lose it?).

Between the hills and the wind (which I won't complain about because it was the only thing keeping the heat at bay) I went slow enough to reacquaint myself with the color green (lots of it, as far as the eye can see) after a decade in the desert's hazel beauty. I also got acquainted with Iowa's aroma: earthy, rich...with a splash of swampy and a hint of pig farm. In wine terms: not a great finish.

Run ~43 minutes

Then I went on a leisurely, 5K stroll. I don't think I can really call this a run, because I only ran about a third of it. But here's something amazing: even walking, I managed to pass someone. Short and stumpy with stubby legs PASSED a guy!

Not Easy Being Green

There should be a sign at the Iowa border saying you are about to enter the world's largest corn maze, and that you had better have a map. The highways here often overlap in some sections...I got lost coming home! SONUVA!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A New, Lemon-Scented Plan (Now with Voice of Reason!)

Alright, I'm finally back online. I arrived and got the keys on Saturday...and my dad and I have been working on this place from morning 'til night ever since. Okay, I admit I bought this place without actually seeing it in person. That's fine, I knew about the wacky 60s blue paint in the living room. But I had no idea it went all the way down the hallway and that both bathrooms were HGTV posters for what NOT to do. Good grief. Bad, bad taste. I'll post before and after pics once we've finished.

The worst of it all is that this lady did not clean anything when she moved out. This is what's really in my craw. I spent the first two days scrubbing (on top of the cleaning I did when I moved out, and two days of driving). If there was a real character named Mother Crap, I think she just sold me a mobile home.

Anywho...all of this moving business has put quite the damper on my training (like, none for a couple weeks). SO...I'm revamping the old goals (again):

1. No iron or half-iron anything this season. I just don't have enough time to prepare.
2. I've got a race on Sunday (holy crap!) I'll make this a benchmark and then see how much I can improve by Sept. 16, which is the last sprint of the season here (and sponsored by the University tri club).
3. Work all winter and next summer toward Ironman Wisconsin/Louisville.

All right...that's a brief update. Time to get back to work!