Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cycling in Bluff Country

We are fortunate enough to live in one of the most gorgeous areas with miles and miles of country roads to cycle just outside our door.  We have some of the best hill climbing for cycling in the country.  We live in bluff country in south eastern Minnesota where nature abounds.  We have the privilege of riding some of the best roads both in Minnesota and Wisconsin for cycling. 

County Road 21 Winona, MN
Fall is upon us and soon we will have to bring in our bikes for the winter.  Since I have been concentrating on running I have not gotten out there as much as I would have liked this season and I have sincerely missed my bike.  

County Road 21 Winona, MN
These are some pictures from last nights ride. It was an amazingly warm 76 degrees when we set out.  We had to take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather before it is gone for the season.   I amazingly rode up CR 21 without stopping, straight up!! I have learned some tricks if the going gets tough but I was able to just ride it without stopping and without most of the tricks.  So excited!

Me! Excited I made it up the hill so strong!
I am amazed I even have climbing legs.  I am convinced it is all the running that carried me up that hill.  It isn’t a huge bluff, it is about 1.2 miles to the top but it is all up.  There are many more challenging bluffs but I haven’t been hill climbing since May so I wasn’t ready to take anything more plus this ride is one of our best, most versatile rides.  Once we get to the top we have 3 or 4 choices on how we go home.  This ride was an 18 mile ride.  We chose the shortest since the sun was setting fast. 

County Road 21 Winona, MN
I have a goal to get 100 miles in before the end of the season, before the bike comes in and sits on the trainer for the winter, but I hope to get more.  I can run all winter, I can swim all winter but cycling is a seasonal sport.  True, some people ride all winter long but that takes very expensive gear and special tires and we have plenty to keep us busy without winter cycling so until the weather dips below 50 we are going to get the miles in every chance we can get. 

Friday, September 24, 2010


Can you see what's on my mind?  I found this Beginner Swim Workout for people like me who haven't been lap swimming in a long time.  I have done some lap swimming in the past couple years as part of a fitness workout but never with any regularity.  It has been since high school that I've done any kind of actual lap swim workouts. 

I like this plan, I am convinced that the 400m endurance workout is going to knock me out the first time.  Maybe even for a whole week

I'm planning on 3x a week, switching between endurance and form workouts and swapping for a speed every 2-3 weeks.  So endurance, form, endurance then endurance, form, speed every 2-3 weeks.  I think I found a plan I can work with until I am ready to move beyond the 1200m distance.  

I think the pool is a 25 yd length.  I don't think it is a metered pool.  I'm not sure about the one at the University where they do the masters swim workouts.  I might eventually join masters but not until I can graduate the pre-beginners workouts.   

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Morrie Miller 5K Race Report

After finishing the Morrie Miller 5K Race
I don’t know how I keep doing this but I managed to damage my calf on the Thursday before the race doing absolutely nothing.  I was rushing between activities to get ready for Yoga and pop! I could feel something in my left calf let go.  Then it felt loose and I couldn’t put pressure on it…just lovely.  

Just a day before, my first pre-race run was a two mile run on Wednesday which went quite well.  I wish I had more training before the race but I’m recovering from injury, I’m glad I got out there and had a good run.

For this race, I was just determined to finish even if I had to walk.  I had somehow encouraged Mr. Man to get back out there. He was training for this one so I was doing it; this race was for him.  His previous PR was 24:31 and he was determined to try to beat it.  He had let work get in the way of health and taking care of him and it was my influence that pushed him to make the active lifestyle a priority again. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2011 Events

Polar Dash 10K, January 1, 2011, 1:22:07,
13:14 pace

New Years Resolution 5 Mile, January 8, 2011, 1:00:57,
12:11 pace

Cabin Fever Dash 5K, February 5, 2011 32:50,
10:35 pace

Valentine's Heart Throb 5 Mile, February 12, 2011 55:06,
11:01 pace

Get Lucky Triple 7K, March 19, 2011

Fools Five 8K, April 11, 2011

Root River Triathlon, May 21, 2011

Minneapolis Half Marathon, June 5, 2011

Trinona Triathlon, June 12, 2011

Grandma's Marathon, June 18, 2011

Catfish Days 10K, July 10, 2011

Cardinal Man Sprint Triathlon, July 16, 2011

Ragnar Relay Great River, August 19-20, 2011

Minneapolis Duathalon, August 28, 2011

Morrie Miller 5K, Sept 10, 2011

Applefest Run to the Edge Scenic 5K, Sept 17, 2011

TC 10 Mile, October 2, 2011

Autumn Woods 10K, October 8, 2011

Warrior Waddle 5K, October 15, 2011

Wisconsin Dells Half Marathon, October 23, 2011

Minneapolis Monster Dash Half Marathon, October 29, 2011

Chicago Monster Dash Half Marathon, October 30, 2011

Hot Chocolate 15K, November 5, 2011

Rails to Trails Half Marathon, November 6, 2011

Turkey Trot 5K, November 19, 2011

Jingle Bell Run 5 Mile, December, 2011

2010 Events

Catfish Days 10K, July 11, 2010, 78:58.0
12:44 min/mile

Ragnar Relay Great River, August 20-21, 2010
Team: Better Than Bond Girls
Overall Place: 277/286
Start Time: 7 a.m.
Total Time: 33:33:28
Team Average Pace: 10:30

Morrie Miller 5K, September 11, 2010, 36:22.0

11:44 min/mile

Run 2 the Edge 5K, September 18, 2010, 40:00.0

12:54 min/mile

Autumn Woods Classic 10K, October 9, 2010, 1:14:20

 11:59 min/mile

Warrior Waddle 5K, October 16, 2010, 35:45.0
11:32 min/mile

Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon, October 30,2010, 2:34:20
11:41 min/mile

Rails to Trails 1/2 Marathon, November 7, 2010, 2:48:46.3
12:47 min/mile

Turkey Trot 5K, November 20, 2010, 35:27.10
11:26 min/mile

Jingle Bell Run 5 Mile, December 4, 2010, 1:09:44
13:56 pace

Rotary Lights 5K, December 12, 2010, 37:48
12:11 pace

This is a placeholder for the sidebar link!

2008 Events

2008 Goodview Gallop 5K, 34:46.0

2008 Morrie Miller 5K, 33.07.0

2008 Run to the Edge 5K, 34:40:00

2006 Events

2006 Goodview Gallop 5K, 45:20.0

2006 Morrie Miller 5K, Unknown

This is simple, instead of clogging up my sidebar with widgets I'm moving them to posts! I will replace the breakdown with a link to this post.  I guess it's kind of an archive.  I should have thought of this sooner. 

SOWL Final Weekly Weigh-In

Ok for my next feat I will attempt my final report of the SOWL: Summer of Weight Loss challenge

As far as weight loss, I have somehow managed to maintain a constant 165 since August 17th.   That’s 5 weeks of nothing.  I have decided I am too dependent on running for weight loss.  I really need to find a back up plan in the case of injury.  Part of it I discovered yesterday: spinning.  I should have gotten on my bike trainer and rode it hard.  I’d have kept my cardio up and I could have still kicked it on my strength conditioning workouts. 

So for a weight loss re-cap for this challenge.  I joined the challenge on July 13th.  I think it was just what I needed to push me back on track.  In the month of June I managed an 8 lb gain since May 26.  I was doing horrible.  I was kicking it back in gear with my July training but the motivation I found through this challenge I think carried me until the Ragnar Relay Great River on August 20-21. 

So a big thank you to Kerri at mom vs. marathon and all the SOWL participants for their inspiring posts and progress.  I have four draft posts for the Summer of Weight loss still pending so “my inspiration” will carry on beyond the September 22 finish date.  Stay tuned!

Here is my final SOWL widget update which I will be taking down as of today.  

SOWL Challenge #9: Get Back on Track

So this is “a SOWL thing”, a challenge posted on August 27th, to get back on track. SOWL is the Summer of Weight Loss and a group of great people whom, lead by Kerri at mom vs. marathon, are connected in a common goal.  I need to loose the weight and the inspiration provided through her challenges is one of the things that has kept going.  Granted I’ve had a reason for my slack with injury but it has gone too far so I choose this post topic to get back to “the blog” of things.

So why I chose this to write about after such a long absence from blogging I don't know but this blog has been my inspiration to myself and hopefully to others.  It is what I do; it is what I want to do; it is what I need to do.  In my effort to keep it going, I will write about whatever I can. 

This has been one of my “difficult times” methods: to do what I can and don’t worry about what I can’t.  I just push through until I get to the other side.  I’ve decided that life is never going to be perfect.  It is in the imperfect moments that I need to remember what I learned the last time and hopefully it will get me through the difficult faster.  That is where I am now, learning how to cope in imperfect times. 

It has been 32 days since I finished the Ragnar Relay Great River.  Yes, I did that.  It was awesome and I haven’t published the report yet.  I’ve even ran two 5K races since then but I have been stuck.  I’m calling it “the negative creep”.  There have been good moments and bad but it is time to get back on the positive track. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

So far I've missed one official SOWL report the weekend of the Ragnar Relay.  This report is my September 10th report and again, just last week, I have no progress to report.  So I'll make this an injury report.

As of Thursday, September 9, I now have pulled something in my calf.  I felt the pop, twinge but never pain, swelling or bruising.  There is  a definite sore lump inside the side of calf.  I actually went to the doctor yesterday and thankfully she doesn't think anything is seriously wrong.  Just keep exercising it and when I feel ready I can get back out there. 

I was able to run on it Saturday, September 11  in the Morrie Miller 5K run.  I concentrated on form, cadence, foot placement, and stride to increase pace and amazingly I ran a 11:40 min/mile while being cautious with my leg.  I don't understand how I did that but I did.  I think my soreness since the 5K race is more a result of lack of running since Ragnar than any specific injury at this point.  

Today I'm limping and achy but the sore lump in my calf is definitely better.  I'm definitely headed back to the YMCA today for some leg exercises, maybe a walk on the treadmill to see how that goes and then Yoga tonight.  I'm convinced I'll be able to run the next 5K this Saturday.  I will be able to do it even if I run it like last Saturday .  I just wish I could be actually be fully prepared for one of these races.  I'm just hoping to finish them at this point, a PR is out of the question sadly.

I'm so upset that I have actually cried over this.  I would like to be able to run.  I miss it and I miss the weight loss.  I know that this is my first year as as runner.  I don't think I pushed it too hard, and I am not discouraged.  I will get back out there.

I'm going to have to learn to do more cross training and kick this borderline depressive behavior I've gotten myself into.  Maybe get on the trainer and spin for cardio, definitely keep up Yoga, and get to the YMCA and concentrate on those leg exercises. Today is a new day.  Again, I start over. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's the Cherry on Top

I have been so busy I knew I saw this comment on one of my posts but not until today did I go seek it out and read it.   THANK YOU Kelly at  Maxi Fortend!

Per Kelly's post, here are the "instructions" for the reward.  This is so fun! I have a reason for a post, even though I'm behind on my regular posts this is a fun task so here I go.

1. Answer the question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

What a good question.  It's difficult to answer only because I believe that each and every event in my life, good and bad, has worked together to create the person I've become today.  And I like me and I love my life. :)  

The one and only thing I think I would change would to be a more active person from a younger age.  I would have loved to have grown up in a fit household and learned to eat properly and healthy and not have had to fight with the "American" diet and laziness.  It is frustrating, at 40, to be still fighting for that ideal weight and fitness level.  

I wish I had the mindset and knowledge to accomplish the goal in my 20's so now I could say I've already ran that marathon (or two...or more), done that triathlon and/or duathlon, and now just maintaining and striving for that always better time. 

But that's not the case.  I am starting now, and I will run that marathon, I will compete in a triathlon, and I will always strive to improve.  

The one thing that has always been my life goal: continuous improvement, never give up.  That's me.  I just wish I had found my place in the fit and healthy lifestyle earlier in life.  It's never too late to start!

2. Pick 6 people and give them this award.  Make sure to inform the person that they have gotten the award!

So I came up with this list of friends who I think deserve some recognition. Thank you to each one of you for your part in my life! 

Tara - A runner girl, running friend and fellow Ragnar teammate!
YogaJen - My yoga teacher, runner friend and our Ragnar team captain!
Christina - A blogger world running friend and true inspiration!
Teri - The first blogger world running friend I found when researching the Ragnar relay and a true inspiration to runners everywhere.
Collin - The ultimate coupon/deal blogger.  Without whom I would not have survived 2009 financially. 
Deb - A very inspirational friend from childhood who has is a fantastically talented photographer.  It is amazing all the things she accomplishes and with a smile!

3. Finally, be sure to thank the person who gave you the award as I did at the beginning of this post.

Thank you Kelly!  This was fun. :)

SOWL Weekly Weigh-In

Well, it's time for the weekly weigh-in.  I have nothing at all to report actually.  I've been trying to recover from injury.  I am finally admitting to being injured.

It's been 13 days since my last real run.  I'll have to cover that in my weekly training report.  I am pretty much dependent on running for weight loss.

Thankfully I've been able to maintain pretty good.  Up and down days but pretty stable.  So still at 165 and holding since before Ragnar.  I'm fighting to get back on the losing track. I think I need a big push!

I'm hoping to get back in the blogging habit as well, my days have been overwhelmingly busy as I can't seem to catch up with life after Ragnar! And I have to keep training for my half. Oh boy!