Good Intentions

January 30, 2008

I had big plans for tonight but they were foiled. I had a ride scheduled that I couldn’t do because my trainer is in GB’s car (which is not here) and I was going to download pictures from our trip but couldn’t find the camera (this must also be in GB’s car). This is creating a pattern in which I will henceforth assume anything I can’t find is in GB’s car!
Instead I did tomorrow’s run today, which was really enjoyable since it was pretty warm out. I even took my gloves and hat off and ran practically naked (for January anyway). Tomorrow I will remember to bring my trainer into the house and I will clean off the devastating mess that is caked on my bike from 6 hours of it being on the back of the car.

I noticed during my run that I am sporting a brand new set of quads. I don’t know when these arrived, but I am appreciative and I think they’re going to be a big help in 2008. Which is good because I’m having a total hissy fit about how old and slow my bike is. I mean really, it’s only 1 year older than last season so I’m not sure why I’m all of a sudden whining about it. When I bought it (8 years ago) I said that it would be the last tri bike I would purchase – I was determined that my next new bike would be provided by a sponsor. I have stuck to this so far (for lack of money mostly), but a full bike sponsorship seems SO LONG in the future and this week I’m just plain grumpy about the whole thing. Maybe it’s because my bike is coated in road-trip gunk and I’d rather get a new one than clean it – I don’t know. But anyway, I need to keep my eye on the prize – which is a fast body more than a fast bike – and get over my little princess fit.

I was interviewed today by a college student who is doing her thesis on motivation in triathlon. Her questions were very thought-provoking and I think it’s a neat topic for a thesis. She was asking about how I stay motivated and I was surprised to realize how a little community of tribloggers I have never met has really made a difference to my motivation. So thanks to all those of you who write awesome inspirational stuff and help keep me motivated!
If anyone is interested in helping this gal out with her thesis, she’s looking for more people to interview, so drop me a line in the comments section.


January 28, 2008

So there I was rubbing my temples and staring at my computer screen at work trying to decide whether fast-forwarding this day, or starting it over would be best.  I was having a bad day.  And then my love came up behind me and gave me a coffee and a big smile.  Complete with my own personal crack, Silk Creamer (I have a frightening and socially-debilitating addiction to having this stuff in my coffee).  One smile.  One coffee.  And my day has started to turn around.  Amazing how the little things can affect us when we let them.


January 28, 2008

We are back in our cozy home again.  Ski Camp 2008 is behind me and the last 24 hours are mostly a blur.  I skiied a few kilometers with the gang on Saturday morning, had lunch with them, and then went for my run.  After running I went out again for a last ski by myself and ended up meeting up with the others on the trail.

I was sad to leave Maine.  I think we all were.  GB and I did a really great job of not talking about the “w” word (work) while we were away, and there was a definite sinking feeling associated with coming back.  January is such a hard time at work anyway, nevermind after a vacation high.

It was good to be back at the homestead and to have the dogs together again.  They are having a weird rivalry thing now that they have been separated for a week.  Lots of jealousy which we are trying to counter with copious amounts of love.

I have a rest week this week, for which my body is eternally grateful.  That’s pretty much all the news for now.  Getting settled back into work and life.


January 25, 2008

It is cold out.  4 below to be exact.  I am skiing – or some variation of skiing.  I have a ski attached to each foot and a pole in each hand.  I can see other skiiers up ahead of me – I think I started out with them but they are long gone now.  I lift one foot and drop it heavily in front of me and then the other.  My skiis are not gliding, they are stepping.  The hill feels eternal, my shoulders are burning, and I am exhaling spit-filled breaths.  My left foot hurts terribly and no altering my foot-plant seems to alleviate it.  I remember the piece of cured meat in my pocket and smile at the excuse to stop.  I smile in a trance, chewing the meat and leaning my chin on my poles.  Ski Camp has got the better of me.  I will make it around this endless 3km loop and sit down for the day in protest. 

This was how today went.  I put in 9 miles on the treadmill when I got up (I did not even entertain the idea of running outside with it being below zero).  When I got home the troops had eaten breakfast and were preparing for a morning of skiing.  We packed up the dogs and skiis and headed out.  I’m told Finn was an exceptional skijoring dog.  I cannot vouch for this however, because I was cursing and moaning about half a kilometer behind.  This new skiier cannot keep up with two eager running dogs.  They could have been pulling a 500 lb boulder and I still wouldn’t have been able to keep up with them.  I’m grateful that no one was slow enough to witness my pain and suffering today.  I woke up this morning and thought: “today I’ll blog about how my body is adapting to this increased workload”.  Sounds lovely and inspiring.  And like a big fat lie.  I held my own on the treadmill but my ski muscles are saying “no more!”.  So GB and I spent the afternoon watching a movie on the couch while A and D went for – you guessed it – ANOTHER ski.  Unreal.

I put in an hour of recovery on the bike and that was plenty.  Tonight I will show those skiiers when I whoop their asses at cards or scrabble or something that doesn’t require more than 3 muscles.  And tomorrow I will ski again.  We are planning to make another day of it.  Maybe a 15km loop or some such craziness.  It will be our last day and we want to make the most of it.  I got all my crying and whining out of the way today and tomorrow I will pull myself together and ski.

Ski Camp Day 3

January 24, 2008

Well, I have changed the name of this trip from Winter Vacation 2008 to Ski Camp 2008.  I should have known it would be like this since I am here with three avid cross-country skiiers, one of whom is a bit of a backcountry ski expert also.  Today went something like this:

Slept in until 7am.  Finn and I have been waking up at 6am but last night I couldn’t get to sleep so I didn’t wake up early.

Took Finn out for a bathroom break.  Finn decided he would like to chase some animal or another and spent the better part of an hour doing so, which delayed my trip to the gym.  8am  left for gym.  8:07 signed in at gym.  8:09 realized I had left my sneakers at home.  8:15 stormed rather grumpily back to the house to get my shoes.  8:30 started my strength workout.

9:30 arrived home from workout.  Ate food.

10:00 got on bike for 90 minute ride.

11:30 got in shower

12:00 started getting ready for afternoon of skiing.  Ate food.  Lots of food.

1:00 arrived at ski area.  Skiied 13km loop.

3:00 took a refueling break.

3:15 went for another 3kms of skiing.

3:50 left ski area exhausted.  Came home, showered, ate food, blogged.

So I have spent nearly 5 hours busting my ass today and loved every minute of it.  Every morning I wake up more sore than the morning before and it feels so darn good.  This is my kind of vacation.  I suggested on the way home tonight that this is a better vacation than our original plan of going somewhere for some sand and surf.  I got bombarded with vehement protests and longing diatribes about the healing properties of the sunshine and ocean, so apparently I’m the only one.  But either way, we are all loving the fabulous weather and exceptional trails.  Not to mention the good company.  I am hoping to get tomorrow’s run and ride out of the way early so I can maybe spend a little time (dare I say it?) on the couch….

Telemark Day

January 23, 2008

I hit the slopes to free the heel today with GB.  I was not the expert I remember being last year, but had a good time anyway and GB was very patient.  My quads cried out louder and louder all day, but I’m convinced that my ice bath last night made a big difference.  GB is an amazing tele skiier – I love hanging out with people who are doing their thing and looking so in their element.  That’s how it was today.  I was clearly not in my element as I made my way from the parking lot to the ski lift with one ski dragging in front of me, one falling off my shoulder in behind me me, my goggles sliding down my helmet obsuring my vision so I had to tilt my head back to see where I was going, and my boots and poles dropping to the ground every 25 steps.  But today was about fun, and I accomplished that.  And besides, we finished the day off in the hot tub.

I rode 2 hours in the morning followed by a short and very cold run (it was well below zero with windchill this morning) while the others were sleeping soundly.  Made for a nice long day since my workout was behind me and I could focus on more painful things like skiing.  Tomorrow the four of us are planning a nice leasurely 15km ski with picnic lunch and who knows – maybe there will be more skijoring.   Either way, I will post lots of pictures when I have downloaded them.  Finn had a recovery day today with only a few walks and one run so I bet he’ll be up for a little people-pulling tomorrow.

Everyone Learns to Ski

January 22, 2008

Well it has been a big couple of days for me and Finn. We ended up bringing him with us to Maine and leaving Jackthedog with friends because he’s a little easier to leave having abandoned his puppyhood several years ago. Finn has been having a blast with his cousin Smokey. Yesterday and today he learned skijoring from Smokey who is a retired sled dog. He was a little weirded out by the whole thing, but caught on quickly and I daresay he enjoyed it after a while. Yesterday I tried skijoring with them, but ended up landing hard on my butt and deciding it wasn’t really my thing. I like to be in control of my speed and the idea of two strong dogs pulling me full force is a little much for me.
Today was also my first day of learning to skate ski and we covered 13km. GB and A are old ski experts who spent their childhood and adolescence competing in ski races, so I had good teachers. I think what I lacked in technique I almost made up for in cardiovascular strength, and I pretty much held my own. By the final few kilometers, however, I was pretty thrashed and feeling ready to hit the couch.
Instead I jumped on Beth and Marit’s bandwagon and took my first ice bath. It was it’s own special breed of excrutiating, but I’m hoping it will pay off when it comes time to ride my bike tomorrow. I have to confess, though, I really struggled to get my toes in the water and cried like a baby for the first few minutes.
Finn is passed out on the floor of our little vacation cabin and I will be there with him shortly!


January 19, 2008

Well, I got busted by
Marit. She spotted me at the gym trying out my new favorite shoes. I confess, I like to strut my stuff in the mirror at the gym, but I never in a million years thought someone I knew would see me!!! Oh well, my secret’s out, I guess.

Other news today is that I went in to work at 5am, snuck out for a swim after lunch, went back to work until 6.30pm and then scored some quality time on the treadmill. I think I managed to tie up the major loose ends at work so that I can focus on vacationing while we’re in Maine instead of worrying about work. Tonight I relax, sit by the fire, watch my dogs enthusiastically chew bones, and maybe even read. Although the vacation hasn’t offically started, my brain is on vacation already, which is fine with me.

Maybe Not

January 17, 2008

Finn did not pass at his B & B interview.  In fact, we got kicked out.  When we got there he was already a little out of sorts.  We could hear the barking of a whole gaggle of dogs when I knocked on the door and he was already looking unsure.  I was hoping the meeting portion of it would be outside so he could have a little space to get used to things.  It was, however, in a very small kitchen.  While there were only 2 or 3 dogs there initially, there were 4 barking at him from the other side of a glass door on one side of the room and 2 barking at him from another glass door on the other side of the room.  So essentially, we were surrounded by barking dogs while we stood in a tiny room.  He started growling quietly and hiding behind me and finally it got too much for him and he snarled at a dog.  The owner promptly ushered us out the door and said “this isn’t going to work”.  It was very awkward and I felt totally rejected on his behalf.  Defensively, I told Finn in the car that I didn’t like the place anyway.  He agreed.  So things are still up in the air with him but I have no doubt that something will work out.

Did some painful strength training yesterday and have a new awareness of my abdominals today every time I move or breathe.  Also put in some time on the trainer after work which was surprisingly fun and felt so benign after test week.  Our propane has run out and we were on the fence about whether/when to refill it, so it was nice and cold for my ride last night.  We have a wood stove which is great but I think we’ll be refilling the propane before we leave so the house doesn’t freeze up while we’re away.  The conditions in Maine are looking perfect for our week of skiing and we are so excited for a break from work and all things stressful.

This morning I dragged my sorry ass out of bed really early so I could get to the treadmill for 50 minutes prior to being at work at 6.30am.  I was so good about getting out the door on time and being committed, but realized when I got there that I had left without my running shoes.  Arghhh.  I contemplated running barefoot on the treadmill but it just didn’t seem like a good idea.  So I was really early to work instead and will now try to run at lunch since GB has kindly agreed to bring me my shoes.  Maybe in the future, I could take a lesson from Beth and pack my gym bag the night before so I don’t forget anything.


January 15, 2008

Today was thankfully very ordinary. I broke out the snowshoes when I got home to warmup for my drill run. In the interest of getting my drills done and exercising the dogs at the same time, I rather tediously ran the length of the driveway about 30 times while I was doing running drills. The dogs dutifully ran back and forth with me and seemed to think it was every bit as much fun as a run on the trails. My body is feeling great today, partly I think, because I did end up driving to the pool yesterday after all and loosened up quite a lot. (The roads were much better by mid afternoon).
I am very excited that the days are getting longer (and it seems to be happening so quickly!).
We are gearing up for our vacation in Maine next week and it looks as though the conditions will be perfect for a week of cross country skiing. We can only take one dog so last night we had the dogs draw straws (or sticks). Finn drew the short straw so he has an “interview” tomorrow at a homestyle doggie B & B. Seriously. I wonder what sorts of questions they will ask him: “So Finn…can you sit? Mmmhmm. And can you stay?….okay, very nice. Is there anything else we should know about you?”. Should be interesting. They claim to exercise the same rules as you exercise in your home and the example they give is whether your dog can get up on the couch or not. This implies that while Finn is staying there, he will have access to a couch. This is high-class boarding, folks. Only the best for my rescue mutt…