Friday, May 30, 2008

This is my Bammy

I learned I have a new body part -- my bammy. This is the muscle group that demarcates my ass from my hamstrings (or hammy; hence bammy!!) LOL!!! Tuesday's core workout with Charmaine concentrated on my armpits and my bammy. Alas, I was not to know these muscles would be targeted until the next day... We balanced a pole on the ground and squatted up/down and all around for a little awhile, then did lunges with
another heavier bar. More triceps work followed -- until me poor little arms were in quite a state. Charmaine told me in no uncertain terms that today I would move up to a 10lb weight instead of my usual 8 lb. I think this is why my armpits were so sore!! LOL!!!

I had a hill workout later that day and did it on my trainer as the weather was still crap. (Note to Keith-- Yes!! The tip about using the masking tape to label the wires really helped!!) I was feeling like a hero, so I stood up quite a bit during the hills. This probably compounded my bammy problem.

All was well until the next day when my bammy was throbbing. I had to keep touching it -- why do we do that? When a muscle hurts -- why do you just have to touch it?? LOL! I could go to the bathroom OK, but just walking around HURT in an altogether weird way.

Yesterday I decided to drive way the heck out of my way to do my 3.5 hour ride in K-country. I was pretty excited --I had talked to Gord about it - he said that you gain a significant amount of elevation. I parked at the Highwood River Inn and campground and then hopped on my bike. The sun was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds, and there were a few times I wished I had brought my arm warmers. I had a good warm up and then saw that the road was closed up ahead. The barriers were down, but there was another sign in the middle of the road saying "No Motorized Vehicles." I thought to myself, "Yay!! By default that means I'm in!!" I poked around the barrier and then continued to pedal into heaven. NO TRAFFIC and TONS OF WILDLIFE -- Susi you would have been in your glory. I pedaled on the road because there was so much deer poop on the shoulders -- and because there was no traffic.

The climb is steady, but not steep like Osoyoos. It actually catches you off guard -- the grade isn't significant but you are really climbing. I channeled Kelsey yesterday big time. Pushing,pushing, pushing up each hill and into the head wind. There were tons of deer and elk capering around, and the glaring brightness of the snow-covered mountains made me hit nirvana!! KAPOW!!!

I rode past a number of little campsites -- Mist Lake was the last one I rode by.I went a good measure beyond it and then decided to turn around. HOLY CARP!! I'm liking the holy carp as opposed to holy crap lately -- don't ask me why -- just one of those exhaustion-induced moments of private hilarity. LOL!!! Anyways, the Holy Carp was how freakin' fast the way back was. Downhill AND with the wind at my back --WHEEEEEEE!! There's nothing like it!

There were a bunch of cattle guards (Why do some signs say Texas Gate? It sort of sounds like a slur, eh? LOL!!) I was too chicken to try and line up the tires with the narrow strip of metal. I dismounted and hoofed it across each one. :):)Right before the road barricade, there was some type of animal that gum-booted across the highway and dashed up a near vertical bit of mountain. This sucker MOVED!!I was in aero and blasting down the hill and this thing just took off like a rocket. I don't know if it was a cougar or what -- dark reddish brown hair and moved like the wind. Pretty big, but didn't move like a canine? I dunno but it was awesome to see!! :) :)

Made it back to my car where I was really pooped but ecstatic!! I decided to stretch a bit and found a nice patch of grass where I did "The Frog" -- Kelsey showed me this move and it feels so good, but I'm sure if anyone was watching they would think "What the ...???" LOL!!!!!!

I am going to go back and do the whole climb up Kananaskis -- it was just so very awesome I can't wait!!!!

Today, I went swimming in the morning and the lil' devil just about killed me with his:

10 x 100 on 20 sec rest
16 x 50 on 15 sec rest
24 x 25 on 10 sec rest.

I just about frigging died!! Thanks Greg. LOL!!!

Next,I met up with Charmaine and we did a nice 2 hour mountain bike ride AND then went swimming again!!! She noticed straight away that I had reverted to my usual version of swimming sans legs. She had me kicking my brains out and I was gasping so hard for air I though I would pop a lung. LOL!!! Kicking with a kick board, kicking without, kicking butterfly, kicking, kicking, kicking!!!!! She had me do 50m slow, then 25 m fast. When she would tap me, I had to kick even faster. My arms and reach are much improved but my kicking is the pits.

I was so out of breath that I had to take a LONG break between these sets of 75m. Char swam underneath me and would hit my leg if I started getting lazy again -- Man, I SUCK!!!!! LOL!! Between my sucky kick and my poor bammys, it's a wonder I can even walk!! LOL!!!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!! :) :):)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Like the flood of '95

I am in awe as to the amount of rain we have been getting. We've struggled since we moved into this house to get the desert-like tinder of the backyard to flourish, and this year -- WHOO Doggy!! It's like a jungle back there. While I was playing in Penticton last weekend, Mike had a visit from his best friend, and the lawn did not get mowed. Of course, it's been raining ever since and my backyard is like a lush tropical paradise. It's funny to see Diva "wade" through the grass trying to find the perfect spot to poop. LOL!!

I decided to wrestle my trainer tire back onto my bike too. I had a hell of a time trying to get the darn thing back on too. I was wearing a heavy sweater and had to take it off because I was working up a sweat! The tire irons saved me -- I wrestled with that sucker until I was pretty worked up and muttering to myself. Sorry to all the men out there -- But I did say, "You can tell this was invented by a guy. That's why its so bloody difficult." Sorry guys!! I love ya all, but when the sweater came off, the cranky pants came on!! LOL!!!!

I finally got the thing on, and decided that I was going to get a spare wheel for my trainer tire. I'd been thinking about this for a while now, and promptly decided yesterday. My peace of mind is worth it!! So, I trucked on down to Gord's and placed my order and picked up some spare tubes and other goodies.

Yesterday morning I had an awesome swim -- 10 sets of 200 on 30 sec rest. I felt great!! I tuckered out near the 7th set but I kept pushing myself. Core work at the gym followed, and then my trainer ride in the evening. Yesterday was the first time I biked with my ipod and I loved it!!! I was singing along to all these songs and because Peanut was watching me the entire time, I adapted the songs for her. Here are a couple of examples:

Justin Timberlake - Lovestoned:

She looks like a lion except she has a little more ass.
Don't even bother
Unless you've got a back that she likes
That's why she's sleeping on my head tonight

INXS - Devil Inside

Here comes the Peanut
With the look in her eye
Raised on cat food
With flesh on her mind
Claws are weapons, sharper than knives
Makes you wonder how all those little mice die

Peanut's outside
Peanut's outside
Every single summer day,the Peanut's outside


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Conan Vs. Mike

First off,I have to give Kelly an answer about my aero position. The pic of Peanut and me is from my very first bike. My new bike is a Jamis and this was the one that Gord fitted me out millimeter by millimeter for about 6 hours. My new bike is AWESOME and the positioning is great. Girl, you are just going to have to make a road trip to see Gord!!! LOL!! :) :)

Onto the Conan vs. Mike smack down...

We have this fancy schmancy computer but have had a host of difficulties with it. Mike is the computer guy -- me and technology don't mix -- at all. I am one of those people who still does not have a cell phone (and never will) and previous readers know where I stand on the whole VHS versus DVD debate. LOL!! Okay, it's not a debate at all -- only to ME! LOL!!!

Poor Mike was gunning for the game and it just wouldn't work -- he spent all day on the phone to the place where he purchased the computer from, and realized that he was missing 9 updates. He then downloaded a new audio update and then there was no sound!! LOL!! Frigging computers eh?

Oh and Darryl -- World of Warcraft -- TOTAL CRACK!!!! It was so bad at some points --when people said that game was like crack-- they really did meant it!!! Mike would be like a slave to the computer --- But, I am curious,what is your new addiction? The "..." left me intrigued! LOL!

So -- Conan has eluded Mike so far ...

I swam yesterday in our outdoor pool -- it's quite something to swim in the rain. No one really goes in the morning,so I just tooled around. Afterwards,I went to the gym for some core work and got sassed by one of the gym rats: "Weather not nice enough for ya? Get outta here, Julie!" LOL!! I had been absent from the Pass gym for a month so it was nice to see the regulars again. :):):)

Did some stretching, and then later on headed back to the gym for a 30 minute treadmill run with strides. Cooled down and then I did some major stretching. I have to thank Kelsey for "The Frog" although I don't know what the rest of the gym rats thought of it!! LOL!!! Many of these guys don't know anything about yoga -- or they think it is a "sissy" thing. Remember folks - I live in the Pass! LOL!!!!!

Have a great weekend!!

:) :) :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Still recovering ...

Here are a few pics from the Penticton training camp. I was so happy to be out riding in the heat AND in all my pink glory!!! LOL!!

Also -- Susi's infamous boob bug -- Don't ask me why I still think this is so funny -- I can't stop laughing about it!! LOL!!

WOW -- I'm still recovering from Penticton. The Crowsnest Pass pool has finally
opened!! Yay! I will now save a ton of gas not having to drive to Sparwood three times a week, but there is one major drawback ... I miss my Charmaine!! We had a really great swim thing going on in the mornings -- there were a number of us that call ourselves "The A Team." LOL!!!!

My first swim on Wednesday in the Pass was altogether uninspiring -- no laughing, chatting, no energy. I'm scoping out fellow lane swimmers for buddy potential -- lukewarm reception so far. LOL!!!

Thus, yesterday I drove down to Sparwood to do what I call "Charmaine's Power Arms and Core Workout." Holy Crap -- this women doesn't fart around. Our mission -- to strengthen our arms and core for swimming. Char has this awesome routine of weights and core exercises that had us burning up the ol' gym. When I work out with her, I really push myself, and she does too! We kept commenting how just having another person there motivates you to keep pushing. When Char deemed our heart rate was too low, we had to do walking lunges, and then this terrible slow-motion baby-step lunge thing that just burned up my poor quadzillas. (Nod to Susi!!)

At one point, I let out a half yawn. You know the kind that you think is going to be a big yawn but then abruptly ends partway through -- making you look like a weirdo standing there with your mouth open? Well, this yawn thing I did coupled with my grimace of concentration made Charmaine burst out laughing. She had to stop what she was doing because my face had said it all. LOL!!!

Afterwards, neither of us had to do anything so we ended up talking and drinking coffee until 1:30pm!! I had arrived in Sparwood at 7:45am. Hee-hee!!! I needed my Charmaine fix!! LOL!!!!!!

Our new plan is this: Tuesdays and Thursdays I'll go to Sparwood for Char's core workout --I still do my own regular core work on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And, next Friday, Char is going to come up here: We will mountain bike and then do the noon hour swim. EEEEEEE!! I am so excited for the Pass to be inundated with Charmaine!! LOL! Those poor noon hour swimmers won't know what hit them once we get in the pool. LOL!!!

In other news, Mike has been anxiously awaiting the new Conan computer game. Apparently it was released or just came in or something yesterday so he just drove to Calgary to get it. Get this -- it's a 5 hour return trip and he had left and returned before I had come home from gabbing! Hee-hee!!

It was so cute -- when I came home after work, Mike had the whole soundtrack to Conan playing in the living room, while he was setting up his game. The game even comes with this treasure map that you had to actually unroll!! LOL! He was in seventh heaven!! It was so funny -- the map has a cloth-like texture and is even yellowed and antiqued like it were an ancient map. Needless to say, the computer was off-limits for me as Mike was in ecstasy over his new game. Hahahahahahaha!!

He was just like a little kid too -- All these computer games have this involved intro -- almost like a mini-movie where the story is introduced. He kept asking me, "Are you watching this?" or "Did you see that?" LOL!!!!!!!! :) :):) :)

If you don't hear from me for a while, blame it on Conan. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Back From Heaven!!!

Woohoo!! What an awesome time I had in Penticton -- meeting fellow bloggers, and others, AND biking my butt off!! :) :)

The weather was absolutely perfect -- over 30 degrees Celsius, so we could really get used to that kind of heat. I got a bad sunburn on my left arm and shoulder just driving to Penticton!! I was bunking with Kelsey, but due to car trouble, she didn't make it Thursday night. I woke up Friday morning, to see IG standing outside my room eating an apple.

I opened the door and made small talk until he nonchalantly said, "Well, we're thinking of biking the IMC course in reverse today, do you want to come?" I said, "Sure! When will we leave?" With the same nonchalance, IG casually looked at his watch and said, "Oh, I don't know, about 32 minutes." BAKAW!! 32 minutes to cram some breaky into my belly, and then gear up my bike with multiple water bottles, gels, etc.

I quickly got ready -- I was excited to just dive into a monster bike ride-- THEN I met Susi!!!! She is the sweetest, kindest, funniest chickie -- an all around cutie-pie. She has the biggest heart. :) :):) I also met Daryl -- awesome!!! IG, Mark (one of the dudes I drafted off for the Lethbridge race), Daryl, Susi, and I all set off. What a GREAT ride!!!!!!! I had so much fun, pushing myself continuously -- out of my comfort zone but not so far out that I would die of exhaustion. :) :)

We did an easy run afterwards just to the lake, where we quickly waded in and stood with our aching quads and hamstrings-- a natural ice bath!! :) :) This was to become my favourite ritual at the end of the day. :) :) Although,as each day passed, I waded deeper and deeper into the water as my nether regions and my ass got more and more sore. LOL!!!

Kelsey arrived Friday afternoon and cooked me a wonderful meal of salmon and pesto pasta. We made a deal that we would take turns cooking and cleaning. Some other people also arrived and once we met each other, I was off to bed.

Saturday morning, we all drove in a convoy to Oliver where we swam for a bit in the lake. We practiced running out of the water and then running back in. Kelsey did so awesome -- she had been a bit nervous about the lake, but totally overcame her fears and had a positive experience. I had an epiphany too -- while talking with everyone the night before, I decided to try swimming with my contacts in. Everyone told me they had never had a problem with it -- I was always under the impression that NO ONE swam with contacts. When one person after the other said, "I swim with them in", "I do too", I got my courage screwed up. And it worked! You have no idea what an ordeal it has been for me to not swim with my contacts. During Saturday's swim, suddenly, I could see!! :):)

Next we rode from Oliver, through Osoyoos, and to the top of the Osoyoos hill. A steady, steady climb under very hot oppressive conditions. At times,it was like an oven -- no wind just a quiet, intense heat. My nutrition was bang on!! :) :) This year, I have added electrolyte pills to my nutrition regimen and it's been the missing link for me. Working out in the heat has always been a challenge -- I am a very salty sweater. During the last three IMC's I have had lots of white powdery residue caking my shorts and my face. I would also pee like a demon too. Finally, this year, by cranking up my electrolyte intake I felt IMMENSELY better!! :) :)

Our group was strung out along the hill. I pedaled up to the eagle statue then turned around and blasted down!! YAHOOOO!!! Biked back to Oliver,where I had warned as many people as I could of my horrible sense of direction. Fortunately (for me!), Kelsey got a flat and decided to just take it easy until I caught up with her. All her stuff was in my car too -- heh-heh, almost like I ensured an escort into Oliver,eh? LOL!!

We waded into the lake to ease our muscles -- this time, I went up to my hips. LOL!!

Sunday was the day we biked the IMC course the right way. I was going to leave early with Susi and a couple of other gals. The plan was to leave at 7:00am -- until I wheeled my bike out and saw the rear tire was flat. It took me a while, but I did change it and felt mightily pleased with myself about that!! I felt bad that Susi and the girls were waiting for me -- I told them that they didn't have to wait. I didn't take the time to get all the grease and bike chain imprints off my legs from changing the tire -- we just set out.

Now here comes the truly embarrassing part -- the plan was to sort of stay together and wait at the corners or major turns for one another so we wouldn't get lost. Well, I went ahead to Okanagan Falls, and completely missed the turn --I started going in the wrong direction -- biked across a bridge and started going uphill. I quickly realized I was going in the wrong direction and pedaled back. LOL!! I had no idea where Susi and the girls were -- I had no idea what corner or where I would even perch to wait for them. So -- onto Osoyoos I went.

There were a bunch of other cyclists on the road at this point, and I must have cruised by another training group, because when I pulled into the Osoyoos Husky (THE place for the biking crowd's pit stop) I was greeted by this guy who waved me toward a nice tented Gatorade and water stand. I had to explain that I was with another group -- although I had no idea where any of them were!! LOL!!

I continued on, intending to bike the entire IMC course, out-and-back included. The only problem was, I didn't recognize any of the turn offs. I tried going up this one side road, Coulthard road -- it sounded familiar,but as I biked along (I went quite a ways), the road didn't strike me as familiar at all. So, I turned around again and headed out to the highway. I then pedaled until Keremeos -- I missed the road where we were supposed to turn off and ended up at this gas station. I bought two bananas, filled up my water bottles and asked two other cyclists to point me in the direction of Yellow Lake.

It was right after this that I met up with some of our group!! YAY!!! Andrea (An AMAZING cyclist) shouted "Julie!" I was so thrilled to see them!! LOL!!! They were wondering where the hell I had wandered off too -- I said, "Don't ask!!!" LOL!! Mark laughed that I was the one who had the most experience on the course and I still got lost!! LMAO!!! Hahahahahaha!

It had been pretty windy up top this point, but to me, it was just like a normal day of cycling in the Pass. The wind quieted down as we started the climb to Yellow Lake. What an awesome climb!! I felt strong and the climb was enjoyable -- that Osoyoos hill had boosted my confidence. Biking the IMC course on tired legs from all that previous riding added even more confidence!!

I biked back into town and then went for a quick run. I felt GREAT -- I could have kept going, but the lake was too tempting. I waded in and ooooohhhh did it ever feel good. I was really pooped afterwards - we all went out to eat afterwards, and I slept like a log that night.

Monday morning, a few of us decided to do a recovery ride. Poor Kelsey had gotten 4 flats(!!) the day before,and thinking the problem was solved, biked happily along. Her tire soon was leaking and we all stopped as IG inflated her tire. She then got another flat, and after changing it, we all decided to head back down. Everyone was leaving, but me. Hee-hee! I didn't want to fool around with all the traffic,so I was staying one more night.

Biking back down the hill my legs started to feel heavy. I started to feel really tired too. I planned on going for an easy run later that afternoon, but my body had other ideas. After everyone left, I crashed for over 2 hours!! Woke up, ate, then went back to bed!! LOL!!!

I am fatigued but elated!! :):) I had a great trip and am planning on going out to Penticton at the end of June. Jenna -- I still want to go with you in July,but that is the weekend of that huge festival in the Pass -- if I can wrangle it, I definitely will!!! :):)

Well, that is the abbreviated version of the training camp. I'll leave the more detailed reports to Susi, Kelsey, and Daryl. IG took a bunch of pics, so did Susi. :) :):)

Things I learned this weekend:

1. How to ride uphill while holding onto just my aero pads.
2. I have greatly improved my uphill biking ability! (YAY!)
3. I still get lost -- no matter what!!
4. Kelsey bikes like a mad demon.
5. Daryl can keep his composure even when his aero bar falls off going 75km/hr.
6. Susi loves all wildlife, and wildlife loves Susi -- Ask her about her Boob Bug!! LOL!!!
7. IG doesn't do mornings. LOL!!
8. Mark is a great cook!
9. I CAN'T wait to meet Jenna!! Ooh boy, I think me and you are going to hit it off, girl!! LOL!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Penticton Here I Come!

I've been super busy these past few days in preparation for the long glorious weekend of training in Penticton. Recovery from the race hasn't been too bad -- My muscles didn't kill, but Monday and Tuesday saw me dragging my feet around. It was fatigue, full-throttle. I had a good, solid sleep last night and felt much better today. Things were a bit crazy at work -- I got as much done as I possibly could before I leave for the weekend, and I had more than enough fuel in the tank to do my swim and easy run with strides later.

Looking at Greg's training itinerary for the weekend -- Yahoo!! I'm so pumped to do all that cycling!! Especially when we bike the IMC course. That's going to be so awesome!!

Have a great weekend everyone -- I'll have some serious blog reading to do when I return!!!

:) :) :) :) :):)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stats Are in!!!! YAY!!

Full race report is just below but here are my stats and I am so FRIGGING excited I can barely contain myself!!!!!!!! :):):)

* 4th woman overall!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it?? (Out of 31 women)

Time: 2:45:21.50

* 3rd in age group!!!!

Swim -- 30:55 -- 9/16 in age group (I still suck!! LOL!!)
Bike -- 1:20:52 -- 2/16!!!!! Not too freaking bad baby!!!!!
Run -- 53:33 --3/16!!!!!!!! My fastest 10 km run ever!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!

Thanks IG, you li'l devil!!!!!!! All the workouts are finally paying off for me!! :) :):)


3rd in age group -- I GOT A MEDAL!!!!!!

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy Crap I can't believe I actually PLACED for my age group!!! YEEHAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, before I write a whole other mess of exclamation points, I'll get down to my race report...

Like Jenna said before, grab yourself a coffee, (Shannon -- you grab a water too because all your coffee you've been drinking and lack of sleep = dehydration) settle down and get comfortable.

The saga begins right at race package pickup...

When I picked up my race package I was disconcerted to find no race map! I have NO sense of direction, and just about start having panic attacks when someone gives me directions using language like, "Turn north, and then turn east." I asked a volunteer to explain precisely where I was to go and you know what? This morning I still couldn't find Max Bell Aquatic Centre!! God -- I must have been the only person in the city of Lethbrdige driving around all these parking lots looking for the bloody pool. I finally saw a truck turn down a road and decided to follow it. Still, there was no sign saying "Aquatic Centre this way."

The truck was going in the right place, but I alas was still not! I parked at this big sports complex where there were about 6 cars parked. I grabbed my pack and walked in and it was like I was walking through a nightmare -- I have dreams where I am late for a race and can't find my way to it no matter how hard I try. All the little coffee shop things had their blinds pulled down like late nights at the airport and there was not a soul in sight. I saw a sign that said "Aquatic Centre Viweing Area" but no frigging sign for the Aquatic Centre. I don't want to watch the race -- where is the bloody pool?? I finally found it deep in the bowels of the building and realized that where I had parked was WAY too far away.

Once rectified, I set up my bike and transition area. It had rained all night and was still raining, but it wasn't blasting down. Here is where I must make an observation about the peculiarities of the plastic baggy -- why in God's name would you put a plastic bag on your bike seat in the rain? Dude, it's RAINING. Once you get out of the pool, your ass is going to be WET. Why add fiddling time to transition by having to remove a baggy on a seat?? I have never understood this tactic, and I never will! LOL!!!

After I was finished getting body-marked, I stood around by my bike because I had no idea what else I should do. I didn't know anyone, so I just sort of stood there, gamely smiling and striking up mini-conversations with people. Then I saw a Speed Theory jersey -- but it wasn't IG. I didn't wear my contacts, so I couldn't tell until he was really close!! LOL!! Anyways, I introduced myself and of course he knows IG, so we chatted a while.

Race meeting took place at 8:15am pool side. I just buggered around the change room, going to the bathroom a million times until it started. The instructions for this event were truly mind-boggling. I like instructions to be clear -- no ambiguities. I don't want to be the one at the race that gets lost and everybody says, "There's that girl, she's the one who got lost. How could you get lost?" The pre-race chat was again out of my worst nightmare -- You had to ride out of a parking lot, around a corner, through another parking lot, then something to do about speed bumps, then merge into the centre lane at some point of the race, then stay on the right, then on the way back, get into some centre lane, then into the left lane, then more tomfoolery with these parking lots. I was like, WHAT??%#@$^&^^

I asked IG, asked the announcer, and asked other athletes - everyone was very cool about it, saying it was well-marked and I could just follow other people. Very well then.

The swim had 12(!!!!) swimmers per lane and it was a frigging nightmare. All three IMCs were WAY better than the mess happening in my lane (Lane 3). And I think I was to blame!! LOL!!!!! We started 5 secs apart but the usual pile-ups occurred. The really funny thing is that I ended up drafting virtually the entire race off two guys. Poor guys. We were just going the right speed and I touched their feet (gently) and swam basically tummy to tummy with either one or the other the entire time. One time, two of us pushed off the wall at the same time and the guy surfaced underneath me -- That was weird!! LOL!!!!! Still for all my drafting, there was no lane-swim smackdowns -- everybody was very polite and good with each other. I felt like everybody lapped me-- twice, but I was going as fast as my wee arms could go!! Hee-hee!! On my last lap I felt a volunteer whack me from above (I had asked them to do this -- They had offered jokingly to do it, but many people took them up on it!!) I had a hell of a time hoisting myself out of the pool -- The edge was so high up, it took all my determination to get out.

Next was the world's most obstacle-laden transition run. Through hallways, weaving around school offices, a hairpin corner, and then all these stairs. This one dude was taking up the whole hallway and when I said excuse me twice, he just kept plodding along. I said "Excuse me" a third time when I literally squeezed myself between him and the wall. Get the frick out of the way, buddy!! I didn't swim my butt off to walk behind you!! LOL!!! (But I wasn't laughing at the time!!)

Next was running across this cobblestone walkway and then finally across the road and to my bike. Transition was great. My prescription glass insert had fallen out, but I calmly popped them back in no problemo. This happened once before when I was all panicky in transition-- I have since learned to calm down in transition and move efficiently, not fast. If you focus ongoing fast, you always fumble. If you focus on efficiency, you ARE fast. :):)

The bike was a Kelsey-channel fest!!!!!! I purposely didn't bring my heart rate monitor because I just wanted to go like a dingbat without looking all the time at my watch. I passed a lot of people -- I was surprised at how much I gained on those faster swimmers. The weather had decidedly turn to total s#$t and the wind had picked up. Nothing new here, living in the Pass, but it was cold work. I didn't bother putting pants over top of my one-piece trisuit, just a jacket. I didn't wear gloves either, because I never wear them, and because I didn't want to fiddle around with them in transition either.

I did discover that my sunglasses do have windshield wipers though -- my forefinger!! :) :) With all the rain and wind and traffic kicking up muddy grit, my glasses kept getting filthy. There was no way I was stopping to wipe them; I thought to myself, "You don't need to see to ride, just pedal!" I took the ol' finger and wiped off the glasses and it worked like a charm. No streaks! :) :)

The way back was a real slog. My feet were like chunks of ice. I had no feeling in my right foot, and my left foot was just about all numbed up as well. Mentally, I got bored, and had to next channel Susi's gerbil. There were a couple of moments where I found it really hard to keep my cadence up -- the wind was now head on, and man was it ever blasting. My legs were freezing, and I was really pushing myself. I don't have any bike data because I don't have a bike computer. (Well, I do own one, but I didn't want to hook it all back up to my bike again -- if it measured watts I would!) My saliva was really booger-sticky too. You know when it is cold and your nose is running, and every time you swallow your throat is sticky with Gatorade and you can't really swallow. I mean, I could swallow my drink, but in between, it's like my throat was closed off. I spit a couple of times, but it was just gross and didn't help much. I passed another person, and it was a girl in my age group. She had thighs of steel!!

I almost got lost biking back into transition. I was really close to these two guys (I can't believe the guys I had passed!!) but they pulled ahead when I slowed down to make the corners. The pavement was wet, I was being cautious, and besides, transition was really close. It's a good thing they didn't get too far ahead however, because we went back into transition a different loopdie-loop way. And, there were no volunteers in sight to tell you where to go. There was one point right before I rounded another corner when I yelled out "Where do I go???" I could see no one and had no idea if I was going in the right direction. Fortunately, I rounded ANOTHER corner and saw a volunteer pointing me to go pedal in another circular corner thing.

I quickly dismounted, had another awesome transition and took off like a bandit. I took off my sunglasses because it was cloudy, but that meant my sight went with it. Thank God for the zealous woman volunteer who yelled at me and waved her arm in the direction I was to go. Then, straight away I started going off the path and it was another competitor who yelled for me to follow the little pink flags. I was really disoriented because the little flags at the start didn't look like a path to me -- it was misleading.

My feet were like chunks of lead but I kept my cadence up. The path immediately plunges down a VERY VERY steep incline. It's like a frigging mountain. And, running on biking legs and frozen feet could be a recipe for disaster. I actually couldn't feel any part of my lower body, and I just hoped I would get down to the bottom without falling and crashing down. I passed another couple of men right away. :) :) This has NEVER happened to me before -- I never pass people during the run portion!! I started picking people off for once -- oh how I am grinning like a fool to be able to say that!!!

There was a man in a blue jersey up ahead that I eventually caught and then stayed right behind him and to the left a little. I was going as hard as I could maintain and couldn't pass him, so I just settled right behind him. I passed another person and then started getting really close to the man. I then recognized his jersey -- he was one of the two guys I had drafted off for the swim!! LOL!!!! I asked him, were you in lane 3? He said yes and then I delightedly pointed out that I had drafted off him for basically the whole swim. I thought it was so funny, but he was probably thinking to himself, "Oh great, first the swim, and now she is right frigging behind me on the run too!!" LOL!!!

He was going along at a good pace, and I was definitely pushing myself, so I decided to just keep at what I was doing, but not to "eat the paste!!" We passed the turn around and were on our way back when I started to gain ever so slightly on him. I was just about crawling up his ass and I apologized to him -- "I'm sorry, but I just can't pass you." He said, "That's OK" Poor guy. I felt bad because I was literally breathing down his neck and by this time it was the full on porn-star breathing. I think I was the loudest one on the course!! LOL!!

But, this is the first race where I was porn-star breathing and I could still keep running. Since I have started triathlons, when the wheezing/whistling/moaning starts, I am about to collapse. But today, I kept going, and going,and going. All that training is paying off!!!!! I was hovering very, very close to the retaste zone, but my stomach did OK too. Very soon, I found myself about to pass the man!! As I ran alongside him, I thought we would run together for a while. I said to him, "It looks like we are going to be passing each other back and forth." He replied, "Uhh, I don't think so.' At this point, I passed him. Solidly passed him and just kept on trucking.

It was about this time I saw the girl in my age group with the thighs of steel come running for the turn around. She was freaking fast and her running form looked effortless and strong, and I knew she was going to catch me. The course backtracked and it is a very hilly course. I took water at every station and even pinched the cup and kept running while I drank it!! YAY!! LOL!!!! Apart from my laboured breathing, I felt great. I wasn't hungry at all -- which has happened in the past. I had put 2 scoops of Carbo-Pro and 1 scoop of Gatorade powder into my aero bottle and had drank the whole bottle during the bike. The Carbo-Pro totally did it's job of adding calories without making me too full. Steel-thighs finally passed me and was it ever something to see her run. She has awesome runners' legs and continued to pass all these other people.

Now, nearing the finish line there is talk of "The Hill." The rule sheet enclosed with the race packet even mentions it and says you can walk or crawl up it. People I had talked to before the race warned, "Oh, the hill at the end. You know that hill? Well just walk up it." Other people had told me something about the last 100 m, there is a hill. They were DEAD wrong. I don't know what about this race that makes people give screwball instructions, but that WAS NOT A HILL@!!!$%@$%*&!!! A hill implies going up and then you are over. This was not a hill. We had to ascend the same frigging mountain grade that we had descended at the beginning of the race. It wasn't no 100m either. Try 1.5 km. The incline starts way the hell back and just gets worse. By this time, I was breathing full on porn-star and when I couldn't take it anymore, was forced to walk.

The sprint and super-sprint racers were now passing me and even they had to stop and walk. I walked until the incline leveled somewhat (underscore somewhat) and then tried running again. It was terrible -- I could barely breathe. Even walking had the porn-star breathing at max effort. I put my head down and wheezed and walked as fast as I could. There were a couple of signs -- One said something along the lines of "How do you like the hill?" The other said "You did it!" But you really didn't, because at the top of "the hill" was a little dip and then another frigging little hill.

Finally, as I approached the finish line, I heard the announcer say my name and all my info I had put down on the race form. That was awesome!! Usually, it's hit or miss if you happen to come in alone or with other people, but today it was like the announcer was reading my biography!! LOL!!!!!

Afterwards I met up with IG and some of the other people he coaches - I now have ANOTHER blog to read -- Leslie's!! Her blog is listed at IG's. I told Mark, the guy wearing the Speed Theory jersey, "It was ME in the swim!" I figured out he was the other guy I had drafted off . He was like, "Yeah there was somebody who drafted off me for like 1000m." HAHAHAHAHA! "It was ME!!!" LOL!!!!! I also met Iona (sp?) who will be coming to the Penticton training camp as well.

I had showered (but still had the race-red face LOL!!) and then dined on chocolate milk, fruit, and a muffin during the awards ceremony. I was chatting with IG, when I suddenly heard my name announced as third for my age group. I was in complete disbelief!!! I was all awkward getting my medal -- I tried hugging the volunteer before she gave the medal. I then said to Greg, "I'll wait for you to take my picture!" Iona had won her age category and IG had said his camera was too slow, he was going to miss the shot. I made sure to really pose!! LOL!!! I was so excited I felt like whinging the medal over my head like a lasso and yelling YAHOO!!

I feel like that at every race anyways!! Yes,I am the one who is friends with everybody, laughing like an idiot just glad to be alive and out there racing!!! LOL!!!

Final notes -- in my post-race state, I had wheeled my bike back to my car along with half of my stuff, and forgot about it. Suddenly, the skies opened and a tropical dump of rain pummeled everyone as I walked back to my car. As I neared the parking lot,I saw my trunk was still open. "DUH" Of course there were all these other people around so I announced, "Yes I am the dork that left the trunk open." Then, I found a pair of my socks outside on the ground. Don't even ask. After all this, I realized I had left the other half of my stuff back at the pool. Geesh. LOL!!!

I will definitely do this race again. The volunteers were AWESOME!! The sponsors, Runners Soul and the Penny Coffee House were fantastic. The only things I would love to see changed are:

* Include a course map in race packages with explicit instructions on all the dinking around you have to do in the various parking lots before you get out on the road. I actually saw two ladies who got lost doing the super sprint. They didn't know where to go through the parking lot and ended up right by my car.

* Spray paint arrows for bikers to follow through said parking lots.

* Do a physical walk-through in transition before the race like they do at Wasa, instead of the pool-side meeting. One lone dude with a microphone in the University pool does not acoustics make. Even standing right in front of him, I could barely hear him.

Hmmm, what else? Oh yeah, my time!!! I forgot to check my splits, but my total time was 2:45 and change. I didn't fully hear the time because I was talking to IG when I caught the info. Either way,it is a PB!!! I even beat my Olympic Wasa time even with all the bloody walking I had to do uphill!!!

Next up, Olympic tri in Wasa, June 15!!!!!! :) :) :):):) :): )

(Greg took some pics, and he is either going to post them, so I can then steal them and post them to my blog too, or he will email them to me. As soon as I get the pics I will post them!!!!)

:) :):):) :):) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Getting Ready . . .

I sorted through all my triathlon stuff this evening and packed up what I'll need for Sunday's race. Found my old race belt, switched my shoelaces for those elastic lace thingys, and packed everything up. I'm going to stay in Lethbridge overnight tomorrow -- I've needed to do a Costco run for some time now and I am going to do a bit of shopping as well. So, I found a cheapo room and am going to have a great day tomorrow and even greater one on Sunday! :):)

I've been checking the forecast and currently it says the temp will be 14 degrees, cloudy with showers. That's OK, the weather couldn't possibly be any crappier than it was on my Tuesday ride! :) :)

I'm sooooooooooooo excited for my first race of the year!! Yay!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Power of Team Training

So, I guess we are not an official team, but the blogs I read from all of you have really motivated me. Shannon's trick of stating aloud the intent of each workout rescued me from losing my focus. I would be pretty hard on myself if I didn't finish my workout to a tee. By simply saying the goal of my workout, I find I remain positive throughout and often finish strong. If I fatigue, it is not so much of a big deal -- I am not so down on myself anymore. I just accept it and move on.

Today I felt completely wiped out. I kept looking outside wondering when it was going to snow and wondering whether I should bike outside or not. I took my bike back into Gord's to get my chain thoroughly cleaned from all the sandy grit that the road barfed up on it during Tuesday's ride, and then resolved to just skip my workout. I rationalized it to myself as thus --

"I only have to ride for 50-60 minutes, and if I am tired I should just rest. After all, I'm racing on Sunday and I don't want to be tired." I resigned myself to sitting at the computer and blog-reading when something strange started to happen. Slowly my motivation came pouring back into me. I read how Jenna woke up at 5:30am with a throbbing tooth to go for her run; and how Keith got up at 4:00am to run his first 1.5 hour long run. I had just started reading about Kelly's miserable run (which in spite of everything, she forged ahead and completed)when I got off my duff and hooked my bike up to my CT.

This isn't the first time I have drawn inspiration from you guys -- Susi has been one hell of an inspiration to me too. Kelsey too. And Chuck, and Alan, hell everyone!!!!

I guess this is the power of team training. It goes beyond mere commiseration -- it revs you up, it doesn't bring you down. I felt my negative resignation fall away and be replaced by a positive energy. I forgot to say the intention of my workout until 20 minutes in, but that was OK. I had already decided to use Shannon's other little trick of breaking the workout into tiny pieces. I thought, I'll just pedal for 1 set of 175-200W and then take it easy and then stop. One set led to two sets which led to three sets, and then four. Well, before you know it, I had done my whole workout, but more importantly had turned the negative into a positive.

"Everyone!! The Pain Train has left the building! We are now boarding the Happy Bus!!" LOL!!!

I have often given lip service to the cliche that the mind is a powerful tool, but I am continuously surprised at just how powerful our minds are.

Thanks for inspiring me everyone!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Guns n Roses Welcome to the Jungle

Raining S*$% Storm

After reading Susi's post about the rain gently "spitting" on her, I looked up at the skies and thought to myself -- it's ok if a little rain falls on me. Yesterday's workout was to be 4 sets of 10 min at 150-165 watts with some 5 min breaks in between. As I am wattage-less now, I thought I'd pedal by feel. I know what 150-165W feels like so I'll just do that.

First off, biking outside while doing wattage workouts is a WORLD apart from doing them on a trainer. It requires so much more mental focus. I didn't have time to look at potholes or gravelly bits, I was completely focussed on powering my way along. That is, ahem until the gentle spitting turned into a bloody torrential downpour. Rain was blasting me head on, sideways, from the top, from the bottom, everywhere. Trucks would drive by and I would get splashed by their crap. My feet froze and my hands had a hard time changing gears. Still, I slogged on.

I biked just over the BC/Alberta border and timed it just right -- my next set of watts would be going back up a hill into Alberta again. Here, the realization struck me -- today was one of those days where the winds are against you both ways. AAAARRRGGGHHH!! About 10 minutes later, I recognized my darling Mike's truck pull up on the shoulder. He got out and told me that the weather was even worse now and if I wanted a ride, hop in. I looked at my watch and saw that I had only completed 1 hour and 5 min. of my 90 min. workout. Can you guess what I did?? Of course you can!!! I decided to get thoroughly bloody drenched and bike all the way home.

Well, Mike was right. It was the coldest crappiest bike ride I have ever done. But, with the words of Gord ringing in my head, "A ride outside in the rain, is better than a day at work," I tried keeping a positive outlook. I learned a number of new skills yesterday -- Because my shades don't have windshield wipers, every vehicle that passed made me virtually blind. The caution I used to ride on wet pavement dissipated the colder I became -- I learned that I can blindly ride in aero through puddles big and small -- downhill too!

As I got closer to home, this song suddenly popped into my head -- Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N' Roses. Not the whole song, just the beginning of the song where Axel is screaming. Over and over again, I heard Axel screaming in my head. I felt so hardcore as I pedaled my way home. I even started screaming along with his voice in my head when I would get drenched by passing semis. I don't really like G n R, and I have no idea why this song emerged from my subconscious, but I tell you, it worked!! Hee-hee!!!!

I just posted the song for Keith's benefit!! By the way, Keith, I tried your natural drink and it was very good -- I am going to have to cut the salt a bit though and add more of a glug of OJ, like you suggested! :) :)

When I wheeled poor Madge onto my deck, she was covered in sandy dirt. So was I. I took off my clothes in the bathtub and rinsed them out. There was more dirt in there than when I take Diva and Toby to roll around in a coal pit. (Not that I ever want them to roll around in the dirt, but hey, they are dogs!) I washed off Madge and thank God for Mike -- he had made a bunch of pasta. I was starving at this point!!

I then went and stood on my bathroom floor -- it is heated. For those of you who have never stood on a heated floor -- OH MY GOD it is absolutely wonderful. My two cats sleep in there sometimes. I was so thoroughly pooped out by this time, that I crashed in bed and slept like a log. Whoo boy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Magic Bullet Unleashed!!

After delaying the inevitable,I finally screwed up enough courage to wrestle my bike off the CT (but not before marking the wires with written bits of masking tape). The next job was changing my trainer tire to my racing tire -- and it went pretty well! I wouldn't win any races for how quickly I changed it, but hey, I got the job done. :) :)

My first bike ride of the season was a super short ride to work. Magic Bullet (Madge for short) did very well. The gears still shifted beautifully, there was only a minimum amount of rattling and odd noises. After work, I rode a bit past my house to go up the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre hill. It's a good climb with varying grades and I totally rocked it!!!! Last year, the first time I made the climb, I was a rubbery, panting mess. This year, I must have channeled Kelsey because HOLY CRAP it was so much easier! All that time on the CT and wattage training is paying off!! YEEHAW!!!

Yesterday, I took Madge in to get "Gordo-fied" at the best freaking bike shop in the world. There is a local guy here that runs "The Tuck Shop" and he knows his bikes inside and out. He is the kind of mechanical whiz that just by eyeballing you, tells you what sort of bike you should be riding and why. He takes into account your arm length, your torso, the way you sit, everything!! When he first set me up on Madge, it took about 6 hours in total. He would make the most minute adjustment to my handlebars or to my seat, then have me go for a bike ride around the block and up a hill. I would then tell him in detail where I felt discomfort -- my shoulders feel pinched, or my lower back feels tight, and he would make another millimeter adjustment.

He also whizzed off some of the front part of Madge where the front tire fits in, so when I get a flat, or am just taking the front tire off, it just falls out easily. I don't know how many times I spent practicing changing tires under his watchful eye -- he has even come and rescued me when I got too many flats and ran out of tubes!! His daughter was a pro mountain biker and road racer for a number of years and she still kicks some serious ASS. Thus, his breadth of biking knowledge expanded even more. He is the kind of hard core dude that would pedal UPHILL with one leg for his one legged drills. Even now, after tonnes of accidents, a sore back and joints, Gord could still tear it up.

He has also come to every one of my IM races (on his Harley of course) and cheers me on!!

I only really see Gord during the spring and summer when I start taking Madge in -- so as this was the first visit of the season I was pretty excited to get Gordo-fied!! Hee-hee!!

Yesterday, I got new handlebar tape put on as my old stuff was smelling like armpit, and he tuned my bike to perfection. Changing gears is like a dream -- just slip, slide into the next one. He is a perfectionist and takes the extra time to make everything just right. I went for an easy 45 minute ride afterwards and I truly rode the Bullet! Hee-hee!!

The only downside (well, I can't really ever call outdoor riding "down"), is that I don't have any info as to my wattage now, or my speed, cadence or anything. I do have a speed/cadence thing but I am not going to put it back on my bike because I really don't need it. By now, I know what 90-100 rpm feels like, and when bugs smash into my helmet and die, I know I am going fast!! LOL!! It's just too bad they don't make a bike thingy that measures wattage and doesn't cost $1000!!!! It was either that or my CT and I chose my CT!! :) :) :)

Oh yeah -- FOR CHUCK: I experienced the slow-motion shame of falling over to the side where I hadn't unclipped!! LOL!!! I felt like such a tool -- I don't know if anyone saw (but you know, of COURSE someone did!!) but I managed not to look around to find out!! LOL!!!

I am thrilled to be biking outside again -- I LOVE IT BABY!!! :) :):)

AND -- I just remembered that IG will be racing in Lethbridge this Sunday too! YAY!! :) :):):)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mental tricks

I have been pretty fatigued as late what with all my attention to swimming technique. So -- I decided to adopt Shannon's method of literally stating the intention of each workout before the workout. That reminded me of my yoga classes -- sometimes the yoga instructor would ask us to dedicate our workout to someone in our life. When a stretch was particularly difficult, we were to call upon that dedication and breathe into the position.

Well, Shannon... it works!! I tried it for my Thursday bike workout -- the one that has promoted me from coal-shoveler to conductor of the Pain Train. The last set always kills me, but this time, even though I struggled, I didn't have the negative feelings associated with it. It was great!! AND, I felt energized afterwards, not depleted. Amazing what the mind is capable of eh?

I had a blueberry swimming breakthrough (re: Kelsey!) yesterday as well. Charmaine asked me to swim without kicking and when I turned to breathe, I was to turn my face straight up to the ceiling and then follow my arm stroke with my head back into the water. This was a nightmare. I was fishtailing like a car on black ice --I couldn't breathe or swim or do much of anything. It was like I completely short-circuited. When we reached the end of the pool, Charmaine said, "Hmmm. I think you are a back swimmer. Let's try this now." She then had me swim (again without kicking), but this time when turning to breathe, I was to look back at my shoulder and concentrate on rolling. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!! It totally worked!!!!!

We were both really excited. Charmaine told me that she had been puzzled at how I was swimming because I seemed to stop and go all the time. Not propel myself forward continuously but go forward, slow down a bit and then go forward again. She said I have been fighting against myself. But just by looking backwards at my shoulder-- what a difference!!!! I can't believe how different it felt -- I felt like a bloody torpedo!! :) :):) I kept practicing this -- it was so disconcerting at first because looking backwards while swimming has always been something I thought you weren't "allowed" to do. Hee-hee!!

After that breakthrough, Charmaine had me swim towards her and if my arm didn't extend far enough forward, she would grab and pull. Afterwards,she dug her finger into my back shoulder muscle and said, "You should feel it here." OWWWW Yes, yes I feel it there -- I feel it everywhere. My God, I FEEL IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!

I was so thoroughly crapped out by this point, but Charmaine wasn't done with me yet. She said, "This is too important to let go." She told me to really push myself and try and keep up with her for four lengths. Only 80m, but oh my God, the Pain Train went aqua yesterday, my friends. She obviously slowed down for me, but kept just enough ahead to make me really push. I thought I was going to die. I almost started laughing at how tired I was!! LOL!! I went far beyond the retaste zone -- I thought I was just going to explode or drown!! We finally finished up and like the masochist I am, followed Charmaine into the gym to learn her core and arm routine.

Let's just say she is the strongest woman I HAVE EVER met. EVER. She was saying "Oh I am so out of shape, but I getting a bit better." I am thinking, you think this is a "bit better"??? I quivered, collapsed, got up and tried things again and again. So now I have new things to put my body through -- yay!! :) :):)

After my race next Sunday, I am going to start doing that routine with her twice a week -- except with lower weights!! LOL!!

Also -- Keith-- I took masking tape and labeled my wiry doodads coming out of my Computrainer. Methinks today is the day to unleash the Magic Bullet on the Crowsnest Pass!! Look out, here I come!!! LOL!!

Have a super weekend everyone!! :):):)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Of wingers and floating elephants...

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on racing "solo" -- Susi --I KNEW you could help me out!! I also like Shannon's mantra "Race from the heart." :) :) :)

Cath and Jase -- I am so happy you guys got something like a Computrainer -- isn't it amazing?? You can really notice a difference from just a plain old trainer eh? Love it!!!!

Yesterday I met this fellow who shared his philosophical views on tattooing with me. We had an interesting discussion -- I meet ALL kinds of people and talk with every one of them (Hee-hee!)-- but what stuck out was his denotation of "a winger." A winger is a gal who has one of those back/bum crack tattoos that looks like a set of wings. LOL!! He was so funny -- I love the term "winger" and can't wait to somehow integrate its usage into triathlon-speak. LOL!!!

Onto the floating elephants ... (This is for Keith, by the way)

I really liked his response on Susi's blog: Keith's Theory of Floating Elephants. Basically, let the big problems that float into your life, float right on by. Don't latch onto them. Let them go. However, I think a corollary of this theory needs to addressed. In particular, what is one to do when one BECOMES the floating elephant? OK -- all seriousness aside, I am strictly joking here, because yesterday I felt like a massive floating elephant in the pool. Bloated, tired, all my muscles sore, and so fatigued with the smallest effort I felt my arms and face tingle like I was going to pass out.

It was a terrible swim, and I just played around in the pool a bit, used the kickboard, and then finally called it quits. I have never had such a lousy, miserable swim in my life!! Next was core work, and despite my crap swim, I actually felt better doing core. One large and one medium Timmy's later, I perked up enough to do my 60 min. run with strides. I felt a lot better, and just took it easy. I was surprised at how well my run went compared to the swim.

After my run, I took Diva and Toby out for a good walk. Diva's joints aren't bothering her now with the nicer weather, so I've started taking them out on doggy-boot camp walks to prepare them for running with me again. For the last three days, my Mom and I have walked the babies on a 4.5 km walk. My Mom belongs to this weight loss group called TOPS - Take Off Pounds Sensibly and her club is having a contest regarding number of kilometers walked. She is now a KOPS - Keep Off Pounds Sensibly, as she lost her weight and has kept it off for 24 consecutive years!! Yay Mama!!!

The funny thing is, is that she does this cute little jog/walk thing the whole time. It took me a long time to convince her to invest in a good pair of running shoes as opposed to a Wally World special, but after a number of cheap shoes fell apart/irritated her feet, she finally listened to me. I swear, that woman can hustle. She is turning 64 (and you would NEVER know it,and she would kill me if I told you!), and is in such good shape. Just watching her, I know she could do a 5km race no problem. In fact, I am going to try and talk her into doing our local 5km road race this year with me and Jake. I know she would just love it!!

Well, that's it for today! :) :) :)