Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!!

2005 is just about expired. I can't even believe how quickly the years go by. Yup, I sound just like my Mother. Good grief.

I spent the day just having a blast. I awoke at 5 AM so that I could be at Afton State Park prior to 8. On the way, stopped by St. Paul to pick up Marie and Bonnie. After unloading all of their gear into my car, we realized that I didn't have a State Park sticker. Oops. Had to get another workout carrying all the gear from my car to Bonnie's.

At Afton we met up with Scott and Alicia.

The snow was fabulous for snow shoe running. Just wonderful! I love Afton State Park. There is a nice visitor center with a wood stove, indoor plumbing with flushing toilets; what more can a gal ask for? Not to mention the best trails-wooded, open, meadow, ravines, hills, some flats, river, ski alps; you name it, Afton has it.

We spent a couple of hours out on the trail-running up and down the hills-looking at at the St. Croix River, watching the downhill skiiers. Just wonderful.

Each hour I gulped down a Coca Cola Cliff Shot (not my favorite..Mocha Mocha is) and I drank 60 oz of Hammer Heed. I never felt Bonkie; just feeling good.

After our run we warmed up in the Center, changed clothes and I, Bonnie and Marie headed off to Sunsets in Woodbury for a wonderful lunch to celebrate mine and Marie's birthday. I had a Tucson Grilled Chicken Salad that I highly recommend.

Tonight, per our New Years Eve tradition, the Big Lake Run Club gathers at 11:45 for a run around our Wednesday Night Run Club route at Midnight to ring in the New Year.

See..a fabulous day!

Tommorrow will begin with another couple of hours snowshoe running on my Blue Hill Trail with Topaz. He didn't get his Run On today!

Enjoy the New Year Celebration!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Winter Wonderland

We received a good 7" of fluffy white snow overnight. I was pretty suprised when I woke up and saw how much snow we received.

I and Troy hit the hill shortly after we awoke; we had to go out and mess up the new white snow.

The snow plows hadn't been by yet and I figured the Blue Hill Trail head wouldn't be plowed until mid-day. I decided to run a snowshoe run through our property.

We sit on a cul-de-sac and have over 5 acres so there is hardly any traffic around and plenty of space to run. I wouldn't want to have to run in my yard every day, but today it was actually fun.

I went up and down the driveway, through the cul-de-sac, onto our bike trail, around the veggie garden, up the hill, around the swimming pool, around the trampoline, up to the front yard and down the driveway. Repeat!

I was able to get in a good one hour run, huffing and a puffing.

The snow plow then came along and made a huge snow bank in front of our driveway. Steve is up north so is relieved of snow plow duty. I pulled out the shovel and got in a real good upper body workout.

Then figured Blue Hill Trail might be plowed out..and it was :)

What a wonderful way to spend my 41st Birthday.

Yard route Posted by Picasa

Driveway run route Posted by Picasa

Winter Wonderland Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

New Year..New Running Program

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had 'hooked up with a running coach' but offered no additional details.

I've never had a running coach, but once I decided the Grand Slam was going to be a future goal, I knew that I needed someone to guide me, someone to write me a plan, someone to teach me what to do to realize that goal.

I found that person.

I also mentioned earlier that I had been following "Paleo Eating for Athletes" By Loren Cordain (Paleo Eating) and Joe Friel (Going Long and other great books). I had been emailing back and forth to Joe and his son, Dirk, who have created Ultra Fit Training. They led me to Anthony Humpage of "Team Woofie"; an ultra runner out of Arizona who specializes in woman masters ultrarunners and Ironman. Well, Bingo.

Anthony is very good friends of Joe and Loren and fully believes in Paleo Eating for Athletes. A very good fit for me.

I will use trainingpeaks.com to log my workouts, to view my upcoming workouts, enter food, etc.

My workouts will consist of three key running workouts a week: intervals, cadence, hills and endurance; I will lift three times a week- a whole new approach to RT. Instead of focusing on building muscle mass I will be focusing on strenghening the muscles I use for running. I will be working my core 2x a week along with swimming, jumping rope and bicycling. Wow. I'm stoked.

I completed a 6 minute run test to see how far I could get in 6 minutes; a treadmill speed test and a number of heart rate tests and sent Anthony video of my running gait. With that information Anthony created my workouts. I'll use my heart rate montitor during each workout.

Right now I am familiarizing myself with Trianing Peaks and looking over my schedule for the next four weeks.

New Year..New Run Program.

Run On!

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Nephew with the first taste of the Waldorf Astoria Cake. I think he likes it :) Posted by Picasa

Christmas Run Posted by Picasa

For Christmas Baking this year I went to the Middle School for two evenings. Staff washed dishes; we mixed and baked. 160 cookies later, I came home. Posted by Picasa

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Posted by Picasa

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas Day and had a great Christmas Eve last night.

I had my sister and her family over. We stuck to our tradition of lobster, new york strip and crab legs for our evening meal. Oh my gosh, it is all about food over here. Had some pasta salad-pasta that I haven't had in forever and a day, whipped up some twice baked potatoes that didn't call out my name but we finished the meal with my Waldorf Astoria Red Cake and Buttercream frosting. My first sugar high in a long time.

Today I'm grilling a turkey again. I just do not become tired of turkey. I won't have to make anything to go with the turkey as there are tons of left-overs.

I and Topaz are heading out for a snowshoe run..should be good and carbo-loaded for a good hard run.

Thanks to Darcy for tweaking my blog :)

Friday, December 23, 2005

2006 Calendar

The New Year is just about upon me. I feel quite different than I did last year at this time when I first created this blog.

I was feeling fat and unfit; although I was running 50 mile weeks. Somehow my weight had creeped up (read: sugar) and the big 4 - O h was making its presence known.

I was depressed.

Now, one year later, I am 25 pounds lighter and running faster than I ever believed I could. Once the weight came off, the miles became much easier.

Hey-and I'm not depressed about turning 41 next week. Not. At. All. Thank goodness. It's not like I could do anything about it anyway..hello!

Today I created my race schedule for 2006. All I can do from here on out is move forward. I have planned my races and have planned my workouts to get me there. I have big plans.

I published it on the sidebar.

I am going to begin taking swimming lessons next week so I will be adding in a few triathlons-when I'm not running races.

My 2006 goals will allow me to reach my 2007 goals.

I contacted a gal from MN who ran the Grand Slam a few years ago. She's the only woman in MN to have completed the series, plus, she is the youngest woman EVER to have completed the series. We are going to meet for coffee after the holidays so that I can learn from her. It will be very interesting to hear of her training and the races she completed to get her to the finish line at Wasatch. Wow. Sheesh. That seems so unattainable to me.

You know what, this all seemed so unattinable to me..

Today was a 10 mile snow shoe run in temperatures again, above average. 38F and sunny. Gotta like that.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Heat Wave!

I was shocked this morning when I and Tyler hopped into the car. It wasn't that cold outside, the radio then announced that it was 34F..at 645 AM! Wow.

The day continued to warm up as it went on. The sun was brilliant, the temperature warmed up to 40!

After work I and Topaz went to the private property to get in snow shoe run. I could see the moisture rising off the snow, creating a fog. It was so cool!

The snow was soft and mushy, a bit hard to get through, but oh so nice and warm! I will not complain.

I snow shoed for 75 minutes and watched the sun set. A very nice afternoon.

++++

Last night Kristin did show up for run club! It was so nice to have someone to run with. Susan, who heard my plead for runners, showed up too. She usually can't make Wednesday's during the school year, but made it last night. It was fabulous :) We had a great time.

The other day John used a digital video camera to tape me running. My run coach asked for side, front and back views; 10 second clips of each. I emailed them to him today. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. To me, it looked like I was one big fat plodder of a runner.

Tomorrow I complete the Conconi test for him. He told me to be sure I am rested, fuelled and hydrated. I guess I am??...

I'm now enjoying Christmas Vacation. Yippee!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Isn't it a beautiful place to run? Topaz was in the picture..but ran too fast! Posted by Picasa

Today's run; staying off the xc tracks! Posted by Picasa

Scheduled 'Sick' Day :)

In an effort to keep up with my medical priorities I let my manager know last week that I was scheduling a sick day today.

I had a late morning appointment with my gynocologist for the fasted chol. test, the CA125 cancer count blood test, the annual pap, the mammogram and to make another appointment to have my ovaries x-rayed at another office. All in an effort to stay cancer free.

A year ago this past June my Mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. She went through 6 chemo treatments, had her tumors and ovaries removed and has been cancer free for 1 year. Rock On Mom! My Grandmother died of the disease when she was in her 50's.

Every six months I have my ovaries looked at and my CA125 taken as a precaution. If the CA125 ever increases or the ovaries look like there could be something growing on them, a complete hysterectomy will be ordered.

After Troy was on the bus this morning, I and Topaz headed out to the Blue Hill Trail. If figured since it IS a week-day, Mr. Crabby XC skiier wouldn't be out there to chew me out. He wasn't, and neither were many XC tracks. I stayed on the side of the path with my snowshoes and pounded out 8 miles.

Oh my gosh, I was starving. Because the chol. test was the fasted version I hadn't eaten since last night, after my killer back/shoulder workout and a 5 mile treadmill run.

Tonight is Run Club. Since Ann hasn't been running, I have been the only woman, the only woman who runs a whole lot slower than the fast men. They wait for me at the finish, but you know, it would be nice to round up a few more runners.

I think I found one. Troy's 4th grade teacher has completed a few triathlons and wants to run more. I told her I'd go her pace, walk breaks, whatever, we'd just have a fun time. She said YES! Awesome.

I'm looking forward to another run this evening.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Snow Shoe Adventure

I was really looking forward to running today. I had a new place to check out; 480 acres to myself AND I had a new Polar S610i Heart Rate Monitor to try out.

Last night I tried out a few of the features and read through the manual. I was ready to at least give it a try.

It was, again, -10F with a -35F windchill this morning. Brrr.

Before I left the house I told Steve that I better grab my cell, I wasn't sure where I was going to park the car at. I couldn't really just park on the road; it's a busy township road without shoulders. The old driveway to the farm house that used to be there was all covered in 15" of snow. So I told him I'd call him IF I became stuck. I was pretty certain I would be stuck.

Since 1991 I have owned 3 different Explorers and in 2002 I bought an Expedition. I never really worried about getting stuck before. Last year, in an effort to save the air and save some money on fuel, I traded in my Expedition for a little Honda CRV. My friend, Bonnie, has one, and I love it.

I really love my CRV. I get 35 mpg and it's cheap to own. But it can become stuck even with 4 WD.

I was parking on the side of the road, kind of near the ditch, and slid right into the ditch..right over the front hood. Ooops.

A quick call to Steve..to warn him that he'd have to help me out in two hours..and I was off and running.

OH MY GOSH. It was tough plowing through all of that snow! Topaz doesn't make a great trail breaker! I was a huffing and a puffing.

My average hr was 171 for the 2 hours..that is HIGH isn't it? My maximum is 184, so yeah, that's high. It was quite the workout. I still need to download the file, I just looked at the average HR so far. I had to go shopping, you know.

I found 3 ponds on the property, lot of deer and 5 eagles. It was incredible. My battery pack became drained of energy..I think because of the cold so I don't have any pictures. I'll charge it up and get some tomorrow.

OK, so I finished running 2 hours and called Steve. I'm ready. OK, he's ready to come and get me. Before he drove the .75 mile over to me a guy in big, brand new sparkling red Ford F350 pulled along side me. He had me out of that ditch with one pop!

He was pretty satisfied with himself for saving the damsel in distress, with his big new shiny truck.

I said thanks and made it home before Steve's truck was even warm!

Tomorrow I'll park somewhere else...

Oh! The Florida Ironman is on TV today from 2-3 Central Time. I'll have to switch from the Vikings to the Ironman.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Foiled Again

Brrr! This morning it was -6 with a -30 wind chill as I and Topaz hit the Blue Hill Trail. It was crispy cold!

I wasn't able to attend the 50K Christmas Party. Troy's basketball team had a mini tournament that ran from 11-2 and conflicted with the timing of the run/party. It's OK; I did just run a 50K less than a week ago!

I noticed that the Sherburne County people had placed signs up on 'my' trail stating "CLOSED TO ALL BUT CROSS COUNTY SKIING" well, forget that business, I thought.

I have only seen one xc skier out there over the years. It makes me so mad because I am out there almost every darn day; he is out there once a week..usually Saturday.

Well he was out there today and he really chewed my butt! I was just finishing 10 miles when he found me. He yelled for a few minutes about the snow shoes ripping up his trail, then yelled about Topaz out there when the new sign clearly states no dogs. Well, I really didn't see that writing on the sign. Don't know how I missed that.

Guess I won't be heading out to Blue Hill in a while...

I came home and called a very good friend of mine. He is a developer who creates beautiful neighborhoods. We have a 2.5 acre minimum lot size in Sherburne County so when Steve is putting in a new development there is a lot of land involved.

He just purchased 480 acres near our home, I sit on the Planning and Zoning Board so new it was open and just sitting there. I drive past it numerous times during the day. It is beautiful; all pines and oaks.

I called Steve today to see if I could run upon his property with Topaz. He told me to act as though the 480 acres is mine. Yippee! At least I'll have somewhere to snowshoe this winter, and it is less than a mile from home.

A bad situation turned into a good situation.

I've been kicked off of so many places that I've run upon I can't count them all. Remember the Eagle Ridge situation last winter? Oh my gosh, fines and all. Then I was kicked off of the field route last summer when new owners took over the land..yikes. The County Sheriff was involved and everything..

On the heart rate monitor..I ordered the Polar S610i. Thank you very much for your input.

Have a great Saturday :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Heart Rate Monitor..

It is SNOWING!! A real old-fashioned snow storm! Rockin!!

School had a two hour late start so off to the trail I went, Topaz and snowshoes packed. The trail was powdery and lovely. 7 miles later I was totally exhausted..but exhilerated.

What a great way to start the day! Now, here I am, back at work..not so great.

So..I have hooked up with an ultra coach and he is suggesting I purchase a heart rate monitor. I have never used one because there are too many damn models to choose from!

He suggests Polar, with a downloadable HR file. Have you used one? Do you have a review?? Please..please..I will purchase one soon, I'd just like some input.

Enjoy the SNOW!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Snow?

Each time I hear on the news that we are supposed to get a good snowstorm I can't help but roll my eyes. You wouldn't think there would be too much hurrah about a snowstorm..or even snow flakes in Minnesota.

All I hear on the news and radio is snow snow snow is coming. I won't hold my breath! I bet we'll be lucky to scrape out 2".

Today I brought my snowshoes to the trail but left them in the car. The path was pretty well worn down to the dirt so snowshoes weren't necessary. It still took me longer than sans snow to complete the 7 miles. I had to finish in the dark, in the middle of the woods. I had my headlamp stuffed down into my pocket. I somehow thought I'd beat the sunset. Nope. I didn't.

After a left over dinner of turkey and veggies I brought Troy to basketball practice, Tyler to guitar lessons and I hit the gym for 45 minutes of leg work before collecting my off spring.

My legs are tired now. That 50K on Sunday wore them right out!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

50K Fat Ass

The race..well, it really wasn't a race, it was a get together with friends for a fun training run..but it was a blast.

Of course. How could it not be? A bunch of runners who LOVE to run, get together for chit chat, catching up time and let's get one hell of a good workout out in too while we are it. It was fabulous.

We met at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in Minneapolis at 815. We signed a waiver and dropped a few bucks into a baggie..then headed up the hill to a runner's house. At the house there were cookies, candy, crackers, oranges and a big container of water and one container of an energy drink.

We wrote our names in on a big piece of tag board hanging from the wall. Each loop was 4 miles; after each loop and a run to runner's home we signed in our time near our name.

I think 15 or so of us began the run, most didn't have any intention of running the full 50K. A few of us did.

Running around the Minneapolis Lakes is really quite a treat for me. I live 54 miles away so don't do daily running over there.

There are LOADS of runners doing the lakes each day; it's awesome. There are port a potties all over the place so I could go in a dry place whenever I needed. The luxury!

4 of us ended up running the complete distance. Scott and I finished in 6:18 or so I believe. We stopped at Dunn Brothers for coffee afterwards to talk big with the other runners.

What a blast.

Before I left home this morning I placed a 20 pound turkey in a cooking bag. I left Steve a note: please place on grill on low at 12:15. I'll be home by 5 and turkey should be ready.

I called Steve enroute home and sure enough..turkey was cooking well. Asked Steve to foil wrap a few big baking potatoes and place on grill.

Success!

Awesome turkey dinner after the run. It doesn't get much better than that :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wednesday Night Run Club

Well, Wednesday Night Run Club was..not. I had a 630 meeting, another member had a meeting, one member was sick. One member was going to run; I ran the run club route at 430 and then headed to my meeting. Meeting ended early so I went to the gym for an awesome chest/bicep workout and ran on the treadmill for a speedy 8 miles.

Had a great treadmill run..I shouted the whole time! A friend happened to be at the gym so we ran side by side. Sure helped the miles tick on by.

Hey-I was invited to a 50K Fat Ass run on Sunday around the Minneapolis Lakes. Woohoo! Lake Harriet to be exact. I'm sure looking forward to it. I had NO plans for Sunday and just like that..something fun to look forward too. Yippee.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Need For Speed I

Yup, that time of year again. After not completing for speed workouts since October, it is time to jump on that horse again.

Today's workout was on the treadmill. It is minus fifteen frickin' degrees out there, without the darn wind, and it is windy!

I completed 5 800's at 7:15 pace, 2 minute recovery inbetween, 5 minute warmup 5 minute cool down.

Talking with a travel agent today about a nice little trip to Jamaica during spring break. Ever been to Beaches..in Negril? It rocks.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Let the Planning Begin

Bummer. I wasn't selected for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. There were 6 lucky Minnesotan's that were selected.

However, I am very pleased that I was selected to pace Bonnie during the race :) That is probably more fun than running the whole thing! I get to take a fun little jaunt out to sunny California without all of the pressure. I get to hang out with the runners, the crews, the pacers; meet all of the people I have read about and go for an awesome run during the night time hours. Pretty sweet, hu? This may be better than the real thing.

So now it is time to plan my '06 racing calendar.

I would like to do McNaughton 100 again, although it is during Easter weekend so that is the pits. But I'd still like to do it. Family discussion.

FANS 24 hour run. Sucks because it is hard, mentally. I tried to complete 100 miles three times. I've come close; 83 and 86 miles..then dropped last year at 12 hours. So it would really be awesome to actually do it. We'll see. It's in Minneapolis; no travel. Good option. Just do it already.

Leadville 100. Shit. Scary. Wow factor. Jeffrey is doing it and seems to think I could as well. Since I'm not doing Western I'm actually thinking, um, Yes.

Superior 100. Used to scare me too. Hell, the 50 mile scared me. Now I totally love Superior. It is only 3 weeks after Leadville. But hell, Wasatch is only three weeks after Leadville and I'll be doing that little scenario next year.

What if I don't get into Western next year? This whole Grand Slam plan would fizzle on out. Guess I won't think about that..head in the sand..now.

So those are the main races I'm thinking of for '06.

This morning I was getting ready to head out to the trail. It was cold. -5F. Crisp. Frosty. I was grumbling around the house about how cold it was, that I really sucked at snowshoeing yesterday, that the snowshoe marathon is a little over a month away, that I couldn't find my gaitors because I hadn't looked for them, etc. I looked at Steve and began to giggle as I felt so foolish! I checked the attitude right there and said "I'm grateful that I CAN go out for a 15 mile run at -5F, I'm grateful that I have a dog that will run alongside with me, I'm grateful I have a family that doesn't whine and complain about my running and I'm grateful that I'm healthy."

Guess what? I had an awesome time! I didn't get cold; I dressed appropriately and I found my gators..becauses I looked for them.

15 miles in 2:50. It'll do. My water bottles with Heed froze; I forgot to wear my pack inside of my jacket. Oh yeah, next time!

Have a great Sunday. Think about what you are grateful for!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Sucking Wind

Today I removed my snow shoes from their spot in the garage. They were all full of spider webs and dust. Yuck. I didn't enjoy the thought of having to run on them, it's hard work..and I forgot that it is actually quite fun.

I am not a winter person. I TRY to enjoy winter. I snow shoe run, I cross country ski, I ice fish, I sled with the boys, I go snow tubing..but I don't really enjoy it all that much. I like swimming, I like beaches, I like green grass, I like running in the daylight for heavens sake...

Driving out to the trail, snow falling like crazy, I was thinking how much I enjoyed running sans snow.

Once I reached the trail head and strapped the Northern Lights on I began to think of the past four winters that I've run on these snow shoes. It's been fun.

I was planning on running 15 miles today; but for the first snow shoe run of the season, 10 miles had to be enough.

Sheesh, I was sucking wind. Topaz didn't slow at all in the snow. I was pretty much crawling.

I have a lot of work to do before the January 21 Northwoods Snow Shoe Marathon up in Duluth !

OH ... Today is the drawing for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. I received an email that stated I have a 37% chance of being selected.