Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!



I couldn't have asked for a nicer Christmas (well maybe excluding the part that I had to work)! After taking my morning nap I headed over to run the Elm Creek horse trails. The weather was perfect-about 45 and sunny! I was actually hot after only a few minutes of running wearing only running tights and a long sleeved shirt-this is unheard of during a typical chilly winter in Minnesota. I felt really strong on the run averaging 9:30 miles over the hilly course.

Following my run, swung over to pick up my grandma to head to my parents for our Christmas celebration. As I was driving there I was trying to think of the last time my grandma celebrated Christmas with us in my parents home. I'm thinking it was probably at least 25 years ago. I have to say that her fall back in September was a blessing in disguise-not that I would ever want anyone to experience falling an breaking a hip. Her fall led my grandma back to live in the cities and allow her become healthy. My grandma who is 86 years old has had very few health problems throughout her life but I felt that life was being sucked away from her while she lived in Alexandria. Over the past couple of months, my grandmother has found a new zest for life and has rekindled lost relationships.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A morning run in the snow!




This morning I met up with one of my Leadville training peeps, Mike. I was super excited to run since it was snowing out! I miss snow and want more of it! Anyways, we ended up doing right under eight miles on the hilly horse trail. We kept a pretty steady pace with an average of 9:30/mile.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A time for spikes



Shortly into my run today at Elm Creek, I took a pretty hefty fall. The road rash doesn't look so bad now but I'm sure I will have a cluster of nasty bruises tomorrow. But I don't know if that hurt worse then my phone call with a certain well known Leadville coach today. Although he gave a ton of useful information, the statement about being a "hefty size" runner bruised my ego a bit. Basically, for me to be at my ideal running weight, I need to lose 25-30 lbs-what! I haven't been that weight since I was maybe 10 years old and that was well before I hit my growth spurt. Here, I am coming off of doing three ironmans within the past six months and overweight.....hmmmm. Well, I'm not going to argue with the man since he has been coaching Leadville athletes since the mid 80's-he has to know that he is talking about right? Anyways, he was generous to spend 2 hours on the phone with me asking questions and him providing training and racing tips.

I did end the conversation feeling a little uneasy or matter of fact FREAKED OUT, but dedicated to the challenge of competing Leadville!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Well I did it! My season is officially over and my new training season is just starting to begin. 2012 is going to bring me through a new journey. I have decided to take a year off from competing in the Ironman branded races. I love the experience of Ironman, but am looking for a new challenge in 2012. After running with my Run Club pals over at Lifetime, a couple of us decided to take the ultimate plunge-we signed up for the Leadville 100 ultramarathon. To add flame to the fire, I plan to compete in the Leadman Epic 250 Triathlon in Las Vegas in May. I'm super excited to take on these new challenges in the upcoming 2012 year!

Below, I have posted a link to my adventure in Leadville, CO:
http://www.leadvilleraceseries.com/page/show/311976-leadville-trail-100-run

The Leadman Epic 250 is a triathlon located outside of Las Vegas in May. This race entails a 5k (3.1mi) swim in Lake Mead, 138 mile bike through the Valley of Fire, and a 22K run to the Hoover Dam. This sounds to me like the coolest course ever!

The good thing is that I will not be alone during these endeavors, as I will have a couple of my Run Club peeps running along side me in Leadville and my teammate Christina competing with me in Vegas.

As for the rest of my upcoming season, I haven't decided. I have been asked back to represent Erik's again. Since both Dave (the other tri ambassador) and mine races are early this year, Erik's is hoping to get us on our new bikes right after the new year. They are talking about putting us on either a Specialized Shiz or Willier next season, but we won't until until right before the bike can be ordered. I am super excited to ride either one.

I am also hoping that Aquaphor, will bring me back as one of their ambassadors again next season-lord knows that I will definitely be in need of lots of Aquaphor with training and competing at Leadville.

Friday, December 2, 2011

IMAZ 2011




Bitter Sweet!
I can't believe the year went by so fast! And what a year it was!

3 Ironmans in one season-check
Descended Ironman times throughout the season-check
One overall triathlon win-check
Featured Aquaphor Athlete-check
Fulfilled sponsorships will Erik's Bike Shop and Aquaphor-check
Graduation from FNP program-check
Passed FNP board exam-check

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yay, I'm featured!

Check this out!
http://aquaphor.ambassadors.active.com/Email-Newsletter/october_eNewsletter.htm

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good ridden MNSU!




I'm done!

Lifetime Sprint Triathlon





Again, I will get to the race report soon!

Ironman Couer d'Alene





I realized today that it will be exactly one month since competing in IMCDA 2011. I figured that I better get going on the race report that I promised.

I didn't really know what to expect at IMCDA since my training had been pretty minimal since the beginning of May. I was spending approximately 90 hours per week between clinic and work hoping that I would complete all my school stuff, so that I could just relax and think about racing. But due to my professor's disorganization and inability to put out a syllabus with the actual course requirements, I spent most of my free time working on school stuff-Thank you MNSU for hiring such a crappy professor!

I arrived on Wednesday to Couer d'Alene and the weather was perfect! Sunny and 90 degrees, which was a complete change from the crappy weather we had been having in MN! Couer d'Alene is a great little town and the culture of the town is relaxation! Think of "island time" on the mainland. The town bordered a huge lake and was surrounded by mountains-I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful race venue! When we got into town, I quickly went over to check into the house that I rented for the week, which was located approximately 10 blocks from the race site. But to much surprise, the girls who lived in the house were not expecting me to move in until Thursday-the owner of the house gave them the wrong dates! The girls were nice enough to gather their things up and brought in the cleaning people. I ended up only having to wait a couple of hours to get into the house, which gave me the chance to have lunch with a couple of my friends and drive the bike course. The owner felt so bad that she ended up leaving us a gift card to a local grocery store, which was really nice! The house I rented was a cute little 3 bedroom 2 bath rambler that I shared with my friend and fellow racer Matt and my sherpas Cindy and Erica.

Thursday morning Erica arrived and I ended up heading up to Spokane to pick her and get her bike rented for the week then headed back to CDA to get all checked into Ironman. Every Ironman race venue differs and this one was primarily outdoors along lake. The check in process was really simple compared to the other ironman events that I have race in-you entered one tent, made two stops within the tent and you were done. There wasn't even a weight in! After check in I went over to pick up my bike from tri-bike transport. After standing in a pretty long line, I finally made it to the table to get the information on my bike placement within the lot. I walked over to where the man had said it was and I couldn't find it! I continued to wander around looking for my bike and finally a worker came over to help. We both continued to wander around the lot and couldn't find it-panic was now starting to set in! After walking around the lot for approximately 45 minutes, the worker found my bike! Whew! On my way out of the lot they had a station where you could pump your tires and as I was trying to my tires I kept hearing ssshhhhhsshhh-the air was not going into the tires. I thought it maybe was the pump, so I went over the bike mechanic station to try it there and all I was getting was the same sssshhhhhssshhhh. Erik's (God Love them) didn't put teflon tape between the valve and the valve extenders causing them to leak. I ended up dropping the bike off at the mechanics for the to fix the wheels while I went to grab lunch. After lunch I picked up my bike and headed back to the house. Once back at the house, I went to take the bike out of the car and noticed that the front wheel was flat! The tube had popped! So I may my way back down to the mechanics and had the tire changed again. Once I got all the bike stuff straightened out Erica, Matt and I went out for a short bike ride to spin our legs out a bit then spent the rest of the night bumming around downtown.

Friday morning Erica and I got up early to head down to the swim venue for an open water swim. I had heard from past participants that the water was really chilly in Couer d'Alene, but I was not prepared for how cold it actually was! Erica, Dr. Dave, and I hopped in the water and it literally took my breath away! At that moment, I wondered how I was going to do the swim on race day! First of all my training was crap (I hadn't swam for 3 weeks prior to the race) and second the water was soooooo cold! On top of it being so cold, the water was so rough that it felt like you were swimming the ocean. White caps! We maybe got a half mile swim in that day before we called it quits and headed back to Spokane to pick Cindy up from the airport.
We got back to CDA mid afternoon and I spent the rest of the day in the coffee shop working on homework, while Erica and Cindy ran around downtown. That evening I met up with my P2 buddies, Altanta Tri friends, Madison friends, and Cindy for the athlete. I love going to the athlete dinner! They get you all pumped up for the race events and recognize peoples accomplishments throughout their training.

Saturday morning, again we had an early start and made our way down for another swim in the frigid lake. This time it was to come up with a game plan on how I was going to tackle the cold water. I found that if got in the water, sat in there until my body became acclimated to the water temp and got out, then got back in it didn't feel so bad nor did it take away my breath. My game for race day was to sit in the cold water for 10-15 minutes prior to the swim and then get out right before we started.

Following the swim, I gathered up my race gear and checked it in. We then spent the rest of the day bumming around town before heading back house. I spent the rest of the day just resting, while Cindy and Erica went biking. That evening we made dinner at the house then made our way down to the race site to take a peak at all the Ironman stuff set up. We ended up running into the race director and talked with him for quite a while.

Race day!
The morning started early-3:45 am early! I quickly got ready and ate breakfast before Matt and I headed down to the race site. Once I got there, I started off by getting body marked, then made my way to check out my bike and pump my tires. Then, I dropped off my special needs bags, and last hung out the gang until we had to head down to the race start.

IMCDA is a beach start which is different than my previous ironman races. Once the beach opened up to the athletes, I quickly made my way down to the water. I sat in the water until I got acclimated to the water temp and then got out. As I stood on the beach I looked out at the swim course and came up with my plan on how I was going to tackle the entry and the swim. The course was a two loop swim, with us having to exit the water after the first loop, run over a mat and then enter the water again.

Finally after standing the beach for what felt forever, the gun went off. The mass of 2600 athletes ran into the water at the same time. I got hit, kicked, punched, and dunked! The cold of the water again did shock my system, but once I pee'd in my wetsuit the water became somewhat tolerable. This ironman swim was the hardest, most violent swim I have ever done in a triathlon event. I don't know if it was the beach start or people panicing from the cold, but people were crazy! A one point during the swim a man picked me up by the crotch and threw me!

Once I finished the swim, I made my way to the transition zone and changing tent. I went into the race with the plan to change after the swim, just so I wouldn't be sitting in a wet trisuit on the bike. I was so cold that my feet didn't have any feeling and my hands didn't work making it really hard to change my clothes, but with some help, I finally got into a dry tri outfit!

The Bike:
After a really long transition, I finally got on the bike. Still frozen from the swim, I just focused on getting my legs going to try to warm up a bit. Once my legs got in the pedalling groove and I was about 4 or so miles into the ride a motorcycle pulled up next to me and the official flashed a yellow card. I was thinking crap did I just get a penalty. But actually the guy next to me got a penalty for drafting off of me. The bike course was shaped like a eight with the first loop slighlty shorter than the second loop and then is repeated for a second complete 8. After finishing the smaller part of the first 8 and barely making it into the bigger part of the 8, the screw loosened up on my speedfil causing it to fall off the frame of the bike. I ended up having to stop and re-tighten the screw. Then maybe a mile further I felt something rubbing on my back tire and had to stop and fix that, then again my speedfil fell off the frame-uuugggghhh! And if that wasn't enough, I got a flat at mile 30! Being that I fixed a ton of flats in my riding days,I can usually fix them pretty fast, except that the tires on the Zip 404's that I borrowed were so stretched out that they wouldn't stay in the carbon clincher. The flat took me about 25 minutes to change. Not knowing where I was time wise, I pushed the remainder of the bike a bit. I do have to say that even though I had experienced the mechanical issues on the bike, I felt pretty calm and in the end was only 18 minutes off my PR on a 112 mile bike course!

The Run:
Going into this race, I actually was pretty worried about the run-not because I didn't think that I wouldn't finish the 26.2 miles but because my run training SUCKED over the month preceding the event. I knew that I hadn't put in the running miles that would get me through the marathon feeling strong. After I dismounted the bike, I knew that my fear about the run was true! I could barely get my legs going. I have in all my ironman races gone into the run with the plan of running 5 and walking 1 minute and then walking the waterstops. This plan has kept me consistent and in most of the races, I have to say I feel that it has given me an advantage over those who go hammer through the beginning of the run and end up walking the entire second half. My run times (although are never very fast) are acceptable! Now back to my CDA run, I struggled to get my legs moving and my body was saying just walk. I had a hard time maintaining my planned 5 and 1's! In the past when I have experienced this feeling of being so low and energy stricken, I know the only thing that is going to help at that point is to start forcing in some calories-knowing that it is not going to be an immediate fix it is necessary to be able to maintain forward motion over the remaining several hours of running. Once the calorie kicked in my running increased and my legs moved at a little more ease. Like the bike course, the run course left transition and followed along the lake which was absolutely beautiful. In order to get through this tough course, I kept my attention on the beauty of the lake, watching for my teammates who were also racing, the crowd support! At about mile 17 or so, I started running with a man named Mo and ended up running with him for about 5 miles. Mo lived in CDA and his wife is a nurse practitioner, so we had lots to talk about, which made the time go by a little bit faster.

I ended up finishing with a time of 13:14-which actually kind of surprised me! I figured that I was going to finishing well over 14 hours with the mechanical issues on the bike and my terrible run. Overall this was a great race! The town of CDA was awesome! After completing in Madison over the past couple of years, I was a bit skeptical about community support for this Ironman event and I have to admit it was extremely well organized and the city of CDA was absolutely awesome!

Friday, May 20, 2011

My new baby has arrived!






Check this out!
http://www.minnesotatrinews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=714:the-best-kept-secret&catid=42:latest-race-coverage&Itemid=55

The question is what have I been up to since my last posting. Over the past month my training has been up and down due to mother natures blessings of crappy weather and an over busy clinical, school, and work schedule-so in other words nothing much has changed. Despite this, I have managed to participate in a few events. The first one was on May 1st, which was the Ironman bike ride. Traditionally, the ironman bike ride has been known for crappy weather. I have participated in this even twice before, both must have been on the only two years with decent weather. This year the ride lived up to it's tradition of HORRIBLE weather! I intended on riding the 100 mile route until I was driving to the start and my car was being blown all over the road. I ended up only doing 68 mile, which felt like 200 in the 40+ mph winds and wind chill in the teens! The only good thing that came out of that day was that I got to bike with my friends Erica, Christina, and Katy-oh and the shots of bailey's we added to our coffee afterwards!

My second event of the season was the Lakes to Pines Triathlon. The Lakes to Pine Triathlon is held in the small town of Park Rapids, MN approximately 4 hours away from the twin cities. I haven't ever experienced Park Rapids without snow on the ground. In the past, I have attended a winter running retreat held at a resort owned by a friend of mine that is located about 30 minutes North of Park Rapids. I ended up staying at the resort and had a nice little weekend get away-well nice except for the crappy weather.

Race morning came early and as I made my way to the race site my car was being blown all over the road not to mention that air temp was 30 degrees. I arrived to the race site, early as usual so that I can get a decent spot in the transition area and have time to get the spot all set up to my liking. As soon as I got my transition spot set up, the skies openned up and started to pour!

The race consisted of a 500 yard pool swim, 15 mile bike, and a 5k run. The pool swim thing was a new thing for me-at least in triathlon. I haven't raced in a pool since I was in high school. We were sent is waves of 12 people (2 in each lane), the first heat being the slowest and the last being the fastest. I was put in the fastest wave and the only female in the wave. I thought for sure I was going to get my arse kicked, but I held my own and ended up finshing second in my heat-even with my lane mate drafting off me the entire swim.

After the swim, we headed out of the school to the transition area where I found my soaking wet gear, threw a pair of gloves on, stepped into my bike shoes, and ran my bike out of the transition area. The bike course consisted of two short loops. We headed East out of town about a mile then turned to head North. When you turned to head North it was like turning into a brick wall! The wind was blowing in the 30+ mph range causing me to work like I was climbing a mountain. I however did manage to remain above 20 mph against the wind. As I made my way through the second loop the wind and sleet had really start to pick up. I remember looking down at my legs and they were a reddish purple color from being so cold.

As I hopped off the bike and headed into T2 I realized that I couldn't feel my feet anymore (not a good sign huh). I changed out of my bike shoes to my run shoes in less than a fast time since my hands were frozen and not working very well. My legs were barely moving or at least that is how they felt for the first 1 mile of the run-not to mention that I didn't get feeling back into my feet until almost mile 2. I literally felt like my feet had been amputated and I was running on the stumps!

It was really hard to gauge where you were at in the race since everyone started in different heats but I felt that I had a pretty good chance at winning the race and I did! I ended up getting first place female overall and breaking the course record! My first win! YAY!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Aquaphor stuff has arrived!




I might as well have put up the Christmas tree! Yesterday, I could hardly wait nor concentrate on anything but getting my package of Aquaphor goodies. I waited and waited all day until I had to leave for Run club and missed the UPS man-by 10 minutes!!!! Anyways, I could hardly sleep last night and then this morning I skipped swim practice so that I would NOT miss the UPS man again. My package of goodies arrived early this morning. I was so excited that ripped open the package and pranced around in my new Aquaphor gear-only for a little bit:)

Now if only my Erik's stuff would get here! I'm dying waiting for my new bike, wetsuit, and tri outfit!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Here is the story on the new ride....

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from my friend D1 (I used to train with him at P2) asking if I would be interested in representing Erik's bike shop. To give you a little background Erik's bike shop is a local chain of bike stores located in Minnesota. They have primarily focused there business on cycling and snowboarding. They recently decided to break into the triathlon market-having three main stores that will focus on triathlon stuff. This past week, I met with the store manager and accepted the sponsorship. Woohoo!

This upcoming week I will get fitted for my bike, wetsuit, and tri outfit. I'm super excited! I also accepted another year's sponsorship with Team Aquaphor. My new Team Aquaphor stuff should arrive in the next couple of weeks. I can't wait to represent both teams this year!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

My new ride!


Chrissie Wellington and I will have something in common this upcoming season. Yep, I'm getting a Cannondale Slice to ride for the season. I'll explain later, but I'm super duper excited!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

AAAAHHHH SPRINGBREAK!!!!!



It's springbreak and I'm loving it!

After some really stressful weeks with school and work-I'm finally getting more than 4 hours of sleep a day! WooHoo! It's been a great week! You hear the saying when it rains it pours-when it's crappy it's really crappy BUT when things are good they are REALLY GOOD!

I have been lucky since not only have I had a nice break from school (sort of -i'll explain later) but I also requested the whole week off from work as well. Over the last month or so, my daily routine consisted of-work overnight, sleep for 1-2 hours, clinical until 5:30 ish, workout, sleep for 1-2 hours and then start the whole process over again-but not this week! I spent the week getting caught up with school stuff-and even being potentially ahead! Training-even getting a few extra training workouts in and hanging out with some of my friends. Then to add to my great week, I got my approval to sit for boards and I got a free bag of dog food (that normally costs $65-I know my dog is spoiled). To make the week even better I got to participate in the Ride of a Lifetime and spend my Aquaphor winnings by taking my dad out for his birthday!

FUNNY STORY-Today at swim practice a guy asked me what I was training for and my response was for Ironman. I have learned that if I just say ironman or triathlons, I can avoid the reaction of "WHAT 3 IRONMANS-ARE YOU CRAZY" "SOME OF THE PROS DON'T EVEN DO THAT" anyways the word travelled fast and by the time practice was over some random lady in the locker room, who wasn't even at masters swim had made the comment "Oh you're the person doing three Ironmans this year" She then followed it up with "well having three kids to raise is harder than doing three Ironmans." I briefly explained that I work full-time, have a part-time job, and am a full-time student training for three Ironmans. She then again said but you don't have any kids to raise-WHATEVER!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Health Promotion and Life Balance-what a crock!

Well at least for nurses/nursing students.....

As a class requirement we are to journal about our week. This was the start of my last weeks journal.

All I can say is what a week. I don’t know where to start; however this week was really hard. My stress level is through the roof! Right now the big push in the health care field is finding life balance and health promoting activities. I’m going to apologize now, however I feel that how do we as nurses and future APN’s promote two these two important concepts if it’s a not regular practice of nurses/nursing students. I started my week off battling MSU’s financial aid department again about their inability to figure out that I have graduated from the masters program over six months ago and then started a new program to trying to keep up with my readings, projects, and clinical hours. Not to mention work being extremely demanding not allowing time to break away take a breath, my nephew being hospitalized over the week, and me trying to get over this strep throat crap. I was literally home for a total of 10-12 hours Tuesday through Friday night.

The feedback that my instructor gave to me was "you made a commitment to go back to school and during this time you are in school you will have to give up some things...." Well let me see.....Do I give up the one hour of sleep I got each day or my shower? Hmmm maybe both.....people would get out of my way on the road because I will be driving like a drunk and my clinic appointments will be REALLY fast because I stink so bad.

I was once told that because I'm single that I didn't have a family and so that I can stay to do the extra shifts at work and that I should give up my training/workouts because its just an extra thing that I do. My question to these people is are you willing to give up your kids? There is a nursing theorists that talks about family being the people you call family. These people do not have to be blood related or share the same name or the same house. News flash.......my family does consist of my parents and siblings (by blood) but my biggest support group are my friends so I would consider them my family. So in response to my professor, if you are not willing to give up your family while teaching this course then I shouldn't be expected to do so either.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back in the pool today

I got back in the pool today after an almost two week hiatus from swimming due to this nasty cold that I have been fighting. I found that my energy store was really low even after sleeping for 12 hours! Tonight I'm going to attempt the bike test that my coach sent. I don't know how accurate the results will be but I will give a try. I attempted the treadmill run test on Tuesday but only made it half before the coughing became uncontrolled:( But on the upside, I'm doing the workouts.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

5 months to Ironman #1


Couer d'Alene is just over 5 months away. My training so far has been pretty consistent up until the past couple of weeks. In fact I don't think that I have taken a day off from training up until last week. I came down with a nasty cold which took me off the bike and put me in the bed. It has been two weeks and just when you think that I'm getting back into the game of training, my klutziness comes out. I was running at the gym when I whacked my hand and wrist on a metal window pane. The jar from hitting my hand/wrist sent a tingling sensation up my arm that lasted for almost 24 hours and nice bruise/cut on my wrist. I actually called up my friend Doctor Margarita to have my wrist checked. The doc says that it is just bruised-thank god! The plan is to get back in the pool this week and be able to complete all my workouts.

School has back in session now for the past couple of weeks. My schedule is full with four days in clinic a week along with my full time job. I do feel that I have been a lot more organized which has helped with me get everything done!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A New Year

I was recently asked by one of my teammates about new year resolutions. In the past I had touched on my thoughts about the whole new years resolution thing and how I didn't like "new year resolution" but rather "new years goals" I feel the drive to be successful at my goals, which hopefully will lead to habit change and a sense of accomplishment in the end. My goal for this year is to get organized. I have spent the majority of my adult life being disorganized organized (if that makes any sense to you). The problem with living that way (at least for me) is that the important things get precedence and all the other things either unimportant to me or things that are not so fun are forgotten about. Becoming organized is going to be necessary to me having a successful school and training year.


"Cheers" to being organized!