Thursday, March 29, 2007
But, apparently, the reason I am writing this post from the Denver Airport Marriott Courtyard and NOT the comfort of my own home is because of the storms in freakin' Texas. Nothing was landing in Dallas, apparently, so even though I got to the airport in time to get on the flight earlier than I was booked for, that one and the later, along with every other flight on every other carrier was cancelled. So I had to punt and come back to the hotel. phooo.
So now I'm set for the 6:00 AM flight tomorrow, which means I have to get up at 4:00 and hit the 4:30 shuttle. And go through security AGAIN. Fun times. Total pain in the ass. Sigh.
But the good news? I did run this morning, on the treadmill in the hotel. And even with the flight in the morning tomorrow I should still be able to take my bicycle to the shop for new tires and try it out before I pick up the boys. So yeah. Fun times. Sigh.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Denver is amazing -- the weather is great -- I've been running in the mornings twice now, but only about 3 miles each day. Yesterday I got on the exercycle at the hotel gym beforehand, and tonight, after I talk with the boys and get another couple of hours of work done, I'll be going to the "pool." I put it in quotes only because it's about 4 feet deep (nice, for me), 4 feet wide (*maybe* six feet wide, but not much more) and 25 FEET long. So I may get mostly across with just a push off the wall. heh. but it will be great for just practicing the stroke and breathing. I couldn't ask for a better practice pool, really.
being away from the boys is hard -- I had a horrible time falling asleep last night because I had a b!tch of a time with the webcam and I never did get to really talk with them because I was trouble-shooting it in between blue screens of death. And then they had to go to bed, so I was bummed. I also am having a hard time with the pillows -- the ones here are fluffy and fat, and I'm very used to my pancake pillow at home. So between the pillows and the mouse/laptop, my neck is very locked up and tight, so that didn't help the sleep situation any either. But I survived, and I'll be home before I know it.
The workday speeds by because I've got a few projects to keep me going, and the team I'm with is fun. Oh, and my project manager and one of the other members both brought their bikes here, so they go on rides during the week. They're training for a century ride later this spring. So there is lots to talk about and learn from them!
So far so good. The only problem is that I have *no* time to check blogs and keep up with everyone. I'm so sad about that, but there will be time later, I guess, so if I slam you with comments on your last six entries all at once, that's why!!
Peace out -- got to get to the personal email before I log back into work schtuff.
UPDATED!!! Whatever I did last night (at past midnight local time!!) to mess with the webcam settings worked! I was able to connect to the boys via Windows Live Messenger and I read them Cinderella on the webcam. TDP DinoBoy moves around so much he's just a big blur, but it was nice to actually SEE them. Gotta go!!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
His tiny hand (not really, anymore) instinctively grasping for mine when we reach the corner before crossing the streets, and then releasing when we get to the other curb.
His strong little legs, all skinny and lean, pumping and jumping and carrying him in leaps and bounds down the sidewalk.
Him leaning his sweaty head against me when we sit on the bench on the front porch, being still, for just a second, before he runs off again.
My baby boy.
No running today -- today was a day for putt-putt with the boys, and reading, and naps, and a walk around the block.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Mile 1 - 9:52
Mile 2 - 9:27
Mile 3 - 9:41
Mile .5 - 4:35 (9:11 pace)
That is all. I'm off to Denver next week, and for probably the next three after that. This traveling show is about to hit the road for real. Laters!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
How to know that my little pack of readers ROCK? All y'all's comments made me feel like I'm not alone out here, trying to do this little tri-thing. The emails and comments have been great, and I am glad to know that I really do have a great community behind me as I try to do this.
How to know that my bike shop people ROCK? I walked into there yesterday afternoon and said, "I just started riding my bicycle, and I *tried* to ride on Monday, and I have a very embarassing problem." Her immediate response? "Saddle issues?" heh.
I confessed my horrible secret, and she reacted just as i hoped she would. Not one bit of condescension, not even a bit of pity. She told me about someone who came in for help because she's doing the MS150 on a mountain bike and couldn't get a new bike but needed to be faster, so she set her up and that she'd try to do the same for me. The only way she could have been more helpful is if she was pedaling the stupid bike for me. First thing she did was get me a new inner tube -- apparently I had a slow leak, so the pressure on the front tire was low. So, yes, that had a lot to do with it, and she changed the tire, explaining everything as she went so I knew what the blazes she was doing.
The next thing she did was raise my saddle about seven inches -- I kid you not -- SEVEN inches. I felt like I could barely get my leg over the seat to mount it after that, but it made a huge difference in the power transferring from my legs to the pedals. After that, she noticed that I was pedaling with the middle of my foot instead of the ball of my foot, so we made the adjustment there, too. And then I just sat there on the trainer, and shifted up and down, big gear to little gear and back to big. Then the same thing on the back gears, so I could feel what happened and how it all worked. And I just pedaled for a while. And just kept pedaling and shifting, until I felt like I had a better understanding of what was going on. And then I came home and since I had a leeetle bit of time left in my lunch break, I put on the helmet, strapped the Garmin on the handlebars again and went for a ride.
Can I just say something here? "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" I literally whooped as I rode down the street -- what a difference. Still took me a while to get the right gear once I got started, but once I found a groove, I was moving. I only went 1.25 miles, but I could already tell that this ride was totally different. Average speed for the first mile was 11.4 mph, and that was with the first 1/4 mile being pokey while I found my groove and the right gear. Best speed for the little jaunt: 16.2 mph!! Wahoo!! I was spinning instead of mashing (and I know what those before now gibberish words mean and feel like now, thank you very much!!), and I was so sad to have to get off the bike and come back to work. But I know now that the whole bike thing is going to be very different from here on out. And especially after Tuesday, when I get my new tires. By replacing the mountain tread with new speedier slicks (still very low-end -- about $35 each) I'll be boosting the value by 200%, but it's the least amount of investment I can do right now to make it truly ride-able.
I've made a deal with myself that I'm not spending any money on a bicycle until I finish two sprints. Bea (my bike shop saviour) offered to let me test-drive a road bike, just to see what it felt like... I respectfully declined. I know that to do so would make me *totally* loathe the Purple People Eater instead of just barely tolerate her. So I'll just play around and ride as much as I can on the new slicks and with the seat in the proper position. I should be able to get through this first part of the summer on her, just for a bit more until I convince myself that this is for real. As tortuous as that may be, it will build up anticipation so that when I finally get my hands on a new ride I'll really appreciate it.
So, yeah. I'm good to go now. Even better by next week.
ORN -- 4 miles outside this morning. 41:02 total time.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Please tell me that I'll get better.
Please tell me that something similar (although certainly not as laughably, hideously, horrendously BAD) happened to you once, when you were just starting out but you've gotten over it and got better and now you can ride like Lance. Or at least like Bolder. Even if it isn't true, and even if it happened when you were 10 (just leave that part out. m'kay?). Please?
What in the heck am I talking about? I'm talking about my so-called "brick" workout today. I decided that I would take the old TRU POS* out for a spin today, during lunch, and follow it up with a short 2-mile recovery run. I only had about 20-25 minutes for the bike part, and I figured it would be best if I started out slowly, since I haven't been on the bike in several months/years (probably since last August...if you had a crap bike like I do, you'd avoid it, too).
So anyhoo, I get the Purple People Eater (it's a Murray Splash, as if that means anything --oh, and I just found out that the Murray bicycle company went out of business. In 2004. Which means that the POS bike is even older than I remember) out of the garage and spend a few minutes pumping up the tires, because they're both flatter than a pancake, and strapping the Garmin to the handlebars. I set NanoMark for 20 minutes and put him aside, so I could easily grab him and go running when the ride was over (setting up the transition, see?). And then we took off. Or tried to.
Suffice it to say that if the Running TxSkatemom were running alongside the Bicycling TxSkatemom, the Running TxSkatemom would have left the bike chick eating her dust. Had the bike chick had any energy left to eat after such a dismal performance. Yesterday's run splits were posted just for fun -- today's BIKE splits (I have to emphasize that these were on the bike, so you know you're not hallucinating) are more for your enjoyment, I'm sure. Like a trainwreck, these splits -- don't laugh too hard, it's tragic, really:
Mile 1 5:51
Mile 2 5:51
Mile 3 7:01
Mile 4 7:10
That's all there is. FOUR stinking miles on the bike. In 25 minutes +. There were points in time in those last two miles where the Garmin was reading my speed slower than 6.1 mph. I COULD HAVE RUN FASTER than I was cycling. Sheesh. Just. shoot. me. now.
So, what was/is the problem? Besides the piece of crap bike? Because trust me, I know full well that Lance Freakin' Armstrong could walk up to me right now and give me a bicycle just like his fit to my body and I *might* be able to crank it up to 10 mph. If the wind were at my back. The problem is the exact reason I've owned automatic transmission cars my whole life -- I don't know how to shift. I've read about the mechanics of shifting gears, and I don;t think I get the concept, much less know what to do when I get on the bicycle and start pedaling. I'm totally lost. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. But, yeah, there it is. Out loud, in the blogosphere for everyone to know: My name is TxSkatemom, and I don't know how to shift my bicycle gears.
So, what am I going to do about it? I am going to the bike shop up the street and ask for a lesson. How they react to me and my pitiful request will tell me a lot about whether I want to deal with them when it comes time to put out some ca$h and get a real bicycle. But, just like I had to learn to swim, it seems like I have to learn to bicycle, too. But, as my new Tom Petty PowerSong reminded me at the end of my 2-mile run today:
Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned aroundOWN -- 4 miles/25 minutes "cycling" with a 2 mile run afterward. Yee-haw!
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down.
Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground and I won't back down
*TRU POS stands for Toys R Us Piece of Sh!t -- yes, folks, I bought my bike at Toys R Us. And it shows. But it was a steal -- only $46. I kid you not. I have promised myself (and Hub) that I won't spend any money on a real bike until I get at least two sprint tris under my belt. So, for now, we have this joy of machinery to ride.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
What was interesting is that it's the first long run in a LONG while where I had to search for things to think about. Normally, I'm decompressing from life in general while I'm out there, trying to prioritize what comes next in the day at work, or what part of my home life is going to get short shrift this week. But guess what? For the first time in my recent memory, I don't have any of those issues. I'd wanted to take a break between my old job and the new one, but it didn't work out that way. But because I haven't gotten a traveling assignment yet, I've spent the last two weeks working from my home office, sleeping in my own bed, and learning more from my self-designed online training than I ever imagined. And I've taken care of little things here and there that needed to be taken care of (the oven, for one -- how much easier is life with a full kitchen's worth of appliances??), and have spent time with the folks that matter most to me. And there isn't anything hovering over my head like an afternoon cloud, threatening to burst into a torrential downpour at any moment. My face has cleared up and I've gotten control of the afternoon snacking/junk food binges that sabotaged my fitness exertions. I've got a decent haircut and my home, while still not *sparkling*, is no longer in shambles as it was habitually a few weeks ago. The laundry monster is not threatening to take over the house if one more shirt lands on the dirty clothes pile.
Things are good right now. Hub's birthday is today (39!! eeep!!), and I was able to make a cake (mostly) from scratch, and had time to arrange a great unexpected gift for him, and we'll spend the day together as a family. We just came off spring break for the boys, and both Hub and I had time to take them out and about, enjoying them and spoiling them a bit, and just reconnecting. Will all this change dramatically once I get my first assignment and hit the road? Without a doubt. But for now, I feel settled, and in charge, and in control. So there was nothing to do on the run today except enjoy it, and nothing to think about except my feet, and the trail, and the wind through my hair. I felt strong throughout, and finished with a kick, posting a 9:34 mile at the end. What a difference. Just for fun, here are the splits:
Mile 1: 10:32
Mile 2: 10:32
Mile 3: 10:04
Mile 4: 10:19
Mile 5: 9:48
Mile 6: 10:06
Mile 7: 10:07
Mile 8: 9:34
Total time: 1:21:05, average pace of 10:08,1075 calories.
Gotta run -- the Elder Child and Hub just left church and we're meeting up with them for lunch. Peace out, and have a GREAT week!!
Friday, March 16, 2007
In any case, I certainly couldn't handle the thought of these things when I was six. And I certainly never thought my picky grilled cheese and chicken nugget fiend would ever want them. But, apparently, my mother-in-law, intending to have purchased mac'n'cheese in a similar package, picked up a container of beans & weenies by accident, and also by accident cooked them and served them to TDP DinoBoy. And he ate them. All. And asked for more.
So now the pantry is not considered stocked unless there are at least three cans of these things in there. The Elder Child won't touch them, and he actually doesn't like to be at the table when TDP DinoBoy is eating them -- they gross him out. I can't say I blame him. Anyhoo, Nancy, that's the story with the BW.
So. Yeah. What else?? Oh, yeah. The 80s. Love the 80s. Have been trying to get to see Music and Lyrics for the last month, and we finally made it out tonight. So worth the wait. Hilarious. OK, maybe not Love Story, or even Officer and a Gentleman, as far as the plot goes, but fun and funny just the same. Hugh Grant is funny and adorably self-deprecating, and has a surprisingly good voice. Drew Barrymore is cute as always. If you remember watching the Aha! video on MTV (over and over and over again!), even if you won't admit to setting your Swatch to when you knew it would be on, you will enjoy this movie. I'm thinking I'll have to get the soundtrack so I can sing "Pop Goes my Heart" while I run. I just might make it my new PowerSong. heh.
ORN -- I ran outside this morning and nearly froze myself on the north-bound out route. It was a bit chillier this morning than I expected after yesterday's lunchtime jaunt. But I got over it and coming back with the wind at my back was much better. 3.1 miles in 31:37. I've noticed that with NanoMark on my arm I don't mind finishing with random mileage -- I used to *have* to end a run at the mile-mark exactly, or at a minimum at the half-mile mark. Now, I just run a route until I meet the time I told NanoMark I'd go. And then I come in and map the route on GMaps Pedometer to get accurate mileage, since I know NanoMark comes up short. I also like to think it's a side effect of me not being so stressed anymore. Probably that, too. But mostly it's just NanoMark.
***Edited to add -- After watching last night's episode of "The Office" again on DVR, I've decided to instead celebrate my "Mexicanity." LOL!!!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
We have received your application for the ING New York City Marathon 2007.
Your entry number is 120947. Please include this number along with your name in any correspondence pertaining to the marathon.
Wish me luck! I'll have to come up with a contingency in case I don't make it in (1 in 3 don't, y'know!), but there is no way I can keep up mileage even now if I don't have a potential "A" Race looming on the horizon. And having a marathon on the horizon is keeping me from fretting that I don't have a pool at my disposal right now and haven't been svimming in nearly a month.
Oh, and I just happily discovered that TDP DinoBoy loves chicken soup. Who knew?! That certainly opens up the meal possibilites for him beyond beanie weenies and ABCs/123s (I SWEAR I wasn't the one who introduced him to those, BTW!!).
running is good. I've done 101% of my mileage so far this week, all outside, and most in the early morning. I ran at lunch today, and it's starting to get hot and humid again. I know, I know, I shouldn't b!tch about the weather here being hot yet, not when folks are still buried under piles of snow. but, hey, it's what happens in Texas, I tell you what!
that is all. I've got a webcast going on in another window, and I should probably pay closer attention to it!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
this week is spring break for the boys. i've got to work, from home, for my full 40 hours, but we'll find a way to squeeze in a couple of fun things, I'm sure.
not much more to say, really. I'm hitting the sheets here in a minute, try to get a headstart on the week. Peace out, and have a great week!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
But, see, Miz T, here's the thing. It's springtime now. And spring in Texas is the most glorious of times for running, especially for those early-morning runs that I love so much. I've been bailing on those early morning runs because you're there, and if I don't run in the morning, I think I can always meet up with you for a little sumpn-sumpn before bed. But I really do enjoy the quiet and the cool and the freshness of an early morning run on a Texas spring day. And running in the evening is enjoyable during the spring, too, after the kids are in bed, while Hub is watching "Rome" on the DVR. It's not like it is in the summer, when the heat and heaviness of the day lingers in the air and on the streets for hours after the sun goes down. No, running in the evening in the spring is a joy, because there are about six weeks in this season that make it worth putting up with the heat the rest of the year. And I have to enjoy those times while they last.
So, for now, my sweet, reliable, fabulous Miz T, I must bid you fare-thee-well, for now at least. Don't worry -- you'll still get used by Hub (even though he drips nasty amounts of sweat on you and makes you raise your incline something ridiculous like I never do) and by the Elder Child when he's watching Hannah Montana. And I'll visit you when I come by to hang out with Stretch. And, we're trying to get a friend for you in that room, something to get me up to speed on the bike, too, so you won't be lonely. And y'know, I will be back -- summer's right around the corner!
ORN -- 4.5 miles. 5:15 am. Outside. :)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The biggest news of the day is that the oven at Casa Skatemom is FIXED!! It only took a little more than 3 months, you know. Twenty-five minutes and $125 later, I had a functional stove. Yippee. The best part, besides that we can now have biscuits for breakfast, is the clock on the console -- how sad is that? So of course we celebrated the return of the oven with a fabulous dinner of....wait for it.... Totino's frozen pizza!!! What? After three months without frozen pizza, that stuff was like manna, I tell you what! This is the sad, sad existence that passes for life here in Suburbia South, I guess!
Gotta run -- I've got to go into the office in Irving tomorrow to get some monstrous downloads and turn in some paperwork. So I'll be schlepping my bad self through traffic again, at least in the morning. I'll be cutting out early so I can finish out the day at the home office, though. How sweet a gig is that? Now if only I'd get a real assignment....
Sunday, March 04, 2007
- perfect running weather (40-something, I think, but bright sunshine)
- my new running tights
- being home for the weekend
- being home for training all this week
- my new spanky-cool computer
- my even cooler wireless laser mousey
- wireless internets
- my fabulous burnt-orange home office
- a snuggly TDP DinoBoy crawling into my bed to wake me up
- not having to do all six loads of laundry today
Saturday, March 03, 2007
"FREEZING TEMPERATURES LIKELY LATE TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY MORNING...
A VERY DRY AND COLD CANADIAN HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL BE SETTLING OVER THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE STATE TONIGHT. SURFACE WINDS WILL BECOME LIGHT UNDER CLEAR SKIES THIS EVENING. STRONG RADIATIONAL COOLING OVERNIGHT WILL RESULT IN TEMPERATURES FALLING TO OR BELOW FREEZING ACROSS MUCH OF NORTH TEXAS. AREAS GENERALLY NORTH OF I-20 WILL LIKELY SEE LOWS OF 25 TO 28 DEGREES AND TO UP TO 8 HOURS OF FREEZING TEMPERATURES...THUS A HARD FREEZE IS EXPECTED IN THESE AREAS."
huh? IS IT NOT MARCH??! IN TEXAS??!
**sorry for the gratuitous over-use of caps -- the Weather People started it**
Um, me no likey this kind of weather here. So much for my scheduled run outside tomorrow morning. I might have to wait until afternoon. Or do it on the TM. I need to run 3 or so miles later tonight since i haven't run yet in March. I thought with the life change of the new job, sick kiddo and 28 days running in a row I deserved a couple of rest days. But if I do 3 today and 6 tomorrow, I'll be OK for the pre-set schedule anyhoo.
I'm trying to talk Hub into a cool spinning trainer for the playroom/home gym instead of a standard exercise bicycle. The therapist recommended one for the Elder Child to help with the rehab on his foot/achilles, and I know both Hub and I would use it almost as much as we use the treadmill (which is usually twice a day by one or both of us). I know it won't substitute for the real thing out on the road, but it will certainly be better than nothing for the cross-training - my cross-training lately has been more of "run inside vs. run outside." Also, I think I may have seen too many of these infomercials on the hotel TV this week!
It was good to be home, and I think I will like being home again this week. No actual deployment yet, so I'll spend the time either at the local office being a downloading fool or doing online training and certification in different product lines instead. not too shabby, although the size of the quarterly bonus depends mostly on my "utilization" so it's better $$-wise to be out on the road being billable. But for starters I'm not minding the ease-in approach to this gig. Not one bit.
That is all. Hub and Elder Child just left for Hub's hockey game, leaving me and TDP DinoBoy to watch DVR and play with sock puppets. Fun times. And I'm not being sarcastic, for once!
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Have I mentioned I love my new job? Well, I do.
No gym this morning -- got to re-arrange airfare for an earlier flight home today. Home. Today. Yippee!