Thursday, December 30, 2010

Something Funny

They say humor is based on truth. Sadly, I am familiar with everything listed below.

This is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Cleveland:

If your Dairy Queen is closed from September through May,you live in Cleveland.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there,you live in Cleveland.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time,you live in Cleveland.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in Cleveland.

If "Vacation" means going anywhere south of I-90 for the weekend,you live in Cleveland.

If you measure distance in hours, you live in Cleveland.

If you have switched from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again, you live in Cleveland.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Cleveland.

If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in Cleveland.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Cleveland.

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you live in Cleveland.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Cleveland.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you live in Cleveland.

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in Cleveland.

If you find 10 degrees "a little chilly", you live in Cleveland.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Look Back and a Look Ahead

Given that all the networks and cable channels are rolling out their countdown lists and ‘year in review’ shows, now seems like a good time to knock out my ‘year in review/year ahead’ post.

2010: The Year In Review

I started the year off with serious pain in my neck. I discovered I don’t like taking medicine that just masks the pain. I’d rather solve the problem. My search led me from my medical doctor to the physical therapist to my final solution – the chiropractor. Dr. Christian is awesome and without her I don’t think I could have made it to the beginning of any triathlon let alone the end.

I worked on swimming most during my training because I did not learn to swim until I was 40 and my greatest fear was not making the cutoff of the Rev3 half iron triathlon. I felt it would be the best investment of my time. I learned to breathe bilaterally and got rid of my goofy frog leg kick and replaced it with the more efficient flutter kick. The payoff: I made the cutoff time in every triathlon I did.

I learned how to use clipless pedals. However this did not come easily or without the spilling of blood. This was probably the hardest thing I had to learn because it seemed so unnatural at first. I realized the pedals that came with my bike were not well suited for me so I bought new ones – Look Keo pedals. After that – smooth sailing. (well mostly)

I learned that training steadily and harder will yield results. I shaved almost half an hour off my finish time of the Pirate Triathlon from 2009 to 2010. It thrilled me to no end.

I learned that I can set what seems like an impossible goal and by having just a few people believe in you I can achieve that goal. I’ve said it a million times – my athletic skills are less than average. But I never let a silly thing like that get in my way. I still improved the skills that I have by training diligently. I did what I set out to do: I finished the REV3 half iron distance triathlon. Not only that – I did not finish last. Wow. I could not believe that one.

I discovered a support network both locally and virtually. That network runs much deeper and wider than I could ever have imagined. Thank you to everyone who helped me.

2011: A Look Ahead

What do you do once you’ve achieved your goals? Make new ones of course. I’ve outlined a few goals for next year and I’m sharing them with you, as always, to help hold myself accountable.

1) Take swimming lessons and improve my form. I’m assuming that simple act will shave time off my swim.

2) Do more hill training on my bike. My training course was pretty flat but many races I did in 2010 had some challenging hills. Question: How does one get better climbing hills on a bike? Answer: Do more hill training. DUH – ya think?

3) Focus more on running. I did not do that in 2010. Mostly because if I didn’t make it past the swim – I would not be running. Now that my mind is in the right place about swimming (meaning I now know I can do it in the allotted time) I can spend more time improving my running. My husband’s analogy – it is like a golfer who spends all his time practicing driving and chipping and no time putting. It does not make for a well rounded athlete.

4) I’m sort of afraid to put this one out there – mostly because I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do this one again – but here goes: Improve my time at the Rev3 half iron triathlon. Whew.

So get ready for another year of triathlon hijinks. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Triathlon wish list to Santa

I’m now officially signed up for the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon in June. I’ve also signed up for the Cleveland Half Marathon in May. But other than that, I’m still at a loss as to what I will be doing next season. This wreaks havoc on my training – especially this time of year when all I’ve been doing lately is baking cookies.

One thing I do plan on doing is taking swimming lessons. I know I’ve been saying that since last year – but honestly I did try last year but it never worked out. Every time I set something up with someone, they cancelled on me. Bummer. I’m sure once my technique improves, I will be able to knock some time off my swim.

Now that I’m on vacation, I can spend a little extra time at the gym when I’m there to swim. I’m hoping to add two days a week of strength training. I’m sure that will help everything – all around. Good news is I just renewed my Bally’s membership for $99/year for 3 years. Awesome. I knew my mad negotiating skills would come in handy!

My triathlon wish list to Santa:

1. swimming lessons
2. Sportcount lap counter – since I can only count to 4 when I swim
3. A cheap rear tire for my bike so I can ride on the trainer and not ruin an expensive tire

That is about it. I pretty much have everything else I need or want.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Been Too Busy...

I know, I know – it is not an excuse but I have been slammed at work for the last 7 weeks or so. In my tiny little world of insurance, January 1st is the busiest day of the year, so I have to have all my surveys and reports done by then. I’ve been working like a mad woman to get it done. I’m glad to say I’ve made it. After today, I’m on vacation for the rest of the year. Woo Hoo!

Anyway, I have a few race reports to write. They will be short – I think. On Thanksgiving Day, my son Sam and I did the Turkey Trot in Erie, PA. This is my third one and his second. We mostly do it for the cool hoodies and the free caricature artist at the after party. It was tempting to not do it this year because it was freezing – about 31F – and pouring down rain. But we went anyway – to justify the pumpkin pie later. The rain slowed down a bit but it had rained so much the course had huge puddles the whole width of the road. Also the sides of the road were mud. At one point, I had to jump over two split rail fences to keep moving forward. After the race I felt I did more of a steeplechase than a road race. It was fun anyway and as expected, Sam crushed me. The boy has talent.

The next week I did a Reindeer Run. Again, it is more of a fun run 5K with people dressed as Buddy the elf, Santa, and even reindeers. It is right on Lake Erie and it is typically windy so close to the lake, but that day way spectacular. It was about 25F but sunny and no wind. I felt like I could run forever. I was dressed just right.

Last weekend I did another 5K fun run. However, I did not have as much luck with the weather. It was really, really cold and pouring down rain – again. It was about 25F out and starting to turn to snow and ice. Not exactly ideal running weather. However, it was for a great charity. Sam and I did this one too. Last year he won in his age group and he wanted to defend his title. As a warm up he ran the ½ mile kid run – in about 3 ½ min. He wasn’t even pushing it. However after that he started complaining of not feeling good. His brother was just diagnosed with Strep Throat and I was praying he wasn’t going to come down with it too. At the start of the race he said he felt up to running so off we went. Usually, he takes off and I don’t see him until I cross the finish line a good 10 min after him. But today he stuck with me. About a mile in he asked if we could walk. I said ok because I didn’t want to push it with him. We walked hard and were not last but unfortunately, he was unable to defend his title. Next year…

It has been snowing like crazy here in Cleveland the last couple weeks. I’m including a picture of a walk I took thru the woods lately. I walked about two miles in at least 2-3 ft. snow. It was a great workout. The picture is not of me, but I took it.