Sunday, April 30, 2006

Daily carnage

The plan: get up early, get coffee, make breakfast, meet Melissa for a trail run, then do yard work, go for a bike ride and enjoy the day.

The reality: woke up early but felt too sore to run/ride, went to get coffee but the place wasn't open yet, drove home and hit a squirrel, met Melissa but lose her keys somewhere on the trail, found her keys then decided to go buy stuff to plant in the yard. Took the entire afternoon to shop and got home at dusk and planted flowers.

Despite the derailments, it was a good day really. The yard is looking nice, we might just get married right here in our backyard.

We're trying to decide how to spend the next few weekends. Bill is doing a race called Pole Peddle Paddle (down hill ski, xski, bike, run, kayak, run) and he needs to travel over to Bend to train on the course for it but I also have invites to sell at a few local triathlons. We might be camping out in the new tent to save on hotels or something because we're going to be all over the place in May. Camping in May BrrrrrrrRRRRR!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I'm the dead weight here

Our day started at Sophie's Run 5k, a fundraiser for a local girl who has Williams Syndrome. Last year, Bill won and I spectated and sold hats and bags. This year I did the race and tried to sell hats and bags (I only sold one!) so I was a bit let down. I crossed the finish line as the 3rd place woman, about 15 seconds back from first with a time of 22:26. I would have won without too many problems HAD I TRAINED PROPERLY.

Of course Bill won again AND he won a four person tent in the raffle. So I guess Marshall will be sleeping in the tent with us in comfort this summer (HA HA B!) I've always wanted us to both win at a race. Sadly, it's always me that doesn't come through. WAH! The one race I've won overall, Bill didn't realize I won and I think he wanted to leave early before the awards. Is this pathetic or what?

I rounded out my day at by shopping at the local bike shop and got myself a new pink helmet. Then I hit rock bottom at a women's clothing store and went home with a few additions to my summer wardrobe. For cripes sake, it was just a 5k. At least I didn't splurge on those Keen sandles (yet). They do have them in pink now.

Friday, April 28, 2006

There ain't nobody here but us chickens

Tomorrow we're doing a 5k in the morning, oddly, I'm afraid of the 5k. I don't think I'll break 20 minutes since I'm not in PR shape and the course is hilly but every 5k I've done I always get stomach cramps. I hate red lining. I would rather hold a strong pace for twice as long than get all red faced with arms pumping. I guess I'll do whatever I do and that will be the end of it.

I'm taking some hats/towels/bags to sell at the event so it will be slightly crazy with both Bill and I doing the race. I wish we could bring Bubba but he would probably make a scene so we'll have to keep him home. Last year Bill won the 5k but he hasn't done any speedwork in months so it will be fun to watch him this year. Going to be painful for both of us.

Yesterday I ran a 7 minute mile in the middle of a 4 mile run but that isn't going to get me under 20 minutes. I'm scared of 5ks. Also planning yard work, biking, and trail running this weekend so I should be shot by Sunday. It's 80 degrees today, I have on green capri pants with a fancy sash so let's forget about 5ks for now. I need to go find something chocolate flavored to eat!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

That's disturbing

Bubba gets fixed next week. Poor Bubba. He likes it when I lay down, he considers it his responsiblity to cuddle me. He's a genius. I had a dream that I had a one month old baby that was very big and said "kitty cat" but I think the baby was really the dog.

I'm having a hard time focusing on one thing for more than a few minutes. I went to the bookstore earlier this week to look at wedding books and magazines, had a good laugh, and left without any wedding literature. I looked online for wedding checklists and the first link had a list that was 88 pages long. I'm not kidding. We might have to play the "Oregon hippie" card and do this thing barefoot and dirty.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Warming a kiwi's buns

Photo of a Polartec 200 wt fleece skirt I made to keep Chantel's buns warm. She's a New Zealander and winter is just getting started there. Can't wait to get a pic of her in this cute skirt from so many miles away.

LOCAL NEWS: I heard from my killer mountain bike friend yesterday, she's putting on a mountain bike clinic for women June 17-18. Here is a flyer if you are interested, I am one of the sponsors and will be providing free gear to all of the participants. Hopefully I will be able to attend at least part of the clinic but there is an Xterra race in Oregon that weekend and we might be at that event.

My summer is turning into a circus and I just started wearing capri pants. (iiiyiiiiyiiiii)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blissssssssssssssssss

There are two season in Oregon: winter and summer. Apparently summer is here because the forecast shows a little sun symbol for the next 10 days and highs hitting 80 by Friday. Apparently we'll have to adjust.

There is a 5k fun run a few blocks from our house (and right along this here river) on Saturday. I was hoping to PR for the distance (go under 20:00) but I have been totally flaking out on consistent training so who knows what I'll do. I race 5ks faster during a triathlon than I do a stand alone 5k. That's just not right.

I don't think the engagement is going to help my problem with consistency. I'm already thinking of dropping one the of 1/2 IMs I had penciled in. Summer in Oregon is absolute bliss so I'll need to find some balance handling everything before the rain comes back!

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Fine Romance

Bill and I took a day trip to the Oregon Coast as part of his birthday weekend and planned to take Marshall for his first trip to the beach. First we hit the trails for one of the best views on the coast and found the spot where our friends Cindy and Lonnie were married. The sun was out (finally) and we were enjoying one of the warmest days of the year.

A view from atop Cape Perpetua

It's warm and I'm white (and I'm starting to get swimmer's shoulders!) Even though we are only 45 minutes from the coast, we don't make it over very often. Kind of a shame considering the views and good food. We stopped at a little restaurant on the way over and picked up a bowl of clam chowder and garlic bread. Bill was driving so I started eating (we're always in a hurry) and it was so good I just kept eating until it was almost gone. Oops! Poor Birthday Boy!

The parking lot was getting full and low tide was near so we went down to the tide pools to see what treasures we could find. The rocks were covered with clams and several star fish were peaking out and we were suprised to be the only people down by the beach.

Bill called me over to see something in the tide pools and I was suprised to see a jewelry box with a sparkling engagement ring nestled amongst the rocks. Bill got down on his knees and asked me to marry him to which I replied, "Are you sure!?!" (We'd only been living together for two years and he might need some more time to think about it!)

I said yes as quickly as possible and tried to run before he took the ring back. OK, what really happened is I said yes and the rest of the details are between us.

The rest of the day was spent with the dog at the beach which was a blast for everyone. Marshall took the beach without hesitation, once he saw the wide open spaces, he started running. I think we could take him there every day and he wouldn't complain at bit. Bill and I stopped off at a nice restaurant (yes we ate at a place with linen napkins!) at Depoe Bay and enjoyed the afternoon sun on the ocean.

We're talking about a small cermony in September, possibly at our home in our favorite place, beautiful Oregon. A fine romance, a good life, a happy marriage. It's too much to ask for.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Damn people

The forecast for this weekend in the Willamette Valley says sunny and 70s. Great for our trip to the beach tomorrow but bad for me to sell hats at the Albany triathlon on Sunday. People won't buy hats on sunny days. DAMN PEOPLE! I need to come up with some funny sales pitch. Not my strength but I have to do it because I built up inventory for the event so if I don't sell it, I'll sit on the inventory until next winter.

Anybody want to buy a "Poser" Polartec Powerdry hat? How about "Tri Like a Chick"? They are lightweight and wicking!

We are taking Marshall (aka Bubba aka Monkey aka The Cuddler) to the coast tomorrow for his first trip to the beach. It's Bill's birthday weekend so I'll be working on ways to spoil him and he'll do his best to stop me. Hopefully, we'll make it to a nice restaurant somewhere along the coast. I've been joking with him that we've never had a date at a nice place to eat. We've been inseperable for close to three years so that's a pretty funny joke. Ha ha ha Erika. HA HA HA!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Mud, switchbacks and pink oh my!

Bill and I hit McForest after work yesterday and rode about 20 miles on logging roads and single track trails. This pic was near the top of Dimple Hill and I am proud to say that I did nut up for the ride and managed all of the switchbacks (slowly) and most of the muddy sections. Apparently, I have mental problems because today's ride was much better than last week.

Today, I am appreciating life. I have a sweet bike, a pink jersey, and the good sense to know that I belong in the woods. My partner enjoys the same things and even though he easily kicks my butt, he still tells me I'm good at sports.

My legs are sore but I feel GOOD! It is spring, flowers are blooming, the days are getting longer and I have more days of trails ahead of me. And I didn't fall on the ride so the suspense for the first fall of the year will continue.

Late last night, Bubba and I had a photo shoot (click on his pic, he is CUTE) and I need to figure out how to market these beach towels. Ideas? Help? Anybody?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

PREPPY!

I made a new handbag and it reminds me of the preppy's in high school back in the 80s. Nothing like a little pink and yellow on a sunny day in April to make a girl feel just right.

Tonight I'm wearing a pink jersey for our mountain bike ride, that should help with my attitude. There's nothing better than being a chick in pink hauling ass on a bike.

I have vowed not to bail on technical sections, I imagine I will end up on the ground a few times. The truth is that mountain biking freaks me out so I have a lot to overcome just to get through a workout.

I ran into a friend who is training for a 24 hour mtb race, she wants to ride with me. HA HA! Let's see how long I can avoid her. I have to nut up and ride with her so I can find out about the sweet trails but I'll try to get some skills first. "Try" to get skills.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

You Made a Monkey Out of Me

Yesterday I discovered the best song ever written: You Made A Monkey Out Of Me. BRILLIANT! I've geeked out my blog and added my growing favorite song list from the Pandora site. Scroll down and see right column. I love this web site!

Hitting the trails with the monkey dog and knuckle dragging boyfriend after work today so get ready for some sweet puppy pictures tomorrow! He's growing like a weed but he's still The Cuddler. I love that damn dog. LOVE HIM!

Took the day off from exercise yesterday and worked on projects for web site. Getting beach towel samples ready and making some new (and super cute) handbags for spring. Love love LOVE!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Beans and 4 hours of meetings

I made baked beans (with onions) yesterday for Easter dinner and today I have four hours worth of meetings. Should be an exciting afternoon.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Well you're a psycho

I spent Easter morning with a biologist. And he called me a psycho. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Saturday the weather was crap: wind, rain, and cold. We stayed in all morning and watched three movies in a row before I demanded we go to the pool for a quick swim workout before heading over to a friend's for a party. Bill was reluctant until he got there and decided to swim 1.2 miles for time (just to see where he's at). Meanwhile I'm feeling the burn trying to swim a 500.

Sunday morning we awoke to dry skies so we hustled out the door for a bike ride. We met up with Lavs, our friendly biologist, for some nature worship. Bill and Lavs make a great draft zone. I requested a hilly ride so we went 20 miles out (up and over) and back (up and over). There was a strong headwind on the way out and at the turnaround I was slightly delirious.

I told Lavs I was getting in shape and would be ready to kick his ass in about a month. He said, "In what sport?" and I said, "Pick one" to which he responded, "Bring it on." Yeah! Then I said something about the guys being able to descend so fast because they weighed like 50 pounds more than me. Apparently I talked too much crap because they dropped me like a bad habit on the way back and I got to enjoy the tail wind by myself.

That's fine, boys don't like to stop to take pictures of daffodils on the hillside. I am happy to report that I have officially started triathlon training this week but know that I will only get as far as the bulging disc will let me. We are looking at several local triathlons starting next month and I would like to end the season with two 1/2 Ironmans in August and Sept. We'll see what we see.

Before I pat myself on the back too much: I have been slacking on core training the past few weeks and I didn't cut back on Coke, lattes OR beer and I haven't lost any weight for the upcoming 5k I hope to PR at. Check out my slowtwitch.com jersey. I sent Dan Empfield some hats before Xmas last year and he loved them so much he gave me a cool jersey when I was there last month. I love new jerseys, it makes me want to ride more.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Kitty's been nipping

Rain in the valley, snow in the hills. Nothing new going on this weekend. We might get up into the mountains for some end of the season (I hope) x skiing. I wish it wasn't raining so we could ride or work in the yard so I guess we'll have to distract ourselves some other way.

Ms Kitty looks like she had too many beers in this picture. She has many moods and many names. Her original name was Granna then she became Bree, then Baby Shah, then Sha-she and mostly recently Sashimi. She purrs, that's all that matters. And she lays. She is an expert napper and has retired from most of her kitty duties although she is still proficient at finding sunny spots and strategically placing her rear end for you to see. I love her.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chickenhead!

Well I got the first MTB session of the year done and basically I chickened out during the entire ride and bailed on every technical section. So I didn't fall. We're going to start fitting rides in during the week and it's going to take me a while to get any kind of skills. I am reminded of how much of a mental challenge it is to get up and then down back down the hills and basically I got scared.

I thought to myself, "You're just a prissy chick with a misguided adventurous streak. " I have no skills but that has never stopped me before. Looking forward to the next ride, I'm thinking a whole lot of single track is the perfect anecdote to a long (boring) road ride. I can only suck for so long, eventually I will have to get better.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I'll have a side of beef please

Blood test results came back that I'm anmemic again. Ongoing problem for me and I hate to take vitamins and supplements so it's time to get some BEEF and animal products containing blood back in my diet. I'm kind of cuckoo about supplements because I think nature does the best job of balancing nutrients and I'd just like to eat right and not pop pills.

My boyfriend is a beefy type (muscular) and doesn't eat a lot of protein so we have a tug of war when it comes to dinner. I have to insist he put chicken in salad so I can get protein, and he's eating veggies over there like they're a four course meal. It's interesting. He has a degenerative kidney diesease and has had kidney stones before so I shouldn't make fun of him but it can look funny on the surface.

It's great when we go to resturants and I order steak and he orders salad or pasta and they try to give the chick food to me. I'm like "Give the skinny chick the beef please!"

Today we have clear skies so we are doing a nice trail run after work and tomorrow... we bust out the mountain bikes for a long ride after work. Get ready for carnage! I'll be nervous all day tomorrow until the first fall of the season. I need to toughen up anyway. (I'm scared).

I sucked at swim class on Monday so I'm drinking extra coffee now to facilitate a decent swim today. I should go find some beef first. Here cow! Moo moooooo!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Beaver Freezer triathlon

The weather for the Freezer was just about perfect, it was cold and windy so I sold lots of hats to people and the racers got to have a genuine Beaver Freezer experience. I managed to slip away from sales long enough to see the last race heat and watch Ol Griz come back for another age group win. He was battling it out with a gal from my swim class, he loves to beat young women but the women keep beating him which I think makes him even happier.

A lot of people were commenting on how strong Griz looked, he was hit by a car in 2002 during Ironman Florida and was almost killed. His comeback has been impressive and I have to say his bike split was only a few minutes slower than the race leaders. Not bad for an old Grizzly guy.

Another impressive story came from our friend Jess (M50-54) who raced along side his son and daughter who are both college aged kids. Jess edged out his son last year at a sprint race (and went on to win overall) and to see his daughter win her division and talk about "getting hooked" on triathlon really thrilled him.

It was a good race and a great day and I was happy to not be racing in the cold and windy conditions!

Friday, April 07, 2006

WHO FARTLEK'D?

I made some new hats to sell at the Beaver Freezer tomorrow, I should wear the WHO FARTLEK'D hat around all day. Tomorrow will not be easy, we are volunteering to handle registration although I might be able to get away to sell hats and race belts if I need to. But I still have to get up freaking early.

I kicked ass last night and made a bunch of stuff to sell tomorrow but I BOMBED today and drank 1/2 a Coke before swim class and felt like crap the whole time. Wish I would have taken it easier yesterday and not had that Coke. DUH. Swam a 50 for time at 00:35:12 which is a PR for me but I got dropped by the rest of the class, most notably the old guys. I love the old guys, especially the ones in drooping Speedos. LOVE THEM! I was catching them on long sets (and swimming 100s/1:30) about four months ago before I strained my neck and had to take a bunch of time off. Now I suck air trying to do 100s/1:45.

I've got two months before the term ends so I better get in shape fast. Maybe the old guys Speedos will be droopier by then and they'll be dragging more around. I can only hope.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

SOLID

Whoa ho hooooo! I gained two pounds. Must have been the $6 burger. Guess it's time to cut back on the caloric drinks: lattes, beer, and coke or my Daily Enjoyments. I would like to PR at a 5k in three weeks so I best be losing and not gaining.

Chub-Chub (that's me!) decided to do a slow 4 mile run at lunch today but without a heart rate monitor ended up averaging 8:20 miles. Oops again, I meant to go slower than that. I can't stop screwing up. Need supervision. Need a Coke. Neeeeed aaaaa Cooooookkkkkke!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Triathletes spotted eating Six Dollar burgers at Carl's Jr.

The weather was gorgeous in Corvallis yesterday so I brought my tri bike to work and got in a quick 12 miles on my lunch break. I rode the Beaver Freezer bike course and made it back with 10 minutes to spare to eat lunch. After work I ran home (3 miles) at a decent pace (22 minutes) then showered, threw on shorts (go white girl) and got out the door to help with packet stuffing for this weekend's triathlon. By the time we got home all I had energy to do was sit on the couch with the dog and read back issues of Triathlete magazine. What a tri geek. The only bad thing I did yesterday was talk Bill into eating a Six Dollar burger at Carl's Jr. Wicked good!

When the clouds start to break and the sun comes out in Oregon there isn't a place I would rather be than right here at home. Right now the trees are blooming, flowers are poking up out of the ground and in a couple of months the sun will warm us to the perfect mid 80s every day for about 3 months. We'll have to make tough choices: go to the beach (45 minutes away) or up into the mountains (1 hour) or stay home, hit the Farmer's Market and drink beer out on the deck of our new house while Bubba Love frolics in the yard with Ms Kitty. Mmmm Mirror Pond Pale Ale take me away. Tri-ath-a-what?

I need to set some goals before I turn to Oregon summer goo. Time to look at the race calendar and pencil some races in...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Busy Beaver

I came home from Tri Camp to a clean house, a dozen roses, and a nice dinner. Oh wait, that's my fantasy life! What really happened is Bill picked me up from the airport and said, "What's for dinner?" and I gave him my best "oh no you didn't" look before letting him know what I thought of his romantic welcome home greeting. So the next day when I came home from work there were roses and lasagna waiting for me. I guess he will die another day.

April is off to a good start, we stayed home last weekend (instead of going to coast or skiing) and I got a lot of hats and bags made. I also worked on a design for beach towels so I think I will be able to sell some new products this Saturday at the Beaver Freezer triathlon. There are over 360 people signed up and I hope it's COLD so people want lots of hats. YEAH! That's what they get for signing up for the Beaver Freezer.

Marshall (aka Bubba Love aka Monkey) went on a long trail run/walk (6.7 miles) with us on Sunday and he put the hurt on me big time. My easy run pace is a walk to him, this dog is going to be a master trail runner by the end of the year. We keep walking him down by the river hoping he'll jump in but it hasn't happened yet. I can't wait to spend the summer with Bubba Love, he's going to be a blast!

Loving a new music web site: Pandora