Monday, December 29, 2008

Get your nose running

I think I'm getting sick but the stupid cold or whatever it is seems to be taking it's sweet time getting here. On Friday I went for a run in the rain/wind/cold and really struggled to finish it. Only the new Garmin 305 on my wrist got me through 3.5 miles of running (I am a slave to data).

Then on Saturday I swam and went home with a headache and all over body pain. Sunday, I didn't get out of bed until noon, then I cooked a turkey dinner and went for a walk so I did regain some energy but my legs were still heavy. Monday I woke up with a dry throat and could barely get out of bed for work. I wish my body would make up it's mind: sick or not sick!?!

I'm going to do a short swim today and see if that gets this illness moving. I read that chicken soup is good for colds because it makes your nose run. Well swimming makes my nose run more than any any other activity so it's worth a try.

I missed my long run and a ride on the trainer this weekend so here are my abbreviate totals for last week's workouts:

Swim 2:25 (6500 yards)
Bike 0:30 (8 miles)
Run 1:04 (6.5 miles)
Walk 2:15 (9.6 miles)
Total: 6:19 (27.8 miles)

Wish me luck on getting sick or not!

Friday, December 26, 2008

My husband may never speak to me again

Happy holidays! This was the first year we have been able to spend some money for the holidays so my hubby isn't in the dog house. Bill bought me a Garmin Forerunner 305 so I can track my every move (SWEET!!!) and put all the data on spreadsheets. I had to go run in the rain today to test it out and it's everything I dreamed it would be. It tells you your heart rate, speed, distance and time. When I got home I was able to connect the watch to my computer and it showed the route I ran, average pace and speed, how many calories burned, and displayed it all on a cool map and chart. Very very excellent. Although it did confirm that I am in fact running quite slow right now.

Bill made another brilliant move and took Sunny to the shoe store so she could show him some boots I tried on last week. I am now the very proud owner of a pair of black leather high heeled boots (Dansko's for the shoe people out there) and I now have to plan my entire wardrobe around my new boots. Perhaps my entire life will have to be reconsidered. Could be interesting!

Bill received an iPod touch from Santa and he may never speak to me again. He spent most of the day with ear phones on listening to Pandora (internet radio) while cleaning the garage. If he stays out there for the rest of the winter I may start taking it personally.
We made breakfast with Heather, Jim, and Sunny on Christmas morning and then played cards and took a dog walk. In the evening we had dinner with our granola friends so we spent most of the day socializing and eating. I didn't enjoy putting on jeans today!!!

Public service message: do not go see the movie "Marley and Me" unless you are in the mood to cry. Seriously. I have never heard so many sniffles in a movie theater in my entire life. So depressing, not a good holiday movie.

Hope all is well with you and your family this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Mr. Flex Show

Bill ordered some new tires for the Jeep over the phone and when we picked them up yesterday I noticed they wrote his last name down as "Flex" (our last name if Fleck) and it totally cracked me up. Mr. Flex does like to put on a show when he takes his t-shirt off, the show occurs nightly, come on over and check it out! It's a like a compulsion, as the shirt comes off the flexing begins.

Besides laughing at (I mean with) my husband I've been busying rearranging holiday travel plans. We were supposed to drive to Spokane WA for the holidays but the roads are a nightmare from Portland all the way to eastern WA. It looks like we'll be staying home for the holidays and making the drive to Spokane in a few weeks when this winter weather clears.

We bought a turkey and a ham last night so I will be cooking a feast for Bill and the animals on Christmas day. I think a trail run or some mountain biking (on fire roads) is in order this weekend. Maybe hit the post-holiday sales. We'll make do and connect with family later. I think my mom will take it the hardest although my sister really likes her presents so I better not delay too long. My sister is 9 years younger than I am and three times as spoiled. I contribute to the spoiling of course. Mr. Flex counteracts the spoiling by giving her a hard time and doing things like giving her quarters. She takes the quarters by the way, with a smile.

Monday, December 22, 2008


On Sunday I had a hard time getting through a relatively easy swim workout, my neck and shoulders were sore from making cookies and wrapping presents and by the end of the swim I had a headache. I tried to ask Bill to go for a run with me after and he turned to me and said, "You are over doing it." So instead of running, I took a nap with the dog while it poured rain outside. Heaven!

So minus one run, here are my weekly totals from last week:

Times H:MM
Swim 2:30 (6,400 yards)
Bike 2:30 (35 miles)
Run 1:45 (10.5 miles)
Walk 1:50 (8.4 miles)
Total: 8:15 (57.5 miles)

Friday night I rode the bike trainer for 40 minutes and then ran 40 minutes, I think that was my first triathlon type workout in months. Kind of exciting. If you are wondering why, all of the sudden, I'm working out again, the reason is simple and complicated. I'm surprised and sad to still not be pregnant. After miscarrying a year ago I had hoped to be pregnant by now. I'm planning to go to a reproductive endocrinologist next year to see if they can find a reason and help us. It will be an expensive and emotional journey (insurance only covers half and we have to go to Portland to see these types of doctors) so I need to prepare myself for that.

Bill signed up for Ironman Cozumel for November 2009 and I would like to go with him and that means not giving birth around that time so we are taking a chemical and mental break from trying for the next several months. If I happen to get pregnant during that time, we will revise our plans and we will be greatly relieved and excited. I hope with all of my heart that it happens but I don't expect it to.

In the interim, I plan to train for some sprint triathlons in the early season (April and May) and attend triathlon camp in April. Bill will (hopefully) ramp up his training and we will sufficiently distract ourselves for a while. I have a deal with Bill that I will not let my weight get below 140 pounds since I tend to have problems with my cycle when I am at race weight (130 and less). So no dieting for me and no long training. I will also not do any super hard workouts that exhaust me and I plan to slowly build my training so I don't hurt myself.

Right now, I focus on the positive, good health and the ability to lead a nice lifestyle. There are things beyond my control and I'm living with it the best way I can.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Swim progress?

I swam a 500 last night and it wasn't horrible. I have a history of terrible 500s--I crack when I try to swim this distance. I'm not a great swimmer in the first place and I can't put in too many yards because I have a bulging disc, arthritis, and a little thoracic outlet problem (loss of strength into my right arm). I know, you're thinking, "Is that all that's wrong with her?" I have a curvature in my upper spine that causes problems.

Excuses aside, I mentally crack quite frequently in swimming. Here is a short history of my 500 times:

4/11/2002 0:10:06
7/9/2002 0:09:34
3/9/2003 0:08:52
3/1/2004 0:08:20
5/26/2004 0:08:10
9/21/2005 0:08:00
7/30/2008 0:08:08
12/18/2008 0:07:50

There are no times for 2006 - 2007 because I traumatized my neck skiing so I took it easy for a while and didn't bother swimming 500 for time. My time last night was an improvement, obviously, but I have a sense that I can go faster. In swim practice I swim 100s in 1:30 repeatedly (not on the 1:30 but total time 1:30) and it feels like that is 70-80% effort. I don't understand why I can't repeat that pace for a 500 and swim 7:30. Bill watched my last 50 last night and said my turnover slowed quite a bit.

My plan is to work on going hard on the last 25 of 100s and 200s and see what I can do in January. I smell a 7:30 and it smells good. Real good. Or maybe that's cookies again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We're pretty tough around here but...

If some stupid person (me) puts a decorative pillow right in the spot where you like to nap, just scooch your butt under the pillow and pass out. Stupid throw pillows!

If the neighbors put up elaborate holiday lighting displays just drop some dough at Costco and get the hubby to install fancy solar powered snow men whilst wearing his PJs.

If it's dark outside and there is still ice and snow on the sidewalks... your husband is out of town and it's pouring rain and windy and the dog is DEMANDING to be walked, just put on your biggest coat and boots and start walking. Freaking athletic dog.

If the office ladies are bringing in holiday cookies everyday and you are afraid your rear end is going to turn into the shape of your desk chair then start baking for yourself! Resistance is futile! Hot cocoa spiked with Bailey's Irish Cream is also very helpful.

If it starts snowing like a snow explosion right before the lunch hour at work then stay where you are and go swimming later! Or not! I'm tough but I don't live in Alaska for a reason.

I had a tough week this week, Bill was out of town and we had bad weather. I kept it all together for the most part until the dog insisted on being walked in the middle of a winter storm last night. Our regular walk took 35 minutes (10 minutes longer) due to ice on the sidewalk and by the time I got home my quads were ice cubes. I had to go run on the treadmill so I drove the 3 blocks to our community gym. There was an older gentleman in there walking on a treadmill and he had the TV on the Golf channel. What luck for me! Running on a treadmill and GOLF! I managed 35 minutes and I don't know if I'll ever recover.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chili stains on my swim suit

GROSSER THAN GROSS! I was in a hurry this morning and grabbed some left over chili for lunch, threw it in my bag with my swimming suit and headed out for work. By the time I got to work a spicy smell was coming from my bag and my purple suit had brown spots all over it. I swear that's why there are spots on it! Anybody want a used swimming suit with brown stains all over it? Yeah, me either.

Our weather situation is complete junk. It rained on Sunday, then started snowing over night. We woke up to snow covering a sheet of ice which was sketchy for driving and walking. Today the sun has come out and so some of the snow and ice has melted except in the areas that the sun hasn't reached and it's a block of ice every where else. Tomorrow it's supposed to snow and/or rain and the same thing on Thursday. I don't think the ice is going away anytime soon which puts a major damper on outdoor running.

Sounds like a great time to get on the bike trainer... ugh.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Different Type of Ball

I was supposed to go out on Saturday night to the "Non-President's Ball" (long story but basically you wear goofy old formal wear to the local crap bar) but instead I stayed home and Sunny and I made chocolate peanut butter balls. I spent all day Saturday crafting with the ladies and I was too tired to hit the dance floor. I'm old and I know it!

I totally fell off the bike trainer wagon last week and we now have a good amount of snow on the ground so I better get on it this week. Last week's totals:

Times H:MM
Swim 2:15 (5,300 yards)
Bike 0:35 (9.0 miles)
Run 1:95 (9.7 miles)
Walk 2:05 (10.0 miles)
Total: 6:00 (31.7 miles)

Worse than last week, not a good trend. If I keep making holiday cookies then it's really going to get ugly. Tonight I have a date with the bike trainer. No excuses.

I'll try to blog more this week since I'll be hovering under blankets with the animals. Our forecast for this week is highs in the 30s and snow. BRRRRRRR.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Take your beans and your popcorn and leave me alone people

One of my friends from project management class was visiting Corvallis these past few days so I was busy dragging her around town and taking her on dog walks. She didn't look scarred from the experience so I think it worked out A-OK. I was sharing with her that I am turning into my mother at work and that it was starting to bother me. When I would visit my mom at her office, there would always be a line at her door, people waiting to talk to her because it made them feel better. I think this is a great asset to any office, people need to be listened to, but that person should not be me. I have tried to take the role as the eccentric computer person that no one really understands, it doesn't seem to be working.

Lately people have been coming into my office, spilling their beans, and then walking away with a smile. G D it. I am not my mother people!

My friend said she couldn't believe that--in class I was assertive and even told off a person in our group that tried to walk all over her. One of our tasks was to build the highest structure we could with tinker toys, we had 2 minutes to plan via discussion, without touching the toys, and then one minute to assemble the structure without talking. She volunteered to be the leader because she had an idea in mind. Within 15 seconds this older gentlemen started talking over her and tried to take over.

This made me angry. Why would you vote for a leader and then instantly try to take over? So I told him to listen to her and let her lead. We didn't win that round but we won the next round when everyone listened to her without interrupting.

I think this is the reason people tell me their problems, they think I'll yell at the old guy to shut the heck up and let them do their job. This is not true, unless you consider my husband the old guy. He's older than me so that works. But I'm not going to the boss and I am about to start closing my door so people will quit confessing to me. Besides, somebody keeps burning popcorn in the kitchen and it stinks beyond belief. I'll put a sign on my door "Popcorn Smell Free Zone" and maybe people will get the hint. Or I'll come in and a nice bag of burned popcorn will be hiding in my desk.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh Fudge

The ladies in the office have started to bring in their holiday baking results. I started working out more last week to help combat the holiday bulge. I guess fudge is my new recovery nutrition since I seem to be eating it after swimming and running.

Slowtwitch came out with a free online training log so I started entering my workouts into the web site for motivation last week. Bill made fun of me for entering in "walking" but I walk almost every evening for 20-30 minutes and it's exercise so it's going on my workout log. Plus, he whines about how fast and how far we walk so it counts. Sunny whines when she goes too and it amuses me greatly that these two athletic types can't handle an evening walk with me without whimpering. I think walking after eating dinner aids in digestion and prepares the body for dessert. :)

Times below are h:mm
bike 1:55 (30 mi)
swim 2:10 (5,700 yards)
run 1:35 (9.3 mi)
walk 2:25 (10 mi)
Total 8:5 (52.5 mi)

My goal right now is to keep up swimming without injuring myself and to start back with running, without injuring myself. Biking will have to be a goal for a later and warmer time.

It's supposed to snow here on Sunday and snow intermittently throughout next week so let me be the first to say "BRRRRRRRR!" The bike trainer rides will *suck* and I've given up on the test saddle I had from (Adamo) so I'm looking forward to a numb brain and other numbness which shall not be named.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Weekend update

The swim meet on Friday was fun, but I did not get to swim much, only the relays and 50 free (a 2 second PR for me 33 seconds). There were so many people there that most of us only got to swim one event. We have part 2 of the swim meet this Friday, hopefully I'll get to swim more but I hope it isn't the 100 fly. Friday night Bill and I attended the holiday work party at the local country club for my job. Bill made a scene during the white elephant gift exchange, pretending to run out of the room when he unwrapped a porcelain baking dish. After the party, Bill hosted his buddies at our house for poker. I stayed upstairs and put in ear plugs which only muted the loud shouts when someone had a good hand. Bill didn't make it to bed until 3am.

Before I went to bed I put some cookies on a plate for the guys and Bill said, "Don't put those out yet, we'll eat pretzels first."

So I told the guys, "There are cookies on the stove, please help yourselves to them."

One of the guys spent way too long at happy hour earlier that evening and said, in a childlike voice... "Why would you make us cookies and not give them to us?" I almost teared up over the sadness in his eyes, it was terrible. This same guy was over on Sunday night and I made cocoa which he wouldn't stop raving about, I think he needs a girlfriend, the poor guy has been single too long.

ANYWAY! On Saturday I took photos of my hottie friend Amanda sporting tribabe apparel. She was an awesome model and I tried to take her for a beer after the photo shoot but I had no money so she had to buy. I will be taking her out very soon before she realizes what a pain the butt I am! I will be updating with new products and photos of A today!

On Sunday, we had our friend Samara over to decorate the Christmas tree and then friends joined us later for dinner. Bill put up a smaller tree for our younger friend Zoey to decorate, so we are doing well on decorating now. It was a really nice evening and our tree looks great. I wish the weekend would have been longer but I'm happy the holidays are here! Now for the million things to do during the holiday season...!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Farrah hairrah

Maggs commented that she wanted to see Farrah hair so here is my Farrah hairdo this morning. Obviously I need a hair cut and more sleep (hello bags under the eyes). I woke up very shortly after this photos because it was 35 degrees this morning for the bike commute. Brrrrrr! My quads were pink and half frozen by the time I got to work but hey, I had Farrah Hairrah so who cares!

I'm hoping to take some more photos this weekend of new products for Right now the only photos we have are of me and they are OK but I know I'm not a model. It's slightly horrifying to see photos of myself and it would be nice to not be horrified when I go to my web store. Bill is next for the photoshoot and then my hottie friend Amanda on Saturday. I will post photos as we take them, I might have to do a few more of myself with Farrah hair, just so I can remember that one week I had hair like Farrah.

Tomorrow is part one of a two part swim meet. I will try to talk my team into letting me do 50 free and 100 IM (reverse order). We have to participate in the team medley relay relay (25 yards ea. swimmer) and team free relay (50 yards each swimmer). On Wednesday I swam a 1:13 for 100 free so I *might* be making progress in swimming, I think that's my fastest time ever. I dove off the blocks and Bill swam off the wall and I was leading him at the first 25. Too bad there was 75 more to swim and I completely died on the last 25. Oops! The filter on the pool was broken Wednesday so I really hope it's fixed and we get to swim. I'll report back after the meet. Bill will be swimming against some girls who were former OSU swimmers, who do you think I'll be rooting for?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Eccentric bike lady

I wanted to bike commute to work this morning but Bill locked our commuter bikes together while we were out of town and he couldn't find the key. He got my mountain bike down and off I went but I didn't have a lock so I drug the bike into my office and tried to hide it. Of course, office mates noticed, just like they noticed when I brought it my triathlon bike (no way I'm locking that outside) and commuter bike when I forgot my lock.

I'm pretty sure that raised eyebrow look I get is reflecting their thoughts that I am a frivolous, exercise obsessed, money wasting goof ball that needs to get busy having babies and quit worrying about exercise. I can't say I disagree, I'm trying! It makes no sense to try to explain these things to people though, that I ride mostly entry level bikes, that I need different bikes for different sports, that I love bike commuting because I freaking hate driving. I will just be the eccentric bike lady in the office. Things could be worse.

Something potentially, worse: I started curling my hair ala Farrah Fawcett lately (still wearing undergarments however) for something different to do with my hair. It's kind of fun, I'll give it this week and then it will be back to pony tails. Having big hair does make me want to wear high heels for some reason but THAT will not happen. Too clutzy. I would like a drunk FF wannabe. Which is better/worse: bike lady or drunk Farrah. Oh the choices to be made in the off season!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Arizona to Oregon

Our drive home from Phoenix was nice but in the back of my mind I wanted to get home and get back into the swing of things. We left Phoenix Friday around 10 am and drove north to Sedona AZ. The red rocks were stunning but I was disappointed to see this area developed, it should be a national park and home owners and businesses should be on the peripheral, not in the middle of the scenic beauty. My opinion on the matter, but it does make me even more grateful for the strict land use laws in Oregon.

Next we drove west to Las Vegas and stayed with a friend. We were too tired to hit the casinos this time but Bill keeps talking about racing Silverman triathlon in this area so I think we'll be back.

Saturday we drove north to Reno, people complain about this drive but I think it could be much worse. We almost ran out of gas on the way, we weren't able to predict the gas mileage in the Prius and one of the towns we counted on for gas was completed shut down. We asked the local sheriff why the gas station was closed and he said something about the owners being Jewish and then he offered to follow us to the next town in case we ran out of gas. It was very Tommy Lee Jones in No Country for Old Men. We made it without being tracked down like dogs by drug dealers. We got to Reno in time to hit the Sierra Trading Post Outlet 30% off sale (hello new running shoes!) and then to watch the Beavers get trounced by the Ducks in football. Bitterly disappointing! We stayed at the Motel 6 in Reno (dogs are free there) and woke up early to drive the final 10 hours home. Long weekend!

I love coming home as much as I love traveling so I think I'm doing something right with my life. More photos from our trip in my smugmug gallery.