Concerts, Julifest, Twins and a Birthday

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wow! It has been a busy week!

Friday Night Lights
After work on Friday we went to the Twins game. They played the White Sox…they lost. It was such a horrible game we didn’t stay until the end because it was that bad. We even skipped out on fireworks!

This weekend was our church’s annual Julifest. My mom and Aunt Bev came up for the weekend. We met Greg, Celeste and Evelyn at the Polka Mass and after that we went down to the tent for food and music. It was a good evening as always. We stayed until after 8pm and then went on a little road trip around the Shakopee area. It was a nice evening.

Sunday we drove up to Columbia Heights to my cousins’ house for lunch and cards. It was good to see them again. It had been a year since we had last seen them. We played some cards and ate some really good spaghetti and had cake for Skip’s and Eric’s birthday.

I had a nice long run Monday after work. I have to get ready for my 10K this weekend. Yikes! I did 4.5 miles and my pace was under 13 so I was happy. Hopefully I can pull out another 2 miles for Saturday. The funny thing is mile 3 was my fastest mile!  Here are the splits:

Tuesday and tonight were concert nights. Yesterday’s was in Minnetonka and today’s was in Eden Prairie. We are done with band for the summer and to celebrate we had pie. Yum! I’m so happy to have a break!

Eric’s birthday was yesterday, poor guy, we always have a concert on his birthday! We stopped at Which Wich first for dinner and after the concert we went to Dairy Queen for ice cream with our friends Jenny and Nathan and their kids. He got tickets to a Vikings pre-season game and Doctor Who boxers. Hopefully Eric had a good day.

Before our concert tonight we stopped at Lion’s Tap for dinner with Greg, Celeste and Evelyn to celebrate Eric’s and Celeste’s birthday (August 1st).

That is about it from here! 

Torchlight 5K

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My July race wasn’t as hot as it could be and I am grateful!

The Start
There were a ton of people running it. The results say that there were 4,949 people. They started us in waves. It was over 20 minutes before we even started running. We just stood in the chute waiting and waiting and waiting. Eric was really getting annoyed! Finally our time came and we took off with the herd. My first mile was going great. We were averaging under 10:30 minute miles…then we stopped.

So apparently we have to stop for the light rail trains…very lame! So we ran almost a mile and had to stop…dead, cold stop…to let the trains pass…yes multiple trains. Very annoyed! I was doing so well, on pace to have my best mile split ever and we had to stop for the damn trains. That added at least 10 seconds to my time. I know that doesn’t seem much but it pissed me off.  The trains passed through and we were allowed to go again. So from a dead cold stop we had to get our legs moving again…for 2 blocks.

We ran 2 blocks and they stopped us AGAIN! WTF? We had to stop so traffic could go through. You have got to be kidding me. This really pissed me off because that was another 10-15 seconds if not longer tacked on to my time. I should have stopped my watch! So I was angry. Thankfully there was a water station soon after that because I was thirsty. I ran through the water station, trying to make up the almost 30 seconds I lost because of stopping.

The Finish
I really tried to push myself the last mile and half because I wanted to still try and beat my previous mark and I wanted a time in the 35s. I was so close the last half a mile I was running under 10 minute pace for a while but I came up short…my time was 36:13. DAMMIT!  Not only did I not beat my previous best time, I was 13 seconds away from getting a 35 time. I was so pissed when I crossed the finish line. Most people are happy but not me I was angry. The damn trains and buses denied my personal best.

Overall I’d rate this race as frustrating. I know I could have kicked my pace up in the middle to make up for the 30 seconds I lost but I just didn’t have that in me. Stopping twice after getting up to speed and trying to get back up to the faster pace is really hard.

No pictures of this race. It is probably a good thing because I would not have been smiling at the end. :( Here are my splits. My first mile would have been under 11 if I didn't have to stop for the trains and my second mile would have been under 11:30 if I didn't have to stop for the buses. My average pace was 11:27. 

A Wedding, Waterparks and Pirates Cove

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We spent the weekend in Wisconsin Dells for my sister’s wedding.  Of course you can’t do the Dells without a waterpark or two!

A New Car
Surprisingly we didn’t drive to Wisconsin Dells…Danielle and Bradley did. They leased a new car on Friday so we decided to break it in. It is a Honda Civic...very nice. We got to the Dells after 9pm so we didn’t get any waterpark action that night. We stopped in Nancy and Greg’s room to meet some of the family and that basically went to our room and crashed.

A Slow Run
I woke up early Saturday, excited for the day. I went for a run…it was very slow. I ran around the whole complex and racked up over 2 miles. On my way back to the room I ran into Danielle and Mike and joined them for a Walmart run. We helped Mike find a new shirt…a 2XL!  Amazing!

Waterpark - Round 1
After Walmart we started our day in the waterpark connected to our lodge. It has this super cool slide that makes you go almost upside down. We did a bunch of the slides and the lazy river…a very cool lazy river with two levels and conveyor belt and small slide to get you up and down the different levels. Mike even joined us!

The Wedding
We took quick showers and got ready for the main event. After a bit of a meltdown because my make turned my face gray…yes I said gray…we were on our way. We stopped for a quick bite at Arby’s before heading to the Dells Bells Chapel. A tiny chapel in downtown Wisconsin Dells (think Vegas!). The ceremony was very short, only 10 minutes. And we stopped for drinks down the block before heading back to the lodge for dinner. It went well. Here are some pics:

Waterpark - Round 2
We didn’t waste any time and headed to the waterpark for more outdoor and indoor fun. We did the outdoor slides at one of the waterparks on the compound. We also did some of the indoor ones. Eric and I went down one on a big slide and we “pancaked” which meant I hit his head with my head and this was the resulting bruise:

It hurt so bad I thought I’d get a concussion! We sat out a couple rounds and finally went into the wave pool. We were in there for a long time. I was clinging to a tube, the waves were pretty violent! My arms still hurt!

Pirates Cove - Round 1
After all the waterpark stuff, we went to Pirates Cove for some mini golf. Danielle killed us all. We must have had a bad night! We stopped at Mc Donald’s for snack before heading back the lodge.

Pirates Cove - Round 2
Sunday morning I slept in a bit and helped pack stuff up and take it down the cars. We had breakfast in Nancy’s room. Eric said no to waterparks and I had to agree. I was still in a lot of pain from the day before…I’m getting old! Danielle and Bradley went to the water parks. We dropped Mom, Mike and Bev at the Casino and went back to Pirate’s Cove. This time we did the harder course and it was fun. Eric barely beat me! We picked up the casino goers and did a little shopping at the outlet mall before heading home. We all stopped in Eau Claire for dinner first.

Overall, it was a good weekend…I still hurt!

All-Star Exhaustion

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Well I made it through all the All Star activities and I’m still exhausted. 

Fan Fest
Saturday after the triathlon we went home, showered and went to Fan Fest. My take on Fan Fest is it really wasn’t exciting for me. There were nice exhibits but all the activities cost money so you pay a lot to get in and then more to do the activities. Plus I refuse to pay for an autograph. I think that is silly. These people make/made a ton of money they don’t need more money just for their signatures. Lame!  We were there about 2 hours before we left.

All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game
Sunday was a busy day as well. Eric was assigned 4 soccer games and was gone all day. He got home and we went to All-Star Sunday. We caught the end of the Futures game and all of the Celebrity Softball Game. It was so much fun seeing the legends and stars playing. It was great. Probably the best part of the whole weekend.

Home Run Derby
Monday was The Gillette Home Run Derby. It was great seeing Justin Morneau and Brian Dozier. The worse part of the night was the hour rain delay, the 40-50 degree weather and 30+ mph wind. We froze. The rainbow was cool:
My two favorites were out after the first round so I lost interest in it. If it would have been warmer I probably would have enjoyed it.

85th MLB All-Star Game at Target Field
Tuesday was the actual All-Star Game. It was another long night and it was frustrating that the Twins players didn’t get in until the last inning.

Overall it was a good “once in a life time” experience.  

Elysian Rookie Triathlon

Monday, July 14, 2014

It was no “rookie” tri. The bike ride may have been but not the other two events! So we woke up early Saturday morning for the hour drive to Elysian, MN for the 31st Annual Elysian Rookie Triathlon. It was very humid and it looked like rain was going to strike but fortunately it stayed away until after the race was over. We got there early and set up the bikes for Bradley and me. And walked to packet pick up. Our shirts are pretty cool so that’s awesome! We got our number written on our arms which didn’t really make sense for DJ since she had a bib but whatever.

The Swim
The race started with a .4 mile swim. Eric was our swimmer, doesn’t he look awesome in that red cap?

He did really well, granted a lot of people were faster than him but the fact he did it in 17 minutes is amazing. He thought it would take him a half hour. LOL! I think we did a lot more than .4 miles when we went lake swimming the other day! He was covered in weeds when he got out of the water.

The Bike
I took the timing chip and hopped on my bike for the 8 mile ride. A very short ride for a triathlon, they are usually around 12-16 miles but I’m not complaining! It was a great ride for me. I started out fast with a group of three guys. I hung around them for the first 2 miles. We were averaging around 18 mph which for me is fast. We got into the serious hills and they took off and I was left on my own. I kept saying to myself that I can do this, I can do this and I did it. Apparently the mental stuff works! I passed a bunch of people, including some that were walking their bikes up the hills. The worse part of the ride was the nice long downhill…to a stop and turn around. UGH! That meant I had to go up that nice long downhill with no momentum. Somewhere near the end of the ride my sunglasses fell off. I was going about 30mph at the time down a hill, I wasn’t about to stop for some sunglasses. We didn’t go back to get them either. :(  I pulled into the exchange area with a time of 30 minutes. I was so happy with my ride!

The Run
We got the timing chip on DJ for her 4 mile…I mean 5 mile run. Yep, they said it was supposed to be 4 miles but it really was 5! That is crazy! She finished in almost an hour which was her goal for the 4 mile run so she did really good! 

The Finish
Our overall time was 1:49:32.  Here is our team shot. Bradley and his brothers did it also and won 3rd place for all male relay. Good for them!

Lake Swimming

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

So last night I did my first official “lake swim.” OMG it is so much HARDER than a pool. After 30 minutes of doing laps, I was exhausted, dizzy and just felt like crap. Lake swimming has lot of factors you have to deal with that you don’t have in the pool.

The Ick Factor
The first major thing to get over is the ick factor. Let’s face it, our lakes are gross. When my goggles actually worked (I was having malfunction issues) I couldn’t see anything except green water (and not the pretty green) and particles floating around me and the occasional plant and Eric’s feet if I got too close. It really took a lot to get over the lack of seeing anything thing.  And then having random things rub against your leg wasn’t cool either.

The Cold Factor
The lake was freezing at first. Yes, you eventually get used to the cold but that first dive in is torture. The pool is usually cold, but not this cold. The first 5 minutes of the swim I was shaking because it was so cold.

The “No Wall” Factor
In a pool, you benefit every 25 yards by kicking off the wall which thus propels you faster down to the other end. Over and over you kick the wall and you shoot off. In the lake there is no wall. You have to rely on you alone. You kick harder to keep going. It makes a huge difference.  This is probably the hardest factor to overcome except for maybe…

The Waves Factor
In a pool, rarely do you have to deal with “wave.” Every so often you have somebody that makes a big “wave” but for the most part it is smooth sailing along the water. The lake, even with the No Wake Restrictions, is very wave. You come up for air and bam you are hit in the face with a wave and you get a mouthful of water…the gross water…welcome back the ick factor. Not only that, you have to increase your stroke and push yourself through the waves. This is not an easy task. No wonder I was exhausted!

I’m sure I’m missing something.


Part of my problem with the swim could be that I haven’t been to the pool in almost 3 months so I was rusty which could explain some of the fatigue afterwards. But after the swim, I felt really dizzy and had a major headache. I don’t get headaches often so this was weird. I thought to myself the whole drive home, “How on earth am I going to get on a bike after that?” I know it was only my first try at legitimate lake swimming so maybe it will get better. This first time was tough. I came home, made a simple dinner and fell asleep on the couch at 8pm. It really took a lot out of me.

4th of July

Monday, July 7, 2014

It was a very busy weekend considering we don’t go anywhere far away.

Thursday we went for a bike ride up the hills to Mystic Lake Casino sign. I’m trying to prepare myself for the hills of my bike ride this Saturday at the tri…yikes! After a bike ride and pancakes for dinner we went to watch the Canterbury Park fireworks show. Man, people turn out for that show. Every street, parking lot and field was full of cars waiting for the action! It was a good show but not fantastic.

Happy 4th of July!
Friday I started the morning with a quick 2 mile run so I could get my Uncle Sam Badge on Nike+. Silly I know! 
After that we got an early start on our Twins game vs the Yankees. They were giving away a Lou Gehrig Bobble Head to honor the 75th Anniversary of his famous speech.  

The Twins lost of course. We left after the 7th inning stretch because I had my annual 4th of July concert at Round Lake Park in Eden Prairie. Like last year we stayed for fireworks. Way better than Canterbury Park’s fireworks. I don’t really like fireworks but these were amazing.

Soften Butter
So Saturday morning, after grocery shopping, I decided to make some cookies. I pulled the butter out of the fridge it was already soften…huh? Yep our fridge went out…great more money going out the door. So I filled a cooler with ice and put all the important food in the coolers with ice. I left the waters and pops in the fridge. I called the Home Service Plus people to set up an appointment for Sunday…an all day appointment. I guess that means my Sunday is shot!

I also discovered that our garbage disposal leaks so for now I have a bucket under the sink. It only leaks when I run it. Thankfully it doesn’t leak when I’m just running water. ARGH!

Very Hilly Ride
After the frustration of the fridge, I went for a bike ride. I have to train on hills! Now I should have been training for a while now but I don’t do that. I purposely went on all the hills I could find. I thought I was going to die on some of them. I even thought to myself at one point, what the F*** have I gotten myself into?? But going downhill made it all worthwhile. I got up to almost 32 mph on my bike and it was fun again!  My overall pace was 13 mph. I’m very happy with that. I’d like to get up to an average pace of 15-18 but I’ll take 13, especially with the hills I had to climbed.

Mini Golf
Around 3pm Eric shut the TV off and grabbed the keys and said lets go. It is very strange for him to shut the TV off so I was confused. We drove for a bit and eventually we went mini golfing. Yay! It was fun.  We got home and I showered and we went to 7pm Mass at Marystown…the tiny country church about 7 miles outside of Shakopee. It is a very cute church and the priest this week was old Father Stolzman. Our old priest! I love him. Best part is we were out in 50 minutes. I think we will go there again.

Wasted Day
The tech guy came around 10 and said we needed to defrost our freezer…they could have told that on the phone I thought. Great we get to waste the whole day at home while our freezer thaws. It also meant that we need more coolers and ice. So I went to Walmart and got some cheap Styrofoam coolers and some ice and packed all our frozen food for the long day out of the freezer. It was so frustrating. We were basically kept hostage at our house all day! I went for a run in the hottest part of the day just because I was so frustrated. It was hot man and it was a brutal 3.5 miles. But I did it…and got sunburned. :( But I was happy to see one of my day lilies bloomed.
My daylily finally bloomed. I have many more to go!
Finally the tech came by and after a quick look he said a part that manages the automatic defrost went bad and was stuck in defrost. Weird! He had to order it and we have to call back for the repair. Great!  But he managed to get our fridge working again so until the part comes we can at least use our fridge/freezer. We just have to defrost it again when they come. Whew! That was about 4pm.

Valleyfair and Frisbee Golf
After all that fiasco, we decided to go to the waterpark at Valleyfair and cool down. It was so nice to go swimming! They have really changed a lot at Valleyfair this winter. They moved the Tilt-A-Whirl and Scrambler, added two new rides and took out a couple and the biggest change is the iMax theater is gone!

We finished off the evening with a round of Frisbee Golf. It was very comfortable at 8pm last night so it was a fun way to finish off the weekend.

Quitting Cold Turkey and Other Related Goals

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1st, the first day of a new month and 6 months from the New Year. It seems like a good day to make new goals.

1) Quitting Cold Turkey
So first things first, I’m giving up my almost daily Caribou Coffee/Starbucks Hot Chocolates. I realized yesterday that I spend almost $70 a month ($840 a year!) on my habit and I could use that money for something else. I’m not going to completely stop; I will occasionally “treat” myself. But I’m limiting that to one or two a month. Hopefully I can stick to this. I will need to find a cheaper alternative though because the drinks have been my 2-3pm snack. I will find something healthier!

2) Run More
May and June were very lackluster running months for me. I only did 43 miles and 35 miles in those months. I need to bump that back up. I have no excuse in July because I’m not really going anywhere (except to WI Dells for my sister’s wedding). So I would like to get back to 50 miles. Thankfully my work is doing the 100 mile challenge with counting our steps so I want to get a lot of steps this month and what better way than running. I’m going to stop worrying that my pace is slow and concentrate on finishing each run strong. We will see about that!

3) Spend Less
This goes along with the first goal but this is broader. I want to eat out less, buy less running gear (which I’m addicted to now) and reign in my overall spending. I’ve been going a little overboard lately. It helps that we aren’t going on vacation this month (except for as noted above).

4) Get Over It!
I don’t know what my problem with biking is. I seriously have developed a fear of it. I’m afraid I can’t make it up the hill, I’m afraid I’ll get a flat tire, I’m afraid that I’m going to fall over again, etc... I need to conquer this fear if I’m going to move on with this Triathlon idea. I still haven’t signed up for my very own triathlon. So far it is just a relay with Eric and DJ. I’m doing the biking so I can get more comfortable in a race setting. I have the running down pat and swimming doesn’t scare me…maybe it should? The one event that scares me is the one I used to love…biking. I need to get the demons out of my head!

5) Lose Weight
The last few months have been stagnant. I did so good from Sept 2013-April 2014 and then May and June hit and I gained a few (or 5 pounds) and I lose a few (or 5 pounds). I want to actually lose again. I’m sick of yo-yoing around the same weight…oh so close to my goal. I hope it will be around 6 pounds but anything will make me happy. I think if I’m successful with all the above goals, it will help me reach this goal. Less eating out and less hot chocolates, more running and more biking, hopefully these are keys to my success.

So that is my goals for this month and really for the rest of the year. Hopefully I will succeed! 

June 2014 Recap

Runs: 12
Miles: 34.6
Races: 3 (Minneapolis Marathon Relay-cancelled; Lola’s 5K 36:04; & Insane Inflatable 5K - 47:01 (lots of obstacles))
Outdoors: All!
Indoors: None
Longest: 4 miles
Average Pace: 13:16

I’m not sure why my pace in April was so high! My pace for June was the same as May at 13:16 so I made no progress again! I’m so frustrated! June started out with the cancellation of the Minneapolis Marathon so I felt dejected from day one. Lola’s was a good race. It was raining and I still managed to get a PR with 36:04. I don’t foresee me getting faster than that, especially with my latest paces. One day I did a brick work out so I ran, biked than ran again. Also I did a 3 mile run in Seattle. I ran to the Space Needle and around the town before going back to the hotel. That was probably my most enjoyable run of the month. Insane Inflatable 5K was hard and with all the obstacles my pace was at 15:39 or something like that. I really hate those types of races. I like straight running. My longest run of 4 miles came on the last day of the month. 4 miles is not great but at least it is longer than 3! I am VERY disappointed with this month’s performance. I’m hoping the reason for this slowdown is the heat and humidity we have been experiencing lately.

Trophies for June