Quick Baby Update

>> Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last weekend, Pharmie and I set up the baby room! It was two years ago that we did some major work on that room. Here are 2 pairs of "before and after" photos from that project:


Before: nasty shelves and beat-up floor.


After: shelves down, holes patched, sexy refinished floor.


Before: fixture on wall was broken (but had power).


After: new fixture.

Well, 2 months ago (or so), we started fixing up the OTHER guest room. We wanted to get that out of the way for 2 reasons. Reason #1: It'll be harder to do with a baby around. Reason #2: We want to have a nice room for our Moms, siblings, random internet acquaintances, etc to be able to use when they want to come watch our child for long periods at a time.

* HINT *

This was the first photo we took of that process. It's a photo of me adding texture (to try to match what was there) to all of the cracks I patched in the ceiling:




Patched cracks, texture added.


Patched cracks, texture added.


All done.


All done.


All done.

So, Saturday morning, the recently remodeled guest room looked JUST like that (completely empty), and the baby's room still had the bunk bed in it, along with EVERYTHING from the other guest room. AND it was full of the baby stuff we had already bought. What a mess. Baby's room looked like:





After just a few hours of work, the newly fixed-up guest room had it's "regular" bed back in it, along with the bunk bed. Our guest room now looks like a youth hostel. (These 3 photos are from the same spots as the last 3 of the empty, fixed-up room.)







And baby's room looked like this:


A long, low dresser will double as a changing table to the right.


A rocking chair will go in front of that window.

So, that's what we've been up to! ;)

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Swimming Tips From Robby B

>> Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If you're like me, you're really hairy. But nevermind that.

If you're like me, you love getting swim / bike / run advice, and it means a LOT when it comes from someone who is MUCH faster than you. My online / triathlon buddy Robby B is one of those fast people. Specifically in the water.

Robby has done many triathlons, but only 1 Ironman (like me). But UNLIKE me, Robby came out of the water 41st overall. Out of over 2,000!! There were 31 male PROs and 18 female PROs who did Ironman WI in 2005 with Robby, and he was out of the water before 15 of the guys and 11 of the women!! (And Robby's not a PRO....)

When I asked Robby for his "swim credentials," here's what he (begrudgingly) told me:

I've done nearly 20 aquathons (1K swim/5K run), ten sprints, one Olympic, five halves, and one full distance. And I'm pretty sure that in all the races of done, I've never been out of the water worse than fourth in my age group, which came at IMWI in 2005, where I was 41st out of the water overall, including PROs. I'm usually in the top 3 overall in small to medium races.

I swam competitively since age 10 through high school, and coached age group in college.

Why am I giving you Robby's swimming resume? Well, back in September, I filmed Robby giving his EvoTri teammate Rural Girl some swimming advice. Rural Girl was already Kona-bound, and she was looking to improve her swim. We were all hanging out after they had all just finished Rev3 Cedar Point, and we were getting ready to head out to ride the rides!

Here's a photo of Pharmie and Rural Girl pre-race:



Here's an EPIC photo of Robby eating one of my Krispy Kreme's just minutes before starting the race:



And here's a photo from later in the day (post-race) showing Robby and Pharmie moving quickly from ride-to-ride at Cedar Point Amusement Part:



Anyway, here's my little video of advice from Robby to Rural Girl:
(turn up the volume to hear all the background chat...)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0m_O2fmJJg

Notes:
- Yes, that's the LOTRs on in the background.
- My lovely Pharmie makes a cameo at the 2:10 mark.
- The first half of the video is "fluffier," but the second half has more specific info.
- Robby gives 3 drills to Rural Girl that he thinks she can use. Here's some of what he's saying (paraphrased):

Tilt your head up A BIT to be able to use more proper muscles.

Drill: Trojan crawl. Swim with your chin up (at the water line).

Drill: Fingertip drag to work on high elbows.

Drill: 6 kicks on either side, then breath and switch.

Good question from Rural Girl: Should we be looking at videos of super fast sprint swimmers because they're not endurance focused? Robby's answer: Yes, we can learn from their stroke.

When you want faster turn-over to build speed, work on NOT sacrificing stroke length!

So use this advice if you can! Robby's got a great swimming background, so he's not just "blowing smoke out of his ass." Big thanks to Rural Girl and Robby B for "letting" me film them! ;) Can't wait to see you 2 (and the rest of Team EvoTri) when you all come to town for the Minneapolis Triathlon this summer! Should be fun!

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I'm Soooo Famous

>> Monday, March 28, 2011

That's right. I was in the most recent issue of RunMinnesota (the magazine for the Minnesota Distance Runner's Association).

You could say I'm a bit of a big deal.

The magazine showed a bunch of photos from the Polar Dash 10K (Pharmie ran that race), and here I am featured in a photo from the start:



What's that you say? You CAN'T see me? Here, let me highlight myself in red:



I'm 99% sure that's me. I heard the race start as I was up on the snowbank between the trail and the road taking photos of everyone running past. (Here are my photos from the race.)

And if that SWEET image of me weren't enough (ha), they also highlighted the "Meet of the Miles" results where I placed 12 out of 136, and set a new 1 mile PR:



These 2 MAJOR appearances in the MDRA magazine made me feel a little better about my current injured state. On that note: if you missed yesterday's post, scroll down to hear a complete injury update with MRI results.

Oh, and here are a few, quick, recent Examiner articles. (And you can always become a fan of the St. Paul Triathlon Examiner on Facebook to get my articles in your FB News Feed.)

- 2011 has some big changes for the Tuesday Night Time Trials.

- There's a free "triathlon 101" clinic being offered this weekend in the Metro area. Check it out or tell a friend who might be interested.

- Lots of my photos (and results) from the Team Ortho "Get Lucky 7K."

- The local Life Time Fitness Triathlon in MPLS is hosting the North American Junior Invitational Triathlon as part of this summer's race.

- A few photos, the full results, and a video from the finish line of the Human Race 8K. I had HOPED to race this, but ducked out because of my heel.

Have a great week, everyone!!

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Injury Updates: Mostly GOOD News

>> Saturday, March 26, 2011

BACK STORY:

I ran the Securian Run Half Marathon on the 29th of January. I had logged PLENTY of miles, and the race was short by 1.5 miles, so I wasn't over-doing myself. Everything felt good post race. I did some light cross training 4 days later, and did my first run 5 days after the race. That was the first sign of something not being right with my heel. The pain wasn't up in my lower calf (which I'm used to sometimes), but instead the pain was right at the base of my heel, wrapping around the back of my heel. I stopped running right away.

I saw my ART Doc a few times in February, and I started sleeping in this night splint right away:



That splint helps the heel be at the correct angle to naturally heal itself properly. There have been some "fun" nights with that contraption....

GETTING BACK AT IT:

- On March 9th (almost 6 weeks after the race, and about 5 weeks from my last run), I went for a SUCCESSFUL 3 mile easy treadmill run.

- Three days later, I did an easy 3.5 mile run with the "Run for Christchurch" gang. It felt OK.

- Three days after that, the wheels fell off. It was March 15th, and I tried going for another easy outdoor run (hopefully around 4 - 4.5 miles). I had pain right away, and I turned around after a mile while choking back tears. I wasn't in a ton of physical pain - I was just frustrated as hell. I had taken time off after the race (which I was properly trained for), and then I get injured. I rest and rest and rest, and I can't go 1 block without pain. I was pissed.

TAKING NEW ACTION:

I got in the house after that run, and immediately called a PT friend of Pharmie's who works in the same health care system in which our insurance is through. I made an appt with a recommended Sports Med Doc 2 days later.


Sitting in the exam room


Noting that my left heel is the culprit


X-Ray of my heel showing no stress fracture or anything else

He wanted an MRI (we figured he would), so I made an appt for an MRI on the next day. I drowned my sorrows in T-Bell:



The MRI clinic was running WAY behind - I overheard some of the techs talking about 1 or 2 of the machines being down. I finally got in about an hour late:


My jacket and all the crap from my pockets pre-scan

I was able to wear normal clothes, and they strapped my heel down and slid me into the machine. They did 6-7 scans (I think) over about 40 minutes, and unstrapped me. My heel was red and a bit sore from being strapped down so hard:


Note the shaved (stubbly) back of my heel from the kinesio tape

MRI RESULTS:

It showed nothing. When I found that out (last Monday, the 21st), I took that as good and bad news. It was BAD NEWS because then what the hell is the ACTUAL problem?!? It was GOOD NEWS because my achillies wasn't detaching from my heel, and maybe I just needed a little more rest. The Sports Med Doc told me to try some running again.

I had an ART appt scheduled for this last Wednesday, so I figured I'd "test" the heel on Tuesday night. So I hit the treadmill. I ran 4.3 painless miles!! I really focused on NOT heel-striking and on being "smooth." The test wasn't only running 4.3 miles, but I added a LITTLE speed in there. I started at a 10:00 mile, then a 9:00, then a 8, and THEN A 7! I don't know how smart that was, but 7:00 / mile is still QUITE a bit slower than my half marathon pace, and I wanted a LITTLE test for my heel.

The next day, I felt FINE, and my ART doc actually said now's the time to stress the heel a bit to promote healing. He actually recommended RUNNING EVERY DAY, but I told him I never do that and that I'd be comfortable working up to running every-other day.

I ran 2 days later (this past Thursday), and I had an easy, mostly pain-free 3.5 miler on the treadmill! The MRI news now makes me feel better about a LITTLE pain - I know that I'm not about to detach my heel. But don't worry: I'm not going to "play through the pain" - I just know that a minor twinge here-or-there isn't the end of the world.

SINCE THEN:

It's feeling a LOT better!! It aches a lot less throughout the day. My ART doc was right - it's ready to be "stressed" a bit to start heeling! I now feel better hitting the trainer too - I wasn't doing much of that because I didn't know if THAT was hurting anything. Here's (preggo) Pharmie, Matt, and I on the trainer after about an hour of Coach Troy's "Have Mercy" last night:


Sweaty people

I'm taking 2 full rest days from my last run, and then running tomorrow (again on the treadmill).

I'M STILL:

- wearing the splint at night
- foam rolling a few times a day to keep the calf / heel loose
- not pushing off hard with my left food while swimming
- wearing heel lifts in whatever pair of shoes I'm currently wearing
- running ONLY on the treadmill to have even and "safe" foot-strikes
- wearing kinesio tape for every run and about 70% of the rest of the time too

I'm hoping Matt and I can both do the Cannon Falls Duathlon in about 5 weeks, and that "Team Happy Pants" will be able to race the Oakdale Du and the Gear West Du! I'll take it easy as I'm starting back up, and we'll see what we can do with this year of races!....

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Friday Funny 171: Why I'm EXCITED To Have Kids

>> Friday, March 25, 2011




Oh wait, did I say "excited?" Maybe I meant something else....

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Friday Funny 170: Ab-Hancer

Brilliant! Where can I get one?



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Winner of the JetFluid Pro CycleOps Trainer!

>> Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Well, this giveaway broke my record for "most entries!" Just over a year ago, I gave away 2 Sugio Tri Suits and some Gu, and that contest had 372 entries. This CycleOps Trainer giveaway had 382 entries! Everyone wants a trainer!!

Last night, I printed off all of the comments. I gave extra numbers to those who earned them, and the 382 entries turned in to numbers 1 through 761! Here are all the numbered printouts:



(Note: I always like to show the printouts [in this case it was 37 pages] of the entries once they are numbered so you know I'm not just randomly picking a friend of mine to win a sweet prize. Steve in a Speedo doesn't roll like that. Steve in a Speedo also doesn't like to refer to himself in third person. So I don't know why Steve in Speedo is doing that right now. Stop it, Steve in a Speedo. Anyway, just letting you know this is all legit, and I hope you believe me.)

So I entered those numbers into random.org:



I hit "generate," and I got this result:



Ooh, it was a later entry! Who was number 729?

It was Whitney who's blog says "I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009." Well, this trainer will help, Whitney! Put it to good use! CONGRATS!

If you didn't win:

- First of all, I'm sorry. You're all winners in my eyes.

- Secondly, CycleOps is going to be getting me a "coupon code" shortly. I don't know for how much, but I'll let you know when I have the info. It will hopefully be later this week.

Thanks for entering, everyone! Back with more shortly!

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Team Ortho "Get Lucky" 7K

>> Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Or, "A 7K For My Wife (Who's 7th Months Pregnant)"

FYI: in case you had ANY question, my wife did NOT "race" this race. She's smart enough to know that she can't go too hard when pregnant. And we just got the "OK" last week from the Doc that everything was good and she could keep running.

What does a pregnant woman need the night before a race? Ice cream! Of course!



We got to the race and started working our way through the 5000 other racers!




Us before the race.


"GOOOO!" Everyone starting in the distance.


Pharmie hung around to start at the VERY back of the 5000 racers.
She hit the start line about 12 minutes after the leaders!


Teletubby at mile 1.


Everyone running past the Mill City Museum.


Pharmie around mile 1.


The "soccer mom's" hubby kicking to the finish!


One of Pharmie's co-workers (but I didn't know that when I took the
photo - Pharmie saw him when we were looking through the photos!)


Chasing a pot of gold for 7K! Amazing!!


This guy was REALLY into his music. I mean REALLY!


Mugsy McGoo (the dog) finishing the 7K in style!
(Hey, who's that in white in the upper right?...)


Pharmie finishing! Note how pregnancy makes you HOT -
how many people in short sleeves do you see?....


Yay Pharmie! And baby!


Just after finding Pharmie at the finish.


Congrats!

That makes 3 medals for baby's room: the TC Marathon (we found out Pharmie was pregnant the next day!), the Polar Dash 10K, and now the Get Lucky 7K!

(I have a little Team Ortho 7K write-up on my Examiner page, but the slideshow isn't working... their support team is looking into it. Sorry!)

Back tomorrow with the announcement of the winner of the CycleOps JetFluid Pro trainer!

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