Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top 17 things you need to prepare for a Hurricane!

1. Tub full of water (if you are on a well)
See w/ a tub full of water you can still flush your toilet. This is quite the luxury... in case those of you that are still flushing are not aware of how nice it is to be able to flush the waste of six people in any given day. We did not 'get around to' filling our tub before the power went out because we thought we had another couple of hours in the morning. Tom was able to drain the furnace after the power was out and fill the tub about half way. A day and a half later we bailed water from the creek across the street. (Some people are calling me Laura Ingals Wilder Mount now) That was, um, a pain in the ass. And I'm guessing I'll be doing it again tomorrow because Tom is conveniently in Europe WHERE THEY HAVE ELECTRICITY AND RUNNING WATER! You could also boil this water and cook and/or bathe with it.

2. 1 gallon container of some sort
This would be necessary to flush aforementioned toilet w/ all the water you filled your tub with.

3. POTABLE water.
Yes you can get some at the grocery store or local coffee shop... so long as they have power and aren't sold out of water.

4. ICE! A second freezer doesn't hurt, but I wouldn't go out and buy one.
We were able to fill our garage freezer (That was thankfully empty because Tom usually uses it as a beer cooler. He uses some contraption to turn the freezer into a fridge.) with ice to turn it into a damn good refrigerator for our perishables.

5. Flash lights/candles
You will likely want to see after the sun goes down. I used a head lamp to cook dinner and clean up after. It was super helpful. It was also helpful when I broke a 5 gallon glass carboy full of water in my mom's VERY DARK kitchen at around 8am one morning. Wow, that was super fun!

6. Batteries
Ya know.. for the flashlights and your kids toys (if you have them.. both kids and toys) that will invariably run out of juice 5 minutes after the power goes out.

7. Grill
You might want to cook some of that food that is getting ready to rot in your fridge.

8. Propane
The grill won't work real well without it!

9. RUN the dishwasher!!
We failed to run our fully loaded dishwasher the night before the hurricane because we were dumb enough to think that the weather people knew EXACTLY when the shit would hit the fan. Um, they can't know exactly. Power went out over night... and our gross dishes sat there for two days before I filled the sink w/ our saved potable water to wash all of them by hand. More good times!

10. Coffee - GROUND
This might not be a must for you, but it is a must in this house. We did not have this either. So far we are not excelling at Hurricane Prep! We had beans, but the grinder needs electricity to run. Funny how that works. We considered smashing them w/ a mallet, but we were lucky in that the grocery store was open.

11. French Press
Your coffee maker won't work... but you can boil water on your grill w/ that propane you got. Did I mention that while we have two propane tanks only one was partially full. Another fail... at least we had some... and again stores were open so we were able to fill the second.

12. Wine/Beer/Spirit of choice
I DID manage to buy beer and wine! YEAH ME! You will want this to calm your nerves... particularly if you have small children that might be so spoiled as to be accustomed to having the bathroom light left on when they go to bed and are therefore terrified of the dark... it could be a late night. Wine helps.

13. Gym Membership
This is a multifunctional item. Not only does it provide a hot shower... again if you have well... but you know you'll need to get your sweat on to relieve any stress you MAY have accumulated through this process. Or you could just haul some more water... that's a pretty ass kicking workout!

14. Money in savings
First and foremost in case of damage to your house. Some things will be covered by your home owners insurance. Some things won't. Some things will need to be fixed NOW! And it wouldn't hurt to do a once over prior to the storm and fix things ahead of time. Also you'll likely find yourself needing to eat out should your power be out for more than a few days and you lose both your will to prepare food and the food in your fridge.

15. Patience
You will certainly need some of this! If you don't have it... well, good luck.

16. Sense of humor
This makes all things better! You will need to laugh at yourself while you are hauling 10 gallon barrels of water up hills through mud and depositing them in your tub to then dump water in a toilet full of urine and feces that may or may not belong to you! Good times! You will need to laugh when you are so happy that your basement didn't flood that you go ahead and flood a portion of it w/ a 5-10 gallon jug. And keep laughing when your kids are up all hours of the night because.. well who knows why really.

17. Able Body
You may have to haul lots of stuff. You may be up later than usual and you will likely find yourself doing stuff the old fashioned way. Note: It was way harder to get normal daily tasks done back in the day.

And a bonus... wouldn't hurt to have ME there to prepare your kick ass 'roughin' it meals!!

We are fairing well and maintaining our sense of humor. I'd rather have no power and now water than have power and water and extra water filling my basement or a gaping whole in my roof from an old huge tree smashing into it or a tree smashed on top of my car. We're safe and we're toughening up... but just a bit. I am in a coffee shop right now using their electricity and wifi after all so it really can't be all that bad!

For those that were hit w/ the storm and hit harder than us I hope you have good support around you, an able body, tons of patience and a rockin' sense of humor. I'm thinking about you!

What did you do to prepare? What did you forget? What will you do next time... cause we all know more storms will come in our life!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Power of the TEAM!

T-12 days until Cedar Point Half!! GULP!

It’s been a bumpy road to get here! Injuries, stress, changes of course (full to half), but FINALLY I feel at peace and ready. I’ve had a couple of big weeks of training where I’ve – hold onto your seats – been able to hit every workout!!! Only one of which totally sucked. My hamstring is still an issue, but I’m thinking (hoping) that it won’t be too BIG of an issue because the Cedar Point course is flat!! (Let’s just go with that.)

I’m not sure if it’s the big training blocks that have given me some confidence or the Rev3 love I’ve gotten over the last couple of weeks. DAMN it feels good to feel you are part of something bigger than yourself! I was reminded of that fact this week. The fact that I represent the Trakkers/Rev3 team makes me so proud! I have a group of athletes that work their butts off behind me. I have a team of people that put on KICK ASS races behind me. I have an obligation to get my sorry butt out there and give it my best!!! Not an obligation to win the thing or live up to anyone else’s standards, but an obligation to the Rev3 spirit to just GET OUT THERE AND DO MY THING!

And despite Irene preparations and dealings I managed to get it done... even my INSIDE deathbrick!! 4.5 hours on on the spin bike then 3.1 miles on the treadmill!!

We all have our own reasons for doing this crazy mixed up endurance bit… you’ve got to have some driving forces behind you to get you going for some of those harder workouts. What’s your INNER FIRE that gets you out the door on those hard days?

I gotta say I got into this stuff for the fun of it and the friends I met along the way. That’s still my NUMERO UNO! I’m so happy to have had the reminder that while my friends on my Trakkers/Rev3 team might not be here training with me day in and day out there are MOST CERTAINLY there with me!!!

So EVERYONE racing Rev3 let’s DO THIS THING!!! I’ll meet you at the coasters on Saturday!

Roll Call Who’s in!?

And don’t forget that Registration opens on Sept 1st (that would be THIS THURSDAY) for Rev3 Wisconsin and Maine!! Click HERE to register!

Monday, August 15, 2011


That's (DEATH BRICK) all I had to see on my schedule to know that it is CRUNCH time!!! Rev3 Cedar Point is only ONE month away... That's only THREE more weekends of SERIOUS work left! And it all started today. Last week was 'thankfully' a rest week as my schedule (and maybe my mind/body) needed it to be, but as we all know that rest week makes me feel... well, out of shape! I know it's silly, but it is. Along with that my mind kind of goes on vacation as well. Know scheduling, scheming and planning to get all my work outs in... now here I am HARD AT IT! No skipping or skimping now. We are all out GAME ON my friends!

Today started day 1 of the next three weeks of my triathlon life! :) 2000 meters in the pool! HARD meters... not the stuff I've been doing. Not just nice sustained get the yards done swimming... in the ocean. Nope.. eyes down, mind focused, body working HARD swimming. After a nice warm up it was time to get to BUSINESS! 10x100 HARD on 20seconds rest, then 10X50 HARD on 10s rest. I tried to ignore what was to come as I headed into it. Just pretend it's not there! Well, it was there! I'm not so great at pushing myself in the pool.

I DID IT! When I was on 100 number 3 I was skeptical that I would get through it, but I kept putting my face back in the water and pushing off the wall... when I was ALMOST done w/ my set of 100s some dude jumped in the lane next to me. (He was a nice enough guy ... I chatted with him when were were all done... but I'm till referring to him as "some dude".) So I'm all cruising along and not beating myself up for taking 2:00 minutes to complete a hundred when I'm swimming HARD. (okay maybe I was thinking about that a bit.. like EVERY time I looked at the clock.)

"Some dude" was using a pull buoy and still beating me to the end of the pool. No big surprise. It happens to me a lot. Then I happened to catch a glimpse of his form... well, it wasn't great. That shit just pisses me off. His form is off and HE'S STILL beating me. GRR. I was getting tired at this point, but plugged along. During ONE set it really got to me for a second, but I got my head straight. It matters not what 'some dude' in the next lane is doing. He is not a measure of MY abilities as a triathlete. I have come a LOONNNGGG way in the water since I started swimming. So I pushed the negative thought away and kept trucking. Happy with my effort and DAMN proud of myself for setting the negativity aside. THAT IS NEW for me. Particularly in the water.

SOLID WIN on my part! In the past I would have let this pretty much ruin my workout.

More on the DEATH BRICK this weekend!

Do you let this kind of thing kill your spirit and ruin your workout/day?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Niantic Bay Sprint Triathlon

Better late than never. I finally raced! I completed The Niantic Bay Sprint Tri on Sunday August 7th!

I woke up in the morning after barely sleeping the night before. I don't think I was nervous, but who knows what was up. It was POURING rain. Ugh! This was the first race that Tom was coming just to spectate and support me. He's brought the kids to a couple of races, but I usually just go by myself. After a 'discussion' a bit ago we both decided that it would be 'nice' if he was more involved in my racing.... so he decided to come with. Bet he was especially happy that it rained the ENTIRE time! Way to jump in sweety!

We rolled hoping that the rain would subside. It was absolutely pouring the entire drive there... I was going through my mental check list as to whether or not it was worth it to race in this awesome weather. You know I was nervous about riding my bike in the rain after my awesome crash last summer. (okay.. so I only had some road rash.. no breaks or anything, but it was still traumatic to me.)

By the time we got there it was just misting and I felt like I would be a total P.... ansy if I didn't race. I started sipping my First Endurance EFS Grape mixed with PreRace. I only did a little bit of pre-race because it was my first time using it and it was 'just a sprint'.. gave me a bit of an edge and helped with my lack of sleep for sure!

The chop in the water was pretty bad and we would be swimming out against the current then across it then with it (for what seemed like 5 feet) and we were warned it was going to be rough. Ultimately they shortened the swim. (you know I'm ALWAYS down with that.) Strangely I wasn't worried about the swim at all. Perhaps because all of my attention was on how I was going to get through the bike without crashing. :)

As we lined up for the swim I must have been in a daze because as the announcer said "10 seconds" I "woke up" and realized I was standing right in the front.. uh, what am I doing up here? I backed up a few rows (in hind site I should have stayed right where I was). We were off. The chop was BAD. We couldn't see a thing, but I just kept swimming. My VERY FIRST triathlon was Super choppy - even choppier than this one - and I wasn't able to freestyle the whole way. Sunday I just put my head down, stayed calm and swam the whole way. I felt really bad for people who were doing their first triathlon ... but they got through it just as I did. By the time we got to the middle of the swim I would site and not see very many women in front of me. At first I thought 'wow I am way behind.' then I realized that maybe I wasn't. I'm not sure what the reality was, but I was proud of myself for not indulging my negative thoughts. I'm proud of my swim for not going to the dark (negative) side and for swimming (freestyle)the entire race in the choppy choppy water.

T1 was uneventful. The transition area was like a huge puddle in a parking lot so at least the sand got washed off my feet. I opted to not wear socks on the bike because it was recommended that we take our bike shoes off to run our bikes in because it was a steep downhill into transition and is very slippery on cleats... so my socks would just get soaked.

The ride starts uphill so I was in a nice easy gear to start... surprisingly most others were not. Weird. So I cruised right out of there. The ride was rolling for the most part ... bc NO part of CT is FLAT. I felt I put in a solid effort... though my hill climbing still needs a bit of work. I went back and forth with a woman (not in my age group) for most of the ride. I usually try to run down women in my age group, but didn't see too many of them out there. There was one I was almost certain was in my age group, but I couldn't catch her.

Coming up on T2 I decided that since I was to take my bike shoes off I would try the whole take your shoes off before dismounting thing. Why the hell not? Well it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. My shoes did bang on the ground as I ran my bike in.... it was a long run. Seemed to be much more efficient though. I think I will continue to do this. Nothing like particular race circumstances taking you out of your comfort zone.

T2: I rolled in and the girl in the spot next to me was still there getting her stuff on. She had wracked her bike in my spot. I'm too damn nice. I should have said something to her, but I waited until she was done and moved her bike into her spot (after moving what I assume was her wetsuit hanging on the wrack where HER bike went). And off I went.

As always the run felt HARD. The whole can't breathe thing. I could feel my left hamstring on every single foot strike. I just tried to keep my steps light and the cadence up. I felt like I was probably right about my normal pace... which was slower than I had wanted to run, but it was all I could push for. Triathlon is so funny that way. According to the run split (if the course was actually 3.5 miles as it was advertised) I ran sub 7 minute miles... um almost a full 2 minutes FASTER than my 'normal pace' that I thought I was running. I suppose I'll never really know if the course was legit unless I drive an hour and 40 mins to drive it! I didn't wear my Garmin. Oh.. maybe I'll ask my buddy if he wore his. I have a hard time believing I ran that fast off the bike having not been working on my running. Maybe I'll lift more and run less if it makes me that much faster. ha (kidding)

All in all it was a good race. I came in 7/21 in my age group and 134/474 overall.
1:18:26 14:02 swim, 1:57 T1, 37:20 Bike, 1:09 T2, 24:01 run... I'll take it.