Sunday, May 27, 2007

Soccer Season-Done

Another soccer season has come and gone. Both Alex and Arianna had a great time and both did really well and scored lots of goals.
Alex's team had a really slow start. They came together as a team after about a half dozen games and then finally started to tie and win a couple of games. This team struggled for a while, but in the end totally redeemed themselves in the tournament. All the soccer teams play tournaments at the end of the season. The regular season's standings are wiped out and everyone starts fresh. Each game is sudden death, if you don't win, you don't go on. Alex's team....the one with some pretty bad regular season standings....WON the Championship tournament! These kids really wanted to win and it showed. The picture above is Alex taking a shot on goal...yes, it made it in. Next year Alex will move up to U16. I'm not sure if he will play High School soccer next year, he's already committed to football and hockey. I do hope that he sticks with the rec league next spring though.
Now Arianna.....Well, let's just say "she's good!" She was one of the oldest girls on her team and will definately move up to U12 in the fall. She scored every goal that her team made this season....I'm not kidding here. She has been watching her brothers play from the time she was an infant and it is unreal how good she has become. She was invited to join a National AYSO team and travel to Hawaii in '09 for the National Tournament. We're still thinking about it. She will be playing at a regional tournament in a couple of weeks here in Michigan with some girls that she played with over the winter. I am looking forward to seeing this team play, they were really good and were beating some of the local travel teams.
This years medals are already adorning the bedroom walls. Nice job.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cool Things

Sometimes when you bike you get to see some pretty nasty things. Country roads are full of road kill that one must be adept at riding around and forcing one's self to, at all costs, not look at. Yes, there is always the bad, but then there is the good too. And when we get to see the cool stuff it just makes riding all worthwhile. Today I got to see the good and the bad, but mostly the good. I always ride in the country. Not too much traffic, some bumpy roads and mostly beautiful landscape. About twenty minutes into my ride I spotted a small yellow plane. It was flying close to the ground, about 100-200 feet, really close. My first thought was, this guy is either goofing off or crop dusting. Once I crested a small hill, I found myself right in front of a vineyard, I could see him come back around making a tight turn and then diving once again over the grapes. Crop Duster. I watched him swoop down and then quickly back up and around again over and over for about five minutes. I took a few photos with my phone and really wish I had had my camera with me. It was really fun to watch. Just one of those cool things.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hey Rocky Raccoon

This is who came for dinner last night.

Blossomtime Race

First let me just say that yes, I am alive and well. Spring has been fine, but....I'm ready for summer :0)

I ran my first 5k of the season on Saturday. Our local YMCA puts on this race and does a really nice job. It runs the route of the Blossomtime parade which is a big deal here in our little town. The race takes place about an hour and a half before the parade. The route is an out and back through the Twin Citys of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. It includes running over the Blossomtime bridge....which I've discovered, people really do not like to run over the grating on this bridge. A lot of people scramble to get up on the sidewalk edge, which is narrow, so they don't have to look down at the water far below. There is a great hill that we ran down at the very beginning of the race....but wait, there is the same killer hill that we have to finish with on the way back. The official results aren't posted yet, but I think I ran a straight 30. That gives me about a 9:30 pace. Pretty normal for me. I didn't push. I didn't stop either and I especially didn't stop on that hill and was still able to sprint the last 100 yards to finish up. It looks like I was about a minute slower than last years race. I'll just have to make it up later this summer at the Venetian 5k.

We stayed after for the parade. The weather was perfect and we had a great time with lots of friends and kids!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fixed Tire & Flip Turns.....a little bike porn too

There was blood involved, but more on that later.

I'm not really that girly (I hardly ever even wear lipstick) and yes, I knew I could do it. I took the wheel off the bike after disconnecting the problemo. I popped the tire off with the little tool that I have, once again, no problemo. I stuck the new tube in after I had inflated it a little and then put the tire back on the wheel. I did struggle just a little with the last bit of tire over the rim, but my brute force conquered and it went on, no problemo. Then I went to pump up the tire....problemo....the stem was not coming out of the rim far enough and I could not get the pump to attach. I have deep dish rims and bought a puny stem. oops, that won't happen again!

Since today is a swim/bike day I thought I would hit the bike shop before going to the Y. I went to pack up my gym bag and looked at the place where my suit hangs in the suit. This is the actual thought that went through my head..."who the heck took my suit!" I live with two teenage boys who are not going to take my Speedo, ever. My husband is not even in town (like, he would take it, NOT) and my ten year old daughter will not fit in the Speedo probably even when she's forty. What was I thinking?? No one took my suit. I had left it in my gym bag. Since I swam yesterday the suit was wet. Not just wet, but wet and cold. Great, that's gonna feel real nice. I can't wear my old suit cuz it I wore it out and it shows the crack in my behind....yep, that's nice too.

So, I got to the bike shop and got my new tube and some new clipless pedals. Way cool. I love them! See picture above.

I got to the Y and had a great swim. Actually it was just great getting into the water after putting on a freezing cold, wet suit. I was able to swim my main set with flip turns all the way cool is that!! Some of my flip turns are still a little rough, but most are spot on. They are definately teaching me what it feels like to miss that breath and to control my breathing more going into the turn.

Oh yes, the blood. That had nothing to do with the tire, but it had everything to do with the pedals. I seemed to have punched a small hole into the pad of my index finger while trying to remove the pedals on my bike. I think it got pinched in the wrench. Bike pedals are weird. Left pedal is loosened to the right and the right pedal is loosened to the left. Once I got the direction correct the wrench and rubber mallet did the trick and they loosened easily. I am so gonna be a bike wiz this year!

Today was a good workout day.

Flat Tire

My bike has a flat tire.
This might not normally seem unusual, but it's been on the trainer since Christmas. What? Did I run over a toy? Did I hit a dog, cat, kid? Did I run it off the carpet and into the TV?? Nope. It has not moved! Now it has a flat on the front tire.
I picked up a new tube at my local bike shop. I told my devoted husband that I would fix it. Cuz I really need to learn how to fix a flat. Yes, that's right, I have never fixed a flat before. Not even in a car. I know a bike should be easier than a car, but, but... I confess, I'm girly when it comes to tires. Flat tires spook me. I can kill big, fat, hairy spiders, but start to sweat when I have to touch a tire. Go Figure.
I have a bike workout scheduled for today so it looks like I'm gonna have to tackle this tire thing. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


13 weeks until Sunburst Half Marathon

22 weeks until Steelhead 70.3 Triathlon

My training plan is written. My goals are written. I know the exact hours that I will be putting in each week. My motivation is finally up. I am ready for another year of racing.

(my kids still think I am a crazy triathlete) :0)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ski Bums

Yes, we are back from our Colorado ski trip. It was fantastic.

It was a busy travel weekend due to the holiday, but we eventually got to Colorado and then spent two days hitting the slopes. We stayed at my parents cabin in Frisco and the first day we skied at Copper Mountain. The snow was fresh with several inches of new powder, but the lines were really long. It was, after all, the biggest ski weekend of the was the only time we could we braved the lines and still had a great time. The second day we decided to head toward Leadville to check out Ski Cooper. This is a smaller mom and pop operation situated in the middle of national forest land. The powder was even better and the lines....none! We really had a blast and by the afternoon our legs were burning by the time we got down the mountain! We even got Arianna to do a couple of black diamond runs. Afterwards she would say "ok, now lets go back to the blue" and we did. This was the first ski trip that she has not done ski school the whole time. She was a trooper putting up with her kamakazee brothers and actually trying some of those jumps too!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Pier

Scott and I went to the pier the other day and took some photos.

As you can see, the river is frozen and so is a good portion of the lake.
In the picture above, Scott is standing on the left side pier. The right side pier with the lighthouse is where triathletes jump into the water to begin Steelhead. In the middle is the St. Joseph River.
The lake is frozen so far out that we cannot see waves anymore. We haven't been above freezing in over three weeks now. I am starting to wonder when the thaw will come. As we were on the pier we just three months time there will be kids jumping off the pier into the still fridged water. Last year we saw some kids from the Catholic school come down to the pier and jump, it must have been some rite of passage, they jumped with all their clothes on and had no towels to dry off with. In the end, they were freezing and running around laughing and playing. Oh, the joys of spring....soon.
..we will be out in that lake soon thereafter (with wetsuits) to begin getting used to open water swims again. It's hard to imagine right now with all the ice and snow, but I can't wait to get those open water swims going again.
I pounded out 4+ miles on the treadmill today. I keep thinking more and more about Steelhead and what I want to accomplish. First and foremost, I want to finish. Secondly, I want to finish sub-7. I've got plenty of work to do to make that second goal, but that's half the
I think I have finally chosen a half marathon to do. It's the Sunburst down in South Bend, Indiana in June. Close to home and two months from my A race.
We are off to Colorado tomorrow to visit my mom and then two days of sking. It's been four years since I skied last. I cannot wait! I'll post pics when we get back.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Lake Effect

It stopped snowing yesterday for a few hours....then it started again last night.

It all began on Saturday. The snow started coming down and my kids and I were pretty excited. We had not gotten any snow at all in December and come on, we live in Michigan, so we like the snow. So, like I said, it started on Saturday. By Sunday morning we had 20 inches....did I just say we like snow?? Cuz that's a lot to like! But it never stopped on Sunday either. By Monday it was a no brainer that we had a snow day. The roads were impassable unless you had a four wheel drive. The plows could not keep up with falling snow. Tuesday - snow day - now I've got some really happy kids who aren't even setting their alarms for school. They spend most of the days out side sledding, building forts, throwing snow and then coming in and dumping heaps of sopping wet clothing on the floor. It snowed all day Tuesday. But thankfully Mother Nature in her infinate kindness decided that mother's all along Lake Michigan needed a reprive and the snow stopped at 9pm Tuesday night....and the kids went back to school :0)

It was actually a beautiful day yesterday, clear and unbelievably freaking cold. The roads got cleared pretty well and I saw pavement in some places too.

The kids have school again today, but as you know, all good things must come to an end. Yes, it is snowing again. A lot.

Here's the recap:

Sat-Sun: 20 inches

Mon: 8-10 inches- snow day

Tue: 4-6inches- snow day

Wed: none

Thur: Snowing again-I'm going back to bed

Fri: more snow likely, probably another snow day...I'm not getting out of bed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday's Feast #127

Yes folks, it's that time again. Another Friday, another weekend.

Which television shows do you just refuse to miss?

24- Jack's my man, I mean come many people can have a bad day and I mean a Really, Really bad day and just keep moving on....the guy has got some serious balls!

Who did you last speak to on the telephone?

Denise....we also just finished a 5 mile walk together.

How many pillows do you keep on your bed?

Too many. I think 5 or 6 and that doesn't include the two that get thrown to the floor every night cuz their just pretty ones.

Main Course
Name one addition to your computer (software, hardware, etc.) that you'd love to have.

Well, I just get a new laptop last week for my b-day and I'm pretty happy with it so far. But if I could add anything I wanted to it....does it have to be real?.....I would add some software that would beat my teenager senseless and make him quit being a butthead to his parents. Yes, we are having issues, can you tell?!

What is your favorite foreign food?

Mexican and Indian. Which is why I have to workout seven days a week and still have a fat ass :0)

Play hard, train hard. I'm still working on the flip turn...more on THAT later.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Swimming & Flip Turns

I had a swim lesson last night. It was the first swim lesson I have ever had. See, I am a natural in the water. I love it and always have and I swim pretty well too. The lesson was basically a stroke critique and the chance to watch Tri-Hawg thrash around in the water, gasp for air and practically drown....we shared the lesson. Now I have to say that within about 15-20 minutes he had drastically improved and was able to breath again. I also had smoothed out my stroke and relaxed. All good things....until....
Something I learned: I. Hate. Flipturns.
I told the instructor (a high school kid) that I wanted to learn flip turns. I Did Not tell her that I wanted to ingest five gallons of clorine water through my nose, which is precisely what I did. I suck....I'm not even sure at this point if I am willing to make the flip turn a goal, challenge or more probably nemesis. My nasal passages have been burned and scarred by the Y's super, extra ordinary amount of clorine chemicals in the pool water. I am just not sure if one can recover....maybe I'm suffering from post tramatic water up the nose stress disorder??!!??
I'm off to the pool soon. An embarassing episode of gasping, choking and clorine snorting is sure to follow.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday's Feast

Before we get to the feast, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has left comments. A difficult time is made easier by the consideration of others.

Also....Happy Birthday to ME!! Yes, I am officially another year older today and my sister's birthday is tommorrow. So, Happy Birthday Jess!

I did not move into a new age group slot this year, but I will next year. I'm not 29 and I'm not 49, anyone care to guess how old I am today? :0)

Now, on to the Feast....

What comes to mind when you see the color orange?

Lake Michigan sunsets in the summer. Absolutely beautiful.

Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?

Yes. At the begining of my junior year of high school we moved to Denver from a small mountain town. Some of my friends from my old school came to my new school. In the middle of an assembly they found me and told me they wanted to take me to see The Go Go's concert at Red Rocks. I HAD to skip my last class (french) because it was just too amazing that my friends even found me during that assembly and had free concert tickets! My french teacher saw me leave (I didn't know this) and called my mother. When I got home that night I was promptly grounded for two weeks and ended up missing another concert that my boyfriend had bought tickets for way in advance.
It was worth it though. The night was amazing and so was the concert...Red Rocks is the best place in the world to see a concert!

Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?

Veggies and meat.

Main Course
Do you believe in UFO's/aliens/etc? Why or why not?

Yes. Are will really arrogant enough to believe that we are the only form of life in the universe? Besides, they tried to land at O'hare just the other day.

What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?

Well, since I live in Michigan I always have a comforter on my bed and on really cold nights I throw on a quilt too. The comforter I have on it now is white with blue hydrengeas. It's light and bright and helps to counter the gray days that make me want to gouge my eyes out :0)


Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Page

I took Alex to the visitation tonight. It was incredibly hard to see the kids there. They were distraught.
I am really having a hard time putting any of my thoughts into words.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Saying goodbye to Tiffany

I've been feeling not quite up to snuff lately. I'm not sure what it is. The weather probably. I always get the doldrums this time of year. I was thinking about how crappy Michigan weather can be, gray all day, for days on end. Yes, the winter has been mild, but the sun still doesn't want to come out and play.

So....while I was lementing the weather and my training, someone was in terrible pain. It makes me sad.

Tiffany was an eighth grader. The same grade as my son. They were on the same soccer team last year. I can still picture her running around in her green jersey playing defense.

Tiffany took her own life Monday.

We are heartbroken. I am crying now. My heart aches for her Mother and Father. I am praying that some way, some how, God will ease their pain.

Hug your children, tell them how much you love them, tell them that no matter what they can always come to you....tell them until they are sick of hearing it and then tell them again.


You will be missed.