A quick Y-Tri update before heading out for spring break

I’ll be taking a few days off the blog this week during our spring break trip to southern Indiana, so here’s a quick YMCA triathlon update: Over the last six days I’ve rode 48 miles and run only 10.

It feels weird to be in a holding pattern with my running. But I’m determined to finish this project, and while I’ve got my 52 running miles (and then some),  even at 109 cycling miles I’ve still got over 110 to go.

We aren’t taking bikes on our trip, so I’ll be doing some hiking and trail running before getting back in the saddle (and the pool) later this week. We have until April 26 to finish up, but I still need 4+ miles of swimming as well.

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A kid’s point of view: Good news!

After looking at my MRI results last week, the doctor said it was OK to go out for soccer. AND I lost 4.5 pounds last week in the family weight loss contest!

colleenMy foot still hurts a little bit during soccer practice sometimes, but it feels like it’s getting better instead of worse. Also, now that I know I’m not doing any more damage to my foot it’s a lot easier to take.

Soccer tryouts were really fun. I don’t think there are going to be any cuts. Instead the coach will just decide who is on the Gold team (which plays other schools) and who is on the Navy team and White team. Probably mostly 8th-graders will be on the Gold team, but my friend Dani might make it — she’s really, really good! The Navy team travels with the Gold team half the season and the White team does the other half. Then the Navy team and the White team play each other once a week.

We have three more days til the end of our weight loss contest. I think Madison and I have a good shot at winning, even if Grandpa’s sore tooth did help him lose a couple more pounds. And then we are going to an awesome cabin in Brown County for spring break. I can’t wait!

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It’s never too late to get started

Is it more impressive to set a world record at 25 — or 95?

Retired dentist Charles Eugster didn’t have an athletic background when he started working out … at age 85. The British-born Swiss citizen took up running and rowing to lose weight and build muscle, later adding weight lifting and a personal trainer to his routine.

The cool thing is not so much that he keeps winning various athletic competitions, but that he keeps pushing the envelop on what he can accomplish.

“There is very little information about training methods, diets or parameters for the healthy aged above 70,” Eugster says. “This means we are exploring an unknown field.”

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Trail fail (but still kinda fun)

The thing about running on a sloshy spring trail is, once you quit trying to creep around the edges of what is essentially a small stream running through the forest and just plunge your foot into that ankle deep water, the worst is all behind you.

Your feet are soaked, but they can’t really get any wetter so that frees your mind up to just take in the woods you haven’t seen for a few weeks now.

Until you get to the muck that swallows you up to your ankles. Now this crazy, bottomless forest floor has really got your attention again, especially when you go sprawling, clutching your cell phone in the slow-motion train wreck so it doesn’t disappear in the quick sand.

Would you believe there’s still a small snow drift in here, at least a week after the sun dissolved all the white stuff except for those mountains at the parking lots’ edges? A current flows underneath it.  The ice layer won’t hold your weight. The sun with its hair dryer  setting on low can’t reach this drift, but it’s a goner just the same. The water’s taking it apart bit by bit.

So this is spring in the forest. Not much of a run, as it turns out. But we’re glad we came.

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Y-Tri update: Running when you’re sick

I was fighting a nasty cold all last week that kept me out of the pool, but I did manage to run 16 miles and bike 29 to bring my Y-tri totals to 46 running and 61 cycling (with swimming on hold at ½ mile).

There were some days in there where the only time I didn’t feel like crap was in the second half of a run. Waiting for my sister to show up one day at the Greenway I huddled in the car, too cold and groggy to get out and stretch. But I knew the run would (eventually) clear my head and sinuses, and it did – at least for a while. (I never run when I have a fever, however.)

Most of those cycling miles came indoors, despite the increasingly nice weather.  I was just feeling too achy and chilly and whiny to contemplate riding in any kind of wind.

On the positive side, it was great to get in three runs with my sister after several weeks of her being sidelined with a ski injury. If all goes well, we’ll finally get back on the trail today. It’ll still be wet, I’m sure, but hopefully the worst of the snow melt is out of the way.

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A tale from when women were new to marathons

When it comes to racing stories, I’m drawn to back-of-the-pack dramas. And so when Kathi Weiss told me a few months ago – near the back of the pack of the River City Rat Race, appropriately enough – that she was the last-place finisher in the 1978 Fort Wayne Marathon, I knew I’d want to hit her up to hear the full story one of these days.

Kathi Weiss

Kathi Weiss

There were only 55 women in that race, just a little over 10 percent of the 499 who finished. That seems weird to me now, but Kathi pointed out that it was only six years after they started allowing women to enter the Boston Marathon. And even that didn’t happen until FIVE YEARS after Kathrine Switzer was physically and verbally harassed – by the race director, no less — for daring to run the 1967 Boston Marathon.

Kathi’s 1978 race was impressive in its own way, primarily because she toughed it out despite not training adequately. (She was also trying to prove she wasn’t  “over the hill” at age 30, which is another thing that seems weird all these years later.) She also made an amusing discovery 37 years after the fact, as detailed in today’s newspaper column.

Kathrine Switzer being attacked by race director Jock Semple for daring to run the 1967 Boston Marathon.

Kathrine Switzer being chased by race director Jock Semple for daring to run the 1967 Boston Marathon. He was trying to rip her race number off after she entered the all-male race using only her initials.

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A kid’s point of view: 3 more pounds (and getting an MRI)

BY Colleen, age 12

This week I had softball tryouts, soccer open gym workouts, Y-ball practice — and an MRI.

colleenI am really excited for softball and soccer, but at the same time I have to see what the MRI results are. My foot doesn’t hurt as much as it used to, but it still hurts more than it should after FOUR MONTHS. We go see the doctor today to find out what’s going on. I really, really hope whatever it is is close to healed because spring is finally here and I AM READY TO PLAY SPORTS!

I’m glad I didn’t have to put my whole body inside the MRI machine. My head was sticking out so I could look at a picture on the ceiling of a blue sky and trees. It was REALLY loud even though I was wearing ear plugs. Sometimes it was a “whirr” sound and sometimes it was more of a “ba-dump, ba-dump” like a washing machine.


Meanwhile, I lost another 3 pounds last week in the family weight loss contest. Madison and I are in the lead by half a pound. The last week is coming soon, and I am pumped! At the final weigh-in I will be savoring Grandpa’s words of despair!

By this time next week we will have had soccer tryouts. I hope we get to stomp around in the mud because soccer in the rain is a mole (6.022 x 10 to the 23rd power) times better than dry soccer!

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