Croup

Annie has croup. We had a hard night last night with her barking cough and trouble getting a breath in-between the coughing episodes. The nurse at the Pediatrician office says we are looking at another rough 2 nights (at least). She is highly contagious and may loose her voice. Many kiddos with croup end up in the ER b/c their vocal area gets so enflamed they can’t breathe. We are going to try to steer clear from an ER trip! Lots of Motrin, warm drinks, and trips to the steamy bathroom.

Wish Annie a speedy recovery, and if anyone has any good tips for movies that both mom and a 2 year old can enjoy, let me know. We are getting a little tired of Shrek, Nemo, Wallace and Grommet, and Fraggle Rock.

Also, any tips to get through croup w/o an ER visit would be welcome!

1000 Meter Swim Time Trial

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This is the swim start at USAT Nationals (Hagg Lake). This is where I am gunning for my best swim of the year.

This morning in masters we had a 1000 Meter time trial. Dennis was having us do this so he could create swimming zones for us. Steve hasn’t had me do a time trial in the pool for awhile, so I was excited to see where I was at.

CONSISTENT

I felt so consistent on the trial, and I actually felt like I could do a 1600 at that pace no problem. I focused on big slow pulls, scooping the water, keeping my shoulders relaxed, keeping my chin back, my forehead down, and kicking tiny fast kicks on the surface of the water. It was a comfortably strong effort, something I would endeavor to do in a triathlon, knowing I still had a bike and a run to come. My swim workout wasn’t over either. Dennis had us do quite a bit more work after the time trial, and by the time I got out of the pool today I was pooped! Total mileage today was a little over 3400 Meters.

My time for the 1000 M time trial was: 17:54. So my 50 meter average was: 53.7 seconds. If I kept this pace that would put my 1.5K time (olympic distance triathlon swim) at 26:51.
For you Yard Pool folks, that’s about 49 seconds for 50 yards pace…or 1:38 for my 100’s.

My goal this year is to swim 25 at USAT Nationals. That means my pace needs to be 50 seconds per 50 meters, or 1:40 for my 100 meters. So, I’m getting there. Progress is definitely coming. I know the faster you get the slower it comes, but I’m really jazzed to feel as comfortable as I did at sub 54 second 50’s. Especially when 4 months ago I swam 60 seconds for 50 meters, and could barely keep that up long term.

The leap has come from working with Steve. Having him swim right next to me has helped. He got me to start slowing down my stoke and focusing on scooping a lot of water. He also worked on my body position in the water by giving my some tips on my head position which has really helped my legs kick closer to the water.

PROGRESS

AHHHH YEA!

…Now I’m going to go take a nap!

Daddy/Daughter Day – Talons Challenge

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On Saturday my dad drove down from Aspen so that he and I could participate in the Talons Challenge together at Beaver Creek Ski Resort. It was a sort of daddy-daughter date and we had such a blast.

The Talons Challenge is held once a year at Beaver Creek and it’s a free event where you attempt to ski the 13 hardest black diamond and double black diamond bumped out runs at Beaver Creek Resort. These runs are super challening, expert only, bumpy LOVENESS! AKA – SUPER FUN! If you complete all the runs then you get entered into a raffle for sweet prizes and a chance to win a week long ski trip to Austria. Plus, finishing gets you a brat, a beer, a finishing pin, and and a hat!

Since dad has been a ski bum the last month he has gotten wicked good at all sorts of terrain. My bump skills have gotten much better recently. Dad has been helping me learn to properly weight my uphill foot. I am skiing nice and controlled over them now. 13 runs gives you some serious practice time! I was also really excited to try out my new Beyond jacket skiing. It’s the BOMB. I had the pit zips open most the day, and my map, Talons pass, cell, and chap stick were always accessible via my chest and arm pockets. Dad said I was really noticeable due to the lilac color. It’s just so nice to have something that fits perfect, especially skiing, when you already feel like a stuffed monkey.
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We started off the day trying to hit the hardest double blacks while the snow was still good. The resort had 4 new inches from the night before. That was on top of an awesome powder base. You really can’t beat the snow in Colorado right now…it’s the best we’ve seen in years! Dad and I worked our way through the runs, one run at a time, one bump at a time. We snacked on the lift ride, and chatted with tons of fun people. The challenge really brought out some awesome folks! I couldn’t believe how many little kids were out there kicking major butt on the bumps! We rode up with one little boy that this was his 3rd year doing it, and he was 10!
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By the last few runs dad and I were ready to be done done done. The legs were shot! We finished strong, got our raffle tickets, and went to cash in on the free food. Not 1 minute after I sat down to eat my brat did I hear them call my raffle number! I won a Talons Challenge sweatshirt. I was pretty happy about that one! We stayed and basked in the sun until the end of the raffle where we did not win the trip to Austria (shocking). Strapping on our skiis to ski back to the village was delightful (ouch) and we just missed the strawberry lift by 10 seconds, so we had to ride the bus back down to town and then walk back to the condo.

All in all it was such a great daddy/daughter day, we both just had a blast together. I feel so blessed that I have such an active father. I could tell that lots of people we met yesterday were jealous of dad and I’s relationship. It’s not everyday that you see dads and daughters together on the mountain, enjoying the time they spend together.
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Mental Mondays (2): Direction

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Week 2 of 50
Last week we thought about priorities. We wrote some things down for mid season, including red flags. This exercise really helped me narrow down that when Family/Friends, Sport/Health, Diet, and Finances are going in the right direction, my life is pretty peachy. This helped me to write down a list of questions to ask myself mid-season to reaffirm my priorities, and to keep my actions in check. I hope you joined me and wrote down your own. I think they will really come in handy in the next couple months.

Speed is irrelevant if you’re traveling in the wrong direction
– Gandhi

Direction
This week we are going to talk about direction. I had a long talk with my coach recently about opportunities and direction and it made me realize that we need to put some effort towards the idea of direction before we move on. For some people their direction is clear; either they have a strong sense of what they can accomplish, or they have limiters in their lives that dictate their direction (family, occupation, finances). For most of us, we struggle really knowing where we are headed. Sure, we set goals, and we hop from workout to workout, but knowing where you are REALLY, DEEPLY headed can give you strength and a sense of purpose in each of your training sessions.

The truth is opportunities and distractions are going to arise for you, the athlete. If you don’t have a strong sense of where you are headed, why, and what for, then every little opportunity will become a distraction to your purpose. We have to have a way of sorting through all the opportunities that arise, becasuse let’s face it, when you are doing the right things in you life, opportunities come knocking all the time. You have to have a solid idea of what detracts, and what adds to your training.

Defining Direction
So how do we decide on an overarching purpose. We soul search. Here’s an idea, take a blank piece of paper and write on it “My purpose and direction this year in my sport will be”. Now write down WHATEVER jumps into your head. When you start shedding tears you are getting somewhere. Don’t quit early, keep going until you have something that sends a tremmor through your entire being…that’s your direction.

Write down your direction. It can be for the season, for they year, for the next five years. Whatever resonates right now is what you are going to go for until you get it!

Using your direction
Your direction is your litmus test. It is that overarching phrase which you will bump everything up against when you are thinking of deviating from your plan. “Hey Sonja, wanna run 10 miles with me this Sunday”. Humm my schedule says bike, but I love running with so-and-so. BOOM, this is when I will refer to my direction. “ooh, Sonja, you should do such and such triathlon with us”. BOOM refer to my direction. Sometimes it will make perfect sence to take an opportunity that has been presented to you, other times it will not, but if you have a direction then you will continue to stay on your pre-chosen path.

Put your Direction out there
When we define the direction of our lives the universe will start to set up opportunities to help us along. If you know where you are going you will be surprised how many times the path continues to be illuminated before you. Put it out there in the world and it will come flying back to you in record speed. don’t be afraid to define your direction, take the plunge. When we are midseason and we can’t even remember how we ever got ourselves into this, our direction will provide stability.

Homework
Obviously we need to define our direction, give it a voice and write it down. But beyond that, let’s make sure we also talk to someone that we trust about our direction. No one can give you answers but find someone who can ask you some questions about your chosen direction so that you become more firm and defined in your chosen path.

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar
– Helen Keller

Ladies Night – Spirit of the Marathon

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Okay, I am a bit biased, but WOW, we had so much fun watching the single screening of “Spirit of the Marathon” last night. It was sooo well done, and sooo inspirational. It had a little something for everyone, and it was JUST SO GOOD. Not that I am partial.

They plan to do a second screening in February and I plan to be there. I can’t wait! Even though it was a Thursday night our theatre was sold out as were many others around the country.

We runners are really appreciative of this film, it gave all of us a voice, and it was done so nicely. I spent the entire movie curled up in a little ball in my chair, like a little kid, feasting on what was playing out before me. It was better than chocolate.

It didn’t hurt that 6 of my closest friends sat all around me…in various states of intoxication. The ones that have been with me the past year in a half as I transformed into an endurance athlete. Yup, they were all there, as googly eyed as I.

When the second screaning comes on February 21, I highly suggest that you purchase a ticket and go see what we runners consider the distance of all distances. Call me…I’ll go with you!

Simple Prosperity Book Signing

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Tuesday night I attended an author presintation and book signing by David Wann, the author of Simple Prosperity. It was an enlightening time and I came home refreshed and rejuvinated. I woke up Troy and we talked for hours about the direction our family has chosen to take.

Simple Prosperity takes a look at current social anthropology from both a society and an individual point of view. The way he welds the two together, weaving back and forth between the two, hammers home how we are neither separate from our neighbors, nor defined by societal expectations.

Values such as health, relationships with people, connection with nature, satisfying work, a sense of purpose, abundance of personal time, and freedom of expression are the real wealth, far more valuable than money and mountains of manufactured stuff.
– Simple Prosperity Excerpt

Last night David Wann talked a lot about cultural expectations. It was nice for someone to speak about being immune to those expectations, to be willing to appear foolish, all the while traveling in your own direction. This really hit a nerve. At times I feel a bit crazy for not owning a TV set, or a home. Troy and I always seem to be doing things a different way, but we don’t feel that our value system is that different than others. Family, health, shelter, stability.

David Wann’s book illustrates a new way of life that can deliver twice the satisfaction for half the resources. Check it out, and let me know if you enjoy it. I would love to get together a coffee group one evening to discuss this book a little more.

News Flash!

Results for last weekends race are out. Steve, Sara and I all qualified for USSSA Snowshoe National Championships in Ogden in March. Congratulations to Steve and Sara!

Ogden or BUST!

Results Here
List of Qualified Athletes Here

It Was Time…

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Well, it was time. After countless mornings of tears while we brushed through tangles…no, make that “dread”locks we were ready to cut off Annies hair. Well, actually I was ready, Troy was a little sad. Everyone always comments on her hair and how long and pretty it is, and you just hate to go cut off the very thing that she gets complimented on. But on the other hand, it’s hard to see her face behind the MOP, so maybe now people will notice her smile, and her beautiful eyes.

This morning we endeavored to brush out a weeks worth of dreadlocks and we had a very painful time of it. After 45 minutes we were both crying, her from head pain, me from heart pain. I finally said “Annie…that’s it, we are going to go cut off your hair”. We made an appointment at Jack and Jill and in 15 minutes we were in the car ready to go.

Annie got to ride in the “Barbi Jeep”, watch cartoons and eat lollipops to her hearts content while the VERY nice lady cut her hair. Annie only cried when she could see the lady, but as long as she stayed out of sight, Annie was fine…strange huh? So the bangs were a little tough to get done, but other than that she was able to cut some nice layers. I am very pleased.
Here is the after shot!

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Dumpster Diving

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My dad was at Play in Again Sports in Aspen yesterday and saw these next to the dumpster. They are Annie sized and the owner said he was going to throw them away. They still need bindings, but you can’t beat free skiis.
Woo Hoo! Thanks Dad!