New Year, I swear I’m still alive

I’m a month into the new year, and realized that it’s been probably six months since I’ve posted anything on here. This makes me sad because I really do enjoy putting up a bit of what’s been going on!

There was just a little too long where I didn’t feel like I had anything interesting going on in my life. I’ve pretty much been rotating between work, working out, curling, and being a bum, with a few fun adventures with friend thrown in. Too many small little things to cover, but I’ll get the big ones covered.

Let’s start with curling. That’s always a pretty big thing for me, right? Well this season we worked our butts off and traveled a TON. Sadly, we seemed to have this curse where we couldn’t win more than one game per event. The crazy thing was the teams that we were beating! Some of the top teams out there, many of whom went on to crush the rest of their games to qualify in the same event we beat them at. Oh well. The end result is that we missed the Continental Cup Qualifying, and have opted out of playing in US National Championship. With no hope of qualifying for the Women’s World Curling Championship, we decided to save our time and money and apply it towards next season.

This year I also got to play in the US Mixed Doubles National Championships in Denver. This is an event where, this year, you sign up with your teammate and you go to Nationals. Nationals does not have a set number of teams. There’s a good chance that the qualifying format will change after this year, as there were over 30 teams playing for the one spot. There was a bit of a team boom due to the inclusion of the Mixed Doubles discipline in the upcoming 2018 Olympics. My teammate and I made it all the way through the A side of the event, only to lose all three qualifying games. Therefore, we’re out. The upside of making it through the A side was all of the cool things we got to see in Denver. I’ll add some pictures once I get them fixed of the struggles that come with having taken them on my phone.

In other news, I’ve been really enjoying my workouts lately. I’m pretty much down to kickboxing and running. Only now I’m signing up for more and more races, and they are getting longer and longer… therefore I’m trying to stick to my training schedule I designed. So far I’ve been getting 2 or 3 runs a week. On top of that I’ve been getting 2 or 3 classes in at ilovekickboxing.com. My one run a month has been going well, I’ll get them all added to a side panel here so you can all keep track with me!

As for kickboxing, I’m happy to say my push-ups are getting better and better and my punches are getting stronger and stronger. There is a contest I’ve entered, which is called the 45 day body transformation contest. It was going great for a little while, but recently I’ve had a horrible run of low blood sugars, which require eating some of those not-so-great-for-you fast acting carbs. Delicious though. Lucky Charms have been my go-to recently. YUM! Weight loss or not, I’m proud of some of the new habits I’m gaining.

And last but not least, work. I’ve been working at Dick’s Sporting Goods through the USOC Contenders program. It has been great, especially through our crazy travel and competition schedule this fall. They have been great understanding that I was going to be unavailable a lot of the busy shopping weekends. And man was it a crazy thing to be back working retail over a holiday season! The biggest struggle by far is that I already owned a lot of nice work out clothes… but I never seem to actually have enough if my continual purchasing of more says anything.

In the collection of other things I’ve been doing to stay busy, I took a trip out to Milwaukee to visit friends, stopped out to watch some of the Junior National Curling Championship, played in a couple fun spiels, and have been playing around with my new camera (Christmas present!). In the up and coming short term, I’ve got a trip to Florida to visit my dad (and see some sunshine) and some more races and fun curling events.

Home life and right back to it

Okay, as most of you know, I’m back home now. I’ve been trying hard to get all of my trip day posts up, but it takes longer than I expect! So instead of waiting on all the home updates, I’ll mix those right in with my trip posts as I get those done.

I got home on a Sunday, and the next morning headed straight to the curling club for some practice. Sadly, I forgot that Monday is the ice maintenance day. So off to the gym instead. It was quite sad to work on a couple lifts and see how horribly weak I became over my trip. I had good intentions of working out a lot while I was gone, but was just so exhausted when I’d get home that I had no desire to do anything.

Tuesday I was able to get on the ice. It really is like riding a bike. I might end up sore, but it really just comes back so easily. I also decided that I needed some more interesting gym adventure. My friend Lindsay (and her husband Ben) has been kickboxing for a while, so much so that she’s an instructor now. And it always sounds like fun. So I caved and signed up for the intro package.

Turns out that I loved my first class, and signed up for some more. This I think is a good choice. Getting two vaccines in my arms (which were starting to be sore from the boxing) the next morning, was probably not a good choice. Sore, sore, sore arms!

Some more time on the curling ice, both for teaching and for playing and it was off to the weekend!

Oh Curling.

At last update I had just finished trying out for the National Curling Team. Well, all of us at the try-out heard back last week. Sad to say, I won’t be part of that team this year.

That just means that right now I’m trying to figure out what team I WILL be a part of. This is always a scramble it seems and just a general head ache. Once it’s sorted, then we can move on to the fun things like picking a schedule and trying to find sponsors (believe it or not, no one wants to sponsor curlers).

In the mean time, I’ve been keeping myself busy with other fun (less stressful) activities. This memorial day weekend we hit up the cabin. Sad to say, the weather wasn’t all it could have been. We were able to get outside on Saturday and some on Sunday but booked it home early on Monday because it just wasn’t that much fun hanging out inside in the rain :(.

It was an animal filled weekend. We (okay, not me, just the boy) were dog sitting, and then there was my cat and my mom’s. This would not be as exciting if my cat could just figure out how to get along with everyone else. My mom’s and the dog? Not a problem. Maybe sometime. Mitten (my cat) loves to be an outside cat. That doesn’t go so well at home, but at the cabin it’s great. Yes, he has a harness and leash. No, I don’t try to walk him. It’s mostly just so that I can grab him if I need to.

Watching the waves hit the shore
Watching the waves hit the shore

When we came back early from the cabin, I wasn’t all that sad, because it meant I had newly found time which I could use to my advantage! That means I decided I would rock out the quilt I needed to finish. I decided to make quilts for my friends when they have babies after realizing how much I love the home made quilts that are at my cabin. I also realized that very few people take the time to make anything, and it’s way more fun than anything I could ever buy for someone.

This quilt I started a long time ago, before my friend was even considering babies. So luckily a large part was done already. This is good as she’s due in September, and I’ll be gone for a huge chunk of time between now and then. Just a classic pattern, but spiced up with a fun print on the back.

Can you tell it's going to be a girl?
Can you tell it’s going to be a girl?

Now that this project is done, it’s back to figuring out curling plans and trip plans!

Busy Busy Bee

This week has been a busy week, and I keep feeling like I haven’t had a chance to sit down. Of course, I know that’s not true as I’ve gotten multiple posts written, and watched a couple TV shows (which are really an obvious excuse to get some snuggles and use no brain power).

I was lucky enough to get invited to go with the boy to the Guthrie to watch the Crucible. We were going with some of his lab group, but decided to split from them for dinner and got some sushi. Probably not either of our favorite sushi places, but it was all about location. I love the Guthrie. The stage we got to see the show on was the “non-traditional” Wurtle Thrust stage. I really enjoy shows on this stage because you feel like you are a part of the play much more than the standard type. Not my favorite show, but probably just because it’s a bit of a depressing play, not because it was poorly performed.

Thursday we were off to spring league curling. It is so exciting to see my newbies improving so much. It seems like everyone is having fun. I’m probably the worst because I sometimes just don’t have the patience for when people have no idea what’s going on. Alas, I knew that would happen when we signed up for this league, so I’m trying really hard to keep my happy girl pants on.

Friday was mostly taken up with chores. I’ve been working on being better at that whole cleaning thing. I wouldn’t say it’s been going all that well, but some is better than none. Other than that, we ordered some Thai from my favorite Thai restaurant. Some well needed rest.

Saturday I was off for a nice coffee and walk (my favorite kind of friend date) with Katie. Nothing too fancy but we always like to keep in touch and there’s not much better than a little exercise to go with the “coffee” we get. I often end up with a Mocha, which is more chocolate and milk than coffee, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do sometimes.

Off to Target. Does anyone else have the problem where every time you go to target it’s a minimum $50? Well, that’s my life. And the worst part is that I forgot multiple things that were on my to-buy list. So I guess I’ll be heading back again this week. Stopped at Joann Fabrics to pick up some fabric to use for the back of a quilt for my friend that is having her first baby (a little girl!).

This was followed by some practice time for curling. My old teammate came into town and we headed up for our ice time.

Sunday is the exciting day here. Today I had my try out for the National Curling Team. The USCA calls it a combine, which makes some sense because you run through a wide variety of drills. Not quite like the NFL combine though, no reporters there letting the world know how you’re doing! In fact, there’s been very little press about this at all. It turns out that there were 7 people trying out for the Women’s teams. We have no idea how many people will make it. Everyone is just trying to do their best.

I’ve been prepping for this try out for the last month or so, and so the next week will be tough. The upside is there is no longer anything I can do about it. So good, bad or indifferent, there’s nothing more I can do to make my case. I did my fitness tests. I did my curling tests. I did my logic tests (which I didn’t expect). I completed my interview. I demonstrated how horrible I am at functional movements (google functional movement test). Now the coaches take all the data from all those tests and figure out who they want. The hope is that we will hear back before the week is over.

Fingers crossed.

Teaching Curling and a 5k

Spring league for curling starts this week. I figured since I have some brand new and rather new curlers playing, I should probably teach them how to curl before we show up for our first league game. So I stopped down to find out when there would be space on the ice for us, that wasn’t in the middle of the day. Turns out it was Friday night. So off we went.

Learning to Curl

I know that I had a blast. I think everyone else did. I think we’ve got the very basics of curling down and are now ready to take on the world. Or at least that very small portion of it that is Thursday Night Saint Paul Spring League. I won’t be too surprised if we win games, as the back end is made up of good competitive players, but I will be surprised if we have any front end rocks that score points for us. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I sadly had to cut the festivities a tiny bit short after the learn to curl session as 5ks always seem to be bright and early.

The suggested time to arrive at the beginning area was 7:10, for a 8:10 start. That’s insanely early, so Katie and I agreed to meet up at 7:30. Of course, Katie being earlier than me for everything, was probably there around 7:10 anyways. I was lucky enough to rope the boy into dropping me off near the start on his way home to save myself some walking and the pain that is parking anywhere near a large race. This worked out marvelously.

I found Katie. We checked out all the stuff that was going on. Saw everyone rocking their new sweatshirts that came in the goody bag picked up the night before (yes, you could get your sweatshirt without actually running the race!). It was chilly before the race (chilly being around 45 degrees). They had a couple different cool inflatables up for pictures and generally looking awesome. Katie and I of course took the standard picture.

This is a giant blow up mug of hot chocolate!
This is a giant blow up mug of hot chocolate!

Then we dropped off our stuff at bag check and headed toward the start corral. This was a GIANT 5k. I believe the corrals went all the way up to K. I was in corral C, Katie was in G. They put you in corrals based on your predicted running speed. I believe I entered a 9:20 minute mile, but I really have no idea as I signed up months ago. My goal was a 30 minute race. This was one of the best organized races I have run, especially impressive with the extreme size.

So off we went running. I got to the first mile marker and it said 20:33 because they start each corral roughly 3 minutes apart. This meant that I had NO idea how I was doing in terms of my 30 minute goal. Oh well. I was happy to see my mom stationed in the middle of the Stone Arch Bridge (a Minneapolis landmark in it’s own right) which was about half way through the race, and always takes longer to run across than I expect. I got to Mile 2 marker exactly 10 minutes after the time I saw at Mile 1. That meant I had to pick it up for the finish. I ended up finishing with a 30:49 time. Not too bad since I didn’t train nearly as much as I should have.

I knew I would have time to head back and catch Katie up the final hill, about .3 miles before the finish line, and a real bugger to run at that point. I cheered for everyone as they were running by (always a great thing to hear when you’re running!), waiting for Katie. I saw her and ran a tiny bit with her towards the finish. She totally nailed her goal, which was super exciting to see, as this was her first 5k ever!

We didn’t pick the Hot Chocolate 5k by accident. No, we picked it because they give you chocolate at the end. These were by far the best post race snacks ever.

HotChocTreats

After a brief rest, we walked to brunch at a restaurant that was between Katie’s car and the light rail stop from where I would be heading home. It’s great to eat brunch after you know you’ve run enough to burn off the calories. I mean, maybe not brunch AND chocolate treat calories, but who really cares about that.

This post was nicely written in a coffee shop, which has proved to me that I believe the problems I’m having with my computer and the internet are at least in part due to my internet at home. I guess I’ll take some more advantage of my Amazon Prime subscription and order myself a new WiFi Router 🙁

Does anyone like the Dentist?

So title be darned, I actually like the dentist. I’m crazy right?

I really shouldn’t like the dentist. I’ve had some variety of screwed up teeth forever (apparently a symptom of celiac, who knew!). But I don’t care. I love going in and having my teeth cleaned. Even if it means I may have to go in for a filling later (note: I do). I think my parents were more concerned with other aspects of my health growing up, and I have never had the greatest dental hygiene habits. Oh well, I’m alive.

And regardless of what my parents did, I’ve got a giant sweet tooth now. Apparently this isn’t something the dental hygienist expected, because I’m, you know, diabetic. So it was suggested that I try to rinse out my mouth better after eating or drinking sweet things. At least these are easy things to do.

So that was my morning, then I grabbed a coffee (mocha, a nice sweet coffee, exactly what the dentist just told me I should do a better job avoiding) on my way to work.

My boss, and my boss’s boss are out on vacation this week. Seems that their kids have spring break at the same time. That means that I’ve been spending a decent portion of my day watching the Men’s World Curling Championships. This year, ESPN hooked up a deal with TSN (Canadian Sports Channel) to show any curling that TSN covers (Canadian Nationals and Worlds). Being able to watch so much curling is an entirely new thing for me and I’m loving it. However, we are at the mercy of whatever game TSN is showing (cough*alwayscanada*cough). So I’ve also been following the action on curlinggeek.com, which does shot by shot updates. Not as accurate, but quite lovely over just watching the line scores.

Today was a particularly important day for Team USA. They’ve been fighting tooth and nail all week, and are right on the edge of making playoffs. They had two must win games today (one while I was at the dentist and couldn’t follow!). And they won BOTH! So exciting. Now they have to wait and see how this evenings games turn out (currently going as I type).

Just wanted to keep everyone updated on what’s going on, even if it may not be too exciting 🙂 Thanks for reading.

House of Hearts and Maroon 5

Wow. What a whirl wind weekend. (And what a lot of w-words in a short span)

This past weekend was the Duluth Curling Club’s yearly House of Hearts Tournament. It is a fundraiser for St. Luke’s Foundation, formatted as a celebrity bonspiel (a curling tournament is called a bonspiel — damn scot’s). This means that everyone signs up, raises money, and then gets to curl with “famous” curlers. I say “famous” because no curler is really that famous, definitely not down here in the U.S. Some of the top fundraisers get to pick who they want to play with, everyone else is randomly assigned. I’m not sure how that assignment happens – the skips picked cards when we walked in.

Like I said, this is a fundraiser event. However, it’s really a GIANT party. And one of the best ones. We spend the weekend curling a bit, drinking a lot, and getting to know all sorts of new people, while also raising money through some interesting methods. Lots of money was raised with raffles and various other types of ticket sales. We auctioned off the chance to shave someone’s beard as another. So, it spanned all options. I was pretty floored to find out that the event raised $27,000 when all I felt like I did was celebrate. There will be no pictures posted from this adventure, for good reasons.

Sunday was spent in recovery. I should have planned that for Monday as well, but alas, I had to work.

And then I had to go to training. What was I thinking. But I had to wedge that in quickly because I had tickets to see MAROON 5! I saw them last year, or was it two years ago, and they were great. Decided it was worth going again, and I wasn’t wrong. Katie and I went and it was a great show. I’m not sure how they fit so many songs into such a short time, everyone of which is a hit. Maroon 5 is one of my favorite artists to listen to when I’m running because they have so many upbeat tunes.

Sadly, no running for me today, as these past couple days I’ve been dropping low what feels like all the time. Evening runs are already the hardest for me in terms of blood sugar drops, so I decided after spending a couple hours today hanging between 60-80 (not super low, but I ate a ton to stay there) that I didn’t want to be low any more. A nice carb filled dinner (can you say pasta) and I’m happy to say low is not something that is happening tonight. I need a full nights sleep!


On an unrelated note, I was so excited to see Stephen’s blog post about my Champs with Diabetes Medal. I was thrilled when I saw the whole medal concept when I first started cruising around diabetes blogs. It’s such a genius idea! I have promised a picture with my medal, which I did get in the mail last week. I’ll get that picture this week. The end of last was just a little busy. I’ll post a picture up here when I get it taken.