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Preview: I never promised you a monkey lamp.

I never promised you a monkey lamp.

The story of the monkey lamp is silly... perhaps one day I'll share it. Until then, I will share something equally uproarious - my life. In addition to my Triathlon training, it includes my super supportive husband, two maniac Jack Russell terriers, and

Updated: 2018-03-06T06:46:20.105-08:00


My 2010 Racing Schedule


I was inspired by Brandon Wood to blog my upcoming 2010 race schedule. I am jumping ahead here because I still have to do my 2009 recap, but I'm a forward planner more than a look-backer. It's obviously subject to change as the only one I've actually paid for so far is Steelhead (which is my A race). So, here it is, a preliminary look at my 2010 race schedule!The season starts with a yearly tradition - I'll definitely be racing the Flying Pig 13.1 in Cincinnati, OH. My sister and I ran this last year and there were more hills than I anticipated so I didn't make my super-secret goal. I'm planning to do more than finish this year, so look for me to kick some butt! There is a slight difference this year, when I finish I will be cheering on my sister who is taking on the full 26.2 this year!! (Side note: No matter how many times I type it, I NEVER spell Cincinnati correctly on the first try.)That will be followed by the Capitol View Triathlon in Madison, WI. This is my race that means the most to me in terms of redemption. Last year, this race kicked my ass in no uncertain terms. I was unprepared for the swim and lost my legs on the bike. I was a mess and finished dead last. I'm coming back and I'll be ready this time.Then, it's the big show - The Steelhead Half-Ironman Triathlon - my A race. One might wonder why on earth I'd want to do a 70.3 (that's miles - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run) without the ability to "quickly" complete an Olympic distance. I am not sure of the answer other than it's what I want to do. This distance is what I've been working up to since my start. Sprints and Olympics are fun and great, but this is the distance I want to race. For me, it holds a lot more seriousness in my mind. Anyone can train and race a sprint or oly, I really believe that if you try you can complete it. The 70.3 distance is my line in the sand, I guess. My preliminary goals are to complete the race, not suffer through it, and beat Nando (again, mwahaha). Other goals TBD.Following that it's up for grabs. I will be missing the Naperville Triathlon that I have done for the past couple of years because it's a week after Steelhead. I'll consider the Chicago Triathlon again at the end of August, but I'm not sure if it will be too soon & I don't have anything to prove (except maybe that I can beat Nando again by more than 4 minutes). I may just volunteer at the two races or cheer on friends that are racing. Then, it's my new tradition of season finale: the Kentucky Bourbon Chase!! This is an overnight, 12-person team 200-mile relay race through the (very hilly) Kentucky Bourbon trail. It is gorgeous out there, and my team last year was an absolute blast!So, there's a lot of miles to be conquered next year and I'm focused this winter on dropping weight and getting an excellent base so that when I start my training, I am not holding myself back. One thing is certain though, I am going to be running and biking a lot of hills in preparation in hopes of making my foe, a friend.[...]

My Problems with Animal Circuses


Years ago I became a supporter of PETA because I found out they work to end the misery of animals in circuses. How could anyone have a problem with something as simple as a circus? Here is a letter to the local Kiwanis Club that is sponsoring a circus as a fundraiser that outlines some of my concerns. Some of the content comes directly from PETA's content that they provide. It is a great resource, please do check it out!!Hello,I am writing to ask that you consider ending circuses that use animal acts, such as the Kelly Miller Circus, for your fundraising purposes. While I understand it is meant as a fundraiser, there is nothing "fun" about the mistreatment animals living in the circus are forced to endure. Your organization is an admirable one and serves the community well. I am asking that you consider what it is that you are actually promoting before you lend your credible name to these events.According to documentation compiled provided by PETA, “Kelly Miller Circus has failed to meet minimal federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Kelly Miller Circus for failure to handle animals in a manner that is safe for the animals and the public, failure to provide veterinary records, and failure to provide structurally sound enclosures. Kelly Miller Circus leases animals from its sister circus, Carson & Barnes.” According to the documentation compiled by PETA, “The Carson & Barnes Circus animal care director was videotaped viciously attacking elephants with a bullhook, shocking elephants with an electric prod, and instructing trainers to embed sharp, metal hooks into the elephants’ flesh until the elephants scream in pain.”(Ref: and )Child development experts warn that the circus can be harmful to our children. Dr. Melvin Levine, director of the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning, says that when children watch animals being hit—such as when elephants are jabbed in the sensitive skin behind their ears or in the tender area under their chins with sharp, heavy bullhooks—their impressionable young minds are at risk. Children see this device, as well as electric prods, whips, and heavy sticks being used to control animals, and come to believe that it is acceptable to humiliate or physically intimidate, even to injure animals.Additionally, most people do not realize that when circuses set up camp in our town, they bring with them transient workers picked up on the road—often criminals.Does this sound like it will put the “fun” in the Kiwanis fundraiser? I am not interested in shocking anyone, and I understand people think this antiquated form of entertainment is amusing on some basic level. But, circuses were originally created to travel from place to place to entertain people. Perhaps they haven’t noticed but we have an abundance of animal and family friendly activities to pursue on any given day. What is wrong with a human circus option, similar to the Cirque de Soleil productions? I would be pleased to help you brainstorm other ideas in the future to assist in your fundraising efforts.Circuses are cruel. They teach children that animal cruelty is acceptable, which is a danger to their development, and they are a risk to the safety and well-being of the community.Thank you for your consideration.[...]

My Personal Triumph at the Chicago Triathlon


Pre-RaceI was SO nervous. I don't think I was this nervous ever before. I woke up before my alarm and headed out the door at 4:06 AM. In the car ride to the race, I managed to knock over my coffee onto my TMobile G1. My LIFELINE! Argh. It kept functioning for a while and then finally it gave up. I managed to get a text out to my husband and to my friend Nando before it died completely. Not a good start. So now I'm kind of a mess about my phone (I feel naked without it). Anyway, once Nando found me, I felt better and relaxed a little. We had to wait about 2 hours before we started, so we people watched. As time went on, I was less nervous but still never completely not nervous. It was SO cold outside - was easily in the low fifties (Fahrenheit).The SwimThere was no swim warm-up for this race. I am a BIG believer in swim warm-ups. I can't race the first few hundred meters properly without one. My first few hundred meters during the actual race then become the warm-up.I hopped off of the platform into the water at about 7:57:38. The water at 63 degrees was warmer than the air and felt like a blessing. My swim wave started at 8 AM sharp. A nice round time for me to estimate my finish time easily en route - yahoo!I started the swim and got a rhythm, I looked up at about 200 meters and thought "I am never going to make it". I kept going. The first 400 meters were SO slow for me. Just before the 400 meter mark, my arms started to get tired. They always get this feeling just before they are ready to lay down a proper distance of swim, so this made me feel better. (Odd, I know.) I kept going and sure enough, BAM.When I got out of the water, there was about a .25 mile trek to transition. I walked at first reflecting on how proud of myself for getting through the swim I was, and then started jogging.The BikeThe whole bike course is on Lake Shore Drive which is beautiful but bumpy in some places. I did the first six miles not realizing I was in the middle ring of my crank, like a dork. Once I hit the big ring, I was pedaling much faster. It was a great ride and at the end I felt like I could do 24 more. Very pleased!The RunI must have still had adrenaline pumping because I was able to actually start the first half-mile out at about 10 min/mile. I slowed way down after that and had to run/walk until about mile 4. Overall, I pushed myself as much as I could, slowing down when I felt my heart rate speeding up.Lessons LearnedI am awesome. :-) That's it!ThoughtsSince this was my end of triathlon season, here are the things I am planning to work on in the off-season:Weight-loss (usual goal)Get bike fitted properly for aero barsLearn to ride with aero bars :-)Improve Run speed and enduranceImprove Bike speedEpilogueI fixed my phone with letting it dry out and doing a soft system restart. It's not perfet, but it works!! YAY!Final Results DistanceInternational (Olympic)Clock Time03:34:38Overall Place3641 / 4243Gender Place970 / 1292Division Place 223 / 286Swim00:38:37Trans100:05:08Bike01:30:47Trans200:04:53Run01:15:11Swimrank3049Bikerank3317Mph16.7Runrank3927Pace00:12:07 [...]

Wow. Vegan MacNCheese & Vegan Bolognese!


I am on week 3 of my vegan experiment. It's flying by and actually becoming a habit now. I really like the way I feel too. Also, I think it's definitely helping my training and overall performance. Hooray!! I don't know how long I plan to do it, or if I even plan to stop. I'm just kind of going with it. Anyway, I'm getting more and more favorite vegan foods and learning to recreate my old standbys in a healthier, happy way.The other day I found Teese, a soy cheese made right here in Chicago. It's nommy for sure. I used their cheddar sauce, mixed with a cup of soy milk, half a container f vegan cream cheese, added some diced poblano peppers and let it simmer. Then, I poured it over some (cooked, obviously) whole wheat elbow macaroni. It was awesome! I made a whole pound, so we had leftovers for days! Tonight though I made an AWESOME vegan bolognese sauce that I was so stoked about. Bolognese is a traditional meat sauce, and it's freaking delicious. It's also fattening as hell and not at all healthy. I took a lot of care in preparing it and watched it like a hawk for a whole hour and a half, tasting and tweaking as I went. If you're going to make it, I suggest the same.Here's (roughly) how I made it. If I list measurements, that's what I used. If I don't, it's to taste. Capisce? Good, here it is: Virgin Olive oilMedium Yellow Onion - diced(Med carrot if you want, I omit - diced)(Med Celery Rib if you want it, I omit - diced)4 pieces veggie bacon, cut into small piecesPut some olive oil in a large saucepan, heat until shiny, then add the above ingredients. Cook until the onions are nearly translucent. Once cooked, put them in a glass bowl on the side. 1 package Upton Naturals Italian Sausage style seitan (I can't say enough about this brand, it is amazing. They also make freaking awesome tamales. You need to eat them. So good.)1/2 package of defrosted Boca crumbles (if you cook them frozen they have too much water)2 large garlic cloves (chopped)3/4 cup white whine (chardonnay works)1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces)1 cup vegetable stockbasil (I use a combo of fresh & dried)thyme (dried)oregano (fresh & dried)kosher salt (or sea salt)fresh ground pepper1/4 cup of Silk Soy creamer (original flavor)Parma! Vegan ParmeseanBox of pasta, cooked (I use spaghetti, semolina not whole wheat)Add the rest of the olive oil to the saucepan and heat until shiny. Add the Upton sausage and the Boca crumbles and cook for about 5 - 10 minutes. Return the onions, etc in the glass bowl to the saucepan. Add the garlic and continue cooking over high heat for about a minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes (and their juice), the vegetable stock stock, and the bay leaf, thyme, basil, & oregano. Add salt & pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat for 1 hour. If it looks too watery, boil it down with the cover off until it's less liquidy. You want a thicker sauce. When it looks good to you, discard the bay leaf. Stir in the soy cream and cook for a few more minutes.Start the pasta during the last 15 mins of cooking, keep the sauce warm until the pasta is cooked & drained. Put the sauce over the noodles, add the vegan parm, and enjoy!If you make it, please do let me know what you think!For dessert, I made Cherrybrook Kitchen's Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla frosting. NOMNOMNOM!! I bought the mix & frosting at Whole Foods. I will SO totally be buying them again (and again and again). [...]

Like a Shark with a Laser Beam...


This will be short - I am sleepy: Day Two! Still going strong - no problems. Today I walked out of my office and a lady gave me a flyer about Compassion & Veganism. COINCIDENCE? I think not!! I'm carrying on...

One thing I have noticed: laser-like focus! Holy moly. I have had no problems concentrating at all, which is very odd for me.

Today I ate:

Jamba Juice Steel Cut Oatmeal w. blueberries & blackberries (no brown sugar crumble)
Leftover gnocchi
Edamame salad (soooo good)
Banana (or Banasna as it were)
Vegan Meatloaf & Roasted New Potatoes


The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people,” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.
—Neal D. Barnard, MD, President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

How it all vegan... *


So, first day down. SUCCESS!! This has been a super simple change. It was expensive (those of you that witnessed my grocery store rants on Twitter know this already). I spent about $230 on groceries. Once I got everything put away, I realized I don't need any super fancy plan that is going to cost me a bazillion dollars, I can totally do these things on my own & just use some of these recipes. That will save me a ton of dinero. Anyway, here's what I ate today:

Rip's Big Bowl
I made it based on the Engine 2 Diet & it was AWESOME. It had rolled oats, grape nuts, shredded wheat, Total cereal (my substitution), bananas, kiwi, walnuts, raisins, grapefruit, and soy milk. Sooooo good. The full recipe is here.

Cherries... nomnomnom

Made some whole wheat pasta with olive oil, garlic, sea salt (my own recipe - not on a plan), and then made some hummus (garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic, blend in food processor). I found these Ezekiel pita pockets yesterday at Whole Foods and they are awesome. I shoved some hummus in them and ate those too. Deeelish!

Hours later I reeeeeked of garlic.

Uncle Eddie's Vegan Chocolate Chip with Walnut cookie - these cookies freaking rule! (They are my fave cookie even when I'm not veganing. My other favorite & incidentally vegan item is Sweet & Sara's Smores. OMG to die for - seriously.)

Dinner was fast & easy. Muir Glen Organic pasta sauce (Garlic Roasted Garlic - more garlic, I am going to stink tomorrow) over frozen potato gnocchi. I made a baby spinach salad in it I put: kalamata olives, banana peppers, avocado (cuz I wanted cheese but the Guru says this is better, and my tastebuds agree), alfalfa sprouts, and heirloom tomatoes. I have some soy yogurt that I might throw some frozen cherries in later, or I might no do dessert (not normal). Or I might have an Uncle Eddie's - we'll see.

So, today was good and easy. But, I worked from home & was able to make all my own food - that helped. Tomorrow, I will be in the office. I am heading there equipped with a bounty of vegan deliciousnesses. (Including some leftover gnocchi for lunch!)

One good thing is that I work just a couple blocks away from the West Loop Whole Foods, so I can pick up some more Sweet & Sara Smores if it's nice enough for a walk!!

*apologies to the writers of "How it all Vegan" cookbook, available here.

Skinny Bitchin' and Fire Engines


So, things only have to happen a few times before I start to take them as hints from the universe to do something. Most recently I keep running across discussions about plant-based diets, specifically the ones featured in Skinny Bitch and the Engine 2 Diet books. I have had the Skinny Bitch books (Original and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch) and just bought the husband "Skinny Bastard". (And then @KatyLampson decided to Skinny Bitch it and she's in Texas. So I figure, why not?!)

Then, I kept coming across interviews and articles where Lance Armstrong kept mentioning Rip Esselstyn. (My understanding is that Lance uses Rip's eating plan but incorporates some percentage of animal proteins as well.) Anyway, when I looked him up, I found that he was the founder of the Engine 2 diet - another plant-based way of eating that is meant to improve your health and mood, etc. So I figure, what the heck - let's give this a shot! I mean, if it's good enough for Dave Scott - six-time Hawaii Ironman Champion, it's good enough for me!

As a little background, I am a meat and potatoes kind of gal for the most part. I had been a vegetarian before for about 2.5 years then phased fish in to my diet. It started when I watched Peta's Meet your Meat video and ended with a run-in with a steak burrito suizo that put me right back on the meat wagon. Since then, I have gone back & forth. I will say that as a vegetarian, I was down to a size 4 (which at 5'8" is pretty awesome) and felt great. When I went back to my meat eating ways I put on weight (which was further compounded by a consulting job that had me traveling all the time and eating out every day). So, I figure it's time to get serious about getting healthy. I mean, I'm not getting any younger, right?!

To get started I have printed out the week one menu and shopping list (how easy can it get, right?!) from and will hit the grocery stores tomorrow. We (my husband & I) will be embarking on what should be a 4 week introduction to a healthier lifestyle.

What does all this mean? Well, I am going to try to blog it as I go through to keep track of how I am doing, feeling, etc. etc. I am excited because I have been working with HolisticGuru and already have some great recipes that I can use right off the bat. That plus these shopping lists and weekly plans that are already written out from Engine 2 should give me an easy way to shift into the new way of eating & thinking about food. Then, I can incorporate some of my own creations, things from the Skinny Bitch repertoire, and other cook books too.

This seems like it will be exciting and challenging, as well as having the benefit of making me healthier. But, let's be honest, a big draw for me is dropping the weight once & for all. It's getting tough hauling my bootay up those hills on my bike!!

Harbor Lights Sprint Triathlon 2009


800 Meter Swim - 11:49
T1 - 4:40
13.2 mile bike - 44:34
T2 - 2:39
4 mile run - 46:23
Total - 1:50:03

Great day for racing! It was cool and cloudy. It took me over an hour to get to Waukegan and there was a one mile trek to transition from parking, so I didn't have a very relaxing set-up and pre-race experience (my own fault). Everything was well organized and run.

The swim waves were divided into big groups and we started from the beach. When there was one minute to go-time, we were ushered into the water to wait by a buoy. The water was 59 degrees Fahrenheit. I was a little nervous but ready to kick some butt! I was in the front and on the right outside to start and took a while to get my rhythm, once I settled in I was pretty good. I wound up finishing in the back of the group that finished 4 mins ahead of us. I think it was a combination of my being quicker and those individuals being slower. Very pleased with my finish, but I would have been much faster had I gotten there earlier to warm up!

Holy hell was this ridiculous. The start was covered with rough rode that was filled with potholes, uneven pavement, and more potholes. After about a mile or so that turned into smooth sailing for two loops along a closed expressway. I desperately need a new bike fit - my piriformis was murder after about 3 more miles. I tried to keep a steady pace but was wavering between fast and medium. I kept up with the same people for most of the time so I was pleased with that at least. The route back was the same potholey piece of crap that it was when I set out on the course.

My legs were tired so I did a run/walk the first mile, ran the second mile, ran walked the third mile, then as I walked through the water station a woman ran past me and said "Come on, get running - come with me!" I ran with her the fourth mile. The run was not very scenic except for 2 miles on Sheridan through a residential neighborhood.

Lessons Learned
  • I need a new bike fit - like majorly. My handlebars are causing my hand to go numb, and my hips hurt after just a few miles.
  • I need a sports massage - my piriformis is bugging me & it needs whatever it needs to get right.
  • More bike - run bricks, or at least do the ones on my schedule religiously
  • More speed training for my runs
  • More speed training for my bike
And most importantly
  • Need to lose more weight so I can move faster

Lucy Still Needs a Permanent Home


This is Lucy. She is a Jack Russell Terrier & needs a home. She is sweet to people, but can't be around small kids or other pets. I know it sounds like a tall order, but she would be great for a DINK couple or an older couple with a yard. She is 6, potty-trained, and walks on a leash. Her info is here:

(We can't take her bc we already have 2 Jacks that are our babies.)

Please? :-)

Last. Dead Last.


Today I "raced" the Capital View Triathlon in Madison, WI. I did the Olympic distance and had a blast. Oh yeah, and I came in last. Not just last in my age group, I was the last person to cross the finish line. Most people would probably be disappointed or angry, I actually am still giggling about it. I have to tell you first that it was my first Olympic distance and it was just a training race. My "A" race is the Chicago Triathlon in August. This was to prepare me for what to expect as far as distance and highlight my areas that need work.Before I get to the race report, it's important that you understand that this race is not an accurate representation of my personality or general racing style. I wasn't treating this like a race (as evidenced by my complete lack of nervousness pre-race, which surprised the h-e-doublehockeysticks out of my husband btw). I am still the same old overly competitive, type-A crazy that my friends and family have come to know and love. I am just looking at things a little differently since my half-marathon. I have come to the realization that not one person outside of myself truly cares what my race times are. They are excited if I meet my goal (in this case: Finish), and make a sad face if I miss it. Mostly people just respond to my mood. So far, since I have been laughing about it, people have found my last place finish pretty amusing as well & I get "but that's awesome that you finished it." And that's absolutely true. If nothing else, I have the tenacity of a something or other and my leg could have fallen off and I was going to finish that race. So, while I may have come in last place, I kind of still won in a way (yeah, that's cheeze n' rice, I know). Anyway, if you're still with me, here is how the race went:Overall ReviewVery hilly, nice & sunny, it got hot - perfect morning though & the water was smooth as glass. Sa-weet! The race itself was really well run & I was very happy. Tons of water stations on the run & there were swim buddies all over. This one I'd definitely do again (and plan to actually)! I have a bone to pick with that race now, haha.The SwimI am not a strong swimmer yet. This swim was kind of a triumph for me actually. I swam a continuous 1500 meters (.9 mile for my fellow Americans). I did it in my Blueseventy Sprint wetsuit. At first I was spazzing, my breathing was irregular, I couldn't get a rhythm. I was a mess. A girl next to me asked if I was OK and my response was "Yes, thanks - I always freak out at the beginning of swims." I front crawled, breast-stroked, and (mostly) back stroked my way to the finish. By the last 2/3 of the swim I was front crawling and breathing every third stroke. Unfortunately this was too late the leg fatigue damage was already done. I was, however, freaking STOKED that I swam the whole way!The BikeI consider cycling to be my best sport of the three. I am pretty good at climbing (thanks mostly to my triple crank). But, I haven't ever swam almost a mile and then hopped on my bike. Oops. Legs were TIRED. Tired legs + hills = BAD. Very, very bad! Right out of the gate, I blew past about 15 people ( it was a slow swim, I had time to make up). But then the first hill came... uuuuuugh. My left hamstrong hurt & my right calf was really tight - and, wth, my butt muscles hurt. I had to stop once to adjust my brakes because the front was rubbing, I lost the people that I had passed originally. Anyway, suffice it to say I had to push the whole 24 miles & I was so far behind that there were a few times when I considered giving up altogether. That's when I started having a mental 'chat' with myself. The following conversations took place with myself: Internal: If you quit, you'll feel like a loser.External: If you quit, you'll have to tell people and feel like a loser.Bribery[...]

Ridin' Dirty


Yesterday, I had a great bike ride once I replaced my flat & picked up some spare tubes (again... sigh). I had tons of energy and I was killing – feeling totally ready for the bike portion of my Oly tri in Madison (which is coming up June 14th). For the first part of my ride I took a new route to the place where I ride loops and was almost hit by a stupid student driver making a turn. The teacher in the passenger seat actually gave me a dirty look like it was my fault I was crossing the street with the light from the bike path! Ugh.Anyway, once I hit my loop, I was flying past people, including two dudes that showed up on the route that I not only lapped but blew past. Ready? Oh hell yeah I am – for the bike portion anyway (provided I make it out of the swim, haha). Anyway, with about 15 minutes left to go on my ride before I headed in - (I don’t count to and from my route in my overall time spent on my bike. Though, I do count it on my runs, haha. Guess which one I like better.) – anyway, with 15 minutes left I got stung in the throat by a bee. Well, really a bee flew into me (or did I fly into it?) and got caught in my helmet strap right where it clips together. AUUUUUGH!! I am not a bug person & now have a bug with a sharp object lodged in my helmet while I am in control of a moving vehicle. I immediately thought of Brett’s experience on the Zen Tri podcast & tried to remain calm. I tried to pull the strap away from my neck hoping while I was slowing that it would fly out. At this point all I can hear is buzzbuzzbuzzzzzzz coming from my neck area & my hopes of emerging unscathed are quickly slipping away along with the bee’s odds of survival. Then, I felt it – STING. OWWWWWOWOWOWOW. Right smack in the front, middle of my throat. And, it hurt. I’m not allergic to bees but I am allergic to pain. Finally, I got stopped & got off of my bike & had a stinging burning sensation on my throat. Now, I don’t’ carry a mirror on my bike, so I was using my TMobile G1 as a makeshift mirror bc it gave off a slight reflection. Took me a few tries, but I finally got the little red stinger out & it felt a little better. The site swelled up a little after but overall, it could have been worse.After that, I decided it was time to head home. The air burned my sting but the worst part of my trip home was the awesomely jerkish fartknocker that decided to buzz me in his white workman’s van while simultaneously honking at me. Man, I was angry – and startled. WHY DO PEOPLE DO THAT?! What if I got scared and jerked my handlebars to the left, right into his path? The road wasn’t crowded, he could have easily moved into the left lane, and I wasn’t even over into the lane any more than normal. He was just being a tool.So, then I was all flustered and totally sure I needed to get home. You’d think that would be the end of it, right? You’d be wrong. This is me, after all. About ½ mile from home, I stopped at an intersection. I guided myself over to the crosswalk button and unclip left and stand up with my right foot still clipped into the pedal (normal for me). I hit the button and start to angle my bike to the left to point myself across the street and – OOOOOH NO – falling to the right. Right in front of a crowded intersection, and of course, right on my rear derailleur. Luckily nothing more than my ego was bruised. As soon as I stood up and checked my derailleur, I started laughing. This ride was such a comedy of errors, I couldn’t do anything but laugh. [...]

My First Half-Mary Ever!!


Race: Flying Pig Half-MarathonDate: May 3, 2009Sport: RunningDistance: 13.1 milesCompletion Time: 2h 41mPre-RaceFridayTraveled on Friday - dinner was at 8 PM and I didn’t get to bed until after midnight.SaturdayDidn’t feel great - ate a pasta dinner, went to bed about 10 PMTried to figure out what I could do about breakfast for the next morning but the bagel place was closed so I couldn't grab something for the morning & the hotel was less than helpful.SundayRace morning - slept like crap, woke up with a headache, no breakfast to be had so I ate a Gu and a packet of Shot Blocks and a half cup of coffee. This made me nauseous. Woo! Headache subsided on my way to the race. I was NERVOUS!RaceI was very cognizant of the need to be at an 11:27 pace average in order to meet my 2:30 goal. I figured if I could maintain a slow 11:00 pace, I would be in good shape. The weather was in the 50's (Fahrenheit) with a drizzly rain which stopped about 1/4 of the way through the race - pretty much what I had been training in anyway.With the first two miles down, I started to feel a little nauseous on mile 3, so I walked a bit. After that it was a run/walk combo most of the way based on my heart rate (when I’d hit 190, I would slow down or walk). Once I hit mile 6, the hills started. My heart rate was spiking like I haven’t seen in a long time. My immediate thought was my total lack of any decent fueling pre-race, including Fri/Sat. And a lot of restaurant food the two days prior, which I am sure had tons of sodium, probably didn't help. Usually I handle hills a lot better, sometimes my smaller steps cause my heart rate to drop on hills. So, this kind of freaked me out.I ate a second Gu at mile 8. By mile 10 I was pooped from the hills, so when mile 11 came and it was all downhill, I just let go and flew as fast as my legs could carry me - a 9 1/2 minute mile. At that point I think I had gotten back to being within 8 minutes of my goal time - but there was no way I’d keep up that pace this far into the race on the flats.The rest of the race was me talking to myself, my body was fighting to walk and I was mentally fighting to run. So, I’d run for like 30 seconds and then would just start walking, then would run again. I had lost focus and was walking a lot at the end of the race but managed to pick it up for the last 1/3 of the final stretch. Hitting the finish line at the race was amazing. This was my first race where I completed it and there were tons of people full on cheering - it was totally charging. I hit that finish and felt a sense of accomplishment, which was quickly stymied by the fact I missed my newly set goal time.I was also bummed because I hadn’t seen my husband or anyone else that I knew at this point, I walked back to the hotel by myself. I was still upset about my time. My husband was waiting for me at the hotel, he was ecstatic and so proud (after having driving 5 hours the night before after working a full day because he is just that awesome!!). I was still being a baby and he explained that even just 6 months ago that I had never expected to do this and that I should be extremely proud. I was still acting like a brat, but he still was really proud of me and very excited for me. I called my parents too and they were proud and excited and my dad kept telling me not to be upset & that I should enjoy it. I don’t know if it was my sugar level, the fact that I was exhausted, or what but I couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of failure.Eventually I got over it, especially when I looked at my mile by mile times - I am pretty proud of how I did - especially since my longest training run of 12.84 miles took me 2h49m. My legs did awesome carrying me through and I didn’t give[...]

My First 12 Miler


So, first of all, I hope you all had a lovely Easter, Passover, or whatever it may be that you celebrate this time of year. I had an excellent Easter. I went for a swim in the morning then headed to the family brunch at a golf course where I watched my aunt accost the Easter Bunny. Really. The Easter Bunny walked past and she grabbed his rear. It was all very demented. But, if you know my family, unsurprising. Greek Easter is next Sunday and is usually much more civilized. haha

The Saturday before Easter, I decided I was going to run to my parents' house. They live about 12 miles away. This seemed surprising to me seeing as (A) the week before I had a massive fail at a 9 miler and (B) I had never considered this before. At all. Ever. For some reason, I woke up that Saturday just like any other. I noticed it was sunny and going to be warm, so I decided to take advantage and run. Then, I got the email that said "Flying Pig Half-Marathon is 23 days away!" Something in my brain snapped. It can't be just 3 weeks away - I hadn't even run 9 consecutive miles yet!! How was I ever going to be ready for 13? So, I took the advice of my friend and nemesis, Nando, and said, "Well, then I guess I'll just run it." (Nando had told me after my failed 9 miler that I should just pick a longer distance, like 10 miles, and run it. I rarely do something in a small manner. So, of course, I jump from 9 to 12.)

Some people might say that this is a recipe for disaster or injury. I say it was a recipe for being awesome. Here is pretty much how it went:

3.2 miles I was at my normal 5 K finishing pace. This leads me to believe that I don't push myself hard enough during 5 K races.

5 miles - Feeling pretty good, have done some walking.

8 miles - Walking some more, getting tired, and my left pinky really hurts. I have no idea why.

After that I didn't pay attention to mileage for a while, I was just feeling out how I was feeling. At some point I got a burst of energy and took off at about a 9:45 pace (about my 1 mile pace). I did that for 1/4 mile and then returned to a walk.

At mile 11 I got kind of emotional because I was so excited that I was actually going to do it. It was so cheesy. This excitement was interrupted at about mile 12 mile when I was across from the Polo Fields. A stupid suburban house frau slowed down her giant red SUV and shook her arms at me and mouthed, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I was on a lesser traveled road, running (barely) on the gravel side. It was not anything odd, unless you are an idiot maybe. I tend to suppress my natural inclination to yell and flip people off when I'm alone since confrontation with drivers is rarely the safe choice. So, I gave her an odd look and kept going.

I made the turn into my parents' subdivision and, even though running was a dream at this point, I hit my watch at the drive - 12.84 miles on my own two feet! (2:49)

Hoping for a better half-marathon time, but we shall see!! At least I know I can make the distance. I clearly need to work on pacing though.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down


So, I am taking a rest day because I had the worst run ever yesterday. I'm not sure what was wrong with me, but Javier (Twitter friend and new coach ) thinks that it may have been a lack of fueling before the run. This is the most likely the correct answer. I did make up a few of my own which included:
  1. I forgot to refuel after my 2 miler the day before
  2. I took an Advil the day before
  3. I didn't eat a cookie or any refined sugar that day <--- my pick
Anyway, so the extra time I have tonight is being dedicated to lounging on the couch, cleaning up around the house, and trying to get the word out about a Jack Russell that used to live(image) down the block from us, named Lucy, that is up for adoption. Lucy was passed to a couple that live down the block by their son who had to get rid of her for some reason or another. Then they gave her away because she didn't get along with their existing dog. It's my personal crusade as both a JRT lover and a neighbor to find this girl a home. She has a ton of personality and is hilarious. She is sweet to people, but can't be around small kids or other pets. I know it sounds like a tall order, but she would be great for a DINK couple or an older couple with a yard. She is 6, potty-trained, and walks on a leash.

Lucy's adoption information is located here: Please help!

And all the things that break you, Are the things that make you strong...


So, before I get to my actual post, I have to share something cool. I actually received a DM from Heavy D (@HevD) on Twitter. Is that cool or what?! I had replied to one of his tweets, and he liked it. That was fun!

OK so, on my run today, with my friend/run coach Jon, we were talking about the progress I've made. Looking back, I used to be an awful runner. Actually, I wasn't a runner in any form of the word. I applied some hard work and put in some hours, worked with Jon on my form and drills, and then did some more work. In just three short months, I've gone from barely being able to run down the block without intense effort, to easily running a couple of miles. I never would have thought that was possible... ever. It made me think some more, though, about what the sport of triathlon has taught me. Here are somethings I came up with:

  1. Fear is a great demotivator. How often have I not done something because I was simply afraid? When I started training, I was weirded out by running places or taking my bike places. Which, looking back, is the stupidest thing ever now that it's commonplace for me to do. I was even afraid to stray from the bike paths in our town, but now I'm officially a road riding lady. :-) Recognizing that the only reason that you are not doing something is purely because of fear of something, really helps you push past it and get out there!
  2. You can't BS hard work. Hard work in swimming, biking, and running produces results. Without it, unless you can operate on purely natural talent, you're going to suck. Putting in the time and effort yields results - plainly and simply.
  3. You're not going to know everything up front - but it's OK to be a n00b sometimes. When I started, I knew diddly squat about serious cycling. I still know very little - but I'm learning! I didn't know how to run, and what I thought I knew about swimming - HA - useless. I read, talked to people, asked questions, and got help.
  4. My family is awesome. I have so much support, especially from my husband, and I can't even believe it. My husband was intent on not only taking me to pick out my bike, but bought it for me as a valentine's day present. How cool is that?! Even at times when I have doubted my abilities, they never did. They are all super-supportive. My parents have even already marked their calendars for my summer races so they know when they will be watching the dogs (for out of town races) or know when they need to be cheering on the sidelines. My sister is half-marathoning with me at the flying pig. How's that for support?!
  5. Random people can be awesome. Through and especially Twitter, I have met people in the Triathlon community that are so amazing. Everyone shares their stories and experiences, it's just so cool. The world seems like a friendlier place just knowing that these people are out there and willing to share their wisdom. We all want to do our best and help each other do theirs. (Well, most people, haha!)

We're never gonna survive... unless we get a little crazy


I'm kind of suffering from the winter blahs right now. I was totally in Spring mode and then we got hit with morrrrrrre winter. More cold... more rain... more freaking snow. Argh. So instead of complaining about that or discussing my less than stellar training as of late - I present you with a story from my crazy day, highlighted with a story from my crazy family.

My sister is hilarious. She's about 5'4" tall and a size tiny. She is suuuuuuper energetic, but not in the annoying sort of way. Anyway, people always think she is the nice and friendly one. HA HA HA HA It's not that she's not nice - it's just that she is just as snarky and spade-calling as I am , she's just less upfront about it to people she knows. Needless to say then, our family trip to Paris years ago has left me with dozens of ridiculous stories (which is, incidentally, also where the monkey lamp originated).

Anyway, I had a run in with a really rude lady this morning while I was getting my yogurt and banana. I had paid, was waiting on my receipt, and this troll starts moving toward me and pushing me out of the way with her stupid body. I looked back at her like WTF, and she was handing her card to the cashier saying "I don't need a receipt." First off, I didn't want a receipt but that particular cashier never asks, so you're getting one anyway. Secondly, WHO DOES THAT?! She didn't let up on her pushing until I moved out of the way completely. When I looked at her, she didn't even look at me. What a freaking *#%)(*$*&!$#*)(!#$. Seriously.

It's times like that when I wish I was more like my sister. My sister would have TOTALLY gone off on her. Not in the swear at her, threaten bodily harm sort of gone off - but the STOP IT sort of way that escaped me today. I was too chicken because it happened in the cafe in the building where I work. My luck, I'd be like BACK OFF and then in a meeting with her at 2 PM.

Back to Paris, where my sister and I were shopping at Kookai. I had paid for my clothes and she was still in the process of picking things out. I was standing there waiting for her, and she headed toward the back to the fitting area. There were two rooms and she walked into one that this lady had just left. As soon as she stepped inside, the lady came barrelling back, screeching in French something that essentially amounted to the idea that my sister could not use that room because she was not done with it.

My sister tried to explain to her that she just wanted to try on one thing but the lady didn't care. All of a sudden I hear, "THAT IS NOT FAIR." I could have dropped dead at that moment in my life - it was the funniest thing that I had ever seen. I left the store while she was still arguing the lady, learning finally that she went into the room and tried on the shirt without the agreement of the lady.

I wish wish wish I could spit that out. Even outside of work situations, I generally don't say things to people like that because crazy people have a strange and frightening attraction to me. Over the years I have learned to just let it go, but sometimes - every so often - it eats me up that I didn't just get to let them have it. THAT IS NOT FAIR!

These excuses how they served me so well...


I am starting on a positive note and before I get to the bad, I have to tell you that I have 72 days left until my half-marathon and I am actually staying on schedule. I have my short runs at 3.5 miles this week and long runs at 5 miles. Apparently, unlike swimming, I will actually do my run workouts. This shocks me because running was always my least favorite of the three sports. I have realized this is for two reasons:
  1. I had horrible form.
  2. I had never tried to swim competitively.
Swimming has become the bane of my existence. Before I go too far, let me say that I LOVE to be in the water. I LOVE swimming. I could spend the whole day in the pool, even in the gym. But, I suck at competitive swimming.

Last Saturday I attended a swim clinic given by Coach Brett Petersen. It was really informative and made me realize the extent to which I suck at swimming. I got some great tips from Brett and learned some excellent drills. I also got to swim with some present/former/friends of Mideast Elite athletes. Want a humbling experience? Swim with elite athletes. Brett was a rock star though and cut me slack without making me feel like a total loser. (Even though I'm sure he HAD to be thinking "This girl sucks at swimming". Why do I think that's what he thought? I'm projecting - that's TOTALLY what I would have been thinking. OK, all kidding aside, Brett seems way too nice to have thought that - I am certainly much more evil, haha.)

I have my video results that I have yet to watch for two reasons:
  1. I am a Mac and Dartfish needs a PC.
  2. I am terrified to see myself swimming on video. (I have PC access, so #1 is really just a red herring.)
Instead, I skip my swim workouts and hide from my video results - this is no way to improve at swimming. My whole deal was that I was going to join the YMCA and hook up with the Master's swim team. But I don't want to be at the Y at 5:15 AM, so that plan got shot to hell. (And I hate the Y - but that is another story for another time).

So, I'm at an impasse. I know duathlons (biathlons) are not in my future and the Tri is my true love. I love the swim and would never abandon it. But, I'm just so frustrated. I need to bite the bullet and get in the pool, and I need to do it every day. Even Hilary Biscay said she couldn't maintain her swim endurance on only 3 swim workouts a week, and she's been swimming since birth basically.

I did, however, buy the "Swim Workouts in a Binder" book. I'm going to give that a try... but not tonight - I have 3.5 miles to run...

I Just Wanna Live


Over the years, I have come to realize that people don’t become good people by accident. They work at it. They sacrifice some things in order to do others. It seems an obvious thing to realize, but sometimes you just realize that some people are how they are.

There are the super-human, hands in everything people that somehow manage not to burn out and still have time to enjoy themselves and have families and social-lives.

Then, there are the “I never have time for anything because I’m so busy but never really get anything done” people that are a hot mess.

Most of us fall somewhere in between. I’d say that I strive to be as organized as possible so that I don’t become the second person, but I’m pretty sure I won’t ever be over-achiever enough to be the first. I’ve never felt the need to be a do-gooder by nature because I always thought it was too hard. Recycling, being “green”, volunteering, giving blood, sending letters, getting others involved all whilst carrying on with my own life – family (though childless) obligations, having friends, Tri training, and exceeding expectations at work – all seemed like just too much.

Then, as I got older, something miraculous happened – I got smarter! I realized that, when introduced in small increments, many things can be added to your life without feeling like a burden. So, here are two tips:

Volunteering? Do it virtually! I have offered up my help to to help raise awareness as Joe Cantri on Facebook (which is FB approved, btw, for you policers out there). I spend a crapload of time on Facebook anyway – so this is merely taking away time I spend checking my own page. It helps raise awareness in the community for a great cause – and I get to meet other people in the tri-universe!

Too much to do at work? Do one thing at a time – concentrate on that, finish it, and then start something else. Don’t misunderstand: You can multi-task and juggle multiple projects in one day but you can only physically do what you are physically doing at one point in time – so, concentrate on that while you’re doing it. You can’t type two documents at once, talk on two different conference calls. Concentrate on the task, then proceed to the next. Don’t think about the 9 million other things that are out there waiting for you to pay attention to them. True, there’s more where this work came from, but you don’t have to worry about that at this exact moment.

I hope to continue sharing the light that has been shed on my life that is helping me to get myself in order. The tips won’t work for everyone, but they work for me and I believe they hold some value. If you disagree, then you should have used that time that you just spent reading my blog to do something else productive. (By the way, the tips won’t necessarily recommend you eliminate good old-fashioned sitting on the couch staring at the tube – I think everyone needs a little of than in their lives if they enjoy it!)

Things that Make You Go HMMMM


Today is a venting session for two pet peeves. One is nail clipping in public. The other is Twidiots. If you don’t like complaining, you may want to skip my post today. So, a major pet peeve of mine is people grooming in public. It’s not only completely against all rules of etiquette set forth by Emily Post, but also it’s really unsanitary. Things like brushing your hair on the train while sitting in front of me may seem like it’s not that big of a crime. But, when your gross hair comes drifting off of your head and into my personal space, we have a problem. I guess the issue is my very temperamental gag reflex. I have no physical or mental tolerance for seeing or smelling disgusting things, they make me gag – quite literally. Sometimes, I will even dry heave. I have not seen anything yet that has caused me to actually boot the contents of my stomach so I guess that’s something. To my point: trimming one’s nails in a public area is disgusting. Even if the person is getting it in their hand (ugh) or into a garbage can (at least they learned that much), there is still the telltale sound of “click, click, click” as the nail clipper does its duty. This begs the question from me, “WHY in the name of all that is so fresh and so clean does this have to be done here (at your desk, on the train, etc.)?!” Who are these people that have nails that grow so extraordinarily quickly that they cannot possibly stand to wait until they are in a bathroom or, God forbid, the privacy of their own home!? Additionally, who carries freaking nail trimmers around with them? My essential problem is the noise. Following that are the little pieces of nail that will escape whatever trap they have laid to catch their trimmings of the urgent variety. My greatest fear is encountering one of those bad boys while paying a visit to someone’s desk. THAT would almost certainly trigger the gag reflex – not good. Moving on to Twidiots…It is my understanding that some people are just odd, and depending on your definition, any one of us at any time could be the odd person in someone else’s eyes. I’m fine with that for sure; odd makes the world go round. My main gripe here lies with some people on Twitter that are just idiots – twidiots, as it were. People that use the Twitter to annoy, confuse, sell junk no one wants, harass, etc, etc. Sometimes it’s unintentional, I understand. Sometimes, it’s just downright annoying and people know what they are doing. Obviously, I’m into triathlons. Therefore, I like to follow (and be followed) by people and companies that directly relate to my noted interests. I like being followed by Starbucks and Whole Foods – these are retail establishments that I visit regularly. I like Twitterers like Foodimentary too. I enjoy food and they have some fun facts and quotes! But, on the flip side, one wrong word (for example one Twitter user asked if anyone was proficient in Quicken) and you’re shark bait for any weirdo with an agenda and a Twitter account.Sometimes there’s just a lack of technological know how that is frustrating. I was followed on Twitter by some poor soul who was treating Twitter like an IM client. If you went to his page, he was talking to all the people he followed. Problem is, he had 1 person following him. Normally this would just be funny, except when I went to check out who the person was, half of his page was talking directly to me saying hello over and over. It was just freaking creepy considering he was following 17 other people. At what time did I dr[...]

When It Started to Begin


I missed my Fundamental Training something or other Endurance Athletes class at the Y this morning… AGAIN. The deal with this class is that:

  • It’s at 5:30 AM on Mondays. Normally a 5:30 AM workout is not a problem but on a Monday – altogether different story.
  • It was supposed to start 3 weeks ago. The start of the class was delayed not once but twice. The day it actually started then was Jan 19th – MLK day. I work for a bank, it’s a holiday. I did not get up at 5 to go to the class.
  • When I did finally show up for this freaking class, they tell me to go down to the preschool gym (which I can only imagine what germs and disgusting diseases await me there). I go there and it’s empty. No idea where the class is and I’m tired and cranky. So I say – Forget it, no more 5:30 AM Mondays for me.

So, including the time they had forgotten to tell me that they postponed the class and I wound up in some cardio funk class doing step aerobics (rarely a good way to start a week), my attempts to show up at this class continue to be a disaster.

On a more positive note, I have finally connected with a swim coach. She is a HS swim coach will be my new swim coach. She works with my best friend, and run coach, Jon at a local HS. I am very excited to get my shiznit together in the water. This paired with my Tri coach’s swim clinic at UIC in February should get me on track for blowing any old attempts at swimming I had out of the water (pun intended). I feel all fancy with a run, swim, and tri-specific coach now. Not really, all in all, it’s just a testament to my n00bieness.

I think it’s also important to note, that while I was so stoked about my barefoot run yesterday and adamant that I was never again going to wear running shoes, my calves hurt. Well, not so much hurt as are so tight that essentially I am forced to walk like a penguin with a leg cramp. On the flipside, my knees don’t hurt!

Yesterday I started watching Breaking Away (TUTTO BENE ) at the recommendation of my sister. She failed to mention the movie was made in 1979 (when I was a mere 1 year old). Should this detract from my enjoyment? Probably not, but I feel like it’s something I should have been told to expect. I am all pumped to see some sweet cycles and I get Dennis Quaid on a ten speed. Imagine my surprise. I’m sure I’ll like the movie and all, I watched part of it and the dad (who was also the dad in 16 Candles) was pretty funny.

I’m off now to go reminisce about the funny lines from 16 Candles, such as the gem when the little brother says, “I gotta sleep under some Chinaman named after a duck's dork.” Always my favorite…

Colder Than The Coldest Winter Was Cold


I am officially the worst blogger... ever. I'm going to try to keep notes during my day so I can remember all of the funny/interesting things that happen and share them. I'm still trying to get the hang of this, so bear with me!Here is a summary of my today:Today I ran barefoot and loved it. I can't wait to get some racing flats and hit the roads! I know I need to work into them being a fuller time shoe, but the freedom, it was like a whole new running experience!I made salads w. romaine & heirloom tomatoes, ginger-apricot chicken legs, sweet potatoes, and green beans for dinner. It was all organic - 'cuz that's how I roll. I don't eat meat that often, except for fish, and chicken is my least favorite meat. I ate one chicken leg and felt sad, which is a totally hippie thing to say - I know. My husband ate almost all of them. My parents came by for dinner. We told them about Gran Turino - I think they will really like it. My dad could have written the dialogue - sad, but amusing to him, haha.Tink (our smallest JRT, really named Daphne) crawled up my back on sat on it while I was bent over tying my running shoes. Apparently her plan was to stay for a while. Monkey is heavier so thankfully not as climb-y, but is hell bent on playing tug and fetch every moment he is awake and you are sitting down.OH MY GOD. I must have blocked it out of my head. I tried to take an ice bath today. Those of you that have tried that before (or are tougher than me and do it on the regular) are fully aware that they are what satan must use to torture people in hell. I filled the tub with cold water and dumped some trays o' cubes in. Up until then it was an exciting experience. I tossed on a swim suit - by recommendation to not go commando lest my girlie parts freeze to death - and hopped in with my feet. HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WHAT THE MOTHER F-ING HELL. I hopped out. I stood next to the tub with thawing feet. The only thought in my head was - holy shit I'm never getting back in there. About 2 minutes later, I decided to HTFU and go for it. I hopped in and sat down. My mind went blank. I was in there for about 15 seconds before I lifted myself over the tub. Yes, over the tub. Similar to what an animal tries to do when you attempt to give them a bath. One hand on either side of the tub, feet the same way. Frozen. After holding myself like that for a minute, I popped myself back in the water for about 30 more seconds before I realized it didn't look like this was really going to work for me today and hopped out. I was whimpering loudly - ok, it was shreiking really - and finally I hear from the family room, my husband, "Umm... are you OK?" I could only say "Holy... shit... cold." He didn't look surprised when I later told him that the ice bath was cold. Live to try again another day, I guess...[...]

Then before and now once more I’m bouncing round the room


So the last two days I was in a funk - apparently I wasn't taking in enough calories to sustain me and it was making me lethargic. It totally messed up my end of week training. This especially includes Thursday when I made the fatal mistake of sitting to rest on the couch after changing to go run and do laps at the gym. The idea was that I would leave the house at 8:30 PM. I fell dead to the world asleep in about 2 minutes and woke up about 9:15 when Dave came home. OOPS

However, I'm back on track today - woooooo!

I did a 1 hour spin class this morning with my friend, Sue. She seemed to really like it. I had a blast, as usual. Ever since class was over, I have been seriously WIRED. I shoveled the drive when I got home in record time too. That snow was freaking heavy. Then, I removed the caulk around the bathroom vanity and recaulked it. :-)

I am pretty sure spinning for me is what crack must feel like to some people - at least it's a healthier addiction!

I'll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.


So, I listen to Bob Dylan a lot, and today I heard 'A Satisfied Mind', and it really meant something to me for the first time. Those of you that know me know that I left a consulting job working for SAP. It was a job I really liked, but I was never home. It made me fat, tired, slow, etc, etc. So, the first chance I had to grab a job that I would find as fulfilling that would allow me to be home more often, I swore I was going to take. Well, that happened much more easily than I could believe (thanks to my friend Pam). I now have a job that allows me to be home with my husband and dogs, and see my family. I have a pretty breezy commute on the train downtown. All in all, it's a pretty damn good break - ESPECIALLY in this economic crunch.

So, all in all, things are pretty good. What does this have to do with Tri? Well, I have lost any excuse I had available to me to avoid training regularly, watching my diet, staying motivated, etc, etc. I feel like this new year is exactly that for me, a year where I not necessarily start over - but a year where I get to actually be the person I have wanted to be.

With that Hallmark moment having passed, I'm going to get my arse to the pool for some drills!

Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be


Interesting way to start a day? Sign up for a class, say... Fundamental Training for Endurance Athletes. Also say that this class starts at 5:30 AM. You are not at your mental peak at 5:30 AM, and are running late. The crazy lady at the Y tells you that its in the main aerobics room and you drop your bag off in a locker and head to the class ten mins late. You grab some weights, a BOSU, and a step (wtf) and dive into the class. Then, once you settle in, you start to look around. heh. Yeah, not to be judgemental, but there's no way this are my class full o' fellow endurance athletes. Or, well... maybe. 10 more minutes pass... yeah, prolly not. Too late to go find the other class, may as well stick it out.

So, yes, wrong class... OOPS! Luckily, I have a saving grace. The class is actually starting next week, they moved the start date. Whew! So, I got in a cardio class I probably wouldn't have otherwise (and it was kinda fun... ok, a lot of fun). Now for some serious work, I have a mile to run and some laps to swim.

Just like Kanye, I have a New Workout Plan


So today was the start of my badass winter conditioning. OK, so not really badass, but something. Anyway, I didn't do as horribly as I had expected quite honestly! This session marked the start of both my winter conditioning as well as my normal Sunday workout with my friend Jon. Jon is my best friend from 6th grade, and also a cross-country and tennis coach at a local high school. So, free coaching mixed with friendly chit-chat. It doesn't get any better than that really!

So what did we do? A lot of running. We ran at an RPE of 6/7 for 15 mins. He was timing and clocking and for now, that works for me since I am trying to get up the cardio necessary to do speed for distance. After we did our initial 15 mins, we alternated doing abs/core/stretches/strength with loops around the track. For example, 25 reverse crunches then speedwork on the track, then plank pose. WOOO! You suffer while you do it, but feels freaking awesome when you're done.

Then, we hit up the pancake cafe. I had two eggs & a half order of banana pecan pancakes. We were eyeing the dutch pancakes with the apples but it would have totally negated our hardwork.

The agenda for tomorrow? Functional Training for the Endurance Athlete at the Y at 5:30 am, then off to work. I have a 10 min run and 400 m swim for the evening. Gotta work on that tri specific winter conditioning!!