Sunday, December 30, 2007

Recovery and Resolution

I am back. I am tired. If I have to sit in a car for 17-straight hours again, eating fast food in low rent towns across America, it will be TOO SOON! DH should feel lucky he is still an intact male after that adventure.....much too much and I'm OVER IT.

We rolled in around 3am this morning and had to be up at 9am so we could head back to Ontario to pick up the cat. I did a little grocery shopping off my new Abs Diet list today, so at least that has started. I'm starting tomorrow, even though I question the brains of the author a little bit. He never talks about cardio as being useful, and I'm all about the cardio, so we shall see. He also has all these crappy recipes with ice cream and other horrid foods in'd think he'd realize that some of this has to be calorie-driven, and that ice cream is too bad for you. I figure I shall do my best to combine the Abs Diet with Weight Watchers, the Abs Diet strength training at home, my PT for my knee (getting bad again), and our tri training which gears up in a week. We have our first race in April - my first Oly distance - so I suspect we'll start right in on our training program as opposed to lollygagging around under the guise of that misnamed "off season."

This week of inactivity has made me feel horrid. About everything, especially myself and my weight. Something must be changed.

On the Christmas front, we had a good one despite all the freaking snow. It seemed to snow the entire time we were there, and no car ride was without its hair raising adventures. Thank goodness I kept my 4WD car all these years. :)

So, the Christmas booty. I got one of those T2 transition bags from Triathlon Bags.....not what I asked for, but my sister did a very thorough internet review and told me that this particular bag would stand the test of time. So I am very happy that she did the research I did not do and saved me from a bad pack!! I also got the Garmin 305....and boy, is it slick:

It's kind of complicated, but I read the manual and am hopeful I can replicate the results in the field. :) I actually got 2 of these at Christmas......I guess giving everyone the same list isn't my most brilliant move. At least now I can return the one DH bought and apply it towards the new bike. Which I need to buy, but I'm dragging my feet. Must get him a job!

Now, the resolution part. I usually don't do this because the new year rarely inspires me to do or change much of anything. But this year is different. I am inspired, and will try to accomplish these 2 tasks:

1. I want to lose 10 lbs by May so that I don't have the temptation to register as an Athena. (And before anyone tells me it's cheating to register in the heavyweight division, bite me. I carry around the required lbs and I'm not proud of them-- they may as well work for me some other way! But seriously, would rather be an age grouper with no alternative) See above reference to Abs Diet and Weight Watchers to get me back to the way things should be.

2. I'm going to stop using the f-bomb. I've been pretty obnoxious about it lately, using it more times than I could count while driving yesterday. I've decided that the f-bomb does not make me a more attractive woman....and if it ever crept into my work life, I'd be pretty upset. So out it goes. I'm f-ing up a storm right now just to get it out of my system....but trust me when I say, "it's outta here!"

So, that's it from me. I hear Sound of Music is on, so I must run. The hills are calling, and it's time for my yearly singalong! (And yes, some of the singing WILL be intentionally bad and loud to get back at DH for that lovely drive)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, and guilty! One for each of my personalities: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, White Bread, Cookie, Brownie, and Dean & Deluca Candy Peach.

Why must there be so many temptations this time of the year? And why I am hatin' on life so much that I'm one of the first to raid the gift baskets when they hit the kitchen at work? Last year, I was such a food snob. "Oh, no, I can't eat that. It's a slippery sloap. No sirree!" I got a reputation for being the food snob. "Better watch out, Joe Blow, Mtngirlincali might get sick if she sees you eating that Big Mac and french fries." Not now. She may ask if she can have a few.

What is up with this? I went through a major transformation in my life 3 years ago. I dropped 38 lbs before my wedding, and I've since gained 8 back. It's horrible, and I don't want them there, but they don't seem to want to go away. And with the way I've been eating lately, I wouldn't be surprised if even more join them! I'm just so frustrated, but weight loss is a frame of mind. You have to want it. You have to commit to the sacrifices you WILL have to make, because you have a greater goal in mind. I need that goal now. I need that focus. There is no more wedding dress to squeeze into. There is no more "vision" of what I might be able to look like. I just need to pull from within and get a grip on the PLAN, and stick to it.

How's this for motivation, Self? In your new favorite sport, speed is achieved by a number of means. There's talent, of course. There's aerodynamics. And there's WEIGHT..... People are buying carbon bikes, carbon water bottle holders, lightweight wheels..... all to get a lighter bike. Well hell, you can save yourself a thousand dollars if you lose a few pounds off of YOUR body, not your bike. Surely that must be an excellent solution and motivation? And who won your age group in your 5K this weekend? The thin-as-a-rail chickie, that's who! Big boobs, a spare tire, and a big badonkadonk don't make for speed. LOSE THE WEIGHT, Chubmeister. Put the cookie down. Remember what it's like to cross the finish line, and think about doing it with GOOD race photos!

....okay, not so sure that worked, but I have to start somewhere.

We leave for Colorado on Saturday, and I am dreading the drive. For once, I'd just like to chill out and not be torn between families on Christmas day. To be honest, I haven't even given much thought to our "plan" once we are there, but I think I will be selfish and just do what I want to do. I need a day of shopping on my own once I get there. I want to be alone.

Work is insane, but I got a raise next year, so I am pleased. Good thing I've signed up for the 7:30pm training session with our tri club next month.....I'll probably be at work that late every night! They will definitely be making me earn my keep this coming year, of that I am sure.

So enough from me. I'm going to go yell at my stomach in the mirror and then head to sleep.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

#2.....#2, Baby!

Runners are slower than triathletes. Imagine that!!!
OK, so, runners who decided to show up for the Santa Run this morning in my age group just yours truly got #2 in her age group, first time out in a 5K! You know why?? Because triathletes know how to pace themselves. They understand their pace. (And this particular triathlete got pretty darn lucky that the real runners slept in this morning)

So, I didn't hit my goal time. In fact, I was a minute over it, but I am still elated. I was at the back of the start "chute," with over 1000 runners, and it took us over a minute to get through the chute and to the road where we could actually run. It wasn't until 0.4 miles into the race that there was enough room to "run" at a pace faster than a 12-minute mile, so that second half had to be pretty quick to keep the pace up. I had a great time running in costume. My stockings stayed up. I warmed up enough to run in my tank top. The knees held up (although they are singing now). My pre-race nutrition (one piece of toast with PB) stayed down (barely). Just an excellent day all around.
I permitted DH to not run. He isn't trained for the distance, and to be honest, 3 miles is still considered an endurance event. Rather than have his name be forever associated with walking on the internet, I gave him the free pass to stand by the finish line and take pictures. I think he actually enjoyed himself and it sort of motivated him to get out there and get active. The race would have been even more fun had we been out there together. He's even asking about half marathons in March. Can you believe it? I've died and gone to heaven.

So, here are a few pics of me today. I still look like I'm dying out on the run. Thank goodness for triathlons and the bike leg.....I think I'm a sexy bitch on the bike. (Just kidding!! But I certainly don't throw pained faces on the bike like I do on the run--- it's pretty embarassing looking back at me)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Make Room for Santa

I'm committed!

Well, not in the sense that perhaps you think I ought to be committed.......but I am committed to a race. Tomorrow. A RUNNING race. Oh yes, this is momentous indeed. The girl who could not do the mile run in elementary school is entered in the Santa 5K. And so is her lazy ass husband! (Shhhh.....he thinks he's going to be walking with a girl from my work.....but he's going to be all alone so I hope he reconsiders his walking strategy) I think I'm sick of being all talk and no action, and my base for running is well above the 3-mile marker now. My best time in a triathlon for a 5K is something like 27:35, so I'm going to push for 27 flat and see how that goes.

Coach....lovely, sweet, bitchy Coach.....has been particularly evil in run club the past few weeks. She surrendered her role as sweep so that she could torture myself and another (a mom many times over with grown kids who signed up for California 70.3 -- in just a few months, she looks fantastic!) woman in the lead role. So we've been doing fartleks (I think that's what you call speed intervals, except I really hate to even write "fartlek" in my blog because it does seem inappropriate!) and our calm, relaxing long runs have become a thing of the past. I always end these nights whimpering, heaving, and with my hip flexors so tight you could play a tune on them. Ugh! But I'm hoping that this has given me a tiny bit more speed so I won't embarass myself out there more than my costume will have done.

Yes, I have a costume. Now, it's not Steve Stenzel-quality, but it's going to be cute. I bought my stockings in San Francisco earlier this week. Am considering creating a little Santa skirt at Jo-Anns this afternoon, but I may just leave the costume at the stockings. We'll see.

Well, I'm going to finish this now before I go into my insane work life or my inability to complete my Christmas shop. Or my increasing trepidation about my upcoming journey, via car, to Colorado in my poor car. And my cat, who must stay in the IE. Oh, what has life come to?

Until then, think of me tomorrow. Pray that my husband doesn't divorce me over running/walking this race alone. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Out of Steam

What a week!

I've put in more hard hours at work this week than I have the entire time I've been out in CA. I've talked to my old boss, the chief development officer, more times than I have in about a year. I've skipped lunches and dinners (but trust me, I still managed to eat plenty) to get analyses done. And I saw 5am for something not triathlon-related for the first time in a very, very long time. Call me spent.

I came home last night and just collapsed. No shopping for me. No movies. No nothin'. Exercise has been rough this week, too. I made it to run club on Thursday (I literally grabbed my keys and snuck out of the office), but I hadn't eaten for 6 hours and was a little dehydrated. I started out just fine, but then coach had us run some intervals and by the end I was seeing stars and ready to just go to sleep. Horrible run! To top it off, McTrainer quit and is now at a different club. So it was just Coach and us tri girls gabbing away....which is good, but Coach was always the sweep so she never saw me and never pushed me too much. Now she's in eyesight and her brain is churning. That's always trouble.

Christmas plans have not progressed nicely, either. We have nothing purchased yet for Christmas. Nobody is done! I've been a little too stressed out to think about much of anything, let alone Christmas. But I guess that is what today and tomorrow is for. On the going-home front, we find that we are now limited by our beloved cat. He's on four wait lists right now for kennels, and now hubby is talking about getting him into a kennel in Riverside because it's on our way to Colorado! My precious, in the I.E.? Heck no! I'd rather stay home and be miserable. So we will just have to wait this one out and see what happens. I dread being alone on Christmas, but we'll make it work.

So that's the scoop. Stress. Lots of it. Stress eating. Not so much productive training. Christmas malaise/panic. No food in the house. Unemployed hubby. Ho ho ho!

But on the bright side, I must share a photo of my precious little Santa. We did manage to find time on Sunday to take our Christmas card photo:

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Yes, I am Fast

In transition!

So, we had our annual Christmas party for our tri-team this past Friday. A fun event, although not everyone showed up so it was a pretty small group. (OK, there were 70 people, but that seemed small) We ate our dinner, then waited around for the year-end awards. In retrospect, I shouldn't have expected anything. I'm one of the better swimmers, but there were a few faster than me. I am pretty quick on the bike, but in practice, Jill is faster than me. And on the run....well, take your pick-- there are oodles of women who can get me. So there wasn't a chance for an individual award, but I was thinking all-around, I'm a pretty consistant top 1/3 - 1/4 finisher here. Maybe??

Nope! Yours truly gets "Fastest Transitioner." Ugh. It kind of took the wind out of my sails. Anybody can transition fast! Argh.... While I was flattered at the thought, it did motivate me to get even better next season. I'll be fastest biker if it KILLS me. Coach told everyone I was getting a new bike, too, so now the pressure is really on to drop the cash and get fast.

From the sounds of things, everyone took "off season" literally. People have lost their fitness already and are only managing a few gym classes a week, much like me. You can tell we are newbies. After reading all these triathlon blogs, it has become VERY clear to me that although you all talk about an off season, you are liars. You aren't resting. You aren't casually strolling through the woods on your mountain bike. This is an extension of your yearly training, and you all aren't losing one bit of fitness. I hate you! (OK, just kidding here....I wish I were as focused)

We spoke about the schedule for next year, and oddly enough, only 2 others have signed up for Barb's Race. Coach has taken it a step farther with me, however. If you are going to do Barb's Race and you hate running, why not just do the full Aquabike and be done with it? I fell out of my chair at this point. The FULL Aquabike? As in, 2 of the 3 phases of Ironman Aquabike? Now, the 1/2 Aquabike I was all over. I can swim 1.2 miles in my sleep and the 58 mile bike, although sucky, would be infinitely attainable on more than a half a year of training. But the Iron distance? Holy wh*ref*ckBatman! I seriously need to sit down with myself and think this through.

Coach says we need to have a fire burning inside of us to do this. I don't know if you can define my desire as "burning." It's not even a fire, really. I just want to prove to myself that I can make my body do something I never thought it could possibly do. I want to break down this perception I have of myself of not being particularly athletic. I mean, I did sports as a kid, but I always thought endurance sports were for the cross country running team. So I want to prove to myself I can do it. THEN perhaps I can go back to my bread and butter and try to get faster.....because I think I may very well be a sprinter at heart.

On a sad note, the last of my childhood cats was put to sleep yesterday back in Colorado. Cocoa (aka "Beans") came to us as a kitten in December of 1991. We begged and pleaded with my parents for us to get him, as he was so precious with his seal point marking and little white boots. After many trips in and out of the shop, my parents gave in and he was ours. And boy, was he a crazy boy! We lost many, many rolls of toilet paper that winter. The Christmas tree nearly fell over several times. Our jeans were lined with punctures, as Cocoa loved to take a flying leap from the ground and "stick" to your leg. Cocoa also loved Easter. There was something about eggs and the sound they make when they hit the floor that was irresistable to him. When Cocoa settled down into adulthood, his favorite pasttimes turned from troublemaking to sleeping and eating. Cocoa never met a shrimp he didn't like. You so much as cracked a cocktail shrimp tail and he would come running, SCREAMING, from anywhere in the house, as though his life depended on getting that shrimp. Christmas after Christmas, Cocoa would raid the stockings looking for teriyaki beef jerky, his other "must-have" in life. It became a tradition--- setting the stocking up with beef jerky so Cocoa could "break in" and steal it, even though it was all rigged.

I suppose Cocoa didn't really start to get sick until this past summer. He was nearly 17 years old, and it was just time for his body to start shutting down. My sister eased him into this transition in his life as best as she could....being a vet tech, she had all sorts of drugs to treat his thyroid, kidneys, and joints. Yesterday, when he could no longer eat, she had him on a heating pad until it was time to have him put down. I was sad I could not be there to say goodbye, but good ol' Beans was there for Thanksgiving and I had a chance to spend several days with him then, knowing full well that this would be the last time. So Beans is gone, and with him, a piece of my childhood. He's got some great company at the Bridge, though, and he will always hold a very big piece of my heart.

Happy trails, my buddy.