Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Ba-ack....

And I'm sick!

But what a wonderful time it was..... My first vacation in eons, and it was just phenomenal. Am planning on doing a little travel blog for the trip once DH gets the pics uploaded, so stay tuned....

As for training? Well, do you know how hard it is to run around deck in 12-foot swells? Or to get up at 6am to run when you were up until 1:00am watching the "adult" comedy show and have to go on an all-day physical excursion at 8am?

It's hard! I managed 2 hours on the elliptical in my 7 days.....2 hours of snorkeling and kayaking, at least 4 hours of walking briskly all over Miami, Grand Cayman, and Tulum..... We also never once took an elevator on the ship. That means sometimes we'd climb 11 floors to get where we needed to go, since our room was on lovely level 1. :) So yes, I ate like a pig, but I was also as active as I could be.

Running coach forgot about the cruise and e-mailed to find out where I was the past few weeks. I feel delinquent! And slow..... Oh well, what's done is done.

Will post more when I have photos!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Butt Hurts

Sorry, TMI. But it really does! Whenever I walk, I can feel it run down the side to my hip and OUCH. And the sad part? I have done nothing aside from ride the trainer for the past week. No running for me-- it snowed all weekend long and it's pitch black at night (and did I mention cold?!) when I finally get home at night. I feel like a blob. And my butt hurts.

On a different note, my bank account is noticeably smaller thanks to this lovely cruise idea I had. Sure, it sounded cheap at the time, but when you add on all the exotic excursions I've signed us up for, we're having one hell of a vacay. Dinner at the uber fancy supper club one night, and a new kayak/snorkeling adventure in Roatan. In the rain, probably, as the 10-day forecast is looking scary. We leave Saturday morning, and I haven't started packing yet. I did, however, receive the tankini I ordered from http://www.athleta.com/ last week. It's gorgeous! Very excited about it-- I think this is the first time I've ordered a bathing suit online and I actually liked how it fit. At any rate, this was the biggest stress on me.......but now it's done. Check it out:

DH bought a crazy camouflage "bonnet" for our excursions in the sun. I say bonnet, but he swears it's a "killing hat" because he bought it at an Army Surplus store. Honestly, all I want to do is break out in the Judy Garland "Easter Parade" song when I see him. Ugh! I will have to insist it gets removed for all pictures, as it's just too much to handle.

Work is cranking up again, right in time for my departure. I know my boss is upset that I'm taking a vacation, but it's my first one in years and I have 8 vacation days that I earned and would lose if I didn't take it. So here I am, taking my vacay. Woohoo!!! Now I just need to find the phone number to the ship in case of emergency.

So I suppose that's it from me. 3 more days!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cruisin'

Guess who's taking a vacation?!

Oh, yes....that would be me. After years and years of taking vacation time to visit family over the holidays and to move across the country, yours truly sucked it up and booked a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. I'll be visiting the exotic ports of call of Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel, from the comforts of my windowless interior closet. (Hey, I'm cheap, what can I say?) So far, I've book an exotic shore excursion to Tulum from Cozumel, and I'm on the verge of booking a Belizean cave tubing expedition. Yes, I know my husband can't swim....but I CAN! We leave on December 6th, so I am bounding over with excitement. It will be so nice to just get away and leave everything behind. And this time around, my beloved kitty can go to Grandma's house instead of staying at the Petshotel!

Life's been busy the past week or so. Have spent more time at work sitting on my butt than I'd like to, but I was forewarned about the time committment. I've done my share of screwing up, but overall, I feel like I'm holding the ship together.

In the 10-lb weight loss challenge, I've managed to gain 5. Insanity, I tell you. So this week, I am drinking loads of coffee and hoping to flush out my system.

The running is going alright. This weekend was a race out at Chatfield State Park, through the gravel ponds and along the streams. My first trail run, and what a blast it was! It was a 5-miler, starting out on a dirt road for about a mile, then meandering into miles and miles of singletrack. I ended up 5th out of 13 in my age group, and 18 out of 66 women overall...... My watch time was about 30 seconds faster than the time posted in the results, but the distance was also .12 miles shorter. I think there was plenty of room for improvement, considering I stopped and picked up a guy several times. (See race report below) Anyway, for your reading pleasure, behold my Chatfield 5 Miler race report:

Got to the race around 8:20am and there was no parking left at Kingfisher, so had to park up the road a bit. This ended up not being so bad, as we had our own toilets and bypassed the huge lines by the official parking lot. Got my number, signed my waiver, then took off on a quick warmup run. It was freezing cold.....apparently it was in the 20's when people left their houses, so we were probably running in the 30's. I was double-layered in my Skins and my running tights, and had my sexy Sugoi winter pullover underneath a windbreaker. I was comfy, but ended up dropping some layers early on.

This is my 3rd month at altitude, and I'm finally adjusting. I was shocked at how high my heart rate was, but I'm hoping it's just the monitor and not me, as I've been working on lowering it while running. At any rate, the race was a little frustrating for me, because I was behind this guy who kept tripping and falling over. Every time I asked him if he was okay, he'd pause, then almost angrily say "yes" but he wouldn't get up! so I took to grabbing him and getting him up, even though his legs weren't cooperating too well. I thought he was having a stroke or something, but he'd get back up and run faster than me, so I was confused?! At any rate, this happened 3 times, and I can't tell you how long it took each time, but surely it was a minute or more. You can see at mile 4 I had to pause. This is where I got him up and then left him-- there were plenty of people behind me, and he refused to let me get help for him. So off I went.... Found a guy whose pace I enjoyed, and stayed behind him through the twisty last portion of the race. When I came into the finish, there were four younger-looking women in front of me....but I had NOTHING and I even let the girl in front of me get me by 1 second. ONE SECOND!!! What was I thinking? In retrospect, I really should have hurt more and gone for her, but looking at my heart rate, I'm thinking maybe that wasn't the best move. ;)

Overall I'm pretty happy with this race. Once I dropped my jacket, I think I dressed appropriately enough. If I were doing the 10-miler, I would have shed the other layer..... I regret not staying with the guy who was tripping and finding someone with a cell phone. There were 2 ambulances that headed out into the woods, and since I never saw him again, I'm assuming he was in one of them. If I had recognized his symptoms at the sign of the first trip and run back to an aid station, perhaps it would have been better for him? Anyway, suffice it to say I am haunted by it still and hope that he is okay today. I finished the race in 47:20, which I suppose wasn't too bad considering we were running on trails and dodging rocks and roots and other debris. My splits got slower and slower as the race progressed, which is a first for me. But at least it means I put it all out on the table. Usually, I hold back too much and then regret that I didn't go for it at the end. So all in all, I can't complain. MUCH better than my first Colorado race, where I ran an embarassing 32 minute three miles. ;)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Torture

Well, I've been absent for a while. Big shocker there! What has kept me so busy all these blogless weeks? Quite frankly, I'm being tortured.

First, I got my flu shot on Thursday. I've rebelled against the flu shot for as long as I can remember, but this year my company had the Visiting Nurses come to our office and they were giving them for FREE. Can you imagine?! So, I decided to suck it up on Thursday and get the flu shot. I'm not a needle freak and don't get scared about that kind of pain, so I was pretty much blowing it off. My only stipulation was that the shot wouldn't interfere with my track practice in 2 hours. The nurse explained that running would make it even better. What luck! So I filled out the paperwork and verified that I wasn't allergic to eggs, feathers (yeah, um, because I have lot of previous exposure to feathers), or that contact lense solution, although I don't have contacts.

My nurse was a sweetie. Poked my arm, didn't hurt at all, and then she told me to sit in the room for 15 minutes, since it was my first flu shot. She wanted me to tell her if my throat started getting scratchy or if I had trouble breathing.

Almost immediately, my injected arm started feeling strange.....like I had had it raised for 20 minutes and then brought it down, so that there was no blood in it at all. It was heavy, and painful. But I kept smiling and small talking with the guy next to me, because surely I was imagining it. 5 minutes in, the pain was worse, and I was starting to itch in random places. I had some weird stomach pains, too, but I thought that perhaps my yogurt from 1/2 hour earlier was bad? And then my HEAD was itching like mad. I must have had a panicked look on my face, because soon I had 3 nurses hovering over me, pulling up my sleeves and looking at the rash that started to take hold of my pale white skin. I insisted it was nothing, but I was definitely getting scared. My pulse and blood pressure stayed fine, though, and eventually everything but the itchiness and the pain in my arms (which spread to my legs). Nightmare! I had to take 2 Benadryl, which pissed me off because I wasn't entirely sure what that was going to do to me at track practice.

So, off I go to run after the flu shot poisoned me. I did my warmup run, but I was really, really tired. The track seemed like it existed in this weird dimension for me. Coach asked how I was doing, and when I said, "I don't know," she dismissed me! Insanity. I mean, I NEEDED this practice. I desperately needed to burn some more calories so I could eat dinner. :) Bummer.

Then today, I went to practice again. November is "strength" month. I had no idea what that meant when it came to running until today.... I hate Strength!!

So, we started out with a gorgeous 25 minute warmup run around the various lakes and marshes. There were dirt trails everywhere -- it was an off-road runner's dream. I saw herds of deer and all sorts of eagles on my warmup....which should have been calming, but I was so angry at my heart rate. (Which i've been trying to keep below 170 on easy runs....) It just wasn't cooperating. I kept having to walk, so of course, every time I had to walk I'd cuss at my watch. I must have looked like a total nut job.

We did 4 sets of 30-second strides on the trail after warmup, which was fun. I'm starting to see consistent sub 6-minute mile pace in my strides, which is a first for me. There's some speed in me!

After strides, Coach had put out a "course" that she said would make our day "fun." Liar! She had marked the various trails with cones, and we had instructions for every set of cones. The circuit was performed like this:
1/2 mile time trial
1/2 mile recovery run
1/4 mile time trial
1/8 mile recovery run
1/2 mile time trial

rest 3 minutes, repeat

Holy mother of all that is painful!!!! I felt pleased when Coach selected me out of the 25 some odd women to start off with the two other fast girls. I was stupid beyond belief and feeling fabulous, so I took off after the first girl with a fire in my belly. Of course, she's training for a marathon, and not just to get the distance....she's training to ROCK her marathon. Anyway, the girl kept us on a 6:30 mile pace for the first 1/4 mile, and then a 7 min mile pace for the second half. Even on a good day, when I can walk and then go home, this is fast for me. To say I was gutted by the time I hit the first "recovery run" is an understatement. I coughed, cried, hyperventilated.....but did I walk? Well, I tried, but Coach was chasing after us yelling "no walking! Run slow to recover!" Seriously, my poor little heart was not having this at all. I struggled, and it was a miracle that I finished 2 of those circuits. To think that we go back in 2 weeks and do it again.....UGH! Why do I do this again?

Hey, on the plus side, I'm still employed!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mega Cycle

So, I didn't make it to practice last night after all.

I left work. Got dressed. Then realized I was wearing a black shirt with blue pants. I know what you're thinking -- it's just a run, who cares? Well, I'm still meeting people. Building up the street cred. You know.... I can't exactly show up to practice CLASHING. The horror!

So I drove home, all pissed off and cranky. I checked the rec center schedule once I got home and noticed that there was a 1.5 hour spin class called "Mega Cycle" that I could go to, so I changed my clothes and off I went. I know that I was supposed to run last night, but I just don't enjoy being so cold! Surely the spin class couldn't be that bad for me....

Anyway, Mega Cycle. Filled with tons of old men, and one moderately middle-aged cyclist with a very nice butt....I sat behind him and stared the whole time. ;) Okay, okay, I'm not really that perverted. But it was right there in front of me. Kind of hard to avoid! Our instructor was a total psychopath. Thought it was fun to redline the entire time. I tried hard to regulate my pace. I want to maintain an aerobic base through the winter, that is all.....but I couldn't help testing out the resistance a little and seeing how hard I could push it. I think everyone in the class was a total pansy, though. 45 minutes in, one guy bragged about how he wasn't even sweating! I glared at him and said, "somebody isn't trying hard enough." Prick. I mean, seriously?! If you haven't broken a sweat in spin class, you are a lazy pig. End of story. You control the resistance!

Man, can you feel the negative energy surrounding me? I just can't help myself these days. My company laid off 25 people last week.....had I stayed in California, I would have been one of them. So I think I'm still suffering survivor's remorse from that..... I'm in this 10-lb weight loss challenge on BT, and I haven't weighed myself in 2 weeks because I'm so afraid of what I'll see. And no, I haven't exactly been on my best behavior, either. I'm stressed out and all I want to do is munch. And DH bought Halloween candy, opened the bag, and it's sitting in a giant pumpkin in my living room as we speak. Do you think I haven't touched it?

Oh, and to top it off, I am not an accountant or a CPA. It makes my current job excruciatingly painful and difficult. My direct reports think I am an absolute moron.....but sorry, I don't speak NERD! Ugh. Eventually I'll figure it all out, but until then, they shall continue to think of me as their idiot boss.

So, there you have it. I am a clashing, run-avoiding, mega-cycling, fat idiot. Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up on a better side of the bed!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I AM going to practice

It's freezing here. Literally, "see your breathe," legs are numb, need-a-jacket kind of freezing. And yes, I did grow up here....but I'm a pansy now.

To prepare for the cold, I am now in possession of a Sugoi Hoodie....to keep my neck and ears warm, and to protect my poor freezing hands. I bought windproof tights, but I can't seem to find them. I even have a weatherproof windbreaker. I am, on all accounts, prepared to face the elements....

But boy am I having a hard time talking myself into going to track practice tonight!

I usually do Thursday nights, but since I got Avs tickets for the game on Thursday, I needed to switch my run to today....new location....new coaches.... I just don't know. The mountains look gloomy (they usually give you warning when bad weather is coming!), my boss is on the warpath and probably will want me to work late, and I'm having trouble getting motivated..... Could I not run through this workout on the treadmill? Maybe? Or would I eff up my knees even worse?

Ugh. I don't know..... I'm thinking I'm going to treadmill it and see how I feel. Life happens, right?

Oh, I'm alive, btw. Just not up to much, so feel silly blogging about it. I'll be back, though....Soon.... I can feel the need to get it all out.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wii Would Like to Run

The past month and a half has almost been like a mourning period for me. We'd always knew we were going to move back to Colorado......and the time job-wise was right..... But I wasn't ready to leave the life I made for myself there, and forcing myself to give up my friends, my training, my Coach..... Well, it really took its toll on me and I've felt a little incomplete ever since.

Yesterday, I got a piece of that back. Thank goodness! It was my first practice with the triathlon team coaches and their off-season running program. The head coach for the entire program was there, and she was a hoot. Very knowledgable about running and triathlon, instantly zoning in on my goals and my weaknesses as she carefully assessed everything from heart rate to distance times. She picked up on my stiff shoulder (the one that makes it so I cannot hug my husband without crying out in pain, but I can still swim so I don't bother to get it looked at), my slight pronation of my right foot, my lack of flexibility......and the fact that I'd rather leave it all out on course than not try. We did 5 400-meter time trials with one minute of rest in between, and when I went off on #5, she yelled to me, "Don't kill yourself! Just get through it!" It made me laugh, because that's exactly what my old Coach would tell me. So, I've traded Coaches...the confident sometimes-Boston accented Cali girl to the sassy, short South American ex-uber athlete. I think we're going to get along just fine.

After practice, we talked about my inability to enjoy running. How my heart rate is really never low, even with a supposed "LSD" run. She said that's because I never took the time to build a proper base. Well, before I could get defensive about my old Coach, I had to think about that..... I went from being a non-runner (as in, never ran more than a mile continuously in my life) to running 3-mile sprints in 12 weeks. And then I stopped, took some time off, and went into the Olympic training plan for my 6-mile race distance.....I think we started end of January, and the race was the first week in April? There was no such thing as long slow distance for me....if I stopped and walked the majority of my 7-mile runs in order to keep my heart rate down, I would have never ever made it to race day. So yes, she is right. I never took the time to build a proper base.

Hello TIME!

Although I am sore today, I am excited about the future with this group and this new Coach. Not the same as what I had with the Divas, but it'll do for now.

In between this new run program and my Tuesday night spin class (insanity-- the teacher gets off the bike to refill water bottles --- it's only an hour class--- we don't need water!!!), I am pleased to report that I am finally using the Wii Fit that hubby bought for me after the move. We spent a gazillion dollars on this stupid gaming system, so I was bound and determined to make use of it. But I absolutely LOATHE video games, so it's been tough. When it does the body test and tells me my body isn't balanced and I must have trouble standing up, I seriously want to put a hole through my television set. When I gain weight (and i do -- let's face it, depending on what I've eaten that day, my weight DOES in fact vary!), it asks me to identify a cause of my weight gain. Do you think there's anything there that doesn't sound alarming? NO! So I have to say "I don't know" and then it lectures me on exercising and eating. And when that f*cker sees that I haven't been on it for a few days, it says, "have you been lazy?!" Um, excuse me.....I actually got off my rear and did real exercise. You know, us lazy people can think of better things to do than to stand in place and hula hoop.

But I digress. Yes, the Wii Fit infuriates me. Yet I continue to do it.... Why, you ask? For the yoga! I love the yoga poses. Unfortunately, this POS program only gives you 5 to start with, so I have to run in place, hula hoop, do lunges, and weigh in so I can unlock the rest of them. I don't find the yoga to be relaxing on the Wii, but it does give me a better sense of the correct form that I need for each pose and I love that it stretches and strengthens my problem areas, like my pesky hip flexors. If I could just turn on the Wii Fit and do yoga independent of the other crap, I think I'd be somewhat happy with it.

So that's my scoop. Work is getting busy. New run program and coaches rock. Wii Fit is MADDENING. And now it is time for me to go home!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Felt Invasion

You would think that visiting nine bike shops in one day over the weekend would be something I'd enjoy.


You would be right, if I was shopping for myself. But, alas, my husband commandeered the day AND the purpose, determined to purchase a road bike for himself so that he can follow me to the ends of the earth and back. Woohoo.

I should be happy. Really, I should. Except he's such a freaking copy cat!!! We went to 9 bike shops on Saturday, and at the very last one, he found a 63 inch Felt F75. Yes, that's my bike. Just ginormously bigger. And with a touch of red.....

My poor bank account. I really was hoping he'd say, "you know, honey....since I intend to be a busy working boy in the future, I will settle for this $700 bike and call it a day. Sora works for me!" But no. Only the best.



We went on our first ride yesterday, and he sort of kept up. I mean, it was on the narrow and winding bike trail, so it wasn't like I could drop him going 21 mph. But I tried. We only made it 8 miles yesterday, as his fitness level still isn't up to par. I think next time I just need to pack tons of food and keep luring him away from home so he doesn't have the choice to turn around too soon.

At any rate, meet the Buff's newest mate, Satan. (He hates red, remember?!)





Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lemming

It's Saturday morning.

I should be pulling out the bike, slapping on the colder weather clothes, and going on a nice long ride. Or driving to the gym and swimming at a nice aerobic clip for 45 minutes to an hour. Or maybe even do some yoga and physical therapy so that my hip flexor improves.

But no. I am sitting here waiting for dear hubby, who is green with envy and desperately wants a road bike, to get ready to go to a million bike shops in the Denver Metro area.

He wants a road bike. But not just any roadbike! No, my "I deserve to use my entire paycheck for fun things" husband (while my paycheck does what? Pays the bills?) wants 105 components OR BETTER!!! Not that he's ever really ridden a road bike in his life, mind you. Or that he will actually ride it frequently. No, he claims he will, but I know him and his passing fancies better. What about a used bike, you ask? Well, no......Mr. Pristine doesn't do used. And the 2008 clearance bikes? Well, most of them are red or have a little red on them. Mr. "I Hate Nebraska" doesn't do red.

HELP ME!!!!

My poor house down payment is about to be decimated by my determined and expensive spouse.

And you know what? Even a 105-equipped roadbike won't be enough for him to catch me.......

Monday, September 29, 2008

Race Photos...a sampling

Well, I'm too lazy to post more, so here you go. Pre-race, bike, and run. It feels so empty without the swim!

Anyway, after digesting this race for a day, I am still pissed about my run. Next year. Next year, I tell you! I will redeem myself.






Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm a Survivor

Woohoo! First race in Colorado is completed and it's down in the record books....where hopefully the run time will disappear into obscurity.

Anyway, my race today was a mixture of sadness and elation. In transition, I was all alone and there wasn't a soul there that I knew except for my handsome Sherpa. I wore my Diva uniform proudly, but it only meant something to me. While setting up, all I could think about was my team at OC Tri, doing the same thing I was doing this morning, except without me.

But on the flipside, it was nice to know that even though I'm not within the comforts of my team and Southern California, I can still show up to a race and throw down on the bike. (Well, relatively speaking here....)

So, how'd it go? Well, I have mixed emotions about that one. My bike, although difficult, felt phenomenal and I really left it all out on the bike course today. It was best described as "rolling," with more hills than I'm used to climbing. (Although none were particularly bad) It was a time trial start, so hundreds of us lined up and they sent us off every 5 seconds. I'd checked my gear ahead of time, so when she told me to "go!" I clipped in instantly, kept standing, and hammered my way down the first hill. I heard some of the spectators say "shit!" as I went by.....I guess most people were just lollygagging. But I needed to make this one count!

It was a beautiful 12.5 mile course on the plains, and my arm warmers kept me nice and warm. On the biggest climb of the course out in the middle of nowhere, 50+ high school boys, presumably the football team, lined the road and cheered us on. I couldn't stop cracking up! And of course they are all hormones and yelling "go baby!" the whole time, which totally made me smile. So of course I passed everyone in sight and hollered at them as I went by. I mean, who knows me? I'm not from here.

By mile 8, I'd burned everything in the tank. Oops. I was coughing up blood (it's so dry here-- my poor nose can't handle it), my lungs burned, and I had no idea how I was going to get myself back to the transition area. So I threw it into the little ring on the last few climbs and just hung in there. The plan was to have a nice bike and screw the run, and the plan was executed to a tee.

SO, I ended up finishing the bike in 38:58, running into transition with nothing left in me. I racked my bike wrong, so had to take it out and stick it back (different kind of rack this time!), then grabbed my number and ran out. Under a minute! Woohoo!

How sad is it that all I cared about was the bike and the transition?

So, the run. I walked immediately after I got out of transition and gasped for air. It was not filling my lungs. It was not mental at this point.....my weakness was a combined lack of conditioning and the altitude. I had to walk for a full minute to calm my breathing, then started out on the run. It seemed to go on forever, in what could best be described as a rolling course. No outright "hills," but you were never running flat. I had to stick to a 5 min run/1 min walk strategy, and it wasn't until I hit the 2nd mile marker that I felt in my groove. Unfortunately, it was too little too late --- my 13 minute 1st mile did me in and I had to cross the finish line with an embarassing 32 minute 5K. Yes, I said 32 minutes. But you know what? I'm comfortable seeing that number because I know I did the best that my body was capable of, and I know that when I am prepared, that number will go back down to the mid 20's where it belongs.

I ended up 5th out of 24 in my age group and 31 out of 236 overall. Not as stellar as I'd hoped, but every day can't be a good one. This was a fun little race for women, and I really loved being able to do the time trial start. Next year, I know that I'll be able to come back and really KILL this year's time. So I'm okay with that.

The aftermath of my little duathlon has been tough. I've been coughing all day and sound like a darn smoker! My left calf is tighter than you can imagine and totally sore. And my back! Ouch. Clearly, I need to make some changes.

Tomorrow, I am signing up for an off-season running program. I had the option of 3 different programs--- faster 5K/10K, Half Marathon, Marathon. I'm opting for the speedwork, as my immediate goals are to improve my Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons. I know that everyone in my group is moving along to Half Iron distance races and half marathons, but I cannot be mediocre. I refuse. So I'm going to try to get fast before I go longer. And I'm okay with that as well.

So, that's the race recap. Will post photos tomorrow when I switch computers. Hubby did a pretty good job and I'm only slightly mortified with the outcome. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ready or Not

This weekend is my first race in the State of Colorado since my very first triathlon in 2004. We aren't going to talk about that triathlon, since it was quite possibly the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life and was atrociously slow. (My goal: to not be last)

This was a gift race, from a very nice lady I met on Beginnertriathlete.com. I transferred her entry into my name, and thought, "wow, one month of acclimation. That should be perfect." Well, it should have been perfect, had my bike not arrived 3 weeks into my month and had I not been sick for ages and ages.

I am going into the DuWop Duathlon with a 12-mile bike under my belt and four 3-mile runs since I left California. I am going to get my butt handed to me on a platter. AND I am certain I will puke in the process.

Why do I do this to myself?!

At any rate, I've signed up for the Cruiser category, which is basically just a 12-mile bike and a 5K run. I initially was going to do the full du, but the smart part of my brain figured 6 miles of running might not work so well with me. I'm so relieved. I very nearly transferred into the Mini Cruiser category last week, which is 1/2 of the Cruiser distance, but I think this race is for beginners and I would feel very guilty taking my lazy butt and racing it.

So, this weekend, I'm about to eat a honkin', stinky piece of Humble Pie. I'm going to take it like a woman, though. I'll smile for the cameras. I'll throw my hands up in the air at the finish. I will be nice to my fellow competitors. And then I will go home and pray that Athlinks never connects my results to my account.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Addiction

I've been occupied of late, and I'm ashamed to admit it had nothing to do with moving. Or triathlon. Or weight loss.

No, this is something far more viral, addictive, and almost embarassing. It's not even meant for a grown woman-- young adults. It keeps me up at night, and I spend half the day thinking about the characters even when there is work to do. I spent an entire week entranced in this new occupation of mine, ignoring television, friends, family, my husband. It's sad.

Yes, I am addicted to Twilight.

Laugh all you want, but I've got the hots for Edward Cullen, and I'm even planning on wearing a Team Edward t-shirt to the movie premier the day AFTER dear hubby's birthday. I've managed to hook both of my sisters on the series as well, which include a grand total of 4 books and nearly 2000 pages. I can't even begin to describe why this series is so addictive or fun to read, but suffice it to say that when I finished the last book, I was devastated. I love me some vampires!!!

Anyway, I felt I owed at least a partial explanation of why I couldn't be bothered to blog over the past month.

I've been hot and bothered. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some Assembly Required

It is with immense relief and gratification that I sit here with a cup of coffee, on my crappy brown sofa, in my brand new townhome. Yes, I am fat and out of shape, but....I am home.

After nearly 3 weeks of insanity.....moving, driving across states that look like Mars, wearing the same 5 work outfits over and over, attempting to get workouts in on a treadmill, and feeling like I was on a very bad, extended vacation.... I am finally settled!

Movers came on Wednesday, but the immense number of boxes was really frightening. I didn't make much of a dent at all by the time work rolled around on Thursday, and DH has the worst ADD on the planet and didn't get much accomplished on his own on Thursday OR Friday. So I'd been feeling a little stressed out and overwhelmed by all the unpacking and general chaos in my life. Fortunately, I finally conquered the last of the boxes last night, and hubby assembled the remaining piece of his Ikea shopping spree.

My bike was assembled on Friday night. It was a process, though. They'd removed the front wheel, the front derailleur, the stem with handlebars, seatpost, and pedals. But I was determined to do it myself, so I took it upon myself to carefully pull it out of the Ladera Cyclery-packed box and extricate my beloved "Buff." What a bitch that was! Suffice it to say that figuring out how to reassemble this thing was not as easy as I thought it would be. I spent a lot of time on the floor all greased up, crying, wondering how I'd get it all together with my little multi-purpose bike tool. Alas, an hour later, I had an intact bike.....until I realized that my seat was tilted to the right and the handlebars were pointed in a different direction than the wheel. Oops! So, more adjusting, and it was perfect.

I even took it for a 16-mile spin yesterday. After a short technical difficulty, I took off on the C470 trail by my crib and enjoyed my first Colorado ride in several years. My take? Well, bike paths are no Santiago Canyon. I actually got going faster on the downhills than I ever did in California, but I was scared to death.....all sorts of gravel and sand on the trails, and the trails themselves twist and turn unpredictably. I was riding the brakes like there was no tomorrow.

I have a race next Sunday, and to be honest, averaging 16mph yesterday just isn't going to get me anywhere near the podium. Hopefully I gain a few mph on the road and redeem myself, but who knows. I'm happy to report that my legs feel 100% -- it's the cardiovascular that stinks really bad here in Colorado. I'm signing up for a fall run program next week, so I am hopeful that'll help with the cardio.

SO, that is my scoop. Am settled. Am on my way to being happy, but as we all know, that's a tough order. I'm still out-of-shape, but I'm trying to be active without my Divas. Work is work.....some of it is mundane, but I work for a great person and overall it's a pretty easy deal. And it moved me back home, which has made everyone happy. (As I said, I'm getting there)

And for those who know us personally, hubby has been hired by another airline and we think his class will start in October. My Dad is teaching the class, so we are hopeful this will be a little bit easier the 2nd time around. We could use your good thoughts, though.

Promise to write more from here on out. Have plenty to write about now-- life at altitude!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sick and Tired

I give up! I surrender! Germs of the world, I GET IT. I am a most worthy host. You love my body. I am susceptible to your ways. You win.

Now could you please leave me alone so I can get back to my regularly scheduled life? I am so sick of being sick, I cannot even begin to expound upon it. It all started Monday morning, before our "Welcome Home" barbecue with family and friends. The cold from H-E double ski poles. Really nasty. I was grumpy all day, and by nightfall, had turned into a sniveling wreck. I started my first day of work on no sleep and so stuffed up I couldn't even talk without wanting to cry. Even now, on day 4, I am exhausted and snotty.

This now marks my 3rd week of total inactivity. TOTAL inactivity. I am beyond depressed, but not sure what to do. I can barely breathe, how can I run? I am positively convinced that every last shred of fitness that I worked so hard to obtain for the past year is now down the drain, and this leaves me depressed and frustrated. I'm trying to meet a friend at the rec center tonight to swim some laps, but I'm not even showing up with a plan and have no idea how I am going to feel in the pool. I just hope it's warm and not crowded! Well, first I hope I even make it. I am committed, but we'll see if she can get out of work in time and feels up for it. If not, I'm driving straight home.....what's another day of nothingness to add on to the past 3 weeks?

My only bright spot is that I've started a new book, and I love it. I cannot wait to get home so I can read tonight. You'll laugh, but the "Twilight" mania has taken me over. I heard it was better than Harry Potter. I don't know if I'd go that far, but it really is captivating and I adore it so far. Heck, I was up until midnight last night devouring it, and I am sure tonight will be much the same.

Oh! I have picked a triathlon strategy. Can't believe I forgot that. I'm going to join CWW and train with the "competitive" group from January - September. I want to work on trying to qualify for Sprint Nationals within the next few years. Not sure if I have it in me or not, but we'll see! I also want to know if I have a HIM in me.....the "competitive" group (there are beginners, intermediates working on moving up to Olympic, and then the competitive group) trains for longer distances. I figure this is the best way to get my sister and mom involved in the sport, as it's all women and not threatening. At the same time, I plan to join the Parker Tri Club so that I can have more local access to group practices and a co-ed group to train with. Again, I have a single 26-year old sister. Gotta find her a man! This fall, I am hoping to join CWW's running group. I might claim to be training for a half marathon, just so I can stay active this winter and improve my running.

Work is going okay. I have quite the learning curve ahead of me and 2 direct reports that I need to start thinking about. My goal is to formulate the "big picture" in my head of what I need to accomplish, pick my minions' brains on what they do and where they want to go with their careers, and then figure out how we are all going to work together whilst I try to develop them as best as I can. They are of the Accounting mindset and I am uber big picture, so this should be interesting! But I like that I have an office, and I feel like my boss and I get along really well. Now, give me a month....I may be singing a different tune!

Until then, my snotty, out of shape, sick and sorry butt is signing out

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We Have Arrived....Oh, Boy, Have We Ever

Greetings from Denver!

It is surreal, for sure. Every morning I wake up and there is a chill to the air. When I see the deer in the backyard that my Dad considers a nuisance. When I'm driving and know which way West is because the mountains are always there, larger than life. (OK, I had that in Orange County, too, but it's a little different....mountains were East and that really messed with me) Anyway, we arrived late on Wednesday night. My tires are a little bald and the cat was a little overly-rested, but we survived the journey.

Thursday morning was all about finding a home. My dear, brilliant husband decided that my time off would be best spent after our time in California was through.....that we would be able to find an apartment on our first day in Colorado, re-routing our belongings from storage to the new address.

What my brilliant husband did not take into account was that somehow, Denver's rental economy is not only robust, but it's a freaking NIGHTMARE for renters. Nightmare. On our first day, nobody had immediate vacancies. They were 100% pre-leased, with first units available after the end of September. And even if the units were ready to be leased, we weren't able to see them because they weren't "ready." Our fallback option was the community we had lived in four years ago before leaving Colorado. Much to my dismay, it was a bit of a nightmare. Broken garages everywhere, trash all over, landscaping overrun.....and not to mention cigarette butts everywhere. I left there and cried. It was not looking good.

Friday was much the same, although we were able to identify 3 possible apartments in the month of September that we would consider living in. On a whim, I contacted a Craigslist ad and arranged to tour a townhome on Saturday morning. I had a feeling this was the one, but it was pretty pricey and not going to provide the huge savings we thought we'd have over Orange County rent.

Thankfully, it had good bones. Saturday morning's tour was mostly okay......the current tenant is a single mother of 2 teenage boys, with 2 cats. She is a mess, and the carpet was pretty well thrashed. More dirty than destroyed, but pretty gross. Everything needed to be cleaned and lights needed to be replaced, but the "bones" of the townhome were good. 3 stories. Tandem garage on bottom floor with bonus room that is perfect for my trainer and triathlon crud. Full bath adjoining bonus room, for sweaty triathlon bodies to shower. 2nd floor is the living room with foyer, dining room, kitchen, and 1/2 bath. 3rd floor is the 2nd bedroom, linen closet, washer/dryer, master bedroom, and 2 full baths. Yes, you have read this correctly --- 3 1/2 baths. It is my dream come true, after having lived with DH in a 1-bathroom apartment for so many years. We figure the extra money is worth the extra space....we are more than doubling the square footage that we had in California, and now both of our cars can stay in the garage. Here are some pics for family and friends:



I am also pleased to say that I did a bangup job in negotiations. The landlords, who are a very cute younger couple, initially wanted an 18 month lease. I talked them down to 6 months, with a month-to-month tenancy thereafter with only a 30-day notice of intent to vacate. I figure this should give us enough time to settle, figure out where we want to live, and househunt before we commit to buying a home. The lease is far more friendly than a lease with an apartment management company, and I really, honestly feel like we are going to be happy here. I am literally 1 minute from *2* bike trails.....one that is 12 miles one way, and another that goes all the way to the mountains and makes for an additional 50 miles from Denver to the West side. I mean, this is SWEET! (Except it's going to snow soon, I am sure, so I won't be able to partake until late spring)

On another note, I am positively disgusted with myself for not having done anything physical at all since I've arrived. Climbing stairs has left me winded, so I am really scared to see what has happened to my run fitness. It's almost been 2 weeks since I did anything, so tomorrow morning I am forcing myself to get dressed and out early. I'm going to try my best to run. ....and hope I don't get so frustrated that I cry.

Speaking of crying, even with family I feel awfully lonely out here. I guess it's because I've had the Divas for the past year. The same faces every weekend and after work. I'm group-motivated, so it feels like a part of me is missing. Perhaps that will ease up with time, but I'm struggling for sure.

My cat is finally settled. He has proven to be omega, the cat in the herd who is so chill that he's okay with backing away from any and every fight. His mother is proud of him and thinks him to be very smart. His father, on the other hand, thinks he's a wuss, especially considering he outweighs the other four cats by over half their weight! (His head is twice the size of theirs-- I am convinced he could sit on them and suffocate them) Nobody loves him quite yet, but the hissing is more or less over and done with. It makes me happy to see him like this, but would you believe he prefers the dog over the cats?

So, that is my news. We are moved in. I have 16 more days living with the parents until I can move into my new place. It's KILLING me, and the thought of being here for two more weeks is only slightly disturbing. I miss my bike.

How's that for an update? I promise, more goodies coming soon. Next entry: training at altitude and Weight Watchers Core.....oh, the things we do to get faster.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

From the Road

Oh, I couldn't help it. Greetings from Washington City, Utah! We are in the lovely Holiday Inn Express, hunkered down for the evening with our superstar kitty watching "Chuck and Larry." What an emotional few days!

Movers came yesterday. When they came to the door, I inwardly felt a little disappointed....they were a combination of the Beverly Hillbillies meet the Golden Girls. A crew of 4 -- the driver and his wife, seventy somethings who wreaked of tobacco and spoke with a heavy Texas twang, and 2 fifty-somethings with toothless grins! I was thinking, "how in the heck are these people going to pack up our stuff, let alone MOVE my couch in under 24 hours?!" Really, it was shocking, but they were by far our best movers. You see, I'm on my 3rd cross country move now, so I feel like I'm becoming an expert on relocation. They were very invested in the job, and I fell in love with the driver's wife. She has had 2 surgeries for some type of abdominal cancer.....and her pain has returned, but she and her hubby have been on the road away from home for over 4 months now. It was sad-- she is a remarkabl person and I really wish she'd take the time to take care of herself instead of taking care of other peoples' belongings. Her husband said he is going to take the scenic route to Colorado so she can see Utah's red canyons for the first time. I told her it was like Mars and she will love it!

They arrived at 10am, and by 4pm, they were packed up and out. Bailey, my kitty, was locked up in the bathroom all day long and was very happy to be out and about. No furniture meant more room for him to run and slide all over the wood floors, so he was crazy!!! Of course, we hadn't washed the floors yet, so I had a buff and orange cat with BLACK paws.

We cleaned all through the night and early this morning, then pulled out around 11am for our drive. Today was the short day-- we knew we'd be tired from all the cleaning, so we backloaded our trip. I was exhausted today, as my air mattress deflated one hour after I fell asleep and I was pretty much on the floor the entire night. I couldn't wait for daylight so I could get up....all I wanted to do was hit my husband because he was all cuddled up in his sleeping bag with a fully inflated mattress. Argh. So unfair.

No exciting stories from our drive today. We are listening to Catherine Coulter's "Tailspin," and I am addicted. Hubby, on the other hand, is completely useless when it comes to fictional stories with more than 1 character and multiple story lines. (I spent an hour at dinner tonight trying to bring him up to speed!)

The big excitement is that Bailey is doing SO well with the drive and the hotel. Holiday Inn Express is fantastic for pets, and they were really accomodating. As we speak, Bailey is sitting in the window looking out at the parking lot, totally comfortable. The cat is like a dog, I swear. He sat in my lap for a few minutes of our drive (I know, bad me, but he was in my control) and behaved very well....only crying a few times. What a huge relief....he is definitely a big cause of my stress because I never know what will happen. But he always comes through.

Anyway, sorry to be so verbose, but it's cathartic! Moving is an adventure, and this is no exception.

Please pray that Hubby's "fried cheesecake" dessert doesn't come back to punish him this evening. On second thought, save them for yourself. He slept last night....he deserves some gastrointestinal distress for once. Welcome to MY world, lovey.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My First DNS

I had every intention of starting the race this morning. I got up at 4:30am with everyone else. I racked my bike in transition. I even got bodymarked.

But I had not had a substantial amount of solid food for 4 days, and I had spent the previous day and all evening doing something (not throwing up) that resulted in a significant loss of water. Random scents made me want to toss my cookies. I had cotton mouth. Walking the beach made me winded. I talked to my Coach. My husband. My mom. I cried. Man, I cried a lot.

Ultimately, I handed my chip over to Kelly, owner and founder of the Divas, and told her I was going to sit this one out. I have the movers coming tomorrow and have to drive to Colorado on Tuesday.....the last thing I need is to make myself worse. Or better yet, have major gastrointestinal issues in the swim or on the run. (Walking back to the car was difficult enough--- a bottle of Pepto and 3 Immodium were seriously not enough to get me through this race)

I'm really upset with myself. Really, really upset, but I know deep down I probably did the right thing. It just stinks, especially when I was all ready to go. To top it all off, my race time from last year would have placed me #5 in my age group, so I had a legitimate shot at the podium today.....IF I was on, and clearly, having not moved since Sunday, I am not.

Crap. SO, with that, I am done with racing in California. My bike is being packed by the Ladera guys as we speak, and I am less than 24 hours away from my life completely changing. I've parted ways with my Coach (just physically), who has changed me more than she will ever know, and it totally killed me. Not to mention my teammates. I swear, I am a blubbering mess.

But it will all work out. I'll get better. The move will move along. And we'll all have a wonderful reunion next May in Lake Las Vegas.

This computer is getting packed up tonight, so I'll probably be out for a few days. Have a good week!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

To race or not to race?

So, tomorrow morning is the Santa Barbara Super Sprint. It marks the anniversary of my first race as a Diva and serious triathlete. (more or less!) I did surprisingly well last year, so as you can imagine, the pressure is on to crush it this year as well.

Unfortunately, I have been at home for 3 whole days now with the crud. Fever and stomach aches. Nausea. Body Aches. I made it in for my last day of work, but all I managed to do was pack and then go home and sleep the rest of the day. I made it to my Diva going-away party, but I was practically catatonic on the car ride home and completely, tragically unable to eat my white-on-white celebratory cake. Truly, as you can see, this has been a tragic last week in paradise.

Hubby and I are leaving for Santa Barbara in an hour or so. I am hungry, yet I STILL cannot eat solid food yet. Chicken noodle didn't sit well last night. Ginger Ale is my lifesaver. The fever is managed with Tylenol. I just "sweat" a lot.

But in all honesty, if I get out of breath walking up the stairs, how am I going to swim, bike, and run, AND kick last year's time in the booty?

I'm very conflicted, but if had to make the call this morning, I'd have to pass. I'm hoping tomorrow it's a different story. This race just means so much-- I will be so angry if it doesn't work out.

Sorry for the vent.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bleh

Somehow I have caught the crud. In my last week in paradise, I've had to take 2 sick days from work and sit on my rear watching Jerry Springer and reruns of John & Kate Plus 8 whilst nursing a fever and upset stomach. Oh, the cruelty!



To top it off, I have a race on Sunday. My last race in California. The only race I did last year that I will re-do this year, to measure my improvements..... But how can I improve when I've lost days of training and STILL have a fever?? Woe is me!



Now, before you feel all bad for me, did I mention it's a super sprint? In all seriousness, I'm hoping, fever and all, to at least match my 54 minute time from last year....



Anyway, thought I'd post that I am alive. I am just unwell..... But a week from today, we will be in Colorado. Homeless, because my fantastic husband refused to pick out an apartment BEFORE moving. Yes, it's sunshine and happiness in my home as I sit here in agony while he spends my money at Ikea.....



Ugh.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Wheels Fell Off My Bus

Camp Pendleton Sprint Tri Race Report


First, the good things. They were few and far between, but I'm working on becoming an optimist so I have to address them first:
#1-- A few of my teammates were all there. I was not alone, and the company on the beach was fantastic.
#2-- Michellie Jones showed up and racked one bike away from us....next to our assistant coach, who even got to chat with her. I was a little jealous.
#3-- I didn't die.

Ok, that was about it for the positive list. So with that out of the way, the race kind of went something like this:

Pre-Race-- This was race #3 in a month for me. I've been altering the plan and only got one solid week of training in in between modified taper periods for each race. I thought I was all set to kick some booty, but the human body is a mysterious entity. Mine is just a pain in the butt.

Woke up at 4:30, grabbed my coffee and bagel, and headed out the door for an uneventful drive. Glad I hit the rest stop for the bathroom before I got on base, because it really did take a 1/2 hour to get to ACU-5, Home of the Swift Intruders. I parked on the runway, then went straight to the registration line where I got my chip, my cap, and my t-shirt. (I'm getting smart these days and getting them in sizes for my husband....Camp Pendleton t-shirts are in unwearable colors!) Transition was down a 1/4 mile ramp, completely inaccessible to spectators. So once I hurried down to transition and set up next to two other Divas, I called my husband to tell him about the situation and what to expect when he and the in-laws arrived.

My teammate wrote "Divas" in chalk next to our bikes--- I had totally made fun of her for it at the time, but after the race, I was really happy it was there! Saw Michellie and her blue and pink Felt. She rocks. Convinced my friend to take Sportlegs with me, then headed out to listen to the pre-race talk and then go to the beach.

The Swim -- I had done Santa Barbara and Pacific Coast last year, so I didn't think much of ocean swims, to tell you the truth. I thought I could handle everything. But something bizarre started happening with the waves before the men started their race.....they were hitting the shore at an angle, and it looked like they were continuing to break even as you approached the first buoy. Did I mention they started to get more frequent and slightly larger as well? At one point I looked at the girls, on the verge of tears, and said, "that's it. I'm moving, and I'm not going to do this race." They knew I was full of it, but really, didn't feel like I was that crazy at the time. I finally suited up and headed into the water because I had to pee. I dove under my first wave and decided that I could do this, so I headed up to shore and that's what I told everyone. No problem. This beeyotch is mine.
Oh, so wrong!

Apparently, I cannot read waves. I had no idea there was a rip current. For 47 minutes, I did not pay close enough attention to figure out where to swim to....I just chatted away talking about how scary it looked. How STUPID could I get??!!!

I decided to take the straightest line to the first buoy, and when they counted down to zero, I sprinted into the water determined to conquer this beast. I dove under the first wave that hit us and didn't even bother doing a freestyle stroke because the next wave was upon us. Dove under that one. Then I swam a few strokes and decided I could swim to the top of the next one....and then it threw me down into the trough and I had to continue swimming. I looked up, and there was a group of girls already to the first buoy....and then the rest of us stuck in this bizzarre and tumultuous limbo. I could not swim more than a few strokes before the next wave would come, and then I'd be paralyzed before I could decide what I was going to do with it. Swim? Dive under? Pray? I swallowed insane amounts of water.

When I realized the first buoy was not getting closer, I did start to panic a little bit. The rescue boat was in the water somewhere-- surely nobody would notice if I waived that cute little driver over to me and faked a cramp to get out of the water like the 7 other swimmers that were rescued that day?? Seriously, I'm moving....nobody will remember me..... I sucked it up and finished this swim, but it wasn't easy. I was out of breath for most of it because the sheer panic was difficult to handle, and I think I must have been swimming hard to fight whatever was sucking me back to shore as I tried to reach the first buoy.

(I know, the waves don't look like much, but trust me, it was torture from here on out!)
Once I was perpendicular to shore, I felt I had to swim harder....I passed quite a few girls here, then braced myself for the trip back to shore. I later learned that there was a rip current to the left of the yellow buoy, so the girls who started out swimming into the current had less waves to swim through and were actually sling-shotted around that first freaking buoy! So of course I was passing people at this point-- they were slower than you-know-what but WAY smarter than me.
On the return to shore, I think I just willed those waves to not hit me.....I was swimming in, looking over my shoulder and thinking, "please, I have been beaten up enough today. Please leave me alone!" It was sad and pathetic. I stood up as soon as I touched ground. I wanted out of that horrible ocean. I was cooked! To top it all off, I looked down at my watch and it said 13 minutes and change. I was devastated. I've never, ever swam that slow in my entire life, and it was so disheartening to think that now I had to make up all that time SOMEHOW. But I felt horrible....so sick. As I ran into transition, I really just wanted to cry. Why do I have to continue on? I should quit now because I feel so crappy.

T1: Oh, but I sucked it up and continued on. I didn't fuss too much in transition, but I was sort of in slow-mo because I was still shaking from the adrenaline of the swim. Shock is more like it, I think. I got out of my wetsuit, then used the transition mantra I read about online, "sock sock shoe shoe helmet glasses GO." Grabbed my bike and off I went. I did notice that the man in front of me was wearing a construction helmet with no chin strap, pushing a mountain bike. The marines were totally flummoxed, but they allowed him to continue. Maybe not USAT approved, but he certainly got points for creativity. (See, I did not make this up--- here he is in his construction helmet-- I was so out of it I thought I'd made that up until I saw this photo!)


Bike: Started out by getting passed by Michellie Jones straight out of transition. She is allowed to pass me with no ill will.....but did she have to do it so quickly? I got on my bike and followed her up the ramp, but she was up and over the overpass before I could even kick it into gear. A-ma-zing. Totally. Anyway, this didn't even inspire me. My legs were tired and I kept spitting saltwater off my bike. I knew I had to get my speed up, but I found it very difficult. I was even more pissed because at the Pendleton Olympic, I LOVED the bike and really wanted to scream to everyone who would listen how much fun I was having. But this day, there was no fun. I was hot, sweaty, and salty.....and SLOW. Man, what was going on?! I hit the turnaround and was too slow, so I really put myself in a world of hurt on the way back.

My one happy moment was when a man on a Cervelo tri bike came zooming past me.....I hung in his draft for 10 seconds or so, since I had 15 seconds to back off, and I FELT it for the first time ever. See, I never bought the whole peloton drafting thing until this time. Now I'm a believer....it was pretty sweet and I could feel how he was pulling me. Anyway, I backed down and watched him draft off a woman in front of me. Dudes are dirty drafters, for sure.


I negative split the way back, salvaging my bike and averaging 19.1 mph despite the heavy headwind on the return. Should have been in the 20's, but I'm maxed out at this speed on this course and I don't know why. Clocked the course at roughly 19 miles as well, as opposed to the advertised 18.

T2: Faster than T1. Decided to skip water and sunscreen. Just racked my bike, changed my shoes, and then grabbed my number and hat. Too bad we didn't have transition times in this race. They were the only thing I was pleased with.

The run: We had to run UP that dang hill to get out of the transition area and onto the run course. The mother in law yelling "faster, faster!" really did nothing for the general morale. The run itself wasn't too bad, though. Plenty of water stations, and some shade to be found in between buildings. I was still feeling like I had an upset stomach, but fortunately didn't have any cramping and never threw up. I never had the need to walk, but mentally I was over it. I started the run at 1:18 total. This was 10 minutes off the time I was hoping for, and I was pretty much fed up with the day. I watched helplessly as faster runners in my age group passed me in the last mile. Happens every time. I tried to run one of them down in the finish chute, but she had more in the tank and I ended up crossing 7 seconds behind her. In retrospect, I am very, very angry with myself. If I'd just kept moving forward instead of walking the aid stations, 4 of the girls in front of me would never have caught me. I was 1 minute away from breaking the top 10. In a San Diego race, that's never a bad thing. But no, I walked and got what was coming to me.

(Hey, at least I chicked a few dudes!)

So, compared to the afterglow of Pendleton Olympic and the successes of Danskin and Solana, I'm left feeling cranky and defeated. I've never felt so scared or useless in a swim before, and it really does mess with your brain when you are only 1/3 of the way through your race. It's a good reminder that triathlon is almost as much a mental sport as it is a physical one.


To top it all off, I am sunburned, exhausted, and sore all over. Even my sinuses are killing me thanks to all the water in them! It was a nightmare of a race, and I'm just amazed that I even finished it. Now, I have 2 more weeks to redeem myself and make Santa Barbara a success. I've got a lot of work to do.


Lessons Learned:
1. I am mere mortal, and in San Diego, I am slow.
2. 3 races in 4 weeks is NOT going to give you 3 peak performances. Sometimes your body does not fire.
3. The ocean is evil and should never be underestimated.
4. My brain is a bigger obstacle than my lack of running skills.
5. Don't bring in-laws to races where you might get sick on seawater and lose all will to compete. They will think you are just fat and out of shape.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What Rock Have I Been Hiding Under?

Seriously, I've been a very bad blogger. If it's not about a race, I don't even feel the slightest inclination to blog about it. What is up with this?

I've been terribly self-absorbed as of late. While I'm still "training," clearly my mind is on my impending move to Denver. D-Day is August 25th, and I am so caught up in emotions that I don't even know what to think about it! On one hand, my job in California is intolerable and totally winding down. I'm checked out, and I desperately want to get out of this caustic environment and start my new job. But then there's the triathlon side of things......where I've made so many friends over the past year, and I cannot imagine rebuilding this network in another state with another group of people. Perhaps it will happen, but it scares me to think I have to start all over again. Then there's the altitude. Seriously, people, I am probably going to have to get used to being a back of the packer again, because I don't know how I'm going to breathe! (Yes, I did grow up in Colorado....this gives me no comfort)

Why am I so obsessed with triathlon above all else? Is it because it is my escape from work? What happens when work takes priority and triathlon takes the back seat? Will I lose this base I've become so proud of? Will I let my new obsession slip away?

I'm scared. Really, truly, I am scared of losing it all. So while I'm excited for my new job, and to be home with my sisters and family and cousin, I'm freaking petrified that I will lose this new part of me.

Yes, I've already looked into clubs. Parker Tri Club. CWW, the all-women's group. C2E, the program run by Olympian triathlete Susan Williams. What do I chose? What do I want? Parker Tri would be great because it's co-ed and I could get hubby involved, but what if everyone is way older?? CWW is another all female team. Do they have the street cred? Do I even want to be in this environment again? I'm so catty as is -- does it bring out the best in me? And then C2E.....would be VERY expensive, but I'd be surrounded by people better than me and I could find out if I ever have any chance of improving in this sport. It's exciting.....but maybe more than I can handle?

So, I've done the research. Now I just have to make it all happen.

In other news, now that I've thoroughly depressed myself, the in-laws are back!!!! 4 days of fun in the sun. Hubby picked them up an hour and a half ago, as I sat here at work twiddling my thumbs. He has a full itinerary planned for them, as they will sit around bored to death if we don't do the legwork. I'm sending them on very long day trips in the hopes that I can continue to get a day or two of training in during their visits....so sneaky, huh?! Then on Saturday, I signed up for the Camp Pendleton Sprint Triathlon. Had SO much fun at the Olympic that I had to sign up for more. It's a joke that my coach and I are doing a rematch. Ha! Who are we kidding? She'll kill me for sure, and I want her to. No, there are only 2 people I want to crush on Sunday. One girl who shall not be named, and McTherapist. Watch out, Scottie.....I'm coming for you!
In-laws will come to the race......they are a military family, so I am sure they will enjoy Camp Pendleton. And I guess the finish line is through some sort of carrier? Who knows, but I am really amped up about it. I just hope they don't say something about how I'm doing a Mini Triathlon or how I looked like I was going to die on the run. Who cares?

Did I tell you all about the Mini Triathlon comment? It was the evening after the Olympic I finished a few weeks back, at a fundraiser with my boss' wife. I told her what I'd done earlier in the day and she said, "oh, you did a mini triathlon. It sounds like fun!" I just about drop kicked her. Um, since when did a mile swim, 24 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run become a MINI triathlon?!!! Hubby had to hold me back from strangling her. I was emotional. Quite frankly, every distance is equally difficult in its own right....it's just the duration of the suffering that differs.

Mini Triathlon. I'll show you mini!
Or not.

I'm also signed up to do the Santa Barbara Super Sprint on Sunday the 24th. The day before I move. Talk about cramming them in under the wire!! It was my first race with the Divas last summer, so it's my only way of seeing if I have improved over the year. Since it's a super sprint, the improvements won't be all that impressive, but I'm still wanting to drop a few minutes off my time. We shall see! Hubby and I are going to head up there and I think it'll be a really good time. I love that race, and I love Santa Barbara.

And that's it. That's my scoop. Emotional about the move. Slightly annoyed by the in-laws visiting. Amped about upcoming races. Emotional about the move. Did I mention I'm emotional?

My poor husband. He probably wants to lace my water with a sedative or Prozac!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's good to be GOLD!

I have a confession to make.
Yesterday morning, my friend and I got up at the butt crack of dawn and drove to Solana Beach to wait in line and see if we could get one of 50 remaining entries into the race this morning. I'm happy to report that we were #47 or 50, and thus "Team Smackdown" was born.....

We really didn't think about this until a few days ago, when we got jealous of all the other Divas doing the race. Since I'm a short-timer now and need to get as many CA race t-shirts as possible before I move, I just had to enter, but my body has not been feeling up to a full-fledged sprint a week after Pendleton. My crazy friend (code name "Cali Girl" -- hubby's nickname for her) got strangly excited about doing the swim leg of the relay, and of course, I would only bike.....so we went on a search for a runner. When everyone else rejected us, we ended up with our Assistant Coach. We'll call her "Uber Runner." You see, she's an Ironman many times over, but she just so happens to have a 21 minute 5K in her as well. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Cha-ching!

We hit the relay jackpot. This morning was awesome!!! Cali Girl got all ready for the swim and stood around in her wetsuit on the beach for over an hour and 20 minutes before her wave went off. Apparently, by that time, the tide was coming in but it was leaving quite a bit of shallow water to wade/dolphin dive through before making it past the break. When the first few relay swimmers came into transition, they said that there was a huge set that came in right as the relay went off and that quite a number of people got pummeled by the third wave. Crap! I was hoping Cali Girl just survived at this point....screw speed. Then I saw Uber Runner sprinting toward transition from the beach. She was going to stay with Cali Girl when she got out of the water and assist in the timing chip handoff.

"Where is Cali Girl?" I yelled. She said that she was coming, so I unracked my bike and watched as the other relay teams started heading up on the bike. Sure enough, she lived and made it to the top of the hill. She sprinted in across the mat and looked like she was in a world of hurt. Good times! Uber Runner grabbed the chip, put it on my leg, and then I took off out of transition like a bat out of hell. It's hard to run in LOOK cleats, especially on wet pavement, but I was sprinting and yelling at people to get out of my way.

The bike was a quick 9-mile course. 2 loops of relatively flat portions of the Pacific Coast Highway. (Pretty positive that was where we were) It was beautiful coming up out of Solana and down the big hill with the ocean coming right up to the road. I just felt so lucky to be out there. From the second I got on the bike, I was hurting. I didn't want to see anything in the teens on my speedometer, so whenever I dropped below 20, I geared up or stood up to pedal faster and harder. There was nothing pleasurable about the bike at this point, just a good old fashion grind. I passed EVERYONE. Seriously, I was never once passed out there on course and I took out everyone that ended up in front of me. Was I drafting??? Mmmmaybe. But not intentionally. Sometimes you had a huge group of slowpokes to pass and someone would swerve out in front of me and pass with me. But I'd pass them in the end. I didn't need to draft. I owned them! OK, just kidding...... But I really felt strong out there and gave it everything I had.

Coming into transition, I was pissed that there was no timing mat for the bike. That means my bike split contains both T1 and T2. So I looked down at my watch and had a split of 26:45 for the 8 miles. ROCKIN' good time for me on that course, I think. We'll see what the official split looks like and how much time we took in transition.

Cali Girl met me before I racked my bike, transferred the chip to Uber Runner, and then OFF she went to conquer the final 5K! I needed a moment to recuperate after my ride--- tummy can only handle redlining for so long. All the guys coming in off the relay were congratulating me on my riding and one of them said he was shocked when I passed him out there. Ha! Good way to stroke the ego.

When I was recovered enough, I grabbed my bottles and Cali Girl and I went to the finish line to cheer on our other, older Divas who were still out on course. Almost in a blink of an eye, I caught site of Uber Runner. She was pounding it!!! She looked totally miserable, of course, but she was flying. Reports on course from other relayers say that she was very strong and "impossible to catch." Fan-tastic!!!! We screamed and cheered her on, then ran to the beer garden and met her.

How exciting. 1:01:22. Still slower than some of the crazies in my age group, but the fastest of the all-women relay teams and quite frankly, a time I'm very proud of. We stuck around for the awards and got our well-deserved medals. It's not every day you can podium in triathlon, so we ate it up for sure.

So, without further adue, here's the victorious Team Smackdown!!! (We were supposed to be "Diva Smackdown," but who knows what happened to that)


Monday, July 21, 2008

Falling into Place.....my 2nd Oly Race Report

Race Report-- Camp Pendleton International

Finally. FINALLY! A race I can be proud of, where it all came together (mostly) and my training came through for me. I have to admit, after Iron Girl, I seriously questioned why I wanted to try my hand at an Oly again. That race really sucked the soul out of me....I cannot describe it in appropriate words, but it stripped away some of my love for triathlon and I didn't want that to happen again. But Pendleton was all about revenge on the distance. I was out for blood.

Pre-Race- Woke up insanely early, but was probably the last to hit transition around 6am. I blame it all on my Sherpa husband, who is worse than a woman when it comes to leaving the house on time. Parked my bike in transition right next to Carrie and Ly Ly, then got body marked and mugged for photos. I took my Sportlegs an hour before start time, then headed off to the start with my hubby and all the girls.

The Swim-Wow. It didn't look as long as Iron Girl, but it certainly felt longer! An out and back course, in the saltwater, but with no waves or fear or bizarre ocean creatures. I was in the second to last wave, and waded into the water toward the front. The whole time, we were all saying, "why do we do this? What are we putting ourselves through?" Seriously, it never fails to creep into my head during every single race.

Eventually, the horn blew and we were off. I tried to grab some feet and draft off of some of the faster girls in my heat, but nobody was swimming in a straight line! At one point, this random girl swam horizontal in front of us. It was almost comical, but I was getting annoyed because my plan was to draft.....and it just wasn't working out. I eventually settled into a groove and stayed there for the entire swim. It was pretty boring, to be sure, and the smell of the exhaust from the jetskis all around us was starting to turn my stomach a little bit. Bleh! Finally, I could hear the announcer say "and the first of the blue caps is coming in to the swim finish!" and I was pretty excited, because I was only five minutes or so away from the finish and honestly, I'm quite happy to be 5 minutes behind the swim leaders....


So, out of the water, looked at my watch, and it said 28:16. I felt phenomenal, and I let out a "score!" after I saw my time. HUGE smile across my face. Hubby thought I came out of the water too fast and was afraid I was going to be too tired to finish the rest of the race, but he was dead wrong. I had a comfortable swim and felt fantastic. Iron Girl was not a true swimmer's mile, but this one certainly felt like the real deal. I couldn't wait to get on my bike.




T1: HUGE run to transition. Up the sand to the asphalt, and then a long run into the transition area. I got out of my wetsuit as soon as I hit the asphalt.....I didn't want to try getting out in the sand and becoming a sand donut like Coach last year. I also knew the timing pad was ahead, and I would rather have the wetsuit removal come off of my swim time than be included in my bike time. (No transition times for this race--- the bike leg takes the brunt of the transition) I got back to my rack and noticed that there weren't many bikes out yet. And Coach's bike was still there, too. Woohoo! (Secretly, I wanted to make her sweat a little before I let her beat me...I mean, I did have a 5 minute head start. How embarassing if I lost it in the swim of all places?!) Grabbed my socks and overzealously placed them on my feet......ripping a huge gaping hole into the heel of the right sock. Oops. I just kept going with my low rent ripped sock, and headed out of transition. I saw 33 minutes on my watch at this time, so transition took at least 5 minutes. I could have run through the sand, but in retrospect, there really was no need. It all worked out.



Bike: Ah, the reason why I love triathlon. I love the bike, and this was no exception. From the start, I felt strong and determined to attack the course. I was in the big ring for all but two hills, and really pushed the downhills and flats to make up time. At Iron Girl, I got passed on all the hills, to the point where I was mentally deflated. Today, not a single person passed me going uphill. What a shock! I must admit, that Stuart Mesa hill seems like a little pansy compared to the Santiago Rides I've been doing every week with the girls. And having my hardcore bike training partner's voice in my head, shouting profanity at me while I climb, also seemed to egg me on a little. "You climb like a pussy!" (Yes, she says that.....and yes, it motivates me to try harder!)

I felt like I was flying out there......until I hit the turn around and caught my first glimpse of Coach on my tail. She started 5 minutes behind me in the swim, but there was no way she was more than 2 or 3 minutes behind me on the bike. I freaked out! The fear of her beating me badly on the bike kept me focused and motivated all the way back to transition. Thankfully (or not), I held her off and made it to transition by myself.


Nutrition wise, I only managed to take 2 sips of my gel and a few sips of electrolyte drink.....I craved water and that was all I really took in during the bike....everything else made me feel a little nauseous.

T2: Too many choices here. Do I bring my gel? Is it hot enough for Endurolytes? Should I spray sunscreen all over? Do I take my Arm Coolers? Next time, I'm eliminating the choices. If it's there, I'm wearing it/taking it/eating it. Otherwise, it's not allowed in transition. The Arm Coolers decision probably took a few too many seconds....I opted to forego them this time around, since it was still overcast and I wasn't very hot.

Run: Oh, my not-so-favorite part of triathlon. My nemesis. My limiter. But today, I had a secret weapon.

Lucy.

I have to admit, when I left transition I started to choke back some tears. My legs felt phenomenally strong and I wasn't feeling cardiovascularly challenged...but thinking of Lucy started to upset me......Since crying has resulted in hyperventilation on two occasions with me so far this month during my runs, I decided to save it for later.

The run was a 2-loop course, sort of t-shaped, so that you did a lot of back-tracking and got to see your competition multiple times. My first 5K was awesome. I felt strong, but the whole time there was a stalker behind me, coming up faster and faster. I knew that I would be overtaken eventually, but I just didn't know when...... Right before the turnaround, Coach (aka "marauding water buffalo") made her move, but not before she humiliated me in front of the Ladera Cyclery boys. It's all good, though. I've got a thick skin. Yes, Coach, even with a hangover and no formal plan post-Ironman, you can still hand it to me. I bow down. I'm not worthy.


Anyway, with that over with, I finished the first loop and headed out to loop #2. I was more tired this time around, and starting to get hot. At the first aid station, I could feel myself getting nauseous. The only way to keep it in check was to walk and douse myself in water. Anyway, the pain really hit at the top of the big hill, probably around mile 5. I saw Coach at the turnaround and told her I was starting to lose it. I think she secretly wanted to see me hurl....apparently you could see my face making that pre-barf look that is oh-so-sexy. I reserved that honor for my friend's mom.

Somehow, I managed to finish this race. I kept moving forward, backed off the pace, and tried to hold in the throw up. I was so relieved to see the finish chute, with my hubby and pals cheering me on. There was no sprint in me today....I just trudged over the line and stopped....and then threw up. Ah, gotta love it. I can't seem to control myself at the finish line these days, but you know what they say--- if you can't taste it, you didn't try hard enough.

I think I broke a 1-hour 10K for the first time in my life during this race. In fact, I'm pretty darn positive I did, and to be honest....I can't help but attribute it to Lucy. Surely, it took some divine intervention to keep me in the chase out there. Oh, and I am so thankful to Robin for her post-race Motrin and Denise for the miracle spray.....I have never felt so much muscle pain in my life!

Overall, I am exceedingly happy with this race. Yes, it took a lot out of me. Yes, it was hard. But I wasn't tortured like Iron Girl. The bike was amazing and fun. And the run was comforting because I saw all of my teammates around every corner. We had an amazing group at Pendleton today, and I was so, so proud to be able to share the course with them and to call them my training partners and friends. I never thought I was capable of throwing down an Olympic like I usually do with the Sprint, but I came pretty close today. (For me, at least--- the top age groupers are super human!) Personal bests in all three sports, and I had a blast in the process. I'm going to miss my Divas. :(

Friday, July 18, 2008

For Lucy


Isn't it funny how somebody you never met can touch you? Can strike a chord so perverse that you think about them in your daily life? Mourn for them? Want to make right by them?

Well, I'm usually not one of those people, but this past week I became enthralled in a fellow message boarders' fight for life. I read her logs, seeing how she'd completed Florida 70.3 in May with a smile on her face. How she was confused and scared about the gradual numbing of her body and limbs. And then I watched as her typing degraded and she was sent to the hospital...... Christine Rusher died of a brain tumor/aneurysm earlier this week, proving that life is too short and that nothing is fair. She was dedicated to triathlon to the bitter end, and she left many, many friends behind.

I never knew her. I never knew her, but her loss is really hurting me right now. I think it's because it happened so fast, and it could happen to any one of us at any time. It's just so scary, and sad. Christine (screen name "Lucy") had a dream of completing a 5K in under 30 minutes, and I understand she came pretty close to this goal several times. This evening, a race director in Florida is holding a 5K in Christine's memory. The internet world who knew her is signing up virtually to compete in this 5K, with some dedicating portions of their run in races this weekend in lieu of the actual physical race. And you know what? I signed myself up! I'm in.

Tomorrow morning, I will set out to conquer my 2nd Olympic distance triathlon ever. Instead of being petrified, I am going to be thankful. Thankful that I can swim in the ocean with friends. Thankful that I have the ability to hop on my gorgeous bike and cruise some amazing Southern CA coastline. ANd thankful that I have this run, where I can conquer my mental demons and try to make Christine proud. No, I never knew her.....but I think I will tomorrow.

I'm attaching a link to the thread that really got to me......As you can see, she's touched many people.
http://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=123181&posts=230&start=1


Friday, July 11, 2008

We're.......

NOT PREGNANT!!!

Just had to get that out of the way. We've told quite a few people that we had big news for them, and they all suspect that we are with bebe'. No sir. Not me.

We're moving.

Oh, it's so bittersweet. In 2005, when we left Denver, we promised we'd get back in 5 years or less. It was just for my career, and then we'd drop it all and come back to our families. Well, that's a heavy burden to carry around with you. I have never felt like I was able to "settle" because of this promise. We rent. We don't make many friends or have a social life. We spend all of our vacation time going back to Colorado to visit family.

Last week, I snapped. I had been looking at our company's internal job postings for a while, and a position popped up last Thursday that sounded intriguing. I made a few calls and found out it was in a department headed up by a woman I'd worked with in the past. I knew we got along well, so I called her up and had a good chat. After getting my boss and old boss' approval to apply, I threw my resume into the mix and was asked to fly out to Denver to interview yesterday. (Yes, in the middle of my PEAK WEEK for Pendleton! The horror!!) So I flew out yesterday for the day, and went through a complete grilling by my future bosses and new potential team. I suppose I should be happy they took this seriously, but I was expecting a casual lunch and then to have them hand me the job. Apparently I had to earn it and beat out the internal candidates.

So, today was the day. They made their decision and extended the offer.

It's a lateral move "rank-wise." Salary stays the same, but do you know what that means between CA and CO? Well, a lot. I mean, even income tax is cut in half. Maybe I'll be able to buy a rotisserie chicken for less than $12 at the grocery store. (I'm really hung up about this at the moment....please, let me have this moment)

I wish I could say I am bouncing off the walls with excitement, but it's really quite bittersweet. I've grown to love Southern California. I love the beaches.....the weather.....the canyons..... And I absolutely adore my triathlon team. It's seriously changed my life and given me the most amazing friends to train with and get support from. I am devastated to be leaving them, and it really is the hardest part about this move. My goal is to keep being coached by my Coach and to join a tri club somewhere in Denver.....need to figure out which one has the most single guys because my 26-year old sister is a hottie and needs a date!!!

Anyway, the big move should happen around Labor Day. Until then, I'm going to concentrate on Pendleton and then aim for my last race with the Divas to be Santa Barbara. It was my first race last year, and I really loved it. It's almost like coming full circle.

So, that is the big news. Hubby is bouncing off the walls. In-laws are super excited. My family is elated. And I'm sad, but at least I'll have someone to go shopping with on a Saturday afternoon. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I'm Alive!

Seriously, I feel like #5 today.
It was my first time in the ocean since Dave Martin was attacked by a Great White in Solana Beach back in April. Dave died while swimming with a group of his triathlon team members, doing a morning practice that every one of us sort of takes for granted. I don't. I was flipping out about this return to the ocean since it hit the workout calendar. I know that the odds are excruciatingly low and that sharks don't seek us humans out when we are swimming, but it really hit far too close to home for me and I found myself thinking about it non-stop over the past few months.
I honestly don't know how I didn't cry my eyes out as I hit the water with my team and headed out to the first buoy. I guess I just felt like I needed to get this done to overcome my fear....you know, this "Year of Overcoming Fears" has sort of bled into two years, and I'm grabbing life by the balls and trying to deal with my emotions. So I followed my group, stayed in the middle until I felt comfortable, and then went about my mile swim.
Was it pleasurable? Hell no. But somehow the thought of shark was tempered by Sublime's "Caress Me Down" (I got this cool new music phone and I have some really random favorites that I listened to before I got in the water) and I just held off the bad thoughts. But I did think of Dave out there. How he probably didn't know what was happening and was hopefully enjoying his swim before he was bitten. And how he would probably be right back out there in the water swimming if it had happened to somebody else.

Anyway, didn't mean to go so off course with this post. Was originally intending it to be tongue in cheek, but I can't deny the fact that with every stroke, I thought of this man I never had the honor of meeting. While what happened to him gave me this fear, I do think that somehow he got me through that swim today, too.
Dave, rest in peace. Thanks for the swim.

Monday, July 7, 2008

More Randomness

I've been tagged. I'm supposed to tell you 6 random things about myself now, thanks to lovely Leah at Because I Tri. I'm going to do my best to find some random stuff, trust me.

1. In 6th grade, I traveled the state of Colorado playing the tenor recorder with the Recorder Club at my elementary school. I play a mean Recorder Rock.

2. I had 2 rats in college named Sex & Candy. (You know, the song?!) Except I returned Sex because he was totally unhealthy and ended up getting Wesley instead. He didn't match the whole Sex & Candy theme, but he was paired with my roommates' rats, Buttercup and Valerie. Yes, we had the Princess Bride rats. I loved them!

3. I hate cilantro more than anything else I hate on Earth. It is vile and it makes me angry when I see it.

4. When I was a kid taking riding lessons with my pony (and these weren't ordinary riding lessons--- I was with some serious "A'" circuit trainers with other motivated, talented riders and we oftentimes had entire lessons without stirrups) and I was in incredible pain, I use to sing the Don't Do Drugs song that they had on TV at the time, over and over and over again. "Users are losers, and Losers are Users, so don't do drugs, don't do drugs!" Yeah, you wonder why I'm so by the book now? It's because of riding lessons.

5. I didn't take my husband's last name. I don't like it, and I don't see why I have to give up my identity just because he's the man. To each his own, but thankfully he supports me 100%.

6. Every once and a while, the old Boston accent creeps into my conversations. It's usually when we start talking about lobsters and parking the car in Harvard yard. It's particularly bad after I speak with my grandparents or when I spend a summer in Maine.

The rules:
Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post.
Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

I guess I tag Confessions of a Chinese Food Addict and Amanda so that they can experience the fun and excitement of being random. ;)