Tuesday, August 31, 2010

understanding the tri-chick

I have decided to compile a list of tips so that men can better understand the inner-workings of tri-chicks.

DISCLAIMER: I really have no idea what I'm talking about. Clearly this is just based on my own personal experience. Also, this is aimed at no one in particular. This tri-chick is single. :)

I'm going to define tri-chicks as women who are obsessed with triathlon. Most of these women: hate missing workouts, still want to be thought of as pretty even when they have just finished 6 hours of riding/blowing snot rockets, enjoy when they can outride men but they want their boyfriend/husband to be faster so they can brag to other tri-chicks, want to know more about fixing their bicycles, cry at some point over a failed training ride or race, get intimidated when faster looking, fitter tri-chicks show up at races.

Tip #1: Don't complain when your tri-chick goes out on a training ride. Use this time to get your own training in or go with her!! (Because really, should a tri-chick date anyone other than a tri-dude?)

Tip #2: Tell your tri-chick that she is pretty, or hot, or is smokin' fast. Or SOMETHING. Sometimes, girls need validation. This is true for all girls. I don't care how self confident a girl is, compliments are necessary.

Tip #3: Do something with your tri-chick that doesn't involve triathlon. As much as we love triathlon and could talk about it 24/7, it's nice to get a break. It's nice to put clothes on that don't include shoes with cleats or a sports bra. Here is a perfect opportunity to tell your tri-chick that she cleans up nice!

Tip #4: When a tri-chick is going on and on and on about some other tri-chick's race splits, and she is trying to figure out who is faster, just agree with her. I know it's boring, but sometimes we get obsessed with our competition. Unless you have something constructive to add, or new data that you discovered via race result stalking - then by all means, pipe up!

Tip #5: Sometimes, after a long ride, a tri-chick's crotch hurts. Do I have to explain further?

In all seriousness, I think most ladies just want to be appreciated. I know that I have dated a whole bunch of jerk-ish guys that did not care whether or not they were dating me. I would happy if a guy was just nice to me for a change!

Monday, August 30, 2010

new week, new leaf

All of last week I was just wishing for the week to be over, and now it is Monday and my wish has come true! New week, new leaf, new attitude for this girl. Time to get my MOJO back (according to MARY!)!!!

I had a decent training weekend. Mary cut my workouts down due to my incessant whining last week. It was Mary's version of the hug I was so desperately seeking! I rode 2:30 instead of 3 on Saturday and ran 1:20 on Sunday instead of 1:30. (I was supposed to cut them down to ride 2 hrs/run 1 hr - I went a little over on both days). The ride went ok, albeit slowly, and I did stop halfway up a big hill (Miller Hill for you locals) because my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest. I know I can (I have) ride up this hill.. when I have other people watching me. When I am alone, I stop. Pussy. My run Sunday was ok. It was trail-ish running so that was different but it was pretty hot out. I do have new sneakers though so I'm hoping those will help my legs feel better.

IM Louisville was on Sunday so I tried to track my friends at various points throughout the day - they had a SCORCHER of a day for their race (it was 96 degrees out) and apparently the aid stations ran out of water for a portion of the bike course. I'm not exactly sure how that happened. My creepy blog friend Jon just informed me that over 800 people DNFed.. YIKES!

Sunday I also went to the New York State Fair which is in Syracuse. I have been an official resident of NY since 2007 however I have NEVER been to the state fair. I ate a lot of good food, drank several wine slushies, saw some animals, played with a llama (probably the highlight of my day - I wanted to steal it!). I learned that there are several things that 2 straight men should never do together (per Ultra Adam). These things include: riding down one of those double tubes at a water park, riding on a tandem bicycle, going to a horse show together, and diving simultaneously into a pool of water (shirtless, of course).

Now I am back in Rochester and back to work on my 2nd week of evenings in a row. I shouldn't complain because I willingly switched with other people and that is what landed me with these weeks of B-shift. I don't mind switching. ESPECIALLY this week because it got me off of overnights. However, I am starting to feel a little deprived of human contact. When I am on evenings I don't talk to anyone! I haven't seen my friend Ari since the week I came back from Placid, and I haven't seen Kim since the Ironman picnic.

I would definitely not consider myself to be overly-social but I miss my friends!

I will live. And I have a 3 day weekend coming up!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

off-season planning!

I have been racking my brain to come up with activities to do during my off-season, which starts Sept. 20th and ends Oct. 31st. I know that everyone thinks that I am a freak because I plan this far in advance.. I cannot WAIT until off-season where nothing is structured, however, I need some sort of daily physical activity. If you don't know me well, there are several ways that I can accurately describe myself: anxious, impatient, high strung, etc. These are just a few adjectives (hopefully there are some better ones also). If you DO know me well, then you know Alexa needs to avoid getting on the bus to crazy-town. I need to exercise to maintain a grip on my sanity. I am actually ALREADY worried about what I am going to do during my off-season and it's a freaking month away and I have a freaking race to do first! But, if I can't occupy myself with some daily cardio I am going to gain 30 lbs and end up watching 6 hours of LOST on my couch every night while popping Valium and Oreos. Maybe that is an exaggeration, maybe not. Either way, that needs to be avoided. I know that losing fitness is inevitable and I am trying to come to terms with that, however I cannot lose my mind also!

BUTTTTT.. I do NOT want to train anymore. I AM DONE.

So I am working on coming up with alternatives to the daily grind of swim, bike, run, then swim some more, bike some more, run some more.

Some ideas I have come up with are lots and lots of trail running. This is way different than regular road running, which right now is just running for the sake of getting the miles in because I have a race in 3 weeks. I can trail run during the week (around my work scedule), there are trails close by, I don't have to wearing my f-ing HR monitor. I can get muddy! I can look around at the trees and the deer! No worrying about Zone 2, no Garmin, NO TEMPO!!! Real running! I might even trip over something and fall down! Maybe I can run with other human beings!

I would add mountain biking to this list but since some douchebag stole my mountain bike, I cannot.

On the weekends I can make day trips to places such as Ithaca, Watkins Glen, and Letchworth Park where I can do some hiking/gorge playing/photo taking.

One thing I have been wanting to do for a while is do an overnight trip to Niagara Falls on my bike. It would be a fun ride and then I could do sweet Canada touristy stuff like go to the falls, check out some strip clubs (haha) and more! I'm not sure how far it is but I don't think it's too bad. I mean, come on, I am Ironman fit people! I would love to do a border crossing with my passport on my bicycle! However, I do not really have a suitable bike for this. The plan was to buy a road bike - either a Trek Madone or a Specialized Ruby - this fall so I could do some light touring but it turns out that Ironman is wicked expensive and I just don't have the money. I suppose I COULD make the trip on my Cervelo but I would have no way to bring things with me. Not that I would need much, a change of clothes, shoes that don't have cleats on the bottom, my wallet, camera, etc. but it's still enough that I don't know where I'd put it. Also, I don't really want to do this shit by myself because that would be LAME.

Adventures aren't nearly as fun when you are going solo.

Maybe I shouldn't be worrying about what to do during my off-season, but rather trying to find someone who wants to participate in off-season shenanigans with me!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

things to think about..

So I realize that I have been ultra-depressing lately and although I am still feeling gloomy and burnt out, I am not going to talk about it anymore! (After this paragraph). I cannot believe that I am the only Lake Placid participant that feels this way (I am sure that I am not) however I do believe that I am THE MOST vocal person on Train-This and that is why my situation is being used as an example by Mary (which is totally fine, btw). I bitch and moan about how I feel like crap all over my blog and facebook and of course, everyone reads it. So yes, I am a whiny little baby but I am going to shut up now.

I am attempting to think of more positive things. Such as next year. One of my main goals for next year is to volunteer at more races. So far I have volunteered at about 1 race per year. That's better than nothing but it's pretty lame. Although volunteering at Musselman may have been the longest day of my life.. I will probably not do that again!

There are several reasons that I want to help out more at local races.

The main reason is that triathlon makes me incredibly happy and I want to give back to something that has had such a positive impact on my life.

Also, I have gotten some feedback recently from volunteers about how I come across as an athlete. I had no idea that me being grateful towards the volunteers had so much impact on them. I cannot imagine being anything OTHER than nice towards a volunteer who is out there busting their ass to make my race better for me, without getting ANYTHING in return other than free coffee and a t-shirt. So when I say "thank you" to someone handing me a cup of Gatorade or someone stopping traffic, I mean it! My coach actually got an email from a volunteer (which she forwarded to me) who was at the Cazenovia Triathlon that said that I was the most gracious athlete at the race. Both that email and Mary's added words of kindness impacted me to such a degree that I printed the email out and hung it on my refrigerator.

I was prouder of that feedback than I was of how I placed at the race. You don't earn respect just by being the fastest athlete out there (which I obviously am NOT). Chrissie Wellington wouldn't be so universally loved if she didn't stand at the finish line of every race that she does and hand out medals to the finishers.

In the end, you are remembered by how you treat others and not just by your accomplishments. This is what is important and what I need to keep in mind. Yeah I may be having a crappy week, but I can still contribute to the triathlon community by doing something other than whining about my failing recovery.

Monday, August 23, 2010

hello burnout, my name is Alexa

I hate to say this. I really really hate it. But I am burnt the f- out.

Admitting burnout is like admitting defeat.

I have never felt like this. I have never skipped workouts before. I have never not wanted to do my workouts! I rode the Syracuse course hoping it would motivate me and instead it just left me feeling like I am going to suck on race day. Not a good attitude to have!

Today I had a 1 hour OWS on my schedule. I drove down to the lake - probably a 45 min drive. It was freaking COLD and rainy out. I swam one loop of the buoys doing intervals - hard to a buoy, easy to the next buoy, repeat, repeat, repeat. I got back to the buoy closest to the shore, stopped, and had a 5 min. debate with myself whether to just get out of the water and call it a day, or to head back out and do another loop. I managed to convince myself to do that 2nd loop. Mainly because I didn't want to see that 30 min. deficit on my weekly training schedule. I forgot my watch so I don't even know how long I swam for. 2 loops probably is less than 1 hour but f- that.

This sucks. I am so disappointed in myself for feeling like this! I am the last person to have a bad attitude towards training. I am ALWAYS ready to train and race! What is wrong with me??!

I will power through until Syracuse. I have to because I already registered and I will not waste $250. I still WANT to do Syracuse. I just can't get my body to cooperate.

Maybe the fall weather will motivate me when it gets here. I do love fall! :)

Also big congrats to Jon for a smokin' fast time of 5:08 at Timberman, Mandy with a time of 6:50 at Timberman, my friend Brett for PRing an unknown half-IM in a time of 4:55, and Coach Mary for winning the Delta Lake Triathlon (also all of the people that I know raced but it would take FOREVER to list you all)! Look at all of you speedy mcspeedsters out there!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Syracuse 70.3 preview

Yesterday morning I headed over to Syracuse (about an hour and fifteen minutes away) to ride the Syracuse 70.3 bike course, since I will be racing there in a mere 4 weeks.

I have heard many things about this course from teammates, etc. who have ridden it. It also has changed several times over the past few months. Regardless, I wanted to see it for myself.

Anyways, I met up with Ultra Adam at his house (Ultra Adam lives in Syracuse) in the morning because he was going to ride it with me. We threw our bikes in his car and drove over to Jamesville Beach Park. It was overcast, in the mid 70s, and felt stormy out. We headed out on our ride. I would say that within the first mile or 2, there is a fairly steep hill that I did not like. Then the course levels out until about mile 4, where you take a right hand turn onto "Sweet Road" which is not very accurately named. Once on Sweet Rd., you climb until mile 10. It's a small ring climb but I was able to spin up the entire hill without much of a problem, it's just long. And it was windy as shit out - the wind was way more annoying than the hill.

Then I would say that mile 10 to about mile 35 are rolling hills, not much fun, with 2 relatively steep climbs thrown in there. Somewhere in here is where you ride past the giant elephant statue which I did take a photo of but cannot currently get it to upload! Still random though.. seeing an elephant statue in the middle of a field.

It's not until after mile 35-ish that I felt like I could really move on the course. There were a couple back roads that were downhill and twisty that were pretty fun to ride!

Anyways, the Garmin doesn't lie. It took us about 3 hrs 18 mins to ride the course and my average was 16.8 mph. YUCK.

So I was not riding very fast. It took me an hour to ride the first 15 miles. And it turns out that I cannot keep up with Adam AT ALL. This doesn't really bother me (ok it might bother me a little) but since he was leading the way, as long as I could see him a red speck in the distance in front of me, I was ok. But I would try to catch up and just fail miserably. Granted, I do not ride with a TON of different people, but I have never seen anyone climb hills like Adam does.. like I have never seen anyone freaking accelerate up a hill before!

One observation of the course - instead of having a balloon as the logo (apparently there is a big hot air balloon festival there) it should be a cow. Or a giant pile of cow shit. Or maybe a large genetically modified ear of corn. There are all things that were plentiful along the course, however I did not see a SINGLE hot air balloon!

I tried to run off the bike after we got back to Adam's. Try being the operative word. We rode right through lunch and I felt like crap so I walked a bunch during my run. Not cool. Then I laid down in the grass in Adam's front yard for 5-10 minutes until I realized there were probably bugs crawling ALL OVER ME. He did make me a smoothie in his Magic Bullet (the blender, not the vibrator) which was super nice of him, and it made me feel less like death.

So my summary of this course is that it does NOT ride fast, however it is pretty. It's not the hardest thing I've ever ridden, but I don't think that Syracuse 70.3 will be a PR day for me. I hate to go in with a negative mindset but I really don't think it's that likely. I am not running well and the bike course just starts out so slowly, and there really isn't a big downhill to negate the 6 miles of uphill in the beginning. However, this is just my personal P.O.V.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

daydreamers anonymous

I think you can break endurance athletes into 2 groups: those who focus inward when they train, and those who focus outward (or "zone out" as I like to say).

I am definitely, DEFINITELY #2.

Sometimes when I am running long, I will look down at my garmin and realize that I am 5 more miles into my run and it felt like only 10 minutes passed.

I am going to give my opinion here, and note that this is based on absolutely zero research. I think probably most pros and elite level triathletes (and other endurance athletes) utilize method one during training (and racing). They WANT to think about their pace, and their form, and their heart rate, and concentrating on how badly they feel over a period of time helps them train better AND more intelligently.

I want to think about all that stuff too, but it's easier and more fun to just ignore it and daydream. Workouts go by more quickly, albeit they are probably more shittily executed (sometimes I cannot always hit my tempo sections in long rides and I wonder if this is part of the reason).

Honestly I think that's what it comes down to. I am a MAJOR daydreamer. Not just in training.. all the freaking time! When I was in college and I would go to the library to study for exams, my ratio of study time : daydream time was probably 70:30. That is a LOT of wasted time! However I think it also saved my sanity at the time.

So if you see me on a training ride and I don't acknowledge you, I am probably daydreaming about Kona, competing in the Olympics, climbing Mt. Everest, marrying George Clooney anyone rich and/or famous, or something that is not rated PG-13. :)

Someday I will have to make the switch. I think it will help me improve. However, I think that switch will happen about when I give up eating chocolate every freaking day, which is going to be never.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the post that goes nowhere

My plug for today: my creepy blog friend Jon over @ SwiCycloRun requested an email interview from ME about my IMLP experience, as well as other points in my triathlon "career." As a relative newcomer to the sport (been multi-sporting since 2007) and eager to self-promote, I happily complied. You can read the interview here.

Shameless plug over.

I am starving. Do you ever have that feeling where you eat, and eat, and eat, and eat, and EAT, and are NEVER full? That is me right now.

I got a little tipsy last night. Yes, it was a Tuesday night. That is all I will say about that. Don't judge me.

Today is one of those days where my goal is to simply make it through in one piece. I am tired, hungry, and really, really tired. Like, I may fall asleep while swimming laps later. That is how tired I am! I will go to bed early tonight!

Life is boring with no Ironman training stories!

It is official - I am riding the Syracuse 70.3 bike course on Saturday. I promise a full report of the course sometime shortly after. Rumor has it that there is a giant elephant statue along the course. I'm pretty excited to witness this! It may even top the Jesus statue that you see if you ride around Canandaigua Lake.

Summer is almost over, which means fall is almost here! Fall is my absolute favorite season. It always sparks my nostalgia over things such as running high school XC and late season horse shows. Fall is the PERFECT time to train for a marathon. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, and you can actually run without losing 10 lbs of sweat. School is starting back up again (although I am not currently going to school). Hoodies and jeans are back in the wardrobe.

I can't wait. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cazenovia Tri Race Report

Now I know everyone is just DYING to know how my first foray into being an "elite athlete" (hahahah) went. However I had an interesting/stressful/ridiculous day leading up to this race that I MUST blog about.

Let's back this up a bit because this story starts out on Tuesday. I took my flat rear Zipp wheel (the fact that it was the rear wheel is important) to the bike shop so that my favorite mechanic could change it for me. I babied the wheel all week. It sat right in my kitchen and I checked it at least daily to make sure it was still inflated. As of Saturday morning when I loaded my bike in my car - it was fine.

As I think I have mentioned, I had a wedding to go to on Saturday which was down by my parents' house. So I packed up my bike, my race gear, and my stuff for the wedding and drove home at 7:30 am. I got home and ate lunch and was just messing around on the internet until the wedding, which was at 2 pm. At noon or so, my mom asks me if I'm going to take my bike out of my car. I was like, "Well, I'm not worried about it just staying in there while I go to the wedding." She told me I should just put it in the garage. So I went out to my car, got my bike, checked the tires, and the back tire is FLAT.

Oh F&%$!!!!!!!

Let me point this out now. My parents live in the middle-of-freaking-nowhere. I had no idea where there was a bike shop that even dealt with road bikes. I called the ONLY PERSON in Bradford County, Pennsylvania that I knew that had a road bike - my high school XC coach, Mike Murphy. By some miracle I had his cell phone number because I did a half marathon with him a few years ago. I dialed and prayed it was still his #. He answered and I think I blurted out "Mr. Murphy??? This is Alexa. I need help!." And after a 10 second pause he just goes "You don't have to call me Mr. Murphy - that was 10 years ago." OK, fine, Mike, but P.S. it was EIGHT years ago - I am not THAT OLD!

He gave me 2 bike shops. One was an hour away. The other one was farther. He recommended the farther away one for a race wheel issue. At this point I thanked him and then continued freaking out. I needed to get the tire changed, but I had to be at a wedding in an hour and a half. Thank GOD for my parents. They came to the rescue. They took my bike to the bike shop FOR ME while I got ready and attended the wedding. No complaints - nothing. I wrote a note for them to show to the tech. I don't know why my tire keeps flatting for no reason at all but I think it's because the rim tape had shifted off to the side. I had the guy put new rim tape on and change the tube. Apparently he had some troubles with it but he fixed it!

The wedding was good. I drank 3 glasses of wine before dinner (OOPS) but then I sobered up. And when I say wine, don't think I am classy, it was Red Cat! I enjoy cheap, sweet wine! I danced to some awesome 80s music (I can't resist stuff like Journey or my favorite - Your Love by The Outfield) that a great band was playing. I left at 9:30 even though the reception was still going strong because I had to go to bed for a 4 am wakeup call.

Fast-forward to today.

I was on the road, in the dark, by 4:45 am. I was BUSHED due to a terrible night's sleep. It was cold and sprinkling. I got to the race site at around 6:45 am. I unloaded my bike and went to put air in my tires. The back tire was fine. The front tire (which was slightly deflated since I had not ridden it since mini-Mussel) would not take air.

Oh F&%$!!!!!!!

I rolled it over to the Syracuse Bicycle shop tent. I told the guy "I hate this friggin' wheel, it will not take air, please help me!" While I picked up my packet and got body marked, the nice bike tech determined that my valve was f-ed up, took the tire off, took the tube out, fixed the valve, put the tube back in and the tire back on, and inflated it for me.


I mean really - both wheels gave me trouble in less than 24 hours. Yuck!

As for the race, I was 2nd OA female.

Now this is cool. This is the best I have ever placed.. BUT the field was not deep. The chick that won was pro-level fast. I know who she is and she always wins things. Nobody else was competitive. I'm prouder of my finish at mini-Mussel. I definitely raced better at mini-Mussel. Today I felt off. I am still recovering.

Going out in the elite wave was nice. We went first and there were not very many of us. I seeded myself behind some of my male teammates. The swim was choppy and I dealt with it the best I could. At one point Matt C. hit me in the head during the swim! Totally not his fault - he had some troubles with the swim today. I came out of the water right after him which is not normal. The bike course is really hilly at this race and there was some killer wind so I didn't bike a spectacular split or anything. There were some monster hills that someone had written all of these annoying comments on with chalk. Things like "you PAID to do this" and "what would Lance do?" Well, yes I realize I paid to do this, and Lance would probably draft off a teammate, so shut up stupid chalk commentator!!!! I had some skidding issues on the wet pavement at the dismount line but I did not wipe out thankfully. The run was rough. I had trouble keeping a decent pace up. I was running my ass off but I was not really moving too quickly. My legs are definitely not up to form yet. I don't know splits because they are not posted yet.

Kudos to Matt for pushing through a bad swim to a 10th OA finish and to Mike for a 6th OA finish! (Both of them got chicked by the girl who beat me so I don't feel as bad). :) I also met a teammate Rob who runs in those Vibram Five Fingers! (That was fascinating to my dad! Yes Dad people really run barefoot!).

All in all I am perfectly fine with how I did. I was not expecting this to be a super awesome race effort because of its proximity to the Ironman. I'm glad I got out and raced, got my legs moving, and I'm glad I got 2nd. I won a pint glass, a 12 pack of Bud Light Lime, and a $30 gift cert. to a bike shop in Ithaca.

However, I am onto my next adventure, Syracuse 70.3!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

race resume

OK, so I just spent the last hour or so doing pretty much the dorkiest thing I could ever do. I created a "race resume." I'm not exactly sure if that is something that exists, but I am going to attempt to get some sponsors for next season. I have absolutely no idea how to do this but I figured having all of my race times and results in one place is a good idea. Also I wrote up a sweet little bio and included some photos and my PRs at various race distances.

I'm not very creative; I mean my degree is in Biology. I can write and format the hell out of a lab report, although it may bore your tail off, but marketing-type stuff intended to make people like me - such as a resume - I am just not good at designing. (Plus, I hate the Microsoft Word that is out now because it is way different than what I used to use in college!) Once I get over the embarrassment of having made the stupid thing, I might let someone help me with it.

I'm not even sure if this is the way to go about getting a sponsor? I mean right now I could just spam a bunch of companies with this resume. But would that work? I have no idea.

If you have sponsors and would like to advise, please feel free! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

it's long and thick. what is it?

Today I bought something new. Something magical. Something that I should have bought a long time ago. No, not a vibrator.

A foam roller!

You see, my poor right hamstring has been bothering me for a while. I will give a ballpark estimate of: 1 year. Sometimes it's ok. Sometimes it's tight. Lately, it has been annoying me. Running for 26.2 miles did not make my hamstring happy. And since I don't have the money for an on-call masseuse (or a pool boy who gives massages, or really anyone that I can convince to make my poor hammie feel better) I am going the DIY method with this. Yes, it was $40. Yes, it is orange. And perhaps it was the official foam roller used at Ironman Lake Placid (and no this did not sway my decision AT ALL. NEVER!).

I have only used it once - today before work. I basically put it between me and the floor, under my hamstring, and rolled. You have to rotate your leg to roll the entire muscle. And then I faced the wall and put it under my hip and rolled. It really works! I could feel relief from the tightness.

My foam roller may be my new best friend! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

identity crisis

I was thinking today.. I cannot put my finger on when I stopped identifying myself as a runner who does triathlons, but instead, a triathlete. Probably sometime last season. This season has just solidified me as a tri-snob. I very rarely do any sort of running race (I did a few longer ones in my pre-season). I won't even do a duathlon anymore because I don't like not getting to swim. I only ride my tri bike. I wear a fuel belt on long runs AND sometimes I run in my tri shorts instead of regular running shorts. A 5K is way too short to race without feeling like I'm going to die. I have embraced swimming laps at the pool. I have seriously debated buying an aero helmet. My HR monitor is practically welded to me. I have traded my running visor for a white hat. I could go on.. and on.. and on. But I won't. :)

I feel like I have gone through an identity crisis. I only run 20 miles per week now. My shin splints that I had for like 5 years WENT AWAY! I am trying to figure out how to run a marathon with such low weekly mileage. Do I sacrifice my wish of being a marathoner for my triathlon training? The answer to this question is going to have to be yes.

Ugh. Sometimes it's hard to let go!


I had intended on booking a massage appointment this week. I would like to try to get my hamstring feeling a little better and I think that would help.. however, I completely forgot. I have yet to find a massage place in Rochester to which I am loyal. My pre-IM massage was really good - I went to a Massage Envy that had just opened up, however I cannot go back there! There was a really hot guy working there (not the masseuse) who was really nice to me probably just trying to sell me a massage package and was asking me all sorts of questions about the Ironman. So in a stupid burst of self confidence, I gave him my phone number. I cannot even explain how out of character that is for me. I called my friend Ari immediately after I left and was like "you will NEVER GUESS what I just did." and when I told her, she just laughed her ass off. Of course he never called me, and I don't care, but there is no way I can show my face in that place again.

That is the first - and last - time I will ever give my phone number to a random guy.

Monday, August 9, 2010

perhaps I talk too much

So, I have been having some major trouble trying to come up with something to blog about. I actually wrote an entire post and then deleted it because I thought it was dumb.

I think I just like to hear myself talk.

I talk.. a LOT. Like, 3x as much as a normal person.

This is ridiculous. I want to post because I like to write things, but I have absolutely nothing to talk about because I have like 2.5 hours of training on tap for this week.

My life is so uninteresting right now!

I did learn how to change the cassette on my rear wheel on Saturday. If you knew how terrible I am with any kind of tools you would understand how much of an accomplishment this is! I just need to go to the bike shop to buy the 2 tools that I need, and while I'm there have them put a new tube in my rear Zipp yet again!

In order to get my cassette-changing tutorial I had to carry my wheel like a mile down Park Ave. (during Park Ave Fest. of course) to Andy's (my ex-bf) new apartment. Actually my visit was threefold. I haven't seen Andy in months and in that time he moved and got a kitten. Mostly I just wanted to see the kitten.

I was so upset when I broke up with Andy back in Feb. and when you're going through something like that, it's hard to see that just giving yourself time will heal everything. I pretty much had to take a giant time-out from talking to or seeing him (I tried staying friends with him for a while after we broke up - BIG MISTAKE) but it totally worked and now I can't even remember why I was upset that we broke up. I have no ill feelings towards him at all but I also don't have that urge to hang out with him anymore. It's a great place for me to be!

I'm not really on board with the whole "friends with the ex" situation. I'm sure it's possible for some people, but I don't think I am that type of person. I certainly don't hate any of my exes, but when things don't work out with someone, I no longer see them the same way.

So anyways, I learned how to change a cassette. I played with a kitten who had a bunch of extra toes (and who clawed me a lot). I walked back home carrying my wheel and people stared at me like I had 3 heads. I tried, with no success, to find a place in my apartment to hang Lindsay's painting (it's really big!).

And here is something random because I'm bored.

My friend Will told me a funny story yesterday about his experience in Ironman UK. Apparently he put McDonald's hamburgers in both his bike and run special needs bags. McDonald's hamburgers that were from THE DAY BEFORE! And then they sat outside all day. And he freaking ate them during the race!

I guess whatever works for ya!

(I would be shitting for a week straight if I did that!)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I just can't hold my liquor

Today was my first real ride back since the Ironman. I did an 80 min ride with some short tempo work. It felt GREAT! I really missed being on my bike! I would say my legs are slowly coming back to me. My quads still hurt a bit when I'm climbing, my hamstrings feel tight when I run, and my hips are still a little sore in general, but I am definitely feeling better!

There are a few things that I would just be absolutely miserable without. My bike is one of those things. Others include: the internet, my cat, and the ability to remove my pants immediately after entering my apartment (this could potentially be affected by having a roommate, thankfully I live alone).

Yesterday I finished working at 4 am (I know, my work schedule is nutso) so I got a few hours of sleep and then lazed around for most of the day - swam for 30 and ran for 30. I got my hair chopped off! Then I decided that I should at least pretend to have a social life so I went to a party for a friend. This party was at a bar that had an hour of open bar. When I am at an open bar, bad things happen. I was drunk literally 15 minutes after I got there. Maybe, when I haven't drank anything other than a beer or 2 for over a YEAR.. I shouldn't drink vodka. Or really, shouldn't drink at all! I DEFINITELY shouldn't be double fisting - EVER.

Anyways, by 9 pm I was drunk and feeling really shitty. I had gotten like 3 hours of sleep and I hadn't drank in forever. I had a headache and my tummy hurt. I asked my friend Amogh if it would be lame if I left. He said YES! I stayed until 10 pm and then I bailed. Man I am a loser.

This weekend is Park Ave. Fest. I HATE Park Ave. Fest. Why? Because I live on freaking Park Ave. They shut my entire street down so that vendors can sell their crap to a bunch of grandmas for a weekend. And then at night it's non-stop parties everywhere. I have to park my car on the street on Friday if I want to be able to go anywhere. And once I leave that parking spot, I will never get another one. Also, I hate parking on the street because I am worried that my car will get hit. I am holding out strong in my apartment until tomorrow when I actually have things to do. I think I am the only person with these negative feeling towards Park Ave. Fest and that's probably because I'm a people-hating recluse! OK perhaps that is an exaggeration - I don't hate people, but people do wear me out (introvert anyone?) and a day of weaving in and out of slow-walking people just does not appeal to me. However I did visit my friend Lindsay who has a booth set up with her paintings and I bought the one that she has been saving for me!

Tomorrow I have an Ironman celebratory cookout to attend, among other things. Tomorrow should be a fun day! Cheers to being social!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I am very persuadable (is that a word?)

I tend to blog a lot when I'm working C-shift (like I am right now) because it's slow. Combine that with a very, very easy training week and it leads to a high level of boredom, hence the daily updates about pretty much nothing interesting at all. I know Kim likes it when I'm bored because I blog more.

So today's meaningless update is how an asshole member of Train-This coerced me into doing a sprint distance tri in a week and a half, on Aug. 15th. When I asked Mary if it was a dumb idea (the subject of my email was "Corona is a bad influence") she responded with "DO IT!"

(Is there anything Mary won't say yes to?)

I haven't even told you the really dumb part.

Race registration is closed.. except if you compete as an elite. The elite wave is "meant for established front of pack competitive triathletes" according to the race website. I'm not worried about qualifying for that. I'm normally top 10 in most races that I do (olympic distance this year and last year, and then mini-Mussel this year). The elite wave will only compete for overall awards, which go 10 deep and will not be eligible for age group awards.

To register as an elite, you must email the race director and ask for a paper registration form. So I emailed the race director with my request to race. I am waiting to hear back.

Apparently, I plan to race as an elite, for the first time ever, 3 weeks after an Ironman. My legs and body are still in rough shape right now. Hope that goes away SOON!

Honestly, Mike didn't have to try hard to convince me. I was looking for a short distance tri to do before Syracuse anyways, but the ideal one which is Labor Day weekend is already sold out. I thought this one (which is in Cazenovia, NY) was too soon but.. oh well! At least it's just a sprint! However, it will be incredibly embarrassing if I come in dead last in the stupid elite wave. Oh well.

It's also going to be a busy weekend. That Saturday I have to attend a wedding of a high school friend, and it's being held down where my parents live in PA. So I have to go back down to PA early Saturday morning (because I work Friday evening) with all of my race gear, get ready for and attend the wedding, try not to get drunk or kill my legs with my sweet, sweet dance moves, and then get up super early Sunday morning to drive to Cazenovia (it's only 15 mins longer to drive to the race from PA instead of Rochester) to race. I guess it's a good thing that I said f- it to finding a date for the wedding. Imagine how much a guy would love that.. "hey let's go to this wedding and then I'm going to wake you up the next day at 4 am so that you can go watch me race!" Hahah! Maybe this is why boys don't want to date me - I have a very distorted view of what constitutes FUN! (Triathlons are fun!) :)

Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not the race director lets me into the wave!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

wrapping up the 2010 season

I had a meeting Tuesday morning with my coach after I got out of work. I got there 20 mins early so I *may* have taken a nap at one of the tables at Starbucks. :)

My coach is very accessible. She is my friend on facebook, she uses gmail and google groups, and she texts. It's pretty easy to track her down if you have a question (unless she's out riding or training). Nothing that we talked about this morning was urgent, but it's always nice to be able to have a face to face meeting.

My race schedule for the remainder of the year is finalized. I have Syracuse 70.3 on Sept. 19 and the Toronto Marathon on Oct. 17. Then I'm done. Then I take several weeks of an off-season. I will begin my base building for next year sometime in November.

I chose these 2 races in particular for several reasons.

-It's close so I can pre-ride the bike course and check out the run course in a day trip.
-I can do it with almost 0 travel expenses because a teammate Mike has so generously offered our team a place to crash Saturday night AND a delicious pre-race dinner. I may end up in a sleeping bag on the floor but I don't care!
-It gives me a nice big race to round out the season. I look at Tinman as a season opener (more or less) and Syracuse as a closer.
-I have never done an M-Dot half-IM so this race is appealing in that sense.
-There are Clearwater slots. According to Mary, Clearwater should be on my radar.
-There are a bunch of us doing it - so I feel like it will be like Lake Placid all over again!
-I am itching for a PR.. basically I'm looking to get as close to 5 hours as I can!

I guess I have a LOT of reasons to do Syracuse! Which is why I am skipping my favorite triathlon EVER (they are on the same day) in order to race this half-IM.

Toronto Marathon
-I have some unfinished business with Mr. 26.2. I need to run a marathon and come out not feeling like my legs need to be amputated. I don't care what my time is.. I just want to execute it well.
-The stupid race is in Canada so all of the distance markers, aid stations, etc. are in stupid kilometers. Stupid Canadians! (HAHAH! I'm totally kidding about Canadians being stupid).
-The timing and location of this race is good. That's really the only reason I chose it. I can do it with 1 night in a hotel, no days off work, and I think my friend Ari is going to do it too so we can split a room. Quick, cheap, I'm sold.

And right now, I need to be cheap. I'm thinking about selling some of my stuff a la Turbo Curbeau. Although I don't think I have anything worth selling (I'm not selling my furniture either!!!). Mary tells me that I have a shot at a Clearwater spot if I race well in Syracuse (either by qualifying or by rolldown) and all I can think of is "oh crap.. that's even more money that I have to find."

After next year, I may have to take a year off from Ironman just for financial reasons. I guess it's a little too far ahead to think about that, but I need to get it in my mind now so that if that's what needs to happen, I won't be super disappointed.

I need a sugar daddy. ;)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

even tomboys sometimes wear dresses

Just over a week has passed since the Ironman, and the itch is returning. The rising urge to train is inversely related to the fading post-IM pain. This is the problem with Ironman (or really, any of these long ass races that I've done). They hurt like hell and I curse my decision to do the race while I'm still doing the stupid thing, but then like 3 days later, I'm ready to register again! So I am ready to get going on the road to Syracuse 70.3, and then my 2 Ironmans next year! Unfortunately, I am on overnights again this week so the urge to train is overshadowed by the icky feeling I get that accompanies overnights. :(

Either way, I have finally (ok, mostly) come to terms with my Ironman finish time of 12:18. I'm not going to lie.. I was annoyed with myself for missing my goal time by 18 minutes. I still am slightly irritated. I know you people think I am a freak for still being upset by this (or even upset in the first place) but what is the point in doing the training and setting goals if you're going to be happy with your results regardless of whether you met your goals or not? My goal was NOT to "just finish." I'm not insulting that as a goal - it's a legitimate goal and lots of people have that for their first Ironman, but I didn't. I had a time goal because I trusted my body enough to get me through the Ironman - I wasn't worried about not finishing (freak accidents/medical issues aside). I had a time goal, which I missed. And it doesn't matter who tells me that I had a good race - doesn't matter that Mary was happy with it, or that my family is impressed, or that my Ironman buddies are congratulating me. (It DOES matter to me that people are happy with my performance, but it does not change my own attitude towards the race). There is still part of me that is displeased. There is always room for improvement.

What this does is light an 18 minute-long fire under my ass for next year. Oh boy..

I had an absolutely terrible night at work last night. Sunday nights are already hard because all of the instruments in our lab have to be checked in for the week. And I was working solo because my labmate is out for grand jury. It took me a good 3 hours to get all of the instruments checked in.. then I had some problems with a water bath dying - took me 45 minutes to figure out why the temperature was dropping below 25 C. I also spilled a sample in another water bath which turned it completely blue - it looked like a smurf took a bath in there. So I ran around like a nutjob all night and now my legs are KILLING ME. Luckily, I only had a short swim on Monday afternoon and it felt really really good.

When I got home from the gym I checked my mail and my Nuu-Muu exercise dress that I won via a giveaway on Kelly @ TriMommyLife's blog was here!! I tried it on and it is REALLY CUTE! It fits great, and even though the website advertises the dress as being a bit short (they actually suggest wearing some kind of shorts or tights underneath it), I am incredibly short so the length is perfect for me! It's cute, comfy, sporty, and completely perfect for a tomboy triathlete such as myself! Unfortunately, I highly doubt I can wear it to the wedding I have to go to in 2 weeks! :P

Please excuse the terrible post-gym picture of myself.

Unfortunately, now I want more of these dresses..

I have a meeting with Coach Mary in the morning (after work) to discuss Lake Placid and hopefully upcoming races. We are meeting at Starbucks so I will be falling asleep in my chair after my overnight and she will be going through caffeine withdrawal in her house of worship due to cutting caffeine out of her diet per her coach, The Wizard. I need to get a list ready of things I would like to chat about. Also, every time I look at this photo of Mary, I die laughing. :)

This is what's going on in my life at the moment! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Well I am currently at my parents' house in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Let me tell you a little bit about Bradford County. There are lots of: cornfields, people wearing camo, deer, amish people, and folks who are missing their teeth. It's a miracle that I escaped from this place. It's an even bigger miracle that anyone could actually escape from 1) marrying someone from my high school class (which had 64 people in it by the way), 2) getting knocked up and then marrying the guy that knocked them up, 3) becoming a raging conservative who shoots lots of deer and "chews." How am I actually from this place? Anyways..

On a whim, I sent an email to my friend Ashley before I left. We have been friends since high school - we went to different schools but we had our horses at the same stable. We drifted apart when I went to college (she was a year behind me in school) and since then, she has been in an out of the area. But she is currently living with her parents and taking classes while waiting for her boyfriend (who is from South Africa) to be approved for a Visa, so I figured I should try to catch up with her.

I drove over to her parents' cottage which is like 5 mins from my parents' house, and we wound up going to this townie bar (is there anything other than that in an area like this?) called PJs. I spent a LOT of time at PJs the summer after college - like 5 nights a week.. but it was completely dead last night. Apparently there were 2 weddings in town. We caught up, then we crashed a party that friends of ours were at. Someone handed me a can of Lions Head beer. I saw my friend Luke that I haven't seen in probably 1.5 years. But this party was gross and reminded me of a crappy house party from college. We bailed at 12 am.

Things have just changed so much since when Ashley and I were best friends. We were inseparable. I would stay at her cottage for days at a time.. we would go ride our horses and then go back to her house and jump in the lake. We were young, I was 17, she was 15, but we would go scouting for boys. We were always going on adventures in the white minivan that I drove. But that's the problem with a place like this. You live here and you know of nothing else. But then you leave, and when you come back, it's totally different. The magic (so to speak) is gone. Everyone who made it fun is gone. I suppose that is just what happens in life. As we grow and move through different stages of our lives, friends come and go, places that were once fun are now just happy memories.

However, it is always good to catch up with an old friend.