Thursday, September 30, 2010

I am a financial guru

Yesterday I set up my "Ironman Fund" (and yes, I made the guy at the bank title the savings account "Ironman Savings" rather than vacation savings) and changed my direct deposit to send money into the new account every pay period. I also checked on my growing 401k! Look at me go! I am making grown-up decisions (it's about time, I am almost 27 years old). I should be a financial advisor** or something!

**I should definitely NOT be a financial advisor. Money burns a hole in my pocket. My "savings" account is basically just an overflow for my checking account and isn't actually being saved for anything!

Now that I have my hotel booked for Coeur D'Alene, I am starting to get REALLY excited for it, even though it is almost 9 months away. I am 90% sure I will be going by myself. This is fine. I like to do things by myself. I don't require a friend to go shopping with me, or to go to the bathroom with me, or really for anything. It's more fun to have someone to do things with but Idaho is pretty far away and who is going to want to fly themselves out there to hang out with me - super stressed out, freaking out, pre-Ironman Alexa - for 6 days? Oh, and share a queen sized bed with me.  Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE for someone to come with me, that would be really freaking awesome(!!!!), but I will be perfectly OK going by myself.

Luckily, my hotel has wifi this time around so I will be able to maintain contact with the outside world. AND my cell phone will hopefully work, whereas in Lake Placid it would only work if I pressed myself up against the window in my condo.

Anyways.. that's in 9 months.. no need to think about it now!

Ultra Adam's birthday is on Saturday (P.S. he is getting OLD! hehe) so I'm heading over to Syracuse sometime that day to celebrate with him! Some of the potential birthday activities that have been mentioned include: going to a movie, bowling, drinking, ice cream cakes, and strip clubs. Sorry Adam, I don't really need to see you getting a lap dance. All others are fair game though.

That's pretty much it for today. My 2 weeks of complete rest are almost up and I am itching to start running again! (Freak). :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ironman travel blows

My plug for the day: I am a new member of the blog 201Ironman, which consists of bloggers who are racing Ironman distance races in 2011! Check it out, and check out my intro post here!

Anyways, yesterday and today I have been dealing with the delightful fun of booking a hotel room for IM Coeur D'Alene. I have called every hotel in the area. Surprisingly most of them are not sold out yet. However, many of them are a little too far away to be within walking distance. The closer ones are all  more expensive. I am trying to do this without a rental car, so walking distance is a must. I just made a reservation for 5 nights at a La Quinta which is 1 mile from the race site. Not totally ideal but it's walkable. The room has a fridge and a microwave, free wifi, pool/jacuzzi open 24/7, and a continental breakfast! I will be in the room (and probably at the race) all alone so if anyone wants to come with me I will share my queen bed with you! If you are afraid I will touch you inappropriately at night, I will allow you to build a pillow barricade between us in order to make yourself feel more comfortable. :)

Figuring out flying is a huge pain in the ass. Do I box my bike up and Fedex it? Do I box my bike up and take it with me on the plane? What if it gets lost? I don't know how to take it apart OR put it back together! What if it gets smushed in the cargo area of the plane? How much is this going to cost? How the f- am I going to be able to travel for an entire day the DAY after the race?

Lots of lovely questions running through my brain!

I am driving to Wisconsin. End of story. It's only a 12 hour drive. I can totally do that by myself.. it might take me 2 days but I don't even care!

At the suggestion of my parents, I am going to the bank tomorrow to set up a "vacation club account" which is something that I have never heard of, but apparently it will shuttle some of my paycheck into a new account so I will never even see that money, which means I can't spend it! Momma says that I have to stop buying IM backpacks, and lululemon, and things from L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, and Vera Bradley! Oh boy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

plea$e help me

Dear Mom & Dad/Sugar Daddy/Generous Stranger,

I have started planning my trip to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho in anticipation of my race next June. Turns out, it's going to be expensive as shit. (Could Ironman be any other way?). Things like a hotel room, food, plane tickets, and race entry fees add up and I am poor!

Oh wait, and I have to fund TWO of these things next year! Hello bankruptcy!

Please give me money. Actually, please give me a large suitcase stuffed full of money because I also don't have a suitcase, and I will need one in order to carry things on the plane with me to Idaho.

Alexa, Ironman addict

Note: please do not send me money. I am only kidding. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

everything in life is only for now

My entire life, I have striven for one thing - to find total happiness.

I think, for everyone, this is a work in progress.

2010 has been a emotionally trying year for me. In some aspects, I have been incredibly happy. My training year, my race season, my coach, and my team all have been amazing. I have achieved things that a year ago I would have thought were impossible. I have set new standards for myself and I am determined to reach them. My confidence in my abilities as an athlete has soared. I have made many new friends. I have become much closer with a few people in my life. For someone who tries to remain a reasonable distance from everyone, this is a big deal. I am not close to a lot of people. Every time I get close to anyone, I wind up getting burned and then I have to figure out what to do once that person is gone from my life.

For a long time, I swore that I was one of those girls that didn't get along with other girls. I only hung out with guys and that allowed me to keep my distance because girls don't bond with guys in the way that they bond with other girls. Now that I have some female friends that I would consider to be good friends, I realize what I missed out on for all of those years when I was hanging out with a bunch of dudes. I also have a coach that I would trust with my life, and I think that is worth mentioning because I am a control freak, and it's a big deal for me to put so much of my life (because let's face it - Ironman training is a huge commitment) into someone else's capable hands. I don't make the decisions about my training - Mary does.

Unfortunately, as I get older, my ability to trust other people and have faith in the goodness of other people is diminishing. I don't want to sound like I am jaded, because I'm not. But after lost friendships, and failed relationships, and getting hurt, sometimes I lose faith in peoples' abilities to love me as a person. I am who I am. Be it too intense, emotional, or what have you, this is who I am. True friends love me anyways. Do I need anybody other than that in my life? No.

So thank you, members of Train-This who are ok with me being slightly crazy. Ken and Kim have both dealt with my meltdowns. Poor Mary has dealt with pretty much every side of my personality. My friend Ari I think has even see me cry (how embarrassing!).

I am now striving for relationships with people where they won't bail on me no matter what I do (this being within reason..). It's harder to find than I used to think. I don't want to go through life worrying that people in my life don't like me. And if you know me, you know that I worry.. about EVERYTHING. It's exhausting. For years I have been a doormat for friends and boyfriends where I put in a lot of effort and never got anything in return. And I continued to hope that things would eventually change. But relationships like that do not change. I constantly worried that if I told these people who were walking all over me how I really felt, or if I let my them see some unpleasant side of me, that they'd bail on me. That just doesn't work. It's not healthy, and it's no way to go through life. I am done with that.

I'm going to leave you now with something from one of my favorite Broadway shows - Avenue Q.

everyone's a little bit unsatisfied
everyone goes 'round a little empty inside
take a breath
look around
swallow your pride
for now..

Friday, September 24, 2010

happy Friday!

Off-season has done strange things to me. I have gotten more "housework" done in my apartment this week than I have for the entire year. This includes: laundry, cleaning, organizing old clothing.

Last night I dreamt about buying boxes and boxes of Powergels.

I actually sort of miss riding my bike, but I know that 10 minutes into a ride, I'd be ready to be done, so I'm staying away from it for now. Or at least my crotch would protest. What I should do is clean my bike because it got pretty dirty at Syracuse 70.3. My bottles of Powerbar Endurance are still on the bike and are probably pretty gross.

I discovered the joys of Lululemon Athletica yesterday at the opening of their new showroom in Rochester. Mary's yoga place (Breathe) sells Lululemon but that place intimidates me so I don't go in there. I hate wearing clothes. I REALLY hate wearing nice (i.e. uncomfortable) clothes. So what kind of clothes do I like spending money on? Athletic stuff. Enter Lululemon. High quality running and yoga clothes. AKA things that I can do my workout in, wear to Wegmans, wear around my apartment, go on dates in, etc. Freaking AWESOME!

FYI - my birthday is in January and I will welcome gift cards to Lululemon. Also, a powermeter and/or Zipp tubulars would be WONDERFUL. :)

Anyways.. happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

activities of an off-season triathlete

Here is my life so far.

Day 1 of off-season: Barely make it through work because I am so tired. Lie down for nap. Wake up and eat pizza. Discover the heavenly deliciousness of Nutella. Watch movie. Go to bed.

Day 2 of off-season: Get pressured to start doing yoga. Resist pressure to register for Eagleman 70.3 next June. Do laundry. Watch NCIS. Talk to Kim about boys on Gchat. Go to bed.

Day 3 of off-season: Go to tattoo parlor to inquire about M-dot tattoo. Actually GET M-dot tattoo. Make attempt at cleaning disastrously dirty apartment. Fail at cleaning. Do more laundry. Go to bed.

Day 4 of off-season: Attend grand opening of Lululemon showroom in Pittsford. "Accidentally" spend money at Lululemon. Foam roll the hell out of still-sore hamstring. Go on cleaning rampage. Do more laundry. Watch The Office. Go to bed.

Day 5 of off-season: Has yet to be determined but there is a boy involved! :)

Just a little more about my new tattoo!! I stopped into the tattoo shop - called Tattoo Kamikaze - after work. I had a design and a color scheme all ready and they were able to tattoo me right then and there, no appointment necessary! It took maybe 25 minutes. Tattoos hurt but it really doesn't even bother me. Granted, all of my tattoos are pretty small. I'm sure a giant piece would be much more painful!

I forgot how gross the aftermath is. Maybe it's worse with a tattoo on a lower extremity.. I don't know, but it oozed for the rest of the night. Today it has pretty much dried out and has that nice cracked, desert look. But at least it's not oozing or bleeding anymore. I am only wearing one compression sock today because I don't want it rubbing the tattoo. The colors are pretty bright which I am excited for.. I can't wait for it to heal!

But yes, I have officially sold my soul to WTC.

But, it's the off-season baby!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am a hypocrite.

I realize that by doing what I just did, I am such a hypocrite. Or, Adam will tell me that I lie in my blog.

Go back and read this post that I wrote in May. Just read it.

Now, look at what I did.

Check out my oozing, bloody, M-dot tattoo!
And of course, where is this tattoo? On my left leg right above my achilles.

Am I Iron enough now, bitches?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Alexa vs. Syracuse 70.3

Just a little spoiler - Syracuse 70.3 won the face-off.

Saturday morning I had a carbo load pancake breakfast at IHOP with Solveig, Mary, her son Luc, and a new team member - Tim. I went home and packed up all my stuff and was on the road to Syracuse at around 11 am. First stop was the Holiday Inn in Liverpool to pick up my packet and hit up the expo. I finally bought the Ironman backpack that I have wanted since seeing it at Placid! I also bought an Mdot winter hat, a Syracuse 70.3 sticker for my car, a water bottle (I have a thing with collect bike bottles) and a Syracuse 70.3 long sleeved shirt since I did not like the generic tech shirt we got for registering. Then I drove down to Jamesville Beach Reservoir to rack my bike for the next morning. Then I headed over to Adam's, where there might have been some couch napping before we went to Mike C.'s for a great team dinner!

I met Amelia and Kelly C. at dinner and they are both awesome!

I was exhausted so we went to bed but I did not get as much sleep as I should have due to my own stupidity.

Up at 4:30, showered, made my nutrition, ate my breakfast, and hit the road at 5-ish. Good thing too because there was MAJOR congestion getting into the park (not so much when I got there, but they ended up pushing the start time back 15 minutes because people were still trying to get into the park). Amelia showed up and exclaimed "I left all of my nutrition in Kelly's fridge!" So I had a bottle of Gatorade that I gave her, and the girl across from me had an extra water bottle. So we hooked her up! (At least until the first bottle exchange). It was kind of rainy in transition but the air temperature was warmer than I expected. However, the water temp. was a lovely 62 degrees. Oh boy!

I ran into my friends Mary and Will (sister and brother) who do triathlon and came to spectate. I have not seen much of them this year so it was nice to catch up!

I got in the water just to get the shock over with. I peed in my wetsuit several times to try to warm up! :) Even though the race started 15 mins late, they managed to send the swim waves out a little more quickly than planned and my wave went off right as scheduled at 7:48 am!

The swim was cold. In the first few minutes I was feeling pretty good and then somehow I started thinking about sharting (not doing it, it just crossed my mind) and I was GIGGLING while trying to swim. Bad. So I had to force myself to think of other things. Then I got stuck between 2 other women swimming in my wave. I mean right in between them. I tried speeding up, slowing down, swimming crookedly, nothing worked. I could not get out from in between them and it was nerve wracking. Finally I lost one of them going around a turn buoy but the other one was there on my inside for the rest of the swim. I definitely swam wide. On the way back to shore I was struggling. I was swallowing water and my arms were tired. I just wanted to be DONE. My swim time was at least 2 mins slower than what it should have been.
Swim: 36:02

I had a wetsuit stripper which was nice. The run to transition was LONG. I opted to not use my armwarmers which was a good choice. The run out of transition with my bike was LONG.
T1: 3:21

The bike ride was wet. Rain, spray from wheels in front of me, and fog were all contributing factors. Lots of fog - especially at the top of the hills. Oh, did I mention that I was wearing sunglasses with the dark lenses in? Oops. My visibility was not good during the bike. During the first 20 miles I felt pretty good. I spun up Sweet Rd. easily. I passed Kelly C. on Sweet along with a girl (I think it was her) that I met at dinner the night before. I saw Jason W. and Ultra Adam spectating at an intersection partway up the hill. I also passed Jeremy somewhere in there as well. I actually passed a LOT of folks climbing that hill. After about an hour of riding though, I was ready to be done. Good thing I didn't have a cell phone because I might have pulled the "hey come get me" trick. Yikes! The rest of the ride was uneventful, but hard. I saw a guy drop his chain and then somehow get it back on his derailleur without stopping. That's a neat trick that I must learn how to do! I just kept spinning my legs up the seemingly endless hills. I could NOT pee on the bike for the life of me until like 10 miles from the end. I can't pee unless I'm on a downhill and there wasn't a good one until that far into the ride! At that point, I really had to go so I let 'er rip. Gross and hilarious. I finally got back into transition frustrated and ready to be DONE. My legs were KILLING me as I ran into transition with my bike and I knew the run was going to hurt.
Bike: 2:57:13 - 18.96 mph
T2: 1:51

Running through an aid station to be greeted by Eddy & Adam
The run was horrible. The website said "net downhill" but somehow, net downhill must equal mostly uphill. Everyone I talked to felt that way. Driving back to the race site afterwards there were some big downhills towards the beginning of the run but I did NOT notice them while I was running. It also went right down Erie Blvd. in Syracuse which is a major road with tons of traffic. I thought it would be interesting but turns out, it's not. It just kept going and going and going. I ran the first 3 miles or so at 8:30 pace and I was running with Becky Ashare who I know from some other races, but she was going too fast for me so I let her go. I also had to make 2 porta-potty stops to avoid something disastrous from happening. Then, I just couldn't pick up my pace. Every time I looked at my Garmin it said 9:15 min/mile. I couldn't budge it so I said f- it and just made it my goal to finish. My off-season was at the finish line. That is what got me through the run. I saw Eddy and Adam cheering on Erie Blvd. Ken caught me somewhere between miles 11 and 12 and that saved me. He was having a much better race than I was but by that point, everyone hurts. We ran together to the finish! I got my finisher's medal and found some teammates. I changed, ate, sat around chatting, drank some of Eddy's single malt scotch (WHAT?!) and then Adam took me back to transition so I could get my gear and my car.
Run: 1:58:00 - 9:00 min/mile

Total time: 5:36:27 - 20th AG

finished! um.. am I on crack here?

I have to say that the porta-potties at this race were REALLY NICE! They were carpeted. They had hanging things of potpourri or something to make it smell less nasty. They were decorated with a triathlon theme! Way to go porta-potty company!

Today, I am sore. And I am exhausted. I didn't go to bed until 11:15 pm and I could have gone to bed at 8 pm because that's how tired I was. I didn't leave Adam's til after 9 and it was a looooong drive home!

I want to take a minute to congratulate everyone for a great race yesterday! It would take too long to list everyone! I am especially proud of Amelia for racing a 5:19! That is a HUGE HUGE PR for her and I totally know how good that feels! She barely missed a Clearwater spot which sucks but I'm sure there is one in her future! :)

And THANK YOU to everyone who cheered for me! Other athletes, specators, and friends.. you have no idea how much it means to me and how much it can turn a bad moment into a good one when people cheer. It's just awesome! :)

So here is my analysis of my race. I'm sure Mary can provide me with some insight. I am both ambivalent and unhappy with how my race went. Is that weird? I knew going into the race that it was a season closer for me. I know I have been tired and unmotivated since the Ironman. I know that I haven't been running well at ALL and that I have been skipping at least one workout per week (usually a swim) and that is not normal for me at all. So I knew ahead of time to not expect a PR or even a great performance from myself.

Even knowing all that, I was still disappointed that I did not have a better race. I should have raced better than I did despite not going into the race fresh. I should have at least gone under 5:30. And it's my own fault that I did not! I did not execute well. I had a shitty swim - my fault because I have been skipping swims. My bike split was ok but this is where I totally ruined my chances at even a decent race. I was hell-bent on getting my bike split under 3 hours. In my brain the thought "you did Tinman in 5:16, you HAVE to bike under 3 hours" kept repeating itself. The bike course is not a fast one - at least for me. The first 20 miles I like, but then there is just a lot of gradual climbing with no downhill and I can't ride it well. If I had just sloooowed it down a bit, I think I would have had a better (at least less painful) run. Matt Kellman's wife Karin finished 2 minutes faster than me. Her bike split was slower than mine but she threw down an awesome run time. Better execution? Yes. Much, much better than what I did. I KNEW on the bike when my legs were killing me that I was screwed. Once I dismounted in transition and tried to run with my bike, I was like "ohhhhh f--."

So I had one GREAT half-IM this year, and one not so great one. Hopefully I will learn from my mistakes!

WELCOME TO OFF-SEASON! 2 weeks of absolutely NOTHING has begun!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

sharting makes me giggle

Sharting is f-ing hilarious.

It just has to be said.

Everyone in the world knows I have GI problems when I run. I've said it, my coach loves to post it on my facebook, in my race plans - everywhere! Now whether or not I have actually sharted myself - that will remain a mystery. (Seriously, hot guys might read this blog!) However I DEFINITELY have run at the speed of light to the nearest porta potty, dive bar (true story), BBQ joint (also a true story), or possibly - wooded, secluded area. Seriously I have probably used every public or semi-public bathroom within running distance from my apartment in Rochester, and in Mendon Ponds Park.

It happens. That's what running does. That's why they're called "runner's trots." That's also what not having a CLUE about nutrition does. Thankfully, I am learning.

Why the sudden post about sharting? I may have been having a conversation with someone who told me that they shit their pants while training. I know Mary has sharted while training. White Hot sharted himself during IM Florida!

I think it's better to embrace the idea of sharting than wanting to die of embarassment if it happens. I mean come on, is it really socially acceptable to shit yourself? No. But in endurance sports, it happens. I guarantee it has happened to almost everyone that does them. Whether you actually make it to a bathroom or not is probably a testament to how hardcore you really are. Also, whether you will admit it is another thing.

If you REALLY want to laugh, and also be clued into how hardcore triathletes are (especially when going for a Kona spot) read this blog.

I would totally shit myself for a Kona spot.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I like hugs

My bad mood has dissolved! I don't know if it's because it's Friday, or because I got half of my workout done this morning, or because I am racing this weekend, or because I get to see my TEAM tomorrow, but I am GLAD! :)

For stalking purposes, my bib # at Syracuse 70.3 is: 1021.

There is a rather fervent discussion happening on the Train-This google group about water temperature at Syracuse 70.3 (and the Finger Lakes Tri which is the same day but in Canandaigua, NY) and how to dress. I am less concerned about the water temperature for the swim, but more concerned about freezing my ASS off on the bike. It's going to be cold! It has been in the low 50s (sometimes even high 40s) in the morning in Syracuse lately. I rode at 8 am in Syracuse last weekend and I was ok.. but I was wearing a baselayer under my jersey and legwarmers. I actually ended up kind of hot. But I was also dry. At the race - I will be soaking wet! Arm warmers are definitely going to be worn because 3 hours on the bike is a pretty long time to be cold. I have never raced while wearing any kind of excess clothing before - I always just suck it up - and I've never been cold during a race. However, I think I am drawing the line at the arm warmers and I will just rely on adrenaline to keep my hands and feet from freezing off. For as cold as I am most of the time - I never am cold when I race so I am counting on that to help me out!

I will just be needing someone at the end of the race to hand me some dry, pre-warmed articles of clothing! :) I don't care how they are warmed up. I don't care if you stuff them down your pants! I just think it would be awesome to change into clothes that were freshly taken out of a dryer. So someone needs to make that happen! I will pay! But be forewarned, I only pay with hugs.

Tomorrow I can take my time getting to Syracuse (after I stuff myself with chocolate chip pancakes of course) because bike check-in isn't until 2 pm, which I totally forgot about. So it is pointless for me to show up at registration at 10 because then what am I supposed to do until 2!?

The on-site Ironman Store better have the IM backpack that I was eyeballing in Lake Placid or I might cry!

We have a team dinner tomorrow night at Mike's! Oh man, I love it! There will be hugs flying EVERYWHERE!

I am assuming I will not be blogging tomorrow, so I am going to give good luck wishes to everyone racing Syracuse 70.3, Finger Lakes Tri, and to my ex-XC coach Mike M. because he is doing the Tour de Shunk century, which is honestly something I NEVER want to do. It's not called the "Endless Mountains" region of Pennsylvania for nothing! Also good luck to anyone in blog-land who is racing! Syracuse 70.3 race report to follow!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

grumpiness vs. pancakes

Alright, so for the past few days I have been a little ok, a lot grumpy. I don't like to be in a bad mood - but I am having a hard time kicking this one.. I went to the barn this morning to see Miss Cherry and although that helped, I am still just annoyed at life for the time being. There's nothing like being a woman on a hormone-fueled rampage.

I'm getting anxious about the race coming up on Sunday. Not the race itself, but all of the crap I have to do before the race! Yesterday and today I did a bunch of stuff - bought my nutrition and food for the weekend, but I forgot to buy Yanks for my new running shoes so now I have to go go BACK to the running store to get them. I also still need to clean my bike and put my race wheels on. Tomorrow I am working 10-6 which is good because I won't be stuck at work all night but it is horrible for trying to get things done. I'm going to have to get up early to squeeze my swim in and then run after work.

I also don't like having to rack my bike the day before the race. I don't even know what time I am leaving for Syracuse on Saturday morning because I am staying with Adam, but he has to ride on Saturday and I don't know how long he is riding for, so I don't know when I will actually have a place to go. I don't want to drive to Syracuse, register, drive to the race site, rack my bike, and then have to sit in my car for 2 hours.

I think it's safe to say that I get a little anxious when I don't know what's going on. But it's weird. I'm not freaking out that my swim wave starts 48 minutes after the first wave - that I don't care about at all. I'm not even that worried that I don't know if I'll be able to have warm, dry clothes at the finish line - and that is a legitimate concern. So why am I concerned about what time I am leaving on Saturday morning? Because I am a freak.

I'm being a whiny little baby and I know that. Maybe bitching about it will get it out of my system? I don't think I have complained about any of this stuff to anyone so maybe this will do the trick.

On a positive note, I am meeting some teammates for a Train-This carbo-load pancake breakfast at IHOP on Saturday morning. And chocolate chip pancakes make me really, really, really happy. So if the bad mood has not been killed by then, hopefully that will do it!

Althought I said cheers to it almost being my off-season, I TOTALLY FORGOT that new TV shows start up again next week! I don't watch very much TV but I am a huge fan of The Office as well as NCIS. Thinking about that makes me quite happy as well! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

understanding the tri-dude

Here is a follow-up post to my blog from a few weeks ago.

Understanding the tri-dude.


Oh wait.

Beer, sex, and food.

Haha! Am I right?

hello Wisconsin!

So what exactly is in Wisconsin (other than cows, cheese, and the Green Bay Packers)? Oh yes, there is an IRONMAN in Wisconsin! And in one year, I will be doing that Ironman!

I registered for IM Wisconsin 2011 today, online! Registration was originally open at 1 pm on Monday, however due to website malfunctions, it was temporarily closed until today at 1 pm. Imagine my frustration as I tried to register for an hour on Monday and kept timing out on, and then eventually got the message that registration was no longer available. I thought that it had sold out! Turns out they had shut it down completely to try to fix the problems they were having. So I logged back on today at 1 and managed to secure my spot for next year! I guess the entire race sold out within the hour so I'm glad I was able to get in.

So that makes my race schedule for next year slightly more daunting.

June 26 - Ironman Coeur D'Alene

September 11 - Ironman Wisconsin

So far, that's it. Because let's face it - that's a lot. Right there is at least 24 hours of racing. Maybe 23 hours if I am lucky. It's $1200 worth of entry fees. And it's god knows how much in travel costs.

What have I gotten myself into?!

If you don't see me next year it's because I'm either training my ass off or working one of the 5 jobs I will have to have in order to afford doing the double Ironman year. Or curled into the fetal position in a corner somewhere crying because I have tackled too much. :)

Just kidding! I am excited to see what I can push myself to do - to test myself mentally and physically. I am excited for my chance to PR (two chances to PR actually!) in an Ironman. I can't wait to go into an Ironman actually knowing what it's like ahead of time! However I am still prepared to learn. :)

I am honored to be able to race on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. To be an American is a great thing. To have the choice - the freedom - to do an Ironman is a privilege. Not everyone in the world has that option. Many people in this world are sick, starving, and worse. I love my country because I have the freedom and the opportunity to pursue my dreams, no matter what they are.

Maybe it's weird to be ok with racing on 9/11? I don't know. I think it's better to acknowledge that it happened and remember it throughout the race rather than completely forget about it. I know that sometimes I forget, not because I forget about what happened but because sometimes I just don't know what day it is.

Anyways, weird patriotic ramble over.

Cheers to my off-season starting in 5 days!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

tires of all kinds hate me

So, big news of the day:

My front Zipp wheel will not take any air! Wow, I am just so surprised because I have NEVER had ANY problems with these wheels before now!

Is that enough sarcasm for you?

Seriously, I feel like me owning these wheels is equivalent to a man having a trophy wife. They were expensive, they are high maintenance, they require constant attention and checking up on, they are impossible for me to fix, but they are shiny, and they make my bike look super fast and awesome.

Is that what it's like to date a high maintenance chick? I constantly have issues with these wheels but I can't bring myself to sell them because they were so expensive. They were an INVESTMENT! And they are so pretty! And fast!

At least I am learning. At least this time I didn't wait until the MORNING OF THE RACE to try to inflate the tire. Now I know: check tire pressure, try to inflate tire, put wheel on bike to make sure it spins ok. Do all of this DAYS before the race - NOT the night before. Also, bring extra set of wheels to the race in case I have race day problems! I should also probably buy like 100 beers for my mechanic friend Alex who has changed out my flat Zipp like 100 times. My wheels are probably the reason he has abnormally strong forearms for a dude.

And if that isn't enough, this is the 2nd "tire problem" I have had in the last 24 hours. I was leaving work last night at 11:15 pm, psyched to get home and sleep in my own bed for the first time since Thursday night and to hang out with my cat who is currently VERY annoyed with me for leaving her alone for 3 days, when the low tire indicator light on my dashboard came on (you know, the one that looks like a butt). So I pulled over and I could hear the air gushing out of a very obvious hole in my front left tire. I then pulled into an empty parking lot of a bowling alley and decided to call Triple A rather than attempt to change the tire myself.

I can change a tire. I know how (although I have never done it all by myself). But it scares me to change a tire at 11:30 at night, alone, in a sketchy parking lot. So I opted to sit in my car with the doors locked and hang out til AAA arrived. I will have to practice my tire-changing skills some other time.

Then today I took my car to the garage to have the tire patched and of course, it's unfixable. So.. guess who bought a new tire!

I love spending money on things like tires. It's my favorite!

Oh and apparently, I drive a mom car. My car had been sitting in Adam's driveway and his neighbor saw it and asked him if he was dating a soccer mom. I guess I didn't think my car was that bad? I know it's a wagon and it's decorated with nerdy triathlon stickers but I thought moms drove vans, or SUVs. I thought that the station wagon was an "uncool" option for a soccer mom! Just for a visual, here is my car:

Regardless, I am not ashamed of my mom car and I will continue to cover it in triathlon stickers as I see fit, and I will drive it around on its 1 new tire and 3 older tires. And on Saturday I will load it up with my Cervelo, 2 sets of wheels and my race gear and drive it over to Syracuse for the Train-This invasion of Syracuse! I can't wait! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

blame Canada

So first things first, a big congrats to Coach Mary for a 4:59 and a great race at Pumpkinman half-ironman in Maine. Also, to Mark O. for a 12:57 at the full Rev3 Cedar Point in his first iron distance race! And there was a big sigh of relief because although Mary's husband Curt crashed into a guardrail during the Pumpkinman sprint and broke his fork, he walked away from the crash totally fine (after a nice trip to the hospital)!

Syracuse 70.3 is in 6 days. I finally had a good run yesterday! It only took 7 weeks for me to work up the motivation to do some tempo work. The athlete guide is posted, waves are posted! My bib # is 1021 and I am going off in wave 13 at 7:48 am in a light pink swim cap. Last week I didn't care about the race. I didn't care how I did. I didn't care about a Clearwater spot. I didn't even want to do it. Of course that didn't last. I still want to do well. I guess I should have made that decision 7 weeks ago and then maybe I wouldn't have half-assed my training since Placid. Oh well!

So I have been absent from blog-land for a whole bunch of days. I was invited to go camping this weekend in the 1000 Islands by Adam to meet up with 2 of his friends from Ottawa that he met while in Italy (the kid gets around apparently). Now, I like to camp. I don't love it. I have a tent and a sleeping bag, but no other camp accessories. I forgot a flashlight. I don't have an air mattress. We had to sleep on the hard dirt ground - there wasn't even grass! His friends from Ottawa were much better equipped. They had a propane stove thing, and silverware, and a whole bunch of other useful stuff.

I don't do so well with camping because it mostly involves drinking, and I am not a good drinker. If I drink fast enough to get drunk, I pass out super early. If I drink slowly, I get a headache and then I want to go to bed early because I'm tired. I just cannot stay up late. But this was fun. I learned lots of trivia about Canada! I exemplified the Canadian stereotype of Americans as idiots who know nothing about the rest of the world.

After assembling our campsite and cooking/eating dinner, we were drinking some beers/wine/Johnny Bootlegger and chatting around the campfire. And this is where I realized that I am just not interesting if you take away the whole triathlon/Ironman thing (which had to be done in this case because I was there with Adam who does much crazier races than Ironman). I am just the girl with the job that is so hard to explain that people fall asleep while I try. I am the girl who watches her favorite TV shows over and over. I am the girl who talks about her cat too much. I am the girl who does the same race that thousands of people do, and the wimpier version of other races. And yes I am loud and excitable and sort of quirky and yes I hate SUVs (which I get called out on), but have I done anything crazy? No. Have I been arrested? No. I haven't even gone anywhere interesting since 2003 when I went to Ireland.

I'm not saying that I want to get arrested..

But most of my stories are lame. I try to stay out of trouble. I like to go to bed early. I'm pretty introverted. I like structure in my life.

My most recent "story" was:

I went to Kim's house last weekend to hang out and watch a movie and we were so busy chatting that we forgot to eat dinner.

WOW I FORGOT TO EAT! OMG.. so crazy. Oh wait, no. Forgetting dinner was probably the best thing I could have done for my pre-race taper. Haha!

Anyways - I am on a mission. Look for me in the back of a police car.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

my friend Flicka

Some of you may know, probably most do not know - I have a horse. Her name is Cherry. My mom bought Cherry for me when she was 4, and I was 10 or 11. She is now 20, and I am 26.

Cherry is one of the most important things in my life (so is my cat, Fiona). I have always liked animals more than people. And I LOVE my 2 animals.

For the majority of my life, I have been a horseback rider. I have ridden Western and English. I have personally hauled Cherry in a truck/horse trailer. I have fallen off, I have been stepped on. I have trail ridden, barrel raced, team penned, cross country jumped, done dressage - you name it and I've probably tried it, and I've probably tried it with Cherry. She is truly the best horse in the world. She is small and furry. She is not registered (in fact she is a grade - a mutt of the horse world - part Quarter Horse and part Morgan). She is a huge pain in the ass at times. She is also slightly crazy to ride. She has the best ground manners you could ask for - but sometimes questionable riding manners. I love her in spite of her difficulties!

Cherry's idea of a horse show is to race around the arena as fast as possible. When I first got her I was a barrel racer and that is what I did with her. This is where you run around objects (either barrels or poles) that are set up in a pattern and it's timed, so obviously we were running as fast as possible. We were pretty good! She's a fast horse. We won a lot of awards. I eventually lost interest (AKA she was getting too nutso and I didn't want to die) and I switched to 3 day eventing - the "triathlon" of the horse world because it's made up of dressage, cross country jumping, and stadium jumping. (It's the cool stuff you see people doing with horses in the summer Olympics).

As eventers, we stuck out. I was eventing when I was 17. I'm short and my horse is small. I used to wear purple and dress Cherry in purple (saddle pad, boots, etc. all purple). One time I was warming up before my cross country jumping run and some lady made a comment about the cute little girl and her pony in purple. Sorry ma'am.. I was 17. Cherry also liked to run at the fences as fast as possible and leap over them at breakneck speed. There was nothing I could do to stop her. I rode with a gag bit in her mouth and this thing called a running martingale to hold her head down - didn't matter. She ran the show. I'm surprised I survived.

My riding slowed down when I went to college, then graduate school, and then entered the real world, and finally picked up triathlon. I have ridden twice this summer. It is something I feel incredibly guilty about. But my horse is old, she is arthritic, and she deserves her retirement. If you had arthitis and a bad ankle, would you want a person getting on your back and riding you around, forcing you to exercise? She has no way to tell me if it hurts her when I ride her! I don't think she minds her retirement. She gets to play with other horses, hang out in the pasture, and the kids at the barn give her treats and brush her.

I think I mostly feel guilty because I have slowly been letting go of a major part of my life in order to make room for something new. I feel guilty because Cherry has always been there. As Sir Winston Churchill said,

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."

When I was younger, having a horse, being able to ride every day, that is what kept my head on straight. Now, that is what triathlon does for me. It is very difficult to balance them both. My horse is so special and I love her so, so much. She deserves her retirement for sure. However she also deserves consistent attention from her owner, so I am going to make a better attempt at getting to the barn to see her on a regular basis. Seeing my horse makes me SO happy but sometimes I get caught up in my daily routine and it gets pushed to the back of my mind. That shall happen no more. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Labor Day is over. It is officially FALL in my book. As I was riding the Syracuse course on Sunday with Ken, I noticed that the leaves are starting to change! The weather is cooling down, the wind is picking up, the air is crisper - fall is here!

Fall is my most favorite season ever! I can bust out my jeans and hoodies. I have to start wearing long-sleeved shirts on my runs. I no longer break into a sweat by merely moving! I can cozy up in my SNUGGIE and watch new episodes of my 2 favorite TV shows - NCIS and The Office! One downside to fall is I have to start wearing pants around my apartment again because it is just too chilly for a no-pants situation.

Fall always reminds me of cross country season. For me, this time of year is DEFINED by running. I ran cross country for 7 years - 2 in jr. high, 4 in high school, and 1 in college. I still miss it to this day and it has been 8 years since I've run on an organized XC team. I still am in contact with my high school cross country coach (him and his wife are both elite runners and they still live in the area).

As much as I still love to run - there is NOTHING like running as part of a team. Running together, racing together, traveling to races, team practices, and team dinners are what make it so amazing. You can't beat a day at a cross country invitational. Hundreds of teams gather, lots of colorful uniforms, it's just incredible. I can't even describe how much I loved it and miss it! I still try to make it (as a spectator) to the McQuaid Invitational which is one of the largest XC invitationals on the East coast and is held right here in Rochester, ~3 miles from my front door!

I am in all 3 of those photos above - can you spot my high school-aged counterpart? If you do, you win a hug!

I think that being on a tri team that is so close is very reminiscent of being on a high school XC team. We don't compete together for a team score but the dynamic is very very similar (with WAY less drama I might add).

Fall also reminds me of marching band. Yes, I was in band. I played the flute. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Just a few things about the Syracuse course which I rode again on Sunday morning with my teammate Ken. I really don't hate the beginning of the course. Yes it's a lot of uphill and it's slow-going, but I actually LIKE climbing up Sweet Rd. It's not THAT steep so I can just spin up it. It takes a while but really, not horrible. I like riding past Deryuter Lake. I think it's pretty and there's the cool elephant to gaze upon! What I don't like is the wind! Both times I have ridden the course the wind was brutal. The middle section has a ridiculous headwind and it's very frustrating. Ken dropped me because he had tempo sections to do and I just kept falling farther behind because the wind was killing my motivation.

I stopped along the way to take a picture of the M-Dot which was mowed into the side of a ski mountain! Ken was diligently doing his tempo - I was riding along at 15 mph sightseeing.. oh well. My drive to train well, do any tempo blocks, work hard - it's just GONE.

Also, I had a bit of an "incident" while riding. I had to pee the entire ride. I drove from Rochester to Syracuse at 6 am in order to ride at 8 am. We parked outside the park so there was no bathroom break before starting the ride! I was doing ok with holding it until I hit the oil/chipped section in the last 10 miles of the course; this just rattled my bladder too much! I decided I had to stop and pee before I peed my pants (totally legit during a race, not cool during training). I saw a good spot where I could crawl into the woods for privacy so I hit the brakes, went to unclip, failed to unclip, and tipped over... oh my. That hasn't happened since I learned to ride with clipless pedals. I was alone and no one saw it, but then I told Ken, and Kim, and Adam.. and now everyone knows that I'm an idiot. I bent my brake lever but the bike shop fixed it for me!

I have driven to Syracuse so many times in the past 6 weeks that I think my car could drive there on auto-pilot! My gas tank certainly likes the attention (although my wallet does not), and I like watching the green light say "EZ PASS GO" when I go through the EZ Pass lane because that's how easily amused I am.

There may or may not be a reason that I have been driving to Syracuse so much. :)

I am hoping this week goes by quickly!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

random annoyances

Now I know that it's not the nicest thing in the world to blog about, but I'm going to talk about some things that I find incredibly irritating. If you are an offender of anything on my list do not worry, I won't hold it against you. :)

Is it apparent that my triathlon training is basically at a standstill and is going so horribly that I don't even want to talk about it at all?


In no particular order, some things that annoy the shit out of me:

enormous SUVs. I am a snob. I hate SUVs and I will readily admit that. I hate all of them, big ones, small ones, "hybrid" ones. I understand why someone might want a smaller SUV - be it for winter driving, cargo room for travel, towing things, etc. I get that they are practical. I even considered one (in a short moment accompanied by a dose of self-loathing) but I don't like the way they drive. However, what is the point of driving a Hummer? Or an Escalade? or a Yukon? I'm sorry, but no one in Rochester, NY needs to drive a tank to get to work. No Pittsford soccer mom needs a freakin' Expedition to cart her 1.7 children to Wegmans. Every time I see a gigantic SUV I get angry. Who wants to drive a car that gets 12 miles/gallon? Who goes to a dealership and goes "Yes, I would like the car that will destroy the environment THE FASTEST"?? But yes, I am a snob. I am a hippie and I drive a station wagon. Whatever.

Guys asking permission before kissing a girl. This gets me every time. If you need to ask permission before you kiss someone, then you either a) are terrible at reading signals or b) that girl does not want you to kiss her! If someone asks me if they can kiss me, I almost immediately lose interest in kissing them! Yes I know it is petty but I can't help it. I'm not saying that random guys off the street are approaching me and asking to make out with me.. but seriously, if you go on a date with me and then you have to ask me that.. I get annoyed, which is not good! Just go for it man!

how texting and facebook are the downfall of society. Now I am not just cutting down other people! I love both texting and facebook. And when I say love, I mean I REALLY REALLY LOVE them both. But I have to say that they are both ridiculous. There is no mystery left in the world. If you want to know what someone is doing, you can text them. If they don't respond in 0.23423 seconds, you just check their status on facebook. Now facebook even lets you tell everyone where you are ALL THE TIME! Sadly, I am a slave to technology. I will never unplug. When someone tells me that they are not on facebook, or even worse, don't have a cell phone, I silently think "FREAK." Although that is probably better for them because they don't have to endure the terrible, terrible grammatical errors and spelling mistakes that come with both facebook and text messages.

When is the last time you picked up the phone and called someone? I don't do this. I never have phone conversations.. and I freaking LOVE to talk! But if I don't see someone in person, I will barely talk to them. Take my friendship with my high school friend Denise. She is still a good friend of mine. The last time I saw her was over Thanksgiving in 2008? Maybe 2007. That was the last time I heard her voice, however we text back and forth weekly. Sad? Yes. Will I ever pick up my phone to call and see how she's doing? Doubtful.

Anyone on "Team Edward." I have read Twilight. I actually own all of the Twilight books. I am ashamed of this fact. But it happened so get over it.

Edward is creepy.

Do I need to say more? No, he is not romantic. He's a freaking psycho.

Dogs in purses. Any dog that can be carried around by a malnourished, 100 lb celebrity is not a real dog. Dogs walk using their own 4 legs. They run through the mud, they chase other animals, they drool, and they don't have to wear a tiny pink jacket. I really, really, really want to get a dog but I wouldn't take a Yorkie if someone gave the thing to me. Man's best friend does not weigh 3 lbs.

I could go on, but that's probably enough ranting for the day.