NEXT EVENTS: IRONMAN BOULDER 2014

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

This blog is about my journey as an asthmatic, hypothyroid, formerly plus-sized endurance athlete. It's occasionally interrupted with things that have nothing to do with that or whining about my weight and horrible eating habits. "You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More off-season rambling.

Yesterday I got my first racing flats and I LOVE them. They are super light, like wearing really thick socks. The guy that sold them to me at Albuquerque Running Shop suggested them for building strength in my lower legs. I'm supposed to wear them for one short, easy run each week, at least in the beginning. I did a couple miles on them yesterday, and I was expecting to feel some discomfort since these have much less padding and support than my NB-767's.


I really enjoyed my run. I felt like my feet were flexing and moving in a more "natural" way. The guy at the running shop thought that I have an advantage, since I'm on my feet all day. I'm also supposed to have an advantage due to my childhood running around barefoot in Alabama, but we'll just put that aside for now.

I also went and got about five inches chopped off my hair today, and I feel much perkier.
Well, actually I shouldn't say "chopped". It has come to my attention that my hairdresser occasionally reads my blog so I will instead say that my hair was lovingly and skillfully shaped by the inspired shears of Tammy. In any case I feel perkier, more athletic, too. Tammy is the only person I've let touch my hair for nearly 6 years now, and we discussed whether or not Sweet Baboo would notice, as I was pretty sure he would notice immediately, because he's that way.

So about two hours after Sweet Baboo arrived home I finally said to him, "Well, I think it's time for your trap question of the day." He laughed and said, "what is it?" and I said, "What's different?" and he didn't have a clue.

Well, hell. I feel perkier, and that's what matters.

I'm pretty sure he's busy thinking about his two upcoming events: First, there is a 300K brevet (190 miles) ride in Phoenix this weekend (I will wait for him and make him things to eat when he is done. I am not 'friends' enough with my saddle even enough to plan a century, much less this craziness)

Second, there is the February 17th Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon.

What is the Mt. Taylor Quad, you ask? Well, it is pure insanity.

On February 17th, the racers, including Sweet Baboo, will race 42 miles to the top of Mt. Taylor, 11,301 high. First, they bike 13 miles, climbing 1800 feet. Next, they'll five miles on gravel roads climbing up 1200 feet. Then it's a cross-country ski that rises 1200 feet over two miles, and then snowshoe up 600 feet over a mile to reach the summit.

At that point, the race is half over; they have to then do everything in reverse to get back to the finish/start line.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. I want to do it too. But no way I am ready. I've hiked Mt. Taylor in the summer, but not this. Maybe I'll give it a shot next year. Or the year after that. Or sometime around 2010. It's just crazy enough to be worth doing once. This year, however, I plan to attend with a thick coat, blanket, my daughter's old cheerleading pom-poms, and a thermos full of coffee. And my cute new hair.

...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I'm easy to please.

Here are some Things I've Gotten Excited About lately that are just kind of pathetic.

1. Last month after a long run my toenail felt sore and started to turn black. "At last!" I thought, "I'm in their little club!" But it never did go all the way across, and it didn't fall off, it eventually faded and now I just have a slightly yellow and black spotted toenail. I really wanted a black toenail sticker to put on my car.

2. That kid whose parent bought him some shampoo.

3. The fact that JC Penny is having a sale on $99 lineless bifocals. Yes, that's right. I've been taking off my nearsighted glasses to read and use the computer, because I'm too stubborn, vain and cheap to get the old-people glasses. Hopefully, I can avoid losing these.

4. The pink aluminum cover for my iPod shuffle that I bought off ebay last week and matching cord wrap that looks like fish bones.

5. This bumper sticker:


6. The fact that several students at my school have asked me to start a vegetarian club.

7. The prospect of more snow and ice and cold (just kidding - wanted to see if you were paying attention - the prospect of more winter makes me want to barf)

8. Finding out that one of my fellow staff members, a school counselor, is also a runner and is just as slow as I am (the slow runner is a lonely runner, y'all)

9. My first pair of racing flats. This is pathetic because I have few dress shoes, those I have I've had for quite some time, and I don't really even care any more, most of the time. I do, however, have the following, any of which cost way more than any pair of shoes I've ever owned: two pairs of cycling shoes (one for commuting & spinning and the other for racing), a pair each of hiking and trail running shoes, and three pairs of running shoes (short runs, long runs, and strength-building).

10. audible.com - I never have time to read any more because, well, I'm kind of hyper and books have so many WORDS in them that I have to sit still to READ, and I'm also very busy. However, I can listen to recorded books while I'm grading papers or driving somewhere or running on the treadmill.

I guess your priorities really do change when you get older. I've been waiting to see if I'm going to get excited about grandkids and such, but right now I'm pretty horrified at the thought of being stuck babysitting when I spend all day around other people's kids.

There was a time that I used to get more excited about mundane things like dress shoes, etc., but now everything just seems to get in the way of my workout time. I'm much less excited, for instance, about how crowded the gym is, how cold it is outside, and the fact that I can't find my way cool RecSpec sunglasses.

I hate the off-season. I shouldn't have this much time to waste on thinking of this crap.

...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

In which I am a nearsighted idiot.

Today I went on my first serious "long" run since the marathon two weeks ago. It felt, as I mentioned to Wiz, not like I had large bricks tired to my feet but more like someone had replaced the bricks with slightly lighter bricks. Still, I was able to keep up the run for the eight or so miles. As I mentioned before, my next goal is to run a half marathon without walk breaks.

I can't find my damned glasses.
Not my usual nerdly red framed glasses, which fog up and actually make it seem brighter out so I don't wear them outside.

I'm talking about my way cool prescription 'SportSpecs" that I need not only because I'm incredibly vain and the bright sun in New Mexico makes me squint, deepening any developing crows' feet, but also because to call me nearsighted would be an understatement. Don't get me started on contacts. I tried them once. They are way too much trouble, and I threw screaming hissy fits when they folded up under my eyelid upon insertion. I have no patience at all. My optomitrist told me that as I am getting old (he actually said that, he said old, not older) my nearsightedness would be corrected by the time I was fifty. But then I'd need reading glasses. So lasic is out.

In any case I took off for my run without any glasses at all, figuring that as long as I could see my feet (I can) and the path ten feet in front of me (I can) I'd be okay. The guys, Sweet Baboo, Wiz, and Bones, took off ahead of me. I'm alone. It's a brisk 27 degrees out and I'm managing to stay just ahead of chilled. Just me and the ipod. Almost NOBODY is on the trail this early, when it's this cold. Ahhhhhhh.

So I'm heading down the Bosque trail and its about forty minute later when I see the guys coming back. Sweet Baboo, in his white shirt, black tights, and white hat, seems to be limping. Bones, in his red jacket, is walking slowly, and Wiz is just sauntering. When I'm about 50 yards away, I holler, "what's wrong? Why are you guys walking?"

No response.

Bear in mind that I can't see faces, or even really make out distinct bodies. I can make out general human forms and the major colors they are wearing.

About 20 yards out, I yell again, "Hey, three ironman are walking down the trail. that sounds like the first line of a joke!"

No response.

I try again, "is someone hurt?"

It's when the last 't' sound of the word hurt leaves my lips that I realize that the three men approaching me are completely unknown to me. They are some old guys, much less attractive than the three men I supposed them to be. The one I supposed to be Sweet Baboo even has a big grey beard. One of them finally says something like, "I guess if we were real men we'd be running"

Well, then I'm stuck. I just said a few lame things and they went their way and I went mine, and they had a story to tell about some bitch on the trail that didn't even know them and was giving them crap about walking instead of running.

The moral of the story is that the girl at the pool who waved at you, or the cute guy across the gym floor, might not have been flirting with you at all.

Nor was that girl who seemed to be either teasing you or harassing you out on your run today.

They may just be horribly nearsighted and you happen to be wearing something that someone they knew was wearing.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Is it the apocalypse?

This morning we woke up to 96% humidity. In Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can almost hear the foghorns.

Normally, you could see into the city of Albuquerque and the surrounding mountains rising out past those trees. Not today. It's also 30 degrees F. We've been having excellent weather during the week that decends into chaos for the weekend. Bad for long runs and long bikes Excellent for feeling smug about having a nice, warm home to STAY IN and be self-indulgent.

I'm going to have a breakfast of popcorn and cran-grape and then a weight-lifting and treadmill session downstairs. In the dining room, of course.

Then maybe some cocoa. Then I'll start working through my to-do list while one of my favorite movies plays in the background.

I'll leave you with some valuable information on how to stay fit during cruddy, impossible-to-train days:

Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm really, really glad its Friday.

I work in a school that has a capacity of 2000 students and an enrollement of around 2250, ranging in ages from 13 to 16. In this school the classes are capped at 30, but most have more than that. There are 4 counselors, 4 social workers, 2 nurses, and 2 case workers.

So, some teachers double as social workers, nurses, etc...

Monday. One of the kids in my more difficult class told another teacher to "shut up and f&*K off". This is the kind of thing that can distract an entire class for an hour after it happens. As this is her 35th office referral, she's going to be suspended for 5 days. During final exams in December, she went to the bathroom and got stoned and was then suspended and had the police called on her. She's been published in the newspaper for "minor in consumption of alcohol". She is, by the way, brilliant, with a commanding presence that attracts many followers. Her current grade point average is 0. What a waste.
There was a huge fight during lunch today. Students tell me it was "awesome."

Tuesday. This was actually a fairly routine day in terms of classes. After school, I'm the club sponsor of the Gay Straight Alliance at our school. At our meeting, I found out that a student who'd stopped coming had promised her parents she would try to be straight. They grounded (restricted) her until she agreed not to be a lesbian any more. Another one told me his parents had canceled his birthday until he would agree not to be gay anymore.

Wednesday. A student came in to let me know that another student had been threatening suicide. A social work referral was made, and it turns out the second student stopped taking her antipsychotic meds and didn't tell anyone, and is now under observation. I got a new student whose parents are currently going through a divorce and are fighting over her for custody, making her decide which one she wants to live with. She just sits and stares around her, lost in a class that already had 33 students in it.
I was also informed today that yet another student of mine who'd been absent for three weeks has been sent to an inpatient psychiatric hospital in another city.

Thursday. This kid I called Child Protective Services about last week came in positively beaming. He's in my honors class, and had told me over the last couple of weeks about being increasingly verbally harassed and physically threatened at home. His father, after having been contacted by the social worker at our school, bought him some clothes at Goodwill and then some shampoo. The kid was ecstatic because he'd gotten shampoo. SHAMPOO. "Look how clean my hair is!" he kept saying, and running his fingers through it.

It never occured to me to ask if he had the basic necessities of hygene at home. I'd been giving the little hotel shampoos to our nurses from when we travel to our triathlons and other races, because the nurses told me that some students' parents won't buy them shampoo or soap, but I'd never actually seen it in my classes.

I got another new student; this one has parents going through a divorce. This seems to be the most common age for this. Both parents are so busy dealing with their own pain that nobody was checking to see if she was in school, and she missed 20 days last quarter alone.

I was informed that, because I'm the faculty sponsor of the GSA, students who have issues in that regard tend to be placed with me. Fine, but don't complain to me about grades and standardized test scores, okay? I mean, who cares what your grades are when you're busy hoping that none of your friends find out that your Mother has just left your Dad for another woman?

It's just that I'd like to either teach or be a school counselor. I've had a school counselor's license for three years, and have applied for eight positions in my district. It's apparently easier to hire a school counselor than to replace a veteran teacher.

Another student, who has been here for eight weeks, is moving again. This will be his third move during his 8th-grade year. I'm pretty sure he's in a gang. Some of the girls are upset because he's leaving. They tell me I'm insensitive because even though they are clearly upset about this, and I want them to do their work. What I really want is for them to be upset about their grades, not some banger whom they've known for less than 2 months.

Friday. In my more difficult class, the girl with the highest grade average - who aspires to be a boxer and trains daily toward this end - got in a fight during lunch. She will be suspended for five days. She'll miss five days of school. I was hoping to get her into some advanced classes next year. Now I don't know. At least her father is proud that she got the best of the fight; that's something, right?
The security guards told me there has been at least one major fight every single day this week.

Sometimes I get so tired of working here, and I think about leaving, but then I have moments. This week, the moment was a kid who was thrilled at having clean hair. That's enough to give me a smile and get me through the next couple of weeks.

In a few minutes, I'll pack up and leave and go pick up my normal, sort of a pain in the ass teenager from track practice. I'm going to give him a hug, which he'll probably squirm away from.

I'll avoid letting him know how lucky he is to be "normal," because, if I did, Mini-baboo would recite a litany of complaints about how much he suffers, because HE has CHORES, a curfew, does his own laundry, doesn't have a cell phone yet, and his parents are always in his business. Oh, the humanity!

...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Accomodations.

I am getting really sick of Blogger's little messages that I can't upload pictures. I don't like linking to pictures on other servers, but they leave me no choice.

I learned something tonight. My idea of doing upper body weights on Wednesdays is a really, really bad idea. I tend to work with weights until failure, and when I get to spin class I'm all shaky and my arms are utterly useless. I can't even hold onto the handlebars. I'm like one of those dinosaurs with the tiny teeny arms. Well, maybe it will make my legs stronger. Time will tell. Anyway, I was a good girl this week; I ran 5K yesterday, and today I ran 2 miles, upper body weights, and spin class.

Then I come home. Now, Sweet Baboo wrote about how cheap he's gotten in the area of clothing. The accomodations he's made. We, as insane triathletes, have made many accomodations as our priorities have changed. Chances are, if you're reading this, you have too. Mine has mostly been in my home.

My sister, whom I visited over the holidays, has the most beautiful home; it looks like something straight out of Ethan Allen and Southern Living. It's, first of all, SPOTLESS, with matching cherry furniture all over the house, WHITE carpeting, lots of prints tastefully decorated on the wall, and a magazine rack with several national magazines in it (all special editions devoted to Lady Di). Each room has coordinated stuff in it, and some sort of "theme." She has a formal dining room with a formal dining table and chairs, sideboard, large chandalier, and her china is on display behind glass in a china cabinet.

Very, very tasteful. And SPOTLESS.

I start to get anxious whenever I see her house, which is, thankfully, is only about every 5 or 6 years or so, and wonder if I shouldn't have that kind of house. My southern upbringing does it to me. I make mental comparisons to my decor, and then harass Sweet Baboo for reassurance that he'd hate to live in a house like that. Which he promptly does.

Me and Sweet Baboo (well, actually Sweet Baboo did the work) painted each wall downstairs a different color: green, blue, off-white, orange. We have kitchy magnets from places we've visited, my wooden chicken collection, and finishers medals all over the place. We have a few magazines scattered around, Runner's world, Triathlete, Skeptical Inquirer, VegNews and Ultrarunner. When we get around to making a quilt out of our race T-shirts, that will be tossed over the couch, otherwise known as The Big Expensive Scratching Post and Trampoline. I could no sooner have white carpeting than I could have white clothing. Which I don't own, either.

We have four cats. Most of what we own is furry and shredded and, I'm certain, would glow like a Jackson Pollock painting under blacklight.

And then there is the dining room. The floor plan that we picked when we built this house a few years ago included about a 18 x 15 space off the kitchen. Several of my neighbors chose this floor plan too, as it was featured in the model home in the subdivision in which we live. All of them, including the model home, made this space into tasteful eating areas. Tasteful southwestern eating areas, with tasteful southwestern furniture.

We got a nice table and comfy chairs, and put them in the kitchen.

I'd like you to meet our dining room:

Yes, that's a treadmill, trainer, and weighbench. In the dining room. In front of the treadmill and trainer, there's a small DVD player/TV, and a couple of fans.

It's frankly, one of the first things you see when you walk into the house.

My china, by the way, which was my mother's china, is safely packed in a box until Mini-baboo is away to college and I get around to some sort of cabinet. Actually - and this sounds terrible - I'm thinking of selling it. It doesn't match anything I am, have, or do. It's very fussy and formal Noritake.

I think could put a down-payment on a CycleOps Indoor Cycle with what I could get selling it on Ebay.

...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Crap.

My mind has started playing this trick on me now. It did it again today.

Basically, what happens is that I'll have something I have to do - like today, I wanted to do this submax test thing at four. I had it written in my planner. I thought about it for the past week or so. Then, sometime today, my mind whispered, "It's at six. At six. Don't forget! If you get there early, you can always exercise or something."

By the end of the day, I was convinced it was six pm. Don't ask me why I didn't look in my planner. that would be way too--too--sensible.

In any case I sauntered in at 4:45, and as I put my hand on the door to the gym, at that moment, my mind said to me, "you idiot! It was at four! At four! What is the MATTER with you?!?"

MOTHERF$#&ER!!

I hate getting older.

Don't bother telling me that I am my mind and my mind is me and it can't play tricks on me because I am my mind. I won't listen.

In other news, I've finally found the perfect diet. It was in an edition of the Alibi, which is our alternative press here in Albuquerque. Click and enjoy.

...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

First post-marathon run.

I went for a "long run" this morning...which turned out to be a 5-1/2 mile slow jog. as I was running, I was asking myself:

...how come dog owners have to scoop after their dogs but horse owners don't? Horse dukey is huge and can actually trip or cause accidents, and it never seems to go away. Smells, too.

...who tied bricks these bricks to my feet while I was sleeping? and why can't I see them?

It wasn't that I was sore, or anything. My legs just felt heavy, and much disinclined to move. So I cut my planned 8 mile run short and headed back and then ate a bunch of hashbrowns.

My plan for this week:

Monday: I'm having a "sub max test" done at the gym. Once and for all, I will finally know what my "true" max HR is. Lower body weights.
Tuesday: 2 or so miles on the treadmill.
Wednesday: 3-4 miles on the treadmill, upper body weights, then spin class.
Thursday: lower body weights
Friday: spin class, 2-3 miles on treadmillx
Saturday: upper body weights, swim (?)
Sunday: LSR, perhaps 8-9 miles.

My next "big" goal: a half marathon, with no walk breaks.

...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Marathon Lessons Learned - and more pics.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAfter the marathon, I had a tiny bit of stiffness in my ankles but no other soreness. I'm pretty grateful for that, and just superstitious enough to make sure that I do it the same way again.

Things I would do exactly the same next time, and things I would do differently. Obviously, not everything works the same for everyone, but maybe its something you can try in training and see if any of it works for you.

Change:

1. I carried a small water bottle. This was unnecessary, as there was water every 1-1/2 miles. Filling it slowed me down. Next time, I'll carry a disposable bottle (since the first few aid stations are usually pretty crowded) and toss it after it's empty, then just rely on aid stations.
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2. I'll take individual PowerGels instead of a Hammer gel flask, so I can lighten my load. I've noticed that PowerGels have more sodium and potassium in them, so I could also skip the Enduralytes I took on this course. Between not carrying the gel flask and Enduralyes, I'll have less to fiddle with and carry around.

3. Next time it's this cold, I'm going to bring a disposable foil blanket to the start line to keep warm. They're cheaper and warmer than the $8 tyvek jackets.

4. I wore my singlet, which held my number, underneath my l/s running shirt. I noticed several people wore theirs on top, so that their number could always be seen. I'm going to do that next time.
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5. I loved my RaceReady shorts. They rock.

6. I am so glad I tossed running tights in the suicase at the last moment! I read an article today in an old Runner's World about how you should take just about every running piece of clothing you might need, and then pick your outfit the day of the race based on the actual weather, and not the weather the organizers say they "usually" get.


Keep:

1. At mile 5 or so, I took 3 Advil, then 2 more about 3 hours later.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I got this idea from Debbi, a fellow Outlaw, and it got rid of the ache I was feeling in my lower legs. I was a little nervous about this because I'd read that it can interfere with sodium uptake, but it worked out fine, since I was supplementing my sodium.

2. The road on this one-way marathon was arched in the middle. A friend had urged us to run in the middle where it is flatter. After hearing several friends complain about how their right legs were hurting them, I'm glad we did.

3. I skipped breakfast. I didn't mean to, but I didn't even miss it given that I'd been snacking steadily on carbs for the two days prior and had a grande soy mocha prior to the race (carbs, protein, liquid) I took my gels (at least 100 calories) eveyr hour, and I was fine. I also did not take in any nutrition that was not in liquid form.
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4. I took caffeinated gels: one at mile 10 and two at mile 20. I think they really helped stave off fatigue.

5. I wore my heart strap so that I could monitor my heart rate. I know that when it starts to drift upward, that's a sign that I need to drink some water and/or slow down a bit.

6. I got in at least two 20-mile runs before the marathon, and then I ignored my panic and did my taper even thought it just felt so WRONG.

7. Injinji toe socks. Oh yeah, baby. Not a blister, not a foot problem to be had. They also make the claim that your toes being able to move independently allows for more natural flexing of the foot. I believe them.

8. I wasn't sure about running with Sweet Baboo. I always considered running to be a solitary activity. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was, is, fantastic having someone you know running alongside you, helping you out, telling your poor deaf self that your watch is beeping...and encouraging. I *HEART* running with Sweet Baboo. Very much.


So, tomorrow, I begin again. I think my next goal might be to do a whole marathon without any walk breaks, so that I can do it faster.


I'm so envious and jealous of Nytro, who did her half marathon in 2:05. I would LOVE to be that fast! I'm starting again tomorrow with a long run of about 7 miles, and I'll be working my way back up to at least 20 miles, slowly, running the whole way. Over the next two months, I'm going to do some speedwork during the week. I'll be spinning and swimming here and there, as well as upper body weights, but running is my weakest link and what slows me down the most, so I'm going to work on improving it during the off season.

Next planned event: John Stermer Memorial Duathlon at White Sands Missel Range. This is a run-bike event that includes some sand running.

Have I told you how much I love running in the sand? Oh, I haven't?

Well, there's a reason for that.


...

Friday, January 19, 2007

I felt there was sometime missing...


...and indeed there was.
I was saddened to learn that the creator of instant ramen noodles, (which I adore) the staple of many college students, the unemployed, and the recently divorced, has passed away, at age 96.
Let us all bow our heads for this greatest of all pastafarians.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Some Pics

I'll have some more photos as I get them in.

The night before: Nytro, Benny, Bolder. These guys are a riot. Bolder still owes us, though, for bringing his weather with him.


The night before: Mini-baboo, Andy, Sweet Baboo, Hatley, and Deb.

After the race: Sexy feet! Free sandals, and of course, THE SOCKS.




The MEDAL.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

2007 PF Chang Rock n Roll Arizona - Race Report

Today is January 14th. I didn't realize how important a date that was until the night before we left for Arizona. In case you don't realize how important that date is, you can read about it here.
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Don't worry, I'll be here when you get back.
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Get it now? It's been exactly two years, and this just happens to be the day that I ran my first marathon! How cool is that?

But back to the marathon.
GOAL: 6 hours or less.

Yesterday I got to meet John "the Penguin "Bingham, and I shook his hand for luck. Mine, obviously not his. Now here we are at 6:39 am, in Corral 12, and I was expecting us to be herded in there by snarling men on horseback, but it was mostly slower newbies, like me hanging out and hugging each other for warmth. The bus bringing us here from the finish line, 26.2 miles away, got lost, so we wondered around for a while before finding the gathering area. We passed a bank sign that said 25 degrees.

Did you read that?

25 FREAKING DEGREES.

The good part of this is that this is the type of conditions in which I trained, but it was cold as hell waiting to start. I did kinda feel sorry for the tiny bird people huddled together, with their feathers all fluffed up for warmth, with their little tiny shorts and trashbags on.

Sweet Baboo is going to run with me in this race as this his first run since December 10th, about the time he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his fooy. It was pronounced "healed" a couple days ago.


A rundown of times and events, by the mile.

First two miles - 26:04

Mile 3-13:15. We're running near the yellow line on the street, as the street is arched, and nearly flat in the middle. This was advice given to us by fellow Outlaw "Bones" MacKinzie.

mile 3 - 18:04. This was the first of Sweet Baboo's many potty breaks...I'll let you read about that on his blog. I wait for him. I take a puff off my inhaler.

mile 4 - 12:55. I start to realize that the girls and boys bundled up by the side of the route, yelling at us, are cheerleading squads. It's too damned cold for cute cheerleading outfits, I tell Sweet Baboo. I'm excited to see them. I pat my chest and gesture to myself, soliciting some extra Cheer Love, prompting lots of cheers and yells.

mile 5 - 12:49. I'm running 10 minutes and walking 5. Sweet Baboo stays along side me, chatting happily. I try to keep up my end of the conversation, only to see my heartrate shoot up every time I try to talk. Eventually, I limit my end of the conversation to grunts and mono-sullables. The sun is up, and the temperature has risen up to 35 degrees. Apparently, the coldest Phoenix has gotten in nearly 17 years.

mile 6 - 17:36. Sweet Baboo's next potty break. (I took one, too, to be fair.) I also swapped out the old socks on my hands for a pair of discarded gloves lying discarded on the sidewalk. Hey, DON'T MOCK ME; IT WAS COLD OUT THERE. Besides, I was going to put them aside when I was done with them, so they'd still wind up where all the discarded clothes go.
I take another puff of my inhaler. I'm running 10 minutes, and then walking 5 minutes. The five minutes gives me a chance to take gels, water, enduralytes, whatever.

Mile 7 - 13:17

Mile 8 - 13:09 Here, we see the a hand-lettered sign proclaiming this the second annual marathon viewing party named for the family hosting said party. This consists of a fenced yard full of people smoking, barbecuing, and drinking beer, and several loose dogs. People are lounging and chatting, and every once in a while, one looks out and yells, "Yeehaw! Y'all are looking GREAT!"

Mile 9 -13:40 This is where stuff starts hurting. Legs and feet and talking to me. Not quite barking. It's more of a growl. A rather disgruntled murmer. I take three Advil. Sweet Baboo takes another potty break, but this time encourages me to keep going, and stay by the yellow line and he'll catch up. He does, distressingly quickly.

mile 10 - 14:08 Then I got a side cramp, probably from the Advil. It's 37 degrees now.

mile 11 - 13:02 Side cramp's gone. Legs are feeling better, but it's still damned cold. Still, for some reason I cannot fathom, I toss my gloves off - maybe because I'm a slave to suggestion - to join the rest of the discarded gloves, and spend most of the rest of the race unable to feel my hands or open a pocket on my shorts without great concentration and furrowing of brow.

mile 12 - 13:37

mile 13 - 12:59 "We're halfway there," Sweet Baboo says brightly. By now, when we see a group of cheerleaders, I nod towards them and even flip up my hand in a sort of half-assed wave and try to smile. I'm too tired to solicit extra cheers.

mile 14 - 13:07. Sweet Baboo takes another Potty Break, and then catches up.

mile 15 - 14:00 We start up a long, slow incline. No a huge hill, just about a 1% incline. It nearly kicks my ass. I'm not a hill runner. Not during a marathon. Not yet.

mile 16 - 13:42

mile 17 - 14:13 I'm really starting to hit the wall here. Tired. Sluggish. But at least it's finally starting to warm up. About this point, like the car at the end of "The Blues Brothers" whose mission is complete, the zipper comes apart on my very high-quality $8 Tyvek jacket. I put it out of its misery, as it's now up over 40 degrees. I know from all my reading that this is when most people hit the wall; I just need to keep going and I'll get my second wind.

mile 18 - 14:03. I'm whipped from that long gentle incline. Ugh. but the road flattens here.
Sweet Baboo takes his sixth potty break. Somewhere along the way there was another one. He took 6 altogether, three where I waited, and three where I didn't.
I'm starting to feel a little nauseated, which means I need to drink more, so I do.

mile 19 - 14:31 We hit the miracle gel station, and I suck down a regular ClifShot and one with caffein. It's been so cold out that I have to chew them. I don't complain.

mile 20 - 13:23 Ah. Gels kick in. About this time, I find a song that I really like that's somewhat inspirational, "She's got the look."

walking like a man,
hitting like a hammer
she's a juvenile scam.
Never was a quitter
tasty like a raindrop - she's got the look.

I like the line, "never was a quitter." I will spend that last 10K of the race backing it up and listening to it repeatedly
I start to notice that the people we're running with aren't the same people. Did we pass the other people, or did we pass them?
"We passed them a while ago," Sweet Baboo says, "the marathon really begins at mile 20."

mile 21 - 13:39 I take another gel with caffein, and it continues to work its magic. An ambulance goes screaming by me. I wonder if someone collapsed on the course? I remember to tell Sweet Baboo how glad I am that he did this with me. He grins and says, "it's fun!" I wonder how many husbands run a marathon with their wives, far slower than they're capable, and say, "it's fun!"

miles 23 & 24 - 25:49 Forgot to push the button on my watch.

mile 25 - 13:36. By now, at Sweet Baboo's suggestion, I start running 15 and walking 5.

Final 1.2 miles - 15:18 As we approached the finish line, I start waiving at myself trying to get some more good Cheer Love. People answer in kind. Then, I looked at the chronograph on my watch and see that it says, 5:59:52. I grabbed Sweet Baboo's hand and we sprint to the finish line. I can't believe we sprinted in. I do think I'm going to throw up. But I'm done.

Final chip time: 5:59:54.

  • The announcer called out my name.
  • Someone handed me a bottle of water.
  • We walked over and someone put a medal around my neck.
  • Then someone handed me a mylar blanket. These things rock. They should distribute them to the homeless.
  • Then someone put a lanyard with a $10 PF Changs card around my neck.
  • Then I had my chip snipped off.
  • We had our picture taken.
  • Then someone handed me a free pair of sandals.
  • Then someone asked me if I wanted some chips or a snack.
  • Mini Baboo (my new nickname for the Jonster) meets us at the finish line and tells us that he did his half marathon in about 2:30.
Now I'm hanging out in the hotel room sucking down Mike's Hard Mika-a-Rita and Advil. I've had my hot bath/shower thing and I'm eating the potato chips they gave me at the finish.

I look at my feet. They don't look any different. They just look like my feet. So do my legs. I had this idea that when you finished something like this, you'd look different. Your legs would look like the legs of a runner - all ropy and muscley. But I still look like me.

I just don't feel like me.


I'll close with something I saw on a T-shirt once at CafePress.com:


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tag, you're it.


I was tagged by ShyTri Girl

This is how it goes:
1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

The nearest book to me is by Hays, Kate F. (1999). Working It Out: Using Exercise in Psychotherapy. On Page 123, the fifth and then next three sentences:
"Following a serious car accident at age 31, strung out on cocaine as well as alcohol, and still smoking heavily, Brian agreed to hospitalization for detoxification. He had been able to remain sober since that hopitalization, 5 years previously, and had also discontinued cigarettes 2 years previously. Brian had become actively engaged in Alcholoics Anonymous (AA) at the time of hospitalization, and had maintained that association over this period of time. He also began riding his bicycle, and became involved with a local bicycle recreational riding and racing group.

There it is. I'm tagging Myles, Pirate, and Duane.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fantasy rants.


These are things people say to me. They've been said to me more than once. They've been said to me within the last six months.

I fantasize about really going off on them.

But I never will

Because its in my nature, and in my contract to be a gutless turd.

So you, dear reader, are the lucky recipient of my fantasy rants.

===========================

  • "Little Johnny will be out for 6 days starting the day after tomorrow because we haven't been together as a family for several years and weren't able to organize a family get together during the three weeks he had off in December. Could you please prepare lessons and work for him to take in advance so he doesn't fall behind?"

My fantasy response:
You inconsiderate s&%t. Believe it or not, I'm not just babysitting here every day. You would actually throw up if you knew how busy I was, and on top of that, you want me to do more work to accomodate your schedule? Look, jerkoff, either home school your kid or don't home school them, but pick a side. There's no hybrid.

My real, gutless reponse:
Sure. Give me 24 hours to put it together.

===================================

  • I took my daughter Jane, who had D in all her classes, on a cruise to Mexico. We were planning it all year and I didn't want to disappoint her. Now she's failing. What's wrong with her school?

My fantasy response:
You irresponsible a##hole. She missed 7 straight days of teaching, not just doing work. You really think a kid is going to study on a cruise? You 're surprised her grade went down? Who's thegrownup here? You know, your kid would have a good chance at being an outstanding adult without you as a parent. Don't complain in a few years because your daughter can't hold a job and thinks that life is one big party.

My real, gutless reponse:
Well, gosh, you know she never made up any of the work that you asked me to give to her in advance, and I even gave her 7 days after she came back to make it up.

=====================

  • I wish everyone would stop complaining about my dog(s) barking. Dogs bark; that's what they do.

My fantasy response:
Yeah, and cats scratch, retch up hairballs and jump on my face in the middle of the night. Can I bring one of mine over to your house so that it can shred your furniture and jump on your face? No? Oh, I guess it wouldn't be fair of my to impose my pet choice on you. Just like it's not fair for you to impose your choice on me, which is what you're doing, when I listen to the constant barking 24-7. You bought that cute puppy, and as soon as he turned into a dog you stuck him in the back yard, never walk him, and he's bored and lonely. You don't deserve to own a pet.

My actual, gutless response:
Hmm. Maybe he could attend some obedience classes.

=====================

  • I'm tired of those damned cayotes. It's not safe to have pets with them around.

My fantasy response:
You short-sighted moron. You bought a nice house in the high desert because you love the natural scenery, and it's probably sitting on a coyote den. They aren't trespassing on your land; your trespassing on theirs. And why are you letting your pets run? There's a leash law in this town, idiot. If you loved your pet you'd keep it close to home so that it would be safe.

My actual, gutless response
It's amazing that they were able to get hold of your pet. Where was it when it happened?

=====================

  • I didn't attend the (staff/organizational) meeting because I had a non-emergency to attend to, like waxing my legs, or skiing with friends, or defosting my windshield, or something, and now I'm unhappy with what you decided in my absence.

My fantasy response
You lazy jerk. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to complain about the people who are working on your behalf than to actually move your ass and so something? You had a choice, and you chose not to come. You lost your chance to make your voice heard.

My real, gutless reponse
Okay, well let me explain to you, in detail, what what discussed and why we came to this conclusion.

========================

  • This was actually overheard in line at the store: I can't believe they canceled school because of snow. How am I supposed to find daycare? Geeze, those teachers get enough time off as it is. I want to see my tax dollars in action!

What I fantasize my reponse would be:
Hey, guess what. This isn't a day care. Guess what else? We don't cancel school so that the teachers will be safe, we cancel it so your kids will be safe. Do you really want to risk some lives just so that you aren't inconvenienced? Send school buses down unsafe roads for your benefit? Guess what else, moron? We're not getting free time off. It's all made up at the end of the year.

My actual, gutless response:
I realize how difficult this must be. It's difficult for us, too.

========================

  • I have a teeny, tiny favor to ask.

What I fantasize about saying
No, you have an enormous imposition to impose. Nobody calls a favor "teeny tiny" unless, indeed, it is an enormous imposition.

My real, gutless reponse
Sure, what is it?


Monday, January 08, 2007

Guaranteed or your money back!

I'm really sick of the ads for diet aids.

I HATE that crap. My favorite part of the ad is, "People who have used Relacore in conjunction with proper diet and exercise have experienced a reduction in overall stress levels and an improvement in mood in as little as a few days... "

Well, duh.

I guess I've missed my calling. I should market a diet. I could call it the "swear your way to gorgeous" diet. In my diet, you could just run up to people that annoy you and let loose with a string of obsenities.

I guarantee, that you'll lose weight like crazy. And, it will improve your mood.

Providing that you do it in conjuntion with proper diet and exercise, that is.

Mostly, though, I get irate because even though I'm intelligent and educated, the tiny voice in my head whispers seductively. "Maybe its true! They couldn't say it if it wasn't true, could they?" and then I worry for all the people who are desperate and parting with enough money to get themselves a pair of running shoes.

So it was with gratitude and excitment that I read that apparently, the FTC is sick of it too. They fined several companies 25 million dollars for false and misleading claims. I'll let you read--or not read--at your leisure, but I will share with you my absolutely favorite part:

Xenadrine had a study showing that people who took a placebo lost more weight than those taking the pills. The FTC's investigation also found that consumer endorsers -- people who appear in the before-and-after pictures in many ads -- lost weight by engaging in rigorous diet and exercise programs.

It's a START, at least, but they've got a long way to go. Now if they could do something about those 200-word disclaimers that flash on the TV screen for 2 seconds...

Relacore was designed to help reduce stress-induced fat retention in the midsection by reducing cortisol. The best news is that Relacore can be used in conjunction with any sensible diet and exercise plan to help you lose weight. If you are overweight, you could greatly benefit from a personalized, online, diet, exercise and support program. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Use in conjunction with any sensible diet and exercise program. Individual results will vary. Results not typical. TRIMSPA products may not work for everyone. Results show that in 8 weeks, those in the active X32 group lost more than 3½ times more weight than those in the placebo group. The average weight loss in 8 weeks for X32 participants was 7.03 lbs., compared to the placebo group’s average of 1.96 lbs. Not for use by or sale to persons under 18 years of age. TRIMSPA products are intended to be used as part of a total weight loss program including a healthy diet and exercise. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Not intended to treat, prevent, mitigate or cure disease. Call 1-800-TRIMSPA or visit www.trimspa.com for suggested use and information. Consult physician before using. Read the label and follow directions. Do not use if pregnant or nursing. If you are allergic to shellfish, consult your doctor before taking glucosamine. Models have been compensated for photos; testimonials paid for commercial appearance. TRIMSPA and The TRIMSPA logo are registered trademarks of Nutramerica Corporation. Sexy - Powerful - Attitude and Be Envied are registered trademarks of Goen Technologies Corporation. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sure, why not?

I only got up to 20 miles on my long runs before the holidays blew up.
While traveling to take care of my Dad's arrangements, I did very little running (maybe 3-4 miles total), and didn't have a weekly long run. Agghh. I'm a bad, bad runnergirl.
I mostly drank a lot of sweet tea and ate a lot of food.
And gained at least 5 pounds.
I have't done much since I've been back except a spin class, and a 300 meter swim.
I have some kind of muscle spasm thing in my back that started on Christmas day and won't go away. It doesn't bother me when I run, and running seems to help it, but it keeps me up at night.
I tried swimming Friday but I can't because of the back thing.
Most of the good running places around where I live are all icy.
It's colder than hell here and I'm trying to convince myself to get on the treadmill. (it's not working.)
I went on a four-mile run this morning and just couldn't seem to keep going. I wasn't really tired, I was just realllllly bored. And cold.
and, I'm going through a lazy period.
I'd rather lie in a warm bath, and do sudoku puzzles and listen to Nora Emphron on CD than work out.
The 2007 Rock-n-Roll Arizona Marathon is in one week.
I'm not sure I'm ready for it.
I'm hoping that it won't hurt me that much since this is supposed to have been taper time.
I was hoping to do it in under 6 hours. Now I'm just hoping to be able to do it!

I hate winter, and other stuff.

I don't think there are quite the words to describe how angry I am at winter. I know it's useless to be angry at winter. I know this in my brain, but pissed I am. It sucks. I'm sick of trying to turn on sidewalks covered in snow and ice; I'm sick of turning a corner into a bitter chilled wind. I'm sick of all the wheezing. I get hot and bored on treadmills. (recall that unless it's precisely between 45 and 65 degrees, I'll pretty much bitch constantly when I have to run)

Now that I've got that out of my system...

This is an Xlab Saddlewing system. I got it for Christmas from Sweet Baboo, and mistakenly called it a flatwing in an easier post. This scrumptious little toy mounts behind your saddle and holds two air cartridges, two spare tubes, two extra bottle cages, and has a little hook on the bottom so that you can rack your bike pointing out, which makes it easier to make your getaway at T1.

When I did my two half-irons last year, I carried my spare tube (1) and cartridge in an empty water bottle in one of my two forward bottle cages. That left only one for fuel, and yes, I have an aerobottle, but in 56 miles this means I have to stop and refuel. Hopefully, the results of having this little baby is that I can cruise right through aid stations on the bike with a big smile and, "no, thanks!" it also means I can carry my own concoction of Nuun or Heed or whatever I choose to use that day and not have to mix it while coasting down the road.

Now if I could only figure out how to pee without stopping...

I would also like to share with you two cool pictures that I wrote about much earlier but only just now unpacked:

How cool is this? I never saw my Dad on a bike in my entire life. I came along late in my parents lives, relatively speaking, and never saw my Dad do anything more active than bowl or play golf. Apparently, though, he ran and cycled when he was younger. Who would ever believe our parents were ever this young, except when we see this stuff?

These picture was taken, I think, by my mother when my Dad was about 25 or so, around 1957.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

WHATJA GET??

Pirate wrote me from Scotland to find out the status of the local bike/running paths (sucky) and also asked me if Santa was nice to me this year (indeed, he was).

You remember this game when you were little? If you celebrated Christmas, you would make sure you said your thank you's, perhaps even talk to your relatives and say thank you. Some really sadistic parents would even make you start writing your thank you notes. However, as soon as your parents turned you loose you'd aim for the phone or your best friends house.

"WHATJA GET? WHATJA GET?" Then you'd each make your full report.

Now, I could call my sister or best friends from high school to play this game, but to be honest, telling them that I got three pairs of insanely sexy toe socks and an Xlab Flatwing system would be pretty useless. I can just imagine the blank looks now.

However, I'm never too old to play that game, and I have all my buddies in the triathlon blogosphere, so here's my report:

Through his intermediary, Sweet Baboo, I received:

  • a Sansa mp3 player (I will not run without music)
  • a RaceReady singlet, which is super-lightweight, and holds your number with built-in-snaps,
  • Race Ready LD shorts (RaceReady shorts have pockets across the back to hold stuff, and are so lightweight it's like running bare-butt naked).
  • an Xlab flatwing system, which goes off the back of your saddle and holds all manner of items such as cartridges, bottle cages, and an extra tube
  • 3 new tubular tires, in blue, to match Wunderfrost.
and, or course, 3 pairs of pink Injinji socks, which I resolve not to go on about, no matter how insanely sexy they may be.

I finally got all the Christmas decorations, tree, et cetera put away yesterday. Good riddance.

Now, I can start working on my next tri toy wish list...greedy, greedy.

...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

One long post to make up for the missing ones.

PART I

I would like to thank everyone for their support during this time. Your comments and well-wishes and really lifted my spirits. They make a difference, they really do.

I've arrived back home to about a foot of wet, heavy snow. I'd decided that I would take a day of bereavement from work tomorrow, so that I could spend a day alone. Maybe, I'd decided, I'll take long slow 15 or so run on the bosque trail, since I'm still in training for RR-AZ and missed my long run Sunday. The trail is, also, likely to be deserted. I could take a long crying bath. Watch sad movies. Clear out the emotional sinuses, as it were.

Then I was informed that school was canceled tomorrow. And, the bosque trail has not been cleared, and has about a foot of wet, heavy snow on it.

So, I get to spend the day on the treadmill, no doubt with the Jonster hanging around, "what are you doing? I'm hungry. I'm bored. I need new shoes. When am I gonna get some new pants? I'm hungry again. What are you doing now? I'm hungry again. I'm bored. I need, I need, I want, I want..."

Blah.


Okay. Try to lighten the mood here.

I like to do "best/wo
rst" when I do long trips, so here they are:
  • Best place to lay a bowling ball so that it never, ever rolls away. Ever. AMARILLO, TX.
  • Best place to smell the stockyards everywhere you go: AMARILLO, TX
  • Best place to be reminded by a billboard that your should beat your children often to remind them that He is the Lord Your God: MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE.
  • Best place to have many billboards remind you that Jesus is Your Risen Lord and Savior: MISSISSIPPI and ALABAMA.
  • Best place to have a warm, sympathetic person drawl to you softly and sympathetically, while giving you a big, warm hug, "well, bless your heart" ALABAMA.
  • Best good, clean "feel good" movie I've seen this year: THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
  • Best place to have Thai food: Surin West, Birmingham, Alabama (It's in the trendy, "Five Points" area. Where, as my sister said in a whisper, "all the gays live". I'm not kidding. She actually dropped her voice said the word "gay" in a whisper. I'm pretty sure she doesn't read my blog. At least, I hope not.)
  • Best place to make an absolute pig of yourself and get exactly what you want: TON's MOGOLIAN GRILL, ARLINGTON, TEXAS.
  • Coolest way to get your long rides in: Doing BREVETS, which are sponsored by the USA Randeneour club. Or something like that. Sweet Baboo did a 200K, which you can read about on his blog soon.
  • Best audio book Sweet Baboo and I listened to on our long trip: RIGHTEOUS MEN.
  • Best place to see one of your best friends who you've known for over --eeek!--25 years PLANO TEXAS.
  • Best hotel in west Texas: LUBBOCK HOLIDAY INN. The rooms are large. Did I say large? I meant huge. Did I say huge? I meant cavearnous. You can do your own imitation of Julie Andrews singing "The hills are alive" in your room.
  • Best thing to drink, anywhere, anytime, MILO's SWEET TEA. Now with splenda.
PART II

I took it to heart, recently, when Nytro expressed disgust over New Year's resolutionists. For all my hard-charging go-getting bullshit, I must concur. Especially since about 90% of the ones I made last year I did NOT meet.

I'm not even going to link to them. They are so pathetic. You'll have do a search.

So instead, I decided to set some non-resolutions. Here they are, things I will not do in 2007.

Let's start with some easy ones:
  1. I resolve not to eat any chlorella this year. I know; it's supposed to be good for you. But, it's so green. It is my personal philosophy that drinks are not supposed to be that particularly virulent shade of green, unless they are lemon-lime coolaid, which I personally believe to be one of the 9 wonders of the world. (The other one is Milo's Sweet Tea with Splenda. You can't get Milos Sweet Tea west of the Mississippi, I think. i've been told I could get it shipped to me. Sweet tea is one of the most redeaming features of the south that exist. The other is the big warm hugs and "well, bless your heart"'s) But I digress. Badly.
  2. I resolve not to punch out the next person that insists to me that whey is the superior protein and I'm really missing out. Particularly when that person is a pudgy, pasty counter clerk at GNC.
  3. I resolve not to buy any more equipment for my tribike with the goal of saving weight until I've taken more weight off me.
  4. I resolve not to complain quite as much about how I hate cycling. I still haven't 'made friends with' my saddle yet, we've been introduced, but are still eying each other warily, unsure of where this relationship is heading. I've got a line on a custom made saddle which a woman recently told me changed her life. She does 200K rides and up. Changed her life. More on this as it developes.
  5. I resolve not to try to best Dean Karnazes' 50-in-50 feat. Let's give Dean a chance to enjoy the afterglow for a while before I take that away from him, okay? (Just seeing if you were still with me)
  6. I resolve not to run any slower. This should be easy. I think if I did get slower I'd actually be moving backwards.
  7. I resolve not to be so bossy in public. I call is the "old teacher syndrome," where you forget that the whole world isn't school and you can't go around admonishing adults to behave, stop running in the hall, and no cutting in line!" Besides, I think it embarasses Sweet Baboo.
  8. I resolve not to eat any water chestnuts this year. You know the weird crunch disks in Chinese food? They freak me out. They are so creepy and crunchy. Ew.
  9. I resolve not to go on, ad nauseum, about my sexy toe socks. No matter how fabulous I think they may be. Even considering that I just got three new pairs of PINK ONES for the holidays.
  10. I resolve not to criticize every west Texas town about how it smells. After all, those are the races where people are always EXTRA friendly, so it sorta makes up for it.
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