Thursday, July 31, 2008

More thoughts on a shiny new life.

I'm up early because I woke up wheezing, and as anyone with asthma will tell you, once you've used that inhaler, sleep is elusive. I'm a bit, shall we say, Jittery? And I'm listening to this song from Scrubs.

I went for a run yesterday morning, a 5K easy run since I'm doing Barb's race on Saturday and I'm all about the taper. (I may not be all about the training, but I'm all about the taper.) So, it was dawn when I started out, and during my run I realized I can do this a lot from now on. I love morning runs, but they were a logistical impossibility in my previous life (as a teacher, I didn't have to be at work until 7:10 am, unless I wanted, like, a parking space). Then there were those mandatory 6:30 am parent-teacher meetings or staff meetings.
Being a teacher, for me, was a lot about being treated like a child, with an ever-present lack of autonomy and trust in my abilities.

Last week I panicked a little on my first day, when I started going over the files of my new clients, thinking,
But then, I sat down and started writing out treatment plans, and the best part of it was that I was doing that in my kitchen, and in a coffee shop, and at WholeFoods waiting for DreadPirate to join me for lunch, and also in the doctor's office while Mini-baboo got his athlete's physical, and it was fine.
In fact, it was better than fine! it was challenging and fun. It's what interests me, DUH; it's what I've been studying to do for several years. Treatment planning is somewhat similar to lesson planning, except I have much more autonomy because now, it's assumed that I'm a professional and know what I'm doing so I'm not micromanaged.
That's what the panic was about last week: that sudden loosening of restrictions that have been so firmly in place for the past 9 years are suddenly gone. And now, well, now I have get to think for myself.

My new job starts about 9:30 am. I could start later, but I only get paid for each client hour. After I signed a contract to work there, they started assigning me clients at an average of one every two days. I'll have a full roster soon. But I'll still have time for a morning run.

I am a morning person. I'm up early. I hate to be rushed, too, so I'm wildly excited about my new life in which I could work out for an hour or so in the morning, shower, get some coffee, then ride my bike to work. I am giddy at the thought that I can do this 3-4 times a week. I'm thinking about doing my first 50-miler next year, and when you start getting to those distances it's all about weekly volume. The skipping-of-the-weekly-run-and-then-just-doing-one-long-run-on-the-weekend just won't cut it.

And, it's a relaxed run. Just a run, for the love of running. And doing something for a living I will love even if it occasionally frustrates me. The occasional craziness of traveling for a marathon or triathlon, without having to call in "sick" and get permission. And let's not forget that they actually are glad I'm working there.

Ah, so this is how it feels to be a grown-up who likes their job! Who knew?


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Like a Stone.

You know, after my initial 30 pound drop in the spring of 2005, I've only lost about 8 pounds, but I've gone down a couple dress sizes. Some people who I think I can trust swear to me that I'm smaller. Sweet Baboo is one of these. I know he's not just doing it to get lucky, too.
Never mind how I know.


So, Lisa and Cindy and I went to Cochiti on Friday to do an open water swim. I didn't have my sleeveless wetsuit with me because I'd stored it someplace that I'd forgotten and remember, I. Am. Lazy and besides, the lake was warm and TRUST ME when I tell you that boyancy has never been a problem, Riiiiigggghhhh?

So we're swimming, and I'm winded. Really winded, but I'm not sure why, and I'm not really motivated enough to be curious, I figure maybe I just needed more sleep or caffein or something, whatever, so I'm swimming and swimming, and I'm breathless and feel like I'm working way too hard.
And, my goggles are fogging up. Of course they are. Then, Cindy says, "hey, you should just spit on them," which I've done before, but for now I just rinsed them out a couple times and kept swimming.

They keep fogging up so at one point, I stop swimming to spit and clear them out, but here's what happened next,
well, what happened next was,

I sank.


When I stopped waving my arms around in the water to hold myself up I just went straight down and hit the sandy lake bottom and luckily, I was already holding my breath (a bad habit of mine when I exert myself) and I had held my breath in anticipation of having to tread water only with my legs, but my legs weren't up to the job because, buddy, down I went. Like a stone.

Now a lot of you tiny bird people are probably scratching your head saying, "what's the big deal? everyone sinks when they stop treading water."

Oh, no, ho, ho, they DON'T! Those of us with lot of natural boyancy (read: fat floats, muscle sinks) don't sink. I myself am used to bobbing up and down in the water like a cork.
Plus, turns out that the reason I was so winded is that because my legs keep sinking I have to kick more now to keep myself level in the water.

That's a good thing, I think. A sign of progress. More muscle, less fat, right?
But boy, you can bet I looked very hard for my wetsuit because I think I need it from now on. I wasn't planning on wearing it at Barb's race Half Iron this Saturday, but I sure am now!

That's it. Just a weird thing. All I have to say.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Things I just Happen To Know Today

Brought to you by a temporarily unemployed ex-teacher with too much time on her hands.

1) There is an abundance of commemorative non-legal tender that is sold on TV during the day.

2) The sweetener in sugar-free chocolates may cause intestinal" discomfort." You may not have seen that warning on the bag in 4 point font. (I know I didn't.)

3) I'm of the opinion that most of the people who are out driving during the day are a) not in any hurry to get anywhere at any particular time, or b) paid by the hour to drive.

4) Applying to work for the federal government requires that you follow rules and mandates that appear to contradict what they have already told you not do.
For instance: You may be asked to provide a college transcript, while simultaneously being told that no part of this application may be submitted by telephone, email, or postal mail. I imagine working for the government will be kind of like trying to follow all the rules in the Bible all at once.

5) Less than a week to Barb's Race Half Iron. Weather's gonna be beautiful, says the forecast!

6) I have way too many cotton race t-shirts. Cotton t-shirts make me look fat. I have three drawers full of these damned things. I'm getting rid of them, today.

7) I think I have a popcorn hull stuck between my teeth, and it's bugging the crap out of me.

8) Sweet Baboo and I are going to test ready-to-drink SlimFast this weekend at our respective triathlons. If it works out, especially for Baboo, he'll be using it at the Lean Horse 100-miler, and I may consider using it at some point. I already know I'll like it, because I (tragically) am not picky about food.

9) Am I the ONLY one that thinks the big plastic-headed, non-speaking Burger King guy is just creeeeeeepy?


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Follow-up and pics.

I wrote that I did the Bottomless Triathlon a couple weeks ago, but I just now got the results.
The swim includes t1, and the bike includes t2, just so you know:

............400m Swim........14k Bike.............2.4 mile run = total time
2006......10:06.............34:02................32:51 = 1:16:59
2007.....11:13...............33.47................30.59 = 1:15:59
2008.....9:32................31:20................31:17 = 1:12:09

And, here are a couple pictures from the insanity known as "El Scorcho":



Someone has a birthday today. Here's your hint:

Go here, and wish her a happy birthday.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brave New Life

About a month ago I started thinking about the bittersweet feeling that went along with knowing that, on August 8th, a lot of people I respect the hell out of are going to head back to work. I felt then, about a month ago, that I would miss that. Probably. Certainly.
I wondered what life had in store for me. What would I "be" next? Would I ever "be" anything? Whatever I would "be", and would I "be" any good at it? I've always been "just" a classroom teacher. What am I now?

What am I good for?

So last week I walked into the counseling center on what was my first "full" day in my new life. I was now a contracted mental health counselor at the center where I've volunteered for about 3 years. I got there about 15 minutes early, and as I rounded the corner, the clinical director saw me, picked up the phone, pushed a button on the base, and held it out to me:

"Talk to her. She's in jail for DWI. Her best friend just died and her divorce became final. Really upset, doesn't know where her kids are. Wants to talk to someone."
So I spent my first twenty minutes as a counselor trying to make it meaningful to this distraught mother that her only phone call was to talk to me.

Afterwards, the director was shuffling through the papers on his desk and mentioned he was going up to the hospital to check on a homeless patient who swallows razor blades. Usually, she (the patient) would put epoxy on them, he told me, but this time, she didn't, and now she had internal injuries and an infection.
The clinical director said this matter-of-factly, the the way you or I might say, Usually, I take my flat kit with me, but today i didn't, so I couldn't fix my flat.

A small, silent thought formed in my head: please, pleasedon'tassignmetotherazobladewoman pleasedon'tassignmetotherazorbladewoman pleasedon'tassignmetotherazobladewoman...

It wasn't that I didn't know what to do, mind you, or that I doubted own abilities. It's just that I wasn't ready for something quite that intense on my first day as a new professional. This counseling center is very central to a lot of social services catering to homeless and indigent people, and now as a counselor, it was real. This is real. Real lives. Real, painful, lives.

Most of the patients where I work are working people who can't quite afford the full cost of a mental health professional, but about a third that come don't have anywhere else to go for various reasons. Nearly everyone gets some sort of help to pay for the services, and that number is on the rise. Some patients are dropped off by the police when police decide they don't need to be in jail for their erratic behavior; they need a counselor.
Some have families they go home to.
Others don't have any family any more - if they have relatives, those slam the phone down when they call.

And here I am, in the thick of it. In the midst of these lives.
These, painful, disheveled lives.

Another counselor was assigned the razor blade patient, but I was asked, Well, what do you think?

I think we need to find out why she swallows razor blades,
I offered. Then we'll know what to focus on. I went on to explain how her answer might differentiate her as having a psychotic disorder, PTSD, and/or a couple others that popped into my head and I thought, astonished, Holy cow, I actually know this shit.

The director nodded, signaling his approval (I hope) and hurried off.

I spent the day talking to more people, some in person, some on the phone, all of them in pain. On the way home, I listened to a song that kind of reminded me of the ruined and pain-filled lives that I often see at this counseling center, and that you might see on the street. Sweet Baboo has often worked with these kinds of lives as well, homeless veterans with severe and persistent mental illnesses.

But more importantly,

MUCH more importantly,

Well, I don't think I'll walk around feeling all sorry for myself, wrapped in my existential angst who am I? what am I? any more.

My new vocation will be a daily exercise in perspective, and, will include feeling the wonder at my outrageous fortune, my health, my ability to run, and all the love and friends I have in my life.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Long, Boring Post in which I think Out loud, mostly.

Now I remember why I don't spent a lot of time cycling around Rio Rancho.
There are these breaks in the roads...and I think they "fix" them by carving out a deep V-shape, filling it withrubber that sinks. So about every 10 feet or so you tires go WHUMPbump! I can feel the nuts and bolts shaking loose every time I try to ride in the neighborhoods around my house.

But anyway. So I've been DREADING this ride - it's very short, but intense. (I kept it short once I realized I'd left without my flat kit.)

But it really wasn't as bad as I've been fearing. I like to think that this is a trend - that things that look horrifying will actually not be as bad because 1) At least it's not 112 miles of hills, and
2) maybe I've actually progressed.

But anyway.

In other news I've decided to make my old Trek 1000 into a girly fast commuter. I figure that as I conquer my fear of hills I don't have much more of an excuse not to commute by bike. I mean, it rarely rains here, so I don't have much of an excuse. Plus, I'll get experience changing flats. I've never really changed one. Someone always stops and changes it for me. I know how, in theory.

But anyway. So the ole' Trek for commuting. Well, I have the lovely Pistachio, but as it turns out, she is an 8-speed 50-pound steel beast, lovely to look at but for hills and speed, Not. So. Much. The Trek 1000 would be an awesome commuter, given that it's quite a nice road bike and has a triple chain ring.

It's currently mostly silver, with some blue here and there. My goal is to fix it up with girlie accessories, and I'm going to make it a fun challenge by not spending money. How to do that you ask? Well, it involves starting with some of the insane amount of books and such that I have in the house and selling them on Ebay.

My goals are: new saddle, new saddle bag/flat kit thing, bar tape, bottle cages, and perhaps some decals and, if I can pull it off, a paint job. This will challenge me to get rid of a bunch of old crap, and as we all know, people. Will. Buy. Almost. Anything.
On ebay.

Things I already have: fenders, rechargable headlamp, a very cool commuter helmet with winter kit, rain cover, and rear red tail light. I can also borrow the cushy saddle off the lovely Pistachio temporarily which also has a tail light built in.

This winter, when I can't commute for a couple months because, not only am I Optimistic and Stubborn, but all of this is trumped by my general Cold Weenie-ness. I may just bat my eyes at DreadPirate and get her to show me how to strip down my bike and get it painted.

My idea is green and pink and I'm sooooo not interested in knowing that you think that sounds ugly. Thanks.

Let see how much stuff I can sell...


Sunday, July 20, 2008

La Scorchita race report.

(Edited 7:20 pm)
I've had my shower, so that now I don't smell like all kinds of stink and sweat and sweat and the Trinity River (apparently, you are il advised to try to cool off your legs in that thing. Who knew? Not me) So anyway. We prepared in advance by eating high-carb, high-sodium foods for supper. We also prepared for this race by getting in early (about 2 pm) to our hotel and napping and off all afternoon. We woke up around 10 and got ready, and then headed down to the park.

This was nice course, surprisingly well attended and volunteered for a race that starts are midnight. I was surprised at how fast everyone took off. What's that all about? You know, we told Mini-baboo once, "if look behind you and most of the field is back there, including some of the pros, you've gone out too fast."

I took off, wearing my headlamp and iPod, with the 15.5 milers at 12:10 am. (Yes, that's right: midnight.)
Make no mistake about it: It was humid and hot. By the end of the 15.5 miles I was stinky and wet. I did my one-minute walk, one-minute run thing and PR'd, surprising myself: 15.5 miles (25K) in 3:09. My average pace was around 12:09 or something like that. I didn't carry any water, as there were two aid stations on the 3.1 mile course about 1-1/2 mile apart. I carried my own powergels, my inhaler, and some SportLegs. I got a nice little finisher's medal.

My one complaint: I couldn't find my way back to the parking lot. There were no signs and nobody was headed back that way when I was, so I wound up walking 2 more miles to find it. That's a pretty small complaint, though, considering it was mostly my fault. By the time I'd walked most of the way back through the course I was laughing hysterically and muttering to myself, "Dude, where's my car?"
Then after a while, it wasn't funny any more. See, my stride has changed--I'm shuffling less from the knee down, and instead my legs are swinging more from the hip. The result of this is that my hips hurt like hell after a 15 mile run! OWOWOWOWOWOWIE!

I got back to the car and was grateful to find a clean dry pair of running shorts in the back. I changed, stretched a little, and then curled up in the front seat and slept for a couple hours until Sweet baboo knocked on the door.

Sweet Baboo did well, too, in the 50K. His time was about 5:45. I'll let him tell you all about it. He did mention something about how, due to a lack of planning on his part, "Mr. Johnson, et al, are not happy," because he didn't wear the right underwear.

Blink. Blink.


I had to think about it for a while.

Mr. Johnson? Who the hell is Mr. Johnson, and why would he care about Sweet Baboo's underwear? Wait, was Mr. Johnson one of the Marathon Maniacs that we had our pictures taken with?

Then I thought for a moment.

OOOOHHHHhhhhhh! I get it. Mr. JOHNSON.

I get it.

Okay, we go to iHop later. Right now, I shower and then I sleep.


Friday, July 18, 2008

I hate hills just a little less these days.

This week...

I finally got my license, sorta, and signed a contract down at the counseling center. I is all legit an' stuff.

Today Cindy and I did some hill climbs near my house...I've seen, but never climbed these hills. It was hot. I took my trusty Trek 1000 with the triple chain ring out, not testing it beforehand. I hadn't ridden this bike in about 2 years.

I don't recommend this, by the way. Especially if other people have used said bike in the interim. Turns out, as I figured out as soon as I mounted it, that it was set up for my much taller son Mini-me to ride. I could barely extend my legs to the bottom of the pedal stroke and I could barely reach the bars. But I CLIMBED those hills.

As ShyTryGirl says, do you what you hate. I used to hate running, and then I did a bunch of marathons, and now I love it. Now I hate cycling hills. Is there any hope that one day I'll love cycling hills as much as I love running them?

Both Cindy and I forgot our Garmins, and MapMyRide is being a bit, shall we say, BITCHY today and not giving any elevation profiles, but soon I'll share the elevation with you, so that you'll be aghast and amazed that I got off my fatt but and actually cycled some HILLS.

Meanwhile, in one of my many efforts to economize, I've switched over to SparkPeople (thanks to TigerLily who told me about it). Both WeightWatchers are pretty good, but SparkPeople is free, and also includes a gentle nudge toward a more balanced diet. I've been trying it for nearly a week now, and I have to say I'm impressed - gives you lots of options. Apparently the founder of eBay, after selling it falling buttz over heels into money, started this because he wanted to do create a website for people to help them lead healthier live that would be free. You get points for doing various things and I'm a sucker for my finish medals will testify.

I've started doing upper body weight stuff: side laterals, front raises, tricep extensions, and shoulder presses, crunches, something called the "plank" and pushups. I do these twice a week, for about 40 minutes now. I think I have pretty good swim form, but my upper body is pretty noodly. I tried a "plank" and nearly passed out when I got to 60 seconds of it.
However, I am proud to report that I can the following:
Two. Whole. Pushups.

Not the girly ones, either.

After posting this, I'm going to finish packing for the La Scorchita, which starts tomorrow night at midnight in Fort Worth. Because I am all kinds of crazy these days.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Assassination attempt #1

Today I went over to Cindy's house and she tried to kill me.

Oh, sure, she called it "hill repeats," but I'm telling you, even her little friendly dogs were sizing me up for a meal. The third time up this nasty 12% hill in the hot desert sun I came to a stop and then fell over when I tried to get my foot back in the pedal.

But I'll have my revenge. Friday, she's coming over to my house. We'll do hill repeats.

it, hill repeats.

In other news, I've introduced some upper body weight stuff into my workout routine, to give me more power in the swim. I'm also swimming with paddles now. It's kind of pathetic that I've not done this before - I mean, the weight routine. As I'm writing this, about 6' behind me, is a weight bench and several dumbbells. Now that my "main" triathlon season is over, I'm going to focus more on power stuff for the next couple months, and then focus on power, strength, swimming, and running for the off-season. I have this fantasy that I'll show up for my first triathlon next season and people will gasp at how fast I am.

Yeah. Well. I have that fantasy every year. It never pans out. Nice to fantasize, though.

So here's my plans, such as they are, for the rest of the year:

August: Barb's race on the 2nd, my first girl race. Then the New Mexico marathon on the 31st.

September: A bit o' craziness called the “Colorado Relay.” DreadPirate's brain child is a bunch of New Mexico Outlaws all sweaty and stinky in 2 vans traversing 170 miles of Colorado in 24 hours. We'll each do 3 run legs, for varying totals.
It's a road trip. It's an ultra-relay. It's a party! It's all three!

October – I'm doing a 50K trail run in Palo Duro canyon.

November – I'll be volunteering at IM Arizona and probably sign up for IMAZ 2009.

December – I really, really, really want to do the Borax Death Valley Marathon. Ooo, “Borax Death Valley Marathon.” Doesn't it just sound all cool and tough? C'mon, say it with me:

Death. Valley. Marathon.

January – I've tentatively planned to do my longest run yet, the Ghost Town 38.5. My 12th marathon or longer distance, and my third ultra marathon. Kinda hoping Baboo will sherpa this one. Then I can get lots of sympathy and "there, there."

After that, well, who knows. It'll be cold, and I'll be feeling lazy, so we'll see. I am determined not to chicken out on the swims this winter, Pirate. No matter how insane it seems to be in a, admittedly heated, pool in January when there's snow on the mountain. I'll be there.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Found. Eaten. Oh, Help me!

Found this at the grocery store today. i went int there to get some fat-free frozen yogurt.

yeah. So...

Have I ever mentioned how much I LLLlllllooooooove coconut? I even have coconut cologne that my daughter bought me from Bath and Body works

Oh, boy....

The fact that this stuff exists means that the world has become a very dangerous place.


And then there's this 25K Fun Run in Fort worth...

So, we're sitting in bed the other night tip tapping away on our laptops and Sweet Baboo informs me that he just got an email from the race director over at the "El Scorcho" ultra-marathon and three people have dropped out. It was previously FULL.
He says this to me, very excited about my new opportunity. And with an expectant air.

Okay, so let me back up and tell you about El Scorcho, and why I've been (lovingly) mocking Sweet Baboo for the past month or so over his decision to run this ultra.
First off, the name. There's that. I mean, let's just say, hypothetically, that I ask you if you want to do an ultramarathon with me, and you were inclined to such nonsense, and let's just say that I tell you nothing more than the name:
El Scorcho.

What would be your response? Right. Okay, well that was mine, too. So, you get it. It's hot. But wait! That's not all...
1) It's in Fort Worth, Texas
2) In JULY.
3) It starts at MIDNIGHT
4) You run the same 5k loop 10 times.
5) If you wish, you can sign up for "La Scorchita" instead, which is a 25K, and run the same 3.1 mile loop 5 times.
6) It SOLD OUT. Quite some time ago.

But, I have to say they have a fun attitude about it. Here is an excerpt from their website:

Why run El Scorcho?
Because it strokes our egos to have a bunch of crazies come out and run our race. Because a marathon is only the beginning. Because toenails are overrated. Because pain is enlightening...

I have to say, I love ultrarunning mostly because I love ultrarunners. They are completely laid back, like the hippies of the endurance sports world.

Yeah, dude - it's hot, it's humid, but it's alllllll good.

So, yeah. I had him put my name in. Of course I did. After Sweet Baboo said that there might be three openings, my mouth said, "Sure, why not?" like it always does,
while my brain was still going, "uhhhhh....."

We'll see if I get in.

So, with any luck (?) at all, next Saturday July 20th I'll start running 15 miles at midnight in the dark, with a bunch of other people.

At some point I have GOT to get my brain to work faster than my mouth.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bottomless lakes Triathlon, 2008 Race Report

Okay, so this is the third time I've done this one. Breakfast was a powerbar 2 hours out and a double latte gel 20 minutes out. This triathlon takes off in a tiny little alkaline lake (pTOO! pTOOOEY!) that's warm enough without a wetsuit (about 68 degrees was our estimation). I had some tell me that wear it for security because of the buoyancy (the lake is really clear and about 80 feet deep.) I wore my Point zero three fastkin, because I wanted to test it in a shorter triathlon to see how it went.

Swim: I was told that I was maybe 6th or 7th woman out of the water. I think my swim time was 8 minutes or so, which is really not bad when you consider that I've been extremely lax in my swim training. The fastskin came off easily, I slipped it down and stepped out of it as I walking toward the transition area, and then started running through transition.

14k Bike: I slipped into my bike shoes, no socks, and took off. I ALWAYS forget that this road rides from start to finish like it was paved by hand by blind monkeys but nevertheless, it's a fast, fun, curvy with a couple of hills that will get your heartrate up a bit. I R-r-r-r-ode the b-b-b-bike over the b-b-b-bumps up and d-d-d-d-down the h-h-h-h-ills until I got to the f-f-f-f-inish, averaging about 16.2 miles per hour, I think. I drank Accelerade from my aero bottle and came in feeling strong and good and then slipped on my running hat and running shoes (again, no socks) and headed out to the 4k run.

So, then I hit the run: I grabbed a cup of water BIG MISTAKE!! I can barely drink standing still without choking, much less when running, and when I start choking, then it's all over. I become the flem monster. I cough until I gag. I grabbed for my Albuterol inhaler, and guess what? It was gone. I always keep it in my cleavage (comfortable, trust me) but today, it was gone. Probably floating in the lake or something.

Sooooo I took off wheezing and coughing and then got a side stitch DAM-DAM-DAMMIT! But I ran slowly, and managed to finish, watching most of the women pass by me effortlessly. I was hoping for a faster time than this, but I was happy just to beat last year's time.

Results: First place Athena. This gives me 38 points in the Southwest Challenge Series in the Athena division, with 4 races. The two women ahead of me have 7 races (52 points) and 5 races (41 points).

My time: I dunno. about 1:12 or something, which would be 4 minutes faster that last year. My watch says I had two splits: The first one was 1:12:02 and the second one was 1.73 seconds. I thought I was hitting the split button, but--no. All in all, I was pretty happy with my performance, and I know that if I hadn't coughed up a lung on the run, I'd have done better.

Some friends of ours took pictures, and if I can get some copies, I'll post 'em!

Coming up:
Juny 19th, La Scorchita (maybe) 15 mile run. Starts at midnight in Ft. Worth. More on this later.
June 26th, Odessa Sprint Triathlon
August 2nd, Barb's race half Iron


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Marathon #9 on the Calendar

Okay, Coeur D'Alene was my 8th official marathon in my 8th official state ever, and one of my goals was to get my 10th in by the end of this year so that I can join the 50 states club. There's no real practical reason to do this. It's just that, well, it's a goal, and goals are nice to have, so, why not do one in my home town?

The New Mexico Marathon is on August 31st, and that will be state #9 (and the 6th one year) The course is one where the first 16 miles I've actually ridden my bike on. Also if I sign up by July 30th, I get a "free" wicking T-shirt.
Because. I can always use a free shirt. To add to all my other free shiRts. I'm calling out my local peeps: Dread Pirate, SWTriGal and H, Cindy and Lisa to do this one too.
C'mon, girls! I mean, it's a FREE TECH SHIRT!
(for only $68)

Added later: There's also a HALF marathon going at the same time.

According to this course profile. It's not as bad as it looks, but it appears that you run up to the top of a mountain and then roll downhill for four miles.

Seriously, that first uphill will get your attention and as the downhills can be hard on the quads, it's good to practice them.
And coolness: I can practice on the course itself!

Oh, one more thing: Em. >Sheepish grin and blush<

I was in the local paper.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Coming up, Random week stuff.

1) Hold onto your pants! This weekend, the Bottomless Sprint Triathlon. It was at this tri in 2005 that I said, "I'm definitely going to try this triathlon thing" back in 2005. I did it in 2006 and in 2007. This year I'd like to beat last year's time by at least a couple minutes. It's a mini-sprint: 400m/9 mi/2.4 mi., but it's super hot when you finish and the run is an out and back along blacktop that is not shaded. In July. In Southern New Mexico. All the time you're racing, there are loud cicadas singing (don't love that term, "singing"?) actually they're SCREAMING, adding to your perceptions that it's just, well, f***ing hot.
SSSsssssssssss (dramatic hot-sounding noise effect).
And yet, for some reason, I always remember this little sprint fondly and can't wait to do it again. Crazy.

2) Mini-baboo is home. So, once again, there is missing food, dirty dishes laying around, and lack of privacy. Mini spent 6 weeks in Dallas working in an un-airconditioned shop changing tires, moving furniture, and other sundry stuff. He used his earnings to purchase a Comprehensive Encyclopedia Set Nintendo Wii. Appears to be enjoying it.

3) Mini is a senior this year. Shouldn't there be a checklist or something? Like: take senior pictures, take ACT, order invitations, etc. I know and have accepted the possibility of this year being a giant money hole. I just need to be able to plan how fast the money drains down the hole.
toothpaste for dinner
4) Speaking of holes, once again I have to ask myself if there is possibly a bigger time hole than Facebook. I'm not saying I don't use it. I just saying I waste a lot of time there.

5) Someone I know referred to a random blog I found on the Internet (nobody you know) as a "brain toilet." That is still the funniest thing I've heard in a while.

6) Tonight is #6 of my summer classes. That means there's only 2 weeks left of summer school. I've been taking classes in PTSD and Substance Abuse. There isn't a whole of open-mindedness in these classes. It's all pretty lockstep, "this is how we treat this."
I just nod and practice my favorite phrase, "Well, you've given me a lot to think about."
What this phrase really means:
"I don't agree with what you say and I think you're an idiot for saying it but in the interest of diplomacy and because you are either grading me on this and/or a future colleague, I'll say something really passive aggressive that you, in your nacissistic way, will take for agreement."

7) Tomorrow, the state of New Mexico will probably finally approve my provisional counseling license. I'm pretty happy about that.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Oldest woman to make the American Olympic swim team.

Torres, 41, Sets Records At Olympic Swim Trials

Click here to listen to the story. Morning Edition,July 7, 2008 · The U.S. swimming trials were held in Ohama, Neb., to decide who would make the Olympic team. Steve Inskeep talks with USA Today columnist Christine Brennan about who made the team and the records set by 41-year-old Dara Torres, the oldest American swimmer to ever make the Olympic team.


New York Times Story: "A Swimmer of a Certain Age"


Hell, yeah. You go, girl!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The following is offered as consolation for those who think they're dumber than me.

So, Tiger Lily and I are cycling on Old Route 66 east of Albuquerque and we're headed back in, and at one point she motions to a fork in the road ahead. "See where it splits over there? We're going to the left."
Left. She said LEFT.
She said it loudly, and clearly.

"Okay," I said. Because I had heard her, loudly and clearly, say LEFT.

And here's what my brain decided, as it listened to her and looked at the split in the road, was:
We're going THIS way.because this way is left.


So I took off - I was in the zone......speeding along, legs pumping, and I headed right at the split, just like my brain said to do, I was thinking, "this must lead up over to Tramway Road."

Then, Holy. Cow. I was thinking, as several cars and motorcycles went by me at a high rate of speed.
There is a LOT of traffic out today, I thought, as I sped up. The road became beautiful, clean, and even.

What a great road, I thought as I sped along on the nice, clean, even shoulder surface.

A semi sped by me, leaving a gusting wake.

Goodness! why, this road is practically a

Just then, my phone rang.

Annoyed, I reached for it. At first, I couldn't quite make out what she was saying, from the noise of the traffic.

Then I finally heard it, "YOUR OTHER LEFT! COME BACK!

oH. $#it.

Which is what I almost did, when I realized where I was.

So, okay - if you did something really dumb today, or hell, this week, this might make you feel better.

No need to thank me. It's what I'm here for:

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Random stuff.

Today's LOLCat picture is for Pirate. -->

So today, I went on about an 11 or 12 mile LSSR. (Long, slow, sweaty run). I'm not sure about the distance because for some reason Msr. GarMEAN wouldn't turn on, so I just ran for about 2-1/2 hours. Slow. Sweaty. It was in the mid-seventies when I started, and low eighties when I finished.

The spaghetti I ate last night seems to have helped, because I felt pretty good. I also started the day off with a Power Bar. For some reason, it takes about a half hour for me to eat these things, which appear to be combination of cement and various sugars. I made the mistake of setting an unwrapped one down on my kitchen counter, 5 minutes, tops. Then, I couldn't get it back up.

I finally pulled it off the counter, leaving parts of it behind. I tried scraping it off with a knife, until Baboo finally expressed concern that I was removing countertop instead of removing the Power Bar. Finally a combination of a Formula 409 soak and scouring pad got it up, and am I crazy for worrying that something I'm EATING is that hard to remove from a Formica countertop?

I drank some Accelerade on the run, and stupidly, only took one bottle. I did surprisingly well, though, and chose a way back that was mostly in the shade, but when I got back to the car, I gulped down the other bottle so hard and fast it was running out of my mouth and down my chin. Then I took a cold bath and ate some leftover spaghetti.

Sweet Baboo and many other Outlaws went out for a 100 mile bike ride.

100 mile. Bike. Ride.

Hey, are you coming?

Uh, NO, Thanks. I'll pass, thanks. I'm doing a 40 mile tomorrow. But hey, don't use up all the fun, okay?

When I got home, I looked up problems with Garmin online, and then licked my finger and ran it over the contacts on the back. Then, it worked. Magic mom spit. It ain't just for faces anymore.

Anway, I'm tired. Mini-Baboo comes back from 6 weeks in Dallas today, and I have to put all the passwords and locks back in everything and then take a nap.


Friday, July 04, 2008

How not to recover from an Ironman PSA.

Well, in the past two weeks since Iron man, I've run 15 miles, biked about 45 miles, and swum about 2000 meters. Not all at once. it was spread out over mostly this week.

I was surprised to find, as the week went on, I just wore flat down. This morning I swam for about 30 minutes at Lake Cochiti - which, FYI, is warm enough at 65 degrees to eschew the wetsuit and wear my point zero3 fastskin instead - and then went for a 2 mile run afterwards.
Did you read what I just wrote? A TWO. MILE. RUN.

And I was barely able to keep running.

True, the first mile was all uphill, but still: barely able to keep running. Tired legs. Breathless. I complained to Baboo about it and he quizzed me about what I'd been doing this week. Finally, he said, "You can't recover from an Ironman AND be on a diet. You need more carbs." I looked that up and, as usual, he's right:

According to this website, factors that can slow recovery include these that I've been doing for the past two weeks:
* Delay in intake of carbohydrate after exercise.
* Inadequate amounts of carbohydrate.
* Reliance on carbohydrate-rich foods with a low glycemic index.
* High-intensity exercise during recovery.

Oooo. There's that whole "high intensity" thing. For me, most of the time I'm moving I'm honestly going as fast as I can; running any slower would be, well, walking. Or standing still. So, yes, I've been running "hard" and biking "hard". Breathlessly. And drinking sugar-free drinks.

And little did I know, that even though my weight was dropping, I was depriving myself of much-needed carbs that I needed for recovery. I wasn't having problems when I was training with this system, and I figured recovery would be the same.

So well, now I know. I'm eating a large bowl of spaghetti and I have a 12-mile flat run tomorrow, so we'll see how I do. I'll fuel with sports drinks and gels and stop starving myself, at least this week. I've reset my WeightWatcher's Online points thingy to "maintenance"(you can do that) just until after this next half iron, and then I'll carefully go back into weight loss mode after that.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ironman: What it means to me now.

I guess everyone has something different that their goal means to them...and different goals that are meaningful.

I mentioned before that I had a voice that had been dogging me for most of my adult life...I think that to some degree, a lot of people have little nagging voices. It's just that for some of us, the voices are louder. Some people can drown out their bad thoughts with a 5K. For me, it took several marathons, a second master's degree, and a second Ironman.
Whew! That was a loud, incessant voice.

A loud voice that sounded a lot like my Dad.
But anyway.

So now what? Well, now, when I hesitate at some task, my brain pokes as me, but only when I'm not doing what I should be doing. It says things like, Hey, you did an ironman, remember? You can do this. For instance, I got a mammogram after putting it off for three years. I told myself, "Why do I keep putting this off? I've run 3 marathons in the past year, and I can't get some dinky mammogram?" So then I got the mammogram.

As it turns out, a mammogram is a lot easier than running a marathon.

So yesterday I was doing a 5 mile run. Okay, so it was a 4.8 mile run. Whatever. Anyway, one of my favorite routes is very hilly. There's about .25 mile of flat, the rest is uphill or downhill, and it's an out-and-back. My legs are still a bit tired, I think, and as I was climbing up the longest climb my legs were achy and draggy and I was breathless. I stopped and walked for a bit.

Then, Hey, walking girl! You did an ironman. This is an 8K. You can run this!

This happens a lot now. Things I used to put off doing I just go ahead and do them. Even mundane things are affected. Writing papers for school. Defrosting the refrigerator. Whatever.

seems hard now. Make no mistake about it; I'm Still. Lazy. but my procrastination is less frought with fear than it used to be.

And that voice? Well, it sounds remarkably like my voice now.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

First half of the year down.

It's July 2nd, which means that half the year has passed. I set some goals at the beginning of the year, and wanted to assess how I was doing. Here's my totals so far for 2008:
2008 totals
Bike:1,263.7 Mi
Run:430.86 Mi
Swim:34910 M
Strength:2h 30m
Hiking:2h 00m
Pilates:4h 30m

Here's how I'm doing on my 2008 goals so far.
☐ Means that I've made progress, ☑ means I reached it, and ☒ means I haven't really started yet.

1. Become a "marathon maniac" this year.

☑ 2. Do a 50K run this year.

☑ 3. Finish Ironman Coeur D'Alene before midnight, without crying.

4. Get down to about 150 pounds. (68 kg or 10.7 stone) Current weight: 156. and holding steady.

5. Get my professional counselor's license.

6. I resolve to lower the amount of fat in my diet. On the short list of things that must be avoided: Cheap nachos.

7. Run a sub-10-minute pace on a 5K. Current per mile pace (5k) PR: 10:16

8. Bring my run volume up to at least 20 miles a week, 3 weeks/month.

9. Clean out the den/study.

10. Write more silly haikus. Here's one, for Tea:
Ah, the Ironman!
Cheering crowds, gels, gatorade,
and golden showers!

11. I will not consume wheat grass juice and chlorella.

12. Quit complaining about my job or get another job. I resigned from my teaching position, and am now waiting for the state of New Mexico to issue my provisional mental health counselor's license and my ticket to take the NCE.

13. Talk more like a grownup. Cha, I'm like, TOtally grown up. And stuff.

14. Be a better person, make the world a better place.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July 1st.

Happy Anniversary, Sweet Baboo:

He who is my finder of lost things, and buyer of things sparkly and perfumey, and (and now, buyer of all things that for me that help me go fast ) has put up with me for eight years now.
That's no small feat, believe you me.

Right now, he's listening to "Polonaise" with great enjoyment. When I hear it, I think of BugsBunny. Some of you know what I'm talkin' about. Yeah. You do.

I lose my stuff constantly. He finds what he can, and replaces and insures the rest.

He's very neat, and tidy. I'm, well, not.

He's quiet, calm. I'm noisy. Frantic.

Yet somehow, it works, and it works very well.

Here's last year's anniversary post. Longer. Mushier. Uncut.



 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...