Thursday, September 3, 2009

Race Attempt: XTERRA Lake Tahoe

Last weekend was weird. I had registered for XTERRA Lake Tahoe after Portland because I thought I might need more points to get to Nationals. Like two days after I registered I got my invite to Nationals, but decided to go to Tahoe anyway because I had already paid. My friend Carrie was supposed to come and it was going to be all fun and road-trippy.

It was a little different than that.

Carrie had to fire two people at her job so she had to stay home and cover their shifts. I had booked a hotel already, so was just going to go solo. On Thursday my friend S (we have met/facebooked/seen each other in yoga class, but had never hung out) came to the shop and asked if I just wanted to go with her and her friend D that were both racing. I said sure, but she had to drive because I didn't have enough room in the car for three people and bikes and stuff.

She picked me up Friday morning and informed me after we left that she had no AC in her car. We had to drive through the valley. It was really really hot even before we got to the valley. Shit. Not good.

It was really hot.

We picked up D in Stockton, and it turns out I had met him in Folsom in March this year. He wanted to go swimming at UoP and it was hot so we did. I got sunburned. Eventually we got back on the road and were really hot. I got a popsicle in Auburn, and was only mildly uncomfortable by the time we got to Incline Village. We stayed at D's friend's house, and I sat around while S and D worked on their bikes.

We picked up packets and got dinner Friday night, and had an extensive debate over where people would be sleeping. D took the couch, S the air mattress, and I took the floor.

Race morning I went pee and it was orange. I don't handle the heat well at all.

I tried to eat and drink but had the usual race morning jitters, packed my stuff up and waited around because D kept forgetting things and made us late. We got to the race at 7:15, and the race started at 8:00. So not good for my control freak sensibilities.

I rushed through setting up my transition, body marking, and getting into my wetsuit, found Dave and Meiling (my XTERRA usuals) and headed to the water with Meiling. This was the same course as XTERRA Nationals last year, without the 35 degree weather and recent rain. The trek from transition to the water was a long one, and I didn't bring shoes. I got in the water for a couple minutes, but had to get out and line up before I got much warm up time.

The swim: 1500 meters (two loops, beach run)

Nothing terribly noteworthy. I felt steady, didn't get clobbered, saw a crayfish (or crawdad? I don't know). Felt like crap on the beach run, second loop was more of the same. I love swimming in that lake, the water is so beautifully clear and even tastes good. Ran/walked towards transition while I wrestled with my wetsuit.

Meiling was already in transition. WTF?!?! She has never beat me out of the water! Right after I got there, Dave arrived. Apparently that was a terrible swim for me.

The bike: 22 miles of climbing galore.

I felt like hell. On the long climbs I had no power. My eyes wouldn't focus fully. Walking took more effort than usual. I thought about quitting every five minutes, but there are no easy bail-outs on the course so you might as well finish. What was fast smooth single track last year was deep sand this year. It was hot. It was a full-on trudge-fest.

I don't remember my foot starting to hurt at any one point, I just remember it killing me. Walking hurt, weighting the foot hurt, and standing up while descending was killer. I finally made it back to transition and couldn't put weight on the ball of my left foot. I sat down at my transition and burst into tears. Meiling, who was already done with the whole race, rushed over and took me to the medical tent where they gave me pain killers and ice. I probably sat there for an hour, enough time for Dave to finish, awards to be held, and the food line to die down.

I didn't run.

Finishing the race wouldn't make or break anything, and Nationals was a month away. If something was really wrong, running might just make it worse.


After the race S, D, and D's friend Nick decided they wanted to go to the beach. Apparently I didn't get the memo that we weren't going back to the house after the race, so I hung out in my race suit for four hours or so, while they hung out in clean clothes. I got sunburned. Nick turned out to be an apparently well-known MMA fighter, so we learned all about boxing and crap like that. Eventually everyone decided they were hungry, and S and I both had to convince D that we should go back to the house, seeing as I was still wearing a chamois.

My three cohorts decided they wanted to have sushi for dinner, and I agreed since most sushi places have non-fish options. This place had no such options. I had vegetable tempura and edamame for dinner. The chef came over to geek out over Nick and offered him and his friends "treats" (apparently weed-laced desserts). So random.

At about 8:30 S and I finally headed home. It was still hot in the valley. I got home at about 12:30.

I think I'm still dehydrated.

Not my favorite weekend.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

XTERRA Portland Race Report

After about a month of shlumping around and not wanting to do anything, I decided I needed to get back into the racing routine. I got a new coach, a new bike (the pink bike is moving on), and a new race focus. First up: XTERRA Portland.

I have family just south of Portland that were more than happy to put me up for a couple days, so I packed up the trusty old Corolla, and drove up to Pleasanton on Wednesday night for my Thursday morning departure. I figured getting past most of the potential Bay Area traffic spots would make my morning a little shinier. It did. Thursday morning I re-packed the car, picked up a breakfast burrito, water, and Diet Dr. Pepper, and hit the road.

The drive wasn't bad, I got to work on my car singing in a big way. Snapped pictures of Mount Shasta as I drove by, and kept my front seat stocked with a variety of car food. My friend Katy from Fresno was taking a road trip to Seattle and was about six hours ahead of me, so it was kind of fun to see where she was in relation to me (via FB status, of course). I stopped in Eugene to visit my friend Andy and to stretch my legs for about half an hour. I had my first run in with the "Oregon is full-service" gas stations, and made it my aunt Mike and Mary's house in time for a late-ish dinner.

Friday I hung out with my uncle (who very accurately compared himself to Shrek, he's a freaking giant), visited with my grandparents who I hadn't seen in years, saw my other aunt Mary Della who was going in for back surgery while I was racing, and went to (Mike's) Mary's vet hospital, where I was forced to play with a Corgi puppy, watch a Mastiff get X-rayed, and assist in a Poodle's ultrasound. Terrible stuff, I tell you!

Saturday morning I got all geared up and drove to the race venue. It was being held at a lake south-west of Portland, and my mapquest directions were two pages long, so I was nervous about getting there in time. For some reason Mapquest had me avoid all major roadways and take farm roads, which was pretty, but a little weird. All went smoothly and I ended up getting there way too early. Oh well!

Once the race people got check-in set up I picked up my packet and set up my transition, then sat around a bunch. I ran into one of my customers and his girlfriend who were racing, so at least I knew someone. They introduced me to a girl that moved from the Bay Area to Portland last year and had just done an Ironman, and we compared "I have literally only swam/biked/run XX times since the race" stories. She was nice.

The pre-race meeting was interesting. This was the first time an XTERRA had been put on in the Portland area, so the race organizers were definitely hoping they did things right. The website didn't say if wetsuits were allowed. The race director informed us that the water was warm enough that the pros were not allowed to wear suits, and age groupers were REQUIRED to wear suits, per USA Triathlon rules. People freaked out. Some baggy swim trunk-clad hillbilly guy started screaming at the race director. Someone eventually informed the race director that the actual USAT rule was that suits were optional, so Mr. Swim Trunks could relax.

When the race director described the bike course he said "at one point you will come to a sign saying 'Bridge is out' and an arrow pointing to a detour toward the left. You are going right. Mandatory dismount, cross the bridge, and scale the cliff on the other side."

Hmmmmm....that's different.

The swim: 1000 meters

Nothing terribly eventful here. The beach start was spread out enough that there wasn't much traffic, and things went pretty smoothly. I got out of the water feeling surprisingly good considering my lack of swim training lately. There was one weird spot getting out of the water where the regular dirt stopped and the beach started that required stepping up a 3 foot embankment. It was slippery when I got to it, and apparently as more people used it, it got so slick that people were falling on their faces and coming into transition covered in mud.

T1 took way too long.

The bike: supposed to be 25k

OMG, it was freaking gorgeous! We started out on the road, heading counter-clockwise around the lake, and dropped into some singletrack that took us back in a clockwise direction. I saw one girl in my age group go by me on the road section, and dropped into the singletrack behind another girl in my AG. I stayed on her wheel through the section. When we got spit back out on the road, I think she was a little freaked out as we had seen a guy that destroyed his front wheel, and the course was super twisty and rooty and technical (and awesome!)

We continued heading clockwise around the lake, riding short road sections and dropping into the trees. It was seriously the best singletrack I have ridden. There were bridge crossings, short steep climbs, mud, trees, meadows, and awesome descents. I stopped to check on one lady who had crashed and cut her knee open, and was afraid another guy was hurt, but turned out to be picking and eating blackberries mid-race. I picked off another girl in my AG, but knew the super fast girl was still up there. As far as I knew I was still on the podium!

Way at the end of the bike leg (which was at least two miles longer than it was supposed to be) we came to the bridge detour. What used to be a bridge with a railing (just like one I had earlier crashed into with my hip) was just two 2x6 planks covered with wire for traction over a stream. I shouldered my bike and walked across, only to be faced with a wall of dirt. About 15 feet above where I was standing was where we were supposed to continue on our way. I didn't see a way up...WTF? I let a guy who was behind me go in front and watched him shoulder his bike with one arm and pull himself up the wall using tiny foot holes and a rope that was hanging from a tree at the top. Holy crap! I hauled myself up, thanking my lack of self-control for having a light bike and laughing with the girl that was behind me. Shortly thereafter, we arrived in transition once again.

T2 was faster than the first one, but still slow.

The run: originally 4.35 miles, extended to 5.5 miles on race morning.

The run sucked for a couple of reasons. I didn't eat enough on the bike so I was pretty cooked by the time I got to the run. The course was two loops that started with singletrack, had a long section on the road, and hooked back onto the dirt that was made treacherous with lumps of grass and rocks and bees. I didn't get hurt or stung, but I had no energy and walked more than I would like to admit. I got passed by one girl in my AG that I know was behind me, and saw the speedy girl finishing her second lap as I was out on my first.

I crossed the line, changed, got in line for the free BBQ and waited for the awards. They must have had someone protest or something and I waited for an hour and a half to hear my AG results and never did. I packed back up and went to my uncle's house to shower and eat some more. We spent more time with my grandparents, and all went to bed early.

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast to celebrate my uncle's birthday, and I got back in the car and headed south. As usual, my post-race traffic tolerance level was lacking, and I subjected a few people to some whiney phone calls (sorry guys). When I was almost back to Pleasanton a Subaru pulled up next to me with a waving arm hanging out the window. It was Katy!!! Apparently her road trip included a stop in Pleasanton as well, but it was super random!

When the results were finally posted I found out that I got 4th in my AG out of 11 starters (10 finishers). Considering this was my new fast age group and my lack of training, I'm very happy with the result!

All in all it was an awesome trip that I will definitely try to do again next year!

Next weekend: XTERRA Lake Tahoe!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My awesome Iron-sign!


A cute little old lady helped me get situated for the run, and didn't even bat an eye as I smeared Bodyglide on various sensitive areas. She had obviously been around the athletes all day! I donned my race belt, a long-sleeved top, shoes, socks, and a hat, and hit the road.

Holy gimpy, I was not moving fast. Within a couple miles I had nasty heartburn again any time I ran, so I ran/walked to keep things from getting to the point of vomiting. I'm not good at only puking once, and I was afraid that if I started I wouldn't be able to stop. Enter the power-walker.

It took forever. It was raining, and windy, and cold. I stopped to pee about a billion times. At first I was doing the civilized thing and getting undressed in the bathrooms, but after a while I decided that was a waste of time and just peed through my shorts. It was raining any way. Coming back in from my first loop someone gave me a space blanket, which I wore like a super-stylish silver cape. The Coke and pretzels and cookies went down well. The broth did not, something about the broth smell mixed with the styrofoam smell was no bueno. I saw my dad and brother a little before the half way point. It had been a while since I had eaten and I burst into tears, telling my dad I was SURE my foot was broken (because absolutely everything hurt at this point, my feet especially). He told me he understood, but he really didn't think it was broken, and he thought I should eat something. Of course I told him I was NOT hungry!!! Then I went and ate a bunch. At one of the aid stations I was ambushed by a mother/daughter volunteer team, who removed my poncho, cut a hole in it for my head, and put it and another plastic poncho over my head. They used my race belt to strap it all down, and sent me on my way with a hand-full of cookies.

The next time I saw my dad I was all smiles, and walking fast enough that they couldn't easily catch up with me. They might think I'm bi-polar.

After I saw them I got to the long, lonely part of the run, which runs alongside the lake. There are fewer spectators there, and it felt like forever. Just as it started to get dark I saw a guy walking past me in the opposite direction that looked a lot like Elliott. I was confused, as I was sure he would have been done by then. I turned around looked again, and he was wearing cargo shorts and carrying car keys, and was walking with a healthy limp - it WAS him! I called his name and he hobbled over, very happy to see me. Apparently my family and my friends weren't communicating well, so no one knew my dad had just seen me. Elliott had driven out to the turn around point to look for me. New boy had been tracking me online and it had been a long time since any updates were posted, so he was calling people in a panic. Elliott called him to say that he had found me, we talked for a bit, I told him Ironman was stupid, all while I continued my power walk/hobble. Once I reached the turn around and was headed toward the finish (albeit about 5 miles away) Elliott left me in the dark so he could pick up his wife and meet me at the finish. I fell in with a group of people that were walking and jogging, and stayed with them for about a mile before I decided they were going too slow. I was given glow sticks to wear because it was dark. They set off my plastic attire quite nicely.

About a mile from the finish, in the twisty little neighborhood, my brother found me. He and my dad had figured I would be there soon, so he started at the finish and started walking the course backward to come in with me. I apologized for keeping him out there ALL day, and he told me to shut-up, and that he was proud of me. It was awesome. He convinced me to run down to the finish. I did, until the huge blister I had been brewing exploded between my big and next-biggest toe and I almost fell down. Scared the crap out of my brother!

I re-evaluated my running-to-the-finish plan and only ran the last block. Someone suggested I take all the plastic off. I was too lazy. In retrospect, I would have had much better pictures had I listened.

The finish chute was AMAZING. It was 11pm and there were still hundreds of people sitting in the bleachers, cheering for the finishers. The noise was overwhelming. People were hanging over the sides, reaching out to high-five, and going nuts. So unbelievably awesome.

Once I crossed the line, a woman escorted to the chip removal, medal giving, and picture taking stations. I removed my plastic for that picture. Elliott and his wife, Greg and his family, and my family were all there to watch me finish. So cool. Elliott took me to the massage tent where they had a heater(!) and pizza. The massage sucked and my stomach couldn't handle the pizza, but it was good to get off my feel for a minute.

I about froze when I came out of the heated tent and made my brother give me his jacket. Poor kid. He and I went to get my bags and bike while my dad got the car. I got a painfully violent case of the hiccups while we drove to the house.

My room was upstairs. So not cool. I took a shower and climbed in bed, only to sleep like crap because moving hurt. I woke up at 6 am. Elliott was already up. Ironman does weird things to sleep. We packed up and picked up various bits and pieces, went to the awards because Elliott had done a 9:42 which was good for third in his AG and a Kona slot. I dropped off my rental car, tried to figure out a way to use my rolly suitcase for locomotion through the airport, and got on my first plane. The guy next to me was creepy, but I fell asleep before we took off. When we were leaving the plane he told me to go first (to stare at my ass? I don't know), I told him it would take forever.
Him: Wow, you're really limping! *sarcastically* What, did you do the Ironman or something? *sneer*
Me: Yes.
Him: Oh! *looks like he realizes he's an ass* Holy crap!


I limped around the Seattle airport and ate crappy airport food until my next flight. New boy was picking me up from the airport, which I was excited about. I hobbled off the plane and hit the bathroom, finally making it out to where he was waiting, WITH A SIGN! No one has ever made me a sign! It was a good one too! I'll have to post it for you.

He was disappointed I took so long getting off the plane because he wanted to embarrass me in front of a bunch of people. Ha! Too bad for him, all the people were gone!

The next day at work, while Elliott and I compared how swollen our bodies and feet were, flowers and balloons were delivered to the shop. From new boy. While he was there.

He gets soooooo many brownie points.

Later a second bouquet showed up from my dad and step mom. I love my people.


It seems I have finally made it out of my Iron-funk and the race it starting to be a good experience in my mind. There are so many things I can do better next time. I'm going to work on getting fast before I try to go that long again though.

The rest of this year will be XTERRA and half irons, and next year will probably be the same.

Coming soon, XTERRA Portland race report!

Woo hoo! The computer didn't crash!


Seems I need to get on this whole Iron-race blogging thing, as I raced again last weekend and have another next weekend. Oopsie!

Hopefully my computer will refrain from crashing long enough to get through the rest of the race!

Ok, so it's all windy and grey, and I'm about to go for a bike ride. I took off, willing myself to calm down and settle in, since it was going to be a long day. I really didn't want to be racing to make the cut-offs, and all my on-the-bike math made that seem pretty unlikely, barring total disaster.

I was disheartened to note that the first little hill came up before I was warmed up, but it let me see lots of the run course, and where special needs was. I had thought about putting a vest on before the start of the bike leg, or putting one in my special needs bag, but decided against it at the last minute. Fairly early on in the ride I discovered that I had mixed too much Perpetuem powder in my bottles, making them too thick to drink easily, and giving me heart burn every time I drank them (I'm sure the lake water and being in the aero position didn't help matters much). This put a bit of a kink in my nutrition plans, but I figured I would take in as much as I could, and use the aid stations to get extra calories along the way. A little ways past special needs I heard a metallic clank and saw something fly off my bike, which turned out to be my CO2 cartridges. I stopped and got them, as having to beg supplies in the event of a flat would not be good.

Mentally the first loop was definitely easier, as I had done the half distance before, and breaking it into a 56 mile chunk was much less daunting. Everything was all happy and shiny, until I got to the hills. Greg had made the hills sound like a bit of a pain in the ass, and one of my customers had said they were no big deal, one descent got you enough momentum to get over the next climb without much additional work. I had chosen to believe my customer. Unfortunately, Greg was right. The climbs were all pretty short, but some were a little steep for my liking, and they were definitely not close together enough to allow for coasting. Suck-tastic. Fortunately, there were lots of spectators and signs and pretty things to look at, so I was able to distract myself a little bit. Someone had put little signs that said "Legs of Zeus" on all the especially ugly climbs, so I had an idea of what was coming next.

After what seemed like forever, I made it out of the hilly parts, and headed back into town. The wind was picking up more and more, and I was definitely getting cold, so I refrained from stopping to pee or stretch or anything, in fear of having a hypothermia repeat. I rolled through town, where the thousands of people make you feel like a rock star, and headed back out towards the special needs stop. There were a couple of Hammer Bars in my back that totally had my name on them. The volunteers were awesome, and had my bag ready when I pulled over, but I opted to sit on the ground for a bit and scarf down my snacks. The pavement was warm-ish, and my legs appreciated the break. I had also packed a more dilute bottle of Perpetuem in special needs, which might have been the best-tasting thing ever, right at that moment.

The downside to stopping for that long was I cooled down, and once I got going again I was freaking freezing. There was no bathroom at the special needs station, and the next aid station was a couple miles down the rode, so the next goal was just to make it there. I was so cold I cried a little, fearing I would get hypothermic again. Happily, I did not. I pulled over at the bathroom and a medic girl held my bike while I waddled over to the porta-potty. There was no wind in there. It was a happy place (except for the obvious toilet stuff), and I stayed in there for probably a bit longer than was necessary. When I came out the medic girl looked all concerned, and had one of her medic guys with her. They seemed to think I was puking in there. It took a few minutes to convince them I was ok, just cold.

Miles 65 through about 95 were the hardest for me mentally. I was tired and it was a big jump from half way to all the way there. The wind was worse, making descending in my aero bars super scary, and the hilly section of the course felt like it was deserted. I knew I wasn't in last or anything, but with that few people around it felt like it. I walked a little section of one of the Zeus hills. I didn't want to feel anymore burn. The hilly section felt a little shorter the second time around, and the specators were getting drunker, so there was a little bit of entertainment.

The last few miles were fun, with all the spectators, and the knowledge that I was almost done. I rolled into the bike with plenty of time before the cut-off, handed my bike to the guy taking bikes, and hobbled over to the changing tent just as it started to rain.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Swim

I woke up race morning with nerves so jittery that I could barely control my gag reflex. Food sounded disgusting, and it took me a good 10 minutes to down a few electrolyte tabs. I forced down most of a bagel and assorted tid bits, mixed up my energy/protein drinks for the bike and run, packed up my special needs bags, and headed down to the start with Elliott. It was effing WINDY (the days prior to the race we noticed that wind on the lake had to be pretty bad to make it up to our house. Race morning had the trees whipping around and grey skies. I might be an Iron-weather jinx. Suck.)

I managed to find my dad and brother in all the mayhem, who were quickly tasked with holding my stuff while I dropped bags off and stood in porta-potty lines. My brother made fun of me while I applied anti-chafe goo in some of my more sensitive areas (I was dressed, we are not THAT kind of family), I hopped into my wetsuit, and I jumped into the line of racers shuffling towards the entrance to the beach.

The line to the beach took FOREVER. Five minutes to go and there were still hundreds of people stuck on the walkway to the beach. I'm pretty sure I was on the sand for less than two minutes before we took off. Not a great way to stay calm!

I have no idea where I was along the edge of the lake because it was so congested, but I started a couple people back from the water line, figuring that would keep me from getting stuck behind the really slow swimmers and I wouldn't get run over by the fast people. In hindsight, I'm not sure it really mattered where I was.

The gun went off and everyone splashed into the water, just like we always do. My heart rate sky-rocketed, just like it always does. This time, however, I couldn't get a rhythm and couldn't call down. After maybe ten minutes (it's hard to be accurate when one is underwater) of hyperventilating I admitted to myself I was having a panic attack and sat up. It took like three minutes of treading water and "I should just turn around and go home" thoughts before I got back in a normal breathing pattern and was able to resume the race. Happily, I got punched/mauled/run over less as a person treading water in the middle of chaos than I did while swimming. I think a big part of the panic attack was due to the fact that there were sizeable swells coming toward the beach, so we got that lovely rising-and-dropping feeling along with all the insanity. Most of the time sighting was pointless because all you could see was the next wave.

Some first-lap highlights include head-butting a buoy post-panic (mental dialogue: "hmmm....wonder what that yellow rope is for? Crap!!!!"), kicking some dude in what I think were his balls after he wouldn't get off my back, having people moo as everyone turned the second corner, and feeling like a rock star riding the waves back in toward the beach.

After the first lap we had to run up the beach briefly (a la XTERRA) then run back into the water. There was a man curled up in the fetal position on the beach with a bunch of medics around him. SO not confidence inspiring.

On the second lap I managed to avoid the buoys and I don't recall having to kick anyone, but the wind was getting worse and the waves rougher, so going was slow. I remember having what I thought was a wave crash over my back at the second turn point, but I'm told it was the helicopter hovering low to get a good shot. Thanks for that, guys.

After all that, I took three minutes off my IM Wisconsin swim time, so that was pretty cool. I headed up to the wetsuit strippers, got stripped, grabbed my bag, and had a volunteer help me get dressed for a nice little bike ride....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coeur d'Alene Race Report!!!!!

I just read Tasha's (The Thighmaster Route to Kona...over there ----->) race report and I cried and decided to get on it and start my own. Here goes...

I flew to CDA on Wednesday before the race, thinking giving myself time to settle in would be helpful. New boy dropped me off at the airport, flight was uneventful. I got into Spokane around dinner time, picked up my first ever(!) rental car, and headed east towards CDA. Ten minutes later I pulled over and got dinner because I was starving and shaking, and got the requisite pitiful looks from restaurant goers because I was eating alone. Whatever. Once I got to CDA I met up with Greg (a customer who was also racing) and his family in their RV, and spent the night in the front half with his 10 year old daughter.

Thursday we went down from the expo and checked in, getting our race numbers and all that. Working retail has sucked all the fun out of race expos since I can usually get the same stuff cheaper, so I didn't buy anything. Elliott and Co. got into town that afternoon, which was a very good thing as I was about to strangle Greg. I take the Ostrich approach to racing in that I like to pretend it's not looming on the horizon, and Greg's type-A "I must go down to the lake for the 100th time to determine the proper angle to approach the waves today" mentality was really cramping my style. Seriously people, the water's going to be the same amount of wet whether you pre-swim it or not. Might as well stay warm and dry, don't you think?

When Elliott's fam showed up we checked in to the house that we were sharing, which was special. Sharing with his fam was fine, but the house itself was a little weird. The theme of the kitchen decor was apparently "stuff as many chickens as possible into one little room." Chicken wall paper, lace curtains, statues, you name it. Plus plaid carpeting...even in the cabinets. Oy. The rest of the house was equally country-cutesy, with the exception of my bedroom and the basement. I had the joy of inhabiting the Pulp Fiction/Mohammed Ali/nuclear mushroom cloud room, and the basement was lovely in its rifles-and-deer-parts splendor, with a chicks-with-whips-and-leather poster for good measure. Yeah. It was that good.

Friday entailed picking my dad and brother up from their hotel and making fun of the house with them, eating, and making excuses when asked if I'd like to go for a ride or run. Pre-ride? Ha! No thanks, ignorance is bliss!! One of the days (I think it was Friday) Elliott and I decided to try to find a grocery store. We got lost for 35 minutes and had to ask a toothless man who barely spoke English where to go. We later found out that the reason it was so hard to find was there was no longer any street leading up to the store. While checking out we decided that geography lessons may be in order for the high schoolers in town, since the girls at the store thought Wales was either in Canada or in the South America vicinity.

Eventually Elliott's wife's parents and brother showed up, making meals a big production. Happily, all of the non-racers had done this before, so us lazy racers didn't have to do much more than change the channel and show up for meals. That there is the real reason I race!

Saturday was more of the same, along with the pre-race getting the bike ready session (where my dad insisted on holding the bike up and asking cute), and dropping off bikes and gear bags. My nerves were starting to get to me. Holy crap. Race day is near!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I promise I will write a proper race report eventually

So I finished the Ironman. It was hard. Not that it is surprising, hard is kind of the point.

I probably should be more excited about the whole thing, but I'm really not. I'm a little embarassed. I think I should have done better. I KNOW I should have trained better, but there were things I could have done or not done that would have made a difference. I feel like I want to put it behind me and move on, which is impossible since everyone wants to talk about it.


I almost have a new coach with seemed all shiny and cool because it could be my post-iron new start, but all he wanted to talk about was why I sucked (not really, he wouldn't say that) and chastise me for not training enough. Guess what? I already knew that. Let's just chalk it up to a learning experience and move right along, k?

So between now and when I have time to sit down and blog again, I will leave you with an extremely abbreviated version of my "race"

Swim: "Aw crap here we go...holy crap waves...panic attack...swim swim swim....kick some guy in the are bigger....gonna die...swim..swim...yay done!"

Bike: "Damn I'm slow...pedal pedal pedal pedal...OMG hills....OMG HILLS....OH. MY. GAWD. hills....whew!!! I have to do it again?!?! Mr. Medic, I was not throwing up....HILLS la la.....I'm done!

Run: "Crap, my legs are broken....oh look, it's pee....this is fucking stupid....power walk..."Dad, my foot is BROKEN!!! It is!!!! *SOB* I SWEAR, it's BROKEN!!!"...poncho and rain....heh Elliott came to check on me....ok, I have two hours to walk 4 miles....I can do that....ow ow ow ow everything hurts....OMG now my non-athletic brother came to check on me....can see the finish...blisters exploding like finish line fireworks...and I'm spent."

The end.

You know you want to read the not-from-concentrate version.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Yesterday I went on a cleaning binge.

I tore my room apart and put it back together, resulting in three bags of garbage and one bag for Goodwill leaving my little space. I swept up the dust bunnies (note to self, wood floors throughout the house + shedding dog = nasty), did all the laundry and dishes, bleached the sink (because I found a bottle of SoftScrub (!!!) which is awesome stuff), made my bed, and even put the new wheels on the track bike pieces so it's one wobbly pseudo-bike instead of pieces on the floor.

I found bills from my old house in Fresno. It's a little ridiculous.

Now I feel like a good little adult, with my room clean, my bills paid, my laundry done, my flight to Spokane booked, and my rental car reserved. I'm surprisingly calm about the impending IM, especially considering I fell off the training bandwagon to the point that I'm pretty sure it has now made it's way to Peru or something without me. My justification is that I have been sickly and freaking exhausted, and it's better to toe the line undertrained than sick and slightly more fit. Please don't feel the need to share if you disagree.

I talked to one of my customers today about the race and she was super reassuring, telling me that training here is perfect for that race as the terrain is so similar. She says I can do it, and that's good enough for me.

New boy and I got into a big ugly thing (I'm not sure it's a fight, it was more of a "you are being insecure and stupid you need to stop now" kind of thing) last week so I went and had my toes done. I love them. Pink with cherry blossoms. Pretty much the cutest toes ever. I wasn't paying attention and gave the girl a 50% tip. I figure she deserves it since I was crabby and didn't want to talk to her and I love my toes now.

New boy is behaving now, so that's good.

Hope all is well with you!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Since my last exceedingly cheerful post, I have...

-Been ride-stalked by another old man whilst training. This one happened to be the founder/owner of Specialized. It was weird.

-Not raced.

-Not trained very much due to a lazy immune system.

-Had things at work improve exponentially due to the firing of useless people and the hiring of a very effective person.

-Been paid for my modeling stint last month!!! In the amount of about 2/3 of one of my regular paychecks, which is freaking awesome! AND the check stub says "action model" on it, so I will probably save it because it's cool.

-Been generally happy.

I'm not complaining!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Everybody is high maintenance and it really should stop

I started to cry a little at work today because I had reached my capacity for asshats and apparently today was asshat day. Ugh. Stupid people. Yelling at me over the phone is not a good way to get me to kiss your ass.

So instead of spinning I sat in the fit studio and bitched which was kind of funny because my boss told me someday I will find a good guy that's not intimidated and I kinda sorta maybe have a new official boyfriend. Tee hee!

I think I want to go bowling. But mostly because I'm watching tv and they are bowling.

I went for a ride on Sunday (in the middle of the day and it was 96 degrees and it almost killed me) and had some old dude ruin it a little for me. I came up on him and passed him, which was apparently not ok, so he cranked down on his downtube shifters and got on my wheel, explaining that he was just resting before he went on his way. Then I passed him on all the little rollers and he passed me on the little descents because I was doing an easy ride and was just coasting. Eventually I just sat in behind him because I was tired of passing him but it was slow and it ruined my view of the reservoirs and I felt kind of weird about riding with a stranger so I left him for a while and thought I was free. Sadly he found me again and told me a bunch of crap about how I have a smooth cadence and a steady pace and I just wanted to ride alone, dammit! My solution was to do extra climbing, which worked quite well.

It's still really hot though. And all the windows are open and the AC is on, which amuses me because my roommate is a tightwad and he's the one that opened them and turned it on. But then again he has a new girlfriend so he probably doesn't want to appear cheap. Gross.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

Here it is, in all it's overly-detailed splendor!

I drove down to San Diego on Friday morning at 5:30am which hurt a little bit, but was much better than sitting in traffic all day. I had lunch with the Ex in Irvine (and made him work on my bike) and then got to Oceanside a little after noon. I wasn't nervous until I could see the ocean, then I freaked out a little. Picked up my packet, hopped in the car, drove to Solana Beach to visit Dan at B&L and pick up a bike for work, then drove to Pacific Beach to John's house where I took a fatty nap. It was delicious. When John and Tracy got home we went to an adorable little Italian restaurant where I ate my weight in pasta. Went back to the house, packed up my race stuff, and went to bed.

I got lucky in that John had to be up at 4:00am for something he was doing later in the day, so he had oatmeal waiting for me when I woke up. Such service! After breakfast I hopped in the car and drove back up to Oceanside. Happily, I have mastered the art of shoving all my stuff into a small bag for transition, so the ride from the parking lot to transition was a lot less awkward than it could have been. I found my rack (in what might have been the longest transition EVAR) and set up my space. Talked to a bunch of girls, got partway into my wetsuit, stood in line for the bathroom, made friends in the potty line, watched the pros come through, wished I had thought to bring some shitty socks to keep my feet warm while I waited around, got into line with the rest of the purple caps to start.


Favorite thing #1: my neoprene squid lid.

The water actually wasn't that cold, but my head was so toasty-warm with that thing on it was all I could think about. My wave was fairly small and the start area was pretty wide so the beginning-of-the-swim beating was minimal. I caught a bunch of women from the wave in front of me (4 min ahead of me) and the wave before them (8 min ahead of me) which was encouraging. I did a much better job of sighting than I did at XTERRA, so only got a little lost. Could have gone faster I think, but I felt fast and springy when I got out of the water, so I'm not complaining.


Favorite things #2 and 3: Perpetuem and BBB cages.

I had decided to try something a little different for my nutrition on the bike. I had been using Perpetuem on my training rides so I knew it wouldn't screw with me (a la CarboPro 1200), so I made a bottle with five servings of powder instead of the normal one to two. And it was AWESOME. I carried that bottle and a bottle of water and it went down smooth and I felt strong and energized and never had my blood sugar crash with accompanying dark, twisty thoughts. No tantrums for me! Also, my BBB bottle cages kept my bottles safe and sound so I didn't launch any like I saw tons of other people do. Yay!

Overall, I felt really good on the bike. My position felt dialed, legs felt fresh, I stayed relaxed and took it easy on the first half per E's instructions and was fine on the climbs. Had some fun picking people off in the later miles. Only issue I had was some nasty chafing in my - umm - sensitive regions. Seeing as I had almost the same thing happen at Big Kahuna last year, I think my race suit may become an XTERRA-only suit so I don't have it happen again. Ouchy.


Favorite thing #4: Learning how to distract myself

I was definitely tired coming off the bike, so the shuffle started early. I tightened my shoes too tight in transition and my feet were completely numb for the first five miles (ish...I kept thinking that they would come to, but it never happened on its own). Eventually I stopped to loosen them and loosen my timing chip strap and I regained feeling. I walked the aid stations, ate or drank at almost all of them, and learned that if I repeated the lines to the song that was stuck in my head, I could ignore the parts of my body that hurt and just keep going. The Ex was there taking pictures (he was there on the bike too, I just forgot to mention it) so it was nice having someone cheering for me - even with all the people cheering for Amys (there were a ton of girls with my name) and with people having their names on their race numbers. In the finishing chute a lady edged past me so we ended up sprinting for fun. She hugged me and thanked me for the extra push and we got our picture taken. It was fun.

Post race I made a beeline for the food tent and ate four pieces of pizza. I found one of my customers so we talked for a bit before I went and packed. The Ex was waiting and congratulated me, then I got on the phone with E and the couple of customers and got congratulated and was told my splits. The result:

22nd place in AG in swim
23rd AG bike
23rd AG run

23rd out of 62 in age group

Overall time 6:06:26

Run time: 2:07:51

Reasons why this is awesome:
1. I have NEVER been that consistent in a road triathlon. Ever.
2. I have never been in the top half of the finishers in my age group in a road tri. 23/62 is definitely upper half.
3. Overall time was a PR, set at an easier race.
4. Run time was a PR, previously set at a half marathon, not a triathlon.

Yay for me!

Now I get to be all sunburned and peely, and I even have my number and age burned onto my body. Wonder how long that will be there?

Blah, blah, blah

I'll get to the race report in a minute. I have to vent.

Dear Guy I Know,

You need to be less annoying. I know I made a bad decision or two in the past, but when you ask if I want to be left alone and I say yes, that probably means you should leave me alone. It doesn't mean you should come back to my work (that you only left from a couple hours ago, after getting tired of yelling at me) to ask what I mean about wanting to be left alone. When I say I don't want to hang out, I'm tired and need to get groceries, I mean just that. Go home. Quit being so needy. Oh, and by the way, I don't have major issues about the way I look, but you mentioning that I need to learn portion control and shit like that is not going to make me like you. It just means you are an ass.

Sincerely Annoyed,


In other, less annoying news, I am totally a model. I'll be able to prove it to you this summer-ish. So that will be cool.

I went to charming(ly meth-riddled) Colfax, CA for the past two days to do a photo shoot for the Specialized 2010 catalog. Hopefully I don't look retarded. It was pretty fun, except for riding in the rain and then having the rain turn into snow. That was cold and it made my fingers hurt. Also, the eating candy all day and then getting a little car sick wasn't great. But it was still slightly awesome.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ironman California 70.3

It was really really good.

I'm too tired to blog right now, but I wanted to let you know that it was good.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mini Race Report #1

Last weekend I raced my first tri of the year, in the form of XTERRA Real in Folsom. It was pretty cool. I got third in my new age group and took a major chunk off my time from last year. I'll take it. I'm tired and want to sleep, so here's my mini race report:

Swim: was cold. I forgot my squid lid, but it wasn't too bad. I got lost a bunch so should probably work on sighting. I felt like I weighed 200 pounds getting out of the water. Racing is fun.

Bike: I felt GOOD. Ass-kicking good. Except I forgot to grab my food so the second lap sucked a little. I passed a girl in my age group and never saw her again. That was sweet. Getting on my mountain bike after not touching it for five months didn't feel weird at all.

Run: I was tired. Probably from not getting any calories in. I pushed myself more than I usually do, so I'm happy about that.

Gold star for me, now getting ready for Oceanside.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Birthday Haps

Again with the blogging-under-pressure. I'm supposed to be in a dress ready to go to my own pseudo-party in a half hour. I am also possibly exploding pasta sauce while I blog. Fun!

Ok, so, I had the best birthday EVER. Yes, EVER. It was that awesome.

Usually, my birthdays suck and I'm all alone because my friends were lame or I have a party and someone gets in a fight and I have to break it up, so my "good birthday" standards are pretty low. But still, this one was cool. It went like this:

1. New boy came to my work dressed all cute to build my wheel for me on Wednesday (the day before my birthday). Wheel building turned into a big fiasco. I apologized profusely and new boy told me to stop, he didn't care, he wanted to build my wheel for me for my birthday. New boy also gave me a picture of the track wheels he ordered for me that didn't make it in time. New boy rocks.

2. New boy took me to dinner at my favorite chinese restaurant, then to Chevy's for my requested birthday Sunday.

3. New boy bought me breakfast on my birthday because he wanted to buy me breakfast on my actual birthday.

4. Some regulars of the shop brought me a little cake.

5. My chiropractor called and majorly stepped up, allowing me to continue treatment without going broke.

6. The bosses took me to lunch.

7. The bosses gave me a raise.

8. Another customer of the shop insisted that we have a pseudo-party, which I am going to tonight.

9. I got a bunch of birthday cards and some much-needed birthday cash.

10. Elliott's kids made me cupcakes and got to stay up until I got there are were all snuggly and cute.

I love my people. Thank you for the awesome birthday!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My birthday is in three days.

It is. And that means I will now commence my yearly bug the hell out of everyone sequence because it's almost my birthday.

For some reason I only seem motivated to log into my blog when I have somewhere to be in a short time. I have been thinking about blogging for a week, and only just now logged on when I need to be at the shop on my bike in half an hour. Maybe I just work better under pressure.

My first race is in less than two weeks. Holy effing crap. And, I seem to be freaking out a little more than usual. Stupid. Who cares how I do? It's just training for IM CDA. I'm a little skeptical about my fitness as I have sucked at training because of my stupid leg (which is MUCH better, but still not great). My swim coach has been annoyingly in my face about training, and I'm not sure if it's because I suck right now compared to last year, or because he's feeling threatened (for reasons I will not go into because it's stupid and I hate it). Dumb.

Soooooo, my idea for making the race in two weeks less scary is to see if I can do a race in one week! TOTALLY makes sense, doesn't it?

I want to go to Folsom next weekend to do the XTERRA they have out there for a couple reasons. I am working on my pitch to my coach, so I will list those reasons here for your reading pleasure:

1. I have done this race and like it, so it will let me clear out the racing cobwebs before the bigger race that I haven't done and am scared about.

2. The race will take a couple hours. My coach has be down for a multi-hour ride followed by a couple days of intervals next week, so I could race and do all of that at once.

3. I have to do 2 XTERRA races in my region to qualify for Nationals, and if I do this one and the one in Arizona in May I will have them out of the way so I won't have to do the one 1 WEEK after IM CDA. I think that is a huge plus. Not having to rely on that one would be good. And then I'll still have one more available in August in case I DNF at either of the other two. Insurance is good.

4. It could be my birthday race. Because it's three days after my birthday. :P

And I promise to take it easy and not kill myself or make myself sick so I will still be able to race at the scary race. It will totally work.

Oh, and my favorite customer Lori just raced at the Singapore 70.3 (half IM) race last weekend and got third in her age group and qualified for the 70.3 Worlds!!!!!!! I'm so freaking proud/excited for her!!!!!!!! I hear she had to deal with jellyfish stings on the swim, naughty jumping waterbottles on the bike, and a possibly fractured foot on the run (that she did like a month ago but didn't tell anyone about because she wanted to race so bad)! Bad ass!!!!!! Love her.

Alright, off to layer up to go ride in the wind with Patty.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel?

The other day I was complaining to one of my customers about my leg sucking. She told me I really really really should go to her chiro. In a fit of desperation I emailed him with my symptoms, how long it has been going on, what I have tried that helps/doesn't help/etc. I got an email from him and set up an appointment the next day. And it was probably the best thing ever. After hanging out with all the ladies and little kids that were there (he has a family practice thing going on) he examined me and basically told me that what I have going on is not that complicated and should be fixed pretty quickly. I almost started crying out of relief. He took x-rays "just to have a picture of what he thinks is happening" and I'm meeting with him tomorrow. If he fixes me I will give him a kidney or something. After race season of course.

In other news, I'm like an occupational grim reaper. That's all I can say currently.

Last Sunday I went to Menlo Park to watch the Menlo Park Grand Prix. It was a good time. I got to hang out with girls(!) and scream at people and ogle spandex-clad men all day.

My birthday is this month and I'm excited. Not yet sure if I will actually do anything for said birthday other than my usual Thursday wine fun, but maybe something fun will come up.

I have more crap listed on Craigslist. At least it's not a bike. If you are in the market for some road wheels let me know.

I heart Chelsea Lately. So much.

Off to go stuff my face. Night!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Holy Crap

I was just reading Courtenay's blog (over there ------->) and she mentioned that she has a half-iron race in four weeks. I start thinking "hmmmm...wonder which race she is doing?" and look at her schedule and what do you know, her first race is the same as my first race. Crap. Now I'm all freaked out because I have a race in four weeks and that is approaching more quickly than I expected. I feel like I need to go do some little race to deal with the racing jitters since I haven't raced a tri since last October. Crap crap crap!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I should really go to bed right now...

A couple updates, since I'm sure you are just DYING to know...and I wouldn't dream of disappointing my reader(s?)!

1. I sold my mountain bike!!!!! Craigslist still sucks, but a little bit less than it did. Guy #2 that I met in Fremont came down to my work on Friday and gave me money and took my bike and my helmet that I was selling as well. I then did semi responsible with my money, and something that's not as responsible...which brings us to...

2. I got a track bike!!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, I got a frameset, bars, and a crankset, so I'm pretty much just wheels short of having a track bike. But it's cool and I'm excited. Once I figure out my Powertap situation I will outfit the trackie with wheels and I'll go round and round in circles. Weeeee!!!!

Earlier tonight I went running with my friend Teresa that I have known since junior high, which was cool because she is in decent shape so we just ran along talking about all the random people from high school. We compared some stories and I'm somewhat happy to note that some of the stupid shit I have done is not unique. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Yesterday I got a massage back at the original place I was going to last year with my original girl. I hadn't been since November or so, and apparently she hadn't been there either, as she had fallen off a ladder while feeding her fish and broke her ankle. The fish later died. It was good to catch up with her and she remembered all my weird stuff. I told her my psoas(?) muscle was tight and she did some weird wavy thing on my belly and it felt like she was inside my abdomen. Apparently the wavy thing was her moving my organs out of the way so she could get to the rebellious muscle. She worked on it for a little bit and had me move around while she applied pressure and all of a sudden it popped and was all relaxed. It was magical. But now I feel like someone punched me in that spot. Small price.

I'm supposed to go ride in Berkeley with the VeloGirls in the morning, so I guess I should be on my way.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CraigsList is Driving Me Crazy

Pretty much, I hate Craigslist and the people on Craigslist.

I'm not sure if I hate the whole thing more because I sell crap all day and I really don't want to do it on my time off, but GOD. It's retarded.

I listed one of my mountain bikes on Friday. Saturday I got two responses. Guy #1 asked for pictures and brought up some problems that some of the bikes had when they first came out. Not problems that mine had. I figured if he's being that picky he's not worth it. Guy #2 says "I have cash. When can I meet you?"

Guy #1 then proceeds to:
-Set a meeting time
-Not show up
-Not call, email, or answer call/email/text to tell me so I wait for 45 min in the rain.
Then, Monday I go for a 2 hour and 15 minute bike ride. NOT a long time. Guy #1 leaves me 12 messages while I'm riding. TWELVE. Messages along the lines of "I have less money than I thought...I'm going to a shop to buy another bike for this price" (which, by the way was a completely different bike than mine, not at all the same price or anything)...I'm going to the shop right have 20 minutes if you want me to buy it..."
I called him and he agreed to buy mine for a slightly discounted price and we set another meeting time. He wanted to meet IMMEDIATELY, but I told him he had to wait until I got back. A whole two hours. Really not that big a deal.

I get out of PT and he had left me another message: "I looked at the components and the bike is only worth $1000 to me"

Ummm...fuck off. No.

So I was all upset and like an hour later guy #2 emails me that he wants the bike. No mention of price or anything. Tonight I drove up to Fremont to 1) meet with him, 2) meet with another guy wanting something else I had listed, and 3) meet my friend DDT for dinner.

I get there and guy #2 doesn't have the money because he's waiting for his tax return but he gave me some to hold it for him but he wants a different stem and can you throw anything else in like a helmet (NO) and I brought my buddies to look all tough and pretend like we know things about bikes. Dork.

And the other guy I was meeting only wanted half of what I was supposed to be selling him, but I at least got 2/3 of the money.

And some dude in New Zealand wants my helmet and some guy in DC wants my saddle. I told them no. I don't have the energy for this shit.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'd take pleasure in guttin' you, boy!

Sorry, I'm watching The Rock on tv right now. My brother and I have a tendency to repeat that line over and over when we are together. I'm not really sure why.

Today is kind of stupid. I woke up late and missed my group ride. It's raining again. I've been sick so I didn't go ride in the rain, but I probably should have for mental health reasons. I told someone that I actually enjoy as a person that I can't do it anymore because he just has too much crap going on. I cried. I'm still sad. Yuck. I did laundry and cleaned and stuff and then looked at my bank account vs my bills and freaked out so I listed a bunch of crap on Craigslist.

I'm trying really hard to like Craigslist, but it's not easy. Everyone thinks CL is better than eBay. I've usually had good luck with eBay, and selling things on CL has been like pulling teeth. I listed one of my mountain bikes on eBay and no one bid on it so I put it on CL on Friday night. On Saturday I got two responses. One of the guys wanted to meet Saturday night so I made the bike all shiny and nice and took it to Peet's at 7:30 like arranged. The guy never showed up. I waited for 45 minutes, texted, emailed, and called the guy. Nothing. WTF.

It wasn't a total loss though, I did sell a pair of pedals while I was waiting for the bike guy.

But seriously Craigslist, throw me a bone here.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Whose-Idea-Was-This?!? Ride

As some of you may know, this week is the Tour of California. Last year, we held a ride from the shop to the top of Sierra Road to watch the pro's come over the top. It went well. It was cold, but really not that bad.

So this year we decided to do it again.

Only this year, the Tour of California apparently coincided with monsoon season. But we still did it.

It was a dark and stormy night....

Well, really morning, because I got up at 5:30 am to give myself enough time to lug all my stuff to the shop, hit the grocery store to buy plastic garbage bags, ice and water (HA!!), and other miscellaneous crap, and stop by Peet's to grab some hot caffeinated beverages. All the while I was getting emails from customers bailing on the ride.

Instead of just having people ride with us this year, we had a bunch of bikes from Specialized on loan, so most of the people who came along were borrowing bikes. This added a nice little bonus layer of stress for me, because we were definitely on a schedule for the first part of the ride (make it to the top before Lance does!!) and it was one more disorganized step we had to take. Eventually, we got it handled, and myself, Jen, and 11 unwitting customers donned our many layers and rolled out.

I stayed dry for about three minutes. We took the bike path all the way to Hellyer, which was nice because everyone could socialize and it was empty save for some random dude walking in the rain. Everyone pointed out the big puddles and we went around them like good little riders.

Any one who has ever taken the path all the way up surely knows the spot where the path dips down low and the creek runs over the pavement if there is even a little bit of water in it. Usually not a big deal. Because of the monsoons, the creek was about 15 feet wide and 8 inches deep at this spot. I'm fairly certain the only way my feet were going to stay dry was if I had put them on my handlebars. My shoes filled up with water, and my nice "waterproof" shoe covers made sure all that water stayed put. So nice of them!

We made it off the bike path after one potty break for the boys and a little bit of debating which way to go. We headed up Silver Creek. As I was sitting in the back with one of the slower climbers I saw one of the girls pull over and start staring at her bike. She had a flat. I rode up to her and tried paging Jen on the walkie talkies I had her bring for this exact reason, but got no answer. The walkie talkies didn't work. I had one of the slower riders keep riding and flag down the rest of the group while I changed the flat. Cold, wet hands don't work particularly well for that job. We got rolling again, and someone else got a flat not very long after the first one. I changed that one too.

FINALLY, we made it to the base of the climb, with very little time to spare. The first part of the climb is ridiculous. It's straight up. Not even any turns to break it up visually. I had opted not to take my jacket off at the base, but pulled over pretty quickly to change. Miraculously, the sun came out for a little bit, making the climb a little better. I toodled along for like ten minutes of sunny goodness until WHAM!!!! the headwind from hell smacks me as I'm turning a corner and angry rain starts pouring down. I stopped again to put all the clothes I had just removed back on. We all kept riding, sometimes stopping to take a breather or adjust some piece of wet clothing. I tried standing up since I was out of gears, and the wind caught me and I felt like I was going backwards. Freaking lovely. At one point I dropped my glasses that had been hanging on my jersey and I used it as an opportunity to not feel like I was dying while some random spectator got them for me. I'm very lazy if you haven't picked up on that.

When I finally got to the top I was greeted by a ton of people and our brand-new shop tent, which was open but not pulled up all the way so as to provide a wind-free zone. There were a bunch of legs under the tent so I propped my bike against a fence and ducked under the tent to say hi. Aaaaaaaaand my tent was full of strangers. Ooops. I'm pretty sure I said something retarded. Apparently all of my people were either huddled in the truck running the heater (mostly the people who took the truck to the top who were neither riding bikes nor wet....babies!) or in various states of undress near the truck trying to get warm clothes on.

We were at the top for maybe 15 minutes before the official tour cars started rolling through, in which time I stuffed as much food as possible into my face as I shivered and made friends with a guy from Seattle who is friends with a guy who races for BMC (side note, why do all the people I know from Washington state look the same? Seriously, it kind of freaks me out.) When all the riders came by I took a ton of pictures - somewhere in the 138 neighborhood - and yelled and stuff. And then it was over.

Four of my riders went down the hill early because they were too cold to wait around, and Jen and I were the last two down. My too-large glove got caught in my shifter and I almost crashed into her on the way down. It was probably the coldest descent ever. We found the rest of our group at the bottom, and we headed back towards the Silvercreek Starbucks where the first four told us they would meet us. The girls all decided that we needed to stop before that Starbucks, because we all had to take a potty break, so we stopped at a closer Starbucks. If I had worked there I would have hated us, as we got water EVERYWHERE from walking around. The one kid (17 y-o I think) that was with us had his mom take him home. He might be smarter than me. The rest of us continued along, got a little lost, started cramping, and got another flat (spread out over 8 people, so it wasn't that eventful) until we got to our Starbucks destination. I stuffed my face some more and we got water all over the place again. The mop lady at this one was not nearly as nice as the guy at the first place. We all hopped on the bike path and hauled ass towards the shop.

While on the bike path I got tired of playing sweeper, so I took advantage when Jen drifted back to talk to someone and hopped on a faster wheel. By the time we got to the end of the path Jen was no where to be seen, so I told everyone to go on and I waited. And waited. In the rain. I tried to call her and dropped my phone in the gutter. I went to the ranger station to use their porch to dry my phone out and they invited me in because it was warm. I sat staring out the window looking for Jen and the customer she was with and never saw her. Crap. I lost my boss. I had all the spare tubes. It was raining and getting dark. Crap. I called Bruce and asked him to bring the truck. One of the rangers went looking for Jen. Bruce got there and told me he saw Jen almost at the shop. Somehow I had missed them. I made Bruce give me a ride back to the shop. Screw the last two miles, I wanted a heater!!!

That night I scrubbed my hair twice to get all the road grit out. I found rocks stuck to my head while I was in bed. I woke up in the morning with a head cold.

Pretty much, the ride wasn't that bad while I was doing it, but I am in no hurry to do it again any time soon.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Back in the Water

I was a good little fishy and went swimming two whole times this week and it was awesome and I realized how much I missed it. I went on Wednesday morning (at 6 am) and it was far less painful that it should have been from a sleep deprivation standpoint. I felt like I could swim for about the first ten minutes until my swimming muscles reminded me that they are tiny and feeble and have been asleep since October 26th. The rest of the hour I felt like I was swimming through syrup. Swimmy Timmy (aka Coach Tim) said I looked good, so apparently I am a graceful flail-er.

I went again this morning and it was much better. Not only was the session at a decent hour (8:00 am), but I must have grown some guns since Wednesday. I stayed with the fastest guy doing the workout for like half of the main set, and still did fine after I had to slow it down. Swimmy Timmy told me he's proud of me, so that pretty much made it worth the screaming muscles and hypoxia.

And then a girl who came to the shop once gave me personally and the shop compliments, so that was pretty cool. She had a cute swim cap.

Oooh, and apparently I have developed swimming-induced amnesia or something, as I discovered this morning that I left my swim suit and cap at the pool on Wednesday (and they are no where to be found). Then today, I left my fins at the end of my lane and almost left without them, then got all confused when some girl was in the lane I was in. Ugh. Retarded.

I was also a good little bike girl and didn't miss any of my work outs. Next week I plan to do all my run workouts too. I wanna be a good little athlete!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

Instead of being social I'm spending my Superbowl Sunday at home in my compression tights, good and tired from riding my bike this morning.

I always forget how much of a bad idea it is to not ride your bike enough (even if you are going to PT every week). And today we climbed a new hill. And it was not fun. It wasn't even a long hill, it just was steep enough to make me hate life for the duration (of the hill, not my life). Needless to say, it wasn't my favorite ride ever. There were lots of baby cows though. And someone bought me a chocolate croissant. But then we got followed by some weird guy with a trumpet.

I'm kind of bummed about my training so far. I haven't been able to stick to my training plan without making my leg or back bother me, and I really don't want to make it worse or back to how it was. Basically I'm re-doing the last three weeks of training, and that's lame. At least I should be able to get back in the pool relatively soon.

Hope all is well!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


My mom is coming out to visit this weekend and she's bringing puppies and they are coming to stay at my house for a night. I'm pretty excited!!!!! Plus I will make her take me out to dinner at all my favorite places that I don't like going to alone and she will want to because she lives in Heroinville, Maryland and she will miss good Mexican food. It's pretty much a win, win for me.

And she's only staying with me for one night so I can still have a somewhat normal weekend of doing things I want to do.

Today we set up a Facebook group for my work and now I have an excuse to be logged in to FB all the time (more than I already am). We proceeded to upload a bunch of pictures of customers that they probably won't like, and took pictures of customers with the intention of posting them. Some of the pictures are a little unfortunate. I kind of feel bad, but they keep coming back for more, so it must not be that bad.

Yesterday I almost cried while sitting on a big purple ball at my physical therapist's office. It was a little embarrassing and I think I scare him a little. Serves him right for beating the crap out of me.

Tonight is wine/brownies/Grey's Anatomy night with Elliott's wife. Excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm done whining about it now

Soooo...pretty much I am retarded. I found out on Sunday morning that the reason my PT wasn't reading was because I had it on upside down. Oops. My bad.

We got it all up and running and I time trialed and it hurt but I told myself to shut up and it was fine. I'm not sure of my time mostly because I don't think I want to know.

I'm going to go eat lunch before I go see my massage/torture guy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ummmm yeah.

Soooo I'm supposed to be using my Powertap during the TT tomorrow morning to collect data for future training and it seems the bike gods are not feeling me today.

I recently ordered myself a second wiring harness so I could have my road bike and my TT bike both set up for PT use (and my current PT is not wireless, since beggars can't be choosers). I had slapped the new harness on the bike Tuesday night, and it was kind of loose and floppy so I asked one of the boys at the shop to fix it. And he accidentally CUT THE WIRE. WTF?!?!

At first I didn't even think about it. But then I new harness is now useless...and I still have to pay for it...arrgg!!!!

I got frustrated to the point of near tears, exacerbated by the fact that wire-cutter boy thought it necessary to taunt me about my shit being broken. I formulated a plan to get myself back up and running for tomorrow: I'll just take the harness off my road bike and put it on the TT bike for tomorrow.

I tried that. I have it about halfway on and I ran out of zip ties that will fit. All the ones I have are too fat. I used all the little scraps of skinny zip ties that came off the road bike but the spot I had them in didn't work so I had to cut them. I searched the house for some more but no luck. I tried to be all crafty and MacGuyver (sp?) and I'm all out of ideas. So I quit until tomorrow. I'm just going to sit here all pouty and stupid.

Stupid wires.

Why, hello there!

Not much to report these days. Back to training (I ran like 8 miles on Wednesday morning and didn't die! Go me!), working, sleeping, and eating. My leg still sucks more often than not, but at least I am able to get some relief via stretching and rolling around on my friend, Mr. Foam Roller. We're pretty close these days.

Tomorrow I have another time trial, the same course as last time. I'll let you know how that goes. Always fun to bust out the skin suit and aero helmet. My goals are to a) not die, and b) beat my last time. I am also using a Powertap this time, so I'll be collecting numbers for Elliott to torture me with at a later date.

XTERRA Worlds are airing today at 12:30 pm, so you should tune in to see if I'm on tv. I would be the dirty girl in pink falling all over herself. Just so you know.

Ok, back to work for me. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fun Shite

So apparently I am screwing my boss.

I wasn't aware of this, but that is the word around the water cooler. Which is pretty awesome.

Not that long ago I would have been really upset at this rumor. In fact, I did get really upset (as in a sobbing, snotty mess) fairly recently. But now I have heard it enough that it's just whatever. It's not even close to being the first time that I have been accused of screwing some guy I work closely with, and I'm willing to bet it won't be the last time. God forbid I have a close guy friend.


I went to PT today and I am noticeably less lopsided. So that's pretty cool. The couple times I have been on my bike recently have left me with a weird sensation: my left leg is actually working. Can't remember the last time I felt fatigue in that lazy-ass leg of mine!

I was going to head to the mall and spend my Christmas present gift cards but I got lazy and just ordered stuff online. I figure having things show up in the mail over the next couple weeks is kind of like having Christmas all over again. Surprise! New clothes!

I heart sending things via FedEx. It makes proving to snotty people on the phone that they do in fact have my application, it was received on X day by X person really really easy. And it's quite satisfying.

Good times!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!!

Last year I made resolutions and I sorta kinda kept some of them. This year I'm not going to come up with anything specific other than to continue on the path that I think I am on. I have made a concerted effort to clean up my messes and to weed out the people that are less than constructive in my world. I have managed to surround myself with some good people, and I'd like to keep them around and add more to my good people arsenal.

And I'm going to finish an Ironman and be all fit and fast and stuff.

And I will be happy.

And it will be good.

Also, I decided the other day that I need to go play in Yosemite at some point this year because it is beautiful and fairly convenient. I'd also like to hike the Grand Canyon. So if anyone wants to go with me let me know and we'll go!

Happy 2009!!!!