Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Last night was so much fun! I was able to sit with 5 other Ironmen and talk about our experiences. Now I was definitely part of the panel for the "real person" perspective - i.e. I walk 70% of the marathon vs. 2 people who didn't walk at ALL. But, it was really fun, I got to share stories that I find funny (and people laughed so I think they did too) and spend 2 more hours of my life reliving one of the best days ever.

Today is Halloween - not a favorite holiday of mine. I am just not creative and do not like to be spooked. I am very much looking forward to staying home and possibly ordering Chinese. Rockn' Friday night for me!

I found this on the DC tri club forum and found it really funny. If you are a biker, know a biker, or have seen a biker - you will find these funny too.

8 Halloween costumes for cyclists

As a cyclist, you are much, much better equipped for Halloween than the average person. Why? Because you already wear outrageous costumes on a daily basis.

Think about it. Even though you are a (presumably) sane adult, you wear a shirt that would look much more at home on a superhero. You wear shorts that are much, much too tight, as if you were on your way to lead a jazzercize class. You wear a hat that belongs on an alien. And, to top the whole look off, you wear what sound and look like tap-dancing shoes...

By spending just a few extra minutes, you can alter your cycling outfit for the evening, making it so you're not just "a cyclist" at the party, but a very particular sort of cyclist. Simply follow these easy instructions.

Doping Cyclist: Dress up in full pro kit. Use a marker to draw needle tracks up and down one arm. Tie a length of surgical tubing above one elbow and leave a syringe sticking out of your vein. Wheel around an IV tower for the duration of the party. Stuff your jersey pockets with bottles of drugs. When anyone asks what / who you are, respond that you are a professional cyclist. When they ask what all the needles and drugs are for, say you have no idea what they're talking about. No matter what, do not admit you have any drug-related items on hand.

Mountain Biker (If You're normally a Roadie): Prepare for the party by gaining 10 lbs and getting 20-30 tattoos. Wear baggy pants -- baggy enough that they keep falling down. Arrive drunk at the party and continue to drink once you get there. Insist you have mad skillz.

Roadie (If You're normally a Mountain Biker): Prepare for the party by putting a stick in your butt. Wear uncomfortably tight cycling clothes for the party, drink nothing but thrice-filtered water and tell everyone exactly how many calories and fat everything they're eating contains.

Triathlete: Don't come to the party, because you've only done four workouts today and still need to get in one more and you don't want to break training, no matter what.

Recumbent Rider: Tape your glasses together, somehow manage to affix a pocket protector to your jersey, and loudly and insistently explain to all and sundry that recumbents are really much more comfortable and practical than "wedge" bikes. Talk a lot about prostates.

Recreational Cyclist: Wear street clothes with your right pant leg cuff completely greasy and shredded. Wear a bike helmet backwards and *censored*ed to one side. Tell people that you're starting to bike again to get back in shape.

Commuter: Wear street clothes, but carry a backpack or messenger bag full of what are clearly stinky bike clothes the entire evening. Make your helmet hair extremely obvious. Keep looking for opportunities to casually introduce the fact that you are a bike commuter into every single conversation in which you participate.

Fixie / Track Cyclist: Dress the same as a road cyclist, but you must always either keep walking or -- if you must stay in one place -- you must trackstand by moving a couple inches forward, then back, then forward and back again.

See? Easy, effective, and totally transformational. Nobody will recognize you. Better start preparing that "Best Costume" acceptance speech now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2 Days of Ironman Talk!!

Yesterday I finally got together with Ryan, Meg and Kristin to relive my Ironman tale. Ryan and Meg were extremely beneficial to my race day, as Ryan has done 2 IM's and Meg went to both. Ryan gave me tips for the race and Meg gave tips to Kristin about spectating and carrying my stuff (i.e. Blain). After multiple rescheduling, we finally got together and I could share all my stories. It was good time and I still teared up when I got to the finish part - and I got to do that twice as Meg and Kristin were talking the first time :-)

Tonight, I am participating on a panel "So you want to be an Ironman" put on by the DC tri club. I volunteered and am really happy I was picked. I think I have a very different perspective, not being a "typical" triathlete. There are 6 of us talking and as Brook put it

  • "3 speedy people
  • A doctor, probably for time management
  • A guy with type 2 diabetes,
  • You - if I can do it you can do it??"
It's true. I really think if I can do it, anyone can do it. Now I am not saying it was easy or a decision I took lightly - 13 months of training! But, I am really excited to share the 15+ hour side of an Ironman.

Should be fun!!

Oh, and because I really try to have a picture with every post, and this one is about Ironman, here is the one after my finish.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ouch... I Didn't Know I had Those Muscles...

After doing an Ironman, you would think I have felt every muscle in my body - at least once. Nope, last night activities found some new ones.

What was it you ask - Belly Dancing. Yes, that is right, Belly Dancing. We can blame Jess for this brilliant idea. We kept talking about wanting to try new things - so we are.

Holy Cow! We are in the beginner class and dang, this is tough. Proper hip movements, breathing, posture - and the speed to move, it was comical to say the least. But I have to say, I very much enjoyed myself. It's an 8 week course and this morning I woke up with that good muscle pain in my abs and back that I have never felt before. And I have decent core strenght!! But this was totally different.

Now I don't think I will ever look like this, especially after 8 weeks, but will be a lot of fun to try.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Am Back on the Wagon

After feeling like an idiot most of the yesterday, I did have a good time cheering on runners during the race. I even saw Mayor Fenty, yelled "Woo-Hoo Mayor Fenty" (or something like that) and got a thumbs up. Always nice to see the Mayor. THEN, we heard a ruckus from the runners, I looked at the guy and realized it was former ABC's The Bachelor. Now I saw him once before, and he totally checked me out again - my guess was this time it was my Ironman visor with the pink M-dot. Oh yeah - it draws attention :-)

Anyway, after 2 "famous people" sightings, we saw Charles! Unfortunately, that was all I had time for and had to rush home and get ready for dinner at Medieval Times . Yes, that is right, Medieval Times for Jess's birthday.

We will just leave it at that.

So today, with no 10K yesterday and a ton of food over the weekend, I am back on track. During lunch I did 15 minutes on a stationary bike followed by a 30 minute weights class. Yup, it's been a long time since weights have been apart of my workouts...

Tonight is workout number 2. I am not going to share what it is until later tonight or tomorrow.

Yes, it is that big of a surprise!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


How could I be so stupid!?!?! It's 6:30 am - I am up, dressed and ready to head out for my 10K. I start to look for my shoes, no shoes. I look for my race packet, no packet.

Oh $HIT!!! They are all in the same bag. Where is that bag??? Not in my apartment. It is either at the place I had dinner Friday night or the place we went after dinner Friday night.

Stupid Stupid STUPID!!!!

I wasn't thinking too much about the race so didn't even think about it yesterday.

AHHH!! I hate it when I do stupid things.

So, no 10K for me. No proper shoes (with inserts), no number, no chip. Blah!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ahhh... Karma

Sometimes karma is a b*tch, other times it is great. Today, it was great.

This morning I volunteered with KEEN, an organization that does activities with children who have mental and physical disabilities. They do music, sports, and this morning was swimming - which is what I did. I was paired up with 2 different children for about an hour each. It was so great. My first boy was an 11 year old, Luke. That kid could swim! He took off doing a lap of freestyle and turned around to do a lap of backstroke. I think we did about a 150, maybe even a 200 (6-8 lengths of a 25 yard pool). I was really impressed.
My second session was with Jack, a 6 year old nonverbal boy who I had to hold the entire time. He liked to be on his back, kick, and splash around (and a bit squirmy) so we did went back and forth and I think he had a good time. I was able to talk to his mom after who said she could see the smile on his face the entire time (which I couldn't see because of the way I was holding him). I really enjoyed my self and it was nice to do something for others. I am hoping to become a more permanent volunteer with the organization.

So, I called home to brag to my parents and Arin called. When I checked my voice mail, he said there were Wii's at the Best Buy! Now this past year, ever time I didn't go out to the bar, or did and only had one beer and not 4, I would put the money in a piggy bank - this was Mom's idea. She said at the end of the training, buy your self something non-Ironman, as a treat. My treat - a Wii! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find one. So, I was super excited when Arin called, I rushed to Best Buy and I now have my Wii!! Once Arin set it all up, we were ready to play Mario Kart, but one of the controllers didn't work :-( So, it's set up, 1 controller works, I just need to exchange the other one.

But, overall, I think today was about Karma. I finally did something for someone else - after a very selfish year, and I received a very pleasant surprise. And a Wii. Woo-Hoo!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Can't Believe I Did THAT!

Sunday is the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K. Jess, Sherry, Rose, Erik and I are all running the 10K and went to packet pick up today during lunch.

Anyone who read my previous blog knows I have a zillion pet peeves. Another one is the people who wear last years shirt to the current years event. Or some type of race shirt to another race pick-up, morning of the event, etc. I don't know why. A lot of people don't mind and think it's the appropriate place to wear such clothing - not me. I feel it's a bit peacock like (you know, "stick your chest out, look at me and see how great I am" type). Blah! No else cares what you have done in the past and you are only trying to intimidate others; or at least that is how I feel about it.

So we are standing in line at the pick up and the guy behind us is wearing a Ironman Cancun 70.3 fleece. My first thought was "Uhhh, not another one". BUT, then I look down and realize I am wearing my IM Wisconsin finishers jacket!! I was one of those people today and H-A-T-E-D it!!

Yes, I am so incredibly proud of the fact I did an Ironman and enjoy wearing my jacket (and t-shirts, hats, visors, etc.). However, most people have no real idea what an Ironman is, and don't grasp the concept of 140.6 miles.

Those are my thoughts for the day. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Just wanted to wish Jess a very happy birthday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Just Did Something I Haven't Done Since Ironman

No judgement but I FINALLY went to the grocery store. Now I have been going to my little 2 lane grocer and CVS (I said no judgement!) but I haven't done a 'big' trip. With a list.
Tonight I finally went and loaded up. Or I thought I loaded up but when I unpacked my bags, my fridge, freezer and cabinets still look empty. How does that happen???
But, it feels good to have food, even if I have dinner plans the rest of the week and no time to cook. But, now I have food to cook with - if I wanted to, which is close enough, right???

And the gym, how did it become Wednesday already? Today was a going away lunch, yesterday was recovering from Monday night (Brooke's fault - ha!!), and Monday was recovering from Sunday's hike.
Well, when I type it out, I guess I know where the week has gone...

Tomorrow. Gym tomorrow at lunch.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It Really Did Happen, Right???

It almost doesn't seem real. I re-read my race report from IM Moo and it almost seems like a dream or an over exaggerated imaginary thought. When I read it, I still get choked up at some parts. I look at the pictures and go "Yup, that's me." It's kind of an odd feeling. A part of me feels the need to throw my self into something new; but I also want to learn to just be happy - being.

I always knew Ironman would not become a lifestyle. Triathlons, distances swims, working out - yes, this I want to keep in my life for as long as possible. I am trying to find some sort of balance.

So I still don't know what's next and I am trying to be okay with that. I think right now, this quote from Henry David Thoreau is very appropriate.

"Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined."-

Monday, October 20, 2008

Disney music, REALLY?!?!

Rachel called me yesterday with a question that she couldn't ask her husband. She sounded very serious and I really wasn't sure what was going on. Rachel and I chat about triathlons, working out and other non-work stuff (we work together but she is in the Atlanta office) so I really wasn't sure where she was going with this conversation.

Rachel - "Is it ever appropriate to have Disney music in a spin class?"
Me - "Huh?"
Rachel - "You know of High School Musical, right?" (Note - she has an 8 year old daughter)
Me - "Huh? Oh yes, I have heard of it."
Rachel - "The spin class I just took played 'Get'cha Head in the Game'"
Me - "Huh?"

So this of course lead to a discussion if Disney music is ever appropriate for an adult spin/aerobics class. I am going to go with a no, unless it's maybe some "Circle of Life" for a cool down. But really, High School Musical, spin class, that just doesn't seem right.

So I ask you, my 3 readers, is it appropriate to play Disney music in an adult spin/aerobics class?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fun Hike!!

2 years ago I went on my first "real" hike to Old Rag. I fell in love quickly. It was challenging, beautiful country and very peaceful. This past year I had the opportunity to go a few times, but was too afraid to go (didn't want to twist an ankle, fall, etc.) so I passed. After some schedule adjustments, a big group (8, which is a lot for hiking) met up to re-tackle the hike.

So beautiful!!

Great day, perfect weather, wonderful people to hike with. It was a bit crowded, but I did run into Sara - who I found out is moving to Boston :-(

Anyway, now I am very sleepy and hoping I will finally get a good nights sleep since I have been back from Ireland.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yoga is HARD

Today was a good day.
This morning I helped out at the DC Tri club bike time trial. I knew Janel was doing it and then found out Tony was too, so it was fun to cheer. But, it was C-O-L-D!! Now, 50 degrees shouldn't bother me, however, it was 80 2 days ago! That was an unexpected temperature swing. Oh well, it is technically fall.

This afternoon, I signed up for a yoga seminar "Yoga for Athletes". Little did I know, it was by this well know yoga person from North Carolina. She was awesome! We talked a bit before class and she is actually a triathlon coach and writer for Runners World. And has a book! I was by far the least yoga-experienced but Sage was really good about alternate poses, using blocks/straps/blankets to make it easier for me. And HOLY HIP PAIN! But in the good way.

This might be something I am going to try and continue with...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So Much for Only a Riser Block

I told Brooke and Janel that I was only allowed to buy a riser block. It is to go with my bike trainer - now that it is getting a bit cooler and I will be biking inside. This will replace my econometrics book that I have been using for my front tire.

Somehow, even though I told them this, there was no stopping me from buying a pair of casual bike shorts (mountain bike shorts) and new shoes. Not only new bike shoes, but the ones Janel has. She had nothing but good things to say and of course they were on the higher price side - bah! Now I am sure they would say that having the same pair of shoes since I had clips (4 years) is a bad idea. And why my foot might have been falling asleep is because of the shoes, not necessarily the bunion. And the shoes were really needed... And now the little flower design on the shoe matches the flower design my Specialized saddle...

Okay, I wanted the shoes. I just like trying to blame others for my spending habits :-)

Trying to Fight it Off

I think my body is really confused. I went from working out 7 days a week - close to 20 hours a week, to very little working out for 4 weeks (and a lot of poor/delicious eating), to a week of bicep curls and now back to work with okay eating but no working out. Therefore, I woke up with a really bad sore throat. I am still not back on a good sleeping schedule, which isn't helping. I keep waking up at 4:30 a.m. expecting someone to have a full Irish breakfast waiting for me...

I had full intentions of going to the gym today, but due to the sore throat... Tonight is a Tri Club Happy Hour so I figured talking about triathlons is pretty close to working out for triathlons.

Tomorrow. Definitely will go to the gym tomorrow.

I have to say, it's not as fun when I am not working towards something. Maybe I should start thinking of my 2009 schedule...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Baaacccckkk!!!

What a trip! Drove the entire beautiful land that is known as Ireland (including Northern Ireland). A hand full of beautiful days, rainy days and cloudy days. Hey - it's Ireland in October, I was happy with 1 beautiful day!!

And did I work out??
Well there was tons of walking and hiking around places like this.

And taking the stairs to the top of castles like this.

And of course, a lot of bicep curls involving this.

So, that has been my life as of the last week.

Now I am back at work, trying to figure out what to do next. I know I need to get back into the gym, should start some weight training, begin cooking for my self (i.e. get to the grocery store) and figure out what's next.

Any ideas???

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?!?!

Man, I have had so much to blog but haven't found the time to actually sit down and write it out. It's been a week?!?! Sorry to my 3 readers I have left...

Let's see, a week in review.
Tuesday for some reason I got up BEFORE the crack of dawn for a bike ride. I only got up because Brooke said she would meet me, and Janel and M.E. said maybe... so I had to go. Sure enough, all 3 of them were there and we had a really good ride. And there was no way I would have gotten out of bed if it wasn't for meeting them. Yay friends!!
And that wasn't it for Tuesday. For some reason, I decided to do a double. After work, went for a run. It was a run where I thought I was moving, ran pretty much the entire time (51 minutes) and still went a 13:30!!! BOOO!! No matter what... I am the same speed. Blah!

The rest of the week was 'tapering' (aka doing nothing) for my sprint tri on Saturday. I don't know if you can taper off of a break, but that was my theory.

Arin (my brother) and I went head to head on a sprint tri. I knew if he beat me, I would never hear "Remember when I beat an Ironman..." for the rest of my life. I was a bit worried because Arin was working out a ton and very dedicated. I thought we were about the same for swimming and he is a faster runner, so I had to work the bike.

Mom and Dad flew out Thursday and early Saturday morning, we headed to Lake Anna. Arin and I were in the same wave so it made things easier. We set up our trans areas, met some really nice people, and headed to the water at 10:18.

The swim - felt good, and fast. I wanted to push and see how it felt to go faster. When I finished, Mom and Dad yelled "You are losing!!" and "Your brother is BEATING you!!" Arin was out about 20 seconds ahead of me! WHAT!?! And I looked at my time, about 1-1:30 than other 750 swims... I think the course was a bit long... (NOTE - according to the results, I was 1st out of the water for the Athena's! Woo-Hoo! Even if it was long, I was still first, even though Arin beat me out)
T1 - See Arin, chat as I get my shoes on and Carlos and I are out before him - I gained my time back. Ha!

Bike - I knew I had to keep my lead on Arin so he wouldn't catch me on the run. It was a pretty flat course, but some bumps to make it interesting. Great roads and pretty sights. Before I knew it, it was over. L-O-V-E only having to bike 12.4 miles and I tried to push, but not too hard. 44 minutes! 16.9 MPH! By far my fastest bike ever!
T2 - Had a conversation with a girl by me so took a bit longer than it should have.

Run - Only 3.1 miles, and flat, but still couldn't get my self to 'run'. Started with the 1:1, 2:1, but mentally had a hard time 'running'. It was an out and back so kept my eyes pealed after the turn around.
Arin wasn't too far behind me so I needed to get my butt moving, and I did. So much so, I had a negative split! HA! AND, I FINALLY went faster than 13:30 minute miles, 11:45!! Once again, my fastest 5K!!
This was also my best finish, 5 out of 25. Apart of me wishes I would have pushed harder, I was less than 4 minutes from 3rd - oh well...

It was a great race and Arin finished strong. I am so proud of him! He was a bit to fast for my liking and think my winning won't last much longer. Especially if we both do the 4.4 mile swim next year... Oh well, have to love sibling rivalry.

Now, I am finishing up my packing for a week in Ireland. It was a present to my self after spending the year training for Ironman. Basically, it will probably be another week before I blog again... I know, my life is so hard.