Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pop Quiz

I just updated my profile. The first person to correctly identify what I changed gets to be poster of the day!

*edit* Charlie wins!

And she emerges, victorious

Tell me that didn't just happen.

Did you really think that I would go down that easily?

Did you expect me to give up?

Did you try to catch me at a moment of weakness?

Did you think I didn't learn from our last encounter?

Look at me when I'm talking to you, house!

Sure I'm not the best plumber. I admit that the last time you messed with me I ended up with a $1200 bill. My bad. But I've grown since then, house. I thought you would have learned that.

How long have we been together- 5 years now? And you still have to pull this little shit on me at the most inopportune times. First it was the shower. You thought it was pretty damn funny to spring a leak and cause the ceiling to cave in when I was in Australia. Ok fine, we all got a little laugh out of that one. And then you had to take it one step too far. The hot water heater was just over the line. That really just pissed me right off. I know you realized it too. Tried to be nice to me for awhile. And now you have to pull this passive aggressive bullcrap again.

An hour before I was supposed to have my training buddies over you strike. Very funny. Water all over the kitchen floor. Good one.

Did you think I would actually just call a plumber?

Did you think that I would be above going to Home Depot after a 3 hour workout without a shower?

Did you think that your ass backwards 1930's plumbing, when nothing in the world was standardized, was going to hold me back?

Puuulease. You should know me by now.

I beat you this time, house.

I hope you learned your lesson you little smartass

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A change of pace

It's time for me to write my thesis. So for the next month I'm going to go back and publish my journals from my trip to Melbourne. Tri-related because I did my first triathlon there (race report to come). They should be entertaining. I'll wait until the end to publish my Papua New Guinea Journal It's a long one. Let me know if you like em!

First journal: 2/21/04

Well, I have one week under my belt here in Melbourne. I feel like I’ve learned about 25 new languages and/or dialects since leaving the states. I’m starting to think that every English speaking country finds the need to screw up the language in their own quirky way in order to be trendy. In PNG I was introduced to Scottish English. So these people have deemed it trendy to ignore any and all T’s that are in the middle of words. Whose screwed up idea was that? Here I have realized that the letter of choice for Australians is R. Not only do they not pronounce their R’s, they pretend not to understand you if you do. I was on the tram Thursday because I was trying to hunt down a cheap bicycle. I was looking for a Kmart and asked the girl next to me what stop I should take. She was an asian girl, and based on the look she gave me when I asked where the K-mart was I knew she must not be from around here. So I asked again more slowly and with an even worse Wisconsin accent (why do I do that?). Still nothing. A couple seconds later a lightbulb went on for her, and she said “Oh, K-maaat?” I guess I’m going to have to conform if I want to find my way around here. Now, I’m not trying to put down everyone else’s take on the English language. I take full responsibility for having the least attractive accent on God’s green earth, but at least I make an attempt not to neglect any crucial consonants.
So besides learning all about the Australian accent, I had a very productive week. I made more friends since Sunday than I made in 2.5 years in Ohio. Unfortunately, they’re all female. But they are a very spunky group and besides my friend Janine, they are all single and looking. Here's a pic:

One of the more free-spirited girls is having a party on Thursday. Apparently she met a couple of fire fighters last weekend at the beach (while wearing a skimpy pink bikini). She made plans to meet up with them Thursday, but last night decided that 2 men wasn’t quite enough. So she met 2 more guys last night at the bar and invited them along. So now the rule is that every girl that attends the party has to bring a random single man. It’s a “random people party”. I now have 4 days to find my random person and I’m beginning to sweat it a little. I’m going to end up with the nose-picking pervert I just know it.
When I got back from PNG I was amazed that I made it through the trip without any major bouts of travelers illness. I hadn’t thought I would need to watch out in Australia. Last night the girls and I went to the Moonlight Cinema. It is basically a huge blow-up screen that they set up in the middle of Melbourne’s beautiful botanical gardens. The movie was Lost in Translation last night and moviegoers bring tons of food and wine to the show and it’s quite a lovely way to spend an evening.I was introduced to bread and dip last night. Instead of eating chips and dip, they eat bread and dip here. The dips are more exotic here, though and you can buy about 25 different kinds at the Victoria Market down the road. We had 6 kinds last night and they were very good. Or at least it seemed, until I woke up at 2 am in a cold sweat. Needless to say, the dips apparently weren’t happy with accommodations in my digestive system and headed to the nearest exit. My morning run helped me to feel a little better, but my theory about the dips being the culprit was validated when one of my swimming partners bailed on me for our training session this afternoon. She had the dips last night, too.
While I’m already on the subject, let me explain a little bit about the toilets here in Australia. They apparently are very concerned with water conservation here (I’ve been meaning to point out that they live on a giant island, but I haven’t run into the proper authorities). The toilets, therefore have about 2 cups of water in them. These 2 cups of water are about 2 feet from your bottom. You may know where I’m going with this… So every once and awhile I feel the need to do the dreaded #2 at work (the cereals here have a lot of fiber). Now in the states you can usually slip one out without much of a stir. Not here. You would think you’re laying down an air to land cruise missile. By the time I’m through everyone on the floor knows my bowel habits and I’ve had a second shower for the day.
Okay, I’m done with the gross-out stuff for today. Another cool development since I’ve gotten here is that I’ve convinced two of the girls to do triathlons with me! The first one is a week from Wednesday and I can’t wait. We are starting out with the ultra sprint variety which is a 300m swim, 10k bike, and 3k run. I’m trying to convince them to move up to the sprint level (500-20-5), but they tell me they think I’ll die on the swim. They may be right, but they obviously don’t know me very well. Because now I have a challenge. I’m going to sign up for the sprint on Monday. I’d do it today, but I’ve found myself without internet access. I refuse to let the computer nazi’s touch my laptop. These crazy bastards (that’s bastaads in Australian), strip you of administrative rights to your own computer and remove all music files and software before they will give you network access. They would have to rip my computer out of my dead rigorous fingers before they would take my music away from me.
Well, what else happened this week… My experiments have worked so far. I’ve been sent here to make some genetic manipulations to P. falciparum in order to piece together the mechanisms of drug resistance. I’m getting my DNA ready right now and it is cooperating. The woman I am working with (Jenny) is really great. I couldn’t ask for a better person to train me here. I’m meeting her for lunch tomorrow on Lygon street (a mecca of restaurants- mostly Italian). Then tomorrow night I am going to a concert with Janine (I’m hoping to pick up my random person there). The plans for tonight include a lot of DVD watching in close proximity to a toilet, just in case any more varieties of dip from last night become unhappy with me. I have the weekend to myself because my roommate has gone to Sydney to visit relatives. Oh yeah, the roommate. I guess have to speak about her a little, huh?
So my roommate is Arlene. She is a pediatrician who is doing a fellowship in malaria research. She is about the most animated person I’ve ever met. I’m currently trying to figure out if Arlene is gay- not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’m just nosy. Here’s my evidence so far- First of all, she has a pretty short crew-cut like hair-do and a lot of piercings. Not very convincing evidence here… Secondly, at the conference in Lorne a girl, who was definitely gay took a pretty quick liking to her. This is still not very good evidence. However, the kicker was her behavior at the beach last week. Beach volleyball is very big here. There are about 30 nets on the beach in St. Kilda. The first thing I notice is the dozens of perfect specimens of the male sex. We’re talking tan, built, and beautiful men. Hubba, Hubba. Amidst this she makes a beeline for the women’s teams. And takes pictures. To me, that’s just crazy given the distractions of the other courts. You make the call…
Well, I have to go get my laundry out of the dryer. I think $4 per load is highway robbery, but I guess you have to pay a price if you’re going to waste their precious reserves of water…

Talk next week,

Monday, December 25, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cervelo Sponsorship letter

Dear Gerard,

You may not know me yet, but I'm writing to convince you that sponsoring me this year is a wonderful business opportunity. I am a 28 year old student and athlete from the triathlete Mecca that is Cleveland. Not only do I have a mountain of athletic potential, but I offer unique marketing opportunities.

Athletic Achievements:

Although 2006 was my first year doing triathlons I placed in my age group in several races. In at least one of those races I was competing against more than two people for the podium. The races were truly epic battles to the finish line. Just a look at my PRs will offer a glimpse into my talent. My half marathon PR of 1:52.52 is a showcase of my speed. I'm sure that I was right at the top of my age group because I was given a medal at the finish line. My blisteringly fast bike split at the Portage Lakes Olympic relays (ave. 19.7 mph) was enough to pull my relay team to a first place finish (sure, we were the only female relay, but that's clearly because we scared away the competition). But the leg that truly sets me apart is my swimming. Why would a bicycle manufacturer want to support a swimmer, you ask? The answer is simple... and genius. I will be competing in Ironman CdA in June. Let's say I get out of the water at 60 minutes. When I get on my Cervelo most of the field will be behind me. I guarantee that over the next 6 hours I will be passed by at least 1000 competitors. Adorn me with a DeSoto Trikini with a Cervelo logo and 700 men are sure to notice the bike I'm riding. The impact on your company will be huge. The plan doesn't end there, though. If you'd like, just for the benefit of your company, I will then take it easy on the run. I will make sure that I give the leaders plenty of time to go home and shower before making my grand appearance at the finish line. Extending my time on the course will give your company hours of additional exposure.

Although my current fitness is impressive, never underestimate the effects of sexual frustration on the athleic potential of a single 28 year old woman. I have an endless tank of energy to funnel into my triathlon training. There is no telling what the next 6 months will bring.

Marketing Potential:

I'm not sure if word has gotten out to you yet about my triathlon blog. I had at least 50 visitors this year. Don't worry, I have saved plenty of advertising space for your company. I guarantee that within 6 months of sponsoring me, all of my mom's friends will be cruising around their neighborhoods on Cervelo Cycles. I truly think that the female 60-64 age group is a jackpot of untapped revenue for your company.

Additionally, I think that I could be a model spokesperson for your company. First of all, as a 28 year old still in school I will preach the merits of higher education. I have truly mastered the art of avoiding the workforce. Why does that matter to your company, you ask? Well, have you ever seen people that have more time on their hands to train than graduate and medical students? It's a group that will be quickly drawn into the sport. Then, once they hit the coveted 30-40 year old demographic, their education will pay off and they will be putty in your hands with huge paychecks. I see a future of garages lined with Cervelo road and tri-bikes.

Finally, my experience in marketing makes me an ideal candidate for your company. I was among the top of my marketing class in high school in all of our roll playing assignments. And have you seen my skills in a group? Clearly you noticed me at the Slowtwitch Virtual Christmas party. Give me a mixer of Gatorade Endurance and Vodka and I'll mingle like a socialite pushing a clothing line. I am even willing to give up a week of my time next October to be flown out to help promote Cervelo at Kona next year. I'll bet not many athletes would be selfless enough to offer up their time like that!

In conclusion, I think that we could have a very profitable and mutually beneficial business partnership. Please feel free to contact me for any other information that you may need. Thanks you for your consideration.


Jodi Thomson

P.S. My bike size is 48 cm.


Merry Christmas everyone!

X-mas Vacation pics. Volume 1

My very best friends from High School: Margaret (left) and Angela (right)

Margaret and I:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Think I'm Gonna Hurl

Where were you guys when I needed you? All I needed was for someone to tell me to STEP AWAY FROM THE COOKIE DOUGH! But no. No one came to my rescue. Still no one was there for me when the cookies were done to tell me to STEP AWAY FROM THE COOKIES! Seriously, I thought you guys were my friends.

So I have really been trying to comment on everyone's blogs the past few days but blogger has not been kind. I switched to blogger beta a couple days ago, and have determined that it just might be the devil. I have typed up at least a dozen replies to people's blogs only to be told that I can't log in or that my password is incorrect. Ugh.

And for more random thoughts....

1. Swelling has gone down in my legs! And to offset the water weight that I have lost I have made sure to eat it's weight in chocolate and cookies. I feel like a fat tick. However, I have been warned by my coach that I had better enjoy this recovery week because she is going to make me wish I had never pronounced the word Ironman next week. 2 days with one workout, 4 days with 2 workouts, 1 day with 3 workouts. 12,000 yards in the pool, 3.5 hours of running, 5 hours of cycling, and strength training for good measure. I think the weight should come off nicely :)

2. Never, ever doubt your coach. I know from experience. Since I have been doing so much long slow running I was really starting to think that it was ruining my speed. I mean, how can you possibly run fast when you are stuck in training at 10:30 miles? I was getting very frustrated. When it came time to race and Angela wanted me to stay in my heart rate zones for the race I begged her to let me run it. I just needed to prove to myself that I could still run. One last hurrah before I resign myself back to 10 minute miles for the next 6 months. She was supportive of my request. Still I was convinced that I was going to run a 2:00 half. Which would have killed my spirits since I ran a 1:58 before I started my triathlon training. Well, she was right. I PRed by almost 6 minutes and felt absolutely fabulous the whole time. I will stop complaining about my slow running now. And I will listen to her without question. I mean, I do pay her good money for her expertise. I'd have to be a moron to ignore it!

3. Water Polo. Yeah baby! My master's team has started a water polo session on the weekends. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I was on the Wisconsin water polo team for a year. I loved it, but I was absolutely terrible. I'm so excited to have another team to play with to show off my mad skills.

That's all I've got for now. My head has been pounding for the past 6 hours now and I can't think straight. I think it's time for bed...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Race Report----Very Long

Pre race activities:


I checked in on Thursday and had a nice evening with my parents. We had dinner at a fancy Thai restaurant in The Bellagio and I had Szechuan Tofu. Here is a picture of our hotel at night:

Friday I had a 20 minute run scheduled and my dad accompanied me. It was a 10 minute warm up followed by 5 x 30 second pick ups with 1:30 zone 2 jogs in between. We got made fun of by some of the locals for how slow our jogs were. It was kind of funny since I know I could have probably out run every one of them. Patience Daniel-son! The rest of Friday afternoon was a big mistake. I think that we walked no less than 10 miles sight seeing. We topped it off by walking from Treasure Island to Mandalay Bay to pick up my race packet- a distance of no less than 3 miles. I enjoyed the expo and bought some running stuff and we headed back to meet Brienne who came in for dinner. It was absolutely fantastic to see her! After dinner we went outside to see the fountain in front of the hotel. Here is a pic of me and Brienne:

And one of me and my Dad:


In the morning when I woke up I knew I was in trouble. My hip was absolutely killing me. I was in a bad car accident was I was a kid and I think I did a little ligament damage to my right hip. It doesn't stay in joint well, so when I walk a lot or stand with my hip out (like when playing a slot machine for example) it gets aggravated. It was in enough pain for me to be limping around the hotel. And I had 13.1 miles to run the next day! Wonderful.

The task at hand, though, was the Santa Run 5k. It was run by a charity in Vegas who was looking to break the world record for largest Santa gathering. With our registration we all got Santa suits fully equipt with hat, jacket, pants, and beard! It was quite a sight to see 5000 Santas running down Freemont street, let me tell you! Here is a pic of us before the race:

Obviousely I wasn't in this to break any land speed records. The purpose of the run on Saturday was to loosen up and hopefully work out the pain in the hip. I ran with a buddy from my tri club that made the trip and let Brienne and my dad go ahead. It was surely the slowest 5k in history, but it was a ton of fun! The hip did feel a little better, but I was still in full limp mode all day.

The rest of the day was filled with relaxation and motivation. Brienne and I watched the NBC Sports coverage of a crazy endurance running race followed by the Hawaii Ironman coverage. If watching Kona doesn't inspire you, you are uninspirable! It was great and as always I cried watching the finishers. After dinner we rented The Guardian, which was another amazingly inspiring movie and were off to dreamland!

Race Day:

Wake up was at 4 AM and my bagel was already sitting by the TV just waiting for me to add my chunky peanut butter. I ate the bagel, took 2 Aleve, and had a half glass of coffee. Then I got dressed in my Under Armour cold gear. The weather channel called for race time temp of 50 F with a 30% chance of showers. I'd rather be hot than cold, so I went with full tights and a long sleeve top. Here I am proudly displaying my outfit:

And my HUGE muscles (Matt style)

You may wonder why my bib says "Bob's First". Well, as you may already know from a previous post, my dad was supposed to run this with me. After he broke his ankle, Active allowed him to transfer his race entry to me. Well, they also transferred the saying he wanted on his bib! Which was pretty funny. But a) I am my dad's first child, and b) my boss' (also named Bob) first PhD student. So it sorta fit!

We left the room at 5 AM and went to the lobby to catch a quick cab ride to the race. It was a good thought... except that they closed the strip at 4 AM! The concierge told us the line to get a cab from the back entrance was so long that we'd be better off walking. So off we went, realizing now that we would be cutting the start very close.

As we got closer to the race we realized that both Brienne and I needed a quick pottie stop before the race. We headed into the Mandalay Bay Casino, because of course no one else thought to do that! Wrong! Line was WAY long. So in desperation, at 5:45 we headed outside to find the porta johns. Thankfully the lines weren't too long and we were out at 5:55. Great! 5 minutes to spare. But where is the race start? It became clear that we were not in the right place to enter the race line-up. So I quick gave my Dad a big hug, and Brienne and I jumped a fence and squeezed our way in to the massive crowd of people right as the Announcer sent off the wheelchair devision.

Looking around we noticed that we were seeded right next to the marathon 5:30 pace group. This was quite a bit farther back than our expected pace, but from my experience it is much more fun and motivational to start at the back and pass people throughout the race than to seed too fast and have speedy runners whiz by you for an hour. I told Brienne not to worry about it and we anxiously awaited the gun.

When the marathon and half marathon start was announced there was a cheer from the crowd. About 2 minutes later we started very slowly walking forward. We were about a quarter of a mile from the starting line and walked at a very slow pace until about 100 feet before the start when the crowd thinned and we started to jog. We crossed the chip mats just before 8 minutes clicked off the clock, I started my Garmin Forerunner timer and was off.

Brienne and I quickly became separated as we worked to find some space to run I pointed to a free space and told her to take it. Then she was gone! No worries, though, because we were planning on running our own races.

The first 10k was phenomenal. We had the wind at our backs and a slowly sloping downhill grade. I had studied the race course and had planned to take advantage of the elevation change and to go out fast. As you know, all of my training has been strictly heart rate based and very slow, so it was so freeing to be able to really run. I just tried to keep my heart rate around 180 and thankfully that put me at about 8:20-8:40 miles. I was breathing nice and easy and I swear I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time. Seeing teams of Elvis runners and brides and grooms to be (the wedding chapel was at mile 5) definitely helped. I waved my arms to get the attention of my Mom who was on one of the bridges overlooking the race. Having my parents' support out there was great. Around mile 5 I took my first Gu and took some water to wash it down. I went with the caffeine (vanilla flavored) for the run for the extra boost and it felt great when it kicked in.

I knew that the next 4 miles were going to be the toughest physically and mentally. The turnaround was at Freemont street and there were many spectators lined along the race course. This was where the half marathon split from the full, and where we turned into the wind and the uphill. I had picked up a running buddy who was wearing a shirt from a local Cleveland race and we served as each others support until mile 10. The wind was gusty, the grade was noticeable, and the spectators absent for this stretch. My pace slowed for awhile closer to 8:45 to 9:00, but that was all in the plan. I wanted to ease back to save all that I had for the last 5k. I took another Gu at around mile 8 so that it would be firmly set in my stomach by mile 10, the mile I had been waiting all morning for.

At about mile 9.5 my buddy told me he was going to drop back, I wished him well and prepared for my final 5k. I had mentally prepared for the 10-13.1 mile trek and had a great source of motivation. A very good friend of mine (Steve, as most of you know) got really involved in running right when I started my triathlon training. He's a 5k specialist and had really become a phenomenal runner in a very short time. Two months ago he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma which shut down his running season and he is currently in his second round of chemotherapy. Right before I left for Vegas he was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery. I told myself that the last 5k of my run would be for him. No matter how much my body hurt it didn't compare to the pain he was going through. So for the last 5k I just kept repeating to myself: "this isn't about you- you're running this for Steve". It was a very tough stretch, but I never once even considered slowing down. When I saw the 13 mile marker I got the biggest, most stupid grin on my face and just let it all out in a final sprint for the finish. It was the first time I had ever seen the pace on my Garmin go below 6:30 min/mile. When I crossed the finish and stopped my timer at 1:52 I wanted to jump up and down for joy:

Race stats:

Totals: Distance 13.15, Time: 1:52:52 Avg pace 8:34 Avg HR 184 Max HR 190

By the mile:

Mile......Pace.......Avg HR......Max HR

Not sure if it was a negative split or not, but I'll get around to calculating it one of these days!

*edit* Negative split by 1 minute. Woohoo!

I met up with Brienne who had an amazing first half and finished at 1:51:00! We got our picture taken with a showgirl (unfortunately no Elvis this year for a photo-op, dammit!), and took a taxi back to the hotel to warm up and get some food. Twelve hours later, and about 7 more miles of walking around Vegas I was on a plane back to Cleveland.


When I woke up as our plane landed I noticed immediately that the little bit of swelling in my legs post-race had turned into a LOT of swelling, particularly in my left leg. It's pretty gross- I have cankles! When my boss saw my legs he immediately called his wife (family doc) and set up a morning appointment with her for some imaging to rule out Deep Vein Thrombosis. Since I've had my legs up the swelling has started to go down, so hopefully it's nothing. At any rate, the swelling had better go down by Saturday because I have a hot dress to wear to a Christmas party and the last thing I want sticking out from under the skirt is these tree trunks!

Post-race Check-in!

Had a fabulous race yesterday! The final time was 1:52.57 for an average of 8:35 miles. A 6 minute PR from my race in May. I'm ecstatic about it, but so sore and tired that I can't think straight (took the red-eye in this morning and have gotten a total of 2 hours of sleep in the past 30 hours, 8 in the past 50) I'll try to get a race report and some splits up in the next couple days.

A quick pick of me with Brienne post-race with our medals. She did absolutely amazing! Beat me by almost 2 minutes in her first Half marathon! I'm trying to get her to sign up for IM Wisconsin with me in '08. I think that she caught the endurance bug!

Vegas baby, Vegas

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The pre-race conversation

Mind: I'm a little worried about Sunday

Body: Here we go....

Mind: I mean, I haven't run fast in 2 months. How am I supposed to do it now?

Body: Are you kidding me?

Mind: Have I told you our goal?

Body: Remember May when you made me do the last half? THAT was crazy. I was in terrible shape.

Mind: Yeah...

Body: Look at me. Remember how I looked in May?

Mind: Yeah, you were kind of flabby, I guess

Body: You weren't all that together, either, remember?

Mind: Do we have to get into the name calling? It was a difficult time...

Body: Exactly! And now look at us. I'm looking better than I have ever looked, I'm fueled better than ever, and I have muscles!

Mind: Come to think of it, I've been pretty good lately too. I haven't missed a workout in 10 weeks. I wake up refreshed, I'm confident, I'm happier than I've been in years...

Body: Now you've got it. Now that I have you back on track, we have to go through our plan on Sunday

Mind: Right, race plan, I almost forgot. What are you thinking?

Body: I'll take the first 10 miles. You have to let me go out easy. It's how I work. Start out the first mile slow. I don't want to see the clock read anything lower than 9:30 at mile 1. The congestion should help this. Don't let it frustrate you. We need to start easy! Don't worry, we'll make it up.

Mind: Okay, start easy. Mile 1 9:30

Body: After the mile marker we are going to pick it up. The beginning of the race is downhill. We are going to use that to our advantage. I want to see you hold the next 10K at 8:40 miles.

Mind: Geez... are you sure we can do that?

Body: Trust me!!!!

Mind: Fine. Then what

Body: At mile 7 we can ease off a little bit. Stop at some aid stations, I need you to drink some gatorade and take a GU. I'm taking the next 3 miles at 8:55. That takes me to your territory.

Mind: What do you mean?

Body: When we get to mile 10 I'm going to hurt. My wheels are going to come off, my joints will hurt, and I am going to want to stop. Your turn. I'm only leaving you 5k, so quit your bitching and drive!

Mind: Okay, okay. It's mile 10... I say we hammer it! Pain is weakness leaving your body. We are going to push harder. We are going to push a little harder for everyone who thinks we can't do it. We are going to push harder because Steve can't. We are going to push harder because we are healthy. We are going to push harder because of how happy we are to be alive. We are going to push harder because we want to get in line to get our picture taken with Elvis!

Body: You were doing so well, why did you have to bring the King into this?

Mind: I'm just saying the line might be long...

Body: Whatever gets the job done.

Mind: I'm so glad we had this conversation. I'm feeling better already!

Body: Great. Can we go to sleep now?

Mind: Right, you probably need some extra rest. Sorry about that.

Body: Whatever...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! (Jumping up and down with excitement)

Okay, I'm trying not to get too excited about this... but my cousin from San Diego just emailed me and said she might make the trip to Vegas this weekend to do the half! She is just awesome, by the way. I always have such a great time with her, but we grew up 2000 miles apart (San Diego and Milwaukee). She's just one of these amazingly independant and fun people who's always up for a new challenge. I think we may have a few things in common... but she's always been so much more of a risk taker than me and I really admire that. Here's pic of her, me, and her brother taken last year on my trip to San Diego

Oh, and did I mention she's also a motorcycle racer? If she comes to Vegas it will be aboard a BMW cycle with hand warmers. How cool is that???

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Random Thoughts Saturday!

I've been busy and not blogging much lately. Here's some quick notes before I pass out

1. We had a surprise B-Day party for my roommate Matt last night. A great time was had by all. I bought him some Under Armour and he, in classic Matt style, put it on in front of all his guests and flexed his muscles. It was awesome. And we have so much beer left over! Thankfully a lot of people brought over Great Lakes Christmas Ale. I love the stuff. I have about a 1 month limit, though, because it is a little bit of a spicy beer and it's easy to get tired of it.

2. We had a really fun training session today. DaisyDuc came over, right from a PR 5K of 21:37 (awesome!) and we did a 2:15 bike / 35 minute run brick. Janet, Matt, and I set up our bikes in the living room, popped The Terminal into the DVD player and spun away. Afterwards we had a hectic T2 (In true Ironman style we had separate male and female changing "tents"). FYI, don't try to put on Under Armour Cold Gear when you're covered in sweat. It's not pretty. The run was nice and easy and, as always, I really enjoyed Janet's company. I am so lucky to have such wonderful training buddies!

3. I guess maybe I am a hopeless romantic. I tend not to be a girly girl and don't watch the romantic comedies. But one of my movie weaknesses was on today. Love Actually is one of my all time favorite movies. It's just so heartwarming and wonderful and funny. Maybe I'm just a sucker for Christmas movies. Yeah, that's it.

4. Had a girl's night with Colleen tonight. We went out to the fancy shmancy outdoor mall for some shopping. It was great. The air was crisp, trees were decorated and Christmas music was playing. We both bought the most adorable dresses from White House Black Market. Mine is a black strapless number with an asian looking embroidery on the front. I'm going to a few Christmas parties coming up and I can't wait to wear it!

5. Steve update: Here is a little except from the email I got on Wednesday from his wife:

He felt great all week-end. Monday he started getting "small" cramps but was standing at the door waving when I left for my night class around 5:00. By 8:00, when I got home, he was in the ER in the worst pain he's ever experienced. He basically collapsed in front of the kids, called my dad to come watch them, and sent Emma to the neighbor's house to get help.

A second CT looked "about the same" but he was in so much pain, I had them transfer him to UH, where they noticed a "microperf" on the bowel. By 4:00, when he wasn't improving, they took him to surgery, and it was a mess. The surgeon said the hole was as big around as her finger and he was filling up with pus. She cleaned him out, removed 32 cm including ileum and cecum, and took out a few lymph nodes she thought were malignant. Otherwise, she said there was no visible mass. Most of the cancerous part is out of him ... Not the way we wanted it to happen, however.

The next morning, I walked in expecting him to be flat on his back, drugged out of his mind, and still looking scary, but he was sitting up, cracking (bad) jokes, and being the real Steve (well, morphine Steve). A huge relief after two days of such awful pain. He is looking really good (for a cancer patient, that is). No signs of infection, lots of soreness, but the tubes, etc., are gone. I expect bitching and moaning to begin before long. :-)

We went to see him on Thursday. He looked fantastic and is in great spirits. He says that he feels that he should do something incredibly heroic once he beats the cancer. He said his wife said: "If Lance can win 7 tours after his cancer, what are you gonna do?"

Great attitude. He's vowed to enter Cleveland's Road Race series this summer and give his age group a run for their money. What a great guy! He's such an inspiration for me. I am so honored to be raising money for L&L in his name.

I'm out. Another really busy week ahead. My half is in one week. I'll post a pre-race report sometime before Thursday.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, November 27, 2006

What I Did on My Thanksgiving Vacation

Hi everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday. I know I did. Here's a quick summary of my 10 days back home in good ole Wisconsin:

1. Badger football game! I already blogged about that, though. But it was awesome! The Badger's are officially the most underappreciated 11-1 team in Big Ten history.

2. Green Bay Packers football game! Lambeau Field is always a good time. Unfortunately, the QB (sorry WI peeps, he should have retired 5 years ago) wasn't up to the game and the Packers got smeared. No Worries, I had to leave at halftime to get my 90 minute run done before the party people got back and wanted to go to the casino. And no, I didn't win. I never do. I'm not only the biggest Klutz you'll ever meet, but I'm also the least lucky person on the planet.

3. Milwaukee Bucks Basketball game! I've never been to a Pro-Basketball game before. 2 quick observations:

You know your seats are good when you are sitting in the same row as the owner (and state senator). Thanks Nikki and Tony for the tickets!

What is with the skank squad? Seriously, I must just be getting old, but those cheerleaders need to put some clothes on. Come on, knee high boots????

4. 10,600 yards in an 83 degree pool by myself. If that's not the definition of tedium and boredom, I don't know what is. The only thing keeping me alert was the pool that gets to 2.7 feet on the ends. Doing flip turns was like playing Russian Roulette.

5. My parents are awesomely amazing

Mom: Made me vegan stuffing for Thanksgiving and happily ate a vegetarian dish at the Indian restaurant we went to for dinner. I think that she made peace with my diet when she saw that I was healthy and not wasting away to nothing. She also became my "bike bitch" (her words, not mine) for my long rides and got me water when I needed it. Oh, and bought me the most coolest coat, hat, mittens, and scarf in the world! She also went to the Buck's game with me and we had a very fun time

Dad: Did my brick runs with me. He also helped me out tremendously on my 1:40 run Sunday morning. He ran the first 2 miles with me, then went to the store to buy me water, met me at 6.5 with the water, then drove to the end to run the last 0.5 miles with me. That was great. The 9.6 miles I ran will be my longest run before Vegas. 13.1 is totally within reach. And in the brand new Asics Kayano XII's that he bought for me. I really am such a spoiled brat.

6. Spent a lot of quality time with my sister in law. She went shopping with me the day after Thanksgiving, and, as always I got all my shopping done! Sweet. I also celebrated my nephew's 3rd birthday on Saturday. Who knew there were so many things you could buy associated with Thomas the Train?

7. Went out with one of the two girls that I still keep in contact with from High School. Dinner, drinks, and guy bashing with an old girlfriend is good for the soul :)

8. Last but not least... drumroll please....

Last Tuesday I got word that my second primary authored publication was accepted. What does that mean? I have officially covered all the requirements for my PhD! Now there's that pesky thesis I have to write...

I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot because it was an action packed week! But I think that I have properly bored you all. Have a great night! It's going to be 60 degrees here tomorrow and I'm going for a run. Outside! And I get to do pick-ups into zone 3! That's right, I'm going to run like the wind. I assure you I will enjoy every second of it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

IM (University of) Wisconsin Race (game) report

I woke up early, as I do in preparation for all of my race (game) days and there was an air of nervous excitement about. Will I dress right? Will I be too cold? Too warm? How is my nutrition plan? Will I bonk halfway through the bike (game) ? I went through my mental checklist, had some peanut butter on toast, and it was time to go. The last thing that you want on race (game) day is to be late and have to rush in Transition (tailgate). So off we went.

As always we put in some race (game) day tunes to get us hyped up. Our choice today was the University of Wisconsin band T3 (5th quarter) CD. We were ready to race.

We arrived in T1 (tailgate) early and had our choice of racks (parking spaces). We chose one close to the run exit (the road) and began our preparation. Thankfully for me, I brought along a secret weapon. The legend himself, master of T1 (tailgate) and 60-65 age group winner of the Cleveland Triathlon Bob "The Cookie Man" Thomson had us racked and ready in 5 minutes flat:

No time to dilly dally we still had preparations that needed to be done. Here is a pick of MJ "The Shamrock" Thomson unloading some of her GU (Whiskey) flask for important pre-race (game) nutrition:

Taking her lead, I realized the importance of hydration before such an important race (game). I knew that just gatorade (coffee and whiskey) wouldn't do it for today, so I also got a bottle of water (beer) for extra hydration. I wasn't going to be caught unprepared for this race:

I know the saying- nothing new on race (game) day. However, I found a new supplier of salt capsules today. I knew that this could be a gamble, but I can't bear spending $1 on 6 enduralites anymore:

With nervous energy in the air, after standing around by the water for an hour, the cannon blew and we were off. The swim (walk to our seats) was crowded and brutal. At one point I took and elbow to the face which almost knocked off my beer goggles. Thankfully I was able to grab them and I was off again without missing a step

The bike (game) was quite amazing. The crowd support was phenomenal. Going up some of the hills, I swear the crowd was 30 people deep. Every once in awhile you would hear them roar with applause. I had heard of the flag guy from IM florida, who races with a large American Flag. I was impressed and awed to see that IM (University of) Wisconsin has its own flag guy:

T2 was uneventful and we were off to the run (drive home). Honestly I don't know what all the fuss is about. The run (drive home) was quite relaxing. I even think that I got a bit of a nap in to be honest. When I was halfway to the finish (home) I realized that there was another race (OSU Michigan game) that I would like to watch, so we even managed to negative split the run (drive).

As I was coming down the home stretch I knew there was something that I had to do. A lot of people like to complain when people do this, but I had no choice. My babies are too important to me. I had to pick them up and take them through the finishing chute with me. Here is a picture of them waiting for me:

Final time: 8:00.00

You people might think I'm crazy, but honestly this IM (college football game) thing really isn't that tiring after all. I still had plenty of energy to jump on the trainer:

While watching the finish of another race (game)

End note: Shortly after this my father officially qualified for sainthood. He ran my 20 minute brick run with me with 10 minutes left in the OSU/Michigan game. What a guy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My parasite is back...

I am in the middle of a recovery week right now. I didn't even swim this morning (gasp!). So why, I ask you, am I so dang hungry???? I can't stop snacking on peanut butter and granola. So now I have barricaded myself in my room away from the food, and guess what I'm doing?

Making a new blog, of course! I've decided to keep a blog just for my recipes. Half for you guys out there who have made my recipes or asked for them, and half just so I don't forget them and can access them from anywhere. And who doesn't want to keep track of one more blog? I think this is getting a little out of control...

But here it is:

JT's plant-based recipes

In other news my life is crazy town lately. I'm trying to get everything ready for my trip to Wisconsin. It's a little nuts all the stuff I have to pack into my car. Bike, trainer, weights, stability ball, cycling gear, football watching gear (Badger and Packer game to attend, doncha know?), running gear, food, dog, dog food, and most importantly, all of my credit cards for my annual day after Thanksgiving shopping fest with my sister in law. I can usually start and finish my Christmas shopping all in one day and with fabulous deals. For a girl who hates shopping, this is a great thing.

Hopefully I'll have internet access while I'm on my trip. I'll try to check in from time to time, but if for some reason I don't get the opportunity to say this:

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Weekend recap

Wow, that was a busy weekend and I'm zonked.

Friday night I worked a little bit on the later side (I had a really cool experiment work out just the way I wanted- yay!). When I got home I still had my bike technique workout to do, and then snuck out with the roommies to have a quick glass of wine. Then I went home and passed out.

Friday night, after being awakened twice during the night by a running toilet I realized I had to be plumber Jodi on Saturday. But I was on a Saturday time crunch. I had to go to the gym to get my 40 minute run in, go to Home Depot to get plumbing supplies, go to work to take some petri plates out of the incubator, get home, fix the toilet, and set up my trainer for my 2+ hour bike ride... all before the Badger's 12:00pm kickoff. And I made it! I love when I can fix stuff in my house without help. For dinner I had Barilla Plus (high protein) pasta with broccoli, mushrooms, onions, garlic, fresh basil and pasta sauce. Then I worked on some graphs from one of my experiments while watching The Wedding Crashers with the roommies (I love that movie just as much every time I see it!)

This morning I met Jen and some other great gals for a trail run. I enjoyed it a lot, but my knees are complaining a little bit. For some reason, the worst surface for me to run on is uneven trails. Even worse than concrete. I think I might just need to invest in some trail running shoes. Jen was nice enough to wait for me to finish up my 90 minute run (she had a 60 minute run on the schedule) and we went out for bagels with peanut butter. Delicious. The only downfall of the morning (other than the pissed off knees) is that it was quite wet and now I have some dirty nasty wet Asics Kayano's to deal with.

Then I ran home, cleaned my kitchen, ate as much as I could possibly find to shove in my face (huge appetite this week), and headed back to the East side for the CTC newbies meeting. It was my first official newbie meeting. I'm going to try to help out Jen this year, because it's going to be impossible for her to manage the newbies all by herself and train for Ironman at the same time. I'm thinking of leading a newbie's open water swimming session. I love open water swimming. I won't take them out on my favorite days though. You see, I love swimming in waves. I'm weird like that. I don't think the average triathlete appreciates swells and whitecaps quite as much as I do.

Then I ran back to work, and headed home to a PB&J sandwich, and then did some cooking for the week. It should be an interesting quinoa concoction that I threw together. Hopefully it won't suck because it made 7 servings. Very healthy though, with muchrooms, onions, garlic, 2 yellow peppers, 2 cans of tomatoes with hot chili peppers, zucchini, tons of fresh basil, oregano, salt and pepper. I'll find out tomorrow if it's edible :)

Allright peeps, it's time for me to get my stuff ready for the week and do some reading. I haven't gotten my schedule for the week yet, so I don't know what I'm faced with- just that I'll have to do some of it in another state!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Random Thoughts Tuesday!

1. Sometimes I hate my dryer.

I'm the kind of person that thinks that an article of clothing is worthless if it can't be washed and put in the dryer. So regardless of washing instructions, that's what I do. My roommates are so much better than me. They take out appropriate garments and air dry them. Not me. So when I went to the dryer this morning to empty my clothes I was very disappointed to find one of my bras.... in 2 pieces. Like I don't have enough of an undergarment problem with the labrador that has a taste for my underwear! Pretty soon I'm going to be resigned to granny panties and sports bras. And I wonder why I'm single?

2. The Elections

New Flash.... If the exit polls are correct, for the first time in my 10 years of faithful voting I actually may have voted for a winner! Sad but true.

3. I joined a new team!

Blogger Wes has nominated me official trainer of Team HM Express ! It's a group of wonderful people in training for half marathons. Since I'll be tackling Vegas, and probably Cleveland as well, I thought what the heck! Not sure how great of a trainer I'll be, but it should be tons of fun. Anyone want to join us?

4. Organization takes so much time

I think I spend a good 30 minutes preparing for the next days workouts. I have it down to a science now. 1. Get food ready for the morning and to last through an entire day of >2 hours of training 2. Fit all my clothes and accessories for my swim and run into tiny little swim bag. I've become quite good at it, actually 3. Lay out clothes for the morning. This is essential, as my normally terrible fashion sense turns downright vile at 4:45am 4. Don't forget to set the alarm 5. Make note of things I forgot to do from said list so that I can remember to do them right when I wake up because I'm too tired and lazy at 9:45 to get out of bed to do it.

5. I discovered the world's most perfect recovery food:

It was a dark day in my history. I was 16 and still so naive to the ways of the world. I made myself a extra grande double expresso mocha from the bagel shop where I worked. That was the day my lactose intolerance got the best of me. 3 hours of bent over, fetal position style cramping abdominal pain. I haven't touched chocolate milk since.

Until this morning.

Sweet, sweet morning filled with sunlight and anticipation of the day ahead. I finished a grueling 75 minutes on the trainer and then I tried it.

Chocolate Silk

Approximately 15 seconds and 16 ounces of the sweet nectar of the Gods later I knew I had found the fountain of youth. Chocolate soymilk. I easily could have drank the entire half gallon. But I knew that would be robbing me of the pleasure after tomorrow's swim. It will be a post-swim meal to remember I'm sure.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Another Week Bites The Dust

I think I'm starting to understand the rigors of Ironman training. I just finished a week with increased volume (1500 extra yards in the pool and 20 extra run minutes) and I'm tired. But there's really no room to be tired. This week I have 9 workouts on the agenda:

Swim: 3 x 3500 yards (will probably be about 4 hours)

Bike: 1 x 1:15, 1 x 1:00 drills, 1 x 2:15 (for a total of 4:30)

Run 1 x 50, 1 x 40, and 1 x 90 minutes (for a total of 3 hours)

And 1.5 hours of strength

And it all starts at 6am tomorrow morning. Sheesh. But of course, you know I love every second of it.

I went to a great sports medicine injury prevention clinic today on the other side of town. It was free and it was so worthwile. During the 2 hours that I was there I:

Saw a podiatrist who taped up my toe. He said he wasn't sure if it is broken, but I'll be able to know by how long it hurts. If it's just badly bruised it should heal up in 7-10 days. If it's broken it will be 6 weeks. But he never told me I can't run! His wonderful tape job got me through a pain free 8.1 miles on the towpath today!

I also saw a massage therapist. I told her that my lower back has been killing me from my trainer workouts. Within about 10 minutes she had me all stretched out and I felt like a new woman. I was starting to feel very old gimpin around holding my lower back! Now if I can only come up with $60 per month so that I can visit her for an hour every month I'll be set!

And I also learned some great yoga poses. I can't wait to get to a yoga class. However, with 9 workouts per week it's going to be very hard to fit into the ole schedule. I'll try to make it work.

Finally I got to see and chat with TriSaraTops . Her hubby was in line for the podiatrist as I was getting my toe taped. Always great to talk to her! I'm sure I'll be asking her a lot of questions this year.

Now I have a question for you HRM trainer peeps out there. Any idea what affects your workout heart rates? Some days I can run much faster than others and stay below 156. Today was a slow day. I'm thinking it might have something to do with working super hard on the trainer yesterday, but who knows. I am starting to make peace with the slow running though. It keeps my knee healthy and my recovery is very fast. Can't argue with that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mind 1 Body 0

I think that I should be forced to walk around in body armour. All the time.

Last week I was getting ready to go out and was in a particularly good mood. I did a little dance while going up my basement stairs... and down I went. I landed directly on my patella tendon on my old un-carpeted stairs. Huge bruise didn't help my 80 minute run last Sunday.

This morning I topped it.

I was getting ready to ride my trainer. All excited to watch some football. Doing a little dance around my living room and BAM! Whapped my toes on my trainer. And, um, kinda broke my fourth toe.

So I'm writhing in pain on my couch looking at my bike. I know it's broken. Broken appendages feel different than sprained ones. If Miss Graceful knows anything, it's what a broken finger or toe feels like. So my toe and my brain had a little conversation:

Toe: Ow

Brain: You're just a toe

Toe: But I hurt real bad. I mean look at me! I'm all swollen and starting to turn black and blue!

Brain: Your point?

Toe: But it's going to hurt to put on those cycling shoes!

Brain: Yeah, well it's going to hurt to run 26.2 miles, too.

Toe: But that's different!

Brain: Suck it up princess. Put a sock on it and get on that damn trainer. We have a 135 minute workout to do.

That's pretty much how it went. I had an awesome workout. My heart rate was very low, so I put it in the big ring and hammered for 2 hours. I was sweating, it hurt, but in the end I feel great. Well, except for the toe. It's a little more swollen and a little more black. It better get over it. We have 8.5 miles to run tomorrow.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I'm Beat

So I am officially 34 days into my Ironman training and had my first day where I am totally beat. My run tonight was terrible. I usually start every workout raring to go. Tonight I just didn't have the spark. My heart rate showed it. The run was sluggish at best. There was a lame movie on Comedy Central playing at my gym and my playlist on my mp3 player (I have a whopping 128 MB of memory on that bad boy) has been through a dozen times now. I couldn't wait for my watch to hit 50 minutes. But alas it did. Time has a way of passing, albeit slowly when you're in pain. I limped my body home (after my ritualistic sprint to the car) and had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my dinner. And now I"m just spent. It's not even 9pm on a Friday and I can't wait to go to sleep!

Looking ahead to next week I have an extra workout on tap. 3 double days, with an extra bike ride thrown in. I am very happy for the extra bike time because I feel it is a real limiter for me and I need to work extra hard in the offseason to build up some muscular endurance. I also have to start weight training. I have been putting it off this week because I've been so destroyed at night. But tomorrow I need to fit it in, no excuses. I am such a wussy girl. I need some muscle definition dammit! No one is going to buy that this little flabby girl is doing an ironman. I need ab muscles! I need some triceps! I need a drill sargeant to make me do my weight training!

Tomorrow I am going to do my training while watching football again. I'd like to ride outside, but I know that I would be miserable. I just don't have the money to buy cold weather gear and the high tomorrow is 45. It's on my Christmas list, though, so I should be set for the March/ April/ May rides. You might just have to shoot me if I have to do a 7 hour ride on the trainer. That kind of feat deserves a Nobel Prize.

One last shout out to my peeps doing IMFL tomorrow. I'll be watching you and cheering you on in spirit. The weather looks like it is going to be nothing short of perfect. Enjoy your day:

  • EricH #206
  • Coach Angela #2319
    CTC President Andrew Joyce #863
    My CTC Buddy George Vale #849

    And all the other great people that are out there giving it their all. You have come so far. You should all be proud of the committment, sacrifice, and dedication that got you to the starting line. Everything else is just icing on the cake. You will be Ironmen!
  • Casey Doobie Doo

    I got these pics in my email today from my sister in law. This is my cute little nephew who turns 3 in 3 weeks. I am so excited to get to spend all of Thanksgiving week at home so I can hang out with the family and play with Casey. How fun!

    Training is going great. I'm up to 2- 50 minute runs and 1-1:30 run this week. I am looking forward to the 90 minutes on the towpath. I'll have company on my run again! That's so exciting because running alone on the treadmill so so boring I feel like I could almost fall asleep.

    Time for a running confessional:

    When I go to my gym to run my slow 50 minutes on the treadmill I park as far away from the gym as I can. Then when I'm done I sprint to my car. Heart rate be damned!

    Okay, you can all yell at me now.

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006


    It's official

    Ironman has $210 more of my money has $15 more of my money

    Now I just have to book my flight Cali

    March 31, 2007 I'll learn what it's like to be half of an Ironman

    Then I have 2 months and 3 weeks to get up the courage to do twice the distance.

    Who's with me?

    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    Halloween By The Numbers

    209 Trick or Treaters

    5 Jumbo Variety Packs of Candy
    2 Packs Milky Way
    2 Packs Reeces Mini Peanut Butter Cups

    1 Roommate to the rescue with 4 packs of candy

    2 Roommates dressed as doctors

    0 Trick or Treaters that believed us when we said we weren't actually doctors

    6 Police cars that passed the house

    2 Alcoholic beverages consumed by me

    1 Alcoholic beverages comsumed by doctor #2

    1 Cutest costume ever: 5 month old dressed as a chili pepper

    43 Pieces of candy consumed by roommate not in costume

    1 Dog that was extremely socially frustrated

    2 Pieces of candy to children ages 2-12

    1 Pieces of candy given to children 0-2 or >12

    1 Small piece of candy to all kids >12 AND >200 pounds

    1 Child who burst into tears at sight of socially frustrated dog

    3 Candles placed on our front porch because our light was burned out

    4 Mom's who shamelessly brought bags for candy for themselves

    2 Very exhausted roommates ready to crash at 8:45

    1 Roommate ready to go out for the night

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    Random Thoughts Monday!

    1. Halloween thoughts

    I went to a Halloween party on Saturday night at DaisyDuc's house. I'm trying to be more smart with my money because of how expensive my triathlon hobby is, so I decided to resurrect an old costume. Unfortunately the only real costume I've bought was for a 1001 Arabian Nights theme party. So I was a belly dancer. DaisyDuc lives about 45-50 minutes East of my house. The weather was pretty crappy when I left my house, and unfortunately it got worse on my way out there. Rain turned into slush turned into snow. I think I saw 12 accidents in 10 minutes. It was a real nerve wracking experience. So I'm driving down there white knuckled and I'm thinking- How embarrassing would it be for me to spin out right now? Sheer skirt, sparkly halter top, high healed sandals, more make-up than anyone should be allowed to own, drowning in half gallon of glitter, freezing on the side of the highway.

    Hi officer. See I hit this patch of ice...

    I'm sure it would have been quite a story down at the precinct. Thankfully I made it there and back safely and had a really good time :)

    In other Halloween news... I make a vow every year that next year I'll buy enough candy for the kids. Every year I think that I have enough. Every year I end up turning off my light and hiding because I ran out. Now, don't think I'm stingy. It's one of my favorite days of the year. There's nothing cuter than kids on Halloween. But I'm pretty sure that we get in excess of 150 kids every year. So this year I have them fooled. I bought 5 super duper bonus bags of candy. I have more than 300 pieces of candy. I can't possibly run out! (I say that every year)

    2. Training thoughts

    I found the best Saturday trainer entertainment - I finally was able to watch and entire Badger game! Since I am a huge football fan, especially all things Badger and Packer it was a great 2:15 on the trainer. It was unfortunate that they played such a trash first half, but the comeback kept me spinning hard to the end! GO BADGERS!

    Sunday I had a great run. I had company this time and went down to the towpath to get off the Dreadmill. It's amazing how great and fast a run can feel when you are having good conversation! The weather was awesome, too. A little windy, but just being out in the sun with the trees turning colors and all of the people out walking their dogs was so refreshing. Hopefully there will be more long runs like this in the future. One can only handle so many treadmill miles!

    3. Trainer!

    I got my new trainer today! I bought it from Tom Demerly of BikeSport Michigan. He had a great deal on the Kurt Kinetic Trainer. I wish I lived in Michigan. His customer service is amazing. I ordered it on Saturday night and it was on my doorstep by Monday morning. If you ever need a bike or accessories and are in the area check them out! . I'll give out my review of my new toy soon because I have a 6am appointment with it tomorrow for 1:15.

    4. Today's swim

    I'm pretty sure that they drained the pool over the weekend and filled it with molasses. Bastards! Or maybe it could be that I ate like a pig and drank like a fish this weekend. Nah, must be the water.

    5. Great new recipe for the protein seeking herbivores out there-

    1 cup lentils
    1 cup quinoa
    1 can black beans
    1 jar hot salsa
    1 packet taco seasoning
    5 cups water

    Bring it all to a boil- cover and simmer until water is absorbed. Voila! 4 protein rich meals

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    Shameless Plug

    Today was my friend Steve's last day in the lab for several months.

    He went to get his PET scan the other day, and we were all disappointed to hear that the cancer has already spread locally, so he has Stage 2 lymphoma. Thankfully, outside of his Abdomen he is cancer free. I'm 100% sure that he will beat this, but it will be a tough 5 months for him. We were expecting him to be stage 1 which only necessitates 3 21 day rounds of chemo, but with stage 2 he is up to 6 full rounds. The thing that sucks the most for us is that because of the nature of our work he won't be able to come in at all during his treatment. Why? He will likely be neutropenic (have a low white blood cell count and lowered immune response). His lab works on Methicillin Resistant Staph aureus and Vancomycin resistant Enterococci, the lab across the hall studies Clostridium difficile, and we work on mult- drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, E. coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Just a recipe for disaster for the immune compromised. I told him that we have to get a teleconference line set up so that he can still eat lunch with us every day. We have also suggested that he get a part time job somewhere so that he doesn't go absolutely nuts sitting at home. I suggested he get a job at a running store. Keep him motivated to get back on the horse :)

    I set up my Janus Charity Challenge page this week. All the proceeds go directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This is not through Team in Training, so none of the money goes towards my training or race fees. So if you'd like to donate just click here . You can donate in memory or in support of people that you know who have battled cancer. And it's tax deductable. :)

    In other news

    My training was great this week. My knee is quickly on its way to health and I am tolerating the increased training load pretty well. It will go up again next week. I think I'll be up to:

    3 x 3500 yard swims (3:45 total probably)
    2 x 50 minute runs (1:40 total)
    1 x 90 minute run (1:30)
    1 x 1:15 trainer ride (1:15)
    1 x 2:15 trainer ride (2:15)
    And weight training! (1:00)

    So that's a 11:25 week. Fun stuff! Is it weird that I get excited when my volume goes up?

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    The Philanthropic Parking Meter

    A month ago when I was going to my car after swim practice the dreaded CSU parking police were writing up my car. Yes, we park without permits, but for crying out loud we are gone by 7:30 am. I am absolutly not going to pay $30 per month to PARK at master's. So I have been delegated to the parking meters in front of the building.

    Here's the weird thing. Every morning there are 1 or 2 parking meters that have 2-4 hours of time on them. Since they don't ticket between 9pm and 7am I know that it is not "leftover" from the last car. Now you might just think that they are broken meters. But the thing is- they are different meters every time! So totally weird. So I have taken to getting to practice 20 minutes early (yes, that's 5:40am) to find the free meter.

    Yeah, I'm that cheap.

    But I'm also obnoxiously early to everything, so it works. I'm pretty much always the first one in the pool.

    Speaking of swimming, If anyone has not seen the hilarious Slowtwitch thread on weird swimmers, you must click here

    In other news I have 2 tidbits of excitement:

    I think my knee is on the way to being healed! I have a great PT routine to do compliments of a new friend who is a physical therapist. In addition I have been doing leg raises and balancing leg curls for the hamstrings (thanks Kurtis!). I did my first brace free / pain free run today. I am ecstatic!

    Secondly, I have made it through week 2 of my whole foods pland-based diet. It's going great. I feel fantasic and I've been having a blast cooking all new foods. I love a challenge :)

    Tomorrow's my planned day off. I'm totally going to sleep in... until at least 6am!

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    This time it's for real!

    It's not kidding. Not a warning shot. It's snowing.

    October 23- first day that the white stuff accumulated on my lawn. Not a small amount, either. We're talking a solid inch of snow. Slippery driving this morning too because it snowed pretty heavily when I was walking the Mad dog this morning at 5am. I am a little disturbed about this. It seems that the years it snows early are the years it snows A LOT! Why do I care, you ask? Because I am doing one of the earliest Half IMs and full IMs of the year. And it's looking like I'm going to really have to make friends with the trainer. And possibly re-subscribe to netflix. I'm thinking of renting full series of TV shows. I don't watch TV, so I have a lot of catching up to do with the popular shows like 24 and Lost. Anything to make the trainer hours go by faster!

    Training update: I had a great day on Saturday. We had our first club duathlon. I had initially thought I would race these, but I have come to the realization that I have an inibility to "take it easy" when at a race. So to save my poor knees I am going to be volunteering for these instead. What was my job on Saturday you ask:

    I was the 1 mile turnaround cone for the run!

    We had a great time out there and after the race the sun came out and we went for a beautiful 30 mile autumn bike ride. It was hilly enough to stay nice and warm and we had a good group that went out. I now realize it will probably be the last comfortable ride until somewhere in the vacinity of April. *sigh* Afterwards Jen and I went out to eat in Peninsula and it was very yummy. But for some reason I found it impossible to get full that day. I think the tapeworm's back...

    Then Sunday I had a nice 75 minute run on the treadmill. It went as well as can be expected. My knee didn't hurt at all, which is a huge bonus of the treadmill. The downside is that it's boring as hell! But there was a John Grisham movie on in the gym which kept me occupied. It had Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. I love both of them and was frankly amazed that I'd never seen it before.

    Then this morning it was a 3100 yard swim and I'm ready to hit the hay because I'm back on the trainer in the morning to finish the movie I started last Tuesday. Fun stuff!

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Happy To Be Alive Day

    It was funny- this morning I had the greatest swim workout I think I have EVER had. I feel like I'm on top of the world. Then I read Eric's Training blog when I got into work. He said he was "really happy to be alive" yesterday. That totally summed up my morning. It was so out of place, too. I was out too late last night drinking wine with applicants to my graduate program, I slept like total crap last night with nightmares, and when I woke up it was cold, rainy and miserable. But I was just so happy to be awake and strong and ready to face the day.

    The swim sets were awesome. Friday is sprint day, so we didn't do anything in the main set longer than 75 yards. And I felt like I was flying on top of the water. My 25's took me 15 seconds, 50's took me 30-35 seconds, and my 75's took me 1:00 to 1:05. This may not seem that smokin' to many of you, but I was feeling like Ian Thorpe. I also love Fridays because Jen comes to practice and I really enjoy talking to her. We have a lot in common and are facing similar challenges this year. I am so incredily fortunate to have made so many great friends this year.

    I'm really looking forward to my weekend. Should be busy and a lot of fun. I have a 45 minute run tonight, a 2 hour ride tomorrow, and a 1:15 run on Sunday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Ole knee holds out on me!

    Happy Friday everyone! Smile a lot today, and reflect on how fortunate we all are to be happy and healthy!


    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Training notes

    Swimming is back in the short course pool. I have severely mixed feelings about that.

    Pros of a 25 yard pool:
    I feel super duper fast
    We have a ton of lanes
    fly seems more manageable when you can clearly see your destination

    Constantly flip turning
    3 people in a lane seems congested
    Less like a traithlon swim than the 50m

    I'll get used to it, but it just takes a few sessions. On the bright side I can now tell that I'm faster than I was in high school. We did sets of 50's (see my new awesome sidebar?) and they were mostly stroke. I had no problems with a sendoff of 1:00 and had a lot of rest time between them. I'm really curious what my 100 free time is going to be...

    Running- today was one of my 2 "double practice" days this week. I've been trying to wear my knee brace since my patella's been bothering me. However, like clockwork I have to rip it off 20 minutes in because my IT band flares. Then 10 minutes later the pain subsides. Yes, yes I need to get in to see someone. But I'm broke, so I have to wait for my loan to come through. This sport is so expensive!

    Life notes- Not much going on. I submitted another manuscript yesterday but don't have the highest hopes that it will make it. I also have some of my last experiments for my thesis on Monday. It will be a big relief when I can be done with the work. Then I just have to get the motivation to write my last big paper, my review, and my thesis. No worries, mate!

    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    HR training

    I had my third Zone 2 run this morning, and it was awesome! Well, compared to the first at least. Let's look at the stats for my 45 minute runs:

    First run: ave pace 12:15 per mile. I made it 3.35 miles
    Second run: ave pace 11:30 per mile. I made it 3.94 miles
    Today's run: ave pace 10:32 per mile. I made it 4.27 miles

    This is working way faster than I had anticipated. I can totally handle my long runs at 10 min per mile or so. I was getting so scared that I was going to be stuck with 12:15. But somehow my heart is adapting to the low rate exercise and I am able to go much faster while maintaining 150 bpm. It' s nice to see results this quickly! In my line of work it is so rare.

    I also started my strength training regimen today. I have been inspired to start building muscle by my body fat measuring scale. I would have never thought a 5'4" girl weighing 120 pounds could be 25% body fat. Geez. Time to get buff.

    I just peeked at this week's schedule. I'm excited to see an additional 1:15 worth of running for this week. I was starting to feel like a slacker. Should be a good week of exercise with 9:15 plus strength training planned

    In other news I did some housecleaning today. Not your everyday vaccuum and pick-up deal. No, I did the- clean behind and under the couches, throw out 3 garbage bags worth of trash, scare out all the spiders from the nooks and cranny's clean. Felt good. Then I took my dog, who has been more than even her own share of neurotic this week, for a long 2 mile walk. It is just the most spectacular fall day. I wanted to soak as much in as I could.

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    Bike trainer and corn maze

    Had a great Saturday! Started it out early since I went to bed at 9 (big loser). Got up at 6am and decided to tackle the one bi-annual chore that makes me hate the day I signed the mortgage on my house- put in the storm windows. I curse like a drunken sailor for an hour while the painful process is performed. See, the genious who built my house thought it would be a great idea to make every single window a different size. And since the house is 67 years old, the windows still have the storms and screens that have to be "swapped out". Add in the fact that all the windows, screens, and storms have been painted over/ shut about 3 dozen times and you have a really fun morning.

    So, needless to say I had plenty of aggression to take out on the ole trainer this morning. Didn't know if I would be able to make it the full 2 hours, but it turned out to be easier than I thought. I put in a movie (Closer- seriously F*ed up movie by the way) and spun away the hours. Good stuff.

    Then it was off to celebrate Espeed's birthday by getting lost in corn. Here's some pics:

    Here's a pic of the beautiful Ohio valley in the fall

    Corn Maze!

    Cutest little girl ever!

    Look at the package on this guy!

    E-speed and me after the maze

    E's wonderful cupcakes. They were so cute... and tasty!

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Random Thoughts Friday!

    1. I hate shoes. Jen and I got into a conversation this morning about shopping. We see these great outfits that are stylish and sexy and would love to buy them. Except neither of us can stand wearing those stylish and sexy high-healed shoes. There's nothing sexy about clogs.

    2. I'm a scientist (in case you didn't know). I am easily influenced by sound scientific studies. In addition I have more than a small interest in nutrition and its links to disease. For this reason, it is a very bad idea that I bought the book The China Study . So, 4 chapters into the book I am in preparation for a vegan diet overhaul. I'm not going to be strict about it when I'm around friends or family (don't want to drive people too batty worrying about what to feed me), but I'm starting to learn how to cook vegetarian dishes. My dish of the day was Quinoa Tabbouleh . It's great. I also made vegetarian chili last night and have enough to feed an army. It's super tasty, but I think in the future a little beano may be in order....

    3. I'm really starting to get used to this heart rate training. On only my second run, I increased my pace by :45 per mile and decreased my HR by more than 5 beats. Crazy. I just focused on my breathing the entire run and the HR came down like a charm. Pretty sweet.

    4. Man, some things about winter really suck! I had a 2 hour bike ride with Jen scheduled for tomorrow morning and had to totally bail on her. I don't have the money to buy winter gear right now (see #5) and I just hate being cold. So the forecast of low 40's and rainy for the morning has me running to my trainer. So I have a 2 hour appointment with my trainer and a movie at 10 am tomorrow.

    5. Car dealerships suck. I took in my car for it's "required" 30,000 mile tune-up (otherwise my 100,000 mile warranty is invalid). I walked out of there $400 poorer after a glorified oil change. Sons o' bitches! (as my mom would say)

    6. Speaking of my Mom, she called me very excited tonight. Turns out, she was invited to a slot tournament the same weekend as my half marathon in Vegas. Result- a room at the Belagio for free. In her words: Hoity- friggin - Toity! I guess it's a nice place, huh?

    7. And I saved the bad news for last. Steve got the diagnosis of B-cell lymphoma yesterday. They need to take another biopsy for flow cytometry to determine exactly what type and stage. So here is what I'm going to do about it- I am going to sign up for the Janus Charity Challenge for Ironman CdA to try to raise as much money as I can for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I told myself I wouldn't pick a charity to raise money for unless I had one that I was truly passionate about. Seeing a dear friend go through the battle with lymphoma will be more than enough for me.

    And now, my friends- I have a date with my bed. I'm such a big loser going to bed at 9 on a Friday. But hey, I'm tired. I had a lot of nightmares this week and wasn't sleeping too well. I'll make up for it tonight

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006


    Today I read a couple of blogs that have turned out to be very timely for my life. Eric had a blog about mountain biking and how it was the first step in getting into triathlon. In another blog, Jen talked about how she likes to live her life in the present and not think too far into the future. That's how I'll frame my Wednesday story.

    Last summer I was really wanting to get back into triathlons (I had done one before)and was in pretty bad shape. Chris, my lab buddy talked me into doing an early season 5k and it got me excited about getting back into competition. After this, Chris and I decided to get our other lab buddy, Steve, into running as well. The three of us spend a lot of time together in lab talking and wasting time and taking online quizzes and talking about the History channel. Initially Steve was reluctant to start running. He's 38 and married to a wonderful wife with 2 adorable little kids and he teaches part time at the community college at night after work. He just didn't think he had the time. So I made it my personal quest to raz him enough to get him to at least try it. Being extremely competitive he didn't want to do a race until he thought he could do well. So we started going out at lunch to run every once in awhile. He quickly far exceeded my talent and within a month he was hooked. True running junkie.

    Our history channed discussions soon turned into training talks and race strategy discussions and talk of gadgetry and shoes. And, um, Steve has gotten really, really good. It was really the support of my lab geek crew Chris and Steve that got me to pull the trigger on triathlon.

    Steve has continued to train his butt off and has gotten his 5k time down to 19 minutes or so (down from his first 5k last year which was, I think 25 minutes). It has been inspiring to watch how great he has done. He was on his way to winning his age group in Cleveland's Road Race Series this year.

    Until last week

    Steve went to the hospital last week with abdominal pain. We were all pretty sure he had appendicitis. He found out this weekend that it's Cancer.

    We spent this morning talking about it. The doctors are still not sure of what type of cancer it is, but from what I can make of it his prognosis is very good. They think it's either a carcinoid tumor (very rare endocrine tumor in his small intestine), or a non-Hodgkins lymphoma. But needless to say, Steve is very shaken about this. He's a healthy 38 year-old runner who is in the best shape of his life. The last thing he was expecting was to find out he has cancer.

    So I guess what I take from this experience is that as fit as we all think that we are, you never really know what's in store for your health. Every day really is a gift. I, like Jen, try to live my life in the present. I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life and it doesn't bother me one bit. What matters to me is how I'm living my life right now. And it helps to stand back every once in awhile to appreciate how incredibly fortunate I am that I am so very happy and healthy.

    Obligatory training notes:

    Pushed it too hard on Sunday and was pretty sore for my heart rate test. The bike test didn't really work b/c the HRM strap I was using wasn't tight enough and kept losing the signal during my 3 mile time trial. The highest reading we got was 180 and I'm sure my heart was north of 190. So we just went with the highest I had recorded it on my bike doing hill repeats in the past. Then on the run I wasn't able to push it above 193 (even thought that was my average for 3 miles of the run on Sunday). So I'm stuck in my same low zones. I'll be off tonight to do a zone 2 run. I am going to change the readout on my garmin so that I can only see heart rate and time. If I see how slow I'm going I'll get frustrated :)

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Picture Monday!

    Blogger has hated me lately and is finally letting me upload pics...

    This was so pretty I had to make it bigger than the rest. This was our view when we were heading to relay point #1 at the marathon on Sunday

    The fall colors are really looking beautiful

    Fearless relay leader Jen and her husband Matt

    Sprinting to the finish

    Me and my roommate Colleen before going out on Friday

    Matt showing me the way to bathroom with his "guns"