Friday, August 29, 2008


How could you not want to do this?

Darn Ironman and their tear-jerking inspirational videos. Watch out...Ironman fever is going around. And once you catch it it's very hard to get rid of.

Hello weekend!

Heading out of town for a little camping.....and a lot of roasted marshmallows! We're not bringing bikes this time, but we are traveling with two crazy Ironman finishers so we've already talked about doing some trail running to fill the time.

Coming back from a three day weekend is usually hard, except guess what next week is.....its IRONMAN week. I can hardly wait. Its one of my favorite Madison holidays! All that Ironman energy....its more addicting than crack. And every year I can't wait to soak up some more.

But first, I have many campfire beers to drink and hours of lakeside lounging to complete.

Happy weekend! Stay safe!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Remembering what you forgot

The email request came through....and without even thinking I was looking at my week and scheduling a ride. Something I used to do so often that the actions of planning were effortlessly routine.

If only the biking could be so effortless after weeks of delinquency.

Last night I enjoyed an easy two hours of riding that was more about just being on the bike than how fast the bike was moving. Which is good, because I wasn't moving very fast. And as we rolled along toward the country roads on the edge of town I was cursing myself for being such a slacker and letting all the fitness of early summer just evaporate.

But the beauty of routine, is that you can always return to it...adjust it...and make it what you need. Last night's ride was a great reminder to not let those things that you love fall prey to the other nonsense that creeps into your life.

One simple ride, that's all it took, to remind me that I need the time on the bike as much as I need the remind me of the me that I knew a few months ago...and even a few years ago. And why I need to give that part of me what it needs to stay happy, to make everything else in life a little easier.

Rides are so much more than workouts. They are therapy. Our training partners the therapists. Philosophy on two wheels. A road of stories, interrupted by hills for pondering perspective and challenge. Life simplified, if only temporarily.....but what a wonderful break from reality.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Everyone has their limits. Including this blog. So today, in order to better define what will or will not be covered on this blog I'd like to lay out a few examples:

I will NOT be talking about things like jLo as a triathlete. That's great that you want to lose some baby weight and raise a little money for charity. Hey, guess what.....thousands of other people have done that too. Except they did it without the help of a personal trainer or a personal chef....or a personal assistant...or whatever other assistance jLo has the resources to employ. So ya, we're just not talking about that.

I WILL talk about other people who have celebrity status that was earned for athletic achievement as they continue to amaze me. So as if winning a few Tours and rockin' the Boston Marathon weren't enough...apparently Lance felt the need to hop on a mountain bike and give the Leadville 100 a go of it. Here's little video that sums up the race. Ran with the leader most of the way and took second. The guy's amazing. I realize its biking, something he's familiar with, but there's a whole other technical aspect to mountain biking that you don't have to deal with on pavement (probably why I steer clear of that sport altogether -- looks like a trip to the ER if I've ever seen one).

And another thing I WILL talk about on this blog....changing the world with bicycles. Seriously. How cool is this organization -- Project Rwanda. Its amazing how much something as simple as a bike can change the quality of life for someone. I'll talk all day long about cool stuff like that. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Urban Assault Ride

Short version: I really wanted to like this event, I totally believe in what they are trying to be and promote....but in the end it was just, eh...ok. Maybe just not really my thing.

Long version: It was a beautiful (if somewhat chilly) morning. Arguably a perfect day for a ride.

Over 100 teams of two showed up for the second annual ride. A crowd that was looking a lot more serious about this "fun and crazy" ride than I expected. I figured I could rule out the Ironmen-in-training for this event, seeing how IM WI is only two weeks away....but I did not expect the caliber of racers that showed. I was half wishing I hadn't been too lazy to switch out the pedals on my road bike instead of just grabbing the hybrid.

Personally, my morning started a little slow. My stomach wasn't feeling so great and in retrospect I think I may have had a tiny bit of food poisoning (maybe raw cookie dough that's been sitting in the fridge for a week or so should just be thrown away?). I managed to eat a banana and figured I could just suck it up for the day. The ride's only supposed to be about 20 miles.

We get to the start with plenty of (really way too much) time to spare. I've got to remember that non-tri events don't need the pre-race set-up time, but in this case I did need to visit the mechanic to see what was up with my tires so we had something to keep us busy. I had new tires put on they hybrid right before we went to Manitowoc and haven't been able to blow them up since (had to visit a bike shop in Manitowoc too). So they got pretty flat from me putzing around trying to get them to blow up.

There was a surprising amount of confusion about whether or not there was actually mechanical support at the race. (Guess I'm used to tri's where this is a no brainer...there is ALWAYS mechanical support) The race director said that Trek was supposed to have 'people' there. The Trek 'people' said they were just demo people...although in their defense they did try to do what they could to help me. In the end it was the Pedro's tent guy that saved the day and ONE ARM pumped my tires with his personal pump (the little kind you carry on your bike when you ride for use only in emergencies...their regular size pump was broken, cuz it just can never be easy with me). I'm still not sure if he was actually supposed to be mechanical support of if he was just a great guy helping me out. Huge thanks. I believe they have a new customer.

So we line up with the other people in the first wave (still not sure how we managed to weasel ourselves in there). The people behind us were haggling....but they only started about 5 minutes behind us so really....they had nothing to whine about. Quite frankly, that little headstart was soooo not worth the time put into that quiz. Especially considering we weren't trying to win.

The start was not on your bike. You had to first run around the building and then find your bike laying on the hill...then you're off. And these people were RUNing. I was a little shocked by this. I mean, I know I'm slow but these people were out of the blocks like they were running the 50-yard dash.

Thankfully, my big stud of a teammate didn't feel the need to be too competitive so we brought up the tail end of the wave. Then we hit the bike trail along the lake, as planned, over to the Willy St Coop...the first mystery checkpoint (we got this clue ahead of time). On the way, I got fed up with the bike traffic and in my frustration trying get out of the crowd we decided to just head for the Gorham checkpoint first and dodge the crowd.

This was good and bad. Good because there wasn't a crowd yet. Bad, well because it was still pretty chilly and this (below) was the challenge....

That's right. One teammate on the duck, one teammate pushing the duck. One teammate must be on the duck at all times. Duck must travel out and around a buoy.

Staying on the duck was a little trickier than it looks. My duck bucked me off so I ended up as wet as my teammate. I've had some bad triathlon transitions but I can't say that I've ever went swimming with my helmet on that was new. But hey, it just wouldn't be a race if you couldn't get a little lake slime on ya!

Then we headed back toward the coop. Found the clue easily. I knew the answer without having to call reinforcements and we were off to the TrekStop at Machinery Row Bikes.

Here's where it gets interesting. Walk up to the clue. I read it and say "we must be going to the zoo". But rather than trust my gut I had to call to confirm one of the "tricks" in the clue, which actually had us heading for the Recycling center for a brief period, before a quick text from the my whiz of a sister that put us back on track to the zoo.

Now somewhere between the first mystery checkpoint and the zoo there was a major communication breakdown on the team. And since there were only two of us there are fingers pointing at everyone on the team as to who's to blame. The teamwork wasn't clicking. And there was some navigational error that ensued. And some stoplights that seriously slowed us down. Not that we were trying to win this race, but if we were....this is where the race was lost.

This is about the time I had the realization that I am seriously directionally challenged, that or I just don't pay as much attention as I thought when I drive through the city EVERY day. The city looks very different when one is sitting on a bike. And, you can't bike across a lake. One should remember that when trying to navigate a city with three lakes.

Once we found the zoo stop (which we, of course, had to find the hard way after a loop around the entire zoo...apparently I've never entered the zoo from the actual zoo entrance) we had to truck it to the far west side. Trying to take less traveled roads to get there meant lots of stop signs. (annoying, and slow) We also had to stop a few times to consult the map. I know Madison pretty well, but once off the main thoroughfares I'm not as sure of myself.

This is the part of the race that kind of sucked. You're basically just off biking around town....with numbers on and no other riders around, for the most part....getting odd looks from people out mowing their lawns. I was just trying to act like we were in The Amazing Race or something so we seemed cool.

We stopped to check the map at one point and got passed by two other girls coming from an entirely wrong direction. They say "oh, are you guys lost too.....doesn't this suck?", making me feel a little better. So we weren't the only team to put a few more miles onto the course.

Once to the west side there were four challenge checkpoints, all within five minutes of each other. Which was kind of lame since there was only one road to take between them. Where's the challenge in that? First we hit Chipotle and Fleet Feet on Old Sauk, where we rode miniature bikes through cones, and played a little newspaper route game that involved one teammate throwing rolled up papers from the basket of a little kids bike (while riding) and the other teammate catching these papers in a box.

Then it was down the road to Trek West, where we played a little bicycle limbo (which is a skill I do not possess, in case you were curious). Then on to Princeton Club West, where we donned oven mits and had to pick up enough poker chips from the football field to fill a bowl while being doused with SuperSoakers.

Then (finally) the last challenge was at REI....where my muscle bound teammate held us together for a strong finish in the human wheel barrel challenge. (incidentally the girls to the right of us took a major digger on this challenge and one teammate took a wheel to the head that looked a little painful)

Then we cut through the parking lot at West Town Mall (something I doubt they see very often at the mall) and headed back to Olin via Odana (yes, through the major intersection at Gammon and Odana acting like cars) - Monroe - and a time saving jaunt down Drake and around the south side of Monona Bay.

Once back to Olin park there was a big wheels course to run, and then this thing -- which pretty much did me in:

28+ miles later (course ran a little long I guess! haha!) we were finally FINISHED. Bring on the beer and burritos please! After only eating a banana for breakfast I was starving.

We weren't last, but it sure felt like it.

Would I do the race again.....well, I'm never one to say 'never' but this event probably won't be on the top of my list of ways to spend my hard earned race entry fees.

Did I learn something from this....yes.

  • Communication is KEY to teamwork. (maybe this was more of a reminder than something learned)

  • Madison really is a pretty bike friendly town. A lot of the day we found ourselves either on bike trails or following little green "bike route" signs that I didn't even know existed.

  • Madison is surprisingly hilly. Roads I drive on every day and thought were flat became hills on my bike.

  • My hybrid bike is HEAVY. I have a new found respect for carbon.

  • A banana is not enough fuel for 28 miles on your bike.

  • Biking in traffic really isn't as bad as I make it out to be.

I was really hoping this event wouldn't draw the usual uber-competitive crowd, but it seemed to. I think in order to really draw out the casual cyclist and promote urban cycling to the crowd that hasn't already discovered it, they need to make the race a little shorter. And a few more mystery checkpoints would really make it a little more interesting. But that's just my opinion.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reasons I am dreading the Urban Assault Ride

The night before....always a good time for pondering why what seemed like a fantastically fun way to blow 100 bucks really -- is not.

1. I don't really like traffic. I don't like it in my car. I like it even less on my bike. You see traffic and I have had encounters in the past that didn't go so well (but did get me one very entertaining visit to the ER). And if anyone has been paying attention you'll notice that lately traffic is totally beating the pants off cycling in the game of life. I'd prefer not to be a pawn in that ongoing game. But this race takes place entirely in the metro Madison area and no one blocks off a route for you because...well, there is no route. Granted its not Chicago or Seattle, but I think traffic is a guarantee.

2. The homework SUCKED. First, what kind of race has homework? I just want to ride my bike. Add to that the fact that the pre-race quiz was perhaps the most pointless, tedious thing I have completed (though completion is arguable) ever. It was something of a wild goose chase on the Internet where five other unrelated geese needed to be found prior to getting the goose you were originally looking for. And the geese are clever, and at times invisible, and able to outmaneuver you and your wimpy little weapon (aka "Google" which I have far less faith in these days). And in the end, no one really cares about the geese anyway. There is nothing interesting about the geese that you will be better off in life by knowing. You are simply capturing really annoying and crafty geese. If the race is anything like the quiz I am likely to fry a circuit in my brain and cannot be responsible for my actions.

**It should be known that your start time is determined by your score on the pre-race quiz which is the only reason i spent the limited amount of time on it that I did....when i turned it in my score was a 57%. yes 57. I'm pretty sure that's failing on most curves. Well we roll up to packet pickup and I'm even more bitter about the quiz because I'm thinking I have wasted my time and we still won't get any benefit from it. I overhear the guy say 'if you have a 57 or better on the quiz you're in the first wave". WHAT. Oh ya. Can you say min-i-mum com-pe-ten-cy. I've never been so happy to have a 57 in my entire life.....why? Because it means I spent exactly the minimum amount of effort needed to get the maximum result. Perfectly played. The guy in front of us in line said he spent 9 hours on the quiz. NINE HOURS. Are you kidding me? I would have shot myself long before 9 hours had I continued to let myself plug away at that quiz. Moral of the story here kids: Aim low, get lucky.**

3. Navigation will play a large part in the race and my teammate and I have been known to have minor vocal disagreements about navigation methods. In fact just today we had one of these little disagreements about whether or not it was faster to take the beltline or Odana to get from 151 to westgate mall. (for the record, its the beltline, read: I was right) We did drive roughly 1300 miles across British Colombia in search of fresh pow earlier this year and manage not to kill each other I guess we've got that goin' for us. Then again, there's pretty much one road across most of Canada. There are a few more options in Madison.

4. Did I mention I don't like biking in traffic?

5. I'm too smart. And I don't mean that in a "I'm a brilliant rocket scientist" kind of way. I mean, my brain works too hard. I can't shut it off and I over think pretty much everything. Probably why I thought my head might explode while taking the pre-race quiz, but also potentially the cause of us not being able to come up with the answers to simple clues about where the mystery checkpoints are. Thus leading to a wild-goose chase around Madison, this time by bike rather than electronically around the Internet. Much more tiring.

I'm starting to think I figured out why they offer copious amounts of free beer post-ride....
Oh well, I paid my hundred bucks, suckered someone into playing teammate for the day....I'm doin' it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This race has homework?

This bike ride is hard already and its still days away. Even registration stumped me when the first thing I was asked was to enter my "team name."

Uh...ok...lemme a few friends and ask for ideas....they've got nothin'........ok lemme think some more......maybe I should do this later.... [insert about 7 hours] ...ok, gotta register.....nuts, still need a "team name".....still got nothin'......text message race partner......he's no help at all....ugh.

I was totally stumped. Everything that seemed remotely clever or cute ended up coming across as totally cheesy or self-righteous. In the end I went with something relatively innocuous just to get it done. Lame, but done.

Then today I get an email with the standard "we're looking forward to a great race" but also including a link to the pre-race quiz.

HOMEWORK? This race has homework?

Apparently its optional, but your quiz results determine your start time so if you want a fighting chance you better do your homework. Not like I think we're going to win....but remember I'm slow, so coming in dead last is always a fear.

The funny part about this is that I feel much more pressure to be smart than fast. If it was just a bike race and I came in dead last, well that would suck a little but I'd just be all "oh well, I'm slow." But sucking on the quiz -- not an option. Slow is somehow acceptable but there's just no excuse for not being smart. Though I'm not sure why I think the quiz is going to be such a big deal...I doubt they're gonna bust out some differential equation problems (right?) or make us calculate mass of gravity of an unsymmetrical object anyone? about dipole moments in magnetic fields....ohhh, now I'm really having some bad flashbacks to college. Ummm....maybe I should go study.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Notes from yesterday

I busted out some of my least favorite running shorts last night and found a remnant from times gone by....times when I used to run far enough so as to need to stop at convenience stores and replenish my food/water supplies.....*surprise* $5 in the pocket. Sweet! Too bad I still hate those running shorts. Which may be why I could not be motivated to go for an actual run in my running shorts last night.

However, there is another likely culprit in the "Who's sucking all the motivation out of my workout life lately" mystery -- allergies. They are HORRIBLE right now and it seems every last bit of energy I have is going toward defending my body from the evils of ragweed.

I also tried to give up caffeine yesterday. That was a very bad and short-lived idea. Because caffeine is a necessary weapon in my ongoing battle with ragweed. As is my new best friend Fexofenadine.

And as a parting thought in this completely random assortment of thoughts from yesterday....if ever there was a time to eat cantaloupe, the time is now. Tis the season to be stopping at the little farmer stands in parking lots here in the Midwest and O-M-G is it worth it. You never knew cantaloupe could be so good. Try it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

To race, or not to race...

I have a scheduled sprint tri next weekend. I haven't registered yet, which means now I have the luxury of weighing my options. Training since late June has dwindled to barely existent. And things have gotten a tad busy as of late. Not that busy is an excuse, its just a fact.

So lets weigh the pros and cons:

PRO - The race is relatively cheap ($45 entry fee) -- about half the average cost of a sprint tri.
CON - The race is about a 45-50 minute drive from my house which adds a decent amount of cost in time and gas and means getting up at 4am on race day.

PRO - I have been a lazy slob and racing would make me feel like a triathlete again.
CON - Racing without training will only confirm my laziness and will likely be very painful.

PRO - I'll get in a good workout.
CON - If I had any sort of dedication and commitment I could also get in a very good workout from home, for FREE. (Which actually gives me an idea.....)

Ok, so what if I have my own little mini sprint tri next Saturday? Sponsored by -- ME.

I'll go for a swim at the local pool, head out for a quick 15 mile bike (I already have a 12 mile loop that leaves from my house so the added miles from the pool will work out perfectly), and finish up with a little 3 mile run (again, I already have a loop right from my front door that's about 3 miles). Yes, this is a fabulous idea. I love it. And as a bonus....I am SURE to finish first! The only time in my life that will probably ever happen.

This way I can save my $50 entry fee for Sunday's Urban Assault Ride (entry fee totally justified by free beer and burritos at the end). And save a few pounds of carbon emissions by not driving an hour away to race.

I still have one more race on the calendar in September, so skipping this race is not a season ending decision. And I'm guessing I'll have a few friends racing in September too, which will make it more fun.

Hmmm....I think the first annual Slowest Triathlete Sprint Tri is ON! We'll just call it The Slowest Sprint Tri. Contact me if you want to "register" -- its FREE -- but I'll need you to sign a waiver saying that you won't be faster than me. ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

As long as I'm promoting Wisconsin businesses....

It should be noted that someone who parks their bike between my car and my office every day has VERY good taste in bikes.

This little beauty popped up on the walk portion of my commute a few days ago. Meet the Trek Soho S. The photo from the Trek site does not do this bike justice. It is quite possibly the sexiest commuter bike I've seen. I try not to drool on it as I walk by every morning.

Different in a good way

So this morning on my daily quest for caffeine I noticed something a little, well...different. A different mix of people milling about the Starbucks. Stuffy suits and shiny shoes were replaced with Keen sandals (worn with socks, of course) and messenger bags with flashy logos.

Yes, something was the best kind of way.

My conclusion: The annual Trek meeting is underway. (Their headquarters are here in the great state of Wisconsin, in case you were wondering why in the world they would have a meeting here....well, besides this town being consistently ranked one of the top towns for cycling...)

Anyway, why is this important, you might ask? Well a certain cyclist who happens to be sponsored by Trek has been known to make appearances at the annual meeting. (ahem....starts with L, rhymes with dance)

How freakin' cool would it be to bump into a 7-time Tour de France winner on your way to get coffee? (way, way case you were looking for an answer there....WAY freakin' cool)

It makes me want to go for a ride just because of the increased chance of bumping into a world-class cyclist out on the road. 'Cuz that would be freakin' cool.

Ok, I'm going to stop talking like a 12-year-old skater now. I've got to start mentally planning my wardrobe for tonight's workout....'cuz you just never know who you're going to be riding/running along next to (ie getting passed by) out on the road....and since I've never been known to impress anyone with my speed I've gotta bring my A-game in the fashion department.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A message from ski season...

I recently ordered some ski poles online -- because that's a totally logical thing to do in August. Guess I was thinking ahead to triathlon off-season.....

Anyway, I ordered these super awesome ski poles and was eagerly anticipating their arrival (so I could test them out on carpet in my air conditioned house, of exciting). The oddly shaped box finally shows up on my doorstep and then.....what appeared were not the K2 6-karat super-sweet carbon composite ski poles that I was hoping for, but LIFE-LINK Carbon Pro avalanche probes.


Even the snow gods are subtly trying to tell me I need to step up my game. Do they know I've been a workout slacker? The only people who need avalanche probes are the crazies who head out under the ropes and consider hitchhiking more efficient than the lift lines and I'm quite sure those people are hucking themselves off waterfalls in kayaks or screaming through boulder fields on mountain bikes right now. The pole mix-up was a little message from winter that "people who ski the best secret powder stashes are not enjoying leisurely summers of ice cream eating and comfort bike riding so GET OFF YOUR LAZY BUM."

Right. Point taken. Thank you ski season.

I don't know what to say

Another one. Yesterday evening in Milwaukee. Cyclist killed in fatal hit and run.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Don't feel much like biking today

Yesterday was a bad day for travel in this town.

Before 9am a 21-year old cyclist was run over by the rear wheels of a water delivery truck within spitting distance of my office.

Around 4:30pm three people were killed and one seriously injured when a car crossed the median and entered oncoming traffic.

And at 6:30pm I witnessed what I assume was a bike vs car accident that has etched an unforgettable image into my soul. I didn't see it happen, but if I had been one car further ahead I would have. I heard screams through my open sunroof. I saw car doors open and people run. But it wasn't until the man in the car in front of me turned in my direction that I knew something horrible had just happened. His eyes were saucers of shock and panic. His actions were frantic as he tried to decide what he should do. He got out of the car, took a few steps, turned back toward the car maybe thinking it was better to stay out of the way, and then finally turned and ran toward the gathering crowd. Cars started to move around the congestion, eager to get past, not knowing what had just happened. I moved with traffic. And as I came around the cars abandoned by drivers who had gone to help, I saw her laying in the road. Completely motionless. And I will spare you the details. I will simply say all was not as it should be.

I thought I was going to have to pull over to throw up. And then I started to get a little clammy like I do before I pass out.

I didn't see what happened. (And oddly, I couldn't find it in the news, though the other two incidents were covered). I don't know who was at fault, if anyone. But I do know that the whole thing felt like a sock to the gut. An unequivocal reminder of how your life can be changed in an instant.

The more I hear the stories of cyclists being hit by cars (a woman in Milwaukee killed just last month, a woman on the Scenic Shore ride who ended up with a broken pelvis...), the more it seems its "not if, but when" for those who bike regularly. And I'm not blaming anyone, cyclists can cause accidents too. Its just that the cyclist usually doesn't fare too well in the fight. And whether the injured or the one who caused injury, you are not likely to walk away from something like that unaffected.

So today, I just can't find it in me to want to ride my bike. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe this weekend. But today I just don't have it in me.

Be safe out there. Drive kindly. Ride smart. Wear your seat belt. Wear a helmet. And remember that life is too short to put off chasing a few crazy dreams.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm obviously messed up in the head

Why am I oddly jealous that this guy gets to bike across Nebraska?

Perhaps its my overly romantic view of the open road? I always have been a somewhat overzealous fan of road trips. Half the wheels must = double the fun. I mean how fun would it be to show up at some bar in the middle of nowhere Nebraska and be all...ya, I biked here... Mind if I sleep in your hay barn?

Ya. Fun with a capital F is what that would be. Beats a Monday in cubicle-land anyway.

Manitowoc -- an oceanside city right here in the midwest

Ahh, weekends away.....aren't they great? And doesn't this seriously look like it could be the ocean? This is what the Scenic Shore 150 would have looked like had it not been totally fogged in the weekend of the ride.

We ended up with great weather this weekend. Spent some time on the Mariner's Trail. Pretty much rode our bikes anywhere we needed to go. And just generally enjoyed ourselves.

Notice I did not say anything about running. There was no running. I packed not one, but TWO running outfits and didn't run once (I actually do this a lot more than I care to admit to). So, um, that new "motivated workout" thing....that starts today. Really. Today. No more excuses.

And after eating four-course B&B breakfasts for two days and following up bike rides with homemade ice cream at the old fashioned candy shop....I NEED to run or those new running shorts aren't going to fit me when I do get around to wearing them!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Whatever gets you out the door

When it is 90+ humid outside and your gym membership expired a month ago (no more climate-controlled workouts) it can be hard to find the motivation to workout. Ok, who am I kidding, sometimes when its 70 and sunny its hard to find the motivation to workout.

-- enter addiction to technical wear --

I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for anything in a wicking fabric. I probably need a twelve step program. But workout clothes are just so cute...and comfy. And because they're used for something other than lounging around looking cute and drinking martinis, they seem like a less frivoulous purchase to me. If you spent a minute in my closet you would think I was sponsored by The North Face. My little zip-up running jackets are hung in the closet in an equal-opportunity fashion right next to my tailored suits...and to be honest I wear the running jackets far more than the suit jackets.

Because sometimes I suffer from a problem far worse than an affinity for dri-fit fabric....I get a case of the lazy. And if buying a new piece of gear can get me out on that dreaded weeknight post-work run, well I consider that money well spent. My checkcard will just have to get over it.

This is my latest purchase: the best little running skirt ever. Totally got me out the door in the melting heat last night. And managed to keep me cute (while dripping with sweat) for post-run wine and appatizers at the bar near the trailhead.

And while on the same little shopping spree I also picked up the best little running shorts ever. Though I have yet to actually run in them....but seeing how these shorts did not suck immediately upon touching my body as most running shorts do (seriously, can it really be that hard to find shorts that fit?) I have high hopes. And I'll GET to wear them this weekend if I actually make it out the door for a run.

I'm hoping that these new purchases can help me out of the mid-summer slump I've been having. I realize that someone who biked 150-miles in last two weeks should find it hard to think they're in a slump....but its true. My motivation for workouts is completely gone. And that needs to change -- like, IMMEDIATELY. At this point I'm worried about completing the sprint tri on my calendar in a few weeks....a SPRINT for cryin' out loud.

From "I'm doing a half Ironman" to "I don't know if I can do a sprint tri" in two months. What happened?

I wonder if those shorts came with a magic-no-workout-get-in-shape feature.....wouldn't that be nice? But just in case, I guess I'll be upping the running and trying to remember where the pool is for the next three weeks. Hmmm....I bet a new training suit would help me find the pool....and maybe new goggles.....