Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some random things you may, or may not, have needed to know about my life lately

Let's start with DC --

It was blazing hot. Like 90+ degrees. Except DC is a second cousin of Louisiana and its like stepping out of your shower all day long. Problem is that when you're in your bathroom nakedness is completely appropriate. Not so much in the nations capitol.

I felt like a sweaty wreck all weekend. When you pluck someone off the frozen tundra and plop her down in a swamp, it ain't gonna be pretty. Like when you take cookware through extreme temperature changes....I cracked.

Add to that the shoe issues....oh, the shoes....and all that "city walking"....and bridesmaid dress shopping, its no wonder I needed bourbon.

Yes, that's right. Bourbon. And not all mixed into some frou-frou drink either. Bourbon on the rocks. And ladies, I think this is a well kept man-secret that should be let out -- bourbon is good. And it did not make me feel like death the next day (which I absolutely should have). I might just have to put this bourbon stuff to the test again sometime.


Oh, and there was a wedding. And a lot of champagne. Um, ya. There was champagne. Oi. But it was beautiful, and quite fun. And don't you just love having an excuse to drink champagne?


I've recently learned the beauty of the "book on tape" commute and I LOVE it. Why was I not doing this a long time ago? I never thought my commute was long enough but I can knock off a book in just over a week.

So I've been waiting for my new commuting entertainment (The Food Revolution), but when the "book on tape" came in (FINALLY) I must have ordered wrong from the library. It really was a book. on. tape.

Um...tapes? What am I supposed to do with these? This is not 1987. I did happen to get the paperback book too, so it looks like I might have to actually read it. Like turn the pages an everything. As in, you can't do anything else except read the book. How time-consuming is that? Especially when I am already currently reading another book (not available on CD) that I will be lucky to finish before it is due.

Maybe I could dig up an old Walkman somewhere and try the "book on tape" workout. Although I'm not sure how that would go. Something tells me that someone reading me a story about what I should or shouldn't be eating isn't really going to give my run pace an added boost.

Speaking of Workouts

What? What are those? You mean this is supposed to be a blog about triathlons? I should probably get on the ball and lay out some sort of workout plan for the summer before I end up spending too much time turning those book pages and become a big(er) pile of goo. Its just that there are all these plans in the works....and so many things up in the air. Its hard to really commit to much of anything right now. (I know, I think I've been whining about this for more than a few weeks now.)

But one could argue that the lack of a scheduled race really shouldn't mean that I can't be training. Should it now.

Always plotting....

I really need to unsubscribe from the Skinet email list. Nothing but unproductive daydreaming ensues when these little messages of torture pop up in my inbox.

Summer vacation plans anyone?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

When I grow up....

When I grow up....I want to be this woman.

Seriously. What an amazing story.

She can no longer drive, or ride a bike, but she runs. She has lived through a stroke, and breast cancer. Yet at 78, forty-six years my senior, she is faster than me. Significantly faster than me.


I might need to outlive all my competitors to ever place in my age group.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Its Spring Peeps!

If there was ever an indicator that warm rides and sweaty runs were finally is PEEPS (how cute are the beheaded Versailles peeps?)! Well, that and the fact that I will be storing the skis (*tear, sniff sniff*) before I head out of town for what seems to be an annual spring trip to D.C. I'm trying not to think about the fact that Aspen Highlands got 18" of snow on Monday, has the largest base they've had all year, and will still be open this weekend. Yup, trying not to think about that.

My D.C. trip is a little later this year so I'll miss the cherry blossoms, but I'm very excited to see my "D.C. peeps".

And its supposed to be 80 degrees. EIGHTY DEGREES. Hello summer dresses. Hello pedicure tomorrow for the summer sandal debut. Hello cold beverages on sunny outdoor patios. Can't wait!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Madison, I forgot I love you

I went for a run last night. Yes, that's right. An actual workout. I dragged along my partner-in-crime from last Thursday's happy hour too. Payback.

I learned two things on this run:

1) I absolutely love this little town. Sometimes I forget. Especially in the winter, when all the good stuff is frozen and there are no snowy peaks to ski. But yesterday renewed my love for this place. Beautiful weather. And a great run through the west end of campus, along the UW practice fields, to the lake and out to picnic point. I cannot believe I have lived here as long as I have and NOT run out to picnic point. What a fun new discovery right in my backyard.

2) Sometimes happy hour really is better than a workout, but not for the obvious reasons. You see at some point in the evening last week (our little happy hour kind of spilled over into "happy Thursday night") the conversation led to running, which (after many "happy beverages") led to my friend deciding she wants to run the Madison Half Marathon. Which led to my friend feeling the need to oblige my request for a run this week. Which led to the discovery that my friend runs about the same pace I do. And she thinks its "pretty fast." Whoa. Why have we never run together before? I see many runs in our future. Very exciting stuff. Thank you happy hour.

Moral of the story....get crazy....break out of your routine....good things will happen.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

excuse-a-holics anonomous

Hello, my name is [The Slowest Triathlete], and I'm an excuse-a-holic. I have suffered from severe motivation deprivation now for, well....a solid week. But to be honest, I have struggled with the disease on and off since I hobbled to the finish line of my first triathlon.

But I have now hit rock bottom.

It started with the typical Monday off....which led to a Tuesday off, both under the guise of "working late." Then Wednesday rolled around and along came an offer to go out to dinner with someone who flew ALL THE WAY FROM THE COAST to be in town. How could I say "no"?

Then, Thursday. Thursday was clearly the top of the very slippery slope I'd been traversing. Thursday is normally my running group night. A running group I hadn't been to in two weeks now due to other commitments (like tickets to a sold out movie at opening night of the WI Film Festival....great excuse if I've ever heard one). So late in the day Thursday there is an email from a friend who works conveniently close to my office....."wanna get a drink?"

Is this a trick question? I've been in meetings for the past two days straight. Of course I want a drink. I NEED a drink. (I needed a run too, but happy hour sounded like a lot more fun.)

And so, on Thursday, I went to the bar after work -- with running shoes in my purse. I'm pretty sure its ALMOST like working out. And a certain drinking buddy -- who shall remain nameless -- also missed her indoor soccer game later that night, so I wasn't the only one choosing a beer buzz over an exercise-induced endorphin high. I think this is the peer-pressure stuff your parents always warned you about in High School....sorry mom and dad....though I'm not certain which one of us was actually the bad influence. I'm guessing we were both a bit at fault.

And then this weekend, well the wheels just completely came off. I was supposed to bike 45 miles on Saturday. But I had accidentally left my phone (and alarm clock) on "one beep" instead of a ringer, which led to a painfully late and frantic wake-up. I probably could have still made the ride. But it would have been a mad-dash to pull it together, and I would have had crap pre-ride nutrition. And quite frankly I woke up in a bit of a fog and just didn't feel much like gittin' 'er done. So I went back to bed promising to work out on my own later.

The thing about promises to yourself....if you don't keep them, no one has to know. So there's a dangerous lack of accountability. I try to be hard on myself, but for some reason it still doesn't force me to come through. I beat myself up about a broken "promise" for about as long as it takes me to come up with rational excuses for breaking that promise. And as soon as I can somewhat justify the decision to break the "promise" (not usually too hard to do, I'm quite clever), I'm over it.

This weekend all I wanted to do....was ORGANIZE. I just wanted my life in order and this seemed like a perfectly rational excuse for not exercising. I could have worked out. I could have made time. But I was on an organizing mission and I didn't want to break my stride. This may have something to do with another little deal I was making with myself about getting enough checked off the life "to do" list to be able to take off for Colorado Thursday night. (that deal is still pending though so I'm not sure that qualifies as an actual excuse yet)

The funny thing is, I get a lot of stuff done when I'm supposed to be training. I can't justify missing workouts for doing nothing, making my excuses pretty darn productive. So I haven't decided yet whether these excuses are all bad. But good or bad....they're very effectively keeping me from the workouts lately. And long term, that probably won't be a good thing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Did you miss me?

So since my last blog there has been...

1. A lot of time. I don't quite understand how you can blink and miss two weeks, but apparently it happens.

2. A beautiful outdoor ride in the sunshine, and temps that were borderline WARM. Bliss. That's what that day was. Bliss. And it made me remember that I LOVE riding my bike.

3. A miserable, cold, windy, snowy weekend....actually, come to think of it there were two of those since my last post. Just a little gift from mother nature to remind us that we live ON THE FROZEN TUNDRA and things don't thaw completely around here until early August. So please knock it off with the smiling and the generally improved disposition. And while you're at it you can take your cold, crabby ass to the basement and dig out that winter jacket that you already stored for the season. You're still going to need it.

4. A nice little visit from my sister and her soon-to-be husband. (read: whirlwind weekend of wedding nonsense.)

5. An interesting chiropractor appointment, where I was informed that I have a frozen hip joint. Funny, but I don't remember turning 80?

6. Library trips. Many, many library trips. The library has become my new workout buddy, in fact. Health books, food books, yoga and pilates DVDs. And here's a little secret.....its FREE! Well, so long as you bring the stuff back when they ask you to.

7. A few days of hobbling. Newsflash: Pilates is HARD. I was reacquainted with hip and thigh muscles that I never knew existed.

8. One amazing 42 mile bike ride. Which felt great until about mile 32, which is when my backside promptly reminded me that we had not actually sat on the bike this long since, oh, LAST AUGUST. Ahh, the joy of spring.

9. And like always, there has been plotting and planning for potential adventures.....some of which have been race related, but a lot of which has involved deliberating my options for getting in a few more days in the mountains this ski season. I haven't put away the K2s just yet. There's still hope.