Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I had forgotten how awful it feels to be sick. But it feels BAD! The constant headache, the kind that feels like your eyeballs might explode. And the scratchy sore throat, that if you were to simultaneously yell and raise your voice two octaves, you'd surely rupture some vocal chords. And the grogginess that makes you feel like you took about four Tylenol PM and then committed to an all-nighter. And then there are the aches. Oh, the aches! Like I just started back up at the gym after months away. Add to that sinus drainage and nausea, oh, and the lovely ashen color of the skin. Yeah, it's beautiful.

And I have a marathon in, wait, what day is it? um...four days? Ugh. I'm taking in as much fluid as I can. And the Vitamin C and Zinc are pulsing through my veins. I may or may not have slept 18 of the last 24 hours. Fun times. The last time I was sick like this was just before Triple T in the spring. And I had a fabulous weekend of racing, so let's hope this is just the universe's way of making me taper.

Before my hibernation period, I did have some fun. After an exciting Thanksgiving, complete with scrabble and headstands, a busy Black Friday and a not-so-busy Saturday at work, I got out for a mountain bike ride with a friend on Sunday. It was my first ride on a real bike with someone who knows how to ride. And I only went over the handle bars once! I asked for some tips, but I didn't really get any except, "try just using the back brake. that way you just slide out instead of flipping over". GENIUS!! So, yeah, it's not for my own riding ability that it only happened once. And I guess when you've been riding for 10 years, you forget what it's like to ride for the first time.

After a couple hours on the trails, I came home and went for an amazing hour run. I was feeling really inspired. Some new ideas and possibilities have come to light and they came through in my run. And then the dreaded sickness hit. Speaking of which, I need to go take a nap. I think my brain is melting and oozing out my nostrils.

Friday, November 26, 2010

i've got it good

in the spirit of thanksgiving, i've been thinking all week about how good i've got it. i mean, i have a great family. my dad has taken me in. and he and my step mom have been nothing but welcoming and loving and supportive during this part of my life. and my mom has been helping me keep my head up. and my friends and training partners have been lifesavers.

i've got my health. and my body allows me to do things that my mind doesn't always believe possible.

thanksgiving morning started with an hour and a half swim practice. the comeraderie of a group of adults that get up to be in the pool by 5:30am on a holiday is pretty unreal. and a coach that is dedicated enough to get up to give us a workout is nearly unheardof.

and from there, a group of us went downtown to join 10,000 others for 101st running of the Thanksgiving Day 10k. the weather was predicted to be cold and rainy. and it was rainy. and very wet. but it ended up being about 57 degrees when i pulled up at 8:15.

i didn't have any real goals going into this race since i don't really know my fitness and i had just swam about 4k. but the previous night, i was lying in bed and i had this spark ignite in me that was just ready to take on the racing and the big workout. and to just have fun with it.

and i ended up running a 42:10, which i was really happy about. and i had fun. and i think nearly all the men i train with beat me. but not by a ton.

and from there, i joined about 100 others to socialize at a local spot before heading home for a hot shower and taking a friend to my mom's for turkey and crazy games of scrabble. it was 5pm before i realized i hadn't eaten since 7:30am. so it was a good thing there was a plethora of food. mom made an amazing meal. and there were lots of laughs. i went to bed last night feeling really fortunate. i need to tap into this more often.

Monday, November 22, 2010


This morning, by 7am, I had already completed an 8 mile run, had coffee, a protein shake and was uploading pics on my netbook. Why? Well, it's a long story, but my phone died, which I typically use as an alarm clock. So, I was simply dependent upon my wrist watch and internal clock to wake me. When I saw that my watch read 5:15, I popped out of bed, got some coffee, took the Clubber out... and then saw that it was actually 4:36. Ugh. I hadn't set my watch back with the end of daylight savings. In short, I am an idiot.

The good news? This is what I was wearing for the run. In Ohio. On November 22. And it wasn't on a dare. And I was sweating! It doesn't even seem right. But I'm not complaining.

And yesterday, our team had a swim clinic. When seeing the bruises and scrapes up my legs, coach asked what happened. "I fell out running on the trails. I dunno. I'm an idiot?" his response? "We all are. Some of us just bruise easier."

Luckily, I went to my niece's birthday party Saturday evening and took a few laps around the roller skating rink. And didn't fall! But I did feel very unstable. And silly. But it was fun.

Oh...what else? Well, Thursday, I had a four hour interview with a bank. I'd forgotten what it was like to wear a suit and heels all day. I suppose I've been a little spoiled with wearing torn jeans and tanks and hoodies. I then stopped by my old office to cause some disruption. And then home for a quick change before heading to a wine tasting fundraiser for the Salvation Army. And it was on my way there that I began to panic a little

Until this point, I just assumed that the easy thing to do for right now would be to go back to what I know, career-wise. And then I realized what I'd be resigning myself to. Flourescent lighting. And long days. And lack of creativity. And sitting at a desk. In front of a computer. All day. Every day. And I'm not sure I'm really cut out for that. I suppose time will tell. I still have so many questions.

So, Friday, I got up and went for a run. And had lunch with old coworkers, stopped at Reser's to hang out before the moonlight ride, went for another run (which was better than the first!), got a quick snack and headed back to the bike shop for the social ride. And afterward, there was some more socializing. With beer and snacks and lots of laughs and fun, new friends and old.

In short, my days have been full. And yesterday, all I wanted to do was chill out and sit on the couch and read. But, as I mentioned, we had a swim clinic. And then Ack and I went for a trail run and then I had errands to run. Eight hours after leaving the house in the morning, I was back home to FINALLY sit down and read. But I fell asleep on the couch.

I awoke later, after dreaming of tootsie rolls and crying phone calls, to finish the Celestine Prophecy. And that book has me thinking. The premise is that there are no coincidences. Hmm. Who knows?

This coming week is, again, sure to be full with work and play and Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Time to get working on Christmas gifts and baking. And I suppose I should have a taper plan in place for this trail marathon in less than two weeks...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

did ya really mean it when you said "talk to ya soon, Amanda"?

it's cold and rainy today. and i have a belly full of black beans and rice spiced with some home grown chili peppers. and a bloody knee. a nearly dead telephone. a half read copy of The Celestine Prophecy. a little black pug snoring on my lap.

i can hear cars passing. the tick of a clock. and the rain.

the clock now reads 4:14. i intended to go for another run at 4. i declined an invite to a winter beer tasting this evening. so at least the run can occur later. maybe when the rain lets up.

but truth is, i'm kinda comfy right here on the couch with a book. i mean, it's not like i've done nothing today.

swim practice was awesome. per usual. i've said it a million times, but that group is just fun. and when i don't psych myself out, i usually surprise myself with what i'm capable of obtaining. it's strange really. i thought for sure there was no way i could do 5x100 on 1:30 where one of the 25s was breast stroke. but wouldn't ya know, it was done! and then there was a massive kick set. and then the real test. 4x500 on 7:00. i can do one 500 on 7:00, but 4?!? so, i went easy, stay relaxed for the first one. and nailed it. and then the second one, i started to panic. and the self-doubt crept in like you wouldn't believe. and i just let it go down the toilet and that one was like 7:14. i began to really envy those two lanes down doing 400 on 7:00. or even those four lanes down doing 300s. i remembered when a 300 on 7:00 would've been a challenge for me. it really wasn't so long ago. two and a half years ago... and then i don't even know what happened. but i think the whole lane fell apart. i sat out a 50. and tried to hang on. and the last 400 was definitely back to a relaxed pace. and we finished up with fast 50s.

that was before i hit the trails today. and took a beating. i ran into an old co-worker at the trail head. strangely. and then headed out on a familiar loop. i was a couple miles in when my foot snagged a root and i went skidding. i had leaves stuffed down my shorts and up the sleeves of my fleece. my left knee was dripping blood. my right hip and leg were covered in dirt and scratched. and i sat there, motionless, pain receptors firing like crazy. and i may have whimpered a little before hoisting myself up and dusting myself off. i momentarily considered cutting the run short and going back to my car. but everything loosened up again and i was content, dripping sweat from my forehead and breathing cool air.

now my knee is bandaged. and my head is groggy. and mine eyes want sleep. and i'll dream of that phone call. before i go for that next run.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I've not been blogging much as of late simply because, well, I find I'm drawing a blank. I mean, I'm doing lots, I just can't seem to find much worthy of writing. Perhaps I'm just too brain-dead after all the activity to be clever. But here's a smattering of thoughts and actions.

 - My ass hurts. Literally. I guess you know you haven't been riding enough when you go out for a couple hours and your bum hurts the next day.

 - But that's mostly because I've been running much more. Sometimes, it's twice a day. Sometimes, it's long. Sometimes, it's short. Sometimes, it's fast. Sometimes it's focused. And other times, my mind just wanders. And on that note, I was thinking about how Rockstar Tri said he "didn't get it" when I posted about my random thoughts while running. My answer....no, not everyone's thoughts wander while they're pounding the pavement or hitting the trails. Some folks have an inability to focus on anything otehr than how it feels, how uncomfortable they feel and when teh hell it might be over. I mean, we all get like that at times, but the people I know that think I'm a whack job for running all have this in common - they seem to be incapable of letting go the mind.

 - I love to brush my teeth. Sometimes, there is not a more satisfying feeling than a clean mouth.

 - I have a trail marathon in less than three weeks. And I'm being talked into a 50k in January. And I'm slightly hesitant.

 - I've been having some strange dreams. Last night, I had my long hair back. I mean, it was as though it were short and then suddenly it was long, but still short underneath. And i absolutely loved it. I think it's time to start growing it out again.

 - I had an interview this morning. And I have another on Thursday. If I get the one Thursday, I'm going on a vacation prior to starting.

 - I saw a comic the other night at a club. Hilarious. Much better than a movie. Just in case you're wanting good date ideas.

 - I also found out I really suck at bowling. Particularly after beer #4 or so. And the clientele at the bowling alley hasn't changed much in the last 20 years. I mean, the faces are different. But the styles are the same as they were back then.

 - But I am very skilled at Jenga.

 - I love this quote on soulmates. and even if it isn't real, I'm apt to believe it.:
"A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life..." — Elizabeth Gilbert
 - It gets dark way too early these days. It's time for more Spinervals. But it's so bright outside when swim practice is over.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

If you build it, it will come

After my tri season ended in early October, I made the decision (and commitment) to the Tecumseh Trail Marathon on December 4. I waited about four days post Nationals...and then I started running. And running. And running...

And suddenly, my run legs appeared! It took a couple weeks of not-much-cycling-but-miles-and-miles-of-running, but they're here. In fact, just Tuesday, I went out for a 10 mile run before swim practice and then went for an 8 mile run in the evening. And I averaged 7:30s for that second run. It was flat, but still.

So, besides running, I've been...um, I don't know what I've been doing. But I have gotten a few job leads and I have an interview tomorrow and one next week. It'll be nice to have some funds again. And sign up for a race or two. And get a mountain bike. Wow. Maybe I should just focus on getting a job first.

I've also been cooking. I made these amazing pumpkin pancakes (which were great fuel for my runs) the other day. And my black beans and rice keep getting better with each new batch.

Oh and I went riding for a couple hours with my buddy the other day. And I've been hanging out with cyclists (duh.) and cheering at cross races. Because I love boys that ride bikes. I saw this video at work the other day...and I wanna marry him. Just because of his skills. And because I love Band of Horses.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

if it weren't for running, i might never sleep

I've heard people talk about how they just can't get to sleep because they have so much going on in their heads. I guess it's that they're sooo busy during the day that they don't have time to worry or think upon certain things and all that anxiety culminates in difficulty in falling asleep.

I don't really have that problem. I can fall asleep within about 10 mins of my head hitting the pillow. And I sleep through just about anything. Unless it's hot. Sleep and sweat don't mix well for me. And it seems I've pretty much always had the gift of sleeping soundly. Then again, I've been running for almost as long as I can remember too.

Which brings me to my point... All those things that would typically keep me up at night? Those are the things that I think about when I'm out running.

For example, this morning's run went something like this...in my head...

"I'm so glad I got my CPR certification yesterday. Now I just need to scan it and send it over to that recruiter. I guess I'll do that at Rob's. Hope he doesn't mind. I wonder if we're still hanging out? Wonder what we'll have for lunch? I have some asparagus....and what goes well with asparagus? mmm...last time he made those bacon wrapped filets. Cause we probably shouldn't go out. I'm poor. Yeah. I need a job. A real job. Maybe I'll just take another corporate banking job? Then again, I don't really want to take a job just to take a job. Besides, the balls to quit that job is pretty much the only thing I gained out of that Chris travesty. It'd be a shame to just throw that away. I could always ask Rod for a job. Damn, I was supposed to stop by and see him downtown last week. Oops. [i suddenly realize the Dead Weather "Die by the Drop" is playing on my iPod]Oh! I love this song. Maybe it's because it's dark? Is it really true that the music I tend to really like is "a little dark" like he said? Ok, I guess "let's dig a little grave" isn't exactly warm and fuzzy. Sushi was good the other night. I think I like him. Wonder when I'll see him again? I have to make sure I get to swim practice on time. And I need to stop and get gas because I'm on E. I can still get in a few more miles... I really miss running down here in Newport. The bridges. And the river. And being so close to everything. I wonder if my old landlord has any other places for rent? Or that chiropractor that had that cool old building across the street? oohh...maybe I could just go back to my old life? I sure am glad I thought to pack a pb&j. That's gonna taste yummy. Especially with some hot coffee. I am more than likely going to need a nap today. I need to get a ride or two in soon. I could just start spinervals again. Should I take a left or a right here? I hope there aren't any creepers around. I mean, it's almost 5am, so they're probably sleeping, right? I have to stop by my storage unit and get some more clothes! And a coat or three. And my vacuum. DON'T forget the vacuum. And don't forget to call that guy. And email that other guy. Oh, that email I got yesterday was weird. I think I won't respond. There sure are a lot of cops out patrolling... I think most of these cops are nice down here. They must think I'm a total weirdo. "

And on and on....