Friday, December 31, 2010

Life is perfect

I mean, it's perfect right now.
I haven't had much time to blog. Or even read blogs (work blocks them. gasp!)
But I've been making time for myself. And for training. And for sleep.

And right now...right now it's a little after 8pm on New Year's Eve. And I'm all alone in my new place. There are tunes playing and Clubber is on the floor gnawing on a bone. It's still 60 degrees outside (we got some freak heat wave). All the snow has melted. We can see grass for the first time since November. I got out this morning for a quick shorts! I walked to work. I had teddy grahams and milk for breakfast. I walked to my car after work in a t-shirt. And then I went for a two hour ride with Judi...again, in shorts. And it was then that we witnessed a traffic jam going to a liquor warehouse. And a small black dog on the back of a motorcycle, complete with tank and riding goggles. No joke. I wove through traffic to pet the attention whore pup and chat it up with the driver.

I got a call from a friend after the ride who told me I sounded "euphoric". And i was. That was the most fun I'd had on a bike since September. The wind was howling and I worked, but it wasn't biting cold. And I was riding outside with a friend.

It's the last day of, yet another, tumultuous year...and I have more hope coursing through my veins than I've had in a very, very long time. And I can't say I know to what that's attributable. I've had some very special people help me through this year. And some of those people helped me even when I thought they were hurting me (and yes, Chris A is one of those special people). I had a great early season of races. I travelled with friends. I fell in love. I learned to ride with the race pace group. I left a job with which I was dissatisfied and complacent. I took a very big risk. I followed my heart. I had my heart broken and I cried with more emotion than I knew I had in me. And then I took a stand. I went go-cart racing. I abused my body, in both good and bad ways. I turned 30. I burried my head under the covers. I took home some money from races. I won my first tri. I worked at the bike shop and wore jeans and tanks and flip flops to work everyday!! I discovered that I'd be ok from flirting with some travelling Cervelo demo dude. I leaned on mom, on friends. I moved into my dad's basement. And i learned how it feels to be poor. I made new great friends. I developed a relationship with my step-mom that I didn't know could exist. I earned an even greater appreciation for my body and of what it's capable because the mind will push it through. I re-found myself through lots of talk, lots of alone time, lots of tears, lots of anger and lots of laughs. I attended my first gay wedding. I went on a beer tour. I qualified for ITU Long Course Worlds. I reconnected with old friends (thanks, FB). I learned how very important it is to be open to synchronicity. And I realized how much lighter life feels without a huge load of anger. I found that I have friends and family that believe in me more than I even believe in me. A job fell into my life. And I asked a question and got a place to live. I once again have this feeling that right where I right where I'm supposed to be. And for that very fact, I'm grateful for all that occurred this year.

I can't think of a more perfect place to be to ring in a new year of adventure, seeking, learning, loving, desiring, hoping, discovering, finding....

Cheers to a fabulous 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve!!

And I just finished with a 90 minute trainer session. Funny how things change when you grow up, huh? I mean, 20 years ago, i'd have been setting a plate of cookies and milk with my little brother, hanging out in our pjs and waiting for the presents that would be waiting under (and around) the tree the next morning.

Not now. Now, I'm relaxing in jeans after my first full week back to work. And I've already had all but one Christmas. And I'm excited about going for a long run in the morning. And the fact that the days are getting longer after surviving the winter solstice earlier this week.

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. I slept in til 5:30 this morning and felt both refreshed and like a slacker (because it wasn't time enough to allow for a workout). But it's not like I've been slacking. We did over 4k at swim practice the other morning. And I've been on the trainer more than few times this week. And last weekends runs were a blast. Oh, and the walk to and from work gets a little chilly, but it's good decompression time.

I got to spend some time last weekend with my brothers and nieces and nephews. They're so much fun! Almost enough fun to make me want some of my own. Almost.

But I do love them. ANd I've been blessed with some amazing friends and family.

It seems we choose certain times of the year to appreciate them, and this is one. And so many times we just look at visiting as a chore with the travel and the stress of picking out gifts and all the noise  and chaos. But when we look back on it, these are usually the times that mean so much because we're all together.

Thank you to my friends and family. You guys are awesome. I love you all.

Merry Christmas everyone! Eat up and drink your cares away cause base training is on it's way :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The white death

It's come. We got our first real snowfall!!

Schools were shut down. and cars were off the roads.

luckily, this morning, I just had a trainer ride. And yesterday, I went for a long road run before most of the snow hit. It was cold and windy. And the pace started out kinda brisk.

I was with a guy who'd also done the trail marathon last weekend. And he's got an ultra in just four weeks. And I was game for a long run. It was a relief to hear him say "this is starting to hurt" with 7 miles to go. And that's when I busted out the emergency shot bloks. They saved the day until a couple miles left...when it really started to hurt...but we made it in.

And that run and the race last weekend are the things that have sparked something in me. something that i felt went into hiding over the last few months.

So today, I planned out a race calendar for the coming year. And it's stacked!

January entails the Frostbite 5, a Splash 'n' Dash, a trail race.
February, a 6 hour ROGAINE, a Splash 'n' Dash, a trail race
March, a Splash 'n' Dash and a trail race
April, Heart of the South 200, a trail race
may is the 1/2 Mary Pig and Triple T
June is a local tri
July is a half in upstate NY and possibly an Xterra tri
And late August isIMKY!!!
And then November is LC Worlds.


Four Christmases is coming.

And I picked up a Band of Horses album this evening. it's fab.

Monday, December 6, 2010


"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes it meaningful."

It's been a strange few days. It's been a very, very good few days. I've been sick and I've just been allowing life to happen to me and I'm amazed by what I have come to learn in that period.

You see, I went into that trail marathon without having done one, so I didn't know what to expect. I figured it would be slow. I knew I would fall down. But I didn't know if I'd actually get through the race without tears and fear and frustration. But I smiled damn near every mile of that race.

And for the first time in a very long time, I feel powerful.


I know it may sound silly, but I feel like I overcame an obstacle that I didn't know I could climb over. But I did.

And today, I got a call from that place where I interviewed for four hours...and they gave me an offer. And I start on the 20th! Again, another obstacle I was afraid I wouldn't overcome. I was so fearful that my stint of unemployment would keep me from getting a real life job again.


I signed up for IM Louisville today. That's something I'll still have to overcome, but I finally feel free to be me, with no apologies, again.


Also this week:
I had brunch with mom and talked about everything from fashion to relationships to business.
I stopped by an old friends house and caught up.
I skipped swim practice to rest for a race.
I travelled with a friend I hadn't seen in months. And we laughed.
I chatted on the phone with someone who knows me better than anyone.

And I appreciate these people more now than I ever did when they were in my life every day. Thank you and I love you all.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ouch! My Tecumseh Trail Experience

As you know, I've been sick all week with...I dunno. Sickness. Sore throat, congestion, major fatigue. So, my expectations going into this race were low, as in, FINISH.

We drove to Bloomington Friday evening and picked up our packets just a few moments before 8pm. We checked into our hotel, discussed race strategy, visited friends, debated over what to wear in the morning and went to bed.

And awoke Saturday morning to three inches of snow!!! I had coffee, a pumpkin pancake with honey and an apple and we cleaned off the car and headed to the race.

This is supposed to be a point to point marathon in which you park at the end and take a 50 min bus ride to the start. Well, due to road conditions, they announced that it was to be an out and back course, starting at the finish, turning and returning the way we came. This meant lots of traffic on single track course.

Four of us piled in a big SUV to stay warm and at about 5 til 10, we piled out to the start line. The first 3/4 mile or so is on fire road, so that was all about gaining position going into the woods. My goal was to just take it easy for the first half and if I felt good at the turnaround, take it in strong. i settled in with a nice group, including a few first timers, and my buddy, Grafton. the first few miles were full of laughs. And I think that's when I took my first and only spill in the snow. Before I knew it, we could hear the first aid station BLARING Christmas songs. I ran through that station since I was sportin' my camelback. (I figured it was better to be safe than sorry with as much fluid i would lose through snot, spit and sweat).

We then entered a beautiful pine forest. It looked like someone dimmed the lights and there were lots of roots, but it was beautifuL!!! The second aid station came quick. I stopped there, told Grafton I was feeling nauseas and thought "oh dear. this is gonna be a long day if I'm already feeling sick". But, I took off to catch Grafton and the gang. We went pretty easy for the long stretch to the next aid station, which proved very beneficial. And I knew it would. We walked the steeper uphills. I knew it wasn't worth the seconds of time compared to the energy output required.

Somewhere in there, I chewed a couple shot blocks. And I perked up again. I hit the third aid station and didn't stop. This is where we hit some fire road and I found some footing and took advantage to find a new group to run with. This section was a blur as I was starting to feel good. I hit the fourth aid station and grabbed a Gu. It was then that some guy mentioned that we were 11 miles in. WHAT??! I thought we were about 8 in, so I was relieved.

It was in this final little section that the leaders started coming back toward us. They were flying! We hit the turnaround and for the first time, my hammies started feeling kinda tight. i bent over to stretch and eek! BUT, there was downhill ahead, so I trudged on.

I hit that aid station and went right through, traveled on fire road again and cheered everyone on that was going the opposite way. People kept telling me I was sitting in 5th female position.

Aid station #6, I stopped and took a pee behind a tarp, ate a chocolate chip cookie, wanted to throw up, heard someone say we were 18.5 miles in and took off running again. At this point, I could tell the affect of sugar on my mood and run feel. When blood sugar was low, I'd wonder if I would finish, every body part screaming at me. i would focus on the pain in my toes, quads, the bouncing of my camelback creating hicky-looking chafe on my neck, the tightness of my hanstrings...uhhhh....

After a mile or two, I stopped, bent over, cheered another girl as she passed me, regained my composure, and went trucking along again, alone.

The second to last aid station, I stopped, got some gatorade, chatted with the volunteers and heard the first place person had just come through in 3:23!!! Another girl came up from behind me, looks me in the eye and says "This shit is HARD!! I've done 8 Ironmans and this tops them all." We exchanged (un)pleasantries for a moment and i took off again. Just 4.5 miles left. And the Christmas song aid station was coming up quick. I flew, solo, to that one, grabbed a water, a cookie, said thanks and headed to the finish.

I'd been told that last three miles was tough. And would feel like five. So, I just kept telling myself it would take longer than expected. I passed a few guys walking, I focused on the beauty of the lake we were rounding, the snow, and tried to block out the building nausea.

Suddenly, I was back on the uphill fire road. A guy came flying by, obviously feeling spry and said he couldn't wait to get some hot chocolate, which made me gag.

I saw the flags for the finish and was almost never more happy to finish a race. One of the biggest things that kept me running was fear of getting cold. I knew I was sweaty. And stopping would make me freeze. Plus, I hurt less running than walking. go figure.

My official time is 4:14.02. WAY better than I expected, even without being sick. It's a tough course. And that snow didn't exactly make things faster.

Afterward, I felt like throwing up. All night! And even today, I'm not feeling quite right. Thankfully, after hacking up pieces of lung the first few miles, my sinuses cleared out pretty well. I'm sore today, but I've felt worse. The tummy is what's more annoying.

Overall, amazing experience!!!! Beautiful, challenging course. And trail runners are tough ass people, I gotta tell ya that.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


There are some things about me that most people don't know...and that you lucky readers now have the pleasure of learning.

 - When I am sick, I sometimes feel high. And I swear my IQ drops more than a few digits. Seriously. And it's not because I take drugs. I don't. I'm far too sensitive. One dose of antihistimine and I won't shit for three days. On occasion, I'll throw back a Tylenol or Aleve, but it's rare. Back to being stupid...I have very little concentration. I can't speak correctly, and this post will likely be full of grammatical errors.

 - I do not like to participate in others' drama. I don't really appreciate that someone posted anonymously on Judi's blog and brought me up in it. Seriously, wtf? (and i'm still trying to figure out who I know well enough that doesn't know how to spell "you're"). Also associated with this same point of other peoples drama, I've been disconnected with my bff. And I'm super sad. I feel like I've lost a limb.

 - I look for a meaning in almost everything. I mean, I heard "Joey" by Concrete Blonde the last two evenings on the radio, and I'm wondering if there's a Joey that I need to not be angry with anymore? And I usually don't taper well, but being sick is forcing me to taper for maybe it's not such a bad thing?

 - I am not very tidy. I vacuumed this evening and found four bobbypins and a lottery ticket from at least two months ago. But I do try to hang my clothes on a fairly regular basis. Though anyone who really knows me would probably refute this last statement.

 - Man, I love me some cereal. And I eat it dry. By the handful. A box purchsed will be consumed wholly within the week.

 - I really love my dog. Really. And some dude came into the shop the other day, saw Clubber, asked if she was mine, and when I said yes, he picked her up and said "of course she is! She's obviously a girl's dog" and then continued "no man would tolerate a dog like this". Umm....really? Everything that came out of his mouth after went in one ear and right out the other...until he asked me if a wetsuit was a "cold weather biking suit". Thanks to those of you on FB who recommended amazing comebacks to that. I wish I had thought quicker. But see my first point.

 - I have a very skewed perception of "fun". I mean, it's gonna be in the high 20s, low 30s for this trail marathon on Saturday, and I am looking forward to it like a kid waiting for Santa. And now that I'm rested, I'm soooo looking forward to full fledged training. And getting back into the weight room.

 - I have an uncanny ability of letting people justcloseenough to me before I get completely and totally terrified and back away. Like. you. wouldn't. believe. AND I justify it. SO, any of you out there to whom I've done this, you're reading it now: it's not you. It's me. But, strangely, those who get past this hiccup tend to be monumental forces in my life. And then end up leaving my ass. (hence my instinct to flee first) ho hum.

 - I've got a dream. And I think I'm gonna go after it. Now. Ya know, that I'm 30 and I've got nothing else.