Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Drama, et al...

What spurs drama - cliques, he said/she said, gossip, misunderstandings? Maybe all of these things spur drama. Who needs the smack talk, really? Smack talkers are usually the one's that are not in the top three overall or age group even...it's generally someone in the top third or so who feels the need to express or prove their superiority to the 'rest of us.' What would possess someone to talk it up around town about how they're going to kick your butt next year OR you're not that great of a swimmer OR what-EVER! This is mind boggling to me. I'm not good at ANYTHING enough to talk smack about you or anyone else. Maybe I'm a faster swimmer but you'll kick my ass all over the run. So WHAT? Do I need to tell you or anyone else for that matter? C'mon people, results are posted on line for the world to see. Work hard, do your best, I hope YOU place, I hope you get the reward you were looking for out of this adventure - be it personal satisfaction or a slot to Kona. Suffice it to say, if it's your first Ironman, I strongly suggest you keep your mouth shut...you have NO clue what to expect. I don't know what to expect. I just know that I've got a lot of work ahead of me. I also know that I have 16 hours and 59 minutes available to me on D-Day. I may not need all of them but you just never know.
P.S. Look at everyone WE know that almost always wins, places, goes to Kona, gets hardware...I don't hear them 'talking' very much. Coincidence?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

WOMEN!


I would love to know the answer to this question...is there ANY woman in this world who is not totally self-critical? I swear to you, it's an obsession. WHY can't we just be happy with what we've got? Believe me, I can not be absolved of this obsession either. For most women it's:
  • My hair is too curly.
  • My hair it too straight.
  • My legs are too short.
  • My boobs are too small.
  • My ass is too wide.

For triathlete women, it sounds something more like:

  • I'm not a good swimmer.
  • I'm not a very fast cyclist.
  • Don't wait for me on the run - I'll be at the end.
  • Does my ass look too big in these little, itty, bitty shorts?
  • I can't wear that top, my gut hangs out the bottom.
  • Is my ass eating the bike seat or what?
  • Do I have back fat when I wear this tri-top? Back fat, yes people, the new obsession when wearing a tight tri top or sports bra, believe it.
  • I finished third in my race today...out of three.

Why do we not see what the rest of the world sees? The truth IS, men don't care if you're a little soft around the middle. As Ryan says, women are SUPPOSED to be a little soft - show me a woman that is 'rock hard' and THAT'S A MAN BABY. (See why I keep him?) Anyway, it's so convoluted and twisted that it's hard to see our way out of our body image obsession. Now, believe me when I say that we should ALL dress for our size and shape (go to any Walmart for good examples). I have legs to my armpits, I can't look like Betsy or Ashley or (fill in other name here), I never will. Here's some good, positive options I want to hear all you chickies using:

  • I finished third in my race today (period). If some jackass really wants to get funny with you, they'll look it up on-line. Screw them, they spent the day on the couch.
  • I think I'll go for the more conservative top - I'm long waisted (much better than my gut hangs out).
  • Do you have a map of the ride or run, in case I can't hold onto the pack (not I'm slow, I suck)?
  • (Personal favorite) - Hey baby, fat floats and your dense little bod is going to sink like the Titanic OR I just like to be buoyant!

Go to any race and see every single shape and size known to man. An Ironman is an Ironman...I don't care what you're shaped like. The next time you hear someone whining in the locker room - just say, we're great, look what we did today? I bet they just look at you and don't say anything...at a loss for words.

Beautiful Gurlz!

Monday, December 10, 2007

You know you've got it bad when...

You know you've got it bad when...

  • You forgo new work clothes because you really need a new swimsuit - but you're really looking more like the duffel bag you live out of rather than someone who belongs in the workplace.
  • You go to bed on a Friday nite at 9:00 because you have to get up at 4:30 to 'get it all in' - not to mention, do something that resembles work.
  • You ask for race registrations for Christmas rather than a real, honest gift that you can open (this makes people REAL happy).
  • You refuse to cut your hair because it's just another ~$50 that I could use towards (fill in the blank here) - tubes, new tires, helmet, new shoes etc.
  • YOU PLAN YOUR RACE SEASON A YEAR IN ADVANCE!

... But realistically, you must. Otherwise, like all things, it'll be here before you know it and you're not ready. SO, I'll continue to work on assembling my calendar for the year. Hope to see you all on the road soon or in the water. Next up, one hour swim at the Maryland Farms YMCA in January. Let's get ready!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ironman Dreams and Powdered Donuts

Love, love, love the comments - thanks so much Tom and Nick. I'm going to need all the help and inspiration I can get, that's for sure.

One thing - is it too early to be having Ironman DREAMS? Seriously, I'm dreaming about it already. Of course, it's a twisted version of the true event but it was really an Ironman in my dreams. One thing that sticks out above all else was my food and nutrition. With all the talk of nutrition and bonking lately, I must have been obsessing and dreamt about it. AND, my 'special needs food' - POWDERED DONUTS. First of all, I don't even like powdered donuts, give me a chocolate with sprinkles on it and we're talkin' but a powdered donut? If I'm going to waste calories, it'll be on something better than that I can tell you. BUT, I think I'll have to include a little package of those things in my bag next year...it MUST be a sign.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More, more, more have paid up!


OK, here's who we have so far: me, Abby, Dee, (pictured above, happy and finished GCT07) Rebecca and Crazy Tom...one week for the rest of 'yous' to pay up....and we really want you there to share in the pain or the joy. I'm not really sure yet. Looking for Ash, Jere, Jerry, Andy and Ken! Hope I didn't miss anyone.

So, WHEN will I get over my uncanny ability to:


  1. Blow off a work out in favor of: (fill in anything here, it doesn't take much)

  2. Run really slowly and to stop and smell the roses - I don't even know how far I run anymore, just putting in TIME, me and the dog.

  3. Eat and drink whatever I want because "I'm not training right NOW" ... and I've got the bathroom scale to prove it!

I hope this too shall pass but I'm really enjoying myself - a little swim here and there, a little run and a ride whenever I can muster up the energy to get out into the cold night.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankful!


Of course, there is so much to be Thankful for this year, as is every year. I like to reflect on the small things. I mean, yes, I'm thankful for friends and family and a good job and, and, and. But here are some of the small things I'm thankful for this year:


  • For my friends that sing bad 80's songs to me on nite rides - they make it so much more entertaining.

  • For a rock solid LG helmet that saved my ass, er, head this year.

  • For my dog's ability to clean the salt off my face after a ride/run, they're not particular.

  • For finding the last fry in the bag...Angie's analogy for leaving one last gear to hit on that hill that is going to kill you...it's like the joy of finding the last fry hiding in your bag underneath your burger...ELATION one, more, fry, in, the, bag!

  • For hot water in the showers at the pool on a cold day.

  • For finding $20, yes $20 on my run yesterday. I never find anything good. What a joyful treat the rest of my run was. I think I skipped home. It was only $20 but it's the best kind of $20.

  • For the person who is smart enough to bring beer to the lake on Friday's during the summer - thank YOU Andy and Jere!

  • For my cleaning lady who does my laundry too (love her and no, you can't have her number).

  • For Ryan when he cleans out the coffee pot so I don't have to at 4:30am.
  • For being able to do this crazy stuff, swim, bike, run is daunting enough but 140.6 miles of it. I better go take a nap and think about it some more.

There's really too many things to mention on the Thankful level but always remember the small things...and say thank you, a lot. It's all the little stuff that really adds up and means something to 'the next guy.'

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Like Having a Baby, or so they say


I've never had a baby so I can not say with certainty that an Ironman is like having a baby but other people who have had babies say it is and I will trust them on that! With that in mind, here are my baby having experiences so far, and I haven't even really started yet, I'm just starting out here. I'm sure it'll get worse.

#1. They want to rub or belly...or they just want to call you out in a crowd of people at a party, say, and then the grilling begins. When's it due, read, when is it? How far along are you, read, how far again? Are you taking the mommy and me class, read, how do you get ready for THAT? Why do you want to do this, read, why do you want to do this?

#2. Horror stories - many a mommy have told me that once you tell people you're pregs, it's game on for every horror story in the book. I was in labor for 48 hours and THEN had a C-Section or you should have seen the (fill in your own blank here). So, I was at my allergy and asthma doc yesterday when he had to tell me about how he got kicked in the eye (hard) during IM Wisconsin 2006 Swim and lost a contact...and the other one rolled up into his head...and how his eye was swollen shut the whole time and oozing unknown green fluid on the bike and run. OK, I love this doc but I really didn't need to know he almost 'died' in the process. Of course, he's OK but he just wanted to tell me to pack extra contacts in my transition bags, right?

#3. All for one day. All year long, you get your body ready for it and it's over, in just one day.

Well, I've started looking at the schedule and it's a bit daunting, the hours, the miles. Next up, Gulf Coast Triathlon, Panama City Beach, FL. Who's in? Let's hope it's just not as hot in 2008. The only thing I could think of last year was ICE ICE BABY, give me ICE and let me dive into it...and I only did the run. Jeeze.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Last Leaves of Fall...

As I was out of breath and climbing that hill today, all I could hear was Ryan yelling - this is mile 104 of the bike (referring to IM, of course)...how are you feeling now? I could only smile and wave a kind gesture. as I had NO air in which to respond. Sometimes, I have no more 'lung' to give, more leg but no more 'lung.' OR is it that I've been favoring cheeseburgers and fries in lieu of salmon and rice...oh, and beer, lots of beer?! Maybe I'm out of lung since I've grown a bit this winter? Either way, forge on. As a friend said so eloquently the other day (an IM veteran many times over), why do we do this to ourselves...for just one day...all year long for just one day...and it's over? I said - you tell me, you're the one who signs up year after year? Why do YOU do it? I think it's because we can and to remind ourselves that we're alive.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Paid UP!


We have moved from professional Ironman Cheerleaders to Ironman in Training status! We are now officially official...we have paid our $500 to the Ironman fund and 'earned' the right to race. I am in awe of the prospect. So, the morning after becoming an official "Ironman in Training," I went to swim...at 5am...on my day off work!!! Yes people, HELL-O, my day off I got up at 4:30am. I figure that I better get used to it because this is going to be 'normal' very soon. Don't get too worried, I DID blow off a ride this afternoon in favor of drinking beer. I haven't totally lost my mind!!!
P.S. When I say WE, I speak of Abby and me. WE are still waiting on 'others' to finalize the deal. Either way, WE are in. I just really want the t-shirt to prove it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My people...

And so, the journey begins...training plans, a coach, multiple coaches, new shoes, new tights, new gear...it's always something. With all that 'stuff' and all that gear, it just boils down to training and will power. For those that know me, will power is something that comes 'easy' - relatively speaking. Now, if the body will just hold up! That will be the key to this whole master plan.

It is with each run or solo ride that I think about all the people who have inspired me, supported me, and stood with me. That is not always easy because I'm not always easy to be around...I get "angry hungry" and "angry tired." As you can imagine, Dear Husband (DH) gets the brunt of that. But when you have so much time on the road, you have all kinds of time to think and I like to think about people. Like....

My Mom - the person with whom all of this is possible, with whom I'd never be doing this, with whom I run to and run from during all those miles. Mom's been gone ~9 years now and it seems like yesterday and 100 years ago all at the same time. I run to remember what her voice sounded like and I run away so I don't have to face it. She's my guiding light that protects me on the road at 5:00am or riding at 8:00pm.

My Dad - the person who I am most certain believes I have lost my mind but with every extra mile supports me every inch of the way. He is proud of me but very tentative because he worries. I'm not sure but he might secretly follow me on my bike at night just to make sure I'm OK. Even if he's not, he's right there with me with a smile that speaks 1,000 words.

My training partners and coaches -
To Angie, who, for some crazy reason, is excited about OUR Ironman. See, Angie is the most fun, most upbeat, positive person I've ever met. She - Miss "I don't get out of bed before 8am" - is excited about all the long bike rides this year. Do I tell her that the summer rides start at 6:00AM or should I wait? I think I'll wait.
To Dee, without her support and encouragement I would have never made it back into the pool. Who knew you could meet such a dear friend in the portapotty line and with whom you don't mind getting lost on a 113 mile bike ride?
To Ashley the bestest swim coach ever - without your help I'd still just be doing pointless laps with no earthly idea what was going on and with whom I love to share rides to Florida. You can really get to know a person over ~8 hours.
To Nick - THEE most positive encouraging person I know. He gets points for being "the nicest man in America" and actually saying to me - Well, you run about my pace so why don't you hook up with us for a run? - I've never seen Nick's pace because he's so stinkin' fast.
To Jerry - My favorite Vine-MAN and life balancer. For all the talks in the grotto about how this really ISN'T all that I am and keeping the rest of your life balanced. I will keep things in perspective and know what is really important. And thanks for Aunt Tater...I have one now too.
To Abby - Why else would I get out of bed at 4:30am on a Friday if I didn't know you were going to be at swim!?! I mean really, 4:30 is not quite human but it will be the only time we can fit all this in. I thank you in advance for holding me to our 'extra' Friday swim. We are going to make it through this thing no matter what it takes!
To Jere - My lane partner, 5X Ironman and twisted older brother I always wish I had. Thanks for listening to all my stupid questions and supporting me in my, "beer IS a good recovery drink" theory. There will be MANY more opportunities to test our theory!
To Chris - The other half of Angie, thanks for A) Lending me Angie for gazillion mile bike rides and B) for getting the truck quickly the nite of my wreck. You were the first person I remember seeing and Angie is the first one I felt. You guys are the best.
To Andy - I live by your motto - a slow run is STILL faster than a fast walk, keep moving forward. I'm no runner but these are words to live by in the 11th hour when your feet feel like hamburger meat.
To Betsy - I know you would be here with me IF Sloan baby #1 wasn't on the way. April 2 will be a great day. Thanks for all the fun pool times, you make me laugh hard and THAT is what is truly important in life for sure.

Last, but certainly not least, Ryan. From, I don't want to ride more than 25 miles to I don't want to ride less than 25 miles, I thank you most sincerely for putting all those miles in with me both on and off the bike. For all the meals you eat alone because I'm at swim or the lake and for all the times you go out alone because I need to get a good nites rest for tomorrow's work out(s), I can't thank you enough. I am grateful that you 'get it.' For teaching me how to change my tube in less than 15 minutes to making me a better climber (still not great but I'll keep working on it) to teaching me the value of 'clean equipment,' I wouldn't have made it here without you. I know you don't think anyone should run over 13 miles...ever, but I promise to listen to my body and be careful.

And tomorrow, we ride, new super duper headlight and all, we ride in the winter, we ride in the dark...got to get in those miles.

I love you guys!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

One Week Ago...


One week ago today, I watched many friends, training partners and strangers start and complete Ironman Florida 2007. It's always a long day for everyone...cheerleaders included. I have to say, our Nashville, TN crowd has triathlon cheering down to a science. Do you think we could sell our Ironman Cheer Kit? Anyway, it is with much thought, analysis and many candid converations that I decided I really can do this thing. After years of watching the Ironman specials on TV and a couple years of watching them live myself, I, somehow, have determined that I can do this. It is certainly NOT an impulse decision, that's for sure. I've watched my friends ride until they can't ride any more, I've looked them in the eye when all they can say is, "I'm just tired," and I swam with them until their arms were like noodles. And for some ridiculous reason, I thought, I want to do this. THIS seems like a good idea.

IronMissy - it's official!

IronMissy - it's official!
A vision in green!