Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recovery Week, Beer, Happy Hour and Brunch!

Ever feel like this guy? I was feeling this way today so I said, I'm not coming in tomorrow, I'm burning a vacation day. See this is the most perfect ending to a perfect recovery week. I'm telling you what, 'sleeping in' until 6:00am each day, doing only one workout each day, mixed in with a sports massage from my most faithful healer and I'm getting ready to recovery my ass right into the weekend. I have important business to take care of like - happy hour with friends I haven't been able to catch up with, a bike ride and a run, some sleeping in on at least TWO whole days, some Rock Band with some non-tri people, brunch (read: a reason to start drinking before 12 noon), 10K race with an after party (read: more beer and cocktails), do you see a theme here?!? I KNOW that alcohol, beer and wine have no nutritional value to me right now but it's just nice to feel normal...even if for just one week. I'm not moderating the quantity - had three beers tonite and don't give a shit if I'm a little dehydrated tomorrow. Next week will be a totally different story where everything has a value - nutritional value, recovery value, is it worth the extra beer if I have to get up at 4:00am, noooo way. But for now, I can be just one of the crowd and it's a nice change of pace. Lord knows I'd weigh as much as this guy but, for now...

People have asked me about my training since I almost never talk about it here - I'm usually more concerned with flat tires, bad chafing, falling toenails, bikini waxes and the like. While I'm not sure any or all of them have one thing to do with Ironman training, it's going well. Swimming >10,000 yards/week (lake and pool combo), riding 140ish/week, running 25-30ish/week right now and all is well with the world...other than the fact there is no time for anything else. Getting up at 4:00 to get in that a.m. workout and running home for any bit of daylight for the p.m. workout are getting more challenging as the days are getting shorter. Thankfully, the dogs love to eat some kibble at 4-4:30 in the morning...even if I have to actually get the old one up.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

10 Years Ago today and the last fry in the bag

10 years ago today, my mom died. She was my very best friend in the world and the funniest person I have ever known. She would say what everyone else was thinking. It may not have always been appropriate but she didn't care - screw them, she'd say, we're having fun over here - as she grabbed my hand and waltzed me through the produce section at the grocery store when a MUSAK song she knew came over the loud speaker - I was probably 21 years old, yeah, not a kid either. Everyone wanted to be her friend or at least wanted her to call them HER friend. That meant you made it to the inner sanctum of funness. I can only hope that I enable all her good and silliness and keep up the 'family name.' I'm sure people wonder about half the crap that comes out of my mouth. Now you know...learned behavior!

While my heart was torn from my chest 10 years ago, stomped on, salt poured on it and then placed back into my body, all in a matter of days, I'm here. You don't ever think you'll be OK again, but you are. While I still feel like an orphan (sorry Dad), I know that she is my guiding angel on all this craziness - and thank GOD, Lord knows I need her to help me through these days. That is why her name is on my bike. The Orbea Tri bike named Sue.

Now, on with the goods...

You know you're training for an Ironman when...

  • You truly can fall asleep sitting on the toilet.

  • You go to bed while it's still light out...on the weekends. I think I saw 8:30 on Friday and Saturday nite - what a parrrty animal I have become.

  • You get up to get your a.m. workout in and people are just coming home from the bar.

  • You can eat enough food to sustain a 300lb man.

  • Your best friend is Assos cream. Everyone needs Assos for their ASSSSos.

  • You can only have ONE freakin beer on a Saturday nite because you can't get toooo dehydrated for the next mornings swim.

  • Last but not know you're training for Ironman when all these things are happening and your family and friends still love you.
Which brings me to my most favorite Tuesday nite ride partners, well, Kasha is a Sunday swim partner but I speak of the human variety. While we will have folks join us from time to time, I have to say the tried and true Ironfriends and training partners extraordinaire are Chris, Angie and Ryan. We are often joined by Carolyn, Jere and Andy as well - but they have a life or something that often needs to be attended to...the nerve. Tuesday nites are reserved for riding and friends. It's the best way to get in both - a workout and good times. The ride is usually followed by beer and food. Helllooo, we don't do this for nothin'.

So, thank you to my family and friends - who I am certain my Mom has sent to me. Angie was most certainly hand picked and dropped into my life. I mean who else will sing to you on a recovery ride and remind you constantly to look for 'one more fry in the bag.' This should be her mantra as she repeats it to me often - see, we don't eat fast food often but think about the last time you did, you pulled out the burger and started to eat it, then, hidden under that wrapper was one more glorious french more fry in the bag. Look for it on that next hill you're climbing, look for the fry in the bag - it may be that one last gear you have or it may be that your sorry ass just needs to dig in but think of the joy ... the last fry in the bag.

Love you guys!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic Fever!

You've got to love it, tv we can really appreciate, I mean REALLY appreciate. Heck, I appreciate the fact that the women's beach volleyball teams can run around, dig and keep those suits on, I appreciate the fact that the Olympics are on at 4:30 when I get up, nothing like stretching out for your run watching the women's handball game or match or whatever it is. Obviously, I just sit there in awe over their athletic ability while I go out for my run that would qualify as a walk in their book. Oh well, I'm giving it hell anyways, especially this morning with my triswami - 6 x 800's were on tap. Goody! I don't know if it's the extra rest from my day off yesterday OR if it's Olympic inspiration but I felt like I dropped the hammer today and it was goooood. Dumb analogy that I use in my head to go faster or get up that hill - it'll hurt for just a second and then it's over OR the faster you go, the faster you get done. Stupid, yeah, accurate, yeah!

I don't have kids but here's why being the non-parent adult figure in the lives of your friends' kids is neat...

Hey, hey, Miss Missy is here, Miss Missy is here - fist pumps, jumps, an all around rock and roll welcome from 4-6 year old boys who think you are funny and neat. You know, the only other time you can get a welcome like that is from your dog, they always think your neat.

Olympic fever - sitting with a 4 year old girl, as she is ready for bed, jammies on, blanket in hand, snuggles up next to me for the women's marathon on Saturday nite -
Miss Missy?
Yes Summer?
Do you watch the OLYMpicks?
Yes Summer, my favorites are the swimming, cycling and running, what are your favorites?
Miss Missssyyyyy, those are your favorites because that's what YOU do! (laughter)
Yes, Summer, you're right, that's what I DO.
Miss Missy?
Yes Summer?
Um, I love you! (Hugs all around)
...oh so sweet.

There's nothing like a kid who has NO jaded opinion of you, doesn't know all the stupid stuff you've done in your life and thinks that YOU are pretty cool.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Solo Riding!

Due to a number of time constraints and poor planning on my part, virtually all my rides this week were solo. I have to say, I DO look forward to my rides because it's usually time well spent singing songs, telling lies and being with friends. Not so this week...Ryan has been way to busy at work for even an hour and a half. So on Tuesday nite, I took off for my weekly recovery ride (read, go whatever speed just fast enough not to fall down) where I look at the countryside, talk to the animals and make an attempt at hill climbing.

Since I don't even leave the house until 6:30, I'm armed with all my lighting gear, front and rear. I head out to a 23 mile loop from the house...I'm also thinking that I can catch the slow guys on the local club ride. I'm just rolling along on a beautiful nite when I see him in the distance - the last guy from the club ride. First of all, who fit his bike and second, high cadence is one thing but this was ridiculous. He looked like an orange on a toothpick! So, I say a few words to him and continue on. As I'm negotiating a blind left turn, I'm looking into the turn and not at the ground in front of me, I hear metal flying and something slam into the fence nearby. Yep, you guessed it, big fat flat rear tire. OK, I'm OK, I can handle this. See the thing is, I have never handled it all by myself - in real conditions, not practicing in front of the tv with a real pump. I've always had help or even had some nice guy come by and just do it for me. The poor 'last guy' looks at me like, it's getting dark and I can't really afford to stop BUT - do you need any help? No, I'm good - he didn't flinch and rolled on. So, I call home to tell Ryan of my situation and where I am. I unload all my crap from my bag and start changing the tube. Hell yeah, I got this thing on..with air, bonus! At which point, some nice stranger, some guy visiting from Athens Georgia wants to help me. I'm just thinking really, leave, I was having some nice alone time, just me, my favorite bike (my road bike) and some tire changing tools. I'm feeling like I've conquered the world. Then I realize, this guy is lost and doesn't know how to get back and is wanting someone to ride with. Fine, fine, of course, I was congenial to a stranger but just wanted him to bug off. Get on my bike, I think I need a little more air, add some air, get back on my bike, POW, yep, another flat. I KNOW, I KNOW, ALWAYS CHECK THE TIRE THOROUGHLY BEFORE PUTTING A NEW TUBE IN. I really thought I checked it...there was a one inch split in the side from whatever piece of metal I sent flying. At this point, I told the nice stranger to leave and sent him with a map and called home. I just didn't want to change another freakin tube. I already conquered the world, I didn't need to do it again!

Not totally solo but a time trial style ride so you're just trying to go as fast as you can and catch the next guy. Improved this week over last but since I'm the slowest, I go first, no body to chase...but there is something to be said for being chased and not wanting to get caught. You do look over your shoulder.

Saturday - Long Ride
Everyone had a different plan and a different kind of ride in mind, so I figured that I should do what I need to do. A friend assembled a nice, rolling 65 mile route that I can hook onto from my front door. He had me going places I had never been and roads I had never seen in places that could be scary (that were scary all alone). Now, my directional sense is poor at best but I was armed with a map and turn by turn directions. I studied the map before riding for at least an hour so I had some kind of sense...until you travel Tennessee Country Roads....roads change names for no apparent reasons, there are no street signs or they've been stolen - seriously, who really needs a sign in there house that says Swamp Rd.? Then you have roads that seem to intersect themselves...they have the same damn name. Bunker Hill Rd intersects Bunker Hill Rd, are you kidding me? Well, another proud moment in my solo riding history, nary a wrong turn, even with no freakin road signs half the time. You DO need to keep track of where the hell you've been and what roads you've crossed to keep track of where you think you are. It was a good lesson in navigation, albeit a little creepy at times. I didn't hear banjos but seriously thought I could 'disappear' out here.

One heal biting POS dog, no flat tires, a gas station that doesn't sell Gatorade and a fat guy who wanted to tell me he wanted to get back into shape after his long BMX career and that he road for Cumberland Transit back in the day. And he kept grabbing his gut and squeezing it as if to say - see this, this is what I'm talking about, I need to lose this fat. Dude, no need to squeeze, I can set it plenty well through your Dale Earnhardt t-shirt or whatever the hell you had on. I just wish I had a picture to share of 'us', my new friend.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kasha, our new lifeguard

Kasha is my 12 year old Boxer who loves to swim. Her hips are bad (arthritis), her hearing is sketchy (or she's ignoring me) and her eyesight is OK in the day time. Generally speaking, Boxer's don't like water - Magnus beats the water and tries to swim for his life. Kasha took to it when she was a pup. It dawned on me a couple of weeks ago (thanks Abby) that I should take her when we go to the lake for open water swim practice. She'll hang in the car until we're done and then, it's her turn. She's not a fetcher any longer, no more Frisbees or sticks. She can't hardly get down the little embankment to get to the waters edge without her legs going out from under her. It's a little rocky and steep at points. But, she has found her new vocation...once she hits the water, she's gonna come and save you...whoever you are....

This poor guy didn't know what the hell was swimming towards him. He wasn't with our group so he's not used to being saved. If that mug was looking at me in the water, I might freak out. Thankfully, he was a good sport and got her turned back in our direction. She swam and swam until her little heart was pounding in her chest so hard that I had to hold her to keep from swimming. Logic tells me this is good for her. A walk isn't cutting it, too much pounding on an old girl. But swimming, well, swimming is what it is, you get to move every muscle in your body without getting totally jacked up. I gotta figure it's good for her too. I just hope, that someday, when I'm old and gray and have to give up the 'walk' and after I'm done with the aquabike, that someone will take me to the lake to swim with all the fun people. Maybe I'll get to save some young whipper snapper some day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Triswami says...

...I want you to push it but stay within yourself.

Um, myself is still in bed at home not running hills with your sorry asses at 6:00a.m. while the rest of world slumbers.

...That was the kind of effort I was looking for on #3 and #4 (of 6). Now I know what it sounds like.


...I'm kind of jealous of you guys (me and Andy). This is a great workout, I'm going to do it with you next time.

Jealous, great workout, I'm sweating like a hog, I feel vaguely like I'm going to puke and I'm so hypoxic that I don't know my name right now and am going to argue with you using NO logic what-so-ever. OK, next time, do this work out with us.

...Are you OK (as I'm walking, not running, towards my car)?

Humph. - I'm pretty sure that is all that came out of my mouth.

So, another torture session under my belt with triswami and Andy. BTW, Andy is racing this weekend so Andy only had to do four and Andy...well, Andy still kicked my ass. But hey, he got extra rest waiting for me on the other side of that hill. Yeah, that's it. Well, sorry to say that I'm the retard you knew today. Damn it, it was hard. It was ~8 miles total with 6 hill repeats, ouch. Oh, and this was the morning after a puke ride in 98 degree weather. Lesson learned 96 is my cut off!

IronMissy - it's official!

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