Monday, March 30, 2009

Mind Reader

Sooo, I really like swimming, I really do. But there has always been something about it that makes it hard for me to get motivated to go to the pool. I always thought that it was because I hate being wet when I get out, or that I smell like chlorine all day, or that speedo's just aren't flattering on anyone, but no, that's not it. This guy has pinned the tail on the donkey and FINALLY verbalized why I 'don't like' swimming. He is a genius.

I have copied and pasted his blog entry below:

The Hardest Thing About Swimming (To Me…)
Posted by jeffthetriathlete on February 20, 2009

Some people have problems breathing. Some people can’t get their body level. Some people don’t have good hip rotation and it drags them down.

I’ve been swimming for about 20 years, so I’m well versed on how to swim. So those things don’t bug me.

But I do have my difficulties. In fact, I thought about it and narrowed it down to two things, specifically.

First, the tedium of swimming. When I’m out for a run, I just find my groove, and let my mind wander as the miles pass. With swimming, however, my head is constantly filled with the mundane. Stroke count. Lap count. Body positioning. Proper hand reentry. Counting my strokes before breathing. Focusing on full arm extensions… I really don’t get to shut off the brain and just swim.

Secondly, and assuredly the most difficult, is the number “1″. When you can’t turn off your brain, “1″ becomes an evil notion that wears on your psyche and encourages you to quit. When I’m swimming, nothing is worse than “1″.

What do I mean by “1″? When I swim, it’s typically about 3000 meters broken up into multiple sets. My main sets are 200-600 meters each. Nothing is more disheartening and demoralizing than starting a 600 (24 laps), pushing off that wall, and saying in my head, “1″ (and then subsequently repeating it in my head over and over as I swim the lap).

“1″ just gnaws at my brain and makes me doubt that I’ll make it all the way through a set. It’s like that pessimistic friend who tells you it can’t be done, and you want to proove him wrong, but he makes a good argument.

Not to be confused with “1 more”, which is probably one of the greater aspects of a swim set.

But in the end, I still love swimming… probably because I’m good at it. Which would explain why I hate cycling so much…

Yes my friends, that is it. That is why I whine about going to the pool. I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out. Maybe know that I know I can stop my whining and just start all my sets with '2' and save myself the mental torture and a lap or two. Ha.

1 Week Till Opening Day!!

So, the Lonestar tri is this weekend. I'm super excited to get the season started, but I am a little scared too. I am in MUCH better shape this time around than I was in October for my last race, but with that MUCH better shape comes MUCH higher expectations. I hope I can meet them.

My first hurdle is the weather. As of now, the weather at 7am is expected to be around 60...that's a pretty freaking cold outdoor swim. Water temp is questionable, but probably in the low 70's. Which is pretty freaking cold. I kind of wish I had a wet suit, but that would take all the sport out of it, ya know.

The second hurdle is that my shoulder is still bothering me. I think I'll be okay for the swim - I can power through (I hope), but it won't be fun.

Hurdle number three is the wind. As of today, we are looking at 17mph winds from the NW. OUCH. That's some steady wind my friend. Luckily, our entire race runs from NE to SW (and vice versa), so we won't ever be directly into the wind, but that also means we won't ever have it at our backs either. And I SUCK in a crosswind. So, that'll be interesting.

Hurdle numero quatro is that my knee still sucks. I've been all the rehab, but it still sucks. I am planning on doing a run/walk for the run portion. I think my plan will be to walk for 1 minute at every mile marker. Ugh. I'm not happy about it, but I think it is the only way my knee will survive.

This all being said however, I think I can still make 6 hours. It'll take some luck, but I still think it's possible. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let the Games Begin!

Triathlon season is almost here!! My first race of the season is next Sunday, and I can't wait can't wait can't wait.

My first race of the season will be the Lone Star Half Ironman race - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. I am a little nervous because I don't feel prepared, but then I remember how TERRIBLY unprepared I was for my last half, and I feel better. Because at the very least, I am in waaaay better shape than I was in October, and that was the most fun race of my life. I finished that race in 6:45...which is pretty freaking slow, but considering that I hadn't worked out AT ALL (remember Ike and my house with no AC?? Yeah, that equals no workout.) the 2 months leading up the race, I was pretty impressed. And most importantly, I had an absolute freaking blast. I'm hoping to beat 6 hours this time - it may be totally unrealistic, but my fingers are crossed. I know I'm capable. My goals are: 31 min swim, 3 hour bike, and a 2:20 run. A 31 minute swim is totally long as my wave is small and play it smart and stay out of the pack (I freak out in the pack). A 3 hour bike is pretty realistic since there are NO hills at all, but the wind might get me. Fingers are crossed for good weather! A 2:20 run isn't too outrageous, but frankly, the run is entirely dependant on how the bike goes...just keep your fingers crossed!!

I was training pretty hard up until our vacation last week - which ended up stealing about a week and half from me. I'm back on the wagon again - jet lag is behind me and I am catching up at work. Monday I just did pilates, there wasn't time or energy for anything more. Tuesday I did an hour on the bike trainer with Tommy - we watched How I Met Your Mother. Hahaha. It's still funny even when you are in pain. Then I did pilates in the afternoon. Today I wanted to swim, but my shoulder was a little angry, so I stayed home and sat on the trainer again with America's Next Top Model. OMG, I hate Sandra. Hate her. I felt pretty good today, but I could tell I had done a hard workout yesterday AND done 5 minutes of wall-sits. Ouch.

I think we are gonna do an 80 mile bike ride this weekend...which, now that I'm thinking about it, might be stupid since we have a race next weekend. Hmmmm. I probably won't work out both days this weekend though - Amanda is coming in town and we will be painting the town red at Wild West on Friday night. Yeehaw!!

I'm really excited to see how I've improved this year. I'm hoping my swimming doesn't suffer too much since I haven't really all. But it's my strong suit, so I won't worry too much. I am hoping my shoulder heals so I can at least get one swim in before the race!

After this race, I have about a month of building my base and then the real training starts...I'm terrified and excited. All at once.

Thomas is doing the sprint tri on Saturday too, so wish him luck!! He is a out! It's addictive!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Summer Reading.

I know it's not summer yet, but since I went on a tropical vacation that FELT like summer, I'm not going to worry about details like what season it is.

We went on a magical vacation last week to a magical place called Hawaii. Ever heard of it? Well, it was magical. A little colder than I anticipated, but by cold, I mean 75 degrees, but by and by, it was magical.

During this magical trip, I read a few books. We had intended to spend a lot of time hiking and biking and less time laying around, but on Day 1 of the trip I sliced open my foot and was unable to walk much. Sooooo, lounging it is. Darn. And when I lounge, I read.

A disclaimer and a history of my reading preferences...I adore, ADORE Nora Roberts and other such smut, however, since all of Nora's books are essentially the same, I can never tell if I have read them before, so I stopped buying them. I haven't read her in awhile. I feel like I should like Janet Evanovich, but I just don't. Not sure why. I hate Harry Potter, but loved loved loved Twilight. I typically like easy reads where I can miss a few pages and not miss anything crucial to the plot. I don't read to enlighten myself, I read for entertainment. I don't want it to be hard. That being said, I could read Little Women, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights over and over and over again. Tom Robbins is entertaining and I heart Dave Barry and Dave Sedaris. Marry Higgins Clark is great but I am too much of a weinie to read her stuff often...I get nightmares and it's not even scary.

Here are my thoughts on the books we picked up at the airport bookstore:

Book 1:

Love the One You're With by Emily Griffin

Emily Griffin is one "my" authors. This basically means that her name is on a little sheet of paper I carry in my wallet and when I go to the bookstore, I immediately go to her section to see if she has written anything new. She has written some fabulous easy reading books, such as Something Borrowed, Something Blue and Baby Proof. Love The One You're With was good, but I'll be honest, it made me feel a little wierd. It's about this woman who is happily married but runs into this old flame and how she reacts. It wasn't as happy-go-lucky as the others...I dunno. I felt like I had to give Tommy lots of affection while I was reading it. Like I said, it made me feel...wierd. I can't describe it. If you love Emily Griffin, you should read this one, otherwise, you can probably take it or leave it.

Other authors on "my" list are Jennifer Weiner, Meg Cabot (although her books usually suck, I love reading them, it's wierd), Phillipa Gregory, Jane Green, Anna Maxted, etc...all pretty easy reads.

Sweet Potato Queens: Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit by Jill Connor Browne

I heart the Sweet Potato Queens. All the books I've read of theirs have been laugh out loud hysterical. This one was funny could be funny if you have, have had, will have or have ever been a child. The antecdotes were funny and touching and you often think "OMG, that's me! I totally did that". I was cracking up. VERY good beach read...quick, easy, and the font is big. Ha.

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max

Tommy read this first and his comment was "I want you to read this this week so I can see how much you laugh". Guys, seriously. This is easily EASILY the funniest most offensive most OMG, did he just really say that book I have ever (or will ever read). This book is not for the faint of heart. Seriously. It's offensive. It's vulgar. It's disgusting. And I almost peed my pants about 5 times. I laughed so hard once that other people in the pool wanted to know what I was laughing about, but I couldn't tell them because A.) I was laughing too hard and B.) It was so offensive that they would have been totally grossed out. This guy has a website that you should totally look up, just google Tucker Max and I'm sure you will have luck...I won't do it though because I am at work and I don't want to get fired. Seriously. Funniest book I have ever read. Girls/guys/whatever...this is a hysterical long as you dig totally inappropriate, vulgar, degrading, disgusting humor, this is the book for you.

Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson

To follow I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell was a tall order...but I figured that as long as I picked a really sad one at least they wouldn't compare. I was right. This book is's about imaginary friends and such, but all in all, it was touching in all the right places, it was sweet, I cried, blah blah blah. Don't buy it new, buy it used and then sell it back to Half Price, but it's a good read for the beach (or the plane, which is where I read the last half of it). I was able to keep my blubbering to a minimum.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Back to Life.

Back to reality.

More specifically, back to the catastophies that me to begin this blog in the first place.

Last Sunday, we went on a bike ride with our friend Zach who was in town visiting Rice (Zach and Paige are moving to Houston - hooray!!). We were supposed to ride 65 miles, but since I cried for the first 30ish miles of the ride, the guys let me go home (secretely, I know they wanted to go home too). DUDE. The wind was TERRIBLE and it was soooo cold. I could barely control my bike because the crosswinds were insane, and if we weren't in cross wind, we were in a headwind that was about 20-25 mph with 30mpg gusts. DUDE. It was miserable. I seriously cried. The whole way. And then my tears froze on my face. So, our 65 mile bike ride turned into 40ish miles...and took us the same amount of time. Our average speed was 14mph...which on a good day is like a leisurely bike ride. Last Sunday however, I was busting some serious arse to get my bike to go faster than 2mph. I swear.

Anyway, after that wonderful and enjoyable ride, I threw my bike in my car and headed home. I ran over a giant piece of metal that tore a hole in the condensor of my AC (thereby rendering it useless), cracked my windshield and tore up my bumper. Awesome.

Tommy left for Amsterdam right when we got home from the bike ride, so I got to deal with with my car troubles by myself.

On Tuesday evening, I took my pooch for a run...I had already worked out that day so I was just gonna do a couple of miles so he could get some exercise. When I came home, the cops were outside my house checking the place out. Apparently in the 20 minutes I was gone, my house alarm when off. The cops walked through the house with me and everything looked fine. I think (hope) it was a false alarm. I didn't sleep so well that night.

On Wednesday, I took my car to the shop. Repairs were estimated at about $2000 so I filed a claim with insurance. Since insurance takes a long time, it was estimated that my car wouldn't be done till the end of this I am driving a Nissan Versa for now. It's a magical POS.

I drove the Versa for 2 days, during which I noticed a clanking everytime I made a right turn. Turns out that there were empty Modelo beer bottles under the passenger seat. Apparently Enterprise doesn't believe in cleaning cars before renting them out. But the good news is that I left my garage door opener and my work badge in my car at the dealership, so I can't get into my garage at home or the parking garage at work.

On Thursday my phone stopped working. The buttons just stopped doing anything. The music player would turn on all by itself but then the buttons would stop working, so you couldn't turn the music off. I would have to take the battery out to make the music stop. Very bizarre. In the mornings, my alarm would go off, but I wouldn't be able to turn it off. TMobile is sending me a new phone that should be here within 4-10 business days. GREAT. Almost 2 weeks without a phone - yippee. I can be reached by email, thanks. That night, I met Janelle and Thomas and Francis for dinner at Collina's where I got sufficiently drunk and all was okay with the world. Then we went to Onion Creek to wish Robert a farewell.

So, at this point, I am without a car, without a phone and my house keeps getting broken into!

Tommy and I spent Friday afternoon evening sitting on our porch at home drinking wine and chatting, and then we went to Onion Creek to meet some friends for crawfish and beer...however at $6 a pound for crawfish, we opted out and eventually came home to make sushi for dinner.

On Saturday, we woke up at 1am to meet Thomas at his house so we could drive to Gonzales, Texas to begin the TEXAS INDEPENDENCE RELAY. It's a 203 mile relay that follows the trail of battles that led to the Texas' independence. We had an 11 person team and we each ran 3-4 legs of 4-6 miles each. I ran 23 miles over Sat/Sun and Tommy ran 24. It was a lot of fun and my knee did surprisingly well (maybe acupuncture works?). My knee started hurting a bit on my 4th leg, but all in all, it was MUCH better than I anticipated. Setting low expectations is sometimes a good thing. Ha.

On Saturday night, we got a call (on Tommy's phone of course, mine is still broken) from the alarm company saying that our alarm had gone off AGAIN! and the cops had gone over, but it didn't look like anything was wrong. The glass break detector went off so we were worried...we had some time on Sunday morning to stop by the house real quick to check it out. Luckily, a bunch of magnet had just falled off the fridge and set it off, but dear gawd, I was freaked out.

36 hours later, we crossed the finish line at the San Jacinto Monument, the magical place where Santa Anna was finally defeated and Texas' Independence was won!!

We finished off a catastrophic (yet fun)week with some beer at Shady Tavern and pizza sponsored by Froehlich. It was delicious.

At about 8:30, we crawled into bed and passed out. We slept till 6:30 and I am still tired.

Hopefully I will get a phone and a car this week...keep your fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Excuse me.

I just farted at my desk. Loudly.

Lucky for those in the cubicles near me that it does not stink...but I can guarantee they heard it.

It was the fart heard round the world.

Awesome. Happy Hump Day everyone. Welcome to my Dutch Oven.