Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Weddingpalooza 2010

It's OVER! Finally.

Congratulations to all my wonderful friends who all chose to get married at exactly the same time!!

In chronoloical order):
Ashley and Mark
Amber and Bill
Janelle and Thomas
Katey and Erik
Sara and Ashton

I love you all very much and I am so happy for each of you! However, if you all chose to get pregnant and have babies at the exact same time, we will be drawing names out of a hat because I can't survive that again. Send me your ovulation schedules and we will work something out.

I had a bachelorette party, bachelorette party, wedding, wedding, wedding, wedding...for the last six weekends. I'm sick, I'm tired, my liver is shrivelled, and I've lost my voice. I've consumed about 4 bottles of Nyquil, 6 bags of cough drops, eleventy billion bottles of wine, and 14 pounds of wedding mashed potatoes. I've danced to the YMCA*, The Cupid Shuffle**, Celebration, and You Look Wonderful Tonight. I've fake caught a bouquet, laughed at toasts, made toasts and cried.

All in all, it was a wonderful month where my best friends married their best friends (not me, their OTHER BFF's)...I am so thankful that they were all able to find the kind of love and happiness that I have. But DUDE, could we not have spaced that sh1t out a little?

My first stop was Janelle's bachelorette party in Galveston - we had wine and girl talk (I also took Mall Madness - the greatest game EVER). We lost power and the weather was terrible, but it was a great weekend with our girlfriends!

Weekend 2 of Weddingpalooza was Sara's bachelorette party in Austin - we went to hill country wineries, drank champagne and danced the night away (with the 37 other bachelorette parties that weekend!).

Easter Weekend was Ashley and Mark's wedding reception at Cadillac Bar - we acted a fool in the photobooth and danced a fool on the dancefloor. Mark has his work cut out for him, but dam, he is a lucky man! Love you Mash!

Bill and Amber got hitched the weekend after in Richmond, TX - sandwiched between 2 triathlons and the beginnings of sick, we still danced with old friends and enjoyed the night out! Congrats you guys!

Then it was time for the big one - our BFF's Janelle and Thomas tied the knot in Houston - the wedding weekend just about killed me - dancing, drinking, staying up late and already being sick was not a great combo. But their wedding weekend was a blast, it was beautiful and our closest friends are now honeymooning in Anguilla - I am so happy for them! I'm not sure that Thomas knows what he has gotten himself into, but I promise that she is worth it!

And last but not least, on the same weekend, in separate cities, two of my closest friends decided to wed on the same day. Siiigh. Erik married Katey in Houston and Sara married Ashton in Dallas. We had planned to meet Erik and Co. out on Friday night but we were both sick and generally feeling like death (not ideal company) and ended up just going to bed. I heard their wedding was beautiful and I was terribly sad to miss it. On Saturday we drove to Dallas for Sara and Ashton's wedding - we saw wonderful old friends, watched my oldest friend married her best friend, and even without power, it was a wonderful reception!

So congrats to all of you! I am so happy for you...and I am so thankful to be home, on my couch, with no plans for the weekend...I wouldn't survive another wedding. I was still sweating champagne on Monday after work. Gross.

*I never actually danced to the YMCA. Apparently this song is numero uno on bridal "Do Not Play" lists.
**This song is terrible. I encourage all brides to take a cue from the YMCA and add it to the "Do Not Play" list. Please. I'm begging.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I am obsessed with LOST. I read blogs, I read chats, I live, eat, breathe, worship LOST. My biggest fear right now is dying before LOST is over and I won't know how it ends. The horror! (should I die before LOST ends, I expect to be buried in my pjs, on a couch, with a tv set to DVR that sh1t...even when I'm dead, I'm too busy for commercials)

And this is the greatest summary of LOST EVER. I hate cats, but LOLCats is good stuffs.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Swim

Last weekend at the Olympic distance race, I got the ever living crap beat out of me during the swim. I found this video simulating the swim start on Caratunk Girl's blog and I think it sums it up pretty well.

My one word of advice to anyone starting triathlon for the first time is to get comfortable in the water...because odds are, this is what your swim will be like...

Clif Bar Swimulation

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Olympic

Last weekend, we raced the Sprint distance tri on Saturday, went home, took a nap, hung out with Tiffany and Harold and then drove out to Richmond for Bill and Amber's wedding...where drank wine and danced our little hearts out! We got home around 11pm, packed our bags for Sunday's Olympic distance race (1500m swim, 25 mile bike, and 10K run) and set the alarm for 3:30am. 3.5 hours of sleep is not IDEAL for proper recovery and fueling for a race, but eh, that's what we had!

Alarms went off and I skipped my ritual pre-race shower (I need wet hair for my braids) in an effort to sleep more...I TOTALLY did not want to go. Between the allergies, the wedding, and the sheer exhaustion, if Tommy had given me even the slightest hestitation about going to the race, I totally would have bailed. I sooooo did not want to be racing and I knew the day was going to be rough considering how hard I had pushed myself the day before.

We drove to Kemah (AGAIN), set up transition, squished into wetsuits, wandered down to the docks and boarded our respective boats for the swim start. This particular race is a qualifier for Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and it starts with party barges dropping us off in the middle of the ocean (like the Escape) and then we get to swim to shore. While we were waiting to board our respective boats, Andy Potts (a super cutie professional triathlete) walked up and I was able to score a piture with him. I'm also pretty sure I grabbed his butt (totally on accident...and it was nice...although, that could have been the neoprene). I, unfortunately, am not good when talking to famous people...I tend to stutter and do stupid things (like grab people's butts) when I get nervous, so our conversation went a little like this:
Me: Heehee (snort) hehuhhaaheehee
Andy: Yeah, so, um, wanna take a picture?
Me: Heeheheh (snort/butt grab)

As you can see, I am totally geeked out and I have my crazy eyes on. I do not have many social skillz.

After all the Andy Potts butt-grabbing, I boarded my boat with all the women from the race. We spent about an hour on the boat, gossiping and freaking each other out. Merry peed in her wetsuit and while we encouraged her to stick her legs off the side of the boat to let it drain out, she opted to wallow in it. Triathlon is a dirty, dirty, disgusting sport.

We hopped in the water and I was pleased to find out that the water was not nearly as bad as the day before. It was still choppy, but not as bad and since we were only swimming with the current (never against it) it just wasn't as bad. This swim, however, was one of the most aggressive swims I have ever been on - women were punching and I swear to you that I got b1tch slapped across the face. It was insane. And the waves were big enough and the bouys were small enough that you couldn't really sight much of anything. My swim still sucked, but not NEARLY as bad as it did the day before...getting the crap beat out of me by some hoes really sucked up my adrenaline and wore me out! I finished the swim in a respectable (but not good) 36:25.1. Definitely not my best effort - I should be swimming below 30 minutes, but considering the effor the day before, the sickness and the late night of partying, I will call it a wash!

T1 was quicker than the day before, but I had to stop and pee (in my pants...why waste time in a portacan?) but I figured out the wetsuit thing a little better...into bike shoes and I was off.

The bike was not as good as the day before - as to be expected - and I didn't pass nearly as many people, but up and over Kemah twice and I was to the flat part for 12 miles (my specialty!). Then up and over Kemah twice more and 12 more miles of flat...I gained a lot of ground on the bike and pushed it as hard as I could go. My legs were feeling okay, but I just couldn't make them go any, I only averaged 19.9mph on the bike. I was really hoping to break 20mph again, but all things considered, I will just shut my mouth! I biked in 1:25.1 and moved from 7th to 3rd place.

In T2, I put on socks (I was glad I had done this the day before) and off I went.

I didn't wear my garmin or heart rate monitor again - I just didn't want to know. I was going to run as hard as I could for as long as I could and I didn't need a watch telling me anything! My plan was to kill the run as best as I could...but since I had PR'ed my 5K the day before (by 2 minutes!) I wasn't expecting much. Tommy passed me on my way out (he was on his way home) and he told me that Francis was the guy in front of me. I couldn't see anyone in front of me, so I just kept on trucking...eventually I caught up to Francis - we were both hurting pretty bad! I saw Merry and Ingrid on the run as well...and everyone was looking pretty good (considering!). I was able to maintain my speed at about an 8:30 mile for the whole 10K (I just used the lap timing feature on my watch) and finished up the 10K in 52:13.6. I felt like death - I have never ever felt that bad after a run. I couldn't smile, I couldn't wave, I couldn't pick it up for a mad dash to the finish...I was DONE. And it felt amazing. My run wasn't great compared to the rest of the field, but once again, considered my PR the day before, I will shut my mouth and be happy!

I held onto 3rd place to get a spot on the podium and scored a qualifying spot to Alcatraz!! A 2:48 finish wouldn't have placed me in any of the other age groups, but it is very respectable and a significant improvement over my other olympic distance times...I'm very proud of what I have accomplished this year!

All in all, I had a super exhausting sick weekend and had the best races I could have hoped for! No complaints here!!

I always tend to race better when I'm a little under the just doesn't make sense!

Congrats to Tommy who scred 5th in his age group, Kim who got 5th in our age group, Team Jam got 2nd in the relay, and to Ingrid and Merry for racing so well!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cookies Under the Bed.

I struggle with my weight. You've read blog after blog after blog after blog about me whining about my weight. My biggest issue is not necessarily how much I weigh or how I's more about how hard I have to work to look this way.

Looking the way I do shouldn't take much effort - an easy jog a couple of times a week and eating what I do should be more than enough to maintain my current figure, but it's not. I have seen nutritionists and complained to my friends but as a general rule, they shake their heads and look at me with a look that says "I know you have a box of Girl Scout cookies under your bed so stop your whining. Eat less, workout more."

I have been saying for awhile now that there is something else going on and after a trip to an endocrinologist, a lot of lab work, and a week of waiting, the results are in. I was right...there IS something wrong with me!

It's kind of bittersweet because having something wrong with me obviously isn't ideal, but it's nice to have the answers that I have been looking for for so long and to finally hear that it wasn't all in my head. There is no way I could lose body WAS rejecting me. Despite my diagnoses, I feel satisfied knowing that it wasn't all in my head...that I WAS doing the best I could possibly do...that I WAS doing the right and healthy thing...and that without some sort of intervention, nothing was going to change.

So, the verdict: I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In short, I have too much testosterone and I have numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary.

There are several symptoms of PCOS - excessive hair growth, acne, irregular periods (sorry guys)...and obesity. Generally (but not always) women with PCOS are excessively overweight. I have what they deem to be "Compensatory PCOS"...which basically means that the only reason I don't weigh 300lbs is because I work my butt off every single day...and if I were to stop working out and eating right, I would likely get to the point of seeing 300lbs on the scale.

There are 3 parts to PCOS:
1. Cosmetic - Acne
2. Reproductive - women with PCOS often have a hard time getting pregnant
3. Metabolic - Insulin resistance

We are treating these issues with a number of medications - one of which I am supposed to take "when I know I will be at home for a few days because I will likely have BODACIOUS diarrhea". And yes, the doctor used the word "bodacious" to describe my shit. Looks like we will definitely need to invest in the Turd Tape.

I am supposed to start a low carbohydrate diet (such as South Beach) to combat the insulin resistance. This will be especially hard, because those with insulin resistance tend to crave carbs (of course! Why would it be easy?!?). My biggest challenge will be balancing the low-carb requirements with my exercise - athletes can't easily go low-carb without doing serious damage, so I will be meeting with my nutritionist to discuss the possibilities there.

I also have a low thyroid and high red blood medicine cabinet now looks like an old lady lives there.

I am a little scared about the diagnoses and what it might mean for Tommy and I and potential little Blains, but my doctor feels confident that it won't create any issues (not that anyone can predict the future, so my best case scenerio is that I'm just not gonna worry about it now), so I am putting my trust in him for the time being.

I finally got the answers I have been searching for. And for that, I am thankful. I have a path forward and an action plan...and it's not all in my head.
All in all, I feel happy that I found someone to listen to me without the condescending look of knowing that I hide cookies under my bed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Limit

I pushed myself to the limit and it was awesome!

In the midst of Weddingpalooza 2010, Tommy and I had this bright idea to sign up for Gateway to the Bay Triathlon (both the sprint and the olympic distance races)...and then I got sick and then I had dinner with my BFF...not exactly the most genius of plans. Ooopsie daisy!

I started feeling crappy on Thursday - allergies, cough, runny nose, the whole wonderful nine yards...of snot. But since I tend to race better when I am sick, I figured I would forge onward with my racing plans...

Saturday morning, Tommy and woke up when the kids were coming home from the bar and drove to Kemah for the Sprint distance race (500m swim, 12.5 mile bike, and 5K run). It was cold and dark and windy and I was sick and tired and super cranky...

We set up transition and squished ourselves into our wetsuits and headed down to the swim start only to find SUPER choppy water. Ugh! Jessica and Grizz showed up (Jess
was very stylish in neon) and the race began!

My wave started just as Tommy's was finishing, so I got to see him leading the pack up the to the ramp (it's amazing how you can still recognize your friends when they are in head to toe neoprene, goggles and swim caps). And then my swim wave began...and dear lord it was hard. The water was choppy and the current was pushing us all to the middle of the rectangle we were trying to swim around - I was eating water, sucking wind and just generally crapping my pants. It was a scary swim. Easily the most difficult swim I have ever done in a triathlon. But I survived and came out of the water 5th in my age group in 12:11.4 for 500m. Not a great swim, but seriously, it was about survival...and since I was still 5th, that goes to show you how hard it was!

My first attempt at taking off my wetsuit quickly proved to be a challenge, but I learned a few things that I would put into practice on Sunday. First and foremost, wait till the wetsuit is off to pull of your cap and goggles!

Ran to T1 where I made a game time decision to bike without or brave? I dunno.

Headed out to the bike course where I realized that we would be heading up the Kemah bridge right time to build speed and momentum. CRAP! Surprisingly, I was able to get up and over (and pass lots of people), turn around and do it again...and then it was home free, smooth sailing, flat as a pancake riding (my specialty). I was able to pass all the girls in my swim wave and put enough of a gain on them that my crappy run wouldn't matter. I felt awesome on the bike...and maintained an average speed of 20.3 mph! Bike time 37:02 (3rd fastest female bike of the day!!)

Head into T2 and I was the first female bike on the THAT was a wierd sight! Gametime decision to put on socks and not risk the blisters and I was off and away!

I didn't wear my garmin or my heartrate monitor for this race. I figured that my heartrate should be pretty much redlined, so I couldn't justify having a constant reminder on my wrist that my heart was about to explode out of my chest and I didn't want to know my speed. My plan for the run was to go as hard as I could for as long as I could...and it was ugly.

I was hurting, real real bad. When I got close to the finish line, I tried to speed up, but frankly, redline is redline and I couldn't go any faster. But I finished that 5K run with a 5K PR (shaved 2 minutes of my previous stand-alone 5K time) of 23:27 - average pace of 7:49.

I placed 1st in my age group, 5th overall, hit my goal time of 1:17 exactly (although the ratios of sports was not quite right).


I have always sworn that I didn't have whatever "it" was that made people go hard and leave it all out there...but on Saturday, I found it. I found "it" and it was amazing. I went as hard as I could for as long as I could and left every ounce of energy I had on that race course. I have never been so proud of an accomplishment.

And then of course, the awards ceremony got rained out and I didn't get to be worshipped by my adoring fans. Siiiigh. Haha. Such is life!

And congrats to all the other HRTCers that placed at the race - Kathleen (third in our age group!), Cassie (1st of the Athenas) and Tommy and Francis who rocked it!