Highlights of the weekend

December 8, 2008 at 5:35 pm (getting physical, plays well with others)

#1) I met The FG! With a hug and much admiring of her dress (which I perhaps didn’t actually verbalize because I was too busy grinning and thinking that she’s even lovelier in person). You would have to go back to November 2005 to find the first intersection of The FG and BS, but it took three years before we found ourselves not only on the same coast, but in the same city. 
#2) I bought pointe shoes yesterday. Dancing Roommate instigated the Peter Pan Syndrome purchase. She needed heels she could dance in and I was more than happy to tag along to the dancewear store. Once inside, she told the woman I wanted to look at pointe shoes while I stammered things about being too old and too out of practice. I have to admit that once they were on, I forgot about the blisters and bruised toe nails and bleeding that accompanied my previous pointe work; I got swept up in the “oooh shiny…pretty”.
#3) Dancing Roommate and I curled up in the living room to watch Holiday Inn last night with hot toddies. Nothing says Christmastime like Bing Crosby and hot toddies. 
Unfortunately, my return to S Factor after a six week hiatus was not a highlight of the weekend. I hurt. Sore abs are great and bruises on my feet and inner thighs are manageable, but the strange pinch between my neck and right shoulder blade might require a professional. 

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Protected: Explore that glorious mound

December 17, 2007 at 3:12 am (getting physical, On dating and mating, plays well with others)

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Waiting to exhale

May 4, 2007 at 9:23 pm (getting physical)

My birthday on Wednesday couldn’t have been better, but on Thursday, the fear set in. I am now thinking about the race every second of every day. When I should be typing, I’m planning out my transitions (again). In the middle of meetings, I sit making yet another checklist. As I shower, I think about technique. I worry that I haven’t trained enough. I worry that something will break. I worry that I’ll be lost, or late, or just plain weak.

I know that I shouldn’t do this to myself. This obsessing will hurt, not help me on race day. But knowing that rationally just has me thinking about how I shouldn’t be thinking about it. And that’s worse than thinking about it.

You would expect that after months of training – months of running, swimming, or biking nearly every day – I would relish this taper week. My run was supposed to be a 20 minute run/walk. My bike was supposed to be 20 minutes on flat terrain. My swim was supposed to be 15 minutes with 30 second rests every 100m. And yet I find myself pining away for long runs and brick workouts. Today at Avery, the water felt like a bath – warm and welcoming compared to the chilly day. My stroke felt natural and comfortable, straight and even. My shoulder felt good. I swam a couple hundreds with my eyes closed, thinking of murky open water. And it was what it was supposed to be. But 20 minutes (I just couldn’t limit myself to 15) isn’t enough. I need more. I need miles and miles of road and lap after lap of swimming. Because it is only when I am actively working towards this goal that my mind can wander to something else. And what I want most right now, what I need most, is to breathe and not think.

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I’m still laughing

April 20, 2007 at 10:45 pm (favs, getting physical)

This is why I’ll be starting at the back of the pack.

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Peaks and Valleys

March 26, 2007 at 9:56 pm (future, getting physical)

Everything hurts: my right shoulder, my left knee, my right foot, my hip flexers, my lower back, my neck, my ankles, my achilles tendons.

I ran today, but it was an effort. I’ll swim tomorrow, but I’m not looking forward to it. I swam over the weekend, but I was miserable. The thing they don’t tell you about swimming in cold water is just how long it will take before you gain control of your body again. That precious mind-body connection, cultivated over months of training, is gone in an instant when 53 degree water floods your wetsuit. Beyond the body’s natural tinge of panic is a stubborn unwillingness to make it any worse. Logically, I knew that I’d tire myself out swimming with my head up, but try as I might, I couldn’t make myself put my face in the water. It took twenty minutes before I could pull off several consecutive minutes of a strong smooth stroke with bilateral breathing. That was Saturday. And now I’m exhausted.

I’m drinking Emergen-C daily and taking multi-vitamins. I’m trying to get as much sleep as possible. I’m eating half a pound of broccoli and drinking calcium fortified orange juice. I’m zoning in front of bad television whenever I can. I’m making friends with my bottle of Ibuprofen. But I’m just exhausted. On Tuesday, I had a great run – the kind where I wanted to go around the loop again. By Thursday, I was headed toward the low point in which I’m currently residing.

When I finish this race, I’ll also be in pain, I’ll also be exhausted, but after achieving my goal and with my parents and the IP cheering me on, I’ll be on top of the world. Right now it’s just fatigue and overuse. And digging deep. And focusing on what inspires me.

Triathlon: If it were easy, they’d call it football.

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Shopping is a sport

March 7, 2007 at 7:50 pm (getting physical, shopping)

I wandered from rack to rack discovering wonderful things. It was a sea of amazing fabrics, attention to detail and row after row of shoes. I was compelled to buy – I simply NEEDED it. All of it. Was I in Bloomingdale’s? Nordstrom? The fantastic Saks in Union Square? Some great boutique on Sacramento Street? Nope. I was smack dab in the middle of my new Mecca: Sports Basement. Yes, you read that right. I have discovered Sports Basement and I am in love. I think this must be what new mothers feel when they realize that they’re describing their child’s eating and waste disposal habits with the same passion they had previously reserved for torrid affairs with bartenders. The Banana Republic, Theory, and Elie Tahari in my closet (and the Marc Jacobs, Chloe, and Zac Posen that I wish were there) have been replaced by TYR, Cannondale and New Balance.

I even bought my triathlon outfit (minus whatever singlet I find to throw on top for extra support), so it can now officially be said that I’m dressing for the time I want, instead of the time I’m likely to have.

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Week 4, Swim 8: 2500m

February 23, 2007 at 8:33 pm (getting physical)

As I train, I am learning to celebrate the little victories. This is a lesson as useful in life as it is in triathlon training. But on Wednesday, it was no small victory.

For my first triathlon I have only one official goal. Finish the thing upright with a smile on my face. Of course, I’ve been arguing with myself about setting other goals…the kind you’re not supposed to set for your first race: run the whole 4 miles (this seems reasonable now, but I can’t predict the effects of post-swim and bike fatigue); finish the bike in under an hour; and complete the swim in under 20 minutes. This is dangerous territory and I shouldn’t be doing it. They warn it will only lead to disappointment.

On Wednesday, I swam my first continuous 700 meters. Thankfully, the pool was set with the long lanes, so I only had to count to 14, instead of 28. As it was my first swim of that length with no little 10 second rests, I chose to take it relatively easy (50 slow, 50 med., 50 fast, 50 slow, 50 med., 50 fast, 50 slow, 50 med., 100 fast, 50 slow, 50 med., 100 fast), but I timed myself nonetheless.

700m in 15:10. That’s not fast, mind you, but there’s no way that last hundred will take me three minutes, let alone over four and a half. And I wasn’t really even out of breath.

I think it’s now safe to say I have two official goals for this triathlon. Finish it upright with a smile on my face and complete the swim in less than 20 minutes. Just don’t ask me how the runs are going…

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Week 1, Swim 1: 2100 yds.

January 31, 2007 at 1:02 am (getting physical)

I was exhausted. Whiny-and-falling-asleep-in-the-parking-lot exhausted. And it was cold. Not the outside air temperature (that kind of cold has been normal for a while) but cold in the pool. Still, somehow, it turned into my best swim in quite a while. The set of 5 200s flew by and I think I even managed a negative split on the last 100 sprint of my 500. I inhaled water, cleared it, took a double breath, and kept right on swimming. I did all four of my 25 yd. “no breathers” without a breath, and in 16-17 strokes. I finished my workout feeling like I could have comfortably completed another 500 yds. And when I pulled myself out of the pool, I realized that I was no longer either whiny or tired.

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New bike, new bruises

January 29, 2007 at 5:37 pm (getting physical, past, present)

In fourth grade I decided to start riding my bike to the school bus. The bus was bad enough with the 6th graders monopolizing the good seats in the back and the pudgy girl-bully throwing out insults whenever the mood struck, I didn’t need to face the gauntlet of walking home from the stop every day. Bikes were faster, I reasoned, and I always enjoyed riding mine around the neighborhood. On the first day of the school year, I gathered my backpack (onto one shoulder only, as was the style), mounted my bike, and set off.

A few blocks out disaster struck. The front wheel hit the lip of a driveway at just the right angle and my off-balance backpack pulled me down to the asphalt below. Blood dripped from my chin, welled in the fleshy part of my right hand, and started to darken the knee of my tapered jeans, but I was more shocked than hurt. I walked my bike back to my house where one of my parents cleaned me up and drove me to school. Walking in late to the first day of fourth grade is tough. Walking in with a bandaid on your chin because you crashed your bike is mortifying. Sure it’s not wetting your pants, or calling your teacher “Mommy,” but for a vain little girl, it’s a blow.

Yesterday, as I crashed the brand new bike I was test driving, I was thankful for the perspective that comes with adulthood. I was moving slowly, trying to get my second foot in while coasting, and thought I had more room to maneuver around the (parked) car. I didn’t and down I went. At 10 I would have been embarrassed, at 26 I’m thrilled to have my first crash out of the way and to have had it happen at 2 miles an hour instead of 20. My right hip bone and right shoulder are throbbing (which should make my swim tonight interesting), but I’m just too damn excited about my new bike to care.

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Just Tri Me

January 2, 2007 at 9:28 pm (future, getting physical)

It’s official. I will be celebrating my 27th birthday with a half-mile swim, 15 mile bike, and a 4 mile run. Training unofficially begins next week. And then, when it’s all over, I’ll indulge in a great meal and a bottle of fantastic wine.

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