Monday, August 25, 2008

Natural Born Endurance Geek

Baby Bear recently discovered the wonders of the pantry and all the cool stuff to pull off the shelves. I thought it would be a disaster of epic proportions because he's in full "I'm 9 months old and have to empty every shelf, basket and cabinet I can reach" mode.

But it hasn't been that way at all. He takes one particular thing and either sits quietly in the pantry with his prize or tries to sneak away with it. He never bothers anything else in the whole darn pantry.

This is what he's taken so far...

I couldn't have staged these if I wanted to. He's not that cooperative : )

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Just got THE BEST call from my buddy Regner. He's come to the dark side, y'all.

He did his first triathlon this morning. The first words out of his mouth were "OMG, that was the most exhilarating experience of my life!" And then, "I can't wait to sign up for another one!"

He's the one who taught me how to swim, got me out in his lake and helped me learn to handle my fear of open water. Without his help, I literally wouldn't be a triathlete. When he called earlier this week to say he signed up for a race and asked "what do I, ya know, do?" of course I fell all over myself to help him get ready.

He gave me the lowdown on this morning's race (pretty sure he finished top 10 in his wave, he's so fit it's crazy he hasn't done this before), thanked me for my support (which I find ironic because without him I'd be nowhere) and made me promise to race with him next summer.

I.Can't. Wait!

July 2006, Regner got me though my first open water swim race.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympic Ice Cream

This is what I ate while I watched the women's Marathon.

Here is what I learned from the experience:

- Irony is delicious.
- I seriously have to stop going to the store hungry.
- Especially when ice cream is BOGO.
- The answer to "what can I do with all those bananas before they turn" should not be "banana splits."
- Unless ice cream is BOGO. I mean, a girl's got to have standards.
- If you host Girls' (TV Watching and Junk Food Eating) Night, make them take the caramel sauce, whipped cream and cherries back home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Silver Lining

I'm sure many of you were irritated, as I was, with NBC's failed promise to air "Live Triathlon" coverage Sunday and Monday nights.

Thankfully they are doing a stellar job of posting footage online, and last night WH plugged the computer into the TV and I happily settled in to watch every minute of the women's triathlon in 50 inch HD glory.

It was peaceful. Almost surreal.

I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but I quickly realized why. No annoying announcers.

No bubble-headed sidekick asking inane questions. No manufactured drama. No one going off on how some common, minor glitch was a HAAAAYYUUUGGEEE MISTAKE they'll never get over. No one shoving a mike into the athlete's face asking how devastating it was to drop her chain and fall behind the pack.

The online broadcast was almost silent. Just the splashing of water, the sound of wind rushing by and the occasional roar of a crowd in the distance.

The athletes seemed alone. Sometimes you could hear them breathing.

Just like in a real race.

It felt like I was there. I loved it. I plan to watch the men's race the same way. I recorded the supplemental broadcast that was supposed to air the triathlon this morning, but I don't think I'll bother with it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Just saw the finish of the Olympic Women's 10K.

Holy crap, dudes. My ultimate fantasy is to break 30 minutes for a 5K.

These chicks? Gold and silver both broke 30min for the 10K!!!

I heart the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Starting Fresh

First of all, I want to say an enormous Thank You to everyone for your incredible support over my last post.

I debated long and hard about publishing that because I was afraid people would think I was whining. I'm forever grateful for your kinds words, and for making me see I'm not alone.

In other news...

When I got my 5:55 am Baby Bear wake-up call Sunday morning, the first thought I had was "huh, I should be lining up for my half-marathon right now."

The only thing worth getting up at ridiculous o'clock for other than a race.

I'm happy to report I was not sad, just calmly accepting of what had to be this time around. And happy for the racers who did run that it was a gorgeous, unseasonably cool 75 degree day. (OK, maybe a leeeetle bit jealous I couldn't do it on such an amazing day. But not sad.)

When I got up the plantar fasciitis in my left foot - which hadn't bothered me in weeks - kicked in. I think it was my body's way of trying to make me feel better. Reminding me I really am still injured and the DNS was the right choice.

I'm also getting along pretty well with The Calorie Nazi. I still hate him and his ruthless math and how I just can't slip those s'mores by him. And until I can get back into a regular workout schedule again I'm not even letting my occasional secret lovers Ben and Jerry into the house.

But I've now lost about 9 of that 11 I'd regained and am feeling more motivated than ever to keep going, so it's all good.

I feel like I've turned a mental corner. I'm still overwhelmed with work and Baby Bear and lack of sleep and exercise, but I feel like I'm finally starting to get a handle on it. I feel ready to move on and continue this journey through weight loss and triathlon in a way I haven't since the pregnancy, and I have y'all to thank for it.

I can't express how much I appreciate your continued support. You've gotten me through some dark spots, and I'm so grateful to know you're out there. I look forward to seeing - and reading - more of you now that I'm coming back into the light.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Sticks and Stones

This isn't directed at any one person or particular incident. It's simply a distillation of my feelings to the negativity I've received over the years from judgmental passers-by who sneer at my size, elitist endurance jerks who don't believe in sharing the sport with people like me and the anonymous asshats who send snide little emails and private comments calling me things like "selfish," "fatty" and "goddess of uglyness." [sic]

So. You think I'm fat. And ugly. And don't belong in this sport. Or, apparently, life in general. And you get a kick out of saying so while hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.


Maybe you're the anonymous asshat who's wittiest comment to date has been "wow, you're really fat." Or are you one of the guys who sits on the beach and talks loudly about how fat girls shouldn't be allowed to wear bathing suits?

Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. Saaay... are you busy? I'm thinking you've got some time on your hands, seeing as how your afternoon plans seem be sitting making fun of other people. How about we go for a little swim? See that buoy? No, dear,
that's the starting line. Squint a little and look at the middle of the lake. Yes, THAT one. Race ya...

What's that? You can't
swim? So, what you're saying is all you know how to do is sit on a sandy towel and cultivate a nice case of skin cancer. Well, that's a shame. I guess I'll see you after my workout. Yes, it's a mile loop around that buoy. And ya know what? If I'm feelin frisky I'll do two. You're more than welcome to join me.


Maybe you're the guy from the bike shop who made a crude comment about the size of my ass and tried to sell me the biggest, thickest, tackiest spring-loaded gel seat in the store after I spelled out what kind of racing bike I ride and the exact kind of saddle I was shopping for.

Or maybe you're one of the beer-swilling porch-sitters, poking your buddy in the arm, pointing and laughing as I ride by.

Doesn't matter, I say let's go for a ride. Go ahead, finish your beer while you dust off the ol' bike. I'll wait. Let's keep it short - 20 miles or so? How's about I meetcha at the top of that hill?

Yes, THAT hill. Yes, on your bike.

So, what you're saying is you've never tried to grind up an 8% grade into a 20 mph headwind in 95 degree heat with your heart rate spiking over 200? Well then, let me show you how it's done.


Maybe you're one of the shirtless gazelles who snicker as you lap me on the local trail. Or one of the jerks who doesn't believe I deserve to call what I do running because you and your long-ass legs happen to be able to walk faster than my 5K pace. Maybe you're even one of those asshats who publicly proclaims people like me shouldn't be allowed to sign up for races.

You know what, how about you spend a 5K in my shoes? I ran my first mile at 120 pounds overweight, but I'll make it easy on you. How about we strap a 40 pound bag of dog food around your waist and see how fast you can hoof it around that trail now? And don't slow down to walk up the hills! You wouldn't want some asshole to laugh at you for needing a break.

NOW. Do it after a swim and a bike ride. In 90 degree heat. Oh, and you better carry your own damn water because the aid stations will be out by the time your ass gets there.

Yes, that's what it feels like for me. Except double the extra weight. And yes, I still stick with it. Now tell me I don't deserve to fucking be out here.


It would be a simple thing for someone as soft-hearted and sentimental as I to turn these people, these incidents and these attitudes into a personal crisis of faith. A never-ending, confidence-sucking drama that would leave my poor Pollyanna spirit sobbing and broken-hearted and incapable of going on in the face of such opposition.

And there was a time when I might have done just that. In fact, I'd be lying if I said I still didn't have moments of weakness. But they're just that - moments. And not a one of them has had a thing to do with the black outpourings from the anonymous asshats of the world.

My dark times will never again come from a petty external source. I'm stronger than that now. I believe in myself, and in my self-worth and the only one who can hurt me is me. If I disappoint myself then I'll deal with the consequences. But I refuse to allow anyone to affect me, to shoot poison arrows declaring I've failed to meet some private standard they clearly have some issue with themselves.

I'm choosing not to get angry with these people. I choose instead to be grateful for their assistance in my metamorphosis. They only empower me and strengthen my resolve.

I pity them, and the sad lives they must lead, if their pleasure comes from showering others with pain.

So I say to them all: if it makes you feel better, then judge me. Say what you like. My response will always be "meet me at the starting line." You name the race. I'll see you at the finish with a handshake and a cold bottle of water. And I'll do it in spite of a chronic illness, two bad knees, a bum shoulder and a baby at my breast.

Whether or not the clock says I got there first, I'll still have beaten you.

Because I'm stronger than your random acts of hate, and your words have no power over me.

Monday, August 04, 2008

It's the Little Things that Make Me Happy

Old To-Do List:
- repaint halls
- repaint baseboards
- touch up paint... everyfreakinwhere in everyfreakinroom

New To-Do List:
Buy more of these

I was sooooooo skeptical. I assumed they were another stupid product that wouldn't work, but I figured it was worth $3.50 to try them before I started repainting everything in sight.

Dudes. OMG!! They're not kidding about the "Magic" thing.

Every black scuff from dragging my bike through the halls? GONE.
Big black suitcase scrapes? GONE.
Random black marks I have no idea what caused them? GONE.
Rust spot on the sink from a cheap soap dispener? GONE!
Icky grungy schmutz on the door trim from (I can only assume) the dogs I couldn't scrub off to save my life? Freaking GONE!!

Next time you put a big black tire schmear on the walls when you're setting up the trainer, go get one of these before you break out the touch-up paint. I'm not saying it'll solve all your problems, but I've got to say my life - especially the part where I'm always banging suitcases and bike tires into walls - is looking a heck of a lot easier right about now.