Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Time to Take my Medicine

This morning's swim SUCKED. This "crud" is far from over. And I meet a swim coach on Saturday. She is so going to kick my ass. But, that's OK. I think its time I got my ass kicked. Its time to take my medicine.

As Bolder pointed out, my readership is limited. In fact, my regular readers total two: Bolder - not sure what I did to deserve that, but it is sincerely an honor. And Hubby. Who does not deserve the name Switchback Boy. Not by a longshot. Unless, of course AJ, visits again and we can talk about Crossfit. Too much, Bold? And Vicki. You still out there, Vicki? I enjoy your comments. . .

Regardless, I am ill advised to alienate a large percentage of my readership, especially when he shares my bed.

Three other words stood out for me in Bold's comment: "regret, late, wife". I can't even begin . . . No words suffice and all I can think to say is I'm sorry. That grief is unimaginable to me. Let it be something that your reminder has humbled me. Whatever I mistook for humility in myself before was a shadow of nothing.

What kind of person am I to try and make my main supporter and mate feel badly because of my own insecurities?

Some things Hubby does deserve to be known for:
- Since we met, he has been my "number one fan", holding down the home front when I was off rehearsing until all hours, helping to fund those exorbitant headshots, coming to see every show he could - he saw a couple of my shows five or six times. Then stayed for strike. It doesn't get more supportive than that.
- When, without any explainable reason, I announced I wanted to quit acting, he stood behind me, even though he was mystified.
- When, without any explainable reason, I announced that I was training for a triathlon, he remained mystified, but kept on standing behind me. He entertains our kids when I'm off on one of my weekend monster workouts, puts up with my hours on the trainer with no complaint, and doesn't grumble when my alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m. He's gone to the pool with me to offer me pointers (he used to be on the swim team and was an ace water polo player), suffered on a two hour bike ride with me in 30 degree, windy conditions, and run with me at 5:00 in the morning. He authorized me to spend an ungodly amount on a used bike on ebay because "I had a good feeling about it". He's supported my desire to hire a swimming coach - who, did I mention, is going to kick my ass this weekend?
- He reads this.
- He loves me, even when I'm unloveable.

So there it is. Whatever kind of bird I hope to evolve into, I'm not there yet. I'm still just the worm, crawling out of the ashes. If he sticks around, though, I think I have a chance of flying.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Bolder, Alejandra - thanks for the get well wishes. I think you're right, Bold, my lack of extreme sympathy (I was sympathetic but it was tainted with smugness) at your earlier illness resulted in bad karma which led to this debilitating misfortune. Please forgive me. Ok, I feel better now.

I was feeling well enough to go for a "recovery run" (read short - 3 miles - and SSLLOOOOOWWW) this morning. It felt good. Except for the fact that Hubby, who chose this morning to finally grace me with his running presence, was running switchbacks up the hill to allow me to keep up with him. Isn't this akin to running circles around your running partner? Was it out of line for me to snap at him "Just run ahead of me, already?" He was, in his words, "trying to be supportive". OK, hon, I get that. Love you and all that, but CRAP.

Let me just state, for the record, that I am a slow runner (and swimmer and cyclist/faller). It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my slowness. I sort of look fast. I'm tall, relatively lean. I look like I could kick butt. But, alas, looks are deceiving and this fast looking tall, lanky chic regularly gets passed by wheezing old men. It was even more difficult to deliberately slow down (shouldn't I be trying to go faster?) to complete base training at a USAT approved heart rate. NAZIS!!! Sorry, I don't know where that came from. The bright side of that dark, dark tunnel is that my heart rate has come down enough that I can maintain a "recovery heart rate", like this morning, and still continue to actually move forward. Its still very hard on the old pride to shuffle up the hill while everyone else zooms past but at least I'm not breathing hard. The wheezing men still pass me but at least I have enough breath to yell curses at them as they pass. Not that I would. But I could. If I wanted to. Which I don't.

ANYWAY - this all brings me back to Switchback Boy (which he shall hereafter be called) who, absolutely inadvertently and with the utmost intentions of love, completely humiliated me, his beloved, on our short and torrid morning run. This is a life lesson for me. I know this. I have to learn to acknowledge, accept and embrace my shortcomings. It would just be easier if I had fewer of them.

Monday, February 26, 2007


I am sick. Again. This is my second cold in as many months. I suppose I have to consider the possibility that I'm overtraining. Darn my impatience!! Or maybe I'm just a wuss. Or maybe Saturday's brick - 50 min. swim, 2 hours on the trainer, 1.5 mile run in driving ice/rain - wasn't the best idea with a sick girl in the house. Regardless of the reason, I am officially benched until I can breathe again.

I valiantly set my alarm for the usual 4:45a.m. this morning, thinking, maybe I'll feel well enought to go for a swim. A swim almost always helps me kick whatever evil bug is lurking in my urt and bronchial tubes. It. Was. Not. Happening. Shit.

And my planned Crossfit workout (thanks to Stronger, and LittlemissRunnerpants for turning me onto that brand of strength training), the workout my darling Hubby installed a pullup bar for this weekend. Also. Not. Happening. Doubleshit.

I suppose I'm irrationally afraid that whatever weak degree of fitness I've managed to gain will completely distentegrate with unplanned days off. Sick, I know. Bordering on Compulsive. Plus, I like training. I like sweating. I like to challenge myself. Right now, my biggest challenge is getting through today without curling up on the floor under my desk for a nap.

While in my basement, Pyro lurks. Itching for a ride in the real outdoors. Oh, the humanity.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pyro Bucks

Where do I begin? I'll start with the weather. The weather was the beginning and the beginning is a very good place to start. The weather and a sick stepdaughter. That's where it began.

Wednesday was a beautiful day. It was a promise. It got up to 60 degrees around 2:00 p.m. and those of us stuck inside at our desks moaned as those of you with flexibility and sick days sped around the neighborhood on bikes and running shoes clad in nothing but shorts. And sometimes a t-shirt. It was beautiful.

My stepdaughter was one of the indoor bound - she had a random viral infection of the vocal chords which prevented her from talking, singing, getting off the couch, eating, drinking or dressing. It was Hubby's assessment that she shouldn't be alone, so he stayed home with her for the second day in a row. Enter a brilliant idea from yours truly - I'll try and get a half day, take Princess to the doctor and get in an afternoon ride before we leave for dinner (on a side note we had tickets to see the St. Louis tour of Doubt at the Fox and dinner reservations for 6:00. It doesn't suck to be us, I'll grant you that). Boss Man - who is almost always very reasonable- was reluctant to let me go and turned into the Wicked Stepmother, with myself playing the ever popular Cinderella. Sooo, as the daylight was rapidly fading on her dreams of going to the ball with Pyro, Cinderella worked feverously into the afternoon, finally finishing at 3:00. There was time. Barely.

I found myself in a foul mood despite the incredible day - it seemed as though everyone had the same idea I had and hit the road at once. Traffic. Sucked.

Still, I made it home in time for a quick spin around the neighborhood - not the grand waltz through the park I was hoping for, but a quickie is better than a noney. Enter my clipless pedal system. A system I had been faithfully practicing on the trainer since Saturday. A system that absolutely rocks on the trainer. A system that embued me with false confidence - after all, I had practiced getting in and out of the things at least twenty times on the trainer - and systematically through my ass to the pavement. Painfully. To add insult to injury, being the brilliant cyclist that I am, I attempted to catch myself with my right hand. Brilliant. See below for result of that fine experiment.

Now, I know that most everyone has fallen when learning to ride clipless. However, I assert that I am most likely the proud record holder of "Shortest Time on the Bike Before Kissing Pavement". I didn't even get in one pedal revolution. Nope. I clipped in, stood on the pedal to push off and promptly fell over. In front of a dude in the neighbor's driveway. Who didn't even offer to help me. Even though I looked like an overturned roach, still clipped to my bike, rutting in the asphalt. It was fun.

The good news is that, once I managed to muster enough pride to pick myself off of the pavement, lean my beloved, fiesty Pyro against the house and attempt to remove most of the asphalt from my hand (and took the time out to snap the brilliant photo above), I switched my cycling shoes for my tennis shoes and got back on that little bronc. I decided that I better get used to the bike and the nuances of handling her before I go and try and add some fancy shmancy clipless pedal system thingy. I spun around the hood for about twenty minutes - long enough to mostly stop shaking, put the bike away, licked my wounds and got ready for the theatah. I am so going to kick ass on the bike leg. As soon as I get up off the asphalt.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Back - With a Vengeance

I have returned - and I am rested and well-fed and ready to rock and roll. Almost. I'm taking today and tomorrow off because I'm lazy. Well, today, because - I didn't feel like it. And tomorrow is my scheduled day off, anyway. Plus, this is my recovery week. So there.

The resort was beyond fabulous - all inclusive, palapas (big, roof covered beds on the beach) with bar service - "May I bring you a drink, Senora?" "Si, Juan, another Raspberry Colada. Gracias." - More food than you could imagine, swim up bars every 100 feet, Sun, Sand, Surf. Yep, it was heaven.

We returned from beautiful beaches and sun to snow and 11 degree weather. Sigh. But the time in my sarong ahs left me refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the winter - spring is just around the corner - right? Right?!?!?!

In other news, I bought the QR Caliente. She will be here tomorrow and I'm waiting with baited breath. This was a huge risk but it just felt right. Hopefully, it will all work out. I've already named her Pyro. I'll send you pictures of my new baby as soon as she's put together.

I trained a bit more than I thought I would in Mexico. I ran all three full days we were down there, swam everyday, and rode a bike on the "Jungle Tour" for about an hour. Very leisurely but the bike was trashed and a real challenge to keep upright, so I chalk that one up to "Skill Training".

Happy Late Valentine's Day to all!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

At the risk of sounding like I'm gloating - SEEYA!!

Hubby and I leave for Cancun tomorrow - and I'm sure it won't be nearly as fabulous as it looks, so don't feel bad, gentle readers.

The bad news is, I won't be able to train nearly as much - with the swim up bars and all the restaurants and the snorkeling and all. Sniff. I do plan on swimming every day and embarking upon my first ever open water swim - very close to shore!!

I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to tell and hopefully some pictures.


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Team of Many

Thanks Bolder and Vickie for your comments. After much thought and processing your advice, I decided to go for it. I'm now an official member of Big Shark Triathlon Team. I'm excited and scared. Mostly I'm excited. No, mostly I'm scared.

This also brings up those old bike inadequacy feelings. In truth, my biggest inadequacy is my skill on the bike, however, it does not do the pride a lot of good to be riding a bike that's almost as old as you are (Sorry, Molls). There's a very hot Quintano Roo Caliente on ebay right now. Its a great deal. I still totally can't afford it. AAHHH! The insistent banter of The Hungry Ghost.

Well, old bike or new bike, fast or slow, fat or bodacious, I've made the leap. Lets hope I can grow some wings.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Team of One

I went to a team meeting last night for a local bike/athletic shop. What a great group of folks. The chicks were all so in shape, so bodacious that even I had to look. And HATE them. Damn, girls. And the guys were all incredibly friendly. And every single person there – with the exception of myself and a couple of other newbies – really knew their stuff. I have no doubt it would be beyond beneficial for me to hook up with these folks. Plus, the uniforms are really cool and super intimidating. Intimidating. That’s the word of the night, really. Because, no matter how friendly and how approachable this group was, no matter how out of their way they went to make me feel welcome, they were Intimidating. As. Hell. And the thought of training with these folks strikes terror into my heart greater than booking down a debris strewn trail on Red Molly with a semi on my tail. They scare me. Not because they were mean people. But because, through experience and training and hard knocks, they are more than I am right now. At least within the setting of triathlon.

So I’m torn. Do I jump on in the water with the big fish ( Or the Big Sharks, as this team is aptly named) and hope it makes me swim faster, or do I stay in my cocoon a bit longer, making myself stronger and more ready and then join next year with more confidence? The truth is, I know joining will push me, but I’m not sure I need pushing. I’m pretty good at pushing myself. My challenge right now is training at the pace I need to train to get stronger gradually and not burn out. My challenge is racing my own race every day and not comparing myself to others. And I’m pretty sure that joining the team would make that tougher. Of course, I could just be talking myself out of this because I’m afraid. One of my favorite quotes: Do something everyday that scares you – Eleanor Roosevelt. So, what do I do? The Journey Alone or The Journey Supported (and Challenged).

Monday, February 5, 2007

Anger, Training, and the Fourth Discipline

Amazing what a hard workout will do to dissipate anger. I was beyond livid on Friday. Let’s just say that Hubby made a Mistake (notice the capitol M) and I was not feeling even close to be ready to forgive. Unfortunately, Friday was my day off from training so working up a sweat was not an option. Instead, I bought shoes, ate out, went to the tanning bed, got a pedicure and a bottle of my favorite wine. Doesn’t get a lot better than that. By the time I came home, I was feeling at least ready to talk without throwing things. So there was a discussion and a truce but not much else. I still slept on the couch. No “make up” anything.

So Saturday comes, and I am ready to pour on the effort – I had a 70 min swim and a 2 hour bike scheduled. My goal was to swim 2500 yds, including a continuous mile (the farthest I’d swum before Saturday was 1500 yds). I was a hundred yards short of my goal of 2500 because I somehow got it in my head that 6 laps equaled 250yds so my warm up was only 150 and I couldn’t bring myself to do a 350 cool down after swimming that mile. Still, it was a good swim

My first hour on the trainer passed quickly – I had recorded CBS’s coverage of the Xterra World Championships. That was so amazing. Melanie McQuaid just rocked the bike. Damn. The second hour was much harder but I got through it, watching Forensic Files on Court TV. A funny thing started to happen up there, on the bike. As the sweat poured out of me, so did my anger. And something else was creeping back in. Thoughts of what I wanted to do when I got off the trainer began getting more and more colorful. . .

So I got off the trainer after two hours and . . . went for a run. It was the strangest thing, and its happened to me before, the longer I was on my bike, the more my legs wanted to go run. It did feel great to stretch them out, to feel the cold fresh air in my face after being stuck inside for two hours. The moon was full, it was ultra quiet except for my breath and I felt great. I’d forgotten to be angry, I remembered how much I love my husband and I was soooo ready to go home and into the shower - and I did not want to shower alone.

Later, Hubby and I were joking about an article I read that said triathletes should increase their sexual activity to help prevent overtraining. So, in our house at least, we’ve decided that sex is the fourth discipline – that’s one aspect of training that Hubby is ready and willing to help out with.