Sunday, November 30, 2008

cmg + jim = pch

on friday i had a two hour bike ride on my schedule. i did olympic distance training all year so i didn't spend a ton of time in the saddle, at least compared to what i was used to. over the past five years i have traversed the pacific coast highway and all the canyons that branch off of it untold times. i have found everything on the p.c.h., from my cycling legs to my love.

with that in mind, j. and i set out on friday to spend a little time along the coast.

i first met j. when i was looking for a bike box to rent ... in order to visit a fella i was seeing in minneapolis. j. and a friend of his owned a bike box and would rent it out to members of our triathlon club. he and i exchanged a few emails about the specifics. a little witty banter was thrown in along the way and like the good internet sluether that i am, i googled and queried and found a few pictures of him. he was cute. the guy in minneapolis wasn't serious and what was a little harmless flirting?

i went to pick up the bike box (in my best cute outfit that was supposed to look like i wasn't trying to look cute ... that i just naturally looked like that all the time -- yeah right!) j. was as cute in real life as on the internet and in email, but alas as we chatted, he mentioned his girlfriend and where their place was and all i heard past that was blah, blah, blah.

i went on my way ... no harm no foul ... i've got a plane ticket to minneapolis.

fast forward a few months when j. and i run into each other on a club ride ... along the p.c.h. see where this is leading (painfully slowly) to?

we talk, i mention a coach i'm working with, this and that. we part ways. we run into each other on a couple more rides. he emails me about the coach i had metioned, etc., etc., etc. by this time i have a new l.a. boyfriend. j. and i start to ride together. i'll never forget one ride (again along the p.c.h.) where we played that game "friend, f*** or marry) where you pick three people and the other person has to designate if they are someone they'd want to be friends with, have sex with or marry (something like that). we named people in our triathlon club, celebrities ... anyone we could think of. the conversation somehow got on to kirsty ally and while i no longer remember what was so funny, suffice it to say i was laughing so hard i almost learned how to pee on the bike that day.

time passed, we continued to ride together. we were friends. we were training buddies.

i went to italy to race at duathlon worlds that spring and again, i used j.'s bike box, but by now he was my friend and he gave it to me gratis. what a guy! i did well at worlds and i swear my friend j. was more proud of me than i was!!!

fast forward, again, a few months when everyone (of the two of us) is now single and whamo! we weren't anymore. i'll spare you the details ... but will mention that there was a pivotal moment when j. impressed me with his mad craft skills by making me a rose out of a cocktail napkin.

two months later j. and i decide to train for ironman lake placid. fun, great, exciting ... what an adventure. new love, new challenges. okay, i don't know about you, but training for an ironman with your significant other ... while convenient ... is also like pouring miracle gro on any issues that may be between you. endless 7 hour rides in the cold, the heat, the hills and yes, along the p.c.h. is bound to bring out the best and worst in a person. just watch out when it brings out the worst in both of you ... at the same time!

in the end i was impressed with how we managed to navigate such uncharted waters for the two of us. neither of us had done an ironman before and we were so newly together. we experienced everything along the p.c.h. we endured heat, hail, bonks requiring immediate consumption of mountain dew, water buffalo (well, that was off of the p.c.h, but still), untold flats, numerous arguments about pace and heart rate. i was more immature about that stuff than i care to admit. i was scared out of my mind to be training for an ironman and i wanted j. beside me.

we trained and trained and trained. we had fun, we laughed, we were challenged. we made it through the training and finally to lake placid. our final bike splits we TWO SECONDS apart. i kid you not. clearly we were well suited ... on and off the bike.

so as we spun along the p.c.h. on friday, after a 7 month hiatus (j. raced another ironman last april and hasn't wanted to touch his ass to the saddle since) i relived all those times together. i looked at j., his helmet slightly askew, the curve of his back when he was in the aero bars, the back drop of the ocean. i remembered all the times i nearly ran him off the highway as i shouted "dolphins!", i remembered how many times we laughed heartily and cried pathetically. i remembered how he would tell me that he believed in me and that i was gonna do great at ironman.

as we rode along, the day after thanksgiving, i thought about how much we have shared and about how grateful i am for that day, 3+ years ago, when i inquired about a bike box for rent.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

twinkle toes

i admit it, i love 'dancing with the stars'. when i heard about it a few seasons ago, i thought l-a-m-e. then one day in the midst of it's third season i saw emmitt smith dancing and i was

i am a geezer and no longer stay up long enough in order to watch it real time so i tivo it for my next day's viewing pleasure. the season before this past one (triathlon, not DWTS) i was racing longer distances and tuesday mornings during the "winter" (i am in california) were spent on the trainer watching and cheering as apolo ohno sailed across the floor. i was smitten.

then it was helio castroneves ... remember that yellow zoot suit? come on now, who doesn't love a brazilian in a banana suit (liz)!?!?! but really (other than helio and apolo) it's been the football players that have captivated my attention. emmitt, jason, warren. they were all infectious. warren sapp makes me happy. happy, happy, happy.

yes, brooke burke was technically the best of them all this season and (surprisingly) i didn't feel the urge to kill her (hello, kim kardashian!) so i am fine with last night's results. my boyfriend, i am sure, has let out a huge sigh of relief that another DWTS season has passed.

i've made the poor man tolerate replays of more pasodobles than i care to admit (though wasn't that him peeking out from behind his laptop last night to catch a glimpse of lance and lacey's final dance???) there may be hope for him.

if you're anything like me you spent the better part of your teenage years (dare we admit later than that?) dancing in front of the mirror convinced that you had the moves of a solid gold dancer? as i drove to work this morning doing my best bootie shakin' car dance to kanye's latest single i wondered how far i could go on DWTS ... would i be a kristi yamaguchi or a rocco dispirito?

based on the looks from the guy in the audi next to me on wilshire blvd., it's probably best we don't find out. and based on the thunderous quiet across blogland as you remove me from your blog roll ... it's probably best we forget this post happened at all.

happy thanksgiving ... go dance your ass off as if no one was watching.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

everything's faster at ironman

just a quick blog post ... since everything, apparently, is faster at ironman.

we are about to leave for the race site. molly is all prepared to be a stripper and j. and i have our cowbells and good attitudes (well, almost ... we're not quite awake yet).

yesterday ... lunch with molly, chris, wendy and j.

paradise bakery & cafe.

sandwiches, salads, cookies and ...

aero helmet?

like i said, everything is faster at ironman ... even a stop for soda pop!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

shout out

just a quick shout out from arizona. molly and i went for a beautiful sunrise trail run this morning. no pictures, sorry!

there was a huskie dog rescue event going on and the trails were full of rabbits ... one a little reminiscent of the monty python killer rabbit ... i went a little faster after seeing him ... afraid he might hop on up and bite my face off.

last night we had a great dinner with molly, liz, chris and sherpathomas. the pita jungle restaurant was abuzz with triathletes wearing single leg compression socks. i gotta say, it's fun to be in the atmosphere without the pressure of racing.

molly, me and liz. the only two women on earth that can make me look tall (and between you and me, i got up on my tip toes ... just for a little extra bump).

off to the expo now! i sure hope to see this guy again tomorrow.

ironman, nacho libre!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


we’re going to arizona and i can’t wait! i’ve been up to my eyeballs in work, oh now hush up my facebook friends, i can multi-task! j. and i are leaving early friday morning and it’ll be great to have a few days away.

however, i’m not going with the expectation of rest. i will be, as my coach’s hat says, a spectathlete. and let me tell you, i’ve practiced. even on this very course. i spent 13+ hours out there by myself last april simultaneously screaming my lungs out as j. and the course tore each other up and lugging around a heavy heart. more on that later.

i have a long run on my schedule for saturday, but that will be done with muppetdog molly, which i am very excited about. we’ve been chit-chattin’ online and as far as never having met a person goes, i sure do like her.

j. has a ton of work to do so plans to be on his computer for the drive out. the horror. that means i have to “respect the silence” and can’t terrorize him with my hellacious singing while i play ipod deejay… bummer. he’ll miss it … even if he tells you he won’t. he will … i hope.

my coach, liz was going race too which made this trip even more fun. i was under strict instructions to keep her husband away from any kind of bicycle to avoid this happening, but she got sick and is doing the right thing and respecting her body for the long haul by opting out of the race. she is, however, still coming as is my grandcoach, jen. yahoo!!!

jen is affectionately referred to as “miss daisy”, due to her, ahem, advanced age. well, if she’s miss daisy, i fear that makes me jessica tandy’s other oscar worthy character, “alma
finley” from ‘cocoon’ … uhm, before they all got in the water! anyway, i cannot wait to meet jen and witness her live in all her pink splendor.

we’ve had plans to come back to arizona since last april and here’s why. last year j. and our friend chris set out to tackle the 140.6 at IMAZ. chris is a seasoned swimmer, former water polo player and crazy advanced SCUBA diver. needless to say swimming is his strongest leg (though the others are pretty dang good too). this was chris’ first IM. his wife, wendy, and i waited at the swim out. we were looking for chris. we knew he’d be out before j. (no offense, honey). we waited and waited. all of a sudden we’re screaming and cheering for j., but still no chris.

i call my sister in l.a. and ask her to track him online, maybe we missed him coming by? nothing, he hasn’t come out yet. we wait. we shift nervously. wendy’s cell phone rings and she heard just what you never want to here, “we have your husband in the med tent”. turns out a mile into the swim, and may i say up in the front of the pack, chris was struck by intense vertigo. suddenly down seemed like up, which is really not something you want to confuse in a body of water. he kept diving down further despite trying to surface. he started to vomit. he got to the surface, took a breather on the side of a boat then started again. same thing. he tried and tried, but just kept vomiting. he did the courageous thing, he trusted that voice that said “not today”. he got in a boat and sadly turned over his chip.

chris spent a miserable day in a dark hotel room continuing to be sick. but the next day he rallied and took his still woozy ass down to sign up for IMAZ 2009 (then later decided he didn’t want to wait and got a charity slot). he was beaten up, but he again showed his courage and trusted that this too would pass. and it did. now 7 months later he’s stronger, faster and ready to kick the shit out of IMAZ. he is, as the shirts we so proudly wore back on april 13, 2008 … IMAZing.

so when you log on to ironmanlive this sunday, join me in cheering louder than you thought possible for my friend chris, the courageous one who has taught me a couple of things about picking up the pieces and not letting circumstances rob you of the journey.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

don't grab the bumper

two days in and i’m wondering how to find my voice on my blog. or maybe it's what do i want my voice to be? yeah, yeah ...i tend to over think things. i think sometimes i’ll want to just sit down and chat and sometimes i’ll want to be anecdotal. ahhh ... it’s always the combo-platter in the end, ain't it?

i’m my harshest critic for sure … in everything i do. and ya know what i’ve learned? those criticisms, when i give them power, they become self-fulfilled prophecies. i stand in my own way.

there’s a guy i know, al sines, he talks about meditation and about how when thoughts come into his head, as he’s meditating, he just needs to let them float on by instead of judging the fact that he’s having thoughts. he equates it to standing on a street corner watching cars go by … if you grab on to the bumper you're going to get dragged and wind up down the road bloodied and bruised. but if you just stand there and let them woosh by … well you might just enjoy the process. brilliant, eh?

so, i’ll try not to grab on to the bumper as i blog … who knows maybe it’ll infiltrate into the other areas of my life [read: all] that could benefit from a looser grip. : )

Monday, November 17, 2008

swimming sisters

the Y is closed for the next three weeks. last year this created quite a problem. this year, however, the Y and the santa monica pool seem to have coordinated their closures so that they are not at the same time. HOWEVER, as you may have heard, we're in the middle of fire season out here. in fact, we're having california snow. similar to new york snow in its grey appearance and how it lightly falls from the sky, but this snow is the product of raging southern california wildfires -- ash. it's awful. it's everywhere. my car is coated with it. when i walked outside today you could see it, like snow flurries. the santa monica pool is an outdoor pool. it's glorious.

here it is. see what i mean? stunning. but i'm not dipping a toe in it today. when i swim there is, unfortunately, lots of huffing and puffing going on. i could just feel the ash particles embedding themselves in my lungs as i thought about swimming outside.

my sister is always talking about how great her gym is. it's one of the froofie kind. j. and i go to the local Y, where they keep it real (real funky!). my sister's big selling points to me about her gym are 1. you never have to wait to get a lane in the pool 2. even though it's in a busy section of town where you pay $2.50 for 12 minutes to park, they validate for two hours and 3. they have a TON of fun exercise classes.

okay, sister ... take me to your gym TODAY because otherwise i'm not getting my workout done.

she was only going to swim for 15-20 minutes because she just started physical therapy to deal with a shoulder injury. i've got 2600 to do. so we synchronize our watches and decide what time she ought to show up so that we can finish together and then sauna, steam or whatever sisters do at shooshie pooshie gyms in l.a.

that was the plan. we didn't account for the sales pitch i'd get from jimmy dean (he said his parents had a "good sense of humor") the ultra-runner whose "married to an ironman, thankyouverymuch", or the tour he'd insist i take. 25 minutes later, i finally get to the locker room and call my sister to tell her it's now well past the time i was supposed to be submerged. she tells me she just arrived. aces. i scurry down to the pool. and yup, murphy's law, of the two lanes (TWO LANES!?!?!) that accommodate only two people per lane (TWO PEOPLE PER LANE!?!?!?) are filled and one chica is on deck ahead of me. sigh.

i wait. i wait. i wait. sister arrives. we wait. we wait. we wait.

finally i get in. i'm claustrophobic from the get-go. the water tastes funny. the woman in the lane with me seems bitchy. the color scheme of the pool is green (which is just wrong). i hate this pool. but i swim. my stroke is off. the lane is so skinny, i'm certain i'm gonna bash the woman next to me in the head. why is it harder in this pool? is there a current? am i trying too hard to look like a good swimmer for my sister? are we done yet? oh, she's not even in yet. finally sister is in. commence laughing. we reverted to 8 and 10 years old, respectively. we immediately made underwater blowfish faces at each other. i started laughing, underwater. which meant i started choking. this is bullshit. we got out after her 15 min.

we decided to go to the steam room, which jimmy dean promised me i would loooove because of the eucalyptus. now, i like eucalyptus as much as the next gal, but let me just say ... someone got a little liberal with their dosage. practically burned my nose hairs out. there was a woman sleeping in the steam room ... or maybe she was practicing her hatha ... in any case it was loud and unnerving, but not nearly as startling as when the steam machine kicked on to refill the room.

i'm not generally the high-strung, jumpy type, but this thing starts up and i'm on the ceiling, certain we've just had an earthquake. it continued to steam and steam and steam. i looked at my sister. she smiled, but didn't look alarmed. i was starting to panic. is it going to stop? i couldn't see my sister anymore. at what point do we bolt for the door to avoid being steamed alive? no sooner did i actually tell my sister that i was gonna make a break for it, did it stop. thank god, let's leave. too many courtesy, white, fluffy towels later, we say our goodbyes in the parking lot.

i'm thinking i'm not gonna take jimmy dean up on his very generous payment plan membership options. i get to the parking kiosk and the man looks at my ticket. 2 hours and 24 minutes. $5.oo please. that sealed the deal.

i waited for a lane, i paid for parking and i'm the girl in the exercise classes who always goes to the left when the entire room goes to the right ... this is definitely not the gym for me. sis and i had better stick to getting pedicures together.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

why today?

why did i choose today to start my blog? for no good reason other than the workout, the laundry, and the grocery shopping are done. the boyfriend is working. i've caught up on celebrity rehab and i don't feel like cracking the bindings of either of the books i have waiting to be read. so, time to start a blog.

triathletes love them some blogging. my boyfriend, j. has blogged for the past two or three years. i've been lurking on too many sites to name. my recent facebook addiction has left me wanting more. really? more? egads, woman! i don't really want to throw more time to the virtual, but ... i want a bigger box than my status bar. i find myself having more to say than i can condense into one pithy line.

so here i am ... staring at the screen ... with no idea what to say. HA! of course.