Sunday, April 19, 2009

what's working

i just spent longer than i want to admit on writing a post (or ranting, as the case may be). i got half way through it and heard the words a friend of mine said the other day. he said that for the past few years he's been focusing in what's working in his life instead of what he needs to work on/fix.

i've heard the same concept in different words a million times. i've heard "turn negatives into positives", etc. , etc. but there was something about the way he said it. there was a simplicity and a clarity. we hear it when we hear it, ya know?

so i thought of that i was writing and it made me not want to publish the rant about the jerk who did this on the pch and the knucklehead who did that. sure, they were funny anecdotes and they were things that bothered me at the time, but in the end ... those things were not my ride.

what made my ride was so much more. and so much better.

it was beautiful out today (albeit a bit hot for my taste). i was doing my last long ride before napa. i rode along the pch. i was committed to working hard and making it count. i did. i love that, when i KNOW that i did what was needed ... that i didn't look for an easier softer way that ultimately would undermine my confidence.

on top of all that, i saw pods and pods and pods of dolphins. they always make me smile and when i'm on my bike almost make me crash!

dolphins make me smile and want to cry all at the same time. they touch me in a way that i was never able to explain, until a few years ago ...

i was on the beach in malibu and i saw a bunch of dolphins playing in waves. i stood there and just stared. i could look at them forever. there was a random man standing a bit behind me. i couldn't contain my happiness at seeing them. i always want to confirm with someone else that they see them too and that they think they are amazing as well. as if they are some magical, mysterious thing that may not even be there!

i looked back at the man, as if to say "see that?!?! aren't they fantastic!?!?!" he smiled so i told him how they stir me. how i involuntarily get tears in my eyes and my heart sort of floats and is squeezed all at once.

he said simply: "that is your soul being touched". oh my god. that was it. i knew it in that instant. i'll never forget those words. he was so matter of fact about it and was so right.

i look at dolphins and my soul is touched. tickled even.

isn't that the best????


photo courtesy of j.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

could it really be?

it's like they swooped in and read my blog or something. or better yet, like they were in the car with me and j. as we debated our individual pop tartness.

take the quiz and let me know.

i, to my dismay and michelle's delight, came out a brown sugar cinnamon.



Sunday, April 12, 2009

new life!

happy easter, everyone. easter is about new life. i think i got that right. i'm not a religious person, though i do believe i practice a spiritual life and that it is indeed a practice, as opposed to a theory. i used to always sneak out of our non-denominational sunday school in the west village to play pinball at the local head shop, but that's a whole 'nother "oprah". point is, somewhere over the past 40 years if life i absorbed that easter is about new life.

all of this is just a thinly veiled attempt to connect easter and new life to what i really want to talk about ... my training.

a little over a week ago i sent an email to my coach. "i am peering over the edge. we've taken me there." i felt like my run that day had been t-o-u-g-h and i was exhausted, but at the same time i felt an undercurrent of strength. it was the first time i had ever had that sensation or at least been aware of it and i was psyched. i felt all bad ass. liz wrote back, that that was great, but now we needed to be quiet and listen to what else my body had to say. we didn't want to take it over the edge. the next day, wham my bad ass was now inverted and i felt ass bad. we dialed it back a bit, dropped a strength training session and put a question mark next to the hard brick i was supposed to do that sunday.

that weekend i went down to oceanside. saturday was my rest day, but i can't say as i really rested. it was a blast, but between the blow up mattress sleep, the early wake up, the miles of walking and many decibels of shouting, it wasn't like quietly sitting at home with j. and fraidy watching 'millionaire matchmaker' (though she kinda makes my blood boil at times so that may not be the best example).

point is, i wasn't sure about sunday. i had a 1:45 bike with a 30 minute TT thrown in and a 45 minute negative split run on tap. i was willing to miss it if my body was saying uh-uh, but i was hoping that wouldn't be the case. i sent liz an email the night before and told her that i was feeling pretty good. certainly good enough to try and asked her what i should change the workout to if i get out there and find i am still fatigued. she wrote back, that i change it to "get off my bike and rest for the day."

and so i went ... and i was able to do it. i felt pretty dang good ... a whole dang better than i had felt during the week.

then this past week was a rest week so my workouts have been light and friendly. saturday had a bike test scheduled. we both wanted to re-test my zones and then a 30 min. run off the bike cut up into 3rds ... settle in, build it up, push HARD.

i did the test. thought i might puke. zones are rock solid.

i was a little nervous to go out on the run because i was red faced and feeling kinda woozie, but i quickly re-grouped. my first 10 min. i felt downright springy!! springy and running are not two words i would usually put together when describing me, but i was loving it. the next 10 felt super solid, i was cruising. it felt meaty, satisfying, but not tiring. the last 10 ... well, i pushed and i felt great! it was hard, but a different kind of hard. it wasn't the hard "i think i might die and why do i do this damn triathlon stuff anyway?" hard that i feel when swimming a hard 100 in the pool. i was in control. i felt no fear. the wheels weren't coming off ... they were all greased up and spinning.

after i got home and anally mapped out my run and then o-c-d-ishly mapped out the segments of each 10 minutes of the run to see what the avg. pace had been, i grinned ear to ear. never had a seen a "6" at the beginning of my average mile time. i've seen it briefly while flying downhill on a trail run, but not at the end of a 30 minute run after doing a hard bike test and as an average!

sure, it's not about the numbers, but two things ... 1) the numbers are tangible and shoot, fun! and 2) it's progress. clear cut progress which is all i ever really want to see. i feel like i have been in a holding pattern with my training and performance and not living up to what is inside and those 10 minutes were proof that i am moving. : )

at the end of the week i had i decided it was time to get in the ocean. generally, we in this household, don't do april open water swimming, but i have a race in 3 weeks and open water swimming can be challenging for me. i nearly drown 6 years ago on a practice swim, two weeks before my first tri and it's left a nasty scar with a fickleness about open water swimming.

but i was ready today to finish off a successful weekend of training with a dip. the thing about open water swimming for me is that i actually love it ... once i am out there and if i feel secure that i won't die ... it's actually heaven and i fall into a much nicer rhythm than i do in the pool. we weren't out there for all that long, but it was fantastic.

after the swim i had a nice, easy 45 minute run. now much like springy and running don't usually go together for me, "nice" and "easy" also don't. in her notes for easy runs my coach often says "just enjoy a nice easy run today". thing is i don't so much enjoy the "easy" runs. they sometimes hurt more than the hard ones and i always feel like a slug ... sluggin' along.

but today i decide, no matter what, i am staying below my top zone 1 number. whatever it takes. slug away. i started on an incline ... not really setting myself up for success, was i? but ya know what? i enjoyed my run!! i didn't slug. i wasn't exactly prancing, but i felt fairly light, my mind was on my swim and thinking about my race nutrition and the miles just ticked by, fluidly.

so tying this all back to how i started ... i didn't go to church today. i don't have anything or anyone, in particular, that i worship, but i felt grateful to be able to do what i do and to feel good about it. i felt full of "new life" and said a prayer of thanks to whomever/whatever makes this universe spin 'round and gives us all the ability to get up each day, to embrace new life and to strive to reach our dreams, whatever they may be.

happy easter!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

cargo "beep-beep" and run over the easter bunny

that's the punchline to my most favorite, twisted, childhood knock-knock joke.

i'll spare you the actual telling of the joke and instead post one of my most favorite, twisted, everyone's seen it on the internet, pictures.

Happy Easter!!


Sunday, April 5, 2009

holy schnoikies!

well, you've all read charisa, marit, courtenay, ian, beth and jen's blogs or facebook updates. so you know how it all turned out for them, but let me tell you from a spectators perspective, this race was nothing short of amazing and all of them put in performances nothing short of phenomenal.

i was thrilled to be out there to scream and clang, clang, clang my cowbell at them all. i also got to yell and scream for my l.a. peeps kevin, gary, alma, tina, mo, stella and monica.

lisa, jesse and i had a blast supporting our friends and heckling all the rest. ; )

here are too few pictures of the 24 hours i spent down south with them. i loved meeting everyone's husband's as well. nate, jerome and oscar were all very cool people. meeting all the folks i hadn't yet met was such a treat and they were all pretty much exactly as i thought they would be ... just more real!

me, shannon, jen, beth, marit, courtenay

marit, killin' it on the first loop hill

marit blowin' the hill away on the second loop!

charisa & beth, post-race. these two really do radiate sunshine.

and finally, the house monster lived up to her name as a bit of a grump, however she did take a moment out from her hand slapping antics to pose for a photo.

house monster behaving like a good sponsored kitty.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

what pop tart are you?

on the way home from an emergency whole foods trip tonight, to pick up a container of my latest dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free obsession, j. posed the most interesting question to me.

"if you could be any pop tart" he asked, "which one would you be?"

without flinching i answered, "strawberry, unfrosted. well done."

"and you?" i asked.

"blueberry, frosted, right out of the box" he replied.

"blueberry?" "frosted!?!" "not toasted at allll?!?!?!?"

"how can this be?? how can we have made it all these years being such polar opposite pop tarts!?"

to which he, of course answered, "well, because opposite pop tarts attract".

so i ask you, what pop tart are you and do you know what kind of pop tart your nearest and dearest is?