hi, I'm alive

Thursday, May 18, 2017

And now it's almost June. And I'm sitting here in my pajamas (the pink ones printed with cats going to the hairdresser and lounging at the pool), sipping recovery drink (out of a mug that says "Just Meowied") and wondering how the hell these weeks go by so quickly. (Meanwhile, Mouse stares at me, judging, most likely thinking: "I would never in my whole life wear pajamas with humans on them. WTF is wrong with you?")

She's also thinking: "Clean this mess up."

Anyway, clearly I survived the Hot Chocolate 15K. In fact, I actually nailed my race plan and ended up with a nice PR on a course that was much hillier than last year -- 1:27:41 vs. 1:35:28 a year ago. (Also a guy ran next to me and said: "Hey. I like your pace." Seriously. He really said that. Was this a line? Or was he just being nice? Either way, if I ever see Ryan Gosling running out there somewhere, I'm totally using it.)

I also did the Cinco Du Mayo duathlon earlier this month, largely because there was a taco party at the finish line. The weather was perfect, and the vibe at the race was great. It's a small event but well-organized, with a challenging course (rollers!). But the best part: Everyone I talked to was really friendly and down-to-earth. (I'm planning a swim-bike brick with one of the gals I met that day. I feel like a dork because I'm so excited -- I've really missed my TN Multisports teammates, and I can't wait to train with another human being.) Again, I stuck to my plan and had a good race -- 1:16:02.

Doesn't everyone enjoy eating tacos against a backdrop of port-a-potties?

So training is coming along. I feel like I'm much more committed to the process and am working harder than I ever have before. There are ups and downs (don't even get me started about my love-hate relationship with swimming), and I'm also trying to keep injuries at bay (currently having an issue with my neck and nerve impingement in my left arm, likely tracing back to the bike crash I had in 2015). But I'm "getting it done," as we triathletes are so fond of saying.

And now the countdown to Madison 70.3 is on, with June 11 rapidly approaching. I stared at elevation maps today and had to remind myself that I'm from California and nothing in California is flat and I can do this, but -- surprise -- I'm freaking out anyway.

And all these things are just steps toward the big dance in September. Disco in Wisco, here I come.

think positive thoughts

Friday, April 14, 2017

I'm running the Hot Chocolate 15K tomorrow, but the last thing I feel like doing right now is racing. (OK, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. Of course I'd much rather run a race than, say, projectile vomit onto a wall with a velocity so forceful that the vomit immediately splashes back on my face. That would clearly be much worse.) I'm exhausted from training, I'm frustrated because my last two swims have been pretty craptacular, and "heavy thunderstorms" are predicted for tomorrow.

Accurate feelings.

Blah, blah, blah. Whine, whine, whine. You get the picture.

I need to fix this, so I'm creating a list of 10 times when I felt like a goddamn champion so I can call up these happy memories if I'm still feeling dumpy on the course tomorrow. So much of training and race prep focuses on the physical, but mental strength is just as important and often gets taken for granted.

So here goes. Let's flex those mental muscles, baby.

1. IMAZ 2014, the first Ironman. It was a culmination of hard work, a celebration of strong friendships, a turning point in an otherwise shitty year. Quite possibly the best day of my life.

2. The first time I completed an Olympic distance swim. After struggling with my fear of open water for so long, I wanted to cry with joy when I did that swim without freaking out even once.

3. Canyoneering in Costa Rica. Want to feel like a bad-ass? Jump off a cliff.

4. When I climbed Green Valley Road for the first time and didn't have to get off my bike and do the walk of shame.

5. The night I arrived in Seattle. After driving for 14 hours from Sonoma County with two very confused cats (Mouse did not yet exist at that time), it hit me I'd be starting a totally new life in a city where I knew no one. And I felt excited.

6. When someone asked me, in French, for directions in Paris. This is how you know your outfit looks good. (Also related: When I successfully bought tampons in French.)

7. When I broke the two-hour mark for a half marathon. (Side note: I'd really like a new 13.1 PR. It's been awhile. But that's another goal for another time.)

8. Cutting my CSS pace and realizing I don't have to be in the slow lane forever. God, I want a sub-2:00/100 swim time so badly.

9. When I was on a relay team for Iron Girl and it felt so good to pass a ton of people on the bike and our team kicked ass and we had a blast.

10. Vineman 70.3. My favorite race ever. I'll never forget the first time I crossed the finish line -- again, a feat I never in my life thought I'd be capable of. Or the year I set a PR there and it was cathartic and I ran straight to Layla and cried my little heart out.

You know what? I'm feeling better already.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Yesterday morning I heard a cat crying in the juniper bushes outside work, so naturally I dumped my bag and jacket in a pile, flagged down a facilities guy and made him listen for the cat (which he heard too, thereby proving I don't just make this shit up).

And since I didn't have any meetings for another hour and he was having a slow morning, we both dove into the bushes to rescue the cat, which sounded like it was in trouble or trapped.

Entering the abyss.

We spent 50 minutes crawling through the juniper, which was like a cave under all that green. (I won't lie: The entire time, I was picking out cat names.) We found two empty cigarette packs, a coffee cup lid and a spent bag of Ruffles, but sadly, no cat.

And now I have tiny, itchy red bumps on my wrists and hands because apparently I'm allergic to juniper sap. Also, let's not forget the stellar reputation I have no doubt earned with the coworkers who happened to walk by while I was in the bushes calling for kitty.

(I'm currently trying to convince myself there really was a cat and it wasn't some recording that an art student put out there to trap crazy cat ladies as part of some kind of social commentary on toxoplasmosis or something.)
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