Friday, October 24, 2014

excuses, excuses

I'll tell you a secret: Ironman is an excellent excuse for behaving like a horrible, socially inept human being who smells funny and dresses a lot like a sorority girl doing the walk of shame.


This giant pile of dirty dishes on my desk? I'm not a slob; I'm doing an Ironman! All those calls I let go to voicemail? I'm not really ignoring you; I'm just doing an Ironman! This mountain of dirty laundry and the mold growing on the toilet and the cat puke stains on the living room floor? Can't keep up with the housework, too much Ironman! This ratty college sweatshirt and pajama bottoms in public? All Ironman!

Man, I should've signed up for this shit ages ago. This is a way better excuse than the microchip in Amanda Bynes' brain.

All joking aside, Ironman is also the best way to hide from the world when you've got a lot on your mind and need solo time to sort through it all. It's a lot easier to say, "I'm in the final weeks of Ironman training and there is massive volume" (seriously, never pass up the chance to use the phrase "massive volume") than it is to say, "I'm really, really sad, and I can't even look at you right now without crying, so please leave me alone." 

This grief thing. The therapists aren't lying when they tell you it comes back like a tidal wave about 6-8 months later.

So I am thankful for the massive volume. (See how I did that? Never pass it up, I tell you!) I am thankful for Training Peaks and how my day's tasks are outlined in simple language and I can just do them. I'm thankful Ironman is a thing I can understand, a thing with a finish line, which is so much less daunting than this terrible grief tunnel that seems to stretch on endlessly with no indication of what's on the other side.

And so I went to the pool this morning for the fourth time this week. 

I guess Halloween is a thing here.

And then I drank green smoothies with the kitten.


Trying to find some way to blame that on Ironman, but really, I'm just a cat lady.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

the grey

One of those days when the events mirror the weather. I am reeling from this news. Because when someone is there, even if that someone is on the periphery of what you know as your reality, you tend to assume that someone will just always be there. But that is not the case. And maybe you shouldn't be shocked because these things happen and there is no way of knowing and it is the ebb and flow of it all and sometimes the wave is just too overwhelming, but you still wonder why. 

Even though you know it is so pointless to ask.


This year. Everything about this year.

More and more often, I wonder what the hell we are doing. It seems like an elaborate guessing game at best. We stumble around. Run into each other. Hold on. Let go. Break each other in the process. And it all happens so fast. And sometimes we heal. And sometimes we don't.

Yesterday I went to the museum on my lunch break. This piece by Alwar Balasubramaniam spoke to me:



The in-between space, where nothing is definite.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

setbacks, burnout

I've been so good about staying positive and motivated throughout this entire training cycle. As in: Training Peaks was my freaking bible and I was the prophet in spandex. Hallelujah, praise god, I get to do an all-day brick workout! 

That changed this past week when burnout hit in a major way.

First, there was Tuesday's track workout from hell. My heart rate was skyrocketing, I couldn't catch my breath and I could barely maintain half marathon pace. And then I got hit by a soccer ball. (Seriously.) And then I rolled my ankle on -- wait for it -- a buckeye. (The symbolism here is not lost on me.) The workout was so miserable that my teammates actually hugged me afterward. And then I skipped the swim I was supposed to do that evening and sat in bed with an ice pack instead.

The irony of Mr. Happy.

And then Wednesday I left for the New York Wine Experience. And even though I had big plans to run and go to SoulCycle and maybe even try to find a pool, none of that happened. Our flight was delayed and we didn't arrive until 1 a.m. Thursday. And then this was the view from my room: 

All daylight, all the time.

And I had zero downtime. Zero. It was non-stop, back-to-back-to-back appointments and events, and I basically had to choose between working out or sleeping. Since fatigue lowers your immune system and I'm terrified of contracting Ebola, I chose sleep. But even that was sub-par -- I probably averaged 3-5 hours each night.

So exactly how did I spend the past few days? Tasting wine under giant vaginal lights:

It's like all these people were just birthed.

Dining with master sommeliers until 1 a.m.:


Freaking out over this:


And this:

Yes, that's a 1982.

Catching up with old friends:


Hosting luncheons in hotel banquet rooms:


Hanging out at the Saveur test kitchen:

When I grow up, I want appliances like this.

Being a test kitchen guinea pig:


And then waking up before dawn this morning to fly back to Seattle:


I did manage to get some pool time in today, so I'm back at it, but my ankle is still angry. I could feel it in the water: Kick, kick, kick, ache, ache, ache.

I'm hoping I snap out of this funk within the next 24 hours because this is the e-mail I got from Coach Mark:


Massive volume. Of course my first reaction was: "That's what she said."

Four weeks.