Wednesday, October 29, 2014

october together. with cats.

We briefly interrupt this Ironman training to bring you two things.

First, National Cat Day:

Uber was delivering kittens to raise funds for the Seattle Humane Society ...

... and we were lucky enough to schedule a visit.

Then: The World Series. (And you guys know even though I live in Seattle, I'm a San Francisco sports fan, and the Giants are my absolute favorite team. I love those boys and how scrappy they are. I love that ballpark. And I especially love eating all of the baked potatoes at that ballpark while watching those boys.)

And maybe this is too much information (but hey, when has that ever stopped me before?), but I get a little superstitious with baseball. So this happened:

Like you don't text on the toilet, too.

Yes, folks: I make a powerful poop.

on building character. or something.

Let's just say this past weekend was, for lack of a happier term, character-building (as my dear friend Layla, recipient of all my 5 a.m. freak out texts, would put it).

After an unnaturally long and gorgeous summer that lasted well into mid-October, Seattle finally unleashed the fall fury. In other words: The weather was absolutely craptacular all weekend.

I had a three-hour run Saturday, and Coach Mark wanted me to do an out-and-back, completing the second half five minutes faster than the first.

After much bitching and moaning ("Goddammit, cats, why is your life so easy? Why don't you get off your butts and do an Ironman? Why do you poop so much?"), I sucked it up, donned my ridiculously fluorescent water repellent running vest and nailed the workout. And there was actually a lull in the weather for most of my run, with no rain until the end.

Pretty -- in a gloomy, foreboding, Pacific Northwest way.

Then that night, there was a crazy wind storm. And maybe this is just me (actually, this most likely is just me), but every time the wind starts howling, I'm totally convinced it's the end of the world and I feel like I should go to the store and buy all the Spam and toilet paper and start filling my bathtub with water.

But like I said: Just me.

Anyway, so there was a crazy wind storm. And I got up the next day to ride my bike for seven hours. (So clearly the world didn't end.) I decided to stay on the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails because I was afraid of crappy road conditions and getting hit by a car in the bad weather. Also, I thought doing out-and-backs on the trails would be good mental practice for the loops of IMAZ.

Yet even on the trails, the debris was bad. 

Downed tree? I guess I'll turn around here.

And then about 60 miles in, I got caught in a torrential downpour. (Nothing like the feeling of backtire splash seeping down your buttcrack.) At first, I thought: No big deal, I'll be careful, this is nothing. But then the rain came down harder and harder, and the drops actually physically started to sting. 

I took shelter in a public bathroom.

Still, I powered through and finished the ride -- it was a slow, wet slog, and I ended up with only 87 miles when I had been hoping for 95 or more. (And at some point, I must've run over a pile of dog poop, too, because there was poop on my tire and on one of my pedals. I'm going to just keep telling myself this was dog poop and not human poop. And that it was only on my bike and not actually on my body.) And then I did a 30-minute transition run.

"Ironman training is super dumb!"

Hooray for massive volume.

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.