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dumb things lately

After all that bitching about the heat and getting ready for a warm ride yesterday and drinking Osmo PreLoad and obsessively checking the hourly weather forecast, this happened:

Yes, that would be a crosswind. And a very gloomy sky. And then there was thunder and lightning. And in typical dumb Michaela fashion, I found myself on a trail with water on one side and tall trees on the other, getting rained on while sitting on a piece of metal. Hello, lightning! Pick me! Choose me!

It also didn't help that when I sought shelter, I ended up in a very long conversation with another cyclist who told me all about how he's seen people get struck by lightning and how once a runner on The Very Same Trail was killed instantly.

I was happy to get home.


I forgot to mention I bought a new bike.

Her name is Minivan, a nod to the sexy vehicle Arvan and I rented for IMAZ last year. (Arvan to the rental car guy: "I want a swag car! We're doing an Ironman!" We ended up with a white minivan, complete with sliding door. I'm going to assume the rental car guy confused "swag" with "SAG.")

Anyway, because I made the adult decision to buy a brand-new bike and then got hit with unforeseen dental expenses, I now find myself in this situation:

I didn't really leave my house all weekend, except to sell clothes, use the money from selling clothes to buy a tart for a friend's wedding celebration and almost get struck by lightning.


I guess the denture is probably a good thing. I've had to learn how to bite and chew all over again, so I haven't really been eating much and therefore have not been spending any money on groceries.

Unfortunately, this means I've been exhausted during workouts -- I don't think I'm getting enough protein or even calories in general. And eating gels has been interesting, especially since I can only use the left side of my mouth to tear the packet open, and the actual gel gets stuck underneath the denture, which is super distracting.

Also another source of anxiety: I got my stitches taken out last week (there were six of them, all along my upper gumline, where the inside of my lip hits my nose). I asked the surgeon what the next step is. Her answer: "Come back in three months and we'll see if you're ready for your crown. Have a great summer!"

Three months from now is right before Ironman Louisville.

Three freaking months. I don't know if I'm more worried about the toothlessness or the countdown. Here we go again, folks!


Temperatures have been in the high 80s. We are all melting. Please send ice cream.

(And yes, I realize Seattle has made me a complete wimp when it comes to heat. Mad props for the brave souls who are racing Ironman Coeur d'Alene tomorrow -- it's supposed to hit 106 there.)

publicly relating

I realized my last post started with the world's worst photo of me (unless you count this horrible nightshirt one and this equally hideous wetsuit one, of course), so I figured I should write something new and very long so the awfulness goes away. Because that's how the internet works, right? You bury embarrassing things with more embarrassing things and eventually everyone just forgets the earlier stuff because the new stuff is way more ridiculous and you come out looking like a winner. 

I swear, I'm not still on pain meds.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is shortly after my surgery, I took my denture for a spin at a golf tournament. Which actually was a pretty good way to start venturing out into the world because golfers are apparently easily distracted, so you're not supposed to talk a lot, therefore I didn't feel too terribly self-conscious. 

That is, until I saw this guy.

Toothy jerk.

I don't really know anything about golf except that there is a ball and you're supposed to try to get it in a hole with as few attempts as possible. But I did walk the entire course (which was beautiful and hilly and dusty and vast). And I found myself following the 15-year-old golfer around (which subsequently made me feel really creepy). And I got stranded at a "crossing" in a giant crowd for a very long time and it was worse than trying to swim upstream at IKEA. 

The view from the deck of our hospitality tent.

My smile is only slightly crooked.

And since I don't know what it means to stop and stay in one place, I flew to San Francisco yesterday for a media luncheon that included a lot of wonderful things I couldn't eat.

Damn you, gluten.

Double-damn you.

Thankfully the consolation prize of a bunless burger was tasty. 

And while the work portion of my trip went well, the best part was getting to spend time with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite venues while watching my favorite team.

Most diverse group at the stadium.

MadBum set a new career high for strikeouts. And a shit-ton of seagulls swarmed the bleachers (which I think was actually Arvan's favorite part of the entire game). And I drank some scary form of sake that cost $10 and tasted like lemon juice with an entire box of sugar poured into it. And Himanshu joked that it would be hilarious if a foul ball hit me in the mouth and knocked out my other tooth. Yeah. That would be really hilarious.

Unfortunately, the Giants lost, but Layla and I were absolutely on point with our fish faces.

And I got to wear this hat.

I am back in Seattle now. And tomorrow I get my stitches out. Don't worry -- I will tell you all about it in way too much detail. I know you can hardly wait.

day 3 of this nonsense

According to the post-surgery care literature, I am supposed to be experiencing "peak swelling" right now.

I woke up this morning like this:

Pretty sure my upper lip is trying to eat the rest of my face.

I spent the day moving through a cycle of force-feeding myself mushy foods, taking meds, rinsing my mouth with warm salt water, icing my face and then passing out from exhaustion.

I miss when my food didn't look like diarrhea.

Also, when you have to puree all of your meals, you end up with a lot of dishes. And consuming enough protein is kind of a challenge. And seriously, I just really want Doritos.

At least I still have my sense of humor.

Anyway, in case you are not totally sick of hearing absolutely everything about my surgery, this is what's in my mouth now:

I am telling everyone I got screwed.

My friends have been so supportive about the whole experience.

Apparently, we all have the same brain.

And this is what I look like without my denture:

Totally the next Lara Stone. Right? RIGHT??!

My friend Brian thinks I should start wearing an MMA hat and telling people I lasted five minutes with Ronda Rousey

I didn't die

In fact, I feel pretty decent, considering this came out of my mouth:

I've named it Monica, to honor the coworker who was part of The Incident.

(The secret tooth that was hidden in my upper jaw was also extracted. Sadly, I did not take photos of it because it was broken into two pieces during surgery and was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I kind of wanted it to be more dramatic -- like with a tiny, partially formed skeleton attached, thus confirming the existence of my secret twin. Because who isn't obsessed with the possibility of a secret twin that was somehow absorbed into your body so then you spend your life living for the two of you but never realize it until later?)

The procedure was fairly straightforward. The doctor and nurses talked to me about cats and triathlon (my oral surgeon rides in Kona with triathletes and liked how I was wearing an IMAZ shirt to the appointment!) until I went under. And then the surgery was over, and I woke up and said: "Did I fall asleep?" And the nurse said: "Yes, for a little while." And then she put me in a wheelchair and took me to the car, and then Annie drove me home.

And I didn't really do or say anything wacky while drugged. Unless you count making up a song about being on drugs and singing it loudly to my swim buddy over the phone. Oh, and refusing to take more drugs until I had meticulously decorated my prescription bottles with stickers so Annie and I would be able to know which meds were which because safety first. (The Vicodin now bears a "Party Time" sticker.)

I spent the rest of the day eating pudding and mashed potatoes, but craving Doritos and steak. And getting out of bed and trying to do chores, only to have Annie ask me what I was doing and send me back to bed. And then Heidi and Belle and Julie came over to check on me. And I felt so happy about having such good friends who love me even if I look like this: 

That's right: I rocked a headband around my face because I needed to keep pressure on the gauze in my mouth so the surgery area could clot. (I don't know what's a more disgusting word -- "clot" or "moist." Ick. Shivers.)

Thankfully, I was able to wear my denture flipper immediately after the surgery, so there was no traumatizing gap.

Not bad, modern dentistry. Not bad.

And I can also talk, which is a huge relief. Although I did learn one very important lesson today: Do not play Cards Against Humanity right after you've hard oral surgery because the chances that you will laugh so hard you spit blood all over the deck are very, very high.

perhaps I'm overreacting, but

Let's talk about this.

Your eyes do not deceive you: That is, indeed, a denture. I picked it up today and laughed while I was at the dentist's office. But the second I got to my car I freaked out. Because like I mentioned before, this whole process has become one big, ongoing shitshow. And I am probably going to have a giant gap in my mouth for months.

To be completely honest, that scares the crap out of me. I'm terrified I'm going to be ugly and in a lot of pain for a very long time, and people will run away from me. And I'm even more worried that missing a tooth is going to make me so self-conscious that I won't want to talk or smile or laugh, and guys, how the hell am I going to be me if I can't talk or smile or laugh? What if I lose my entire personality and become a shell of myself and just sit in the corner wearing a dry erase board? And how am I supposed to have a career as a public relations person if I can't publicly relate?

Other sources of anxiety: I'm supposed to run Saturday and do a brick Sunday; what if I can't work out? Or what if working out makes my gums rupture somehow and I start gushing blood from my mouth? And what if the denture doesn't fit? Or what if it looks so horribly fake that everyone just stares at my mouth during a conversation? And am I a vain, shallow person for worrying so much about what my mouth looks like? Also, what if I am the one freakshow who manages to die during the procedure or gets her jaw stuck open in an awkward position for the rest of her life?

Or: What if they extract the wrong tooth?

I freaked out so much that I had to go to Taco Time and eat my feelings. (Also, I don't know when I'm going to be able to bite into crunchy food again.)

Anyway, the procedure is at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow (or today, I should say, since it's now after midnight), and I'm currently trying to stay awake as late as possible because I have to fast -- no eating or drinking, not even water -- for eight hours prior. And I know if I go to sleep now without eating at least one more snack, I will likely kill someone out of hanger before I make it to the oral surgeon's office.

My last meal before surgery will be Doritos.

But before you judge, I did go to Rock Creek with Annie earlier tonight and eat half the menu.

Of course, I only took a photo of the asparagus and burrata. So predictable.

And then I went to the grocery store to stock up on soft foods.

So tempting. Especially since I already have a denture.

My refrigerator now looks like this:

Dear god, I hope I bought the right flavor of Jello. Because I'm going to be eating it for awhile.


My parents used to tell me not to make nasty faces at things because a "bad wind" might blow and then my face will get stuck forever.

Living dangerously right now.

Apparently, I should've listened to their advice. Remember how I said these things about Minneapolis? Well that wind must be howling something fierce because I keep finding myself in Viking Land. I was there last week for the second time this year.

Confession: It's not that bad. In fact, it's kind of growing on me.

Yes, it was humid. And yes, I did often hear the comment "You're lucky you're here now because in a week or so we'll have mosquitos." And yes, in the middle of our alfresco dinner Friday night, the sky broke open and seasoned our bowl of lobster guac with a downpour.

But lobster guac can be salvaged. And there were seats indoors. And I would gladly brave mosquitos for a bite of this:

Asparagus and burrata from Corner Table.

(Just looking at that photo makes me salivate.) The manager also brought us a taste of this Oregon Pinot ...

I know. I'm giggling too.

... and then we geeked out on wine styles and what to make of wines that have clearly been created as a big "FU" to wine critics and others who expect wine to taste a certain way. (The debate: Is doing this art? Can you actually make a living with these wines? Is it smart to alienate a large portion of your audience? Do you have to like a wine because it is seen as cerebral and challenging? Man, it was a good discussion. Dear rest of the country: More of this kind of conversation, please.)

I also ran along the Mississippi River ...

... went for a swim in Lake Calhoun (which was actually so warm I could've gone without a wetsuit) and spent an evening tooling around town on a rideshare bike -- an adventure that involved finding a restaurant with a wine list that is entirely at cost ...

This was only $18. I know, right?

... reading poetry on bridges ...

... and taking in the view. 

Other random sources of delight: This Salvation Army that has a basement full of Target samples at ridiculously good prices. (I bought two dresses, a pair of shorts, a denim jacket and a crocheted top for $59!)  This gym and its immaculate five-lane pool that barely anyone swims in. This coffee house, which is also a bike shop and has walls covered in taxidermy and old bike frames. And of course, the rooftop deck and '90s hip hop and sipping wine by the fire pit while fireworks go off after the Twins game.

quality family conversations

Just texting with my mom.

Her response: "Haven't even checked FB. Will do now."

(And in case you are wondering, this is the site I was referring to. Thank you to Cathryn and her hilarious post about hideous bike kits for the inspiration.)

a summary of events

I have a really good excuse for not writing: I was busy keeping my torrid affair with Ryan Gosling secret from the tabloids so Eva Mendes wouldn't get her feelings hurt. Because I'm sensitive like that.

And as much as I would like to fill you in on the details of said affair, some things truly are sacred. So instead, let's talk about other highlights of the past month. (Right? I can't believe it's June either. Time flies so quickly when you are creepily hiding under in Ryan Gosling's bed.)


Early in May, I went to the Oregon Coast with a few girls from the team for "ladies' race weekend." We did the Oregon Dunes Triathlon, a teeny-tiny but very well-organized race with a cold swim, a hilly ride and a trail run that finishes on a giant sand dune.

I successfully took the ugliest race photos I have ever taken in my entire life. Please join me now in a chorus of hysterical laughter.

"Hey, Ryan Gosling, I'm coming for you!"

And since racing is all about being as serious as possible, us gals decided "ladies race weekend" would not be complete without a shimmy at the finish line, so this is my attempt at dancing up a giant sand dune.

Mad skillz.

By some bizarre turn of events, I placed second in my age group. (I bet it was the dancing that did it.) This was a complete surprise -- in fact, I was about to leave the coast and start driving to Portland when my friend Kelly texted me and told me I should come back to the awards ceremony. I got there just in time for the announcer to call my name and hand me this:

Who doesn't like a solid piece of wood?

My race times were pretty mediocre, but still an improvement from my last sprint. The breakdown:

Swim: 20:44 (this is really good for me)
T1: 3:24 (got my new wetsuit stuck on my ankle)
Bike: 45:01 (not my best at all)
T2: 1:08
Run: 29:54 (again, not my best)

But there were only six people in my age group, so I still got to feel like a winner for being completely and totally ordinary.

The Car

It is now fixed and no longer looks like the poster child for gorilla tape.

The Tooth

This, however, has turned into a never-ending clusterfuck of ridiculous. First, X-rays have also revealed I have a secret tooth growing directly behind the dead tooth, therefore blocking where the fake tooth needs to go, so I have to get not just one, but two teeth extracted. (And all of this is happening next week, by the way.) And since I've waited so long to get this done, there's a strong chance the bone under my teeth is worn down, so I will need a bone graft and then have to wait for said bone graft to heal before I can actually get my fake tooth put in.

Which means I have to wear a temporary fake tooth for up to four months. That's right, folks, I will have a denture and a gaping hole at the front of my mouth for months. ("Hey, Ryan Gosling, I'm coming for you!")

And let's not forget the fact that I need someone to baby-sit me for 24 hours after I have my surgery. Cats aren't exactly helpful when it comes to making sure you take your meds and don't get lost in a drug-induced haze on the way to the bathroom and accidentally pee on your couch.

The Birthday

I'm officially "in my late 30s" which translates to "effing old." (See previous section about dentures and needing a baby-sitter.) But that doesn't mean I can't celebrate. I just need to make sure said celebrations end early so I make my bedtime.

Some highlights:

First, the post-race weekend in Portland.

The juxtaposition of wine and Vitamin Water, protein bars and cake.

Please tell me where I can buy that hamburger hat.

Then, these treats.

I actually did wear them to team swim.

May or may not be from Ryan Gosling.

My favorite aunt totally gets me.

So does Layla.

And finally, happy hour at my very favorite bar ever ...

... followed by gluten-free birthday ramen and a flight of Japanese whisky ...

... and some Jello shots at a gay bar.

Ryan Gosling took this photo, just fyi.