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more catbell

You know what always makes me feel so inspired?


Oh, and cheering at a triathlon in my special shirt.

(I was thinking about how people always bring cowbells to races, and I'd like to point out that cats wear bells, too. So people should really consider saying "more catbell" instead of "more cowbell." Also, since catbells are small, you'd need a shit ton of them if you want to make any sort of significant noise. Which would mean you'd need a shit ton of cats. I really don't see what the downside is here at all. More catbell!)

Yesterday I drove up to the Chisago Lakes Triathlon and Aquabike (side note: on the way there, I spotted a sign outside the Northwoods Humane Society that said “We’ve got kittens!” and I cannot even tell you how much self-control it took for me not to pull over) to celebrate Jen, who was doing the aquabike as a step toward her goal of completing her first 70.3 next year. She rocked it and finished faster than she was expecting!

Fun fact: Jen has three cats.

 I also got to see a few Coeur Collective Beat gals, which was super cool.

Katie's so fast, I could only catch photos of her butt.

And the entire time, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I want to race again. And I found myself missing the craziness of Ironman training. And then I went to the pool and swam 2900 yards because I just had to do something.

on the bright side

You know, it’s probably a good thing I’m injured because this summer has turned out to be incredibly busy, so if I were training for a big race right now, I’d be totally stressed out and Big Ginger would want to divorce me and our house would be a giant litter box and the cats would be bald from me obsessively petting them in an attempt to find relief.

But instead, I’m doing things like going on family fishing trips (bet you can’t guess whose side of the family organized such a trip), during which I did zero fishing but all the biking:

Any time I get to ride my road bike is a good time!

This is what happy looks like!

… listening to musical performances by artists who were really cool once:

I'm OK with being the only one sitting down.

… flying to California to see my family:

I swear, these shirts were not my idea.

… getting together with Clos Du Val friends (has it really been 10+ years since those Napa days?) to sweat profusely in nice clothes and celebrate Laura and Chris:

High butt cheek moisture right now.

… and learning that Indian weddings require more stamina and caloric intake than Ironman (and dal tastes way better than gels):

healing requires patience

It’s been 5.5 weeks since Victoria 70.3, and I’m still healing. No running, no standing climbs on the bike, no kicking on the swim (which reminds me of a Seattle teammate who called the pull buoy her boyfriend because it spent so much time near her lady parts -- ha).

I’m determined to give my ankle the time it needs, but man, I feel like it’s taking forever. Which seems crazy to me, considering how common this injury is: In the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day. That’s like the entire city of Laguna Beach plus 3,000 of their BFFs stepping off a curb the wrong way. (Am I a horrible person for thinking this would make a really good dance number in a musical?)

Yet it can take up to 12 weeks to fully recover, depending on the severity of the injury. And most of us don’t wait as long as we should. We think, It’s just a sprain. Nothing’s broken. No big deal. And then we’re back out there. And then we get injured again. Because studies find that ankle sprains have a re-injury rate between 40 and 70 percent.

I’m pretty sure that’s the mistake I made the first time around, when I sprained my ankle back in April but went ahead and did a duathlon anyway. Which led to shin splints. And two more ankle sprains and a DNF. And now I’m sitting here, 5 lbs. heavier (because my appetite always thinks it’s an Ironman), ordering elastic-waist shorts from the J.Crew outlet (because why pay full price), and listening to podcasts about the effects of ageing on an athlete’s body (because education).

But the ankle does feel noticeably better. Recovery is happening, slowly but surely.