"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Today is my birthday

It is not a celebration of the day I was born, it is a celebration of the day I woke up....


I have 17 years clean and sober today.

Go me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wow, that was hard

We started out in Aptos at elevation of 0 ft and climbed to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains at about 2000 ft. There was a total uphill of 3,645 ft and believe me I felt every foot of it. I rode for a total of 42.3 miles. Although about 2 of those miles weren't recorded on my Garmin, because I turned it on and then promptly hit the 'stop' button on accident. Here is the elevation chart:

My tri training group divides the long workouts by distance and difficulty: the 'pink' group is the easiest/shortest, 'blue' group mid-range, and 'black' hardest/longest. My hubby and coach talked me into being 'blue' today. A fact that I did not for ONE SECOND forget as I was climbing those hills today.

Anyhoo, I was pretty nervous about the 'blue' thing because of the big climb in that ride. I knew it was going to be long. I am just glad that I didn't know how long or how hard because I am sure I would have wimped out and done the 'pink' ride which only went about 20 miles and only had one climb. We had ... um,... I have no idea how many. There was the one, 11 mile climb, that I remember quite distinctly, but after that, it was more like "Are you fucking kidding me? How can we be going back up again?" And I am not sure how many times I said that.

I do wish I had brought my camera because it WAS a beautiful ride, but I was more concerned with not being left in the dust, and, well, not falling off my bike, so obviously no pictures today.

The downhill was almost (Note, I said almost) as hard as the uphill, because you were FLYING had to watch for potholes, crazy, road rage drivers, and it was FREEZING! My hands and feet have never been so cold and my shoulders and hands were hurting because of gripping the handle bars and brakes for dear life.

I had one asthma issue, but it resolved relatively quickly with my inhaler. The moist air of the redwood forest got me.

Mean girls: I talked to a few of the women today and rode briefly with some. I wasn't the slowest, but I was close. It seems like they are warming up to me, maybe by the end of this damn thing I will stop referring to them as the 'mean girls', but I am not quite ready to make that jump just yet.

All in all, I am very proud of myself for doing it. It is my longest and hardest ride to date.


I am freaking out about today's ride. If the mean girls drop me and leave me for dead on the 40 mile ride today, it has been great knowing you all.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

First double digit run since the marathon

Since I am training for San Diego Marathon on June 1st, I decided I needed to start getting my miles up. Today I ran 10.1 miles on my beloved bike trail. I was not daring enough to try a long run on real trails. Especially considering my penchant for getting lost. (Picture: Lone coot. My favorite water fowl and a regular along the trail.)

I started my run in a different location on the bike trail so I could change my scenery a little. The first three miles did not feel good. My legs felt sluggish like they have on all of my runs since the marathon. I kept my pace slow because I wanted to make sure I could complete the full 10 miles. The weather was perfect running weather, 55 degrees and slightly overcast (I wish you could have 55 degrees and sun, but oh well) It was a little humid so I was having a little trouble with my asthma. I had to use my inhaler twice for wheezing and I sounded AWFUL when I ran past people but I actually felt ok, so I kept running. (Picture: Bridge over the Los Gatos Creek)

At mile 5 I was exactly at a 12 min/mile pace which was what I was shooting for. I knew I would be a little faster on the way back, because the first 5 miles are slightly uphill, making the last 5 slightly downhill. (Picture: Around mile 4. This is one of my favorite stretches of trail. I call it the Tour of Homes I will Never be Able to Own)

At mile 6 I was ecstatic to see that my run buddy had rode her bike out to meet me and she rode the last 4 miles with me which was WONDERFUL. It was so nice to have someone to chat with (I am sure you are shocked to hear that I am a "chatty runner". I actually annoy the hell out of a lot of people, but my run buddy loves me anyway!)

The rest of the run went really quick with a buddy to help distract me. She was a little concerned with my breathing. She has seen a full blown attack and would rather not again, but I assured her I was fine. I finished 10.1 miles in 1:54: 16 (11:19 min/mile pace).

I was very pleased with the run. My knees are a little achy, but I stretched and iced and I am sure they will be fine for tomorrow's ride.

This week's workout totals:

Run: 15.1 miles
Bike: 48.2 miles
Swim: 2000 yards

Not too shabby if I say so myself!

Second swim workout of the week

This one was not such a rousing success. I went to my first pre-masters swim class on Thursday. I was pretty proud of myself for going as, you all know, I DID NOT WANT TO GO. I was bolstered by the "non-horrific" swim workout on Tuesday so I went.

Let's start with the good parts:

1. The pre-masters swim class was in the "bubble" (Picture: Swim Bubble. It is like a big round tent over the pool) at the local pool, so it was warmer in there and I didn't have to "strut my stuff" outside. A part of swimming that I TRULY detest.

2. The people in the pre-masters swim class were VERY nice and welcoming. There were only about 8 in the class.

3. The coach was very nice and laid back. He wasn't one of those freakishly tall, triangular swimmers with 0% body fat. He had great tips to improve my stroke and forced me to do bilateral breathing ( I only breathe on the left. I have never even tried to breathe on the right, although I hear for triathlons you really need to know how to do both.)

Things that didn't go so well: Ok, it was only one thing that didn't go so well, but it was a BIGGIE!

4. I lost one of my earplugs at the Tuesday swim practice and I didn't have time to get a new pair. I have equilibrium issues when I swim (read: I get sea sick. Yes, even in the pool) I wasn't sure if the earplugs helped or if I got over it. Uh, yeah, the earplugs helped. I was sick as a dog after about 500 yards and had to get out of the pool before I made myself VERY unwelcome.

I watched the rest of the class and learned some things and I will go back on Tuesday (this time with earplugs!) and try again.

Overall, training this week was really good.

I am going to head out on a long run in a little while here. I am planning on 10 miles today depending on how the ol' knees feel. It will be my first double digit run since the marathon. My tri training group has a big bike ride on Sunday it looks like I will be doing about 40 miles (Yikes!) I will let you know how that goes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I finally made it to a swim workout!

Tri Clinic Swim Workout

Tuesday night I went to my first swim training with the triathlon clinic group and it went pretty well. I was so stressed driving there that I had created a list of conditions that would cause me to turnaround and go home.

If I hit traffic, I am going home.
If I get lost, I am going home.

If everyone ignores me again, I am going home.

Well, none of these things happened so I actually made it the the practice. As a whole women weren't any friendlier, but there were a few that were nice and introduced themselves to me. After the workout I was chatting with a woman that was going to be doing a 1/2 Ironman this weekend. She was nice. So hopefully, this won't be completely uncomfortable EVERY time I have to meet with this group.

We did drills and the coach gave me some tips that helped. I wasn't even the slowest swimmer, ok, so I was the second to slowest swimmer, but whatever. We had a relay at the end of practice and I felt like I might throw up when the coach sent me the fast lane where all the mean girls were (don't get excited, they were evening things out so it would be fair the slowest swimmer was out of the pool getting help from the masters coach so I was promoted to slowest swimmer). Great, now I got to the the mean, fast girl's handicap. Awesome. Fortunately they were SO fast that it didn't matter and we won anyway. They were SUPER competitive. This relay was SUPER important to them for some reason.

Whatever, I did it and I survived.

Wednesday's workouts (alternative title: Why RBR is a ROCKSTAR!)

I left school after I ditched the cherubs. "Can you stay after school? Sure, but be on time, I wait 10 minutes and if you are not here I am going running." I waited 11 minutes ( I am THAT caring) and bailed! Woo Hoo!

I went to the trail and ran 5 miles. Not a fun run. Afternoon runs after you have been standing on concrete all day, just suck, but I did it.


I went for a 18 mile bike ride with hubby! Yep, you heard right, a two workout day. State is on Spring break, so I did not have to go teach the college cherubs last night. Go me!

It was windy, but it was still a pretty decent ride. My husband has made it his mission to make me more comfortable riding in traffic, so he drug (dragged? Whatever, stupid verb tenses.) me through the center of town, but it was good practice.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday Bike Ride

My run buddy is sick, so she had to cancel today for our long ride. I seriously hope she doesn't have the Flu of Death. Picture: My pretty purple bike with my pretty purple helmet!The bike was a Christmas present from hubby after my first triathlon and the helmet was a Christmas present last year.

Anyhoo, that means I was on my own for a 2 hour bike ride today. I am pretty proud of myself for going anyway. The ride I chose is a tough course for a pretty flat ride. It has miles of gradual uphill that can wear on you. I rode for 2:18 minutes for a total of 30 miles. The weather was absolutely perfect and I actually enjoyed myself. That is tied for the longest ride I have ever done. I rode 30 miles in Santa Cruz along highway 1 in 2005 when I was training for my first triathlon, but I have not ridden anything close to that long since other than the bike course in the actual triathlon itself which is 24.8 miles.

I learned an important lesson in these last two rides that I feel compelled to pass on to my female friends that ride bikes or are interested in riding bikes,


I have been riding in REI cheapo shorts since I started cycling and I am ALWAYS uncomfortable. It is like riding on a HUGE maxi pad. I thought, what would change if the shorts were more expensive? Sure they fit better, or look better, but they wouldn't feel any better, down there.


So very, very wrong! I was reading (read: Blog stalking) on one of my favorite blogs The Athena Diaries and she started this kind of advice for triathlete newbies series. Well, one of their topics was chafing and saddle issues and the subject of bike shorts came up. There was tons of great advice and I decided to purchase some of the shorts they recommended. I got the Shebeest Triple S shorts and the Shebeest Ultra D shorts from Team Estrogen (see link above). HEAVEN! Absolute heaven compared to straddling an ill-fitting, oversize feminine napkin for 30 miles.

Happy Easter! I am not a religious person, but Easter is special to me for a variety of reasons. The primary reason is a story for another time, but Easter also marks the beginning of spring and the end of the winter time blues. Plus I loooooove bunnies (Pictures: my bunnies Edgar and Ozzy) I also love pretty pastel colors and all of the commercial trappings of Easter!

Not the least of which is the ever perfect Reese's peanut butter Egg! It is truly the perfect mix of chocolate and peanut butter.

If you have not seen the picture on Willie's blog you absolutely MUST! It is hilarious! I hope you all had a FANTASTIC Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Trail Run

I want to be a trail runner. I really do. I think trail running is amazing and challenging and I feel more than a little hardcore when I do it. I really love it. I have one small handicap that makes this tough... I have NO sense of direction and can not read a map to save my life.

I planned a trail run at a park I have never been and I attempted to give the directions to the trail head to my buddy from LA. She made it to the trail head I did not. I found a trail head, so after an interesting phone conversation she was able to find me. (Fortunately, she DOES have a sense of direction, so it was safer for her to come to me.)

We set off on a trail and since I had no idea about the trails from this entrance we chose one at random (you can probably see where this is going, right?) Picture: LA run buddy and I getting ready to head out.

Well, 2.5 miles of climb later (1200 ft. elevation gain to be exact) I decided we had had enough. We turned around and headed back down. It was steep with switch backs, so you couldn't really fly downhill, but it was a beautiful trail. Picture: Reassuring sign at trail head.

It was tougher run than either of us were up for, but it was great to run with her again and the weather was gorgeous! A total run length of 5 miles. 5 tough miles. Picture: LA run buddy after our run. I think it is a testament to how much that I have grown up that I am willing to hang out with such a gorgeous creature! Sorry ladies, she is gorgeous, smart and sweet. I know, it isn't supposed to be like that.

A list of Shit I Should Just Never Do

1. Go jean shopping during post-illness depression and one week before my period.

2. Go jean shopping at the fucking mall. The land of Barbie Doll women that apparently got the style gene.

3. Go jean shopping in any store I have EVER heard my teenagers talk about. (e.g. Banana Republic, Nordstrom's, or the Gap)

4. Go jean shopping the day after one of my cherubs called me stupid, other cherubs blamed me for their grades, their lack of understanding the material (i.e. They don't get it because I am a bad teacher.), their inattentiveness (i.e. I am boring, so they don't listen), their bad behavior, global warming, etc...

5. Go jean shopping and look in the angled mirror at my ass in the new jeans (that of course would only apply to the ones I could get over my HUGE ass).

6. Go jean shopping and look in the angled mirror at my ass in the jeans I wore to the store (i.e. the jeans that EVERYONE has seen my ass in.)

7. Go jean shopping and look in the angled mirror at my ass in NO jeans. (i.e. What the fuck was I thinking?!)

I was going to write about this last night, but I am working on being more positive. That isn't working out so well for me.

Note: Picture above is NOT my ass (I know, you are stunned). Thank you Madison Avenue, for making me feel inadequate my entire fucking life because I don't look like this.

Friday, March 21, 2008

We ride again!

Today at work was better than yesterday (really, how could it not be?) and it is Friday, so no cherubs for 2 whole days. I will take it!

After school hubby and I went for a bike ride. We rode a loop that he usually does which is 17.3 miles. It was a good ride and the weather was gorgeous. My legs are still feeling pretty crappy from Wednesday. Hopefully they will be ok for my run tomorrow.

Which leads me to my next bit of good news: my run buddy from LA is here! She is going to run with me tomorrow. I have picked a new Open Space Preserve to run and a loop that will be 7.2 miles so we will see how it goes.

I am beat. I am going to hit the hay!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Back at it

I finally went back to work on Tuesday, but I still wasn't quite 100% so I did not work out, but yesterday I went for my first run, post-'Flu of Death' and it was positively...


It was like running through wet cement for 5 miles. It was of those runs you do because you are supposed to, not because it feels good.

Tonight I am going to my first pre-masters swim class. Can you sense the excitement? No? That is because there is no excitement. I don't want to go, but I am sure I will feel better after I do.
It is one of those "conquering your fears" things.

Update: I wrote the first part of this at 5 in the morning, it is now 7:15 pm (interestingly enough the exact time my pre-masters swim class starts) and no, I did not get a waterproof lap top, so I wimped out. I was tired and I just plain didn't go. I don't have a good excuse or reason. I just didn't.

The Pedagogical Roller Coaster that was my day:

DOWN Email from Vice principal that I did not include enough comments on my grade reports for students that have D's or F's in my classes. Apparently, we are too assume that parents do not understand that not completing homework and failing test scores, are how students get poor grades in their classes until we enter the code for "Homework not completed" and "Low test scores" on the report card, that the student probably stole out of the mailbox anyway. This email was cc'd to my principal.

I am on the "bad girl" list again. (or still I should say)

UP Have one of the best lectures and discussions on Genetics of my whole career. My 5th period was engaged, laughing, learning. It rocked.

Ultimate teachers high.

and back DOWN Sixth period. If you had ever actually been to my sixth period I wouldn't have to write another word. I can't joke, I can't use silly examples. Basically, I can't have ANY fun as a teacher, at all . I have to be the policeman the entire period. I pick up my chair and bull whip when the first bell rings and I can't put it down until the last bell rings.

This glorious day with sixth period culminated with a less than pleasant interaction with student that I spend at least 75% of the class period admonishing for inappropriate outbursts, touching/harassing other students, not working on the project he is supposed to, and just generally being an asshole. He was shouting out something obnoxious about his sperm (not as bad as it sounds. I teach biology, but still!) and I told him to stop AGAIN. He starts to argue how, of course it was someone else's fault that he is an asshole and I tell him I do not care why he is talking I just want him to stop. His response, "you're stupid!"


At this point the child is safer the farther away from me he is. So in the interest of his safety, which of course, is my primary concern, I send him to the dean of students.

Soooo, glad I get to do this again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What is the deal with the pink?

I am sitting on my couch in my pink fleece, wearing pink 'super soft' socks, with my pink water bottle next to me. I run in a pink hat and carry a pink RBR bag to races. Pink has become my power color. That makes some people (women, mostly) unhappy.

Lately, (read: after a bitch at the tri training made a comment about my pink shirt and hat. Yeah, I know, bad ass, you and your mini van are too cool to wear pink. Sorry short rant. It is over. I'm fine.) I have been thinking, "what is the deal with the pink?"

As a young child, 7 or so, I LOVED pink. I thought it was the prettiest color. I wasn't really into dolls or Barbie, much, but I had a rock tumbler (remember those?!) and any rock that came out even remotely pink was instantly my favorite. I liked pink clothes, pink things, and my Mom decorated my room in blue.

As a pre-teen and teenager, I HATED pink. I despised its "girlie" connotations. I would REFUSE to don anything that could even be considered a related color to pink. Reds, purples, burgundies, they were all to be avoided at all cost. I loved blue and black, I listened to dark music, heavily lined my eyes in black, and my Mom decorated my room in pink. (Sensing a pattern, here?)

My hatred of pink carried into my adulthood. Why? Pink was "girlie", weak, soft, and certainly not representative of the bad ass I thought I was. Then my life changed, rather dramatically, which is a story for another time, but I started to realize that I didn't know a fucking thing about myself or what I really liked or disliked.

Years go by, and other life altering changes (less dramatic, but eye opening nonetheless) make me decide to actually do something besides work, eat, sleep, repeat. I find triathlon and running.

And I rediscover pink.

It started when I spotted a pink hat with a cat (Puma logo) on it. I was drawn to it. I sat in that store and stared at that hat for 10 minutes deciding whether to get it or not. My internal dialog is something like this:

"I can't wear a pink hat. That is lame. I have a black hat. I wear black."

"It is sooo pretty though. And it has a cat on it. I think that is a sign."

"You will look lame. It will draw attention to you. You are not a 'pink' person."

After several trips around the store, I went back and bought the damn hat. It is the same hat I run in today. It is pink. It is girlie. And it started a revolution. (Ok, dramatic, but it did create a profound change in me)

The girl that would rather fade in to the woodwork because she was "too cool for that", was cheering and yelling to other runners and having fun on the course. She stayed up late with friends to puffy paint (yes, I said puffy paint. It is not just for sorority girls anymore!) race shirts, that had obnoxious sayings like "Run Bitch Run" and "Thank God the Swim is Over."

So I ask, What is wrong with 'girlie'? When did being a 'girl' become a bad thing? Why do we (and by 'we' I mean non-red head women. They get a pass. Pink looks terrible on many of them. I digress...) fear and hate the 'pink'?

You know the most feared animal in the forest? Mama bear. Not papa, mama.

Today, I love being a girl. I don't have to put qualifiers on it, like "I am a girl, but not a 'girlie' girl."

Today, I am 'girlie' enough to comfort a child that has had her feelings hurt by other kids, I am 'girlie' enough to cry until snot pours down my face EVERY TIME I watch Steel Magnolias, but I am also 'girlie' enough to go back to college and get three degrees, I am 'girlie' enough to hold the hand of my friend as he dies of cancer, and I am 'girlie' enough to do any damn thing that I put my mind to.

Yeah, I am a girl, and I love pink. You got somethin' to say about it?

Boomerang Flu

My husband and I call it the Boomerang Flu when you start to feel better, try to get up and do a few things and then WHAM you are down for the count again. That is what happened yesterday. The aches came back and I just generally felt like crapolla. So I spent most of the day watching seriously bad movies

(Saving Silverman: When will I learn that Jack Black is just not funny enough for a feature length film? I want him to be Jim Belushi (as does he), or John Candy, or even Chris Farley, but alas it is not to be. He has moments but he can't carry a role in a movie, plus the movie itself was just awful. Yes, of course, I watched the whole thing.)

and seriously bad TV (Sex in the City: When did being slutty become cute and fashionable? I sound like a prude, believe me I am not, but come on! It is a show about teenage hormones and angst at 35. *eye roll*)

I have eaten a sum total of about 1000 calories since Tuesday and slept about 100 hours in the same time.

I. Am. Over. It.

It is time to be better! I want to go running, I want to ride my bike, for the love of God, I even want to go swimming! Please! Enough of this flu! I want to feel better NOW!

(Folks, we have officially reached the 'high drama' stage of sickness, as you can see. Don't worry she hasn't eaten much she will wear her, hysterical, self out in a moment)


I have even accused poor Willie of being a faker (He did run 5 miles in 35 minutes mere moments after his sickness, chased down frolicking college boys, had time to flirt with and pass the cute, fast girl of last week's race, AND is pictured holding a pretty hefty trophy from the race. I am just sayin'...)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Feeling better

I am still house/couch bound, but it is a better place to be 'bound' than I have found myself in the last three days (think stomach flu, do I have to spell it out for you people?) Now, while I was apparently smoking crack when I thought I could exercise today, I do feel much better. So much better that I have been screwing around on the internet all day one of my destinations ended up being...


Boo yah, baby!

Time to prove it wasn't a fluke and earn the right to call myself a 'marathoner'!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Well, I wanted a break, but not this way...

Poor me. I have the stomach flu. I thought the marathon had caught up with me, because I was so tired, but I guess I was getting the flu.

Picture: Cleopatra's Deathbed (a smidge dramatic, sure, but I feel pretty damn bad!) Random Trivia Moment: One of the stories of her death is that Cleopatra committed suicide after Octavian invaded Egypt and all of her armies defected. She used the venom of the Egyptian Cobra. She decided on this particular venom after having several species of venomous snakes tested on her servants and observing their deaths. What a sweetie!

Tuesday after AP Parent night at school I was headed to the gym to do my swim and I started to feel like I had eaten something bad. It has all been down hill from there. The all over body aches are the worst part. I have never hurt, all over, this bad. Ever heard the expression, "so bad that my hair hurts"? Yeah, that bad. Plus. I haven't eaten anything since Tuesday at 2 pm except for a 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich that my husband hounded me into eating at 8 o'clock last night and that made me VERY ill. I hope he is guilt ridden. I am sure you are shocked to discover that I am a 'mean sick'.

Anyhoo, now you KNOW I am sick. We are approaching 48 hours of next to no food.

So I have missed some trainings. Workout for the week: Tuesday: none, Wednesday: none Thursday: will also be none. Since I am actually awake today (I literally slept 23 hours of yesterday, it is 11:30 and this is my first time awake today) I am hoping I can go swim tomorrow. I am trying to talk myself out of swimming and going for a run, because, frankly, I would rather run. However, since I am running on Sat and biking on Sun, I SHOULD swim on Friday. Did I mention before that I greatly dislike swimming?

Monday, March 10, 2008

I think it caught up with me

I woke up this morning and I felt drugged. I could barely move.

I. Was. So. Tired.

I think the marathon caught up with me. I have been feeling pretty great, so I was surprised I recovering so easily. I had heard that it could take a while to get over a marathon. Well, today I could barely stay awake. I couldn't sit down at school for fear of falling asleep. I went home as early as I could after school and slept for 3 hours. I feel a lot better. I am going to go to bed early tonight. I definitely need more sleep while I am training and I have been pretty bad about getting to bed before 11 (I get up at 4 am).

Today was a rest day, so I did not work out. Tomorrow I have two workouts scheduled and I am not sure how I am going to get both of them done with work and class. I am supposed to do a 45 minute bike ride and then a 2200 yd swim.


Did you read that? 2200 yards! That is 1.25 miles!

That will take me FOREVER! I am the slowest swimmer that has ever swum. After my class the only lap swim hours at the Y are from 8:30pm-9:30pm. I can't swim 2200 yds in an hour, so I will have to get as much done as I can.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

That didn't go so well...

Let's start with yesterday:

The bacteria grew, so we were able to do the lab (Thank God!) It went well.

The bike ride was great. We went 20 miles in about an hour and 40 minutes. I had to wait for my run buddy a few times. This was her first ride in a while and she was having seriously bad traffic light-ju ju. The weather was beautiful. The ride was essentially flat. I definitely have to build my bike fitness before I try to climb anything serious the very few uphills we encountered were tough for me.


I met with my triathlon training group this morning. We were supposed to meet at 7 am I got there about 45 minutes early. The email said to meet at the entrance to the park. I drove in and waited by the ranger stand. At 6:45 when no one else was there I tried to call the coach to see if I was in the right place, no answer. I continued to wait. At 6:55 I called again, this time I reached her, no "we call that the kiosk. Drive back out to the main street." Great, I HATE being late, especially when I am already uncomfortable. I guess, technically I was not late I got there at 7, but I was still unhappy.

Then I approach a group of women that I presume are the triathlon group. Not one person says a word to me. Finally I ask is the the triathlon training group. One woman barely looks away from her friend to say simply, "yes" before turning back to talk to her friend. Apparently, they all are in the same triathlon club and know each other.

We were divided into three groups for the run: "pink", "turquoise", and "black." The pink was the lowest mileage and the black was the highest. Most of the pink runners had bailed and there were only three or four. It was hard to tell since no one was talking to me. I ran with a woman that was kind of left behind the other pinks. She was nice (kind of), but I don't think she would have chosen to run with me. She obviously got left my her buddies and she and I were the same pace, so she was kind of stuck with me.

It was a pretty shitty feeling.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Who da thunk it?

Who would have thought that stepping on the scale and seeing a gain would be the good part of my day?

Truly, truly disheartening and shit-filled day.

I work hard, I give everything I have and then a glorified bureaucrat (whose fucking car allowance comes out of my [and every other teacher in my district] fucking salary, by the way) decides that my Advanced Placement class' grades are too low, because her friend's child is in my class and has a C- [which was a GIFT, by the way, it should have been a D+], then she starts a campaign to fuck me over. Awesome, truly awesome. I came home from work at 4 pm and slept for 3 and a half hours, not a good sign of mental health.

Moving on.

I have to go in for a AP Biology lab tomorrow (apparently, I go in on Saturdays, because I am such a horrible teacher and delight in crushing the spirit of students. Teenage Soul & spirit crushing IS why I took a pay cut to do this fucking, thankless job.)

Gee, I am not bitter at all.

Anyhoo, this is Take 2 for the Bacterial Transformation Lab. Last time the bacteria did not grow and I had to cancel the lab. Keep your fingers crossed. I will look like a serious ass if this lab doesn't happen again.

My run buddy and I are going for a bike ride after the lab. I am supposed to ride for an hour and a half. I am not really looking forward to it. I just want to ball up and hide.



The 'Yikes' title could just have easily been about my weight and eating. According to the scale this morning, I trained for, and ran a marathon and gained weight. On the scale this morning

137 * sigh*

Argh! It isn't my "official weigh in day. Which, let's be honest doesn't happen all that often anymore. Amazing how when you know you have been eating like shit you don't want to weigh yourself. The REALLY scary part is that my eating isn't that out of control for me and I am exercising quite a bit, but apparently it doesn't take too much out of control for me to blow up like the Stay Puff marshmallow man! I can feel the weight gain in my jeans, I can see it in my face. This has been going on for months now.

It. Must. Stop.

I can't seem to get a handle on the food frontier again. I have been cooking (I know, my mother is as stunned as you!) dinners and then packing leftovers for lunch. I am eating out less, but am still sneak eating cake and burritos in the car. (TOTALLY embarrassing to admit, but I am in trouble here. Time to get totally honest) Yes, I am a 38 year old professional woman that keeps plastic forks in her car so that she can buy a HUGE piece of cake and scarf it in the car so no one knows. Well, no one, but her ever expanding ass!

Help...I am feeling very sorry for myself this morning even though I am the only one to blame for this.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Triathlon Training

I got my training schedule from my coach and can I just say, "Holy cow!" And this is supposed to be my "easy week" to allow me to recover from the marathon. I could quite possibly be in serious trouble.

Here is what I have done so far this week:

Sunday: Run 26.2 miles - Napa Valley Marathon (hee hee one more opportunity to say that!)
Monday: Rest (Thank God)
Tuesday: 1500 yd. swim (Very unmotivated to do this, but my new h2oaudio iPod case helps a lot!)
Wednesday: Bike 45 minutes (did this with hubby, did 11miles for a total of 45 minutes)
Thursday: Run 20 minutes/weight training whole body 8 exercises, 2 sets of 12 reps for each exercise (Run SUCKED! My were legs very tired. The weight training was lame. I only ended up doing 5 exercises, 2 sets each for 12 reps. I felt totally uncomfortable in the weight room and didn't know what machine to use or how to do all the exercises she assigned.)

Here is what she has planned for the rest of the week:

Friday: Rest (Thank God, again)
Saturday: Bike 1 hr 30 minutes (How is this a recovery week?)
Sunday: Trail Run Clinic with Tri Training group. (I am totally scared and intimidated. I DO NOT want to go, but I will)

Next week is worse, much worse. Yikes!

I have also decided to bite the bullet and, at the recommendation of my coach, I have signed up for a pre-masters swim class on Tuesday and Thursday nights. This will start on the 18th. I am determined to avoid the nightmare that was Pacific Grove Triathlon Swim 2007.

I am a smidge overwhelmed.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Race Report: Napa Valley Marathon

You know this bad boy is going to be long!

Day Before Race

My run buddy and I went to Napa the day before to pick up my race number and go to the expo. In the expo I started to look at all the 0% body-fat, traditional runner type people that filled the expo and I started to panic. I didn't want to walk around the expo. I just wanted to get out of there. My run buddy could tell I was freaking out so we left and went to check into the hotel. We stayed at the Meritage Resort at Napa, (nice place and they don't 'nickel and dime' you for every little thing like the fucking Hilton or Marriott hotels. Sorry, I digress...)

As the bell boy (bell man, bell person? whatever) was giving us the low down on the place, he asked us why we were in Napa. My run buddy says, "we are here for the marathon."

Bellboy: "Oh,...[pause, glance at us]... but you aren't running it, right?

Me thinks: Nice. What is that whizzing sound? It must be the sound of your plummeting tip, asshole!

Me says: "Um, yeah. I am running it." followed by a lame, girlie, nervous/embarrassed laugh.

Bellboy: "Oh, ... well,... Good luck."

Me thinks: Nice save, dickwad.

Me says: "Thanks." followed by more lame, girlie, nervous/embarrassed laughter.

I am so cool.

Then we were sitting in the room trying to figure out where to carbo load (the absolute BEST part of doing these damn things) and there is a knock on the door....

In walks my other run buddy!!

She drove all the way from L.A. to surprise me and support me for the marathon. They bought us all hot pink sweatshirts and puffy painted RBR and our names on them to wear on race day. So very cool! Picture: Most awesome support crew ever, hanging in the hotel.

Race Morning

I got up at 3:30 am to drink my coffee, eat, let my tummy settle, and freak the hell out, before leaving at 5:00 to head to Calistoga for the race start. I will admit I was freaking out. I don't think I said more than 20 words in the 30 minute drive from hotel to the start (that is no small thing. You know how much I write, you can only imagine being in my actual presence!)

Pictures: RBR girls
waiting for the start in our ULTRA COOL sweatshirts!

It was cold and WINDY. Really windy. I had only packed a short sleeve shirt because it was supposed to be warm, but I had bought a super lightweight, rain resistant, windbreaker just in case. Thank God I did and Thank God my run buddy convinced me to wear it. Did I mention I was freaking out and not thinking super clearly? Picture: Freaked out RBR, walking to the back of the pack.

The race started without any audible signal whatsoever. I just saw people moving forward. I started my watch when I noticed and started moving toward the line. I was pretty far back, but it is a small race, so it didn't take me that long to get to the start line. That is why there is a 22 second difference between my Garmin time and official time. I go by Garmin. So there.

I kept it slow. My knees and shins felt fine. Tummy was a little bit of an issue, but nothing too awful, but I was still freaked out. The road is seriously cambered (slanted to allow for water run off) this can be HELL on your knees. I knew this from reading about every race report ever written about Napa, so I ran the center line (flattest section of road) or the bike lane, whichever was least slanted, but it was hard to avoid. My knees complained, but I focused on my foot placement and they never got bad.

The scenery was pretty, the race was quiet, not a lot of talking. I saw quite a few iPods (very limited, but still enough to piss me off. If you are going to say you are going to enforce the "no headphones" rule, then fucking enforce it. I would have liked to have had my iPod too, but I followed the rule). My entourage first met me at mile 3.5. They went wild and were very recognizable in their hot pink sweatshirts (my buddies are very loud and obnoxious. I know, your shocked. Especially with me being so quiet and demure and all.) I was still scared. It was weird I felt great, but I remember reading somewhere, "of course you feel great at [insert some low # mile here] you are running a marathon. It is miles 20-26 you have to get ready for." Picture: Pretty vineyards.

Mile 9: At mile 9, I was supposed to see them again, plus hubby. I saw the RBR girls, but no hubby. He made a serious math error and thought I would be at mile nine at 10:30. Even I am not that slow. I felt like a rockstar, everyone would laugh and clap because my friends went so crazy when I got there. They apparently were a HUGE hit on the tour. There were limited places to catch the runners and the paces held pretty steady, so the same spectators would see each other along the route. My buddies cheered for everyone. They are so awesome. The scenery is pretty, more vineyards. Picture: Dorky, but still feeling fine at mile 9. I wish I looked more athletic when I run. I always look like I am walking.

Mile 16: HUBBY! Yay! very cool to see him. I still feel great, probably the best I felt all race. I knew at that point I was going to make the 17 mile cut off. NO RBR girls strange. Picture: Happy at 16 miles in!

Mile 17: RBR GIRLS! They walked from the mile 16 spectator spot to the 17 mile marker. So cool! huge celebration. I screamed "I get to stay!" A few runners around me laughed (the most verbal interaction I had with anyone all day, very quiet marathon. Odd.) Scenery, pastoral vineyards. Not to many livestock, but still pretty. Picture: RBR Girls at mile 17 marker!

Mile 20: No fucking marker, are you kidding me? It apparently blew away. It was VERY windy. Thank God for Garmin. They say the marathon begins at 20. Well, that oversued cliche (I guess, overused cliche is redundant, I digress...) Anyway, they are not kidding. Not even a little.

Mile 23: Christ, when is this damn thing over. Spectators screaming, "You are almost there!"
No, I am, fucking, not! I have 3.2 miles to go. That is NOT almost there. Scenery Oh, look more fucking vineyards. I am shocked and amazed. If I never see another fucking grapevine in my life it will be too soon. Picture: Another fucking vineyard.

Mile 25: I am certain that I have covered AT LEAST 8 miles since the last marker how is it possible that I still have 1.2 miles left to run? The number of times I have been told that I am "looking strong!" and and "almost there" is directly proportional to the number of people I have fantasized about killing. If you shoot a nose rocket or hock a loogie on the center line of a race you are an asshole. 'Nuff said.

Mile 26: Sweet Jesus above. Unless I am hallucinating the marker that 12,00 people have told me is "right around the corner" for the last 6 miles is actually in front of me. I can see the finish. Tim, one of my coaches from Team in Training for Nike, sees me and recognizes me, he holds my hand and runs with me for a few yards telling me how great I did. Dear God, I am actually going to finish. I get to stop running. I see Eddy (hubby) Picture: I see Eddy! I think I am going to cry I am so happy. I see the RBR girls going crazy.

Mile 26.2: I cross the finish line and enter the chute. I hear the beep of my Garmin and I see my time 5:20:19.

Holy shit. I just ran a marathon.

Picture: Dazed RBR, with the RBR girls. Very happy and a little loopy.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I ran, bitch, I ran!

Well, I didn't want to keep anyone in suspense.... I DID IT!!

Today I ran 26.2 miles in 5:20:19! I had the goal of breaking 6 hours (to get an official time and be a official finisher at Napa), but I really wanted to do it in 5:45, then my super secret goal was 5:30 and I beat all three!

I am pretty pooped. I will write a full (and verbose, I am certain) race report after my nap. Including pictures of course!

It was awesome and I can not thank you all enough for your undying support through the training and today. Thank you, thank you!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

On the road again!

I am off to Napa! The race number pick up is today only, so my run buddy and I are off to Napa! She is not running this time. She is just going to be part of my support team (my HUGE team of 2! LOL!) Very cool!

Alright, this is what I need from you guys. (You didn't think that you were just going to sit on your butts and laugh at the idiot that thought she could run a marathon did you? NOT!)

I need some serious positive vibes sent my way from 7:30 am to 11:30 am PST.

I have to make it to mile 17 by 11:30 or they pull me off the course. Which really means that I go to jail for assaulting the race official brave enough to try to remove me from the course. I don't look good in orange, so I need you to help a girl out.

I have decided that I will probably be at mile 12-13 around 10 am, therefore my life will seriously SUCK at that time and I will be considering pulling off the course for a Snickers and a trip to Taco Bell.

I would appreciate a collective RUN BITCH RUN! shout out at that time. (that is 11am MST, 12pm CST, and 1 pm EST , see I even got the local times for you!)

My life will suck at other times as well, but as long as I get past the 17 mile mark by 11:30, I will be allowed to finish.