"...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)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kicking arse and taking names

I am exhausted and hungry all the time, so I think I should at least get some bragging rights.

January Totals

Run: 87.0 miles
Bike: 230.0 miles
Swim: 10,450 yards

Total number of workouts: 40
Total number of workout hours: 47:28

Screen shot of my training log (click to see larger image)

Can I get a BOO YAH?!

Oh, and some cake...

...and maybe a nap.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Too busy to be Fabulous?

Not I. There is always time to be fabulous!

I may be a day late and a dollar short, but I am finally getting it done.

I was tagged by the lovely Southbay Girl, the vivacious AKAAlice, and the unstoppable Iron "GeekGirl" Misty.

The rules are to list 5 things I am currently addicted to.

1. Running: If you told me even two years ago that I would type such a thing I would have laughed until I coughed up a partially chewed Twinkie.

2. Coffee: This isn't so much an addiction as a physiologic need. I am not a coffee snob. I prefer good coffee, but I will drink anything resembling coffee. I am like your crazy ass aunt Ida, I will heat up yesterday's coffee if there is no other option. Back in the 'broke ass' days, I have reused coffee grinds. More than once. As I have said, it is a need not a want.

3. Logging my workouts on BuckeyeOutdoors.com I will still be panting from my run, but I will fire up the computer to log my miles and time. The letters and numbers are coming off my keyboard from my sweating fingers furiously typing. I know, I know it is not very 'Zen running' or 'exercise for the pure joy of exercise', but I like to see the numbers. Sue me.

4. Talking to or for animals I see on the trail: It regularly embarrasses my LA Run Buddy, but I am incapable of not saying something when I see dogs/feral cats/birds/squirrels/etc. on the trail. She does, however, prefer I talk to them, as in "Hi short stuff!" when I see a little dachshund trot by, but when I talk for the roly poly pug I see on the bike trail and say things like "I am short and fat! Look how cute I am!" it will cause her to dive in the bushes to avoid being seen with me.

5. Really, really bad reality TV: Possibly redundant. Is there really good, or even partially bad reality TV?

Here are the shows that I know the time and airing of and WILL try to adjust my schedule to be home to watch:

DietTribe (New show on Lifetime. I LOVE it! Season finale 10pm on Monday! Sad that I know that.)

Celebrity Fit Club (Has beens that have gotten fat and are now being forced to exercsie by an ex-marine?! You CAN NOT buy that type of entertainment! I am anxiously awaiting the new season)

Celebrity Rehab (The level to which this show makes me happy is wrong. Just wrong. In 'my circle' this is WAY uncool, but I can't help myself ) and the current spin off Sober House (Can you fucking believe there was a spin off?! Double the awesomeness!)

In the interest in total disclosure I will include a partial list of the moronic shows I have watched at least 3 full episodes of and will watch if I come across flipping channels:

The Real Housewives of Orange County (It makes me feel smart and deep. Although I am certain Jessica Simpson watches it for the same reason)

Miami Ink (I tune into be routinely amazed/horrified/amused by what idiots will have permanently drawn on large, visible parts of their body. I actually like tattoos, but DA-AAMN some of that shit is WAY ugly)

LA Ink (Same reason as above except, I think the girl is hotter than the guys of Miami Ink)

And drum roll..... the
coup de grĂ¢ce...

Confessions of a Teen Idol (I know you were wondering who the hell watches this shit. Your kids' high school biology teacher, that's who. Reassuring for the future of America, no?)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Week 4: Pre-Ironman Major Freak Out No. 1

I am certain this will be one of many, but I had a major freak out about Ironman cut off times this week. I don't know if it was because Wednesday marked 5 months until Ironman Coeur d'Alene, or if the reality of my slowness coupled with the calculations of the pace required to meet the IM cutoffs finally sunk in, but

I. Freaked. Out.

It seems like the timing was mutual for a friend of mine.

Ironically, the incident that sparked the furious calculations was my first victory in the pool at the dreaded swim masters. But before I tell you the victory, I want to get honest about swim masters.

I know I have told you that I am the slowest person at swim masters, but honestly everyone says shit like that about their weakest sport and then posts race times where they come in first in their age group. Well, I am so slow at masters I have my own lane. Thank God another guy showed up that sucks almost as much as me, so he is now in my lane.

Seriously, I get there late because of school and the rest of the swimmers reserve this lane for us. They will be circle swimming four in a lane and we have a double wide lane all to ourselves.

Better yet, the coach gives us a different workout than everyone else. Why? Because we can't hang.

Yep, I am "riding the short bus" of swim masters.

I honestly think the only reason he hasn't told me to go back to pre-masters is because:

1. He was my Team in Training coach, so he feels somewhat obligated to be nice to me.

2. He thinks I am funny.

3. He is, at base, a highly competitive person and I represent the ultimate coach challenge. If he can get ME through an Ironman swim, he will truly be the king of all coaches. An Iron Coach, if you will.

Anyway, back to the victory.

When I started swim masters 3 weeks ago coach had me do a 3 X 100 yd for time with the goal of getting the same time for each to get a baseline. My times were 2:15, 2:18, 2:11. On Tuesday I did a timed 100 yd. swim at the end of the workout, when I was tired, and instructed to go hard, but at a pace I could maintain for a long swim. I did what felt like the same intensity as 3 weeks before, but this time I did it in 2:00. Not a direct comparison, but it is the first positive thing that has happened in masters so I am clinging to it.

I keep having the recurring vision of emerging from the water, seeing the sad faces of my family and friends standing alone on the beach since all the other spectators have moved on to follow their racers on the bike, and a solemn IM volunteer comes over and takes the timing chip off my leg. My Ironman ending at 9:30 in the morning. I don't want to be done in time to have breakfast with my family.

This gets me to swim at masters. Every time I don't want to go (which is every time) I see this in my head and I put on my suit and hop in the "short lane" for another day of humiliation.

Let's say by some miracle I do finish the swim within the cut off the best I can hope for is a 2 hour to 2:15 swim, with a 10 minute transition I am looking at about 8 hours for 112 miles of Idaho hills.

Umm... yeah.

I need to stop thinking about this.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Not to be outdone

I guess I idolize Iron Jane and Steve in a Speedo so much that I needed to follow in their foot steps.

Last night I was hit by a car.

Now don't get too excited. It was a parked car.

Ok, you are thinking "Yeah right RBR. You can't get hit by a parked car." Oh yes, you can. As I ran by, the oblivious 16 year old girl in the passengers side flung (flinged? Whatever.) open her door right in front of me.


I know. Lame.

I am sure it looked just as cool as it sounds.

But it HURT LIKE HELL. And now my wrist only bends in two directions instead of four. That has to be good for a little street cred, right?

Ok, maybe I will leave out the parked part in the retelling.

I did go to Swim masters today (I soooo wanted to use the wrist as an excuse, but it really didn't hurt when I swam) I took the day off from running my knee is a little swollen and sore (I think this is from running, not from smacking into the minivan door. Although if the lady's lawyer calls I reserve the right to change my story. She actually got out of her car to examine her door as if I had damaged it by being struck by it. Bitch.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I have found my people!

Today I had my first ride with the new training group I decided to try. It is a training group designed to get women ready for a local women's metric and full century ride in April.

It was awesome.

Yes, I finally had a group cycling event that, not only wasn't horrific, it was enjoyable. Some may even say it was fun. Hale-freaking-llujah!

We had an orientation and then just a 20 mile ride, but I had fun and I met some nice gals. I even met a woman that did her first Ironman at Louisville this year.

This was a true, mixed ability group, unlike all the lying son of a bitch triathlon groups in this area that claim they are mixed ability groups and then drop your ass. Well, they can all just suck it! I found a group for me! Ha! Drop that bitches!

This time I was actually the front of the back of the pack. For those of you who think that is a bad thing, that is a HUGE move forward for me. I have always maintained that I am not a "back of the packer". The back of the pack usually passes me pretty early on and I swim/ride/run alone. I actually had people to chat with!

It rocked. I so needed that.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Week 2: Where's the freaking pizza?!

I have now completed my second full week of Ironman training (pre-Ironman training? Ironman base building? I don't know what it is, but I know it is going to get MUCH worse). I am STARVING all the time. This is not a good sign. I have 5 months (and a shit load of more miles to cover) before I race at this thing. At this rate I will have to buy two plane seats to get there. One for each ass cheek.

Last weekend I ran part of my long run with LA Run Buddy. She was up for the weekend. She is building base miles after a knee issue and had run 6 miles the day before, so she was only doing 3 miles and I was doing 10 miles. We went to the Baylands Wildlife Sanctuary. It was a gorgeous and great run. Here are some pictures:

I REALLY love that I always look like a fucking man when I take pictures with
my gorgeous LA Run Buddy. Awesome.

The pelicans were back!!

It is my blog and I can post as many pelican pictures as I want.

The coots wading in the mud leaving cute little cootty tracks!

I wish I could tell you that she was excruciatingly stupid and mean to old people, but she is just as smart and kind as she is beautiful. Bitch.

The Palo Alto Duck Pond which really should be called the Palo Alto Seagull Pond.

Case in point

This walkway went out over the marsh to the bay. Beautiful views of the Bay.

Case in point.

There was a tiny airport that has the runway terminate right at the Baylands. Very cool. (Included for airplane buff, Willie's enjoyment)

Plane landing at the Palo Alto airport.

Work was crazy because it is the week before finals and I have had reviews with AP students every night in addition to this training schedule:

Bike 45 minutes (12.5 miles)

Strength Training class 1 hour (I did 51 pushups in under 4 minutes! Holy shit. Even now, four days later, I still can't brush my own teeth or put my hair in a pony tail , but it's still pretty cool, right?)

Run 4 miles (45 minutes and 23 seconds of the shittiest run ever. Seriously, actual shit was jealous of the shittiness of this run.)

Swim Masters 1 hour (Things you don't want to hear from your masters coach: 1. That is the exact opposite of what I want you to do. 2. Your backstroke is.... well, we will work on that. 3. We aren't in the old ladies leisure pool. Yep, swim masters continues to be one joyful, uplifting experience after the next.)

Bike 1 hour ride scheduled (18 miles, 1:21. There were supposed to be hill repeats? Oops.)

Strength Training class 1 hour (We did Crazy 8's, 8 sets of 8 reps of 5 exercises. It is supposed to be 8 exercises, but we are beginners so she took it easier. It was for time. I was dead last. This has started to not phase me. I think that is growth.)

Swim Masters
1 hour (*sigh*)

Run 4 miles (45:01. It tried really hard to be as shitty as Tuesday's run, but it fell short. Just a little short. It was a close second.)

Friday: Rest (Thank sweet baby Jesus)

Saturday: Long Ride (on schedule 3:00, planned 20 mile ride First ride with the Cinderella training group)

Sunday: Long Run (on schedule 2:30, planned 15 miles)

I didn't sleep very much this week, and I had lots of things I want to bitch about but I am too tired. I will say this to all the husbands out there (mostly mine)

Just because a woman is hormonal does NOT mean that you are not being an asshole.

I'm just saying...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Week 1: Whoa

The first week in a long while that I did all of the trainings on my schedule instead of reading the training plan and saying, 'Weight training' must really mean 'go out with friends for pie and coffee.' 'Swim' must really mean 'have another piece of cake and put your feet up, you earned it.'

Here were my workouts for the week:

Monday: Strength Training class 1 hour

Tuesday: Swim Masters 1 hour

Wednesday: Bike 1 hour 20 min (18 miles)/Strength Training class 1 hour

Thursday: Swim Masters 1 hour (OMFG! He tried to kill me)/ Run 5 miles (51:28)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Long Ride (on schedule 2:45, planned 35 miles)

Sunday: Long Run (on schedule 1: 50, planned 10 miles)

Here is my conundrum, I did not get in the scheduled yards for the swim because in Masters I did a series of drills that, while making me feel like my lungs were going to pop and I had swallowed 9 gallons of pool water, were significantly lower in overall yardage than if I just granny-ed it up and swam some laps like usual.

For example: My scheduled yardage for this week was 5200 yards and my actual was only 2500 yards.

Does this mean I have to swim again this week (and every fucking week thereafter) to get in the total yards?
She asks with a quivering voice and sad upturned face, hoping to God you and her coach say, "No. You have worked hard in the pool, which is much more valuable than distance.
Go have coffee and pie with your friends."

Now, I must get ready to go for a bike ride. Alone. Again. *sigh*

The tri team called and begged me to come back to the group ride and be a pace leader, but I told them that I have to think of my own training first and I can't carry them along. Sorry.

* I am totally being facetious. If you have not read my blog before click the 'tri team' link to get the sarcasm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rock. Star. Status.

Rock. Star. Status.

Monday night I went to my first strength class. I sat in the office area waiting for the class to start with the five guys and three skinny bitches (here is where I would do strike though if I knew how, because I know that is wrong to say) err... I mean, other women that were going to be in the class. My heart was in my throat and EVERY fiber of my being wanted to bail.

But I stayed and you know what? I was the only girl that did regular pushups and one of only two in the class (yep, including the guys!) that went all the way, chest to floor for all 10. The instructor even gave me a "Hell yeah!"

I did, however, get my ass handed to me on all the other exercises, but I survived and I will go back on Wednesday.

Wait! There is more!

Today I went to my first Level 2 Masters swim class (I am not good enough to be in Level 1. Seriously, even the pre-masters coach agreed) so they started this intermediate level for the "middle people" like me. Well, I found out today that I am low-middle, since I am the slowest and most inept of the 'middle.'

I did find out that my old Team in Training coach is the Level 2 coach for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. That was WAY cool!

Anyhoo, that is not why I am a rock star. I am a rock star because I went and I did all the drills including speed work.

Speed work!

In the pool!

Me, who HATES swimming.

Like I said...

Rock. Star. Status.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

When will I learn...

Every few years, they get me again. They are fun and cute and offer me promises that they just can't keep.

They mock me, "This time it will be different, you will look cute and flirty. We will be comfortable AND look good, go ahead try it."

Fucking capri pants.

In my mind they will look like this on me

However, in reality, I have a 4 inch inseam and two Butterball turkeys for thighs. Therefore, in capris I look like a troll doll in high waters.

Although, I do think I have nicer hair

The Under Armor compression capri running tights I just bought were no exception. In addition to making my statuesque 5'2" frame look like 3'8", they were somewhat low rise.


Now I am a troll doll, with dun lop disease (as in "the fat dun lop over the top of these stupid, fucking capris")

My two runs and one long bike ride this week were somewhat less enjoyable than running in these pants, alternately pulling up the waist and pulling down my shirt to keep from flashing a flesh belt.

2009, not off to a rousing start

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009: RBR a work in progress

Goals for 2009

*yes, another list of goals. Sorry, but it is that time of year.


1. Do the training necessary to complete Ironman Coeur d'Alene in under 17 hours. 16:59:59 would be fine by me! (Winter -Spring 2009)

Bike and Run:
See previous post for bike and run plans and milestones in training

Masters Level 2 twice a week starting Jan 6th
At least 7 Open water swims with at least 3 of full Iron distance

2. Start strength training. I used to be just naturally really strong (almost freakishly so) and now as I get older I can see that I am losing strength. I want my strength back. Every time I try this I get intimidated by the hardbodies in the gym and stop (or more often, don't start). It is time to get over it. (Start Winter 2009)

My only bar to measure strength by is when I was screwing around on the park course and realized how bad it had gotten. Here is the current and goal totals:

Currently: I can do 10 regular pushups (not on knees/chest to floor) in a row.
Goal: 25 pushups in a row

Currently: I cannot do a full pull up (ugh! I used to be able to do 5 in a row)
Goal: 1 full pull up

Currently: I can do 1 full bar dip (parallel bars/dip to chest)
Goal: 3 full bar dips


3. Study for and pass my comprehensive exams to finish my Masters in Molecular/Microbiology (Fall 2009)

4. Keep pushing my AP students. I have an amazing group of kids and I really want to give them the best opportunity to excel on the AP exam and rock the hell out of college biology.

Family/Friends (not listed last because it is less important, just because it is the hardest area for me to admit my shortcomings)

5. Date night once a week (we'll try it again. We have been much better than years past, but once a week is not too much to ask of either of us)

6. At least two Girl's days out with Mom (one already planned in April to see 'Wicked')

7. 3 day fastpacking trip with Dad on John Muir trail. (Let me preface this with the fact that I have NEVER even camped. This ought to be exciting) (Summer 2009)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Wrap up: The year of the runner

2007 vs 2008: This is the first time that I have 2 years of relatively consistent exercise to compare.

Run: 430.15 miles
Bike: 108.26 miles
Swim: 2037 yards
Number of races: 2

Run: 851.2 miles (increase of 421.05 miles)
Bike: 1538.3 miles (increase of 1475. 04 miles)
Swim: 65,990 yards (increase of 63,953 yards)
Number of races: 25 (increase of 23 races)

Jan 1 of 2008
I wrote out a summary of one of the toughest years (2007) I had had in a while and the beginning of my quest to turn it around. Then I set down a "List of Shit I would like to do in 2008" (I have a horrible track record with "resolutions" so I lie to myself and say they are not resolutions when really, aren't goals and resolutions the same thing?)

Let's see how I did: 2008 Goals and Actual

Fitness Goals

1. Run 800 miles in 2008 (a little over 15 miles per week average)

Actual: I ran 851.2 miles

2. Complete the Napa Valley Marathon and at least one other marathon, at least one half marathon, and at least two other races including the Pacific Grove 2008 triathlon and a 10 K with my friend Shelley.


Ran 4 marathons, 1 - 50K Ultra-marathon, 6 - 1/2 marathons, and 9 other races of varying lengths, including the 10K with Shelley and Andrea! Completed: 2
sprint distance triathlons (one was a long sprint at 3/4 mi swim, 16 mi bike and 5 mile run), 2 olympic distance triathlons, and 1 half iron distance triathlon.

RBR Girls after I ran the entire Napa Valley Marathon March 2008

Completed: a 65 mile bike ride at Solvang.

LA Run Buddy and I after Solvang Metric Century

25 races total. WAY exceeded what I thought I was ever capable of. I had an absolute blast and I met a ton of people both online and in real life that inspired me to keep on keeping on. Decided to register and train for Ironman Coeur d'Alene.

3. Swim lessons, starting in June (after school gets out until the
Pacific Grove triathlon)

Actual: Joined pre-masters class and completed two open water swim clinics.

4. Do Pacific Grove Triathlon in under 4 hours

Actual: FINALLY did the Pacific Grove Triathlon in under 4 hours!

Team RBR after The Triathlon at Pacific Grove

School Goals

5. Be a whole lot closer to finishing my masters degree. (i.e. be finished with classes and research and be writing thesis)

Actual: Done with classes. No research, no thesis. Chose committee members and taking Comp Exams in Fall 2009.


6. At least three vacations with hubby (Africa and Seattle are planned for summer 2008, then one weekend get-away)

Actual: Africa, Seattle, Lompoc mini-vacation from hell, and Hawaii.

Hubby and I in Hawaii 2008

7. Date night with hubby once a week at least 3 weeks out of the month

Actual: Maybe once a month. More likely once every other month. Serious room for improvement.

8. Lunch/breakfast with Mom and/or Dad once a month.

Actual: Nope. Not even close. But I saw them a lot more than the previous year.

My Dad and I after Dammit Run 2008

9. Send all family and friends' birthday cards ON TIME!

Actual: Nope. Most family cards sent on time. LA Run Buddy's card was miserably late and I totally bailed on several other birthdays.
Did not send Christmas cards at all this year. HUGE room for improvement.

All in all an awesome year. I traveled more, did more, and had more fun than I have in my entire life. I accomplished more than I ever thought remotely possible and I did the unthinkable

I became a runner.