Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Rest of the Story

Official results:
48/53 F5054 2:36:09 2:31:57 11:36 Jeanne McCann 51 F 4800 Bethesda MD

(Yesterday I was 48th out of 68! What the hell happened to those other 15 people?!)

Ah, it's all good.

Yesterday I didn't hate running, but more importantly I never felt like giving up--a feeling which has plagued me recently on long runs.

What I did right:
Thursday and Friday, I drank a lot of water, ate right, and got enough sleep.

I did no workouts on Thursday and Friday.

Friday night I re-read this post on mental training, from Tammy's old blog which I have a printout of and read before each race. (I highly recommend it.)

Plus, I had just finished reading It's Not About the Bike (I know, late to the party, etc.) which was plenty inspirational.

And, I wore the exact right clothes for the weather. For once. (Tights, technical shirt, and my trusty Brooks vest. Oh and a Villanova crew cap.)

What I did wrong: Nothing!

Here's how it went down:

Before the race officials figured out they needed a guard there, I checked out a portapotty that was off to the side for VIPs. I can report that all was in order inside.

Around 6:30ish, I lined up at the waaaaaaaaay back, where I met my friend Nancy, who was looking good, despite having sore legs. It was cold.

We hopped from one foot to the other, trying to keep warm. Soon I was hopping for another reason. By now there were long lines at the portapotties, and the Armory was thoughtfully locked and guarded. D.C. can be fussy about things like peeing on government property, but I saw a bunch of guys off in a corner of greenery, on the D.C. Armory grounds, and I figured if it was good enough for them... Plus, they would have had to arrest all of us.

This was a well-organized race, I thought.

First a look at the official elevation map (top), and the one generated by Nancy's Garmin:
Holy hell, them's some hills!

Miles 1, 2 and 3: 34:04 Oops, I forgot to notice the mile markers. I think I forgot I was in a race.

Mile 4: 11:26 (I finally caught on.)

Mile 5: 11:33 Uneventful, running on Constitution Ave, past the Washington Monument and other famous stuff. We turned onto 18th St., NW, the start of the hills. Of course, I had to go again. I waited a few minutes in line at a portapotty, then gave up, figuring I'd hit a Starbucks.

Mile 6: 14:10 This is the biggest hill, up Connecticut Avenue through Dupont Circle. Just before the road passes under the circle, there's a Starbucks off to the last. BLESSED STARBUCKS! I ducked in, and spent four minutes waiting. So the race director should take that into consideration. Just sayin'.

This was a big hill. But I was NOT. GOING. TO. WALK. And I didn't. I just slowed down.

Mile 7: 11:56 This started the rolling hills through Adams Morgan, past D.C. Mayor Fenty's parents' running shoe store, Fleet Feet. His dad, Phil, was out to cheer us on.

There weren't tons of spectators but just enough to make it fun. Some homeless folks high-fived us as we ran past. Someone blasted the Beatles "Here Comes the Sun" from a boom box.

By now, I had really fallen behind. I was now behind the two guys running together with their heads stuck through the top of a box (I have no idea). When you're behind folks like that, you know you are at the BACK.

I fell in with a marathoner who was looking to break 5 hours and we chatted. Mostly we chatted about how annoying it was to have a 3-car procession RIGHT NEXT to us for several miles. There was the SAG wagon, followed by a police car, followed by an ambulance. Followed by lots of fumes.

Mile 8: 11:13 Near McMillan's reservoir, at the bottom of a hill. There was a high school marching band and cheerleaders, doing a great job cheering us on. A real high.

Mile 9: 11:26 My mantra in the race became "Just 11 more minutes." Cuz I can do anything for 11 minutes. I still felt strong, not flagging at all.

Mile 10: 10:52 (1:56) This was another hill. For some reason, the hills weren't bothering me. I just looked at the ground directly in front of me and figured it would be over soon.

Mile 11: 11:29 This took us through some old D.C. neighborhoods, where lots of folks cheered us on. One spectator was cleverly dressed as the Statue of Liberty holding a sign reading, "Income Tax," and pointing to a storefront tax prep center. I would have taken advantage but I was a little busy, so pressed on.

Mile 12: 11:54 Mile 12 flew by.

Mile 13.1: 11:54 I have learned not to get excited when I see the finish since it's so RARE that you get to run directly toward it. Usually you have to do some convoluted loop. But nope, this time the finish was the finish, with a short chute.

And viola (voila?), I was done.

My running group mates, K and E, were right there at the finish, handing out medals and giving out space blankets. The best seats in the house! I hugged them both, and I guess I thought I would hang out with them and, you know, chat, and tell them my long story, but they had other plans. Like, um, the marathon WINNERS were coming through so GET THE HELL OUTTA the way, jeanne!

There was tons of free food and not so many people so I don't know what came over me, I had to eat. I ate
1 pretzel
2 granola bars
1 banana
1 ice cream cup (I was still freezing)
1 freebie starbucks sample of something else cold
1 orange

All this while wandering around looking for Peter (finished 10th in his age group, in case he's too modest to say so) and Nancy. Nancy and I had passed each other on and off and I knew she had to hang around for a while. But as usual, I couldn't find anyone.

Finally I realized I was COLD. So I hopped in my car (FREE PARKING!) and was home in 45 minutes, after stopping again at Starbucks for coffee and a scone (I should seriously own stock) cuz I guess I hadn't eaten enough! I was home by 11 a.m., and did absolutely nothing the rest of the day.

I felt fine. Nothing hurt.

Today I felt so good I rode for an hour and then did my 10-min run-off afterwards.

Cuz today? Triathlon training starts in earnest!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

National Half Marathon: PR!

National Half Marathon, March 29, 2008, unofficial results: 2:32:01 (11:41 min/mile) (Yeah, I took the "teensy" out of the headline. It's a honkin' big PR!)

Fredericksburg Blue and Gray Half-Marathon, Dec. 9, 2007, 02:34:26 (11:47 min/mile) 8/9

Philadelphia Distance Run, September 16, 2007: 2:38:06 (12:04 min/mile)

Montgomery County Half Marathon, September 24, 2006: 2:38:15 (12:05 min/mile)

Oy, it was hilly. I felt good throughout, until mile 12 when my PF flared up. I looked for mile 13, saw the finish in the distance and figured the race organizers did some mind-fudging and were making people run around the D.C. Armory before hitting the finish line. But, I was wrong! The last 1.1 mile flew by.

It was great and I felt great and strong even on all the hills.

The best part? NO WALKING!!!

The worst part? I ate my weight in food giveaways at the end. Oy, must go lay down now. More to come.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Declaring My Intentions

Nancy declared hers, so now I have to!

I'm running the National Half Marathon tomorrow (saturday).

I hope to do at least one of the following:

Finish w/o injury

Finish in 2:45

Finish in 2:35

Finish in 2:30

And above all, REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Hike: I Told Ya So

Billy Goat Trail, Maryland

See? I wasn't lying. The guy with the baby on his back was hopping from rock to rock. Let's just say he and the mama had a few words. OK, they had a LOT of words!

Stay tuned for more great hiking photos.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When Your Coach Says Hills Are Your Friend, Listen

National Half Marathon, 3/29/08, Ele-freakin-vation Map

This should be fun! Right? RIGHT?

To prepare, I ran 3 miles on Monday, swam 1100 yards on Tuesday, ran 3 miles today, and so far? My #@!@# plantar fasciitis hurts when I'm sitting, and I have a new ache in my right quad.

Coach says:
For the race, start out slow (the hills lie ahead, midway through) and pick up your pace after McMillan Reservoir. Running past it is uphill, but once you crest a slight ridge and start down Michigan Avenue, it is rolling hills. From studying the topographical map, there is a two mile downhill stretch a mere half a mile away; once you take a right onto North Capitol Street the slight downhill grade opens up before you. Go for it if you have energy left. There is still a ways to go, but the high climb in the race is behind you.
Damnit, I'm going to have fun and I'm going to do my best if it's the last thing I do.

Monday, March 24, 2008

National Half Marathon Race Report

...And then, from seemingly out of nowhere, I summoned up the strength and speed my training had been lacking all winter, to cruise through the finisher's chute in 2:20, a PR!!!

Ha ha, I got you, didn't I.

Well, the National Half Marathon is this coming Saturday, and I'm not feeling it. I'm extremely pretending that it's no big deal, that I'm not going to mind IN THE LEAST if I finish in 3 hours, that it's a training run (for what, I don't know), that my damn PF isn't actually getting worse, blah blah, etc.

Saturday was our last "group" training run. Such a pity that I started out so young and full of dreams!

Over the course of the past few months, our group (the so-called "slow" group, not that my peeps know the meaning of the word) dwindled to a total of four: our coach, two young chicks, and me. The two other chicks ran their half, the Virginia Beach Shamrock, two weeks ago. Since January, I have been gradually falling behind, slowly but surely (get it???) each week.

Saturday we were scheduled for six miles, but the two chicks who had ALREADY run their half marathons opted for 10, and I had to agree that it surely couldn't hurt me. So off we went, and as usual, I started in the middle, K and E behind me running together, and Coach in the not-too-far-ahead distance.

And as usual, around mile 3, the chicks passed me, we ran even for a while, and then, they became as tiny little dots in the distance. And then? I stopped caring about my 10-miler half-way through it. I started walking. Stretching. Talking smack to myself. You know. The USUAL. Ten miles in 2:16. I must have been going backwards for part of that.

Sunday was better. Sunday was Easter! And to make up for Saturday's misery, I dragged Number One Daughter on our annual Easter Hike on the Billy Goat Trail,

a rocky, strenuous, and somewhat treacherous hike (especially if you are carrying a NEWBORN baby on your back, like the guy in front of me was....arghhhh!)

Another guy was in shiny, tasseled loafers. No really. You would not believe what people wear to hike this trail. High heels.

We had fun.

But I still had to feed the TRI-beast. So NOD dropped me off at work, and I did my second-ever mini-brick: I rode 10 miles in 50 minutes (note to self: Self? You feel the wind a LOT more when riding. Hence, you get COLDER than when you are running. See note above about appropriate dress), froze my ASS off, and then did a 10:30 min/mile.

I will never get over what it feels like to get off a bike and then run. NEVER. Just picture yourself running with your feet in concrete. It's so funny, I think I actually laughed out loud. While trying to run. Two things that don't generally occur together in nature.

Biking is so much more fun than running. I'm sorry to say it, my running peeps, but it is. Even given the fact that after a short ride, certain, err, parts of my anatomy are, um ... not feeling so good. Good thing I've already got that daughter of mine!

In summation, for those of you following along at home:
Saturday: 10-mile crappy run;
Sunday: 2-mile hardcore hike, followed by 10-mile bike, followed by 10:30 mile run, followed by grocery shopping, followed by lasagna-making (the way my Italian father made it, with meat, AND hard-boiled eggs) in honor of NOD, even though meat is gross and I'm not doing her any favors by feeding it to her.

And that's a wrap.

Story. Of. Me. And. Running.

Only I'm much meaner to myself than this dude. (Thanks, Dawn!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Headphones While Running

I just can't get enough of this discussion (actually, I can).

Back in November, the AirDrives people were kind enough to send me a set of these newfangled headphones to review. I'm sure they're convinced that was money out the window, but I can assure them it wasn't!

I've been wearing those for about three months now (when I test, I really really test)


and there are good things and bad things about them.

According to the press release,
...have been selected as the officially-recommended earphones for 2008 Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon and the Emerald Across the Bay 12K in San Francisco. As you probably know, the USATF does not allow the use of headphones at its official races, and many other marathons are following suit.

...AirDrives earphones are audiologist approved for all-day listening based on the House Ear Institute and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards for sound pressure levels detected at the inner ear.

Their main selling point is that they do not block out noise. In fact, the earbuds sit just in front of your ears, so allow you to hear music or books or podcasts, along with ambient noise.

I can attest that this is precisely what they do. I can hear nature all around me, cars, bikes, other runners coming up behind (right before they pass me, sigh), while wearing these. If you can't hear what's going on around you while wearing these, you're going deaf.

Another selling point is that they are flexible, and are marketed as having "grips that adjust for precise fit and retention." In other words, they bend, so theoretically should give you the exact fit you need.

In actuality, I find myself endlessly adjusting them. Maybe I have weird ears (I do NOT!). Or maybe it's because I wear glasses. I don't know. It is a pain though. You'd think you'd mold them once to fit your ears and well, they'd stay fit. It's not like my ears change daily. But I find myself endlessly fiddling with them and they occasionally fall off.

The earpieces look like giant hooks, and well, they act like giant hooks too. Which means they're constantly getting tied up with the cord, getting stuck on stuff in your pocket or purse. (I know, I know, I'm so high maintenance!) They do come with a cute little carrying case, like anyone on earth is going to actually detach these after every use and carefully pack them away.

Despite these complaints, I'm sticking with these things because a) I really don't want to lose my hearing (there are enough things other things that I'm, what were we talking about again?) and 2) I forget what 2 was.

These puppies work. Thumbs up AirDrives!

Here's the stats:
• Frequency Range:
20-20,000 Hz

• Sensitivity:
95 dB at source
80 dB SPL at inner ear

• Impedance:
16 Ohm

• Maximum Power Input:

• Cable Length:
1.2m 4ft

• Jack:
3.5mm gold plated
stereo, 70 degree

• Speakers:
Neodymium rare earth magnets

• Acoustic Housing:

$99.95 (US) at Hammacher Schlemmer.

Read more reviews:
CNET: AirDrives Interactive Earphones Product Review: AirDrive Headphones

Plus, a little widget:

Now, let the headphone v. no headphone debate resume!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bike Me

Yesterday, D.C. Rainmaker generously spent about 14 hours with me (OK, three), teaching me how to change the tire on my bike. And then he taught me how to change the BACK tire, too! Because you know, it hadn't ever occurred to me that the back tire might go flat. There's all that stuff back there. Scary looking, complicated, bike stuff.

But before I ingratiated myself into his headquarters (watch your head or you'll hit the kayaks hanging from the ceiling, no kidding, is there any sport this man can't do??), he had to first TALK ME INTO GETTING THE BIKE INTO THE CAR. Which involved taking off the front tire. I actually printed out his directions and read them while performing. Cuz performing was what I was doing in my parking lot at work (where I keep my bike), trying to read while unscrewing this and moving the seat, and the pedals...well, heck, I'm might as well just share it all with you, should you ever have a need.

Tips for getting bike in back seat of car:

1) Take off front wheel.
2) Move forward passengers seat
3) Open rear passenger side door.
3A) Adjust the pedal so the left pedal is up, and the right pedal down.
4) Insert fork into the car first, in a downward motion towards where the right rear passengers feet would be
5) Right before your fork reaches the midpoint of the car, pull up on it (while now pushing your seat post down into the passenger foot well)
6) The fork should now be behind the drivers seat, angled up and slightly back - close to the left rear window
7) Adjust a bit so that the rear wheel is now in the right-rear foot well. The pedals should be at the mid-point of the car.

In theory, your bike will now be in the car. I can show you the trick as well once you arrive. I've yet to find a car (no matter how small, including some really tiny rentals) that it doesn't work on.

It worked. The man is a genius.

Now for the hard part, getting it back out. Ha.

No, the hard part was the changing the tire part, which, p.s. you are not actually changing at all, you're actually changing the TUBE inside the tire.

(Don't feel bad, we bikers know stuff like this.)

First, he pulled out a box of rubber gloves (I am so not making this up). Then the teensiest tool set I'd ever seen:
(4.99 at Performance Bikes.)

Plus, some tire-taker-off tool thingys:
(4.99 at Performance Bikes.)

This was gonna be good, watching him.

Oh, what's that? Who, me? You mean me? You pointing at ME? In his quiet, laid-back way, he started barking commands: Insert this, move that, squeeze this, align that.

I asked him how long it took him to change a tire. I think he said one minute. After an hour, I finally got the brake thing released. THEN, I started trying to remove the tire. (I could kick myself for not bringing a camera.)

Mr. Rainmaker is the perfect instructor. Unbelievably patient, thorough, and willing to stand by while watching me contort myself to perform the simplest maneuver. Like put a valve through a hole. I mean REALLY, how hard can that be?? I finally finished the front tire, and though it was getting late in the day, D.C. insisted I learn how to change the back tire.

And a few hours later I had finished!!

After accidentally breaking the valve. "Never mind," he said, "It will be good experience for you to change the tube at home." Err, right!

I was so excited I wanted to stop everyone I met and tell them that I, me, Jeanne, now know how to change a flat tire! And, not only that, I could also load a bike into a car. In fact, I did regale my lunch companions today with my prowess.

I feel so...clever! And exhausted!

So, today, I set out to fix the real flat that I had accidentally caused yesterday. Which required a trip to the bike shop to get some tape stuff...nevermind.

And an hour and a half later I had finished!

Obviously on a roll, I then tackled screwing on the cutest little bike pump (I had asked DCR, "Doesn't that require drilling??"), which, no, it did NOT require drilling, it just attached to the holes underneath the bottle holder.

Getting that bike pump holder on was so easy, I started feeling like maybe I just could build a house one day. Tools are our friends!

Carefully examine the two (unretouched) photos below.

(Son of a $#@!!)


The good news is: I can change a flat tire.

The bad news? By the time I finished, there was no time left to actually RIDE the bike, which I'm just guessing here, is kind of the point of all of this.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Celebrities, Parties, Thrills, Chills and Spills

I'm home.

It was fun visiting Austin, although what I mostly saw was the inside of the world's largest convention center. And it never failed, no matter which end I was at, I needed to be at the other end.

I left Austin late Wednesday (just as the music festival was gearing up, not that I minded missing MICHAEL STIPE! RICHARD THOMPSON! BILLY EFFING BRAGG!), which left time for one quick run, a morning movie, a drive to the hippie-dippie part of town, and brunch.

The first celebrity (not counting Dooce):
(Bex getting hit on by a Microsoft guy at the Microsoft party.)

Yes, Bex was my first celebrity meet-up, looking terrific as usual. She was there working, as was I, so we had limited time together, but met up most nights to trip the light fantastic.

More celebrities:
(R-L: Billionaire Mark Cuban interviews billionaire Michael Eisner about his new venture, Vuguru.)

Vuguru is some kind of internet-video thing that produces shows that no one (well, no one outside of that room) has ever heard of, like Prom Queen, and the soon-to-be-launched All-for-Nots, which I think is a show about a real band, called, curiously, the All-for-Nots.

Later that night, I went to the All-for-Nots coming out party:
(L-R: An all-for-not dude, maybe an all-for-not chick, and Michael Eisner.)

After hanging around for 1 1/2 hours, chatting with some lovely people, I left before the All-for-Nots made their appearance, because, well, I was bored silly. (Kind of like you are at this point.) Oh, and it was raining. And we were in a tent.

Wednesday morning dawned with blue skies and temps in the 50sF. I was determined to run in Austin before I left, so drove down to the River, which in Austin is called a Lake, and ran on a lovely bike and hike trail:

Where, halfway through my 3-mile run, I fell.


Time for a movie! I saw the premiere of "Throw Down Your Heart," about "banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo and record an album." I like Bela Fleck. Plus? It was the closest screening. (I give it a thumbs up.)

After that, I drove to S. Congress Street, which my new Austin friends (shown here at the famous "All-for-Not" party)

had assured me was the place to see and be seen.

I headed for brunch:

(A cheery welcome sign)

(World famous Magnolia Cafe. Yum, french toast and eggs!)

The perfect way to end my visit.

Now if only someone would explain this statue to me (I didn't have time to get out of the car to look):

And I leave you with this, a SXSW street scene:

Now I am off to learn how to change a tire—a bike tire, stay with me here—courtesy this guy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Still in Austin

Where I'm at the Interactive portion of the SXSW conference,and MY HOTEL has not had WI-FI in my room until tonight, my last night. THANKS, WYNDHAM GARDEN!

The weather has been crap since I got here...temps have hovering around 38F-45F. I might as well be home! The weather turned today, and became lovely, sunny, 70sF. And I was still inside ALL DAY LONG.

I planned my long run for Monday morning and a kindly Austin runner sent me a 13-mile out-and-back (thank you Facebook!) I duly awoke and dressed at 6:15 a.m., went down to the lobby (realizing when I got there that I had no money, or ID on me, cuz I'm clever that way), but it didn't matter, because it was raining cats and dogs. I ended up in the Wyndham's "fitness center"— a kind of cool glass house out by the pool, containing one treadmill, one recumbent bike, and one stairstepper. It was kind of like being outside in the rain without getting wet. So I cranked out six point something miles in an hour and change, watching the thunderstorm through the glass.

And that's my report on my first week of triathlon training! And my report on SXSW! No, just kidding, that's still to come. (Foretaste: I went to a party with Michael Eisner tonight. No really.)

Meanwhile, let me milk my two seconds of Dooce fame some more. And if, by chance, you don't happen to already be a Dooce fanatic, click here to learn more.

Click to enlarge to read her witty comment!! (PLUS SHE SAID SHE REALLY LIKED MY SCARF!)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

dooce, sxsw, austin 2008

Dooce chats with a few fans after her presentation, "Content Boundaries: A 12-Step Program," and also said she is writing a new book called, "It Sucked, and Then I Cried."

Well, yes. Who couldn't relate to that title?

Friday, March 07, 2008

And Away We Go!

I can't possibly leave the post below as the last thing before I take off for SXSW Interactive. I mean, what if something HORRIBLE happened, like I decided to MOVE to Texas—permanently???? Would I want that last post to be my legacy???

Plus, I'll be hobbing and nobbing with all sorts of VIPs. What if one of them googles me (God forbid)?

And I do happen to know for sure one BIG SECRET celebrity I'll definitely be meeting.

Runner Susan, I promise if I meet Dooce (Saturday, March 8th, she'll be at the Halcyon Coffee Shop, 218 W 4th Street, Austin, Texas 11 AM - 1 PM, unfortunately I get in at TWO; WHY IS LIFE SO UNFAIR????), I'll give her a big wet one for you.

I've brought 57 outfits for 4 days. Weather report says 38F Saturday morning, 70F later in the week, so I'm pretty much doomed. Of course, the whole event takes place in the Austin Convention Center, where the air conditioning is no doubt set at sub-zero.

MANY thanks to all the SICK PEOPLE at WORK (you know who you are) who dragged themselves in ...cuz I am now SICK AGAIN. I am sucking down this fizzy Airborne drink, even though it has been scientifically discredited. Desperate times, etc.

There's even a SXSW runners' group on facebook, so I'm hopeful I'll get my 13-miler in. Someone told me there's a route with peacocks at the end. I'm totally down with the peacocks.

With that, I leave you with this: instructions for my next sport:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How Not to Start Your Day

This morning's inbox at NBTR headquarters:

This is your Low threshold balance notification for your EXPRESS ACCESS CHECKING account.

Opening Balance, 03-06-2008 $0.84

Your account has fallen below $100

Thank you for subscribing to Wachovia Balance Alerts.


Only eight days to go....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Blog o' the Week

Since recipe o' the week died a premature death, I've turned to blog o' the week. Less work, and let's face it, definitely less mess.

I adore this guy over at ZenHabits. I really like this post, "Flip Your Karma: 8 Tricks to Turn the Bad Into Awesome," which may strike you as just more postive-thinking=mumbo-jumbo (and if so, what on earth is NBTR doing reading it???). But I need these kinds of reminders. Because I'm a born and bred pessimist. (BTW? I can't really DO any of the stuff on this list. That is, thankfully, totally beside the point.)


Monday, March 03, 2008

Back Away From the Low-Fat, Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Brought to you by Whole Foods.

This concoction quite obviously is laced with some illegal, addicting substance. For the record, I am vowing here and now, in front of God and everyone, NEVER TO BUY THIS STUFF AGAIN, because I can't be anywhere in the vicinity of it without scarfing it down like it was my last meal before I headed for the chair.


This just proves once again (as if there were any doubt) that you can be just as unhealthy being vegetarian as you can be by not being vegetarian.

Other fun stuff that is happening:

I went to my first official tri orientation on Saturday. And I have a tri-mentor! Who finished Ironman Wisconsin last fall. I haven't met her, but she has already sent me a 10-page e-mail trying to answer all my questions (lotsa luck).

I learned a few things at the tri orientation.

For instance: Did you know that you DON'T WEAR A BATHING SUIT during the triathlon swim? Because if you did? You'd be changing out of it, as in BUTT NAKED, outside, into some kind of bike riding get-up, in front of a whole lotta people.

Who knew?

I don't really understand the whole tri-apparel thing. It's very mysterious.

Also, I don't yet know how to change a flat tire, which makes me wary of going out for any kind of longish ride (long being more than 10 miles, don't laugh). I asked at one local bike shop if they'd teach me how, and they said sure, for $50. Bastards.

My "official" tri training starts March 10, which is a shame, because I'll be in AUSTIN, Texas, from March 7-12, attending this for work. I may be doing a bit of reporting, so I need to bring a video camera, a digital recorder, digital camera, and a laptop.

After I get out of prison for trying to bring all of that on a plane, I'll need to get a 13-mile run in, which means I need to bring all my running crap. Plus all my swim crap, cuz I'm going to take a wild guess that there just might possibly be a pool somewhere in Austin?

Texas is like a foreign country to me. Do I need a passport? (E-mail me at jeanne.notborntorun AT if you live in Austin!)

And I'm having a major what-to-wear freak out. The dress code is hipster-geek, (a term approved by the Wall Street Journal, no less). Plus, it's 90F there, and, I don't know about your summer clothes, but I have no idea what I wore last summer, because apparently I got rid of everything I owned.

That's all I've got people. Kudos, condolences; both accepted.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My So-Called Life

A long long time ago, I used to blog. Then I got sick. Then I got depressed. Then I went seven long days without posting, and without working out.

Seven days is a long time to not write, it turns out. And even though I seemingly only leave my house to go to work and church, enough seems to happen to me that I hardly know how to start back up. But, I'll give it a go.

First, I'm not depressed anymore (well, not totally; let's face it, I'll never be exactly chipper).

My nose is still running.

I finally bought new running shoes: the charmingly named New Balance 1023s—recommended by the charming Andre of GottaRun—which are supposed to cure my PF and my bunion pain.


And I finally replaced my running tights that have had giant holes in the knee for several years. Huzzah.

And I discovered that the pool I swim in is definitely not 25 yards—it's 25 METERS! Double huzzah.

And I did every workout on my schedule this week, including a very sucky 11-mile-run today (see? I really AM back).

A Story

My YMCA offered a free fitness evaluation on Wednesday, which I took after running four miles on the TVmill. They were also offering a free swimming evaluation so I was very excited.

And here are the results:

Weight: 165 (I have gained 10 pounds since oh, December)
Height: 5'9" (not shrinking as I age!)
BP: 120/76

Body Fat: 28.5 percent, which put me in the 60th percentile for 51-year-old women, which is apparently considered low (I don't THINK so). Am told my goal body fat is 22 percent.

CardioThat would be that thing I've been concentrating on for the past three years?— I did a 3-minute step test: after which my heart rate was 150, which got me a cardio rating of: poor. Target rate: 116-120.

Muscle endurance: Excellent (?) How many curl-ups in one minute? 40=excellent (here's where I realize exactly how BOGUS this test is, since I have no abdominal muscles at all).
How many push-ups (girly ones) in one minute: 20=excellent (it so does not).

Sit and reach test: I was in the 30th percentile for women my age. Equals? Poor.

So then I moved on to the FREE SWIMMING EVALUATION, which had been advertised for two days and which I had asked the staff about before I went to run, and then again before I did my fitness evaluation. This question confused the staff, (not an uncommon state of affairs; sorry but it's true). But I did as I was instructed, which was go change into my suit, and come back INTO THE LOBBY, while they searched for the person who would do the swim eval.

And I waited. In the lobby. Thankfully I had a very large towel.

The staff, after much running about, instructed me to go to the pool.

Which seemed entirely reasonable.

But the staff there were also confused by the words "swim evaluation." Finally, one of the lads (the pool manager) asked me to wait a minute, went to retrieve a YMCA program book (??), came back, asked me how many laps I can swim, and told me which class I was qualified for.



A Package in the Mail!

Many many moons ago, it was my birthday, and someone who lives her life upside down remembered reading about how my mother once sent me (the vegetarian) some frozen meat, and so this person sent me this

to make up for it.

It's meat-flavored (?) masking tape. Bacon, I think, and wieners. Minus the blood. And the killing part.

And this person enclosed a lovely note, which I reproduce below in whole (I am not making this up):

Which I think confirms everything we already know about this person.

I could write much more but I'm sure you people have lives.