Friday, August 29, 2008

What Brought on That Rant Was

Last Saturday's brick, at which I biked 16 miles and then ran 3. Only I really wanted to RUN 3 miles, and I ended up walking at mile 2.5 on and off to the end.

Before I gave in to walking, one chick actually ran up beside me and said "I'll run with you, you're running a good pace."

Wow, what a compliment! Any NORMAL person would be thrilled. Instead, I thought, oh she's in for a surprise. Because I had already decided to start walking at the corner. And then I saw someone else start walking. And when I see someone else start walking, it really sucks the life outta me.

Why do I let what other people do affect me? Why can't I be pleased with what I did, which was better than what I did last time??

I know why: I'm mental!!

Today Number One Daughter left on her European Odyssey: Frankfurt, Sevilla, Portugal, Croatia, Istanbul, Greece. Here's a travel tip for those of you living or visiting Washington, D.C.: There are TWO airports here and they are miles apart and it's a REALLY GOOD THING to know which one your plane is leaving from.

Strike a pose.


Ponytail flying amIgonnamakeit???

Monday I plan on riding 56 miles, up this. I'm pretty scared, but my tri peeps talked me into it.

...includes just about the meanest climb you will find in this section of the country. This ride is NOT for the faint hearted!

If I make it, I'll have mad bragging rights.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dear Running

I've tried.

I've really really tried.

I've done


No matter how outrageous.

And what do I get back??

I get out of breath. I get 11 minute plus miles. My leg hurts. My foot hurts. Sometimes I get 14 min miles (but that's only when it really counts).

When do you start pulling your weight? WHEN? How long must I beat my head against the wall?

You've told me to run at a "conversational pace." Alternatively, you've told me that to run faster, I have to run faster. You've told me to pay attention to my body (associative). You've told me to tune my body out and pay attention to my surroundings (dissociative). You told me to run with an iPod. You've told me to run without an iPod.

You'll say anything apparently, won't you? Cuz that's what YOUR KIND does best. You lying, cheating dog.

I don't ask for much.

I don't need to set any speed records.

Just a few 9 min miles.

Or how about we compromise: I run three miles and you make it, oh, I don't know, how about, say, ENJOYABLE???

This is your final warning.

And then? I'm gonna kick your ass.


Until you shape up, you know where to find me.

Not amused,


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ironman Canada

Your favorite rainmaker and mine, D.C. Rainmaker, is showing us all how its done at Ironman Canada (Bib 186) today, in Penticton (I love saying that name, I don't know why) British Columbia.

Go leave him some comment love, and virtual cowbell.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday on My Mind

I'm trying to use up 11 years worth of accumulated vacation hours by taking as many Fridays off as I can.

It's my little prescription to save my sanity and the sanity of those around me. Good in theory. My only problem is that I am a really crappy planner.

So today is my second Friday off. And? I have no plans.

Possible things I could do today:

1. I'm sitting in my living room surrounded by piles of clothes that need folding, 5 days of newspapers that need to be read or chucked (why do I buy it and NOT read it??!?!), a bedroom that needs what you might call SERIOUS tidying, and a kitchen that we started to re-do (we stripped the wallpaper--and let the glue fell on the floor because surely I'd be getting a new floor soon? But no. So it landed and hardened.) three months ago.

2. Read blogs.

3. I could go pay for a Reiki session, but it's not cheap and really, what exactly IS IT?

4. I could try to find a yoga class.

5. I live in a city with a boatload of the best museums in the world. And they're all free!

6. Go see a movie already!

7. I could clean.

8. I should really really clean.

9. Write a blog post!

10. Write a desperately overdue letter.

11. Call your mother!!!

Here's what I've done so far:

1. Starbucks. Grande decaf skim latte, extra hot.

2. Read blogs.

Now it's 11:10 and I've wasted four hours of my day already, doing nothing, but not the good kind of nothing. (This post is even boring ME, David, so save your breath.)

Because this is a "fitness" blog, I'll report on the rest of my week, since you asked.

Sunday: Ran five miles, no walking, 11:06 min. miles. Yay me.

Monday: Flat on bike at 6 a.m. Another early morning call to Number One Daughter! No time to run at work. But ran around a lot AFTER work because NOD is GOING TO EUROPE FOR A MONTH before she starts her full-time job. So, that's like 10 workouts right there. (By the way, if anyone knows anyone in Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Istanbul, or Greece, gimme a shoutout. She's going with two girlfriends, and they are backpacking and staying in youth hostels. I AM SO NOT JEALOUS. And so NOT WORRIED.)

Tuesday: Swam 1200 yards. Still slower than B.C. (Before swim Class). Forgot to run. After work, visited D.C. Rainmaker who generously GAVE me a RE-FUSE tire, and watched me put it on, AFTER I (accidentally!) slammed my car into the brick post that holds up his balcony. I'm sure I didn't do any structural damage. I guess he'll find out when he returns from IRONMAN CANADA! GO RAY!

Wednesday: Rode 10.20 miles—NO flat! I still can't seem to get up any speed (seriously Jeanne? You? Can't go fast??) riding on the streets around my neighborhood, which are all major arteries. I'm terrified every time I go out, so maybe I'm going slower on purpose? Maybe?

Wednesday: Ran 3 miles, tempo:


Still no walking. I should probably be adding distance, but my Secret Plan is to get good at three miles so that I don't start to hate running again and THEN add miles. I'll be sure to let you know how that works out. Oh, I also gave up running with the iPod.

Thursday: 1400 yard swim. Still slower than BC. Sigh. Went to last Swim Class after work and swam about 1 million laps there.

(But can I lose one pound?? I CANNOT.)


Saturday: Ride 18 miles, run 5k. It's the D.C. Tri Brick-nic.

I'm exhausted. I think it's just about naptime.

(This song makes me smile.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Sometimes your friends know what you need better than you do. I learned that twice over the weekend.

Lesson One: My weekend started on Friday when a friend asked me if I wanted to spend the day on the Eastern Shore (of Maryland), about 1 1/2 hours away. I'm on a new kick: I'm trying to say "Yes," when my natural instinct is to always say "No." So I did something I NEVER do: I took the day off and went with her.

D. asked me to name three things I wanted to do. I said "Yoga, massage, and NAP."

So while D. took care of some business, I went to The Spa at Glenwood, without an appointment, and had one of the best massages of my life. For $60, I went to the Zone. To another place entirely. And, like the good multi-tasker I am, I also knocked out a nap in the process. Two outta three! Before noon!

After that, we went here,

had crab cake sandwiches, wandered around, and looked at jellyfish here:

Had some ice cream. Stopped at a fruit stand.

In other words, we did nothing! For an entire day!

At the end of the day we started looking for a nice park so that D., who is an aspiring Reiki-practitioner, could practice on me. (Don't worry, I don't really understand Reiki either.) Finding a secluded public place where no one would notice two women carrying pillows and a yoga mat turned out to be not so easy. We ended up in a lovely church graveyard off the main highway.

D in a pensive moment.

Reiki is supposed to tap into your natural energy to help you heal yourself. It was a deeply relaxing experience, as I laid on the leaves looking up through a canopy of trees in this holy place—even as I was being eaten alive by bugs. I just went with it.

What I really needed on Friday was peace, quiet and relaxation, and a day far away from work and training.

The Perfect Day. Thanks, D..

Lesson Two: Saturday.

Saturday I rode 27 miles with three D.C. Tri chicks.
Under the sweet exterior are two hardcore biker chicks, Joanna and Karen.

The saintly Jennifer.

We rode this route:

Georgetown, out Reservoir Road to MacArthur Blvd to Falls Road through some neighborhoods back to MacArthur. In case you were interested.

Around mile 5 or so, I noticed my heart racing at 95% max. So I mentioned it to my friends, just in case I keeled over. I couldn't bring it down. I felt dizzy and weird, and my heart felt like it was doing some weird skips. All this before the first big hill. But I hung on, thinking, as do most women I know, that it would "just clear up by itself." Luckily for me, the saintly Jennifer refused to leave me, despite me pleading with her to go on ahead. Sure, leave me here, to die of a heart attack. As if!

Jennifer asked me if I would leave her if the situation were reversed. I think not! She hung in there for the slowest ride of her life and got me back to her house. After hanging on her front stoop for a while my heart finally slowed down. So I told Jennifer I planned to spend the rest of the day in the pool learning flip turns.

At which point she looked at me and said, "Have you always been this psycho??!"

Err, that would be an affirmative.

So I scrapped the flip-turning plans, and instead practiced more napping.

Somewhere amidst all that mayhem Jennifer invited me to a chi-chi party at her place that night. In chi-chi Georgetown.

Which I totally went to, because, hey, if your time is up, it may as well be up at a charming wine-and-cheese party, right? Plus we have the new "say yes" rule.
Jennifer, left, the girl who saved my life.

A sparkling night in Georgetown.

Sunday was packed with church, a barbecue, a 5-mile run with NO WALKING—and no racing heart—and my second-to-last swim class, the class where each week I learn just how much I suck at swimming.

6 Sunday, August 17th Review, Use of Equipment / Energy Systems

7 Thursday, August 21st Review, Starts/Race Strategy/ Other Strokes

Ya gotta have friends, people.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Flew Over...

OK, yesterday I was Debbie Downer. I was done, everything sucked, nothing would ever get better—ever. But when I went to bed, I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. just in case, by some strange freakish twist, I felt like working out. I had every intention of rolling over and sleeping in.

But apparently, somewhere along the way, I began to associate the 5:30 a.m. alarm with—are ya ready for this?—getting out of bed.

So I did.

I got up, got out, got on the bike and rode for 45 minutes, a new route.

It was a beautiful route. I started having fun again (in between moments of visualizing my gory death by Lexus out in tony Potomac, Maryland).

I got all the way through it until five minutes from home...FLAT!!! My third in 7 days. WTF?!?!

But I didn't let the flat throw me (literally). I just rode home on it.

But enough about that. Here's the really exciting news:

I'm IN!!

What happened was: I was on the wait list for the Annapolis Tri, Sept. 7, which was canceled; then the race director of Nation's (Sept. 14) decided to accept everyone who was signed up for Annapolis, except surely that did not include those on the waiting list, right? Wrong! A few e-mails later, I was in!

And just like that, my mood changed to this:

What can I say? One day I'm down and the next day I'm up (note to self: adjust meds).

But you all knew that already.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Whinery

6 a.m. swim: Practiced Total Immersion ("The revolutionary way to swim!") for 100m, as per swim coach's instructions, then swam for 30 minutes. IT SUCKED. I didn't think it was possible, but I have actually gotten slower.

5:30 p.m. Ran 3 miles, no walking: 32:48. Less suckage, but not pleasant. And couldn't go 'til late in the day, so now I'll be late getting home. Then late getting to eat, then late getting to bed, then I get to be tired again tomorrow!

I am still trying to figure out how to get in 2 quality swims a week, 3 runs, 2 decent bike rides, and 2 swim classes.

I am exhausted all the time, sick to DEATH of working, can't fit everything in, can't decide on my next race, and I have a long long LONG list of other complaints, but I don't have time to go into them now. When you don't even have time to COMPLAIN, you got a problem!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Swim, Bike, Walk with Bike, and Run: The Quadrathon!

Yesterday was D.C. Tri's last training tri of the summer. I wanted to compare my time to my first training tri. Also, I wanted to try out my new "no walking" regimen. Plus, I wanted to try out whatever it is I've managed to learn in my swimming classes the past 4 sessions.

I had a Big Order to fill yesterday, people.

I got up at 4:15, took care of bizness, loaded the car, and got to Haine's Point around 6ish, nabbed the best parking place and the best transition spot (always thinking of others...). Soon enough others starting trickling in, including some new folks, and because I am now a graduate of the New Triathlete Program, I could actually tell people what to expect (they thought I knew things! HA HA). Not only that, but two people forgot a pump, so I ran to my car, got mine and lent it out! And another person forgot to eat breakfast so I gave her a Cliff Bar!

I'm a freakin' SAINT!!!

It was gorgeous yesterday, blue skies, slight wind, must have been in the high 70s. I decided on a new strategy yesterday, after there being so much DRAMA over what to wear during the New Jersey State tri. Yesterday, for the First Time Ever, I wore only my running bra and my tri shorts for the swim. (Yes, I know. But hey, at least I didn't have to look at me.)

The swim went well; no collisions. We did 400 in a 50 meter pool, so I tried to practice one part of the 900 parts of swimming in each lane. I'm guessing it took me about 11 minutes, give or take.

Ran to the bike, put on helmet, sox and shoes...and then tried to put my D.C. Road Runners tank top on. Over the helmet. Sigh. Remove helmet, try again.

I actually liked swimming in the bra top and then adding a regular top afterwards. Once I get the helmet thing under control, I think this system will work.

On the back of my D.C. Road Runners tank, it says,
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

It's cute.

Started slowly on the bike, but I was feeling GOOD. I noticed that pedaling felt harder than usual but attributed that to a strong headwind. A headwind that seemed to be coming at me no matter what direction I went. When, la-de-da, around mile 4 of 16.8, something felt amiss. It could not be ANOTHER flat. Not two days after my first one, could it???

It could.

But, no problem, I'll just whip out my spare...which I just used on Wednesday...and hadn't yet replaced. Son of a $#!!~#

This is what I get for being NICE TO PEOPLE?!!! HELLO UP THERE???

I wasted 10 minutes trying to use a C02 cartridge to inflate my dead tube, thinking maybe...the hole in the tube would heal itself? Didn't matter, couldn't get cartridge to work. (That's because I hadn't read these most excellent directions!.)

So many many people flying by me and just about every single one asked if I was OK. I heart my D.C. Tri Club.

And then started the Long Walk back, in cleats. I was only about 2 miles away from transition. I was kinda mad though.

Got to transition, told them I was O-U-T, and then said I was gonna run anyway (can't have the day be a total loss. Plus there was a barbecue afterwards). So I ran the entire way, a first. Of course it's entirely possible that I didn't need to walk because I hadn't, in fact, biked. But still! I'll take what I can get.

5k time: 33:59 (10:54) (July 2008: 36:50 (11:53))

The barbecue was fantastic, although I don't think I'll ever get used to eating lunch at 9:30 a.m. So I had three donut holes and water, and headed ... straight to the bike store where I bought 50 tubes (OK, four), and spent the afternoon on my balcony changing my rear tire. Over and over. Til I could do it in my sleep! Sort of! I have yet to get the hang of the cartridge thing though.

Meanwhile, today, Sunday:
Running: Today was my "long run": 4 miles, no walking. I did it. In 43:33. I'm just going to add one mile a week to my long runs, try to do one day of speed work, in addition to two other runs of some length (tbd), and hope for the best.

Tonight is swim class, where we will be focusing on "Pulling /Acceleration / Sculling." I'm really interested in that middle thing.

And that, my friends, is that.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Run, Swim, Bike

The run/no walk plan is going well. Three runs, three miles each, and no walking. And the pace wasn't too shabby either.
Friday: 11:13 min. miles
Sunday: 10:38
Tuesday: 10:53

I decided I need to do some kind of "speed" work, so on Tuesday tried to run the 2nd mile harder than the first or the third. What is that, a tempo run? Is it 1x1600?? I dunno what it's called in runner lingo. I did it though.

Will this help? Don't know that either! I'm trying to run every other day, which means on some days I have to do TWO things. Brutal.

I'm taking a swim class at American University with my tri club, which I equally dread and look forward to. It's a 7-session class. The first night we learned to curl into a ball and not breathe and find our "dry spot." Then you extend arms and legs out and try to keep the dry spot. You find your balance by pushing your chest down and keeping your head down so your ass isn't dragging. (It's a lot to remember!) The second night we learned how to do drills on our side. You turn on your right side, extend your right arm out, turn your head to face the bottom of the pool, and your left arm stays straight along the left side of your body. Now kick sideways to get to the other end of the pool. Then you reverse and do it the other way. Oh and when you breathe, you have to look at the ceiling yet keep your forehead in the water.

Don't ask me, I just follow instructions! But I did get some funny looks when I practiced on my own.

Here's what's we're learning:
1 Thursday, July 31st Posture/Line/Balance

2 Sunday, August 3rd Review, Rotation/Recovery/Breathing

3 Thursday, August 7th Review, Pulling /Acceleration / Sculling

4 Sunday, August 10th Review, Kicking / Turns

5 Thursday, August 14th Review, Use of Equipment

6 Sunday, August 17th Review, Use of Equipment / Energy Systems

7 Thursday, August 21st Review, Starts/Race Strategy/ Other Strokes

I had my first flat this morning! I got up extra early so I could get a good hour in before the traffic started up. Five miles out I got a flat, which curiously feels pretty much like a flat on a car feels. No problem-o! I have all the equipment, along with the superior knowledge needed, including two CO2 CO2 cartridges, in order to change a simple flat. Ha. I had however never actually used CO2 CO2 cartridges. Somehow they deployed by looking at them. Lucky for me Number One Daughter was home and came out to pick me up at 6:40 with a smile on her face (NOT). Changed tire at work, no ride today!

Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide what to do next.

Saturday is another training tri (have mercy). The Annapolis Tri on Sept 7 has been turned into a swim/run, so that's out, which is just as well since I was only on the waiting list.

There's this on Sept. 7:
Patriot's International, Williamsburg, but I wrote to the director to ask about cut-off times, and it's 4 hours, with a 3-hour cut off for the swim and bike together. I THINK I can make it!

And this, on Sept. 28, which sounds like total fun (except for the swimming, biking and running part):

Naylor's Beach Triathlon
, which claims, "The post race food is way above average: crab cakes, BBQ, tofu burgers are among the usual menu suspects! 2 additional awards are the best dressed tri outfit award and the connector award." (A connector award?)

And I'd like to toss some road races in there somewhere.

So many races, so little time.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Run Don't Walk

Just as I was slowly coming down from my triathlon high, this e-mail landed in my inbox:
I helpfully circled the part in red that you should carefully read. And in case you can't read it, it says "Introducing the Best of the Blogs. Jeanne Not Born to Run, blah blah blah.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Title Nine Sports asked me a while ago if they could feature one of my posts in their new blog, Take Timeout With Title Nine. Who's gonna say no to a request like that? Of course!! I said yes and promptly forgot about it.

A few days ago I got a note letting me know that the blog would be up and running soon. That's nice, I thought. The next thing I know, I'm on Title Nine's homepage, and in their newsletter!


This kind of stuff NEVER HAPPENS TO ME!

There's even a cherry on top: A nice Title Nine gift card.

So there is my 15 minutes of fame. And lest you think I'm a total tool for fawning over them, let me direct you to a long-ago post where I actually wrote about Title Nine and their great bras, on my own initiative, before they gave me stuff. They seriously do have the best bras around, with a cute little barbell rating system. (The more barbells, the bigger the girls, with the less bounce.)

In less exciting developments, I have declared all-out war on running. I am determined to get better at running, and to eliminate taking walk breaks FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER. I mean there's nothing wrong with walking, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with run/walking or walk/running, except that I don't want to take walk breaks. Only I must want to because I'm constantly walking during my runs. Except I honestly don't want to walk. So then why do I KEEP WALKING during runs?!?!?!? (SEE? Like that. Constantly. In. My. Brain.)

So here's my plan: I am going to run 3 miles over and over and over again until I get over the urge to walk, and I don't care if it takes me the rest of my life.

Today was day 2 of run/no walk 3 miles. So far, so good!