Friday, September 26, 2008

Random Friday

1. I'm back from Austin.

2. Met AJ.

3. She's funny.

4. Austin is great.

5. Went on run with aj, and the entire TOWN was out running. At night.

6. Talked to the Ironwoman Coach Tammy (newly moved to Austin from Seattle--the last place I didn't see her) by phone--but she was TOO BUSY getting her ph.d. on to come to dinner with us.

7. Austin is not near Houston.

8. Austin should totally be on a coast. Preferably the east coast.

9. Got the best haircut of my life here.

10. Immediately put on a hat and ruined it by going running.

11. Sat in conference room all day yesterday.

12. Award for best snacks at a conference: Chocolate milk, ho-hos, twinkies, and those red snowball things. No actual food products were served.

13. I feel like a cow.

14. I have no training plan.

15. I found CrossFit near my house. It's intense. Not sure how much it costs.

16. I need to do the 100 pushup challenge

17. Or I could check out the Y.

18. Cuz don't forget I need to work on my swimming.

19. And running.

20. And biking.

21. Am seeing Tri nutritionist on Oct. 6.

22. And getting colonoscopy on Oct. 10.

23. David Byrne played in Austin last night. I could have gone, HAD I KNOWN.

24. How is it possible that I manage to leave town the DAY BEFORE Austin City Limits starts?

25. David Byrne is coming to D.C. the day my annual SILENT RETREAT ends.

26. David Byrne obviously has a thing for me.

27. Tomorrow I'm going to Bike D.C. ("a noncompetitive, community bike ride through 17 car-free miles of Washington, DC.") and then going to the National Book Festival where I hope to see Alexander McCall Smith (I'm a sucker for a man in a kilt). Wanna come?

28. It's supposed to rain tomorrow.

29. Am toying with thinking about doing this, which aj is doing next week.

30. Please stop me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Savageman Results

Click to enlarge. I will let you guess the name of our relay team. When our runner came in, the announcer said he couldn't say it out loud because there were children around. Z's response: "My work here is done."

Just back from the fab Savageman weekend and my relay. I did the 1.5 swim (shaving 6 minutes off my Nation's Tri swim last weekend, yay!), Z. did a ridiculously hilly 40k on the bike, and S. ran a mind-numbing hilly 10k. We might not be the speediest but we are DEFINITELY the most fun.

Here we are hanging with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. Or quite possibly hanging on.

Pre-swim in the foggy foggy morning. Deep Creek Lake.

Mayor Fenty sets off on the run of his half. Looking DAMN good.

More photos here; more details to come.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Draw your own conclusions.

I love a man who cooks. Someone marry this man.

Rockin' out. Deer in headlights.

It's business time.

Assistant chef Lindsey.


Smug? Or happy? You decide.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nation's Tri Race Report

This race was about the run for me. I knew I wouldn't PR on the swim, thought I might hold steady on the bike, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to nail the run. Nothing insane, just RUN it.

But, as we all know, you play the cards you are dealt, and you run the race that's before you.

I'll skip all the logistical crap, except to say: it was kind of a mess.

Saturday, the day before the race, was packet-pickup day at a downtown hotel, mandatory bike-racking day, scope-out parking day, practice-swim-in-Potomac day and D.C. Tri's athlete dinner. Too much.

Cleverly, I decided to pick up my packet on Friday afternoon. No crowds, no muss, no fuss, in and out!

Bike racking went fine.

None of my PEEPS were doing the practice swim and I almost bagged it but a last-minute call from this guy reminded me that I needed to do what I needed to do, nevermind what everyone else was doing (your mother: "if all your friends jump off a bridge (or in this case, DON'T jump) does that mean you have to??") So I went for it.

I stood by the floating docks trying to summon up my courage to jump into the river (I don't jump, people, ever. I climb), and promptly stepped into a hole, fell, and twisted my foot. Three elderly gents sat with their feet hanging over the riverbank, watching the shenanigans. They were extremely solicitous, asking if I was OK, and telling me not to get hurt before the race even started. Duh. If I were suspicious, I might have taken my fall as an omen and called it quits. What I am is stubborn. I was determined to get in that water.

So I just...jumped! I had a great swim and it helped build my confidence. I headed home, showered, took massive amounts of ibuprofen, and iced and taped my foot, on which I was now limping. I drove back downtown to the athlete's dinner, where I was a total grouch and left early because my foot hurt like a mo'fo. If I couldn't WALK, how the hell was I going to run??


Up at 4:00, at transition by 5:45. I parked about a mile away, and LIMPED my way there, trying not to think about running. My backup plan was to do the swim and the bike and see what my foot felt like after that.

I met up with Nancy, and Minime (she goes by several names). Nancy and I were in the very last wave, 50+, scheduled for 8:30. We sat around and watched the sun rise. Minime sat with us and I talked her down a few times, since this her first Olympic and you know, I'm such an expert and all.

We waited 1 trillion more years, some of them in my wetsuit, which I think I lost 10 lbs in, just standing in the heat. Somewhere along the way, I noticed my foot had stopped hurting. Didn't want to jinx it, so I didn't think about it. I lurrrve my age group, because they are pretty damn laid back (at least in this race).

Jump! We hung in the water for a while, waiting for a horn or a countdown or something. At one point the official yelled for people to move back. Then he yelled "go" without a countdown. It was a weird start. The swim map was misleading.

I had memorized this map. Under the bridge, turn left, bridge on left, turn left, back.

Well ... no. Under the bridge and ....keep swimming til you get to the NEXT bridge. Further than expected. But I plowed on. The course was not well marked but if you kept the riverbank to your right, you were fine. Yay me, I managed to pass a few people. I've been trying to focus on how many strokes it takes me to get across the pool--something like 25. So I decided to just count to 25, and each 25 would be one length of the pool. That sort of helped. Unfortunately, I was so focused on finishing that I forgot to revel in the fact that I was swimming in the Potomac and I completely MISSED swimming past the Lincoln Memorial, a vantage point you don't often get. I freestyled the whole way, only stopping a few times to get my bearings.

It was hard to see the last buoy so I started heading for the ladders too soon. The last buoy was a little past the ladders (or so it seemed) and you had to go around it and then swim left into shore. Climb out into and BOING get your fab swim exit photo, exhibit A:

When does the short bus leave?

It was a long run back to transition, and I heard my name called, and there was Number One Daugher's Boyfriend! Awwww! So my transition time includes me running over in a rubber wetsuit with those goggles on to give him a kiss. The volunteers thought I'd lost my mind and was going the wrong way. Ha.

Nancy was gone, and I was slow. A long run to bike out.

It was hot, and a lot of the course was in the sun. I usually love riding, and especially on streets--MY STREETS!! MY TOWN!!!--that are closed to traffic. But I wasn't feeling it today. Past all the monuments, some twists and turns and then a long out and back.

It was gorgeous and any other time I would have been deliriously happy. Unlike New Jersey, I was NOT the last one and I was not alone. I even passed a few people. But I was just not feeling it, as evidenced by my speed of 14mph. I felt oddly detached but I tried VERY hard to appreciate the beauty around me, stay in the moment, not fret about time or worry about the run. A non-racing biker came up to me while out on Cabin John Parkway and said, "I hope you know how lucky you are to be riding these roads with no cars." Indeed I did know!

Yep. I was there!

Today was all about the run for me. My foot had miraculously healed, but unfortunately it was now hotter than Hades. I was SO DETERMINED to run this I can't even tell you. This was MY run, I've run Haine's point a million times, I KNEW this and I KNEW I could do it. I decided to just take it slow and not worry about time, but just not walk (aid stations excepted). Aid was promised every mile, but it was more like 1 1/2 miles apart. I was running with the lame and the halt. We were a sad bunch. Everyone was miserable, the sun was unrelenting, there was really no shade. D.C. Tri had a water station at 2 1/2 miles and my peeps B. and S. (ha ha, no not BS!) were there with words of encouragement. SO HAPPY TO SEE THEM! I kept up my trudge until about mile 5 where I gave in to walking. But my walks were short and I got RIGHT back into running. So props to me for that. There were two misting tents along the way--glorious! A lot of camaraderie on the run. About four blocks from the finish my savior N. saw me, jumped in and told me no more walking. I almost cried with gratitude. It's absolutely AMAZING what the encouragement of another person can do for you. I managed to pick up the pace a bit and hold onto it for a nice strong finish.

Sometimes it's really NOT about the time, it's about the effort. I was disappointed with my time, but I know I did my best. What more can you do?

More logistics:
I met up with Minime at the finish, and met her parents (Minime: "Mom, Dad, MEET MY 51-YEAR OLD FRIEND." I AM NOT KIDDING!) and could have joined the post-race D.C. Tri party, but I was exhausted and just wanted to get home. You had to wait in line for a bus back to transition. While waiting an ambulance came and took someone away who was busy passing out in the heat. The heat was nothing to fool around with. There was a lot of bitching about the logistics. Waiting 1/2 hour for a bus after racing for 4 hours--not fun. And the bus didn't drop us at transition, but more like 1/2 mile away (at the WWII Memorial). So it was along slog back, then another long slog back to the car walking my bike with wetsuit piled on top of it and a very heavy backpack on my back.

Someone asked me the next day if I had fun. Since I am still having trouble answering that question, I guess that means no. I wasn't miserable, but no, it wasn't fun. But I'm glad I did it and I'd definitely do it again. Because I know I can do better.

bib number: 3150
age: 51
gender: F
location: BETHESDA, MD
overall place: 2260 out of 2398
division (ATHENA, all ages) place: 66 out of 84 (had I competed in my age group, would have been 32/40)
gender place: 852 out of 955
time: 4:08:27
pace: 0:
swim: 48:07
t1: 5:11
bike: 1:45:43 (14.1 mph)
t2: 3:49
run: 1:25:39 (13.49 min/miles)

Meanwhile (still with me David?), I have one last tri this weekend: I'm doing the swim leg of a relay at Savageman, but more importantly am staying in a house with my great D.C. Tri friends. Fun will be had.

What's Next?
My goals for the "off" season? I'd like to keep focusing on running, maybe run the Fredericksburg Blue Gray Half; I absolutely MUST work on my swimming, and of course, I need to work on biking!

Plus I'd like to get some weight training in, and some yoga, and start meditating.

Right after I quit my day job.

Not the Race Report, Something Better

I just can't seem to get around to writing it. Oh well, it will come eventually. Meanwhile, get thee hither to this FANTASTIC BLOG written by Number One Daughter, detailing her European travels. It's hilarious (often unintentionally so) if I do say so myself. Go, leave her some comment love, she's new at this blogging thing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nation's Tri Photos

I am so tired. I did nothing today but get an overpriced, bad massage. So I'll save the gory details til later.

Meantime, enjoy these candids:

Me racking bike right next to the famous Nancy Toby! What are the chances?? I am obviously extremely busy selling low and buying high. We had to rack the bikes the Saturday before because there was ABSOLUTELY NO RACKING on Sunday morning. Except for those people who racked on Sunday. Rules were made to be broken, apparently! (Photo courtesy Nancy Toby)

Still upright at mile 2.5 (I think) of the 10k, at the fabulous D.C. Tri Club water stop on Haine's point. The 67-year old man in the background (right) smokes me while I hold a long conversation. About what, I have no idea.

Same place, look, I'm even smiling! Cuz my peeps Bryan and Sandy were there to talk me off the ledge! I am soooo happy to see people I know! Photos courtesy the CHIANG

And then we have the finish line. Where I am in a wet t-shirt, and my girls seem to have taken on a life of their own. You could put an eye out with those things!
I am ONLY posting this because I believe in an unfettered press. I would pay money for someone to photo-jack this. Me, and minime, finish. She's sooo cute! Her first Olympic!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nation's Tri Results

I smell bad.

But here are the numbers!

Swim 1.5k: My watch said 46:05, but the so-call "official result": 48:07 (NJ: 46:42 51:53)

T1: 5:11 (It was a looong run in and out)

Bike: 40K: 1:45 /14.1 mph (NJ Bike39K: 1:32:53 15 mph)

T2: 3:49

Run: 10K 1:25/13:49 min. mile (NJ run 10K: 1:27:01 14:02/min mile)

Total Nation's, Sept. 14, 2008: 4:08:27

Total New Jersey State Triathlon, July 27, 2008: 3:54:54

I give myself my Happy medal, since I finished uninjured. (Although I didn't start uninjured. I twisted my foot at yesterday's practice swim. It hurt all night and this morning, but by the time I started, it felt fine. Too bad, cuz I would totally have blamed my time on a bum foot!) And I did beat my NJ run by a bit.

Today was hard. I don't know why I was slower on the bike, because I had more people around me than in NJ. Dunno. The swim was good, but I really have slowed down. If wetsuits actually do give you a 5-minute advantage...then...yikes! (It was hot out today, but it was hot in New Jersey, too.)

At the finish, AS USUAL, the masseuses weren't taking any more people because they had "been there since 9 a.m." Same thing happened at NJ. I hate to gripe (ha) but seriously, people who have been on the course for 4 straight hours could use some caring!

I came home to my bedroom ceiling dripping, pretty much right over my bed. Nice. I had to go right upstairs to talk to the tenants but no one answered the door. Left message with the deadbeat millionaire landlord, and called the condo's emergency number. I could have used a better homecoming!

It was fun having Nancy Toby to hang out with. Once we hit the water I didn't see her again, so I'm thinking she did well.


I'll have more to share later. After my ceiling crashes. Sigh.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scary Dream and Declaring My Intentions

Last night I dreamed that I went to today's pre-Nation's tri swim practice in the Potomac (which I will in fact be doing later today).

When I got there and started to put on my wetsuit, I discovered that instead of actually bringing my wetsuit, in my haste and disorganization, I had brought black leggings and a little black skirt. A very cute look, but not quite right for the occasion. Sigh. So I had to go into the skanky waters of the Potomac unprotected.

Plus? The river went UPHILL. Seriously. That was HARD!!!

The good news was that it was so shallow I could walk the whole swim.

As usual I feel unprepared. I haven't trained enough. I focused too much on running and not enough on biking. I focused on swimming and got worse (I don't care if it's temporary, I'm definitely slower!)

My predictions:

Swim: My last 1500 yards in the pool: 49 minutes. So I'm predicting 49 minutes for the 1.5 swim.
Transition: ha ha ha

Bike: 40K 1:30ish
Transition: whatevah

Run: 10K: My DREAM GOAL is 1:15. (Lie. My DREAM GOAL is 1:00.) I'll take up to 1:26 though, cuz that would be beating my NJ time by one minute. My actual, real goal though, is to only walk the water stops, and to not give up and just start walking for no reason.

Fun: Yeah. Please, try to have fun!!!

In sum, here are my Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Happy goals:

Gold: 3:30
Silver: 3:45
Bronze: 3:53 (beating NJ by ONE MINUTE)
Happy: Finished my second Olympic uninjured!

See? Can't lose!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Run Don't Walk Update or Most Boring Post Ever

How is my no walking-during-running plan (declared on August 3) coming along you ask? Well, I thought I'd give you a run (ha ha) down.

(You may detect a theme. Unless you fall asleep first.)

August 1: 3 miles, no walking, day 1.

August 3: 3 miles, no walking

August 5: 3 miles, no walking

August 7: 3 miles, no walking

August 9: Training tri, got flat tire, ran 5k after swim ... NO WALKING.

August 10: 4 miles, no walking

August 12: 3 miles, no walking

August 14: 3 miles, no walking

August 17: 5 miles, no walking

August 20: 3 miles, no walking

August 23: Brick: 3.1 miles, after 16 mile-bike ride, walked on and off after 2.5 miles

August 26: 4 miles, no walking

August 31: 5.8 miles with tri group, Mt. Vernon trail...some walking on the return leg (ha, ha, get it? Walking on leg?), which curiously, was more downhill than the way out.

Sept. 3: 5 miles, no walking

Sept 6: 5.5ish miles, no walking, in a hurricane

Sept 10: 3.5ish miles, No. Freakin'. Walking.

I have been PROMISED a REWARD of my choice if I finish the Nation's Tri without walking. What would it take, J. wanted to know, to help me through Sunday without walking?

My answer was instantaneous.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Let's Play Doctor

I saw a new doctor today. Well, the doctor wasn't new. Just new to me.

My doctors drop off my health plan like it's on fire (pardon that mixed metaphor). So I'm constantly having to find new ones, or just end up going to the doc-in-the box if I actually need something (like an appendectomy, for instance).

But today it was time for a physical, plus that little episode of my heart running amok a few weeks back had me mildly worried.

So here's what the doctor said, as she listened to my heart:

"You are so fit, it's taking too long for me to hear the next heartbeat!"

Here's the stats:

HR: 48 bmp (we'll assume that's elevated since I was at the doctor's office where you know, you get nervous!)

BP: 108/68 (ditto)

Height: still 5'9" (being nervous makes me stand up straight!)

Weight 162.8 (I have officially lost 2.2 pounds since starting tri training. In FEBRUARY. That's insane.)

Temp: 97.6 (At 11 a.m. So it's not like I just woke up or anything. This is why I am ALWAYS cold, work people!)

Do you notice a trend here??? Low BP, low heart rate, low body temp? Either I'm ridiculously fit (NOT) or I'm barely alive.

I do think I have some kind of depressed metabolism and that's my story about why it's hard for me to lose weight. (My thyroid's been tested to death, it's fine. Also fine is iron. My cholesterol results are coming, and they will also be fine.)

My doctor was unhappy with my heart rate being that low. "You need to do less cardio," she said, "and add weights," which I agree with (the weights part) but probably? won't do. I might add yoga or pilates if someone will please loan me an extra day each week.

She was not worried about my elevated heart episode. She said it would have to happen again before she'd do anything about it. She did do an EKG and I guess everything was normal. Let's hope it doesn't happen again this Sunday while I'm busy with this.

Wouldn't it be great to see a doctor who spent time talking and getting to know you? I mean I've had more substantive conversations about my health at cocktail parties. (I got mad conversation skillz!) I guess I'm just a cockeyed dreamer.

I felt like a piece of meat. The examining room I was in was colorfully decorated with a bulletin board titled "Patient Information," papered with no less than six notices to patients about what this doctor's office would no longer do for them (no longer call in prescriptions to mail-order pharmacies, no longer give vaccines, don't even think about walking in here to see us, and if you get billed for blood work, don't call us, it's not our fault, and other rules I've forgotten. Real homey feel.) Here's what I'm no longer going to do: return.

So there you have it folks. Please weigh in with your diagnosis, if you have one. Not that I have any acute problems at the moment.

Well, except for, you know, the fact that I'm nuts.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Blue Ridge Challenge Photos, Video, and Obscure Song References

Finally, photos (and more!) from Labor Day's ride.

Me, somewhere between Marshall and Bluemont, Virginia. It's breathtakingly beautiful! You can see some small hill in the background.

S. is a real country girl! She loves crickets! And horses!

Blue Ridge Challenge Ride from jeanne mccann on Vimeo.

S. and I had stopped at the general store, around mile 23, just before the start of the first Big Hill, when J. came flying back from riding with the Big Kids. S. and I were pondering whether to carry on or turn back.

Here's the translation. Man I talk too fast. But I think you'll get the gist.

J: Do you want to hear everything?

Me: Pleaasssssssse! Cuz we're about ready to try it!

Discussion... "blah blah blah LOWEST GEAR."

S: Wait a minute, you have a triple. I have a double. There is no more "lowest gear."

Me: Yeah, she has a DOUBLE.


Me: [Self-explanatory]

Me: So, you want to do it again?

J: No.

He was sooo kidding. He totally wanted to do it again.

And here we are at the top!

Me and J. Look! J. rode up that hill while CARRYING S's HEAD!

After a heart-attack ride back down, here we are at the Bluemont, Virginia, General Store, refueling.
S.: What the heck is in here?

Popsicles, icicles, chicken wings and lots of water. These are a few of the things we love.*

Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?? S. That's who!**

See the rest of our fantastic photos here.

*Name that tune and win an exciting prize.

**OK, this one is too easy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Blue Ridge Challenge

This ride is NOT for the faint hearted!, screams Bike Washington.

Some of my tri-peeps set up this group ride for Labor Day. I waffled. Am I fainthearted? I don't think so. I think I am realistic. I like to push myself, but within reason. I'd asked a few folks who have done this ride and who know my abilities to give me their candid opinions, and got some candid answers.

So, I came up with an Alternative Ride, open to anyone who wasn't sure they were up to the full Mt. Weather experience.

The Alternative Ride would start at the same place as the Big Kids (Marshall, Va.), and go 23 miles through beautiful rolling country to Bluemont, the start of the first big climb. We'd decide when we got there whether we wanted to go ahead or not.

See Bluemont?

Only one person took me up on my offer, my tri-peep, Supersnail. S. and I took off together, about 1/2 hour after all the Big Kids left. We were out to have fun.

Even the flat part of this ride is hilly. But I managed every single hill. Thank God for the granny gear, which I renamed the testosterone gear, because I PERSONALLY KNOW SOME GRANNIES WHO CAN KICK YOUR ASS.

Just had to get that out there.

S., on the other hand, who is about the size of a minute, had no granny gear. She only had two chain ring thingies in front. So that automatically confers hardcore-ness on S.

We had a simple rule on our no-drop ride: Whoever was in front would wait at the next turn for the person behind. That way no one had to slow down or speed up for the other person, but no one would ever be left alone. Perfect-o!


We made it past mansions, and roadkill, and vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, farms, horses, cows, all the way to the General Store in Bluemont, where we stopped for water . And where, much to our surprise, as we were contemplating our next move, our favorite tri-peep J. came riding up to us, back from the group tackling Mt. Weather


"Ut-oh," I said as J. approached. "Tell us! How bad is it??" Like he was coming back from the front lines. Which he kind of was.

So he told us it was hard. And if big strapping J. thought it was hard, err, what did that portend for us??

Nevermind, we decided to press on, to at least go up the first big hill out of town, and what's more, as a cruel joke, we were taking J. with us. He'd have to climb it again!

The first hill started about 2 miles past the General Store, just past the Ice Cream Store.

Holy. Mother. of. God.

We started up. I had been trying the shift up/stand up (hey that sounds like a Bob Marley song!) shift down/sit down routine advocated in this article. I had been trying to keep a good cadence throughout the ride. My only goal now was to not fall over and to keep going forward.

J. and S. started up, then stopped. I went past them in slow motion, asking J. if I should stop for a while. He said, laconically, "Probably." (He's a man of few, but carefully chosen, words.) But I knew if I stopped I'd never get going again, so I pushed on.

Holy. Mother. of. God.

I kept going. I kept going. I dug deep. I kept going.

I have no idea how I made it up that hill, but I did. At the top there's a hairpin turn so you have no idea that you are actually at the top until you take the turn. Once I turned I started laughing and let out a yell, "I made it!!!" I was so happy!

I sailed up to the start of the next big leg, Rt. 7, a major highway, waited, and watched. A few other cyclists sailed by me, heading up to Mt. Weather, the biggest hill. J. and S. soon joined me and we took this fantastic photo of all three of us


We hung out for a while, wistfully talking about proceeding up the main attraction, how hard would it be, could we do it? But we talked ourselves out of it. Another day. We'd done a lot. And J. did it TWICE!

We turned and flew down the monster hill to the other Main Attraction: the Ice Cream Store.


To make a long long story short, we hung out for a while at a store right out of the Waltons (Me: "This is right out of the Walton's!" S: "Huh?" J:"What's the Walton's?" Sigh, nevermind.) then hopped on our bikes for the long hilly ride home. It was long, and beautiful, and funny. We sang songs, and joked about how hell is an endless uphill in Virginia. We laughed so hard we cried. We flew down hills through little towns and we worked on our hill-climbing skills.

We learned what we were made of.

We celebrated Labor Day in style.

Post ride:
My BFF Supersnail far right.

P.S. Photos to come!