Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hol-i-day Re-cap...........

Gratituesday, many blog about this!

Things I am grateful for, with a sprinkle of Hol-i-day CHEEEEEER!!!!

1) My ibuprofen-- still chomping on it, (not really) but nonetheless the ITB is getting "less" sore and mo better..Fabulous. Running is coming back. S L O W L Y. But I am up to about 45 min, every 3rd day. It seems to be working

2) My foam roller. Josh, my sometimes-lane-mate-at-swimming-when-I-get-there-late, thank you for your hilarious comment. I do feel like a total tool carrying that thing with me that looks like a weapon from American Gladiators (remember the giant Q-tip!) but that thing is so masochistically phenomenal! Rockn' it!

3) My safe drive back to Ohio....What a nightmare this weather pattern has been as of late. EVERYONE's facebook status' included "stuck at airport;" "cancelling Christmas;" "snowed in;" etc etc. Made it back to the homeland after wading out the snow and ice on Wed last week, in time for a lovely celebration with the most important people! Hooray for that!

4) Spending the Week with Family! As mentioned above, 3 full days to hang with mom, bro, sis, dad, extended fam, etc. Good food, good wine, some quality conversation, and for the first time in a long time, a chance to be get home a lot faster than when I lived halfway across the country!

5) My cross country skis! Technically my mother "gave" me her old ones, used only 2x's...so they are new to me! I am gonna rip it up tomorrow and Thurs....

Oh and on that note, one more just because

6) A SHORT WEEK!! Yay for the office being closed all day Thurs and a half day tomorrow!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Random Thurs

I am first responding to Amanda Lovato's thoughts on the LOVE/HATE Treadmill (b/c of some nasty blogger, I guess you can't leave her any messages anymore??) The irony is I was JUST THINKING THE SAME THING last night as I trudged through the snow....

I HATE THE treadmill...I would rather pick my nose and eat it.....I would rather pick up someones dirty diaper and accidently get their crap on myself...I would rather do just about anything in the world EXCEPT run on a treadmill...its boring, its bouncy, there's nothing fun to look at, I can't focus as well, I get too sweaty, I hate how I feel like I don't get a "Real workout" in when running on one...but I am starting to think with the temps hitting the -10's that it may be my only option if I train early....bummer.....

Other randomness

YAKTRAX....HELLO!! Who is the genius that invented these!?!? After 30 times nearly-falling last night running (nearly cracking my skull) I walked to the running store on the way home from my work (where I also walk to and from everyday)and bought some of these fun little additions. Best damn $25 I ever spent, as I felt like my feet were GRIPPING the ice on my run last night.....they are cheap, they are easy, and you can even wear them with real shoes...score!

2nd thought (not as fun.....My knee is STILL giving me troubles...I have found that it doesn't hurt per se but it does seem to feel stiff if I stand in one place (ie, work) or sit for too long...but running doesn't hurt it???

Thoughts!?!?? I am interested in anyone's feedback...I can pinpoint the ITband and also the fact that after I run the next day the back of my knee feels "tight"--as if I pulled my hamstring/and/or/calf muscle a little...no "pain" but stiffness, and it remains a little swollen....ok well, I know, I've seen an MD, whose a friend and a runner, and he thinks bursitis...my ? is when does it go away if you are only running a few times a week for very short distances???

Friday, December 12, 2008


I just finished a swim-heavy workout week....And I am loving it! I think I may have posted this before, but I am certain that I missed my calling in HS...grade school, for that matter!! I would've been a half-decent swimmer had I received better instruction earlier on, but you can't go back, right!?!?!?

My new Masters' group is kicking my booty...tons and tons of drills, lots of timed efforts, lots of ways to really work myself in about 50-60 min....Now, truly, some will think this is crazy, but I have NO PROBLEM most days being in the water for 90/+ mins of training....so a hard effort in less than that I really feel it....Today we did lots of 100's timed, broken up into easy, build, and all-outs, and then some deep water kicking!! Fun stuff....

I am happy to report that 40 min on Wed of "SNOWSHOE" running proved to be ok for my ITb to tolerate and I am going to keep at it this weekend...a high of 40degrees Sunday may even allow for some outdoor riding! OOOOHHH, excitement!! More to follow, but my patients are waiting and there is work to be done!!

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Snowy Weekend ;)

What a weekend!! I thought that after the first snowfall, about a week ago, I'd perhaps be ready for my Tucson winter of 70-degrees...But I am suprising myself and adjusting ever-so-nicely! (I know, I know, talk to me in a month....I may eat my words!) For now, things are pretty fun!

Fri AM I joined fast-mama Aimee for a gander on the golf course in the Snowshoes..For those not familiar, these are NOT your Grandpa's tennis-racket style kind used to hike thru the woods in search of dinner....We runners buy the light, aerodynamically-minded style that slip on and off, allowing you to pummel through mounds of snow and get your HR up to a solid LT effort! Can you say MAX Test?!!?? I forgot just how challenging of a workout I get on these..And I am not kidding when I say you can absolutely do some damage in about 30/+ min on the hills! Even my little 3hr-marathon friend was feeling it after 40min!!! Not too shabby....So much fun that I ended up out there again on Sat, for a 2nd go at it....one nice little lady x-country skiing muttered to her husband, "I didn't even know you could run in Snowshoes!"

Back to my reality, post-snowshoe, about 3hrs later that day....my ITband is "better", but that is all relative...I spent some of Sat doing damage control, as my knee became stiffer by the hour! I am so ready to throw the towel in on this one...I ice, I rest (but apparently not enough!), I chow Ibuprofen for dinner (not really, I know about GI bleeds!) and its still there...I have backed off my mileage but unfortunately I need less time running and more time healing...Thanks to Tina's boyfriend/MD resident/SUPER STELLAR runner-and-knower-of-all-run-injuries, he assured me that I was on the path but this little nagging $hit of an injury will take time and I should probably do even less running..

So the answer to that? Purchase a set of rollers for my bike, and work it like the Euro riders do leading up to the races....I managed 1.5hrs on Sun and despite my white-knuckling the hallway door (in fear of FALLING!) I was able to two-hand the latter portion of the ride...not too shabby....I highly recommend for anyone interested in breaking up the boredom of an indoor trainer or those looking to improve bike handling skills...there is NO SLACKING with rollers.

Ahh, all in a day's work......On that note, I am off to pop some more Ibuprofen, ICE the knee for the 8th time today, and wish that I were out running the streets of Madison in anticipation of the 12in we are expected to get tonight....oh the life!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Things I am Thankful For in this world.......

In honor of TGiving:

1) My family- Though I am closer in proximity to my family than I have lived in the past 8 yrs, I didn't get to see them on Thanksgiving. That, however, doesn't change how much I love them or how meaningful they are to my life. And bonus, I am off to Chicago today to hang with the little bro for the weekend! Yahoo!!!!!

2) My friends--New, Old, near, far, and all the ones in between...They make me smile, bring out the best in me, and make me want to be a better person! I especially miss all my Tucson homeys, as I have spent the past 3 TGiving years with them!! ..I miss my girls--K, K10, C....:)

3) My ability to get up everyday and "do what I do.."--run, swim, bike, train, walk to work, etc....I know it sounds hokey but this really matters...and since I have been temporarily sidelined from running hard with this ITband injury , I am realizing that health and having a strong body are something that I often take for granted.

4) My job...with so many people out there getting laid off, positions being cut or changed, I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
very grateful to wake up everyday and head off to work, knowing that I enjoy what I do and I am getting paid to do it! I can't stress this enough!

5) My independence...Again, hokey, but I think that this has helped me persevere so many crazy situations in the past year, and without it, I am sure life would have seemingly crumbled before me..its hard to be tough sometimes, esp. when all you really want to do is cry! But I have had to look deep inside of myself to find the answer that sometimes only I know..it really just makes you stronger I think!

So, to all my blogger friends..Happy Thanksgiving...don't strain a hammy in the long lines at the malls today! Just sit back, kick it, train, whatever...be grateful for all that you have in your world!

Friday, November 21, 2008


The winter season has officially begun. As I set foot out the door Tue morning for a run before work, strategically avoiding the small puddles that had now frozen to ice, I remembered what it was like to experience winter all over again....Let's face it, I have lived thru 27yrs of it and 3yrs without. It was bound to happen!;)

So cold that without avail, I hopped in my car Tue after work and drove fast as I could to Land's End. AHHHHHHHHH.......The smell of new leather boots, sound of squeaky galoshes...and the cozy comfort of a warm down coat (that actually covers my derriere!) Luxurious!

I purchased a very fashionable yet practical number in Chocolate, snagged some sassy bright pink tech shirt for base layering, a pair of warm fuzzy clogs and I was out the door! Shivering, nonetheless..but much warmer than when I started.....

The ITB has been nothing but cranky since starting the track workouts a few weeks back. The more circles I run, the more painful it feels. You know what I say? Screw that. I am D-U-N DUN with all of that until it heals. I skipped a week ago. Felt awesome. Played around with mile repeats this past Wed. Not-so-awesome. So I ice, I rest, I drop the intensity and mileage until I feel good(er!). Time. Tick-freakin-tock.

Until then, I will attempt to perfect the exact number of layers necessary to sustain 3hrs of comfortable riding on a Wisconsin winter's day. I welcome the challenge.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Update

Its been months. Decades if you will....I have now been in Madison,WI for officially 6wks, and I am still loving every minute of it. Sure, I had some major hiccups along the way

Car troubles. Random scary AAA tow truck people who hauled my sorry vehicle off an overpass outside of St. Louis. A car that--AGAIN--died as I pulled into a toll booth someplace outside of the Chicago West Suburbs only miles from my aunt's house.

Its been one headache after another- The car, that is....I have thought once or twice about leaving the keys in the ignition, doors open, and just going to bed, only to find it missing by morning. Somehow, I think I may get more money from insurance if I do that.

I have found an awesome running group, that includes a number of really fast men and women who smoke the living crap out of me every time we do a track workout. Geez, haven't done track workouts since 2005, so I am remembering that the body needs to be S L O W L Y introduced to running hard efforts in the same direction again...owwy!!! IT band not so happy....more ice, more recovery!

Cycling has been less than Tucson, no doubt the dreary rain and wind has gotten in my way a few times. But I am still managing to meet some great UW cycling team members, and will be racing for a team out of Milwaukee for the 2009 season! SO STOKED!!

I found a Masters' team that has a COACH, and REAL WORKOUTS! I really missed pushing myself hard in the pool, as much like the track, I haven't done coached workouts other than my own in over 2 yrs! Score!

Oh ya. The job. Heheheheh. The real reason I moved here. Going well. Very well.

More later.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adventures in Travel, Part one

Hi, well. Its me....and wow, how i have experienced more than I ever anticipated on this journey back to the Midwest.

Day One started off pretty uneventful, with me up at the ass crack o' dawn, packing car and anxiously awaiting the movers to arrive at 7am to pick up all of my stuff which hopefully would fit the bill of under 1200 #.......

Note to the wise, if you are ever moving and using a professional company, absolutely consider the option to view them weighing your stuff. I went over my 1200 # limit by 20 #, and the nice guy with Atlas movers in Tucson vouched for me, kicked the other mover out of the van, and re-weighed my stuff so as to give me a better weight and let me tell you, a MUCH cheaper rate on my move! Awesome!

I was off towards Albuquerque, destination of Day One. No probs, wow, was I in for a surprise. Happily greeted 8/+hrs later by friend-of-friend Becky, unloaded minimal items and off for a nice run of 55 min at elevation. Uggh....running midday never suits me well but a workout is better than NO workout, right!!?!?!??!!?
Yummy dinner at Flying Star Cafe with a hearty salad, bread, and fruit......what could go wrong, right?!

more later...trust me, it gets better......

I'm moving forward.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Moving on Out.....

Bike is packed--in a ghetto fabulous box , surrounded by mounds of electrical tape, bubble wrap, and newsprint.

Bed is stripped, only the mattress pad remains, as I attempt to do all sheets, towels, and pillow cases left so that I have clean linens upon arrival.

Boxes, packing tape, lots of hairs that have been pulled from my head--all on the floor of my living room.....Boy, I cannot wait ' til 730am tomorrow when my movers get here to load me up.

And then, its Madison or bust!!!

I'll stop along the way in Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, and St Lou....Between my mom's old high school friends and my friends-of-friends, I have the benefit of not getting hotels and crashing on their couches! Nice!!! Hopefully I'll get there with time to sneak a short run or swim in....if not, I guess this is a recovery week. From what race you ask?? The race to get to Wisconsin. That's as about as good of an excuse I can give:)

I will be blog-absent until I get cable. And, oh yeah--a computer! So until next time, happy reading and happy training. I hope that my adventure back to the Midwest is fun, exciting, and eventful in a good way!

Until next time!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last weekend's events.......

I am 7 days tardy on this post, but its a good reminder of why I will REALLY MISS TUCSON! Last weekend the crew got together for a fun night out (see below) at Bumsted's--if you are ever in Tucson, check it out! On 4th ave, a cool little eatery.....huge sandwiches, salads, burgers, great specials on pints (yea we had a few of those)......Yummy!!! This pic is the group prior to early (9:30pm) departure so that we could climb Lemmon the next morning!!

We started our workout from mile 12-Bear Canyon, which was a total switch. Unfortunately, last weekend's temps were rather humid and hot, so when we got rolling at 7am we decided to start from higher elevation and climb to the top! Casual, fun and still challenging .......I added more miles for a good solid 50mile day in the saddle.......

More move stuff going on this weekend...my life is lame....that's all I talk about anymore these days....it's like "don't ask about the move, alright!!!!?" HAHAHAH!!! fortunately it'll be a vision of the past in a few weeks here....

Off to pack some stuff, have another cup of java at 1pm, and then head to Target...Ahhh, that sounds like a decent afternoon....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Something More.........

Wheww! Who knew how much work it would take to get this move rollin'.....

T-minus 7 days, and I am done done DONE with my job in Tucson! (YAHOO!!) In fact, (don't tell my boss!) but I have pretty much checked out! Between all of the phone calls to movers, insurance, apt/landlords, and the insane number of odds and ends that you need to take care of, there really isn't much time for work!

I have been sneaking in a fair amount of quality training, which I am very happy with...and I think I realized that "hormones" (the pill) are just not good for me! Does anyone else out there agree!?!?? I swear, since I quit taking it about 1 month ago, I have felt leaner, faster, quicker, and had more bounce in my step. I have had a love/hate relationship with the pill for many years, and I am definitely in the hate stage at this point! No more added hormones with all the stress from the move, that's plenty for me!

Last night (thanks to quitting the pill) I had an awesome 60 min run....now, I am not your country bumpkin, so when I tune into country music, it must have an up-tempo and rock beat!! Sugarland's "Something More" came blaring thru the Shuffle as I cruised into the 40 min mark of my run.....It was about 7pm, the sun was nearly setting, the air was crisp and cool, and I was thinking to myself "I am really gonna miss nights like these in Tucson..."

But the song is so fitting to where I am in my life right now....."gotta be something more, something more than this...I need a little less heartache, I need a little more bliss....I'm gonna take my chances, taking the chance I might....find what I'm looking for..........gotta be something more...."

I have great people in my life who are so supportive of me...and those are people that will be here no matter what town I live in..........

It just makes the move a bit easier to handle.....

Until next time...

Monday, September 1, 2008


We do eventually come back to our surroundings, familiarities.....and I am doing just that! I had mentioned in a previous blog or two that I was in the midst of some possible "big changes." And friends, those changes are about to happen.

Thurs I was offered a position in Madison, WI that I could simply not turn down! So in about 3-4 weeks here, I will be packing up the Uhaul and heading back to the Midwest to live and work! And the best part? I am so much closer to family, my BFF from college lives there with her hubby, my bro is in Chicago.....and I will be in a town full of beautiful places to train and race! I am really very excited!

The dork in me is more concerned with finding training partners and a cycling and/or triathlon team to join, and less concerned about housing! (Ha! not really, but come on, you have to get your priorities straight, right?)

Its very bittersweet! I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for in Tucson......And we are all starting to realize how very precious those friendships are with one another.....Its rare that you meet people that really get you.....and I have been lucky to meet a whole group of men and women here that do just that!

I just know that I won't lose them, so it makes things a bit less dramatic. Surely there will be tears. But as with anything, you can lose touch with people you truly care about, so it will definitely be hard these first few months!

Don't think I am writing off Tucson! I'll be back...(In fact, I am already seeing how I can score a spot on the America's Dairyland cycling team so that I can come back and race Tucson Bike Classic next April!!!?!?!?!)

So, here's to a positive and bright new change! I am very excited for new possibilities ahead!

Happy Labor Day

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

5 Things you need to Know about the Hippest City in the USA!

Ok, Jen H. I am alive. Thanks for checking. You are too cute, that's the mom in you, right?!?!? :)

My blog took a breather. A few days to recuperate. To just chill. But it was a very good reason!!

I had a super weekend. So super that I needed a recovery day on Mon (travel) and another day to hit the snooze on Tue morning.

I have to agree with Amanda Lovato that you must "respect the travel." Travel takes the livin' life outta ya....the bounce out of your step....the fatigue that- HELLO!!!- was non existent as I bopped to the airport Fri, and mysteriously appeared at my doorstep Tue am- kickin my freakin ass.....wah wah...I am done bitching....this post is about my fab weekend in "Hippest City in the USA"

MADISON, WI, baby!!!

Home to IM WI, Univ of Wisc, known for cheese turds (er, curds), beautiful lakes (see below), a million bike paths that wind around the city, and just a damn gorgeous place to live. Ya, that's right. A cool place to inhabit.

I have lived North, East, Southwest....and visited many extraordinary towns that I would gladly relocate to at moment's notice. But none, my friends, are as cool and familiar and fantastic-o as the Mad City....

5 Things you need to know about Madison, WI

1) Rachel Ross, please brace yourself! Madison LOVES BARACK OBAMA..Its a liberal town full of academics, of course it likes him!!!
"OBAMARAMA" to the nth degree..... Obama schwag on 1) doorsteps, 2) windows, 3) lawns, or in this case 4) outside of a store

Exhibit A (as seen below...in honor of Tue night's DNC speaker, the ever-holy William Jefferson Clinton)

2) Bike Paths

So, you fit little thing! You say you wanna bike? How about bike the whole city and never ever have to get on a single city street. That's right. My bro and I proved that Sunday afternoon by covering about 3 hrs of "cruiser" riding along the many paths that surround the lakes (Monona, Mendota, Wingra). Who would have known that I had a lactate threshold on a cruiser?! But I was kind of sore the next day! HA!

*Disclaimer- Advanced riders should seek out the many country roads within miles of the city limits, which offer wide bike lanes, and rolling hills

3) Beer on the Terrace

Can you tell me a school that is a) literally built on a lake b) has a bar on campus overlooking that lake, and c) has a terrace where you can buy beer and sit outside next to the lake?

*Disclaimer-For a good time, ride your cruiser bike to the bar, park outside, order a pitcher, share with your friends, and bike home. Great recovery workout after a hard 60 min effort interval run in the am. I should know, I did it. :)

4) Fried Cheese Turds (curds)

No, not typically on my diet. But after my bro and I had a little "fun" at the campus bar, we needed to bike the drunk out of us and hit up a local cheese turd joint. Yummy. I just had a taste, seriously.

5) Jo Jo lives there!

Probably one of the best reasons: My oldest, bestest homey in the whole wide world, JOANNA, lives there with her hubby. Makes the visit all the more special and meaningful!

Yay for Madison!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sport- what it means to me

Every 4 years, when the Summer Olympics roll around, I am again reminded of WHY I became an athlete. I have been moving, shaking, having fun, competing. Doing SOMETHING since the time I can remember, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

While I was never "Olympic" caliber, I never believed that I couldn't be either. I tell this story to people infrequently, but I will share with all of you how I became so in love with this thing called sport.

As a girl, I was always moving 100 mph. My mom told me I could never sit still. Not so much ADHD, but more that I couldn't find my true focus unless I was doing something physical. As a small child, that involved nothing structured--riding my bike all day, playing at the pool for hours on end til my hair was green, or late night games of kickball with the neighborhood kids in the summer (which unfortunately in this day in age, is pretty much out of the question!)

I fell in love with volleyball in the 4th grade. I lived, breathed, died volleyball. Pretty much until my sophomore year in college. But switch gears back to 6th grade--my parents were divorcing, my body was changing, things were just in transition. And I gained the proverbial "puberty" weight. And the boys were mean. They used to "moo" at me, call me "cow" until I cried. And you know what? It just never stopped me from proving all of them wrong.

That summer, I was determined to become a healthier preteen. I started running--very slowly, but I was doing it. With my older-than-dirt Nike gym shoes, I ran around the block once a day. One lap turned into 2 and 2 turned into a 1-2 miles per day. I did this everyday for the whole summer. And by the time I reached 7th grade, I was feeling like a million bucks.

This love affair with running continued, despite my equal interest in becoming a volleyball stud. A stud I certainly wasn't but a hard worker, yes indeed. I ran on the weekends during high school. Sometimes ran 1-3 miles after volleyball practice. I joined the gym and began strength training at age 13 and continued throughout high school. The one thing my coach always found impressive was my work ethic. While she attempted to make the team strength train, do plyometrics, etc, most never did anything but play volleyball. She knew I was dedicated enough to hit the gym after practice. Run on my off days. Do stadium steps just to get better agility. My volleyball affair continued for 2 years in college. By Junior year in high school, I had been proving my skills as a setter for some Division III program scouts. Freshman and sophomore years I would play for Illinois Wesleyan.

After choosing to attend a larger school my Junior year in college, I continued to dabble in the love of running; entering 5k,10k, half marathon, and marathon events. All of these races continued to give me a purpose, desire, and dedication to the sport. I found triathlon along the way as well, which changed my life.

There have been many races of which I've completed. Some with PRs, some barely finishing and dragging myself across the line. Many that have brought me tears of joy and tears of pain. But all of them, each one, has helped to carry me through the journey. Because after all that's what its about. And the journey continues--whether it be a cycling stage race, a local 10k, or a step back into the world of triathlon.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, those boys that called me fat. Well, let's just say at my five year high school reunion, I had completed countless triathlons, I was training for a 2nd Ironman.

had grown beer guts.

Revenge can be so very sweet.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

This Bud's for you, Mary!!!


ya, you go girl! You win! I just give up.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Phelps Phanatacism!

Sorry Mary! I stole your terminology...but we are still duking it out for the biggest fan award.

Rest assured, the world still turns. And things still happen. And yet, in the midst of it all, in the silence of the operating room today, Michael Phelps is getting yet another shout out.

As some of you know, I am gearing for a career as a Phys. Asst. Today, I was fortunate enough to scrub in for a a few surgeries with a fellow colleague, Kim, who is a PA for an orthopaedic practice here in Tucson. About 40 min into a rotator cuff redo, the surgeon randomly announced how excited he was about the Olympics. Up until that point, the only sound I heard was the grinding of gristly tendon, scar tissue, and fat as it was sucked out of the shoulder. Arggg!!!

MICHAEL freakin PHELPS....maybe he should run for president. I mean, he's got another 4 years to kill before he's gotta get ready for 2012. One term, that should be enough. One thing's for sure- He could help solve the ever-growing lazy ass/obesity epidemic that is plaguing the nation.

Food--or exercise--for thought.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hump Day + iShuffle Requests.....

"Mary, Mary, why ya buggin'.............." I think that is from some 80's song (which if you keep reading, goes with the post...ya Eggers, I am talking to you girl! nice post on the Phelps :)

Hola! it is Hump Day....a pretty splendid day of the week. Got in about 4500yd this am, followed by a Loooooooooooooooooong day of work. Blah. Its one of those weeks. The neverendingweek......I try, oh, how I try, to wake up without feeling even the least bit tired when alarm beeps and rings me out of sleep at 4:50am, but alas, no luck. Tired. Shuffle to the bathroom. Put on selected outfit to do selected training session. And go about it.

Actually, I had a most excellent speed session on the bike yesterday with my new badass training homey, Kathi. She's this hard-core gal who is almost 60yrs old (doesn't look a day over 45!!!) and is prepping for Duathlon Worlds in Italy (Jen H, are you in?).....I'm glad at half her age, I can at least still hang with her ;) We have bundles in common, which is how we met up actually!! She is a fellow Buckeye , and it turns out we have about 10 people + 1,000s of races (participated in) in common! Wonderful!

In an effort to get out of my slump with running, I think its time I shouted out some requests-er, suggestions- for new tunes to add to the iPod shufflemix.......I am taking all and any, and I will give you a mere smattering of what has currently found its place on my playlist, so you can make appropriate suggestions:

(RR: I am also listing my songs, just so I can prove to you what perfect matches our pods would be!!:)

Fascination-Human League
I'm Yours- Jason Mraz
Rainbow's Cadillac- Bruce Hornsby
I'll set you free- The Bangles
a few by Brandi Carlile
Hall and Oates- so classic, really, any of their tunes
Other side of the world- KT Tunstall
Extraordinary- Liz Phair
Smoothie Song- Nickel Creek
Conviction of the Heart- Kenny Loggins (don't laugh, I HEART LOGGINS! and its a fab song!)
Africa- Toto (need I say more!?)
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant- Billy Joel
Breathe- Michelle Branch
Mercy- Duffy
The Obvious Child- Paul Simon
America- Simon and garfunkel

Help! Great songs...but I need more...better...whatever

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Smoothies, something that people like to blog about:)

Yum. My most favorite treat after a long ride/swim/run whatever whatever. Heck, it doesn't even have to be that long for me to enjoy it, but definitely rewarding in flavor and quality calories after any of the above!

I crave cold, delicious, always-creamy smoothies in the summer, and hot, robust coffee (+ cream and some sprinkles--er, tbsp--of Sugar in the Raw!) post workout. Sugar, I know, bad. I have been trying to cut the 2 pack per day habit, its just so hard. Agave is just not the same!!! :(

Here's my recipe, altered almost daily, but you get the idea:

'Nana Berry Blast

*1 banana
*1/2 cup non fat plain yogurt or 1/2 cup unsweetened Almond milk or 1/4 each of both
(depends on desired creamy-ness. Usually I do the yog!!!!)
*1 scoop unsweetened unflavored Soy Protein Powder-also varied depending on length of ride
($4.99 at Trader Joe's for a HUGE tub-Best deal in the store!)
*Variable amount of Frozen Berries (blue, raz, black) and/or Pineapple bits (large handful)

here's where it gets tricky:) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS blend 'nana, milk/yog, and protein powder together. Perfection in terms of superb smoothness. Then add frozen fruits, and other delectables

Other things I throw in for mood enhancement/life energy:
*Agave syrup, just a dash
*Very Greens- delicious green supplement powder at TJ's also
*Bee Pollen
*Almonds (soaked in Water overnight, makes them blendable!)
*MMMMMM Peanut Butter, a scoop if I feel like a real treat!

While I am really trying to get others into the art of smoothie making, my famous "breakfast" treat has only been dubbed one hilarious nickname by my bro and sis : "The $hit Shake"
Need I really say more!?!?!?!

Happy Smoothie Making

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm all NBC

That's right, at least for the next few weeks:) Its OLY TIME!! and it only comes around every 4!

Some random thoughts:

1) Lacey Nymeyer, a Tucson chick, is swimming the 4x100 with abs-o-rockin steel DT. .

2) I have recently introduced some DT moves into my core workout. I think by 2010 I may come an inch closer to having 1/4 of her ab power!

3) Did you see the awful news of a 2004 Olympian's father being stabbed to death while sightseeing in Beijing? What's the deal with all of the crazy-f$cks in this world?

4) Did anyone catch Bob Costas' random slam at Venezuela last night during the Parade of Nations...oil prices, anyone?

5) Speaking of Costas, whats up with his hair!?! Toupe? or"Just for Men" ? take your pick:)

Happy viewing, I am settling into another evening of riding the couch and enjoying the competition!!!!:)
(and I muse at why I can't get a date....ehehhehehehehe)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Girls Gone Wheeld. Part deux

This is a more civil version of the crew getting our photo on for the belated 30th Bday party for yours truly, and Colleen (on my left, multi colored tank!) Both 30 hooray................

And well, this pretty much explains my utterly exuberant personality and excitement about being a year older. Notice the rockin' custom T my bro and Julie (his girlfriend/our adopted sister...love her!) made:

"Wheelz of Steel
"- retro, love it.....

When me and my girls get rowdy..........

Apparently (or, at least me!) we hug and try to kiss our little team brother Jake!! heheheheh....about as old as my baby cousin, but nonetheless a great kid!

In order from left to right: Kristen, with the ripped, bike tan arms; Becky, the crazy hiking chick that nearly killed me a few weekends back (see old blog!) ; Jake, the stud!!!; Me, robbing the cradle!!!!; Kendra, with her cute new blonde haircut; Colleen, the Cat 2 speedster; and the one and only hostess extraordinaire, Cindy!!!!

I love my homeys!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I went All The Way.

Ya, that's correct. All the way. First time ever. And it was all that I hoped it would be and more.

I climbed to the top of Mt. Lemmon. All estimated 9,000ft of it from Le Buzz parking lot. Can you believe that this self-proclaimed "competitive cyclist " has spent 3 years in the beautiful Tucson desert and never, not once, climbed to the very top!

I have pedaled 3, 85-100 mile days throughout the Gila forest of NM, on vertical switchbacks of 15-20% grades. Raced the never-ending State Hill Climb that is Mt. Graham---a climb that makes Lemmon look like a bump in the road. So what is the deal!??? I should be taking advantage of what is practically heaven in my backyard. (Shoot, Jen H was here for like, 1 min, and she was already on her TT bike climbing to the top! I have NO excuses)....

Well, maybe a few:

1) I am annal and enjoy my "warm up" before a climb. Translation: I generally start 20 miles from Mt Lemmon and climb once I get there (which is then, only about 10-15 miles up!)

2) My homey teammates and their damn coaches (hehehe! !!!!!
One of my many friends :"Oh well, you see I am only supposed to ride 36.7 mins of effort and then the other 53.12 minutes should be in Zone blah blah blah...."

3) Up until last Christmas, (thanks mom!) I did not own an iPod. There's only so much mental fatigue you can handly while being vertically destroyed on Lemmon monster!

4) I can't think of any other good excuse. So I just thought, hell, I'll climb it.

Without further adieu, August 3, 2008 (which, is nearly 3 years to the DATE that I first came to Tucson) will go down as the day when I was de-virginized on Lemmon.

HOW WAS IT, my first time?!?!?!? Ohh, ahhh.....oooooh!!!! I felt strong, got passed by lots of people, passed a few people myself, had no mechanicals, no errors in nutrition/hydration, and managed to feel pretty damn good when I pulled into the Visitors Center to fill bottles, drop trou, and be on my merry way back down with my crew who finally, much to the dismay of their coaches' orders, climbed with me to the top! Hooray!

I am tired, and feeling great all at the same time. 8hrs in the saddle this weekend + CORE. Coulda woulda shoulda snuck a run/swim in there, but you know my philosophy: QUALITY v. Quantity! And indeed, it was just that!

Was hoping for that "bikini" recovery swim (Bree!!) but its about to pour and frankly, I am just trashed. So instead, I am going for a nice rain walk to shake out the legs, and sit on my couch as the weekend fades into Monday.....

This week looks to be pretty fun for both training and social gatherings.....so I am excited!!
Until next time.....: )

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blind Date....and getting my MO-JO back...

Its not what you think. Blind dates. Pretty disappointing in my 30-yrs young experience. Usually its all. "Oh Mere I know this nice guy," "Oh nice guy, I know this girl Mere.." yada yada....so the story goes.....two nice people. Nice. Yeah, that's important. But frankly, nothing else in common.

I've said it time and time again. I want an athletic guy. A guy who favors a long ride over marathon-sessions of SportsCenter....A man who can (Oi!!!!Love this one!!).......Fix my bike...:) :) clean my drivetrain, help me when something is "off"....because obviously if he rides, he'll be overly skilled in bike maintenance as well.

And he should be handsome. Not conventional. Not, "ohhhhmyyyygodddd he is soooooooooo hottttttttttttttt." In fact, a bit goofy. A lot goofy. And smart. Smart guys are good. And if they happen to be on the fit, trim, leaner side, that's just perfect. Michael Phelps has a nice bod. In case anyone is taking notes.

I love to laugh. If tears are flowing from my eyes, its usually just me laughing till my belly hurts from this funny guy. Because really, don't you just feel better when you laugh. And bonus: You smile, so that makes you feel good.

He's out there. Who knows where. But I'll meet him.


Oh, and the MO-JO, I got that back on my 3.5 hr ride this am. First time in months I am craving a stage race. A big, fat juicy hunk of stage race. .....with a side order of hot sexy cyclist man for dessert......TBC....:)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend Recap........

Well, let's see, where shall I begin?

1) I had all good intentions of contacting Jen H this weekend to hook up for some training sessions, but my schedule of ride/run/swim didn't jive with hers and I had to work, so Jen H, in the bloggy blog world I sincerely apologize for not connecting yet again! Looks like we are destined for a internet friendship that revolves around messages and emails only!!?!?!? Bummer!!! (only kidding, but seriously, when you are out here for longer than 2 days, look me up!:)

2) The monsoons were killer this weekend.....so gorgeous!! Lightning nearly every night, with lots of wonderful torrential downpour that has turned our ugly brown hillside into a beautiful rainbow of color. The mountains are a brilliant green and many of the flowers are blooming yet again!? You would think it was spring here! One of my favorite things: Falling asleep to the rain pitter-pattering on my rooftop........

3) Good Friends: What would we ever do without them!?

Fri: Christina and I enjoyed a nice afternoon spin ride up to Oro Valley. She was particularly ghetto-fab in her Specialized T-shirt- (she had forgotten her cycling jersey and met me after work!) Fun! It was great to catch up with her, chat about life, work, school, men, etc! Good times to be had.

BONUS: She had a recovery ride so I didn't feel bad having her wait up for me. Old Lady Mere hasn't had much saddle time since last Sunday? :0

Carolyn and I connected for a 40 mile ride on Sat am, and again, a really great chance to ride, chat and catch up with a good friend. Its amazing how you can go weeks without seeing your usual training crew and how MUCH you have to fill each other in on.....(i.e, recent break ups (both of us!), races, training, vacations, work, men who suck, chamois butter, saddle sores, bike adjustments, Tour de France updates, Carolyn's cute hairstyle, current grocery list at Trader Joes'...I mean, seriously, how MANY things can you talk about on a ride?)

Sat night Carolyn, Pat and I headed out for a filling meal of sushi, sake, and late night conversation, all while witnessing more extravagant lightning and monsoon action occurring just outside the door. Meanwhile, Carolyn is trying to convince both of us to ditch work for the next few days and join her in the Grand Canyon on a hike and raft tour in the Colorado. Damn work!!!!!!

Sun: I dragged Pat out to be my partner in crime on a "long" run- I am half kidding because 8 miles really didn't seem like a long run. But when all you have been doing is cycling for the better part of last year, 8 miles is indeed a long run. (Not to mention, we started at 730, which is much too humid! Yikes!) I survived and he was happy I forced him into it! Kept the pace just under 9:00min/miles. UGHH!!!

Sidebar: This frustrates me so much right now! I am used to running much faster than this and I know, its just going to take time and patience! For the first time in my life, I may actually follow this marathon training plan to a T. I am one of those "bad" people who push, push, push, and end up injured when running a) too fast b) too often c) without enough recovery! Can somebody help this girl?

You can learn a lot about yourself with training. I heart speed. Fast swim sets, fast little roller hills to climb, track workouts, criteriums, short distance road races. Change is good. Its been 3/+ years since my last marathon. I am ready to tackle this challenge. And I will surely welcome back the bike training once I have conquered this quest! Rock on!

I am going to enjoy my coffee, pamper my toes with a home pedi, and enjoy the rest of my Sunday with highlights from the TDF ceremony!

Peace and Health,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A List of Random Thoughts......

1) I need to run MORE trails!!! (or more uphill, for that matter!) Ran with Becky's boy Myron today. What a mountain goat!!!!!! We pummeled through the brush and streams at Sabino Canyon for about 65 min of SOLID uphill. And ya, I was very far behind. Again, its why I do what I do.................

2) I am going to need to purchase another pair of shoes, maybe not trail ones but something more solid than my speedy lite Asics.....Off to Sports Authority later for my sturdier Saucony's..moving on......

3) Yay for a day off!! I have a list of things to do that include random house chores (laundry, ugh!!), and I am meeting a co-worker to teach her some new core training exercises after work! Fun

4) Possible new opportunity for me that could involve experiencing all 4 seasons again! Hmmmm..Not talking yet, but keep ya fingers crossed! It could be a great thing!

5) Jen H is in Tucson! must get in touch with her (Jen, if you are reading, I will call ya tomorrow and we can connect for something on Sat morning perhaps! ie, me trying to chase you up Lemmon?)

6) I need some new workout clothes. I find myself in Marshalls, TJ's, and other places perusing the "clearance" section for great deals. If you have the time and energy, you can find some spectacular deals (like the Brooks sports bra I found yesterday for $5!!!Nice!)

Ok, off to check chores off the list, then to the gym!

Happy Thurs, its almost the weekend!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mixing it up and down (the canyon!!!)

Started the day off with a beautiful 5mile run at 630.......took the liberty of catching some more ZZZs and going later, then hit the pool for a 70 min workout. Had planned to do little errands, clean, straighten up the house, grocery shop, per Saturday usual!! BUT, my wild n' crazy homegirl Becky wanted to do something outrageous! (Hold onto your panties, we scaled the side of the mountain!!)

Hehehehee....so much fun!! You see, we fill our days (and nights) with all sorts of "scheduled" run/bike/swim workouts and races, and tapers, and more races, and more tapers. Well, dammit! Its time to have FUN and let loose!!!! I can fake it and say that I am a hiker. But I am NOT a hiker. I like to run trails, not walk them. So when Becky said "hike" I thought, "sure, leisure stroll thru the desert landscape!" Boy, was I wrong!

Becky doesn't hike, she blazes trails. She bushwacks. She took me to the site of not one, but TWO rusted busted and destroyed cars that had--Yes!--fallen over the edge of the road and I am pretty sure that the people inside didn't survive (Don't worry! the cars have been there for years, i am sure! It wasn't grim!)
Becky is a hard-ass. And she is hilarious, so you better be able to hold on for dear life and avoid peeing your pants in the process, cause she'll make you do that too!!!!!!

It involves scaling down--and I do mean STRAIGHT DOWN-- the side of a mountain.
(That's me giving the "thumbs up" since I made it down without falling on my face!) By 1215, we were heading out from Seven Cataracts down to 7 waterfalls of the canyon at mile 9 of Catalina Hwy. Being the inexperienced hiker and thinking we were headed on a more horizontal path, I opted to wear my worn out, retired running shoes--the ones I wear around the house for random things like cleaning my patio or washing my car????Note to self: Purchase shoes with better traction for next "hike" with Becky.

By 1259, we had reached Destination Water...LOVELY....Streams flowing, brilliant waterfalls, green leaves, trees, some harmless gardensnakes floating about! I tell you, I forgot I was in AZ!!!!!!The goal was to meet up with a group of Becky's guys who were rappelling down from mile 14 Windy Point on Lemmon! We never did see them, but ended up hiking to the most gorgeous of the 7 waterfalls, and I felt like I may have died and gone to heaven! Becky and I named it Arizawaii! as in, "are we in Kauai!?!??!"

The pics are of us on our journey both IN and OUT of the canyon. I think its safe to say that this hike was more Novice/Intermediate bouldering. Oh hip flexors, shut up already!!!

(Above is my hiking mentor/instructor/overall awesome friend and very experienced hiker, Becky!) Look over her L shoulder!! THAT's one of the destroyed cars that was hanging by a string off the mountain!

Becky also modeled the "Totally Gay Ass Homemade Rain Slicker"--also known as a Glad trashbag to be used in case we got caught in what was predicted to be a killer storm this afternoon. Looks like we missed it based on the blue skies in the pic. In fact, I got a killer sunburn on my shoulders instead! Who knew?!! It was total cloud cover when we left home!?!??!

Off to sip a glass of red and and mellow out!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Its a New Day.....

So, I do this about once per year. I take about a week--and when I say a "week" I really mean about 3-5 days--where basically I do NOTHING.....absolutely freakin' nothing.....

1) Eat things that I would normally deem "toxic"--usually things WITHOUT a shelf life.....ya, you KNOW what I am talking about............
2) Eat more....and this involves pantry raids at work AND at home.
3) Sit around. ALOT of this. Both morning, noon, and night.
4) Sleep in "late"--in the tri/swim/bike/run world, that would be about 7-730am
5) Take a lazy morning in before work. Get up calmly and gently at 7am, turn on coffee, take LONG shower. Sit. Read. Drink coffee. Repeat. Go to work all jacked up on caffeine since my efforts to pre-metabolize caffeine with a hard a.m. workout are temporarily halted.
6) Think about working out ("Oh, its so nice out, perhaps I should run 45min after work and hit the gym for my core session.") Then go home, eat cereal and soy milk for dinner, watch tv, take ANOTHER shower, read book. Fall asleep in front of TV. Repeat for next 4 nights!

The funny thing is, I have not trained nor raced seriously since April. And it is now late July. This little break, which would have been better scheduled for me in early May, has taken awhile to get to, but I am glad for it. I am motivated, driven and excited to get my goal in gear.

And perhaps, I will share that with you all very soon. Lets just say it'll certainly involve more running than cycling soon. And a continuation of the long and hard swim efforts that I have been doing more of these days. TBC!!!

Tomorrow is a run/bike. Let's just see what happens!!
I'm fueled, hydrated, rested, and ready for what's next!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back from Ohio.........

....and oh, what a trip it was! :) :) :)

First off, let me say THANK you to all who sent cheerful and kind birthday wishes. I Heart my blogland pals!

Wed 7/9 : Arrived kinda late from Tucson via DFW --which- PS, if you are unfortunate to have a 3hr layover, like me, there are plenty of delicious things to eat, cool stores to browse around in...AND * BONUS*-- a stop and drop pedi/mani place to get a lil' quickie before you hop on the plane in your flip flops! (Found that place a little TOO late, as I had a half hour til boarding..) Proceeded to have a free ROW--yes, a ROW--of seats to myself and spread out with my Marie Claire, iPod, and Mentos.

Thurs 7/10: Time changes do nothing for your training, I swear!!!!!!! I "slept in" til about 730am...but you know what??? I remembered that "Shit it's NOT 108 degrees here at 730am!?" So no biggie getting my run in later in the pleasant and balmy Midwestern temps......A PERFECT run......I always have those "perfect runs" on the first day of vacation, you know what I mean? (note to reader: Dayton ain't vacation, its just a good familiar) I really ENJOY that first run when I step foot on the home turf. Its green, its lush, its hilly, and its new, at least for today:) Plus, in the words of everyone's favorite tattooed rapper .."go shawwty, its your birfday...."...it ain't ya birfday if you DON'T have a good run, eh????????

My mom and I decided that the perfect day for my turning THE BIG 3-0 would be to mellow by the pool and get our lazy river on and pummel down waterslides!!.....WAHOO!!! We hopped in the car and set off to a little mini waterpark (now referred to as "Wal-Mart with Water"-- if ya know what I'm sayin) It was quite interesting-the crowds of people, that is :) And truly a fun afternoon of conversation and quality time with my momma!

Fri 7/11 and Sat 7/12: WEDDING!!! My stepsis tied the knot and what a beautiful bride she is!!! We had a great time eating, dancing, and ("of-course-I-would -like -a- 4th -glass-I -have -no -race-to -train -for right now") drinking champagne!!!!! A very full and happy two days of rehearsal dinners, lunches, wedding pics, wedding pre-gaming, wedding post-gaming......all reminding this "healthy " girl WHY exactly I gave up the late nights and parties and drinking more than 2 beers in 30 minutes a very long long long time ago!! I swear, did I really used to stay out past 2am for 4 nights straight in college??? All while managing decent grades, and a very active lifestyle on cross country and training for tri's....perhaps that explains my lack of ability to win or place well at these events....Hmmmmmmmmm, now if I could only turn back the clock.......

Wow, times have surely changed. For the better.

Now, I am back to what I call "Tucson Reality"......buried under a pile of dirty running shorts, a danced-out black party dress, and a time zone traveling hangover that has got me wondering, "where did the time go? it seems like just yesterday that........" Oh, how the good times fly by.

Its time to de-blog, and un-pack! G'nite!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why we do what we do...........

I had somewhat of an epiphany tonight. It happened not on my run, but after my run. In the shower.
1) Training 2) Showers. Two of the best places to ponder life. While in motion, or while in stillness (as the warm water pours over you). Both very tranquil, serene places 'to be' that complement each other, preferably in that order.

You see, I had a wonderful ride this morning with my two ass-kickers- AKA Tammy and Mimi.....fast as hell....I suck wheel. But you know what, I ride HARD with these gals. When I race with them, they usually beat me. But who cares? The point is, they are kicking my ass. The payoff? I get faster. I prove to MYSELF that I CAN hang with them. And that, my friend, is WHY I DO WHAT I DO.

It also brought up a quite different reason after my run this evening. Work was a doozy. A long, terribly exhausting day both mentally and emotionally. I work with heart patients. I "rehab" them. I teach and educate, and console, and comfort. And sometimes, it is damn exhausting. But hell, what job isn't?

Looking forward to leaving on time, I ended up staying later at work to finish necessary duties. Although after looking outside and seeing a storm brewing away, I suddenly got excited for my little run I had planned after work. I knew, given how hard I worked this morning, I wouldn't be able to stomach much more than 40 min, and I swear, as much as I enjoyed having the beautiful evening rain soak me with each step I took, I was disappointed that I could only last 30 min tonight. Again, bringing me to

I love to feel my body move. I love to breath hard, feel my heart pounding. It reminds me that I am alive. That I am a human being. With many more talents and things to give in this world. Many more stories to be told and many more experiences to be had. So, freaking big deal that I ran 30 min. I will run 60/+ tomorrow. And the day after that, 90 min. Its OK to have a day like today where I don't do what I feel I am capable of doing. I am only human right. Perfection is not possible. But striving for it is.

Tomorrow I will board my flight for Dayton. Where I will get to run in the wonderfully humid and green of the midwest. Run by my old high school and do a track workout on the track I used to train for my first marathon. And most importantly, share in a great wedding of my stepsister. And see the most important people in my life- My family. That is the best birthday present I could ask for .

30 years old, bring it on. I am ready for you.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Another weekend in Blogville.........

Happy end of a lovely 4th of July weekend......Started Fri morning (see previous blog entry) with a "firey" climb/intervals up the lemony-flavored Lemmon.......followed by a short day of work, a nice "cruise"/recovery swim in the lovely Oro Valley pool.....followed by a determined bargain hunt at Old Navy for something "cute" to wear to Kendra's BBQ....fun times, too many chips and peanut M&Ms (HOLLA!!!!!!!!)later and I am in my bed (lame!) before fireworks because of rain delay (*Fireworks went off sometime after 10pm! Too late for this endura-dork!)

Up and at 'em at 630, fueling with coffee and brekky, at pool at 0800-0945 for a "long"(and HARD) swim and then off to jobby-job for a few hours.....Bike shop for some tweaks on my brakes, haircut (the important things in life, really!) then out for more errands.......and home for a "Sat night frazzler" with the Shauna....a new fun drink for us!! Makes us feel like old grannies but seriously refreshing on a hot humid Tucson night: lime twist with vodka and soda...MMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!! I think it was 5pm....but on the holiday weekend I think its acceptable to drink at 430pm??? Anyone..????

Early evening for me on Sat after catching up with friends, and the standard "fat burning" ride on Sunday....4.5 hrs of steady climbing and cruising up Lemmon and back home....Core workout in the evening, some serious cleaning ....I also "rode" the couch with some TDF (I FREAKIN LOVE JULY!!!!Takebackthetour.com!! Hooray!!!,......and wouldn't you know its back to Sunday night and time to git 'er done for the week ahead........

Yay for a short week--Off to Ohio on Wed for 5 days to celebrate my big 3-0 and my stepsister's wedding! should be a wild time! ;0

Friday, July 4, 2008

When Bad things happen to GOOD people........

I always wonder WHY the kind, giving, and selfless people in this world get screwed .

On Wed evening, a coworker was burglarized. This is a women who has already had to overcome a fair share of adversity in the past year, which to me, makes it so much more UNFAIR. Not to mention, she was supposed to leave today to compete in Quelle Roth, a race in which she has (of course!) been training for since last summer. She has friends in Germany. She and her husband were so EXCITED.....They planned to arrive a week early, stay a week after to tour and vacation....like all of us, they had mentally and physically prepared for months to race an IM distance.... And now, because of some senseless, self-entitled JERK(S) (I am keeping it PG! Though I can think of much better titles for these people) things just won't be the same.

They took it all.....clothing, jewels, china, electronics, 3 computers........6 bikes!!!!!!!!!!! With the help of good friends and family, however, we all pulled together to make sure that she didn't miss her flight this morning.....I called her and offered my bike, to which she said " You are the 5th person to do that, thanks I found one that'll work!".....Her husband, being the totally kind and loving guy that he is (and determined to put the clues together to figure out these perpetrators....) opted out of racing, but INSISTED on my friend going......I am so very happy that she decided to go!!!! She owes it to herself and those a$$holes that ripped her off to have a GREAT RACE, a FUN VACATION, and a personal best!!!!


On a quite random side note, Christina and I were pedaling at the ripe hour of 5am down Catalina Hwy to Mt Lemmon...we were interval-ing up the hill and during our warm-up saw the most BIZARRE thing: A ball of fire and smoke covering the whole road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our curiosity go the best of us, and we proceeded to chase the flames, only to see swarms of fire and police officers attacking a small car fire!!!! The good news: The owner had clearly escaped and was being attended to at the side of the road!! Too much action for a Fri morning....

HAPPY 4th of JU-LY to all!! enjoy your food, family, and God bless!

Monday, June 30, 2008

At the request of Bree (and other bloggers!)

10 Years ago I was:
Finishing my 2nd year of college and transferring back to Ohio University (and starting to think about doing a Triathlon!?! Hmmmmmm)

5 Years ago I was:
Preparing to begin my graduate degree in exercise science at Ithaca College
(and debating training for my 3rd IM......still debating....;)

1 Year ago I was:
Dreading the fact that I was almost 29 and still not married/homeowner/didn't know what I wanted to do with my life...and still single! (hehehehe)

*Disclaimer* I am now today, EXCITED about turning 30 and loving the fact that the best times are ahead, right?.........

5 things on my TO DO list today:
Mail my student loan check
Deposit another check (see a trend!)
Get my long run in
Pick up a Rx
Send a thank you note to a friend

5 Snacks (only 5!!!):
Granola Bar
Peanut Butter *Disclaimer*this goes well with all of the above

If I were a Billionnaire::
Pay off all school loans/debt for my family
Buy "vacation" homes in Hawaii, New England, Italy, Australia.....etc and of course, host fabulous training get-aways for all of my homeys
Be more philanthropic with time and money
Buy more bikes!!

5 People I would want to have lunch with:
My Grandma Helen
My Mom
My Best Friend Joanna
Steve Carrell (cause he'd make me laugh)
Kathy Griffin (because she's absolutely nutty!)

5 Places I have lived:
Dayton, OH
Bloomington, IL
Athens, OH
Ithaca, NY
Tucson, AZ

5 Jobs I have had:
Grocery Store Cashier
Ice Cream Scooper/Sundae Maker
YMCA Fitness Attendant
Exercise Physiologist, Cardiac Rehabilitation

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Great Ride up the Mountain.......

While most of my home-girls from Summit Velo (cycling team) were up in Flagstaff racing this weekends' Summit Center Classic stage race, I opted to stay in Tucson and get my act together for my final on Monday! YES! THE Final! I am so excited to be finishing this class, as it will allow me to get the ball rolling on nursing school or physicians' asst school soon! (More on that another time!:)

Today started with an 0400 wake-up call, followed by me rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, making java, eating my Organic pop-tart and PB(!) and getting the gear ready for what has now become my "standard Sunday ride"- Meet Paul, Christina, and whoever else gets their holy laziness out of bed, and cruise over to Mount Lemmon for some intervals (or really, whatever you want to do) up the mountain.

Mount Lemmon is our beautiful little secret training mecca here in Tucson. It is about 9,000ft up (just ask Jen, she's gone to the top!) and is a hill climbers' dream. Some rolling parts, lots of steady steep grades and the place where you can find nearly 99% of Tucson cyclists on a Sunday morning. Not to mention, when you hit about 6,000 ft, you don't even feel like you are in the desert anymore. Pine trees, cooler temps, and the smell of fresh mountain air. Just love it!!!

While I am normally a rather "outgoing" gal, I have been rolling solo lately on workouts. Sometimes we endurance athletes do better with training buddies, and then other times its nice to step away and use workouts more for gathering your thoughts, personal time away, etc., and lately, that has been the case with me. Besides, not really having a training focus has helped (BUT NOW I NEED ONE!!) I have welcomed the change, however, and am always glad for Sunday when I get to ride with my Northwest Tucson crew.

Saw the usuals cruising up Lemmon, but this week I did NOT see Peter Reid. Yes, that's right, THE Peter Reid. Last Sunday on my descent, I could have sworn I saw a familiar tall and lanky Canadian climbing the mountain (sans helmet!!)....when I reunited with my crew, my buddy Paul (who knows NOTHING about the Tri world and EVERYTHING about cycling) said to me, "Gord Fraser was just riding up the mtn and was with this stud triathlete." Paul only understood the lure and excitement after I ran down Peter's list of IM achievements--and I hear he is now a pilot!? Interesting.

Time to refill the coffee and fuel up for an intense study session on immunity and disease. Oh the excitement(?

Have a peaceful and happy Sunday!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I think we may need an intervention.

I admit it, I am severely addicted. Sometimes I find myself at Trader Joe's with an "excuse" that I need________ (fill in the blank), but really, I am just there for IT. IT and some other essentials that go so well with IT. IT calls my name as I walk through the holy gates, (that, of course would be TJ's)

"Mere, there's only 3/4 of a jar left, you need some more of me!"

Yes, my fellow friends. Most of you (Jen, Ashley, HTFU et al) know EXACTLY what IT is - PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!! And I am not talking about that processed crapola that comes in industrial sized tubs at Costco. NO WAY IN HELL.....I am talking about the delicious, seductive, smooth-yet-crunchy "Organic Natural Trader Joe's Crunchy" PB.....it's pure heaven on earth......It makes me salivate just thinking about it.

I, like some others (who shall remain nameless but let's just say they are Starbucks-obsessed!!! RR, ME) am completely obsessed with the PROCESS, shall we say, that goes into a perfect jar of Trader Joe's Organic Natural Crunchy. Should you be so obsessed, please follow the rules below :
1) Buy 2 jars--in case of course, you have NO PB at home in your fridge, which would be in fact, a crisis! In that case, buy 3 at a time (You really never know what life entails but you ALWAYS need to have your trusty companion available at a moment's notice to take with you to race/weekend away/in the event you starve to death)
2) Upon your return from the store, promptly turn sealed container upside down. This will promote even distribution of natural peanut oils and will sufficiently prepare you to "STIR" later.
3) Go do something ridiculous. Paint your toenails. Make and drink a pot of coffee. Read a blog or two.
4) Return to that pretty little jar and GET WORKIN'
5) Open sealed container and with a knife, begin stirring slowly in a churning motion. Use those strong wrists. ( I add a few EXTRA shakes of Sea Salt, just to give it some more OOMPH!)
6) Lick the knife, you know you want to!
7) Toss in the fridge (I hope you screwed lid back on!!).
!Voila! You have just mastered a fine art! Congrats, pat yourself on the back, and spread some of that fine delicious-ness on a warm toasty slice of bread!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

...LET the RAIN begin......

YESSSSSSS!! Its finally here!! As much as I would have rather swam for the full 60 min today (no biggie, though, I did almost 120 min yesterday, so I am good!!:) I got kicked out of the pool this afternoon due to a pending storm and thunder!!!

Most people would be grumpy as hell to have their workout cut short but not me, its FINALLY here!! Yes, that is right my fellow non-desert dwellers!!! It is the glorious start of MONSOON season....you see, most of the summer months are spent dealing with temps well over 100 degrees...and Monsoon marks the beginning of temps in the 90's and cooler, more pleasant evenings and mornings (ie, great for those early morning rides or runs...) Not to mention, you don't have to run your A/C at 67 degrees just to maintain your sanity indoors!!

Off to the gym for some strength training....Yahoo!!!:)

Thank God for Good Friends........

Those who know me well know that the past few months have been particularly low due to a variety of "changes" (if you will).....The cycling season ended a bit early (April) as I took on some new challenges by adding a full-time summer class to my already busy work schedule, thus reducing my hours at work and trying to bang this thing out so I can move ahead with a new career.........

On the relationship front, I have been quite down in the dumps.....I feel like I am so damn sick of dealing with men who claim they are "ready," when really, they have no clue what they want. In fact, the idea of dating anyone right now, frankly, scares the $hit outta me! Warning to the wise: If he's still living with mom (even if he claims its "Temporary"--he's really never planning to move out!) And on that note, she's the one you are competing with--not some other young thing!!!l! ;)

Which brings me to my homeys: Kendra and Cindy!!! Kendra is my wonderful "Married" (like its a disease or something) optimist, who is quick to schedule a lunch date, a ride or swim, or just some good ol' time to chill , even though her schedule is busier than Obama right now.....She's just completed her first year of residency and I swear, she never sleeps and still manages to lead a much more vibrant social life than yours truly, and I have NO excuses!!!!

Cindy is the most analytical, yet kind-hearted person you will meet. She is there (even if only on text messages lately! HA!::) if you need a quick pick me up, or to grab a beer and just vent....she's lived through many more "life experiences" than myself, so I definitely take to heart her points of view, and her ability to pick up and move on.

Its no wonder that these past few months I have really called upon my girls to cheer me up and bring to light what really matters in life : YOUR FRIENDS
(In fact, no sooner did my heart break and Kendra was there with wine, my favorite dinner, ice cream, cookies, and an entire night of consoling my tears ! Thanks K!!!)

So here's to my two best Tucsonans....I love you girls more than you know and we've got many good times ahead!

:) MP

Monday, June 23, 2008

.....Things that are broken

......My car.....well, now its fixed , thanks to my best friend's husband--AKA Nate the Rent-a-husband!!!!!!!

......Everyone needs a rent-a-husband, don't they???!?! (my sources tell me even married girls enjoy a man who knows how to "fix things")

.....My iShuffle....ok, well, let's just knock on wood...or knock on the handlebars of the tready that i did my KILLER interval workout this afternoon, cause (can I get a "HELL YA!!") it still miraculously works after I so furiously and stupididly(is that even a word?) "washed" it with my cycling gear!!!! DAMN....I am counting my lucky stars on this one..........

.....So my one and only blog homey Jen H., who I am happy to report will soon be a part-time Tucson resident/aka homeowner, bugged me about my "BLOG"......Jen, seriously, do you think I actually have time to BLOG??? I mean, I am a much better blog READER and subscriber than an actual blog"GER"............

This is a start....we'll see if I can keep up...........