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 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!!) 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...." 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 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 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!!!!!! 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 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, 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!