Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I road my new Parlee for the first time.


More later.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Was in a sentimental mood today, when a friend forwarded me a picture (the last one). I was thinking about the friendships that I've had in my life, and how so many have affected me, and how most are still present. I was thinking about how so many of them stand up for me, and help me when I'm down. Each one of them can make me laugh.
There are a lot of definitions for "friend" but one of my favorites is, "A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are." Here is another photo filled blog post.

A friend is someone who will always be there. Annie, my best friend since 1998ish. She's an amazing lady, busy with med school so we don't talk often. Although we are many miles apart, we seem to come together quickly when re-united. She is "my buddies," my marshmallow Peeps/peachie companion, and my high school giggle pal. We are full of inside jokes. Although our friendship started out in the pool, it lasted way beyond those countless yards and endless synchronized swimming hybrids. She is and always will be my best friend.

A friend is someone who can cuddle with you. Missy, my college roommate and best friend since 2002. Our relationship started off via email. Long, long emails. Our histories. Our secrets. Our truths. Then we met the summer before we went to college at an Olive Garden in Fargo, ND. It's weird meeting someone for the first time when you feel like you've known them your entire life. I suppose it's like internet dating. We met in the middle and have since hit it off. We also have our fair share of inside jokes from way too many hours spent in our dorms talking, giggling, rather than studying. Fyi, she has fantastic piggy back hips...once carrying me down the stairs of the dining center, across campus, up the stairs and into our dorm room, with no breaks. She rocks.

Friends are people you admire. The Pink Ladies, friends since 2002, roommates from 04-06. Each one of these ladies has a special place in my heart. This is our Christmas card from our senior year...lifting your spirits. Below that is our most recent reunion at Kayley's Wedding this past month. We have an unbelievable bond that has been through alot, and has yet to break. They have all lifted me when I was down, and would do anything for me. The ghetto of 821 S 25th st holds a lot of history in those walls. Missy, Kayley, Katie and Kari will always be "my college roommates."
Like I said before, friends lift you up when you are down...or when you need some fun! Airplane rides with turbulence are something I share with my friends. Here is KK on her last airplane ride as a single lady! A friend is someone who will pose for a karate chop dance move with you. Keaton, the most metro straight guy you'll ever meet, friends since college. Keaton listens with true interest and gives the truth straight back at you. He always say the right things, even if it's not what you want to hear. He knows how to console, listen, advise...which is why he's a great life coach. He'll always return your phone call, and always make time for a friend in need. He also gives great fashion advice without making you feel like a piece of crap wearing sweatpants. Judging without judging?
A friend will hold their breath for (with) you. Mare, foreigner, friend since 2002. This crazy chica from Estonia entered my life wearing trousers drinking coke, speaking British English in North Dakota. She quickly learned our crazy slang, pants and pop, and was instantly welcomed. It was fun watching her come out of her shell, and really getting to know her throughout our four years together. Mare para, you will always bring a smile to my face.
Friends are people who will dance the night away. College friends. Mostly swimmers, and mostly friends since 2002 when we all became Fighting Sioux. These guys are my teammates, and they know more than anyone what I went through to get where I am as an athlete...because they did it as well! Only swimmers understand how crazy swimmers are. Sacrifices, injuries, and downright hard work are what we went through to attempt at achieving success. UND alumni at Kayley and Nick's wedding.A friend is someone you can lean on. Mike "Pink Pants" Evans, friend since 2006, cat like climbing skillz. This man taught me so much, not only climbing, but boys, relationships, and life. He showed me how to climb with my legs not my arms, the art of smearing and slab climbing. He pushed me to perfect my technique and for this I am grateful. He listened when Amanda and I were having boy problems. He is like a dad that you can talk to about girl stuff...as odd as that sounds, it works. Now that I've moved away from Minnesota, I miss having that watchful eye, and that hearty laugh.
A friend is also someone who will catch you when you fall, and hold on for your life. Literally, here, Mike again, on the north shore in Minnesota. One of my favorite routes.
A friend is someone who can change with you. Amanda, bad ass climbing chica, friend since 2006. This lady is the sickest, strongest, girly girl I know. I can have the girlyest conversation with her one minute, and crank on the hardest 5.11 route the next. She pushed me in the gym, when I gave up on competing, so sick of it from college. She would pull hard, so I'd pull harder. I got stronger because of her. A friend will do laps up and down all the 5.7-5.10s in the gym with you, training for something that was so far out my league, and prepare you for something so amazing. We went to Mexico, led ourselves up multiple full day endeavors, "manning" up and getting it done. We came back as bad ass climbing chicas. Now that I have left, she is still here for me on the girly girl front.
A friend is someone who will train with you. Bethany, bionic babe, friend since 2008. She is one of my first girlfriends in San Diego. I met her at my first club race and got to know her a couple times at the cove and on the TCSD Saturday Del Mar rides. She has gone through alot, but somehow manages to listen a little when I need it. We signed up for our first Ironman together, St. George, Utah, and will lose our IM virginity together. Looking forward to a winter full of training. A friend can be new, but you know she will be forever. Erin, fellow midwest transplant, collegiate swimmer, friend since 2009ish. This girl knows how to have fun, and look good doing it. I see many days of giggles in our future. Although she is probably my biggest competitor, I wouldn't want anyone else to beat me more than her. I met her last summer and don't know how we didn't hang out more until recently. A friend can take you places. Petuina, custom Guru triathlon bike, friend since November 2008. Yes, I'm calling my bike my friend. She never talks back, is always willing to go for a ride, listens to how I'm feeling, responds to my requests, looks hot, yet makes me look hotter, and is Fast (thus making me fast). She rides well with others and stands out in transition so I know where I can find her. She is mine, and I love her. A friend is someone you can watch the past with and dream about the future. Nikee, fellow swim coach, friend since 2008. Another San Diegan friend for life. This little chica has a big personality, and a warm midwestern heart. She has been through her share of heartache and success...so swapping stories with her is always good. Caleb took this picture of us at the cove last Friday.
My friends have empathy and sympathy. They give honesty when others would have trouble giving the truth. There is a mutual agreement and the desire to want what is best for one another. All my close friends know how to hug me. So, this got a little more personal than I usually go, but I guess I was in a sentimental mood. I'd just like to say thanks to the friends above, and the friends who I didn't mention. I think John Lennon said it best, "I get by with a little help from my friends."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

SDIT...not bad!

I was able to get out of work early on Thursday for the Aquathlon...which I ended up racing. Had an okay swim, opting for no wetsuit, and felt alright on the run. A little chilly as the marine layer came in but it was nice for the run. Erin and I above, and Me and Nikee below...representing TCSD with the blue and orange! Go JCC swim coaches! (or the 10 year old girls getting nervous/ready for their race!)Friday was a double cove swim day. One mile wetsuitless in the AM with hot chocolate to follow, and a half mile in the evening, Pot Luck style. :) Also, it was the much anticipated buoy standing attempts...and successes! Here are Evan and Nikee and a couple pictures complements of Chris. Fun times out there as usual.
Woohoo!This weekend was the San Diego International Triathlon. To earn my spot I had to volunteer at the expo registration on Saturday in addition to paying the entry fee. Luckily Evan and Erin opted to do the same, which helped the day pass. It was fun to see the excitement on most faces about the race the next day. Sign your waivers! Evan hosted a carbo load pasta dinner at his place Saturday evening for a couple of us. Yummy dinner, and then off to bed!Sunday morning came quite early, as the guys wave left at 6:40...luckies. Erin and I weren't off until 7:15, behind the clydesdales and challenged athletes...awesome. Got all my bike maintenance issues solved (clean/lube chain, change rear skewer, pump tires, put number on bike) and did a little warmup. Hip/hamstring wasn't feeling good at all. Tried stretching and nothing seemed to loosen it up. Not good. Having visions of seeing myself walk the run. Not good. Bad thoughts out, let the swim loosen it up. Alright, so that whole thing of nothing new on race day?Didn't happen. I got some new (green) Speedplay pedals. What was wrong with the old ones? Nothing...but I'm getting a new bike, thus requiring new pedals. So old pedals are going on new bike, and I opted for new (green) pedals to be put on tri bike. Is there anything wrong with that? Shoes you ask? Found the same pair, same size I have on ebay. $44.50. Anyway, as a new Speedplay user, I figured I should practice a bit. And good thing I did. The cleats were a bit tight and require quite a bit of lube. Felt confident enough that they would eventually click, so I opted to keep them on.Race report: Wetsuit on...almost forgot my earplugs walking to the swim start. Saw the boys, Jake and Chris in 1st and 2nd heading back on the swim. Got in, basically with no swim warmup (swimming out to the inwater start). Hung out and chatted it up a bit with Erin and Beth. Before we knew it the horn was off...so much for a warning. Got into my groove and found a girls heels to stay on. She had a pretty strong kick, so following her bubbles wasn't a problem. Started swimming over the stragglers from the previous waves, but I had someone in front to do the battling. Turned the buoys with a pretty relaxed pace and heart rate. Brought it back pretty strong. Ended up beating that girl to the timing mat. Splits aren't out yet, but it looks like about 12ish minutes. 1st out of the water. Not bad!Took my wetsuit off before reaching my transition area...because it was so flipping far away, and it's way more difficult to strip the wetsuit when all the water is out. Later today I found out I cut my foot pretty bad on something in the water, glass or a shell. Not good. Made it out of T1 before the girl, but she caught me as I was having some fun with those new pedals...hehe. Tried to take it easy and get the HR under control before hitting the hill on Cannon. Didn't happen, and I didn't get to push it up the hill as hard as I would've liked. Made it to the guard tower and it was on. This is my course, now kill it. By the time I got to the top of the tidepool hill area I looked down and was going 26mph. Turned around and headed back...wind! No wonder I was going so fast on the way out. Okay, 2 loops. Don't let this head wind get to you. Circled around pretty quickly, taking a peek at the competition on all those loops. Freaking clydesdales bombing the downhills and then getting in the way on the way up. Lol. I flew down Cannon and headed into T2 not sure what to expect. 52ish minutes. 19.7mph average. 2nd off the bike. Not bad!

Before the race I told Beth I'd see her at mile one of the run. And what do you know? Saw her at one mile of the run, chasing down that lead girl. Man, is there really three parts to a triathlon? Argh. Okay, you signed up for this, you better run the run. All the tri club swim buddy peeps were right at run out which really helped to get me going. Settled into my pace and was feeling alright. Took some salt tabs last night, before the swim, on the bike, and at mile three on the run. Trying to keep the cadence up, and keep myself cool by dumping water on my head were my two thoughts the entire run. Oh yeah, and how much I hate running. Saw Jim Vance at mile two, passed Mark Ganzer around mile 4, saw Bethany, Chris, Jake, and Evan at mile five and tried to put the hammer down on the last mile...knowing that Erin was on my feet hunting me down. Finished! Erin came over as I was taking down some water...she missed me by 8 seconds, not seeing me until the finish chute. 54ish run. 9:00/mile average. Not bad!
Ended up 2:03.31 which was 7th of 55 in my age group.
Afternoon was spent with friends at Flo's birthday brunch at 94th Aero Squadron. An interesting place, with delicious food and mimosas. Nap time and then Katrina and Chris came along for the view of another (sunsetless) evening cove swim with Jake to cap off a pretty great weekend.

Congrats to all the participats and thanks to the volunteers at SDIT. I'll be back next year...and I'll remember to sign up early! Also, congrats to the SD underwater hockey team on their silver finish at US nationals in Minneapolis this past weekend. It was a tough choice not to play, and to race untrained for the run, but I'm glad I stayed back.

Up next...Summer Fun! 4th of July, Erin's b-day, Dodgeball tournament, and a Singles Auction to benefit TCSD cares. As for racing, I'll start back up in August. Tour of Bouys, Camp Pendelton Sprint (thanks to James for trading the free entry he won for some free swim lessons I'm giving him) and that 10 mile swim.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

big LITTLE things

Caleb was at the club race two weekends ago taking pictures. There were some of me smiling and some bending over in transition (lol) but I liked this one the best. I didn't know he was there, but clearly my focus was on finishing at this point...and oxygen. The race report is in the previous post so I won't go into it...but running is hard when you take time off. Dang injuries. Little steps have been taken over the past two months, and I think I'm ready for big strides...and easing back into this running thing. big LITTLE thing to keep me going? Stretching.

So if Saturday (minus the Pier to Cove win) was a passive day, Sunday was an active day. Headed to Spanish Landing for a quick course preview for SDIT with some triathlon club people. I tried out "race pace" up Cannon and through the base...and it felt alright! I'm so used to riding the course as a group ride, so it was fun to get out and push it! New big LITTLE thing? Small Chain Ring. Embracing It.

Hurried home to make it to Coronado for some lessons with the guys. Mark, Lou and Steve have been rocking it lately. Staying relaxed in front of their coach seems to be an issue. I think they get a little nervous, especially when thinking of the 100 tid bits of information I have. Which I realize is my issue...TMI. I have a wealth of technique tweaking comments and sometimes it's hard to hold back. I'm working on it. big LITTLE thing? Improvement. Major.

Again, hurried home to go for a run. What? Yeah, a run. I asked Chris Teague what he was planning on for a run today and he said 90 min ez. like 10 min mile pace. Sweet! I'll tag along, take a stretching break mid-way (on spanish landing), and finish up with him. Ended up doing 7 miles at 9:30 pace. Slow huh? Yes, but that's what I needed. And I'm actually okay with it, mentally. Because I know physically that's all I can handle. Just getting some time on my legs, preparing for what the 10k this weekend will be like. big LITTLE thing? New Running Partner. oh yeah, Stretching.

Sunday evening was awesome. Banister got back from epic ride and we (+Katrina and Chris) headed to the cove. A great sunset 1/4 mile swim with a great friend. Tender Greens afterwards where we met up with Bethany, her Chris, and Kevin (-Banister). Yum as usual. big LITTLE things? Dropping the Wetsuit. It's SUMMER! Steak. Medium Rare.

This week has moved along. Monday I got out early from work and made it to the La Jolla Shores swim...finally! A really fun core group of us got it done, swimming the 2 miles to the cove and back, so I could make it to the JCC in time for coaching. This really fun core group is joining me on the crazy 10 mile swim around Point Loma. Quoting Nikee, "Yeah 10.Mile.Swim.Around.Point.Loma!" hehe. It's on. August 16th. Probably mid-morning to hit the tides right. We are still lining up paddleboarders/kayakers, so if interested, let me know! Big finishers party/going away party at the park or my house for Mary and Chris Roots who are leaving us! big LITTLE thing? Anne Cleveland. Double English Channel crossing accomplishment. Countless long distance open water swims. She knows what's going on and we are lucky to have her input into our own craziness. (This is another walk in the park for her.) Tuesday was the Moment ride and I felt great. Got a massage (free!) from my friend Amy after work...amazing. Wednesday was busy again, with the 10k time trial at Coastal and a lesson with Brian in the morning, and JCC coaching at night. Today was the Moment ride (feeling strong and ready for SDIT), and I'm currently trying to figure out a way to leave early tonight to make it to the Aquathlon, at least for the food. Tomorrow I'm sure I'll do a double cove swim day, Saturday I'm working the expo passing out timing chips, and Sunday is Race Day! Anne also invited me to do some "laps" in the cove...i.e. 8 miles. We'll see how the race goes to see if I jump in for a couple. big LITTLE thing? I'm Happy.

Happy belated fathers day, dad. I love you. big LITTLE thing? your email.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

paddling back to life

All things considering, I've had a pretty easy week and a half. Okay, just kidding, but it wasn't that bad. Staying busy has been good. Swimming has been helping me through the rough times. Like a best friend when all you need is someone to listen and feel with you, but without the feedback, negative reactions, and awkwardness. I said before, ocean swimming is my relief, my chance to relax and release. To let all emotions go. Even to compete (see more below).
Over seven miles of cove/ocean swimming and eight swim technique lessons. Solo swims, first light swims, sunset swims, swims with good friends, swimming races, and wetsuit-less swims have lessened the pain and I have found swimming to be the most effective way to bring a smile to my face. It helps me to gather my thoughts, or forget them and concentrate on my stroke. It helps me to release anger and tension, and yes sometimes tears. It helps to heal.
Okay, enough of that. Onto the fun stuff:

Club Race

Last weekend after a long 3rd place finish at poker, I managed to peel myself out of bed for the club race in Coronado...which we all found out was the last one there! Apparently the club has overgrown the space, and it is now an issue of safety. Even after only having raced there a year I'm distraught...I have a lot of memories and personal accomplishments there and was hoping to see a couple more goals get accomplished...but such is life.
Back to the race...the swim was short. Banister (in his $700 wetsuit) and Flo (didn't know till after the race; would've tried harder) beat me out of the water. Hopped on the bike and was cruising at a steady pace on the way out. Alone. At the turn around a giant pack overtook me...including some women. Drafting. Insert moral dilemma. Draft and cheat, or get dropped. I tried to do my fair share of pulling, but I've never felt such a pull, literally, between hanging on or dropping off. Had some interesting conversations with said girls, about said drafting dilemmas. Consensus was keep it up. Argh. Got off the bike and had a fast transition and a slow run which was to be expected. Finished alright. 1:06 with a short swim, and a cheater bike split.

Friends Rock
Saturday night movie night was a success, as many of us showed up to the sold out Hangover showing at Fashion Valley. Flo, Farah, Nikee, Banister, Katrina, Chris, and Evan were all giggle monsters throughout the movie. If you haven't gone, go. Hilarious. Perfect casting.
Sunday I taught some lessons and then went on a fabulous girls ride with Nikee on a loop starting in Sorennto Valley up the 56 bike path through San Dieguito and back down El Camino. Afterward we went to the Club BBQ at Coastal to hear Ryan Hall , ridiculously super duper amazing american record marathoner, speak with Bob Babbitt. Pictured above, he looks eerily like my brother. Topped the evening off with a great sunset cove swim.


Well as you can see, the swimming part is going, well, swimmingly. Cycling has been holding in there...and running has been, well, non existent. (Club race and buffalo tri were the last known sightings of this one attempting to run.) Still dealing with back/hip/hamstring issues but keeping the pain manageable. Last Thursday at the Moment ride I started to feel the bike legs coming back. This is good, as San Diego International course is essentially that ride. Hey, it's home court advantage, and I'll take it. Wednesday I participated in another study, this time at Coastal Sports. It was a 10k baseline time trial on the bike using a computrainer, testing the effectiveness of a patch. Patch testing is this Wednesday. Should be interesting to see if I'm in the placebo group or not. HR monitor wasn't working...said my average HR was 105...yeah in your bra (Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar anyone?) It got fixed at the end and jumped to 199. Right where it should be at. Lessons and more swimming filled up the end of the week.

Pier to Cove Swim Race

First off, and not to downplay my competitors, I want to say I wasn't rested for this race. Actually, I found myself in the middle of some pretty serious swim training (I actually just laughed at that... serious swim training... okay not really, but way more than the previous two months.) Friday morning I swam for the first time without a wetsuit to show myself that I'd be okay. Nikee picked me up for a Friday evening cove swim as well. Which then led to some drinks at Carl Strauss, which led to some drinks at Jose's. Awesome. The girlies: Elaine, Jessica, Me, Mary, and Alicia. Yes that is a long island in my hand.Came home and Bethany entertained me while I guzzled two bottles of water; went to bed hoping for the best. Saturday I parked at the cove and got a ride down to the shores. After a fiasco at the entry booth I made my way down to the Pier with new friend Jake (naval rescue swimmer) who I've swum with a couple times at the cove. The windy, misty, sunless morning chilled me off and I hadn't even entered the water. Finally the horn went off and we were charging the waves for a nice surf entry. Which for some reason I've been sucking at lately. Not a good runner, short legs and big waves make for a slow start for me. I turned at the pier, dumped out the water inevitability forced into the goggles from the waves, turned off the excuses, and worked my way to the front of the pack. Stomach wasn't really happy for most of the race, and somehow I managed to somewhat ignore it. Swallowed and inhaled way too much salt water (wait, aren't I a swim coach?) but distracted myself with stroke counting techniques. 50 cycles hard, 15 backing off. 100 hard, 15 relaxed. I was alone for most of the swim and tried to stay focused through the middle, choppy section. Made it to the kelp beds and noticed a girl trailing me. Oh no, not letting you get by. I took the inside route and it paid off. After really only hitting two major kelp beds, and while trying to power through I looked back and saw her struggling through. Okay, I can do this. About a quarter mile left. Time to hammer home. I saw Jake right about this time as well. Finished. 41 very long minutes later. Ended up first women out and the 4th overall out of around 215 swimmers. Cool! Here I am with the overall male winner, Claudio (in 36 min... wow)Went out to breakfast with friends Thomas, Nikee and James, who were celebrating their 1 year anniversary, and Ken. Was planning on a ride after, but with the nasty skies, rain, and utter internal coldness lingering, I opted for a lazy Saturday afternoon.


Are going well! It's so awesome to see major improvement. Mark is learning timing and proper kick, steve is figuring out when to breathe and how to stay tall, Lou is graduating to flip turns, Brian had a good first lesson full of many little tidbits, and Cami is swimming with power! Coaching is one of my favorite weekly activities because I get to see that my critque/advice combined with their hard work actually pays off. So cool. Brian and Cami picked me up at the club meeting and so it starts. I ordered some "business" cards and can't wait till they get here...only because they are so cute. I also opened a new email, triswimguru@gmail.com for scheduling and such. My swimmers think I have a pretty awesome competitive advantage in that I actually get in the water and literally swim underneith when I'm analyzing strokes. It's good to have that perspective rather than just yelling "high elbows!" from the deck (as most of my coaches did).
Sadly, I missed JCC on Wednesday because my car blew up. Okay, not really, but the radiator hose had a hole and was spewing yellow fluid all over my engine. Ugh. Luckily my car actually made it to the JCC parking lot and Lou came to my rescue. Five stores and two clamps later we found the right hose and Lou so graciously helped (did all the work) to fix my car. Big karma points.

The Next Adventure
This should be it's own post, but I'm on a roll. At Pannikin on Friday a couple of us were discussing Banister's (with Flo and Evan) crazy weekend bike adventure. They (hopefully) completed the 135 mile ultramarathon Badwater course by bike today. 110 degree heat and 11,000 ft of elevation gain. CRAZY right? No cell service...so we'll see how it went tomorrow. Anyway, Steve said he wants to plan a crazy swim adventure. It so happens that randomly this week, Cory asked me if I ever thought about swimming around Point Loma (no I haven't, yes I'd love to). I estimated it to be about 10 miles, and totally do-able. Ding, ding, ding, brought it up to Steve and he's in. Who else? Here's the map: fyi I was right on about the 10 miles. Hopefully under 5 hours. I'm thinking at mile 6 I'm going to want a feeding break. Peanut butter jelly time! No date set yet. Cory wants to paddleboard and will organize others. If I thought the last two weeks were serious training I wonder what stepping it up again will feel like. This should be good as I'm thinking the 5 mile Tour of Buoys is in the cards again. Oh happy day.

Trying to keep my head up and looking forward. Bored at work I fell into the tweeting of Twitter. Yet another thing to check/update. Parlee should be built up this week for a hopefully maiden (easy spin) voyage on Saturday before the SDIT expo! New bike! New bike! Tomorrow I'm going to stop by the SDIT course preview for a quick ride before heading over to Coronado for some lessons. Hopefully the weather will clear up for a nice evening cove swim. Solo or not, depending on if anyone wants to head out. Here I am, paddling my way back to life. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009


Another new bike? What?It's a Parlee Z4 road bike. Moment Cycle Sport team issued bikes.
Yes, it has finally arrived. Less of a wait than the Guru...but just as anticipated. Now we all have to wait for the parts to come in. hurry hurry! I want to take her out!

JT emailed me today telling me they were in and if I didn't come to the shop soon they were going to open them. Hello!? I took off for my lunch break and got to have Christmas morning all over again. Ah, the smell of carbon.Looks pretty similar to this:Yeah it is kind of weird that I "match" my bikes. Green and white. Black and blue. Hilarious. Both times I didn't know they would be coming. It's nice that I was able to head down there today. I can't wait to get out there and race!

Was thinking about names today. Mark Kenny had suggested Petunia for the Guru. And keeping with the P theme, I was thinking Penelope for the Parlee. Or Poppy... refering to the blue, double-bloomed, poppy from one of my favorite movies, Batman Begins.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

rough waves

Fletcher cove, courtesy of google images.

Last night was rough. Not only in the Pacific. But in life.

I'm writing for the sanity of myself. To tell myself that things will be okay. Life moves on whether you're ready or not.

Before my life was turned upside down, I was as happy as I could be. I went to Fletcher, alone, and swam out past the breakers. I glided. I floated. I laid on my back and watched the sun set. I stared into that sun until it was burned into my eyes. Closed my eyes and that sun remained, even after setting. I stayed out there as long as I could handle it. I swam back in, truly at peace. Then I walked back to reality.

The ocean has always done that for me. It's been my place. To clear my head. To relax. To release. To lose all worries. To not care about time. To hammer. To help. To train.

I swim because I love the way my body feels rolling through water. I love the repetitiveness of it all, as crazy as that sounds. I love getting into a grove, counting my strokes, ever dialing in the angle of my arms pulling through the water. I love being technical and precise and not having either one of those overwhelm me. I love the control I have. I love that my feet feel like fins as I kick. Nothing is better than a wetsuit-less backstroke with the sun pouring in my face.

I hope the ocean will always be that for me. I'm going to need it these next couple of weeks.

Riding the waves of life, like always...only this time a breaker crashed on top of me and I'm a little disoriented. In time I will make my way to the surface again. And paddle my way back to life.

Monday, June 8, 2009

MN Wedding Weekend

Another one in the books. This weekend college friends Kayley and Nick got married in Fergus Falls, MN. I flew into Minneapolis on Thursday and met college roommates Kari and Katie and Katie's husband Phil. They rented an Xterra so the bike could fit. :) Made it to Fergus and headed out for the bachelorette party. Spent a good portion of the evening at Zorbaz, where everything iz zpelled with a "z" inztead of an "s." Here we all are on the dockz on Otter Tail Lake. Gorgeouz evening.Katie wanted to take a shot...so the bartender asked us if we had 2 more friends. So over come Kayley and Kari and we end up taking a "zhotzki"...which is a old children's wooden water ski with 4 holes for shot glasses. So funny...Kayley stood up when he yelled zhotzki (enough with the z's already!) and Kari and I couldn't reach! We failed and had to have a 2nd attempt. Hilarious. Following Zorbaz we headed to the town of Elizabeth for some fun at a local hick bar, the Silver Dollar. It was a rather young crowd. What do people in small towns in Minnesota do for fun on a Thursday night? Bean Bag toss tournament. No joke. Kayley's sister signed her and I up. Double elimination. We lost bad our first game 21-0. Second game was a nail blighter...we lost 21-20. All in all a fun weekend catching up with the Pink Ladies, and getting to know Kayley's high school friends.
Friday was pretty chill, so I took my bike out of the box and assembled it. Took her out for a ride in the 53 degree windy climate of Western Minnesota in my tri-top and shorts. Burr! Bridal luncheon and more relaxing followed by the Groom's dinner at the local golf course. Good conversation, food and okay wine made for a fun evening. Janice, Nick's mom, made us all purses as Kayley's thank you gifts. They were all so unique! Made me miss crafting a little. :)
Saturday was the wedding. The ceremony was perfect, although the rain prevented them from getting as many outdoor pictures as they would've liked. The reception was also beautiful, yummy food and good dancing. I hit the sack around midnight only to be awoken at 4am to head down to Buffalo for the triathlon. I'm sure my parents loved that!
Made it there, set up transition, found Nordica (high school/college friend) and Jesse (old friend) and got to see his wife and new baby, Ethan Jon. Found my brother and gave him the borrowed wetsuit. Headed down to the lake and by the time I knew it we were off!
I'll keep the race report short: Weather report: crap. Freezing. Drizzling. Overcast. Cold. Raining. Dreary. Any other nasty adjectives I could add? Swim felt good...and short. 5:37 and I was out. Headed onto the bike and felt alright. Later I found out I didn't tighten the seat enough...so it was all the way down...oops! I found myself distracted and not pushing (18.8mph average with some hills). Headed into T2 feeling like I was on a training day. The run was crap. I didn't expect anything better. Haven't ran in almost 6 weeks?! haha, so yeah 25min for my 5k. Wow. I was 5th overall in the swim out of 800 participants. One girl passed me on the bike, and four during the run, so I was 5th overall in my AG (of 64). My back felt fine, but I had some tightness in the hamstring and pain in my right hip...where this all started.

I need to get back into it. Frustration is not the way. I know I need to be careful, and ease back into it. Not sure on International at this point. I don't want to have a crappy attitude during that race...and I know I'm going to want to race it harder.
Sunday afternoon my family went to Uncle Al's house to visit cousin Harper and Aunt Claudia. Such an adorable child. On the way to the airport Amanda met my dad and I at Culvers for a quick hello. She was at the Blue Mounds Minnesota Climbers gathering, camping in the rain all weekend. Of course, flights were delayed. Toronados in Denver? Awesome. Made it to Denver and connecting flight waited 45 min for a couple of us to make it. Got into San Diego around midnight (2am central time...after waking up at 4am...long weekend!) only to find my bike didn't make it.
Still haven't heard back. It wasn't on the first flight into San Diego this morning. ARGH!!!
Back to reality. Normal work week. Club race this weekend. Trying to get the training back on track.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

test results

were better? Sweet! Here is the previous post documenting my results. I won't go into such detail, but I was surprised at the outcome.

Here I am looking a little crazy on the trainer before the test started. (You wouldn't want to see the after results). Back was feeling good today, so I was trying to beat my previous max wattage of 280. I made it to 284, 10 seconds longer, but ouch it hurt. Max heart rate? 211bpm. Sick. Lost 5lbs and had a lower body fat percentage? Sweet.
Anyway, here it is broken down. The first number is today's results compared to the second number which was my 1st test result:

-resting HR 54/60
-Vo2 max: 52.5/51.2
-LT 40.3/39.0
-LT Heart rate 188/175
-LT watts 204/188

Greatest improvement was being able to lose weight, but still be able to increase my lactate threshold for wattage output. And really, doing all of this with very little training. He asked if I noticed a difference going up hills...well, yes, in fact, I had a great GWL ride on Sunday. Hmm... My "optimal" weight goal that he set is still 10lbs lower than what I'm at now. I know I want to be there before Ironman next year. It'll take a lot to get there...mainly self control, and having better alternatives while sitting here at work.

One more thing. Did someone say team bikes? OMG what did I do? Haha more to come later.
It's "Friday!" Vacation, here I come. Making Stephen A some delicious birthday dinner tonight, and a cheesecake I somehow whipped up during my extended lunch break today. I rule!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


May gray always leads to June gloom. Onto another month. Hopefully this one will be brighter than the last. I have much to look forward to so I hope my body will hold out for all of it!
I ran for the first time on Wednesday. It went alright. 2.5 miles. Had to walk/stretch in the middle. Chiropractor in the afternoon and a advil PM at night. Thursday rolled around and I wasn't really okay for JT's ride but I felt better as the day progressed. Friday was the first pot luck at the cove. yummy and fun. Been swimming with Mary and Nikee and apparently I'm under the "fellow injurdees" category now. Lovely. Those girls rock...and hopefully will sign up for the Pier to Cove race in mid June with me.
Friday evening it was poker night. High society...$10 buy ins and we all dressed up. Marike, Greg and Mysti above, and Marike (excellent drink maker) and I below with a yummy grapefruit martini.Saturday was another failed attempt at riding. Had epic plans that fell through because of rain. yeah suck. Made it to hockey on Saturday evening...back kinda gave me some grief. Sunday was finally a successful ride! I rode the GWL with a really cool group. We rode up into the clouds. By the time we got to the backside the sun was shining. On our way back down, into the sky again. It was eerily gorgeous. I went my fastest time and actually said "that was fun!" at the end. Sunday evening BBQ followed by awesome news from the landlord that he's putting the house up for sale. Not so awesome. I do not want to move. Now we'll just have to wait and see. Monday at work went by sooo sllloooowww! Of course because I was looking forward to 7:10 when Stephen's flight from Italy was arriving. So he's back. Yeah!!
Tomorrow is my last VO2 testing at the Fit Stop...I feel bad I've been injured most of the study. And after that I'm free! Or not really; I'm attached to the Peacock wedding itinerary all weekend. :) I'm heading to MN for Kayley and Nick's wedding Thursday morning at 6:30am. Stephen gets to fully enjoy his birthday and bring me to the airport...who needs to sleep in?! (uh, someone with a wee bit of jet lag...sorry bud!) Sad he won't be able to make the trip with me. Sunday is race day. It all comes down to this. Showdown between me and the brother. We shall see if 3.2 miles of running is enough for him to catch me.