Sunday, June 24, 2012

Here is the truth.


So, in about a week and a half, I'm officially aging up into F35-39.  Which I guess I already was on January 1, but whatever.

On a side note, I got carded the other day which only happens when I am straight-up NASTY.  I mean, sweaty for 5 hours, helmet head, mix of chlorine or Lake Erie + B.O. running-clothes nasty.  Henceforth, I shall consider my anti-aging regimen to be as NASTY AS POSSIBLE.

You're welcome.

Anyway.  So I've been thinking about this for a while, but I'm not sure how to get it down.  I'm just going to give it a shot.

There is a fine line between being making excuses and being realistic.  And I really, really try to be realistic.  And not make excuses.  Because let's be honest here:  I have a few strikes against me for being a competitive triathlete.  As I'm sure many of you out there, do, too.

I work full time.  Strike one.

My job requires quite a bit of time outside of work to be dedicated to work.  Strike two.

I have a four year old and a two year old.  Strike three.

I feel like I hear many people say, "OUT" with that combination.  Because that is what your body wants.  Honestly.  Your body wants a time-out.  Your body, with those three things, wants to sit on the freaking bench for an inning already.

Many, many people told me that I'd be out with this combination.

But I don't want to be.  I still want to start.  Maybe I can't bat cleanup anymore.  Or wait, maybe I can? Maybe by saying I can't, I'm creating a self-fulfulling prophecy that everyone warned me about in the first place. Right?

The bottom line is this:  I'm learning what is realistic for me right now and what right now is not possible.

Right now.  Not saying impossible, but not possible right now.

I learned this in my BQ attempt.  I learned that I cannot, in fact, have it all in May.  And my body has done a damn good job showing me that this season.

But we all know that I can't dog these races anymore.  I don't do them "to do them" after 10 years.  I don't just show up.

I can't turn that off.

So now, what am I most concerned about aging up?  Is it the wrinkles I will inevitably get someday?  Is it the grey hairs?

No. I don't give a rat's you-know-what about that.

It's that, holy crap, these chicks are fast.  And I don't know if I can keep up.

Here is the truth.  Ready?

I'm not training as much as you.  Or probably anyone.

Is it really realistic for me to go out and try to be competitive?  With people who don't have all three strikes against them, or are just flat-out better at dealing with being down-in-the-count than I am?

(Sorry for all the baseball references.  4 years varsity fastpitch softball here.  I used to be kind of a big deal--not really, that's definitely a joke)

But I have to try.  I can't NOT go out there and try to beat myself.  Or, occasionally, the chicks that have a F35-39 on their leg.  Even if they train way more than I do.  Even if they weren't up all night with a fever-stricken toddler.

That's not an excuse.

That is reality, though.  It is what it is, and it's not changing anytime soon, and I want every single part of it.

I've been given this amazing opportunity to train with the best equipment out there, and I try every day to work as hard as I can to live up to it.  Sometimes I just don't have time. I really don't.  So I work out for 30 minutes or 1 hour while I feel like every. single. triathlete. on earth is working out 2-3 hours more.  And then I feel like I just can't hang.

I'm getting dropped in training.

Sometimes, I get a little lonely. But he doesn't seem to mind, so maybe I shouldn't, either.
But I know that if I can just be honest here--and in general--maybe I can somehow help someone else out.  I'm not going to pretend that all I do is train.  Folks, I am so far from those days it ain't even funny.  And I know that comparing myself to those that can is just not fair.  To myself.  I still can pull off some pretty amazing stuff.
Bug has officially figured out my camera.  Here I am in the 45 minute to an hour process that we call "Dinner" with Bean, who could care less about ANY KIND OF FOOD THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I've been working with a pretty awesome group of women, helping them get ready for the Huntington Sprint Triathlon in July.  All of them are mommies with young kids.  Some stay at home, some work outside the home, some have husbands that travel often.  All of us have strikes against us somehow, and most of us have been told in some way or another that "now's not the time" or "you can do that when they get older" or some other thing that sounds to me an awful lot like an excuse.

But I love pursuing my own little version of paradise, which involves juice boxes and DBQs and tee ball and the pursuit of a 7-minute mile.

I'm going to keep trying to chase that, even if I trip and skin my knee and watch everyone else run farther than me, like my little Bean does pretty much every day.  Because she doesn't care.  She frowns, gets up, maybe whimpers, and then says, "Wait for meeeeeee!"

"MORE push! MORE push!" (Yeah.  I have no idea where she gets it, either...)

Here's to chasing paradise.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Ain't Afraid of no STEENKING Raindrops.

So last night, I was super excited to try to hang on for dear life ride with a group of some of my CTC Peeps for the Monday Night Brick.  I even got the okay from Coach E to run, errr, walk after the ride as my first "brick."  And you know what happened?

The same fricken thing that happened last Monday at about 5:30pm.  BIG OL' STORMS.

I was so mad.

But I checked the radar and it seemed like the storms were on their way out, and the sky was brighter in the west, and the rain would stop by 6:30 so I wondered if anyone else was as desperate excited to ride as I was?

Turns out, one guy was.  Sid.  That was it.  Everyone else bailed.

Aw hellz no.  I did not just waste good quality Hoo Ha Ride Glide and get all dressed up and drive down to this park for nothing.  Come hell or high water (seriously on the latter), I was going to get this ride in no matter what.  End of story.

So we did.  And you know what?  At about 6:13pm or so, it stopped raining.  So YEAH.

The ride out to the falls has a slight false-flat style uphill and the wind was coming out of the south, so I was definitely working hard to keep up with Sid.  I didn't want to be a slowpoke.  As we reached the top of the falls I saw my average power was 163, which for me, is definitely working hard for a mid-week ride.  Sid was asking about training with power so I told him all about how I am so in love with my Joule that, why yes, maybe I will marry it.  Which really merits its own post, so I'll get on that soon, but for now, I told him that for me, an average of 163 was working hard but with the ride back having a slight downhill and a tailwind, to keep that up would mean I'd really have to bust my butt.

So bust it we did, folks.

We took turns pulling and following, but we were flying.  When I was pulling, I was holding about 21-22 mph and when Sid pulled we were more like 23-24.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

And when we arrived back with a big ol' negative split, I saw my average power had ONLY dropped 2 points to 161.  That, my friends, mean we did not phone it in, which I completely and totally would have done had I been riding alone.  My normalized power was 166, which is even better, since that takes out the peaks and valleys and is a more accurate measure of the power output over the ride.

And the sun was out.  Sun!  It was a beautiful evening.

So beautiful that I headed home, changed, and Matt and I fired up the firepit and had some evening post-kiddie-bedtime s'mores.  And I almost fell asleep in my chair.  Ahhhhhh.

So next time you're seeing a dark sky, I say, check that radar.  If it's almost done, then you need to get out there, and preferably with a friend.  I have a feeling these Monday night rides are going to really push me and therefore make me stronger.

Oh, and I even did my walk (with a teensy bit of running--don't kill me Coach E, I couldn't help myself) afterwards with no pain.  So that brick?  Means I am chasing down a triathlon season, guys.

And I'm rapidly gaining on it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Getting my Sea Arms Back

This was a good week of training for me!

Now, mind you, I'm just getting back into things.  BUT!  I felt really, really good on my run yesterday. I ran 26 out of 40 minutes and felt fabulous.  It was the first time I felt really, truly, like me again!  I know I need to not get ahead of myself here, and I see my ART guy on Wednesday, so I promise I won't be dumb and go run 10 miles.  But I can't promise I won't think about it.  Okay?

I'm confident enough to register for the Huntington Sprint tri on July 22!  Not quite ready to pull the trigger on Cedar Point yet, but it's not like the price is going up anytime soon, so I'm going to see how the next few weeks go.  I do want it pretty badly, though.  But not badly enough to be in crutches.

In other news, I'm getting my sea arms back a bit!  Had three pretty solid swims this week that made me work hard.  By yesterday's swim, I was definitely tired, but felt more efficient in the water.  Hopefully I can keep that going.  The way I see it, I can either bitch and moan about how my swimming stinks, or I can actually make a pretty serious effort to swim at least 3 times per week.  I'm going to go with option two, especially since I am not spending hours on end running.  Let's see how this experiment works out.

Riding is coming along well, too.  I'm going to head to a brick tomorrow with some of my Cleveland Tri Club buddies and although I won't be running afterwards, I thought it would be a fun way to get in some miles with some cool people on the bike.  Hopefully I don't get dropped like a bad habit, though.  I may have to be a "wheel mooch" the first few times!

So I'm finally getting less scared of twitter and trying to actually use it once in a while.  I unlocked it so feel free to follow me and I'll follow you back, cuz I'm nice like that.  I thought it might be a quicker way to throw updates on my training out there, so I linked it to this page.  Look at me, finally entering 2009!  Anyway, I'm @trisaratops2198 but I can't promise I'll say anything fascinating or hilarious.  You've been warned.

Happy training, and congratulations to all my buddies that raced at Maumee Bay this Father's Day!  Happy Father's Day to the three dads in my life:  My amazing Dad, Dad Z (the supercool father-in-law), and of course the Daddy to my Bug and Bean, Matt.  Love all three of you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Operation Eat Like an Athlete, Take 1

So I got myself a new cookbook, after I previewed it from the library and decided I wanted to EAT EVERYTHING:

I heard about it through Mama Simmon's blog.  And since she pretty much is awesome, I knew I had to check it out.

I really like the philosophy of the authors.  Food should be real, food should be simple, and food shouldn't take all day to make.  I can definitely get behind that.

So my New Year's Resolution (see, I treat the first day of summer vacation as my real "new year"), I decided I'd try to break out a few of these recipes every week and see how they go.  My big goal is to stock my freezer in August so that I've got lots of healthy stuff tucked away for when I don't have time to sleep function think cook during the school year.

Up this week?  Two recipes, and they get my wholehearted THUMBS UP!
First, I did the Meatball Sliders.  I used organic chicken sausage and whaddya know, turkey was on special this week, so I grabbed me a pound of that.  Mixed it up as they told me to, but instead of golden raisins, I had craisins.  I wasn't sure how that would work out, but it turned out that it was DELICIOUS.  Who knew?!
This is SO not my picture, so delicious credits can be found here.
We put them on whole wheat slider rolls with some tomato sauce.  I also mixed up some cilantro-mint yogurt (p. 291) in my BRAND spankin' new factory-refurbished Vitamix (treated myself since I sold my road bike!) and Matt and I topped ours with that.  The kids had them with some sauce and a bit of shredded mozzerella.  The recipe made more than they called for, and I ended up with 21.  I botched one, so Mugsy the Wonder Pug got a very special treat for dinner.  We all feasted like kings, and I still have 12 balls left!

Uh, huh huh.  Huh huh.  BALLS.
So this is definitely a keeper recipe as well as one that will freeze nicely!

Tonight, I tried the Buffalo and Sweet Potato Tacos.  Except instead of Buffalo, I used some local, grass-fed beef.  It was on sale, and I thought it would substitute nicely.

Browned the beef, and added the spices which included taco seasoning, some chili powder, and a bit of brown sugar.  Then you add some peas and the juice of a fresh lime.  It seemed like a bizarre combination, but let me tell you the awesomeness of was unexpectedly sweet.  Delicious and perfect for summer!

You also saute up some sweet potatoes, red peppers, and onions.  I added a bit of lemon-rosemary spice that I have from Wildtree which is tasteeeee.  I have to admit I wasn't sure how it would taste or how the kids would do with it, especially since Bug told me that sweet potatoes were "gross."

Well guess what?  That kid OUTATE ME!  Again!  I am in big trouble when he hits high school...
This is not my picture, but it is making me hungry again. Photo credits, as well as a great review, here.
Bug gobbled up an entire taco and then asked for more--and ate all of another one!  Even my picky Bean couldn't get enough of the sweet potatoes, red peppers, and sweet and spicy beef.  Matt and I put the cilantro-mint yogurt on top again and it was delicious!

I think this could also be made frozen, but probably just the meat and peas.  I would just do the veggies before serving since peppers and onions don't seem to ever thaw well for me, but maybe I'm just doing it wrong, cuz Trader Joe's rocks that shizz all the time.  Oh well...

Anyway, if you haven't checked out this book, I highly, highly recommend it.  It's full of easy stuff that kids will like, too.  I'm going to try the sweet potato cakes later this week.  I know Biju Thomas and Allen Lim created this for his Tour athletes that need stuff to eat on the go, and by "go" I mean INSANE HUNDRED MILE RIDES ON MOUNTAINS, but this busy triathlete mama has used them to go, as in go to the local kiddie pool and avoid the snack bar at all costs.

Fig and Honey Rice Bars...mmmmm

And guess what I'm gonna try with all my leftover juicing veggies and fruits?  These tasteeeeee little burgers:

So if you're a triathlete, and you like to eat (I mean, isn't that the best part about doing these crazy workouts?!), but don't have a gazillion hours to spend buying copious amounts of strange ingredients and cooking, then you DEFINITELY should be checking this out.

Happy eating!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Race Report

...but not for me!

For Coach Emily!  Because you know what?  She finished 4th at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon today.


Do you guys have any idea what that race or field is like?!?!?!?!?!  Just check out the website, and then check out the results, and, oh, you know, tell me what you think.  I'll wait.

(still waiting)

FOURTH, PEOPLE!  Just a little behind a little someone named Leanda Cave and right before someone else named Becky Lavelle.  You may have heard of them...


I am so happy for her!  Aside from being a super awesome person, she is just one hard worker who is living her dream and getting the job done.  Plus, she puts up with me.  And I think she still is even willing to talk to me!  One of these days I keep getting afraid she's going to realize how NOT cool I am and that I'm not even on the same triathlon PLANET as her.

Congrats, Coach Emily--couldn't be happening to a better person!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Just change it to "Achilles Tendonitis"

...And then it's pretty much spot-on.  
thanks, Laura Kahl 

Who has two thumbs and is up to NINETEEN WHOLE MINUTES OF RUNNING without pain?


Oh, how I feel like a caged-animal.  But you know what?  I'm off of school, yo'.  That means it's time to swim and ride like a maniac and try to save some kind of a season this year.

I'm not entirely ready to register for Rev3 yet, but I'm getting there.  Let's just say I keep checking out the website, and I do have my credit card number memorized.  So I'm ready.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Lace those puppies back up

I ran 15 minutes, in 4, 5, and 6 minute intervals (with walking in between), at a comfortable pace in the mid-8s with NO PAIN.




I'm not ready to give up on that September race yet.  No way.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Occupational Hazard

Bean had a rotten cold all week.  Poor thing.  Snotty and coughing and just not herself.

So I hugged her lots and gave her lots of kisses.  And guess what?

Who gets a head cold on a beautiful, sunny, June 2 and spends all Saturday in bed?


So my run on Wednesday?  Sort of messed with my head.  The ankle swelled up a little that evening, so of course I thought it was armageddon.  And I acted as such.  At one point, I *might* have thrown my running shoes in the corner and said loudly "WON'T BE NEEDING THESE #%%#!)%s  ANYMORE, $%*&(@ !"


I can't help but thinking that I may be going from "I might have a delay in racing this season" to "I may not have a racing season."  And it sucks.  And I'm pretty bummed out about it.

But school is almost out, which means I get to at least rest a little more (hopefully) and also means that my flexibility in getting to the pool and riding is dramatically increased.  So I'm going to do my best to keep the demons at bay and think that maybe, just maybe, this season is not a total wash.  And there's a snowball's chance in hell I'll be in racing shape for Rev3 Cedar Point in September.

Because I'm just not ready to give up on that yet.  And I have a half-marathon to redeem, too.  So I might as well do it there.

For now, I'm going to sneeze 968,472,108 more times and take some Nyquil.  And keep the head up, too.

Can't help myself.  I love this song.