31 May 2012

Bike Commuting > Driving

So Mr. Sweetie is on a golf extravaganza vacation right now (sort of his equivalent of my tri camp vacation in March, only I think his will involve more beer and wine than mine did).  This means that I have the car ALL TO MYSELF.  I started the morning masters swim practices this week at Hains Point, so I decided to drive to the pool and then to work on Tuesday.  In the 2.5 years that I've worked in downtown DC, this was the first time I ever took the car to work.  The ride in wasn't too bad.  But the ride home was stupid slow and frustrating.  And I'll admit it, I was that person muttering to herself in the car, on the verge of yelling with frustration and rage at the fact that it took OVER AN HOUR to drive the 8ish miles home.  I CAN RUN FASTER THAN THAT dammit!  As I sat through 2-3 iterations of every stoplight, I looked longingly at the empty bike lane, wishing I could blow past all this traffic in style on two wheels and a helmet.  I had so much time to sit idly in traffic that I updated my Facebook status:

Caroline L
Drive to work today for the first time in over 2.5 years. Tonight's commute home was like re-living the opening scene of Office Space over and over for an hour.

The only thing missing was the gangster rap, but people with walkers were definitely moving faster than I was.  

I didn't learn my lesson that first time around because I drove into work again today.  I went to early swim at Hains Point and planned on leaving the office at 4pm, a good 90 minutes earlier than Tuesday, because I had to take Miles to the vet (and I didn't trust Metro to be reliable enough to get me home in time and today was not a bike day).  I figured 90 minutes would make a world of difference and I wouldn't spend over an hour trying to travel less a grand total of 8 miles.

Nope.
  • Caroline L
    Opening scene of Office Space take 2. Never driving to work again!




     I also saw this on my drive.  Ironic, no?  Perhaps a sign from God that maybe my driving days are over.  I think if I drive any more I'm going to need to take a bat to the printer to curb my frustrations.

30 May 2012

2012 = Summer of Swimming

I've declared Summer 2012 to be the Summer of Swimming.  It's been said that you can't win a triathlon in the swim, but you can definitely lose it.  Swimming has always been (and continues to be, though to a lesser extent thank goodness) a liability for me.  I did not grow up a swimmer.  I quit swim lessons at age 6 and for the next 14 years, any swimming I did consisted of dog-paddling around my neighbor's pool.  I did dog paddle/sidestroke for my first triathlon (aaaand maybe for my second and third and fourth triathlons too...).  I'm comfortable in the water, it's always been more of a problem of swim technique (i.e., it was nonexistent) than being uncomfortable in the water.  I started learning the proper way to swim once I joined Team Z a number of years ago.  Then I started swimming more than twice a week and saw more improvement.  And this summer I took the plunge - I heard about the Summer Morning Masters swim program at Hain's Point that goes from Memorial Day to about Labor Day.  Two choices of AM swim practice times, 90 minute sessions 5 days a week IN AN OUTDOOR 50 METER POOL.  I saw that and was like, where do I sign up??!!  Yesterday I went to my first practice.  It was dark when I arrived, but as practice continued on, the sun slowly started to creep above the horizon.  The air and water temperatures were perfect, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else, it was fantastic.  I think I got in just about 3900m and I loved (almost) every second of it (by the 6th 100 IM, I wouldn't have protested if practice ended).  I'm not going to be able to make it to the pool five days a week, but I'd imagine I'll be there at least 3-4 days/week.  Another bonus is that Hain's Point is on my way to work AND is the perfect place to do biking and running post-swim.  The summer of swimming has BEGUN!!  

29 May 2012

Hills, Sweat, and Oh - MORE Hills!

This past weekend did not disappoint when it came to swimbikerun.  And sweat (I know you think nutrition is the fourth discipline of triathlon, but this weekend it was replaced with sweat).  Sunday morning dawned early with my alarm going off at 5am (AGAIN - two days in a row).  I met up with Katie, Mindy, and Sarah in Front Royal and we were on our bikes headed up Skyline Drive by 7:30am.  Within the first 1/2 mile, all of us were dripping with sweat and with a four mile hill staring us in the face (and ridiculously high humidity), there was no chance of relief anytime soon.  We were doing the SkyMass ride, one of my favorites.  You start off with 30 miles on Skyline Drive, then descend into Luray, and then you climb Mt. Massanutten on the other side.  After that climb, you are rewarded with rollers and flats for the next 25 miles.

I think we were all in good spirits for the Skyline part of the ride.  It was early in the day, the climbs weren't steep, there were some nice downhill sections.  And minus Katie being chased by a deer, no major run-ins with the wildlife population (I'm always afraid of getting knocked off my bike by a rogue deer during one of the descents on Skyline - those deer come out of nowhere).  The climb up Mt. Massanutten was where the real fun started.  I don't remember that climb being so LONG - it starts off gradual after you make a right turn by the river.  Then it gets a little steeper.  Then it gets steep enough that you need to get into your little ring.  Then steep enough that you are cursing.  And praying that you don't 1) start going backwards and; 2) just tip over because you lost all momentum.  The road is also really twisty and around each bend I kept thinking, oh the top is right around this corner.  It never was.  I finally made it after what seemed like forever, clipped out without falling over (not the easiest feat to accomplish when your quads have suddenly turned to jelly), and drank most of my water in record time.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, minus the countless dead snakes I kept seeing all over the road (disgusting) and the fact that I was OVER the Hammer gels by mile 60.  Unfortunately the general store we passed by had no selection of food and they didn't take credit cards so I was stuck with Hammer Gels whether I liked it or not.  The SkyMass loop is 83 miles so I needed to tack on an extra 17 after the ride was over.  One of the hardest things I did on Sunday was roll back out of the parking lot by myself while the others started their T-runs or got custard (I was this close to buying custard to eat on the bike).  I procrastinated a bit longer by stopping at a 7-11 and inhaling a GIANT bag of honey bbq potato chips and drinking gatorade.  I felt much more human after that and continued the ride.  I was originally going to do an out-and-back with a few miles down side streets added on, but the first side street I went down was deceptively flat until it suddenly went into a steep downhill before I could hit the brakes and turn around.  I was DONE with hills and really didn't want to have to go back up that hill I just descended, so I just kept going straight, convinced I'd eventually be able to make a loop.  Which I did (thankfully) and my ride was over almost before I knew it.

Next was the fun part - a 45 minute run in the blazing hot mid-afternoon sun.  I was tempted to skip it (of course - who wants to run in 90 degree weather with 100 percent humidity after biking 100 miles?  That's right - NOBODY).  But Jen had specifically put in Training Peaks Do Not Cut This Run Short and when you have a reminder like that staring you in the face, it's easy to see that skipping the run entirely is out of the question.  The run actually wasn't too bad, I found a cute, non-hilly part of Front Royal that had some partial shade and spent 45 minutes doing loops around that same area.  Once that run was done, I was done.  I didn't even bother to change - I just covered the front seat as best I could in articles of clothing so I didn't permanently damage our car seats with my sweaty self.

It was such a fun training weekend - a big thank you to Katie, Mindy and Sarah who let me crash their smashfest!  150 miles of biking and over 3 miles of swimming!  I feel like this warrants a celebration - I am craving a chocolate sheetcake like it's nobody's business!

26 May 2012

5K Race Report - that's 5K SWIM

As far as race reports go, this one is kind of boring.  No drama of flat bike tires.  No hills to run up.  Not even a major battle at the swim start because they sent us off in small, manageable waves that were nicely spaced out.  Basically I showed up, swam 3.1 miles in 1 hour 35 minutes, and when I got out of the water there were giant boxes of Oreo cookies to greet me instead of my bike.  I could get used to this.

In Training Peaks, Jen had told me that a 5K is a long way so don't go out too hard.  FOR ONCE, advice from Jen that didn't include kill yourself to get your goal and suffer like a pig.  I'd never, ever swam this distance before, either in open water or in the pool, so this was unchartered territory.  But, it's not that much longer than an Ironman swim and my biggest concern was that I would get crazy hungry while I was out there.  I tried to avoid this problem by eating two very large bagels before the swim AND I stuck a Hammer gel in my bathing suit in case I needed a mid-swim snack.  I approached this swim as more of a practice than a race - because let's be honest, I am not the world's greatest swimmer and I wasn't going to be winning any prizes today.

The swim was 3 one mile loops in Lake Audubon in Reston.  Small lake, no waves whatsoever, and there weren't too many weeds.  They started us off in small waves of about 15-20 people, there were lots of buoys to mark the course.  I managed to draft off of some feet for much of the first loop and things felt really, really easy.  I could do this forever was my thought.  The first loop came and went and I was on my own for almost all of the second loop.  Before the start I was wondering out loud if it was possible to get lapped in this sort of swim and about halfway through the second loop I got my answer - YES.  It was like these people had grown fins or something and they literally flew by me.  It was also around this point that I started to realize that even though swimming is a low impact sport, it's not exactly painless.  My hips and lower back and rear end were getting sore from kicking, I felt like my quads were lead weights being hauled around in the water by my arms.  My arms were starting to feel tired and my ankles were sore (??).  This went on through the third loop, though my arms got a bit more sore because at that point I no longer wanted to swim forever, I was ready to be done.  I was getting hungry too, but this was a race and there is no stopping to take nutrition, especially when you only have a half a mile left until the finish and you're not biking or running afterwards.

I came out of the water after my third loop and started running up the ramp past the timing mats, then I slowed down and stopped - what was I running for?  What's the rush?  It's not like I need to have a speedy transition time, there IS NO transition.  So I walked over to the food table and ate Oreos instead.  I came in 7th out of 10 in my division - haha, swimming is obviously not my sport, even though I love it.

I did actually ride my bike later.  After we got all the lake muck washed off, we headed out to Purcelville, VA to do about 50 miles of riding in hot, humid weather.  Besides being a sticky, sweaty windshield for bugs, the ride was uneventful.  Good company, lots of talk of ice cream and slurpees, and quiet country roads in a beautiful part of the state.

24 May 2012

What IS Ironman training?

 Ironman Lake Placid is two months away.  This will be my sixth Ironman so I feel like my life today is the new normal - I've been doing 100 mile bike rides and eating like a human garbage disposal since 2008.  Nothing new, totally normal, right?  So, exactly what does it mean when I say "I'm training for an Ironman"?  What does Ironman training involve besides living on your bike, racking up huge grocery bills, and being cranky most of the time?

- It's choosing to bike to work from the pool without bothering to change out of your bathing suit.  You do enough outfit changes in one day and you don't have a Lycra wardrobe large enough to wear yet another bike jersey just to ride 10 miles to work.  Bathing suit top is sufficient.

- Speaking of Lycra, it is possible to wear tri shorts often enough that they become indecently see-through.

- It's dropping a $50 money bomb at REI on a weekly basis... on Hammer Gels and PowerBars, NOT something fun like those new Lycra shorts you really should be buying to replace that indecent pair you are currently sporting on the bike path.

-  It's not remembering what it's like to sleep past 7am.

- It is not being able to fit your dinner plates in the dishwasher because your eight waterbottles from your weekend workouts are taking up too much space.

- Ironman training means you rarely stay up past 10pm on the weekends because you have to get up at the crack of dawn to ride your bike.

- It is being a cheap date because one glass of wine does you in since the last time you drank more than a glass was during the off-season in 2011.

- It is thinking about food every second of every hour of every day.  Suddenly it becomes impossible to eat too much.  You can't remember what it's like to feel full because that, too, last happened sometime in the 2011 off-season.

- Ironman training means you smell like chlorine to the point where even perfume can't save you.

- Ironman training means forgetting where you put your makeup and then not caring because it's not like it's worth wearing anyway - you're just going to get sweaty and gross at least twice a day.

- 90 mile bike rides don't phase you.  Neither do weekend brick workouts that are only 4 hours long.  Must be recovery week is what you think instead.

- Ironman training makes you suddenly realize that you are a stronger person than you ever thought possible, both physically and mentally.

- Ironman training means that the distances, paces and speeds that once seemed impossible at the beginning of training are now easily exceeded.

- It means your regular clothes wardrobe is in danger of being eclipsed by the size of your sweat-wicking, Lycra-infused workout wardrobe.

- It means a permanent bike shorts tan.  Permanent.

- It means that the pool or the track is the new hangout spot for happy hour with friends.

- Ironman training also means that you are on the road to one of the most unforgettable experiences - Ironman race day.  And when you cross that finish line, all the chlorine stink, lycra, and REI money bombs will suddenly feel very, very worth it.

22 May 2012

Chrissie Wellington's "A Life Without Limits"


Just over a week ago, Chrissie Wellington came to Arlington to do a promotional book signing for her new book A Life Without Limits.  Chrissie Wellington is basically triathlon royalty, with that whole never losing an Ironman thing going for her.  I will freely admit that the possibility of getting my finisher's medal from her at Timberman 70.3 last year constituted at least 50% of the reason I signed up for a half Ironman scheduled for four weeks after my Ironman.  So it was a no-brainer that I was going to go to this book signing.  As fate would have it, my friend and fellow triathlete Tim was coming in town that day for a last minute business trip (he, too, did Timberman for the sole purpose of getting a finisher medal from Chrissie Wellington), his flight perfectly timed to arrive at Reagan National 30 minutes before the book signing.  I even got to the airport ON TIME to pick him up, that is how dedicated I was to getting to this book signing event.

The book signing was uneventful, she was super nice and full of smiles, gamely posing for photos with each person and signing a few hundred books.  I saw a bunch of other triathlete friends, so all-in-all, a good afternoon.

I really enjoyed the book, I was surprised at how honest she was during parts of it, especially about other triathletes and her coaches, and how she felt during the early days in the sport. She didn't say anything mean or bad, but rather provided a very honest look, it seemed, at how hard it was to fit in, to find the right coach, etc.  And how to deal with the pressure of winning triathlon on the biggest stage in the world, especially when she went from being a nobody to a somebody in between the 9 hours when she started the race and when she finished it.  She also shared some of the things she does to keep herself mentally focused and in the game, both during races and during training.

Unlike Chris McCormack's book, she didn't just talk about her life in triathlon - she spoke about her various travels, her time in Nepal, her interest and work in International Development.  Before she won Kona at age 30, she had already lived a pretty full and amazing life. She was also self-deprecating, from the book, it sounds like she is pretty accident-prone, which isn't really convenient in triathlon.  She went into most of her races with some sort of nagging injury or health issue and it's just amazing how she was able to put it out of her mind and push through it all and win Every. Single. Ironman. she's ever done.  I was on the edge of my seat reading about her 2011 win, which is the only one that really came down to the wire.

Anyway, pick the book, it was an enjoyable read for sure.

20 May 2012

Columbia Olympic Tri Race Report

So let's start this race report off with a PSA: If you deflate your tires the day before the race, REMEMBER to put air in them the morning of the race.  Preferably before you begin the bike leg.  That is all.

I signed up for this race a couple of months ago when I was thrown in a tizzy about my race schedule because a work trip was forcing me to miss the Rumpus in Bumpass oly in April and I wanted every possible chance to qualify for Age Group Nationals this year.  I had some friends doing this race and registration was still open back in March - it was a sign so I forked over my credit card and I was in!  I did this race once before, back in 2008, as my first-ever olympic distance tri (though this race is slightly longer with a 25 mile bike leg rather than 24 miles).  I think my time was 2:50ish back then and I remember thinking to myself that I liked the oly distance MUCH better than the sprint.

Unlike the Monticelloman triathlon, I actually showed up to this race feeling healthy and well-rested (despite the fact that my alarm went off at the unholy hour of 3:30am.  It was so early, I wasn't even hungry for breakfast).  My friend Janine and I carpooled up to the race, the race officials were super organized and the volunteers kept traffic flowing into the parking areas and there weren't any big backups (this could also be due to the fact that we arrived at 5am, almost 2 hours before transition would close, which is unheard of for this procrastinator.  I wanted a good parking spot).  We took our time setting up transition, I helped Janine pump up her bike tires, brought the pump over to my transition area, set everything up, checked my brake alignment, made sure I had all my nutrition.  We had so much time, I even went back to my transition area twice to double-check everything, I kept thinking I was forgetting something.

This Columbia Tri is a decent-sized race, I think there were over 1,500 competitors, and with it being a 5150 US Championships qualifier, it attracts a decent field, both pro and amateur.  That meant ALOT of swim waves.  The wave of 25-29 & 30-34 girls went off over an hour after the first pro wave went.  So this was a little tricky when it came to timing my nutrition and making sure I ate, but not too early and not too late.  The upside of the long wait - PLENTY of time to wriggle into the wetsuit.

The Swim:
It was an in-water start and for at least the first quarter mile, we were directly facing the sun.  I'm not the fastest swimmer so I just followed the bubbles and bobbing heads in front of me and didn't concern myself too much with trying to see the buoys.  It took awhile to get into a rhythm and for awhile I was worried it was never going to happen.  I was so busy trying to avoid errant, drunk-looking swimmers and feeling like swamp thing with all of the weeds stuck to me (please note, even when I got home hours after the race, I was still finding dried weeds on me.  I've never needed a shower so badly).  Finally, something clicked and my pull felt strong, I hit a turn buoy and was no longer facing the sun, and I found my rhythm.  I was able to keep a good straight line for the rest of the swim and even managed to find some slightly faster feet to draft off of during the last quarter mile of the swim.  I got out of the water and realized I had my fastest oly swim to date - granted, the swim is still a major liability for me in a race of this distance, but it's becoming slightly less of one.

T1:
Not great, not awful.  I got flustered trying to put my headband, helmet and shoes on all at the same time.

The Bike:
There were still a bunch of bikes racked all around my bike when I emerged from the swim, leading me to think that I wasn't doing half bad, but I still had no idea where I was in my age group.  The Columbia Tri bike course is hilly.  You could even call it stupid hilly.  There aren't a whole lot of flat sections, but alot of the uphills come right after a downhill so you have some momentum to start the uphill grind.  The roads were in fantastic condition, not too much traffic, the volunteers were stellar, and the course wasn't really technical at all - not a whole lot of hairpin turns or anything so you didn't lose any speed.  The first couple miles just had some mild rollers.  I immediately noticed that I felt like I was moving slowly, especially for the amount of effort that I was putting forth.  And then the thought hit me - did I pump up my tires??  Normally, forgetting to pump your tires on race morning isn't that big of a deal.  Except that I racked my bike yesterday and deflated them ALOT so that they didn't expand and pop in the hot sun.  For the next few miles, I just kept going back and forth in my head - did I pump them, did I not?  I remembered pumping my Janine's tires, but did I seriously forget to do my own?  I remember offering my pump to the girls around me, BUT DID I SERIOUSLY FORGET TO DO MY OWN?  My bike felt kind of bouncy, sort of how it does when I'm getting a flat tire.  Finally, I just decided it wasn't worth obsessing over - I didn't know for sure if I forgot and if I kept thinking about it and how slow I felt, it would just become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I passed a few of the girls who came out of the swim ahead of me, one or two were in my age group, but that was it, really.  I didn't see any other girls in my AG.  I stayed in aero for most of the time, I enjoyed the climbs, most of them weren't too steep.  I took in two gels during the bike, two salt tabs, and sipped on water about every ten minutes and this seemed to work really well for me.  I got off the bike feeling just right, not too full and not thirsty.

T2:
MUCH better than T1.  I didn't spend any time thinking about not wanting to run.  I just shut my mind off.  Oh, and I pinched my tires and it was confirmed - they were pretty darn flat.  My intuition was correct.

The Run:
My run legs decided to join the party today, hallelujah!  Lately the run has been my nemesis.  When I racked my bike, there were hardly any other bikes already racked around it so I felt like thinsg were going well, still had no idea where I was in my AG.  Just like the bike, the run was hilly, but I felt good right from the start, which was a confidence booster.  I shortened my stride going up the hills and that seemed to help me keep a steady pace and not blow up.  Mentally I felt like I stuck with it, I wasn't focused on time or splits, just doing periodic checks on how I was feeling and what speed I felt like my legs could sustain.  I only saw one other girl in my age group and I caught up to her at mile 4.5.  I passed her on a downhill and then spent the rest of the race running like she was hot on my heels.  I purposely avoided looking at my overall time - I did want a PR, but I knew my bike split wasn't great and the run course wasn't PR-conducive either and it's kind of hard to compare different courses to each other because, well, each are different.  And I got my current PR on a flat, flat course.  Anyway, I didn't take in any water or gels during the run, it was only 6.2 miles and you can do anything for 6.2 miles without bonking.  The last half a mile is where my energy started flagging and my legs started feeling tired.  I did my best to pick up the pace at the end and I was glad to see that finish line.

I finished in 2:35:16, about four minutes off my current oly-PR.  I ended up coming in 5th in my age group out of 79, which made me pretty happy.  Then I saw that only 33 seconds (THIRTY-THREE SECONDS) separated the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places in my age group.  The girls were just ahead of me at the finish and I had no idea.  I can use the flat-ish bike tires as an excuse, but I do wonder if my bike time would've been 33 seconds better had my tires been pumped up.  Part of me is relieved though that my craptastic bike split was hopefully more due to the hills and the tires rather than a reflection of my fitness.  I did qualify for the 5150 US Championships, but they are a week before 70.3 Worlds, so I don't think I'll be going.

I loved, loved, loved this race.  VERY well-organized, the course was beautiful and I loved the hills.  It was so nice to spend the day hanging out with Janine and she had a really great race.  I also ran into my friend Diane, who I haven't seen since late last year, and it was so good to catch up with her.  I saw a few other Team Z'rs, and Kristen, a girl I work with who also happens to be a super fast triathlete.  Doing races where you know a bunch of people always makes the day that much more fun.  Another bonus - this was a quick race that was close to home - it meant sleeping in my own bed (even though I had to get up at 3:30am) and being home by 1:30 in the afternoon.

18 May 2012

National Bike to Work Day

It was busier than usual today on the bike path.  Part of this was probably due to National Bike to Work Day.  It could also be partially attributed to the absolutely gorgeous weather we had - upper 70s, blue skies, and NO humidity.  There was the usual lycra-clad crowd bombing down the trail, slowed up slightly when they would come upon the hipsters on their pink hipster commuter bikes wearing their cute hipster helmets in fun colors.  It kind of made me want to trade my sweat-wicking jersey and boring helmet for something a little more fun.  Everyone on the trail was cordial and it was nice to see so many people on their bikes.  Even the cars were semi-courteous once I got into the city.

My commute in also served as my workout for the day.  I don't usually wear my Garmin because I shouldn't be trying to PR my commute because then it makes blowing stoplights and stop signs a little more tempting, all in the name of getting to Point B a little faster.  But I wore it today... and kind of made it to work in record time.  No blown stoplights either.

I had all sorts of grand plans tonight to paint my nails (I know, super grand plans) and clean up around the house and watch a movie.  Instead, I found myself outside in my bike-grease stained skirt, a cheesy Ironman shirt bought at an expo and normally just reserved for bed (lucky Mark) and not public appearances, and a bunch of de-greaser and bike lube.  I'm making an effort this year to keep my bike cleaned up and in shape.  I think that Glen from Tri Camp would be proud of me.  Now I can sneak up on people instead of having them hear me coming from a mile away.

A couple of my friends rode the Ascension loop in Maryland today.  I've been jealous all day.  I love that ride and I've missed it each time this year because they've been on days that I've been out of town.  I did this ride two years ago in prep for all of the climbing at Ironman France.  And while I think it would be a little excessive for Ironman Lake Placid training, I'd still love to do it.  I don't even know how many feet of climbing I did two years ago when I rode Ascension - I just know that it took over an hour for my speed to hit double digits AND I called home around 1:30 that afternoon sort of wanting to cry - "I've been biking for 6 hours and I've only done 70 miles."  I grossly underestimated my time in the saddle.  I was literally biking all day.  I think I celebrated my finish by eating the biggest burrito I could find.  As it should be.

17 May 2012

When did running and I unfriend each other?

So my legs were a bit more tired than I thought they would be after this weekend's long ride at Skyline and long run on the hills of Arlington.  During the warmup at bootcamp Monday morning, I was already flagging (and tried desperately not to show it!) and during my swim workout after bootcamp, I could feel how tight my back was with each flipturn.  I'm making an effort to take recovery seriously.  This means that I haven't biked to work once this week because my legs have felt kind of like lead blocks.  Last year I made the mistake of jumping back into bike commuting way too soon after Ironman (not that biking Skyline is as bad as Ironman on your body) and I just remember being miserable.  Anyway.  Ironman training, in all of its glory, has really arrived.  And you know what the scary thought is - it's going to be over in a blink of an eye.  Just over two months from now, I'll be up at Lake Placid getting ready to race.  Two months is nothing.  Taper is going to be here before I know it.  The next 6 weeks will have the bulk of the long workouts and then... ease into race mode.  I already have a weekend of training planned for Memorial Day weekend that I CANNOT wait for.  A 5K swim, no wetsuit (hate the wetsuit bite), and then I'll be living on my bike with a bunch of other fun girls as we tackle Skyline.  I'm ready for Memorial Day weekend to be here, and not just because it's a 3-day weekend.

So I've been thinking about my running lately.  And how I'm not exactly jumping off the bike in a triathlon completely eager to get going on the run.  Sadly, my T2 time is typically slower than my T1 time (even though I'm not exactly wrestling with a wetsuit in T2) mainly because I'm in no hurry to run.  I remember my first half Ironman four years ago being a rude awakening to the fact that a half marathon in a triathlon feels substantially worse than an open half marathon.  I don't think I've ever quite gotten over that shock.  And I think I can count on one hand, using less than 5 fingers, the number of times I've felt really, really awesome on the run.  This is especially strange because I came from a running background.  But I simply am not in love with running after I've already swam and already biked.  I'm more in love with the idea of sitting down and enjoying a nice cold beverage and a Chipotle burrito instead.  I think my issue is more of a mental block than a fitness block.  I need to fall in love with the run leg of triathlon.  I would say I need to fall in love with it again, but I don't think I was ever in love with it in the first place.

So, blogosphere.  Any tips?

15 May 2012

Happy (belated) Mother's Day Mom!

Mom and I

I know this is late.  But I wouldn't be my father's daughter if I actually wrote and posted this on time (don't you agree Mom)?  Illustration number one of why my mom is the best.  She handles the incessant tardiness of my father and I with grace.

My mom was born to be a mother.  She is the calm glue that has always stuck my family together.  She rarely ever raised her voice (and the few times she did, you knew she meant business); in my 30 years of being her daughter, I've never heard her utter a swear word; she's an amazing cook and baker; Friday nights were the only nights of the week we were allowed to eat in front of the TV - the rest of the week we always ate dinner at the table as a family.  She enrolled my brother and I in various sports and activities and ferried us to wherever we needed to be.  Some of these activities set me up for a lifetime of enjoyment (running cross-country), others didn't stick quite as well (accordion lessons).  She knew when to back off and let me make my own decisions, but she also knew better than I did when I needed to stick with something, and there were some activities she wouldn't let me quit, even when I pitched a fit.  And in the end, like mothers always are, she was right and I was glad I didn't give up.

My mom was never one of those "helicopter parents."  She always gave me the space to work out my issues with friends or boyfriends.  She left it up to me on how I would juggle high school, a part-time job, a social life, and sports.  One of the best things she ever did for me was allow me to make mistakes and accept the consequences of my bad decisions.  In college, I said I was going to adopt a kitten from a local farm.  She advised me that it was a bad idea (I was living on campus and if things didn't work out with the kitten, my parents would likely get saddled with it).  I ignored her advice, adopted a kitten that afternoon, and at 10pm that night my parents got a panicked phone call from me - "The cat has fleassssssss" I wailed into the phone, "What am I going to dooooooooo???"  Unbeknownst to me, as I went on and on, my parents covered the mouthpiece of the phone and broke down in giggles.  All of me wanted them to say, "It will be fine, we will drive up to Vermont tomorrow morning to take that kitten off your hands and we will flea bomb your campus apartment while we're at it."  Of course they didn't say that.  Instead, they tried to hide their laughter and said "tough cookies - you figure it out."  And so I did.  I also never adopted another animal until I was in a stable living situation that actually allowed pets.


Up until I finished college, my mom was just that - my mom.  She was not my friend, she was my mother.  There were times in middle school/high school/college that I resented this - why couldn't she be "cool" and let me have a curfew later than 10pm?  Why couldn't I stay over my boyfriend's house after prom?  Why couldn't I skip school on senior skip day?  Why did you ground me for a month after finding out that I went to a New Year's Eve party at Motel 6 where there was alcohol present?  But now I am glad that she was my mother and not my friend growing up.  I think it made me respect her role as rule-maker and rule-enforcer.  And I know that she had my best interest in mind.  Now my mom and I are very close friends.  She raised me well enough to know right from wrong, good decisions from poor decisions, and how to take responsibility for my actions.  I don't think she could've accomplished all of that if she was trying to be my friend while I was growing up.

So Mom - I just wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for everything I've mentioned above.  Thank you for always making me breakfast or lunch whenever I am home visiting - it's nice to still feel taken care of.  Thank you for always sending me back home with a few boxes of Maypo because you know I can't find my favorite breakfast food here in Virginia.  Thank you for the afternoon chats we would have over guacamole and chips whenever I would come home from college on breaks.  Thank you for never playing favorites between Morgan and I and always loving us both unconditionally regardless of what messes we got ourselves into.  Thank you for always supporting my decisions and never voicing any doubts about my ability to succeed (because, let's be honest, when I ran off to France for a summer in college with a few hundred dollars and no job or lodging lined up, it wouldn't have been surprising if I showed up back home within a few weeks time, defeated.  But I didn't because you never gave me any reason to doubt myself).  Thank you for always being an example of what it means to be one half of a whole healthy marriage; you and Dad always made your marriage a priority and never pitted one against the other when disciplining and raising my brother and I.  Every day I try to be like you (though I don't succeed very often), you are one of the most selfless people I know and I am so lucky to have you as a mom.  I love you.

12 May 2012

Skyline Drive 100 Miler

Can we talk about how much I love biking?  And how much I love Shenandoah Valley's Skyline Drive?  And how much I love the two of them together?  OK good, because that's ALL the next few paragraphs are going to be about.

The morning did not have an auspicious start.  I was running late (par for the course), proceeded to get a bit lost, go to the wrong entrance and found out that I needed to go to a different entrance thirty miles down Skyline Drive.  Now I was really, really late.  And why don't we top it off by going to the wrong meeting spot, 8 miles down the road in the opposite direction.  Oh, no cell service either so I just hoped my friends figured I was fine and would eventually catch up (which I did).  By the time I got my bike on the road, it was an hour later than I had initially planned and my excitement for the day was a little deflated as I faced the potential of 100 very hilly, very lonely miles on my own.

I left my car at the Mile 24 marker on Skyline Drive and enjoyed some very fast miles out to Thorton Gap.  Most of the time when I ride Skyline, we jump on 211 at Thorton Gap and go down into Luray to do the 80 mile SkyMass loop.  Only once have I ever biked past Thorton Gap and continued down Skyline for a few miles.  Today was going to be from the 24 mile marker to about the 74 mile marker.  Climbing galore in both directions.




Some sections of Skyline reminded me of Mt. Lemmon in Tucson, just a bit less steep.  I was able to stay in my big ring the whole day today without any problems.  There were sections where you could settle into a rhythm and feel like you were really making progress on the hills.  However, unlike Mt. Lemmon (which is 25 miles of UP and then 25 miles of DOWN with very little variation in between), you are constantly climbing or descending.  And when you're doing an out-and-back, every descent you enjoy on the way out means an ascent you get to enjoy on your way back.

I caught up with Melanie, Mike, Chad and Tom a bit after the 50 mile mark.  It was SO NICE to have someone to ride with - time just flew by and suddenly we were at mile marker 74.  We couldn't have had a better day weather-wise either.  The way back felt like it had alot of climbs.  Part of this was probably because we were getting tired.  I tried to stay on task with my nutrition, taking in something every 20 minutes and then taking some water every 10.  But on the last few miles of the bike, I was definitely feeling a bit of a calorie deficit and couldn't wait to eat some non-powerbars/Clif bars/Hammer gels after the ride was finished.

I completed the ride in just over 6 hours and was very close to evenly-splitting the ride time-wise, so it was nice to know I didn't lose too much time on the way back.  Besides feeling a bit of a calorie deficit at the end, I felt really strong the whole ride.  Hopefully this bodes well with the rest of Ironman training and Lake Placid in July.  Toward the end of the ride, I was remembering my first really long ride (68 mile organized bike ride in Myrtle Beach after the 1/2 marathon in 2008).  It was flat, flat, flat and yet it still took me FOREVER to complete the ride (4:45 or something ridiculous like that).  I think today illustrates that improvement in biking really does take time (in my case 4 years).

Here are a few pictures from the day.  A huge thank you to Melanie's husband Joe for being a great sport and sagging for us the whole 100 miles!

Bikes at the rest stop 


 How we really felt at Mile 85

 One of the vistas.

11 May 2012

Random Friday Facts

And this edition of Random Friday Facts is brought to you by... the muffins that just.won't.finish.baking.  It's 11pm on a Friday night and I'm waiting for the oven to finish working its magic on a batch of strawberry muffins.  Let's see how many facts I can fit in.

- I don't sip my drinks.  I chug them, including hot chocolate and tea once they have cooled off enough.

- I think uncharitable thoughts about SUVs that try to run me over in crosswalks, especially when I have a walk sign.

- If I could have any superpower, I'd want to be able to spout off superbly witty comebacks whenever the situation called for it.  I know this technically isn't a superpower, but it should be.

- I've kept up my post-race recovery indulgence streak all week.  Tonight: cupcakes and oreo balls.

- I don't usually wear a watch when I bike to work because I'm afraid I'll be reckless and blow stop signs and lights all in the name of trying to PR my commute.

- Apples dipped in cinnamon and sugar is one of my all-time favorite snacks.

- I refused to ever wear a dress to school in third and fourth grade.  Shorts and pants only.

- I also refused to eat the school lunches for much of my elementary school career.  Looks like my paranoia/distrust of mass food preparation started at a young age.

- I am a terrible, terrible singer.

- I graduated from college 9 years ago today.

- I never wear anything red.

- I've always owned a cat.

- I drank close to 20 cups of tea at work this week.

- I don't have a single artistic or creative bone in my body.

Those muffins are STILL not done.  But I'm done writing this blogpost anyway.

08 May 2012

Post-race recovery

I'll say it right now.  I'm a fan of the whole post-race recovery thing.  What's not to like about a little extra sleep, lighter workouts (leaving you with more free time), and the FOOD.  My post-half Ironman recovery started out right: Chipotle burrito and a giant frozen yogurt covered in various types of chocolate candy (I'm simultaneously ashamed/proud to admit that the burrito was gone less than five minutes after I ripped into the tinfoil).  Recovery has continued now for three days with ice cream every night and a whole lot of snacking going on during the day.  I feel like I am starving all.of.the.time.

I co-led the Monday AM Team Z boot camp and I think I got a little overzealous with a few of the exercises - by Monday night my back and shoulders were sore.  You don't really think about your arms and upper back getting a workout during most of the race (minus the swim), but being hunched over in your aerobars can wreak havoc on your back muscles.  I think it's time I invested in getting a regular massage, that would probably help.

This morning I demoted myself down a swim lane.  1) I'm still sick (though I sound alot worse than I actually feel); 2) I didn't want to throw my back muscles over the edge.  We had a super fast swimmer in that lane today and I got lapped.  Multiple times.  Womp, womp.  After practice I asked her what she was swimming.  "Oh, 1:17s" was the reply.  Yup, I'll only see those times in my dreams.  I've also been watching my new lane (or is it my old, new lane?) and they have a RIDICULOUSLY fast girl swimming in there at the moment.  I'm basically refusing to join that lane again until she moves up because there is no way in heck I'll be able to keep up.  It will be zone 4 ALL of the time, even on recovery sets.

I looked at my schedule for this weekend.  First ride of the season of over 100 miles!  I'm riding Skyline Drive with some fast people - fingers crossed I can keep up.  I love, love, love this ride and this is the perfect time of year to get out and climb some hills with a view.

06 May 2012

First Half Ironman of 2012 - Monticelloman 70.3

It's what I've been waiting for these past SEVEN months - triathlon race season!! I woke up this morning and it was finally here!! Unfortunately, so was my cold. That head cold that I talked about earlier in the week let up on Wednesday and Thursday, I got a few workouts in... And woke up Friday AM to discover it had moved to my chest. Phlegm galore (which is a hard word to spell, by the way).  No use in panicking, there was nothing I could do besides rest (was an off-day anyway in my Training Peaks schedule), drink lots of fluids (I consumed AT LEAST 4 cups of decaf tea), and eat carbs and Mucinex DM like it was my job (I had 18 pancakes between Friday and Saturday AM, which even I thought was impressive).  Saturday morning came and I felt a little bit better.  NOT 100%, not even close, but I felt like if I had to race that day that I could, so hopefully by Sunday I'd feel a little closer to 100%.

Anyway.  We left for Charlottesville mid-day on Saturday after a frantic search for my missing bike pedals (they were in my bike shoes - I was smart enough to put them there, not smart enough to remember).  Quick packet pickup and then went back to the hotel to hole up for the night.  I had grand plans of getting to sleep early and sleeping well, but things didn't quite go my way.  I got sucked into the Lion King on ABC Family and then our dog kept barking every time he heard someone walking around in the hallway and I kept coughing.  Lovely.  I eventually found my earplugs and suddenly the 5:30am alarm was going off.  I woke up feeling meh, still coughing up a lung, but felt decent enough to race.  And really, when is everything 100% perfect on race day anyway?

I managed to force down 1.5 bagels with that Justin's nut butter (good stuff).  I was nervous.  Over the past year I've been feeling the race day excitement - it's not so much nerves I guess, it's the excitement and anticipation and it builds before finally exploding when they shoot off the air cannon to start the swim.  Then the nerves disappear.  Monticelloman 70.3 was a relatively small race, two waves of men and then one of women.  Melanie and I met up at the swim start and chatted until it was time to line up at the edge of the water.  The air horn went off and in we went.

The swim:
I managed to hang on to some fast feet for exactly 3.8 seconds and then the front pack of girls pulled away.  I found myself swimming on my own, between groups.  Almost immediately, I could feel my triceps aching, probably the result off too many missed swims due to too much travel last month.  Eventually things loosened up, I found my stroke rhythm and ended up feeling pretty good.  I was sighting every 8 strokes and that seemed to keep me right on track.  I caught up to some of the guys from the earlier waves and just kept moving forward.  The lake was nice and clear, water was close to 70, and there was no chop whatsoever.  You really couldn't ask for more perfect conditions for the swim.  

T1:
I think I successfully got out of there in less than two minutes.  This, my friends, is definitely a new PR.

The bike:
It looked like there were a fair number of bikes still on the racks when I showed up in transition, leading me to believe that I didn't have a piss-poor swim and was actually in the game at this race.  Fun!!  The bike course was two loops of rolling hills - NOT flat, but no long, grinding hills like you'd find at Rev3 Quassy.  The hills seemed to be more prevalent at the beginning of the loop, making the back half a little more pleasant and good for the ego.  The first 10-15 miles of the bike felt hard - my pedal stroke felt really forced, I kept looking down to see if a flat tire was the reason I felt like such a slowpoke (it wasn't), and I just didn't feel settled in to a rhythm.  I also made an absolute mess with my saltstick tabs and NUUN tablets - I had the brilliant idea of carrying the NUUN capsule with me, with a few saltstick tabs crammed in alongside the NUUN and when I tried to empty out some NUUN into my aerobottle, it just didn't work - NUUN all over the road instead.  So then I tried to empty a few NUUN tablets into my mouth and I figured I'd just spit them into the bottle instead.  Advice: don't put NUUN directly into your mouth during a race.  Or ever, really.  Later in the race I also managed to bite off the front part of my salt tab dispenser.  This ended up not really mattering in the end because I passed off the broken dispenser that still had about 3 tabs to some poor college kid on the run who looked like he needed some salt.  And he didn't seem to care that I pulled the dispenser out of my sweaty, nasty sports bra.  Amazing the low hygiene standards we stoop to when racing.  Anyway, back to the bike.  Throughout both loops of the bike I played leapfrog with a girl in a blue tri suit who was also in the 30-34 AG.  It actually became a really fun game and I felt like I was really, really racing.  She'd pass me, I'd pass her, and in the end she passed me back and dropped me, probably around mile 50.  Womp, womp.  During the whole bike, I had no idea what my pace or HR were (which is just the way I like to race - blind).  Jen had advised me a few days before to keep a consistent effort on the bike - no super fast surges, no burning the legs out, don't blow up before the run sort of thing.  I think I did a decent job with this AND I was able to catch a number of girls on the bike who had beaten me out of the swim.  By the time I finished the bike, it had been a long time since I'd seen any girls besides the one in the blue tri suit, so I figured things must've been going pretty well but I still wasn't sure where I stood in my AG or overall.  And I didn't see Melanie at all, but I figured she was leading the race (which she was!!!).  I finished the bike, glad to be off the bike with no major mechanicals (I put my bike together less than two days before the race and rode it for about 1 minute before racking it, I was pretty concerned a mechanical might've been in my future).

T2:
Not as fast as T1, but faster than my usual "sit down and have brunch in T2" times.

The run:
So while I was on the bike, I felt pretty OK, the chest cold wasn't bothering me that much.  Maybe it was sitting in aero, I don't know, but I felt almost normal.  That all changed when I stood upright and started running.  I had mentally prepared myself for this throughout the race - I knew I'd probably feel pretty rotten, I knew I'd have a hard time catching my breath, I knew I'd probably be hacking up a lung or two.  And I was OK with that.  There was nothing I could do but deal with things as they came.  The first few miles were rough, finding my stride, catching my breath, I sounded like a 90 year old smoker huffing up those hills.  Ick.  I found myself constantly apologizing to those around me as I hacked up, gagged, and spit a whole bunch of nastiness all over the side of the road (and sadly, myself) multiple times during the 13.1 mile slog.  None of my mile splits were even close to under 8.  I knew this wasn't exactly going to be a PR run, BUT if I didn't fall apart, I could probably rely on my stronger bike and swim to carry me to an overall PR for the day.  And - what I am most proud of - I stayed together mentally through the run.  There was no stopping, no walking, no pity party.  The miles ticked off (some slower than others), and I eventually found my stride and actually started to feel pretty decent.  My legs felt pretty OK until about mile 11, then they were feeling the cumulative effect of the race.  This actually made me pretty happy because it showed that I wasn't leaving much, if anything at all, in the tank and even though my run time wasn't going to be what I had initially hoped, it was about the best I could do given how I was feeling.  So the run was a two loop affair on a road with some rolling hills (again, not a ton of long or steep hills like Quassy, but definitely not flat).  I had no idea where I was in the women's race until I came to about mile 5 and one of the course marshals told me I was the 4th girl overall.  THAT brought the biggest smile to my face - I'd hoped for close to the top of my age group, but close to the top of the overall field was even better!  I caught up to and passed the third women around mile 7ish/8ish.  I tried to look strong when I passed her so she wouldn't try to answer and stick with me and I guess that worked because I didn't see her again.  During the last few miles of the race I started to realize that I was going to actually PR, despite a rough April of training and despite not feeling 100% on race day and despite my less-than-stellar half marathon.  I could even totally implode on the last two miles of the race and still PR.  Fortunately that didn't happen and I crossed the line in 5:14, nine minutes better than I've ever raced the 70.3 distance before AND good enough for 3rd place overall.  Melanie rocked the race, winning the whole thing with a sub-5 (!!!) and we all got some pretty decent race swag.  The three of us were all in the same age group AND we'll all be racing Ironman Lake Placid.  Watch out!!

See those bottles - not wine.  Beer.  Lots of Beer

This was a fantastic race - great venue, beautiful country roads, a well-run grassroots type race.  The race director was super friendly and people in the neighborhoods, especially on the run, made an effort to come out and cheer on the racers.  And, the best part: they had shower facilities for some post-race cleanup.  Today's shower ranked right up there with the best shower I ever had (that one when I was staying in a little hilltop village in Nepal).  No lie.  I would definitely do this race again in a heartbeat.

I also wanted to say a quick thank you to Jen.  She has totally changed how I see myself as an athlete.  Four years ago when I did my first half ironman in 6:20 or something like that (and immediately vowed I would never, ever do another one), I remember thinking that anyone who was doing one of these races in under 6 hours must be superhuman.  I never, EVER pictured myself being capable of a 5:14 or anything close to that.  My goals always used to be "finish with a smile and not hating triathlon." I'm so excited that I can set aggressive time goals that suddenly don't seem outlandish, that I've learned how to suffer in a race and enjoy it, and that I'm learning how to race.  I feel like I get it, I finally get it, and I'm so lucky.

05 May 2012

Post-Graduation (9 years, whatever)

I saw an article on the Washington Post yesterday titled, "The 10 Things They Really Don't Tell You at Graduation" and, seeing as my college graduation was nine years ago (!!!) this week, I thought I'd see how things compared from the other side.  It's true that graduation speeches are sappy and overly optimistic and yes, it would've been useful to hear some of these things as I stood on the cusp of real life (because college is NOT real life).

1) Next year you'll be unemployed and/or living in your parents basement.  I lucked out on this one, I lived on my parents' dime for a year after graduation so I could pursue an unpaid internship in Paris and then I moved to DC where my uncle was nice enough to lend me his spare bedroom for as long as I needed it until I got on my feet.  Otherwise, yes, there's a pretty good chance I would've been living in my childhood bedroom because the economy wasn't too great back then (though, judging by the look on my dad's face when I packed up my car and left town less than a week after getting back from Paris, he wouldn't have minded if I lived at home for awhile longer).

2) You will keep in touch with friends, but not the ones you thought.  I've been lucky here too, the people I was closest to in high school and college are still some of my good friends today.

3) When you hit a certain point in your 20s, everyone starts getting married.  Holy bananas yes.  Six weddings in 2.5 months during the summer of 2006.  Epic.

4) In life, no one rewards you for performing mundane tasks.  Besides points in my internship when I was fresh out of college (and I didn't have a name, I was the intern), I've felt pretty appreciated in the workplace.  And my husband makes me feel pretty appreciated at home when I do stuff around the house (and I try to do the same for him).  And since I'm a grown-up, I can choose not to vacuum up the cat hair right away if I don't feel like it, or not scrub the crown molding.  But then the house just starts to look disgusting and I give in.

5) Regardless of anything the rampant college hookup culture has taught you, you are suddenly expected to Start Going On Dates.  Well.  I met my future husband when I was 23 and we were married by the time I was 25.  He did take me out on proper dates, he did call when he said he would, and we were engaged within eight months of meeting each other.  Yet another reason why Mr. Sweetie gets brownie points: saved me from wandering around the post-college dating scene.

6) Something strange happens to music as you age.  Nineties on Nine on XM radio.  And that quote "when someone says 10 years ago, do you still think they are referring to the 90s?"  I remember when my mom would listen to stuff from the 70s and she'd shout out, "Oh, spring of junior year of high school!" or "Freshman year of college."  Pretty dorky.  Annnd, now I do the same thing.  I also stopped listening to 90s on 9 as frequently because the station that plays the songs from 2000-2009 (obviously so much more hip and cool) has a commercial that says, "if you're still listening to the 90s on 9, you are too damn old."  And that's kind of ruined it for me a bit.

7) Being young isn't everything, but it's a good thing.  By modern standards, I'm still pretty young.  But things I took for granted in my 20s (being able to have two glasses of wine sans hangover) aren't happening as often in my 30s.  Sniff.

8) There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth.  So what the hell, leap.  I wouldn't call anything that I do brilliantly creative.  BUT, worrying about what others think of you will hold you back.  You're not in high school anymore.  If you're not doing something illegal or hurtful, go for it.

9) You have no idea how personal finance works.  Sometimes I still don't.  But I do know how to write checks, address envelopes, and send bill payments in the mail on time.  Most of the time.

10) Some days will be better than others.  Some days will be worse than others.  It's all about looking at the big picture and realizing that the things you might not enjoy right now will eventually pass, you can get through them.  And the the moments that you cherish, they will pass too - don't forget to sit back and appreciate it.  And for the most part, the best days really are ahead of you.

04 May 2012

A little this, a little that

First of all, break open the champagne - this is the first weekend since March that I get to spend with the dog, cats, and my husband.

I'm currently reading Ken Follett's book "Pillars of the Earth" upon receiving a recommendation for it from Erin and Ashley.  It's really good and really long.  I think I've fallen off-track on my "read 50 books in 2012."  This means I'd better have a productive summer and catch back up.

Speaking of books, Chrissie Wellington's new book is out - "A Life Without Limits."  I'll be buying that and reading it this weekend because she's going to be hanging out and signing books here in Arlington NEXT WEEKEND.

Anyone have any additional book recommendations?

I still haven't put my tri bike back together.  It's sitting in its bike case where it has been neglected and forgotten about since Tucson.  This is what happens when you are a lazy triathlete with two bikes.

Speaking of bikes, I might be adding to my bike collection with a mountain bike!!  I think Mr. Sweetie is convinced he wants to sell his roadbike - this would leave more room in the basement for a new bike AND it would help finance the purchase.  Anyone interested in a Cannondale roadbike that's in decent shape?

I finally found the jar of SaltStick tabs I've been looking for all spring - I'd searched high and low in our house, refusing to buy more tabs and instead using the sad leftovers from the 2011 season found stuck to the bottom of my Bento Box while in Tucson.  Turns out the tabs were on my Ironman mug shelf in the cabinet.

Yesterday I ran to work in the AM and took the Metro home in the PM.  My AM commute took less time than my PM commute and I do NOT live super close to my job.

01 May 2012

Uh-oh

So, I guess it was bound to happen with all the travel, the less than ideal number of hours of sleep, etc.  I've caught a cold.  At least I hope it's only a cold.  My immune system is typically pretty cooperative, so I guess I can't be too irritated about this.  It started yesterday after I got to work and by the end of the day, ICK would be the best descriptor of how I was feeling.  Unfortunately, I had also biked to work in the morning and I was NOT in the mood to bike home.  I was able to convince my husband to pick me up at L'Enfant Plaza, so I only had about a 10-15 minute bike ride, totally doable.  Last night I parked myself on the couch and watched episode after episode of The Office and then went to bed early in the hopes of waking up feeling perfectly fine.  Didn't happen and neither did my swim or my run.  Or yesterday's strength training session.  At this point, I will basically do anything to feel better by the weekend.  Sigh.