Monday, March 30, 2015

Two Weeks And Counting

What's in two weeks you ask?

Why it's the first tri of my season!  Belews Lake International brought to you by the stellar crew that is Jones Racing Company (I LOVE these guys!!!).  Am I ready??

not quite.

I haven't run more than three miles in a month, Jasper and I don't like hills and I haven't even hopped in the lake, put on my wetsuit or have swum (swam? gosh who knows #grammarcrapshoot ) any long course.

And I'm having some PTSD flashbacks from last year.  But, I guess I need to start somewhere, right?  I need to remember that I actually can do this stuff.  Sometimes I forget!  And Raleigh is creeping up on me all ninja-like and will be here before you know it.  Cue heart palpitations.

Anyhew.  Time to get my groove on and shoo away all those mental demons!

1500m swim
27 mile bike
6.2 mile run

it will be fun
it will be glorious
and I will eat fried pickles.

"I got 'dis." (mantra poached by my CT classmate and Ironman, RT Rockstar!)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Deep Breaths

We are more than half way through the semester and as with each time this moment comes 'round, I once again feel like my life is spiraling out of control, my sanity is in question and my brain is fried.

And like each time before, I am taking a few moments to breathe, reflect, and offer up...

The Top 10 Things I Will Do Once This Misery Is Over

in no particular order
except for the first few...
  1. Party like it's 1999.
  2. Sleep for 100 years.
  3. Tuesday night pub runs.
  4. Finally put away that pile of clothes that I've been staring at and moving between the bed and the dresser top. (because if I put it back on the bed, I will put it away eventually, right?  Theory dis-proven.)
  5. I might finally claim my kitchen from the Christmas decorations that have been stored there since I moved in two years ago...
  6. Have a beach weekend!  I may have mentioned it a time or two that...Dammit I'm over due!
  7. Clean.  My apartment is absolutely gross and I can't take it any longer.
  8. Swim Bike Run 70.3 miles.  Why?  Because it's what I do. And it's awesome. And I get to eat.  A lot.
  9. Go on a REAL vacation.  No racing, just eating, drinking and being merry!
  10. Contemplate grad school.  For like .02 seconds and then laugh until I pee my pants.

There you have it.  
6 more weeks.
Party on, Garth.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Words for Wednesday

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, 
the rest is merely tenacity.

- Amelia Earhart

Monday, March 16, 2015

N + 1 = Tons of Fun

At the end of January, Sampson, Thelma (+ Juan Pablo), the Beast and I welcomed an addition to our little family.

I had been contemplating a new bike for many months now. I mean, Thelma is a bit old and a little heavy but she gets the job done, right?  Did I really need a new bike?  With a couple 70.3's on the schedule this year, I thought why not do something that will bring me happiness, make my life a little easier and hopefully faster?  So, as a happy divorce present to myself, I bit the bullet.

Meet Jasper.

this match is
Snoop Approved!
Since that day it has been rainy, snowy and icy mess here in the Piedmont of NC, and if it hasn't been precipitating it's been just plain old cold and dreary; and honestly folks I am a wuss and do NOT like riding in the cold.  I am a pansy. I won't deny it!

So our "rides" have thus far been inside during our computrainer class which may have been a blessing in disguise.  This presented the perfect opportunity to get used to the new position and gear set up within a controlled environment (ideal for those like me who are accident prone and tend to tip over...)

And then it happened.
The sun came out.
The trumpets sounded.
The call came.
"Let's roll."

Okay, so it didn't happen quite like that.  More like, Hope is still unprepared and needs a water bottle cage ...
do you have one?
Yes I have one.
Can you put it on for me?
(Sigh.) Yes.
I don't know what to wear.
(Sigh.) Bike clothes.
I don't remember how to clip in and out.
(Shaking of the head and rolling eyes at irrational panic)
I'm freaking out.
Don't freak out (Dammit, woman.  HTFU)

Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.  It was go time.  There I was, with my stomach in my throat and heart pounding watching as my friends started to roll out from base camp.  Gotta go now or get left behind.  "Alright Jasper, we have to make this happen.  Be good to me and I'll try really hard not to tip us over...." And then we were off.

It took me awhile to get comfortable, in my head and on the bike.  I was nervous and scared to death.  I had just gotten somewhat comfortable being in aero position on Thelma last year, but I wasn't in Kansas anymore.  Jasper is a triathlon bike and this is what he was built for whereas Thelma was a roadie made to be like a TT bike.  The fits are still night and day.  Jasper is smaller, lighter and I don't have a lot of bike underneath me as I once did. You definitely feel every single bump, no matter how small, in the road.  He also has me more forward and lower making getting down in aero position wobbly and entertaining.  Mr. van Voo gave me great advice. In summary, "Suck it up Buttercup and get your ass in aero; it's the only way to get over being scared.  Besides, on these bikes you are meant to be in aero and it will make your life easier."  He was right.  Before I even realized it, I was down in my bars more often than not, even in the pace line.  And if I was lagging behind on a flat, the only way I could catch back up was drop in the bars.  Actually, being down in my bars was the only way I could pull when it was my turn to be out in front.  Aero on the down hills?  At first I was like "hell to the no!"  by the end, I was like "in the bars going 33mph down this bitch? no prob" (only a little scary and I'm not quite sure if I was breathing or not...haha!)

I'm afraid my pull segments may have been our slowest, so I hope they let me keep trying.  I can see how pulling a few of your closest friends as a great way to build bike strength!

It's no secret my weakness is hills.  And as much as I hate hills, curse them, cry on them, whine on them and feel like my legs are going to spontaneously combust while trying to get up them; I am thankful, grateful and happy that my friends put up with my shenanigans and make me do them!

It is they who will make me stronger.

So, that was my Sunday.  I haven't forgotten how much I missed these group rides, but yesterday was definitely a reminder.  It brought back many happy memories of last summer and it was a promise to make new memories with old friends and new friends I get to call my teammates.

And let me tell you what.  If I had any doubts or buyers guilt, both are LONG GONE now.  Jasper is one lean, mean, quick little machine!

All eyes on Raleigh 70.3.
Suck it up Buttercup!

Special shout out to Inside Out Sports, Melissa Bell, Bob Nixon and James Haycraft for getting me on Sir Jasper McHotWheels.  One sexy bad ass.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Random thought for the day

There is a time (usually always) and a place (usually everywhere) for chocolate. However, I discovered that it does not belong in my oatmeal raisin cookies. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

That moment

...when you are in the office and you happen to look up from your keyboard and find 3 empty bottles of ibuprofren, electrolyte tabs, coffee and an ice pack at the ready, a sudden realization smacks you in the face that your sport isn't just a hobby anymore, it's a lifestyle.

it just happened


Friday, March 6, 2015

Were you aware?

I don't watch much "real-time" tv anymore.  I LOVE tv, but I simply don't have the time between the day job, the weekend job, school work and this triathlon thing.  So when I watch tv, it's usually recordings or neflix streams of my favorite shows.  Since my divorce I'm no longer forced to sit and watch FoxNews and I'm never home in time to watch the evening news, nor can I stay up to catch the late news. So maybe I'm just out of touch.  (I do like this itsy bitsy world I've created in my own little bubble.  We all stay pretty happy in here for the most part...)

But I do read a lot of news alerts and daily headlines for my real job, so the fact that I heard not even a whisper surprised me.  Maybe it will surprise you too, or like I said maybe I'm just out of touch.

Were you aware that the trial of Dzhokar Tsarvaev started this past Wednesday?  You remember Dzhokar.  He and his brother thought it a great idea to place two pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  You notice I'm not using "alleged."  Dzhokar's lawyer said yes, he did it.  That fact isn't in dispute, they all admit it.  The why and how he came to do it is really what is in question, basically to save him from the ultimate penalty.  But I'm not here writing to get all political or discuss legal mumbo jumbo.

Yesterday was the first full day of witness testimonies. I was reading some of the accounts and it immediately took me back to that day.  It's not that I had forgotten, but the mental images of the pictures and news reports played like a slideshow in my mind.  And it forced me to truly remember.

I urge you to remember.  I urge you to read the testimonies, to view new images and footage.

I urge you to go run.  Any distance, a quarter mile, a mile, whatever, and be thankful for the feet that carry you and the heart that propels you forward, to keep moving, to keep dreaming.

And if you have people in your life, I urge you to hug them or squeeze their hand....somehow let them know how important they are to you and that your life is better with them in it.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Momentary Freak Out

Please allow me to pause this world of positivity, motivational words, top 10 lists, prosing on about swimming, cycling and running and random musings while I have a near meltdown.

Notice of failing grades will be sent on Monday, the day we return from "spring break."  

I've had a few moments these past few days where I literally could not breathe.  I had two mid terms the week before break and I do not, I repeat DO NOT, have a good feeling about either.  No.  Not at all.  

Panic has indeed set in.

Let the freak out commence.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


This is actually a thing?  


I thought the purpose of crock pots were to "fix it and forget it?"  

As if everything else in our lives weren't already controlled by our smart phones...and now this??

I don't know if I want to live in a world where there is an app for my dang crock pot.


For heaven's sake.  

What's next, toilets?  Just in case we need the ability to flush from afar?

The insanity must stop.