Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I have a friend who is an Ironman

In every sense of the word.

Two Ironman finishes already under his belt, and I know he's got more than that in him. Amazing.This friend trained diligently for months and put in an amazing, almost untouchable amount of volume in preparation for this race.

This friend shares knowledge and has already helped me out in my Ironman training immensely--and I'm sure will help me even more as the day gets closer. His sense of humor, realistic approach to training, and encouragement is something I really value.

This friend swims--swimming really isn't the best verb--GLIDES faster than anyone I've ever seen. The epitome of technique and power, he flies through the water and makes it look effortless. That's why this friend finished 18th out of 2000-odd swimmers in Saturday's Ironman at Couer d'Alene. Unbelievable--a feat and an ability that I can only dream of attaining.

After that, my friend had a blazing fast bike split, even despite slowing down a bit on his terms due to the almost 100 degree heat on the course. This friend hydrated and took as much sodium as he could. In T2, my friend had a bike split that I can only imagine on a downhill, tailwind style course.

But for some reason, my friend cramped up on the run.

It got so bad that my friend got violently ill and had a major decision to make. He decided that it wasn't worth risking his health as he got sicker and sicker.So he made the decision at Mile 16--and I can only imagine the frustration in this decision--that after 3 IV's in the medical tent, he had to do what's best for him and his body, and call it a day.I respect him so much for this--it takes a great deal of courage and maturity to know that finishing might be possible, but might hurt you long-term, and it's the more courageous thing to do to step back and say, "Not today."

I hope I have that kind of courage in me.

As I heard his story, I couldn't help think of my own personal IM-year quote:

"THE CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN WHO IS ACTUALLY IN THE ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED BY DUST AND SWEAT AND BLOOD, WHO STRIVES VALIANTLY, WHO ERRS AND COMES UP SHORT AGAIN AND AGAIN, BECAUSE THERE IS NO EFFORT WITHOUT ERROR OR SHORTCOMING, BUT WHO KNOWS THE GREAT ENTHUSIASMS, THE GREAT DEVOTIONS, WHO SPENDS HIMSELF FOR A WORTHY CAUSE; WHO, AT BEST, KNOWS, IN THE END, THE TRIUMPH OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT, AND WHO, AT THE WORST, IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST HE FAILS WHILE DARING GREATLY, SO THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO KNEW NEITHER VICTORY NOR DEFEAT." --Theodore Roosevelt, April 23, 1910

The more I hear and read, the more I realize that this is a very different kind of beast I'm taking on. This is, really, the first time in my life, that I am throwing my heart and soul into something that, despite that--despite all my hours and good intentions--I might not achieve.

There are so many factors beyond my control, that it amazes me that anyone completes this race. It scares the hell out of me. Ironman is not a warm, fuzzy teddy bear cheering you on. It is a beast to be reckoned with. It doesn't give a shit how hard you trained and planned or how nice of a person you are and all that stuff. Sometimes things get out of your control, and sometimes you can roll with it, and other times, if you have the courage, you step away and tell it you'll be back.

My friend is an Ironman. He displays the persistence, skill, and courage that it takes to bear that name. I hope and pray I can someday share that title with him. The fact that I don't know that I can keeps me going as, little by little, I do everything in my power to get to wear that badge.

He is in every sense of the word.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Reason # 1,873,592 why I love my husband

I had a long run scheduled for today. On hills. On a course about 40 minutes away, that is very isolated and lonely and at mile 8 has a section I like to call "Dog Alley," consisting of 3 rottweilers, 1 German shephard, and 1 very pissed off collie/shephard thing that once BIT my friend Jeremy.

And it's Monday, so most normal people are working. So I was going to have to head out there alone. Ugh.

Until my amazing husband said he'd come with me--and run the 10 very hilly miles at Hinckley and then I could finish the last 3 on my own around the park. So we did it, and it was hard, and I love him. He rocks.

THANKS, Matt--you're the best IronHubby a TriSaraTops could ever ask for! :)

Look who showed up to the rehearsal dinner! Elvis was IN the building!!! Posted by Picasa

Kim getting ready! Posted by Picasa

Nicole, Tricia and I in our very blue dresses! The sunset is behind us but it's hard to tell how pretty it was--you'll have to take my word for it. Posted by Picasa

Heading downtown for some pics! Posted by Picasa

How cute are these 2? Posted by Picasa

Dan and Allen chuggin' in the party bus Posted by Picasa

This one's for Kim in Boston! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Triathlon is about stepping outside of the box.

You have to think different. And it challenges you like no other sport I've ever played.

Basically, as you all know, there are three disciplines to triathlon, but you have one that tends to be a strength and one that tends to be a weakness. For me, swimming is my strength, and not because I'm that fast or anything, but because it just feels comfortable. I don't worry about the swim that much. That's not to say I've never had a rotten swim, because I have. But it's just where I feel the most comfortable.

Almost all of the triathletes I've talked to will say, "Yeah, my weak leg is running....or swimming....etc." Very few athletes in the world will probably be able to tell you they have NO weakness out of the three sports. I would venture a guess that even the Peter Reids and the Michellie Jones' of the world might say that one of the disciplines is, at least, not their favorite.

But it's exactly this reason why the sport is so intriguing to me. Like life, you only improve if you work on your weakness. You are only as good as your weakest link.

For me, that is cycling.

I can't explain why it's my weakness--it sounds pretty ridiculous to my non-tri friends. "How hard is it to ride a BIKE?" they ask me, jokingly. I dunno. It's just the slowest part of my day, and the part that I worry about. This is a double whammy, because it's where you spend the most time in every tri. I joke that I wish I could lengthen the IM swim, and take a few miles off the bike--that would be a great TriSaraTops IM. Ahhhh...no such luck.

But life's like that, too. Things would be perfect if schools had plenty of money to pay me what I and all other teachers really work for. Matt would have a wonderful, stable teaching job. There would be no need to go to war at all, and we would use only clean fuels to run our cars and.....the list goes on and on and on.

But I don't run the world. And I don't set the course for triathlon. So you roll with the punches, and you do everything you possibly do to step OUTSIDE of your comfort zone to improve it.

For me, what good is it gonna do if I swim my tail off and come out of the water exhausted that day and then don't make the bike cutoff because all I did all summer was ride flat stuff and swim 100 repeats on 1:20?

That's just dumb. It would be fun, until of course I hit T2, but that's dumb.

So I know over the next 2 months I have to spend a lot of time on my bike. Less time in the water and running. That blows. I love swimming, and I love running. But I need to remember what will get me to that finish line.

Case in point: the wedding this weekend, although tons of fun, really put a damper on my training. I was running around from picnic to rehearsal to ceremony and had to bump my long ride to Sunday. I tried to find someone who could ride with me, but alas, they all did it Saturday.

So now I had to do my longest ride time-wise (not mile wise) as of yet ON HILLS. Alone.

Totally alone.

40 minutes from home, because that's where the hills are.

Here we go. Outside the box.

It's scary to go outside the box, you know? I was dreading this all weekend. But I printed off a nice 16.8 mile, hilly route from my coach's website and she even typed "VERY CHALLENGING" at the top of the map. Oh boy. What am I doing? I should just ride near home. I don't know if I can do this alone. Taped it all nice and neat to my aerobars, and I was ready to go.

Except for one thing. The roads I needed to start the ride on were at the bottom of the hills. Which meant that last week's thunderstorms and the subsequent flooding forced the police to SHUT DOWN THE ROADS.

What do I do?

I should go home. This sucks. I should just ride on Route 6 for a long time. I don't know where I am. I'm alone.

I'm alone.

Well, sometimes you gotta suck it up and do it. So, I told the whiny self to shut the hell up, and started to make my own route.

Yeah, that's it. I'll just make my own loop so I'm not too far from my car and keep riding until I hit my time.

WOW. The hills were tough. The first loop was very very very slow. But on the biggest climb, I didn't have to walk, and passed (or should I say crawled) by 5 different bikers walking their bike up the hill.

Little mental trophy #1.

Then, on the way back to my car, I realized almost that entire road where I thought there was just one steep hill and the rest I was just slow, was really a hill almost the ENTIRE WAY UP. Several MILES. Wow. That felt good to know.

Little mental trophy #2.

And the second and third loops were tough, don't get me wrong--but I felt stronger. I went a little faster, even though I was getting so tired. I felt a little bit more confident.

And I finished this ride. Nothing to write home about speed-wise, but I covered a decent amount of miles and a LOT of climbing. Does it feel like swimming 1000 yards in a pool, or running a 10K? No. I don't know how many years it will take me before it feels like that. But I don't direct the course, and I sure as heck don't run the world. And I do know, that if you want to get ahead in life, you have to reach outside of your comfort zone. That's it. No easy way, and no shortcuts.

I ended my ride alone, just like I started. But a little bit stronger, and a little more confident. And a little more ready.

________________________________________

Part of my ride today was inspired by Su and Rob, who I knew were out there feeling probably more pain than I can imagine, and who were challenging themselves and reaching outside of their comfort zone in a way I'll find out about soon enough. Congratulations to them both--they ARE Ironmen, and they are an inspiration! I can't wait to hear all the details.

In the meantime--get out there and step out of your zone. It's scary, and sometimes it really sucks. But it makes you stronger, even if you don't want to admit it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Record!

I swam 2 miles without stopping! Yahoo!

New record for me! :)

Kept it slow and steady...nothing too exciting speed-wise, but hey I'm just pumped I did it. It's been crazy fitting in workouts with work this week and my sis-in-law's wedding (there's at least one event each day from Wednesday-Saturday for this wedding), but here's how the week is going Tuesday-Tuesday:

Tuesday: HR testing at my Coach's place
Wednesday: AM--run 1:15 with pickups to Zone 3. PM: Ride 1:30 interval workout on trainer (which by the way kicked my BUTT)
Thursday: AM--run 60 minutes Zone 2. PM: swim 3300 Meters
Friday: Ride 1:30, core work
Saturday: wedding all day--seriously, have to leave for hair appointment at 7:40 for cryin' out loud--no workout today :(
Sunday: 4:30 ride on HILLS (bring it ON) and 45 minute run off bike, 2 softball games at night if I can stand up and swing a bat
Monday: Hilly run at Hinckley for 2:15, core work

Despite the craziness of this week I'm excited to be on track to fit all this in!

GOOD LUCK to IM Cd'A and IM France racers this weekend: Rob and Su/Bryce/Kurt! I will be obsessively checking my computer if I can at any time on Saturday....can't wait to hear all the reports!

Rob, was that you in the pool today? I would have stopped but I was trying to see if I could make it to 2 miles....kinda looked like you when I did a flip turn, and whoever it was was SUPER fast so I figured it might be you! But I thought you would have left? Anyway--have FUN!

Everyone else have a great Thursday afternoon--get out there and play!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

do do do doooo feelin' grooooveeeeeeeeee

I'm feelin' good....relaxed and recovered and ready to take on the next few weeks.

I'd better be, because here's a few things in store:

Sis-in-law's wedding on Saturday!
push long hilly brick to Sunday and probably have to do solo......good mental training, I guess.....
long hilly run on Monday, and, you guessed it, gonna be headin' solo.....unless any C-towners are up for Hinckley?
trip to St. Louis next week to visit buddies and get in some good HEAT training--who knew St. Louis is so freaking HOT??? Also to see the TRIBE kick the CARDS butts on Wednesday night and just be an obnoxious Tribe fan
Riding 112 miles on the Wisconsin course 7/8, and hopefully getting a good run in the next day
Riding the hilly Greater Cleveland HIM Course at least 2 times
Completing a C race as training in Geneva, NY at the Musselman HIM
Completing a Century Ride at the Sweet Corn Challenge
Continuing to do as much steady yardage in the pool and Lake Erie as I can

So that should keep me busy for a while.

Here's a few pics from the race--I didn't get to take any, so I'm at the mercy of the photographer....


Me on the bike--why do I look like I'm laughing hysterically?!

And there is no laughing here....me on the run, looking pretty NOT happy and like I'm about to DIE. Thanks, Multisport Photo--why would I want to pay like $57 for this lovely gem of a pic?!

Gotta love it! Hopefully the wedding photog will take some more flattering pics this weekend. :) She was Matt and my wedding photographer and she did such a good job--excited for her to document Kim's big day! Matt and I even made her website....if you're extremely bored you can check it out.

Congrats to all who raced this weekend--Kurt, Tammy, Lana, Michele, and everyone else that I can't remember cuz I'm tired....:) And good luck to Walchka in Philly, TriEric at Mountaineer, and DaisyDuc in her FIRST TRI EVER!!!! Can't wait to hear all the reports!

I'm out--gotta run in the morning and should be in bed by now! What am I doing??!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bittersweet

Yesterday was a great race day and a great Father’s Day. I got to hang out with my Dad, who is a wonderful guy. But it was kind of a sad Father’s Day, too…for my Mom, who lost her father 20 years ago today, on June 19, 1986.

Last night I was laying down trying to relax after a long and fun day, when I started to cry. I’m not sure why I cried, but I have a few theories…

Because my Grandpa was only 58 years old when he died.

Because my Mom lost her father when she was only 35. That’s not much older than me.

Because that day was one of the few times in my life I’ve seen my Dad cry.

Because he didn’t get to come to my wedding.

Because I tried really, really hard, but I can’t really remember him that much, and that makes me sad.

I cried because I do remember this day before he got sick, and I remember how fun it was to chase him, and I remember the sound of him laughing as he ran away from us.


I’d like to think he’ll be there at the finish line in September. I know it might sound na├»ve, but it’s my dream and I’m sticking to it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Here's the short version!

Long version to come later---soooooooooooooooooofreakingtired and have to head to Dad's house soon!

First of all--I LOVE triathlon! So fun.

OK--on my 3 goals:

1. "Swim in under 32 minutes": 28 when I hit the beach! Liz, you were right! Got out of water, had a good T1 (Thanks to my new wetsuit that just FLEW off!), and thought, "Hey, it's not an A race but maybe I might PR?"

2. 5 minutes into the bike leg, thought, "Um, yeah. There will be no PR'ing today."

Just checked weatherchannel.com and it said what most people guessed: Winds SSW at gusts of 15-25mph. No joke. I didn't want to exaggerate so I looked it up. So throw my original "18.3mph avg." out the window! :)

BUT---remained calm, did some positive thinking, and ended up with a 17.3mph avg. I'll take it. Not bad for me.

3. "Run 9:15min/miles, but drop this if it's hot and I'm not feelin' it" This brings in my new vid, BTW--sorry if you're not a Snoop fan but it just fits my day. :)

It was sooooo hot at this point (87 F), and pretty windy with no shade. First 2 miles at 9:20, OK...but my HR was out of this universe. Made the decision since no PR was happening and it's not an A race to drop it down a notch, but HR did not come down. :( So it was a long and not very fun 10:00min/miles, BUT serious money in the bank for IMW. I'm proud of myself for hanging in there and finishing strong.

Finish time just at 2:59 by my watch--good enough for 2nd in AG! :) (out of like 3 or 4...ha ha) Got some nice hardware and had a blast with my friends.

OK--more later, but that's da scoop!

___________________________________________

OK--I'm back and I decided just to tack onto this post, since I pretty much wrapped it all up there for ya. Except for the OUT OF CONTROL HEART RATE that happened for the ENTIRE RACE...???!!! Now, my heart rate is USUALLY pretty high. Probably partly to do with the allergy medication I am on. But today it was NUTS.

Here's the splits I had according to my watch, along with some commentary:

Swim 28:05 to beach--really happy with this, as I didn't feel that great in the swim. I was kinda kicking myself for not testing my wetsuit before the race, as I felt like Randy from a Christmas Story ("I can't put my arms down!")

HR: 186 ?! Okay, I just stood up out of the water so I know it will go high....should settle down here soon.

Bike: ? Can't tell from my watch, but avg speed 17.3 mph--disappointed to say the least. One thing I learned today: Flat does NOT ALWAYS equal fast. Flat with nothing but soybean fields and NO TREES often means very windy, which does not mean fast. Oh well. Tried to remember that everyone had to deal with the wind, and not just me. The fact that I was able to sustain that pace with the 15-25mph wind gusts did make me happy, but I was hoping for a nice fast race. So much for that idea. For one road though, I did some glorious coasting at 22-24 mph...yeah, I can't usually do that so for those few minutes there the wind was my friend. :) But into the wind I slowed down to 13-14! Ugh....

HR: ranged from 177-184. What is going on? I definitely didn't drink enough on the bike. It was so hard because the wind was throwing me and everyone around so much, that I had a fearful grip on my aerobars as I hunched down and tried not to get blown over. One dude had a DISC wheel in---WTF?!! I saw him get blown across the lane! Not so smart.

Run: I think around 1:02? This was deliberate though, as I realized after the bike that it wasn't going to be a PR day and decided to slow down...but it DIDN'T HELP MY HR AT ALL!!!!! Then I was mad because I was like, well why the hell did I slow down if my HR won't go down?! I might as well keep a high HR and try to hold a faster pace...mile splits:

1. 9:27 HR: 184 (Uh oh. Still high...and my hat getting blown off my head and then me turning around and chasing it really didn't help my cause)
2. 9:33 HR: 184 (This HR is freaking me out. Must slow down. It's so hot I'm feeling nauseous...)
3. 10:44 HR: 184 (#$*%&(%&!!! BLEEP BLEEP!!!&*(#%%^&#$! Why the @$*( did I slow down if my HR IS NOT CHANGING?!!)
4. 10:18 HR: 184 (You've gotta be FREAKING KIDDING ME)
5. 10:24 HR: 186 (I just don't give a hoot at this point--hey look! A big, 3 foot snake on the trail! Cool!)
6: 9:50 HR: 187 (It's hot. I'm tired. This blows.)
.2: 1:53 HR: 193 (Okay. Statistically, I should be DEAD right now if I follow 220-age. Oh well, kicked it at the end and passed someone.)

So, um, me and my new coach are gonna have a nice long talk about what the heck happened with my heart. I might be able to fake it through an Olympic with an AVERAGE HR OF 181, but I can't be pulling that crap on a HIM or DEFINITELY not IM. So I need to figure out what happened and how NOT to have it happen again.

So I was pretty disappointed for a little bit, mostly in T2. I felt like I had really improved on the bike and wanted to hammer, but sometimes you just have to modify your plans. Truly, you can never run the same race twice, as you can never have the SAME CONDITIONS. So a goal of PR'ing on the bike was not worth getting hurt over, and I thought it would help to drop off my pace on the run but somehow it didn't. Ugh.

Despite how mad I was at parts today, I tried to in my head stay very positive. I said things like, "I love the wind, it cools me off." Even though I was SWEARING at it under my breath. :) I started to think, on that long and slowest 10K I've ever run in my life, that this was some good mental preparation for IM MOO. It was hot, I was tired, and I had to keep positive and keep pushing. I didn't walk once, and managed to even pass a few on the bike and run--including some men who had a head start on my wave. So I tried to focus on the good and think how this was money in my Ironman Bank.

Crossed the line with some CTC friends on the sidelines--all of us who collected hardware--way to represent! Scott the HFP guy, who is a CTC guy too, announced the names of those finishing. He said, "Here comes #34, (me) across the line--but we like to call her TriSaraTops!" ha ha Thanks for making me laugh, Scott! Then as I crossed the volunteer took my number and informed me I came in 2nd and gave me my 2nd place award. So that cheered me up. But I don't think there were too many in my age group, so don't get too excited! ha ha I do know that the girl who won my age group came behind me out of the water. Story of my tri-life. :)

Well, time to get crackin' here. Tomorrow's a rest day, and then it's all about me and hills. And figuring out what is going on with my rabbit-like heart rate.

Do rabbits have high heart rates?

I think I just made that up.

You always gotta remember--every day we're healthy enough to race is a gift, and you grow with every race you do! So I had a good day and learned a lot. Onward to Madison...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I'm off like a prom dress....

...off to Toledo soon, to do my first tri of the season!

Hopefully will be back with some good stories and pics...and not a lot of mayflies swallowed on the bike leg. :) Ew....

I'M OUT!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I've got a fever....

....and the only prescription is more cowbell.

Or an Olympic Race.

I am getting sooooooo antsy to race this weekend. This has been the longest I have gone in years without a race of some sort--whether it's a local 5K or a marathon--and I feel like I've been walking the walk for 6 months now and, for cryin' out loud, it's time to talk the talk.

Now, this Sunday is not an A race. I have one A race this year. But, I am using this race to do a long brick at a higher intensity, and just to test out my HR, nutrition, and pacing. I checked the website to see if they had a participant list up--they did! Not a whole lot of us doing the International Distance. Oh well---so it will be a little quiet out there. Big deal. More time to focus on improving my positive thinking and mental skills. Whenever the butterflies come, I remember that I am more prepared for this Int'l Tri than I ever was before. I will be fine. The body is ready, and I just have to get the mind ready.

One thing I DID notice on the participant list: a sorority sister of mine from the past is racing the Sprint! I about had a heart attack! It said her full name: "Melissa M., Wheeling, WV, age 29" Now, it might not be her, but how many other Missy M's that are 29 from Wheeling WV could there possibly BE?! So I'm gonna have to run around looking for Missy, yelling her name until I find her! I haven't seen her in 7 years!!!

Been trying some visualization techniques a little each day--hopefully it will help. I know where the race is and it's very flat, but from what I hear the bugs and the potential for wind could be a problem. So I'm trying to visualize those problems and myself dealing with them.

And I have a sweet new wetsuit, too. :)

So my tentative goals for this race are the following:

Swim: Under 32 minutes
Bike: Average over 18.3 mph (that was the last split of the last Olympic I did)
Run: Hold under a 9:15 pace, BUT--if it's really hot and I'm just not feelin' it--I'm not going to worry about this part. Again, there's no way in HADES that I'm running a 9:15 IM marathon, so I'm more concerned about a strong swim and bike on Sunday.
Transition: I believe I should have no trouble shaving off at least 30 seconds from each transition. My transition times in the past have been very slow. There's no excuse for that--it's free time and I need to be taking advantage of it.

So, the bottom line is: NOTHING TOO OUT OF REACH. This is not an A race. (repeat to self 5 times) :) I should push but not kill myself, and just get out there and have fun. It's a deposit in the IM bank.

The last Olympic I did had a very disappointing swim....everyone came out of the water frustrated that it was a bit long and very hard to sight--so I will be just happy to improve in that area for this race.

And....this is very exciting....drum roll please......

As of yesterday I am no longer a clueless, self-coached triathlete!

Now I'm a clueless, coached triathlete!:)

I am very excited to work with a coach that some of my buddies, like TriEric, are working with. I think this will help me greatly over the next 86 days--both physically, and mentally.

So now I'm off for a nice easy 60 minute ride. Tonight it's dinner with friends to look at her wedding and honeymoon pics. Tomorrow it's a 60 minute little brick and some stretching. Saturday it's rest.

Sunday it's game time. Bring it on!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

OMG I am such a loser.

How much of a TOTAL nerd am I?

This will certify me as a HUGE tri nerd.

I am sooooooooooooooo excited that our Tri Club President had a wetsuit he wanted to sell--an XTerra Ventilator Women's Medium--and I tried it on and it FIT IT FIT IT FIT and I heart it!

So how excited am I?

The kind of excited that you are when your husband-is-out-for-a-run-and-you-don't-want-to-wait-around-in-a-wetsuit-even-though-it's-hella-cool-so-you-take-a-freaking-picture-of-yourself-excited.

Here I am in all my Lake Erie Funk and Nastiness hairstyle with no makeup on. You don't even want to know what Liz and I swam in tonight with IronJohnny and some CTC buds.....

I am the biggest GEEK.

But this wetsuit ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Now I know what it feels like to be a pro triathlete

......only a LOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTT slower.

Today it finally hit me that vacation is here. It usually takes a few days of not having any school thoughts for it to hit me. So it was ALL about training and resting today, just like the pros.

Now, this is hard, because dammit I'm in a recovery week! And after last weekend's awesome Women's Triathlon Clinic I went to, I am so pumped up to train and race. But, I know it's important to take this week easy--especially with a race this weekend--speaking of which I'm soooooofreakingexcited to race it's not even funny.

So I got 9 hours of sleep for the second night in a row!

9 hours!!!????

Can't remember the last time I did that. I feel great though!

This morning I laid low and read a little more of the Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training. Good stuff. It is very helpful. I took the Head Doc's (Kahuna's buddy) little online test about mental training and how you rate on things like confidence, motivation, etc. I scored really high on lots of things: confidence and motivation I was about as high as you can get.

But I scored a ZERO OUT OF SEVEN ON ANXIETY.

Zero.

That's pretty sad. So I've got some work to do in the mental training aspect.

So after studying up, I decided that, well, if I'm gonna race this weekend, it might be good to "wake up" my fast twitch muscle fibers since I haven't used them since the Clinton Administration. (Okay, that's a slight exaggeration--more like 2 months) So I headed to the track.

I know track workouts aren't that vital for IM...but I love instant gratification, OK? So sue me. Plus I thought just a few 800s would help me get stronger--sort of the quality over quantity workout approach.

Total workout time: 48 minutes. Somewhere around 5.5 miles. My 800s looked like this:

3:45
3:48
3:50
3:44

Ugh. That's a FAR CRY from last year's low 3:30s on a regular basis. The track was laughing at me. It went something like this,

Track: Is that all you've got? You've gotta be KIDDING me...

Me: Shut up. I'm just trying to push a little bit.

T: Well a little is an understatement. You suck.

M: Hey, come on now, it's not THAT bad...

T: That's a good 15 seconds slower than you used to do these. Snail-butt.

M: Okay, beeyotch. You're not helping with my "It's-not-about-speed-this-year" mantra with this, so CAN IT!

T: Just promise me someday you'll run on me and hit those old numbers, sloth?

M: I can promise you that next year I will BEAT those old numbers. Stuff it.

Got in my car and repeated 5 times in my head:

"It's not about speed this year."

Whew. That's better.

Okay, onto workout #2: hit the pool. I was leading the newbies swimmers in the open water so I wanted to be sure to get in some good yardage total. I did 2200 yards pretty steady without much trouble. A little on the slow side, but I wanted to keep it easy today.

Laid by the pool afterwards to read a little of this month's Cosmo I just bought at CVS. Nothing like a good trashy read. Lost some brain cells. Went home.

Then headed up to the Lake to do an open water swim--yay! It was a little gross 10 yards or so along the shore, as the wind was bad. Ugh. Just wanted to get out to the cleaner water....hold your breath....OK, much better. Swam probably somewhere in the realm of 1000 yards back and forth with some CTC'ers. Super congrats to DaisyDuc on her first Lake Erie swim! She did awesome! Only about 20 minutes of actual swim time, as I didn't want to leave anyone behind. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to doing another open water session and trying to get in some good open water distance.

So now I'm home. This must be what it's like to just train and chill all day. Man, must be nice. Next week I have to start my summer job--it's pretty easy though and only involves 15 or so days of actual work. Can't beat that.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to bed....wonder if I can get 9 hours again? Geez. This is insane. I'm pretty spoiled this week. Oh well, I've earned it I guess. :)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Summertime is here

Not until June 21 officially, but in my world, it's summertime.

I feel a sense of calm that is interrupted by butterflies every half hour or so. This is because of a few things: 1) today is a rest day, and I am FORCING MYSELF to take the day off. So I have lots of time to think. 2) It's June 12, which means IMW was three months from Saturday.

Three months.

12 weekends. And some of those will be taper weekends.

So I'm getting down to the wire here.

Still time (deep breath, stomach is calm) but not THAT much time (butterflies).

Back and forth, back and forth....

This week I'm FORCING myself to take as a recovery week, as I've been putting in close to 14 hours for the past three weeks. Time to cut down a bit, then do my first race of the season on Sunday morning. I'm having dinner and lunch with my mom, Marie, and Barb at different times this week. Getting caught up on doing laundry and cleaning. Reading The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training, which I need some help with. Trying a few new recipes.

Trying to breathe deeply and know that I'll be fine.

I walked out of my classroom for the final time on Thursday. Locked up the file cabinet, cleaned off my desk, put all the books away, turned in my grades. It was eerily quiet. No kids around, no bells ringing, no email dinging away. The year was done, and it was time to leave.

Did I do enough?

Could I have done more?

Right before I shut the door, I thought, "You know, the next time I'll walk in this room I'll be in taper."

It made the butterflies come back for a second, and then the calm.

An empty classroom leaves me a little bit sad every year. I don't know if "sad" is the best adjective--thoughtful? Wistful? I'm not sure. You put so much into it all year...for many of my students, this is the last World and U.S. History class they will ever take in their LIVES. I take that responsibility very seriously. Did I make this point clear enough? Do they understand this concept? Do they feel they can make a difference in this world? Every day I try to do something to make the answer to those questions "yes."

But so many come with so much baggage. The drugs. The broken homes. The eating disorders. The pain resonating from last year's suicide. Sometimes I wonder if I'm making a difference at all. I know in the end that I do, but it's easy to lose sight of that on some occasions.

Did I work hard enough?

Did I push him hard enough?

Nothing I do is getting through to her.

I wish he'd stop asking me for extra credit and just do his $*%*#ing homework...

Does she really understand how important that event was for her rights?

In the end, you are left with an empty classroom. No books. No students. They are gone, and all you can do is hope that you did enough. You can't predict where they are going or what will happen to them. But you HAVE TO rest assured knowing that you did all you could.

For the record, I have no idea what I'm doing here or really what right I have to talk about Ironman for that matter. I've never crossed that line yet. But to me, I see in the empty classroom a bit of my IM journey. The 9 months of training and 5 years of triathlon behind me have led me to this point. Sooner or later the training will be done.

Put the books away.

Put your pencils down.

I probably could have done more. Maybe I did too much sometimes. Maybe a little bit of both. Sometimes I screwed up. Sometimes I aced it.

At that point, when the books are packed and the kids are gone, you have to walk away and lock the door knowing you've done all you could. Some may do more, others less. But I have to trust, just as I did on Friday, that when they walk across the auditorium to pick up their diplomas, I did all that I could for them. What happens next is hard to predict, but if I did my job correctly, they will take it from there.

I'm doing all I can. I'm learning more about myself than I ever thought I would. In the next 2 months, I know I'll be hitting some highs and lows and pushing myself farther than I ever thought possible.

So when I walk back into that empty classroom on August 23rd, I'll see a new year of possibilities. Of heartaches and joy. Of baggage and problems and success and hard work.

And I'll unlock the file cabinet, get out the books, and be ready to go. I'll trust that I've done all that I could do, because you have to. You can't worry that you needed to do more or beat yourself up, because you just have to hope and pray you prepared them the best you could so they could walk across that stage.

The rest is up to them.

And to me.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Solo long ride.....

Whew!

Just got back from gradumatation. :) Always fun to see the kids all in their gowns. I teach 9th and 10th grade, and I swear when I see these kids walk it feels like yesterday they were in my class. There's a whole post brewing in my mind about leaving school for the last time this school year today, but that's gonna have to wait 'til tomorrow. Me tired.

Thanks for all your thoughtful comments--you guys rock. It amazes me how we as triathletes, runners, etc. are able to do what we do--and you guys with KIDS amaze me even more. I hope I can keep this up when I have a few little TriSaraToppers running around, and you give me hope!

Yesterday I had a nice 11.2 mile run with a negative split--gotta get my long stuff in Thursday and Friday since I'm going to a Triathlon Women's Clinic sponsored by CTC and USAT this weekend--yay!

Today was my first real day off. I had every intention of getting up nice and early and doing my 4 hour ride in the am.

BUT I SLEPT UNTIL 10:00!!!!!!!!

??????????

I just DON'T sleep in, people. Not after 1999 have I slept in much later than 8-9 on a weekend. So I guess my body must have needed it. Whatever--I wasn't about to beat myself up. Still plenty of time to get in my ride.

So I got my Carbo Pro in the mail this week--on TriEric's recommendation, as Perpetuem did nothing but make me want to blow chunks. I know, I know, it's such a great fuel, blah blah blah. But last week even when I was started to feel dehydrated, I just grabbed my Perpetuem bottle, looked at it, and put it back down. I couldn't do it. So it was time to try something else.

Enter Carbo-Pro: supposedly it is "tasteless" fuel that can be mixed with water or any sports drink. Yeah, I've heard that before. "Supposedly" Perpetuem tastes "like an orange creamsicle." Orange creamsicle my ass.

I put it in some Gatorade Endurance, and after the first 20 minutes or so of my ride, grabbed the bottle and braced for the worst as I took a gulp.

*glug glug glug*

GASP!

WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was wonderful! It tasted like the Gatorade it was SUPPOSED to taste like! Woo hooooooooooooooooooo

It's kind of like when you're 17 and you think beer is really nasty and don't get the hype, but then you try a Zima with a jolly rancher dropped in it and a bright light shines down and you hear singing..."aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" And you exclaim, "IT'S TASTY! I could drink this all NIGHT!"

Not that I've ever done that.

Well, ah...ahem...

Maybe once.

Anyway, I like do to my long runs solo, but long rides with friends. Why? I dunno. For some reason I just feel more comfortable riding with friends, plus you can draft which is nice. :) But people have to work and stuff. So I had to go solo.

Thought I'd start in my house, then head west, back to my place to refill if needed, and then east and back. My first 17 were a little slow, but there was some pretty strong headwinds, so I was OK with that. The next 17 were a little faster. I debated doing that again but decided against it since there was a lot of construction in one little town, so I decided to head to the park. Didn't even need to stop at my house to get more Carbo Pro--I actually got another bottle holder mounted on my bike so now I can hold 3 bottles! Yay! I got made fun of for only having one and having to wear a Camelbak in the heat 2 weeks ago. :)

Then I headed to the park and this felt easier. I was definitely getting tired and felt it on a few hills, but made it home in one piece and still felt like I could keep going! But it was getting too close to graduation so I had to hurry up and get in the shower.

When all was said and done, I did 71 miles averaging 17.3 mph! I was very excited about this. Granted, it is mostly flat with just a few hills in there and they aren't that big....BUT....we'll take what we can get. Last year, my long rides were mostly averaging in the 16's. So progress is good.

So now I'm very tired....kicked my own butt quite a bit here in the past 2 days. Looking forward to attending this clinic and gaining some good info! Time to read and go to bed.....zzzzzzzzzzzzz

It feels like a Sunday night to me, since I did all my long stuff--but it's not so happy training to everyone out there this weekend!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Alright.

I have three random and rather unrelated (or very loosely related at best) things to say. I'll start with the training ones and then to the attitude one.

1. TriSaraTops Random Training today

Okay, so I just got my new shoes. No pics yet (I know, I'm slow on those) but they are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO amazing. They are a nice pair of Sidi road shoes to replace my not very nice Specialized mountain-biking-ish shoes. OMG. I heart them. They are fun and Italian, just like me.

I rode barefoot in them--thought I might do like Michele and try to shave some T1 time. They fit like a dream! Do you guys ride sans socks? Do you have problems with blisters? I already have accepted the fact that I'm just gonna have not very pedi-friendly feet. What's an aspiring endurance athlete to do, ya know? Anyway, the shoes rock and I had a great ride. The first half was a bit slow--I couldn't figure out why, but I thought perhaps it was the wind? At the turnaround point I had averaged 16.9.

Hmmm.

I arrived back home and had to keep going because I negative split MASSIVELY--ended up with an average of 18.1 so my average for that second have must have been crazy! Guess that wind helped me along.

Then, headed to the outdoor pool for the first time! I expected big crowds but got none. Sweet! Figured I'd try to squeeze in 3500 yards before I headed to a colleague's retirement party.

First 100--1:47. Man, that felt hard. Why does that feel hard? Last week at the Y pool that would be nice and steady....

First 500--WTF??!!! What's going on? Okay, I know I missed my swim last Friday but this is NUTS! Why am I so slow today?

First 1000--ALRIGHT, WHAT THE F IS GOING ON? You know in the old Donald Duck cartoons, when Donald gets really pissed, he starts jumping up and down and swinging his little duck fist and squawking in his Donald voice?

That's what I felt like doing.

I was going so slowly!!! What if all this time at the Y I thought it was a 20 yard pool and it was, like, 15? What if when I thought I was doing my 1:27 100s I was wrong, and my 100s were actually 6:37? AAAGGGHHHH

And then it hit me.

"Hey, Pool Manager chick....is this pool 25 yards or 25 meters?"

"Uh, I don't know, let me ask the swim team coach."

Please be meters, please be meters.....

"Meters."

OH THANK YOU

"Great--thanks!"

Whew. Off the hook. And for the record, 25 meters is a lot different than 20 yards. Which leads me to my next topic.

2. Dear John Letter

Dear YMCA, Noodle Lady, Navy Guy, Dave the Lifeguard, Angry Splasher, and Mr. Alanis Morrisette,

It is with a heavy heart that I must leave you. It's not you, it's me. We have simply grown apart. I don't have to get up at 5:45 to swim in you anymore...I can go to the city pool anytime from 12-8. For a non-morning-person, that's just better. I'm sorry it has to end this way. Our time together has been wonderful. I'm sure TriEric will still be kickin' butt on a daily basis for you, but I have to start kickin' butt in the open water. There's no wall every 20 yards in Lake Erie, or Lake Monona for that matter. For this reason, I need to swim in a bigger pool and a Great Lake. I'll never forget you though, Y Pool. After all, you are where I first learned to swim.

Love always,
Sara

3. Little Rant

So I went to this retirement party and was having fun when a buddy who had copious amounts of wine started asking a million questions about Ironman. I never really talk about it that much at work, because I just kind of focus on work and stuff and figure this is my personal life, I guess. So anyway, another teacher was there (let's call her "Negative Nancy") and sort of rolling her eyes, said, "Do you ever plan on having kids?"

Me: "Um, yes, actually, I do. I'm looking forward to it."

NN: "Well, honey, you can just kiss all this goodbye once you have a kid. Maybe movie stars can get back in shape, but the rest of us can't. You'd better get it all outta your system now."

Me: (Trying to restrain myself) "Well, actually, quite a few of my friends who do Ironmans have children."

NN: "Really? Well, once you have two or three, then you're done. There's just no way..."

Me: "Actually, my good friend I'm doing this with has 2 kids: one in high school and one in middle school, and another friend works full time and has a 4 year old and a 5 year old. So I really admire them and plan on doing these types of things when I have children."

NN: "Oh." *rolls eyes and gives me a look like I'm full of it*

At this point, in my mind, there is smoke coming out of my ears and my face is red, but I just smiled and walked away. After all, it's not like she's really going to get it if I tried to explain it to her.

For me, this has become a lifestyle. It is a part of who I am, just like teaching is a part of who I am. Telling me that after you have kids you have to give this up and you can't be a good athlete or in shape is, to me, as asinine as telling me that you can't possibly teach when you have kids and be a good mother. It's a line out of 1953. I don't buy it. I look at all of you out there--all of my friends and training partners here--who have families and jobs and make it work, and you inspire me. You make me have hope that I don't have to give up that part of me when I become a mother.

Now I know that things change. I know they change more than I probably can even, at this 28 year old childless stage I'm in, think they will, and mostly in a good way. But I just cannot accept the fact that once I have a child, I must hang up my Sidis, put away the swim cap, and tuck the running shoes away forever.

That's a load of crap.

So if you want to see me do something, tell me I can't do it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thanks for wishing me a happy birthday.....

BUT WAIT! IT'S NOT MY BIRTHDAY!!!

It's TriAl's!!!!!!!! :) Happy birthday to TriAl 6/6/06.....you DEMON SPAWN you! Go to his site and send him some b-day wishes!

But I appreciate the well-wishes....you're a little early though, but now you don't have to wish me a happy birthday on my REAL one. ha ha

But in case you're looking to get me a present, I could use a new tri bike.

Cash or checks are accepted.

OK--headin' up to good ol' Lake Erie for a swim here soon and then a run....

15 more final exams to grade tomorrow, and then it's all done! YahoooooooooOOOOOO

Monday, June 05, 2006

Yippeeeeeee

I just figured out how to change my profile pic!

It only took me 6 months!

Yaaaaaay I am the smartest woman ALIVE

(not really...I just got all my grading done)

I'm really proud of that hat by the way...Elizabeth and I found it at the Cleveland Marathon Expo and it says, "How about a threesome?" And then it has a picture of three little stick figure dudes swimming, biking, and running.

Why? What were YOU thinking I meant when I said threesome?

ha ha ha At least I didn't mention gopher poon-tang....:) Sorry, Wil, couldn't resist! I cracked up at that TriLife Lesson--and Wil's subsequent discovery...

Somebody's got a birthday tomorrow....somebody in blogland, too.....oh who could it be?

Why am I still awake?

Open water swim adventure tomorrow, too....let's hope TriSaraTops isn't swimming with any dead fish tomorrow....you think I'm kiddin'? Stranger things have happened....

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's just TriAl (aka qcmier) who wore his JERSEY under his shirt to CLASS before he met us at the bar! Now THAT'S what I call DEDICATION! :) Posted by Picasa

Liz on a chair wearing her Boston outfit! Posted by Picasa

Liz, Su, and I Posted by Picasa

West SYYYde! Posted by Picasa

Beer goggles! Posted by Picasa

I said I'd wear some tri gear....here's the proof...it's real easy to see that I'm married when I show up to a crowded bar looking like this, huh?  Posted by Picasa

More CTC friends and fellow bloggers Elizabeth, Jodi, and DaisyDuc! Posted by Picasa

We sent CurlySu off in style by wearing ridiculous tri gear to Johnny Malloy's :) We'll miss you, Su! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 04, 2006

up the down staircase

For you teachers out there, if you haven't already, go immediately to the nearest library/bookstore and read Up the Down Staircase.

For those who aren't teachers, do the same thing.

This book was written in the mid-60s, but I read it my first year teaching and it is amazing how similar things are. It's written from the perspective of a young English teacher, and is "written" in a collection of memos, faculty meeting agendas, letters she wrote to her best friend, notes she finds crumpled on the floor, and papers her students turn in. It's unbelievable how applicable it is to today's teaching environment, despite 40-odd years of time passing.

So Friday was my last day of classes. I am winding down 7 years of teaching. Seven years....man, where has the time gone? Feels like yesterday DaisyDuc and I were wreaking havoc at Miami U....

Seven years in a profession I almost left during the first. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had all these ideas what school would be like...how my classroom would be an interactive haven of history learning...and then I had 168 students in 6 classes, so many IEPs/504s I couldn't keep count, a student who was totally blind (who amazed me then and now--what an inspiration--but a little daunting when you're 22), several students who couldn't speak English, a freshman girl on maternity leave, and about 9 kids (I can still tell you their names) who daily told me to F off.

Rude awakening. I had my OSU law school application filled out and with a stamp on it.

But I never put it in the mail. Thank God for that.

By the end of the year, when it was time for me to pack up my classroom since I accepted a job teaching in Cleveland, I cried the whole time I tore my classroom down. I still have the memory book those kids made for me.

They now range in ages from 21-25.

I'm 28.

This post has little to do with triathlon, but lots to do with who I am. So I guess, as a triathlete, who I am will have a great deal of effect upon my training, attitude, and Ironman. You never really forget your first year teaching. Those names are always with you. It hasn't been an easy road or career, but I guess that's why I love it so much. No day is the same day. Every single day is different and every student brings a new challenge. It's absolutely overwhelming trying to keep up with it all and succeed at reaching every kid. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I break down.

In a way, I guess the past 7 years of my career have been good mental training for Ironman.

So since the last day of classes was Friday, I had my kids fill out my annual Anonymous Exit Survey. I tell them that I always know what they DON'T like, as they just say it. (eg. "This sucks. I hate this. History is useless.") But I rarely hear the GOOD stuff--so now's a great time to tell me something that you liked. I ask them 4 simple questions. I have put the question down and have sorted through all 129 surveys. I've put some of my favorites down below. I have not changed any spelling or words. What you see is what you get. These are from 9th and 10th grade students at an affluent suburbian high school.

Someday, I always tell myself, I might use these collected surveys to make a sort of new "Up the Down Staircase" type book. As you can see, you never know what you're going to get when you make it anonymous...enjoy a little peek into my world. :)

Question 1: What was your favorite topic we studied, and why? Please be specific.

--French Revolution
--WWII, it is an intresting conflict
--africa-->rwanda
--Africa, b/c of the movie, and b/c I never knew 1/2 the stuff that happened
--Japan and China to 1800s, I liked the projects we did
--Africa because there was a lot of things that went on and things that are goin that I didn't know a lot about, but would good to learn about
--Vietnam because I never really understood it--you taught it really well and I understood it this year.
--Rwanda/Darfur: I didn't really know anything about these genocides. I was so suprised of what was going on, I had no idea. You made me want to help.
--Rawanda Genocide. Very interesting. That's pretty much it
--Wrawanda because it was resent and like IDK
--the revolutions in Africa because it was more recent
--the funnest one
--War of 1812= I liked it because of the time period
--Civil Rights Movement. It was interesting to learn about more African Americans again this year.
--Africa, I really thought it was very important to know what happened in Rhwanda and Sudan. Not to metion for once it was also good to hear things that have been good in Africa
--French Revolution--acting it out was fun because I was the king, but it wasn't fun in the end when I got killed
--Africa because it showed me alot about things that are occuring in Africa and in a way makes me want to help

Question 2: What was your favorite activity? Why?
--My favorite activity we did in class was the island. (*FYI--my note here--when introducing the Enlightenment I have the kids get in a huge circle and pretend they are deserted on an island and they have to make a government. It is very interesting...*) It showed how people could not get along in such a small environment.
--the island, cuz we named ours cheese whiz island
--stock market game--b/c I understood how the stock market works.
--the island
--My favorite activity was the treason trial of Jefferson Davis.
--Vietnam-->I just find it interesting even though I suck @ it.
--AFRICA--> Apartheid because it was interesting to learn how the same segregation took place in South Africa as it did in U.S.
--ummm anything after the great depression
--whatever my highest test score was

Question 3: What did you like BEST about class?
--the lectures really helped me a lot
--the rock hall trip it was fun
--When the Vietnam Veterans came in was cool. They were interesting.
--The decades projects--fun to learn about the era/Vietnam movie
--The mock trials b/c we got to put ourselves in their positions
--Arts of Aisa project, because we got to make food.
--Debates and court things, they were fun. Sorry I thought Harriet Tubman was a slave owner. I swear I meant to say DRIVER see what nerves do!
--Vietnam. I like shooting.
--The court thing. Trial. It was fun and interesting.
--NOTHING--sorry.

Question 4: If you could change one thing about class, what would it be?
--pick seats
--get Shawn out of class
--get the annoying girls in the back out of this class
--the study guide should have questions resembled on the test
--you should go more in depth.
--we should have class in the rock hall
--Do more mock trials because I and a lot of people like them. They were very fun.
--I hated sitting in the back. All I could see was the back of the kid's head in front of me and that made overheads and lectures really boring.
--I would make less projects cuz they got kinda old.
--That we could sing about muffins and babies before test/and not have alot of little activies
--no homework
--I hate busywork!!!
--I don't like the late policy. 50% off is a bit harsh, try something like Mr. Shuster's grade system (talk to him about it)
--The study guides did NOT help with the tests. Also, the tests were really hard
--More food! Less book reading. More notes
--that we could eat in class or like I have no clue. this class was fine with me. I thought it wasn't so bad.
--More notes
--Maybe a little less notes, I don't learn from them well
--more notes, it helps me better
--less notes, more movies
--your room is too hot--get air conditioning
--not as much maps and timelines, they were annoying
--there should be food in class. Eat in class.
--EVERYONE would get a sucker every 2nd Monday of the month. Because those days suck.

And lastly: Any other general comments or suggestions? Have a nice summer! Mrs. Z

--perfect class, not too easy and not too hard and i learned alot
--more group discussions. Make the students talk more.
--Sh#% happens when you party
--bye
--I hate Shawn
--Andy is smart you are a good runner
--I don't like history--BUT you were a great teacher and I really appreciate you being my teacher. I actually learned something in history this year.
--I liked it alot and your a good fun teacher and you like the Misfits
--get Sean out of this class
--no fan, only open windows, have a nice life. :)
--keep Sean quiet.
--I love this class
--I love Phil
--I liked this class very much, it was my favorite
--I think like you were a good teacher and didn't have much of a problem w/this class. it was alot of good laughs. I def wouldn't mind having you next year.
--I really enjoyed coming to class everyday because you made it REALLY fun and interesting, but we learned. :)
--Ur cool
--I would look forward to S.S. I could not wait to come for class. You made it very enjoyable.
--Skeet!
--more teaching on WWII and Vietnam wars weapons
--I hope I get U next year (from the same kid who wrote, "NOTHING--Sorry.")
--the only history class that I actually learned in--you explained everything really well
--more games
--you are the best teacher and you taught everything real well and you were always enthusiastic
--I don't say much during class. It is an infirmity of mine. But through all of that. You are a wonderful teacher. I was always glad to come to this class. You brought the information to me well. Thank you so much for all you've done.
--No more OGT it SUCKS! (*stands for Ohio Graduation Test*)
--This class was very fun, I have learned way more than last year.
--Make the tests a LITTLE harder and keep the homework level the same.
--I LOVED your class! I really don't enjoy history, but your class was fun and entertaining, and I always felt involved. It was always a good time, and you made history come alive. Thanks for a phenominal year.
--too hard, grade nicer
--have a good summer, good luck at the iron man
--Apolo Anton Ohno's birthday is May 22, he turned 24 this year.
--your spirit and smile always cheered me up when I came to your class
--Gimme a WOOT WOOT for World History...WOOT WOOT!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

HILL, yeah.

That's what I'm TALKIN' about.

So much to say....but need a shower badly and my knee is oozing...BECAUSE I FELL ON IT AGAIN IN THE SAME EXACT SPOT AT MILE 52.....ouchy.

So I'll just say that today's ride on the GCT course, part deux, went INFINITELY better than last week's ride.

I ate lots more, which was key.

I discovered Fig Newtons, which are my new bike crack.

I am done with Perpetuem. I've been nice enough. It's time to make a clean break.

I was still ridonkulously slow on the hills...BUT...not as slow as last week.

New high for a top speed for me today: go speed racer, go...

I averaged .7 mph faster than last week.

I finished roughly 13 minutes faster than last week.

I had a great run afterwards for about 35 minutes with Iron Johnny, my IMW partner in crime, and my heart rate was stable and my legs felt GREAT!

SO THERE, hills. Suck it.

Last night's happy hour celebration was super fun--pics to come soon--and it was REALLY a cover for CurlySu's grand send off to be a Jersey Girl! :) So it was not really much blog celebration, but a big Curly Su celebration! hee hee Aren't we sneaky? If anyone's in the Rutgers area, take care of our Su for us! She rocks.

Shower time, kids. It ain't pretty.

But I'm pretty freaking happy.

________________________________________________________

OK--back from the shower. Much better.

If I knew how to post an mp3 I would, but I'll post the lyrics and vid instead....this song was playing as I drove out of the park and I liked it before, but now I REALLY like it. For some reason, it just fit the mood and what's about to happen now that school is almost done. If you like Blink 182, you'll like it....it's the new band of one of the guys in Blink. Anyway, here's the words...


The Adventure
by Angels & Airwaves
album: We Don't Need To Whisper (2006)
I wanna have the same last dream again
The one where I wake up and I'm alive
Just as the four walls close me within
My eyes are open up with pure sunlight
I'm the first to know
My dearest friends
Even if your hope has burned with time
Anything that is dead shall be re-grown
And your vicious pain, your warning sign
You will be fine
Hey oh here I am
And here we go
Life’s waiting to begin
Any type of love it will be shown
Like every single tree reach for the sky
if you're gonna fall
i'll let you know
that i will pick you up
like you for i
i felt this thing
i can't replace
when everyone was working for this goal
where all the children left without a trace
only to come back as pure as gold
to recite this all
Hey oh here I am
And here we go
Life’s waiting to begin
Tonight
Hey oh here I am
And here we go
Life’s waiting to begin
Tonight
Hey oh here I am
And here we go
Life’s waiting to begin
I can not live
I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I can not live
I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I can not live
I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I can not live
I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I can not live
I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I can not live
I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
Hey oh, here I am (do this with me)
Here we go
life's waiting to begin (do this with me)
Hey oh, here I am (do this with me)
Here we go
life's waiting to begin
life's waiting to begin

Time for some burgers on the grill and tomorrow, a 2 hour run, then a quick trip to Columbus to visit with college friends, and back home for 2 softball games with my buddies.

Three more days of school, and then it's go time. The REAL serious stuff begins.

I can't believe I've been at this training thing for 6 months already.

6 down, and 3 of the hardest to go....

"I can't live, I can't breathe unless you do this with me...."