Wednesday, June 07, 2006


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.


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 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.....




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,

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.


nancytoby said...

From Negative Nancy:

She's really saying, "I can't possibly do what you do, which impresses the hell out of me, because I have all these excuses that I rely upon to stay on the couch."

rice said...

You can't go get a tattoo! *haha*

The only limits we have in live are the ones we put on ourselfs (Ididn't just make that up, I think I read it somewhere before.) But do not wait too long to have kids.. They are just so much fun you'll love it..



rob reddy said...

tell you friend to come kiss my three kids ass as i prepare to cross my third IM finish line an a couple weeks

kids will change everything in your life and yes in so many ways make it that much harder

but ironmen are very very tough - if it is your life style you will over come it - become stronger for it

bottom line - you are strong and she is weak - you will succeed she is a failure

jkrunning--Just Keep Running said...

Ugh, people like that make me so angry.

I once had a lady ask me why in the world I would want to put my body through the torture that training/running a marathon brings. My response...because I can.

Who is that woman to tell you that you can't recover from child birth. We women have been doing it for years. Good for you for walking away.

Iron Pol said...

Thanks for the comments on my race report. Some call it determination. Mrs. Pol called it whacked out insanity. She just KNEW the crazy guy running barefoot was her hubby.

As for the kids, Toddler Pol is just old enough and smart enough to point out that first daddy swims, then daddy bikes, and daddy finishes by running. Sometimes, he runs barefoot.

I agree with Nancytoby. People who try to say you can't do an IM with kids would have some other reason if they didn't have kids. My thinking was always, "I couldn't do a triathlon, because I'd drown." I'll use my lack of skills or prowess as an (lame) excuse. I wouldn't think of blaming it on my kids.

Carrie said...

Just wait until your future children are old enough to toilet paper "Negative Nancy's" house and run fast enough to not get caught!

Can't wait!!!!

Cliff said...

Good for Negative Nancy..whenever u are feeling crap on a swim/bike or run..just think of her :-D...

You should tahnk her for giving you so much motivation :D

Cliff said...

I ride with no socks right now. I dont' get blisters on my feet. But if i do get blisters, i would ride with socks.

Tammy said...

Aaaahhhhhh Sidi. Italian Slippers :) I plan to ride sans socks from here on out... but I need new shoes. Mine are like 2 years old! gasp!

Just12Finish said...

PS = Positive Sara. Don't need no NNs.

qcmier said...

I love my Sidi shoes. Gotta have some pics of yours!!!

By the way I go no socks. No blisters, but shoes can get a little stinky. I use a little baby powder, don't know about anyone else.

You missed a good workout tonight. =)

TryAthlete said...

When people make comments like that they only reveal their own ignorance.

Scott said...

You must climb the mountains during your youth. Though, they are still climable as you get older (have kids, etc. blah blah...) but they seem a little steeper and everything is just a little harder.

I got behind on your posts so I could comment on the last several days till the cows come home.. but I'm just busting a gut laughing over your student who said answered the question:

- Nothing. Sorry.

I love this kid. Not for his comment as it relates to your class but for his unvarnished honesty.

Running Rabbit said...

Hey...No fair I had a NEGATIVE "SHANANCY" at school this year and I wanted to taint her wheaties with rat kill!

DO NOT let that shit distress you! It blows my mind how people think once kids come into your life this exercise thing will not happen. It's called priorites, yes they may shift, but if it's still important to you, then you'll make the time. And have little Sara's cheering for you!

How do you keep work separated from your personal life? I'm too talkative to do that. :-)

DaisyDuc said...

I so had a similiar NN conversation this if I had kids and did not give it up then I just was not going to be a good parent and they are somehow better parents than I would ever be because I work fulltime and also train.

As hard as I know it will be to juggle more things, I think the discipline we routinely place in our lives will ultimately help us to continue to manage our hectic schedules which can include kids!! I think they are jealous that we can gracefully manage more than they can imagine!

Chad Austin said...

Sara, I'd take a fit endurance babe with hammer toes over some unfit gal with nice feet.

I say you give Negative Nancy your blog address so she can follow along with you and your friends.

You're totally right about being a lifestyle. Once that happens there is no turning back - you can't shut it off. Yeah you may have to make adjustments once you have kids. I used to dispise running in the mornings. Once I had kids I made the switch and it's been great.

jessie_tri_mn said...

You will so much prefer swimming in a 25 m pool. Then, when going back to the yard pool, you'll feel very sharklike. It's a cheap thrill :)

As for negative nancy. Phhhhttt. I've had a few people ask if my triathlon/running years are behind me now that I'm having a kid. WTF? Then I tell them that I've already picked out a baby jogger and a bike trailer for the tot, but haven't a clue what to name him... I love the look on their face.

Michele said...

Well, I have to comment on each of your thoughts:
1. I got a blister the first time I went sockless but that was from my running shoes and not my bike shoes. It did not bother me 3 days later when I was sockless again. I have been concerned about the stink factor and think I will try the baby powder.

2. I think they should put walls up every 25 yards in all bodies of water that they expect us to race in. That lake swimming was endless!!!

3. Let me talk to NN. I have two kids (5 and 7) and think I am a great mom. I think it is very important for my kids to see me exercise and learn by example. My kids do not have skinny genes and I want them to learn to live a healthy life style in a fast food world.

E-Speed said...

Man it's all been said here. I think maybe NN has some background issues that would never allow her to train for an Ironman with kids. You however have a supportive husband, family, and friends who would strive with you to let you do all the things you love.

My fear this year is that I will get pregnant before JFK, as tough as ultra women are, I still thinking running JFK 3 months preggo would be frowned upon somehow :) So another goal for this season, don't get knocked up in 06! ;)

walchka said...

Well nothing like a bit of motivation from an unlikely source.

I've never had a problem with biking without socks. Running is a different story, but I still do it. :) Sprinkle some baby or talcum powder in them, shake out the excess and you'll be good to go.

teacherwoman said...

It's people like Negative Nancy who make me work harder! I once had a co-worker (teacher) tell me about a 50 year old man that had a heart attack while running. She said, why would you want to make yourself run when something like that could happen? I just shook my head, thinking, atleast he died while enjoying life and not from shoving his face with awful food while laying on the couch. You're right. It is part of your life. It is YOUR lifestyle and that is all that matters.

Lance Notstrong said...

I have two kids. I have been a cyclist for 15 years, a runner for 2 years and maybe someday a swimmer :-) I kept a fair busy training schedule yet I have never missed a track meet, Scout meeting, band concert, football game, baseball game, play, various banquets, whatever. YOU CAN MAKE IT ALL WORK!!! People like Nancy just want an excuse not to do anything......the glass is half empty for her and always will be.

Lance Notstrong said...

BTW, did you get the white Sidi's? :-)

Jonathan said...

nothing really to say that hasn't been said already. i have two kids (2 yrs and 4 yrs). no question it is hard to balance everything that is going on (family, work, sport, etc.). i keep hoping as my kids get older it will get easier. not the case. i have to get more creative with how I make it all work together. of course it can be done. but like most things, you have to work at it to make it work. that is precisely what i want my kids to learn from this.


Mallie said...

Since everything's been so well said on the NN front, I have only one thing to add. Glad you love your new kicks, but don't knock my Specialized Body Geometry foot fancies. Granted, I only ride mountain bikes. Think that might be why they work for me and not for you!!! :)

greyhound said...

Blogger has been eating my comments. arrggg.

I have met Negative Nancy and Pessamist Paul many times. The discussion really isnt' about kids or motherhood or job responsibilities. It is really about them feeling threatened and guilty when they meet someone who has, by force of will, broken through the inertia to become what they want to be.

When they say, "I could never" or "I cannot" they are running from the truth, which is "I have chosen not to." I never let them get away with it.

"Yes you can! Come with me to the gym, or run with me! I'll show you how. You'll love it."

No matter how positive you are, however, some people never get past the guilt and only hear an accusation in the encouragement.

greyhound said...

Oh, and you are FUN and ITALIAN!!!

trifrog said...

Conversations like those with NN remind me why I no longer dabble in political conversations nor try to prove my religious beliefs to anyone. My experience with exercise and training is a deeply personal thing from which I gain a tremendous amount of satisfaction. I can't convince somebody to feel what I'm experiencing for myself. My guess is that the people who argue the most are the one's who aren't coming from a base of self-esteem in anything that brings them as much fulfillment.

triathlonmom said...

When I was growing up my parents never, never did anything physical. They didn't even throw a ball with me.
I have already taught my kids (5 and 20 mos.) the importance of doing something you love that makes you feel good. Swim, bike and run with them on your back if you have to. Did you know you could inspire a 20-month-old? I didn't but I have.
And when they ask me if I won, I always say "yes."

Rachel said...

Oh, that would piss me off, royally. I've gotten that before too. I'm 28, married, and childless. We both have challenging careers, and I have chosen tri as a lifestyle. People always are telling I better have kids sooner rather than later. I don't even know if I WANT kids! It's none of their business! I think they're jealous because they wish they had more fun when they were our age and had more flexibility. I also hate people who say they were in such great shape when they were "our age." Like it's all going to go to hell. Hey, couch potato! A 73 year old woman passed me in my last race! So eat that!

TriBoomer said...

Sometimes Negative Nancy and those of her ilk are helpful to provide that extra motivation to push ourselves to the limits. From what I've seen being fit before having kids allows you to get your fitness pack that much quicker after having children. (Not that I know first hand but it's an observation.


I hear that after the Y read your Dear John letter it signed up for eHarmony.

Stay tuned...

Rae said...

UGH! I hate people like that. I bet she's fat and has a dead "my life is over" look in her eyes!!