Sunday, February 25, 2007

Suit and Wheel Porn

I got my new suit from's grab bag today....and it's....TOTALLY NORMAL!


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Actually, it's totally what I would have picked out for myself, and looks almost like the Nike one I'm replacing it with--except much cheaper!

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Oh NO WAY I paid that much! :) I paid WAYYYYYYY less than that. Good deal! I'll be sure to use this website again.

And now, proof positive that my sweet new wheels are:

A) way cooler than me

B) way cooler than my bike

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My bike's bringin' sexy back. Yeah!

HAWTNESS! Oh, to ride on these babies...I can hardly WAIT! Arg!

For The Record

I'd just like to state that I'm well aware that pool swimming and open water swimming are very different things. I feel a little insulted here, and wanted to clear that up. Perhaps I should have stated all of this in my previous entry, but I guess I didn't think it really needed to be said.

Again, my goals are MY goals, I know what I'm capable of. I set my goals based not only on what I've done in the pool both the past year of training and throughout my 25 years swimming, but also from my 5 years of triathlon racing at all distances in open water.

Thank you for the kind words--I am and continue to be proud of my Ironman day. What would life be without high goals, you know? I will continue to aim high.

Now I'm off to the CTC Newbies committee meeting--I'm excited to meet some new triathletes and help them meet their goals this year!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Settling the Score

I woke up a little angry today.

This is rare. I usually don't wake up feeling like, really, anything, except hitting the snooze button perhaps. But I just felt kind of mad. At me.

I think what triggered this was that I finally got my swim photo from Ironman Wisconsin. They forgot to include it before, blah blah blah. So it came in the mail a few days ago. And I probably should just throw it away. Because it really just reminds me of feeling rotten.

The photographer that snapped my picture as I tried to get off my wetsuit and stepped on the mat completely captured my emotions of that moment. Too much, I think.

It is a face of complete, utter disappointment and disgust.

Now, I realize that my 1:28 swim is "fine." I realize that this may sound a little bit like someone who is mad about running a 3:47 marathon because they wanted 3:40. But, in this one instance, I think I understand how that feels.

For ME, and this is why I do this, anyway--for ME--I had a rotten swim that day. The worst swim of that distance of my life, actually. And when I look at that picture, I see it in my face. No one else probably could even see it, but I know me. And I know what's going through my head at that exact moment.

"I blew it."

For me, on my face I see the look of someone who knew they could do better and didn't. And that, for me, is the worst feeling of all.

I know, I know...all the things my head and even my friends have told me to try to justify....

"It was a record Ironman swim start--more people than in any Ironman in history"

"Most people's times were a little slow...not like what they usually post"

"Even the pros came out later than usual, Sara"

"You had a BLACK EYE at school on Tuesday from the BEATING you took in the water"

Blah. I hate excuses.

When it comes down to it, I swam 4500 yards in the pool weekly at a much faster pace than what I swam that 4224 on Ironman morning. And it's the ONLY thing I'm disappointed about. Not the endless, cold bike ride from hades....not my marathon (actually, I think that was my favorite). Just my swim.

Because I could have done better. I can do much better. I expected to come into T1 nowhere near that. I had a number in my head and it wasn't even close to the one I saw on that clock when I stepped on that mat, and I see it in my face and I hate it.

I want another shot. But I can't have one for a while. So I'm just going to have to tuck that picture away for the time being, I think. I'll pull it out again when it's time to prepare for IM swim #2.

In the meantime, I am pretty proud of myself for being able to move past the moment. When I read my recap of that swim again, and when I remember how I decided at that moment--or rather, the moment AFTER that photog snapped my utter disgust--I was going to have to forget it or it would eat me up that day, I am happy that I was able to do that. So, in that sense, the picture doesn't really tell all of the story.

Because if, on the bike, I sat there and bitched in my head at myself about how much that sucked, I would have wasted so much energy on negativity. (Kind of like I am right now)

And I really don't think I would have made it. I needed all the energy I could get that day.

So, I'm gonna try to remember that. Clocks are clocks, bad stuff happens, and disgust and disappointment happen too. They are inevitable.

But the real test in life is what you do with them.

And I moved on that day. So I'll just put this picture away, and do that now.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I ordered my IMW Finishers Jacket Today

I finally did.

I've been waffling about it for about 3 months...."Should I? I dunno....that's expensive...but it's pretty sweet....I dunno...."

Sack up. I bought it. Boo ya.

'Cuz you know what? It is kinda a big deal. The more I think about it, I remember this. And I think I deserve to have one from my first Ironman. So that's that.

I also ordered a new swimsuit from the Grab Bag at's hoping it's not as fugly as the one that Pharmie's poor sister Steph got! I've been lacking some swim mojo lately, so I'm hoping maybe a new suit might do the trick. Like new running know, they have that "new shoe" smell?

(OK. Maybe that only works for cars)

But new shoe FEEL. It just gets you excited, and if that's what it takes to get me a little motivation, then I'll take it. It's a good $19.95 gamble.

Today my freshmen were filling in a map about Europe at the outbreak of WWI, and we were discussing the English Channel. Someone asked how far across it is, and I guessed about 20 miles (turns out it's 21--not a bad guess!), since I said it can't be THAT far if people swim across it. "Not far? Maybe for YOU!" one kid said. I had to laugh at that. "Um, no guys, that's way too far for me." So some of my students then decided that's what I should set as my next goal.

No thanks...2.4 is quite enough for me. :)

I'm pretty pumped for the SimplyStu Worldwide Triathlon and for the Indy Mini Marathon! These should be fun...and interesting....

And on a positive note, only 6 more days until March!

OK. I'm not usually like this, but I get a little antsy this time of year. February can be a bit dreary in these parts. I don't mind the cold, but I definitely am not down with the gray. March brings spring and sun and even an early daylight savings time this year! Yahooooooo for more daylight!

And, of course, March Madness. GO BUCKS! But, why does Oden look like he's about 37?

Man, I'm all over the place with this post. I guess that just kind of sums up how I feel right now. A little. All. Over. The. Universe.

So my jacket should arrive in a week or two, and my new suit...and I will be all decked out and ready to go. Come on, March...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Polar Opposites

Staring out the window at about 6 inches of the white stuff...getting 3-5 more tomorrow, and 6-10 tomorrow night...don't get me wrong, I love the white stuff! But...

...just got these pictures from my buddy Vicki in Oregon, that we snapped on the boardwalk from Lahaina in Hawaii.

And this is pretty sweet, too.

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Le sigh....

But--running in nice weather is boring! Running in 12 inches of snow is much more fun!

Yeah, that's RIGHT! Bring it, Lake Effect! :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Race Resume

Well, I really am finding I have some extra time on my hands on the weekends.

Like, a LOT of extra time.

I'm just not used to this. But I'd better get used to it....

Anyway, since I really have nothing better to do, I figured I'd take up Cara and Elizabeth at InTransit and try to make my "race resume." Currently I have most of my bib #s in a pile somewhere, but I can't find 'em. So, I'll have to go from memory here and from the random race hardware I've managed to get over the years. This resume is probably a better way to keep track. I can add to it as the years go by and just keep the bib #s that REALLY mean something (like 2198, for example).

This has been's helped me realize how FAR I have come in just a few short years. It also is reminding me that, for crying out loud, I'm only 29. I have many, MANY years left in me to reach some more racing goals. With the current situation, sometimes I think I forget that and get a little bummed. So it's been kind of fun to type this up and put it all out there--and FORCE me to remember how, just a few years ago, my first 5K was in about 31 minutes. I was carrying about 30 extra pounds around, even in my first marathon! And now? Wow...progress is definitely good.
I also find it funny that I pretty much STARTED with a marathon. That's totally something I would do.

Let's to start? Perhaps I will make it look like one of those cheesy templates on Microsoft Office. :)

TriSaraTops: Race Resume

Education: Second Sole Running Club, Cleveland Triathlon Club, Angela Forster Training

Objective: To continue to challenge myself in every way possible by pushing my own little envelope in racing...and in life.

Skills: Persistance, steady speed
Areas of potential for greatest growth: 70.3, IM, Marathon
Life racing goals: PR by at least an hour in IM #2, complete a 50K run, BQ (although I may need to wait until I'm at least 35 for that one...I need every minute I can get), meet up with my good friends and travel all over the world for Half-Marathons and 70.3s until the day I die.

2006 Highlights

  • Pace Team Leader the first half of the Cleveland Marathon "In On Time" Pacing Group 4:45 (hit split exactly)
  • Maumee Bay Olympic Distance Triathlon: 2nd AG, PR in the swim, 2:59
  • Musselman 70.3, as a C race and long training day, negative split the run, 6:47
  • First of a few Century Rides: Sweet Corn Challenge 100 Mile
  • Ironman Wisconsin: First Ironman, finished in 15:32 (close to my B goal)
  • Fall Classic Half Marathon 1:55, PR by 40 seconds on not much training
  • ran with one of my best friends from mile 23-26.2 at the Chicago Marathon and ran into another good friend on the course, and got to see another good friend, too--and decided I MUST do that marathon someday

2005 Highlights

  • Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon 4:18, a 56 minute PR over previous and only attempt at distance
  • Silver Spring Stow Sprint Triathlon, 2nd AG
  • Findley Lake Sprint Triathlon, 1st AG
  • Lorain Olympic Triathlon, 4th overall female (out of, uh, 10...but it sounds pretty sweet, huh?), 1st AG, PR on the bike at Olympic distance. 2:54
  • Deer Creek Pineman Half Ironman, first 70.3, 6:34
  • Rocky River Spirit Run 5K, fastest staff member (female)

2004 Highlights

  • Great Lakes Escape Olympic Triathlon: First Olympic ever! PR on the challenging run at Olympic distance 2:59
  • Hermes Road Race Series: 2nd in Age Group 25-29 for year long competition of 5Ks and 10Ks for 2nd year in a row
  • Lorain Sprint Triathlon, 3rd AG
  • Dolores Sawan 5K 2nd AG
  • Rocky River Spirit Run 5K, fastest staff member (female)

2003 Highlights

  • First real season of racing 5Ks and road races
  • PR in 5K this year 23:33, and haven't really been able to work on bringing it down since I fell in love with the long stuff
  • First Half Marathon in Athens, OH 1:59 with Matt!
  • Second Half Marathon: River Run 1:55
  • Hermes Road Race Series: 2nd in Age Group 25-29 for year long competition of 5Ks and 10Ks
  • A Most Excellent Run 10K: 2nd AG
  • Multiple Sclerosis 150: Pedal to the Point: 2 day, 150 mile charity bike ride to and from Cedar Point Amusement Park, raised $500 to benefit MS Research
  • Huntington Sprint Triathlon, 2nd AG
  • Independence 5K 2nd AG
  • Old Oak Run 5K 1st AG
  • Dolores Sawan 5K 2nd AG
  • PR'd by 8 minutes in the Turkey Trot 5 Mile, 40:02
  • Lost 30 pounds, kept off to the present!

2002 Highlights

  • First Marathon Ever: Cleveland Marathon, 5:14. Trained by myself with little knowledge of running, or racing for that matter

2001 Highlights

  • Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon: First Triathlon ever with TriShannon, and now you can safely call us addicted.

1998 Highlights:

  • First Ever 5K: Cincinnati Race for the Cure, September 1998, 31 minutes or so? Looked behind me just after the gun went off and thought..."Wow...a lot of people do these must be fun or something."


So I guess you could say I've come a long way.

Kinda fun to think about what I'll add to this as the years go on...!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tagged again

Me gots nuthin' else to report, except I'm back in the pool after a short hiatus! Yahoooo

So, I'll respond to tags from Lana and my girl TriShannon. They were to list 6 weird things about me. I guess that means I have to list 12? goes:

1. I don't eat things that swim as their main mode of transportation. I've tried. I just can't do it.

2. When I was a kid, my favorite thing to eat was a McDonald's Filet 'O Fish. WHA-WHA-WHAT?! The horror!

3. I put peanut butter on my pancakes. Syrup is bunknasty.

4. I've got a damn good poker face.

5. I have to sleep with socks on.

6. I have a teddy bear (Teddy) from when I was a kid and pulled all the hair out of it by the time I was, oh, about three. DaisyDuc and TriShannon would always torture me in college, calling him "Baldy" and "Furry" and "Harry" and stringing him up by the light in our room.

7. Cleaning relaxes me. I love to come home after a stressful day, go for a run, and then vacuum.

8. Both of my last names (maiden and married) are difficult to spell and pronounce. One of my very first swimming ribbons for 1st place, no less, had "Sara Avicado" written on the back. (I'm still pissed.)

9. I sometimes enjoy messing with telemarketers.

10. I keep things in my classroom immaculate....but don't open my desk drawers.

11. It really bothers me how President Bush says "nuclear." I mean, REALLY bothers me. I usually yell at the TV loudly when he does it and sometimes throw things. I don't know why.

12. I have a pretty high threshold for girliness. I usually backpack with Matt and 2-3 other guys, and am often the only girl. I go several days without a shower (it's not pretty) and it doesn't bother me TOO much. But when backpacking July '05 in Kentucky at Mammoth Cave, I had a level 5 girl meltdown when we had some "dehydration and tick/chances of Lyme Disease issues" where I sat in the tent and sobbed that "I want to go home and I want some shampoo NOW." The guys knew better than to say a word. I'm pretty sure they all laugh now at it. (I'm finally ready to start laughing)

And now, I need to get on the trainer! I'm going to celebrate my buddy Sarah's 30th tomorrow at my FAVORITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT so I need to do some double duty workouts today and tomorrow to get ready to eat tasty enchiladas.

JenC and E-Speed, have fun at yoga tomorrow and I should be back next week! I'll be stuffing my face with oh-so-healthy grub. :)

Oh--yeah--and if you want to be tagged, you are.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


No school tomorrow!

No school tomorrow!

*jumping and dancing around my room*

Yahooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Apparantly when the high is 8 degrees with a wind chill of minus 15, that'll do it!

I'll take it! :)

On a side note, I will most likely have very sporadic posts for the next month or so. I'm writing lots, actually, and will probably publish some later, including my race report from the very chilly Dirty Dog 10K. But for now I'll just be lurking around a bit. All is worries!

As for tomorrow, I'll be making me some gingerbread waffles and sleeping in! BOO-ya! Enjoy some pictures from the Dirty Dog, courtesy of DaisyDuc. Yes, those are teeny tiny little ice fishers in the second picture on the frozen lake. And all of our hair was totally blowing in the wind gusts, too! Gotta love it.

Who would want to sit on a frozen lake and fish when it's 10 below with the wind chill?! Seriously. Then again, who would want to run a trail 10K when there's 1-2 feet of snow in some drifts and a 10 below wind chill?

Man, those ice fishers sure are crazy! ;)

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Chillin' like Bob Dylan in the O-H,