Monday, March 31, 2008

Five Miler!

It has been pretty warm here! Yahoooo! I don't want to speak too soon, because when I do that, we usually get about 4 inches of snow, BUT...methinks spring is arriving.

So we decided to ring in the new season by taking JayZ out for a jog!

It went something like this:

Me: Are you sure the straps are tight enough? Double check the straps.

Matt: I checked them. Like, 82 times.

JayZ: Why did they put socks on my hands?

Me: I can't believe we have to put socks on his hands because we can't find any mittens.

Matt: Let's go!

JayZ: Seriously. They put socks. On my hands.

Me: How's he doing?

Matt: Fine.

(we run .017 miles)

Me: Now how's he doing?

Matt: Still fine.


Me: (every half mile) Is he still asleep?

Matt: Yes. I told you. He's still asleep.


And that's how we all ran a nice 5 mile jog together. It was pretty awesome! We're both excited that we can actually a) get outside and b) not have to time up our runs with naps, although it seems that runs induce napping. Well, at least it did this time!

And here's a picture from Easter. I mean, seriously--can my kid look ANY MORE like my husband?! I swear, unless I was there the day he was born....sigh... :)

64 degrees today and a Tribe Opener win! It just doesn't get much better than that.

This is our, really...well, maybe.

It's finally here!

The Indians home opener and my beloved Tribe's season. I can't wait to watch it today with JayZ (all decked out in his new Tribe outfit) and our buddies. I wish I could be down there. And, hey! Bonus--it's not snowing this year! But alas, I can't get out of work in time.

So for another season, I will stand by my boys just like I have for the past 30 seasons now (but I only remember 23-24 or so) and, hopefully, if I'm really lucky, avoid having my little heart crushed and smashed and stomped on in October. Like last year. And, the year before. And, in 1997. And, in 1995. And throughout most of the 80s when we were 30+ games in the cellar. And, well, you get the point.



Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pretty much a perfect morning

38 degrees.

Not a cloud in the sky.

JayZ slept well and greeted me with a big toothless grin.

Ran along Lake Erie, which is starting to thaw out. Big chunks of white float where I'll soon swim on a backdrop of a clear blue sky as far as I can see.

14 miles, negative split. Last mile 9:04.

Came home, kissed all three of my boys, found that the biggest boy ordered us Foo Fighters tickets (yahooooooo!) while I was out, the hairy four-legged boy licked my sweaty hands to say hello, and the littlest boy was napping in his swing.

And then I find out that I will be receiving an interview on Monday. And I'm honored and thankful.

Thank you.

Have a wonderful day...I'll be celebrating my best friend's birthday tonight and drinking some good wine!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Making The Team: 2008

This is's done tonight (Friday, March 28), so thanks to those who voted for me! There's some fierce competition out there. Whatever's meant to be will happen. May the best wo/man win!

Thanks again! :)

I am a relatively ordinary, Midwestern girl, who leads a wonderful yet not atypical life. I am blessed with an amazingly supportive and loving family, loyal and genuine friends, a career that challenges and inspires me, and a five-month old son that I love more than I can explain.

And somehow along the way, I became an endurance athlete.

It was a dare to myself, actually. I questioned the direction I was headed in several aspects of my life. So I did something a teensy bit scary…I signed up for something called a “sprint triathlon.” I was a novice in every sense of the word, and that’s what made it exciting. And that nervous curiosity made me push myself harder and harder.

(I really, really like to push myself.)

Before I knew it, I crossed the finish line.

I didn’t realize that all I’d see would be an endless sea of starting lines before me.

That triathlon showed me there was something inside of me that I don’t think I fully understood or appreciated until that moment on that humid summer day. It gave me a new and quiet confidence.

If I can do this, what else can I do?

That finish line led me to go after a prestigious scholarship for graduate school, where I earned not only full tuition and immeasurable experience, but high honors. It led me to sign up for my first marathon, and cross that finish line only to dare myself to start another one. It led me to Ironman Wisconsin in 2006, where I had the privilege of meeting so many amazing people I am honored to call my friends.

That finish line inspired me to help others find their starting lines. I became active in my area’s triathlon club and made wonderful friendships. I led several open water swims for new triathletes and eventually got the privilege of serving on the Board of our club, where I currently hold the position of Secretary. It showed me, as it has showed so many, that the best part of training and racing are those friendships you make along the way. The miles, hardware, and the PRs may come and go, but a three-hour ride on hills in the pouring rain with a good friend is something that you just can’t quantify.

That finish line illustrated to me the power of using a starting line for change. I dedicated my Ironman race to raise money to fight Lymphoma, a disease which took my Great Aunt. I continue to be inspired—truly, deeply inspired—by my friends who race for a purpose greater than themselves. Not solely for a goal or a time, but for improving and changing lives.

This sport has power. It welcomes all; it embraces all. It asks you to look within yourself and make what you see even stronger. It asks you to make a difference to yourself, and often to the world around you.

And this…this is why I’m an endurance athlete.


Thanks for reading! If you think I should be the next fully-sponsored member of Team Evotri, please write down the URL of this web site and have it ready for voting when you click the EVOTE button below. Thank you!

Throwing my hat in the ring

Okay, I think all technical difficulties have been resolved...

Anyway, I'm throwing my hat in here. I'm going to Steelhead and WIBA regardless, so I thought I might as well give this a shot. I'm super excited to race this year, and I can't think of a better word to describe me right now than "evolving...."

So here goes!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How is it possible...

...that he already is looking like such a little BOY instead of a little BABY?

And how ridiculous is it that I get a little teary eyed whenever he grows out of an outfit? I can't possibly do that for the rest of his life. Sheesh.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

At a certain point, you just get up.

JayZ was up briefly at 3am. And then, in classic fashion, my head spun with all the things I have to do today and I couldn't. fall. back. asleep.







Rather than lay in bed and be all salty until 6:30, I got up, threw on some clothes, and headed down for my 6 mile tempo run on the dreadmill. BTW--don't watch news channels for more than 5 minutes. I wanted to get caught up on what happened since I went to bed (because I'm that kind of news and politics geek) . They beat the Elliot Spitzer horse OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I zoned out and iPod'ed it instead.

6 miles, with 2 at a tempo pace of 7:50. Stretched, showered, made it to school, and now I'm playing the game of "how much can I get done before I crash."

On a second cup of joe, which is rare, but I need to make it until at least 9pm tonight.

Ugh. At least I got my run in, huh?

I really wish I could just sleep like a baby....

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Since WHEN 4 miles at 9:30 feel like crawling and 4 miles at 8:20 feel just about perfect?

Seriously. Whose legs are these and where are TriSaraTops' legs?

I guess I'll just keep these! But I hope no one comes looking for least, not until after May 18. Then I promise I'll give them back.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Excuse me while I un-bury myself from the snow

You know what?

I heart me some snow. But right about now--in March--I'm kinda over it. And that's really unfortunate, because March is typically when we get our biggest storms. Like today. It started snowing last night and isn't supposed to stop until we have about TWELVE INCHES on the ground.

I just got a new student from Dallas, and he asked on Friday, "So, when is this supposed to stop?"

I sort of laughed.

I told him probably by April, except for last year when we got 12 inches on Easter.

He didn't look too excited.

But then I was reminded of a story I heard on some talk radio (I know, I'm sort of a dork, and listen to talk radio--especially when I was home on maternity leave and needed a little intellectual stimulation) of how some dude did research on "happiness" and "measuring happiness" within this country, and compared to other countries. He said he did one study in Michigan in March. Their weather is quite similar to ours. And many subjects said they would be "happier" to live somewhere else, like Southern California. Where the weather was nicer.

But you know what?

The author dude interviewed subjects in SoCal and did not see any higher "rate" of "happiness" (and I'm not sure how he measured this) there. People there were worried about things, too...just other things. Like the cost of living. Or other natural disasters NOT involving snow, like mudslides. Things that I don't really have to worry about. I thought that was really interesting.

Because every time it does this here I hear all the weather forecasters moaning and groaning about the doomsday storm we're about to have. Complaining. Like it's part of their job to complain, too, when giving us the weather. But even my student from Dallas said that the summers are pretty unbearable at times down there. 105 degrees and humid? No thanks.

So you know what? I REFUSE to complain about this storm. It's really quite pretty out there today. I'm going to enjoy this day as I'm still in my PJ's, and so is JayZ. I just lit the fire and I have a new Inside Triathlon and Runner's World magazine to read. And an 8 mile run to do, which will be on the dreadmill and I'll just get caught up on the Daily Show and Colbert. Tomorrow, the trainer will do, but I know that it's going to hit 50 degrees this week and riding on the roads again isn't too far away. And I can't wait for another year or two where, on a day like this, I'll fill a thermos with hot chocolate, bundle us all up, and hit the hill for some serious sledding.

So wherever you are...don't worry about it, whatever it may be. And carpe diem.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

On Change

Yesterday, when I composed that post, I had just had a pretty tough week at work, then had my car bumped enough to do a little damage, and then tried to go on a 10 mile run, only to get about a mile and a half out to just feel a lump in my throat which I couldn't explain. So I stopped, turned around, listened to Jack Johnson's "All At Once" off his new album, walked home, and then cried. For no particular reason. I just felt overwhelmed.

After relaxing, playing some Rock Band, and having (finally) a good night's sleep, I decided to try again today. JayZ went down for a nap, and the sun was out and it was near 50 degrees (my favorite running weather), so I donned Brooks Comeback Hoodie, my iPod shuffle, the Garmin, and my shoes.

And I thought I'd try again.

Here's a rough estimate of my internal monologue.

Wow, it's nice out here. The snow is melting, the sky is blue, and I don't even have to wear gloves or a hat. This rocks.

Even the air smells like spring. I'm not naive enough to believe that this means spring is officially in Northeastern Ohio...I've lived here long enough to understand that March is, at best, schizophrenic in its weather patterns. But this is a taste. And the sun sure feels good on my face.

Today is Jackson's 5 month birthday.

Today is 5 months until I'll be diving in the water at Steelhead.
How has it already been five months?
Here it goes...mile 1. BEEP


Huh. How 'bout that. That's exactly the pace I'll need to hit to run a 4 hour marathon in the fall. Heart rate is good, but that's a little fast for a ten mile run. I'd better slow down. I'd like to hold this thing around 9:15.

Oops. There's a puddle. Damn. Now my feet are wet. Oh just means it's warming up.

I wonder if Jackson woke up yet.

There's an Obama sign. I wonder what's going to happen this Tuesday. Our state's gonna play a pretty big role here. That's kind of exciting.

I need to make a final decision. There are things I love and things I despise about all three of the big candidates. I think I know who I'm going to vote for Tuesday. I think.

Okay, here comes Mile 2. BEEP


Huh? (Makes a strange face) Okay...heart rate's still good. Where did that come from? Regardless...I'd better slow down. I can't hang for 10 miles at this pace.

More Obama signs. No Hillary ones. Interesting.

Mile 3. Here I go...BEEP


Okay, what the FREAK SHOW IS GOING ON.

Is this some kind of joke? Am I running downhill AND with a tailwind?

But this is the same route I always run when the snow is melting. Melty Snow Route is great because I can run on sidestreets and avoid slushy sidewalks and stuff.

Heart rate is still good. RPE is still relatively easy.

I guess I'll...go with it?

You should.


Because. I'm trying to show you something here.

Am I going to keel over after ten miles at this pace?

Nope. I'm trying to show you.

Show me what?

You're not the same.

I know that...I'm having a hard time trying to figure out who exactly I am now and how to be this new person...

Well, just stop already.


I mean, stop. Stop analyzing. Stop worrying. Stop comparing. Just do this thing.

Do what?

Be what you're becoming.


Understand that you can't stick to some schedule you might have used before. You need to be flexible, you need to bend more. You need to cut yourself some slack.

I know...I'm trying...

And I'm trying to show you just how much you've changed.

How so?

I'm trying to show you how strong you are now.


You never believe me. You always try to talk yourself out of it. So I'll just show you, now, out here, how strong you've become.

(silence again)

And then I just ran. I just ran at a pace that felt good, and at a heart rate that was appropriate for a longer run. I heard a few birds. I saw kids making slushy snowmen out of the heavy, melting snow. I saw other runners out, enjoying the day. I saw what my watch said, and I could hardly believe it.

Before I knew it, I was back at home. A far cry from yesterday's failed attempt at a run. I finished my ten miles.

At an average pace of 8:53.



My body has always, always been smarter than me. Time and time again, it's tried to tell me what should be obvious. What I should know anyway.

I am strong enough for this. And getting stronger every single day.

I know today won't be the last time I see snow on the grass. I'm sure we'll have another few storms here in March--and they are traditionally the worst ones of the year. Last year we got a foot of snow on Easter in early April, for crying out loud.

But Spring is coming.

Things are changing. Including me.

And whatever storms might still brew in my mind, today showed me that the sun is coming. The weather's getting warmer. The sky didn't turn dark last night until almost seven.

Things are changing around here. Mostly with me.

So, hopefully, you'll stick around to watch this. I have a feeling it's going to get pretty good.

On Underestimation

It can be a beautiful, wonderful thing.

I had no idea how much I'd underestimate how much I'd love this little baby.

I knew that I would love him.

But I had no idea how much, and I can't even really describe it. I've tried to think of the best words, but I just can't.

I simply am in awe.