Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hey swimming and cycling--YOU LISTENIN'?

What the freak show has gotten into my running lately?!

I don't know what the heck's going on. But it's in a good way. Earlier this week I did 6 miles and negative split it heeeyooooggggee-ly, and today I did the same thing on my 1:45 run. Ended up going 11.5 miles with a ginormous negative split.


It's seriously nuts. What feels like a nice easy pace is what used to borderline my half marathon race pace. I'm not sure what's going on. I swear I'm not on "the cream" or "the clear."

You hear that, A-Rod? I AM LEGIT.


Training is ramping up, which means I am teetering on the borderline of sanity/insanity. It also means I am EATING EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT NAILED DOWN. This week threw some crazy curveballs at me, but I'm going to be able to hit most of my workouts, which I am pretty darn proud of.

The pool is--the pool, meaning, it's not in my basement so it's harder to get to, but I'm super consistent when I'm there (pace-wise, that is). I feel like such a pool underachiever. If I could get there 4-5 times a week, I'm sure I'd see some definite time dropped off. But I just don't have that luxury. So, I'm just trying to get there as much as I can, which lately, hasn't been much. Good thing I can (relatively speaking of course) kinda wing it...I definitely can't do that on the bike or run.

Cycling is coming along. I am coming to terms with the fact that I might have to just sack up and get outside in very much less than ideal conditions here pretty soon. I mean, holy CRAP it's almost March, which means I'm almost a MONTH OUT...and I really need to get a little actual road experience, you know? So I'm really, really hoping for a nice 60-70 degree dry Saturday or Sunday in March. However, Cleveland is known to have absolutely nutty March weather, ranging from 75 and sunny to 15 and 18 inches of snow. So, the reality is, I might have to bundle up and get out there in (gulp) more like 40 degrees.

*crossing fingers*

So there you have it. A teensy part of me is thinking perhaps I should have signed up for a spring marathon with the way this running is going, and knock a few minutes off on my quest to BQ. But, there's plenty of time for that, right?

After all, in 4 years, my qualifying time goes up five more minutes.

(don't worry--there ain't no WAY I'm waiting THAT long) ;)

I'll leave you with a little conversation that was had in my doctor's office last week:

Nurse: I'll just need to take your blood pressure.

TST: OK--no problem!

Nurse: *looks at the numbers* Wow, that's really low...

TST: Yeah, I know. My old doctor used to joke with me about it...

Nurse: Well, that's a good thing! Now let me take your resting pulse.

TST: *thinking: oooo goody! this is always a fun one*

Nurse: *scrunches face* Um...wait, let me do this one more time...

pause for dramatic effect

Nurse: *makes funny face* Wow--are you aware your resting pulse is 47? Do you exercise or something?

TST: Uh, yeah. A little bit.

Yahoo for endurance sports! You make TST's ticker strong. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Love Note

Dear Speedo Long-Hair Silicone Swim Cap,

I heart you.

Forgive me for gushing, but I've never met a cap like you before. I just can't explain how much I lurve you, oh cap.

I figured I was just doomed to have my cap suck the life off my head forever. Or, until I cut off my hair. And the last time I made a drastic haircut was in 1998...ten inches, cap. With some nice layers, too. You know who else had dark hair with layers that was shoulder-length and made some BAD PRESS in 1998? Let me give you a hint: it rhymes with Schmonica Ploominsky. And I was a bit overweight. And student teaching 8th graders.

Never. Again. Cap. Never again can I cut my hair short.

So I just figured I was doomed to my ears being pinched and mumbling obscenities as I fixed my cap three times in one 20 minute time trial. Or even trying to perfect the one-armed cap-fix during a race. I've gotten quite good at that, actually.

And then I met you.

Long-hair cap, you will be with me forever. I never knew I could feel this way about a cap. Now I don't have to cut off my hair OR have my brain sucked out the top of my plastic-coated head.

As far as love is concerned, you fall somewhere above delicious enchiladas, the color red, and lip gloss, and slightly behind Stadium Mustard and peanut butter.

(Trust me, cap...that's not an easy spot to earn.)

Love always,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gettin' R' DONE.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just step back a bit, you know?

I haven't had much time for blogging lately. Or returning emails. Or facebooking and whatnot.

But you know what?

I'm gettin' it done.

What I have been doing, is supervising 32 students in a sea of 2,500 high school students from around the world, in the same hotel, in a huge city, for four days. Kind of a big freakin' responsibility. The kind that keeps you up all night wondering if they are really where they say they are, and gets you up early as your phone is ringing and texts are buzzing and the door is knocking. But, the kind that allows you to see a few amazing friends, a super-awesome friend and her equally awesome fiance, have a long long theraputic discussion with one Nutter who I am so proud of, and even go for a run on the Lakeshore with another Nutter I'm lucky to have as a friend. And, even run into one Ironfriend on his way home from work amidst thousands of Chicagoans on Monroe Avenue while I snuck out to do a quick "sanity run" after a less-than perfect, Murphy's Law kind of check in scenario on the first day.

8 out of 32 students of mine walked home with awards amidst some serious and international competition, and I'm crazy proud of them.

I've been snuggling with my Bug as much as I can, since leaving him was NOT EASY. At all.

I've been celebrating Matt's 34th birthday and Valentine's Day, with his respective gifts of Cavs/Pistons tickets for 2/22 and Tribe Opening Day Tickets for Good Friday since we are both off. I know. I'm a pretty good wife. ;)

I've been trying, rather unsuccessfully, to un-bury myself from a huge pile of work and issues that have built up on my desk this week. But I'm getting better at walking away and trying to exhale and say, "It'll all get done somehow."

And I've been training. A LOT.

New Orleans is 7 weeks from tomorrow, and I'm feeling pretty good. I don't know what's going to happen as far as heat and humidity and things that I cannot control, but I do know that I am doing all that I can on my end.

I'll have this body as ready as it can be.

I'm kicking my own butt every Thursday at a 2 hour, intense like nobody's business, sweat-dripping-off-my-nose-and-chin crazy interval hill insanity of a spin class geared towards triathletes and roadies. And let me just say that I've never felt so good on the bike at this point in the season in my LIFE. Hopefully the weather will turn a bit so I can bundle up and get outside to test my fitness. My running is coming along--today I did just under 11 miles and felt great. Negative split the thing in the snow. My light lifting has allowed me to strengthen and see a few little muscles if I move certain ways which is kind of nice. The pool is harder to get to, but when I do, I make it count. I'm making peace with my swimming and know that my slightly-better-than-mediocre swim is still pretty good, and also to understand that I have the biggest amount to gain not in the water, but on the run.

Seven weeks away, which means it's really like mid-to-late June in my normal season. Time to focus in for a few more weeks as best I can, and balance as much as I can as I enter my busiest time of the school year--state testing and the final 3 months before the AP test. Right about now I'm wondering why I thought this was a good idea...really, April 5th, you IDIOT?!?!?! One month before the AP test, DURING our final Model UN Conference, and with most of your training in the DEAD OF THE OHIO WINTER? Brilliant.

But I'm reminded that I do my best work under a bit of pressure. I always have, and somehow I'll make this work. My lowest grade point average in college came in the semester when I had the least amount of credit hours and didn't work at the library.

(It was a 3.4, by the way. Because TRISARATOPS = A HUGE NERD.)

So load me up with these final few credit hours. Somehow I'll get there, and I have a whole new sense of what matters. I've been forced to readjust and cut out a few things, and am still learning as I go how to let go of what doesn't matter. Aren't we all, right?

The race will be fun, but the real fun will be testing myself, exploring a city full of history and music and food and my friends.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go snuggle with my Bug. :)