Sunday, November 27, 2011

Serendipitous November Triathlon

So I know I said before that it would be my last time on the bike for a while, but WAIT!  It wasn't!  I'm pretty sure yesterday was.  64 and sunny on November 26th in the NEO?

Global warming, I hate you every day BUT YESTERDAY.

This weekend has been amazeballs.  We hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 14 people on Thursday after I ran the Turkey Dash in the morning.  Friday we all relaxed and slept in until after 9!  That's the equivalent of sleeping until noon in college, or, even doing what TriShannon and DaisyDuc and I used to do which was BARELY making the 1:30pm Saturday brunch cutoff in our dorm where the dining hall was BELOW US.  Yes, oh laziness, we set the bar quite high.  So 9am was much needed, and completely relaxing.

Saturday I went for a run with Ana in shorts again with a shiny orb in the sky.  It is really unheard of this time of year, so we soaked that up for all it was worth and got in 8 miles at a conversational sub-9 pace!  I was very happy with that since my legs were still a little heavy from the race.  Then, I went home, helped Matt hang up some Christmas lights, chased Bug and Bean around for a bit, and then put Bean down for a nap.  Matt went in to watch the Michigan game (we are a house divided, you see--I still say GO BUCKS), Bug was playing cars, and I looked out the window to still see 64 degrees and sunshine.

I was pretty tired after my run and chasing the kiddies around all morning.

But that sun.

And that warmth.

And, once again, it's late November.

I just couldn't pass it up.  I checked the forecast and, indeed, this looked to be it (for realz this time) for a while.  Sunday would be kind of warm but really rainy, so if I wanted to get out today would be it.

I put on my big girl pants (errr, bike shorts) and went out for another workout.  But I way overdressed! I had to ditch my Evotri jacket at the first park by my house and tied it all stealth-mode to a tree. I hoped it would be there when I got back (I was pretty sure it would be, and it was).

At the turnaround, I even ditched my leg warmers!  And the world got to see my pasty white legs one last time before May or so!

Pastiest white legs this side of the Mississippi!

Seriously, I was so freaking happy to be riding.  To quote the late, great, Freddie Mercury, I love to ride my bicycle, I love to ride my bike.  I love the NEO, but get kind of sad that I miss riding for a good 2-3 months outside on a regular basis.  Trainer workouts can kick your butt, too, and there is value in that, but there's nothing like getting outside.  It was CRAZY windy, though.  At one point I was pushing almost 300 watts and going 12.2 miles per hour!

This is my "I can't believe it's 64 degrees today!" face
Got back, took a quick shower just so I didn't scare people, and went to my buddy SimplyMarried's pool party for Sweet A's 2nd birthday.  So, if you count me chasing Bug and Bean around a pool for 2 hours, then I pretty much did a triathlon Saturday.  Score!

Picture courtesy of my super cool buddy, SimplyMarried

And Saturday night?  I was toast!  I fell asleep right after Bug at about 8:47pm.  It was awesome.

Now it is raining and the cold front is moving in--probably for good.  But I feel like I did cheat a little bit this November, and for that, I am ridiculously grateful.

So here's to beating the conventional Northeastern Ohio triathlon season.  And hey, while we're at it, how about you check out my awesome team, Team Evotri, and our contest to add a new member?  We are so excited to add someone to the family next year!

Happy Training!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today, on Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much...

My husband, who has more patience than any person I know in the universe.

My family, who never ceases to amaze me with their love and strength.

My sweet little boy, who is growing like a weed and who tells me he loves me "to the moon and back."

My baby girl, who is hilarious and determined and snuggly and a talker and very much my girl.

For my running and triathlon buddies, whom I love seeing at the races.

For my friends, who make me a better person every single day.

For my career, which challenges me and never gives me the same day twice.

For a hard run, and for the reminder that even if today wasn't my day, there's always another race.  Another day.  Another chance to breathe hard again.

For hosting dinner for all of my family tonight, and washing all these serving platters and dishes to prepare.  And for realizing that the life I dreamed about eight years ago when I picked all this stuff out is right here, right now.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Making the Team, 2012

Now entering its sixth year, the members of Team Evotri continue to challenge themselves and others to live a healthy and active lifestyle through endurance sports. They have been given an extraordinary opportunity to train and race with the same equipment and coaching as the pros. They continue to dedicate themselves to maximizing their potential, to sharing what they learn from their experiences, and to making a positive contribution to the endurance sport community.

Team Evotri is again ready to welcome a new member to the family. For 2012, Team Evotri and its sponsors have pulled together a one-of-a-kind package to provide an age group athlete the opportunity to train and race like a PRO, while giving back to the triathlon and endurance community. The current team members will be looking for an individual who embraces the spirit of triathlon: a positive attitude, enthusiasm for the sport, desire to improve, and dedication to give back to the endurance community. Years of triathlon experience and good race results are not deciding factors in choosing a winner, but passion is.

The next team member will benefit by receiving an excellent package courtesy of the team's sponsors:
  • QuintanaRoo will provide a top-of-the-line CD0.1 frameset with innovative shift technology that will undoubtedly take your bike splits to a new level.
  • Zipp Speed Weaponry knows just how to outfit a frame like the CD0.1 with a 404 front and 808 rear wheel set.
  • SRAM will add to the bike with its latest cockpit and drivetrain components.
  • CycleOps finishes the bike off with its cutting edge SL+ wireless PowerTap hub and Joule 2.0 computer.
  • HUB Endurance puts it all together providing a full year of expert triathlon coaching to deliver the newest Evotri athlete to the top of their potential in 2012.
Here's how you can be the next Team Evotri member:
Create a video that's no longer than three (3) minutes. The video should answer the following three questions:
  1. Why Evotri?
  2. Why You?
  3. Can you Evotri?

  • Videos must be posted to Team Evotri's Facebook page:
  • Videos must be posted by December 31, 2011, at 11:59 PM CST.
  • Videos not within the time constraints will not be considered.

  • The current team members will select finalists from the video submissions.
  • The finalists will be notified by January 15, 2012 and will be invited to be interviewed via teleconference by current team members.
  • The winner will be announced on February 1, 2012.

Important Notes:
  • By posting a video to Evotri's Facebook page, candidates grant contest affiliates permission to use said video for promotional purposes affiliated with Team Evotri and the 2012 contest.
  • The winner of the team slot forfeits all awards if he/she is unable to continue as a team member for any reason for a period within two years of joining the team.
  • The winner of the team slot agrees to contribute to the Team Evotri web site for as long as he/she is a member of Team Evotri.
  • The winner agrees to race in an Evotri team uniform for all multisport events. Winner to purchase choice of uniform apparel upon final selection.
  • The winner of the team slot must participate in the yearly Team Evotri event. The 2012 event is a training camp in Chattanooga, TN from April 12-15, 2012. You must be present for the entire time.
  • No reimbursement will be made by Team Evotri or its sponsors for the creation, submission or any other expenses associated with the video entry.
  • No reimbursement will be made by Team Evotri or its sponsors for any travel, lodging, race entry fees, or other associated expenses in attending Team Evotri activities.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Seriously. Please tell my head it's NOVEMBER.

Why can't I stop thinking about tris?

What has gotten into me?

Here are a few theories:

1. I am working my butt off. Working through most lunches while grading, grading late at night, finding some sweet new lessons for my APs and trying to really integrate my new iPads I got through my grant for World. This is good, but makes me really tired.

2. My kids have a level of energy that would make a squirrel on about 19 shots of espresso look slow.

3. I miss throwing my energy into races. I enjoy where I'm putting my energy now, but I do miss a good, hard, last mile at the end of a tri where I'm chasing someone or some goal. I heart that, and I haven't really had it since August (save the 5K where I accidentally broke my 9 year old PR for literally no rational reason).

So, I emailed Ana to see if I could talk her into something crazy--doing Rev3 Cedar Point with me next year. And you know her response?

"Oh my goodness...this would take some TJ (husband) convincing. Are you sure I won't drown?"


Now here's the problem. Since early September I've been acting pretty much like a duathlete. Which a duathlete, I am not, people. I am a triathlete through and through. So I MUST get back in the pool. But how?


I have to make this work somehow. Some ideas I'm tossing around:

1. Picking one morning a week to go before school but I'd have to go straight to school. This requires a good deal of coordination on my end (bags, breakfast, lunch, clothes, etc.) and would not be fun for Matt since he'd have to get both kids out of the house solo by 7:00am which he's really good at but still it's kind of a headache. Four hands from 6:45am-7:00am are really almost a necessity.

2. Pick one day after school and go directly from school, hopping in the water sometime around 3:40, so I can be home by dinner. Pros--relatively convenient for Matt and I . Cons--I just hate spending more time away from the kids after school, even if it is one measly hour.

3. Go at night, after Bean is in bed and while Bug is getting put to bed. Judging by the schedule, this would need to be probably Monday or Wednesday. Pros: no missing time with Bug or Bean and easiest on Matt. Cons: OMG, do you understand how HARD it is to get motivated to head OUT to swim at 8pm? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

I've been running, riding, and lifting mostly at night or in the wee hours of the morning lately. Realistically, I think Option 3 is probably my best bet. But man, that's gonna be hard. I'm going to need someone to hold me accountable. DO YOU HEAR ME, INTERWEBS?

I'm going to keep doing some thinking, crunching, and pool-scheduling research, but my goal is to get back in the water in December. I need to put the tri back in this athlete.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Funny Thing About That...

So I'm sitting here, after enjoying a fully warmer-than-usual weekend with the family. Last week was insanity at work and I had a million things going on at the exact same time, so on the weekends I try to go on full-on hibernation mode and just chill. Of course, chilling involved a 7 mile run with Bean (in a jogging stroller that was pulling to the right the entire time--hello, right core muscles this morning! Owie!) and a solid spin session and weights today. But I fit it in between chocolate chip pancakes, Phineas and Ferb, and a few hours at the Zoo.

Weekends like this with sunshine and warm temperatures make me think of races. And how I miss them. So here are my very very very preliminary plans for 2012:

January 15th: Run for Regis Trail Half Marathon. I am so crazy excited for this--talked Ana into it and we may not be able to prepare much on trails, but it will be super fun anyway!

St. Malachi 5 Mile: It's kinda a rite of spring for Cleveland runners. You just have to be there.

Chattanooga Team Evotri Training Camp: Words cannot express the sheer awesomeness this will be. I am so so so pumped to hang with my teammates and do nothing but swim, bike, and run (okay, and maybe eat and sleep some too) for a long weekend!

Cleveland Half Marathon: Oh yeah, baby. It's on. I plan on puking at the end. In a good way.

A few assorted local tris, including Huntington and Lorain: TBD

And the one I'm toying with....Rev3 Cedar Point. No additions will be put onto my house next year, which means things won't be nearly as nutso as they were this summer. I still won't have enough time to train the way I used to, but who does have enough time to train exactly the way they want to, right? If I do this, I want to do it well and PR. This would mean under 5:44 (and in my head I'm already saying as close to 5:30 as I can get), which I am confident I could do, provided I have the blessing of my family (namely Matt). So I'm still mulling it over and probably will for the next few months.

So that's the tentative deal. I do need to get back to the pool soon, though. I'm still working out those details, since unfortunately, the last time I checked there was no 50 meter pool in my basement. The nerve.

The last thing I wanted to note of record is that several people have told me lately that I look like I've lost weight. Like, more in the past month than I've had in a long time. Which is interesting, because it was just about 2 months ago I decided I was done weighing myself. Like, probably forever.

I was one of those people who weighed myself every day, because I thought it would keep me on track. Which it did, for a while. But then it got to the point that it would dictate my day. Half a pound up because I had some pretzels the day before? I AM A FAILURE. Day ruined. I started to realize that this was quite silly. I know, I know. It only took me 34 years.

I decided I wouldn't be a slave to that stupid thing anymore. I know myself to know well enough that I wasn't going to get huge and bloated and let myself go a la Val Kilmer (I mean, seriously. Have you seen that guy lately? Where is my volleyball scene from Top Gun Val Kilmer? Sigh.) I planned on eating as well as I could and trying to be better about weights (like, 2 times a week, and no excuses--at least some pushups, chinups, lunges and core for crying out loud). So that's what I did.

I have no idea what I weigh. I am pretty sure it is about the same as usual. But I don't care.

I must be doing something right, so I'm gonna keep doing it. And I really don't want to know what the number is. It's not worth risking how good I am feeling. What if it's up? And then, DAY RUINED. I'm finally just kind of done with that.

For now, ignorance is bliss!

Big news--HUGE news, actually--coming very very soon from Team Evotri, too! I can't wait to share! But I have to. Trust me, though...2012 will be an awesome year.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Responsible Thing to Do

I am usually very responsible.

Really, I am.

Already, I've spent about four and a half hours grading my DBQs for APUSH. Little by little, dent by dent, red pen mark by red pen mark, I'm getting through them.

To grade each one correctly requires a good deal of attention.

And focus.

And patience.

And lots and lots of writing: theirs, and mine, too.

But today, we got an extra hour. Which I could easily have spent grading...again. It probably would have been the responsible thing to do during naptime, after we played at the park and went up and down the slides all morning, even though I did a good 2 hours this morning.

But, you see, today is November 6th.

And it's Northeastern Ohio.

And during naptime? It was 64 degrees, light winds, and not a cloud in the sky.

Which means, of course, that trainer ride I had on the schedule? Yeah, that's now being replaced by a ride outside.
Getting ready to hop on my Quintana Roo CD.01

*click, click...zooooommmmm*

A mid-ride snap

The great thing about rides outside in the sun in November in Northeastern Ohio is that it feels like such a gift, which really, every ride should feel like. I know that soon it will be gray here...gray sky, gray slushy snow, gray clouds. Soon enough, for sure.

A tiny example of the colors I saw...this was where I turned around

But today? Today was full of color.

Blue sky. Bright green grass. Bright blue lake. And the leaves were falling fast, but were still beautiful.

There was nothing gray about my ride today. Today was full of crayola leaves, of red and pink and orange and burnt sienna and goldenrod. And soon enough, I'll be running in the gray, bundled up with icicles on my eyelashes, but today was a huge inhale of color that I'll remember to carry me through the gray. And know that even if it is gray, it's still a gift.

Standing in my driveway after my ride, looking up