Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gentle Leader - yeah baby.

Being the the proud owner of an insanely energetic dog + being in the middle of becoming a reformed runner, I've decided to start jogging (with a soft j) around the neighborhood again to let him blow off some steam. And to give myself an excuse for going so slow, I can blame it on the dog.
Harvey is very strong and a bit on the skittish side, so every time a squirrel stirs in the bushes he thinks its the aliens coming to get him. His "run for the hills" attempts are a bit much, even if I by now have wildly strong arms & shoulders from swimming. Plus I look like a dork digging my heals into the ground trying to control a dog screaming "anal probing lady, anal probing, lets get the hell out of here!".
Forget about either of us staying calm with bush-dwelling-aliens on one side and cars on the other - my dog whispering talents just don't go that far.

Clearly help was needed, and I remembered a friend having great luck with this collar contraption unit that goes around their nose. So I made a mad dash to the pet store and picked up one of those "gentle leader" head collars. Frankly had no idea PetCo sold miracles, but that thing is one. Super easy, one end slips over the snout and the other goes around the head like a regular collar. No strangling, easy to adjust, and the collar sits high up just like the Dog Whisperer dude likes it. Oh. My. God. Night and day difference.
Harvey isn't exactly thrilled about the nose job, but adjusted pretty well immediately. And we both enjoy that we can now go for jogs and still preserve some of my dignity.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tri-ing!!

I am noticing that the triathlon section of my life hasn't been so "tri" lately.
The swimming has been awesome - hitting the pool at least twice a week doing quality workouts with fun people and a brilliant coach. Getting strong enough to consider doing pool meets!

Biking has been almost awesome, been doing this bike class called "Taste of Vision Quest Coaching" with structured workouts aiming to build power & improve wattage on the bike plus at least another fab group ride every week. Getting stronger by the day but feel I still need just a little bit extra before I can call it awesome.

Running. Well, yeah. Right. It's that thing with the shoes?
My dog brought me a nice looking Brooks Adrenaline the other day - I think Harvey wanted me to dust it off before he'd even consider chewing on it. Feeling a little ashamed of myself, I went and found the other shoe, dusted both off and laced them up.... yes - running is back on the books again. I suck horrendously but every jog I make I come back a little stronger. Sticking with it this time dammit, I HAVE TO, if I want to make that lifeguarding test in a few weeks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lifeguard? Me? Hmm.....

A buddy of mine is a lifeguard at the beaches and the other day he told me they were having tryouts for summer positions. And then proceeded to suggest that I go give it a go. At first I laughed it off, but then as I thought about it, I decided why not. Could at least go and do the swim to see if I made the cut, and then take it from there.
Pay is not so great, but hours are totally flexible and I do love the sea and the sand... and if I make the cut and get a job, this could be the best tan my white little body has ever had (yes, I'll be slathering on the SPF's...).

So last Saturday, I showed up at the pool with a bunch of 16 year olds - and gaaaak - I felt old. Jumped in and did a little warmup and then tested. Had 10 minutes to swim 500 meters (and they werent skimping on it, 22 lengths of the 25 yd pool). I cruised it at a nice pace and got in at 7:52, not too shabby. Even beat out a bunch of the kids, especially those that didn't even bring a pair of goggles or a swim suit to the pool tryouts.

Then sat around for a bit and waited for my official American Idol style pass (except we got orange ones) and was instructed to show up for class Monday, April 6th.
It was fun, and I've been kind of excited about it. I know I have a ton of work ahead of me getting back in running shape, and evidently you need to be able to swim a 50 in 30 secs or under, and that one is going to be friggin challenging too. Glad I have a couple of weeks to train.... I'll need it. If I don't make the cut, then at least I got a head start on getting in shape for the season, so it will be all good :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nammibindindi

You have always wanted to learn how to speak Icelandic right? Well, welcome to your first lesson. A hard one. Not because the word is all that difficult, the word is pretty cool and sounds funny. You pronounce it somewhat like num-eeh-bin-din-deeh. See, that was easy.

The big deal here is the meaning of that silly word: candy-strike. I'm essentially "on the wagon" when it comes to candy and am not allowed to have any. I am not quite sure how this happened, but a friend from Iceland has been doing nammibindidi for a couple of weeks now and raves about it, says she's not even tempted by candy anymore.
During a moment of not thinking things through, I jumped in and said "ohh, so cool, count me in, I want to do it too! I want to be healthy and thin and not high on sugar all the time, this is going to be awesome!".

It should be pretty clear to anyone reading these words that I was jacked up on sugar when I made that desicion, as at the time I was busily rewarding myself generously for having had a crappy race the day before.
Now the question is, can I be held responsible for my own actions when high on sugar? Do I have to actually go through with this month long nammibindindi? Do I have an out?

The law seems to think that I made a binding verbal agreement. I haven't been able to find literature to support my theory that high octane sugar rushes cause temporary insanity, so it looks like I have to go through with it.
I'm going to try to stick it out, at least for the day. Oh, cruel world. I will just have to try to forget about that nice looking bar of dark European chocolate stashed in my pantry.
I am going to allow myself to have cokes one day a week, on Saturday. They will be chilled to perfection and I might even go exclusively with glass bottles.

This better be good.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Survived another one!

Back from the Miami after a long weekend of swimming, biking and running.  Didn't bring back a PR (wasn't expected or even likely), but was happy to survive.  And, was pretty happy with my swim actually - especially since I opted not to use a wetsuit as I felt I would get too hot (the majority of age groupers had one on). The bike was "meh" and the run sucked (as expected) but it was a good experience all in all.
I'm glad to have the first race of the year out of the way and now can focus on doing sprints, woo hoo!

My buddies Sue and Sharon did awesome.  Sue didn't quite PR but almost - if the bike hadn't been so windy I am sure she would have.  This was Sharon's first tri - and her 2nd open water swim.  She's gone from barely making it from one end of the pool to the other to swim nearly a mile in open water in less than 4 months - totally proud of her.
My next tri isn't scheduled until beginning of May so for the next 6 weeks I am going to try to make peace with running.  Sharon (who is an exceptional runner) is going to help motivate me and instead I am going to get her going on the bike.  Yay for teamwork - and  having someone to hold me accountable - clearly I need that when running.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Being unemployed is being very busy

When I first found myself without the regular schedule of a daily job, I figured I would have all the time in the world, to do whatever I damn well pleased. I envisioned a whole week of Sundays, where each day would sort of idle by, in a state of pleasant calmness.
Turns out Father Time doesn't give a rats ass about my state of employment and if anything the days are going by FASTER than before.

I have a couple of other unemployed friends - one by choice (happily refers to himself as a kept man) and the other one decided to take some time off from working, having been on a monthly deadline for the past 22 years. What I have noticed is that both of my unemployed friends are just as busy as my other friends holding down full time jobs. And get this - none of us have kids!

So, what is keeping me so busy you might wonder - and I will tell you. Just not now, because right now I'm at the tender stage when a dream goes from being ethereal and intangible and goes on to become a reality. I touched lightly on the subject in this post, and am happy to report that things are starting to take form - I'm following that proverbial dream and I am now ready to dive into it headfirst.
Funny enough it was at job interview where I had that realization. I had an impromptu interview offer, with a company that I actually like and the position sounded interesting. I dig the product, I have experience with similar things, I know I'd be good at it and I know they would love me. About halfway through the casual interview I all of a sudden knew, without a doubt, that it is my destiny to push forward with my little project.
Call it fate, calling, whatever - I just know it's meant to be. The pieces are coming together, this is what my odd journey through life so far has been preparing me for. This is it. I KNOW I can do it and do it successfully.

There may be dragons, so send me support vibes and any surplus Raman noodles you might have. Because I'm going to need both in large quantities.

Miami Tri - holy cow it's time

Here we are once again, a race just around the corner.  I'm very well prepared and ready to rock both the swim & the bike.  Running, not so much.  For some reason, I just can't seem to lace up my running shoes and go for a run to save my life!  My hip flexor plus my old blood clot circulation issues started acting up, so I took a little time off to let it heal.  It came back pretty good, but my motivation to run didn't. 
So I just sort of pretended not to notice that I wasn't running and pretended not to notice that the days on the calendar were ticking by with increasing speed.
I jogged 4 miles the other way and that was friggin hard, so I am not entirely sure how I am going to fake my way through a 10k and not look like a dumbass.  Oh well.  When the circulation in my left leg isn't quite what it should be, I have always been able to get by doing the Galloway stuff (run/walk) so that is my plan for the weekend.
Right now I'm thinking 10 second run followed by a 10 minute walk, hee hee hee....  

It's going to be a blast though - traveling down with 2 good friends, a bunch of good music, wetsuit, goggles, bike and running shoes in the back of the car. 

Send me some happy thoughts come Sunday morning, I'll need them as soon as I get off the bike!!
Then when I get back, I am going to start running.  Because now I have a plan....   and a partner to kick my ass.  Good times ahead.