Friday, May 26, 2006

MP3: Finally!

So, I've finally joined the 21st century and am waiting to receive a little red iRiver MP3 player. Not a huge amount of capacity, but a flash drive, and armband included, and the great price made it impossible to resist. Happy Summer running to myself!

Tell me, please, as I breathlessly await delivery and start ripping tracks to create various playlists, what are some of your favorite running, weight lifting, and *indoor* cycling songs?

Just for the record, I love all kinds of music, so please suggest away! So far, I've got Springsteen, Blues Traveler, Mark Knopfler, Black-eyed Peas, Natasha Bedingfield, Dixie Chicks, and the Stones queued up for the first running list.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What the Red Sox & I each lack this spring: Consistency

Just as I'm getting up a good head of steam, and feeling rested, well, and *wanting* to train hard, I got home last night full of aches, then the chills settled in, and the reason for the 3-day headache dawned on me. I've got a bug.

Luckily I'm better this morning, and working from home. So, I still hope to get in an easy bike ride when the sun comes out and it warms up more (40s-low 50 in May is insane). Last night, I wasn't capable of more than sitting on the couch, watching the AI final.

Oh, and starting a new blog. For all of you readers out there, please check in at Its Always About the Book (with apologies to Lance). I'm hoping to create a book list for myself, and to generate some good discussions about the books we've read, or hope to read. See you there!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Preakness Day!

I'm a Baltimore girl, born & bred, even if I don't live there any more, and today blends my home town and my all-time favorite sport, horse racing. It should be a beautiful day for a race, and lets go Barbaro!

Here's a recipe for the traditional Preakness drink, the Black-Eyed Susan. The Black-Syed Susan(or, Susan-Eyezans, as I called them as a child) is a summer perennial, and the Maryland State flower.

1oz Vodka
1oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
1/2 oz Cointreau
6 oz Orange Juice
3 oz Pineapple Juice

Combine ingredients, stir, and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple, orange slice, and cherry brochette.

Follow-up: Oh no, Barbaro was badly injured at the start of the race. I'm hopefull the vets will be able to save him, but rear leg injuries like the one he suffered are very very serious. It's unlikely he'll race again, but veterinary medicine has come a long way since I cried my eyes out over Ruffian in 1975.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

85 Mile Ride?

I was at the bike shop this morning, and struck up a conversation with the mechanic. He was a nice guy, a roadie, who does tris in relays (only the bike leg). When he heard I was a triathlete, he got really talkative. Invited me to his weekly group ride, and then also told me about a really intriguing supported ride next month, through a great local biking group, The ride, the P2P, goes from Plymouth Rock to P-town on a Wednesday. Starts at 7 AM, and the boat back leaves at 4 PM, so there is lots of time. There are SAG cars, they carry a bag for you with a change of clothes for the boat ride, plus food. Lunch and a beer in P-town are included in a very reasonable fee. It sounds like *such fun,* and a friend from work who is biking more is interested in riding with me.

So the question is, can I do it? My longest ride so far is 25 miles. My bike will be back from the shop and hit the road Saturday. I figure I've got 2 weeks, to determine if I can make it. I really want to, but I also don't want to bite off more than I can chew. What do you think? For the record, I want to push myself, and grow and improve. This sounds like a good, safe way to do that, yes?

Another funny thing about this morning, the bike guy loved my bike. He was all over it, and kept on saying how nice it was. When I told him what I spent on it (he asked), he just about fell over. Nice to get verification that I made a good choice, 'cause I love my baby!

The SUN!!!!

Haven't seen it here since 5/7 or thereabouts. 10 gloomy foggy wet days. And on top of that, it's WARM. I went for a short run this morning and it was perfect in shorts and a light wicking tshirt. Nice sun, a gentle breeze, and the mildest temps we've had since April. WAAAAHOOOOOOO!

Seriously, if you could just see my grin :-))

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dream races

We all have them. They are part of what makes us get up at 5 in the morning, or turn our nose up at the chocolate donut, or lift a few more weights, or stay on the bike another 30 minutes. What are the races where you hope to compete some day?

Here are mine, ranked from more realistic/closer in time, to those that are still far off dreams:
1). Baltimore Half Mary (hope to run that this fall)
2). Chicago Accenture Oly Tri (next year?)
3). Bath Shipbuilders Oly Tri (2007)
4). Wildflower (2008?)
5). Timberman Half Iron (2008 or 09)
6). Paris Marathon & Maine Marathon (2009)

Part of the reasoning/rationale for these choices is that I want to race in places where I spent time as the old, heavy, unathletic me, so I can reintroduce myself as the lighter, healthier, athletic me!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Do something every day!

I used to be so good at this. In addition to my regular training, and on off days, I'd do crunches and pushups while I was watching TV. Or arm exercises using hand weights. Or just take a walk. Or practice yoga. This spring, the struggles continue. If I plan to do something every day, then I won't get thrown for a loop if its too rainy, or too cold, or something else comes around to conspire against my plans. I've got to keep moving keep moving keep moving.

Counting up the damage.

Over the last weekend, we had as much as 14 inches of rain across Massachusetts. I'm pretty sure we got close to that here, as my watering can was half full when I went out this morning. That's after a rainy, foggy, week, too. There was so much standing water, roads were closed. Needless to say, I didn't go too far -- which includes the gym, so no swimming, or treadmill running or biking (I'm *not* sacrificing the new tires to the trainer, so sue me). I managed some stretching for my achilles, and some core work.

I also shopped on-line. A LOT.

Along with the aerobars and new cycling shorts I reported below, I also got: a new gym bag, a new speedo to replace the one stolen at the gym (my fault, I left it drying in the sauna for too long), 2 pairs of work pants, silver/turquoise summer sandals, a cassis-colored summer dress (I'm an optomist, it *has* to get here) , a turquoise summer top, and a black swim skirt, so I can wear my speedo to the beach. I actually didn't spend all that much, between sales, and coupons and bargain shopping. It's been a while since I did a big shop, and it was FUN. I can't wait for all the packages to get here over the next 10 days!

The good news is that I also cooked some terrific healthy food for the week: Carrot salad in a cumin-orange dressing; Eggplant-Chickpea tagine; Olive-Almond pesto; breakfast wheat couscous (with almonds and dried cherries, blueberries, and raspberries); extra plain wheat couscous; and a big batch of grilled veggies. That should help make the week simple, and I can make the gym regularly for indoor training, as it is supposed to continue raining until Thursday.

I think its a good thing I'm headed to the gym after work, I've obviously got some ENERGY to release.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Cutting out evil Sugar

I realized this week that I'm relying on sugar more than I want to, and more than is healthy. I get cravings for it, and want to eat sugary foods, even when i'm full. I'm usually a "savory" girl, who likes her occasional chocolate jag, but lately, I've been favoring sweet. Which means its time to put evil sugar aside. I'm not even eating fruit much lately which I really do adore -- in favor of cereal bars, muffins, lunas, anything with refined sugar. So, just like I said adieu to coffee, so goes sugar.

FYI, the coffee bit has worked well. I've been drinking tea, and actually had coffee today and thought it tasted awful, YAY! Lets hope sugar tastes as awful, in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and hey, Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms, Grandmoms, and every mothering type out there! It's been a pretty terrific celebratory week for motherhood in my family!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Back to FitDay

Point counting doesn't seem to be working all that well for me, especially as my training slowly increases upward. Back to Fit Day , where I've had pretty good success, as has Ms. Toby!

Ordered my aerobars!

Hopefully, they'll be a lot easier to get on than the new tires.

Is it 650 wheels, or my female hands (which are pretty strong), or just my general lack of mechanical skills and experience. I STRUGGLED with getting the new tires on my bike. The front wheel I've changed several times, although not in a while. The old tire was tight, and it took lots of work to get it off, and then the new one went on easier, until the end, when it was awful. Of course, I managed to split the tube in the process (after the new tire was on, of course). So back off again, new tube, then tire on again. An hour later, my hands covered with grease (no matter *what* I do on my bike, I end up grease streaked), a couple of bloody knuckles, a sore thumb, and down a tube, but I have a new Vredestein on the front wheel.

On to the rear. I was worried about tackling the back wheel. I'd never taken that one off or on before. Got good instructions from Tink, and that was the easiest part. This one was faster, but dirtier. Lots of black muck -- tire dust, I guess, from the trainer. 30 minutes, and I'm pressing the wheel back into the rear, the skewer engages, and POP, there goes the second tube. I do have another, but I've also got tire fatigue, and beat up hands. I'll either tackle it later, or let the LBS handle it, when I take her in for her tune-up tomorrow.

I'm glad I can *do* the change, but if I was in a race, forget it, I'd be done. Should I practice, to get better? I know I'm going to be sorry I've asked that question, aren't I?

New bike shorts are coming with the aerobars too, and I've got some assos chamois cream to try out. Now, if only it would only stop raining . . . . . . . Thank goodness for internet shopping, I think I'd go nuts, with all this rain, without that to distract me! I guess its time to learn how to ride in the rain, spend more time in the pool, and work on my yoga and pilates. The wonderful (and nutty) thing about this sport is that there is always something to improve upon.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Neph2 pics!

Wow, do I miss my boys.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mindfulness & Eating - a few helpful reminders

When you bring the light of awareness to your eating, you'll develop an inner sense of what truly nourishes you. If this kind of focus doesn't come naturally to you, you can start with just one or two elements of mindfulness at a time. The following suggestions can help you cultivate a body that is well fed by an intentional mind.

Take a moment of silence, or actually say grace, before eating.

Sit down for meals and slow down to savor them.

Choose foods of such high quality—fresh, organically grown, thoughtfully prepared—that nutrition is optimal and satisfaction comes easily.

Experience with full consciousness the pleasure of eating, the comfort of having plenty but not too much, and the energizing lightness that comes when the stomach isn't full.

Let go of fear—fear of eating too much or weighing too much, fear of being an imperfect yogi or an imperfect person.

Seek help—if eating too much is a long-standing and baffling problem—from a nutritionist, therapist, or support group as an adjunct to the ultimate authority, the wisdom that resides within.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Walk Bonds Now!

I know this isn't about triathlon, but I said baseball would make its way into my posts every now and again. Besides, Sox-Yanks are about to get rained out ;-)

I think every pitcher or every team opposing the SF Giants should intentionally walk Barry Bonds in every single at bat, for the rest of the season, and the next season, until he retires. He's a liar, and a cheat, and he shouldn't get to fake-break any more records.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Auntie Again!

Neph2 is here!!! Ian was born on Saturday at 12:05 AM, and everyone is terrific. I was able to be with my sister before delivery, and then right after the birth, when Ian and I were introduced. He is adorable, and has this shock of dark hair. I spent the rest of the weekend taking care of, and chasing after, his 2 1/2 year-old big brother, Jason. We had a blast! But how to single Moms do it? That's my lil sis and "my boyz" in the pic above. Cuties, yes? (that's a rhetorical question of course, I know the answer ;-))

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bike, bike, and more bike.

In the last 10 days, I've just about doubled my biking mileage for the year (although that's not saying much about my totals)! Amazing how with some time and attention, I'm spinning faster and my seat feels much more comfortable. Now, as soon as I get my new tires, I'll be back out on the road.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I am at peace with my body. I am at peace with my mind. I am at peace with my heart. I am at peace with my soul.

I am serene. I am strong. I am focussed.

(and that's just 36 hours without coffee, and one really good yoga practice. ahhhhhhhh)