Sunday, July 30, 2006


Greetings from Keystone/Dillon Colorado!
These pictures were taken at about 11500 ft. Air's a little thin up there! Beautiful up here though. Just a few quick observations....I'm competing with about 18 other adults for computer time so I have to be brief:

Kansas is flat and windy.
Kate watched an entire movie in French and called it "fancy Spanglish". Cracked me up.
No one drives minivans in CO therefore me = LOSER!
I am sick over the fact I didn't bring my bike...there are cyclists and trails ALL over.
Ran this morning in clean, crisp air (albeit thin) with breathtaking views.
30 people is ALOT of people to go on "vacation" with.
Heard they're turning the heat up all over again. No air conditioning here...hope we're up high enough! Stay cool!

Friday, July 28, 2006

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. -George Moore

So these hillbillies are heading to Keystone Colorado for 9 days. Elevation 9000ft. Bringing our bubba teeth so we don’t forget where we’re from! This is Kate and her buddy Kaitlyn. I hope to post occasionally but I’m not sure my oxygen-deprived brain will make much sense. Be well!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Ack. I had a post all ready to go and it disappeared. so here's the short version

*Insurance companies suck; big reason today is b/c they outsource their provider relations to INDIA where speaking English does not seem to be a prerequisite to employment.

*I found a great new blog called the "Fat Cyclist". I'll add it to the list on the right. Here's an example: Riding with Darth Vader
The first mile or two of the race are all climbing on graded dirt road, which is a good place to pass a few people. Then you’re on tight singletrack for miles and miles and you pretty much can count on being with the group you’re with for a while.
I, as near as I could tell, was riding directly in front of Darth Vader.
I didn’t dare look back to tell if he was wearing the mask and black cape, because I figured he’d stick a light saber in my spokes or something, but I knew it was Darth Vader from the loud breathing. Kkkkrrreeehhhh….kkkkrrooohhh. Kkkkrrreeehhhh….kkkkrrooohhh. Regular as clockwork.
“Good day for a bike ride this is,” I said, in my best Yoda voice.
Darth Vader didn’t get it.

*Rode monday night- had a great time. Hung with the peloton for the first 6 miles and hit 27.7 mph (flat-not downhill) Yeehaw! Turned a corner and was dropped like a bad habit. Picture above is an example of my alone time. Corn and more corn.

My temp reads 96. That means hills at dusk for me. Swim tomorrow.

Holy crap Lance Bass is gay. Was I the only one who didn't see that coming?

Monday, July 24, 2006

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were......

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.
Louise Erdrich

In an otherwise uneventful weekend I observed something I least expected. I'm still sorting through my reaction and subsequent emotions. I'll elaborate....

I live in a newer development in a western suburb of St. Louis. Lots of kids, SUV's and parents mortgaged within an inch of their lives. We've lived here 4 years this week. I think there's about 60 homes in the subdivision. There are at least 4 families that I know of that came here from the middle east....Pakistan, I believe. I don't know the families well but see them walking often. Mostly friendly and reserved. They still wear the traditional colorful robes. The older women still cover their heads with scarves. The men are in charge and from what I can tell the women do all the work in the home and literally do not have voice. Yet, they are still deeply committed to their culture. I wonder what they think living among ours. One of the bunko girls has a son, who plays with Muhammoud. Muhammoud's two uncles began the process of having arranged marriages this year. One of my other neighbors felt the need to step in when an older man slapped his wife in the face while standing in the driveway. It has been an interesting dilemma for me. I am not racist and try very hard to practice tolerance and be non-judgemental. To me, that means respecting another's point of view, even when it doesn't match my own. But can I respect a culture that includes domestic violence? What would I have done? Do I look the other way in the name of respecting someone's culture? I can't assume that the beautiful women I see walking up and down my block feel oppressed and unheard. But I am dying to find out. But there's so much more to it than the distance of 25 feet or so from my porch to the sidewalk they stand on. So, that's been my internal dialog over the last few years.
Until this weekend.
I'm walking in a tank top, shorts and flip flops. Enough clothes to be decent walking up to Bunko Amy's house to get my Pampered Chef stuff. I am met by two women wearing the black garb of the stereotypical middle east. All black robes, covered head, covered face....the only thing showing are the slits of their eyes. Likely from overseas, visiting some family members I realized later. First...this was a little surprising to me. I needed to quickly recover and decide how I might address these ladies in like the next 7 seconds. Somehow my brain surmised that I was not going to get much feedback and that's so unexpected in our society. But I figured, I'll Pollyanna my way through this like I do mostly everything else. Said "hello, how are you" with a big smile. And looked them straight in the eyes. Now most encounters like this with strangers involve very brief eye contact and a smile of acknowledgement in the US, correct? WELL, there was an older woman carrying a little boy..and that was her response. But, the second younger woman, did not say anything but caught my eye and held it. Like she sensed my unease and I swear I heard in my head, "I am just like you". And then she nodded and that was it. Was a powerful moment for me. In the span of about 10 seconds.

What are your most powerful moments? Sometimes they're hard to put into words.

Well, my sinuses finally cleared so I feel like a human again. Not much in the log due to heat and disease. 45 min. bike Sat. morning. 1 hour run sunday afternoon and got a little overheated. Feeling better today so off to the races in St. Charles tonight!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mach-S, the speed at which stress can't keep up, is simply forward motion.

Mach-S, the speed at which stress can't keep up, is simply forward motion. But it has to be self- propelled. Note that people in cars are still stressed.
Jef Mallett, Frazz, 08-26-05

Frazz is the name and main character of my favorite comic strip. Google Frazz if you're curious.

I'm in the concrete cave today. Just as well....the parking lot is about to burst into flames.

I also seem to have acquired a sinus condition. My face hurts. Got an interesting little pseudoephedrine buzz going on but at least I can breathe through both nostrils.

So, I dropped my phone, AGAIN, and it finally broke. Well, it worked but my screen went blank. Good news is since it's not cracked they'll replace it under warranty. Bad news is I think I lost all my phone numbers and the photos I had saved. And I can't take a quick picture of my bike upgrades. But I'll fill you in.

Going into a bike shop is always a little intimidating to me. Especially this time since while cleaning my chain I managed to completely mess up my deraileur and couldn't shift out of my middle ring, and if I tried, I got this horrible grinding noise and my chain would leap off the ring. Leaving me clipped to my pedals and spinning wildly. I also had to carry my computer in, in a ziploc bag because I was missing a part and I couldn't put it back together. I was a trainwreck. Hard to look cool wearing chain grease from knees to ankles and my computer duct taped to my handlebars.
Since I was done dealing with the 12 year old punks at the closest bike shop to my house, I ventured to a sponsor of the STL tri club (15% discount) after making an appointment with Stu. Stu knows EVERYBODY and apparantly Friday nite is social night at the bike store. I was told he's the guru who can fit a road bike with a pair of aerobars and make it more like a tri, or TT (time-trial) bike. I call him ADHD Stu because he's this little person who didn't stop moving or talking the entire nearly 2 1/2 hours I was there. Unless he stood back and told me to pedal. At which point he'd usually screw-up his eyebrows and say things like...."does your neck hurt? You probably have tendonitis in both your elbows." That would explain the tingling in my forearms.
I was encouraged though because the whole time he bounced around me all Tigger-like he said how much I'm going to like being fit correctly. What got my attention was that he kept taking things OFF my bike and REPLACING things that he took from various parts of the store. I'm pretty sure when he saw me walk into the store that I saw his eyes turn into little green dollar signs. I'm not an idiot but i was pretty much at the mercy of his experience. But damn if he didn't set me up straight. And he patiently answered all my questions. After my first and only ride so far it's money well spent. And like Paula said....I do look like "the shit" and then some. :)But now I have to walk the walk.

Enough about my silly hobby. I'm watching this whole frozen embryo/stem cell research bill that W decided to veto. Which he announced surrounded by HEALTHY children that came from frozen embryos. What about the sick babies who could be helped by research done on embryos that would otherwise likely be discarded as medical waste? I can only hope that he's privy to information the general public doesn't have. I hope it's true that they are indeed figuring out a way to extract stem cells before the embryo actually becomes an embryo. Any thoughts?

I'm looking forward to some rain....a nice summer storm to be exact.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language. -Henry James

I love summer and the heat but this is a little ridiculous. Kudos to the girls who got their long runs in (Lisa-18!!!, Josie-12!!!, Paula-12!!!!!) . You will be ready come Oct. 1. I can't wait.

2+ hours sitting on my bike in front of two very large and unforgiving mirrors and I have a brand new ride! I will elaborate later...I provided Stu, the ADHD fitter who perfected my bike, with some good entertainment Friday night. More later (I dropped my camera phone so I don't have the pics right now).

The future of "girl power" was in my kitchen chewing on pb&js, doritos and grapes Sun.. going through teen magazines and bebop'n to the stereo. I should have known peaceful moments with 7 girls under 8yrs old wouldn't last long. But it was nice while it lasted and I try to savor those moments while I'm still allowed in the room.

The ESPY awards were hosted by Mr. Lance Armstrong last night. They had some GREAT commercials...better then the superbowl I thought. My boyfriend Matthew McCaughnahgghy (I can't spell his name) introduced a story about two young girls from Afghanistan who were awarded the Arther Ashe "Courage"? award. Very inspiring. I am looking for the clip and hope to add it here. I want to show it to my daughters.

Not much in the log: Sat. 8am-12 mile LSL short course with Tori, 1 mile transition run. Sun am, 3 mile tempo run (9:30/mile...quick for me) on the treadmill...blech. Sweat all over the damn place.

Stay cool!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway."

A few quick things:

That's all of me, having a ball, near the end of my last race.

I'm about to get more aerodynamic tomorrow...gonna pimp my ride with aerobars. Bikeshop wrenches will also probably get a good laugh at how mismatched my fit is. That will be fixed also. Hope I remember to shave my legs. Might make handling the bike a little more unstable temporarily. Say a little prayer for me so I don't get up close and personal with blacktop or ditch.

Log: Tuesday, rode LSL race course to prepare for Sept 2 sprint tri. 11.4 mile w/rolling hills (and more cows). Easy pace 41 min.. Piece of cake. Watch for times to come down. Thursday 5:50am, 2850yds sprints. Going to clean my chain and re-grease it tonight. Ha! So I'm guessing every kid in the neighborhood will also have clean chains.

Trivia- Who sings "The Heat Is On"? Fierce heat and humidity here this weekend.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.

So, it's hard for me to admit that I don't know "stuff". But I also know that "fake it til ya make it" will only get me so far. I don't understand how to buy a car. I've never had to jump start a car. I don't understand my mortgage. I don't know how to clean the chain on my bike. All of it relevant, all of it leaving me feeling vulnerable and child-like and embarrassed. I have always let someone come to my rescue. I'm going to be 35 years old next month! I can do most of the testing needed to diagnose a brain tumor but I have no idea if I'm getting hosed when I'm looking for a car. Frustrating. Ridiculous. Humorous? Sometimes, if it wasn't so pathetic.

I saw The Break-Up with V.Vaughn and J.Aniston. Interesting flick....good ending. Not what I was expecting. I got to hang with the silly girls (not the silicone-d ones) in my neighborhood for the monthly "drunko" (bunko=dice game) night. Sangria and chocolate martinis and Poison (the band-don't ask)....I'm sure several ladies were hating parenting small children Sat. morning.. As usual, I was the first to leave (after midnight btw) so I was fully expecting to get TP'd but I was spared. Cleanup was needed by the girl who bailed at the last minute. Lunch Sat.. with Terri who indulged my request for a ride in her cute little Miata convertible. One of the smartest people I know, she had me belly laughing with stories about her boss who is right out of The Devil Wears Prada. Too funny and thank goodness, by some divine intervention, she flagged me down last year, in her even cuter yellow mini cooper. Swam with my girls, played with my girls and finally signed them up for their kids tri on Aug. 19th. Good weekend.

Log:Thursday:swim day....delayed because Pukemeister Kate kept me up Wed nite) pm 3.5mile tempo run. Fri pm 2500m swim sprint workout on dri erase board at the pool. I have no idea what group it was for. Sunday, 27mile ride followed by 15 min. run.. Mon. pm 4miles w/hill repeats..

I must confess I fell off the wagon yesterday as predicted. Monday night is my favorite flats ride where I can just hammer for awhile. It hasn't rained here in weeks but of course as i'm leaving work it starts to pour. Yes I can ride in the rain but out on country roads it decreases visibility to nothing and without a shoulder it invites death by automobile. Drat! So, I go home and eat three oreos (ok 8 oreos) and a big glass of milk. 45 minutes later the rain stops. Dammit! Feeling guilty I decide now is as good a time as any to start hill repeats. Apparantly if I want to stop walking up hills while running and riding I need to train better on hills and that means hill repeats. Imagine that. Lucky for me about a mile down the road is an overpass thorough a relatively quiet neighborhood that is about 1/4 of a mile and takes me like 3 minutes to climb up and run back down. Not so lucky for me is the effect of a tummy full of oreos and milk on a hot and humid afternoon. Not recommended. But since I basically refuse to vomit I survived and even lost 2 lbs. Sweat rate....see prior post.

WI + humidity = uncomfortable. MO + humidity = sauna. This is the effect I experienced yesterday. Turn on your shower as hot as it will go until you can see steam clouds in the bath room. Exercise until your heart rate is about 160 bpm. Swallow often to keep cookies down. continue for 40 minutes. You're me!!! In Missouri!!!

Anyone wanna come visit? :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"You always have a choice and the choice can be power."- Blaine Lee

Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.
-Blaine Lee, The Power Principle

I'm not quite sure what's going on with me...but my efforts lately to "live an examined life" have lead me to believe I can and should live more simply. I think for me it means "less stuff". I fell into the trap of thinking that if I'm successful and happy my life should "look" a certain way. Mission life "looks" pretty darn good. But for awhile now it doesn't feel right. So, I am trying to be present in every moment and be mindful of the differences between my wants and needs. Naturally, my new thinking has been met with some suspicion and my children have been bearing the brunt of my new philosophy. "What?! Only one activity per weekend? What do you mean get a smaller car without a DVD player!? Make a birthday list for all the extra stuff?!" The horrors of delaying gratification. The good thing I've discovered for me is that so far, I'm able to meet my needs (food, shelter, clothing, transportation) without too much trouble. And after wants are really only to have more time to DO what makes me happy. Thankfully, spending time with my girls are one of the things that makes me really happy. Spending time with friends and training are the other two things that keep me balanced. So basically what I've discovered is that what I thought were material needs....are actually choices. And in realizing frees up alot of time and effort to make experiences that count. and even realizing that the sky won't fall if my wants don't get met....I can control how much BS I am willing to tolerate. If anyone's're probably thinking "DUH" but I was definitely caught up the the "keeping up with the Jones's" mentality of my suburban existance. So, that's where I'm at today. And don't think I took the $3000 Trek Equinox tri bike off my list. Girl's gotta dream.

So, training. Log: Friday, 4.5 mile run (hot). Sunday: 27+ mile bike with small group.(hotter) Tuesday: 4.5 mile run (sauna)
I have overcome my motivational block on the bike. I shook myself pretty badly two weeks ago but I guess it was just a bad ride. Jeff was kind enough to include me again and we all had a pretty good day. I was more than able to keep up with the boys. Better yet, I enjoyed myself and was ready for more.

I had planned on riding again Tuesday and got all ready but got out to my bike and had a flat back tire???!!! I was on alittle time crunch but I thought it would be good practice to see how fast I could do it. So I get started on that while sweat is pouring down my face standing in the garage. Did I mention it was hot yesterday? All the while being peppered with questions from all the neighborhood kids. "What are you doing? Are you going for a bike ride? Where are you going? Is it broke? Why did you do that?" AAGgghhhh! My biking getup usually brings an audience but I think it's just so rare for any grown ups in our neighborhood to do anything recreational (unless you call injecting your various body parts with silicone and/or cutting your lawn a sport) that they don't know quite what to do with me. Everything is fine until I try to put a little air in the tube. Replacement tube is 1/4 inch too SMALL! So after a few more questions from the gang I asked my standard "I'm done answering questions" questions. Is anyone bleeding? (not right now says the gang) Is anything on fire? (not right now says the gang)...then GO PLAY I say!!!!
So I leave my dismantled bike leaning up against the trash can (metaphor?) and change my shoes and remove my jersey Brandi Chastain style. I'm mad, now I'm running and I don't care who sees my big ole belly's just too damn hot.

Behold the sports bra.....a powerful choice.

Oh, and I took the citizen test and unfortunately I would be denied.