The Triing Lizard

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I come from a do it yourself family. When I was living with my parents when I was little we never called in contractors, painters, plumbers, or electricians - my parents did it all! My dad would fix plumbing and electrical problems and my mom would paint and help my dad with all kinds of household projects. My mom learned how to do all the plumbing and electrical stuff along the way and now she is as good as my dad is! So when I bought my new house I knew I was going to need to learn alot. My parents were 360 miles away and I was going to have to deal with the problems MYSELF as they came up - this was scary! I didn't even consider that I could HIRE someone to help me with problems.

So a couple years into owning my house (and after many phone calls to my parents for assistance with problems) my mom decided that I needed to renovate my kitchen. I think it was mainly an excuse to spend more time with me but I think another big reason was that she really wanted to teach me how to be self reliant and teach me that I could fix stuff around the house myself without needing anyone else's help. So she and my dad came out every other weekend to work on the kitchen. She drew up elaborate project plans, drawings, timelines, and slowly the kitchen evolved. And along the way I learned a ton.

Since then I've been tackling plumbing problems, small electrical projects, and cabinet installation ALL by myself!! So far I've been pretty successful. I almost feel like I don't have the option to hire a professional. BUT this self reliance and the fact that I have a full time job and lots of other things going on I put off projects knowing that I can do them myself and that I don't NEED to hire someone to do it.

My house has needed to be painted for a while. The paint had started to peel and it was an ugly dingy white. I kept thinking, I just need to rent a sprayer from home depot, rent a really long ladder, and then get up there and DO IT. Time went by. More time went by. It still wasn't done. The house was still dingy white. I had to come home to a dingy white house. I didn't like this. One day I decide to get a quote from a contractor, it's expensive but really not that bad. And I had the money. So I decided to go through with it. This was a BIG STEP for me because it meant that I was not going to do it myself and there was some potential that my parents would find out and be disappointed in me. A few months later the painting company calls me and say they'll be there tomorrow to do the job. They arrived on Tuesday morning at 8:00, just when they said they would and painted my house a bright and shiny white! I came home from work, and it was DONE!!!!!! It was almost like MAGIC (except that I know how much work it really is, that is hard work)!! I didn't have to lift a finger, except long enough to write out the check. Every day I come home from work I appreciate my bright white house and how pretty it looks and I am glad that I finally hired someone to do it. It was worth every penny! And I'm not even feeling guilty about not doing it myself! I'm just so glad that it's done.

Monday, August 28, 2006

IronGirl Columbia Triathlon Race Report!
Triathlon - Sprint (.62 mi swim, 17.5 mi bike, 3.3 mi run)
Total Time = 2h 2m 57s
Overall Rank = 312/1249
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 50/203

Pre-race routine:
Up bright and early, had my usual breakfast of coffee and granola, drove to the race where my bike was already set up. Set up transition area and decided to head over to the start to check out the swim course and watch the pros start (my wave didn't start for another hour after that).

Event warmup:
The plan was to watch the pros and then head back to the transition area, warm up a bit, drink my Accelerade, and then head back to the start (which wasn't exactly close, maybe a 10 minute walk). But then they announced that they were closing the transition area in 10 minutes (I was way by the start when I heard that!) So change of plans, I walked really fast back to transition, got my car keys, ran to the car to get another bag, ran back to the transition area, grabbed the stuff that I was going to need for the swim, and then headed back to the start! Too bad I did all this warming up an hour before my swim wave! :) Headed back to the start to watch the other waves.

So I was standing near the shore watching the swimmers when this one older woman starts yelling from the water "I need help, I need help" and there were a bunch of us standing there but all of us kind of froze. I thought she was just going to need help getting onto shore but that she could make it to the shore (it was close) but no, she meant IMMEDIATELY! So one of the other spectators jumped in the water and got her up. She just looked totally exhausted. I felt bad that I had just frozen and not helped. But at least she was okay, that was really surprising.

Swim Ranking –
Age Group: 121/203
Overall: 764/1249
Ave Pace: 2:11 min/100 yards

Swim Comments:
Started off fine and was able to draft a bit but then I kept swimming RIGHT, I kept doing that the entire time. So I would keep running into people or people would keep running into me. Finally I settled down a bit and I was doing fine and then I realized that no one was around me! Ugh! So no drafting opportunities really. I don't know if I was really that slow or if I was just way off to the right since I kept swimming right. Based on the age group rank it looks like I was really SLOW! Wow, I guess I know what I need to work on! :)

What would you do differently?:
More open water swims! Figure out why I keep pulling right.

T1 Comments:
Good fast transition, much faster than if I had been wearing a wetsuit! 4th place in my age group for this transition time!!!

What would you do differently?:

Biking Ranking –
Age Group: 43/203
Overall: 309/1249
Ave Pace: 16.48 mi/hr

Bike Course:
Course had some good hills but all my training on Jerome Jay really helped, they were WAY EASIER than Jerome Jay so it really didn't seem too bad. I really pushed like crazy on the bike, I figured why not really try to go as fast as I can, isn't that the point? :) I did some standing climbs, just like I've been practicing when I'm out with Jeff, that seems to help keep my heart rate down on the hills a little so I can recover quicker.

Bike Comments:
At one point I'm cruising along and I hear a click and then I hear myself running over something! I was a little concerned about a flat and then someone said to me, you just lost something off your bike, something black and plastic. So I start looking down trying to figure out what it was. We come to a hill and I'm changing gears and still trying to figure out what I had lost and I dropped my chain. So I pulled over, put my chain back on and took off again. I look down again and I start going through in my head all the things I should have on my bike and I realize that I lost my left aerobar arm rest! It was too late to go back at that point so I just said forget it and kept going. I caught the girl that told me and I told her what it was and thanked her. The pin had come out of it completely. So all my aero position riding from there on out was with my left arm on my handlebars! It was pretty funny.

Then I saw someone crash when going around one of the corners, she had taken it too wide and didn't realize that there were cars waiting in a line to go the other direction! Luckily she didn't collide with the car so it was okay. Definitely an eventful ride!

What would you do differently?:
Fix my aerobar armrest! Not freak out and drop my chain! Other than that, nothing, my deraillers worked perfectly and everything else went pretty well!

T2 Comments:
Pretty good transition, was debating wearing my visor but since it was mainly overcast I decided against it. Took longer than my first transition b/c I put socks on.

Run Ranking –
Age Group: 53/203
Overall: 310/1249
Ave Pace: 9:24 min/mi

Run Comments:
Run went pretty well, every time I saw someone in my age group I kept trying to pass them. At the end I really sprinted in because there were two people in my age group right in front of me and I finished right in front of them! Normally I'm just trying to get through my races but today I felt like I could really push and be competitive, it was fun! I had NOTHING left at the end, my whole body was exhausted, muscularly and cardio-vascularly. It was nice to know that I had given my all. Oh, and my new Zoot tri top worked spectacularly!!!! No riding up, no chafing, very comfortable!

What would you do differently?:
Eat one gel, I never took the time to do that, I probably should have, I think it would have helped. Since I pushed on the bike I didn't have as much left for the run, usually I do much better in the run than the bike!

Warm down:
Drank lots of water, found the food this time (last time I raced a CTA race at Centennial I could not find the food), ate a bagel and a popsicle and then headed down to cheer on people coming in. It was cool because a mom and daughter pair came through, the mom was 57, the daughter 28, they looked like they had a lot of fun.

What limited your ability to perform faster:
Climbing muscles! My weakest event is still the bike, I need to keep getting out there and climbing Jerome Jay, and I need to start lifting weights again, I think all of that will help. Cardio vascularly I was okay, though by the end of the run I was really starting to breathe hard!

Event comments:
I was a little bummed that my dad decided to stay home and not come to the race with me, it would have been fun to have him there to hang out with. Oh well. I ended up really enjoying the race anyway, loved the fact that it was all women, everyone was very encouraging and helped each other out. One of the run drink stations was manned with "macho men" - they were in crazy costumes and stuff, it was funny. Lots of cool giveaways too, race metal had a pink band and the metal itself was the pink irongirl flower, a keychain with the irongirl logo on it, water bottle, energy bars, gels, etc. And the race shirt was nice, fits perfectly, you can tell it is designed for women. I can't wait for my next tri!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The ongoing NO WETSUIT TRIATHLON apparel saga! Thanks for all your support, despite losing some weight and being healthier I still carry around a horrible body image!

After one quick stop at tri-speed, the local triathlon store, my trigear issues have been solved! I venture into the store with some hesitation, it's not my favorite place, (I think it's b/c the people that work there are all super skinny super athletes, something tells me that none of them have had to worry about things riding up or wearing multiple bras that can cut off lung capacity, etc, etc). So I walk in and they greet me and ask me what I'm looking for, etc. I tell them I'm looking for a tri suit and they show me the racks. Well, it turns out they only have extra small in the full tri suit. I'm guessing most people who are extra large do not purchase full tri suits. Okay, I get it. So change of gears. I'm going to have to settle for a tri top but the one I get MUST be LONG (avoid the riding up) and it must not be tight (no rolls) but it can't be loose (too much drag on the swim), oh and it has to be pretty (asthetics are important)! This is quite a tall order. So I go through the racks and look for the largest possible tops, grab four, and head to the fitting room (or in this case, the bathroom). The first one looks horrendous (shocker, white with stripes, worst possible combination for me), the second one looks okay (royal with white panels on the sides), the third one is WAY too short, and the forth one looks okay (turquoise, really pretty color). After I put each one on I start running and jumping in place to see if the thing is going to ride up (good thing it was a bathroom and not one of those fitting rooms where they can see your feet). The second and the forth both fit the bill. And I notice that the second one is 50% off - bonus! Decision made. And for a heck of a lot less money than I thought it was going to be! $30 instead of $95 for a full tri suit! I'm going to wear it for all my upcoming races, it has pockets on the sides for gels and it fits great even with a second bra underneath! I'm ready for IRONGIRL!!!!!

Lizard's New Tri Top:

Friday, August 18, 2006

I am having major pre-race no wetsuits allowed anxiety!!!!!! I found out that my next triathlon will not allow wetsuits because the water is going to be too warm. For all of us triathletes that do not have perfect bodies, this is cause for some major anxiety.

Some background here on the triathlons that allow wetsuits... So normally I would only have to bare my midsection and sports bra for a brief moment in the transition area in T1 right after I have frantically and ungracefully peeled my wetsuit off. This process of peeling off the wetsuit is always well, awkward would be an understatement. This requires a lot of pulling, grabbing, twisting, bending, jumping on one foot, and sometimes ends in me on the ground. So I've already made a fool of myself before I expose my neon white midsection that has never seen the sun. Anyone still looking at this point would need to avert their eyes to avoid being blinded. But at this point I'm normally just so glad I got the wetsuit off without knocking over the entire rack of bikes that I forget about the fact that I am standing almost naked. In front of a lot of people. But usually my embarrassment is pretty low because well, I am in the middle of a race, I am focused on getting all of my bike stuff on. Plus, who is really watching the people in the transition area anyway? All the elites have gone by so everyone is watching the racers still coming in from the swim running from the water to the transition area and cheering on the bikers starting out the bike leg.

So this brings me to the main issue: what to do about the NO WETSUIT triathlon.

1. Must show belly before swim wave starts
2. Possibility that bra will unclasp during swim. It has 15 clasps so the possibility that ALL 15 come unclasped is unlikely but oh my goodness would it be embarrassing if my bra came off.
3. Must show belly as I run from water to the transition area (all eyes on me), YIKES!!!!!! Belly fat flying.

Two options:
1. Go with the sports bra and bike shorts and add the shirt in T1 (Pro: no soggy shirt during bike and run so less possibility of chafing, Con: the obvious, the neon belly is shown off before and after the swim and there still exists the possibility )
2. Swim with the shirt over the sports bra (Pro: no belly showing, Cons: soggy wetness during bike and run, the shirt that I have hikes up when I bike and run so the darn thing ends up showing my belly anyway, ugh.)
3. Buy a tri suit! Is fear a good enough excuse to spend more money on tri gear?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A funny thing happened the other day. My manager who sits right next to me leans really close to me and whispers - "you're living with your boyfriend right?" And I was worried that she was going to launch into a speech about why I'm going to hell because I live with my boyfriend and am not married and blah blah blah, you know the standard religious no sex before marriage speech. I respond kind of defensively, yes he does live with me, bracing myself for what was about to come next. And she responds "because someone asked about you, you know, whether or not you were single." I was shocked. I don't think that's ever happened to me, usually whoever it is somehow lets me know in one way or another. And I got all embarassed. And then I started wondering WHO IT COULD BE, everyone I work with is pretty much married. So I ask her who it was if she could say at all. And she said it was a friend of someone in one of the meetings she was in, she wasn't sure who though. I didn't press further but now I'm walking around the office wondering who the heck it is!!!!

Meanwhile I just discovered that Odyssey is offering a trail half marathon on the same day as Jeff's half iron duathlon (Sept 9th). So I'm going to plan to do that as a training run and then volunteer for the rest of the day. I really want to do the half iron off road triathlon but I don't think I could handle 7300 feet of climbing in 56 miles, all off road. My training rides that consist of 3500 feet of climbing in 50 miles on road are tough enough! Maybe I'll be able to do it next year if I really can improve my climbing. It should be a fun weekend though, it's down in the mountains of Virginia at Douthat State Park, supposed to be beautiful!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Work is sort of driving me crazy at the moment. I am in Test Case HELL. I am writing the most excruciatingly detailed test cases and it is starting to be REALLY BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My mind keeps wandering and I can't seem to stay on task. And the other analyst on my team is undermining my authority this morning by going behind my back to our boss RIGHT AFTER asking me how something should be done. I am the sr analyst on the team and I have a hell of a lot more experience than he does but he still feels the need to double check EVERYTHING I say with our boss. ARGH. (And it turned out that I was right for the record!) And there is a guy who sits in the row behind me who has to complain about EVERYTHING, like this morning he decided to go on a rant about our redesigned website that my company just rolled out to its retail customers. The site is beautiful, it looks really nice, I checked it out myself after his rant. He has to find something wrong with everything, and he sits and complains almost every morning about SOMETHING. But here I am complaining about him complaining... :)

But I really can't complain, I am inside in a COOL building, fed, caffeinated, and happy to be sitting down, my body is pleasantly sore from last night's 2 volleyball matches. It was fun b/c the second match I played in a league that was two leagues above where I normally play. And wow, were they good. It definitely made me play better than I normally do which was really fun. I got all my hits over and in and none of them were blocked. And I shouldn’t be complaining because I am going to the Outer Banks in North Carolina with my family next week for vacation!! I can't wait! My mom will be there too which will be really cool, I haven't been on vacation with her since I was a kid. This will be so much fun. I hope we plan on doing a talent show again this year like we did last year in the Adirondacks. The kids (and parents) were so much fun to watch. I need to think of something to do... Hmm, that might be a good project for me to do today to avoid actually getting any work done!! I don’t think I can really use my run, bike, or swim talents, that would be tough to demonstrate during a talent show… I know, I’ll play something on my flute!!! Hopefully I still remember how to play my flute. Do I still have my flute?