Saturday, December 30, 2006

For the Ladies

This post is not really tri-related, but gives a flavor of the type of person I am. Men, if you are a dude, consider yourself pre-warned. The following contents might be a bit hairy (hahaha).

So for those of you that don't know me personally, I am part Irish and part Croatian. My full name is really Irish, but I have dark skin, eyes and hair. And I tan easily, which is cool. Anyhoo, with this ethnic make-up, I have sadly been the recipient of the hair gene, you know, the one that covers your body with unsightly hair that requires regular maintenance. Yeah, I was totally the girl in grammar school that the boys also asked, "Why is the hair on your arms so dark?" and "Why do you have a mustache?" I was the first girl to learn to shave her legs and I was, like, in the third grade, and I secretly shave my arm hair in the fifth grade, which then just prompted people to ask where my arm hair went. Yeah.

As an adult, this hair maintenance has been made somewhat easier, what with the invention of wax, electrolysis, what-have-you. And it is here that my story begins. See, I am a frequent user of the wax, and yes, that means I pay someone to remove my hair by ripping it out with hot wax. And frankly, most women do this, for legs, underarms, and other unmentionable places. Even men, and especially triathletes. Shaving just gets so tedious, right guys? And the stubble...don't even get me started.

So today, I went to get the moo-stache waxed. Oh, laugh. Get it out.. Done? Good. Now, to be fair, I am not exactly BigFoot, but I get self-conscious enough (see above for reason) at even the slightest peach fuzz (for the record, my sisters tell me they can't even see it, but they may be just being nice) So I go to my regular spot and everything goes as planned. After I leave, I go to the grocery store, and suddenly I notice my top lip burning. I touch my tongue to it, and it feels horrible. I pay for my groceries, and return to the car, pull down the mirror and low-and-behold, she waxed the skin right off the top lip. So, in an effort to remove the unsightly hair, I now have an unsightly open bleeding wound, which will develop into an unsightly scab. No hair, but a sore that will be mistaken as herpes. Awesome. Awesome.

Guys, if you think, "Wow, is Megan unlucky for having so much hair, thank god my girlfriend/wife doesn't have this problem," let me let you in on a little secret: She does. She too, probably engages in all these rituals simply so that you can say, "Oh, my girlfriend/wife doesn't have a moo-stache." But alas, she does. That little razor on the top shelf or hidden in the back of the drawer? Not for her legs, my man.

So let this be a lesson (of what kind I am not sure) but if you are a lady, be careful who you let put hot wax on your body, and if you are a dude, appreciate the pain and scarring associated with making our bodies socially-acceptable and hair-free. And with that, I have to go, my lip needs some more Neosporan.

What Ironman Training Has Taught Me, Part I

Today begins a new segment of Project Procrastination called What Ironman Training Has Taught Me. And item #1 on the list:

1. If it is 35 degrees or lower, DO NOT leave the house for a ride without shoe booties.

See, as I stepped outside today, I felt a little chill across the toes, a breeze, if you will. I looked down and discovered that I had, in fact, forgot my booties. I said silently, "Self, what should you do? Turn around, walk 10 feet back to the house and put them on, or attempt the ride without them, because the rest of your body, which is more appropriately covered, feels okay?" Apparently, Self was unwilling to exert any more energy than necessary to a ride it didn't really want to go on in the first place. So in the end, the booties stayed home, and I, the biggest dummy of the North Shore, embarked on what would turn out to be the single coldest and most miserable ride of my short IM career.

Have you ever seen the show "Everest" on Discovery Channel? If not, the basic premise of this reality show is a group of climbers make an attempt to summit Everest. It is one of the coolest shoes on the boob tube, so I highly recommend it. However, the series recently ended for the season, so you might be able to catch a marathon showing, or simply pick up the DVD from your friendly neighborhood video store. But back to my point....what was I saying?

Oh right. See, on this show, in the last episode, a bunch of the climbers get frostbite. That stuff actually turns your digits black. Black. Seriously. Totally gross. Anyhoo, when I arrived home, I took off my sock and expected to see the same fate, a set of black, swollen toes. Alas, it did not happen, but they hurt nonetheless. Note to self: This is a lesson learned for being lazy.

I need to take along hot shower now. And that makes for item #2:

2. The sole redeeming factor of a long cold training day is a long hot shower. By long I mean at least an hour, and by hot I mean melt your skin off.


Friday, December 29, 2006

A Little Tri-Angel on a Cervelo Just Got It's Wings

Since I have lived with my sister, the only mail I get is the "Have You Seen Me?" inserts or the Valu-pak of coupons. Awesome. So imagine my surprise when my sister brought in the mail and handed me what would turn out to be....a credit card.

"Whoo-hoo," I bet most of you are sarcastically thinking, but yay for me!!!! A couple weeks back, before my brilliant job offer that will pull me from the depths of poverty, I applied for a card as Ironman safety net. See, I didn't want to get stuck at Ironman time with no actual money to pay for plane tickets, rental car, food, shipping, etc. Yeah, so I applied for fake money. But before Oprah comes a'knockin with her "Debt Diet Part 600," I should admit that I currently, and have always owned only one card. Moreover, said card has only always had a 500 dollar limit. And more-moreover, I have no credit card debt to my name, and have never done anything like this before. Even in my darkest moments of "how do I buy groceries this month?" despair, I never resorted to a credit card.

That said, I was not going to get stuck in AZ without the benjis. Right? And, as advised by Larry, I was leaving with my finisher medal AND a lot of clothing loot to commemorate the event. Gotta have dollars for that, right?

So this is all basically my way of justifying the evil of our society - useless spending and overwhelming debt. But I promised my sister (after doing my thank-you dance) that I would put the card away for that one-and-only event. And so in the drawer it goes. Goodbye, shiny new card with my name and the prefix "Dr." in front. You had me at "credit limit," but alas, we must part 'til the sunny days of spring, when you will reemerge, full of life like a new butterfly and ready for action.

Unless, of course, my long-coveted bike goes on sale...

Just Another Day

I finally talked with my triathlon coach this morning. He and his wife just had a baby so it takes him a while to catch up on the recent happening (read: knee problems) and he recommended this chiropractor to check out that can help me with any misalignment in my mechanics. My coach also put up pictures of me and Larry on his new website so check it out - Larry is the guy on the bike on the home page, and I can be found on the "links" page in the mass swim start, flexing my HUGE muscles- the link is on my sidebar). I am also going to see my foot doctor for some orthotics. Apparently, it is "stupid" not to have been wearing them. Who knew? Well, everybody but me, but oh well, better late than never.

My swim this morning was smelly-smelly-poo-poo. I don't know why I assume that, just because I do one drill workout, I should just be able to cut through the water like Michael Phelps. That's not how running or even cycling works, but yet I assume that swimming should just be that easy and when its not I get so very frustrated. To my credit, I have stopped throwing my goggles on the deck or standing on the edge of the pool crying when I can't get it right. Yes, I did that as a grown adult, and no, I am not very proud of it. But I can own it, embrace it, and never, ever go back to it.

I have to go take care of some business now, but I will try to get a post in later. The swim has my mind all wibble-wobbly right now and its all I can do to stay out of the kitchen. But get this: I have been up now for five hours, and have eaten not a single cookie. Okay, so I rewarded my swim with a box of Red Hot Dollars (gummy deliciousness to the fullest!) but they are fat-free and that counts for something, right?

Oh, I had a dream I married Prince William last night. WHAT? I don't even find him attractive. What is that about?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

This I Know For Sure

1. If you leave a dog shut in the bedroom for too long when the plumber is here, the dog does its own version of plumbing his pipes on your bed. Pee-yoo.

2. Eating out for two meals in a row - not so nice on the belly at the end of night (speaking which, please excuse me for a moment...)

3. McGoo Law says that as soon as you register for a $500 dollar race, pay for a coach, purchase new running shoes, and finally buy your plane tickets (to fly during spring break, no less), that little twitch underneath your kneecap will turn into a full-blown medical emergency that will eventually negate all the money just spent on said endeavor. Grrr.

4. McGoo Law also states that, given a full day off to actually work from home, 18 different errands (including one that has you driving all the way back downtown to your office) seem suddenly life-and-death, so said work is never completed.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ode to Sugar

Cookie, cookie go away,
No, I do not want to play.
I am tired from my eight mile run,
And your chewy carmel does not look like fun.

There you sit, all smug in the jar,
Mocking my weakness from afar.
For I am known to sneak you for a breakfast delight,
Or maybe take comfort in the dark of the night.

But alas, no more - I will not submit!
Your tauting is no match for my strength and my wit/
So in the garbage you shall go,
And I won't have to taste your evil deliciousness no mo'.

Pssst....hey cookie - you, me, the coffee machine, 7am - see ya there.

Call for Help

While we start to tally votes on the "Name that Ironman" contest, I am posting another call for help, but this time regarding knee pain. Anyone familiar?

See, I have already had two scopes, one on each knee, and am now having significant pain under the knee cap of the knee that was most recently scoped (a procedure that, after which, the doctor said, "You will never have any more problems." Yeah, I should have gotten that in writing. Grrr.) Anyhoo, any suggestions or tips on what you all do when you knee starts to reject your best running efforts, when it retaliates the constant pounding with a stabbing pain that reduces you to a slow, limping walk back to the car? I should mention that I already take daily doses of "Move Free," which is that glucosamine stuff, and Alieve after each run.

The board is open. Lemme have it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Cleansing

A couple more hours and the 24-hour cookie detox will be completed. My plan to rid my "temple" of those horrid processed sugars and fats almost went awry this morning when I was seduced by six Red Vines and the jar of poor man's cookies (the way they compliment a cup of coffee is a sin), but I was able to pull it together with the help of:

1. Being out of the house most of the day
2. A double dose of swimming - yes, as in I went to the pool TWICE today
3. A 45-minute trainer spin
4. Three liters of water, the hot variety (I know, its freakish, but it really goes down smoother)
5. A sushi dinner, because nothing says cleansing like some plain white rice and pure protein.

Glorious. I feel a lot better. I feel empowered, like I can actually make it through these holidays without gorging for days on end. Moderation is a term I rarely use (is there anything MODERATE about the Ironman?) and if you have read my blog for while, you know that I have major food issues, as in I can't stop eating. So I figure that a cookie binge every once and while is not super awful, and certainly nothing a long training day can't rectify. So for right now, I am now at peace with the cookies. One day at a time.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Whose the Turkey?

I figured that I would post before I had an unfortunate accident involving poor man's cookies, macadamia nut cheese bars, carmel-centered cookies, and french toast. It took a while, but I managed to hobble over to the computer, sadly weighed down with trans and saturated fats. Good thing I had an apple yesterday to help balance out the binge. Also, I did a three-and-a-half hour brick yesterday so I figure that counts for something.

So it is Christmas today. For many of you, there is food to be eaten, family to see, and presents to open. If so, your day was not too unlike mine. This year was odd, in many ways. See, with my dad being dead, all of us being older, the last few years of family conflict and new in-laws to manage, our traditions have been shaken up a bit, so this year, we decided that we would start laying down the new groundwork for the holidays. So last night, it was mass and dinner at Wildfire with my sis's and their significant others, this morning it was brunch with my mom and brother at Dynamite D's house. Tonight it will likely be a movie. The weirdest part is my little brother not coming home from school in TN, but again, I have to accept that he is older, has a girlfriend and things just change. Different from the past, but hopefully solid for the future.

Despite all the changes, though, my family seems to be managing it well. Next year we will have a new little addition to the clan to completely dote over and spoil rotten. D and her fiance will be married, and me...well...I'll be an Ironman, and right now, that is good enough. Happy holidays, all, and thanks for keeping on.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Not Bad

So the week is nearing a close, and I have to be honest, I held up my end of the training deal this week, despite all the chaos (which will be outlined below). I even MADE-UP a swim yesterday for one I missed Tuesday because of the exam. So while that completely negates my claim to the procrastination throne, give me a week and I am sure I will be putting my life off once again. Just wait.

Recap of this week: Took the exam, got a new job (yesterday), Patrick (my sister's fiance who generously allows me and my bike to live and train under his roof for the small fee of making sure there is coffee in the morning and taking the dogs out) also got a new job, my sister Dynamite D got straight A's (thus completing an entire career in graduate school with straight A's - as in, her whole Master's degree is achieved with straight A's - crazy). Dynamite D also finished her coursework and will start student teaching next semester, which, as a result, led her to terminate her own jobs with two of the families for whom she works full-time. Phew! Also, we saw a 3D-4D ultrasound of my other sister's baby (crazy cool-its like a real live baby in there, it moves and everything) and Christmas is in one day. AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I am not going to go into all the "I'm grateful for," at least not now, I will spare everyone until next week, but suffice it to say that, for all the ups and downs lately, the financial worries and fights, that I have roof over my head, family, and friends to be thankful for while the wind whips through the trees and people struggle to put food on the table for their kids. I am going to brave the thongs of last-minute shoppers today with the nugget of love in my back pocket, as I have a feeling I will need it while trying to find a parking space. Peace, I'm out.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Let's Take A Vote

Despite my earlier post, I managed to actually finish the second workout of the day on my trainer which was no small feat, mind you. So while we (and by we I mean me) are talking about training, let's have a discussion about the single most important aspect of this race:

What should my nickname be?

Larry has Bullet, Nathaniel has The Blur. Now I need one. Why? Because it will be my alter ego - by day, I am an unassuming psychologist who works in the child welfare system, but in the wee hours of the morning or deepness of the night, I am this maniacal psycho spinning, running and stroking away towards some other-worldly greatness called Ironman. When I am in training mode, I answer to nothing but this nickname. When you scream for me on the course, it will be this name. And most importantly, it will be immortalized on the Curb Crew tee-shirts for years to come.

So here are some possible suggestions. From Larry, we have "Muscles McGoo." Okay, okay, laugh at the irony, I get it. but your laughs only motivate me more down the long, bumpy miles of Sheridan Road. HA. Right back at you.

So here is my thought: I like Muscles McGoo, because I can see it now: Day breaks on the shores of Tempe Town Lake/Sludge Pond, the sun peeking over the horizon, sprinkling its rays onto the shoulders of 1500+ IM wannabes. Laughs, cries, hugs and prayers fill the morning air, but SUDDENLY, there is a hush over the crowd. The throngs of people part, and there she appears. Who is she? The question reverberates through the onlookers. "That's Muscles McGoo," whispers a little 7-year-old girl, a pair of TYR goggles around her neck, an autographed photo of me in her tiny hands. "Muscles McGoo," the crowd murmurs as word spreads. Muscles (me) enters the water, a resounding applause breaks the trace. Said girl runs to the banks, cheering her little 7-year-old heart out and jumping up and down with my picture - "Go Muscles!" (cue tiny tear drop).

Now here is option two from Joe: TP McGoo. As in Total Package. Seriously. No, really.

I also like Total Package, which may be a dark horse in the running here, since most people who don't know me personally have never seen what I look like or know that much about me personally. And truth be told, I may not be much to look at now, but I'm drinking milk (just kidding - remember that commericial, it was great) But really, this whole experience is kind transforming the old cottage cheese thighs/jelly quads something fierce, and I bet come April, I might actually be a TP. Or at least that's what I asked Santa for, so let's see if the fat man can actually deliver for once (don't think I forgot about Barbie, old man, oh no - the mind's like a steel trap-I got you're number and I'll be knock-knock-knockin on heaven's door if I don't get those Buns of Steel I been asking for).

So talk amongst yourselves, let me know what you think, and give me some feedback or new ideas for the big name. And I will work on posting some pictures in the near future, once I figure out how. Cause frankly, it's a Christmas miracle that I can even turn the computer ON sometimes.

If the Shoe Fits

I am back, people. BACK! Hear that, darn licensing test! Be gone with you and your pages of useless material, knack for blowing away my confidence, and taking away too many hours of my life that I will NEVER get back. I hope I never effing see the likes of you again in this town.

That said, I am back (golf claps). But alas, in true procrastinating form, I will need to put off my REAL posting for just a few more hours while I climb atop of the trainer for a 45 minutes trek through some Tivo'd shows (listen to me - like my life is SOOOO overburdened with no time and tons of responsibility- for crying out loud, I put in a four hour day today and I act like I created world peace - Exhausting my life is ;) But really, can I pose a quick question? What do people usually do if they go on a long run one day, have moderate quad soreness the next day, but still need to get the ride in? Do you suck it up and pedal away, or just lay on the couch in a chocolate-covered pretzels/Chex mix/cheese popcorn haze (damn these holidays!), hoping that someone will come home soon to fill your water bottle and handi-wipe your cheesy fingers so you don't have to actually get up?


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And on the last day, she rested...

So it ends. All those months of studying, moments of breath-choking anxiety - done in four long, tiring hours. And before I do anything else, I would like to say a HUGE HUGE HUGE thanks to everyone that put up with me during this time, talked me off the ledges, fed me Red Vines when I got practice questions right, let me use the computer to take all those tests, and provided endless reassurance of my success (although I can't guarantee I made good on those). I was, no doubt, an emotional handful, but please take comfort in knowing that this was LAST hop (hopefully, if I passed) that I need to leep through to be a psychologist. And to all those that posted their well wishes, called, emailed or just shouted at me in passing - thanks to all who have even thought of me during this time.

As with any trial in life, we are never truly alone, as it is the support, overt and covert, of others that truly get us through. And though the final test is often in solitude, the journey is always full of companions.

As for the details of the test and my actual mental state, I will save that for a post tonight, because I got a trainer ride that is BEGGING for an ass-beating right about now. later skaters.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Keep Hanging On...

Hey all, I know I have been REALLY behind in posting, but as most of you all know, my big test is tomorrow and I can't reall think beyond it. In fact, I am taking just a brief break as I cram in all the last bits of info and would really like a nap, but alas, I must study. So hang in there, and I promise to be back to my old self in 24 hours. Weeeeeeee!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Just a Thought or Two About Dogs

1. Of all the beds and couches in this house, the dogs just can't seem to get enough of the bathmat. What is that about?

2. What do dogs find in their ears that makes it desirable for them to stick their foot in there for minutes on end, and then sniff and eat what comes out? Anyone?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Confession Thursday

1. I ran out of time today and couldn't do my swim (okay, I guess I could have squeezed it in but chose to watch The Office instead).

2. I wish I worked in The Office.

3. I took a nap in my own office while waiting for a client. Zzzzzzz.

4. My boss called me because he heard I was interviewing for another job. Busted.

5. I overfed the dogs too many doggie treats today, and then let them run up and down the hallway catching a tennis ball (against the rules, so says my sister - killjoy).

6. I loudly cheer when TJ steals the tennis ball from Chili (cause TJ is really my dog and Chili is Devin's), and I think it makes Chili kinda mad.

7. I have a swim lesson in the morning and I really want to ditch it to eat omelettes and drink coffee all morning instead.

8. I ate a box of Dots and a tootsie roll for lunch.

9. All day I felt like crying, but am not sure why.

10. I have no Christmas "spirit" this year, and I am secretly concerned. And don't even ask me about Christmas shopping...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's All In My Head

So after I miraculously passed my second practice exam (see previous post) I decided to do my long run on the lakefront. No snow, moderate wind and temps, no brainer. But I admit, when running alone, even if it's outside, I have taken to using the iPod. I used to only reserve it for the gym (watching the CNN scroll scroll can get slightly boring after a while) and laughed silently while mocking those runners who needed it outside. (Ha! Sissies!)

But I have since fallen prey to the wonders of the iPod outdoors. So light! So diverse! So imagine my horror when I showed up at the lake, tights and all, and the iPod froze as soon as I selected the playlist. I mean, it pulled up the first song and all, and just froze, as if taunting me ("Yeah, we got your song - See it? Right here, nana, nana!) After deciding not to throw it in the lake, I wishfully put it on and ran with it, unplaying, for the first two miles, then retired it to my pocket. For over eight miles, I had to sing to myself, sometimes out loud, sometimes silently. Ever do that? Three years ago, I spent a whole winter training for the New Orleans marathon on the lakefront singing "Cry" by Faith Hill over and over. A WHOLE WINTER. Guess who was going through some dating turbulence then? Ah, the good old days.

In any case, I finally rationalized the event by telling myself that they don't allow iPods in the race, so I better get used to it now. Nothing but me and my thoughts for over 140 miles. Awesome. This IM is proving itself to be one big head game.

Better than an age-group finish

I passed my second practice test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Six down, two more to go! Bring it on!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Self-Love (Not That Kind)

How do you define your worth? By what measurement do you use to know how good or mediocre or bad you are? Do you determine it yourself, or leave it up to others? Is it quantifiable using dollar amounts? Age-group rankings? Finish line times?

I ask because I am trying to figure that out right now for myself. See, I have a history of being really hard on myself (no, seriously, I do). I am the type of person who usually lets other people tell my how good or bad I am, and sometimes they don't even have to tell me, I just make my own comparisons. Remember that meltdown a couple weeks back? I was convinced I wasn't good enough, that other people will be faster/stronger/smarter than me. Well of course they will, that's just the nature of life, but I admit that I let it overwhelm me sometimes.

Sometimes it words, other times it looks (or my interpretations of looks) that I believe mean something about how other people see me. Okay, so you might say, "but why do you care?" Because I do. I do. That's it. I try not to, I WANT to be the girl that walks around with cracked-out hair, plaid and polka dotted outfits, hairy legs, whatever. But at the core, I care so much that sometimes I can't even walked across my gym without thinking that everyone is staring at me (or my jelly legs, my big boobs, or my big forehead - take your pick). I had my first swim lesson with my new coach last week and I was convinced that he was saying to himself "What on earth is she trying to do in there? Get me a club so I can put this flailing seal out of her misery!" What he was really probably thinking was, "Okay, need to work on the balance, good front quadrant stroke, needs to rotate more."

Today, I let my boss determine my worth in the form of a Christmas bonus. Or lack thereof. I forget that, most of the time, he is really a self-absorbed, ethics-bending, money-grabbing jackass, and instead tend to think that I don't work hard enough, good enough, or bring in enough money. In my sane moments, I know that is not the case. But I can go there, and quick.

So let me get the point (it's here, trust me). After the rage of what I felt was this HUGE injustice to me, I began to think about what I can use to quantify my significance. It occurred to me that this Ironman thing is making me constantly confront these inner demons (for lack of a better word) because at the end of the day, the only person out there on the road is me. No coach, no training partner, no boss, no childhood that planted the seeds of my insecurities. It is me who determines what I what I am worth and what I am capable of. All the dollars in the world can't get me across the line (though they would help fund a new bike, but I digress). Just me, my mind, and my body. And that's worth something.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Best Things in Life Are Free

I started my morning bright and early, down on the near south west side of the city at what I fondly refer to as "kiddie jail." I know that may seem kind of callus, but what it really is is depressing, and I would rather not feel that, so I make jokes. Ha.

Lemme tell you, kiddie jail is not funny. At all. Quite sad, and even sadder when the kids literally look like they are 13. What goes so wrong in life that you land in jail at age 13? A lot, I know. Most of my work is done in the state's child welfare agency, so I see some pretty horrible stuff and the saddest is part is that some of these kids never really have a fighting chance. As part of my licensing test, I read that there are about six factors that are fairly good indicators of what makes a kid resilient or what leads to a troubled life. The theorist suggests that one factor, like physical abuse, though bad, will still give you a chance, if interventions are made soon enough. Two factors, such as physical abuse and one foster care placement, suggests a slightly worse outcome, and it goes up from there. Most of the kids I work with experiences the TOP FOUR indicators of poor life outcomes. And the most frightening part is that the well of work is bottomless, so all the clients I have already worked worked with (hundreds at this point) only scratch the surface of the number of kids that are being serviced through the system (not to mention those not even in the system but still living terrible lives).

So coming home and complaining about having a day off for training and overeating seems petty, and quite frankly, selfish. But honestly, I feel like crawling out of my skin on the off days. I appreciate the day of rest to let the muscles grow, but I find I eat garbage all day long. What's worse is that I spend most of the day in the house studying, so the biggest distraction (outside of the website) is the fridge. But getting back to what I was saying...

I don't ever really talk about the things I am grateful for on this site, even though I make a nightly inventory of them. So today I am going to start. Today I am grateful for my health, and the ability to do the things I do, like triathlons. I am grateful that the option of doing these races is even an option. I am grateful that, despite the dysfunction of my family, they still support me no matter what, in whatever I do, and never tell me I am crazy, stupid or weak. I am grateful to have friends that keep me on track, save me from myself, and keep me focused on the good in me, not the bad. And lastly today, I am grateful for the ability to come and go as I please, to not have to ask to use the bathroom, to have shoe laces in my shoes, to drive a car, run away, ride a bike, pick up mail, use a computer and complain about the cable service. Little gifts make for a huge life. It could very easily have turned out different.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Program...

She lives! Yes, it is true, I did not succomb to the miserable stomach yucky that nestled its way into the belly. Rather, our modem is broken and won't be fixed until tomorrow, so I have been without the Internet (NOOOOOO!) for the last two days. So while my legions of adoring fans could not touch base with my latest and greatest insights into life, the plus side is that I had nothing to distract me from completing my work and even studying (yikes!) Ah yes, the test is now just one week away. Am I ready? Probably not. Will I fail? Probably yes. Should I be studying instead of blogging? Most definately a probably yes.

Speaking of putting things off, today I did a two hour ride/30 minute run brick. I gotta tell you, I do love me some bricks. There is something really self-satisfying in knowing that I just worked out more in one day than most do in a week. That, and I get to eat lots and lots of "poor man" cookies, courtesy of my mom. What are poor man cookies you ask? Well, let me tell ya. They are, simply, bites of sunshine sugary deliciousness in the form of rolled dough and vanilla-touched frosting, and consist of nothing more than eggs, butter and a whole lotta flour. Yumtastic! A couple of these sugar delights and a cup of coffee - makes all the training worth it. But enough about breakfast....

Speaking of eating, in the time it took me to write the last paragraph, I have attempted to chew, but successfully swallowed, six pieces of gum. Extra Watermelon flavored to be exact. Again, delicious. Bad for the stomach but a total vice? Most definately. Also good and good for you? Extra Green Apple gum. Lasts an extra, extra, extra long time!

Okay, enough gabbing, I think I am just excited to be back on line (thanks for the computer Larry!) I will try to post tomorrow, assuming that Comcast makes its way over to the house and can fix it. But thanks for hanging in there and being patient. Now if you'll excuse me, it's dinner time and there are some Twizzlers calling my name.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Icky Poo

Yo, I am a little under the weather right now, and by under the weather I mean I feel like I am stuck on the bottom of someone's shoe, and they are in a never-cleaned dog park in Lincoln Park. Craptastic. So I am going to bed and hope that when I awake from my beauty sleep 10 hours from now, I will be a new person. I'm out.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Love the One You're With

I woke up this morning, groggy but still high from having passed my first of five practice tests last night (golf claps for me). I got to work early enough to print out the missed questions, guzzled loads of coffee to fuel my mania, and pushed my way through correcting three (count 'em 3!) reports from my intern. Procrastination? Not today, my friend.

Then, at about 1030am, Larry called to tell me that Leonard, a mutal friend and collegue (and former supervisor of mine) died of a massive heart attack last night. He was only a couple years older than me, about 33, which is even more crazy. In his short career as a psychologist, he made full-time faculty at our alma mater in the matter of one year, and was, from what I understand, was idolized by his students, which doesn't surprise me because he was literally amazing. He was one of the brightest, FUNNIEST, most genuine individuals I knew, and he was a huge support to me, professionally and personally when he was my supervisor, and during some rough times, like my own father's death. This is a shock, to say the least, and I am not even really sure how to process it just yet. As Larry said, "The world was just better with him in it." The loss is profound to anyone who knew him, in any capacity, and I feel lucky that to me, he was a friend. I am just really sad.

With the anniverary of my dad's death just a few days ago, this all just reinforces the idea of living your best life. I myself have been making changes regarding letting go of my perceived control over things, people, and really just life, and not letting it consume me. Sure, I have moments of relapse, but I am trying, and that's what counts. The point is (yes, I have one) is that we all have a choice in how we live our lives, how we treat ourselves and treat each other, who we love and who we let go. We may not think it, because we let ourselves get so consumed with all the "Shoulds" of life, but seriously, no matter what the situation (unless it involves a gun and a robber and your head) we all have a choice about how we live, and today, like everyday I wake up, I make a choice to live the best life I know how. I make a choice to take advantage of things I once said "I can't right now" to. I make a choice in saying, "I will not make myself crazy doing the same things over and over and expecting different results." I make a choice in surrounding myself with people that are not toxic, and that support my in their own ways. I make a choice to fill my lungs with air rather than smoke. I make a choice to feed my body, instead of starve it.

I don't always expect things to be perfect, expect me to be or act perfect, or expect that I will never feel bad, sad, angry or resentful. Because I do, and I have a lot of people that will claim witness. But I make a choice not to let those things rule me, and by that I live my best life. Becuase I, like Leonard, want to leave this world a better place.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

So That's How It's Gonna Be

Today was my first coach-dictated workout. Oh. My. Gosh.

First, let me say that this was the BEST decision I have ever made. Not only does he literally tell what to do, from specific drills, to days, to times, but he actually expects that I will do it. Really. And I do. For him. Well, okay, for myself too, but I am the kind of person refused to show up to class without it simply due to guilt. So when people expect things from me, I do them (usually...sometimes...well, depends on the person).

Second, I really have been cutting myself some slack, and am clearly NOT a better person for it. Example: I like to think that I "drill" when I do my little swim workouts, and I make up new ones as a I go along, and I make up how "fast" I think I should go. Not so much with the coach. See, he's got my number, and actually tells me what percentage of exertion I should be going at. Let's just say I was shaking when I got out of the pool today, and my head still feel like it's still in it. And THEN he told me to ride my bike!!! When I got home!!! Oh, boy.

Bottom line is that he is going push me beyond what I have identified as my "comfort" zone, and truthfully, I asked him to. See, I liked running 10:00minute miles because I could talk, have fun, catch up with friends but not feel too taxed. I could swim an easy 2400 without much wear afterwards. I could even bike for four hours at a steady pace and not be wrecked. I have a feeling the "Coach C" is going to change that, and honestly, IT'S ABOUT DARN TIME.

So now I know, I am a believer. I don't care if I have to eat generic beans from a can for the next four months to pay for him, he's staying. And now, more than ever, I truly believe that I am going to finish this job. Look out Ironman, there's a new age-grouper in town.

Monday, December 4, 2006

My Version of Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Now, before I make the following observiation, please understand that I am not some raving lunatic feminist (the bad kind - bra burning and what have you) that is hypervigilant about politically incorrect slights to my gender. But I do believe in equality and all that good stuff (like, how we can vote now and all? That's cool, but less pay than a man? not as cool). So I was wondering why Norm Stadler alone graces the cover of the new Triathlete, even though Michelle Jones also won Kona AND why the first two full page spreads were for him while her first congrats ad doesn't come until page 25? Now, that ad thing is probably a money thing, I gather, being a magazine and all, but the cover? I also thought, well, maybe its because Michelle was on the one last month, or maybe because he set a bike record, but seriously. Give a lady props where she deserves it. Girlfriend's brand new to the distance (realtively speaking) and has laid down some serious finishes. Plus, she likes to wear pink. Ride on, rider.

Also, if you read the article about the Kona "conflict," Stadler accuses Chris McCormick of cheating by drafting. To him I say: Yo, you won. Why you gotta call out old boy for something that has absolutely no bearing on your finish and is, most likely, not even true? Plus, as Larry pointed out last night, Baby cried last year in Kona (okay, granted the double flat and bee stings sucked especially after all that training, and to be fair, I cried when I FINISHED my first 1/2 IM, but he has a bizillion sponsorships and anyway, isn't that the thing about triathlon? Too many variables to ever know what will happen?) Anyway, I 'm off him. Onto someone with class. Yay, he won, great. Where's Peter Reid when you need him?

This sums it up

Today I kicked myself in the head when doing a flip turn. Awesome.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

The Lost Day

As was pointed out to me today by the ever-observant Larry, there was no post for yesterday. For those of you that live by my words, breath by my insight, depend on the wit of my boundlessly clever mind to sustain you through the cold, hard world of people that don't understand triathlon (or procrastinating for that matter), I apologize. I admit that I knew there was no post when I collapsed into my bed at 1130pm. I felt a little bad, but then thought, "Yo, it's 'Project Procrastination,' not Do-It-RIght-Now-Obsessive-Freak" so I figured I could live a day without posting.

In hindsight (yesterday being so very far away that it requires hindsight)I guess maybe unconsciously I wanted to pretend the day didn't exist. See, December 2 is the anniversery of my dad's death, which happened three years ago yesterday. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2003, and died six very short months later. My relatiosnhip with him was complex, at best, but I cared for him full-time when he was sick. When he died, I was 26, had three younger siblings, one estranged mother (my parents were in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed and she had moved to Arizona), and a lot of childhood baggage that I was trying to manage. And even though I was technically an adult, I was reduced to a bumbling, insecure 12 year-old who had no idea what she was doing, if she was helping, or how to even talk to her father who, most of the time, was cognitively impaired from the cancer in his brain. After all, isn't it the parents who are supposed to comfort the kids, take care of them when they are sick, give the medicine and tell them they will be okay in a couple of days? I was confused, sad, rageful, hopeless, and just about every other emotion that I could tolerate acknoweldging.

To commemorate the day, my sisters and I went to church (I know- me in a church, and it didn't explode - wonders never cease to amaze) and then out to breakfast. It amazes me how much happened in the last three years. Crazy E, the sister just younger than me, got married and is preggers with her first child. Dynamite D is engaged, and bought a condo, in which I currently reside with her and her fiance since me and Larry split after more than three years (yes, that Larry - we began dating the day my dad got diagnosed, but more on that later, or never). And that's just scratching the surface of a REALLY deep swimming pool (no wonder I am afraid of drowning). My mom is now home in Chicago, relationships have repaired, I completed my doctorate and am training for an IM. I know three years is a long time, but the death still feels so fresh, so its weird to think about how much time has actually passed.

Anyway, that's my long-winded excuse for my delinquent post. I hope it sufices, that you all understand. Oddly enough, having this site has somewhat increased my responsibility level, so I feel compelled to write and expalin myself. Well, better to you then to my dad, 'cause at least I won't get a reduced curfew for posting late...

I'm out

Friday, December 1, 2006

Let it Snow

Yup, so it did. We didn't get hit as bad as everyone said we would (do we ever) but it was enough to dash any hope of getting on the roads this weekend for a ride. Or really for the whole next week, because the weather is supposed to be in the low 20s. Awesome. But this is a great time to launch my newest edition to the site, "Megan's Movie Madness," an ongoing review of great movies to occupy you as you pedal away in the confines of your own home. Sure, Spinervals is cool for the shorter stuff, but when you have to be glued to the set for longer than 90 minutes, that's when you gotta pull the real guns out, you know what I mean? So look for it starting Sunday in the link section. I know-exciting, exciting stuff happening over here.

On a happier note, I met my new coach yesterday and am very excited. This was definately a good idea, although he did seem to question why I would want to do IMAZ living in Chicago and all. He's a big swimming coach-dude and oddly enough didn't find it at all weird that I am afraid of water. Yes, as in the lap pool. Yes, I know I can't drown (really) but, never say never. And don't even try to get me near open water unless my enterance in it is immediately followed by a cannon or starting horn. Waste.Of.Time.

Tonight I have the worst heartburn. Ever. It feels like a hole is being drilled right through me. Any recommendations on quick fixes? Augghhh. No more Jolly Ranchers and Red Vines for dessert...Maybe my new coach can teach me to eat better (burp)...