Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Here's to His Safety

Just talked to Nolan, the little bro. Turns out he got himself an internship where he spends 100 hours riding around with cops. Yesterday he did SWAT training, today he was with drug surveillance. While his stories are outrageously funny, of course I'm all in my head, "What if he gets shot? What if the druggies beat him up? What if..." So seeing as I am coming from my ALANON meeting, I will just let this one go, and hope everyone keeps Nolan and his safety in their prayers tonight. Way to go, "Rolly" - We are all proud!

Duel in the Sun (room)

With the wind of a 17 degree day (windchill at 1 degree) howling outside, me and my sister mounted our respective flying machines (read: tri bikes) and pedaled away this afternoon. I know she hates trainer rides, and is not really training for anything herself, so I appreciate her company for a short 65 minute ride. Since there was literally nothing to watch on t.v. except the 24-hour Bears coverage (seriously, I'm psyched for the game, but really, why do I care what type of toilet paper the team wipes their butts with down there or what movies they watch in their hotel rooms? The coverage is getting kind of ridiculous.)

So we ended up watching one of the "Intervention" episodes. Have you seen this show? Today was the one with the bulimic and video game addicts, but the other ones, like the stripper addicted to meth or the alcoholic ladies who drink during the day on the job - wow. This stuff is I.N.T.E.N.S.E.

Today watching the bulimic lady brought back some pretty harsh memories of my treatment. I asked Devin is she remembered when the family had to go for family therapy when I was in treatment. She did, but then stated, "But I only remember one session." Must be because the family was cured after that.

Anyway, it was kind of weird pedaling away for a training ride while watching someone destroy her body much in the same way I used to do mine (though she used pills, and I used restriction and severe purging). It made me think of how far I have come, but yet how much these issues still fill my head. Food, like others in the blogger community have indicated, is a massive struggle that must be confronted several time a day, and for those of us with issues around it, the thoughts are rarely confined to meal times. Rather they come at meals, between meals, after meals, thinking about tomorrows meals, etc. It never stops.

On that note, I have to go to my ALANON meeting (speaking of getting healthy). Have a good night.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Muchas Gracias

Yeah, this photo says it all. While this is a picture of Elbow at my first marathon, braving the cold, cold morning in her black puffy jacket and her Curb Crew tee-shirt, she stood proud at the corner of LaSalle and Division, waiting for me to come plodding up the street.

I put this one first because, in light of yesterday's celebration meal, I wanted to take some time to recognize the people in my life that have helped me through the last few years. If you've ever been to grad school, you know that living in poverty for seven years under the pressure of comps, dissertations, and licensing, working three jobs with overnights and never making ends meet, watching yor friends get "real" jobs and go on vacations, while your only vacation consists of sleeping in an extra hour on a Monday because the restuarnt you waitness in is closed on that day, realy REALY sucks.

Devin, Ellen, Larry, my mom, Nolan, Patrick, Nathaniel, my friends Adrienne, Sue, and Suzanne. I know there are more, but these have been the key players. The ones who organize girls weekends with free manicures and pedicures "just because," who periodically buy you new running gear because you are the scrappiest person on the lakefront or Sheridan Road, who let you sit in their basements and write disserations and then moan about horrible chairpersons, who let you practice your defense, and take you to dinner when you pass, who pace with you up and down their hallway as you agonize over test results, who feed you Red Vines for every right practice test answer, and who let you call them when you are worried or overwhelemd or pissed or all of the above.

***The ones who never interupt you or hold you accountable when you are so comsumed by your own life that you can barely see outside yourself and even bother to ask or listen to how everyone else's day was.***

All these people let me be selfish for so long, and nothing has gone without notice. Beleive me, and I appreciate every last second of my life with these people.

This is on my grduation day, with Devin and LArry, and Patrick took the picture. That ngiht they took me out for seafood (love it!) and they had the place make special menus with my name and grduation date on the top. It was super cool. My mom was at the ceramony too, but we didn't have a chance to take a picture.

Speaking of mom, now lets talk food. Last night was gorge, starting with the most deelish crab cakes EVER. Then onto dinner,which was herb-crusted salmon (for me) and lasagna for everyone else, Thai peanut noddles with snap peas, orange almond salad with citrus dressing, and for dessert - wait for it - pastry puffs filled with pumpkin mousse and bread pudding with a sweet sauce. The words don't do it justice, but believe me when I say it was out. of. this. world.
I thought I would end with this lovely pic of my little brother and his adorable girlfriend (soon fiance?) Jenny. She's all Southern. They are cheering me and my sister's on at our first full triathlon last year (sprint distance Pleasant Prairie in Wisconsin) All the significant others bet on whose girl would win. Devin did. But it represent how much support I have for all I do in my life, from everyone. Hugs and lots of sloppy kisses!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This is Me

Okay, so I am trying this thing out, posting my picture. I am a bit self-conscious, you see, as I have been able to do all this funny business behind a screen and everyone else was just left to their imaginations about who I am. So here goes. This is me:

For some reason, it is making me look sort of orange, but I assure you I am not. Since this is kinda fun, let's try some more:
This is me and my two sisters, Devin (Dynamite D) and Ellen (Elbow). This was taken at a ceremony for my dad. While me and Ellen apparently took milk baths before the event, Devin appears to be rocking some serious tan lines...
And a few more:

Larry and me at his Ironman in Madison, end of his second bike loop - yes, that's a sandwich board M-Dot I made and I wore it ALL DAY. I rock.

This is Devin and Nolan, my little brother, taken a couple summers ago before he pulled it together. While he will probably kill me for putting this up, it gives a good flavor of his craziness for which we all love him.

I have a bunch more, but too much of a good thing is...well, it makes it too much I guess. I am very excited about this new discovery. Have a great week everyone!

The Day Off

So I am sucking it down and taking a day off. Here's a recap of yesterdays fiasco:

On Friday night, I went to bed with a really bad pain in my chest. I figured it was just anxiety or heart burn or a heart attack so I brushed it off and tried to sleep, but throughout the night it would be so painful to breath, it would wake me up. So I went into yesterday's brick on about 90 minutes of sleep and a constricted chest (problem #1).

While the bike portion was fine (three hours, but me and my sister watched that National Geographic thing "In the Womb" in celebration of our other sister who was due yesterday but will likely have to be induced Superbowl Sunday but that's for another post - my point is is that it went by quick cause it was interesting) So then I get the simple 30 minute run. After the first four minutes, I was struggling to breath, but I thought "Oh, well maybe my running legs aren't back yet, give it time." (see where this is going?) Then after 10 minutes, I thought my heart exploded in my chest and someone was crushing my ribs. So like a responsible and typical triathlete, I thought,"Well, just turn around and run home, you can do just 20 minutes instead of 30." And yes, this was my nonsense compromise that, at the moment, seeing as I was dying, felt fairly reasonable.

By the last block, my 10 minute pace felt like an all-out sprint after which I literally had to hold onto the lamppost to stand. Larry later told me that my actions were somewhat dumb, because if I had an infection in my chest, it could spread to my heart muscles, and that's why they tell you not to workout if you have a chest cold, but more importantly, that's how Jimi Shmidts character on NYPD Blue died. Who knew?

So even though I feel somewhat better today (still coughing and my back hurts) I am taking it easy. And guess what? Tonight is my "You're licensed and got a new job" celebration dinner/gorge that my mom is cooking up (I'll fill you in with all the luscious details later -yummi!)

BTW, I saw "Smoking Aces" last night, that new movie with Jeremy Pivan. First off: he is fantastic in it, and second: wow, was it violent. Not really my bag, but the movie was enjoyable anyway. I also have a story to tell about what I did during the movie that I have never done before, but I leave you little lovelies to nibble on that nugget of intrigue until later. Have a great Sunday!!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

This is What I Learned Today

Three and a half hour brick + Six pickels + Crangrape juice = hurl.

Warn the kids.

Question for Bloggers

If someone leaves a comment on your post and you want to respond, do you leave a comment on your own post, or visit their site and comment on their most recent, with reference to their comment? Does that make sense? I have been going back to their websites to post a comment if they leave one on mine, but I thought I would ask!

In any case - Duane - I went back to your post and added a comment! Good to hear from you!

Friday, January 26, 2007

New Beginnings

I woke up today with what feels like the beginnings of the flu (complete with some awesome chest pressure and wheezing), put on my spanky heels and best funeral attire and headed out the door for my final job interview. By final, I mean it is third of three for a really, super duper, awesome position (which I am not sure if I can really say what it is on a blog - oohhh, that sounds so CIA). But suffice to say that it is a great job. And by 1230 today, it became MY JOB.

Game on!

So I'm a little excited. Can you tell? I actually started crying in the car on the way home. Crying. Over a new job. I guess it' just that, after almost 8 years of scrapping and scrambling to make ends meet, watching your would-be down payment for a condo deplete in the name of student loan payments, living off-and-on with other people because you can't swing rent and depending on everybody just to help you get by, things start to get sort of dismal and you wonder, nearly every day, "What the eff did I do this for?"

To be totally honest, though, I am not even that excited about the money aspect (although it will be nice not to try to buy a week of groceries on your last $20.73). It's more about feeling like I can finally do a job, like I have something to contribute, and a difference to make. Knowing that I might actually be worth something, or at least something that other people see as good and valuable. Feeling like all that work, all that sacrifice means something.

Mostly though, I just turned thirty, yet I feel like this is finally the beginning of my adulthood. For so long I have been a student (in some ways I always will be) and always with a supervisor (again, will still have one) but it's different now. Now people will be looking to me for answers. Weird, right? I still feel like a fraud with the "Dr." in front of my name, but my (former) supervisor told me that will eventually go away. Hope so.

So that's that. I didn't get home until late from the interview, but I managed to squeeze in some water running and a short ride, and also treated myself to a steam. Love - Love- the steam room. Like laying on a beach, I tell ya. And speaking of that, AZ plans continue to take form, and the next step is working on a car rental. At least it gives me something to do this weekend downtime while I wait for next week's Superbowl. Bear down!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

And Then There's This

I am sorry if I offended anyone out there in possession of this, but really, what is the deal with big, bright yellow Hummers?

Why does my dog circle the same spot for four whole minutes when its 17 degrees outside, only to find just the right two centimeters in which he can lay his poop? Why do dogs get to have so many choices and get to be so picky when the only choice we humans have is a toilet?

Speaking of dogs, what is their perspective of time? How long does a 24-hour day feel to them? If I slept everyday, all day, I internal clock would be a little coo-coo.

How come people still pay Paris Hilton money and give her attention despite the fact that she is truly and unsympathetically disgusting? And on that note, why isn't her nasty ass in jail yet?

Just wondering.

Another Step Closer...

I just bought my plane ticket to AZ, so I guess now it's really real. Sure, the four months of training, coach, gyms visits, long rides, broken-then-fixed knee, physical therapist and upcoming new bike (did I forget to mention that before?) made it sort-of real, but the tickets take the cake (mmm, cake).

How excited am I? Pretty much, that's how much. Wait, does that even make sense? oh well.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Drop the Mouse and Step Away from the Internet

I have a confession (dim the lights, cue organ music). I have been living with this for some time now, and it's gotten so that I am pretty sure my family has caught on. It's the first thing I do in the morning, and just about the last thing I do at night (besides read this totally boring book that I can't seem to finish without falling asleep but refuse to quit it because I don't quit books, but alas that's for another post). Where was I? Yes - my confession. Here goes...wait for it...

I think - no, I KNOW - I am addicted to the Internet.

"Gasp!" You say. "Is it the porn?" And thankfully, I can say "No, but I like how you think." (j/k) However, it is just about everything else. So what do I look at? Email? Too many times to count. Gossip sites? Seriously, even the stars themselves would get sick of looking at them. Triathlon bloggers? Check them everyday, but I have noticed that no one else seems to maniacally post as much as me. At least knowing that I passed my exam stopped my from looking at the Professional Regulation website every 20 minutes. But it has only been replaced by my new search for a new tri-bike. Geesh!

And don't get me wrong, I love playing around on it, I love chatting on email, I love learning new things. And some people are so funny that's its hard not to want to keep checking to see what's going on. But the problem arises when it distracts me from my work. And sure it could be worse. It could be alcohol or drugs or even cartoons, I know. Or I could even relapses into my old eating patterns, so relatively speaking, perhaps the Internet is not so bad. Perhaps people can call the amount pf physical fitness I partake in as an addiction, but I prefer to alternately view it as my hobby (on good days) and "the evil" (on bad ones).

And for the record, I have had much success reigning in my other addictions. For example, I have not bought a pair of heels or Pumas since I don't know when, and a Haribo gummy cherry has not crossed these lips since Christmas. I limit the amount of tv I watch (sort of) and have stopped collecting tote bags (although if Ellen has anything to say about it, there's a Gucci tote in the my future). I do my own manicures (but leave the narly feet to the professionals) and have somehow managed to boycott the hairdresser, unbeknownst to her. So what else is left for me to indulge in?

I think I might need a detox, and I seem to do better when I am out of the house for long periods of time. Perhaps a schedule, where I can only look at certain times? But what about emergencies? Like, what if Nicole Ritchie goes to rehab, or Lindsey Lohan escapes from hers again? What if a new race is added to North American Sports, or a fellow triathlete has a burning question (like Gu v. bars? It's the age-old dilemma). What if my little Yankee-turned-Southern-boy-brother has some new country music download he needs me to hear (hee-haw!) or my pregnant sister's cleaning lady tells her she's fat cause she eats hotdogs again or my supervisor has a new pun he's trying out? How am I supposed to know this stuff? Huh? How?

Oh, my mind is spinning. I think I need a hit of email to calm me down.

The Happiest Little Triathlete in the World

Good morning! No post yesterday because the posting website was acting up and frankly, I was too tired to wait for it to calm down. So your present for the day is an early (8am) post from me! Weeeeee!

So even though I slept through my run (but fear not, I will be leaving shortly to do it, just a tad behind schedule), I am still in a very good mood. Why? Because yesterday I scored my new orthotics (whoa. saying that out loud makes me sound like a total loser). Funny story - when the nurse first put them in my shoes, I noticed that they looked a little funny, but she had me put them on and walk up and down the hall anyways. My feet barely fit into the shoes and then they made my feet so wide I couldn't lace them. After she left the room, I took them out - she put them in the wrong shoes!

Okay, not so funny, but still a story.

So I wore them while I rode the bike (weird) and will wear them again today. I think they will help, but who knows. And the best part of the story? Apparently when I paid for my "office visit" last time, I was actually paying for the orthotics so not only did I not owe anything for yesterday's visit, my orthotics were way, way less than I expected, thus making me the happiest triathlete in the world.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Two Posts In One Day? Lucky!


Say one was interested in the World Record for the largest overage charge for cell phone minutes. How would one find this out? Does anyone know the answer?

And hypothetically, what does one have to talk about for an additional SIX hours per month that would give them aforementioned additional charges?

Okay, so I might know the answer to the second question, hypothetically, but any takers on the first?

Just wondering.

Shout out

Ya know, for all the moaning and complaining I seem to do about everything, the fact of the matter is that I really don't have things so bad. And truthfully, I recognize that everyday, but I feel I need to take some time to fully acknowledge it.

As I have often said, I am single, have no children, work a painfully flexible job (that allows me to work at home a lot) and am emotionally supported by a family that, minus some minor dilemmas here and there, seem to hold it together. So to do an IM in this manner, with this schedule and support, is really not that much of a challenge.

Wait, wait, wait - before you say, "Humph, aren't you a smug b-word, kinda high on yourself, don't ya think?" what I mean is that, sure some of the workouts suck, and my own mental demons sneak in an wreak havoc on my confidence, but seriously, I fully appreciate this opportunity because obligations outside of myself are minimal. I am taking full advantage of being selfish. And to be honest, a huge part of the reason I chose to do the IM Arizona (despite living in Chicago and having to train in this winter) is because I knew that life would not always be this flexible. Five years from now, I may be married with three kids (shudder), a mortgage and a real 9 to 5 - getting up at 4AM is SO beyond what I will ever feel capable of doing.

So I just want to take a second to be grateful to my life, and to give serious props out to people that are trying to manage this training with all the other elements in their lives. I know, I know - we chose this for ourselves. But in doing so, we are choosing to do what so many other people can't even conceive of, and we are choosing to better ourselves for not only ourselves, but so that we can physically and mentally be better wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. This training is far beyond anything I ever imagined it would be, so time-consuming and mind/body challenging, that I absolutely cannot imagine having anything else that needed my attention.

And to that end, props to the families who deal with us, our obsessions (who else gets excited about pool paddles, fog-resistant goggles, heart rate monitors and aero bars?), the early morning swims and long weekend workouts. You let us spend time with ourselves while you juggle the rest of life, and cheer us on throughout it all. You allow us to deplete bank accounts, sacrificing family vacations for coaches, physical therapists, gym fees, outrageously-priced registration fees and traveling expenses. You indulge our bike envy, and sympathize with our injuries. You never complain about protein bar wrappers you sometimes find under the bed (oops), the dried sweat on the floor that we forgot to clean up after trainer ride (oops again) or the Triathlete magazine we keep forgetting in the bathroom (hey - at least we crack the window).

AND AND AND you always, always smile, nod, ooh, and ahhh, when we regal you with our day's accomplishments, be it a 3500 yard swim (right on!) or a 4-6 hour brick (ouch!), even if inside, you actually don't care and really want us to just ask about your day in return (which, because we are so absorb in said feat we sometimes forget - sorry! hugs and kisses!)

I am grateful for all of this.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Slow Ride

I decided to take the day off today, instead of risking a meltdown at the pool when I wasn't able to pull through my strokes or move my legs after yesterday's monster workout. So potential crisis averted.

Instead, I worked from home, catching up on reports that I have slightly put off over the holidays (yes, I realize the holidays were weeks ago, but some people take a little longer than others to get back in the swing of things). Worked from home and ate myself silly. I figured I needed to make up for the calorie deficit of yesterday. That, and there was half of an ice cream cake from the b-day celebration the other day that was melting and really, really needed to be eaten. Okay, not so much "melting" as calling out to me...and not so much "one" piece as two, but why squabble over details?

So I am going to wrap it up and bring it in the next 30 minutes, swim long tomorrow and write some more reports. Awesome! Have a good night. Oh, and if you didn't hear......




Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back in the Saddle (but it hurts!)

So today was another 4-hour trainer ride, followed by a 3-miler (keeping it short b/c of the knee). The ride in the trainer seems to have gotten easier since the last one, and I am starting to notice the pattern - once I do a really hard or long distance for the first time, subsequent endeavors are not as bad. I guess the breakthrough is the hardest part.

So anyway, not much else to report on this end today. I know I have been kinda boring these last few days, I guess I am just slowing down since the whole licensing thing (which I know I talk incessantly about, but it has been the biggest pain in my butt for the last year) and the relief itself is pretty tiring. I did treat myself to a bookstore binge, having been completely deprived from the literary world for about, umm, let's see..I started grad school in...then dissertation....oh that's right - 8 years. EIGHT YEARS. So I was due.

So I will definitely be back this week in regular form, plus it's a recovery week so I should, in theory, have some more energy. And boy, am I looking forward to it. I'm out.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wow Am I Tired

Sorry about the missed post - We were out celebrating Dynamite D's birthday yesterday with a late dinner (chick is 27! I can barely believe it, especially since she's the size a of 12-year-old. Weird). And while the novelty of being newly licenced is slowly dissipating, I worked my first day as a real psychologist yesterday, and it really did feel different (at least in my head). And check out this tribute from my (now former) supervisor at http://www.pun-krock.blogspot.com/

So I am in the final days of my third week (out of a four week training block), very much looking forward to the recovery week next week. It is crazy how much this stuff wears you down. I feel like I have chronic sore throat, and getting out of the bed in the morning often requires a forklift. like this morning - yes, it is almost 8 and I am just getting up. LAZY!

Still I have a renewed attitude this week, what with the pain free run on Wednesday. I am successfully paying off my physical therapist's graduate school loans with my now-regular visits, which will have to slow down because I need to buy groceries soon (ah, the balance and decisions we must make for this beast). But whatever voodoo-witch doctor stuff he's mixing up for me seems to be doing its job (he was talking all "electromagnetic fields" and "pressure points" and poking my belly and lifting my arms like an elmo doll this week - he's into the holistic stuff, which is SO not my bag, but I am keeping an opening mind and trying - trying- not to be judgmental because what do I know?)

Anyway, today all I have is a recovery swim and some water running - awesome - but otherwise it is an easy day. I have to get some of the duck butter shmear for my butt when I ride this weekend because its indoor again, for four hours, and I am still rocking the wounds from last weekend's adventure. So I am off, later skaters.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

And the hits just keep on coming...

Update: Today is the greatest day ever because:

1. I passed my licensing exam.
2. I ran without pain.
3. My Dunder Mifflin mug arrived.
4. I got sushi, flowers and ju-ju hearts to celebrate.
4. Lindsey Lohan enters rehab.

We all win.

Watch Out World

Time: 400 pm
Place: Computer at home
What: Confirmation of my status as LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST!!!!!!!!!

That's right, y'all. I am officially licensed. No more school, no more tests, no more supervisors - I am finished!!!! I wish I had the words to describe the excitement of the day, which, in my short life, is the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!!!

Rather, I will just leave you all with the knowledge that I am a real, live psychologist, I am armed with a Rorschach, and I am ready to take on the world of mental illness.

Oh, and I did my long with no pain. Brilliance. Not sure why, or how, or whatever - I think the voodoo-witch-doctor stuff my physical therapist is practicing on my legs is working (that, or the psychology gods that smiled on me today thought they'd throw me another bone, just to make the day complete).

AND AND AND - My Dunder Mifflin "World's Greatest Boss" mug came today. Now I really will get some pictures on the site to show off my new present. So in the brilliant and immortal words of Adam Sandler as Billy Madison:


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Megan wanted me to tell everyone that she is too tired to post tonight.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Guess What?

Guess what I did today? If you guessed "swim," you would be wrong, but try again! No? Okay. I'll tell you.

I ate lunch.


Not the pretzels/Dots/tootsie roll/water I usually suck down between clients. Nope. Today I had an actual meal that kept me full until dinner. Brilliance!

In an effort to work on this whole protein-shmotien thing, I found some Boca chili thing at the grocer this weekend. Its a little bowl of chili made with beans and tofu bits (yummies!) and it has a lot of protein that actually stayed with me until the end of the day, AND I didn't even need to stop at the "little store" to get my candy snack for the car ride home (instead I consumed a Clif Bar-more protein-with the intentions of completing aforementioned swim - yeah, that didn't work out so much, but the Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar was deelish!)

I realize I have been talking food a ton on the site lately, but frankly, it's almost always on my mind. I loathe food, have since I was about 15, and have this horrible dysfunctional relationship with it that makes the Lindsey Lohan-Paris Hilton feud look like a Barney episode. Sad. But times they-are-a-changing. You have to eat to function in this beast, and I get it now. That doesn't make it easier, mind you, but at least I can accept that I need to at least give it a try.

So I will try it again tomorrow (both the swim and the lunch). I am certainly open to any suggestions fora healthy meat-free protein lunch idea. I know there are vegetarians out there, so help a sister out. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pack my brown bag.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Water I Swim In

The IM training is providing me with daily lessons, insights and confrontations regarding my fears and negative thoughts. I was always the girl that would quit the race after mile one, not because it was hard, but because I was afraid it would get hard and then it would be painful. So to avoid the pain, I quit.

IM training is changing that, and making me take regular inventory of myself, my strengths and my shortcomings. For those of you who have experienced this level of training, you know exactly what I am talking about. Moreover, I am also learning about the life in which I submerge myself, the people I chose to have around me, and the way I allow myself to be treated.

Just like the aforementioned scared girl, I am also the person who repeatedly allows people to use me as a door mat, walk all over, say things to me that are horrible, and all the while, I just absorb it. I internalize it, and then agonize over it, ruminating and wondering how people can be so mean, how unfair it is, how angry I am, yada, yada. This ends up keeping me up at night, cutting my appetite and overwhelming me with self-defeating thoughts, none of which are productive to IM training and frankly, my own well-being.

Although my family tells me I am being "shrinky" when I say this, I truly believe that the way a person treats another is a reflection of how they feel on the inside and then projecting it outward. For example, if someone calls you a nasty name or puts you down, it is highly likely that they feel so crappy inside that they can no longer tolerate it, and try passing it onto someone else. They may not be aware of this process on a conscious level, but most of us aren't, or can't articulate or admit it. The same thing works for jealousy - if someone is jealous of you, they will attack you in passive or aggressive ways, leaving you feeling like you did something wrong.

And here is where I end up getting stuck - Someone projects their unhappiness onto me, treats me like dirt and when I stand up for myself and tell them that what they are doing is unfair and inappropriate, I end up feeling guilty. WHY?!? This is crazy talk. Defending myself leaves me feeling like I did something wrong. It then takes me a long time to just let it go, to accept that I did something right for myself, and let the other person deal with it. Let them hold their own bag of doo-doo, if you will.

But what makes me angriest is when people lie. It's funny, 'cause you can steal from me, cheat, or punch me, but nothing hurts me more than when people lie. It is the ultimate form of disrespect, like saying to someone, "Yeah, I don't care enough about your feeling or you, for that matter, to tell you the truth." And lying by omission, my own personal favorite, is even worse, because without fail, the person doing will try to justify it by saying, "How is that lying if I didn't even say anything?" Bull. A big puck of bull poop. They know it, you know it, but yet I end up second-guessing myself, and then accepting their justification.

So here is what I know today - I am going to continue standing up for myself. I understand that people will have a hard time with this, think I am a b-word, or whatever, but that is because they are simply not used to it. But I have to stop beating myself up over it. And secondly, liars have no place in my life. If you lie, you can find another friend. And if I know you are lying, I'll confront you, and then you can find another friend. But don't ever try to make me feel like it is my fault that you had to lie, or that I did something wrong that forced you to then treat me like crap. Uh-uh. That won't fly anymore. Everyone, EVERYONE, makes decisions on how they act and behave, and no matter how you try to spin it, NO ONE can force you to behave in a certain way. Just like I am working on doing, I expect others to accept responsibility for their actions, ESPECIALLY the adults in my life. See, the IM is not just making my body strong, its making my mind and my self-esteem stronger. I am so done with absorbing everyone else's crap.

The life I emerge myself in is the water I swim in - the cleaner the life and the people in it, the cleaner the water in which I swim.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ride On, Rider


As in, four hours, two seconds.

As in 240 minutes and two seconds.

As in, a whole lotta saddle-bum.

Yes, my lovelies - that is how long I had my rear parked on my bike, which itself was parked on a trainer. Granted, there were two bathrooms breaks and a 30-second jump-off to grab a snack, but, 4 hours later, I have emerged, relatively unscathed minus the aforementioned issue (which is currently throbbing and burning as I sit in this chair, but no need to go any further with it).

You may say, "Wow Megan, aside from that being utterly incredible, what did you do for that long?" And frankly, I would say back to you, "Oh, you're too kind. But I watched a whole season of Extras (see sidebar later for a review) and part of a movie called Nanny McPhee (again see sidebar)." My coach also gave me some drills to do, so I was able to break it up with that. All in the name of IM Arizona.

Given the current knee situation, this will be my first non-brick brick. That is, I was supposed to substitute a water run for a regular run after the bike, but the pool is not having Adult Swim right now so I can't. I will just have to do it tomorrow after my regular swim, which sort of defeats the purpose, I know, but running is running to me at this point. So be it, right?

Anyway, keep checking the sidebar for movie reviews, as I will try to post them up in the next few hours (I know I have been a little behind). Later skaters.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Keeping Track

Does sugar-free Extra Watermelon gum count as candy?

How about if you swallow it?

A lot?

Like a whole pack?

In two hours?

Just wondering.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Rough day, my little lovelies. I feel just really wiped out, and only managed to get in my ride today, so I rescheded the swim for tomorrow (after my PT appointment during which he will review the food diary - oooohhh).

I have to say, though, that I appreciate the blogger community and the support they give, as well as the comfort I feel when I read that I may not be alone when I skip some workouts or have a funk-kind of day. There is something guilt-reducing about admitting momentary physical/mental weakness because it seems that I am not alone, and I totally dig that.

On that note, I am going to try to pull myself together, maybe shower to clean the day off. I will try to post about the day's icky happenings later, but forgive me if I don't get to it til tomorrow.

Love and big Hershey kisses (mmm, candy),

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's Left of Me

All my good juice flowed earlier, so I got nothing super burning right now. I did do my long run today, which was limited to 8 miles, but good thing, because I realistically could not go any father with this F-ING KNEE!!!!

I am so over it right now. I can't even get really worked up, so instead I will just commit myself to water running (super) and try my hardest with the swim and the bike. I have pretty much assumed that I will be approaching the marathon part of the race rocking the run-walk program. Is it ideal? No. Kinda shaming? Sure. But better than then sacrifice all my work thus far, and my skills in the other disciplines. But will this take a way from my Ironman identity or the worthiness of the finisher medal? I am not sure, and I have to think about it. Perhaps. But perhaps not. As my mom said to me today, "The real glory seems to be just making it through the training." Right on, Big Mar. Right on.

And the eating? No candy today, so that is now two full days sugar-free. However, there was a slight bump in the road in the form of a medium cup of Love's frozen yogurt with some hot fudge (sugar free of course). Yummmm. And I did run 8 miles after all. Eh, I figure I deserve it.

As Rolly Noley (my little brother) would say, "Keep on keeping on."

Grumble, grumble...

Goes my belly cause I am HUNGRY!!!!! This whole "keeping track of my food" thing (see two previous posts) is not so awesome. The shame alone has forced me to stop mindlessly munching, but that's what was keeping me full. Now I really have to actually look to real, square meals. Huh? Pooey.

So here is my farewell to my old favs, my buddies, my sugar highs:

Candy, candy
What can say?
We've had a good run,
But today is the day.

For now we must part,
And only meet in the brief.
You once had my (gummy) heart,
But kinda ruined my teef.

All the way to back when my mom told me that
Eating donuts would "give me hips" and make me fat,
I turned to you, with the boast of "fat-free"
I make you my meals while ignoring your calories.

Jelly beans, Twizzlers, gummy cherries and ju-ju bees
Dots, mike-n-ikes, good and plenty, and some tootsies
MnM's, Red Vines, junoir mints and Milk Duds,
Have all bound to my gut and my ass with a thud.

But now is the time for me to grow up
To start eating real, or risk blowing up
See, I want to do this Ironman and I need better food
To help make me strong and stablize my mood (no more sugar highs!)

More good carbs, protien and fat
To help repair my muscles so I don't fall flat.
So farwell my good friend, and all your feel-good delight
And when Arizona time comes, I'll run strong through the night.

(Cue single tear drop)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

My Discovery

This is what I learned today:
If you have to write down everything you eat in a day, the shame alone of having to face the reality of your "comfort eating" is enough to keep your hands out of the Baked Lays Chedder and Sour Cream bag. Seriously.

As I noted yesterday, my new physical therapist (who, I've decided, will be saving my soon-to-be-glorious Ironman career) is making me write everything down so he can see what I need nutrionally and fill in the blanks with things to help better repair my traumatized muscles. And guess what? I did not eat one single piece of candy today. NOT ONE. And I am not even lying this time.

Granted, what was eaten, now that I look at it, is certainly not great. Far from it. At some level, I knew maybe I wasn't getting everything in that I needed, but I figured it was almost enough. Looking at it, no way. As of 7PM Chicago time, here is my day:

730Am: One bowl of Go Lean cereal with soy milk, coffee
900AM: Ride my bike 60 minutes
1100AM: Apple (red, medium), Go Lean bar
100PM: Pear, pretzels (20 twists), coffee
600PM: Apple (red, medium), 4 Baked Lays (no joke, just four), small bag of baby carrots
dipped in BBQ sauce (a Megan delight)
630PM: Salamon, spinach with fat-free dressing, black beans (two cups) mixed with white
rice (one cup)

Hmmmm. Now, on an ordinary day, there would not have been cereal, and there would be WAY more Baked Lays, a box of Dots, a package of Twizzlers, and maybe some gummy hearts thrown in for good measure. But that about covers it. It's kind of hard to escape the truth when it stares right back at you.

So at least I know where I need to do some of the work. I am going to go on the protien pill and I am certainly open to suggestions about more protien (that don't involve steak, chicken or such). I know there are vegatarian triathletes out there becuase I read your sites, so please feel free to hit my up with some ideas.

I gotta go to my meeting now. Later skaters.

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Smelly

I went to the physical therapist/chiropractor guy today and the news ain't great. The bad: he thinks it really might be a cartilage problem again (grrr!) which obviously requires some type of surgery. The good: he was able to do some adjustments to my leg and pelvis, and also worked out some of the tissue build up in the thigh, which will likely require ongoing assistance. Also, he will be giving me some pills to take for protein (will explain below) and for joint repair more powerful than what I have been using. An he wasn't outragously expensive (though he willbe added to the Cost list).

So the protein thing: At the very end of the session, he asked me about vitamins. I was like, "Come again?" and he was like "Huh? You don't use them?" And I was like, "Unless they are in the shape of Flintstones and taste like Pez, then no." Then he asked me what I eat, and I was, in my head, "no no no no no no, let's not go down this road, cause it's completely paved with gumdrops, lollipops and licorice. Literally."

Eventually it is uncovered that I don't eat meat or chicken, and sugar has its own holy place in my food pyramid (frankly, its the foundation) and I only recently have started eating fish (after years of being a vegan and vegetarian, which, sadly, is really a byproduct of my eating disordered history) to help boost the protein. And he's like, "So you only really eat protein once a day?" And I was like, "Well yeah, but its usually salmon which is full of good stuff...I hear..ummm...and I can REALLY put away some sushi." Pause. Blank stare. And he was like, "Okay, let's talk supplements." He basically is going to have me take a pill equivalent to "steak in a pill."

AND AND AND he's making me write down my food intake for the next week! I think we all know where this is heading, and its about as stinky as my feet when he made me take off my shoes. Oh, while we're on the subject, which food group does Large Tub of Movie Theatre Popcorn Soaked In So Much Fake Butter/Oil/Lard That It Burns Through The Bag go in?

Duh, it's corn.

So vegetable. Definitely vegetable.

So we set another appointment, he packed me up with some stretches and information, and sent me limping on my way. I have to admit that I am really struggling with the direction to go. Do I do this race, or suck it up and try again next year? For those that have done IM: can you train intensely in the swim and bike, and wing it in the run? I am struggling with a ton of emotions but I can't really articulate them right now. Feel free to point me in some direction.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Dog-Eat-Dog World

Holy procrastination Batman! I have so much work to do right now, but every five minutes or so, I have been getting up, checking my email, eating another snack, watching some tv (ever seen "Flip That House?" Addicted, I am). Right now Dynamite D is in the other room watching "The Wedding Planner" (you know, that gem of a movie with Jenny From The Block that for some crazy reason got overlooked in the Oscar race - What is the world coming to when J-Lo can't even win a gold statue?!?!?! Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got). I am even considering watching it with her just to avoid work. That, my friends, is how serious the procrastination is today.

The thought did cross my mind to maybe swim, but then I thought better of it when I thought about the cold pool and having to put on my bathing suit. Brrrr.

Oh, we did take the dogs to the dog park, which is not really smart to do four days after their trip to the groomers and a few days after much rainfall here - the two factors make for a muddy visit that ended with a cold hose in the alley behind the house, but I digress. So we are at the park, and TJ, who is by-and-large THE most friendly dog in the whole world, ended up going head to head with this fat, grumpy bulldog. We pulled him away, and he ran off happily, chasing down his tennis ball and sprinkling himself on all available trees. Eventually, the bulldog and his owner (equally grumpy) start to leave, and TJ goes over to sniff him out again (because that's what dogs do - humans give the "Manhattan once-over," dogs sniff butts) and they go at it again.

So I run over, and the guy starts yelling at me, "Can't we just leave, can't we just leave? I just want to leave." And I was like, "Well, did you ask my dog nicely?" (just kidding, I just pulled TJ away and let the guy leave). But what I really thought was: 1.) Dude, you're like 40, stop whining and, 2.) Dude, they are dogs, this is a dog park, and yours is the one on the leash, so you clearly have more control - by all means, leave.

The way I see it is that TJ gets along with just about every single dog there is in the world, maybe except for, like, two. If your dog and my dog are having problems, chances are it's because your dog is C-R-A-Z-Y and needs some doggie therapy. And chances are that if the dog needs therapy, so does the owner. So to all those crazy dog owners: here's my card, call me when you are ready to come to terms with your childhood.

Just kidding.
Sort of.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

No Pain

Today I completed a three and a half hour brick (3 hour bike, 30 minute run) and I did it relatively pain free, which is good. Now let's see what happens when I have to run for that long...

So here's a question: I read in this month's Triathlete Magazine that a 3-hour trainer ride is the equivalent of a 5-hour outside ride. This seems a little unequal to me, but I am no expert. What do you all think? If this is that case, does that mean I really did a five hour ride today (with saddle-stride to prove it)?

Friday, January 5, 2007

A Megan Type of Day

It took a while, but I eventually managed to pull myself off the pity pot on which I was wallowing, took my hand out of the Cheddar Cheese and Sour Cream Baked Ruffles bag, licked off the extra cheese, dusted off the biscotti crumbs, and hauled my ass over to the pool. In terms of effort, that alone should qualify me for a some type of Ironman medal.

However, prior to the pool, I did my laundry, and nothing feel better to me than a warm hooded sweatshirt, right from the dryer. I pulled it on, shoved my gym id into the front pocket and left. When I arrived to check in, I pulled the id out and handed it over to the front desk lady. It was only as I was reaching across the desk did I realize that a pair of black thong underwear had snuck into the pocket while in the dryer, attached themselves to the id and were now waving hello to the poor id-swiper. Her, as well as the whole sales team that sit to the side of the front desk, all the people waiting to check in behind me, and the scores of individuals sweating away on the gym floor right over my shoulder. Waving like a 10-year-old on a float at the Macy's Thanksgiving day Parade. Awesome. Truly, truly awesome.

The only thing that might, MIGHT be worse was when my sister showed up to traffic court to plead her case, only to find her own thong underwear attached to velcro of her jacket (taken right the dryer, as well) while standing in front of the judge.

Note to self - Underwear in one cycle, rest of clothes in another. Might take some extra time, but might save a whole lotta pain the future.

I'm out.


Before you read this, forgive me if this post is all over the place. I am feeling really scattered and hope that maybe verbalizing it might set me on track.

Did you ever feel yourself just kind of plunging down? When you know you have a ton of workouts left in the week, but doing anything just really seems pointless? Then you start to feel guilty because your fitness level is beyond where its ever been, and you worry you might lose it if you take a break? And you can't really take a break anyway because your race is in three months (three months!) and you are already sidelined by a raging knee problem that might just sidetrack the whole race anyway? How do you find the point in it all?

This all kind of came to a head last night when I was trying to do my swim. It was late, about 730pm, and for some reason, about an hour into my swim, I just started crying. I got a cramp in my left foot and the tears just came. I just quit. I got out of the pool, got my towel, buoy and keys, got dressed and went home. I quit the swim.

The weird part is - it had nothing to do with the actual swim itself, which was fine (long, but fine). I just feel bad. I am frustrated with the knee situation, angry that I have no insurance to get surgery if I need it again, have to pay more money to have another doctor look at it, and have to decide if I have any business even starting a race when my body is not 100%.

I know this also probably has a least something to do with my test result anxiety, job situation and family stuff, but it is all taking a toll on my training. I tried talking to my coach today, but he has so much going with his new baby and all, and he's so tired and distracted, which I understand, but I feel like I need some moral support in this. Larry is great by pointing out that this race pushes all your demons to the surface (boy, does it ever) and it really makes you think about things you more often than not choose NOT to think about. But I just feel stuck. I have no other way to put it.

I have a doctor's appointment on Monday to see if this knee thing can be fixed, and am pretty much not running at all until then. I have a 3:15 ride tomorrow, and hope that the weather holds, because I really don't feel like doing it inside (I get the WORST ass-thigh rash from sitting in the saddle so long on the trainer and there are no movies out right now that I can occupy myself with, but if worse comes to worse...) Anyway, I have to go finish the laundry and then try to collect myself to head to the pool.

Feel free to post suggestions on how to pull my head out of my butt.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

My Infliction

For the most part, I like to think of myself as a normal, down-to-earth, even "good catch" kinda gal. Okay, so I haven't been caught yet, but maybe I am just too fast (ha).

Anyhoo, despite all my shiny goodness, I suffer from this horrible, gut-wrenching, keep-me-up-at-night, agonizingly painful disease know as "Can't-Mind-My-Own-Business-itis." You may have heard of it, though it usually is found in older, female types, like mother-in-laws, oldest siblings, nosey neighbors, whathaveyou.

I can't say for sure when I contracted it, but I suspect I likely inherited it via the family blood line. Or at least my birth order and being the adult child of an alcoholic (all family members end up adopting roles - mine is the fixer control-freak) seems to be a contributing factor. In any case, CMMOB (for short) is this ebb-and-flow kind of disease where you can have really horrible flare-ups, but then remission for several months, almost like a honeymoon period that can trick you into feeling like you are cured. But without fail, a situation always comes up where you work so hard to keep to yourself, suck down your opinion, let others handle your business until the internal itching and the mental rash just overwhelms you and you end up vomiting your two cents up all other people that really don't need your help.

The medication I have been taking is usually administered twice a week in the form of ALANON meetings (yes, those meetings for family and friends of alcoholics). However, with the test and the holidays, I fell off a bit, stopped taking the medicine, and surprise, surprise - get sicker.

This week's unsuspecting victim? My sister and her fiance. With any new couple who have just bought a house and are planning a wedding, there are a whole lot of problems that come along. The trick is tyring to manage them like adults, each taking turns voicing opinions, empathizing, problem-solving and settling. All this things ultimately, or at least in theory, make the relationships stronger.

Oh, but not with Megan around, and now while her disease is running amuck. No sir-ee. Here I come with my walking wounds, my disease festering from all my pores, the shambles of my own life kicking up dust around me as I try to tell people what I think they should do, how they should do and when. Letting my virus block my respect for their personal space and rights, and infecting their process with my know-it-all beliefs. Man I can be sick. And the worst part? I can actually stand outside myself and watch myself do it, but I can't stop it. Like a bike crash in the Tour de France - you see the pile up ahead, but its so quick you can't react, and instead just brace yourself for the fallout. That's me. Just watching my own self-interests interfere with the lives of others.

I started taking my medicine again this week, but like Prozac, sometimes it take a while to kick in. I am going to take it again tonight, and for as long as I have to if it means making myself better. Being sick doesn't help my family (no matter how much I justify my behavior) and it most certainly does not make me feel good (tossing and turning all night in bed, constructing fake conversations/rationales/justifications in my head, the anxiety and frustration, the tears - no bueno). I don't think I will ever be cured, per se, but at least I can manage the disease a little better, and for my own good. I love my family too much to make them sick too, and I don't want to spend my life in isolation when their immune systems can no longer tolerate my virus.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Good Old Days

While I was feebly limping through my long run today, I forced my mind off the pain and began thinking about life before triathlon. Remember when:

1. Runs and rides were just that - runs and rides - and came without all the fancy specifiers like interval, speed, endurance, race pace, and long distance?

2. Runs had only one speed, not four or five, depending on the "session?"

3. Swimming involved things like inner tubes and water wings, not kick boards, pull buoys and paddles?

4. Bikes rides involved a ten-speed, the family, a baby seat and a Sunday afternoon along the lakefront, not five hours of steady paced riding followed by a 60 minute "brick?"

5. Coaches were limited to the years of formal schooling, and taught you basic mechanics of football, basketball and baseball, not race strategy, nutrition for long distances and heart rate monitoring?

6. "Recovery" wasn't part of your vocabulary because the week's workout consisted of two three-mile runs and a weight session in the garage, and no one really needs to recover from that?

7. When life was calculated by days, weeks, months and years, and not training blocks of Base, Build and Taper?

8. When the primary use for ice was for Diet Coke at the movie theatre, not in bags or tubs for knees?

9. When days started at 7 or 8, not 5 or 6, just to get a swim/run/bike in?

10. When distances were realistic and short enough that you never had to worry about injury or broken IM dreams?

I do.
And sometimes,
I miss those days.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


1. Went to the foot doctor today to cure my knee pain (makes sense, right?). Turns out I don't actually pronate (what?!?!?!), and my right foot is significantly shorter than my left (cue the circus music), which is likely the cause of at least some issues. And I think the doctor flirted with me a little....

2. Wasabi peas are the BOMB!!!!!! That may be the whitest thing I ever said!!!!!!!!

3. I swam 3000 meters today. Yeah, you read the correctly, and no, I did not mistakenly add another zero on. And I swam good.

4. My little brother recently had a major milestone in his life so GO NOLAN!

5. Long run tomorrow=fear of pain.

6. No word yet on the exam, but still holding breath (that smells like wasabi peas).

7. I re-learned today that I didn't create the alcoholics in my life, and I certainly can't control them (damn). Repeat three times.

8. Pedicures make toes look so pretty.

9. Today, I had good hair.

10. Larry told me arms are not the pipes I believe them to be, but rather "pipe cleaners."

I'm out.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Shout out!

Just want to say Hi to my little brother Nolan and his girlfreind Jenny who have discovered Project Procratination for the first time tonight, joining us all the way from Tennessee. Welcome to the party, kids. Enjoy the ride...

A New Year

As the first day of the new year winds down, all I have to say is "Thank God the holidays are over." And more because of the food, food, food, and not so much for the craziness. The reality is that this year, me and my sisters agreed to start our own traditions, now that we are grown, and have made a huge effort towards NOT feeling obligated to see relatives or make plans for things we don't want to do. Instead, we just really spent time with each other, and only if we felt up to it. And frankly, it was great.

See, after my dad died and my mom moved to AZ, there was really no one there to be the "glue," you know, that person that helps keep the connections between you and the cousins, aunts, and uncles. Making things even weirder on our end was that, when my mom left, we really kind of lost contact with most of our relatives on her side (though some re-appeared with my dad being sick) and then they kind of shunned us during the estate fiasco. Whatever. Moreover, most of the cousins were also getting older, getting married, and getting pregnant, so they started doing their own thing, leaving us to kind of just hang with each other (which was cool, because we really love each other's company more than anyone else's anyway - our cousin's always called us "snobs," and maybe we are - who cares).

So this year it was just us. Us and our own families. Honestly, it's a weird shift, because it really makes you come face-to-face with aging. Not that I am geriatric, but to even say that phrase "our families," that my sister's would have families of their own, rather than me be their family. I mean, I still am, but it's different. They are actually adults, and have adults lives to prove it. Moreover, now that they are adults, I have to stop believing that I can tell them how to live their lives, being the wiser older sister that I am. That they make their own decisions and plans without my input is a tough cookie to swallow (mmm...cookies). Sometimes I regret that we became so close so late, because I fear we missed out on time to just be us, before they found significant others to be their "us."

And now, my point: Last night we were talking about resolutions, and to be honest, I am already living the life that I usually make resolutions about. I quit smoking permanently two years ago, stopped my eating disordered behavior, am physically fit and set regular fitness goals, and am working on conquering the IM in April. So I guess this year, I will work on enjoying "our" families, in whatever form they come in, and whomever they include. I will work on letting my sisters and brother live their lives, not as I see fit, but how they see fit. I will work on selectively distributing my opinion on matters that really, really matter while shutting my trap on those that really, really don't. Andmostly, I will work on just letting go of the things I can't control, and "having the courage to change the things I can."

Peace in the new year.