Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Um, Yeah....

Damage has been assessed.

4 pounds, three days.

That's gotta be new muscle, right?


Ahhh, forget it.

I would say I could use it for extra insulation for those long, outdoors rides, but who am I kidding? All my rides are done in the comfort of my apartment/dorm room, in the glow of my new flat screen. The closest I get to the cold outside is viewing the new episode of "Everest" on Discovery.


But seriously, the image of having to push that little metal block up further on that swinging arm of the scale has been enough to make me take my hand out of the bag of chocolate rice cakes (sounds innocent - they're not - they're sugary and addictive and easy to consume by the BAGFUL) and let Cheese eat the last piece of pumpkin cheesecake.

I guess if I can put the L-Bs on, I can take them off. Hey, I managed to go to the movies last week and NOT get the popcorn.

Of course I ate two bags of candy.

I never said I was perfect.

And now I have the saddlebags to prove it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A New Ode to Food

I have spent most of the last week inundating you all with escapades of my social life, which, oddly, have include more events than in the whole last year combined. Funny how when you have a house guest, everyone suddenly wants to hang with you. Or maybe they want to hang with my house guest, and I’m just along for the ride? Hmmmmm…

I think the only thing I didn’t mention was the blogger reunion/Kansas football party on Saturday, which I sadly did not take pictures of, but have to say that Clyde and his wife are super sweet, and their daughter is amazingly adorable. It was great times, even if Kansas lost. Sorry, Cheese.

Unfortunately, the downside to so many social activities is the massive amounts of food consumed. So after a week of straight-up binging, I found myself two neglected children and a lip-synced MTV performance away from being Britney Spears – and not the hot “I’m a Slave 4 U” variety, but the “Gimme More”-and-by-that-I-mean-Cheetos Britney Spears.

Only, I probably ate her Cheetos somewhere in the food frenzy.

And my biggest mistake was thinking that my workouts would balance this all out – but you can only burn so many calories in one day, ya know? An 8k can only fix so much, right?

Oh food, oh food, how I both love and hate you.

So in the spirit of the holidays, just like last year, I came up with a neat little diddy to commemorate a week-long food binge only “The Biggest Loser” contestants could appreciate.

Here’s an early Christmas gift to you. You’re welcome.

I Am Now Fat
By Megan of Project Procrastination

Oh, the old healthy Megan, with shiny hair and skin,
The one with the small arms, defined waist and single chin.
She has disappeared, at least briefly - a victim of sugar and fat
Reduced to cellulite and seeking solace in her new yoga mat.
My once-flat belly, described by my sister as “chiseled,”
Has now been undone with pumpkin cheesecake and turkey gristle.
I thought by my workouts, I would be able to maintain
My decreasing body weight, minus my back pain.
An 8k for Thanksgiving to balance the feast
That would take place that night, feeding my belly (the beast).

But oh no!

The turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and bread
Not to mention the apple pie and cheesecake that still dance in my head.
I ate so much I actually belched and threw up when I got home-
I swore, “Never again!” but the vow would quickly be blown.

But oh, if it was only Thanksgiving that did it,
In fact, it was entire week of binging that that turned my baggy sweatpants into “fitted.”
It started with the infamous Black Tie Bingo
Where around the food table I danced a-ringo
Crab cakes, croissants, brownies and vanilla cupcakes!
Oh, the perils of having a family who bakes!

Then onto Thanksgiving, which we now know about,
Followed on Friday by wine, cheese and Mexican food with friends going out.
Then Saturday night, it was the Kansas football party,
Complete with Lou Malnati’s pizza, beer, and laughs a-hearty.
But that night I thought that I would be good,
So I ordered a grilled chicken breast, and avoided the pizza as best I could.
But that night the appetizers were what did me in,
The spinach dip, potato chips and cookies did win.

The official detox began yesterday with a bike ride
Two-and-a-half hours of sweating left few places for the L-Bs to hide.
But I blew it again today with Lime flavored chips
Dang! They are good! Even if they go straight to my hips.
I then washed them down with some sushi and ice cream
Well, really frozen yogurt, but nothing rhymes with yogurt.

So damn you pizza, turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and chips!
To hell with you cheese, bread, pies, cakes and dips!
You may have won this battle, but I WILL win the war
A fat little girl, I will be NO MORE.
‘Cause see I will be an Ironman, it’s this path I will forge
I will train myself to re-focus on fitness, not a gorge.
No movie popcorn or candy slip-ups
It’s water, fruits and veggies, measured by the cups.
The pool, bike and running will keep me straight
So myself at the end of the month I will not hate.

I know, I know. Pulitzer quality. Please, you’re too kind, but the applause is quite deafening. And while you have reached the end of this shockingly poignant piece of poetry, take comfort in knowing that, come New Year’s, I will likely have a few new pounds and more tasty stories of native delicacies, straight up from the rolling hills of Kansas. Bring on the fried squirrel!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Old School Lovin'

Okay so I lied. I said I probably wouldn't post for a few days, but then I had dinner tonight with one of my oldest and best friends, Anne-Marie, and her husband (who shall remain nameless, per request-hee hee) and - what a surprise - I happened to have my camera with me!

Anne-Marie recently traveled to Prague for business (she's a hot shot lawyer) and, in a fit of insomnia, she stumbled upon an old email of mine that included a link to the blog, and she began reading. Hey, I'll take any reason for readership, even if it's pure boredom.

Interestingly enough, she began on the posts from July, which also happened to be the month of her wedding. And, for those two loyal readers of mine, you may remember some comments I made about her bridesmaids dress (floor-length seer sucker ring any bells?) At the time, I think I commented that the dress was hard to imagine, but turned out better than one might think. Anyway, Anne-Marie thought I was bagging on the dress, and since I have not yet received my pics from the wedding, I can't prove that I actually liked it (evidence being me in the dress and smiling).

So I am posting these pics for two reasons. 1.) To make up for possibly bagging on her dress that I, in fact, liked (frankly, I thought I looked pretty good in it!) and 2.) Because Anne-Marie has gone too long without making an appearance on this blog, and reminded me of that tonight (which, if you ask me, is kinda bold for someone who just started reading it, even though its been around for a year, but I'm just sayin......Just kidding, kid - Love ya!)

So here we are, Anne-Marie, her husband (who again, shall remain nameless, but yet I will post his pic), Cheese and me (pointy boobs and all). We began the night with wine and cheese at her house, and then went out for Mexican food. Between her husband and Cheese, the night was hysterical. One of the funnier parts, however, was when the normally-together Anne-Marie leaned over to me about 15 minutes into dinner, and loudly whispers, "I know I might be saying a lot right now, but I am really drunk." Which was then followed by a loud review of my boyfriend each time he left the table to go to the washroom. In fact, I believe her words were, "I like him, I like him...Do you like him? You better like him."

She later told him (drunkly) that he passed the interview.

He was relieved.

And he wasn't even wearing a tie.

And I promise that, when I get her wedding pictures, I will most definitely post them. Me in all my blue seer sucker glory.


Oh, and Anne-Marie?

If it's between a pink spatua and a man that cooks dinner using it? I'd go with the man any day. It's time to let it go.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Blessings and Some Frozen Turkeys

Right off the bat, I am not going to make this post about all the things for which I am grateful. I have been working hard this last year to regularly identify, appreciate, and verbalize these things, so that I don't have to save it all up for one day a year. Needless to say, I spent my entire day surround by or in (phone) contact with those most important in my life.

Today started with the annual Turkey Trot in Lincoln Park. First off, it was literally 30 degrees and SNOWING this morning. Not to mention the brisk wind whipping us from the north. Waiting for that gun to go off was unbearable, but once the race actually began, it was not that bad. The runners braving the cold were me, Cheese, my sister Devin, and my running partner Warren (same guy from a recent post who wouldn't let me take his picture). And my brother-in-law Patrick was a super stud, coming to cheer us on despite the hellacious weather. What a trooper, cause lord knows that if that were me, I not only would have NOT gotten out of bed, but if I was forced to I would have bitched the whole time.

When the gun went off, I immediately lost all my running partners, so I ended up doing it on my own. My best time in this 8K was last year, which was like 42:something. Today, I managed a 45:08. Oh well, I can live with that, especially after an 8 month layoff. I felt really good for most of the race and at one point, between Mile 1 and 2, I was running through alongside the Zoo, with the yellow-leaved tress canopying the path, and the snow lightly falling, surrounded (somewhere) by my friends and family, and I had one of those moments. You know, those moments when you just inhale, look at the sky, and let the cold air just run through every cell of your body, appreciating the fact that your alive, and giving thanks for your health and all the things that got you to that moment. If the day ended right then, it would have been perfect.

Okay, sappy moment over. Moving on.

Cheese did fantastic - it was his longest run yet, and he had a PR! He looked great as he finished, and I was so proud to be able to scream his name. My sister and Warren also did great (they seem to have this little competition each year to win, and this year I believe it was Devin).

Here are the frozen turkeys, all finished and COLD. It's me, Cheese, Warren (yes, he let me take his picture! Thus, he is no longer a sissy, as I once accused him), and Devin.

After we went home for a nap, a hot shower and some eats, we headed on down to Ellie and Nat's for some seriously good food. The last few years, we have been working to establish some new traditions, so things have been weird, including different foods, new people, ect.

But this year, the family was relatively whole, and it's been a long time coming. Perhaps it was the fullness of my family, the reconciled relatiosnships and the brand new ones, but I swear it all made the food taste better. And when it was all eaten (pumpkin cheesecake and apple pie and brownies included) there was no rush to leave. We just all sat around, watched football and laughed. Again, it was perfect.

Me, practicing (just kidding, Cheese). Can you believe this kid's not even one year old yet? He's huge!!!
Me and Devin. Pre-dinner binge. As you can see, I don't yet have the meat-sweats that would later come with the enormous amount of food I would consume. Even Cheese was like, "Whoa Megan!" when I not only sucked down a full plate, but then proceeded to get seconds. And a piece of every dessert.
Hell yeah I did.

We took a family photo to send to my brother Nolan, who spent Thanksgiving with his fiance and her family in Tennessee, where they live. From left: Baby Nolan, Ellie, Nathaniel, my mom, Patrick, Devin, Cheese and me.
(After posting and re-reading this, I noticed that the sign above us reads, "Live well. Laugh often. Love much." How appropriate.)
I may take a day or two off posting because the next few days will be pretty busy around here, but I promise to back. I hope everyone out there enjoyed their day as much as I did, and was able to take a second to inhale, look at the sky, and just appreciate the people and things that got you to that place.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Time for Some More Randoms

I know I just had one of these posts, but sometimes the thoughts just get to runnin' and they're hard to stop, ya know? No? Well then, never mind.


1. I believe that sidewalks are like streets for feet, and should be navigated as such. Thus, if you drive on the right side of the road, you should walk on the right side of the sidewalk. Not in the middle, and not to the left either. See, by doing it this way, respecting the Feet Street, you avoid all those awkward moments where you and the person walking toward you get in this little dance of "Which way is he going to go?" and then you end up nearly colliding and mumbling "I'm sorry" under your breathe when you're really not, in fact, sorry, because that guy should have been on the right side to begin with, as you were, adhering to the Rules of the Feet Street.

2. And why do I always apologize to strangers? For random shit too. Like if I accidentally cut them off walking out a building (when they should try not walking so close to the building when door can swing open), or if they cut me off at Starbucks (yet I apologize - huh?) or if they don't move over when walking three abreast with their friends down a street and I end up having to walk in the grass around them. What is that about? Maybe I need to address this with my therapist. Let's move on.

3. Similarly, if you are walking next to someone, like a friend, and someone is walking towards you, it is common courtesy to simply step to the side- perhaps the front or back of friend - so that the other person can pass.

4. And while I'm on this topic, if you are in a grocery store isle, and there are other people in that isle, please make sure you park you cart as close to the shelves as possible when viewing the goods, and NOT smack dab in the middle of the isle, thus preventing people like me from passing through. And yes, I would be talking to you, Man With the Two Daughters Who Looked Me Dead In the Eye, Smirked, and Then Proceeded to Stop Your Cart in the Middle of the F-ing Isle Right in Front of the Cheetos and Debated the Merits of Crunchy Versus Flaming Hot with Two Five-Year-Olds. At least one of your daughters had enough sense and courtesy to move your grocery-cart-fashioned-like-a-plastic-kid-car. Must have learned her manners from her mom. Ass.

5. There seems to have been an explosion of squirrels in my neighborhood. And not those of the friendly variety either. Exhibit A: Cheese and I were returning from the grocery store only to be run down in front of my apartment building by a - how do you say? - disturbed looking squirrel. And he actually chased the Cheese down. Seriously. Check out the link to see a grown man squeal like a little girl, and talk bad-ass to a five-ounce rodent.

6. I am pretty sure that the Crazy Squirrels are likely due to the odd old lady that lives in my building and feeds them. Who does that? Feed squirrels? Apparently, if you're about 103 years old, 5'0, 65 pounds, and wear a brown wig, knee-high rainbow colored wool socks, three wool jackets, Chuck Taylor high-tops, and a scarf (in July) feeding squirrels is just what you do in your spare time. It's like your thing. Ahh, retirement and old age has never looked so good.

7. And P.S. If you are 103 years old, you are not fooling anyone with a brown wig. Especially when it's worn backwards. Hey - just sayin'.

8. Of course, I have not ruled out the possibility that the Crazy Squirrels implosion is perhaps due to the frequently with which I accidentally run over the Sane Squirrels, thus leaving the Cray/Sane ratio at an imbalance.

9. Smart Start Cinnamon Bars are my new favorites. Had two for an after-dinner snack tonight. Yeah, that's how I roll.

10. American Gangster? Good, but not as good as I expected. Movie theatre popcorn? Yeah, still as good as I expected.

11 (Bonus!). And lastly, I broke my candy fast to indulge in a little Mike n Ike action Sunday night. Sure it wasn't enough that I gorged myself at dinner with my sister, brother-in-law and boyfriend, but then I topped it off with a box of sugar and some fake butter over high-transfat popcorn. God Bless America.

Cheese, Me, Devin, and Patrick: Post-Black Tie Bingo, Pre-Movie Theatre Binge

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Black Tie Bingo

My sister and her husband tend to throw these really great parties. My sister LOVES to entertain, and between her and my mom, can cook something SILLY.

Last night was no exception. the theme for the party was Black Tie Bingo, and the girls has to war their best party dress (that they wore only once - so think bridesmaid's dresses) and guys had to wear a black tie (didn't have to be tux, just a black tie). I wore a dress I literally wore twice in my life, about five years ago, and Cheese (who, by the way, is in town for two weeks - yay!!) looked amazing in his new black tie and suit.

It's me!

It's Cheese!

This is Cheese and my friend Joe (you may recognize him from the wedding pictures!) Joe was looking all daper, but his wife was unable to join us because they couldn't get a sitter. This is Cheese and Joe "pouring one out" for her!

My mom catered the event, and the food was seriously SICK (I called her this morning and told her that, and she worriedly responded, "Why honey? What was wrong with it? People got sick?") No, that's a way of saying that it was so ridiculously good Cheese and I permanently planted ourselves by the table all night. Beef tenderloin on croissants, chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce (all homemade) crab cakes with homade mustard sauce, some amazing things which I have no idea what was on it but DAMN! There was so much more, but I can neither spell them, nor fully explain how good it was.

My sister also hired a bartender, which would explain why everyone was so shitfaced by night's end (Cheese, Joe and I being the exceptions).
The hostess with the mostest, and her gorgeous son, Nolan. Nolan lasted about ten minutes from the time I got there until the time his little model feet slid into his Nebraska Huskers onesie. Oh, apparently Ellie's friends call herson Zoolander, because of his recent Ford Modeling contract. If you look closely, you can see his version of Blue Steel.

Ellie doing her duty as caller. Did I mention that I won one round of Bingo? I walked away with some Williams Sonoma soap and lotion. But Cheese and I didn't win the Best Dressed Couple Award. I call bullshit on that. Recount!!!

It was a really fun night. My sister definitely did it up Martha Stewart style. And as I mentioned Cheese is here (got in Friday night) and we have pretty much just been hanging out. He is staying through Thanksgiving, and will likely extend his trip. YAY!!!!

You know what that means? More pictures!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Punishment

Today was my long run. Well, long for me. It was about 7.5 miles, so I decided to do it on the lakefront path. My friend, Warren (the running guru who has completed about 11 marathons and led me complete my two Chicago marathons) nicely agreed to run with me. He is training for Rome in the spring. He's a running machine.

By the way, I brought my camera to take a picture of us, but he refused. He said, "No one wants to see my ugly face." Sissy.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with sore knees, faltered over whether or not to do it today, and gave in.

As the run began, I immediately knew there were problems. The knees pretty much were in agony over the entire run, so much so that at two points, I even asked Warren if we could walk.

And while the conversation with my running buddy was great, the internal dialogue went something like this:

Me: Oh, knees, please feel better. Please let this be one of those things where, once you settle in, you feel better.

Knees: Yeah, okay, Big Girl. Let US do you a favor. Let US get you through.

Me: I sense some anger, Knees.

Knees: Anger? Anger?!? How intuitive of you. By our calculations, you do long ride Sunday, cross train on the Elliptical for an hour Monday, do yoga, swim AND run yesterday, and you expect us to be happy? Girl, please.

Me: Okay, okay, okay! So I haven't treated you so well these last few days. I just got really excited about training, and figured I would see what I could do.

Knees: Says the lady whose been rehabbing a back injury for the last nine months, and has already had two surgeries on us from over-usage. Real smart. Hey, aren't you a doctor?

Me: Well, you don't have to get so sarcastic. That's my fighting tool. And besides, I already apologized.

Knees: Really? I didn't hear it. Hey other knee, did you?

Other Knee: Nope. Can't hear anything over the throbbing pain that is radiating under my cap.

Me: Guys, listen. I really am sorry. I know you and my back are taking the most abuse in the next several months. I was wrong. I should have given you a day off. In fact, I will give you a day off tomorrow. I promise. Not even a swim. A whole day off!

Knees: Oh how very generous of you. As long as we make it through the pounding you are currently delivering to us, right?

Me: (Silently weeping) I am begging. And I don't beg. Anymore. Not even for food.

Knees: Alright, fine. We'll stop hurting for the last few miles. Besides, your Back told us it wants to punish you for a while, so I guess we can step aside.

Me: I understand. And guys? I promise - no more being a pighead. You work hard, you deserve your days off.

Knees: It's about time you give us some respect. Now, Back - it's your turn.

So that's how it went down.

Lesson learned.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's late, and I need to eat some more Ibuprofen. For dessert. To compliment the nice plate of Aspirin I ate for dinner.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Moments When the Miles Aren't So Hard

7:59 PM.

Knock on the door.

Stranger: "Is this apartment ---?"

Me: "Yes."

Stranger: "Then this is for you."

Special delivery from California.

He's been working almost 100 hours a week, and yet he still takes the time to think of this and do it. And send the card I received in the mail earlier today.

My heart is so full it hurts.

I love that feeling.

How did I land this?

Friday can't get here soon enough.

And then I'm not letting him leave.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Frequent Flyer Miles

Wow. Check out this schedule:

  • December 21 - Kansas for Christmas (time to meet the BF's parents!)
  • January 25 - Miami, Florida for 1/2 marathon (with the BF!)
  • February 24 - New Orleans to cheer on my sister as she runs the marathon in hopes of qualifying for Boston (run Devin!)
  • March 8 - Tennessee for my younger brother's wedding (all grown up!)
  • April 13 - Ironman Arizona (fingers crossed!)
  • April 21 - Boston, to cheer on my sister, who WILL qualify (chance of a lifetime!)

Holy mother of all things air travel. God, I hope I have enough vacation time.

On that note, time to set up more private practice clients. Something's gotta fund the next six months.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Bank

So another week, another long(ish) ride in the books. Right now, my back is feeling okay, but I know that the next five months will be peppered with regular chiro appointments, bi-weekly massages (already scheduled through the end of January) and continued improvements to my diet (and no, I did not give into the sugar shakes of the previous posts - I stood my ground, and ate some high-fiber cereal instead - you're welcome, colon).

And on Tuesday, I start yoga!!!

A friend has been talking to me about getting started for a while, and frankly I have tossed the idea around since the back injury. But I didn't really trust my gym to try it out there, and was really too lazy to look for a yoga studio (despite the fact that I live in one of the most granola-y towns where yoga studios are like Starbucks). So when I was introduced to a studio in the neighboring north suburb, I said, "Hell yeah!"

I was supposed to start tomorrow, but my newly appointed yoga partner can't go, so alas, it will have to wait 'til Tuesday. I was just reading on the benefits of the yoga on back injuries, as long as you don't over do it (which, at this stage in the game, I have no desire to do - quite a far ways from the old, push through the pain Megan). So there's that.

On a separate but related note, when I was doing the IM training last year, I started making a list of the costs related to this event. I think I need to start doing that again, if for no one else than myself, because seriously, I can really let this stuff ruin my otherwise rational perspective on money. Although, I do like to believe that in the end of all of this, I will be stronger than ever, and hopefully on the road to a lifetime of successful races.

So like Go Mom Go commented a couple posts back, all of this - the increasingly long rides, the sometimes-crappy swims, the used-up weekends, the coach/chiro/massage therapist/yoga - they are all deposits into the Bank Of Ironman.

Oddly, the more deposits I make, the more monetary withdrawals I am forced to make. And when your account is at the Bank of No Cash Flow, balancing the checkbook with all this activity is like an effort in futility.


Is it April yet?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Shakes

It's Saturday night.

I worked all day in private practice, have been working on reports all night, am having SERIOUS sugar withdrawals, there's not a single honey wheat pretzel in the house, and I'm 1500 miles and six days away from seeing my BF (who I have not seen in three weeks).

AND I just banged my funny bone writing this, which is not only NOT funny, but has numbed my left hand.

Please, does anyone have a good joke or story? Anyone?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Three New Reasons I Love IM Training

This is the beginning of what I hope to be a really long list of things I love about IM training. I feel like, going through this for a second time, and following a really horrible and disappointing back injury, I am a lot more appreciative of the little things. So here's to training!

Why I Love IM Training:

1. Long workouts and 2-a-days justify a REALLY long and REALLY hot shower. Ahhhhhhh.....

2. My math skills are steadily improving with my endurance (lap counting and adding, foot strikes and cadence, pedal strokes, money subtracted from grocery fund for chiropractors/coach/masseuse, etc.)

3. In the last two weeks, I have literally shoved anything I can find down my throat that could be remotely justified as food (qualifier: it stood still for more than five seconds or could be covered in ketsup/bbq sauce) AND this is what happened:

Oh yeah. I figure it's at least an inch. Not that I am trying to lose weight (I am not), and truth be told, it likely has something to do with the abstinence from daily meals of Mike n Ikes and Red Vines (minus one relapse on Swedish Fish candies last weekend - I was stressed, I already psychoanalyzed it), but I'll take it. Plus, I am taking to the idea that if you eat a bunch of small meals through the day, you metabolism hikes up, which is what I have been doing.

Now if only I can find the desire to hit the weights, I may be able to make something out of this soft shell.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fish Out of Water

Before I left for my swim this afternoon, Cheese said to me, "Swim like a fish. You're making yourself stronger. Now go tear up that pool. GOGOGOGOGO!"

So I tried.

And I did swim like a fish.

If that fish had no fins.

Or gills to breathe.

And was left for dead on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Ya know, there are times when you have a bad swim, and then there are the BAAAAAAD swims.

I was slated to do a 2100 (as a point of reference, I did a 2200 at 41:19 last week - not fast, but solid for me). The warm-up was okay, but it all fell apart during the main set. At one point, I noticed I was wiggling through the water. Not gliding, as a fish might do, but wiggling, like a worm dropped into a bowl of water.


Try as I might, I couldn't find my form. And boy did I want to quit when I looked at my watch and saw I was only 25 minutes and about 1100 yards into it. Yikes.

The only thing that got me through was hearing the voice in the back of my head saying, "You're making yourself stronger." So I may not have swam the perfect 2100, but I stuck with it, thus making my mind stronger. Hey, something needed to grow today, and if it couldn't be my swim endurance, it might as well be my mind. 'Cause that will for sure come in handy in Arizona.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

On My Way

Oh, training.

How I do love you and fear you, all at the same time.

When I was getting ready for bed last night, I looked at what my bike workout was for this morning, as was a tad surprised to see it was a 1:45 ride.

Now, I know to most of you, that's so short it may not even be worth doing. But to me, it would be my longest yet. Pair that with the upcoming training plans I just received from my coach (which includes a 2:15 bike and 1:30 run), and I got a little scared. Kinda like Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush, when she almost dies surfing, then can't get back into the water, even though she knows she has the ability. And she ends up mentally talking herself out of it most of the time.

Of course, I am not Kate Bosworth (I'm taller, thicker, have brown hair, and no coke problem), and surfing is not within the realm of things I know how to do, but you get the picture.

So I got on the bike today kinda freaked out. But guess what?

Yeah, I was fine. And I still am, sitting here a couple hours later. I managed to even take a shower and lean over for the soap without pain. Now THAT is an accomplishment oft taken for granted.

With each new completed workout, I am seeing my body start to snap back into shape. The muscles in my legs and shoulders are coming back. The ability to run for more than 30 minutes without gasping is coming back. And my tolerance for sitting on a trainer for longer than 30 minutes without crippling myself is coming back. And I have not talked myself out of a single swim thus far. P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S.

All of this is to say that IM Arizona is coming into view. I have been asked by and talked to my family, friends, and Blogger friends about sharing a house down there (rented or borrowed - we're not sure yet), looking into flights, and research new training clothes for the winter training and the race. I even managed to watch the Versus broadcast of the '07 race I had Tivo'd while on the trainer today, and without crying. Though this may be getting ahead of myself just yet, it keeps it real for me. So yay.

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, I have written a longer version on the training/health/life update, but am still hesitant to post it, almost like not wanting to get TOO excited too early. So I will keep on doing the smaller workouts, and post when I feel more secure about the health of my back.

That's all I got, boys and girls.

Friday, November 2, 2007


I don't recall why it started, but around the time when my dad was sick, my family was goofing around and they nicknamed me "Patches." I think it was because I developed this horrible habit of scratching my head when I got stressed out, which caused my hair to fall out. In patches.

Since that time, I have stopped scratching my head as a form of relief, and the hair eventually grew back. I then replaced this bad habit with shopping and Red Vines.

Hey, we all have out vices.

And since that time, my naturally curly, really thick hair has grown back, in full force.

However, yesterday morning I was taking a shower, and I noticed an unusually large amount of hair in my hand. Then last night, when I was taking another shower (yes, I shower often three times daily - maybe this is part of the soon-to-be-mentioned problem) and literally a CHUNK came out. It was all knotted up, and the size of a grape.

I was like, WTF?

And then finally, when I thought my week's quota of hair had come out, I was showering after my swim this morning, and guess what - same thing. Not to mention the fact that I threw my clothes in the laundry minutes before, and they were covered with strands of my hair, as is the floor of my arpartment/dorm room.

So suffice to say, I am now worried.

I remember a time, as a kid, I used to wish for pin-thin, straight hair. I hated my hair, and even remember asking for the hair-thinning device they show on info-mercials for Christmas.

If I only knew then....

But now I have come to LOVE my hair. I do. It's really soft, and curly, and flows down my back, and I just it. But now it very well might be leaving me.

Dudes, seriously, I am only 31. I am not ready for this. I don't want to be bald by my next birthday.

And why does it only fall out up there? Why can't it simply fall out in other places? Sure would save me a ton a dough each month in bikini waxing. Geesh.

Although, hold up - that might be a little weird. Can you imagine getting out of the pool one morning, and leaving behind a little swarm of private-part hairs?

Okay - just grossed myself out.

And what doctor does one go to see about this? A dermatologist? My gyne? I don't really have a GP, so I feel stuck. Maybe it's nothing, but I am kinda worried. Of course, it could be the fact that that I wear my hair in a ponytail everyday, wear a swim cap a couple times a week, don't often brush it unless I go out, and have a thing for a flat iron every now and then. But I have never colored it or done any real damage to it, so I don't know what's up.

Any thoughts?