Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moving on Up

Before I launch into my big “what does it all mean?” post, two things:

First, I just wanted to take a second and tell my sister, Ellen, that I am thinking about her and her family. Despite my profession, I don’t always have the right things to say, and maybe sometimes and some situations don’t always require any bits of wisdom. But Ellie – you are on my mind, and I know that, like many other things in your life, you will persevere through this – you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You’re a great mommy.

Second, thanks so much for all the food suggestions. Not only did I have to actually make a grocery that consisted of things other than Smart Ones microwave meals (for one), peaches, frozen spinach and canned tuna, but it also reminded how effing lazy I have become when it comes to my eating. Not just lazy in my preparing it, but lazy in my shopping for it, thinking about it, etc. The most time I usually spend thinking about my food is the ten minutes it takes for my instant brown rice to cook.

And that ten minutes is usually spent inhaling a bag of pretzels and wondering what the hell is taking so long.

So thanks for bringing me back to honest.

As for the rest of this post – I figured it was about time to start talking about this.


Here goes.

(Neck crack, knuckle crack)

So in exactly one month, the Cheese and I will start cohabitating.

There it is. I said it.

My room for one will become an apartment for two.

Mostly, I am bubbling with excitement. See, Cheese and I have dated for the last 11 months (12 months by the time he relocates). He’s from Kansas, but spends 3-4 weeks of the month on the road for his job. His 4-5 day breaks between deployments are usually spent here in Chicago, so it made sense for him to move here.

But for these first 11 months of our relationship, we have mostly been apart, trying to build us up from these intermittent visits, and mostly phone conversations. And since most of our time is spent on the phone, I think it goes without saying that, when you try to build a relationship this way, it’s like a breeding ground for issues – all those things that new couples sweep under the rug those first blissful months were smacking us in the face right out of the gate.

So we’ve had some ups and downs. My insecurities RAGED (I mean, how would you deal if you knew your boyfriend was spending weeks in hotels with other girls? Me? Not so well). And for him, I think there was an adjustment period for him, too (I won't embarress him by laying them out here).

And the emotional stuff aside – we both have grown accustomed to being single – to having our own space, our own time, our own lives. I live alone, come and go as a I please, I eat what I want and certainly don’t cook (Cheese, in fact, was the first one to use my stove, even though I lived here for months before meeting him), shower three times a day, and sleep diagonal across my bed. My bed partner is often a stack of magazines and unread books, I stockpile tampons, I ride my bike on the trainer without worrying someone is sleeping, I fart and no one cares, and I have a tendency to leave my clean clothes unfolded in the basket until I need them. I have no concerns about the fridge housing only bottled water and ketchup, I own two plates and a pot I stole from my sister, and I tend to leave wet towels on the bed – basically, I am about single as it gets.

And decision-making – before, the only person I consulted about everything was ME. Wanna do an Ironman? Self says okay. Wanna go buy a new sundress? Self agrees, and suggests you throw in some shoes. Now these things will all require consultation.

It's sort of weird giving up my single girl status - not in the sense that I want to still date (I don't) but I have been the last (wo)man standing for so long that I guess I sort of got used to that identity.

Is that weird?

And then there are the implications of what this all means. Here again I should stress that I love this man – I loved him before I ever laid eyes on him, and every day I am amazed that even more love can get squeezed into the little openings in my heart. And though we can argue like champs, we love each other with a passion that refuses to let us quit. He constantly strives to be a better man to me, and I for him.

So it's natural to think ahead– I mean, he wouldn’t be moving here if we weren’t planning to move forward. It’s weird too, because we both came into this with a “no marriage” stance. And now that has changed. And for as much I want this all, it’s still scary, no?

Can he live with and survive my crazy? Can I live with and survive his?

I mean, I am not so naive to think that "all you need is love" to make things work. So do we have what it takes to make this work?

I'd like to think so. I'd like to believe that all the ups and downs have left us with greater respect and certainty that this is right - we are right.

I don’t know if I am even articulating this all very well – I am still sorting it all out.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am standing on the edge of some really big changes.

Good changes, but big nonetheless.

Little Meggie is growing up.

And she’s bringing Cheese with her.

Hope he likes to Swiffer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Yeah, so I have been MIA for the last few days. Kinda got a lot on the brain right now. I actually did a post yesterday, but realized it sounded really whiney – and honestly, I have nothing to whine about. Well, expect for the current state of the presidential election, but I try to keep politics off the Project.

So until I can organize my thoughts about what’s going on (‘cause it’ll come in the next few days), here’s a smattering of what popped into my brain today.

Big Red
In the locker room after my swim today, I learned that, when it comes to true red heads, there’s a lot of truth behind the saying, “The curtains match the rug.”

And speaking of body hair, I am so sick of mine. Rare is a week in which I don’t have to pluck, shave, or wax some part of my body. It all just makes me want to run away to Eurpoe and get adopted by Madonna – I mean, her daughter seems to be the only person I see that can get away with a rockin’ unibrow and ‘stache that would make any 13-year old boy jealous.

And I Didn't Even Enjoy It
A text exchange with my ssiter:
Devin: Guess where I am?
Me: Where?
Devin: At [Car Fixing Place].
Me: Oh yeah? Ask them if they remember me. I'm the girl they fucked twice over when they fixed my "flat tire."
Devin: Hold on...yeah, Joel says he remembers you. Foul mouth, pretty face, tears flowing like a river.
Me: Good. Well, tell them that my brakes still suck, my ass still hurts, and my bank account is still crying about the $1100 that was stolen from it.

In hindsight, what I should have done was bring her a condom and some AstroGlide.

Gym Rats
And speaking of gym, my usual YMCA was undergoing maintenance, so I had to visit my old one – the hotbed of meatheads otherwise known as “The Den of Douches.” Anyhoo, today was like a 60-minute long movie of why I no longer pay monthly dues here.

Leading man #1: The Ball Man. When I first spotted him, he was in the free weights section, watching himself in the mirror (of course) as he balanced on the Swiss ball on his feet. Like, standing on it. Now, while I admit I thought it was kinda cool, apparently so did he, because then he proceeded to take his little circus act around the gym against any piece of equipment of free walls space, all the while making sure everyone was watching him. I noticed he kept working his way closer and closer to the treadmill line, where (coincidently? I think not) about five girls, all around my age and head-to-toe in spandex, were running. Eventually, Brotherhood of the Traveling Ball placed his act right next to the treadmill row, strutted around a bit, then hopped on. When he was done, he picked up his ball, walked in front of the treadmills, and stared. At us. As if to pronounce “Whaddya think about that, ladies?”

Best Supporting Actor: It’s about 90 and humid here today. No matter how high the AC in the gym, it’s still pretty stuffy. So then why do guys walk around in their tee-shirts, shorts and WOOL SKULL CAP?!?!?! Bad hair cut? Premature balding? Or just a case of "Jack-Assitis?"

Heads Up
A bird almost flew in my car today. While I realize this story would be much funnier if it actually did happen, I have to admit that it came so close to my face that it made my heart stop.

And my pee leak.

A little.

And If You Still Have An Appetite…
I have a legitimate question. I am really struggling with the weight thing right now (which in part accounts for my funk) and need to get better at the whole midday eating thing. While I manage a good breakfast (high fiber cereal) and lunch (usually a turkey sandwich), I do get hungry between lunch and dinner. A LOT. Any suggestion on what to snack on that isn’t loaded with sugar or fat? I mean, something good? I eat a ton of fruit already (that one’s for you Andra) and need to break my pretzel habit, but I am out of quick, easy ideas.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Momma Cheese

(Note: I have not gotten permission to post pictures of Cheese's mom yet, so here are a few without her actual face).
Cooling our feet in a pond after miles of walking.

The Bean.
Momma Megan and Me
Yeah, so, I pretty much haven’t gotten out of bed all day today (Sunday).

I think on top of an uber-busy weekend, the 12-miler I squeaked out (after dropping Momma Cheese off at the airport this morning) was just a little more than my little tired body could handle.

As for the weekend, it was great. After picking up Momma Cheese on Friday, we spent the day downtown, eating at Lou Mitchell’s, checking out the Sears Tower and Grant Park, and going on a boat tour. We rounded out the day with dinner with my sister and her husband.

Saturday brought a ride on the “El,” breakfast at Ann Sathers on Belmont, a walk through Wrigleyville, Boy’s Town, South Lakeview, and then a stop to get our nails done. We met my mom for dinner at Rosebud on Taylor, and the saw “Jersey Boys” downtown.

My family was great, and I think Momma Cheese really had a good time. It is always interesting to me to see my city through the eyes of a visitor – I have no shame when it comes to doing the tourist things, and taking a ton of pictures along with it. It was also, I think, a big culture shock to both of us – again, me seeing the city through her eyes, and her seeing the city through mine.

For example, the constant sounds of sirens (police, fire, ambulance) were shocking to her. At one point, as an ambulance sped past us, she looked over at me in the car and asked, “You don’t even notice it, do you?” And I responded, “Notice what?” And then I swerved to avoid hitting a bus while she white-knucked the dash.

Then on the El, after the doors opened and a large Indian family, two black kids and some very elderly Chinese people entered, she whispered, “Chicago’s pretty diverse, huh?” Then finally, during breakfast in Boys Town, she said, “So you say you and Cheese ate here after a race? Huh. It surprises me that he would be okay with ‘this’.”

She was even more surprised when I told her how many phone numbers he managed to score there that morning. He’s got the charm, doncha know?

I have a lot of favorite parts during the weekend, but one of the best was when she asked, “So how many kids are you going to have?” This was asked 45 minutes after picking her up from airport.

And then she told LOTS and LOTS of Cheese-as-a-kid-and-teen stories.

Some sink-your-teeth-in-juicy ones.

Honestly, she is probably one of the sweetest woman you would ever meet - she is the perfect blend of genuine goodness and sarcastic wit, complete with a good old Kansas drawl.

And I seriously hope that I didn’t come across as bitching about having a houseguest. If I did, it certainly wasn’t my intention – I was really looking forward to Momma Cheese coming to see how the big city folk do it (ha), and I think I just got a little stressed, what with all the fridge’s falling apart (by the way, it was fixed, so turkey-slices-and-Red-Bull-disaster averted-….say it with me – “PHEW!”).

Oh, and if you ever thought I embellished my behaviors at their house over Christmas, Momma Cheese made THREE mentions of how much I ate at that time. In fact, her words were, “I STILL can’t believe how much food she got into her mouth.”

It’s been seven months.

Ah, I guess I leave a pretty memorable impression.

(And yes – there was mention of the fact that I single-handedly ate ¾ of a pie. The only thing that prevented me from finishing it off was the coma I then fell into shortly after Piece #6).

Speaking of sweets, there’s an Ann Sather’s cinnamon roll in the fridge that’s got DINNER written all over it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Too Tired to Think of a Title

I would spend some more time giving a training update, but there's not a ton to embelish on when you've rode, swam and run once this week.

So here's some stuff non-training related.

The door on my refrigerator fell off today.

Any other day, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass.

We all know I pretty much eat canned tuna and caramel rice cakes and call it a meal.

Needless to say, the fridge of often devoid of anything more than bottled water (for guests – I drink tap), sugar free Red Bull, and (if I’m training) turkey slices (pre-packaged of course). I am nothing if not the epitome of healthy eating. I know. Be jealous.

But see today is important. Today is the day I prepare for my weekend houseguest.

And this is not the usual houseguest (read: Cheese). No, in fact this houseguest is one step above Cheese.

It’s Cheese’s mom.


Just his mom. No Cheese.

She’s coming in to chill with me, see the city, and spend some quality time with the woman who has forced her only son to actually become a man.

A couple months back, I mentioned that it would fun to have her come to Chicago for a weekend and hang, and this is the weekend.

We've got tons of stuff planned, and I love being a tour guide to my city. I LOVE having visitors, especially when it's summer in Chicago (read: if you ever feeling like dropping in, give me a call - I live for this shit).

But the problem here is, Cheese's mom is staying with me.

In my dorm room of an apartment.

With my fridge door on the ground.

Even though I suggested a hotel, Cheese thought it would be good for us to have some "girl time." He even suggested that it would be okay for her to sleep in my bed – with me – until a minor argument led to the decision to get an air mattress.

‘Cause it wasn’t bad enough that I was going to ruin her image of a hot shot, ultra glam, big city, high class badass professional woman when I picked her up in my 8 year old shit box car and take her to my studio apartment with 32 years of life crammed into it. Now the poor woman has to stare at the open gaping evidence of my bachlorette lifestyle. At least with the fridge door shut, I could have thrown some fruit in a bowl and lit a candle to make it all look sort of presentable.

Naw, I'm just kidding about the image thing. I think I pretty much solidified my "image" when I showed up to their house for Christmas and literally made a pig of myself by eating everything in sight, wore the same clothes for three days, and sat at the dinner table in my bathrobe. Yup, nothing but class here, folks.

But what can I do about it now? I have done my best to warn her about the living situation (although no one is ever actually quite prepared for how truly small it is until they see it – my own mom had to catch her breath when I opened the door). She seems to like me anyways - even crocheted me an afgan for my bed. It's pink.

So as long as she doesn’t open the cabinets and witness the Cheez-It habit, open the closet door, peer too closely at the corners of the room, look inside the microwave, or check under my desk, we should be okay.

Last night, I went to bed at 5:30 AM (work), and then had to get up two and half hours later (work). My patience is short, and the mood is ripe for a rant. Here ya go:

So there has been this thing bothering me for some time, but I sort of forgot about it until Mommymeepa recently reminded me.

Here’s the thing: I have noticed this trend, perhaps an epidemic, that is plaguing many of the young hipsters here in Chicago. At first, I though it was a fluke – you know, some young trendy-wannabee high schooler or artsy-type making a statement. But then, more and more, it was all around me.


In July.

Like, with shorts and sandals.

Like, the one’s you wear around your neck to keep the winter chill at bay.

Scarves are ALL OVER.

I see them on the street, at Ravinia, in the bookstore – I can’t get away from them.

When "Stuff White People Like" first noted this epidemic, I thought, “Oh how funny and true” but now it’s IN MY BACK YARD!!!!

I mean, what is the point of this? Is it a fashion statement? Is 95 degrees and humid not warm enough? Are these folks possibly anemic? Are they being used a hicky covers?

(Ewww….hickeys…….Remember when that was cool, at age 13, when you had your first boyfriend/girlfriend? No? Me neither....I heard it once...somewhere)


Back to point.

For any of you currently try to pull of this ridiculous trend – take note – Try some thing else. If you need to set yourself apart as trendy or hip, get a tattoo, pierce your nipples, vote for Obama - I don’t care.

Just save the scarves for weather below 40 degrees. Don’t worry – it’s like a month away.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What It Be



Cause it's that kind of day.

Did anyone else see the WNBA fight? Crap, those bitches are fierce!

Me personally? I never got in a fight. The closest I ever came to fighting was in the sixth grade - Jenny Rodriguez was trying to steal my friend away, so I shit-talked her and she decided that was grounds to kick my ass.

So after school, we met at the corner, and before I could get the first swing in, she knocked my sissy-ass in the snow pile. It was humiliating, but bound to happen - after all, she outweighted me a good 20 pounds, had a white-girl afro, and a dead-tooth. Now, why that all made her tougher than me, I don't know, but it sure did scare the crap out of me back then.

Something tells me, though, that if I met her in a dark alley tonight, I would give her a ass-kicking she'd never forget, complete with a bitch slap from my Ironman medal.

Love Your Kids
Today, I had to close the door to my office and cry on my desk.

We just got a horrible case in - guardians killed a 12-year-old after years of grotesque torture - I mean, shit you can't even understand how people think up.

And sometimes, you just have to cry it out.

And then go back to work.

Are You Kidding Me?

I was leaving the gym when I got an email notice on my phone.

Apparently, there is photo evidence of my DNF.

So I tried to copy it ('cause lord knows I'm not buying this memory), and post it here.


You can click on it, but I don't think it enlarges. But if it did, you would see me stiffling my tears as I cross into transition. And man, do I look good and pissed off - you can just tell by the scowl, the swinging arms, the stomping feet. Now THAT'S a pout in progress. I can just imagine the thoughts going through my head:

"Mother fucking race...I hate this shit...Triathlon sucks money balls..fuck this shit....I'm goin' home...."

Or something like that.....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back to Self

Since I have no idea how to format posts with pictures, I figured I'd post the pictures at the end so the words don't get screwed up.

Just think of them as the treat at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box!

So, at some point last night, the train came and took the Drama Mama back to where she came from.

But what she left in her wake was two empty bags of gummy bears, a broken bike, and some black-marker-stained arms that read, “462.”

But it was good to see her sorry ass go.

But before I say anything else, I owe you all (and my family) a huge THANK YOU for all the words of support. I even got teary during my morning meeting when I thought about all the comments and emails that people sent – and they were all right. Every one of them. I tried to respond to everyone, but some people don’t have email address attached to their profiles.

And even by last night, I decided I am really okay with it all.

I mean, seriously – I quit a race. I didn’t kill anyone, steal a baby, drown any elderly at the pool, or kick a three-legged dog. In the big picture, quitting a race is not my largest character flaw.

I have MANY bigger ones than that.

And a good therapist to help deal with them.

So Sunday was not my day – I made my mistakes.

The biggest of which was that, while I was so busy training my body, I neglected to train my mind.

You simply can’t do one without the other. What good is a strong body without the mental will to use it and push it? Cheese said to me, “It never really seemed like you wanted to do that race anyway.” And he was right - I showed up Sunday with that attitude. Thus, I had done myself in long before that fog rolled in over Lake Michigan.

When I got home from the race, all sour and pouty, I had a friend request on Facebook (don’t get me started on this time-suck). Anyway, I clicked to the profile, and there was a quote, “If you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you’re right.”

How true, and how fitting for yesterday.

And I made my choice, and actually learned something about myself from that choice.

So not all was lost.

But it’s time to move on.

Oh yeah – and lest I forget – the “phantom poop” Clyde referred has yet to make its appearance. I thought I felt it creepin’ around this morning, but alas, it remains elusive.

Oh come on! You knew I had to leave you with something so inappropriate it requires bleach for your mind’s eye.

Blogger meet up at the OG night before. And the crew includes: Me, Erin, Alili, and xt4. On his post today, xt4 commented that he got home that night and his face hurt from laughing. It was funny because, after leaving the OG, I was talking to Cheese and said the exact same thing. You cannot believe how funny these people are.

Clyde and I walking the mile down the beach to the start - it was a point-to-point swim. Now, the cold water had affected my memory, but I believe the conversation went something like this:
Clyde: Wait, now tell me again about your pre-race nutrition.
Me: Okay, last time, and listen good. You heat the oatmeal first, then stir in the chocolate chips...
Clyde: Okay got it.
Me: And then once that's good and melted, toss in a couple of gummy bears for a colorful presentation, and voila! Your all amped up and ready to go!
Clyde: Huh. And all I had was a banana and a Power Bar. I'll have to remember that...I bet you'll have a GREAT race with that combination! (in genuine awe)
Me: (shrugs) Probably. But you know, I'm an Ironman. Have I mentioned that?
Clyde: Only eight times this morning, but it never gets old.
Me: (smiles modestly) Yeah, I know.
Clyde: By the way, don't you think that pillow you stuffed in the back of your shorts might create some drag in the water?
Me: Oh Clyde (shakes head). Such a newbie. It's for extra warmth, but don't worry - you'll learn these little tricks along the way.
Clyde: I am so glad I know you. You're so wise. You're going to KILL out there!
Ahhh. The last picture taken before I tested the water for the first time. This is Dennis (RunBubbaRun - he was super nice, and a crazy ultra runner), Clyde and me. Notice the fog in the background over the water. Brutal. But at this moment, I am all smiles, at least for another ten seconds.
Then all hell broke loose.
So there ya have it. I'd post pictures of my ride and run but...uh..nevermind.

Sunday, July 20, 2008



Yeah, me too.

And during my 90-minute-but-felt-like-90-hour drive home, I beat myself up good and plenty, but I had some time to think about what happened.

And honestly, I really don't know what to say.

I have never quit a race before. In fact, I don't quit ever (well, except for the random workout here and there during IM training when my body was just exhausted, and a recent run because I did it at noon when it was Africa hot - but again, those were physical and I made those workouts later).

I mean, fuck, I broke my back training for IM once, and turned around and did trained again. So right now, I am stunned. Stunned and disappointed.

So here's the thing- there is no question that physically, I was prepared. As much as I talked shit about it, I got my workouts in.

I toed shore of Lake Michigan today physically ready.

But mentally, I never showed up.

The warnings about the water temperature psyched me out, and the first time I stepped into the water to test it out, I let quitting enter my mind.

And it was pretty much over from there.

I made it about 200-300 yards, stopped, started, stopped again, started again. But I panicked – I literally couldn’t breath.

The cold literally took my breath away, and never gave it back.

Erin pulled up to me about 100 yards in, and told me that we would do this, we would swim together.

And Erin, if your reading this – I am so very grateful for that.

I just couldn’t do it.

I swam the 100 yards back to shore, and the second my foot hit the sand, the regret, second-guessing and sobs started. I made a mistake.

I could have swam on my back, doggy paddled – anything – just to regulate myself, but in that moment in that frigid water, I didn’t think of any other those things.

The only thing I thought was, “I can’t breath – I can’t do this.”

As I started back into shore, a guy on a surf board asked me if I needed help.

The tears welled up and I said, “I’m an Ironman – I should be able to do this – so no, I don’t need help.”

But who fucking cares about an Ironman three months ago? Seriously – who really gives a shit? Today was a new race, a new challenge. Ironman was the past, and this was the present.

The walk back to transition along the shore, I sobbed – I pussed out, and had no legitimate excuse. It’s not like I broke a leg, or crashed on the bike. I quit in my mind. I was, and am, so horribly ashamed.

I stood in transition and waited until everyone cleared out. I saw Ali and Chris, and Larry all come in, turned in my chip and left.

And as I walked my bike out of transition, there was this lady who screamed, “Yay 462!!! Way to go 462! You can do it!”

I smiled and turned to her and choked out, “No, I can’t. I just quit. I’m going home.”

In my whole life, nothing felt so humiliating as walking my bike up that hill, having hundreds of strangers stare at you and know you quit.

That said – let me say this – this is my first and last post about a DNF.


Because DNF will never happen again. No pain in the water would have ever compared to the shame I feel right now. And having felt it, I never want to feel it again.

So I will file this away in my mind-box of experiences, and the next time I want to puss out, I am going to pull up the image of me walking the mile back to transition. And then I will put my face back in that water and finish.

I don’t want to end this post in a shitty way, despite how I feel. So before I sign off, I wanted to say that yesterday I had the amazing experience of meeting and having dinner with Erin and Ali and xt4, and then hanging out with Clyde after my bike check. These are four of the nicest, fucking hysterical and most genuine people. This morning, I also met Jen of Madison Duo, who introduced herself as I stood in line waiting to take a poop (that never came). Man, did she provide some comic relief!

I can’t tell you what a privilege it was to meet and hang with all of them – for 20 minutes at a porta-potty, 30 minutes in the Kids Cove, or two hours at the Olive Garden. Both Jen and Clyde are doing Madison, and I can’t wait to scream my off for them in September. Ali will be completing Steelhead in two weeks, as well, so make sure to check out their blogs as they head into the final weeks and give them lots of good thoughts!

Thanks to all you guys for making the trip worth it.

And thanks to everyone that left supportive words in the last few days. This blogging community is something else, and it's an honest-to-god honor to be part of it.

Alright - time to wrap up this pity party and get some work done.

And by work, I mean nap.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Uh Yeah, I'd Say That's Wetsuit Legal

Lake Michigan water temp in Racine, Wisconsin as of today, July 18 is....

56 degrees.


I don't even drink water that cold.

Well, I should remember to brush my teeth that morning, 'cause you can bet all the tea in Boston I will be getting some mouth-to-mouth CPR a some point.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quirks and Stuff

I got tagged by Tri-Dogma, and since I have decided to spare you all from my self-loathing today, I will do this - it seems a bit more cheerful.

I also got tagged by Erin an uber long time ago, so I am going to post that one as well.

So here's a lot of nothing about Megan! Enjoy!

Six Quirks about Me
1. I spend a ginormous amount of time in bed. And not in the sexy-time way - it just happens to be the only furniture in my apartment.

2. I was the youngest person in my graduate school class. And though I have been a supervisor for the last three years, I have never supervised anyone younger then me. One of my supervisees even called me "Kiddo" once.

3. I swallow my gum. Not like one piece here and there - but I can go through a whole pack of Strawberry Orbit in a day, most of it ending up in my belly. And on that note, I spend an painfully large amount of time thinking about food. I make lots of jokes, but I internally obsess over food and it's counterpart - weight. I thought IM cured me of these demons - not so much.

4. When we were little, my sister fell out of the car when my mom was driving. I was sitting next to her, but I didn't say a word - I just looked out the back window of the station wagon as she rolled to the curb. For some reason, me and her didn't really get along, and I thought that if I just stayed silent, my mom would, well, forget, about her by the time we got home. Other drivers had to alert my mom, who returned to find my sister sitting on the side of the road. Then of course I disliked her more becuase I thought she did it just to make my mom love her more.

5. Last week I ate eight peaches in one day.

6. I have a lot of hiphop on my iPod, and when a song comes on, I get all attitudey and badass-like, as if I actually have some street cred - that if "shit pops off," I can "lay some mother fuckers out."

Tagged by Erin
How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Let’s see – I would have been 22, so I guess I could say I was reacquainting myself to it. I had the ultimate goal of the marathon in my head, and was then just starting with my first 5K – which I still remember. It was February, snowy and cold, and finished on Lower Wacker Drive. I was cheered on my all the homeless men that live down there in the winter, as well and my sister Devin and my mom!!!! I felt so proud of myself – I was coming off of a really difficult time in my life, and it was a major accomplishment for me.

What is your best/worst race/running memory?
Best - My first Chicago Marathon – the whole thing.
Worst - The second Chicago Marathon – running injured from Mile 10 on.

Also good was the 2.5 hour training run I did while Cheese waited in the car for me. He came out at the very end, and clapped for me as I finished – like I had won a race or something. It was cute. And another? When I ran the last few miles of my sister Devin's Ohio marathon. I think about that run when I want to quit my workouts - cause she never did.

Why do you run?
When I ran the Chicago Marathon the first time, I saw a woman with a sign that said, “What are you running from?” It was at Mile 9, and for the rest of the run, I thought about that. What I can up with was that I was running from years of abusing my body with an eating disorder (15 years), of unhealthy eating and drinking habits, and of hating myself. And today, I still run for these reasons.

What is the best/worst piece of running advice you’ve gotten?
My dad told me once I would hurt myself, so I shouldn’t run. Oddly, it was the best and worst advice – worst because it could have stopped me from doing it all together at the time, but best because, even though he was right, I still ran anyways, because I was stubborn and it was like giving all the naysayers a big middle finger.

Tell us something suprising about yourself?
Well, as someone who has been dubbed an “over-discloser,” I can’t imagine what I haven’t vomited out all over this blog.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Could I Be Anymore Random?

Quote That Made Me Pause
“It’s great to love people this much.” – Tony Snow, emotional and holding back tears while talking about his family during his cancer treatments.

Yeah, Tony, it is. I love that feeling.

And when I feel it, I cry too.

In a good way.

And on the Other End of the Spectrum
You know what’s kind of annoying?

When people say, “Hey, remind me later that I have to……” or “Don’t let me forget that I need to….”

Yeah, because YOUR list of tasks is what I keep at the forefront of my mind on a daily basis. For crying out loud, I consider myself lucky if I can remember there are two C’s in my last name on any given day. My daily treat is when I wake up and actually know what day it is upon opening my eyes (which is really only important on street cleaning day when I need to remember to move my car – again, remembering even this is something I can barely manage, given the bottomless hole of parking tickets).

And inevitably, it’s always women making these demands in grocery/Target stores while standing in checkouts lines (or at least this is where I always overhear this), as if the conveyor belt unconsciously triggers them to recite their To Do lists. And the person chosen to “remember” or “remind” is usually a kid or friend staring blankly into thin air, nodding dumbly and mumbling, “Uh huh.” I am going to say that the odds of Person B remembering anything out of the mouth of Person A is slim to none.

So why even ask?


People are ridiculous.

So, Yeahhhhh…I’m Doing It
I have offhandedly mentioned a few times that I am doing the Spirit of Racine Half Ironman this weekend. This will be my third half distance – the first two were in 2006, before the back injury. In fact, I hadn't raced since Steelhead 2006 before going into IM AZ 08.

I haven’t talked much about it mostly because I don’t feel there is much to say – I don’t feel totally prepared, struggled with motivation here and there, and haven’t really felt quite my badass self since IM. Every discipline has taken tons of physical effort, which is surprising, given my fitness level as recent as April. Runs are crapshoots, swims have been sporadic, and rides are mediocre. I just feel,

So I am basically going into it as a long training day. I have no time expectations, and am pretty much going to show up and see what the day brings. I did this for Ironman, and it seemed to work out well for me.

But for shits and giggles, I decided to pull up my 2006 Steelhead times, just to see. Here is what I found:

6:32 – Final time
41:39 - Swim
3:05 - Bike
2:33 – Run
(transitions were in the 5:00 range - good lord)

I remember Steelhead vividly – I went into it really sick, just about quit at mile 1 on the run, and literally gutted it out for the next 12 miles. Of all the races – tri or running – I have done, this might have been the worst.

So I figure if I get somewhere around these times, then great. If not – oh well.

After all – it’s just a race. And given that my brother is really sick and back in the hospital to have a biopsy on his (my?) kidney, I consider myself fortunate just to be out there, spending my summer Sunday doing what I love.

So to all those racing this weekend - Racine, Ironman LP, and others - best of luck and happy racing!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finger Lickin' Good

True story, as pulled from

"35-year-old Aaron Maurice was arrested in Appleton, WI last Wednesday after police found him in the basement of a house he was trying to rob. They found Aaron completely covered in barbecue sauce from head to toe.

"In addition to the BBQ sauce, Aaron was wearing a chick's jacket and a dude's hat. He told the po-po that he broke into the basement, because he's on the run from the government. He said the BBQ sauce was an “urban disguise.”


So many questions, so many questions.

But most importantly:

Think he's single?

'Cause me luvs some BBQ sauce.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Check Your Sensitivity at the Door

After a bunch of sweet posts of good old family summertime fun and lovin', I got a few bones I need to pick. And I fully admit I may be offending some with this, but hey - it's my blog. My sweetness melted in the pool during my shiteous swim, so if you're looking for some sugar, eat some Mike n Ikes.

Things You Don’t Want to Hear From Your Chiropractor
“Wow! That really worked!” (with genuine surprise)
“Let’s hope that makes it feel better.” (Hope?!?)
“This audit is killing me.” (umm…)

True story. Scary, yes, but true.

Personal Responsibility is DEAD
When I began looking for a house about a year ago, I spoke with a mortgage broker and crunched numbers, and eventually figured out what I can afford. Now, I was originally pre-approved for an amount way beyond what I actually could afford, so I talked my agent and we started looking for houses much closer to my price range. I didn’t sign my name to anything without completely looking at all the numbers and knowing what on Earth I was getting myself into. And at the end of the day, the numbers didn't work, and house buying got shelved.

So what I don’t understand is this housing foreclosure crisis thing. Now, I get that there were lenders out that did bad things, like change and falsify information on documents after the fact, so then the buyer is legitimately screwed. Were they sketchy lenders out there that gave out subprime loans? Absolutely. But there would be no bad loans without the people to sign for them, right? Thus, it seems that there's a whole bunch of people that simply signed their names to documents they didn’t read, or didn’t take the time to understand what they were signing or signed something that may not have been in their best interest. And now the government has to step in and save these people?

WTF? Am I missing a part of this? No really – I am being serious - ‘cause if I am, please send me an email and help me understand it. I’m a reasonable girl – I like a good education.

And speaking of education - ten years ago, I signed my name to a shitload of student loans that today are the equivalent of actually buying a house (I wish I was kidding). I could claim that I didn’t know what I was doing (I didn’t), or no one told me what my monthlies would be down the road (they didn’t) but I am pretty damn sure that pleading ignorance today is not going to get the government to excuse my loans or help me out.

I think what finally set me off on this was this morning, I was listening to a story about a nearby town that had a ton of foreclosures. The people were pissed off at the sheriff's department, who was court-ordered to remove people from their home because they were not paying their mortgages, and subsequently received, like, $200 for their efforts (I believe from the mortgage companies, but don't quote me). And the people in the town were like, "Oh, it's not fair! They are just kicking us out to get their money!" Help me out with what's not fair - the part where you don't pay your mortgage for months and expect to keep your home? If I just stopped paying my rent, what should happen? And pehaps I am being insensitive, but again, maybe I am missing part of this.

Am I the Only Who Could Not Care Less?
Can someone explain to me why Nice, France, all but shut down when Angelia Jolie gave birth? Press conferences? Seriously? I don’t know who I am more embarrassed for – France, because it was like a national holiday over there, or us, because we read/watch/eat/drink this shit called celebrity gossip. Why do we worship these people? Have they cured cancer? Are they teachers/social workers/doctors? No, they make movies, kiss their brothers, cheat on their wives, shoot heroin, and buy 8 million dollar homes. Call me crazy, but it doesn't seem close to world peace.

I have a hard time believing that CNN has nothing better to report on then this nonsense. I mean, don’t they know there’s a housing crisis going on?

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Last night, Cheese, me, my sister Ellen, and my mom went to Ravinia. For those not from the area, Ravinia is the outdoor music venue in Highland Park. They have a pavillion, but the real fun of Ravinia is bringing lots of food and rink, and picnicing in the lawn with your friends. Last night, Lyle Lovitt was playing, and while I have never actually heard a single song of his, I thought it would be fun to go.

Ellie just chillin'.
My mom, doing the same.
I have no idea what we were laughing at, but this is one of my favorite pics of the night. Also, despite the fact that many of the people around actually sort of dress up to go to this thing (for example, please expand picture to see the girl it the background in a black dress and scarf - the scarf thing which, by the way, is a whole post in itself), we ran out of time yesterday with all of our errands, so I ended up going in my running tights and IMeg tee shirt, hair in a bun. Yeah, it was pretty hot - the outfit, not the weather.

My mom, munching on a strawberry, contemplating what dance moves she was going to break out on us next. And lemme tell ya - ol' girl's got a bag of them!

Self-portrait that, when trying to take, he actually spilled all over himself. Yeah ladies, he's all mine.
My mom got me and my sister these blinky light rings, and of course we got a big kick out of taking a picture of Cheese on bended knee. It was a really fun night, just hanging out, listening to music and eating our faces off. This morning called for a 10 miler, which is now in the books. Right now it's time for a little nap before heading off to the airport.
Oh, and I guess I forgot to mention this (Andra called my attention to it on Facebook) - so I hurt my back. I think I might have said something in passing about a week ago, but it's gotten progressively worse. I went to the back doctor last week, and again tomorrow. I thought maybe I pulled a muscle, but it also feels like I have a lot of muscle crap build up that, if massaged, will go away (I have been running a TON with virtually no back doctors or massages since IM in APRIL). It's hard to tell the exact origin, so I am just going to treat it until it gets better. Of course, I thought about dropping the race this weekend, but I decided against it. Spirit of Racine it is...great.....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's Bastille Day Anyways?

Eh, who cares? All I know is that they have a race to celebrate it here in Chicago. And bonus! It's on a Thursday night, so you know what that means? No early monring rising, rushing around, sleepy eyes, and morning poops in the porto-potties. However, today's race was book-ended by storms. The first storm was short, and left us slightly wet when we got off the train downtown.

But soon the storm blew over and headed out towards the lake - the sun even came up!
Me and my sister, Flash, walking east towards the Start. This was about as slow as Flash moved all night - she ended up finishing in 21 minutes. 21 MINUTES. We parted ways shortly after this picture because she needed to do a "warm-up" and some "dynamic stretching." Whatever that means.
Yay for Sisters!
Here we are, saying our good byes. It's cute that Flash wears her IronMeg visor everywhere. Gives me a little lump in the throat.

And even though my warm up consisted of NOTHING - well, except for maybe standing around checking out all the other people and trying to figure out what the post run food situation was - Cheese did his own version of a warm up. Well, by warm up I mean he asked me to take a pcitures of him running with both feet off the ground - you know, because he never had a picture of him with both feet off the ground. Good thing we approached this race with some seriousness.

And while the first storm was long gone over the lake, the second on came just as I crossed the finish line (26:10). I saw it looming as the race started, and watched as the black clouds hung over us for most of the run. As I rounded this last corner the sky opened up and the downpoured. It was brutal when Cheese crossed (31:22), and made for a long, wet, cold ride home on the train.
And that's that for the Thursday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Birthday in Pictures

Well, thanks for indulging me in two days worth of birthday posts. All the comments were amazing and sweet! I am not really the type of person that makes a who week's event out of the b-day, but for some bizarre reason, I felt compelled to post tons of pictures. It's been, like, my thang lately. So here are some more!

I think I failed to mention that my mother's birthday was yesterday, while mine was today. Now how's THAT for a birthday present: "Mrs. Megan's Mom, you have given birth to a girl - your life now rocks - happy birthday." So we celebrated both together. My mom looks really good for 40, yeah?.....just kidding.
Cheese took this picture of Baby Nolan. Doesn't he look like one of those kids from Whoville? You know, from the Dr. Suess books? Sorry, Ellie, but he does. The funniest part was this was the exact same look he gave Cheese all night - never changed. It's like a mix of "Who the hell is this guy?" and "Got any more Tostitos?"

Mom, Cheese, and my brother-in-law Nat.

Cheese putting his country boy talents to use - shuking corn.

Yeah, it's me....relaxing...

This needs no caption. It just is. Sweet, sweet delicious cake. And when I finished my two pieces, I ate the leftover frosting off the plates of my mom and my sister.
The Sister Girls Three.
Me at 32. Shit I'm getting old.
Cheese rubbing his "food baby," Ellie rubbing her ba-.....oh wait, I can't tell that secret yet.....

So for my actual birthday, I mostly worked, and then took two hours off at the end of the day to go for a run with Cheese. The weather was beautiful, and I needed to run off that cake. After the run, we gorged on sushi and then went to a movie, where I actually limited myself to one box of candy and a small popcorn. I call that a win-win!
Run over, six miles in the books. Have you met my back fat yet? Take it in. It's pretty delicious.
And speaking of delicious, I will end my birthday post with a picture of two very sweaty people. It's like the "birthday cake" ending to this post...but without the cake. Just the birthday. And some sweat. Fantastic.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Has It Already Been A Whole Year?!?!?

I guess it has, which means only one thing - it's my birthday.

Well, it's actually tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this - July 9th)

It seems like the past year had seen so many different events in my life. When I looked back at all the pictures, I could hardly believe all that has taken place. So I am going to get a little nostalgic and recap the year with pictures - likely most most you have already seen. Tomorrow I will post actual pictures from the b-day celebration. And since it's my blog and my birthday, most of the pictures are of me. How awesomely narcissistic of me.

And though there are certain things for which I cannot find the exact pictures (Milwaukee, Miami, Nolan's wedding), I did my best to recap it all.

Almost exactly a month after my last birthday, I joined my family to watch Devin get married in Rhode Island.

And I didn't just watch - I helped. I actually married them.

And then to Tennesse this past March, to watch my brother Nolan get married.

Of course, this would be one of those events for which I can't seem to find any pictures.

But with his wedding, I was left as the last Girl standing. Yup, all those sorry kids went and got themselves hitched. Suckers.

But, right after Devin's wedding, I got Cheese'ed.

Oklahoma, June 08

Ironman, April 08

Take a guess.

First date, August 07.

About two weeks later, Madison IM, September 07.

Same visit, September 07

And lest we not forget Black Tie Bingo!

And then, I had the chance to meet some friends.

Ironman April 08 - Momo, Carrie and me

Ironman April 08 - Duane and me

Ironman April 08

And the running!! Boy did I run. In Chicago on Thanksgiving...

To Miami in January...

I have no idea what happened to these pictures.

To Madison in June....

I became an Ironman. Have I mentioned that?

And then, I gave away a kidney.

Remember "Ruby Red?"
But I got back on the "horse."

And am getting ready for Racine.

Wow. Told ya it seems like a lot. And those are just the major stuff - all the day to day memories will just have to stay in my head. Even with all the ups and downs, this past year was easily the best yet. I am far healthier, mentally and physically, then I was last July 9th. The good has far outweighed the bad, and I look forward to many more of the good.

Now where the hell's the cake?