Friday, July 31, 2009

Bracing for Steelhead 70.3

(devin sent this to me yesterday - taken on the 4th of july, in case people forgot what I looked like, what with my shameful lack of posting)

So the day of reckoning has arrived.

It’s my first (and only) tri of the season.

Steelhead 70.3.

I know - crazy right? I can't even remember if I have mentioned once that I was racing this season.

Yeah, that should suffice as the foreshadowing on what is to come.

To say that I feel grossly undertrained would be way too obvious.

I mean, I guess when you are standing on front of your mirror the night before you leave, trying to find some fit-approriate race clothes because nothing you have fits after having not raced in a year, you should probably re-evaluate your (lack of) race strategy.

As in, re-evaluate and shut it down.

But no, true gluttons for punishment would NEVER be so impulsive.

No - what we do instead is make a last-minute run to the tri-store for a wet bra, say a small prayer to the Love-Handle Gods in the hopes they make nice with your (possibly too tight) tri shorts, and get to packin’.

Oh yeah, lest I forget to mention that I also received my "lady friend" last night, complete with vomit-inducing cramps, bloat, and back pain.

Seriously - EVERY.SINGLE.RACE. for the last 18 months (including last year's Ironman, and all the 1/2 marathons this year) have started with this mess.

So again, my perpetual question to the Injustices of the World: Why do you have to make being a lady SUCK ASS? And can't you just let me have a race without worrying baout my uterus dropping out in T1?


Oh, and have I mentioned that the water is about as cold as it was last year, when I pulled out the STELLAR performance at Racine?

Ahh, let’s re-live that awesome weekend, shall we?

*folds hands under chin and looks longingly in the distance*

Oh, wait. That’s right.

I DNF’d.

And this would be my first tri since that time.

So given my ill-preparation, my ugly outfit (‘cause it’s all about looking cute, no?), mensus (what an awesome word), and my recent history of pussing out in the cold water, I would say that I am a wee bit (read: pants-crapping) nervous.

So nervous that I started binge eating JuJu Bees and have commenced nervous-stomach diarrhea.

(Dear Clyde, who will be housing me tonight – Don’t worry. It should clear up by the time I drive up later. I think. I hope. Ah hell, just get the plastic mattress pad ready just in case.)

So in just a bit, I will be off – heading up to pick up the packet, check in the bike (which, up until my birthday, was held together with duct tape – looks like it’s not just my ass width that I've let slide a bit...) and try to hunker down with all my positive thoughts to get me through the swim.

See you all on the other side!

(p.s. – on a total random side note, did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? I sure didn’t, and I sure as hell have some celebrating to make up - Why do I find these things out on the 31st?!?!?!?!? What are the odds that August is National Brownie Month?)

Monday, July 27, 2009


Pronounced "By-Runny-Ak," this was the brainchild of my sister and her husband, born one day while walking past the kayak lauch that shared river shoreline with the dog park.

They began talking about how much fun it would be to do a kayak race.

One thing led to another, and another made-up race was born.

But instead of a single-person marathon, this one would be a bike-run-kayak RELAY race.

Oh, yeah. We gots ourselves partners!

Of course, mine was Cheese, 'cause he's my best boy.

This is the Race Director, Devin. She had a clipboard, complete with race maps and rules.
We all had to get fitted to kayaks first. I told our Kayak Guy, Scott, to jsut fit Devin's setting to the 12-year-old boy size. She didn't appreciate that.

Perfect fit!

Cheese and my brother-in-law carrying the kayaks to the docks, just before the horn goes off.

Me and my partner, showing what place we intended on getting. Cheese named our team "Ironman and Him." Does anyone else notice I was the EXACT same thing to every race?!?!

The two people I thought would be our fiercest competitors.

Patrick with his game face.

Me with a wild flower tucked behind my ear. I had the run leg, and it fell out right about five steps in.

All the couples. Yeah, it's a small race.

The start line....On your marks....get set....


Yeah, there's a bit of a photo lapse because I was the photo taker and I eventually had to take the baton and do my run. Oh, and the bike was six miles (three loops), the run was two miles (one loop), and the kayak was about a mile. This is me and Kyle on the return, heading back to the dock....


Almost there...with me at the helm...steering the tandem kayak affectionately referred to as the "Relationship Wrecker." For a reason. Believe it.


AHHHHHHH - but we didn't win. These are the two guys that won, with their trophies and finisher ribbons. Funny thing, the guy in the blue was like dragging ass on the bike and came in second, with Cheese on his ass, but when he handed it off to the guy in yellow, that little man TOOK OFF. Like, I started about 30 second after him, and I never saw him, not once. We totally got hustled too because this guy shows up in his khaki shorts and beat up shoes that he probably cleans his house in and is all like, "Oh silly me *shrug* I don't really workout *sheepishly looks at ground* golly gee this is going to be hard!"
Ass-hat turned around and ran 7 minute miles.
Stole my foam donut-shaped trophy right out of my grubby hands.
Second place goes to Mr. and Mrs. Race Director, who then later hosted a bbq.

Bringing up the third place was me and the Cheese, with our finisher medals.

All the finishers!!

And last but not least - our friendly kayak helpers, Scott and Kyle. Seriously, if you are ever in the area, check this place - and these two - out. They were FANTASTIC!!!
Tha-tha-that's all folks!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Three for the Weekend

1. Phil Leggitt used the term “pocket rocket” to describe today’s Tour de France stage winner.

No comment *she writes with a smirk on her face*


Turns out that this week’s Life Lesson #399 was “Don’t start personal training the week before your ½ Ironman.”

Seriously, I need to start writing a book of these tips.

Because, really – am I the only idiot out there making these mistakes?

And yes, this was a big mistake.

A Big, Fat, Hurting, 2-Day Crippling, How-It-Possible-I-Am-Such-A-Jello-Puss?-type mistake.

Sort of puts a cramp in the “taper” when you can’t get out of bed.

And turns out, eating the fridge doesn’t speed up the healing process either.

Guess that would be #400.


3. Did you know that people send you presents even if they aren’t coming to the wedding?

I mean - shoo.

No wonder every.single.sales.lady gave me the stink-eye and nasty comment about the “only ten items?” of my registry, even when I tried to explain that my shower would only be eight people.

No matter – I still can’t bring myself to ask for all sorts of shit we either already have or simply don’t need.

I mean, how many spatulas does one couple need?

Answer: Less than we now have.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Personal Training

For my birthday, my sister Devin and her husband got me 2 hours of personal training at my gym.

Similar to the personal training hours I am trying to win with the new contest.

(Update on that contest: I am almost through my second punch card in order to get my tee-shirt, so that means I only have one more punch card to go through to enter the personal training raffle. All in all, I have about 18 more visits. Now, you may think to yourself, "My goodness, M, have you even gotten off the couch AT ALL this summer, with that many visits left?!?!?" And to that I would say, "Well, with the addition of my swim workouts in a separate 50-meter pool now, and my rides done outside or on a trainer, I am getting my workouts in, just not always at the gym." Sigh. If there were only a way I can make that hour I spent on my trainer watching New Jersey Housewives Lost Footage count toward a punch on my card!)

Anyfatty, I had my first session this morning with my personal trainer.

Holy Kick-My-Ass.

Good news: My fitness enabled me to stay upright even when my mind was trying to ignore my quads screaming, "Get down! Take cover! Stop, drop and roll yourself out the door and back home!" So I wasn't totally humiliated at my strength level.

Bad news: My strength level. As in, I sense he may have taken it easy on me today, which is why I didn't, in fact, collapse in on myself.

I imagine what I went through is sort of akin to what people are doing with this whole Crossfit thing.

In fact, I read one of Andra's comments on FB about Crossfit saying she was a bit "barfy," and found myself a little barfy on the way home.

So that's good, right?

Do we have a win?

I'm gonna say yes. I am a true believer that pain (unless its of the knee/herniated disc variety) is weakness leaving the body.

And I felt that today - like I had gotten too comfortable in my own routine that my body has gotten soft and lazy. It needed a wake up call, a fire in the belly.

Even if that fire is only 30-minutes long.

Oh, and I solved the "barfy" problem by annialating everything in the fridge when I got home.

So next sessions goals?

1. Don't die.

2. Wipe the snot from your nose BEFORE it hits the ground during lunges.

Anything else is just a bonus.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kansas City (aka "That Which Will Require One Week of Recovery")

Before I review the events of the last few days, I have to give a MASSIVE shout-out to Spie (of Sandbagger glory), who just completed her first half-Ironman in 5:22!!!! Okay, this is like a superhuman feat to the average Joe, and add into that that Spie is the mother of four VERY ACTIVE children. Still, she managed to coach herself and stick to her training, NEVER not ONCE making excuses, and always putting in every last ounce of energy she had. Congrats Spie - may this be your first of MANY tri-successes!!!

Now onto THE weekend.

So I just spent the last three days in Kansas City for a wedding.

And I think the title of this post speaks for itself.

See, I learned a couple of good things this weekend:

1. It's good to go to a wedding one month before your own, so you can make note of all the things you still have to do. Like organize a wedding.

2. I certainly, and unequivocally, CANNOT hang with the Kansas crew. Even though both nights I turned it in early and pretty wrecked (which isn't saying a lot for my self-proclaimed light-weight status), the party continued to rage until 5am both nights.

3. There's a p.r.e.t.t.y good chance that the girl that shows up in the zebra print dress and jet black hair is going to be the most likely to take her dress off at the pool during the hotel after-party, and then jump in the pool after showing the guys her thong-clad ass. Not that I am stereotyping, but funny how these things work themselves out....

Interestingly enough, this would be the same girl who, seconds after meeting in the church vestibule minutes before the wedding gave me the Manhatten Once-Over and told me that the most important part ANY wedding is checking out what other people are wearing. And I don't think she was refering to the bride.

So without further ado, let's check out........what I am wearing.

Me and Cheese, who was a groomsman. Me is clad in a VERY short silk halterish dress that tied in a bow at my shoulder. How short? If you look at the bottom of this picture, you will see a black line that goes around my dress. The dress stopped jsut below that black line. Every time I sat down, I was one quick shift away from bare-assing it on the chair.
And any girl knows that no outfit is complete without the cute shoes. I bought these shoes about six months ago, and have been patiently waiting for Just.The.Right.Outfit. Turns out, the dress I bought almost two years ago happened to be that outfit. You can't see really from this picture (unless you click to enlarge it) but they are these really high wedge sandles with brown ruffles down the front.
I know, right? It's like I can almost hear the orgasms through the computer. I won't even tell you how comfortable they were because you just might have to take a cold shower.

You know how when you go out and take a bunch of photos, you can sort of watch the night (and your sobriety) unravel by the photos you take? Look closely, and you will notice the tell-tale sign of my slow decent into Drunk with my hair in a ponytail. The other sign is my multiple self-photos (you know the ones you take of yourself and someone else while you're actually holding you're own camera?) Yeah, I have like 20 of them, but I thought I would spare you the pain of my insane close-ups and people you may not know.

From left to right: Chad, the groom; Jon, the man who will be marrying me and Cheese (I call him Rev. Jon); and Cheese.

Me and Rev. Jon's wife, Rachel.

Rev. Jon, Rachel, Chad, me (hair in pony tail....) and Cheese.

Hair was down briefly for another photo, but don't let it fool you. The world's most awkard kiss should be a pretty good sign that things are starting to get a little silly....

Chad, his new wife, me and Cheese.

My Man, Cheese.
I stopped toting the camera around by the time we got back to the hotel for the afterparty (mostly because I was starting to get the spins so operating it was a challenge.) Heck, not urinating in public places was a challenge, but I succeeded that one. The other guys and public urination? FAIL.
Unfortunately, the lack of camera was sort of a shame, because this is when all the let's-get-naked-and-jump-in-the-pool stuff started.
Well, I guess there's always our wedding in September.
And now, I need to go to bed becuase guess what I get to do tomorrow? Start my personal training!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bridal Shower - Finally!

Okay, before I post some pictures, I have a PSA:

Do yourselves a favor and go see "Away We Go." It's that movie with Jim from "The Office." Me and Cheese see A LOT of movies, and both agreed that this is one of the best - if not THE BEST - movie of the year. The acting is so fantastic, that I was teary almost the entire movie - I cared THAT MUCH about the characters.

So please, please go see this movie.

Now onto the pictures.

So, taking into account my "To hell with etiquette, I'm doing whatever the heck I want" theme for this wedding, I had a slightly different take on the bridal shower. See, we've all been to the three-hour long Sunday brunch showers where you watch a bride unwrap hundreds of presents and feign surprise at getting gifts she literally asked for herself.

And no offense to the people who had these kinds of showers - I just wanted something a little different because I mostly just couldn't stand the thought of:

a. Sitting in front of hundreds of pairs of eyes while I painfully unwrapped endless presents, and pretending that I am surprised and excited about kitchenwear (which, let's be honest, will be used soley by Cheese).

b. Using up a good Sunday when I could be at the pool or on my bike.

c. Taking that same Sunday away from people who really, really need their weekends and shouldn't have to spend it inside at a shower, oohing and ahhing over dishtowels.

I guess I just didn't want to take up people's time, especially a Sunday. That's really what it came down to. I mean, I know who much people complain about them, and I just didn't want to do that to people. So short and sweet - and the combination of the bridal shower and bachlorette party limited the amount of time people had to spend on this wedding thing.

Oh, and the fact that wedding is the size of a pea, there aren't a whole lot of ladies that I could have invited anyway - especially when my side of the wedding guest list consists of, well, my sisters, two bridesmaids, and mom. As for the extended family, I invited only one aunt to the actual wedding, and decided not to invite any of my cousins, other aunts or uncles (the rule was - if we haven't spoken in five years, too bad).

So when the shower is only eight people, this also eliminated the need to have someone walk around the room and show off the flatwear and frying pans. All the ladies at my party just sat right in front of me and could see the gifts just fine.


The bridal shower began as a small cocktail party at Ellen's house with eight other ladies. The 90-minute event, which was mostly spent eating and conversating, was followed by my bachlorette party - a concert at Ravinia, which is an outdoor music venue type place that is more about the picnic, wine and food, then about the music.

And the music that night happened to be Tom Jones.

I know, ladies. Hang on to your panties.

So here we are, Ellen's house. The Mayor saw all the presents on the table, and probably wondered how it could be Christmas again when it was so hot outside.
"Megan....Megan....this one's for Megan too! Hey wait! How come none of these say 'Nolan?' How is this possible? If it's wrapped and in this house, it's usually for me! Mooooooooooommmm!!!"

Awwww....he helped move the presents over to the couch, even if they were all for me. Aww, what a sweet picture of him and Aunt Devin!

Me and Ellie.
The whole group (click to enlarge of you want) - Devin, Ellen, Anne-Marie (besty and bridesmaid), my aunt, Adrienne (of the Sandbagger team, also a bridesmaid), me, my mom, and my FMIL.

At Ravinia - Ellen and Anne-Marie, my two preggo bridesmaids. Ellen is actually due in less then a month, Anne-Marie is due in October.

Devin - isn't she so cute you just want to eat her up?

Cheese's mom, or my FMIL. Doesn't she look just like Cheese?

Me and A.

Mr. Whiskey. But there actually wasn't a ton of drinking. Mostly just hanging out.
My mom laughing.
And still laughing. Don't you love it when your mom gets a really good belly laugh? It makes me happy.
So there you have it.
I should also mention that my mom pretty much bought out our registry. Between her, and my sister Ellen's birthday gifts she gave me earlier that week, there was nothing left at Crate and Barrel. And then Ellen and Devin collectively bought 8 of 12 "fancy" plate settings (by fancy I mean we got them Crate and Barrel - we didn't do the whole China thing because that stuff is uber expensive and I knew we would never really use it), and Anne-Marie rounded out our "everyday" plates (Can you believe that, between me and Cheese, we had three plates he managed to take from friends over the course of his life, and four plastic bowel we bought from Target?)
So fear not, if you ever do come to our house, we probably won't use paper plates and plastic forks.
But I'm still lazy, and you can't buy "domestic interest" at Macy's.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Glorious Day

Oh, where do I begin?!?!?!

1. Another year has come and gone, leaving me one year older and decades wiser today. Yes, it is my birthday!

2. My birthday-day also happens to coincide with my bridal shower/bachlorette party weekend!

3. The combination of #1 and #2 = lots and lots of presents!!! The birthday presents came yesterday actually (it was also Momma Q's b-day yesterday so we celebrated together). Some stuff is meant to domesticate me (off the registry, like mixing bowls/spoons/storage containers from Ellen), and some is meant to empower my physical self (personal training hours from Devin and a bike calculator from Cheese!!!) and some is meant to make me look like a Foxy McHotster (gift card to clothing store from Momma Q).

4. My FMIL is arriving tonight for the weekend festivities. What are they, you ask? Well, I decided to combine the two events (shower, bachlorette party) because in total, there are only 8 ladies (my two sisters, two bridesmaids, my mom, aunt, and FMIL). The actual shower is a short cocktail party at Ellen's house, followed by picnicing in the Ravinia park to the musical stylings of none other then Tom Jones, bitches! (Sing it with me - "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone!")

5. I treated myself to a fancy (read: expensive) new haircut. Now granted, what I consider "expensive" is probably mere pennies to someone else, but still - anything other then the local Hair Cuttery is "expensive" to me. And make no mistake - I look HOT. No really, it's true. I do. Quite a departure from my usual chlorine-hair-in-a-bun look. In this case, money DID buy happiness!

6. The New Runner's World came today!!

*Breathe, breathe, breathe*



Holy crap I have a headache.

Back to the cake!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 4th and Then Some

Wow. What a food-filled last few days. I hope everyone had a fun weekend!

Here are some pictures from this weekend and before:

Remember that Race Against Hate that had a cool swag bag? This is me and my sister Devin right after the race.
It was in our neighborhood, so we rode our bikes there!
Oh my. what do we have here? Oh, that's right! That would be my NEW TOTE BAG from finishing my first punch card for the YMCA contest!! One step closer to those free personal training sessions!!

The holiday weekend started with a picnic and fireworks with Anne-Marie and Colin (of Sandbagger fame). We headed away from the Taste of Chicago and downtown, and instead went north to Wilmette. It was so nice to just hang and stuff our faces.

Me and the Cheese.

Hmmm. Those look like brownies.....7-layer brownies.....I wonder who could have made them....IT WAS ME!!!! I did it! The Un-Domestic Non-Goddess!!!
Cheese cutting some turkey wraps. Clearly, he really likes turkey wraps.
Me and my uber-preggo besty, Anne-Marie.

It's parade time!! We went to the Edgebrook parade again this year - Edgebrook is the little neighborhood next to Sauganash (where I grew up). It's a really tiny parade, but the neighborhood reminds me of my own childhood, so I like going to it. And look - here we have the Mayor of Whoville, Baby Nolan. What sweetness!

Just waitin' on the fire engine - Ellen (and her huge baby bump), Mayor, and my sister-in-law (and also preggo!) Jenny. I LOVE this picture.

The Mayor taking his turn at the camera.

Devin and Patrick - they brought their children too - Chili and TJ.

All the beauties waiting on the start of the parade.

"I am sitting here like you asked, Mommy. Now where's the fire truck? And I thought you said something about candy. Am I gonna have to make a scene? Am I? Don't make me do it. And who are you texting? Your whole family is here with you. Are we not enough, Mommy? You better get off that phone or I swear I'll crap my pants ri --

"Wait, what's that dog doin' over there? He must really love that man. He sure is hugging his leg really hard."

And then it began. It start with a police car (exciting), then a fire truck (with a hose on top!! oh my goodness - the BEST!), and then a camel (wha-???), a zebra (huh?), and a bunch of people throwing candy!! I'd say that was worth the 9am wake-up call! Here is Nolan, with the start of his candy collection and his new fancy necklace bling......

And then at the conclusion - with his frisbee full of goodies....which Aunt Megan might have helped herself to later on....

Me and the Dev - At the beginning of the parade, I told Jenny that the people on the floats throw candy at you. And Jenny was like, "Really?" And I said, "Oh yeah - and I think we all know I'd step on a small child for a pack of Smarties."

Observe the Smarties.
And my shit-eatin' grin.
(disclaimer: no small children were actually harmed in the retrieving of my Smarties. My self-respect, however, may have been slightly damaged in my scramble off the curb for some Tootsie Rolls and Gobbstoppers.)