Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is bazillion a real number?

Cuz that's how much more I love running outside than on a treadmill. I got home from work today, the temperature was 45 degrees and the sun was setting, so I changed and headed out. I had one of those I-can-run-forever runs. It was awesome.

The only not so awesome part was when I ran by the sewage treatment plant. It was...funky. But I was happy that I had a good kick left in me 3/4 of the way through my run. :)

Hooray outside!!!

Pot and prostitutes at all the water stops!

Lisa has decided that Canada wasn't socially tolerant enough for her so now she is moving to the Netherlands in July. While this might mean her summer relaying is not gonna happen (sniff, sniff), for me it means I have someone else to visit in Europe.

Since I started distance running, I have yet to miss a year where I combine a long distance race with a visit with favorite running buddy from Nerd Camp, so my first thoughts were:

"Hmmmm, I wonder when the Amsterdam Marathon is?"

And my oh my! It is October 21st! Theoretically I should either be healed or have decided that I am going to live forever with hamstring pain by that point. But there's also a half marathon - I better be up to at least ten mile runs by August or else this relay thing won't be happening for me either.

And! To top it all off, that is two days before my 30th birthday. What better way to spend the end of a decade than gallavanting in Europe!

Do we have to ride assbikes to the start?

PS I also have to note that the Lego prostitute comes from The Brick Testament, which is the Bible entirely illustrated with Legos. In the story, the Lego Samson then goes on to have Lego sex with the Lego prostitute. Naked Legos! It's totally Lego porn! Legos! What can't you do with them?

Monday, February 26, 2007

This concept of weather confuses and infuriates me!

I know I haven't posted for a while, but that's mostly because I haven't had anything to talk about. Sometime in the middle of January, the temperature here fell below 30, and stayed there for about a month. The day this started was less than a week after it was 75 degrees, in the second week of January. Once it got that cold, I just started running on the treadmill.

Anyway, a week and a half ago, it snowed, and then it got warm, into the 50s, so I managed to run outside for a few days while the snow was melting, which was fun. Then it snowed again yesterday. And now this week it's going to be in the high 40s or low 50s again.

So weather is confusing.

Hopefully spring is almost here. It better get nice enough for the cities to let us use the fields for soccer -- there are just a few weeks until that starts again, too.

Please come soon, nice weather.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Girl Power!

This has nothing to do with running or science, but I had to comment on how awesome I am.

Last night, while trying to pull into my driveway, I got stuck: (Note that all the snow in his picture was not there 24 hours ago.)

There is a small hole between our alley and our driveway and I got stuck right in it. All I needed was a little push out. But... My roommate wasn't home. James, my massage therapist neighbor, was asleep. Steve, my bike mechanic neighbor, wasn't home . (Don't I have otherwise useful neighbors?) I was ready to leave my car blocking the alley for the night.

Then I got brilliant and remembered the pile of cardboard boxes under the basement stairs that my roomate hates that I refuse to throw out. Three cardboard boxes later and voila! In my driveway:
(See that big hole in the snow on the left? That is what I spun out with my tires.)

The last time I got stuck in the snow was on top of a mountain between Walden and Steamboat Springs. That outcome was not nearly as satisfactory.

Anyways, I think I may finally get to whip out the snowshoes!

Friday, February 23, 2007

So is this like a distillery?

Normally we avoid politics here, but this photo of our President, looking at a glass jar full of sciency stuff, while visiting an alternative fuels lab cracks me up. And the title of this post is an actual quote from his visit.

Hey he runs! And he *looks* like a scientist in that picture! Maybe he'll join our relay team!

The litany of things that I do wrong.

Had the session with HSC last night. Apparently I have been doing this swimming thing all wrong. Major points of the evening:
  • I need to make a conscious effort to look down, not ahead. Apparently this makes your legs pop up to the surface. And it really does! I thought all the buoyancy generated by my ass would accomplish that without any help, but apparently it does not.
  • Ah, so that's what they mean by rotate! When I tried to figure this out on my own, I always failed. So at least I have a feel of how it is supposed to be - whether or not I successfully implement it is another story.
  • I kick too much. I sorta knew that though.
So HSC is sorta like a cheerleader on crack (which is just sorta weird for a 30 year old dude with lots of tattoos). By his "that was great!"s and "awesome job"s, you'd think I was ready for the Olympics.

And then, because I hadn't worked out in a week(!), I went to one of my local LBS for a trainer session. We did this:
How can 45 minutes seem like an eternity?

Perhaps it was the minutes upon minutes of four seconds on/four seconds off. Ya think, "It's only four seconds! I can go all out!" but by the end I don't even know if I could tell the difference between my on and off.

Or perhaps it was having to get off the bike to do isometric squats. I think Satan produced this DVD.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My free butt massages have come to an end.

My physical therapist is breaking up with me. She says that it's time I move out into the world alone.

The hamstring isn't healed yet, but it is getting better and I can do all the exercises and stretches at home. Except for the one on that weird stretching machine that looks like a torture device, but oh it hurts so good.

But the saddest part is that I no longer will have my weekly free massage. I doubt my roommate will want to stick her elbow in my ass.

In other news, I just got back from DC, bringing with me a cold that I somehow developed in Joe's apartment. I think he will have to completely disinfect his New Kids on the Block comforter that I used while there. (I'm not even kidding about the NKOTB comforter :-))

And tell me, how does one lose luggage on a direct flight?

In good news though, Hottie Swim Coach has called me back and we are on for Thursday. That is, if they find my luggage with my non-exposing bathing suit and swim cap and goggles...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Someone is brilliant...

After I told Laurie she should come skiing with us tonight, she replied and in her response, the google ad in gmail was for this.

Genius? Or insanely stupid? You be the judge...

Monday, February 12, 2007

A man, A plan. A canal. Panama.

Or rather:

A Woman. A plan. A triathlon. Nolhtairtanalpanamowa.

Okay. So I am no good at palindromes. Nor apparently am I good at bathing because I apparently don't scrub at my calves because there is still a 32 on my left calf. The 32 on my arm is totally gone, so I swear I have actually bathed since a week ago Saturday! Really!

Kori is on board for the Siouxperman Triathlon, which means we'll totally do this, since we won't let each other wuss out. We're 12 weeks out. The hamstring still has its moments, but I am down to once a week with the physical therapist. And I am up to running 1.5 miles.

The other day someone told me "The trick with a hamstring injury is that you have to run 9 minute miles." I was thinking "WTF? That's my 5k PR pace!" Turns out this dude runs 20 minute 5ks, so 9 minute miles is really slow for him.

But the moral is the same: you can run, just run slowly. I learned this the hard way when I started running again in December and had to stop after pushing too hard. So my plan is to force myself to stay at 11:30 to 12 minute miles. The only way for me to do this is on the treadmill, since I'll go faster if left to my own devices.

As for hottie swim coach, he is totally standing me up! He called on Thursday to set up a time for our lesson, but I was on the bus and didn't have my calendar so I told him I would call him back, which I did a couple of hours later. It is now Monday! Isn't there like a four day rule? Instead I leave these sort of pathetic messages on his voice mail: "Um, this is Danielle, I was hoping we could meet on Monday? Please call me." I guess he's just not that into being my swim teacher...

I would be less annoyed if I hadn't already paid. Gees. Now this isn't going to happen for another week and a half since Tuesday night I have a class, Wednesday night I am going crosscountry skiing on the river for a couple of hours with some others of the "Valentine's Day? Bah Humbug!" mentality, and then I will be in MD for a conference.

(Note that I would most likely be on my ass at the bottom of that big hill...)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I am a bad person.

So I left out something about the triathlon. Something that my roommate said "It's okay if you tell your friends this, but I wouldn't write that in a public forum." If you are dying to know, I have no problem telling you on IM or e-mail (all that info is in my profile). It's not that exciting, really, but my roommate said that it might make someone feel bad.

Anyways, as a result of this, I decided I really need to work on my swimming. Conveniently, when I went swimming on Monday night, Hottie Swim Coach, who is a firefighter by day, was there giving someone a lesson. I thought "I have crappy technique. In fact, I don't even know what good technique is. Hottie Swim Coach should know such things. Maybe I'll take a lesson." So I asked him about it and we're on.

I have to note that I felt badass when he noticed the big 32 on my arm and said:

"Did you do the tri in Marshalltown this weekend?"
"Why yes, yes I did. Bask in my awesomeness."

He's training for his first triathlon. Although unlike me who does little tiny baby tris, he is jumping right in to Olympic distance.

So I am taking a swim lesson. And it is because of the aforementioned event. Not because the swim coach is hot. Really. I swear!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The high yesterday was 7 degrees, but I wore a tank top anyways.

So that I could show off this:

My arms look ginormous this close up. Also, I fear I may have cankles.

Okay, I'm lying. Actually I am more embarassed that it appears that I haven't bathed as this marker is not coming off without some serious scrubbing.

So yesterday was the wacky tri. For a recap, it was wacky because instead of set distances you just went for set times (7 minutes of swimming, 18 minutes of biking, 15 minutes of swimming). The winners were determined by who went the farthest total distance.

Chrissy and I arrived at the Y about a half an hour before our wave, which started at 8:45. They told us they would do the orientation and then we could get in the water and warm up. They were late doing the orientation so we literally got in the water and two minutes later they gave us a minute warning to the start. I was not happy. Like with everything, my first laps are always a little clunky.

Starting cold, I had a hard time getting into a good breathing rythym and actually had to breathe every other stroke for the first lap. I tried to flip turn at the end of the first length, but I was totally disoriented in the different pool and was too far off the wall and almost missed it completely, so I gave up on the flip turning.

After I got going, things were pretty good. I actually did my first 200 yds in 4:30, which is about 30 seconds faster than what I typically swim. When training, the highest yardage I got in 7 minutes was 275. Since they didn't weight the distances in each portion, there was no good motivation to go all out in the swim. But I hit 275 with 25 seconds left and I thought "I totally can get 300!" so I sprinted as hard as I could to the other end and I hit the wall as the buzzer was still sounding, but they didn't give it to me. Stupid ten year old marking my lengths. He'll pay, I tell you!

There was a set T1 time of 7 minutes, so I had time to change out of my bathing suit and get into normal clothes. I almost didn't, but then I realized that running in my bathing suit probably wouldn't work. Chrissy, who didn't change, said to me afterwards "I am chafing all over!" Um, ouch.

So then we went up to the stationary bikes. The weirdest part about this was figuring out how high you could put the level and still keep a good cadence and maintain it for 18 minutes. There was no external forcing, so you could just cruise at a low level, but you won't get as far unless you spin harder. This was pretty uneventful. I did 4.55 miles. Everyone had a volunteer standing by their bikes who kept track of the miles. Chrissy was next to me and her volunteer came up to her and whispered "You've gone the farthest." Considering there was a man with two triathlon tattoos in our wave, I was pretty impressed.

So lastly we went to the run. Now theoretically I was supposed to take it easy here so I didn't hurt my hamstring. I didn't even intend to not take it easy. But they started and I just stayed with this one woman. She was running a pace I could handle, although I had no clue what pace it was. I stayed with her for the first ten minutes and then I started fading. Maybe because I haven't run more than a mile since like October. So she got ahead of me and I decided to use my hamstring as an excuse to not keep up. In the meantime, Chrissy and this woman's son were lapping everyone. Chrissy lapped me 9 times in 15 minutes. So Chrissy and this kid are yoyoing the entire way, but in typical teenage boy fashion, he couldn't maintain and she dropped him. I did 1.6 miles total, so better than I thought I would, but I can tell that I haven't been running.

They had waves going until 11:30. Now, if it had just been me, I would have left. But Chrissy actually had a chance of placing, so we had to entertain ourselves for three hours at the Y. Before the start we were both thinking "Oh we'll do this then we can go workout some more, since this is only 40 minutes." Um, that didn't happen. The short distances sort of begged you to go all out in each portion so by the end we were both pretty dead. So we hung out in the sauna and then watched the other waves to check out Chrissy's competition.

In the end, Chrissy came in first amongst all the females, swimming 475 yds, biking 5.5 miles, and running 2.3 miles. She won a new pair of running shoes. The shoes she wore for the tri were all bloody from a blister, so I think that was a fitting prize for her.

Anyways, so yeah. I finished my first triathlon, even if it was a little tiny baby one. And Chrissy is a bad influence. Tattoo guy was telling her about the next tri around in Sioux City and she is excited about that and has sucked me in. Then I saw the webpage and I decided that I would do this triathlon soley for the t-shirt:

I mean, how could you not! The rules on the website even state that there is no kryptonite allowed on the premises :-) This one has an indoor swim with an outdoor bike and run. Thank goodness as I am pretty sure there is nowhere in Iowa where you could swim outside in early May. This is a more proper sprint tri - 500 m swim, 15 mile bike, and 5k. Gotta get working on that bike! Oh yeah, and being able to run 3 miles again. Sigh. How far I have fallen! By that weekend last year I was doing 20 milers. And now I am worried about getting 3 done! I would like to reiterate the stupidness of my hamstring...

They just made a terrible life choice...

I just had to share this because it made me laugh and laugh.

Wacky tri recap to come later today...