Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Fotos

While we were in Ohio, my awesome mom arranged to have some professional pictures taken of us... I'm happy to say they turned out great! And I've spent the last few hours trying to go through them all and pick out a few that we actually want printed. I'm totally a victim of overchoice!

Anyway, here are a couple (ok, a bunch) of my favorites so far.

By the way, if you live in Ohio and want Emily Snyder to take some shots for you, contact her through her website.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Super Domestique

In a cycling road race, the name of the game is Drafting. You save so much energy sitting on some one's wheel, and when all that matters is who gets across the finish line first, the more energy you save for the sprint, the better.

Today I did the Pineapple Hill Road Race. It was part of a 3 race "Stage Race", with the Time Trial and Crit taking place yesterday. Road race was today.

My friend and Pac Velo teammate Jenny (pictured below) did awesome in the TT and crit yesterday and therefore started the race tied for 1st place overall (GC) today.

In order to win the GC title for the weekend, she needed to beat another gal named Michelle across the finish line today. Unfortunately they scored the each race with points rather than time, so it didn't matter by how much either gal won- just that her wheel was first across the line. That was bad for us because Jenny had about 30 seconds on Michelle after the TT, so had they scored it by time, Michelle would have had to attack us and try to get at least 30 seconds on Jenny. But alas...

I showed up today to help do the hard work for Jenny. My job was to be her 'Domestique'... or Work Horse, I guess you could say. Go to the front and pull. Set a hard pace. Jump and sprint up the hill. Block the wind. Make it HARD for the other girls. Bury myself with no regard to my own finish so that Jenny could be as fresh as possible for that sprint finish.

And bury myself I did.

Here's how it went down: The first 20 minutes of so were really slow and easy. Boring. Sandy (another of our teammates who was there to work for Jenny today) and I looked around and at each other and then at Jenny who gave us the signal to get to the front and lift the pace. We did that and right away whittled the group of 12 starters down to 5 contenders. Basically, It was Jenny and her two teammates (Sandy and me) vs Michelle and this other gal named Esther. We knew Michelle and Esther were really strong, but the three of us working together might be able to crack them? We were going to try!

Up the 5 mile hill the first time, Sandy and I did all the work, rotating at the front and putting in some good jumps and sprints. Michelle and Esther and Jenny just sat on... waiting for the sprint finish.

We flew down Snake Hill on the second lap! Jenny was feeling super strong, as was I, and we were YAHOO-ing out loud at how fun all this was!

Start of the second time up the hill... I told Jenny that I would put in a series of attacks- hopefully forcing Michelle and Esther to chase, which might wear them out. So very early on at the start of the long climb, I jumped up and sprinted ahead... looked behind me... no one. They didn't chase me. Hmmm. Kept up a tempo pace. Looked behind me again. Still a big empty gap. They weren't chasing me. Hmmmm. What to do? What to do? Those gals might have been willing to let me ride away for the win, given that I wasn't competing for the GC title since I didn't race yesterday. BUT,

Today was about Jenny and getting her to the line first, and my job was to stay with her to help her do that... so I sat up and waited. When they caught me, I was Jenny's only teammate. Sandy wasn't feeling great and had let us go. Jenny and I decided that we had to make Michelle and Esther work, but the only person they were going to chase was Jenny, so Jenny was going to have to do some attacking herself. So she tried that. They responded and jumped right with her, and eventually it was me back on the front with instructions from Jenny to "Just keep the pace really high."

Um, ok. I'll try. I was fried by this point from all the sprinting and jumping and pulling I'd already done, but we were getting close to the top of the hill and the finish line so I gave it what I had. I led as fast as I could until there was just about a mile left to go, and that's when Esther, for the first time all day, went to the front and put.the.hammer.down. She was flying!! And Michelle went with her. Grrrr!! Jenny told me to GO but I just could not. Sorry, Jenny! It was up to her now. Unfortunately those attacks Jenny put in earlier up the hill might have still been in her legs because she just couldn't quite sprint with those girls and ended up third.

As disappointed as we could be that our race tactics didn't pan out like we wanted, we were not disappointed at all! (Ok, maybe Jenny was a little disappointed, but she got over it quickly.) The thing is, that was so much fun today that even though we didn't win, we loved it! We tried every tactical trick in the book but just couldn't make it work. Afterward I rode for a little bit with Michelle and Esther and congratulated them on a smart race (they really had no choice but to just sit in given that Jenny had TWO strong teammates with her today)... they commented very sincerely that they were really glad that Sandy and I showed up because it made the race way more tactical and fun.

So I can't help but think about the stark difference in reactions at the finish lines between the swim race yesterday and the bike race today. Yesterday, I was the one (smartly) drafting, and I came out ahead. Today, I was on the other end of it, killing myself all day only to be beat at the line by the smart girls drafting off of me. But in the end, either way it turned out, I had a blast! I think what I learned this weekend is that I really like a good race. Regardless of the outcome. A good race is fun. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

No Drafting?

Yip Yip Yip! The North Shore Swim Series has begun!

This is a classic series of 4 ocean swims that are put on every summer by the Waikiki Swim Club. And they are so much fun.

I remember showing up at these swims for the first time 5 years ago... I had moved here the previous fall but still didn't know too many people. My goal during these races was to find friends. Seriously, what better place to meet like-minded people than at the local races? By the 4th and final swim, I'd met an entire new group of friends (including the gal who would be my Maid Of Honor at my wedding!) and my social life just exploded with activity. Goal accomplished.

Anyway, this series is a staple on my race calendar. I did this first race last year when I was 22 weeks pregnant. Amazingly, Moana and I placed second in my age group. :) She was totally born to be a swimmer. I remember thinking (last year) that next year was going to be so much fun... bringing my baby to the races with me...

So this year, I got to bring my 8 month old daughter with me! Yes, Moana is 8 months old today. Can't believe it. One of these years I'm going to be blogging about how Moana did her first open water swim race...

575 people showed up to race this morning! They sent the girls off first this morning so at least we didn't have too massive of a start, but it was still pretty big. Can you find me in this picture? Somebody is pointing at me.

These races aren't like the pansy triathlon swim races where there are buoys every 100 meters... No. This is like, Here's the start buoy. Get yourself from here down to Pipeline as fast as you can, any route you want. There's another buoy to mark the finish, but other than that, you're on your own to navigate the currents, breaking waves, and the rocks (if it's low tide). Love. It.

Today the water was the calmest it's been of any year I've done this swim. No breaking waves at all at the start. There were a few that we swam right through but they weren't the toss and tumble you kind. I lined up at the front, next to my long time swimming rival, Jana. The horn sounded, and we took off at a dead sprint.

Jana and I swam stroke for stroke for a little while, and then, since I'm no dummy, I eased up a bit and tucked in on her feet. Another gal tried to do the same thing, and she and I had our own little battle for rights to Jana's feet. I'll admit that I used my elbows. But I won that battle. Then I don't know what happened to that gal? I think she got on my feet for a while and then dropped off at some point.

A few minutes later another gal joined us- she'd been off to the right more than we were but we eventually met up and formed a little group of 3. It actually appeared to me that she might be going just a little faster than Jana, so I jumped over to her feet. Apparently Jana saw this move and thought "Oh no you don't!" so she and I battled for Trish's feet. Jana used her elbows (and whole body for that matter!) and she won that one. I dropped back to Jana's feet and then went around the other side of her.

We stayed like that until the finish buoy was in sight... it was a brutal effort on my part. We were killing ourselves by this point. I can't remember working that hard since last time I raced Jana. All I could think was that this was so cool. So cool that we were battling the way we were and pushing each other to our breaking points in a friendly way. Of course I wanted to beat her, but at the same time I was just really glad it was such a good race.

Right at the end we both got caught up in some shorebreak got pummeled. It was a frantic effort toward the sand for both of us and as we were running (stumbling might be a better word here) up the hill to the timing mat, I was laughing and Jana grabbed my elbow as if to say "No you don't!" The whole scene seemed so funny to me because witnessing it, you might have thought there was a million dollars at the line for one of us... when all that was really waiting were bragging rights. But we were both going for it.

In the end, it was:

Michelle 24:00.2
Jana 24:00.8

Less than a second. I thought that was awesome. Jana didn't. She immediately started yelling at me for drafting off of her. She was serious. Hmmm? Last time I checked, drafting was the name of the game in open water swimming. No?

The thing is, I have a lot of respect for Jana. I think she's an awesome swimmer. And I know she is wicked competitive. Just like me. I wasn't interested in our rivalry turning ugly, so I gave her a few minutes afterward to calm down and then went to talk her down from her anger by telling her how much I enjoy racing her. Last time we raced, I beat her (again, running up the beach) and she accused me of cheating because I was wearing my Blue Seventy PointZero speedsuit. She said real swimmers don't wear the 'cheat suits'. Ok. So I told her that I specifically didn't wear my speedsuit today in her honor. She wanted a fair race today and I think I gave her one. Though I did tell her that for the next 3 races I won't draft off of her.

Don't worry, I'll find someone else to draft off of and it'll still be a good race. Stay tuned for the next swim race report in two weeks. Tomorrow, it'll be a bike race report. Should be an interesting one. ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How To Score Free Wine On A Long Plane Flight (Though I don't recommend this method~ just pay for the wine.)

Picture the scene:

Scott and Moana and I were jammed like sardines in the last row of the airplane... on our third and final flight headed over the Pacific Ocean toward Hawaii after having already traveled for 9+ hours. The 20-something military guy who got stuck in the back row with us was in hell, but he put his headphones on and tried to mentally transport himself to someplace else. Anyplace else.

Moana was exhausted, and who knows what time it was. Past her bedtime is all she felt. Poor thing clearly just wanted to sleep, but it was hard because there was no place to lay down and stretch out. Mommy's lap was lumpy and not very comfortable. She would fall asleep for a few minutes, and then in an expression of frustration over not having her own space to move around, would arch her back and WAIL OUT in protest. I mean really BELT IT OUT AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS. She was serious, man. Baby wanted her crib.

We were all tired and uncomfortable, but only the 8 month old was missing the social filter that told her to keep her feelings to herself. Actually, that's not true. The Crotchety Old Flight Attendant was missing the filter too. Keep reading.

So the time came when it became clear to Scott that we needed to change Moana's diaper. Hmmm. Where to do that? Clearly there was not room in the back row next to the military man in hell. We got up and I checked both lavatories that were right near our seats. No changing table. The back galley area was clear though- the flight attendants were busy blocking the aisle with their carts.

I figured there had to be a changing table somewhere on the plane, so I approached Crotchety Old Flight Attendant and waited patiently while she served someone a drink to ask her where I might find one. Eventually she acknowledged me and told me there was one up in the front lavatory. Perfect. The one changing table they had on the plane was not accessible to us due to the 2 carts blocking the aisle.

I went back to the galley to tell Scott that we needed to wait and take Moana up front, but instead found him with Moana's diaper off. He was already in the middle of changing her on the bench that was there. I jumped in to help him and within 30 seconds the deed was done and I sighed with relief that we didn't make a mess.

Right about this time Crotchety Old Flight Attendant walked back into the galley and saw what we had done. Without hesitation I apologized and told her that my husband had changed the diaper before I had a chance to tell him about the change table up front.

Oh. My. Gosh. Crotchety Old Flight Attendant went off.

I don't know why people always think it's okay to change diapers back here in our area!?! We prepare food back here! This is against all health codes! Would you go into a restaurant and walk back into the kitchen to change your baby's diaper?? I don't want to have to sit on a poopy seat! It is not okay to change diaper back here!! I told you that the changing table is up front!

This lady went on and on. And on and on. After we were back in our seats she continued to stand there and berate us as loudly as she could. Right in front of everyone else on the plane. At this point it's important to know that I was completely in tears and just quietly asking her to stop. But she did not.

Okay. I will admit that it probably wasn't in the best taste to change Moana's diaper right there. I did apologize immediately and told her (in all honesty) that we didn't know what we were supposed to do. But seriously, it wasn't like we smeared poop all over the floor and walls. Though that's likely what everyone around us thought* when they couldn't help but overhear Crotchety Old Flight Attendant going off on us.

After she finally left us alone, I just could not stop crying. I was so tired. And so embarrassed. I was already feeling self-conscious about Moana crying out... already thinking that everyone around us hated us for bringing this poor little baby on such a long flight. And now, thanks to Crotchety Old Flight Attendant, everyone thought that we were dirty and disgusting and trashy for changing Moana's diaper in the back. I just wanted to disappear, but instead was stuck on this plane for at least 3 more hours.

Like a good husband, Scott got up a few minutes later and went back to apologize one more time to the horrible woman, but also to stand up for me and tell her that she had handled to situation completely inappropriately. Crotchety Old Flight Attendant did not back down. She repeated all of her previous complaints yet again. Loudly.

My crying would not stop.

A few minutes later Scott was walking Moana up and down the aisle trying to give her a little change of scenery and hopefully get her to nod off again. Apparently during this time two other flight attendants got wind of what had transpired in the back. One of them came up to me and apologized profusely and told me not to worry about it... nice of her to do that, but I was still whimpering in my own Mother-Hell. Finally, Nice Flight Attendant smiled and said, "You need a glass of wine. Red or white?" To which I responded, "White. Thank you."

And there you have it. The cure.

The two nice flight attendants kept 'em coming until I was sound asleep with Moana on my lap. The wine really did help.

*For what it's worth, after the flight when we were waiting at the baggage claim area, a woman from our flight approached me and told me that she thought that Crotchety Old Flight Attendant's behavior was cruel and inappropriate. She said that she knew some people 'high up' in American Airlines and was going to report her bahvior because it was so unnecessary. I appreciated this woman's comment. She said that clearly, Crotchety Old Flight Attendant was not a mother. Clearly.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

El Tour De Eating

At home, for the most part, we eat pretty healthy. For the most part, we eat meals prepared at home, consisting of lots of fresh stuff that grows naturally. It works for us.

But When In Ohio...

Yes! A half stick of butter for everyone!

It's been meat and potatoes, followed by hamburgers and chips, followed by steak and potatoes. And ice cream. With cookies.

Scott had never been to Bob Evans prior to this trip, but he's been initiated now. The food might taste good, but those massive plates of cholesterol are like a heart attack waiting to happen. Luckily, they don't force babies to order off the menu in these restaurants... so Moana was allowed to eat her squash.

Scott also got to try Chipotle for the first time. Now this is actually one that I wish we could get in Hawaii.

El Tour De Eating in Ohio is ending, which is bittersweet. It's good for me to get out of here while I can still fit in my shorts, but it'll be sad to take Moana away from her Grammy. They've really had a good bonding week. And now I'm going to have to do my own laundry again.

The really bad news is that, inevitably, I got sick while I was here. I don't think I've ever actually traveled to the mainland and not gotten sick. It happens every time. I think it's just too much for my immune system to miss a night's sleep while flying for 12 hours, in and out of busy airports, and then try to adjust to a 6 hour time change... I do what I can stocking myself up on all the immune boosting stuff I can get my hands on, but it's not enough. And you know that when I get sick, Moana is going to get sick. Poor thing. Her eyes are all red and puffy and her nose is running and she's sneezing a ton... And as much as we know I like telling you gross stories, I'm purposely avoiding telling you details about the diarrhea. (oh, it was bad.) She hasn't had a schedule really at all since we've been here so it's been hurry up and sleep in the car on the way to our next destination... and let's not even talk about adjusting her to a 6 hour time change... or back to Hawaii time for that matter... She finally did get adjusted, just in time for us to leave, so she'll be wide awake and ready to start the day at midnight when we get home. So much for me sleeping to help my body get over this sickness.

And the dread... oh, the dread... of getting back on those airplanes to take Moana home... ohhhh nooooo pleeeaaase nooooo... I don't personally have a fear of flying or anything like that, but I do dread putting Moana through that long uncomfortable situation again, especially now since she's not feeling well. And her first tooth is popping through. It makes me feel like a cruel parent.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, it's just because I'm recovering from the whole ordeal. This is when I wish I could just click my heels three times and be magically transported across the ocean.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Amish Country Running

On Friday we drove to the middle of Nowhere, Ohio to spend the weekend at a mini family reunion.

Looks idyllic, doesn't it? I guess it kind of is, unless you're addicted to your iPhone and can't get cell coverage because apparently they can't get it together to put enough cell towers in the area. And you're driving around lost in the dumping rain for an hour in this tiny little nothing town without a map (or the ability to call for directions) because said iPhone can't update it's map for you. But I digress.

I felt like I was on a 5th grade field trip seeing all the Amish people, but you know what? They really live like this. They weren't just doing it for our entertainment.

I got up early Saturday morning and went for a run. It was just supposed to be an easy one, which was good because I was too engrossed in the scenery to concentrate on running hard. I saw way more horse and buggies than cars. What a trip.

Of course, as crazy as it was for me to see these people, they stared at me running by (with my big ole garmin strapped on my wrist) like I was an alien.

I guess one good thing about those Amish is that they sure know how to raise healthy looking horses. Moana has only seen horses in her Baby Einstein videos, so needless to say, she was mesmerized.

I tried to run easy. I really did. But the hills in Nowhere, Ohio, aren't like the gentle rollers I was expecting... they were more like roller coasters... relentless up and down and up and down and the wind coming out of the west was stiff and unyielding.
I mean, seriously, who put these hills here??

So the run wasn't quite as easy as it was supposed to be, but whatever. The rest of the weekend was really fun, especially for Moana, who got to meet and play with some of her cousins.

It was especially fun for her to wear Jack's hat.

So overall it was a great weekend introducing Scott and Moana to family members I haven't seen in 10-15 years... and it was good to be able to hug my dad in person for Father's Day.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Well, we made it to Ohio!

The plane flight(s) were a nightmare. I didn't sleep a wink for 24 hours. Moana was not pleased with the sleeping situation on my lap and she made it known. To everyone on the plane. Poor thing. At one point as we were getting close to landing in Chicago after the red eye (giving new meaning to 'red' eye' flight), Scott and I looked at each other wearily and decided that this was a cruel thing to do to Moana. We couldn't even be mad at her for expressing her frustration because we were the ones putting her through this long and horrible situation that she did not understand. We were all tired and uncomfortable and we all wanted to scream out and let it be known, though as adults we have an ability to control some of our outbursts. At 7 only months old, it's not fair to expect that from Moana.

For what it's worth, I know everyone dreads the thought of sitting next to a crying baby on a long flight, but let me promise you this: as bad as it is to sit next to one, it is 100x worse to be that baby's mother. That's all I'll say about that.

I will not do this to her again. Except when we do it to her again next week as we try to get home. But after that, I won't do it to her again.

Other than that though, it's really pretty cool to be here! My mom is just as happy as she could possibly be having her little granddaughter here. She got out all of the toys she's been collecting and Moana is totally set up with a crib and a high chair and plenty of toys to keep her stimulated and occupied for a year! It's really cute to watch my mom and my daughter to play together. :)

This morning I was out the door before anyone else opened their eyes... headed over to my old high school pool to get in an early morning swim. What a flashback flood of memories that was... I spent countless hours in that natatorium when I was in high school. The swim flew by so fast this morning because my head was just spinning with flashes of high school days. The coolest part was seeing my name up on the record board. I still hold the pool and school record for springboard diving... 17 years later! I recognized many of the names up on that board~ clearly, Hudson swimming was in it's prime in the 90's. ;)

Now I'm trying to get motivated to get my run in before we head to the Amish country for a family reunion later today. I was going to run this morning right after swimming but it was 56 and raining and all I had was a sports bra and shorts (that's all I usually need!). I'm not one for skipping workouts so I'm going to just go suck it up and get it done, but it's not going to be pleasant. I don't know how people who live in the mid-west train day after day in this crap. I really don't.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Crawling For The Prize

Well, as much fun as that was yesterday to share my personal humiliation with all of you, let's change the subject, shall we?

How about a Pop Quiz!

What is the worst thing you can do to a baby who has just learned to crawl?

Pause for answer...

If you said, "Put her on an airplane from Honolulu to LA where she is restricted to her mom's lap for 5 1/2 hours... then, in the middle of the night, transfer her to another plane where she is again stuck on her mom's lap for another 5 hours as they fly all night to Chicago. THEN get on yet another plane where she is, once again, stuck prisoner on her mom's lap for one more flight to Cleveland..." you would be correct!

Yeah, that's what we're going to do to Moana in about 48 hours. If I'm really lucky, and cross my fingers real hard, she may even cut her first tooth just as we board that first flight. I can feel a little lump right there on her bottom gum where apparently something is getting ready to pop through.

Don't you wish you were me this week?

Besides the flying the baby across the Pacific Ocean and then across the continental United States, I'm actually quite excited to take Moana home to Ohio. I grew up in Hudson, Ohio and most of my family is still there. So she'll get to meet her grandpa, a couple of uncles, aunts, cousins, and her one great grandma! I'm envisioning lots of photos being taken this weekend. And I know The Laundry Fairy is just beside herself with excitement about her little granddaughter crawling all over the house while puking as much as she can on the clean carpet. Luckily, Grammy loves that kind of stuff.

In good news, Scott (otherwise known as The Sherpa when we travel) is coming too, so it's not like I'll be handling Moana and all her stuff all on my own. This is also going to be Scott's first trip to my hometown and though he's met some of my family already, there are others he has not yet met. Luckily, he is already married to me so he can't change his mind even after he meets the rest of the clan.

Here's a little video I took the other day of my offspring learning to crawl. I think this is so funny because a) She's so cautious and deliberate about picking her hands up and b) her timing and coordination clearly mark her as a beginner crawler. It's also kind of classic how she bypasses her baby toys and goes for the real prize.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ignoring The Problem Doesn't Make It Go Away

FYI- sleeping in your compression socks does not give you new springy legs in the morning. Well, maybe it would for you... but it didn't for me. Bummer.

It was a good experiment on my part though. :)

I tried to blame Motorpace and his setting the road on fire yesterday for the lack of spring in my legs today. But when I gave Scott that excuse, his reply was, "You were the knucklehead who followed him yesterday!" Ok. Fair enough.

Anyway, suffice to say that my half marathon this morning was... well... just a half marathon. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. Not that I expected it to be. Jen warned me that I would not feel good. In fact, in her email instructions to me this week she said, "Not a fan of you racing this weekend AT ALL. But you do what you need to do." Hmmm. Wonder what she meant by that?

It was fine though. Clearly I was missing some of the competitive fire that I used to have... because I was just out there running, and when it started to hurt, I just slowed down. There was nothing in me this morning that really wanted to lay it on the line. Weird, because yesterday I was totally good with putting it all out there. Go figure.

Anyway, I debate about telling you all this part of the story, my bloggy friends... It definitely falls in the TMI category... But I share it in the interest of keeping this post interesting... because it could possibly be the most embarrassing thing ever to happen to me in a race and might make for a good chuckle from some of you at home... Ok. Ready?

I can't believe I'm going to tell you this.

So let's go back to middle school for some vocabulary and just say that, um, Aunt Flo came out to visit this weekend, which, unbelievably in 15 years of racing, has never happened to me before. I didn't invite her and was not particularly pleased by her visit. But I did what I could to, um, plug her up, so she would be of minimal disturbance to my run this morning.

All was well and good until about 9 miles into the run... at which point I could, um, feel her trying to, um, unhinge the plug. What to do? What to do?

So I did what I do best and just ignored the problem, hoping it would just go away. But we all know that ignoring problems does not make them go away.

Let me just say that this little race was not lined with spectators cheering us on the whole way. In fact, there were really only spectators in maybe the last 25 meters or so toward the finish line. And wouldn't you know it? This is where Aunt Flo declared her victory in, um, popping out the plug, so to speak.

Just so you're not confused, I managed to run 13.05 miles while keeping everything contained, and then, right in front of all these people at the finish line, I was horrified as that bloody tampon just fell right out, in the middle of the finish chute.


I had no idea what to do?? What does one do in a situation like that?? Go back across the finish line and pick it up? I did not do that. Again, I did what I do best and ignored the problem. Instead, I rushed right over to the table where they were handing out cups of water and dumped a few right on myself and then made a beeline to the bathroom to make myself somewhat presentable.

So I'll just take this opportunity to apologize profusely right now to anyone who happened to witness that horrifying event. Also to anyone who might have had the unfortunate experience of cleaning up my mess. I'm so sorry. Ugh.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday: By The Numbers

Bike ride start time: 6:30 AM.

Time we actually pedaled away: 6:29 AM. (Gotta love those military folks who know the meaning of on time.)

Distance to turn-around point at Sunset Beach: 31 miles.

Time it took to get to turn around point at Sunset Beach: 1 hr, 19 minutes. New record.

Average speed on way out: 23.3 mph.

Number of times I asked Motorpace to back off and let me recover for a minute: Once.

Minutes he eased up to let me recover: 2.

Speed at which those 2 minutes of recovery were ridden: 21 mph.

Minutes spent resting at Sunset Beach: 9.

Average speed on way home, into stiff headwind: 20.8 mph.

Number of times I got dropped: 0.

Time we arrived home after 62 miles, including rest stop and red lights: 9:31 AM.

Minutes spent running post-ride: 30.

Minutes spent in ice bath, after drinking recovery shake: 17.

I am currently employing every recovery effort known to me in an attempt to get my legs back before tomorrow morning. I don't know what I was thinking signing up for a 1/2 marathon tomorrow morning?? Actually, I figured it would be fine~ I just didn't know that Motorpace was gonna be lighting the pavement on fire as we rode today...

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Day In Her Life...

I joke all the time about what a tough life I have... living here in Hawaii... being an athlete and a full time mom. It's almost ridiculous, really, how good we have it. Not that we have tons of money or things~ it's not about money or things~ just that we live a life in a really cool place and take advantage of it every day.

Now I'm laughing inside about what a great life Moana has too. And she really has no idea how good she has it, because this is all she's ever known. She might grown up thinking all trees have orange and green bark.

Too bad she won't remember all this when she's older, because if she did remember these days, she wouldn't come back later on (when she's an adult) and blame all her problems on me*. ;)

Today I took Moana over to the pool in our condo complex. She's totally loving her floaty toy.
All I can say is that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. At 7 months, Moana has started water running.

After all that fun, we came inside and had more fun... in the bathtub... my real motive was the wash the sunscreen and chlorine off her, but as far as she knew it was just more water playtime.

Eventually she started eating Winnie the Pooh, so I figured maybe it was time to come down and have lunch.

Moana is eating like a queen these days. Well, if queens eat pureed peas and green beans with homemade brown rice cereal, that is. I made these veggie cubes and put 'em in the freezer, so meals for her are super easy to prepare.

I just thaw out a cube in the microwave and then mix it with some brown rice cereal that I pre-made and stored in the fridge and Wa-La! Lunch! And she really likes it too. Almost all of it goes in her mouth and down the hatch, which is a heck of a lot easier than out her mouth and on the floor.

All that excitement is plenty to wear a baby out. She's out cold in her crib right now. Which means it's time for me to clean the floors (again), fold the laundry (does that ever end?), unload the dishwasher, empty the cat box... and if there's time before the little one wakes up, take a shower. Ahhh, I have it so good.

*Ok, when she's old she might blame her wrinkled leather skin on me. I swear, I put waterproof SPF 55 sunscreen on her every time we go to the pool or beach, but I guess when you go pool/beach 5x/week in the summer in Hawaii, you're destined to get a bit of sun. Baby's got a farmer's tan already at 7 months. Sorry, Moana.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm IN!

It all started while I was talking to Jen after Honu... she told me that she thought I should do another 70.3 before Kona. Just to have a chance to put it together and actually have a good run at a longer race prior to the cannon firing off at the Big Dance in October. I told her there was no way. There aren't any other long races in Hawaii this summer, and traveling to the mainland didn't appear to be an option for this stay at home mom.

But it did get me thinking, and I did go online to check out and see if there were any 70.3 races on the west coast this summer that weren't sold out already. Hmmmm.... there was one. August might not be a bad time for another 70.3... But no, it doesn't make sense for me to do that.

So then I called Jenny to see how she was healing up after her big crash at Honu. She said her coach told her that she needed to enter another 70.3 so she had a goal for the summer. She found one. On the west coast. In August.

And from there, the idea took on a life of its own. Before you know it, the Girl's Trip was born! Jenny and I both bought plane tickets and reserved our hotel room and mailed in our entries for Lake Steven 70.3!

We are both so lucky to have husbands who are so awesome and supportive. And willing to take on the challenge of handling their young daughters all by themselves for the whole long weekend.

Life is definitely different when you have a husband and a baby. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have thought twice before sending an entry in to a race I wanted to do. Didn't have to ask anyone. Didn't worry about how my decisions would affect anyone else... I had a great job that paid me well and I didn't fret (too much) about spending $1000 here or there on something I wanted.

But there's a trade-off when you're a stay at home mom. While I love love love being able to play with Moana every day and take her to the beach whenever I want, I do feel way more restricted, especially when it comes to spending money frivolously on myself. As a one income family, I don't feel bad buying clothes and toys for Moana, and I don't even feel too bad about buying new swimsuits or running shoes for myself. I do, however, feel bad about spending money on races that are purely selfish and just for my own fun. I mean, I have plenty of my own fun every day with Moana. Do I really need more?

The answer is no. But that's what makes it so nice when Scott says, "Go. Have your girl's weekend away. Enjoy yourself! Moana and I will be fine." Love him.

So Jenny and I get to go race together in Washington. I'm so psyched! And then I found out that Marit is going to be there too! How fun to meet her too (though I already feel like I know her from her blog)... anyone else IN?

40 Minutes at 24 Hour Fitness

Today, for the first time, I took Moana to the child care at the 24 Hour Fitness I belong to. Nothing like dropping your sweet little daughter off in a day care room for the first time to make a mama nervous.

I actually really enjoy lifting weights. Ok, I don't actually enjoy the act of lifting weights, BUT I think it keeps me injury free and I like the way it makes me feel afterward. So I do it when I can fit it in to my schedule.

Previously, before Moana was 6 months old and allowed in the gym day care, that meant trading in an AM swim or run workout for weights, which I was willing to do until racing season got close. Then it just seemed that swimming and running should take priority. I guess my other option would have been to go at night after Scott got home from work, but I'm trying to stay married through all this training and being away from husband both morning and night doesn't exactly further that cause.

Anyway, now that I'm back into sort of a 'base training' mode, I'm back to weight training. And its easier to fit in now because I can go mid-morning and drop Moana off in the kids room to play. I figured that she might actually really enjoy it- a change of scenery is something always good for her, and she really seems to dig watching older kids run around and play. She doesn't have any attachment issues to me either, so watching me walk out of the room hasn't been an issue (so far). I'm hoping that by starting her early with this kind of stuff that maybe the attachment issue will never actually be an issue?? I'll let you know if it works.

Anyway, even given all that, I was still all nervous for her this morning. So nervous, in fact, that I didn't even wear my iPod while I was lifting but instead just listened intently to the gym speakers in case my name was called that they needed me back in the kids room. So nervous that I whipped through my full body 60 minute routine in 40 minutes. So nervous that I hardly even remember lifting this morning because all I thought about the whole time was whether or not she was doing ok.

I should have known better. All sweaty after rushing through my workout, I opened the door of the kids room and saw my sweet little daughter happily playing in one of those exersaucer things. She doesn't have one of those at home so she was totally intrigued by it. The gal in charge said she was a doll the whole time. Of course she was.

On Friday, when I'll be back for my second weights session of the week, hopefully I will be a little more comfortable with the whole situation. Leaving your kid with people you don't know is a lot more stressful than I previously would have thought! But of course it was all fine.

Monday, June 8, 2009

You Can Dress A Baby Up...

But you can't keep her from eating sand.

We went to watch Nalani and Kurt exchange their vows on Saturday down at the beach. I totally cry at weddings* and this day was no exception. It was really nice. Nalani looked beautiful of course, even with her race number on her arm. Hardly even noticed that, what with all the pretty flowers and the gorgeous dress. I totally stole this picture off of Tom's mobile FB uploads. Thanks, Tom!

And for the record, I think I spotted Kurt's eyes welling up a bit as his bride was walking toward him, so I was not alone in the tears department.

As usual, Moana was a trooper throughout the ceremony, though toward the end she made it clear that she knew there was some sand to be tasted and wanted to go check it out.

There was a great party afterward and just about all our friends were there. Super cool. My apologies to Nalani if Moana stole the show. Someone got her on film dancing on the tables toward the end of the night... Moana, not Nalani... (in her defense, the band was awesome!)... if the pics get forwarded to me I'll post 'em here... otherwise you'll have to use your imagination.

Before all the celebration started, I was able to fit in a great ride. All week I'd been feeling so sluggish- a combination of post-race fatigue and lack of any real training lately I suppose. Reminds me of that Law of Motion... When I'm on a good training roll, seems like I'm always feeling great. But then take a few days off or really easy and I just get all blah. So Saturday we cruised through 56 miles in less than 3 hours, which was cool considering the wind conditions (um, wicked) and the fact that I didn't really feel like I was working very hard. I sat on Motorpace's wheel the entire time and just let him pull me. He was on a mission to get me home in time to get ready for the wedding, so I have him to thank for having time to shave my legs in the shower.

Then Sunday morning I had a fantastic run... set a new personal best on my favorite hilly 10 miler without even trying. Hmmm. CRAZIness, I tell you. I almost didn't wear a watch on that run b/c I didn't even want to know how slow it was going to be, but talked myself into the watch based on the law that 'what gets measured, gets managed',** so better to know how slow I am instead of pretending that I'm not... it was shocking to find out I'm not so slow afterall! Yipee.

And this morning I actually had a good swim, which was surprising given that Nalani was not there. I had to imagine her there beside me when it was time to work hard, which seemed like the whole 2900M main set this morning... I guess I have a good imagination because I swam well. But I have to say, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I would have had Nalani actually been there. The honeymoon is over, Nalani. Get back from Maui already and come swim with me! ;)

*Seriously, I don't know how I got through my own wedding? Lots of tears. I can be such a sap. I blame it on my mom.

**I should get back to employing this law with the numbers on the bathroom scale. I'ma fraid I totally let it go after the 70.3 last weekend.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Babies At Da Beach

Kelley and I pretended we were tourists today and took Sara and Moana down to Waikiki to play. Just for a change of scenery I guess.

Moana got to try out her new floaty toy. She wasn't so sure she liked it at first, but it didn't take her long to warm up to the idea of floating around without having me hold onto her.

How cute are these two? And I bet you can't guess what Moana is about to do with that handful of sand...

In exciting news, Moana started to crawl today! For the last several weeks she's been trying, but hasn't had the guts to actually pick up and move her hands. But apparently Sara is a good teacher (leading by example!) because today, for the first time, while Sara was watching, Moana picked up her hand and moved it forward in a crawling motion. Sara let out a wildly loud squeal, which Kelley and I interpreted as baby applause.

So yeah, it was a tough day. Sometimes I feel really guilty about my life, especially when I read about how busy so many of you are with work and kids and training and all...

If it's any consolation, I'm back on the bike tomorrow morning and our trade winds have returned with a vengeance~ so I'll suffer a lot out there trying to pedal home against the winds which will ferociously try to stop me. Does that help?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Idle Hands

My kitchen windows are streak-free. And you can see probably too accurate a reflection in my bathroom mirrors. The laundry has been folded and my closet is clean. There are clean sheets on the bed. The floor has been vacuumed (though that is a very temporary fix because we have a dog who sheds a ton. I don't blame her, really. She's wearing a thick black coat and it's getting hot).

See what happens when I start to get my energy back but still am not working out more than once a day? Maybe I can blame this on Moana and her long naps.

In good news, I just finished scrubbing the soap scum out of my bathtub. This is good because I'm sure I'll be spending plenty of time in there this summer icing down my legs after all those tough training days. Ahhh, a mama can dream... But seriously, that was really needed. It was getting gross.

Moana finally woke up and wanted to add to her thoughts to this the post. Verbatim.

/XZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZOP-,JMMMP98L.ssssssssssssssP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, /.P/ ,

Yes, Moana, I agree.

So I have been doing a morning workout each day this week... just easy swimming or running so far. I've had to swim alone because Nalani's got some lame excuse about why she's not attending this week... Something about a wedding... I'm cutting her some temporary slack since she's the one who will be wearing white on Saturday.

I went to her bridal shower last night. It was really fun- she's got so many aunties who just love her. So cute to watch them doting over her... Luckily, Nalani's future husband understands and supports her love for triathlon, because walking down the aisle on Saturday, Nalani will be sporting a sunburned tatoo'd version of her race number. Good thing those numbers were neatly stamped on.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Balancing Act

I'm feeling like a sloth.

It seems like it's been forever since I've been in Hard Training Mode. With a taper going into the race and now an extended recovery due to my (still) sore legs, it just feels like it's been too long since I've had that post hard workout high that comes from nailing something hard.

But then (thanks to FaceBook) Liz educated me a bit about sloths... and the fact that they come down from their trees once a week to poop... so ok, I'm not exactly like a sloth because I still poop every day.

Anyway, my point is that I'm looking forward to getting this recovery stuff over with so I can get back on it and start training again. I did go to the pool this morning for a whopping 2000M swim. I was going to ride my bike over there, but then (again, thanks to FB) I saw that today is National Running Day, so I forced my poor quads to pound it out for a mile each way to the pool in honor of... I'm not sure what? The joy of running I guess.

Maybe one of these days that joy will come back. I did start to like running this past spring. Now I'm a bit down on it because it didn't seem to like me so much on Saturday, but I'm willing to give it another try this summer/fall.

Anyway, Jen sent me an email yesterday and told me to 'enjoy this week' and then followed it up with a sinister (ha ha). I think she has some long evil stuff in store for me this summer. Bring it. I'm game.

My little brain has been spinning about how I'm going to balance out being a good mom while training for Kona. I think it's going to go just fine. It really helps that I don't have a job outside my home. Here are the positives in my favor:

1. Scott doesn't (usually) have to leave for work until 8:00ish, and he's awesome about it when I get up early and go train. So hypothetically, I could even do long runs during the week if I get out the door early enough. And since the sun comes up pretty early here in the summers, it's not even like o'dark-thirty type training even if I leave at 5:30AM.

2. Moana takes pretty consistent long morning naps. Like 2 1/2 hours long. So if I need a good long trainer ride, no problem.

3. Jenny (bless her heart) told me that she's excited to continue doing our baby trade off days so we can each ride outside during the week. This is especially amazing that she was so gracious in offering this even as she is unable to walk properly from tumbling down the hill on Saturday. And I think I found another mom who wants to trade off with me during the week... my neighbor is training for a couple of long events and has a 2 year old girl... so I may have more opportunites than I even need each week. Niice.

4. Mike and Sandy both qualified to Kona as well so they'll be riding long very consistently on the weekends. I will not be hurting for good fast hard-working training partners this summer. They're everywhere.

5. There are a ton of 'training race' opportunities here all summer long. Not triathlons per say, but lots of ocean swim races and long runs and even a 112 mile bike race in September. I'll be able to practice pacing any way I want to just about every weekend.

All this leaves me really excited to start the Kona build. I'm one of those athletes who loves loves loves the training aspect of our sport... maybe more than racing... it's about the journey for me. When do I get to start??

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Perseverance Defined

I've really had to hold on tightly to the hand rails on my stairs while trying to descend the last few days. Apparently running for 2 hours when your quads are seizing with every step causes some pretty good muscle damage. Ouch.

So I was really patting myself on the back for winning the Perseverance Award over the weekend... until I heard Jenny's story.

Jenny is my friend who has a 17 month old daughter who I trade off child care with so we can each get some extra training in during the week. She also flew over to the Big Island to do the 70.3 on Saturday. She was psyched. And ready. Woohoo! Let's rock!

I didn't see Jenny during the race, but to be honest, I wasn't really looking. After I finished though, I did start wondering where she was. Later in the day I ran into another friend of mine who told me that Jenny had crashed. Oh no! Amy told me that Jenny still finished the race though so I figured it must not have been that bad of a wreck.

But then I called Jenny to get the story.

Jenny is covered with road rash. Like a hamburger, she said. About 10 miles into the bike, she was flying down a steep hill at about 35 mph when two men tried to pass her at the same time. One of them got way too close to her and when his rear wheel clipped her front wheel, she went tumbling like a rag doll down the hill. She said her helmet crumpled in the back where she hit her head on the road.

It gives me chills even to write this. And the worst part? The guy who clipped her didn't even stop.

I hope that guy gets what's coming to him. Karma, please do your thing.

Jenny said another athlete stopped and got her out of the road and called for the medics. She stayed on her back on the side of the road for 20+ minutes trying to regain her senses. And then after the medics bandaged her up, she got back on her bike and finished the race.

That girl is amazing. Of course it took her forever to get through the rest of the race, given that her body was shutting down on multiple levels... but she had come to the Big Island to finish the race, and finish is what she did.

Of course now she's in a whole heck of a lot of pain as her body is dealing with recovering from sliding down a hill at 35 mph, and her mind is dealing with not having the race that she had trained so hard for. What a major disappointment. No one thinks that something like that could happen to you out on the race course... and it is so sad when bad things lke that happen to good people.

So clearly, Jenny wins the Perseverance Award for the weekend. Jenny, I hope you heal quickly.