Monday, December 31, 2012

a year in races

This is always one of my favorite recaps to write.  
My year started off by running - and just barely PRing - a four miler on New Year's Eve with an awesome group of girls.  This is still one of my favorite races from 2012.
After that race, I hunkered down for quite a few months into training, emerging untapered and with a still-healing calf in March to match my half marathon PR and cheer the poet onto a big marathon PR.
April brought my first 10 miler - another fake PR run at MAF - my very first swim meet, and the first sprint triathlon I had done since my very first.  I learned that I had completely forgotten how to hurt on the run (and writing this now, I realize that I still haven't remembered).
May was less fun as I kicked it off by puking my way through 70.3 miles.  But later the month brought a confidence-building century and easy-paced open water 5K swim to kick off an awesome training weekend with friends.  I still have no idea how there are zero pictures from that weekend.
June was all about ironman.  I swam, I biked, I ran, and I finished the day happy.
July brought another swim meet and August had me jumping into a sprint, where I finished both on the podium and by qualifying for AG Nationals as I raced alongside the poet, who was completing his first-ever triathlon (welcome to the dark side).  
I was pretty cranky about training the rest of the month, but somehow magically managed to pull a decent day square out of my ass at my September 70.3, PRing each leg for a significant overall PR.
Looking back, I pretty much shut down after that race.  Life stress ramped up in a dozen different ways and training took a backseat to all of it.   I was completely unprepared to jump into a 5K but did so anyway, and then managed to get two legs into another 70.3 before I decided not to barf my way through another half marathon.
I realized that mentally, I was done at that point in the year and spent some time in deep rest.  I ran a 10K watchless and completely for fun with a friend in November, and then alternated getting sick and driving across the country for the rest of the year.
I learned a lot about racing this year, about training and scheduling and balancing it against life.  After ironman I was done.  My season was over, and by forcing myself back into training all I did was make my fall full of crabby training sessions which turned into half-assed attempts at racing.  This year I hope to plan better, race smarter, and realize when it's time to shut things down for a little while.
How were your races in 2012?  What does 2013 look like for you?

Friday, December 28, 2012

a year in photos

I believe that I stole this idea from Liz two years ago, and I enjoyed the recap last year as well.  Here you have it, friends and snarkers, 2012 in photos.

January
February
I tear my calf by being stupid in beautiful new shoes.

March
To add to the confusion, I run a half marathon at MAF.

April
I visit (and fall in love with) Colorado and then get laid off.

May
I curse my way through my last IM training block.

June

July
Graham comes home and I return to my usual schtick of complaining about running.

August
I start a new job and struggle with returning to training.

September
I cross the finish line with my puppies, all of us happy and healthy.

October
I quit my job, celebrate a lot of birthdays, and we decide to move to Colorado.

November
I spend three days in a car with three of the greatest friends I will ever have.

December
I fly home, pack everything, and we drive back out. And last night we landed in our new home.

I like the practice of wrapping up a year in photos instead of words.  My year has already been laid out in words, archived on the internet forever, and I don't feel the need to repeat myself.  But I always enjoy putting this post together, because it's a time where I can sit and reflect on what stands out from the last 12 months.  And all I really have to say, is that it's been one hell of a year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

wordless I don't even know

I don't have the words to adequately discuss what my life is like right now as I've spent the better part of the last 48 hours trapped in a very small space with four-legged creatures that don't brush their teeth nearly as often as they should.  
I can no longer remember what logic it was that mapped out this move in such a way that I ended up driving the better part of the way across the country twice, but I will say that whatever idiot came up with this plan is definitely fired.
Especially the part in which we put three extremely hairy dogs in a car with only two doors.  
At the point in my off-season detox where I actually have begun to desperately miss fresh vegetables again.
So here's a dump on puppy pictures, my standard blogging cop-out.
I'll be back either tomorrow or next week.  First we have to drive another 300+ miles, sign a 30-year deal with a bank, empty my storage bin, and unload my residual crap out of my friend's closet.  And that's before I even consider unpacking or what the bill from the chiropractor will look like by early next week after all of this plus sleeping on an air mattress for five nights until our cubes show up with the rest of our junk.
I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas.  We'll be celebrating ours in January so don't be alarmed when you start seeing stockings and a decorated tree in the blurred background of my crabby and often-photographed existence.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

random friday facts

1. I hate having bare feet on a cold floor, but I never wear slippers.

2. My back still falls out of alignment quite often, especially when I sit for long periods of time.

3. I love my dogs, a lot, more than most people, but I still hate it when they lick me.

4. I'm a little obsessed with making sure I get enough protein and iron every day, especially when I leave my vitamins in another state.

5. I don't like mushrooms.

6. I am finally getting a new dishwasher.

7. Someone just taught me to cough into my elbow.  Skipping kindergarden never pays off.

8. I have a weird and very serious fear of going to master's swim.  I know it's ridiculous.

9.  I only brought about six changes of clothes back to DC with me.  I miss my clothes.

10. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve friends as awesome as the ones I have.

11. We brush our dog's teeth.

12. And when I say, "we," I obviously don't mean "me."

13. We still ended up packing a medium-sized box full of booze.  Stupid party.

14. I would love to find the perfect pair of jeans.  The only pair I own is just a hair too short.

15. I'm so glad the days start getting longer again now.  

16. I didn't meant to offend anyone on Wednesday.  The thing that offended me most was news outlets tweeting, "I'll donate $1 for every RT I get!"  Just donate and stop being assholes.  Please.

17. Oh, and that "blogger day of silence" GIF I saw somewhere covered in Christmas lights and dogs and crosses and angels.

18. We close on our house today, and I really wish they'd give us one of the enormous checks like when you win the lottery.  Although I have no idea where we'd put it.

19. The next seven days are going to be spent mainly inside a VW GTI.  Two people and three dogs in a very small space.  Wish us luck, and I'll drop in with some updates if I survive.  

Happy Holidays, my snarky friends!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

last day home

Today is our last day in our house.
I'm sitting on the bed typing this, because it is the only piece of furniture that hasn't been packed into the cube in our driveway.  I've lived in this house for almost four-and-a-half years.  When I moved in, I was a newlywed (first husband) and the house was an abandoned wreck (this is our kitchen).  
I thought this house was the final piece to our happily-ever-after.  Instead, a few short weeks after moving the furniture in, we started talking about divorce, a few even shorter months later we were separated, and less than a year after moving in, our divorce was final.  I bought the house from my ex-husband, filled it with roommates so I could pay the bills, and for the very first time, looked around and realized I could change it (sorry, Dad, about putting your butt on the internet).
And change it I did.  I had a friend teach me how to spackle, sand and paint.  I recruited a few more friends to help me paint some more, and my dad to hang doors (there were none) and fix some of the worst of the minor damages.  I didn't have a ladder yet, so I would paint as tall as my chairs and desks and countertops would allow me.  I have painted every single inch of this house.  
That meant that rooms looked like this for months, and then one weekend I spent entirely painting the top three inches of all the rooms.  I spent days, nights, we spent weekends painting.  It was only a few minutes ago that we said to ourselves, "Finally.  We have painted it all."
And I don't want to make everyone groan with the worst metaphor in the world, but it's simple fact.  As this house changed, as it grew from a battered and neglected shell into our home, I changed.  My life changed.  This is where that happened.
I started running again after a five-year layoff that led to surgery.  You've read the ups and downs that have come along with that decision.  I brought home my first puppy in this house, we named him Graham because his little sweet puppy breath smelled like graham crackers.  He learned to walk without wobbling here, he ran through his first snowfall here when DC was hit with the worst storm in whatever amount of years, he turned us into a family here.  You all saved his life, here.
The poet moved in, we moved in together, in this house.  We figured out how to live together, we worked through the baggage we were both carrying from our pasts, here.  He got dragged into the biggest and slowest DIY project ever, and learned how to replace a water pump and install a ceiling fan and hang a bathroom cabinet.  

We got married here.
And then celebrated, here.
We've thrown hundreds of parties, I've spent so many nights drinking wine with friends, we brought Molly and then Sofie home.  We have replaced every piece of baseboard molding, painted every ceiling.  I became an ironman in this house; the poet, a marathoner.  I learned how to cook - really cook, not just make chicken stir-fry and pizza - in this kitchen.  
So, I know that this doesn't have anything to do with swim/bike/run, but I just needed to pause.  To take a moment, to stop and remember.  It's hard to leave these things behind, there were times when I thought we would never leave this house.  "Especially after all this work we've put into it," I would cry, whenever leaving came up.  It's been harder than I expected, to take the house apart and pack everything up and walk around inside it, empty.  But we are leaving, we are heading west with our boxes of crap and our lawnmower and our couches and our puppies and to what we hope will be a better life for us.  This house has been the backdrop of our lives, and now it is time to say goodbye.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

on pneumonia, farewells, breast implants and grief

Might as well go ahead and make this a things post.  We'll call it "as many things as I want Wednesday."  In order...

1. I had quite a bad cold the first 2-2.5 weeks I was living in Colorado.  You'll remember me complaining about it right after I moved.  I didn't go to the doctor because while I'm not sick all that often, when I do go, I inevitably end up spending $15 for someone to tell me to go back to bed.  My mom (a registered nurse) told me a couple of times that I should go because of how sick I was for so many days, and I made a half-hearted attempt to find a doctor through the impenetrable network of insurance and doctors while traveling, but ended up just staying in bed for four solid days.  I came out the other side healthy and raring to get going on my training.
As you may know, especially if you follow me on Twitter, I had a holiday party last Saturday night and a farewell party this Saturday night which included what I would consider more than a normal amount of alcohol consumption.  Now, I'm not going to pretend that I don't drink at all, ever, because I do enjoy a beer or a glass of wine here and there, but the amount of alcohol that I consumed over these two weeks far exceeds my normal partaking.
Why am I bringing this up?  Well, Monday night after dinner I had a little tickle in my throat, which turned into waking up in the middle of the night shaking with the chills.  I got up and discovered that I had a fever of 101ยบ.  I have never gotten so sick so quickly in my life.  Monday afternoon I was fine, Monday night I was awful.  I called my mom in the morning who used her Stern Voice to send me straight to the doctor, where they listened to my lungs and took a chest x-ray and then diagnosed me with pneumonia.

I'm not a doctor and won't pretend to be one, but apparently after having some kind of infection - upper respiratory, bronchitis, whatever - you can get pneumonia if you trash your immune system with alcohol weren't treated with antibiotics.  At least I think that's what he said.  Regardless, here I am, listening to fluid slosh around in my chest while packing the final boxes in my house and preparing to spend a week in flux, with at least three of those days in the car.  Someone should probably go hug my husband.
It was probably a good wake-up call for me, a sentiment with which Sonja VERY VERY VERY strongly agrees.  I'm a little concerned about what it's going to do to marathon training, but I made a promise after she put me on probation to use this time off from training to kick-start my normal healthy eating habits again.  Lots of water, lots of veggies, no crap.  And here we go.

2. I'm not good at saying goodbye.  I'm not really good at showing emotion in general, and this week has been pretty tough.  I've made sure to have a special date with all of my closest friends, and I'm glad that I had the time to do so, but it's also really hard to say these farewells.  I know that we chose this journey and that this is the best decision for our lives, and I'm happy about moving.  But I've had these women in my life for one or two or ten years, and I don't like knowing that they are not right around the corner anymore.  This part is just plain old sad.  

3. When I was reading through the radiologist's report yesterday, I was shocked to discover something about myself that I had never known.
It took me a minute, too.  I told the nurse that no, I don't have implants, and she asked me if I was sure.  Interesting.  Regardless, they re-checked all the numbers on all the files to make sure there wasn't a mix-up, and there wasn't, and she told me that I probably just have "great boobs."  Um, I'm fairly certain that's neither the answer nor the case.  Ahh, urgent care, you never fail to make me laugh.

4. A lot of bloggers chose a lot of different responses to the tragedy that has recently happened in our country, and most of them have been blasted for their actions, regardless of what they were or how sincere their intentions.  I will say only this: I don't believe that you need to announce your silence to make it meaningful.  I don't believe that you have to broadcast your feelings for them to be validated.  I have been a little horrified by the spectacle that I've witnessed in the media and, in part, on social media - less so by bloggers, more so by major news outlets.  Grief is a very personal thing, and there are an infinite number of ways to send thought and prayer and support and love to those grieving.  Sit with your loved ones, pray to whatever higher power you believe in, and try to contribute to healing in whatever ways you are able - without asking for retweets.

Friday, December 14, 2012

random friday facts

1. Sitting with my legs crossed hurts my back, but I still can't seem to train myself out of it.

2. Also haven't been able to train myself out of laying in bed for twenty minutes reading email and twitter every morning.

3. Maybe this should be called the "I'm an idiot" version of RFF.

4. I would love to someday have laser hair removal in a lot of places.

5. I only have one scented candle in my house right now.  I'm rationing it out.

6. I never closed my Daily Mile account, but I don't think I've updated it in over two years.

7. I think I had a bit of a breakthrough in the pool yesterday.  Probably because of this situation.
8. I had never seen this picture of myself until my sister sent it to me a few days ago.  
9. I'm running a 5 mile race tomorrow.  I have no idea how fast I can/should/might run and actually have very little interest in racing.  Here's hoping that mojo returns by the spring.  

10. I finally ordered an iPhone case.  You can hate it.
11. I miss the sky in Colorado.
12. Yes, that is a golden retriever lined up with a bunch of sheep butts.

13. I've really not had a lot to say this week.  I'm starting to feel like talking about my training is boring.

14. It's probably always been boring.  

15. I do own a not-hard-on-the-eyes swimsuit.  I bought it on clearance for $7 a few months ago and have worn it once.

16. I left all my vitamins in Colorado.  I'm sure it's fine.

17. I'm worried that my puppies are going to be really confused in our new house.

18. I'm also a little worried that Graham is going to stand up the entire way to Boulder.  He doesn't like the car.

19. I eat a ridiculous amount of spinach in a week.  

20. I really want another puppy.

21. I'm a little grumpy about all the "end of the year" recaps that have started popping up.  We're only just halfway through December, EVERYONE CALM DOWN.

22. I have running socks marked L and R and could never NOT EVER wear them on the wrong foot.

Happy Friday, everyone!  Drop me some random bizarre shit about you.