Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Beloved Bed Hog Boy

Almost every night, I have to sleep like pretzel girl. My legs are normally tucked closed to my chest because our bed is full. Usually four "beings" sleep in our bed, me, my husband, pregnant Kitty and Monty (aka Bed Hog) Monty has to sleep on my side and has to have the ability to touch me. My husband spreads his legs wide like a pair of scissors so he has plenty of leg room. I'm left with a small square of bed area. Monty went outside at 2am this morning, I thought I could trick him. I closed our bedroom door so he'd be forced to sleep on the couch. I should know better, Monty doesn't give up that easily. He laid outside the bedroom door and whined, sighed and snorted every 10 seconds. You would think we hadn't fed him for a week or something. I couldn't get any sleep because of his crying, so I opened the door and gave up half my bed again.

Monty didn't always have the privilege of sharing our bed. For the first two years of his life, Monty was crate trained. Monty has always been a great dog to train. He was easy to potty train, he was "teacher's pet" in puppy class, he earned obedience titles and we even did some agility.

The only thing Monty cannot do is swim. I try to tell him, it's because he's too muscular. I took Monty to a lake once and he looked like a chain-saw slicing through the water. He only paddles with his front legs, his ass sinks. He looked so traumatized after this swim experience I never made him do it again. Hey, nobody is perfect.

He does act perfect in other ways. He's always had this air of superiority. He doesn't like other dirty dogs to touch him. I used to foster rescue Dobermans and Monty wanted no part of them. He acted like they were dirty, homeless, lice ridden creatures. God forbid if one of the foster dogs went potty inside. He wouldn't stand to be in the same room. He'd treat the dog like it was a disgusting idiot. We had a few that liked to eat crap. Monty would avoid those dogs like the plague. If they got near him, he'd run away like they had cooties.

He also hates to step in chicken, goose, duck or peacock shit. You should see him miss the piles of crap of the driveway. It's like he's tip toeing through landmines. When he steps on a pile of shit, he acts like his leg is broken. He'll hold it up in the air and refuse to walk. I have to go inside, get a clean paper towel with soap and wipe his paw off.

Monty has never killed or injured any of the farm animals. He is their protector. When he trees raccoons and opossums, he's very proud of himself and likes when Daddy shoots them out of the tree. Monty eats raw food. Chicken necks, backs, turkey necks and offal. One day, I got this bright idea that I would cull some of our own roosters for dog food. It took me over two hours to kill, pluck and dress three roosters. I wash off my killing for the day, chop it up and put it in Monty's bowl. He looks at me like I've lost my mind. He will not touch it. I get mad and put it in his mouth and close it. He starts gagging. He knew it was our roosters and refused to eat them, he acted like I was Hannibal. His favorite food is pizza and chocolate. Before you start yelling about dogs and chocolate, Monty weighs over 100 pounds. A dozen M&Ms won't kill him.

I trained Monty to be a therapy dog when he was two. He had to pass a test that consisted of walking nice on the leash, heel, sit, stay, lie down, come, leaving things alone on the floor like dropped medication. He passed with flying colors. He got his ID card and we were ready to go to nursing homes. The staff at nursing homes weren't too friendly though. They were scared of Monty even though he was a canine good citizen. We ignored them and tried to bring some joy to the older folks anyway. Monty didn't really enjoy going. I think he felt others' sadness and pain too much. He also has the OCD cleanliness problem, it smells bad in the homes. Once, a lady with a dirty diaper wanted to pet him and Monty kept trying to scoot away. When Monty would see a door that lead outside, he would walk over and touch it. The time a man grabbed my arm and wouldn't let go scared me too. A nurse had to come and pry his fingers off me. Monty was real good about it and obeyed his sit-stay command. The days after nursing home rounds, Monty would come home and sleep for the rest of the day. It took a lot out of him.

My "Monter" is getting old and it makes me sad. He's only seven but male Dobermans don't live very long. Most of them drop dead around this age of cardiomyopathy. I guess it's better than a long time of suffering. I see signs of Monty slowing down. He doesn't tolerate the heat as well, he sleeps more, he's looking "gutty". I know I don't have a lot more time with him and I don't know what I'll do when he's gone, I'm afraid. We have our daily routine. Wake up, I drink my coffee while he lays in the sun. He follows me out to milk goats and waits outside the pasture for his goat milk breakfast. He takes a mid morning nap while I train. He always meets me at the door and wants my empty water bottles to carry around.

My life will be so empty when he's not at the door waiting for the water bottle hand off. I have been so blessed with a wonderful companion for many years. When I am crying and sad, he knows and will come and snuggle with pretzel girl. He's the best shoulder I have ever had to cry on and probably ever will. I love you my Monter!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Woodlake Race Report

600 yard swim, 17.2 mile bike, 3 mile run

Today was my first experience racing in age group, this wasn't a USAT race so there wasn't any novice category. Ben(my husband's son) and his wife Becky, came from New River Marine Corps Air Station to watch! It's always great to have a cheering crowd! This was the first time they have seen a tri race and they thought it was exciting. Ben hinted he may want to do one too!

Meg and I got to start the swim together this race. We both decided not to wear wetsuits because the lake felt nice. I do think that wetsuits help though, I know I used my legs a lot more without it. I think wetsuits are a legal way of cheating! They kind of surprised us at the start and shot the gun without any warning. We were off and kicking hard.

This race wasn't chip timed so I don't know my splits.
Ben timed my 600 swim at 12:12

Off on Falcor, I was prepared for the hills. This race, the bike was my favorite portion and my husband didn't get one bike picture! No christening of Falcor?He was trying, I'll give him credit. I know because I heard a volunteer yelling at him to get out of the transition area. :) I think I did well on the bike, I passed some men too. I love passing men! I passed this "Fat bottom Girl" on the bike and she fought with me about it. Fat bottom girl was wearing bikini shorts. She had a big ass, I mean big like out of proportion to the size of her body. I understand, my ass has always been the biggest part of me too. It's also the most difficult thing to look great in a bikini so I chose tri shorts.
Ben's bike time split for 18 miles: 54:00

The run was hot and on pavement or sand. About half way through the run, fat bottomed bikini girl passed my tri shorts ass. I watched her ass jiggle away, she was freaking fast. I kinda was fixated on her ass and I'm not a Waldo. I would have taken a picture of it if I had a camera. I thought about the men she is running past, they probably weren't thinking about the "hot as balls" run at that moment, it was the large, round ass bouncing by them. I felt like screaming out "You Go, Fat Bottomed Girl!" She was an excellent runner and she had the confidence to wear her bikini bottoms. You know what I've noticed about tri's? The women racing don't look like they are anorexic like distance runners. The women that usually win are healthy looking. I think I need to eat more, maybe a bigger ass helps!
Ben's Run Split: 23:50

I was feeling pretty hot and tired by the end of the run. I finally started my period but it started last night! I don't know if it was hormones or maybe I'm just a little burnt out but I didn't really "care" about this race. This morning, I wasn't all excited about racing, I just did it in auto pilot. Going through the motions by not having your heart in it. I'm looking foward to a month break from my next race. Kure Beach looks fun too because it's a double sprint-swim/run.

My overall time was: 1:33:10. I placed second in my age group. I won two medals today. The age group win is important to me because I have some people giving me flack about racing novice. When I decided to do triathlons this year, bike shop friend, Henry, told me I should race novice my first year. I'm actually glad I did. First of all, there is no pressure about points. I am having fun everytime I race because I don't have to be so competitive. I may not win big prizes, awards or medals but it has given me confidence. To any of you jerks that talk smack about me racing novice my first year, "Ta-DA" here's my age group medal.

Fat Bottomed girl came in first in her age group. I'm having an extra bowl of ice cream tonight in honor of her win! Then, I'll start some track work this month so my ass can jiggle as quickly as her big round bottom.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'll Be Climbin' Like the Goaties

Hubby and I went to packet pick up this afternoon. I had him time me going up and down this hill and another small one, it's the longest on the course with Falcor and Clifford. It took me 5:47 to go up and down the hill on Clifford and 5:17 seconds on Falcor. Falcor won, so he's in his first race tomorrow. I was kind of surprised at such a time difference, I guess I make up the time going downhill. That's me and Falcor climbin', you can't really tell because I look like an ant. Should I be trying to stay down in the aero bars as much as possible and down shift? Even up hills? I can stay down and climb if I put Falcor in the little ring.

The bike course was marked with pink, spray painted arrows. Check out this crime scene! They did body marking for Poor Mrs. Deer(deer remind me a lot of the goats). I kept having to pass her going up and down the hill. It is so hot and humid, flies were swarming her. I would have buried her but didn't have a shovel.

If I Had a Job in Sales, I'd Be a Raging Alcoholic

Thursday's are always crazy busy days for me. Labeling products, packing the van, sorting eggs and loading coolers. My day is "hurry mode" until 7:30pm. By the time I have my table and signs set up at market, I'm ready for a nap. The fun has just begun though, now I have to deal with customers.

I have been at this market for almost three years. You see a lot of the same faces and sometimes find loyal customers. There is this one old man, that looks like "Where's Waldo", I see him every week. He's a strange bird and has never spoke to me until this year. I had heard him being rude to "Mother", the grandma that sells her cookies and breads at market. He was bitching at her because all her peanut butter cookies were broken. He wanted perfect cookies. The next week, mother made peanut butter cookies and set aside a package for Waldo. When Waldo arrived, she called him over and showed him the bag of perfect cookies. Waldo said he didn't like peanut butter cookies, he just didn't think it was right for her to sell broken ones. I've never really seen mother angry before but she muttered, "old fag" under her breath. Waldo is gay but mother saying it made me laugh harder.

Waldo walked up to my table a few weeks ago. He asked me about my eggs, he wanted me to open the cooler so he could look at them. I'm proud of our eggs, we have dark brown, light brown, blue, green and white eggs. I even buy special clear cartons for them so people can see the colors. I charge $2.00 per dozen and you get 25 cents back if you return my carton. So, $1.75 for fresh, free range eggs is a steal in my opinion. I'm not making any profit if I factor in labor. Waldo looks at the eggs and says he'll buy a dozen. Then he asked if I sold half dozens so I opened the other cooler and take out a mini carton. "I don't want to buy a half dozen. I just wanted to know."The next week, Waldo comes back and wants another dozen eggs. I open the cooler and he starts digging through it. "I want the one with the least amount of white eggs." He finds a carton with one white egg, grumbles about it and pays me.

This week, I have been collecting Marans and Welsumer eggs for incubation. These breeds are my dark brown egg layers. So this week, the cartons had about 4 white eggs in them. Waldo opened up the cooler himself this time and start digging through the eggs. I bring sodas with me so I have something to drink while sitting in the 92 degree heat. He takes out my Diet Dr.Pepper's and puts them in the dirt. He keeps on taking out cartons of eggs and setting them on the ground. He finally exclaims "There are far too many white eggs this week! I can't buy them." I tell them that I'll trade his white eggs for brown ones because tomato man always buys two dozen eggs and doesn't care about egg color. He seems relieved. "I won't eat any white eggs because they make you sterile." I about laid an egg when he made that comment, I could hardly contain myself. Waldo is 68 years old and he's not into fertilizing female eggs. What did it matter if he's shooting blanks up some guys pooper shooter? Then I had a scary thought, what if he's a sperm donor? Some unsuspecting mother-to-be with give birth to some kid that will be OCD about perfect peanut butter cookies and white eggs.

Just so you know, there isn't any nutritional difference when it comes to egg color. It all about what the birds eat and access to the outdoors. Our white egg layers are called Exchequer Leghorns. The Leghorn roosters are smaller birds and are the horniest out of the bunch. They are quick, fast little rapists and can service 20 hens a day. I'm not telling Waldo though.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Clifford or Falcor?

I have a sprint this weekend, pretty close to home. Last weekend, we rode the bike course and it's HILLY. I tried out Falcor(my Blue TT bike) for the first time. Falcor loves to fly down the hills but I don't know if he likes to climb as much as Clifford(Litespeed Vela road bike). Falcor is more difficult to shift up hill too. I'm torn about which bike would be better for the race? Are TT bikes normally used on flat courses and road bikes for hilly ones? Any suggestions? This would probably be a good question for Flatman. By the way, his blog is back up at:

I'm feeling more tired than usual the last few days. I don't have a lot of desire to train but I'm still getting my workouts done. It's been almost three weeks since the Half. The first week after the Half, I felt wonderful. I even posted I could run another one that same week. When I rode my bike on Tuesday, I was breathing real hard going up the hills. I've been having this problem during the last week of waking up at 2am-4am. I'll lay in bed and can't stop moving my legs. I probably annoy my husband because I enjoy kneading my feet on his legs like a cat kneads its paws while nursing. He'll wake up and ask "Why are you so fidgety hun?" He's so patient and kind. If someone was rubbing their stinky feet on me and woke me up, I'll probably scream "Keep your fuckin fidgety feet to yourself!"

Today is farmer's market, I will take all my 'wares I created to sell. Last week, when I left market, I stopped at a gas station on the way home to buy a 40 ounce can of beer to drink when I got home. I take it up to the register and dude is like "Driver License, please." I laughed and felt flattered until I opened my wallet and realized I had no license. It's fun when you get carded and can whip out your license like "Hahaha! I told you I'm legal!"

I'm racking my brain trying to figure out where my license is when I remember it's in Clifford's spare tire bag. I rode him over to packet pick-up at White Lake and never took my license back out. Clifford was at the bike shop too. I really wanted that 40! I smiled at ID dude and said "I'm 29, I promise. My license is in my spare tire bag on my bike at home." Then, I felt like an idiot. I'm telling ID cop that I ride a freaking bike. Now, he probably thinks I'm 12. He says "No ID, no beer." I'm getting pissed now, I really needed a beer after dealing with customers for 4 hours, I told you I have a problem with sales. "I SWEAR I'm 29.. I was born in 1977. I'm an Aquarius, I was born in the year of the dragon. Can you see the little crows feet starting to form around my eyes?" I was getting desperate and holding up the line. I guess I wore him down because he told me he'd let me go this time but not to come back without any ID again. I was thinking about going back to the store tonight and whipping out my license like "Ta-DA!" I better not drink anything for the next two nights. I'm already feeling tired and I want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for Saturday's race.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I see London, I see France, I see Mojo's Underpants

I packed my back pack after my post this morning for swimming: goggles, cap, soap, shampoo, clean clothes for running errands. I finished my run at the park and drove the gym, changed out of my running clothes, opened my back pack and didn't see a swim suit. I knew I forgot something!

Shit...I have to meet hay man at 1pm. I didn't want to have to drive the big hay truck all the way back home. It takes me 15 minutes one way. I found a pair of clean, red and white Christmas candy cane underwear in my bag. They were better than my jogging shorts! I put my hot pink jog bra back on with my Christmas underwear and did 1,500. I stayed on schedule too. I have all three lamb dishes in the works, various stages or simmering or marinating now. I also took my glass of wine outside and watched the goats on the playground, with my "architect" husband for awhile. Thanks for all your hard work honey, I know the goats will love it!

See, triathlons have taught me what's important.. You gotta do what you gotta do! Like swim in my underpants and help build goat playgrounds.

And the goats.. They think laying three feet away or in the feeders is VERY important. They are highly pissed off that the feeding stations have been moved and locked off.

I say.... Nanananananannanaaaa!

You can't lay and crap in them anymore! I can catch you now too. Nanananana Boo-Boo

Got Yer Goats?

Yesterday, my husband and I spent the entire day working in the pasture. I yelled at him once because he almost ripped my thumb off when we were trying to throw a tractor tire over the fence. He didn't say 1-2-3, he starting throwing at 1 and I wasn't ready! We took down old chicken pens and fencing to create a better pasture for the goats. We are going to use the wood from the old chicken coops to build a goat playground. We also bought over $200.00 in lumber for their new playground. They are going to love it! They'll get to climb up ramps, lay on the top platform and sunbathe. I'll enjoy drinking some wine in the evenings and watching them play "king of the mountain".

We used some of the fencing from the chicken pens to form a feeding/corral area for the goats. This corral is locked until feed time, then I open it and they are locked in. You don't know how difficult it can be to catch a goat in a 7 acre pasture for worming, then keeping track of which goats have been wormed. It would drive me crazy! Now, I have tricked them and I will catch them with ease. The goats are really obnoxious when you try to feed them, they are impatient. They'll stand on the feeders. I can't pour the food into the feeder when they stand in it, the food sometimes is poured on their heads or on the ground. Today, they were confused about how to get to the new feed area but when they heard the sound of the metal garbage lid, they came running!

I also learned how to operate a Troy-Bilt zero-turn riding mower. I almost peed in my pants when I first started driving it because I almost mowed down my husband.(That was for making my thumb bleed) Then, I almost took down the fence. It took me a couple minutes to figure out, reverse, forward, right and left using both hands. Then, I was zipping around the pasture cutting the grass like a good old redneck. Hand me a Bud Light and some chewing tobacco and we'd have a good Polaroid!

I bought ten pound of lamb I've got to cook today. Irish lamb stew, lamb chili and souvlaki. The butcher gave me a great deal I couldn't resist so I'll start a cook-fest after I run, swim and pick up goat oat hay. Ya'll want to come for dinner and watch the goaties play?

Monday, May 22, 2006


Here is my Mom, my sisters and I. I am the fat, butterball turkey in my Mom's arms. I spent time with my Mom this weekend and thought about all the funny things she says. My Mom's language is colorful and full of exaggerations, she cracks me up. Here are some classic "Mom-isms":

"As Tight As A Tick": Mom talking about someone that is cheap. They don't share their wealth, split the bill or leave good tips.

"Fat City, Sin City, Slut City": Any word followed by the word "city" means she feels strongly about it. Fat city is a super sized McDonald's Big Mac meal. When I asked to go to a New Years Eve party in 10th grade, she told me "No, it's nothing but Sin City!" When I tried to wear a tight, spandex skirt with black tights to school, she made me change because I looked like slut city.

"All Hot and Heavy" When I'd have boyfriends come to the house and we'd be watching TV, my Mom would tell me not to get "all hot and heavy". This would really gross me out, my Mom talking to me about sex!

"You are going to rot your teeth right out of your head!" My Mom was a dental hygienist. She has this thing about teeth. I loved to suck on lemons when I was 12 and it would make her crazy.

"You smell like a wet dog or you stink like a skunk" You need to bathe!

"Get Out of Dodge" She knows something bad is going to happen so she is going to avoid it.

"You almost ripped my arm off!" We went for a walk at the park on Friday. I picked up a large stick and was poking it in a tree hollow. My Mom was standing behind me. I moved my hand up the stick and I touched something wet and slimy. I freaked out and dropped stick, it "brushed" my Mom on the arm.

"As mean as a snake" When I'm in a bad mood.

"You look like Clarabell Clown" She thinks I applied too much makeup. Who is Clarabell anyway? Is she even a clown?

"It looks like a mouse danced on your head" When she doesn't like my hair.

"Shape Up or Ship Out" Change your attitude or you'll get smacked.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Farm Pictures

A mother goose hatched a gosling a few days ago. Only one. It's really healthy and thriving. The geese are wonderful parents. I can't get a good close up of it because they guard it like the Pope.

This is Kitty and and Araucana rooster.
Kitty's name is Kitty... Guess I wasn't feeling
creative when he came into our lives.
Kitty is a mouse murderer, lizard tail lopper, baby bunny beater, salamander slapper- farm cat. He kills every varmit. The other day, Kitty ripped into a new bag of cat food I'd bought that was on the kitchen floor. I was like "Chill cat, I'll open it for you!"
I looked at Kitty and he looked bloated. I thought maybe I needed to worm him. He doesn't have worms though. He's a she and is pregnant! I guess I got slack in my ball knowledge too. Not everything is as obvious as two month old baby goat balls. I won't post a picture of the adult bucks because the human men will get jealous.

I'm Not Super-Woman

After the Half at White Lake, I stayed for Sunday's sprint because some friends were racing. I stood on the run course and clapped, smiled and told every runner that passed me, "Good Job! You are almost done, keep it up!" Some racers would have special shirts on that said something like- "My name is Sue, say Hi Sue!" One lady that passed me on the run had the Superman sign on her shirt. I said, "Way to go Super-Woman, good job!" She angrily yelled back at me, "I'm not Super-Woman, it SAYS Super-Slacker!!" Alrighty then, excuse me for cheering for ya, Super Biatch!

Which brings me to my topic of today, PMS. Those three letters usually cause men and women to tense up with fear but I've started looking at it differently. During these few days every month, I am in a heightened state of sensitivity. The truth about my life is clearer, this can be good and bad. I become more aware of projects and dreams I haven't fulfilled. I can either beat myself up about it and have a grand pity party, scream and bitch at others because I'm unhappy or get to work. It's like these few days are the last ditch effort to get the ball rolling and finish jobs that need to be accomplished. If I listen to myself, I find what is out of balance in my life.

I realized this month that I have been a Super Slacker in the soap making business area. The White Lake Half consumed me for the last few weeks. I could only think about the race, training, eating, working out. I had no desire to make any products in my soap shack, I was having a creativity block. Last week at market, I had people asking for shampoo bars, lotion, lip balm and soap. Now that I can look back on the Half, I shouldn't have worried so much. I fear the unknown. Another bone marrow biopsy would be okay because I know how it felt. Ask me to run a marathon in eight weeks and I'll drive myself crazy worrying about the unknown factor.

My intuition and creativity has been increased the last few days and I go into this PMS-inspired-creativity frenzy. I decided to get to work in the soap shack again and I feel much better.

I've made Buddha soaps....

And orange and lemon soap-on-a-rope.....

About 100 lip balms. Pictured is blackberry-vanilla and coffee and cream. It took me forever to do the double sided balms in the tins. I had to figure out what I could use to keep the hot balm flavors from bleeding together but I did it! I also made eight bottles of leave in conditioner.

Today, I'll be making bubble bath bombs. I'll probably mold them while watching some corny Lifetime movie and get all teary eyed because I'm feeling sensitive. Who cares though, at least I can say "So long, Mrs. Super Slacker Soap Maker!"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dropped Like a Hot Potato

Yesterday evening, I went on the fast group ride again. Since Clifford has been put back into a road bike(aero bars have been taken off), he's much more fun and powerful to ride in the group. When we started out, some of the guys were trying to coach me on how to stay with the group. "Don't pull for too long, get right behind that big guy and suck his tire." The ring-around-the- rosy game started.

Everything was great for the first ten miles. I had even pulled the long, snake-looking line of bikers three times. The guys would always say, "Okay, that's enough. Come on back." I pulled them only for a minute, I think they were trying to save me. It's kind of scary riding in the extremely tight pack when we are going so fast. I have to keep very alert and focus on the rider ahead of me. I watched his tires and his feet and kept my hands very close to the break. I'm centimeters away from his back tire, I think I'm pretty good at sucking tires! After I did my minute long pulls, it was hard to get back into the pack line without creating a gap. I kept practicing tucking back in quickly. It's as much as a mental game as a physical one.

Around mile 10, people started dropping off to create the "sub" packs of the fast group. When I turned around at mile 12, I realized I was the last person in the "real big boys fast pack". It was the first time I had stayed with the very first group. I stopped pulling to save my energy and stayed in the very back of the line. I was going to do everything I could to stay with this group all the way back to the bike park. A few of the guys were nice, telling me I was doing a great job. I sucked tires for dear life.

Around mile 18, there is a long hill and a left turn at the top of the hill. I was pumping up that hill as fast as my legs would spin. When the first guy made the turn at the top of the hill, I started falling apart. Centimeters of tire sucking turned into inches. I was last in line and the gap was growing. I wasn't sure how I could bridge the gap. If I down shift and spin, I think I lose power. I almost always stay in the big ring, even on hills. Inches turned into feet as I was trying to figure out how to catch up. Once the gap was this wide, I knew it was over. I saw some of the guys turn around and watch me fade. I felt defeated. I thought for a moment maybe they'd slow down and wait for me to catch up but they didn't. I'm glad they didn't because they give me a challenge. One day, I will complete the entire 25 mile loop with the fastest big boys and sprint to the finish. I just have to figure out how.

It's really an awful feeling to watch them pull away. It's different than when you decide to quit or slow down because you make that decision, you are in control. I was trying my hardest and got left anyway, I had no control. I decided I would ride the last 7 miles back alone. I could have waited for one of the "sub" groups behind me but I was ashamed. I decided I would ride those last 7 miles back to the park as fast as I could alone. I know the only way I'll get better is if I push myself.

Does anyone have any advice about how to stay with the pack up the hill and around the left turn? Should I not be very last in line? Is there a trick about gears?
“Defeat may test you; it need not stop you. If at first you don't succeed, try another way. For every obstacle there is a solution. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. The greatest mistake is giving up.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Sister, My Tri Friend

My sister did her first triathlon of the season last weekend, in Virginia. She did the Luray Sprint She did well too, she placed 5th in her age group. I shipped her my wetsuit last weekend and her little boy said he loved her new outfit. She probably looked like Catwoman to him! After her successful weekend, I talked her into doing the Tri The Pee Dee sprint with me in July. I'm so excited! I get to race with my sister! Here is my sister, her two kids and my mom after a 10k race in DC.

My sister is 5 years older than I am, I wasn't much fun to hang with until I was 14. When I was 8, I remember begging her to play games with me. My favorite was Clue. She would always win and it would make me mad. One day when we were playing, she had to go to the bathroom. I desperately wanted to win, so I picked up the Top Secret envelope and looked at the cards. It was Mrs. Peacock, with the wrench, in the Ballroom. When she came back, it was my turn. I couldn't wait to win! I told her Mrs.Peacock, wrench, ballroom. My little 8 year old mind didn't think ahead. We'd only been playing for a few minutes and I only had crossed off 3 things from my check list. She knew I had cheated and refused to play Clue with me for one month. I never cheated again. She did ask me to play 52 card pick up during that month. I was so happy she wasn't punishing me anymore, she was going to play cards with me! That was until she threw the deck of 52 cards all over the living room floor and then told me, "Now you get to pick them up!" It wasn't a fun game!

We became good friends when she left for college. When she'd come home during the summer, we'd hang out most of the time. That's when the long bike rides started. I had a piece of shit bike, I think it was a Murray 10 speed. We had no bike shorts(I think I wore jean shorts) and no helmets. It didn't matter thought, we'd ride a trail in Northern Virginia for about 3 hours a day. We always would have an ice cream place in mind for our half way point pit stop. My crotch hurt so bad when we'd get home. We were hot, hungry and tired. We'd grab a bag of Doritos, lay on the floor under the fan and listen to Neil Diamond's "Cracklin Rosie". It was my dad's CD but we were too tired to change it. We'd listen to that song over and over again.

My sister was nice enough to take me on her beach vacations during her college years. The summer I turned 16, she let me get drunk at the beach. It only took three beers and I was plastered. My drunken self decided it would be a good idea to run down to the beach. I didn't make it to the sand, I fell down the stairs and hurt my ankle. I was drunk so it didn't hurt too bad. The next morning, my ankle looked like a purple goose egg. It hurt to put any pressure on it, I could hardly walk. It probably needed medical attention but we were low on funds. I thought soaking it in the ocean would help.

We went to the beach and I gimped into the ocean with my goose egg ankle. I laid on my float and soaked up some rays. I started to come into shore and this hot surfer dude whistled at me and waved. I tried to walk onto shore as gracefully as I could with my broken ankle. Smokin' hot surfer dude was watching me then started walking away from me quickly. My sister was laying on her towel laughing her head off. She said I looked like a fuckin' retard when I gimped out of the water and scared surfer dude away. I can always count on her to be honest!

We've had some great memories and laughs. I can't wait to do this Tri in July with her.. I know something funny will happen, it always does when we are together.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Pickle and Parmesan Cheese Girl

Yesterday at market, an old man that bought eggs from me said, "You smell as good as you look." I must have given him the "shut the hell up" look because he apologized and said "Sorry, I'm just a dirty old man." I thanked him for being honest.

My, how we change. It's pretty crazy that I'm a soap maker considering that between the ages of 6-9, I was the stinkiest kid on the block. My two older sisters would refuse to let me sit in the TV room with them because I smelled so bad after playing outside all day.

During those three years, my summer days were filled with swimming at the pool and riding my beloved bike, Sweet Thunder. Sweet Thunder was a pink and white, Huffy dirt bike. It had a large, pink banana seat, pink and white tassels and a sign in the front that said "Sweet Thunder 20". One day, I rode Sweet Thunder to the playground and some mean older boys wrote all over the seat with black marker. I cried and cried as I drove her home. Tears flowed down my cheeks and I could hardly see the road. I don't know how but my Dad got the magic marker off the pink seat. Every time my sisters and her friends would see me riding, they yell out "Swwwwweeeeeeet Thun-dar!"

After all that riding and swimming, I'd be a hungry and thirsty little thing. During these three years(6-9) I would eat and drink some very strange things. You would think I was pregnant. My diet mostly consisted of celery, Snickers bars and pickle juice. Yes, you heard me correctly, pickle juice. I wouldn't just drink the pickle juice out of the jar, that would be too easy. I would fill my squirt gun up with pickle juice and spray it in my mouth while I was riding Sweet Thunder. Filling up the squirt gun with the pickle juice was a task itself. I would spill it all over the floor, pickling spices would roll under the table. My Mom would be furious when she'd come home and find my mess. I would smell like a pickled 7 year old. I would miss my mouth with the squirt gun so I'd have pickle juice in my hair, on my clothes, dripping down my arms. One day, I squirted the little boy next door in the eye with pickle juice. He freaked out and said I blinded him. My Mom took my squirt gun away from me that day.

The only type of shoes I'd wear during this stage of life wear Jelly shoes. Jelly shoes are not very good at keeping odors away. After a day of running, riding and playing, my feet would be sweaty. There wasn't anything to absorb the sweat. The sweat would mix with dirt and my feet would slip around in the shoes. When I'd take them off, my feet would have marks on them and they would look like dirty sausages. I'd take off my Jelly's, get a piece of celery and try to watch TV but my sisters would kick me out. They would make me take a shower because they said my Parmesan cheese smelling feet stunk up the entire room. I'd stomp off and pretend to take a shower.

A shower consisted of standing under the stream of water for one minute. No soap, no washcloth, no shampoo. I'd jump out and run back into the TV room with my celery stick. My sisters wouldn't be satisfied. "Did you wash your hair?" I'd lie and tell them I did. My hair would be a tangled mess, dripping water all over the floor. They'd call my mom into the room and would tell her I was in the shower less than three minutes. My mom would do the sniff your head check and scream, "You get back into that shower right now! Your head smells like a wet dog! Use shampoo this time!" I learned to do it right because if my Mom washed my hair, she'd scratch my scalp off with her claws.

I went a few weeks without brushing my hair at one point. I had a tangle so big in the back of my head, it looked like a rats' nest. I was afraid my mom would find it. I brushed the few strands that weren't tangled over the nest to keep it hidden. The got so large that it looked like I had a tumor growing out of the back of my head. My mom saw it and chopped my hair off. It was the best thing for me, less wet dog smelling hair to wash.

Isn't unbelievable that this pickled, wet dog head, Parmesan cheese smelling feet girl turned out to be a soap maker?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Husband Feeds My Addiction

Okay... I'll admit it. Part of the reason I was having a pissy fit about going to market today was because Falcor was finished being built by Charlie Storm My husband bought this bike for me and is so excited about it. I went to the shop and he fitted me before I left for market. My husband went and picked it up after work. He called me at market to tell me Falcor was home. There was a group ride tonight, I so wanted to try Falcor out. He wanted me to post pictures tonight! He was even getting irritated with kitty because he wanted to be in the picture. It's another guy thing I don't understand. Ya'll get boners over part names. I'm going to let him type out all the parts because he just creaming his jeans about the word "Dura Ace and Ultegra" Here is the build:
Frame: Blue T-12
Fork: Aerus
Wheels: Mavic Cosmic Elite
Tires: Hutchinson
Cranks: Dura Ace
BB: Ultegra
F Der: Ultegra
R Der: Dura Ace
Cass: Ultegra
Brakes: Ultegra
Brake Levers: Profile QS2
Shifters: Dura Ace
Chain: Dura Ace
Seat: Vision Tech
Post: Aerus
Bars: Profile CBX
Headset: Aerus
I'll be honest, I really don't understand what all those brand names mean. I'll just be happy to have a comfortable ride that helps me go faster. As a bonus, it is a pretty looking bike. Not sure about the grip tape though.. Do you think another color would look better? I think it's too bright blue for the bike.

Thanks honey, for such an awesome present. I think I'll take it for a three hour ride on Saturday! Hey - do you buy me nice presents to get me out of your hair?

Hi, My Name is Mojo and I'm an Addict

I've come back to the real world. I knew this would happen. I'm depressed that the half is over. I enjoyed waking up in the morning and looking at my training schedule. There were mornings I'd look at it and think the workout was too hard, I didn't think I could complete it. After I did it, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. There is no plan for me to follow anymore. I feel lost.

I have to go to Farmer's Market today. I will have to get dressed in something besides biking shorts, tri shorts and a jog bra. I'll blow dry my hair and put on some make-up. It makes me feel all fake and phony. I'll smile and sell eggs and soap. Inside, I'll secretly be wishing that I was riding with the group tonight. Tomato man will ask me why I keep moving my legs, I'll have too much energy to just sit still for hours. I'm addicted to the endorphin rush. I'd do another Half Ironman right now. Last night, I did a trail run(after swimming and lifting) and enjoyed the sweat dripping into my eyes and burning them. I'm crazy, I need some help I think. Why can't I just be a good farmer?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Common Sense is Instinct, Enough of it is Genius

Yesterday, I had enough of resting. If I take more than two days off, I am a bitch to live with. I got to go back to the gym and lift at lunch time. I haven't lifted for almost two weeks! I have a nice burn in my back and biceps today. I decided to go for the group bike ride yesterday evening too. I was planning on going for a recovery ride and stay with the slow group. The slow group consists of mostly women and new men cyclists. When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw none of my slow group friends expect one new guy. He told me he was going to try to go with the fast group. I went along and was the only female in the fast group/big boy pack.

The new guy just bought a new bike a few weeks ago and was getting used to clipping in and out. I tried to warn him that we had to stay with the pack or we'd get dropped. I told him to get as close as possible to the rider ahead of him to keep in the draft. He said he was scared to get too close. There were some slower guys ahead of me and when I tried to ride up toward the front of the pack, none of the men would let me in. First, I'm a woman. Second, they think I'm a Tri-geek because I have aero bars on a road bike. I can't wait until Clifford is put back into a road bike because it's not fun to ride with the guys and not use the aero bars. So, I stayed in the back and tried to keep up. Half way into the ride, we took a turn and I got dropped from the main pack. I'm still not fast going around turns and once I get out of their draft, I'm screwed. New guy looked strong and passed me, I tell him to go-go-go, keep the big boys in sight. Two men were behind me and for the last half of the ride, I rode alone. I was okay with riding alone because I wasn't expecting to ride really hard anyway.

When I was 6 miles away from the bike park, the last two guys come up behind me. "Good thing we caught you, we need help. Can you pull us for a little while?" I told them I would but I didn't think I'd provide much draft. They started playing the ring-around-a-rosy game. I'll pull, then go to the back, then the second guy pulls and goes to the back, ect, ect. They were really concerned about keeping the second pack in sight. One of the guys says that my friends and I shouldn't train so hard because he won't have any business. I ask him what type of business he's in. He tells me that they both are cardiologists. I decided to pick their brains for a little bit. I remembered my oncologist said that one of the drugs(adriamycin) he gave me during chemo could cause heart damage. I wasn't sure what type of damage, so I asked the heart doctors. It turns out it can cause cardiomyopathy. They also told me that the bleomycin I received causes lung damage and Lance Armstrong avoided that drug during his treatment. Oh well, I guess I'll never beat Lance! I ended up learning some things from the two heart doctors last night.

Four miles away from the bike park, one of the heart doctors says his legs are cramping up. I tell them we can slow down but they don't want to because they have to keep the pack ahead in sight. I look at their water bottles and they are completely full. We have been riding for over an hour and a half. I asked them if they have drank anything during the ride. They told me they hadn't had time, too busy trying to keep up. I remind them they need to stay hydrated and offer them a GU. They drink some water and swallow down a GU. They said they felt much better. Helloooo....McFly.......You guys are doctors but don't have enough common sense to drink fluids while working out?

We were the last group to get back to the bike park. I walk over to new guy and tell him he did a great job staying with the guys. He's really sweaty, his entire head is wet and his eyes are really bloodshot. He kinda looks like he's in la-la-land. I joke with him and say "You probably will never ride with the Sissy slow group again, huh?" He says "I'll never do this again, I'm afraid I won't be able to walk tomorrow."

I just don't understand men sometimes. They remind me of a dog that is chasing a bone. The dog that will chase the bone until it collapses from heat stroke. They can't stop themselves, their common sense has departed the building. When I am tired, I will stop. When I am thirsty, I will drink. When I am hungry, I eat. It's just basic instinct. I'm not a rocket scientist.

Which brings me to another dog after the bone story. This story is about one of my commenters, Bagpiper. Bagpiper is a great cyclist and he did his first sprint triathlon last weekend at White Lake. Bagpiper would sometimes swim at the pool with me in the mornings. We talk a lot of smack and joke around all the time. I can't beat Bagpiper on the bike but I can in the water. When we do sprints in the pool, Bagpiper would try his hardest to beat me. One morning, he was turning blue from lack of oxygen during 100 meter sprints. He was trying so hard to beat me, he wasn't taking enough breaths. To add fuel to the fire, I told Bagpiper he needed to do some more ab work because he was getting love-handles.

I get a phone call later that afternoon and hear that Bagpiper had to go to the emergency room. Turns out he decided not to eat any breakfast after our morning swim and he had an hypoglycemic attack. He blames me for this because I hurt his feelings when I joked with him about his love-handles. He decided not to eat breakfast because he didn't want his love-handles to grow. Once again, common sense guys... If you are hungry, you really should eat!

I got to watch Bagpiper run his first sprint. Let me tell you, he didn't look happy coming out of the water. When he finished the race he said he'd never do another triathlon again. He's going back to cycling and drinking beer only. I asked him how the swim went. He said he thought he'd drown. He had to hold on to the kayak twice. You do not know how badly I wish I was the one in the kayak he had to grab. I know he was probably purple colored. I'd remind him to use common sense and breathe every three strokes.

Ya know I love ya, Bagpiper. You'll always kick my ass on the bike. Thanks for playing the bagpipes while I was finishing my Half, it really was cool. I still don't know how you have enough air to play the bagpipes but not enough to swim?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

White Lake Half Split Times

White Lake Half Ironman Finishing Time


When I was crossing the finish line and heard the announcer call out this time, I was happy. I thought it would have taken me 7 hours to finish the race.

Now that I have had time to replay the entire race in my mind, I wish I had worn a watch. I was only 2:03 from breaking the 6 hour mark. I could have done it if I realized I was that close. (and I would still be smiling)

Swim Split- 38:28
Pretty satisfied with this time. I did swim off course in the beginning so I know I can work on sighting. I wasn't sure how hard to push on the swim because I knew I had a long day ahead. The swim was probably my favorite part of this race. I still can't believe I was in the water for that long because it flew by and felt easy.

T1: 2:34- Not horrible. Since I was in the back of the pack I had a long run with my bike out of transition. I'm still like "March of the Penguins" when I have to run in my clips.

Bike: 3:08:40
I'm not happy with this time. I know I could have pushed harder but I was scared. I didn't want to blow myself up on my bike so I listened to Chuck and kept my pace at 17.7 mph. I wonder- if I did go harder on my bike would my run suffer? Would I have stopped smiling? This race was full of unknowns and my goal was just to finish. Looking back it's easy to see mistakes I made.

T2: 3:04- I had to pee!

Run: 2:09:19
Pretty happy about this time. I didn't hurt during the run. The first three miles were harder than the last 10. I really tried to take everything in and enjoy the run, which I did. I saw many encouraging faces during the run- Jessica, Meg, TriDaddy and Jamie. I crossed the finish line smiling and started the swim smiling. I'm alive and healthy so I can't complain too much.

Things I learned: I'm not as modest as I thought. If I am under pressure, I will squat and pee in public. I may just piss on the bike next time. Urine is like filtered water, it's pretty sterile. Let the flood gates open! :)

The human body is amazing. My body has been through a lot, some from illness and some from self abuse. It can recover and heal quickly.

A structured training plan got me through this race.
Charlie Storm has helped me so much on this journey. He's one of the best bike fitters in the USA. Thanks for all your time and help, Chuck!

Everything is easier if you have a good attitude and smile.

I will try a lot harder on the bike next year! Bring it on!

Monday, May 08, 2006

70.3 Self Propelled Miles Full of Smiles

I'm not going to write about my race time until the splits are posted. I did win 1st novice female for the White Lake Half. Most importantly, I really enjoyed myself this race. I felt wonderful, I could have kept going. I'm so thankful my body is strong and healthy. I still am shocked I swam, biked and ran 70.3 miles and didn't hurt. I smiled the entire time.

Coming out of the water, the 1.2 mile swim went by so quickly. I went a little of course because I didn't sight well and swam into the center of the course. I loved the swim, White Lake is lovely. I remember watching the sun peek out of the clouds when I'd take a breath. I knew it would be a good day!

Ready to start the journey on the bike. I thought 56 miles would feel like I was riding the bike for days but the ride went by fast too. I focused on eating and drinking enough on my bike, almost every 30 minutes. I didn't push myself on the bike, I listened to Charlie and maintained a 17.7 mph average. I was well hydrated which created the pee-pee pants problem. It was all good though and I kept on smiling.

Half way into the run, my husband and Snaggle were waiting for me. I had lots of energy left for my run. I smiled at everyone I saw. I thanked all the volunteers. I ran through the standing water in the streets and splashed myself. I let kids that were watching spray me with a hose. I was happy.

I smiled again at a runner the second time we passed each other. He said "You are smiling way too big and way too much. You just biked 56 miles and now you have to run 13. This race isn't that much fun!"

I must be a glutton for punishment because I really was enjoying the entire experience.

Then, I was finished and I really smiled. I got to watch Meg and Jessica come in. I handed Jessica her beer when she crossed the finish line.

At the awards, when the announcer said that I won first novice, my family and friends cheered and screamed so loud. My husband said that everyone was screaming loud. I was so embarrassed that I just ran up the stairs and got the dry-fit shirt that I'm wearing in this picture with Snaggle. You can't see the huge smile on my face because I was running up the stairs so fast because I couldn't believe the loud cheering was for me.

I stayed for Sunday's sprint race to watch some of my training friends. I couldn't wait to watch a race and cheer for other people. I stood on the run course during the sprint and smiled and clapped for everyone. A man saw me and recognized me, "Hey, it's Smiles from yesterday's race! Keep on smiling girl!" It was a wonderful compliment. I would love for everyone to remember me by my smile. Thanks to my wonderful family and friends for their support!