Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Raw

I feel like my skin is thin and my nerves are inflamed.

Noises are too loud.

I feel like I need a break from feeling anything.

What's that called? Oh yeah, sleep.... Didn't sleep enough last night... Worked over the hill 3 days in a row. Both are bad ideas.

Just a heads up if I don't seem like myself. Hopefully you'll get your Nori back shortly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

E-mail Addiction Remedy

I am an email addict. I check my email habitually. Since I got a cell phone with the capability of checking my email, it has gotten even worse. If I'm expecting an email from someone, sometimes I get very anxious and cannot concentrate. This is a bad thing if I am at work and really need to get stuff done. Last night I had a breakthrough idea on how to mitigate this problem.

1. While on your home computer. Open up notepad, Word, or some other text or Word processing program.
2. Randomly type a bunch of letters on the keyboard. Just move your fingers and don't think about it until you have a password-sized amount of characters.
3. Save the file and/or print it out. Printing it out is probably best, in case your hard drive crashes.
4. Copy the password, using Ctrl-C. Login to your email, go to your account settings, and change your password. Use Ctrl-V to paste the copied password to create your new password.

Now I can't check my email until I get home. It's pretty liberating. Of course, it didn't stop me from blogging at work, but that only took a few minutes. This works well for Gmail, because although there is a security question with which you can recover your password, it will only work if your account has been inactive for 5 days.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wharf to Wharf

I had the worst day of my life yesterday. I won't go into details but it was pretty terrible.

Today totally made up for it. After finishing Honu, I made a list of possible events I'd be interested this summer and early fall, and the Wharf to Wharf, a 6 mile run in Flip Flop was at the top of my list. I ran the Wharf to Wharf for the second time, my first time since 2004. Since then, some combination of injury and focus on swimming instead of running has prevented me from doing it. So I was stoked about being able to do it this year, as a celebration of doing something I was afraid I'd never be able to do again, because I was afraid I just wasn't cut out to be a runner.

Since in the back of my mind, I'm training for a Big Kahuna, another Half Ironman distance triathlon, I warmed up by running 4 miles before the race.

Probably no one cares but me, but here are my splits:

Mile 1: 10:21.25. Not bad considering we were hindered by the crowd of people in front of us.

Mile 2: 9:01.45.

Mile 3: 9:13.09

Mile 4: 8:53.94

Mile 5: 9:12.68

Mile 6: 8:28.53

Throwing out the silly first mile, that's like an 8 minute 58 second pace, which is about the same pace a the fastest 10K I've ever run, which was 4 years ago. Considering I ran 4 miles beforehand, I guess that's not too bad. I've been so bummed about not being as fast as I used to be, so I'm stoked to get back on pace. I didn't think very hard about keeping a particular pace, or talk back and forth to my body about whether I was pushing hard enough. I just told myself to let the energy of the race carry me through it.

What was also great about this race was being able to do with some old friends I haven't been able to see enough of this lately, my friend Erin and my godfather Ric. Erin was my college roommate and one of my bridesmaids. She's been a runner for quite a while, and done a couple marathons. My godfather Ric, once upon a time my college professor, is a pretty fast runner and accomplished mountaineer. Being a Dad has cut into his climbing quite a bit, but he loves it so much that he thinks it is totally worth it. I see a lot more of the people I train with than my old friends, so it was great getting a chance to see them. I love my team, but I miss the people I've been friends with since college. So today was just an awesome celebration of friendship, fitness, and just being alive for me. I think I spent most of my life in my head, and disconnected from my physical self. But my body is what ties me to this world, so in some ways celebrating my body is celebrating life itself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There's a Waterbug on My Channel Changer

My favorite show on TV is 30 Rock. Renting a DVD and watching multiple shows in a row has gotten me through many a session on my bike trainer. There’s this part on one of the episodes where Kenneth, the page at NBC that loves his job doing the bidding or everyone else who works there, is applying for a job as a page for the Beijing Olympics. He can’t fill out his personal statement, because he doesn't know how to brag about himself. He tells this to Jenna, one of the stars of TGS, the SNL-like show 30 Rock is about, and she tries to help him out. She tells him to try a backdoor brag, which is slipping self-praise into ordinary sentences like:

“It’s hard for me to watch American Idol, because I have perfect pitch.”

Kenneth tries it:

“It’s hard for me to watch American Idol, cause there’s a waterbug on my channel changer.”

I hope I’m not a Jenna, but I’m certainly no Kenneth. Almost any time I’m feeling nervous about an event, or feeling outclassed by my fellow athletes, I find some way of bringing up the fact that I swam Tahoe solo. I’ve backdoor bragged about being my high school class valedictorian on this blog several times (oh, there I go again.)

But at the moment I’m feeling a little bit like Kenneth. I was nominated for Athlete of the Month for my triathlon club, T.S. Last month, Mojojoey was nominated for AOM and sent out a hilarious e-mail to everyone on T.S.’s roster, about why she should be AOM over the other two people nominated. She encouraged me to campaign for myself on this blog. Really, shouldn't I be able to think of enough nice things to say about myself to write a good campaign letter?

The thing is, the other people nominated totally deserve to win. Here is what the people who nominated them said about them:

Tiffany

My Nomination for AOM is Tiffany Medina. It could be said that we are all doing amazing things with our athlete pursuits but, attempting these pursuits with out our sight would be unimaginable for most of us. This is exactly what Tiffany does. On top of that she always seems to have a great attitude and a big smile! I have been impressed from day one with her an continue to be more impressed.

Mike

Mike has impressed me as both a great athlete and team player. He always has a smile on his face and seems to be instrumental in fostering team spirit. He is always there giving you a vote of confidence, no matter how challenging an event might be. "Look, you can do this...it's easy" etc. That's Mike for you.


Chas

[There wasn’t anything about Chas from the person who nominated him, but he’s 60 years old and can kick my butt in cycling and running. Actually, that's an understatement.]



Tiffany is really one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. And Mike has been incredibly encouraging to me. They are both warm and generous people. I barely know Chas, but he seems like a nice guy, too.

But I voted for myself! Why? If someone I was very close and loyal to was nominated for something like this, I’d have to vote for him or her. While I’m inclined to think the others deserve it more than I do, out of loyalty to myself, I voted for me.

But, I’m totally and utterly tongue-tied when I think about comparing myself to the other people nominated.

I do what I can for the team when I can. I volunteered to watch the bikes for the Fearsome Triathlon, timed and did clean up for our swim meet, hosted a triathlon slumber party for a few of my teammates, and do what I can to be encouraging and supportive when I see the opportunity when I’m not so wrapped up in my own nervousness or wiped out by training. But I can’t compare this to what Mike has done, probably for years before I ever joined the team. He was great about encouraging me to sign up for Honu, and had positive words and smiles for me during my training. He set up the tents for everyone for Wildflower a few days before the event, and he wasn’t even doing the race! He has a strong love for his team that shines through in his interactions with everyone and the pride he shows in wearing our team colors.

I think what’s most impressive about my athletic accomplishments is how far I’ve come in a short amount of time. I had only swam for four years when I did Tahoe solo. Less than a year ago, I couldn’t even ride my bike down my block without my whole body shaking in violently in fear, and somehow managed to make it through a hilly, hot, very windy 56 mile bike ride. I was told by a physical therapist last year that I should never run more than 10 km, but I followed that scary bike ride with 13.1 miles on my feet. But how can I compare that to someone who last year did a Half Ironman without being able to see? That takes a level of courage, trust, and patience that I can’t even imagine.

I feel like I do what I can, working with a body that spent many years not having any athletic ambitions. But Chas is 60 years old and accomplishes things that would be kids in their 20’s to shame. He lets those of us who started dreaming of being athletes a little later in life think we have something to look forward to.

In short, I feel like I should be proud of myself. I have a right to call myself brave, committed, supportive, and loyal. I’m not perfect, but I’m a work in progress, and I really do think I’m committed to that work. But without a trace of jealousy (OK, maybe a little) I can be grateful that, as a person committed to her self improvement, I have great role models like Tiffany, Mike, and Chas.

(And no, the irony of my backdoor bragging when complimenting my competitors is not lost on me. I guess I am a bit of a Jenna)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ka Ching!!! Then, sadly, denied...

I found a way to fund the Swim Around the Rock. I can expense all my old DSL bills, which comes to $884.80. But when I went to register on Active.com, it said it is too late to register. Oh well... At least I have a 10K run and a nice buoy swim with Oceana and Gurley Girl to look forward to this weekend. And maybe I can think of something else fun I can do with $884.80.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

If I had $385

There's a race this weekend that I am interested in doing. It is the Swim Around the Rock, where you swim from San Francisco around Alcatraz and back, a total of 3.25 miles. The main deterrent from me doing it is that it costs $385. We had expensive car problems this month, and I've spent a lot of money on races already this year, so it's hard to justify doing this.

It's a little embarrassing now that I think about it, but I actually asked them if I could do the test swim they are doing the day before for free instead of the race. They didn't even email me back. Hmm... So now, even if I did decide it was worth it to put the $385 on the credit card, I'm too embarrassed to sign up for the race.

I was talking to the women in the locker room about it, and I said my reason for wanting to do it is because I felt like I needed an ego boost, and swimming around Alcatraz would provide lots of opportunities to brag. But honestly, this is the kind of swim that is right up my alley. Cold and rough, it's two things that other people hate and I don't mind. And it does capture my imagination because, you know, it's Alcatraz. And I think capturing your imagination is the most rewarding motivation when it comes to athletic events.

Registration is still open... Maybe I'll go beg Raybon right now.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Everyone Be Nice to Me

This is totally lame, but this is just a reprint of a post from October 2007.

I'm in a super sensitive, paranoid, PMS-y, should-lock-myself-in-a-padded-room-for-the-next-few-days-kind-of-mood. I could elaborate over and over again about the weird interactions I've had from people, but it would break my rules of using my blog as a rant. Over and over and over again. People are mean! Or I'm too sensitive. That is probably it.

Here's a link to a blog about how I felt about the same as I do about a year ago:

How to Eat Fried Worms