Monday, September 29, 2008

CELT Sprint Race Report

This Sunday I did the CELT Sprint Tri in my hometown in Maine. The big news for me is that I placed third overall! Okay, it was a wicked small race and some of the competition stayed home because it was small and because it was pouring the whole race and a total mudfest on the run, but still. I placed third. And if I were a guy? I would have placed fourth. And I was ninth overall. And I was first in my age group. And I really suffered on the bike for most of it. And I definitely suffered on the muddy slogfest run (which was so fun).

What this says to me is that I need to do a few more small time races. Small time = good time = good place = good feeling. I am a small time girl. haha

Also placing well was Team Triple Threat (also known as Team Wilson/Perez). They placed third in relays--losing only to two all male, totally scary fast corporate teams. Triple Threat consists of scary fast swimmer and best high school buddy Alina, her biker brother Lorenzo, and my hub, the runner.

The report:
I knew it would be a wet one. Hurricane Kyle was passing through town, and he did not disappoint. I was still psyched. The run portion of the race was on grass and trail, and there's nothing more fun than a hugely muddy messy run! I need to take up Xterra. Anyway.

The swim was tame. It was in the high school pool, and only 425 yards. I was, at first, very disappointed. I wanted to be in the first heat with Alina and two very fast women with whom I wanted to compete. They have both won the race in the past, and maybe it is for that reason that they were placed with the relays in the first heat. The rest of the field started in later heats.

It stung to not be considered "good" enough to be placed with these women. I was bummed. However, this did make me determined to race well and really get close to them--if only in time, not person.

Alina's heat, the first one, went off and I cheered for her like mad, and also for Katie and Erin, the two women with whom I wanted to compete. Both Katie and Erin went to high school with Ailna and me, but they are several years older than we are. Great people. Anyway. Alina did her usual thing, kicking everyone else's butt in the pool and making everyone look bad. She finished the 425 yards in 5:15. Pretty awesome. There was another heat of relay people, and then I was off.

There were these two women in my heat that were SO FIT looking, I wanted to cry. I had seen them warm up, and they were amazing swimmers. I tried not to appear too intimated, but man, they were intimidating! When we were off, I didn't even try to stay with them. I lapped the woman in my lane twice, but these two women, swimming one lane over, lapped me almost twice~! Jessie, (I later learned her name), the faster of the two (who I also learned were sisters) finished in under five minutes.

I had a good, strong swim. The only problem is that I wasn't positive I was done at the 425 and I had to pause and scream, "Am I done?" Duh. I finished in just under six minutes, which is a real improvement for me. Last spring I did 400 yards in a race in just over six. My recorded time is 6:15, but that includes the run to T1. I was the 13th fastest swimmer of the day. Alina was the fifth fastest. And yes, that includes the guys!

Onto the bike. I was going to eat this bike leg alive. I was going to suffer. I would not let myself down this time! I did not straddle the bike and start, I mounted like a normal person, swinging my leg over the bike as I began to move. Enough of this granny crap! I bounded up the hill and first off passed those two fast swimmer sisters. Yeah! Take that perfect body people!

A few minutes into the bike I was passed by a guy. This, I decided, would not do. No one would pass me today. That was the rule. I tried to get him back, but basically I just remained behind him by a quarter mile trying to catch him the whole race. At one point I got just close enough to make the pass and he turned to me as I wheezed away and said, "Does my back tire look flat?" The dude wasn't even trying! I coughed out, "No, it's fine." Then he took off again. I think he slowed down just to ask me that!

The rain pelted down on us. It was a Lake Placid 08 kind of day. Relentless, hard rain. I loved it. (Good for a sprint, not for an Ironman, I will add.)

The 14 miles ended almost instantaneously it seemed. It's obviously been awhile since I have done a sprint! I finished in 41:40, which works out to be over 20 mph, and that time also includes most of T1 and T2, so maybe a bit faster than that. Still much slower than I'd like, but better than usual! I was the 21st bike overall, including the dudes.

The run was a blast! I heard Alina, Andy, Erin and Katie cheering for me as I began. They were already done with the race, as they started in the first heat.

It was a slippery, soaking wet mudfest. I continued to trail the guy I tried to catch on the bike for the whole run. It was frustrating. He was just out of my reach. If frustrating for me, it must have been SO annoying for him. At every turn I was right there, like a little pest that wouldn't get away. The trail was tree-rooted and narrow, and it was a little nuts to train and pass anyone anyway, but still, I'm sure he wanted to tell me to leave him the fuck alone! At the end of the race, with a 1/2 mile to go, he'd had enough. He took off. In my head I screamed, Wait! Wait! and I tried to catch him, but to no avail. Oh well. He had been a very good rabbit for almost the entire race. Thanks, buddy! I think his name was Chris. I checked in the results. He placed third for men.

Post race: Andy and Alina were there cheering me in. Such a great feeling. Thanks, guys! They stayed and chatted with me in the rain. I then found my rabbit and thanked him, and he was very gracious and smiley. Best of all, Jessie, the woman of perfect body and scary fast swimming fame, found me. She asked if I had been at Lobsterman, she thought she had seen me there, etc. Then she said, "YOU ARE AN AWESOME BIKER." I was stunned. Then I thought, well yes, I AM faster than you, of course. But it still felt good. She was scarily intimidating at the start of the race, I had beat her by A LOT, and she thought I was a good biker! This made my day. haha!

A great race.

Here are a few pics:

Andy on the run. It was WET. I believe the hub has quite enviable quads.

and Me on the run.

Andy and me--all smiles after a good, wet race.

Talking to the man who placed third, who I tried to catch the whole race, but who I, alas, never did. The trickster had another gear that he shifted into in the last 1/2 mile. I did not.

The legs looked much worse up close! Really!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Many people don't like unsolicited advice. I do. My assumption is that most people know more than me, and even if they don't know more than me, I still enjoy hearing what people think. Strange, I know. I think it may be that when people give me advice they are paying attention to me (or so I believe) and I like attention.


Here are the arenas in which I would like advice:

the belly
the scale
sports drink spillage

Let's start with the belly. I will begin by saying that I am not a psycho chick who feels she must be absolutely perfect in every way in order to be worthy. I like my body. It's a good body. That said, I am having a little issue with my belly. It won't get smaller. My whole body is small, but not my belly. My belly is bigger than my ass, and definitely bigger than my chest. I am an inverted hour glass. What is UP WITH THAT?

So, I need advice on how to get rid of the belly. I realize it has to do, in part, with genetics, and with the fact that I had bore three children close together and there is extra skin there now. However, I also know that there are PLENTY of women out there who don't have perfect genes in terms of bellies and who had at least three children and they are sporting beautiful, toned, athletic looking joes. I realize the answer to this is probably just GO ON A DIET, fool. Still, all advice is welcome, even that advice. I may just need a kick in the pants.

Scale. Perhaps one of the problems pertaining to problem number 1 is that I don't own a scale. I used to belong to a gym, which I left awhile back, and it is there I weighed myself. This worked out well because I only weighed myself like twice a month, and so was therefore able to track my weight without getting all neurotic and weighing myself 20 times a day. After thinking about it, I believe I am ready to purchase a scale and coexist with it. I think. Any advice as to which scale I should get? I'm curious to hear how you people with those FANCY body fat/hydration etc scales fare.

This is connected to my last post. I went through a cassette in three months by riding with a worn out chain and by cross-chaining. I think that's what it's called, anyway. I'm curious to hear how other people live without spending tons of times in the baby gears of the big ring. How do I correct this bad habit? That is my question. I am especially interested in book recommendations/classes on the topic of biking technique and maintenance in general, as I learn best by reading about things and in a school atmosphere.

Sports Drink Spillage:
All the people who have worked on my bike have commented that I have a lot (as in more than other people) of sports drink guck on the front of my bike. I try to clean my bike of said guck after every ride, but apparently I suck at it, because it is everywhere, all the time. I want to know 1) how do people keep their aerobottles from spraying sports drink everywhere? When my aerobottle is full it sprays in the wind, even with the cap on. When I go over a bump in the road, it spills over me and the bike. How do people prevent this? And when it happens, with what do I clean it to get it off?

Here's what I want to know. Is it a common, normal, everyday thing to be bored with your work? How many people out there feel satisfied with their job, and how many pine for something better/more meaningful/more SOMETHING? I want to know because I think I may just be a brat who wants to be engaged all of the time, and gets impatient and grumpy when a job turns out to be--well, a job. I figure if everyone is bored, and they just deal with it, I should probably just suck it up and deal with too.

Please advise away.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This Sport is SO Expensive and other thoughts

I took Black Beauty, my bike, into the shop after my LONG BRICK on Tuesday. She needed some help. I knew my tires were spent. I've been riding on them since February and averaging over 100 miles a week on the bike. I also knew that I needed a basic tune-up. She's been skipping gears all over the place lately. So I took her in. Quick check up. No problem.

Right. I am new to biking, and I have not yet adjusted to the fact that you must treat your bike like you do your car. You know what I'm saying; if you don't take care of your car--get the oil changed, get it tuned up according to the manufacturer's schedule, do not let it go when you know something's wrong it--you shorten its life and you end up creating expensive problems that could've been avoided had you taken preventive measures. Kind of like health. Kind of like life. Kind of like EVERYTHING.

Well. I guess I have been a bit remiss in taking care of my little Felt. First, I've not changed the chain since I got her. I guess you're supposed to change your chain every 1500 miles or so. That would've been in, hmmmm, MAY. Because I didn't change my chain, my chain damaged my cassette, so that's spent too. And the tires. Need new tires.

All that doesn't include the basic tune-up that I also need.

I have been lobbying to get carbon wheels, and the chunk of change needed to spiff up the old/new bike is not going to help my cause.

In other news I think I am losing my short term memory. really.
more on this in my next post.

Friday, September 19, 2008

"I'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes

"Know where I'm goin' and I know what to do
I tidied up my point of view
I got a new attitude!"

Forgive me for quoting Patti LaBelle.
It had to be done. I hope I didn't lose any readers...

So. I have been doing some thinking.
It started with the word suffer, a word with which I have few dealings with in my life, continued into my race this weekend and conversations with Claire, continued further still when reading Bree Wee's blogand ended with a quick conversation with Jen via email.

I realize new attitudes aren't created overnight, so I will qualify this by saying that I don't actually have a bonafide new attitude. Let's say, though, that I think I get something I didn't get before. It's not even really a matter of some earth shattering new way of viewing things. It actually is, as my dear friend Patti says, a tidying up of a point of view.

I love running. and triathlon. and I love racing.
But that's not enough.

My expectations of what triathlon will provide me expanded this year. I decided to GET SERIOUS, man. No fucking around. And with that I expected nothing short of miracles. Isn't that what it takes? Extreme dedication? Getting the workouts done?

Yes. But that's not all it takes. It takes a willingness to think and be a certain way. There is little--actually there is NO--room for self deprecation for the sake of humor, or the sake of anything, really. There is no room to let yourself believe you deserve a break. There is no room to lament how tired you are and how grumpy you feel that you get up every damn morning when the people around you sleep in like old dogs. There is no room to feel sorry for yourself. There is no room to admit that you're not actually sure you LIKE what you're doing.

Ange talked awhile back about silencing her lazy demon when she races. I remember thinking that her lazy demon was likely a weakling and that my lazy demon could take her lazy demon down so fast it wouldn't even be funny. But maybe that's not true. Maybe she just makes her mind so uninviting to the lazy demon that she can control his appearance, in a race, or any time. And I can't. Or I haven't.

I have been indulging my thoughts of tiredness, of disappointment, of fear, of anger, of lack of motivation, of jealousy. I write about them. I think about them. I analyze them. I let them hang around.

This is not want superior athletes do. Superior athletes shut down these thoughts. They do not indulge. They don't don't lament losing a Tuesday to a LONG BRICK, because the idea of losing or lamenting anything having to do with the sport is SHUNNED. Done. Not invited. The thought is replaced by thoughts like, I CAN train, I'm psyched to train, I'm ready to train. I AM ALL ABOUT THE LONG BRICK. GRRRRRRRRRR.

It's cognitive restructuring. Right, Alina?

And I need to start doing it.

It is quite possible that the aspect of my personality that has indulged these thoughts has prevented me, thus far, from maximizing my potential. Not just in triathlon.
In life.
Maybe that's dramatic, but I think I'm onto something here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesdays. My Day Off

You may recall that last week I pondered what to do with my new, special free time on Tuesdays, which I now have off from work. Six hours all for in school, no work...

What was I thinking? I knew then and know now what I will be doing every Tuesday from now until Clearwater, and from Clearwater until Lake Placid 2009.


you know. The one that takes all day.

Today's workout: Four hours on the bike. Forty minute run. Time leftover after getting ready, getting going, going, going, going, recovering with chocolate milk, showering, and preparing for tomorrow's workouts, which must be planned for right now because I DO work tomorrow:


Not even a little laundry time, my friends. What have I done?

In other news, on my long ride today I saw a friend riding in the other direction. I haven't see said friend in a few months. He turned around, caught me, and we got caught up for a few. He introduced me to his friend, Richie. Richie looked familiar. How did I know him?

As they rode away it came to me.
Richie Cunningham. I should have figured it out when he said he was also training for Clearwater. Duh.
I wanted to come home and email all my friends about how I had just chatted with a superstar triathlete.
But then I remembered that no one, except for possibly you out there, would care!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lobsterman Oly Race Report

The quick synopsis: Super fast swim. Was it the current? Tipped over on bike after dropping my chain. That is right. I tipped over. Killed myself on the run. I really SUFFERED. (right, Jen?) Placed 4th in AG, but they gave me third for the usual reason: Ange was in the top three and therefore freed up a spot. Overall a very good race for me. Much better than last year, at which it poured and I had to run with frozen stumps of feet for miles before I began to thaw. ___________________________________ The Long Version It was cold and spitting rain when I finally got on the road on Friday night. I had a sick feeling. Would I have to repeat last year's race experience at Lobsterman in which I could not feel my feet until four miles into the run? I pondered this until about Burlington, where I stopped to pick up Claire. We grabbed some dinner (on Claire, thanks!) and then headed up to Maine. Claire didn't complain that I drove like an old lady in the right lane at like 55 mph. I drive a bit like I bike, I'm afraid. We chatted and the time passed quickly. We arrived at my parents' and went right to bed as we had an early start the next morning. I slept like a baby, but Claire slept in the guest room downstairs, which has a SUPER loud grandfather clock outside it that chimes every 15 minutes. oops. Should have shut that annoying thing off. Needless to say, Claire's sleep wasn't as sound as mine...This, combined with the fact that the race people wouldn't let her wear her new, pointy, but also European helmet on the bike course, is probably why she didn't have the very fastest female bike split of the day. She was still close, though. We rose way too early and headed to Freeport. I didn't know exactly where to go, even though I had raced there last year, but I figured we just find a car with a bike on its back and we'd be all set. We made it there. All good. On the journey I sipped my pre-race drink, coffee, and ate a peanut butter sandwich. I also choked down part of a banana. I never want to eat before I race. Too nervous. But I knew I would need the fuel if I wanted to kick ass. And I did. Want to kick ass. really badly. I needed a good race, especially a good RUN, after Timberman. We registered and set up in transition and all that good stuff. I talked to all my good Maine friends and began to pity myself that I didn't live up there with them, close to the pine trees and the moose and the butt cold ocean that I love so, so much. sigh. Onward. The swim was in this very calm cove. The water temperature was only about 60 degrees, but I thought it was fine. I like swimming in cold water like I like running in cold weather. Better cold than hot,that's my opinion. Anyway. Last year at this race the current totally messed with me. I got off course and had to fight my way back. This year? All in the swimmers' favor. We zipped right out to that first buoy and it was smooth sailing after that. Our times were so fast (in general, the swimmers' times all around) that at first I thought they must have changed the course from last year. Actually, though, I think it was all the current. The race last year began at 11am. This year it began at 8:45 am. That must have something to do with it. I have been working on speed in the pool, and I really felt that during this swim. I pushed it the whole time, and this is very unlike me. Usually I push hard, let up, and then push again at the end. I sighted off a girl in my wave. I'm still not sure who it was, though I suspect it was one of my rivals (who doesn't know she is one of my rivals, I'm sure; a woman who has beaten me every race in Maine this season, but who I will catch next year! I swear!) As I left the water I heard a friend of mine who wasn't racing shout, "Great swim, Mary! You're close to Ange!" I snorted, and I heard him chuckle. We both knew this was a big, fat lie! Very funny, Steve! Onto to the bike. I was really dizzy coming out of the water; more dizzy than usual. I actually had to hold onto the bike rack to brace myself because I thought I was going to tip over. Luckily, I did not tip, nor did I take the bike rack down trying to balance. I did tip later on, off my bike and when on the bike course, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I finally stripped off my wetsuit, got on all of my various biking accoutrements, and then I was off. Shakily, but still off. I mounted in my usual granny fashion --straddle the bike, clip in, push off. The bike leg. My perennial problem. My reason for sometimes wanting to through in the towel. Argh. My goal for the bike leg was to suffer. I am, by nature, a loafer on the bike, and this time I was NOT going to be. Anytime I was breathing easily, I would push harder. That was the plan. As it turns out, I had a hard time with this. I worked hard, but not hard enough I don't think, through the first 10 miles. Then I started to fade. My quads were burning and I began to worry that my run was going to suffer. I tried to talk to myself by saying things like, "Stop thinking! Just suffer! Go!" But it didn't really work. Then I hit a stretch of big, steep hills at about mile 15. The course is hilly in general, but his stretch was especially annoying. And that's when it happened. I was beginning to ascend a large hill and I decided I needed to swtich to the baby ring. I did so, and I felt the chain loosen. fuck. At Mooseman when this happened I hopped right off the bike, fixed it and got going. This time I decided to see if I could keep pedaling and have it catch again. nope. no luck. It sounded horrible as I tried to pedal, like I was seriously doing damage to my bike. And then the pedals locked. Totally frozen, and I began to tip.... At the last moment I was able to unclip on the right, and so caught myself from slamming to the ground by being in a big squat. Then I rolled over, the bike on top of me. I admit it. I just laid there for a second. I looked at the sky, took a big breath, and unclipped my left foot. I rolled the bike off me and began to inspect the damage. The chain was totally jammed up between the crank and the ??? part of the bike that is near the crank. I tried over and over to push it down to get it free. Meanwhile people zoomed by me. Agh! Finally I freed it and reset it on the small ring. My hands were black with grease and they hurt from slamming the ground from the rollover/fall. No time to think. I got back on the bike, and slowly made my way up the rest of the hill. The rest of the bike was uneventful, but I was deflated. I knew I had lots several minutes. I was bummed. I vowed to make it up on the run. The run: In transition I saw Claire, who had started the wave behind me but had still caught me. I wasn't surprised by this, but it did motivate me more. How much time would I have to make up on the run to still beat Claire? Three, duh. A lot. I had to get moving! I began the run angry. I hadn't suffered on the bike. I had fucked up the bike yet again. I would KILL myself on this run. I would have a screaming run split. The run was hilly--more hilly then I had remembered. Still, I felt strong, if heavy with bike legs. My first mile was slow--a 7:38. I had to pick up this pace. 7:38's would not do. More than anything I wanted to match my run split from last year which was a 44:45. So far, I wasn't close to being on track. I picked up the pace and felt increasingly strong. I decided I would get faster every mile if it killed me. I managed to do this for the next three miles. Mile 5 was slower, but mile 6 was mostly downhill and the fastest of the day. I didn't match my run split of last year, but I wasn't that far off. My running has been so poor lately, that being that close was very welcome! When I finished the race I found Ange immediately and held out my hands, palms up. "What happened?" she said. I realized they (my hands) were nothing terrible to look at. They were dirty, sure, and red, but basically unscathed. "I fell," I whimpered. She gave me a hug and said, "Oh, they look swollen." They didn't. But I felt swollen and I had a lump in my throat, and it was comforting that she was there and that she worried. Thanks, Ange. "Did you win?" I asked. She was second. She had had a good race. Final splits: swim: 17:45 26/450 bike: 1:14:20 168/450 run: 45:47 84/450 OA 81/450 4th AG Stay tunned for a boring and detailed analysis of last year's results compared to this year's--and also the post race goodies!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Time. Dealing with it.

Time is a big factor in my life. I know it is a factor with everyone, but right now I'm talking about ME.
Today I had off. I will have every Tuesday off this year. My kids are in school for six straight hours, and I will have that six hours every single Tuesday until June.

Today, this panicked me. I have been so starved for time for so long, I didn't know what to do. Should I do laundry? Should I clean? no no. It's supposed to be Me time to unwind and get just a few things done, right? But won't I hate myself if I am busy later because I wasn't totally efficient now? Oh, the angst. It's going to take me awhile to figure this one out. I am happy about the problem, of course. Having time is good.

Here's what I did:
changed and made doctor's appointments for the kids.
changed the sheets on the mattresses on the floor.
worked out for 1.5 hours.
ate a peanut butter sandwich and read blogs.
Stared at the wall.
Stared at the lawn through the window (it's pouring) and tried to figure out what plants to dig and save and what plants to leave in the ground for the landscapers, who hopefully we will hire and will come someday, to bulldoze away.
Pet my dogs.
Tried to clean the bathroom. That was stupid b/c the construction people came in and got it all sawdusty and dirty again 10 minutes later.
Made reservations for a weekend away with Andy in January.
Thought about all the people I should be in contact with, and that I am not.
Made a list of all the things I need to get done.

That was my day. I must get the kids in 15 minutes.
I need to contemplate whether this was a well spent day,or not.
I had high hopes for it, and it seems I have fallen short.

In other news. I have a race this weekend and I am UNEASY. I have been working on speed in the pool and the run. My bike? Well, I'm not so sure how that will go. Today I was to do an hour ride with a fast 20 min at the end of it. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting I was supposed to be working hard. This is a problem. I would crank! And then start thinking about how I had to call to change my dentist appt or how it would be nice to get a massage, and the next thing you know I am in loaf city. Mental note: work on this, Mary.

In still other news. Everyone that did the PumpkinMan Half Iron this weekend (that I know) did AWESOME. This should make me feel good. Okay. Well, it doesn't. It makes me jealous. I have heard *rumors* that perhaps the bike and the run were both short at PumpkinMan. This could explain why most people I know bettered their Timberman times by like a HALF FUCKING HOUR.

But I'm not bitter or anything. Really. I am a very kind, rational, giving person who wants everyone to do well and feel great. Not all course are the same. That's just the way it is. Doing Bay State Marathon is not like doing Mt Desert, for example.

But okay, it does just piss me right off that in Triathlon World many race directors can't seem to measure! How fucking hard is it to take your Garmin out and just measure the right mileage? I understand it's hard for the swim. But for the bike and run? Road race directors are nearly always dead on. They have to be. USATF will not certify an event unless it has been measured accurately. So what's up with USAT? Why do they certify fucking everything, even if it is clearly, clearly, OFF--by like MILES?

And that's my beef of the day.

Now that I have some time off, I have a feeling I will be beefing more often.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tired Legs, Tired Brain, Tired Tired Tired

But happy.
I think.
We went away this weekend to celebrate my in-laws' 50th Wedding Anniversary. My mom in law has been very sick this whole summer; we canceled planned family trips to Idaho and Cape Cod because she couldn't be with us on those trips. The fact that she could make this trip made it very special. We had a really nice, expensive dinner at some super fancy restaurant to celebrate, and I ate all sorts of no no foods like real butter and bread and cheese and cake and wine.

This week was hard. We are still in one room. I am still living covered in plaster dust. I am still new to my new job. I am still pretty sure that my new job is only a band-aid job and there is much soul-searching needed to be done in order to figure that piece of my life out. My kids have started school and I am on duty to pick up and launder and make lunches and help with homework and love them even when they are super cranky at the end of a long school day.

And I am competing in two months in Clearwater.

You should see the five beautiful monster stress zits on my face.
And last night I dreamed I was swimming in the ocean and got impaled on a banana buoy--a buoy that only existed in my dream--made of iron and extending to the sea floor. No one in the dream understood that I was dead and couldn't plan the funeral.

Yikes. Analyze that one.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm Back

Well, sort of.
I'm not 100% back, but I'm getting there! The week after Timberman I did practically nothing. This week, though, I got in some great workouts, and though most were quite short, I think they were quality.

When I feel burnt out I've realized that the first thing to go is the bike. I want to like biking. Actually, I guess I do like biking, and that's the problem. I don't LOVE biking. I don't miss biking. I don't feel compelled to bike unless the plan says BIKE.

This is not true of swimming, and it's definitely not true of running. I love swimming--especially doing short intervals in the pool. I love fun bathing suits, the fact that pool workouts usually don't last more than an hour, the fact that I am a pretty good swimmer and I pretty much know what I am doing.

I feel less competent as a runner than a swimmer, but running is still number one in my heart. I feel completely out of sorts when I can't or don't run. I am working on being a triathlete, but I know I have the heart of a runner.

This is not to say that I love running when I am actually doing it. Often I want to stop when I am running-- often I feel pain, often I look at my watch in hopes the run will soon be over. But the feeling running leaves me with is fantastic. Also, I love the ease of getting ready for running. It's so simple! You can do it anywhere and you only need a good pair of running shoes, shorts, and a running bra to do it. Running is simple, pure and raw. It is hard. It hurts even when you take it easy.

Biking is so much more labor intensive. You really have to plan for the bike. You cover a lot of ground on the bike, so you must plan routes. Before you go out you need to have a good pair of biking shorts, a good helmet, your biking shoes, a bento box with gu or food, water bottles mixed with the right drink, a clean aero bottle in which to put said drink, you need to pump your tires and make sure you have an extra tube, co2 cartridge, lever thing to take your tire off, you cell phone, directions, extra cash, and ID.

Agh! PITA! Nothing is simple in biking. And then there's always the chance that when you're out there the route you've chosen won't be riding worthy, or that you'll flat and spend 20 minutes trying in vain to change your tire.

Most importantly, though, I'm just not that interested in biking. I read book after book on running--but I have yet to finish a book on bike training. I love to compete in road races, but I'm not really interested in racing my bike in a time trial or something. I'm obsessed with the fact that my run split was so stinky at Timberman, yet I actually placed MUCH lower on the bike, and I'm not bothered at all at that!

Anyway. Someday I may learn to love the bike. Or, if I don't, I may return to just being a runner who swims to cross train. We shall see.
Today is Labor Day--the official last day of summer, and the last day of my living in Maine. The car is packed, and after a last few hours of beach in the afternoon, we are off to Boston and back to the one room living.
I haven't even left yet and I'm already mourning. It has been a great summer. I have missed the hub, and I have been living out of bags for two months, but it has still been awesome. I love Maine. Someday, someday, I will move back here with the hub. and the kids. I hope. I really feel like it's where we belong. (Or, I should say, it's where I belong, and I want to drag everyone along with me!!)

Goodbye summer!
Goodbye Maine.