Monday, January 31, 2011



I find it troublesome. It's an uneasy tension; breaking things down (or being broken down) with action and then attempting to cobble things together again. We seldom live in the balance between the two.

Yesterday I had had a discussion with my coach about recovery. Sunday I ran long and it went quite well  in many ways (including that I didn't get hopelessly lost even though I was in Framingham running during Jordan's swim meet).  I felt pleased with myself and wrote a novel about  the run in painstaking detail in my Training Peaks log. The one detail I didn't really cover, however, was how I recovered, and so, inevitably perhaps, Kurt asked, So how was the recovery?

My athletes will laugh at this, because I am always asking them how they recovered, or asking them to recover, or instructing them how to recover. But when Kurt asked me I was unprepared to answer. Okay, I guess. I feel okay now. My legs aren't really trashed. 

Yes, but HOW had I recovered. Had I taken an ice bath?

Umm. no. I was sitting on a hard bench watching Jordan at a swim meet. No ice bath. Just leftover egg and bagel in my lunch bag and some water. And anyway, I hate ice bathing so much that I have decided taking them is totally stupid.

We then went on to discuss the effectiveness (or not) of the ice bath.  (Or, I should say, I went on and on about cold water immersion in the exercise phys. literature and he was sorta silent until the end when he said, Just do what I say, Mary.)


All this talk of recovery got me thinking about --- recovery.

I feel like I always am being asked to recover, or asking myself to recover, or trying to allow myself to recover.  Yet my life is completely NOT set up to recover. It is set up to be a crazed lunatic. And why is that?
I think it's because we are taught from an early age that recovery is for losers.
Losers take naps.
Losers get up late.
Losers hang out on the couch eating and watching TV.
Losers snuggle under warm blankets and say "leave me the fuck alone" after a hard workout.

Winners, on the other hand, work their asses off, like ALWAYS. I was not raised by a Tiger Mother, but that doesn't mean I didn't get the message loud and clear.  Work your ass off, go to a first rate school, and then keep working, cause if you don't you will be a wastrel who is an incompetent, lazy, loser.

What I find so hard about this sport is this uncomfortable tension. Work hard--work REALLY REALLY hard, but also recover, be good to yourself... listen to your body--don't overdo it-- etc etc blah blah. WHICH IS IT?

It's both, of course. I just find the balance hard to manage. I have trouble being both hard core and also committed to rest--I always seem to err too much on one side or the other. It's a problem.

I really am not a big believer in the ice bath. How can something that makes me so tense and uncomfortable be good for me after such a hard effort? I prefer heat and stretching to cold after a hard workout (that sentiment didn't go over so well in the PBM school of thought, I will add.)   I try to eat after I have a hard workout, and I try to eat DURING my long workouts. But in general the minute I finish working out I have something I need to attend to: a child, dinner, work, a pressing internet life, etc.  No time for naps and warm blankets and a life of leisure.

And you?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am having an extremely ugly week.

My husband constantly tells me that I look the same all the time; that there is no significant difference between how I look when I wake up, how I look after a race, how I look on a Saturday afternoon and how I look when I get all dolled up to go out.

But I think he is full of shit. I know the truth: sometimes I look like a babe and sometimes I look like ass.
And this week I look like ass.

There are several contributing factors to my looking like ass-ness. First, I have a cold sore on my bottom lip that is seriously threatening to take over my entire chin. I will add here that I have, to my memory, never had a cold sore before, so this is a new development--a newly won virus. Now, if I had acquired said virus from doing something scandalous and hot I think I would feel okay right now. But the truth is I have been doing no illicit snogging (I'm sure Andy is glad to hear this) and so I must have picked it up from a glass or from dog slobber or from God knows fucking what.  Apparently 80% of the U.S. population has acquired the Herpes virus by the time they are 20. I find this hard to believe. If that was true then wouldn't I be witnessing cold sores on people on a daily basis? And the truth is, I'm not. It's just me. Me and my leper-like lesion.  Me: 40 and with a big honking HERPES sore on my lip. YUCK!

So that is one reason I am ugly this week.

I am also ugly this week because I am pasty white and my skin is dry from the cold. My lips are chapped, my hands look like they (and therefore I) am 300 years old because they are so dry and cracked.  I need my eyebrows waxed, my hair is constantly sweaty and in a ponytail, and because I work from home I feel no need to wear anything even moderately attractive.

I need a day of beauty, desperately. A manicure, a wardrobe change, a makeover, a new hair cut, a tan, a wax, and most of all, I need my fairy godmother to please magically remove this cold sore.  Unfortunately, I foresee only workouts, snow days and children in my near future, so I may remain ugly for quite awhile. It's depressing.

In other news my dogs are all fixed up. $2000 later and we are minus one uterus, one set of testicles,  and two herniated eyelids. The dogs appear to be in good spirits despite their recent losses. Andy cannot even look at Ernie's removal without shuddering. When he picked up Ernie from his surgery the vet tech told him that everything looked just great on Ernie. Andy replied, "That's easy for you to say; you're not a guy."

Tonight and tomorrow we are supposed to get another foot of snow. I'm beginning to think this is some sick joke being played on us by a higher power. There is NO place to put any more snow. Soon we will be completely buried, unable to even leave our homes. The last time I remember having so much snow was in 1996. That winter I was living on Beacon Hill in Boston. I remember my car became so buried after one snowstorm that I, and my neighbors, walked atop the cars, shoveling out from the top down. I remember not even being able to find my car for the longest time.

Anyway, back to the beginning of this post. If you know of any ways to make yourself feel less homely that can be achieved without actually leaving the home, let me know.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Boston Prep 16 Miler 2011 RR

This is my fourth time running this race, and I must say, I think I am a lifer.  It's got the cold, it's got the hills, it's competitive, it's a nice long course without being sooooo long, and every year a whole slew of my hard core runner friends race it.  Last year I worked my tush off during the race and was able to snag a P.R.  This year I didn't work quite so hard (until the end) but I still had a relatively good race if I do say so myself.

I drove up with a few of my runner girlfriends from GNRC.  It was a pleasant ride full of chit chat and a Dunkin Donuts stop.  We arrived in plenty of time to snag a good parking spot and to hang out and discuss the best racing attire for the day's predicted cold temps.

The weather was supposed to be VERY cold, but, in fact, it was not so bad for running. It was about 2 degrees when we left Westwood, but it was definitely up to 6 or 7 by the time the race started. I think we may have even actually raced in the low teens. It certainly did not seem that cold, and the predicted winds were relatively mild. I've raced and trained in colder weather, that's for sure.

Per order of Senor Coach Perham I was supposed to warm up a couple miles and do a few strides. Unfortunately, I am morally opposed to warming up for road races that take place in the icy landscape of NH in January.  It was too cold to go outside until I absolutely positively had to. This is a 16 mile I figured the first few miles would serve very well to warm me up, thank you very much! I did manage to run to the starting line...

I started out with my friends Rose and Maria. I moved ahead of them slightly for a few minutes, and then they passed me back and I fell behind. I spent the next five miles trying to catch them while simultaneously trying to keep my effort in check. I am very proud of my performance last year. The problem with it was that working that hard in an early season race left me so trashed I was unable to work hard again for a week. So this year my plan was to somehow race well without totally trashing myself. I finally did catch Rose and Maria and we ran for most of the race together. Here we are at the mile 6 mark. I must say winter racing photos are never very hawt...  Had I known there was a person behind a camera I certainly would have at least smiled...

You can see from our pictures that we were quite bundled up. Maria (who grew up in Guatemala and is ALWAYS cold) is really really bundled up! (She is in the orange and Rose is in the black...)

So we ran... and ran and ran and ran.
The first half off the course has a few very good hills, but a lot of it is downhill so you can get a pretty good pace going. The problem is that your pace is totally wrecked from miles 9-13. Here is an elevation profile of the race, slightly doctored for fun by the race directors:

 So we hit mile 9... you can see it is the little blip just beyond the skiers bum. That part is like straight up. You basically slow to like a little hop/walk movement to try to get up it. Then it goes down a bit, and then.... your pace is officially trashed. It goes up... and then up... and then up.... for like 2+ miles. During those uphill miles I got a tiny bit ahead of Rose and Maria. Not by much (I was told by them later I was always in sight) but just enough to make me run scared. Where were they? Were they going to pass me and leave me in the dust? Unfortunately, I couldn't quite muster the energy to be too scared... and my pace after the hills remained rather paltry... 

until Rose passed me. 
As she passed  I said, "You got this, Rose!"
but inside me I thought, "Oh no you don't!"

So Rose moved on... and she ran fast... and faster... and I ran fast... and faster... and we were passing girls and were passing boys and we were pumping our arms and she was just just just out of reach! So I pressed harder! And she pressed harder! and we sprinted that last mile... we dropped our pace to 6:40 and held it! Maria raced just barely barely behind us and we all plowed into the finish bam bam bam.

It was fun. But Rose still beat me... :) and I barely beat Maria. 

It was a great race and so awesome to be running and racing really hard with my friends.

After the race we changed and a whole bunch of us went out to lunch for burgers and beers (ahem... except a few people who shall remain nameless who had salads ! Lame!) but many of us had burgers.... (Mel! Send me the pics ! :)

It was a great time.

Final stats:
2:02:43, 7:41 pace
5th AG 40-49 (not sure how many in our AG, but I think it was about 135)
21st woman out of about 300
134 overall out of about 700.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I've been thinking about how much or little control I have over my life, my actions, my being.
I've been thinking about what, if anything, is pre-destined, and about randomness and order in human nature.

Much of this thinking has been brought on by my reading of late. In the last month (in addition to some cheesy fiction) I have read:

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Shiff
Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles by Robin Baker
The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I'm not sure I will be able to bring all those books together to form one smashing conclusion that resonates coherently. That is a tall order. But surprisingly, these books do share a denominator and I want to get at that. They all deal with behavior and interpretation of that behavior, with our control over destiny, and also our complete lack of control over it, with nature's firm hold on the way of things, and with nature's failure to provide consistency in the way of things at all. Unfortunately, to really explore each of these books in the way they deserve would require me to write a dissertation, and spend months doing so. That's not gonna happen... so you will have to deal with my measly stab at this, knowing that there is actually way more to say, and to debate.


I loved Shiff's Cleopatra, although I'm not sure I really learned more than I already knew after reading it. The truth is, very few historical documents exist now that we can trust to tell us her real story. History is like that in general. It is HIS STORY, of course. The men who detailed Cleopatra's life during her life and in the centuries just after her life had certain views of women-namely that they were less than men in every way.  Additionally these historians were prone to hyperbole. That was the way of history back in the day..(and now, too, sometimes). It was meant to entertain as much as anything, and sometimes the truth was stretched or eliminated as a result. (For a moment let's not get into the idea that truth may not even exist, as the past evaporates into nothingness and we are only left with imperfect and inconsistent memories of it and nothing else.) Anyway, there is almost no reliable information on the life of Cleopatra. That is the one real truth.

Cleopatra got her extensive power through her sexual prowess, these male historians (you know, like Plutarch) say. It wasn't that she was simply a savvy, power-hungry, politically astute leader born into complete privilege and position--it was that she was a wily little slut, willing to sleep around to get the power she craved. Meanwhile these same male historians cast Julius Caesar to be just what Cleopatra likely really was--a savvy, power-hungry, politically astute leader, even if he was victim to Cleopatra's seductive advances.Sure, he was a lady killer; sure he slept around like nobody's business, but that just makes him a handsome guy, appealing to the ladies, not a womanizer who used his seductive powers to gain control of say-- EGYPT.

Anyway, the book got me thinking about how little we really know about people; how often we are just left with the interpretations of others--or our own interpretations--and how there may be little truth in any of it.  I have no real control over how I am cast by others; not really. And my own interpretations of me and my life is skewed by the fact that I am living it.  Many of you feel you know me. And you do. You know exactly what I have selected to tell you, and you know exactly how you have interpreted that information, and you have come up with an amalgam of a human being in your mind who may or may not bear any resemblance to the person I am--if there is any one person I am in the first place. I am one person to you, another person to someone else and another to someone else. I am not consistent. I am entirely consistent. It all makes me feel like an empty vat--in which people dump their interpretations of me--and where is the real me? Is there even a real me? Was there a real Cleopatra?

Are you still there? Or did you start skimming paragraphs ago?

Onto Sperm Wars.
Apparently I want to have sex with people based only on evolutionary drive. So do you. Wanting to have sex with someone has little do to with whether we have things in common or "connect" at a deep level with them. That whole connect thing--it is just a guise. My desires (and yours) only have to do with whether my body perceives you to have the sperm that could impregnate me most effectively. It has to do with timing, it has to do with hormonal drive. Whether I am (or you are) monogamous or a total cheater has little to do with you your upbringing/moral stance/set of ethics and everything to do with your desire to carry your specific line of genes into the future.

In The Red Queen I learned that from an evolutionary perspective we humans are uniquely designed to seek monogamy and then subsequently cheat in order to ensure our genes outlive us. You do have a choice as to whether you are monogamous or not. But your drives belong to evolutionary biology--to your unconscious need to bear progeny and carry on your life into future generations.
Did you know that 10% of all children are conceived by a person OTHER than their purported father? And that's the stat from married couples. It goes up to 15% when talking about unmarried couples.

Or so the book says. And I buy it. Some of it. I think.

The problem is, of course, that admitting I buy it leaves me more a product of human nature and less a product of my own design. In other words, who am I outside of my unconscious desires? How can I believe in my motivations if I can't even trust my mind to fall in love based on ... well love... and not a biological instinct? Further, in reading Cleopatra I drew the conclusion that I am only an amalgam of your interpretations of me, a vessel for others ideas of who I am. So what does that leave me with?

Where is Mary? Does she even exist?

In Outliers I learned that if I can just do something for 10,000 hours I may someday be Bill Gates. Except I won't be. Because only the uniquely privileged are able to accrue 10000 hours in any one area. Additionally, I  need to have been brought up in an upper middle class family to have also learned the social acumen necessary to catapult my 10,000 hour expertise into success. (At least I have that going for me!)

So, according to Gladwell success isn't a product of meritocracy. And we already knew that, anyway. But still... on top of being a vessel for others' interpretations, on top of being a slave to my biologically driven desires, I am also successful, or not, based on a certain set of features that have nothing to do with ME the "person" and everything to do with circumstance.

Okay. Right. So what is my (not so smashing) conclusion?

That I have no control over my thoughts, instincts and behavior.
Even though I have been brought up to believe that I have total control over my thoughts, instincts and behavior.

Of course I don't buy this completely. How could I? To do so would be to erase me -- the me I think I am-- from existence. But there is something illuminating, also, about accepting that I am not in control... that my lot in life is both mine and not mine, that my instincts are both my responsibility and also outside of me and belonging to a greater whole.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Holding Steady

The kids and Andy were  home last Wednesday during our Nor'Easter, and then home half of Thursday. And then we had the weekend. And today is MLK day-so no work or school. Tomorrow we are expecting bad weather again. My daytime peace has been disrupted! (I'm so spoiled...)

The result is that I've been rather discombobulated.   My attention is all over the place; I seem unable to accomplish anything of consequence. I DID get in my training this week despite the amount of time my lovely family was at home.  I squeezed in runs during Jordan's two day swim meet.  I watched Scooby Do re-runs with my kids while riding the trainer. I swam and did yoga before anyone was awake.

And today I got out of the house for a long walk in the woods with the pups. (I thank my wonderful husband for allowing me the respite! Not that I asked. I kinda just left.... :)

The woods were cold and still and lonely and  the snow was deep. We lost the trail a few times, but that made it all the better.

Ernie and Hazel find the trail head.
but the trail was easily lost.
Hazel certainly did not mind losing the trail, of course...

I also spent a good chunk of the weekend at Jordan's swim meet in Milford. We arrived for warm up at 7 am on Saturday, and she didn't have her first event until 9:45, so I got in a nice, butt cold 10 mile run while I waited. Milford is an hour away by car from where we live, but   knew the roads well since I ride there frequently. It was actually quite cool to run on roads that I have only ever ridden on. 

Then it was back to the hot pool to watch Jordan swim!

She's getting more and more fun to watch. Here she competes in the  200 IM.
And here she is finishing the 200 breaststroke.

Here is a closer shot, just cause I know you are fascinated!

And here she is with her friend Kate. They write all over their bodies to create tattoos... who knows why. It is cool.  Jordan is the one with her back to the camera.

I am working on a post that involves a discussion of a book I just read called Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex. I  tell you this only because I have been so boring lately in my writing, and I don't want you to give up on me just yet. I do have some somewhat unsavory and controversial things to say. They are just percolating right now-getting ready to be spewed forth... not to be too graphic or anything.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Really Don't Care if It's Pretty

The snow annoys me. I don't ski. I don't snowshoe. I don't like being cold or wet.

This begs the question--why do I live here? Oh, I don't know.....

Cause I am a wuss who can't stray far from home? Or maybe I do like the seasons... I have always felt that the torture of winter in New England makes the spring time so, so sweet. If it was nice year round, would I become apathetic about spring?

Yesterday we had a major storm. I think we have about 2 feet out there. And okay, I admit it. It's really beautiful  with the snow capped trees and stuff.

But let's talk about my run today, shall we? Within 30 seconds of leaving the house I had slipped and slid into an icy mush puddle. Then, when I got onto the main road, two cars beeped at me (and not to say hello) within the first 1 minute of being out there. And I know what they were thinking, Why the hell must she run today? Get out of the road, you psycho!

But you all know why I had to run, so I won't even explain myself.

To my credit, I did cancel the long run I had planned, and I did the hill workout for tomorrow instead. The hill I use to do hill repeats is about .25 miles long, and straight up--and devoid of cars. So it was a good choice. Unfortunately, like every other road, it was a slushy mess. Hence it was a really really slow run, and a wet one too. By the end I just ached for the crisp cold of winter WITHOUT any freaking snow.
In other news. My dog (Ernie) needs $1500 dollar eye surgery to fix his inner lids. (AKA cherry eye.) Argh. He also needs to get neutered, so they are removing his balls and fixing his eyeballs in the same day. I also found out Jordan (my oldest daughter, not a dog) needs braces. I discovered two things when I had the meeting with her orthodontist. One, it will cost $5000 to fix her teeth. Two, she has to wear her retainer for the rest of her life! Holy Cow! That has changed since I was a kid. But yes, I admit, if I still had my retainer maybe my whole bite wouldn't be completely screwed up now.

So I am soon facing poverty and with very cold, wet feet.

I just noticed that Ernie and Hazel are playing with a cake knife.
Ernie says, What's the big deal? I found it here on the floor!

Hazel says, It wasn't me. I didn't steal it. Blame the red-eyed little guy.

I leave you with a few pictures of our winter wonderland which makes running outside suck.

Here Hazel is inviting Ernie to play.
 And here they are doing the snow wrestle.

Stay warm.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I found out this morning that I have been invited back onto the 2011 TriBike Transport Team. I am pretty darn excited. They are good people yonder at TriBike...

I love their product (anything that reduces the stress of traveling with a bike--or rather, eliminates the stress--is pretty sweet IMHO.) To boot, as I said, they are just good people. I also like the people ON the team. And, naturally, I like that it is a pretty sweet sponsorship. That might be my favorite part of all.

So, yep. I'm happy.

There are a few other things I am pleased about, too. The first is that next summer I will have a vegetable garden. I have been waiting to have one... until we moved to Maine, or until I had a piece of yard larger than a postage stamp. But that is not soon happening, and I am done waiting. SO, I am ripping up the front yard and putting a big ass vegetable garden there.

Go me!
Fuck everyone else! I no longer care if my yard is an eyesore! I will plant zinnias and marigolds along the peripheriy so it will be not so very ugly. And mabye I will try to mask the chicken wire fencing I will use to keep the rabbits out with morning glories.

Today I ordered flats, landscape fabric, a large heating mat for seedlings (I wonder if an electric blanket would work... has anyone tried that--anyone who is a gardener randomly reading this tri blog?), and of course, seeds! I love growing things from seed. I plan to have radish, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, beets, sweet red peppers, pumpkins, gourds, and string beans. I'm also growing strawberries in hanging pots, and I'm growing all of my annual flowers from seeds, like impatiens, petunia, pansy and, of course, the all important zinnias and marigolds.

I can't wait to get my hands dirty. They have been so clean as of late, and it's getting tiresome.

In workout news, Kurt had me do the evil 20 minute FTP test today.
It hurt. And I sucked. But I have hope! (Hope springs eternal.. yes it does..!) because even though I am not where I want to be, I was handed a goal. A GOAL! I love goals. I can work pretty damn doggedly when I have a goal. Must... Get.... Goal.....pant pant.
I just love having a direct target.

Other than the test nothing exciting has happened in workout-ville lately. I've been doing some swimming. And some running. and some biking on the trainer. and some yoga and a few sit-ups. That pretty much covers it.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

2010 in Workout Numbers

Each year I like to add up all the numbers. I find it inspiring to read others' numbers, and satisfying to view my own.

One little note: I read several bookish blogs--blogs written by reading obsessed women who put my annual reading volume to shame.  Do you know that they play the same numbers games as we do? How many books read, how many reviews, how many starred reviews, top ten lists in each genre... I just find that amusing. We love to document our obsessions, huh?

Anyway, back to triathlon.

Even including those 10 weeks of extremely low volume my numbers for 2010 are pretty good, I think.

Some of you hard core bikers will find my biking miles rather paltry. My runner friends will likely be surprised at how few miles I now run compared to them. Both my non-swimming and swimming friends will likely find my swimming excessive given it's not my primary sport.

And now.... drumroll..... I know you can barely stand the wait....

In 2010 I worked out for 606 hours (25.25 days) and I traveled 5,624 miles.
TaDah! (Go Mary-- you obsessed and insane woman! The crowd roars... )

I swam 376,550 yards (214 miles)  in 123 hours.
I biked 4,232 miles in 253 hours.
I ran 1178 miles in 165 hours.
I did strength work and yoga for 65 hours.

I completed 8 road races (a 16 miler, a 10 miler, a 30K, two 10Ks, two 5ks, and one 5.2 mile race)
I swam in 4 swim meets and at them I swam... a lot of events, but most notably a 1650 at one meet (which I had never done before!) and the 100 yard fly and the 100 meter fly at two others (last done when I was 17...))
I raced 7 triathlons (1 full IM, 2 half IM, 1 oly and 3 sprints)
I raced in my first bike time trial.
This year, for the first time, I also won two triathlons. That is cool.

Okay! Enough patting myself on the back. pat pat.
Onto 2011! Yahoo!

Friday, January 7, 2011


I love food.
I have always loved food.
I like all food, even not really real foods, like Devil Dogs and Cheese-Its.

This is generally not a problem for me in terms weight. Because I exercise. A lot.

Still, every winter I gain weight, and every winter I start to contemplate whether I should try harder to change my diet so I can shed that weight and become a better version of ME. A new diet offers the promise of losing weight, but it also offers the  promise that maybe said diet will enable improved performance.

I have read all about how one should eat to train well. I know about the timing of foods, the correct combination of food, the correct amount of calories I should consume during workouts and also throughout the day according to my height and activity level. I have also read everything in terms of types of diets: The Paleo Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Atkins Diet, Diet for a New America (the classic text to make you never want to eat a chicken ever again...) The China Study, Fitzgerald's Racing Weight, Andrew Weil's texts on The Optimum Diet, Ryan's Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, Eberle's Endurance Sports Nutrition...


But it doesn't change the fact that at 4 pm all I want (and therefore eat) are several pieces of toast with tons of peanut butter slathered on, or a few pieces of milk chocolate (not dark) also with peanut butter, and maybe a bowl or three of Grapenuts (no peanut butter--maybe some raisins) or a big hunk of Challah bread (which I really only bought for the kids! Really!) with several big chunks of hard, really sharp cheddar cheese on the side. 

It doesn't change that.

Every year in about  mid-June, some weight comes off. I have no idea why this happens. I eat as much in June as I do in January. But it does come off... maybe because my hours of weekly exercise starts to tip into the absolutely insane. I usually then hold that weight until the end of the season, and then gain weight, and then ....

I am here.

When I tell Andy that I'm concerned... that the weight won't come off and I feel bulky and slow, he just sighs. Mary... this happens every year, and every year you hit racing weight right when you need to....

Yeah... but......

Why can't I change? Why do I have no discipline around my diet--whether I have weight to lose or not? In the summer my diet is really no better. When I'm with Alina in Ocean Park we drink wine and go to the ice cream store almost every night.

There is no point to this post. I think I just lament that some people seem to be able to change their diets because they know they will live longer and feel better if they do. I know vegetarians, vegans, people who eat strictly according to the Paleo way of eating, and those who are totally gluten free.  How do they do it? How do they stick to it?

I dont' really believe in deprivation. This could be why I never have success in sticking to any of those healthier ways of eating.  I mean, what is a life without a big bowl of New York Super Fudge Chunk?  (Please don't say a shorter life...) Sometimes I wonder if I don't believe in deprivation simply because I don't WANT to believe in it, though.

I'm not sure I'm looking for any tips. I think I just need people with whom to commiserate.
I love food--from peanut butter and Fluff on Wonder bread to brussel sprouts. I envy you if you are able to make yourself believe that you just want the brussel sprouts, and not the Fluff on white bread.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year

I haven't written for a bit.
It's not that I haven't wanted to write; it's that I have been strangely conflicted on what to write.

Writing comes most easily to me when I have nothing to say. How ironic is that? The last couple of weeks I have had a lot on my mind, and that has made it hard to put forth anything of interest or substance on this here blog.

On New Year's morning I went for a run with my friend and athlete, Maria, and another friend, Matt. We went 13 miles (okay, Maria, I know you did 14... :). It's the longest I've run in a very long time and it felt great. We weren't fast, but steady. And the conversation was good. I always love to start the new year with a long run or a race. It beats waking up hung over, that is for sure. I have always felt like celebrating the first day of the new year with a massive hangover is depressing (which is not to say I have not started many a year that way...) But still, what does having a hangover say about the year to come? It is not an auspicious beginning. Not at all.

So what about the year to come....
I have always liked the resolution part of New Year's. The problem is that I rarely adhere to my resolutions. This is likely because they are all of the same general variety: I will be a better mom, wife, coach, friend, person.... I will go faster. I will work harder. I will eat perfectly. I will be perfect. etc.

I realize making such goals is rather.... stupid. What does it look like to be a better mother? And why always BETTER?.... It is always about being better. Harrumph.

I should start framing things differently... like my resolution for 2011 is to be even more selfish than last year. Or... more specifically my goal is to buy more clothing/bathing suits/yoga outfits for myself, get more massages, and to allow myself more snuggle time with the dogs on the couch while reading books and ignoring my lovely little children. Or... oh boy... this is getting good. I will have at least one sweet  treat every day all year. Or, I will allow myself to buy two books a month at Barnes and Nobles, just CAUSE. Or, I will go out to eat with my friends at least once every other week all year long, OR how about , --- I will say the word FUCK every day for a year... or how about I will masturbate--both metaphorically and physically-- at least once a day all year?

Now.... those are some resolutions I could really get in to....

So, this blog is about triathlon, so what are my resolutions there?

One big goal I have is to stop asking myself to outperform-- myself.
I want to be with wherever I am... just be there... and not feel crappy about myself for not being ahead of where I actually am.

I'm also resolving to change things up a bit in my training. What I have been doing-- well, it's worked. When I started triathlon I was an average age grouper. Now am an above average age grouper. I am pleased about that--definitely pleased--and I owe my betterment mostly to my coach, Jen. She catapulted me... from average-ville  to above average-ville. She helped me believe I could be up there with the super fast girls--that I could be in the mix. And then she trained me so I could be.
She worked very hard for me. And I love and appreciate her for that.

But for the last few months I have been antsy. I have wanted to break out and try something new... I even tried coaching myself for a stretch to see what would happen! (I ended up having to take 10 weeks off... so that didn't work so well, I guess....) Anyway. I have been fidgety. I want to know more, learn more, expand my horizons... etc. and so on. And that requires movement. Movement can be scary. It can also help you to grow.

So, in 2011 I need to work triathlon from a different angle. And so I am going to work with a new coach this season.
I miss Jen already. That is not easy.
But I am really excited about what's happening next.

Happy New Year.