Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dad's Day

Happy Father's Day Dad! Thanks for everything.

Evidently I'm a one holiday a year blog posted. So this year is a shout out to all you dads, uncles, grandpas! 
You guys really do change lives.

Here is a such a cute movie about the father/daughter team from Harriot Grace

Friday, June 8, 2012

to strike with a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment

Have you ever had a day that went by and nothing really happened to make it memorable the next day? Lately it has been happening more and more. Even seems like those days have connected and created a whole string of days of just cruising through life. Training for CDA is winding down, one last weekend with back to back long rides and then TAPER! Working a job that requires more the 50 hours a week, plus a hobby taking more than 15 hours a week, it's a no brainer that one would just start cruising.

A wise friend suggested Russell Simmons' book Super Rich. I haven't read it yet but it's on Amazon for $5.97! A surprising life moment. It arrived yesterday on my doorstep and just browsed through it. I am so excited to start it. All day I have been thinking about it. During a staff meeting this morning I thought about being more intentional and being in the moment. Ironic because I was on a different planet during the entire meeting. I was making a mental list of things I missed in the last 24 hours. Life's little surprises that make a day memorable.

Drinking a beer out of a can brings me back to my large consumption of weasel piss freshman year of college. There's a reason I'm a beer snob and can't stand Coors Light. Last night I actually enjoyed a pop-top! There really is nothing like drinking a beer out of a can. Even better with the beer is a quality beer. Craft beer is taking the pop-top world by storm. It's not going to slow down anytime soon. It's like the wine corks going to screw tops for all you wine drinkers. The can keep the light and oxygen out which prolongs the life of the beer and makes the flavor that more enjoyable. Who knew I'd be drinking an oatmeal stout out of a can with dinner! Surprise.

Did you know that Marsha is coming home from Arizona soon? Or that sharing a car with your husband when you're 70 can be more pain than it's worth? Or that grandparents really do enjoy any moment spent with their grandkids even if it's once or twice a year? (I've been able to get over my lack of grandparent contact guilt) As much as there is nakedness in the showers at the Y in the mornings there is a ton of life's knowledge being thrown about. I used to get in and get out as fast as possible. But one day I started to listen and the stories they share are hilarious, sad, annoying, and all the other emotions. Luckily the Y swim ladies like the open showers so I will continue to listen, laugh, cry, and learn from the comfort of the shower stall.

The chemicals the USDA allow farmers to use to create mass pails of plump uniform blueberries sacrifices look for taste. Don't worry this is not going to turn into an organic food rant. I just want the taste. While visiting Trader Joe's I splurged and got a basket of organic blueberries. They would not have won most photogenic blueberries around but my word. The taste burst in my mouth as soon as I chomped and lingered awhile after I was done. Paired with some plain greek yogurt and a cup of coffee, best way to start the day.

Ryan Lochte.  Need I say more? Yesterday was I was eating my oats for breakfast and who came on the tv? Mr. Ryan Lochte himself. Telling me to get prepared for the Olympics. You can't help but set everything in your hands down and sit and watch. Think he might be interested in getting into triathlon after he retires...

It's been on my list of wants for the last couple of years and could never justify moving it to the need list. A week ago it moved and yesterday I went to the dark side. I ordered a smartphone. Now the question does arise why a smart phone moved to the need list and not just a phone. Besides the need to make calls and texts I'm getting lost so freakin' much I'm tired of it. These times of getting lost are not in a car but on a bike. That means 10 miles off course is a lot of unnecessary energy expended.I need something besides a large road atlas to keep me on track. So in a little less than 72 hours (if only FedEx delivered on Saturdays, right now it's sitting in the Chicago distribution center) I will be the proud user of this:  

You just never know what life brings. Yesterday seems like it was actually a pretty great day once I go through the little surprises. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and remembering what a great day today was.

Running tip #45632: Stock Coke A Cola in your pantry. After your long runs it just hits the spot. If you haven't tried it I highly recommend it. Cheers!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Most people assume my name is Maureen or Monique. Neither is true. It's Melissa. When I was little I must have been a little pain in the ass. My parents always called me Molasses. As in you're slow as molasses in January. Luckily it got shorten by the time I went to school. I just can't help myself, my name is Mo because I am slow.

On Friday I began the beginning of a break up. A heart wrenching, stomach punching break up. A single girl's break up. I won't go into the details for all party's involved sakes but it's made me think about what I have accomplished.

In October I completed my first 70.3. There have been many long runs where I've composed blog entries about the race but I just couldn't get myself to write about it. It is an accomplishment that I should have been really proud of but it's taken time, almost three and a half months, to really soak in the experience and realize what an accomplishment. I'm slow.

The race was in Austin, TX which has an average temperature of 73 degrees for October 23rd. In 2011 it was a cool 88 degrees and the bike computer registered 110 in the sun! Luckily the bike and run were in direct sun and on asphalt. I swear I thought I was in hell. I feel like Texas might be it's own kind of hell regardless but this day in particular I found religion.

The cannon went off and the professionals were off. About 10 minutes later they were out. Pretty incredible to watch the real tri-ers tri-ing. An hour and a half later the gun, note no cannon, went off and so was I and 105 of my closest friends. Best swim of my life. I just concentrated on one stroke after another. The buoys were flying by and I hit the first turn buoy and then the second. I hit land and was coherent enough to immediately begin stripping. At the top of the hill were large men eagerly waiting to remove the wetsuit in one fell swoop. They must practice a lot in Texas. I didn't stick around long enough to see.

I quickly got slathered with sunscreen and was off on the bike. Only in triathlon does one get stripped and slathered within 2 minutes. My legs felt great getting on the bike and the road was much nicer to my bike than the Corolla I used to drive the course the day before. Then it hit. Mile 13. All signs pointed to hell. I should have known then to get off and start praying. The wind. I had a head wind from 13 to mile 56. In between 13 and 56 there was dehydration and craziness ensued. I had only one girl in my age group pass me on the bike. I knew we were all having fun. Great balls of fire!

My family was at the end of the bike. I squeezed out a smile for .2 seconds and thankfully they caught it on camera. The run was 13.1 miles and a 3 looper. I'm in favor of multiple run loops. It allows you to run by the crowds that many more times and suck in their energy. Only problem with this loop was the beer tents. As you ran closer you could smell the alcohol. And those lovely supporters were even closer to the course yelling and spewing their alcohol breaths all over you. Granted it was already eight hours into the race and I don't blame them but next time maybe stay a little farther from the course when cheering. Multiple ice sponges, coke, and pretzels later I finally crossed the finish line at 6 hours 51 minutes and 14 seconds. I just wanted a beer.

There are so many ways to look at a triathlon and ultimately any judgement is usually unfair. You just never know which one of you is going to show up. It is what gravitates me to the sport. One race is one race and it can never be compared fairly with another. I am really looking forward to my next 70.3. It'll have to wait until 2013 (holy shit I think I may have found a solution to my phobia of commitment).

Running Tip #297190: Trim those toe nails.

(Semi) Apology #45908: I have family that lives in Texas. I don't mean to be hatin' on y'all but you're just crazy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Robert Allen Zimmerman!

                                                                     Source here
Happy 70th Bob! 

In '06 my mom and I got to see him live in Philly. Besides seeing the NKOTB live, I would have given anything to see him live. It was a dream come true. We were way up in the nose bleed section but that didn't matter! Bob still can rock! It was an unbelievable show- made my top 5. 
Two hours of pure heart, soul and DANCING!! 
God bless Bob!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom and I before the Whidbey Tri we rocked together!

The family my mom supports and loves unconditionally


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Crossing KY off the list

Good riddance to KY! 

This last weekend there was a 'Spring Training' of sort for the full/half Ironman trainees iin Eddyville, KY. If you've heard about the flooding in the midwest recently Eddyville is in the middle of it. So the training became focused on biking and running, with swimming cut do to murky/possibly disease infested waters. We rode 56 miles the first bike. My first ride with the new bike. We started on a hill and I just took off! I love the Schwinn but man, the Scott just flies. Such a graceful ride. There are quite a few differences between KY and Chicago. The most obvious, besides the accents, are the hills. They have hills! And hills that build on top of hills through farmland. I started out with the Ironman group who had crazy fast pace! At mile 25 my legs said no more and just turned it into a joy ride. It reminded me of the old days riding up in Anacortes, WA through the farms. We even rode through little towns that were quaint and cute. Not sure the locals knew what to do with us. They were all incredibly nice and patient drivers. No yelling or honking of the horns. It was a great place to ride. 

The second day we went for a true joy ride for 20 miles. It was humid but was really nice riding weather. After the ride, my coach didn't want me to run too much because a race this weekend. So instead of a 10 mile run we went for a 4 mile death run. It was pretty downhill but she pushed us to a 7:40 minute average! Fastest I've ever gone for that long of a distance. My internal organs were shutting done but we did it. Overall, I'm glad that I get to cross KY off my life. It was beautiful but would be a little hesitant to say I would want to stay in KY longer than the 3 days we were there.

I mentioned the race this weekend. Many of us from running club are running the Wisconsin Half Marathon Saturday morning in Kenosha, WI. This is the first race I am going into know that I can finish it and am running for a time. It will be interesting how it goes. I ended up coming down with a cold from this weekend and have been blasting my body with vitamin d3 in hopes to kill it off. And yesterday, I became an official biker. More on that later but I'll mention it involved blood, lots of ice and ibuprofen. Two days to go and despite the potential challenges on Saturday I'm looking forward to it. 

Growing up in eastern Kentucky like I did, I'm used to having a few guns around to protect me. -Loretta Lynn


Saturday, April 16, 2011

I'm a faker

I'm not sure if it's been the intense cabin fever that this year's Chicago winter has brought or my obsession to use 'faux' whenever possible the last month but I have felt that I have been going through the motions of life and kind of faking everything I do. That is, until recently when the sun came out and the weather warmed up and saw many crocus blooming. My favorite part of the spring is seeing the first signs of color and life brought by crocus even when snow is still on the ground. This year was no exception.

Last night we went to Lou Malnati's for dinner. It was stemmed from my friend wanting to relive life back at a Pizza Hut in 1987. Booths to sit in and pizza with LOTS of grease. I have only had Lou Malnati's take out which I learned has only been a small fraction of a true experience of eating at Lou Malnati's. First off, this particular location attracts women who have been under the tanning lamps for far too many hours and too many years. Their hair is teased out a minimum of four inches from their heads. And they provide endless entertainment with their conversation for those outside of their 'elite' circle. (Paul B, I know that these are your people and please take no offense. They were all really nice.) In addition to the lovely ladies, the walls are lined with wood panels, booths to eat in, and have Bears paraphernalia from years past. To complete the experience the is carpet is a plaid green. It was fantastic. 

We ordered The 'Lou' for the veggies and The 'Malnati Chicago Classic' for the meat eaters. The 'Lou' was delicious but the 'Malnati Chicago Classic' was covered with a thick delicious looking tomato sauce and looked irresistible. Now under all that delicious sauce was sausage. I have been a semi-vegetarian going on 5 years. Semi because I LOVE brats and a baseball game just would not be complete without a brat. Thinking that if I could eat a brat I could definitely handle a little sausage. Let's just say, last night I found out that I am officially a vegetarian. No longer can I cheat with meat. I can no longer fake being a vegetarian.

Today was supposed to be a long training run hosted by the Wisconsin Marathon for those running the 1/2 and whole marathon at the beginning of May. The Y Running Club is training for the 1/2 and we were all supposed to meet up in Kenosha, WI bright and early at 7am which meant leaving home a  little after 5am. For various reasons everyone decided not to make the trek up except me. The weather forecast was crap, rain, 40 degrees with sustained winds of 15-25 mph with gusts up to 35. To run in that and sacrifice a morning of sleep is just not my thing. Another run clubber suggested we run in the afternoon, closer to home. We ran in the Forest Preserves which I had not been to since last fall. It was fantastic! The weather cooperated. A bit windy and just a sprinkling of rain. It felt like we kept a good consistent pace throughout even with little inclines and the wind being all over the place. After 2 hours and 5 minutes of running and 13 miles come and gone I wanted to keep going. On the drive home I realized I am no longer a runner who runs to get her workout over and done with, but a runner who truly enjoys running. No longer can I say I'm a faux runner but I'm a runner.  

One thing I do not fake is being a procrastinator. I spent a good amount of time this afternoon looking at all these pretty pictures.

P.S. Do you think that now that I'm a vegetarian runner that I can get two beers at the end of the WI half instead of a beer and brat?