becoming a happy adult in a sunny sustainable world.
As a little Greek girl, there is nothing better than delicious, buttery, flaky phyllo dough prepped to perfection. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a phyllo-master father and my belly was often treated to scrummy baklava, spanakopita and tiropitas. To this day, my comfort food is good spanakopita.
So, when I was informed by my doctor that my body was producing gluten antibodies and told that I needed start a gluten-free diet, I knew I had to have one last hurrah before saying goodbye forever, and that’s when I pulled out my pastry brushes and went on a search for decent phyllo in Augusta (btdubs, it doesn’t exist…there is only “ok phyllo” and “crappy phyllo”).
*The key to good phyllo cooking is LOTS of butter and moving quickly so the phyllo doesn’t dry out.
After filling my belly…and consuming the entire 9X13 dish (over a few days)…I have settled in to what will be some of the hardest few months of my life. I embark on a journey of a lactose-free, fructose-reduced, gluten-free, vegetarian diet. And then I get to add things back in, bit by bit, to see what it is that is making my belly swell up like a beach ball when I eat a meal. Yay.
Goodbye gluten, I will always love you. But, it’s me, not you. I’m sorry. We’ve had a good run. And you’ve been a good friend. Kinda.
But, just for once, I’d like to have five normal senses. I think that would be pretty special. I’d just like to have a good one of these:
I wasn’t born nose deficient; I seem to have developed a horrible sense of smell over the 27 years of my life. Not sure if it’s the numerous concussive blows to my head or that I work in a building set to be condemned for a severe toxic mold infestation, but my sense of smell has deteriorated over time. And rapidly in the past couple years. Now that I think about it, it may just be a coping strategy so that I can function in the jail instead of being overcome by the radiating stench of mold, bologna, and body odor.
So, when I can smell something in my everyday life, the stentch must be overwhelming. It’s not usually the subtle smell of garlic on your hands from last night’s dinner preparation. It’s usually because the air smells like something is dying. Right. Under. Your. Feet. (Nope, it’s never the good smells that penetrate my concussed-nose). Fortunately, usually something isn’t actually dying under your feet.
Last week, however, I got to experience the real (delicious?) thing. I stumbled out of the court house, trying to rush to the library on my lunch hour to pick up my items on hold that came in (oh the excitement). As soon as my pumps hit the concrete outside, I stopped cold in my tracks. And turned to the investigator with me and queried in an utterly ladylike manner: “Oh. My. Fucking. Gosh. What the fuck is that shit? Did they bring a number of dogs down to shit on the front lawn?”
His response: “Ah, FPL* must be cranking up their grinders.”
“That’s the smell of cows being ground into packagable meat?”
“Oh. *wretch* My. *wretch* Fucking. *wretch* I *wretch* don’t think I’ll ever *wretch* be able to eat *wretch* again.”
I wish my blog had smell-o-vision so that you all could share in this smell. But, please just believe me, it was the worst smell I’ve ever smelled in my life. And I regularly go to jails during the Georgia summer where inmates get limited AC and even more limited showers. So, let’s just say, despite my poorly working schnozz, I’ve smelled some pretty rank things. It was a mix of dog poo, dead body, swamp, compost, and brussel sprouts. And some extra ingredient that I just can’t figure out. Maybe dead, decaying cow.
I truly believe if anyone could go to that plant and smell it. And see it. And know what is going on, they would never eat meat again.
Now, please excuse me while I continue to wretch over the toilet just at the memory of that smell.
*FPL is the number 1 privately owned provider of beef in the southeast. They are headquartered in Augusta.
There are two jails I frequent in my judicial circuit. When I first started my job, I preferred one over the other. One afforded a cleaner setting with far more private meeting spaces. But, oh it was 15 minutes away (a helluva commute for my small town). And the other, it was two blocks from our office (err…trailers…) and so easy to access. So I liked that jail better.
And then, I realized I didn’t like that jail so much. It smells. And you sit in a room made of clear plexiglass. In the middle of each jail floor. So all the inmates that you aren’t meeting with can gawk and heckle and scream “miss attorney, miss attorney, you gonna see me?”
No. I’m not.
First off, you aren’t my client.
And secondly, your hands are down your pants, enjoying yourself a little too much while I talk to my clients.
So, no. No, I am not going to see you.
It’s pretty clear given the history of the blog, that my posting has been sparse this summer…and fall…oh and last spring. And like I said previously, the post-ironman blues are fucking real, peeps. You spend 6+ mos. training 15-20hrs per week. And then, all of a sudden, you’re not doing that anymore. You no longer have a strict training schedule hanging over your head. You no longer spend every waking hour planning your next nap. And you no are no longer constantly eating to keep up with a 6000 calorie a day diet.
So the question is, where do we go from here?
Well, we’re living. That’s what we’re doing.
I’ve disappeared since my last post on post-Ironman Blues. But not because I’m blue anymore. Because I am happy. I’ve been cooking. And eating. And occasionally running. But I’ve been happy. My life has been nice. It took losing a multidimensional life to Ironman training to teach me how much I love a well balanced life.
To learn how much I love spending time with the important people (furry or otherwise) in my life.
And here’s the thing, I started this blog a while ago when I moved to the town where I now live (a vagueries.). It was my first experiment in being an adult and I wanted to preserve the memories and have a memoir-style blog. And that got lost in talking about running workouts and kvetching about races. And eventually, I just stopped wanting to blog. So I’m not going to do that anymore.
I’m not sure what this blog is going to be.
But it’s going to be better. And hopefully more regular.
Anyway, I’m back. Hi.
ps. Because I was shut out last year…I did make sure to get in to Boston this year. Which I did. Who all will I see there in April?!
Hey all, I am still alive… I spent last week stuck down in the middle of nowhere Southwest Georgia with no wireless (YES, I had to use a WIRED connection to check my internets. Wtf. Is this 1998?) at a job training thing, so I was kinda incomunicado (my phone didn’t even get service. I’m not talking 1-bar. I’m talking “No Service.” No. Fucking. Service.). But, since Sunday was my two-week Ironman anniversary, I’m ready move on with my blog, my life, and my adventures.
Despite anticipating them, the post-IM blues have hit me suprisingly hard. I’m lost and wallowing in my lost-ness. I know I need to write a race report, but I can’t. Especially when there is no reason I didn’t race like I should have. I met with my coach today to go over the race, and all I could say was that from the moment I got on my bike, my legs just didn’t have it. There was no umph. There was no kick. They were just dead.
I don’t know why. He says he doesn’t know why. And, well, I’m not sure there could be anything more frustrating. To have spent half of my year devoted to a race that blew up in my face for no apparent reason, well, it’s fucking frustrating. It fucking sucks. And as someone who has spent much of her life resting on her laurels (Yes, it’s true. No, I’m not proud of it), this is a new feeling for me. If I fail miserably, it’s usually because I didn’t try hard enough. But this year, I’ve put in the time.
I put in the time to run a sub-3:30 marathon at ING GA. I put in the time to smash sub-5:20 at Eagleman. I put in the time to go under 12:30 at IM Wisconsin.
And none of it happened. It’s like my hard work this year was for naught.
Things happen. They do. I had a shitty mental race at ING GA. I melted at Eagleman.
But this race? There is no reason why what happened happened. I ate right. I slept well. I trained my little tushy off. And I tapered like I was supposed to. This race should have been great.
And now, with a year of crappy performances and failure to reap any of the benefits of 9 mos. of hard training, I question whether I ever want to do this again.
Not Ironmen. I mean racing. Ever. Again.
Because why should you train hard for a race when you are just going to get out there and blow up? I’m tired, frustrated, and very lost.
My race report goes like this: The swim was good, I had nothing on the bike, and I walked the entire marathon. That is not like it was supposed to be. But it was what it was.
Now, I’m on a mission to enjoy running again. To enjoy my bike. To do yoga and bake more cupcakes.
Ironman training made me a one-dimensional person and I want my other dimensions back. Ironman training made me a slow but fiercely aerobic athlete and I want my speed back. Ironman training took my relationship with my fabulous pup and I want my puppy time back.
I don’t think you all are going to get much more out of me than this about the race. The post-Ironman blues are real, people. They’re really real when you worked your butt off for a race that didn’t go like you planned. But, it’s a new beginning. I have a chance to enjoy the fall in my garden and in my kitchen and on the trails and with my pup. And it’s going to be a good fall. And a good winter.
And when I return to racing in 2011, it will be a good year.
Ok, guys. I finished Ironman Wisconsin. I was more than 2.5 hours off my goal time. But, the race didn’t really go as planned. At all. I knew that when I started to get blurry vision mid-bike ride that the race was going to be a race of survival not of speed. It seems that this year all of my big races have been spectacular fails. So, I spent much of the marathon telling myself that I was going to take time off after the Ironman. And that I was NEVER going to to an Ironman again. That I needed a break from racing and that I needed to figure out why I was having such a bad racing season.
Some of the frustration and negativity has faded with the muscle soreness. But some has not.
I’m still going to take some time off from racing and have decided to back out of the Philly Marathon in November. I’ll return to racing at Boston in April. As to another Ironman, I’m not sure. The competitive girl in me who is really disappointed with my time wants to race another IM next year. The girl who misses sleeping in on weekends is not so sure.
Right now, I’m still in Wisco, staying with one of my besties before she gets married on Saturday! Then, it will be back to the heat and humidity of Georgia. I’m regrouping. Refocusing.
And most importantly, redescovering what life is like and who I am sans ironman training.
Be on the lookout for some big blog changes (BIG!) and a BIG race report coming your way in the next week or so!
So I’ve gotten pretty used to consuming anywhere between 4000-6000 calories per day. And my weight has stayed stable (though my body comp has shifted some with fat loss and muscle gain). But, oh heavens, it’s going to be a rude awakening when I stop training…and have to go back to eating like a normal person. I’ll miss my GINORMOUS piles of pasta and pints of ice cream.
I might miss them enough to sign up for another Ironman next year.
At least then, I’ll know what I’m in for.
The Ironman is just around the corner! Eek! Just 8 weeks to go (ok, 7.6 wks to go). Which means two things. One: that I need get serious. And Two: that my life (and thus blog) will be Ironman consumed (my apologies will follow).
The getting serious part has meant adopting new life rules for the next 8 weeks. Some I hope to keep around, some I’m itching to break (like no. 3).
So, yes, as I alluded to in the opening paragraph, the only way you are going to hear from me on here for the next eight weeks, is if I talk about the Ironman. Because, well, that’s all my life consists of lately. Well, that and a little bit of work (um, I won my first jury trial Monday…holla!).
Hello Folks. If you don’t enjoy whiney kvetching, feel free to pass over this. If you want to commiserate, please read on.
Today marks 9 weeks until my Ironman. Commence freaking out. For the most part, I’ve been getting in all my shorter weekday runs, much of the swimming, and all of my biking (long and otherwise). But oh, those long runs. I CAN. NOT. for the life of me get them in. It’s funny because I remember the same thing from last summer. I would do 8 in the morning and 8 in the evening because I just couldn’t do 16. And, with last summer’s half ironman training and just one piecemeal 18-miler (i.e. split into two runs in one day), one solid 16 miler, and a few shaky 12 milers, I rocked out the Chicago Marathon at BQ pace in the fall. A big part of this was the weather differential. The race: 32degrees and dry. Perfection. The training: 98 degrees and 99% humidity. Hell.
No really. I live. in. HELL. I know that the whole eastern seaboard has been hot lately. But, folks, I lost count of the 100+ degree days that we’ve had here since April. And when things go badly at work, a coworker and I joke that we’ve surely died and gone to hell. And it explains everything. The heat. The life crap. Then we morbidly try to figure out what we did to land ourselves in Hell. (So many choices, really. In my life. Makes me want to straighten up and fly right. Next week.) I surely didn’t expect hell to be so humid. But, what do I know.
But that’s an aside. To say it’s flipping miserable here. In the morning, there is, no joke always a humidity level of over 90-95%. Which makes running in 80 degree weather feel like 95 degree weather. And what’s worse is that your sweat doesn’t evaporate. It just sits. And you continue to sweat. And after a 50 minute run, your fingers have pruned up. Your clothing is sopping wet. And you look like you just went running through a downpour. Last summer, when I ran in the morning, I would have to go by my house every hour or so to change socks and my sopping wet clothing…because it chaffed and gave me blisters.
And yesterday, I had a 2:05 long run. And, I’ve been slacking on all my long runs, so I think the longest run I’ve gotten in since beginning serious IM training is 8 miles. Maybe 9. Maybe 15. But still. I’m half-assing my long running. Because it sucks. And I’m slow now.
You know my long runs from ING GA Marathon training? Those 20milers when I avged 8:10/mi? Yea. I can barely avg 9:00/mi for 5 miles now.
And then I come home and pass out from heat exhaustion.
Today, though, I only made it a measly 8 miles before I came home to change into drier clothes and get water. And I sat down to stretch a second. And I never got back up. This has happened before. Like a bagillion times. I get half way through a long run and flake. Part of it is the weather. Part of it is that I suck.
The whole point of this post is to kvetch some. And then be done kvetching about the weather. And man up. The weather sucks. But I knew the weather for training would suck when I registered for a fall Ironman. And all this hard miserable training will make racing in the (hopefully) cool fall Wisconsin weather seem wonderfully easy.
From today on, I will man up. All workouts finished. Everything done well. Time to HTFU.
Kvetch over. Xoxo.
9 weeks left to gut it out.
Since I wrote my race report from my disastrous DNF last week, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. Time to talk to fellow tri friends, time to talk to non-tri friends, time to talk to doctor friends, time to talk to my coach. Time to talk to myself (in the car…with just as much hand gesticulation as normally occurs in my dialogues). Time to get back out on my bike and lace up my running shoes.
And, what a difference a day makes. What a difference a week makes. What a difference a YouTube video makes.
I have watched that video, maybe, 36 times. And I’ve concluded that my whole house is great. I can do anything good. (yea, yea, yea…)
So, I’m ok with it all. I’d be lying if there wasn’t still a twinge of disappointment in my Eagleman memories. And, I’ll be honest, I’m a little sad that I don’t have a finishers medal to add to my finishers and age group medal collection on my wall (that’s why I race, actually…just kidding. kinda.).
But, it was a good life experience. And, I’ve found that I’m not alone. A lot of people have had experiences in their racing that left them upset and underwhelmed. And the best thing that we can do is move on from it. Learn something, first, though. And then move on.
So, I’ve compiled my list of DNF lessons learned. And then I’m officially moved on.
What lessons have you all learned from your racing mishaps?
A public defender super heroine by day, I am a cupcake baker extraordinaire by night. And come weekend, I am an IronPerson. I deal with an NPR addiction daily and I dream of one day having Carl Kasell on my answering machine. I strive to be the best fur-mommy I can be, and when I have time, I'm learning to be a grownup.