Friday, September 25, 2009

a slippery sliding slope

many times in life we just climb, climb, climb and climb. wondering where the top is. Wondering what is on the other side. Wondering...when the stupid mountain will stop towering in front of us. And then there are other times when we don't realize we are on a precipitous slope that is about to give way underneath us and send us crashing down the hill. And while the tumultuous fall down the side of the slope is is important to get down the hill to see what is in store next. The disconcerting thing is: we don't know when we will stop sliding.

i am in a little bit of a free fall right now. i'm trying to kick my hands up in the air like it is a roller coaster ride and just enjoy the free fall, but i still have a little bit of that 'sick to my stomach feeling' you get when in free fall and desperately want to cling to a tree on the side of the mountain.

So here are some learnings of this free fall just this week:
  • I hate the word: opportunity... especially when it is used to depict crap. Crap is crap. it is not opportunity and it SURE does not smell like it either. Please just call a spade a spade.
  • being a home owner isn't the end all and be all in life. I will not be buying this condo...and i will not be purchasing anything in the near future. Many things pointed to the reality that: It was not the right time for me. I am at peace with that.
  • winning 'fake points' during a velodrome still really fun. Even if you suspect the other person let you win. (ok this isn't really a 'free fall' type of learning...but a general learning from the week.)
  • When real opportunity does knock on the door and speaks is scary and you start to wonder: is it really on the other side? And it may or may not be...but the belief that it might is very exciting. Even if the level of sacrifice is high...
  • when in could take you where you've never dared to dream. And while those dreams are just start to realize how valuable they are when you say: i would give up XYZ for it. And you never realized you WOULD give up XYZ.
  • what happens to a dream deferred? you fight harder if the chance comes round again. you fight like you have nothing to lose because you realize you may only get one chance this time around.
just trying to relax as i slide down and hope of new things that might be in store.

Monday, September 21, 2009

bike shopping

ahhhh...yes...i am shopping for a tri bike. Me being me...i started out over analyzing the situation and almost feeling like I needed to know EVERYTHING about the bike and what i may or may not want before jumping into the process. I finally told myself to : chill out...have fun riding some bikes.

So...i've started having some fun riding some bikes. So I'm sure you will see a lot of MY opinions on various bikes...but they are just that MY opinion. We all ride differently and like different things so these are just what I have observed and what I like. What i learned from my track bike buying experience is that if I ride some bikes...the bike will 'speak' to me so to say...and i'm sure i will be able to figure out what I want from there.

I only managed to squeeze in two bike this weekend...but I decided to start with the standard bike you see EVERYWHERE at a tri...the Cervelo. I know a few people who swear by the Cervelo...and a few who HATE the cervelo...i just wanted to know what the fuss was all about, so I gave one a go.

i'm not a super duper short woman...5'4" AND i have a long i thought I would be set with tribikes and not have to have the tiny size with the tiny wheels. (i have a somewhat irrational/rational disdain for 650 wheels at the's boarderline funny) so I was rather surprised when the 51cm bike did not fit me. I had to go down to the tiny 49...with the tiny wheels.

I got to ride it around for a solid 20minutes and the words that came to mind when i road it were: squirrelly, playful, puppy, and yes...giggle. I don't know where the word giggle came from, but I found the bike very puppy-like. I read roadbike reviews and the commentator has some eloquent speech about the bike's handling and this or that...that's not me. I also didn't like the geometry all that much at first...i felt like i had my knees in my belly the whole time (even though they weren't touching and I basically got a bike fit before they sent me out to test ride it. So i know i was set up...props to the Trek store). I chalked it up to never having been on a true tribike and only been on my roadbike with aerobars. I anticpated the difference, but I guess my take away was while the bike is supposed to be just didn't 'feel' fast to me. (it doesn't mean that's not a fast bike...don't get me opinion...and i don't get to wind tunnel or time trial these bikes so this is from a 20minute test ride...what do I know? Not a whole lot from this).

Then onto...a very 'gucci' bike as i will now refer to it. A friend of mine works at a bike shop and had told me that they had just gotten some Specalized in my size. I somehow interpreted that to mean: we have these specalized built up. I'm a little dense sometimes. I must have not heard I asked if i could come and try one out to check my size in a Specalized time trial bike. I thought that they had the Specalized Comps built up. I show only one built up in my size is the fancy high end gucci bike. The gucci bike...the Specalized S-Works's pretty hawt and the fit is pretty much perfect. Oh wants it. I didn't get to ride it much, but it was a better fit than the P2...and no silly small wheels also just felt right. But that much for a'd HOPE so.

But the takeaway at the moment is that the Specalized size/geometry could work for me. But i've just started the shopping...and it's FUN. On the list of bikes to try out:
Cannondale Slice
Jamis (if i can find my size)

Any others i'm missing? I think i can find all of these in my size somewhere in this town.

this is fun ...:-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Will race for cookies!

This weekend was the Malibu triathlon...where on Saturday there was an olympic distance race and on Sunday was the Star studded sprint distance race that raised money for Children's Hospital of LA. I picked up this little gem of a t-shirt at the race. I do embrace this M.O. In gradschool someone asked me why I did triathlons and I turned to them and said: so i can eat ice cream. I dont' think he believed me but I was being honest. That is one thing I am looking forward to with Ironman training...being able to keep icecream in the freezer. The little perks of training...right?

Since Vineman i have been somewhat 'offseasoned' and mainly have had a training regime of 'do something' for 5-6 days a week. I've been riding my bike some, running a little, swimming occasionally (so as not to forget how) and lifting weights frequently with an attempt to strengthen the hips as well as completely undo all the weirdness I did to my hip when I injuried it. Interesting stuff how the body compensates for an injury. I think i may have developed my amazing heel striker ability partly due to this injury...but that is a topic for another time.

Coming into the race I had little expectation. I may have only done one 'proper' olympic distance of 1500m/40K/10k. I've done a few that area 'around' that length, but really only OC tri last year is one of the same distance. Comparing the two...i PR'd on Saturday for an OLY distance. My favorite was to see a 6 minute improvement in my bike split...granted my bike split at Malibu includes stopping and get off my bike to pee.

Not having a lot of focus on the race both training or expectations is sorta a weird spot to race. My legs felt weird, not really I just went with it. My swim pace was a little slow...but there was a lot of swells out there. My bike pace included a pit who knows how fast I was going. And my run pace was pretty solid around an 8:40 avg...which I was surprised by since i really just distracted myself by following my foot turnover the whole time. (90-96 footfalls/min)

Sunday I hung around and cheered other TNSers on and watched all the celebrities race alongside everyone. Saturday is a smaller field and you don't have to deal with all the poparazzi. I liked the size of the field much better than how big Sunday was.

The weekend was pretty awesome all around. I had a solid race (which I have sense discoverd I in the top 25% of my age group), got to reconnect with some friends and make some new friends.

And yes...i did have a cookie. :-)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

ebb and flow

1. to flow back or away, as the water of tide (opposed to flow)
2. to decline or decay; fade away

1. to rise and advance, as the tide (opposed to ebb).
2. to abound in something: The tavern flowed with wine.

Life is give and take and ebb and flow. What has become abundantly clear to me in the past few weeks is that life can be one time...all at once and not at all. It can ebb and flow in different directions and take me with it in all areas and at the same time leave me somewhat torn on how to even think about it. And it seems that this process leaves me holding my hands open, trying to catch water flowing through my fingers....which is something I cannot....and I must just let it flow and almost helplessly watch the water slip through.

Part of the process is breathing in...and breathing out...and learning to exhale. Breathe in the scents of new mornings with warm sunshine and breathe out all that is weighty and stale. And then accept the grace that is needed to begin again.

and so begin...again...