Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Public Service Announcement

I first noticed this problem at a race this summer, when I saw three friends standing at the starting line of a race, waiting for their wave to start. Something was clearly not right, and when I realized what it was, I made a mental note of it, and filed it away in my "That was strange" mental file. But I saw it again in the pool today, and people, this has to stop.

MEN: UnderArmour boxer briefs, like these:

ARE NOT SWIMSUITS. OR TRISHORTS. They are underwear, designed to be worn under clothing. Yes, I know they are black and tight-fitting, and therefore resemble most jammers or trishorts, but it seems to me that the material would be less that ideal for swimming or biking, or heading into T1 soaking wet. And the seams!!

So please, do yourself and your fellow racers and swimmers a favor, and invest in some jammers or trishorts. Or both!!

. . . The More You Know.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Hmm...apparently the resolution on these photos isn't great when they're uploaded to Blogger. Sorry for the blurriness.



Lake Geneva:

I've been trying to get these photos up for a while, but I wasn't able to figure out the embedding and I finally decided to just post them. So without further ado, here are photos of Paris:

And Now Back To Your Regularly-Scheduled Programming

After two weeks away, coming home and leaving the next day for a wedding 4.5 hours away, we are finally home and settling back into our normal routines. The trip was awesome, but it's so nice to be home.

My run today was, I think, specifically designed to kick my ass. And kick my ass it did. And Speedy's as well. It was the longest run I've done in a while, but it wasn't your standard LSD weekend run, and it was freaking hard, and I crashed and burned at the end. But you know what? It was great to get out there and run myself into the ground.

And my dad is still kicking ass in his running ventures. What a freaking rock star he is.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rules for International Travel

During our journey, we've come up with a few 'Rules for International Travel.' Without further ado:

1. When lost, walk to the top of the hill.
2. Once there, get coffee.
3. Re-evaluate the plan while drinking the coffee, and if you still don't know where to go ask the barista.

3. When learning/practicing a foreign language, have no shame. Bring afraid of getting laughed at is no way to learn how to speak a foreign language. Besides, people are generally nicer when you try to speak their language, even if your pronunciation is awful and you get laughed at by the waitress. Not that that happened to me or anything. Oh, and don't sneer "I don't speak French!" when you're in Paris and someone asks you a question, like the woman next to me did to the poor guy trying to ask her to move her car.
4. Bring an umbrella. It's small and doesn't take up much room in your bag.

That's it. Obviously, these rules only apply when you're travelling in big cities, because the coffee rule won't help if you're in the Amazon wilderness. But aside from that, we think they're pretty solid. :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Adventures in Travel

The masses (okay, it was like 9 people) spoke, and here we are on our fabulous journey. We started in London, and walked from Harrod's to Tower Bridge. We made it out without getting hit by any cars while crossing the street, which was fortunate because remembering to look right-left-right is not nearly as ingrained as left-right-left.

We're currently in Moscow, which is an adventure because neither of us speaks or reads Russian. But we're working on it; we know the basic words and I'm picking up the Cyrhillic alphabet pretty quickly, which should help with navigation. And once I get the alphabet down, we can use a Russian-English dictionary, which should also help a lot.

This morning before setting out for touristy things, we went for a run through a park near our hotel. It seems that working out is not something that people around here really do, and we got lots of strange looks. It was also about 45-50 degrees, and raining by the end of the run, and we were each wearing shorts. It was chilly. And deserted, and really sort of surreal, almost like we were living in a B-level spy movie. We ran by one man and practically scared the pants off of him; as we were about to pass him he caught us in his peripheral vision and jumped about a mile, dropping his bag in the process. I apologized in English, and as we kept running I could hear him yelling at us in Russian.

We got down to the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral today. I took some photos which I will try to post later; I'm not sure how they turned out because the weather has continued to be cold and rainy so the photos may be pretty dreary. Hopefully those competing in IMMoo have better weather than this!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Seeing the Forest

We get so caught up in the minutia of races that sometimes, we forget what really matters and how what we do can affect others.

This weekend, for the first time, my parents came to see me race. I didn't know they were coming. Apparently they were there for the whole race, watching the swim start, T1 and T2, some of the run, and the finish line. They said they didn't cheer for us at all because they 'didn't want to distract us,' which Speedy thought was hilarious because his parents scream their heads off whenever they see either of us during a race.

Anyway, I came across the finish line and had just taken off my chip when I heard my mom's voice, and I was totally that person in the chute who stops on a dime and I probably caused a minor traffic jam behind me. Um, yeah . . . sorry about that.

My dad was walking around the finish area, watching the competitors and interactions, and heard the finish line spectators explode a couple times for certain finishers. Now, Dad has been recovering from some health issues that gave him some problems. He's always been overweight, and these recent issues totally sapped his motivation to continue losing weight or be active, which he had been doing, and he started gaining again. So when he started talking about the different body types of the competitors, or the camaraderie among members of my tri club, or the general supportive nature of the sport, Speedy and I chatted with him about it but didn't think of it as more than general curiosity. Imagine my surprise and delight when my dad asked us if we thought that this race was something we thought he could do next year!!

That's right. My dad was so inspired by the race that he wants to do a triathlon next year. How freaking great is that?

It's been a while since he's done anything more active than walking, so he's starting with the Couch to 5K, and called me to tell me about his first day back on the treadmill. I've also sent him links to forums and blogs of people who have done the same thing (ahem, Dan) in hopes that seeing people who have undertaken the same goal and are succeeding will provide some lasting inspiration for him.

I'm so proud of him for taking the first steps!! (And yes, I've told him that.) And I think it's a great reminder that you never know who you can inspire, even when races/training seem to be going poorly. If anyone has any advice about how I can keep encouraging him, I'd love to hear it.

And . . . big changes coming my way on October 1!! Stay tuned for more details :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Marlton Lakes Tri

I don't have much to say in this race report.

This was a very disappointing race for me. Things just didn't come together the way I had hoped they would. I'm not sure why, really - whether I ate something that didn't sit right, or or drank too much lake water, but my stomach was off during the run and really slowed me down. And I felt good on the bike but it turns out I was much slower than I thought I'd be. And my swim was just a mess.

But the good news is I finally got my transition act together, and managed to recover some time, especially in T2. Too bad my overall rank didn't match my transition ranks!