the everyday adventures of sabrina

i'm happy, hope you're happy too

My official results

If you click through to the Flickr photo and hover your mouse over the times, you can see notes with all my goals for my times. If you don’t want to do that, let me just say: I nailed those suckers. Woo!

I should write a real race report later, but I’m pretty tired right now. (I’ve been up for 15 hours, and I spent 4 of those endurance racing, another one getting to and from the endurance race, and 15 minutes sitting in a shallow tub of ice water. It’s been a long day.) So here are the highlights:

OMG, WTF, BBQ. So Hurricane Irene was torturing New Yorkers (or at least it was supposed to, to listen to some of them banging on about it. Like my friend Natalie said, if there was a Lake Michigan hurricane that came in and blasted Chicago, the only news coverage we’d get would be “Make sure you have a canoe, and allow extra travel time to get to work tomorrow.” But I digress.), but meanwhile, some tendrils of it were stretching across the continent and stirring up crap around here (or at least I am blaming Irene for this crap). We had a forecast that called for winds out of the north-northeast at 15-23 mph through the early morning to the afternoon, and that came true. The lake was incredibly choppy — not wavy; wavy is different. This was just a hot mess of unpredictable, fast, short, and randomly directional waves. Plus, the swim route was shaped like a letter J, where the first 1/4 mi was south, then you did a U-turn around a buoy and came north for the remaining 3/4 mi. The winds were NNE. The water was moving SSW. We got to swim against that. It was the crazy icing on top of the flailing, splashing, kicking bumper cars madness of the swim.

I admit that, after my blog post the other day about the tri, I felt a little bad for that offhand crack about kicking people back if they kick me. I’m kind of a girl scout, so I was all “I shouldn’t say that, it’s meeeeeean to kick people.” After experiencing the Chicago Triathlon swim start in that water? Fuck that noise. You kick me, I kick you back. I seriously got through that batshit swim using a few advanced swimming techniques: 1) bilateral breathing. It was really important to be able to breath on both sides, not just the side I was most comfortable on, because that side was into the rising sun and the rising waves, so switching was really killer; 2) Rotation – I was able to kick my rotation way up more than I usually do in the pool, so I could get my face farther out of the water to breathe without inhaling water; and 3) mentally referring to anyone who pissed me off in any fashion, like the guy who couldn’t swim straight and kept swimming into my left side and pushing me out towards the boats so that I actually stopped and trod water long enough to let him get totally in front of me so I could get on his left side instead, as “green-cap fucksticks.” I’m sure that most people in the wave before mine, such as the two T2EA athletes who are obviously superior in every way, are very nice people, but a lot of them are very aggressive yet inept swimmers, aka “fucksticks,” and that wave had green caps, so the epithet “green-cap fuckstick” was coined. There were a few green-cap fucksticks wearing other colored caps, but I was trying to not inhale water, so I stuck with what worked: green-cap fucksticks. Oh, there were so many green-cap fucksticks. I think my on-goal swim time despite the water conditions working against me was largely due to my immense desire to get the hell away from all the other swimmers.

Then there was the 450 yard dash up the crumbly asphalt to transition. After I’d already been walking around all morning barefoot, including the 3/4 mi walk from transition to the swim start and a half-hour wait in line for a porta-potty, because I decided not to bring flip flops. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE. IT IS A HURTY ONE. And, oh yeah, the time for this gets applied to your official swim time. I did splits, and this took 4 minutes, which means my swim time was 39m, which was under my 40m goal, so HA, take that, stupid asphalt. Ow, my poor feet.

I actually rocked this one. I ran across the grass (sweet cool, cool, soft grass…) and through the route I’d scouted and walked earlier, found my row with no trouble (it RULES having the rack row with the recycling bins at both ends), found my bike with no trouble (thanks to it having a big bunch of red silk flowers on the stem, the blue masking tape arrow on the ground, and oh yeah, it was second from the end nearest bike out/bike in), toweled my feet off to attempt to get the dried cut grass off (which failed), threw my helmet on, rolled my socks on, put my shoes on, pulled my bike gloves out of my shorts legs (oh yeah, did I mention I forgot to leave my bike gloves in transition, which I realized when I got to the swim start, and my feet hurt so much I said “fuck it” to walking them back to transition, so I just shoved one inside each shorts leg before I put my wetsuit on), and ran for bike out. A volunteer and several spectators publicly admired my flowers, I shoved my gloves in my teeth, mounted the bike, and headed for the ramp up to Lake Shore Drive. I got up the ramp, over the bridge over the river, and once we had settled a little I pulled my gloves on. I like to think that it makes me look coordinated that I can pull that off – putting my gloves on with my teeth while biking in a straight line. I probably just look like some idiot who forgot to put her gloves on in transition. Whatever. It totally saves me like 45s in T1, so I’ll take the idiot look.

Then… oh yeah. Irene. Fucking Irene and her fucking bullshit headwind. What the hell. The first leg took me 30 minutes. I was Not Happy – 30 minutes x 4 legs = 2 hour bike; my goal was 1:45 atmost. But the headwind was transformed into a tailwind for the return south, which I forgot to hit the split button to stop when I turned around at Chicago Ave, but it was certainly a lot easier to bike. Then the turn back north, into that bitching bullshit headwind. I seriously was going up overpasses at like 10 mph, it was sad. (OTOH, those moments gave me opportunities to pass slowpokes and people on mountain bikes, so that was happy. I also passed one woman riding a bike with a full rack and two saddlebags, but I told her as I went that riding with the saddlebags made her super hardcore, so I don’t count her as a slowpoke.) The second and third legs combined were 46:35, which made me happy because I that meant my first south leg was 20m, which is way better than 30, and meant I could hopefully still manage under 1:45. The second leg south took me 26, and then I was back at transition. I deliberately let the gas out a little more on the last lap – telling myself this is my last race of the season, I don’t have to save anything up for tomorrow or later this week. I don’t know how much of an effect that had, but it was some nice mental encouragement.

I will say, I had a WHOLE lot of fun watching the traffic going the opposite direction and spotting people in T2EA jerseys and cheering for them. Also, I had a few riders tell me, usually while passing me, that they liked my flowers. So honestly, the bike was basically just full-on entertainment. I probably inhaled a thousand tiny insects just because I was grinning like a dork the whole time.

My goal for this was 3m, which I didn’t make, even a little. I think it’s basically because there were a lot of people in the aisle trying to find their racks (again, recycling bin FTW) so I had to go at the pace of those in front of me, and transition was huge. I’m not sure why else it took me 5 freaking minutes. I pretty much took off my shoes, took off my gloves, pulled on my running shoes, slammed on my TriMonster visor, clipped on my race belt, and ran for run out. Granted, run out was a big twisty maze to get to (I should have retraced my swim in steps, but instead I went down the aisle outside and I think it made the route longer than it needed to be. But that was autopilot: that was how I walked to swim out, when I walked the route in transition. Next time, walk out the full transition, not just inspecting the ins/outs and scouting landmarks.

Oh my. My good intentions to do the race as run 20m, walk 3m repeats failed immediately. I ran for like 3 minutes, then walked for 3. Then I ran for like 2, and walked for 3. It was a quick and humbling flameout. I don’t mean I hit the wall or anything, but I definitely had to mentally eat some humble pie about how well I’d be able to run off the 25mi bike. I wound up run/walking the entire course. My first mile was the slowest, and second mile the second slowest, though, so I did get better, and settled into a 14:30 average pace, down from a 15:07 average over the first two, so that’s ok. Not the 13:45 I had hoped for, but it’s not like it’s a crisis if I finished 5 minutes later. Besides, doing my second 10k as part of my first ever international triathlon – I think I’m entitled to guess wrong about how my legs might feel. Next time I’ll know better, and will have trained more. So it’s a learning experience.

I will say that the spectators along the run were fantastic. There were some really great signs – “Spandex makes you sexy!” and a few others. I tried to tell the signholders that I appreciated their work when I saw something good. I must have high-fived at least a dozen kids along the way, too.

The run took me back past the T2 tent at swim start (backed up against the run route at about .75 mi), did a little dance for them, then got about 10 high-fives and immeasurable cowbell, which was totally sweet. Seriously, I bet more than one person left that race today going “man, I’m training with T2 next year.” We were all yelling encouragement at each other the whole time. It was superfantastic. Spotting other T2 competitors and cheering them was like half the fun of my race – cheering them on kept me going. Them cheering me on kept me going well. :)

But I also was really buoyed by some friends who came out to watch me compete. Sean and Steph, of course, were there from the start – Steph came over to hug me while my wave was queued up waiting to jump in the water, and they spotted and cheered me at bike in, run out, and were waiting for me at the T2 booth after the finish. Sean also took some amazing photos. Liam was waiting for me at the Lake Shore Drive underpass just before finish, and then he ran around and met me after the finish. Trish was on the run route just the other side of the first T2 tent. Craig took some photos of me right after the finish and hung out for a while with me. And John brought his bike and cheered for me at bike in plus about three spots along the run! You guys all rule. Seriously, it meant a whole lot to have friends out there cheering for me. :)

Ok… that’s the totally superficial race recap. Now… I AM GOING TO SLEEP!

I can’t believe it, but the Chicago Triathlon is only 4 days away. I signed up the first day registration opened, last year – 1 October. And now the race is this Sunday, 28 August. I’d be nervous, except I’ve basically spent the past 8 months training up from zero, and I’ve spent this whole week so far being nervous, so now I’m too tired of being nervous to actually be nervous. So I’m probably good, at least until Saturday night, when I will not be able to sleep at all. But anyway!

So anyone who is planning to come out to spectate — read the official spectator guide. This is what I will be doing:

My bib number is 4639, and I am in Wave 30. That means my start time is 8:14 AM. Don’t try and pick me out of a crowd of swimmers; we’ll all be in black wetsuits and my wave all in white swim caps, so we’ll basically look like a crowd of clones. Just stand back and watch the sloshing and flailing at the crazy swim start, and think good thoughts about me not getting kicked in the head, or at least, if I do get kicked in the head, that I swim fast enough to kick them in the head right back.

I estimate my swim time will be between 35-45 minutes for the mile, so that puts me running (ha) the 450 yds from the water up to transition at around 8:50AM or so. This would be an excellent opportunity to take embarrassing photos to blackmail me with later, except that triathlon has caused me to lose all sense of shame and you can’t embarrass me this way anymore. (Spandex bike shorts do that to a person. Not to mention that this is a sport where they have to explicitly state in the rules that nudity is not allowed in the transition area. Just imagine what was going on before they decided to throw that one in.) T1, the transition between the swim and the bike, I think will take me like 5 minutes. I don’t really know how long that 450 yd run is going to take, and if it’s gravel I might be a pretty princess who doesn’t want to run and hurt her pretty princess feets on it.

On the bike, you should be able to spot me because my bike will have a big bunch of flowers on the front stem. Like this, except I bought a bunch of red flowers specifically for race day. Team To End AIDS, red ribbons, red jerseys, red flowers… it’s a thing. Anyways, look for the bike with red flowers. You’ll be able to spot it because all the skinny people looking all serious and intent on their aerobars will be zooming past, while my flowers are the complete antithesis of aerodynamics. But they are race legal, I have it from USAT rules officials, so suck it, aero nerds!

The bike leg is two loops of Lake Shore Drive, north from Randolph up to Foster, back down to Chicago, back up to Foster, then back down to the yacht club, for a total of 40k (24.8 mi). I am guessing this will take me between 1:30 and 1:45, depending on how much lollygagging I do. I am going to try to average 14-15 mph the whole time, but I may or may not. I don’t think I’ll be able to sustain any more than 16, and that would leave me with nothing left for the run. So we’ll see how well the plans work out.

T2 should be nice and quick since it’s just a change of shoes and hat, so that’ll probably be about 3 minutes.

The run is south along the bike trail to the south end of McCormick Place, then around and up Columbus to the finish. It’s a 10k (6.2 mi), which will only be my second ever 10k race. My first, last, and only previous 10k I completed in 1:24. Because I will be pretty tired from the bike, I’m estimating this one will take me, again, between 1:30 and 1:45 to complete. I’m going to try and do a 13:30-13:45 pace, which would put me at about 1:27-1:29, but I have a bad habit of going too hard on the bike and not leaving myself with much on the run, and of course I’m not that experienced with the 10k distance, so we’ll just have to see.

Best case finish time: 3:45, or roughly noon.
Probable finish time: Around 4:00-4:10, between 12:15-12:30.
Worst case finish time: 4:25, or 12:40 PM.

You can watch my progress on the athlete tracker, or as I like to say, The Niquitron! I have no idea how it works, if it’s accurate, or anything. They just gave me the URL and I am parrotting it. Look, it has a clock on it! And yes, there’s an app for that: iPhone and Android.

Anyone coming to spectate to support me, if you plan on hanging out by the finish, I would encourage you to find the Team To End AIDS group and hang out there. First of all, they’re going to be more experienced at spotting T2 runners coming through the chute, like me. Second, they’re going to go batshit crazy with cheering and cowbells for every single T2 athlete, and that is A WHOLE LOT OF FUN to do. They should be easy to find — they’ll be the crowd of people in bright red shirts.

Also, while you’re out on the course, cheer for any T2 athlete you see — not just me! Just yell “GO T2″ and woooo and shake your cowbell for them. They’ll appreciate it even if they don’t know who you are. We all worked really hard for this, so it is totally appropriate to cheer us all on!

And of course, if you have extra money burning a hole in your pocket — feel free to send it to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago by sponsoring me here! I’m almost halfway to my goal of $3000 and I would really love to make it a bit closer by race day. It’s all tax deductible, and gets you loads of priceless brownie points with me.

Last – THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me for the past year. This has not really been easy for me, not least the weekend mornings spent getting up at 3AM, Sundays running six-plus miles in the middle of the day so I can get acclimated to running in the heat, trying lots of different varieties of “nutrition,” some more gross than others, the learning about what IT band tightness, shin splints, and hip bursitis feel like, the learning that sweat in your eyes frigging burns… It turns out that this is hard work! And I think we all know, my idea of hard work involves reading a complicated lace knitting pattern. But it’s been worth it, I really have enjoyed this entire year a lot, I’ve met some really fantastic people through Team To End AIDS, and we’ve raised some money for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, which is a wonderful organization that helps people throughout the entire state of Illinois. And every time one of you sends me an email saying “Hey! Your race is Sunday! What’s your bib number so I can spot you,” it’s a huge boost of encouragement. So thank you, all of you, because every single one of you guys is awesome like a hundred billion hot dogs!


So I got up at 4AM this morning to go up to Foster beach and do the T2 mock triathlon. (Side note: become a triathlete, and you too will see more 4AM mornings in a single season than you ever had in your entire life up until that point. Even as a sysadmin. Scary thought!) I got up, threw my stuff together, ate something random for breakfast, checked my bike tires’ air pressure and topped them off, and went outside to load up the car. Everything was great, until I had driven about 50 yards through the parking deck and thought, what is that *fwap* noise coming in the windows? Oh crap, my right front tire was low last time I drove… set the parking brake and jumped out, and sure enough, that tire was flat as a pancake. So I drove slowly (I got passed by a bicyclist on State street – ha, probably the first time that’s happened to that cyclist) to the nearest service station and filled it back up and checked my other tires, which, if nothing else, was relatively painless and did give me an excuse to get a coffee… though that is not the story I was going to tell you about today.

Anyways, I went to Foster Beach and found the T2 folks and we all completely rocked everything the hell right out, I did my mile swim and my baby bike ride (5 point something miles – wee bitty baby bike ride!) and my 5k up and down the lakefront, and THEN WE TOTALLY GOT FINISHER’S MEDALS, WHICH WAS AN AWESOME FABULOUS SURPRISE AND MINE IS TOTALLY ALREADY TACKED UP ON THE WALL BECAUSE THAT IS HOW MUCH I LOVE IT, and then we were all slowly trickling out and I talked to S. briefly about our plans for tomorrow — because we signed up for a non-mock tri, a sprint distance triathlon in Wauconda tomorrow morning, which will be fun except that I didn’t realize, when signing up, that Steelhead was the same day and that means I am going to be totally late getting over there to cheer on my T2 teammates and my buddy L., but anyways — and then I decided that since we were going to be going straight from Wauconda to Michigan, I was going to go over to Jewel and buy some bottled water and stuff. Because I had the car I wasn’t going to bother to go home and change first, so I actually — hahaha, I still can’t believe this part — went to Jewel still in my soggy tri shorts and sweaty bike jersey and I had no purse or anything so I just stuffed my wallet up my shorts leg (which, if you haven’t worn bike shorts, is a completely valid alternative to a pocket – for lip balms or maybe a gel packet or something. A wallet might have been pushing the boundaries a little more than normal) and grabbed a cart and went into Jewel.

This is how the trip started: I am not hungry. I am going to grab a flat of water and some bananas or something. Ok, cool. Grab cart. First aisle, eggs and frozen stuff. GOD IT’S COLD. Do I need eggs? NO! Do I need cheese? YEAH OKAY, GRAB IT AND GO. Do I need — NO! IT’S TOO COLD IN THIS AISLE! GO! … walk into snacky aisle. I should get some pretzels. Pretzels are valid post-race snacks. They have salt. WHAT KIND OF PRETZELS? THERE ARE TOO MANY! I AM CONFUSED BY CHOICES! think…think… after the race Thursday, N. had some pretzels…they were sticks! OKAY! PRETZEL STICKS IT IS! GOD IT’S COLD! And now I’m getting kind of hungry. Hey, I got some cheese back there. I need crackers. Water crackers… yeah. I want rosemary. I WANT ROSEMARY WATER BISCUITS. WHERE IS THE ROSEMARY?! DAMMIT JEWEL! Settle for sesame water crackers. Eye other snackies… decide that no, chips are not valid post-race snackies the same way pretzels are. Successfully depart snacky aisle. Pass peanut butter aisle… think, oh, peanut butter is totally post-race food! I totally saw the T2 marathoners eating peanut butter after their 14 mile run! Find organic creamy peanut butter and think… you know what goes with peanut butter? APPLES go with peanut butter. I should get some apples. Oh, and do I need coffee? I don’t know. Let me see if coffee is on sale… wander up coffee aisle, discover coffee is not on sale, decide to live dangerously. Then pass a Gatorade display! OH HEY, my favorite flavor! On sale! AWESOME! GIVE ME 3 8-PACKS OF IT! BECAUSE I’M TOTALLY THIRSTY NOW, I WANT TO DRINK IT ALL! RIGHT! NOW! … oh hey, there’s water. Ok, grab some water. On to the produce aisle. APPLES! APPLES ARE DELICIOUS! Except the red delicious kind, which are gross, so delicious is a lie, but whatever. Gala apples. I’m sharing, so how many should I get … 8! 8 seems like a totally reasonable number of apples to buy! I WILL BE SHARING! Also, I’m hungry. Oh, bananas. Ok, grab some bananas… OH APRICOTS, APRICOTS ARE MY FAAAAAAVORITE… I AM BUYING 8..NO, TEN! TEN! THEY’RE VERY SMALL! AND I WILL EAT 4 OF THEM AS SOON AS I GET HOME! APRICOTS APRICOTS APRICOTS! GOD I’M HUNGRY! oh, strawberries are on sale, and they’re not even all picked over. I should get some strawberries for my morning smoothies, I’m running low… 4 boxes of strawberries seems like a totally reasonable amount of strawberries… ok OH HEY LOOK, IT’S THE GOOD CHEESE. MMMMMMMM. I WANT BRIE! BRIE! FOR MY CRACKERS! Which would have been better if they were rosemary, stupid Jewel. But brie is still yummy… oh hey look, stilton! Stilton with cranberries! THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS TOO! I AM GOING TO GET THAT TOO! TO HAVE WITH MY BRIE! AND MY CRACKERS! Except do I have enough crackers? Maybe I should look at bread. MAYBE THEY HAVE ROSEMARY BREAD! No… NO ROSEMARY!?!?!? DAMMIT JEWEL! WHAT IS YOUR BEEF WITH ROSEMARY?!?! … ok… no bread. Bread is boring without rosemary… oh HEY, they have BAGEL CHIPS! BAGEL CHIPS WITH SALT ARE TOTALLY LEGITIMATE POST-RACE FOOD, BECAUSE THEY HAVE SALT! … oh jeez, I have a cart full of gatorade, random fruit, cheese, and pretzels… this is not grocery shopping like normal people do it. I got progressively hungrier as I went through the store and I also got progressively more caps-lock impulse shopper… OH SHIT, ALL THOSE PSYCHOLOGISTS WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG!

Oh well. Fuck it. Those apricots are gonna be DELICIOUS, man. Maybe I’ll eat them with some stilton on water crackers!

Pursuing triathlete-hood has been an interesting experience. Actually it’s shocking to me how much I have gotten into it. I’ve always had a thing for falling head over heels in love with hobbies, but always before the hobbies have not asked very much of me in return. I mean, let’s be realistic — knitting lace needs you to have a decent grasp of knitting principles, reading patterns, a selection of needles in various sizes, and an ability to not faint at the idea of knitting something enormous with really, really teeny yarn even if it takes 50 hours. The time I took up glass mosaics basically only asked that I spend a lot of money on shattered (or shatter-able) glass at Michael’s, and since most of the glass had mica in it so that it sparkled, that wasn’t really much of a hardship for me. These are not things that require a lot of hard physical labor and perseverance.

Triathlon, though, is asking a lot. First of all, it requires me to get up off my ass with a much greater frequency than I am accustomed to. My workout habits prior to taking up running last year were basically “eh. Do I feel like it? Yeah? Okay.” or, more frequently, “Do I feel like it? Nah. Cool.” But now! Now? I have a schedule. A schedule I actually go out and make an effort to stick to. A schedule that includes two days a week where people notice if you’re not there. And, of my two off days per week? I actually want to do MORE workout stuff on one of them. It is remarkably difficult to respect recovery days, even after reading other people’s cautionary tales about overtraining and the consequences thereof. I mean, I am a lazy bum by nature. I point and laugh at gym bunnies from the couch, when I see them on tv. What the hell bizarro world did I wake up in that I’m a workout person now?

And these are not piddly, saddo workouts where you show up at the gym and do half-hearted bicep curls with 5 lb. weights for ten minutes, then do some crunches on a mat in the back corner where no one can see you. Every planned workout on my schedule, except one, involves two things: biking followed by running, or swimming followed by strength training. Tuesday’s group swim workout is the only easy day where you only have one item on your to-do list. I now approach the swiss ball and the foam roller with intent. Worst of all, I’m now the kind of person who feels let down if she misses a day. (Especially since I’ve missed two Thursday group bricks in a row due to work – argh!)

And then there’s the influence of all this on my music collection. It all started last summer when I started running, and discovered that Ke$ha made for really good running music. It doesn’t require any brainpower to listen to, and it was upbeat and amusing enough to make struggling up even that bastard hill south on the lakefront path coming up from under the Solidarity Drive underpass something even I could manage. I like Ke$ha now – I offer no excuses. This proceeded apace until I made the ultimate sacrifice of my music credibility to acquire more upbeat pop music to keep me running… Oh yes, I did it. I’m not proud. (I will say that, sorry kids, “Peacock” is fucking annoying, not clever — I had to untick that one in iTunes.) But… yeah. I don’t ask you to respect me after this confession of my radical loss of judgment, but just accept me for what I am… a lazy bum by nature who depends on other people’s perkiness (no matter how ridiculous) for motivation.

But while the crazy workout dependency seriously jeopardizes my self-image as a total slacker, and I’m hesitant to own up to the sudden Top 40 obsession in mixed company, those are not the only significant shifts I have undergone. For example:

Worn-out swimsuit

I have a drag suit again – for the first time since the fall of 1994, my last year of high school competitive swimming. A drag suit, for the uninitiated, is a worn-out swimsuit (or you can buy a mesh purpose-specific suit) that is baggy and floppy, which you wear over a swimsuit that actually fits. The bagginess and floppiness creates drag in the water, meaning resistance, making it harder to swim. I traditionally wore drag suits to the point where all the spandex was gone and I could actually tie a knot in the excess fabric at the belly. This particular drag suit was unintentional: I bought the suit in February of this year, and I wore it only a dozen or so times before it started to show wear. Very disappointing — I used to get a full season’s swimming out of one suit, which was 5 days a week, often 2x/day, for three months. (NB: TYR is my favorite, or sometimes I wear Speedo, but this is from The Finals. Not sure I can recommend them, with this example as my first purchase from them. I have two other of their suits, in a smaller size, that I bought at the same time and am alternating, so we’ll see how long they last. I am going back to TYR next time though; no more experimenting.)

But it happened that I had dropped a few pounds and I needed a smaller suit then anyways, so I just continued wearing this one as a drag suit, so at least I can get some value out of it. The spandex has continued degrading at a nice clip (accellerated by my actively destroying it, by not washing chlorine out and by wringing the hell out of it), and it’s very nearly to the belly-fabric-knot point. This makes me oddly proud: I are a real swimmer! I show up wearing shit like this and don’t care if everyone around me is going, “why is she wearing a potato sack to the pool?” You may laugh at my potato sack, but I’ll be the one laughing when I take 10s off my 800m time!

Tide and SportWash detergents

I was doing the laundry the other day and caught myself thinking, “I should get another bottle of SportWash next time I’m at Fleet Feet; it’s only ten bucks.” This is significant because I am the sort of cheapass who sneers at Target or Jewel for asking $14 for a bottle of Tide, and waits for it to go on sale, because I think that $14 is ridiculous for a bottle of laundry detergent, and then, on top of that, I generally only use half the prescribed amount because I think the full capful is too much detergent and wasteful. (I also cut dryer sheets in half. Scrooge McLaundry, at your service.) Note that at $14/30 loads, 46¢ a load, the Tide is actually cheaper than the $10/20 loads, 50¢ SportWash. Logic may not be my strong suit here. (That said, the SportWash works way, way better than regular detergent at getting stank out of my workout clothes, which is no small thing to ask.)

5 lbs of Whey Protein Powder and more than a dozen quart bottles of Gatorade

This cabinet used to be full of soapmaking supplies. I had to find a new spot for a bunch of it so that I could make room for my bulk purchases of Gatorade and my massive 5 lb. bulk jug of whey protein powder. Yeah. I’m THAT jackass, now.

(Though, I’m not yet to the point of being the guy at work who has a FEEDSACK of whey protein powder under his desk. I’ve bought 28 lb. bags of cat food smaller than his protein stash, man.)

Green goo in a blender

This is what I do for breakfast daily: 6-8 oz nonfat yogurt, protein powder, spirulina, stevia, 6-10 strawberries (depending on size), banana or two, soy milk to cover. It’s actually really, really tasty. The spirulina was one of those things where I was like, “oh, it’s a ‘superfood,’ huh? We’ll just see about that.” But it turns out that I really like it. It has this sort of fruity taste that works really well in a smoothie. Also, the “gross green health food” look really amuses me for some reason — I feel kind of like it’s straight out of a 70s show. The best thing about this smoothie, though, is that it’s a fantastic breakfast that keeps me from getting hungry until like 1 PM — which is great, because I can’t stand it when I eat at 7 and am hungry for lunch by 10:30. The smoothie lets me totally forget about eating until 12:30 or 1, and that makes me really happy. I don’t think it’s a particularly low calorie health food — I’m guessing that it’s around 500 kcal or so, not that I actually measure anything — but it gets me fruit and protein and calcium and freaky green health food entertainment value, so I’m happy.

And lastly…

Race number bibs tacked up on the wall

My idea of appropriate interior decoration for the home has expanded to include “beat-up, raggedy pieces of Tyvek.”

I can’t wait to see what next crazy effect triathlon has on my life.

Dear Google:

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