Fish Ballet

I’ve been looking for ways to feel like a fish out of water while I take my hiatus from triathlon racing.   I got so comfortable in the world of triathlon, something that many people experience as awkward.  As a coach, I consider empathizing and guiding people through the awkward stage a critical professional skill.  I think coaches should regularly find ways to be completely out of their comfort zone.

Summer 2016 I did GMB Focused Flexibility and Elements programs. 

The first weeks were awesome.  Then progress became excruciatingly snail pace slow.  The program was also entirely online and I was ready to up the awkward ante.
dreamworks turbo snail

Winter 2017 I tried ExperTease’s Fiercely Flex class.

The whole loud music, burlesque and pole dance approach was not for me.  There was some stretching going on, but generally I felt a whole lot’a unsexy disjointed awkwardness.
awkward flamingo

Spring 2017 I spent with Querencia Fitness – Adult Gymnastics.

Gymnastics was way more fun and much closer to my comfort zone.  I still had some pretty great failing moments.
“Is this it? Am I doing it?” Immediately followed by falling over and giggling on the floor.  awkward baby elephant

Now in the Summer of 2017 I’m trying Fundamental Ballet with Zenon Dance School.

After trying a hip hop class and observing one ballet class I signed up.   Immediately I biked way way out of my way to arrive at a dance supply store, dirty and drenched in sweat.  The teenage employee was surprisingly gracious and helpful.  I was so excited to have new “sport gear” that I walked out of the store and had to put on my brand new ballet slippers.

I’ve now taken three classes.
In my mind I’m a natural Misty Copeland, looking all effortless rocking elegant athleticism.   She’s my new hero.

In reality I know I’m still a fish.  A fish trying to be a ballerina.  Fish out of waterYup.  That’s more like it.

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Type Two Fun Spiders

Totally random post.   Except because it was horrible at the time but I can’t stop telling the story it must be type two fun.

I’ll share the original telling of the tale, through Facebook messenger because I’m not the only storyteller here worth hearing.

Spider Story #1 Continue reading

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Waiting for Tri Hunger

I will be celebrating my 20th year of triathlons at Heart Of the Lakes on July 16th.

My dad and I in 1997 at my first Triathlon. Wow, 15 was an awkward year.

It’s a good time to remember how much I love swimming and running and biking. The world of triathlon has done so much for my life.  It’s become a cornerstone of my career.  It has been a source of friendship and a reminder of gratitude.

My personal journey as a swimmer, runner, biker, and triathlete has taught me so much about myself.  It has been a source of strength and humility.  Over and over again I got to prove to myself that I can do something hard.  Athletic training is such a great way to interject some type two fun into daily life.

But right now, while I’ll be doing the Heart of the Lake Tri, I am not training to race.  There are so many reasons.

  • I’m trying other athletic activities.  It’s beneficial both as a person and as a professional.
  • I’m pursuing career goals.  It’s taking all my energy to keep my eye on this ball.  For far too long I figured the pieces would eventually all fall in to place.  Nope.
  • I’m putting my money elsewhere.  Triathlons are expensive. It’s so much more than the race entry.  It’s the gear you wear out, the bike, increased nutrition demands, coaching, club fees, body work, travel, time off from work, it just goes on and on.

But even if I had the time and money, the biggest reason is…

  • I’m not hungry for it.

To achieve big goals requires tons of dedication and passion and discipline.

When I’m hungry for it I’ve got plenty of ideas lined up.

  • I’d love to get competitive at Olympic distance triathlons.  Maybe go to age group nationals?  I’d want to hire a bike coach so I could start to see my potential.  I’d want to finally get a real tri bike so my 1970’s Italian steel can be put to pasture. What I really want is the feeling of racing aggressively.
  • I’d love to reawaken my love for running and feel fast again.  Maybe a finally join the marathon club?  Maybe do trail races?  What pace “fast” is matters less than feeling fast.  I’d want to reconnect with the elemental rhythm of running that feels like a thread through the history of humanity and nature.  Running fast used to transport me to timelessness.
  • I’d love to revisit Ironman Tri.  Perhaps I’ll get another chance to hit my “A” goal of a sub 12 hour Ironman.  Or at least a chance to get a PR.  I loved the long arc of the day, whether training or racing.  There’s no rushing, only steady sustainable effort.  Like being in the wilderness, complexities are stripped away and it’s only me traveling forward.

That’s enough stuff to feed at least 3 years, perhaps even 5 years of triathlon hunger.

But I’m waiting for the right time and more money.  Even if I had the time and money, I’d still want to wait until I was itching to start.

It will be so much more fun if I’ve waited.  The discipline and the sacrifices to do all the preparation will feel more like a treat than a chore.

I want to be hungry for the training and the racing.  I’ll wait until I’m starving for it.

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A Lasagna Experiment

Warning, this was weird.  It was a brave experiment.  I wasn’t sure I’d like it.   Even when it looked like a perfectly normal lasagna, I was doubtful.   img_2691

It was a rhubarb lasagna.
This is how it came to be. Continue reading

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Team VKS at Rib Mt. Race Report

It was a tiny bit miserable.  Just enough to respect the challenge.  Not so miserable that I don’t totally want jump up and down shouting “Again! Again! Let’s do that again!”

Saturday May 27th 2017 was partially sunny, not too hot, not too windy, just right for the perfect amount of type 2 fun.  Team Velocikitty Snuggles, did it’s first Adventure Race.  It was the  8 hour Rib Mountain Adventure Challenge.

We finished.  Not as well as we are used to doing.  We did a meager 33 out of 45 Check Points (we called them Chick Peas after Andrea’s kitties) in 7:36:36 which put us 26th out of 30 teams.  Although there were only two women’s teams in the 8 hour race.   There was so much we couldn’t really have prepared for until we experienced it.  The things we learned don’t capture the experience.

  • Remember to use the bug spray.
  • Better sun block application.
  • MORE nutrition earlier – brains bonk before bodies!
  • Speed changes the whole game – both for navigating and paddling.
  • Problem solving, communication, and social/emotional management are CRITICAL race skills.

Here’s the story in pictures: Continue reading

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What A Ride

Holy moley.  What a ride it’s been.

Eleven years ago I hated biking.  I wanted to like it so much.  I wouldn’t have admitted it back then, but I HATED it.  Was terrified of it.  Just getting on a bike made me break out in nervous sweating.  I did it anyway because, well… triathlon.  I liked the swimming and running and winning too much.2007 bike trip

Ten years ago, Spring 2007,
I got really fucking determined “I AM GOING TO LIKE BIKING DAMN IT!”  I spent some time only biking in the easiest situations.  No traffic, only smooth clean paths in perfect weather.  Over the summer, with guidance, I started biking on roads.   Even managed to do a solo bike camping trip.  Even though day two ended in exhausted tears I was proud that I hadn’t been too scared to do it.

Eight years ago, December 2009,
Addled on romance I agreed to become a year round bike commuter.  Feeling like a badass was the only reason it was worth the effort, discomfort, and residual anxiety.

Four years ago, Summer 2013
I discovered that I LOVED bike commuting.  I preferred it.  Sometimes I could have got a ride or drove, but I actually chose biking.  I was fully transformed!  I was a butterfly!

Two years ago, August 2015,
I had my first serious bike crash.  Riding 20mph downhill, a pothole bounced me off my bike.  It left me with a little emotional trauma.  “Downhills make me nervous.  As does questionable roads.  Even just the illusion of uneven roads.  Such as downed autumn leaves and dappled sunlight.  Beautiful or scary?”

Turns out I have a biking fairy godmother.  Anne fixed my bike after the crash.  Then last fall lent me one her bikes from her fleet and patiently guided me in very basic mountain biking.   At first I was panic screaming at everything…trees, mud, logs…
giphy1

I not only survived, I wasn’t even miserable.  It was like Disney magic… giphy

only replace the tiara and ball gown with a helmet and dirt.

Two days ago, May 27th 2017,
I did a race that included single track mountain biking.  Granted, it was totally beginner level.  But there were ups and downs and tight turns and rocks, and narrow passes, and lots of roots and stumps. I fucking did it.  And there was minimal screaming and no wining or crying.

Reflecting on this ten year journey blows me away.  I am so proud of myself for taking all these tiny steps that have led me to this place.  Sometimes I set out with a big goal in mind.  Sometimes it’s only in looking back that I can see how far I’ve come.

So I’ve added “Biking” as a Storyline in the menu bar to collect all the times I’ve shared biking related stories. From my triathlon journey, to bike commuting, to the bike crash, to my next story… Team Velocikitty Snuggles at the Rib Mt. Adventure Race!

 

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Chicken meatloaf with banana amba

Food posts are my way of procrastinating sharing more complicated things.  Hopefully you find them just interesting enough to keep checking back in.  Next weekend Team Velcokitty Snuggles will be doing the 8 hour Rib Mt. Adventure Race.  Not only will it be my first adventure race, but my third time mountain biking in the last eight years.  I’m sure there will be some type two fun in there.

In the meanwhile… I made another recipe from The Laws of Cooking.   I chose Justin’s “chicken shwarma in a can” but figured it was basically a meatloaf and neither the can or the DIY rotisserie was necessary.  Other than that, I actually followed his recipe which means I shouldn’t just give you all the details.  Get your hands on his book!

First I made meat goo.  Mixed yogurt, honey, dijon mustard, garlic, buttermilk powder, parsley, dill, and paprika.  Oh, and I see from the picture I also added dried onion because I found it in my spice stash. img_2614

Continue reading

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