Friday, January 30, 2009


I am in such a funk. I've been managing 3-4 workouts/week but they feel like total crap just to check the box that I've done them. I have to drag myself out there and have lost any real sense of fulfillment in any training. I feel kinda pitiful admitting this but i need external motivators. I miss having a team, I miss having a goal that I am working toward, I miss having a calendar that helps keep me on track. The ridiculous thing about this is that all of the above are things I can change.

I feel like I'm in this big lazy haze; I look at my messy apartment and don't have the energy to clean it, I sit down to compose emails to friends and don't have the energy to complete them, I see some of the macro agenda items for this year (REUNION) and just cannot motivate myself to get going. It is not uncommon for me to come home, eat a lot and then FALL ASLEEP. It is so bad. I am sleeping my life away these days and it is pretty depressing.

I really neet a reboot for 2009 because I feel like I am in this deep pit already and it is FEB this weekend. I'm mad at myself for losing a month but am terrified that this will continue on.

Not sure how to reboot.

Action items for this weekend:
1. Sign up for Mercer island half-marathon. hopefully that will re-energize me to get on a real running program.
2. Get my W-2 this weekend and do my taxes. This will influence my triathlon and general travel budget for 2009
3. email key players in reunion planning.

Friday, January 23, 2009

BRICK=Bike, Run, ICK!

One of my teammates wrote that on her blog and I've wanted to steal it ever since. I did my first little baby brick of the year! It has been FREEZING cold here in Seattle not to mention we have ~8hours of sunlight which is cloudy of ~60% of that time (can you say SAD) and the thought of biking outside makes me want to curl up in bed with some comfort food. Since that would be counterproductive I have been trying to hit the cycling class as much as possible.

On Wed, I ran 10minutes (hehe) then took a cycling class that made me want to cry (and made me rethink that comfort food plan) THEN ran a mile at my 5K pace. Now this sounds pretty pitiful when stacked up to some of our brick's for TNT and relative to some of my runs whilst marathon training but it was my first attempt running after cycling for a LONG TIME and it felt great.

So I guess it wasn't really "Bike, Run, ICK" it was Bike, Run, InCKredible!"

Blah! TGIF

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Live blogging: Inauguration!!

5:30am Went to the gym, the cycling class was full (!) so I ran and then did 1/2hr of 24Lift.

6:45am Attempted to go to a local theater to watch with my fellow Americans but there was a line around the corner.

7:22 Initiating plan B: watch from home and gush about it on my computer.

7:42 This day is so exciting to me; not just because he is the first black president, not just because he is a Dem (YES!!!) but because we've duly elected another president in a democratic and non-violent fashion. Today is a day to celebrate democracy and the other 2 reasons are just icing on the cake.

7:44am Why is Laura Bush wearing her bathrobe?

7:45 I will want to write more about this later (and maybe just for myself since some sneaky people who know me IRL have found this blog) but I miss and have more regrets today that I didn't get to know my Omi and Opa as an adult. I wish I knew what this day would mean to him. Did he imagine this day? What would he think? I wish they both could have seen this day but even more than that I wish I had gotten to know some of the momentous days in their histories. I wish I could really know some of the obstacles he had to overcome to build his life. I want to know how his time in history affected his choices.

7:52 How intense must this day be for any incoming president? Talk about the weight of the world on your shoulders.

7:54 I LOVE DC. Our Capital is so awesome! I have pledged to myself to live there for some piece of time in my life. I would be honored if I could be there to serve my country in some way. Lawmakers have such an opportunity to change the lives of their constituents. I imagine it must be a humbling experience to take an oath of office like President Obama is about to take.

7:59 Barack Obama will be president in 1 hour. How amazing.

8:01 I am not sorry to see G.W. Bush go but I imagine it must be an enormous day to relinquish the power/responsibility of the presidency. Unfortunately I believe him to be such an egotist that he may not appreciate the enormity.

8:03 Chief Justice Roberts' first swearing in. UGH!!!! HOW DID W GET TO NAME 2 JUSTICES?!?! UGH

8:14 Ha! Sad. They just commented that Bush41 was struggling walking and that "age was taking its toll" then the Carters walked out and the commentators said they were "walking briskly." The Clintons look great and I think they are an amazingly unique couple who have done so much in their lives. Wow.

8:17 The first time I was at the Mall (and my first time in DC) it was for the march for women's lives in 2004

The last time was for the million more march (the 10year anniversary of the Million Man March 10/05).

Both of those days were amazingly memorable and in large part because I have never been a part of a collective sea of people the way it was in those cases. There is something very powerful about being just a thread in the fabric of history. I imagine the people who have spent all day on the mall are feeling that 10fold.

8:34 "A peaceful transfer of power" I am very aware of how lucky we are for this and very grateful for it.

8:37 the last "Hail to the Chief" for Bush!

8:39 As goofy as it sounds to put it on paper, I love my country. I'm proud of how much we've done and the principles that we are striving to achieve. I am proud because, while I realize we're imperfect, I never doubt that we will strive to be better and to do better. I am grateful to our founders for their bravery and wisdom in forming this nation and laying down guidelines in our constitution that we could build upon and use to strengthen it. I'm grateful to those before me who pushed boundaries, opened doors, ignored obstacles and broke ceilings. I accept that we can't stop pushing and that each generation inherits, with the advances, the responsibility to strive for more.

8:57 The 20th amendment says he is President in 3 minutes. Here goes Biden. (John Paul Stevens is adorable). Is Jill Biden holding a large print or Braille bible? It is giant.

9:00 Biden has taken his oath and it is noon EST, Barack Obama is president of the United states. (they should cut the music since they're behind schedule)

9:02 I remember so clearly sitting and watching this PISSED OFF in 01. I was sad in 05. I was sort of aggravated both times but I still remember being choked up at the enormity. This time I am an embarrassing mess...maybe it is for the best that I'm alone.

9:05 The oath. Wow, simple words that accompany such huge responsibility.

9:14 Wow! A shout out to science (I think to quote "raise it up to where it should be"). I like that he sounds like he isn't going to take the excuse that now isn't the time for an ambitious agenda. DON"T HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN SAFETY AND IDEALS. America is ready to lead once more.

9:20 "A new era of peace". With all my heart I hope so.

9:22 'Can't afford to ignore the suffering outside our borders'. With all my heart i hope we learn how to help and act fast.

9:23 'The values on which our success depends are old'. Agreed wholeheartedly but we may need a refresher on how to express them.

9:26 This was way better than blubbering and blabbering with strangers. Now I have a record of my thoughts on this big day. I have to change one sentiment from President Obama's final words. I say God Bless the World.

Saturday, January 17, 2009



I had a great workout tonight and it was just in time.

My cycling class I had slated for last night got postponed due to self-pity wallowing. It has been a long time since I have interupted my regularly scheduled program for self-pity so I let myself have it (plus I fell asleep). But that meant that I had only worked out 2 times this week! No good!

So tonight I went to my favorite gym and did a hill interval workout and went for my first swim in a LONG TIME. It was great. SpeedyDMD told me about her new treadmill workout where she does one minute flat and then runs on an incline that increases 1% every interval. I did a version of this then cooled down a bit.

After which I got in the pool!!!!!! It has been forver since I've gotten in the water and I was afraid it would be awful. It wasn't! My arms are pretty weak but I felt like my stroke was OK and I was flip turning like nobody's business!

Lesson learned: A great workout is better than a sad-sack night.
as goofy as it is I left the timing chip on my shoes because when I am running it makes me feel strong and determined and like I can meet any goal I set for myself.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Really TV execs?

I was trying to decide when to go for a workout tonight and thus was checking the TV listings to see what time I needed to be home for Must See TV (pitiful, I know) when I saw a listing for:

9:00pm - 9:30pm, TLC (38)

Saw For Hire : "Monster Sycamore Tree"

A troublesome sycamore and a late start creates challenges for the crew in the opener of the reality series following a tree-removal company.

REALLY? Really, reality TV? Seriously? This is what we have come to?

(although, I kind of see myself laying in bed on a Saturday getting sucked into a marathon of this. SAD)

So, um, yeah

Working out has not been working out as of late. I've been going to the gym but my runs are pathetic. No, pitifully pathetic. I am DYING lately. I can barely make it through a 3-miler before what I would describe as a bonk. I have really changed my diet recently and am going to blame a bit of the bonking on that. I've been really strict with myself for the past almost 2 weeks in order to get back on track but I think it's time to get real a bit.

My nutritional plan (not diet, haha) I have been following the past 2 weeks is what I was incredibly successful on when I first started getting my fitness act in gear. What I am forgetting though is that my activity level was way less back then. It just so happened that there was a concatenate addition of more food as I exercised more which worked out perfectly. So I guess now I need to find my new set point for diet; the place where I have JUST enough fuel to feel good through workouts and life.

The plan is to just make it through this week keeping the nutrition plan I have now and sticking to short (and hopefully frequent) workouts. Then as I add in harder workouts I can add in more food but I will have hopefully revised my palate to food groups other than: Pastry, Pizza, Fried things and high-calorie-coffee-beverages.

On tap for today: Cycling class

Friday: Short run and swim

Saturday: LONG RUN (which now will mean >6miles)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Too funny

No really, I am too funny.

It probably isn't well reflected in this blog but I would say my best quality is my sense of humor. I would also say my worst quality is I think I'm hilarious. Actually, I find almost everything to be just on the brink of hilarity in some way.

This is usually not a problem but for the last few years I've noticed a bunch of ways my humor sets me back.

At Work: I often use humor to lighten the mood or acknowledge a frustration before it becomes toxic. In my head I don't see why we all can't compartmentalize the serious focus of the work we do away from the silliness that day-to-day lab science (and I would say most types of work) brings. I used to be pretty oblivious that I was hurting myself professionally; I figured that I was coming off as fresh and spirited rather than flighty and sometimes obnoxious. So I've toned it down quite a bit and save goofy comments for later (or better yet keep them in my head). So in this area I've gotten better though I must admit sometimes it feels pretty ridiculous to act like everything is life-or-death and I let a comment slip.

Personally: Humor here lightens the mood too, and in group settings sometimes this is a good thing. I think I am a Chandler Bing, though. I use humor to get out of uncomfortable situations but, sadly, almost all situations where I deal with people are initially uncomfortable. And in one on one situations (i.e. relationships) I don't know when or how to turn the comedian off. Also, here I don't think everything is funny, life gives situations that are pretty serious and sometimes I need help dealing with them and not using humor to cover it up.

In my athletic endeavors: The one positive side to my sense of humor is that it is a way for me to deal with my fears. When you hyperbolize an issue it makes the real one seem small. Like was I afraid I'd be so slow in the marathon that they'd hand me a trash bag and ask me to clean up water cups? No, but joking about it reminded me that I would get through it and it could be worse. The downside though is that I use humor to somewhat excuse myself from pushing hard or excelling. I will joke about being lazy or slow but what I am realizing is that is just me telling myself I can be lazy and slow. I think my sense of humor is so finely tuned out of self-consciousness.

When I joined Team in Training I was so afraid that people would think I was too slow/fat/lazy to be a triathlete but as I trained with them (THE WORLD'S MOST POSITIVE PEOPLE) the environment was so positive that I didn't have to joke. Instead of saying the only way they would get me into a lake was to drop my body in there with the other murdered carcasses (because that is where murderers dispose of bodies) I said if my TEAM was doing it I'd give it a try. I never let myself tease me out of a situation. Now it is time to apply that same positivity to Crossfit. While the pre-TNT Amber has visions of herself crumpled on the mat as fit and lean people aerobicize on top of her, the POST-TNT Amber is going to try it.


The craziest thing about triathlon/running for me has been how the lessons I've learned apply to other areas in my life. I like that these sports keep me active and are helping me get fit but I LOVE that they are helping me figure out who it is I want to be and what obstacles I need to work on to get there. I need to stop teasing myself out of succeeding at work and in my personal life (i.e. relationships J ). If I just work hard and have a bit of faith in myself then that is most of the battle.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

`09'll be fine

Really, they are still in progress.

There is a snag in my Alcatraz plan. My 10yr HS reunion is the same day. NO GOOD.

I am trying to decide on an A race for early in the season...I'm thinking Oly.
I have also decided to sign up for the soonest 1/2M there is locally (which appears to be early march) so that I get my but running again.

When to tackle a HIM? No idea.

I am feeling like 2009 is getting away from me before I can lay out a plan.

9 for 2009:
1. Make my workouts count. Intervals/speed/hills the whole gambit. Junk miles aren't good enough anymore

2. Recommit to swimming. Since this was my best discipline I tended to let it slack the most. And junk yardage isn't good enough either.

3. Core train. Stop being scared of Crossfit and just go, I may just like it...stranger things have happened.

4. Reconnect with tri-friends and get back on a cycling schedule.

5. Look into joining a tri-club or training group. DON'T BE SHY or INTIMIDATED.

6. INSERT RACE PLAN HERE. Include one race in another state and one race in a place in WA you've never been (sorta adapted this from some one's NYR). Include both tri's and runs.

7. Get excited about reunion and do my best to get as many people there as possible (and be brave in planning, drop the social anxiety from HS). Enjoy has been an eventful 10yrs for us all!

8. Work hard. Work hard at work' work hard at saving, work hard at enjoying this piece of life, work hard at deciding what I want and going after it.

9. In relation to above, BE BRAVE. The above won't happen if I don't ACT BRAVE, wait...BECOME BRAVE.