Monday, June 21, 2010

Have to ask

Does everyone have a dancing spot at work?

It is a place that nobody should conceivably be able to see you so you can do a quick spin or lip sync the song that's playing or make a face or just be loose for a moment.

I used to think that working in a lab made this more possible but the reason I had to ask is that in our new space the perfect spot is in the office area. The cube layout creates a perfect space for a millisecond of privacy.

It is a beautiful thing. If you don't have one, find one.

(Though, I got a bit carried away at my old job. It felt so secluded (a BSL2 closed off room) I took to singing out loud and was later told I could be heard. I tried to stick to lip syncing from then on even if I don't believe they could actually hear me over the whirring vents and through a door)

Our new space:

My desk

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Disappointed and rebuilding our relationship

Sometimes you get let down, totally out of the blue. What you'd imagined was dependable and reliable let's you down and all of the sudden it seems like you should have seen the betrayal coming. What stinks is that I'm left wondering what I did wrong? I thought I gave enough love, though, if I really analyze my actions I can say that I haven't always given my all.

I am, of course, talking about my bike and I. I thought we were friends and I took care of it so it would take care of me.

That's why I'm sad to report that it let me down on race day!

Guess I ought to start with the beginning:

I had forgotten that in the summer here Dark O'30 is not really all that dark! And, despite weeks of ugly/wet weather, it was tentatively looking like a nice day. I was all packed and had out just my tri-shorts, bra and singlet. I had 2 pieces of toast w/PB and ½ a banana which is my every day breakfast. The Captain dragged his party animal booty out of bed with me and we headed down to Lake Sammamish.

The day was continuing to clear up and life was good, MUDDY, but good. I was in flip-flops and walked over to pick up my packet losing a shoe to mud puddles with nearly every step. I got my body marked and headed into transition where I proceeded to set up as streamlined a process as possible.

The Cap and I waited on the beach while the first sets of waves took off for the swim. I'm not sure if it was my wetsuit or the early time or nerves or what but my tummy was giving me a bit of a hard time. It may have been that I was laughing about The Julie Moss Incident the night before and this was my payback. Whatever it was, I had to use the restroom twice before my swim wave; and knowing how much I hate messing with the wetsuit once it is on shows how necessary it was.

The Swim:

A sign by the starting mat said water temp 59. BRRR. When my wave walked into the water I was concerned, when the whistle blew and we were off (and my face went into the water) I was panicked. It was COLD, I tried swimming normally but it wasn't happening. I opened the neck on my wetsuit to help my erratic breathing and tried swimming with my head out of water. When this seemed too hard I tried a combo of breast stroke and fly kick but this was very slow. Finally, around the first buoy, I was able to swim with my head down. By the middle of the long straight I was in the groove and I feel like I really picked it up between the 2nd buoy and the finish.


My feet were frozen! It was really hard getting my socks on because my feet were totally numb. Otherwise, T1 was all good and I headed out onto the bike.


I was so grateful for the weather as I headed out on the bike. I am definitely skittish on wet roads so the clear skies and sun were a very welcome sight. I got into a really good groove on the bike and was building a decent pace (avg ~17mph) on the way out. I was impressed with myself and my ability to shift around and maintain speed on the mainly uphill course. As I was going up one of the small hills I pulled out my water bottle to hydrate a bit. While trying to use my mouth to open it the entire cap pulled off and the bottle and its contents spewed behind me. I tentatively yelled back to see if I'd splashed anyone but the rider behind me just laughed.

I thought this little anecdote would be my craziest story from the ride and was satisfied with that as I hit the turn around and headed back to the park. I was feeling great about the ride. Around mile 11 there was an unmistakable thump-thump-thump feeling in the rear. I resisted because I didn't want to have a flat but a few feet later I pulled over.

A flat in the rear. During a race. UGH! I was proud of myself for staying calm and assessing the situation. My rookie/stupid mistake was that I first tried just filling the tire with one of my 2 CO2 cartridges. DUH- it went flat again. So then I set about the business of changing it. This went off fairly well even though I somehow only had 1 tire lever. I was almost set to go when a race official came up; I was getting ready to fill my tire and realized I didn't have enough CO2 (the stem on the new tube was short and I didn't hook it on tightly so I lost a bunch of air). She didn't have a pump. She left me to go tend to other breakdowns (although, without any gear was she really just giving moral support?) promising to stop by on her way back if I was still there. I was a bit stumped, I cleaned up my tire changing mess and tried to figure out how to proceed. Then, like a beacon in the dark night, a cyclist came riding down the trail below the road. I yelled to him to see if he had a pump. He did!

I was saved!

I pumped up, thanked him profusely and was on my way again.


I hadn't pumped it up enough and had to stop about a mile later and borrow a pump from a family out for an afternoon ride.


I was just glad to be back. This was pretty quick.


Issaquah is a semi-trail run and it had been raining for the past week pretty good. The giant mud puddles by the registration table were representative of the run course. By this time I was pretty giddy just to have made it through my little bike incident and decided I would just splash through the mud puddles like a kid in…a mud puddle. When you stepped down on the trampled grass a spray of mud would fly up. I was glad for the core strength I'd built up on my 26/30 days of shredding, since I think it helped me avoid slip sliding on the small and slippery footbridges scattered throughout the run.

I finished! My sweetie was waiting for me at the finish line where we enjoyed Brats and homemade cookies and chocolate milk.

Not my best performance ever but I came away from it with a different sense of accomplishment.

I am SUPER leery of my bike now which is unfortunate since we are riding the 25 mile course of Cascade's Flying Wheels ride. This will be my (and The Cap's) first ever cycling only event. i was very excited, now I am waiting for my bike to apologize (I did buy it a mechanical pump and some new tubes as a conciliatory gesture).


Amber 1:59:22 Swim:0:08:11 T1:2:58 Bike: 1:20:30 T2:1:04 Run: 0:26:39

Friday, June 4, 2010

8 hours to Issaquah

On wednesday night we retaped my handlebars and gave my bike a bit of lovin

Tri-checklist- Check
Alarm set- Check
Breakfast plan ready- Check

Training done- well...mainly
- I got in 12/17 of the swim workouts
-Rode my bike some
- Ran some
-biked then ran some

I guess I am ready to go.

I'm excited since this was my 1st tri ever in 2008.

Guess I oughtta hit the hay. Dark O'thirty comes quick.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sometimes life is just more bearable with grumpy goggles on

Haha! That Speedy is freaking hilarious.


I have been wearing my grumpy goggles too much lately. In order to redirect my energy I will write here about my lovely run last night.

We moved to a new location at work and I have an awesome view. It looks out onto The Puget Sound, railroad tracks, and a mysterious running trail that we hadn't been able to find the beginning of. Last night I headed out determined to find it.

I ran along the railroad tracks for almost 7minutes before I saw where it lets you onto the trail. You have to go through the Olympic Sculpture Park and over the RR tracks to get onto the trail!

It was nice, I ran for 1hr. I forgot my Garmin and had to go based on time. The run was scenic, and cathartic and just what I needed.


Sadly, even by the time I got home I wasn't a joy to be around. Sorry about that sweetie. Good news, you're still pretty great through grumpy goggles.