31 March 2008

sun :)

This weekend I had a mini-retreat for a volunteer thing. It was held at the Boston Store in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There a few pics from the yummy food at the retreat and of all of us eating and talking. After I went on a hike. :) It was awesome! Sunny and warm. :) I was out and about for about two hours. Spring hasn't actually come just yet. There are a few shots of buds, but I can't wait to get back out there once things turn green. I took some pics with my digital camera and I shot about two rolls on my 35mm. I have to get those negatives developed. As soon as I have those I will share those too! :) Sorry to be brief but I have a TON of stuff to do for my project!!!

Get out there and enjoy the sun!

28 March 2008

busy bee

So as most of you know, I'm FINALLY finishing up my masters this semester. I'm glad to be finishing but I'm VERY stressed out about my project and the closely approaching due date (APRIL 7th). This as well as alot of CRAZY CRAZY work stuff has had me very busy and therefore unable to be here writing away for your daily entertainment. ;) Sorry about that!!! But after the 7th things will start to return to normal, at least as close to normal as my life may be.

Hopefully, I'll have some pics to post soon. I have a volunteer thing this Saturday and the setting will provide a number of wonderful photo opportunities. I'm bringing my standard digital AND my 35mm! I haven't been out with it in a while so it will be nice to get some good shots. Fingers crossed, I'll have something to share.

As for sharing time at present, I found a very interesting blog today. Some of you may already be acquainted with it.

McCainBloggette.com is a site, which is in no way affiliated with the Presidential Campaign of John McCain (as per the disclaimer), maintained by Meghan McCain, the 23 year old daughter of the Presidential hopeful. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first arrived at the blog. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the blog doesn't deal with the 'issues' of the campaign - AT ALL. Meghan focuses her writings on what it is like to be on the campaign trail. All the places they are traveling to and the activities that she has going on. She has wonderful pics and videos from behind the scenes, at events, on the plane and at fund raisers, courtesy of Heather Brand and Shannon Bae, respectively. It is interesting to see what goes on while stomping for the White House. I can bet that many of us will never have the chance to experience it, so this small glimpse is a fun way to see what goes on when the world isn't watching.

I really enjoy being able to see people in his/her element. You get to learn more about the person. It's like when you are dating someone. The first time you meet his/her family, you get to see how they relate and what the dynamics are, you can learn so much about a person. That's what this is like, except a little less hands on. Meghan is honest and open about her thoughts and feelings. Even reading some of the captions to the pictures, you realize that Meghan is a regular, down to earth twenty something. She forgoes makeup and perfectly styled hair in many pics and vids. She is real. That is one of things that really struck me. Obviously, she wants her dad to be president and she isn't going to divulge any shocking or inappropriate information, but she is trying to show the side of her life that is private. Sharing personal and public moments alike, to bring some humanity to the process of electing a president. There is even a post titled "10 Things You Don't Know About My Mom," where Meghan informs readers among other things that she was named rodeo queen in high school, loves the band Cream and that her favorite snacks are Cheetos and salt and vinegar chips. Meghan even takes time to create music playlists, sharing her current iPod favs.

I wish every campaign had a fun, light hearted blog that showed the process and let us get to know the candidates as people. I often wonder about all of the three major candidates. What they like to do just before bed, what their favorite breakfast is, their most memorable childhood experience, who their first friend was. These little tidbits remind us that for better or worse, the political figures are still people. People just like the rest of us.

I like to see the candidates laugh and cry. Get personal, real. I truly enjoy how involved the spouses and children of the candidates have been during this pre-election time. I was proud of Chelsea for standing up for her mother (although the question that was posed, is one of my biggest issues with Hillary, but that is another topic! ;) ) If Hillary was my mother, I would have told the guy to go pound salt as well.

Seeing the families of the candidates gives us a small glimpse of who they are as people. Just like when Jenna Bush was on the Ellen Show. Ellen asks her to call the President and as a result we hear typical comments that any child might say about his/her father, President or not.

Hopefully, as the campaigning continues, so will appearances by those that know more about the candidates than we will ever know.

24 March 2008

Easter Eggs

This past Friday I decorated Easter eggs with my mom. Steve has a new a job (Woohoo for Steve!!!) so he was working. Here are some pics of our egg decorating. I love decorating eggs! We used to do it as a family when we were all available. I like to do multicolored ones and use the wax crayon to draw designs!!! :)

21 March 2008


I am not a very religious person. I was raised Roman Catholic, spent 8 years in Catholic school and then went to a Jesuit college after public high school. Yesterday began the Triduum. It is slightly ironic, I was born on April 3rd which was Holy Thursday, the first day of the Triduum. That could have been a powerful omen I suppose. However, what is more powerful, I was baptized on May 18, 1980. As some of you might know, that is the day Mt. St. Helenes erupted. I always joke that that was a sign of things to come. ;)

This weekend is one of the most solemn and celebratory times for Catholics. Today is the day that Jesus was crucified. This was the day that he gave himself for all of us to be saved.

It is funny, even though I don't celebrate my religion that much anymore (for reasons too many to list here ;) ) the above statement is fact in my mind. This is something that I have never questioned. Have I questioned other beliefs in my faith, the existence of God, if the immaculate conception really happened that way, of course. But for some reason the idea of Jesus dying on the cross because his faith was strong and he believed that he was opening the gates of Heaven isn't something I ever questioned.

While I don't attribute too much of my personality or belief system to being Catholic or my schooling, one thing that Catholicism has taught me is faith. I mean this in the broadest sense. I'm truly an optimist, although I might not always seem like one. I believe that the majority of people are good and intend to be good and have meaningful and productive lives. In my undergraduate education, I studied politics, crimes and criminals. I can probably name more world politicos than popes, serial killers than saints.

I was always able to see the person behind the crimes. And learning about the individual and his or her life fascinated me. When I was determining if law school was the right path for me, I worked for the DA's office in Erie County. I was assigned to the City Court Division in Buffalo. I had to meet with the Bureau Chief once a week and talk about my experience. Every time we met, I discussed the things that bothered me.

It wasn't the crimes, I was able to separate my personal life from work and left all that at work when I went home. What struck me the most was the hypocrisy, the lack of humanity that infiltrated every aspect of the system. I was continually effected by it. The words and actions of the judges, attorneys and police officers. Not the defendants. For some reason, I was still able to see them, in spite of the crimes they committed, as someone's mother/father, husband/wife, sister/brother, or child. There was this quest on my part to determine for myself if people are born 'bad' or if society or someone makes them that way. I still of course have not figured it out. ;) But I still wonder sometimes what would have happened if some of our most revered and reviled historical figures had had different lives or different circumstances, would they have fulfilled the same destiny.

I have wondered this about Jesus.

But above all I have wondered about his level of faith.


It is something that can sustain us through hard and difficult times. It can raise us up and help us celebrate at the realization of our goals and achievements. It can be found in many forms. Faith in our friends, family, government, religion, education and our relationships with others and our world.

Faith has always gotten me through difficult times and trials. No matter how dark things seem to be for me, there is always an internal light. That is my faith. Faith that things will work out and will truly be ok. Faith that I have the strength to make it through. Faith in myself and those that love me.

I was reminded of this today as I read several blog posts. One from TriFolk and the other a picture from Shreve at The Daily Coyote. One thing that I often forget to do is observe and listen. Listen to my heart, my instinct. Listen to the world around me. To the silence or noise. Letting that fill me up, lead me to the right path. That is also faith. Trusting things outside of ourselves and surrendering. Surrendering our ego. Through mindful listening and observation so much can be revealed.

As I explore the limitations of my body, I have to surrender to this process. Let go of the (too?) high expectations I always have for myself and realize that this is all part of my journey. All of this is bringing me to the unknown place where I am supposed to be. I don't know exactly where that is yet, but I will eventually. If I'm patient and aware.

I have faith that I will accomplish my goals. It may not be in the time frame I've chosen or in the sequence I thought it should be. But I will.

I have faith in that, in this process and myself. And I think that's all you really need.

17 March 2008

favorite things

Many thanks to all for the blogland love and support! :) I'm going to try and write about my 'journey' as best as I can........until I feel like I'm complaining, then I'll find something else to write about. ;)

So I have been meaning to do a post of some of my favorite tri/training 'things' and I thought that today was as good as any. Please feel free to share some of YOUR favorite training items/accessories.

Fav bike shorts: I have only tried three brands, but my theory is once you find something you like, stick with it. My favorite brand for bike 'bottoms' is She Beest. A-W-E-S-O-M-E, imo. I have the shorts and the pedal pushers and love both. They are comfy and cut just right. Plus they hold up well with regular washing. One thing I love about the company is that it was created by a woman and she still heads up design. Check them out!

Fav trail socks: I know I've gushed about these socks before. Balega trail socks are my fav by far. I'm not a fan of thick cushy socks and these are thicker than what I would normally wear but I love them! They wick great and keep your feet feeling warm and snugglely no matter how many miles you walk/run. I have taken to wearing them for everyday use.

Fav running socks: I stick with the cool max and dri fits that New Balance and Nike have to offer here. I have a couple pairs of cotton Nike dri fits that I workout in sometimes, but for runs the thinner the better! Oh I have a couple pairs of Smart Wool socks too but I haven't raced in any yet.

Fav trail shoes: North Face W Ultra 103 XCR. I love these shoes for more than just trail runs. :) They are super comfy and the Gortex keeps your tootsies toasty warm and dry. I've even been ankle deep and still had dry feet; wet calves but dry feet. ;) I will say though that E-Speed recently reviewed a pair of New Balance trail runners and I might check those out this fall.

Fav running shoes: I'm a New Balance girl myself and have been sticking with the 1060 series for a few years now. The current shoe is the WR1062. They offer the right amount of support I need, are reasonably lightweight and the new insole is better than ever, eliminating the need for extra arch support.

Fav sports bra: Nike doesn't make my fav sports bra any longer but the replacement, which I have yet to own, but have tried on is just a good if not better. Sports bras have been a 'problem' of mine for the majority of my life. I was one of those girls that went from no boobs to c cups overnight. And unfortunately, when you are a d cup there isn't much you can do to keep things comfortably in place while running. So I'm always on the hunt for a great sports bra. Recently, there is this trend to lift, support AND separate which is something relatively new. The Nike Revolutionary Bra, has three ways to customize fit making it more accommodating and providing the possibility for uniboob to be a thing of the past. :)

I know this is probably not ANYTHING that any of you guys are interested in (if you even are reading still) but it is a very important part of any training or race day attire. Here is my biggest pet peeve about sports bras: I'm short, hence I have a shorter torso than most which is measured from the shoulders to the hip, therefore I need adjustable shoulder straps. Why more sports bras don't come with adjustable straps is beyond me. The other thing that is beyond me is the 'one fits all' approach to measuring. Whether I'm being measured for a regular bra or a sports bra, by a regular sale clerk or someone from the company, the measuring tape always lies. By about 4 sizes. They bring in the bras and they never fit, so I end up trying on like 20 bras before we finally get to the size I need. *sigh*.....

Fav sports foodie item: SportBeans hands down. Oh and dried cranberries. It is amazing what a kick a handful of dried cranberries can provide on a hot and humid August run!

Fav recovery snack: Chocolate milk or sugar free carnation instant breakfast. Nuff said. :)

Since Morris has his own mini speed races through the house, I figured he could share his favorite things too. Just in case any of you cat owners are interested. ;)

Fav toys: Morris is a bit of an angry drunk so he doesn't get any catnip. However, honeysuckle provides the same 'feeling' without getting into his blood stream and making him even more crazy than he normally is. Coventry Cats has these great honeysuckle pillows, which we lovingly refer to as happy pillows. For days when Morris wants something a little more interactive and challenging we reach for GO-CAT's Da Bird or Wild Thing. Both of which need to be kept hidden away in the linen closet or he will destroy them. If you haven't tried Da Bird yet, seriously get one!!! You can check youtube for video of people's cats playing with this wonderful invention.

Fav treats: Liv-a-littles from Halo. He prefers salmon or chicken. These are only given rarely because Morris will eventually go on a hunger strike and cry by the fridge to get some, which makes me want to throw him out of the window. So for both of us these are only given on special occasions.

Fav dinner: My homemade cod fillets. I bake the fish with a little Morton's Seasoning Salt and Paprika and viola! I have to give him a small amount at a time otherwise he eats it too fast and then throws up all over. Which is BEYOND gross.

Fav ordinary item toy: This is a tie between brown paper bags and the down comforter.

So there you have it my friends, some of my favorite things! Please share some of yours. I love hearing about the products that others use. It helps me find other fun goodies out there! :)

15 March 2008


Last night was sooooo misty! Monica, Gary and I went over to the interclub social at Rock Bottom. It was alot of fun! Good food, brews and people. On the way home I couldn't believe the fog!!! I have an irrational fear of fog/mist. Mostly just the dense kind that hangs over the road at night. I always feel like something is going to come out and get me. As Gary put it, "when have you ever seen a monster!?" Ok so maybe there aren't real monsters but you know what I mean. :P

Today I'm headed over to Fleet Feet for their big SALE. Love those! Plus I have a $25 credit waiting and I want some new socks. I have to get over to the bike shop either today or tomorrow to figure out what is going on with my trainer and pick up my bike with my new sweet wheels! :) Don't you worry, I will post pics of them. I need to get my cleats adjusted a bit I think, Jacob thinks that is what is causing my feet numbing issue.

So yesterday I went to see the wise Dr. Shah. I brought along my laptop to show him some vid of my running. I think I finally have a clear diagnosis of what is really going on now. Which is good but not exactly what I was hoping for.

So here is the deal.

Apparently, my pelvic floor isn't as strong as it could be, neither are my core muscles. Who knew right? In addition, some of my muscles have developed some bad habits. The main offenders??? For all of you medically inclined individuals these are the overachievers: rectus abdominis, gluteus maximus muscle, and quadriceps femoriss. Here are the underachievers or confused muscles as Dr. Shah likes to call them: Iliacus, Psoas major, Psoas minor, Hamstring, adductor muscles of the hip, transversus abdominis, Abdominal external oblique muscle, and Abdominal internal oblique muscle.

Now as you can see the list of overachievers is significantly smaller than the underachievers. That is where the biggest problem arises. Who knows why these muscles have chosen to take on the jobs of 7 other muscles but as a result the underachievers don't really know what their job is now. Basically, when I start running, my glutes start to fire and essentially support my whole body (skeletal system) so the rest of the muscles that would normally do that are kind of like, "WTF Glutes? What do I do then?" So they get confused and start to fire in a nonsupportive way resulting in strains (i.e. my recent hip flexor injury).

Now the question goes to how does one fix such a problem? Well, unfortunately I have to start from scratch. :( I have to begin as though I have never done any of this before. The key to retraining muscles to perform a different way is small increments of slow purposeful movement. So I have to start running from scratch basically. At the first moment of fatigue, muscles will return to what they know how to do best so the key is to retrain just to the point BEFORE fatigue begins so the muscles essentially 'remember' the new movement and progressively 'forget' the old ones.

One minute a day only. Concentrating on using specific muscles and having a neutral pelvis. My biggest problem to overcome is going to be the glutes. Unfortunately, I currently don't seem to have any control over what they do. I don't ever consciously tighten my glutes. However, because they feel like they are supporting my whole body, they are doing it automatically. :( Getting my glutes to stop trying to do the job of the rest of my muscular system is going to be hard. But if I want to continue, it is what I have to do. My cold is almost gone so I can at least get back in the pool in the next few days and swim!

At this point I'm not sure what to do about blogging. I was telling Monica yesterday that I feel kind of lame. Everyone else I know is out there building a base, training and having a great time. I'm just not there. And I'm kind of getting sick of hearing myself talk about what I can't do. :( I'm sure all of you are there with that feeling too. So I don't know if I should take a break from blogging because it isn't going to be as tri related as I had intended the blog to be and spare everyone the details of my ridiculous 5 minute training days. Or just keep up and keep blabbing away about life in general and fit the tri stuff in where I can.

I'm sure I have one good post left once I get things figured out with my bike. After that, who knows what will happen.

Before I go, I just want to say great job to Monica for getting her 20 miles in today and to all my CTCers who finished St. Malachi today. :) Have a great weekend everyone!!!

13 March 2008

spring :)

Monday I saw my first robin of the spring season. :) He was gathering items to begin a nest!!! So never fear everyone things are about to shift into spring.

Sorry I have been MIA for a few days! I've been trying to get over this cold and my landlady is back in the hospital and there have been some issues with the houses so I've been taking care of a bunch of things. I'm pretty sure my cold is almost gone! Woohoo!!! I was banking on the fact that it would be on its way out by the weekend. I tried to swim the other day and it was super uncomfortable be cause my head is sooooo stuffy. :(

I get to go see the sports doc tomorrow, Dr. Shah. We will see what he says about my hip and legs. Earlier this year, I had to buy a new computer because mine was broken. So I got a laptop, which ended up being a really great deal (Under $800). So one of things that it came with, which I didn't realize was an integrated webcam. So I wanted to see what the fuss was all about with this leg length theory. Soooooo, you guessed it! I recorded myself running and walking from the side and the back. It is hard to explain without seeing the video, but the strangest thing happens. As I go into extension of my left leg, the middle of my stride, my right hip drops significantly. :( So I'm not sure what that indicates but it was quite interesting to watch myself running. I realized that I have very straight upper body. I'm reading this book right now, Chi Running, and I've been totally into all the chi business he is talking about and am excited to try some of the techniques and exercises in there. So we'll see what happens. I will probably be reviewing the book and techniques next week sometime, so stayed tuned for that!

I have pilates today, so I'm going to show my video to Hayley and see what she thinks about it. Seriously, you should try it, it is quite interesting to watch your running technique.

If I have time before the interclub social tomorrow, I will post an update from the wise Dr. Shah.

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine!!! Happy Thursday! :)

08 March 2008

my view

It is snowing....still.......since yesterday! :) After I got up this morning, I sat at my desk which faces windows that overlook Cedar Road. I watched the snow fall and slowly the street disappeared and everything was totally covered in fluffy white goodness. I took a few pics of views from my windows, not quite brave enough to go out yet. I think I might go for a walk tonight after it gets dark. Night snow pictures are the best! :) As I looked out my bedroom windows, I saw someone cross country skiing down Derbyshire. And of course people have been walking in the road instead of the sidewalks which are pretty much impossible to find. Oh I checked out my porch and it is covered in snow! I opened the door to take some pics and Morris ran out to play for a bit. I hope everyone is enjoying the snowy weather! Seems people around me are having some cabin fever, as the traffic has picked up quite a bit. If you are going to go out please be careful and drive slowly. I think I'm going to stick to walking, no wheels for me today. :) Stay warm!

07 March 2008

snowy friday....

Well my friends, March has officially arrived! March is always the snowiest month. I like the snow (don't tell ANYONE that though) but this stuff that twirls around and blows all different directions just so it hits you right in the face, it is a little aggressive if you ask me. I mean yes Mother Nature I know it is snowing, I don't need my eyelashes to freeze shut. So anyhow make sure you bundle up, it is going to be a frosty, freezey weekend! :)

Just to give you a little update from yesterday, I'm feeling a little better. Things with my project are going a tiny bit better. I slept for 5 HOURS STRAIGHT last night, which is more than any other night this week. :) I'm still in sick denial, but I'm starting to feel like I have the upper hand. Although everyone I talk to on the phone or see is like, are you sick???

That reminds me, last night my brother and I were at CVS getting some antisick supplies and the conversation went like this:

Steve: Weren't you already here this morning?

Me: Yes.

Steve: And weren't you wearing the pjs you have on now?

Me: Yes, but I have on a long coat, so no one can see that.

Steve: Well, they CAN see your socks.

***I was wearing these black fuzzy knee socks with snowmen on them. But you couldn't see the WHOLE sock.***

Me: Whatever, what's your point?

Steve: Nothing.

Me: The same people aren't working now that were working then! For crying out loud, I feel like ass, I don't care!

Steve: Well, you look like ass too so at least things are consistent.

Me: (Hitting him as hard as I could) Listen up, when a woman says she feels like ass you don't say, hey you look like it too! Jerk face!

Steve: I don't think women say things like "I feel like ass."

Me: (ignoring his existence at this point) Thanks have a great night! (Yes this entire exchange happened at the checkout counter.)

So anyhow, I'm letting the tea and vitamins and honey and cough drops do their thing and I think by Monday I will be finished with this snifflely business! :)

I wanted to also alert all of you CTCers of a wonderful lecture that is happening next week on March 11th, Tuesday night. Here is the link so you can view the 'official' brochure and REGISTER for the event. ;)

Now I know I always go on about how much I love the Chagrin Valley Wellness Center and how they fix me every time I'm a little broken or a lot broken, whatever the case may be, but seriously people this place rocks! And when I attended a seminar there a few months ago I talked to Sean, who I'm pretty sure does all their marketing PR stuff (right? if not let me know what you do....besides all the trouble you're usually causing! ;) ). Anyway, I said you should do some athlete centric seminars because athletes love learning new ways to be more efficient, etc. etc. So I got an email from Ashleigh, who you can call and register with, from the CVWC about the seminar this coming TUESDAY and it is for Runners and it will be all about better breathing and hydration techniques. I definitely have breathing issues. :( As my pilates instructors are ALWAYS telling me. So I'm going, 1. because I love CVWC and 2. because I'm a bad breather. That sounds weird but you get what I mean. :) So please check it out and register! Oh plus half the registration fee is donated to the Make a Wish Foundation.

Well, I unfortunately have to get back to work. :( I hope all of you have wonderful Fridays!!!!

p.s. don't forget to check out the seminar! ;)

Oooooooohhhhhhhhhh I almost forgot today is my mom's birthday! Happy Birthday MOM!!!!! :) (I'll put a pic up when I get home)

ok seriously, I'm done........for now.........aaahahahahahaha....

06 March 2008

under stress, under attack

I know that everyone handles stress differently and it effects everyone differently, but anyone have a situation where stress is trying to kill you? Ok so that maybe a bit dramatic but I can tell you this, stress is my nemesis. Stress gets me and messes with my head and then starts to attack my immune system and then my body starts freaking out like, "Oh no what do I do?" So then my body makes a choice to help me get through the stress stuff and let the physical attack go on or vice versa. Usually, it is a two prong 'approach'. Yes, all you legal eagles, similar to the two prong test.

So I have this project I'm working on to finish my degree and I'm super stressed and worrying about it too much. But I can't help it. I mean I'm trying and if I could workout (a. don't have any time to, b. not allowed to run which is what I REALLY need to do)it would help. Maybe not completely but a great deal. So because I'm freaking out, I mean seriously, if what was going on inside was outside I would be...imagine some crazed lady running around in circles waving her hands and yelling at the top of her lungs.....yeah that pretty much sums it up. So instead all that chaos and worry is stuck inside and thus preventing me from not only sleeping but driving me nuts. I mean I'm feeling less sane than I normally do which is saying alot. :(

Normally, in the past, grad school stress and worry is mitigated by my grad school comrades. They calm me down, help me get some perspective, give me alcohol all those things lead to a much more calm, relaxed, fun me. However, they aren't here. :( And furthermore, they aren't in grad school anymore so they've left behind that feeling of ridiculous and irrational fear that someone holds your future in his/her hands.

Since I've moved back I haven't always felt like I had a support system like I did when I lived in the b-lo. That is mostly because three of the main people that used to do the above aren't as easily accessible as they were before.

1. Eric - Eric and I are complete opposites. I mean seriously COMPLETELY opposite. But for some reason that works for us. Like that ying and yang thing. He knows how to handle me to a, well, T. I always make fun of him for being boring and tell him I feel so bad for Olivia (his wife) that she married such a boring guy. I mean that of course only in the best way possible and express it with affection. He puts up with my crazy ideas and frequent ditzy comments. We always put together great dinners in grad school and worked awesome when it came to group projects. He would listen as I spoke without breathing creating incoherent, emotional statements and after laughing at me was able to understand my point and help figure out a plan. Seriously though, Eric gets me through my freaking out sessions because he is always so calm and knows exactly what to say to make me stop freaking out. To him, I'm too emotional and I make things bigger than they need to be because I worry too much. He is usually right.


2. Stephanie - Stephanie is one of my best friends. We make each other laugh and cry. We love each other to death but surely don't tell each other that enough. We are both strong, loud and opinionated. Whenever someone needed a go to gal they called one of us (or both). We always had little things we would do when one of us was upset and knew just what to do to make each feel better. Whenever one of us is in crisis mode the phone rings and all is right in world after some tears and laughs. Thankfully, her organization is my client for my project! :)


3. Malvike - Malvika is another one of my best friends. We met in crazy Hiro Hata's architecture class. Lots of times Mal thinks I'm the one that holds her up and gives her advice. But she does it just as much for me. Our cultural differences create such unique perspectives when it comes to problem solving that there isn't too much we can't figure out. When push came to shove, it was Mal, me and pack of cigarettes and endless cups of chai (real indian chai). We are both daydreamers and we would come up with scenarios of what life would be like and all that was in store for us. Those afternoons of daydreams, hindi movies and caffeine helped get us through the all-nighters in the Hayes Lab.


So right now, I'm not only feeling stressed and worried about the fact that I want to be farther along in my project than I am but now I'm fighting a cold/sinus infection too. I'm feeling a little like a boat lost at sea. All the things that could keep me on my mark, compass, lighthouse, sails, those are in other states. I know they are just a phone call away but nothing can replace sitting around and talking.

Now onto actual tri and training related info (since that is what this blog is supposed to be about, as I've been reminded by a few people).

Hip Flexor Update: I'm almost done with my PT and the pilates classes have been helping me immensely. I see the sports med doc next week Friday and hopefully we can figure out if I'm fixed or not. There seems to be a consensus now at the CVWC that I have leg length discrepancies and that is the real culprit. We shall see!

Book Review Update: I TOTALLY have three more books to discuss. However, one is about running and I haven't been able to try that so I don't want to write about it until I've tested things out and the other two are about swimming and I haven't been able to get in to the pool and want to test that out too before I write about it. Stay tuned!

Tri Events: This weekend is the CTC Indoor Tri at CVAC. I'm volunteering since I can't participate which is good because I can help cheer on my fellow CTCers as they battle through the three 20 min sessions of swim, bike, run! :) Good luck to everyone participating!!!

I hope all of you are warm and well! The sun is making spotty appearances here in C-town so I'll try and send some your way! :)

04 March 2008


So today I went to the polls and was a little confused by the new system. I guess not so much confused but kind of....I don't know, it was weird to fill in like that. I normally do absentee ballots which are fill in but when I do go to the poll it is the push chad thingys and I like those better.

Anyhow, I'm not affiliated or registered as affiliated with a party so technically as independent so when I went today I was expecting to declare. I wasn't sure how to vote. I'm not totally sold on anyone. Which seems to be a popular feeling. I am kind of happy with McCain and generally like him overall. But today I was thinking that I should vote for which dem I liked more because McCain will get the republican nom. But I was still unsure what to do. Here is the other deal, I never registered in Cleveland Heights, so my parents cancel each other (one is dem and the other rep) and my vote gets to count. ;) I shouldn't say that, everyone's vote counts but you get what I mean. ;)

So I get there and show my ID and sign the book and the woman looks at the other guy and says democrat. Really loudly actually, so much so that I was pretty sure she was using some kid of antidem signal and someone was going to rush out and beat me up. My precinct, Precinct C in Chagrin Falls, is dark dark red. ;) Ok back to the story, so she practically yells "Democrat" and I was like "Wait, what? I didn't say anything, I mean I'm not registered as democrat but....I want that ballot."

This fall I will vote via absentee. I like doing it that way because I can sit down and look up each candidate for the various positions and read more about them and figure out who I want to vote for. I like taking my time and really considering each candidate.

In the last presidential election the candidate that I voted for didn't win. Today the candidate that I voted for did. November is a long way away and things might change, my opinion might change or it may not. Like most things, only time will tell.

primary day

I still haven't gotten to the polls yet today and I'm pretty sure I know who I'm voting for.....I'll get to that later. I had a few minutes before a meeting and I wanted to share a funny video from a show on Vh1. If you've never heard of free radio check it out. Enjoy!

The views of Lance do not in any way represent the views of myself. He just makes me laugh...alot. :)

03 March 2008


i could cry.....i'm not going to, but i could if i had the energy. :( sometimes when i'm frustrated, i can't help but want to cry. i think i cry more from frustration than sadness and i hate that. i suppose that is a good thing because it means i'm not sad very often but.....eh, who cares about that right now?

5.5 hours of census data and i still feel like i'm not any closer to having anything accomplished for this stupid project.....

nothing written except a proposal that needs to be rewritten

nothing decided officially except my study area and that the city is losing population and jobs and money and vacancies are just going up, none of which is any surprise to anyone

nothing i can do to stop the days from disappearing, to delay april 7th from coming

nothing concrete or current in terms of numbers and the fact that we are closer to 2010 than 2000 means that things are really, just not representative of the current market trends

nothing to help me with these damn .dbfs from the stupid USPS, so silly of me to think that i might actually get info that was easy to read without the help of GIS

nothing i can do about the .dbfs til thursday when i'm supposed to be meeting with my advisor to discuss my findings......which by the way aren't available until i get to buffalo on thursday

nothing else to do now except run the dishwasher, wash my face and brush my teeth and go to bed...........

02 March 2008

training: mentally, physically and spiritually....

I've been trying to get back to myself lately. I often allow distractions to take me away from things that are important, preventing me from staying focused. In an attempt to bring things back into focus training wise, I've been reading a few books lately to help me stay motivated and hopefully (fingers crossed) improve some! :) In an attempt to keep writing tri related posts, I'm going to spread out my 'book reviews' in a few posts.....

Let me begin with saying that Sally Edwards totally rocks. I've been reading Triathlons for Women which is a really easy read and super informational! Plus, Edwards discusses things that pertain specifically to things women need for training and racing so you are always prepared. Who knew spraying your legs with Pam would help you get that wetsuit off faster??

One section that really resonated with me was Chapter 11 Matters of the Head and Heart. This section is wonderful on so many levels. This chapter deals with issues about women and competitive sports, how we define ourselves and how we might be playing into the definitions of other people. How women choose relationship partners based on that person's activity level and how training can bring a couple closer together or push them apart. How things change when you decide to have children. How buying from companies that support women athletes and events help to encourage change.

I've thought about how triathlon has changed and will continue to change my life. I know that now as a single person I have more freedom to train and compete the way I want. But I also know that will change someday due to relationship and career commitments. I don't think that means something negative. I think that you are constantly evolving and changing and it is a sign of growth. Plus, I'm pretty sure that working hard now as an endurance athlete will help me make it through all the changes to come! If at any point I feel stagnant or complacent in my life, I will need to have a serious conversation with myself. I'm not at all implying that it is easy but like any other triathlete, I welcome such challenges. ;) After all isn't that what triathlon is all about?!

She also talks about how the majority of her 'possible' competitors are actually on the sidelines as the support crew for their husbands. Carrying the gear, food, and taking care of the kids. Offering the hugs and congrats and the end of the race and snapping the pictures. Being a woman who works in a male dominated field I understand the point she is trying to make. I remember working at a civil engineering firm and always being the one to work late on Fridays or over the weekends. Being asked to change personal plans because others had to get home to their wives and children. Dealing with grumpy coworkers whose wives called them constantly throughout the day because they were stay at home moms and needed some adult conversation or diversion from baby talk. Being passed up for raises/promotions because so and so had a family to support. Having comments made about the way I dressed when my office mate wore the same brown jacket and pants for three days in a row and no one noticed.

I was raised by a mother who is the youngest of four, three older brothers. She pushed me more than most. Making me independent (sometimes to a fault) and self sustaining. Every time I fell, it was ingrained in me to stand up dust myself off and try again. No reason to cry, just keep moving and keep trying. Every time someone didn't think I could so something, it was my goal to prove them wrong. My carefree attitude and constant smile often leads people to not take me as seriously as I'd like, especially men. I don't necessarily think that being only 5 foot helps my cause any, but I can't do anything to change it. But that doesn't define who I am or how I feel about myself. Pursuing things that I'm a passionate about is what defines me. The contributions I make to world the around me define me. My thoughts and feelings, my goals and dreams, those define me. Not just the fact that I'm a woman. That is just another part of who I am, a descriptor, like that I have dark hair and hazel eyes. Labels though don't define me. Who said you can't be assertive and strong and still be feminine and sexy? Cuz whoever said that is certainly confused.

I've struggled with the masculine/feminine balance for a long time. I don't feel like some victim because I'm not a man. I do think that I'm often judged differently then men. But complaining about isn't going to change it any. Action is what makes changes. And the fact that myself and so many other awesome women are involved in this sport helps to make change. If we believe in ourselves and quit worrying about labels, so will everyone else. Triathlon provides challenge for me daily. Challenging training days, mentally, physically and spiritually. That's why I do it. And as those of you who know me are aware, I don't really care what anyone thinks of me or my efforts. All my efforts make me proud of my journey. So what if mostly everyone out on the course looks bigger and stronger? Going after my goals, being thoughtful in the pursuit, that is what defines me.

Besides who says triathletes can't have pretty painted red toenails and still kick ass!? ;)

Happy Birthday Chrissy!

March 1st is the birthday of one of my oldest friends; oldest as in I've known her forever. ;)

Chrissy and I have been friends since we were about 12 years old. We met when her family moved from Garfield Heights to Chagrin Falls. Now it is more like we are family. Her family is my family and vice versa. So this evening, I went over to her house to celebrate her 28th birthday and I've made a little vid of all the pics. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Chris!!!!! I hope you had an amazing day!!!!! <3 :)

video was created using Camtasia; music: Brushes by Fleetwood Mac (rough version)

Here is a quick glimpse of Joey and I fooling around with the camera....this one is a bit loud...fyi...