27 May 2008


Lately, things have been changing. I have been experiencing change in so many areas of my life it just seemed like the right thing to write about today.

I used to think of myself as a complete creature of habit. But lately, as I reflect on the past year, I see that maybe I'm not so much like that. Maybe I can coexist with change and adapt. I have always been a firm believer that change is a good thing. And as most of my family can attest, I often come up with schemes to work in change so that things feel new to me. Every year I think of moving the furniture or painting or moving period. I feel so connected to the Earth and nature, so I think all the different cycles kind of encourage this behavior too! As I've said before, I absolutely love spring because of all the possibility it represents to me. Maybe it is because I was born in spring and so I feel a closeness to that time, my time for celebrating another year.

Today I was talking to EH and we were discussing among other things, changes and triathlon and training, of course. I told her that I think one of the reasons I feel so 'at home' with all of the tri friends I have is that we are all working on the same things: change and improvement. (Which by the way, is another reason I love her. She will listen to just about anything that I babble on about. I can be talking about crazy out there shit and she stills listens.)

If you think about it, we are always preparing for the next transition; constantly practicing to make those transitions better. Whether it is from swim to bike or from HM to full or HIM to IM. We are all working towards goals that are changes.

The process of training is cathartic in itself. As triathletes, we spend alot of time inside our own heads as we work to accomplish our training goals. This 'alone time' provides quiet time allowing us to stay inside ourselves and examine the 'corners of our minds' as it were. All of this self examination and study allows us to be open to change. Change within ourselves and others. We begin to welcome that feeling of newness and see change for what it is, a step towards who we are becoming, our personal evolution.

I'm pretty sure I will always have that 'when I grow up' mentality even when I'm in my 90s. And that is what I love about triathlon. I can be whatever I want and I can make changes to become whatever that is. The possibilities really are endless and nothing is set in stone.

So here's to change and becoming our dreams!

24 May 2008

to June

I can remember the first time I spoke to you. It was the day before I was to move in. I listened to all of your questions, laughing in my head. (No I'm not a drug addict! ha ha) You were so worried and so concerned. Then we finally met and became good friends. I learned about your very colorful life and all you'd done. You told me one day that you'd decided to adopt me and my family since you didn't have one.

You were a strong woman. One who made thoughtful decisions and was caring to others. You gave so much of yourself to everyone you knew. There were times that we would talk and I had to stop myself from laughing at all of your worries; what was going on with the economy and how you wanted to give Greenspan a piece of your mind; how the 'sub-blime' mortgages were ruining everything; how you hoped that 'O-bam-ma' wouldn't get in.

You always had something clever and witty to say. I loved how we would just joke and laugh, even till the end. I always enjoyed all the times we would go out for lunch and dinner. You would wear fancy jewelry and lipstick, even to Baker's Square.

I remember once that you asked me why God was doing this to you, what did you do to deserve it. I don't know that I will ever have an answer, but I think we get a choice June, a choice to give up or a choice to fight it out. You didn't want to go and true to form you weren't going to go without a fight.

I'm glad that you are at peace and not suffering anymore. I'm glad that you got to see Maxi one last time and I know you were comforted by his presence. You will be with Henry and Ginny now. Rest well dear friend. All my love.

Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul--and the lamb, the soul,
in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change's fierce hunger--hair
and teeth--and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin,
braintricked Implacability.

Ai! ai! we do worse! We are in a fix! And you're out, Death let you out,
Death had the Mercy, you're done with your century, done with
God, done with the path thru it--Done with yourself at last--Pure
--Back to the Babe dark before your Father, before us all--before the

There, rest. No more suffering for you. I know where you've gone, it's good.

Allen Ginsberg

22 May 2008


Tonight was the beginning of Blossom Weekend in Chagrin Falls. I grew up in Chagrin, so to me this is just another Blossom. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Blossom is the BIGGEST weekend all year in Chagrin. There is a carnival and a huge parade and then another parade on memorial day. It definitely is more fun when you are a kid or if you have kids. This weekend is also my 10 year high school reunion. I'm not attending but I'm sure those that do will have a great time.

One of the most fun parts of Blossom Weekend is the hot air balloon race. I can remember waking up to the sound of balloons filling with hot air and hellos from high in the sky. I would run out in my pjs and wave to the passing balloons. On Thursday night of Blossom they have the annual balloon glow. All the balloons get ready and after dusk, they light up and glow. I haven't been in quite a few years and I really wanted to go tonight. There were soooo many people! More than I remember. I tried to get some good pics. Enjoy!

18 May 2008

rain rain go away

This weekend was a typical Cleveland spring weekend. As usual the weather changes pretty much every 5 seconds. Yesterday, my brother had his senior prom. I thought all the girls were going to flip out when the wind picked up and a few drops began to fall. But alas, all was well and off they went!

This morning I meet up with Sara and Monica and we headed down to the Progressive water stop at mile 17 for the Cleveland Marathon. Beth was doing the full and I was excited to be there to cheer her on! I will say all of you who were out there running this morning kicked ass! My heart sank when I woke up and heard the rain. I instantly thought of Beth and how it was going to effect her race. She of course did a great job!!!

I also saw Janet, Elizabeth, and Aimee! All the ladies were looking great and smiling! :) Many congrats go out to all the CTCers (too many of you to list! ;) that raced today!!!!!

I had such a great time working the station. It was almost more fun than racing. I was passing out water and yelling encouragement and trying to keep smiling even when some of the runners were looking low. It must have been such a hard race to run! There were two graduations going on and the rain was off and on. It would get windy and then the sun would break. I just felt so proud of everyone that ran past me. Even though I don't even know half of them, I just felt so proud of their accomplishment. It takes so much work and determination to keep going. And everyone that ran past me had so much heart! Great job to all of you!!!!

On a sad note, the Cavs lost tonight. I don't necessarily think that all the calls were legit nor do I believe that the Celtics played the most sportsman-like game but it is what it is. What is most frustrating about the conduct of the Celtics is that they are a talented team. I guess I can understand it more when players that are lacking in talent do things that aren't exactly above-board in an attempt to win. The Celtics though don't need to resort to that, they have talent.

My brother thinks they got robbed. I guess I can see that. One thing that was annoying was the announcers were totally against the Cavs. At the end of the game one of them said that the Cavs were nothing without Lebron and that we don't have enough talent on the team to make it without him. I think that he should go back to calling the game and not sharing his opinions. :P

14 May 2008

wednesday musings

Sometimes I think my mind works like a firework's finale. I think of one thing which usually leads to another topic which is pretty much unrelated to the preceding topic and so on and so on. I also seem to find humor in, well pretty much everything!

Yesterday, Steve and I were driving to Chagrin (Only two more weeks left of stupid high school! I'm not sure which one of us is more excited.) and as we turned onto Silsby this truck pulled out in front of us. I tried to get a pic of the tire cover thingy but it didn't come out so well. I'm also pretty sure that the person knew I was trying to take a pic of their car too so that didn't help any. (Yes I carry my camera all the time! And this my friends is a perfect example of why!!!) I seriously started laughing my ass off. I mean it was 6:45am which has something to do with it, but I love stuff like this. So anyway here is the pic and this is what it says since it is hard to read:


I'm not sure what I love the most about this. I could prob go on forever, seriously. So I'm going to stop. I will say this though, I would really like to know when EXACTLY Jesus is coming because if it is soon I wouldn't worry about paying off my student loans. ;) I mean if Nostradamus is right, we only have like 4 years left. If that really is the case I don't want to spend the last four years of my existence worrying about paying back Sallie Mae!!!

Are you there Jesus? It's me, Tracie.

So anyway, back to my firework thought process.

I was sitting here at work thinking about exactly what that tire cover thingy said and all I could remember was the beginning. So I googled "the middle east is burning" hoping that whomever created this thing was selling them somewhere so I could find the whole message and a better pic. I got lots of things but not that. :(

The first thing was an article from 2002 about how 15 girls were prevented from fleeing a Saudi school on fire because they were not dressed appropriately. Apparently, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice beat the girls so they could not leave the building and locked the doors leaving them to die.

My future daughters are doomed. Because of this article I now have even more ammunition about how I'm really not as terrible as they think when I say, "there is no way in hell you are wearing THAT to school!"

So back to the story. (See what I mean!?) It struck me as slightly ironic that this special police force was supposed to be promoting virtue by basically killing 15 girls because they didn't have a head scarf on. I don't know a whole lot about Islam. I have a few relatives that practice but I've never really gotten to know too much. So I started with a search of virtue and wikipedia provided me with this information:

Virtues in Islam

In Islam, there are many virtues, such as honesty, mercy, patience, sincerity ..etc scholars may have different ways while putting them in different categories. The Quran, God's Word in Islam, and Prophet Mohammad speak about each virtues in its own content and contexts while linking the virtues together when appropriate, without listing them all in one place.

Let the irony continue. I pretty much figured that mercy would be a virtue that Islam would celebrate. I mean mercy is a good thing, how can you be down on that!? Which is why it seems so ironic to me that as the 'police' were choosing to prevent vice they were actually completely throwing the virtue part, well into the fire. I guess it is all about priorities. Who knows. But maybe the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice should drop the promotion of virtue business. I tried finding a complaints and suggestions contact but one does not seem to exist so I cannot share my wonderful idea with them.

This is an example of why I'm pretty much convinced that if I ever traveled to some place like, say Iran, that the moment I step off the plane I will be arrested. I tried to find out if that had happened to anyone but it seems that they have only arrested women trying to leave. So maybe there is hope for my future middle east traveling plans.

Which leads me to......the key phrases that get your phone conversations and emails flagged as pertaining to terror. Now that I have pretty much said all of them except bomb, al-qaeda and praise Allah, I'm pretty sure that I'm on the list.

For all of my bloggy friends, if any of you would like to be removed from my list of links so you stay off the terror watch list, please notify me at your earliest convenience. ;)

I swear to God if there are people in black suits and sunglasses waiting for me when I get home, I'm going to die from laughter.

FYI: The writer was not on any mind-altering substances immediately before or during the writing of this post. This is unfortunately normal.

12 May 2008

learning how to run

So I began my oh so strenuous re-training schedule this weekend. 15 whole minutes!!!

Well, I'm only allowed to run for a few minutes. Here is how it goes per Dr. Shah's instructions:

15 minutes 3 times a week for two weeks

5 min warmup
1 min run x 4
1 min walk x 3
3 min cooldown

So as you can see it is pretty difficult. ;) I'm actually going to cheat just a bit and run every other day, time permitting for two weeks. He told to me to increase as I feel ready to do it. But follow the 10% rule. So I basically, I will be increasing total time which gives me about a 10% increase for time running give or take. I also am stretching more than I used to which is good, but time consuming. My quads were a bit sore yesterday which isn't a good sign because I'm supposed to be using my hamstring. :( I'm going to keep focusing on my hammies while I run and see what Lydia has to say tomorrow night. I also see Haley for pilates this week too so I can get both opinions! :) If my quads and glutes are super tight then I know I'm doing it wrong.....again.

I should already be in training for my oly this September but I can't make miracles happen. I set up a training for training schedule for the rest of this month and then hopefully by the end of June, I will be at the numbers I should be for my oly training plan.

I also am hoping that things will start to settle with work schedules and I can make sure I get 30 min swim sessions 4-5 times a week. Depending on how I'm feeling that day I can get 1500-1750 yds done in 30-45mins. So if I can manage at least 4 days a week in the pool cranking out 1500yds each session my weekly total will be 6,000 yds. Which is more than enough to get me ready for September. Then I will incorporate one long swim day once a week in July and then for three weeks in August get the race distance (about 1640yds) in once a week in open water.

I'm not any further with the bike so HOPEFULLY I can get on a regular schedule with that too.

I have the SummiTri on the list. I haven't paid my entry yet so I can still wait things out and see how it goes. I'm hoping to get a 5k in before that because my last race was in February two weeks after my injury. I rallied the troops this week and sent out an email plea to my girls asking for running company at a Hermes race the weekend of June 14th. Anyone doing that race??? I just don't want to go into my 'first' tri not having raced at all since February! I'm a big practicer. ;) I'm still thinking of the GCT oly to practice for GLE. I am for sure going to volunteer for the kids race the day before. I think it will be a blast!

Tonight I'm heading over to the Tavern Company with my bro and a few friends for burgers n' beers night! We are planning on catching some of the Cavs game. Hopefully they will be giving the spankings instead of receiving!

09 May 2008

week in review

Things have been nutty this week for sure! But such is life!

I can barely remember the beginning of the week. ;) Monday I had an interview. Not going to say too much but just think good thoughts please!

Steve won an award from his Excel Tech program at Brush so we had a lovely little award dinner to attend in honor of him! That was fun. Here are some pics of that.

I went over to the meeting for a fresh stop in Cleveland Hts. Hopefully, things will turn out well. I volunteered to be one of the fresh stop managers because I'm not sure I will be available during the afternoons to help at the distribution centers. I'm just excited about all the yummy fruits and veggies I will be receiving every week! :)

Steve and I received tickets for the musical Spelling Bee. It was HYSTERICAL! Seriously, one of the funniest shows I've seen (second to the MP Spamalot). I laughed so much at some points I was crying. If you have time to check it out, I HIGHLY recommend it. :)

Tonight I'm helping stuff the bags for the Emerald Crossing Trail 5k Trail Run. If anyone hasn't signed up, check it out. The course looks like it will be a good one!

07 May 2008

it's official!!!!!

This morning I received the following email:

Dear Tracie:

On behalf of the faculty of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, I am delighted to announce that you have passed the PD 697 capstone project. Please accept our congratulations for a job well done and our good wishes for your future plans.

Sincerely yours,

Ernest Sternberg

Sooooooooooo exciting! :)

01 May 2008

doctor, doctor give me the news

Sorry, I couldn't help it!!!!

So today I went to see Dr. Shah again. He was at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron today so it was a nice change from the Hudson office. Anyway, I came with my list of questions and my trusty laptop with new vid of me running taken yesterday. So here is the verdict:

-it is possible that there is something mechanically wrong with my hips; like something I was born with but we don't need to worry about it now
-I probably am suited best for shorter distances as a result of the mechanical issues

and drumroll please,

I can start running again. But I have to start really slow. So I'm allowed to do a walk/run regimen for 15 mins 3-4 times a week. Then after two weeks I can start increasing my time. Once I reach 20 mins, I can increase frequency for two weeks and then after that I can increase time and so on and so on. I'm just happy to be able to run! I have to do treadmill running though for a month and then add one outside run a week.

Last week was a tough one and I felt like I hadn't been making any progress. This week I decided that I would up my pilates to 3 times a week. I know one thing for sure. I can't go more than one day between consecutive appointments. If I do Tuesday/Thursday, things click better. The time off between Thursday and Tuesday is fine, however, last month I did Tuesday/Saturday and for some reason I always felt like I was starting over on Saturdays. So this month I'm going to go Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and see if it just Saturdays or if there really is a difference.

Yesterday, Lydia told me that she thought I was progressing so that made me happy. I definitely am much more flexible than before and I can totally tell that my muscles are more relaxed and happier. :) Which make me happy. I will say that the soreness has been increasing for the past few weeks so I'm hoping that things start to calm down. I'm still not running. :( I know right!? Anyway, I hoping to slowly ease back in. I don't want to jump back in too fast and screw everything up again. My muscles are learning new ways to move and work so I have to be careful to 'teach' them up to just the point BEFORE fatigue. If your muscles get tired they resort back to their previous way of moving. So to help counteract that, I've decided to do a plan similar to a 'couch-to-5k' program. One where you walk then run then walk. Basically, the running time increase incrementally and the walking decreases. The idea is that one can go from no running to a 5k in thirty days. Since my last race was a week after my injury, I have nowhere to go except straight to major PR land so that will be encouraging.