Did I mention I’m doing an Ironman?

Yeah.  I know.  Hasn’t slipped my mind either.


Last week  I confirmed with my favorite coach in the whole world that — indeed — she would take me on as an athlete for 2009.  I know that I will get me across the finish line, but this lady will get me to the starting line ready to finish.

I can’t wait to start working with a coach again.  I love handing the control over to someone who knows what (the heck) they’re doing.  All I have to do is show up and do the work.  And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

We’re not going to get together until after the holidays, so I have some time to find my dusty running shoes and get directions to the new Y swimming pool.  It’ll be like first day, freshman year.  Although this time I know there actually is a pool.

It also means it’s time to clean out my training closet, get rid of the junk, and get the useful stuff handy.  Paddle, fins, body glide, Yaxtraks, suits, etc.  It’s all there somewhere.

I also need to complete the tome that is my Athlete Information form.  This always turns into a 10 page endeavor of likely more information that Liz ever would want to know about me.  But more is more.  (Right?  No?)

I spent two hours working on it last week.  Two hours and didn’t finish.  Two hours and promptly failed to save the version I was working in.  I’m a IDJUDT.  Confirmed.

So this week I have to tackle the form again, and this time save it.

In the mean time…I need to start working out again.

It’s been a while.  A long while. And we all know it’s that first run that’s the hardest.

But, I just have to rip the bandaid and get out there.  I’m going to shoot for a loose schedule like this.

Run – MWF – low mileage, some walking first week or so, only base building pace.

Swim – TTh – get my arms back, focus on form, lots of drill work to get back into good habits.

Bike – WSat – get some muscle memory back, some cadence drills to work on efficiency, nothing crazy.

Weights – TTh – very low weight, high rep, ease into building muscle mass from extended time off.

Today is the first day of iron training, 2009.  Oh boy.

I’ve also decided to build a new home for my blogging energies.  It was mainly a response to my boredom with the blogger platform and need to create something beyond the IM Able world I had built there, and my distaste for the WordPress platform.

I am, as we know, a fickle woman.

The new site has a place for me to blog about life outside of sport, as well as continue to track my training and racing.  It also has a place for me to throw up details about my cooking and to share photos and (someday) video.

There are different RSS feeds for each of the pages, so you can subscribe to any or all, depending on what you give a darn about.  All you have to do (for those whose internet savvy is on par with my own!) is click on the RSS feed button on the page you’d like to stay updated on (e.g., Chopping as Therapy) and copy and paste the url of the resulting page into your reader subscription.  (The subscription titles are a little wonky, and I’m sorry for that.  I’ll figure out how to fix that as soon as the athlete form is done.  Again.)

Anyway, without further adieu…

My new Mac webpage: An Approximation Thereof.

Thanks for visiting!


As you know, this whole wedding planning time I’ve had some other ideas bouncing around in my head.

Because, of course, I never seem to slow down.

And since the jury is still out as to whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, I’m going to keep riding the impulse until someone tells me life is supposed to be different.

So, this morning I signed up for this:


The full iron distance.

I’ll let you think about that one for a second.


I’ve always known that this year is one of my last for a pre-baby iron distance.  And I hemmed and hawed about which and when and ultimately lost the chance at the ideal race (IMAZ) because I was busy honeymooning.  (Which actually means I was napping and/or eating.  Or taking a bath.  Or watching CSI.  Or all of the above.)

And I was seriously bummed because I had convinced myself that the course was perfect and the financial investment was okay and I had already had the thumbs up from Michael for it all.

And then Molly clued me into the fact that it had sold out.  SOLD OUT.  Just like that.  While I was relaxing.

Boy, was a bummed.

So, Michael and I talked about it and the possibility of IMKY came up.  It’s the only one left.  And the terrain scares me.  And the cost was also substantial.  I just didn’t feel the race like I needed to, you know?  I had reservations before starting, which would be a bad place to start.

And the thought of a non-IM brand was discussed.  And we both realized that I could do the distance — glory and all — with freeing up all those extra resources for something (someone) I really need to get me across the finish line.

You know who I mean.

It’s not the IM brand, and that does make a difference to me.  The experience is different, I know that already.  But it was my moment to compromise.  Because we’re a team.  I could do an IM brand, but I want to buy a new house just as much as Michael does.  And when you get married, your spouse will always want to give you the world in an oyster, it’s your responsibility to only take what you need.  And, the honest answer is that I only need the distance.  I don’t need the m-dot.

So, Beach to Battleship it is.  And I’m STUPID EXCITED for it already.

I’m going to rock this race, guys.  Rock it.

Thanks to everyone for all the lovely bloggy wishes and Facebook comments.  

And yes, we are married now.  I married the love of my life.  And he’s sitting right over there annoying me with hour 2,024 of playing Fallout 3 on our holiday time off.  And even that makes me happy. 

All is good.

The wedding was wonderful.  Absolutely everything that I expected it to be, and more.  I would change little and hope to remember those moments and special feelings for decades.  We are lucky people and that was blindingly clear these past few weeks.


I have many pictures filtering in and landing up on Facebook — both the embarassing and the beautiful.  

But I’ll share them all later, with the exception of this one.  Because it kind of sums up our whole day.

It wasn’t our first dance, it was a stolen moment of our last.  The night had reached a pitch and the relief of a slow song had filtered in, thankfully at the same moment I actually found Michael near the dance floor.  Neither of us know how to dance, so we just swayed like it was an 8th grade prom.  

We were so very happy.  We still are.

Since that evening, we have spent four wonderful days of rest in Cape May, NJ — his place of birth and one of our favorite places to go together.  We stayed in a drafty, but beautifully renovated, hotel called Congress Hall.  We could see the beach and the ocean from all three windows…from bed.  We ate a renowned local restaurants (Ebbit Room, Washington Inn) and tried and true favorites (Uncle Bills for pumpkin pancakes).  We napped and took steaming hot baths in cast iron tubs.  We got a massage (Michael) and a facial (me) and wandered on foot.

It was so lovely.

Back in time for Thanksgiving, we ate too much, laughed a good deal, and (in my case) missed family who weren’t there.  We also opened legions of beautiful and generous wedding presents from friends and family.  We are definitely blessed.

Since then, we have decorated for Christmas, cleaned the house, and spent entirely too much time on our rears.

Life, is good.


There’s more going on here, which is pretty darn typical.  I’ve been building a new website, because I honestly think wordpress is not the right platform for me and have been completely converted into a MacGirl within 10 minutes of turning my new computer on.

In the coming weeks, I’ll share the link to my new home.  It has pictures.  And a place for recipes and journaling everything — life and training.

Speaking of training…I’m a big pile of relaxed Jello right now, but no worries.  Because I’ve figured out what the next season will bring.  And it’s nice and big, of course.

140.6 big.


For now, though, I’m going to continue to sit here and play on my mac next to a pretty Douglas fir tree, trimmed in burgundy, silver, and gold.  Oh, and cycling ornaments, too.  With my sparkly new wedding band and my gaming obsessed husband on the couch.


It does sound good, no?

I’m a pasty person.

No sense in denying it. I have a certain shade of paste that Almay calls “neutral.”

Neutral. Thanks. Worked hard on that copy, eh?

In addition to being pasty, I have a way of holding onto a tan line. I think I still have some from high school. Seriously, I can be out in the sun for two hours (really, just two) and get a tan line that sticks around through months and months of beach vacations and tanning salon visits. This year I spent a full week at the beach wearing the most hideous bathing suit (bandeau with my chest? pshaw) in an attempt to correct 2 hours of bad. No luck.

Not that I don’t get tan…it’s just that my tan line continues at the same pace.

A source of some consternation when you have a whole lotta skin showing at the wedding. I ignored it for a while, tried self tanning lotions and bronzing creams, and even did the tanning salon a few times a week.

No joy.

So, this weekend I decided to try something daring: the spray tan.

Everyone said it was safe. My makeup guy. My friends. My coworkers.

So I bit the bullet, read the instructions, and stepped into the machine.

It was weird. Efficient (a 10 minute — tops — experience!), but weird. The result is that I actually AM a bit tanner. At first, it was a wee bit fake looking, but after you shower and wash your face, it kind of mellows out and looks normal.

The only thing you have to be careful with is where you wash. For instance, it seems that I don’t spend too much time washing my forehead as much as I do, say, my cheeks. Cause today my forehead is mighty tropical, while my cheeks are more like the Keys.

Also, the “barrier cream” you’re supposed to lather on your cuticles, hands, and feet? Really lather it, people. I had ompaloompa hands for a day or so.

It’s supposed to wear off in 5-7 days, which is why I did it a week before the wedding. (In case I hated it.) But I’m thinking it’s not too bad, so I’m going to do it one more time on Wednesday, so it mellows nicely for Saturday.

Oh…and the irony? Totally didn’t help with the tan lines. I’m screwed. Photoshop much?

Yeah, I know there’s a lot going on nowadays about the wedding.

But don’t think I haven’t forgotten about next year.

And racing.

Just saying.

Because next Sunday — the day after the wedding — my former (and hopefully future) coach is toeing the pro line of Ironman Arizona.  And I’ve been reading about it and checking the course descriptions out and getting some insight.  

And I’ve been seriously thinking about doing it in 2009.  

There are a lot of pro’s.  Some of them look like this…

2.Friendly with spectators and bloggy buddies
3.A destination Michael seems to be jazzed about
4.A “Ironman” brand*
5.It’s do able for me.  Timing, terraine, etc.


There are, of course, the con’s.  Like these…

1.Travel costs are a bitch (like $1500 with a bike)
2.The lodging costs are ALSO a bitch (haven’t even looked yet…upwards of $500?  More?  Sigh.)
3.Yeah…can’t really think of more.

So, I’m thinking.  If my only reasons for not doing a race that is otherwise ideal is money…well, maybe I can plan ahead for that.  Maybe I can do some freelance grant writing on the side, or sell my road bike, or something. 

Anyway, point being is that money can be solved.  Motivation, health, timing, etc…well that kind of stuff can’t even be bought.  And I have those things now. 

So…yeah.  I may be signing up for another race in about a week.

Just saying.


(* As for the IM brand discussion from before.  I’ve decided that if I have any hesitation (e.g., will a non-IM iron distance quiet the voices in my head?), I need to just pull the trigger and get the IM done.  Those who I’ve talked to who see little difference between the two types of races are also those who came easily to their conclusion.  As Brent suggests, might as well avoid the repeated caveat of “iron-distance, not IM.”  I’m considering this concluded for now.  Go red or go home.)

My MIL and I just picked up my dress.

It’s beautiful.

Fits perfectly.  The hem is perfect.  The changes we made around the hip area turned out to be taking it in 6 inches total.  Now it’s less like a ball gown and more elegant and refined.

Tracy — I finally love my dress.  I really do.

Eight days to go.

What a week.

So, on Monday, I got sick. Like kick my butt, rip my throat out, shivers and fever and shakes and whatnot sick.

If you do Facebook, you endured every little update of my sickdome. Patient folk you are.

I don’t usually get sick, so I must have been RUN. DOWN. Go figure.

I left the office early Monday and slept for most of the day and night, but it was restless because of the throat pain and having an impossible time of regulating my internal temperature. Covers on. Covers off. Covers on. Covers off.

Michael loved it.

Tuesday came and I pushed through. Cause I’m stubborn and an idiot, all rolled into one. I did work related things and wandered through my to do list with the feverish resolve of a zombie on ludes. It wasn’t pretty. All the while, my wedding work isn’t getting done, my body isn’t getting better, and my perspective is becoming grossly twisted.

By 1:30, I dragged myself to therapy out of habit rather than real resolve. Kind of shocked my counselor with my appearance (let’s just say I brought a blanket to keep warm and looked a bit washed out). I told her how disappointed I was in all of this. This last month was not supposed to be like this. I was myopic and selfish and cried a lot. And she offered to me that maybe (just maaaaybe) my perspective was a bit off because I was sick.

To which I promptly burst into tears.

Kind of sums up how my week was going.

By the end, I had agreed with her wise advice to head home immediately for rest and medication and to take the following day off. And within 5 minutes outside of her office, I changed the plan to head back to the office to “finish up a few things.”

Memory of a flea.

Finally at 5 I dragged my sorry ass home to the store for medication and then home to the grocery store for food and then home to sleep make dinner.

Yes, my priorities were screwed up. I get it now.

I did ultimately call in sick for Thursday. The entire day. I did not once log onto my work email and I only did one wedding related errand that simply could not be rescheduled. (A walk-through with the photographer. Unavoidable, but blessedly quick and painless.)

Now, it’s Thursday. (How the hell did that happen, people??) I’m feeling a million times better. Work is coming back in line slowly but surely. Wedding lists remain do-able. And a pot roast is waiting for us in the slow cooker at home. And somehow I managed to find my sense of humor again.


So, seems I’m getting married in nine days.


I’m excited. I’m actually getting all teary and smiley and excited. Which is great because I was kinda bitchy there for a week or so. Whew.

Tomorrow I pick up my wedding dress. Squeeeeeee!!!

Seriously…how much fun is that?!

It’s going to be so pretty. I just know it.

And after a weekend of help from the masses, all the wedding projects will be done and boxed and off our collective plates. And that, my friends, makes me happy just thinking about it.