Friday, July 29, 2011

Oregon: Great Scenery

Well, not a lot of time today, as I spent my day off reorganizing the study so M could have a desk of his own.  (I keep trying to convince him to let me get rid of the old teacher desk so I can bring the futon up here and buy a real couch again for downstairs.  Now that he has a desk surface of his very own thanks to my organizing genius, where do you think he is?  Yes... on the futon. That saga continues.)

Meanwhile, we are very busy being outside in the gorgeous lovely amazing Oregon outdoors.  NO, WAIT, I take that back.  Some of you don't live in Oregon.  Officially, I need to let you know that here in Oregon, it rains ALL THE TIME.  Really.  It's grey and blah, 24/7.  It is never breezy and cool in the morning, or delightfully airy at night, or warm with low humidity during the day, and we never, never have amazing breath-taking sunsets, stunning mountain views less than 5 minutes from our house, or gorgeous amazing blue skies.  That must be some other state, because here in Oregon, it's Always Rainy.  



We are leaving in about 20 minutes to drive to the lake to go swimming in the clear, cold Oregon waters.
Bike, racked with cool bag ready for transition.  My latest bike to run was :29!  That, my dears, is blazing.  
 

In the meantime, here's a little tidbit from earlier this week when we went out for a brick.  (I beat him... barely... in the first run, but then he made a rather heroic pull and beat me off the bike and in the second run.  He's going to be a force to reckon with one day.)

Actually, this IS about 15 minutes from my house, near the turnaround point of a regular ride.  You can't see Sisters in the photo, but you can see them in real live.  Mountains, everywhere!


By the way, I DID get cleats today- the guy at Hutches laughed hysterically at my old cleats and told me he'd never seen a pair as badly worn as mine.  I literally snapped the front off my right cleat and the left one was just nubs.  That's me.  All extremes, all the time.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So What Else?

As news of the tri begins to spread through St. Mary's, I think it's important to talk about the personal connection.  Eugene is a small city where everyone knows everyone, it seems.  Back East, it seems that no one quite got what the strength of this project is yet. If I'm not doing this with a team of hundreds like last year, why do I bother doing this?

You see, triathlons are fun, and they amuse me.  The training is good for me- it gives me a good reason to get fit and it's really nice that my "tight pants" are getting looser and looser.  I am terribly vain, you must have noticed.  I am also a glutton for punishment and even more so for ice cream.  The pain and the punishment mean I get more ice cream.  Ow-ow-win-win.  And I get to go places in Oregon that take some people years to get to.  So far, I've swum in two gorgeous lakes and run and hiked up both Buttes in Eugene.  And did I mention the Oregon lakes, which are so sparkly crystal clear and clean?  I see fishies! It's like sushi, before it's in the rice. (In Long Island Sound, I usually slapped crabs before I actually saw them, freaking me out and annoying the crab.  And jellyfish are scary.)

But triathlons, to me, wouldn't be as much fun if I weren't somehow helping other people.  I could just spend the money and go race and have fun, and I'll certainly do a few of those races.

But Nation's?  Come on.  It's the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  I had just started Seminary.  Hearing the sonic booms of the fighter jets arriving over DC and smelling the burning Pentagon and gathering with the Seminary community and standing in line at the hospitals or making sandwiches for the rescue workers... that changed how my class formed.  We really became a class that knew how to experience tragedy and rebuild lives.  Going back to DC 10 years after the attacks brings that full circle.  I know all the Lathams (VTS 2004) won't be there, but Alexandria is my spiritual home.  Going "home" on the 10th anniversary is special.  My home is rebuilt.  

And we get to help real people in this one.  Last year, it was personal.  As my friend Ben fought for his life against lymphoma, his wife Sarah and I had a real reason to team up for Team in Training.  The tri gave us all something positive to focus on even as Ben endured chemo and Sarah faced the fear of losing the love of her life.  My family donated because we lost a patriarch, Saverio Bagioni, to lymphoma.  That was personal.  I will totally do another Team in Training event... but I want to do one with Sarah as my teammate again, and this year, she and Ben are enjoying Year 1 of remission.

So the real people this time?  Well, when I served as a police chaplain to Alexandria and later Arlington Police Departments, I worked with people who carried guns for a living.  I had a bulletproof vest, too.  It's hot and heavy.  I've seen my guys put themselves in harm's way to keep other people safer.  I volunteered each year I lived there with the National Police Week Concerns of Police Survivors conference.  I still remember a NYC officer who came the first year after 9/11, and he was just all anger and vitriol.  Five years later, he was still coming back, but he had ridden the Police Unity Tour that year, and we had this amazing conversation where he shared that helping other people helped him remember why he'd become a cop at all.

He had become a cop because he could help people by keeping them safe.  He felt that he could enforce the law and that it could be good and beneficial to humanity.  He felt he could make a more fair and just world for his family.  Five years later, he hadn't forgotten the pain of his friend dying on 9/11... but he had learned to let the good he was trying to do outweigh the bad he had suffered.  Five years later, he was again filled with joy and glad to be a cop, and ready to go and do good in the world.

That's the sort of thing that COPS could do for people.

Here in Eugene, that's a very, very important group for our Police Department and for one family in particular.  I won't say too much about their story just yet, but if you live in Oregon, you know who I am talking about.  We can help COPS help them.  I've seen people go through this sort of loss before, and I have huge hope for their future.

COPS helps the real people I've been privileged to work with as a police chaplain.  Doing something like a triathlon?  That's a fun thing for me.  And yes, it helps me feel a little more secure knowing that I can keep up with the people I serve if I need to.  Besides, trust me- as a priest, I fight the eternal war against Potluck Gut.  (And St. Mary's... wow, AWESOME potlucks!  Home smoked salmon!  Raw cuisine cheesecake! Tres de Leches!  All the occasions for cake!)  But doing THIS tri would just not mean as much if I wasn't teaming up with people to actually help this world be a better, more peaceful place.  Doing THIS tri, THIS year, helps me in some small way to help the healing of a broken world after tragedy.  It's a driving force of what I heard in my call to the priesthood- to help the healing of a broken world.

So yeah, this year, it is also very personal and it strikes close to home.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spencer Butte: a Run and a Not Run.

So a few weeks ago, my tri club took me on the best run of my entire life.  I didn't actually believe the words "best" and "fun" and "run" even belonged in the same sentence.  But on Spencer's Butte, yes.  There's a lovely little trail head called "Martin Street", where you park your car and proceed to do something like 500 feet of climbing in 1 mile.

But then you hit the Dilliard Street trailhead and it's a mile of lovely rollers, so you feel incredibly powerful and mighty.  You begin to think you are mighty and can actually run.

So perhaps on Saturday (after finishing up all the unexpected stuff that cropped up on Saturday), late in the afternoon, you suggest another trail run, and M might suggest you try the other trailhead.  And you will soon discover that not all of Spencer's Butte is lovely rollers.  You will drag yourself up some butt-kicker hills and arrive gasping at the next trail marker, knee deep in vegetation, hearing the crackle of the forest, and with your impossibly perky husband saying things like, "Wow, these trees are really awesome" and "Good workout, tough run".  Your response will be, "Ah-HEEEE, ah-HEEEE, ah-HEEEEE".  That only makes sense if you double over gasping for air while your leg muscles burn like firey lava and parts of your glutes actually feel numb from the effort.

Ah, DC, you flat race route, you.  

We ran just to the Fox Hollow Trailhead, where you have the choice of heading to Williamette or all the way to the Summit.  We were short on water, so decided to save the summit for the next day.

Sunday dawned, bright and clear.  Services ended, with a smattering of chaos.  I got to use my "let's be an extremely calm person" chaplain skills, and my ninja mind powers, which sadly, failed me at lunch time.  By 3:30PM, coffee hour had been long cleared up and I had had nothing to eat all day save a scoop of blueberry cobbler that I swallowed with a modicum of actual chewing between services.

I was totally empty.  Let's just say there may have been an emergency milkshake involved, and there is no tuna fish left in our house.  By the time I got home, no vegetable was safe.

But then, raging on adrenaline and crazy-pants-ish-ness, I changed into my running clothes, declared the first 85 degree day to be a perfect day for a nice run, and dragged M out of the house.

He countered by changing into his regular shorts and packing two bottles of water.  By the time we got to the Fox Hollow trailhead, he'd talked me down into a regular hike.

We went the two miles up to the summit of Spencer's Butte, and can I say WOW.  (Not my picture, just a general web one.) We had no camera, and the landscape was too bright, but WOW.  There were mountains all around us.  There are rolling green hills.  There were clouds and sun.  This really is a gorgeous area of the country that we've moved to.  It looks like actual nature out there.

And then I stepped into a big patch of poison oak. Let's all talk to God on my behalf, maybe.

Monday, July 18, 2011

In Pursuit of Carbs: the 5 Mile Run Home

I live approximately 5 miles from work.  Actually, according to the bike computer, it's 4.96 miles.  This was confirmed yesterday by my Nike shoe-iPod doohickey.  I'm usually on the bike trails three to five days a week, where I can see interesting things like an entire family of raccoons going for a swim, or the local pot smokers.  Will someone please tell the pot-smokers that patchouli oil does NOT COVER POT SMELL?)

Anyway, yesterday morning, I woke up and began my usual morning routine.  Don't worry, I'm not one of those people who wakes up, turns on happy music, and does rock yoga or something cheerful like that.  Nothing works.  Morning is a horrible time populated by evil demons, and thus is best experienced from under your covers while your eyes are screwed tightly shut.  I get a lot of mental exercise by calculating just how many times I can hit snooze before I must get up.

Because of the preceding anti-morning prejudice, the discovery of no milk in our fridge was not acceptable, as my brain is incapable of morning coherence.  No coffee means either make tea, or drink coffee black?  Both of those involve verbs and subjects and thinking, and usually I'm lucky to be capable of boiling water.

This means that M was woken up from a dead sleep at 6:50.  He is even crankier than I, but I figured that if I whispered "Full City" it would get him going.

We were on the road by 7:05.  For a man who makes a damn good cup of coffee, he does love his coffee shops.

I brought my running clothes with a plan of running home.  5 miles, often flat, with a few killer uphills at the end.  What could go wrong?  (Answer: rain is only "going wrong" if you are not prepared for it.  I had no rain gear, but it was just a misty rain and this IS Oregon, so the rain=acceptable.)

How do I get motivated after 4 services?  Well......... did I mention there was a baptism at church?  Where there is baptism, there is cake.  Oh, and a wedding the night before.  More cake.  And a birthday.  CUP-cakes.  And someone made brownies.  HOMEMADE BROWNIES!  I have found that people tend to put cake in the priest's hands automatically.  So I can intend to get a carrot or a cup of tea and be super healthy, but the cake appears so magically, and it would be so very, very sinful to waste food, right?  Besides, chocolate comes from a bean, and beans are vegetables.  And services give me low blood sugar.

Oh, magical, magical carbs.  You fill me with your sugary goodness and make my soul experience light and joy.

Can I share that I'm having a hard time with the high-protein, no-bread-or-processed-sugar thing?  Oh, I suffer, so very very much.  On the bright side, since I'm not eating processed carbs anymore, just a little bit of them is enough to make me feel full.  And my pants are a lot looser.  And I think I'm faster, too...

Besides, I get to eat cake, and then run, and feel virtuous.  I keep my halos at work so they stay shiny.  

The run went quite well- I reeled off 5.1 miles (remember, I live 4.96 miles from church, door to door, so I added a lap around my complex to get that last .04 in) in 51 minutes.  The first two miles were at an 8:30 pace, then two at a 9:30-10:30 pace where I had to wait for a few crossing signs or where I didn't like my iPod song and slowed down until I fixed it.

Then the last mile is essentially vertical.  The homeowners' associations around here are responsible for maintaining the cable lines, but all the residents own their own crampons.  In some areas, there are chains or catapults to get cars over the very steepest portions in town.  The buttes that surround us look just like Talcott Mtn did back east.  So I slowed way down to an 11-something pace for the last mile because I was going up a hill like Half-Dome or Everest.   

Today I have declared a rest day.  I dreamed all night that I was a soigneur in the Tour de France, and responsible for the hotel rooms and food bags of the Schleck brothers, Thomas Voeckler, and Jens Voigt.  I don't think they are on the same teams, but that does not matter to my subconscious.  I also don't know much about any of them, except they ride bikes, and I ride bikes, and I guess they are my best buddies because we all ride bikes and if they came out here to Eugene, they could ride bikes with me and all my bike riding friends.

In my dreams, they ate a lot of roast beef and PB&J.  Even my dreams are low-carb these days.  Suffice it to say, I worked HARD for my REM sleep, so I've double-earned my rest day today.  I'll be working on press releases and stuff.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ANNOUNCING! The St. Mary's 9/11 Remembrance Project!

And HERE is the exciting announcement that I was being so very sneaky about.  Elements of this have been in the works for a while, but it all gelled and could finally become public now!

St. Mary's Episcopal Church's Vestry has formally approved our 9/11 Remembrance Project!  It has three facets (because we Episcopalians love our three-legged stools, don't we?).  Action, Word, Prayer.

The Beloved Red Trek Returns Again To The National Capital (different number this year, though!)


Action:
Well, you've had an inkling already.  I was accepted to do the Nation's Tri in the First Responder Category, but I've always wanted big races to be about more than just me.  For the past few months, I've been creating a network of people who are backing this venture, and I can finally publicly announce them:
- St. Mary's Episcopal Church is supporting me as their Priest Triathlete.  As far as I know, I'm the only chaplain first responder racing.  (Way to represent the Spiritual Care team, no?)  They provide the time, the support, the understanding when I creak and groan on Sunday mornings because my calves are tight.  They leave it up to my coaches to tell me to stretch more.  And they make awesome potluck dishes to support my increased need for protein.

No matter where I go, I don't forget my roots.  My Virginia peeps rock!  
I will be their person in the wide, wide world, doing an action.

Together, we are joining forces to raise funds and awareness for Episcopal Relief and Development, and Concerns of Police Survivors.  Our online portal is Active.com, with funds being routed directly to St. Mary's, who have created a Reserve Fund for this project.  All funds will be split 50/50 between these two organizations.

We feel these organizations benefit people in the whole world, both domestically and internationally, and we feel a special desire to help C.O.P.S. this year as they are looking after the family of Officer Chris Kilcullen of the Eugene Police Department, and will send them to the National Police Week events in May 2012.

Gifts-in-kind to offset travel for me are very gratefully accepted, as well!  I need to fly with a bike!

in Words:
On 9/11, St. Mary's opened their doors and put together a service on the fly.  The then-parish administrator, Nancy C., purchased a scrapbook which people started filling with memories.  A year later, they updated it.  Now, 10 years later, we will update it again with more memories and reflections.  Already, Carolyn B. has shared her report of visiting Ground Zero six months after the attacks.

in Prayers:
St. Mary's is always first and foremost a church.  On 9/11, while I race, they will add some extra prayers in at the Prayers of the People in the main Eucharist, but those main services will retain their focus on preaching the gospel and celebrating the supper.  The Liturgy Committee will meet next week to talk about how else we might remember the day.

My transition bag.  Because after changing computers, I am a little short on action shots, 'k?  I'll work on it!




As always, these projects never take place with just one person or one partner.  I have already convinced my sainted brother-in-law N to be my bike mechanic.  It was great to get a family member who is so bike-crazy he has always made me look completely average!  There is a very special family member to whom a phone call will be made later today to be a certain particular special assistant, and I really hope she'll say yes.

And above all else- so many thanks to St. Mary's for embracing me as their edgy assistant priest.  It is their willingness to adopt my interests like triathlon and work with me to find ways that we can make this all part of our whole lives together!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Preparing for Big Announcement, Plus Hills Run Report

By Wednesday, there will hopefully be a big announcement about the Tri project... and it may be super exciting indeed.  Stay tuned, as news will be forthcoming!

In the meantime, I shall amuse you with training reports.

First, you should know that I changed my diet.  After packing on about 25 pounds of discomfort that I called Connecticut Pudge, I was getting pretty eager to work off a little before the tri.  I had been about the same weight since college, until I moved to New England.  Then... I blame lack of biking, crazy shifts including nights days and evenings in the same week, and a long, long commute.  Oh, and the stress eating.  I expect it'll take until about December before I'm back to my Seminary weight, if things keep going as they are now.  But at this point, I'm a notch smaller on my belt and there are trousers fitting me which have been snug for a long time.

Basically, we went paleo, which is to say that we cut easy carbs almost entirely, and quadrupled our veggies and about tripled our protein.  For a slacker vegetarian-like person, let me tell you, that's a BOATLOAD of veggies!  But eating strictly vegetarian with few to no animal products over the last few years during a couple of EXTREMELY stressful years- I hadn't realized how much I had come to rely on the easy carbs.  I hadn't realized how much of my meals were mostly rice, or how much bread I was really consuming.  I hadn't realized how carby veggie patties can be... especially if you eat two and a half of them.  And of course, by hour 24 of a 30 hour shift, anyone in the universe would be eating the homefried potatoes from the cafeteria, too.  

This led us to a few weeks of change.  In the first week, it was easy.  All things virtuous are easy at first.  It's exciting to consult the list to find out how much of this or that we can eat and to try new cooking methods.  But like any virtue, it is short lived.  In the second and third week, I felt like I would sell my own grandmother for a few easy carbs.  I was dreaming of bread baking.  I would try to workout and run out of steam about two minutes in, slogging away at a pace that the aforementioned grandmother might kindly call "a nice walk".  I very nearly cried right at Crossfit.    

And then the weirdest thing of all happened.

We went for a hills run with our tri club.  Now, I've detailed before my lack of affinity for running.  I'm a cycle sort of girl.  Two wheels, nice and fast.  That's how I like it.  But running is necessary for tri.  So I've been working hard at the running.  And it's usually very, very miserable.  There is panting and moaning, pain, sadness, more pain, and extreme slowness.  Toddlers like running with me because I am their pace person.

So the first uphill was the normal slog, til we got to the first gathering spot.  I was breathing pretty hard... but suddenly, I had my wind back and I was feeling fresh and energetic again.  "Hm.  This is strange," think I.

Not nearly as strange as what was about to happen.  We went into the second climb, which contained a section of little rollers (tiny ups and downs which I usually called conveniently packaged misery), followed by a steep switchback.  As I went over the rollers, I suddenly realized that it felt...

Effortless.  I actually thought I could put on a bit more speed.  So I did.

And I caught up with two of the faster girls in front of me.

And I still didn't feel remotely winded.  Or even miserable.  In fact...

I was enjoying myself.

A Lot.

The run was actually fun.  Nice scenery.  Fast pace, so I felt like I was going somewhere.  And I was not  totally miserable.

At the small swells, I could surge upwards like I had a little nuclear reactor inside my legs.  At the switchback, there was a little energy reserve that brought me up that last little bit.

I was actually kind of freaked out.  This sort of thing just doesn't happen to people like me.  I know my place in the running world, and it is not a happy place.  Until this run.

The next day, M was dying a thousand deaths (Crossfit had killed everyone who did this lunge workout), but I felt good.  Just a little tight (more stretching in my future!).

So something strange has been happening.  This might be beneficial.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Butte to Butte Race Report

UPDATE: Official times are in!  My net time (which is the one I care about) was 1:04:00.  (Gun time was 1:06:20, but who cares about the two minutes it took to actually get across the starting line.)  Pretty psyched, as even with a monster hill, this represents a faster time than my last official 10K!

The race began last night, with the Pre-Race Ritual.  This basically means that I find all my stuff, lay it out, and pack the bag because my brain is mush in the morning.  The Famous White Reflective Hat from the first two tris is back in action!

Unfortunately, I tend to deal with nerves by becoming an obsessed control freak. Which explains how, at 11:45PM, I was looking for my sparkle socks and shaking my fist at the unfolded socks in the clean laundry pile.  WHY MUST LAUNDRY EXIST TO THWART ME SO!

I get a little worked up before a race.

This was my first Aquafina Butte to Butte and many things went well.

First, for the first time in all existence, there were no lines for the porta potties and they had plenty of TP.  This alone is a miracle.  Bless you, organizers.  You have mastered the portaloo formula.

It was super-easy to park and get to the shuttle location, even though we are still new to town.  Yay, us!  There were plenty of people dressed for serious running, and lots of people in goofy costumes.  We ran near the Statue of Liberty for pretty much the whole morning.  Red, white, and blue tutus were abundant, but I can't run enough bleach through my brain to erase the image of the red thong over the blue bodysuit.  Why, why, why?  The humanity!  Next year, maybe I'll put some tinsel on my hat.

I really liked the clothing shuttle- you could wear your sweatshirt up to the start, and drop off your extra clothes to be shuttled down to the finish. We took advantage of this handy service, and let me tell you, it was really nice to be a little warmer at the start and to have my flip flops at the end.  And now I know to put my name and race number on my bag BEFORE I leave home.

And then it all started.  People told me that the first mile was entirely vertical, so I went in expecting misery and sadness and pain and suffering.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first mile was actually more of a gradual slope- the real steep-suffering-pain-agony part is only the last third of the hill.  This is another reason I love my neighborhood- we live in the Southwest Hills ourselves, reportedly on the other side of the Butte we ran this morning.  Recently we started running hills workouts.  By recently, I mean "last week", and by "running", I mean that I've never know such pain and misery.  This means that today's hill wasn't all that shocking.  I suppose camaraderie does a body good.  I did slow to a walk for the very last bit of the hill, but recovered quickly at the top.  One family was handing out donuts midway up, but I skipped them at that point.  (IF they'd been a half-mile later....!)

It was all downhill from there.

Not in a bad-race sense, but I mean, literally. The course looks like this, so you pretty much coast for the next few miles.  See?  Downhill, mostly, and super-flat.
See??  Isn't that course insane??  (Disclaimer:  Not actually depicting Eugene. **)


I was able to relax, keep M in sight, and look for spectators.  I didn't see any of my friends in the race itself, but I heard there were people from Crossfit, Multisport, and St. Mary's all running.  I did see my boss on the sidelines, and several parishioners along the route!  The Boss missed M, who was a few seconds ahead of me, with flames shooting out of his speedy sneakers.

A word on speed:  M and I are both running a pace that could be called snail-tacular.  Here in TrackTown USA, we are so slow that most people don't recognize what we do as running at all.  Small children regularly pass us.  Heck, old people zoom by us... REALLY old people.  (Last year's 70-74 age group finisher beat my time by at least 20 minutes.)  However, last year, I couldn't even do a mile without stopping.  So holding down 6 miles with no stopping and at a consistent pace: I call that a major win, baby, win.  I take it where I can.

The only downside:  EWEB was handling all the "Pure Refreshment" stations, and apparently they adhere to the proper sports concept that for workouts of an hour or so or less can be done on straight water.  I have a bad time trying to eat much before a workout, let alone before a race, so I kind of rely on Gatorade mid-heavy-workout to keep me in balance.  Trust me, after experimenting all last summer, I know what works foe me.  The straight water was starting to upset my stomach by the end!  I did not hurl mid race, but there were a few dicey moments when my stomach said "You witch! Where's my Gatorade! I hate you so, so much."  My stomach can be very tempermental like that.  It always makes up with me later.

All told, near the end, M (who'd been pacing ahead of me) started looking around for me.  At mile 5, I finally caught up with him and asked him if he wanted to run this thing out together.  He agreed.  I think it's just really sweet when your beloved knows he could smoke you if he wanted to, but decides he'd rather finish the race with you.

We finished the race together, just a few seconds before the Statue of Liberty.  I took the opportunity to go eat some carbs, yeah, baby, carbs* (whole wheat currant scone and a big cup of coffee with milk).  We have declared this a fabulous way to start a Fourth of July!



*I have been really stripping down on easy carbs to focus on getting more protein and whole foods, to strip off some of this pudge before the fall.  My body is learning to rely on fat stores for energy and overall, we both feel pretty good.  But I think I am hardwired to love carbs, with great great warm squishy fresh-out-of-the-oven love.

This was my last loaf of bread before starting on the new nutrition program.  The sweet memories!


**In the picture above, that IS actually Yosemite, with pictures of Half Dome.  In the past week, the joke had been made that the Butte to Butte course was so steep that it had cables like Half Dome.  It wasn't that bad.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Working on the Run

Well, I have been training HARD this week.  Hard enough that I decided to take most of yesterday and all of today as a rest day.  The donation stuff is almost ready to go live!  

I've had a number of friends doing other physical stuff all over the country, from the Warrior Dash in CT to a whole bunch of running to the Tour De DioMil.  What I really love is that all these folks (who are sweet, awesome, and cool) were people who are NOT natural born athletes.  They give me so much hope that there's still hope for me!


How hard have I been training?  Well, on Tuesday at Crossfit, the Workout of the Day was to run 400 meters, then do 60 squats, and then run 400 meters, and do 40 pushups, and run, then 20 pull ups, and run, and then 10 handstand pushups, or something very much like that.

My coach modified it so I would do 800 meter runs, and 2/3 of the other stuff.  On one hand, it's awesome because the squats make your legs feel *exactly* like they do when you get off on the bike.

On the other hand, when you go out to join your tri club that evening, you are already tired and they smile and look happy and tell you you are about to run 2 miles.  Then bike 10.  Then run 1 more.  And you must reach deep down in the dregs of your existence to pull out the happy power.

I managed to hang with one of the guys for the first mile but couldn't keep up the pace after that.  So I was on my own for the bike.

Then came the run.  Where I missed the cone signaling the 1 mile turn around and so I kept running and running and running and finally the club leader ran after me as I slowed down and down in agony, and told me I'd missed the cone a while back.  So I actually ran 3/4 in each direction, or 1.5 miles.  Which means that I WON THE LONG RUN!

I also won the long swim at Nation's last year, by virtue of getting lost and tacking a couple hundred extra meters onto my swim.  I really need to stop doing stuff like this.

All told, on Tuesday I turned in a total of 7 miles over the course of the day.  And I ran a little brick on Monday, and ran hills on Wednesday which was exquisite misery in a pudding dish of sad, and finally on Friday biked 24ish miles with friends.  (Bikes are simply happy workout candy.  AWESOME!) Then about 12 or so to the Saturday Market... Which was demoralizing as I huffed and puffed all the way while M sallied forth looking incredibly strong.

It turned out he'd loaded my bag with all the heavy stuff, AND the bike locks.  Plus I was riding my hybrid, which is a TANK!  So he had a road bike, some kale, and a pint of strawberries.  I had a hybrid bike, collards, honey, strawberries, carrots, basil, bike locks, and a side of "wow-ouch".

So... I actually put in some serious mileage this week.  Dude, I should really log this, shouldn't I?

In other news, M and I decided to get in on the fun here in Eugene, so we signed up for the Butte to Butte.  It's a 10K that starts with a first mile that is essentially vertical.  Apparently, you get to the top and cry.  And then you run a little and they give you doughnuts somewhere.  I signed up mostly for the Tshirt and the promise of doughnuts.  People from Crossfit, my tri club, AND my church are all going to be running, so I hope to have some friends in the crowd.