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Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I met my American Gladiators favorite, Siren, today at the CSU gym. She was lifting weights with a friend of mine.

Imagine puny, little me in the weights room too. It's cool though, because no one pointed out the girly weights I was using and I got introduced to her on her way out. She seems like a very nice lady and I was relieved to see that she doesn't wear makeup to workout (that's just for the show!).

In other news, the food during fun week is going to pack at least a few extra pounds on my frame. Yesterday's menu included pulled pork, little hamburgers, fried chicken, mac n cheese, potato salad and pie. You noticed that no vegetables were in the list too, huh? I got home and was just craving a salad. Today, we ate at the Great Lakes Science Center. There, we had some vegetables, but there was a lot of extraneous sauce on each menu item. Tasty though.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

7 Random Things

I've been tagged by Tracie to list 7 random things about myself, so here goes:

1. My parents split up when I was 8 and my brother was 6. My mom remarried first when I was 10 - he had a son and daughter that were already out of the house. My dad remarried next when I was 12 - she had a daughter and son about my brother's and my age respectively. Later, dad and step-mom had a son together. So, that makes my siblings equal to 2 step-brothers, 2 step-sisters, 1 brother and 1 half-brother. Talk about your non-traditional family! Over the years, we have all grown apart, except my brother and me who will always be close.

2. Before my parents split up, we were living in Wiesbaden, Germany, because my father was in the Army. Mom, Dave and I moved to Canton, OH after the split. My dad, his new wife and kids moved back to Germany when I was 13. They are all now in Huntsville, AL. Dave and Mom are still in Canton.

3. My husband and I have been living in our house in Willoughby for 2.5 years and have done absolutely no redecorating since we moved in. With IronMan behind us and me getting some more sleep, I think that is about to change.

4. We have two cats - Jack and Shadow. One is a momma's girl (Jack) who loves sitting on my lap and the other (Shadow) is standoffish to everyone. However, the standoffish gal is sitting next to me right now. Makes me feel good.

5. I'm a huge super hero comics fan. I own most of the movies made from Marvel comic heroes. When I was a little girl, I would pretend to be Scarlet Witch when we'd play Avengers. Scarlet Witch could control probabilities. I wonder if that preference foretold my future profession as a math geek.

6. I didn't eat broccoli until I was 29, brussel sprouts until 31 and cauliflower until 32. Corn, carrots and potatoes were really the only vegetables I liked. Now, I'm happy to eat most vegetables (still like them cooked better than raw) and I'll try anything at least once.

7. It is fun week at work next week. We get to play videogames, cardgames and eat catered lunch every day! I love fun week!

I never forward e-mails, so I shan't be tagging anyone (however, feel free to join in on the fun if you'd like to be tagged).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Running in circles

Yesterday, E-speed e-mailed me and asked if I'd join her for a 5-mile recovery run (her recovery = my tempo). I told her that I didn't have any winter running clothes with me, but I always keep spare clothes for the gym. So, she agreed to run inside with me at the CSU gym.

In prior posts, I'd mentioned my doubts over the distance of the CSU indoor track (they say 1 lap = 1/10 mile). E is pacer and generally knows about what pace we are running, so I thought it would be a great chance to test out my theory. We did our first mile in 8:22 - she thought like me that the track was a little short, but not by much. Our pace was probably more like 8:45 than 8:22, but still quick for me.

We actually did the whole 5 miles (51 laps - 1 more thrown in for adjustment) in 42 minutes. The last 2 miles were faster than the first 3. Rock on!

I really enjoyed catching up with my friend too. Tonight, she has agreed to join me for Yoga - bonus two nights in a row!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday again

It's Monday again and I can't seem to organize my thoughts into anything cohesive, so here is some random stuff:

1) The American Gladiators finale was last night. The outcome was as I expected, although I suspect Shanay would be a better future Gladiator with her big 24-inch pythons (to borrow a phrase from Hulk Hogan).

2) Knight Rider remake premiered last night. I only saw 30 minutes, but DVR'd the rest for later. I was a little put off by the promiscuity of a couple of the main characters, but otherwise, what I saw was pretty cool.

3) I think I watch entirely too much TV. To pat myself on the back, I did do and file our taxes yesterday instead of planting myself in front of the boob tube ALL day. Matt spoils me so much that there isn't much to do around the house otherwise and I'm out of good books. Any suggestions?

4) Swimming still blows, but I do thank you for all of your nice comments. Matt watched me yesterday and said that I'm crossing over. This didn't use to be an issue, but with concentrating on everything else new in my stroke, it appears to have become one. Maybe with this newfound knowledge, I can correct appropriately.

5) I did the weights workout from the March 2008 Triathlete magazine this morning. Methinks I will be quite sore tomorrow as I'm already feeling stiff just mere hours later.

6) It's mid-year feedback time at work. Ah, formal feedback - so time consuming, yet so valuable. Mid-year is really the time when pay, bonus and promotions are seriously considered. Year-end is just a formality. I find myself more motivated in my career than ever before. I think I could actually be good at this. It helps that the people are so nice here.

7) The big presidential election is this year and I am ashamed to say that I don't know much about the candidates. I lean to the left (far left at times), but I try to make educated decisions. As a registered democrat, I'll need to decide between Hillary and Obama in the primary on 3/6. I better get educated about them soon to make an informed decision or my vote will be worthless.

8) I got totally spoiled at Valentine's Day. Matt sent me a dozen roses at work and then gave me presents (sweater, pink running gloves and a calendar with pictures of us) when I got home. Spoiled rotten, I tell ya!

That's all I've got. Must go write mid-year evaluations!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I suck!

My husband hates it when I say that I suck, but man, sometimes it is just totally true.

My swimming is just terrible. I know, compared to 95% of the population who either don't know how to swim or would never get off their lazy ass, I'm a great swimmer. But, you know how it is. When you swim with other people who swim, it is hard not to be down on yourself.

I really try hard to not compare myself to other people, because we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Of course, my strengths include being a total goofball and mad dancing skillz (not sure where that gets me), but I digress. I am not asking to be faster than others, just faster than me.

I know people hit plateaus. I guess I'm cool with that, but I'm slower than I was before I started this swimming class. All around me, the other swimmers are improving. Yes, I can't compare myself to others, but I want some improvement too damn it! The good news is that I seem to have a smoother stroke and I'm patient enough to wait for a breakthrough. Sometimes, you just got to whine though and what better platform than this blog? In the grand scheme of things though, it isn't important so I'll buck up! : )

After this morning's swim, Sam and I hit the new little coffee shop on the way out of the rec center. In just one short week, we've become regulars. The lady said "the usual?". I love that!

And, today is Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I'm celebrating by having lunch with 4 of my good buddies, getting back to Yoga class tonight and then spending a nice evening with my fabulous husband (we'll do the dinner thing this weekend).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I subject Matt to all kinds of strange shows and mostly, he gets into them too. I love the Japanese obstacle type game shows - first, it was MXC, then Ninja Warrior and now it is Unbeatable Bansuke.

In the U.S., we didn't have any current shows like that until American Gladiators came back. I now must find a way to get myself on that show. Of course, I'll need to bulk up and train differently. And, I have other plans for 2008, so this will have to be a long-term goal.

The gladiators on the show all have one-word names and over-the-top personalities. My husband recently posted to the CTC forum "If you were an American Gladiator, what would your name be and what would be your schtick?" I've thought about it and my name would be Fart and I would pretend to fart on people after I tackled them. Just kidding!

One of the actual gladiators is from Cleveland. Her real name is Valerie and she owns a fabulous health food restaurant in downtown Cleveland called Octane. Her gladiator name is Siren and I think she actually looks like a female unlike the other "ladies" in the cast. Of course, I'm probably biased because she's from here. What do you think?

Well, if I can't get on Gladiators, I may shoot for Unbeatable Bansuke!! Then, I'll have to work on my Japanese (currently nonexistent) as well!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekend Fun Times!

I love the weekend! Who doesn't?! It is even more lovely when you don't have to work and you get to spend it with fun people.

I talked Matt into running trails with me again. The terrain was a lot muddier and more slippery than a week earlier, which made it a tough run. In my quest to not be considered a slow running partner, I pushed the pace even faster than Matt had intended to go. We both paid for it later as we limped through the last few miles of our run. It was fun though and I'm glad we got out there onto the trail together - 8.5 miles in da bank (10.5 for him)!

After, I met my little brother for lunch. I matched him slice for slice in the 8-slice large pizza we split and then we shared an Oreo Oblivion dessert. Luckily, we both understand portion control, so just ate enough to be satiated and not stuffed.

I was still not hungry though when I went to the Cleveland Triathlon Club winter party that night. CTC member, Ben, has a sweet penthouse condo in downtown Cleveland and was gracious enough to host. I got to chat with some of my favorite CTC people and most of us indulged in a group shot (I went for the Jameson's instead of the Petron). Sadly, I'm not the young whipper snapper that I used to be. Despite an 8-hour sleep the night before and a 1.5 hour nap during the day, I was all tuckered out by 11 PM. I'm a ball of fire, huh?

When I woke up this morning, the world had turned all white again. Yesterday, there was a hint of spring with the 45 degree temperatures and peeks of sunshine. Today, it is 10 degrees outside (-2 with the windchill), 2 inches of snow on the ground and sustained winds of 30+ mph with gusts of 60-70 mph. Got to love living in Cleveland!

But, Matt and I got our butts out of the house and to CSU for a swim. I had decided ahead of time to do the 2900 yard recovery swim assigned by Rob, because my body is so damn sore. I wore a new swimsuit, which I discovered as I was entering the pool area, wasn't as tight as my other suits. As I started my first lap, I was sure my breasts would be exposed to everyone. Now, this may not be a big deal normally, because 1) I do freestyle and my boobs are pointed towards the bottom of the pool and 2) there are usually 3 people in the pool on Sundays. Today though, the recovery workout called for backstroke and the pool area was packed with little kids (and their parents) doing some kind of swim meet. Luckily, my boobs stayed safely contained. : )

Now, I brought some work home to do in front of the TV, but blogging seemed like a much better idea. It feels good to be back to regular workouts and to blogging about them!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

8:22 mile? - can't be right

Good lord it has been a long time since I've posted. Work has been handing my ass to me on a plate and I can't say I'm enjoying the meal. : )

BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I have been getting my workouts in every morning. It's not two- or three-a-days like last year, but it is something.

I've mentioned before that I joined Cleveland State University's recreation center. Seriously, it is a very nice place. They even have an indoor track that isn't ridiculously short (at least compared to my old gym where you'd have to go 27 times around for 1 mile). This track states that 1 lap equals 1/10 of a mile, but I have serious doubts that it is accurate even when using the outside lane like I do.

So, I got up this morning and thought a run-type workout should be on the schedule (note that it is weird no longer having a coach tell me what to do, but I digress). I did the following workout:

- 1.5 miles run on the track - time = 13:02 (an 8:41 per mile pace - yah, I don't run that fast typically)
- 2 sets of 1 minute of jump-rope, 1 ab exercise and 10 push-ups
- 2 miles run on the track - time = 17:14 (an 8:37 per mile pace - WTF!)
- 2 sets of incline bench, inverted squat, lat pulldown, deadlifts, lateral raises, back extensions, bicep curl and tricep extension (super set upper and lower body before moving to the next two)
- 1.5 miles run on the track - time = 12:33 (an 8:22 per mile pace - this can't be right!)

Well, I don't know if the track is accurate, but I guess it gives me a benchmark for future sessions and I know that I can run faster as the workout progresses even after some heavy lifting. We'll see how this translates to outside later. In the meantime, I'm a happy camper.