[code"> [/code"> Courtenay Brown: February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Casual Survey #2: Camera or Camera Phone?

So my digital camera broke during camp - not the "broke" from last fall that just proved to be an inconvenience while the camera still worked. No, this time it's flat out non-functional and dead. I've been using my Sony Ericsson w810i camera phone in its stead, but at 2 megapixels and limited lighting abilities, this is not a long-term solution.

Question is: do I buy a new camera, OR, do I get one of my Aussie teammates to bring me a sweet little 5 megapixel camera phone? (note: link is to a hypothetical phone, i would be open to other suggested devices that are a. sporting a decent camera and b. cool)

Advantages to the Camera Phone option:
-only need to carry 1 personal device (right now I carry personal phone, work phone, and broken camera)
-it's cool

Advantages to the Camera option:
-dedicated camera is bound to have slightly better functionality?
-I will have the same camera as Shaz
-it's probably cheaper

Help! (And for your amusement, here's last year's somewhat similar scenario).

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Glimpse...

(I hardly even need to squint to see a BEACH!)

Four consecutive days of 40+ degree temps here in Tahoe made an outside ride irresistible today - I headed up to Spooner Lake. So yes, this is snow, not sand!

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12:15 and I've eaten all my lunch and snacks

That's all. I will not have another snack opportunity until after 3.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another Charlie Update

So, kitty is hanging in there and getting a bit better. A urinary tract/bladder infection was actually not the problem (go Court for improper diagnosis yet again! There is a reason I didn't go to vet school!)- instead, he had and still has a buildup of crystallized minerals that his kidneys excreeted from his food. The crystals are called struvites and they can be really problematic for indoor male cats like Charlie. Left unattended, the struvites can build up to the point of blocking the urethra, and from that point it's a very quick descent for the cat - unable to eliminate toxins by urinating, his body is basically poisoned from within.

Thankfully I got my head on straight about Charlie's symptoms soon enough to get him to the vet before he got to the point of blockage. We switched him to a prescription diet that does not cause crystal buildup, and also put him on antibiotics (mostly for the sneezing side-effect he's experiencing, since the peeing thing isn't an infection I am guessing antibiotics won't affect that end of the cat?). Now it's a matter of waiting as his digestive system processes the rest of the struvites. He's still pretty uncomfortable and I feel awful for him, but the good news is it's getting better and he likes the new food.

Side note: I am once again incredibly grateful that he hates Out Side. Yesterday we got back from the vet and I wanted to lazy-man's-load my way up to the apartment. I.e. purse, new cat food, waterbottle, jacket, and cell phone held to ear in one hand, cat in cardboard cat carrier in the other hand... Bottom falls out of cardboard cat carrier, kitty is sitting stunned in the middle of the parking lot and DOESN'T MOVE, I manage to hang up on my friend and scoop up kitty and carry 1 wide-eyed scaredy-cat and all my other crap upstairs. Still all in one load!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Seemed like a Great idea at the time...

Somehow last night's bottle of wine turned into a bottle of wine plus a couple of margaritas... This morning I remembered exactly what it's like to be 21, and exactly why I have turned into a bit of a square in my old age.

Speaking of 20-somethings and of me being nearly not a twenty-something, apparently a few of my sister's friends have read my blog, which has caused mild embarrassment to my sister, because a. she says I completely mis-remembered her wing-man theory and b. why are her friends reading an old lady's blog?! Poor Scare.

And finally: after all my high-horsedness about Charlie loving me and not Greg and about how the reason he was peeing in the wrong places is that he missed me... well, after all that, last night he visited the litterbox at a rate of 45x/hour, and he commenced sneezing, so we have an appointment at the vet's today. Yay I get to pay them to tell me what I think I already know, that kitty has a urinary tract infection! But taking him in is the only way to get the antibiotics. All part of the medical/dental scam... On the plus side though, I get to show off my handsome cat (who loves me!)!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Update, as promised

After conducting my favourite form of research, The Casual Survey of Friends, Family, and Readers, I have concluded that Charlie's peeing incidents were the direct result of my 10 day absence (and Greg's 10 days of alone time with kitty). Camp was the first of many multi-day trips for the year. Good thing none of our furniture or stuff is very nice!

Other interesting facts on the day:

-Greg seems to think that he can get revenge for the 10 out of 11 Scrabulous games he's lost to me by pelting me with snowballs. I will be reminding him later that I am the expert at good revenge.

-I ordered my USA Triathlon license online a month ago and I renewed my USA Cycling license 5 days ago. Both arrived in the mail today - interesting.

-I may have gotten out of an astronomical $150 doctor bill today via tears. But really I am frustrated by our healthcare system. I pay $120/month for health insurance that basically only gets me $5 off my birth control pills, unless I miraculously spend $5000 on doctor visits (which at $150 a pop might not be that much of a stretch) and other health crap within the year. Oh and I got a total of $15 off of a $200 lab bill, so that's pretty good I guess. I am tempted to cancel my insurance all together, however The Man has done an excellent job of brainwashing me into thinking it's way too risky and expensive and irresponsible to live without insurance and we have so many good affordable options in this country, UNLESS of course god forbid you have anything in your medical history like asthma or some abnormal test or something like that.


Time to open a bottle of whine wine.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chronicles of the 4th Ginormous Snowstorm

We got nearly 2 feet of snow this weekend!

Here Greg is wiping off the car before we left the gym tonight, and here the big snow machine is clearing the way for us as we drove home!

Other notes on the day and weekend:

-Bike racing: no need to rag on Levi further, although I WILL SAY that I found it hilarious that they played music really loudly during his post-race interview with Bob Roll so you didn't have to listen to him whine if you didn't want to! Ha HA!

-More on bike racing: Go Katheryn!!!

-My toes are killing me even worse than last week. I took a photo again but I will spare you the sight of my mangled pinky toe! I guess it's time for new running sneakers, this time perhaps a size smaller? Oh darn I guess I have to go shopping.

-There is something wrong with Charlie. Twice since I got back from camp he has PEED where he is not supposed to! The couch and on the bed! And of course when I sit there and try to scold him, "bad kitty! bad kitty! you are a bad bad kitty!" all he does is look up at me, blink, and purr. The message is not getting through. Anyhow I am hoping it's something like an allergy to the wet food we've been giving him, or something like that, because he's not showing any other signs of stress or pissedoffedness. Rest assured I will keep you all updated.

-Starting tomorrow Greg and I both have rest weeks! Woohoo! Time to catch up on stuff for example the laundry and correspondence.

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Heroes in a Half Shell

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Attitude of a Winner

"I can't wait till tomorrow, and we can get this thing over with."

Race leader Levi Leipheimer at the end of today's Tour of California stage regarding tomorrow's final stage of the tour. What grace! What charm! What a champion!

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Friday, February 22, 2008


I can't deal with the Tour of California any more. I am so bored with Levi (and thank you Chris for suggesting the perfect Levi descriptor: boring). I don't know why I feel such animosity towards the guy, I have never even met him, but I just don't like him. I've never seen him make a move in a race on his own, his commercials on Vs. are annoying, and he's NOT CUTE. Greg says my world is defined by the Cuteness Dichotomy: you either are or you aren't. Levi isn't. Therefore I don't like him.

So I switched the channel to E! and we're watching the Girls Next Door shriek every 5 seconds and tell Jamaicans that what they really need on their island is a Starbucks (?!?!). Ooh now we are hearing that Kevin Federline is allowing Brit Brit limited visitation with the kids as long as her dad and her shrink are there too. This is "breaking news".

O.K. I need something uplifting after all this nonsense on TV that is making me feel like outside is full of boring idiots. Thusly:

Time to listen to some "Billie Jean" and get Greg to do his Michael Jackson dance!!!

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This is a serious DNF list:

DNF Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Karl Menzies (Aus) Health Net presented by Maxxis
DNF Jonathan Clarke (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
DNF Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr) Quick Step
DNF Patrice Halgand (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Mathias Frank (Swi) Gerolsteiner
DNF Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner
DNF Julien Belgy (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
DNF Thomas Danielson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30
DNF Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team
DNF Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast

DNF Matthew Crane (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis
DNF Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
DNF Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling

DNS Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
DNS Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Gerolsteiner
DNS Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner

Courtesy of Cyclingnews... also as an intro to Health Net rider Rory Sutherland's diary for the day, they said "in California, where it almost never rains..."

Should I volunteer to be a fact-checker?

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

As you can see from my resume, I have experience in many related fields...

Because sometimes, other people's opinions and lives are slightly more interesting than mine:

"... Nothing, however, will assuage Clinton supporters' sense of injustice if the upstart Obama supplants her. Their, and her, sense of entitlement is encapsulated in her constant invocations of her '35 years' of 'experience.' Well.

She is 60. She left Yale Law School at age 25. Evidently she considers everything she has done since school, from her years at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm to her good fortune with cattle futures, as presidentially relevant experience.

The president who came to office with the most glittering array of experiences had served 10 years in the House of Representatives, then became minister to Russia, then served 10 years in the Senate, then four years as secretary of state (during a war that enlarged the nation by 33 percent), then was minister to Britain. Then, in 1856, James Buchanan was elected president and in just one term secured a strong claim to being ranked as America's worst president. Abraham Lincoln, the inexperienced former one-term congressman, had an easy act to follow."

-- George Will, Washington Post, 21 February 2008

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I need to write a blog but I am making Cookies

Tonight I had to make cookies. I am still making them actually. It's ok. Apparently they are delicious but I haven't been into cookies much lately, although I do admit to eating one at camp.

Separate topic, we just watched the Tour of California coverage on Vs. And I, of course, have some opinions and observations.

- Levi's resemblance to a troll annoys me and prevents me from rooting for him. Which is unfair, I know, he didn't choose his gene pool. So maybe it's an accumulated annoyance, beginning last year when they let him keep the yellow jersey in Santa Rosa even though his crash was pretty dang far from the finish. And today during his interview with Bob Roll when he was like "yeah, I didn't really go hard until 5k to go, and then [Gesink] and I made a deal" I found it kind of annoying too. Say something nice for crying out loud! For example "Gesink rode great today and towed my teeny slow bum up the climb and deserved to win esp since I sat there" or I guess that's not nice but still.

- I find it funny that Phil and Paul are now throwing around phrases like "look at big George, what a stud". Did they get a list of California-like phrases?

- SUPER COOL to see the Governator and Big Tom together on the podium in Sacramento yesterday!

- What's with the "Free Lamb of God DVD from the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints" commercials during a bike race?

- A downside to watching my favourite sport on TV: we discontinued HBO to get the sports package. So now we don't get Flight of the Conchords or Entourage reruns or Real Time, instead we get the Golf Channel and reruns of some Goldie Hawn football movie and 1 week with 1 hour of cycling a night.

- An upside: I get to watch my favourite sport on TV! Go Dave Z! Go Roman! Go Jens! Go Bissell! Go Creed! Go crazy fan with elk antlers on his helmet! Go Mari Holden, the cutest of Vs's bike-racer-turned-commentators!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I need to write a blog but I am too tired

I just got home from camp/the dentist tonight.

Mouth is intact (yay $1500 for a teensy weensy piece of porcelain?)

Stuff's out of the car.

Fingernails are still pink, but flat-ironed hair from yesterday is back to normal waviness.

Um. What else. Kitty still hearts me way more than Greg, I can tell. The roads here are mostly dry and clear of snow, but the weather forecast does not bode well for outdoor riding after tonight... winter precip is back! But I am still glad to be home with Greg and kitty and the fish (all of whom are alive and healthy btw for you naysayers out there).

A couple of leftover quotes from camp and the race yesterday:

Sometimes I'll get home to my apartment after a ride, and my car will be gone! So I'll call Roman and he'll be like "well, I was on my bike and didn't feel like riding home up the hill so I took your car" - my latest favourite Martina quote!

Oh, I'm not racing today because I don't do one-day races any more... not to sound snobby, it's not like I think I am too good or something, it's just that, my teammates can handle a race like this. I don't need to be out there. O.K., good luck with your triathlon thing! - Anonymous

(in the words of Project Runway's Chris March, "don't you just love youth?... Give him a pacifier and put him to bed!" except in this case it's a her)

Somber tired tone aside, I am so happy with how camp went. Team VAC is going to have a fantastic year, and I can't wait to see the girls again at San Dimas!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Winding Down

Tomorrow is the first Team VAC race of the year :), and the last day of camp :( ! It's been a fantastic week of training for all of us, and we were very blessed with great weather. I would come back to Healdsburg in a heartbeat for another training camp - great roads for cycling and running, and a nice 25 meter outdoor pool in town.

But I would only come if I had the same great company. Everyone is a lot of good adjectives, including entertaining. For example Sharon is finding herself by reading "A New Earth: Awakening to your Life's Purpose" (she admits it's new-agey crap but by golly she's going to enjoy and learn from it). Sharon and Nicole look so much alike from behind that even Sharon's sister mistook one for the other (made me feel better for making that mistake approx. 12 times this week). Leah has been educating us about all kinds of safety precautions and intelligence methods she learned in the Israeli army, totally fascinating stuff. I can't wait to ride to the race with her tomorrow and get more stories, she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Ultra-friendly young Hannah has been the recipient of a few of these safety warnings, I swear Hannah would talk to even someone like George W. for an hour just to avoid hurting his feelings! Chrissy left us last night to go to Australia with the national team. I remember meeting her at Mt. Hood in 2005, my first NRC race ever, and during one stage I saw her running the opposite direction along the course, in sneakers, cheering "go ford basis!" (chrissy's team that year) - I was so confused and impressed, until I learned it was actually her twin sister! Incidentally, Leah won the race that year and Chrissy was second. I was in awe of them both. Katie is just as fantastic as she was last year, if not moreso. I am thoroughly entertained whenever she is speaking, even if I can't make out a word she's saying! That happened today in a busy coffeeshop. Also I am learning to say "Leese hunnybunny, do we have a SHED-joule for the MAAssaje?" rather than "hey huntress, what's the muhSSADGE SKEDjull?" The Aussie version is so much more melodious!

More on the rest of the girls tomorrow. I am beat, in a good way but beat nonetheless. So are my toes:

I ran for the same amount of time as my friend Marit today, but not as far and not for an awesome win! Anyhow I know I am a wuss who screams for attention and sympathy even for a hangnail, but I have blisters on ALL of my TOES!!

Ins and outs of the day thanks to my ever-trusty-in-a-pinch camera phone, spooky morning then serene sunset:

Speaking of camera phones, I am reading Katie's trashy Aussie mags and they have ads in there for camera phones with 5 or 6 megapixels!!! Why the crap don't we get that here?!? Did the digital camera industry pay off the domestic phone manufacturers or something?!?

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Friday, February 15, 2008

False Alarm

I am on Facebook, so is my sister. Last night I was informed that another family member had joined...

"Sally Rohrbach has added you a friend on Facebook!" says my email. Sally Rohrbach is my mom, the one who freaks out when my brother adjusts a desktop setting on her computer and the one who checked out ebay for the first time this Christmas and the one who calls herself a technotard. So I accept the friendship and then write something on her wall and tell my whole team how cool and clever (and slightly alarming) my mom is. And I told Huntress too, she totally wants to be facebook friends with Sal!

Wow, go Sal!

Then today I get two emails from her.

Subject line #1: yikes!!!!!
Highlights from email #1:
"This facebook thing may be the straw that breaks my sanity's back. Wow. I thought that putting my info on the page presented to me by Hope would allow me to see her page - she wrote asking that I look at it... I don't know what facebook is and don't really care. I wish I could unsubscribe and remove my name, but I'm afraid to do anything. Any ideas? And what's scrabulous."

Followed quickly by:

Subject line #2: ???
Email #2:
"What does a "message on my wall" mean?"

Poor Sal!

We have a phone date to sort it out tomorrow.

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More Huntress Teasements

So last night during our team meeting, Huntress is emphasizing the importance of punctuality.

Lisa: ...I will NOT TOLERATE anyone being over 10 minutes late to any team meeting or departure or function, ladies. It's UNACCEPTABLE. The ONLY WAY you will get out of being in big trouble is if for example you have a medical eMERGency, or, well, if someone DIES, or, or...

Me: or if you're on the PHONE

Lisa: ...yeah or if you're on the PHONE, or --


Lisa: Courtenay! God. Being on the phone is NOT an excuse.

You may have had to be there. I'm not sure. But I totally got her. It was hilarious. I would say that Katie and I are the biggest huntress-teasers, and I would say that I get in more trouble than Katie does because a. I am less charming than she is and b. I don't have Australian nat'l champ stripes on my jersey or world champ stripes on my saddle!!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's with the Girls!

Well our internet was out for the afternoon here at Team VAC headquarters and it took a few bottles of wine and a dip in the hot tub to recall that we could actually reset it and get it up and running again...

Today was our 80 mile "flat ride", which in Huntress-speak basically means constant rollers with a couple of 10 minute climbs and maybe a millimeter or two of flatness just to make the label work o.k. Having moved away from NorCal, I now see that the NorCal definition of "flat" is decidedly wrong. Today was way harder than yesterday's "hilly" route! But it was actually a gorgeous ride, we headed out from Healdsburg through Guerneville (start point of Vineman 70.3 and incidentally we were on some of the same roads as the bike course, pothole central, which was a good test for the new bikes and parts) to the coast, then south to Coleman Valley road, through Occidental, and back home to Healdsburg. All 12 of us all together the whole time, I was suffering behind all these fit girls but I stuck with it and I feel my legs coming around already. Even better, my I've Been On The Trainer All Winter And Haven't Group Ridden Since October bike-handling skills are slowly slowly improving to like a Cat 4 level.

Choice moments, not necessarily related to Valentine's:

-10 of us waiting at the top of Coleman Valley, freezing and windblown and lying on the asphalt to try to keep warm, waiting for a certain someone to finish a top secret art project for a certain someone, to be blogged about in the future.

-my decrepit yet faithful old camera finally pooped out for good it seems, whilst documenting above project - Fuji FinePix as a replacement?!

-Sharon and I sung to ourselves for the last hour. We are not very good. Taitt was like "you'll find a note somewhere, keep trying!" as she scuttled off to the back, away from us!

-Leah (leah goldstein, super climber and former world-champ kick boxer and the list goes on)(she's great), anyhow she likes to eat bananas on the rides and throw the peels to the grass and she was not a world-champ banana thrower, today she hit Nicole twice!

-We saw two recreational cyclists on the side of the road studying a map. "Are you guys LOST?!" says Lisa the Huntress. Followed by Katie: "Well don't ask Lisa for help!" The poor guys were probably wondering why 12 smurfs were going 30 miles per hour on bikes and laughing at them, but we were just laughing at Lisa.

-We got Huntress and her husband John a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret for Valentine's day. "John'll tell me to get flannel stuff!" she said, prior to relating the fun and excitement of a Victoria's Secret shopping excursion to the fun and excitement of some gourmet grocery store on the east coast?!!?

Anyway so yeah my camera broke, unfortch that means no pics for a little while unless I can borrow some from my teammates, although the flip side is I won't be lugging the thing up the hills! I will so be on the front now! But here's one I took of our Huntress the other night, in her directorial fuzzy chair:

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So last night Martina goes "Do you want to do partner downward dog? It's not sexual!" and some amusing rolling-on-the-floor ensues:

Success! But Huntress is already bored.

And meanwhile, Sharon is attempting her own yogic something-or-other?
Note her omnipresent trashy magazine in the foreground... Some things don't change!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008


We just got back from a four hour ride, the weather was so gorgeous and so was the route! We did the Geysers ride, starting from Healdsburg riding up to Cloverdale and then over the climb that way. I brought my camera along expecting to get some Old Faithful-style photo ops but we didn't see a single geyser! So why's it called the Geyser Ride?

The only other time I did this ride was 3 years ago, when I was a Cat. 3 racer getting ready for my second racing season. For that ride, I was under strict orders by my coach to stay under a low heart rate ceiling (impossible to do on the long 12-15% climb), and I was also about 30 lbs heavier than I am now (yet I still thought I was a climber for some strange reason), plus it was cold and drizzly, so I didn't really notice that there were no geysers. Today's experience was totally different, in a great way, but no geysers?!

I did get a shot at the base of the real climb, the other girls stopped for a pee break and I posed myself by this cool bridge with my camera unintentionally on some wacky-ass setting:

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Yesterday's "Huntress Moment" courtesy of VAC Team Director Lisa Hunt:

"Lara your little sister is a triplet? That's so cool! Wait - does that mean you are twins?!"

We had team photos yesterday afternoon at the Golden Gate Bridge - a long-ish drive from where we are staying in Healdsburg but the view and dramatic backdrop made the trip worth it, and the wind and rapidly-rolling fog made the shoot very funny. I'd post some of my photos of the photo shoot but ride departure time is t minus 22 minutes and huntress FREAKS OUT Courtenay-style when we are late.

Oh and I made it to the pool this morning!!!! Got to swim right next to high school swim team practice, good practice for race swimming with all their splashing and cavorting. Apparently all the hubbub caused me to completely forget my favourite new skill, the Flip Turn, (i SWEAR i know how to do them) but other than that I had a lovely outdoor swim workout! Sunrise over our (very chilly) pool this morning:

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Um Today's Tuesday

I was so stoked for my morning swim workout. So stoked that I got up at 6 A.M. (which I haven't done in MONTHS) and drove for 15 minutes, armed with my water bottle and a banana - interesting., still being stoked about the swim, I got to the Healdsburg Swim Center, stoked yet suspicious that I was apparently the only lap swimmer, went up to the locked door and read the sign about the M W F 6 am-1 pm lap swim and T TH 10 am-1 pm hours, started flipping out that there was no notification or explanation whatsoever about why the pool was for some reason CLOSED at 6:45 am on a Monday and stomped around and



Yesterday was Monday.

So workout is postponed to tomorrow morning, when I will again be stoked. I love swimming now! I wish I were swimming with Greg here instead of by myself but it is good for me to rely on my own motivation and energy instead of drawing off of his. And it is also great to feel like I can breathe and go faster and do longer sets all at the same time! Yay sea level!

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Monday, February 11, 2008


I am at training camp, after what felt like the world's longest two days at the end of the world's longest week. I can't believe that the Super Bowl was 8 days ago, or that Super Tuesday was six days ago.

Pics tomorrow of the sweetest pad in all of Healdsburg and wine country, and pics of the 11 cutest blue-spandex clad butts! But first, my favourite quotes of the trip thus far:

During Sunday Night Out In The City With Good Friends:

Steve: ... so anyway my roommate is totally fucking nuts. He fucking calls the five hot nursing students who live upstairs to bitch when they play their stereo in the kitchen or when the girl who's right above him moves her chair, so now I can't even talk to them because they hate us, I mean I can't talk to five hot chicks because my roommate is crazy?! Anyway the other day I got the phone hooked up so I could get internet and there hasn't been a phone in our place for five years and it rings and he flips out because he thinks it's his dead mom calling!

Maisie: So what you're saying is he has auditory hallucinations?

(she's in grad school to become a counselor)


Today on the phone I asked my mom for one of my sisters' email addresses. This particular sister has been somewhat estranged for several years. And I have had lots of good positive conversations with my mom recently so I was statistically bound to have a dud at some point.

Sal: WHY?
Me: Well I was going to see if she wanted to do a half-marathon together.
Sal: - and by the way I am at the BARN right now so I am busy and I CAN'T SEND it to you NOW.
Me: Well I'm in the car so I don't even need it right now.
Sal: - and just so you know, she has been running races for YEARS so she is probably really good and you CAN'T EXPECT to be able to KEEP UP.
Me: Uh, thanks for the vote of confidence. I checked out her times on line and I think we are compatible. Can you just send me her email.
Sal: I'M AT THE BARN for another TWENTY MINUTES so blah blah blah.


So I hung up and called my younger sister Sarah (Scare), wherein I learned:

- she's the current freshman girl wingman-of-choice at Dartmouth, despite the apparent fact that her ugly t-shirts worn in attempts not to outshine the friends with specific boys on the brain seem to actually attract more boys than the outfits of the friends who are actually supposed to do the attracting. Or something. Scare has a whole theory about this but I have the attention span of a warthog these days so I can't remember the theory or the outcome (aside from the fact that Scare doesn't have a bf)

- she's the only girl on the sports staff of the school newspaper, she covers squash, and when the head sports editor was like "the only reason girls want to be on sports staff is so they can get in the jocks' pants," she was like "yeah well if that were the case I sure wouldn't be covering SQUASH so lay off" then one of the senior editors who happens to be a girl told Scare that she had her back.

- Dartmouth freshmen tend to party on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are out for certain people because certain people have 10 a.m. classes on Wednesdays and Fridays and certain people find it hard to focus at that hour after quote-unquote partying.


I spent $40 on parking in the city this morning so that a. I could swim for an hour and b. I could drop $1500 at the dentist's office.

O.K. I'ma go do some gossiping!!

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Saturday, February 09, 2008


Up until 5 years ago, my only passion in life was horses. Or my primary passion I guess, I loved running and music but it was always all about the ponies! Then I kind of had to give it up, cold-turkey style, when I moved to San Francisco. I thought I'd miss them less and less as time went by, but I've experienced the opposite effect. Ah well, maybe some day I'll be back to spending most of my free time at a barn.

In the meantime, at Christmas I asked for (and got! thanks ma!) a subscription to my favourite horse magazine, The Chronicle of the Horse. It thoroughly covers the happenings in the horseshow world - hunters, jumpers, dressage, and 3-day eventing (the triathlon of equestrian sports, basically), in the U.S. and Europe. And one of the best parts is it's a weekly magazine! In the first issue I got after Christmas, on page 2 there was a huge photo of a kid that I rode and hung out with back in Charlottesville when he first started riding, on a little white pony named Seinfeld. He was always the most dedicated of the littler kids, and the most talented. Zach just capped off his junior career (riders under 18 years old) with a national small junior hunter championship on his horse Cadeaux! And a girl my age who I met during the summer of 1998, when I was a groom for Leslie Howard, anyway at the time she was just starting out but now she is on the US Equestrian Team, competing in international grand prix events! So even though it's been a while, I am not completely out of the loop, and it's so awesome to see that old friends are seeing their dreams come true.

(I am also getting to read all about little 13 year old girls wintering in Wellington, FL with their tutors and their strings of show horses and ponies... Man I hate being jealous of middle schoolers but I totally am!)

I guess that's the only downside about being at training camp until the middle of next week - I have to wait an extra week to read the Chronicle :(. Oh right, and also the fact that I'll be away for Valentine's day. But I have an AWESOME plan for V-day, just awesome.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Bananas - Interesting.

This was the subject line of an email I got from my mom this morning, which like most things my mom says and does, cracked me up. The email was a forward all about how bananas are great, which I already knew, but still: Ha! Bananas - Interesting.

Other news:

- Baby Thor is a bit sick. She caught a cold on the way home from Reno (i.e. she has 'ich'), I have not had to deal with a sick fish yet so I freaked out but when I talked to the fish store they said to put in 1 tbsp of salt per 10 gallons of water, and to jack the heater up to 86 degrees and it should go away in 5-7 days. The good news is she has a healthy appetite, and Sweetie and Pipsqueak are very healthy and happy looking.

- This Sunday and Monday, en route to my super awesome VAC training camp, to which I have been looking forward since like AUGUST, I will be stopping by the city to chill with friends, get my old dentist to make me a crown, and go SHOPPING! On a budget of approx. $10 of course, but that will definitely get me some cool paper at Flax and maybe some new shoelaces at Sports Basement and hopefully also a new nail polish to bring to camp. Woohoo party time for Court!

- The sun finally came out here! Temps are in the 40's for the first time since December, and I'm loving it. I still haven't ventured outside for any workouts, the roads are wet from all the snow melting and it's a rest week so I am O.K. with doing 1 hour rides and 30 minute runs indoors, and catching up on my Animal Planet. Polar bears - interesting.

- Tomorrow I am going to the car wash to make my bike sparkly.

And that's about it.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Meet Thor

I got a new fish today!

See isn't she great! A bamboo shark.

Actually this is not the fish I came home with, I just like watching it move around its tank. What really happened is I traded in Stupidhead ("Wow this is one big healthy fish!" said the fish store guy) for a baby Black Moor that's about 1/4 the size of her traded-in predecessor. So far everyone is happy, including Stupidhead who now has a nice big tank to swim in with approx. 15 littler fish to bully.

Meet Thor:
Isn't she cute! And out of 41 attempts, here is my best shot of all 3 fish:

I totally love the fish store. I love watching the fish swim, and seeing these huge fantastic setups with like 100 gallons of water and 10-inch long goldfish! And sharks! And the baby clownfish! And I made Greg drive all the way home from Reno so Thor and I could cuddle. Now I am just sitting by the fish tank, watching their little fins and their little mouths and their little waddling bodies. Watching fish swim is supposed to be good for your blood pressure. I am glad my little hobby is good for my health.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Neverending Dental Saga

I have been eating this semi-delicious bread lately that has lots of seeds and nuts in it. Whilst eating a sandwich the other day I felt an uncomfortable sensation in one of my teeth. Whilst flossing last night I noticed a crack across the top of one of my bottom molars which has previously been root-canaled and crowned.

As you can imagine: freakout commenced, replete with tears.

I brush my teeth multiple times a day with an electronic Oral B toothbrush. I replace the head on this toothbrush every 3 months like you are supposed to. I use super-flouridated toothpaste. I even FLOSS at least once a day. I don't eat candy or sweets, unless you count the occasional piece of dark chocolate or big sweetened americanized coffee concoction. I do everything right, right?


Really I do hate them. I think there are at most like 2 teeth in my mouth that have not needed some sort of expensive dental work. It was for this reason I switched to HEED sports drink last year, it uses maltodextrin as a sweetener so it's better for your teeth, but our team was sponsored by a different product for races, I got sick of the taste of HEED, and I basically got lazy and miserly and started using whatever product was cheapest/free. I know that a crown doesn't just randomly break on its own because you are chewing something, there has to be weakness and decay in there already. So somehow something is messing everything up even though I spend approx. 10x more time than Greg on my dental hygiene, and guess who has no cavities in this family...

Anyhow I have an appointment with a dentist in Reno tomorrow, he also happens to be a triathlete. I am hoping that we will thus be kindred spirits and consequently a. he doesn't lecture me because I have heard it all before and b. he doesn't charge me an arm and a leg. Also, conveniently, the fish store is very close to the dentist and I called them and they said they'd very happily "rehome" Stupidhead for me!!

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Monday, February 04, 2008

The Smiling Trick

I have started getting weird looks at the gym because I tend to smile at no one whilst sweating and huffing and puffing. I got the idea from Chris Horner, who has a permanent smile on his face even while doing something insanely hard, like attacking the Manayunk Wall from bottom to top on mile 100 or something of the 2004 race at Philly. He's one of my favourite cyclists to watch, super gutsy and talented. And always smiling. I also remember seeing him win at the 2003 San Francisco Grand Prix, the event that was solely responsible for the inception of my bike racing athletic career.

Sometimes I am not the most positive person. Shocking revelation, I know, because I totally come off as Pollyanna on the blog, but really I know I am sometimes a half-empty. So the smiling trick didn't come naturally to me, but I am working on making it a habit. For example today, my umpteenth run in a row on the treadmill due to the weather, stuck with Fox News on the gym TVs because this is Incline, tired from two hard weeks, tons of kids running around for some seemingly nonsensical elementary school field trip to the local workout facilities (??!?! and they were unsupervised, one little 9 year old got on a treadmill and jacked the speed up to like 8.5 and was hanging on to the arm handles for dear life before a gym staffer came and turned it off), anyhow I had a smile on my face for the whole 80 minutes and I had a great workout.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Finally... Football!

But before I get to my in depth First-Year Football Fan Analysis of the Day's Telecasts... we got over a foot of snow last night! I tried to take kitty out onto the balcony to take photos of him in the snow, but he was totally not into it:
He's kind of a wuss when it comes to Out Side (how appropriate - so am I!) but for a Tahoe cat this is a good thing. There are tons of coyotes outside ready and waiting for a nice piece of domesticated pet for dinner.

Speaking of the cat, Greg is already clamoring for a second one. His argument is that it was his idea to get the cat in the first place, not mine at all, but the cat loves me and not him and he wants a cat that likes him! It's true, Charlie sits with me and purrs and sleeps with me and is generally sweet and cute, but as soon as Greg walks in or starts talking, kitty scuttles off ASAP and I start laughing. Ha!

O.K. so now for my observations on Superbowl Sunday thus far - the game only just started but thanks to a somewhat lengthy trainer and treadmill workout schedule for this morning, I have gotten to watch all the pre-shows, the pre-pre-shows, and various glorifications of past stars. Highlights for me:

-Howie Long (who BY THE WAY occasionally went to my same Gold's Gym in Charlottesville) on horseback! Which was totally cute except for the fact that the horses he was riding and leading around were both dirty!

-Lots of pinup shots of Gisele Bundchen, g.f. of Pat's qb Tom Brady (who BY THE WAY fathered a child with actress Bridget Moynahan)

-A few interviews with members of the undefeated Miami Dolphins team from 1972, most of whom were not going to root for the Patriots to win and thus go undefeated for the whole year. Bitter jealous old codgers.

-Apparently all the commercials aired during the game can be viewed on myspace?!?!

And finally, my favourite:

-A whole posse of football people reading off the Declaration of Independence. I am totally confused by this. Is Fox saying they are rooting for the Patriots? Or is the Superbowl supposed to embody the spirit of American revolutionaries and forefathers?!? I am guessing it's the latter, and yeah I really enjoy watching football but I can't for the life of me see a tight relationship between the Declaration of Independence and today's smorgasbord of spandex, aging rock stars, booze and nachos, and car commercials.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Introducing the Rec Center Lobster!

Today I am back to making fun of things that are not me.

The Rec Center is where I swim and work out here in town, it's the only pool in the area and it's actually a pretty nice one. Anyhow, if you ask me, there are always tons of kids running around, playing basketball, taking swim lessons, walk/running on the treadmills in jeans and casual sneakers, playing air hockey, screeching, etc.

However, apparently the rec center staff feels like they need to attract even more kids and families. We now have the "Rec Center Lobster" in the pool on weekend afternoons, which I find problematic because I like to sleep in and leisurely make my way to working out on weekends... not any more, because the when the lobster is set up there are only 2 lanes for lap swimming, as well as too many hilarious distractions in the form of slippery fat kids spending like half an hour trying to get on the lobster.

(not the greatest photo but you get the idea)

Additionally, these lobsters cost something like $4,000!

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Humble Pie

The weather forecast is crap for the weekend here. Today was the only day with even a chance of sunshine and bike-rideable temperatures within any reasonable driving distance of Tahoe. Thusly, Greg and I shifted our training schedules around a bit and headed down to Colfax (about 20 miles from Auburn) today for this weekend's long ride.

The planned route took us from Colfax on Iowa Hill Road, which is a beautiful and very lightly travelled road that crosses the American River and then climbs and climbs and climbs up to the Forest Hill Divide, at which point I was going to turn onto Foresthill Divide Road (the nice remote end, opposite of what I did last week) until I hit 2 hours of ride time and then turn around and ride back the way I came. Elevation of this route was something like 2200' at start to 1000' at river to 2800' at Iowa Hill to 4500' at the divide and then 3200' at Foresthill. It was supposed to be a 4 hr ride.

I totally didn't make it. At first just usual "toughen up" sort of complaints were getting in my way - I was cold, the 2 miles of solid 15% uphill grade sucked, there was more and more snow and slush on the road the further I got, I was all by myself, I had forgotten my pain-numbing iPod, etc. I finally decided to call it quits and turn around at 3100' or so because the road was more than half covered with snow and ice. This was only an hour or so into the ride (and only 10 miles! ugh steep climbs!), so I was reluctant to make this call, but similar to a ride from last year, I had to tell my "you are not a quitter" self to shove it in the name of reason.

The way back was basically fine for a while, I rode hard whenever the road was mostly flat and decended carefully whenever there was slush, and made it to the start of the really steep part without being cold or miserable.

Now for the embarassing part... I couldn't deal with the 15% downhill. At all. I walked for half of it, maybe more. I got off my bike and took baby steps down the road, gingerly hugging the hillside as if I were on an actual cliff, sobbing and sniffling all over the place. One car passed me while I was walking, some lady who looked at me and waved - I can't figure out why she didn't stop for someone in obvious distress?! Anyhow after around 25 or 30 minutes I finally made it to the bottom. I think it took me less time to climb that thing!

I have had problems with steep descents that have sharp dropoffs in the past, but never this bad. I really expected to be able to ride down it but when the time came, no way. (Although, I have only attempted a 2 mile 15% mountainside decent in my nightmares, never in real life!) I guess I have diagnosed myself with vertigo: in these situations, I get so paralyzed with fear by what's in my field of vision that I just can't function. It's actually the reason why I sold my mountain bike, why I have never been all the way to the top of Mt. Tam, and why I was one of the few San Francisco cyclists who hated the Marin Headlands loop.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyhow, tomorrow it's back to my good friend, The Trainer!

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