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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nice Job Girls!!

VAC Wins at Tour of the Gila!

I can't wait to hear about it. We have a fantastic team there, each of these girls is my hero: Chrissy, Shaz, Emily, and the as-yet-blogless Marni and Leah. I just know today is the start of a great week for them! I am so excited!

Labels: , ,

Level 5 Spicy

So for those of you who are wondering what the status is on my Michelin's, my eyelash batting worked, tires are now on wheels and ready to race.

That happened yesterday, when Greg and I headed to Reno's Bike Warehouse via the Apple store to finally replace my broken shuffle charger and prior to going to the foot store to get Greg some special shoe inserts, which itself was prior to us going out for a Thai dinner.

The dinner was the funny part.

Greg and I like spicy foods. But being two plain-looking white twenty-somethings, we tend to get the raised eyebrow when we ask for our dishes to be the hottest on the spicy scale. Then when the dishes come we usually dump more spice on it because they inevitably decided for us that we wanted level 3 not level 5.

So last night we ask for 5, get the eyebrow, our soup comes, Greg dumps a bunch of pepper stuff in it before even tasting it, then in his first bite gets a pepper flake stuck in his throat and starts coughing uncontrollably. I didn't add pepper, it was actually spicy enough as it was (which is a first), I just tried not to laugh uncontrollably as a. Greg coughed and b. our waitress rushed over and gleefully asked if our soup was too spicy.

Then when the entrees came, which by the way were also solid 5's on the spicy scale, she asked us like 3 more times if dinner was too spicy. We finished almost everything, without sweating or coughing again, so no it wasn't too spicy, it was perfect.

My customer-service-nazi side emerged when it came time to tip. I only gave her 10%. Your server isn't supposed to hope you don't like your food, and $3.34 for an extra cup of rice is a bit ridiculous.

Anyhow now I am back at home after dropping Greg off at the Reno airport this morning, the apartment is quiet without him. I have tons to keep me busy though, in addition to work I will be doing laundry, cleaning all the spilled chain lube out of my bike tools bag, washing my bike, packing, and reassuring Kitty that I will only be gone for a couple of days and no he's not going to starve. I leave for Wildflower tomorrow!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Made In France

I am taking a break from trying to wrestle my new Michelin Pro2 Race Tires onto my race wheels... yes these are tires that I purchased on my own, even after my wrestling match from a month ago when I was trying to get my team-issue michelin's onto my team-issue-not-really-good-for-tri's race wheels.

"Made In France" is apparently code for "your fatass American crap will be too big for our svelte stuff" because ONCE AGAIN I can't get the f***ers onto the wheels, even though we are now talking about a different make and model wheelset from before.

I'm already practicing my eyelash-batting in the hopes of enlisting some strong male help. Either that or I am just going to return these and get some nice big 'merican tires.

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Firsts

This was a weekend of firsts, in various totally exciting ways.

-I finally swam long-course at the Carson pool this morning! It was awesome.

-I rode a couple of bike routes for the first time this year - yesterday, I rode west along the lake down to Tahoe Pines and back on my TT bike. A nice mostly rolling ride which I haven't done since November - it still kills me that I can spin out on a 53x12 on a short downhill here, the air is that thin! Then today I headed up to the Mt. Rose Lookout on my road bike, which I technically actually haven't done since I visited Greg here last May, before he moved to Oakland with me. I got a few cool photos too:

Here is the view of Incline Village and the Lake from the lookout point, facing mostly West and a little South.


This is the local ski resort, Diamond Peak. The weekend was beautiful and sunny but we still have lots of pockets of snow left.


-Today was the first time I was quick enough to photograph one of the many coyotes trotting around now that the weather has turned warm! I saw this one getting ready to cross Mt. Rose Highway when I was on my bike and I managed to get my new Fuji Finepix z100fd camera out in time. Speaking of, I am so impressed with the quality of the shots - the coyote was about 50 feet away!




-And finally, I broke down and went clothes shopping for Greg today for the first time ever. That's what happens when there is a certain imbalance between people's senses of style and cuteness in the relationship! (Or really, an imbalance in the importance each person places on these things). It was fun. He's going to look super cute next time he goes out in public!

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rob & Big

I have a new favourite show on TV, called Rob and Big. It's on MTV so I am sure I am like the last person under 36 years old to discover it, but it's awesome. Rob Dyrdek is a professional skateboarder, Chris "Big Black" Boykin is his best friend, roommate, and bodyguard, Meaty is their bulldog, and, GET THIS, Mini Horse is their Miniature Horse!!! As you may have guessed from my letter below, all you really need to get in with me is a pony. A bulldog certainly doesn't hurt either. But it's not just their 4-legged accessories that make Rob and Big awesome - they are very funny together and both seem to have more than an iota of intelligence.

Which is more than I can say for half the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City - unless either Ramona, Alex, or her pretentious husband Simon with the awful helmet hair get booted off the show, I am not watching Season 2.

On the Netflix side of mindless TV watching, I recently watched Inked: The Best of Season 1. Greg watched it too. I put it on the queue after a string of BAD CHOICES he made that demoted him from his "I Am In Charge Of Netflix" status. And "Inked" is fantastic! Even Greg really liked it, and he has no ink. I definitely recommend it.

And finally, for those of you who are wondering how and what I am actually doing during the countdown to Wildflower... Basically, I'm doing fine and I am starting to "taper", a somewhat foreign concept to me with my bike racing background, I guess I have sort of tapered in the past but there are so many more races on the schedule when you're bike racing that it's a much different concept. I seem to have strained my ankle during my last block of training, probably from hill sprints I am guessing, so I am taking it easy with the running now and icing in front of the TV. This has sort of been the week of the "bagged workout", as in I feel tired and crappy so screw swimming long course/doing a tempo run/doing another threshold interval. But my main goal right now is not to sabotage all the good training I have done over the past months, so I'm not stressing about a few missed workouts. I also seemed to have lost some weight since my last venture onto the scale about a month ago, so that's exciting too.

Anyhow:
I want one.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

1983 and 1985

We have my dear aunt to thank for these...


Here are all the cousins, with my grandparents, in the garden of what is now my mom's house. My mom dressed me and my brother in coordinating stripes for the occasion, and cut our hair to match too. I am the second kid from the left in the first row, pouting because my shirt doesn't have a unicorn I guess? But the real gem here is my cousin John, sitting next to me with the awesome glasses.


I am still an excellent speller and counter, as I was then. (Sorry Uncle Tony for leaving you out of this list?). Dixie lived to the grand old age of 41, she actually outlived Flee who was her daughter, the product of an afternoon escape to the little stallion pony down the road in the early 1970's. Naughty Dixie! Both ponies are buried in the pasture. The fields are now filled with a new bunch of happy horses and ponies, the littlest of whom, Munchie, is teaching the next generation how to ride and how to deal with bucks and kicks and stolen carrots.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Stuff

So I've had a successful run on eBay and Craigslist recently - some pedals, a disc wheel, a helmet, um, well I guess that's all but it was certainly enough to turn around and get some tires and a new bike case.

No Loren I am not special enough to get all my crap for free. I already used up my allotment of free tires and free nutrition, but I like our sponsors so I am ponying up my hard-earned eBay cash for more sponsor products.

SPEAKING of ponies, Ben this is for you:

dark unicorn

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Follow Up on last post

So, as you may have seen on Greg's blog, his foot xray came back negative for a fracture. This is good news, it means his foot is badly bruised but the sesamoid bone in there (apparently there are several sesamoids in the body?) is not broken. Current plan is for him to head to Charlottesville, VA next week, to stay at his parents' and to have access to a good orthopedic doctor in the area and to get swim stroke critiques from his dad and to generally HAVE FUN and MAKE ME JEALOUS. I love Charlottesville, it's where I went to college and lived for a couple of years after college and have a bunch of friends and rode a lot of ponies and was a radio superstar and fell in love with running and generally HAD FUN.

Lucky Greg!

I will stay here and play with Kitty and clean up the apartment and go to Wildflower all by my lonely little clueless self. And Greg is in big trubs because of the whole Wildflower Accommodations situation... Wildflower is famous for being the "woodstock" of triathlon, everyone goes to the park and camps for the race weekend and, according to video footage, they wear crazy outfits too.

I am not a camper. I do not camp. I spent a couple of months living out of a tent in Australia back in my youth and I had more than my fill. I do not camp. No freaking way. I especially do not camp and race at the same time. (Please note that an RV rental is not in my budget.) So ever since last year when Greg and I were discussing my race calendar for this year, I made sure he knew that I don't camp or sleep in cars and that the only way I'd do Wildflower is if I got to stay with him in the pro accommodations, which are cabins that are a 15 minute drive from the race.

Now of course I am all entered and ready for the race and my luxurious cabin has been whipped away from under me! Aack!

So I am going to get a hotel room in King City, 45 minutes away. Thankfully I have a friend who is racing and he is also not a camper, nor are a bunch of his racer friends, so I am not alone. Phew! Greg is still in trubs though. I will miss him, not just because of the cabin... I can't believe I am going to this big race without him. I was so looking forward to being there with him, supporting each other, and generally enjoying the sport we love together. I am crossing my fingers that he heals fast and is ready for a great race at Columbia... Although, if he is still injured, he can watch the race with my mom and help her figure out what on earth she is watching and when to cheer ;)! I guess there is always a bright side.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What Not To Do

Man I can't believe the weekend is nearly over. I need another one please, I am wrecked. And I didn't really do a ridiculous amount of training - I probably just made some stupid decisions (or stupid forgets, that's a little more accurate).

The weekdays this week were strategically splattered with some quality intensity work, along with attempted recovery. Intensity is pretty hard up here, and I've found that recovery is hard too. Back in Oakland, if I'd feel sluggish and crappy, I'd head out for an hour loop up Tunnel Road and down through Montclair or Claremont, and arrive back home feeling worlds better and ready for another loop or three. That just doesn't happen here, that refreshed feeling after a nice spin (neither the feeling NOR the spin - it's mostly just staring at the ride time begging for it to be over already). And there are certainly no "recovery runs". Recovery has to come in other forms I guess, namely sleep! And I made sure to get plenty of sleep this week.

So after a good but well-planned week, I planned to have a good and well-planned weekend too. Didn't get off to the best start. Yesterday Greg and I drove down to the pool in Carson for a long course workout, the pool opened at 10:30 according to the website. We made the mistake of not calling ahead (rationalization being that if we called at 10 to verify it was set up LCM they'd be closed anyway so why bother), and of course got there to find the pool teeming with teenagers and their parents and coaches and hormones. Woohoo swim meet taking over the whole pool... Greg threw his towel, it didn't make any noise or do any damage but that was all that was on hand to display Major Frustration. But after a long drive back up the mountain, we managed to get in a decent workout at our pool in Incline, so that was nice, though the workout we'd planned would have been so much better.

We got home around 1 p.m. and I was seeing stars. Actually more like this big fuzzy rectangle off to the left, in both eyes, regardless of whether my eyelids were closed or open. Thinking I was low in blood sugar, I ate a cookie or two, but that didn't help. Greg's dad informed me via telephone that it's a sign of dehydration, not eye cancer or cookie deprivation, and I realized that I'd had half a water bottle all day... including the hard 1.25 hr swim in a warm pool... crap. I had forgotten to drink! What a rookie maneuver! Ugh!

I downed a big bottle of electrolyte mix but I am guessing that was maybe too little too late, because my long run in the afternoon was the worst ever (partly because of my route choice and the 30 mph winds but I did really feel horrid), and my long ride today with friends down in Reno was the second worst of the past month or so. I knew at the start that it would be a long four hours, my legs and heart felt so tired, and the wind steadily built from 15 mph to a good 25 mph, so I struggled but toughed it out. And I reminded myself that if 2 weeks ago I could do four hours by myself on the Pacific Coast Highway on a brand new TT bike with only one bottle cage and starting the ride with the worst saddle sore I have had in months and riding into a 15 mph headwind for the whole first half of the ride, if I could do that, I could certainly deal with cold windy Reno. At least I had company and an irritant-free crotch area. Although it was a bit embarrassing, not ONLY did my companions have to wait for Courtenay the Snail at the tops of the climbs, they also had to wait at the bottoms of the descents!! Apparently I was the only one with contacts, they could all see fine down the long super windy descents, whereas I was left dizzy and trying for the life and safety of me to just stare at the white line and get down and out of the wind. Sheesh.

So, lesson being: hydrate! It will make your weekends funner! (I know I am just begging for a basewater comment once again...) Now I am warming up and hydrating with some herbal tea, hoping hoping hoping that I feel better by tomorrow. The Carson City pool is supposed to be set up long-course until 9 a.m., and I am determined to make my third effort at getting there the charm. Greg can't go though, he has to get his foot x-rayed. (Add'l source of stress this weekend. To Be Continued.)

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yesterday

Apparently yesterday was so great I wanted to do it again - at least the parts about waking up at 9 and oohing and aahing about how fantastic Kitty is and watching "What It Takes" for the second time in as many days. I'd also like a do-over on last night's batch of cookies, but I think I'll save my slave-away-in-front-of-the-oven time for maybe Sunday or Monday.

Anyhow, back to the movie - there are a lot of things I really like about it. For those of you who don't know it (I am assuming it's not many, considering even my VAC teammate Lara who has never raced a triathlon had seen it!), it follows 4 top ironman pros as they prepare for the 2005 Ironman World Championships - Peter Reid, Luke Bell, Heather Fuhr, and Lori Bowden (who winds up preggers and thus on the sidelines for that year).

I could watch this movie like 25 more times and still not be sick of it - spotting the tons of Oakley models on superstars' heads, staring at footage from Lori's win in 2003 where she looked like she weighed 12 kilos, counting how many times Luke Bell mentions his family (at least once per interview!), loving and admiring everything about Heather Fuhr, identifying all of Peter's Virgo tendencies (Greg is better at that game than I), spotting other IM VIP's who aren't featured in the movie (Dave Scott, Chris Lieto, Simon Lessing, Kate Major, etc.), and BEST OF ALL, THE GERMANS! Norman Stadler's temper tantrum cracks me up, and I WAY TOTALLY HEART FARIS!!! So bummed I don't speak German... his website doesn't have an English version :(

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Kitty is the Cutest

I am thinking that Kitty might actually be a sort of normal cat after all. It's been about six months since we brought him home from the shelter, over the course of this time I have bought him 7 cat toys and the only one he'd sort of done anything with is the fuzzy pink flipflop, which he'd occasionally bat around the bedroom in the middle of the night.



Well.

Lately, he's taken to rolling around on the catnip scratch pad (but only scratching on the book case and the sofa), tossing around the cat ball toys and the catnip pouch toy, boxing against my hand, making beds for himself out of padded mailers and paper bags, expressing his agreement that elastic laces can be stupid, AND AND AND attentively watching wildlife out the screen door! Go kitty go! And he sleeps with me all night! What a perfect kitty!

He kind of tolerates Greg sometimes. Playfulness goes way down the tubes when Greg's around, but you know what it's Greg's own fault for thinking it's funny to growl and hiss at kitty "just to see what he'll do."

In other news, today was a typical sort of day... Hit snooze 3 times, at 9:00, 9:09, and 9:18, didn't tip on my $4.24 drink at Starbucks even though normally it's $4.67 and she forgot to charge me for the soy, went to work, broke the brand new heavy-duty stapler, went to the pool, made Greg watch me swim and agree that I have improved, did some core work while watching ESPN, came home, after much indecision settled on a microwaved sweet potato for dinner, made cookies for Greg, and watched an awesome movie!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Some Observations

I have become one of those people with an obnoxious Starbucks order. Grande Soy Chai Latte with Three Pumps Chai and One Shot Espresso.

Yikes.

One problem with this perfect little concoction is that it's too freaking expensive for me to ever leave a tip for the poor folks who have to make it. I should switch back to a plain old soy latte and get back under the $4 mark, but it's not as good. Really I should stop drinking soy and stop indirectly supporting the destruction of the rainforests to make room for soybean fields and switch back to cow's milk, but there's another host of problems there. Maybe rice milk?


Separate observation: this past Saturday night, the night before my big almost-win, I spent like an hour trying to get these fancy elastic laces set up on my new racing shoes. It's an unnecessarily complex process, made more challenging by the fact that the promised "instructions inside the box" were not there. Yes this brand sports the magical Macca endorsement, but in my opinion the system is whack. I am going to take all the plasticky bits off and just tie the laces with a nice normal secure bow.


Another one: I am sitting here debating whether to register for a few races. I hate planning way far in advance, I like allowing for contingencies and these hefty non-refundable race entry fees definitely make me balk, but it would be even worse to miss out on racing entirely. I guess I'll just suck it up - BAM and Pacific Crest are the current races in question.


Lastly: I got a funny email from my Mom. She wanted to know how to type a parenthesis into a text message.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Super Exciting Tuesday

So now that I finally filed my taxes and stopped pestering 5 separate people about "HELP I don't have/never got/can't find my w-2/1099/K-1!! Please help!!", life is back to normal. I'll probably find something else to freak out about soon, but for now I am enjoying some couch time with Kitty in front of some stupid show on VH1. We are waiting for the season finale of Real Housewives of New York City to come on at 9.

Anyhow, assuming I put everything into Turbo Tax correctly, for the first time in my life I am getting state and federal refunds! Yay! They are going directly into my newly-established "next visit to the dentist" fund. Every night when I floss, my heartbeat gets faster and I pull that thread around just hoping and hoping that I don't pull out some filling or something. I'm now hoping that having some allocated Dentist cash laying around will diminish my nightly stress a little bit.

In other news, and for those of you who read Greg's blog, this won't be a surprise, but anyway in other news we headed down to Carson City this morning to swim in the 50 meter pool. At first I was quite cranky because we left home late so we got there later than intended so I was inevitably going to be late for work. Also the pool was set up short course yards, not long course meters like I'd hoped, and the water was a warm 81 degrees compared to our own short course pool's 83 degrees, and the water tasted weird, and the only pull buoy they had was one of those teeny junior ones, so I pouted and wondered why the crap we got up at the unGODly hour of 7 a.m. and drove for almost 40 minutes for basically what we have at home.

BUT, by the end of the workout, I decided it was worth it! I don't really know the physiology of it all, but here at 6400' elevation I can't do much more than 100's or an occasional 150 in my main sets. It gets so hard to breathe that my form just falls apart. At Carson's 4800' though, 300's felt like a breeze. Which was a good thing, because very recently my "coaching team" (very loose term for who and what guides my training) pointed out that I have a 1.2 mile swim in 3 weeks and my longest main set thus far has been a mere 1500 yards. So I was instructed to hike that up by about 40% pronto! Being able to do 300's, 400's, and 500's at the Carson pool is thus awesome and very helpful.

Sorry if this is boring. I guess life's a bit boring at the moment, although I did get called a "Bitch!" today in the subject line of an email from some guy who responded to a job ad on craigslist a couple weeks ago, I made the stupid decision to email him back to ask for a resume in something other than Word Perfect format (who still uses that program anyway?!), he proceeded to email me almost daily about the job that I have no actual role in filling beyond passing resumes along, I chose to ignore his obnoxious and poorly-worded emails (stupidity gets one nowhere with me), and I guess he got pissed and emailed me to tell me I am a bitch.

I forwarded it to my boss. Think the guy'll get the job? I doubt it.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Race Report: Ice Breaker Sprint Triathlon

Woohoo first race of the season! Man I was nervous. But it was a good day, and even without my Greg Crutch, I survived!

I won the Women's Under 34 race, but there was a woman in the 35 and over race who had a faster time than I did. So, I finished second overall by 40 seconds to the woman who finished second overall to Eileen last year. Ah well. At first I was really bummed - I had a feeling she probably beat me but since the older wave started 7 minutes later than mine and I didn't take note of my time when I crossed the line, I had to stand around and wait for official results before I knew for sure. But now I don't mind. As Greg says, I didn't deserve to win.

Anyhow, the gory details:

I got to the race and immediately found Chris and Loren and, as promised, asked Loren a trillion questions about what to do. He sort of teased me for not setting up my bike with the shoes already clipped in, but when I told him I just got my new tri shoes on Wednesday and my 20 minutes of on-the-fly entries and exits since Wednesday basically left me feeling like a safety hazard, he snickered and then be'd quiet. Later I made fun of him back, because his "transition backpack" is the hugest 70 gallon Rudy Project Rolling Duffle ever.

After setting stuff up and jogging around for 10 or so minutes to warm up (no biking allowed since there was another race going on), I got half my wetsuit on and walked for like 20 minutes down across a bunch of hot sand to the swim start. Water level in Folsom Lake is clearly at a low point, which mystifies me considering how much snow and rain fell this year and considering that the water source for the lake is supposedly our snow-covered mountains. Also: dude from the gym was dead wrong, I didn't see a single log and the water was definitely not freezing, I would guess it was at least 60 degrees.

So then our race started, I lined up at the front but didn't do a good job of really sprinting into the water and very quickly found myself halfway back in the pack getting pulled and whacked, but I slowly got into a rhythm and managed to stave off my panic reflex. Out of my 4 open water swims to date, this definitely felt like my best. I felt like I actually managed to swim, to focus on good technique, and work on my sighting skills. Yay! I finished at least a few minutes behind the leaders, maybe more, but that's way better than it could have been. My real problem and mistake was at the end of the half mile swim - the race directors recommended that we take our wetsuits off in the shallow water and carry them up the LONG sandy run (I would guess 1/4 mile but don't quote me), and even though I watched men from earlier waves really struggle when they followed that advice, for some stupid reason I did it anyway. By the time I realized that my muscles were too jellied to take the wetsuit off quickly and to maintain my balance, it was too late, so I helplessly watched 5 smarter girls run past me and take theirs off further up the beach while I just struggled and tried not to topple over. NEVER AGAIN. Ugh.

On to the bike... this basically went well. I love my new bike, and I loved myself for taking the race website's advice and pre-riding the course yesterday. It was a twisty narrow rolly slow course, a cyclist's nightmare basically. But since I had a glimpse of it yesterday, I knew what to expect and managed a decent pace. But, and this is becoming my theme for the day, I made some mistakes. First, I spent an hour last night trying to put my SRM head on my bike in a way that it wouldn't slip and point straight down when I went over bumps. I thought I got it, but I totally didn't. I spent 6 miles of the bike reaching down and pulling it up and holding it with my hand before I decided it was fruitless and pointless. I should have decided that right from the get-go because it was such a distraction. Thankfully, after the race Loren showed me how I could improve my jerry-rigging with a couple of cable ties. Second mistake was getting complacent with my shifting - I shifted to my little ring while I was coasting around a turn into a hill (I should know better!) dropped my chain, tried unsuccessfully to shift it back on, and ultimately got off my bike to fix it. NEVER AGAIN. Ugh.

On to the run...As I rolled into transition, and dismounted my bike with my cycling shoes still on my feet (see previous safety-hazard note), I thought I heard the announcer say I was the first woman, but I wasn't sure. The bike course had two loops with no true turn-around point so I even though I had passed a ton of people I still had no idea where I was in the field. My transition went OK, I didn't forget anything but it took me longer to get my shoes on than it should have - side note they are brand new shoes and today was their maiden run, thank god it worked out well and I totally love them! - and off I went. The course was almost all on trails, and there were quite a few really steep up and down portions. I love this type of course, but I wasn't expecting it. My BIGGEST MISTAKE OF THE WHOLE DAY was that I didn't double-check the run format. I thought I had read that we did 2 loops of a 2 mile course, which would make sense since they had run a Baby Sprint race earlier in the morning that did 6.5 miles on the bike (one loop of our course) and 2 miles running (so 1 loop of our course, right?) As time wore on, and as the terrain got more and more difficult, I was thinking "god this is the longest two miles of my life!" and "I have to do this climb again?! Better not toast myself now..." and felt myself slowing. Finally I asked another racer, who told me we did only one 4 mile loop, and instantly I ran faster. I booked it to the finish, berating myself a little bit but there was nothing I could do at that point.

And how do I really feel about it?...

On the one hand, in case you hadn't noticed ;), I feel kind of like a jackass. I feel like I had like 3 minutes of unnecessary farting around (not literally) during the course of the race, and because of it I lost the race. But on the other hand, and in the grand scheme of things, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to really learn what I need to work on. This is my third triathlon ever, and I am a long way from being smooth. I know that if I had won the overall race, my many mistakes would seem less important, less painful, and less urgent. I probably wouldn't have the determination to really fix my problems that I do right now, and this race would not have served its purpose of giving me much-needed lessons. I know I will be a better racer for this - and thank you Marit and Sarah for indirectly giving me this perspective!

Next up is Wildflower Long Course on May 4 - I am really excited, and I feel confident that I will have a great day!

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Putting Down the Greg Crutch

From the birth of the thought of the idea of my multisport career, Greg has been at my side - teaching me to swim, stuffing me into my wetsuit, telling me how to get it off, explaining wacky rules (e.g. when you can get on your bike, when you can get off it, when you can take your helmet off, all the nonsense about the strap, why there is no neutral wheel support), cheering, helping, and telling me I am doing a good job.

Also he makes all my swim workouts for me. If you ask me about my swimming all I can answer is "I just do what Greg tells me to do?"

ANYWAYS, this weekend is my first triathlon of the year, and my Greg Crutch can't come! Ack! I am going to have to think for MYSELF on race morning! Ack! Who am I going to ask "Greg I'm hungry what should I do?!" Ack! What if I have to make a decision of some sort regarding clothing?! Who's going to help me pump my tires??? Who's going to take pictures of me?!?!!?

Self Sufficiency, here I come (with the assistance of a cell phone)(also, Loren expect a visit and a "help!" from me on Sunday morning).

Ack!

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Found My Keys

In the top of the gym locker where they were last seen yesterday. Woohoo!!

Now I can use my car to drive to an electronics store to buy a new iPod shuffle charger to replace the one I stepped on and broke while I was tearing the apartment apart looking for my keys.

Thanks for all the good-luck wishes!

Labels: ,

Lost My Keys

Last confirmed sighting in a gym locker last night... first noticed missing this morning when I was already 5 minutes late in leaving for work via Raley's to buy lunch. Thankfully my boss called me right around freakout time to say I should work from home since everyone is sick, so I didn't have to hitch-hike my way up the hill! (but I still managed to have a lame lunch)

Anyhow 3 hours later and they still haven't turned up. I have called the gym twice. They think I am dumb. They are probably right. Especially since I previously lost the spare key to my car, this was nearly a year ago now (and I have moved since then) so I have given up the hope of finding it. If this set of keys is lost and gone forever I am kind of screwed. And officially dumb.

This apartment is killing me, I am convinced it is possessed and that it has swallowed up a bunch of IMPORTANT stuff: a phone charger, a phone USB cable, new elastic laces for my sneakers, 2 or 3 cereal bowls, 5 socks, and now possibly my keys. Although, I am not convinced the gym actually checked for them so I will run there later and have an in-person look-see.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Busted

I found THIS in Greg's gym bag today:



HAHAHA! Axe Body Wash in "Snake Peel" flavor!! Apparently he likes to shower before his lifeguard shifts to make sure he smells all hip and cool for the many hot ladies cruising the pool and gym. At home I am lucky if he even uses bar soap.

Although, I have no right to poke fun at him for falling for commercials on TV advertising how their awesome product will change your life or at least get you babes. My side of the sink (which even at home looks a bit like this) has the new Neutrogena Anti-Oxidant Age Reverse Day Lotion, the one with the commercial about free radicals with Jennifer Garner who I don't even like, but I saw it and was like OMG I totally need that! I also have a bunch of other newfangled smoothing de-wrinkling SPFing anti-whatnotting products... I'd blame it on the fact that I am turning 30 this year but really it's just that I am a marketing sucker.

Except when it comes to this Base Water stuff. Highly suspicious.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tough Nails

I'm still feeling a bit tired from all of last week's heroics - today's training consisted of like 20 minutes on the trainer. And that's it. I did realize about a half hour ago though that I was probably feeling tired because I was actually dehydrated, having had about 16 ounces of water total all day long.

And no, boys, I am not jumping on the base water bandwagon. Nuun serves me just fine. I just have to remember to drink it.

Separate topic, yesterday I met this guy at the gym, we have a mutual friend who does Xterras and this guy races them too and so mutual friend introduced us. He said he's doing the duathlon this weekend in Folsom, on Saturday. I said I was doing the triathlon, on Sunday. He was like oh how terrible I never do that race because that water is always freezing and there are logs floating around in it, but you know, have fun and good luck.

I thought the Xterra folks were supposed to be tough as nails? What a wuss. And not very nice. You are supposed to be nice to people you just meet, especially if they are not your same gender.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 07, 2008

Can't Watch

I am "watching" this NCAA basketball final the same way I "watched" the Superbowl... hands in front of squinted shut eyes, humming "lalalalala" to drown out the suspenseful scary sounds of Overtime.

Incidentally and unsurprisingly, this is the same way I watch horror movies or terrible movies like No Country For Old Psychopaths.

I don't even like basketball very much. Although I did like it when I was in fifth through seventh grades, my dad even got me a basketball hoop and installed it in the back yard so I could practice, but when I stopped growing and stopped improving with ease I lost interest. I felt incredibly guilty about it too.

Anyhow up till now and all this Game Stress, today was a nice and easy meld back into the daily routine of home. Played a bit with Kitty, tossed my hands up in the air over the daily What To Make For Lunch question and ultimately went to Raley's for an overpriced bagel with cream cheese, and headed to work where I worked on stuff and chuckled at the flyer for an upcoming engineering-type conference in Niagara Falls - the first thing the flyer mentions is that Niagara Falls is one of the most popular North American honeymoon destinations?! What does this have to do with an engineering conference? Then I headed to the Rec Center and swam. After a mere 5 workouts at the Santa Monica Swim Center, I feel spoiled for life and I noticed all the annoyances of our pool even more than before. It's a very warm 83 degrees. It's a short 25 yards. There are a lot of bandaids and hair clumps and weird remnants from kid swimmers laying/flowing around. I guess that's it, not much of a list (and at least we have real lane lines!), but still, I loved that Santa Monica pool!

OK, scary game is finally over, and even though I said I didn't care I am kinda bummed Memphis didn't win. I mean come on, what kind of school chant is "rock chalk jayhawk"?

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Santa Monica - days 6&7

What a great trip! We just got back home to a semi-clean apartment, hungry fishies, and a warm purring kitty in Incline. Yesterday's training was long but good. My bike and I even got cheered and waved at by big limo filled with teenage girls in Malibu! At the end of it all we ate a bunch of pizza and watched UNC lose and went to bed too late after observing how 3 ten year old boys conduct themselves in a sleepover (the answer: moderately well, as long as video games are involved).

Today we woke up and said "bye" to our favourites:



I tried to talk Greg into kissing Arnold, but I was unsuccessful.

Then we hit the road.







And we made it! Greg even said at one point that I was driving well.

O.K., time to rest hard...

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 04, 2008

Santa Monica - Day 5, "The Blur"

Why do recovery days have to feel like the busiest of all?! Today was an easy day of training before tomorrow's last hurrah and Sunday's drive home but MAN I am beat.

I got up at 8.

I fed the puppy and the birds and me.

I ran.

I ate 3 pieces of toast.

I went to the bike shop to pick up my TT bike.

I rode my TT bike.

I ate some Newman's O's, and some other stuff, I forget.

I swam.

I went back to the bike shop to pick up my road bike.

I showered and spent like an hour doing my hair.

Greg was present for a lot of these "i did"s but not for this one:
I went out to dinner with my aunt and uncle and cousin!! We went out in Venice Beach, to a place called Hal's, and I had a delicious steak and tons of water because I was too scared to order a glass of wine and too busy chatting to ask a waiter for something more exciting anyway.

I checked emails on my phone on the drive home.

I am blogging quick.

I can't wait for bed, and for tomorrow! (no not because of dumb basketball, but because tomorrow will be a fun day of training, woohoo!)(i am definitely not trying to trade lives with any fellow alumnae...)

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Santa Monica - Day 4

I'm sitting on the couch with a belly full of pizza and feet warmed by a puppy, watching the surfing movie 'Riding Giants' - even though a couple people die, this is MUCH more my style than 'No Country For Old Dumbheads', plus there is an actual soundtrack that makes me feel hip and cool because I know a lot of the songs. NCFOD is devoid of music, it's creepy.

Today was a long-ride day, I did one of my favourite loops down here, which involves riding out the Pacific Coast Highway, then up Latigo Canyon Road, rolling along a good long stretch of Mulholland Drive, and climbing out over Stunt Road. The route is pretty quiet in the middle of the week, except for the perpetually awful PCH on which I will never ever feel comfortable. God. No photos of the ride, I did bring my camera but I actually didn't even stop for food or water so that should say something about my relentless pedalling!

After the ride I headed back over to Helen's Cycles for some tweaking on my new Blue TT bike. So far, so good - I'm loving the bike and I am ESPECIALLY loving the guys at Helen's. Usually I feel like I have to "know" someone at a bike shop in order to get good treatment, but here that is totally not the case. I didn't even wear overwhelmingly cute outfits or makeup or anything!

O.K., one last revisitation of a topic I have already discussed in previous posts: my Private All Girls' Baltimore High School's Alumnae Magazine. I've decided not to post my entry to the magazine, a. because it's boring but more importantly b. because my problem with the magazine in the first place is it feels like a forum for hyperbole, or at least making things seem better than they are by crowing about your huge wedding or your babies or your job at Vogue/Miramax/Barclay's. This happens to me every year, and I know I am not the only one ;)

Although, I do remember last year there was a big deal being made over one girl completing her first ever sprint triathlon. So maybe I have some worthwhile impress-everyone-and-make-them-jealous fodder after all.

I want a puppy.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Santa Monica - Extensive Report of Day 3 Training

Swimming backstroke outdoors long-course at night in the pouring rain is surreally awesome. Until one is brought back to reality by the recollection that one's towel and all one's clothes are strewn on an outdoor poolside bench ;)

Labels: , ,

Santa Monica - Day 3

I'm only feeling moderately fascinating today - possibly because after yesterday's Bob and Arnold and Usher and Rudy's Barber Shop shenanigans, today I am back to the grind. You know, typical hours of hard training that 5-second-attention-span-Courtenay finds tedious to write about unless something special happens, for example an antelope sighting or a string of 5 butterfly strokes in a row (haven't blogged about this one because it hasn't happened!) or a nice photo.

I have chalked up none of the above during today's training.

But, I have had lots of time to think about a couple of potentially interesting subjects. First being a continuation of my Loren-esque review of my various models of Brooks shoes. Last time I posted on this topic, I was bitching about UPS and also talking about how the Brooks Adrenaline 7 fit. Well, since that time, I have received and tested out 2 additional models of Brooks shoes.

On Monday I did a tempo run in the Axiom 2. It was my first run in them, and I don't yet have an opinion either way about the performance of the shoe - there might be a little too much heel but I'll give them another try this weekend and see.

Today I did my long run in the "luxurious materials" of the Infiniti. It was my second run in them, and I love them. I am going to return my Adrenalines, because I think the Infiniti is a much better shoe. There is less height discrepancy between the heel and forefoot, and from the beginning to the end of the run, I hardly noticed the shoe was there. By comparison, the Adrenaline feels too high in the heel and too low in the forefoot, and my arches start to hurt about an hour into my runs with the Adrenalines.

Anyhow, I know that the Adrenaline is a really popular shoe, and also several people have commented on my blog that they use that shoe, so I thought this might be helpful information.

On to my second thought topic worth sharing... My High School Alumnae Magazine!! Apparently last year I forgot to write in (really I just avoided it because I didn't want someone to write me back and hit me up for $$ for the stupid Annual Fund), so Paula told me yesterday that our Class News Agent asked her to write in with an update on me, but since she'd probably just say I am a cat-sitter living in Salt Lake City or some equivalent untruth, I volunteered to write my own update.

O.K. this blog is long enough and my bum is sore from typing on the floor, so I am going to go play with Bob and tell him I Love Him and later today I'll do a multiple-choice selection of possible alumnae magazine entries for Ms. Courtenay L. Brown (aak! i see a problem already! i am not a mrs.!)

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Piggy Video

video

My first-ever attempt at posting a video. The still shots just weren't doing Arnold (or Bob!)(so CUTE!) justice.

Labels: ,

Santa Monica - Day 2

So I am still fully obsessed with Bob, my best little buddy ever. As evidenced by this collage:




(I snuck in a shot of someone who's not Bob... Boys apparently cannot Hula Hoop).

I would have photos from my grand excursion today, except I forgot the camera! After a nice recovery spin this morning, I headed to Helen's Cycles to enlist some help in getting my new Blue set up properly. What a great shop! Super nice and helpful staff, and I am heading back on Thursday evening to make sure the fit is right and to do any necessary fine tuning.

After that I drove to West Hollywood to meet up with Paula, my oldest best friend (meaning, we've known each other since 7th grade, NOT meaning she's 112 years old). We met up to get our hairs cut and to grab lunch. I got lost twice on the way, finally parked and set off on foot for 3 blocks looking for Paula and for Rudy's Barber Shop, thank god for cell phones, finally met up with her, determined that we would go get lunch prior to our appointments at Rudy's, walked over to this pizza place I forget the name of, gossipped and caught up over slices and salads in outdoor seating, watched Usher stroll by and get swarmed by a couple kids, a 20-something chick, and a squat couple in their late 60's, then we went to a coffeeshop for chai lattes and hung out inside the shop so Paula could sing along to Rihanna and Beyonce and other R&B songs I couldn't identify, walked back towards Rudy's, which I still had not seen or verified the existence of, then I finally saw that I had parked my car literally right in front of the entrance... Giving Paula teasing fodder (as if she needs any more!!). Oh and we got our hair cut too.

It was great!

OK now Greg and I are going to watch 'No Country for Old Men', I am hoping I don't not like it.


UPDATE: I CANNOT DEAL with this MOVIE!! god. Blood is EVERYWHERE. And just when I thought it had to be nearly over since pretty much everyone is dead, I hear that there are STILL another FORTY MINUTES to endure!

Of course it's night time here right now so I am too scared to go off by myself somewhere and let Greg watch it by himself. Fuck. This sucks.

Labels: , ,