Tuesday, May 27, 2008


What a nutty day.

I love a 3-day weekend as much as the next girl, but this one was kind of exhausting. We went out to dinner, played Rock Band, went to brunch, went to a BBQ, saw Indy, and hosted a Memorial Day brunch for some of our nearest and dearest friends.

And can I just take this moment to gush over how awesome our friends are? Of the 12 possible attendees, 10 RSVP'd yes, and only two of those couldn't make it at the last minute. I was expecting maybe half to RSVP/show, for a small, cozy group. But even though there were 10 of us around the table in the end, it still felt small and cozy and fun and rad. It was like Thanksgiving, only with Egg Dish instead of turkey, and way less stress. And God bless my friends for letting me experiment on them and test out new recipes, most of which came out perfect. (The "I Don't Want Earl's Baby" Pie came out a little runny, but still tasted delicious.)

Anyhoo, today. Has been nutty with a trip to the vet, 3 appointments (1 canceled), several deadlines, 1 big Win, and I'm already tired even though I still have to train. Tonight I'm going to go to pair up my bike & run and see how wobbly my legs are walking/jogging after 12 miles on the bike.

I'm excited to go, though, and wear some of my new gear. Because the only thing I obsess about more than the triathlon training is my triathlon outfit, and how ridiculous I'll look. I'm resigned to looking pretty ridiculous since I'll be wearing bike shorts and, Helloooooooo, Thighs! That said, I think my new hat & sunglasses help make me look like an actual jock.

Hat + Sunglasses = TOTAL JOCK
"Yeah, I do triathlons. You know, for fun. 'Cause I'm so tough & athletic & all."

ETA: I ended up going out later than I expected, so I only biked 6.45 miles before running 2.4 miles. I learned that I'm going to have to kick off my 5k with about 5 minutes of walking, and I learned that I can jog at a slow/easy pace for at least 25 minutes straight. I am hopeful that this training and these findings will help me sort out a decent run time in a couple weeks.

I also used my time on the bike to write the following alternate lyrics to Gwen Stefani's "What You Waiting For?" Stick 'em in the bridge where she goes off on Japan & shit.
"I can't wait to go,
Starting with the swim.
I don't even need no fins.
I switch to bicycle,
And then I'm gonna run
Right across the finish line.
~ dedicated to Team Queso

Friday, May 23, 2008

all over the map

Today is a very Seattle day here in Los Angeles. The air is cool, the sky is gray, the ground is wet. It makes me want to listen to 90's grunge music and drink coffee. I love it.

Speaking of things that I love, So You Think You Can Dance is back!* Audition shows are never as great as the top 20 shows, where you get the couples and the choreography and the group performances. BUT I still really love them because these are the episodes where you really get to see the breakers and poppers do what they're best at. They'll usually show you the whole performance of the really good ones, and it's such a treat.

In totally unrelated news, I just wanted to congratulate my friends JL and Kyann on the adoption of their baby girl! She looks like an absolute angel, and she's already getting used to having her photog pop take all kinds of pictures and video of her. She even has her own blog. We're definitely at that age where more and more of our friends are having kids, and I think it's super awesome that JL & Ky have taken the adoption route towards starting a family.

This post was all over the map, huh? And with that, I'm off to see Indy!

*If you're wondering, Hey, Dinah, does this mean your blog is going to become "All SYTYCD/Triathlon, All the Time?" Ummmm, yeah. Maybe. Whatever, you love it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I bike in hail!

So, listen. If you've been following the story, then you know that I have had my doubts about this whole madcap triathlon endeavor. Especially recently, as the event starts to loom closer and the panic about all the training I have NOT done starts to creep in.

So let's see where I'm really at, shall we?
Today I did the whole half mile without stopping in 32:50 and felt great. I did an extra two laps just because I could. Plus, let's face it, if my last attempts at open-water swimming are any indication, I'm not swimming this thing in a straight line, like, at all. So it will likely be longer than my practiced 1/2 mile distance. Knowing I can do the whole distance, and then some, is a great feeling. Also a great feeling: when I realized I wasn't nearly as winded as I used to be, then used that information to force myself to try and swim faster. I mean, I shaved almost 3 minutes off my time from just last Tuesday.

Goals: Shave another minute or two off, if possible; practice swimming in what I'll be wearing on race day (tri-shorts, sports bra, zip up jersey); practice Zen-ing out and visualize taking on the Fleshy Churning Spank Machine open water swim with calm and confidence.

When I first agreed to do this, I was focused on the running because I knew that was hard for me. Then I switched focus to swimming because I knew I couldn't do that hardly at all. I haven't spent nearly enough on my bike, and it's pretty obvious. On Sunday I tried to bike in the 95 degree heat and thought I was gonna die. (Lesson learned: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!!) Today I biked a little over 12 miles (2.5 to the gym, 9.7 after my swim) and I wasn't clocking it super-specifically or anything, but I think the whole thing was around 1:08. As in, an hour and 8 minutes. So, I can do it, but I am hella slow. The fun part, though, was getting caught in a rainstorm on my bike. That's right: I am now a HARD-CORE ATHLETE, I bike in hail!

Goals: Get time under an hour (and who knows how much time I'm wasting at stop lights, dude); practice bike-to-run transition; do a couple more rides in the heat, if possible.

Oh, who am I kidding? I can't actually qualify what I do as "running." This is where I started my training, and it's still my weakest leg of the whole thing. I still get dizzy, the tiniest twinges can turn into full-blown muscle spasms, and I have to walk a lot. If I'm regulating my time, then I'm alternating 2-minute walks with 3-minute jogs for the whole distance. If I'm not regulating my time, then that means I'm pushing myself to see how far/long I can jog, and then getting exhausted, and then I'm all over the map. The good news is, I've at least picked up a little speed from when I started. The bad news is, I'm probably not doing this 5k in under 45 minutes any time soon. I mean, I do it in 42 minutes now. And I've paired it with the bike a few times with decent success, actually. Just not with the whole bike distance. So, yeah. I could be walking this thing.

Goals: Get time down to 41, maybe 40 minutes (so I can do it in 45 on race day); practice walking/jogging after full 12-mile ride; practice jogging in what I'll be wearing on race day, especially outside; do a couple jogs in the heat, if possible.

So if I were to do this today (and, hi, I did 2/3 of it today, HOLLA!!), then my total time will be about 2 and a half hours, I think? If I can manage a 35 minute swim + 60 minute bike + 45 minute run on race day, then it's 2:20, plus transitions. For a sprint, this is a VERY SLOW TIME. BUT. Considering that I was certain I couldn't do this at all before Lo & Susan talked me into in January? Or that I was convinced it would take me at least 3 hours just 2 weeks ago?

I'm kind of stoked.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Who's a big winner?


My first attempt at swimming was on February 8. I had to stop after every length of the pool to hold onto the side and breathe. Getting through all 18 laps took me 90 freaking minutes. By March 24 I was stopping to breathe after every lap, getting through the laps took a combination of freestyle/crawl, breast stroke and floating on my back, and 18 laps took 48 minutes.

I've been making steady improvements since then, putting more and more laps together without stopping, until on Sunday I did 10 laps, took one break in the shallow end, then did 8, and the whole thing took me 39 minutes.

Today I did all 18 laps without stopping in 35:50.

I'd say that's an improvement.

nothing better than a dance-off

It's almost back.

I'll do my best not to bore everyone to tears this summer with my obsession. But yeah. I'm super excited.

In the meantime, Stephen Colbert proves my theorem that there is nothing better than a dance-off.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

the couch potato I'm trying to leave behind

If I'm being honest, I'm not all "Yay go me! I'm training for a triathlon! I CAN DO IT GO ME!" all the time. Or even half the time. I try to be positive as much as possible, but.

But then there are the other days. Like, yesterday when I realized that I hadn't trained in a week, and it wasn't just because the last 7 days were, like, Supah-Crazy-Towne-ExPRESS. I mean, I could have woken up earlier & squeezed it in.

I just didn't want to.

Because on these other days, I feel self-indulgent and give myself all kinds of breaks because, like, "my schedule is hectic and I deserve breaks!" Or I just feel more like the couch potato I'm trying to leave behind than the tri-athlete I'm trying to become. On these other days, I'll put my workout clothes on, enjoy their spandexy comfort, and never actually go to the gym and stay home and get caught up on How I Met Your Mother while eating pasta instead.

And, then, there are days like today. The day AFTER my little pity party, the day AFTER the week of no training, whatsoever, when the panic sets in. I become a deer in headlights in the face of, OH CRAP THIS SHIT IS A MONTH AWAY I'M NOT TRAINED ENOUGH HOW ON EARTH WILL I DOOOOOOO THIS?!?!?!?

Yesterday, I dealt with my panic by eating ice cream. Today, I'm getting back on the treadmill.

Because if I'm really being honest, this whole endeavor has way less to do with me getting fit and healthy than it does with me conquering a lifetime of giving in to the lazy, self-indulgent attitude that got me into this shape in the first place.

And, y'all, THAT is WAY harder than swimming.