Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stoneman Sprint Triathlon

I've posted some pics from the Stoneman Sprint Triathlon back in July (in Springfield, IL) below. Jason and I had such a blast. It was one of my favorites. Just plain and simple fun.

Here I am on the run in the final stretch, going anaerobic to pass a competitor. Okay, now I'm in pain. Posted by Picasa

Here I am on the bike, having waaay too much fun.  Posted by Picasa

Jason in deep focus as he blocks out the pain in the final stretch on the run. Posted by Picasa

Jason kickin' ass on the bike at the Stoneman Sprint Triathlon. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On track again--Prep phase

I've been exercising and eating right again. It feels so good. I've been treating myself to little rewards--books about triathlon training, a new cyclocomputer, etc. It's awesome. I feel so good. I'm out of shape, but I don't think it will take long to bounce back.
I got up early to get in the pool this morning. The water was freezing! After I warmed up, it was okay, but it's hard to jump into cold water first thing in the morning. Also, everyone was a super-awesome swimmer so I felt like crap, plodding along, working on my stroke. It's not like the pool at the Y where I used to swim, where people can barely float. It didn't help that the Wash. U. swim team was practicing next to me. They were doing racing dives. Those are soooo cool. I just want to do them over and over. I love how you fly over the surface of the water.
Last night, I biked around the park. It was really fun. The only thing is that a bunch of people were in my way. A lot of people bike at a really slow pace. Some are commuting home so I can understand being tired at the end of the day. But I'm trying to get a workout over here! It wasn't that big of a deal. However, it is annoying when joggers use the bike path when there's a special, packed gravel path (which is softer on your joints) adjacent to the bike path!!! Argh! Okay, biggest pet peeve? Three women plodding along abreast on a narrow, two-lane bike path (again, pedestrian path right there), taking up BOTH lanes. I shouted "ON YOUR LEFT!" and they just waved at me and didn't move. As if to say, "thanks for letting us know you're there but we don't give a shit." Oh, other biggest pet peeve? When I'm trying to bike straight across an intersection on a green light, and oncoming car(s) (Note: plural) decide to turn left INTO me!!! I had to skid to a halt, clip out, and put my foot down...hard. Bastards.
I had so much energy last night, that I threw in an extra Yoga/weight lifting session just for fun. It was great to do exercises I wanted without feeling like I had to.
This is good. I feel a lot better. I biked on the trainer while watching Desperate Housewives on Sunday, ran on the treadmill and weight-lifted on Monday (while some creepy guy told me this crazy conspiracy theory about "rogue medical students" breaking into his apartment and taking DNA samples from his skin while he sleeps; he lives in my apartment complex; great--I told him he should complain to management. hee hee), biked and worked out last night, and then swam this morning.
Right now, I'm trying to do short, frequent workouts to get my body used to training again. I'm keeping them fun and aerobic. That's my new motto: Turn up the frequency! After a few weeks of Prep phase, I'll move into Base phase, where I'll work on my aerobic endurance. This will last awhile as it is most important to triathlon. So motto number 2 is: Build your base. Motto number 3? Little and often.
Now if I could only sleep at night.

Friday, September 23, 2005

there they go! Posted by Picasa

Look at all the UFOs! Posted by Picasa

Balloon checkers Posted by Picasa

it's a balloon! Posted by Picasa

balloons! Posted by Picasa

getting ready for take-off Posted by Picasa

Had to show this balloon b/c it says "St. Louis" on it. Posted by Picasa

underneat the energizer bunny as it soars overhead Posted by Picasa

Energizer bunny hot-air balloon from the St. Louis balloon race. It's the largest hot-air balloon in the world, standing at 163-feet tall.  Posted by Picasa

How to stay on track--sort of

I am sloooowly starting to get back on track. It's all about routine. I posted little reminders around my apartment: "Wake up early." "Go to bed." "Exercise." "Do you really need that piece of chocolate?" Maybe it's kind of psycho but it's my apartment so who cares?
Then, I went to bed early. Fell asleep soundly and slept well throughout the night. This enabled me to wake up at a reasonable time, follow my game-plan for the day and leave lab at a reasonable time without feeling trashed.
2nd, when I got home, feeling charged from following my plan, I dropped my bags, changed immediately to my running clothes, and ran out the door. I was trying to catch the remaining glimpse of daylight. I ended up running in the dark. Bad, bad. But, at least I got to go running outside. I had the rest of the night to relax, be with the bunnies, and make my lunch and lay out my clothes for the next day (which is helpful in easing into tomorrow). Not taking a 6 pm nap was helpful too.
I've noticed if I pause at all when I get home, I gravitate to the couch and promptly fall asleep, which totally screws me up. So I've been forcing myself to immediately exercise. It makes me feel soooo good afterwards. Physically, I have the energy. It's just that I can emotionally trick myself out of it sometimes. The trick is to NOT THINK. I bring a snack to lab, and, at the end of the day, as things are winding down, I work at my desk and have a snack and get psyched up to exercise. It's helpful if there's a time limit, for instance, getting outside for a nice workout before the sun goes down (very challenging though with it getting dark so early).
I've had a lot of things working against me. I was taking Zyrtec to fight the hives every few days. Zyrtec used to do fine with me but now that I'm on Lexapro, the two mix together and turn me into a zombie for 2 DAYS. All I can do is sleep, sleep, wake up and stumble around, and sleep. I was taking 3-4 hour naps and then sleeping for 10-12 hours at night. So, no more Zyrtec, even if I scratch my skin off.
The other thing is diet. I would get so focused on lab that I would forget to eat, become ravenous, and scarf down cookies and caffeine. Not good. I've found that if I eat ever few hours and fuel my body with healthy foods, I have a lot more energy and feel more stable. I love salmon with hummus on whole grain bread for breakfast. Turkey (hummus), low-fat swiss on pita bread for lunch. Yogurt, sugar-snap peas, a granola bar (honey 'n oats) for a snack. Dinner is very simple: usually a salad, raw broccilli, and some chicken. I hate to cook so I try to get a lot of fresh, easy foods that I can just eat without making a big fuss about.
I'm far from perfect. I'm still sleeping about 10 hours at night and feel a little dizzy during the day, but I have a feeling something odd is going on with my body and the stupid medications I'm on. But I'm getting there. Each day is better.
The trick is, how do you salvage a day from feeling terrible when you wake up on the wrong foot? I tend to think the entire day is a waste, then the week, and then I shuffle around all depressed until the following Monday. I wake up late. Very late. Okay, fine. First, I try not to cram everything in to make up for lost time. It doesn't work and only makes me feel frustrated. Then, I try to stick to the schedule I had set for the rest of the day. Finally, before I leave the apartment, I do one thing I have on my list for when I get home--change litterboxes, pick up a package, drop off the dry cleaning, etc. Something simple. Then, when I get home, I don't feel overwhelmed, and no matter what, I've done something productive for the day.
Why is staying in a routine so hard? I don't know. I wish it were easier. But all I can do is try. I ran Monday AND Tuesday and it kicked my ass. I'm SO out of shape; it's not funny. I weight-lifted Tuesday and Thursday, and it felt awesome. Wednesday, I took the night off b/c, honestly, the running and lifting made me so sore that I decided to recoup. I'm out of shape now, so I'm trying to ease back into it gradually. I have all these huge training/triathlon goals, and I have to hold back. I'll get back into shape. It's my mantra now. I keep telling myself that. However, it's self-defeating to have training goals right now. My goal is simply to build a base for next season. Afterall, I'm in training right now for a huge and different kind of race--my dissertation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Quote of the Day

"See what you've made me do? I'm having sex with strangers..."
--yours truly, Rachel

The tail-end of my sentence some random guy heard as he came into lab, which I blurted out very loudly, by the way. He smiled in an amused, albeit confused, sort of way.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I went to the Balloon Race in Forest Park yesterday and took a ton of pics. It was lots of fun. Posted by Picasa


I did basically nothing this weekend, intending to do everything. Hence, depression. Out of my routine. Napping during the day, not sleeping at night. Eating crap, not exercising. The basics. I feel guilty for treating my body like a garbage can. Guilty for not being in lab. Guilty for not writing my thesis. Guilty for not enjoying the nice weather. I'm trying so hard to get into a routine that will guarantee my sense of security and accomplishment (and therefore, happiness). Why is it SO hard?

Quote of the Day

"When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep, and you're never really awake."
--from Fight Club

This is me lately...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Gadgets and stuff

My quads are so sore. I took yesterday off b/c my dad was visiting but I'm really on an exercise rampage. I want to do a triathlon in October. 500 m swim/20 mi bike/5 mile run. I think I can handle it. I'm running 3 miles comfortably and I will be running 4 by the end of the week and 6 next week. I've started biking and just need to do some road rides. the pool. But anyone can do 10 laps. I just need to tie it all together.
I kind of want on a little shopping spree. I bought a new bike computer that measures distance, speed, and cadence. It's wireless and attaches to the rear wheel so you can use it with the trainer. I'm so excited. I can't wait until it gets here. Plus, I ordered 2 Spinervals DVDs to spice up the workouts on the trainer. Then, I ordered some books from Amazon about training for an Ironman (my dream someday) and swim workouts for triathletes. This will keep the pool swimming (ugh) interesting. I really love open-water swimming the most. That, to me, is how it should be. The pool is like a treadmill. But these workouts come in a water-proof binder that you take to the pool so you never have to do the same swim twice. I'm excited about my new stuff.
Today, I'm exhausted and sleep-deprived. I'm seriously considering taking my computer home and sneaking in a nap since all I'm doing today is desk work anyway. Ugh, the guilt, the guilt.

Inside of the card.  Posted by Picasa

Back of the card Posted by Picasa

A card I made for Jason.  Posted by Picasa

Babs napping in her "Cottontail Cottage." "Hey! Leave me alone over here." She's feeling so much better since her stitches are out.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2005

Personal gym, dancing, and carpal tunnel

Things are getting back to normal and then some. I'm exercising again! It feels soooo good. I've been sleeping a lot better because of it. My apartment has a 24-hour gym, and no one really uses it so it's like having my own personal gym. Anytime I want, I just take a towel, a water bottle, and my iPod, and sneak downstairs. I can set the television (with full cable, unlike my apartment, which just has basic), lower the thermostat, and monopolize all the machines for however long I want. It's awesome. I ran on the treadmill 3 days in a row! Afterwards, I pop onto the weight machines and do a weight workout. I get 2 workouts over with, and it's fun because I watch all the t.v. shows I can't get in my apartment! I'm going to get my tri body back in no time.
Last night, I set up the bike on the trainer and had an awesome workout while watching Desperate Housewives. I had my heart rate monitor on to make sure I didn't slack off. Then, I did free weights afterwards. I love how I can get a workout anywhere, and it's so easy and inviting! I'm hoping to do a triathlon in October. I'm going to start swimming at the university gym this week.
I've been working hard in lab too. Right now, I'm waiting for stupid adipocytes. I'm trying to be very careful with my cells and experiments. I'm getting more done by doing less so I'm certain that everything I do gets done correctly. I do less each day (experiment-wise) but have more results by the end of the week. It's nice to feel like I have my groove back. I'm working on putting a paper together, making an outline for a 3rd paper, and starting an outline for my thesis this week. Phew!
My bunnies have been mad at me because I've been going out so much. I've been socializing with friends a lot more since Jason left. Saturday morning, I cleaned bunny cages at the Missouri House Rabbit Society. Lots of work, but fun, nonetheless. I went out Saturday to see a movie, snuck in a run on the treadmill, and then went out again to a bar. It had a dance floor, and we danced until 2 am! It was like getting another workout in! My quads are so sore. Dancing is awesome. I had a ton of fun and got to meet lots of really cool people. (Plus, I got to dance up close and personal with this really hot girl that I have a crush on). Thanks, Carlos, for inviting me! Sunday (once I got up), I went to a really awesome art fair in Clayton and got some really funky earrings. It's just nice to go out and do things and explore and be active. I feel refreshed today because I did so many different things this weekend.
I miss Jason a ton. I have a ton of energy because I don't have anyone to cuddle with (or have amazing sex with). I can't wait for my birthday present! I'm going to get carpal tunnel syndrome soon if I don't have some sort of alternative! Lol. Anyway, I realized on Saturday that I may not be a "40-year old virgin", but instead, I'm a vibrator virgin. That will be resolved soon.
Back to work. Hopefully, all the playing I did this weekend primed me for all the lab stuff I need to do. I'm really glad I'm back on the triathlon track again. Now, I'll actually have relevant information to share pertaining to the title of my blog!

P.S. Babs is 100% better sans stitches and all! She had a bonding session with Oscar last night, and it went very well (supervised, 5 minutes, with me holding them together, in the bathroom). Back to square one but at least I'm trying!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hot female athlete of the week: Sarah Reinertsen. One-legged Ironman triathlete. She's graced the cover of Runner's World and is very active in charities for the handicapped. She also finished the Ironman World Championship in Kona 2005. Amazing. More than I can do!
 Posted by Picasa

Ice and venison

I think Katrina has affected us all. We hadn't heard from my brother-in-law in awhile and were starting to get worried. He's active in the Army Reserve and travels from base to base as an instructor, teaching soldiers how to safely and effectively handle their weapons before getting shipped out. Recently, he's been stationed at a base in Mississippi. He was returning from a shooting match in Louisiana to report back when Katrina hit. I guess they didn't have time to evacuate so he holed up in a hotel with other men in his unit. Afterwards, the area was pretty much deserted except for desperate people, who began looting and rioting. After a woman was shot in the head for a bag of ice, they decided to seek safer shelter. One of the men in the unit had access to a cabin a few hours away so they drove out there to wait out the crisis. Once there, the only supplies they had was a bag of ice they found in the freezer, which they were able to melt for water. Still, they had no food so they found a guy who had recently shot a deer nearby and bartered the remaining ice for some venison. They lived off off ice and vension for 3 or 4 days before returning back to the base where order and help had finally arrived to replace the chaos and anarchy from which they had fled.
I was amazed by this. It sounds like something out of a movie. People do crazy thing in desperate times (like shoot people over a bag of ice). It's good that some still have sharp instinct and survival skills in order to make it through these times. Anyway, we're all glad he's safe. Also, happy birthday, John! (His birthday was Monday).

As for me, I'm doing much better than all that. Lab is starting to pick up, and I'm getting very good results. Finally! My legs broke out in an itchy rash again. I'm putting my money on the laundry detergent this time. I guess I'll break down and go buy the expensive, hoity-toity stuff since I have such sensitive skin. Oscar figured out how to pull open the gate with his teeth. Smart guy. I had to barricade both sides.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Truth or Dare

Handed down from a fellow blogger (

Ask me 3 questions. Any 3, no matter how personal, private or random.I have to answer them honestly. I have to answer them all.In turn, you post this message in your own blog or journal and you have to answer the questions that are asked of you.

Another collage I made hanging in my loft. Posted by Picasa

Feeling sluggish and the frustrated finger

It's beginning to hit me that Jason left. I miss him. A lot. I also realize that I had been taking sex (good sex) for granted and that all I'm left with is my finger and frustration. Oh, well. It's good motivation to get done.
I've been getting back into the swing of things with lab. Working hard. Working a lot. I still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to see Jason. So I go to lab.
I love my apartment. It rocks. Except the bed's not comfy b/c it's a full, and I'm used to a king. I know, I know. Wah wah. But I'm 5' 8" and my feet hang off the end. (I like to srunch down under my pillow). Plus, I keep having nightmares, and when I wake up, Jason's not there. At least Oscar is by my feet. But he can be kind of scary too.
The bunnies are a great comfort. I hang out a lot with them, and they love the attention. We've finished Book 4 of a series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snickett. I started Book 5, The Austere Academy, last night, but I stopped early because the buns didn't want to settle down and pay attention. Silly bunnies.
Babs is feeling much better. She still hates Oscar though. He comes over to the fence and is like, "Hello. How are you? I'd like to try and start over." And she retorts, "Ugh. You stink. I hate you. This is my place. Go away!" and bites him on the nose. Taz is a precious cutie as always. They all had a good check up. Babs has to get her blood retested b/c she had a low WBC and platelet count. She's been under so much stress though so that could be it. I took her off the antibiotics last night because her tummy was acting up a bit. She's still on the probiotics though to recolonize her gut. She's been nipping me when I give them to her. She's sick of it.
I've been kind of depressed because of everything. I feel out of it. I haven't been able to exercise lately. I hate it. I hate my body. I feel so ugly and weak. I keep meaning too but something always comes up like Babs has to go to the vet, or I break out in welts, or I end up in lab all night. It sucks. I was so tired this weekend, I slept the whole day. I would just wake up to eat and then go back to sleep. Ugh. I need to break out of this slump.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Show 'N Tell

Today is show 'n tell day. I have a million pics below to show you. See below for pics of my food allergy welts (icky) and my apartment. Yea!

Beautiful pics of some of the enormous welts covering various parts of my body from the "food allergy" I have. They are itchy! Posted by Picasa

Babs' and Taz' space in the bedroom. Note Babs resting in the 2nd story of her Cottontail Cottage.  Posted by Picasa

Oscar's space---HIS Posted by Picasa

my bedroom Posted by Picasa

awesome little wall art across from funky shower curtain in the bathroom Posted by Picasa