Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Putting the "Tri" in "Philatriphia"

Last weekend was the Philly Tri. Decided to do it with some runner friends who apparently have also lost their senses.

Here are some reflections:
  • MJ died last week. Sad, yes... what is sadder? We had to drive out to Philly with NOTHING BUT MICHAEL JACKSON ON THE RADIO. We rocked out to Smooth Criminal the first time... by the 8th time, there were almost more deaths.
  • This was my first trip to Philly itself.... I found it better than I expected. It has Potbelly's, which is by far the home of my favorite sandwich and cannot be found in PGH, it also has a museum to which I must take Cheezy... When we needed to be picked up there, I may have referred to it as the "touch me" museum, but I believe the locals call it the "please touch" museum. eh, whatev. Also, lots of car horns... and sirens.... and I ate dinner under an honest to God manhunt... helicopter with giant spotlight and all.
  • So, the tri itself.... hard to put it into words... Marathons are so easy. Well, not easy... but they're simple. You lace up your shoes, wait for the gal in front of you to start running, and then don't stop until someone is hanging a medal around your neck. Simple. Enter the triathlon. Holy crap. I need three separate pairs of shoes!! I packed more for this weekend than I have packed for trips three times this long. Bike stuff, swimming stuff, running stuff, regular stuff. Oy.
  • First up, the swim. I don't know if you know this about me, but I enjoy being able to see my feet when I swim. I can't explain why, I've never been so much as kissed by a jellyfish... yet I am terrified of open water. So what do I do.. sign up for an event that requires me to swim in the Schuylkill River. Awesome. It was an in-water start, so I didn't have to run in, I was able to freak out on a dock for a few minutes before taking the great leap. The rest went well... 3/4 of the distance was toward this bridge. That was both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it made spotting easy, bad because the damn thing didn't seem to be getting any closer. It's waaaaay harder to break up the distance in the water than on land. I had a brief moment of panic in the middle that took me by surprise, when it sort of hit me that I was in the middle of a river and there was no stopping at a water stop or coasting for a minute or anything like that... I just had to keep going. It passed quickly though and I made it out of the water faster than I anticipated.
  • That led me to a special hell they call the "transition area". Chaos, people, chaos!! There are so many rules! first of all, you had to navigate some sort of maze to even get from the water to the transition area (hence my silly long transition times). Once you go there, you had to find your stuff among the 3000 other bikes and pairs of shoes and whatnot. THEN, you had to navigate your way back out with your poor bikey without killing someone.
  • The only thing I have to say about the bike portion is that you have to kind of not care if you die a little to successfully ride in a pack. Also, I'm a horrible climber... I have no idea why, but I'm an embarrasment to Western PA. Bike took way longer than I wanted, wasn't prepared to be riding with 3000 of my closest friends. Will be better prepared for this next time.
  • Oh god, back to transition!!! Nooooo!. Easier this time, no major wardrobe changes (effing wet suit), just a shoe change and lots of praying for my legs (you try biking for an hour and a half then talking your legs into a 10K.... seriously, try it... it's interesting....).
  • Luckily, I'm somewhat experienced at running tired, so by the time I got to the run, I was able to just zone out and put one foot in front of the other... until the medal part ;). I have never before and will never again be so happy with maintaining ten minute miles.
The executive summary is this: weekend was fun, triathlon was harrowing and terrifying and awesome. I feel like a rock star.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Waterfront

I hate the Waterfront. This is a retail mecca in which they tried real hard... and failed. It's a pain to get to, it's crowded and.... and I think it's hard to explain, but I'm pretty sure it's a unanimous feeling. Anyway, it's sadly also the closest place for me to shop if I want something besides coffee, art, antiques, or handmade and tres expensive fashion... or adorable stuff penguins (sadly, no photo is available, but they're awesome).

Because of all this, I wait until I need about a zillion things before I venture over. Sometimes I am more successful than others, this trip was particularly funny to me, so I thought I'd share.

Dick's. I went in to get a pair of Tri shorts and some essential bike supplies that I used to have but don't have anymore *ahem*, such as chain lube and tire levers. What did I leave with? Nothing I had come in for. Only purchase was a new sleeping bag. Can't help but think was-ster would be pretty stoked by it, seem to remember references to my old sleeping bag including "surplus WW2". It was time.

Bed Bath and Beyond. Not a store I normally frequent, but I was given a gift card as a house warming gift and have about 60 wedding gifts to buy this summer so I ventured in... I don't know if you've been in a BB&B lately.... but it seems to have turned from the land of the unitasker and things I cannot live/sleep/shower/cook without into the "horrible infomercial product store"... maybe that's what they mean by "beyond"... but still. Aside from the zillion kitchen gadgets I wish I could use... I found little of interest here and wondered why everyone continues to register there for weddings? Can anyone help me out with this? Anyway, I left with my gift card intact and no gifts purchased, easily bypassing the pedipaws, aquaglobes, and the "slap chop" (oh, it's a real thing).

Lowe's. I have a love/hate relationship with Lowe's. Since buying a house, I have become a frequent flier here, and now find myself browsing... at a home improvement store... seriously? The hate part comes in because there is so much that I want to do that just isn't a one-chrisie operation. Oh man, the plans I have... I just need a small army of husbands, contractors and really really really good friends to make it all happen. So I leave here with enough paint samples to pretty much just wallpaper my house with them, several ideas for a new fire pit and... a hammock. There are not words for the love I feel for my new hammock. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I think I'll go lay in it now.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Irony

I was at a Pirates game the other night. I don't know how they do things in your city, but here in Pittsburgh, we like it when our mascot launches meat at fans.

I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some of this meat... a hot dog to be specific. Why me, I ask you?? It was pretty funny though. I would also like to point out that the actual thing I caught was a gross and moldly hot dog with a coupon for a hot, fresh dog attached. Ew. I gave it my friend for his birthday. Seriously. Chrisie = worst. friend. ever.



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chipped Purple Nail Polish

So we're now two full weeks past the marathon. The paint that outlined the course is starting to fade, the last lingering aches are healed, and my lovely purple marathon polish job is chipped and silly looking... but I refuse to take it off because it makes me happy every time I look it... plus it's slightly less obnoxious than still wearing my finisher's medal.

I've been working lately on letting go of the place, the event, the experience, the whatever, but keeping the lesson. It's time to let go of this marathon, and take off the stupid nail polish, but I want to make sure I have the lesson before I do that.

I've run 3 marathons, and each of them under wildly different circumstances. I've learned from all of them and I think the lesson from this one has to be my friends; I have such amazing people in my life and I got so hung up on the one that was missing, I almost missed the lesson: who cares if he doesn't care? I have so so so many people who do and I'm so thankful to you all!! I really couldn't have made it through this one without you guys. Thanks to those on the course, those on the side of the course and those in other cities who still knew my time before I did.

This chapter of my book starts with a huge acknowledgments page:
First has to be to Margo, Erin(squared), Stephanie, and Kim. The pictures that are worth the thousand words are on Margo's blog, but man, there was nothing like seeing that sign with MY name on it!!!! I can't tell you without being sappy and cheezy how much it meant to me to see you guys there at the bottom of that hill, but since you've all been there, I don't have to tell you, and that's a beautiful thing!! Next time, you bitches are running with me though!!! =)

For being the only person who knew that this race, while still a ridiculous time, was also a PR for me, I send love to Haddy.

Mick, Carolyn, Steph, and Jay. I fed on your excitement and am so so so proud to have been part of your first half marathon. Big congrats to you guys!!!! (Jay - I was promised a chocolate donut at the finish.... I'm still waiting)

My crazy brave family who opted to leave the role of "spectator" this time around and move into the world of "volunteer", working at the 4-mile water stop. Sure you were covered in red gatorade by the end.... but... um.... yeah, I got nothing here. Thanks to you from me and the other 9,999 runners.

Justin, Jay, Celeste, and Vicky. My partners in crime. Who won the "who can high 5 the most uniformed officers" challenge, anyway? Vic - thanks for pinching me somewhere in Oakland and promising me that I'd at least remember that part of the marathon ... you were right, I do remember.

Sarah. Thank you for the one-second nap at mile 23, which I had been talking about since mile 19. Thank you for hugging me even though I was gross. Thank you also for the "keep running, bitch", without which I might actually have stopped running. Thank you for talking me down the night before and checking on me the day after. You're about the best there is.

The guy who tried to pick me up in Homewood. You kept us laughing for at least 3 miles. For that, I thank you... creep show.

Having captured that, I'm ready for the polish remover. I'll try not to make it another 2-month hiatus.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Have some coffee with me?

Haven't been by in awhile, sorry about that. Here's something to tide everyone over, a cup of coffee, on me:

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

43 and 44

When I wake up tomorrow morning, I'm pretty sure it won't have been a dream. The Steelers will still be President and Obama is still going to the Superbowl!!!! Oh wait, that was a dream....

Most days, my lack of eloquence doesn't really bother me - I'm cool with being kinda clunky and a bit verbose - but today, I wish I could express how cool this is. The media is trying, really, but they're so trite and cheesy. Blah blah historic, yadda yadda photosynth. I guess I feel better that they're having trouble coming up with the words as well. I can't wait to read what everyone else has to say, but in the interim, here's the chrisequiousidity of the day:


There are so few fresh starts in life, and maybe this isn't even one of them, but it sure feels like it. I sat there and watched the Bush family get on a helicopter and head back to Texas - I think I felt the physical weight being lifted from our collective psyche. Did you?? It's the end of a horrible relationship. No more cringing through speeches, no more undeserved arrogance, no more Old West platitudes being passed off as policy - Does this mean the Dixie Chicks can come back??

And how cute was it when he flubbed the oath a little bit?? Seriously - could it have made the moment more real, could he be more human? I'm gushing, I know, I need to a little bit. We'll get serious tomorrow. Today, we celebrate! Today, we are cheesy and trite and dance in the streets. What? The dancing is for the Steelers? We'll take that as well.

GO STEELERS!! GO OBAMA!!!!