Monthly Archives: September 2008

Week Three (done-ish)

This was a hard week in that the Team is on a two week break before we start training for the spring half or full marathon.  That means that there were not very many team workouts for me to attend.  Which is hard, because I don’t like working out by myself and the whole reason I joined this group is to not have to work out by myself.  That said, I DID IT!  I reached my goal of four workouts this week… 

Monday: Rocking fun improv practice. 

Tuesday: I was planning to do the strength training clinic and then go to swim practice.  But the clinic ended up overlapping with the swim workout. Coach said the clinic was more important so I’m counting this towards my 1 of 4 workouts.

Wednesday: I’ve been asked to TA an improv class, so I’ll be doing 2 nights of improv a week for the next 2 months!  The class will be fun and challenging to handle.  It has 12 students and the content is characters.  I’ve been working on making my characters feel more “real” and consistent.  I’m super excited about getting to work with Dave and hear his take on characters. 

Thursday: Mellow swim practice.  Worked on breathing on my left side for most of it.  I’m fairly comfortable doing 3 strokes and then breathing.  This makes my breathing “even” on each side.  I don’t like it, but I’m going to do it.  After the swim workout we had a team happy hour where we watched the Savage man video.  It’s a weird feeling knowing that in a few months I could feel completely at home with these people….or not.

Friday: I met with the team nutritionist.  I’ll be starting my new meal plan after I get back from my trip home this weekend.  I  also did a 25 minute walk at Shea’s gym. 

Saturday: Garen worked it out for me to join her at her gym for a spin class.  What she didn’t tell me is that we were taking a “super spin” class.  This class was hard.  It was an hour long and focused on cadence and getting out of the saddle.  Nightmare!

Sunday: I’m exhausted.  Truly worn out.  I’m not sure if it’s the working out, poor nutrition, or what.  But my friends…I’m tired.

I’ve got a big meeting tomorrow and then I’m heading home on Wednesday.  I’m going to bring my wetsuit and running shoes.  I’m not sure if I’ll reach my goal of 4 workouts this week while I’m home.  But it will be nice to get in a few open water swims.

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Tell them that the house is not for sale

This house is not for sale by Ryan Adams

“Tell them that the house is not for sale
We’re still living here
How come nobody can tell?
They’re taking all the furniture
Moving our things
Come on little honey, put your head on my knee…
Tell them that the house is not for sale.

and calm down
calm down.”

This song is my current favorite.  I think it’s because I’ve got some behind the scene changes going on.  I can clearly see the two opposing directions that my life can take at this juncture.  I’m already moving everything out in my head, projecting the changes…the good and the bad….but I’m still here. 

It makes me nervous. I can feel in my bones how ready I am for a change, for something exciting and different, a new direction, a fresh adventure.  I’m worried that it won’t happen.  That everything will stay as it is…perfectly safe yet quite lonely.  And then there are other times where I’m worried that it will happen, but that the good will be replaced by bad. 

I know I’m blessed with all the good that I have, so is it even fair to ask for more?

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Team Z: Week 2 (done and done)

Saturday: I went to the run clinic, but I missed most of the lecture.  I slept late thanks to my inability to leave Archie’s party at a decent time.  Improv people are funny and I hate to leave when I know more jokes are coming!  However, I did make it for the drills portion of the day, and I learned some stuff from that….mainly to keep my chest up so that my lungs have space to “breathe”.  This week I’ve worked more on my posture.  It was hella hot this day and I really wasn’t feeling like running.  But I met two great ladies on the team and we did a 1:1 (walk one minute/run one minute) for 40 minutes on the Curtis Trail.  I felt good about the run and I was able to keep my heart rate around 150. 

I spent the rest of the day hanging with Aunt Kathy and Maggie while we prepared for Heather’s shower the following Saturday.  Even though I had not changed my clothes I went directly to meet Shea for dinner…someone was running late…I wonder who?  We had a great dinner and even got to hang with Kate a bit as well.  I didn’t want to leave the fun of hanging with them so after Kate got off work, I went with them to a party (still in my running gear….I.AM. MAY-JOR!)

Tuesday: Brian H. led a bike clinic on cycling tips.  I rushed from Conte’s to the pool.  I shared a lane with 3 other news Zs where we spent the whole practice doing the “catch up” drill.  I felt like my stroke fell apart before coming back together by the end of practice.  I did 18 strokes for 25 yards (the length of the pool). 

Wednesday: This was a tough run for me.  I was running late and traffic was stupid.  I made it to the track 15 minutes after the start of the practice.  As I waited in my car to turn left at a traffic light, I caught a glimpse of some fast runners on the track.  That image, for whatever reason, was enough to bring the “voice” out full force.  I found a great parking spot, but the dread of the run was really getting to me.  I walked onto the side of the track.  I saw a woman that I had ran with on Saturday….my head was saying…go join her…but my body was having none of that…I was rooted to my place.  I stood there a few more minutes, just willing my body to set foot on the track, to not freak out, but I didn’t have it in me.  

I could feel the tears starting to form.  I knew it would be over my cold dead body before I would cry on the side of the track, so I hightailed it back to my car and almost made it before breaking down.  Y’all, I was just one ball of negativity.  I had so many negative things to say to myself…I’m too out of shape to be out there, who am I kidding, I’m not an athlete, I’m not dressed right, I’m to slow, to fat, to blonde, to ugly, to whatever else my hormonally imbalanced mind could throw my way.  So I just let myself have a nice cry.  I called Nikki’s cell, home, and work numbers trying to reach the only friend I have that was a cheerleader.  I left a very sad and heartbreaking message on her voice mail.  And then I pulled myself together.  I could not imagine just going home.  After all, I was in my workout clothes. 

So I got out of my car and went for a walk in the neighborhood next to the school track.  I walked uphill for 15 minutes and kept HR around 150.  I started to feel better so I decided that on the turn around I would run the downhill back to my car.  I spent the walk and run thinking about how far I have come from that first time I put on running shoes in May of 2005.  I thought about the half and the full marathon, and the running a 4:1 pace when I’m with Shea, and how I ran a 5k in May of 2008, and that I did two freaking tris this year, and that what really matters is that I’m moving forward.  Endurance sporting is about RFP (Relentless Forward Progress) and that’s what I’ve been doing. 

As I was running back to my car, I passed the dreaded track.  I thought about my favorite quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.  

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it… You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 

So I did it.  I walked to the track and made myself step on it.  It took me 4 minutes exactly to do one lap.  Which is a 16 minute mile, which is slow.  But that wasn’t the victory.  The victory was that I faced my fear and I did the thing I thought I couldn’t do. 

Thursday: Swim workout.  Still in lane one with the rest of the new Zs.  I got the note to start breathing on my left side.  I freaking hate breathing on my left side, but since my stroke is currently deconstructed, there is no better time to start breathing on the left.  So it’s left side down and then breathing on the right side coming back.  We did our first attempt at doing a posted workout today.  3 sets of 300 building from Z1 to Z4.  I still find it hard to go 50 yards without breathing hard.  

Friday: I did not notice at the time, but one year ago on September 20, 2007 I was admitted to the hospital for my blood clots.  Obviously, that event will get it’s own post! 

Saturday: Heather’s shower was a success!  

Sunday:  I met up with my friend, Improv Jenny for a ride around Hain’s point at 8:00AM.  We cycled for about an hour.  We weren’t very fast, but I did pedal most of the time instead of doing lots of coasting.  I’ve noticed that I end up with a fair amount of chain grease on my inner right calf after my rides.  As I coast, I sometimes rest my calf on the chain.  After this days ride, I barely had any chain grease on my calf!  

Goal progress: Two weeks of doing 4 workouts with the team done!  This coming week and the next are recovery weeks for the team and there are not a lot of group workouts.  I’m going to cut myself some slack here and just try to make what I can.

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Archie’s Classy Party

Archie threw another Classy Party ™ and as always it’s good fun to put improv people with regular people!

Before I went to the party I decided it was time for a new hair style.   I went to the Mormon Temple visitor center a few days before and spent most of our tour coveting the tour guide’s, Sister Craig from Australia, bangs.  Seriously, they were so adorable.  She had a sincere hipster vibe to her.  I know I can’t pull off hipster, but I definitely thought I could pull off the bangs!  Friday afternoon, before leaving work, I made a last minute appointment at Salon Cielo in Bethesda.   

The appointment had some minor drama as my original stylist (who at that point had talked me into side bangs) messed up the side bangs that she was cutting.  They were awful…my hair was so blah.  But she called over Carolina to fix the mess.  I told Carolina I originally wanted full bangs and she said that wouldn’t be a problem since the side bangs were such a mess.  My Mom always tells me that a good carpenter can hide his mistakes and let me tell you….Carolina is a good carpenter.  I will certainly be going back to her!

Below are some pictures of my new style and the party.

Obviously, Paul likes my hair so much he wants to lick it!  Or maybe it’s just that Paul insists on sticking his tongue out in all our pictures….hmm….I think we need to start a facebook page just for Paul’s tongue!

Now that I have bangs, Paul and I tried to recreate the awesome shot that I use for my header.  Alas, the stars were not aligned and this is as close as we got!

Some of my favorite improv people were there!  Here is Stuart, Archie, and Eric being hotties.

Not to be outdone by the boys as the hotties of the party, I’m joined by Sarah and Christy for a Christmas card appropriate photo.  To bad that you can’t see Archie’s year round Christmas tree in here…oh and Sarah’s Jewish…minor detail!

Mmm…Vic Speedboat! 

I got to hear this guy talk politics with Paul.  Yes, Plaid Shirt is as drunk and as Republican as he appears.  Good times…Good times. 

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Review of my first week with Team Z!

First off, can I just say how AWESOME my family is for answering my request for information below!  I have learned so much about my Grandmother and her things.  I love y’all!  Roll Tide!

Monday: No workout.  However, I did have a fun DMG practice where we worked on editing and supporting our scene partners.   

Tuesday: The day was off to a bumpy start.  Mosby (my gray car is named after the Gray Ghost) and I got into a minor accident, if you can even call it that.  While driving down a narrow street, I moved the car closer to the right to let a big truck pass and Mosby’s mirror and a Honda’s mirror squared off.  The Honda was fine.  Mosby lost big time…the passenger mirror was hanging by the wires.  Luckily an awesome neighbor was there with some spare electrical tape and he taped the mirror back to my car so that I could go vote in DC’s primaries.  I took the car back to VOB and a mere $240 bucks later, Mosby is back looking pretty!

Tuesday night was my first swim clinic with the team.  It was so nice to be back in the water. I put myself in Lane Two with 3 other men.  I am proud to report that I held my own with them.  In fact, I was comfortable taking the lead for about half the drills.  Well, physically comfortable.  Emotionally, that’s another story.  I’m used to following the herd when it comes to athletic endeavors.  So, it was hard for me to push that envelope of going first.  Well, sort of hard.  Before we started I asked who the stronger swimmer was.  We all just looked at each other, so I said “Well, ladies first” and was off!  By the end of practice I could feel that my form had dramatically improved.  I felt so sleek and fast in the water as I could feel the glide between each stroke.

Wednesday: I did a run with awesome Shea.  This run was hard.  We did a 4:1 pace on a flat surface.  I think it took about 35 to 40 minutes to go 2 miles.  I did not do a good job sticking with my run during the 4 minute runs as I was having trouble keeping my heart rate down while carrying on a conversation.  It was quite frustrating.  However, I was able to keep a good pace while walking.   I am looking forward to the point when running isn’t such a blasted chore.

Thursday: Double workout day.  I met the team at Hains point for a bike ride.  I rode with Coach Ed and Susan.  So awesome! Ed taught be how to draft off of Susan, who was kind enough to let me draft behind her the entire ride.  The point of drafting is to be right up on rear wheel of the person in front of you.  This way, they block the wind.  I’ve seen the concept explained while watching a NASCAR race, but I have never thought about how I could personally benefit from drafting before.  I’m sure my dad is proud that all those Sunday’s of watching NASCAR together, I’m using that knowledge for something new!  Drafting is scary.  I’m used to being by myself or to the left of Casey while cycling! It’s hard to carry on a conversation when you are directly behind someone, but it’s so much easier to keep up that way.  We did about 9 miles in about 40 or so minutes.  The average was 14.5ish MPH.  That’s my highest MPH average ever!  Hains point is flat as a pancake and is a three mile loop with barely any cars.  This will be a great way to track my ability as I get more consistent with my cycling.

The best part about this ride was the lack of new Zs!  I really got some good personal attention.  Ed told me after the ride that “you can really move that effing bike.  You’ll be a great cyclist with some consistency in your training.”  I have a hybrid (handlebars like a mountain bike; non nubby wheels like a road bike) and thus my equipment is not as nice as the other cyclists.  It’s a bit of a sore point for me.  I can’t tell if I have trouble keeping up because I’m slow or because of my equipment.  It was great to hear the coach say I’ll be fine on the bike for the winter.  He talked about some of his other cyclists that he thinks I would be able to keep up with no problems and mentioned that it would make for a more fun time on the team if this group could be consistent in our training together as well.  

After the ride, the team also had a swim workout.  This one was not as fun as Tuesdays.  There were only 6 new Zs and 4 of us were in the beginner lane together.  We basically did catch up drill all night.  So boring!  After watching us swim individually, Ed told me that I’d probably be able to move over to a swim lane soon.  However, after that statement, my stroke completely fell apart!  Oh well.  I was beginning to get the hang of it again by the end of the workout, but I missed that sleek feeling.  Pushing off the wall I felt like I was gliding like a dolphin, a few strokes in it felt like I’m just lumbering in the water like a manatee.  I mentioned the slow feeling to Ed and was given a playful swatting on the head and told to keep coming back to workouts.  That it would be easier soon enough.      

Friday: It’s a rest day! 

Upcoming:  The weekend is set to be quite busy. After taking it easy in August, I’m back to my super jammed packed weekends.  Tonight is a party.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be going to a run clinic that is led bye a US National Team Triathlete and Olympic Trial 5,000 meter runner (how cool is it being on Team Z?).  Then I’ll be doing a run with the team.  I’m beyond nervous about running with them.  However, I’ve made plans with one of my teammates for us to run/walk together.  Valda seems nervous like me so hopefully she will show up and we’ll have strength in our numbers!  Next up I’m meeting Aunt Kathy and Maggie to finalize details for Heather’s shower.  I’ll finish up the night with dinner with Shea!

Sunday is beyond stupid busy.  I’m volunteering at Nation’s tri at 5:00AM.  And let me tell you, I really wish now that I was doing the nation’s tri.  I would love to bike the Clara Barton Parkway.  After that I’m going to church to meet our interim pastor (YAY!) then we having a brunch after church where we are making plans for the next 6 weeks while the conference decides if they are going to keep the church open.  Annabelle Blanche has a vet appointment (she’s been drinking to much water and then peeing in the house lately and I’m worried she has diabetes or a bladder infection).  Then I’m going to a lecture on heart rate zone training followed by a tentatively schedule meeting of my friend Tara’s parents!

What’s next? My goal is to consistently train (4 workouts a week) with the team for the next 6 weeks.

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Blankets from my Grandmother

I have posted pictures of some items that belonged to my grandmother and were passed on to me by my relatives.  Unfortunately, I do not know the story behind most of these items.  Fortunately, many of my relatives do!  I’m putting them up here so that my family can respond with answers and/or stories about the items.

1: Aunt Kathy thought that the striped blanket was Mom’s college bedcover. 

2: Who did the needlepoint and for whom was this made?

3: Which grandmother quilted the quilt?   Who did the crochet and for whom was this made?

Click the images to make them larger and to see the comments that have already been left about each photo.   I plan to update the post with the correct information.

Love y’all!  Roll Tide!

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Framed photos and serving set

More pictures of some items that belonged to my grandmother.

1: I can’t quite remember when this photo was taken.  Maybe for grandmother’s 80th birthday party?  Does anyone recognize the outfit she is wearing?  Does anyone remember who framed this photo for grandmother?

2: Does anyone know the story behind this?  What is served from this?

3: From a trip on a riverboat in New Orleans when BR and I must have been about 5 years old.  Check out the old school Barq’s that BR and I are drinking…I think that’s a pop top on the cans!  I also believe that I still have a captains hat purchased from this trip.

Click the images to make them larger and to see the comments that have already been left about each photo.  

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