Monthly Archives: October 2008

This week in Alaina’s history

October 25, 2006-This is the night I met Chris.

October 26,

October 27, 2007-This is the last time I saw my Grandmother.

October 28, 2005- After nine years of smoking a a pack of camel lights every day or two, I quit smoking at 26 years old!

October 29, 2006-I finished the Marine Corp Marathon in 6 hours and 55 minutes!



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What I can’t hide…

I was looking at the official photos from my Tri in April. 

Yowzers y’all.   I know not many people look good in spandex, but the person in the photographs is so much bigger then the person I see in my head. 

When I look at those photos I can’t believe that I am as active as I am.  I think…”that girl has no business doing a tri.  She looks like she should be on a couch.” 

I mean, you can tell I’m having fun.  I’m smiling.  I’ve got that athletic glow.  I’m pumped and all endorphined up.  I loved that day.  I loved the feeling of being supported by my team.  I loved the feeling of accomplishing that goal to complete an Olympic distance tri….just seven months after my diagnosis of multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli.

But now when I look at the photos, I’m just ashamed.  I judge how fat my knees are.  I notice how my hips are big and thus my race belt is basically under my boobs.  I see how the shorts ride up.  Y’all don’t even get me started on those wetsuit photos.

It makes me sad to feel this way when I see those photos.  In my head, I’m not that weight.   That’s not how I feel about myself, so I don’t give myself the message that I’m too large to do the things I do.  I just do them because they’re fun and it’s neat to challenge myself.  I don’t tell myself I shouldn’t be running or swimming or cycling because of the weight.  I really try to not let the weight hold me back.  I know it slows me down, but I really fight letting it stop me from living.

I’m always amazed when people tell me I’m an inspiration.  It’s like…come on…I’m just living my life…having fun.  But there’s something in these photos where I see how I could be perceived as an inspiration.   Even I can’t believe I’m out there…in spandex….doing the things society (and my head) tells me I should be to ashamed to do.

Denial…I never thought of the good and bad things being in denial of my weight has brought me.   On one hand, I do more than my head thinks I should be capable off doing.  On the other, I don’t work to lose the weight because I don’t acknowledge the ways it holds me back.

I’m obviously not going to give up tri’s….I’ve got a hardcore crush on my new road bike.  I just hope this new feeling that I’ve admitted to myself (and y’all…my real and imagined internet friends) doesn’t hold me back.  My hope is that it becomes just another one of those voices in my head. 

My plan is to ride faster than the voice can.


Filed under Tri Training

New Road Bike!

When I decided to do a triathlon last fall, I knew I would need a bike.  I balked at the prices and hemmed and hawed and tried to figure out an inexpensive way to get a bike.  Finally I decided to use some of the money that my grandmother left me to buy a sporty red hybrid in January of this year.  My TNT coaches told me to buy a road bike, but I was stubborn.  I didn’t want to spend $1000 on a bike before I decided if I even liked cycling or tri’s.  So I thought I’d get a hybrid.  I figured if I didn’t like cycling, I’d still have a commuter type bike for those days I might want to go riding.
Of course, now that I’ve set my sites on the Miami Man Half iron distance next November, I knew I would have to upgrade.   A few weeks ago I did a few test rides, and I decided that I would purchase a bike with Conte’s.  We do many of our rides out of that shop so I figure it’ll be easier to get it to the shop if I ever have problems.  I also just really like the way they treated me.  I’ve heard a few people grumble about some employee named Jason, but I didn’t work with him.  My sales guys (Tory and Rob) were great.  Seth (bike fitter) really helped cull all the information for me, and all of the various bike mechanics were just awesome about answering my questions.  Seriously, they were all quite supportive.  Of course, they should be if I’m going to drop that much money on a bike!  But still, it’s a nice atmosphere that they have cultivated in their shop. 

Luckily for me, Conte’s did a Team Z night last Wednesday.  They had some FANTASTIC deals!  Including a sweet deal on this little Specialized Ruby that I’ve had my eye on.  I went ahead and outfitted the whole bike.  I also bought some awesome arm warmers (yep, it’s like leg warmers, but for the arms, and not in cotton, but high performance fabric).   I left the shop at 11:00PM.  Unfortunately,  I only walked out with the arm warmers.   I had to leave the bike there so the mechanics would have time to install my computer and pedals and water bottle cages and put the cleats on my new shoes and change the seat and wrap the handle bars in a spicy metallic silver that matched the bike.   It’s a weird feeling to drop some dough and only have the warmers below to show for it! 

Belle's so jealous...

I went back the next day to pick up my baby!  I adore this bike!  I took it out for a quick spin on Friday afternoon before I headed to Heather and BR’s reception site to help decorate for their wedding!  The hill near my house that I tried was still difficult, but certainly less hard than on the hybrid.  I can’t wait to see how she handles on a long ride.  I’m planning to do the Glen Echo ride next week for a comparison of the road bike to the hybrid.

Here are some shots of the new bike!  She really needs a name…hmm….I’ll work on that!

Doesn't that handle bar wrap look gorgeous with the blue of the bike?

The Metallic Silver Handlebars really pick up the silver accents on the bike frame!

Red hybrid in back, new blue road bike in front.  You can see that the seat is higher on my road bike and that the handle bars are lower.

My red hybrid is in the back and my new blue road bike is in front. You can see that the seat is higher on my road bike and that the handle bars are lower. This will make me lean forward more which somehow also makes me faster.

I went for the speedplay pedals.  I've read that they are easier to clip into and more importantly to clip out!

I went for the speedplay pedals. I've read that they are easy to clip into and more importantly, easy to clip out!

Here she is!

Here she is!


Filed under Tri Training

Coffee Date update

Last week I had a coffee date.  He was a perfectly nice man.  He is also a divorced father of two kids.  Even though I wasn’t feeling a connection, the fact that he was a dad would have been enough for me to not want to pursue a second date.  It’s a bit of a catch-22.  I don’t want to date someone that is an absent father.  I would want him to be involved in the life of his kids.  That said, I also don’t want to date someone that isn’t available to be open to a new relationship.  All the things that are new and exciting to me would be old hat to him…..engagement, wedding, babies, etc.   Maybe I’ve been watching to many made for TV movies or it could be that I’m just to much of an only child…I do so hate to share! 

All that said, the biggest problem with this guy is that he is still supporting his ex wife who doesn’t work.  I’ll be damned if I marry a guy and use my income to support US, while his income is used to support HIS ex wife.

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Week 5-still struggling in the pool

Monday: Great improv rehearsal.  I’ve started to just cut scenes myself if I feel like it’s a good beat.  That makes me feel more in control…and somehow, more willing to just jump out there because I know I can take care of myself.  Also, I’ve got to work on my trust of group.  We did a scene where I was giving birth to a baby…but the birth was an art installation.  I didn’t know what else to do…I felt like my character was languishing on the stage.  I also didn’t know that Tara was pretending to the “baby”.  I’m sure that was such a fun stage picture.  But I didn’t know that…so I said “I sure wish it was 10 minutes later” hoping for an edit from the side.  Turns out, the scene didn’t need an edit. 

Tuesday: Great swim practice and I did 975 yards!  That’s awesome and over half a mile!  1650 is a mile in the pool.  I got some feedback from coach about pushing harder during my stroke, sticking to doing catch up drill for now, and the proper way to kick my feet so that I use my quads.   Things felt like that started to click for a bit…then they fell apart at the end…but still…dude 975 yards!  Coach says I can do more than that….a lot more than that…so I’ll keep pushing myself.

Wednesday: Improve TAing.  Bless their hearts, the kiddies are going blue and coming on stage acting drunk.  Next week I’ll be giving them Dan Hodapp’s  “We don’t go blue because it’s cheap and easy” talk. 

Thursday: Another good swim practice.  I was able to make it across the pool in 21 to 22 strokes.  I’m breathing on the left on the way down and on the right on the way back.  Breathing on the left is starting to feel like second nature.  There were a few times on my way back down the lane where I questioned if I had been breathing on the right on the way down.  I would have to remind myself, that nope, I had done it correctly by breathing on the left! Every now and then I am also feeling the “glide” that Coach Ed is always harping on.   I’m still doing catchup drill for the whole time, but soon I’ll move on to doing the actual posted workout!

Friday: DMG kicked ass at our performance.  Highlights that I remember….because it wasn’t recorded:

  • I created a fun character that bedazzled everything
  • Archie and I played a minimum of three different married couples
  • We did 2 “radio” scenes
  • We had a fun recurring scene in the IRS tax office where the workers were trying to spruce up the tax forms with things like glitter, puff paint, pink ink, etc.
  • I called the show after making the last joke….a very time sensitive “bailout” comment
  • I felt totally supported by my castmates! 

Saturday: Another group run.  I’d like to make it to one of these without crying…granted this time it was due to a country song!  The run was okay.  I tried a 2:2, but it was hard to keep my breathing even.  I switched to a 1:1 and that went better.  I can’t wait to get my VO2 tests! 

Sunday: Glen Echo Bike ride.  I was supposed to do 14 miles…I did 17 because I kept getting lost.  There’s a bitch of hill that I will conquer one day.  The coolest part of this ride was going over the Cabin John aqua duct, also known as the Union Arch Bridge. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get to this aqua duct ever since I became interested in biking the whole C&O tow path….my goal for after I do an ironman.

Time: 1 hour 25 minutes;  Average speed: 12 mph; average cadence: 55 (I’m telling you, that hill really screwed up my numbers).

So, I’m back on the plan.  I did 4 workouts this week!  Rocking!

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Happy Birthday Tara!


It’s hard to believe it was a little over a year ago that you walked into my improv life.  I’m blessed and honored to have you in it now!  It’s true that we got off to a rocky start, but I love that we both have shattered the other’s negative stereotypes about Southern Belles and New York Bitches!  I was honored to be in Princess Trainwreck with you during the Tournament of the FIST.  I’m even more grateful now to be in DMG with you.  Your characters make me laugh and they make me want to stretch.  I walk around my house trying to talk with a Minnesota/Sarah Palin accent to Annabelle…and that’s all because of you!

It will only get better from here! 

Hugs and Lovebugs!

Princess Trainwreck:  Tara, Alaina, and Jenny

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To coffee date or not

Last week I was walking Annabelle Blanche.  I was working on using the clicker to train her manners.  A guy approached me on the street and we started talking about clicker training.  He seemed nice enough, a bit older than I’m looking for….but perfectly nice.  He asked me to go get coffee with him.  He called the next day, but I was heading home for the week so I said, “next week”.  Well, wonder upon wonders, he actually called me today to see if I wanted to meet up this week. 

And the thing is I really don’t want to meet up with him because I wasn’t attracted to him.  Never mind that I spent this entire week at home talking about wanting to be in a relationship.  I just want this one specific ideal that I have in my mind of what I’m looking for.  And I know that having an ideal is detrimental….so I did what any girl would do….gchat a friend to be told the truth.  I was hoping that Kate would tell me that it’s okay to hold out for someone I’m attracted to…but she’s a good friend…so she pulls out this jewel: maybe it would be nice to let another person like you–counterbalance the slew of self hatred youve been flinging about lately?

And maybe it would.  So we’re meeting for coffee on Thursday night.


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