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Archive for February, 2010

Pain and Glory

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I have about 45 minutes until I need to jump onto my bike for a 4-hour ride. I’m actually fighting to keep my eyes open and making sure to stay a good distance from my bed as it seems to be calling my name for a nice long nap. The training has been tough…a good tough. Non-stop from morning until night and the sun is always there to keep you very honest and sweaty during all efforts. My body is tired but I have managed to always find the energy somewhere to put together another swim, bike or run session and of course, today’s bike will be no different.

Physically, yes, everyone here is run-down and a bit smacked around but mentally, if we are resilient enough, we can always stay fresh…in the head. And this, I have learned, is the most important thing when it comes to racing, training, and even managing normal life – get your head straightened out. So, right now, I have to simply take a deep breath and get out onto the road realizing that these are the workouts that make you stronger, faster, fitter on race day. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! I laugh though because I think people assume we are just little energizer bunnies…going, going, going. Now, we may always be going but the going isn’t always pretty and most certainly isn’t always painless yet nothing and I do mean nothing can stop a true champion. It is a painful process to get good though if you can sincerely love the ups and downs and embrace the pain then I believe things will turn out alright. The beauty of camp is that you find that extra little motivation from your teammates and your coach (yes, coach – I’m listening). We are all in pain but with pain, comes glory.

Krabi Photos

Friday, February 19th, 2010
A little Krabi Photo Album

Our Hotel

Our beautiful neighbors…I think I eat more bananas then them!

 
Our market down the road where I get coconuts and pineapples
Our 40k bike road where a lot of biking pain occurs
The pool with the running track in the background
This is where I drown everyday. Witness the no lane lines.

The Street outside our hotel

A Swim Thought

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Today’s swim actually called for some easy 800s though easy with paddles doesn’t truly equal easy for this girl. As I am ticking through the meters, my mind and body keep on telling me you are wimpy, your shoulders hurt, you are slow. Evil thoughts that tend to always creep there way into my head whilst swimming. One 800 done. Two 800s done. Three 800s done. Then the fourth 800 posed a bit of a problem as I was deliriously tired and so I started drinking in much more pool water than your average water-gulping fish. I could feel the water start sloshing in my belly and then I had this hilarious thought come to mind (though now I realize it wasn’t even remotely funny. I was just tired)…

I envisioned myself going up n’ down the pool which wasn’t too hard to envision as I was going up n’ down the pool but that is all besides the point. Anywho, I was swallowing more and more of the water and suddenly realize that I had drank the entire pool. So there my entire team is lying on the bottom of an empty pool attempting to finish there swim sets only to realize to their horror that Kate had accidentally inhaled all the water. Then Brett walks over to the side of the pool with that look in his eyes as to say What exactly is the problem here boys and girls? Of course, everyone is looking at me explaining that Kate drank all the water coach and of course, my belly was protruding larger than the Atlantic Ocean and all Brett says, without hesitation, is…GET IN HER BELLY!

Ok, so this thought actually made me have to stop on the side of the pool because I was laughing so unbelievably hard and the sad thing is now that I am reading this it just doesn’t make any sense. These are the things I have to battle in my head as my body starts to get more and more smashed. I apologize for bringing you into that world.

Banana Run

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I have many people approach me and ask, “How do I get ridiculously good-looking arms?” It is a question I take very seriously and very rarely do I divulge any secrets however I feel it is only fair to allow for a small leak in my arm training routine. Now, people you must listen and listen closely…the program doesn’t include any of your fancy machines or pretentious dumbbells and absolutely no prissy little bands or 100s of push-ups. I mean, that stuff is all fine and dandy but for real results you must take it old school and when I say old school, I mean very older than old school. Take it back about a few million years when us men and women were supposedly monkey men and women. I know for absolute fact that our ancestors of great had ridiculously good-looking arms.

Start the arm Training young. This is key to future success.

How did our hairy relatives get such extraordinary arms without the gym and knowledge of reps and sets? Well, it is quite simple…in the morning, they think to themselves Oh, me hungry me needy food and sure enough they have to run to their nearest banana tree which happens to be just about 2 miles away. There they grab their beautiful yellow bananas and run home with bananas in tote and this my friends happens more than simply once a day. Yes, you may be giggling and thinking oh you silly little girl but the truth is, as my teammates witnessed yesterday the Banana Run is a staple in my ridiculously good-looking arms routine. Running with 10 bananas in your hand leads to arms that will make girls pee themselves at the swim start because they fear my chiseled biceps. It is all part of my plan to take girls out of the race before the race even starts. Banana-Rama!

Code Red!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

No, the picture above is not from a National Geographic photo expedition. The picture was taken from my shower. Horrifying. A CODE RED situation. It happened like this:

After a 5 plus hour day of double biking, I decided that a deep cleansing shower was in order due to the fact that I may have mistakenly forgotten to shower after workout #1 instead taking a 2-hour power nap and hit workout #2 crusty, salty, sweating and absolutely disgusting. I fear this may not be the only time this happens at camp and I do want to apologize to my teammates for this little unfortunate mishap.

So, off into the shower I go. There I am singing and dancing with bubbles floating all around me and then, I peer through my sudsy eyes to see a hairy creature twice the size of me **slight exaggeration** sitting in the corner waiting to pounce. I squeal and squirm and panic. How am I going to finish my shower with this blood sucking, life-threatening thing staring at me with his beady, ginormous eyes?! At first, I think…forget the shower and run for the hills but then I remember I didn’t even take shower #1 today so I best scrub for the sake of hygiene and, I kid you not, I actually stepped outside my shower into my bedroom closing the door and soaped myself up in my room. Then, when water was necessary, I went back to the shower making sure to keep the door open for a quick escape in the case the spider attempted any fancy movements. I had visions of this spider taking me hostage, wrapping me in his silky web and feasting on my amazingly meaty body for the next year. Oh scary!

 Once I was squeaky clean and properly dressed, I screamed for coach at the top of my lungs…Coach! Coach! Help me. Help me. My life is in severe jeopardy! Of course, coach didn’t respond and I had to go to plan B, which was run through the halls of the hotel until I ran into a man or lady willing to risk their pretty little life for a girl like me. Luckily, there was a man nearby who took that spider and man wrestled him until its heart stopped beating…though, unfortunately for me, 2 legs were left on the floor after the wrestling match and they quivered and shook. I closed my eyes and picked the legs up (with a paper towel) and through the squirmy massive legs into the trash bin.

Hopefully this mama massive spider didn’t lay baby eggs all over my room…I’m going to have nightmares!

Thai Massage

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Walking towards my massage I see angelically written on the little shops front massage for everyday people. It seemed so innocent and gentle. So, I politely slipped off my sandals and walked inside and asked for a basic Thai massage. The lady nods and points me to the bed where she draws the curtains around me and I assume that means time to get into my birthday suit. I start whipping off my clothes stripper style and she runs in saying, “No!no.no.” Oh dear. Probably gave her much more of show then she bargained for. I throw back on my shirt then she tosses me some oversized maroon clown bottoms and I think panties or no panties?…I went with a naked bum simply to feel more at home.

The massage started off gentle enough for the first 3 minutes. I thought how nice and soothing but not for long as ‘Strong Hands Magee’ went at my muscles with the wrath of an angry bull. I attempted to take the pain but I broke down and asked for more soft, more soft. That worked for 30seconds then back to the grinding. So, I winced and told myself this is good for me. Of course, right when I thought this is good she grabs my hands, kneels on my calves and pulls my body off the bed 1-2-3-4 times. I couldn’t take it anymore and completely broke down in a fit of giggles. How ridiculous was this? The lady didn’t even pause with my laughter she went right on hammering away then flipped me over like a jello sandwich and wrenched my quads and IT band until blood came out of my eyes. She would smile at my wincing as if someone told her I see beautiful little bunnies everytime I wince in pain.

And just when I thought I experienced the worst…all of a sudden her foot was jammed into my hamstring with legs folded like a pretzel and circulation denied to my most valuable body parts—this all made for a giggle fit #2 which my massage monster lady (who I adore) also joined in. There we are two of us laughing but she obviously doesn’t take a break in action and continually gnashes away at my little broken body.

I still don’t exactly know what happened and feel slightly abused and maybe slightly injured but in a weird sort of way, I think I truly enjoyed it and maybe even loved it.

Krabi: beautiful and simple

Friday, February 5th, 2010

A simple morning run in Krabi always seems to begin with a smile from May, the owner of our hotel. She doesn’t speak English but has a heart of gold and we have a mutual understanding of our extreme lack of comprehension of each other’s language so our smiles and nods do just fine. I have managed to write a few sentences in Thai and the locals appreciate the effort even though I am quite scared that the computer translations aren’t as eloquent as I wish.

 

 Krabi is definitely a far world from home though most certainly a beautiful world. The people here live very simple lives. They are so gracious and kindly accept our cultural miscues. I actually fall a bit more in love with Thailand everyday. Simplicity is lost in America. Here people are outdoors all day working hard to provide for their families. There isn’t stress or hardship written on their face…there is comfort and a humble acceptance of their lives as they are. We road our first team ride yesterday and most every one waved and screamed hello. The kids here have such beautiful little faces. Their energies are so magnetic. I hope to take this simple world back home with me as it truly makes life all that more beautiful and peaceful. Stress is a good thing as it drives us forward to success and allows us to reach our full potential even at times conquering the impossible however stress is a double edge sword. Too much stress can drive us mad and takes from us our childlike wonder and joy. Take time in your life to enjoy the simple things.