In training

In an effort to help Tim and I prepare for marriage my parents have divulged my childhood pictures. I guess they want Tim to know full well what he's getting into. This was a typical day of after school play. We liked to play at Kristi's house after school as it would be a whole 60 minutes before her mom arrived home. With neighbors next door and speed dial on the phone we were certainly safe.....well except for our own mischief. On this particular day in February Kristi and I decided we hadn't had a fair shot a bobbing for apples during our schools Halloween celebration. It was an annual tradition hosted by the 4 th grade class and we felt slighted. It seemed to us you stood in line forever and then had only one bob until the next year. We decided to fill the laundry sink with water add some apples and start bobbing. Some may classify us as uber dorks while others may think we were pretty cool to entertain ourselves so well:)

In the spring and fall we would roller skate up and down the street putting on "shows" these choreograohed routines we dragged our parents to see. We planned to get really good at them so we could start charging admission. At the particular "show" below we had one guest Kristi's dog, Muffin. If you look closely you will see Muffin is more interested in out treats than the roller skating show.
Now you might really think we are uber dorks dancing around on roller skates. I got news for you that was 1980 something and rollerskates were cool.

Paul and Emma's Wedding

When I said I was taking a break from training to enjoy my "oh so fabulous" life I wasn't kidding. See when I say I'm going to do something I go all the way with it. I said I was going to focus on having fun and celebrating like a celebrity. (Note to readers: must pronounce Celebrity like Bruno, Tim does an excellent imitation...."and which celebrity is in this year?")
Friday after Tim and I finished business (translate: I rode my bike 75 miles with Julie while Tim fixed a fractured elbow in the OR) we headed North to LA....actually let's be correct Beverly Hills. The occasion was Tim's friends Paul and Emma's wedding. We were honored to attend and the weekend did not disappoint. I haven't spent much time in the LA area and don't plan to do so for a weekend you can have a really great time. After the wedding we headed north to Malibu for the reception at Emma's family's vineyard. As we left the church it was hot and a windy. Tim had the surf board in the car and asked if I wanted to go for a swim (on the way to the reception). I declined on the account that my mascara would run and I think Tim was a bit disappointed in me (what a kill joy I am) I encouraged Tim to stop and surf for a bit but he didn't capitalize.
I was a little worried about how I would fit on the LA scene given that I am a girl from the Upper Pennisula.( See blog archive for guns and tractors). You see the LA area is very different from sunny San Diego. In San Diego all you need to fit in is a smile and the desire to do something in the sun. LA is more about the entertainment industry and it's a very different life. It seems everybody is either a Doctor or trying to play one on tv. Most people are just trying to "get into the business" at least that was my last impression. I was pleasantly surprised to meet Tim's friends. They were very normal, nice, fun and to my knowledge not trying to get into the business. There were definitely a few things giving me away as a San Diego girl. (Aside from my quads and ability to eat what was on my plate and not just push it around;) My tan line and my pink Oakley's were dead give aways. I guess I'll never make it in the business and it's a good thing I live in San Diego. I have excuses ....don't I always. I had intentions of purchasing a pair of over sized sunglasses but I accidentally spent my money allocated for designer sunnies on a race entry. Now the money has re accumulated but I am not sure which over sized glasses will make me look "like a celebrity" and which one will result in the bobble head look. Any suggestions? As far as the tan line goes.....Celebrities are know for their "Sexy back"look. Celebrities study Pilates with private instructors for hundreds of dollars per hour to obtain this. San Diego girls swim or surf. I swim masters at UCSD. I used to swim in the ocean every Friday but since the whole sharking incident....I've been in the pool:( Swimming masters accomplished a lot and my tan line shows it.
Tim and I had so much fun at the wedding. We enjoyed fabulous food and beverages as well as danced the night away. I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the bride Emma looked. Brides always look beautiful but like an Ironman there is some preparation involved. I started to think about all the things one should probably do before there wedding day. I am sure there are lots of blogs with beauty check lists. They would focus on when to get your eyebrows waxed and your nails done ans so forth and those laser peels for your face. What are they all about. Recently I had laser therapy on my foot to help it heal but I think that's a little different. I confess that instead of reading the Knot beauty guide I was reading my friends Mer, Sassy Shan, and Jess's blogs. From their blogs I have hopped to of my world celebrities... triathletes like Amanda Lovato and Kate Major (Kate's actually has a wedding section). Anyway girls this is my shout out. If I was 30 from an Ironman I would know what to do. I have 30 days left what should be included in the beauty check list? #1 (To reference Mer's blog).....transform nasty roots. #2 fix tan line #3nails???? Am I missing anything???

Tan lines giving it away.....
Yes that's art behind us and the Pacific Ocean??

The bride and groom cut the cake.

And those who know me.....

If you know me well. know that this is a fitting shower gift for my life with Tim. There is always a first for every bridal shower.

R, R, and R

Rest, Relaxation, Reframing, and partying like a Rockstar.

Yes....that is my new plan to have fun and be fabulous. That was always my plan I just got my sports bra in a bind for a moment. Well maybe it's not always that way but it's more fun to spin it that way. Whatever happens this year, for better for worse, I will believe in the inner fabulousness of all those around me:) After the episode I had on Friday evening and Saturday where I verbalized my "staleness and concerns" to all those who would (or were held hostage and force to) listen I am starting fresh. I've gained valuable insight and perspective talking to Tim, Mer, Stacy, and my coach. It has been determined that I can and should take a little break from official training. This will allow me to gain some strength for future training, heal my foot, and (drum roll) enjoy every single moment of being BRIDEZILLA. That I don't want to miss.
So anyway back to partying like a rock star. Yesterday was a day of celebration. August 17th was the AFC half marathon ( where friends Jess and Stacy dropped tons of boys and looked fabulous) It's one of my favorite races because it starts on top of Cabrillo and finishes in Balboa park. When your lytes are slightly off and you are overheating you really do believe finishing in Balboa Park is magestical. I planned to run the AFC1/2 Marathon but opted for beauty sleep instead. O.k. my foot is still on strike ..but isn't the mental image of me with a beauty shield over my eyes lounging in bed until 11 a.m. more fun.
Speaking of celebrities... A few months ago I had this young trauma drama patient. He was in a motor cylce accident after driving with polysubstances in his blood stream. Anyway his crazy parents kept insisting I looked, acted, and spoke like Lindsey Lohan. They insisted on referring to me as Lindsey and requesting Lindsey Lohan be their son's nurse the next day. I thought a comparison to Lindsey Lohan couldn't be further from the truth and was slightly annoying. However.....with the way self absorbed celebritites always saying things are too much, seeking therapy and checking in to rehab I'm starting to see the similarities. Me.... whining that the choices I made are too hard, I'm too tired, and I need rehab. At least my issues are sports related and I'll try to keep them in check.
However, in honor of celebrating and partying like a rock star. I spent yesterday afternoon poolside sipping margaritas.....and pina colladas with my fabulous co-workers who threw me a bridal shower. In celebrity speak "they staged an intervention" At first, I didn't have a registry, I figured Tim and I were old (well 30) and didn't need anything (translate...we each have 3 bikes so we are set) The ladies insisted I register or have a lingerie theme. I managed to put together a few things that in some form represented Tim and I. (Like the GU ..thanks Stacy) They weren't impressed said I needed a chaperone next time. They couldn't understand how registering for bike tools would be of any benefit to me. They were like don't you get it ....this is your chance to get what you want before you have to share. I was like you have know idea how lucky I am to have Tim fixing my bike. Now don't get him any other tools because that might distract him from tuning my bikes.We registered for a few things at Macy's and several things at REI. REI ....they said I was like "well Active.dom, Moment Cycle Sport, and B&L don't have a registry.
They decided it was time for an intervention. They posted a shower invite at work stating "Jen needs help packing for her honeymoon......" Then they threatened to burn all of my sports bras. Ooohh Laa Laa, who needs to watch Grey's anatomy when you work at Scripps Mercy Hospital. When it came to opening gifts I was in for some real suprises. My cheeks may have been flushed from the sun but when I started recieving gifts like this........

from nurses who spend their breaks in the chapel reciting the rosary my cheeks were flushed for other reasons. I'll take another margarita with that.

Set Me Free

Funny this is what is supposed to be the happiest time of my life but it seems like it's been a while since I have smiled whole heartily. The training for IMAZ seems to loom over my head. For CDA I trained pretty hard. A lot of it was with Tim and when it wasn't I was just getting a leg up for the next time we rode. Remember I had to drop him to get the ring I'm wearing. I thought I was ready to train again but mentally I haven't been in the game. I didn't know how much breakdown comes after race day. On most days my training seems listless. My head is in another place and frankly so is my body. Instead of pulling watts out, I'm pulling my hair out. I used to say that I ate hills for breakfast but now my mental image is that of me chewing my finger nails. I don't like this feeling of fretting. It doesn't agree with me. I used to think about dropping boys but last night I gave serious thought to dropping out. I do triathlons because they are fun. I realize it's not meant to be easy but if I'm not having's time for a break. This used to be fun for me but with my left foot rebelling I'm limited in my running. Trying to "make up" for not running by swimming and biking more has taken all of my free time and burned me out. I feel like the joy of my wedding preparations is being overshadowed by "training". I don't think this is a healthy way to live or a healthy way to start a marriage. I know something has to change. I know I am the only one who can change things. Time flies and my wedding will come and go and I don't want to miss out on the funny fretting about getting in my miles. I talked to Tim about this last night. I suggested I give up on IMAZ and focus on the getting healthy fixing my foot and preventing any thing else from going. We talked about this and came to the conclusion that I just needed a break from the pressure of committing to a training plan and scheduled workouts. So I am officially "not training" until after my wedding ;) Not that I will be sitting around eating bons bons but I just can't handle a spelled out training plan interfering with moments of my life that I'll never have a chance to do over again. For now I'll be working on the "craft" of riding my bike, swimming, and when healed running without the pressure of feeling bad about not logging the miles.

What's New?

Not a lot to blog about of late. Thursday, I did go for an Epic ride in East County, known as the Great Western Loop. I rode with my friends Kim and Elizabeth. It was really fun because there is a lot of climbing followed by long descents (the fun part). It was though so hot I wanted to stick my head in a bucket of ice. We actually parked behind 7-11. All I could think during that ride was that I was going to get through that ride as quickly as possible and climb in that cooler. I refrained and settled for some post ride V8, pretzels, and cold water from inside the store. In retrospect I think the cooler would have been a better idea. Later that evening I headed out for a "bachelorette" party with the 5 of my colleagues who happen to be getting married in September also. (Popular month). As I tried to get ready for a night out my face was still as bright as a tomatoe. Tim arrived just as I was alternating the use of a hot straightening iron on my hair with an ice cold bottle of Thomas Kemper Root Beer to cool my face. Classic.
Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely ride with friends Tina and Stacy , along with new pal Mary. We started at Fiesta Island and headed inland to Rancho Santa Fe. They were great company. I enjoyed catching up with Tina and Stacy and meeting Mary. We caught up on all the Bella gossip. (The Bella's are a female cycling be honest I joined because they have the cutest jersey) Speaking of jerseys....the 2008 jersey finally came. Each year we are required a new jersey with the latest sponsors. Jersey's are always hard to order because they are cut in two ways:
#1) We'll call it a womens but it really designed for an American male. Broad shoulders, no room for anything that doesn'tfit in a training bra, large paunch, loose waste so the stuff in your pockets can bounce , jiggle and give you something to worry about other than cars as you ride. This is called the relaxed fit.
#2) Euro fit.....this is designed for skinny Tour De France French Men. Long, narrow, no room for hips and the area that should hit your waist hits your hips, but it is sized for your waist which is 10 inches smaller than your  hips. Certainly there is no room for anything that doesn't fit in a training bra. They call this fit Euro Racer Fit.
 Someday I'll design jersey's for and I hope I'll do a better job finding ones that fit. For now I would like to share the highlights of this jersey:
For starters. ....It's very cute.
More importantly is what the boys have to read when I finish dropping them...
Oh. ...La...La is right boys

Now it's time for a Shout Out:
To the large caucasian male, age late 30's -40's, wearing a red Clif Bar team kit and riding a white Look bike. Despite rolling the stop sign and rudely busting ahead of us as we minded THE LAW and stopped at the stop sign. (Get it.....stop sign.) Your booty got dropped. By not one, but by two ladies during a climb. Despite your size and gravity you didn't catch us on the flats or descents that followed. So nanny nanny noo noo we dropped you. We did it with manners....and skill. My parents always said "let your actions do the talking and your boots do the walking" when I was ski racing. I politely said hello and nice day as I dropped you leaving Rancho. This is more than I can say for you as you grunted past me and my girls at the stop sign ( you know the one you failed to stop at....) I have broken my own rule and allowed my blog to become inflammatory. I am certain though that you will never ever read a female cycling blog so I'm probably not offending you. So in order to follow what my parents taught me as an adult I let my shirt do the talking. Sir.....Mr. I have to get in front of the girls..... this is what my shirt has to say to you, with a flip of my pony tail, Ciao Bella.

The UP North Vacation: Part 2

July 28th
I call Kristi to make plans. She rattles off a long list of things we can do that we couldn't do in the "city" Take out the canoe, the fishing boat, ride the motorcycles, ride the ATV, shoot clay pigeons. I repeat shoot clay pigeons into the phone and see Tim's face light up again.
Miss Hunter's Safety.
Kristi gives Tim strict instructions on the use of fire arms.

Fire Away

O.k. I am along way off from Tales of training and racing if I'm blogging about guns.

The launcher.

"My brother is going to be so jealous"

Tim is now considered an honorary Yooper. My status as a Yooper is in question despite being born in the Upper Peninsula. Kristi's Dad was a hand gun instructor for the state police. She can hit any target. Despite my father being an Expert shooter, I am comfortable with no more than a pellet gun. I also don't like to see anything with fur die. Even if it helps restore the "natural" cycle of things or if those varmints will destroy things. My Dad actually live traps and releases else where the varmints getting into his garage. Hmmm that's a thought instead of releasing doves at the wedding we can release squirrels, raccoons, and skunks. Now that would be unique. Those guns are too big, too heavy and kick too hard for my taste. Besides I like pink carbon fiber toys.

Epic Riding in Northern Michigan

Ready to ride
July 27th
Tim and I went for a quick 60 mile ride in the U.P. It was like a time trial in that we did not stop once for a stop light. There are NO stoplights in the entire Mackinac County where I grew up. The roads are flats and smooth with a few rollers a little traffic. This made riding really fun. We might have riden across the whole U.P. if Tim hadn't been distracted by the tractor....Just kidding.
July 28th
Tim and I drove across the 5 mile Mackinac bridge because it's forbidden to ride bike. We parked in Mackinac city. We had plans to ride along the lake all the way to Petoskey and get lunch at the Roast and Toast. Petoskey is the town I lived in post college before I became a travel nurse. It's on Little Traverse Bay and the biking is fatastic there except when it snows. These roads are really cool as they are curvy with rolling hills and go along bluffs above Lake Michigan. On this route, Shore Drive, there are no stop lights. The road is known as the tunnel of trees. In the fall the leaves change color and in the spring the road is lined with trilliums. I like it because of it's beauty, it's few cars, and it's curvy rolling hills which remind me of skiing. It's a good place to work on the craft of energy transfer;) There are no stops signs you can't roll through. Without too much effort you can really get some speed going. Around mile 25 we passed a couple roadies in team Bissel get up who gladly glommed on to our rear wheels. This was fun but I think it inspired Tim to really start hammering. He denies he was going very hard but despite that my legs were burning. "I'm in pain becuase of you" My legs were sort of screaming , begging for just 10 second of rest. Everytime I glanced back the roadies were right on me. Here's to a small world.... I actually knew the couple. I had their kids in ski school years ago. I figured if they could hang I would too. They followed us for the next 20 miles. Never once pulling but thanked us for the pull when they turned off. A few miles later Tim came to a crawl (sorry baby doll ...I can not tell a lie) He looked a bit green and said I feel awful. Last weeks virus had become this weeks sinus infection. Tim had a major cheek ache. Tim asked if I brought any ibuprophen.....Nope. It's not a practice of ours to dope with Ibuprophen while training for a whole slew of reasons. "I don't think I can make it." He said looking more green. We were only about 5 miles from Harbor Springs at this time I offered to go back and get the car but that would take forever. The other option was to descend into Harbor Springs buy some Ibuprophen and take a break while the ibuprophen kicked in. Tim pronounced he was Roasted and Toasted so we aborted the additional 10 miles it would take each way to get into Petoskey. Instead of lunch at the Roast and Toast, we bought sandwhiches from the popular local deli Gurney's and took them to the marina. We enjoyed our lunch and then soft pedaled threw a few of Harbor's quaint summer communities.....things don't change in Harbor Springs ever. I'm glad of that. I like it that way. The ibuprophen kicked in a we headed back to Mackinac City. This time a little slower....the scenery is better under 20 mph.

Team Astana.....aren't they doper????

Tim stated those pills were antibiotics.


Ready to play tour guide

Classic Harbor Springs home. A pleasant view.
Think the Bob Seger song about being 1/2 hour out of Mackinac City.
That is where is am. No need to get out of aero.
Me with a mouth full of a delicous Gurney's sandwich. Gurney's is famous for good deli sandwhiches.... you can have anything on them except tomatoes. That's just the way it is. Roasted and Toasted Tim Molasses cookies......the riders secret formula
The gang post race.
Check out that smile.....
I could write a whole blog on how he got my mom to say "yes" to the tractor

Tractor Operating 101
I'll show you how it's done!
Tim had so much fun digging up stumps with the tractor. His face lit up in a way I hadn't seen since his brother Seth got him a fishing spear for Christmas. I worried Tim would drop out of surgical residency a take up tractor operating. Even worse.....I worried he would skip riding bikes with me in order to spend more time on the tractor.