Friday, February 27, 2009

It's been a while...

Beast photos!!!

Cassie practicing a new technique in mind control

You have no idea how difficult my life is

Just put the cat under the couch and the kitty
floor sweeping unit will do the rest!

When the kitty purrs I get very sleepy

Can we PLEASE go run now?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The thing with the economy

Both my husband and I have full time jobs and then we have on the side. Bill has survived one round of layoffs at the company he works for and I am hearing through the union that negotiations with the university I work at are not going well and that furloughs (up to 23 days), pay cuts and freezes, and reduced benefits are potentially on the horizon due to state budget shortfalls. So even though we are both employed, we know that things could change and our economic stability could be in jeopardy.

Last year we made some investments into setting up headquarters in our garage and I purchased the tools for silk screening t-shirts. Silk screening will drastically reduce the costs I was incurring with embroidery and I now have everything I need (besides time and energy) to run This year, I was planning to attend some larger triathlons including Wildflower in California. I looked at the costs and I would have to invest at least an additional $5,000 in expenses and inventory to prepare for that large of a race. Ideally, I would spend around $8,000 to really get the inventory built up.

I have had a positive response to the new products I recently added so I am fairly confident I would recover all costs and profit by attending these larger races. But there is a risk that I might not make enough to cover costs or that I wouldn't make enough to make it worth my time. I would have to take off 3 days from work to travel to CA, rent a trailer, pay for gas and camping, pay vendor fees $$$ and then work three 12+ hour days, pack up and drive 14 hours to immediately go back to work at my full time job. A lot of stress comes with traveling to these events and I spend hours upon hours preparing the inventory and packing everything up.

The biggest reason to go would be to market and yes, I have heard that marketing in a slow economy brings bigger rewards. But! I am realistic and I don't know that I have the time and resources to grow this year.

Bottom line: I am lacking the extreme motivation needed to make the larger triathlons happen this year. I don't want to charge thousands of dollars on my AmEx card when one of us could lose our jobs, even if I could make the money back in May, my stomach turns just thinking about charging that much. So, I'm going to go small this year and do the local races that I have been doing and keep the risk to a minimum and my credit card balance closer to a number I can live with.

Staying small and taking less risk feels like the right path for me this year and Bill agrees with me. I would love to take to the next level, but I have to be sure that my ambition isn't jeopardizing our financial future and stressing us out. I want this to be a rewarding project and not something that makes me miserable. It was a tough decision to make and I am sure I will have doubts about it, I don't like to shy away from hard work, but I think backing down will be better for me in the long run. A bitter pill to swallow for but patience! I have been learning about patience these past few years and this is perhaps another lesson in patience.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Young at Heart

If you are feeling bad about aging or you are in need of a good laugh, rent the DVD "Young at Heart". This is the most light-hearted documentary I have ever seen and makes getting older seem fun. The Young at Heart choir performs all over Europe and in the US and is comprised of singers with in the average age range of 73-88. They perform classic and modern rock tunes that when performed by a singer of that age take on a new meaning.

Here's the trailer for the movie, check it out if you have Netflix...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So sad

Bill has been sick for the two past weeks and as such, we haven't slept in the same bedroom in 14 days. I made him go to the Dr. on Monday and he started taking antibiotics for a bronchial infection this week. He's better, but still sick, so I've been sleeping with the dog who at this point, doesn't want to sleep with me anymore either.

This morning I woke up at 5am from a bad dream. The dream was quite dramatic, I was sobbing and hysterical because no one would rub my back and hold me. Don't ask me. I almost felt sorry for myself but it was too silly so I went back to sleep, alone. So sad.

We've been watching the Tour of California on Vs. and have been foiled twice, they keep cutting away before the ending! After 3 hours of snooze inducing cycling coverage, they cut to hockey just before the sprint finish. I have gotten in a few naps so I shouldn't complain, cycling is as exciting as golf at times. Except they don't wear tight short pants in golf, shave their legs, or have rippling muscles. I think I prefer cycling.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A good Elvis story

I've mentioned my swim coach on my blog several times, he's about 98 years old and mean mean mean when it comes to giving crazy swim workouts! OK I'm sort of joking around about that, he's in his 70s and really quite sweet. He has worked at OSU for over 50 years and started the faculty/staff fitness program, one of only two in the nation. Over the years, he saved money and started a fund that was unveiled last year that benefits research at OSU in positive lifestyles and healthy aging. There is an article about some of the research being conducted online:

We weren't able to donate much to the fund when it started so we wanted to do something this year to make up for it. I came up with the idea to have a swimming fund raiser and found a few people to help me organize the event. It has been an uphill battle to get it going, deciding what events to have and how to raise funds. It is finally coming together, and will be held on 3/7/09 at Langton Pool at OSU, if you are in the area, you can participate:

It has been a joy working with Coach throughout the planning. I went to his office last week to talk about awards for the event and he had a photo of Elvis out, apparently he met Elvis at a summer camp he was hosting, Elvis was shooting a movie in the area. One of his campers sent him the photo of Elvis at the camp and coach shared it with me.

It has been through these small interactions with Coach that I realized what a special person he is and I am so happy to have made these efforts to honor him by raising money for his fund. If you would like to donate money to fund research on healthy aging, you can give online:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mobbed by roadies?

We were up early this morning for the Cherry Pie cycling race and the weather turned out very nice, ~55 degrees but I froze my rear off when it was 34 and windy at 9 am. Sales were not great but I've never been to this type of race before so it was a learning lesson. The few people that came over bought something from me but I was largely ignored. Next time I'll wear a bikini and Bill can wear a Speedo. I wonder if sales would go up or if people would be blinded by our white bodies and would run. The photo above is of the tandem bike race start, a father/daughter team lined up, she looked like she could have been around 8 years old. The course was 25 miles so that little girl is a serious little biker!

Bill's new residence aka the shed. I hope it's cozy in there for him! We purchased the shed at Costco using a Costco rebate check for most of the cost. I have an Am Ex business account through Costco so we get rebates on all of the purchasing I do. It's the circle of life. I must shop to stay alive.

If you ever need an animal to nap with, we've got three that will do the job. I've napped with all of them and they work great. You can't get up once you have a cat nestled on you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh yes he did

Today is Valentine's day and my true love is sick. He slept in and stayed low key all morning until I convinced him to take afternoon walk with me. That got him going and he started on a new project: assemble the shed we bought at Costco earlier this week.

After the sun went down, he finally came into the house and I asked if he had any plans for Valentine's day? "I made you a shed!" he replied. HA HA HA! Oh no he didn't just try to act like my romantic gift is a shed.

He's so sick I won't let him cook dinner for me and we certainly aren't going out anywhere so he did the sweetest thing he could think of to do, rub my feet and make me cookies. He put the cookies in the oven and then forgot about them until 40 minutes later when I smelled something funny. That would be the cookies.

He did manage to make one good cookie for me which I thoroughly enjoyed. I better not get sick. I should have known that the day would be less than romantic when I presented him with a gigantic heart cookie that I had customized for him and after seeing it he said, "Why didn't you get one made for you too?"

Isn't he romantic!?! My husband is out there people. Fortunately, he would say the same about me so it works out well for us. Tomorrow we wake up early for the Cherry Pie cycling race near Corvallis. I really hope the roadies don't point and make fun of my tribabe booth! Photos tomorrow I promise!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pressure is a privilege

I have a note on my desk that says "Pressure is a privilege" and I look at it when I get stressed to remind myself that if I was a complete idiot, no one would trust me to do anything, so the pressure I feel is means I'm not a idiot. Sometimes I wonder!

New random thought: I'm working on a swim fundraiser and we're trying to come up with ideas for awards. So far, the best idea we have is to give out chocolate from a local business. Let me know if you have any great ideas for awards, I could really use some help.

Bill has been gone with his laptop and the camera this week so I haven't been able to blog in the evening or load photos. I really missed that, I mean, him! Today I accidently wore a red sweater with a white top underneath to work and one of my co-workers exclaimed, "You look just like a Valentine!" For crying out loud! What a geek! I should have worn the blue sweater. My carefully crafted image as a stoic jock is shattered with one red sweater the day before Valentines. Bah Humbug!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Going stealth

Two things I'm going stealth on:

1. Training! I think my nemesis is reading mg blog and I'm about to step up the training and intensity and I don't want him to know the actuals. I will state that I do plan to teach him a very valuable lesson: don't mess with the Tribabe.

2. Fertility! I'm going not going to share any more fertility news until I have some. That means: if I get pregnant, I won't say so until after the first trimester. If something else happens, I will share it after the fact. Last year, word got out really quickly that I was pregnant and I ended up having to tell a lot of people that I miscarried which only made things worse for me.

This means I will have to come up with some new things to talk about. Topics I am considering:

-How to rebuild an engine
-Why won't my husband throw anything away?
-Favorite cheeses
-The value of hooded sweatshirts
-Should men get their eye brows plucked?
-Do we care if M. Phelps smokes weed if he wears a smaller speedo?

I will think of some topics and get busy posting tomorrow.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I carry a small purse

When I'm quiet it means one of a few things: I'm hungry, depressed, have nothing to say, or I'm struggling with an issue. I think my brain just slows down so I can focus on what needs to be handled. My life has been "on hold" while I wait to get pregnant and it has had it's moments, but I've been dealing with it and Bill has been dealing with me.

I think couples that struggle with fertility issues have a special experience that is understandable only to people who go through it themselves. You make plans for a future that never seems to materialize and it's not from lack of effort or a misguided path.

I read somewhere that a miscarriage can change who you are as a person. I thought that was overly dramatic when I read it but the truth is that I have changed since miscarrying last year. Even though I took time off from everything and tried to go back to who I was, I didn't quite get all the way there. I will never be the same, I'm more practical and directed, and in control of the things I can control. I also don't take any B.S. off of people and have learned to let things go. You know, I carry a small purse and a bunch of B.S. won't fit in it. It's kind of a nice perk of aging--to not give a sh*t!

I look back to who I was before, I thought I would get pregnant on my honeymoon. I thought we would have multiple kids, a little troupe of athletes and smack talkers who had as much personality as brains. How smug! How impatient!

I watched friends get pregnant the first month they tried. Multiple friends! Beautiful kids! What conclusion can you come to when this happens? After months and months and months of trying, uncertainty, drugs, and procedures, I have finally come to a conclusion: what I want is one thing, what I have is another. I do know one thing, I do not regret anything I have tried but I do regret not trying harder or earlier. Isn't that the way of life? You regret the things you didn't do.

This is why I've been quiet, my poor brain is overheating trying to figure out who I am and what happened to me. I think I'm alright. I like my life and all that is involved in being me. Despite a deep sadness, I still see humor in my daily life.

Plus, I have this hand puppet to talk to, and a small purse that has no room in it. That sounds like enough to get me through today.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Good for something

I caught another cold this week, which was hard to believe because last year I don't think I got sick one time. I realized I was truly sick when I tried to run on Tuesday and I couldn't keep my heart rate below 150 and I was running so slow I could have walked faster. I walked home from the "run" and went to bed. It wasn't a dramatic cold and I was fine again by Friday which was when Bill caught the cold and seems to have it about 3 times worse than me. Oops! Can't live with me, can't live without me (I hope he believes the last part after the way things have been going lately).

I'm glad I had the heart rate monitor on for that run because I would have pushed through the run regardless of how I felt so being a tech geek is good for something.

Today I realized that I took all of January off from working outside of my full time job. I was out in the garage, cleaning up tribabe headquarters and getting excited about projects when it occurred to me that I had taken an extended leave of absence. Breaks are good but I missed it.

Next weekend our friends are putting on a cycling road race, it's one of the biggest in the NW and they asked if I wanted to set up my Tribabe booth. I have to get my cycling related items in order and prepare to be Tribabe again. I hope the roadies don't make fun of me, maybe I'll leave the Tribabe signs at home. Cyclists think triathletes are nerds and triathletes think cyclists are missing out on swimming and running.

I'm going to write more tomorrow about how things have been going around this place but for now I'm headed off to bed.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Removed post

I removed a post I made earlier, a rant about infertility. I was putting bad energy into the universe and that's not good. I know it's not good because it bothered me after I wrote it so nothing cathartic was happening and that is missing the point. Anyway, I will be full of sunshine from now on. :)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap

I went for a run today and I was muttering, "Dirty deeds done dirt cheap" under my breath because I got myself one of these little babies in pink yesterday, the iPod Shuffle is now part of my arsenal. It was priced right at $50 and it clips easily to clothing so no fusing with arm bands etc when going for a run. So far, I've only had time to make one play list but I'm already sure I don't want to run without it. My play list was inspired by my trip back home to Spokane a few weeks ago. Spokane is really a like an extra large town, still clinging to classic rock and beer, and I love it that way.

Here is my play list, if you think you might like it, I will burn you a copy and mail it to you if you promise to mail me one back. Also! Promise me you'll give each of the videos at least 30 seconds, I'll guarantee you'll be rocking out and playing drums and air guitar...

Highway to Hell
I'm on the highway to hell
No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down

oi! oi! OI! OI!

You Shook Me All Night Long
She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman that I ever seen
She had the sightless eyes
Telling me no lies
Knockin' me out with those American thighs

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Dirty Deeds and they're Done Dirt Cheap

Back in Black
'Cause I'm back
Yes, I'm back
Well, I'm back
Yes, I'm back

best video!
I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track (Thunder)
I looked round
And I knew there was no turning back (Thunder)
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do (Thunder)
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you (Thunder)

Who Made Who?
Who made who, who turned the screw?

I'm ready for another run and some head banging.

"Livin' easy, livin' free - season ticket on a one-way ride
Askin' nothin', leave me be - takin' everything in my stride
Don't need reason, don't need rhyme - there ain't nothin' I'd rather do
Goin' down for a time - my friends are gonna be there, too

I'm on the Highway to Hell
On the Highway to Hell
Highway to Hell
I'm on the Highway to Hell"

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Angry swimmer lady

On Monday, I skipped swimming class and went to the pool by myself with a plan to do 3 x 500. A big plan for me, I've never done that swim before. I left for lunch early and went to the pool at 11:20 am, thinking I would beat the rush of noon time swimmers. WRONG! The pool was packed. I scrounged a lane with another woman and started my warm up.

Luckily, she leaves as I finish the warm-up so goal #1 was to be achieved, swim by myself. WRONG! Just then, a dude asks if he can join me. I stammer and try to delay while I think of something to dissuade him... look, I know it's a public pool but there were 7 other lanes, all with one person in them, only that one person is male, so of course! Let's get in the female swimmer's lane because she looks friendly. grrrrr.

He hops in after grumbling at me. I guess I didn't dissuade him for joining me. Long story short on the 500s: I went out too hard, misread the clock and came in only 3 seconds faster than the last time I did a 500. I was hoping to come in 10 seconds faster so the swim was a disappointment overall and I was still pissed off about swimming.

Nice flipping work!

It will be interesting to see how I get my groove back. I may have to resort to extreme measures. A new swimsuit may be in order. (Need I say, "Don't tell my husband")

Monday, February 02, 2009

Swimming walk out

Well it finally happened, I reached my boiling point with swimming last Friday. Coach called 4 x 200 IM and then 4 x 200 free and after about 1000 yards I got out of the pool and walked away. The workout was pissing me off and since I use swimming for relaxation, it was time to get out of the pool. I think it was a good decision because today is Monday and I'm ready to swim again. I'm going by myself though, and the plan to do a peaceful swim by myself, with zero IM.

Totals from last week:
Swim 2:00 (5700 yards)
Bike 1:30 (24 miles)
Run 1:39 (10.3 miles)
Walk 1:40 (5.8 miles)
Other 0:20
Total: 7:09 (43.3 miles)

We had a great Super Bowl party but I made too much food so we'll be eating buffet style all week. Bill will love it. Since we were hosting, I managed to watch maybe 20 minutes of the 4th quarter and that seemed to be the best part of the game

I ran before our party yesterday and took Bill's iPod with me and had my best run of the year so far. I'm going to have to get my own iPod, a pink one, and put some chick music on it. Here are my average run paces for the past few weeks:


A decent enough trend that will hopefully continue until I hit 7:30 pace again. Oh, the good old days, when I was actually in shape. I will have to call a girl's night out when I break 8 minute miles. Occasionally, I get down about being slow right now, but I'm not racing until late April. There's plenty of weeks left to improve and I don't have to run race pace right now, I have to run race pace in April. Whatever gets me through the night, right?

I've been using the controversial compression sleeves and so far, I don't see any benefit. I don't think I'm running long enough to make a difference, I only run around 3 miles x 3 times a week and I run 95% on trails since I am trying to keep the shin splints away. I would guess if I was running 10+ miles at a time on the road that the sleeves would be more useful. For now, I'm sticking with my knee wrap and shin wrap (so dorky) and will save the compression sleeves for longer stuff, if I ever start running long.

FYI, my racing plans include a few local sprint triathlons. If I receive some sort of devastating news from the fertility specialist this year, I imagine I would throw myself into some longer distance races. Hopefully, I won't be doing any 1/2 Ironmans anytime soon! That was enough trigeek talk for a while.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

It's here! I'm off to Costco to buy junk food for a small party we're hosting this afternoon so I'm really excited. Plus! Football season will be over! No more listening to my husband rant about his fantasy football team. Here is an entertaining video for you: