Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sometimes Weekly Roundup - 2/23

A love story favorite: The story of Danny and Annie Perasa — how they met, and how they've stayed in love — inspires many who hear it. Their joy in life, and in one another, was celebrated in New York, where a crowd gathered to honor Danny and Annie after hearing it on NPR. Listen here.

Harry's - This company caught my eye when I read about it on the Skimm. It's a 10-month-old company pulled off a hundred million dollar acquisition. I was not only intrigued by its entrepreneurial success, but impressed by the sleek packaging and stylish razors. I bought a package for Gerry for Valentine's Day and one for myself (works well for shaving legs).

I went to Bend over Presidents Day weekend to visit our friends Laurie and Eric who moved there last fall. This is a shot from our snowshoe trek near Mt. Bachelor. I loved the fresh air and bright sun. Lexi (the dog) loved everything.

I fell back in love with the sport of xc skiing after seeing some of the coverage during the 2014 Olympics. I followed Kikkan Randall through the games and wish there was more life being breathed into the sport in the U.S. This article was excellent.

I opened up my brand new Cuisinart this weekend and went to town chopping vegetables and making condiments. I used this recipe for salsa, Gwyneth Paltrow's chimichurri, and mixed some hummus. In other news, I am old and this is about as exciting as my weekends get.

And finally, big news on the track, especially on the Twitters. Read the recount here. The picture above is of the 1500m taking a stand for Gabe. I watched the coverage from the race and her kick on the last lap was so beautiful and strong. To me, her interaction looked like normal track contact. (picture from @flotrack Twitter)

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Solo Sherpa

The other day I was leaving the UW track meet with Sydnie and we were talking about usual stuff – food, running, races, friends, relationships. And we eventually landed on the topic of training support systems. As Valentine’s Day and racing season is right around the corner, I imagine there will be many a social media posts about what this girl’s husband did to support his wife during a race or so-and-so’s “best boyfriend ever” nonsense. And while I don’t think it’s wrong to acknowledge love for anyone, I wonder: why not recognize the women (or men) who get to the start line without the support of a significant other?

My friends: some married, some single, one World Champion

I was 28 the first time I won anything of significance (my age group at Ironman Coeur d'Alene) and at the time, I was as single as they come. But I certainly wasn’t alone. All season, I surrounded myself with teammates and friends who would push me to become a better athlete and a better person. It didn’t really matter that there were several nights I made dinner for one or had the bed to myself (in fact both were probably better for recovery – more food, better sleep). And when it came to doing laundry, fixing my bike, preparing nutrition, driving to races, getting to the lake, I took responsibility on all of that. But that’s not saying I didn’t ask for help. I got to know my LBS (local bike shop); I traveled with friends to training camps; my teammates would generously feed me and pour lattes after most workouts. It wasn’t just triathlon; for years I’d drive solo to marathons and have a chance to meet runners before and after races. It got me out of my comfort zone on a lot of levels, but it gave me so much more. Full disclosure: in 2006 I ran Boston and cried at the airport because I had to take the bus when nobody was there give me a ride home. I blame the combination of jetlag + Boston soreness. And when I won Black Diamond this year I was a little bummed I could only drink one free beer from the beer garden, because I had to drive myself home and I'm kind of a lightweight after exercising. But usually I don't mind the solo travel.  

There’s certainly nothing wrong with a husband fixing a bike or making dinner or driving to a race, but I sometimes get annoyed when it’s called out on social media as if it’s the only way. Like Sydnie says, “what’s wrong with a woman being independent enough to do that on her own?” Some of the strongest women I know don't sit around waiting for someone else to help them, they go out and get it [work, workouts, dreams] done on their own. When I raced CdA in 2010 and won my age group, my mom was there at the finish line, along with Sydnie, Julie, and a bunch of other friends. Finishing that race with an age group win was one of my happiest memories and it made no difference that my husband or boyfriend or whatever wasn’t there at the finish line. In fact, I think it was more symbolic for me that I was single and had the support of a team of friends and family. And even now that I’m dating a triathlete, I love when Gerry’s there, but I can certainly race just fine without him. It’s funny, because our relationship doesn’t revolve around triathlon, just like triathlon isn’t what keeps our relationship strong. This is healthy for us.

I know there will be podcasts interviewing triathlon couples this month, along with magazine articles and other such media. And I’m sure I’ll listen to them or read them; I’m kind of a sucker for posts like that. Susan Lacke’s “Triathlon Love” column is one of my favorites, as she paints a pretty clear picture of what it’s like in a two triathlete relationship. And I know there are challenges to balancing relationships with a fulltime hobby (along with a fulltime job). But there are also challenges to racing as a single person. And nobody seems to acknowledge this. So this Valentine’s Day, here’s to getting to the start line with a sense of independence, making nutritious meals alone and maybe sharing with a friend, being your own Sherpa, 2-hour drives after running a marathon (multiple stretching stops), booking your own race travel, solo 20 mile runs, filling your own water bottles, pumping your own tires, wheeling your bike box through the airport, and celebrating with a support system you love!

Happy Valentines' Day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sometimes Weekly Roundup - 2/9

I bought my uncle's (dad's sister's husband, so not Knutson) memoir, "Heart" this month, kind of because of the Valentine's season, but also because I like the story. He gives the history of the emergence of open heart surgery and how it impacted his middle class family in St. Paul, MN in the 1950s.

Monday I did exercise testing on the bike and treadmill at Seattle Performance Medicine. My coach and my friend Hallie are taking over the testing from Dr. Cooper, so they tested me to practice. Everything went well and we got results on Resting metabolic rate, VO2max, exercise metabolic rate, exercise fuel utilization, aerobic threshold, and anaerobic threshold. Picture compliments of Hallie. I've come to terms with how beefy my arms look while running.

I’m slightly addicted to this cold soba noodle recipe. The peanut sauce is light, tangy and amazing.
On Sunday Sydnie threw a surprise 60th birthday for her dad at a fun German bar in Seattle. A bunch of our friends showed up and her dad introduced us as his “triathlon friends.” He opens up his summer house in Eastern WA for us to use as a great training spot, so we were all happy to be there to celebrate with him. This is a picture of part of his German band. Not pictured: Sydnie’s dad, Johnny. He’s out talking with his triathlon friends.

It snowed in Seattle on Saturday, which means dicey driving, transition runs that are a bit slower, and some really sad looking snowmen around the lake.
Have a great week!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sometimes Weekly Roundup - 2/2

A lot of bloggers do some sort of “Friday Favorites” post weekly, which is a nice, concise way to highlight anything from news articles, artwork, pictures of landscapes, product reviews, and more. I really like the idea of a weekly roundup, but I imagine it will be difficult to post every week. So here is the start of my new project and the first installment of my “Sometimes Weekly Roundup.” I’ll post on the weekends or Mondays, because sometimes I do races on Sundays, which will make it hard to also blog.

Anyway, here we go! Here are a handful of things trending in my life:

I can't stop listening to the "Inside Llewyn Davis" soundtrack. The movie made me fall in love with folk music, tabby cats, Justin Timberlake, and Coen brothers films all over again.

If you're a cyclist in Seattle, you've biked by the Seahawks practice facility on Lake WA. Since December, I haven't been able to walk down the street without seeing a 12th man flag or someone in Seahawks gear. Although I've declared that "I'm so over the Seahawks hype" (my football allegiance is with the MN Vikings), I'm really happy for my city.

Lately I've been on a kick of "This American Life" podcasts. This one from 11/8/13 was really good and funny. I play them while I'm cooking or getting ready for bed or even while I'm lifting weights. I get to listen to my favorite authors, like Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, Dave Eggers, and David Foster Wallace. Thank you, public radio.
This weekend was not only a great weekend for Seattle football, it was also an amazing couple days at The Dempsey Indoor track at UW. I saw runners like Betsy Saina, Lawi Lalang, Lauren Fleshman, Amanda Winslow, Lauren Penney, and Shannon Leinert light up the track. Herp derp, it's pretty common that the winner of the men's mile runs sub-4. The Dempsey meets are always a really cool experience for runnerds.  
My friend Sara sends out a "Best of" cd every year. The 2013 version just came in the mail and here's the mix. It's excellent!

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