Famous Friday: Royal Rule Change

For centuries now, the British monarchy has passed down the inheritance of the throne to their first born son. This rule has just been overturned, meaning that succession will not discriminate based on gender. This all but guarantees that poor Prince Harry will never be king. All the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have to do is have a baby of any kind, and the red-headed Prince will remain just that, a Prince. No promises that the hair color won't change though.

Another change to the royal rules is that the successors to the throne will no longer be restricted from marrying Roman Catholics. In the past, anyone who married a Roman Catholic would be banned from ascending to the throne. The rule originated back around the time of the Reformation, when Protestants were trying to free themselves from the authority of the Pope. Due to conflict within the monarchy, the Act of Settlement was eventually passed in 1701 to prohibit a Roman Catholic from becoming a monarch. Up until now, the monarchy followed the religious beliefs of the Church of England. Most recently, this was a point of discussion when Prince William married Kate Middleton, who was confirmed into the Church of England shortly before their wedding. Some say she did this willingly to confirm her faith, but others state this was to abide by the centuries-long rule.

Westminster Abbey circa July 2010 aka Our Honeymoon
 I'm not sure yet where I stand on either change. On one hand, I like seeing the monarcy conforming to modern beliefs and values in equality for all regardless of gender or religion. On the other hand, the monarchy is based on hundreds of years of tradition, and its sad to see those traditions slowly going away. The traditions, rituals and beliefs of the monarchy provides a glimpse of what life was like in the past. It is like a real life history book.

Crown Jewels

What are your feelings on the rule changes?

Link:  http://news.yahoo.com/girl-british-royal-succession-rules-change-104444789.html

Famous Friday: Monty Python

I just read a blog post where the writer mentioned that she doesn't like it when people quote Monty Python. Whereas I will admit that British humor is particular and not for everyone, there are two problems with her statement:

1. Where are all these people who are quoting Monty Python? As far as I have encountered, only my dad and I quote it on a regular basis (or at all).

2. Whenever I do quote it, I always get blank stares (a joke's not funny if you have to explain it every time, people!). Not only are people not quoting it, but they don't even know when its been quoted which leads me to believe that most people either haven't seen it (usually the case) or just don't think it as hilarious as I think it is.

I remember the first time I ever watched a Monty Python production. I saw one of their movies, "Life of Brian". I couldn't stop crying! That is, I was laughing so hard, I had tears streaming down my face the whole time. I had to pause the movie every so often just so I could catch my breath.

I then saw "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" in my high school World History class. Yes, you read that right. My World History class was fun and I had the best World History teacher ever! He showed it because it was the best video to portray the Trojan horse...err, rabbit.

And let's not forget the TV show. It is very similar to SNL in that it is comprised of comical skits, all of which come with a slew of hilarious quotations.

For those of you who haven't seen Monty Python, I highly recommend at least checking out one of the movies or YouTube a couple of skits. However, like I said, British humor is not for everyone. It tends to be crude, sarcastic, self-deprecating and can be viewed as insensative. I think what is most comical is that Monty Python, or other similar shows and movies, make these jokes despite the fact that we live in an uptight and politically correct world. Its kind of like the sibling relationship where you deliberately do things just to get under the other person's skin. Being one of three siblings myself, I find amusement in that as well. If we can't laugh at ourselves or at others, where is the fun in that?

Its my firm belief, and I'm sticking to it, that there is a Monty Python quote for almost every situation.

Until next time, always look on the bright side of life!


Seeing my hubby as I entered T2 was a huge boost for me. It was hard as I rolled in knowing that I was the "lanterne rouge" of the race. I always feel bad when I'm in last place, not so much for myself, but for the race organizers and volunteers. Its like, "I'm so sorry I can't go faster so you can go home sooner".

T2 was a lot easier than T1, but when is it not? I changed out of my bike shorts and back into tri-shorts. I also through on a white running top and a reflective vest knowing full well that I would be run/walking well into the night. I re-emptied my bladder (again) and went on my way to the applause of my hubby and a few remaining volunteers.

T2 goal: 5min
T2 actual: 7:51

The day ended up being hotter than predicted, so I started off the run by walking the first little bit to try to cool my body down from the bike. I had planned on walking the first mile anyways just to walk out the crud. If I could maintain my 15min/mile walking pace, I would finish under the time cutoff. As I walked, the first four miles flew by and I was feeling pretty good, other than hot. My game plan changed from walking the first mile and then running a few minutes and walking a few minutes to walking as much as I can and running only if I have to. Looking back on it, it was probably my biggest regret about the whole thing. I should have just stuck to the plan. Well after I cooled down, I just wanted to conserve energy for the remainder of the race. The next four miles seemed particularly long. Then the last 5.1 miles of the first 13.1 mile loop was when I really started breaking down. My legs started cramping. My feet hurt like none other. Every person I talked to on the course were finishing their second loop and were on their way to being done. I was going to be one of the only people on the course as I was doing my second loop...and it was DARK! I don't mind working out on my own, but in the dark in a strange place? Hell no! I kept telling myself that it was no big deal. I was going to be an Ironman if I could conquer the dark shmark. But my legs kept getting exponentially worse. I tried everything to calm them down...more Gatorade, more water, GU's, even chicken broth.

I began getting jealous of the folks who were disobeying the rules and running with other non-athletes who were trying to pace them to finish. I was jealous of the folks who were running with other athletes. I had no one and I was in sooooo much pain.

I figured that I would finish the 13.1mile loop and quit. It was way more than I had expected to do that day. And it was a huge accomplishment in and of itself. My pace and slowed to about 20min/mile over the last 4 miles that I would have had to run a good bit of the second half to finish under the cutoff anyways.

I was nearly crying as I told hubby as I finished the loop that I would be quitting. I wanted to finish 13.1miles just to say I did half of the run, but then I was done. My legs hurt so bad I could hardly move. He had to pretty much drag me to the car.

Even worse, I was looking forward to my post-race extravagent meal, but there wasn't much around that was still open. We went to Subway to get my favorite seafood sub, which apparently is only sold in Ohio these days, and I took two bites and was done. I normally can't eat after races, but I felt particularly full after all of the nutrition and hydration I had taken in during the day.

Run goal: 5:30
Run actual (for half): 4:36:33

I don't want to make excuses for why I didn't finish, but I do have a list of what to improve upon for next time:
1. Eat more leading up to the race. Although, I tried to eat as much as I could, but my stomach virus was not helping.
2. Bike more. Our longest training ride was 80 miles which is nowhere near the 112 miles that we had to do in the race. I had to push myself so hard to finish the bike under the cutoff that I think it took a lot out of me for the run. Sure, every weekend for the last month of training was hurricanes, moving, going places for interviews, etc., but there were plenty of times earlier in the year where we skipped or shortened rides just because we felt like it or wanted to do something else or "we have plenty of time to catch up later".
3. Learn to pee on the bike. I could probably take at least 15 minutes off my time if I didn't stop 8 times to pee.
4. If you train to run a marathon, you should run it. I think letting myself walk more than I had planned also really screwed me over. Walking and running are two completely different things and use completely different muscles. I had not trained to walk 26.2miles, but rather to run them. I wonder if I would have been able to finish had I pushed through the mental wall and at least tried to run.
5. Continue to work on nutrition. Although, nothing particularly bad happened other than leg cramps (which could also be due to #4...walking when I wasn't trained to), I still feel like this needs work. I felt so full, particularly on the run. I wonder if I over ate, or maybe ate things my body didn't want. I know some people get calories from drinks and GU's alone and maybe that's something I could try. Although, I starve on the bike without food, so maybe eating early on the bike and transitioning over to a liquid diet towards the end in preparation for the run.
6. Not get sick with a cold and diarrhea days before a big race. And if I do, hydrate twice as much!
7. Races of this distance should be taken more seriously. I didn't take it that seriously in my training. I was terrified to death of it mentally, but didn't force myself to do the necessary work to finish it. Moving and job searching just gave me more excuses not to, but I won't let it happen next time.
8. If we can afford to financially, I would like to get a coach the next time I do an Iron-distance race. Someone who knows what it takes to finish. Someone to hold me accountable.
9. Another regret of mine was letting my mind get the best of me. Who cares if you are the only person on the course? I didn't realize it until later, but had I finished, no matter my time, I would have gotten third in my age group. I hope its not the only chance I get to place in a triathlon, particularly a triathlon of this distance. I hope I can improve and get really good at it, but I got to start putting in the work.
10. I don't know. I figured if there was a 10th point, I can make up for not having my Ten for Tuesday yesterday. My goal: Blog more often. Its hard when I'm working 10-12 hour days...and the Cardinals are in the World Series. Priorities. On the triathlon side, I have been running again this month and swam once. Its still kinda my off season or rest time, but I plan to amp it up in November, work permitting.

Famous Friday: Fairytale Wedding

I think I've only said this a magillion times before, but I LOVE weddings. But who doesn't? I'm sure there's one person somewhere who absolutely despises weddings, but they're just wrong.

This past weekend, as I'm sure you all know (again, who doesn't unless you live under a rock?), was Kim Kardashian's Fairytale Wedding. Awww...

See Kim Kardashian's Wedding Album!

I was hopeful that there we been tons of glam shots and wedding video, but in typical Kardashian fashion, it was more focused on the drama, with most of the drama circling around whether or not Kim should change her last name. Although, I think a lot of the drama could have been avoided had they not waited until a week before the wedding to start talking about it. Some things you just need to talk about ahead of time, WAAAY ahead of time, and that's one of them. Kim decided on keeping her last name, in part because of her "business" which seems really selfish, but also to honor her deceased father, which makes a lot more sense. Although, I still would have liked to see her incorporate her new hubby's last name, Humphries, somehow to honor their sacred union.

But when it came down to the day of the wedding, the drama lifted to reveal a happily married couple, loving family, an extravagent party, and lots of glam (yay!). I can't say I would have ever done a black and white themed wedding, but it came out sophisticated and elegant. I also can't say I cared that much for Kim's third (yes, you read that right, third) dress, or maybe I'm just jealous that she had more than one.

Count 'em, one...
P.S. I love the bridesmaid dresses too!
Kim Kardashian's Wedding Album: Father-Daughter Dance

Kim Kardashian's Wedding Album: Ladies and their NBA Hunks

Although, I think the best part of the two part show was the ringbearer, Mason. Come to think of it, he's probably the number one reason why I watch the show each week with glam being the second (duh!). Too adorable!
Kim Kardashian's Wedding Album: Mason's Big Gig

If you could have a fairytale wedding, what would it be like? Where is your fairytale location? What are your fairytale colors? And, I think it goes without saying, what would the fiarytale dress (or suit...guys!) look like?

T1/Bike Rev3 Cedar Point

I felt ok coming out of the water. I didn't really feel tired, but my stomach was still in turmoil. I decided to take Ben's advice and at least try the bike for 5-10 miles and if I can't do it, then I'll just turn around and go back. I grabbed my swim to bike bag and went into the changing tent. With the much appreciated assistance of the volunteers, I changed into bike shorts, slathered on vaseline and sunscreen, and downed a Honey Stinger Waffle and 16oz. of Gatorade. Before I headed out on my bike, I had to make a pit stop where my intestines unleashed all of their fury on some poor, unsuspecting Port-a-Potty. After that, I felt much better and felt more positive about my chances of finishing.

Goal Time: 10 minutes
Actual Time: 10:24

I have read many a Ironman race recaps. Every single one says, "Before I knew it, I was half way done", "Before I knew it the bike was over", "The bike went by faster than I expected". I don't know what bike they were doing, but I suspect there was some corner cutting involved. At no point during the bike did I even think about uttering the words, "Before I knew it...". There was definitely, "There's still over 100 miles left?" and "I'm only half way done? I have to be further along than that," and "When will the chip seal end?". The bike for the most part was pretty flat with a few little climbs thrown in. Worse than the climbs was all of the chip sealed roads. Seriously, it takes more out of your legs than climbing does. There was an aid station about every 15 miles, which was perfect. I had to get a new bottle or two of fluids every 15 miles and I had to pee every 15 miles. Still haven't mastered the art of peeing on my bike. Still can't move my legs and pee at the same time, or maybe its just stage fright.
As the  course went on, I really struggled mentally. I applauded my effort for even trying the bike considering my morning's goals to "just finish the swim", but I didn't want to quite just yet. I wanted to make it half way through the bike, then quit. I got to 56 miles and decided I wanted to make it half way through the entire race (70.3 miles total with the swim) and then quit. I got there, still alive but praying for some reprieve from the sun. I kept telling myself that in another hour or so it will be lower in the sky and will be less brutal. I can bike an hour. I made it to 80 miles which was the longest ride we had done in training. I wanted to beat that distance by a few more miles, so I biked 90 miles. If I can do 90 miles, I can at least try to do 100. At least that way, I can brag to Ben about how I was the first one to do a century. I got to 100 and was having a hard time talking myself out of doing the last 12 miles. 12 miles! Less than an hour of biking! At that point, I was being trailed by the sweep car. Despite knowing that I had plenty of time to make the cut off, I kept thinking that they were going to give me the boot at any moment. And then at 103 miles, it happened. I flatted, with 9 miles left. Just my luck. I never flat in training, but I flat in almost every race. Must have been all of the chip seal. Fortunately, Ben and I had just done a flat changing crash course the night before, so it was still fresh in my mind. The sweep car people were nice enough to help and make the process go faster. I honestly thought they were going to get out of the car to tell me "Tough cookies, you're done", but they didn't.
I managed to get the flat changed in a little less than five minutes, but it was long enough for my legs to experience the rest that they so badly desired. The last nine miles were the hardest. My legs just wanted to continue to just sit on the side of the road and change flats all day. Fortunately, the last nine miles were flat and through a scenic part of town, where gorgeous expensive houses line the lake.
As I rolled towards T2, I saw Benny. He had to DNF due to a freak hail storm. I felt so bad for him, but it was such a boost for me to see him. We hugged and he said how proud he was of me for even making it that far. I walked into T2 with the last transition volunteer left and got ready for the run.

Goal Time: 8:30
Actual Time: 8:10:57

Ten For Tuesday: My Bio

I apologize for being almost non-existant on my blog. I've been meaning to and wanting to finish my Rev3 Cedar Point race recap (for whatever its worth), but I've been just bogged down with work. Its a lot of hours to begin with, but to have to share the burden of being a person short (the head athletic trainer for the matter...our fearless leader) just takes up so much time. I've been fortunate to get in a 30 minute run here, a 400 yard swim there. Its nice that its warmer longer here, but the days still get shorter, and my work days are getting longer. I leave for work when its dark and I come home when its dark. We don't have a gym membership yet, just access to the pool, so its hard to get training in of any kind, let along blogging.

And to add insult to injury (I think), my beloved St. Louis Cardinals are in the MLB playoffs, so I've been trying to watch the games as much as I can. Unfortunately, those are at 8:30PM, which I'm usually home for, but when you have to get up at 4AM, I tend to fall asleep by 9PM.

And not that I'm complaining,but we had another busy traveling weekend this past weekend. Ben did the Rev3 Anderson race on Sunday. I don't regret going, but it didn't help me to catch up on sleep or relaxation time.

My Bio Ten:
1. Height - 5'4"
2. Weight - Most recently, 129lbs.
3. Hair color - blonde
4. Eye color - blue
5. Birth place - Wisconsin
6. Birthdate - March 28
7. Age - 24
8. Number of siblings - 2
9. Languages: English (fluent), Took 2 years of German and Spanish in HS, Took another quarter of Spanish in college and a quarter of French, Trying to learn French using "French For Dummies"
10. Current location: North Carolina

Ten For Tuesday: Ten Things I Like About My New Job

1. While I was at BU, I didn't think I missed having a football and baseball team. Now that I'm here, its so nice to have them again.
2. Small athletic training staff. Sure, it makes my workload bigger, but its so much easier to be a tight knit group of friends. It isn't clique-y like it can be with a bigger staff.
3. Open-minded staff. Everyone is open to new ideas and everyone is always eager to bounce ideas off each other, or pick each other's minds about things.
4. I have my own office. Still working on decorating.
5. Basketball and tennis practices are a lot less intense and injury prone than ice hockey.
6. I work with friendly and supportive coaches who enable me to do my job and do it well.
7. Friendly and respectful student-athletes.
8. Climate controlled...or at least basketball is. The heat would do me in otherwise.
9. (Relatively) new facilities and quality supplies.
10. Lunch hour

There are lots more that keep sprouting up, but those were the first ten that came to my mind.

Swim 2.4

Despite Rev3's best efforts to de-mud the lake, there was still some lingering sludge at the start. Fortunately, it ended up being only ankle deep instead of knee deep like it would have been had they not bulldozed a path for us. And another interesting thing to note is that it stays shallow for quite some time. Like too shallow to swim shallow. And being that I am so slow at swimming that I actually walk faster than I swim, it was actually kind of a benefit for me. We were able to walk about a quarter of the way to the first buoy before it became deep enough to swim. There were a few souls swimming from the start (Don't ask me how. There must be folks with stumpier arms than me.) I was walking faster than some of the swimmers. I was actually passing people on the swim! Wasn't long though before they were re-passing me while I was actually "swimming".

They said the water temp was 70 degrees. Felt a little bit chillier to me, but I'm the one who goes numb in a full body wetsuit in 70 degree water. Guess it means I need to swim faster.

The course was a triangle-trapezoid course:

Swim triangle on first lap, Trapezoid on second
Math folks, please correct me if I'm wrong about calling it a trapezoid because I'm pretty sure I am wrong.

The longest part of the swim was the far part of the triangle...the part parallel to shore. Definitely felt like it took forever to travese both times I swam it.

Coming back towards shore after the first loop, again it gets shallow far out from shore, too shallow to swim, so it gave me a chance to rest my arms, gulp a GU and chat with my fellow slow swimmers. We came to the consensus that it doesn't matter how slow we are, we're doing a friggin' 140.6! All that matters is making the cutoffs, even if our swim time is 2:19:59.

At the 1.2 mile mark, I was a little slower than I had anticipated, but still faster than my slowest HIM swim at approximately 52 minutes.

In general, the swim was pretty uneventful. The water was murky from all the mud, but it was calm, especially considering it was in a big lake (Lake Erie). It was chilly for me, but I'm a wuss. There wasn't a whole lot of dunking, fist fitting, or splashing either as there were only a couple hundred athletes, compared to the thousands who participate in the Ironman races. And the buoys that led you into the finish had orange at the bottom and yellow at the top and greatly resembled candy corn which was motivating.

My goal for the swim was 1:40-1:45. My actual time was 1:50:01. A little slower than expected, but I had not swam more than 2 miles prior to the race, and I still made the cutoff with a 29:59 cushion, so I can't complain too much. And it still gave me plenty of time in T1 as I wanted to start the bike at 2 hours at the latest to give myself plenty of time to make the bike cutoff.